Haruko burst through the door, breathing heavily and eyes wild.

Misuzu's dying scream jolted her from her drunken stupor and she came running.


The woman's wide eyes only met an empty room. Rooted for a moment, Haruko looked around. The room was quiet now, something the still-drunk woman couldn't understand.

"Misuzu," Haruko called out, stepping into the dark space and looking around. "Misuzu?"

Soon, only the girl's name escaped her lips, slightly slurred and jumbled as it grew faster and closer together. Tears streamed her face, "Misuzu, Misuzu, Misuzu, Misuzu,Misuzu, MisuzuMisuzuMisuzu..."

Haruko threw the toys, searched corners, overturned the bed matress, moved the desk. The room was a chaotic mess by now, and Haruko still couldn't find Misuzu. Frantically, she craned her body out the small window.


Only the fireflies heard her cry.

Yukito stopped to catch his breath, clutching the small doll tightly, afraid to let it go. At this moment, it was the only thing familiar to him, and right now, he was scared as hell.

He didn't know what happened. The next thing he knew, he was laying on the ground, again. Unlike last time though, it wasn't silence that embraced him. It was a borrage of yells and dying cries. When he came to, a battle loomed in the distance, steadyily marching towards him. So, he ran.

He stopped to breathe again, coughing a dry mess of exhaustion. Misuzu was gone, Haruko, the town, only to be replaced by a strange, grassy, forested terrian. Yukito hid behind a nearby tree as a small group of people approached.

"Mom?" His eyes widened as he saw one of three figures hurry in tired silence. Was that his mom? How?

The man turned swiftly at the sound and met Misuzu. She stared up at him, terrified. Timidly, she smiled, more out of nervous relief than greeting.

"Misuzu, what-

A loud explosion shook the earth. Misuzu grabbed onto Yukito, who in turn, fell against the tree. Both were quiet. Both, staring towards the tiny band of people. One man. Two women. In the distance they saw smoke.

"Yukito, I'm scared." Misuzu whispered.

"Me too."

AN: Wrote a 'makeshift' outline to this story. May or may not end up a good story. Comments welcome. I know this is short, but I was inspired by the lovely comments. Hopefully more to come.