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TH3 L3G3ND 0F Z3LD4
The day started like any other school day; with the tedious roll call.
“Naya Twale?” droned Mr. Kaybor, a balding, middle-aged man who seemed to lose a little more life every day.
“Present,” piped a brunette in the second row.
Mr. Kaybor's pencil twitched a little over his clipboard. “Ieron Quartz?”
“Yo,” called the Goron exchange student in the back row, lounging in his desk as usual. He was busy flexing his chiseled arms for the girl next to him, who just sat and stared.
Mr. Kaybor's pencil twitched again. He sighed as he read the next name. “Link Flunker – I mean Farosen?”
“Past, present, and future,” I droned, mimicking the teacher as best I could.
“Of course you are,” Kaybor muttered, making sure I heard before checking my name.
Yes, that's me. Link Farosen, the only student in history to be held back in Eldinar High School. A fact no one lets me forget.
“Good. All present,” he said, still in monotone. “Now class, this history course is generally designed to teach you what we know for certain about our past. However, not all history is so clear. There are some books, called the Apocryphal Texts, which were once considered factual, but are now known to be mostly fiction. These are the subject of today's class.”
He sat down at his desk and typed something into it. In response, the wall behind him displayed a slide-show, starting with a picture of a sword and shield. The phrase The Legend of Zelda appeared below in red typeset.
“How about that, Zelda?” I whispered, leaning my head back. “All this time, you've been legendary.”
All I felt was a knock in the back of my head, but I could practically see her rolling her eyes at me, trying and failing to hide her smile.
“The Apocryphal Texts, also known as the Legend of Zelda, is only that: a legend. The tales within of heroes and demons are a simple people's attempt to write history, with small portions of truth hidden within its mythological shrouds.”
The wall changed again, this time showing a picture of a cave wall, with some people marked on it in paint.
“This picture, found in the first book of the Apocryphal Texts, is supposedly the earliest version of the creation story, with a goddess using her magic harp to send the people into the sky to protect them. Obviously, this did not happen, or else we'd still be there.”
He managed a chuckle at his own joke, then continued.
“To understand this story, we must utilize what we know about past civilizations. Can anyone tell me about one aspect of their lives?”
No one raised their hand, of course. After a few seconds, Kaybor rolled his eyes and pushed another button on his desk. With a small yelp, a girl to my right jolted her hand in the air, thanks to the teacher's electroshock button.
“Thank you, Malia,” Kaybor said, while the other students snickered. Personally, I felt sorry for her; I've been in her predicament plenty of times. The embarrassment never goes away.
Malia tried to shrink into her desk, but it was too late anyway. “They, umm” she whispered, “liked to, uh. . . hallucinate?”
“Close, but not quite,” Kaybor said. “They enjoyed using hallucinogens, such as fermented milk and certain boiled seeds, to make themselves see what wasn't there. A common example is the recording of giant birds, capable of transporting humans. As we see in Text number one, Skieword Sworde . . .”
He changed the picture again, but that wasn't the only thing different for me. The entire room changed into. . . I don't know, a mountain or something. I ran onto a wooden platform and jumped off, whistling as I fell. Except I fell into the sky! Everywhere I looked, I saw either a floating boulder or a giant bird. One of the birds, a bright red one, flew right up to me. I managed to grab onto the bird's back and. . .
An electric shock jolted me back into the classroom, where everyone was giggling again. I found my hand high in the air, just like Malia's.
“Nice of you to join us again,” Kaybor said, grinning. “How was your nap?”
“What nap?” I retorted.
Kaybor stared at me, puzzled, before turning back to the teleboard. I tried to keep a calm face, but I still freaked out in my mind. I didn't know what happened, but I hoped it wouldn't happen again. After all, I've heard seeing things that aren't there is bad for your mental health.
Mr. Kaybor changed the picture into an old painting of a man's face, with a wolf's face below it. “This is an illustration from Text number seven, Twyliete Priencesse, in which a human is transformed into a wolf by a dark curse. This relates to their view of the Hylian's animal nature, the dark side of themselves that they hide from. . .”
Without warning, the room shifted again, this time into a jail cell. My wrist was chained to the floor, but it wasn't my wrist anymore; it was a wolf's paw. I tried to yank free of the manacle, when I heard someone giggle to my side. It was some little girl with a stone helmet on her head. She smiled at me and vanished soon after. Just then, something dropped onto my back. I jumped around, trying to shake it off. . .
“LINK!” Kaybor shouted.
The classroom reappeared, with everyone staring at me in awe for some reason.
“I just shocked you three times!” said the teacher, clearly freaking out. “How do you ignore that?”
I shrugged. “Maybe you hit the massage button by mistake,” I joked, hiding the sudden fear I felt.
Kaybor shook his head. “This is why you've been held back, you know,” he muttered. “You just can't focus on the lessons; you're always daydreaming, always goofing around. Someday, you'll regret that.”
He turned back to the teleboard, but the school bell rang. The board faded to black, with the weekend's homework assignment flashing in white: study chapters 32 and 33 of history textbook.
While I leaned down to get my books, I felt a tug on my hat. I stood up and looked at Zelda, who'd finished writing something on a piece of paper. She handed it to me and hurried out, eager to get to the next class.
I smiled and shook my head. I can't understand a work ethic like that, always in a rush to learn something new.
I left Mr. Kaybor to himself and jogged off to the Earth Sciences class, opening Zelda's note as I went.
“Link, something seems off with you today. Sleeping through those shocks isn't normal. Meet me at lunch at my table so we can talk. I'll make sure it's just us.
I read it through a few times to make sure I didn't miss anything. Zelda wasn't the kind of person to get nervous easily, so something must be wrong about those visions, or whatever they are.
I didn't have time to worry about it, though. Earth Sciences was waiting for me, and I had a sneaking feeling there'd be a pop quiz when I got there.
– – – – – – –
The bell rang, and I slammed the pen onto the desk, berating myself for all the answers I'd missed. For the life of me, I couldn't remember how much pressure it took for green Rupeeium to change to red, never mind what metal fusions created antigravity.
I knew it didn't matter, but that just made it harder.
“Good work, everybody!” called Ms. Frallaz, in her usual bubbly tone. “Now, make sure you/ /make sure you read chapter 12 over the weekend!
“Okay,” I said, in unison with the rest.
“Great! Have a splendid/ /a splendid week!” she said, waiving at us.
I gathered my stuff and brought my test up to her desk. As usual, mine was one of the few there, and the only one finished. She smiled sweetly at me, looking over the test a little before forgetting I'd arrived.
I cleared my throat, then left the room. Ever since her botched brain enhancement, it was always awkward around her.
The halls were crowded, so I cut through the sweat-soaked hall of injuries they call the gym. I sprinted over to the lunchroom door. . .
When the visions came on again. This time, I found myself running a courtyard, trying to get to some tower in the distance. Apparently, the moon was falling right onto the tower, and a tiny voice was shrieking from somewhere around it. The moon even had a disturbing face, with glowing red eyes and a full mouth of teeth. There was a little ball of light with wings floating around my head, shouting something at me. I wasn't listening. I tried to slap myself, to make myself wake up, but I couldn't control my arm.
A slam against the wall did the trick. I found myself lying on the ground with a sharp pain in my forehead. Apparently, I'd missed the door by an inch. I just sighed and walked through. At that point, the hallucinations were really getting on my nerves.