"In the beginning, there was nothing.  In the end, there was nothing more.
But neither the beginning nor the end matters, for in between lies Tranquility."

The Present - A Story of Tranquility

Chapter One

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Madison's eyes shot open as her alarm clock rang.  Her heart pounded and her eyes widened with fear.  [What was that?!]

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Still gasping, her hands searched blindly for the clock and then pounded the off-button.  Sitting up, she ran her hands through her hair as she tried to calm down.

"Never again am I drinking cold lime tea." Madison groaned, "Ugh, what a bad substitute for lemon tea, lime doesn't even taste like lemon!"

Rubbing her eyes, she went in search for breakfast.

"Madison, dear?" her mother said, "Are you awake yet? You know that this year, school starts half an hour earlier!"

"Yeah, yeah!" Madison called back, "I'll be there in a sec!"

"You better hurry or you'll be late!" her mom answered.  "You wouldn't want that would you? What would your teacher say? You're 12 for heaven's sake! Learn some responsibility!"

Madison sighed.  Her mother was usually nice, and cooks really good food, but she just doesn't seem to understand.  Turning on the facet, Madison splashed some water on her face and then wiped it dry with a towel.  Looking in the mirror, she saw a green car swerve and crash into a school bus.  She blinked and looked again.  It was a normal mirror.  [Strange…] she thought.

"MADISON TRAN!" her mom yelled, "Don't make me come up there, young lady!"

"Coming!" Madison said.  She took another look at the mirror and then ran downstairs.

"Turn on the news, sweetie." her mom said.

"Why can't you? You're right there." Madison answered, and continued to chew at her cereal.


"All right!"

"…the Loiren Middle School is asking all parents of students on bus 7 to drive their kids to school as the bus was in an accident…"

Madison's eyes snapped to the screen.  It was just like what she saw!  Everything from the street, to the colour, to the damage…

"…the accident happened at 7:00am.  The driver of the car was drunk and suffered a broken collarbone.  He was taken to Dreamscape Hospital.  There were no other injuries.  Back to you, Jamie…"

"Drat the school system!" Madison's mom shouted, "Can't they just send out another school bus? Madison dear, I can't give you a ride to school, honey.  You're going to have to take the public transit.  I'll write you a little note, kay?"

"Sure mom, whatever." Madison answered.  It was always like this.  Her mom's job didn't start until nine o'clock and yet she couldn't even give her daughter a ride to school! She worked as a waitress.  It wasn't as if her mom didn't go to high school or anything.  She did.  It was just that good jobs these days demanded higher education.  And her mom couldn't afford it.  Madison's dad died when she was seven so it's hard for her and her mom.

"I'm sorry sweetie." her mom said.

"I said it was okay!" Madison snapped and then mentally flinched at the hurt she saw in her mother's eyes.  She didn't want to yell at her mom, she knew how hard it was.  Somehow, it just came out and her pride wouldn't let her retract her words.  "I'll be fine." She said softer.

"Just be careful." Was her mom's reply.  "Do you have money for lunch?"


"Take care.  I love you."

"Sure mom…I love you too." Madison said and then walked off to the bus stop.

-- - -- -- - --

"And I was just standing there.  I didn't want him to think I liked him, of course! You know, play hard to get!" A girl said to her friends.

Madison sighed.  "Excuse me!"  She hated having a locker in this bay.  This was where the social serpents dwelt and it was always crowded with gossiping twits, no matter what period.

"Oh.  It's you." Lorraine said, giving her cut eye.

"Move.  Now."  Was Madison's reply.  Miss Popular started hating her from the first day of gr. 8 when she somehow stole the other girl's locker.  That was her social life for you.  She wasn't popular and she wasn't unpopular…well…wasn't until this year anyway.

"Did you see the ruined bus?" Lorraine said to her friends, "I saw it when I was coming to school today…it was just destroyed! Too bad you weren't in the crash, no one would've cared if you died." Lorraine said, turning to Madison

Madison shrugged it off and grabbed her books.  She had way too much to think about and Lorraine's mention of the crash was just another reminder.  She pictured Lorraine tripping and making a fool of herself in front of the guy she liked, and smiled.

Walking to class, she sighed.  Magical abilities only existed in books and worlds created by others with much more imagination than she can dream of.

Suddenly, she heard a scream.  Looking back, she saw Lorraine on the floor while Michael and his gang laughed.

She narrowed her eyes.  [Coincidence…?]  She couldn't shake the thought that, somehow, she caused this.


Madison's eyebrows rose as she turned to look at the speaker.  It was Michael.  He was no longer laughing at Lorraine, but watching her.

"Hi." Madison answered, her voice showing none of the uncertainty she felt.

"You're Madison right?" he asked.

"Yeah…" Madison answered.  There was an awkward silence.

"Well…" Michael said hesitantly, "Maybe I'll see you around sometime."

"Sure…" Madison answered.  [After all, we have the same English class.]

"See you in English, then." Michael said and then went to join his friend's again.

[Wait a minute!] Madison watched Michael and his boys walk to class. [Did he just read my mind…?] She stood there for a few more seconds before a sudden though snapped her back to reality. [Drat! I have science first today! Damn, I'm already late as it is.  There goes my career as a biochemist!]  She ran to class.

-- - -- -- - --

"The nucleus of a cell acts sort of like its brain.  It controls waste materials, and holds the replication information, the DNA if you will, of the cell." Mr. Arthus droned on.

Madison sat there, with her head resting on her hand.  She heard the whispers and saw the passing of notes from the other girls going back and forth.  Yet none of it registered.  Her eyes slowly became unfocused as her mind began to wander.

Suddenly, she was no longer in the science room.  Instead she was in a grand hall, with lavish decorations and seats holding thousands of people.

The people stood up and started clapping.  Each of them had their eyes glued to the stage where someone was walking.

It was Michael.  He was receiving some sort of award or certificate.  He wore a strange outfit that looked like the traditional Chinese Fighting attire.  She looked closer.  The certificate read: Presented to Michael Torah for attaining Level 3 Mage Magician.  Congratulations.  At the bottom there were two signatures.

[What's a Level 3 Mage Magician?] She wondered.  Michael glanced her way and his eyes narrowed.  Madison stared back.

"Miss Tran?" The voice brought her crashing back to the science room.


"What is the first stage in cell division?" Mr. Arthus asked.

[I Point My Arm Towards Canada.] "The first stage, or the last stage, whatever you would like to call it is the Interphase.  It is the cell's rest period during its division.  If you believe the interphase is the last stage however, the first stage is the prophase where cells begin duplicating their DNA." Madison answered.

"Very good save, Miss Tran." Mr. Arthus said. "Don't let me catch you daydreaming in my class again."

There were giggles.

"Sorry…it won't happen again." Madison said.

-- - -- -- - --

Michael was standing on the stage.  He didn't feel proud, or happy to be getting this certificate.  It was just a written acknowledgment of his attaining Level 3.  He knew he had 2 more levels to go before he could be proud of his achievements.

[What's a Level 3 Mage Magician?]

The voice was so familiar.  He turned his head to the direction the voice came from and saw Madison, watching with a puzzled look.  [What's she doing here?]

Suddenly, Madison disappeared, as if drawn back to some world.  [I'll find out sooner or later.] He promised himself.

-- - -- -- - --

The day dragged on and Madison was in her last class, English.  They were learning about writing styles of myths and legends.  To get examples, they were supposed to read some Greek Mythology.

Halfway through the class, Michael walked in.  He held himself in a different way, Madison noticed, as if something special happened.  Strangely enough, no one else noticed.

[Could it be…?] Madison wondered as she watched him closely.  She kept watching him and then suddenly, he looked at her and their eyes met.  It was almost like a link, if only for a second.  [Mage Magician…?]

-- - -- -- - --

Michael severed the link as soon as he felt it connect.  But it was already too late.  Somehow, she managed to pull the surface thoughts from him.  [How did she do that?] He was too busy cutting the link to get anything from her, but he knew she was something special.  [She doesn't even have any training! How was she able to get past my defenses? Damn.] He watched as her eyes narrowed in thought, [I need to get to know her better.  She's got a hell of a lot of talent…if that's what it is.]

Michael spent the rest of the day watching her in between his work.  She seemed preoccupied, well, more than usual.  It's strange, but the past few days, he kept being drawn to her, like metal objects to a magnet.  It was something that couldn't be stopped.

The bell rang and Madison left the class in a hurry.

-- - -- -- - --

"Oh no…" Madison whispered, frightened.  "Not again…please…not again…"

She saw thousands upon thousands of people clashing.  Their battle rage blinding them so much, that friend and enemy became alike.  Both became obstacles that needed to be destroyed.

"Why am I seeing this?" Madison wondered, "Why does this feel so real?" She dodged as an arrow flew by her.  However, she wasn't fast enough and the arrow sliced a thin cut on her arm.

Suddenly she saw a girl, barely 20, standing in the middle.  The image of the girl flickered, silver hair – then black – then back to silver.  The girl raised her arms and an awesome power flowed.  It was like opening a door of a warm house and a stepping inside after being out on a bitterly cold day.

"With the power from Tranquility, I Dai, free you from your bonds.  With the power from my people, I heal your lands.  With the power from my soul, I give you your lives." The girl said.  "Powers of Chaos… be banished!"

The words were spoken with a deadly calm, and were repeated over and over again.  On the last repetition, she heard another voice:

"With the power given from Tranquility, I Alyssa, free you from your bonds.  With the power from my people, I heal your lands.  With the power from my soul, I give you your lives.  Powers of Chaos… be banished!"

Both voices created a huge tidal wave of power.  Madison watched as the people started to glow when the power washed over them.

Suddenly the girl looked at her.  {You know what to do.} She told her.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Madison's eyes shot open as her alarm clock rang.  Her heart pounded and her eyes were widened with fear.  [Was that…real? Can't be!]

Suddenly her eyes fell on a small cut on her arm, still fresh and bleeding.


What is a Mage Magician? Why is Madison seeing these strange events? And is any of it real?

Author's Notes

I dreamed up this world, literally dreamed up this world…as in sleep, dream, wake-up.  If any of the names/titles are similar to something else, I'm sorry.  I don't play strategy games (my brother said while I was writing up the ranks that this was like a strategy game…) and my knowledge of this stuff is pretty much nothing.  However, I'm just writing my dream into a story so…hope you liked it!  Chapter 2 coming out in a week – oh yeah… if you liked this story, don't worry about me not posting…I've decided to finish writing it before I post it!

To find out more about Tranquility, please visit my web site.  The link is in my user profile.  (I don't know why it doesn't show here when I upload it :S)