This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Deep Blue Wonderland
Halo Zero: Chirin:
Hazy blue eyes drew open to the dimly sunlight through the windows of the room.
Three days after Yuka injected patient’s arm for the first time.
Ryugamine Mikado started to become more aware of his surroundings albeit still in a fog. His wrists and ankles were tied down to his bed again. He moved his head towards the ceiling. The patient started to remember little things about himself once again. He was trapped in Chou Mori Institution, barely on bogus charges for god only knows the reasons. That crazy doctor stopped by his room to talk to him about some philosophical dog shit that he could barely understand. He, the patient, was a high school student, therefore a minor whose details of the case couldn’t be shared with the public. That was all that he could piece together for the time being. The number of drugs the doctor and that lady doctor injected him with kept messing with his head. Speaking of which, the last round last night still made his body ache. Even through all of that, still one thought remained.
I can’t stay here.
Mikado looked down at his ankles tied to the bed railing. For some reason tonight, his bindings didn’t look all that tight. Maybe the orderly on duty just wanted to go home early or something. Mikado’s eyes widened when it donned on him.
Mikado’s eyes trailed up towards his wrists tied above his head. On instinct, he began to try and slip his right wrist out of his bindings. At first, his hand couldn’t go through the loop. He began trying to pull his wrist out faster.
Just a little more…
His right wrist slipped out of the loop after a few tries. A sense of relief washed over him as it dropped to his side. Despite being messed up in the head, instinct was clear enough for him to try and escape. Such of force didn’t allow for rational thought as Mikado slid out his left hand and then his feet. He sat up in the stiff bed. The patient felt like he was dreaming as he rose to his feet. His head felt like it was underwater as he began to walk.
His vision was tunneled as he walked down the darkened hall. His legs felt like rubber with each heavy step that he took.
Step. Step. Step. Step.
When did this hall get so long?
Instinct didn’t give room for a sense of direction or a proper plan. All Mikado knew how to do was walk down the hall as slowly as his weakened body would allow.
Step. Step. Step. Step.
He collapsed against the wall, but used his hands to hold himself up. The overpowering scent of bleach made Mikado’s head spin. He took in deep breath before pulling himself up and walking again. After what felt like a long walk, Mikado reached out and felt cold metal. His hand closed around the door knob and turned it to the right. A cool breeze hit him in the face before luring him inside.
Mikado didn’t recognize his own face as he looked up and saw his reflection in the wall-sized mirror over a sink porcelain sink. He stared with no expression. The longer his eyes stayed on the glass, the more little memories about himself began to come back. Yes, this was what he looked like. The patient remembered his short, spiky black hair and slender frame. Okay, he seemed to have lost a good deal of weight with the way his grey shirt hung off of his shoulders. So this was what Ryugamine Mikado looked like after months of staying in Chou Mori.
The patient took another look.
Left… Right… Left… Right… Left… Right… Left… Right… Left…
That realization alone was enough to “wake him up”.
What happened to my eye?!
Yuka walked down the same hallway, looking around. She bit her lower lip as she tapped her foot. Oh god! The orderly put her hands on her head. Yuka had just started her shift and already she ran into a problem. It amazed her that he managed to slip out of his bindings so easily. She lowered her hands and took in deep breaths.
Calm down, he couldn’t have gotten far. Think! If I was a mental patient, where would I go in this early in the morning? Yuka closed her eyes and tried to picture herself as said patient. She took in another breath to help her think.
I am a patient. I am a patient. I am…
Yuka opened her eyes in a flash. “Of course!” She ran down the hall all the way to the opened door. When she looked in the small bathroom, the orderly put her hand over her heart and as she breathed out.
“Oh there you are, Chirin-kun!” the orderly said. Mikado froze when her voice. The orderly walked over and turned him to face her. A warm, fuzzy feeling filled her chest as she looked at the panic growing in the patient’s eyes.
“You had me so worried,” Yuka said. “Roc is always half-assed with his work sometimes. If you wanted to go to the bathroom, you should’ve pushed the button under your bed. Please don’t scare me like that.” However, the dark blue-haired orderly just then noticed Chirin’s left eye.
“What is…?” she asked. Yuka grabbed Mikado by the wrist and ran out of the bathroom.
“Sensei!” she shouted, banging on Kitano’s office door. “There’s something wrong with! Chirin! Come quick!” The orderly backed up as her boss opened his door.
“What’s the problem?” he asked, frowning. “I’m in the middle of my research!” Yuka shoved Mikado forward.
“Sensei, look!” she shouted. “His eyes… it’s green now!” Kitano leaned down to the boy’s face and examined his now-bright green left eye. He broke into a smile.
“Ah, good, good,” the therapist said.
“Huh?” Yuka asked with a puzzled look on her face. Kitano patted Chirin on the head as he turned to his new protégé.
“This means the experiments from our project is working.”
“Come with me.” Kitano and Yuka walked Chirin back to his bed. This time, the dark blue-haired orderly tightened the patient’s bindings on his wrists and ankles. She smiled and patted him on the head.
“We can’t have little Chirin-kun up wandering the halls unattended, now can we?” Yuka asked. Kitano reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an eyepatch.
“What are you doing?” the orderly asked as he placed it over Mikado’s right eye.
“This is to keep his left eye from becoming lazy,” the therapist said. “When the good eye covered up, the other one will be forced to do all of the work. Of course, we will have to check it every day to see if it does heal.”
“Then what happens?”
“We will have to see, won’t we?”
Chirin was abandoned again in his bed again, tied up with a green, blind eye.
Etsuko pulled out her cell phone as she looked down upon the city from her office at Rampo Biotech.
“Hello, sweetheart. Yes, I am heading the second round and you’ll get a huge role. Yes, yes. Look, I can’t have you going crazy this time. Yes, you about killed all of our players last time. No, no, hear me out. It feels solid this time and we can’t afford to start over when it feels so strong. Aw sweetheart, don’t be like that. Look, I will make it worth your while for the time being. I promise, sweetheart. I promise.”
The doctor’s lips curved into a smirk.
“Good,” Etsuko said. “Now, how would you like to go on a little shark hunt?”
Masaomi eyed Mikado once his friend managed to calm down in his apartment.
“Mikado,” he said in a low voice. “I know this is going to be hard for you, but please tell me what all do you remember? Take your time if you need to.” Mikado gulped as he began to take himself back to the time before being committed.
“I… I… I don’t know,” the other boy said. “There was blood, so much blood. I don’t remember who was there.” Mikado’s body trembled. He could smell that blood like he did that night.
“What happened?” Masaomi asked. Mikado shook head.
“I don’t know.”
“How did you end up in Chou Mori?”
“I don’t know.” Mikado’s memories came out jumbled up. He could see the blood on his hands and on his clothes. The former patient couldn’t remember where he was or why it happened.
“The police arrested me,” he said. Masaomi gave him a strange look.
“For what?” he asked.
“I don’t remember. I ended up in the police station. They kept asking me questions, but I didn’t know what they were talking about.” Mikado buried his head in his hands. “I’m so sorry. I can’t really remember much else before I ended up at Chou Mori. My head hurts trying to remember anything.”
“It’s okay,” Masaomi said as he pulled his friend into his arms. Mikado rested his head on his chest.
“And you’re sure that these memories are real?” the blonde-haired boy asked. “Maybe they are just some sort of a trick that they are pulling on all of us.”
“No,” Mikado said muzzled against his friend’s chest.
“I’m sorry?” Masaomi’s eyes happened to catch his friend’s desperate ones.
“These are real,” his friend said. “I know they are. I can feel it.” Masaomi struggled to say something, but no response could justify what he had just heard. It all reminded him of another thought.
Wait, if Mikado was really in Chou Mori, then does that mean Saki-chan’s really gonna…
Masaomi came to reality when his cell phone rang. “Excuse me.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone.
“Hello?” the blonde-haired boy asked.
“Masaomi-kun?” a girl’s voice asked on the other line. His heart jumped before he calmed down.
“Saki-chan?” Masaomi asked.
“Are you okay?”
“Uh… yeah, yeah. How are you?”
“Good. I just called to with you a Merry Christmas.”
Masaomi didn’t know why he said this next thing. “Thanks, uh… hey, could you stop by a bakery and pick up a cake?”
Masaomi looked down at Mikado now laying in his lap. “I’ll explain when you get here, just go pick up the cake and meet me back here.”
Masaomi pressed his lips together. “Please be careful.”
Saki went quiet over the other line before she said, “Okay.”
“Call me after you get the cake, okay?”
Masaomi hung up and lowered his phone. He only hoped that Saki would make it through the day alive.
Harima Mika knocked on Anri’s door around ten in morning. Although she practically clung to Seiji with all of her being, she had to slip away while he slept to give Anri this message. She would have to be quick before her need for her boyfriend took over her judgement. The obsessed girl looked up when she heard the door opening. Anri peeked out with a confused look on her face.
“Mika… where’s Seiji?” she asked.
“Are you alone right now?” Mika asked.
“I don’t have much time to say this.”
“What do you mean?”
Mika grabbed her friends by the hands. “You are in serious trouble. It’s not just you. Mikado, Masaomi, Noriko, and Chiharu are in danger too.” Anri should’ve been alerted by this. In fact, she should’ve been frightened by what her friend was saying.
“You’ve told me this before, haven’t you?” Saika’s Mother asked instead.
“Yes,” her friend admitted. Anri began to remember the same thing happening before. Mika came to her apartment alone and warned her that she and her friends were being hunted by something, or rather someone. She couldn’t remember the exact name.
“Who is targeting us?” Anri asked.
“The Tandeki Group,” Mika said. Her friend was about to speak when her cell phone rang.
“Could you hold on a second?” Anri asked. She drew out her phone from her pocket. “Hello?”
“Anri!” Masaomi exclaimed on the other line. “Saki-chan and I are spending Christmas with Mikado at his place. Come and join us!”
“Wait, right now?” she asked.
“Yes! Could you bring some chocolate or something? Saki brought us cake and I’ll see if Chi can bring some KFC or something. Please?” He sounded like a little child wanting to play in the falling snow outside. Anri looked up at Mika.
“Go!” the obsessive girl mouthed at her.
“You sure?” her friend mouthed back. Mika nodded. Anri turned back to her phone.
“Okay…” she said.
“Great!” Masaomi said. “We’ll see you soon!” He hung up before the girl in glasses could ask questions.
“We’ll talk again later,” Mika said in a serious tone.
“You sure?” Anri asked.
“Yes,” the obsessive girl said as she turned to leave. She glanced over her shoulder. “Please be careful and get as far away from this city as you can.” As much as Anri wanted to listen to that last piece of advice, something inside of her told her that she couldn’t; not yet anyway.
Moments later, Anri met up with Chiharu and Noriko on her way to Mikado’s apartment. Chiharu looked at the other two girls with a box of KFC in her hands.
“Any care to tell us why Masaomi told us to bring different food items to Mikado’s place?” she asked. Anri and Noriko shook their heads confused.
“Alright,” Chiharu said. “This better be good.” The girls walked by Yagiri Namie’s missing poster plastered on a bus station.
Etsuko knocked on Kitano’s office door.
“Enter,” the therapist said. The doctor opened the door and walked inside. Kitano looked up from packing up his paperwork for the night.
“Everything set?” he asked.
“Yes, Katsuhiro,” Etsuko said.
“She’s not going to be a problem this time, will she?”
“No sir, in fact I gave her a job to do to tide her over as we get to work.”
“That’s all I came to say. Good night.”
Kitano closed his file. “Actually, stay for a bit. There is something else I want to go over real quick.”
“Something else?” Etsuko asked.
“About Chirin and the other tadpoles,” he said.
“Oh?” she asked.
Anri, Chiharu, and Noriko made it to Mikado’s apartment. Chiharu knocked on the door. Masaomi greeted them with a huge grin on his face.
“Welcome!” he said. Chiharu raised an eyebrow at him.
“Mind telling us what this is all about?” she asked. Masaomi held out his arms.
“You are invited to our little Christmas party!” he said.
“Huh?” the girls asked.
“Well, don’t just stand out there!” he said. “Come inside already!” The loud blonde-haired boy coaxed the girls into the apartment, closing the door behind them.
Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...
BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...
Barbara Zavela: Do you know the song, 'Imagine' by John Lennon?If you had a chance for a world like the one described in that song, would you grab it with both hands or turn away and reject it.This story pulls you in from the beginning with well-written scenarios. The author offers you the opportunity to bring y...
Jennifer Sibley Jannise: So, I originally read the book because my daughter asked me to. However, I read it in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and thought out. If the author writes and publishes any more books, I would definitely read them.
Jan Imonti: Loved the story, but didn't like the delivery...had to read this on my computer on line. Wasn't able to download it to my kindle. Excellent story, lots of twists and turns. Fairly quick read. Love the versitility of Mitchell's writing. Keep up with the great mysteries.
Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.