Chapter Description: Returning to reality, other things concerns Hannah.
[size=4]Ensis Excor Acer, a mini-novel: "A little girl’s friendly smile."[/size]
Affiliations: E2A, the main story; subject of correction at later point.
Genre: Modern fantasy, drama and super natural.
Recommended age: 15.
Specific warnings: Contains ’lolicon’-elements in later chapters.
An original idea by Marvin Teabag.
Produced by the Braelvemh Court.
’Ensis Excor Acer (fourth draft) copyrighted 2007.
A quick dictionary for readers:
- Gift, it is said each acerina possesses eight different gifts. They are not born with them as other beings may be aspiring cooking, puzzle- or engine whizzes, or even prodigies in certain fields. Rather, acerina must seek to unlock the dormant gifts.
Second Encounter: "Homework, worries and a change of perspective."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hannah couldn’t recall what had happened after the woman disappeared. Everything went
blank. She think she fell asleep on the roof. Hannah pulled out the red shirt from her pants now when the room felt hot.
Still lost in your thoughts, Ann?
“Huh? Wha-!”, Hannah said.
Thump. The chair fell along with her.
“Lin.... Don?t scare me like that. You are almost like Mia when she comes...”
Hannah touched the tender part of the back of her head. She straightened the chair and sat back up.
She looked down at the open books, school books overlapping each other on her desk. homeworks she had barely touched after being home the last few days. Math, bio, cem... History looked like it was much thicker than it needed to be. So much to remember...
Hannah could imagine how numbers mixed with animals and liquids flew around inside her head. Old men in funny suits sitting around a table were talking about how ’jolly’ everything was. What ever they were talking about it sounded like they were making things up with new words.
She felt cold after looking at the barely touched books. It was like a load of ice cream gathered inside her stomach. Choco, strawy and blue-by... Hannah wanted some, but the next second they seemed to be whispering like it was her mom talking:
"When you are done with the homework can you look after Jakie, cheery pie?"
"I called school and said you still didn’t feel well yet. Don?t rush if you don?t feel alright yet. Oh, we?ll have fries with weenies tonight if it is okay with you."
Hannah shuddered at her mother’s nickname on her. Witty or not, it was better then the other one she used. But it still felt so embarrassing when she used it when breakfast or dinner was ready.
And her younger brother was just plain... odd. If it wasn’t for the lost memories after Hannah woke up at the hospital, she was pretty sure ?Jakie’ was adopted.
She rocked the chair, “Little brother is probably taking a kid’s nap right now. Maybe other ten year olds does that. Hopefully something normal about him...”, Hannah mumbled.
The homework looked like it was glaring, almost laughing at her now.
Hannah was glad she kept a small green note book around for both school and daily life, titled ’Hannah Jules’ Back-to-Back’ book?. She jotted down something she didn’t know and looked it up later, sometimes or just asked someone who knew when Lin didn?t know the answer.
Hannah practiced by looking at the notes and tried remembering what they meant after closing the ?B-t-B?. She made cross-notes and word plays on some, which made association easier. The book helped her get around; she learnt pretty quick after repeating it long enough.
Some things she knew about without realising it until after, like how tie her shoes or writing without lifting the pen. Another thing was making fire without a match, even if Hannah was still causing trouble without using the lighter as help first. And entering the phasma were among those things. Lin helped explaining for her sometimes.
Her mother didn’t know about how she could make fire without matches. Hannah had lost count on how many mistakes she had to hide somewhere in the house. A burnt newly bought shirt for example disappeared from her wardrobe one day along with light bulbs and two pairs of socks.
In the B-t-B Hannah had besides written short notes about expressions and words, she had sketched pictures on some things like the teve-remote and what each button did. If someone asked her, she had preferred fewer buttons to remember. She thought it was funny when she looked up the word ?au-to-mo-bile’ after her brother kept using the word now and then.
It was a good thing they just called it ?car’ these days, yet so many parts in something short like a car...
It felt so... strange with so many complicated words and some other things to remember. Something fun was making up short cuts to remember certain things or long words or names.
No matter how much she looked inside the school books now they still looked like they were teasing her when whole new things came on the next pages. She punished them by drawing small animals on the sidelines.
Others had already started school about a month ago, Hannah would have to carry many homeworks when the day was over to catch up. School was fun if it wasn’t for all the long names she had to learn the first days:
"Why call it bio-lo-gy, phy-si-cal e-dju-ca-tion, or hi-sto-ry when you could call them ’bie’, ’jum’ and ’hie’?"
Classmates looked at Hannah when she said this loud in class after class as the teachers introduced them. They pretty much ignored her when she came with the suggestions apart from muffled giggles.
"’P.E’ already exists, Jules.", one said.
“It does?”, Hannah said, happy something was easy to remember she didn’t have to make up herself.
Classmates looked each other a moment before laughing.
“She?s weird, but really funny. Thought I never have heard Jules saying anything before...”
“Yeah, she?s has always been one of those you didn?t notice.”, another said and dunked Hannah in the back.
“Jum? Wait to the others hear this.”
“Good one, now I have one reason to see the coach will croak in no time.”, another said as others agreed over the P.E. teacher.
Hannah laughed with them. Even though she didn’t understand what was so funny about those short cuts. They were easy to remember. She shrugged it off and thought about what the classmates said. They seemed to know things about her she didn’t know.
School seemed less interesting as time passed by when she went on her shorter ’journeys’, not that it was uninteresting. There were many interesting people back in school. Especially those in class even if she knew little about them.
Hannah couldn’t say she had any real friends except one she goes to once in a while. She had looked up his up once in the class book. Hannah took a deep breathe when she was pronouncing it: "Jonathan Gregory Robert Ludvig Sawler".
A boy shorter then most in their class with short brown hair. His baggy clothes made him look fat even if he was skinny.
The name seemed so silly long even without the middle names on him. Hannah once decided to give him a shorter and prettier nickname: ’JonS’. She showed it to him on a notebook in fat red letters, beaming with pride for her cleverness.
JonS took a quick glance at the word on the notebook when he felt someone was staring at him. He grunted something low, looked around for anyone being close, before answering.
"Are you mocking me or what, pyromaniac girl? Who gave you, an annoying flamewaker, the authority, rights and permission to make up something stupid like that? Just show me what you really wanted, the flaws in your chemistry homework... then leave me alone and pester someone else.", JonS whispered, looking away and decided to ignore her by reading his chemistry-book when she still stood there, smiling and seemingly didn’t listen to what he just said.
Silent, almost invisible and rude, but smart. He had been like that ever since they first met by accident at a park. JonS had a odd habit of bringing thick books around in a sack, besides the school books, where ever he went. Books were usually stacked up beside him.
They ?first’ met when Hannah followed a woman who had been left alone by her boyfriend.
She had accidentally heard their fighting at a caf? when she was outside.
Hannah tried to stop her and talk a couple of times about it, but the woman just continued to walk. The woman finally sat down beside JonS who was reading a book, other books were piled up beside him.
The woman looked up now and then on the fountain in front of them. She sighed and started over again. None of them seemed to have been aware of the other sitting there.
Hannah hesitated a couple of times before making up her mind. She only needed a moment before the woman knew she was about to be ki-ki-, Hannah swallowed, -kissed by a stranger on a sunny Saturday.
It isn’t safe, Anne. That boy will see you. Just bide time and wait for the right moment.
She didn’t listen to Lin’s advice, even if someone sat beside the woman, he didn’t look like he was going to notice anything holding a book close to the face. It was possible to run pass him. Hannah couldn’t shake off that the boy seemed familiar somehow.
Hannah took her chance; she ran without looking out, tripped over the book pile. A scream, the woman looked around as something said poof. Hannah had landed on the woman’s knee.
She looked up at the woman as she looked back down at her.
Both stared silent at each other. Hannah tried to say something, but she couldn’t say anything.
She doesn’t move. Do it now, Anne... Kiss her now.
A trembling hand shot up and gripped the sitting woman’s neck. Hannah raised herself up eye to eye with the woman. “S-sorry...”
She moved her lips to the woman’s. “So close...”, Hannah said. The woman had regained enough to start thinking. First instinct was to push off the girl off her knee.
Hannah panicked when she fell, flowers started to burn around the fountain. The flames rose like pillars. The woman looked from the girl to the fountain, then ran from the site shrieking.
It just felt dumb that time when Hannah thought about the accident. She had better control over the fire these days, even if she still preferred the lighter when possible.
The boy sat and read a book titled “The Black Pearl” without looking up during the whole commotion, flipped a page, two pages.
His left hand shot up, the boy mumbled a few words. Snapped two fingers. The pavement around the fountain spouted dirt. It rained over the flames, they died down quickly. The only hint of a previous fire were black stains circling around the fountain.
JonS put a book-marker on the page he was reading and closed the book.
“ So you wasn’t just a dumb, one-eyed, amnesiac schoolgirl...”, JonS said. He looked up and glared Hannah, who still was laying on the ground, and muttered, “... Stupid flamewaker.”
JonS was also an acerina. She just said ’acer’. He was a ’soilkeeper’ who could control anything with earth and also enter others through phasma. Though, what soil had to do with earth was beyond Hannah until JonS corrected her.
Even if he was keen about keeping his distance from her, moving seat place twice, Hannah was as persistent moving closer.
“He need a friend.”, she thought. “That?s why JonS, younger then others in class, is like he is; nobody sees him, even if he’s smart. Well, if he doesn?t cough.”
What JonS had against girls didn’t concern her. When she thought about it. Hannah looked at the lighter in her hand. She flipped it open, closed it and opened it again. "JonS should have something like this too, wonder why he haven’t showed me his yet."
“Wonder why he reads so many hard to read books...”, Hannah said. The pen was dangling in the corner of her mouth when she thought about it. Most of them weren’t something she have seen in class.
Hannah touched the side of her pants; a dangling key chain with seven small holes bedded inside in a circle. Three of them contained glimmering stones. An orange, a green and a slightly cracked one purple.
"I will show him tomorrow; he’s so full of himself just because he got four gifts...”
Hannah smiled and closed her eyes, clenching the key chain. “Heehee, I got one more gift now... JonS won?t even say one word when he sees it. Not one diffy word at all."
It had become dark outside, the clock on her night table was ticking, closer to bedtime. Hannah laid on her bed. The homework books were half-filled.
"Why does it have to be so much homework? It’s not fair...", Hannah said. She waved her biology homework in her left hand.
For some strange reason she could hear JonS mumbling inside her head even if he wasn?t around.
You wonder why you are assigned on all make-up tests and piles of homework stacks your room so many times over? A certain flamewaker seems to be nocturnal... That’s rhetorical, Jules.
Not that it helped when he went on with that speech, nagging it again and again inside her head like he did when she asked after class.
“What does he know? And what?s ?rhe-tori-cal?’“, Hannah said and started to fume. He used that word many times, yet she have forgotten to ask him what it meant.
She got more irritated as the thought grinded over again. It didn’t help when she had looked the word ’nocturnal’. After some thinking she understood JonS meant she was an owl. It was rude of him, she wasn’t a bird.
Hannah put her elbow on the pillow and turned over to pick up a paper covered with red marks.
"JonS is just," she paused and counted down on her fingers, "...Thirteen. Two years younger then me; that makes him a kid. A kid with big words and no red marks!", Hannah said.
Hannah buried in the pillow, another one of JonS’ comments popped up from last week before she stayed home:
You are a busy-bee, Jules... Don’t follow and try help others with their troubles, just feed on and leave them be. Stalking only provides reasons for raising warrants against you. And that in turn means you will be pestering me even more then usual, somehow, I just know it. Worry more about your homework then others.
What does a kid know? If someone is in trouble you should help them, not just look away and just feed. When I help them it feels like I get a bit closer to remember things I have forgotten myself. JonS is just a silly kid. I think he should try be less rude instead of playing so grown up all the time!
Hannah was angry. Her night lamp had been blinking for some time before she started to notice. It pulsated from nearly dieing before coming back again with a blinding flash. Dieing, flashing, dieing... Her eyes followed the bulb’s intensity. She felt the ice cream chunk in her stomach again.
You have a right to be upset of JonS, Anne. Be angry on him. Remember what he said the other day.
"The conclusion of my latest report; girls are just inadequate when it comes to obvious subjects and should be ignored. They are stupid and lazy", Lin said with a voice resembling JonS inside Hannah’s head.
“Stop it!”, Hannah said.
Don’t try to stop it , Anne. Everyone has a right to be angry. Hiding and suppressing it is bad. It hurts you. I can feel it inside you. Let it come out, Anne. You can be angry on that Al too, she didn’t just try to hurt you with words...
"Those flames shows what you deny with words. You want to take my life, just like I have taken others before.", Lin whispered now with the woman’s voice.
Hannah shook her head. "No..."
"Don’t deny yourself, you liked this game as much as I did... somewhere deep in your head"
"Stop it, Lin!"
Let it out, Anne. All of it...
"... You love seeing me raising again and again."
"Why are you doing this?"", Hannah said. She started to cry with mixed anger and confusion.
"... Just to burn me yet again so I can raise."
"No...", Hannah said.
"It thrills you behind those fake tears...”
"STOP IT!", Hannah said out aloud.
Ka-poh. The bulb exploded, splinter scattered around on her bed and on the floor. Hannah jumped back and fell of her bed and landed on her back.
"No-not again... The light bulb. I thought it wouldn?t happen like this again."
She sobbed, tried to wipe them off with her sleeve.
"Why did you make me do it, Lin?"
Hannah laid on the floor without moving she felt tired after the outburst.
When she opened her eyes again she saw a small purple dot hovering close above her eyes. It went slowly towards her nose and then up to her forehead. Hannah stared at the dot.
“What... is.... that... thing?!”, she whispered.
The dot flashed and grew sharp edges a moment before returning to its round form like it didn’t like be called a "thing".
Hannah tried to touch it with a fingertip. The dot flew around her fingertip in a spiral pattern and avoided getting touched.
She tried to grab it with her hand. The purple dot continued avoiding her efforts while dancing before halting right next to where Hannah could touch without sitting up. It darted, made a lap around her head and found its way inside her mouth when she looked around to spot the dot.
“Huh? No, sto-”, Hannah said. “Ha ha...” She braced and hugged herself while uttering a protest. "Not... fun... ny-ahah..."
It felt like something was jumping inside her stomach. Like something tickled her on the inside, then switched to outside over and over again. The girl shone a feeble purple light without noticing it.
Her hands started to retract inside the sleeves bit by bit. Fingers getting smaller. Hannah on the other side had to strained herself just to breathe from the tickling as her feet started to get swallowed by the pants.
"Aah! Stop it, you stup-", Hannah said and rolled over again. Her eyes got wet from the ’attack’. It became exhausting laughing like this when she didn’t want to laugh in the first place. She was suppose to be angry. Somehow it felt like many hands had joined up and rubbed her everywhere, both inside and outside.
The tickling stopped for a moment. Hannah inhaled, tried to understand what was happening.
There was nothing to laugh about when nothing was funny right now!
She had other things to do; homework, being angry on JonS... Hannah didn’t have time to count more when it started all over again with the tickling.
Where that little purple ball come from was beyond Hannah after she figured out it was inside her, doing the tickling.
As it went on, her small chest slowly deflated. The rest of Hannah’s upper body swelled quicker under the shirt like someone had punctured her. Legs twisted and grew smaller, as she went back up and laid on her back.
The struggle ended before she knew it when the tickling started to wear off along with the purple light. Hannah sat up.
"What... was... that...?"
She somehow felt refreshed like after one night’s good sleep, and still weary. Her clothes sagged a bit when she thought about it. Wiped her face with a sleeve-clothed hand.
"Lin, do you what that was? That little purple thing? Lin?", Hannah said and looked around in the room for it. No answer. She tried asking again a couple of times, but her friend didn’t reply back.
Hannah tried to stand up, felt dizzy as she used her sleeve-clothed hands to support herself from falling. Something was odd, felt odd and looked odd when she thought about it... Yet, Hannah couldn’t put a finger on it when she rubbed her chin. The hand felt soft like her shirt.
It had to wait for now; Lin seemed to not want to answer now for some reason. Maybe she felt sorry for saying those things. And she still had some homework to do. Hannah took a step towards her desk, and tripped on her trouser-leg when she moved her other foot. A loud crashing sound when she tripped on her trousers and fell flat on the floor.
"....Ou-ou-ou.", Hannah whimpered and touched her forehead. It hurt... As far as she knew there wasn’t anything on the floor she could trip on. Hannah looked around and found herself staring her rubbing hand; it was hiding under her sleeve. The heat had disappeared from her body and got replaced by cold, not like ice cream. Her eyes grew wide along with her mouth trying to form words.
Hannah stood up again when her friend didn’t answer. "This can’t happen, shirts don’t get bigger especially when you have them on. Smaller, not bigger."
Her mother had told her about this. Clothes could get smaller after the first washing in the washer, and if she turned the button too far. But nothing about clothes getting bigger. Hannah was sure her room wasn’t filled with water and no wash powder. And definitely nothing of the green apple-scented in that big bottle.
She had tumbled like laundry did, but the rest... This was really odd. She decided to go ask her mother if she was home yet. Another crash, Hannah found herself on the floor. She rubbed her bottom this time.
"The pants too?", Hannah whispered. They were big on her, too big. Wide, yellow-whitish trousers. She decided to leave them be on the floor, along with the underwear, as she discovered none of them being her size anymore.
Hannah opened her door and went out to the hall dressed only in her shirt. The hall floor was clad simple with a long red and blue carpet. Two dressers with lamps on them. Framed photos on the wall depicting two children, a girl and a boy, as they grew older, along with one picture of a mother and the two children sitting in front of her, smiling.
At the end of the hall Hannah passed a mirror before she was going down the stairs. She took a quick glance on the mirror and stopped.
Hannah shook at the revelation, yet her eyes confirmed it; In the mirror she saw a small girl dressed in a large striped shirt with a small name-tag on the side. It looked like the nightshirt was too large for the little girl. Her cheeks were rosy, the hair was light brown with two big hairclips, red and blue, crossed over a whirl on the right side.
"It’s that little girl from the cabin, inside the pocketmirror... But how? I helped her... Lin!", little Hannah yelled.
She looked around, hoping Lin would answer this time. Time passed by and no answer.
There was something familiar about this mirror-girl. She inside that mirror had blue eyes like the sky, Hannah remembered this well back then when she spotted the mirror-girl the first time.
But this one inside the mirror had green eyes. One of her eyes was behind a white eye-patch, just like Hannah herself. Yet, this one was loosely strapped.
Hannah looked up again on the mirror. The mirror-girl stood there inside the mirror, looking back as clueless as she looked.
A another cold feeling gathered inside her stomach. Hannah’s eyes widened. She touched her chest several times with the sleeve-covered hands while looking on the mirror-girl doing the same.
She tried touching again and again. Hannah’s eyes grew wider.
"My a-cups... NOT AGAIN!"
She started to cry and snorted.
It couldn’t be... What had happened before was something she didn’t want to see again.
Everything came back again. Being ill on a snowy mountain and getting smaller... fighting against a soon to become friend... the mirror-girl’s grip on others getting smaller along with her.
Hannah couldn’t deny this anymore; she was a kid... again. It felt embarrassing being little again. She tried to gulp down a thick gooey thing in her throat. Her eyes had dried up, she couldn’t squeeze one more tear.
“Why did it happen again? Why?”, Hannah said low.
Last time she could “un-kid” herself by helping the mirror-girl. But what could she do now?
Thoughts went back to how it happened in the first place. Rolling on the floor while getting tickled, the argument with Lin, homework... She couldn’t figure it out.
“What happened to that little thing...?”, Hannah said.
Something else struck her, more immediate then worrying about the dot. What would her mom said if she found her like this? If she found out about this, then what about the rest? No more journeys, no more memo-hunt. It felt worse if she couldn’t help others.
First she had to hide somewhere safe and think about how to fix this before her mom spotted her. Hannah was about to take one step down the stairs when she felt a tug on the over-sized sleeve.
She froze and looked around, tracing what held her. It was a blonde boy somewhat taller then her in a pyjamas, rubbing his eyes with the other hand.
No. Not him... Not now.
It was her younger brother Joakime, ’Jakie’ as mom called him. Usually he was a kid, smaller then Hannah. But now he looked so big for a kid. He was a head taller then her now, perhaps more. She tried to come loose by pulling.
Jakie first looked at the little girl’s face, then on the tag in yellow letters: Hannah.
The boy beamed and pointed at her. ”...Sis.”
Little Hannah who was trying to shake him off her sleeve stopped for a moment.
”Huh?”, Hannah said.
He couldn’t have figured it out already, not her brother of all people. Hannah pulled harder. Jakie, who still held her sleeve, giggled at the little girl’s effort.
”Mommy brought home a li’l sis when Jakie napped.”, Jakie said.
He smiled and looked down again at the girl.
”Li’l sis, peppy... most have slept a long nap.”, Jakie said when Hannah went on with the fruitless struggle. ”Now Jakie have many sis’es. One, zwei, green, five, orange, automobile...”, Jakie said and counted on his fingers with one hand. He stopped and looked over to Hannah’s open door.
”Big sis! What comes after?”, Jakie said.
”I’m not... your little... sister! And it’s ’two’ after one, you dummy...”, Hannah said between each tug and raised a hand in objection. She caught herself off-guard, her voice sounded so odd.
”Li’l sis smart like big sis. She can count well too. Big sis never plays with Jakie like li’l sis does. She always busy like mommy. Wonder why?”, Jakie said and looked around in the hall, his face was strained like he was in deep thought.
Why? Because you are a kid, bro. An odd kid on that, and I am not playing with a kid, because I am not a kid myself!
”Let me go! Let me go now, Jakie!”, Hannah said pleading with a louder voice.
She tried to pull harder, but found her kid brother still being the stronger force. Jakie sat down, still holding Hannah in a tight grip when she fell back on her behind. He patted her on the head.
”Soft hair... Li’l sis play with Jakie? We can comb hair and make it go up. And then play with automobiles. Li’l size can have the purple one...”
The little girl shook her head and looked away like she was shy.
”No way... I’m not a kid.”, Hannah mumbled. ”Wait. Bro?”
”’Big’ bro, li’l sis. Jakie biggest, but big sis bigger, like big apple.”, Jakie said.
”If you let me go we can play later, okay?”
”Can big sis play too?”
”Hmm... Okay, but only if you let me go, ’big’ bro.”
Jakie nodded and dropped Hannah’s sleeve. The little girl stood up and hurried down the stairs. Their mother could be home any minute now. She had to get from the house until she could fix this somehow...
End of second encounter.