NPC story starring Miguel from Disney/Pixar's Coco.
A bright, blindingly white light. Ears bobbing through tall grass. The sound of stained glass shattering.
Then, his guitar strummed.
“Remember me,” he sang. He became suddenly aware that he had no idea how he’d come to be here, or how the campfire before him had gotten started. No memory existed of any of the people surrounding it, though they all stared at him with the soft smiles that came with recognition and listened, enraptured, to his music.
“Though I have to say goodbye, remember me…”
The flames flickered in the deep moonlight, and a face appeared amidst them that Miguel recognized. Just across the way, sitting expressionless in her wicker wheelchair, sat his abuela, Coco. Her hands were folded together on her lap, silver braids flopping onto her shoulders. Her skin sagged just so around her cheeks that if her lips moved, Miguel didn’t know if he’d be able to tell. The wrinkles in her pink cardigan echoed like the notes of his song, her too-long white dress pooling and rippling just a little bit at her ankles. In spite of himself, and in spite of what he knew, he smiled. “Remember me,” he sang again, his voice shaky, “Don’t let it make you cry.”
Don’t let it make you cry -- the words repeated inside his head, as if he was the one that needed the reminder. Beneath his fingers, the strings of the guitar felt familiar and warm. In this place, wherever he was, the sound waves seemed to echo off of, well… everything. Okay, so he knew that sound waves reflected off everything to begin with, but… this was more than normal. It was almost as if he could see the music slashing through the fire.
The strings felt like they dug through his skin down to the very bones of his fingers, but not in a painful way. They just seemed to reach further than they ever had before.
“For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart…”
Another flicker, and he played harder.
“I sing a secret song to you each time we are apart.”
He felt his body move, lunge through the flames, and his arms wrap around his Coco. Her hands didn’t move; she stayed where she was, sat perfectly still, listening, as if he hadn’t embraced her at all.
Miguel looked up at his Coco’s face, longing for her thin eyes to look down and see him. She’d been missing for quite some time now, death creeping over her like a blanket, and there were moments he remembered now -- though his memories still felt like a fog -- that he would’ve given anything to just see her face again, to just get a singular hug from her.
Instead of a hug, she stood. She stood, and passed completely through his body. He phased through her, and through her chair, stumbling out into the meadow on the other side. He braced himself with his hands, and it was only then he realized that they were… skeletal?
His fingers were bones. The skin above them had disappeared completely, and nothing remained but the pure alabaster skeleton beneath. He reached up with his hands and felt his face, gasping as he heard the somehow recognizable sound of bone scraping against bone. He spun around, passing once again through his abuela’s chair and running up beside her. She stood next to the fire -- somehow -- and clapped her hands together. Through the flickering flames, Miguel saw himself, skin and all, holding his guitar and giggling from the praise of the people around him.
The song was done, then?
A creature peeked out from behind his shoulder. A tiny shadow, hunched over like a little demon; it reached its impish paw into the chest of the Miguel that sat playing the guitar and yanked something out. The treasure it’d captured glowed a pinkish-red, and Miguel knew, somehow, that the thing had snatched his heart from his body. He rushed once again through the fire, unseen by his Coco or by the others who surrounded it, and tried to catch his body as it fell.
His guitar landed in his grasp, but his body clunked to the ground behind him. His gaze shot up, and he watched as the shadow, fingers grasped firmly around his heart, snaked off into the distance. “Come back, shadow!” he called out. Behind him, he heard the gasps and screams of the others around the campfire, but none of the sounds truly registered. He slung his guitar over his shoulder.
He hummed a tune he barely remembered as he started to sprint after the shadow.
...what were the rest of the words?