Tea Leaves and White Pearls


Match Three: Akaname:

Kiku spent a year in therapy for all of the nightmares he had been having as of late. So far, no change had been apparent. Well, that was so until today's session. The therapist pulled out his pen.

"Are you still having the same dreams, Honda-san?" Suzuki-san asked him. Kiku shook his head. The therapist paused and glanced up at him.

"No?" he asked, "How exactly do you mean? Describe it to me."

"I don't think I know how…"

Kiku paced himself on the couch. "Okay… I keep seeing this blackened wasteland desert."

The therapist took down notes. "Go on."

"This fog is always blowing everywhere. I can't really see where I'm going. The sky looked just as dark as the fog on the ground. I could barely even see the sun it in. The ground feels rocky and really sharp. I couldn't feel it cut into my feet with every step."

"Have you seen this place before?"


The therapist held up his hand. "Shhh, it's okay. You're safe here. Just continue."

Kiku took a long breath before speaking. "Alright. No matter went direction I walk, it all looks the same. I lose track of time as I kept walking. Hours later, I came into a ruined city."

"Describe the city for me."

"The building looked damaged and abandoned. The road is just as worse as the ground outside of the city. The signs look ripped up and broken. I even pass by a red 'LO' half-buried in the blackened sand."

"Now, the "LO" sign, is it the 'LOVE' sign here in Tokyo?"

"I don't know."

The therapist took more notes. "I see. Go on."

Kiku tightly shut his eyes. "As I keep walking, I hear terrible moans of agony. Before I know it, I am surrounded by these zombie-like creatures."

Suzuki-san froze and looked up. "Zombie-like creatures?"

Kiku nodded as he opened his eyes. "At least that what's I think they are."

"Well, what do they look like?"

Kiku narrowed his eyes and tried to remember the dream exactly. "Really skinny, pale, scars on their back, covered in sores, and…"

"Take your time if you have."

"They all kept screaming out in pain."

Suzuki-san glanced up at him through his silver-framed glasses. "What for?"

"They all seemed to be suffering from some really bad headache in unison."

"How bad are we talking?"

Kiku pressed his lips together. "Like their heads were about to split open. Pretty soon, the sound is so bad that I cover my ears and try to run away. But after a few hours, I… I…"

The therapist stopped writing and glanced up at him. "You?"

The poor man had to force himself to say the part of the reoccurring dream. "I see the tower from the ground. Then, I hear that woman's voice again."

"Don't let the devil get me?"


Outside, Sena listened to the whole session as she waited for her husband out in the hall. When Kiku first started therapy last year to help him through this mess, she was highly skeptical about everything. However once she heard his dream being described in full detail, Sena didn't know what to believe anymore. She clenched her fist to her chest.

Nothing good will come out this, Sena thought with a huge knot forming in her stomach.

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