City of Rainbows
A/N: This is an altered translation of my Japanese fic.
"Did you know that at the end of a rainbow…"
The only things I knew were what my friends told me when they came to visit. The only world I knew was this room and the field I could see from this window. And this story was what made me decided to flap my wings.
At the end of a rainbow, just one wish is granted, they say.
I've seen a rainbow once. I remember it well, because it was my jewel on the other side of the glass. After the rain stained all the skies gray, one single ray of light shone in, and there a rainbow was born.
I couldn't see the beginning or the end to that rainbow. Almost as if it was guiding someone to the mirage it led to, it bent into the forest. Will it guide me as well? Will it guide me to that mirage of light?
The girl slips away into a dream, her lips curving into an arc.
I am in a forest, carrying a small blue penguin. The deep, deep forest surrounds every side of me, but when I look up, a clear blue sky peeks out from between the trees. I glance toward my feet and find that the sun, dyed by the soft greens, is playing tag upon the fallen leaves. Had I played tag before? Perhaps, for I know that term.
A scent that felt fresh, revitalizing, and a tiny bit sweet – that must be the scent of nature. Even though I have never smelled it before, I still remember it. I wonder why.
The penguin jumps from my arms, waddling into a nearby stream that gently shimmers as it reflects the sunlight. Playing in the water, it happily exclaims, "Pip, piplup!"
Since it keeps repeating the word "piplup," I'll call it that.
I cup my hands and gather some water. It feels clear and cold. My hands tremble, creating spaces that the water runs through, plinking every time. I wonder where this stream leads. Perhaps it leads to the same place as the rainbow does.
The edge of the forest gradually comes into view. When I step on the fallen leaves, they crunch almost inaudibly beneath my feet. I finally move the last branch to the side, and my vision immediately widens. It's so bright, much like the time we went to the sea.
…Did we ever go to the sea? I don't know.
Many people go across the stone bridge connecting this forest with the castle on the opposite side. Can this be called stone? It shines from the light that comes from somewhere I cannot tell. The bridge made from the stones that seemed almost as if colors themselves have been trapped inside these stones or almost as though a rainbow had been petrified spanned the chasm filled with thick mist.
Why can I describe these stones like that? Words I don't know keep spilling out of my mouth.
I gaze at the people passing by. Wait, this girl is the friend that was in my room awhile before. I chase after her, calling her name.
But she only asks me, "Who are you?"
…Don't you know me?
…I don't know, either. Who am I?
Seeing that I could not answer, she simply walks away. The hand that I stretched out failed to reach her, instead grasping thin air.
But I will know. Because people who reach the end of a rainbow can have one wish granted. If I can just reach the other side, if I can just reach that castle hidden in the mist, my wish will be granted.
Once I start crossing, I find that it is longer than I imagined. No matter how much I walk, the only thing that changes is the people around me. I don't feel as though I've gotten a bit closer.
But – but – I won't give up! Never!
Until I reach the other side, I won't give up, I can't give up. I can't, until I reach the end of the rainbow. Until my wish comes true. And so I ran.
My surroundings fade to blurs of color. I cannot see anything but that castle.
My breath becomes shallow, and when I finally fall down, I feel as though that castle is closer to me. That with just a few more steps, I can reach it. Then, will I be able to find out who I am?
With my last bit of energy, my legs swaying, I reach the other side. Before me stands a tall, grand castle which is made of the same rock as the bridge, glimmering like a pearl.
…Why do I know those terms? That question, too, will soon be answered.
I put my hand on the door, which is lighter than I expected. It opens without a sound, letting me in. The floor, which gleams from the good polishing, shows my reflection. Did I look like this? It's a funny feeling, like seeing myself for the first time…and just remembering it.
Was my hair this dark of a blue? Wait, someone might have said that it's really rare. Huh? So many thoughts, memories, are flooding into me. But I still can't remember the most important parts.
In just a little, my wish will be granted. In just a little, all of my questions will be answered.
I step toward the god who sits at the throne at the very back of this room. Will he answer me?
The girl sleeps, breathing softly and peacefully.
I kneel before the god, wishing,
"Please give me light."
And then the god smiles slightly, answering,
"You already have light of your own."
The girl, her eyes sparkling with newfound light, wakes from a long, long, long sleep.
"Am I Hikari?"
Author's note: How did you enjoy "City of Rainbows?" It's quite different from what I normally write, because it was originally a piece for homework…
Thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon!