Chapter 2: Sweet Rampage
So tell me, what do you think of nursery rhymes? The little songs that you used to sing back in those days when you were still a child. Did you learn it in school or did your parents teach you, perhaps a friend? The charming repetitive tunes and the naïve simple lyrics that accompanies it, oh how nostalgia! Have you ever wondered where do those songs come from? The origin, maybe the tale behind each and every one…
"Polly put the kettle on, Polly put the kettle on, Polly put the kettle on, and we'll all have tea!" The axe came down with a swift swing, another, and another. "Sukey take it off again, Sukey take it off again, Sukey take it off again they've all gone away!" A limb flew in mid air like a bloody log, another, and another into a pile of decapitated corpses. The cheerful singing didn't stop, it went on and so does the chopping.
One hundred and fifty in count, the amount kept pilling up. From men to women, children to elders, the bodies were fresh and gore. The massacre had only taken place an hour ago, but the cause of it happened two days ago; the time when the murderer was born, when the leash was released.
Amamiya Itsuki, busy as usual I see…cleaning up after your little game? Had your fun?
The boy halted all his tasks immediately, lowered his axe clutched in his right hand and turned to face the intruder behind him. His face covered with dripping crimson from his ash brown hair to the front of his once pristine white shirt. A look of inquisitive nature plastered on the ten year old face as he blinked those large green irises. A smile broke out all of a sudden, "Ne Devil-san, how come I still feel so thirsty? The taste of their blood is bitter…It's not sweet! Tell me where can I find some as sweet as sugar?"
Oh, I never ponder that question myself. Why don't you take your time and go find some for me too. I'd like to have a taste of sweet blood.
"Ok! I'll go and find some now! ...But I have to bury these first…"
The bodies? Why bother? They're lifeless corpse now…Empty shells with no soul.
"But I buried Papa and Mama properly! So these people too…at least…"
Foolish child, do what you want. Further I hope you are not regretting the choice you made? My contracts are precious I don't waste them on worthless humans. Be sure to use the lifespan I grant you wisely. Otherwise you'll end up the same place where you sent your parents to.
"Yes, my Master. I really appreciate the chance you've given me. Rest assured that I won't disappoint you. I will never ever be with them again."
The constant beating, shouting, cussing and anger directed towards you. The calm exterior which you held on to so dearly finally broke shattered into pieces on that night you snapped. Insanity drove you to the brink of destruction, and hatred led you on the fuming anger in your heart to seek output. Your mind an empty reflection as your eyes witnessed the very crime you committed. Your body took action against a will which you no longer have and your lips tasted sinful blood for the very first time. A monster that devoured the weaker beings around it – you Amamiya Itsuki, who sold your soul for your parents lives. You, that wished them dead.
The present day,
The humming tune of an infamous nursery rhyme echoed throughout the sterile white kitchen wall. An obvious repetition of 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' came from a boy dressed in a baker's attire, his face an eerie calm as he worked on rolling out the dough for his next pastry creation.
"Why don't you sing it?" the question came from a sudden intruder who leaned herself against the kitchen doorframe. Her fair skin gleamed under the artificial fluorescent light, black silky tresses reaching past her shoulders framed her ethereal beauty. Her bluish haze eyes, the color of rain reflected for a brief moment as she gazed coldly at the boy. "It's a song with lyrics, why hum it instead of singing it?" she pushed on after being ignored at her first attempt.
The humming halted but only as it arrived at the end of the song. "Oh you're here Vie-chan! Why don't you call out for me?"
"Vienne! I did, you were too busy to notice me…" her empty stare met the boy's smiling face.
"So what do you want?" turning his attention back to the rolled out dough he cut it out into several perfect squares, "Are you bored by yourself out there? Master should be back soon." He placed the shapes on a baking tray lined with baking sheet before putting it into the refrigerator. "Vie-chan, do you want to help me with preparing the raspberry compote?" she nodded while heading to the counter he was working on.
"It's Vienne. Amai-kun, please don't simplified my name." her voice soft and direct as she spoke while opening the box of fresh raspberry on the counter. "Eh? But I let you call me Amai-kun," he whined like a child.
"That's because you requested us to call you by such a manner."
"Don't be so serious, you should have some fun once in awhile Vie-chan."
Given up on her attempt to correct Amamiya Itsuki – the genius pattissier who was only fifteen, Vienne concentrated on her task at hand. Rinsing the raspberries and putting them into a copper pot. She watched what Amamiya did next, pouring a small amount of water into the content before adding his favorite ingredient, sugar.
"Um, Amai-kun I think that's more than enough." Vienne finally voiced out after the boy emptied his sixth cup of sweetness into the pot. "Huh, I do think it's sufficient but there are customers who complain the lack of sugar in it." He added another four cups.
Although her face remained blank at his statement and action, her mind spoke on. 'Amai-kun, I do think that amount of sweetness far exceed any limit for a normal person. Either your taste-bud has malfunctioned or you are trying to poison your customers into contracting diabetes or severe tooth decay.'
The humming tune of 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' brought her immediate attention back to boy again. Watching him as he stirred the content leisurely on the stove, his expression returned to calm again. Somehow every single time that tune was hummed, he seemed to be in a trance.
Before she knew it, Vienne was singing to the tune. "The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain, and washed the spider out. Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain. And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again…" And as she finished the final word, a sharp object flew past her and grazed her cheek lightly on the left. She turned quickly to her back where the object had flew and discovered a small knife embedded into the kitchen wall next to the doorframe, pinning a shirt sleeve under it.
"Tch…that was pretty close." The newly arrived figure pulled the knife out and threw it back to Amamiya with a straight aim for his head to which he caught it between his middle and fore finger just in the nick of time. "AMAI-KUN it's dangerous to throw one of those things aimlessly! You could've hurt someone, and look what you did to Vienne!"
Turning around with a cold stare towards the tall lanky figure, "It'll be wise of you not to lay your hands on Ha-ha and Chi-chi." The boy was referring to his beloved stuffed black rabbit with ruby red eyes, and its head dissected from the body. Reverted to his smiling façade, Amamiya looked apologetically at Vienne. "Gomen Vie-chan, I'm so sorry! Does it hurt? I didn't mean to hurt you," he said in his childlike tone and started sobbing soon after.
"No, I'm fine. It's not painful Amai-kun."
"Give me a break…I was just going to move your toys aside so that I can put a tray of cups on the counter momentarily before I start cleaning the bar counter. Go get Vienne a hand-plaster while I check her wound." After instructing Amamiya, the waiter / barista walked up to Vienne and attentively tilted her chin to get a better look at the cut. "A clean cut, as expected from Amai-kun. Don't worry it won't leave a scar." Releasing her, he stepped back to observe the young lady. "You're being awfully calm. Anyone would've been shocked going through that."
"It's nothing Lycurgus." Her unwavering ice gaze fell onto the man in front of her. Light grey irises reflected her whole image in them, especially her emotionless face. "You really sure you're ok?" he asked just to make sure. A simple nod was all he got in return.
"What's taking that boy so long?" halfway through his steps leaving the kitchen Lycurgus froze upon hearing a sensitive screeching sound. It grew louder and clearer, and eventually turned out to be screams of a wailing woman in agony. The noise was piercing within normal hearing range. "What is that noise?!" rushing out of the kitchen followed by Vienne behind, the waiter bumped into Amamiya outside.
"What is happening?" clutching his ears the boy looked at the other two.
"I have no idea! It seems to be coming from the entrance. Amai-kun, get back into the kitchen with Vienne!" just as Lycurgus turned around, the front door was kicked down by a force. Or more accurately a creature in flames was kicked with a force so hard that it knocked down the door.
"What the hell…" upon closer inspection what was covered in blazing fire, a woman burning halfway. Her whole body from hair to feet was engulfed with scorching inferno, and her screams echoed louder. The skin on her body melted to reveal bits and pieces of flesh and bone, her face barely recognizable and as she wanted to cry for help no words could form from her charred lips. She was beyond the point of salvation as she desperately crawled with all her might in a slow excruciating pace trying to escape something or someone that was behind her.
"Dissipate," with a snap of fingers the flames rose to a surmount level and subsided within minutes, leaving nothing but ashes on the floor – the only remains of that unknown woman. A sudden gust of wind blew in and swirled the ashes leading them into a small deep burgundy tear shaped crystal container that appeared magically. "That was troublesome…she could have remained still instead of frantically running around. Humans nowadays just don't keep to their end of the bargain."
The crystal container flew into the hand of the being that entered, "And she cost me extra for this door." As the figure stepped over the door, the object was willed back into its rightful place with unforeseen powers. And the front door was fixed, just like brand new.
"What the hell was that Lucifer?" Lycurgus was the first one to speak, and he was expecting an explanation from the dark being. Golden eyes with slit irises trained at the waiter as seductive lips curled to form a languid smirk.
"Call it debt collection…a rather late one. She was far overdue and I needed to keep track of my records, can't have an unbalance account show up. That won't do and apparently I'm running short of assistants. Productive and trustworthy ones that is…" walking towards the bar counter to take a seat on one of the wooden high chairs, "Business has been growing as of late, the humans now are more corrupted than ever. Sins are aplenty still you really can't get enough of it." Laughter came forth from the same seductive lips.
"So you're into loan-shark trade?" the tall waiter directed a skeptical look at his employer. A shrewd look replied him.
"Lu, you'll let me help won't you? I promise I won't let you down." Amamiya went up to his master like a puppy wagging its happy tail. Petting the boy's head in an affectionate manner, "Then I'll take your word for it Amai-kun," golden eyes looked up to land on Vienne who stood a distance from the trio. A pale hand with sharp nails extended out, "Come" the simple word instructed.
With careful steps she made her way there and stood unmoving as the hand traced with feather finger movements over the fresh cut on her left cheek. "Who did this? Your beautiful face is marred by it." Bluish haze eyes displayed the reflection of an innocent looking girl with curly honey blond hair tied in twin ponytails, the Devil in disguise.
"It was an accident…" the cold tingling sensation from the fingers caused her to look away momentarily from the golden stare that bore into her.
"You're lying," mists appeared out of nowhere surrounded the blond girl as she shape shifted into the form of a gorgeous male. The gentleman with a striking face and long raven dark hair that sat in front of her looked no older than twenty five. Casually he pulled Vienne onto his lap and tilted her chin to look into her eyes.
"What are you doing Devil?"
"Devil? Wouldn't you call me by my other names? Maybe master or evil lord perhaps, even Lucifer will do. Anything but that generic trademark when I'm here, back in Hell I won't mind."
"Does a name matter to an entity like you? You can morph or change into any form you so desire, why reject the very notion of who you are? The Devil,"
"Yes indeed kitten," his grip on her chin firmed as he licked the wound on her face in a slow steady manner, leaving the cut miraculously healed when he was done. "Your words sharp as ever, make sure you don't bite that articulate tongue of yours. It will be wise of you to know who you signed a contract with." Vienne's right eye glowed with a mark of the beast appeared in it, scriptures of incomprehensible text written around the symbol. A searing pain invaded that part of her as she hissed. "Human, it is you who wished for this! Being with the Devil you must be ready to accept all consequences."
He released her at that moment and her pain disappeared along with the mark in her right eye. "I'll not repeat a second time. Who hurt you?" the Devil demanded as he stood looking down at her slight trembling figure.
"…It's me, Master…" the boy whispered and took a timid step ahead.
"Amai-kun…" she looked at Amamiya, fear was already formed within her thoughts as to what will happen next, between the Devil and the young pattissier.
"Well it's not entirely the boy's fault alone. I played a part in it too," Lycurgus interfered, putting himself in front of the kid. "Let it slip my Lord, Amamiya didn't do it intentionally."
The golden eyes averted their sharp gazes away from the young lady and to the boy behind Lycurgus. With a flick of his wrist the boy was brought forward to him by an unseen force, feet hanging in midair as Amamiya faced the Devil head on. Fierce golden eyes trained at the boy, even as Lycurgus tried to help he couldn't. The wolf spirit was frozen in place. "No one is to lay hands on my property. Lest a mortal like you would like a taste of my wrath," strength was constricting the boy's neck causing irregular breath to be emitted. Darkness engulfed his surrounding as the environment shifted to a familiar scene.
A nightmare playback, blood pooling on the ground beneath him as cries of a young boy echoed within his hearing. Amamiya saw the little boy's image curled into a tight spot, sobbing with immense fear painted on his face.
Deep crimson poured continuously from a wound above his shoulder blade. Laughter of a woman erupted into the dark space, "Where are you hiding my precious little son? Come to mommy now, it's no fun to play hide and seek by yourself. I know, let mommy sing you your favorite song! Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…" footsteps were heard shuffling around the house followed by noises of breakable objects smashed to the ground. "Down came the rain, and washed the spider out!" the wood table which the boy hid under turned over, frantic hazel eyes and a gleeful grin greeted the victim.
"There you are…" the women with long black hair in a white blood stained gown raised her axe towards the cowered child.
"…M-mommy please don't…" the helpless child pleaded in his final attempt for survival.
"You are a very, very naughty boy Itsuki-kun. Therefore mommy must punish you for that," the axe came down in a fluid motion.
'I DON'T WANT TO DIE! ANYONE…SOMEBODY…HELP ME!!'
Boy, do you wish to live?
"Itsuki! What have you done?"
Looking back and forth between the boy and the body of his dead wife chopped into unrecognizable pieces, the father went hysterical. "W-What happened? You, the demon child…" frantic eyes landed on the blood drenched axe held in the child's hand.
"I didn't…It's not me! I didn't do anything!" he dropped the axe and moved back cautiously away from his father. Quietly the adult went to pick it up, empty cold eyes stared at the boy and without warning the axe was swung. "NO!"
His suffering has only begun. Deep crimson rain splattered at the scene and darkness engulfed once more. The scream of his father's voice echoed in his mind, and down he tumbled into an endless abyss.
"You chose to live, so your life was spared. But you serve me in return and crossing over to my bad side is not a wise choice. Amamiya, be sure to keep that in mind at all times." The boy at present dropped unconscious on the ground as the Devil released him. "Take him back to his quarters Lycurgus."
"Yes, my Lord." Picking up the unconscious lad, the waiter gave an assuring glance to Vienne, who was trembling lightly with fear for Amamiya's life. "He'll be fine Vienne, instead you should start worrying about yourself." He dropped a quick whisper to the girl as he walked past her and disappeared above the stairs leading to the living quarters on the second floor.
Bluish haze eyes immediately turned to the seat where the Devil has occupied earlier, but no figure was in sight at the moment. "And you kitten, should refrain from singing that nursery rhyme ever again. Who knows if Amai-kun will be able to control himself?" she turned around startled by the sudden voice from behind her.
"Why? What have you done to him?" warily she questioned the Devil in front of her. Gold fiery eyes kept their unfeeling gaze on the fair beauty, admiring the delicate features of her face. The sensual lips of the evil being curved into amusement, "I have done nothing. Or did I? Perhaps a little reminder of Amai-kun's past, but I interfere naught. The choice was his to begin with and the consequences were his to bear. Just like how you have chosen to stay by me…"
"We each have to shoulder the burden of our sins. It makes me wonder why then, did I decide on this path? To a Devil lord like you, of what value am I?"
A moment of silence followed as he examined the depth of her bewitching eyes, "Hmm, I ponder indeed." Vienne remained calm and emotionless as she faced the Devil. She has seen the entity in countless disguise, be it in human form or demon form even unshaped. Often the Devil morphed into an appearance most suitable to lure his preys as humans' heart failed beneath the charm of a false façade.
A waif of alluring scent caught the Devil of guard as he sniffed the air to find its source. "Is that raspberries I smell? And plenty of sugar too…"
"Well Amai-kun was preparing raspberry compote earlier…"
"And he's on a sweet rampage I reckoned, with such a sugary scent it drove even the evilness in me to awake what more of those who are filled with sins of greed and gluttony. It did drive them to the brink of ecstasy! Come, every one of you tainted souls I'll be waiting for your patron in the Devil's café."
Sweet Rampage / END