It was there, and then it was gone. It- her life- would never be the same, as she would never see her family, friends, or home again.
Soon, he would be dead and gone. His body would decay, but his spirit would live on in someone else’s magic. He would never have to see this world or the people in it ever again.
She had always known that she was different. Odd little things about her started showing themselves when she was a child- she could feel other peoples’ emotions from as young as three years old. As she got older, she started sensing thoughts, which she could use to her advantage in easily making friends and answering questions correctly in school. Unfortunately, the world was a cruel one, and soon rumors started spreading about this girl who could always finish a stranger’s sentence. That was when she started feeling that this gift was really a curse.
When he first arrived on the island, he knew that his life was going to be different. For the first time in his life, he had a mentor, a guide, someone who cared for him. Then odd little things started happening- he was being pushed more and more to use his power. At first, he didn’t really notice it, but as the days went by he realized that he had been brought here for a reason- and it wasn’t a good one. This realization gave him the feeling that this gift was really a curse.
Everything worsened from there. Since she could pretty much read a person’s thoughts, she always knew what they were saying about her behind her back. She couldn’t eat, or sleep, or learn knowing what was being said about her, but she was powerless to stop it because her tormentors would only use any arguments that she made against her.
Everything worsened from there. Since his mentor could read his thoughts, he knew that he couldn’t pretend that he wasn’t curious about why he was here. He couldn’t trust himself to think, or feel, or dream knowing that he had no privacy, but he was powerless because he couldn’t plot an escape without it being known to his mentor.
Her parents didn’t know how to help her. They knew that no one would believe them if they said that she was magical, so when the guidance counselor at her school called them to inform them that she had come into the office crying, they knew that the only solution would be to pull her out of school.
Then he found help in the form of a young man. He was surprised at first since he had thought that it was only him and his mentor on the island but soon embraced the fact that they weren’t the only ones. He told the man everything that he couldn’t say inside his head, and when the man believed him, he felt relief for the first time in weeks.
Her life was better for a few years until one night when she awoke inside her mother’s dream. When she told her parents what she had seen the next morning, they once again had no idea what to do. They searched and searched, trying to find some way to cure or tone down her magic, but they couldn’t find anything. Then they started searching through stories, legends, and superstition, testing every way on her until she broke.
His life was better for a few months until one morning when they had visitors. It was the man that he had spoken to, dressed as a king and escorted by the royal guards. He was happy that this man was the king because it meant that he would finally be saved. Unfortunately, the world was a cruel one, and instead of saving him the king made him sign a contract that stated that he would do anything that the royal family wanted to, until the day he died.
Then, at sixteen, she gained her final power: being able to make illusions and choose who experienced them. She returned to school, where she was able to fit in because she could create the illusion that she was a perfectly normal person. On days when she didn’t want to live in her own world, she could easily go anywhere and do anything that she wanted to, without the fear that had accompanied her in her younger years. She believed that the world was a beautiful place where anything could happen and that she could get her happily ever after, just like everyone else did.
Then, at sixty-five, he felt it: a child had been born with magic, and would come to begin her training when she turned eighteen. The king visited him that day to announce that his long-awaited son, the prince, had been born. With that announcement, he felt hopeful for the first time in years. He could make illusions for the prince, ones that would make him want to act kindly towards everyone, and he would make sure that when the child arrived here, she would feel the warmth that he wanted to share with her.
Now she was here, on an island in the middle of an unknown land that she had couldn’t escape. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to swim far enough to get out of the kingdom, and she didn’t have access to a boat.
Now he was here, at the time of his life where he would finally be able to make his escape. He started off her training as a game, just as his mentor had with him, until the game turned into a routine: yoga in the morning as the sun came up to give her the largest amount of energy for her magic, then magic exercises from high noon until the sky started changing color.
She was clumsy with both her body and her magic at first- she would often shake and wobble while doing yoga, and she couldn’t control her powers as well as her mentor could his. Worst of all, she was often on the verge of passing out by the end of the day from using her power so much.
After many days, he saw her improving. In the mornings, she was just as graceful and balanced as he was, and he was reminded of his younger sister, who had always wanted to be a ballerina. She would dance and dance, that is until the day that their parents were taken from them. He tried to keep those memories out during the morning so they wouldn’t distract him, but in the afternoon he let them run wild. That was what his mentor had done wrong.
She looked forward to each afternoon when she got to peer into the mind of her mentor. She saw so many memories, each appearing to her as a little piece of frozen time. Every day, she learned something new about him, and soon they established a bond so strong that she had almost forgotten about the life that she had left behind. Almost.
Even though she wasn’t as homesick as she had been when she had first arrived, he knew that her own frozen pieces of time were still inside of her- they just never melted while the sun was out. Every night, he heard her screams as they burned her from the inside out, leaving scars that would make sure that she never forgot. But when dawn came, she was fine and acted as if nothing had happened in the dark of night.
The dark of night. She shivered whenever those words ran through her brain. The horrors that she experienced during the night were terrifying. She tried to hide what was happening, but that only seemed to work during the short daylight hours. She wondered why she even tried to hide the fact that they were happening since she was sure that he knew about them, but she did it anyways.
Weeks past and he knew that time was growing short. The new king would be here soon, carrying the contract that she must sign. He had no idea what would happen if she didn’t, but his mentor had given him the impression that it was very bad.
The sunrise was beautiful that day. As she crawled out of her sleeping bag, she realized that the nightmares hadn’t bothered her at all the night before. She smiled as she started her daily yoga routine, but in the back of her mind, she was wondering why this day felt so different from the ones before it. When her mentor never came out to join her, she knew that something was wrong.
He knew what- or who- was coming, but he wanted to let her deal with them herself.
A man walked up to the house just after she finished her routine. She heard his footsteps and quickly ran to the front door to meet him.
He could tell that the prince had grown up to be very different from his father. He could feel kindness and gentleness radiating off of the man, and the feeling of warmth surrounded him.
The man introduced himself to her as the King and told her that he had something for her to sign. It was a contract, which read:
I, Enaya Montano, will hereby follow all commands and orders of King Oliver. This may include using my magic for both good and evil in order to make sure that the kingdom remains stable and prosperous. The only time that I will be allowed to refuse these commands and orders is if they would threaten my health, the health of the kingdom, or the health of my mentee once they are born. I vow to protect this kingdom and give to it the full abilities of my magic for as long as I may live on this Earth. Until that time comes, I will be bound to this contract and will not stray from any of its words or their meanings.
She skimmed over the words, not really reading them, then signed the paper and handed it back to the King. Then she took a good look at the man. He didn’t look to kingly- he wore normal clothing, and no guards traveled with him. He did not appear to be wealthy and had a dashing smile on his face. She was sad when he left to return to his palace.
He could feel within him that it was time. He walked outside and stood next to the ancient tree that protected the transfer of magic and took deep breaths, trying to calm himself in order to prepare for what would happen next.
She was the only one to hear his final word- vadish- and when she did, she came running. She could feel that he was panicking, but she could also feel something else- it was like his mind was slowly but surely slipping away from the grasp of her powers. She could see his magic flowing through the air between his body and the tree until it had been completely drained from his being. Then his body went limp, and she realized what he had been thanking her for. She started sobbing, not because her mentor was dead, but because of the King that had charmed his way into getting her to sign the contract that would one day take away her life, the same contract that had taken away that of her mentor. It was there, and then it was gone.
Author’s Note: This story was written for the monthly short story challenge on The Sims Forums. This month’s theme was “I Open at the Close”, so we had to start and end our stories with the same sentence.