I'm making some much needed revisions to the entirety of this story. I wrote it in middle school – it's about time to get a revamp. Currently under construction until noted otherwise.

Oh Lord.

"Witchcraft and Voodoo..."

A gentle breeze sifted through the air, leaves the color of gold scattering about like enchanted dust. She should have known before hand that her best "friend" (she'd have to rethink the status later) would lead her to a place so off tangent. And why did Kagome even listen to her in the first place?

"What was Yuka thinking?" she said aloud while stifling a sigh, raven hair fluttering about in the wind. "There's no way she's going to get a boyfriend by using a love potion." Perhaps she should have payed better attention to what Yuka had requested of her.

"That's what you get for spacing out like that," Kagome said to herself, crumpling up the tiny slip of paper that read "Love Potion: Shintama St. (Witchcraft and Voodoo)" between her nimble fingers. The paper was laced with a crudely drawn map and dozens of little arrows and illegible scribbles pointing to random drawings and even more illegible words. Kagome let out an agitated sigh, resting her gaze upon the foreboding store once again.

It was a very dreary place. It looked as if the tiny shop had come straight out from an old movie. A gray, wooden sign hung loosely above the Gothic-like doorway, threatening to fall at any given moment. Kagome's brown eyes gazed upon the windows, quickly scanning the odd trinkets that lay encased in small glass boxes.

"Might as well go in now that I'm already here," she mumbled, slouching her shoulders in grief. "But I am so not gonna' buy a love potion. People would say things."

Kagome pushed open the oak-wood door, an aging squeak resounding from the pressure. A musty scent hit her lightly and was soon drowned out by an odd combination of familiar spices. The door closed shut behind her, locking itself in place as Kagome trotted slowly across the wooden floorboards. Her fingers fiddled deftly with the straps of her yellow backpack, her gaze trailing across the expanse of the dimly-lit shop. It was fairly dark, as if an ebony blanket had been draped around the entire store, sealing it into a state of ethereal darkness.

'Creepy,' she thought, giving in to a brief shudder of goosebumps. Her eyes traveled along the shop walls, widening in curious splendor at the odd objects that greeted her. Ancient amulets, rusted goblets, and precious gems littered the cobweb-laden storage shelves aligned against the shop walls. There were too many trinkets to count, and some were unidentifiable.

Kagome let out a brief tremble as she passed by a small round trinket hanging from a string attached to a coat hanger. As she drew closer, a face began to take shape upon the object's odd surface.

"Oh god," she said quietly, a tremble of panic edging at her voice. 'How in the world could you possibly own a decapitated head!' Mumbling to herself, her feet absentmindedly took a route of their own, landing her in front of an old wooden writing desk. The desk was literally caked with dust, as if it had been long forgotten. The table was bare though; nothing had been adorned upon its rackety self. Kagome's hand stretched forth, making its way towards the small drawer nestled within the front of the desk. Fingers fitting around the small brass knob, she gently slid it open. Her eyes squinted in curiosity as she stared down at a black outline of a rectangular box.

Kagome bit her lip, considering whether it was worth the time to actually take the box out. But alas! Curiosity had truly gotten the best of her, and before she knew it, she had taken the wooden box out from within the drawer and placed it gently upon the dusty desk table. The structure of the box was truly incredible, with intricate patterns of gold and silver emblazoned upon the edges of its polished wooden panels. There was not a speck of dust to be found, and the bright sheen of the box's polish shone against the faint back-light of the shop.

"May I help you?" a voice interrupted from out of no where. Kagome literally jumped out of her skin and was so shaken up by the unexpected disturbance that she nearly knocked the box from atop the desk table. She slowly turned around, eyes meeting the intensified gaze of fiery red eyes.

'Wait, red? Red eyes?!' she screamed within her mind. A slender man stood in front of her, long ebony hair trailing down his back like a cascading waterfall. A light smirk graced itself upon the sharp features of his pale face, his red eyes dancing with tamed amusement. Kagome blinked her eyes. She had never seen anyone look so beautiful before! Handsome didn't even describe him! He was beyond handsome, beyond beautiful for that matter! His pale skin glowed with a white, shimmery sheen as it clashed against the sunken darkness that seemed to engulf her. A ghost, that was what she would call him, a ghostly ethereal beauty.

"Forgive me for startling you," his languid voice smoothed out. "It's not every day that I'm graced with company." Kagome didn't answer him, she couldn't. So many thoughts where whizzing across her mind that she couldn't quite comprehend what he was saying to her.

"However, I 'm very grateful that I've been blessed with a customer, and a beautiful one at that!" he continued, his fingers starting to fiddle with the lace trimming that adorned his black sleeve cuffs. Kagome immediately snapped out of her reverie.

'What did he say? I heard "beautiful"... how embarrassing,' she told herself.

"Back to my earlier question, could I help you with anything?" he asked, his voice once more purring with clouded suspicion. Kagome returned her gaze to the box, then back at him.

"The box, I was..." she started, but it seemed that she couldn't form anything beyond that. The beautiful stranger widened his scarlet eyes as his gaze too settled upon the wooden box.

"Oh, that old thing!" he said aloud, placing a hand on his side. "It really isn't worth anything, more of a nuisance really. Although, if you were interested...I suppose I could lend it to you." She watched as his thin lips flapped in what appeared to be muted speech, but her senses were not functioning properly enough to add sound.

"Oh, no! I don't want it or anything, I was just looking," she finally managed to say through her failing vocabulary. She watched as his scarlet eyes squinted in a brief flash of chaos, before they returned to their place of muted fire.

"That will not do," he said as he shook his head gently, his ink-like hair lacing over his shoulders. A slender ringed finger rested neatly below his chin. "I don't want it any longer, you may have it."

A startled "meep" made it's way out of the stunned teen. Kagome shook her head in argument, placing her hands up in front of her.

"No, seriously! I don't want it!" she protested." Thank you though." The stranger's eyes narrowed at that, his scarlet gaze slimming down into a piercing stare. His gaze hammered at her, although his elegant face still withstood its amused expression.

"You shouldn't refuse offers, especially when they're given away freely," he said quietly making his way towards her. Kagome instinctively edged back, backing herself into the desk table. He stopped, his eyebrow quirking up.

"Don't be afraid," he said, his arm snaking around behind her waist. Kagome's eyes widened, the blush on her face turning a deep crimson.

"Here," he chided, withdrawing the rectangular box from behind her. "You shouldn't have any trouble carrying it around, fortunately for you it's not that big." His head quirked to the side as a wide smile danced upon his face. He began to tap his black fingernails upon the polished surface of the box, the lace of his cuffs rustling from the movement. He peered up through the strands of his black hair covering his face, red eyes bursting with color.

Kagome merely stared at him, mouth agape. Was this guy crazy or what? The stranger outstretched both his hands, the box cradled within his grasp. The fiery sparks ignited from his orbs once more, as if he were a bloodied searchlight scanning for prey through the darkness. Kagome merely nodded, too transfixed into a blatant stupor to process anything correctly. In turn, she placed her hands around the box and lifted it from his hold, bringing it forth to her chest as if she were carrying a child. She stared down at it, not exactly sure what to do. Was she just supposed to up and leave? Would it make her look as if she were stealing?

A faint chuckle broke through the silence. The stranger resumed his straight posture and crossed his arms over the black belt buckles that drew in his shirt along the front. And as if nothing had ever happened, he suddenly piped up,

"Oh my, look at the time. It's getting late and I'm afraid I'll be closing soon."

And with that he placed his hands at her backpack and scuffled her to the door, where he promptly pushed her out.

"Oh, and my name is... Rii, by the way. In case you have some sort of trouble with your gift (hopefully there isn't), then you can come by and see me and I'll surely help you out. Au revoir!"

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"What in the world am I gonna' do with this thing?"

Kagome eyed the lengthy wooden box in her hands, keeping it at a distance as if it were an untamed animal.

"That was really weird" she muttered, taking in a deep breath. "In fact, that guy Rii was weird too, I mean, his clothes were weird. Looked as if he came straight out of the Victorian Era." She had to admit, she was pretty lucky to obtain such an odd gift -- make that a free odd gift. She hadn't bought the love potion, which was originally her true intent on going, but she guessed that she could just tell Yuka tomorrow that they didn't carry the stuff. Yuka was incredibly gullible at times, actually, all of her friends were pretty gullible.

'Man, what's in here? A gun?' she questioned. The box was rather long, so her assumption could have been correct. However, the box wasn't at all that heavy in weight. So then, it couldn't be a gun, could it? Kagome let out a brief shudder and quickened her pace. She wouldn't want to be caught carrying an odd box around, people would get suspicious. And if there was a gun inside, then it'd just make the situation even worse.

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"What are you hiding?"

Kagome crossed her legs upon her bedspread, locking her hands in place under her chin. She eyed the box that she had been so "graciously" given, staring at it with an ease of caution as if it were about to pounce. She had placed the box on the opposite end of her bed, leaving it to sit there on her blankets like a dull rock.

"Now, how do you open it?" she wondered aloud. She withdrew from her sitting stance, crawling onto her hands and knees. She finally sat down in front the box, searching it intently with her eyes.

"So, it's locked," she whispered as her gaze fell upon a small stub of a lock hanging securely in the front. It was a tiny lock, the kind of lock used to seal small jewelry boxes. "Great, that maniac didn't even give me a key." Kagome got up from the bed and slipped on her purple slippers, trotting towards her desk. She opened the first drawer near the top and snaked her hand inside, pulling out a small, yet lengthy, sharp object. She took the pocketknife back to her bed, once again sitting neatly in front of the box.

"Good thing Sota showed me how to pick locks," she muttered, grabbing the handle of the knife and turning it sideways so that the pointy tip could fit perfectly inside the lock opening. She gently slid the blade inside, tweaking it about to and fro until a small click sounded. The lock popped open, Kagome discarding the knife quickly. She unhinged the lock and placed it beside the knife as she once again returned her gaze back upon the box. Should she really open it? Whatever was inside had to be something of great value, but then, why had Rii even given it to her in the first place, for free no less?!

'He did seem to be a bit eager to get rid of it,' she thought. 'My instincts are telling me that I shouldn't open it, but the horror-movie side of me is telling me otherwise.' And with that, Kagome placed her fingers upon the top of the box and gently pulled the lid up. Once she fully opened it, she let out a chaste gasp.

"Oh...my...Lord."