1 1st- Huh.

Huh.

I looked at this...thing.

How should I describe it?

I scratch my head in puzzlement.

No...Oh I got it!

"Your ugly!"

"..."

The hooded man with a hunched back just stood there, like me when I stare at a computer for hours.

In his thin, bony hand was a large scythe covered in symbols of some kind.

His robe was simple, and black, like the night with no stars.

It wasn't dirty or tattered in any way, rather, the simple look made the robe look warm.

I couldn't see his expression with the hood shadowing his features, but somehow deep down I could feel he was a little dumbstruck.

I decided to talk him some courage.

"But that's okay if you're ugly, personality matters the most!"

"But getting a girlfriend definitely is going to be a little challenging, but I'm sure someone out there is charmed by you!"

With a big smile, I went to go pat him on his hunched back.

My hand went right through him.

What.

My eyes widen I realization.

"I'm so sorry!"

"That was so disrespectful of me to do that!"

"Especially to call you ugly and hideous!"

"I didn't know you died!"

"..."

I felt like the hunched man was going to punch me.

"Now I feel terrible."

"I mean, you'll be single for life since you're dead."

"Bummer, must be hard for you."

"Maybe in the afterlife or reincarnation, which one it is, you can find your lover!"

"I mean, you look pretty bony, so maybe you should focus to get a little bit more meat on your bones!"

"Having nutrient deficiencies isn't good after all! Girls always appreciate men with great skin!"

"Or men. You can like men! Men like good skin too, I think."

"..."

I cock my head in confusion.

The hunched man wasn't responding.

Instead, he turned around and started to walk.

Does he want me to follow him?

Silently, I decide to trail right behind him.

With a hint of curiosity, I look around where were going.

It seemed like, the hospital?

It was entirely empty.

No nurses, no patients, not even a staff.

A thick layer of dust was all around, some of the widows were shattered and the smell of old was permanent.

Walking down the dimly lit hallway by the moonlight, the man suddenly stops.

Raising an eyebrow, I scan around, to see the surroundings rippling like water.

Gradually, it slowly became bright as the sunlight streamed through.

I saw nurses bustling around and the smell of disinfected made my nose tingle.

"Thank you very much."

I heard the sound of a woman.

Her voice was warm and gentle, like a caressing autumn breeze.

Turning around, I could see she was exiting the busy hospital with a man by her, holding a cradle.

Inside, there was a little baby with bright eyes with some tufts of hair. The baby had sweet, milky skin with a goofy smiling.

"What are you smiling about?" The man asked playfully, poking a little finger, twirling it around.

The baby giggled cheerfully, revealing her pink gums.

The hunched man began to walk.

With a blank stare, I followed right behind him, hearing a laughter escape from her mouth.

***

Slowly, the surroundings warped and changed, the noises dissipated and the light shrunk back, replacing it back with darkness as we walked in front of a shop.

There were no stars in the sky, the shop seemed to be in good condition.

And then it happened.

Ripples, then...

The sun was high in the air, the shop had turned into a preschool.

I saw a little girl wearing some shorts and a bear t-shirt, her hair done into pigtails. She was pouting in the playground, tears on the brink of falling down her wet eyes.

An adult walking up, kneeling down to talk to the girl.

"Hey, are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?"

"He stole the ball!"

The girl burst, tears were rolling down her dirty cheeks.

Pointing at a boy in the distance holding a shiny, red ball, she started to stutter while crying.

"H-he took it w-while I was playing with i-it!"

"What do you mean!"

The boy got riled up, his face puckered like he ate a lemon.

"You were keeping it and not playing with it!"

"Is that so?"

The teacher said, her eyes narrowed.

"You can't keep the ball. You have to play with it instead of hoarding it. And also..."

Looking at the boy warmly, she said, "Also, ask instead of taking it."

"Alright teacher!"

"But-" The girl hiccuped.

"The problem is already solved. There is a ball over there. Do you want it?"

The boy with the red ball suddenly snicker, poking his tongue out with a smirk, mouthing the word, "Stupid."

"Who are you calling stupid!?"

With a wild cry the girl pounced, knocking the boy down as she started to punch him, pulling his hair and poking his eyes.

With a shuffle, I could hear the hunched man walking again.

***

Following him blankly, little by little, the surrounding turned into a home, or more precisely, the home in the apartment.

Their was modern furnishing, the while set felt elegant and simplistic in the night.

Ripples.

The curtains was emitting a warm glow, the inside had a few comfy sofas, the kitchen was filled with the smell of cooking.

On the table was a few dishes with 2 smiling adults and a grumpy teenager.

"Say, what's with that frown? It's dinner for goodness sake!"

The teenager with a short bun seemed ticked off.

With a burst, she complained loudly, "The teacher marked me wrong because I wasn't 'SPEciFic eNOugh!'"

"I did everything I was told too!"

"Like, what do you want from me? To be like that so-called 'perfect' student? No one is perfect!"

The women raised her eyebrow.

"No one is perfect, that's what you said. So why are you blaming the teacher?"

"Besides," The man pipes in, "If you feel like that, why don't you go and clarify instead of complaining. Complaining isn't going to raise your grade."

The rebellious teenager frowned.

"Fine. I'll do that."

Mumbling, the teenage girl admitted to her mistake.

"Alright now, it's time to eat!"

***

Ripples.

"I got my first A!"

"Good for you, I'm so proud."

***

Ripples.

"Let's go sneak into the theater."

***

Ripples.

"Don't bully people you motherf*cker. Fight me!"

***

Ripples.

Red.

***

Red.

Red.

Red.

***

Ripples.

A man and woman had tears rolling down there eyes as they were frozen in shock at the hospital.

The woman started to gasp for air, and then suddenly wilted, fainting in the arms of the horrified man.

The man quickly panicked and then a huge ruckus was brought up the doctor and nurses rushed with sweat.

With a wild cry of despair, the man weep on the bench pitifully, his back trembling.

***

Ripples.

There was a girl.

Her eyes were leaking out crystal tears, eyes red and swollen.

Her face displayed shock.

With a sudden urge, I reached out in front of me.

The same girl also reached out her hand.

It was rock solid, no ripples at all, rather it was smooth and cold.

And then I realized.

It was a mirror.

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