Author's note: Hello~! This is my first story I have published on fictionpress, or where ever. I hope it'll be a pleasure to read, and I hope you'll provide some feedback. Keep in mind, that this is a ''chapter 1'' text, meaning many things will go unanswered. Anyhow, enjoy~!
Chapter 1: The forest I know?
''Living at a farm must be a pain. Imagine the horrible smell, let alone being so far away from the city. I just wouldn't be able to handle it.'' Sarah walked on. People in the city knew nothing of the wonderful life at the farm. She brushed some of her brown hair to the side.. It was bothersome when it fell down infront of her eyes. She checked the watch on her arm. Not much time until the bus left. She began to run down the road. A big mall passed by as she ran. She hated things like that. She hated the fact that humans had built them. Malls, skyscrapers, the works. She could see the bus station now, and the bus she was going with started up. She waved her arms frantically as she ran in. ''Good exercise?'' The bus driver laughed. Sarah payed up and sat down in the middle of the bus.
This trip would take an hour. Sarah would most likely be sick by the end of this trip. The air inside the bus was bad, and she grew dizzy fast enough. ''Hold it down Sarah..'' She said this to herself. Vomiting was not an option. Looking at the road wouldn't help, so she looked around the bus. The only ones on the bus was her, a boy and a girl at her age. They sat back in the bus, kissing. ''A boy, hmm..'' She thought. What if she fell in love with a girl? Would her dad be okay with that? Probably not, but that wasn't important.
Sarah began to shiver all of a sudden, and felt really bad. She could see the forest she used to play in as a child. Her grandmother had told her that she shouldn't play there, since she could be taken by the witch living there. Sarah had never seen the witch, but could sometimes feel something strange in the forest. It was probably because she had listened to her grandmother though. She turned around and looked forward again. Soon home, that was good. This bad feeling went away with some time, and she was soon feeling okay. Not good, but okay. The bus stoped, and the driver asked her if she was going off or not? Right, she was home already. How could she have missed that?
The farm was huge, really huge. It was filled with animals and farming tools. They owned some large fields, which Sarah used to run across as a child. Her dad idssaproved of this, since the corn from these fields was a important income. ''Dad, I'm home!'' A dog came running. ''Hey Louie!'' She sat down and patted the dog. She could hear somone grunt from somewhere. It wasn't really important where he was, her dad was home. She walked towards her house, closely followed by her animal companion. ''Do you want a treat? Hehe. Okay, okay, I'll give you one.'' The two of them went inside.
''Late at night, witches dance around. Drinking, singing and pranking alike! Make us mad and feel our wrath~! Run in fear, the night is young!'' Three young girls danced around a campfire and sang. ''Monotobe, pass me something to drink!'' One of the girls handed the other one a glass. ''Alcohol is the best things humans have invented, right~?'' The three of them cackled loudly. ''Come on, drink up! The night will last, forever so if we desire it!'' The girls raised their glasses. ''Cheers to that!'' One of the girls picked up a book. ''Hey, shorty! What are you doing?'' The smallest of the girl raised her fist. ''I'm not short!'' She pushed her hat back since it was way to big for her. Then again, it wasn't really hers to begin with..
The light from the campfire danced around, lighting up the surrounding of the three girls. It took many shapes as it decided to act like fireflies. A phoenix flew past one of them, knocking of the hat of the small girl. The hat disappeared like butterflies, and reappeared in one of the other girls hand. ''Misha, knock that off!'' A small flame flew by her neck. ''What are you talking about sis? I'm doing nothing~.'' The smallest girl sighed. ''Then why are the fire dancing through the air?'' The two other girls cackled. ''Kumai, you must be drunk. Fire can't dance~!'' Kumai sighed. The girl with a high, witch-like hat pointed at her. ''I'll stop the day you'll be giving my broom back to me!'' The third girl laughed. Her skirt and stocking changed colors at will. ''My, my~! Have you been stealing, Kumaaai?'' Kumai flinched.''I'm not some damn thief!'' Again, more laughter. ''If you say so~!''
Sarah woke up suddenly. Her breath was heavy, and she was drenched in sweat, ''What a weird dream..'' She sat up. Something felt odd. Why did it feel so.. weird? She couldn't explain this, but her body refused to calm down. After a couple of minutes, she decided to go outside. Why did she dress up? Why did she leave the house? Why did she walk towards the forest? She didn't know the answer to these question, but felt like it was necessary. Something began to light up the farm. ''Where are you going this late at night?'' Sarah sighed. ''I'm just going to watch the stars dad.''
The young girl could be seen walking towards the edge of the forest. She could be seen because of her this, white dress. As she reached the edge of the overgrown forest, she could swear that she heard something. This creepy, small sound. She couldn't even define what it was. She walked straight in. Her footsteps was soundless, as well as her movements. Something was definitely watching her, she could feel it. ''Just keep on going.'' She whispered this to herself. She did her very best to be brave, she felt like she had to go on.
After roughly thirty minutes of walking, a loud cackle could be heard. Sarah could also see a strong light, shining through the night. The closer she walked, the brighter it was. Until suddenly, she was embraced by the light itself. It was a short flash, and then she could see a small girl standing in front of her. She wore a large, pointy hat. It looked very witch-like. ''Greetings human~!It was good of you to find me!'' Sarah flinched. ''Hey, aren't you a little too young to be out this late at night?'' She smiled nervously as she said so. ''Too young? Too young?! Do you have any idea of who you're talking to?!'' Sarah flinched. ''I'm sorry Kumai!'' The words slipped her lips, even if she didn't know the name. ''Ah, so you do know of me!''
The two of them walked towards the young witch encampment. How could this young girl be a witch? And what was even harder to get, how did Sarah know her name? The young girl in front of her laughed loudly all of a sudden. ''Don't try to keep your thoughts hidden from me, I know what you're afraid of~!'' Sarah flinched yet again. She had done so quite often during the last ten minutes. But who wouldn't do so in this situation?
Upon reaching the encampment, Sarah thought it seemed like it had been more than one person here. ''I get visitors all the time~!'' Kumai grinned as she sat down. ''Now, why did you leave your home all of a sudden?'' Sarah couldn't answer, she didn't know herself. ''You're one of those, eh?'' Kumai picked up a wide glass. ''Do you drink?'' Sarah didn't flinch this time, but flet guilty. ''I'm not really allowed to but..'' The young witch in front of her began to laugh loudly. ''Do I look like I am?'' Kumais hat fell down over her eyes, and she pushed it back up. ''I guess this needs to be returned soon again..''
The evening didn't get any younger, but Sarah couldn't tell if it got any older either. ''Why are you out here?'' Kumai grinned. ''Why are you? Don't think too much about it, I'm here because I'm supposed to~.'' She cackled like a maniac, and emptied another glass of alcohol. ''You're falling behind, drink some more!'' Sarah jumped when she was told this, and drank as fast as she could to catch up with the young witch. This however, was hard. Kumai didn't seem to be affected by alcohol at all, while Sarah was nearly unable to stand. ''I don't think I'll be able to..'' Sarah giggled. ''Come on, at least one more glass~!'' Sarah didn't refuse. It seemed fair to her, after all. Then again, in this state, everything seemed fair towards her.
The night grew old, even if it didn't feel like it, and eventually, Sarah fell asleep. When she woke up, she was all alone. There wasn't any sign of anything having happened at all. She pushed herself up from the ground, and looked around. Where was she? The surroundings didn't seem familiar to her. That might have been due to the fact that she came here at night, but still..''Kumai! Where are you?'' No response could be heard. Why wasn't there any signs of her or the campfire? Sarah began to walk the direction she came from. At least she thought she came from that particular direction..
She walked for quite some time. Well, walking might be the wrong word. Swaying would be more fitting. Her head pounded, so she knew that she had really been drinking last night. Ten minutes passed, thirty minutes, then a full hour. Did she really walk this far yesterday? The lights pierced the treetops some places, making the otherwise dark forest much easier to navigate through. Sarah grew tired and decided to stop and rest. She was sure this was the way she walked yesterday. She sat down on a large rock. Itr was formed quite smoothly. She thought about which way she was supposed to go, while enjoying the fact that she had found a soft rock. She then flinched. A soft rock? She jumped down, turned around and saw a gigantic mushroom.
Unsure what to do, Sarah felt like just laying down, not going any further. Her body agreed with her mind, but the young girl remained standing. Where was she? This wasn't the forest she knew, was it? A particular spot of light caught her eyes, and she noticed that a small rabbit was looking at her. ''Hello there, mister rabbit.'' The rabbit merely lifted it's head slightly as an answer. It seemed occupied, almost like it was in a hurry. Apparently noticing what it was looking for, the little creature darted away. Was it frightened? Did it spot some other rabbit? Hard to tell..
As she walked further, Sarah saw these gigantic mushrooms more often. She could also feel the fact that she was being watched. Was someone following her? This feeling was weird, it was like a heavy, dark presence that forced it's way onto her. A faint wind blew through the dimly lit forest, sending a chill down the backbone. Suddenly, the leafes behind her rustled, and Sarah nearly tossed herself around. There stood something totally unexpected, a little boy was dragging his teddy bear around. He had black, messy hair, and equally black eyes.
''Have you seen mommy..?'' A single tear rolled down his cheek as he asked this. ''I miss her..'' Sarah walked over to the little boy, sat down on her knees in front of him, and spoke. ''I can't say I have. Is it long since you lost her?'' The little boy nodded in a sad manner. ''Should I help you look? Which way did she go?'' The little boy gently took her hand, tugged it, and pointed deeper into the forest. Several other voices could be heard from the opposite direction. Sarah turned around, and saw four men walk down a path. When she turned towards the boy, there was no one that could be seen. Some leafes floated in the faint wind, but nothing more.
''Who are you?'' The men caught up to her. ''I'm Sarah.'' She extended her hand. The one in front of the group did the same. ''David, nice to meet you.'' She nodded. ''Where did you come from? You're pretty far from the city now.'' She flinched ''I met this girl and.. I don't live in the city.'' The four men starred at her with somewhat wide eyes. ''How do you manage to live with all these monsters around? It's not like you've got anyone with you at the moment?'' The other one seemed concerned as well. ''Yeah, should a young girl like you really be alone in the forest?'' Sarah didn't understand. ''Monsters? The only thing I've met is this little boy, even if he just disappeared right now.'' The men starred at her again. ''You'd better.. come with us. We can't talk safely here..''
As they walked, she realized that three of the men where equipped with big, heavy knifes. The fourth one had a gun. Why would they need such a thing? Sarah stopped thinking again. Was she not going home? What was she getting herself into? After some time, they reached a small shack. There was nothing out of the ordinary with it, except the fact that is was old. However, there was this huge magic circle surrounding it. ''Umm.. What's happening?'' No one answered, but one of them pointed at a shack further down the path they walked.
They sat down around a small table inside the shack. ''Please explain, where am I?'' David looked sternly at her. ''You're in the east province, close to Emigard.'' Sarah flinched. ''Emigard?'' The four men nodded. ''Yeah, the city.'' Sarah flinched yet again, this was perhaps her standard reaction to whatever surprised her. ''B-but the city was named.. Have I been taken somewhere?'' David looked at her with a confused look. ''You're in Farrence, nothing special about that.'' Sarah could feel her head growing heavy with thoughts and questions. ''F-Farrence? But I'm from Europe! There's not a place called Farrence on the map!'' The men exchanged looks with each other. ''Perhaps.. You should tell us what you've seen lately.''
And so she did. She told them how she left home, wandered into the woods with a young witch, woke up in a unknown place, and met a kid looking for his mother. As she mentioned this last part, the faces of the four men showed a small hint of terror. ''So, the magic circle was necessary after all..'' One of them sighed, before giving some coins to another. ''How so?'' Sarah had wondered about that since she saw it. David Stood up, and smiled nervously at her. ''There is many things in this world you'll find yourself unfamiliar with. That young witch probably kidnapped you, it has happened before.'' He looked at one of the men. ''His name is Taro. He came from a country called Japan in another world.'' Sarah gasped. ''Japan is on the map..!'' Taro smiled.
''The magic circle keeps monsters and evil spirits away. The young boy you met.. He was probably one of them. There's a rumor that a young boy died in this forest, after being dragged out of his mothers dead, cold hands. Apparently, he still holds a grudge.'' David turned around, not wanting Sarah to see that he was afraid. ''If the spirit of that kid awaits us outside.. I think it's better for us to stay the night here.'' His voice was shaking. Many traveler had found their end in the hands of the vengeful spirit. Merely thinking of the boy sent shivers down his spine. David didn't really feel any more comfortable in the shack, but the circle was set up by a shaman, so it should offer them some protection. Or so he hoped.
The second night in the forest fell much faster than the second one. Then again, the night lasted unusually long last time. Sarah laid on a madrass, which was quite old and filthy. The shack wasn't used often after all. This night Sarah thought about lots of things. One of them was where Kumai went off to, another was how she was supposed to get home. Then a small chill went down her spine, as she remembered the young boy. You heard of things like that in scary tales and such, but you never expected to actually experience something like that yourself.
Another freezing sensation went through her spine, and Sarah sat up. The feeling was more intense this time, more horrifying. She could see Taro struggle in his sleep, so he probably felt it as well. Sarah stood up, and realized that she was drenched in sweat. When she thought about it, she felt something like she did that day on the buss. Did this mean something was close by? Was there something behind this feeling? She walked over to the window. Perhaps it would help if she got some air. When she was about to open the window, two pale, tiny hands clashed at it. On the other side, a small boy could be seen. His empty, black eyes gazed into Sarah. His hands was covered in blood, which dripped slowly down the glass. Sarah let out a scream as he grinned horrifyingly and threw himself at the window.