Come little children
I'll take thee away
into a land of enchantment

Come little children
the time's come to play
here in my garden of shadows

Je… it's incredible that when I was a chick I found comfort on those dark words. Now that I'm pronouncing them it has the opposite effect.

A sad song… for a sad penguin.

But it wasn't always like this… no.

I had a place in my colony, a mate to love and a chick to take care of.

It's incredible how fast life can take away everything you love, just to remind you that there is no such thing and eternal happiness

First was her, the only woman who ignited that special flame in my heart. She was perfect, everything that every male could dream. Apart from being slightly smaller than the rest, physically she wasn't special. It was her interior what captive me. She was sweet and caring, but she had a strong personality. She did have a couple of refined whim, but she was still humble and never prise herself of being something she was not. Not a princess, nor a slave; just a woman.

My mate never returned from her fishing trip. It was devastating for me, it really was. But I move on, I had to. That was what she would want. To forget her and keep fighting for our chick.

Though I could never forget her, I continued with my life and raised our chick the best I could. She turned up to be a beautiful girl, just like her mother. Her green eyes always reminded me of her. Her black and white feathers were just perfect, and her golden necklace adorning the base of her neck was just gorgeous. She was a bit smaller than the rest of the chick of her generation, but not too much. Her physic, plus the prodigious voice she had, made her the most desired female of the colony. Many males drooled for her... and I had a big fun driving them away.

Yeah… those were good times. But as everything, it have to end sometime.

I remember that fatidic day.

The day she met the ocean for the first time… and swam into a school of fish that another predator had chose to attack before her.

"DAD!" Her cries were the only thing that kept me going.

Through the waves I could see that monstrosity moving away. My whole body ached unbearably, but my will was stronger.

"TASHA!" I yelled with all my strength, trying to at least give my poor daughter a bit of comfort. I dove in the icy waters of Antarctica, as there I could swim faster. My feet and flippers were flapping at full speed. I was not going to let those filthy aliens took my daughter away!

I remembered those stories that my parents used to tell me when I was a chick. The tales of Mumble Happy Feet, the emperor who stood against these creatures and not only survived, but defeated them, making the lost fishes returned to Antarctica where they belong and saving his colony. I prayed Guin… and asked him to grant me the strength that he had given to Mumble for just a while. Only the time needed to save my daughter.

I swam as fast as I could, and for a moment I thought I had lost them, but no. When I looked up, I realized I was right below them. Gathering all the scarce strength I had left, I darted toward the surface, flying in the air several meters. I almost failed, but I managed to grab one of those thick fibbers of that alien net with my beak.

"Dad!" I heard her voice again. She was on the other side of those ropes, squeezed between thousands of fish fighting for their lives.

"Don't worry, sweetie. I'll save you" I said as I started chewing the rope.

"No, dad! There is no time a-and it's too dangerous, you have to leave!" She was right. These aliens weren't like the ones that Mumble faced. Those only stole the fish. These, however, were known to hunt down everything. Whales, seals, killer whales and even penguins if they had the chance. A symbol on the side of their ships made the task of identifying these aliens' predators out very easy. A white square, which for us meant the snow, and a red round spot in the centre, which for us symbolized the blood they shed.

I have seen the carcass of several creatures being thrown from those ships each time they pass for these waters. I couldn't help but fear that that was going to be our destiny if we didn't flee in that moment.

"Dad, look out!" My daughter cried, diverting my attention from my task. Only then I realized that the net to which I was holding was slowly rising. I looked up, and there was destiny, materialized into the form of a big alien covered in his usual orange outfit, holding a long, silver stick with one of its points as sharp as a leopard seal's tooth.

I just stared in horror as that creature shouted something incomprehensible for me, and a second after another one appeared and stood by his side, replying in the same language. The creature with the weapon grinned and looked predatory at me, like a hungry leopard seal would. The alien took a step back, rose the thing those creatures have instead of flippers that was holding his weapon and threw it at us.

"LIVE!" My daughter shouted, and then the time seemed to speed up. I felt a push, which made me lose my grip and fall from the net. By luck, or by the lack of it, a large piece of ice was floating down the side of the ship. That's where I landed, in my head to be exact. It was solid ice, so the hit left me almost unconscious. Before losing my senses, I saw once again the net where I had fallen. There was stuck that alien weapon. Right in the place where I was.

Right in the place where my daughter was.

"Tasha ..." I whispered, before finally passing out.

I returned to my colony, defeated and humiliated.

Everyone looked at me, and although they said nothing, their gazes were sufficient

"Why your daughter is not with you?"

"What have you done?"

"How could you leave her to die!?"

Yes, I could literally read those words from her eyes.

I, with enormous sorrow in my heart, entered in my cave, not willing to face anyone.

And so I spent two months of my life in solitude in my frozen self-imposed jail, mourning my lost daughter and the promise I had broken. My mate's parents tried to console me, and my parents too. Our friends tried to cheer me up. Even the nation patriarch came to say it wasn't my fault.

"These things happens, young one. Do not blame yourself; your lost family wouldn't want to see you crumble. You are forgiven, for you did nothing wrong. Please, my dear friend: live"

I know they had forgiven me, but it didn't matter. I was the one who didn't forgive me. How could I? My daughter was dead because of me!

Then one night I realized. My sorrows were bringing sorrows to the lives of my fellow penguins. Not only I was ruining my own life on purpose, but also ruining everyone's as well.

I decided I would do something on the benefit of this colony for once. That same night, when everyone else was sleeping in the comforting embrace of the moon and the stars, I left the colony and adventured into the immensity of the inner continent.

I walked… and walked… and walked.

Day after day… night after night.

Sometimes at night, with the cold wind hitting me head-on without mercy, I felt like my body lost its energy and vigour, to the point where I felt I was going to die. But then, when I felt I was going to cross the final threshold and join my loved ones, a mysterious force flowed out of me and forced me to continue.

One night I broke.

"GUIN! WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME!? I have lived my life according to your rules, always preaching YOUR word, and you have taken everything I loved. Yet you refuse to take me and allow my poor soul to finally rejoice by the side of my mate and daughter. I demand a reason! What do you have planned!? Tell me, you damn it! WHY YOU WANT ME TO LIVE!? WHY!? WHY!?" I shouted to the skies with all the might I had. Not expecting a respond.

I kept walking, until I reached this huge cliff in which edge in standing right now.

And as I said, I'm singing that old, antiquated song that my mother used to sing me when I was scared or I couldn't sleep.

You could think that with lyrics so… dark you could scare a small chick. Maybe it's true, but I was the exception. I find comfort in this song... most of the time at least.

Follow sweet children
I'll show thee the way
through all the pain and the sorrows

Weep not poor children
for life is this way
murdering beauty and passions

Hush now dear children
it must be this way
to weary of life and deceptions

"Wow, chief, what's up?" Am I hearing voice? I turn around, and find myself been observed by another penguin. It's a female, judging by her voice. Although she seems to be an emperor penguin, I can tell that she is not. She is probable a king penguin who came from the North "You've got an amazing voice, let me tell, but the song it's too sad for someone like you" What kind of tricks are you playing with me, Guin? Well, I shall play along. Let see where this take me.

"A sad song for a sad penguin" I reply, returning my gaze to the horizon.

"What happened, chief?" She asks me. Why is she interested, anyways?

"My daughter died… I couldn't prevent it" Why am I answering? "I exiled myself, and now I seek for redemption and a new place to belong"

"Oh, and how do you plan to do that?" I can't help but think that this girl is mocking me.

"Finishing my song would be a start" I reply as coldly as possible. She takes a step back.

"Yes, of course, erhm… do you mind if I listen?" She asks. She sounds sincere.

"As you wish" I clear my throat to continue. This won't take long

Rest now my children
for soon we'll away
into the calm and the quiet

Come little children
I'll take thee away
into a land of enchantment

Come little children
the time's come to play
here in my garden of shadows

"As I said, your voice is amazing" I turn around

"Thank you"

"Listen chief, I assume you don't have where to go, right?"

"The world is my home now, so it does not really matter where I go"

"Right, right. And you don't have anyone waiting for…"

"Listen, young lady. If this is some kind of odd courtship, I must tell you that I'm not interested in the slightest"

"Heavens, no. Chief, I only saying that you are a very talented penguin and… how old are you?"


"See! You are pretty young to be here crying! And…"

"To the point, young lady. I do not have all the day to waste with you"

"Hear me, I'm not usually this kind. I'm doing my best to remain calm, so please hear me, since this could be important to you" She says to me. In her face I see she is being honest.

"I'm hearing"

"I belong to a select group of elite singers. We, The White Ones, are the pride of our nation. We are always seeking for talented penguins, like you, to join us. So this is my offer: Sing for us, and I guaranteed a place for you to belong. As for your redemption, I can't assure that, but I assure that dying out here isn't going to grant you with it"

The same question comes to my mind again: what kind of tricks are you playing with me, Guin?

And the same answer comes too: I shall play along. Let see where this take me.

"I accept, young lady"

"Good, wise choice… and quit with the `young lady´ thing. The name is Vasquez. Do you have one or I just keep telling you chief?"

"I did have one, but I want to leave it in the past too"

"So I call you chief?"

"No, call me like I was called by my friends back in my years of school, when my life was still a blank page waiting for me to write in it"

"Ok, how then?"

"Some of them still call me like that"

"And which name would that be?" She sounds exasperated. That was the idea. I giggle "What are you laughing at? How do they call you?" I giggle again.

"They call me Jack"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this was my entry to MyWayWritter's competition!

I must admit that I didn't want to participate, but he kind of convinced me.

I felt strange writting this. I'm not used to write sad stuff, so it was kind of hard for me... and I just have to add a joke at the end as a signature of me! XD

Well friends, tell me what you think!

Before somebody mention it, yes. The character lacks of some details, but this is on porpuse. I wanted him to be mysterious, at least a bit.

Ok, that's all for now.

Read you soon ;)