Part 39: Mire, Part 1
The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes...was the ceiling of a dark, gloomy room with flickering, uncovered light bulbs. The random bursts of light they shone were so dim that they only just barely lit up the wood grain on the ceiling enough to see patterns in it.
The back of my head hurt in the same way it would if someone had just pulled my hair really hard. I couldn't do anything about it, though, so I just frowned and waited for it to subside.
I wondered if I'd hit my head somewhere.
I suddenly realized that my feet weren't touching the ground. And there was a cold sensation all along my back. I must have been lying down on a hard surface. I tried to move, but both my arms and both my legs had gone to sleep, and they wouldn't budge.
I'd just have to keep lying here until they woke up. I gave up on moving, and instead just stared up at the gloomy ceiling again.
(I don't like it. The wood grain looks like a person's face.)
I knew it wasn't actually a person, but it really did look like one, and he was glaring down at me with a hateful expression. It was creepy!
(Why does it...look familiar? Where have I seen that face before?)
(Urrgh... I'm really starting to get scared now.)
If only big brother were here with me... He'd just pat my head and laugh and tell me how silly I was being.
(Oh, yeah. Where is big brother?)
I was still a little disoriented, but I turned and twisted my head as best as I could manage to see if I could find him anywhere nearby. Why was I sleeping in a place like this, anyway? And why wasn't big brother at my side, like he always was...?
(And then big brother and I were looking all over for a bathroom so I could go pee, and we got separated.)
Mmmnnnggg... *sob* *hic* Big brother...
Why were we in this school to begin with? Maybe the charm failed and this was our punishment? Maybe I was the one who messed it up. I probably shouldn't even have been there. And if I hadn't asked him to help me try to find a bathroom, we wouldn't be separated right now. I should've just held his hand and not let go. I could've lasted a little longer without peeing. Then we'd still be together.
(That's right. I finally found a bathroom, but when I went inside...there were...people hanging in there... Lots of them...)
Sound Effect: Thunder
(I was so freaked out, I went back into the hall and collapsed onto the floor...and then...*gulp* ...and then...I was talking with someone... Ummm... It was...a boy who'd gotten separated from his little sister, I think... He said he'd help me find big brother. His name...That's right. His name was Yuuya Kizami.)
(It hurts... It really hurts! Why can't I move? Why?!)
I then realized that I couldn't see my arms. Where were they? Why weren't they at my sides? They were still numb, too, so I couldn't feel where they were either. But I tried my best to move them anyway.
That sounded...like rope...
(Am I...tied up?)
I thought maybe the reason I couldn't feel my arms or legs and couldn't move is because I was tied up really tight and it was cutting off my circulation.
(Mmrrnng... Come on, move!)
With some effort, I was finally able to move my fingertips. I started feeling everything I could, grateful even for this little bit of reassurance.
The rope around my wrists had been tied up tight and looped many times over. And with the circulation trickling back into my hands, it was really painful!
*sob* *sob* It hurts! It huuuuurts!
I was so scared, it felt like I'd forgotten how to breathe.
The footsteps were echoing from out in the hallway. They stopped right in front of this room.
Big brother? Big brother?!
I wriggled in place and screamed as loud as I could. I didn't even care about the old, splintery rope cutting into my wrists and ankles anymore.
Big brother! Big brother, save me! It's Yuka! I'm right here! Save me, please!
???: You shouldn't writhe around like that. The ropes will just hurt that much more.
Are you all right, Yuka?
He was looking at me with a caring, sympathetic smile on his face. He seemed to be really concerned about me.
Ummm... Please, save me! When I came to, I was all tied up!
You were indeed. And I'm the one responsible for that. I wanted to make sure I never got separated from my dear little sister ever again.
You, of course. That's why I had to tie you down. So you wouldn't ever leave me.
...! ...Wh-Why? Kizami? Are you...joking with me?
Why, you ask? What a silly question. I already told you...because you're my little sister! What part of that don't you understand?
I don't understand it at all! I'm... I'm not...!
Well, you are still just a child, so maybe you're simply too young to comprehend. But worry not! Your big brother will tell you all about it.
Mmmnngghh! Nngh... K-Kizami...
We're siblings, after all. We simply have to reach an understanding.
(I'm scared! Big brother, I'm scared!)
I didn't get any of it. Every hair on my body was standing on end. I was terrified.
(Isn't there...any way I can escape?)
The corners of my eyes were on fire. I couldn't stop myself from crying. Tears were flowing down my face like a waterfall.
His hand was ice cold. It was like there was no blood flowing through it at all -- like the hand of a dead person.
I've been waiting so long for you to wake up.
He slowly and hesitantly took his hand off my cheek, then began walking around me, toward my feet. Then he gently grabbed my skirt with one hand, and drew a knife from his breast pocket with the other.
HahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA...   I T ' S    S H O W T I M E  ! !
Music: Unrest (B)
There! Just like that! That's the voice I've been longing to hear, and the face I've been longing to see! It's only when one's terror and hopelessness reach their peak that the soul truly shines! I want to see more. Direct more of that at me!
Well, don't you worry. Your big brother will help reveal that light! Covered in blood and writhing in pain... Hoooo... True suffering is a far, far prettier sight than this!
Hmmm? What's wrong, Yuka? This is no time to rest. The fun is only just beginning...
Mrrgghh... Big brother... Save me... Big brother...please...come save me...
What are you saying, Yuka? Your big brother is right here. Look! Right in front of your eyes!
N-No! My big brother is...!
The panic and fear just kept getting more overpowering. I think I was hyperventilating. But Kizami showed no mercy. Instead, he reached out and grabbed my neck.
Living rabbits really do make far too much noise.
What a thin neck you have. So soft and supple... I can feel your carotid artery and your cervical vertebrae perfectly. These muscles...this curvature... So sensual, like it was made for my hand!
Hahahahaha... Is it painful? It must be painful!
With that, he let go of my neck, but then hastily pulled the knife in his hands right up to my face. He made sure I could see every inch of it clearly and just held it there, slowly turning it, for what felt like an eternity.
Have you gotten a good look at it, Yuka?
The knife was stained with red splatter marks. No, not even red...just dark. It wasn't a color I knew well, but there was only one thing it could've been.
Oh, this? No need to worry. Kurosaki dirtied it a bit, but it still cuts like new.
I was shivering so hard I could feel my teeth vibrating. A chill ran through every part of me, as if I were so afraid that it had actually lowered my body temperature. The chattering coming from inside my mouth was getting louder and louder, to such an extent that even I was getting distracted by it.
What a lovely face. My little sister is doing an excellent job. But...her clothes are in the way!
Music: Kizami's Awakening
Kizami suddenly tore my uniform, exposing my stomach.
What's this? Your belly is bouncy like a water balloon! It must be full of guts...
He laid the knife blade flat across my belly button, and the sudden sensation of cold metal against my skin sent even more shivers up and down my spine.
*pant* Hahaha... If it hurts, feel free to scream, okay? There's nothing to be ashamed of...
Hmm? that all you got? What's the matter, Yuka? You haven't given up already, have you? ...Not after I've finally gotten my hands on the little sister I've always wanted...
My throat was completely dry. I actually wanted to cry for help, but the walls of my air pipes were sticking together. Breathing was hard enough.
...! I... I... Mmmnnnggg... N...no...
Hahahahahahaha... Hahahahahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
*sob* Big... Big brother... Save me!
Fear had taken over. I couldn't hold myself back. I knew it wouldn't go over well, and I knew it would hurt...but I forced myself to cry out.
Mnng...ggghh... Big brooother! Biig brooootheeer!! Big brooootheeeeer!! BIIIG BROOOTHEEER!!
Hah! Hirah! HYAH!
Mnnnnggggghhh... I-I'm...sorry... I'm sorry...
Now that simply won't do. You have to say, 'Big brother, I'm so very sorry!' DO IT RIGHT THIS TIME!
...I'm not...your big brother?
Sound Effect: Static
...? What was that just now?
(Did I imagine it?)
Hmph. Hate me so much it makes you wet yourself?
Sound Effect: Static
Ohh? How very interesting. Even in such an embarrassing state, you'll still call out for help from your big brother?
You're my adorable little sister. And I'm going to make you feel real good. So there's no need to lie there crying in your own urine. It's pitiful!
Sound Effect: Static
(Did I just look down at this girl and call her pitiful? Why? Why am I feeling pity for her? What's happened to me?!)
(The poor girl? How is it that even I can exhibit such useless, empty emotions? Is there still some remnant of potential within a man like me...to birth these paltry platitudes? I'm not like the others...and yet, even I...)
Video: Showtime ends here
Music: Kizami Family Chronicles
Principal: But I'm afraid it's true. Your little boy... Yuuya brandished a pair of scissors with intent to harm another child.
Kizami's Mother: So you're saying this was done on purpose?!
Principal: By the time we arrived on the scene, he was looking down at his own bloodied hand and laughing.
Kizami's Mother: ...
Principal: We've done everything we can for him on our end. How you wish to deal with him now is up to you.
Kizami's Mother: P-Please, wait!
Ever since I was little, I've been unable to put myself in another man's shoes. I've possessed no sympathy, no empathy and no respect for life. Slowly but surely, my parents started to see me like I was some kind of devil. They shunned me. They ignored me... They'd focus all their love and affection on my older brother and sister. On my highly successful and generally upstanding brother and sister.
Everybody liked them, and I began to realize just how different life was for people who are well-regarded. And since my parents had given up on me, those siblings were the only ones who ever looked after me. My brother was particularly obnoxious, always flaunting his honor student status and trying to make me into a good little boy. It was sickening. He'd use his standing as my elder to boss me around, and would even follow me to make sure I was behaving. But I did fight back once. Back in elementary school...I stood up to my older brother.
Kouki: Wh-What the hell are you doing?! Yuuya! What did you just burn?!
It was an animal. Oh, are you mad because it smells? I just killed it now, so it still had some blood left in it. It was going to smell no matter wh--
Sound Effect: Thump
Owww... The hell was that for, asshole?!
I honestly had no idea why he'd struck me. But this was the first time I'd ever been on the receiving end of violence...and I was pissed. I tried to jump him, but he was just too big. I didn't stand a chance.
Sound Effect: Thump
Kouki: *pant* *pant* *pant* Why do you have so little regard for life? How can you just...kill another living creature? Why would you do something like that, Yuuya?!
You shut the fuck up! I'm the one who found it! I can do whatever the hell I want with it!
I couldn't believe the asshole actually threw a punch at me. I was determined to hit him back. I wasn't going to give up until I succeeded. Unfortunately, his size really was an insurmountable obstacle for me. My attempt to fight back was cut short by another, much harder blow to the same cheek.
That was twice now! I was so going to make him pay. I swore I'd injure him. My punch was going to connect! If I couldn't hit him in the head, any other part of his body would do just as well.
Grgh! Damn it. Just because you were born first, you think you're so tough... Well, if I were just a little bigger, I'd...
Kouki: You're not getting it! You need to grow up, Yuuya. As long as you're not a complete idiot, you will understand what I'm telling you some day. Our physical differences now aren't going to mean a damned thing in the future. Mental growth is what matters most. I want you to become someone who can sympathize with the pain other people feel!
I could've sworn I saw tears welling up in his eyes. The hell was that about? He just beat me up, and here he was looking sad!
I'm not like you.
Kouki: You'll always be my little brother. Nothing can ever change that.
Ugh, I can still remember what a disgustingly sentimental look he was giving me when he said that!
Grr... You can die too, then! Just die! Die, die, die! I don't care if you're my brother, I'll kill... ...What the hell?!
Let me go! Get your hands off of me! ...Wait, asshole!
Kouki: Listen. Mental growth is what matters most. Carve that into your heart. Never forget it.
Tch. Fucking hypocrite.
Yuuya... Are you all right? You didn't suffer any head trauma or anything, did you?
Just leave me alone.
You may not understand what he was trying to tell you right now, but one day, when you've grown up... you will.
Neither of you know the first damned thing about me. Why? Why the hell was I the last one to be born?! I want a younger sibling. Maybe then I'd have some clue what the fuck you two are talking about. Man, I'd love the piss out of a younger brother or sister!
And we do love you, Yuuya. Both of us.
We know...that you're a good kid at heart.
A trash can would be just fine.
Yuuya! If you keep this up, you're going to be alone your whole life!
My sister grabbed me by both of my shoulders and looked me right in the eyes when she said this. But I didn't care about a word she was saying. I just pushed her away.
So you're doing this because you love me, huh? Don't act like you have the first clue what I'm all about, you lying bitch!
Yuuya... It's the truth!
I don't trust you. I don't trust anyone! I won't lose to anyone, either! And I certainly won't tolerate other people lying to me!
I've always tried to figure out how to intuit what others are truly feeling...to get honest reactions out of them.
No one seems to understand that I'm incapable of understanding the people around me.
That's why I've made a point of studying the world and keeping to myself, simply trying my best not to stand out. I play the part of a loner.
I pretend I'm interested in boring conversations and smile. I pretend I care about the problems of others and fake a concerned expression.
Not a single one of my classmates has ever caught on to the fact that it's all just make-believe. They greet me with smiles, and I see through their lies.
They all act like they can judge a person based on his outward actions, without ever even seeing his true nature.
Every one of them is completely deceived by my act. They're all empty-headed fools, worthy of only my contempt.
They're just like my brother and sister... unforgivable cretins who lie to my face!
That's why I've decided to conduct a little experiment. A way to see if I can really understand other people...and if I can make them understand me.
I wonder if any of you were aware...that all I ever wanted was to kill you. Like animals, humans are honest only when they're on the brink of death. They all look me right in the eye...and engage me in real, true dialogue...with rare exception.
I will not...perform...for you...
...There was one who held back the screams and the begging, and simply passed away in near silence.
Sound Effect: Splort
It was a thoroughly unsatisfying kill.
There needs to be more mutual understanding.
Music: The Dreadful Dark
I'd expected to see some change within myself after coming to this place. But there was nothing. I killed, but felt no remorse. No sympathy. None of the emotions I was supposed to feel.
All life is equal, huh? Yeah, it sure is. It's all exactly the same when it's snuffed out. Humans, animals and filthy worms alike! But I suppose there is one difference. Even if it feels the same...after committing the sin of ending a human life, there's no turning back. No redemption.
I didn't regret what I'd done, but it did make me realize that I had no prospects now...no future.
Sound Effect: Static
Did I just...feel pity for someone?
Mnnnggh... My stomach's all growly...
Yes, that was it even then. This odd sensation of taking pity on another human being...
You're really shaking. Are you all right?
I, uh... I have to go to the bathroom...
That badly? Why have you held it in for so long?
Mnngh... I was with my big brother until just a moment ago...but we got separated.
Didn't you tell your big brother that you needed to use the restroom?
I did! But we just kept finding unusable bathrooms. And...I thought about going somewhere else, but...I didn't want my big brother to see me do that...so...
(A being far weaker than I, whom I'm tasked to protect. This is it! This is exactly it!)
Ummm...is something wrong, Kizami?
Heh heh heh...hahahahahaha...
(If I had this girl by my side...this girl upon whom I actually took pity...then maybe there could still be a future even for a man like me! Indeed...if I'm capable of feeling sorry for someone, then maybe there still exists some means of atoning for my sins! If I could just live with this little girl...)
Umm... I...I think I'll be...okay on my own... I'll look for my big brother by myself.
(Why?! After I finally found a little sister...why must even she distance herself from me?!)
*pant* *wheeze* *pant* No... Noooo!
RUN, RABBIT! RUN!!
Bad rabbit. You're coming with me.
You see? This is what happens when you disobey your big brother...Yuuukaaa...