The Villain of this Story
I watched the city streets below me. People scattered here and there, eating lunch, catching up with friends, hurrying to work… normal life events. They will never know how lucky they are. I shook my head, watching them worry about trivial events like the looming storm clouds in the distant.
My stomach rumbled. I was starving. It had been well over a week since I had eaten anything. Only with the occasional cup of coffee had I made it so long without food.
I was craving it, needing it, the taste of human flesh and the blood filling my mouth.
My kagune wings wrapped around me and I dropped, almost invisible to anyone not paying attention. I didn’t open them till I was almost on the ground, just barely catching myself. I landed in an empty alley filled with shadows. I froze instantly, listening for anyone who may have seen me fall. When I was satisfied I was safe I put together a quick make-shift shelter out of metal scraps and cardboard that was lying around.
My shelter was done in just a few minutes, years of practice and constant moving had allowed me to prefect this odd skills. To the ordinary person I would look like a pile of trash. To me it was home for now.
I flung my backpack on the dusty ground in the small refuge. It contained what few possessions I had, all I needed to live. I sat down next to it and closed my eyes, waiting for nightfall to come to begin the search for my prey.
I was sitting in my living room. The news was showing on TV, but there was no noise. There wasn’t any need; I knew what they were saying. My parent’s bodies were displayed on it, dead. The CCG had finally caught the binge eaters that had been plaguing the district where I had lived. I hadn’t believed it till I had seen it. I still don’t know why they had done it, leaving me all alone in this cold world.
I was with my dad, he was teaching me how to hunt without getting caught. ‘Go for the sick, the dying, the homeless, the old’ he told me ‘people no one will know are missing’. ‘People who had lived a good life, not people who still had life to live’ he would always add. I would look up at him and yell that if he knew this, then why had he and mom become binge eaters.
I was running, the CCG was probably at my house now, trying to find me. They would have no mercy on me even though I was only 15. They would take my life as fast as my parents. I ran and ran, never ending, never getting anywhere, always running…
I woke up with a start. The dreams of my past had been plaguing my mind lately. It had been five years ago that my parents had disappeared only to show up on the news dead a week later. I had managed to avoid the CC G ever since, they probably had forgotten I even exist anymore.
I shook my head to clear it, I needed to focus. It was time for the hunt.
I crawled out of my small shelter and crept down the alley. Listening, trying to find a suitable target. Most nights I was unsuccessful, though only a few times had I actually became desperate enough to take a bite of the first person I saw.
I placed the mask on my face; I always had it on me. It protected my real face, only revealing the ghoul. It looked like an old plague doctor’s mask. It was made of thin bronze metal with a long beak that the doctors of medieval times would have placed scents in to drown out the stink of decaying plague victims. I had always found it ironic to my situation.
“Who’s there?” A curious voice arose from the shadows. I jumped; I hadn’t even noticed anyone close me. I froze and looked over at the dark figure sitting on the cold ground.
“I may be blind, but I can still hear your breathing,” the figure continued.
This target may be perfect.
I crouched, my kagune appeared from my back, sharpening; I liked to make my victims death quick, a small cut across the throat usually did it. I prepared to move quickly when the shadow spoke again, “You smell and sound different, are you a ghoul?”
“Are you sure you’re really blind?” I spoke without thinking.
“Come, sit with me, I have never talked to a ghoul before.”
I was too shocked to move, was this an undercover CCG agent? Was he crazy? Or just stupid?
“Here I will make you a deal, if you talk to me all night, I will let you eat me in the morning?”
I still did not move, my eyes widening with confusion.
“Come sit.” He patted the ground next to him like a command for a dog. I felt a low growl in my throat at the thought of this human commanding me.
He must have heard for he suddenly held up his hands in surrender. “I am sorry if I have offended you, but I am dying, and quite rapidly I would say. I would rather not spend my last night alone”
My kagune flowed back into my body and I walked over. I sat next to the man and watched him closely; I really had nothing to lose if he turned out to be a secret CCG agent.
Thunder rumbled in the distance. A few rain drops started to fall.
“So, what’s it like to be a ghoul?” He asked.
“Shitty,” I replied.
“Your right, I am sorry, I should have never asked. I may be homeless, penniless, and blind, but I don’t have it near as bad as you my friend.”
“What’s it like being human?” I countered.
“Easy,” was his only reply. “Oh and my name is Sano,” he added, changing the subject.
“That’s a good name, I hope luck follows you”.
“Why would you let me eat you?”
“If you don’t, my body will rot in the alley or be taken away by the CCG for disposal. I would prefer to go out with a purpose. Now promise me you will keep to your word and make my death count”.
I didn’t get it, but I promised, my stomach rumbling in agreement.
The rain had begun to come down harder now. I released my kagune, flattening it to shelter us from the rain.
“Thank you friend,” he said, actually sounding sincere.
For reason I still cannot understand, I sat with Sano all night. I told him about my parents, being a ghoul, and my dreams for the future. He talked about the accident that left him blind, the deaths of his family, and how he loved the sound of rain.
When daylight finally showed its face, I smiled at the warmth on my face. I looked over at Sano, he hadn’t spoken in over an hour. His breath was ragged and without opening his eyes he smiled and said softly, “Who would have thought, the person to be the kindest to me in life would be a ghoul”. With that final statement he breathed his last breath. I was sad to see him go, to watch his body go limp, lifeless. I haven’t known him long, but I would always consider him a friend.
My eyes turned from bright blue, to a deep black with crimson irises. I knew it was time to keep my promise.
I sank my teeth into his still fresh flesh. The blood filled my mouth and I almost sighed in happiness. When you’re a ghoul, you learn quickly to accept the wonderful feelings that come with eating human flesh. There was no stopping it and no forgetting it, it’s the way life is for us. All you can do is try not to become addicted.
I sat there in silence, eating my friend, reminding myself this is what he had wanted.
When I was almost filled enough to satisfy my body, a screamed echoed behind me. I froze and instantly reached for my mask, placed it on my face and whipped around. A girl, not much younger than me, stood staring at me. She went to scream again, but I was already gone, around the corner further down the alley.
As soon as I was out of sight, I stopped to catch my breath, by stomach was not ready for such quick movements after a large meal like that. I listened closely, waiting for the rush of CCG agents or a crowd of people, but all I heard was silence.
That’s weird, maybe she had run away. I slowly snuck back the corner and looked around it. She was laying on the ground, bloody, with three other ghouls looming over her. Where had they come from, they must had been waiting for the right moment to steal my meal!
I couldn’t let them eat her; she was too young to die like this. My kagune burst from my back and I used it propel myself forward. I got to the ghouls in time to punch one hard in the face as it went to take a bite from the girl.
They looked up in surprise and started to yell at me, their kagune already spilling out of them. I, however, was quicker. My kagune hardened from its feathery appearance to rock hard sharp spikes.
“Hold on!” I yelled at the girl as I released a horde of spikes. The blood red spikes ripped at the ghouls, they were unable to react fast enough with their own kagune to protect themselves. I had enough control over the flying spikes to miss the girl, not many ghouls could brag about that.
When I felt like the other ghouls where too weak to fight, my kagune resumed its feathers and I flapped quick and hard, grabbing the girl and shooting up onto the sky. When were high and out of sight, I opened my blood wings. I felt her nails dig into my chest. She must not like heights much.
“Calm down, I am not going to drop or eat you, now where do you live?” I cringed. I felt her relax and she pointed to the left.
“That large grey building is where you can take me.”
I took off, flying toward the building. To people on the ground we looked like a giant black bird. Hopefully no one would be looking long enough realize what I actually was. We were getting closer and closer to the building, when I realized what that building actually was.
It was the CCG headquarters.
I dropped like a bullet, landing us roughly in a nearby alley.
“What the hell! Why would you bring me there?” I snapped, dropping the girl on the ground.
“My dad is the director, I was hoping you could help him find the ghouls,” she said coolly. I could tell she was lying. She was going to turn me over to them.
“You dad is director of the CCG!”
“Your strong, I can tell, I can’t allow you to wonder around the streets at your own free will.”
“I would have thought someone with your status would have been able to fend for themselves a little bit, not need a ghoul to save her,” I sneered.
“I triggered my distress signal as soon as I saw you, agents will be here any second. Now come quietly, and I will make your death fast.”
“I don’t think so,” I shook my head. “Next time you’re ripping the heart out of some poor ghoul who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I hope you remember me saving your life.” I fixed her with a hard look, and took off.
I saw a flash of metal as she pulled a pistol and fired at me, the bullets bounced off my kagune without so much as a scratch and I was gone.
I flew and flew till I was out of breath and just plain exhausted. I really shouldn’t be burning through my meal this quickly. I was going to have to keep a very low profile for a while. I had the feeling the CCG would be on the lookout for me. At least I had my mask on the whole time; she hadn’t seen my real face.
I finally landed in another alley and placed my mask back into my backpack. I ripped off my bloody clothes and pulled my only spare outfit out of my backpack and threw it on quickly. I grabbed a small bottle of lighter fluid out of my backpack, splashed some on my old clothes, and tossed a match on them, burning all evidence.
I hurried out of the alley and quickly blended with the crowd. Luckily I noticed a small coffee shop a few blocks ahead. A good cup of coffee would help calm my nerves of this morning. I made my way quickly to it and walked in, grabbing a seat farthest from the window.
A pretty purpled haired girl with sad eyes took my order and brought me my coffee. I thanked her and drank it slowly, trying to figure out what I was going to do now that the CCG’s director’s daughter had seen me.