For the Fandom 3 Writing Contest
Good evening... Or whatever time you happen to be reading this, but I'm typing it in the evening. Tonight's story is a tale of a lost young lad who stumbles into the realm of the very monsters he'd thought unreal. But, as he is about to learn, these creatures are very real, and they all want him.
The boy wandered through the woods, unsure of where to go. He'd just been in his bed, but had somehow awoken here. His tired eyes looked around for some hint as to where to go, but only saw trees as far as the eye could see. A chill permeated the air around him, and the ground was covered in a thick fog. On and on the forest continued, dead trees lining the singular path he walked. He stumbled every now and again, catching his foot on some root or another that stuck out over his step. He was tired, and wanted nothing more than to return to his bed with the blue-plaid blanket he found so warm.
A time or two, he thought he saw the way out of the thicket, only to discover the small open circle he'd arrived at initially. On one of these such times, the boy found someone else in the little clearing: a little girl, about his age, with soft pink hair. They greeted each other, and the boy felt much calmer about his situation with the forest, figuring two heads were better than one. He asked her to join him. She agreed, on the condition that he not touch her. Fair enough. The two of them continued through the forest, hoping to find the exit.
It began to grow dark, and the boy wanted to stop and rest. The girl insisted that she wasn't tired, and that they shouldn't stop. Okay. Who was he to argue? She seemed like she knew how the woods worked better than he did. A while longer, the two of them walked in silence. It was difficult to see with the darkness and fog together, but they kept moving. Eventually, they came upon the clearing again. The boy remembered that he'd stopped here to talk to the girl, and asked if they could rest now. She nodded, and the two sat.
The light came back, and another girl greeted them. When they turned to look, there was nobody there, much to their confusion. The new girl said she could guide them at night, just so long as the boy didn't try and look at her. Fair enough. Now rested, the three of them continued through the woods, hoping to return the boy to his bed with the blue-plaid blanket he found so soft.
Another while later the darkness returned, and the trio couldn't find the safety of their little clearing. Not to worry. As promised, the second girl helped them find their way at night, which the boy found slightly difficult. But he kept his promise, and didn't look at her for directions.
They found the clearing again by the time the sun came up again. An even younger girl with a book waved a greeting to them, and invited them to sit. She asked the three of them many questions with all the vocabulary of an adult. They answered, and she finally asked what they were doing in the woods. They explained themselves, and the book girl nodded. She told them of the horrible creatures that live in the forest at night and offered to protect them, on the condition that the boy not try to read her book. Fair enough. The group sat a while longer before leaving to find the end of the forest once more.
Night fell again, and they were unable to find the clearing. Soon, they were surrounded by glowing red eyes and sets of jagged teeth. The boy hid behind the pink-haired girl, mindful of his promise to her, as the book girl repelled the monsters with harsh light. The group advanced behind the book girl until the sun rose again, and they were able to search - unimpeded - for the boy's bed with the blue-plaid blanket he found so safe.
Finding their little safe area was proving more challenging now, but they finally found it. By now, the boy was expecting the next little girl who would ask him to not do something. In the clearing this time was, of course, a girl, who was only a bit shorter than the first. She was sucking a lolipop, and wrapped around her was the boy's blue-plaid blanket. He wanted to jump for joy, but kept as calm as a little boy could and asked where the new girl found it. She looked around momentarily before pointing back the way the group had come from. She offered to lead them there, on the promise that, no matter what, the boy not remove the blanket from around her. Fair enough. He surely would have it back when he got there.
The group followed the candy girl for some time. The days began to shorten, and the nights seemed to lengthen. The book girl kept the monsters away while the candy girl struggled to remember the way. It started getting colder, but nobody acknowledged the change, save for the boy. He wanted so badly to find his bed so he could wrap up in his blue-plaid blanket and sleep. He asked the candy girl if he could join her under the blanket, but she said simply that there wasn't room. How could there be no room? The blanket was clearly big enough to share with at least one other person! He wanted to keep his promise to the candy girl, but he wanted to not be cold even more. He took the blanket, breaking his promise to the candy girl.
She stopped and looked at him with a panicked expression as icicles jutted out from her body. Her skin turned cold blue, and she grew to three times her size. Her eyes turned glassy, and her mouth split open into a maw of frozen teeth. The candy girl-monster shrieked before smacking the book girl away to advance on the boy. Looking down out of fear, he found the book girl's tome sitting open. As the giant ice monster stomped towards him, he read the page, breaking his promise to the book girl.
He dodged the candy-monster ice's attack, hearing a maniacal laugh come from the book girl's direction. Tentatively he turned, finding a hag on a broomstick darting at him through the trees. He ducked, allowing the witch to pass over him as he and the two remaining girls ran. Somehow, someway, they lost the two monsters, leaving just the two girls, the boy, and the blue-plaid blanket he found so important.
The boy's ears were ringing. If it was from the cold or the ice monster's scream, he didn't know. He told the girls he wanted to go home. He couldn't hear their responses, so he looked at them, breaking his promise to the guide girl entirely on accident.
What he saw was a monstrous creature with great wings of bone and red talons. It was covered with blue hair, and two large headlights were on its chest. The new monster roared, alerting the previous two of the dwindling group's location in the dark, foggy woods. The abomination stalked toward them, and they decided the best course of action was to run as far away as they could. The boy remembered the direction the candy girl had said to go, so he and the pink-haired girl ran.
They fled for a very long time, looking for the boy's bed. The girl tripped on a root and fell. The boy turned around. She was trapped by the ankle, and the monsters were drawing near. He wanted to help her, but couldn't do so without touching her. He'd already broken his promises to the others, he didn't want to betray the one friend he had left here in the woods. He looked up. The monsters were visible through the trees, and their gazes were all fixed on him and his blue-plaid blanket he found so...
He removed the blanket from around his shoulders and wrapped it around the girl. Then, with all his strength, he attempted to pull the girl's covered leg free. The monsters were almost there, and the two of them would be helpless if they caught up to them.
With the girl's leg now untangled, she expressed that she still couldn't walk on it. Hoping the best, the boy lifted her from the ground, still covered with the blanket, and ran. He heard the candy ice monster's shrill cry behind them; the witch's cackle; the blue monstrosity's resounding roar. They were all angry, and they all wanted him and the pink-haired girl.
The boy stumbled and fell, dropping the girl in the blanket. Fearing for both their lives, he raced to lift her again. When they rose, his hand touched something cold and soft. He looked down, and saw that the girl's leg was exposed through a large hole in the cloth. Worse, his left hand was still in contact with it. He looked apologetically at the girl in the blue-plaid blanket that now was torn.
And she smiled. She assured him that there was nothing he could have done to prevent it, and wrapped her arms around him. When he opened his eyes, he was in his bed. The girl's hair was pale white now, and she had grown at least an inch taller. She willed him to go to sleep, saying it was her turn to protect him. He nodded tiredly and closed his eyes.
He was shaking now. His eyes shot open, seeing the various girls - even the guide girl with a mop of blue hair - causing his bed to tremble and creak, expressions of worry on each of their faces as they kept saying, "...ne...! ...kune...! ...Tsukune!"
Tsukune woke to the four girls in his life shaking him almost completely out of his desk. He stirred with a yawn, sitting up and prompting the girls to stop. "Are you alright, Tsukune?" Moka asked worriedly.
"You were out for most of class," Kurumu commented half-casually. "Don't worry, we didn't do anything hard."
"I'm fine," Tsukune assured, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. "I just didn't sleep very well last night."
"Nightmares?" Yukari guessed.
"Nah, just a dream... I think you all were in it."
"Were we?" Moka asked.
"Yeah, I think so... Say, did I promise to do anything?" The girls looked at each other, shaking their heads. "Huh... And I don't own a blue blanket, do I?"
"You mentioned owning one when you were little," Mizore thought aloud. "But the one you use is dark yellow."
"Mizore," Kurumu said, "why do you know that?"
She shrugged. "Old habits die hard."