Monday 31 March 2014

When in Doubt, Make it Out

By Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga
“The Lady in Black!”
The lady in question smiled and launched a volley of smoke grenades. Alarms sounding, the army of police swarming towards her shouted and cursed, but not before one emerged wearing a gas mask to hurry hot on her tail, ripping it off as soon as they were out of the smoke’s range.
“Your men are getting smarter detective!” she called back.
The detective in question ducked just in time as the Ace of Spades whizzed over his head. His response was one syllable as the hallway filled once more with smoke. The Lady in Black turned a corner and mounted a set of stairs, not without pinning its guards to the wall with aces up her sleeve and deciding to run up the rails instead of the steps. She reached the top floor using marbles that exploded in pink smoke to clear her way. Finally, she arrived at the door, sleek black in the middle of an empty hallway past another locked door that used eye recognition software and five more ‘elite’ guards that currently snored in a pile behind her.
Raising one gloved hand, the Lady in Black pressed it onto the door’s flat surface, devoid of any lock or even a handle, yet the toughest of all to open. She took a deep breath and let her shoulders sag as she closed her eyes. Behind their lids, the vision of a field blossomed. Her father was laughing, telling her to take his hand; they’d go flower-picking. The Lady in Black clenched a fist, gritting her teeth as a bead of sweat rolled down her face. The vision was the door’s lock. To unlock it, she had to resist the temptation to take that hand and surrender to her past of warmth and lavender fields…
The Lady in Black slowly opened her eyes. Had she done it? Was the door finally sliding open? After years of struggling would she finally make a breakthrough-?
“You’re under arrest.”
But no, it was only the cool metal of a handcuff that clipped around her wrist and the frigid barrel of a gun that nuzzled her shoulder blade. The rest of her body was hot with sweat and exertion yet strangely stiff.
How long have I been cracking this? A part of her thought. The other part hoped that the handsome detective at her back wouldn't notice she was nearly spent.
Her mouth curled into an easy smile. “How long have you been practicing that line in front of the mirror?”
Using one hand, the detective merely unglued her other wrist from the door and cuffed it with a final click.
“You have the right to remain silent. Don’t try anything funny,” he stated tonelessly.
“Why so serious?” the Lady in Black questioned. “You’re much too young to be this uptight.”
“Considering I need to protect Vadalia from terrorists like you, I think my conduct is justified.” The detective replied. The barrel pressed deeper into her shoulder. “Now walk.”
“No,” The Lady in Black replied. Her arm received a rough tug to which she reacted by letting her weight fall on the detective. He readily shoved her off him so that she leaned back on the door, staring straight into his dark eyes through the slits on her mask. His gun still pointed at her shoulder blade.
“Go on,” The Lady in Black encouraged. “Shoot me.”
“I’m a police officer,” the detective readily replied.
The lady’s easy smile widened. “With no back up.”
“I told you not to try anything funny,” the detective pressed.
The Lady in Black slowly shook her head. “No, what I’m going to try won’t be funny mind you.”
“I’m warning you…” The detective’s finger flexed over the trigger.
Suddenly, the Lady in Black fell forward. A shot sounded, followed by a splatter of red all over the polished surface of the black door.
The detective’s eyes widened in horror as his body fell back. Contrary to what he was seeing, the Lady in Black still stood, rubbing her freed wrists. The detective could hallucinate whatever he fancied for all she cared. Of all the things to notice, he had failed to see that she had been chewing gum throughout the night’s chase – and not the minty kind. She turned her back on the fallen man, for once not finding any humour in the way she left him, whimpering with pink goo stuck to his forehead. Only once she was safely beyond the barricade of police cars circling the building did she glance back at the magnificent structure, its blaring lights mocking her efforts.
For once the Lady in Black could not go far before she slumped against an alley wall, one fist pounding into it as she held back tears of pure frustration. Once again, she had been powerless to move past the lock, a spell cleverly disguised as her weak point. She had given too much time for that clever police detective to get to her and barely escaped without a scratch.
And it all hurt!
Why did the man behind the door have to taunt her so? Why was it so hard to get back at him? Why did the police have to be against her simply because they and half of the city were blissfully ignorant of Vadalia’s magical side?
Suddenly, a foot crunched on a wrapper. The Lady in Black tensed and turned to stare into the violet eyes of a man half-hidden in shadow. A guitar’s silhouette was slung over his shoulder while a bracelet momentarily glinted in the stray glare of a flashing siren. The lady relaxed slightly. The man nodded.
Ignoring her aching bones, she stood. The man slipped back into the shadows while the Lady in Black faced the light emanating from M.X. Corporation HQ.
“I know,” she said. “I won’t let you down.”
At that moment, the building’s fifth floor exploded in pink confetti.

The Voices

by Hannah Begg.

A gust of wind blew through the open window, sending a skitter of papers across the wooden floor. Rows of news clippings pinned to the walls fluttered as the breeze caught beneath their edges.

Danielle paused, closing her eyes for a moment and letting the noise of the rustling symphony sweep over her; the sudden breeze against her skin helped to slow her heartbeat; it began to pound less violently in her chest. The panic which a moment earlier had threatened to take over her senses was now fading, disappearing back into the depths of her soul.

Sighing heavily, she rocked back on her heels, surveying the work in front of her. Laid out across the floor were newspapers arranged in careful piles and straight, ordered columns. A pair of brightly-coloured scissors sat before each column; a signpost, a beacon indicating possible information waiting to be unearthed.

She’d scour them all; she’d find what she was looking for; she was confident, this time.

Standing up, she rubbed her eyes, feeling suddenly exhausted. Stepping back, she lowered herself into the huge, plush armchair and reached for her cup of tea, stone-cold now after sitting for hours, forgotten. Taking a sip, she grimaced and looked down into the cup.


But she didn’t dare leave the room to make another - not now, not after such a monumental breakthrough. She must continue working. 

From this new perspective, sitting in the faded armchair with the cold cup of tea on her lap, Danielle smiled down at the newspaper arrangements. They looked smaller, less significant from this distance. Glancing up at the clock, she realised she’d been crouched down on the floor for over six hours. No wonder her back ached.

Looking at the papers again, a shiver of excitement danced across her neck. Those papers - day-old publications that people had tossed into trash cans, or dropped discarded along the sides of highways, or left under piles of empty fast food trays - they contained such crucial information. Life-changing, earth-altering data. Why couldn’t anyone else see it? 

Danielle knew she was different. She knew she had been placed on this earth for reasons that no one else understood. The voices had found her when she was only eight or nine years old. She remembered hearing them, muffled at first, echoing in a far corner of her mind. 

For months, she’d been confused by them, irritated when they disturbed her thoughts. Then one day, sitting alone in a dark room, surrounded by blank pieces of coloured paper she’d collected from her schoolroom, she’d heard the voices crystal-clear for the first time in her life. They were soft, intuitive, encouraging; they gave her fragments of information that no one else in the world seemed to have ever shared with her. Information about the earth, the trees, the people. 

Over the years she began to gather newspapers and hide them beneath her bed. The voices were the loudest at night, when the moon shone brightly and the world was fast asleep. The voices spun together long, beautiful, intricate webs of finely crafted words and phrases; sometimes they were just a mess of poetry and prose; other times they sung like lilting melodies. She discovered that by arranging the newspapers into careful groups and categories by the light of a torch, she was able to untangle the sentences as they flooded into her mind and danced behind her eyes.

She remembered telling her mother about the voices when she was ten or eleven. 

“Sometimes they’re really easy to understand, and other times they’re blurry and I’m not sure what they’re trying to tell me,” she’d said, as they’d sat at the kitchen counter one afternoon eating cheese sandwiches. “Maybe I should break open my head and scoop out the voices to untangle them properly?” She laughed, stopping abruptly when she saw the look of alarm on her mother’s face.

“What voices do you hear?” her mother had asked sharply, a note of concern in her voice.

“You know, normal voices,” Danielle had explained. “Like, people telling me things.”
“You mean, people near you? You can hear people’s thoughts?”

Danielle looked at her mother, confused.

“I mean, Dani, are you saying that you can read people’s minds?” her mother persisted, looking intently at her daughter while something resembling panic began to unravel in the pit of her stomach. “Are you saying you can read my mind? Do you think you’re telepathic?” 

“No,” Danielle replied, placing her sandwich down in front of her. “I mean, I can hear other voices. Like, people who don’t exist. They’re not here, in this world. They’re kind of out there, in the universe.” She waved her hands as she spoke, trying to illustrate what she meant.

The creases in her mother’s forehead grew deeper and deeper with apprehension.

After that, Danielle never mentioned the voices to anyone ever again. She was unique, she now realised; she was silhouetted against a backdrop of monotony and plainness. The rest of the world carried on, day after day, year after year; each and every person, she was sure, was oblivious to the valley of voices existing within each and every one of them, flowing through each subconscious like an unstoppable river, teeming with facts and warnings about the future.

She was the only person who seemed to be in tune with her voices. And it was up to her, she had realised, to save the world. 

As the earth spun closer and closer to oblivion, teetering on the edge of the universe, threatening to destroy itself and every living thing it held in the palm of its hand, Danielle scoured hundreds and hundreds of newspapers she’d collected from every corner of her life, carefully extracting every tiny piece of information from each one as the voices guided her.

Excitement buzzed across her skin as she clutched the mug of cold tea; she was closer than ever before at uncovering the final piece of the puzzle, the piece that would explain what she needed to do in order to save humanity.

Another gust of wind blew through the open window, rustling the papers. Dani sat, staring at the intricate arrangements of clippings, entranced, a feeling of pride blossoming within her chest.

Outside, the trees swayed gently in the breeze; light spilled from the window, stretching across a tangle of broken picture frames and coffee mugs that lay strewn on the unkempt lawn. Stacks of newspapers sat under the moon, reaching up towards the stars - the only sign that an unstoppable, irrational obsession existed within the walls of the small, dark house on the quiet street.

Thursday 27 March 2014

The Gift

By Sarah Begg

I should never have asked to be telepathic.
Jack and Abby – they had the right idea. Jack asked for super strength and look at him now! He's been hailed as the world's first real superhero. He works in a specialist police unit and everybody loves him – no need for the jaws of life at a car crash scene, if Jack's there he can just pull the whole car apart.
And Abby – Abby got the invisibility thing. I thought she was nuts at the time – what practical use is there for invisibility? But it works for her, I suppose because she's quite shy. She can blend in to crowds and always knows way more about what's going on than anybody else ever does.
But me? I had to go and choose telepathy. It sounded so cool at the time, being able to read everyone's thoughts. But nobody told me that I'd literally hear everyone's thoughts all the time.
I can't go out in public places anymore without a barrage of thoughts pummeling me from every direction. And even when I do focus in on one particular person, their thoughts are always bad. I mean, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you that people have such cruel, nasty thought, but they do.
When I'm standing at the coffee counter ordering a coffee, the friendly girl behind the counter is smiling at me and asking how my day has been, but her mind is saying

What the fuck is this girl wearing? God she really needs some makeup on, no wonder she's in here every day by herself. And don't order the croissant again, you're starting to get fat.

as she asks me sweetly, and with a smile, “And would you like a croissant today?”
I thought that telepathy would improve my relationships, not ruin them. I thought that I'd be able to have amazing sex with my boyfriend, but when I heard what he was thinking I broke down and cried. And then I couldn't explain to him what was wrong and of course he didn't understand and now he's gone.
I thought I'd be promoted at work due to all my really great insights into the company because I could assess how everyone was feeling. But management just wanted to know how I could have found out so much sensitive information, and then the accusations started that I was stealing other people's ideas.
No, if I could go back to that night when Jack, Abby and I were at the carnival, and we went into the psychic’s tent and the old man said he could give us all any gift we wanted, I definitely would not have chosen telepathy.
“Rachel, how are you feeling today? Are you ready to reopen our discussion from last week?”
I glare at the psychiatrist, hating her right down to my very core.
She acts all helpful and concerned but I know what she's thinking. She's thinking

Is she going to be receptive today? I really wish she would stop glaring at me. This session needs to wrap up fairly quickly so I have time to go home and make quiche for dinner.

“I know what you're thinking!” I scream at her. “Stop pretending to care when I know you don't!”
“Rachel, we've been over this,” the psychiatrist looks at me calmly but I can hear her thinking

Here we go, she's all fired up again today. God and I really thought we might be able to get somewhere this time.

“You are not telepathic.” The psychiatrist continues.
“Yes I am! Yes I am! The stupid psychic at the carnival did this to me! Why don't you believe me!” I'm crying already (earlier than usual), tears streaming down my face. “Just look at Jack! How do you explain how strong he is! And Abby – you've seen her turn invisible.”
“Rachel, you know that I have never seen your imaginary friend Abby at all,” the psychiatrist says patiently.
“That's because she's INVISIBLE! You can't see her, that's the whole point!” I yell at her.
“And your friend Jack can't have super strength,” she's still talking away calmly, as if I didn't just break the no-shouting rule. “Because if he did he could have broken out of his room here, couldn't he? He could break out of the straight jacket that he wears, but he doesn't, does he?”
“Jack's not in here,” I'm sobbing now, squirming around in my own straight jacket. “He's working with the police, saving the world.”
The psychiatrist is shaking her head sadly.
“Rachel, until you accept that you were hypnotised by a lunatic at that carnival and that you and your friend Jack have subsequent mental issues that we are trying to help fix, you will never get better. You need to be calm, and accept that none of this is true before we can try to reverse the hypnosis. Do you understand?”
“Stop thinking those thoughts!” I scream. “I'm not ugly and I'm not deficient! Nobody believes me! Everyone needs to stop thinking – I don't want to hear your thoughts, I don't want to!” I'm now whimpering and jolting my body up and down. I can feel my heart racing and my face is hot.
The psychiatrist just shakes her head sadly and signals for the two burly men to step inside the room.
“Sedate her,” she says softly. “We'll try again next week.”
As the men approach I hear what they're thinking

So young to be such a loon. Ah well, she's nothing nice to look at so doesn't matter.

Another week now we've got to keep this nut for. As if she'll ever get better, she's just as crazy as the rest of them

And then as the sedative is injected all the voices stop.

Dark Burden

By: Michael Carta.

Deep within the heart of the Adirondack Mountains a man continued trudging on the trail he had carved with years of dedicated footsteps. He had an undying love for the nature around him and it served to distract him from the other temptations in his life. He had successfully isolated himself for nearly five years with only limited contact to any other human every six months when supplies were needed. Finally, after several hours of hiking over the foothills, Tom reached the base of the only mountain he had yet to climb in the area. 

“This is it, Mount Marcy; elevation 5,344 ft.” Tom said to himself as he sat on a nearby rock to ready himself for the journey.

“You’re wasting our time, we could be doing things that are more suitable for-“

“I want to see the summit; it’s the highest elevated point out here. You know this is one of our goals”

“No, it’s one of your goals, and a stupid one. Think of what else we could be doing!”

“You don’t understand. I need this. Nature has created this wonderful place for adventure and exploration. It is ours for the taking!”

“Have you forgotten how good and crafty we were? Or the thrills we had almost getting caught?  Nothing out here can even compare to the rush.”

“Enough! I am getting to the top of this damn mountain and I am done arguing with you! I feel like Tom Hanks in that movie when he spoke to a volleyball. What’s wrong with me? This is like some kind of demented telepathy.”

“Calm down, it’s not telepathy since you’re talking to yourself. We’ve just been up here too long; the altitude changes how your brain functions that’s all”

“Yet, I have been talking to you since way before we came out here... Nice try.

“I told you we were crafty!”

       Tom stood up, adjusted his belt, and took his first steps towards the incline of his new challenge.
The warm autumn air provided him with a soothing calmness as he ventured onward. Periodically he would stop and look around to take in the beauty that surrounded him. The vast foliage of dying leaves dazzled his eyes with color. Tom was drawn to the purity and unbiased nature of nature. She was not afraid to show herself and had such mystery. 

     After four rigorous hours the summit was in sight. Tom leaned against a tree for a quick rest and to assess the best approach for the final assent.

“Look out behind you; you can already see the view.”

“Not until we get to the top. I want to full experience with no spoilers. You really do not have any patience. Everything to you is instant gratification.”

“What can I say; we are a creature of habit. It’s your instincts man.”

“I want to earn it. Maybe nature made these mountains to inspire man to climb to the top. Now we are always searching for new mountains, summits, goals, and achievements. The harder you work for it the more fulfilling the reward is at the end.”

“It sounds like you’re just a horse with a carrot hanging in front if its face. You’ll never be truly satisfied and tomorrow this will all start over again.”

“Even so, at least I will be satisfied today. Come on, we are almost there, even you can enjoy this next part.”

    Effortlessly Tom scaled several boulders and lifted himself onto the peak. He sat in bewilderment as he peered out across the horizon. The magnificence was endless as far as the eye could see. Mountains stretched out in all directions complimented by the countless clouds overhead.  He took a deep breath and felt relief from all stress and anxiety, he felt truly free.

“See, what did I tell you? Wonderful is it not? I could stay up here forever... How can people stare at a screen all day in a cube when this is out here? …Finally you are not saying anything. You have left me alone; my dark burden is gone…”

    Tom let time slip by unnoticed as he sat enlightened. Eventually, he would turn to the west and took in the massive sight of Lake George. His gaze traced the familiar shore line that would lead to his camp and he slowly became conscious of his existence and less lost in the moment. Suddenly, he noticed slight movement on the shore that caught his attention. A small white dot sat where the water met land, but it was too far to make any real distinction.

“It’s a boat you know…Boats have people and they’re probably on shore… all alone.”

“It could be anything, you do not know that. This area is completely remote and isolated. The chances anyone coming out here are impossibly low.”

“That is why we should go and introduce ourselves. Clearly it was meant to be; why else would they pop up now?”

“I wish you would just get out of my head and stop poisoning my thoughts!”

“I am your thoughts. You should just embrace it like you once did!”

“That’s why I have had to live out herein he first place because of what you made me do! Now we are far from any person, any temptation; for their protection. That sacrifice was not easy.”

“You said it yourself. This area is very remote. No one would ever find them, or even know where to look. You can easily scuttle the boat off shore after we’ve had our fun and it would be like nothing ever happened. We’d better hurry though, since we don’t want them out in the open too long, or worse; leaving without saying goodbye.”

     Tom’s hand moved to the hilt of his hunting knife and he felt his adrenaline surge. A devilish smirk came across his face as his eyes darkened. He took deep slow breaths and toyed with the idea in his head.

“If we leave now and are cautious we can get there in a few hours- right before dark.”

     Tom Jumped up and was now oblivious to the majesty around him. Quickly he began his descent into the darkness of the trees and his soul. 

“Forgive me father, for I will sin.”

Friday 14 March 2014


by Lyra Reyes

Find me.

I am dreaming.

Find me.

I am still asleep and I am dreaming.

No, you're not. Come find me.

You did NOT just answer me. It's just a dream.

You always were stubborn. FIND ME.

She opened her eyes to stare at the sunlight streaming through the gap between the curtains of the glass door. They left the door open the night before and the curtains billowed every few minutes, giving her a quick view of the backyard before slapping back on the screen again. She had been adamant on replacing the blinds that had been there when she moved in, saying that, "it's hard to be dead inside when you always have glimpses of life." Simon didn't argue with her.


She lifted the arm wrapped around her and turned around. Half of his face was squished on the pillow, his thick, dark hair mussed up in sleep. She pushed her face against his neck.

"Good morning, love."

She looked up and smiled at sleepy green eyes. "Good morning."

Those sleepy green eyes narrowed, "another one?"

Sighing, she nodded. "It's everyday now. I can handle it when it's just dreams but, now...even when I'm awake...I thought I was free from this."

Simon was quiet. He didn't understand it, this connection. But he understood that there are many things about the world - and about her - that he was not meant to understand.

"Simon, what do I do? How can I make it stop?"

"Did you ever think that maybe you're not supposed to?" 


After Simon left for work, Regina sat in the backyard with a cup of coffee thinking about what he said. Though she wanted to go back to her paints, she opened herself to something she shut off five years ago. She decided she wanted to talk.

It's about time.

A little warning would've been nice. I almost dropped my coffee. 

You said you were ready to talk.

I was saying that to myself, I didn't know you were listening already.

Oops. Well, I've been keeping a close eye. Or ear.

How close?

I'm no Peeping Tom. I’ve always respected your privacy.

Gee, thanks.

You're welcome. But five months! I started talking to you five months ago!

I was angry. I am angry.

I'm so sorry.

What is with this mysterious "find me" crap?

Find me.

There. That. What is that?

I want you to find me.

I was desperate to find you six years ago. Why now?

You're ready now.

For what? Why don't you just come here?

I can't.

You're the one who left.

I never did.

What are you talking about?

Just find me.

You’re still as bossy as I remember. How do I find you? A specific address please.

You'll have to paint it. Think about me and paint the first place that comes to your mind.

See? Bossy. You leave, won't come back, and now you want me to work.

Well, you could always sell it after.

There is that. Now, leave me alone so I can get to it.

Regina stood up and walked across the backyard to a shed that served as her studio. Getting a fresh canvass, she went to work.


"You painted that directly on the canvass? No sketches first? Amazing."

"Simon, focus."

"I'm trying, but that's the first time you did a direct-to-canvass. It's beautiful."

"Yes, and I'm feeling giddy inside about it. But." She tapped the canvass.

Simon stamped down on his amazement and looked at the painting closely.  "Honey, that looks like the woods behind your old house. Helena's there now?"

"The woods behind our house."

"Yep. That's what you painted, isn't it?"

"No, I...I didn't know I was...she just told me to think of her and paint whatever comes to mind."

"When do you want to go back?"


"I'm coming with you."


The night Helena ran away was hot and muggy with not even a single breeze for relief. Regina ran after her, calling her name, but she never saw her again. She barely remembered anything that happened in the year after Helena left. All she remembered was that she kept trying to talk to her but never received an answer. The detectives gave up after six months, saying that they can't find someone who doesn't want to be found and who probably is already out of the county. 

Simon was there when the police came. He was also there a year later when a horrendous car accident claimed Regina's parents and the lives of five more, including an unidentified man burned beyond recognition. Simon remembered her desperation as she begged Helena to come back, her sadness when there was nothing, and her steely determination to free herself from her connection with Helena.

Now, Simon found himself walking toward the house with the blue doors – they had always been blue - where he’d spent many summer days and had been welcomed like he was family. And he realized that as much as he worries that seeing Helena again would tighten the tethers to sadness that he has been painstakingly helping free Regina from, he, too, needed to know where the girl he considered his sister had been.

"There's no one here, Simon. It looks just like it did when I left it."

"Let's walk through the woods. It’s what you painted, not the house. Maybe that's where she is."

They walked deeper into the woods. For Regina, nothing seemed to change after all the years she had been there. She can still point out the exact tree where Helena almost fell, the exact thorny bush that caught her hair. Where is Helena? Where had she been?

"Doesn’t this look like the place you painted?"

Regina looked around. "To the last leaf." She walked forward slowly, trying to feel a sense of Helena, and caught Simon's worried look. "I'm sorry. Am I creeping you out? You're probably starting to think I'm going crazy."

"I've always known you were crazy." He gave her a goofy grin.

She had to laugh. "I know this is not something a normal grown woman would do."

"Look, I may not understand how this thing between you works, but you can't turn your back on Helena."

"She did to me."

"Maybe she had a reason. Why don't we sit down for a minute and rest?"

They sat down against the roots of a large tree. Regina leaned against Simon and closed her eyes.

Oh, goody, you're here already.

Why here? Where are you?

Keep your eyes closed and watch.

Nothing. Then Regina saw a girl of eighteen with a face identical to hers walking briskly through the woods. The stars are out and the sky is beautiful but she didn't see it, her dark eyes glittering with anger. She's an adult. No one can stop her if she wanted to try out her luck in Paris. 

Then the vision shifted and she was running. Not me, Regina thought, Helena. Helena was running. But the images in her head began to jumble until she felt that she was Helena. She felt the metallic taste of fear in her mouth. This is their woods, she was always safe here. But not now, no, not now. Now she has to run. Now, she has to go back to her sister. She felt her foot get caught in a root and the ground came rushing up to her. The flash of a knife. An unbearable pain. Then, nothing.

Regina felt Simon's arm around her, his worried voice cutting through her jumbled thoughts, "Regina, what's wrong?"

Regina shook her head, her eyes still closed.

Why just now?

When I was strong enough to talk to you again, it was the year mom and dad died. I knew you couldn’t handle knowing. Not yet.

Who was it?

No one important. I mean it. Just a drifter, someone who already got what he deserved.

I'm so sorry I've been so angry at you.

Don’t be. I would be if I were you. What’s important is that you’re strong and happy. And that you stay that way. This is the last time we'll talk for a long time. I just needed to let you know what happened.

No, keep talking to me. Please.

And have you risk getting sent to the nut house? Nah. Besides, you have Simon. Always. Tell him I’m happy for you, will you? Oh, and can you do something for me? If I show you where I am, will you find me? Please bring me home.

I will, I promise.

Oh, and another one.

I can’t believe it. You’re still bossy even when dead.

What makes you think death changes people? I’m sure you’ll still be stubborn when you die, which shouldn’t be too soon, okay?

Alright. What’s the other thing?

Live free.

Regina opened her eyes. The sun filtered through the trees, bathing the woods with surreal mystic light. A couple of meters away, a bright ray of light hit the ground.

She took a deep breath, wiped her tears. She gripped Simon's hand.

"I know where she is. Let's bring her home."