Mt. Losserk. A 1,838 meters high mountain located between Portugal and Spain,that's 90% covered with Foxtail Pine trees.
In the past it was believed by tribes to be sacred ground with a deep connection to demons, spirits and other mystical beings that used the mountain as either a field for battle or as a neutral ground where crashing factions would meet and talk things out.
But as time marched on and as the members of the tribes that believed in this mountain's mystical properties dropped to zero, it is now seen as just a regual pretty looking mountain by the average individual, and the first big mountain to "climb" by beginning hikers.
So usually this mountain has no one on it all year round. So, a couple of years go by until the mountain gets a new visitor during the winter of 2002.
A average looking, hundred and eighty-two centimeters tall bearded man who's surprisingly thinner then one of his height should be. With a depressed look in his face, all he had with him was a backpack with the few necessities he needed for his trip, a pocket knife and his casual clothes that were unfit for someone walking into a forest in a mountain with the temperature of 10°C. But it seemed like the cold didn't bother him.
The man walked on, he was almost getting out of the base of the mountain where the trees formed a small forest of the sorts and into the middle section of the mountain. The man was looking for something with his eyes half closed, but he then stopped.
A voiced was calling to him. A voice of a woman.
But the strange thing was that the voice sounded like it was right next to him, and yet it was... echoey.
"Hello wanderer. Would you be so kind as to help a maiden in need?" The man heard as he slowly looked around him.
"If you just so happen to have some spare time, would you come and meet me? I'm at your right." The man then turned to his right. "Yes. Just walk in the direction you're currently facing for, I don't know, five, maybe ten minutes, and you're find me sitting in a small cavern. I really need your help."
The man then started walking as soon the woman was done talking without saying a word and not thinking about the fact he's hearing voices in his head. As after walking for seven minutes, he found a small cavern. Which wasn't very deep, it was only three meters deep.
And inside it was a woman with her eyes closed, who was sitting on top of her legs in the seiza way. Around her body she had ropes as white as snow pulling her down. And in each rope had a different paper talisman stuck to them. And the woman also had one of these talismans stuck to her forehead. And it had the japanese word "sealed" writing in it, which the man couldn't read.
The man walked closer to the woman, and as he got close he noticed the woman was on top of a drawing of a pentagram looking thing. Only this "star" had eight points.
The man stopped walking once he heard the echoey voice asking him to stop in place. He was now only two meters away from the woman. The woman opened her eyes and looked at the man. And the man took this time to take note of what the woman looked like.
Pale skin, hair that was as black as coal and was so long that it reached the woman's waist. Eyes that were as yellow as pure gold with a vertical slit pupils, like a cat. And she was wearing nothing but what looked like a black worn down kimono that was torn and filled with holes exposing her skin.
And last but surely not least, she lacked normal ears. She didn't had ears in the sides of her head. On top of her head, she had animal ears. Cat ears? Dog ears? Fox ears? The man couldn't tell the difference. And behind her back, she looked to have a fluffy... Tail? It's hard to tell by looking her from the front.
"Glad you took on my offer." Said the woman, breaking the silence. "It's been a while since I saw another face. And I was starting to get lonely."
"... You needed my help on something?" The man asked the lady, without changing his sad expressing he had the whole day.
"As a matter of fact, I do. You see my dear, I can't move from my currrent position because of all this troublesome string and paper around me." The woman then slowly lifted her hands, that were tied up to each other and with a paper talisman in each hand, up to her chest. "And I was just wondering if you could be a gentlemen and free me from my little predicament." She said as she winked at the man with her left eye.
The woman then closed her eyes. And the man then reached to his pocked.
"And in return..." The woman said sofly. And then quickly opened her eyes, which gave off a yellow glow as she started to talk again with a smile that showed her sharp teeth. "I'll grant you--" She was then interrupted by the sound of rope being cutted.
The man didn't waited for the woman to finish talking, he heard her asking to cut the ropes, so he started cutting the ropes and removing the talismans one by one. And with each rope he cut, green sparkles would come out of the points of the now cut rope. And with each paper talisman he removed, a faint blue light would shine in the place the talisman was placed for a few seconds.
The woman looked at the man confused. She was happy that the man was doing what she wanted, but confused at the fact that he did it before she even brought up her wish granting offer. She had multiple plans and offers planned to convince the first schmuck that reached her to free her from her seal, and this guy is just doing it just because she asked him to.
Needless to say she didn't expect this.
In silence the man was done cutting the rope, and finished removing the talismans by ripping out the one that was at the woman forehead. Which for some reason made a white light instead of a blue one.
"Need a hand in getting up?" The man asked as he offered his right hand to the woman, which she still had her expression of confusion.
She replied with a simple "No, thanks.", and got up on her own. And then she took a few steps forward outside of her cavern. Looking up into the cloudy sky, smiling.
The man put his knife back into his pocked and said, "Well. If that's everything you needed from me. Then I'm going."
"Wait." Said the woman the moment the man took a step. "... You're not even going to ask me what the hell I am?"
The men looked at her.
"You're some sort of..." He then looked down the woman's back and noticed that his assumption was right, it was an actual tail the woman had. But he only noticed one, she had three, all wagging left to right, up and down. "Fox? Lady?"
"... Well, you're not inaugurated." The woman replied with a bored expression in her face as she turned around to look at the man's face. "Well. Since you like keeping things simple. I'm a simple spirit given flesh. And not to sound like a cocky teen, but I'm a very powerful one. And since I'm in a VERY good mood, and you were a good boy and did what you were asked to. I'm feeling generous enough to grant you a single wish."
"Not interested." The man said to the woman, still not changing his expression.
"Wha?" The woman was again taken by surprise. "I'm sorry but, why are you rejecting your just reward? It's not everyday a magical fox spirit is willing to just give you anything you want!"
"... Are you afraid that I just might twist your wish?" The woman asked as she started to get annoyed.
"Not really. I just don't want anything." The main replied with a monotone voice.
"... Look. I am..." The woman closed her eyes and she hold her hands together. And her expression slowly changed from annoyed to clam. "Grateful, for your help. And because I'm grateful, I want to reward you for your actions to me. So let me be a nice spirit in this short tale and let me give you something."
"Coin? Fame? Talent? You must want something." The woman suggested as she started to fade away and then teleporting around the area the two where in.
"Look... If we had meet a year or five ago, then I would have something I would want to ask of you. But right now, I just want nothing..." The man said, sounding more and more depressed.
"... Very well." Said the woman as she teleported in front of the man. Getting no reaction from him. "If nothing is what you want, then nothing I will give you." The woman then walked by the man's left side.
And just like that, she was gone. The man looked around a bit to see if something happened. But after a minute of silence, he just started to walk again. Looking for something specific.
And after twelve minutes of walking, he found what he was looking for, a tall tree with long and strong branches that he could climb and walk on top of it.
He walked to the tree and put his hand against the trunk, there wasn't anything special about the tree in question, it was just the first tree that fit into the description he was looking for.
He then removed the backpack he had and opened it, the takes out a notebook that only had a few pages left in it and ripped the top page of it, which was the only one with words written down. He then tossed the notebook to his side, folted the paper and put it into his right front pocket.
He then picked up his backpack and took out the only thing he had left in it. A three meter long rope. Tied in the hangman's noose knot. The man then tossed his backpack away and climbed the tree.
He climbed the eighteen meters tall tree and checked which tree branch would not break by his body weight. Confident that he found the right branch, he ties the rope around the branch and then puts the noose around his neck.
He stands up. Looks into the cloudy sky. Blink twice. And jumped off the the branch.
And then his feet hit... The ground?
No, he was still in the middle of the air. But his feet was touching something solid. With a look of pure confusion in his face he jumps twice in the same place. And his feet makes noice when he land on this "solid air".
He scratches his head his for a moment, but then the solid air he was on top of disappears and gravity pulls him down. On the way down he hits a few of the thinner branches before he lands on his back on the ground.
He grunts in pain as he reaches for the rope around his neck, he noticed that it was cut by something. He then looks up to the branch he jumped from he the same fox woman from before in on of the lower branches.
"You know. Hanging might sound like a quick and painless death if it breaks your neck." The woman says as her index finger nail that took the form of a claw slowly returns to a normal human nail. "But I've heard that the few minutes that it takes for your brain to die from oxygen starvation are excruciating."
"What do you want from me now?" The man asks the woman without moving from the spot he landed.
The woman teleports to a lower branch. "From you? Nothing."
The woman then teleports to a even lower branch. "I was just curious what a guy that doesn't want anything was going to do in this mountain. So I followed you."
And then the woman teleported next to the man's left side. "And I was not going to let the nice gentleman that helped me end his tale in just a way."
The man then looked at the woman's face as his face changed from pain back to his depressed expression. "Are you going to haunt me now?"
"Haunt? Hmm? You count call it like that if you want." The woman then sits down in the seiza position next to the man. "And I'm going to make sure I repay my life debt to you."
"Why?" The man asks of her.
"Cause I simply refuse to owing something to someone. That goes triple if the person in question isn't long for this world." She says as she smiles.
The man remains in silence for a few seconds before closing his eyes and sighing. "If you want to be even, then end me. See it as my wish."
"Ah, ah, ah." The woman say as she wags her right index finger. "The wish offer is gone. After all, I gave you the nothing you wanted."
"So, what do I need to do so you can let me die?" The man quickly replied.
"Hmmm... Well. You gave me my fredom back. And with that, my happiness. So for me to be even with you, I'll need to bring back your freedom and happiness." The woman says as her eyes start glowing yellow.
"I'm not in prison..." The man says as he closes his eye.
"I disagree. You're a prisoner to your sorrow. So, I'll free you from that." The woman replied.
"You really don't need to do this..." The man said as he was getting up.
"I know. But unfortunately for you, I want to." The woman replied.
"Why?" The men asks as he open his eyes. Only only see that the woman wasn't there anymore.
"Cause I'm nice like that." Echoed inside the man's head in the woman's voice.
The man got back on his feat. Grabbed his backpack and walked down the mountain. As depressed as he was when he first walked up the mountain. With no place to go. With no goals planned. With no dreams wanting to turn into reality. He walks on.
Only this time, a pair of golden eyes keep watch on him.
Watching and planning what to do to make this sad man smile and wanting to see tomorrow's light.
"One good deed, deserves another."