Waking Up in Wonderland

Widow

Halo Seventeen: Widow:

Three high school girls found the body just hours before. They had just gotten back late from a party around two in the morning. Their giggling and loud talking grinded to a halt when one of the girls froze in her tracks. Her friends paused and turned to her.

"What's the matter, Kyoko?" one of them asked. The girl trembled as she pointed forward. Her friends looked up and their faces drained of color. Blood dripped down them from the nailed down body against the a wooden cross. Their screams filled the night.

By seven in the morning, the crime scene was set up. The victim was another therapist. Late thirties to early forties tops with his wrists impaled to the wooden plank. The dried blood under his eyes looked as if he had been crying blood while he was martyred there. No clues or DNA at the crime scene. All of the blood belonged to the victim and the vomit nearby belong to one of the girls that found him.

Kadota and his van gang sat inside a manga café looking out the window at the crime as the police removed the body.

"Looks like they snapped his neck at that angle before they hung him," he said as he rubbed his own.

"Think it's the curse?" Erika asked. Saburo snorted.

"Don't start that crap again," he mumbled.

"You still mad about whoever scratched your van?" Erika asked. The man gritted his teeth. Kyohei was about to say something when his phone rang. He just hung it up and shoved it into his pocket.

"Dotachin, who was that?" Erika asked. Kadota tried not to snap at the yaoi fangirl when she called him that.

"It's Evie again," he said. The other three looked puzzled.

"Evie?" Saburo asked. "Why does she keep calling you, man?" Kyohei shrugged.

"She keeps asking me about her boss," he said. "Apparently he didn't show up for work today."

"What happened to him?" Walker asked.

"Shit if I know," Kadota replied as he switched his phone to silent.

Outside, Noriko and Chiharu walked to school. They too had heard about the murder on the news. So far, neither one said anything about it. Noriko had her lips pressed together.

"That man was the head of place where I went for therapy," she said. Chiharu paused and turned to her friend.

"Are you having dreams again?" she asked. Her friend nodded.

"How bad?" Chiharu asked. Noriko kept her eyes to her feet. Her friend grabbed her by the shoulders.

"How bad is it?" she asked again. Her friend grabbed onto her own arm.

"Pretty bad," she mumbled. Chiharu sighed.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked. "Why?" Noriko clenched her fists at her sides.

"You were dead," she said.

"Well, I'm not now!" Chiharu snapped. Noriko trembled in her hands.

"Please stop, Chiharu-chan," she whispered. "You're scare me when you get like that." The other girl let go of her and took a breath.

"You're right, I'm sorry," she said. "So what are you going to do now?" Noriko lowered her head as she shook it in her own unraveling uncertainty.

By afternoon, Masaomi went by the hospital to visit Saki again. However, he ran into another little "friend" on the way inside. The gang leader found Michiko sitting in front of the hospital. Her face perked up when she saw him.

"Hey!" she chirped. The boy tried to remain calm in front of her.

"You're looking well," he said.

"Ne!" Michiko cheered. Masaomi tried to keep calm. We're back that again?, he thought. The young girl leaned in, smiling.

"So," she said. "What's been going on?" The boy gave her an odd look.

"Why?" he asked.

"I want to know," she said. "Please?" Masaomi dropped his shoulders.

"Fine," he said. "The apartment outside of the city has been sold." Michiko paused at that statement.

"What did you say?" she asked in a low voice.

"Some real estate agent sold that apartment outside of the city," Masaomi repeated. The young girl broke down into trembling as she grabbed onto her knees.

"Take me there," she said in a small voice. The boy looked at her for a moment.

"What?" he asked. Michiko leapt forward and grabbed onto his jacket.

"Take me to the apartment now!" she yelled. Masaomi put up his hands.

"Okay, okay," he said. In an hour, they made it down to Kinko Sekai Apartments. Michiko looked up at the windows. Her older "friend" still didn't get what she was looking for.

"Why are we here?" he asked.

"Shhh!" Michiko hissed as she kept looking up at the balconies on the side facing the city. She took slow steps to that one apartment that she had encountered one too many times before. The girl finally stopped at the exact one she was looking for. A pale look washed over her face. Masaomi tried to look with her.

"What is it, Michiko-chan?" he asked. She only pointed upwards in her panicked silence. The boy looked to see a woman about thirty with curly dark hair looking down at them. Her facial expression looked so dead as she looked down at the children below. The woman didn't even say a word as she turned and walked back into her apartment. Michiko's heart sank in worry as she knew what would be unfolding next.

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