This is a contest where the community selects the next book to publish. Authors can submit a book by May 31, 2018, then users will have the opportunity to choose one.
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Lied: Chapter 1 – Ignotum per Ignotius [Part 1]
Story and Translation: Mitsuaki Seiji
Illustration: Ana Paula Peixoto
Life. Spirit. Soul.
These three pieces had, throughout history, their definitions discussed and disfigured, as well as put to the test.
Lives have met. Spirits have battled. Souls have expired.
A cycle that will continue to repeat itself until the next age... and for all eternity.
In an empty and somewhat depressing scenario, a boy walks silently through the invisible path which opens with each step forward. 16 years old, black hair and light greenish eyes, named Lied.
As he walks Lied hears voices that stifle him.
“He’s arrogant with people, even rude to his own parents.”
“Did you know? That boy not only offended his classmate, but also hit him. The poor lad ended up in the hospital.”
“Eh…? How awful.”
"Shut up", Lied ordered.
“He even hit back his own teacher! He’s not just an undisciplined child, it’s a snake in the form of a person! And to think my boy passes the day with such a freak!”
"I told you... to shut that mouth up."
The agonizing voices sounded steadily. The vibrating space reacted to Lied, showing some signs of instability.
After walking for some time, the lost boy finally spotted something in the middle of nowhere. It is exactly as they say: “a light at the end of the tunnel”.
He approached the object. In an immaterial basket, a majestic red apple rested.
As he placed the palm of his right hand on it, the singular apple glittered in opposition to the vibrations caused by the voices, as if it were trying to overcome the negative emotions in the air with its incandescent glow. Now with a golden hue, the fruit was successful in its mission.
"Again. That strange dream."
Lied woke up, awakening from a dream he had experienced several times before, and which so far failed to understand in its essence.
Once, someone said that "dreaming about apples is quite unpleasant".
He sat up in the bed, reflecting. Didn’t know which was preferable: the reality or that horrifying and oppressive experience that bittered his insides.
For as long as he can remember, Lied never backed off from his word no matter what the situation was.
Impartial in his decisions, he lived only for himself. That was his law of survival. No, in fact the norm adopted by the human race and by Lied was the same.
The attitudes of the humans upset him consequently. Ignorance.
Unaware of the truth and trapped in an illusion they call "life". Naivety.
Thinking they could be forever stuck in a cycle of living and under a crumbly system.
Even though he sometimes seemed to be being manipulated by those around him, Lied didn’t allow himself to be deceived by society (that couldn’t even be called “society”).
Anyway, it wasn’t something worth bothering with. Yes, with them, the humans. He knew that, one day, humanity would have what it always deserved - a demise adequate to deadwood.
Lied got up and left the room towards the bathroom. To know if there was anyone he knocked the door, violently. No reply.
Went in and took a good, long bath. Got dressed, picked up his bag and looked at the wristwatch. 08:36. Late for school.
Hurried down the stairs and met his parents, who were taking their breakfast peacefully. The father, barring some toast, watched as Lied prepared to leave and asked:
"Aren’t you going to eat anything?"
Lied ignored him, turning his back.
The father, feeling despised, approached and lifted him by the collar of the shirt, lifting Lied furiously in the air.
"Enough! I demand that you respect me, after all, I’m the one who’s sustaining you!"
Lied's light green eyes met his father's gray ones.
"I don’t owe you anything.", Lied replied, spitting to the floor.
"Enough…!", the mother says to her husband while holding the herbal tea she was drinking.
The father let him fall and stepped on his leg, which caused some pain to the boy. With that Lied left the house, limping, indignant at the attitude of those nosy parents.
Ganeden, an island in Asia of official languages Japanese and German.
Knowing that he's already late, Lied decided to make a stop in the park before going to "attend" class.
As he headed there Lied was surrounded by tiny blue dots, dozens of them filling the atmosphere. Curiously, all these points seem to move along a certain route, never failing to precisely follow that path.
From a young age the boy is able to see them, and to this day he hasn't found another person with the same ability; or, perhaps, never bothered to find.
Lied went up the street and turned left, entering the center of the city where the park was. Consisted of a small expanse of herbs, some lamps and benches. The place where Lied usually relaxes.
Lied lays down, pulling out of the pants pocket his mini headphones, and tries to have peace on that smooth and comforting lawn.
The songs that the boy listens to are all from a musical form called Kunstlied, of an intense sentimental tone. For some reason, this was a nostalgic genre to Lied.
However, he wasn’t alone there. Lately, a girl in her school uniform has been visiting that place, which usually only fills at weekends. With orange hair and light blue eyes, she just rests there like Lied.
Even though they were the only ones attending that space daily, the two students never came into contact with each other, and although he noticed that something bothered her (curiously she noticed his damaged leg), Lied had no intention of seeking dialogue and knowing what alarmed the girl.
Ten minutes of pure silence passed, only the fluttering of the leaves could be heard.
Lied, having relaxed enough (the music helped), got up and left the park, leaving behind the girl who glanced at him, and went straight to school.
He entered through the metal gates of the school, which creaked at the sound of the wind in an irritating melody.
After that he climbs the stairs leading to a second floor, where the classrooms were located. The doors were identified on a scoreboard with the number of each class.
Lied searched the door of his class and wondered if he should enter or not. Got ready to leave, but suddenly remembered his parents.
Entered the room, now without hesitation.
"You…! Late once again…! - the teacher exclaimed moments before noticing his injured leg - L-Lied-kun... would you mind going to the infirmary, please?"
Somewhat annoyed Lied slammed the door shut, all while his classmates stared at the "not-so-sociable student", and went to the school infirmary.
The end of the day has come, the sunset is wonderful. Time to get out of school and go home.
The cherry blossoms dropped in front of the school gate and flew from side to side in a pink dance.
Lied advanced between them, avoiding looking at other students.
Slightly behind him was a cheerful group of women, and one of the girls watched Lied closely, knowing he would still go to the same place today.
Finally got home.
He left the school bag in his room, changed into a more casual outfit, and prepared to head out to the park. The moment he opened the door to leave, his father emerged followed by the mother.
"Son... I...!", the man said, hesitating at the end and eventually not finishing what he was going to say.
The mother expected her husband to have the speech prepared, but either she was wrong or he simply didn’t have enough courage to take a step forward.
Lied ignored and refuses to talk, preparing to open the front door.
"Lied... your father and I are very sorry. So, please, don’t forget to come back home, okay?", the mother says in a soft, maternal tone.
Lied reflected for a moment, but ended up leaving the house.
He went back to the park, where once again Lied found "her”, still in uniform.
Lays down in his already delineated space, staring at the blue spots and trying to touch them with the fingertips while the trees and the grass dance to the beat of the wind.
Lied asked himself if he should have stayed to hear his father's words and reply to his mother.
Was it... regret?
Another ten silent minutes passed again and no contact between the two young students.
The young girl, crouching on the opposite side of Lied but occasionally discreetly watching the boy, leaned her back to the side and began to stare at him with clear signs of wanting to start a conversation.
She appealed constantly, trying to gain the attention of the boy who didn’t respond to her call. Lied, who was using his own head as a cushion, finally answered:
"I’m listening.", he stated not taking his eyes off the sky.
“If you were listening, then why didn’t you answer sooner...?”, she thought to herself, comically revolted.
"Today - at the exit and entrance of the school -, yesterday, the day before yesterday... where I go, you go. In the last two weeks, it has always been that way - said Lied, catching her off guard - So? What do you want?", Lied asks as he slightly shifts his gaze from the blue ceiling to the girl.
"He's actually a great observer for someone who doesn’t care about observing other people", the lass concluded in her mind.
She sighed, got up from the grass and walked to Lied. Crouched and touched his right index finger, which was touching the blue orb.
"I can also… see it."
They were looking equally at the meeting of their fingers and to the bluish sphere visible to both.
This revelation surprised Lied, who wasn’t expecting someone else besides him to be able to see them.
"That's why you bothered me all day with your observing presence... I see... so I'm not the only one, huh...?"
"No, I’m sorry for that.", Naomi hilariously apologized for her pursuit.
The girl squirmed as Lied stood up, his hands wrapped around the trousers in order to clean them.
Now standing but still with his back turned, Lied asked:
"I started to see only very recently, just before I started to come here."
She was looking down with a concerned expression on her face.
"Your name is Naomi, right?"
Lied turns slightly to the girl.
"Eh? How do you know?"
Lied shows in his left hand a school ID card.
"Ah! That’s mine!"
"You dropped it."
Lied twirls the card before throwing to Naomi, who successfully received it.
"A-And your name is Lied, right?"
"Yeah. Good stalker work."
"I-I don’t want to hear that from someone who takes other people's things without permission!"
Lied was holding his chin thoughtfully, trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle.
"Recently…The moment you started to see, or slightly before, did something strange happen to you? Something that could have triggered the phenomenon?"
"I don’t know, nothing abnormal comes to my mind... But why? Did something happen to you?"
"No... I can see it since I remember."
Lied puts his right hand on the forehead for an instant, almost trying to remember something that had never happened.
Naomi, staying on the same subject, changed only the question.
"Anyway, these blue balls... what are they...?"
"I don’t know exactly… They pile up on their own and always take the same direction, as if they were programmed to go together to the same place. Yes... that's my only certainty... "
He paused for a moment.
"These blue dots... are alive."
After saying that, Lied touches the blue dot again.
"A-Alive...?", Naomi swallowed her saliva as she says.
"It’s not just that… There’s one more thing."
"One more thing…?"
"It was just a glimpse, but I'm sure of what I saw. They... take human forms."
Before Naomi could say anything, a thick smoke began to paint the sky gray. This smoke, which implied that there was a fire, came from exactly where Lied lives - his house.
Lied understood right away.
"Comes from there…!"
Without exchanging last words with Naomi, he runs from the park towards the source of the smoke.
The girl didn’t stand still and ran after him.
As they leave the park, a white hooded figure suddenly appears and watches them. An apparition that preluded what's to come.
Lied overtook the various people who obstructed the road, their eyes focused on the smoke that covered the sky. Naomi would eventually fall behind, trapped by the crowd that gathered more and more in front of the burning house.
A siren could be heard, rescue was coming.
Lied ran over the people and fled from the arms of the newly arrived firemen who were trying to control him. But nothing could stop Lied. Not now, at that moment.
He slides through the wooden planks and the waves of fire that burned the entire house, managing to go inside thanks to a breach that would have miraculously survived and divinely decided to help Lied.
Lied is in what could be called the remains of the entrance hall. The furniture itself was in a process of decay.
A photograph on a nightstand with the boy in his 10s and the parents, which had been taken during the summer holidays of that year, was at this very moment dissipating in a feverish heat. The parents smiled. Lied not so much.
The door to the dining room have been razed by the fire, leaving the doorway open.
Came in. And that’s when he saw it.
In front of him, a figure in a gold-plated black cloak amid the dancing orange fire. Judging by the stature, a man in his early 30s. It wasn't possible to see his face as it's covered by steam.
Lied, panting, turns his eyes to the open compartment, trying to find traces of the parents. But nothing, he couldn’t see a trace of their bodies or any signs of life there. It was just the two of them.
Either managed to save themselves or... they were "completely decimated". But would this really be humanly possible? He didn’t want to think about that possibility.
Shooks his head slightly, focusing the eager gaze on him again.
"Where? Where are they…?!"
Breathless and out of control.
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO THEM?!"
Deep down he knew. His instinct... was right.
A destined meeting that will lead to the beginning of everything...
The curtains of despair open!