Chapter One, Page One (Mai)

My name is Mai, and I am not human. True, I may wear a human form at the moment, but that is not who I am. I can change what it is that you see, if it makes things easier. Maybe it would make it easier to understand that everything is not what it appears. I am a shape-shifter. I was here on Earth on a school tour. You may laugh, but where I come from, school is not a restriction, and it is not only for the young. We all need to learn, so we all attend school when we must, or when we wish.

          I have recently disembarked from a bus. It was perhaps the strangest bus that I have ever been on, but I shall not go into that now. It is not necessary. I daresay that sometime in the future it will be written down, but it is not my story to tell.

          The story I have to tell is quite different, but it has hardly begun. I have only lived a fraction of my life, or so I hope, and I cannot tell what is yet to come. So I shall tell you my tale as it happens. We shall discover it together.

          I owe my tale to many people, but most likely they will never know it. Many of them now are lost, dead or forgotten. Others are left behind, possibly forever. I cannot ever hope to see them again, yet I dream of it. They mean the world to me, and they do not even know who – or what – I am.

          I am a Healer, but throughout my life so far I have been many other things. Everyone in our district was a Healer; that was the power we were born with. Of course, people being people, some did not use their skill for healing, but I did, and do.

          In my life, I have been a Child, a Healer, a Killer, a Writer and a Weeper. Perhaps the last is most important, perhaps the third, perhaps even the fourth. I cannot say. I suppose it all depends. All of these things have their own part in this tale, and you shall discover them in time.

          I am writing in a silver notebook, but it is almost full. Soon I will need a new one. There are several in my rucksack, which is on my knees. I am using it to lean on.

          I am trying to concentrate, but it is difficult when your past life keeps flashing before your eyes. Irritably, I groan, and push my rucksack down by my feet. It is getting on my nerves.

          I am sitting here on this bench, set back from the roadside. I wonder why it is here – this is a motorway, after all. But I do not question it too closely, for it is useful to me, and therefore I shall overlook its strangeness.

The End

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