Note: This is my 1st story :P Aaaand English isn't my natal language so please excuse my dear aunt Sally for losing the radishes… or whatever.

Painting the World

Before the world started, everything was white. Everything was like a sheet of paper before somebody drew on it. It was impossible to imagine a day the nothing would end. Nobody of us had ever seen anything else other than a white, chilly foam that melted when you touched it and, occasionally, a piece of green fuzz barely visible. Before the world began, there was no color. Nothing had been drawn yet.

We fed ourselves with green stuff, mostly, but sometimes we found a bison or elk. Still, time was always the same. Life was always the same. I was dead. My body was moving but my heart was frozen, with boredom and sadness. I thought I would grow old dead but, one sunrise, earth began.

Every one of us was surprised when we noticed a nearly-built tent and bones, alone, lying on the floor. We hadn't eaten anything to leave those. And, supposedly, there was nobody else but us on the frozen world...unless a beast had done that. My dad leaned down to take a good look at the bones. They were black.

"Yukon," My mom said, tugging dad's heavy bison suit, "What do you think happened to the bones?"

Dad scratched his long mass of white hair that hung from his chin. "What may it be?"

Somebody poked me. Angry, I turned around.

Nobody.

I sighed and looked at the bones. Whatever had happened to those bones, I cared an acorn. I was hungry, we all were. Only feeding of green stuff for three days made our insides make gurgling noises.

Somebody poked me again. This time on my back. I kicked backwards, expecting to kick air, but I kicked something soft instead. My eyes went wide and I looked back.

A boy.

A face I hadn't seen ever in my life. Pale, brown eyes, brown hair curled and falling over his forehead. I frowned, but inside I was way beyond shocked.

"Who are you?" I barked.

He began rubbing his stomach, probably the spot where I had kicked him. He sat up, grinning. "Ow."

"Who are you?"

"I'm Toru, miss," He said in a playful voice, "Now, would you please like to help me get out from this foam?" I leaned down and extended my hand to him and when he was about to grab it, I pulled it away, making him fall back.

He rubbed his head. "That was rude, miss."

"It was rude of you to poke my butt," I answered, still frowning, "By the way, my name isn't miss, it's Aurora."

"Haha, well, Aurora, nice to meet you."

"It isn't nice to me."

The next thing I knew, I was talking with him. He told me incredible stories about a "Bridge" that he had heard as well from someone else. He told me about the masses of people he met when his family traveled. Then, I don't remember what he said or how he said it but for the first time, I smiled. He looked delighted to see me smiling, and I was, too. It was a good sensation.

"Aurora."

I turned around. It was father. "Aurora," His voice sounded smooth, for the first time. "I want you to meet them."

There were lots of other people. I was awed. Toru was grinning. "They're my family," He told me, "We had been looking at some strangers roaming around for a couple weeks. So it was you."

"Oh." I looked up. Had they been following us? Had HE been following me?

Heaven was darkening. One member of Toru's family took out a pair of stones from her suit and began clacking them together. I looked down to see. Suddenly, the stone sparked. It flashed in a color I'd never seen before and suddenly, it lit up.

Everyone else in my family was as shocked, especially me. The stone was, actually, producing warmth and light, like those silver points that appeared when heaven was dark. I stared at the light. It looked soft, but how was it actually? I slammed my hand against the light. I hollered.

Toru was laughing. "Fire's hot," He said, grinning, "Not a good idea to try to punch it."

I stared at him, frowning, dipping my hand inside the white foam.

Days passed by. My new family, much larger and livelier, found out how easy it was to kill bison when we all joined hands. Brother played everyday with lots of other mini-humans like him, and I spent my time with Toru. Watching him closely, he wasn't as stupid as I had thought he was, but not smart. He did make me laugh, though. But he still was stupid.

Toru's family wasn't a blood-related one. Sometimes they would find another group and invite them to join, or rarely, a loner. My family had been together as far as I can recall, so I figured we really were a blood family.

I looked the horizon. It was a mix or red, pink, yellow and orange. Such beautiful colors, as the light. How come I had never noticed it?

"Yum!" I looked back to see what was happening. People were actually piercing the hot light with food. My eyes widened.

"W-wait!" I said, alarmed, "What are you doing?" Oh boy, why on earth would anybody ruin food like this?

"Taste." Toru poked food inside my mouth. I tasted it. It was as awful as ever, so gooey and odd. Toru dipped a piece of meat on the fire for a minute, letting it turn the color of a tree, and dumped it in my mouth. I brightened.

"Awesome!" I said, munching. It was awesome, really. "H-how! How come the hot light makes food taste to awesome!"

In response, Toru laughed.

….

….

I was shocked. "What is that?" I pushed Toru, making him fall to the foam, and rushed to something hidden on the white sea. It was pink, and it was precious. "It's so beautiful," I pressed against my face, gently. So soft.

Toru made a bored expression. "A flower." He mumbled.

Since that happened, I don't know why, I found flowers everywhere. They were always soft, but they were different. Some were like the foam, others like sunset, and some even like the light. Toru laughed every time I rubbed them against my face, and I always scowled at him.

That night, the sky wasn't black. It was a mass of colors, all glowing and blending together. I was frenetical. "A color light," Toru said pointing to the sky, "It's awesome."

I loved it.

I looked down at Toru, who was gazing up, his mouth opened. Idiot. A feeling of warmth blew across me and I didn't know when I smiled. I immediately clutched my hands over my head. Why was I smiling when I looked at him?

"Hey," He asked me, getting out of his trance, "Why do you think these things on the sky happen?"

I shrugged, acting casual. "Dunno."

"Hey, let's call those things 'Aurora'." He grinned.

I frowned. "What? Are you kidding? I won't let you.−−"

"Look at the snow."

I looked down, lips curled.

Even if it was faint, very faint, but snow was colored. It was reflecting the aurora's...I mean, the thing's colors, it seemed. I smiled. This was the first time I had seen snow in shades of pink, blue or yellow. The first time I looked down and didn't see white. "Thank you," I said, wiping away a thing that bothered my eye.

"Huh?" He looked at my face. His eyes widened. "W-wait! What? Are you crying? What? What did I do now?"

I tried to speak but a strange noise came out instead. Toru looked puzzled. I frowned, unable to stop the things from coming out of my eyes. "Stupid!" I mumbled and punched him hard. "It's all your fault…! All your…" My voice trailed off.

Instead of rubbing the spot where I had punched him and saying that he didn't punch me back because I was a lady, he smiled.

And his hands joined mine.

…..

….

We stopped. There was water in front of us. A lot. And somewhere between that mass of icy blue, there was a bridge. Of ice. "We found it!" I heard a person say, "The bridge that'll take us to a new world!"

"See? That's what I had been telling you," I heard the same person saying, "Someone told us about it, saying there were beautiful things beyond that bridge."

Every one began cheering. I looked back at Toru who was laughing and pointing at the bridge and saying that he hadn't been making lies up. I smiled.

As we crossed the bridge, I started feeling uneasy. Like something was going to happen to us. I didn't say anything, but with each step we made I could feel that thing inside me growing and growing. "Toru," I whispered.

He stopped and looked at me. "Huh?"

"I-I think we should go back."

He looked surprised. "Back? But why? We're almost done." He pointed at the distance. I could see faint little specks of green.

I scowled at him, then sighed. "Whatever you say."

I looked down and as we kept walking. The bridge was so thin I could see clearly the blue water beneath it. "Ouch!" I looked up. One of Toru's family members had her leg into the bridge, almost as if she had crossed the bridge with her leg.

"Let's take her out." Everyone began crowding over that area, trying to take her out. I heard a crack and at the same moment felt something cold at my back. "Oh no."

The bridge collapsed. We all clashed against the frosty water and screams were heard. I moved my limbs as fast as I could, trying to keep my face up the water's level. People gasped for breath, agitated, and one of them stopped moving.

"Anike! Anike!" Somebody said. And soon after, more of us stopped moving and closed their eyes, not opening them again. I felt another cold at my back. "Mama! Mama!" I screeched, "Papa!"

No answer.

"Brother!" It was hard to breathe and to shout at once. I felt something piercing and cold at the back of my throat, making it harder for me to breathe. I coughed at made my best efforts to yell out: "Toru!"

No answer.

I stopped moving, letting my face fall into the water. I could feel warmth in my cheeks but I knew it came from the things growing on my eyes. I clutched my hands over my face. It was harder to move each time, and I began feeling more piercing things everywhere. I was alone. After everything I had gone through...with mama...with papa...with my brother...with everyone...with Toru...

Despite all that, I smiled. Toru had made my world to begin. He had taught me light and color. He had made my world. And now, I knew I wouldn't grow old and alone as I had been for such countless nights. I was happy. He had taught me love.

I felt something touching me. I heard muffled sounds, voices...

"...Aurora!" My eyes opened in a flash. I tried to speak, but couldn't. My lips wouldn't move. "...Aurora! Where are you! Aurora!"

It was Toru, calling me! I tried my best to move. I couldn't. I couldn't move! Toru's voice was each time more distant, more distant... I couldn't move. There was a force pushing me back. I heard Toru's voice even farther away. No…

"Yo!" My face was out of water. Toru had managed to find me, pulling me by my black hair. If we ever get out, I'll punch him where the sun doesn't reach, I thought. He was dragging me through the ice-cold water and, suddenly, I felt no more of it.

My eyes blew open. I wasn't in the water anymore, but on a piece of the bridge. I managed to sit up, trying to look around in the pitch-black darkness. Even the moon wasn't going out tonight. "Are you okay?"

I turned around. Toru's voice, maybe? "Y-yeah," I muttered.

"Oh, that's good." There was bitterness in the voice, which I never expected to hear from him "Listen, Aurora, you mustn't get out of the bridge piece, okay? You must reach the new world, for me, and for everyone..."

"W-wait!" I frowned, or at least, I tried to. "And what about the others, huh? And you...?" I stopped briskly. "N-not that I care."

I heard laughing, but the laugh turned into coughs. "I'll be alright...I mean..."

"Liar." I let the tears go out. "You won't...you will go away, just like everyone else...please...at least, let me freeze to death with you."

There was silence. My eyes opened wide, even though it was hard. Tears froze as soon as they emerged from my brown eyes. "T-Toru! Wait, wha―" I felt his hand above mine.

"You will survive," He said, "And reach paradise. You'll see those flowers you love so much, and the sunset, and..."

"Aurora."

"Yeah, those too. Wait, didn't you say that―"

"Shut up and look up!"

We both looked up. With the light falling from heaven, I could see his face. He smiled. "That's an Aurora." He mumbled. I gripped his hand, squeezing my eyes shut. If we were going away like this, then...I liked it. I would die in a night of color, beside the one that had painted the white.

"Aurora!" He said, taking his hand away. "Both of us...let's reach paradise together!"

I looked at him, surprised. The laughter of his eyes was there, but in a different way. A determined way. "Let's...both see flowers again!"

We both began splashing the ice-cold water, keeping our faces above it. We were advancing, maybe towards the right direction. And I was smiling. For I knew we would go on, that we would escape from death. For I knew that we would both grow all wrinkled and old, but we would be together. For I knew we would see color again, the flowers, the sunset...

I was with him, the person who had painted the world.