little forest

to the lighthouse pt. 1

"Rise, mortal."

The building Rio woke up in, to put it lightly, was strange. There were vines creeping out of the cracks in its concrete walls, water was dripping from the ceilings, and tall grass sprouted through the floor tiling as if it wasn't there. But the most strange thing of all, he noted as he pushed himself up from the mossy bed he lay upon, was the blue-haired girl staring down at him from the top of a pile of coins.

And then the panic began to settle in. He looked around rapidly, trying to remember where he had been before this. Yet nothing came to mind, save for the fact that his name was Rio, and that he currently felt abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

"Are you deaf? I told you to rise," the girl complained, crossing her petite arms. Rio rubbed his eyes and stared at her in disbelief. She was still there.

"Who are you?" he asked tentatively. The look she gave back probably matched his own bewilderment.

"Me? I am Bebe Dayblood, Queen of Iria. You should show more respect, seeing that you are trespassing within my realm," she replied with a sniff. "Actually, you should be grateful I even saved your life at all. But commodities such as yourself are quite difficult to come by after times of war."

War. The word rung in Rio's head, and for a moment, he smelled steel and blood in the air, mixed in with his own nausea. The moment passed, but now, he felt as if he almost knew what the girl was talking about. Swallowing down the urge to vomit, Rio staggered to his feet and attempted to steady himself. He couldn't stay here. He needed answers.

To his surprise, however, four blue forms materialised out of thin air next to Bebe - four ghostly, identical women with long hair and almond eyes. They blocked the only exit he could see.

"Let me leave," Rio growled. He balled his fists and eyed the other five people in the room, wondering if he could take them all on. Could he even punch them? It didn't matter, he'd try; something wild was stirring within him. It was sort of a fear, almost, and it threatened to consume him if he couldn't put it out. The fear didn't want him to be trapped here, with this eccentric girl.

"You cannot leave until I allow you to, my dear." Before the words even left her mouth, a light began to glow within Bebe's left hand, growing in intensity until Rio had to avert his eyes - but when he looked back, it had completely vanished. In its place was a thin staff of sorts. The most notable thing about it was the startling sky blue orb at its tip, something that made Rio's breath catch in his throat.

She noticed where he was staring almost immediately. "Do you like it?" Bebe asked, smiling coyly.

Rio shook his head hard. "No. I want to go home," he said quickly, forcing himself to tear his gaze away from the swirling orb. "I don't remember where it is though. I don't remember anything. Did you do this to me?"

"Oh, dear, I doubt you have a home to even go back to. Why worry about such things?" As she spoke, Rio could feel himself growing angrier by the syllable.

"So you're too high and mighty to worry about family and friends? Fine. Be that way," he said slowly, sitting back down onto the bed. His fingers were shaking, so eager to do something. But he wouldn't lose himself like that. "I guess you're happy just sitting alone in this run down place."

"Where else am I to go? The war took everything away. Only a few places like this are still habitable, little mortal. Your so-called 'home' had probably been burned to cinders long ago."

"Then how did I end up here?"

Bebe only laughed at his question. "Now that, is quite the story."