I stood in the middle of a massive field. Tall grass surrounded me and stretched as far as I could see, dotted with wildflowers. As I gazed in awe at the field, I heard a faint scream from behind me. I turned around and saw a sight that almost made me fall over.
Dark clouds, sickly pink and black rumbled with the threat of rain, but they didn't look normal. They surged and churned in the sky, and almost looked like they were held back by an invisible barrier. As I watched, the clouds billowed and writhed more, and suddenly blasted out, like ink dropped in water, rushing across the clear sky. As the shadow of the clouds covered the field, the grass seemed to twist and shrivel to a dark gray color. Flowers wilted and turned to ash, and the bare stalks grew new thorns, turning into sharp briars. I looked back up to the clouds and saw that they were getting closer. Much closer. I tried to lift my feet to run, but they wouldn't obey me. I struggled as hard as I could but couldn't get unstuck. Suddenly, I caught a blob of white moving in front of the approaching wave of shadow and corruption.
Even though she was yards away, I could tell that the blob was a woman, really a girl, about the same age as me. She was dressed in a modest white dress that fluttered behind her as she ran, as did her golden braided hair. I thought there were hints of gold in her outfit as well but had no time to look closer as I realized that the girl was running straight at me. I again tried to move but remained rooted in place.
As the girl got closer to me, I heard that she was yelling something. With a start, I realized it was my name.
"Link! Link!" she yelled, urgency and fear clear in her voice. "Wake up! You have to wake up!" Reacting impulsively to her cry, I braced myself to catch her as she leaped towards me.
She plowed into me, making me fall to the ground, but the weight that hit me was way more than I had expected from the slight girl. With suddenly no air to breathe, my eyes flew open. Instead of the girl I had seen, on above me was my cousin Sheik, bouncing on the bed to helpfully wake me up.
"Oi, Linkoln! Get up quick! Cremia is outside the door naked!" I responded by clutching my stomach and rolling off the bed, gasping and trying to refill my empty lungs, shooting Sheik a dirty look the whole time. Finally managing to find my lungs again, I slowly hauled myself to my feet, glowering at the dirty-blonde boy still bouncing on my bed.
"For the love of Nayru, Sheik! Why do you always do that? And why the Dark Realm would my girlfriend be naked outside my door at six in the morning on a Monday?!" I cursed, still shooting a glance out the open door of my bedroom. It couldn't hurt to check.
"Heck if I know. But it woke you up, didn't it? Now get your ass up. Breakfast is downstairs." With that, Sheik launched himself off the bed and out the door, laughing crazily with red Sheikah eyes glinting.
"And don't call me Linkoln. You know it's Link!" I screamed after him and dropped back onto the bed, wishing I could slip back into my dreams. I knew I was dreaming about something, but try as I might, I couldn't hold onto the details. Something about...something? Green? No... white? White something?
Giving up, I pulled myself up again and walked into my bathroom, where I took a quick shower, threw on a light pair of jean and my favorite green shirt, and trotted down to the glorious smell of bacon.
Shadren, my twin brother, stood in the kitchen hovering around Sheik's father, Hunter, as bacon fried in the pan, and Sheik ran his hand through his hair, trying to find his reflection in his plate.
"Shade, it won't cook faster if you stare at it," I groaned as Shade glanced at me with a smirk. "And Sheik, would you cut it out? You look fine."
"Yeah," Shade said, not moving his eyes from the sizzling bacon. "There are some things you just can't fix. Besides, Midna still won't notice you." Sheik mumbled something unflattering about Shade but still couldn't hide his blush.
"Play nice now boys. Here, eat up," Hunter chuckled and put the plates of eggs and bacon down on the kitchen table. The three of us dove at the food, scarfing it down in minutes. Wolf, our black and white family dog that certainly lived up to his name, came in from the living room, so I tossed him the few bacon scraps that were left.
Strange as our family was, we were content. Shade and I had lived with our uncle for almost 13 years, ever since our parents had died in a freak accident. And then, not three months later, Hunter's wife died of terminal cancer that the doctors had no way of treating. Heartbroken at the loss of his brother, sister-in-law, and wife, Hunter had adopted the two of us, and had raised us as his own. We didn't necessarily have a typical Hylian family, but we were still family.
Luckily, in my opinion, Shade and I never really had a "perfectly in sync identical twins" dynamic. I always felt a certain degree of pity for our family, and so I tried my best to make sure that other unfortunate people and families didn't have to go through what we did. Though I didn't always feel it, I tried to keep up a friendly appearance. No reason other people should feel bad just because I did. And while Shade didn't enjoy the pain of others, he didn't hold back his darker inner feelings and came across as more sullen and aloof. It wasn't so much that he didn't care, just that he didn't make any real effort. The end result was that people often saw us as opposites of each other, despite still looking nearly identical. The only real physical difference between us was that Shade's hair was more a platinum blonde, instead of the golden blonde my hair was. Standing next to each other, people swore that his hair was greyish-white. But regardless of our differences, we were still twins and shared almost everything with each other.
Swallowing the last of my food, I snapped out of my thoughts and glanced at the stove clock. Din, seven already. Mentally cursing, I rinsed my plate, stuffed it in the dishwasher, ran upstairs to grab my school bag, and bounced back down the stairs, yelling for the other two boys to hurry up, unless they wanted to be late for school again. Once they were ready to go, I grabbed my keys, yelled goodbye to Hunter, and drove over to our school, Hyrule High (really, who thought that name was a good idea), which was only about a mile away.
As soon as we parked, Shade hopped out of the car into the cool April air and jogged away to the school, though I knew he wouldn't show up to class until after the bell rang. Sheik and I walked to our first class, greeting friends along the way. Arriving at the room, we took our seats and waited for the teacher, Owlan Falc.
Glancing around, something I found myself doing all the time, I noticed an extra desk added to the end of my row. A bit late for a new student. We're over halfway through the semester, I thought. Must be a special case. I was quickly distracted by my girlfriend, Cremia, walking into the room and sitting down between me and the new, empty desk. Trying very hard not to think of what Sheik had said that morning, I gave Cremia a smile I was so well known for and apparently had girls swooning over. I also caught Sheik turned around in his seat and wiggling his eyebrows mischievously out of the corner of my eye. I ignored him.
"Good morning, Link! How are you today?" Cremia exclaimed, joyful as always. That was part of why I liked her so much.
"Morning, Crem. A bit tired, but just fine otherwise." Cremia rolled her eyes and laughed. I was almost always tired.
"What are you doing next weekend? My dad is letting me have a big party for my birthday, so I'm inviting pretty much everyone." Crap, I had forgotten it was almost her birthday. Yeah, yeah, terrible boyfriend, I know. Sheik, never one to miss out on a chance to be a general annoyance, spun around in his chair, which was just in front of mine.
"Everyone? That includes me, right? Because there was that one party that 'everyone' went to that I was definitely not invited to."
"Yes, yes, Sheik, you can come too," Cremia said with a sigh. Sheik was the class clown and would be the chief troublemaker too if Shade hadn't fit that role all too well.
At that moment, Professor Owlan walked in the door, followed by a girl about my age. She seemed shy and kept her head down, clutching her books to her chest. Guess I was right about the new student, I thought. Owlan cleared his throat to get the class' attention.
"Alright then, settle in there. Before we start, I'd like to introduce our new student, Zelda Harkinian." Zelda looked up and gave a little wave. And I think my heart stopped, but I'm not even sure about that.
I couldn't even think; I just starred in awe at the girl next to Owlan. She was a few inches shorter than me, I guessed, probably about 5'7. Her dark platinum blonde hair was down her back. She was wearing a modest, light pink blouse and a knee length white skirt. I couldn't help but notice her slim, pale legs. Moving my gaze back up, I again noticed her flattering figure. Sue me, I'm a guy. But it was her face that really caught my attention. Refined features, thin cheekbones, small nose, sweet lips, arched eyebrows, fluttering lashes, barely tanned skin, and ears pointed like mine, marking her as a Hylian. But most of all, her eyes. Light blue, like the color of the Lake Hylia in the sun. Zelda's eyes met mine, and I quickly dropped my gaze. Her eyes were surprisingly intense.
"She just moved here from Labrynna, and I'd like to encourage all of you to be nice to her. You were all new once too. Zelda, you can sit just over there, next to Cremia."
"Thank you," Zelda said, her voice soft, but confident. She had a tinge of a Labrynnian accent that made her that much more fascinating. At that moment, I could have sworn she was a goddess.
Throughout the rest of class, my mind refused to focus. I was normally a decently attentive student, but the new girl just wouldn't get out of my mind. Of course, it didn't help that she was six feet away. I kept shooting glances past Cremia to Zelda, only slightly worried Cremia would see me starring at the new girl.
I had no idea what Owlan said during class, despite Ancient Hyrulian History being one of my favorite classes, but I knew Sheik would pay enough attention to fill me in later. I always found the class quite easy anyway. As soon as the bell rang, I launched myself out the door, eager to get away from Zelda before I did something idiotic. I was really confused. I was normally cool around girls, confident. For some reason, those rules didn't apply to this Zelda Harkinian.
Cremia quickly caught up to me, having oh so cleverly noticed that something was up.
"What was that?" she asked. "You only ever bolt out of class like that when there's something wrong. So what's up?
Oh, you know, I ranted to myself. I just fell hard for the new girl, who I'm pretty sure is beauty incarnate, so much so that I couldn't keep my eyes off her. And yes, I know that I'm dating you, but I'm kind of losing it here. I had to run because I was seriously worried I would do something completely moronic in front of everyone, like ask her out on the spot. Nonononono, deep breath now.
"Nothing. Just had to get out of there. Kind of antsy today." Apparently I managed to make the lie believable, because Cremia dropped the issue.
"Alright, well, I've got to get to Math, so I'll see you at lunch."
"Okay. See you later!" I said with a quick grin.
I started off to my next class, which was Hylian with Mr. Gaepora. Sheik was in the same class, and usually walked with me. I realized where he was likely to be just a second too late.
I worked out pretty regularly, which was a very good thing when Sheik crashed into me, clinging to my back. With a loud *oof*, I stumbled forward, but managed to stay upright. Sheik then started talking far too loud directly into my pointed ear.
"So then, how about that Zelda girl? Pretty cute right. At least, you certainly seem to think so. Half the times I turned around in class, you were staring at her like you were in the Gerudo Desert and she was an oasis. Don't think I've ever seen that look on your face, even around Cremia." I could hear the mischievous grin in his voice.
"Oh for Din's sake, shut up," I muttered, and shoved Sheik off my back. Unfazed, Sheik jumped into step next to me. Various classmates greeted us as we passed them in the hall. For some reason, half the girls in the school apparently had a crush on me and didn't exactly hide it. As such, all the guys that have crushes on those girls or just wanted to be popular liked to hang around me, in hopes that someday someone would look down from the sun that apparently was my face and notice them. Because of that, I knew almost everyone in the school. My friend circle was huge, but my close friends were relatively few. Sometimes being the popular guy could be lonely. Sheik, in his own right, was known far and wide as the joker, and most were always willing to share a laugh with him.
Not only the boys noticed our passing. Despite my status of having a girlfriend for six months, that didn't stop the other girls in the school from trying to steal me away, or something like that. As we passed, I would often spare a glance at any of the girls I knew, who would practically faint at my slight smile and promptly erupt into giggles and whispers behind me. Some weren't even that subtle, practically dressing as if they were going to the beach. I ignored those girls. Really, have some respect for yourselves.
Arriving to class and finding our seats, Sheik and I joked around with some of the other guys until class started. When Mr. Gaepora, who had eyebrows like you wouldn't believe if you didn't see them, got to class, I had almost forgotten about Zelda, at least enough to focus on school properly.
No sooner than that thought passed my mind, Zelda walked in the door and was introduced as a new student for the end of the year. After the same quiet "thank you" that I had heard not two hours earlier, she moved to the empty seat next to me, which I had somehow not noticed. Catching my eye, she gave me a little smile. My heart stopped again, but I think I managed something like a smile this time. Zelda quickly sat down and faced the front, where Gaepora was starting in on something about tenses. It was going to be a long day.
*Since they don't really speak English, it didn't seem right to call the class "English". Thus, Hylian, since I would assume that's what they would speak. Also, I'm comparing Zelda's Labrynnian accent to something vaguely British. Because British accents are sexy as hell.
Let me know what you think!