What inspired me to write this novel was from a film I had recently seen entitled "Spirited Away"...
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“Your Aura is weak,” Came Karasu’s voice within the air, though he wasn’t anywhere in sight. Yume laid there on the ground, still frozen solid as his breath slowed down. Pain still throbbed in his right arm, something was hurting him. He looked towards his arm, and there was a deep gash that carved into his flesh. He looked around, there was no one around, not a single soul, though he remembered this place, it was the station he had dreamed about.
He tried to find some source of light, any source of light that he could use to comfort him, the darkness that lingered around him threatened him, and he hated it. He hated this whole thing, ever since his teacher assigned him that essay, it was as if everything decided to come crashing down upon him so suddenly, it felt like being crushed by two boulders, his Grandmother was telling him that he had a mother that was a Queen of some other realm, and that she hadn’t died in a fire, and that he had to awaken these guardians that will summon the Gods to destroy whatever darkness plagued this unknown realm.
“Humans, humans are with us,” Whispered a voice that floated into the air. Yume looked around, wondering whom it belonged to but he saw no one in sight.
“Who’s there?” He asked.
“Maybe not human, but half human, half wounded human,” Whispered the voice that seemed to have gotten closer to him.
“What shall we do for this one?” Asked another voice exactly the same tone as the first.
“We shall wait, we shall see if he is dangerous,” Replied the other voice.
“I mean no harm, I promise you that,” Yume said aloud not knowing why for he felt stupid for talking to nothing.
“He means no harm, this one says,” Came the second voice.
“If this one says boy means no harm, then this other one thinks you as an acquaintance, and acquaintances must introduce each other, my name is Other One, and my brother is just called One, what is your name young boy?” The voice supposedly called Other One asked.
“I am Yume Ame,” Said Yume trying to get up to his knees.
“Ame, that is a name forgotten in time, the bloodline had come to an end, you must be the last,” Whispered the Other One.
“My parents were killed, and all that is left is my little brother, me and my Grandmother,” Said Yume.
“Pain fills your heart, you have misplaced something valuble, and you’re waiting to board the train to find it again,” Said the One.
“Yes, I’m supposed to seek the council,” He said.
“We shall heal thy first, before thy does anything,” Said The Other One. Suddenly as if a cold hand had been wrapped around Yume’s arm, he felt a strange sensation on his wounded arm. He looked towards where the coldness had come from, and he saw two floating eyes that glowed like burning coals.
“Don’t’ be afraid of One’s looks, we are though only spirits like all others in the platform,” Said the One as his invisible cold hands stroked the wound that had been carved into Yume’s hand, and to Yume’s amazement, the wound was slowly vanishing, and the blood was vanishing.
“The council, is weak, and hides during the meet, to find the place, look into the land of crystal shards, where the silent ones speak, and where the reflection is broken,” Said the Other One, their voices suddenly drift off as then the loud sound of a train whistle blares through the silence like a shriek of an angry demon. Yume looked around, noticing that lanterns began to appear in different directions, and all the bazaar creatures began occupying the platform now. He rose up off the ground as not to embarrass himself in front of the spirits. He examined each and every one of them, though it was very hard to tell what they were.
One particular spirit that was the oddest of them all, was a strange wooden stick, and on top of the stick rested a single eye, this eye darted back and forward, as if looking for something or someone, or was just plain nerves and periodically checked to see if the coast was clear.
Everyone was forming a single file line, suddenly a loud rumbling sound began to fill the platform, and then a loud screeching sound followed it, Yume covered his ears for the sound was so loud it sounded like long fingernails being scrapped up against a chalk board. Suddenly out from the shadows, a large steam engine immersed. It was exactly how he dreamed of it, a perfect mirror image.
Soon the large steam engine came into view. Its paint shimmered beautiful lavender, the driving wheels a deep violet, the piston rods plated with gold that gleamed in the dim light provided by the lamps nearby. The water from the fog rolled down the boiler as if the locomotive was perspiring. The steam hissed from the cylinders, smoke bellowing from the chimney, the lamp shining like a blood red sun, and the whistle shrieked like a demon in the night. Yume’s breath was taken away, it was exactly alike, a perfect mimic that had no simple flaw that he could see.
Yume watched the conductor exit out of the train and began taking tickets from the fellow spirits that waited in line. He watched each individual spirit step aboard the train. He looked around, he realized that he had no ticket, he was never given one. He dug into his pockets wondering if there was a nearby ticket booth where he could perches one, however there was a slight problem, he did not see one. He removed his hand out of his pockets and inside of his clutched hand he felt a slip of paper, he opened his hand and saw a simple ticket that read. “Platform 13, One Stop” He smiles softly, knowing that Karasu had to have been behind this.
He got in line and made sure to make his presents less known to the spirits that were around him. He looked at the spirit that stood in front of him which was a one legged umbrella that obtained one eye that looked around the platform. He kept silent, he did not want to make a scene, and stand out. He saw a strange looking tree, and a hand hanging off of it holding it’s ticket to board the train, and then a few inches down the line was a fire spirit, it took the shape of a male. Yume sighed as the line progressed rather sluggishly, the train lets out a loud shriek from the chimney as another puff of smoke hissed from its top. He wondered what the spirit realm looked like, weather it would be like his own realm, or something entirely different.
“Everyone hurry, we must be aboard before the stroke of twelve!” Shouted the conductor, all the spirits began to mummer and just as he said this, an old station clock came into view, its rusty hands pointed to 11:30 PM, time sure flies by fast.
“Where are you Karasu,” Whimpered Yume as the line moved forward, he drew closer and closer towards the entrance of the train, would the conductor see that he was not a spirit and not allow him on the train? He took a deep gulp of air and looked around making sure to make himself as small as possible; he knew that things would turn out rather bad if he were to get caught.
“What is he doing here,” Came a voice as suddenly a man in a uniform approached towards Yume. He gasped looking towards the man realzing that it was a police officer, but a spirit officer. S***, he was dead.
“A human!” Shouted some of the spirits in panic as they all looked towards Yume’s way. The conductor glared at Yume, he was in trouble now. Suddenly he was pushed out of the line and he fell to the solid ground his knee scraping against the pavement causing another bruise.
“What does a pathetic human like yourself doing here, how did you find this place!” Shouted another officer who now had a strange golden rod in his hand that resembled the beating sticks that the officers carried in his world.
“I…I’m here to seek council with the Lords,” Yume whimpered as he rose up to his knees.
“Humans aren’t allowed in the realm, because of what they have done to it,” Said the second officer that approached him taking out a pair of black cuffs. The other officer grabbed hold of Yume’s hands and put them together as the cuffs closed around them, Yume sighed, what else could go wrong? Suddenly the golden stick that the first officer held suddenly collided against the back of Yume’s head, and everything goes dark….
Yume awoke, and things were still very dark. He groaned, he looked around hearing rattling objects within the area. He had no idea where he was until he heard the sound of tracks rubbing against train wheels then did he realize that he was aboard the train.
“W..where am I?” He stuttered leaning his back up against the wall realizing that he was in a very dark room that most be one of the carts of the train that had no windows.
“Your in the crow’s nest as some call it,” Replied a dark voice within the darkness, suddenly two green eyes peer right at Yume.
Yume groaned and shuddered, seeing those eyes sent a shiver down his spine.
“You’re a human, is that right?” Asked the voice.
“Half human I think,” Yume replied softly as he sat there rubbing the back of his head where the rod had slammed up against it.
“Right, that is what they all say,” Said the voice.
“Who are you?” Asked Yume wondering whom he was sharing the train cart with.
“My name means nothing anymore, I’ve been here for as long as I could remember, and that is a long time boy,” Said the voice. Yume then hears a cough. A fowl smell lingered in the air that made Yume slightly dizzy.
“I’m Yume,” Said Yume with encouragement as he looked around, slowly things were getting easier to see now that his eyes were adjusting to the darkness, he could see outlines of crates and boxes, some were closed and some were open and obtained liqure bottles, that explained the smell.
“And I am only but a monster, that may linger in your nightmares, I wonder in the light of a full moon, and hunt to satisfy my hunger,” Said the voice that now was sounding more male.
“A werewolf?” Asked Yume looking up at the eyes, now he knew why they were so green.
“If your kind calls us that, but I prefer the term wolf, and my name is Howl,” He said.
Yume nodded in acknowledgement smiling softly.
“You’ll be taken into custody once you arrive in Seishin-Sekai realm, I’m afraid that humans are strickly forbidden in our realm,” Said Howl sighing slightly.
“Well if you bit me by mistake then I wouldn’t be a human nessesarlly,” Said Yume.
“Smart one you are, your just like your father,” Said Howl smiling in the darkness. Yume’s heart leaped in his throat.
“You knew my father?” Yume asked staring at the green eyes that seemed to hover in the blackness.
“Your father was a noble man, even though we’ve not seen him since his disaperence in the Daktora Forest, he led the nobles against his own wife,” He said.
“Wait, my parents, they’er alive!” Yume looked at the eyes in disbelief.
“Haven’t you known?” Asked Howl growling slightly.
“No I haven’t, my parents died in a fire a long time ago,” Yume said clentching his fists.
“That was what she only wanted you to see, no your parents are very much alive, well your mother is anyway, that fowl woman,” He said.
“My mother as not fowl, she was a kind gentle spirit that would never harm anything!” Yume shouted anger pulsing through his vanes, suddenly a strange light began to appear around his wrist, it formed a little thread and began wrapping around him.
“Hey now calm down, your aura is picking up, we don’t need that around here,” Said Howl getting a bit nerves.
Yume looked at his wrist seeing the results of his outburst and tried to calm down, the light at first was rather bright, but as he calmed down slowly began to dim like a light bulb burning out.
“Sorry,” Said Yume resting himself back against the wall.
“I didn’t mean to snap at you like that,” He said.
“No worries lad, I would be upset to if I found out that my parents were still alive and that my mother had faked their own death to hide her shame and disgrace to the family name,” Said Howl.
“What do you mean disgrace,” Yume said, it was more of a statement then a question, and he attended that for he hated when someone talked bad about his mother, the kindest person that he had ever knew.
“Your mother, she was kind at first, but then one day came, in the midst of a cold winter, a witch had come to her when she lost her way in the frozen forest, her body was weak, for she was searching for her daughter that went missing,” Howl explained.
“Great, I have a sister now?” Yume asked sighing. He was getting annoyed with all the secrets.
“Yes, only she had vanished into the thin air, into the human realm, which also aided the evil that grew inside your mother, anyways, when she met the Witch the Witch agreed to save her, only if the Witch could consume her body, and take rein over the world she ruled,” He said sighing softly.
“That was a dark time for all of us, for once she agreed, the witch absorbed and trapped her soul, and she took her form, and destroyed everything that she had accomplished in making a perfect world,” Howl stopped and sighed softly looking down.
“So my mother is trapped because of the Witch,” Said Yume sighing softly.
“Yes, she is not an evil person; however she is being consumed by this evil being,” Said Howl sighing.
Suddenly a door of the cart slides open and there stands one of the officers.
“Human, come with us,” Said He said waving his hand in the air, suddenly Yume gasped and was up on his feet and flew across the cart and right into the arms of the officer.
“Good human,” He said clicking the cuffs around his wrists again.