Chapter 1


"Say darling, have you seen my tail, it looks like I've lost it." questioned a voice.
"No Mr. Frog. I don’t think you even have a tail." I replied confused, thinking that maybe I got that wrong.
"No…? Hmm… are you sure? I think I had it yesterday." its deep black eyes scanned the place while it spoke.
"I believe that was the koi-fish. It does have a similar pattern to your back." I paused in wonder, and continued "If I remember correctly, it was eating one of the crumbs you had on your back." That’s it, now I was sure.
"Oh… is that so? Well I wish I had more crumbs. I fancied the way it looked on me." he spoke and gave it his best to see his back, but sadly he wasted time, there was no way he could see his back. I watched him try a little while longer until he froze, swished his head back in the blink of an eye. Holding his three-fingered hands just above his belly, he looked me straight in the eyes. His pupils got wider as he pressed his eye lids closer and zoomed into my eyes. He leaned forward and asked:
"The Koi-fish looked good on me, didn't it?" his voice was deeper, he didn't move - patiently waiting for my answer. Horror grew in his eyes as they widened up, very impatient, about to blow up, but he didn't intend to move until I answered.
"I suppose it did." I answered very simply and looked him straight in the eyes.
"Oh! Good! I'll make sure to find another Koi-fish!" he said in a cheerful voice and moved back - more like hopped away into the darkness. It didn't take long till it was completely silent. I sat on one of the bigger stones; the water was perfectly still where he previously stood.
Now that I think about it, how could I ever see him, it was completely dark here. That's right, he shined; not a lot though, just enough to be seen.
A couple of long minutes passed and the koi-fish began to appear. My feet were dipped in the water and I wore nothing but a knee-length, vanilla-cream color summer dress. I could see the little sparkles in the distance, they became clearer with each time I blinked and soon they were all around. The shining orange-ish-white koi-fish swam around than past me. Some stopped by to see what that non stone matter in the water was - they seemed to find my feet rather amusing. A couple of bigger males gathered the courage to jump out of the water. A truly beautiful sight, that was. They jump quite high and when they do, they illuminate even more than underwater; the light spread to infinity. The sea spread to infinity too, or so I thought.
The koi-fish swam away and I was alone again. The remaining waves from the fish still washed up my legs and the rock I sat on, but soon that died out too and it saw silent again. The shallow water became colder and more dangerous - or so it seemed since nothing bigger than a 30cm fish could swim here.
Time didn't exist here; there was no sunrise and no sunset; there was no change of seasons or weather for that matter the little life that was here was stuck in some sort of time, and so was I with it.
What I would call hours passed - sometimes even days - before Mr. Frog or the Koi-fish would pass by. In the meantime I would find myself dreaming of the world I once lived in. I found myself longing for the sun and the night stars, the smell of boiled and burned milk and the touch of a cold pillow. I dreamed that I dreamed - how silly of me.
I dreamed that I dream of what lives on the other side of those 4m tall metal gates. I dream of travelers and merchants: of housewives and blacksmiths: towns and roads. I used to live in a glorious mansion - built centuries before I was born. I had my breakfast in the glass house in summer and spring and in my bedroom in autumn and winter. If I remember correctly I had toast, jam and warm milk and the chef of the kitchen would be furious every morning, he used to murmur behind our backs: “If I had my way she wouldn't be eating that unhealthy jam every morning! Oh! That child is not eating her proteins! Oh, what will I do?!" he'd hold his bold head and paste around in pain and eventually the murmurs grew into cries. He was an adorable elderly man.
Oh! I remember! One summer, my oldest sister was getting married and I "kidnapped" the dress (that’s how I used to say it), I ran down the grand decorated halls of the house in the wedding gown yelling " I'm getting married!" over and over again; and I remember the entire house attendants and stuff was running behind me - all dying of fear that something might happen to the lovely white dress.
I opened my eyes and it was all dark again. My breath was short and quick from the excitement of my thoughts and dreams. In the silence I could hear my heart beat, it slowed down as I lay on the cold rock. I lay on my back, my arms and legs were spread as if I were making an angel in the snow. I lay there, looking up, hoping to see the stars.

- Iwa K.