Caged Wonderland

Hisayo

Halo Twenty-Four: Hisayo:

Because she practiced dark magic, Mollie started to see Hisayo’s memories during periods of the ghost girl possessing her. They would come in burst, leaving the vessel pale and nauseated. The three worst times happened in the course of two days. The first one occurred while Mollie was taking a shower. She got undressed and turned on the water. As soon as the warmth hit her skin, a giant shock shot through her body.

-October 10, 1984-

“You always do this!” a woman yelled in the kitchen.

“I have to go work,” a man said back. “You know this, Asuka.”

“Oh, don’t give me that shit! Work, work, work! You are never home!”

“I told you I am doing this for the good of this city! I’m doing this to give our daughters a better future!”

“Now you care about our daughters?! Ha! That’s rich coming from you!”

The man sighed. “I am not going to do this with you again.”

“Where the hell are you going?!”

“I have to go to work! I will see you tomorrow.”

“Come back here, you bastard! I’m not done talking to you!”

The whole time, two young girls stayed hidden away in the hall. Toshiko sat in Hisayo’s lap as her sister covered her ears. The little girl huddled up into a ball.

“Shhh,” Hisayo whispered in her ear. This was nothing new to the girls. Their parents’ fights became more frequent as the years wore on. Lately, it had gotten worse. Takumi was in the middle of a campaign for a local politician. His name escaped them at the moment. To their mother, Takumi only seemed to care about the politician more than his family. She felt neglected and ignored. Because of this, she took it out on her family, mostly her husband. But, Takumi already decided he was having none of it anymore.

They heard their father walk out the door and slam it shut behind him.

-Present Day-

Mollie came back lying on the shower floor with water running on her body. She breathed heavily with tears running down her face.

-Mika and Michiko-

Mika tracked down Michiko at Ikebukuro West Gate Park. The small girl wasn’t surprised to see her.

“How much do you remember?” Michiko asked.

“Everything,” Mika said. She took a step forward. “Your plan is not working.” Michiko pressed her lips together.

“We just need a little more time,” she said.

“They won’t give it to you!” Mika said. “They have only one gate left. Once that’s opened, it’s over.” She started trembling. “I already had to tell my Seiji what happened to his sister. He got up and walked out the door. He’s been acting strangely ever since.”

“Strange how?” Michiko asked. Mika looked around for a bit.

“He can’t stand the light anymore,” she said in a low voice. The small girl tilted her head.

“Go on,” she said. Mika fought down her need to chase down Seiji and try to talk to him again. She shivered and pressed her lips together.

“He keeps all of the blinds closed around the apartment,” Mika said. “The only light he can stand is in front of the TV at nights. I’ve woken up to see him wander out of the apartment at nights. When I ask he where he went, Seiji says that he doesn’t remember. He’s also starting to look really pale.”

“Has his smell changed?” Michiko asked.

“Excuse me?”

“Does he smell like burning or rotting flesh?”

“No…”

Michiko breathed out. “Good there is still time.”

“Are you seeing that he might be possessed?”

“Now, I am not too sure about that. I would have to see him for myself first.” Michiko narrowed her eyes.

“You asked this before, haven’t you?” she asked.

“Yes,” Mika said.

“Well, you came to me earlier this time,” Michiko said. “I still don’t understand why.”

“I don’t know either,” the teenaged girl said. Mika held her hand to her chest. Her mind started to go back to Seiji and his odd behavior. Last night, she awoke to hear him mumbling to himself. Seiji sat on the foot of the bed, staring at the static of the TV. Mika pulled the sheets to her chest.

“Seiji?” she asked. He didn’t turn around. Mika crawled over to him, shaking his shoulder.

“Hey,” she whispered. “Hey. Hey.” Seiji turned his head. Mika backed up, startled. He didn’t speak, but his eyes were so empty. His fake girlfriend slowly drew back. Seiji turned back to the TV, the whole time not saying a word.

That alone convinced that something was really wrong last night.

-April 14, 1985-

Hisayo had always stood out during her school years. She never really interacted with the other children in her class. With her appearance and mother’s behavior, it was easy to see why. It wasn’t always like that, though. Takumi and Asuka used to be so happy. Asuka had many dreams about their future together. Her husband wanted to make said dreams come true and set out to make the money to do so. This was a little before the bubble burst and everything looked rosy. Takumi always wanted to give back to the community. Maybe that desire led to cracks in the family dream.

Lucky for Hisayo, she did have a chance to see a little bit of light.

She knew Abe-sensei even before he became her homeroom teacher. In fact, he came by her apartment on that Sunday. Takumi had to work again that day. Asuka started off in a cranky mood. Her daughters tried their best to stay out of her way.

Then, the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it!” Hisayo shouted. She jumped off of her bed and made her way to the front door. The girl looked out the peep hole.

“Who is it?” she asked. A man in a dark brown suit stood outside, waiting.

“Is Isobe-san in?” he asked.

“Who are you?” Hisayo asked.

“I am just an old friend who decided to stop by,” the man said. “Are you her daughter?”

“Yes…” Hisayo said, slowly. She unlocked the door and creaked it open. She thought that she was staring at a god. This beautiful man looked to be about in his mid-thirties with short dark messy hair. His glasses gave him a mature charm about him. His suit looked so clean. Hisayo’s cheeks turned bright pink.

“Is your mother in?” the man asked.

“Yeah…” Hisayo said in a daze.

“Hisayo, who is that at the door?” Asuka asked from down the hall. Hisayo and the man looked up to see her walking up to the front door. She froze when she saw the man’s face.

“Masashi… -kun…” Asuka murmured.

“Hello,” Masashi said. “I just moved back into the area and heard that you have been living here for quite some time. How have you been doing?”

“F-F-F-Fine…” she said. “How are you?” Masashi looked between the blushing mother and daughter.

“Uh… good,” he said. “Can I come in?” Asuka quickly nodded.

“Uh… sure, sure,” she said. The housewife was quick to move aside and let the man inside. Abe Masashi. That man wasn’t aware at the time, but he left an impression on his soon-to-be student. It didn’t take long for Hisayo to fall hard for him. He didn’t stay too long, but it was enough for her to latch onto him.

Why was that such beauty could lead to ruin?

-Present Day-

The next thing Mollie knew she was standing out in the middle of the street late at night only wearing a pair of black and white striped panties. She had no idea where she was or how she got there. Mollie didn’t even know what she was doing there.

-Work Day-

Kimiko walked up to the front desk with her ID badge in hand. The receptionist looked up and scanned the barcode.

“Thank you,” the hacker mumbled. The receptionist turned back to her computer and pretended to be working. Kimiko sighed and walked to the elevator. She could feel a little part of her die away every time she did this. But what choice did she have? Going to the police would mean incriminating herself as well. Kimiko rubbed her forehead and sighed. At least the elevator ride gave her time to clear her head and calm down.

The bell rang and the doors opened to the sixth floor, dragging her back into reality. Kimiko adjusted her bag and walked off. She headed straight for the computer lab. The hacker used her pass to get in.

A girl with long red hair looked up from her computer. She waved with a half-asleep look on her face.

“Yo,” she mumbled.

“Hello, Tomoe,” Kimiko said. The door slid closed as she walked over to her computer. She could see the sweat through her colleague’s blue and white shirt.

“Run here from the net café again?” Kimiko asked.

“No, the air conditioning was broken at my place,” Tomoe said. The older woman gave her a strange look.

“You actually went home for a change?” she asked.

“Had to,” Tomoe said.

“Was it your mom again?”

“No.”

“No?”

Tomoe shut her eyes and let out a deep sigh. “I just had to get out of here. Kyuwa dmed me and asked if I wanted to go get something to eat. I couldn’t stand looking at this screen or these walls anymore. So I jumped at the chance. After that, I just went straight home and didn’t look back.”

Kimiko looked around the computer lab. “Where is Kyuwa for that matter? And Masu and Kunio?” Tomoe shrugged.

“Kyuwa is still probably hung over somewhere,” she said. “I don’t know about the other two.” She turned back to her computer screen and froze.

“Oh,” the younger hacker said.

“What is it?” Kimiko asked. She rolled her chair over for a look. The screen was black with light green writing going up and down. At first glance, it just looked like gibberish. The lines of text moved in wavy lines. Kimiko tilted her head.

“What is that?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Tomoe said. “I’ve never seen it do that before.” She tried to move her mouse, but nothing happened. She couldn’t even see the curser moving.

“Come on,” the young hacker muttered. “Come on.” Tomoe started to bang on keys on the keyboard. The green Kanji started to disappear pixel by pixel. Suddenly, a single message appeared across the screen.

“Are you lost in this world like me?” Kimiko read. She and Tomoe looked at each other.

“What does that mean?” the older hacker asked.

“I have no idea…” Tomoe mumbled.

Meanwhile, Kitano saw the same message on his screen.

“Heh,” he said to himself, smirking.

-August 18, 1987-

Hisayo came home that evening. She was out at a small study group formed by Abe-sensei. The girl was overjoyed when the charming invited her over to his place. She ignored all of the stares and whispers from the other students in the group. The girl was just happy to have the escape for a change. Things grew worse when Takumi fell in front of that train. Asuka wouldn’t get out of bed. She spent her mornings crying. They claimed that Isobe Takumi committed suicide. It didn’t make sense to the family at all. He loved life too much. He kept planning for future of the city. On the eighteenth of August 1987, Hisayo hadn’t thought much about what was going to happen.

“I’m home,” she whispered, unlocking the door. Toshiko was away in her little world as she was coloring another picture on the floor. Hisayo smiled to herself as she took off her shoes and walked inside. She only thought about taking a shower, having dinner, and going to bed.

“Mom?” Hisayo asked as she walked down the hall. The girl made it to her room and turned on the light. Asuka sat on her daughter’s bed. Hisayo about jumped when she turned and saw her.

“Oh! Mama!” she said. “What are you doing in my room?” It was then she noticed that Asuka’s face looked more like a demon painted in red.

“Mama?” Hisayo asked. Asuka’s nostrils flared as she threw her daughter’s diary at her feet. Her frozen eyes saw fire.

“Whore!” she barked. Hisayo’s eyes widened as she put the pieces together.

“It’s not what you think it is,” she said in trembling voice. The girl hadn’t seen Asuka like this before. Sure, her mother was angry with her father during their fights, but this was just…

“Liar!” Asuka screamed. “I don’t want to hear it!” Without warning, she bolted up from the bed and raced towards her daughter. Hisayo turned and took off running. She ran down the hall and through the living room.

“Come back here, bitch!” Asuka screamed. Hisayo ran out front door. She got as far as the outside stairs before Asuka kept up and pushed down. Hisayo didn’t even get a chance to scream as sprained her ankle, stumbling, and falling to the concrete. She tried to crawl down the stairs to get to the landlady’s apartment. The will to escape was the only thing pushing her to keep moving.

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.

To her amazement, Hisayo made it to the bottom. She made it to the landlady’s front door when she heard heavy breathing and footsteps. Hisayo had to tell herself not to turn around as she reached up to knock on the door. A hand reached down and grabbed her by the hair. Hisayo could see into her mother’s cold eyes. Asuka had no emotion on her face as snapped her daughter’s neck at a ninety-degree angle, crushing her throat. She did it so fast. How could a frail and tired woman find the strength to do this to a teenage girl? Hisayo’s face was fixed with fear as Asuka carried her back up the stairs.

Everything seemed to move so slowly.

Hisayo’s view became dull and grainy as they made it back into the kitchen. Asuka bit on the floor as she opened the kitchen closet.

“You’re always taking everything away from me,” she muttered under her breath. Asuka stuffed her still living daughter into a giant black trash bag. Hisayo could hear her mother moving about the house. She couldn’t turn around to see what was going on.

Bite. Rip. Rip. Rustle. Rip. Rip. Rustle. Meow! Snap!

Then, the footsteps walked back into the kitchen. Hisayo couldn’t move or speak. Instead, she let out a low death rattle as she saw her mother’s ankles walk by in her vision.

Please don’t do this, mama. I don’t want to die. Nothing happened between Abe-sensei and I. Please don’t kill me.

Asuka took out a box cutter from a kitchen drawer and clicked it on. Tears steamed down Hisayo’s cheeks. Her mother turned around with no emotion on her face.

Stab!

Hisayo could feel every blow to her skinny body. Each stab landed in her chest and torso. She didn’t die right away. Instead, she felt herself fading away towards the end. Asuka made one more cut across Hisayo’s abdomen and pushed the wound open.

“Heh, I thought so,” Asuka said. That would be the last thing she would ever hear.

-Present Day-

Mollie sat back, startled. She found herself again only dressed in panties. This time, she was kneeling on the kitchen floor. Her face, torso, neck, shoulders, hair, and arms were covered in blood. But, it wasn’t her blood.

She itched her head over to the right. The socialite found herself clutching a large kitchen knife covered in more blood. Horrifying realization washed over her as bits of her own memory appeared into her head. Who did she just…

Against her better judgment, Mollie looked down.

Their second maid lay beneath her covered in multiple stabs wounds with a permanent look of terror on her face. “April Showers” from Bambi playing from the living room blended seamlessly with the blood curding screaming and the knife hitting the floor.

-Junko-

Junko sat at her computer in the basement with the empty bottle of Biddy Early in her fingers. She smirked as she tuned out the sound of the howling angels in their cages. The nurse only had one angel on her mind.

“She will cave tonight,” Junko said to herself. After she secured F completely, she already made the plans to move onto the other targets on her list.

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