Mad World

Ume

Ume:

I do not know where my master goes sometimes. He will disappear in the middle of the night for hours at a time and then come back in the morning. Just like everything else, he won’t tell me where he goes. I am happy when he does return.

-Mikado-

I woke up in the middle of the night. It’s always the same in some hotel room. The darkness makes me want to hurl. Why do I even do this anymore? I looked over at Jessie-san and Akira-kun sound asleep in the other bed. If I didn’t have them around, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. But sometimes, I have to get away from them. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about them. Akira-kun is all I have of my wife now. Jessie, I picked up because I felt her pain and desperation that night in Kabukicho. But, I have to get away from them at times.

I climbed out of bed and got dressed. There was only one place that I had to go to escape. I bid Akira-kun and Jessie-san a good night before I slipped out of the room. Once in the hall, I lit up another cigarette and took a smoke. The former version of myself doesn’t exist anymore. He died along with everyone else when the hell known as the Wasteland took over. That bastard Kitano cursed me to live forever in this dying world. Every day, I see Tokyo itself rotting away. Cell phones are useless now. Same with money. Most of the power keeps going out. Everyone I ever cared about are gone. I don’t know where Celty is. She probably went back to her homeland. To be honest, lucky her. Sometimes, I wish that I would find her again to kill me. But, who would take care of Akira-kun and Jessie-san?

I shook my head.

There I go again. Getting myself depression won’t do any good. I shoved my hands into my pockets and walked down the hall.


I looked around as I walked out the back way of the hotel. I counted down to twenty as I walked down into the alley. I rested my hand against a brick wall and closed my eyes. The hard brick turned into thin air. When I opened my eyes, I walked through.

Within thirty minutes, I appeared into a bright red lobby. A girl in and black and red kimono dress looked up from the phone.

“Mikado-kun!” she said. “You’re back!”

“Hello, Miiko-chan,” I said.

“Are you here to see her again?” Miiko asked. She turned to the wall of keys and pulled out the key to Room 278.

“Here you are,” she said.

“Thank you,” I said. Miiko knows what I want, maybe too well. I try not to look her in the eye when I come here. She knows that I need this.

“Enjoy your night,” Miiko said. I waved her off as she winked at me. I walked down the hall with my hands in my pockets. I didn’t see Ryu tonight. He’s probably looking for the right room on another floor. I haven’t seen anyone from the Blue Squares here either. After all of this time, I can’t bring myself to face them. They died because of me. That bastard had them killed because they were associated with me. He wanted to isolate me from everyone I cared about. All for what? Just so I could witness the disgusting horrors of his game? Thinking back on that now makes me want to vomit.

I came up to the elevator and hit the up button. As the doors opened, I could already see how this night would play out. I already know that she’s waiting for me. It’s turned into a habit of mine. Any normal person would’ve tried to quit and save their dying relationships. But, they wouldn’t be in this Wasteland hell in the first place, would they? I rubbed my forehead, frowning. I want to yell at myself to stop thinking about thinking my misery. I came here to get away from all of that for a night. Have I really been broken down that much for so long?

The opening doors drew back into reality. Until I reach my destination, I shut down all thoughts in my mind. Before I know it, I am standing at the door to Room 278. First, I knocked on the door.

“Enter!” a woman’s voice croaked. I pulled out my key and unlocked the door.

The French perfume in the room is strong enough to make my eyes water. I still get annoyed by these super senses that I have. The soft lo-fi jazz on the record player canceled out the irritation that am I feeling.

“So good to see you again, Mikado-kun,” the woman’s raspy woman rang through my ears. I looked up towards the back of the suite. She sat in the darkness with her glowing gold eyes locked on me. This woman looked like a queen in her plush dark purple armchair. She flipped back her long wavy lilac hair. I bowed my head.

“Good evening, Cheri-san,” I said. I took my shoes off and set them by the door. Cheri flicked out her own cigarette.

“Are you here for Niki again tonight?” she asked.

“You know me well,” I said, bowing my head. Cheri reached over and pressed the call button on the oak nightstand.

“Niki, your husband here is!” she said.

“Yes, mama,” a woman’s voice said softly. Cheri turned her focus onto me.

“How are you holding up?” she asked. Her tone dropped into one of a parent about to discipline an unruly child.

“I am fine, thank you,” I said. The old version of myself who be intimidated into telling all of my darkest secrets when she dropped her tone like that. But, I guess I am so numb to it all now. Cheri smiled and shook her head.

“Mikado-kun,” she said. “It is okay to lie here, but you can’t keep lying to yourself out here. Remember that.”

“I will take that to heart,” I said. “Excuse me.” I bowed and walked past her.

“You can still work for me, you know?” Cheri said. I waved her off as I disappeared down the narrow hall.


Purgatory is a maze. Soon halls lead into dead ends. Some rooms have no floor, causing you to fall through as soon as you open the doors. You could end up going around in circles if you aren’t careful. I understood how poor Ryu-san feels sometimes. Even more rooms have secret passages way to other rooms. Cheri uses this to her advantage. The halls lead to her “kittens” and “puppies” as she calls them. She hides the pathway behind a deep purple curtain. I can barely see anything as I walk down here. I counted down the steps until I saw her again. Husband, heh.

I could smell the faint scent of jasmines in the darkness. Despite coming back here many times, my heart started racing. I could already play out how this was going to go. Moaning filled the otherwise empty space. The kittens and puppies must be very busy tonight.

I was here to only see one kitten in particular.

At the end of the hall, I arrived at an unmarked door. I knocked on the solid oak.

“Come in,” a meek voice said. I turned the brass knob and walked inside. The light from the moon in the high windows and the candles lit on the floor provided the only source of light in the room. She sat on the bed of linen and Egyptian silk like a princess. She’s just as beautiful as I remembered her. The light reflected off of her cool, pale skin. Tonight, she had her long light brown hair tied back into a messy ponytail with a large pink bow. Her make-up was done so well that sometimes I couldn’t tell if she was wearing any or not. Though, her lips looked a bit glossy tonight. The first thing everyone notices about her is her large breasts. No matter what she wore, her chest size drew so much attention to her. Her sugar pink kimono and dark purple obi completed her princess look.

“Welcome home, Darling,” she said, bowing. I closed the door behind me and snubbed out my cigarette.

“I’m home, Niki-chan,” I said. I walked over and lifted her chin. Staring into her deep red eyes took me back. I was happier back then. I still had my friends and my gang. Most of all I still had her. Things were so much easier back then. Despite hating a normal life, I would give anything to have it back.

“Darling?” Niki-chan asked. I jerked myself back into reality.

“You’re crying,” she said. Tears ran down my cheeks. I reached up and wiped them away.

“Oh, I apologize,” I said. “You just reminded me of a time when I was happier.”

“Are you alright?” Niki-chan asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “Give a me minute.”

“Do you want me to ready while you do that?” she asked. I nodded once. She kissed me on the lips.

“I will be right back,” Niki-chan said. She slipped off of the bed and walked into her small bedroom. I sat down on the bed in her place. What am I doing? I always find myself coming back here? I know it’s to fill a void that’s my heart. It doesn’t work. I could already see how this was a going to play out.

I pressed my hand to forehead, laughing to myself. So this is what it feels like to slowly go insane.

“I am so fucked up,” I muttered to myself.

“I don’t think you are,” Niki-chan said. I turned around to see her walking out of the bathroom. She had on a short black wig and glasses. I stood up as I saw a flash of Akira-kun’s mother again.

“Anri…-chan?” I asked. Niki-chan began to blush.

“Please treat me kind,” she pleaded softly. I walked over to her as if in a daze. I cupped her cheeks and kissed on the lips. I shouldn’t be getting excited like this. She’s not Anri-chan. She’s not Anri-chan!

I pulled Niki-chan to the bed and pushed her down. She looked up at me with her eyes filled with a lusty hazy. I panted as stared down at her. It feels like I being dared to move first. Almost unconsciously, I slid my black shirt over my head. When I looked down, Niki-chan’s cheeks turned bright red.

“Easy, dear,” I said in a low voice. I threw my shirt aside. Niki-chan reached up to touch me, but I gently seized her wrist.

“No?” she asked. I shook my head. I rested her hand back down by her side. I reached down and yanked loose her obi that she had tied in the front. The kimono fell open revealing more of her pale skin. How many times have I done this? I’ve lost count. When I am with these kittens, I tend to block out everything from my mind. Where some people turn to drugs, liquor, or gambling to cope with an emotion they don’t want to deal with, I run to Cheri and her pets. Only with them, that void is filled.

I leaned in for another kiss. My hands rubbed Niki-chan’s shoulders as they took hold of her kimono. This is where the line between her and Anri-chan start to blur. As I undress, I feel like I am close to Anri-chan again. It’s like she comes back from the dead to spend one more intimate night with me.

Her panties were the last thing to go between us. I couldn’t take my eyes off her curves. Niki-chan slowly parted her thighs for me.

“Not yet,” I said. I rested my lips onto her throat.

“Mmm,” Niki-chan said. Her voice fucks with my head. It feels like the moment Anri and I slept together before she became pregnant. I was at a low point in my life. She used her body to calm me down. In a way, I still feel guilty about that. It felt like I was using her in a way. It’s just like I’m using Niki-chan in way.

She shifted into place underneath me. I listen to her body to increase the pleasure. She lets me know when I am touching her right. Niki-chan likes when I play with her breasts. I listened to Anri’s body as well when we were in our most intimate. The other girls around Purgatory and even Limbo say that I’m a god in bed. I just listen to their needs.

“What do you want tonight?” I asked.

“You,” she said. “I just want you.” I can’t tell if this is a game or if she really means it. I don’t know what my feelings for her are. Part of me does feeling something. But, I’m not sure if it’s because of her or if I see Anri-chan in her. The more I see, the more I get lost in this fantasy that I’m too scared to let go of.

Niki-chan reaches up to touch me, but I push back her hand. I hesitate when she tries to touch me. Part of me is scared that she will break the illusion of Anri-chan in a way. I shook my head. Lately, it’s hard to separate reality from this endless fantasy. What am I doing? I can’t keep doing this, but I don’t want to stop. If I did, that hole in my heart will start growing again.

I looked at her face as I slid inside of her. Niki-chan and Anri-chan tend blend together by this point. By then, it’s the same thing that happens every time I come here. Sometimes, I will shut my eyes when the line becomes too blurred. It doesn’t help that hearing Niki-chan’s moaning takes me back with my moments with Anri-chan. This time, she put her arms around me and I don’t resist. Let her take this fantasy further. It’s like a dream that neither one of us wants to wake up from. As soon as I go back to the Living World, reality will set in and I will alone be again.

I looked into Niki-chan’s eyes.

“I love you,” I said. But who am I saying this to? Am I saying this to Niki-chan? Am I saying this to Anri-chan? She reaches up and caresses my cheek. By the climax, I collapse beside her, panting. I turned and looked over at Niki-chan. Whether it’s her or Anri-chan, they strangely looked more beautiful spent. I slowly draw my eyes closed as Niki-chan herself drifts off to sleep.

In the early hours of the morning, I opened my eyes. Niki-chan sat at her vanity without her black wig, brushing her long blight brown hair. Just like that, Anri-chan was gone back into my memories again. My heart sank. Niki-chan glanced behind her.

“Oh, you’re awake,” she said. I didn’t move.

“I’m sorry I took the wig off,” she said.

“It’s fine,” I said. “I need to learn to let go of her after all.” Niki-chan turned around. She walked over to the bed.

“It’s okay,” she said. “She was the mother of your child after all. You are allowed to still miss her.” Of course, she was right. But I just wanted to feel nothing for a short moment.

“Niki-chan,” I said.

“Hm?” she asked. I lifted my head.

“Would you like to take a bath with me?” I asked. Niki-chan’s cheeks turned bright red.

“Uh… sure!” she said. “We can do that.”

“Thank you,” I said in a low voice.


A bath will extend the fantasy a little bit longer. Something about the warm, scented water calms me down. I can just let my mind wander off as far as it will go. Sharing a bath with a warm bodies makes it that much more special. I pulled Niki-chan into my arms. She looked up at me.

“Mikado-kun,” Niki-chan said.

“Hm?” I asked.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Have you ever tried to sleep with Jessie?”

“I can’t do that. She’s like a daughter to me. She’s been through too much. You remember how I met her, right?”

“Yeah.”

“I do wish that she would find a good man in her future.”

Niki-chan looked into my eyes. “Why are you trying so hard to get rid of her at times?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You seem to lonely,” she pointed out. “But yet, you will try and ditch Jessie every chance that you get. If you are so lonely, wouldn’t you want to keep her by your side no matter what?” I sighed and looked over at the mirror behind us.

“She’s a normal,” I said. “She’ll eventually get old and die, just like the others. Akira-kun and I will live forever in this Hell Hole of a world. I don’t think I can bring myself to suffer another loss like that.” I remembered the day Ikebukuro fell. Everyone close to me died in the plague. Anri-chan had it the worst. It wasn’t enough that Tandeki and Mam made her give birth to Akira-kun, but she ended up being used as a weapon to further their stupid game. Her body couldn’t take all of the stress. Anri-chan died in Rampo Biotech days before the plague reached its final stages. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I had to fight to get our son back.

“Mikado-kun,” I heard Niki-chan say. I looked down to see her head rested against my chest.

“It’s not your fault,” she said. “He forced you into being his audience to the dying world you live in now. Anri-chan doesn’t blame you for what happened. She would be proud of how Akira-kun would’ve turned out. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” I put my arm around Niki-chan.

I remembered how I first met Niki-chan. Back then, I was still adjusting to going back and forth between Purgatory and the Living World. Before, I could travel there and Limbo when my body was under stress under the Tadpole Experiments. As my powers grew stronger, I found that could go to Purgatory and Limbo whenever I wanted to. One day, I got a strange invitation from Cheri. I couldn’t understand what the e-mail meant.

“I need your help with a little something tonight,” the message read. “Come down to the La Blue bar after closing hours. Write this number in on the mirror to get into Purgatory. 252-861-2256-18.”

I tilted my head as I looked at the screen. The whole message alone had my attention. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to check it out.

I managed to slip away from the watchful eye of all of my friends down to the La Blue bar. This place… Run-down was understatement for this place. I’m certain this was going to be torn that down after a couple of weeks. I looked around for a little bit. Despite the traffic and the people walking around in the distance, everything was all clear. I couldn’t sense any demons looking to attack me or hunting for a new vessel. I drew in a deep breath and walked into the abandoned bar.

Inside looked like a typical bar left standing. All of the furniture and decorations hadn’t been taken out yet. One wall was completely covered by a giant mirror. I walked over to the mirror and breathed on the surface. I wrote the number down in the fog.

“252-861-2256-18,” I said to myself. The numbers glowed on the mirror and vanished. Suddenly, I vanished into thin air.

I found myself standing in the lobby of that hotel. Miiko stood behind the front desk, smiling at me.

“Mikado-kun!” she said. “It’s so good to see you again.”

“Yeah… hi…” I mumbled.

“What brings you by?” Miiko asked. I sheepishly laughed.

“Well, Cheri-san sent me an e-mail saying that she needed my help with something,” I said. That receptionist tried not to laugh. Her reaction alone told me what this was about.

“What?” I asked. Miiko smiled and shook her head.

“Oh, nothing,” she lied. I gave her a strange look.

“What did Cheri-san tell you?” I asked. Miiko broke down giggling.

“She told me to give you this,” she said. The receptionist grabbed my wrist with her left hand and touched my hand with her right. The last thing I remembered was everything going black.

I awoke moments later in more darkness. I found myself lying on my back. When I tried to get up, my wrists and ankles were tried down to wood. The cool breeze against my skin told me that I had been stripped of all clothing. Judging by the feeling silk against my back, I was lying on a bed. A sensation of wool lay on top of my eyes. I tried to breathe and stay calm as I tried to figure where this was headed. Okay, Miiko-chan used some sort of a spell to knock me out. Cheri came and took me into one of her secret room, stripped me naked, and tied and blindfolded me to the bed.

I froze when the door opened on the other side of the room. I held my breath as footsteps walked inside.

“Oh good, you’re awake,” Cheri’s voice rang in the air. I opened my mouth to speak.

“Ant, ant, don’t talk,” she said. “You are just going to be here to help break in one of my new kittens.” As she spoke, I noticed that Cheri wasn’t alone. Judging by the panting noises, I could tell that the other person was female. I could hear her heart racing. Oh no. She’s about to have a panic attack.

“Now, be a good little kitty and show our a guest a good time,” Cheri said.

“Meow,” the other woman said. I heard her crawling on hands and knees across the carpet. You don’t have to do this.

The warmth of her body huddled over me. The woman’s tongue ran along my throat. The first lick sent chills down my spine. More licks followed after that one.

“Good,” Cheri purred. “Lick his chest.” The “kitten’s” tongue moved down to my chest. The licks became slower. I sucked in a mouthful of air as started moving further down. Her tongue moved from my chest to my abdomen.

“Yes,” Cheri said. “More.” I squirmed in my bindings as the “kitten’s” mouth moved further down to my member.

“Good kitty,” Cheri said. “Show him a good time.” Hearing Cheri give those commands made the mood that much more jarring. I couldn’t even get into the woman sucking me off. I did freeze when I felt the tip of her tongue flicking the head.

“Mmm,” I said. She ran her tongue up and down the skin. I let out a loud grasp. The “kitten’s” mouth pulled away, leaving me feeling cold. The tight wet warmth sliding down on me about made me jump.

“No, no,” Cheri said. “You have to get down on it all the way.” The warmth became tighter as the kitten screamed.

“There, there,” Cheri said. “Just get through the pain. The worst pain is over.” The kitten whimpered as she started to move. I could tell that she didn’t seem to know what she was doing. She probably didn’t seem to want to do this either. She rode me about for a ten minutes before I felt her muscles trembled at her orgasm.

“That’s all, kitty,” Cheri said. The other woman climbed off of me.

“Satisfied, my emperor?” she asked. I lay there trying to figure out how this all happened.

The next time I came back to Purgatory, I had to find that kitten again. I made back to Cheri’s room. I found her sitting in her chair, smoking.

“Yes?” she asked. I didn’t even get a chance to say it. Cheri snubbed out her cigarette.

“Let me guess, you want to know who the lovely kitten who you broke in during our last visit?” she asked.

“Yes…” I admitted.

“Fine,” she said. Cheri reached over and pressed the buzzed on the nightstand.

“Niki! Someone’s here to see you!” she said. Cheri turned and looked up at me.

“She’ll be down in a minute,” she said. I had already made up my mind on how I was going to do this. I wasn’t angry at the kitten herself. I just wanted to see her with my own eyes. I wasn’t even going to say a word. Just one look and then leave.

I turned my head when I heard the door open.

A woman about twenty years old walked into the room. My jaw dropped when I first saw her. This petite woman looked like she was trembling when she saw me. She had on a light purple kimono that day with long light brown out. Her eyes were lowered to the floor. When I saw her face, I thought that she could be Anri-chan’s older sister.

“Well,” Cheri spoke up. “Isn’t there anything anyone wants to say?” The woman and I couldn’t think of anything to say. Cheri nudged her in the side.

“Niki,” she said. “This was the boy who deflowered you. He’s only had one sexual partner before he met you. In fact, you can say that he himself is inexperienced in the bedroom. But that can be fixed over time. Niki-chan looked down, blushing.

“Oh,” she said in a low voice. I stood there as it all sank in. It was wrong the way Cheri-san used me to help get one of her girls into the sex trade. In way looking back, I am glad in a way I met Niki-chan. It was rotten on how, but it managed to work out with how things turned out.

This would be the last time that Cheri-san would use me to break in her kittens and even some of her puppies.

After our bath, I get dressed in the room.

“Will I see you again?” Niki-chan asked. I turned my head. She sat on the messy, fully clothed. I should tell her no. We should just stop this right now. We can’t keep doing this. Maybe I can end it here…

“Yes,” I said. “But I don’t know when.” She looked so happy when I said that.

“Alright,” Niki-chan said. “Have a good day.” My heart sank hearing that.

“I’m leaving now,” I said. I slowly walked out the door. I keep my eyes down as I walk down the narrow hall. It’s quiet now. I guess the puppies and kitties are resting for now. I made way past Cheri sitting in her chair.

“See you again soon,” she said. I nodded my head and walked up to the door.

“Mikado-kun!” she called. I froze.

“What?” I asked.

“You can still come and work for me if you like,” Cheri purred. I could tell that she was smiled as I waved her off.

The lobby felt like a tomb with its silence. I didn’t see anyone in sight. They probably are all still asleep. Usagi-man and the old men were all probably still in the bar. It’s probably for the best.

“We’ll see you again!” Miiko called as I walked by. I turned and bowed to her. I turned back to the door and waved my hand in front of it. My mind bit Purgatory one more goodbye as I disappeared through the portal.


-Jessie-

I awoke to hear the door opening.

“I’m back,” I heard my master said in a low voice. I sat up to see Mikado standing in the doorway. I leapt out of bed and walked over to him.

“Welcome back,” I said. I pulled him into my arms and hugged him. My master gently tried to push me off.

“Come on now,” he said. “I wasn’t gone that long. Get off.” I froze.

“Master,” I said.

“What?” he asked. I looked up at him with a serious look on my face.

“You smell like soap,” I said. “And baby powder.”

“Yeah,” he said. “So?”

“You usually just smell like cigarettes,” I said. “Where did you go last night?” Mikado patted me on the head as he gently pushed me away.

“It’s better that you don’t know too much,” he told me. I watched as he walked over to Akira still asleep in bed. I should’ve expected him to say that. But it still annoyed me to no end. Why won’t open up to me? I want to help him. But I can’t do that if he keeps shutting me out.

Still, I stay by my master and his son because they are all I have now.

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