The La-Iin Series
“Reminiscing on Childhood”
Mit-Sun was exhausted after what had been going on the past two days. She wanted to go to sleep, but had a feeling she’d never hear the end of it from La-Iin if she did. La-Iin herself was playing in the living room with Bes-Isa, and Mit-Sun watched her as she tried to stay awake.
“I dare you to stab the beast Choungetsu!” She yelled.
“I need no dares. I’ll stab him anytime you want! No, seriously, La-Iin, I will.”
“Bes-Isa, stay in character!”
“Whatever. But I do need no dares!”
“That’s more like it!”
‘I used to play silly games like that too, I think….’ The sight felt familiar to Mit-Sun and she was sure it wasn’t just because she had seen La-Iin play that way before. She could remember playing around like that when she was around her age.
‘I guess that’s something she got from me…’
“It’s a great big Species War!” Mit-Sun yelled. She picked up a Vampire doll that was wearing an excess of makeup. “All the species of the world have entered into a great big war, with Vaelyn as their stage. What’s the reason they would do this!? Nobody knows! But everyone wants to best the other species! What will the winner have!? The massacre of other species and their own species as King!”
Mit-Sun heard a giggle behind her. Her father looked like he was trying to suppress a chuckle, but was failing. She glared and went back to her game.
“So far, I’d assume the Normals are at a disadvantage. But what’s this!? The other species will get tired out by their constant usage of powers! While the Normals have weapons on their side! Oh-ho, now this is getting interesting!”
She picked up a Birdmix doll.
“The Birdmixes are deploying egg bombs! Ready the shelters!”
She heard another giggle behind her. Mit-Sun turned around and glared again. Her father looked away. She gave one last glance in his direction before going back to her game. She picked up the Vampire doll.
“The Vampires have noticed the fatalities and they will drink their blood before it goes sour! What will happen to the corpses!? They’re likely to be buried in a mass grave! Ah, will their families ever find out!? Nobody knows! Nobody knows….although I would guess the leaders have noticed the diminishing numbers among their ranks!”
The giggling turned into full-on laughter. Mit-Sun turned around, her face burning red. “Stop laughing at me, Papa!”
“Hee hee, I’m sorry, Mit-Sun.”
“You should be!”
“Your narration is just so ridiculous,” he said. “So? What species is going to win?”
“I, um, hadn’t come up with that yet.”
“But, I think the Witches and Warlocks have a good chance!”
“Ah. Are you basing this off of World War I?”
“No…oh yeah, that was a big species war, wasn’t it?”
“No, I’m not. It’s like an apocalyptic future for Vaelyn, where the stage of the species war is–Papa, stop laughing at me!”
“I’m sorry! Hee hee! Go on, Mit-Sun. Keep playing.”
Mit-Sun almost felt uncomfortable with her father watching over her. She felt like he would laugh again. She picked up a Bunety doll.
“The Buneties are producing soldiers at a mad rate! If they keep going the way they’re going, they’ll beat the other species just by sheer number!”
She deepened her voice. “But how!? The baby Buneties will need to grow first, and their mothers will be weak! Now we have the in! Kill those Bunety babies.”
Mit-Sun glanced over her shoulder at her father. He was still watching her, but no longer looked like he was stifling laughter. She went back to playing.
“Look! Cannonballs! Gunfire! The Normals are retaliating! They’ve found our hideout! AAAAAGH! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIVES!”
“Wow,” her father said.
“I don’t know. It’s scaring me a little to watch you…”
“Then don’t watch me play! Sheesh.”
“No, it’s not because of that…”
“Then why? Tell me now or I’ll scare you even more!”
“Well I was a little boy when World War IV started. So sometimes thinking about war freaks me out…”
“Then don’t think about it!”
“I can’t always help it…”
“Hm.” Mit-Sun looked at her toys.
“Oh no! All the species lost! War over.” She said in a deadpan tone.
“You don’t have to stop for–”
“I know what you’d prefer me to do, Papa!” She picked up her Vampire doll and her Bunety doll. “Look, now they’re kissing and they’re going to make horrifying Vampire-Bunety babies.”
“Oh dear….hey, Mit-Sun, did you ever think of what role Dualbreeds served in your little war?”
“Now I don’t know what to play anymore. You messed me up, Papa!”
“Stop being so docile all the time!”
“Am I being docile?”
“Yes you aaaaare! Stop it!”
“Okay, I’ll stop it!”
“Good. Now I’m going to play a different game. This time, don’t watch me!”
“If you say so.”
Thinking back on it made Mit-Sun shudder.
‘I was a lot like La-Iin at times, wasn’t I….’
Elsewhere in the world, a man was flying through the sky, keeping his arms spread.
He was enjoying the wind on his face. As he flew, he could imagine his daughter flying with him. He wondered how well she could fly now. He wondered what little things had changed about her. Compared to previous years, he had seen her a lot more than before, but that didn’t make their encounters often. They were monthly visits at best.
He had not seen so many firsts, it frustrated him. Yet his parents had seen almost all his. The jealousy was starting to eat away at him, so he focused his mind solely on flying instead.
“Oh, little Asul-Zenza’s wings are getting so big!”
“I think that might be a genetic trait.”
“On whose side of the family?”
“His, definitely. My family has more normal-sized wings,” Asul-Zenza’s mother said.
Asul-Zenza walked up to a mirror and looked at his wings. They did look a little abnormal compared to the rest of his body. He spread them. ‘I wonder if they’d carry my body weight?’
He gave them a flap.
“Why, look at my wings,” his father said. He spread his wings. Blooudine seemed taken aback. “Well, that does explain a lot, ha ha!”
He tried to remember what he had seen his parents do. He walked away from the mirror, then went into a run. He flapped his wings as hard as he could, then jumped.
The ground disappeared underneath his feet.
Asul-Zenza couldn’t resist flailing his arms and flapping his wings as the ground started to retreat further away from him.
The sound of his rapid flapping caught the attention of his parents and Blooudine, who looked in his direction and gasped.
“Asul-Zenza!” His mother exclaimed. Asul-Zenza was unable to give a response. Constantly flapping his wings kept him going higher into the sky. He tried to smile at them, but he couldn’t muster one.
“Is this the first time he’s flown?” Blooudine asked.
“Yes, it is!” His father exclaimed. “Asul-Zenza!”
“Can you fly properly, or are you stuck in the air!?”
“I–I think I’m stuck in the air!”
“Oh dear,” his father sighed. “Hang on, I’m coming to get you!”
Asul-Zenza nodded and went back to flailing around in mid-air. His father spread his wings and flew at a higher speed than Asul-Zenza expected towards him. It scared him. He started to try and fly away from his father, but naturally, his father was faster.
“Got you!” He said. Asul-Zenza folded his wings to his back. He started to land still holding his son tight. Once they were on the ground, his mother and Blooudine ran up to him and hugged him.
“I’m so happy for you, Asul-Zenza!” Blooudine said.
“Oh, I’m so lucky I got to see that!” His mother said.
“I’m happy, son. Though your flying technique needs some work.”
“I didn’t expect to be able to fly at all…”
“Well, look at your wingspan! It can definitely accommodate your body weight. But congratulations nonetheless, even if your first go was slightly….rocky.”
He hugged Asul-Zenza as well. Asul-Zenza couldn’t help but feel flustered by all the attention he was getting.
‘I wonder if anything like that happened to La-Iin. Though she seemed like she could fly quite well. She did practice a lot, I think she said…so it makes a lot of sense that she’d be able to fly better than I was. ….heh, I thought it was embarrassing back then that they showered me with so much attention just because I learned to fly, but now I wish I could do the same for La-Iin….’
With those happy memories on his mind, Asul-Zenza picked up speed as he flew across an expanse of land, aiming for the village he saw on the horizon.
“I wonder if Mit-Sun acts out war stories with La-Iin. Maybe I should call her and ask….or would she think that was an unnecessary call?”
“Do you think Asul-Zenza’s ex allows him to fly with La-Iin?”
“I hope she does. If she doesn’t, I’ll find her and make her!”