10 Premonition

The universe was vast.

Space was empty.

In that emptiness, lay a threat.

But perhaps- perhaps the threat was closer than one could imagine.

"You know-" The girl looked up at the sky- the blue sky. Her feet dangled from the swing as she went back and forth. "I sometimes wonder, if we're alone." There were some clouds. White and fluffy.

She was with her mother.

Trees- the smell of forests.

A waterfall just below the cliff was making quite the wondrous sound.

There weren't any houses nearby- except for the two-story building the two were staying at.

"You've been on that swing all day. Let's go in." The girl's mother was tall. Skin fair and pink, eyes purple-red. And when she held her hands behind her back, giving her daughter a disapproving stare, she almost looked like a mannequin- almost.

They were atop a hill. A large hill.

Trees were everywhere. Some bees were hovering in the air- bees the size of a fist.

"Can I have Mello?" She loved Mello.

"You can have Mello but only if you promise to finish that architectural history lesson." Her mother's voice was kind and sweet.

Sometimes she wondered if it that voice was really-

"But I don't wanna know the past." She stopped swinging and shrunk a little. "I just want to know more about space and-" And she paused. The last she heard about her father was three years ago when suddenly he went into space and never came back. "Dad…" She mumbled.

She was young, too young perhaps. Just like her mother, she had light pink skin and red eyes. Though, unlike her mother, her eyes were more like rubies.

"Let's go inside."

The two of them went inside the building. A rather black and white place.

This was a good planet. A planet with vast forests and a habitable atmosphere. Animals, plants, waterfalls, oceans, and even rare elements. There was a plentiful source of everything here, on this planet.

A plentiful source of everything other than people.

Only two people were on this planet- and both of them lived on this hill, in this building.


After finishing her red Mello with delight, the girl went over to the study room and put on a helmet. The sweet taste gradually turned sour in her mouth.

And she wondered, 'Why did I even like it in the first place?'

The helmet took her to another space where she and a lot of other children like her were connected via the mind program- a program developed especially for long-distance learning.

The class was prerecorded but she could interact with the materials and learn efficiently.

'Is there a point to showing people I can't talk to?'

The kids were also just for show. In fact, this was just a flimsy way of pretending like they were all at the same place. All their responses were also prerecorded. The girl knew this wasn't real. She knew this was just a farce. She'd already figured it out.

This planet- this place, was a prison. And her father ran away- abandoned her and her mother.

Eventually, she finished class, learned some history, and went towards the kitchen where her mother was cooking something.

"So, I've been thinking." She had her hands behind her back, her body slightly swaying.

She'd turn fourteen this month. She'd been wondering for a long while…


"I haven't even said anything!"

"No, you're not going out there." Calm voice.

"But mom! It's been three years. THREE YEARS! He's not coming back!"

Her mother looked back. Large eyes- purple. Teeth showing: clenching hard. Creases on her forehead.

The girl staggered a step back. Her heart raced. It was almost as though the blood from her veins had drained. Breathing became a chore and she had to remind herself that she had to breathe for the sake of living.

Her mother just stared, not saying a word. She was cutting something with a knife, she was making preparations for dinner.

The sun was setting. It was afternoon and the golden rays came through the window, illuminating her mother.

Like an angel?

No- a demon.

But she- her mother just stared. She just stood there… like a mannequin.

"I'll… I'll go study." The girl- she got out of here, ran to the study room, and locked the doors.


She'd seen her mother like that before.

And whenever she was like that, reason was dead.

She tried looking through the hole in the door and again, staggered a step back.

Her mother was there.

Just outside the door, just standing there.

Like a mannequin.

The knife in her hand.

But she knew her mother wouldn't be able to come through. She knew she was safe… for now.

'But how long will this last?'

She'd been careful for the last three years. She'd been too careful. She'd been good, pretended to be obedient, and yet, even so, she had to be always vigilant. Always.

Was it a disease? Was it a mental illness? Was it something else?

She didn't know.

But she knew one thing for a fact, whenever her mother stared at her like that- her mother, was her mother no more.

She'd eventually go back to normal- she always did.


Knock! Knock!

"Rin, it's dinner time…"

The young girl- Rin, opened the door.

It'd been over three hours, enough time for her mother to go back to normal. And her mother wouldn't have talked to her in that state, so the fact that she was calling her and by her name no less, meant she was back.

But the moment Rin saw that smile- the moment she saw her face, Rin prompted to close the door. Her heart again quivered and sped close to the manufacturing limit. 'She's not back!'

It was an automatic door.

And it didn't close.

After all, her mother had her legs planted inside the room. Her legs were being crushed- and yet- she didn't care. Her smile was just as kind. Just as beautiful.

Just as terrifying. "It's time for dinner." And in her hand, was still the knife.

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