Washed Away

I woke up.

Okay, maybe woke wasn't the right word. One second there was darkness, and the next I was standing in some place else. I got disoriented, my vision swayed and I narrowly stopped my fall by extending my hand towards anything that would serve as support. The hand found the wall. Of the ally. Because, yes, it was alley. Not my bedroom. And I didn't recognize whenever I was.

I lived in the same city during all my life, so I knew it inside up. Mostly. But what I was seeing beyond the alley didn't look even remotely familiar. Not remotely familiar of anything I have ever seen in my city, that's it, because the, well, everything looked clearly Asian. Which was even crazier. I was an American. It was crazy enough that I went to sleep on my own bed, in my pyjamas and wake up the next day clothed and in the middle of some alley, let alone that it was in some Asian city.

...It didn't feel like a dream, but this was just too crazy to be real. So I suppose I should start checking. I tried to open my eyes, to woke up. No dice. I didn't even feel any different. So, instead, I tried to will my self to fly. Nothing happened then, either. It just made me waste a couple of minutes.

I tried to do some calculations. Things like logic didn't tend to hold on well in dreams, so I shouldn't be able to do even basic calculations easily. Or so I thought. I read that in some book once, and it would have be wrong, or I could have misremembered. Either way, I tried. The answers came easily. Okay, not problem. That didn't necessarily meant anything. One last test. I dug a nail into the palm of one hand, hard.

It hurt like a bitch. Very nearly squealed.

I couldn't wake up no matter how hard I tried, could control the dream, could calculate easily and it hurt like hell. Also, everything in general just felt real. There was no way this could be a dream. I started to hyperventilate. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, released it. Now wasn't the time to panic.

This wasn't a dream. So… what was it? I didn't remember getting in accident or something, so coma dream was out. Maybe. I couldn't be sure of that, since I never really learned much about the subject.

Kidnapped? No, that was stupid. Who was going to kidnap me, dress me in my own clothes and then drop in some alley completely unattended? Unless they had gone to do whatever, and they had left me there because it wasn't supposed to take them long and I wasn't supposed to wake up. Could be. Could. Technically, though it was highly improbable. Either way, I wasn't sticking around to find out.

I briskly walked away, and tried to find a police station. I didn't know a lick of Japanese-random words learned because of copious anime watching didn't count-, but there had to be somebody who understood English in the police station. They could help me get out of this mess, and someday this all would be just a bad memory. Yes, I have to believe that. I have to believe that or I… I don't know what I do.

As I walked, I tried to locate myself. To find some sort of landmark. That only applied to cities were famous enough, of course, because I didn't knew enough to know something which could be considered a landmark to the locals, but that didn't really matter. I wasn't doing this to locate myself. I was just trying to distract me from my own thoughts.

I froze.

I think I even stopped breathing. Right there, on the other side of the road. A group of girls crossing the street. Those uniforms… they were the uniforms from Mitakihara's Middle School. I could recognize that anywhere. There really was no mistake.

A sudden dizziness assaulted me. I brought one hand to my forehead, and tried to steady my breathing. No way. There was no way it was like… like the wild wanderings of my mind. Mitakihara didn't exist. It was only a fictional place from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Then again, those uniforms shouldn't exist, either. But they could be cosplayers… maybe.

Or maybe those two girls which looked like Madoka and Sayaka and Hitomi were Madoka and Sayaka and Hitomi.

They turned the corner.

"Wait..." I helplessly held out a hand towards them, not really sure of what to do or say or what I was pretending to gain from this. But of course, they didn't heard me. They were long gone, at this point, at the streets were really busy. They couldn't have heard me over all this noise, not from such a distance.

That was when I realized. That single wait that had come out of my lips had be in Japanese.

That… that wasn't so strange. Everybody slipped, and I knew that word, of course. Any anime fan did. But something, a feeling in my chest, made me move out of the crowd and into a nearby alley. I turned my back, and whispered to myself one of my favourite poems. Annabel Lee. And I heard it clearly, in perfect Japanese. I didn't even know a lick of Japanese, let alone enough to say one of my favourite poems on the fly in it. Moreover, I thought of saying it in English.

I said some other things to myself, and they all came up in Japanese. No matter what. That was when my disillusion shattered.

This was Mitakihara. And those girls who had be going on their way to school were Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi. They were clearly recognizable, even though they looked like normal people and not anime characters. Which meant that this was the universe of Madoka Magica. Which mean that I was irremediably fucked, one way or another.

First of all, I was a no person here. That kind of thing wasn't exactly uncommon, but it didn't change that it would make my life harder. And second, this was Madoka Magica. Every second I was spending here, walking around, I was risking getting ensnared by some Eldritch Abomination and disappear forever. Also, if this was Mitakihara, and this was during the time line of the series as it seemed, then Walpurgis Night would be coming to destroy everything in about a month and half.

I felt tears streaming down my face. Why? Why had this happened, why me? Why did I do to deserve ending up in such a universe? I had never done anything wrong. I was a good, studious kid. I had never stole something, or killed somebody or committed any sort of crime.

My hands clenched into fists, and I uselessly slammed them against the wall of the alley until it hurt so much it felt like it was burning. At least, the pain had cooled my head a little. Crying, kicking and screaming like a toddler wouldn't do anything to change my situation. I had one thing. Knowledge of what was going to happen, and I had to use it.

Assuming this was the beginning of the series, there were only two real choices. Mami and Homura were the only two people who could help me, and also the only two girls I could be sure which were already Puella Magi that I could get in contact with as a no person without money. The only question was, who of the two would be the best choice?

With that in mind, I…

1. Go look for Mami.

2. Go look for Homura.

3. Get to the police station to seek help, and just try to forget this.