Author's Note: The purpose of this chapter (officially Chapter 0 as this was not meant to be in the original plot) is to equalize the chapters once more, as I had previously deleted the original Chapter 1 (because I hated it with much of my soul) and messed up the Alerts.

I did not consider this until a short time later (2 years) and now have decided to do something to get the Alerts working again to alert folks that yes; this story's 10th chapter DID come out.

I will also note here that I am re-writing/editing all chapters of this story, which should take effect in approximately 4-5 months. At that time, the free time I once had the summer and fall of '09 should return (in part) to me, and thus should bring about an eventual conclusion (or at least next chapter) to this story.

Enjoy my ramblings~

All children are read bedtime stories. A way to ensure that they will settle down after a rambunctious day, and a way to let their mind explore fantastic possibilities impossible in their own universe. Development of the imagination, as researchers have called it.

Yet, though these worlds do not exist by day, the children's minds at night are filled with their imaginings of these places, and of what goes on in them. All the time wondering if they too can do and see the fantastic things the characters in the books can experience and be a part of.

And, of course, like all curious children who must know things, they ask about what makes these characters different from themselves.

"Why, it is because they have special powers, and you are but a regular child." The parent or guardian realizes telling them this may make the child sad, to believe they cannot be special like their beloved character, and so a well-heard question is quickly asked to distract the child.

"If you could have any power in the world, what would it be?" This is the common question that children are asked, and they often respond with varied answers, some comical, some serious, some innocent.

"I want to have the power to fly." "The power to sing really beautifully, so no man can resist me." "I want butterfly wings" "Eat whatever I want" "Laser vision" "Ice breath" "Green thumb" "I want to turn water into soda pop" "Change anything into gold" "Super speed" "Super strength" "Be able to juggle" "Turn into a bird" "To see into the future" "Being really, really smart" "To turn into anybody else" "Time travelling" "To have awesome samurai skills" "To be able to yodel" "Talking to animals" "Teleportation" "I want to be able to turn into fire."

These wishes are simple, or complex. They rarely come true to the children who wish for them, however. These powers seem only to exist in fairytales, in fantasies, and myths to them. When these children, the young and innocent, wake up in the morning, they can leave the story behind them in their dreams, safely stored away until the next night. Eventually, the children grow too old for these tales, and forget their child-like wishes. These too are left behind in the wake of growing up, as all children must do.

Not everyone, however, is able to leave the story behind them. For there are children who are followed still by the story, some for whom the adventure will not end when the sun rises. There are some children, some people, whose dreams of mythical powers and heroic battles follow them into the waking world, whose nightmares follow as well. These once innocent dreams become nothing more than a waking nightmare, a plague, and a torture.

"…I wish I had the power to do anything."

First there was nothing.

As it begins for so many people, the feeling of nothingness closed in around the mind, pressing in from all sides as if to prevent a soul from existing.

Then…there was something.

Unlike the usual something, a feeling of waking or returning to a place, this feeling was different. It was wrong.

This was the feeling of confusion. A feeling of distress.

A feeling of loss.

A/N: Look at me, being alive and all. Proud to say I am part of a blog representing weekly episodes and chapter releases of One Piece, , and sad to say that when I first joined their ranks a few years back I actually had constant and sufficient time on-hand to produce lengthy reviews of episodes in a timely fashion. With luck, that will soon be changing. For the better. So check it out (subliminal advertising much) and enjoy. I guarantee that it is fantastic.