The sun was setting and the sky was of orange color, the clouds were pink and purple, a windy breeze made the leafy trees dance. All of this in the city of Tanin.
It was the hour for school to end and for all the children to go home. The reason why there were many vehicles making their way through the streets.
In the school Courteous, all of the children were anxious to leave the learning institution, but the teacher was not at all stopping her lecture. The last subject was History.
Sitting on the teacher’s desk and holding a book, was Miss Lean, “As it has already stated ,more than a thousand times, the person who founded our city is Tanin Seniripic. A woman who was recorded to have the kindest personality. She gave shelter to the homeless during the winter, gave food to the hungry, and money to the needy. Apparently she was from a very wealthy family, this allowed her to help everyone.”
A strong burst of wind blew the windows open, giving the children a fright. The girls jumped and screamed, and the boys had faces of shock. There was only one child who made no reaction.
The teacher closed the window, this time securely, and continued, “Tanin died by being pushed off the dock in the lake Limni. Some say that it was a murder, but others say that it was an accident. Tanin never arose from the lake and none were ever able to find her body, even to this day.” Her history lesson ended there, “Any questions?”
One boy from the class raised his hand and stood up among the group of students. He was the class joker and the laugh of laughs, “If they never found her body does that mean that her ghost is still in there?” he grinned when the girls in his classroom, minus one, squealed in fright.
“Mr. Cort Doodle, sit down and do not ever open your mouth again for the rest of the lesson.” Miss Lean said crossing her arms and tapping her foot on the ground disapprovingly. Cort laughed sheepishly, but not at all guilty, and sat back down on his chair. The older woman looked back at the whole class and closed her book, “Tomorrow we will have-“she was interrupted by the sound of the bell.
The glorious ring made the whole classroom erupt in loud cheers of joy, and soon they were all rushing to the door in happiness.
They all stopped when Miss Lean yelled so loud that the children thought it was able to reach all the way to China, “SHUT UP AND SIT BACK DOWN!!!” all of them obeyed her orders and went back to their seats, fearing her wrath. The teacher sighed and pointed at a page in the history book, “Don’t forget to do an essay about how the founder of Tanin found our city, okay?” nodding furiously, they continued their zoom towards the door.
When the classroom was empty, Miss Lean stretched her arms and started cleaning the black board. When she had finished, she turned to arrange the papers but saw the most polite girl in class. The only one who didn’t squeal in fright at Cort’s joke.
Her eyes a bit wide, she stared at the young girl, “Oh, Miss Alkrisma, you startled me.”
The girl had ice blue, straight, and long hair that reached all the way to her lower back, and kept with a nice white ribbon that was tied on top of her head. Glittery white eyes stared back at Miss Lean’s own brown eyes. Snow white skin was covered by a white summer dress with light blue flowers running all over it, and an Ice blue cardigan with no buttons. Covering her small feet were sky colored flats with a silk like design and a cute white ribbon on the ends.
The young girl looked sorry, “I’m ever so sorry, Miss Lean. I had no intention of frightening you, I had just wanted to ask you one little question…”
Sweet and polite girls like her were very rare now a days, “Okay then, shoot.” The little girl’s eyes shined in happiness while the teacher continued on with the sorting of papers.
Paula. That was her name. “Do the city’s people hold memorials for the founder Tanin? I’ve been here since I was born, but never once have I noticed any holidays about her death. Isn’t it today?” this question surprised the woman.
“Oh… I’m sorry to disappoint, little girly, but the people here don’t do anything like that.” Paula was a strange one indeed.
The Alkrisma looked down in sadness until her mood was switched to the kind as bright as the sun, “I know!” the thirteen year old hopped towards Miss Lean and said, “I will hold my own memorial for the founder, she would be really happy wouldn’t she?” the girl had a bright smile on her face when she had ran outside the door.
“Um… okay?” the woman shook her head and continued to organize the papers. Even though her eyes were not directed at the window, she was still able to sense someone, “Cort, I know you were listening in on my conversation with Paula. Go home and don’t even think about stalking her.” She picked up the papers, and a young boy opened the window from the outside.
He leaned on the window pane and had another grin on his face, “I’m not at all sorry, just wondering why she decided to stay in the classroom. That’s all there is to It.” he climbed through the window and stepped into the room.
The young woman placed the stacked papers on her desk and started to grade them, “Don’t ever do that again, Cort. It’s super creepy.”
When Cort was sure that she wasn’t looking, he stuck his tongue out at her, “Fine, Miss I Will Die Lonely…” he said the last part in a whisper as he stomped his way back to the window.
“What did you say?” Miss Lean asked with a glare.
With a singing tone he said, “Nothing.” And jumped through the window.
The woman huffed and continued her grading, “That boy has no respect.”
Cort ran through the back of the school all the way to the parking lot, where he went to get his beloved bike. Just when he was on the process of putting on his red helmet, he saw Paula walking towards her own white bike. What a beauty. He meant the bike, not her. Okay?
He got of his bike and went to her, with his bike along with him, “Hey Paula, What’s up?” he startled her a bit, “Where are ya goin?” he already knew where she was headed, he just had to ask so that she won’t be suspicious. Cort didn’t want her to feel weirded out that he was stalking her.
“Umm, I’m going to Limni…” Paula said. She never really talked to Cort much, and so was a little self-conscious around the boy. Putting her blue helmet on, she climbed on top of her bike.
“Cool, can I come to?” he may be disrespectful to many people, but that was only because that was his way of showing his affection to them. He wasn’t all bad. Cort wanted to pay his own respects to the found of his home city. “What are we going to do once we get there?” another question he already knew the answer to.
Paula sealed her white helmet with a click and smiled at him shyly, “You can come with me to make our very own memorial for the founder of Tanin.” She turned from him to the gate and started to bike.
The smile made Cort smile back with a little blush on his face, “Cool!” he got on his bike and followed after Hyu.
Around the most silent girl in his classroom, he felt as if he had to look his best. With his bike’s mirror, he checked his orange red hair to see if it was in order, only to see it messy and unruly. Cort’s dirty green eyes squinted at his appearance, while the setting sun’s rays settled on his tan skin.
With his left hand he fixed his baggy, brown, open jacket and his red inner shirt that had the words ‘fight fire with fire’, his blue denim pants, and his orange sneakers. Perhaps now he was near presentable.
Limni Lake was a bit far away from the city. If one were to bike there it would take him or her half an hour to get there, but this did not stop the two form reaching their destination. When they had arrived they knelt in front of the dock.
It was the largest lake in the whole city. It was a beautiful representation of nature. Its water was pure and it always shined in the most sparkling way when the sun would shine above it. Add the sunset’s color on the lake and the swaying leaves of the forest’s trees surrounding it, then you have one very amazing lake.
“What should we do for a memorial?” the red haired boy said clutching his bag to his chest.
Paula was silent for a moment until a light bulb flashed above her head, “We could light candles and put it on origami boats! We could even put a letter on it!” she said happily as she dug into her blue bag.
Cort gave her a ‘are you serious?’ look and turned back to the lake, “I don’t have any candles… and I don’t know how to make and origami boat.” The view was indeed very pretty.
She giggled, “I have candles in my bag. I’ve been preparing for this day. Don’t worry about the boats, after all, I’m going to be the one to make them for us.” Paula took out two candles and colored paper out from her bag, “I don’t have coloring pencils or crayons though…”
The sound of a bag dropping onto the wooden surface of the dock could be heard, “Don’t worry,” Cort said dropping the items out from his red bag, “I have coloring materials!” he found the needed things and handed them to Hyu.
The two children had fun on Limni Lake. One taught the other how to make his own origami boat, and both colored them to their own liking. They made a small card with the words they had chosen by themselves, and decorated it. When all was nearly done, both were joyed with each other’s presence.
With a candle in her hand and the other with Cort, Paula had a frown on her face, “How are we supposed to light the candles?”
The boy had an equally sad expression on his face until he remembered, “I have a lighter,” he took out a lighter form his pocket, “Now we can light the candles!” He handed her the lighter and smiled.
She kindly received the lighter from his hands and returned his smile, “Thank you, Cort. I am though wondering why you have a lighter in your bag.” She said as she inspected the innocent looking red lighter.
“The stove in our house isn’t working so well and needs a lighter to give it a kick start. The last lighter ran out already, so my mom told me to buy a new one. That is why I have a lighter in my pocket.” Maybe she thought that he smoked in secret or something.
“Okay…” deciding not to venture any further, they continued their memorial.
The candles were lighted and placed onto their boats. Paula and Cort watched it float away peacefully in the dark. After the letters and the candles were nearing the distance, they continued to talk and get to know each other.
Giggles of both boy and girl filled the dark dock, the only light was the last candles that both of them had lit together. “I can’t believe you actually did that to Mister John!” Paula said laughing.
“You should’ve seen his-“his sentence was cut off by a speeding boat, splashing water over the two chatting kids. Cort stood up dripping wet and looked at his messy clothing before yelling out, “Why are they even speed boating here!?”
Paula inspected her clothes and found a bit of algae stuck on her dress, “They’re just having some fun, Cort…”
Again, he gave her another of his ‘are you serious?’ looked, “Are you kidding me?! They have no consideration for by standers! It’s like super dark and late already, they should all go home!” these were his words until it finally burst into his head, “Wait… it is dark and late, shouldn’t we already be home?!” Cort screamed like a girl, “My mom is going to kill me!!!!!!!” he started to run back and forth like a mad person.
“Cort… calm down.” Paula said grabbing his sleeve, “We can go home right now. We will just explain to our parents what we have been doing, and if there is a punishment then we must accept it like we should. Just remember that what we did was something that the founder of Tanin would surely appreciate.”
Cort’s heart was running in a very fast, “I need to cool down…” he got rid of his wet clothes to reveal his red flaming swimming trunks, and jumped into the lake in a cannon ball. This made Paula’s already wet clothes even more soaked. Cort swam around in the lake apparently having a lot of fun.
Paula decided that swimming was a pretty good idea. She took his discarded clothes and her own, and hung them on a nearby branch. Now she had a white one piece swimsuit over her body, and jumped into the lake with a neat dive.
Why were they wearing swimming suits? Well, Paula would visit Limni Lake every day to swim around in its waters, and Cort knew about this and so wore his own swimsuit. Paula did not ask why he was wearing one, she didn’t want to know.
Cort heard the splash and looked behind him to see Paula swimming towards him, “I thought we should be going home…” he asked.
The swimming girl raised her brow at him, “You were the one who jumped in first…” she looked around to see the boat still zooming around, “It was recently announced that Limni Lake was to be owned by the Alkrisma family, and so those people riding on those boats are actually in private ground.” Paula swam back to shore and walked back to her blue bag.
Cort trailed behind her like a baby duck would do to its mother, “You’re an Alkrisma! So that means you can go into Limni Lake whenever you wanted to.” He had almost forgotten that Paula was part of the richest families in Tanin.
Picking up her bag, she smiled again, “Yes, I indeed hold the proud name of the Alkrisma.”
Following her actions, Cort picked up his bag and took his swimsuit that Paula had so kindly hung for him, “The Alkrisma family is super rich. They are the ones that own the biggest fishing, farming, and clothing departments in Tanin, aren’t they?”
They both stayed there in silence. Checking their bags and making sure that their clothes were extra dry, just for sure. Paula was a bit uncomfortable with how quiet it had become, and decided to do something. She beamed as bright as the sun and started to skip towards the edge of the dock.
Cort, who was wondering what she was up to, turned to look at her only to scream in shock, “OH MY GOD! What happened to you?!” no one could doubt that this scream had reached all the way to where those rebels were hanging.
Startled, Paula stared at him confused and a bit scared, “What are you talking about?” she took the mirror that she had inside her bag and looked at her reflection. She screamed. “WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!?”
During the time when they were in silence, and avoiding their own gazes, her appearance had morphed into a strange looking human being. It looked as if she was made of crystal. Icy ear fins replaced her ears, her skin looked as if she had been swimming in glitter, and her eyes (although still white) now had a pair of navy blue rings surrounding her iris. For the final touch, what used to be her white ribbon, was now a beautiful light blue crystal crown with bubble colored gems.
She looked up from her mirror, to Cort, and then back again. She screamed another time. Confused, Cort asked, “Why are you screaming!?” he was a bit panicked with the situation.
Quivering like a leaf, she pointed shakily to her mirror, the one that she had dropped onto the floor in shock, “L-look into the mirror!!!”
Curious, he did as she asked and then soon screamed again, “WHAT WAS IN THE CHEESEBURGER THAT I HAD EATEN FOR LUNCH FOR ME TO LOOK LIKE-!” he stared at his reflection a little while longer, until he had started to pose like a male model, “What was in that burger, I would give up my bike to get another one… it’s like it had the magic potion of HANDSOME in it!” he ogled his reflection before he turned back to Hyu.
Yes, in a way he was handsome, but not so much that it would make one feel overwhelmed. His gangster spiky red hair would’ve looked normal if it wasn’t for the different colors of green that glowed. Although it was candy for the eyes, it was unnatural. His ears had turned into fins much like Paula’s but it did not have its crystal like effect. Before he had absolutely no muscle, but now you can see that they have matured. It wasn’t macho, but just right. One more thing. His eyes were pure black.
“Man I look hot!” he kissed his biceps and held the mirror as if he was going to take a selfie.
Paula walked over to the dock to look at her own appearance. Now that she had taken a closer and much more detailed look, she saw that she was… prettier than before.
They were admiring their newfound beauty, until they felt as if they were being pushed into the water. With a splash, they were once again within Lake Limni.
They had tried to swim back to the top, but they discovered that they were no longer able to move their limbs. As they kept sinking, they lost hold of their breath. Just as they were about to pass out, they saw a beautiful beam of light. Though it was not the kind of light that would guide you to heaven.
All of the sudden, they were transported into a place they’ve never seen before.
It was a village. There were people bustling through the streets and everything. The whole place looked plain. All were grass and hills, it was nothing like the City Tanin that was filled with lakes and rivers.
Standing on a hill that surrounded the entire village was Paula and Cort. When they had looked at each other’s faces, they saw a human’s.
“What happened, Hyu? Where are we?” the boy asked, confusion and fear floating around in his mind.
“I don’t know… but I wish I did.” The girl said taking a look at their surroundings. When Paula turned around, she saw Cort walking towards the small village, “What in the world are you doing?!” she yelled jogging towards him.
“I’m not just gonna sit here like a duck, I’m gonna go ask some questions!” he stomped towards the small town fuming.
The girl stopped for a moment, trying to find a way to get him to change his mind, but found none. With no other choice, she followed Cort, “Wait for me!”
When they arrived, the both held their breath at the beauty of the tiny, yet pretty, village. It was covered in amazing colorful crystals, they were scattered everywhere. Some were shaped like plants, others were statues of people, and some made signs. Fountains were everywhere, and so were little streams of clean water going through the whole town.
Paula went to a merchant, leaving Cort alone, “Excuse me, but where in the world are we?” the merchant blatantly ignored her and continued to yell out advertisements.
This did not make Cort’s already bad mood any better, “Hey, didn’t you hear her? She asked where we are!” but even after his loud yell, the merchant still continued to ignore them. He decided to ask someone else. Looking around, he noticed a nice looking old woman walking to them, “Thank God, now I know what they mean when they said to respect the elde-“the woman had walked right through him.
A yelp was heard from Paula, who had witnessed it happen, “W-what just happened…?” she whispered.
Cort stood there frozen in shock, “I-I don’t know…” suddenly, their vision was blurred as if the world was moving at top speed.
When everything had come to a halt, they were now in a different area. The first thing they noticed was the huge sign that said: “Welcome to the village Tanin!” and the huge gathering in what seemed to be the town square.
When they walked through the enormous crowd, literally, they saw a woman that looked like Paula but older, and a brown haired dude.
Both of the teens new already that she was Tanin, the founder of Tanin City. There was a painting of her after all. It was everywhere in the history books and museums.
Paula and Cort stayed quiet as they listened to their conversation, “I’ve finally found you.” The man said.
The Paula look alike smiled in a gentle manner, “Why have you been looking for me?”
“I came here to give you this.” His hand held a beautiful necklace, “Do you remember this?”
The necklace was a beautiful pattern of ear fins made out of white quartz and black obsidian. The string was black and thick, making it difficult to break, and it also was decorated with complicated tiny white patterns. It was indeed a beauty.
The woman was silent.
Smirking, the man started to walk slowly to stop in front of the beautiful woman, “I would like you to…” once he was close enough, he took a glass bottle from his small pouch, and threw it to her face, “Show your face!” the bottle was shattered, soaking the water all over her.
The glass shards had embedded themselves into her skin, and blood had started to ooze out from her wounds. The woman was screaming. Screaming, screaming, screaming, and screaming. Her skin was burning away from her body as if she had touched acid.
Her ‘real face’ very much resembled Paula in her Crystal sea version.
When the sizzling stopped, the shards on her skin were pushed out from her rapidly healing skin. It was all silent.
A person from among the crowd broke it, “Sh-she’s a demon!”
“We have to kill her!” another said.
“She will kill us all if we don’t!” a woman said.
Tanin, Paula, and Cort’s heads both shot up at those sentences as the whole crowd started yelling shouts of agreement.
Paula ran in front of the stunned woman and yelled, “What?! No, don’t hurt her!” her arms spread out in a means to protect her.
Cort ran towards Paula, “Don’t you remember? They can’t see us!” those words made the girl stop. They watched as the crowd started to surround the poor woman.
Tanin made no plea and she made no move. She did and said nothing as they tied her to a post on top of hay, where they lit her on fire. It was only then when she made a sound. Another round of screams. Tanin was not the only one screaming. Paula was too. She felt pain in seeing another one suffer.
The flames licked her skin turning it into burnt flesh, her skin boiled away into ashes to reveal what was beneath. Blood had no time to escape, the fire gave it no mercy. Inch by inch and layer after layer, she was dying. Even after almost everything had been burnt, Tanin was still there.
When Tanin had started to scream, dark clouds covered the sky and rain poured down. The man did something to the fire, he whispered words into it and sprinkled it with dust, and this made it immune to water. Tears streamed down on Tanin’s pained face, and the two couldn’t do anything but watch the painful scene.
It went on like this until she was nothing more than ashes. Her remains drifted through the small rivers, and the people rejoiced.
“We’ve done it!”
“Now we’re safe!”
“Thank goodness she’s dead!”
What were they to do? They didn’t know. They were just standing where they were. They had just witness the most horrible thing. Paula dropped to her knees and hands, crying with loud sobs. Cort didn’t cry, but his face was blank. He was looking at the ground with his bangs covering his eyes, and his hands clenched into fists.
Then it happened again. The world was spinning and going past the speed of light, and they watched it halt. They were back on the tall hill they had arrived in.
It was as if someone had pressed the speed button. The whole world was going fast forward. The rain did not stop until the whole place was covered in lakes and rivers. They saw the people take down the beautiful crystals to sell them. They watched as the beautiful village of Tanin turned into a normal village.
With a blink, they were in front of a very big lake that vaguely resembled Limni Lake. On the edge of the lake was a child that looked about their age.
She had platinum blonde hair and pale blue eyes, and she wore nothing but a short white dress. “It’s time?” she was talking to herself, “Can’t it be a little longer?” “No… it can’t.” “Oh… which way then?”
They woke up.
Cort and Paula were being dragged out of the water, and dumped on the dock. They looked for their savior, but there was none. They were back looking like mutants again.
They choked and breathed deeply in for air, “I had a horrible dream…” Cort said breathlessly.
“Me too…” replied Paula, who was panting.
“It was about this girl who looked like you. I watched her get burned alive…” Cort said covering his face with his hands. When he didn’t get a reply from Paula, he turned to look at her. She was looking at the dock floor, shock clear on her face, “Hyu? Are you okay?”
“I-I had the same dream…” she said so quietly that Cort had to lean in closer to hear her.
“What…?” he didn’t get it. Had the same dream? Was that even possible?
“I had the same dream as you!” she said more loudly this time. She was looking at him, scared.
Cort didn’t know what to feel. How could he choose? It was as if his emotions were scrambled, all of them confused with what their roles were supposed to be. He went to the edge of the lake to take another look of his face.
“What are you doing, Cort??” Paula asked.
He was silent for a moment, before he started to speak again, “Hey… Paula, if that was really the reaction the villagers had to the founder of Tanin what would they do to us?” they looked like… demons.
Paula looked at him and then looked back at the ground, “In this generation and age they would probably study us until they’ve seen every nook and cranny, and then kill us. Maybe they will make copies of us for experimental weapons, if that is really possible.”
They were silent, everything was already dark, with the moon’s light cascading over the lake.
“I don’t like this.”
Paula turned her gaze to Cort, “Huh?”
Cort stood up from his crouched position and looked at her firmly, “I don’t like this!” he repeated, “What if we can’t turn back into humans? We’d have to run away in order for us not to get killed!” he started to pack back and forth, “I’d leave my mom…” he stopped there, scared and worried, “She has no one else, she would die of a heart attack if I left.”
Paula needed to calm him down, “Don’t worry, they’d probably understa-“
“No they won’t understand.” Whose voice was that?
Pale blonde hair and light blue eyes. Does that sound familiar to you?
The girl snorted and gave them a smirk, “I have no name.”ns 22.214.171.124da2