It had been a year since Chihiro was freed from the world of spirits. She now lived at the country side of her blue home, not far off from the enterence of the old amusement park. She sat beside her sleepig mat on the floor, her brown eyes looking out the window of the clear sky. It was a calm morning. A few white birds flew from the trees as their new pet dog, a medium sized white dog that loved to chase things around, ran into a tree after a squirrel. How long has it been since she left that place? Since she left all her friends there at the bath house. She sighed and played with a rock on the window sil.
"Chihiro. Dinner's ready!" Her mother called down the hall. "Coming." She called back, walking barefoot out of her room. She fixed up her greenshirt with a white stripe, and her red shorts. She comed her hair and ut it in a ponytail and sat down in the dining room. There was food set on the table as she sat down on her little pillow. The food was a varaity of stuff: pork, vegetables, fruit, and other assortments. When her mom and dad sit down, they say their blessings and begin to eat.
"Chihiro, you havent talked much lately. Has some of the kids at school given you trouble?" Mom asked, after a small mouthful of food. "No, just thinking about the time at the old amusement park when we first moved here." She answered.
"That was a year ago, what was so important there?" Her father asked after a big bite of pork. "Nothing, just reminds me of something, from our old home. The Kohaku River, actually." Chihiro said, taking her own bite. "Yeah, a real shame it was filled for more city space. What made you think of that?" Mother asked, interested.
"Oh, nothing really. Just someone I met there."
Morning came and she walked down the old dirt road to town to buy some groceries. Along its side was a small river that intertwined back and forth across the road like that of a blue and brown serpent dancing. Hills rose on each side, until at the far end the river oepned up and disapeared back around the hill and into a lake, which was fed by another, larger river. The river didnt have a name, being of not much importance. "I think I'll name this River the new Kuhaku River." She said one day, as she moved her finger over the surface.
She stopped walking for a moment as a brief wind pushed her hair in front of her face. She stood there for a moment, looking forward. She slowly turned around, but nothing was there. ~It was just the wind.~ she concluded, as she continued to walk down the road.
Fish thrived in the winding river, it was clear water, so clear that if it wasn't for the blue tint it gave the ground below, you could not see it. For a narrow river, it was still about three feet deep and four feet wide straight through, banking and rising every now and again as rocks protected the dirt underneath.
She soon was in town, heading to the Herb and food store to collect ingredients for the next week or so. She greeted the old lady who owned the shop. "Good morning, Chihiro! Come to collect a few herbs? Or, perhaps some seasoning?"
"I came for food, and... Do you have any of those Spirit herbs left?" Chihiro asked. The old lady seemed to smile at that. "Yes, Herbs to bring good wishes for spirits, and to bring some to a new home. I have about three left until I can get more." She said, going to the back of the store. She came back a few minutes later and set a flower on the counter.
The flower was as white as snow It had a powdery substance on the inside, and seemed to glitter with silver. the stem was also just as white and held the same powder film over it. She touched it, and it felt like silk, but was living.
"For my favorite little customer, I'll half the price on this rare flower. All i need is about thirty yen, which isn't much I can tell you for this flower, hard to come by these days." the old lady said. Chihiro frowned, thirty yen was a lot of her allowence, but it was worth it. She set the currency onto the counter and gently picked up the flower.
"May I ask, what you need this flower for?" The old woman asked. "For that nameless river on our side of town. I gave it the Name Kuhaku River." Chihiro said cheery.
"Oh yes, the young river dragon spirit. Well, all you have to do is rest the flower in the water at the mouth of the river, and let it flow to the other end. It will call for a spirit. Call the spirit's name three times and throw the element of their home into the air over your head. If you do well, Kuhaku will find a new home at last." The old lady explained. Chihiro bowed her head in respect before running out of the store.
She ran to the road and river with her bag of food and the spirit flower cupped in her hands. She climbed up the hill and looked at the vast lake in front of her. It was a large blue lake, and it emptied down the New Kuhaku River. She walked down the hill and stood at the mouth of the river.
"Time to make it official." She whispered, and set the flower into the water. Despite the slow moving current, the flower stayed in place, bobbing on the surface. She cupped water into her hands and stood. She took a deep breath and yelled out to the sky. "Kuharu River, Kuharu River, Kuharu River!" She threw the water into the air, and let it fall back down and splash against her face.
The white flower's silver powder began to sink into the water, and it let the current take it down the river. The powder spread out across the water and vanish into its soil. She watched as it disapeared around the hill. The river widened on the other end. The river was steeper and faster there, the water being several feet deep.
She waited for a few minutes, the wind brushing against her. The river didn't look any different. ~Must give it time.~ She thought, before walking back home.
Night came, and she rested on her mat. Her dog asleep next to her, curled up in a ball. It was a cool night, and she had her window open to let the brease sweep in.
Suddenly, a gust of wind brushed her face, waking her up. She sat upright and rubbed her eyes to clear off the crust. Looking around, she saw nothing. Walking to the window, she felt something tugging her heart toward where the river was. The wind blew again, this time trying to pull her outside instead of in. Without thinking whether she should or not, she climbed out of the window and walked toward the river.
Everytime she stopped to look around, the wind blew her forward, until she came to the river and road. She looked at it, before the wind pushed her to the right. She looked, and saw the river going out into the woods behind the hill. Chihiro crossed her arms to her chest and walked next to the flowing clear river.
She stopped and staired at the fast moving water. It seemed to be calling to her. She leaned forward, eyes transfixed on the clear water. A sudden gust of wind brushed behind her, and she fell in.
She swam back up to the surface, now aware of her actions. The water kept her in the center, away from shore and moving quickly down the fast moving water. She struggled to stay afloat, trying to break for the shore, only to be pulled back by the current.
The world around her seemed to turn brighter, until she had to close her eyes to the light. She opened them again to see she was still in the forest, but the water seemed to flow faster and faster.
Before she realised it, she was falling over a waterfall.
She spread her arms out, facing the ground. The wind pressed strongly against her fall. Fear came up into her chest. Was this it? What was going on? There were no giant cliffs near her home. yet she could see downward for miles.
Suddenly, the water behind her seemed to take a shape. It formed under her as a mist. Suddenly, she found herself being lifted up.
In a matter of seconds, a White eastern dragon appeared below her, stopping her fall as it fell down with her.
The Dragon had white fur along its elongated body. It had eagle like claws and legs. Its pink nose and long flowing whiskers in front of its green eyes and golden brown horns. The turquoise mane along its body, and the silver belly scales. It rose away from the waterfall and rising back into the air, out of their fall, with Chihiro rising behind its horns.
Chihiro couldn't speak from the suprise. Could it be? Was it really...? Tears welled up in her eyes, and she hugged the large furry neck. "Haku! You're here! How?" She asked, yelling over the blowing wind. In an answer, Haku pressed the tip of his whisker to her forhead, and images began to flash in her mind.
She saw Haku wandering aimlessly, stuck at the world of spirits. Then the sound of his name could be heard three times,. He walked toward the sound, and found himself in an intertwining river. It felt like a new home to him. He then could feel Chihiro close by, and drew her to where he was.
~hang on~ she heard in her head. She grasped onto the horns, and Haku dove into a virtical dive. Wind wipped at her face, and she slipped off hsi back, until the only part of her holding onto haku was her hands on his horns. It was a free fall.
She closed her eyes, letting the feeling of weightlessness take over. It lasted several minutes, before it suddenly changed and she fell back onto haku's neck. Opening her eyes, they were in the back yard of her home. How could that have been? They were falling downward from a cliff, a cliff that was nowhere to be seen? Maybe this was the work of haku. After all, he was a river spirit.
Chihiro climbed down and walked in front of Haku. his body suddenly began to desintigrate. Within seconds, a young boy was in the place of the dragon.
"Chihiro, Thanks. First, you set me free back at the spirit world by helping me remember my name. Now you have given me a new home. I will never forget it." He said in his calm voice. Before Chihiro could say anything, Haku kissed her cheek, and she fell asleep right where she stood.
She woke soon after, to find that it was morning. She ran to the window and looked outside. It was yet another clear day. She looked around to see her dog once again running in the yard.
Her hand brushed against something. She looked down, and saw a white scale. She picked it up. The scale was soft, with soft short fur growing off of it. She set it back down on the window sil, and walked out of her room.