• "Four of you couldn't stop one of me!" Mita was standing out at recess, facing one of the more aggressive bullies in her class. His name was Jason.

    "Oh, yeah?" she challenged.


    "Try me!" she said. She had her back to a brick wall. Her long, brown hair hung down her back in a wavy pattern. Her eyes were odd-they changed color with her mood. They now went from soft brown(their usual color) to burgandy, to flaring red.

    "Fine, Fire Eyes!" Jason taunted her, stepping forward to grab at her wrists. His only intention was to smash her face into the brick wall behind her. ((I assure you, his thoughts were, otherwise, completely innocent!)) Mita stepped back and threw her hands behind her, avoiding his grasp. As she did so, Jason's eyes suddenly got huge. Though she didn't see them, three clones of her appeared, shimmering beside her. They were transparent as you could see the brick wall through them, but otherwise looked just like her. "Woah!" he exclaimed, taking a step back himself. In an instant, the clones were gone.

    "What is it?" asked Mita, as Jason just stared at the air beside her, stunned. He gave no answer for a long moment. "What?!" she asked again, slightly annoyed. She looked to where he was staring, but saw nothing.

    "H-how'd you d-do that?!" he finally asked, in a very shaky voice.

    "What?" Now, she was confused as well as annoyed.

    "I-I-I saw-I--I'm gettin' out of here!!" he cried as he turned around and ran. Mita glanced around. Nobody had seen what had happened. Slowly, her anger eased, and her eyes went back to normal. She was still very confused, though, and leaned against the brick wall. What had just happened? she wondered. As scared and freaked out as Jason had been, she was confused and scared. What had he seen. Was it something she should be afraid of? Or was he just pretending to be scared to scare her so he could laugh at her later. She didn't have much time to think, though, because the teacher called them in for their afternoon classes.

    Mita lived in an orphanage, but went to a public school. She slept with all the other orphan girls, lucky as she was to at least sleep in the bed nearest the great window that reached ceiling to floor. At night, she sometimes got out of bed to open the curtains and gaze at the moon. Some of the kids in the orphanage had large inheritances, and these children were given higher and more gracious treatment. Mita's parents had left her nothing. She didn't even know who her parents were. Therefore, she got very low treatment, and was required to attend public school, rather than recieve a personal tutor, like most of the kids with inheritances.

    Mita wasn't thinking about the math lesson. She was still concentrating on what had happened on the playground, and comparing Jason's reaction to what she had gathered, trying to sort out exactly what he saw, and what had happened. She broke her concentration long enough to shoot a glance at the clock hanging on the wall. There were only two minutes until school let out, and most of the kids went home. The teacher said ti was time to clean up and get ready to go home. She said this every day. It didn't usually bother her, but this time was different.

    Home. I wonder where my home is? Where do I belong? she thought. Her attention was drawn to the front, where the teacher was writing the homework. "Homework. Great. More like orphanage work," she grumbled to herself as she wrote it down in her assignment book. The work assigned required her to bring her book home. She didn't really mind, though. It was a short distance from the school to the orphanage. She walked, but to her, for some reason, the books didn't seem to weigh much in her backpack at all! Well actually, she didn't always walk. Sometimes, she rode.

    The path to and from school led her through a portion of the forest. Because of her small size, she was very light weight, and also did not frighten animals very easily. For her, this was a good thing. On her first day of school, she had come across a young deer who had hurt itself. She had put a bandage of cloth from her skirt on the wound. From that day on, the animals trusted her, though a bit wary at first. Sometimes, she could get an easy ride to school or back again from one of the larger animals.

    As Mita walked the short way back to the orphanage, her thoughts were elsewhere. She didn't have to pay much attention to where she was going, because she knew it almost by heart. She knew its twists and turns and bends. She knew the best trees to climb, she knew the best hiding places, and she knew every plant that ever grew there. She didn't know the names of all the plants, just the looks, the size, shape and color of every one. But this time she wasn't thinking about the plants. She was thinking about her parents--the parents she never knew. And her home--the home she never lived in. And where she belonged. Suddenly, her wondering thoughts were interrupted by a sad, unfortunate, yet totally possible thought.

    "What if I don't belong?" she asked out loud, to nothing in particular. "What then?" This thought ran over and over in her mind the rest of the way. Once she got back, she went straight up to the girls' bedroom. After dropping off her books, she headed downstairs. Mit had some chores to do.

    Being the only child in the orphanage without some heritage, however small, Mita was treated as a servant. She did servant work, wore servant's clothes, and ate servant's meals. The only difference was that she didn't get paid.

    Her first chore when she got there was to scrub the kitchen floor. She got out the pail and headed down to the well. The well was fairly full, so she didn't have to lower the bucket very far. As she pulled the bucket up, the water in it seemed to change. It want from clear where she could easily see the bottom of the pail, to clear where there was noting there. The bottom had disappeared! Oddly enough, she could still see her own reflection. Suddenly, she saw something behind her in the reflection.

    "A cloud?" she turned to look. "No....a blue cloud!" The blue, foggy cloud started to form a shape. Something tall.....with a point at the tom. Then, the shape became distinct. It was a man! A man dressed all in blue, shimmering clothes, with a pointed hat. His sleeves were long and hung loosely, his hands folded together inside them. He looked like your average wizard, though she had never seen one before. The man looked her over solemnly, and his face slowly curved up in a smile. He opened his arms and spoke in a calm, welcoming tone.

    "Mitanica, how are you? You have been lost to us for years, ever since....well, never mind. We will not dwell in the past. Are you ready for your journey?

    "Uh....are...you sure you have the right person?" Mita asked cautiously.

    "Why of course!" he laughed.

    "What do you mean? What is my 'journey'?" Mita was puzzled.

    "Mitanica, Mitanica, Mitanica. Have you no memory of your past?"

    "Well, I know that I was found and brought to the orphanage when I was less than five years old."

    "Keep going," the man urged.

    "They called me Mita because when they asked me my name, that was my only answer."

    "Your nickname that most everyone called you by. Can you remember any further?" Mita closed her eyes and thought for a moment.

    "No. Nothing beyond that." Suddenly, the door from the orphanage opened, and one of the older, bossier girls stormed out.

    "Mita!" she snapped.

    "What?" Mita called, looking up. When she looked back at where the man had been, he was gone.

    "You were supposed to scrub the kitchen floor, wash the dishes, and make dinner by now! None of that is done! I'm gonna tell headmistress that you were lolly gagging, and avoiding your chores!" the girl sneered.

    "But-" Mita protested. "I wasn't! I was talking to-" she turned her head again, and suddenly remembered that he wasn't there.

    "You were lolly gagging, and you're gonna pay for it!" with that, the girl turned on her heels and stalked back into the orphanage. Mita turned back to where the man had been. He was standing there, smiling at her.

    "I'm sorry, I have to go." Mita apologized reluctantly. "Maybe I'll see you later!" she called over her shoulder as she ran back to the orphanage, before he had a chance to protest.

    Once inside, she headed straight to the headmistress's office. She walked in and stopped in front of headmistress's desk.

    "Mita, what a surprise," the headmistress turned from the other girl and looked at her.

    "Headmistress, I can explain. I-"

    "Don't worry, Mita. It's all taken care of. Sarah here has told me everything," she said in her cool, calm, icy voice.

    "Please, I only-" she tried again.

    "You were lolly gagging!" This time, it was Sarah.

    "Yes, dear, thank you." the headmistress gave Sarah a sugary-sweet smile. "It is true, though," she said, turning back to Mita. "You were neglecting your duties. And that has consequences."

    "But-!" Mita protested.

    "Silence!" she glared at Mita, who shut her mouth. "You know the rules. Now, as I said, it has consequences. You obviously feel you have more time than you do, because you take your time with your chores. Therefore, you must need more chores and work to keep you busy. Sarah," she said, looking at her, "you are dismissed. Thank you for retrieving Mita for me." Sarah smirked at Mita, then turned and left.