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201642
Prologue:

His mother was dead.

He didn't know to feel relief or a pity. Ever since he was born in this prison-like body, she had loved him. Shielding him from the worse of his father's excesses, even when he came home drunk and reaching for the belt. Giving him love, smiles, and warmth, in a world of cruel children and neglectful adults. And she was dead.

His father would come home soon. More beatings. More jeers from the other children. And no one would care.

What did he have in this life? Nothing. No friends. Not family. And not even a healthy body. He was going to die. Either starving to death on the street, murdered when his body failed him again, or maybe being beaten to death. Or worse. Sold. No, he would go out his own way. That way, he would have his own choice.

He picked up his crutches and backpack. He didnt have much in this life, but he wouldn't die alone. At least, he would have something with him when he passed into the afterlife. Just a few books, a few precious keepsakes, and a few more mementos.

~

"Well, this is new." he thought. The forest he had walked into now seemed distinctly more dangerous. Old wives tales of ghosts and demons, horror stories children shared with one another, and tales of myth and exploration he had read in the long hours in the library hidden from his tormentors

The winding trail had long since disappeared, and the air had twisted and twitched somehow. It was no longer the humid, warm summer air. No, the air was colder now, biting, drier. It was almost like winter. But how? His sweat dried and stuck to his skin, the cool air now making him shiver. He looked behind him. The path was gone. He was still leaving footprints on the ground, now slightly soggy with dew. But... He leaned down at the point where his footprints began, slowly prodding the ground with his crutch. The ground was soft and would form an imprint. And yet, looking at the marks on the ground, its as if he had dropped from the sky into the middle of the path and then started walking.

The wind blew again, rustling the trees and leaves around him, and he shivered. Something had happened. Something had broken natural law, and he had crossed into it. Where was he now? In the realm of spirits and demons? He wracked his mind for the stories of old memories, and stories on how to deal with the Raksha. And then he realized that the wind had died, but the rustling had not.

In front of him, a bush was moving and shaking. He backed away, slowly. His body was weak and crippled, and he could not run. He could barely stand after several hours of walking. He would have to lean on one crutch, and then swing with the other, and hope that-

A rabbit popped out. Small, brown, with a small piece of greenery between its paws, its nose twitching and ears flicking here and there. It stared at him, standing up on its hind legs. He let out a sigh of relief. Just a rabbit. Silly him, being scared by something harmless like that. What on earth would he -

A girl with rabbit ears jumped out of the bush.

The girl was young, roughly his size. A pink one piece dress billowing around her bare legs. And two large rabbit ears on her head. The girl stood in front of him, right beside the rabbit (which he realized, did not run in fright from this sudden interloper), and put her hands on her hips, smiling at him. For a moment, he thought that the ears upon her head were fake... until they began to twitch and turn.

The girl's smile widened, and she began to laugh. It was the laughter of a child, not one of humour, but of pure delight of running around in exertion. She danced around the bunny at her feet, clapping her hands together. She raced towards a small grove of trees, and shouted: "Catch me if you can!" And then, she ran away, deep into the depths of the forest, disappearing into the shadows.

For some godforsaken, unknown reason, he began to follow her.

~

That was a bad idea. He glanced at the trail of broken leaves and footprints around the place. The girl's passage was not traceless. Several more hours of brisk walking, more exertion than he had done in his entire life, and the sun slowly setting, and he had met his match. The trail went on, several more footprints into the distance... and yet, he could see disturbed undergrowth branching out to the right. There were 2 sets of footprints. And yet, she could not have suddenly split into two. Or could she have?

He stood there, thinking. There was... nothing. A dense circle of trees, preventing anyone from seeing. The trail in front of him sloped downwards down a hill, while the other turned to the right, into the distance. Right at the very fork, was a large bush, beside the trail worn through the grass.

He sat down, leaning against a lone tree, and thought. Think, think.... he thought. Reminisencing on the thoughts and memories of all the stories he had heard. "Now, there's always this weird old coon. When I was hunting him, he would do some crazy shit. Like backtrack on his trail, then go on to another way, just to fuck with the dog." "A fairy enjoys tricking people. But more importantly, they enjoy watching the people they trick. You see any mischief or any prank? The fairy dweller is right next to you, laughing at the expression of befuddlement on your face."

He stood up. The fairy is right next to you, watching you. He picked up one of his crutches, and swung it at his target.

Thunk

The girl crawled out of the bush, nursing her head. She looked up at him, a frown on her face. Then it disappeared, and she leapt up, dusting the dirt off her dress. "So you caught me!" she said, grinning, her pretty face lighting up with a smile. "Well, you'e a smart one, aren't ya! So what happened to your legs?"

He motionedat them, at once gesturing to the crutch and his legs. "I was born like this. My mother took care of me, but... well, she's gone now. I've never truly ran or jumped in my life. Never been able to easily stand tall either."

The girl looked him up and down. "Well, you're in luck! And when I say that, it means something! I know someone who can fix that up. And then, I'll say that your good luck will truly begin."
I like this, I like this a lot.

Sure there's a few minor grammar errors here and there
e.g "You'e" should be "you're"
but they are easily made mistakes that I and tons of other novice authors make.

It's clear you've put effort and time into this.
Your writing style is nice, refreshing like a frozen drink.

Life is busy, update at your own pace.


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