Tea Leaves and Red Silk

Scratching the Gates

Match Four: Scratching the Gates:

This evening was supposed to be a joyous celebration. Kiku already had a bad feeling about this. He woke up from another nightmare. However, this one felt different from the previous ones that he had in the past. He saw fire, but couldn't hear screaming. The Japanese man still felt the agony in his heart.

I couldn't hear their voices. Ikebukuro felt it the worst. Too many people were dying or disappearing as of late. Kiku's hands trembled as he grabbed his sheets. No, it can't be happening again! He could already see the signs. It started with a phone call early that morning.

"Hello?" Kiku asked, buried under his sheets.

"My favorite little brother!" Yao exclaimed on the other line. "How are you doing?" Kiku frowned at the excited tone in his voice.

"What is it, Yao?" he grumbled. The Japanese man hoped this conversation wouldn't last too long.

"I have great news!" Yao said.

"What is it?"

"Ju and I are getting married."

Kiku sat up at the sound of that announcement. Part of him dread that key of the prophecy. "What?" he asked.

"Ju and I are getting married," Yao repeated. "I just wanted you to be the first one to hear it from me."

"Yes," Kiku said in a trembling voice. He pressed his lips together.

"Kiku, are you feeling okay?" his older brother asked. "You don't sound too well." The younger brother shook his head.

"No, I just have a slight headache," he lied.

"Oh, I have some herbs that you could use," Yao said.

"No thank you, it'll pass."

"You sure? I can bring it to you."

"No, it's fine, really."

"Okay, we're having a dinner party tonight to announce the engagement to everyone at six o'clock."

"Alright, sure."

"I guess I'll let you rest now."

"Thank you, Yao." Kiku hung up before his Chinese brother could say another word. The Japanese man buried his head in his hands. They are really getting married. He had a dream about a wedding engulfed in flames. He couldn't hear the screams, but he could sense the bride was in agony with her decision as she signed away her single life. However, the wedding wasn't the thing he feared. Ikebukuro would burn further if this wedding went through as planned. Kiku saw the whole picture six months ago. It all started when his therapist was found in the men's bathroom in the psychiatrist office with his throat violently slashed in his sea of blood.

"He knew too much," a voice told Kiku in his head when he heard the news. He had a feeling that his therapist's death was only the start of the warnings to him. The Japanese man feared who would be next. Because of this, he tried to avoid everyone for six months. Now, that reliable tactic would fail him. Kiku found himself stuck on whether or not he should tell someone. He shut his eyes, shaking his head.

I don't want to see those gates ripped open.

Outside his window, a pair of dark eyes watched Kiku's every move, waiting. The blackened fifteen-year-old girl bid her time.

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