Shades of Red

Chapter 1

The girl hurried through the forest, her natural layered apple-red hair glistening in the sunset's light. She was panting heavily, making random twists and turns, trying to avoid trees and bushes. Her pursuer's feet stomped on the floor behind her heavily with every step it took, as it chased her desperately.

"You- Your soul… give it to me!" it growled at her, its pace quickening.

To Ciera, this was nothing new. It seemed as if every time she walked outside, monsters like these would come out at her; as a matter of fact, they were called "demons" instead of monsters. Being the lazy killing machines they are, they wouldn't usually run after somebody, but it seemed to be different for Ciera. She was like a demon magnet, with at least 1 demon trying to take her soul every day. But being nothing more than human, all she could do was run from these monsters.

Looking back at the demon chasing her with a hungry look in its eyes, she started to run faster. She could hear its footsteps getting louder with each second that ticked by.

'Please don't catch up, please don't catch- woah!' she stopped in her thoughts, as her foot was caught by something- …a root? As she lost her footing and balance, she felt her right ankle twist, and a sharp pain stabbed at it afterwards. That's right, she twisted her ankle.

Dropping to the floor, her eyes became filled with fear. As the red monster approached her, with saliva dripping from his mouth, he grinned.

"Yes, be a good little girl and stay there." He said, with a sick, pleased look in his eyes.

Ciera trembled, cursing herself. Why, just why, was she always running into trouble like this every day? Preparing for the worst, she closed her eyes tightly. She could feel the demon's hand getting closer…and closer…

Just a second before it was going to grab her, a wave coursed through the air. There was a bone-crushing, suffocating energy floating in the air.

'What is this energy..?' Ciera's dark blue eyes snapped open, widening, as shivers were sent down her spine. The demon, which was just about to help himself to a meal, seemed to be confused as well. Then, as fast as it came, the wave dissipated.

"Jeez, I was having a good dream," She heard a male's voice.

Looking to the source of the noise, her eyes landed upon a beautiful midnight-black haired boy, who seemed to be about her age. He stood on a low, thick tree branch, yawning. As he looked at the bewildered redhead, his dark crimson eyes came into view. Then, with an unreadable face, he hopped down from the tree, and landed gracefully on his feet.

His back was to Ciera, as he came face to face with the red skinned demon.

"Human! You dare to interrupt my meal!?" the demon roared at him.

The boy seemed to pay no mind to its voice, as he mumbled to himself, "Hmm, what should I do? You interrupted my nap…" he yawned.

At the boy's insolence, the monster seemed to become angrier by the second. "Ignoring me… who do you think you are!?" its claws swooped down at the boy, who now seemed to be grinning slyly at the demon, with amusement dancing in his eyes. When its claws were just about a few inches from his face, he spoke.

"I know," he started, and in the blink of an eye, he disappeared. The demon's claws ended up swooping at nothing other than air, catching it by surprise. The next thing that happened seemed to be a blur in Ciera's eyes.

The boy had somehow reappeared in mid-air, about an inch from the monster's face. Then, with a dark voice he said,

"…I'll be taking this."

His hand thrust into the demon's left eye, causing a painful roar from its mouth. The boy's hand came back out, and blood poured from the monster's left eye. He then landed on the floor, blood trailing down his knuckles, and dripping onto the dirt. His bloodied right hand seemed to be holding something; something white and round…

…The demon's eye.

"My eye, what have you done to my eye!"The demon thrashed around.

"Relax, you won't die from that" the boy told the demon in a calm manner. Then, a threatening atmosphere drifted around him, as his gaze turned into an ice-cold glare. "If you want to live, leave."

The demon shivered, as his confidence was stripped away from him. "F-fine, I'll leave!" Its voice trembled, as he escaped from the view of the two, while the boy stood still.

Ciera sat on the dirt floor, speechless. She had obviously seen a gruesome scene right before her eyes, but there was not an ounce of fear inside her. Looking at the boy's right hand, she frowned.

Something was not right here.

"Oi, the flat-chested miss over there," The boy's voice didn't seem to affect her train of thoughts, seeing that she remained still with a determined look in her eyes, as if she were thinking deeply about something.

"It's weird…" she mumbled out loud, still in her little world.

The boy inspected her facial expressions, amused. A smile tugged at his lips.

He chuckled. "So you realized it, huh. At least I fooled that one." He referred to the red skinned demon from earlier. His laughter seemed to bring her back to reality, for she looked up at the boy, confused.

A small 'eh?' escaped her lips, as the boy held up his right hand, which held the demon's eye. Then, in just a second, the blood that soaked his hand and the demon's eye blurred up, and flew away in tiny black specs.

"It was an illusion" he grinned slyly. This new revelation surprised our dumbfounded redhead, for she was speechless yet again.

Now that she thought about it, everything had indeed seemed real, up to where he had disappeared. "Oh…" She said finally. "-Wait, didn't you offend me just now!?" she brought up, remembering hearing him call her 'flat chested' just a minute ago. The boy chuckled again, and a smirk appeared on his face.

"Who knows," He walked over to the girl, who was still on the floor and held out his hand, as if he were going to help her up.

She looked at him in suspicion. After concluding that he wasn't planning anything weird, she took his hand and let him pull her up. However, the second she stood strait, she collapsed again.

'That's right, my ankle…' she thought, wincing at the pain. She had completely forgotten about her twisted ankle.

She then felt arms snake around her waist, and she was lifted off the floor by the boy. "Eh- What are you doing?!" a shade of light red appeared on her cheeks, as she resisted from his grasp. Despite her attempt to free herself from him, he didn't put her down, but instead…

…he lifted her higher, and hoisted her over his back; like a sack of potatoes. "You twisted your ankle before, right?" He asked, and got a nod as a reply. And without another word, he started walking somewhere deeper into the forest.

"…Where are you taking me?" She asked.

"My place," He said monotonously. Ciera seemed to accept it, since she obviously couldn't walk home herself. Besides, she didn't have a place to call "home". Not anymore.

The two, or rather, the boy, had been walking for about 5 minutes still carrying Ciera. The sun had already set and other than the crunching of leaves under his feet, it was silent.

"What's your name? I'm Ciera." Ciera asked, finally breaking the ice.

"Spade," He replied.

"Spade… It's a unique name. So you're an illusionist?"

"You ask a lot of questions, don't you?" his voice was calm.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to bother you…" she apologized.

"… I guess you could say I'm a magician. I've only studied illusions for a bit, but I don't mainly use them." He decided to tell her.

She let out a quiet 'oh', and another long silence fell upon them.

"Hey… you're not going do anything weird to me, right?" She asked suddenly, breaking the silence once again. They had been walking for quite a while now, and they were still in the forest. As she finished her sentence, Spade turned his head to face her.

"Why would I do anything weird to you?" And then, with an abnormally blunt tone, and smirking, he added, "You don't even have a nice body." And with that, he faced forward again.

She blinked her eyes once in innocent wonder. But as she started to understand what he was saying, she frowned, and opened up her mouth to speak, but closed it again, thinking of something to say. "…" She was silent.

"Stupid, ugly boy," She mumbled childlishly, looking down at the floor, after yet another long period of silence.

About a few more minutes later, she felt him stop. Now in front of them was a wide traditional Japanese building, which would've taken up a block if they were in the city. On the door was a wooden board that bluntly labeled the building as a boarding house. Ciera stared at the building in wonder, as the boy, Spade, walked up to the large wooden double doors, and pressed a button.

"If you keep your mouth open, bugs will nest in it." He said, looking back at the amazed girl, with a smirk. Her eyes widened slightly, and she closed her mouth shut. In no more than 5 seconds, one of the doors creaked open loudly.

"Oh, you're home, Spade." A young woman with long brown hair stood at the door. She looked at Spade, and then at the girl he was carrying with her caramel-brown eyes. "My, my, you shouldn't carry a girl like that. Is she your girlfriend?" She questioned "Ah and it's dark out, too. Please keep it down tonight, we have kids here." She added, putting a hand to her cheek, with a smile that seemed to make sparkles come out behind her.

"What are you talking ab-"Ciera started to say, only to be cut off by none other than the boy carrying her.

"Ehh, that's no fun." He remarked, with a cunning smile that also brought sparkles out in the background. The two smiled identically at each other, while a question mark appeared on top of Ciera's head.

"Well, enough of the joking. Why don't you come in?" The sparkles disappeared, as the lady stepped out of the way to let the two in.

Ciera sat on a sofa, observing her surroundings. There were two sofas that merged to make an "L" shape, and a glass table in front of it which was decorated with a glass vase that held roses. As she looked at her bandaged ankle, she heard light but rapid footsteps approaching her.

"Uwah, I found her!" A small boy ran into the room, breathing heavily with a proud smile on his face. Almost instantly, other children ran up behind him, with excited smiles. Ciera's eyes looked up at them in wonder. Seeing their excited faces, she smiled warmly at them. The children's smiles widened, and they all ran up to her to talk to her.

"Wow! Her hair really is red, it's so pretty!" a little girl with blonde hair exclaimed, admiringly.

"Hey, miss, are you a new boarder?" A small boy with brown hair looked up at her, eyes shining in anticipation.

Before she had a chance to answer, a voice was heard.

"It seems like they like you." The woman who had greeted her earlier at the front door stepped in.

"Sylvia!" The children beamed as she walked in. She smiled as she walked over to them, and picked up the small blonde girl.

"I prepared the bath already. It's getting late, so you should stay for tonight. I'll walk you to your house tomorrow, to explain to your parents why you weren't home, so don't worry about a thing." She said kindly.

Ciera looked down at her hands, which rested on her lap, when the woman she presumed to be 'Sylvia' mentioned her "parents". She held a sad expression in her deep blue eyes, as her brows turned down.

"…What's wrong?"Sylvia noticed her expression.

"U-uhm… I don't have any parents." She kept her head down, fumbling on her words. The room became quiet instantly.

Sylvia looked at her with concerned eyes. "Oh, I'm sorry…" she apologized, and the room fell silent again.

"Sister, are you lonely?" Ciera heard a small, trembling voice break the silence. Surprised, she looked up to see the brown-haired child, with tears gathering in his eyes. "We all lost our Mama and Papas, but we're not lonely because Sylvia's here for us. But you…you must have been lonely, right?" He sniffled, as tears streamed down his cheeks.

Ciera slowly brought her hand up, and pat the child on the head. "Thanks for worrying about me." She smiled, stopping the child's tears. She couldn't find anything else to say, because it would've been a lie if she said she wasn't even a bit lonely.

Then, the brown haired child started to smile, as an idea formed in his head.

"Stay here, please!" He dried his tears, and now held a determined look on his face. Ciera's eyes widened, as she looked at the child.

"That's a good idea. We have plenty of free rooms here, too." Sylvia reassured her.

Warm tears gathered up in her eyes, and slowly made their way down to her chin, as the words sank into her mind. A grateful smile accented her lips, and as she closed her eyes, her cheeks held a tint of doll-ish pink.

"…Sorry for intruding"

Chapter 1 –END-

Author's Note

Wow ok. That was long. I somehow feel this was really random…LOL. I really have a knack for making random stories = v =…

OH WELL. I had fun writing it at least D:. Feel free to leave a review if you want to share your opinion. Creative criticism is appreciated ^ - ^

Thank you for reading and see you next time !


kbye ~