Merli, age seventeen and into quiet activities, was always working a fantasy novel.
At this moment, she was cooped up in the corner of the ship room she had herself claimed, tapping away on the keys of her iPad, stopping to sigh and fumble through her broad vocabulary just to find the right words.
"Merli! We're on a cruise so let's enjoy it as much as we can!" her spunky fifteen-year-old sister Lapis pouted. "You can save your boring fantasy story for later."
"Excuse me? Boring?" Merli cringed back. "Says the biggest fan of my stories? Boring?"
"Well, you're ACTING boring." Lapis flat-out stated. "I wanted to have fun with my sister, but she refuses to leave this boring, cramped-up room!"
Lapis was thinking of how to get Merli out of her refusing attitude. Lapis had to pretend to be her.
Lapis grabbed her iPad (the one filled with games, music, but no writings whatsoever) and curled up in her own corner, putting on a rather peeved-looking face. She brought up her never-used notes app and randomly hit letters.
"I'm Merli, and I'm boooring!" She shouted, sarcastically mimicking her sister. "All I do during cruises is sit in the corner and write things..."
Merli promptly grew irritated enough to give Lapis a taste of her own medicine.
"Well, I'm Lapis!" Merli bounced up and shouted in a purposefully annoying voice. "I don't have the attention span for thought and intricacy-requiring activities such as writing! I like to play and annoy my sister all day long!"
Merli got a little bit too into her act, tying her long indigo hair in her sister's pigtails and changing into her summer dress. She spritzed herself with tons of perfume, the way Lapis did.
"I wanna go places!" Merli yelped, prancing all across the room. "Like, come on Merli! Don't be so boooring!"
Lapis suddenly burst out laughing. It looked like her plan had worked.
"Haha! Acting like you caused you to act like me!" Lapis cheered. "You jumped right out of bed and got ready, yay!"
Merli turned red, clenched a fist and cast her face down.
"Plus admit it. Being me for a while was FUN, wasn't it?" Lapis crawled up on her sister's shoulder. "Wasn't it more fun than being you?"
Merli didn't want to admit it, but she had been tricked. She might've even wanted to use Lapis' plan in her next novel somewhere.
Lapis almost wanted to admit it, but Merli looked very cute in pigtails.
"Now put that iPad away, let's go to the pool!" Lapis winked as they walked out of the room.
Lapis was a little disappointed that Merli didn't want to keep her pigtails. (They could've been matching sisters).
The truth was that Merli really hated being, well, a normal girl in public. Ever since she was little, she wanted to be a dark-themed fairy. Since she couldn't really be one, she opted for the next best thingーappearing as one to others.
For that reason, most of her clothes had a mystical, dark look to them. Her summer dress was a flowing black garment with ruby-winged butterflies decorating her chest and shoulder portion. The bottom part was ruffled, with bright purple jewels on the seams. The headband she wore with her dress had a giant ruby flower-shaped jewel formation on it.
The swimsuit she wore under her dress was indigo, with a flowing skirt and giant aqua butterfly going across her chest.
Lapis was always wearing the light equivalent of Merli's clothes. It was just the kind of fashion she liked. Merli went along with it well. They both looked like fairies, just the way she liked.
Merli always made sure to act fairylike as well, speaking properly and making sure her surrounding aura was cryptic and magical. She taught herself how to sing, and began writing her novels to escape to her world when she wanted to. She took it all quite seriouslyーthe dark fairy was an actual part of Merli that unfortunately couldn't exist in the real realm.
Her sister Lapis was the only one aware that Merli was just a normal girl caught up in fantasy.
The pool deck had tons of commotion going on, already too much for solitary Merli. The sun was blazing, loud party music was blaring, and there wasn't anywhere to distance herself from people. This was no place for such an elegant, brooding fairy.
"Pool time, yaaay!" Lapis promptly threw off her dress and dove fantastically into the water in her swimsuit.
Merli didn't like the idea of pool water. Swimming in dirty water where hundreds of other people have been in... like gross human soup. The thought was near revolting to her.
"I'll pass." Merli said.
"Well, at least I got you to come here. That's a good enough start." She shrugged.
Merli circled around, looking for a nice seat in the shade. Unfortunately, every single seat with a bit of shade seemed to be taken.
The strong heat from the sunlit floor of the pool area began to charr Merli's feet. The sizzling pain slowly became unbearable.
The copper-skinned girl resisted an urge to cry out in pain and frantically dashed to the edge of the pool in the shallow water. Never had cool water felt so revitalizing. The pain instantly faded away and Merli closed her eyes in relief.
A high-pitched voice sounded behind her, and before the quiet girl could process her reaction, a huge force slammed into her back, sending her thin body tumbling into the deep cold water with a big clumsy splash.
The unidentified force was still on her back as she struggled to surface from the water. It was definitely another person, a girl around her size. Merli could feel the long hair brushing her shoulders and back during and after the fall.
When she finally surfaced and wiped the water from her eyes, Merli saw the girl looking right at her. Her water-colored pigtails flowed into the pool water, blending in and almost looking like a part of it. Her eyes, which were the same color, were big and apologetic.
"Ah, I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" she squeaked. "Haha, that sure was scary, wasn't it..."
The girl quieted down when she realized Merli wasn't smiling. She was too busy scrutinizing the girl to smile. The strange girl looked exactly like one of the main characters in Merli's current novel. A character who happened to be a fairy.
"I'm really sorry!" the teal-haired girl said again. "It was an accident!"
Suddenly, on Merli's face was a smile.
"It's okay." she said quietly. "Miku..."
The unexpectedly clumsy Merli instantly covered her mouth. Miku? The name of the character in Merli's story had slipped out suddenly! The girl looked so much like her, it was as if it WAS really her!
"Huh?" Miku's expressive face grew puzzled. "Do I know you somewhere? H-how do you know my name?"
Merli's pupils grew large. Miku was really her name?
"I... just had a feeling..." Merli stammered. "Th-that your name was... Miku..."
"Wow!" Miku smiled wide. "You must be a psychic! You look like you could be one!"
Merli tried hiding another smile. This girl even acted like the Miku from her story.
"I can't believe this at all..." the bemused girl thought.
"So, what's your name?" Miku asked.
"Merli?" Miku said. "Then you must be a psychic for real! I can totally imagine a psychic named Merli!"
Even though Merli wanted people to recognize her as a fairy, Miku wasn't too far off. It somehow made her feel embarrassed...