"To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm quite insane.
Though I don't know if it's because of a lie or a truth, my mind is rattled and filled with holes and it all comes down to one simple fact.
I am not where I should be, or at least I don't think I should be here.
Let's back up a bit and focus on the facts.
One: I died.
This seems a bit strange if I can talk to you about it, but that goes to the next fact.
Two: I'm not dead.
Now this one comes with more complications.
Three: I was reborn, in a new world.
Or I believe in my mind this to be the case, since at birth, I had the full conscious memory of a world and a life that was not this. But I'll get into more detail.
From what I remember, I didn't die in my sleep, I was fully aware as to what was happening and how close I was coming to the edge of eternal darkness. Maybe in the dark chasms of my cynical mind there was some hope there was some greater reward awaiting a lifetime of being a semi-decent human being. Though the deep instinctual fear that there is in fact nothing and that I would cease to be entirely made itself very heavily known.
I am not entire sure this situation is better.
However, when I did fade from pain, from my fallen form, from a world that while not perfect was fairly convenient and livable for most people. I began again. It was a bit like falling asleep, with a rather rude, and very awkward awakening.
Basically it was like being pulled out of bed while experiencing bad trip mixed with a massive hangover. The sheer vertigo, directionless, and suddenness of the change coupled with the mass of confusion considering I was fairly certain I was dead led to a very standard result. I entered this new world like most new babies did, I cried.
Eventually, I got some bearing of comfort in my surrounding. I had no real gauge of time, since I had no actual scale to work with. I could try to count seconds all I wanted, but just processing the change in, well, everything, took a truckload of effort just to get my bearings.
I focused on the little things. I wasn't in pain, which was a massive improvement from my previous situation. I wasn't being actively hurt. I was being handled, held gently very close, so I could hear a heartbeat though it was weird to associate the feeling since the proportion was off. But it made me feel a little better, which I guess made sense. Human contact was instinctually comforting, the warmth of the contact, a familiar sound, it helped ease my mind, even in the confusion and disorientation of my situation. Though there was something else, it was a little lighter than the heartbeat, so in synch with it that it could be easily drowned out. But well, I spent a lot of time being held for the first week of my life, and it was something to focus on.
I had no context for what it was since I could only hear it if I was really close to someone. That was of course until I was orphaned.
I never really figured out who my parents in this world were. I mean, I knew their given names, I don't know if they had surnames but they didn't use them when they referred to each other. We had been traveling when I was born, no reason given, maybe they were merchants, couriers, maybe they were just looking for a new life.
But they didn't get to their destination, they made sure of that.
I tried to remember their names, since they tried so hard. But it was easier I guess to remember mine. Ume, the name they gave me was Ume.
It was a night ambush, when the small group had stopped and then they struck. I remember being bundled, tight and warm and then tucked under leaves. I remember the sounds, screaming, crying, begging, I took it all in, confused. I was cold, in a daze really, like I had shut down. Maybe I had been quiet because I knew somewhere in my confused mind that if I cried out, if I moved, that something bad would happen. I heard it, then, a high pitched buzz in the air as the perpetrators moved through what was probably a small camp. It was active and wild, and it flared as someone ran and was suddenly stopped. No scream escaped their lips, but they fell, not six inches from me it felt like. Not that I could see from my angle through underdeveloped eyes. But I could hear it, the buzz, but I could also smell it, something that was uniform across between the world I came from and the one I was in now.
It wasn't the first time I'd smelt blood, and in this world it would never be the last.
Than, it was over, the buzz died down, and they left. They hadn't found me, in the leaves swaddled and helpless. Sometime near daylight, someone came, I heard them, and I cried. I didn't know if was the attackers but that didn't seem likely at that point and I was tired, hungry and cold. It wasn't, so I was rescued.
I was sent to an orphanage. Something I never knew from my last life, but I was made acutely aware of the difference. This wasn't a place that we were loved, just cared for. But it wasn't the same. I was more moved than carried, fed from a bottle, then passed along to some other person to be placed and forgotten. It was a loss I could only truly process with my adult mind, but it had an effect. The babies grew sick from it, and many of them, died.
I heard them die.
It was several months into my stay there that I realized what that was. The soft hum that I could only really hear if I focused on it. But when I did, if I was close, I would hear it, just fade. Which given the reaction of the caretakers when it did, made it not hard to make the connection.
The orphanage was overfilled and understaffed, with the high mortality rate being the only thing that brought things to a medium that would allow the attention the other babies needed to survive. It was a gruesome cycle that I had no way to affect in any meaningful way.
Which was going to be a common theme in my life from now on.
But I lived, maybe from luck, or because I had the capacity to understand that I wasn't abandoned and left to die. I lived in the orphanage going through the steps of growing, one of the most painfully slow processes one can ever repeat.
I tried to focus my mind and find ways to entertain myself. I tried to find high places to sit, places I could curl up and hide, take things without being caught. It played merry hell with the caregivers' heads, and it probably didn't help their jobs any, but I could not think of much else to do otherwise. At least until I managed to learn how to speak and read, which was also slow going, but easier with the proper motivation that there was no way to communicate, at all.
Children's books taught me several very important things other than language, and even the simple stories hinted heavily towards it. But confirmation did not make things much better. It was around the time I was getting into some of the bigger words that I deciphered the banners outside of the orphanage that had a very unique symbol on it. A symbol that in the brightly colored book was associated with what it called the elemental nations, the symbol of water. But the water wasn't what concerned me. It was what the banner said, though the person who walked passed the banner at that moment just confirmed it. Metal forehead protector, sandals, arm protectors, and a humming sound as he moved past. Whatever fickle fate had placed me here, I was in a hidden village, but it wasn't Konoha. Nope, the banner outside the building read Kirigakure of the water country, also known as "the Village of the Bloody Mist," which should have probably highlighted how screwed I was.
So this is the first chapter, yes there are parallels, this is in the Dreaming of Sunshine universe my Silver Queen, will be referencing a bit to the happenings. Some reviews would be helpful.
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