It felt like I was fighting myself like my body had become my worst enemy. My mind was a murk of pain that an object all of a sudden seemed to pierce. It jabbed at me like a blade, a malicious face behind it. Eventually, the object parted my lips but couldn’t get through the barrier of my clenched teeth. I was safe.
The owner of the malicious face reached through the murk with its other hand, pinching my nose and making it difficult to breathe. Eventually, I was forced to open my mouth to get a gulp of air, and as I did, the object plunged into my mouth before withdrawing again, leaving something on my tongue. Whatever it was, it tasted okay, and my instincts told me to chew and swallow it before the object returned to attack me again.
I was assaulted by the malicious presence several more times. I fought it bravely each time it forced the object into my mouth. Oddly, by the seventh assault, the murk around me began to clear and I felt like someone had just lit a torch in my mind. That’s when I looked up and saw that the person assaulting me didn’t look malicious at all. She was smiling.
“Quite a stubborn one you picked up, Black,” the redheaded girl said. “But look at that, you finished it all.”
The Kiddie Catcher looked down at me, eyes as dark as his navy blue jacket. “You calling someone else stubborn is enough to praise him, Red.”
Red lifted the bowl of porridge to show me, the assaulting object revealing itself to be a spoon. A great sense of accomplishment accompanied the clearing the murk in my mind. I couldn’t help but mirror her expression, it was just such a charming smile.
“Welcome back to the living.” And that’s how I met Mika after my arrival at the orphanage.
The orphanage itself was a series of lonely abandoned buildings on the edge of a small village known as Lonanora, a backwater dwelling. What was once an educated clan where the Lona lived here, one of the few villages on this side of the plate that the Ologists had apparently visit years before.
I would learn this a year after I had arrived. Until then I was content to grow up with other orphans and Mika, puzzling out the broken remains of my new home with only speculations of how we arrived here. The older children like Mika took care of the young, and besides some of the adults from the village, our only contact was with the Kiddie Catcher, Black, returning every moon to brings us new brothers or sisters.
For seven years I stayed by Mika’s side, until the day she disappeared.