Harvest Moon Fan Fiction ❯ The Adventures of Luke ❯ Chapter One ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
“If you were a woman who farmed where would you hide?” The restaurant owners tilted their heads in thought and the customers just continued eating at the commotion. This boy came in every day and asked the same question and they had learned to not dwell; they should eat. Jake ran a hand through his graying hair and turned to his wife Colleen. She smiled sweetly at the boy and gave the same answer she gave almost every day.
“Have you checked her farm Luke?” Colleen asked as she flipped a page in the registry book.
“I did this time! I looked before I got here,” He rubbed his chin and turned to leave waving at them as he went. He stood outside of the Kirsch Inn and looked at the sky as he thought. He removed his bandana and scratched his head in the summer heat. He stuck it back on his head and decided to head towards the beach.
Akari was missing! Or that’s what he told himself as he searched down the beach. Every day at this time they usually bumped into each other and went to the Inn to grab something to drink. It was his birthday today; and for some strange reason he really wanted to spend it with her. That’s why he was starting to panic.
“Happy Birthday Luke,” a quiet voice stated next to him on the pier. Next to him stood Toby who was about to cast his fishing rod into the ocean. “Have you had a good day so far?” He tilted his head in Luke’s direction waiting for a response. “You seem to be stressed, which is why I ask.” Luke patted his friend on the back almost making the pole jump from his hands. Toby genuinely smiled at Luke and actually looked at him.
“I can’t find Akari,” Luke said quieter than normal. “I thought she would be around for my birthday, I usually see her everyday anyway but today is special. She knows it’s my birthday too.” Last year she found out by accident all thanks to the lovely Maya bringing him a big cake when they were at the Inn. It was a horrible cake. Yet cake none the less!
“Maybe she is planning something special for you?” Toby reeled in a small flounder and put it in the bucket next to his feet. “Ever think about that?” Luke smiled widely at the idea.
“You really think so?!” Toby shrugged but smiled a small smile at Luke. Luke exclaimed loudly and ran off towards town again.
Anissa was walking down the path to the Clinic to visit her husband when Luke bumped into her. “Happy birthday dear!” She said handing him some spinach. Luke always loved when she gifted him; they made the best spinach at her family’s farm. “How old are you now, twenty-three?”
Luke laughed and shook his head enthusiastically in denial. “Not even! I’m only twenty-one,” he said rubbing his neck. Anissa smiled sweetly at him and laughed.
“I always think people are older than they really are,” she re-arranged her baby on her shoulder.
“Van is getting bigger,” Luke commented pinching his cheeks. Anissa giggled with him about it and bid him farewell as she headed to visit her husband Jin.
Those two had married almost a year ago and Van popped out almost exactly within nine months. Maya and Chase were engaged to be married in late fall and the whole town was aflutter with the news of another couple about to be wed. It almost made him feel lonely. Almost.
Akari was his best friend for over a year now. The day she moved there the two had hit it off. So much so that he cut through the Goddess Tree’s dead root for her. He didn’t regret it but he hated how much trouble he had gotten in for that. Dale wasn’t on the same wave length as Luke when it came to that stuff. Luke somehow had known that the Goddess wanted him to do it; and no matter what he said to Dale he still held it over Luke’s head.
Luke sighed and leaned against a tree as he approached the mine district. Where could she be? Owen noticed him and began to approach him offering a friendly wave as he did. Luke waved back and stood up straight. Of everyone in the valley Owen reminded Luke of himself; just calmer and a bit more logical when he spoke. Luke could be smart too, just in his head and not out loud. “Hey buddy,” Owen said slapping him on the shoulder. “Feeling old yet?” Luke laughed with him at that and started walking with Owen towards the blacksmith’s.
“Not yet but I’m sure I will feel it soon,” Luke replied with a laugh. “By the way, I’m looking for someone.”
“Akari,” Owen stated. Luke tilted his head at Owen. Owen just smiled. “You two are almost inseparable.”
“I can’t find her.”
“Hm.” Owen looked down at the ground in thought. “You know all those rainbows that have been popping up?” They both looked up at the rainbows. It had been so long since they had been in the sky. People were spreading a rumor that Akari was behind it.
“What about them?”
“Do you remember Akari looking for a seedling?”
“Yeah,” Luke wasn’t following, did these events connect?
“She has been going up that mountain for a few weeks now; it may sound out of character for her to be up there though.”
“It would be,” Luke sighed.
“She may be there.” Owen said. Owen wanted to see it too, but if Akari was up there then Luke needed to go alone. Luke looked to the new tree up on the mountain. It was growing at a faster rate than any tree he had ever seen. Maybe she was with the new Goddess tree. Luke bit into his lip at the thought. He didn’t know what was up there but he knew of the bears. They could rip her to shreds! “You should go see,” Owen finished. “If you aren’t back by dark I’ll go up there too.”
“Thanks man,” Luke said running towards Dale’s Carpentry. He had to be prepared for anything. Dale was standing outside on the deck looking towards the new tree as well. “Dad,” Luke said with a bow. Dale didn’t look at Luke just nodded.
“Son.” He finally turned towards Luke and followed him into the shop. “Going somewhere? I thought we were going to have dinner tonight for your birthday.” Luke was pulling his faithful axe out of the tool box and his expression was torn. “Where are you going?” Dale asked hesitantly.
Luke looked through the window and Dale followed his gaze. “Akari may be in trouble.”
“If you cut down that tree the Goddess will kill you Luke,” Dale said looking gravely at his son.
“I’m not going to cut it down!” Luke yelled back. “What if she is hurt? I’m bringing this for the bears.” His expression was serious.
“You don’t even know if she is up there.”
“Even if she isn’t I would rather find out now rather than later.” The worst birthday gift she could give him would be not being there. “I have to know.” Dale knew his son had a big heart, and it was the way he would die someday and Dale knew it. No matter what he said Luke would find a way to go. Dale sighed heavily.
“If you really go then I want you to take my axe.” He pulled an axe out from under the counter. The handle was blue with yellow stripes and the axe itself was gold. “It may seem ugly but it works amazing. I will be heading up there if you aren’t back by tonight.”
“That’s what Owen said.”
“Then the two of us will go up there together.” Dale took the old axe from Luke and watched his son appraise the new one. “I’m sure she is fine.”
Luke felt like that was a lie. Somehow he thought the Goddess was telling him that she wasn’t. He felt it deep inside, a fear. “I hope so.”
Luke hated climbing things. If it was a tree then okay, that was his job. A giant rock was not something he liked climbing. A giant rock with fallen trees huge boulders and wild animals everywhere though. Not his ideal birthday so far. He had come across one bear so far but luckily he knew the sounds of a bear from far away. He watched it as it walked past and a cub followed not far behind. It was a cute sight, if not slightly alarming that the bears were mating.
He had a few splinters on his knuckles from pushing through some of the thicker trees. A mine had been a few miles back and he was starting to worry because the sun was beginning to descend in the sky. Calvin may have been in that mine, but Luke had no time to waste. “Damn it Akari you are gonna owe me big for this,” he said to himself as he came to the first clearing in a while. It seemed like a hill shot out from nowhere and up ahead was a bright area. He could see the new tree from here.
What if she wasn’t there? That would be good and bad at the same time. Thinking back her remembered how he had planned out this day earlier. Nine to ten a.m. he would help Dale in the shop, ten to noon he would walk around hoping to receive gifts from the villagers, noon the seven he would be with Akari. How hard was that? He got to one thirty before he started looking for her.
With a heavy sigh he finally came to the clearing and froze. There under the tree was Akari. “A-Akari?” He whispered. Running to her he fell to his knees. The handle slipped from his hands and landed with a thud on the ground near his knees. His hand landed on the back of her leg. She was cold. “What happened here?” He looked up confused.
She was a statue.
Her face looked horrified as it looked up into the tree her hand resting on the trunk. “Akari!” He yelled to the sky clinging to her stone body. He rested his forehead against her, and a tear escaped. "This is a dream right?" he whispered.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it isn't." A cloud descended and a tall man with long red hair looked down at the boy. "Luke, she had to atone for your sins."
Do you like it?