( For the full experience, please listen to https://youtu.be/zkU5JYX-bIc while reading. )
〚 ❝ Alone, at the edge of a universe, humming a tune, ❞ 〛
Soft humming is the only reprise from the sound of crunching snow under shoes. Singing a song with no meaning or end, a figure walks to a destination unknown. Past the shops who have closed down for the winter season, the alleyways locals know to not look in, everyone is gone.
The streets are empty save for the occasional car, whose warm lights offer a different shade compared to the cool blue of the full moon.
It hasn't snowed in years, the normally warm coastal town of Napoli is unprepared for what nature has in store. It's a quiet night.
A glance at their pocket watch confirms it.
Other children would be in bed by now.
〚 ❝ With sparkling crystals aglow, ❞〛
Up the street, two rights, and a left lead to a dingy apartment complex, if you were to look from the right side the 2nd window on the left would lead to a small bedroom. Just big enough for someone to slip in.
Inside sits a small boy, -just a little shorter and a little frailer than others his age but just enough so that people who notice are allowed to turn a blind eye-, laying on the floor reading a book. It is past other children's bedtime, but for him, the night is an escape from the others in the house.
He startles when a chilly breeze overcomes the room and looks up to find someone outside, their face is obscured due to the frost accumulating on the pane of the window. It would be impossible for someone to be on the other side, for his room was on the 2nd story. -It looked almost like they were flying-.
They knock twice before coming in.
〚❝ A part of thee, in the key of what we know to be every part without me,❞ 〛
Wide eyes staring, calculating, trembling from his spot standing in the middle of the room -because crying was useless- there was no one to scream and yell to about the intruder in the home, who was sitting on the edge of his window which he had foolishly kept unlocked -useless, useless-. in a carefree fashion, the side of their face illuminated from the moon. They looked ethereal.
He wanted to run,-why wouldn't his legs move- but there was nowhere to go anyway, his step-father was in the living room and god forbid if he woke him up. Were they here to punish him? Observing, as he always did, -"Why you staring at me like that, fuckin' brat?"- but looking closer they had a passive air to them, friendly even. Demonstrating they meant no harm. An aura exuded that they were here for a good purpose. Almost trustworthy.
On their face held a small smile, written with the promise of paradise.
A once given opportunity for peace of mind. A land of escape, where special, chosen children like him deserved to go. Fields of green littered with freckles of flowers and fauna, rushing rivers, tales of creatures he had seen in his books, -lightly ripped, stains covering page 5, found in the alleyway by the supermarket-. No adults, no rules. Freedom.
But did he deserve it?
〚 ❝ Knows only two can make it light.❞ 〛
Slowly, as to not scare him -the action did not go unnoticed by him- something moved from his peripheral vision.
A hand outstretched.
He looked upwards again. On the surface, there were eyes lively with the spirit of a child, yet underneath held a dullness which was yielded from what seemed years of experience.
A dangerous contradiction.
They were patient, not yelling, not scowling -which he had always known was given because useless existence-, they were different, even if it was not deserved for someone like him, they were allowing him the liberty of choice, but-
A pressure to accept lingers in the air.
They spoke again, honeyed words dripping with warmth, He could feel their good intentions, nearly transparent with truth. But he did not want to be the ladybug caught in the spider's web. He must be cautious.
A morally gray area.
Good intentions they were, but what of the outcome? Hell was said to be paved with them, after all, but then they smiled again, eyes crinkling at the corners, full of love, adoration, that smile he had always yearned for,-even subconsciously- denied by those who held such a responsibility.
...to take him to the place where 'dreams have no end '... to Neverland...
〚 ❝ You'll live forever tonight.❞ 〛
Hand in hand, Haruno Shiobana jumped from the window with the one who called themselves the nickname;