Skin Deep: Believer

'A long time ago, in ancient Japan a boy was born with fox ears and a tail...'

'Neither mother, or father knew how this had happened but decided to raise him as a normal boy none the less.'

'He was living a peaceful life, when one day all of that changed. A vixen came out of the woods near his home and in an act of lust he followed after her. He hadn't been seen for years until he came back with the vixen, and a pup.'

'This pup had two fox tails instead of one. Now he had been raised by the boys mother and father along with his own father and mother until he became an adult. That was when a second vixen came out of the forest, and like his father he followed.'

'When he came back years later, a pup had come with him along with the vixen. This pup had three tails instead of two.'

'This cycle continued until the last pup was born. This pup had nine tails in all.'

'The villagers had been watching the foxes for years, believing that they were monsters, and when the last one was born they had, had enough.'

'They attacked the foxes, fearing for their own lives when they had done nothing to threaten them. Finally the last fox was dead...except for the pup. The nine tailed fox had escaped into the woods.'

'Nobody knows what happened to the pup...but it's possible that the nine tailed fox still exists...'

"Yah right!" Kazu laughed. He had been in the local magic store, talking to the store owner Melvin. Melvin had a taste for myths and monsters and always told whoever would listen, about his stories.

"Hey just telling you what's true mate." Melvin laughed "I mean you ARE from Japan." Kazu rolled his eyes. Just because he was from Japan didn't mean he actually thought this stuff was true!

"Anyway, I just came to see how everything was, if you need any help I'm here for you." Kazu was a good boy, and even though he was only temporarily living in Liverpool he still enjoyed helping his neighbors.

"Aw no go on and have some fun, make some friends your own age!" Melvin laughed patting the boy on the back. "Isn't the point of a foreign exchange to make friends in new countries?" Kazu once again rolled his eyes.

"You think too deeply about this sort of stuff!" Kazu laughed as he playfully punched the older man's shoulder. He then noticed something. A necklace with a beautiful silver medallion on the end. "Say Melvin...what's that?" He asked pointing to it.

Melvin tensed up as Kazu pointed to his medallion. "Oh it's nothing...Kazu I think it's time for you to go home..." He began to lightly push Kazu towards the door. Kazu frowned as he was pushed, looks like it was another place he wasn't welcome now...

He sighed as he began to walk down the street, his purple and black striped hoodie keeping him warm. "I don't mean to be such a freak..." He sighed as he pulled his hood over his head full of messy brown hair. "I mean just because I like to wear goggles and I think of things in a different way doesn't mean I'm the plauge..."

Suddenly he bumped into someone. Looking up he saw he had bumped into an older boy. He seemed to be about seventeen, with deep black hair and a gray jacket over a skull and crossbones T-Shirt. "Oh sorry..." Kazu mumbled as he looked down, expecting the intimidating boy to say something mean.

"No problem mate, just be a little more careful" The boy said, smiling a bit. Kazu seemed a bit confused, I mean this kid looked like the freaking grim reaper! But then it struck him. He was doing exactly what all the others had done to him. Judging before he got to know.

"Thanks, I'm Hirokazu, but everybody calls me Kazu," He smiled, showing that he was a nice guy in return. Kindness deserved more kindness right? The boy smiled as he held out his hand.

"My name's Checker," He said as Kazu shook his hand. Kazu almost giggled but stopped himself, as Hirokazu must of sounded strange as well, Checker was probably a common name in Liver Pool...

"And no, Checker is a weird name," Checker laughed. Kazu began to laugh as well, feeling like he had finally made a new friend in this city. "Hey, you wanna go grab some lunch mate?" Kazu's eyes glimmered as his smile grew even wider. He simply nodded in response.

Soon both boys were downtown, enjoying a lunch of burgers, fries, and large drinks. The normal teenage boy diet. "So what are you into Checker?" Kazu asked as he took a large bite of his burger. Checker said something, though it was completely silinced by his full mouth of fries.

"Remember, you swallow food." Kazu laughed. Checker rolled his eyes before swallowing.

"I know. Anyway, I really love comics, anime, manga, and J-pop." Checker laughed. "Guess I'm a bit of an Otaku mate." Kazu laughed as well, he was an Otaku as well, but he thought Checker got the idea when all he talked about was a manga he was reading on the way to the resteraunt.

"Oh excuse me for a sec son, I have to use the toilet." And with that, the goth looking boy stood up and walked over to the restroom doors. Kazu bit into his burger as he looked out the window. He noticed how dreary everything was. All he saw was people in dull clothing, living their lives in a rut. there wasn't anything special in the least.

He shook his head as he got the thought out of his head. When he was a child, he decided almost instantly that he would make his life as interesting as possible, and he kept that promise. That was on of the reasons he had gone through with the foreign exchange program to England. If he stayed in Japan, he knew he would end up owning his father's store, and that was a fate worse then death in his mind.

Suddenly something caught his eye. Peering over to the restroom doors, Kazu noticed that some type of white mist came from under it. It was only a small amount, and might just of been steam from the sinks, but something told him to see what it was.

Slowly he walked from the small table, across the diner floor, and into the restroom. The first thing he noticed was a certian scent. Kazu's scence of smell had always been a bit more stimulated then that of other teenagers his age. It smelled like...rock? That was odd. Slowly walking past each stall he finally got the strongest whiff of stone. " this stall occupied?" He asked lightly knocking on the door. It slowly creaked open a bit.

"Hel-" He stopped talking as he opened the door. Standing there was Checker. Except he was gray, made of stone, and had demon wings.

"Kazu!" He gasped looking back at him "I-I can explain!" but he didn't have time, as Kazu suddenly screamed. In a desperate attempt to silence him, Checker grabbed him and covered his mouth. "Will you shush up!?"

Kazu took a deep breath before calming down, and somehow prying off the cold stone hands. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

"It's a long story..."