Author's Notes: Ah ha! Another story for me to work on, yes? Surprisingly, this one does not take place in the future! *Gasp* But it does take place in an alternate universe, however. *Shrug* I suppose that's just what I'm good at, yes? Confusing the public is my job, no? ^_^ I am so strange… but that's why you all love me, yes? XD I'm still not exactly sure of where this story is going so please forgive me if I seem to be taking my time on this. Brilliant writing doesn't come easy… it comes after you stay up late with forty bottles of Mountain Dew and sixteen cups of coffee from Starbucks.

Note: This story has been rated R to be safe. It does not mean that there will be any sexual content, depending on where the story goes.

Summary:  Kiwi never really fit in at school, she was never really desired by any of the boys, nor did she have all that many friends; but when Kiwi and her parents get lost on their traditional trip to their Uncle Pete's house, this young girl finds herself in an entirely different world. In an academy where the seniors are allowed to choose any student of a younger class to dorm with and "mentor", Kiwi finds her new life, but now what she really wants is to go home to her old life that she has no memory of. Can her mentor help her or has his fondness of her made him selfishly try and keep her to himself?

Bright Green Ribbons      

Written by: Taichi Kitsune Hakubi

Lesson 01: A Little Bit Lost

            "Oh look at her! She's always such a loner! What is with that girl? She's so creepy…"

            "I know! And what is up with that name, anyway?"

            "She sounds like a fruit drink."

            "Do you notice that the whole year she's only made one friend? And she even picked a crazy one too!"

            "Yeah! The year is almost over and she still has that one creepy red-head following her everywhere."

            Kiwi Harper turned her head away. She'd pretend she didn't hear them. She'd pretend she was busy reading the same old books she's read since the year started. She'll pretend their words didn't hurt her feelings. She'll go home, tell her mother her day was perfect, play with her dinner a bit, go to bed, wake up and hope that the next day will be better. It was always like this.

            "Hey Kiwi!" Melissa, Kiwi's best friend bounced happily up to her desk beside Kiwi, totally unaware of the eyes on both Kiwi and herself. "How's it going?" She tugged playfully on her red curls, waiting for Kiwi's reply.

            "Peachy." Kiwi said flatly, setting her book down and brushing a few strands of long brown bangs out of her eyes.

            "Your hair looks different." Melissa said thoughtfully, ignoring the depressed expression on her friend's face. She was used to it. Kiwi could be perfectly fine but still have the face of death.

            "My alarm clock broke. Didn't have any time to pull my hair into a ponytail."

            "Yeah, I'm not used to you not having those bright green ribbons in your hair." Melissa giggled and began playing with Kiwi's hair, her blue eyes sparkling.

            Kiwi shook her head, causing Melissa to drop her hand. Kiwi's green eyes shone brilliantly. "I'm going to my Uncle Pete's again this summer."

            "Oh! I wish I could come! Your uncle is so cool! Didn't he like, buy you a mountain bike last time you visited him?" Melissa got a playful jealous tone.

            "Yeah, too bad we wrecked it not even a week later!" Kiwi laughed, soon joined by Melissa.

            "Alright class, take your seats!" Their heads snapped up as their English teacher walked in, looking very tired and still struggling to pull his coat on as he balanced some books and a mug of coffee in his free hand.

            Melissa sat back in her seat and watched Kiwi pull out a green ribbon. She stifled a giggle as her friend pulled her hair into a tight ponytail atop her head.

            "Can't last a minute without your hair tied up?" She whispered.

            "It just doesn't feel right." Kiwi replied.

            "Ladies, care to share your thoughts or may I continue my lesson?"

            "Please continue, sir." The two girls said in monotone, their cheeks burning red. Kiwi could feel everyone's eyes on her back. She slumped in her chair. Kiwi could not wait until school was over and she could go on her vacation.

            "Kiwi! Sign my yearbook!" A tall blonde girl that Kiwi had known from their badminton lessons a few months back ran up, a black permanent marker in her mouth and a basketball under her arm as she held up a blue book in her other hand. The girl was always so athletic, Kiwi mused. She was involved in almost every school activity available.

            "Me? Uh… sure." Kiwi took the book and held out her other hand. The blonde girl laughed weakly and let the pen roll out of her mouth and into Kiwi's palm.

            "Sorry, trying to get around to everyone before school is out. It's really hard. I've been really busy." She laughed again when Kiwi shrugged and began drawing a little picture on a blank page right below her note. "You always loved to draw, even during badminton practice!"

            "I like drawing." Kiwi said softly as she handed the book back. The girl blew on the picture a bit.

            "Damn these markers, they always bleed onto another paper if you don't let them dry." She smiled and closed the book. "Well Kiwi, you keep drawing. You've got a talent that shouldn't be wasted. Do what you're good at." And with that, the girl ran off, chasing after a young man who squealed helplessly as she shoved her yearbook into his face.

            "What can I say? Girls love me!" He laughed as they both walked off. Kiwi smiled. She couldn't believe it was really the last day of school.

            "So what do you think your uncle has planned for you this summer?" Melissa said as she walked toward Kiwi.

            "Oh I don't know. He always has something neat in line, though." Kiwi laughed while trying to shove her books into her bag before the bell rang. She was anxious to get home.

            Suddenly the bell rang and a stampede of students rushed out of classrooms and from behind buildings, all of them ready to get home. Kiwi and Melissa began walking towards the front of the school, both very excited to get home and start their summer.

            "Yeah well tell him I said hi! Tell him to visit out here more often! Tell him that I'm still waiting for my fifty bucks after that one bet we made on the color of your mom's new car! Tell him…"

            "Alright!" Kiwi giggled weakly. "I'll tell him the same things you tell me to tell him every year, okay?"

            "Okay!" Melissa smiled and waved as she got onto the bus. "Don't forget to tell him!" She shouted out the window.

            "I won't!"

            Kiwi sighed when the bus was out of view. Not too long before she was on her road trip to Uncle Peter's.

            Kiwi could remember every little detail of her phone call with her favorite uncle…

~*~

            "Kiwi! Phone call!" Kiwi's mother, Jane shouted from the kitchen.

            "Who is it?" Kiwi slipped off her shoes as she stepped into the clean house.

            "He says, five guesses! Hint: It isn't your Uncle Peter!" Her mother laughed when Kiwi squealed merrily and ran into the kitchen to grab the phone.

            "Thanks for the clue!" Her mother handed her the phone and she eagerly pressed it to her ear. "Uncle Pete!"

            "Hey Kiwi Bear!" he said over the phone.

            "What do you have planned for me this year, huh? Another bike? A car? I'm 17! I need a car! Please say it's a car!" She begged.

            "17 already." He sighed over the phone. "Growing into such a fine young lady, Kiwi. I can remember watching you crawl around in diapers, scared to death of cars… and boys." She didn't fail to notice the joking tone he used.

            "Well I'm not afraid of cars but I still don't like boys all that much." Kiwi giggled. "So what did you get me?"

            "Kiwi," Her mother said in a 'now that is rude' tone of voice, although her eyes clearly said something different.

            "I know, mom!" Kiwi said as she cupped her hand over the phone.

            "Tell your mom it's alright. Actually, this year I have something really special planned for you. I think you'll like this surprise." Kiwi could sense her uncle's smile over the phone. That was how well she knew her uncle. "But I can't tell you what it is until you get here."

            "I can't wait!" Kiwi whined.

            "Well summer is almost here, isn't it? You'll know when you arrive in a few weeks."

            "Okay…"

            "Love you Kiwi Bear,"

            "You too Uncle Pete."

~*~

            Kiwi sighed and watched her mom pull up in their bright blue van.

            "Kiwi, darlin'!" She shouted as her dad rolled down the window.

            "We've got everything packed already so we can leave early!" Her dad yelled out over the roar of other vehicles and yelling teenagers trying to leave the school as fast as they could.

            "You have my sunscreen and my earmuffs?"

            "Of course!"

            "Okay! Let's go!" Kiwi smiled widely as she hopped in the back of the van, buckled herself in then sat back for the long ride. "I wonder if he's gonna take us skiing… or maybe to the beach again!"

            "Let's not spoil the surprise by guessing." Her dad said from the front seat.

~*~

            "I told you to stop for directions!" Jane shouted as her husband stared at the map in front of him.

            "I don't understand it! We never got lost to Peter's before…"

            "Maybe because whenever we went, we would stay on the right road instead of deciding to take 'short cuts'!"

            Kiwi sighed and looked helplessly out the window at the tall trees that surrounded them from all sides. It was hot, she was thirsty, and she needed to go to the bathroom really bad.

            "Mom, I'm thirsty…"

            "Dear, let's just keep going until we get out of these trees. We don't know what could be living here."

            "Alright." Kiwi's dad replied, starting the car again. Kiwi sighed in relief as the air conditioner turned on and she was blasted with cold air.

Their car rumbled down the dirt path, the shade of the trees hanging over them.

"Mom, dad, it's getting darker! I'm starting to get worried!" Kiwi complained, watching the road in front of them become more and more engulfed in shadows. The headlights were on but they did almost nothing for her to see around them.

"I know dear, your worried but we should be out of here soon." Her mom said, turning around and giving her daughter a warm smile. "Your father will find a way out of here," She shot him an icy look, "Right, honey?"

He made a grunting sound as he continued to stare at the road, his brows furrowed in concentration.

"Did you bring your cell phone, dad? Maybe we should call Uncle Pete and ask for help…"

"I didn't think to bring my phone. It wasn't working before we left the house so I thought we should just leave it." Kiwi's father spoke up, his voice tired.

"Oh Jesus, Michael! Did it ever occur that you might forget which exit to take and you'd need to ask for directions?"

"Jane, I told you it wasn't working!"

"It could have just been because you needed to recharge it! Had you brought it, we could charge it! Then we wouldn't be in this mess!"

"Oh right, make me out to be the bad guy! How was I supposed to know we'd end up in the middle of nowhere? Do you expect me to be like you, Mrs. I Never Make Mistakes? Well?"

"Mom! Dad! Stop fighting! I think I see a house up ahead anyway!" Kiwi shouted, sitting up to point. She was right. A mile or two ahead was a house, a light in the window shining brightly.

"Good, maybe we can stop and ask if we can use their phone or ask for directions or something!" Kiwi's mom smiled. "Good job, Kiwi!"

Kiwi sat back in her seat and smiled, feeling very relieved. They might just make it to Uncle Pete's after all.

            "Kiwi, you stay in the car while we…" But Jane was too late; Kiwi had already gotten out of the car and was running towards the house with her dad.

            "That's funny, no one is answering." He said as he knocked on the door a few times. Kiwi looked into one of the windows.

            "It's because no one is in there." Kiwi looked through one of the windows. That's funny…

            "Well I'll go around the house and see if there is any other houses behind it." Michael said, walking around the house.

            "Dad, wait for me." Kiwi squeaked, following close behind. He wasn't there, she noticed. "Dad?" She hugged her coat closer to her body as a cold wind swept over her. "Daddy?" She saw a shed not too far away. Could he have gone inside? Maybe I should go back and tell mom first… Kiwi paused, and then shook her head. She took one look back around the house before going forward.

            Kiwi brushed a few branches out of her way as she stepped up to the small shed. She pushed aside the vines and dried mud that was caked over the door.

            "Dad?" She whispered. She slowly pushed open the rusty door. She coughed when dust flew into her face. "Daddy?" She tried to take a step in but felt something in her way. She winced when she felt a slight electrical shock flow from her toes to her head. Suddenly she felt very tired. "A quick nap won't hurt…" She muttered weakly as she sat down a few feet inside the crowded shed. She didn't noticed the little glowing blue orbs that surrounded her as she slept… "I wonder what Uncle Pete got for me…" she whispered tiredly.

To be continued…