The Sky Stirrer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Julian Ainsworth never knows how to control his emotions, doesn't care how it will affect others. Until now, when he meets this mysterious girl, Mikasia, who's the exact replica of his twin sister,
Julia. Creepy, yes, but if it's not gonna be her, who will change him?

Submitted: June 11, 2018

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Submitted: June 11, 2018

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Emotions reflect the person we are. They also bring out the best or the worst of us. I know what you’re thinking. Who’s this git and why is he lecturing us with useless information? Trust me, you ought to know this because nobody wants to be hated by anyone. I learned that the hard way through a real...or should I say an illusional experience?

Something cool and icky pitter- pattered down onto my face. Dew or rain, I thought, remembering how I’d opened my window the night before. It was normal since this was London.

I groaned as I wiped the nasty stuff away and gingerly opened my eyes. To my astonishment, it was actually dew... falling from a leaf. The cool water quickly collected itself at the tip of the leaf before a huge drop fell into one of my eyes, without any warning. I growled once more with a drastically increased frustration.

What a gross way to start a dream!

Sitting up and wiping the water away, I noticed that I was on a grassy hill, overlooking the great, clear blue sky. The brightness, colour, and atmosphere in general was supposed to be refreshing and relaxing had it not turned greyish a second later with the sound thunder rumbling in the distance.

I was not at all surprised with the drastic change, only confused why I was dreaming this. It made me grumpier and I couldn't help but frown deeply. Thunder grumbled some more and rain started pouring over my head, making me drench. Frustration became anger in an instance. I swore loudly, the hills and mountains around me echoed these derogatory terms. I felt no regret what I was doing; this was my dream and I could do whatever I pleased.

The storm turned into an enormous cyclone and I had a peculiar idea that if this was the foreshadowing that my life was going to be ruined by something unpredictable and ferocious, or perhaps the cyclone was me and I’d destroy everything in my path. All the better! It’d be just as swell if I could be swept away from the surface of the Earth by the cyclone.

Except it never touched me. Tremendous little cyclones began forming around me. They manoeuvred through the ground, spinning faster and faster until my eyes couldn't follow, but they never swept near me. Fifteen feet and that was it. I was begrudged at how they never reached me, having a weird thought of just getting myself whisked away.

"Stop it!" A too familiar high-pitched voice said, piercing my eardrums.

"What the—" I began but stopped and stared at a person riding a... cloud? Her coppery hair flapped against her face and her dark chocolate brown eyes shone with malice. Her clothes billowed in the wind so weightlessly almost as if they, too, were weaved from wisps of cloud. In her hands was a long obsidian sceptre.  

"Stop it!" She called out again.

"Stop what, Julia?!" I called back with a sneer as she settled down in front of me. "I'm not doing anything! Blame the nature, blame the sky! Blame something that isn't me. And why the heck do I need to get stranded here with you, of all people?!"

FYI, Julia was my twin sister. It was bad enough to have a sister but trust me, having a twin was ten time worse.

She was always trying to get inside my head, guessing my thoughts as if I were a transparent book with no cover. Then, there was this perpetual comparison between us. She was the goody two-shoes and I felt that whatever I did would be atrocious to everyone else’s mind.

"I'm Mikasia," she said with a smile even when I was sure she must've have seen the scowl on my face.

What a disappointment.

“Julian Ainsworth,” I said indifferently.

She nodded.

"Well…who’s this Julia of yours? I’d love to see her once in my life."

I shuddered disgustingly at her suggestion. One Julia was an abomination...but two? I didn't even want to think about it.

"I said stop it!" She said again. The lightnings and thunders were displayed intimidatingly behind her. They did a good contrast to her skin and features. It would have been a really good scene in a picture but the wrong lighting angle and the deafening sound just kinda killed it.

"Seriously," I scoffed at the absurdity and crossed my arms. “If you're not even telling me what I have to stop, how can I stop it?"

Pellets of hails— sizes ranging from a biscuit to a football, maybe a lorry— flew past me, towards Mikasia. She smoothly deflected them away with her sceptre, coming to a stop beside me.

“Okay,” she sighed with a sour expression but quickly recovered with a smile. “Why don’t we start with you looking around—”

"What are you?” I scowled. “My mentor or something?”

Mikasia rolled her eyes, and like a little squirt she ignored my questions like they weren’t even worth answering. Like they were too obvious to even respond to because, yes, she was my mentor but what for, I didn’t know.

“Look,” she said. “Look below, down the hills over yonder. There. You see them? Look at them. Focus on them.

“Them?’ I held my chin up loftily, challengingly. “Who’re the—”

And that was when I saw ‘them’ as my eyes skimmed down to see a village. Thunder boomed, lightning flashed, hurricanes rotated, hail showered heavily careening past all the people (some not so lucky). Even gusts of snow flurried through the air, accumulating into a blizzard storm.

I watched as the villagers fled and screamed in horror to shun away the menacing peril they were encountering.

I didn’t know what to make of this. What did this girl want me to see? Want me to understand?

“Now, calm down and look again.” I heard Mikasia said, but not really listening a hundred percent. My head went to the villagers’ visage. I thought those only existed in movies or games? “Focus on breathing deeply through your nose and out your mouth. Do it. It’s not like that one single action is going to harm you or anyone than it already has.”

I gasped at the sudden change in her voice, a subtle threat.

I squinted and frowned, rolling my eyes twice. I didn’t get her one bit. I huffed and puffed. Curiosity overrode the anger I felt towards her. What is it you want to show me so much?! I wondered silently, curling my lips in disdain.

What in the world?!

I attempted a few futile times to control my breathing. Gradually— finally! —my heart wasn’t so loud in my ears and my body wasn’t shaking so hard as if it alone could precipitate an earthquake.

“Better than I thought,” she said, shaking her head. It pissed me off, not only because it seemed like she thought I was an idiot, but mostly since this was how Julia would have acted as well. And as much as she was a good sister (you didn’t just hear that from me, you hear? So, forget it and we’d be on good terms.), I never liked being patronized by a brat. “Now, look around you and at the sky in particular.”

 My eyes widened. My jaws dropped. I wondered if I was hallucinating as the sky slowly cleared. I swore I saw a glimpse of rainbow before it quickly disappeared.

“Wait, I did all that?!” I spun around, spreading my arms and letting out a laugh. “Bloody hell…”

I tried to make myself angry and dejected once more, thinking particularly about how my family had to leave England to America soon because of my father’s work.

I have a life here! Friends! I can’t just cut everything off because of the sudden news, I fumed. Everything I planned involves me being here, staying here. How dare he shatter all my dreams? Take everything I’ve owned away from me?! This is where I belong.

“Oh my god!” I exclaimed, smiling until my cheeks hurt, as the sky darkened into an ugly shade of grey then quickly transformed into a blanket of blue sky, rays of bright sunlight streaming through the clouds. “That is so cool!”

My delight was short-lived, though, as a thought hit me excruciatingly. Like a kick to my gut, a stomp on my throat. Before I could process anything, I felt myself moving forward, my legs carrying myself down the hill.

But when I nearly reached the ground, my chest was in contact with something solid. Something that had me flying back.

“Oof,” I groaned, heaving as my eyes stared unblinkingly at the empty, depressing sky. Exactly like how I was feeling.

“N-no,” I muttered.

“You can’t get down there,” Mikasia said after a minute, looming above with her shadow washing over me. “A person like you who’s training to be the Sky Stirrer, the Climate Controller, the Weather Weaver must estrange oneself from the world of the living! You can only observe, not interfere!”

What a stupid dream! A dream that I couldn’t yet bring myself to wake from.

“You couldn’t have just pulled me back or asked nicely?!” I picked myself up and dusted down my pants, wiping sweat off my palms.

“Would you have listened?”

Even now, I wasn’t. Not really, when I was skidding down the hill again, staying a few inches behind the border. I gritted my teeth, not answering. And even if I was going to, I would’ve been cut off.

Thunder cracked, rumbling deafeningly. So loud I could feel my ears ringing as if I was standing directly under a sonic boom. Lightning slashed the ground, spewing dirt everywhere.

I gasped.

“You need to control yourself!” Mikasia gnashed her teeth.

“Th-that did not just happen.” I swallowed thickly, not even pretending to listen to her. I was tempted to run headfirst, only to have the rational part of me pressed my hands against the smooth surface. Harder, harder, harder as if I could magically have transported to the other side.

In my dreams, I still couldn’t get what I desired.

Rain drizzled, mixing with drops of tears running down my face as I glanced at the group of villagers crowding around something. I squinted, wanting a clearer view. In the centre, was a bloke lying lifeless on the ground.

All at once— as if my feelings had just caught up with me— I was inundated with a deep and profound emotion of sheer terror.

“Bollocks!” I screamed, ramming my knuckles against the invisible wall. “I-I did not just do that! Not me! I’m not!!!”

“I’m afraid so,” Mikasia soft voice travelled to my ears, signalling that I was not alone.

“I-I’ve bloody killed someone!” I pounded on the wall once with all my might, my fist throbbing with dull ache as I whipped around to face her. “Struck him with lightning!”

My knees buckled and my back slid down until I was hunkering down with my head in my hands. Tears flowed non-stop out of my eyes, leaving invisible trails only I could feel. They stained me. They were marks that dug deep, injuring me more than any knife could ever plunge into me.

God, what had I done?!

I wanted to be a doctor and even if this was a dream, I was certain it was going to scar me for life.

“Julian.” Mikasia’s voice, so tender and with affection it stunned me into looking at her, an involuntary action I’d never intended of doing. “Now, can you see? Your feelings don’t only hurt yourself.”

“Mikasia…” I whimpered. Again, I had no idea what she was hinting at.

“Don't cross that bridge till you come to it and don't drag others down with you,” she said.

“Wh-what…?” A breath hitched in my throat because I finally knew what she was getting at, the message she was conveying to me.

“Everyone has a reason for doing something, even if you don’t know or if you’re too blind to see it,” Mikasia scolded me, disappointment and frustration blazing in her eyes.

What have I ever done to her? I wondered, imploring her to answer. To have some mercy on me. To stop. Because it was getting too, too much and I felt like I was being cut open, vivisected in more ways than one. I might burst any minute now…

“Be considerate,” Mikasia continued. She sounded so far, far away. “Treat others how you want them to treat you because it’s never been truer, but action does equal to reaction.”

Those words reminded me of how I left my room when I hadn’t been able to sleep those few nights ago only to witness my parents in the kitchen. Dad’d been hovering by the sink, his face shielded by the shadow. Mum was there beside him. Always had, always will. She was touching his arm gently, psychologically comforting him and offering him a mug of hot camomile tea.

He took it and swallowed a huge gulp, not caring if it’d burn his tongue and throat. He was dishevelled.

“It’s a toil trying to convince him,” Dad said, his voice quavering. He had always been a sensitive person. “He’s so grumpy and grouchy all the time.”

Well, sorry! I remembered thinking. This is just who I am!

“He’s a good kid,” Mum replied. “Just spoiled because we let him threw his tantrum whenever he pleases.”

“It’s our fault,” Dad mumbled.

Mum shook her head, as if just the thought itself was scandalous.

“He’s aiming to be a doctor, you know?” She said softly. “But being under Julie’s shadow makes him antsy.”

“I don’t wanna move, too.”

“I know—”

“But it’s for the best…is it?”

Mum pursed her lips before she pulled Dad in a tight bear hug.

“It is,” she whispered softly but firmly into his ear, soothing him. “I’ll talk to him. He’ll eventually come around.”

“Julian hates me,” he said.

“No, he doesn’t. Just give him some time, okay?”

Dad was heaving, sobbing. He looked so powerless. My heart sank.

Many people would say that if any parents were to hurt their children, the pain would be hundred or a thousand times worse for them.

They were wrong.

This went both ways because seeing my dad’s tears was just like that. He’d cried because of me. I could beat myself at it but it wouldn’t change what I’d done.

I should be making him proud! And hearing him say that I hated him was the worst thing in the world. I didn’t hate him. The thought never did cross my mind. Oh, the guilt that was possessing me…I felt so worthless, so ungrateful to this person I called my father.

“Thank you, Mikasia,” I heard myself saying, bringing myself back from the past.

“Thank yourself, Julian Ainsworth.” That had been her fleeting response before she was gone.

Before I felt it. Felt myself being pulled away, knowing I was going back to reality. Knowing that I was now prepared to return to the truth I’d been escaping and away from the lies I’d been feeding myself.


Julia Ainsworth sat by her brother’s bed. Something like a personal digital assistant that had once been popular oh so many years ago was in her hand.

Julian’s face was scrunched up. His hands were balled into fists, clutching tight at the blanket suffocating him. He was sweating buckets. His body was tense.

He was having a nightmare. She should wake him up. She really should…

“Jules,” she said.

She was about to nudge him when he woke up gasping, eyes opened wide with mostly shock and a minimal mixture of fear and terror. Huge drops of tears rolled down his face, escaping his eyes and into his hairlines.

It was one of those dreams you woke up crying.

“Mikas—” he shook his head, rubbing the pads of his fingers on his eyelids, and groaned. “Julie.”

“Hey,” she greeted, reaching over to brush away the matted fringe from his forehead.

“Wh-what are you doing?” Julian sat up, panting. Julia was prepared for him to slap her hand away but it never happened. He merely brought his attention back to her, their eyes locked. “Oh, I didn’t mean the hair thing...It’s just—I was wondering what you’re doing here. Can’t sleep?”

“Nah. It’s just one of those times, you know,” Julia fiddled with the device in her hand, trying to hide it behind her back, “when your mind suddenly becomes so alert and seriously can’t be shut down that you decide it’s best to find something else to do.”

“Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel right now.” Julian yawned and stretched over to turn on his lamp on the nightstand. “And like crap.”

“No, it’s because you just had a nightmare of possessing the power of meteorological manipulation until you suddenly shot a bolt of lightning at someone until he’s dead. Accidentally. I’m not judging,” Julia said, staring at the floor while fiddling with her fingers. “Not to mention how you recalled eavesdropping Mum and Dad conversing badly about you…”

“Why would you remind me of something I hardly want to memorise? Something I forget the moment I open my eyes? Of course, I remember the gist of it, the true essence of what I’ve learned.” Julian sighed, cringing. Then, as if he just realised the ordeal he was in, started panicking.

“H-how did—” he stuttered, eyes roaming the room until he saw something flickering behind Julia’s back. “What’s that?”

 “Um…” And this was the moment she was dreading. “It’s, uh, called a Dream Projector…”  she said, almost inaudible towards the end because of her mortification of admitting the truth aloud.

“A wha—of course!” Julian snapped his fingers. “I knew you’re not a good guesser!”

Julia was a bit surprised. She expected her brother to be more fierce and angry with her, even pouncing on her and saying stuff like, “That’s a violation of privacy! My dream isn’t a film for you watch and analyse for deeper meanings! Where did you even find such a thing, anyway?! Is it from a clique? A special kind of cult? Is it a rip-off?”

“Wow…I really do want to meet this Mikasia,” Julia felt herself say unconsciously.

“Why don’t you dig into my subconscious and have a nice chat with her?” Julian replied. “…or on second thought, I think she was constructed based on you.” He shuddered. “No offense but dreaming about you in any way still sounds creepy. Man, I need some soap to purify my mind.”

“I think I’ve also found something like that.”

“What website is that?!” Julian’s eyes widened.

“You just need to know where to browse.” Julia shrugged. She played with the device— clutching it tighter and turning it around—since she didn’t have to hide it anymore. “Sorry, I was bored and I couldn’t sleep, so I was signalling for active brain waves and poof! yours showed up and I started watching your dream without considering your feelings. Brain waves also link to your memories and thoughts; you’re even more exposed to me than before. Sorry, Jules.”

Julia refused to meet her sibling’s eyes. She waited patiently—no matter how panicked she was—for his verdict.

Julian leaned against the headboard, arms curling around his legs with his cheek resting on one knee.

“You don’t need to apologise,” he mumbled, as if he, too, was afraid of getting judged. His voice, so soft and childish, made her look up. “So…what do you think?”

“Y-you want to know what I think?” Julia felt her throat go dry. Words stuck in her mouth.

“Do you think I’m selfish? That I’m prolonging something I know I shouldn’t, something I can never prevent from happening?” He said, looking so fragile and vulnerable.

Julia wanted to hug him but didn’t know if he would let her.

“No,” she said firmly. “You’re just scared and that’s how your body responded to a stimulus. You’re extenuating circumstances with excuses because of your insecurities. But you know what? You can’t have everything you want. This is life! Life is change. Life is confusion and it’s meant to be scary for us to learn and adapt. And we have to. Every. Single. Time. Because I also have to accept the fact that nobody is going to be happy the whole damn time.”

“How come you’re so bloody willing to endure through this?” Finally, their eyes met. How come Jules’s were so, so melancholic?

“I just don’t see the point; they’ll talk us in anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m terrified, too.” Julia smiled sadly. “The issues that are going to be incurred on us are going to be tough, but I have faith in my family. In our parents. That there’s no way they’ll have any ill-intention towards us. Moreover, I know that I’m not alone in this. It’s not just us that’ll have to start over, they’ll have to, too. I’m not saying that it’s gonna be easy, but we’ll have each other to fall on. I’m not going to pretend that we’ll get through this unscathed, either, but we’ll be able to figure this out. Together.”

Julian sat still for a long time until Julia was sure that he’d fallen asleep with his eyes open. When he did speak, it was one of the things she’d never thought to hear him say.

“Let’s go,” he said, getting out of bed.

“What? Where?” She asked, alarmed, turning her head this way and that.

“Our luggage is not packing itself.”

Julian grinned sheepishly, ducking his head down hastily. Later, Julia would think back that she’d never taken her twin as a shy person, but maybe this was him adjusting to the sudden change of how to view things, the sudden change within his environment. For now, she swiftly got up with the irrepressible urge to encircle her arms around Julian. She shuffled towards him and jumped, putting her legs around his waist. And embraced him she did, not caring when they hit the ground with a loud thud.

She’d never been this proud of her brother.


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