‘Warmth, comfort, silence. Oh, no wait; birds are chirping. Not silence, but… serene calmness. Am I dead? Am I in heaven?’ I wondered, struggling to wake up. I could barely feel blankets that were laying on top of me; rather sloppily; I might add. ‘Was it all a dream? The fire… Mom and Dad… All of it?’ I moaned sleepily, trying to decide if it was worth it to open my eyes. I sighed, ‘May as well get it over with.’ I blinked an eye open, squinting as I got used to the bright light of the… sunrise? ‘Good grief, how early is it?’ I asked myself as I began to try and sit up. I opened my other eye and shook my head, looking down at the blanket. It was woven, and made wool of all kinds of colors. ‘This isn’t my blanket.’ I thought. I looked up and to the left, where a wooden dresser, a slightly broken mirror, and a few other pieces of furniture were sitting. ‘That’s not my dresser.’ I looked in front of me, on the left section of the wall was a door made of bamboo, and it was held aloft by hinges made of hemp. To the right of the door was a large bookshelf, with damp books, old books, and one or two new-looking books between the shelves. ‘That’s not my bookshelf, or my door.’ Finally I turned to the right; and before I could make anything out of that side of the room, I was met with two of the largest blue eyes I had ever seen. Or it could have been that whoever had those eyes was barely two inches from my face. I yelped in surprise and would have fallen back if I wasn’t already sitting. I leaned away from the face, and I managed to get a better look at the person. It was a boy, that was for sure. And he had blue eyes of course. He had a long red cape, with fluff around the collar. His chest was bare, and most of his pants were hidden behind the bed sheets. Looking back up to his face, I found that he was grinning a bit, and small fangs were protruding from the corners of his mouth. His hair looked remarkably soft, I could already imagine myself spending hours just petting his hair. Refocusing on the task at hand, I looked a bit higher to see he had two little triangles extending out past his head. ‘Hold on a second…’ I told myself, trying to refocus on him. ‘Are those… Cat ears?’ I wondered.
“Good morning!” The person said in a cheerful male voice. Having all but forgotten that the person was live, I was taken by surprise for a minute, and had to regain my composure.
“… Hi?” I mumbled in response. “Um… Who are you?” The man leaned back and sat down on a small wooden stool. I saw that he apparently also had a tail to match the ears. It was currently curling around one of the legs of the stool.
“My name’s Simon. I’d like to know yours, if you’ve got one.” He said to me, never once losing his cheerful demeanor.
“… I’m Miriam.” I told him. Simon tilted his head, one of his ears going down.
“Miriam? Never heard that name before.” He said. It was now my turn to tilt my head, seeing how surprised I was at his words. “So what are you, Miriam?” Simon suddenly asked, jumping back up and lunging forwards to me; once again invading my personal space. “I’ve never seen something like you ‘round here before.” He let out a small gasp. “Are you a new creature? Made up on the fly from a writer?” Simon began to grow very excited; meanwhile I was trying to piece together what he meant. “That’s incredible! What powers do you have? Can you fly? Are you—”
“Whoa, whoa. Hold up.” I interrupted, holding up a hand. “What do you mean ‘new creature’? I’m a human; and so are you.” I told him. Simon blinked a few times, then started laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked him. He calmed down for a minute and turned his head, moving away his hair to reveal the base of his cat ear. He tugged at it, scratched it, and even pinched it for a second or two. The ear was real, and actually connected to him.
“I’m not a human.” He said. “Full-on Kemonomimi here. But I must say what an honor it is to meet a real live human. I never expected to see one up close before.” He jumped over the bed and landed crouched on top of me, his eyes staring into mine when I fell over backwards. “Although… From Jason’s description I had thought humans were more muscular, with beards and…” Simon glanced down to my chest. “Flatter chests…” His eyes narrowed. “What are those things?” I screeched and pushed him off of me before he could touch me, and I grabbed the blankets below me; pulling it up to cover my body even though I was fully clothed. Simon had fallen off the sheets, and was now kneeling at the foot of the bed.
“They are very personal, private, and delicate; and women don’t like it when men stare at them and touch them, got it?” I explained briefly; maybe he was just one of those rare cases that they don’t know about that stuff yet. Simon bounced right on top of the bed, sitting down with his legs crossed.
“What’s a woman?” He asked, his eyes brimming with curiosity and an energy that didn’t seem to have a limit. I couldn’t decide whether to feel sorry for him, or to face-palm. I loosened my grip on the blankets for a second, he seemed genuinely at a loss. I was still trying to come up with an explanation when the door burst open.
“Simon, you’ve been in here for two whole days, now are you—” said a male voice from the doorway. A large orange blob was just lying there, constantly flowing with goop. I cringed in disgust for a minute, but I forced my face to return to normal when the slime slowly transformed. What was once a glob of goo was now a shirtless man, with a horn on his head. His body was completely orange, and instead of legs he had the remainder of his slime. The different shades of orange separated his hair and horn from the rest of him; and if he was normal he might actually look kind of cool. “Whoa! She woke up!” He said when he had completed his transformation. Simon jumped up and sat next to me in the bed, putting an arm around me and holding me tightly.
“Yep, just now she did!” He said before tilting his head. “What’s a she?” The slime man turned to look at Simon, a sort of bored look on his face. The slime man sighed before sloshing his body over to the side of the bed. He moved a little slowly, but I suppose that was expected.
“Sorry about him. We don’t get out much and we haven’t seen a female in years.” He told me, his eyes a brilliant orange, as if he was hopeful for something. “My name’s Raphael.” His voice seemed to come from his entire form, and every now and then I could hear a sort of plopping drip when he pronounced the letters ‘d’ and ‘t’. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same when he said ‘b’ and ‘p’ as well. Raphael extended his arms out to help me out of bed, but my instincts told me to back away. The shade of his eyes changed to a slightly paler tone, and I instantly knew that I had somehow made him sad. He lowered his hands and went around to the other end of the bed, picking up Simon by the scruff of his neck. Simon yowled in protest, but the slime that Raphael was giving off had a firm grip. He carried Simon towards the doorway, giving me a half-glance back.
“I’ll be back after I’ve explained to Simon what you are.” He said. “I’ll answer your questions then; but for now please rest. The doctor said you had been through a lot.” He then walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.
End Chapter 1!