I don't own anything associated with Kingdom Hearts. It belongs to Disney/Square Enix.

So, I found a 100 Theme Challenge online and decided to give it a try. I feel a hundred words is too short to get the story across and one thousand is too long, so these will be five hundred words each.


She awoke, head pounding and dark specks dancing in her vision.

Sand blew across the ground in a dusty cloud, sending grit into her eyes and making them tear up. The world was barren, silent, and she couldn't recall how she had got here, or why it hurt so much to move.

It took three tries before she could remain standing. Her body felt like someone had shattered her bones with a sledgehammer. She grimaced, rubbing her forehead to ease the throbbing, and tentatively looked up.

Where was she? Nothing seemed familiar about this place. It appeared to be far from any city, and she couldn't think of any reason for her to be so far from home. She searched her brain, but was greeted by a disturbing blank.

Behind her, somebody groaned.

She whirled around to see a dark-cladded boy pushing himself off the ground. His outfit was very particular; a red and black bodysuit that covered every inch of skin, topped by a domed helmet that reflected her own startled expression. Was that odd? She thought it might be, but strangely, she couldn't remember . . .

The boy hissed and collapsed onto his stomach, and she automatically rushed over and hooked her arm under his. He sagged against her, his helmet slowly rising to look her in the face. She felt him stiffen under her arm. And their positions changed. The boy moved so fast that she had no time to react and suddenly, he was straddling her and holding a blade to her neck.

"Oh, Aqua," the boy chuckled, "always have to be the good Samaritan."

The blade slid teasingly across her throat, and her heartbeat quickened.

"No smart comebacks?" the boy sneered. "I'll admit, I'm disappointed. You usually put up a better fight."

Do I? For the life of her, she didn't know. She couldn't remember. Her past was contained in a murky fog, and all her attempts to breach it only dragged her down further.

"Who are you?" she asked.

The blade dropped. The boy cocked his head to one side, studying her with eyes she couldn't see. "Funny," he said. He no longer sounded amused, but angry. "I'd advise you change this conversation now, Aqua."

Aqua. Her lips formed the word, feeling a connection to it. Was that her? Was she Aqua?

She spoke out loud, and she could almost see the boy's eyes roll. "Yes, your name. Did I rattle your brains?"

"I-I don't know. I can't remember . . ."

The blade finally fell away. "Can't remember what?" the boy demanded. When she remained silent, he grabbed her by the collar. "Answer me!"

It fell out of her mouth. "Anything!"

He held her there for a few seconds more, then slowly pried his fingers loose. "You don't remember anything? Quick, tell me who I am, who Ventus is."

"I don't know."

A long moment passed. Then he spoke.

"I'm your friend, Vanitas. Ventus is the one who did this to you."