Tea Leaves and Red Silk


Match Sixteen: Tanuki:

Alfred rushed straight to the hospital. He found Sena sitting in the waiting room, biting her nails. She looked up when she heard the footsteps.

"How is he?" Alfred asked. Sena looked down at her lap.

"He's stable," she said in low voice. Alfred sat down next to her.

"What exactly happened?"

Sena buried her head in her hands. "I was looking up something that he had told me and he had a seizure. Oh god!" Alfred rubbed on her back.

"It's okay," he whispered. She took in a deep breath.

I don't know how to deal with him anymore."

Alfred turned, giving her a strange look. "What do you mean?"

Sena lifted her head, looking at the ceiling. "It's rather hard to say."

"Why is that?"

Her eyes shifted towards him. "Stop asking me so many questions." She glared when he opened his mouth to speak. Alfred made the wise decision and closed his mouth. Sena sighed and closed her eyes. What she read last night made her skin crawl. What were those flesh-like looking monsters?

"Hey, Alfred?" she asked.

"Yeah?" the American man asked.

"Do you think there are human experiments still happen under our noses?"

Alfred narrowed his eyes. "Why?"

Sena pulled her hands into her lap. "I saw something so disturbing last night." She turned her head with a serious look in her eyes. "I think that's what caused Kiku's seizure."


She drew her knees to her chest. "Do you promise not to tell anyone about this until I have a better understanding of this myself?"

"What are you saying?"

"I'm serious here! Promise me!"

"Okay, okay. I won't say a word."

"Thank you." Sena pulled out her cell phone and pulled up a note that she had saved. "Last night, Kiku went into a panic attack and started saying weird things."


"Yeah, but this didn't feel right. He said, 'Angels, suffering, Gomorrah.'" Sena pressed her lips together as she paced herself. "Do the Wasteland and Project Gomorrah ring any bells to you?"

Alfred was about to say no, but somehow everything she said left a bad taste in his mouth. They brought back memories that would be in his best interest to keep buried in his head. It felt like this wasn't the first time that he had this conversation with Sena either. The American man wasn't sure if he should ask her his thoughts or not. Instead, Alfred said, "I'm not sure."

"I was about to look more into it, but Kiku had his seizure and we ended up here." She and Alfred looked at the hospital room door.

"You don't think…?" the American man began to ask.

"I just don't know what to think anymore," Sena said. "At the rate Kiku's sanity is going, I am afraid for him." Alfred turned his focus back on the Japanese woman.

"Do you want to hear something?" he asked.

"What?" she asked.

Alfred shifted in his seat. "I feel like you told me this before. Almost like we had this conversation before word for word, you know?" He expected her to give him a funny look, maybe a sign that he too might be going crazy. Instead, Sena gave him a blank stare as she struggled to say something. That alone told him all that he needed to know.

In his bed, Kiku was having another vision.

The first thing he could smell was bleach. He couldn't see anything yet, but he could hear footsteps walking behind him. Instead of feeling fear like he had been for the past four years, a familiar sense of ease washed over him as he smiled to himself.

"I was waiting for you to show up," he said. The footsteps stopped before the Japanese man turned around.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.