Fear Illusion
By: WalkingOnWater

A soft breeze caressed her cheeks. Her body lain against the soft sand beneath her, her hands pulled into fists scooping the sand into her aching hands. She opened her eyes. Her eyes adjusted slowly to the sun, she breathed in the salty air, her lungs filling thankfully. She sat up slowly, her arms and back aching, her stomach muscles pulled tight.
"Ahh…" She moaned, wrapping her bruised arm around her stomach. She looked up again, gazing out at the wash of ocean before her, the white waves crashing in against the shore. She pulled herself to her knees and peered around, a tiny steep island lay across from her view, a bridge connecting it and the tall cliff on the island she rested on.
"Where…where the hell am I?" She croaked. She looked behind her, a tiny shack to her left. She blinked.
"I-I guess I'm not alone…" She muttered under her breath. She stood, her legs threatening to give out from under her weight. She stumbled a bit.
"Ahh…" She moaned again. She shuffled her way slowly to the shack, her hands pressing against the door. She heaved a few breaths. Suddenly the door opened and she fell foreward into the arms of a stranger.
"Oof!" She yelped. She peered up at the stranger. She blinked a couple times. He wore odd colorful clothing, his hair was wild and his face was shadowed, his eyes were bright behind his tiny confused smile. She stepped back blushing.
"Ah!" She yelped in pain and fell to her knee. The boy jumped in surprise.
"Are you hurt?" He asked. She peered up at his concerned expression.
"Uh…yes…but I don't know how I got here…" She admitted. He nodded.
"My brother found you…he did not want to bring you inside, of fear that you would bring bad luck to us…" He said. She looked at him with confusion.
"Bad luck?" She asked. He nodded.
"Travelers to this island are few and far between, most of them have tried to destroy our tiny island, or take it over. My brother has guarded and protected us this whole time…my village is not far from here, we stay here at the only border of the island, the others blocked off by magical spells. We defend this part of the island." He said. She cocked her head.
"Where is your brother now?" She asked. The boy shrugged.
"I imagine he's out getting food." He said. She nodded and stood again, her legs shook slightly.
"Juki!" A voice yelled. The boy's eyes jolted up and he ran in front of the girl, his body going completely erect.
"Brother…you're back early…" He said.
"Juki…" the girl whispered. That was his name? She thought. She peered from behind the boy; her eyes fell upon another man. She blinked in utter curiosity. He wore a colorful wardrobe as well; his head was covered halfly with a hood, his strong arms carrying armfuls of fish and fruit. His eyes were intense with no emotion behind them. His face was too shadowed and his eyes were the only things that shown behind his hood, along with the outline of his pursed lips. She pulled back behind the boy, a little fearful. The man narrowed his eyes.
"I see she has awaken…" He said emotionlessly. Juki nodded.
"Just a few minutes ago…I don't think she can cause us any harm brother…" He bowed his head to his brother. The man walked slowly to his brother, passing him and peering at the girl, his eyes intense. He kicked open the door to the shack and stepped in, she heard a few thumps as if he were setting down the food and then his footsteps came loudly to the door. He stepped down off of the step and stopped in front of the girl. He looked down at her with no expression.
"What is your name?" He demanded, his voice deep. The girl hesitated.
"Riho…" She answered. The man did not speak for a moment.
"Where do you come from?" He demanded again. Riho blinked. Come from? She wondered.
"I—I don't remember…" She admitted. The man's expression changed.
"You are not from my village, and you are not from my world. I haven't reason to accept you on my island. I will allow you to stay until your wounds heal and a raft is built for your exit, but I will not tolerate your presence on my island for long. I want you gone within a week." He said and turned away, walking over the sand, his long cape waving behind him and his footsteps faded and he turned around a huge tree. Riho blinked. She lowered her head. Juki turned to her.
"Do not fear my brother, he will not hurt you…" He said comfortingly. Riho gave a short nod.
"What is your brothers name?" She asked. Juki cleared his throat and looked away. Riho cocked her head.
"Can you not tell me his name?" She asked. Juki sighed.
"To give out a warriors name cannot come from the mouth of another other than the warrior himself." He said. Riho blinked.
"That's stupid…" She muttered. Juki bit his lower lip.
"I will tell you if you swear never to use it unless he says it to you." He said. "Do you swear?" He asked.
"I do." Riho answered. Juki nodded.
"His name is Hotsuma." He said. Riho blinked.
"Hotsuma?" Her eyebrows knitting together.
"Yes but do not repeat it…" He said.
"Pah…" She said. "I still think its stupid but I swore I wouldn't…so I won't…" She said. Juki smiled.
"Thank you…" He said softly. He looked back into his small shack.
"I suppose I am to start our nightly meal. Will you join me?" He asked her kindly. Riho smiled.
"I would love to." She said and followed stiffly behind the boy, ignoring her wounds. The boy stopped at the table where the fish and fruit were strewn over it. The boy picked up 3 fish and turned to Riho.
"Do you know how to prepare fish?" He asked. Riho blinked.
"Well…I think I do…" She said. He put the fish in her unexpecting hands and turned away.
"If you can have them done within the time the sun reaches the peek of that other island over there I would be grateful." He said and started to cut up fruit. Riho stood there in a huff for a minute. I was expected to work even though my wounds were terrible? Riho thought. Oh this is just fine… She thought again and turned away and stepped out of the door, a knife in her hand. She looked around and spotted a hollowed out log. It must have been for grinding or preparing food. She thought. She walked over to it and laid the fish inside, pulling up the blade.
"Here goes nothing…" She sighed and picked it up, scraping off the scales with the blade. She sighed and looked out over the ocean for a moment, the red starting to show over the horizon. She sighed. Suddenly a sharp pain struck her finger.
"Ow!" She shrieked and dropped the fish and knife, putting her finger in her mouth.
"Damn knife…" She muttered with her finger in her mouth.
"Are you alright." An emotionless voice came from behind her. She spun around with surprise. It was Hotsuma.
"Oh yeah…just a little knick I'll be fine…" She said quietly. Hotsuma narrowed his eyes and did not speak for a moment. Riho looked away uneasily and turned back to the fish, picking it back up.
"So uh…ahem…what is this place anyways?" She asked as if the ease the tension. Hotsuma did not answer for a moment.
"It is my world, this island is named after our originator, Nunobi…he was a fierce warrior. My tribe lives within this island, protected by magic and warriors." He said. Riho looked back at him.
"Is your tribe also named after Nunobi?" She asked. Hotsuma hesitated.
"No…my tribes name is Juunumi, living in the Sitcho village." He answered with his lesser tone of voice. Riho nodded.
"I see…" She said softly.
"Riho are y—" She heard Juki's voice stop. She turned around and saw him holding the doorway as he leaned out and then stepped back. Hotsuma turned to him.
"It is alright Juki." Hotsuma assured him. Juki swallowed and stepped out.
"I was just going to ask Riho if she was done cleaning the fish…" He said numbly. Hotsuma turned to me.
"She is not." He said looking at me. I turned away quickly and started on the fish quickly.
"Just one more to go…" She said as she started to gut the second fish. Juki nodded and swallowed.
"Then we can snack on the fruit I have prepared inside…I have also made Ooree bread…if you like." He said. Hotsuma nodded at his brother.
"Thank you Juki…" He said and then looked back to Riho with intense and untrustful eyes and then walked away, Juki following behind him into the tiny shack. Riho sighed.
"This is going to be a long week…" She muttered to herself, cleaning the third fish.

1 hour later….

Riho stared down at the small table in the shack, Juki and Hotsuma eating at the fish, fruit and bread as she stood at the doorway, her stomach growling.
"Do not worry Riho, you may eat after we are done…" Juki assured her. She nodded meekly. Some belief they had, not allowing women to eat before them or with them…one more stupid thing like that and I'm going to scream... She thought. Hotsuma suddenly stood, pushing back the small stool.
"I will be back before the moon sets…" He said and walked out of the door. Riho looked out at him as he turned around the other side of the shack and out of her site. She turned back to Juki. Juki motioned to her to sit down. Riho blinked.
"Don't worry…please, join me." He motioned for her to sit down again. Riho looked back out the door once more and then made her way over to the tiny table. She sat on the tiny stool and looked over at the last half of the fish and the few pieces of fruit and bread.
"Please, eat, I'm finished." He said. Riho smiled meekly and then pulled the fish, bread and fruit in front of her. She started to eat, the food in her mouth felt foreign for some reason, but delightful. She savored every bite, until suddenly all of the food she had was gone again. She sighed and looked at Juki. Juki smiled timidly.
"You were hungry…" He said obviously. Riho smiled.
"Yes, I suppose I was." She agreed. Juki stood and then suddenly sat back down. Riho blinked.
"What is it?" She asked. Juki looked at her blushing.
"I'm not supposed to stand before a lady does…" He said. Riho shook her head.
"I see…" She said mockingly and stood. Juki stood as well and smiled.
"I suppose you can sleep in here…Hotsuma seemed to have warmed up to you, even though he may not seem like he has. Here…" He said, bending over and picking up 2 huge animal skins.
"You may use these." He said and walked around the table to her, holding them out. Riho took the skin and draped them over her arms. She smiled.
"There's a space over in the corner, you will sleep where my brother usually rests, but he does not seem to sleep here anymore." He said. Riho looked over at the corner. She nodded.
"Thank you…" She said and shuffled over to the corner, laying down one of the skins. She bent to her knees and looked at the blanket a moment and then lay down, pulling the other skin over her body. She peered around the dark shack. She closed her eyes.

How did I get here….

E/N: wowie…random story moment…oh well…hehe….REVIEW!