Chapter 1


Hello. My name is Anna Faraxhae. I'm betting that you don't know very much about me; I get overshadowed a lot, mostly by my father's mad quest for revenge. Would you like to hear about me? It's an on-going tale of loss, rebeliousness and disobedience, I'll warn you. If you're going to fall asleep half-way through, please don't waste my time. (I have as much patience as my father.) But if you're really interested, I'd be happy to tell you...


Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself. Once again, my name is Anna Faraxhae, and I was killed a few years ago. I'm an almost perfect mix of both my parents: I'm of a medium hight, with my father's brown hair and my mother's blue eyes. I'm a red mage, like my father, a gesture from long ago to try and gain his approval—somehting was hard to come by in the earlier years of my life, mainly due to my twin brother.

What's this? I had a twin brother? Why certainly! It's an old family trait that can be traced back through the ages. My father is an older twin, and I have little cousins somewhere who are also twins. Most likely, their children will also be twins, but that is neither here or there.

My twin's name was Edward, which explains a lot about what happens later. He was older than me by about 10 minutes, and my father instantly bonded with him. It was probably due in part to the fact that Edward was my father's first born son, which was special, indeed, but it probably had more to do with his eyes. As soon as Edward was born and they saw his violet eyes, everyone knew that he was special. My father's eyes are the same vibrant purple, and it's a sign of greatness. Violet is a rare eye color in any part of the world, but for Mysidians like my parents it was sacred, especially to our family.

So it was sort of natural that I got somehwat overshadowed by my twin, though by no means did it justify anything.

Let me tell about Edward now. His hair was bright copper, like our mothers, and it looked even brighter in contrast to his violet eyes. Deep down inside, he has a wild and firey personality to match, though it was greatly subdued by his physical limitations. Of the two of us, Edward had the weaker constitution. Not that he was always getting sick or always getting hurt, but he had terrible allergies to common things. Milk, wheat, dust, pollen, cats and dogs, even pinapple juice could make him terribly sick, to the point where he could die.

Whatever Edward lacked in physical strength I made up for. I had always been more athletic, and he more reserved. While I was bent on improving my strength by running races and learning to defend myself with a small knife and a tall staff of fire-hardened wood, Edward was content to sit under a tree and study his magic tomes.

This didn't nesessarily mean that I wasn't as smart as him. I was very smart. We both studied as red mages—in both white and black magic. But Edward seemed to excel in white magic and I in black. And even though I worked very hard to imporve my white magic and measure up to my brother, father didn't seem to notice much. Our mother was the one who noticed my efforts and took time to help me. She always assured me that Edward was no more important than I, or that I was more important than him, and that our father loved us both. But sometimes it was difficult to see that.

Strangely, I never envied my brother. We two were very different, but together it was like we formed one complete person. "The perfect red mage", so our mother called us. And even though we were different and fought with each other a lot, we were the dearest of friends. If we were ever separated, I didn't know what I would do. I don't recal ever really being jealous of Edward being showered with father's attention, only peeved and a bit hurt by his ignorance.

And then there came a terrible year for the small oasis town of Kaipo, the town that my family called home. A bunch of travelers stagered into the city late one ight, exhausted from days and nights of travel through the wayerway, a day's travel across the desert. All of them were very sick with a nasty viral infetion that was never properly identified in the chaos to come. Whatever it was, it rendered all of them dead within a few days and they were all buried unceremoniously in the cemetary outside of town.

That was supposed to be the end of it, but it wasn't. The undertaker, the medics and nurses who had helped them, and the innkeep who had housed them all contacted the virus and we realized what it meant: the virus was contagious and deadly. Luckily, the medics and nurses were all white mages and recovered within several days. The innkeep and udnertaker weren't so lucky and soon founf themselves joining the travelers.

It was an epidemic, and one that seemed inescapable. We all shut ourselves in our houses, rarely brave enough to go out. A few healthy people venured away from Kaipo and headed west, toward the equally remote yet cited town called Mist for help, since the people there were supposeldy mages with great power.

But voluntaily quarantining ourslves didn't seem to help completely, because several adults contracted it anyway. Many young children caught it as well, and Edward and I were no exception.

It was a terirble illness, not unlike the flu. It included a high fever and a chill, unspeakable nausea which made you want to throw up just by thinking about food, and a bad hacking cough. I distntly remember my whole respiratory system being so congested with phlegm at times that it became difficult to breath, and it was laced with the coppery taste of blood. I was so uncomfortable that sleep was pretty much impossible, even with the help of sleeping pills and my father's Sleepra spell. Sleepra. It was that uncomfortable.

However, being the better white mage, Edward was recovering and father couldn't have been more excited. I needed the help of medications and strong healing spells being rained down on me, but not Edward.

Even though I was only half consious for most of it, I remember all of that distinctly, and I also recal wanting to throw up without the help of the nausea that had kept me form eating for a week and a half.

Of course, Edward wasn't doing it all by himself and he was still very weak. He just happened to be doing better than me because of his magic preference. I, on the other hand, seemed to be getting progressivley worse. I was dying of malnutrition and illness. The medic who came to see me said that, as an estimate, I had roughly a day and a half left to live.

Finally, father began to panic over me.

Edward, on the other hand, withdrew to my bedside. The whole time he held my hand with his right left hand and ravenously skimmed his white magic textbook with his right hand. After many hours of searching, he apparently found what he had been looking for and set to memorizing it. From the time it took him to do so, it was a big spell.

After a long time, he closed his book and stood up, carefully setting his book down on his chair. He stretched his arms, cracked his knuckles and took a deep breath.

"This is a really big spell," he informed me. "It's not very good yet, but I think I can make it work. If it were perfect, I could be a whole doctor."

I was too weak to talk now, but I could understand him a little through the haze of my fatigue. I wanted to ask him what he was talking about, but I couldn't.

Edward stood solid beside my bed, chanting away at a long new spell. Mother walked in just in time to see Edward cast his big new spell.


A bright shimering light came raining down over my head like snow and suddenly the fog that had covered my eyes lifted. Clarity returned, and I could see, hear, understand. I attempted to sit up, but collapsed. Mother sounded worried as she called fathe into the room.

"What was that?" I asked weakly, glad that my voice had returned.

"Somehting that I learned to cure you," Edward answered. He had dropped to his knees, his face burried in my matress and his hands clinging to the sheets so he wouldn't melt to the floor. Hishands were white and cold, and he suddenly looked worse than I had before.

Father appeared, looking as worried as mother and demanded to know what was going on. Mother explained that Edward had just learned the Curaga spell while they hadn't been watching and that he was using it to cure me. Father's eyes went wide behind his glasses and protested that the medic had also used Curaga on me and it hadn't worked. And while it may have worked now, Edward looked terrible.

But while mother explained and father protested, Edward had begun chanting again. They were still trying to figure it all out when Edward finished his second round.


Again, a shower of blue-ish snow fell on my head and now I could sit up straight. Mother and father were both horrified and ran across the room to where Edward had finally fainted. At last it dawned on me why Edward was suddenly so weak: the powerful magic was draining him of his strength. It was killing him.

"Is she better now?" Edward asked weakly. Our parents tried to console him, yes, yes, I was fine, I would certainly live, he could stop now.

"Ah… That's good…" he agreed, a satisfied smile creeping over his face. His skin was so pale, his hair looked like real burning fire and his eyes were like real jems set in pure smooth ivory.

Something suddenly wrapped around my heart and squeezed lke a boa contrictor and a mouse. Even though the fever had finally broken, the nausea had been replaced with a sudden and deep hunger, and I felt strong enough to jump out of bed, consiousness slipped away once more and I fainted, fully asleep for the first time in days.

I awoke three days later to a home shrouded in dak colors and strangely cold. Inside my chest, my heart beat painfully, as if it had been bruised by a stone.

And of course, I found that Edward—my beloved brother who had used his meager strength to save me—was dead.


Author's Notes…

Okay, you're all probably wondering what I was thinking when I came up with this concept and why I'm not working on FFC right now. Well, I'm suffering from writer's block (again, ug!) and I thought I might do something breif that ties in with FFC later. Plus, I was suddenly inspired in the car while the song Anna Begins was playing on my iPod.

So there you are.

Also, my computer crashed recently and we had to re-download MS Office. For some reason, the spell check isn't working now, so there might be a few spelling issues that normally would have been caught but werne't. I'm not stupid, the computer is.