Author's Note:

What started as my NaNoWriMo entry ended up being published here in FictionPress! As opposed to what was put up before, I've cleaned it up a bit. Also, I had it moved into a new category. My name is Arowa, and this is one of the stories I've always wanted to tell...

Chapter I: The Girl In The Snow.

It all started on a cold, winter day. The howling wind would cut through to my bones no matter how thick my clothes were. Staring up to the sky, the sun was nowhere to be seen, blocked out by the heavy mists and thick clouds. The hustle and bustle of the people had died off, as a peaceful silence filled the streets. One could only see the fading lights coming through the windows and the tiny puffs of smoke emerging from the chimneys. Giving out a deep breath, I saw white clouds forming from the warm air seeping from my lips. Much to my surprise, the roads themselves were rather devoid of snow, the piles only gathering at the sides.

I pushed my body to move, taking one step after another whenever I could. My hands carried a great number of bags, groceries and supplies needed for spring. I figured I could avoid the crowds of people if I did my shopping near the end of Winter; when the air got warm enough, instead of waiting for Spring to come. The bags shook all over the place as another breath of wind slipped past my clothes and caressed my skin.

"That'll teach me." I mumbled to myself, already regretting the decision. My fingers turned stiff, and it felt like I would drop the bags at any moment.

But, it's been a few yards away from the shop already, what choice do I have but to continue on back home?

Approaching one of the boutiques closed down for the Winter, I slipped after a sudden idea of hastening my steps popped into my mind.

"Wh-whoa!" Crying out, my bags flew all over the place as I tried hard to keep my grip tight around them, flailing about wildly before my vision dropped sharply.


When I came to, a face was looking back at me, a faint reflection from the glass window from the side of the boutique. Long, wild hair, glowing in bright, yellow hue, ran down my head, stopping clean at the back of my neck. Sharp, spiky edges splintering out in an unkempt fashion.

Hair is hair, no matter how one looks at it, though I can't deny the attention it drew in the past. I guess you could call it enchanting. When guys started saying that to me however, it became kinda awkward.

My eyelids slowly push themselves open to reveal a pair of deep, green eyes. An uncommon sight, as some would describe.

Again, they look normal enough, yet they always seemed to remind me of the many cries of surprise people used to give when their eyes met with mine.

All it took was another breath of wind to snap me out of my thoughts, and back to moving just to stay warm. Luckily, the contents of my bags did not spill out onto the streets. That would have been a great hassle. They look ruffled, but still intact.

"Huff... Puff..."

Before long, the sound of my heavy breathing broke into the silence of the streets, puffs of white followed with every breath. It seemed as though whatever warmth that was trapped within my clothes was long gone, replaced by a chilling breeze that seeped right through the layers, bringing my shivering to a more constant rate.

As uncomfortable as I was I had admit, the image of hypnotizing lights shining from the lampposts before me; their gentle glow, was a welcoming sight. They brought forth a strange sense of peace. The orange hue tinted the pure, white winter scene, stretching as far as my eyes could see. It almost makes me wish I could stay. Loiter around a bit just to admire the serene feel of the surroundings.


"Right, shortcut through the park." The usual route I took lashed across my mind almost immediately as I came to the entrance of the park itself. Going through the park would cut the time by half from the more tedious path of going around four blocks of buildings. Unlike the roads before, piles of snow formed tiny hills all around the park, the trees shaded white. With gentle steps I moved forward, the grass being a whole lot more slippery than the concrete paths.

That was when the howling of the wind got louder, and the mist grew thick from a drop in temperature. Amidst the flakes of snow blowing against me, my eyes caught sight of the strangest thing:

A girl, calmly sitting by the bench in a corner of the park.

She sat there, unfazed by the chilling wind, her eyes solid, her face calm as she waited. She had a long, white robe on, with simple black linings that accentuated the beauty of its own design. Pure white strands of hair flowed down her neck, touching down on the her pale neck. Her hair was neat, symmetrical from one side to the other. But the pure, white color suggested nothing of age.

They looked soft, gentle as they flowed down the side of her face. She never shivered despite how cold it was, and waited like a doll staring out at the park. It looked and felt unbelievable. A beauty appearing in the cold, winter snow. Her features had me enraptured, so much that I couldn't take my eyes off her.

When my path took passed her, there was this urge to walk towards her instead. The idea of trying to talk to her, to get to know her, kept coming up in my mind. There was also the gnawing feeling that I would regret it if I don't go for the chance. My inner voice was screaming when I made my decision...

Wait, you don't even know her! She's a complete stranger!

That is what the voice said, crying out to dissuade. An inner conflict arose, as chaos filled my thoughts. Confused, I didn't know what to do. Or rather, which to follow. Mind or heart.

You don't need to know her. Your strings of fate need not intertwine. You have your life, and she has hers.

Those were the words were like a mantra to me, something the voice that lingered in my mind repeated as the days passed. Some may call me anti-social, but I liked being alone. The entire process of cliques and doing your best to keep up with them were too much of a chore for me to follow. The closer I got, the more twisted they become. Bonds and words were tossed around, cheap as they were. They broke as easily as they were forged.

I got tired of being disappointed as much as I got tired of disappointing people.

But, there was something about the girl, the sight of her alone the cold. It brought forth a wrenching feel to my heart. She sat there, unmoving. Her eyes wide open as if waiting for something. The end of the day, the appearance of her friends, something.

It...looked as though it wasn't going to happen. How long has she been here, waiting? From the snow piling on the top of her head and her clothes, she must have been here for quite a while, suffering through the cold. Her blank eyes reminded me of something.

Yet, she remained steadfast. As if going against everything, she waited. Even when the cold might just take her life.

That's why I started walking towards her. I took care not to stare as I took a seat at her side, ignoring the dreaded chill of wood and metal. Up close I saw how beautiful her hair was, each strand glowing even amidst the white surrounding us. Her blank eyes were bright, a soft touch of baby blue. She didn't turn to look at me and wonder why I walked towards her and took a seat at her side. Which was frankly was what I was hoping. No, there's nary a reaction at all.

Laying at the other side of the bench was a staff with a sculpted shape at the end, the metal glistening in the snow. It looked alien to me in its design, but the metal had a dazzling color. Pearl white with a hint of purple. It felt strangely befitting of the beauty of its wielder. At least I assume it belonged to the girl.


I was expecting something to come to me, but all I could draw from was a blank. It's a simple thing, an easy act of greeting. Yet I sat there for minutes, with no words coming out of my mouth.

This is pathetic.

As I kept watching her, as each second passed, it felt more and more embarrassing, so much that I clenched my fingers into a fist in order to suppress the wave of goosebumps coming over me. My groceries and supplies, the bag in my hands, rustled as I did. It turns out I never even bothered to put them down when I took my seat, and proceeded to place them by the side of the bench.

Why am I feeling so restless? Why am I so interested in this girl? Why do I feel like if I don't talk to her now, I'm gonna end up regretting it for the rest of my life?!

My thoughts were screaming for me to move, but none of it were translated in my movements whatsoever. It definitely felt easier to just sit there, or even just walk away from the girl. The wind kept on blowing, turning my flesh into paper; I could feel my body tearing as I tried moving. The girl doesn't seem to mind, though. It slowly became more and more difficult to justify why I came to her, what I had hoped to happen. I guess you could say I wanted to touch her. To hug her and comfort her all at once.

Sigh. What am I, a depraved beast now? Some guy craving for physical contact with a girl? We have language for communication. That should be the very first step.

"H-h-hey." The word stammered out as the chill left my teeth chattering. It might have been a tad bit too soft, because she didn't respond in the slightest.

"H-hi! S-sorry for b-bothering you, but it was w-weird seeing a girl alone o-out here in the c-cold so..." I tried again, this time putting out a little more than before. Unfortunately it ended sounding like a bad pick-up line. To my surprise however, the girl slowly shifted her gaze towards me. A certain light had enter her once blank eyes as she tilted her head slightly to the side in wonder.

Is she feigning innocence? If she is, I'm all but convinced.

Exhilarated at my meager success, I nearly forgot about why I wanted to talk to her in the first place.

"U-um... m-my name's B-Briar. Briar O-Ortiz." Despite my full attempt to rid the cold out of my words, they still came out stumbling. "W-what's yours?" Not knowing what else to say, I ended up asking for her name.

Strange, the increasing cold is nothing compared to the anticipation now burning inside me.

The girl grew uncertain, a confused look in her eyes. In an attempt to distract myself, I realized how young the girl's features were. She looked about three years younger than myself. With my own age at twenty, she certainly don't seem the type of girl to be out alone in the winter cold. The more I thought about it, the more questions popped up.

"Deanna..." Suddenly, she spoke, giving out a name. Her voice surprised me. Her tone was extremely gentle, without a hint of any other doubt, fear or suspicion. "Deanna Wolfe." She declared once more, her high voice now spoken in a calm, confident manner as she looked right into my eyes. Overtaken by her approval, a smile stretched across my face. When I noticed, it took some effort not to look like a weirdo before Deanna.

I feel like a child, eager to meet a new friend. How long has it been since I last felt like this?

Growing nervous when the silence started resuming, my eyes fell on the instrument at Deanna's side once more.

"D-Deanna, is that yours?" I asked out to her, pointing to the strange object. Her face remained passive, but she replied with a soft nod. The design seemed foreign no matter how much I looked at it, and soon another question formed within the confines of my mind. "... J-Just...what is it u-used for?" I gave out the question when I couldn't think of anything.

It didn't seem like an umbrella. It's too long to be a walking cane.

Instead of answering however, the question snapped Deanna back to her emotionless self, almost as if she had just remembered something. Her movements became stiff again, as she quickly pulled on the object, almost two meters in length, closer to her side. Right there and then, she gave me the most unbelievable answer.

"It's used to hunt demons."

Welp, that's the end of the first chapter. I hope you guys enjoyed the read. Hopefully it managed to catch enough interest to look forward to the next chapter update. As always, give me your thoughts in your reviews below, whether it concerns the story, the writing or if you just wanna ask me something or toss out a suggestion.