“Are you adopting her?” Jessie laughs.
Sophie smiles. “She just reminds me of my brother. This world might be big and scary for her, one where no one understands her. It can be very lonely, and I don’t want her to be lonely.”
“You know, step one to not being lonely, it’s talking.” Kiera sighs.
“That’s not always easy, my brother didn’t start talking until he was five, and now that he’s seven it’s just small words at a time.” Sophie says.
“Your brother has trouble understanding words, she seems to understand every single thing we say without a problem.” Jessie points out. How do they even know what I understand? It’s not like I’m responding to anything…
Sophie shrugs. “That means hearing isn’t the problem. It doesn’t matter what her reason is, we can’t force her. All we can do is make it easier for her, which means involving her in what we’re doing.” I don’t want it to be easier to make a mistake, so please stop.
“Well, good luck with that. Let’s go to the cafe nearby.” Kiera changes the topic.
“Oh yeah, the one where Matthew works. Isn’t that great, Sophie?” Jessie pokes Sophie.
Sophie rolls her eyes. “Duck off, he’s mine anyway.” Mine? Is it like a slave? This place doesn’t seem to have slavery, or maybe it’s just not visible here.
“Duck off? Being around kids isn’t good for your health.” Kiera laughs.
Their conversations are becoming boring to me, mostly because I don’t know what they’re talking about. With a yawn I lie my head down, again on Sophie’s neck. I don’t have any other options, with the way she carries me.
I’ll catch up on the sleep I didn’t get at night.
“I wanna go to some fancy vacation resort.” A voice says.
“Jessie, vacation is over, when would you go? And with what money?” Another voice replies.
What a way to wake up. I still don’t know what they’re talking about, but that makes it easier for me.
“After we graduate of course! My parents told me they would gift me money if I manage to graduate with an average score of 8.” I recognize the voice as Jessie. So they are close to graduating? That means it takes a long time, right? Or are they taking longer than expected?
“How lucky, mine would disown me with an average of 8.” The voice I recognize as Kiera responds.
A familiar laugh comes from above me. “Lucky? I bet they were talking about 100 creds at most. You wouldn’t even make it to the resort with that amount, let alone get a room there.”
“They better not, I’m not a child anymore. As an adult I can earn 100 creds easily with some work.” Jessie sighs.
“Go work then, you’ll get to that resort in no time. Or maybe ten months, actually, make it twenty for you.” Kiera laughs.
“That takes way too long.” Jessie says dramatically.
Something pokes my nose. I suspiciously open my eyes and see Jessie staring at me. She’s lying on the table with her head, and one arm reaching out to me.
“I knew it, she’s awake.” Jessie laughs.
“As if I didn’t notice.” Sophie leans her head on mine, her arms hold me at my belly. “I know you never open your eyes when you wake up, just like you never get on time for the first lessons.”
“Because beds are amazing and comfy, why would anyone want to get out there?” Jessie sighs.
“If I was using Sophie as a pillow, I wouldn’t get up either.” Kiera laughs.
Jessie starts laughing too. “That’s a good point, Sophie let me use you as a pillow.”
“Hell no, get a boyfriend for that.” Sophie laughs.
“You’re the only one with a boyfriend here, you have to share with your not so lucky best friends.” Jessie pleads.
“Just because I found my luck doesn’t mean I have to give it away.” Sophie smiles. “Matthew, get over here.” She calls out to someone.
A man quickly appears next to her. “What do you need, babe? Oh, I see, the little lady woke up.” He kneels down, looking me into my eyes. “Anything I can get you?” What are you talking about? Don’t come so close, what part about me says people should get near me?
“Give her some chocolate milk, that should be fine.” Sophie says. I wonder what chocolate is.
Matthew stands up. “Got any child safe cups?”
“Oh, I knew we forgot something.” Sophie sighs.
“We have plastic cups and straws, if you hold it then it might work.” Matthew laughs.
“Just do that then, if you trust my cup holding skills.” Sophie smiles.
After a bit of waiting Matthew returns with a white almost see through cup, you could see the part where the chocolate milk is. He gives the cup to Sophie, who holds it in front of me.
There’s this bright pink tube inside the brown liquid. Sophie points the tube at me, what am I supposed to do with it?
“Drink through it.” Sophie says. I suspiciously stare up at her. Is she actually a mind reader?
But that’s besides the point, how do you drink through it? Why can’t I drink directly from the cup?
“By the way, Sophie. What are you going to do with her? You can’t keep her here forever.” Kiera asks.
I carefully put the tube in my mouth. Sophie said drink through, so I guess I’ll try that. After some struggle I finally get the chocolate milk. It’s amazing, who made this? Why didn’t they have that before?
“Her father will come pick her up here.” What? No? I’m not going to that man, I’ll just run away again.
“Do you have her father’s phone number? How did you even do that?” Jessie reacts surprised.
“Nah, I just contacted the teacher in charge of the project, and he did the rest.” Sophie sighs.
“Speaking of teachers, my history teacher gave us a side project on the lesser known parts of our country’s history.” Kiera sighs.
“The lesser known parts? Why would he give you extra work?” Jessie makes an extra dramatic sigh.
“Because he felt like a certain time period was very interesting, where people almost would believe in magic by what happened.” Kiera explains.
“Magic? History is full of people who believe in magic, then are later proved wrong by science.” Sophie laughs.
“Usually yes, but for this… There just hasn’t been any reasonable explanation for it. Do you know what happened in 1670, 21th of August?” Kiera says.
“That’s easy, that day all the snow disappeared. It just melted away, and didn’t come back for six years. Other effects were that there weren’t any reported droughts, so there weren’t any dark periods of hunger in it.” Jessie lazily says.
“And that while the whole place had been in snow for years. Historians explained it by them having a minor ice age, and it just ended that day.” Sophie adds.
“Layers of ice, collected over multiple years. They don’t disappear in one hour. That takes time, years even.” Kiera points out.
“Maybe they exaggerated the minor ice age, people in the past always liked doing that.” Jessie says.
Kiera laughs. “The minor ice age was thought to be 600 years long, most people in the past didn’t know that snow was abnormal, since they grew up with it. The cold brought all kinds of diseases to people, killing a lot of them. If they weren’t killed by a disease then they would die by the lack of food. Crops didn’t do well in the cold.
Then starting in 1666 summer disappeared completely, probably by volcanic activities. It’s the reason why people see the number 666 as bad.
So for four years people didn’t have summer, most water sources were frozen. Then in 1670 it just disappeared, not even worldwide. Just here, in Espia.” She explains.
“I guess that is odd. But what about it is magic?” Sophie asks.
“Because of the cold period, people started blaming each other. Whoever they could blame for the cold was burned alive. It’s known as the witch hunting period, since suddenly every old widowed woman was declared a witch.” Kiera says.
“And we all know none of them were actual witches, since they didn’t survive the test of being burned alive.” Jessie points out.
“Yeah, that didn’t stop them though. In 1670 there were rumours of demons being born, exactly on 21th of August, since it was believed the fires of hell melted the snow.” Kiera says.
“That’s weird, they get a miracle and blame it on the devil? I’ll never understand those people.” Sophie sighs.
“It’s because it’s scary and new. They even had specific people who were believed to be those demons, since a town lord had quite the reaction to it. His wife gave birth on that date, and he killed all his staff. He even locked down his mansion, and then gave some explanation on wanting to keep the kids safe. No one even knew how many kids he had.
It’s hard to know exactly what made him do that, since the rumours ranged quite a bit. Some said the children had big claws and pointy teeth. Others said they were born with a red skin, some even said their blood was black.” Kiera explains.
“What if they were perfectly normal? And the town lord was just scared because they were born on that day?” Jessie asks.
“If they were normal, he wouldn’t have done any of that. There were a lot of children born on that day, even the king had a son born on that day. None of them were seen as demons, not a single one.
So something about the kids must have been unusual enough, historians believe they might have had a genetic mutation. Such as an extra finger or anything really. The combination of the date with the genetic mutation got them the demon title.
Of course, nothing can stay a secret forever. The biggest rumours were about a quadruplet with different eye colours, gold, red, blue and purple. It’s not sure how true they were, but historians believe the quadruplet part.
Somewhere in December 1676 one of them was murdered. Soon after, snow returned.” Kiera says.
“That’s a big coincidence, although the situation is unexplainable, I still don’t believe in magic.” Sophie smiles.
“Four years later, 1680, it was believed the one with golden eyes died. Starting from that point, drought came to the country.” Kiera adds. This story, it’s mine, isn’t it? That means Nick died. I didn’t get to see him before he died… How about Thomas? Am I the only survivor?
“Still seems like a coincidence…” Jessie says.
Kiera smiles. “The year became known as the year of the red demon, since the books say the red one went crazy after the golden one died. Killing, destroying, burning houses, he did a lot.”
“He was ten, the stories are definitely lying. A ten year old can’t win of multiple strong adults, he would’ve died just like that.” Sophie points out.
“That’s why it’s the year of the red demon, he was unbelievably strong and fast for a ten year old. They didn’t kill him until a year later, and then the place was hit by a tornado.” Kiera says.
“A tornado? That’s really weird. But still, what does that have to do with magic?” Jessie asks.
“1688, the year where the last survivor amongst them turned eighteen. The blue one was a girl, she went missing shortly after the church captured one of her friends. She managed to set her friend free, with suspected inside help.
And the last part, told by just one witness. No rumours, no other witnesses, just one story.
The blue demon, she had another girl with her. The other girl had glowing yellow eyes, her face covered in blood. They seemed to have escaped something, and wore clothes that weren’t for their size or gender.
The witness thinks they must have been walking for a while, since people were aware of them being there before hand. The town prepared a large crowd of young, strong men, and gave them pitchforks.
The crowd met the two girls in an open area, so they could surround the girls. Instead of surrounding them right away, one man stepped forward, telling them to stop and that they wouldn’t be allowed to live any longer.
The one with the yellow glowing eyes, she responded with a tilt of her head and something too soft to hear for the witness. The man responded with that they would exterminate them in the name of God or something.” Kiera says.
“Who the hell would agree with being exterminated? Those times were so weird.” Sophie responds.
“I don’t think they agreed with it. The yellow one jumped in front of the blue one, taking all the hits. She quickly fell and her eyes stopped glowing. The blue one shouted April, with tears in her eyes.”
“Although it’s a sad story, I don’t see magic. Glowing eyes? Are they crazy? It might have been the light, reflecting in her eyes.” Jessie murmurs.
Kiera waves her hand to stop Jessie. “The real magic is what happened after. Apparently the shout managed to knock the crowd away. The blue one fell down with her hands on her head, the crowd tried coming back to attack her, but they couldn’t.
When the blue one removed her hands, her eyes were glowing blue, and void of any emotion. The crowd attacked again, this time breaking the pitchforks. The blue one made a sword appear out of nowhere, slashing the crowd easily.
It went so easy, as if they were made of butter. The crowd started running away out of fear, but the blue one didn’t let them. She started smiling, drenched in blood, and disappeared from her location, appearing near the running crowd.
She killed the whole town that day, it’s estimated to have been around six thousand people. The only ones she didn’t kill were those below the age of eighteen, and the witness was one of those. The witness was one of the kids who didn’t hide, and thus saw the whole event.
After killing the town the blue one went back, she kneeled next to her fallen friend, kissing her.” Kiera is interrupted by Jessie. “Kissing a dead friend after murdering a town? That hardly seems like the right time for it…”
“Her dead friend woke up after the kiss, as if nothing happened. Apparently the blue one said welcome back, and after that both of them went silent. The yellow one cried to the blue one, and like that they disappeared into nothing. Leaving a slaughter behind.” Kiera says.
“So because of one kid saying that suddenly we believe in magic? Seeing a lot of dead people can be traumatic and change the story.” Sophie tilts her head.
“His story was proved to be true. That’s the thing, guards were writing letters about the escape, ready to send them. The guards talked about the glowing yellow eyes too, and how she killed their master.
The area where it happened had people everywhere sliced in half. Pitchforks lying around broken, they broke as if they hit a wall.
Anyway, the day the blue one went missing tsunamis arrived in the country. Somehow the tsunamis didn’t hit the town that was slaughtered, and it has been abandoned ever since. Which means if you wanted to, you could visit the place and find all the broken pitchforks. Although I think they closed the place off just for historians.” Kiera explains.
“Okay, so what if there were stronger than normal people, and coincidental deaths with natural disasters. What makes you believe in magic?” Jessie asks.
“Tell me the date today.” Kiera orders.
“23th of August, 2024.” Sophie easily answers.
“That means the so called demons were born 354 years ago. Do you know what happened four years ago?” Kiera asks.
“No?” Both Jessie and Sophie shake their heads.
“Four years ago, on the 21th of August, it stopped snowing, and farming industries have been booming ever since. Normal people here don’t notice, since the global warming made snow rare anyway. Weather specialists are clueless though, so that’s why my teacher brought it up.” Kiera smiles.
“That’s unsettling. Are you saying new demons have been born?” Jessie asks.
“It’s even more unsettling, the one witness made a painting of the blue demon.”