Friday, September 9, 2011

Cerulean Mosaic


Cerulean Mosaic by Gary Germeil

In the midst of a heavenly garden sat a pair of bare-bodied lovers, an amorous couple surrounded by fertile green grass, exquisite flowers and small animals running back and forth around them. The woman's body was encircled by the strong arms of her beloved as they both faced the same direction, looking at the horizon to the enthralling colors of the rising sun. The beauty of the young woman was simply divine, her long golden hair slightly moved by the gentle breeze of spring.

"Adam," the alluring lady started saying, "I wish we could stay like this forever, staring at the rising sun, my body surrounded by your vigorous arms..." The woman closed her eyes and rested the side of her head against the man's chest, breathing quietly and peacefully. "I want this blissful existence to be without end."

"What could possibly disturb our blessed lives, my sweet?" the man asked, tightening his embrace, showing his affection to his beloved. "Our love will endure for all times."

A butterfly flew around them before resting its weary limbs on the woman's lustrous golden hair. The female goddess took some time to revel in the serenity of her surroundings, basking in the radiance of the sunlight. Moments later, her cerulean eyes met with those of her lover as she delved deep into his soul.

"Do you promise?" she simply asked, wanting her inamorato to reassure her that their love would be eternal.

"I promise," the man answered, his voice lost in the sound made by a sudden gust of wind.

* * *

Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday April 24th, 2035

Bleu Heisashi woke up from her dream, her sky blue eyes looking at the ceiling of her room. She gently grabbed the border of her blanket with her pale and delicate hands and snuggled in the comfort of her soft mattress.

"I keep dreaming about that girl," the young maiden thought to herself, wondering why she kept having the same dream night after night. "And the dream always ends the same; eventually, the girl..."

Bleu continued to ponder, but her stream of thoughts was interrupted by the sudden sadness she felt for the girl in her dreams, knowing her sorrowful fate all too well.

"She dies..."

The blue-haired maiden slowly tossed her blanket aside and rose to her feet, knowing the duties of a seventeen year old girl were awaiting her. She had to prepare herself to go to school in the company of the person that mattered to her the most in the world, her childhood friend Ellis. It was not long before the two girls met on the porch of her house.

"Hi," Bleu told her friend, still groggy from a night of sleep.

"It's been a while..." her friend said with astonishment, sitting on the wooden planks of the porch, her upper body leaning backwards with the support of her hands resting on the ground. Her legs were dangling from the edge of the porch, her feet unable to reach the ground of the exterior garden. The young maiden was thinking about the past, about how she became Bleu's foster sister.

Bleu and Ellis had known each other since they were infants. The Lyonorr household was once located near the Heisashi residence in the rural regions of Western Tokyo, and both families became acquainted with one another through bonds of friendship shared by the parents. Bleu's father Ryunosuke Heisashi, her mother Azure, Ellis' father Lawton Lyonorr and her mother Siren, all four of them used to spend pleasurable moments frolicking in the prairies during their youth.

In time, the couples married, conceived children, and those children eventually became friends. Bleu became acquainted with the young Ellis while her brother Ryu Heisashi committed the mischievous acts of a young boy with his accomplice Gareth Lyonorr.

Both couples also shared a secret unknown to the world: both mothers were magic users. Each female child inherited the magical powers of their mother while each young boy took after their father's normal human heritage. Bleu was thus able to cast magic related to water and ice while Ellis could manipulate air currents.

One day, however, disaster struck the Lyonorr family precisely because of Siren Lyonorr's magical legacy. Races of magic users sometimes fight against one another as rival tribes normally do; Siren, being a Drainer, had been targeted by a group of Destroyers. The felons raided her household, setting it ablaze with fire and stealing her most valued possessions. In the chaos, Siren and Ellis had been separated from Lawton and Gareth.

Knowing the assailants only wanted to harm her and not necessarily her entire family, the mother instructed her daughter to run in the direction of the Heisashi residence and seek their protection; Siren then stayed behind and fought to give her loved ones enough time to escape.

Battered and confused, scared and drenched in the blood of her relatives, Ellis showed up at the front entrance of Bleu's home. The family opened their doors and took her in. The young girl has stayed with them ever since, becoming the sister Bleu never had.

Ryu, Bleu and Ellis were very close, closer than normal siblings. At some point, circumstances forced the three children to practically raise themselves. Bleu's mother caught an incurable illness and died from natural causes at a young age. Afterwards, the widowed Ryunosuke Heisashi found solace in his career, obtaining high-ranking diplomatic positions within the Japanese government and traveling all over the globe to attend to his duties. He never took time to stay with his offspring and raise them, and so the three children had to look out for one another.

In time, Ellis came to value Bleu as the most important person in her life. She also became quite fond of Ryu, although she never dared express those feelings to him. Even though she felt the way she did for her foster family, the lovely maiden deeply missed her real siblings, still believing they had not perished that fateful night. Months ago, she set off on a journey to travel around the world, looking for clues on the whereabouts of her family. She especially wanted to see her mother again, whose courage was the only reason she could still draw breath to this day.

Alas, during the wintry month of February, she returned to her foster home without having attained the goals she had set for herself. Nonetheless, she was still grateful for the unforgettable memories she acquired during her travels. She started attending the Orchid School of Magic again after her long absence from Japan, and had to catch up on many lessons. Fortunately for her, Bleu was a diligent student, and her help was simply invaluable to Ellis.

After a conversation with a focus on past events, the girls left the porch to prepare for school. While Bleu headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, Ellis walked towards a particular room of the house, where she knew her foster brother would be at this hour.

Standing at the entrance of that room, gently leaning her hands and chest against the doorway's wooden border, she quietly looked at the blue-haired teenage boy as he was undergoing his morning physical training. She simply smiled at the young man's determination as she saw him earnestly panting and sweating while doing push-ups, her eyes expressing affection and fondness.

* * *

Sitting behind a wooden desk, the young maiden known as Prudence Elle Lonergan was quietly arranging her dark brown hair, contemplating the image reflected by the mirror in front of her. Holding a hairpin between her pressed lips, she folded her long hair and folded it again, then attached it with the silver ornament. She had been attending to such preparations for about an hour now, making sure her physical appearance was absolutely perfect for this day of school.

Her room was tidied, and her majestic bed, adorned on the sides with silk curtains sustained by vertical poles, was neatly arranged. One should not disregard the fact that she lived in Tokyo with the diligent assistance of an experienced family butler.

"Simply stunning," she said, looking into the mirror one last time after finishing her preparations, impressed with her own beauty. Not a single speck of dust could be found on the white blouse or black skirt that constituted her school uniform. She held the cross that stood at the end of her necklace in the palm of her right hand.

"Are you ready, madam?" resonated the aged voice of a distinguished man standing at the entrance of her room. Clad in black dress pants, a formal white shirt and white gloves, Prudence's butler stood upright with pride.

"As I will ever be," the heiress to the Lonergan legacy said, her eyes still not wandering away from the celestial vision of beauty reflected by her mirror.

* * *

Orchid playfully put one foot in front of the other in succession on the edge of the sidewalk, awkwardly spreading her arms out to maintain her balance, her fingertips pointing towards the sky. Her manner of walking monopolized her attention wholly. She was really happy now that the sun was illuminating everything under the sky with its warm, brilliant light. Yusuke Ito, the young man she stayed with while attending school, was walking besides her on the street with the same aloof demeanor as usual.

"I can't really understand why you're so happy to go to school," the boy said between two yawns.

"Hum..." Orchid thought out loud as always while looking at the sky in search of a way to convey her feelings. "Well, every day I get to walk with you to school, and then I spend the whole day with my friends Hitomi and Gwen!" she finally answered with eyes closed and a wide grin drawn on her lips. "So... what's not to like about school?" she innocently wondered aloud.

Her concentration interrupted, her feet drifted away from their horizontal trajectory on the edge of the sidewalk; the young girl tripped, her body descending towards the ground. Fortunately, she fell in the direction of the young man, who caught her in his arms. The boy's hands resting on the lower part of her back, the red-haired maiden laid her head against Yusuke's chest and smiled with gratitude.

"Thank you," she told him, grateful she didn't fall to the ground and hurt herself. The two of them remained locked in that embrace for quite some time.

"Watch... watch where you're going, Orchid!" the young man finally exclaimed, blushing from embarrassment and shyness. He quickly removed his hands from her back, encouraging her to continue walking forward. "Here, we're almost there!"

The girl giggled and stroked her light red hair with one hand, happy to be in his company. Minutes later, they both walked in the direction of their respective schools after bidding each other farewell for the day. Yusuke's educational establishment, known as the Orchid School of Arts, was right in front of the young girl's own school, the two buildings separated only by a fence.

As the young man crossed the threshold of his school, he saw a dazzling young woman leaning her back against the fence, speaking to a young boy. A transparent pink mist surrounded her flesh as she smiled seductively to her interlocutor, her cell phone ready to note his phone number. Yusuke wondered whether she was truly a student of his school or rather a student of the school of magic, but did not give the matter a second thought and rushed into his academic building.

The lovely girl who was leaning against that fence was indeed a magic user, the wily temptress Amelia Whitfield. Every morning, she came early to the school across her own to talk a boy, one each day, into falling in love with her. Her method was simple and flawless: all she had to do was to cast a spell of bewitchment to captivate any young man who would look at her. Once that was done, she only had to choose a victim. Exciting the boy's senses, her target would fall for her without fail.

Today was no different; after talking to the person in front of her, he had agreed to give her his phone number and meet her after school. She reveled in the chase, in the passionate love story that unfolded after going out with these boys, once the school bell tolled one final time for the day. Often, she also found pleasure in breaking their heart, telling them they had no chance to begin with, making them realize the futility of their wretched existence. She loved to make them spend money on her, encouraging them to join her in her wild partying ways.

Amelia Whitfield came to Japan from her hometown of Toronto, in the Ontarian province of Canada. Living for sensual pleasures and thrills, she rapidly became acquainted with her city's nightlife near the famous Richmond street, easily persuading bouncers to let her in clubs without any further verifications. There she danced, flirted and drank to her heart's content.

The daughter of the chief financial officer of Power Corporation and the director of operations for Magna International Inc., the rich child was spoiled with expensive gifts and rapidly developed a playful personality. At first dissatisfied with her parents' decision to send her to Japan's Orchid School of Magic to improve her magical talents, she quickly warmed up to the idea of checking out Tokyo's dance club scene.

Her life abroad was one of lavishness. Every morning, she rode in the comfort of a sophisticated car driven by a chauffeur, and every night she slept in the quarters of an extravagant hotel, sometimes in the company of a lucky young man.

* * *

"Go down!" echoed the angry voice of Claire Wright as she was returning a rubber ball into her opponent's court, as required by the rules of tennis.

The blond woman's form was simply splendid as she leapt to catch the ball with her racquet, her loose white t-shirt ruffled by the gentle breeze of spring. Her adversary could not run fast enough towards the net, in front of which Claire had sent the ball. The game thus ended with the American girl claiming victory.

"It's not fair, you're too fast Claire!" the loser of the match complained, panting from exertion.

"L-O-L," Claire clearly spelled out the letters of the acronym with amusement, "you're the one who's too slow!"

Underneath her intimidating demeanor, Claire was a simple young girl who loved to have fun with her classmates. Unlike the 'nouveau riche' family her friend Amelia Whitfield belonged to, the American girl was born into an old, powerful and respected family from Boston, Massachusetts. She had lived most of her childhood days in a mansion, under strict tutelage from relatives and servants. Claire was scarred from the hardships she endured as a child, hardships that molded her aggressive personality.

Once the young girl became aware of her parents' intention to send her off to Japan, she gave the idea no second thought and gladly packed her bags. Anywhere in the world would be better than... Than...

"Are you alright?" Claire's tennis playmate asked her, putting an end to her daydreaming.

"Yeah," the blond American woman simply said with a snort, "I was just thinking."

* * *

It was finally noon, and students in the Orchid School of Arts gathered in the cafeteria to buy their lunch and eat. Narumi Endo patiently waited in a long line before it was her turn to choose the sandwich and vegetables she would savor today. She paid for her food and turned her back on the cashier, looking around for her usual lunch buddies. Finally spotting them, the black-haired Japanese girl rushed to their table, anxious to get something off her chest.

"Hey Yusuke," the girl started to ask one of her two companions while taking a seat in front of the boys, "who was that girl you were with this morning?"

"Huh?" Yusuke simply replied with surprise between two bites of his meal.

"Don't deny it, I saw you with a girl with light red hair, who is she?" she continued to question the young man unabashedly.

"Probably his mistress," the other boy sitting with them said while sipping his drink in his usual carefree manner.

"Shut up, Takashi!" Yusuke retorted, almost choking on his food and displaying more embarrassment than anger. "She's just a friend staying with the family while attending school, is all!"

* * *

"Oh really?" asked a young blond Welsh girl who did not believe a word of the answer she had been given to her question.

"Really!" Orchid told her friend Gwen, closing her locker after removing from it textbooks for her afternoon classes. She looked at her friend intently, knowing she didn't believe her.

"You know I once had such a 'friend' back on the farm in Wales..." Gwen started telling Orchid before being interrupted by the approach of their friend Hitomi.

"What's going on?" Hitomi asked after joining them, wanting to be part of the conversation.

"Orchid has a boyfriend but she won't tell us," Gwen told Hitomi, giving her an amused look.

"Not true!" Orchid protested, but her words were lost in the laughter of her two friends.

* * *

Takashi was simply bored from his late afternoon class. He was sitting on the edge of the classroom near the windows, and was more prone to looking at the beautiful weather outside than listening to the wise words of his History teacher.

Soon enough, a paper plane landed on his desk, abruptly ending his reverie. Frightened at first that he might become the center of the teacher's attention, he looked at the instructor, who had turned his back to the class to write on the board. Relieved, Takashi looked behind him, trying to find the source of the projectile.

It wasn't long before his eyes met with those of the culprit, his friend Narumi, who waved and smiled to him. She pointed in the direction of their friend Yusuke, who was diligently taking notes, listening to lessons of the Cold War once fought between the United States of America and the defunct Soviet Union.

* * *

Hitomi was sitting in class, but her thoughts were not with her fellow classmates. Instead, she thought about her past, about her parents and siblings. She had been lucky enough to have been born into a conventional Japanese family with a brother, a sister and two loving parents. This was rare in modern day Japanese society, where the number of single-parent families had exploded in number.

Her family was normal in every aspect, except for their magical abilities. Hitomi's mother was able to cast Seduction magic while her father wielded Transfer magic. The parents' love had endured for many years, and their marriage yielded three healthy children. While Hitomi was the oldest of the three, all of them were destined to graduate from the prestigious Orchid School of Magic.

The young girl was brought back to reality by a scrap of paper put on her desk by her friend Gwen, who was sitting besides her. Hitomi glanced at the blond girl, who looked straight ahead and smiled, pretending not to have written that note. The Japanese maiden looked timidly at her teacher, hoping not to get caught reading what Gwen wrote. She then read the note, learning every gossipy detail her Welsh comrade had managed to extract from their friend Orchid.

Hitomi finally looked gleefully at the red-haired girl, who was listening earnestly to the words of the teacher while sitting in the front row as was her habit.

* * *

Evening finally came, shrouding Tokyo in its cloak of darkness. Bleu's room was illuminated by the radiant light emitted by a lamp standing on the surface of a glass furniture. The blue-haired maiden was sitting behind her wooden desk, reading pages of a textbook as was requested by her teacher earlier today. Ellis was doing the same, sitting on her friend's bed. It was not long, however, before Bleu's foster sister groaned with frustration.

"I don't understand any of this!" Ellis exclaimed, complaining about the complexity of tonight's reading material. "History is so boring!" she said loudly with eyes wide open, letting her back fall on the surface of the bed, her long auburn hair flowing with the air as her body fell down.

"When it comes to History classes, it generally helps if you read the textbook in reverse order, from the end to the beginning," Bleu told her friend with a detached tone of voice, looking at her friend with her familiar cold blue eyes.

"What do you mean?" Ellis wondered, regaining her composure and sitting upright on the bed.

"Well," Bleu started explaining as she rose to her feet and borrowed Ellis' textbook, "History is a subject that's better understood if you look at it holistically." Sensing her friend was puzzled by her words, she quickly turned the pages of the book until she reached the final chapter. "You're trying to understand the subject matter by studying it chapter by chapter, part by part; I'm simply telling you to read through it and gain a better understanding of the actors."

"Let's try that with the races of magic users for instance, and their role in historical events. Let's talk more specifically about Seducers. Magic scholars such as Henry Wright have enumerated their possible actions throughout recent history, in particular during the Cold War, the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the 1949 Communist Revolution of China, and so on."

"If you understand the motives of Seducers by looking at their actions in recent History, then it's easier to understand why they acted the way they did during earlier times. You could say it's because History kind of repeats itself."

"I see," Ellis said with amazement, impressed by the words of her knowledgeable friend.

"So in hindsight, it's easy to comprehend the role those magic users had during the French Revolution of 1789, when the monarchy was abolished in favor of a republic," the blue-haired maiden continued her explanations while turning the pages of the textbook towards earlier chapters. "While some scholars have argued that Seducers and their evolved form, succubi, easily tempted royalty into doing their bidding, liberal democracies were ultimately seen as more conducive to their emancipation."

"Emancipation as the ultimate political goal of Seducers is a recurring theme throughout history. It has defined their stance for and against every major event that happened in the past."

"Also, surely you've heard of 'Les Pr├ęcieuses', or preciousness, a trend in 17th century France mostly adopted by the female intellectual elite of Paris. Seducer influence was rampant in the creation of that trend. They always set the tone for what is or isn't acceptable in courtship and other matters of the heart."

"What about other races of magic users?" Ellis asked, her curiosity piqued by the way Bleu explained the subject.

"Destroyers have also had much influence on the evolution of mankind, their love for bloodshed easily recognizable through the many wars that characterize our History," Bleu told her friend factually.

"Many works of literature have also been written on such things as succubi, vampires or lycanthropes. No one knew for certain whether those legends were real or not until 20th century scholars looked into the matter, ascertaining the existence of those creatures as the evolved forms of the four magical races."

"Well, it's certainly easier to understand if you're the one explaining it!" Ellis exclaimed, relieved to finally make some sense of her readings. "But... let's change subjects!" she told Bleu with a wide grin drawn on her lips. "What were you studying before our improvised History lesson?" Ellis asked the blue-haired girl, pointing to the textbook on the young girl's desk.

"Oh that," Bleu said with a cold intonation, giving the textbook she had been browsing back to its owner and looking at the book her friend was referring to. "Magic channeling practicum..."

"Finally something concrete, hands-on!" Ellis cheerfully shouted. "I'll help you study, just tell me about what you've been reading!"

"Alright," Bleu simply said, clearing her throat and looking intently into the eyes of her lively friend, eyes that sparkled with enthusiasm. "As you know, there are several ways of channeling magic; one can draw runes, dance, chant the words of an incantation, and so on," she continued to explain, knowing she had captured Ellis' undivided attention.

"So?" Ellis abruptly interrupted her friend. "Go on, practice channeling a spell!" she encouraged her dumbfounded companion to jump into the hands-on part of the subject.

"O...kay..." Bleu said with a bit of doubt permeating her voice. She then awkwardly opened up her left hand with its palm facing the ceiling and drew something in thin air right above it with her right index finger.

Seconds later, a small sphere of water appeared on the palm of her left hand and grew in size until its shape and dimension stabilized. The orb, made of many different shades of blue, glowed with a light that illuminated the surface of the room's walls and ceiling. Speechless, Ellis looked at this beautiful spectacle, entranced by the mosaic of cerulean lights that unfolded in front of her. She slowly rose to her feet and tried to touch the blue sphere, but her friend stepped back and prevented her from doing so.

"Be careful!" Bleu quickly chided her foster sister. "This is no ordinary water."

Moments later, the aqueous sphere disappeared, and the room regained its normal colors. The young girls returned to their seats and resumed their studies, enjoying their mutual company and engaging in spirited conversations throughout the remainder of the night.

--


Gary Germeil, M. Sc.