The world is fuzzy and I don't know where I am. Then I remember the vines, the garden, the blue being that called them off. It's enough to make me shriek.
"Shh, poppy, we don't want you yelling now, no, no, that'd be a bad idea," someone murmurs in what's supposed to be a soothing voice, but it really isn't.
The world comes into clearer focus and I realise it's the blue being, whom I can now tell to be a girl. I shrink back, whimpering.
"Who are you and what are you doing in my garden? And why is your body spray-painted blue? And what were those vines??"
The creature looks alarmed. "Shh, one thing at a time. First of all, I am not spray painted. This is my natural colour, the best shade too, if I do say so myself, not many Spatiums ever reach this tint."
I sit there, open-mouthed and unable to say a word.
It continues on. "Now, secondly, those vines are my Marker. The usually don't do that but I was quite mad and well... You get the idea. I'm sorry. Everyone in our world has one, but that's really another story. Now I've arrived at the real root answers to your questions."
"I, poppy, am Venen and I've come from Aliis. I've come to take you home. You used to live there, you see, when you were a baby-"
I somehow find the ability to speak and interrupt her. "What?! I don't belong in 'Ailises' or whatever your planet is. I was born and raised here, on Earth. Other worlds with life don't even exist! And I am not poppy! I am Annemarie Kent," I added hotly.
Venen smiled and stared at me matter-of-factly. Her eyes, I noticed, were a strange dark purple.
"But, Annemarie, you do belong. Have you seen magick when nobody else has? Dreams of places you've never seen? Have you never felt like you've belonged, and that you've always had to lie? What about a certain plant that you see everywhere?"
I turned white with shock and horror. How did she know? The hints of magic, the swirling clothes, the roses...
"You belong, Annemarie. You belong in Aliis," she says softly.