Halo Twenty: Megumi:
Splash! The bubbles floated up from the water in the darkness. So cold. So cold…
Megumi awoke with a jolt. Six nights now. She’s had this same dream for six nights now. Dreams, except for the sexy ones, meant nothing to her. But this one felt different. She wanted to chalk it up to lack of alcohol consumption, but that wasn’t it, was it?
Megumi rolled over, frowning. This had to be another stupid vision that she was having. Another “perk” of being a tadpole. Shingen and his wife didn’t seem like much help either.
“And I can’t get rid of these powers?” Megumi asked after Emilia drew her blood.
“No,” she said. The tadpole rolled her eyes.
“Great, I can’t fuck. I can’t drink. And keep having weird visions,” she said.
“What kind of visions?” Emilia asked. Megumi shrugged and shook her head.
“Nothing much,” she said. “Just a lot of dark water and someone saying, ‘find me’.”
“How long have you have been having these visions?” the researcher asked.
“About five nights now,” the tadpole said. Megumi rubbed the back of her head.
“Can you please keep still?” Emilia asked. “I can’t do this properly if you keep moving around.”
“My bad,” the tadpole said. She settled back into place.
“Maybe this vision is trying to tell you something,” Emilia suggested. Megumi gave her an odd look.
“Tell me what?” she asked.
“I don’t know, what do you think?” Emilia asked. Megumi wrinkled her nose.
“How the hell should I know?” she asked. “I just want it to stop!”
“I don’t think it will,” the researcher said in a quiet voice. Megumi groaned as the needle was pulled out of her arm.
Back in present day, her cell phone rang. Megumi groaned as she reached around for her phone on the floor.
“Hello?” she asked.
“Is this Fukao-san?” a woman’s voice asked. Megumi narrowed her eyes.
“Who’s asking?” she asked.
“My name is Usui Saori,” the woman said. “Have you been having any strange visions lately?” Megumi gave her phone an odd look.
“Why?” she asked. There was a pause of the other line.
“Meet me near the Golden Gate Apartments in Shinjuku,” Saori said. She hung up before Megumi could ask. The tadpole woman frowned at her phone. This didn’t sound like it was a prank. But, it could also be a trap. Megumi rubbed her forehead.
Megumi jumped and looked around. She calmed down when there was no one else in the room. The tadpole puffed up her cheeks.
“Whoever’s doing this, knock it off,” she muttered under her breath. No answer from “tadpole radio” as it was called. Megumi rolled her eyes.
“Heh, tadpole radio. How lame,” she muttered herself. Megumi got up and headed into her bathroom for a shower. Another morning of waking up alone.
-Seiji and Mika-
Seiji sighed as he looked through the bills. Mika turned her head as she sat on their bed.
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
“They keep sending me nee-san’s bills here,” he said. Mika’s face became so grim. Seiji shook his head as he flipped through all of the envelopes.
“We’ve been getting her mail sent to us since last August,” he complained. He threw the bills into another bag on the floor. Mika lowered her eyes.
“Seiji-kun,” she said. “We need to talk. I have something to tell you.” Her boyfriend looked puzzled.
“What is it?” he asked. Mika patted the spot on the bed next to her. Her boyfriend walked over and sat next to her.
“What?” he asked. She didn’t even hold it back.
“Namie-san is dead,” Mika said.
“What?” Seiji asked. His girlfriend looked him in the eye. She moved her hands into her lap.
“She was killed back in August,” Mika said. “Do you remember Apartment 27 in Kinko Sekai Apartments?”
“Yes… What about it?”
“Well, Izaya had her and a team of interns go down and check out the curse there.”
“Did the curse kill her?”
Mika nodded. “I’m so sorry, Seiji.”
He shook his head. “You’re making this up.”
“I’m so sorry,” Mika said again. “I didn’t like her, but even I wouldn’t wish this on her.”
“Wait… How do you know about this?” Seiji asked.
“I am starting to have strange memories,” she said. “Things have happened before. They are happening again. Tell me, are you starting to remember anything?” Her boyfriend took a moment to think about it.
“I think you’ve told me all of this before,” Seiji said. Mika’s heart sank.
“Oh…” she murmured. “What all do you remember?” Vague flashes of memory started to play in Seiji’s head. Bodies littered the ground. So much blood everywhere. All of the color drained from his face. He got up and walked to the door.
“Seiji-kun?” Mika asked. He ended up walking out of the apartment with a dazed look on his face. His girlfriend’s heart sank as the door slammed shut. It’s out now.
“What am I supposed to do now?” Mika asked. She looked at her phone. Six gates opened already. Where would the seventh be? Mika dialed up the one number she needed to protect Seiji now that he was starting to remember things.
“Hello,” she said. “I think you know who I am. It’s a lot worse than you think.”
-Six Months Ago-
It was supposed to be an ordinary night out. Earlier in the day, Megumi suffered from headaches on January eleventh. When she woke, she felt like throwing up. She could barely keep anything in her stomach. Megumi wasn’t pregnant. She was on the pill. In fact, she took it last night. Plus, she hadn’t slept with anyone in a while. Megumi looked at herself in the mirror. Her face looked so pale. She many bags under her eyes. When did her eyes look that blank and glassed over?
“Oh my god!” Megumi said. She ran to her toilet and threw up. Her sickness came and went throughout the day. The woman had to miss her classes. She even had to call in sick from work.
“You don’t sound too good,” her boss said. “Take the day to rest.” The doctor at the client couldn’t find anything wrong with her. It didn’t help that she started to have memories about Chou Mori after so long. She felt the needles going into different parts of her body again. The pain of the electric shocks to her head. Being tied down to the bed, not in a sexy way. And that sadistic bastard’s grinning face after every “treatment”. All of it made her skin crawl.
By seven o’clock, Megumi had enough. She decided that she was going to go out anyway. All of the alcohol in the apartment wasn’t helping wash away the misery. Her pounding headaches made her want to scream.
“I can’t take this,” she said to herself. So, Megumi got dressed up and headed out to the club. Her night started out standard like it always did. She danced around and had some drinks at the bar. Megumi even flirted with some guys in the club. It was really just business as usual.
Then, she met her first victim on the dance floor.
He had to have been about twenty-one or twenty-two years old. It didn’t matter. He was gorgeous and interested in her. She just wanted to get laid.
Megumi made her way to the entrance of Golden Gate Apartments down in Shinjuku. The place looked like it had seen better days. Only the iron gate looked brand new. Megumi wrinkled her nose as she touched the bars.
Megumi quickly looked around. There was no in sight. She narrowed her eyes.
“Hello?” she asked. Megumi looked up when she heard loud laughter. When she turned her head, a middle-age man was heading towards the gate with two women on his arms. The tadpole wrinkled her nose as she got a good look at him. This man was dressed like a yakuza man with his cigarette hanging out of his mouth. His slicked back hair looked so greasy. The only thing he was missing were a pair of shades. Megumi sneered at his gold chain and rings. He made eye contact with her instantly.
“You lost or something?” he asked.
“Uh… no. I’m waiting for a friend,” Megumi said. The women on his arms giggled as the man grinned. The tadpole already hated his teeth.
“The lovelies and I are heading out for the day,” the man said as he appeared to be checking her out. Megumi took a step back.
“What’s the matter?” the man asked. The woman smiled and shook her head.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Fukao Megumi,” the tadpole said. “And you are?” The man smirked as he moved his hand to his chest.
“Koizumi Gihei,” he said. “I own this apartment building.”
“Uh-huh…” Megumi muttered. Koizumi gave her a little salute.
“I’ll see you around then,” he said. The tadpole sneered as he and his lady friend walked away. Like hell you will!
Megumi looked around again. She only saw Koizumi and his women leaving. That voice was starting to haunt her during the day too. Megumi gritted her teeth.
“Enough already, damn it,” she muttered under her breath. “Who the hell are you and why do you want me to find you so much?” Suddenly, a chill ran up her spine. Megumi looked behind her. A woman with her long black hair in two braids stood inches away from her. She held up from her phone.
“Are you Fukao Megumi?” the woman asked.
“Yes… why?” the other tadpole asked. The woman breathed out.
“Oh good,” she said. “I was hiding from that creepy guy. I couldn’t stand the way he was looking at me when I was leaving my apartment.”
“You live here?” Megumi asked.
“Yeah,” the woman said. “My name is Saori.” The tadpoles bowed.
“Want to come with me to my apartment?” Saori asked. Megumi dropped her shoulders.
“Might as well,” she said. The women walked past the opening gates. They passed by a faded missing poster posted on the outdoor bulletin board. It was for a young lady named Ono Jade. She was twenty-one had been missing since last October.
The pain came back in waves every ten minutes. Each day, it became more frequent. Same with the tremors in her hands. Chiharu just wanted to die.
Then, her phone rang. She saw another round of rage flared up in her eyes. The angel knew that she shouldn’t even pick up the phone to answer. She already knew what was coming next. But still…
“What do you want?” Chiharu asked over her phone.
“How long are you going to keep this up?” Junko asked on the other line. Her prey gritted her teeth.
“I won’t do it,” Chiharu said.
“You will need to feed,” Junko said. “There is no way out of this.”
“Think of how much easier it would be just to sink your teeth into warm human flesh.”
“That sweet, sweet- tasting blood coating your tongue. I heard that human flesh taste like pork.”
“Shut up!” Sweat began to coat Chiharu’s body. She started taking in heavy breaths.
“The sooner you feed, the easier things will be for you,” Junko went on. “But Chirin and Kida-kun are off the menu, of course.” Chiharu let out a wild scream as she threw her phone across the room. Her tremors broke out all over her body as she hyperventilated. Meanwhile, Junko laughed over the phone.
Around seven, Megumi stood in her bathroom, putting on lipstick. Saori’s offer still rang out in her head.
“We’re trying to look for all of the other tadpoles in Japan,” the older woman explained. Megumi raised her eyebrow as she sat on her host’s couch.
“We?” she asked.
“I am friends with a couple of tadpoles like us,” Saori said. She walked into the living room with a tray of tea.
“Here,” she said, handing Megumi a cup. The younger tadpole took it. Saori sat down next to her.
“Why do you want to find us so much?” Megumi asked.
“We haven’t figured out what comes after that,” Saori admitted. “But it feels like something is at stake if we don’t.” Megumi frowned as she took a drink. It wasn’t alcohol, but it would have to do for now.
“What are you asking me to do again?” she asked. Saori leaned in close.
“Help us find our brothers and sisters,” she said.
Back in present day, Megumi frowned as she put on her lipstick. It was bad enough that she couldn’t get laid or get drunk. Now she would have to go out on a search and rescue mission? Megumi shook her head.
“That’s not my problem,” she muttered under her breath. After a little mascara and blush, Megumi fixed up her hair and walked out of her bathroom.
-Six Months Ago-
Megumi invited that beautiful man back to her apartment. He couldn’t keep his hands off of her. She was happy to give into his kisses and caresses. That night was supposed to be a normal night. Megumi led him back up to her apartment. They made it back to her room and didn’t waste time diving into one of Megumi’s favorite pastimes. When was the last time she felt this sexy? When was the last time the ride made her crave more? She really got into the ride as she was on top.
But, something wasn’t right.
The young man underneath her started making gagging noises as his lips turned blue. Megumi didn’t have her hands around his neck. His eyes rolled back into his head. The longer she rode him, the more that she couldn’t ignore what was happening to him.
By the climax, Megumi’s worst fear became confirmed. Her one-night stand lay motionless underneath him. She reached down and smacked him on the cheek.
“Hey,” Megumi whispered. “Wake up. Wake up!” She tried shaking him and slapping him, but nothing happened. The woman checked for a pulse in his neck.
“Oh no, no, no, no,” she said. Megumi tried to give him CPR, but it was useless. Already, she began to fear the worse. That’s when her cell phone rang. Megumi couldn’t stop trembling as she picked up.
“H-H-H-Hello?” she asked.
“Hello, Kitsune-chan,” Kitano’s voice filled her ear. “Congratulations on your awakening.” That one voice she had wished never to hear again. He just had to pull her back into that nightmare.
Megumi walked into yet another night club in Ikebukuro. It used to feel like home to her. She could get lost in the music, booze, and all the attention of the 6′s and 7′s in the club. Now, the club was just loud noises, tasteless booze, and pretty sweaty bodies that she couldn’t get close to. Megumi snared.
Why the hell did I come here again?
Megumi jerked her head upwards and looked around. Who was calling out to her again? Why wouldn’t that stupid voice leave her alone? Megumi shook her head and made her way over to the bar. It would be easier to find who was calling out to her, find them, and shut them up.
“Give whatever,” Megumi told the bartender.
“Sure thing,” he said. She sighed and looked around the club. Coming here felt pointless, but she couldn’t spend another night staying in her apartment pleasuring herself with her toys.
“Jade?” Megumi heard behind her. She turned her head to see Koizumi staring at her. All of the color was drained from his face as his eyes were wide. Megumi tilted her head.
“Huh?” she asked. The apartment owner shook his head.
“Oh,” he said. “I apologize. You look so much like her. The red dress and the hair done up like that.” Megumi looked down at her tight red dress down to her thighs and felt along her long brown hair done up in a side bun.
“Who’s Jade?” she asked. Koizumi shook his head.
“It’s nothing, forget it,” he said. Megumi gave him a strange look as the apartment owner turned to walk back to his table near the DJ both.
Megumi about jumped when that voice came through that time. This time, it came through louder that it had over the past six days. Something told her that the voice was connected to Koizumi himself. Maybe, he did freak out when he saw at the bar and call her ‘Jade’. Suddenly, Megumi had the urge to check out this guy for herself. She got up from the bar and walked up to the table near the DJ booth.