By: Monique White
Chapter Number One
“It’s been….five thousand years….”
I looked over at my mother, who was just calmly washing the dishes. I had offered to help her, by rinsing them, but she insisted that she could do it all herself. My mom, she’s a really kind-hearted woman by the name of Mitsuyi, had recently recovered from an injury she received in a car accident, so she was very happy to be doing things herself again. I couldn’t help but sigh as I watched my mother cheerfully clean dishes. It perplexes me, sometimes, that we’re related. We’re almost nothing alike; my mom loves to read, I prefer painting, I love dogs, mother considered them fleabags. Most of all, she can handle any situation a lot better than I can. My name is Shiinto Atari.
“…finally, the chain...”
“Oh! Look at the time! 10:35!! It’s time for bed, Shiinto.” She suddenly said and looked at me. I cocked an eyebrow to the side as I looked at the clock myself. “Wha--? Where did the time go?” I wondered out loud. Mom giggled, just like a child, “Don’t look so let down! I’m sure tomorrow will be a day to remember!” she said to me, enthusiastically. I stood up, reluctantly, from the table, “I don’t look let down.” I mumbled out, I wasn’t tired at that exact moment. I could hear mom continue to giggle as I walked across the kitchen/dining room, to the slide door that led to the stairway. “Well….good night, Mom.” I bided to her lightly, before proceeding up the stairs, to my awaiting room.
“…is breaking….I’ll be free soon…”
A sigh escaped my mouth as I finished buttoning up my sleeping shirt. The fabric itself was comfortable enough, but haggling with the buttons every morning and night was enough to make me wish I never got the darned thing in the first place. I laid down on my bed, and sighed again. “Man…this sucks….” I grumbled to myself, “I hate sleeping….I hate my dreams.” I continued to grumble out, and looked up at the digital clock on the nightstand. The neon blue numbers showed the time as 11 o’ clock p.m. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and won’t dream tonight.” I mumbled, trying to be encouraging to myself, but, I knew it was all in vain. All I could really do now, was shake my head lightly, get comfortable, and welcome sleep to my, now tired conscious mind, glad to have something to take me away from reality.
“Feathers?” he wondered out loud, as two, big, fluffy white feathers floated down in front of him. Shiinto looked up, only to see the endless light blue that made the sky. As he looked down, he noticed, not far below from where he was standing, the swirling cream colored clouds just floating on by. He looked forward, to see more feathers falling. Each and every one of them was at least as long as Shiinto’s arm. They were all pure white, and came to a fine tip, similar to the end of a tail of a hummingbird. He reached out and lightly stroked on the feathers, as it fell past him. The way it felt was so soft and luxurious, he almost wanted to jump onto one of the feathers, and just loose himself in its comforting texture. He took a, hesitant, step forward, self-aware that there was no ground to walk on. Realizing that he wasn’t going to fall down into the clouds, Shiinto began to walk around, watching as each feather gently floated past him. He couldn’t help but feel peaceful, the gentle nature of the entire scenario having its effect on him. Just then, the gentlest voice he had ever heard, quietly uttered;
“I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
As I lay me down to sleep.
And if I die, before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
Feeling a little disturbed by the prayer, Shiinto reached out, to seek the comforting feel of the soft, luscious feathers. Instead, he felt his hand take hold of something. There were so many feathers falling now, he couldn’t even see where his hand was, or what he had grabbed. Pulling his hand right in front of his face, he realized he had grabbed a feather. But, this feather was different. It was small, possibly shorter than Shiinto’s middle finger, unlike the other feathers, this one’s white coloration seemed much dimmer, and, the tiny feather, had blood splattered on it. Shock taking over Shiinto’s mind, he froze there, just holding the tiny feather. Finally, his grip relaxed, and the tiny feather slipped from his grip. His eyes instantly watched the feather float down, down, down, and disappear into the swirling clouds. Looking forward again, he noticed something. There was a small gap between two feathers, but the gap was black, unlike the blue sky. Shiinto walked over to the gap, and pushed the feathers aside, to get a better look. It was a tear. There was a tear in his dream. As if on instinct itself, Shiinto climbed into the tear.
It was the first thing Shiinto was able to observe as he looked around. Reaching out his hand, he felt something cold. He took a grip on it, and realized it was a chain. His eyes adjusted to the dark, and he made out the outline of a person. This person, however, seemed more like a porcelain doll, than a human. This person had white, maybe silverish-skin; that seemed to have a polished look to it. As Shiinto weaved his way through the many chains, that seemed to be jutting out from nowhere, he noticed that the person’s clothes were torn and disheveled, except a strange top hat. The top hat looked familiar, but Shiinto couldn’t place his finger on where he knew it from.. Underneath the top hat, was the person’s ruby red hair. Shiinto’s own hair was a normal light brown, with dark brown eyes to match (with a small sliver of green in his right eye, but anyway). Upon closer inspection, Shiinto noticed that chains were going through the person’s right arm, left leg, and a chain was running through his side diagonally. Not only that, but the person was also bound at the wrists, the ankles, the neck, and the waist.
Shiinto got even closer to the person and looked over the other’s shoulder to see two wings sticking out from the person’s back. But, the wings were horribly treated, the right wing barely had any feather’s left, and was dreadfully blood-stained, while the other wing wasn’t even a wing at all; just a collection of broken hollow bones you find in a wing. Suddenly, the person looked up, and stared right into Shiinto’s eyes. The other’s eyes were something to behold, the right eye’s iris was just as black as the pupil, while the person’s left eye iris was split between two colors; light green, and light blue. Shiinto immediately backed up from the broken..thing and stared back into the eyes that were fixed on him. Shiinto couldn’t tell if this person was a boy or a girl, but the emotionless, empty look to the eyes suggested something horrific had taken place here, in this space Shiinto didn’t know. Hesitantly, Shiinto moved forward, toward the strange person, to get a better look at them, when suddenly, the sound of something beginning to shatter interrupted the silence between them.
“Grab hold of me.” The person suddenly spoke. The voice was had a light tone, but not light enough to be a girl’s, yet not deep enough to be a boy’s. “WH-What?” Shiinto asked, as a few of the chains began to shake. “I don’t have time to explain, just please, do it.!” The stranger implored of Shiinto urgently. “Alright!” Shiinto yelled back, and wrapped his arms around the other’s torso. Bright lights began to flash all around, as the sound of wind, but no gust, filled Shiinto’s ears. The sound of shattering was slowly, and effortlessly, becoming louder, and more fierce, as it seemed to be approaching the two. Shiinto heard two, maybe three, chains suddenly snap, and the person’s body seemed to collapse against his own. Supporting the other onto his shoulder, Shiinto didn’t release his grip on the other, fearing that if he let go, there wouldn’t be a ground to land on. The chains that were still standing shook furiously, as the shattering sound almost became unbearable; Shiinto heard the gentle voice,
“What, of all things, told me to set my alarm on a Sunday?” I asked myself, as I sat up on the bed. “Better turn it off before it wakes Mom up…” I muttered, and turned to hit the button. I felt myself blink, and looked down, to see something lying next to me. That something would be the stranger from my dream. I could sense my eyes widen in shock at seeing the person. The stranger looked exactly the same, only, there were no binds on the other, and the stranger’s eyes were closed gently. For half a second, I thought that the person was dead. But then, I noticed the gentle rising and falling of the other’s chest. I sighed, relieved and tired at the same moment, “Well, it looks like Mom was right…this is going to be a memorial day…”