Land of Dreams

It was a beautiful day in Koko Villa. The mountains shone high above the sea. The sky was orange and yellow, and cast a beautiful glow on the wooden houses hanging from the side of the mountains. Silver and orange birkahs, birds with pointy wings and wide shiny eyes, flew majestically in the sky above. Giant plants of many colors and styles hung beautifully on the mountain slopes. There was a sweet aroma that hung in the air. The crystal-clear water waved back and forth harmoniously. This was exactly the type of day that Shaku dreamed of. Shaku was a boy who was a dreamer. He dreamed of the heavens and mystical creatures that patrolled them. Elders had deemed him too unstable for any important jobs. Shaku didn't care. He dreamed big dreams that involved him saving the people of Arakanoda. He wanted to be a Serian Blazer, the heroes who carried moon-shaped blades and wore jackets with collars that covered their mouths. Each Serian Blazer also wore a Moon Ring, which glowed during the crisp nights. Shaku had heard tales of Blazers fighting unknown evils on all the far corners of Arakanoda. He didn't know it then, but everything was about to change.

The temple bells rang. That's weird, Shaku thought. The bells usually only rang when something of importance happened, like the election of a new High Elder, but this was not the case. Nevertheless, Shaku stayed on the cliff he was standing on. Everything was so beautiful.

There was a deep echo off in the distance. Then came the hush of the wind. The sky grew red. Shaku squinted. Why was the sky red? The sky was only red during the sunrises and sunsets. The bells kept on ringing, and Shaku realized that something was horribly wrong. He ran swiftly to the temple, but was stopped by a small woman.

"Come with me, young one." She said.

Shaku couldn't refuse, so he silently followed the woman into a beautiful chapel. An elegantly dressed lady was standing in the middle, and two guards stood to either side. The small woman motioned Shaku in and left.

"Come in, Shaku, and sit down." The elegant lady said in a slow, soothing voice.

Shaku obeyed. He looked at the lady. Her features were soft, and she looked sad. Her robe was white and green, and behind her was a huge stain glass window depicting a figure Shaku could not recognize. The floor was made of smooth marble. Shaku could see his own reflection in it. He looked back at the woman, and then his heart sunk. The woman's eyes were all pupil. It was all blue. There was no white in her eyes.

"uh, um," Shaku stammered.

The lady smiled. "I know my eyes haunt you. But have no fear, this is a natural condition among all Gatekeepers."

"You're a, uh, Gatekeeper?" Shaku managed.

The lady smiled again, although sadly this time. "Yes, Shaku. I am a Gatekeeper. You may call me Amanda."

She strolled to one of the huge vertical windows. The two guards followed.

"Do you know why I called you here?" She asked. It was a polite question, one not meant to intimidate Shaku.

"No, I do not." Shaku said. He looked up. The chapel's roof was huge. It seemed to stretch for miles. He looked back at Amanda.

"Have you ever felt immense sadness before?" Amanda asked, still looking out of the window.

"Once or twice, I guess." Shaku answered. "How about you?"

There was no answer. Shaku immediately felt guilty. He knew that the Gatekeepers were supposed to guard important artifacts vital to the world's future, and that they had to go through many losses in order to do so.

"A powerful being has arisen," she began, "it has been in tortured stasis for many thousands of years. But finally it is free. Do you know what I'm talking about?"

Shaku opened his mouth, then shook his head.

"This being is Sadness. It has filled many with grief, and have drove many to insanity. This village, the Koko Villa, has been touched by it. Soon, the inhabitants will lose their minds."

Shaku gasped. "But what should I do? Why did you just call me?"

Amanda smiled. "You are a dreamer. You will end this crisis. You will become a Serian Blazer."

"Whaa?"

Amanda walked up to Shaku. The muffled temple bells rang louder. The air became colder.

"The Sadness is spreading. You will have to go now, and stop it before it takes over everything."

"What about you?" Shaku asked.

Amanda smiled sadly. "I choose to stay here. Now, good bye, and I wish you the best of luck."

Shaku still had many questions, but his mind suddenly warped, and everything swirled around him in darkness. Shaku, dazed, fell into a deep trance.