Fear. It controls more aspects of your being than you might believe. It can make you cower and run, or it could make you stronger. But is there an in-between? Does fear really give you strength? Or does it just steal strength from others and fool you into thinking it was your own? 

It's a tricky subject, one that has become a popular topic in the floating city of Stalaria. I hear the usual gossip surrounding the topic of fear as I'm walking through the past. Not literally, of course. Past is what we Stalarians call our black market, we have to have some secrecy, lest the harsh hammer of Demonis punish us all. 

My name is Twila. I was born a year after the Demonis siblings died. A tragic event that struck fear into the hearts of all. Though, Aqua Demonis rose as our savior along with the enlisted help of her sister Melinda, and Kisara Paumera. The later not being seen since. She's presumed to be dead. Fifteen years later, Stalaria is still standing. But barely. 

"Twila!" An old woman calls for me. "Dear, I need you to get something to your mother for me. Is she still sick?" I nod, my mother has been sick for about a year now. This woman was the only one to actually help me care for her. Everyone else looked on me with pity, knowing she's the only family I have left. The only bit of security I have in these harsh walls. 

With Aqua Demonis relocating all her attention to Stalaria's Military, care for the citizens has been lacking. Only the nobles are giving adequate supply of anything anymore. Fear has consumed her soul, even the light blue that once coated her blonde hair has turned into a silvery grey. At her right hand is a girl named Sarah Rayne. She's the head of the academy that trains new soldiers for the Stalarian army. I hear she's ruthless. Going so far as to assassinate those who go against the rules of the academy. One things for sure, if she shows up at your door, you're not going to see tomorrow.

"Thank you miss Ramona, I really do appreciate this." I smile and hug her. Miss Ramona is a sweet old woman of about 80. But everyone morning she's out here in our black market, doing what she can for anyone who isn't herself. My mom adores her. 

"What's wrong, dear? You look a bit down, even the air around you is warming up, that's not like you." I smile again, she knows me well. She also knows the tendency of my ability. I'm a unique. A citizen who has powers. If discovered, we're inducted into the military without choice. So I've hidden my manipulation abilities under wraps in attempt to avoid the military. 

"I'm fine. I just feel like we're losing." I say, referring to my mother. A year is a long time with no improvement. She wakes up with skin as cold as ice, so we immediately light the fire and cover her in our warmest quilts, which isn't much, as we live in poverty. We can barely afford the wood we use to make the fire.

"You can only hope for the best, Twila. Now you run along and give her that medicine there. I worked hard to get it." She smiles at me, pushing me along. I do as she says, but feel guilty. How can I actually live with taking from someone in this society? But if it means my mother's survival, I'd do anything.