Chapter 0:

First Time?

The Nexus of Yuki Osaki

My name is Yuki Osaki, and I have been dealing with the insanity of my world since before I was born.

The day I entered this world, the hospital wing my mother was in caught fire. It was spontaneous, and when the authorities came to inspect the phenomenon later, there was nothing that could have started it. All that remained as evidence was a scorched hallway, and a lone stuffed teddy bear in pristine condition. Throughout that whole ordeal, with nurses and doctors screaming to get the patients out, my mother was completely oblivious, holding me without a care in the world. Apparently, I had been giggling the entire time, as if it was all a big joke.

She later gave that same teddy bear to me as my first plushie.

When I was three, I learned how to walk. For most, those are the few precious moments where a parent can call to their child, and their child would finally answer. Instead, I took one step outside the door and promptly got picked up by a pack of stray dogs. In the end, my mother and father found me getting tossed like a volleyball without a care in the world, and lightly scolded me for running off on my own.

When I was five, I made my first friend.

“Hi!” I exclaimed. “My name is Yuki Osaki! What’s your name?”

“Reiko Miyamura,” she stuttered, staring at me with wide eyes. At the time, I thought she was just surprised. Looking back on it, it must’ve actually been the nest of robins that had found their way on top of my head. In any case, we became fast friends after we tried crossing the street and nearly got run over by a truck. Naturally, I was the one who pushed her out of the way, and the nest of robins had a crash course in learning how to fly.

In second grade, I found myself in the runnings for class representative after someone saw me cushion an upperclassmen’s fall from a tree. In short order, an argument broke out about my inadequacy for candidacy (some big words were thrown around too), and a class fight broke out. It took my and Reiko’s combined efforts to push everyone apart and take the instigator, Eri Arakaki, hostage to try and broker peace. In the end, we bonded over the experience and established a class hierarchy, supporting Eri, since I knew I was a terrible fit for the role.

Now, how were we able to subdue twenty-five other classmates? Well, the conversation I had with my parents went something like this:

“Honey, we might need to find a way for Yuki to protect herself.”

“Why, dear? My daughter is just like me! She can handle herself just fine.”

“That’s why I’m afraid.”

They both turned to look at me getting bowled over by the neighbour’s cat and promptly getting mauled with licks and scratches. “Ma, Pa! I’m getting eaten! Help!”

They turned back to each other and hummed.

“Self defense?”

“How about martial arts?”

“Maybe Kali?”

“Or Muay Thai?”

“Is that food?” I ask excitedly, having escaped the ravenous clutches of the villainous Nekochan. They nod to themselves.

“She has all the protection she needs.”

…Okay, so that didn’t really explain anything, but you get the point. Crazy things happen to me, and I find crazier ways to escape them. Am I conscious about everything that happens to me? No! Do I care about it? Yes! Have I given up?

Eri nudged Reiko as my classmates and I continued to squabble over why I was a terrible fit for class rep. “Does this always happen?” she asked Reiko.

Reiko smiled brightly and watched as I jumped on a desk and cheered in victory... before the desk’s legs collapsed, taking me with it. “When you’re around Yuki-chan, anything can happen!”

….Well, personally, I think I’m still trying!

Joe Gold