Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Shattering of a Glass Shoe

Cinderella sighed. She supposed, all in all, that she didn't really have a right to complain. She went from practical slave to princess. Soon queen. She lived in a giant palace. She had everything she could ever ask for in that palace, with a man who loved her, who she told herself she loved.

Then why did she feel so empty?

It took a lot to survive the years in her stepmother's "care" after her father's death. It took dreams and a hope she had no reason to cling to. Cinderella had spent every moment she could dreaming of a future for herself better than what she could really hope to expect. As soon as she was of age, she would leave her stepmother's house and forge a life for herself. Make it what she wanted.

In the end, she ended up doing nothing but filling the hollow role of damsel in distress. Cinderella had always dreamed of saving herself, but her prince had saved her first. Prince Charming. Who in their right mind would name their son Charming? Maybe she was just bitter because he managed to charm her.

So even now, in what many would consider a perfect life, she dreamt of how life could've been. She imagined leaving her stepmother's house as soon as she could. She imagined getting a meager job to support herself until she could open her own bakery. She dreamed of being herself. But she knew everything she had ever dreamed to be had died when she let her prince rescue her, shattered with a glass shoe.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Legend of the Sphere

Writing based independent math project for my Geometry class. Please pardon the indents. Wrote it on a Google Doc for school first and couldn't figure out how to make them go away.
She sat, hunched over her meticulous plans. The blueprint was out, along with several painstakingly drawn diagrams. Her laptop was open next to her, showing her any changes in guard schedules there were. Everything was falling in line.
The team walked in for their final briefing still having little to know understanding of the enigma that was their boss, or probably the word enigma for that matter. As much as a shame as that was, they had not been hired for the intelligence measured best in the classroom, but rather for years of experience with the more unsavory aspects of life.They did notice the slight abnormalities to her, such as the blood-red eyes coupled with the short black hair that clearly stated she was not albino. Her childlike stature combined with intelligence and knowing and clear signs of a much greater mental age. The unreal ease with which she conducted herself. But they simply were not the sort to ask or care about such things.
Had they been the sort to ask or care about such things, or the sort to understand words like enigma, the first clue would be her name. Phi. The Golden Ratio. The recurring number dictates ordered patterns to life. Ironic, considering her goal was complete order and anarchy. But perhaps not as ironic as one might think, considering life was simply ordered chaos. They also may possibly have noticed (providing they were the out-of-the-box type of thinkers that they’re not) That her unreal qualities were due to the fact that she was not entirely real.
Phi was an apparition, a manifestation created by the combined power of the loathsome thoughts of millions of math-hating students across the globe. She was pure math, not necessarily as it really was, but how millions of math-hating students everywhere saw it. Phi was a pure, intelligent, deadly form of evil. And chaos was her only goal.
Cautiously, the guns for hire gathered around their current boss. Normally she was a calm quiet evil, but every so often she would become volatile, and it was never a good idea to be around her when that happened. Unexplainable things happened when Phi was upset. The only person that understood was Phi herself, and she had no intention of explaining.
At the moment she was calm. She beckoned them closer, and they gathered around her. “Here’s the plan.”
She turned back to the plans on her desk, more for their benefit than hers, and the followed her gaze. She flipped through her notebook, past the pages explaining what they were going to find. That was information they didn’t need to  know. She would show them the  pictures when the time came. For now she went to the plans of the building they were infiltrating. Warehouse 31. “Here’s the building. The perimeter around the fence is thirty miles. You’ll need to cut in through the back and make your way to the building, perimeter eighteen miles, and go to the entrance from there...

The team crept along through the cover of night. The fence came into sight, perimeter thirty miles. Phi tended to spew our mathematical figures. They weren’t always necessary, but they were as much a part of her thinking process as words were to that of a normal human. The math certainly didn’t hurt anything, so no one mentioned it. They just waited it out and listened for the pieces that mattered.

Matt pulled up front and beckoned Ricky forward. With a nod of understanding, he came up to the fence and hefted the wire cutters. Each removed link made a distinct metallic sound. The group waited, but no one came. Secure in the thought that no one was coming for them, they stole silently through the whole in the gate and right through the front door...

“After that you’ll be on Security Level One, volume fifty four miles, perimeter eighteen miles.” Phi pointed to another drawing, showing three levels. Two of them were under ground. She flipped through some more papers. “I’ve drawn up a map of all three levels. Focus on the map for level one. You will follow the exact path I’ve drawn. The Warehouse is a labyrinth full of tricks and traps. If you deviate from the path I’ve drawn you you’ll probably die...”

They snuck to the front door. Matt waved Cindy forward. She examined the door momentarily before going for the lock. She picked it in seconds and they went in. Matt pulled out a copy of the map Phi had drawn. he led them down the blessedly empty halls, a left, a right, another right, and a left down the first staircase.

“Level Two, volume three hundred twenty four miles, perimeter thirty miles.” Phi flipped through her diagrams for a minute before catching herself and getting back on track. “Level Two will be more dangerous. There are guards on this level, and you’ll have to split up. Team Alpha will  follow the solid line, and Team Beta will follow the dotted line. I want Colby and his technical knowledge on Team Alpha, and Matt on Team Beta. Beyond that I don’t care. Team Alpha will have to disable the security system around the target...”

Matt handed a map to Cindy. They had made it to level two and now they had to split up. “I’m putting you in charge, Cindy. Bill, Bob, go with them. Good luck.”
Cindy squared her shoulders and prepared herself. This would be the first major mission she was in charge of. It had to be. They had to split up. But she was still proud that she was chosen. She nodded at Matt, the person she looked up to most in the world, and prayed they would see each other again. She nodded at him. “Same to you.”
The teams split and nothing else was said. They knew their job. They to disable the security system, and for that they needed Colby. Their mission became to protect him. Four guards. Three expendables. Not the worst odds they had ever faced. The shooting began as soon as Cindy opened the door. The four guards went down almost immediately. Bill was the team’s sharp shooter. The three of them made a protective barrier around Colby while he typed.
Matt sighed. The one guard had been easy, but the trap was a bit more difficult. The metal jaw opening and closing over the staircase was another story. It wouldn’t turn off, even when Colby succeeded.  It would take timing. Timing and a lot of faith. He nodded to the men around him, and they ran...

“If you survive the second staircase, it’ll bring you to Level Three, volume one hundred eight miles, perimeter thirty miles...” Phi’s eyes seemed to go blank, and she flipped through the diagrams again. She started rocking back and forth, mumbling mathematics in a weird chanty way. “Six to three and nine to six equals three to one and three to one. That’s similar. Six to three to three, nine to six to six, and twelve to three to three equal two to one to one, three to two to two, and four to one to one. Similar, whole thing’s built similar... Numbers... Beautiful shining similar golden numbers...”
She was shaking now, and all they could make out was the occasional whispered numbers. The hauntingly familiar vortex opened in her forehead and the swirling mass of chaos began. Matt put a hand on her shoulder and with a gasp from Phi, it stopped. Matt was a little more curious, a little more intelligent, and he had found her the night she was created, a lost child alone in the dark. He was the closest thing she had known to family, and the only one who could get close enough to stop her when the chaos started.
“Right...” Phi continued on as if nothing had happened, and her minions knew well enough to do the same. “You’ll be at level three. That level doesn’t have nearly as many traps, mainly because the agency doesn’t expect anyone to get down there. It’s very heavily guarded though. Good luck, and be careful.”  She locked eyes with Matt, who nodded back at her before they moved out.
Matt lost one man to the grisly teeth of the iron staircase. He was a good man, and the blood-curdling scream that had been wrenched from his throat in his last agonizing terrifying seconds still echoed through the minds of all who could hear it. But there was no time to mourn him. They had to keep going. Their mission was almost complete.
They hurried nervously down the deserted halls of the final level of Warehouse 31. Five guards met them at the door, and Matt lost his last two men to the sound of gunfire and the sulfur-scented smoke. Eight more guards were waiting for him behind the heavy metal door, but that did not phase him.  They had a plan for this part. Colby, still typing furiously at the warehouse's main console, opened the door just a crack.  Matt rolled a grenade under the door, and eight more good men died.
When they were sure the room was clear, Colby raised the door up again and released the defenses around the target. Matt walked over to the podium and reached out to take what so many had already died for...

A quick mental calculation told Phi that twenty five percent of the mercenaries she sent out had died. Sad to one with a full capacity for emotion, but all Phi cared about was that they had succeeded, and Matt was within the seventy five percent to return home. “Did you get it?”
Matt reached out to place the Sphere in the palm of her hand, and Phi smiled.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Thirtieth

The comforting blanket of the night
Slowly drifted down over the
Crickets chorused in the last light of the
Much had happened in the past month
Followed by what would happen in the next
Made clear by the darkness.
The child-feared realm of
Infinite possibility
Stretched out before her.
When light gave way to darkness
And order to chaos
And the monsters
To escape one's mind
Became intangibly real.
As growing had shown
The darkness that brought real the monsters
Also gave life to beautiful
Unbelievable dreams.
Where once stood an
Stood a
A forest only she could see.
The Forest of Dreams and Nightmares.
Not so different as you might think.
So similar, in fact, that they are one.
Through this forest she traveled
Watching over the
          Darkest and lightest
Thoughts of the town's subconscious mind.
Compared the forest
She had the stature of an ant.
Not half as large
As a half-forgotten dream.
She crawled and climbed
Watching fantasies and sorrows.
A goal achieved
   A test aced
      A friend cheated.
A game won
   A dream followed
       A devastating accident
A first kiss
   A nervous man preparing to propose
      A lonely girl, weeping over the loss of a love never won.
They walked through The Forest of Dreams and Nightmares,
Not as different as you might think.
She shared in their sorrows and triumphs,
Until the Coming of the Light:
   Bringer of order
   Destroyer of peace.
She watched as the darkness reseeded
And the light reclaimed
Furious monsters
  Turned back into old sweatshirts
And previous realities
   Into impossible dreams.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Twenty Ninth

Tiny blonde fairy
Dancing around
Circle of mushrooms
A trap for the mind.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Twenty Eighth

Predictably unpredictable storm
Envelops everyone in its
Complicatedly simple patterns.
Wondering spirits
Drift past each other
Without realizing they're
Wondering at all.
Small miracles
Constantly unnoticed.
The mysterious wonder of

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April Twenty Seventh

The word thief
Moves swiftly from
Book to book
And mind to mind,
Spiriting innocent vocabularies
Off into the night.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Twenty Fifth

He stood at the gallows,
Patiently awaiting
Imminent death.
He had been
Of his ice-blue raincoat
And stood now
As any other.
He did not resent
Only hoped
That as he left this world, his
Of a better one
Would not
With him.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Twenty Fourth

Had once been placed
On the great leader
In the ice-blue raincoat.
But as the rebellion
Continued climbing
To a lofty place of
They felt a little too safe.
When they crashed down,
Did the blame.
And the once proud
LEADER of the rebellion
Fell prey
To the war
He had created.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Twenty Third

The dolphins dance before the dock,
As the dark water
The color of ink
Bubbles with their playful splashing.
The heavy aroma of fresh
Rain clinging to the air.
The rebel
With the ice-colored raincoat
Sits on the dock
Watching the dolphins.
A long forgotten smile
For the long forgotten rebel

Monday, April 22, 2013

April Twenty Second

Into minutes
Into hours.
Time floats
Languidly by
On the drifting cloud
Known as vacation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Twenty First (a.k.a. Both Sides of the Tracks)

Dreamers contemplating
The changing of the seasons,
And the tiniest of bugs.
And however they are.
In blissful
Unknown harmony
They change the world.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Twentieth

Clarity in the
Midst of chaos
Is a
To be able to see
Yourself and someone you
Care about going down
Without the power to stop it.
For change
Coming a day
Too late.
The past
In the past
No matter how much you want that
To change.
Because chaos
Is never as orderly
As imagined
And no one truly knows
What they'll do
Until they're doing it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

April Nineteenth

An absent daydream
Turned into a waking nightmare.
One moment coasting along
To the
Beat of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun",
And the next coasting
Past the pole and
Off the road.
Rended metal and a
Giant explosion.
Ears ringing!
But from where?
A yell
And then running
Out of the car
Away from the disaster
Back onto the unexpectedly perilous road.
Too many people.
Too many questions,
And too many empty undeserved accusations.
Too much pain and
Too many tears
On one used-to-be peaceful Spring day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Eighteenth


   On a sea of darkness

        Into a...


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Seventeenth

The full
Beautiful oak
Had but one flaw.
A single and overall
It sat
Small and undefined
Among the large
Deeply colored
Full leaves.
They rustled together
In a soothing cacophony
Each time the wind blew.
Together they were louder,
But the small
Leaf was not heard.
As they had always seemed to
The leaves acted in unison.
All at once they started to change
And yellow.
As usual, the
Leaf remained away
So that by the time the other leaves
Were brilliant shades of orange and red, the
Leaf was just starting to
And yellow.
In small groups the leaves
Fell away from the tree,
Following each other unquestioningly
Into what none of them had ever known.
As per usual, the
Leaf stayed behind.
It watched.
And it waited.
It saw as all the other leaves it had known
Without ever really being a part of
Faded away.
It watched as some fell straight to the ground
Cold and unforgiving
Never making it beyond what had always been.
It watched as some leaves
Carried by a great wind
And maybe a little bit of something else
Were carried off
Headed towards no one knew what.
It watched as some twirled through the air
In complex patterns
Looking as if they would go somewhere
Before falling back to the edges
Of what had always been known. The
Leaf waited, and it waited.
It waited for something to happen.
It waited for a certainty that would never be known.
It waited until that
Leaf was the only one left on the tree.
The leaf waited and waited
Because it was afraid of what was unknown. That
Leaf did not want to
Waste away being
It did not want to fall
In its one chance to succeed.
And so the
Leaf waited some more to be
No longer.
One day a great breeze came,
The greatest the leaf,
Or the tree for that matter,
Had ever known.
In this breeze the
Leaf clung to the tree
With a surprising amount of tenacious strength.
It clung
Until it was nearly too late. The
Leaf hung on
Trying to decide what to do,
Until the chance to do it nearly passed.
Until finally,
The maybe not-so-
After all leaf
Just let go.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Sixteenth

Spring time once again;
World beautifully renewed.
Too many damn bugs!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Fifteenth

On a rock
Beside my house
Beneath a curved pine tree.
This is a place
Where I do find
Complete serenity.
The birds do sing
The squirrels do play
A peaceful cacophony.
In this place
Surrounding me
Complete serenity.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Fourteenth

Is a fiercely misunderstood entity.
It blankets the world in a comforting black cloak,
Leaving room for thoughts, rest, and peace,
And yet the night is feared.
The night is feared because thinking
Can be a frightfully dangerous pastime.
Is there anything lurking in the shadows to be feared,
Or do we fear the perceived "darkness" leaking from our own souls
Made harder to conceal in the night's inky blackness?
The darkness is beautiful.
Were it not for the dark,
We would never see the stars.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April Thirteenth

Where does inspiration go
When it wonders off for a while?
Does inspiration need to be
Does it go on a grand adventure,
Travel all across the world,
The known and unknown universe,
To find a muse for the muse?

Friday, April 12, 2013

April Twelfth

Fleeting thoughts that
Flutter off into. . .
What was I going to say?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Eleventh

I wouldn't go as far as to say
All I did was ask
A question.
It would've been okay
If it was
Just me.
But he messed with
My best friend.
Some of us believe in trying anyways.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Tenth

The stars that twinkle with such light
Tell me it's time to say good night,
But still I wonder what is right
The dark unveils the mysteries of life.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Ninth

Burning the midnight
Oil. I could really use
A decent night's sleep.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Eighth

Each spring,
Buds emerge cautiously
From the forest.
The longer the
Buds are exposed, the less
They become.
But in the final weeks of life,
More muted and diluted shades of
Return before the trees are left
Bony and bare
Waiting to find the
Of life again in the spring.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April Seventh

Life as a teenager is a
You are expected to
Be a child and
An adult.
To be independent
And needy.
To be competent
And to accept our
At the first contradiction from our "superiors".
In the same day we are told to grow
And to stop growing,
To go and stop going.
Being a teenager
Is to always be underestimated when you can do it on your own
And overestimated when you really need help.
To be a teenager is to be a
Wrapped in irony.
Constantly trying to be both you
And who you "should" be.
To do what you want to do
And what you "should" do.
To fulfill the destiny you want to choose
And the "destiny" others would choose for you.
Being a teenager is learning to make choices
In a time when no one wants to let you choose.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April Sixth

Bloodstained fields and
Cities so decimated they're more like

Raining bullets
A red moon on the rise
Promises of bloodshed this night.

Doomed dreams of
Doomed individuals
In doomed situations.

In a time when
Victories are tragedies and
Tragedies are victories.

When a horrendous explosion
Turns into a
Shining opportunity.

When one mans hero is
Another mans

And nothing

   makes sense

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Fifth

The fleetingness of
Inspiration that is gone
As soon as it's here ...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Fourth

Tick tick tick
Tick tick tick

The audible passage of time goes marching by.
Time for learning.
Time for growing.
Time for exploring.
Time for fingers flying across keyboards.
Time for leaving a mark on the world.
Time for becoming.

Time that sometimes,
Only sometimes,
And only for a day,
I wish could be rewound.

Back to the days of chocolate chip cookies and apple juice.
Back to the days when your crush was just the friend who shared the most animal crackers with you.
Back to the days when life's greatest disappointment was not actually flying when you jumped off the swing set.

Back to the glory days when digging up rocks in the river made us treasure hunter adventurers, and a big plastic pipe meant a cave expedition.
Back to the days when a splash of coffee in my milk made me feel like such an


Back to the days when the monotonous chaos of every day life was an adventure.
To cling to a fleeting moment in time for one more fleeting moment when life was a fairy tale.
When every hill was Mount Everest and every lizard was a great dragon,
And you were free to believe any dream you wanted.
Back to when imaginary friends were just as real as accepted versions of reality.
Back when peoples minds were the most free,
And being yourself wasn't like being a grasshopper pretending to be a tree.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Third

The sun comes up
The sun goes down
The found get lost
The lost get found
Sometimes you laugh
Sometimes you frown
Sometimes life's just upside down
But every time you get turned around
Someone somewhere finds solid ground

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Second

Fleeting thoughts
  Scribbled on blank pages.
    The trademarks of my life.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April First

Each day the sun rises
And just as seamlessly it falls
The routine somehow providing a break in the monotony of life
And so it begs the question of which is more beautiful
                         A sunrise
                         A sunset
A glorious dawn, radiant and shimmering
A glowing dusk, swathed in golden remembrance
                I had to decide that the ending was always more beautiful than the beginning
Everyday things begin, good and bad, and go unnoticed
And as often as things begin, they end,
      but the end is almost always more
           proclaimed than the beginning
Each morning the sun rises, unnoticed by
        the millions of slumbering creatures
             on Earth
Each evening the sun sets, bathing each
        individual in an unmistakable golden
Whether everyone notices they notice
             it or not, they notice it
And I find that as the golden glow
       shines in through my window, enveloping
                 my room in its warmth, I can't help
                      but think positively
I see triumphs
  Small victories
    And the good things in life
Little tragedies become insignificant
         amongst the many little victories and beginnings
Noticed only because the day has

National Poetry Month!

Hey guys!
As I just found out from my English teacher stepmother, April is National Poetry Month! In light of that fact, I am endeavoring to write a poem every day for this month, which will be posted here for your (hopefully) enjoyment!
Happy Poetry Month!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

She had never believed in love, but that was the only thing her feelings could be called. She had to admit that she had always noticed him, glancing at him occasionally through her long brownish-red hair with her hazel eyes over the top of whatever book she was reading at the time, but he was hard not to notice. He was tall, broad, and muscular. His spikey blond hair, shiny blue eyes, and charming dimpled smile made him the perfect all-American boy that she had always thought (until now) were highly overrated.

He was tall, athletic, and funny. Captain of the basketball team. Not someone she would've even consider an option, not that the guys were exactly lining up at her door. She lived in various novels, going through the paper like normal kids went through soda or videogames. She had never socialized much. She always felt that the fictional characters in the books she was so fond of reading were more real than the living people around her could ever be. She didn't lift her eyes from the comforting pages of the romance she was reading long enough to notice him notice her, or to have any idea of the real romance that was on the horizon.

Every day he saw her come in, hidden behind a blue hoodie and whatever book she was reading. She was forced to put it down during classes, but even then she stayed hidden behind the hood and her long, soft looking locks of burgundy hair. Her eyes were hardly ever visible, but every once in a while something would interest her, and she would look up. He found that her eyes were the most gorgeous he had ever seen. They were so expressive, easily showing her disgust when one of their classmates made an exceptionally stupid comment, or her rapt attention and wonder at something a teacher said that she seemed to somehow turn into something profound. He caught himself wondering what those eyes would say about him. He was sure he could get lost in them and never find the way out again if they surfaced long enough for him to.

Months passed the same way all the previous years of them being in the same class in the same school had; neither of them saying anything to the other. Sometimes he thought he saw her watching him out of the corner of her eye, but then again she seemed to be observing everyone silently. Not in a judgmental way. More like she was an outside observer that was not a part of their high school community. In a way she wasn't. He never saw her talking to anyone else. As far as he knew she wasn't a part of any clubs, and he never saw her at any of his games. That thought saddened him a bit.

More strands of time stretched on with the only development in their relationship being a few instances of eye-contact. Her eyes had always seemed so expressive to him, but when they were trained on his own they seemed to be the most indecipherable puzzles in the world, which in a way made sense to him, as she herself was such a puzzle. No one in their school really knew her. He wanted to know her. But he contented himself with the second-long eye contact they made and the few-word exchanges they had when he asked to borrow a pencil even though he already had one simply because he wanted to hear her voice.

It was mid-November when they finally had a real conversation. It was late after school, about five thirty. He had just gotten out of basketball practice when he found her sitting outside the school on the steps, shaking like a leaf in the chilled air of the November evening. He was shocked to see her there. She had never been after school to the best of his knowledge, but then again, he noted sadly, he didn't really know her very well. The next thing he noticed with a slight bit of worry was that beyond her normal blue hoodie, she didn't have a jacket, and it was much too cold for the thin material to do her much good. He sat down on the step next to her. They sat in silence for what felt like an eternity before he finally said something. "What are you doing here?"

"Waiting." The answer was much too simple and it only raised more questions for him, but he refrained from asking them. He didn't want to offend her or scare her off. It still seemed surreal to him that she was even there, sitting by his side.

He watched as her breath made a small white puff in the air and her petite frame shook again with cold. "Why don't you have a jacket?" He couldn't help but ask. He was a bit worried about her, if he admitted it to himself.

"I wasn't expecting to be here this late," she explained in her quiet voice. "I missed my bus. It's not too cold yet when I usually leave."

Well, at least that answered a few questions, but he still frowned. Her soft-spoken manner made her seem even more fragile than she obviously was, and he couldn't stop himself from worrying about how freezing she must be. He shrugged off his letter jacket. He didn't really need it. He was still sweating from his practice, and he was sure that at that moment he was producing much more heat than she was. He wrapped his jacket around her shoulders. "Here. You look freezing."

She looked up at him, eyes wide, and he felt himself falling into their depths until she spoke. Her beautiful voice pulled him back to the surface. "What?  I couldn't possibly take this! You must be cold too."

The fact that she seemed concerned for him too brought a smile to his face, but he knew it could only stem from her feeling guilty for him trying to take care of her. His smile was absolutely charming, and it disarmed her a bit as she really examined him for the first time. "Don't worry about it. I'm still hot from practice anyways. You can give it back to me tomorrow."

Not really seeing any way to argue, she nodded. "Thanks."

They sat in a comfortable silence for a while until a car pulled into the school parking lot. He got up before glancing back down at her, concerned. "That's my mom. You need a ride?"

"No thanks," she replied quietly. "My ride will be here any minute now."

He was glad that she was taken care of, but he couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed. "Alright. I'll see you tomorrow."

After he left, she couldn't help but feel comforted by the slight weight of his jacket on her shoulders; the comfortable way it hung around her small frame, completely dwarfing her; the warmth from his body that still filled it; and his sent that still clung to it tenaciously. She didn't take it off even when she entered the relative warmth of her own home. For the rest of the evening all she could think about was him. Her homework which was usually completely with ease took hours. When she retreated to her room to read, she couldn't help but imagine him as the main romantic interest in her novel, but she clung with a bull-headed stubbornness to her belief that love only existed in books and fairytales. The "love" between her parents certainly proved that. She couldn't see how their constant arguments and verbal abuse to each other (and their subsequent neglect of her) could be considered love, but they claimed to love each other every day.

Still, he was all she could think about when she went to bed that night.

After she returned his jacket, they went back to their standard non-communication, and it was driving them both crazy. She still clung to her firm belief that love was nothing but a lie, but she still couldn't get him off of her mind. And he just plain admitted to himself that he wanted her. That he always had. That he always wanted to be the one to give her his jacket when she was cold, and to hold her in his arms and tell her he loved her. And he was a man who went after what he wanted.

It took two weeks for the imperceptible tension between the two of them to snap. Two weeks for him to have had enough. Two weeks before he cornered her at her locker and made her late for history class. Two weeks for him to admit that he cared deeply for her. Two weeks for him to ask her to be his.

She still couldn't comprehend it. He was the captain of the basketball team and the whole school was his friend. She was an anti-social girl who's only friends were characters in books. He was tall and athletic and handsome. She was small and weak. And for whatever reason, he wanted her. He wanted her and he wasn't going to stay quiet about it. And finally she admitted, both to him and herself, that she wanted him too.

Thus began the best months of her life. The shift in their relationship was subtle at first, almost imperceptible. At first she would sit with him instead of off by herself somewhere. Occasionally their hands would brush, or their fingers would lace together underneath the desk. Her nose spent a little less time in books as her attention shifted to him. The whole equilibrium had shifted, and rather than orbit around each other at a carefully calculated distance they were at the center together.

Eventually whispers started making their way around the school, which when she thought about it was inevitable. He was one of the most popular, well-liked guys at the school, and there were definitely plenty of girls around the school vying for his attention. That made her a little nervous at times, but she forgot about everything when he looked at her in that special way; or when he brushed his fingers gently and lovingly across her knuckles when they held hands; or when he gently brushed her hair behind her ear while she was reading, caressing her face as he did so.

Finally, he made an announcement. He stood up during lunch from the table they sat at with his friends, some of which were slowly starting to become her friends. He announced to the whole cafeteria that they were together. That there wasn't anyone else in the world he would rather be with. That he thought she was perfect in every way. That he thought she was the best thing that ever happened to him. News of that spread quickly through the school, and there was no longer any doubt in anyone's mind whatsoever that they were a couple.

Not long after that, they had their first kiss as a couple, and her first kiss ever. Her perfect little bubble of happiness had been encroached upon slightly by the disdainful looks she received every day from jealous girls and the not-so-nice rumors that had been started about her in retribution for her relationship with the star basketball player. She had never much cared what others thought of her. It had seemed like an unspoken agreement. She didn't interact with them and they didn't pay any attention to her. But she had broken her end of that tacit bargain the day she had begun her relationship with him. She sat on the steps where they had their first conversation near tears. It wasn't so much what they thought about her that bothered her. It was the fact that they could be so cruel to her simply for caring about someone.

He found her, his personal angel, sitting on the steps at the brink of tears. He knew what it was about, and he felt bad about the fact that she had to undergo abuse from their peers for their relationship, but he would never give her up. He walked around and crouched in front of her and wiped the first tears to fall from underneath her eyes. Those eyes that he loved so much looked so saddened, and just plain disappointed in the world. He felt a tug at his heart. He stood up on the stair in front of her and grabbed her hands to pull her up with him. She fell forward into his chest a little and wrapped her tiny arms gently around his neck. He was once again completely lost in her eyes. His hands gently cupped both sides of her face and before he knew what he was doing he was kissing her.

That first kiss was the most magical moment either of them had ever experienced. It was sweet and gentle and slow. They completely lost themselves in each other. Time and space seemed to stand still. The only things that existed were the two of them. Everything else just melted away. It was as if the entire universe just stopped and everything else waited, caught up in the moment, not moving until they were done. They both knew they would go through any trial or ridicule as long as they could stay together like that for the rest of time.

Only two days after that kiss he told her he loved her for the first time. They were cuddled up on the couch at his house watching her favorite Disney movie when the words slipped out of his mouth like the most casual thing in the world, as if he had been saying them forever. She didn't know what to do. She was almost certain she loved him too, but she couldn't bring herself to say it. She was still too afraid of the idea of love. Things had only worsened between her parents as of late, and love seemed like a curse. The words, "I love you" seemed like some sort of evil incantation designed specifically to end relationships and ruin lives.

Her reluctance to return the sentiment did not deter him in the least. He reminded her at least once a day how much he loved her, if not more. She felt bad that she couldn't bring herself to return the sentiment, to utter the three simple yet meaningful words, but he didn't mind in the least. He said he knew he loved her, and he knew she loved him, even if she couldn't say it yet. He promised that he would just say it enough for both of them, which was a vow he readily kept.

A few weeks later the small comfort she had about her home life was shattered. She opened the front door of her house just in time to see her father hit her mother. She didn't know whether he had ever done it before, but it was the first time she had seen it, and it shook her to the core. As usual, they didn't take any notice of her as she stood there while her world was torn asunder. The fight continued on late into the night as she locked herself in her room and sobbed brokenly throughout the night. That was one in which she didn't get any sleep. She comforted herself in the fact that she would be eighteen soon and heading off to college, but it was a small comfort that didn't really do anything for her.

Witnessing her mother be knocked to the floor by her father did do one thing for her, though. It showed her how what her parents had could never even be compared to what she had with him. What her parents had wasn't love. It was loath. What should've been a mutual attraction for each other was a mutual attraction for causing suffering. It could never be like that with him. He loved her, and she loved him, and she couldn't think of anything in the world more pure than that.

 The next morning at school she threw herself into his arms the second she saw him. He caught her with ease, and she kissed him passionately. He returned it with just as much fire. They pulled away from each other a little too quickly and he looked at her questioningly. She knew right there that she was ready to admit what they both already knew. "I love you. No, I don't just love you. I'm in love with you. And I wouldn't want to live any other way."

He held her to him tightly, rocking her back and forth. "I love you too," he murmured. "I love you too."

Every moment she had ever spent with him had been perfect, but every moment after her admission seemed to be even more perfect. She was finally emerging from her shell. She joked with his friends, who had long since became their friends. Her strong opinions had become known, and when she felt it was necessary, which wasn't very often, she fought for them with a fiery passion that gave him an even more intense feeling of pride in her than ever before.

The year moved fast, and he was now to his final game of the season, the final basketball game he would ever play for his high school. He managed to convince her to come. She never had before, not because she didn't want to see him play, but because she didn't feel comfortable enough around other kids without him there to go. That wasn't a problem anymore, and she cheered loudly for him the entire game, shouting encouragements every time the other team would gain the upper hand.

It was a close game. The two teams were neck and neck the entire time. There were two minutes left in the game with the opponent in the lead. It would either take two shots or a three pointer to win the game for them. He got possession of the ball at the three point line, and looked directly at her before turning his attention back to the hoop before throwing the ball up and into the net just before the buzzer sounded. The entire gym cheered as the band started playing their victory song.

She leapt down from the bleachers and flew through the crowd, pushing past people before jumping into his arms. Her legs wrapped around his waist and his arms snaked around her body to support her. She kissed him, trying to convey the pride she felt. "That was amazing," she whispered with her forehead resting against his. "I'm so proud of you."

"I did it for you," was his whispered response before he kissed her again.

It seemed inevitable that the dark reality of life would once again encroach upon her happiness. She finally decided she had enough. When she returned home from the game to see her mother slap her father this time, something inside of her snapped. She was sick and tired of the fighting, and as far as she was concerned it was time for her to fight back. She screamed at them to stop, and in that moment the entire world froze. Things seemed to move in slow motion as her father brought his hand back before it connected with her face, sending her sailing into the wall. And then the usual chaos that was her home erupted with her at the center for a change as her mother started shouting at her about minding her own business like she usually did her father. As soon as she was sure nothing had broken and she could stand, she escaped to her bedroom. She just sat with her knees curled up to her chest, staring at her door. She couldn't managed to yell, or cry, or do anything. Only stare at the door, in shock she supposed.

The next morning he greeted her with one of his gorgeous smiles as per usual, and as he lifted her up and spun her around in a giant hug she laughed, forgetting all of the problems in the world. He loved to hear her laugh, and in that brief moment, neither of them could be happier. But reality set in the second he set her feet back on the ground and noticed the large bruise on the side of her face. He caressed her cheek softly, as if she was made of some delicate substance like porcelain, and looked at her with a worried, questioning gaze.

As the first tears started falling down her face, followed by a rapid succession of more that turned into unreserved, broken sobs, he realized how serious this was. He carefully slid his arm behind her knees, unsure if she had any other injuries, and lifted her up. He carried her somewhere away from everything and everyone else and sat down with her in his lap. The pure anguish he saw in the diamonds that were her eyes, now sparkling with tears, broke his heart in two. He gently placed a kiss on the nasty bruise she wore, followed by each of her eyelids, then the tip of her nose, then finally her lips. "What's wrong, angel?"

She trembled in his arms as she told him all about her home life leading up to her yelling at her parents and being hit the night before. By the end of her tale, he was trembling too. He was enraged. Infuriated. There were not enough words in the world to convey how much pure rage he felt. He was livid. Murderous even. He wanted to go to her house and fight her father. To take her away from them forever. He said they would run away if they had to, that he would run forever as long as she was with him.

It was an offer of a lifetime, she knew. One of the sweetest ones he would ever make. One of the sweetest offers anyone could ever make. And she knew she couldn't agree to it. She made him see reason. He had a family who loved him who he loved. They both had to finish school, and they were so close to graduating. He understood, but then he tried to convince her to come live with his family. She refused him. There were only a few months left until graduation, and as long as she just kept her head down like she always had before, she would be fine. He hated it. He loathed it almost as intensely as he loathed her parents. But he knew he couldn't force her into anything, so he just made her promise to tell him if they ever did anything to her again. He knew that if they did he couldn't be held responsible for his actions.

As she had predicted, she kept her head down and things went back to normal. They even started to look up a little more. They were wrapping up all their classes, and the two of them got into the same college, a fact that they couldn't be more thrilled with. Before they knew it they were in line wearing graduation robes, her baring the mark of valedictorian, waiting to get their diplomas.  The farewell speech she gave was unique. It didn't sugar coat school life. It didn't gush about how much they would all miss each other. It was short, sweet, and hopeful, and it focused less on what was ending and more on what was beginning. At the end of it the entire auditorium cheered loudly. The principal announced their class, and they all threw their graduation caps into the air, watching as they rained back down, somehow seeming to symbolize the fall of the ties the school and the town and their lives had on them up to this point. They were all free.

Just a week before they were ready to head off to college, he did something crazy. It was completely insane, and so was she for agreeing to it. He asked her to move in with him. His parents first apartment was in the same area as their college, and they still owned it. They offered it to their son, and he accepted. But he knew he didn't want to live there if he had to do it without her. She felt completely crazy while she moved her stuff into their apartment, but she also felt completely happy, and they both knew without a doubt that this was what they wanted.

College life suited them well, and so did living together. She went in to get a teaching degree, hoping to get a job at an elementary school. He got in on a basketball scholarship, but he was taking his business degree very seriously. They spent many long nights sitting on the couch together doing homework, studying, quizzing, and tutoring each other. She didn't miss a single one of his basketball games, and they both got close with the entire team. She had managed to make a close friend or two of her own in her teaching classes as well. She didn't think her life could ever get any more perfect, and of course when she thought that was always when it did.

They were spending a lazy Friday evening locked in their apartment together, wrapped up in nothing but each other. They cuddled while she read one of her favorite novels, The Princess Bride, aloud to him. When the book was finished and it was getting late into the evening, she asked him to make dinner with her, his reply being, "As you wish," making her grin like crazy. Not much focus went into making the food though. More focus went into the closeness they shared, or the way their fingers brushed when they reached for two things that were right next to each other. It didn't take long for the food to be forgotten completely. He had her pushed against their kitchen counter, arms pinned to her sides, while he kissed he like never before. They both felt the shift in the tension and the charge in the air, and they searched each other's eyes for anything that could turn into regret later. All either of them found was love, and they resumed what they were doing. After they were together that night, they knew that they never wanted to be apart again.

A month later he proposed. It was the most perfect thing she ever could've imagined. They had been at their favorite diner, chatting as usual, when he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. He told her how she meant the world to him. How she was the center of his universe. How he couldn't even imagine anyone half as perfect as her, and how he didn't want to have to even think about a life where she wasn't his wife. How he wanted so badly for her to marry him. And, of course, she said yes.

So began the flurry of wedding planning. They wouldn't be getting married until the summer so that it wouldn't interfere with school, but his family members started flying out as soon as the announcement was made. Her parents had been invited, but they declined. No one was particularly bothered by that fact. Their lives were swept into a whirlwind of smelling flowers and tasting cakes and trying to find the perfect dress. Her best friend from one of her teaching classes was going to be her maid of honor, as well as her only bridesmaid. His little brother was going to be his best man. She had thought she would have to walk down the aisle alone, but that didn't end up being the case. She really hit it of with his uncle, his father's brother, and after a few months of knowing him, she asked him to be the one to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. Tears of joy had sprung to his eyes and he readily accepted, proclaiming how honored he would be.

Following the quickest six months of their lives, he was waiting at the alter and she was preparing to walk down the aisle behind her best friend, arm in arm with his, soon to be their, uncle. She had been told over and over again by friends and relatives that it was okay to be nervous. That it was perfectly normal. But she wasn't nervous at all. She had never been more sure of anything in her life. Nothing felt more right than him. So it was that she met him at the alter wearing a flowey white gown and the largest most genuine smile of her life. They lost themselves in each other's eyes once again as the officiator spoke, saying their vows in a sort of trance-like state. They kissed, and as if by magic they were suddenly married.

The years passed with nothing but pure bliss. It was perfect, and everything seemed like it always would be. They were the happiest they had ever been when their son was born, and they were even happier two years later at the birth of their daughter. Their lives were complete. They had each other. They had two healthy, beautiful children. They had everything they could ever wish for. She thought back to when she was younger, when she didn't believe in love, and she couldn't believe how foolish she had been. Love was not only for books and fairytales. It was just extremely rare, and true love was even rarer. As she sat with her husband watching their children run around and play together, she reveled in the fact that she had been one of the few lucky enough to find it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


My name is Corrina Rivers, but I go by Corrie. And I'm a dreamwalker.

If you even suggested to me a few months ago the idea that the legend of the dreamwalkers was real, I would've thought you were either insane or very, very stupid. I was a pretty normal teenage girl. I liked my friends, listening to music, and a guy named Trevor. And I hated homework.

Of course I knew the legend of the dreamwalker. I grew up on the reservation and I go to school there. I even believed in it when I was younger, as fiercely as any little girl believes in fairy princesses and Cinderella. But when I was older, like most other people on the res, I saw it as all legends and fairytales; bedtime stories for little kids.

According to the legend, a dreamwalker appears once every century. Their power is great, and they will either be the savior of the tribe or its greatest enemy. The powers they have can save or destroy the tribe. The counterpart of the dreamwalker is the dreamwalker's guardian. That person becomes responsible for the dreamwalker. When the dreamwalker's destiny becomes clear it becomes the duty of the dreamwalker's guardian to either destroy the dreamwalker of fight to the death to protect them.

When I was little, the dreamwalker was my favorite legend. I made my father tell it to me over and over again before he disappeared. We still have no idea where he went or why, but by now we're pretty sure he's never coming back...

Anyways, when I was little I actually always wanted to be the dreamwalker. To be the savior of the tribe and prove myself. Back when I was proud to be different. But I hadn't been anymore, since years before I found out I was the dreamwalker. My father had fallen in love with and married a pale-face; a white woman. My mother. Most people didn't care, but there were a few in the tribe who disapproved. They blamed my mother for my father's disappearance. I blamed him.

Never once, even when I was little, did I imagine I would be in this situation. Never did I imagine each time my father told the legend that things would go so wrong...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Princess (continuation of The Assasin)

She ran back into the woods, slipping stealthily from tree to tree. It didn't take her long to reach the edge of the forest where a girl wearing a nearly identical uniform to hers waited. Her hair was in a looped and pinned braid instead of in a bun, and a spell book was attached to her right hip as opposed to swords at her back. They grinned at each other beneath their masks as the first girl approached. Her waiting partner greeted her warmly. "Hey, Kianna. How'd it go?"

Kianna removed her mask and put it to the side, letting her hair down and removing her signature violet. "Oh, you know. It sucks when you come and they're asleep, but he really didn't deserve remorse after what he did. He killed two children in his attempt to take over my father's kingdom. Were we cleared, Lenna?"

Lenna nodded. "I talked to my big brother. Excuse me, Captain Alexander. They both rolled their eyes. "The body will be taken care of." Lenna muttered an incantation under her breath and their normal clothes appeared.

The pair started to get dressed in the clothes that Kianna had designed. Kianna was taking a huge risk in being there, not only because it was a dangerous job, but because it was illegal. Noble born women were not allowed to even learn how to fight. They were supposed to take up a hobby to take up the time that would have been spent learning to fight or working, hence the clothing design. It was a tradition that went back to the very beginning of the kingdom. Kianna never believed in it. She wanted to help her kingdom in every way she could. That was part of why she decided to become an assassin. Even the king didn't know the identities of his assassins. The only people who knew of her secret life were Lenna and Alexander. She would've never taken this path if she had never met the pair of siblings who were her best friends.

A young Kianna walked through the kingdom with her mother and father on the day of the carnival. Theirs was a peaceful kingdom well guarded by the king's assassins, so the monarch's decided it would be safe enough to let their young daughter run around and play with the other children like a normal kid would. The young princess was extremely excited. She had "friends" in the children of the other nobles, but they all wanted something from her. She would hear the whispers of the nobles to their children. "Make friends with the princess while she's young. She'll remember you later." "Go make friends with Princess Kianna. It'll help our family's standing. You know how important it is to Mommy." Kianna had always been an amazingly attentive child, and very little went beyond her notice.

That's why Kianna was so excited for today. These children had not been trained from a young age to have an agenda. They would like her. If there was anything to actually like... She was suddenly nervous. As excited as she had been to earn friends on her own merits, it was now painfully nerve-wracking. Kianna doubted her ability to make friends on her own merits. Did she even have any besides princess of the kingdom?

Kianna glanced up at her dad with panicked eyes. He seemed, as always, to be able to easily ready what was behind her deep, liquid-gold eyes. The king knelt down in front of his five year old daughter and smiled kindly. "Don't worry, my little flower. They'll love you. I know I do." She smiled at her nickname. She had earned it one day defending a small violet in their garden that one of the other noble children wanted to step on. Her father beamed proudly at her for her defense of what she claimed was "an innocent life that he had no right destroying." The boy had been deeply offended, but her father couldn't have been prouder. He had called her his little flower from that day foreword. "Now go make some friends!"

She ran off grinning, confidence restored. Kianna couldn't wait to make friends. She ran off into the crowd and up to the first group of kids she could find. She looked up at the boy a few years older than her and grinned happily at him. "Hi! My name's Kianna! Wanna be my friend?"

The boy laughed at her. "What are you, three? No. I don't want to be your friend."

Never having faced rejection before, Kianna teared up almost immediately, but she refused to allow them to fall. "Well you know what? You're just a big meanie head!"

Face scrunched up in a childish anger, the boy shoved Kianna harshly. "Oh ya? I'll give you something to cry about, big whine baby!"

At this point Kianna really was crying. She had lived a very sheltered life in the castle, and this was not the sort of treatment she was used to getting. But before she could get too upset, she heard another childish voice come to her defense. "Hey! Leave her alone!"

The boy sneered down at the other little girl who was no more than a year older than Kianna. "Ha! Who's goanna make me, you?"

The girl nodded, and before he had time to relax, she kicked him in the chest. He fell to the ground with the wind knocked out of him. Satisfied that the problem had been taken care of, the girl turned and helped Kianna up. "Hey. Are you alright?"

"Y-ya," Kianna replied shakily. "I'm okay. Thank you."

"Don't mention it! I don't like meanies like him." The little girl grinned. Her big blue eyes sparkled happily.

Neither of them noticed the boy get up, but an older boy did, and he stopped the kid with one hand as he started to run towards the girls. "This guy bothering you, sis?"

Kianna's savior turned at the voice, her long brown braid bobbing with the motion. "Alexander! A little bit. I took care of it, though."

Alexander shoved the kid off with a warning look that let him know to leave the girls alone before turning back to Kianna and his sister with a smirk. "Ya, I bet you did, kiddo." He ruffled his sister's hair, dislodging a few of the strands from her braid. "Who's your friend?"

At the word friend, Kianna's heart started racing. Was she really this girl's friend? "Oh ya!" The girl stood next to her brother and turned back to Kianna. "I'm Lenna, and this is my brother Alexander. He's nine," she stated with some pride. "What's your name?"

"Kia," Kianna stuttered out nervously, looking back and fourth between the nice girl and the roguish boy with dark brown hair pulled into a ponytail and blue eyes sparkling with mischief. She had never gone by the nickname before, but she was suddenly very self conscious about who she was. Would these kids not want to play with her if they knew who she was?

Lenna smiled happily back at her. "Kia. Wanna come play with us?"

Kia grinned happily. "Ya."

The king watched on happily as his daughter ran off with the other children.

It had been many months later when the children all learned of the true identities of their friends. It had come as a great shock to all of them. It was one of the most terrifying days of any of their lives, second only to the day they made the pact to become assassins. Even assassins didn't usually know each other's identities, but they were an exception. Since they decided to join together, they obviously knew each other's identities, and with a small bit of luck they ended up making up a unit.

Kianna rushed eagerly down the streets of the kingdom. She was going to meet with Lenna and Alex. The young princess had only grown closer with the two siblings after the day of the carnival, and she was now making her way into town on a bi-weekly basis.

She rounded the corner and found Alex and Lenna standing in their usual meeting spot; the place where they all met that day at the carnival. "Lenna!" Kianna ran at her best friend without reservation.

"Kia!" Lenna returned the gesture and the two kids crashed into each other, each holding onto the other tightly as they fell to the ground laughing.

Alex came up behind the two of them and ruffled their hair, chuckling at the antics of the younger kids. "Get up, guys. We have something really cool to show you, Kia!"

Kia had since grown very used to, and fond of, the improvised name she had given the day they met. It felt special to her. Only Lenna and Alex were allowed to call her Kia. It was something special for only her true friends to call her, and she loved it.

Lenna perked up at her older brother's mention of their surprise for their friend. "Oh ya! Come on Kia! It's super awesome!"

Grabbing her arm, Lenna pulled Kia up before running after Alexander in the direction of whatever surprise it was they had in store. They ran for a long time until they neared the very outskirts of the kingdom. They pressed on further, and Kianna got a bit nervous. She had never been that far from the castle, which was located at the center of the kingdom, before, but she brushed the feelings aside.

They finally reached the small section of woods within the kingdom limits and pushed a little further. Kianna gasped. It had definitely been worth the run and the small bit of anxiety that had welled inside her as they ran further and further from what she knew. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. There was a small clearing in the tiny forest dominated by a small lake that was fed by a waterfall that went somewhere much farther. There were large boulders all around the clearing that were begging to be climbed on. Finally, Kianna managed to utter out, "Wow..."

"I know," Lenna cried, thrilled with her best friend's reaction. "I said the same thing when Alexander showed it to me!"

Alexander grinned triumphantly at the excited girls. His little sister and his "little sister". Even if they hadn't told her who they were, they considered her family, and if they weren't so scared of losing that, they would tell her their last name. "I found it when I was out practicing sword fighting with the guys. I knew you girls would love it."

The group of friends spent hours running around playing any games they could think of. Tag, hide and seek, you name it. It was during one of these games of hide and seek that disaster would strike and carefully kept secrets would be revealed.

It was Kianna's turn to seek, an experience that she was thrilled with. When she played with the noble children, she was never the seeker, as it was a task most of them detested and they had all been instructed by their parents to keep her happy, but she loved seeking. Every turn around a corner, every possible hiding place thrilled her. She searched for any clues she could, small shuffling sounds, bent down plants. The game for them had soon turned from Hide and Seek to Hide From Kia. She was very good at seeking and it added an extra element of excitement to the game.

This time Alexander and Lenna had done an exceptionally good job of hiding, and Kianna was at a loss. She decided to climb to the top of one of the tallest boulders to get a bird's eye view. It was a good idea, and while she was up there she thought she got an idea as to where one of her best friends was hiding. Unfortunately, while she was up there, her balance failed her, and she fell off the boulder, yelling for help as she plummeted downward.

Briefly the siblings considered if it was a trick, but they knew Kia wouldn't try to cheat, so they both dashed from their hiding places just in time to see Kianna smash the side of her head off of a boulder as she fell into the churning waters of the lake.

To his credit, Alexander reacted immediately. He ran forward and dived into the lake, fighting with the relatively weak current as he struggled to pull Kia out. When he finally managed to tow her to shore, she was barely conscious. She had lost a lot of blood, and her breathing was labored by the water she had inhaled before Alexander rescued her. She could hear her friends voices, but fuzzily, as if at a distance.

"You have to do it..." Alexander's voice broke through the haze urgently.

"I don't know if I can... Haven't had much practice." Lenna's nervous reply.

"...have to... She might die..."

"She might die..."

The words weighed heavily on them all. Even Kianna, who could barely comprehend anything, could comprehend the devastating message those words conveyed. She was going to die. Unless Lenna did whatever it was Alexander was trying to convince her to do, she was dead. Gone forever, lost without a trace...

She heard Lenna take a deep breath, and then she could see hazily through slitted eyes a soft blue glow appear. The glow intensified and the pain in her head disappeared. The process repeated and the pressure removed it's self from her lungs. Kianna could breath easily again. She opened her eyes and sat up unsteadily, looking carefully between Alexander and Lenna. "What? How?... Magic. Len, did you use magic?" There were very few in the kingdom with that capability.

Lenna nodded slightly, looking nervous. "Ya. I did. I'm getting pretty good with healing magic."

Alex took a deep breath before coming clean. "Kia, we're Nightlocks."

Kianna gasped in surprise. The Nightlocks were one of the most powerful families in the kingdom. They weren't technically nobles, but they had about as much power and influence. People with the ability to use magic were scattered all over the world, but the Nightlocks had the highest concentration of magic in their blood ever recorded throughout history. "Wow..."

"Ya..." Lenna looked to the ground, once again worried her best friend would turn away. A lot of the other children didn't want to get involved with them. The Nightlock name had a lot of influence, and young magic users were reportedly unpredictable. Sometimes they had difficulty controlling their powers which could lead to dangerous situations for all involved.

"My real name's not Kia," Kianna blurted before she could really think about it. Her friends had trusted her with their secret, and she thought it was only fair that she did the same. Their heads whipped in Kianna's direction quickly, shock and curiosity evident in their expressions. "Well, it is. But I never went by it before I met you. It's just... My full name is Kianna."

Alexander caught on to the implication first, being the oldest and therefore being a little more politically aware. "Kianna as in... ?"

"Princess Kianna," She said, answering the unfinished question that hung in the air, affirming Alex's suspicions.

For a while they all sat there staring at each other, the air heavy with a contemplative silence that belayed the young age of the clearing's occupants. Slowly, almost hesitantly, someone chuckled. No one was sure who started it, but soon they were all laughing as hard as they could. Suddenly the months of worrying and carefully keeping secrets from each other seemed ridiculous. Absolutely hysterical. Who their families were didn't matter. They were still just Alex, Lenna, and Kia. Best friends. And to them, nothing else mattered.

Kianna smiled softly to herself. From that point on things had been perfect. That day Alexander and Lenna brought Kianna back to their house for the first time. Their mother had been shocked to see that the Kia her children talked about so fondly was actually Princess Kianna, but she took it in stride. They had brought her over to make sure Lenna didn't make any mistakes in her magic that would prove detrimental to Kianna in the long run, and their mother was glad to do the job. As it turned out, Lenna had executed the spell perfectly. Everyone was beaming with pride for her, and Lenna herself couldn't keep the grin off of her face. Not long after that, Alex and Lenna slept over the castle with Kianna. The king himself even spent some time playing with them, glad to see his daughter with some real friends.

"What are you thinking about, Kia," Lenna asked, pulling her friend out of her thoughts.

"Just remembering," Kianna replied, and Lenna smiled at her knowingly. "Ready to head back?"


The partners, best friends, and sisters walked next to each other to the edge of the woods overlooking the giant hole in the ground that held the kingdom. From here they could see everything from the castle in the center to their quiet spot in the clearing in the exceptionally small forest. They smiled at each other one last time before heading down the large hidden staircase side by side.