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Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:35 am
"Masaka." He slowly said. He was standing in an open field, with no civilization in sight. Numerous stars filled the night sky.
"Is this a dream?" he thought to himself.
"No, it can't be dream. I'm thinking too clearly for it to be anything but reality. But how can this be reality?" He was gazing up at what looked like three different moons. One of them was a distinct reddish hue. One of them had a greenish tinge to it. But what had his attention was the third moon. It was a bright white, and was bright enough that even though it was night, things could be easily seen.
He reached up to touch his face, and froze when he felt a scar on his right cheek. Not far from where he was standing was a small pond. He walked over to it, and looked at his reflection. "Impossible" he said, almost as soon as he saw his reflection. It wasn't his reflection. He reached out to the water, and thew some of it on his face. He shivered involuntarily for a few seconds as the icy coldness of the water stung.
"Where am I? Who am I?" he thought to himself. Suddenly he felt something sting his head.
"Oy, Steven. Are you going to spend the entire lunch sleeping?"
He opened his eyes to see that he was sitting in the cafeteria, his mostly eaten lunch pushed to the side.
"Did you spend the entire night working on that essay?"
He spent a second remembering, while reaching in his bag. "No. The essay was easy. I don't know why I drifted off just there." He pulled a composition book out of his bag and started writing. "Don't want to forget this."
"You'd better hope it was easy, it's due in 10 minutes. Seriously though, whatever you are doing that is taking up so much time at night, you had better stop it. This is the third time this month you've fallen asleep during lunch. Yesterday I had to cover for you in class when you fell asleep there."
"I know. I'm grateful that you did that for me. But it isn't a matter of lack of sleep. Quantity over quality, you know?"
"Don't tell me you're having trouble sleeping because of those dreams you used to get. You're not still getting them, are you?"
"Hard to say, I don't really remember my dreams anymore." It was a lie, but the lie was easier than the truth. "How can I even begin to explain dreams that feel more like virtual reality? Beyond that, how can I explain that I fall asleep even when I'm not tired? Its almost like I'm being pulled out to another place. How is it possibly that I forget that this world exists as well? I feel a lifetime of memories that aren't my own, and I know they aren't mine. But why do I remember the history even after the dream?"
A few minutes later the bell rang, just as Steven finished writing down the details of his dream. He closed his eyes again and pictured the three moons, and the face he saw that wasn't his own. At least the face, he decided, should be sketched before he forgot it completely. The moons probably should be as well. As for now, it was time for class.
Re: Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:40 pm
Steven slowly opened his eyes. "Another dream I guess," he thought to himself.
"It must be a dream. That isn't English, yet I understand that she was asking if I was alright." He waved his hand toward the girl who asked the question. It was a gesture that he felt meant it was nothing, but the look on her face looked more concerned.
"Dream or not, I need to end this." Steven closed his eyes and concentrated a few seconds. When he opened them again, he was back in his room. He had fallen asleep while doing homework, and had a red mark on his cheek where his head happened to rest on the pencil on his desk.
"These dreams are just too weird. Usually its as if I'm watching from somebody else's vantage point, but these past two dreams, I was able to move around. It's almost as if I was actually there."
He looked down at the paper he was writing on, and there was something that shouldn't be there. Something he didn't, no could not have written.
Re: Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:37 pm
ここはどこだ. The characters on the paper eluded Steven. There were only a few thing he was sure of, having pondered this over the past few hours. He had fallen asleep in class. He had had a dream where people were speaking in another language. He seemed to understand that language, though it didn't seem natural to speak. When he woke up those characters had been written on his paper. But there were a few other problems as to how they got there.
Steven was lying on the paper when he woke up, so it wasn't possible for somebody else to have written on it. It was also clearly written with his ink pen, which was in his hand when he woke up, but the wrong hand. The pen was in his right hand, but he was left handed. It wasn't just in his right hand either. He was holding it as if he had been writing with it.
"I must have written the characters in my sleep, sort of like sleepwalking.," Steven thought. "But what do they mean."
He pulled up Google on his computer, and searched for 'recognizing a written language'. The result brought up several sites, but they all required typing in the text. "How can I type this in, if I don't even recognize the alphabet that is used?. Alphabet... Alphabet! I know, search for alphabets to at least identify the language."
He searched for "alphabets of the world" in Google. It took a few tries, but he finally found a page that identified the characters. Japanese characters. After a few more minutes, he had the sounds they represented in English.
ここはどこだ = kokohadokoda. "So I can say it now, but I still don't know what it means. Ah, Google translate. Ok, enter kokohadokoda. No Google, the language isn't Indonesian. Ok, Japanese. ...and translate."
The screen displayed.
kokohadokoda => kokohadokoda
Did you mean kokohadoko?
"Sure, why not." He clicked on the link. "Grrr." he said out loud. The screen now displayed.
kokohadoko => kokohadoko
Did you mean ここはどこ?
He clicked the link again. It now displayed
ここはどこ => Where are we
"Hmm. Where are we. But did the da on the end change the meaning."
He tried adding da to the end of the existing Japanese
ここはどこda => Where are we da
Did you mean ここはどこだ?
"Aha. That's it!" He clicked that link.
ここはどこだ => Here is where
"Here is where? Here is where? We are where? Hmm, I wonder if it a way of saying Where am I?." He looked at the clock, it was past 10:30, and unfortunately he had school tomorrow.
Steven went to bed, but didn't seem to fall asleep. He kept thinking about how he could have written that text on that paper. Nothing seemed to add up. In the back of his mind things began to feel weird. First his fingers tingled, then his feet. He took a deep breath to relax, and focused on his breathing a few minutes. Suddenly though, he felt like he was falling. He tried to open his eyes, but couldn't. He tried to move, but couldn't. He just felt himself falling and falling. He couldn't feel or hear himself breathing anymore. He tried to relax, but couldn't. He just couldn't shake the feeling of three things. First was a feeling of deja vu. It almost seemed like this was his natural state and he had been here thousands of times. The second was a feeling of urgency that he was going to die. There wasn't much he could do about this feeling. The third, which was definitely related to the other two, was that he was certain he was going to hit the bottom in a few minutes. Steven couldn't decide if that was a good thing, or a bad thing.
Re: Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:21 pm
"Anata wa dare?"
Steven slowly opened his eyes. Standing over him was a girl. His eyes were blurry, but he could definitely make out that her hair was an unusual shard of pink. He realized that he was having another dream. "I'm dreaming," he said sleepily, and pinched his arm. Only the pinch hurt.
The pain brought him around quickly. "Where am I," he asked, sitting up suddenly. He vaguely remembered falling.
"Where are ye? Ye are clearly in the middle of my flowers, that is where ye are. The important question is who are ye. Since you don't understand Fuppango, I know ye aren't from here."
Steven's head swam. Everything told him that this had to be a dream except that he felt extremely awake, and for too alert for it to be a dream. He look at himself, and saw that he was wearing what he always wore to bed. He looked around himself, and discovered he was lying in the middle of some kind of garden. The problem was he didn't recognize any of the plants in the garden save one. The flower that was next to him, was definitely a Marigold. The rest of them didn't look familiar at all.
He turned his head toward the girl and opened his mouth to speak. "My name is..." His voice trailed off.
"I can't remember. I can remember going to bed in my house. I can remember that I had a report due in school tomorrow. And I can seem to remember that the place I lived was named Sandy, and that the home in particular had a good view of the valley I lived in." His voice sort of trailed off again, though his last words were audible. He looked closely at the girl's delicate features. Her hair came down both sides of her face, and went a few inches past her shoulders. She had a few freckles on each cheek. He couldn't tell for certain, but he guessed she was about his age.
"I do not know of any 'Sandy', but if it is a real place, it must be far to the East. Eigo is a rare language here, yet ye speak it. It is only in the far East that it is more commonplace. I only know it because my family spake it since the olden days. Now git ye up. The flowers are trampled."
Steven slowly stood up and looked around. "We've established that I'm in your garden, but what I meant was, what is the name of this..." he paused and looked around trying to get the correct word, "town? Closest big city would work. Though I get the feeling I'm not even in the same country..."
She looked surprised and a little annoyed at his statement. "Surely ye knowest that ye are in Fuppan?"
He shook his head. "No I haven't even heard of Fuppan. Can you at least tell me which continent I'm on?" Steven flinched when a thought entered his head. He looked down at her right hand, where it looked like she loosely held a wand.
"Continent?" she asked. "I am not familiar with that word. Hath ye hit your head? Unless ye fell off of an eagle, ye hath been in Fuppan for a few days at least by now. The nearest border is a hard 3 day ride from here."
"Three day ride? " It just didn't seem real. Steven stretched his arms over his head while he thought in an attempt to feel more awake, but the world faded to black mid stretch and he fell over.
Re: Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:55 pm
(Note. All dialogue in bold is not in English, but is understood by Steven.)
Darkness. Even though his eyes were open, that's all he saw. After a few minutes his eyes adjusted, and he could see some light from a crack to the right. Feeling around with his hands, he found a large wheel. It wouldn't turn to the left, but after turning it to the right, the light started getting bright. Finally it turned out to be a door and it opened.
He could hear a voice in the distance, but it was a bit too distant to understand. After walking down the hall, he could start to hear it clearly. He stood still and listened.
"It just isn't right. It's clear now that the queen has destroyed the world. Why couldn't I reason with her, isn't that was I was known for? As soon as the three of us spoke against her, that was the end of us.
Melker warned that the machine would wake Lavos and consume the world. Well, it's clear that the world has been consumed. All signs point to it being Lavos who consumed it. I wish I could figure out which year it is now, but that was Caspar's field of knowledge. Caspar was the first to go. The Queen ordered her daughter to open three portals and in each she shoved the three of us. Melker was likely shoved in one after I was. I wonder where and when he ended up."
Steven looked down at himself in the dim light. He could tell a few things were odd immediately. First he was dressed in rags. The clothes looked like they might have been elegant at some point, but now they were torn, faded and heavily patched. The next was how pale his skin was. It was as if he'd never gotten any sunlight at all.
"There must be someway to get back to that time, but alas, I am to old and weak to do it myself. If I had my assistant Nu, then I might have a chance.
Hmm. Could I make a Nu assistant? It just might be the ticket back and to stop the queen before it's too late."
Steven decided to walk in the opposite direction of the voice, and came to another door. After opening it, he saw he was outside, and the sight was remarkable.
Nothing alive was visible for as far as the eye could see. Everything was blanketed in snow. He seemed to be on the side of a mountain, which gave him a good view. He walked over to a group of trees next to him. Every tree was clearly dead. Most of them only had a few large branches left; all the little branches looked like they had broken off years ago. He turned around and faced the building he'd left, it was shaped like a dome. It looked far more advanced than anything he had seen before. Actually, in some ways it reminded him of something out of Star Trek.
He looked up at the sky, but it was nondescript. It was a light grey. Dark enough that it was impossible to tell where the sun was, but light enough that it didn't seem like a storm, just a haze. A giant uniform haze.
Suddenly the world grew dim, and he felt like he was falling again.
After a few minutes he became aware that somebody was holding his hand, and that something cold was on his head. Without moving he decided from his position that he must be lying in a bed. After a slight stretch he opened his eyes.
"Did ye sleep well? Ye hath been unconscious for about 3 hours now."
"Three hours huh. Seems more like a day. When will this dream ever end." The last sentence was more of a whisper. If the girl heard it, she didn't react to it.
"Ye should stay here for now. Dinner should be ready in half an hour; and I think ye need as much rest as possible." At that she walked out of the room.
Re: Mirror Mind (story)
Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:20 am
Steven watched her leave the room, and then started looking around. He was lying in a bed, with a few blankets over him. A damp cloth had been placed on his forehead. The room itself was no larger than his own bedroom, but it seemed to be filled with far more. The door of the room was across from the foot of the bed. On the left side of the door was a desk with a tall hutch. There were several loose pieces of paper sitting on the desk, and the hutch was full of books. On the left side of the desk was a second door that was open, revealing a closet. From his angle however, he couldn't see into the closet except for a couple dresses.
Past the door on the wall to his left was a large window, which was the source of the light for the room. The curtains were a dark green, and looked heavy enough to block out all sunlight if desired. A chair sat in front of the window, angled towards the door. To his left on the wall behind the bed was a bookcase or a dresser, but he couldn't tell exactly from his vantage point. To the right of the bed, was another bookcase, and this one was close enough to see what was printed on the spines of the books.
Most of them had characters and symbols on them that he couldn't recognize, but there was one book on the end of the shelf at eye level that caught his eye. The binding was red, with gold lettering. It was clear that it had seen better days, a bad crease was visible that almost made the text on the cover unreadable, however there was no mistake. The title was 'SHAKESPERE. THE TRAGEDIE OF ROMEO AND JULIET. LOND.1599.'
"Odd. The spelling of Shakespeare and tragedy is wrong. Did both of those words change spelling since the 16th century," he thought to himself.
He was looking for any other titles in English when the girl came back in the room. "Dinner is almost ready. Do ye think ye will be able to walk to the table?"
"I do think so. Forgive me for asking so late, but what is your name?"
She looked slight stressed at being asked her name, but answered without much delay. "Kagami-san. Call me Kagami-san."
Steven turned and sat up on the side of the bed. "Thanks for taking care of me Kagami-san." She nodded slightly while Steven stood up. He looked down at himself, still wearing the shorts an a t-shirt that he normally slept in. "Am I dressed ok? I don't normally leave my house dressed like this."
"I don't think it will be an issue. It will only be us eating tonight."
Steven followed her to the dining room. The table was rectangular, and had places for 8 people to sit. Kagami had set dishes at to chairs across the table, near one of the ends. The smell of the food, while Steven couldn't recognize it, it made him suddenly very hungry.
"Do ye want me to serve you?" Kagami asked.
"Sure, I don't know which food to get though."
"Then the answer is a bit of everything." She spent a couple of minutes, and served both her plate and his with the food that was sitting on the table. There was a dish that looked similar to rice, a meat stew, a loaf of bread, and a soup.
"Itadakimasu," Kagami said, before she stared eating. Steven took a mouthful of the soup, then started eating it like he had never had food before. The stew on the rice was delicious as well. The bread was a bit hard, but Steven noticed that Kagami was dipping her bread into her soup. He did the same, and found that softened it up nicely. After several minutes of eating quickly, Steven finally spoke.
"I noticed there were a lot of books in that room." Kagami nodded.
"Most of the ones in there are ones that I pulled from the library. I've probably read most if not all of them a few times."
"Can you read in English as well then?"
She looked confused. "English? Do you mean eigo, the language we are speaking right now?"