In the middle of a forest a fallen dry branch snaps. A human head with antlers jumped up. A female with white deer ears and short red hair. Her antlers barely touched a branch on a tree. The female ran and disappeared. Haku jumps awake. His hand on his forehead. His breathing shallow. He sat up in his bed. His pale skin was glistening in the cool fall sun. He looked at the time and it said 8:30. He got out of his bed and stepped over piles of dirty clothing. He opened his white bedroom door and walked downstairs. His blue jeans not making any noise only when he would put his hands in his pockets. The house was quiet. Haku figured that his roommate was out at work. He went to the fridge and as he opened it, he saw deer antlers and short red hair in the reflection of the fridge. He turned around to only see the island countertop to be empty. He returned to open the fridge door. He sighed and looked at the fridge with almost nothing in it but beer cans, baby carrots, and take-out. He closed the fridge door to see the reflection of a forest looking at him. He turned around to be at home once again. Haku felt like his brain was scrambled eggs because he couldn’t understand if he was hallucinating or if it was real. Haku walked to the living room which was about 4 feet away. He grabbed the remote off the coffee table and turned the Tv on. On the screen was a news anchor and he rushed to tell the country about the breaking news.
“Breaking news.” The news anchor said. “A woman with deer ears, antlers, and even a tail was spotted coming out of the forest Sunday night.” A picture in the night vision captured an image of the mystical animal. Haku sat up straight as he listened to the news anchor. “This is actual proof that the deer woman does exist in Japan. As you all of you know the Deer woman, also known as, Shika no on’na, is a mythical being that protects the Pic Tic forest. She is known for her kind loving nature but if you harm the creatures in that forest or destroy her plants, she will destroy you.” Haku pinched himself to see if he was dreaming or not, but no this was real life.
Haku turned off the Tv in disbelief. He got up and went back upstairs to his bedroom. He then closed the door and started cleaning his room. He gathered up his clothing and went down to the laundry room. After starting the laundry machine and throwing all the trash in his room away, Haku grabbed his laptop and did some research on Shika no on’na. He looked up what Shika no on’na came from but his laptop died. He cursed under his breath and put his computer on the charger. Haku decided to clean up and to get dressed. After getting cleaned up. He grabbed the last things he had in his closet. He was thinking that the Shika no on’na was just a wise tale to make people respect the forest. He put on his white tank top and put on a pair of basketball shorts. He put on his black running shoes.
He grabbed his keys and left his apartment, locking the door behind him. Not many people were out on a Sunday, early afternoon. He then went for a jog around the city before heading to the store. Passing the Pic Tic forest, he stopped and looked to his right and looked into the deep forest. He heard a quick snap. He thought it was just an animal in the forest. When he looked in front of him, he saw tree twigs on a girl's head. Up close he could see she had freckles all over her face. He jumped back and surprise. He then let out a little laugh.
“Nice costume.” He said.
“Costume?” She looked at her white robes that covered her body. Her robes didn’t cover her shoulder and they had gold rims on the shoulders. She looked up at Haku. “What is a costume?”
“I’m Haku.” He said holding his hand out for a handshake. The deer girl just stood there and looked at his hands. And with a blink of an eye, she disappeared into thin air. Haku stood there in shock, not understanding what just happened. He shook his head thinking that he was just seeing things. He then continued to walk to the store. Once he got there he let out a huge sigh. The store was closed due to "renovations." He had to walk to the bus stop which was just a little farther. When he got there two girls were mumbling about Shika no on'na. Haku listened in.
"I heard that Shika no on'na's real name is Mamoru Moriko and apparently she goes to the same school that we do." One girl said, her hair was up in a ponytail.
Haku knew those girls were from the school he went to but he couldn't figure out why they would be talking about an old wise tale. The bus rolled up to the stop when one of the girls walked up to him.
"Hey, your Haku Ookami, aren't you?" The girl asked with a quiet voice. Her hair was in twin braids. Haku nodded. "I'm Tomomi Kitsune and this is..." She points to her friend behind her who is giving Haku a death glare. "...Niko Sato, I think we are in the same class. Class 2-8?"
"Really?" Haku, Tomomi, and Niko got onto the bus. They all sat down.
Niko spoke to Tomomi, "Why are we talking to this idiot?"
"Niko!! Be nic-" Tomomi was interrupted by Haku.
"It's fine, I understand. Anyway, it was nice to meet you two." Haku got up and faced Niko and Tomomi and formally said goodbye by bowing and walking off the bus.
"NIKO!! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!" Tomomi said while raising her voice. "Why were you so mean?"
"All popular guys are the same, rude, snobby and selfish," Niko said.
"HE ISN'T POPULAR! He is smart, caring, kind, and he is self-less." Tomomi said as she lowered her voice. She moved and looked at her feet. "He helped me, he helped me from seeing the end of my rope. He helped me relaize that I am needed." Tomomi was trembling. "He risked his life to save mine! And I never got to tell him who I was or that I was thankful."
Haku stocked the fridge with all the food he purchased. Haku finished putting the food away when his roommate came home. He smelled like brewed coffee. He took off his shoes before stepping onto the carpet floor. He yawned.
"Hey, Haku." He said.
"Hey, Sōma. How was work?" Haku asked.
"Quiet and relaxing," Sōma said sarcastically.
Haku chuckled. "Well, I stopped by the store and got some food."
"Did you hear about Shika no on'na?"
"Yeah, I heard it on the news."
"Well apparently, She goes to our school." Sōma flopped onto the couch. "Apparently she is in your class. Her name is Mamoru Moriko." Haku walked toward Sōma.
"Who did you hear that from?" Haku asked as he handed Sōma a soda.
"Amahmaru," Sōma said. He opened his soda and took a big gulp of his refreshment.
"Do you believe any of it?"
"Well yeah. The picture they showed on the news was real. They even had an expert examine the photo and he said it looked real. Why do you not believe?"
"No, Not really," Haku said as he relaxed. The sun finally set when Sōma grabbed the remote and turned the Television on. On the news was the same thing but instead a newer most recent photo of the Shika no on'na. But instead it was more up close and you could see every detail on her face. The freckles were all over her face and her dark brown eyes were like black holes. Her skin was pale and her hair was short red. Just like the girl, he saw while he was jogging. "Turn it off," Haku said as he didn't want to hear about something he believed to be false. After Sōma refused to turn it off, Haku decided to go to bed.
The next day, Haku was in his school uniform. A blue tucked in tie, with a grey-blue cardigan and a pastel yellow blazer and black dress pants. He wore his nice black shoes. He grabbed his school bag and walked to school. Leaving with Sōma who dressed the same but without the tie. Halfway there, in the corner of his eye, he saw a girl who resembled the Shika no on'na.