Chapter 1: Ib All Alone
The garden is like a maze twisting and turning in different ways. In this fabricated world made from the works of Weiss Guertena, Ib stands alone, spinning round and round with a tiny blue doll in her hands. Laughter comes from their play, but Ib's lips are unmoving.
"Whee! This is so much fun! Are you having fun, Ib?" the doll asks in a soft, yet eerie voice. Ib says nothing. She only nods, smiling softly all the while. "We'll be together forever, right? I'd like that very much."
Ib remains silent. She can't seem to think of the right words to say.
Ib slows down and comes to a stop, still holding the doll. As she stops, Ib's mother approaches her daughter.
"That's enough horsing around. You'll get sick doing that." Ib runs up to her mother and embraces her. She chuckles. "It's good to see you too, dear. Now come. Why don't we go to your favorite place?" Ib nods excitedly. Her mother begins to walk, taking Ib by the hand. Ib does the same with her doll, dragging it behind her.
Ib's most favorite place in the world is the museum, which always holds an exhibition of Guertena's finest works. When she's there, she's more at home than anywhere. As Ib and her mother arrive, Ib immediately begins to run off on her own.
"Don't wander too far!" Ib's mother calls to her.
Ib explores the entire museum, carefully examining each and every painting and sculpture and their descriptions. Whenever the doll asks questions about something, Ib is ready with a detailed response. She's studied every single book about Guertena and considers herself an expert on everything about the artist. After going through each work, she runs up to the second floor to admire her most favorite painting, "Fabricated World".
"This is your favorite…right, Ib?" Ib nods with a huge smile on her face. "I don't like it. It's too scary for me. Who cares about another world? This one works just fine." Annoyed, Ib sticks her tongue out at the doll, who giggles evilly, before going back to the painting.
"…?" She looks closer at the painting and notices that the colors are shifting, and the painting starts to form different things.
"What is it, Ib?"
Ib ignores her doll and continues to look at "Fabricated World". She begins to see images of different people looking at the painting back at her. She sees a couple with a newborn baby. She sees an older boy with a ragged coat with a girl about his age clinging to his arm. First the girl's a brunette. Then blonde. The girl keeps changing.
The painting keeps changing, showing her different worlds. Then, slowly, the painting begins to fade. The colors wash out, leaving behind not a white canvas, but a blank one. A canvas of nothing. Only one thing remains: a girl. Ib. A reflection of her is revealed in the painting.
"…" Slowly, Ib reaches out to the painting as her reflection does the same. Their hands nearly touch…
Another hand reaches out and grabs Ib's shoulder. Startled, Ib turns to see that her mother has found her. "There you are, Ib. What did I tell you about wandering off like that? I was worried sick!"
"…" She looks back at the painting and sees that it's exactly the same as it's always been.
"Is something wrong, Ib?"
Ib slowly turns back to her mother. After a moment, she shakes her head.
"Good. Now why don't we go home and have dinner? I'm sure you're very hungry." She takes her daughter by the hand as they walk away from the painting.
Ib seems puzzled. She was just doing something important, but she couldn't remember what it was. It was something about a painting…
"I love you, Ib."
Before long, Ib shakes her head. It's just my imagination.
"I love you too, Mommy."
Ib continues to walk down the black corridor, the blue doll dragging at her feet. She wanders into the fabricated world of Weiss Guertena all alone.