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You and I

Chapter 1: The Early Days, Part 1

I can't remember the last time I saw a face that was like mine…felt like a lifetime ago, honestly. A face without any fur, any tusks or a muzzle for that matter. No one here is like me…that's for sure.

How do I even start explaining all this?

Well, for one: I don't exactly remember where I came from. The earliest moment I can remember was waking up in an empty alleyway…in a city unknown to me. I was paralyzed with confusion…and fear overtook me.

You probably think I'm a wuss, a coward even, and maybe you'd be right under the right context; however, there's one little detail I forgot to mention.

I was six.

That's right. Imagine my shock when I soon realized that wherever I was…it wasn't home. There were many structures, artwork, and items scattered around that I couldn't recognize right away. Not that I could either way…my memory of life before I ended up here was erased...and I'm not sure why. What I knew for sure was that this was NOT my world…

The first few minutes I cried, probably for longer than I should have, but what could you expect from a child? Sure enough, I had to get over my despair…put on a brave face and explore this new world.

It was slow at first, I ventured down the alleyway toward the light, and on the other side, I stopped…gasping in fear as I hid myself along the edge of the wall. Across from me, on the street, are many animals…anthropomorphic animals of many different shapes and sizes (animals like wolves, foxes, ducks, rabbits.) For some reason, it all seemed so out of place, even for a six-year-old with no context.

I wondered if I was actually dreaming at the time…that maybe I'd wake up eventually. I didn't think too much about it because my appearance soon drew the attention of several creatures. They were confused but soon shocked by my strange appearance…never having seen an animal quite like me.

I didn't know what to say, or what to do. Three animals came walking toward me and fear overtook me. I turned around and ran back into the alleyway.

The others were paralyzed for a brief moment, which gave me the opportunity to get a head start. The animals were much bigger than me, and that meant I could hide under something as they passed by. The smell of produce above me managed to mask my scent (much to my muted ignorance of course.)

I covered my face with my hands, I didn't know what to do…who to go to…I was alone in this world with no one to help me or show me how to survive. I just wanted to go home, wake up in my bed, and breath a sigh as my parents embraced me. It's a thing that would never happen again.

But…I wasn't alone.

I heard and felt a THUD to the side of me: it was a half-eaten apple. I leaned in to investigate the strange occurrence, yet I wasn't expecting what would come next. I see what appears to be a small cream-colored snout. I gasped as it sniffed for the strange odor that came from underneath the cart I was hiding under. I expected the worst, curling my body until I couldn't anymore…

The strange creature hopped down from above and slowly walked toward me on all fours…all the while sniffing me. When my curiosity got the better of me and I looked in their direction they freaked out a bit: jumping back. I was equally frightened, however, but soon they softened up their expression as curiosity blossomed again.

For the first time I managed to look in their direction much longer and I examined them. From what my young mind could try to understand it was some kind of greyish canine of sorts…maybe. I wasn't exactly sure at the time. She was wearing clothes like I was, but hers was faded and filled with holes. She HAD to be around my age…she was somewhere between eight and nine years old…slightly older than I was.

We exchanged looks, many of which could have been adorable or even amusing to others. I looked into her light brown eyes, and the most magnificent thing happened.

I somehow understood that this creature wasn't going to hurt me. In some way I understood that they, themselves, were scared too…maybe from things I didn't know yet.

They studied me a bit longer before they finally broke the long-drawn-out silence, "hi…" they simply muttered. I was surprised to find they could talk. I whimpered a bit, moving my head down a bit from view, but the stranger insisted, "what are you?"

That's when I had to try and explain it to her, but there's just one problem…yeah, it's kind of a BIG problem: I'm mute.

I gave a look that seemed to show a bit of frustration…she didn't know what to think of it. In response, she rolled her head to the side in an inquisitive manner.

"Ohh-kay…cat's got your tongue, I get it. I almost had that happen to me a few times, heh…" She soon sat in a butterfly pose, taking out a small, stolen, treat from inside her tail before she started eating it, "so, what brings you into town?"

Again, I couldn't answer. I just shyly mouthed words as she tilted her head again, "not the talkative type, are ya?"

I quietly nodded my head to her as she scratched her small muzzle chin with a claw. Unknown to me, she was considering robbing me for provisions. Someone who could possibly be naïve and can't really call for help…that seemed like a double score for her; however, I had nothing for her, plus…her curiosity for me still inspired her to know more about me.

The grey "canine" moved closer, a bit too close for comfort, but she wanted to examine my form a bit more. The only resemblance she could gather was my human eyes…for they were similar in design to any other creature in this universe. The young girl put two and two together and had to imagine I was some kind of mammal like her, maybe a monkey (she'd be right in some regard.) Again, they tried asking and I simply shrugged, and they groaned in response, "so wait, do you even know where you are?"

I raised an eyebrow at them, giving almost a blank expression that meant I didn't know. She mused, thinking possibly that I was from some faraway place. Even so, she decided to tell me, "well, if you must know, you're in Juniper City."

I gave another confused look as she groaned, "so…are you even here with somebody…a parent…a friend…acquaintance?"

I looked down as sadness overtook me. Somehow, this affected her. Her brown eyes focused on my pathetic form, "s-so…you're by yourself?" I looked back to her and nodded…

They pulled back a bit and thought quietly to themselves.

She's new here, they got no one…and they're unlike any animal I've ever seen. I don't think they'll be able to make it on their own.

The small animal scurried over to me, and she sat beside me as I looked at them, "I've been doing this solo gig for a while…it'd be great to have somebody help and get food with. What do 'ya say, kid?"

I thought about it…I had nothing else to do. I couldn't possibly stay here forever…

I saw her paw stretched out and I decided to shake it, "ohhh! That feels weird…no fur on those paws…ah, no offense?" I rolled my eyes.

We got out from under the food cart. Even though I was six and she was a few years older, I was a bit taller than her. She looked up at me and said, "so like…do you have a name?"

I nodded, but again there was really no way to tell her, but I thought about it. Sure enough, I had an idea! I decided to write in the dirt for her.

She crouched down to see what I was writing, and I pulled away…smiling.

I wrote: Mia.

The Anthro next to me looked confused, however, "uhh…what does that say? I don't know that language…never seen symbols like that before." I groaned in defeat.

"We'll figure it out later, come on!" She ushered me toward the other end of the alleyway as I tried to keep up. She was a lot faster than me, especially on all fours…there was really no way for me to keep up and she took notice of this, "don't tell me your kind can only run like that!?"

I grumbled loudly back at her before she waved her arms at me, "s-sorry, we'll figure this out. Hopefully."

Before we could continue, she stopped me with her small tail and said with a smile, "the name's Zhen, by the way."

I nodded back before we proceeded.


I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter. Take care!