Hikari Makuda sat up from bed and yawned. She sleepily glanced over at her alarm clock and her eyes widened. She threw off her covers and stumbled through her small house, stubbing her toe on the leg of the table, yelping loudly as she fought to get her yellow blouse over her white shirt. Hastily zipping her work skirt and adjusting the shorts beneath she made a mental count of her luggage beside the door. She hastily tied her work boots and eyed the clock again. She had twenty two minutes to make it to the boating docks and onto the ship that would take her to her new home Castanet, or her ranch so to be specific.
Hikari glared at the sky and folded her arms over her chest and sighed. With her luck, she made it with ten minutes before the boat allowed boarding, but of course as she was just about to celebrate her good fortune, thunder boomed and rain began to down pour on the new adult. She grabbed her bag of luggage and inched as far as she could beneath the slight overhead canopy just above the ticket station where she both purchased her ticket and stumbled upon the brochure for cheap farmland being sold on Castanet island. Hikari looking to leave her small home in the city for a more prosperous life in the country leaped at the cheap but lucky opportunity and made the expensive long distance phone call, purchasing a farm plot, the home, a chicken coop and a barn all over the telephone. The next step was getting there…
"Ai-yah, timber! You see here Bo? That's how you chop a tree like a pro"! The arrogant young man said while resting the handle of his axe on his shoulder and grinning wildly. To Luke there was nothing more beautiful than the sound of the final swing of an axe and a tree falling to the forest floor. He lived for that sound, his pop a carpenter always appreciated the extra lumber around, but with his age and increasing lack of mobility, Luke was usually the one to haul everything to the shop and with his step brother and fellow apprentice Bo, the work wasn't as difficult. He only struggled with measurements and sticking to the blueprints on what the customer had ordered.
"Luke my boy, I need you to go to the Fugue forest and get me some more wood, Bo, I need you to pick up my orders from Barbara's next door. Dale said while sitting in his favorite rocking chair. Luke watched as the old Pyrenees dog from his childhood, Boss got up and lay at his master's feet. Luke nodded and gathered his axe and pack lunch, knowing it would help regain some of his strength after taking out several trees.
"Were on it Pops, I should be home by dinner, if not a little later, I'll see you then". The young boy waved to his aging father and walked out the door. He yawned, knowing the journey to the forest and back would be more exhausting then the work itself. But who was he to complain? It only proved him stronger, and strength was extreme! Luke darted in a sprint across the rickety bridge above the water fall and disappeared from sight around the mountain corner.
"I'm glad we got the boys out of here, I didn't want them to see how sick I'm getting"… The old man said while stroking the head of his beloved dog, in turn Boss licked his head affectionately. Dale coughed rather violently into a white handkerchief. What was so surprising about the severity of his sickness was how young he was. Dale was only fifty two, but the hard labor, grief of losing two of his wives and raising two boys while running a down spiraled business put more strain on his body then it could handle.
"Darn it, Boss! There goes another one"… Dale tossed the handkerchief into the waste basket and sighed.
"I'm going to have to start using sandpaper, I'm running through those things so fast"… He said while eyeing the cloth in the bin. He knew he'd have to discard it before the boys got home, or some slim chance a customer walked in. Dale with a grunt sat himself up from the wooden rocking chair, his favorite chair that belonged to his first wife Eden and picked the hankie from the trash. He carried outside and dropped it into the actual waste can. The hankie was useless now, that it was stained with blood…
Luke was bursting with energy as he ran, the spring sun shown down on his face, and he felt, well nothing shy of extreme. Then he rounded the bend and then a chill ran down his spine. He was passing the shack… His sprint slowed to a trudge, how could it not? This rundown farm house was were his own mother died helping Dale finish it. Every time he passed his blood ran cold, and his smile always turned into a frown, a foreign feature that was not meant to be worn on Luke's face, it even hurt physically from lack of frowning, his muscles were tight to shift in any other position then a wide grin… It had been an abandoned project since his mother died. It was livable, but ratty… With holes in the ceiling, weak floorboards, the chicken coop and barn were sorry excuses for living just as the house was. Luke had many times come up with in his mind, blueprints on how to finish it, yet he could never get his feet to stray off the dirt path and onto the property. He had almost done it once, he managed it down to the shack with tools and supplies for building, and made it two steps off of the road, but when he tried to move forward his heart felt like it was being squeezed mercilessly, and his breath felt constricted. What was even worse was that the house was built in a spot were Luke's family always had to pass it when going into town or the forest or anywhere. The sentimental pain they felt even as rounding the curb was enough to make them head back to the shop. But how were they to access the goods they needed? The dirt path past the shack was the only way, after all the mine cart had stopped working ages ago. Now as Luke drug his feet past the shack, his mouth dropped and his brain felt like it was being beaten with a hammer. A girl about his age stood in front of the shack, one hand on her hip, the other un-locking the door, and she appeared to be speaking to thin air. Before Luke realized what he was doing, he had flown off the dirt path and knocked the young girl to the ground, the key flew from her hand and her mouth making an o shape.
Luke had to notice as he pinned her to the ground, she was really cute, even pretty. She had voluptuous brown eyes that were now blinking rapidly in shock and short but partially curly brown hair that was strewn across the ground, and in her face. She sputtered, clearing her mouth of hair, and instantly sat up, knocking Luke off of her.
"Are you crazy? You almost killed me"! She glanced wide eyed around and looked at her gloved hand. A panicked sound escaped her mouth and she began to look frantically on the ground.
"Where is it? Oh God I don't even own the house yet, much less have gone inside and now I've lost the key"! Her voice was girly, but had a rough edge to it. Luke wondered how it would sound in a soothing tone, instead of this screechy panicked sound. Suddenly the brown haired girl whipped around and pointed at him.
"You, you're the one who got me into this mess! You find my house key"! She then appeared to be glaring at thin air, and muttered something under her breath. Luke for some reason obediently began crawling around on the grass, till he saw a glint of silver. He plucked it up and held out his hands, smiling like he was pleased with himself. The girl, know that he had a better look of her, really was cute. She snatched her house key from the palm of his hands, dusted herself off, unlocked the door, went inside and slammed it. Only then did Luke realize he had been on the property for about five minutes and took off to the safety of the dirt path as fast as he would if his flaming head band really had been on fire… What he didn't see was the brunette girl peering from her curtains and notably speaking to the air again on what a strange boy they had encountered. Hikari then made her way to the front door, checking the locks. She turned to the floating orange pixie beside her and shrugged.
"Better safe, then sorry, hey Finn"? The pixie nodded in agreement and watched as the young girl looked longingly at the bed, back at Finn who nodded encouragingly, and then fell on top of the covers in soiled clothes, and fell into a heavy sleep only she could muster.