A/N: *Drinking, drinking, drinking...JUICE!* Phew, this was a huge chapter to finish. I apologize for being so late with this update; there was about 3 different ways I could've gone with this. Believe or not, the potential that Mummy has is just unreal. Then again, most species can have deep stories if researched enough. I don't really know much, but ever since I removed the word limit last chapter, I've been feeling creative 'lightning storms' (as opposed to 'sparks') so much that...wait one moment. "Hey Pon!" "Yes, sir?" "Can you block the door please? Your wife is coming..." "...!" *Pon quickly gathering random metal objects to barricade the door* "Hehehe..." *Shuffles up to Pon, points finger out* "Gaaaahhhhh!" *Pon erupts into a shower of electricity* Creative sparks...a stronger substitute for static shock. I tried a completely new perspective in this chapter, as you'll soon find out. Read on, my audience!
Another day in this miserable town and another group of children passes by my window. All I'm allowed to do in this house is sit around and watch the outside world slowly change. My mother tells me that it's dangerous to be around other people, but I can't help feeling jealous of the freedom they have. Even the privilege of being able to show their skin is something I'm envious of. I always ask Mother why we have to cover ourselves in thick bandages, but she starts crying every time she tries to explain it. She also doesn't mention what happened to Father, since I've never known him. Most of my days are spent just like this one, in the winter of 6th birthday, but I decide that I want to do something more exciting. As soon as I can, I quietly sneak out of the house to experience that white stuff called 'snow'.
Then I see him, one of the boys that I often see playing around outside of my window. He looks a bit thin, but his ruffled brown hair and his grinning face add a sort of warmth to his image. Blue eyes meet my gray ones as he comes running towards me.
“Hi there!” He greets me energetically.
“H-Hello.” This is my first time ever speaking to someone outside, so my nervousness is already reaching new heights.
“I've never seen you around here before. Are you new in town?”
“...Yes, I just came here with my mother a few days ago.”
“What's your name, Bandage Girl?” His smile gets even wider.
“Arr...tee...miss? That's hard to say; I'll just call you Bandage Girl.” He turns around and takes a few steps forward.
“Please don't call me-” I try to politely tell him not to use that nickname.
“Hey, Bandage Girl, come on!” The boy starts running now.
“I told you, my name is not Bandage Girl!” I shout at the rude boy once I catch up to his pace.
“But your name is so hard to say...” It sounds like he's teasing me.
“The name 'Artemis' is not that hard to say.”
“It is so! Can I just call you 'Tammy' instead?”
“...Okay, but only you can call me 'Tammy'!”
I don't know why, but it feels kind of good when he calls me that. Mother never called me anything except my given name, so it feels special to me that someone gave me a name other than 'Artemis'. I tighten my bandages and run with him towards the nearby town. All of the adults are busy stocking up for the coming winter, but the children simply enjoy themselves as we see the main road filled with snowball fights and small snowmen. Most of the children look at me with suspicious eyes, but then I notice several of them wearing white bandages like I am except with odd red stains on them. I quickly start feeling alone, but my new friend stays in front of me and explains to everyone that I'm the new girl in town. Then they all just go back to playing, like there is nothing else to be said.
“Tammy, follow me! I need to show you something!” The boy shouts to me, just as I'm enjoying myself with other kids for the first time.
“It was nice meeting all of you. I hope we can play again tomorrow!” I tell all of the new faces I've met today and run off after the boy.
He leads me through town on the main road, past all of the other groups of children playing in the snow. I feel disheartened somewhat, as every adult that sees me backs away in fear like I'm some sort of monster. A few of them look like me in that they have bandages sometimes, but they are all stained in that odd red color. The kids pay me no mind, but occasionally give me a quick glance. We keep walking on the road until we're far away from the town.
“U-Um where are you taking me?” I nervously ask the boy, who is still smiling warmly.
“There's a special place that I want to show you and this the best time for it!” He grabs my bandaged hand and pulls me along as we break into a run.
“W-Wait, why are you only bringing me? Aren't there other kids who want to see it?”
“Sure, but...well...you're kind of special, Tammy.” He flashes a grin at me, and I start feeling warm in my cheeks.
“B-But you just met me today...what's so special about me?”
“Hmm...I don't really know, but I just feel that you must look really cute under all those bandages.” His eyes meet mine and the warm feeling in my cheeks gets so intense that it feels like my bandages are burning.
We don't talk to each other anymore until we get to our destination, which looks like a lone angel statue. I had only heard of religion from Mother, but even then she's told me to stay away from it. It feels odd now, when I'm standing in front of a real religious statue. It looks more pleasant than evil like Mother described it. The boy clears some snow in front of the statue and pats the spot next to him. I accept his invitation and sit down next to him so close that our shoulders are touching. He doesn't seem to mind it at all, but I just can't stop thinking about it and the warmth in my face is now spreading to my whole body.
“T-This place is...very quiet.” As I put my hand down, it accidentally touches his.
“Yep. It's my favorite spot when I need to think.” He puts his hand over mine.
“What are you thinking about now?” I ask him nervously.
“I'm wondering what you look like under all those bandages...” He gives my hand a gentle squeeze.
“I-I'm kind of curious myself. I've never taken these off before and my mother always re-wraps them every morning.”
“Can I...take them off?” He softly asks while taking my hand into his.
“...” All I can do is nod because I'm stunned by all of these warm feelings that I'm experiencing for the first time.
He carefully guides his hand around my face and feels around for a loose bandage. Once he finds it, he gingerly starts to unravel it from around my head, occasionally pausing to look at me. The bandages lightly fall away from my face and soon I can feel the boy's warm hands against my skin for the first time. Finally the last bandage is taken off, and the boy just stares at me with wide eyes.
“Wow...you're really cute, Tammy...”
“I-I've never seen myself in the mirror I before, could you tell me what I look like?” I'm sure he can see the heat rising in my cheeks as I refuse to meet his eyes.
“You've got short dark hair, and a small face. Your gray eyes look even better than before. You're definitely the cutest girl I've ever met!” His smile brims with confidence and I feel like I'm floating in happiness.
“Hey, could you touch my face again, like you did just now?”
His hand cups my face and instantly, I'm flooded with pleasant emotions. Everything feels warms and somehow tingly. Each of his fingers adds to the growing fire in my heart as I can only sigh at his touch. We remain like this for a long while, just until night starts to creep into the sky.
“We should head back now. Our parents are probably worried about us.” He takes his hand away and brings me back to reality.
“Y-You're right. It's getting dark, too.”
We walk all the way back through the town and make it back to my house on the outskirts.
“Hey, I don't think I ever got your name...” I ask my friend, who simply grins in response.
“You don't need to know it right now; we'll play again tomorrow!”
“I promise.” He puts a hand into his pocket and pulls out the bandages he took off my head.
“Y-You can have those. They'll be a symbol of our promise.” I smile at the boy, who looks at me in amazement again.
“Thanks, Tammy!” He smiles one last time before turning back and running back to town.
“And that is how I met Daddy for the first time.”
The little Mummy girl on my lap gives me a tight hug and looks up at me with the very same smile I fell in love with as a child. I brush some of the flowing brown hair out of her face and look deeply into the same gray eyes I gave to her.
“What happened after that, Mommy? Why did you and Daddy go apart for a long time?”
“Although I didn't know it at that time, Humans weren't very nice to people like you and me. They were very mean to us and didn't like the idea of Daddy and I playing together.”
“You mean like Grandma did?”
“Not really; Grandma didn't like it for a different reason. Humans back then just didn't trust us and only like other Humans.” I smile in understanding as to why my mother would cry each time she tried to talk about my father.
“Then, how did you and Daddy meet each other again?” My daughter looks at me with cute eyes, but I'm not easily swayed.
“That's a long story, and you need to go to bed, little one. I'll tell it to you another time.”
A/N: Something about telling stories to your kids feels special to me. I don't have children, so I don't know the exact feeling. I guess it's just fun to re-live past experiences and share them, something I'm sure all of you have done before. Still, I think this is the start of a beautiful new 'Renaissance' for the series because I can now express the full one-shots without making them overwhelmingly long. I actually wanted this story to go a different direction at first, but since I chose this instead, the first version of this one-shot is now an expansion. Next on my list is...oh my. *Smug grin* Another favorite of mine, Valkyrie! I'm going to enjoy this next chapter very much and I'm sure you will all enjoy reading it. Please comment, favorite, follow, etc. and PM me if you have any questions or something to discuss. Now, what else do I have left...oh right. *Pulls Pon up off the floor* "Pon, any closing statements for the audience?" "Does this charm you gave me actually ward off monsters?" "Yes, but it bolsters your bad luck to terrible heights." "Tell me that first next time, sir. I almost got killed 10 times on the way here..." See you all next time!