Bring Me To…
Chapter 3: Bring Me to…
A journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step.
Funny... My first step was suicide.
“I promise, I’ll find you a good home,” I whispered as I walked back to the makeshift “interview room”. Really, it was just the gym coach’s office. The witnesses had to wait on the bleachers in the gymnasium. Had only managed to slip away so that I could grab the small Yokai egg.
“Hey, what are you doing in here, Brandy,” I quickly identified the voice as Ms. Dunbar, “Students were to go home.”
“Sorry, needed to hurl. Can’t stop thinking about what John...,” I explained to her clinching the egg under my shirt. I made a sick face so that she’d believe my story.
Don’t get me wrong. I do care that my former classmate had shot himself, but we were barely allowed to bring one Yokai to school each. Even then, they are only allowed inside their seals until after lunch to train or show off. Sure, it was only an egg, but...
“Are you alright now?”
“Good, come with me,” offered a guiding hand.
Ms. Dunbar led me past the training ground doors. The police had the doors taped off. The tape was making it look like John was some sort of workplace murderer. At this point, he might as well have been. It made me sick thinking about it.
My classmates were all sitting inside the gymnasium or rather the “waiting room”. Usually, you couldn’t get any of them to shut up. Right now, even the police were having trouble getting most of them to talk. There were only a few of us left now. I had to get this egg out of here the first chance I got. Although, it was hard to find one with the distracting voices lingering over me.
“I’m not asking him. You ask him.”
“No, you do it.”
“But he’s the one that...”
“I can hear you, you know,” I turned to the twins, Kayla and Christen, “now ask me what?”
“What makes you think we were talking about you?”
“I’m the only ‘him’ left,” I motioned to the rest of the nearly vacant gym.
“It’s not important,” Kayla tried to throw me off.
“You know, the last time I heard those words… This happened,” I pantomimed the gunshot to the head. The twins shivered.
“Stop that,” the only other girl smacked the back of my head, “this is not something to joke about.”
“I am being serious...,” I glared at Karen (the girl who hit me), “just one word, just one kind deed, just one friendly smile, could have saved him. And we did nothing.”
That shut them up. It was true. We all played a role. We did nothing to help him. John was annoying, but he was a good person. Yet everyone still laughed at him. He was always smiling. While everyone else brought a new Yokai almost every week, John only brought his Kodama, Terry. Everyone teased him for it.
“Three years, and he had only befriended one Yokai,” they would say.
While we kept bringing more new Yokai, John just kept on smiling. I could see that he really cared for Terry. They spent more time playing together than showing off. Back then, I thought it was because they weren’t very strong. Now, I guess it was a coping mechanism. He was always smiling... until Terry was taken from him. Thieves stealing his lizard Yokai was just an excuse to pick on him more. No matter how the police try to explain that “Johnny that had the gun”, in some form or another, we all helped pull that trigger.
Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Still, someone had to say it. They certainly aren’t going to say all that at the funeral. Seriously, what can you say about someone who committed suicide? The girls were quiet for what seemed like ages. I finally decided to break the silence.
“So when is the funeral.” That comment earned me another hit to the back of my head.
“We’re going to the shrine later...”
“Kayla,” Karen snapped at the sisters, “he didn’t need to know that.”
“I’ll be there...”
“Don’t bother coming,” Karen quietly yelled.
“Give me one good reason why not,” I quietly yelled back.
“It’s girls only.”
“It’s the truth, right girls,” Karen announced. The twins nodded in fear.
“Then why can you go,” that one cost me a kick right in the face. Why the teachers never notice this sort of stuff, I’ll never know.
“Um, Brandy... why are you glowing?” Kayla pointed out.
“Oh crud, not now,” I cursed as I attempted to cover up the light hopelessly.
“What are you hiding under there,” Karen asked as I took out the softly glowing object from under my shirt, “Oh my God, an egg!”
“Shush, keep it down,” I hushed her, as if other people didn’t hear what she said the first time.
“That’s a real Yokai egg,” Christen almost yelled.
“Yes. Now shush!”
“Why did you bring a Yokai egg to school,” Karen yelled.
“That’s none of your business,” I said as I took off my school jacket and laid it in between the bleachers.
“That wasn’t a question!”
“What are you doing,” Christen stared.
“It’s about to hatch,” I yelled at her as I laid down the egg. It chipped, spouting a tiny spark.
“Oh My GOD!”
...So warm, don’t want to wake up...
...but I have to... It’s time...
...It’s time to wake up...
Scratch, scratch, scratch...
...Wake up from this nightmare. I have to...
scratch, scratch, scratch...
...break this wall...
...I broke through! I can taste air!...
“Oh My GOD!”
I backed up. My ears hurt. I couldn’t think.
“Be qu~t,” a voice said, “y~re sc~r~ng it.”
“C~me on, k~p g~ing.”
...I don’t want to. It’s noisy...
“Y...u C~n d~ ~t.”
...No, too loud...
“(Just push, John.)”
“(You wanted this remember?)”
...Life, I want life...
I pushed harder on the hole with my face, my legs pushing on the floor. I wanted tear down that wall, but my arms were too short.
“Towels, I need towels.”
...Gah, Too Loud!...
“Will these work?”
“Perfect. Just a little more.”
...Just a little more... I repeated in my head.
...A little more, then I’m free...
I stretched out my legs again. I broke the wall even more until my head popped through.
The lights!The noises!The smells!Everything was too much!Worse off, it was so cold!
I brought my head back inside to warm up.
“Did you see that?”
“It’s so cute.”
The ground jiggled for a second, but only for a second.
“What are you doing?”
“It has to do it on his own. Don’t help it.”
...I’m not an it....
“(Then get out here and show them, Johnny boy.)”
I crouched down and prepared myself mentally for what I was about to do. I jumped through the hole and rolled over twice. I heard girls screaming like banshees. I could swear that I could see nothing, but fire… and yet I was still so cold.
“Gottcha,” someone said as he picked me up. Warm blankets wiping cold goo off of my head, my shoulders and such, “He’s shaking kind of hard, but he’s okay...”
“He’s so… Adorable.”
I want to hurl. Not because girls thought that I was cute but... just because!!! My stomach was empty, so I couldn’t do that... I cried instead.
“Awe, he’s hungry.”
“There, there little guy,” my caretaker rocked and bounced me.
“Let me see!”
I agreed with the girl’s voice. I opened my eyes and I saw Brandy (of all people) and some other face. I couldn’t make out the details of the second face. I knew it was a girl though. When I saw Brandy, I feared him, but at the same time... I sort of fell in love.
Not that kind of fell in love!
More like, somehow, I knew he was there to protect me. He was there to keep me safe and warm. He was my only friend.
“Are they all white when they’re born?”
“I know that Kitsune are...”
“But this is not a Kitsune, Christen.”
“Yeah, these Yokai aren’t supposed to be white at all.”
“Give it to me!”
“No, I want to hold him!”
“Would you two shut up,” the face smiled, “Mommy gets to hold him first.”