Little light under the earth
"I am shocked to find that M. Poncet has started to invest in such an ugly servant like you. Don't you know? That burn marks severed my appetite!"
The blonde little girl tilted her head, watching the man spat before smiling smugly at her. She watched, she simply watched, until he approached the other girl in the room.
"At least he still keep another one to make up with…"
He grabbed her chin roughly, tilting her face, observing her every details; her pale white skin, her smooth lavender hair, and her striking red eyes. And the blonde little girl froze. Her eyes darkened, she approached the man slowly.
"Hm, such beauty—Where did he find you, I wonder?"
She seized him, only succeeded on grabbing his coat since she was so small compared to the tall portly man, though in one mighty swing, she sent the man to the other side of the kitchen. Then she approached him again; she was far from finished with him.
"Why you little—gack!"
The little girl squeezed on the man's neck, effortlessly, like how she dried the laundry a few hours before. She stared deeply at him, with her own striking red eyes, watching as he struggled for air, until his body went still.
Then she laughed. She laughed louder, and louder, and louder, until she drowned in her own laughter of unknown satisfaction.
The door swung open, revealing another man, with a perplexed face that soon turned into rage. The little girl was shoved roughly to the kitchen table, one arm pinned to the wooden surface; the arm she used to end a life just recently.
She saw a butcher knife.
And then there was red all over.
296 years ago, the New World—
It was dark. It was always dark down here in the mines. But somehow it didn't feel so unfamiliar. As if it had always been like this, way before I came here. Maybe it was. Since, actually, I couldn't remember anything about my past; about my childhood or my mother or my father, about my kind big sister who I loved the most.
I shook my head and then heaved my hammer with only one hand, continuing my work. It was hard but I couldn't complain, since I lost my other one on an 'accident' I couldn't clearly remember. No. I did remember what happened, just a little bit.
I was punished.
Because I killed someone.
Because I was angry.
I was so angry, so I killed them.
"Do you really think so?"
What are you talking about?
"That wasn't the reason."
"Because it's fun~"
I clutched my throbbing head and fell to my knees, letting my hammer hit the hard ground in a loud clank.
Throb, throb, throb.
I doubled over, feeling the headache growing worse. I could hear everyone started to circle around me, watching me with their own each unique expression to wear. And then I felt my smile stretched.
"Squeeze and break them~"
"Hey lad, are you okay?"
Then, everything went black.
The sound of something dripping.
Drip, drip, drip
It sounded close. I opened my eyes, watching the same dark scenery I saw every day. Soon enough the familiar sound of stone clicking and clanking entered my ear, but the dripping noise didn't stop.
Drip, drip, drip
What is it? I tried to sit, but quickly regretted it as my headache returned. Still, I was stubborn enough to put it away. I turned my head slowly to the source of the voice, trying not to make my headache worse.
It was a water source.
And an old man was sitting near it, facing it.
Then he turned around, revealing his wrinkled face to me. I blinked as I saw him smiled at me. Was there something amusing on my half-burned face? He moved closer and handed me a metal container, with water in it. I switched to stare at it.
"Are you getting better? Do you understand what I'm saying?"
I nodded, mumbling a quiet thanks. The headache had gone for now, and I gulped down the water, washing my dry throat. When did the last time I drink? I almost forgot.
The old man chuckled and sat beside me, petting my head. I gave him another odd look, while he kept his soft smile.
"My name's Jacob."
I kept silent. Oh, I should tell him my name as well.
"Flan. Flandre Scarlet."
"Flan, huh? What a cute name for a little girl like you."
I felt strangely calm now. Then I smiled.
"He he, my sister gave me my name."
"You have a sister?"
"Yes, but she didn't come with me."
"She isn't a slave, huh?"
I paused. A slave? Yes, a slave. I was a slave. And so was my sister.
"She is, but she isn't here."
The atmosphere grew quiet as we sat there, silently watching the dim-lighted wall of the mine. After a while, Mr. Jacob spoke again.
"I have a granddaughter, about the same age as you when I last see her."
"It's been eight years since I last saw her. She must have grown until a beautiful lady now."
He closed his eyes, still smiling.
"The only thing I can do is pray for her safety. And try to survive, long enough so we can meet each other again."
"…can you really meet each other again?"
I squeezed on the metallic scrap on my hand, switching my gaze down to the rocky ground.
"…Remi said…that she will come and get me someday…"
Silence. I grasped it harder.
"I mean, it's not like I don't trust her! It's just—"
"Flan, calm down."
I paused, staring at Mr. Jacob with wide eyes as he put his hands on my shoulders, calming me down. Feeling the cold metal on my hand, I switched my gaze to it, only to find it horribly crumpled on my palm like a mere sheet of paper; I stared on my own handiwork in horror and tossed it away, edging away from the old man.
"…I'm a monster…"
"What are you talking about, lad?"
I smiled, though I didn't know why.
"I killed someone. I was punished. And because of me, Remi was punished too. I wanted to help her, but…"
I started to giggle, clawing on my messy hair.
"I destroyed everything."
"What am I? They called me a cuckoo; Flynn, the insane. Ha ha, why is it? Everything around me always end up broken."
"Don't you get it, gramps? If you get closer, you'll die. Why? Because I'll kill you. I don't why, I don't know how. But I'll surely kill—"
He patted me again, giving me that same warm smile; the one I had only received from Remi before.
"Aren't you one lonely girl? It's okay, see? I'm still alive, am I not?"
I started to shiver. And then I hugged him, crying on his old ragged clothes, clinging like a little child I was to her grandfather.
"I'm scared… I'm scared of myself… I'm scared that everything around me will disappear… I'm scared that I won't be able to see Remi again…"
I cried. I cried loudly, for I don't know how long. On and on, until I felt my tears dried up.
After that little meeting, my days in the mine continued. But the same dark ceiling didn't feel as suffocating as before. I met a lot of people; kind people, bad people. Old people, young people. There were so many of us here working in the mines, each which our own tales and suffering. But we lived together. Helping each other out, looking after one another. It was just like—
"…just like a family."
"Are you an idiot?"
I quickly pouted, my previous joy drained. There she was, that bad voice that kept echoing in my head. I ignored her and continued my work, hitting the rock with my worn-out hammer.
"Humans are foods, and toys if they're strong enough; nothing more than that."
"Remi said it's not good to speak badly of other people."
"You're vampires; why care for humans? Anyway, I'm bored. Why don't we snap some necks of those slave-drivers?"
I shook my head and ignored her yet again. Oh yeah, meet Flynn. She always said bad things but don't mind her; she couldn't do anything but talk. And don't worry, I hated her as well. So much that I wanted her to get out of my head as soon as possible.
"I'm you, and you're me. You can't deny me."
"Then you can't deny me, too."
Huh? Was it really that strange to speak to yourself? Well, I never told anyone about our little conversation; everyone but grandpa Jacob. Speaking of which, he was calling for me. I heaved my hammer to my shoulder, running toward him. He welcomed me with a hug.
"Ho ho ho, how is my sweet little granddaughter today?"
"Great! Ah, but listen! Flynn bothered me again."
I stuck my tongue, and grandpa Jacob patted me.
"Oh well, remind me to scold her later. Now come, Danyse had prepared our lunch."
"Mom had? Yay!"
I followed beside him, skipping along the rocky path with my bare feet. As we reached the exit, I blinked a few times to adjust my eyes. I loved the open air, but I didn't like the sun too much. It always burned my skin and made me feel light-headed, but I had learned how to ignore it. I walked eagerly to the little hut all of us shared, sitting beside grandpa as I waited the food being distributed. The tasted of the gruel always felt better after several days of eating almost nothing down in the dark mine.
Smiling widely, gulped it down my throat.
Hey, Remi, how are you?
I am fine here. Though the work are harsh and the slave-drivers are such meanie, I am fine. Because I have found a lot of kind people; grandpa Jacob and mommy Danyse and everyone else. If only you are here to join our little family, I'll be happier than ever.
I hope we can meet each other again soon. I've been a good girl, so don't worry anymore, okay?