Aiki felt dizzy from her change. She rubbed her eyes and tried to focus. Staring at her were two pairs of black, watery, familiar eyes. She closed her eyes and tears went streaming out of her black eyes, remembering the details of what happened to her over the last two years.
Two Years Ago…
Aiki was nine before she was changed. She was running down the rocky stone path, crying and sobbing. Her mom and dad called her name.
“Aiki!” they shouted over and over.
Aiki never looked back. She never wanted to see them again. Why did they have to be in my life? she thought. This wouldn’t have happened if Mr. Goya had never appeared at their doorway.
Mr. Goya was a gangster. When people borrowed money, he would ask for more back. Aiki’s parents borrowed only $1.00 from him, but he is asking for $3,000. Ridiculous. And that is not all. He wanted to keep Aiki for her smartness. She was perfect in math, getting all A+’s. She could recite most of the Japanese history, knew a lot of science, and could write perfect essays. She was elected in all of her town to compete in the All Japan festival where she would compete against other kids for the prize. And the prize was $150,000. Aiki’s parents tried to hide in the town, but someone told him where Aiki was.
Mr. Goya wanted to pretend that Aiki was his daughter so he could get the second half of the prize: $35,000 for all of the parents. He wanted the prize money and the parent money. “I need Aiki, too. It is either me keeping Aiki or your whole family is going to jail,” Mr. Goya said.
Now, Aiki’s parents never wanted to go to jail. Or, they never even liked her. So they agreed that Aiki could be Mr. Goya’s “daughter.” Aiki overheard all of this from the kitchen. She quietly slipped through the back door and ran for the woods. She trampled through the tall grasses and scurried through the muddle of broken trees. She knew this place well. She always studied here and played here when she was little with her other neighborhood friends. She stopped short and rested on a fallen log beside a large rock for five minutes before she ran again. She ran deeper and deeper into the forest, jumping over tree roots and branches until making a complete stop. There in the woods sat a fairy in a blue, silky dress with faint teal wings. She was crying. Aiki ran up to her.
“Are you alright?” asked Aiki. Suddenly, the fairy zoomed across the sky-blue lake, leaving ripples on the surface. Aiki stumbled back in surprise.
“Who goes near me?” asked the fairy.
“Uh, l-l-I g-g-got l-l-lost…” stammered Aiki.
“What do you want?” asked the fairy.
“N-N-Nothing,” replied Aiki, still shaking from fright.
“I know what you want. You don’t want Mr. Goya to take you. Here is a disguise to last you two years,” and with that said, Aiki felt strange. Her arms scrunched up into the beige front paws of a dog. Her back legs became short, too.
“Woof! Woof!” barked Aiki, trying to say, “Why did you turn me into a dog?”
“Haha!” laughed the fairy and then she was off. Aiki felt unhappy. Just because of Mr. Goya, she thought. She ran to her house and licked her parent’s hands.
“What a cute dog!” her mother exclaimed. “Let’s keep her!”
And so, they did.
Two Years Later…
Aiki’s parents named the dog Aiki as well, which made Aiki laugh in her mind. Things were going so well, she even forgot she was a human. Her parents treated her 100 times better than when she was a human. She learned to not be afraid of Mr. Goya. She even forgot who he was. But she was a little sad. She wished she could tell her parents that she was Aiki. And also, she wished she even got to compete in the contest. She studied all year for it. But she pushed those thoughts away from her mind and imagined what the next day would bring. But one day, the fairy’s voice appeared in her head.
“In two years, you will be human,” the fairy repeated and repeated, her voice growing stronger each time.
Aiki wanted to see the fairy and ask her what she meant. Aiki never wanted to be a human again. She never wanted to have to run away from Mr. Goya again. Aiki ran out of the house and arrived at the fairy’s house. She couldn’t see the fairy. Aiki felt a little weird. Suddenly, her hind legs became human legs. The fore legs became her arms. The dog head became her head. She found herself in her old school uniform, which was clearly too short for her. She was spellbound.
“How could this work without the fairy?” she thought, her heart racing. She tried to run to her house. She wanted to tell her parents what happened. Well, she finished one of the two things. Aiki ran to her house, but she blacked out before she saw her parents. Her parents went outside and saw Aiki. They picked her up and carried her to her bed.
Aiki remembered all of those thoughts. She opened her eyes and saw her parents. She wiped her tears with her white school uniform sleeve that she was still wearing before she changed. She smiled and straightened herself into a sitting position. She was joyful to see them in her human form and she had many things to ask.
“What happened to Mr. Goya?” asked Aiki.
“He was killed by a fairy,” said the dad, who showed her a newspaper article. The fairy was using its powers to kill Mr. Goya in his fancy car.
Thanks fairy! thought Aiki.
“What about the contest?” asked Aiki.
“It was rescheduled. It is tomorrow by the way,” replied her mom.
“Really?” squealed Aiki. She leaped from the bed and grabbed her books and ran to the forest. She read and read. She was bothered by the pecking sound. She looked up to see what it was. Aiki smiled when she saw the fairy, grinning and holding up the newspaper all about her and Mr. Goya. Aiki returned home and talked more with her parents.
“You know, Aiki, we had an Akita dog. We named it after you. It had the same eyes as you, but she ran away. I wanted you to meet her…” her dad said.
Aiki smiled to herself.