Title: In Sheep's Clothing
Word Count: 941
Type: AU, Set in modern times
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from One Piece. One Piece belongs to Eiichiro Oda.
VTM: This is a test chapter for an old plot idea that I had in the works a while ago. I'm thinking of resurrecting it, so I could use some opinions on this. EDIT: Updated and improved the ending.
It was warm for a night of the early fall, the leaves barely started to turn any of the vibrant colors that the season was famous for. A young man was heading home after a long day of school and work. He had a sucker in his mouth, savoring the bitter sweet cherry taste. He was young, with long, black hair tied back in a short tail, freckles all over his nose and cheeks giving him a childish appearance. He was dressed in a hoodie sweat shirt, baggy jeans, and floppy orange hat on his head.
"Yo, Ace! You heading home?" called out one of his friends.
Ace looked back at the man with the pompadour, and gave a smile. "Yeah, I'm pretty beat, I'll hang out with you guys next time. See you later, Thatch."
"Okay, see you tomorrow!"
Ace waved at the guys as they went separate ways, he was heading for the bus stop. He looked around, finding the streets mostly empty save for the occasional passing car. It didn't take too long for him to get a little bored. He then pulled out of his cell phone, turned it on, and was soon greeted by a screen of a game.
The game was called 'In Sheep's Clothing'. It was a simple, yet fun game that had spread in popularity quite quickly. The players would take the roles of the 'sheep', and were given sheep avatars. They were cute fluffy little things that were given some customizable options. Ace's sheep had freckles on its muzzle, grey wool, and red beads around its neck. The story behind it was that the shepherd of a flock of sheep has been recently killed by a wolf and is now amongst the sheep disguised as one of them. The sheep must band together in order to stay alive, however they must also be weary, the wolf could be anyone of them. The sheep get three tries to pick out the wolf, if they find him the wolf is killed and they win. If they don't, they lose and the wolf will devour them all.
Each game can last from a few days to a couple of weeks, it really depends how confident the sheep are. They had to hurry though, because each night the wolf has an option to devour a sheep, and if they waited too long, they would still lose. For the wolf, it was a matter of how good at lying they were.
Ace loved being a wolf, there was a certain satisfaction he got from it that under other circumstances would have almost frightened him. Maybe it was because it was probably unlike him normally, but it is like having a mask, one could be a little naughty without being ridiculed for it.
'Your prey is right before you, will you show mercy? Or devour?'
Without a hint of hesitance Ace and clicked on 'devour'. The screen of his cell phone suddenly flashed red, a little animation of his little avatar morphing into a wolf version of itself played, it was then seen pouncing on another sheep. A smirk slowly crept on his face when the screen became red with animated blood.
Maybe it was pent up frustration? Ace's smirk disappeared as the thought suddenly occurred to him. Was he possibly a little sadistic? He then shook his head, it was a silly thought, it was just a stupid little game, right? It was then that he got that strange feeling, the feeling of being watched. Ace glanced over his shoulder, finding no one there. It was then that he suddenly realized just how alone he was on that street. A breeze blew past, carrying a few fallen leaves making them dance. It brought a chill, and the suddenness made the young man jump a little.
Maybe it was the slight paranoia he was feeling, but Ace still felt uneasy. He could still feel eyes on him, though he couldn't pinpoint where they were from. He'd glance around, thinking that he'd caught glance of a figure in the corner of his eye from time to time. Only to find nothing there. Ace started to tap his foot impatiently, feeling a growing need to leave that place.
It wasn't long before the bus finally did arrive, Ace climbed aboard and took a seat next to a window. He gave a sigh as he watched the movement of the scenery as the bus began to drive. His attention was soon interrupted by a faint buzz from his cell phone. He took it out of his pocket, expecting a message from Thatch or maybe Marco, instead he was greeted by a red screen with black, almost gothic looking lettering. He didn't know why, but seeing it made him feel uneasy, even before he read what it said. There was just something almost haunting about the look of the message, what is said simply made that fact even more certain.
"You are no longer the top of the food chain. Beware, the hunter may become the hunted."
Ace tried to shake off the feeling, it was probably just a new feature of the game. It made sense, didn't it? They had to keep the game interesting.
Feeling a little better, Ace looked back out the window, watching the passing buildings and cars. However, soon something caught his eye. It was for a brief moment, but could have sworn that he saw something in one of the passing alleyways. Something that was look right back at him, as if he were prey.
"Be careful, little wolf. The huntsman has his eye on you."