A Reverie for Another Eternity
"Time is as precious to one as it is to another. Don't let others waste your life on meaningless tasks for an easily achievable end goal."
Her eyes were met with an unfamiliar wooden ceiling, a ceiling so bland that it could've very well have been dismissed into the background. But, that was the first thing Mikuta had awoken to, and so she had taken notice of such a mundane thing. The rays of the cold morning light sparkled through the open windowsill to her right, the back of her head still aching from the time she dropped it recklessly onto the hard cellar floor.
The sudden closing of a large book could be heard beside Mikuta as she turned to face the sound.
“Ah, you're finally awake.”
A cute black-haired tan tomboy sat in a wooden chair at the side of her bed, reading an expensive-looking book with a red cover and gold lettering. She wore a black tunic with a white monastic scapular that had blue emblems and religious symbols. A gold cross pressed against her modest chest as the sun filtered through her thin tunic, almost exposing the smooth contours of her legs. Mikuta held the tiniest sense of interest at the sight, but alas, it was soon concealed behind the safety of the shadows of the room as she got up, unaware of Mikuta’s perversions. Mikuta gave up and begrudgingly attempted to fall back asleep, pulling the covers over herself.
However, the chirpy girl jumped on the side of her bed excitedly, knocking the pillow off of the bed, leading to Mikuta slamming her face straight onto the hardened corner of the mattress. The tanned-skinned girl kicked her legs back and forth, shaking the entire bed frame.
“Anywho, you did sleep for 3 days straight, didja know that? What were you doing before you came here? Do you have any questions for me? I’d be more than happy to help!”
Irritated at this burst of unwarranted energy and questioning, plus the addition of the undue faceplant, Mikuta raised her red face in blank indignation.
For a few seconds, only the twittering of the birds outside could be heard.
“Ahahaha… My bad, my bad.”
She paused apprehensively, her legs stopped as she gave a sorry expression, an apologetic smile accompanying the now soured mood.
On the inside, Mikuta felt guilty at this sudden and somber countenance.
Nice going, idiot.
“I’ll go get the sisters, you can stay there!”
Before Mikuta got the chance to do anything about it, the girl jumped down and rushed out of the door and down the stairs, the thumping of feet growing distant in a few seconds. Mikuta resolved to fix this mess once she got the opportunity to do so.
I’ll say something when she comes back I guess.
Hopping out of bed, she walked around the room inquisitively. From the recently shut door perspective, the bed was located in the leftmost part of the room, sitting just below the window. To the right, the mahogany shelves were lined with various colored vases, and to the very front of the room, past the obstructing chair with a giant book on top, was a full-length mirror.
There stood a beautiful young lady in a clean white nightgown, blue-green eyes in which she could stare into all day. She casually struck a few poses, her disheveled silver hair rolling down as the stale scent of soap filled the air.
Striking a final pose, she held her v-sign hands, looking through the opening between her middle and index finger, winking adorably at herself like a pop idol would in front of an audience.
Oh my, you go cutie!
Her embarrassment and common sensibilities caught up with her; the narcissistic and shameful boasting causing her to critically cringe at that part of her ego.
Mikuta plopped back onto the edge of her bed closest to the sill, the second remaining pillow serving underneath her propped-up elbow, hand supporting her head while lazily looking out the windowsill, letting her emotions simmer. The rising sun was well above the kingdom wall and the busy city life bustling down below. She deduced the building she was in must’ve been on some hill or mountain, given the wide degree of vision enabling her to see the guardsmen who stood atop the long wall.
Poking her head out of the open window, she peered downward and saw a large yard filled with green grass and drying racks. In the corner of her eye, in the outermost edge the field ended on, she noticed her one-piece dress, now as clean as her current outfit, fluttering in the soft breeze amongst the various black, religious clothing that populated every other rack.
She receded her head back and wondered if simply sitting around leisurely was the right choice. Mikuta raised her other arm against the obnoxious sunlight, which only got stronger as time passed. Disgruntled at the fairly bright weather, it was far too bright for her own heart, unable to rid the guilt at her earlier rebuke.
Now, if there was only something to pass the time with, something to keep her mind and heart occupied.
Mikuta picked up the giant red book that she discarded from the chair and started flipping through its pages, but she soon gave up as the giant novel was filled with nothing but boring characters she couldn’t comprehend. This was to be expected. After all, she wasn’t a denizen of this place.
Bored out of her mind, she weakly attempted to jog her memory that led her to this moment; but under the perfect warmth of the overhead rays, plus the sleepy ambiance the moted dust light provided, combined with the perfect coolness of the wooden surface, Mikuta forgot about the static that obscured the back of her mind, falling into a dreamful solace.
Tumbling around the scenic wonderland of rainbow clouds and bubbly, metallic rivers, Mikuta bent down to smell a flower with auburn petals. The gravel underneath had an elastic sensation contrary to its appearance, giving her a lightweight sense of feeling as she moved along with the undulation. The black center, drawn over with an overly simplistic yellow smiley face, for whatever reason, wafted a sweaty yet familiar feminine scent of the foot, causing Mikuta to gag at both the recognition and the smell of the known perpetrator. Suddenly, the river flooded her vicinity and swept the desisting Mikuta into its silvery and breathable depths, the roguish and delightful grin that sat upon a naughty expression filling her mind in the underwater whorl. The name for this mischievous debutante floated up within her heightened memory, the salty air and the mysterious show of prideful stockings which gave only one name that fittingly matched a memorable face: Miyori.
When she opened her eyes, Mikuta found herself to be under the shade of a great tree, its leaves and branches perfectly arranged and unmoving in blocking out the white light above, the roots holding her steadfast in the murky wetness without a bottom. She definitely couldn’t see past her knees, let alone the things that may have lurked below her feet.
In front, dyed in the waves of a sticky red substance, two spider lilies championed stoically. Surrounded by an endless supply of a black liquid substance. It simply went on, eventually disappearing without end and out of sight.
God, if this wasn’t a tell-tale sign of something even more sinister to come. And it was causing her heart to palpitate rapidly at this distressful landscape, sending small ripples into the rising tide that was now at her chest.
The atmosphere was black with the darkened sun, its eclipse draining the clouds of color until it was just a gray background. Yet the horizon at which the darkness sat upon glowed with the hues of warm and repressed dawn.
Mikuta was imprisoned by the tree's roots, seemingly the center of the red and watery planet that was illuminated by the terrifying outlines of a befouled sphere.
All of a sudden, a black waterfall emerged from the unseeable maws of the black sun. It was questionable whether there was such an opening in the nearby skylit sun to begin with, but the fact of the matter was that an imminent gushing of torrential jet black ink had perforated the godforsaken globe, sending major quakes that reached even the tree that rattled Mikuta.
Feeling the sickening churnings of the sticky ripples, Mikuta witnessed an entire tsunami heading her way, swamping the scarce lilies in the distance as it soon rushed towards the helpless Mikuta.
Right ahead of her, the surviving two crimson spiders had intertwined with one another in a lasting embrace, the glowing green stems tied together in a knot. Funnily enough, it looked as if it was some sort of group suicide in the face of the inevitable.
Mikuta braced herself, the cerise tidal wave about to swallow her whole when suddenly, something squirmed within the huge wave. A ghastly whiteness, forming faces that writhed in the wave. Time seemed to slow when their agape faces directly met her wavering gaze, and as the two parties slowly inched closer, almost in contact, Mikuta screamed, horrified. The wave crashed on top of her, drowning out whatever plea she may have made towards a god.
Submerged beneath the whirlpool of ghostly incantations, Mikuta couldn’t breathe any longer, both in this world and perhaps the real one. Restrained by the stern roots of the devilish tree, she could feel herself actually drowning in the midst of this mucky syrup and its harrowing spectators. Mikuta’s vision only became redder and redder, feeling herself slowly sinking further into the vengeful clutches of the unforgiving abyss.
Perhaps there wasn't a 'realness' to begin with. Perhaps the end of all was actually the beginning of something anew, which she hopes could've said the same for her own life. And perhaps, this stupid consciousness, this stupid ego of his was nothing more than an instant in another life.
Eventually, she stopped moving, her thinking subdued by the viscous depths of her consciousness.
Hacking up copious amounts of saliva and froth stuck deep within her windpipe, Mikuta collapsed down onto the floor, shaking with cold sweat. The chair fell behind her and she could feel her own heart pumping erratically. The large puddle underneath her body was composed of clear and light urochrome body fluids.
Dazed for a few minutes by the sudden change in her immediate surroundings, she gladly took in the comfy bed, the yellow stream of sunlight reaching through the moted room, and the familiar ligneous ceiling. Realizing this, Mikuta swallowed her remaining saliva and did her best to clean the floor with her bedsheets.
Her trembling legs didn't help in the slightest, causing her to take more time than it should’ve to unwrap the corners of the bed and mop the floor sloppily and ineffectively.
Tired, she hung the soaking wet sheets on the chair and slumped on top of it all, her confusion relenting only in the slightest. The unchanging daylight seamlessly streamed on, as if nothing had ever gone wrong.
So that just happened, huh.
Wide awake, Mikuta decided that her soiled nightgown should be changed, and for that reason, she headed towards the door and left the room.
In the middle of the stairs, the same tomboy that had run away earlier stood right in front of Mikuta. Confined in the small slanted corridor with no other way to go, the tanned girl awkwardly gave a smile, holding a neatly folded monastic habit.
They both waited a few seconds before she mustered a firm look into Mikuta’s flickering eyes.
Mikuta stood at attention at her sudden outburst.
“You will go change into these clothes and meet me after, is that understood!?”
Mikuta raised her arm in a mock salute.
A humorous silence ensued for a few seconds as each of their faces tried their best not to smile, soon breaking when Mikuta snorted in laughter, causing the other girl to do the same. The empty stairway was filled with the pair's laughter, ending with heavy wheezes and heavy giggles.
Maybe it was because of the stupidity of the situation, or because of how trivial their past incident was. Regardless, Mikuta was glad to have made up with the girl.
So long as she didn't have to feel bad about it anymore, it felt much better to be this way.
Wiping her tears away, the younger girl walks up and tenderly hands Mikuta the monastic clothing - whispering something that Mikuta couldn’t catch.
“Sorry, what was that?”
The girl’s face became flushed as she pointed to the lower part of Mikuta’s gown.
Ah. got it.
Mikuta gave a knowing nod and headed upstairs to her room. Upon hearing the door and its familiar locking, the girl sighed in relief and sat on the highest stair, head in lap.
Now… What to do.
The estranged silver-haired girl stood in front of the mirror, still fully clothed with the nun outfit in her arms.
If she were to, by chance, take a peek at herself, then it wouldn’t be criminal, right? Actually, if someone were to look at themselves in the mirror, it most definitely isn’t something to be ashamed of. That was the logic Mikuta followed as she began to slip off her gown.
But, ah. These mental gymnastics certainly didn’t justify looking at the pristine figure that wasn’t her own. Mikuta turned away from the mirror in a wavering fashion, certain that her moral values wouldn’t stray away from her ironclad resolution of not needing to see a naked woman, especially a body of her own. Objectively speaking, it is inevitable that she would have to see her body anyway, meaning that it would be better to wait for the fated day. Yeah, that'd work.
She began pacing around the room in deep thought, her courage to look faltering and rising with every step, eventually arriving at an amicable conclusion that neither side truly won over.
Just this once won’t hurt, right? If it's going to happen anyway, might as well now.
Shyly, she started to take a small peek backward.
Two hard knocks could be heard in quick succession, and Mikuta yelped in surprise.
Mikuta took advantage of the minute pause that came after the terrible joke and quickly changed out of her gown, averting her eyes to the plain looking ceiling as she struggled to fit the habit without proper support of her ocular senses.
“My name’s Helena Prullen Patrovosky, dorm leader of the third building, and I believe it’s about time I introduced myself to you properly.”
Good grief. It was clear that she was the serious type when it came to answering questions - not that it was a bad thing of course. At least Mikuta now knew her name so she didn’t have to refer to her as “tomboy” or “tanned girl” from this moment onward. The concise introduction was followed by a sheepish “sorry” that Mikuta dismissed to retain her rather rebellious and sporty image of Helena the tomboy.
“Ah, is that so? My name is Mikuta. Just Mikuta. Nice to meet you.”
Mikuta’s voice was muffled under the improperly dressed tunic, noticing that she had put on the tunic backward due to the crafted tag that conspicuously waggled in front of her face.
Damn it. Can this be any harder?
“May I come in?”
“Give me a second please!”
In a rush, Mikuta had managed to properly tie the cincture around her loose tunic, and opened the door, proudly showing off her cleaner and, much more importantly, presentable self in the eyes of Mrs. Patrovosky.
“How do I look?”
“Great. Anyways, are you up for lunch?”
Opening her eyes, Mikuta was disappointed to see the tanned tomboy so easily disregard her self-heightened self, leaving down the stairs soon after her showy appearance. Well, not so showy considering she was wearing the exact same outfit as Helena, minus the beautiful monastic scapular which would've undoubtedly make a fine addition on Mikuta.
“Oh, and before I forget...”
Helena softly pushed past the Mikuta who blocked the entrance and retrieved the book that lay on the floor.
“What’s that book for, anyway?”
Mikuta leaned on the doorway, arms and legs crossed.
“It’s something like a study book for my upcoming exams. Do you want to try reading it?”
She offered without hesitation, and also without hesitation, Mikuta rejected it.
“Yeah, uh, I can’t exactly read or write whatever words are in there.”
Helena stared at Mikuta, her brows raised unnaturally high with a sense of disbelief. Had she been even more surprised, it may have been possible that the eyebrows would have flown off, like those carnival game shows where a hammer overpoweringly slams onto the block of a high striker, sending the disc into the realm of god knows where.
“You don’t say…”
Murmuring to herself, Helena began to aimlessly flip through her book. She slammed it shut with a resounding blam, much to Mikuta’s surprise.
“Alright, well for starters, how about we go outside and tour throughout Pidrophilie?”
Mikuta, who was mildly curious about the townsfolk and the delicious smells below her room, gave two quick nods in agreement.
“Sounds like a plan!”
Helena energetically flew out of the room and was already down the fifth step by the time Mikuta realized her disappearance.
She turned around down the stairs, smugly looking behind at Mikuta’s stupefied expression while giving off an impish grin of delight.
“Are you coming or not?”
A smile began to spread across her face, her hastening feet already thudding down the stairs after Helena.