When her childhood friend never returned to their small elven village and was reported most likely dead, Sakura desperately grasps on the small threads of hope that he is somewhere out there; soon sneaking out in search of him.


2. It All Started with a Cherry Blossom Tree

  I wander through the lush green forest, my trusted wooden bow equipped and ready to go. I brush a few loose strands of my long brown hair behind my small pointed ears. I continue walking until I reach the hidden meadow, the bright flowers welcoming me. I head towards the center where my favorite tree rests. I glance up at its beauty, its pink petals practically glowing from the gentle sunlight. This place has been my safe haven ever since I was a small child. I've yet to truly understand why, but this cherry blossom tree never ceases to place a smile on my face.


  I reach up, plucking a little blossom, then stare at its beauty up close before gently setting it down. I remove my bow and quiver, carefully laying them against the tree, and sit right at the base. Once seated I lift up the blossom, rubbing the petals softly. With a small chant, I cast a spell as I raise it up to my lips. With a gentle blow, it slowly turns into a sort of dust; flying away and mixing with the breeze.


  A few minutes later, a green dust approaches and a picture soon starts to form. The image of a hand swaying slightly side to side, a simple greeting. I smile and take one of the fallen petals, repeating my spell once more and watching the dust fade away. No words are necessary to let me know who the owner of the message is, especially since this is a technique he and I created.


  My name is Sakura, and I am a 16 year old elf from a nearby village. The meadow is a secret kept from everyone but my dear friend, Leaf, and I. When we were younger, we created the dust spell. The spell turns natural objects into dust and allows us to send each other messages no matter how far apart. This is quite useful since Leaf is two years older.


 In my village, at the age of 18, one must go on a journey to retrieve several objects (which are kept secret for a reason no one will explain) in order to truly achieve adulthood. Leaf has been gone on this journey for four months now, but as long as we can message each other, I feel as if he is still here. Though I can't help but miss him as I lightly clutch my chest; my heart aches to feel his presence again.


  We have known each other since I was old enough to walk. Through any and every situation thrown our way, we were always there for each other. He is the greatest friend I have, and just thinking about how sweet and amazing a friend he is brings a smile to my face... sort of like this tree. I lean against it as I close my eyes, slumber soon calling my name as the soft wind lulls me to sleep.

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