The still surface of the lake broke and the ripples spread to a distance. Under the pale glow of the lake, one could barely make out a faint figure surfacing around the middle of the lake. Lyra seemed to be in a trance as her brown locks floated unaffected in the lake, the biting cold water scarcely harmed her as she surfaced higher toward Opal’s surface. While Lyra continued her ascent in the icy cold water, Iota cringed due to the icy fingers of the wind which ran through her. Just as Lyra surfaced, iota turned away, unaware, to pick up her belonging and to head back to her warm and comfortable home.
Lyra having surfaced at the middle of the lake, began floating toward iota swiftly, no one seemed to notice her. In her world, Lyra had read a lot about humans- how they were the most ignorant beings to have walked the universe. But never had she thought that they were ignorant enough to oversee a girl drifting across the lake- an unlikely event even back home. Lyra was quicker than the feeble author and soon caught up with her. Placing a hand on her shoulder, Lyra muttered “Peace!” which was how they greeted each other back home. Caught unawares, Iota jumped as she turned to face Lyra… A beautiful girl about as tall as her, her brunette hair was caught in a plait much similar to Iota’s. Though, she had a strange aura about her, her smiling blue eyes, which held a different world, seemed to present a request of friendship.
Lyra made a quick analysis of iota- iota had much the same features as hers but while lyra’s features represented her strength and haughty mannerisms, iota’s portrayed strain and pain…. They made her look weak- lyra observed. Lyra uttered her apologies for having shaken iota with a sudden greeting and introduced herself with a smiling face. “Sorry ‘bout that!” she said in loud and cheerful voice. iota cringed at this girl’s vociferousness. “I am Lyra Opal” she said as she held her hand forth in expectation of a shake. But iota withdrew backwards at the sound of the name. She looked at lyra, her head inclined toward one side, as if studying lyra. Iota did not like jokes. Especially not when they involved her characters and employed her at the receiving end.
Seeing the disbelief in iota’s hazel brown eyes, Lyra was quick in realizing that this would need a long conversation. “Care to have a cup of coffee? I need to talk to you…” said Lyra as she lead iota toward a lake view café. Iota did not make any effort to modify her features from disbelief as she was thrust toward the café. Seeing Lyra struggling with the manual door did nothing to heighten her spirits. Lyra was doing a sort of chicken dance as she pranced around the glass door… inviting quite a few disapproving looks. “What are you doing???” muttered iota furiously. “There is something wrong with the door…. It won’t open…” Lyra reasoned. Iota quickly recalled that in her story, Lyra was a girl based in the future where there was nothing manual ….. “This does not work on electricity..” iota reasoned.
Lyra looked sincerely offended at the very thought of something not using electricity… before she could voice her opinions, iota thrust lyra toward the lake shore where a hawker was selling corn. After buying hot, flavoured corn for both, iota and lyra sat by the sandy shore and iota looked expectantly at lyra. After getting over the initial delight at the yummy corn, Lyra looked for words to initiate a reasonable dialogue which would explain here and not petrify her with it…
“Iota Grace….” Muttered, the name seemed act as an energy drink and with a deep breath Lyra began.
“I’m lyra opal… yeah, that fictional girl you created… it’s me…” without batting an eyelid at the now hyperventilating iota, she continued “ It happens sometimes you know… this switch of worlds… quite rarely… but not impossible…. Most of the times, you humans come to our world… but I really AM privileged to be here… in our world, we spend our entire life waiting for such an opportunity… and while here, its my job to aid my creator- you…”
After overcoming her initial shock, iota sat quietly, staring at lyra- her creation! lyra’s mannerisms, behaviour, everything abided by iota’s thoughts. she was truly impressed. she had more than enough reasons to not believe lyra and she would be well justified too. but something at the core of her writer spirit told her to believe, she could tell the difference between the truth and flattery.
“You mean, humans come there?” she asked surprised.
“Yeah! Alice, Lucy, Harry, Meggie and the likes….” lyra replied.
“So, do they… d-do they come BACK?” iota asked.
“Well, yes! Well, you can’t return as and when you wish! That’s absurd! But you return as soon as you have had your fill in the alternate world! Which means- I am not a permanent guest!” she said ending the exhortation with a sigh.
“Who said anything about you being a GUEST??” asked iota as she rudely shook back to her senses.
“well, where do you expect me to stay? In the lake?” lyra humoured as she picked up a few of iota’s books and lead the way to iota’s house, with iota following sulkily, muttering in person.