"Hey Sakoshi, come out and pla-ay!"

Kazuki's green eyes grew in fear. He clawed up a trunk and buried himself in the foliage. Shoutaro had picked on him since the first day of his transfer. Kazuki's parents had insisted that for his three years of high school he should attend an academy, that it would give him a better education and a bigger chance to make friends. Kazuki had never been great at that. The boy was scared of everything that walked and talked if it wasn't something he was familiar with. So, on his first day at a brand new unfamiliar school, he had been fresh meat for a bully such as Yodai Shoutaro.


Oh no Kazuki thought, clenching his eyes in fear oh no. Please, please let them pass. I can't take another beating today. I just can't! Tears prickled at the boy's eyes and he bit his lip to keep a loud, scared whimper in. He heard footsteps from Youdai and his goon squad. They stopped beside his tree. No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Come on! If there is a God, please, have mercy on me! Kazuki clenched his eyes shut and held his breath. If he passed out from lack of air he would at least feel no pain or humiliation until he woke up.

"Looks like Sakoshi isn't here, Shoutaro."

The blonde boy known as Shoutaro rubbed his stubbly chin. "I guess you're right, Yuu, looks like our little friend isn't here. He must have slipped past us and gone back into the school. Worse comes to worst we wait at the entrance of the school until lockout time. Maybe if we're lucky he'll be eaten by bears or something." The footsteps ran off like a herd of buffalo.

Kazuki waited an extra ten minutes before he climbed down the tree. Frustrated, he slammed his back into the rough bark. The tears he had held back now sprang forth, eager to be released. Why me? He kept thinking. He was an average kid with rare intelligence, but he was just that, a kid. He liked things that all kids his age liked. Kazuki liked anime and manga as much as the next guy. He liked music and even enjoyed running track. He was an especially good sprinter, which was his main way of escape from Shoutaro's evil clutches. He even liked girls. Not that he had ever had a girlfriend, but he knew for a fact that he was definitely attracted to girls. There was even a girl in his home room class; Tanbe Ayako, who he thought was especially attractive. Her hair was chocolate brown and her eyes were likes warm pools of molasses that he would happily get stuck in any day of the week. She was unattainable. Like a bad 80's American movie, Ayako was Shoutaro's girlfriend.

He had no idea what she saw in that jerk. He was crass and stupid and ugly and she was, well, perfect. Absolutely perfect. Ayako was like an angel descended from the Heavens to give poor mortals like Kazuki hope for a better tomorrow. But, alas, she was like a museum piece—look all you'd like but no touching. Just another thing wrong with his life. Kazuki just wanted to go home but he couldn't because of his living at the private school. Besides, his father, an American Marine, would simply tell him to man up and that it was his own fault that he was being picked on because he was too much of a sissy to defend himself. But after a broken arm and slaughtered pride, who wouldn't be at least a little afraid?

Kazuki simply cried and once all his tears had dried he began picking the grass from the ground as he thought. No blade escaped his wrath. One by one he ripped a patch in the forest floor. He looked to the sky for the first time since climbing up the tree. It would be dark soon and it wasn't a very good idea to be caught in the woods at night without any sort of weapon. Then again, Shoutaro would be at the gates and Kazuki wasn't in the mood to get beat up again so soon. He could feel the bruises on his shoulders and ribcage begin to form from his beating earlier that day. Thankfully Shoutaro was the only one who had attacked him as opposed to he and one of his lackeys. Those days were Hell.

A white lop rabbit peered at Kazuki curiously, sizing him up. The boy seemed so sad and the rabbit just wanted to cheer him up. The rabbit approached him and stared into the boy's sad face. Kazuki noticed the movement and looked down. A tiny, white rabbit peered up at him. Its little black nose quivered at him and his heart felt a little warmer. He offered his hand slowly as if to pet it and the rabbit merely stared at him. When it realized what Kazuki meant to do, it inclined its head and inched towards his hand. "Hello little one," Kazuki greeted, "Aren't you friendly? My name is Kazuki. Are you lost?"
The rabbit didn't reply. It merely leaned into his touch and blinked up at him. Feeling encouraged, Kazuki went to go and pick it up. The rabbit allowed him to place it in his arms and simply continued staring at him, this time quizzically. "You're soft." Kazuki said as if it would placate the bunny. It seemingly nodded and the two sat there for awhile, Kazuki stroking its fur and it sitting happily in his arms. Its brown eyes nearly shut completely to the world. It was just so peaceful…
And then it kicked off his chest and arms and stared at Kazuki before running behind a tree. The rabbit peered at him. Was the rabbit leaving him? He couldn't be sure. Sure enough, the rabbit ran away. Kazuki followed it with his eyes until it was out of his sight. The rabbit then ran back and peered from behind the tree again. It flicked its head the way it had run to and fro and he finally got the message.

The rabbit wanted him to follow it.

Kazuki stood up and brushed off his pant legs. A rabbit asking him to follow it. Well, not asking, but gesturing. How bizarre. He scrubbed at his eyes crusty from crying. When he opened them again the lop bunny was at his shoes and pulling at his shoe laces. The rabbit was really asking him to follow it. Kazuki looked from the rabbit to the way back to school and shrugged. He had nothing waiting for him there. No one would notice if he went missing for a night, he could go on an adventure.
So he followed the rabbit. The rabbit ran frighteningly fast for such a tiny thing. It darted between plants and trees, under roots and over ferns, yet it always stopped when it could hear him tripping up. The rabbit was there, guiding him step by step, not leaving him abandoned in the middle of the forest with no way of knowing how to get out. He appreciated the sentiment.
They now appeared to be going uphill. Soon the rabbit was jumping all the time, leaping over little rocks and stopping occasionally to catch its breath and allow Kazuki to catch up as well. He was built for speed, not stamina. It seemed the rabbit was built the same. As they ascended, slower now as they were both exhausted, the trees thinned out. Where there were hundreds of trees surrounding them earlier and closing them in, there was not only two or three spread out welcomingly. When they reached the top of the hill both the rabbit and boy were panting heavily. Kazuki lay sprawled on his back in the lush grass, enjoying the last of the afternoon sun. The rabbit curled up next to his head, doing the same. Its little ribcage raised and fell fast, much faster than that of a human. He ran a hand over its snow white fur. He noticed its little black splotches on its feet, like it was wearing boots and gloves. He found it very endearing and ever cute. He wondered if his roommate would mind having a rabbit in their dorm or even if the rabbit would follow him indoors. He assumed that since he followed it this far the rabbit could return the sentiment.
After a few minutes the rabbit had lazily rolled on its side and tugged on Kazuki's ear. He understood loud and clear. They had to keep going. He rolled on his side and pushed himself up, brushing at his pant legs again. They were his only pants that didn't have blood or grass stains on them and he wanted to keep it that way as long as possible. The rabbit jogged at a slower pace as they reached a plateau in the hill. As they continued, he realized that the rabbit probably wanted him to go to the top of the hill. "If you want to get to the top of the hill, stop running."

The rabbit stopped.

He nodded and scooped up the creature. He tucked it into the crook of his arm and began running as fast as possible up the side of the hill. His heart was hammering in his ribcage and his lungs were on fire, dying for breath. Kazuki didn't stop until he reached the peak despite it. When he reached the top he dropped his arms, lowering the rabbit to a safe enough height that it could hop off. The rabbit did so and sauntered over to the lone tree on the hill. It was a cherry blossom tree, a sakura. He looked up in awe of its beauty. He didn't know it was here. He had never seen it. The rabbit tugged at his aglets again and ran behind him. He looked down. Beside the tree was a hole in the ground. A very large hole. Putting a hand on the tree for support Kazuki crouched down and peered into it. He could see nothing. He stood up and brushed off his hands. "So little rabbit," He mused as he began to turn, "Is this your ho-"
Kazuki felt a push on his torso, It wasn't an extremely strong push, but a push strong enough to knock him off balance. He fell backwards into the hole, quickly becoming engulfed in his darkness. The last thing he saw was long white hair drifting in the breeze and tiny black clad hands. He reached out his hand in hopes of the black hands grabbing him, but they never did.

So he fell
and fell
and fell
and fell

And, soon, he could feel and see no more.
He was lost to the world.

Hello. This is my very first story on Fiction press so please be kind. I hope you're enjoying the story and thank you very much for reading. The next chapter should be up by either today or tomorrow so please stay tuned. I know this seems completely like Alice in Wonderland by the fantastic Lewis Carroll, and I confess that it is a spin off of it. But it also is not exactly the same, so please bear with me. Thank for your read and I hope I do not disappoint you!

-Katherine Hyde