Before I tell my story, somethings need to be explained.
What we live in is not called a universe, world, dimension, timeline or whatever the heck science or fantasy make up. They don't have a name, but I call them Differences. Differences are created every second - and change every second. There are thousands that are the same, waiting for the right moment to become its own. If you dream it up, it's happening right now. That daydream you had? It's somewhere out there. That passing thought? Also out there. Even literally taking the right road instead of the left is real. There are Differences that speculate what happens to you: gain a superpower, report a crash, first victim of an alien attack, death, even a simple call from your daughter asking you to pick her up because her road bike's tyre is flat again.
There are Differences waiting for someone to chance their history; it might be someone you don't know, a whole chain reactions, even you yourself.
The reason why I'm telling you this is because there are those who jump from Differences, even once. And, you guessed it, I'm one of those people.
My life all the way up to the point of my death was boring compared to those you hear, but had its own way of being interesting. I needed a special type of therapy, because apparently my ears, eyes and brain weren't completely matched up but I didn't realised until I started high school - mum didn't feel the need to tell me, I was doing fine in school. Great, actually.
I grew up watching studio Ghibli movies and anime, and in return obsessed over anything Japanese. My dream job was to go over to Japan and teach English there. Along the way, I'd picked up a liking of history from my mother, love of anything technology from father and lived a life well done in my terms. I had my faults of course - first was the fact I didn't need to study until uni, I was a lazy little girl, didn't care about anything or anybody much and quite unhygienic. It wasn't surprising I didn't marry at all and relationships were sporadic and weak.
I made my mark on the world, didn't do much but taught English to future world-famous kids and died from old age at 73, memory fully intact.
Then, I woke up in a crib, a mid-wife cooing over me, in a body almost weaker than my elderly one. Time slipped past me and I found myself in a bed 99 percent of the time, body nearly always in a state of sickness. The mid-wife started to read me baby stories but soon they were upgraded to harder and complicated books very quickly as I spoke to her like I always did. As time progressed and I completed the things she put in front of me with ease, she grew troubled and fearful.
Impossible, she would murmur, Children aren't supposed to learn this fast, even for geniuses.
She vanished not long after.
It was almost my fifth birthday when everything caught up with me.
My new name is Lyall Howlett, born to wealthy parents John and Elizabeth Howlett. I didn't see them much, a stereotypical rich family. But what shocked me was the year was 1837, not 2074 like I last time I checked. Plus, there was this strong sense of déjà vu whenever someone mentioned a name, like I knew them vaguely.
It wasn't until I met my half-brother Victor I found out why.
In my previous life my mother complained quite frequently my brain was turning into mush from joining too many fandoms - the Avengers, Harry Potter, and Naruto just to name a few. Among them all was X-men, including Wolverine: Origins.
What a dreadful life I have ahead of me.
I had to record all my memories - I knew I would forget everything - I did not have a good memory at all no matter what mother said. With a combination of Japanese sentence structure, English-Pig Latin words and Gnommish symbols from Artemis Fowl I wrote down everything I knew. First was my previous life, mundane things such as how awesome my 9th grade SOSE and Japanese sensei was to amazing facts of how hard it was to get a PhD in Japanese and Psychology.
Once the book of Amy, My Previous Life was completed, I started another book of every fandom I joined and everything I remembered. This included jokes, theories, actual stories, different fanfictions I'd read and the stuff you could find on the internet.
A very huge part of that book was dedicated to anything Wolverine.
It took me forever to write it all down, and I was six when I finally completed it. I kept the two books on me 24/7, not caring if I gained an ache from sleeping on them too much.
John - my second father - had become worried, watching me write nonsense into a diary for one year straight like I was possessed. He'd turn up by my bed often almost more than Victor, and it wasn't soon before I confessed about Amy. He listened when I laid out my proof, and still accepted me with welcoming arms. Dad and I grew incredibly close.
Elizabeth didn't bother to hide her hate of me, loathing me more as I grew, my features getting scarily like the groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. Quite often when passing me she would sneer and rant about how unladylike I was, when I should be wearing dresses not the filthy, common clothes I usually run around because they reminded me of my previous life.
Victor was my only other person I was close with. While I was stuck in bed from extreme allergy reactions he'd tell me about all the mischief Victor would get in all around the grounds.
Lyall, he would say, drowsy after a big day of working in the gardens for summer, remember siblings look after each other.
Even if we're not related? I'd ask, and sneeze horribly, my whole body shivering. Victor would gently hug me, his warmth seeping into my person.
Then, the years would creep past me without my knowledge. My two books meant the world to me as I realised my memory was failing me.
Four months after my thirteenth birthday, I was strong enough to move around for a precious few days. I could hear dad chatting with an angered Thomas, but I ignored it. He was in those moods most of the time - I could see the effect it had on Victor.
A loud sickening bang rang throughout the house and a yell of suddenly silenced pain.
Thomas was standing over his employer, gun in hand, smoking barrel faced in dad's head. He slumped on the ground and a pool of blood coated the carpet.
"Dad?!" I scream, tensed arms rolling to face him. An ugly, dripping blood hole decorated his head, just above his ear. "No! Dad!" I screamed and cried, lashing out at Thomas, intending to punch him. My fury and loathing of my dad's killer stalled when I realised I had three claws sprouting from in between my knuckles, blood dripping from the tips onto my soft fingers. Thomas was slouched next to dad, three impossibly deep lines cleaving his back in two.
Fat tears rolled down my cheeks when Victor found me, tucked into the corner, trying to be as small as I could. All that my eyes could focus on was the two bodies, one lying on top of the other, scarlet red liquid shimmering around them, eyes wide open and not breathing.
Years later I would realise my healing factor saw as this event as a danger and purposely made me forget. Victor didn't know that when he took me out from the murder site, so he was rightfully confused when I asked where dad was over and over until he had to tell me the truth. My claws on my right hand were still out, blood cleaned off by my half-brother.
I clenched the other fist and cried out when an identical three ripped out. Victor came rushing and stared at them with fascination and curiosity. Mother chose that point to stalk in, long face staring at me down her nose. She took one look at the claws and slapped me.
"Freak!" She snarled, long nails biting into my arm as she spat into my face. "Leave this place and never come back!"
"Fine!" Victor snarled, "We'll leave together!" He drooped my arms over his shoulders, taking care to pack light but with lots of food.
"Dad," I cried, clutching my fandom book in my hands, "dad."
It wasn't until I feel asleep did the claws retreat.
I woke up on an old, old train, overrun by weeds and beautiful plants. Not far from where I was sleeping a huge oak tree with baby acorns split the rusting train in two, a few thin strips of metals stretching in between the two body parts. Victor was nowhere to be seen.
I shakily stood up from the frayed sheet that was draped on me. The roof of the train was still intact, the rust giving it a bright orange colour. Standing next to the oak tree with one hand on it, I surveyed the massive drop on the left, where further along the train track the metal carriages drooped over. On the right side was a hill with countless of deer and goat tracks everywhere. Fresh footprints of all kinds of animals littered the dirt, Victor's human feet standing out clearly from them all. The air carried a faint sent of wild animals, and an overpowering sweet smell of fresh rain on dirt and plants.
"Victor!" I call, my voice straining. He didn't answer. I sob, thinking he left me as well. A light wind ruffled the leaves and my pitch black hair was swept out of my face. I clenched my fist, thinking of hitting the wall in frustration. A scream tore through my throat when the bones ripped out of my fist. As I watch, the skin grows right back, stopping at the base of the claws making like they were always like that.
A scramble of rocks, Victor slid down from a tiny goat track, and leaped up beside me.
"Lyall," he says, wrapping his hands around my fist, "its okay. It is okay." I take a shuddering breath and slowly unclench my hand. The bones slid back into my hand and I could feel them inside my arms like Tony might feel like when he first had his arc reactor in his chest.
"What's happening to me?" The slits healed in a few seconds, blood returning to the hole. Victor rested his wider forehead against mine. Our breaths calmed, and slowly my heart slowed down enough.
"Come with me Lyall," Victor says like the claws never happened "I found an apple tree." He threads his hands through mine, careful not to place his fingers between the knuckles.
The apple tree had bright, glowing red orbs bouncing in the breeze. The only downside was the line of rocks around it. Victor gave me a whoops look - he could and would steep low enough to steal, but thankfully he asked me first.
"Ask first," I say, marking a huge 'X' in the dirt with small rocks, "and if they don't give us anything, then we steal. What happened to the food we took before we left?"
"Uh," Victor looked extremely guilty. I rolled my eyes and start forwards along the rocks. He trailed after me after giving the apples a longing look.
It didn't take long for a gate-like thing appeared around the corner, a pretty, very 1700s house viewing the beautiful view of the valley and mountains. I very nearly closed my hand into a fist again but Victor placed his before I could. My eyes drooped to the ground.
"Hello?" Victor calls, and small, light feet patters throughout the house. The door opened up to a young maid with light brown hair.
"What acquires my assistance?" she asks, eyes not blinking at our filthy clothes.
"Uh, our mother threw us out - is it ok if we take some apples of yours?" I squeak in an adorable voice, making sure to moisture my eyes. It helped that I was much smaller than average for my age.
The maid blinked and excused herself for a few moments. She returned all prim and proper.
"Yes, you may, but in return you have to do some jobs out the back." the maid bows and directs us to a shed almost as old as the train where wood was to be stored for winter. Victor imminently picks up the axe and whacks it down onto the logs.
"If you wish," the maid says to me "You could also become a maid for the Master and Lady." I shook my head - that would be a nightmare!
The maid left after showing us the place to stack the cut logs, which I pick up and do so. I felt like I wasn't doing much as I watch Victor grow sweaty, so I wondered around looking for stuff to do.
There is a load of apples waiting to be sorted from bad and good. I pause there for a few moments, but I move on. It wouldn't do good to break the trust of the Master and Lady. Further along was some old, old gardening tools, looking like nobody had touched them in decades.
Over in Japan, Amy had picked up gardening because the huge estate she bought in the mountains was not even remotely close to any good shops, so buying groceries had a too much of a strain on her money she limited herself to.
Picking up the rusty shovel and a bucket that was about to fall apart. I totted past Victor who gave me a questioning look. I showed him the results of my hunt and he shrugged, returning to the logs.
Given the state of the tools, it shouldn't have been a shock at the overrun garden. Heaving a huge sigh, I began to hack at the weeds.
The maid returned when the sun had dipped low, just above the mountain and the moon was just showing its face. She'd quietly thanked us for our work and gave us two apples each and a glass of water. Returning to the Ye Ol' Train took sometime - some animal had moved the 'X' made of rocks and the deer track took some time to identify.
The old rag was still there plus Victor's bag that had the food in it. By then the sun was gone, and the warmth with it. Shivering, the two of us leaned against each other to give each other warmth.
I woke to see Victor still sleeping next to me. The sun's rays had skimmed the opposite western mountains, painting the sky with the usual pink, red and orange colours, the mountains still a deep blue in the darkness.
In an effort to keep me entertained while Victor slept I crawled next to the train til I got to the head. Halfway along there was a huge dent with a gigantic tree trunk rotting beside it - obviously that was why the train was abandoned. It took me a few tries but I could finally make out the year it was made, 1810. It must have been quite new when the tree fell on it, nothing else I could think of could attempt to explain the immense rust everywhere on it.
"LYALL!" Victor's voice carried down the mountains, echoing and frightening an unkindness of ravens.
"I'm fine!" Startled, I cut off my yell. My voice was much, much stronger than ever before. It must have been the healing factor finally kicking in. "Coming!"
Just before I took off, I clenched my fist very, very slowly, gritting my teeth as the claws jumped out at the last second. It would take some time before I could take out one at a time like the Wolverine in the movies.
By the time I met with Victor the claws had disappeared along with any sign of them doing so.
"You ready for another day of chopping wood?" I ask after Victor worriedly checks for anything wrong with me. I nod and walk past him to the clearing next to the old oak tree, the deer path much more clearly marked out. It took us about the same amount of time to walk back to the house, a little bit faster since we didn't know what the time was.
Once again we knocked on the door, and Maid-chan answered it, actions not as stiff as before. We asked if it was ok if we continued to do the jobs like yesterday, and she nodded, returning to inside.
The tiny corner I started on grew as time passed on. Maid-chan's personality became more pronounced, as so did Victor's arm muscles. We never got actual money, just food and sometimes clothes. Never did we meet the Master and Lady, and I was fine to keep it like that.
It was about three months into this new jobs when I woke to the smell of everything. I stumbled out of the train, the smell of rust watering my eyes. Sneezing about ten times in a row woke Victor up but he couldn't do anything has I insisted to continue our jobs through fits.
It wasn't hay fever or any allergies like before, but my sense of smell had just been maximized like an animals, and the rest of my senses followed not long after. Whenever we had showers in the small spring I found during one of my walks in the wild to get used to the powerful senses I practiced clenching and relaxing my fist. Victor did not know of this practice.
The only thing that came out of it was I didn't flinch when they broke out of the skin.
Maid-chan had obviously noticed something off about me, but didn't comment, serving faithfully to her masters. The garden, under my somewhat slack eye, was neat and tidy, but not to a point where you ask if I had a life.
This was the life I lived until Victor's thirteenth birthday.
I knew that Victor was my half-brother, but he didn't. I knew he would become a baddie in the distant future, but he didn't. I knew he had the healing factor and sharp claw-like nails, but he didn't.
Maid-chan had been halfway through explaining me what types of roots I could eat in the wild when a sharp yell of pain cracked across the garden. I leaped up before Maid-chan could react and flew to the shed. Victor was standing there with a huge amount of shock at the axe. His finger nails apparently lengthened, and in his stunned state he accidentally brought down the axe too hard.
His mutant power had suddenly decided it was going to activate that day, scaring Maid-chan and the Master and Lady.
We were sent packing to Maid-chan's tearful goodbye (equivalent to three blinks in a second) and so Victor and I were left in the train to figure out where the hell we're going next.
Victor said to try the nearest town.
"You need to learn how to control your mutant powers Victor." I sigh, "Going to a town full of normal people won't exactly help."
Victor stared at his dirty nails, far bigger and stronger than any normal humans could go. He nodded and sat downtrodden on the edge of the train.
"But after that, we can go to whatever country you want to go." I smile at Victor's grin, and snuggled down beside him.
Victor was all I had, and while I knew it wouldn't be before long he'd go insane, I treasure it to this day.