Chapter 1:

Stagnation

Stagnation


I only have two years left before I graduate. I'm running out of time to enjoy my youth. Once you're out of high school, you're on the road to adulthood.Bookmark here

No. Actually it's already begun.Bookmark here

Your parents, your teachers, and all the adults around you keep asking the same questions.Bookmark here

What do you want to do after you graduate high school?Bookmark here

Which colleges are you interested in?Bookmark here

Where do you see yourself in the next 20 years?Bookmark here

Despicable.Bookmark here

Like, jeez. Calm down, guys! Hold your horses, everyone! It's not like I have 2020 vision or something. And besides, I'm not in a hurry to become an adult. Why would I want to become a dull, lifeless, and boring individual? They never ask what is really essential because grown-ups don't know what they're looking for. All adults are the same, carrying out the same responsibilities and abiding by the same principles. If it were possible, I would like to stay exactly as I am now. They say these are the happiest times of your life and I don't disagree with that. Life's simply better when you're young.Bookmark here


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I may not be willing to march headfirst into adulthood, but that doesn't mean the people around me haven't already embraced maturity. For example, two of my cousins in particular have changed immensely over the years. Well, I hardly see them anyway, so I can't exactly pinpoint when these changes began. Let's start with Maiya, my Aunt's eldest daughter. Maiya's just a year younger than me. When we were little, I remember Maiya being a bit timid and having an awful habit of sucking her thumb, but I always wanted to play with her. I was super fond of her. Now, the roles seem to have reversed. Whenever Maiya sees me, she pampers me with attention and is almost always calling me cute. Bookmark here

I hate it. Bookmark here

But my main issue with her is how she's found some sort of... identity for herself. Maiya has taken up an interest in art. I'll admit her strengths exceed in areas where I'm still improving, but art is still my forte. I've only been drawing sketchbook doodles, so I might not be taking this as seriously as I ought to be. Even so, she's stealing my spotlight. I'm supposed to be the young artist of the family, not her!Bookmark here

And then we have Maika, my Aunt's youngest daughter. I remember when she was just a little runt, but now she's also growing up. Maika's still in middle school, but she sure managed to amaze me. One time I got into an argument with my Dad after he said I wasn't applying myself. He said I wasn't putting my talent to good use. However, Maika was there to comfort me. Maika gave me this whole speech on how my Dad was wrong and how I had the choice to use my talent however I wanted. When I heard Maika sound so sophisticated, I just couldn't help but think to myself: "Wow! When did you become so grown up?"Bookmark here

Disgusting.Bookmark here


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Even my friends are changing. I know they're definitely going to college after high school. That was to be expected. My friends are all hard-working, dedicated, and determined individuals. They each have their own dreams they want to follow and I can understand that. Knowing all of this, I won't be sad when we all go our separate ways. You make new friends, but keep the old, y'know? That's just the way the ball rolls and the cookie crumbles. Life goes on.Bookmark here


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You might look at me and think I'm rude, irresponsible, and inconsiderate. I'm just a stubborn girl who refuses to grow up. But is that so wrong? I just want a simple life without a care in the world. Why can't I stay as I am now?Bookmark here

"Right you are! There's nothing wrong with what you want. You should be free to live however you want to!"Bookmark here

Huh? Someone interrupted my monologue?Bookmark here

"Who's there?"Bookmark here

Out of nowhere, a supernatural figure appeared before me. It was far from human. The best way I could describe this being was that it resembled some kind of jester or a magician whose body was the shape of a spinning top. Bookmark here

Ya see, in a situation like this, an adult would freak out and fail to comprehend this thing's existence. That's because adults are unimaginative and lack creativity. I, on the other hand, am not afraid to take this otherworldly creature at face value. But I did want to know more about it. It's not like you get to meet a supernatural being everyday.Bookmark here

"And what are you supposed to be exactly? And where did you come from and why are you here?"Bookmark here

"I came from nowhere. Your thoughts alone are what summoned me here. I am like a genie. I can grant any one wish, as long as you're willing to pay a price. I can make miracles, but everyone calls me a "Curse Creator." I have the power to spread your influence and make everyone see the world through your eyes."Bookmark here

"Hmmm... I see. But why are you called a "Curse Creator?" What's the curse?"Bookmark here

"I can grant any one wish, as long as you're willing to pay a price. Perhaps the curse is the price you must pay. Or maybe, the curse is the miracle itself. Curious to find out?"Bookmark here

Another thing adults lacked was curiosity. They absolutely have no sense of wonder. Since curiosity killed the cat, adults are too afraid to take risks. Instead, I'm going to take a chance.Bookmark here

"Yeah. I have a wish. I want to keep living as a teenager. I have no desire to become a stale grown-up. It's better to be unpredictable than to lead a life of endless repetition. I want to be youthful and free."Bookmark here

"In other words, you want to be a child."Bookmark here

"Precisely! Adults are always saying kids have it easy. If it's easier being an adolescent, then don't become an adult in the first place!"Bookmark here

"Humans simply can't prevent themselves from becoming adults just because they don't want to grow up. But I understand what you're trying to convey. Thankfully, you have me to grant your wish! But are you prepared to make a sacrifice?"Bookmark here

"Of course."Bookmark here

"Excellent! Hmm... Let me think. Oh, that's perfect! I've decided what you must pay. I'll grant your wish in exchange for... your age."Bookmark here

"My age?"Bookmark here

"Yes, you're age. After we make a deal, you'll stop growing. You'll be stuck inside that adolescent body and you'll never reach adulthood. And you'll remain that way until the day you die."Bookmark here

"So, you're saying I'm going to be a kid forever?"Bookmark here

Woah...Bookmark here

I never thought about it like that before. I know I keep saying that I don't want to grow up, but I never imagined that I could live as a child for an entire lifetime. If he could really make it a possibility, then...Bookmark here

"Yeah! But that doesn't sound too bad for you does it?"Bookmark here

"Not at all!"Bookmark here

"Great! So, you're accepting my offer. Now, all we have to do is shake on it!"Bookmark here

The wish making apparition lent out his hand. I looked at my own and then grabbed his, causing an explosion of light to burst.Bookmark here

"Hoo hoo! The deal has been finalized. Congratulations! You have earned the title of "Adult Killer!" With your newfound abilities, you can save the adults you loathe so much by taking them back to their childhood. Then they'll understand your point of view."Bookmark here

"Huh? Wait, did you actually just give me power? Seriously?"Bookmark here

"I already told you; I can make miracles, but everyone calls me a "Curse Creator." I have the power to spread your influence and make everyone see the world through your eyes. Whether you choose to use that power is up to you. At least you don't have to worry about growing up anymore! That should make you happy, right? I won't be seeing you ever again, so go on out there and spread your curse. Farewell!"Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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Stagnation


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