It was her graduation day, Hulu was so excited to be finally done with the rigorous life of the college. She just couldn’t wait to get out of the graduation gown and just party all night, then wake up next to the love of her life every day. As a kid, she often sits under the moonlight, alone with her thoughts of fantasies, of her being a boss lady, heading a department in a world-class organization, wearing flashy corporate dresses that accentuates her beautiful figure, wearing flashy high heels, with a mild makeup to enhance her black beauty and sitting in her beautiful and well-decorated corner office. Today, she was one step away from that dream and she just couldn’t wait. She had already drafted her power Resume to get her dream role.
Hulu! Let’s take pictures with my phone Ella called to her. Hulu reluctantly joined them, she had been taking pictures the whole day and she was exhausted, there was more to life than some flimsy pictures, she thought… Click! Click, she feigned a smile as she heard the camera shutter sound to hide her exhaustion. After a few shots, she was glad it was over but she noticed the look of horror on Ella’s face as she glanced through the photos. What? Did I ruin the picture with my tired face? Hulu said while attempting to grab the phone from Ella. She took the phone and saw the photo, she was standing between Ella and Emily when the photo was being taken but in the picture, she saw the girls and in her place was an old haggard brown skin woman, the wrinkles on her skin were so rough that she looked like a living dead.
Where am I in the photo? But I was standing here, why is this woman here and not me? How did she get into the photo, who is she?, She screamed turning to the girls but they avoided her like a plague, with a look of disgust in their eyes. Wait, do you girls think this woman is me? I am here, how can this translate to me? she kept asking, she was shocked that her friends could even muster such thoughts.
SAEPIUS! SAEPIUS! SAEPIUS! She saw a crowd running towards her with weapons chanting these words. She realized that her life was in danger so she fled into the village seeking refuge away from the bloodthirsty witch hunters. Legends have it that SAEPIUS were witches that lived in the village and were executed centuries ago, long before she was born, they were believed to be evil and often try to come back to life through reincarnation to wreak havoc on the land that drank their blood. The villagers had raised witch hunters over the years that are dedicated to killing any SAEPIUS they see. It was also said that a Saepius’ true self is being exposed by their reflection on a mirror. None of this made sense to Hulu, she had been looking at her self in the mirror all her life and she had never seen that reflection she saw in the picture, and she had been taking pictures too and all she saw was herself not the woman, so what changed now?. She couldn’t believe that she is that old woman, she felt her life crumbling down as she ran through the village for her dear life.
Words spread in an instant that a SAEPIUS is on the loose. They were rounding up young girls from their homes to the village center for a grand test to ascertain who the SAEPIUS is. The girls were forced to swallow some yellow substance, this substance had no effect on a normal mortal but for a SAEPIUS, their whole body will burst into flames, a terrible way to die.
You! join the queue. she heard a deep voice behind her, but she kept moving, hoping the instruction was for someone else. I said join the queue, the voice was more direct causing her to turn to face a witch hunter staring at her in disgust, Move! he screamed. She joined the queue, It was a rather short line and it would get her turn soonest. She watched as the girls took turns to drink the GIGI, the yellow substance. Realizing that it will get to her turn soon, her life flashed before her eyes, she had to figure out a way run before it gets to her turn. Excuse me, can I take a piss?, she asked one of the watchers. Sure, just take that corner to the ladies room he replied. She ran to the ladies and saw 2 friendly looking girls, please, do you know the shortest route out of the village? she asked them. Just follow the path by your right, the taller girl replied, the girl suspected that Hulu was the SAEPIUS but she replied her anyways, giving her room to escape. However, she must have told the shorter girl for as soon as Hulu left, she overheard the short girl calling the hunters, She’s here! she just killed my friend! she went through the path by the right!… what? how can she be accused of murder? Hulu thought as tears ran down her cheeks…
She quickly remembered the horrible stories her grandmother told her of the SAEPIUS, so horrible that she had nightmares, could it be that they were all lies too? could it be that they were accused wrongly just as she is being done now? At that point, she had doubts… If she, an innocent girl that is running for her life can be accused of murder, then it’s possible that the SAEPIUS’ were wrongfully accused and executed too. It’s possible that those legends were lies. As she ran, she stumbled on her childhood church situated at the end of the village, she thought of hiding there, besides a church is the last place the hunters will look, it is believed that a SAEPIUS can not enter a holy place, it was bad for their body and black magic. But deep in her heart, Hulu knew she was not evil and she was done running.
Standing between the church and the road that led to the next village, a place where she can seek sanctuary, she made a decision. SAEPIUS or not, she is not going to let anyone or anything define her. She knew that deep down in her heart she is a good, kind, loving, and smart woman and she was going to remain that way. She will embrace her new gifts while living in a new land, she will find out what really happened to her ancestors through her reincarnated self and possibly clear their name, the SAEPIUS name. She will do good, she will live to tell a different legend, she will live to fight another day. With these thoughts, she walked away from her land to seek sanctuary and begin a new path that her ancestors had led her to.