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    Phantasmagoria

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    She was a strange creature, half woman, half bird, with the head and upper body of a beautiful woman and the lower body of a hummingbird and a seagull. She lived in a world that was equally strange and unreal, full of bizarre shapes and colors that were constantly changing. She flew freely through the air, without a destination and without a care, until one day she ran into one

    Cases

    got into trouble. A dark shadow fell over them as a huge net fell from the sky and trapped them. She struggled and screamed, but it was too late. She was locked in a cage hanging from an airship piloted by a man who introduced himself as a professor. He said he was an explorer who wanted to explore the mysteries of this world and she was

    His most valuable find.

    He called her his “Phantasmagoria.”

    She was distraught and scared. She didn't know what to think of the professor who kidnapped her. She was caught in a web of lies and secrets, and she couldn't escape. The professor explained to her that he was taking her on a journey to explore the wonders of the world. But she sensed something was wrong. She had to find a way to escape this nightmare world and find out the truth. She would fight to regain her freedom and reveal the Professor's secrets.

    She hated him and his cage that took away all her freedom. She longed for the sky and the clouds, for the wind and the sunlight. She cried and pleaded, but he didn't listen to her. He said he wanted to study her and understand what she was and where she came from. He said he wanted to help her realize her true nature. He said he wanted to show her something.

    He led her to a mirror hanging on the wall of the cage. He told her to look inside. She did so reluctantly and was frightened. In the mirror she didn't see herself, but a completely normal woman who lived on earth. She wore clothes and shoes, had hair and hands. She looked like one of many.

    She didn't believe him. She shook her head and shouted:

    "No! That is not true! That's a lie! I'm not a human woman, I'm a Phantasmagoria! I am free and happy! I want to leave! I want to go back to my world!”

    "That's you"

    said the professor.

    “This is your true form. You are not a Phantasmagoria, you are a human woman. You only turned into a bird woman because you got lost in this world. This world is not real, it is just an illusion created from your dreams and fears. You locked yourself in a cage because you were afraid of reality. But I can help you free yourself. You just have to believe in yourself.”

    But the more she protested, the more her reflection changed. Her wings shrank and disappeared, her feathers became skin, her claws became fingers. She felt her strength waning and her soul extinguishing. She became what the professor wanted to show her.

    She gave up. She accepted her fate. She became a human woman.

    The professor smiled contentedly. He opened the cage and let her out. He said:

    "Welcome to reality."

    She followed him obediently. She had forgotten who she was.

    They boarded the airship that would take them to another world. A world that the professor referred to as the “real” one. A world she didn't know and couldn't understand. A world that scared her.

    She looked out the window and saw her world for the last time. The world she loved and missed. The world she thought was an illusion. She saw the shimmering colors and shapes that were constantly changing. She saw the other beings who were like her, half human, half animal. She saw the sky and the clouds, the wind and the sunlight.

    She felt a pang in her heart. She felt a longing that she couldn't explain. She felt a spark glowing within her.

    She turned away and looked at the professor. He sat next to her and held her hand. He smiled at her and said:

    "You do not have to be scared. I'm with you. I will show you and explain everything. I will give you a new life.”

    She didn't return his smile. She felt nothing for him. She felt nothing for herself.

    She only felt emptiness.

    She didn't know how long they were in the airship. She didn't know where they were going. She didn't know what to expect. All she knew was that she didn't want anything more.

    The professor talked a lot. He told her about his world, about his work, about his plans. He told her of the wonders she would see, the joys she would experience, the love he would give her. He told her about himself.

    She didn't listen to him. All she heard was the sound of the wind, the roar of the engine, the beating of her heart. She only heard her own voice whispering to her:

    “This is not your life. This is not your world. That’s not who you are.”

    She closed her eyes and tried to sleep. She tried to dream. She tried to forget.

    But she couldn't.

    She felt something inside her. Something that stirred. Something that fought back. Something that remembered.

    She felt her wings.

    She opened her eyes and looked down at herself. She saw her legs turning into feathers. She saw her feet turn into claws. She saw her hands turn into wings.

    She felt a pain in her back. She felt something coming out of her skin. She felt something spreading.

    She felt her second wings.

    She was a phantasmagoria.

    She was free.

    She jumped up and tore herself away. She ran to the window and broke it. She jumped out and flew away.

    The professor screamed and ran after her. He called:

    "No! Come back! You're mine! You're mine!"

    He reached for her and narrowly missed her. He fell out of the window and fell into the depths.

    He was dead.

    She was alive.