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The Forbidden Tales of Winter and Spring


The Forbidden Tales Autumn


The Forbidden Tales Autumn


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

The Forbidden Tales Autumn

By: Chris Cahill


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any mean, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the author.

This derivative work was based on The Twilight Saga; Harry Potter Series; The 3 idiots; Underworld; The 39 Clues; and Glitch.

Book design and illustration by Chris Cahill Background image cover courtesy of: www.pentaxforums.com Hi readers, I'm planning to apply a Copyright on this book. Since it is derived from a number of books and movies, the reader must be able to testify that it is different. Please help me by simply giving your review of the book. Thanks!


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Dedication “I thank all those people who gave this book a chance. I hope you enjoyed it and in return, I promise to make it better. And so, you join me again in the second book of the series. This is all for you.” “To Andrew, the moments we spent was short-lived, but it was all worth it. None but ourselves ever knew the golden swirling love we’ve shared. Now, I want to tell everyone a little portion of our story.”


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Contents Prologue ..................................................................................................... 1 Part 2: Autumn .................................. Error! Bookmark not defined. Chapter 1: Welcome Back! ................................................................. 3 Chapter 2: Hiltrud .............................................................................. 25 Chapter 3: Murder............................................................................. 44 Chapter 4: Aether ..............................................................................64 Chapter 5: The Armored General .................................................. 73 Chapter 6: Storm ................................................................................ 93 Chapter 7: Frigus Exercitus .......................................................... 105


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Prologue At some point in our life, there’ll come a time when everything will just collapse upon us. Every happiness, laughter, and sunshine will seem to fade slowly, leaving us with nothing but the thoughts that’ll torment our minds. It seems very clear that there’s no way to escape this nightmare. But from my experiences, I’ve learned that you are not in the light if you don’t see your shadow. You cannot see much you can give, until you’re left with nothing. You cannot know much further you can go, until you’re left on your knees. Giving up is always an option, but not my choice. To honor my darkness is the same to recognize who I truly am. People spend their entire lives trying to dispel their inner demons, but I don’t. Because someday, that very thing that you’re afraid of might be the only thing that can save you from your worst.

- M. D. C.

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Part 2: Autumn

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Chapter 1: Welcome Back!

I

love you…” I whispered to the Gandlevery as I sprinkled some water to it. The orange furry flower glistened under the warm rays of the sun. I looked around the small garden

outside my apartment. It made me so happy to savor the scenery: Countless flowers, shrubs, and few trees that made me proud of myself. As I walked around, my hand brushed against them as I hummed my favorite song, What a wonderful world. It was the end of May and the flowers were all in bloom. I entered through the backdoor at the kitchen, put down the green water sprinkler, carefully removed the yellow gloves, and washed my hands with the strawberry-scented soap. It’s only a few weeks before school starts and I have to leave this apartment, second years are required to take dormitories inside the campus. Before, I kept wondering why there are only ten students in the B.P. house. No sophomores, juniors, nor seniors. A few days after the previous school year ended, Mayrielle said that our house is special. Students of the house will have to graduate first before they are filled-in again by new students. “So, our house gets new students every four years?” I blurted at her. “You don’t understand.” she said. It took her a few seconds to figure out how to say the next words. “We’re the second batch of the house. The ones who graduated their a few years back, well…nevermind.”

3


The Forbidden Tales Autumn And after she said that, I pushed no further into learning more about the history of our house. There was a soft knocking on the door. “Just a minute!” I quickly looked at myself at the mirror and brushed my brown untidy hair as I headed towards the door. The door creaked as I opened it, a tall man with a medium built body stood in the doorway. It was Xin, he was wearing a gray shirt and faded blue jeans. He was smiling as we entered the living room. This was his first time to visit my lonely apartment. “Good thing you found my apartment.” “I nearly got lost.” he confessed. “I’ve got news for you.” he said, trying to suppress his joy. “You seem too happy about it.” I giggled as I sat down beside him in the small plush green sofa. He clasped his hands onto mine’s and stared at me, “You’re going to meet my father soon, I hope.” Woah. Wait. Time out! I’m going to meet one of the richest person in the world? The grandson of Adanac University’s founder? The man who owns the most prestigious school in the world? “I-I-uh-uh…” I exhaled. I cleared my throat and tried to search for words. I looked at the ceiling fan that was whirling and faintly humming above us. He definitely noticed my reaction. “It’ll be fine.” he added. “What i-if he doesn’t…like me?” “Don’t say that, he will. Trust me.”

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn I involuntarily crinkled my nose and stared at the floor. “I-I’m not sure about this.” I twiddled my thumb. “Anyway…” I started to brush off the topic. I inhaled deeply before continuing, “Last night, I-I had a dream… about my… p-y-you.” I quickly changed the last word. I didn’t want him to be worrying about me and I don’t wanna talk about what I dreamt last night, anymore. “Me?” He gave a short burst of laugh. Then, he gave me that doubtful look. I kept my face straight. “Strawberry?” he sniffed. “Ah, yeah. It’s my uhmm… soap.” I then remembered the paper that was pinned-up on my clipboard hanging next to the fridge. Next to it is my new electronic I.D. and another new copy of the school brochure. My new textbooks were upstairs, untouched. “Oh, I almost forgot!” I quickly handed him the paper and leaned casually at the counter. His eyes carefully drifted from the top to bottom of the paper. “It’s all pretty good! You just messed up with Potions, though.” He said sheepishly. “Classes starts on June, by the way.” “Ugh! That dung Olympi’s unfair to me.” I wailed.

5


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

We did a lot of things while he was there, he taught me how to cook his favorite dishes, Tonkatsu and Omurice. We imagined all the places we’d visit one day, Paris, Korea, Canada and even the hidden places. He, then, helped me clean my little kitchen; we cleaned and sorted the pots, the utensils, and swept the area. After, we sat down at the sofa and didn’t talk for a few minutes. “I-I’m e-exhausted…” I panted. “You don’t seem tired.” “I uhh... I’m just used to doing heavy things.” He gazed fixedly at the ceiling.

6


The Forbidden Tales Autumn Suddenly, a thunder echoed from miles away. “I should get going, there’s a storm coming.” he whispered as we headed out to the door. “Don’t forget to pack an umbrella.” he shouted as he ran back to his car. The driver was in there waiting all along. He waved goodbye as the car slowly revved up and drove away. I leaned casually at the doorway and stared mindlessly at the zooming gray clouds overhead. Faint thunders are rumbling and winds are whispering. A sudden wave of fear crippled over me, this was like the one I dreamt last night. Stop it. It’s a dream. A year earlier, I moved in to this small town Adanac, a town of clouds and rain. Here is where I met Xin Mason, the most attractive boy I have ever seen in my entire life. I go to Adanac University, the most prestigious school in the world and houses many of the child prodigies. I had quite an extraordinary adventure in saving one of the school’s valuable from one of their teachers, which nearly cost me my life. And now I’m starting my second year, I can’t wait to go back there. I stared once more at the dark horizon and closed the door. June 17. Saturday. As I lifted my red luggage out of the van, I looked at the large campus in front of me. The creamy colors, the hedges, the black Iron Gate, the turrets and few towers, and the people that enter and exit the gates. “We’re here.” said Michaela as she bid goodbye to the driver while clutching a purple handbag along with her black trolley. “Yeah. Thanks for the ride.” “You’re welcome.”

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn As we entered the gates, a scanning machine hangs above us that scanned our new electronic school IDs. Next to us was the school’s security guards watching the monitors as it displayed our name, picture, and our house. They were wearing gray polo shirts and black slacks, along with a nightstick and a pistol tucked in to their duty belts. They nodded seriously at us to proceed. “Since when did the security got tighter?” she asked as we went straight pass the admin hall. Our old classroom sat there, with a gray atmosphere. The chairs sat atop at each other, and the windows were still clean. A few feet ahead, the Umka House came into view, there were two towers on each side of the decagon-shaped building. The bulky students, wearing blue workout clothes, stared right past us. Just then, a long roofless vehicle drove in front of us, it was full of luggage and the crest of the Kabra House is printed on them. “That’s the school coaster, I think there are three of them here. It’s a free ride.” said Michaela earnestly. “Too bad all of them is full.” I said glumly. The school stadium was, I think, the second largest building aside from the Kabra Houses. Its foundation was made from white bricks, there were hundreds of chairs around the large grassy oval field. They were grouped and colored accordingly to the five houses in the campus, with the Black Panthers having the smallest space. We continued walking to the Canis Lupus House, where I met Professor Ocampo and told me about the Order. Obviously, it is the most beautiful crafted building around. “Uhmm…Michaela?” I asked breathlessly. “Yeah?”

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Is there, by any chance, you have a relative in the campus?” For a second, she looked at me sharply. But then, her face softened as her eyes drifted to the building beside us. “Oh…Y-yeah. My mother. She’s a-uhmm… the Arts and Music Supervisor.” she answered with a doubtful tone. The wolves kept walking past their gates, there were some who were painting on some of the easels around their fountain, next to their building was the School Garden which was being taken care of by them. The Kabra Houses came into view and what caught my eye was the large fountain in the middle. I remembered what happened last year when Professor Trent turned out to be someone else. There was an underground chamber that I infiltrated, along with Mayrielle and Caris, where a potion was safely protected. Professor Trent tried to steal it, but I managed to stop him. “We’re here.” said Michaela, joyfully letting go of her luggage. A medium-scaled building stood in front of us. There was a tower behind it. The masonry design, the rows of flowers perfectly lined against the white marble fountain, the gothic windows, and a banner of a silhouette of an animal hangs above the main entrance. “That’s our classroom.” said Michaela, pointing on a small building on the side. “That’s where we’ll take our Major Subjects.” “That one,” she pointed on a nearby three-story building beside our House. “is for the minor subjects.All the minor subjects of any House are conducted there. There’s also another one near the Umka House.” Sam was helping Caris carry her luggage inside the building while wearing a crown of holly on his head. Meanwhile, Xin and Patricia were planting more seeds at some of the flower pots near the fence. He looked

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn at me and smiled. He handed Patricia his spade and bag of seeds and took off the gardening gloves. His medium-built body was emphasized by his tight gray t-shirt and black jeans. He walked coolly and rhythmically as his small eyes and thin lips smiled at me, he’s still looking as fresh as ever. “Let me help you with that.” he said, quickly and easily taking my baggage. “How’s your vacation, Xin?” Michaela asked as she wiped the sweat framing her face. “T’was good.” he replied simply and smiled at me. “Shall we?” The wooden ornate door was widely open as we walked along the large room. The red carpet, creamy walls, animal paintings, sculptures, and plants welcomed us. This was like my dream home. White chandeliers with glimmering crystals were hanging above us, they emitted faint yellow light on the room. The ceiling was way too high and seemingly shaped like a dome. There was a large set of stairs in the middle of the room and two archways on our sides, which made me realized this must be the foyer. Someone approached us wearing the same uniform as the security guards of the campus, only this one’s got our house badge stitched in. “I’ll help you with that. Why don’t you go tour them ‘round the house, eh?” said Renevier McNair, our house guard. He kindly took our luggage. He’s a large guy with a balding hair and a famous unibrow. Xin kindly led us to room on the right side, “This way, please.” There was a crackling fireplace, with a few white chairs surrounding it. Bookshelves, Desks with table lamps, and a 15-inch flat screen TV were hanging on the wall. Also, the same type of chandelier hangs above us. There were long black arch-shaped glass windows which let the natural

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn light in from outside. There also sat a grand piano near the window which gave it a dramatic spotlight effect, like the ones you’d see on dramatic scenes. “Pretty cool, huh?” he asked as Michaela and I gasped, taking in the beauty of the room. “So, how’s vacation?” shouted the girl with a long black wavy hair and tanned skin. That’s when we noticed on the far corner of the room, sat two girls playing chess that’s made of glass. The other had a blonde hair, with a few freckles on her face and a slim body. She wore a shell necklace, it was Vikki Turner. “My family and I went camping for a week at Rio” she added. “Can you believe this house? Our house? Gosh!” Vikki said. “I KNOW! It’s pretty huge for just a couple of students!” Michaela agreed. We proceeded on the room across, which is left of the staircase. A long mahogany table with velvet-cushioned chairs sat in the middle of the room. The room was maroon carpeted, there were a few plants around the room, a grand piano, sconce lights, a few paintings, and a woman stood at the far corner. She has small brown eyes and a hair that flows to her shoulders. “Professor Adam.” greeted Xin. “I see, Ms. Cahill has arrived”, she smiled. “D’you like the house?” she asked as she motioned her hands in a welcoming gesture. “O-oh yes! I love it. I just think t-that it’s way too big for a handful of students.”

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn “And so, they do too.” She paused for a moment as if thinking of something. “Well, you lot better rest. It’s getting dark and we’re having a feast. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.” After admiring all the house itself, we decided to hang-out to the common room, where our classmates were catching up to each other’s vacation. Caris proudly recounted their family’s adventures of helping the homeless as one of their church’s summer projects. “My little sister’s here, too. She’s at the Canis Lupus house. A great singer y’know.” She said. Vikki and Mayrielle seemed not to have given up on beating each other at chess, I guess Mayrielle finally found a worthy opponent. They were sitting very rigid, only to move to place their chess piece. “They look very funny.” said Sam. “Well, nothin’s funnier than your two big teeth, like this,” said Patricia as she imitated a rabbit. Sam went pink and everybody laughed. Xin and I were sitting cross-legged on the floor and were leaning to each other. “So how’s your vacation?” he whispered as his small eyes casted dreamily on the fireplace. “It was…” I sighed. “I wish I could have had more adventures… but surely not the one like Professor Trent”, I added hastily.

He backed away a little and grinned sheepishly.

12


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Oh yeah?” said Sam as he pinpointed Patricia’s right side of her face. “W-well…y-y-your mole’s starting to look like a raisin!” Caris suppressed a howl of laughter while Mayrielle and Vicki finally turned their ears to listen. “You said you could read minds, right?” I said in a doubtful tone. “Yep.” he said as-a-matter-of-factly. “Wanna try me?” he continued. Patricia was now saying Sam looks like a red-headed troll who couldn’t tell the difference between his butt and his face. “Okay then, let’s see.” I glanced around the room looking for my victim. “I choose… uhmm…Patricia.” “What’s she thinking?” I added anxiously. Xin gave me that isn’t-it-obvious look. He simply said, “She’s enjoying with Sam.” “Uh-huh. I guess I can figure that out all by myself, thanks.” I replied sarcastically. “It’s not what I meant. I mean, she likes Sam… I guess.” He finished in a whisper. “Hoho. So that’s it.” I said satisfyingly. “Can you guess wha-” “You know I can’t read you.” he cut me off. “Go on. Try me.” I leaned a little closer towards him hoping he’d get a better signal with my brain nearer to him. He stared at me, smiling, for a few seconds, then his face was completely blank. A few seconds passed, his eyes were almost squinting that they almost look liked slits. “I-I-I… just… can’t…” he sighed.

13


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “You think there’s something wrong with my brain?” “W-well… isn’t it obvious?” he smirked. It took me a few seconds to process what he said. “Hey!” I shouted then laughed as I threw the velvet cushion on his face. He got right back at me by hitting me with the longest cushion. I fell, lying down on the floor. His musical laugh echoed on the room that everyone around us noticed. They, too, began to laugh with us. He pinned me down to the floor and gently brushed my hair against my neck. His lips went closer and I could feel unnatural warmth of air, it smelled like fruits. Then a soft bird-like voice spoke, “Everyone, please be ready in fifteen minutes. The feast is about to start.” Professor Adam was standing in the doorway dressed in a blue shirt and an apron that reads, Beauty and the Cook. She was looking at us with a sharp face. I’ve never seen her like that. "We'd better get ready." I whispered to him straight in the ear. A few seconds later, everyone was scurrying upstairs to prepare for the feast. Opening our dorm, our luggage were already there. The girls’ dormitories has the same theme like the rest of the house, velvet carpets, mahogany chairs, a fireplace, couple of bookshelves and desks. There were seven beds for us with drapes on them, and were labeled with our names on the bedposts. I quickly rummaged at my luggage for any formal dress and- Oh no... no, no, no. Why did I pack this? I delved in deeper to the depths of my luggage but there really is no way. It took me a few minutes deciding which one I should wear.

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn "Hey," I turned around to see Vikki. She was already wearing a teal gown with ruffles around the neck, and her hair is in a tight bun with a few curlies framing her head. "Aren't you coming?" "I-I uhh... I'll catch up in a minute, you all go down." I finished with a forced smile. She shrugged and all went downstairs, while I quickly grabbed the gown and ran to the nearest mirror. After a few minutes“I look fine. I look fine.” I muttered. I hardly walked down the stairs, careful not to trip. The heels clanked softly against the wood. There were chattering, singing, and waltz music in the dining room. The house banner hanged above the archway: a silhouette of a panther in a white background enclosed in a shield and the calligraphic letters B.P. were written beneath. “I wanna try the vanilla pudding.” “I like your hair.” “Look at this one!” I can hear them chit-chattering around the table; the feast mustn’t have started yet. Walking inside, their faces turned to me. The noise diminished and there were clanking of the utensils. Patricia whispered to Vikki. I turned to my left at the large mirror, I looked at my baby-pink gown, there were gold beads in the linings, a brooch of silver with a diamond stone at the center was pinned at my waist in which a sash hangs and sways. The stilettos were made of glass and the rest was made in clear plastic and leather. I stared at my once free hair that was now in a partial bun in which I added some small pieces of electric blue hair, also a few curly locks hangs down to the frame of my head. I looked a lot like

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn Lady Gaga. Xin slowly stood up. His untidy hair was fixed into a very neat one and he was wearing a tuxedo. Walking towards me, he smiled. He stretched out his hands and said, “Shall we, my princess?” I gave a short burst of laugh. He slowly guided me to the table in which an empty chair stood next to his. After we sat down, I looked around the place. They added a few banners which contained the house crest and a Welcome Back, Panthers! On the far place of the room, there stood five chairs and a long table for the teachers. The chair for the Head of House was larger than the other four, it was gold and has a white cushion instead of the velvet and maroon ones; and there was a podium right in front, with a carving of the house crest in the middle. “Like, Wow.” said Sam (to which Patricia looked away) “You’re pretty”, said Mayrielle who was wearing a black gown with some decorative holes in it. “T-thanks.” I exhaled. Xin grinned. "I was troubled of being overdressed.” I confessed. His eyes dreamily stared at me, they twinkled at the light of the room... they were"Are you wearing contact lenses?" He dropped his face, not wanting me to see it further. I carefully lifted his face with both of my hands, he squirmed away. "Ah yes... cosmetic lenses." he said breathily. On the other side of the room, sat the buffet table. Just by looking at it, I could already tell how many courses are in store for us. I felt my stomach growled at me as I laid my eyes on the chocolate fountain. I looked back at the staff table, there were now people sitting on it.

16


The Forbidden Tales Autumn The first one I recognized was Professor Adam, she was wearing emerald-green robes. There were other three teachers I didn’t recognized. They were all talking and laughing with each other. From the kitchens, Professor Aidas appeared. He was wearing periwinkle dress robes, a blue fez was on top of his head, and his honey-gold eyes looked calmly at us as he smiled. Walking to the podium, the teachers stood up and so did we to give respect. When he reached the podium, he gestured us to sit down. “Good Evening everyone! Welcome to another year at Adanac University! I am very glad that you’re still all here, complete, at the banquet hall.” He paused and his honey-gold eyes looked at my direction. “The school is generous enough to give us this old abandoned building.” (Professor Adam sighed dramatically) “I’m sure all of you are surprised by the looks of our house. May you treat it with love and care just as you do with one another. And now, I am delighted to introduce to you, your new teachers.” The other three tidied up themselves and sat up straight. “May

I

present

Professor

Lian

Viado,

your

teacher

in

Equestrianism.” Everybody clapped their hands as a plump woman stood up. She was wearing a beige cardigan and her hair is in a tight bun. “I’m so excited for that!” exclaimed Mayrielle. Professor Aidas continued, “Professor Sophia Agdeppa, your teacher in Lie Detection subject.” A woman wearing a black gown sweetly smiled at us, her hair arranged in a Bob hairstyle, topped with a weirdly-shaped fashion hat. Professor Aidas cleared his throat for a moment. “And last, but surely not the least, no. Professor Chris Ethgen for your Mythology

17


The Forbidden Tales Autumn subject.” A pale man with a tidy hair stood up and hesitantly smiled at us. He looked no more than in his thirties. “And I will no longer hold you from the wonderful food that’s waiting. So, let’s eat!” A few minutes later, the banquet hall was filled with cheery voices, clanking of plates, and howls of laughter. Claire kept walking back to the buffet table only to return with a full plate. “About time too...” Sam muttered. “…that she eat.” Half the table heard what he said: Caris blurted out pieces of Red Velvet Cupcakes which splattered to Vikki, Mayrielle tried to keep a straight face, while Rudy howled with laughter that Professor Aidas noticed. He, too, smiled from the teacher’s table. After an hour and a half of eating every food I could reach, Professor Aidas stood to the podium. “And now, I hope you are all well-fed and could start your first day back tomorrow. May I still remind you, that the forest is still forbidden to all of you. Go on now, tut tut! A nice evening to you all!” “I really love the cream puffs!” I said to Patricia as we walked towards the main hall. “Oh yeah!” she said. “Also, the Peach-Mango Smoothie tastes like heaven! I didn’t want to drink up my whole glass, just so I could reserve it for tomorrow.” “Well,” said Mayrielle. “You could always ask for one at the kitchens.” “We could do that?” asked Rudy. “Yes. Just tell Professor Adam.” answered Michaela. “Don’t have too many though. Our house has the lowest budget on the school but even though it’s a generous amount for a handful of students…”

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn Suddenly, someone grabbed my arm. It was Xin. “I want to show you something.” he said nodding his head towards outside. “Can I be excused?” I asked. The girls nodded and continued walking up the stairs. Xin and I walked down the Main Hall as my gown twirled around me. My dress and the House are a perfect match, it felt like I’m a princess and beside me is my prince. I looked at him as he rhythmically walked, his body was straight and he was smiling. “You look stunning.” he confessed as I closed the big wooden door of the House. The Kabra Houses, which stood next to us, were filled with loud music and cheers. “You look gallant.” I said as I lowered my head, my cheeks reddened. I stared at his perfectly carved face as we walked down the path. Beside the Canis Lupus House was a large dome-shaped building that reflected the starry night. “The school garden.” I muttered under my breath. “Not just a school garden.” He opened the glass door and I understood what he meant. There must be thousands of plant varieties here, some were hanging on the dome-like ceiling, some were on pots lined in shelves, and others were buried to the ground. “Gandlevery, Rookswort, Tulips, Santan…” I excitedly pointed out all the plants that I knew, and there were more here. They were all in here. “This is a-amazing!” I shouted. “You like it?” he asked as he hovered towards a weird looking cactus-like plant, which was oozing in green matter.

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Y-yeah! I-I love… plants.” The crazy thought of talking to them came over me, it’s just… my thing. If mom was here, I know she’d be happy about this, too. “I have a riddle for you.” said Xin, his ultra-white perfect teeth were shining in the dim light. Interested, I quickly turned my neck and raised an eyebrow. “Go on, try me.” I challenged. He cleared his throat, “What dies while still living, and what lives while still dying?” I frowned for a bit and stared at the Silvertongues in front of me. I repeated the question in my mind over and over again with different intonation and accent every time. If only he could hear my thoughts, he’d be rolling and laughing on the floor right now. A few minutes passed and I had to sit at the nearby bricks. My brain whirred but still, I could not think of an answer. “That’s tough.” I exhaled. He smiled in a childish sort of way. “If you could answer it, maybe I’ll give you something you’ll never forget.” he whispered. “I know you’re tired of hearing this tonight but, you do look beautiful.” “T-thanks.” I said, flushed at the compliment. “But don’t let it get to you.” “What do you mean?” his eyebrows came together as I thought of a good explanation. “I say, you’re handsome and rich.” I said. “You must be happy with your life.” He turned away and chuckled.

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn “See?” I exploded. “See what I mean? We tend to judge by what we perceive. A beautiful person is assumed to be outgoing, successful, kinder, and have many other positive traits. In movies, the good guys are always depicted as young and beautiful. Whereas the bad guys are mostly ugly.” “Life isn’t fair.” he said simply. “Back at grade school, I was an ugly duckling. No, really!” I said as he scowled at me. “and the teachers would always go for Jovie because she’s smart AND pretty. They believed her to be more successful in life than those who are unattractive. But you know what?” “I shoved their faces. I slapped her bottom against my high grades and I joined many clubs, improved myself. That was the time, I brought a piano and started doing vocal exercises on my own.” I finished with my chin up high. “You know, so far I can’t say that I don’t agree with you.” he said as he scooted to allow me to sit beside him. “There was one time when I was called by the teacher. I was their favorite back then. So there I was, standing. Then he asked me why the chemical symbol of tungsten is a W. He waited, patiently, for my answer. I bet he was betting that I could answer it. But no, I forgot to study last night.” he finished, smiling. “What did you do?” I asked as I laid my head on my hand and leaned closer to him. “I told him, Who knows?” I raised my eyebrow and backed away a bit, “That was a lame joke, did you realize that?” I said flatly, trying to keep my face straight.

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The Forbidden Tales Autumn “I knew it’d come to that.” he laughed as he laid my head on his shoulder. “No one would ever get it.” I chuckled. “Not even Einstein.” “Is that how bad it is?” he asked. “T’was really really lame.” I laughed. We watched the twinkling stars up above us. There came a soft wind and the smell of the countless plants filled the place. It was one of my golden moments with him. Now, all the award, medals, and achievements I had seemingly doesn’t matter much to me. Sitting right here with Xin was priceless.

22


The Forbidden Tales Autumn ********************************************************** It was a dark heavy night. The lightning flashed as the rain continued to pour down at the quiet city. In the midst of a rain, a house stood in the Burnabee Street. It was a two-story house with a white-beige theme just like all the houses that neighbors it. Only that, the family inside were one with the atmosphere that engulfs the area. There was an air of dread, weight of sadness, and a kiss of death. “Where is she?” asked the man as he entered the doorway. He was soaked with all the heavy rain outside. He has a short brown wavy hair and a crooked noise that casted a shadow on the other side of his face, like a sundial. He took a final glance outside as if looking for something suspicious then he finally closed and locked the door. The door had five locks on it. There were knobs that needed keys, and the others were strong metal chains. “She’s upstairs, sleeping.” answered a soft voice. She helped her husband take off his raincoat and carried his soaked briefcase to the living room. The woman was slim and slightly taller than her husband. She has a greasy black wavy hair down to her waist, a jade green eyes contrary to her husband’s sapphire blue ones, and smallframed eyeglasses. The warmth of the living room still cannot repel the coldness of the air. Small picture frames hanged on the walls, depicting a loving family. On one of them, was their daughter riding on a pony accompanied by her father. The rumble of thunder eerily echoed through the house. The man dropped down the sofa followed by his wife. She then said nervously, “The General knows, he knows. He knows.”

23


The Forbidden Tales Autumn The man shivered as he carefully leaned and put his hands on his face. She sobbed and put her head in his lap. The sounds of their cries were buried under the rumbling of the thunder. “W-who told him?” he asked trying to keep his face straight. She didn’t answer, instead fell down to floor and she continued her anguish. “WHO TOLD HIM!?” The man screamed along with the rage of the thunder followed by a very bright lightning. The woman didn’t answer. **********************************************************

24


The Forbidden Tales Autumn

Chapter 2: Hiltrud

P

rofessor Adam posted our class schedule on our dormitories on Sunday after noon.

Minor Subjects Poisons & Antidotes II Harmony of Music

Pat Goc Ong

8:00am

Alice Ocampo

9:00am

Break time Advanced Physics

10:00am Deleria Lantunio

Lunch Time Swimming

11:00am 12:45pm

Nhel Guevarantino

1:30pm

Major Subjects Stealth II

Linda Adam

2:30pm

Horseback Riding

Lian Viado

3:30pm

Chris Ethgen

5:00pm

Mythology Never be lied to again

Sophia Agdeppa

End of class

6:00pm 7:00pm

“So they finally got someone for Potions?” said Mayrielle as she copied the schedule down to a piece of paper. “What do you mean by that?” I asked her as I looked twice at Mythology. Xin, who was busy copying, turned his head to us. “N-nevermind. I’ll go to the library.” Then she ran off.

25


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “The library?” I whispered to Xin. “We haven’t even started classes yet!” “Well, that’s our Mayrielle.” said Vikki. Everyone spent the rest of the day hanging out at every room in the house: Mayrielle and Vikki continued playing chess at the common room. Sam and Patricia were teasing each other at the stairwell, to which Sam was comparing her to a raisin in his hand. Claire and Rudy, however, was on the kitchens taking cooking lessons from Professor Adam. Afterwards, Michaela wanted to go to the Stadium. I wanted to go with her since I’ve never seen the place much before. Xin joined us at the last moment when we were at the door. We took a trolley and went inside the stadium. It was a very large area: the green grass, hundreds of chairs that were sorted by colors, the House crests were hanging limply on the poles, and the tall light posts. “I’ll begin my first round!” said Michaela as she wore her earphones and jogged off. “You going to stay here?” asked Xin. “Y-yeah.” I said. “I just want to enjoy the scenery.” “Fine. I’m just gonna be there.” He dazzled his hair and pointed at a group of soccer players. After that, I laid there for half an hour. The wind caressed my face, it smelled like sweet lemon grass. The clouds were zooming in ahead like an oyster clam and beside it was the perfectly round moon lying so low that looks like it is touching the horizon. “Just one more round!” pleaded the girl to her friend who looks exhausted from running.

26


The Forbidden Tales Autumn I stared at Xin who was sitting a few yards away wearing a black muscle shirt, his bulky silhouette shaped from the large light posts around the stadium. “I-I-I… tired...” panted the girl wearing baby pink t-shirt. She laid down on the ground to which her friend stared at her. Xin was now stretching and flexing his arms and waist. I put on the earphones as I stared at the orange lightning from far away. But I’m a loser in love, so baby raise a glass to mend all the broken hearts of all my wrecked up friends. A mist slowly rolled in the green grass as the soccer player kicked the ball and it landed with a thud on the goal post. “Come to think of it, I never really liked sports”, I thought. A thunder rumbled in the navy blue sky. A girl wearing a yellow shirt and black tights looked like her heels were on fire for she seemingly ran only on her toes. I wanna love you, but something’s pulling me away from you. “Hey!” said Michaela, sweat framing her face. “W-will you… look at… t-that guy… t-there… there…” she panted while pointing at a guy wearing white shirt and blue shorts surrounded by a group of boys. “I think he’s eyeing me… and I think he’s cute.” she added. I stared lazily at the guy who was now looking at our direction. “Nah. I don’t think so.”

27


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Oh, well.” Then she sprinted fast away. “Hey Maia!” I turned around and saw a girl with periwinkle blue eyes and a pony tail hair. She was wearing her athletic uniform along with a smaller girl that looked just like her. “Caris!” I said. “Did you just got here?” “Y-yeah.” she said. “I heard that you went to go jogging, so I asked my sister to come with me. This is Mish by the way.” She finished as the little girl behind her waved at me. “Isn’t she adorable?” I said. “She looks so much like you!” Caris blushed and said, “Well, we better have our first round. See you later!” I watched everyone at the stadium for a few minutes. Just then, something cold trickled down my cheek. Then a few drops. It was raining. Everyone scurried away from the field and hid beneath the edge of the stadium. Meanwhile, Xin was quickly running towards me with Michaela panting behind his back. We took a trolley back to the house where Renevier prepared a cup of hot chocolate at the kitchens. A pale man with a tidy hair was leaning at a counter table. He was slim, and wearing a black shirt and jeans. “Bad weather, huh.” he said in a high-pitch voice. “Oh yeah. That storm’s unexpected, ‘innit?” responded Renevier. Professor Ethgen’s eyes swept to me and as if he realized I was just there, “Maia, right?” I simply nodded. “You’re going to take Mythology classes with me. Don’t worry, I’ll assure you it won’t be boring.” he took a sip from his cup.

28


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Oh, I’m excited for that!” blurted Michaela whose face suddenly reddened. “My Ladonian students find this subject most challenging.” he continued. “They said this is the part where their Science will collide with beliefs.” “I’ve read your book.” Xin said suddenly. Professor Ethgen looked impressed, he lowered his cup and smiled. “And so you did. So, how’d you find it?” “T’was good. I loved Chapter 4, the way how you kept his identity a secret to all your friends.” He said casually. “Tell me Professor, do you believe in a Parallel Universe?” I was suddenly taken aback by the sudden change of the topic. What was Xin trying to get from the professor? His eyes were focused, just like those times he was trying to read my mind. The Professor just smiled serenely and answered, “Yes. I do. In fact, I’d love to do a research of them with Professor Aidas.” The next day, rain was still pouring lightly over us. Everyone woke almost exactly at the same time and had breakfast by past seven. We’ve all had toasted bread, porridge, a hot chocolate. Professor Aidas blessed us a good day. We went outside to the next building. The classroom was pretty much like our House, except for the chairs and the blackboard, of course. We waited for a few minutes until a tall and slim woman with a long flowing hair and an oval shaped head entered the room. She was wearing a red shirt with a dragon emblazoned on it and a large “K” on the back. “Good Morning, I’m Professor Pat Goc Ong. For our first day, we’ll begin here as this will be just an introductory lesson.” she said in a kind

29


The Forbidden Tales Autumn voice. The class was instantly relieved of the tension. She may be one of the very few kind teachers of the Kabras. “Our subject would be the second level of Poisons and Antidotes. We will deal with intermediate…” she continued. Then she proceeded with a roll call and wrote the syllabus on the board. At the end of the class, murmurs were everywhere. “Tomorrow, we’ll meet at the Selena building, room 204.” she said as she left the room. “Oh, thank goodness!” sighed Vikki. “For a second, I thought it was that dung Olympi!” said Rudy. Professor Alastor Olympi was another Potions teacher and the Kabra Head of House, he was cruel and mean to everybody. The reason to why is that, nobody knows. He once tried to get me expelled when Xin and I got into a fight with three of the Kabra students; Ian, Ned, and Hamilton. “What’s our next subject?” asked Xin as he rummaged through his bag to get a book. “It says here… Music.” I answered as I peeked through the class schedule. A few moments later, a woman entered. She has black silky hair down to her soft cheeks and to her pointy chin. She wore a green dress with gold ornaments decorating it from top to bottom, this time, she was not wearing a black cloak. “Good Morning everyone! I’m Professor Alice Ocampo. I will be your Music teacher, you see.” she said. “I welcome you to another great year at Adanac University! It feels great that all of you are still here a-and…” Her eyes hovered over

30

H-Si-B-Al-P-Fl


The Forbidden Tales Autumn the room as she walked briskly towards the desk, she stopped at Xin’s direction. “a-and healthy.” She cleared her throat. “Music is my passion and it was from there that I was sorted into the Canis Lupus House when I-I was still… here.” she finished as her eyes remained still in the same direction. A mysterious feeling of tension filled up the room. Everyone found this disturbing, too. Murmurs buzzed the room, only to stop when she finally spoke, “Sorry ‘bout that. The summer haze just got over me, see.” (Michaela winced) then she wrote the syllabus on the board and took up only half her class time before leaving the room, without looking back. Only to shout, “Victoria building, 206!” “What was that about?” asked Claire. Xin, however, looked undisturbed by the fact that a professor, who was in the middle of a speech, suddenly stopped, surprised to look at him. He just continued writing in a paper. “Hey, Xin.” I nudged him a bit. “hmm?” his eyes were still on the paper. “They’re talking about you. Aren’t you gonna say something?” He shrugged. Mayrielle was looking faraway, lost in thoughts. Then, just as suddenly she had an idea, she stood up and walked to the door. “Where are you going?” shouted Vikki. “To the library! I’ve got to confirm something!” then she strode off. Xin looked sharply at her, then he continued writing. “She shouldn’t meddle with it.” he whispered.

31


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “The last time you said that, I was in big trouble.” I shivered as pushed the thought of Professor Trent wearing his green cloak and laughing hysterically. I looked down to what he was writing. A clear, elegant script intimidated me, I didn’t want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl. “A poem.” I said simply. He smiled, showing his perfect, ultra white teeth. “May I see?” I asked politely. He carefully pushed the notebook and said, “It’s not finished yet, though.”

What a starry night, a night that joins two unknown lovers. If I am right, there’s a heart shaped star, you don’t have to be loner. You are for me, I am for you, together there’s nothing we can’t do. “Can I? Can I?” I asked excitedly as I bounced on the chair. He nodded as I quickly took my pen out and added a few lines.

Two different forces become one, together now we can run Two different races become one, together now we can run “That seemed to be the very crucial part of this story.” said Sam who was passing by and stopped to look at the paper. At

Physics,

a

plump

woman

wearing

dragon

yellow

shirt

emblazoned with an “L” on her back, entered the room. “You don’t need your books. We’ll just discuss everything you know about Physics.” she said in a throaty voice while after which, Mayrielle’s well-practiced hand shot up in the air.

32


The Forbidden Tales Autumn Almost half an hour later, “I want you all to write an essay about the pre-Socratic philosopher, Thales and how he used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore.” “Oh, and Selena Building, room 204!” Lunchtime, Xin and I found a place under the Mahesti Tree while the other had lunch in the House. I opened the container containing our food, while the birds above chirped happily. Xin, on the other hand, looked gloomy. He absent-mindedly played with the grass. Then, he noticed me. “I-Im sorry” he cleared his throat. “I’m just, not in the mood” I frowned, not knowing what to say. We ate our lunch without uttering a single word until we walked back to the classroom while encountering Ian Dela Rhea and his boys, Ned and Hamilton, on the way. “Back again, are you?” he sneered. “Didn’t Professor Trent scared you away?” said Ned. “It turns out, Professor Trent is damn evil after all isn’t he?” I said in a baby-mock voice to which irritated Hamilton. He showed his beefy arms which is thrice the size of mine’s. Xin pushed me away while Ian shouted, “You won’t be alive here for long!” Arriving at the classroom, a scribbled note was posted on the board. Swimming at the Umka House. Yours sincerely, Professor Guevarantino

33


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “His name sounds funny.” giggled Sam. “At the Umka House? But why?” asked Caris as if she’s scared to go there. “Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?” said Mayrielle earnestly. “We don’t have a swimming pool, do we?” Everyone’s faces suddenly enlightened, Xin gave a short burst of laugh. He whispered, “She really is the cleverest student here.” By looking at the map outside the Umka House, it has a Decagonshaped building and two turrets on the back, their classroom is on the right side, and the swimming pool is on the left side of the building. Its main theme, blue and white, made it looked very calming in the eye. The Umks, whose uniforms are mainly a blue athletic outfit, didn’t even looked at us. Some of them, were stretching, jogging, and doing push-ups. “Give me a hundred fifty!” shouted the burly looking girl who had a pixie hair. Caris shivered. “G-g-good thing I ended up at our House. I-I’m not sure I can do that.” she whimpered. A group of kind-looking girls were handing out flyers to the students walking past by their house. “Join our worship service, every Sunday here.” said the blonde one to a passing Ladonian who took the flyer nicely. “Every Sunday! We do Bible Studies and so much more activities!” she repeated. Caris looked interested. “Love one another! Spread love! Come here and know God and have the best life and salvation!”

34


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Panthers! In here!” shouted a beefy man who had a very short hair and was clutching a clipboard. He was wearing a tight blue shirt and white shorts that emphasized his large muscles. He led us around the building and into an Olympic-size swimming pool, to which it was very deep blue. “Changing rooms are there on the inside! I want you all here in five minutes!” he shouted then blew a whistle. Everyone scurried on the nearby small door and there were two changing rooms. I quickly opened my bag and brought out a white shirt and my swimming shorts. Vikki stopped by the mirror to apply lipstick. “Watcha need that one for?” asked Patricia who was now adjusting 0the swim cap on her hair. “Oh, you’ll see outside.” She said grinning. “Come on now! Move on! Move on!” Professor Nhel called. “Where are the boys?” he asked us. Everybody shrugged. A few minutes later, a group of boys came out of the changing room. They were only wearing their swimming trunks and coolly walked towards us. Vikki brushed her hair absent-mindedly, to which Mayrielle rolled her eyes. What caught my eyes was Xin. I can’t help but stare at his pale skin to his perfect chest. I dropped down a little to his very detailed abdominal muscles. His arms were seemingly packed with stones that bulged out in a perfectly toned shape. He walked rhythmically, smiling at us. Then, he noticed me. He comically covered his chest and grinned sheepishly. “Shit.” I absent-mindedly muttered. “He’s hot.” purred Vikki. “I know…”

35


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Alright! Everyone settle down by the pool edge! We’ll do some warm-up exercises.” announced Professor Nhel. A few minutes later we did all the types of floating. Our first one was the jellyfish float where Rudy laughed because he found us funny. The professor slapped water in his face. Then the back float, Sam enjoyed it so much that he even sang for Professor Nhel while floating on his back, again, the professor slapped water to his face. After half an hour of a very fun lesson (Sam and Rudy was still singing while floating in their backs), we stayed in the swimming pool. Vikki and Mayrielle were doing a breathholding contest, to which Patricia and Claire was cheering. Xin was sitting in a nearby bench, I approached him. “That was fun.” I shouted. “Yeah. Well, Claire was scared. Said, she couldn’t do it.” “Oh really? She was doing well.” I sat down beside him. I couldn’t help but glance at his chest. “Have you seen Caris?” I asked. He pointed out to the lavatory near the changing rooms. She was rummaging her bags when the same group of girls, who were handing out flyers earlier, approached. They were laughing and taunting, I quickly rushed to them. Xin followed from behind. “Hey, I think I smell a bacon in here.” said the skinny girl. “Oh yeah. Definitely. Can you see it washing its hands?” all of them laughed, Caris just stared at them. But then they stopped abruptly, when they saw me and Xin. The blonde girl took great interest at Xin, “You’re Xin Mason, son of the Headmaster.” She purred while her eyes danced around Xin. I felt offended. I wanted to bang her head in the nearby sink.

36


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “You’re the ones inviting students to a Worship Service, right?” I asked politely. She looked impressed. “What do you do there, then?” I leaned a little closer. “Maia, let’s go.” Caris whimpered. “I find this funny, though” I continued, ignoring her. “Not because I agree with what these religious nuts are saying earlier...” “Now wait just a minute-“started the skinny girl. But she was held back by her leader, urging me to continue. “…but because, religious people are supposed to love ALL of God’s creations. Yet, they still eat meat and pick in the weak. If there is a God, do you think he’d condone such hate? That he’d like the fact that you are belittling on other people?” I said calmly. “You can say what you want, but you’re pathetic” (some of them gasped) “and you are the real people committing sins. You should have a look over your life and your little bible. You are an uneducated moron who hides behind a book that was supposedly written a thousand years ago by also, men.” I finished coolly. “Let’s go.” I pulled Caris out, leaving the blonde girl on the verge of tears but her face still remained hard. “I-I-I’m scared.” Caris muttered. “Me too, that’s why we have to move faster. You can wear my robe and we’ll change at the House.” I giggled. Fortunately, there was a school coaster passing by, and it’s not full. So we hailed it to a stop, the driver hesitated that we may wet his car. But, Xin assured him that we are dry enough. Arriving at the House. We quickly went back up the dormitories to take a shower and prepare ourselves for the major subjects.

37


The Forbidden Tales Autumn Just like last year, it was the same class with Professor Adam. What everyone was excited about was Horseback Riding. We had to go to the Horse Ranch, which is right beside located of the Ladon House. The ranch has only five horses, so the area is quite small. It was a clear, breezy day, and the grass rippled under our feet. Professor Viado was waiting for us, she was brushing a horse when we arrived. She had a round face, a bushy hair that was kept in a ponytail, and she was wearing a pink shirt with a black cardigan and Athletic tights. “Oi! Gader ‘rownd! E’vryone!” she shouted in a strange accent. “Can anyone tell mi what iz the latin word for Equestrianism?” she asked as Mayrielle’s hand shot up high in the air. “Yowhr name, pleaz?” she asked as she held her clipboard. “Mayrielle.” “There she goes.” Whispered Sam. “Equestrianism came from the latin word, Equester, meaning horseman or rider.” She finished. “Ah! Very good!” she exclaimed as if she’d never seen anything like Mayrielle. “There’ izn’t enuf horses for e’vryone! First five pleaz!” she announced as I stepped in closer to a group of horses that were whining. Sam was instantly brushing a brown horse, Xin’s was a meanlooking one, Mayrielle observed all of them for a few minutes then finally decided to take the red-brown with a short hair tail. All was left was white and black one. I quickly ran to the white, while Caris gloomily walked to the last horse.

38


The Forbidden Tales Autumn Suddenly, the horse licked me. I found it cute. I brushed its head and I think it smiled at me, even though I knew horses couldn’t do that. Before I knew it, I was already mounting to my horse. “Would ‘cha look at dat! Ms. Ka-hill has already de’vloped with ze horse!” she clapped while the others looked astounded as I adjusted myself comfortably behind the horse’s back. I realized I’d found something I could do without being taught — this was easy, this was wonderful. As if a natural instinct, my feet gently squeezed his sides and I added a clucking noise. He smoothly moved forward and toured me around the ranch. Delighted with what’s happening, I hugged him as we retreated back to Professor Viado. “He’s great!” I shouted happily to her. “Actually, it’s a girl.” said Mayrielle. “Oh, then…” I struggled hard to find a name for her. “I’ll call you Hiltrud” I said earnestly as I brushed her hair. After two hours of introduction to the common breeds, tips and advices, and increasing your relationship with your horse, we finally walked back to the House. “You were a natural!” “I’ve never seen anything like it!” “Why didn’t you tell us?!” I kept telling them for a countless times that I have never ridden a horse before, none that I could remember. Sam kept asking me why his horse kept turning left to eat some hay every time he asks it to go. “Don’t you think maybe it’s hungry?” I asked him. “Nah, I don’t think so. I looked closely and it wasn’t even chewing. I think it’s a joker like me.”

39


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “Maybe you should call it Fred.” suggested Rudy. Next class was Mythology, “Mythology is the study or a collection of myths.” said the highpitched voice. “It is, by far, the most interesting subject you have.” Everyone took a great interest in this subject because, it’s new to find something worth not-believing and frankly, because of the professor speaking in a high-pitched voice. “The main characters in myths are usually gods, supernatural heroes, and humans. Closely related to myths…” he continued. Professor Agdeppa’s lesson includes reading the facial expressions of the suspect, the body gestures, and hand movements. We held our copy of Never be lied to again by David J. Lieberman. (To which she obviously fascinated.) “Honesty is at the cornerstone of every relationship, whether it’s business or personal. Being aware of someone else’s true intentions is undeniably valuable.” she said in an unnatural girlish voice. “When you know a person’s true intent, you have the power to control the situation, or at the very least not to be taken advantage of.” She finished dramatically. She then asked us to take partner (to which I grabbed Xin) and asked us to decide who will be the one to tell a mixture of truth and lies. Xin, obviously, was very reluctant in this. He kept forcing me to be the one decide whether he’s lying or not, which I kept turning back because I know he can’t read my mind. Later on, he surrendered. “Okay then. I went home to Auntie last summer.” I began. “Lie. You didn’t. I went at your apartment, remember?” he grinned. “Oh yeah.” I said, feeling stupid at the moment.

40


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “I think your hair’s stupid” said Patricia stiffly. Sam gasped and blushed and hesitatingly looked at his knees. Patricia kept a poker face. “Lie.” Said Xin and Sam at the same time. I was impressed, I better keep the next statement really hard. Something I never told anyone. Something I never told him. “My parents died in a car crash.” I said flatly. “Truth.” He said swiftly. My heart thumped out of beat for a second. How did he knew? I know I never told anyone, none that I know here knows anything about that. “H-h-how did you know a-b-bout that?” “I’m sorry. I-I.” he shrugged. “Claire told me. S-she said Professor Aidas told her” he finished. “Oh. Okay.” I said simply. Movements were mechanical. No eye contact. Hesitant answer. He’s keeping something in. The partial shrug. And most of all, Claire doesn’t know that. Lie. After class and having dinner at the banquet hall (there’s still an awkward division between us), I decided to stay in the kitchens. “E’vrything alright, Maia?” asked Renevier offering me a cup of hot chocolate. “Yeah. Thanks.” I muttered. “I heard what happened earlier.” Said the pale man who was silently writing on the counter beside him was a girl with a black wavy hair and a tan skin. I didn’t noticed them earlier, I must’ve been drowned in my thoughts. “Mayrielle told me.” he added as he nodded to Mayrielle.

41


The Forbidden Tales Autumn “I’m sorry.” she kept her head down. “It’s alright. I-I just don’t know why Xin would be lying to me.” I said exasperatedly. I took a sip of my chocolate. “Maia.” Said the professor dreamily. “Oh, I was just fascinated by your name, dear.” He quickly said. “Maia is the Greek Goddess of Spring” Mayrielle’s cup thudded, her chocolate spilling to the velvet carpet. “Oh! I’m sorry, Renevier. Sorry, professor.” she quickly rushed to pick up the cup. Just then, a gush of wind came from the archway. I could have sworn that Xin ran upstairs.

42


The Forbidden Tales Autumn ********************************************************** He roared the engine to life and slowly reversed his car back to the road and frequently looking back and forth at the rearview mirror. “Any sign of them?” he said in a low deep voice. “No, no...” she replied as she clutched her bundle of joy wrapped tightly in a fur coat. The air was cold, the streets were foggy, and rain was pouring hard as if stones were hitting the roof of their car. Death was upon them. Their daughter must stay alive, or else it would’ve been all for nothing. All those years of murders, deceptions, and lies… In the corner of her eye, she saw something in the shadow. She squinted thoroughly to see the silhouette of a woman chasing them. She looked to her husband’s side and there were more men running after them. The man stepped up on the pedal, and the car roared noisily. Just then, something hit on their roof, a hand came bursting in as the sound of abused metal filled their ears. Her husband swerved sharply left and right, but still the creature after them remained, trying to get a hold of them. The rain poured harder and another one stood in the road which the husband tried to evade. Unfortunately, they crashed on a wall. The woman, blood dripping from her face, sound ringing in her ears, gripped tightly on the baby, who was now crying. “We can still make it, let’s get out of here!” her husband said in a raspy voice. The sound of a shattering glass echoed as they opened the car door. A few feet away, people wearing black cloaks slowly approached them. **********************************************************

43


The Forbidden Tales: Autumn (Excerpt)