Prologue One – One Day After

Rosalina Angelie Maddison

Imagine a world made entirely of glass.

How fast would it shatter?

Imagine a world made entirely of lace.

How fast would it unravel?

The world, in a sense, is exactly like this. Everything in it is made of glass. Human emotion can be broken down every so easily. Hopes and dreams can be torn apart in a single fluid motion. Just a word, just a thought can break someone down, change someone. Make them Turn.

Standing on top of that hill. No matter how many people could have been surrounding me, I would have been alone. The death of so many could have been prevented by just a single change of action. A single second reversed. My mind could have been born normal. I could have been born without a passion.

But I had to be born as I am today. But then again, today I am changed.

The pastel sky. The rain, hiding lies in every note of its song. The end just had to turn out so awful. Feigned joy, happiness that a fog so great had been lifted. By a finger? Not so much. After two years of confusion, the smoke is gone. I am alone, but surrounded, because Mechadi is gone.

I could have saved her. My family, my baby sister. Gone to the world because I'm so naïve. Only a flicker of light could taunt me into an endless oblivion. And though I know it is wrong, I continue to be led.

Wind whips around my head in a mocking sort of way. Lavender lines flick across my face, but I don't attempt to clear my hair from my vision. My gaze is misty but locked, on the tree that connects the two worlds I had- had- learned to love so much.

How much I yearn to yell at this moment. How much I would love to scream to the warm magenta sky and ask why. The only question that will never be answered. The question I have asked myself my entire life. From the moment that everything started to burn and drown and freeze all at the same time.

Because no matter which way you turn, you'll always be followed. Plagued by the past mistakes you have made. I'll never be left alone. The won't be an escape, and I shouldn't care, because I don't deserve one.

I dare to blink, and in that fraction of a second a nightmarish set of images flashed in the dark. My heart throbs in my chest even harder than it has been, and my legs are shaking so hard. I'm not even sure why I'm still here.

I choke back all the tears threatening to burst, and ask myself if it will always be like this. Will is ever get better? Is there a way to heal what I've done to my own spirit?

This is what I get. I tell myself over and over, this is what I get. This is what I get for being a liar. A liar and a thief. My life has been a lie, and that lie of a life has been stolen from me. What little I had is gone, buried forever.

My temples hurt form holding in the salty waters of emotion. My face quivers for a moment and I let out a blubbering sob, tears beginning to streak burning lines of fire down to my chin. Why should I even try anymore? I try to tell myself that it's not my fault, but my own conscience keeps leading me back to blaming myself.

My legs give way and I fall to my knees. My face is buried in my hands. The grass blows over my crouching body, so tall it could conceal me from the rest of the world. My heart is beating so fast and my sobs are so loud that I can't hear the rain anymore. I mutter to myself, kya, kya, kya. Why have I done this to her, to myself. To so many people. I don't want anything to happen anymore. I want this world to be white once again, though I know it will never be.

The tears keep coming, and I wish to bury myself through the earth. Though at the moment I only know that I'll fall straight through. I'll fall through, and then I'll want to just fall back. I remember what they said. The contrast between light and dark is not always so obvious. And now, there is no light, there is no dark. My eyes are shut tight, and there are only pictures and memories. None of them good, none of them promising.

Copper gears, silver gears, metal and iron gears so rusted that their entire outside is a brownish maroon. Vines creeping up around everything, crawling, the green covering the world. Fire, watching it burn, burn, burn, until there isn't anything left but the screams of the people burned underneath.

Crowds of people, crowds of Shimas and Machnas. Their signs are spelled out in Mythic. Their shouts cry out and echo off the tall buildings. Some of the voices are proud. Some are angry. Some sound desperate for a word of reassurance.

There it is; I hear it again. The first cry. And suddenly, all goes quiet. Gunshots ring out across the sky, horridly louder than the shouts and protests of the citizens falling to the ground.

The scene changes, and it's Mechadi's face before she turned. She cocks her head to the side and smiles widely and sweetly like she used to. That scene is stabbing enough that my screams increase in volume. The image flashes like a television screen. Through the shuddering frames, her eyes grow large and black, her neck stretches and her face thins, and her innocent smile morphs into an evil, bloodthirsty one.

The static gets worse, and I can barely hear my own protests over the noise as it pounds through my skull. "KYA GANAK SHYE REN DE, DACHI? KYA, KYAAAAAAAAA, DACHI?"

Mechadi's voice is Turned, she is Turned, into a static, mechanical monster. I scream, ko, ko, ko, ko. I never meant to hurt you, Dachi, please, I will never forgive myself.

My eyes are glued shut and my brain is pounding, pounding. Those gears burst through the Turned Mechadi's skull, and the screen statics a bit more before blacking out. Slowly, the sound dies away…

…she would have been so much better off if I had only told her the truth. As I had Turned from the mahogany-haired, strong, innocent older sister. To the lace-eyed, lavender-haired, almost porcelain assassin. With the silver, not the copper. And when Mechadi had discovered our origin and she Turned. Turned into what she had been destined to become.

Us twins, us illegal four – the Kuunayukku, the Elemental Spryte Djahegkranna, the Sky Guardian, and the Rage. They had an Annashii rule, to keep twins from being born. Said they wreaked havoc and destroyed. Rosalina Angelie, Rosaline Angelia, Mechadi Dechada, Mechada Dechadi. Only when proven wrong did we see our faults. We fought for peace until we lay dead. We accepted that peace would never be obtained, yet we fought onward. And now, one of us is gone, trapped forever, set to die. If only we hadn't existed as we had been told. If only we listened. If only we knew.