The Games We Play
Chapter 1: Story Of My Life
You know, if there's one thing I've learned about life it's that it can always find new ways to surprise you. What's more, said surprises have a tendency of happening at the most unexpected moments. Oh, you could have everything down pat, think you're on top of the world, the master of your own destiny...and that's when it gets you.
That kind of unpredictability means one needs to use some caution, you know, think things through, because none of us can be sure what tomorrow will bring. Why, you could get run over by a car, get invited out on a date by a girl you have the hots for, your house could catch fire...for some reason.
Or you could find yourself in the situation I currently found myself in. Trapped in a world you only thought was fiction.See that guy falling to his death from several thousand feet up? Short deep brown hair, brown eyes, Caucasian, bit of a bulky looking fella with broad shoulders and what not? Not
bad on the eyes but could stand to lose a few pounds? That's yours truly.
Oh, I know what you're thinking, you're asking yourself if you're listening to the words of a crazy person, and you know what?
I don't blame you one bit. Honestly, if our positions were reversed, I'd probably
be the same way. To be frank, I'm still wondering how I ended up in this mess myself.
I guess the best place to start is the beginning...
It all started on a Friday. Classes were done and I was on my way home. To say
the week had been brutal would be an understatement. What with three papers due,
two tests AND a group presentation on top of all that.
Needless to say, I was pretty pooped out and more than ready to kick back with a few video games, a pile of junk food, and maybe browse the internet for some new fanfics to read.
Admit it, after a week like that, you'd want to treat yourself too.
Ah, I should probably give some background on myself. Name's James White, just turned 21 the previous year. Still unemployed and living with my parents, going to university, has a small circle of people I'm close with. Life follows a pretty simple routine:
Get up, get dressed, wash, eat breakfast, check to see if I have classes that day, go to said classes, eat lunch, finish classes, than either go to the public libary, or come home and study, have supper, do a bit more study than shower, grab a snack, play a few video games and than it's off to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. Routine might alter slightly on certain days but that's the basic gist of it.
I know that may not sound like the most exciting way to spend one's days but that's kinda the point. I wasn't really that big a thrill-seeker, where's other people liked extreme sports I preferred gaming or kicking back with a good book.
Yes, I dreamt of going on grand adventures here and there but, to be honest, who HASN'T thought of doing that at some point in their lives? I liked to think I was smart enough to know NOT to get involved in things I knew I was grossly under-prepared for...most of the time.
I does well enough when it comes to education, even moreso when I'm actually motivated..though I have a bit of a tendency to procrastinate and leave things till last minute. I'm not really much of a fighter either, preferring to talk problems out than use my fists though I won't hesitate to defend myself if I need to.
Yeah, not exactly your first choice to be a hero,eh?
Well, as I was saying, I stepped off the bus and took in a breath of fresh air before doing a stretch,"Man, being on the bus so long really puts a kink in ya...ah well, good to be home anyways." Suddenly, I felt droplets of water on my face and looked up before sighing in annoyance, "I could do without the rain though..."
Not only was it the weekend, but it was my mid-term break too, and my parents were out of town, meaning I had the whole house to myself. I dropped my book bag in the bedroom and headed for the kitchen to crack open a can of root beer.
I took a large gulp, let out a burp and gave a content sigh,"Ahhh...man, I needed that," Checking the clock, I realized it was almost four o'clock. Not feeling in the mood for a big, fancy supper I opted to simply shove a pizza in the microwave, set the timer and picked up the mail, flicking aside what was no good.
"Let's see...bill..bill...ooh, coupon for free sundae at Dairy Queen, gotta keep that..bill..huh?"
I was down to my last piece of mail, except this one was perhaps the strangest of all. It was a blank white envelope sealed with a round purple sticker of all things. There was no mailing information on it either. No return addresses or clues to who might've sent it. The only bit of info were two small words saying "Open Me".
Now, you'd think I be more suspicious of this, and looking back now, maybe I should've been. Maybe I should've just dumped the thing in the garbage and forgotten about it. I mean, how often do you get mysterious pieces of mail in your box? I shook the envelope, didn't hear anything rattling inside, so it couldn't be a letter bomb.
So, of course, like a complete moron, I opened the thing. Yeah, curiosity definitely killed the cat on this one...either that, or it was the cat's own stupidity. I never could quite figure that one out.
To my relief, nothing exploded...yet. Inside was a folded piece of paper,"What the.." I hauled the thing out and opened it up,"A letter...to me?" Sure enough, it was addressed directly to yours truly. Here's what it said:
Dear Mr James White,
Hello there! Good day to you, or good evening, depending on what time of day you get this. If you are reading this than allow me to express my sincere congratulations! You have been selected from out of countless other entries to recieve our grand prize!
This is a glorious opportunity for you will be one of the lucky few to experience a vacation like no other! Yes! A trip to a land that most people regard as a legend! You, my lucky winner, are on your way to The Illusionary Land Of Gensokyo!
A realm of wonders, fantastical creatures, magic, where new adventures wait for you around every corner and there is never a shortage of things to do! I will be by your place around 7: 00 PM to pick you up so get all your things in order, ok?
Rest assured, this will be a trip you will never forget...
P.S. Oh, and try not to run, ok? It only makes things more difficult for both of us and I'd...hate to see you suffer some...unfortunate mishaps before your trip even starts...hmhmhm...
I read the letter over once...than twice...than three times..I slowly put it down on the table in front of me before staring off into space and said the only thing that came to mind,"Somebody's trolling with me." I should mention that I have a tendency to talk to myself when under a great deal of stress. It helps keep me calm...somewhat.
But honestly, that was the only explanation I could come up with. I got up and began pacing back and forth as I contemplated this situation,"Let's see, I don't recall entering any sort of contest, and the handwriting does not look like anyone's I knows...but they obviously know my name, that's worthy of note..."
"There's also the matter of those initials...YY...could they belong to..." I shook my head,"No, it couldn't be..for all I know, this could be simply the next step up from prank calls, or somebody who knows me from school is messing with me...wouldn't be the first time either."
I was getting paranoid, and when I get paranoid, I tend to get crazy theories, if
you haven't noticed that yet. I needed some food to calm me down so I went to my
kitchen and grabbed the pizza.
With food and drink in hand, I headed to my room and seated myself in front
of the computer. I glanced at my bedside clock and noticed the time: 4:30 in the
I groaned and shook my head, hoping to rattle the paranoid thoughts out of it.
"Relax James, nothing's going to happen. It never does.."
I did a deep breathing exercise and that helped ease some of the tension. I
sat back in my chair, munching on pizza, slurping root beer and watching a
little anime to kill the time.
I then did another of the most stupid things you could do in any situation
ever. Just as I was starting to truly relax, forget all about that stupid letter.. I let out a content sigh and remarked,"Ahh...this is the life. Nothing could possibly go wrong..."
I slapped a hand over my mouth, realizing that I had jinxed myself. As if the
universe itself were answering my dare, the phone rang. I picked it up,"Hello?"
No answer, except for some sort of slow, heavy breathing on the other end. Now, while this would be creepy for some folks, this only made me more suspicious than anything else,
"...Who is this?" Nothing but more heavy breathing,"...Whatever you're offering,
I don't want it, and no, you aren't getting my credit card number. Good-bye." I hung up on the guy and went back to my show.
Only for the thing to start up again. I ignored the phone this time...only for it to keep on ringing! I took a deep breath and picked up the receiver again,"...Hello?"
"Yes, hello, is this the White's Residence?" came a female voice on the other end. I let out a small sigh of relief, it was likely one of the people my mom worked with, asking where she was.
"Yup, I'm sorry but Mr and Mrs White are not available right now. Can I take a message?" I asked politely...only to hear a a chuckle come on the other end,"Um...is there something wrong?"
"Hmm? Oh no,no, nothing's wrong, dearie. Tell me, is this their son I'm speaking to? A certain...James White?" I swear, when I heard my name, the hairs on my neck stood up in alarm,"It is, isn't it?"
I hesitantly spoke into the phone,"...W-Who is this, if I may ask?" Please don't let it be who I think it is, please don't let it be who I think it is! My imagination is already running wild.
That calm yet eerie chuckle could be heard on the other end,"My dear boy, you don't know? How sad, and when I went through all that trouble to drop off that lovely letter too."
My eyes widened and my palms started to sweat. If this person was the one who sent me the letter...than I got the sinking sensation I was in deep trouble,"You didn't answer my question. Who are you and what is it you want?" Calm down, James, stay in control.
The woman's giggling seemed to echo from the phone and through my entire room,"Come now, You're the one who writes all the stories, who spends their time learning about a world they convince themselves is fake but wishes was real at the same time...you should know the answer to the first question well enough...as for the second? Well, it might be better if I explain in person,"
"I'll be over to see you soon, Mr White,"
"Wait, what do you-" But the reciever went click and dial tone came up, ending our conversation. "Oy, you ain't blowing me off that easily, woman..." I hit the button for Redial and waited.
After several rings, a voice came up,"We're sorry, the number you are trying to reach...does not exist," Wait, what? I hit the Redial button again,"We're sorry, the number you are trying to reach-" I hung up and laid back in my chair.
If this person knew my name...AND they knew my number..AND they knew where I lived...yeah, I don't need to tell you folks I was in some major shit. The only reasonable thing to do was call the police and tell them I had a stalker.
I picked up the phone and dialed the number, than I waited...and waited...and waited,"Why isn't this darn thing ringing?" I checked the connection and it seemed alright. My computer was still functioning so there was no way the power could be out.
I pulled out my cellphone that I only carried around for emergencies and got ready to dial...only to notice I had no signal! Did I already mention I was a bit paranoid? No? Well, I was, and boy was it acting up now, especially since this was feeling more and more like a horror movie.
We had everything we needed: The protagonist being home all alone, a seemingly endless downpour of cold, wet rain, eerie phone calls, cut off from any sort of communication, oh, and we even had a crazy stalker on my tail.
I checked my clock, which now read 6: 27. I had less than half hour to barricade
the place and prepare myself. First, I ran around closing and locking all the
windows, drawing the curtains, even went as far as locking the doors and putting
chairs in front of them.
I then ran to my room and grabbed the heaviest book I could find. There were knives
in the kitchen I could use as a last resort. Now, you may wonder why I didn't just grab
a gun. There are two very good reasons for that:
The first reason is I don't own a gun. The other reason is that even if I could get my
hands on one, I lacked the training to use it properly without blowing my own gosh darn
So, there I sat in the living room, all the lights off and waiting for
the clock to hit the hour. I kept on telling myself,"Nothing is going to happen,
nothing is going to happen..."
The time was one minute to the hour. I swore I could feel a drop of sweat on my
brow as I was literally on the edge of my seat. I could feel a mini war going on
in my head as I waited.
What's going to happen? Nothing's going to happen. But what if I'm wrong? You're
not wrong, this is reality, that kind of stuff doesn't happen. Ever heard the
old saying "reality is sometimes stranger than fiction"? Ever heard the old saying
you're full of cow manure?
...Yeah, my mind is a strange place sometimes.
The clock struck...and nothing happened. I waited another minute...nothing happened.
Than again...and again. I waited five of the most agonizingly slow minutes of my life
for anything...and nothing occurred.
Once more, I breathed a sigh of relief and went to get up...only to hear a knock on my front door. The sound made me instantly freeze up.
I did not move. I did not speak. I did not do anything. "Maybe if I pretend I'm
not here, they'll go away.." I thought to myself. At this point, it was the only
reasonable plan I had.
The knocking came yet again, even louder this time, but I still did not
move. "Whoever's out there, please go away already. I'm not in the mood for
this..." I said in my own head but not aloud.
I could hear someone trying the door knob so I grasped my book. After what
felt like an eternity but was possibly only a few minutes, the noise seemed
to suddenly stop and all was quiet again.
I could hear footsteps outside and moving away from the house. Still clutching
my weapon, I stepped down the stairs and opened the door...there was nothing
there except the rain. Sticking my head out, I glanced around and...still nobody.
I shut and locked the door before walking to the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water from the sink. When I looked up in the mirror...I saw something standing right behind me. The figure had golden blonde hair and was donned in a white and purple dress with a fan covering their face.
I spun around...and she was gone...or was she there to begin with? I groaned and massaged my temples,"...Pull it together, James. You just need a nice, relaxing weekend from school, and you'll be better in no time."
Heading back to my room, I settled in to finish another episode of Kill La Kill, only to notice my drink can running empty. Getting up to grab a refill, I walked out to the kitchen...only to hear that giggling again. Now I knew I wasn't imagining things. Enough was enough. It was time to face my uninvited guest and get some answers.
I kept my back turned as I spoke,"I know you're there, whoever you are. Would you please hurry up and show yourself already?" If this person wanted me dead, there was no point in dragging it out.
A voice spoke up behind me,"Well, since you said please.." I spun around and actually jumped backwards at the sight of, and I'm not kidding here, a large purple gap in the air before me!
This wasn't happening...it couldn't be happening! I mean, this is the kind of thing
that only happens in fanfics!...and the occasional fan-made movie.
But it was happening...and it only got crazier. You see, inside the gap..there were eyes...lots of eyes...staring directly at me. This may blown your mind but even THAT wasn't the craziest part!
No, the truly crazy part...was what stepped out of the gap. It was her...no doubt about it now..the dress..the hair..it was all there...even with the fan up, I could see the mischevious look in her eyes. The kind that a cat gets when they acquire a new favorite toy.
The young "woman" and I stared each other down for what felt like an eternity but was possibly only a few seconds before she finally chose to speak,"Good day to you, Mr White. I hope you don't mind if I..drop in?" She snickered at what I guess she saw as a joke.
I decided to slap myself, it stung like heck, but when I looked she was still there. I nodded, knowing there was only one thing to do. I headed for the door,"And where might you be going?" My mystery guest called.
I stopped and glanced back at her,"Out for a walk to clear my head. You're obviously a hallucination brought on by a mix of incredible amounts of stress, my own paranoia and watching a little too much anime. There is no logical way you can be real, and when I get back, you'll be gone."
Instead of being annoyed, she seemed rather amused by my attitude,"Is that so? You do realize it's raining out, right?"
"I'm aware of that, thank you for stating the blatantly obvious," I replied in a sarcastic tone as I got my shoes on,"The rain will help wake me up. If I get a cold, it's a small price to pay for snapping out of this delusion." I turned to open the door...but instead of the outside world, I saw only a vast void of purple..and eyes..lots of eyes..
Shuddering, I turned to look at my new guest who was looking at me with a face of pure innocence. I moaned and shook my head,"Let me guess...you're not going to let me leave, are you?"
"Not unless you want to go tumbling down into the void my gaps lead to," At this, she shrugged,"Even I can't say for sure where you'll end up." Gee, totally nonchalant about this..well, at least she's how I pictured her...or how fandom depicts her.
I heaved out yet another sigh,"So, I'm not really dreaming, am I?"
"I'm impressed, you're only now figuring that out?" I could sense a hint of mockery in her tone. Getting back at me for that "hallucination" bit,eh? Next thing I knew, she was standing right in front of my door. How did she-Oh right, controls boundaries, duh,"So, are you going to let me in?"
"Technically, you already let yourself in," I commented in return, although it was starting to dawn on me that, despite how hesitant and freaked out I was, trying to deny this gal wasn't real was not a viable option,"So...come on in."
"Why thank you," She let herself in and we went back to the living room,"I don't think I introduced myself,did I? I'm Yukari Yakumo, the Youkai Of Boundaries...but you probably
already knew that. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."
I was shaking all over. That confirmed it. No more evidence was necessary. I summoned up my wits and looked her in the eye,"...The pleasure's all mine, Miss Yakumo.." I did a small bow. Hey, might as well show some form of respect,right?
My gesture seemed to be enough to catch her off-guard as she rose an eyebrow and lowered the fan slightly,"Hmm.."
I tilted my head,"Is there a problem, Miss Yakumo?" Please don't let her Gap me into the nine circles of hell..or outer space..or the bottom of the ocean..better yet, don't let her gap me at all...
Thankfully, lady luck must have been in a good mood tonight because her smile suddenly became...slightly more serene,"No, there's no problem. I'm simply not use to being treated with such courtesy by your kind. Oh, and just calling me Yukari will suffice. You can lower the book too. I have no wish to harm you."
Wow, we're already on a first name basis, talk about convenient. Best not to push my luck though,"Ermm..yeah.." I motioned to the kitchen,"Actually, I was going to get a drink, did you want anything?"
My guest snapped her fan shut,"If you have any green tea, that would be lovely,"
"Coming right up," I gave a two-finger salute which made her giggle and I headed to prepare some, pondering what to do all the while. After all, one of the most powerful beings in the entire Touhou series was in MY house, planning who knows what, and here I was preparing green tea for her!
...Yup, I have completely lost my mind. Reality has shattered into a bajillion pieces and I am now lost in some twisted wonderland made by my broken mind...meh, might as well go along for the ride..did I mention I'm slightly insane?
"Here you go, one mug of green tea..and some food if you want it" I brought in her drink and she took it graciously than we sat while it rained outside,chewing on slices of pizza. I felt it was time to ask the obvious question,"So...Yukari..what brings you to these parts?"
The human-looking youkai sipped her tea and hummed contently before looking out the window,"Two things mostly. Boredom is one, but I'm also doing a favor for a friend."
Gee, why I am not surprised? If my little Wikipedia splurges taught me anything is that 90 percent of what she did tended to be out of boredom,"The Outside World can be such an interesting place...when it wants to be. Gensokyo will always be my home but it's nice to have a change of scenery once in a while..wouldn't you agree?" At this, she smirked at me.
I decided to play along for now,"Yeah...I guess so. Nothing can stay the same forever...by the way," I pulled out the letter,"About this...I have some concerns."
"Concerns? And those might be?" She asked with a tilt of her head,"I figured the letter stated clearly what was going on?"
"Oh, it did, I got the bulk of it, but..." I needed to be upfront with her,"I...at the risk of sounding cliched...Why Me?" She looked me in the eye,"Out of all the people you could choose...why pick me?"
Yukari snickered,"A very good question...and the answer to that is.." She picked up her fan and flicked it open,"Why not?"
"I'm not sure I understand you." I replied truthfully as I heard the rain on the roof of my house.
"Well, let me put it to you in a way you can comprehend," She got up and walked to the window,"Like any other creature, I despise boredom, and I felt I needed someone to help alleviate it,plus I was in a generous mood today...so I simply picked a person at random...and when I saw you, I thought to myself "There's a boy who could use a vacation!" So here we are."
So that's how it was. Luck of the draw,huh? Typical Yukari...too bad I would soon have to sink her ships..figuratively speaking.
She took a look around my house,"Hmm...you don't have your bags packed, I see.."
"Yeah, that's the other concern I need to bring up," I got to my feet,"I'm afraid I must respectfully decline your offer."
"And why is that, may I ask?" Yukari turned to face me, lowering her fan slightly,"Don't tell me you haven't at least once thought of what it might be like to travel to the worlds you only ever considered fiction?"
I gnarled my teeth in frustration..but I knew better than to lie,"..I have..but with all due respect, I'm not stupid," She tilted her head back at me, "For one thing, I got a decent life here, it's not perfect by any means but I worked hard to get it and I have no intentions of losing it anytime soon. Why would I give up all that to take a leap into the unknown?"
"Also, no offense, but..the world you come from..isn't exactly high on my list of "Favorite places I wish I could visit". I mean, let's go over what you have,shall we?" I began counting on my fingers,"You got demons, tengu, oni, gods, all sorts of crazily over-powered individuals who would end me or at least beat the snot out of me for so much as looking at them the wrong way..."
I than added before she could interject,"And yes I know you got Spell Card Rules to prevent that kind of thing..but that's no guarantee some rogue Youkai isn't gonna come along and gut me like a fish than eat me for dinner."
Also, I should point out trust is a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to Yukari. On one hand she genuinely cares about her homeland and keeping it safe...but on the other hand she won't hesitate to use others to fulfill some long-term goal for her. Some might say that I was being a bit too harsh...to those folks I say, go read more of the lore, please.
If anything, I was being pretty affiable all things considered.
The best way I could label her is if you're useful to her, she'll keep you alive...when your use runs out, you're on your own. "Be honest, am I right in saying all that? Or am I simply shooting the breeze here?"
The Youkai Of Boundaries nodded along to what I was saying before chuckling lightly,"I will not deny that there are certain...risks involved..but no adventure would be complete without them now,right?"
"I'm not interested in any adventure," I replied calmly yet firmly,"I've had a long week and all I want to do is kick back,relax, not cause any trouble, and enjoy myself...is that so hard to understand, Miss Yukari?"
Yukari was quiet for a time, looking out the window at the rain. From where I sat though, I could make out a hint of a grin on her facial features, "Well...I think it's safe to say that you're a shrewd one, Mr White," She looked back at me, "But I wonder...are you truly content with your life? Can you say you have acquired your heart's desire and, when your time comes, you can pass on from this world a happy man? Or have you simply grown so use to the monotony of your current life?"
I folded my arms and shrugged, "Let's just say that when you've lived through what I have,
you learn not to overstep boundaries or to expect too much of yourself."
"Is that so?" Yukari gave a dismissive wave, "Still, I am not one to judge lifestyle choices. You follow the path you feel is best for you, and I will follow mine. I simply felt you might like the chance to be part of something bigger than yourself,"
She smiled at me, a genuine smile, "I can't say I'm not disappointed, but you're honest, and honesty is something I greatly respect," She downed the last of her tea and got to her feet, a gap opening up behind her,"Are you absolutely sure though? Most people would give up their very souls for an opportunity like this...why, you may not get another like it for the rest of your short human life.."
"You'll grow old, wrinkly, and senile, wondering what might've been if you just
had the courage to accept the hand being offered to you. That you could've been so
much more than what you ended up being..." She glanced at me from over her
shoulder, eyebrow raised expectingly, "Well?"
I shook my head,"No thank you. I'm ok right here," I waved her off,"See you around, Yukari. Enjoy your little fantasy world...and.." I offered a small smile, "Thanks for..understanding."
"In that case, thank YOU for your hospitality," She curtsied to me,"May you have a long, prosperous life, Mr White." The woman took the letter and stepped through a new gap. It closed behind her, leaving me alone once again.
Once she was gone, I dragged myself back to my room and collapsed on my bed, completely
wiped, like I had just run a marathon. I let out a loud groan, "Oh my gosh...thank goodness that's over and done with..."
Ok, despite how critical I might've seemed up till now, I did not really hate Gensokyo. In fact, I kinda enjoyed being able to play the games and explore the lore behind the world itself...even if certain aspects left me scratching my noodle.
However, I liked to think that by this point in my life I had learned the difference between Reality and Fantasy. Just because you see someone pull off one kind of feat...doesn't always mean you yourself can go out and do it too. Trust me, I had
learned that lesson the hard way.
Just to be sure, I pulled out my phone and took a look. The signal was back so I was
in the clear. However, I needed to make sure. I flipped it open and dialed the number.
The phone rang and the answering machine picked up,"Hello, this is Mrs White. I can't come to the phone right now, but please leave a message, thank you." Even if it was a recording, my mom's voice always had a soothing effect on me.
I breathed a sigh of relief and spoke my message, "Hi Mom. Hi Dad. Just calling to
see how your trip is going so far. Call me when you get this, ok? I love you both. Bye."
I hung up and pocketed the phone again.
I got comfy on my bed and yawned. The sound of the rain could be heard up on the
roof, which honestly wasn't helping me stay awake. Too tired to keep browsing
the internet or play my games...maybe I'll just...close my eyes for a minute...or
an hour or two...oh man, so tired...
With what little strength I had left, I reached over and pulled down the blinds
and curled up, still fully clothed.
Before long, I was out like a light...
The first thing I awoke to was not the sound of the rain but...my computer's humming..and
the constant sound of...wait...Touhou?!
At that moment, any drowsiness instantly left me as I jolted upwards and turned on the
bedside lamp, gasping at who was seated before me, "Y-Yukari?!!"
"Hmm? Yes?" The Border Youkai glanced over from where she was playing Embodiment Of
The Scarlet Devil on my computer, "Ah, good evening to you, Sleeping Beauty. Did you
have a nice nap?" Before I could answer, the sound of her character getting pi-chunned
echoed from the speakers, making her frown, "Well...there goes my 1 CC Run."
I stared at her, then at the screen, then back to her, before sighing and massaging
my temples before saying what came to my mind, "...You know, if you wanted to use my
computer you could've just asked."
Yukari actually giggled and pulled out her fan from a gap, using it to fan herself, "I
considered that, yes, but you looked so cute lying there all warm and cozy that I felt
it would be wrong to bother you, so I figured I would amuse myself for a bit," She glanced
back at the screen, "I must say, these games of yours are quite addicting..."
I rolled my eyes, "Yeah, well, that's Touhou for you. Once you're hooked, there's
no going back, I guess..." I shook my head out of its stupor, "But enough about that.
What are you doing back here, Yukari?"
Yukari tilted her head at me and rose an eyebrow, "Isn't it obvious? I came to see
if you've changed your mind about my offer. It's still on the table if you want it,"
She held out her hand,"All you need to do is take my hand...and you'll have the chance
to make all your dreams come true."
I stared at her hand before folding my arms and shaking my head, "I'm sorry, but the
answer is still no. I'll make my dreams come true under my own merits."
"Hmm...admirable, but..." Without warning, she smirked at me and waved her hand,
causing the space under me to give way and for me to fall through...except for one
of my hands to cling to the side of the gap, and causing her eyes to widen, "What the?"
I growled as I did my best to haul myself back up through the gap, managing to get
a second hand on it and start pulling,"Sorry..." I growled out through my teeth,"But
Instead of being annoyed, Yukari actually laughed, "My, oh, my! You're a persistent
one, aren't you?! Does my world really scare you that much?...No need to worry
though...after all..." She leaned in close to my ear and whispered, "Gensokyo accepts all."
With that, the gap started to close and I found myself free-falling...down...down..
So...this is how Alice felt when she went down the rabbit hole...
I fell through an endless void of darkness for some time, only to have it
suddenly replaced with...a clear blue sky? And...was that wind I was hearing?!
I turned myself around...and automatically wished I didn't. Why? Well, because I was falling from the sky like a blasted anvil! Clouds
whooshed by me and I could spot a patch of land slowly coming up toward me.
"...Why the hell am I falling from the sky?" I asked no one in particular,"...And why do I not have a parachute?!"
I than did the only reasonable thing I could think of..I screamed..and screamed..and screamed. Yeah, this went on for a while, with the landscape coming up closer and closer with each passing minute.
This is where you, the reader, came in. To be frank, I honestly never imagined this would be how I went out. Here I was, a 20-year old college student, falling from on high, screaming my lungs out, silently cursing whatever gods had sentenced me to this fate. I always imagined I'd go out fighting an alien invasion while piloting a giant super robot...or at least, something cooler and more satisfying than this!
At least the view was nice. The landscape before me was vast and covered with lush greenery. There were lakes, forests, mountains, villages, even a blasted huge mansion. Too bad I'd never get to see any of it...
After screaming my lungs off, I took a moment to catch my breath,"Thirsty?" Someone held out a can of root beer and I took it graciously.
I popped it open and downed some..than I realized who it was that gave me the drink,"Yukari?!"
The Border Youkai was, and I'm not kidding here, sitting on top of a gap like it was a cushion and falling right alongside me! While eating MY pizza at the same time! She wore that trollish grin on her face,"Having fun yet?"
"No!" I fired back,"Going splat all over your precious homeland is NOT my idea of fun! Also, what the heck? I thought you said I was free to go? And why are you eating my pizza?!"
"Really? You're worried more about me eating your food than about your life?" She innocently tilted her head as she fished out the letter and gulped down my food,"Did you even bother to read the fine print, my boy?" She held it out to me and whipped out a magnifying glass.
I hesitantly took the thing and she pointed a spot underneath her P.S. and when I used the magnifier on it..well.."P.P.S. Just so we're clear, since you've opened and read the contents, we now have a binding contract and thus you are bound by it. Have a nice day."
I stared at her like a gaping fish while she only wore a small smug smile on her face,"You...you tricked me! How was I suppose to know that?!"
She wagged her finger at me like a mother scolding a child, "Correction, I didn't
trick you. You simply didn't bother to read the fine print," She laid back, "Now,
you got a choice to make, my boy. Normally most of your kind simply ended up in
the forest...but I'm feeling generous so take my hand and I'll drop you off with
someone who will take care of you till you can get on your feet."
There were so many things I wanted to say to this woman...but I wasn't ready to
die just yet, "Well...that's no choice at all...so.."
"So?" She reached out a hand. I growled to myself and took it, "A wise choice.
Welcome to Gensokyo, Mr White..." With that, a new gap formed underneath me which quickly
swallowed my poor self up.
...Only to spit me back out onto hard ground,"Oof!" I looked up through my blurry vision
at a mirage of red and white standing before me and I gasped, "Oh my gosh...y-you're...I...excuse
me a moment..."
With that, and the stress of everything else that had happened today, I swooned and fell over, returning to the blissful state of unconsciousness...
...What on earth have I gotten myself into?