This story is the prequel of a short story collection calls “Mythical Dream.”
By Nassa Veness
All readers of this book have been asserted the right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act “Unknown” to be identified as the authors of this work.
First published: Unknown
For my beloved readers,
Be aware of what is a story
And what is not
With all my love and wishes
Once upon a time, there was a girl who took her first breath as her mother took her last. Once upon a time, there was a girl who smiled at the world she born into, as her father cried to the unjust of his wife’s death. Once upon a time, there was a girl who looked at her mother, but her mother could no longer see her. Once upon a time, there was a girl who looked at her father, but her father was too broken to see her.
The man learned the hard way of the idea that everything has its own consequences, that people don’t have the power to change the destiny, even when they know what’s going to happen. Even if, they manage to save something valuable, something else that worths as much will be lost.
Her birth brought nothing but bad luck, many villagers, friends, and family, had warned the man about how this girl would bring catastrophe to him, but he refused to listen. It wasn’t the love he had for the girl, he didn’t have any, but rather a promise to his wife, who died so their daughter could live to see the world. It was the only thing he could do for his beloved and now dead wife.
He tried to his full potential to take care of her, however, he was just a caretaker and never a father. Sometimes, he wondered whether she is really bad luck. In the moment of doubt, she seemed to be; after her birth, his crops yield had gradually decreased. Four years ago, he became sick, and no healer had any clue of what was wrong. Everyone concluded that it was the girl’s fault, that she was a witch who traps him in all of these unfortunate events. Maybe they were right, maybe this now 16 years of age, daughter of his is a witch; after all, she is beyond his wife. He could feel her the energy of her aura.
No matter how much doubt he had on the girl, the sharp chocolate eyes of hers were a copy of his wife’s. Those were the eyes that he was in love with, but of course, they now belonged to the wrong person. Once in a while they brought him hope, but mostly it was a dagger, that consistently slicing his heart. Those eyes were the reminder, of the hollow within his heart, the numbness within his body, and the loneliness within his soul. But predominantly, it served as a nag, whispering to his ears that this creature that he lived with was biologically related to him and that she processed part of his wife’s soul.
As his body grew weaker, his mind became clearer, he became more relaxed. It didn’t matter, whether he lived with a witch. It didn’t matter, whether she tried to speed up this deadline, he would soon be able to see his wife. That’s what happens when good people like him die, who isn’t a sin like her; he would be reunited with those he loves and lived the eternity together.
After four years of drinking this medicine, after four years of being sick, the man weakly smiled at the cup of the bitter, plants brewed of a cure in his hand. This would be his last time to ever drink it. It would kill him but he would gladly accept this fate because it would get him out of this misery. He was tired of breathing and not living, tired of being in this body that didn’t have a soul. He quickly glanced at the girl sitting near his bed and offered her his first smile, since the day she born. “You can’t change what will happen, don’t try to. It will kill you, I swear it will always be the person you love the most,” he said as he stared into the chocolate eyes.
Thank you, was the last thing he said before he sipped the medicine, and collapsed into the bed.
The warning was disturbing, however, her mind was overwhelmed by his gratitude, thank you. The words still echoed in her head, that was probably the only time she saw the man without his emotionless mask. The closest experience to having a father. The smile on his face swamped the butterflies in her stomach. It was the closest thing to an I love you. It was the best decision she had ever made. His eyes were still opened, but he could no longer see her, his own death had healed his broken pieces. His dilating pupils were staring straight at her, but the happiness clouded his visions. He would soon see his wife, a mother she never had, and it didn’t seem to matter to him that she would now have to fight this world alone. As much as she hated him for never been a father, she knew that killing him was the only way for him to ever experience happiness again, and she did it for him. But most importantly, she killed him for those who are alive.
Everything had consequences, normally the people within the village blame her for no particular reasons, except for the fact that her mother died as she gave birth to her. However, this time was different, they were right to say that she killed her father, but that wasn’t necessarily mean she was wrong. It was for the best. He even agreed with her. He knew what she put in the medicine, and he decided to drink it anyway. Nevertheless, there was no argument with these constricted-mind people, she would never win an argument with them. Because they are not logical, neither like who and whatever she is.
So not long after, people started to raise the issue of dark magic, of her being a witch. They were right, she is something different, she saw what was going to happen and she changed it for them. They should be grateful, but of course, no one showed any indication of gratitude or understanding of how much she sacrificed for them. And instead, they betrayed her by banishing her.
Now homeless, she navigated the forest by herself. However, her conscience told her to not go far away from the village. Walking for a few more minutes, following the rhythms of the water pouring down the cliff, she came upon a waterfall.
After knowing what her father planned to do, staying near water is the closest place where she could reach for serenity. Where clear water jumping off the rocky ledge into the pool below, molecules after molecules in a repeating pattern that seemed to never end, a regularity that she knew she could rely on. The image of the glaring red and orange still flickered in her head, even though her father had been dead for two days.
Walking along the rocks that barricaded the pool of the water stream, she spotted a small footpath. Walking along the path, she noticed that there used to flower beds grew in rows along sides of the footway leading toward a cottage. Unfortunately, those flowers were now rotten and decayed due to the lack of tending a fairytale ago. Approaching the cottage, she realized that it was still quite new, even though, it covered in years of dust and dirt. Standing in front of it, she could catch a glimpse of its beauty before the dust and time covered its brightness. However, when she tried to hold on to its beauty, the image before her eyes flickered back to its dustiness. No matter how dull and dirty this place was, it had a sense of home. Her heart warmed at the thought of stepping into it, the familiarness of it all drawn her toward it. Even though, she never stepped into this cottage before, but she had a feeling that it will welcome her home. For the first time in life, she might find a place that would be a home and not a house.
The first night at this new home was strange, it was the first time she had a dream, that she couldn’t make sense of. “if you have to choose between her and me, chose her.” What does that suppose to mean? Who is that “me”? And who is that “her”? She didn’t consider much of the dream because a dream was just a dream, her life moved on and so she should walk along with it.
Just because she left her village, that didn’t mean that she wanted to live like a wild animal, not like there was anything wrong with wild animals. But no matter what, she needed to join the civilization. One couldn’t isolate herself from her own species. So, one early morning, she set off to a nearby village, where she knew she would be able to somewhat blended in. No one knows about her mother, no one knows about her father. She worked as a fortune teller-ish magician, people seemed to be fascinated a person who can “tell their future or past.” It wasn’t like she told them something news, just simples things that she could read of them. Their name, age, family, something that happened recently, something that was still clinging to them. They did not know that she could see beyond with more time, like with her father, she could read him like a book.
Before sunset, she would travel home, back to her cottage where she belongs. Although, most nights, she would bed plunged into the same dreams of the unknown source whispering “if you have to choose between her and me, chose her.” Now the dream was okay, she got used to it, she could push into the back of her consciousness. It would be her best choice to ignore the strangeness and focused on being normal.
Her fame of being the best fortune teller-ish magician caused people to line up and meet her. It was enduring, for the first time, people didn’t accuse this ability as witchery, rather they worshipped her, like she a goddess. And then there was a day when he came in. Seeing his face, she knew his name, his history, and his struggles. It was rare to find someone like her, someone that belonged to a group but managed to still be an outcast. When she first met him, it was like a dream comes true. She knew that she was no longer needed words to describe how she felt, he would understand.
Now laying with her head on his shoulder, they shared stories, while staring at the roof of her cottage, their cottage. The wooden pillars, that was what he promised to be. To support her world from falling down, to be there for her. To be the first and only person who understands her. Maybe, from now on she could understand what it was like to be normal. To have someone who loves her unconditionally. All her stories matter to him, even the stupid dream. “If you have to choose between her and me, chose her.” He tried to decode it with her, making suggestions, everything she said seems to be valuable to him.
Each morning, they went to the village together and came back together. In addition to the waterfall, this routine was a repeating pattern that she could rely on. Or so, she hoped to rely on. Despite all his promises, the pattern broke, when she woke up and he was gone. Panic rushed through her body, fear clutched her heart, she could not lose him. She could not live without him by her side.
Out, she ran through the door, only to be awestruck by a blanket of smoke that fogged the blue sky. Confused as to what caused such a smoke, she cautiously walked to the direction of it. Until the smell of the smoke hit her nostrils that when she knew what it is. Panic ruptured her through her body, her fingers started to shake, her lips quivered from this shock. This couldn’t be happening! She was supposed to end it the day that her father died, she was supposed to change the future. She quickly started running back to the place she used to shelter, the place of her miserable childhood. As much as she hated it there, she couldn’t stand the thought of losing it. Losing everything that she was apart of.
Time slowed down as she turned back and glance at her home. A feeling of certainty that she wouldn’t come back, struck her. How dumb could she be? The familiarity, the welcomeness, the dreams, it all made sense. Here was where the promise lies. Here was where her mother asked her father to choose her instead of herself. “If you have to choose between her and me, chose her.” She was supposed to die, but her mother saved her. Because of saving her, her mother died. Dumbfounded by the fact that her boyfriend left her, dumbfounded by the truth of her childhood, she ran toward the smoke source and promised to never come back.
The eeriness of silence hit her ears, there was no vigorous chirping of birds and insects. There were no snarls, and whispering behind of her back.
She scanned the landscape of this aftermath, there was nothing left except for a tree that lost all it leaves to the hands of the veil flames. Everything turned down to ashes. The place she killed to save was now a pile of dirt and dust. Everything was gone, the houses, the shops, the plants, the people. Wasn’t this what she supposed to stop? The flashes of images of flames within her father’s eyes the day before she killed him.
A moan traveled through the air, she looked up and see that a man slump against the tree. She almost laughed out of joy. Almost. Until she noticed that the person is her boyfriend.
He smiled at her as he told her that he burned this place for her, as he closed his eyes and joined the eternity. He did everything, he killed everything to destroy and untangle her from her past. And that was when she understands. “You can’t change what will happen, don’t try to. It will kill you, I swear it will always be the person you love the most.”
She can’t change what will happen. She shouldn’t try to. It came and killed her because it was someone that she loved the most that did it. Her boyfriend set the fire, that her father supposed to set.
I am deeply thankful to those who taught me to be aware of what is a story and what is not.