Chapter One

"What are you... talking about?" I asked, stepping back onto shaking legs. Yumaru took a step closer, his black eyes narrowed and slicing my own open.

"Witch! Demon! Begone!" He cried. Tears burned my lids as I shook them away.

"Yumaru! Stop! I'm human! I am no demon!"

"Lies!" He bellowed, extending his arm towards me. I found the edge of his sharpened staff mere inches from my nose. "Demon! Monster! Leave this village!" His hysterical screaming had drawn the attention of the other villagers. Upon seeing their familiar monk driving me away, the people filed into the dirt roads and yelled hurtful things. My own father disclaimed me.

"You are no daughter of mine! An evil seed was planted to devour us!" I turned my teary eyes to my mother. Her own eyes, brownish-red like my own, were dropping tears. She seemed about to say something, but she turned my brother's face to her skirt and bowed her head.

"No!" I cried. The worst thing that could happen to a daughter recently of child-bearing age was to be cast from her village and disowned by her family. The worst had happened to me. I cast one final, resentful look at Yumaru and the villagers before turning heel and running.

"Never return for it means your vile life!" The monk cried after me. Anger and confusion bubbled in my throat as I ran, nearly tripping in my blindness. I remedied the situation by passing my sleeve over my eyes. Why had this happened?