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As I woke up from a restless night and my eyes adjusted, I realized the room I was in was an unfamiliar place to me.
The room I was in was completely made of stone. Besides the light that flicked above me and the bed I was sitting on, there was nothing else in this room. There were no windows, the only exit was a iron door that laid in front of me.
As I went to go stretch my body before rising up, I notice that my hands were cuffed in front of me. I couldn't remember more than what most human beings knew about the world and my own morals. I just knew that I wasn't supposed to be here. As I got up and began to search this barren area, I heard a creaking sound coming from the iron door. I turned around and saw two figures step into my room. I suppose I was still regaining my ability to be able to both speak and understand words. All I caught was different sound of varying levels and frequencies. The two (now recognizable figures to be men) dragged me to my feet and push me out of the room.
As we walked to wherever our destination was, I saw other people. Some were wearing the same black suits as the two men guiding me, others, were wearing casual clothing. During our walk I regained the ability to move normally.
The two men stopped me when we approached two big doors. One of them went inside for a moment before coming back out and leading me inside. We were in a huge room with many chairs, in the very front was a huge wooden structure with a man sitting behind it. As I was pushed into the middle of the room, the man approached me. As the man began to speak I was forced onto my knees before him.
He said to me, "Well, it seems you've recovered quickly now from your little stunt. You are something else you know, yes indeed, something else. Can you speak?"
"Good!" he said. Let's cut to the chase. "You have a, shall we say, little gift. Which of course was demonstrated by the hell you put us through trying to catch you. As I see now you have two choices. You can either rot in a cell miles below the earth, or you can accept our offer and join us. What do you say?"
"No, no! I understand, you do not have to make your choice now. I will allow you the privilege to think about it. I will give you one day; I will expect you to have an answer by tomorrow. Until then, sleep tight".
When he was done and walked away, I was pushed back to my room. They threw me in and I could hear as the door behind me had shut and produced a clicking sound. As I turned around I noticed a tray of food sitting beside me. I had no idea what to think, so I ate. After an unmeasurable amount of time passed, I grew tired. I exhaustively dragged myself over to the bed and fell right onto it. In moments I was asleep.
I was awaken by the sound of clicking. As I peered up I noticed that the previously closed iron door was now wide open. I quietly rushed over and looked out, no one was there. I wandered out, only to be greeted by deafening silence. I made my way through each and every door until I was out. I made sure to be at least a good distance away before bursting into a mad sprint for freedom.
By the time the sun had risen up, I was far from that area. I constantly kept moving through day and night only stopping for rest, water, and food. Occasionally I took breaks to help farmers tend to fields and help the elderly with gardens, but I never stayed. Many suns had risen and many moons had fell before I came to my first actual stop.
It was a rainy town.
The area had a certain "atmosphere" surrounding it. Each and every building seem to be abandoned and in ruins. There was a well, and the only other creatures that seemed to be alive other than the vegetation were farm animals. None of that interested me though. What really stuck out in my mind was the giant windmill. I wandered inside seeing the inner workings of it. I became so absorbed in fascination that I didn't realized another human was yelling at me, "Hey boy!" I turned around in shock only to see an old man. He wore green clothing that had orange patch work stitched inside and only wore one to a pair of clogs. He had a ragged beard and no hair on the top of his head except for the sides. Some of his teeth were missing and he had a wonky eye that constantly squinted at me.
"Umm, me?", I said. He began to bellow out in a raspy voice, "Of course you! Who else would I be talking to in this godforsaken crusty place? Who are you?!"
"Aw blast it! If you don't want to say then you don't have to! I'm just wondering why some brat like you would be here, don't you have parents that are worrying about you?"
"I'm, not sure.
"Great! Ya gone and lost yer memory haven't ya!"
The man was something else compared to other people I've meet before. He had bursts of energy in nagging fits as we began to walk further into the windmill.
He turned around and yelled, "What are you still stand around for, ey!?"
"Well, you see. I don't really have anywhere to go and thought that maybe-"
"Thought that maybe you could stick around and mooch off me land?!"
"No of course not! At least, not without providing some type of help or service to you in return."
The old man begun walking further into the windmill. "Ya said you were a wanderer didn't ya? Ya ever had experience tending to life stock?"
"I see, well, I guess I could use a hand around here if you're so willing."
And so, began the month I would spend with the old man in his windmill.
He would usually throw me a wheel of cheese whenever I got hungry, though this is not to say that he never gave me what I would call "a normal meal" every once in a while. Most of the time the only things I would eat would be cheese, rum, and whatever rainwater I could harvest off the windmill and the well.
I can't remember a day that it stopped raining.
One particular time I happened to ask the old man why it rained so much. He responded by saying "This is a godforsaken place; the idiots of this town did it themselves."
"What do you mean?"
"Ya ever noticed that none of the houses held anyone in them, that's because ya can't get in. Don't believe me? Try it for yer self than."
He was right. Although the houses seemed to be able to hold life within, the doors and windows seemed to be no more than decorations painted on.
It had reached the end of the month when the storm came. It sounded like we were being showered with bullets. You couldn't see a thing outside if you tried. I wanted to test how far out I could stick something before I couldn't see it anymore. When I tried however, the end of the broom immediately splintered into millions of pieces. I thought of sleeping it off until the old man came and approached me. He threw a thick coat at me and told me to put it on.
"You expect me to go out there in this kind of weather?!"
"Ya, I do."
"I'll be killed by the rain the moment I step out!"
"That's why I gave you that there coat, it's special."
"Listen, ya got places to go and people to meet. You're still too young of a lad to get stuck here in the middle of nowhere."
Without another word he pushed me out as hard as he could into the rain. Immediately I lost all bearings of where I was or what direction I was facing. I had no choice but to move forward through the storm and hope to find somewhere safe. As I wandered through, bracing myself with what felt like swimming through tar, the storm started lightening up. All together the storm disappeared and all traces of the town were gone.
The routine of wandering began again. Countless days, countless nights, all felt the same. It was as if I was walking the same loop over and over again on constant repeat. I felt scared, I felt lost. Soon after the image of an old Japanese style house appeared before me. I didn't know what to do, so I wandered in.
Upon entering I saw three people, two of which were sitting at a table playing cards, the other was in the kitchen making tea.
The first person was a muscular man. The other person was a kinda samurai looking man with black hair, he had a pointy goatee and a top knot. Finally the third person was a French women who was clearly pregnant. They all stared at me before the samurai spoke. He said, "Well look at what we've got here. Been getting boring playing cards against this brute, why don't you pull up a seat, I'll deal you some cards." I really didn't have anything to lose, so I did.
I never knew someone who could play cards as well as the samurai did, if I hadn't kept an eye on him I would have sworn he was cheating. After a while I ended up telling them about what happened to me, I also learned a couple of things about them to. Despite how he looked, the muscular man was a vegetarian and samurai usually drank tea and ate rice with meat. Over time I lived there as well as helped with gardening and cultivating. They had a wonderful array of flowers to show for and raised good hogs. They were wonderful people, they felt like an actual family, and I was happy. I never had a family before, at least one that I could remember.
There was one day that surprised me the most. The woman went into labor suddenly and I didn't know what to do. I was just a kid, I started panicking. The samurai took over and had me get warm water and blankets. I'll never forget her face, she was marvelous. I realized just how precious human life really was. She was so small and adorable, but she was so fragile at the same time, I was amazed.
I was sad, because I had to leave. During one day a murder of crows gathered around the house, the sky turned a fierce scarlet red. I was outside tending to the rice fields when this happened. As I noticed them, they began to attack. I did my best to avoid them and fight back, I hit several of them with my hoe as they began leaving bruises and cuts everywhere. I opened my eyes to try to see them when a giant crow came straight at me. I shielded my eyes with my hand, I could feel the gash open that would permanently scar my hand. They vanished. I looked down at my hand, a plus shape was cut between my left thumb and wrist.
I was told that I should leave, I needed to go to where I belonged before I was attacked again. I didn't want to, they were my family, the only one I had.
"We'll miss you kid, but you need to go for your own safety."
"But, you're my family."
"I know, that's why we were here, because you needed us, you were lost. We will always love you, but you won't need us anytime soon, if you stay you'll never be able to leave. You need to make your choice, the right one, I, we believe in you."
I looked at them, the four of them that were trying to hold back their tears
as I left. I only turned back once, I could see as the house faded out of view, out of existence. Both roads, behind and in front of me were no more than dirt paths surrounded by endless fields of grass. I had no choice, but to more forward. Night approached much faster than usual, there was no moon. The only source of light was the road I was walking, which was now surrounded by the darkness of nothing. I soon came to a door, I hesitated, but proceeded to go through it.
I snapped back into awareness. I was in cold sweat as my hair drooped down in front of my eyes, making it so I was unable to see. A darkness fell over me as I looked down at my scarred hand noticing that once again I was cuffed in metal. I had a choice to make.
I already knew my answer...
Written by SilverDarkCureXZ