Chapter 01

He walked down the street absent-mindedly kicking an old discarded can, trying desperately to ignore the heated glares that followed him as he continued to his destination. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he glanced at a nearby window where he frowned at his reflection.

Sun-kissed blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and three whisker-like markings on either side of his cheeks greeted him. As if the dirt and grime on his face wasn't enough, the furrowing of his brow definitely did not add to his appeal.

As he peered more closely at his reflection he noted a few more things that made him sigh. His shirt was starting to tear, (which was a major problem because he only had one extra shirt at home) his pants had holes dotted about them, (no doubt from the frequent falls he always seemed to make) and his sandals: well, needless to say…He wasn't happy about the strap on his left one that refused to stay locked in place.

He rubbed a hand through his locks in resignation and continued down the road. Good thing too, because the owner of the shop in question had just appeared at the doorway, scowling at him.

Continuing on his lonely trek, the boy didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that everyone within sight of him seemed to scurry off in his wake. As if a six-year-old boy could do anything to threaten them. Well, that wasn't entirely true. He may have accidentally dropped a few stink bombs in strategic places along the most traveled road in the village…but, honestly: who was keeping score?

He walked another five paces before he whipped around in agitation and glared at his surroundings. The villagers who were privy to his stare paled and quickly scampered out of sight, while muttering not-so-desirable things about him. However, the boy paid them no mind. He was too busy scanning the street, buildings, and alleys for his 'shadow'.

What shadow, you ask?

That question was the very same one that had plagued the boy for the last week and a half. Everyday he would take to the streets, the park, the library, (which he was quickly booted out of each time) and other places in the village, only to feel a persistent nagging that something, or even more frightening: someone was following him. They never did anything to him, but that didn't make the boy feel any better. In fact, he was more concerned that the moment he let his guard down, even for a moment, his 'shadow' would do something.

He continued looking around for about a minute longer, before he huffed in frustration and went back to his stroll. It was like this every time. He would feel the 'shadow'; turn around to confront it, only to meet with…absolutely nothing. It was getting to the point where he was tempted to go see the Old Man and let him know about it.

The boy sighed. He couldn't tell the Old Man. As nice as he always was to him, the boy knew he was always busy. He couldn't be bothered with something that the boy was sure he would consider 'minor'. The 'shadow' was here to stay, until further notice, it seemed.

The boy continued walking until he arrived in a more run-down section of the village. He knew better than to make eye contact with the various occupants of the area, unless he was asking for trouble. The women who seemed to always be standing on the corners and next to run down buildings were always friendly, but the boy didn't like the men who always seemed to linger around them. They would glare and shout rude things at him; as if he had done something to them they could never forgive. A year and a half of living in this place had taught him the hard way that if he kept to himself, he would be MUCH better off.

At last, the boy arrived at what had to be the most run-down, depressing apartment complex in creation. He fished around in his pockets for a moment as he approached a long stairwell and fished out a rusty key. He held it tightly in his grip as he carefully made his way up the stairs. After a few moments, he arrived at the top, and in front of a door that had seen better days. It was heavily grafftied with messages varying from: 'Orphan Brat' all the way to "DIE'. The boy had grown so used to seeing them that he had them all memorized from top to bottom on the door.

As he inserted his key, he chanced a glance behind him. Even though he was almost 'home free (well, at least as safe as he could possibly be in this cesspool.) he was wary still of his pursuer. With a quick nod to himself that the coast was clear, he unlocked the door and pushed his way inside.

Only to find, that he had made a huge mistake in thinking that he was ever safe to begin with.

AN: What do you think? Keep going?