I swear I’m not crazy… but I’m pretty sure that stuffed animals are talking to me.
Alright, let me explain that a little. I was walking to school, like a teenager would in the morning, and I get this weird feeling as I reach the gates – like a spider crawling up my back. Next thing I know, everything is frozen in place except the cherry blossoms, two stuffed animals flew down in front of the class assignment board, and I now stand here staring at them in shock after they began talking to me.
They’re babbling about some “legendary warrior” stuff. I’m honestly too shocked to even care. What’s going on here? What happened to everyone? Did these mutant teddies make everything all frozen-like? What if they’re gonna try to hurt me?! That might not be rational, but what is at this point?
“You. Human. Are you listening?” The blue thing asks me. So they actually are talking to me… huh. Well I guess there’s nothing to do but play along now.
“Oh yes, of course.” I reply, all sugary sweet with my tone of voice. No point to get on the mutant teddy’s bad side, right? Well my acting skills obviously aren’t that great, because I can tell as soon as I spoke that it could see right through my niceness. It couldn’t have been more obvious unless it rolled its eyes at me.
Instead of that though, it glared at me. Oh boy, that can’t be good. The pink thing looks at it and frowns.
“Scaring the humans is no way to ask them for help!” Pinkie yelled. Well, maybe he wasn’t yelling, but when your heart’s beating like mine was, it sure sounded like it. Either way, between the two of them, they sounded like something out of a sci-fi movie. “Invasion of the Mutant Teddies”.
“Anyways…” Pinkie said, regaining my attention. “Miss Human, we’d like to ask you something. I think that you must be one of the humans that we’re looking for, considering that you aren’t affected by our little… entrance effect.”
“You see,” Blue continued. “We are from a distant place, one known as the Cardinal Kingdom. It is a magical realm that controls the seasons in all other worlds. However, the precious relic that is used to control it has been stolen.”
“That’s where you come in, Miss Human! Since you’re obviously one of the legendary warriors that we’re looking for, you need to help us! Princess Persephone is in danger and Queen Moniah stole the Season Compass! Please help us Miss Human, please!” Pinkie was right in front of me, quite literally begging. Is this seriously happening? All this is pretty outrageous. I mean, even if it were true, what in the world could I, of all people, do?
“I’m sorry, but-”
“If the Season Compass is not recovered and restored, all worlds will go out of balance and fall to chaos and ruin - including yours. Matter of fact… it has already begun here.” Blue interrupted me. It tapped his chin, if that’s what it was. “I believe you humans call it “global warming” or “climate change”, or something to that effect.”
“Really though… What is a mere kid like me gonna do to get back this Compass thing? Like I was about to say, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t help you.” I said to them as I started to back away slowly, until I eventually started running. I thought everything was fine, and I was going to wake up from this crazy dream now, but that same strange fear returned when I heard another set of footprints echoing mine.
Realizing I was being chased, I stopped and spun around to see who it was. Mutant teddies couldn’t possibly be running after me that fast. Boy was that a mistake – my pursuer crashed right into me as soon as I faced him.
He was a pretty cute boy, even if he was dressed kinda funny. He had a look on his face that was somewhere between embarrassed and worried. It took me a second to realize that the cause was his practically being on top of me after knocking us both to the ground. As he pushed himself up, I scrambled back while I felt my face getting hot.
“Miss Human, please help us! Nobody else can take your place!” He begged, in the same manner as Pinkie had a few moments ago. That’s when it clicked. Somehow, this cute boy was Pinkie.
“How’d you-” I started to ask, until I was interrupted (again) by Blue, who also seemed to be a not-as-cute-as-Pinkie-but-still-cute boy now. This time, it wasn’t verbal.
Instead, it was him grabbing Pinkie, and then me, by the collars and dragging us. He was stronger than he looked, which was like a wimpy nerd boy.
I squinted in the direction that he had come running from, and noticed a black cloud of smoke that seemed to approach us, even as we ran, or got dragged, away. It look almost as if there was a person… riding it.
Wriggling my way free from Blue’s grasp on my collar, I scrambled to my feet and stared in horror at the scene in front of me. I was right, there was a woman floating on the dark clouds, and she was shooting some sort of laser beams at my school! Oh no… the people frozen there were gonna get hurt! I had to do something, but I wasn’t quite sure what when I stupidly ran back towards the creepy woman on the cloud. These people were my friends and classmates! All I knew was that I couldn’t just stand there, or be dragged away like a coward.
“Miss Human!” Pinkie cried out to me. Blue stopped dragging him and realized that his other hand was empty.
The creepy woman on the cloud stopped and so did her clouds. She leaped down to the ground in front of me and started laughing. Was she laughing at me? I think so, but I was still too scared to be insulted.
“Look at this…” She said, with a snap of her fingers that caused her doom clouds to dissolve into the air. She started walking even closer towards me, and just her presence closing in on me made my entire body lock up and freeze with fear. “A weak and cowardly little human dared to face me. Ha! I think you’ll make a good Pawn for me to capture the Guardians with.”
She snapped her fingers again, and a sparkling object appeared in it. It looked like an ordinary rock besides its sparkle. Her arm wound back like a pitcher, and she flung the rock at me. I closed my eyes, because even if nothing else would happen - which I doubted – getting hit with a rock would hurt.
Then there was a crashing noise, like metal hitting glass. No rocks hit me, so I opened my eyes to see Pinkie standing in front of me, with a sword drawn in a defensive position. The shiny rock flew off in another direction, towards a nearby cherry blossom tree. I assumed that Pinkie’s sword blocking its path sent it flying over there. When it didn’t bounce off the tree, and instead was absorbed by its trunk, I was confused and shocked. Since when do trees eat rocks? Seriously!
“Miss Human, are you alright?!” Pinkie asked between heavy pants. He glanced back at me over his shoulder and smiled reassuringly. Blue came up behind me and shoved a little glass trinket into my hands.
“You’re one of the legendary warriors, so Princess Persephone will give you the power to transform into a Pretty Cure. Don’t waste any time human. We don’t have that much of it.” He commanded without even looking at me. He drew his own sword and assisted Pinkie in holding off the creepy cloud woman.
What the heck did he mean by “Princess Persephone will give you the power” and “transform into a Pretty Cure”?! Do I look like a mutant teddy that turns into a cute boy! NO! I can’t and don’t transform into anything! They must be as crazy as I feel!
That’s when I heard the voice. It was a pretty voice, no doubt about that. It was the kind of voice like that of a mother soothing your tears after you hurt yourself. The voice gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
“Sakura Chiharu… Open your heart to your own power… and allow yourself to use it to protect what you hold dear.” It said.
It started to get brighter around me as I stared at the little glass trinket that the voice sounded like it was coming from, which was in the shape of a girl. It seemed like the cherry blossom petals that were fluttering around were being drawn to me… Wait a minute, they were! They swirled around me and it just kept getting brighter around me until I could barely see. When the light faded, I was wearing something completely different, and the babbling commenced.
"The early blossom of life, I am Cure Papillon! With the power of Mother Earth, I am going to send you back to where you came from!” That was the start of whatever the heck I was saying. How cornier was this going to get…?
“Miss Human! You transformed into a Pretty Cure! Great! Now you can help us out!” Pinkie said as the cherry blossom tree that ate the shiny rock started to move. It rumbled as it… rotted… into an ugly and twisted monster that made its way towards us. I felt a rush of adrenaline and ran towards the tree monster. I don’t know what was in my mind, but who knows, this whole morning was pretty crazy, and it looked like I was too.
Kick, punch, kick, kick, punch. Yeah… that’s basically what I did. It smacked me back pretty fast, so I jumped back before it could really slam me into the ground. It wasn’t any ordinary jump though, I literally sent myself flying backwards. Not knowing where I was going, I ended up landing back in Pinkie’s arms which he had held open since he seen me coming. He looked at me with… disappointment? That’s what I think it was, but I didn’t really know why.
“I’m sorry Miss Hu- I mean Cure Papillon, but you’re doing it all wrong. You can’t restore the tree to its natural self by beating on it! Cutting a tree won’t help it grow silly!” He tapped his finger off my nose, like a parent scolding their child. “You’ve got to purify it with your powers of the greatest season of spring!”
He set me down on my feet and I looked at him. Was he serious? I had to purify it… with my… powers? I glanced down at my hands for a moment, wondering if any sort of laser beams could shoot out of them or something like the creepy woman. I returned my attention to him with some serious doubt.
“Are you sure I have these powers you’re talking about? And even if I do, are you sure they’ll ‘purify’ that thing?” I asked him. He giggled like a child.
“Of course! I believe in you Cure Papillon!” He nodded and smiled at me.
“Why? You just met me?” I couldn’t understand this at all. Why was he so trusting of me?
“Because you are spring, and spring returns life to the world. That’s why I love this beautiful season! Now, Cure Papillon, you have to bring back the beauty of the cherry blossoms so everyone can enjoy them!” He said enthusiastically. He grabbed my hands and held them up between us, pulling me slightly closer to him. His face softened and his smile melted into a warmer and more comforting one.
“Please Cure Papillon. I know you can do it. Just open your heart to nature!” He said as he shook my hands and let them go before patting me on the back.
I gulped and ran up to the monster, which Blue was fighting off with his shiny sword. I stopped and held up my hand towards the tree thing and was about to close my eyes to focus. My concentration on “opening my heart” was interrupted by hearing the creepy lady come at me from the side, which caused me to redirect my aim to her. A blast of light flew out of my hands, with a lot of glowing petals following it. They flung the creepy lady far back as she cried out and cursed me.
With her not angrily attacking me anymore, I tried once more to focus on ‘purifying’ the tree monster. More rushing adrenaline filled me as light gathered in my hands and I prepared myself to spew more nonsense.
“Wings of a thousand butterflies, blossom like the flowers of fresh spring! Pretty Cure Butterfly Petal!” Butterflies with wings like petals formed from the light in my hands, and shot out towards the monster. They circled around it, all except one, which flew through its center. In a puff of smoke, the tree started shining and sparkling, and the little triangular shape on its head shattered. The tree monster disappeared, and the tree sprouted where it was before the incident. It grew rapidly until it reached its original size and bloom.
The shiny rock popped out of the tree during this. I ran over and grabbed it off the ground. Now that I looked at it more closely, it was a pinkish color and oval shaped. A very pretty stone, but a very pretty stone that caused me a lot of trouble.
“Cure Papillon! You got the compass piece back and saved the tree! Thank you so much!” Pinkie cheered as he and Blue ran over to me. Pinkie tackled me with open arms. As he did, I changed back to my regular self, clothed in my Kisetsu Girls Academy uniform again and everything.
“I meant to say this to you before the mean old Jasmina attacked, but my name is Printemps. I am the Knight of Spring in the Cardinal Palace, and my buddy Hiver and I came here to get your help to gather all these compass pieces! So please do, Miss Human!”
“I… uh…well… first of all, my name is not ‘Miss Human’, it is Sakura. Sakura Chiharu. And I suppose I could help you. It’s not like I really have much of a choice though is it…?” I laughed nervously as I pulled myself out of the same awkward position that Pinkie, or as I now knew him, Printemps, put me in as before.
“Thank you Sakura! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!” Printemps said. As he did, everything around us began to unfreeze. People started to move around again, as if nothing happened. Printemps and Hiver looked at each other.
“It’s time for us to go back to our original forms now, because regular people can’t see us like this! We’ll stick with you for a bit though, ok?” Printemps said with a smile. He and Hiver puffed into a cloud of smoke and turned back into mutant teddies.
“Alrighty then… I guess it’s time for class?” I said as the two leaped into my school bag and the bell for first period rang. I scrambled to my feet and ran inside with the crowd of my friends and classmates.
One thing’s for sure – there will be nothing more surprising about this calm and pretty spring day than what just happened. Who knew the first day of school was going to change the rest of my life?