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Have you ever experienced the feeling that you've been somewhere before, even when you haven't, the feeling you know somebody though you've never met them? Then possibly, your soul has been reborn. Congratulations, you're one of the lucky ones. Some people cannot move on though, they are not ghosts or ghouls. They are you and I. Each a little bubble of precious knowledge and experiences that nature has preserved by never letting them pass on. They're immortal. They are called 'Fragments', as of their fragmented time periods and extended lives. It sounds all fun and games, until you realise just how alone you can become in a world that you could possibly outlive.

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1. 2015

To them it didn't matter, she was just another person in the bustling city but it was still so new to her.

 

If you bothered to look closely, they'd have noticed the choppy dirty blonde hair, the unusually pale skin for the region they were in, the bottle-blue eyes that held a cold steel in them. It wasn't unusual for people to think that she was a man, it often coaxed a twitching smile from her stoic expression.

 

One man did notice her though, she'd felt his gaze on her back for a long time. Maybe it was the violet scarf that was draped around her neck even in the blazing mid-day Californian heat. Maybe it was the fact she was sitting alone when everybody else was laughing and enjoying themselves. But he decided to finally approach her.

 

Pulling out the seat opposite her, she didn't flinch as he sat down, not even looking up from her book that she was pretending to be engrossed in. He fished out a pack of cigarettes from his breast pocket and went to light up when she marked her page, closing the book gently. Finally looking up at him with those mysterious eyes, he paused his actions as she stood, holding her book and walking away. He was baffled until she called out.

 

"You want to talk? Not here."

 

Confused but now even more intrigued by her, he followed, finding it easy not to loose her as he finally realised how tall she is. Soon, they reach an apartment complex, still following like a lost puppy as she unlocked the door to one of the abodes.

 

He closes the door behind him, a soft click echoing through the apartment. He notices the decoration, paintings cracked with age in ornate frames, books neatly stacked in dark shelves, a few armchairs and surprisingly, an old phonograph with neatly organised music. She appeared from around the corner, two mugs in her hands, she offers one to him with a slightly gesture of her head. He edges forward and takes one gingerly, sipping it and spluttering, the fiery burn of alcohol finding its way into his stomach.

 

"Y-You put in alcohol?" He asks, looking at the woman as she sips her own coffee. She doesn't even look up as she speaks.

 

"Vodka."

 

"So you're a drinker?"

 

"Not often."

 

The answers are short, it infuriates him. He came for a juicy story, not some woman who drank vodka in her coffee. She puts her cup down and shuffles in her seat, facing him with that neutral scowl on her face.

 

"You're mad." He gives her a look that defines his answer, although he's more nervous now she's facing him, that gaze never breaking apart from slow blinks. Her mouth twitches into a smile for a split second.

 

"Don't worry little one, you have been patient." His curiosity peaks.

   

"Where are you from? Your accent is different." She knows this already, that twitching smile comes back for a second.

 

"It is um... Hard- to explain where I am from." He edges forward in his seat, she chuckles, a sound that rumbles through him as much as her strange accent, her weird way of pronouncing little as leetle. He places a tape recorder on the table from his jacket pocket, he sets it to record, leaning back into the chair once more.

 

"Perhaps you'd like to explain it to me, I'd love to hear the story." She looks wary, but then sighs and leans back into her own chair, sipping her coffee once more before speaking in her monotone rumble.

 

"My name is Aeldra Matryoshka, and I am Russian," She begins, he raises an eyebrow, it seems simple enough. "I was born in Norway though and many, many years ago."

 

"When?"

 

"1016 AD." He widens his eyes, her eyes bore into him, daring him to laugh at what she says, he sips his coffee with shaky hands, glad for the vodka this time. He sits forward in his seat, she stares at a golden broach sat upon the shelf opposite.

 

Sighing, she begins.

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