House of the Lamb

Summary: A pale hand extends to offer her a pomegranate, picked freshly from the dead. There is a forest which breeds evil and something dark and morbidly twisted has sunk its claws into something not from the woods Sasori/Hinata

Chapter One

I

'Twas brillig and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogroves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

The basket full of food and a bottle of wine (more like three, her grandmother was an old crone with a taste of the finer liquors) was held close to her side while the girl in dark pants and a modest shirt with a hooded parka covering her skirted away from the upcoming shadows. Of course the old woman would live so far away so that when she complained for food the grandchildren sent into this horrid forest would just die…truly, the old woman held a grudge against the Hyuuga Clan.

Hinata, while a very tolerant girl had her limits and her naggy, drunk and witch of a grandmother tested her patients that rivaled a saint's. It didn't help that when she was born this witch (literally) of a grandmother had decided to bless her first female grandchild with…the Third Gift. Yes, the horrendously despised Third Gift- a witch's trick that allowed the inheritors to see beyond the beyond…which at age four Hinata discovered could also be people's lies, the things that dwell in the dark with cloaks and everything abnormal of the 'normality' of the 'natural' world.

Hinata, while not terrified of the unknown, also didn't want to be a part of whatever the unknown was. The unknown was just as it was, unknown and she didn't know if something were to gobble her up like a sweet or simply rid her with an irritated flick of razor claws. Her opal eyes shifted to the shadows that reached out with dark fingers and threatened to engulf her like a hungry childhood monster with big teeth. The basket was held much more tightly to her. Her grandmother's house wasn't far now, but once it turned dark…the forest would turn against her, she knew.

Something cursed about the moon, the sweet moon turned the forest into a trickster at night that captured people and killed or devoured them. The sun was already setting and the warm orange glow was fading, the darkness grinned and took a swipe at her feet. She quickly dove to the left and ran quickly, her run breaking into a sprint while the darkness laughed behind her and she could hear the restless spirits become her audience. Applause broke throughout the silent woods.

Her opal eyes gave her a way to see the spirits lounging on tree limbs, some even changing into light spectra to nip at her ankles while the darkness swiped out with shadowed claws that would take her away. The spirits of the dead laughed about her, some of their mouths looking like stitches from a scarecrow, gaped as they pointed and laughed. Hinata tried to will it away but they laughed all the same and the sun was nearly gone-a shadow finger ran along her ankle then up to her calf before she shook it off.

Her grandmother's cottage was in her line of sight now, however the lamps that showed she was currently occupying the house…had been extinguished. The girl skid to a stop while turning to look behind her, grinning faces and claws that beckoned her closer welcomed her. Hinata didn't hide the shiver while she glued her back to a pole, shrinking against it as though to melt into it. Her breathing was ragged-without her grandmother, the door would be locked and the windows-well…her grandmother always took precautions and left something there to guard her house.

Whimpering and trying to avoid the slowly enclosing darkness, with what she knew to be her last conscious breath-she cursed her grandmother. Her eyes slid closed and she braced herself for tormenting pain and the feeling of teeth on her skin…to feel breath ghost over her face. Her eyes snapped open to find nothing before her. The shadows had faded and something tickled her arm. She turned quickly to the side to catch whatever it was that was bothering her only to see nothing once more. A cold, corpse like hand closed over her pale and exposed throat, squeezing ever sweetly.

"What is a little lambling doing so far from her Shepard?" lips touched the shell of the young woman's ear and words tolled in her mind like a deathly bell. Her body froze and the hand neither tightened nor relinquished its grasp. The voice was surprisingly sweet, like intoxicating syrup or an irresistible honey…and the malicious meaning behind the sweetened words did nothing to ease her fear. A venomous honey spun by cobra's tongue. "Surely you'd be missed…"

"Beware the Jabberwock my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

Hinata shivered and willed herself to turn to look at her enemy. Rusty colored eyes gazed back with dark mirth that only a devil had. Her face was almost intimately close to his and she could find no need to blush as her survival began to come into the picture. The man's face was young, not as young as she but nowhere near old nor even middle aged as of yet, and his short, messy red hair that looked like baked red clay gave him a boyish charm. A smile that would've further enhanced his charming guise was completely turned grotesque and almost hideous with the blank doll like eyes as its companion.

Breath went over her face and she knew, knew that he was one of them. The forest's cursed children. Giving power, it craved in return twisted children to be set upon the world soon. An evil forest which only beings like her grandmother were suited to. Here, before the girl known as Hinata was the devil's left hand; a demon. Another hand came up, flawlessly beautiful, it traced her cheek almost tenderly and the girl's grasp on the basket tightened by a fraction.

"Frightened, your limbs shake and you look so scared," it sounded like a breathy laugh made of words. "Truly, is it stupidity that drove you here? Are you now a resident witch?" his forehead pressed against hers and Hinata felt the need to shirk back but didn't dare show the creature before her any reaction. "Running blindly into a wolf's cove is never a favored plan, especially for a skittish little doe," his rust eyes dug into her opal ones like poisoned claws.

"P-p-p-please…" had it been more commanding, he would have cut her head off for being a fool, had she been louder, then he just would have sliced out her tongue before sending her on her merry way. The quiet, demure way of the girl was quite amusing as she tried her hardest not to shrink away from him though he knew she knew what he was.

His eyelashes touched hers and she wondered if he was coming closer so he could feed off the fear that hooded her eyes. She couldn't breathe without inhaling the scent of the…creature so she tried to inhale shallowly. A lock of hair fell along her cheek and nearly simultaneously, a hand rose to brush it away. "Should you die…the animals will eat you," Hinata shivered at the still present and painted on smile of the cold man before her, "Should I let you live," his smile cracked a little wider while his eyes were still so blank. "Then you would be in debt, would you not?" a teasing question that made the girl shiver.

The hand around her throat tightened and she knew by the unspoken threat it was meant to invoke words from her, "I-I-I s-s-suppose," her stuttering wasn't helping.

His lips were nearly upon hers, imposing as such and not meant to be romantic but rather threatening and to frighten. He spoke and his tissue nearly touched her own, "Hypothetically, if I were to let you go and I was in turn owed a favor…something as much as your life would have to be returned," Hinata's eyes narrowed on his own by a mere slip. "I will let you live…however your life is mine and should you choose tonight to venture out of these woods," he blinked and his eyelashes tickled her own, "I will make all of your nightmares plus a thousand more come to life."

Hinata felt the cold hand on her throat a little more now, not a vague life threatening object but rather a playful cat's paw. She, the mouse squirmed beneath said paw as the cat grinned discreetly and offered up an exit to death. Life was offered upon a silver platter to the mouse as the cat dangled a guillotine's blade above the timid creature with nothing more than a deceptive smile and rust colored eyes.

The girl's eyes widened in sudden understanding of what this thing wanted from her-be it man or demon she didn't care-and her loyalty to her Clan which hated and despised her anyway due to complete weakness of not fulfilling her duty to Konohagakure as a soldier held her back. A small, small part wondered what else he could possibly want, though. White met red and the battlegrounds were different than what she'd been taught at the Academy she passed, just not the semi exams. While her own frightened eyes met his, animosity didn't seem to spark.

Curiosity churned like soured milk and fear lingered spite the retracting hand that had held her throat captive. A queer smile was still ever present and it was but a mask.

"W-what d-d-do you want?" a breath hissed out in nervous words gave her position away and she cursed herself for being an open book. He blinked once more and his eyelashes ran through hers. The red irises were ringed and half lidded contemplation unnerved her more than anything. Iridescent eyes glowed in the dark like a nocturnal beast while almost sleepily regarding her as a lizard would.

"A new companion," mocking words spoken caused the girl's small ire to rise and she herself was open and vulnerable to this stranger she knew nothing of, other than the fact that he was borne of this forest which held other inhabitants. "You live and stay-never come to this part of the woods lest your grandmother discover you've made a deal with a devil and let her exterminate you. Leave the forest I will become your nightmare and be observed as a thing of the forest, a weak pliable girl seduced by the woods." A quirk of the deal, never leave the forest and be out of the watchful eyes of her grandmother.

Her eyes sought out the rust colored and she felt heat rise up from her neck-now noting their close proximity. His breath fanned over her chapped lips and she resisted the urge to lick her lips to water the dehydrated tissue since he was close enough that her tongue would touch him as well.

The twitch of his lips formed into a slow and gentle yet all the same mocking smirk when the answer to what her preferred poison was reached his ears. Doomed and killer instinct waned as she herself raised the imaginary sword to slice her heart in half. Survival, accursed, blessed instinct strayed her thoughts to return to her Clan and beg forgiveness since she gave into the sin. To return and perhaps go mad since that is what his veiled threat was-then executed by her Clan which would jump to the full hearted conclusion that the forest got to her was unacceptable.

The two figures who would've appeared as an intimate couple were swallowed by the darkness and nothing more was left save for a basket. Spirits perched on the trees cackled but all were silenced by the booming howl of another inhabitant of the forest, which then died down to a screeching bird's call not unlike that of a hawk.

The trees swished in the wind and murmurs of a brook accompanied the moon which smiled gently down with a quarter of its greatness.

-

…Don't kill me. …At least not yet…confusing as it is, it'll later be dissected and explained, this is more like the confusing introduction meant to draw you in not to run you off!! My apologies if you're eyes burned out or if you're brain popped due to the crappiness of this start. Review if ya liked it since more reviews encourage any author. Or ya wanna yell at me…can't say as to blame you on that one. -.-;

Poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll