A New Home (Intro-ish)

(Not all of this will make a ton of sense. In fact, most of it won’t. So just think freely and decide how to interpret the confusing parts yourself for now ^-^ It will probably become more clear after more Tobi stories.)

The field was where she had lived all her life and she had learned to call it home, even though she despised it more than anything else. Yes, there were times where it was lush and green and filled with the sweet floral scent of maturing roses, daffodils, and bluebells, but even the most beautiful colors can clash in the ugliest of ways when they’re all there is to see. And besides, the gorgeous, vibrant display never lasted long before sharp, cold winds swept away the budding life, and froze the entire landscape. Or else a drought would leave the ground hard and bare; nothing but dust could be seen for miles. What’s more is that these seasons didn’t appear to follow any sort of cycle. One day the field would be covered in greenery and a gentle breeze would be ruffling the blankets of grass, and within a week or two, a piercing gust of wind would howl through area, freezing it over for months. And there was no one there to understand her suffering. Tobi hated the place, but it was the only one she knew. And besides, everyone had always told her it was the only place, not for miles, but anywhere.

So it was there she sat on an unbearably snowy day, her skin stinging from the icy cold. She shook in her tiny little ball, holding back what seemed like a lifetime’s worth of tears. No matter how many times she experienced such discomfort and pain, it was never something she could possibly get used to, and her only consolation was that small warm breeze that would drive out the bitter winds. Eventually. Tobi tried and tried to convince herself it would all be O.K., but suddenly she broke. She sobbed, screamed and fell to the ground. The hard, frozen snow cut into her cheek as she hit the solidified earth and the tear trails burned her delicate, pale skin, but she didn’t care. She was sick of this blizzard. And she could tell it was sick of her too because at that moment the screeching torrent of snow and ice picked up its pace, whipping her with every chip and grain.

Tobi cried and cried and wished desperately for a way out, “Stop! I told you, go away! Just leave already!” She banged on the ice with her thick, bright red gloves, “Screw off!!!” then, as if by some miracle, the girl saw someone from the corner of her eye. She turned, anxious to see if the stranger would stay long enough to help her escape such torment, or if they would simply disappear just like all the others. But what Tobi expected and what she saw were two completely different things.

She thought she’d see some translucent figure standing just beyond the frost, watching her with eyes of judgement, but what she actually saw was a very opaque figure: a boy (or young man rather) around her same age. And he looked at her with such intense caring and determination, she knew that he had faced the same misery she was experiencing, and for once it hadn’t made him bitter or crippled, just more understanding and resolute. Tobi met his strong, engaging eyes and suddenly felt guilty for letting the blizzard take her like this. As the boy neared, he held out his hand, gripping her firmly by the waist and pulling her into his arms, carrying her bridal style back to where he had just come from.

At the realization of another reachable living presence, the mania around them seemed to die down immensely, but the boy continued to take Tobi from her sadistic “home”. Finally, they neared the outskirts of the field. A place Tobi had wandered to and took ganders at now and then, especially in recent years. It was the calmest section of the field, but she didn’t dare cross into it. “This is the only place that’s real” she’d be told, “if you leave, you’ll be locked up forever.” She never understood why, though. It was always the nicest place to be. So surely whatever was beyond that point had to be just phenomenal, right? Therefore, as a little girl, Tobi concluded that there was only black and you’d fall into a pit of darkness, never able to find your way back. She had to admit though, in times like this she thought crossing over might be worth the lifetime imprisonment.

“What the hell was that place?” the boy’s slight accent took Tobi off guard. Living in such a small area, it wasn’t something she’d heard much of.

Tobi gripped the welcome stranger’s grey coat, still a little shocked, “Home…” Right after giving her response, Tobi heard a scoff somewhere off to their left. She shot the owner a glance and was shocked to see another boy, nearly identical to the first, only this one’s eyes were green instead of red and he had more of an angry, overly protective feel about him.

The boy who was holding her gave an aggravated sigh, “He’s right though. That’s not really much of a home. Is there anything else you call it?” he queried as they reached the tree line, the livid screaming of the wind fading behind them.

“Umm… the world?” Tobi asked, a tad confused as to why these two strange boys were unaware of the only place in existence. ‘Are they on something or just crazy?’ she thought, ‘but I’m not really getting that feeling from either of them…’

At this the one beside her glanced at her with bemused, yet still wary, eyes and the one holding her let out an amused chuckle, “That’s one tiny world you live in, then.” As he said this, the three of them passed right through the edge of Tobi’s home onto a wide dirt path that could easily allow three or four people to walk side by side. It had been so well concealed that Tobi never even knew it existed and, to her surprise, that it lead through a decently sized forest and not to the edge of an endless hole.

The harsh storm ended just at the edge of the field, and the further they went into the forest the more Tobi’s home seemed to change. Instead of an intense blizzard, there seemed to be just a heavy snowfall with large, unaffected patches of flowers visible through the white mist. And the more out of view the field became, the more barren it became; the whole thing slowly turning into a large dusty desert before the three of them finally made their way down a hill whose back rise covered up the wretched place behind them. After crossing a brook at the bottom of the hummock over a sturdy wooden bridge, Tobi succumbed to her weakened state and dozed off in this strangers arms, convinced for once, that her visitor wouldn’t disappear on her and leave her all alone again.

After a long while of traveling, Tobi awoke to the orange glow of sunset and two heads of messy bright red hair. She lay there a moment, wondering if she should run away for fear of being endangered by these two rather odd brothers. But something inside her said she’d be ok and that they weren’t any trouble. She might have been told to never cross over into this adjacent land, but then again, those were the same people who looked down at her with distain through distant eyes. “Where are we going? Do we really need to be this far away from the storm?” Tobi finally asked, looking into the deep red eyes of the boy carrying her.

He simply smiled, not even looking at her, “You’ll find out when we get there.”

Tobi rolled her eyes, “I hate secrets.” She fidgeted with her gloves and glared down at her hands.

“Not a secret,” the boy corrected, “A surprise”.

“Pshh. Sure…” She mumbled without even stopping to think about it, “What are your names, anyway?”

The boy holding Tobi slowed his gait and furrowed his brow as if pondering the question, “Jaxon,” he replied finally.

Tobi waited patiently for a few moments for the other boy beside them, the one with green eyes, to respond. When he didn’t, she asked again, “So, what’s your name?”

Silence resumed once more for several seconds before, “Roman. And you’re Tobi, I know.” Tobi cringed. ‘He knows my name? How?’ she looked to Jaxon for an answer to her unspoken question, but he just kept his gaze emotionless and straight ahead. Tobi sighed and closed her eyes, ‘what an oddball day this has turned into.’

“Was that really your home?” this time Tobi noticed something strange about Jaxon’s teeth while he spoke.

“Yeah…? I grew up there. It’s where I live. Also, you can put me down, thanks. I think I can walk.” Only after Tobi had said it did she realize how rude it sounded.

But before she could correct herself Jaxon continued, “It didn’t seem rather friendly. Those voices in the air were quite… oblivious. Detached. Almost insane.” This time Tobi caught it. Jaxon had two rather dangerously sharp canines, although they seemed to be the normal length.

“No, I’m the crazy one…” Tobi whispered, almost ashamed, “it’s not their fault that I’m a crappy communicator with trust issues. Of course they didn’t know. Or they were scared. I don’t blame them either way.”

“Have you ever injured someone you know, someone you love because they angered you?” Jaxon inquired as he readjusted his hold on her.

“No… I don’t-“

“Have you ever been confused between simple daydreams and the world around you?” He continued, cutting Tobi off.

“No, but-“

“Then you’re not crazy. Just a crappy communicator.” And with that the argument was settled, “By the way,” Jaxon continued after a moment, “We’re here.” Tobi looked up at his very pale, and very faintly freckled face, about to ask where exactly “here” was, but before she could she looked down to find a fuzzy little snow white rabbit with a pair of ram horns.

Before she could ask where the hell a rabbit-ram hybrid came from, Jaxon placed her down gently on the grass with a massive grin on his face. Tobi turned in the direction they had been walking and look straight forward at the most magnificent and enormous stone wall she could ever even imagine, “Who else did you two drag along?” A curious, yet otherwise emotionless man asked with his lean arm resting on a metal hook whose rope seemed to connect to the top of the colossal stone door.

“Her name is Tobi,” the green eyed boy, Roman, shot back and wandered over to her side, raising an eyebrow at the blue haired man, more defensive than before.

The man looked to Jaxon, who nodded, before whistling and pulling out a thin, pointed stick. In a fraction of a second, there were two stone golems gripping the edges of a massive wooden plank used to barricade the door. Once that was removed, the blue haired man pushed the stick into one of the gaps in the knot that was tied on the hook and pulled it in such a way that the whole thing came loose and sent the door crashing to the ground.

Just looking through the now open entryway made Tobi’s eyes widen in awe. Houses and buildings of an older, almost unreal style were scattered about with their own order within their little clusters. Large cathedral here, quaint cottage there, and everything in between. Beyond that, the protective wall seemed to stretch further than the eye could see, and contained behind it wasn’t only a beautiful, diverse town, but an entire country it seemed like. Far off in the distance Tobi could see another huge forest and just beyond that was almost purple looking mountain peaks. Once she took all that in, Tobi noticed the details like the people. Some had appendages of certain animals, others had horns, and others had scales. Tobi could have sworn she even saw a rather fine-looking lady turn into a black haired, red eyed cat, “This is just the beginning,” she heard Jaxon say beside her, “Welcome to Sapphianna, a world of wonders and, most importantly, your new home.”


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