Happy Wonderland


Halo Two: Mikado:

Mikado looked at his computer screen. Many notes were posted on his wall, laptop, desk, and on the fridge. He held his cell phone to his ear.

"Yes, it's me," he said. "I'm not doing much. Just looking up some things." Mikado had his browser open to the wiki page for Disassociate Identity Disorder. To his right, the note read as follows: Disassociate Identity Disorder - ? Schizophrenia - ? Bipolar - ?

"Oh, just something for a research paper." It was a lie, he couldn't quite yet trust the person on the other line. Mikado scrolled down on the page, reading the information for god knows how many times he's been over it.

"What about my friend? She's doing fine. Nothing special happened today." Mikado read over the symptoms and copied them to an unsaved document on his computer.

"Although," he said. "She has been acting a bit strange lately…"

It all started with an e-mail.

Last month, Mikado was on the Dollars chatroom when an alert for a new message popped up on the screen.

"What is this?" he asked. Mikado read the subject line and frowned.

"Check this out?" he asked. On the surface, it looked like click-bait. Still, he just had to click on the message. Mikado prepared himself to be grossed out or get a cheap jump scare from the contents awaiting him. Neither happened, instead the message contained one line of text.

"April is the cruellest month, breeding?" Mikado read. He blinked at the lonely line on the screen. The sender's name and address were just messed up characters. He clicked reply and typed his own message.

"Who are you? Why are you sending me this?" Mikado typed. He clicked "reply", but the e-mail system bounced back with a "failure to deliver" message.

"The hell?" he asked. A private message window popped up on the screen.

Bakyura: Mikado?

Taro Tanaka: Masaomi, is that you?

Bakyura: Yeah. Hey, I just got this weird e-mail.

Taro Tanaka: From who?

Bakyura: I don't know. I can't read the address.

Taro Tanaka: What does it say?

Bakyura: April is the cruellest month, breeding.

Mikado's eyes widened. Before he had the chance to reply back, another private chat window popped up.

Saika: Mikado, did you just get this message? "April is the cruellest month, breeding."

Mikado's phone buzzed with a text from Chiharu. She too got the same message that the Raira trio did. By the time Noriko called, Mikado could already guess what this was about.

"Did you get an e-mail saying, 'April is the cruellest month, breeding'?" he asked.

"How did you know?" she asked.

"I got the same thing."

"What does it all mean?"

"I don't really know… Hang on." Mikado copied the e-mail message and plugged it into Google. The first result to pop sent a chill through him, but he couldn't explain why.

"Mikado?" Noriko asked on the other line. Mikado immediately typed and asked the same question to her, Masaomi, Chiharu, and Anri.

"Does T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land mean anything to you?" he asked.

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