Chapter 1: A New Land
Stepping out of the cab, I tightened my ponytail and grabbed my single suitcase. It was late in the evening on the first day of spring. The sun was setting, and the land was bathed in an array of oranges and reds. The cab sped away, leaving me stranded in the small town of Forget-Me-Not Valley. I was born here, but I can hardly remember a thing.
My parents divorced when I was three, and my mother took full custody of me. My father was too busy with his ranch, but I would visit him every once in a while on holidays. But today wasn't a holiday. I wasn't here to visit my father.
"Jill!" a voice called, pulling me out of my trance.
My head snapped up and I quickly identified the voice as Takakura, my father's friend and partner.
"Hey, Uncle Tak," I forced out. My voice cracked at the end. I choked back tears.
"Hey, kid," Takakura smiled and pulled me in for a hug. "It's okay to cry."
I hugged him back. Then, I took a deep breath and stepped back. I forced a smile, which I knew looked absolutely pitiful, and shook my head. "I'm fine. Thanks." He shook his head, grabbed my bag and gestured to follow him. I did.
Trailing behind him by a few feet, I looked around. We passed a huge farm, and a boy smiled and waved at me. I stared back blankly; I had no idea who he was. He looked a little like Elvis Presley, but other than that I couldn't say anything about him. Takakura continued and I passed more people and places I couldn't recognize.
"I don't know anyone here," I muttered.
"Don't worry, Jill," Takakura assured me, "The people in the Valley are the friendliest in the world! All you have to do is introduce yourself, and they'll do the rest. You'll know everyone in no time." I was doubtful, but I didn't say anything.
When we arrived at the farm, Takakura showed me my new home. I smiled as memories came flooding back to me.
"I'll leave you to get settled. I'm right next door if you need any help." With that he left, and I was alone in an unknown world once more.
I moved my suitcase beside my bed, and then walked outside to view the land. Branches and stones were strewn across the land. The only signs of life were the army of weeds that had taken over the fields and a lone peach tree. Everything else was gone, destroyed.
I sighed and went back inside, plopping down on my bed. Salem hopped into my lap, purring. Zara trailed behind him, her tail wagging furiously. She jumped onto the bed as well and curled up beside me.
"Hey, Zara," I sighed, rubbing her head. She whined, looking up at me with sad eyes. "Yeah, I miss him, too. But I guess I'll have to do though, huh" Salem meowed and scratched his ear. "Thanks for the vote of confidence."
I groaned, rubbing my eyes in frustration. "I just wonder how I'll do this!"
Picking Salem up, I stood and walked to the window. Zara followed at my heels. I looked out the window, surveying the land again. It was a desolate wasteland. I felt my heart sinking as I continued to stare out into the nothingness. I realized that I was in way over my head.
"What was I thinking?" I asked myself, on the verge of tears. My dad left me his ranch, but I'm only seventeen! Can I even legally own this land yet? I guess there must be fewer rules in the country. But I'm still a child, hardly capable of taking on such a huge responsibility. "I don't think I can do this," I admitted to myself.
The sun had set, and so had my ambition. Climbing into bed, I decided to call my mom in the morning. I'd tell her I couldn't handle it and that I wanted to come back to the city with her. I closed my eyes and prayed for sleep to take me away from my nightmares.
"Wake up…wake up Jill!" a voice beckoned to me.
"Hnnn…?" I groaned, rolling over. I opened my eyes and came face to face with a blonde-haired, red-eyed girl on a broom. Naturally, I screamed.
"Quiet! Yeesh, you're gonna wake the whole valley!" she exclaimed, irritated.
"You're… you're the…"
"I'm the Witch Princess, yes I am real, and here to inform you that because you've refused to work, the Harvest Goddess and the Harvest Sprites have been sent away by the Harvest King. He hopes that this will motivate you to work harder. If you do, he will return them to this world."
"It's weird not having someone to fight with… oh well! I did my part and it's not my problem now! Good luck! Toodle-oo!"
With that, she was gone. I couldn't believe it! First, the fact that all the stories my dad told me about the Harvest Goddess and the Sprites and the Witch Princess were true! And second, the Harvest Goddess and all those Sprites were gone, because of me.
How could I have given up so easily? My father never would have done that! He gave me his land because he trusted me. He believed in me. So I will try my hardest, for the Harvest Goddess, the Sprites, and most importantly, my dad. "I won't let you down," I promised.
AN: Sorry! I promise not to make too many of these author's notes! I just wanted to start off by saying that this is my first fanfiction and I'm really excited to see what people have to say about it! Be honest, but not too mean! :D I really think that my writing improves throughout the story, so read on! Also, check out Willowdove's story, Belonging. She convinced me to join this site, and her stuff is awesome! Okay, onward with the JillxSkye story!