A/N: Hey guys, it's CV. First off I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my story, an interesting little tale that is constantly changing and spawning into its own thing that sometimes, I don't think I have control over it anymore. But anyway, for those of you that are just tuning in, welcome! I hope you like it! And for those of you that have read this before I will tell you right now, this is in the process of being rewritten.
Yes, when I went back to read the original chapters, they horrified the ever-living shit out of me (and my beta on top of that), so I just had to put this story back under construction. I can already tell you now that there will be some new additions to the chapters as well as some change in the order of events but I will try to rewrite these chapters as quickly as possible so I don't confuse any of you while you're reading. I'll be sure to bring up the changes again in future chapters so you veterans can reread and relearn the story and the newbies have a fresh new feel for this tale that I'm unraveling.
Also, I'll be giving you names of songs that I find as inspiration for the scenes I write and I recommend you listen to grasp a feel for what I was thinking about while writing the piece.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Title Credit: The song 'Elephant Woman' by Blonde Redhead was the inspiration for the title of this story, as well as the entire story in general with the eerie beauty this song projects. I recommend you listen to it while you read this chapter. Now enjoy!
Okay so enough of the boring stuff and on the story! Enjoy!
Chapter One: Discovery
I liked the rain. I don't really know why I liked it so much, I just did. A soft sigh escaped my lips as my eyes adjusted to the wet, blurry world around me. My gaze focused on the raindrops that beat against the glass of my mother's car. Maybe it was the way it looked, oblong shapes of liquid crystals that fell to the earth like heaven's tears, it always made me wonder what we ever did that made her so sad.
Maybe it was the way it sounded, so unusual I would mistake it for the hissing of snakes or the soft whispers of a lullaby that often pull me into the most peaceful sleep I could ever imagine. The noise the rain made was as lovely as the wet feel of it against my skin. Whenever there was a day like today, I never stayed indoors. I'd find myself running outside to greet it, no raincoat, no umbrella, and no shoes. I'd dance and swirl around in the relentless downpour as it coated the world in a wonderland of damp, fresh, euphoria.
My eyes closed as I listened to it trickling down. The whispered lullaby it created made me feel tired. Leaning my head against the window, I opened my eyes to look at the droplets, slowly sliding down the thin layer of reflective glass to who knew where, little bubbles of water racing against one another. A tired chuckle escaped my lips at the thought.
Turning my head to meet my mother's eyes, which were the same emerald-green as mine, I sat up silently from my seat, my face stinging as I removed it from the freezing glass.
My mom was parking the car, the faces she was making caused a laugh to slip out of my mouth as she crept into the parking spot slowly, not wanting to damage the vehicle. I didn't really understand the concept of parallel parking all that well. It really didn't seem half as difficult as all the adults made it look.
When she made it into the space without any trouble, she let out a breath of relief. Turning off the car, she grabbed her bag off the ground and slung it over her shoulder. She looked over at me with a flashy smile. "Honey, I'm going in for a couple of minutes, do you want me to get you anything?"
"I'm fine mom, thank you." A small grin spread across my face and I shifted comfortably in my seat.
"Okay, I'll be back in a second." She beamed at me before leaving the car, half running and half walking to convenience store on the corner of the street.
I laughed at her before leaning back tiredly, a deep sigh escaping my lips. It wasn't until after my mom had turned off the car, did I realize how cold it was. My arms wrapped themselves around me in an attempt to rub some much-needed warmth into my body. The windows were frosted so thickly, it made seeing almost impossible. Irritated, I cracked the door open enough to stick my hand out, wiping at the glass until it became somewhat clear. I could see people on the streets, walking and talking holding umbrellas over their heads to protect them from the rain. Small children running down the sidewalk, stomping in rain puddles, and laughing when it splattered all around them. Cars went by every so often, and slowly my gaze drifted up at the dim, gray sky. The sun wasn't out today and for that, I was grateful. I could never stand the overwhelming heat of the summer sun. It was always so bright and burning that it always gave me a headache.
And then the feeling crept up again, curling in my stomach making me swallow down the urge to throw up right then and there. It started a little earlier today at school, my first thought being just some really bad food from the cafeteria had caused this unpleasant sensation. But as they day went on, it slowly started to feel like something else entirely, like a tight pressure on my chest that made it impossible to focus on my schoolwork. When my mom had come to pick me up and had asked me if I wanted to go with her to the store, I didn't hesitate to say yes. I just couldn't be alone right now.
A small groan escaped my lips as my shoulders slumped sadly. On top of the weird feeling in my gut, I just couldn't shake the sense that something bad was about to happen.
Well, you know what dad would always say... A small smile grazed my lips, my hand resting against latch on the car door. This was a stupid idea, and the possibility of getting sick was at a hanging in the air but at the moment, I didn't care.
Dancing is always the best distraction, sickness be damned
On that note, I waited for a car to go by before opening the car door and stepping into the rain. I let out a scream as ran around my mother's Nissan to the sidewalk, ignoring the strange looks people gave me . The rain had gotten heavier, exploding around me that it bounced off the pavement like sparklers in the heart of summer. Everything was covered in a crystal mess of needles, ice-cold as it touched bare skin like a harsh kiss. My laughter seemed to echo in the air, my hands spread out in front of me as I spun around in circles, careless giggles escaping my lips as I twirled around in the raging storm.
Never have I felt so at peace, so free, so in tune with everything around me that the anxiety started to vanish. My mind had been so calm that I almost didn't notice when a strange presence made itself known to me. My feet automatically stopped moving, my body stiffening at the feel of this aura wash over me. It was raw, with an edge of predatory hunger so fierce, it sent a shiver down my spine and caused the beating of my heart to become rampant. I looked around frantically, pulling my damp hair out of my face so not to obscure my vision as I searched desperately for the cause of my sudden distress. My eyes finally fell on the figure of a person I have never seen before now, and I couldn't shake the sudden urge I had to run, the little voice in my head that told me I'd been safer if I stayed in my mother's car.
There, about a couple of feet away from me, sitting on a bench across the street, was a boy. Back hunched over with his hands on his knees as he sat seemingly unnoticed by everyone else around him. He wore dark jeans and a black sweatshirt, the cloth looking soaked and heavy as it clung to his lean body. His red hair matted down his bowed head, shielding his face from the entire world. Pale was the color of his skin, as white as the purest snow in the dead of winter and I slowly found myself wondering what it felt like.
For some reason I could not understand, I was unable to look away from him. There was some compelling power that was driving through my body, making it impossible for me to leave. I took a step forward, feet twitching in anticipation as my mind screamed at me to stop. Squinting my eyes to see through the torrential downpour I came to a stop in the middle of the road. Standing there carelessly, I watched him as the cold rain poured down my face, forming little beads on my eyelashes.
He was trembling, like an unknown source was making it impossible for him to be calm. His hands balled into fists in his lap and I had to suppress a shudder that went through my body.
I wanted to reach my hand out towards him, the anxiety I felt earlier manifesting in the pit of my stomach.
Blinking in surprise I turned towards the sound of my mother's voice, and found her running towards me with fear etched on her face. My head tilted at her actions, but before I could question what was wrong, the sudden sound of a honking horn and the screeching shrill of tires could be heard over the downpour. She was instantly at my side, grabbing my arm and jerking me back harshly as the car kept driving by. The person in the passenger's side crack the window and shouted a string of curses at us as they went.
A look of anger was plastered in my mother's dark green orbs. "Are you crazy? You could've gotten killed just now!"
Saying nothing, I kept watching the boy on the bench, my eyes observing the twitches and shudders his body made.
"Sakura can you hear me? What the fuck are you doing out of the car?!"
"Who's that?" My question came out in a haze as I pointed to the red-headed boy sitting across the street.
She squinted to see him then lightly hit my arm. "Sakura, it's rude to point at other people like that and besides, stop changing the subject. What the hell were you doing out here?"
"I just want to know who he is," my voice sounded so dreamy, like I had sleepwalked before my mom pulled me out of it.
Sighing, my mom just took hold of my arm once more and started to pull me away.
"Honey please. It's not polite to just stare at the boy, just leave him alone." She opened the car door on the driver's side, getting in with her bag. She motioned for me to do the same thing and I reluctantly did as I was told. She started the car and pulled out of her parking space when she was clear. We drove right past him and I couldn't help the vigorous way I wiped at the glass, trying to get them clear. We stopped at a red light and I turned myself sharply to look at him through the back window of the vehicle.
He looked up when we were far away, the distance making it so hard for me to see him.
A blush formed on my face when I caught him looking and wanted to look down but I couldn't.
A bus drove by, blocking my view of him, and when the vehicle moved away…he was gone.
I blinked, looking around like a frantic little squirrel on the sidewalk. He was gone, as if he vanished from sight and existence.
"Where is he?" My voice was frantic, a pitch so alien that it didn't sound like my voice at all. I craned my head back, turning around to try to find him, but it was all in vain. He was nowhere to be found.
My mother rolled her eyes in an annoyed fashion. "If it's about that boy, maybe he just got picked up or something."
"No mom, I was looking at him, he was right there and now…" I turned back to my seat, looking down at my lap in confusion. "He's gone."
"Honey, could you please stop," she said, turning to me. "That's enough. It's not like you're going to see him again."
And as if my mom's words had a special power, I suddenly felt the knot slowly start to disappear, replacing my anxiety with a bad headache. Pinching the bridge of my nose, my eyes squeezed shut as I tried to make sense of what just happened. Who was that guy? Where did he come from and how the heck did he vanish that quickly?
After a long moment, my mother turned on the radio to some random station. A new song just started to play, my thoughts clearing enough for me to focus on the music.
I smiled as my body slowly started to sway in beat with the song, the woman's haunting voice soothed me faster than any lullaby I'd had ever known. I caught myself humming what I knew of the melody as we drove home, my head starting to feel a little better.
The sound of the car stopping and the song abruptly coming to a halt, jolted me out of my nap.
My mother got out of the Nissan quickly, running to the front of our house only to stop for a moment to open the door before she went inside.
Sighing, I jumped out of the car and back into the relenting showers. Another gust of rain soon had me covered in a sheet of damp splendor. Running up the driveway and opening the door, I slipped inside before shutting it behind me.
The living room was spacious, decorated with intricate, and sometimes abstract, sculptures that my mom loved to splurge on. The walls were littered clumsily with pictures of me, from my early years of life as an infant to my most recent school photo. A small smile crept onto my face as I reached out and grabbed a frame from one of the end tables, studying the image with a deep sense of melancholy. It was a portrait of my mom and I, the figure of a third person scratched and carved out of the photo as if it wasn't real, like he never existed. I rubbed the glass over his scratched image, wishing with all my heart that he was here.
Being the child of divorced parents was so unbelievably painful, there wasn't a word in the dictionary strong enough to make sense of it. My father lived in an apartment five miles away from our house, he told me once that he wanted to be far away from my mother as possible. They had separated when I was ten, leaving me to deal with the backlash of split weekends, two different bedrooms, and the nasty remarks they said about each other.
My mother had come back into the room, a towel in hand as she dried her hair. "Sakura honey, are you hungry?"
I smiled at her softly before shaking my head, placing the picture down on the table before I started up the stairs. My legs felt heavy, each step ending with a squish as I made my way to my bedroom. Opening the door to the small space that was my sanctuary I took in the magenta colored walls, scattered with posters of my favorite bands and bit of artwork that I'd found enticing.
Grunting, I struggled with to myself of my wet clothes, the fabric stuck like second skin as I peeled it each layer off. Absentmindedly tossing the material to the ground it to the ground I made a beeline towards the bathroom. Taking a quick shower, I changed into a pair of sweatpants and a tank top before returning to my room and crawling into my bed. The rain eased up just a bit, falling in careful drops and hushed whispers, nature's lullaby once again reaching my ears to soothe me into sleep.
I woke about an hour later, the alarm clock on my dresser reading a little after five. It was no longer raining, and the skies had started to take a grayish-black hue as the promise of night hung in the humid air. A yawn forced itself out of my mouth, my body curling deeper into the warmth of my blankets before my mom's voice interrupted me.
Groaning, I untangled myself from my sheets and walked to the door. Opening it just a crack, I peered down the narrow staircase to see her shadowed figure at the bottom. "What?"
She leaned her head against the arch of the stairway, looking tiredly at me. "Are you going to eat?"
I shook my head, almost mimicking the same actions she was doing. "No."
"Well, you have to eat something before you go to bed tonight, sweetie." She stepped back into the living room, her feet padding against the carpet as her voice grew faint. "I don't want you developing my habits."
"Fine," I mumbled rolling my eyes as I walked downstairs.
She was sitting at the table, taking a forkful of spaghetti into her mouth before she looked up at me. Curling my hands into my pants and biting my lip, I looked at the ground
"I'm...sorry mom." My voice sounded so small, like the words didn't seem to fit when they left my mouth.
"It's fine, honey." Mother's eyes remained on me for a moment before she turned back to her plate of food. There was something in her voice that made it hard for me to really believe she was being honest. My mom was a bad liar. "It's just...I can't let anything happened to you. You know what would happen if I let you get even a scratch..."
Daddy would take me away The thought was enough to make me want to cry. I didn't want that, it would only make my mom even more miserable than she already was.
Making my way over to her I gave her a hug, resting my head against her shoulder as I fought the urge to break into tears. "I'm sorry, mom...I'll never do that again, I promise."
"I know, baby," she whispered in my hair as she held me tighter. She pulled back as I straightened up, cupping my face as she smiled at me and leaned forward to plant a kiss on my forehead.
I grinned at her before stepping towards the fruits basket we kept on the counter, grabbing an apple before heading back upstairs.
Grabbing my book I sat on my mattress and began to read. I took a small bite out of the apple, turning to the last page of the chapter. It was an interesting little tale to say the least, with each page I turned, I could feel myself slowly starting to get really into the story, which was utterly surprising considering the books I usually read. I smiled to myself, reading in the comfortable silence of my room. After about an hour, I put the apple core on my nightstand, feeling the strain of my aching muscles as I got up to put my novel away. As I wedged my bookmark between my unread pages, my finger ran through a rough edge on the book.
"Crap!" I muttered as I dropped the object to floor with a loud clunk. I looked at my finger to see a trail of blood line the cut on my wound, spilling down my hand in a thin little stream.
Just then, a low hiss sounded from outside my window and I jumped at the noise, my head whipping around to stare outside into the darkness. Taking a deep breath, I carefully inched my way towards the window. Leaning against the open frame I let the damp humid air wash over me, hoping it would tame my rising panic. Looking around the outside I found nothing but the swirling shadows that started to stem from the bushes below. A shudder ran through my body as I leaned back inside, shutting the window closed hurriedly as my breathing came out harsh.
What the hell was that? Is there something rustling around in the bushes? Maybe it was some kind of animal?
I ran my fingers through my pastel locks, trying to rid my mind of the thoughts that were forming. I walked into my bathroom, retrieving a Band-Aid for my aching finger before I turned off all the lights, and crawled into my bed. Laying my head against the pillow, I gazed outside at a tree branch scratching against the glass.
I don't know why but I could've sworn that the hissing I'd heard didn't sound like an animal...it sounded like a human and most of all, it sounded angry. I clenched my eyes, a whimper escaping my lips as the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.
Get a hold on yourself, maybe it was the wind playing tricks on you. With that thought I forced myself to relax. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, I've had a stressful day at school, and on top of that, I almost got hit by a car! It would be normal for me to over thinking everything right now, hearing things that weren't possible. After a short while, my eyes started to feel heavy, the pull of sleep tugging at the corners of my eyes so fast that I hadn't heard my window creak as it started to open.
A/N: And there you are! It's a lot different I know but these changes needed to be make in order for my story to have a better flow. Chapter two is next so keep an eye out for that one. Also, I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Gaaras1Girl for her patience with me, her ideas, her helpful tips and her sometimes incredibly critical love for me! Thanks for making me a better writer girl, love you to pieces.
Thanks so much guys, stay tuned for the next one!