Hi my name is Annbella Da Firenze. I am 16. I live in Florence, Italy. It is my second year as a high school honors student, but not quite the average student. I mean I used to be, that is, until last year. My friends and I had found a long lost and forgotten strongbox. A piece of sheet music sat inside it. In English it is called Ti Heaco. Ti Heaco means “land of light and dark”. That night we found a way to open the strongbox. Afterwards I made a beeline straight for my beloved piano where I played Ti Heaco. That night as the girls and I slept we got kidnapped… by fairies. And no, I am not a loon! I mean little Tinkerbelle people came and kidnapped us. Now here is how my story goes….
I had just enrolled in the school that would make my dreams come true!! I was a sophomore at Florence Academy of the Arts, a school for enthused and gifted musicians and other artists of sorts. I was accepted on scholarship for piano and violin. I am a composer of sorts. Once or twice I have been compared to Beethoven and Mozart, though I do not understand why because my music will never be as great as theirs. The only way for me to get into Florence Academy (F.A.) was on scholarship. This is because my parents just get by on what they have. Even though they do not have much money, they do what they can for me and support my passion and dreams to their fullest.
On my first day, I met the high ranking Diva Queen, because she practically yelled “Hey, new girl! Go fetch me a double espresso latte, hold the foam!” This almost made me double over in a fit of laugher, because of how crazy she sounds. Once I knew I had a grip on myself I calmly said “I do not know who you are, and I will not take commands from you, so go get it yourself.” She stood there stunned. Once she regained her composure she hissed “I am Drina Poverina, and just so you know my daddy owns half of this school! So hold your tongue when you speak to me!” Right then and there I knew how infuriating Drina would be. Shaking my head I turned to walk away. And she blew a fuse and yelled “You are going to get my latte or I will get my daddy to remove your scholarship!” I was so dumbstruck I just stood there and gaped at her. Pulling my self back together I said “Now that I know who to avoid and just how sweet you are, I better get going. And before I forget, go get your own latte or whatever because I will not do your bidding!” Then I turned and walked away.
By the way, yes most private schools have a spoiled rich brat, whether male or female, they think they rule over everyone around them. Also as far as I know, not many people stand up to them. I find that sad in so many ways. Now back to the story…
The next day, I found out that she did try to talk her daddy into kicking me out, but failed. It baffles me how petty spoiled rich kids can be. Despite Drina, and her outburst, I still made friends. Well, I guess you could say I became part of the outcast group, which now consists of five people. Those being: Belle, Raymond (Ray), Maria (Mia), Ramona, and now me (Anna, as they call me).
Ramona and Belle have only two things in common: the people they like/dislike and being twins. Everything else is the opposite of the other. For example: Belle is an optimist and Ramona is a pessimist, optimist being Belle sees the glass half full Ramona sees it half empty. There are also two reasons they are part of our little group. 1) Is they both hate Drina. 2) They have unusual interests in art.
Then we have Ray, the only guy in out little group. He is not gay or anything like that. He just loves fashion and acting. He happens to prefer fashion. The jocks made sure he was an outcast, or more say the laughing stalk, of the preppy group. Also, I still do not get why girls do not follow him like puppies, because I mean he seems like every teenage girl’s dream guy. Smart, hot, funny and an awesome friend! Though, Maria may be the answer to that.
Now on to Maria. She is someone all her own. Not too girly, but not boyish. She is beautiful, and I mean that as in drop-dead gorgeous! Also, she has a great personality. She is the sweetest person ever and that may be part of the reason Ray loves her so much. But she is not a push over. Also, you do no want to see her mad… I mean Drina will not even pick a fight with her! She is that scary.
Somehow they all fit into a nice little family, so to speak. And then I came along and was welcomed with open arms. Also, our little family is made up of all sophomores.
Well, since no one in our group likes Drina and her friends, we tend go off school grounds as much as we can. So we like to go exploring in the woods outside the school.
After a few months of being at F.A. we found little garden around the middle of the woods surrounded by a stone wall. The first thing we did was go straight in after we found a way to open the door (which was locked). When the door finally opened we saw the garden was overgrown with all kinds of exotic plants. The first thing Ray said was “Let’s clean this place up and make it our new hot spot!” So we all agreed and started making paths.
It took almost two months to get our ‘secret garden’ in good condition and up and running. When we made it to the farthest right corner we found a door covered in strange symbols and markings. Ray could not find a way to open the door, so Mia gave it a shot. Well, it took her about two minutes to figure out how to open the door. All she did was push a little built in button on the door. Now how much easier can it get than that?!
We pushed the door (which was made out of the same kind of stone the wall around the garden was) open and found a narrow, dark, winding corridor going down. With us being up to terms with technology, we whipped out our handy dandy… (Wait for it)… cell phones! Sadly to say, even all of them together were not all that bright (wish we had, had a flashlight or torch). We made our way through the corridor and found a huge open room with nothing except a strongbox in the center of it. After inspecting the strongbox, we found out that it needed a key. Of course, it wouldn’t be easy because the key had an odd shape, kind of like a wing you would see on an insect. Not something you could find at a store, now is it? It was an emerald green color and had the same markings on it as the door, except that they were made of gold. So I asked, “Can we take it back to the dorm? It would look kind of cute.” Ray and Mia just looked at the box and Belle right away agreed with me and started repeating “Please, please, please, please, ppppllleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssssssseeeeee!!!!” Until Ramona said “That is enough, shut up!” So Belle, Ramona, and I just waited while Ray and Mia thought about it. After about five to ten minutes (and did you know five to ten minutes can feel like an hour?) Mia gave a slight nod and Ray said “Alright there cannot be any harm in bringing the box home.”
We grabbed the box and started back up. When we exited the corridor, the sunlight hit the bow and it was a spectacular sight. It looked as if streams of emerald and gold danced around us. We stood there and watched the streams until we realized the sun was starting to set. Then we covered the strongbox with Mia’s jacket and headed back to school. Ray walked us to our dorm and carried the box the whole way. After we all said goodnight, Ray handed the strongbox to me and headed off to his dorm.
The twins, Mia, and I all share the same dorm room. So it was easy to bring the box into our room without a question. We put it in a bedside table by one of the many beds in our room (I will not tell just incase Drina or someone happens upon this).
That night, after dinner, Mia and I were wandering some of the school’s corridors. Florence Academy has many hallways and they are full of a great assortment of items. We were in a corridor full of paintings, sculptures, and statues. As you can guess we stopped to look at them. When we stopped in front of this little statue called “Fairy at Dusk,” we saw it was holding a little brass key that was in the shape of a wing. As we stood there gaping and pondering what this could mean, Ramona came up and asked “What are you two staring at with your bug eyes??” All I could do was point and Maria just stood there. Ramona looked at the key, and then did a quick sweep of the corridor to make sure there was no one else around. When she was satisfied with only us there, she grabbed the key shoved it in her pocket then drug us back to our dorm.
Once we were inside our room she gave us one if her rare smiles and said “Nice job. Now we can open the strongbox.” Then she called for Belle. As Belle camp skipping in, Ramona got the strongbox out. When she set it on the table we all gathered around, then she stuck the key in and turned it till we heard the click of the lock. After that she took a deep breath and opened the lid.
Inside was a parchment rolled up into a nice neat little scroll. Belle then reached out and snatched it. When she opened it up she made a little ‘humph’ sound and handed it to me. I looked at it and smiled, then burst out laughing. Mia took it an opened it and said “All it is, is just a sheet of music.” She handed it back to me. We ran straight to my piano in the main room (our dorms are about the size of a small house, so they are pretty big). I opened my piano then set the sheet of music down and played it. The sound it made was unearthly, not even heavenly, more like other-worldly, but it was beautiful. After I finished playing, we felt extremely tired. So we went to bed. I awoke to a little tinkling sound kind of like the sound of a bell but I don’t remember much after that because I drifted off again.
When I woke up again, Mia and the twins were laying by me. When they all woke up a few minutes later, we looked around we found out that little people with wings surrounded us. It took us a minute to realize that this was not dream. They just looked at us and giggled. Then they started dancing around us. “Is this a dream or have we been kidnapped by fairies?” kept going through my mind. Then Ramona asked “Are we surrounded by tiny, giggling people with wings or am I seeing things?”
I realized that the only solution to this problem would have to be we needed to be somewhere other then home for this to be real.
One fairy came up to me and in a high pitched voice, kind of like ting ringing bells, and said her name was Tititona and that she wanted to know what kind of wingless creatures we were. Mia said “Where we come from we call ourselves humans.”
The tiny fairies all gasped and started murmuring. I could only make out bits and pieces that sounded something like: “What will the queen say”, “Should we leave them in the Tieshen” how that is pronounced it will give anyone the willies and a bunch of “We should take them to Queen Minami” kept popping up.
What stopped the murmuring was a woman. She was the height of an average adult human woman, though she looked too beautiful and too pure to be real. Also if you look closely enough you would see wings that shimmered in the light. The little fairies backed away from us and rushed towards the woman. She smiled and in a smooth, sweet, sing song voice she said “Now, now my little ones who are our guests?”
Tititona went to her and said “Humans that came across Ti Heaco, and played it right so that it opened the portal to our world. So we brought them home with us.”
“I see now, thank you Tititona” said the woman.
“Always happy to oblige, you’re Highness” Tititona said a little too happily.
Queen Minami turned to us and asked “Would any of you like to see Ti Heaco?”
We just sat there until I asked “What is Ti Heaco?”
The queen laughed and said “Ti Heaco is our world like Earth is yours. Ti Heaco means land of light and dark.”
“Oh thanks” is all I could seem to mange to say.
Then the girls and I agreed on taking a tour of Ti Heaco. After our tour we felt tired and hungry. So the fairies fed us and made us a place to sleep. We ended up not worrying about going home for about a week or two. When Mia and I talked to the twins we all came to the same decision. It was time to go home, back to Earth, back to Florence, and back to humans.
All four of us went to the queen and asked her if she would send us home. She smiled and said “Of course and you are always welcome here, and you may even bring more friends if you like. All you have to do is play the song and the portal will open.” Then she waved her hand and we all fell asleep.
When we woke up we were back in our dorm. Mia picked up her cell phone about to call Ray when she stopped and stared at it. On her screen it read the day after the date it was when we were taken to Ti Heaco. We all laughed and promised that next time we would take Ray with us. We then went and lied down and waited for the alarm for school to go off.