Each Chapter is its own short story. There is an underlying, continuous story, but it dies away....
Show full author's note »
The Spell Of A Dream Is One-Day Magic
Pink petals glowed and blew through the cool breeze.
Yuuma fell in and out of sleep as she sat in her swing overlooking the street and all the houses next door to their giant tree house. Liru was stretched out on one of the grand old tree’s big branches, napping. Aiko was happily tending to some dishes and had opened the windows to let the nice breeze come through, and Pachira was in bed, dozens of stuffed animals all sleeping with her.
“It just can’t stay this peaceful for long.” Aiko thought, looking out at the sunny, grassy field in front of their house.
Through the leaves and branches, Yuuma saw a guy on a little motorbike on the street, stopping at each house and putting papers into these boxes in front of them. She stared with half-open eyes and her mouth hanging down. Then he went out of sight and she went back to sleep.
The next day Aiko was sweeping around the house, Pachira was hugging some of those stuffed animals tightly as she slept, Liru was finding new positions to be comfortable in on that same branch, and Yuuma had just woken up from before, and she sat straight up immediately as she heard the motor of the bike rolling down the street, and into sight. He did the same routine, putting the papers in the boxes. He kept it up, and she then stood all the way up on the swing with huge, wondering eyes.
She jumped to the balcony overlooking the grassy field: “everyone gather around! Meeting time!”
Aiko walked out with the broom, “what’s wrong?”
“What?” Liru asked herself, then jumping down from the branch, landing right across from Yuuma.
Pachira walked out in her pajamas, still very tired.
“I bet you guys don’t know about this!” Yuuma started, “every afternoon a red vehicle comes by, and drops something off at each house!”
Aiko interjected, “now that you mention it, I’ve seen that before sometimes.”
“Why doesn’t it bring anything here? Hey, hey don’t you think we should do something about it?” she said to them all.
“You’re talking about the guy delivering mail?” said Pachira.
“Oh, that.” Said Liru.
“Whaa?” Yuuma yelled, blushing.
“So it’s called ‘mail.” Aiko said to herself, installing it into her hard drive.
“Oh, so its mail.” Yuuma confirmed. “I’ve heard about it before. Mail, eh? So what’s mail?” she asked Pachira breathlessly.
“W-Well… it’s not that big of a deal. Right, Liru?”
“Well, in that case, it’s nothing to disrupt my beauty sleep for, Yuuma.” She said, flying off back into her tower.
“H-Hey!” Yuuma yelled.
Liru jumped up to a branch and yelled: “If you want some, put a mailbox out in front of the house.” Then she jumped farther to her branch, out of sight.
“Umm…” Yuuma tried getting Liru’s attention, and failed.
Aiko could see she was really intrigued by it, so she started, “Let’s make one together, Yuuma!”
“You want to get mail, right? Then we need to have a mailbox first. Then we’ll get some wonderful mail!”
Yuuma stared, then gasped and smiled, “okay!” she yelled, so excited with a huge grin on her face.
They went out in front of the house on the field and Yuuma cut a little wooden cube out and showed it to Aiko, who was welding her own, “I’m finished, look look!” Yuuma yelled to her, “this is my mailbox! This is cool!” she finished, hugging it.
Aiko turned from hers to look, “but there’s no place to put things in or take things out of it.”
Yuuma stared at it in wonder, “What? Let’s see…” she shuffled through some tools Aiko got out and pulled out a manual saw, “how’s this then?!” she said triumphantly.
She then cut the wood so it was like a picture frame. The cuts were very erratic and in some places very thin. “Aiko, lookie lookie!” she said, grasping it caringly, which then it fell into pieces. “Aaah!” she yelled, staring horrifically down at the pieces on the ground, holding two small pieces she had left in her hands, blushing even more.
Immediately she started sawing out another piece, talking to herself: “No one said you needed to take things out of it or put things in it. Next she’ll be saying it needs a place for ventilation too!” she looked up at Aiko: “Aiko, you’re too slow!”
Aiko flipped up her visor and turned to Yuuma, “Wh-What?” but then she put the welder down, stood and looked in excitement at the big, glossy, metal mailbox, “Ah! It’s finished!”
Yuuma had nailed together two pieces of wood, parted by another flimsy wooden panel, and looked over at Aiko’s mailbox, almost in tears: “That’s so cool!” she cried to herself, and then the panel fell off.
Determined to make hers better, she threw those small pieces aside and began constructing a giant wooden cube, with panels and flaps all over it that didn’t make any structural sense, and it even had a door of sorts. She painted the word “Mailbox” on top of it, turned to Aiko, “I won!” then went inside and slammed that flimsy door shut, and the whole structure immediately came down on her. Then Aiko turned to her: “Huh?”
Aiko tended to all her cuts and bruises, and helped her get all the splinters out. “Is it maybe okay if we just use my mailbox?” she asked, half teasing in a very friendly way, trying to make her feel better.
Yuuma sat, sad and angry: “Yeah. Yours was just so cool!”
“No, it’s okay, let’s use yours, I just want to get all that cool mail!” she said, hugging Aiko.
“And we will!” she replied with a big, sweet grin.
“Could we at least maybe put mine out there and see if the mailman uses it?” She’d managed to make a small, crude wooden mock-up of a mail box even so; six panels of wood nailed together into a box, with an uneven, jagged sort of slot in the front.
Aiko’s was significantly bigger and more practical, and they only did need one, but Aiko wanted Yuuma to be happy: “Yeah we can definitely do that if you want!” she replied.
In front of their tree house, across the grassy way right at the curb, a giant, metal box and a much smaller little wooden one waited side-by-side. Aiko and Yuuma waited eagerly from the balcony, as the man on the red motorbike road through the street, and approached the mailboxes.
“He came!” Aiko said.
“Hurry hurry!” Yuuma thought to him.
He kept getting closer, and then put mail into the mailbox across, and then took off farther down the street.
“No way! Why?!” Yuuma whispered as he left. “I wonder if he didn’t see it…”
Pachira watched from the door as she brushed her teeth, “did you guys order anything?”
“Sometimes people don’t get mail.”
“But he didn’t even come.”
“Well, we can mention it to him next time, it’ll be okay.”
Night came, and Aiko and Yuuma were inside, ferociously working to make better mailboxes.
“All right! This time I’ll make it even better!” Yuuma exclaimed.
“Let’s give it our best shot, Yuuma!”
“How’s this?” A goofy face shot out from the top of the box.
“That’s a jack-in-the-box!” Aiko snapped back at her.
“Well then, how’s this?!” she pulled the microwave off the counter.
“We don’t want a microwave!”
In front of their tree house, across the grassy way in the middle of the street, lay a giant, slapped together, wooden mailbox, with a slot so high you couldn’t even reach. Next to it, on the curb, was a seemingly infinite row of smaller, metal boxes. Aiko and Yuuma waited eagerly from the balcony, as the man road down the street, looking off to the side at all the strange metal boxes, and then noticed the great shadow the wooden box gave off, grinded to a halt on his motorbike, went around it and sped down the road, terrified.
Yuuma grasped Aiko’s hand and yelled tragically.
“What’s he doing?” Pachira thought, having watched from the door way again.
She then shot up into the air with a boost from her wings, and landed right in front of the mailman, before he was entirely out of sight. The man screeched to a spot, and stared at her, annoyed.
“Umm…” Pachira blushed, “would you give those to me?”
“No!” he screamed to her, and sped down the road even faster, leaving Pachira disappointed, in the middle of the street.
Yuuma, Aiko and Pachira sat in the living room, thinking up some more ideas.
“Our first idea didn’t work,” Yuuma started, “Pachira, thank you, but that didn’t work either, I don’t know why. What should we do next?” she exclaimed, seriously determined. “What are you staring at?” she yelled to Aiko, who was fiddling with something on the table, then jumped and responded,
“You’re a witch.” Pachira started to Yuuma, leaning against the back wall coolly, “can’t you do anything using your magic?”
They both turned to her, and Yuuma blushed: “Oh, uh-huh!”
The next day Yuuma waited in the middle of the street with her cloak, hat and wand. The man approached and she started: “O lightly falling cherry blossoms, here and now, give me some really cool, exciting and fantastic mail!”
The man overheard her and scooted to a stop, “you want some mail? Miss, you have to get an address. I don’t see any, and this is a tree, it’s not even actual property. I could look up the address for the land if you want. Why didn’t you just ask?”
She blushed uncontrollably and tipped her head so the hat would cover her face. “Well, I don’t know. We weren’t sure how it worked. It just looked really cool and exciting. But if you could get us an address, that would be amazing, thanks so much!”
“No problem, I’ll get it to you tomorrow. But, Miss, what were you trying to do just then?”
“Oh, uh, nothing. Sorry.”
“”Well alright. Take care!” and he headed off.
They ended up using one of Aiko’s boxes, and stuck a number on it. A few days passed, and something arrived.
“What is it? What just arrived?” Yuuma yelled excitedly as she ran down the steps to the living room.
They all gathered around the box, and Aiko began opening it: “I won the prize from Makai Teen. I sent a postcard, asking for an external hard drive with a protective pouch.” She pulled a smaller box out of the box, and then again, and again, their eyes getting bigger as she kept opening them.
“Isn’t the package a bit small for that?” Pachira asked.
“Now that you mention it, it is…” the final package was a capsule that fit in the palm of your hand. She opened it, and set in it, all wrapped carefully, was a plain piece of chalk.
“This couldn’t possibly be a hard drive.” Liru said, as they all stared at it, “it doesn’t look like a pouch either.” Pachira said.
And Aiko started reading the instructions: “It’s called… Happy Chalk. I guess anything you draw with it will become real.”
“Whaa?” Yuuma yelled.
“Become real?!” Liru yelled.
“Seriously?!” Pachira yelled.
The three looked at it, laying on the table, then all grabbed for it and rolled around on the ground, kicking and shoving each other.
Aiko turned to them: “W-Wait a second! Please be careful with it! I won it!”
“You’re hogging it all to yourself?” asked Yuuma.
“No fair!” said Pachira.
“Share!” said Liru.
“Wait,” Aiko tried to regroup them, “it says here, it’s only usable by a Witch…” suddenly she was cheerless, and Liru and Pachira simply began loving Yuuma.
Liru rubbed her back and Pachira fanned her, and she laid back with the chalk in-hand. “Tell me if there’s anything you want me to draw.”
“Well,” Liru started, “are you sure you can draw as well as you can imagine? Like, what if something grotesque comes out? Should we test it first?”
“I’m better than all of you at drawing!”
“No way, Aiko’s the best.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve seen her stuff.”
“Then what am I supposed to do?”
“Does size matter?”
“I don’t know…”
Suddenly, “Please draw a galactic train!” Aiko blurted from her lonely side of the room.
Yuuma, Pachira and Liru looked over, startled.
“I heard that I can become a real human if I get on a galactic train and go to Andromeda. Please!”
“Galactic train?” asked Pachira.
“I’ve never seen one…” Liru mumbled. “Was there one in the netherworld?” she asked.
“It’s something I heard on the street corners of Akihabara and Ariake.” Aiko continued. “If it won’t come true unless Yuuma draws it, I really have to ask you. I… I really want to know! I…”
Yuuma hopped up to Aiko with a big, sweet grin: “Let’s go to Andromeda, Aiko! Let’s go outside, we don’t have enough space in here for a train.”
Aiko gasped with excitement, and they all put on warmer clothes and went out front to the grass as the sun set.
“What would a galactic train look like?” Yuuma asked the three.
“I’m sorry, I’ve only heard about it, so…” Aiko said.
“Then I’ll draw as I imagine it!”
The three bounced back in fear.
“What?” Yuuma asked.
“Nothing, go ahead Master. Draw as your imagination leads you!” Liru said, blushing and putting on a smile.
“Think about the size!” Pachira yelled to Yuuma, as she ran down the grass, making long strokes for a grand train.
“I know; you’re worrying about nothing, Pachira.” Yuuma yelled back.
“Don’t forget about windows and doors, Master!” yelled Liru.
“And wheels too!” yelled Pachira.
Then Yuuma stopped, irritated, and looked back at them angry.
“I’m terribly sorry, please continue!” Liru and Pachira said to her, bowing.
Then Yuuma kept drawing.
The blueprint looked like a trolley without the tracks and wire. Aiko grinned sweetly, but Liru and Pachira sighed, feeling very uneasy about it. Then the magic started, and the ground glowed and light shot up from it, as the adventurous, out-of-place vehicle rose into reality. It was yellow, with a red stripe and had the destination scroll in the front.
“Let’s get on!” said Yuuma.
“Yes!” said Aiko, following her aboard.
Liru and Pachira looked at each other with tired eyes, sighed again and stepped on.
The scroll turned to ‘Andromeda’ and the headlight shot on with incredible force.
The four pressed their faces on the windows in the front, and Yuuma directed: “Alright, let’s leave for Andromeda!”
There was a smile on all their faces, now. They couldn’t help but be excited.
“Yeah!” they all yelled to her, like a crew to the captain.
A golden track shot up from nowhere, headed to the skies, and train began rolling along it, soaring up into the skies, simultaneously.
They gasped as it rose higher and higher, and they saw their tree house, and the neighborhood, and everything surrounding, getting smaller and smaller.
The golden trail disintegrated into nothing more than a miraculous contrail for the train.
They made it through the atmosphere, and they all stuck their heads out the window and looked down at Earth. It was beautiful.
“Wow! Wow!” Yuuma yelled, totally amazed, as the others gasped again in that same amazement.
They passed the beautiful, white, grand crescent moon and the four sat down and enjoyed the wondrous view out the window. Yuuma sat with her knees against the butt of the sea, turned to press her nose to the glass and kept looking.
“I’ve never even dreamt of space travel.” Liru said, smiling.
“I know, my heart’s still pounding.” said Aiko.
“So, when will we be arriving at Andromeda?” asked Pachira.
“Don’t know.” Yuuma said, still staring out the window.
“Don’t know?” the other three said in unison.
“What’s the rush anyway? We’ll get there when we do.”
“But the instructions say…” Aiko started, picking the book up from the seat next to her, “it’s effective for one day after the first use.”
“Yuuma!” Liru yelled, shaking her violently, “hurry up and do something!”
“S-Something?” Yuuma managed.
“I don’t care what it is!” Pachira added, “make it so we can return in one day, or else we can’t make it back to Earth!”
So Yuuma drew on the ground: ‘speed boost enough for a round trip in one day’ with a little red button. With the three staring down at it behind her, and hesitantly, she pressed it. “There.”
A red, fiery bow of velocity encased the train as its speed increased ridiculously, immeasurably.
Stars passed them in split seconds, and they were all shot flat to the back of the train, stuck against it from the incredible force.
Then it increased again, and Yuuma yelled a silly, increasingly high-pitched bellow that was heard all throughout space.
The train whistled as it slowed, and entered the atmosphere of one of distant Andromeda’s highly advanced planets.
A huge, dense, tall city with a galactic train port; all the real ones were far bigger, they parked there’s next to one, that totally dwarfed it. A man spoke over telephones going off, throngs of people talking: “Andromeda Tanashi, welcome to Andromeda Tanashi. Please double-check that you’re not leaving any of your luggage behind when you get off.”
The four girls stepped out and watched the giant trains slow to stops, whiz by.
“I guess we made it.” said Pachira, astounded.
Their eyes were huge.
“Thank goodness.” added Pachira.
“Yeah.” said Liru.
They went into one of the grand buildings; like a mall. Another happy voice sounded over another PA system: “All right everyone! If you’re here for a body transformation, please proceed right ahead.”
So the four girls headed up an escalator, all sorts of aliens and robots scattered around, mixed with the humans.
They made it to one of thousands of info booths, Yuuma clicked the touch screen and a menu came up. She smiled back at them in excitement. They were redirected to a live booth, where an alien stood across from them, encased in some kind of glass.
Aiko started: “Um, I heard that I could acquire a human body here.”
“Yes, you may.” he replied.
The four girls grinned “yes!” they said. Aiko clapped her hands together and gasped.
“Please fill in the desired creature from the desired planet,” he continued, handing her a form from a slit in the glass. “Age, gender, and other information.”
“Sure!” she took a hold of the form and started reading.
“We will need one entire day for transformation.” the alien added.
“Huh?” Aiko looked up from the papers, “one day?”
“Is there something wrong?”
“Does it really take a whole day? Is there any way we can finish it in half a day, or in a few hours? I can’t stay here for that long. Is there any other way?”
“I’m terribly sorry, but it takes just as long for everyone. Excuse me, but is it possible for you to extend your stay?”
The sun had begun to set, the sky was darkening.
The three stared at Aiko with the most apologetic faces, and she shrugged a bit, looking down: “No.”
“I see. Then please visit us again.” there was a beep, and the booth shut down and turned to black, then in the black shown the word ‘Next’ in plain white text.
It felt like there was a moment of total silence despite the liveliness of the city. But Aiko lifted her head and turned to the three: “Well, let’s go home.” she said pleasantly.
The three looked at her and sighed sadly, but then returned the sweet smile she gave.
On the way back Yuuma and Pachira were happy and energetic, talking about magic and clothes and other sorts of things. Liru sat next to them and smiled, and threw in a comment every once in a while. Aiko sat across from them and off to the side a bit. She looked out the window with a hint of a hopeful smile. “It was true.” She thought, “The rumor was true. Someday, I will…”
They made it back to Earth safely.