Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Pastiche Winning Entry

Colors. Oh, all the astounding colors! Your head is spinning, spinning, spinning. The eyes are everywhere. Blue, green and golden. Shy, bold, and aggressive. These eyes that peer at you are all you can see; the only thing remaining of their humanity.

Outlandish beasts and shy creatures, there seems no end to them at the masquerade ball. Two of them in particular catch your attention. They’re clearly human, but, the masks they wear seem almost to blend with the very fibres of their being. One skillow and one haruba dancing on the outskirts of the ballroom floor yet somehow so captivating. Your first thought was to compare them to yin and yang; light and dark.

Curious, you walk towards them, only to be caught in a maelstrom of rose petals… and to another past.

Within mere moments, the storm has reached its peak and dissipated. At your feet lie a large pile of cherry blossoms, a masquerade mask (obsideon), and a white hair ribbon. Without a second thought, you don the mask and step back into the ballroom…

And you see a most astonishing sight. With a slightly muffled gasp you can’t help but wonder how you were so amazed by the ballroom before… because compared to this it was absolutely nothing. There were znakes weaving intricately around wineglasses and engraved into the chairs. Indeed, it was a beautiful sight to behold. Nothing like your modern masquerade ball. This was the real deal.

At the center of the ballroom, you saw the most strange sight. There were two dancers, reminiscent of the skillow and haruba you saw before the strange storm, except this time, they were a znake and… Rougarou.

“How odd,” you thought, your eyebrows furrowed together perplexed, “They’re both clearly human yet… why do I keep mistaking them as Rougarou and a znake?”

“It’s true,” you continued, “that the one with the znake mask, danced as seductively as a znake. And that the one with the Rougarou mask danced like a beast contained but… they’re bodies were human.”

Their dance was mesmerizing and called to some inner part of you. It was a beautiful dance full of emotions and skill… two things you could not even dream of possessing. With a small sigh, you gazed longingly towards them.

“Hey,” a small voice called.

It couldn’t possibly be talking to you. This strangely high pitched male voice could not be talking to you.

“Hey hey,” it called again, this time, a little bit louder. And then… it tugged at your sleeve rather sharply.

It took everything out of you just to try and keep your balance, the little voice had dragged you down rather close to the floor. Too close. Tugging yourself free a little roughly, you glare down at the voice. It, or rather, he, looked kind of like a prawn.

He glared right back at you; in all his short, pink, prawn-like glory. Staring at him for a while, his face seemed vaguely familiar. It’s Bayou. Bayou Benni.

“Well aren’t you a rude one,” he cried out to you in a shrill voice.

Stunned to see him so serious, you couldn’t help but stand there mouth slightly agape.

“I’ll have you know,” he continued, his hands fluttering about angrily, “that you’ve stepped on my accordion. My. Accordion.”

You stammer out a slight apology and step back. With a slight harrumph, the little prawn snatched his precious accordion off the floor and stalked away.

“How strange,” you whisper to yourself, “Who would have thought he’d be a such a grouch. And such a rude outgoing grouch at that!”

Slightly confused, you continue your small walk around the ballroom, avoiding the znakes as you walked. (It was strange, no one seemed to be whacking the poor things or yelling “Save the Znakes!”)

Well, you were walking but… there seems to be a strange dark mass looming over you. And it’s singing. Rather horribly, you added. And… it’s moving. Is it dancing? You take a few steps back and look up.

With a silent cry, you fall backwards and attempt to skitter away.

“It’s too late. He’s seen you. Rougarou has seen you,” you think, terrified out of your wits.

His bloody red eyes turn towards you sharply, still dancing, still singing. Then he stopped and looked right at you. There was no mistaking what was in his gaze. Murderous intents swirled behind those ey-

“Oh hello. You wanted to join in on the festivities didn’t you?” he asks with a slight lopsided grin, “You’re not like the old fart Bayou are you? That guy’s always yelling at me to shut up so he can go back to sleep.”

You get back up to your feet, brushing the dust off your clothes, and just simply stare at his goofy smile.

“This can’t be Rougarou,” you think, “Rougarou and Bayou… it’s like they’ve switched places! No. It’s as if I’ve switched to an alternate universe?”

“Hey,” Rougarou calls, prodding you slightly, “You okay?”

With a shake of your head you tell him your fine but that you really must be going.

“That’s a shame. But I thought I’d let you know,” at this, his voice changed to a whisper, “your mask doesn’t match your outfit.”

Mildly put off by his statement, you try to put together a witty response to put him off when the storm of petals returned. And then you woke up. In a rather embarrassing state at the ball you were at earlier. A bowl lies at your feet broken into a thousand shards and you yourself are covered in fruit bunch.

The obsideon mask still on your face, you realize that he was right: the mask doesn’t quite match your outfit anymore, a stained white outfit is hardly befitting. As you get up, you notice that a few znakes have been whacked and signs protesting znake whacking scattered around. This is the mistic you were used to.