Shino Forest

I was walking back home from an unsuccessful hunt for meat when I heard the sound of quick footsteps trampling over grass and fallen twigs. I stopped walking and listened, looking around and ready for anything that could possibly pose a threat. A nice breeze rolled by rustling the leaves of the trees above. Alert, I saw no one and the muffled footsteps quickly vanished.

Thinking little of it, I flicked my green ponytail behind me and continued onward.

I found one very specific tree and the only tree like it, that I've seen, in the entire forest. Different because it had a brighter trunk and had no branches anywhere near the bottom like all of the others. It was a land mark that I always visit before making it home.

Looking around to make sure there was no one around watching, I roused the mysterious power within me and, with little practise, I directed power into my left hand. The familiar rush and tingling sensation put a smile on my face just before I punched the thick trunk this tree had.

The power both protected my hand from getting hurt and made the tree shake a bit. The branches above shook much more violently however and in a matter of seconds a fruit dropped down. I took the hard shelled fruit from where it dropped and conjured my power once more giving it a hard whack. It spilt nice and clean down the middle. All I had to do now was twist it a bit and it will fall into two, revealing the fruit's milk and the white bitter tasting stuff Owen and I love to eat.

Afraid to hit the tree more than once each time I visit, I set off again. It won't take much longer to get home now.

Thinking of the footsteps I heard earlier a sudden and terrible feeling came over me. A wave of regret went through me.


Unable to shake this feeling, I dropped the fruit I held and started running back home. Something he said a few days ago filled my head.

"Jasmine, I will leave soon. I cannot stay here."

Owen. I kept running, racing to get home now. I dodged every tree that got in my way, another older memory took me. One about that stupid rock on his small desk that he has never physically touched since he placed it there.

"Damnit Damnit DAMNIT! Move stupid rock move!"

"Owen! Try calming down a bit maybe, all of that yelling is making my ears ring," I was sitting on my bed, watching him and hoping that one day he would move it. Sometimes I wished I could show him how to, but I've kept my powers a secret from everyone, especially him.

Owen stopped and turned towards me, his long blue hair turned with him and for a split second I could see those feline-like eyes before his long blue hair covered them again. He was dead serious about the power he thinks he has. So serious that he's been trying to move that rock for almost a year now.

"It is not something that can wait, Jasmine. I have to learn to control it or I will hurt someone again," With that he turned back to the rock.

I tripped over a branch but recovered. Run, run faster, I urged myself. Tears filled my eyes. Owen you had better not gone, not after these few years. We have to stick together! Another memory came, this one from about a month ago.

"Get him!" I heard the elf boys from the close by village yell out.

I found them quickly, Owen tried to dodge a couple of stones that were thrown at him by the four boys but two hit him, one square in the head and the other hit his defending hand. The skinny blonde haired boy held another ready stone but I was faster.

"This is perfect with his girlfriend away-"

"You want to bet?" I threw a hard running punch and smashed it right into his cheek. He flattened out onto the ground like butter, he wasn't dead. I watched his stomach rise and fall.

"You- you killed him!"

I wish, I clenched my hands into fist at my sides. "So what?" I looked up at the boy whom spoke. "You're next."

"RUN! Sh- she's a monster too!"

The boys all fled back towards their village. Owen was safe, I allowed myself to calm down.

"Jasmine?" Owen asked in a soft and afraid voice.

"What?" I sounded harsher than I wanted to.

"Thank you."

"Owen!" I found our home's entrance and lifted the leaf-covered wooden door before jumping in. I landed on all fours and quickly stood. The small lantern we had was still running, but the flame was small and only lit part of the room.

Despite that, I could see well enough and already noticed a few things missing. Owen wasn't here. His blanket was not where he usually kept it. The bow and the few arrows I made for him were gone from beside his small bed and the stone he had never managed to move before, was not there.

"Damnit!" I turned to leave but stopped, something was off, and the hideout was different. I looked over and found the rock, it was now on the ground in front of where he had it but that wasn't what surprised me, it was the wall behind where it was, it was pushed back far enough for a small storage space.

What kind of power can do that? He moved the entire wall?

I shook my head and turned back to the exit. I couldn't stay here without him, I have nothing that kept me here now. I climbed out and started running back towards where I heard the footsteps.

"Owen, take me with you."

I had waited too long to say it.