A/N: Yes, in keeping with my best traditions of starting yet another story when I've got others to work on, I give you yet another story!
You know the drill, I don't own Kingdom Hearts.
This time, I'm not going to explain anything. This is because I'm trying, for the first time, to write this in 1st person perspective. My previous attempts never made it online because, well, they sucked.
So once you're past the prologue, I'll leave Sora to explain himself.
A lone wolf bounded through the dark, damp mist of the forest, never straying from the unseen path, never running into anything. It's fur was a peculiar mix of shades and hues even for a wolf. It was primarily a light brown, but the legs were darker than the rest. The feet were lighter in colour, a light brown that was almost yellow. A small patch on the underbelly was more red in hue.
It turned sharply at a cliff edge, running along it's precipice until it reached a crag that jutted out over the vast forest below. Then it sat on it's haunches and waited, staring into the cloudy skies with piercing blue eyes.
Hanging down around it's neck was a small, silvery crown on a chain. It gleamed as the clouds parted to show the bright full moon, attracting the wolf's attention momentarily.
When the clouds fully parted, showing the moon in her fullness, the wolf bowed it's head and began to growl for several moments, then lifted it's muzzle with a great howl, filled with the aching longing of missed friends.
As the howl rang out over the leagues of woodland, other crags flashed into existence, appearing to float in the air with a bright white light. There were four of them, each one with another wolf sat on it's haunches, muzzle lifted in the howl.
The real wolf finished his howl, followed by each of the other four wolves in turn from it's left around until they all fell silent.
The four wolves on the crags of light looked to the real one expectantly. Then once more it bowed it's head, began to growl, and let out another great howl. The other wolves did the same in unison, their howls ringing out over the expanses between them and beyond, singing their ancient song in ritual just as old.
The light from each of the other crags began to aim outwards toward each other, crossing and recrossing until every crag had a beam of light connecting it to every other.
A new beam of light from the gentle light of the moon's countenance headed down as they continued to howl, pausing at the center of the design made from light. The beam faded down until it was only a shape of light, which formed into a great white wolf with red eyes, seemingly sat on the air as if it was as solid as the crags each of the other wolves sat upon.
The wolves finished their song, and sat watching the white wolf. It looked to each wolf in turn, starting and finishing with the lone wolf on the real crag. They conversed in a moment of unspoken words, then the white wolf led them into the final part of the ancient ritual, lifting it's muzzle in a howl that seemed to resonate with the howls of a thousand wolves.
The other four wolves joined the song, then finally the one that had started the ritual joined them.
When it finished it's howl, the other wolves were gone. It got up and turned sharply, ready to leave again, but paused and glanced back again. For a few moments, it seemed to be considering something. Eventually it turned back and retraced it's journey through the forest until it cleared into a great plain with a town in the distance.
It ran on into the town, then through the streets and alleyways until it reached a specific house.
Some conveniently arranged crates on one side provided easy access to the open upstairs window. It closed the window with some difficulty then jumped up onto the bed and curled up. A quick glance around the room with it's eyes and a few twitches from it's nose and it decided it was safe to get some sleep.
The night went on, and all unaware of the wolf in their midst, the other people rested safe and easy in their beds. The wolf slept too, but it did not come easy. Safety would be more of a concern to anyone who tried to bother it.
The moon continued her course, now setting in the night-time sky. As she did so, the wolf seemed to blur and shift. When she was no longer in sight it faded leaving a human boy in a troubled sleep sprawled on the bedsheets. He had untidy brown hair and had a silver crown on a chain around his neck. He wore a blue and red shirt, a black jacket and matching pants that reached only past his knees.
Almost subconsciously, he kicked off the black and yellow shoes in his sleep and pulled the covers over him.
I suppose I should explain myself to someone. I can't explain it to anyone directly because there's restrictions hanging over my head. Writing it down, for some reason, works around those restrictions as long as I don't try to hand it to someone. People have to find it by their own means.
So if you're reading this, I guess I should warn you – expect a story of troubles, loss and the discoveries I made along the way. They're far from normal.
Anyone who knows me will have noticed I'm not quite the same any more. I'm more defensive and protective, slower to anger, and I don't rush into things any longer.
Anyone who knows my friends will also know that once a month, I make an excuse to be alone, and inevitably if you come looking for me on that night, you'll find I've locked myself in my room – or that if you manage to look into my room on those nights, I'm either missing, or there's a wolf there that will persuade you to leave again, but not harm you.
Think you know what happened to me yet? Think again.
This all started last year, when Kairi insisted on coming with us to have a look at a town. Except this town wasn't normal. There was talk about it's residents all going missing, yet all appeared again the day after – acting for all the world as if nothing had ever happened.
Naturally, I thought something fishy was up, so we went to find out what.
The town was on the edge of a huge forest, I remember that much. Mostly because I visit there often, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
It's a rustic little town, only four main roads that meet in a crossroads in the middle. All the buildings there are made from wood because there's no stone around, and they all have thatched roofs and huge gardens. Those gardens were always well maintained. I never did find out the name of the town though.
When we arrived though, the town was once again deserted, and not a soul in sight. Kairi said it looked like a ghost town. I guess it bothered her a bit.
The town may have been deserted, but there was no sign of a fight, no sign of forced migration, nothing. It was as if they'd just vanished.
It was late by the time we'd finished checking it out. Too late to go back again and make it back to somewhere comfortable to stay, and Kairi had been complaining about the rough sleeping. I guess she wasn't used to sleeping on the road like we were.
Donald was the one who suggested we take refuge in the sole hotel in the town. Like everything else, it was made from wood and thatch, but it was, of course, larger than any other building.
We found a note had been left on the reception desk saying to sign ourselves in, take the keys to a room and someone would be here in the morning.
There were only single rooms, and fairly small ones at that, so we took one each. Goofy noted the place was unusual – the stairs had a shallower depth than normal, and the doors had the locks and handles lower down. They even had a flap in the bottom, as if a dog or something would come through. I didn't understand why it was like that at the time, but I know better now.
It was during the night that I had the first suggestion of what was going on, or what was going to happen.
Normally I don't sleep lightly, so nothing wakes me up. Something about this place made me wake up when the flap in the door to my room rattled. All I could tell you then was that I had a feeling there was something there.
"Don't be alarmed," a voice told me. "I intend you no harm."
"Who's there?" I asked the stranger.
"That is not important. You are the one men call Sora?" An odd way to say it.
"We need your help. Without you we will die out."
"What's the problem?"
"I cannot tell you. You are an outsider."
Now call me picky, but if you're going to ask for help, you could at least be ready to tell them something – outsider or not.
"You must become one of us before we can tell you," he continued. "But in doing so you must be ready to set some parts of your life aside"
"What parts? Why?"
"Your friends – only temporarily. If you are with us we will show you how to live among them again."
"Can't they help me?"
"No. Only you."
"What if I don't want to just leave them behind?"
"We are patient Sora, but we do not have much time. If it becomes necessary, I regret that we will have to take action whether it is your choice or not."
Threats? They knew who I was at least – that should give any sensible person second thoughts about that, right?
I didn't say anything to him after that. I didn't like the implications of his statement.
"If you should choose to change your mind, talk to the chief in the morning."
"What if I want to know more?"
"Talk to the chief," the stranger said. By this time, my eyes had started to adjust to the darkness. I could make out a figure by the door, low to the ground. "I can say no more."
He drew lower to the ground and slunk through the flap in the door.
I lay back and tried to get some more sleep, thinking about this. If I did sleep that night, it was a troubled sleep and I don't remember it. I've grown used to having a troubled night by now though. It's almost a regular occurrence.
I finally decided I'd help them in the morning, but I wouldn't let them take me away from my friends the way they wanted. I turned out to be wrong on that score.