Chapter 3Mature

I finally fully woke up in yet another place I didn’t recognize. My head finally seemed to heal. I propped myself in this new bed without any pain flashing across my skull, and looked around. It looked like a bedroom, but larger and more furnished. My bed, about a queen sized with a canopy and opened curtains, was situated in an alcove, with an end table on either side and lamps on both. I had to get out of bed to get a better view of the room outside the alcove.

When I stood up, I realized I was in a bathrobe, and wasn’t wearing anything underneath. While I was concerned who might have changed me, a curiosity of my new surroundings put my concern at the back of my mind.

I made my way to the main of the room. This room looked like it was made for royalty. Directly to left of the bed’s recess was a wardrobe and a folding wall to change behind. To the right was what looked like a study. A desk made of dark wood with filigree molding and a rolling chair to match stood against a wall. The wall adjacent held a bookcase that stood floor-to-ceiling and was twice as wide as the desk. It was filled with books. 

On the other side of the room, to the right of the wardrobe was a sort of living area. Two armchairs and a couch sat in front of a large, stone open fireplace. This set of furniture had dark green cushions and was made of the same wood as the desk and rolling chair with the same metal ribbons. I noticed that most of the furniture in the room had the same adornment. Upon close inspection, it appeared to be the same silvery metal I saw when I hit my head in the alley. Except this metal had a hint of the color of the wood it was embedded in, and it changed to a faint green when it neared the cushions. I looked around and wherever I saw the metal, it took on the color of whatever it was attached to. Almost like it was transparent. I continued to explore the room.

Across the room from the living area was an open area with a large mirror covering the wall with a large trunk set to the side. It looked like a dance studio. I opened the trunk and found various athletic equipment including weights, mats, and boxing gloves. When I closed the trunk, I caught a glimpse of my reflection. If anything good came out of going to that damn school, it was how it changed my look.

Before college, I was really skinny, a twig. And I wasn’t exactly fashion-forward in any sense. My clothes were less than flattering, and my hair was usually a product of buzzing it to one length and letting it grow until it covered my eyes and repeating the process. It wasn’t until college that I decided to change that. My first roommate was the son of a barber and was able to teach me a few dos. The one I settled on was the sides and back of my hair buzzed short and the hair on top a few inches long and parted to the right. I took care of my body by joining the swim team and figuring out a better diet. I didn’t have an Olympic figure, but it was definitely a great improvement over my high school body. And although I couldn’t afford new clothing, another friend helped match outfits a bit better. All-in-all I was happy. I moved on.

The back left corner of the room appeared to be a kitchen and dining area. The cabinets and dining furniture matched the furniture in the rest of the room, and the appliances, a stove, sink, and refrigerator, were made of the mysterious metal I kept finding. I opened the fridge and found it was fully stocked. The cabinets also held food, as well as a set of silverware, or mystery-metalware as it turned out, and china. Alone, the metal looked silver at first glance, but there was a slight transparency. Not enough to see straight through, but enough to see beneath the surface. It was an odd sight, but one I was getting used to.

What would have been the final section of the room was walled off like a corner cut from a rectangle. There was a door facing the dining area. Was this the exit? I reached for the doorknob, but hesitated. It occurred to me that I was about to leave a private room in nothing but a bathrobe. I hurried over to the wardrobe. I sincerely hoped there were clothes inside. I opened it.

They weren’t my clothes, but they’d have to do. Weird. Not only did they look like they were in my size, I also didn’t recognize the fashion. The sleeves of all the shirts were different colors and made of lighter materials than the torso. Each shirt had two sets of hoods, one for each material and the lighter inside the heavier, and they were sown in such a way that when the lighter hood was up, the heavier hood would appear to flow from the lighter one. The pants were made of a dark, jean-like fabric and had various patterns made with the same light/heavy scheme stitched from the bottom of the pant leg up, the heavier fabric being at the bottom and climbing up as the pattern. The patterns seemed to take on natural themes like foliage, crystals, and flames and were lightly dyed to mimic the theme used. And there were briefs. I prefer boxers, but I didn’t have any choice. I grabbed a blue and white shirt, a pair of pants with leaf patterns, and a pair of briefs. When I was dressed, I found that these clothes were very comfortable and fit me perfectly. I couldn’t find any socks or shoes though. I guess I was going barefoot.

I made my way back to the door. I reached for the doorknob again. As I took a hold of it, I wondered what might be on the other side. My mind began to race. Where was I? Who brought me here? Was I going to be allowed to leave? Countless questions swarmed my head. I was ready to pass out again, but I cleared my head with a single thought. You wanted to see the world. It was true. I wanted to leave what I knew and find something different. I certainly found that. Whatever was on the other side of this door was just what I wished for. I opened the door…

And saw a bathroom. I’m really glad no one could read my thoughts. I felt my face flush a little. I decided to look around in hopes it would distract me from my self-embarrassment. There wasn’t much that set it aside from other bathrooms, but I was intent on walking off my mental fumble. I checked the sink. Same metal. A toothbrush. A brand of toothpaste I didn’t recognize. The information was written in English. I checked the shower. Empty except for a single bottle. “All purpose soap.” I gave up trying to make it seem like I meant to find the bathroom. It’s not like anyone was watching. I left the bathroom.

Time to find the real exit. I made my way for… the door? I looked around and couldn’t find any doors aside from the bathroom door. I started rushing around the room trying to find anything that could be an exit. I could feel my heart beating faster as I failed to find any escape. I was about to start yelling when I heard something.

“Look who’s finally awake,” said a voice. I whipped my head around, looking for the source of the voice. The room was still very empty.

“Who said that?” I asked, out of breath.

“Oops, sorry,” the voice replied. It sounded familiar. It was light and perky. “Come over to the mirror if you want to talk face to face.”

“Um, okay.” I walked over to the mirror wall by the athletic trunk. “Okay, I’m… at the mirror.”

“Ooh, this is so exciting. No one’s talked to a human in ages.”

“I’m sorry, what?!” I exclaimed. Before I could process what the voice had said the mirror began to… change? My reflection blurred and shimmered for a second. When it came back into focus, I was no longer standing in the mirror. Where I should have been was a young woman, probably no older than myself. She was fair skinned and about my height. She had long, curly, platinum blonde hair with the tips dyed a light purple, and was wearing a similar style of clothing that I had found in the wardrobe, except the ends of her sleeves and pant legs were looser. I tapped on the mirror where her visage now stood and it rippled.

“What the hell?” I whispered.

“Neat, huh? I’m guessing you’ve never seen something like this before?”

“Uhh…” was all I could manage to say. I was dumbfounded to say the least. The girl giggled.

“I suppose introductions are in order.” I was snapped back to reality.

“What?” I asked. I was so fixated on the mirror I hadn’t caught what she said.

“Well, I figured since you’re going to be here for a while, you might as well have someone to talk to.”

“What do you mean I’m going to be here awhile?” The stately room I had woken up in suddenly felt smaller.

“We’ll get to that in a bit. That bit of news might be easier to take when I’ve made it clear I’m your friend. Anyway, introductions: My name is Wisteria of House Canariensis. It’s nice to meet you!” She flashed me a toothy grin.

“Uh… Hi. Wisteria. I’m Drake. Castello.”

“Oh.” Her expression shifted momentarily. It almost looked concerned. She quickly went back to grinning. “You’ve got an interesting name, Drake Castello. I suppose you have questions. I know I would if I suddenly found myself back on Earth.” I had to have heard that wrong. There’s no way that was right.

“What do you mean ‘back on Earth!?’ As in this isn’t Earth!?” Wisteria’s eyes widened, and her smile faded.

“You mean you think- I am so sorry. We thought you knew. I’m not sure where to start… I guess I should just tell you where you are. As I’m sure you can now guess, you’re not on Earth anymore. You’re on a completely different plane of existence we call Magesterial. Ancestors, I have no idea where to begin.” I sunk to my knees as she told me a story I couldn’t believe.

The End

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