Tea Leaves and Purple Robes

Bone Eater

Match Thirty: Bone Eater:


Even the dust particles look so beautiful. I reached out the palm of my hand. It’s the only thing that keeps me calm lately. Was I smiling again? I couldn’t tell anymore.

My door slid open.

“Kiku?” Sena asked. I didn’t turn around. Oh, that’s right, she’s in the same boat as me. Why doesn’t she come down here with me?

“Kiku,” she said again. Her hand rested on my shoulder. I turned my head. Why does she always look so sad around me?

“What?” I asked.

“Snap out of it!” she seemed to say. I can’t really hear her voice sometimes. I think I was smiling at her.

“Stop doing that!” she shouted. “You are creeping me out!” But she doesn’t understand. I think it is for the best. She’s still new to this game around us. After all, that woman promised to keep my wife safe. She promised me. It’s not like she would lie or anything.

But what about everyone else?

I have nephew now. Yao won’t let me see him. I don’t understand why. I just want to see his little face at least. She wants to see him too. Maybe that is why. She says that he is a chosen child.

“What does that mean?” I asked. She won’t answer me. Something inside of me fills me with dread.

No. She can’t have my nephew.

In that moment, I woke up. Sena had her hand raised above her head.

“Sena?” I asked. She froze and saw my face.

“Baby?” she asked. Sena sank to her knees and threw her arms around me.

“We have to save him,” I whispered. Sena looked at me so confused.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“My nephew,” I said. I slipped out of her grip. I rose to my feet and walked over to the open door.

“Kiku?” I heard her ask behind me. I looked over my shoulder.

“Are you coming with me?” I asked. Sena pressed her lips together. She finally rose to her feet. I watched as Sena came up to my side.

“Thank you,” I said. We walked out of the room.

We made it to the main Wang House. I didn’t know how I was going to do this. I just knocked on the door. Sena held my hand. We watched as the door opened. Yao peeked out the door.

“Konnichiwa,” I said in a low voice. He stared at me for a long moment.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I cam here to see Jing,” I said.

“Why?” Yao asked. I squeezed Sena’s hand.

“We think he might be in danger,” I said. My stomach turned as the words came out. Sena squeezed my hand.

“What do you mean?” Yao asked. His response threw me for a loop. I was expecting him to yell at me and slam the door in my face.

“I don’t really know,” I said. Sena turned her head and looked at me. Yao just stared at me. I waited for him to say something.

“Did you see some woman dressed in black too?” he asked.

“Huh?” I asked. Yao moved aside to let us in. Sena and I walked into the house without a word.

We all sat in the living room. Ju and Yao sat across from us. I lifted my chin.

“She wants him,” I said.

“She as in…?” Yao asked. My eyes shifted left and right.

“The Woman in Red,” I said in a low voice. Sena whipped her head around to me.

“You can’t be serious,” she said.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Yao asked.

“Well…” I spoke.

“Because he wasn’t in a good place, remember?” Sena cut in. The way she said it brought something back to my mind. How long was I going to be here? I managed to come back to the surface. How long before she dragged me back under? I shivered at the thought. Sena began rubbing on my hand.

“So, what do we do?” Ju asked. I snapped back into reality.

“Huh?” I asked.

“How am I supposed to protect our son when I have strange women stalking us?” she asked.

“There’s still time,” I said. “Jing is only a baby. There isn’t much she can do for now.” Ju didn’t look so convinced.

“What about those crazy women stalking us?” she asked. “I doubt they are going to wait that long.” Yao had to rub her shoulders.

“I don’t know,” I said. I didn’t sound so convinced. Ju glared at me in response. I didn’t have an answer for her. I didn’t know what women she was talking about.

“Have you tried to call the police?” Sena asked.

“What can they do?” Ju asked. “They haven’t done anything.”

“Didn’t one of them break into the house?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “I don’t know if it will stick, though.”

“That’s breaking in and entering,” Sena said. “You can make a call on that.” Ju sighed and dropped her shoulders.

“Fine,” she said. “I will see what I can do.” Suddenly, I heard a low whispering in my ears. I started rubbing on my right ear.

“Something wrong?” Sena asked. I shook my head.

“I don’t feel so good,” I whispered. Oh no. Is she coming back? No, she can’t. Not now. Sena put her arm around my shoulders. My body went limp in her touch.

“Is he okay?” Ju asked. I wanted to say something, but the whispering grew louder in my ear. I opened my mouth and started trembling.

“I think we better go,” Sena said. She helped me to my feet. My mind kept going in and out of this reality.

The last thing I remember was being pulled through the front door.

I am going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine. She has her arms around my shoulders. She tells me that everything will be alright. The dust particles looked so beautiful in the light. I reached out my palm to touch them.

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