Crap. Something was definitely wrong with the two-seater plane she was flying in. It wasn’t always that black smokes rise on all sides when you’re flying above the African Congo so when the pilot said it wasn’t in pristine condition, she should have given a second thought.
“MAYDAY! MAYDAY!” The pilot screams into the radio while she sat at the back, hands holding up the glass above her as though she can hold it up. “OUR ENGINE IS DOWN! MAYDAY!”
Her heart thudded so loud she could barely hear the roaring of the engine or even feel the violent shakings of it. With the way their plane was plunging, she felt both thrilled and afraid but more afraid than thrilled.
It was almost like going on a roller coaster but this time they were not going back up unless a miracle occurs as well as nothing was stopping their plane from crashing down into the forest below.
Was this it? Her mind stopped as she watched the plane hurdle down as the Pilot continued screaming into the speaker.
Is this how her life ends?
“I suppose it’s fitting,” She mumbles silently to herself, almost surprised at how she was. “The world’s greatest adventurer dies in a plane crash in one of her adventures. Hmm… Has a ring to it.”
She laughs a little as she saw the trees come closer faster than expected. She was laughing but her eyes pooled with tears.
“Damn… I should have said goodbye to my family and friends.” Her tears slid down her cheeks as she closed her eyes. “And I should have told Minseok I love him.”
She closed her eyes as the trees zoomed unto them and then all she could feel was how she was been dashed on every side of the small plane. Was that crack her skull or her ribs or other bones?
The pain came from everywhere that her brain could no longer clarify and there was also too much adrenaline running to acknowledge it.
But still, DAMN IT! That hurts!
‘I’m just 34…” She mumbles drowsily as she felt her head become dizzy and her vision blurred.
It doesn’t take long for the plane to crash into the ground creating a massive crater in the ground. The two beings inside though had already stopped moving, glass broken and blood all over.
For the last time, she opens her eyes and took in the forest all around her.
“But I had a good time on earth…” She chuckled tiredly, “…Time to retire… I guess.”
She closes her eyes and sighed.
She did not feel any pain but she could feel the heat of the fire that had engulfed her plane. What a ghastly way to go… not even fresh oxygen as she breathes her last…
Perhaps it was only fitting for someone like her who left behind everything just to satisfy her wanderlust.
* * *
Her head felt like it was being twisted and tossed into the air by three clowns as they swung from one end of the circus into another while screaming into her ears.
But why was her head hurting so much? Wasn’t she doing something at the moment? It had been something urgent… What was it?
With a scream, she woke up and instinctively wrap her hands around herself to protect herself from the excruciating pain of flames up her body.
But… She blinks and felt herself. Her hands went through her body but there’s no… heat. And her body felt smaller and the clothes felt… different.
Her eyes widen as it finally registers her surroundings. Wait. Where was she? Wasn’t she just inside the plane that was in flames?
She was in an enormous room laden with much… grandeur. This looks like the palaces she visited in France many years back… But not quite.
Several people were standing beside her bed, all new faces peering down worriedly at her. There were some even touching her.
She look at all of them wondering who on earth were all these people and why on earth they were dressed so fancily. They looked like they just walked out of some fantasy royal period drama. Was she in some movie set?
The headache returned but this time much fiercer than before, so much so that she’s down in bed again, groaning as she clutched her head.
What on earth was going on? Where was she? Wasn’t she… dead?
What was this?
“What is wrong with her?”
“Do something for her!”
She heard their voices and she registered them loud and clear but she also noticed how they were speaking in a language she’s never heard off… So why on earth does she know that?
But the next moment, the headache is so bad she cannot hear anything and there’s a high ringing in her ears. Unable to handle the headache anymore, she felt herself drift into unconsciousness.
It wasn’t good.
Was she going to die again? Another death as soon as she… died? What was this? Was she in hell being tortured or something?
But then like a light had been switched off, the pain suddenly subsides and she felt her body rise into the air, her hands and feet slapping and kicking instinctively.
“What is going on?”
She noticed her surrounding but she saw nothing around… just plain grey. It was sort of space-like with zero gravity.
“This is cool.”
For starters, she had always done her adventure on the ground. Space had been on her bucket list and she had started saving money to buy tickets to go to space… Well, now she’s getting that for free.
A huge light suddenly comes zooming by making her flinch and begin circulating her as though judging her. It went around her at least seven times and by the fifth time, she gasped. The light was beginning to take shape… was it of a young girl?
The light stops moving the seventh time and ‘stood’ in front of her making her look at it in awe. The shape was definitely human but only made of lights. The light was purely golden and it was in the form of threads of light with blobs here and there.
It was spectacular. Something she’s never seen before and the urge to film it overtook her making her almost look around for a camera somewhere.
It was beautiful, blinding, and scary all at the same time.
“Hi?” She breathed out as the form just stood there looking at her. “Are you an angel of the sort? Perhaps to take me away?”
But the form does nothing instead it slowly raised her hand and reached out almost to touch her.
Frowning but curious, she also reached out her hand, mimicking it.
Her heart began pounding as their hands joined, heat traveling through her at the touch. The next moment though, her eyes opened wide as the heat began traveling up her hand to her entire body and the form began to dissolve into her.
She has never been this confused her entire life. She always knew what she wanted but this was something out of her capacity.
The heat wasn’t searing like the flames of the plane rather it was a comfortable heat, like a hug from a very warm person.
The form completely enters her and she’s floating alone again but this time, a movie-like memory began appearing in her mind. She saw new people and new faces, she saw new places she’s never seen before, buildings that looked strange and clothes that were new. She watched in awe as she felt herself grow and felt herself learn the languages here and the writing systems.
She felt and tasted good food and went through horrible times like being bullied and being scolded.
It was like living all over again… just in a span of a few moments.
She doesn’t know how long it took but she had an inclination that this was the memory of that form – her name was Kija and she was 16 this year.
As far as it was concerned, this wasn’t earth. This was somewhere else. Kija had died this morning from a sickness she suffered since she was little and she connected some dots to perhaps know that across the universe, they had died at the same time, same moment and their souls had somehow combined.
Perhaps she wasn’t meant to die so this was another chance to live on as Kija rather than her. Kija had already accepted her and integrated with her after all and now she had all the memories of Kija.
Kija… How fascinating.
Who knew there was another world like this out there? This was the ultimate fantasy of every single adventurer out there. To think that she had the joy of exploring the earth and now she had a new world to explore.
She closes her eyes with a smile.
Yes. She was going to accept this too. Earth was hella interesting but there wasn’t a place she had not gone to anymore… so now she needed a new world and it got served to her. She was going to accept it.
At that moment, light began to glow from her chest and it grew until it covered her entire body.
This was a new world… and she was going to love it.
* * *
Kija was a daughter of a Duke and she was one of the three daughters they had amongst 8 children between three wi