I began to open my eyes, but quickly closed them when I was blinded by a white light. A terrible headache settled in and I swore I saw stars dancing in the back of my eyes. Once I was sure the headache dimmed and the light show stopped, I braved opening my eyes again, this time shielding them with my hand. After I adjusted, I realized that no light had rendered me sightless, but I was in a pure white room, though it was more of an open space, for it was vacant of any walls, furniture, windows, or door.
It was then that I remembered the storm that had destroyed my home and swept away my parents and siblings. The last thing I recalled was being stuck underneath a piece of the collapsed roof, and the strange twister was just upon me when a golden light stripped me of my vision before all went black.
"Did I die?" I asked herself, getting to my feet.
"Thankfully, no," a voice replied.
I spun a sharp 180 degrees around to find a tall man standing five paces away from me. He appeared to be middle-aged, with long faded-blond hair and a beard in the same shade on his sharp face. He wore a lab-coat that went down to his knees, from where his body became fuzzy and seemed as though he was standing in a low fog. Underneath his coat was a white business shirt and purple tie, a maroon scarf draped over his shoulder and around his neck loosely.
Immediately I went on edge, muscles tightening as I clenched my hands into fists. "W-Who are you?" I asked with a demanding tone, though I couldn't hide the surprise in my voice.
The man smiled. "My name is Ansem the Wise, and you have nothing to fear from me, Hikari Kurai."
I gasped and took a step back. "H-How do you know my name? What do you want from me?" I looked at my surroundings and added, "And where am I?"
"I can only tell you are in between the dimensions and that you are very special, which is why I need your help," Ansem replied.
"Why do you need my help?" I retorted. "There's nothing special about me."
"On the contrary. You are more special than you could possibly imagine." Ansem began to walk towards me.
But I held up her hand. "Don't come any closer."
Ansem halted. "I know you're scared and confused, but I need you to trust me and let me explain if answers is what you seek." His voice was soft and reassuring.
As much as I hated to admit it, the mysterious man was right. If I was going to find out where I was and how I was going to get back home, I had no choice but to listen. Coming to this conclusion, I nodded my head in acceptance.
"Very well. Let me start by explaining to you why you are so special; you see, in you possession is a power that- if used correctly- can save many lives as well as many worlds. However, if if were were used incorrectly, everything would fall into darkness. Because of this, there are forces that will do anything to get their hands on that power. You have the key to both Light and Darkness, and because of that, you and your family were attacked."
"Attacked?" I repeated. "You mean that storm wasn't
"No. What destroyed your home and took your loves ones is what is referred to as a Heartless. Since you were unaware of your gift at the time, you saw the Heartless as an unnatural storm. When the Heartless was to devour you just like your family, however, your power reacted and protected you. I then took it upon myself to teleport you here after you passed out." After a moments thought, Ansem continued. "Something has happened and only you can help. Three very gifted individuals like yourself have disappeared without a trace. I fear that they have been captured and without their light, the darkness is free to spread havoc throughout all worlds."
"Hold on a sec'; you mean to tell me there are other worlds beside my own?" I was having a hard time believing all this. You would too if you were in my shoes.
"Correct. No one truly knows how many there are in existence, but they are all connected in some way. With your gift, you can travel to these worlds."
"Hold out your hand and concentrate on the energy inside you. Imagine the Light and Darkness coming together and creating something in your hand."
I reluctantly did just that, focusing on the power inside me and feeling it course through my body and into my outstretched right hand. A combination of sweat dripping down my face and goosebumps crawling up my spine raked my entire body, but I refused to give up.
Suddenly, I heard and "Shing" sound and felt something in my arm. My eyes flew open, but what I saw before me was something I never would have imagined.
It was a blade of sorts, but a lot more bulky. Two angel wings- one white and the other black- made a sort of circle around the hilt of the blade. The body of the weapon was a shining white that seemed as though someone had thrown a bucket of glitter on it. But what really intrigued me was the actual tip of it; it didn't end straight like a normal blade, but instead had a bow*, corresponding black and white angel wings smaller than the hilt border stuck out, making the entire thing look like an oversized key.
I dared touch the wings of the bow; the feathers that covered them were smooth to the touch, but the wings themselves felt sturdy and rock hard, stronger that any wing I had felt on any bird.
"That is what is known as a Keyblade," Ansem suddenly spoke. "Only one other person has managed to create a weapon that was both of Light and Darkness, but he was, how should I say, a special case. That does not matter now, though; with that Keyblade, you can travel to the other worlds."
I looked up at him to ask, but my face said it all.
"Hold it to your chest and close your eyes. Ask your Keyblade to grant you the power of flight and it will do so," Ansem explained.
Now that I look back on this, I'm not quite sure why I did as he asked. Maybe I was desperate to find my way home, or, if i did as I was told, I would wake up from this dream and find myself safe in my own bed. Either way, I did as Ansem instructed, asking my strange weapon to give me what I wished for.
I was surprised when I felt the Keyblade vanish form my hold, but I thought my heart stopped when a sudden "whoosh" sound came from behind me. I turned my head to my left shoulder and dared open my eyes.
Nothing could prepare me for what I saw; A large, snow-white wing that was curved slightly inward was attached to my back. I looked to my right and found a similar wing, except that one was pitch-black. I imagined bringing them to their fullness, and I gasped when they did just that and spread out at what I estimated was thirteen feet from wing tip to wing tip.
I then realized I was wearing a new wardrobe. No longer was I in my torn up jeans and blue tank-top. Instead, I wore a gorgeous, navy-blue gown that went to my feet. The straps were split and wrapped securely just below my shoulders. My tennis shoes had been replaced by simple silver flats.
"That outfit is more than just a fashion sense," Ansem said with a smile. "It will protect you when you are traveling in between worlds."
I had barely heard him; I was too busy admiring the wings and the wonderful dress. The wings felt so light, it was as though they weren't even there, yet I could control their movement with only the slightest of thought. The dress was very soft and I could easily move around it with no resistance.
I turned back to Ansem, my eyes wide with wonder and delight. "Thank you."
Ansem shook his head. "It was not I that gave you these gifts; it is all you. However, before you go, there is something I wish to give to you." He dug into the pocket of his lab coat and pulled out something. He walked over to me and in one quick motion, hooked that object around my neck.
When he stepped back, I looked down and realized what he placed around my neck was a necklace. It was a glistening piece of jewelry, with two angel wings just like mine put together to form a heart. White diamonds were on the black wings while black diamonds covered the white wing. It hung on a plain silver chain.
"It's beautiful," I simply said.
Ansem nodded. "That necklace has very special magical powers. When you are in a world, the black and white will shift according to the balance of Darkness and Light in that particular world. Now listen, the three individuals you are looking for go by the names Sora, Riku, and Kairi. In order to find them, you may have to travel several worlds, eliminating the Heartless that are creating destruction there along the way. I suggest you start by heading to my home, Radiant Garden. Search for a man by the name of Leon and ask if he knows the whereabouts of Sora, Riku, and Kairi. Your wings will take you there, but be warned; you will need to have them disappear if you wish to the Keyblade at full strength. Though you can have your wings and the Keyblade at the same time, the power of your Keyblade will be cut in half."
I nodded at every explanation and warning, but one thing stuck in my mind. "What about my family, though? Where are they?"
Ansem looked down with sadness in his old eyes. "If they have been captured by the Heartless, then I'm afraid they could be anywhere. It may be possible that they are at other worlds. That is all I can say." He suddenly looked up as if he could sense something. "There's no time left. You must go."
"Alright. Thank you, Ansem the Wise."
"You're very welcome, and good luck."
I smiled and took to the sky. As I rose higher and higher, I saw a portal of white and black open before me. Taking a deep breath and letting it out, I shot into the hole. And so, my journey began.