- Author: Light and Bright
In this piece, there will be multiple one-shots of possible pasts and futures of the characters in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Book 1 will have one-shots of the main protagonist; Sophie Foster. The first half/section of the book will contain possible pasts, and the second half/section will contain possible futures. Upon completion of this first book, I will ask all of you which character I should take on next, unless I already have a good idea of who I will choose.
Book 1: Sophie Foster
Shot 1: The Very Beginning
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to Mr. Forkle
His brother had always been the clumsier of the two. But now, the petri dish seemed to shake a little in his hands as well. He and his brother had crafted one cell to have so many secrets within, from several abilities, to implanted memories that not even the holder could access.
The hardest part had been defining the gender of the baby. While the elvin world had few to no gender stereotypes, the human world was full of them: majority being against the female gender. So while the main intent of the project was to create a formidable force that knew the troubles of both sides, maybe it would also be best to cure the problems of the humans at the same time?
Now, he precariously placed the dish on the table, uncertain of the events to come. He, and he only, was to start a life: a life that would have to endure the extremes of both worlds to bring peace and prosperity of all.
And even after all the blood, sweat, and tears he had put into this project, he had doubts. Was it really morally right to subject a child to all this? In the human world, she’d be ridiculed. In the elvin world, she’d be feared as well as revered. And would anybody be ready to hold the kind of power that could vanquish all that stood in their path?
He let the scenes play before his eyes: the memories of the ocean-side lab floating through his brain. The alicorn DNA they had to sample, the DNA of the several abilities, the insertion of memories, he remembered it all. But the most important thing he remembered doing was the DNA sampling of her parents.
It still hurt to tell them that they couldn’t see their child’s first milestones, and they couldn’t see their child defeat evil, and that they wouldn’t be able to reveal themselves until the very end. He himself couldn’t imagine having to live without ever seeing his children, much less not being able to let them know that he was the father. And not to mention, they did not even know who the other contributor was! But these two elves were brave. They were brave enough to sacrifice their own pleasures and memories with their child for the success of the project of the moonlark.
But now, there was no time to contemplate past choices. What was done had been done for the greater good, and there was no backing down now. For Emma Iris Foster and William David Foster had now entered the room. The unsuspecting nurse let the two parents-to-be inside, while Mr. Forkle prepared the recitation of his supposed backstory.
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to “The Boy Who Disappeared”
Sneaking into the hospital was uncannily easy. The Neverseen had given him a lead in the area as to where the implant was to happen. Other than that, he had no idea what to look for: a doctor that looked out of place? An unsuspecting couple? A pregnant woman? He decided that vanishing from sight was the best way to not attract any attention. The person who still felt uneasy around his body must be the fake doctor.
Sitting quietly in the lobby, waiting for a person to come around reminded him of the time he waited for Fintan to come out of his office and let him know whether he was good enough for the Neverseen or not. Ever since his brother Fitz surpassed him in skills and abilities, jealousies had pent up in his mind, waiting to be unleashed. He got his lucky break when a note appeared on his desk one day. Upon laying his eyes on the paper, he had been transported to the office of Fintan, the place which he was reminded of now.
However, unlike that time, he didn’t have to wait long for a doctor to come by and mutter things under his breath. As Alvar stepped closer the man, he flinched, as if there was a sudden change in the atmosphere. Any other human would not have been able to sense his presence, so this man must be the phony. As he prepared to pounce on the man, his advance backfired.
The phony doctor grabbed the boy by the collar, and dragged him, still invisible, to the outside of the building. The nurse at the counter did not suspect a thing, as she merely saw a man with a clenched fist heading out. The boy’s only thought was that he had been compromised.
The next time he woke up, he was in a dark alleyway, and when he made his way back to Neverseen headquarters from his unsuccessful mission, he received a fine beating.
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to Mr. Forkle
Explaining is hard. Especially when having to explain a lie, and convincing a family that they were to have a child with a disorder, and the only way that it could be fixed was via surgery. But somehow, Mr. Forkle had a knack for it. It could be speculated that he used his mesmerizing ability at that point, but one could never know.
The thoughts that raced through his mind during the surgery were unknown to anyone else, for he was imagining the future of this child. What would her life be like? She would probably end up being the smartest in her class, and would race ahead of everyone else. Maybe she would even go to college early and-
“Doctor,” Physic warned. The Black Swan decided it would be best for her to perform the surgery, since she had the most experience, and was not emotionally attached to the child whatsoever.
Forkle watched the implantation unfold before his eyes. His little girl was going to come out into the world in 9 months. The little girl he had helped create starting years in advance. Most of his life had gone in this attempt to make the world a better place. And now, he would watch his creation slip from his hands, and do its thing with some help from the sidelines.
It is very emotional, having to watch something you created go out into the world and do something great. And while you may never be known as the creator, you still feel happy that your life’s work was worth it.
That is how Mr. Forkle felt at that moment, for he was on the cusp of something great, and he knew it. And that wasn’t to say that his job was done: he still had to watch over the child and see that her young years went smoothly, since she had millennia, and possibly the end of time itself ahead of her.
So when the surgery was finally over and Emma Foster was to wake up from the anesthetic, he leaned over and said: “Goodbye, kid. The world is in your hands.”
Shot 2: Mischievous Green Eyes
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to Sophie Elizabeth Foster
The coming of Amy into the world was a life-changing day in the journey of Sophie Elizabeth Foster. She had heard many negative things about becoming a big sister: the responsibilities, the division of attention, and most importantly, the demands of the new child. The only positive thing she’d known about it is getting a new friend. Not that she wanted or needed one, really.
While her parents were in the delivery room, Sophie had been made to sit outside, in the lobby. The past nine months had been a real ride for the family. And to think that Sophie had only been receiving a mere taste of becoming a big sister!
She began to contemplate how her life would change from now on. As of now, she had been supported by her parents to keep on learning: so much so, that her knowledge surpassed that of others older than her. But with this new child? Her parents may not be able to give her as many opportunities to showcase and learn as they used to. Maybe they’d even do the same for Amy and leave Sophie in the dust!
Sadly, she peered out the window and saw the sky above. There were many clouds up there, looking ominous and scary. Sophie whimpered a little, before controlling herself. She let a tear roll down her cheek as the sky outside demonstrated what she thought was to happen in her life. The dark clouds started emptying their contents onto the ground below, washing through the land. On the ground, things were getting drenched, and withered.
Until she remembered that the land also relied on water. And that the land helped the water cycle repeat over and over again. Maybe Sophie and her little sister wouldn’t have such a bad relationship after all-
“You kids are so moody,” said her bloated neighbor. He had been asked to watch over Sophie while her parents were in the delivery room. Not that he minded doing it. After all, he was partly responsible for her very existence…
Sophie reluctantly peeled her eyes off the window and chose to stare at the floor.
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to Emma Iris Foster
Giving birth is no easy feat. But the reward in the end is always worth it. The human she now held in her hands was to be named Amy Rose Foster. Only a few years later when new concrete was being poured in their driveway did she realize that her initials spelled “ARF.”
She had thought that the second child would be as just like the first, but oh, how wrong she would be. But for now, she was not to know, and live her life in ignorant bliss.
Looking at her second daughter again, Emma had to smile. The things she’d be when she grew up! Maybe she’d be just as smart as Sophie: leaping through grades and whatnot. What would she be when she grew up? A doctor? Maybe not. A lawyer? No. An actress? She looked at her daughter again. Born with hair on her head, it was easier to see what her appearance might be in the future. The image of striking beauty, with dark brown curls framing her face, with bright green eyes in the center for contrast. Oh what a heartbreaker she’d be…
For now, though, her daughter had to be taken away from her for some tests.
- POV: Third person, thoughts limited to William David Foster
One look at those eyes and he knew what trouble he was in for. He didn’t tell his wife though: didn’t want to destroy the experience. But when Amy would grow up… what a ride they’d be in for. From the moment he set eyes on her, he knew that Amy wouldn’t be a thing like Sophie. But who was he to judge, after all?
- POV: First person, past, thoughts limited to future Sophie Elizabeth Foster (this one deviates a little, but is an interesting read all the same).
“Words are nothing more than letters on a paper which we expect the other person to understand: What you need to understand, Sophie, is that thoughts are far more complex than that.” Those were my father’s words. And while he may not have been an elf, he had really hit the nail on the head.
Nobody really knows how much I think of my past life. After all, with all the excitement going on in the Lost Cities, most have assumed that I have just forgotten about my human family, and have fully settled into the Ruewen household. And while it might seem that way, some things just take time, you know?
You know that memory log I have? It only has half the memories that I really project onto it. Every night, I open a page, and project a memory from my childhood, whatever it may be. Sometimes it’s of my parents, sometimes of my sister, and occasionally of my classmates too. It has been really hard to let go, and I’m starting to think that this is why Fitz and I aren’t able to progress as cognates.
I’ll eventually have to tell him someday, but for now, it still hurts. Imagine, someone shows up at your door, says you don’t belong, whisks you away to someplace else, and tells you that this other place is where you belong. And in the stories, you’d acclimatize immediately, since you never really belonged in the first world in the first place.
And now, even with Amy knowing that I’m still here, there’s still a void in my life. I begin to quietly hum a tune in my head.
“Little do you know
How I'm breaking while you fall asleep
Little do you know
I'm still haunted by the memories
Little do you know
I'm trying to pick myself up piece by piece
Little do you know
I need a little more time
Underneath it all I'm held captive by the hole inside
I've been holding back
For the fear that you might change your mind
I'm ready to forgive you, but forgetting is a harder fight
Little do you know
I need a little more time.”
But in the song, the two eventually have a happy ending. Where’s mine?
Out of sheer frustration, I go over to my trash can, and pick up a projected memory. It was of a newborn, with dark curls, and those mischievous green eyes...