Sitting up with a jolt, a scream already forcing its way upwards towards her mouth, she clamped her jaw tightly to keep from crying into the semidarkness. Shaking fervently, sweat dripped profusely from her face, eyes wide and horror stricken.
Taking shaky gasps, Rin leaned back against the side of the hut. The dreams seemed to be getting worse every night. Or at least that's how it seemed to her; they remained the same grotesque images of torn bodies and anguished cries, but each time they entered her mind, the more of an impact they had. She began to wonder if this was how she'd live for the rest of her life: alone and haunted by their deaths. Was she being punished because she had managed to escape the cruel fate that had befallen her home? Because she had abandoned them?
Eyebrows knitting together from pain and regret, she hugged herself tighter, pure fear enveloping her from the darkness outside, and the dark messages in her mind.
Struggling to carry a heavy sack, Rin walked over to the fields. Stopping beside one of the men from last night, she grunted at him to take the bag.
"You're so pathetic," he scowled as he took it from her. "Go plow the fields now."
Nodding, Rin grabbed a hoe and began to turn the dirt and thoughts of building graves came back in an instant. Shaking her head, she stabbed the ground and turned the soil even faster. Panting from exerting herself, Rin wiped her forehead with the back of her hand, and felt like falling back onto the ground.
"Hey, stop lagging behind runt!"
Standing up straighter, the young girl sighed before turning her attention back to the hard soil. Looking up to the blazing sun, she recalled similar golden orbs with cold and calculating look to them. Glancing over her small shoulder to the distant forest, Rin wondered how the being was doing. He didn't really want her help, but she knew better than to leave someone alone and injured, even though he seemed capable of caring for himself.
Deciding to check on him after she was done, she began to work again.
Sneaking into one of the huts that supplied food, Rin grabbed a few pieces of wheat. Looking at it, she felt her stomach grumble but ignored the aches in her belly as she trudged through the brush. Brushing aside her bangs that got into her face, she realized that she looked most unkempt but she knew it wouldn't matter.
Finding him still leaning up against the tree from last night, she walked over to him.
"No thanks," he told her in what seemed a bored tone.
Pausing for a moment, Rin swallowed a lump in her throat and tried again, kneeling beside him and offering the food on the leaf.
"I told you, I don't need anything from you," he said to her again, his eyes fixed on something far away.
Rin's shoulders slumped in defeat, wondering how she could've been so stupid to try again. Sighing, she looked down, remembering that she wasn't even worth his time. As before, she thought sadly that not even strangers would take her help.
Silence seemed to stretch on for her and lost in her thoughts she was surprised to hear him speak to her.
"Where did you get those bruises?"
Lifting her head, the girl looked up at him, shock written over her face.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," he told her.
An incredulous sigh escaped her, different feelings filling her up as this stranger asked her about her welfare. As his eyes met hers, Rin could feel a smile tug at her lips, and she didn't bother to hide it; for the first time in a year, she felt happiness spark in her, and she didn't feel like the child who had faced death, the child who had abandoned those she loved, she felt truly content by his simple question.
"Why are you smiling?" he questioned. "I don't care; I'm just curious,"
Gone was her fear of him as she stood up happily, her eye open and swirling with uncontained mirth. Her grin grew wider as he continued to watch her, and she turned around back to the hut, her heart fluttering in her chest and she felt lighthearted from delight. Hopping delicately on one foot, she made her way to her home, and she noticed that some people had stopped to stare at her sudden cheery attitude.
Ignoring them, she felt the smile grow, his one question playing in her head.
Coming to her hut, she came up to the entrance and made way to the front. Stopping immediately, she saw a person hunched over her bucket of water she fetched for herself earlier. Nervously backing away, she grabbed the pole as he spoke to her.
"Does this old hut belong to you?"
Nodding slowly as her response, she heard several distant cries behind her. Looking around with her one uninjured eye, she kept a wary lookout for what ever caused the villagers to scream. Remaining in her spot, she watched as the man was pushed to the ground and hauled out of the water with wolves surrounding him and tearing at his clothes.
A tall figure stood over him, though she couldn't see what expression was on his face; Rin felt an unknown fear creep its way up to her spine and snake its way into her belly. In the next moment, blood was spilled from an open throat, and her eye widened, her knees buckling beneath her as she recalled another familiar scene.
Cries were being torn into the early sky, and she watched with the same sense of terror as before. Fangs tore open skin, claws scratching at homes and into those people that sought to flee. Another massacre was being taken place, with but her mind was in a different village, swords cutting into the backs of her siblings, flames licking the huts and burning the ground as the cloister smell of blood and burning wood stung her nose and suffocated her lungs.
She was brought back out of it when she heard a low growl. Turning slowly on her heel, Rin found herself facing a snarling beast, beady black eyes darting back and forth all over her body, fangs stained with red as saliva dripped down the side of its muzzle, mixing with crimson drops.
Turning abruptly away, Rin darted into the forest which had suddenly become dark and gloomy. Running as fast as her legs could take her, tears streamed down her face; memories of her brothers smiling at her were pushing their way up to the front of her mind, only to see them break like fragile glass with the looks of bloodlust now in place.
Picking up the pace, she could hear the rapid panting of animals behind her drawing nearer with each step. In the midst of her reminiscing, she caught a glimpse of silver hair, golden orbs impassively looking down at her. Hope seemed to reach her, and she found herself trying to catch the tall figure, only to watch as he turned away, leaving her to her doom.
Tears for not reaching him in time were now falling, and she felt her foot trip over a root, and she fell to the ground. Rin slowly propped herself up, somehow losing the will to live and this showed that she had accepted her fate.
Howls of victory echoed around her, and everything seemed to move in slow motion, muzzles opening to reveal those pointed fangs that reeked with the stench of blood. Rin's eyes opened even wider, and she felt a pair of jaws bite down into her ankle, pain shooting up throughout her entire leg. Another jaw clamped down readily on her arm, a warm sticky substance trickling its way down to her shoulder, tiny rose petals of deepest, darkest scarlet began to form on the sleeve.
Rin guessed that she had somehow lost her hearing, for she couldn't hear anything except for the low distant beat of her heart pounding in her eardrums. Claws seemed to tear into her side, and even with this immeasurable pain, she couldn't find a way to cry out, and suddenly darkness engulfed her and her heart stopped beating as jaws kept biting into her tender flesh.
It felt like she was floating in mere nothingness, there was no light, no sound. Where was she? Was she anywhere? Was she herself even there? Was she still alive and unconscious, or was she hovering in this empty void that seemed to be death?
Clammy hands touched hers, coldness wrapping itself around her like a blanket in this perpetual blackness. Eyes glared at her, hands erupting forth to pull her in deeper, suffocating her with the smell of decaying carcasses and skin that peeled of like parchment. She felt cold and numb, hanging as limp as a doll. Looking down, colorful festive ribbons streaked down her chest, slowly swaying back and forth.
She suddenly felt a warm glow, a bright smile etch itself in the darkness. Eyes containing pure delight slid over to her. Almost immediately, she found herself reaching out to it, letting herself become enveloped in the strange yet comforting presence that had appeared.
She paused suddenly, and the light dissipated, and she was now hovering in the velvet cloak. Something called forth to her, seemed to pull her out of a deep ditch that she was drowning in. Another light seeped out from nowhere, beckoning her to come forth, telling her to no longer linger in this world and to have another chance.
Not knowing why, she reached out warily to touch its warm glow, and then looked behind to see the same smile and eyes watching her as she was lifted out to breath.
Her heart suddenly gave off a beat, breath filling her lungs. Dizzy with a sense of loss, brown orbs opened and met pools of gold. Not knowing how she awoke, or how she had fallen asleep, the child recognized those golden oculars, the bright silver tendrils that framed a face with magenta markings and a crescent moon on his forehead.
Did he save her?
A flash of crimson orbs with sharp, angular green irises flitted across her mind and she felt not the slightest tinge of fear. Gone were the feelings of pain, the feelings of sorrow and terror. What she saw was a demon become her angelic savior. Rising slowly, she kept vigilant orbs of deep brown fixed on him, studying him as though she had seen him for the first time.
He rose to his full height, his long strides taking him from her. A sudden sense of loneliness gripped her, and the child jogged over to him, the feeling subsiding as she came up behind him, not knowing what was going on but the strong intention of following him on her mind.
And the emotion of happiness touched her, the young sweet innocent child resurfacing as she started her new life.
A/N: Well... I think it's finished. Comments? Criticism?