Chapter OneA girl the age of sixteen stood underneath a cherry blossom tree. She looked peaceful; her eyes were closed and she had a small smile. A boy, about the age of seventeen, was staring at her, hidden by the shadows of a cavern nearby. This boy was no ordinary boy. He looked like he was seventeen but he was really over a thousand years old. He had three fox tails waving in the slight breeze that came into the cavern every so often.
The boy stared at the girl completely silent. He was evaluating her, debating on whether she would make the most perfect kitsune to be with him for all eternity.
The girl’s head snapped up when she heard her mother calling her name.
“Akimoto! Akimoto!” the mother yelled.
The girl sighed, got up, and returned to the home where her abusive parents lived. If only I could get out of here, she thought sadly.
She ducked her head and rushed to her bedroom before her mom could see her, hoping that her three brothers and two sisters didn’t see her as well. They would have told their mother where she was at, then her mother would find her and beat her for doing “something wrong”. All Akimoto wanted was more freedom, more trust, a better place to live. She was tired of all the negativity around her. She had made plans previously to run away to her friend Kaori’s home.
She sat on her bed, debating on what things she would take to Kaori’s. But then, her mother has met Kaori before. Akimoto wasn’t sure whether her mother knew where she lived, though. It was worth it, Akimoto thought as she started packing a few clothes and some of her favorite books into a black bag.
Later in the night, Akimoto sat on her bed acting as if she were asleep. She held her breath, making sure she could hear her family’s bedroom doors shut. Her brother Shin'ichiro was making a ton of noise in the kitchen, which was right down the hall from Akimoto’s room. How will I ever get out of this place, she thought angrily.
Akimoto looked around quickly, searching for something to distract her brother with. Then, she spotted the window in her room. She smiled a little, got up, and snuck over to the window. She unlocked it and opened it as quietly as possible. She grabbed her bag and pushed it out the window. It landed with a dull thud, then she leapt out of her window as well. She landed on her bag and held her breath again when she thought she made too much noise. She waited for a minute to see if anyone had woken up, but when nobody came out, she ran to the trees with her bag on her back. To Kaori’s house now, she thought.
Then, something hard hit her from behind and a sharp pain hit her throat. Everything had gone black before she could see her attacker.
August 13, 2020
I woke up, but kept my eyes closed. My head was pounding and I felt sick and cold. I could have sworn that the dream I had last night was so real….
The door banged open. I jumped and my eyes opened immediately. My mother, who abused me in every way possible whenever she had the chance, stared at me with worried eyes. I just frowned, sort of scared about the wrath that would be coming to me any second.
“Akimoto, child, are you okay?”
That was a first. She never asks me if I’m okay.
I just stared at her in shock. My mother sat down next to me on my bed. She placed her hands on my face, seeing if I felt hot or cold. She looked at my eyes and noticed every time I winced when she touched the places where my head was aching.
She stood back up and frowned. “Just lay here for today and rest, child. Get better.”
With that said, my mother disappeared. I just stared at the door in suspicion. This was a trick, wasn’t it?
I got up any way, then almost fell over trying to do so. I sat back down and closed my eyes. I felt sick to my stomach, but I didn’t feel like I was about to throw up.
I opened my eyes again and looked around for my journal. I found it on the dresser, which was all the way across the room. I huffed and stood up. I stood there for a minute, waiting for the wave of vertigo to disappear. When it did, I crossed over to my dresser slowly and grabbed my journal. I had written many stories in it about the Japanese warriors called samurais, Japanese folklore about Kitsune and other beasts. I had drawn a few pictures of Pokemon, Dragon Ball Super, Blue Exorcist, Tokyo Ghoul, and many more. This was one of the things that kept me sane from my abusive family. When I opened it, though, there was nothing in it. I stared at it, completely confused. I know that I had written in it just last night, though.
I dropped the journal back onto the dresser and crossed back over to my bed. I could hear my little brothers and sisters screaming happily, probably playing their favorite game, Train. They always scream when they play that game.
My head was pounding harder, so I collapsed onto the bed with a groan and closed my eyes. Why the hell won’t they shut up?!
I frowned. I can’t believe I just thought that. I loved my siblings. I mean, sure they would rat me out on doing something that our mother considered wrong, but I would give my life for them. Every time our mother tried to abuse or hit them, I would jump in front of them and take it for them.
My littlest sister, Ayane, came into my room with a small cup of tea. She handed it to me and sat on my bed. I smiled and took a sip from it. Ayane smiled and giggled a little. She was the most adorable little girl I have ever seen. Her black hair was so long and sleek and it was always pulled up into a bun. Ayane was about six years old. She was the most precious and innocent one here. I had to protect her from mother.
My three brothers are Shin’ichiro, Tomoyuki, and Kentaro; my two sisters are Ayane and Koharu. Such pretty names for the girls I would say.
Later, I was sitting in the living room with Ayane, Tomoyuki, and Koharu. I was watching them play rock, paper, scissors for a little bit. Then, a wave of nausea came over me. I got up and ran to the bathroom as fast as I could. I just stood there with the door closed. A strange growl had erupted from me. My head felt like it had exploded, so I looked at the mirror and what I saw made me scream. Two white fox ears had sprouted on top of my head and a fluffy white fox tail was waving in the air behind me. I looked behind me to make sure that what I was seeing was fake. The tail was there, though, connected to me. I felt the top of my head, and sure enough, the ears were there as well. I screamed in horror again. What the hell has happened to me?!?!
I slid to the floor and started hyperventilating. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Maybe it was a dream? Yeah, that’s it.
I closed my eyes, forcing myself to calm down. Then when I stood up, I was shorter than the sink. I was confused, so I looked down at my feet. In place of my feet were white paws. I let out a scream, but it didn’t sound like a scream; it was a loud bark. Somebody was banging on the door now.
“Akimoto? Aki, are you okay?”
I glanced at the door, not sure what to do anymore. I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t have my human vocal cords anymore. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared.
Then I started to get taller. I looked down at myself. I was human again. I felt the top of my head, and the ears were gone. I looked behind me to find my tail gone as well. I swallowed, then rushed to the door. I yanked it open, hoping that I looked fine - or fine enough, rather.
My mother stared at me cautiously. “Aki? Are you alright? You look so frightened!”
Her eyes narrowed slightly, but she didn’t argue with me. She frowned and continued to stare at me for another minute before she spoke again.
“Maybe you should lay down, Akimoto. You’re giving us all a scare.”
I rolled my eyes. “Mother, I’ll be fine.”
She sighed and shook her head. “Okay. But if you start feeling sick again, please go to bed and take a good rest.”
What just happened to me?
August 15, 2020
I hadn’t had another transformation like I had two days ago. I was terrified of it happening again. I needed to go talk to a professional, but they would think what I say is bogus and they would suggest putting me in a mental hospital.
Ayane was trying to convince me to let her paint my nails, knowing that I don’t like that type of stuff. I mostly ignored her, for I was too busy thinking about the transformation.
My head snapped up at the sound of my name. Ayane was looking at me with a sad expression. I frowned lightly, but then smiled at her. She looked a little hurt.
“Why don’t you let me paint your nails?”
I laughed a little. I didn’t want to seem rude and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings again, so I responded with,” Well, you can paint my nails if you want then.”
Her eyes lit up and she smiled. “Okay! What colors do you want?”
I pretended to debate. My favorite colors were black and red, but I found myself blurting out colors I didn’t expect to hear myself say.
“Light blue, and maybe gray or white.”
She tilted her head to the side. “That sounds like winter.”
She giggled and ran off to get her nail painting supplies. I just sighed and looked around for a book to read. There was the Twilight Saga, but that grew old fast eventually. Maybe I could read the Divergent series. I’m not sure.
Ayane came back eventually and prepared to paint my nails. I forced a smile onto my face and I let her do her work. It was surprisingly fast, to be honest. For a six year old she sure can decorate some nails. It looks like a professional did it. The pattern was light blue with a white snowflake on them. I just stared at my nails for a second, then started blowing on them to help them dry faster.
Ayane smiled up at me. “Do you like it?”
I smiled at her. “Of course I do. They look great.”
She beamed at me and went to put her things away. There was a knock on the front door, so I stood up and answered it. Kaori was standing there. She was short and she looked like a kawaii anime girl, but realistic.
“Hey, Akimoto! Uh, you look a little different. Are you okay?”
Dammit, she noticed.
I smiled at her. “Of course. What makes you say that I look different?”
Kaori stared at me for a moment, then shrugged. “You just looked a little pale and i could have sworn that you had brown eyes and not blue eyes….”
I bit the inside of my cheek, then smiled again. “No, you must have been mistaken, Kaori.”
Man, I hated lying to my best friend, but I had to protect myself.
I let Kaori into the living room. She and I sat on the couch and started playing Smash Bros. Kaori seemed stunned, as did I. I usually suck at this game. She always used to beat me. Now, she can’t even get a hit in on my character.
“When did you get so good at this?” Kaori asked skeptically.
I just shrugged once and continued playing the game with her.
“DAMMIT,” she yelled when I knocked her character off the stage again for the millionth time in a row.
I laughed a little, worried that she might be taking the game a little too seriously. I looked at her when I won the game again.
“Maybe we should take a break from the games for a bit.”
Kaori nodded once and got up. “I’m going to go raid your fridge.”
We both laughed at that, and went to the kitchen. I waited on her to eat whatever she wanted. Then after that, we went outside to the garden to relax. She was telling me about her most recent crush.
“Yeah, I met Takemi Kensuke a few days ago.”
I laughed. Man, Kaori is so...I don’t know how to say it. But it’s adorable.
“Kensuke? Kensuke used to be so obnoxious. I haven’t talked to him in a while.”
Kaori shrugged. I heard a rustle in the flower bush in front of us. We both glanced at it cautiously. I stood up and crossed over to it slowly. Kaori cautioned me, but I continued to sneak over to the bush anyway. I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the bush. There was a face. I couldn’t tell what animal it was, since it was so far back and hidden in the shadows. I smiled at the creature and made an attempt to reach for it. The creature scooted back and bared its teeth. I pulled my hand back and waited patiently.
“Hey, I won’t hurt you,” I murmured to it.
“Akimoto, please be careful.”
“Come here little fella,” I whispered.
The creature just stared at me, then glanced over my shoulder. I glanced toward the area where the creature was looking, and spotted Kaori staring at me in curiosity. I turned back to the creature, and found it gone. I just sat there on the ground for a minute, staring at where the creature was sitting. There was something about it that seemed...human-like. Almost as if it were a human itself.
I got up and turned to Kaori. Kaori just watched me, wonder filling her eyes.
“What was it,” she asked.
“I didn’t get to see it. It was too far back.”
“Oh. well, maybe you’ll get to see it again!”
I shrugged. “Maybe so.”
Something felt off in myself at that minute. I felt warmer than usual. I turned to Kaori and she was just looking at the flowers. She had a small smile and she picked a rose off the bush, surprisingly without getting a thorn stuck in her hand or fingers. She turned back to me and pulled the petals off one-by-one. I watched her silently. When she finished with it, the dropped the flower, then threw the petals up in the air. I smiled as the petals rained down on us. We walked back into my house. We didn’t realize how late it had gotten, until mother came into the room and snapped at me.
“Where have you been, Akimoto!?”
I shrugged. “Me and Kaori were out in the garden for a while.”
Mother frowned, then seemed to realize that Kaori was with me. She smiled at Kaori lightly, then turned back to me with a serious expression.
“You girls really shouldn’t be outside at this time of night. There have been murders around here recently that happened about this time.”
I frowned. I doubt that what she says is true. It may be a way just to keep me from going outside to meet people.
Kaori nodded. “Yes, Mrs. Asuka.”
Mother smiled at Kaori. “You’re such a sweet girl, Kaori. Why can’t you be more like Ms. Aramaki, Aki?”
I rolled my eyes. She thinks I’m not like Kaori, but she barely even knows me. All she knows is that I’m defiant, but that’s only because she beats me a lot. Well, she hasn’t for the past few days surprisingly.
With that, Kaori set off for her own home. I watched her leave silently, then when she disappeared I went straight to my room and locked the door behind me. I layed on my bed and stared up at the ceiling, debating on everything that I saw today. What was that thing I saw in the garden earlier?
I woke up to a scratching sound. I looked around, disorientated. I had to wipe my eyes and yawn, then it sounded again. I looked at the window, since that’s where it seemed to come from. I got up and looked out the window. There was a creature there. I had a red face and a fluffy tail, pointed ears, and it looked sleek. I opened the window slowly and reached down to rub its head. I yanked my hand back when it started standing up on its two hind legs. Then, in place of the red fox, was a boy. He looked about seventeen. What made me stare at him the most were the red fox ears and the three tails he had. He climbed into my room through the window without permission.
I backed up for him, still too stunned to talk or say anything. This guy was just like me. He could transform into a fox and back, he had the ears and the tail. Well, tails really. Could I be what I’m thinking…?
“Who are you and what are you doing here?” I demanded in a whisper.
The boy smiled down at me and took my hand. “Akimoto, I am what you are. I am Kusakari Masahide.”
How did he know me…?
“What are you,” I asked.
He chuckled. “I’m surprised that it isn’t that obvious to you yet, Akimoto.”
I frowned. Is he implying that I’m dull?
“I am a Kitsune, and I have made you into one as well. I erased your memory when you tried to run away from home to your friend’s. I brought you back here to your mother. Now, I am here to take you.”