Disclaimer: let's think about this, shall we? The name of this site is fanFICTION.net. Therefore, this is FICTION, written by a FAN, not the author. Cappeesh? (== oh, the joys of phonetic spelling...that's how understand in Italian is pronounced at least.... )

Japanese Words

okaa~mother

ojii~grandfather

onii~brother

neko~cat

onegai~please

manga-ka~manga author&illustrator

wai~exclamation of happiness; wonderful!

Shikon no Tama~Jewel of Four Souls (if you don't know this one, leave...)

gomen nasai~ sorry, is polite

miko~ Japanese priestess

Yuurin~deep forest

fuka~ school girl sailor outfit thing

owari~end

-sama~suffix, basically Lord or Lady, depending on the gender

Chapter 1

Through Time and Space

o)(o

Is this the real life?

Is this just phantasy?

Caught in a landslide,

no escape from reality.

~Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody

o)(o

It was in the year 1997. I lived in Tokyo, Japan. Really, I never expected anything to happen. It was just a normal day for me. Well, sure it was my birthday, and I know that it isn't everyday a gal turns fifteen, but-really! I never expected what was to happen next.

I want to make that part clear, that I was totally oblivious to what would happen on _That Day_. I've been amiably accused by some family and friends of having a premonition; I didn't. Really, I rather wish I had. However, I had no idea what was going to happen. None. And, I suppose, upon reflection, perhaps it's better that I didn't; If I had known, I might not have been so clumsy that day.

Still, what would have happened is something silly to argue about, the point is that something _did_ happen.

I just read over what I wrote, and I'm afraid what I have written isn't very clear. I didn't want to write this in the first place, but okaa-san insisted. She claims that it would be good for me. 'Sides, she has assured herself that "any of your children would love to have it."

I'm only 16; It's not like I plan on having children soon. Still, there isn't any arguing with her. So, here I am.

I suppose I better introduce myself, before I confuse you even more.

My name is Kagome Higurashi. However, just plain Kagome is fine. I am 16 years old, and, as previously mentioned, I live in Tokyo, Japan.

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

"The 'Shikon no Tama'...?"

"Yes. So long as one has this, one's family will know safety and prosperity."

"And people actually pay money for these marbles?"

"Hear its' legend, Kagome..."

The girl who was being spoken too, however, was not paying attention.

Kagome had long ago reasoned that, in the end, it was futile to even put up a pretense of listening to her ojii-san's legends. Whether or not she listened, he would tell them. It wasn't that her ojii-san wasn't a skilled raconteur; oh no, rather the contrary. Her ojii-san was a superlative story teller. He could spin yarns like no other. However, once one had listened to numerous legends, one couldn't help but be a bit, well, bored. They were simply too repetitive. Besides, there were to many of them, and Kagome could never remember them correctly.

So, as her ojii-san narrated, she day-dreamed.

Today would be her 15th birthday! She could hardly wait to see her friends! After all, one can't help but be curious of what one's presents will be. With a satisfied sigh, she thought of her plans for the day.

Soon, she would go to school. There, she would greet her friends, and after school, they were planning to have a tiny b-day bash in celebration. Not a big thing, just a few friends; Hojo, Rumiko, Naoko, and a few others. Then, she would go home, and she, accompanied by her family, would go to one of the nicest restaurants in town in celebration. She could hardly wait.

=D

After receiving her gifts, which contained several manga by the hot knew manga-ka, Takahashi, as well as a freakish withered hand from her ojii-san, Kagome went home. She put her school supplies away, and was just about to start on Ranma ½, when her brother called.

"Kagome! Come quick! It's Buyo!"

"Souta, what happened?! You know you aren't to play near the mini-shrine. It's dangerous!"

"Yeah, I know, but Buyo! We were outside, playin', and he, he, he ran to the mini-shrine! I can't find him anywhere! Kagome-ya gotta help him!"

Soothing her brother, Kagome approached the shrine. Eyeing it warily, she stepped inside.

"Here Buyo, good neko! Come here neko, onegai neko?" She called, attempting to coax the cat into coming.

That was when she finally found him.

Buyo ran past her leg, startling her. While trying to regain her balance, she clumsily attempted to find something to anchor herself onto, but found nothing.

In this way, Kagome Higurashi, 15 years of age, at 4:36 pm and 12 seconds, fell into the well.

Then she screamed.

_~_~_~_~_~_~_

---------------------

I'll never be able to fully describe what happened next. One moment I was in the mini-shrine, the next I was falling. No matter how many times I journey through the well, I always feel as I did that first time.

Imagine this: it's pitch black, and your falling. You get this ominous feeling-like in those falling dreams, ya know? Suddenly, it's not so dark anymore. Well, actually, it's still pitch black, but now there are silver symbols flashing in the air. A zigg-zagging line, a circle. An eye shape. They're always different. Then, just as suddenly as they appeared, they vanish.

Then everything comes to a halt.

_~_~_~_~_~_~_

--------------------

Kagome fumbled to her feet, shakily attempting to stand. Her legs felt odd, like they had turned to some type of mush. They felt, in fact, suspiciously similar to whatever the cafeteria had been serving last Wednesday...

Shaking the thought out of her head, the girl tried to get her bearings. First things first; I better have Souta to get me out of here. I'll worry about what the heck just happened later.

"Souta! Get me a ladder! Come on-this isn't funny! SOUTA! GET DOWN HERE!"

Mumbling about lazy, obnoxious, cowardly brothers, Kagome began searching the well walls for foot- and hand-holes. Soon, she grudgingly began her almost futile attempt to climb out.

Half and hour later, and Kagome Higurashi was out of the well. Proudly, she swung her leg over the top of the well.

"Shit."

'WHERE THE HELL IS THE MINI-SHRINE?!' thought one very befuddled Kagome.

"Whatever happened to my good day!" she spoke woefully.

Grumbling, she set out to explore the area.

When one sinks into a bad mood, it is normally an arduous task to climb out of it. Kagome was no exception to this rule, and it took her an hour to rise out of the murky waters of annoyance. Still, once she did, she couldn't help but feel awe for her surroundings. She was in a lush, green forest. It was light, but dark, moist but dry, warm but cool, shady and sunny; It brimmed with inconsistencies. In short, it was heaven.

Kagome had found a small dirt path right away, and had been walking steadily on it for the past hour or so. Beginning to tire, she was understandably much relieved when coming upon a village.

"Wai!!! Civilization!! I can call okaa-san, ojii-san, and onii-san! I hope they aren't to worried...being grounded on my birthday would officially suck..."

And so, happily contemplating her groundation, Kagome headed towards the village.

^_~

Looking back, I can candidly say that I should've known that things wouldn't be that simple. They never are; That day was not the exception. In fact, from that day forward, I have only known three days that _were_ exceptions...



I suppose it was my subconscious working, hoping whimsically that everything would be alright, well, except for some trivial punishment.

After all, we take comfort from what we know and fear what we don't-one of mankind's greatest faults.

O_o

And so, it came to be that Kagome reached the village. Strange...it was as if she had stepped into Sengoku Japan....probably just some tourist gimmick, she thought, abruptly dismissing the thought. Thus, without any further ado, she entered the village.

Stepping into the village, Kagome was the unhappy recipient of many, many questioning looks.

"Such an outlandish garb that one 'as! Aye-no respect, I assure you, crazy for'ners!"

Blushingly lightly upon catching several...unflattering comments from the crowd, Kagome's sense of uneasiness began to heighten. She wasn't the one dressed gaudily-it was them!...right?

Hesitantly, she continued, trying to avoid any confrontation. Slipping into the shadows, she almost succeeded. 'Of course, I _would_ bump into someone,' she thought.

"Gomen nasai! I-I wasn't paying attention!" she said, prattling in a rather unbecoming fashion.

Chuckling, her victim responded heartily. "It's alright deary, can't see much in this dark anyway! Don't worry your head about it! Are you a stranger-I know every voice in this village, and I doubt your one of us!"

"Your right-I'm not a native. You see, uh, I'm a foreigner, and I come from a place a long way away-I don't really know the local...customs..." said Kagome, prudently deciding not to tell the truth. It couldn't hurt, she reasoned. Besides, it _was a truism; she obviously wasn't in Tokyo anymore, and she certainly was _not_ aware of local tradition.

"Oh! You poor dear! You don't know where anything is at all, do you! There, there now-it's all right...step into the light, dearie, I'll take you to the village miko, she'll know what to do with you-my! You certainly aren't from around here! Never before have I seen such gaudy clothing! Really...I don't mean to be so blunt-such a shockin' outfit! Aye- miko Kaede-san will know what to do with you; she's not a native either, dearie,..."

Kagome wisely chose to tune out the kind creature's babbling for the sake of her ears'. It was well meant, but Kagome rapidly came to the conclusion that she would prefer to contemplate her current situation than listen to well meaning chit chat.

Soon, they arrived at the new miko's hut. She drew in a deep breath as the spicy scent of incense filled the air. Yes-it was just like a medieval fairy tale...

"Kaede-sama! I hate to bother you like this, but I came across this poor child-she's a for'ner-and the dear girl is utterly lost. I was hoping that you could, well, take care of her for a bit..."

Stepping out into the light, Kaede gasped.

Kagome's first impression of the miko, in those few seconds, was of a person of mystery. Though the miko seemed to be the type who was naturally benevolent to all living creatures, her eyes were a steely gray, stern but gentle. Everything about her-from her slightly slumped stature to her deep, deep wrinkles-spoke of old knowledge. Of wisdom, charity, and a certain toughness that one achieves from living a brutal life to the fullest. In those first few instant, Kaede-sama received Kagome's eternal respect.

Whatever she was expecting, Kagome was not what Kaede had thought she would be.

"Kikyo! It's you-"

The miko was obviously not accustomed to being astonished so, causing Kagome to quickly interrupt and introduce herself.

"I'm afraid you must be mistaken-my name is Kagome. Not Kikyo."

Quickly, the miko hid her confusion. Dismissing Kagome's new friend with a curt nod, Kaede mumbled a quick apology for the mistake. She led Kagome inside, but the girl could not help but notice the surreptitious, but suspicious, glances she was getting. Odd...

Aggravated with her unusual indecision, Kaede gestured for Kagome to sit. Pausing a moment, she added a log of cedar to the fire before sitting across Kagome and closing her eyes.

"Child, you claim to be a foreigner-some stranger from a distant land. Is this true?"

Startled by the woman's sudden speech, Kagome took a second to respond, mentally reiterating all the miko had said.

"Yes-yes, it's true. I'm not from around here."

"And you have never heard the name Kikyo before?"

"Wha-other than just now? No, I haven't. Who-who is she?"

Satisfied with the girl's answer, Kaede slowly opened her eyes, stopping her concentration on the spell she had cast. It had served its purpose, informing her that what the girl had said was partially true, but mainly that the child herself was trustworthy. Nodding to herself, she stood and offered her some tea. As Kagome politely refused with a shake of her head, Kaede stirred her own tea, thinking.

Finally, she answered Kagome's question.

"Kikyo is my younger sister. And you, my child, you could pass for her. Except for your eyes-Kikyo's are never so full of life."

Puzzled by the women's response, sensing some cryptic yet urgent message underneath it, Kagome decided that it would be futile to ask more about Kikyo. Kaede wold tell her in her time, and not a second sooner.

"I hate to sound ignorant, but where am I?"

"You do not know? Truly, you take the maxim 'ignorance is bliss' too far in your travels. You are in the village of Yuurin. May you enjoy your stay, though you are surrounded by fools."

Disguising an utterance of surprise at the last comment, Kagome coughed. Kaede chuckled.

"Yes, 'tis true. You heard correctly. The people in this village are harmless, but they are fools. I have begun to think that all of the land is. Everywhere I go, 'tis ever thus, I am ringed by fools," she stated affectionately.

||\\||\\||\\||

And so, the day passed. Kaede demonstrated her taciturn qualities while occasionally filling Kagome in on the village. One of the first things Kaede did, however, was offer Kagome some new robes.

"You don't want some men to get the wrong impression, child," she had said firmly, causing Kagome to blush, remembering the skimpiness of her outfit in comparison to the other villagers outfit. She readily accepted them, as well as a small satchel in which she her fuka in.

Kagome decided that she was not in her time. That much was obvious. As unrealistic as it seemed, she was in the past. Though saddened by her loss of a way to return home, her naturally optimistic nature soon returned. The very next day, she asked Kaede, if she could please go out an explore the village? The miko consented, and gave her some food in case she was hungry. However, Kaede warned her to return by 3. Nodding her agreement, it was with a light heart that Kagome stepped out of the hut.

[][][][]

I don't think that I really knew what was going on. No that's not right; I _knew_ what was happening, I was aware of the situation, I simply could not _comprehend_ it. It was too fantastic; much easier to simply act as if I were a fairy tale, and explore the village like any heroine would. I didn't allow myself to brood on the troubles of getting home after that first day. I simply plowed ahead, determined to enjoy myself while there. It wasn't until later that day, when I saw _it_ that I wanted to shut my eyes and vanish...

[][][][]

It was around noon when Kagome came across a large crowd, huddled in the center of the town. Motivated by her natural inquisitiveness, she pushed through the throng, eager to see what captivated their attention so.

That's when she gasped.

OWARI of Chapter 1

A/N: Hope you guys like the first chapter! It took me a while to write, but it's 8 pages of solid chapter, a personal record breaker. Oh, and points to anyone who can figure out Kaede's quote from the manga. Hint: it's from the first book.

YES, I know that Kaede is the younger sister, and Kikyo the eldest, but for the storyline to work correctly I need Kaede to be the eldest. It's either that or have Kaede be a child, and I would prefer to have her as an adult an play a more relevant role in the ficcie. If any one would like to beta, please contact me in their review. I think that's all for now...R&R though.

Ja!

Sakura Hikaru