He was building a sand castle. The foundations were ready, but the towers kept falling apart under his clumsy fingers, irritating him. He heard laughter. A girl was kneeling on the other side of his fortress, her smile so full of joy that it almost seemed she was glowing from within.
"Here, let us help you," she giggled and turned to the castle. She left something beside it that caught his attention, nearly shapeless, iridescent and sparkling. It slowly started climbing the fortress walls, growing tentacle-like limbs.
"Hey, what's this, um…"
"Lyssie. I'm Lyssie. And this is my pet. He likes you." He couldn't take his eyes off the creature as it climbed onto his hand. It felt cool and slithery.
The waves of the ocean were gently sweeping across the sand. "Would you like me to tell you a story?" He looked at the girl for a moment, then her pet caught his attention again. "Sure, why not."
"Long ago, before time was counted and history remembered, there was a star shower. Magnifiscent creatures came down from the sky, the remainder of a peaceful kind searching for a new home. Humans let them stay in Earth's oceans and in return received knowledge and wisdom. The skylanders built eternal monuments to remind of the friendship between the kinds and of their original home. Then they left, descending to the depths of the oceans, the safest place for them. But their peace didn't last long."
Something in her voice made him look up. Lyssie was now shaping the tips of the towers. The sand seemed to swirl in her hands, taking the exact shapes she wanted it to.
"Years became decades, decades became centuries, centuries became millennia. As humanity advanced, people forgot about the skylanders. They were divided and slowly separated from nature, new discoveries led to disasters."
He'd heard something was wrong, but now he saw it – the ocean was still, its water wasn't dancing with reflections anymore. It was red as blood.
"The oceans were polluted, the whole Earth suffered, and so did the skylanders. They had weakened and couldn't go out to humans anymore to open their eyes. Still, they didn't blame them for their perilous actions. When we finally found a way to live among humans, it was too late – only a few of us remained."
"Lyssie?" The creature in his hands was getting bigger and harder, its tentacles piercing his skin. She looked at him, her eyes suddenly large and dark, impenetrable. Her voice was grave.
"Now you know why."