(Narrator?: October 14th 2055)
“Melody!” Roy called out to his little sister, “Hurry up and finish eating! The Angels should be on their way right now. The woman that spotted us ended up getting away and I’m pretty sure she’s reported us by now. I really don’t want to fight anybody this late at night. Besides, I’m not in the mood for fighting the newbies they’ve been throwing at us lately.”
“She didn’t get away,” Melody objected, “You let her go,” she corrected him, gnawing on the severed leg of a freshly made corpse, “But that’shhh becaushhh you’re a good pershun, Big Brother. I know that Big Brother would never hurt an innoshhent pershhun, not even to shhave himshhelf.”
“Of course not,” Roy agreed quite egotistically, “But either way, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. It’s bad manners.”
“I’m showwy,” she squeaked childishly, swallowing her food in a single gulp. She batted her eyes at him, “I didn’t mean to.”
“That little girl act isn’t going to work this time,” he stated, “You’re eight years old already. You need to start acting like it.”
“Was it really alright for you to kill this man?” she asked with a hint of guilt in her voice as her feasting ceased, “Or did you just kill him so that I would have something to eat this month?”
“A little bit of both,” Roy admitted as he patted her on the head, “He was a really bad guy, Melody. He killed many innocent people and wasn’t going to be punished because he’s rich,” Ray let out a slight sigh as he finished writing on the wall, “I did a good thing turning him into a nice little snack for my adorable little sister. Now hurry up and finish whatever you’re eating, we don’t really have much time to waste anymore.”
She simply nodded, taking a small bite out of the man’s leg, “Why are you always leaving writings when I eat, Big Brother?” Melody had a mouthful of flesh. In the midst of her feasting, she had accidentally gotten blood on one of her black pigtails as well as the top of her white hair, “Who are you leaving them for?”
“I leave them so the Angels can reveal these sins to the world. If you can understand anything about anything Melody, know that divine judgement isn’t handled up in the heavens anymore, but down here on Earth. Only reapers of death are capable of delivering punishment onto the evil. It doesn’t matter if it’s on humans or demons, justice knows no bounds and I have been tasked with delivering it.”
“Wow! That’s so cool, Big Brother!” Melody exclaimed as she gave him a wide smirk, revealing a piece of flesh hanging off of her teeth, “You’re so awesome!” She stumbled up and ran to hug Ray, flinging herself at him and covering his shirt with the blood and guts of her monthly supper.
“Holy shit, Melody, I just cleaned myself up,” Roy said disgusted yet in a trance of excitement, “Yo-Yo-You really need to- need to-” He moved away from her holding his head, the battleground of an ongoing psychological battle.
A long blue substance bursted out of his shoulder. It was his sin, a six foot long scythe-like weapon made entirely of a hardened mutated substance called ‘ripusin’, commonly referred to as ‘sin’.
Each demon’s sin can take on a different form depending on the complexity of the demoline as well as the demon’s overall mental state. In normal cases, the shape of the sin is easy to identify and classify the demon, but in cases of extreme mental breakdowns, the demoline will produce excess amount of ripusin and cause the sin to lose it’s form, causing it to be unclassifiable for Angels, but nevertheless, still allow it to be fully functional.
With his sin out and ready to strike, he walked towards her, wearing a deadly grin that struck fear in the eyes of those who saw it. The man before her was no longer her brother, only the pure embodiment of his blind rage and thirst for blood.
Melody fell back and shrieked in a mix of terror and confusion, “Big Brother! What are you doing?! Stop!”
Ray snapped out of his discombobulated state and retracted his sin into his body. He fell down to one knee in exhaustion, looking around puzzled and dazed.
“I-I-I’m sorry Bi-Big Brother,” Melody sobbed in the fetal position, “I won’t do it again. I promise. Please don’t be mad.”
“It’s fine Melody,” Roy said, gasping for air. He stood up and removed his shirt, turning it inside-out and wiping away the tears and blood from Melody’s face, “I’m not mad at you, I promise.” After he was done cleaning the mess off of her face, Roy pulled out his lighter and lit the shirt on fire.
“Really,” Melody said as she stared at his chest, noticing the various scars scattered across his torso, “Then why did you get mad when I got you dirty?”
He pulled another shirt out from her backpack and dressed himself, “I wasn’t mad that you got me dirty, I just went a bit out of control that’s all. The voice in my head was taking over, you know, the one I told you about,” he paused as he picked her up on his back, “Whenever I smell or see blood my mind becomes extremely vulnerable and he tries to take over.”
“So, you don’t like blood?” Melody asked puzzled, “But isn’t that impossible? I thought that if you were a demon you were suppose to love it.”
“Yes, you’re right, but I do love blood. I love the taste, the smell, the texture, the way it splatters against surfaces, but the fact is I love it too much. I have such a strong love for it that it causes me to lose control sometimes and I can’t help but to try and get a taste of it,” he paused again to catch his breath, still exhausted from regaining control of himself, “That’s why I always have you hide when I get your meals. It also explains why there’s such a big mess afterwards.”
“Um, Big Brother,” Melody said in a shaky voice, “Ca-Can I ask you something?”
“Of course. You don’t have to be afraid to ask me anything.”
“How did you become a demon?”
Roy stopped and looked back at his sister, “Wha-What do you mean, Melody?”
“Yesterday, I overheard you with Hailey,” she answered, “You were talking about how you used to be a human. But then you said something happened to you and now you’re a demon. Is that true?”
Roy stood motionless, trying to figure out the best way to explain to Melody his paranormal situation. He looked around towards the street and noticed a couple of people still out and about. He started walking again and turned into an alleyway.
“Well,” he began, “It’s kind of true. I used to be a normal human being, but something happened to me. Something really really bad and I ended up becoming a demon because of it. Well, not a full demon, but an unholy mix of a human and demon. A One-eyed Demon.”
“So that’s why only have one Hunting Eye?” she asked.
“Yes that’s correct,” he nodded, “I’m still like a human in a way because I don’t need to feed solely on humans to survive and my sin levels can’t be traced through my skin like regular demons, but I’m still like any other Incursion Demon.”
“Like how?” Melody asked.
“Well, I’m ten times stronger than an actual human,” he started, “Also, I have a sin, however, I can keep mine out for quite a long time, while other demons can die from keeping their sins out too long.”
“Oh,” Melody said intrigued, “Is there anything else?”
“Let me think about it,” he paused for a second in realization, “Hasn’t Mira been teaching you about this kind of stuff?” Ray interrogated, “That’s her job as your teacher isn’t it?”
“Yeah, but she’s been super busy after school,” Melody defended, “She’s been going out with Hailey to increase our numbers and keep the Angels away.”
“As if she’s keeping the Angels away,” Roy sighed and muttered, “I don’t know why we expect a killer to be a good teacher.”
“How rude,” a voice echoed through the alleyway, “That’s no way to talk about your little sister’s hardworking teacher, y’know.”
Roy leaped forward to protect Melody as he shouted, “Who’s there!”
“It’s the ‘killer’ teacher, you insensitive bastard,” the woman retorted. It was Mira Furihara, the Blood Raven and a Senior Officer from Sinborne, the demon organization that Ray and Melody were both part of. She walked out of the shadows with a mischievous grin on her face as she gazed at Melody.
“Looks like the monthly hunt went according to plan,” she said licking her lips, “What kind of vermin did the Vigilante feed you this time, my little Shiro?” She licked the minute amount of blood that was still on her face.
“My name’s not Shiro, Ms. Furihara,” Melody corrected her, chuckling innocently, “You know that.”
“I know my little one, but you remind me of this little girl I knew a long time ago. Anyway what did you have to eat on this fine night? A mob boss? A drug lord? A serial killer? Or,” Mira grinned, “Perhaps it was another demon?”
“Enough,” Roy snapped, pulling Melody away from Mira, “We don’t talk about people like they’re only meals, even if they’re only fucking scumbags. Don’t try to get her to stoop down to your level.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean you hybrid shit?!”
“In case you haven’t noticed,” Roy started, “You are the main reason why the Angels in this area have doubled in the past week! The damn massacre you pulled in Hollywood brought all the top Angels across Southern California to LA! I could give two shits if you’re SSS-Ranked or Satan Class, if you’re trying to look like a fucking hero to everybody back at Sinborne, you’re doing a really shitty job!”
“Don’t you dare act like you’re any better you wannabe human scum!” Mira yelled as her sins began bursting out of her shoulders and back, wrapping around her body like armor as her final sins burst from her arms forming wing-like blades. This was her true form, the Satan Class transformation that nicked her as Blood Raven, the strongest demon from Sinborne, other than its two leaders. She stood a tremendous seven feet now and was glaring down at Roy, “I don’t know who you think you are, but remember your place! I don’t give a fuck if you’re an Officer, I will make you remember what happens to pests who disrespect their betters!”
“Stop it!” Melody screamed, “Why can’t you guys ever get along!? We all breath the same air, right!? Why does it matter what kind of person we are!? We’re all just trying to live, so why can’t you just put aside your differences and just be nice to each other!?”
There was a slight pause as the tension in the air vanished.
Mira sighed and retracted her sins, returning to her five foot six size. She responded with a fake laugh and said, “You’re lucky my precious Shiro is such a kind little girl or who know’s what the world would have become without its mongrel reaper.”
“Whatever,” Roy scoffed, “But Melody’s right y’know. We need to cut this shit out if we don’t want to bring Sinborne down with us.”
“Yeah you’re right,” Mira’s exaggerated smile fell to a devastated frown at his words, “I can’t let that happen, I can’t let myself ruin my father’s greatest creation, even if I must sacrifice myself, the success of Sinborne is far too important for my arrogance to become its downfall.”
“Don’t let Hori or The Demon King catch you saying that,” Roy said concerned, “You know that either of them would throw away Sinborne and all of its members for you,” he paused and grinned, “You are their daughter after all, they couldn’t live without you.”
“I don’t care,” Mira snapped, “What I’m saying is true, but I’m not planning on dying anytime soon, so there’s no reason for this conversation to echo, we don’t need to get anyone riled up for nothing.”
“Alright, fine,” he agreed, “But don’t be reckless.”
“My little Shiro,” Mira said ignoring Roy as she bent down and motioned Melody to come closer, “I need to tell you a little secret.”
Melody looked up for Roy’s approval.
“Go ahead,” he motioned to her, “It’s not like she’s gonna bite your head off or anything.”
Melody smiled at him and merrily ran over to her, “What is it Mir- I mean, Miss Furihara?”
“Okay,” Mira said and cupped her hand over Melody’s ear. She whispered, “You need to start acting like yourself my little Shiro. This fake kindness just isn’t you. If you keep living in your little dream world, reality will end you.”
“Wh-what,” Melody stammered confused, “I-I don’t under-”
“Forget about it,” Mira interrupted and forced a smile, “It doesn’t matter. At least not right now.”
“No buts, this conversation is done,” she said as she kissed Melody on the forehead, “Now go be a good little girl and keep this no class brute out of trouble, okay?”
“Okay Miss Furihara, I will,” Melody said cheerfully saluting, “You can count on me.”
“That’s what I like to hear. Now I gotta go tie up some ‘loose ends’ right now,” Mira said as she waved farewell to both, walking out of the alleyway, “I’ll see you both back at the bookstore.” Her voluptuous figure began fading away until she had disappeared from view.
“Glad she’s gone,” Roy sighed, “We gotta get going before anything else goes wrong.”
“Okay,” Melody shouted excitedly. She turned around and ran out of the alleyway, “I can’t wait to get back to Hailey and tell her all about my da-”
Melody rammed straight into a pale woman, knocking the woman back and nearly off her feet, stumbling backwards.
Before gravity could win the battle, Roy swooped forward and caught her, slipping and landing on his back as he pulled her in. The woman was on top of him, face-to-face. The only thing that separated their lips from each other was a mere few inches of air.
“Um,” she squeaked, using her left hand to hide her flustered expression, “Thank you for, um, catching me Sir,” the woman opened her hands slightly so she could get a glimpse of her savior, “Bruce!” she cried out shocked, “Is that really you?”
“Uh, yeah,” Roy responded achingly, “It’s me. And you are?”
“Oh my god, of course you wouldn’t recognize me,” she muttered getting back on her feet, “It’s been six years and I got my hair done a while after that,” the woman nervously straightened her blond and red hair with her hands, “I’m Allison, Allison Sampson. We use to go to high school together, remember, we had Government with Petersen senior year.”
“Oh, Allison, I remember. You used to sit next to me in English during our junior year too,” Roy recollected, “I remember that you used to be one of the smartest girls in our class?”
“Yeah. I just recently moved back due to work. I’m heading to a crime scene right now,” Allison paused, “They called me in because one of my coworkers was recently caught in a scuffle with a demon a couple of days ago.”
“That’s tough to hear,” he replied, “I hope it wasn’t too serious.”
“Oh don’t worry, they’re totally fine. Only a couple scrapes and bruises, nothing serious,” she insisted, “Enough about me and my work life, what have you been up to?”
“I actually just moved back, too. I’d say about a few months ago. I was living out of state for the past year helping out with my friend’s company. I got a security job back at the bookstore I worked at in high school, plus I picked up an internship at this pharmaceutical company,” Roy replied. He felt a slight tug of his shirt from Melody, who was quite furious for being left out, “Oh, I almost forgot. I’ve also been raising my new little sister here,” he said patting Melody’s head, “I kind of adopted her off the streets a couple years ago. She was half dead when I found her. I didn’t want her to go through what I did when I was her age, so I decided to adopt her, try giving her a chance at life that I never had.”
“You’ve really changed for the better since you picked up that job at Forbidden Fruit,” Allison said grinning as she glanced down at Melody and squealed, “Awe! Isn’t she just the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen!? I would kill to have a sister as cute as she is! Hey, you can come and live with me if you want little angel,” she sarcastically asked Melody, “I can be your big sister.”
“I’m not an angel,” Melody blushed and turned away mumbling, “And I already have a big sister. Her name’s-”
“Alright, that’s enough Melody,” Roy said covering her mouth “Don’t say anything that might get you in trouble.”
“It’s fine Bruce,” Allison insisted, “What’s your big sister’s name Melody?”
Melody looked up at Ray who simply gave her a cautious nod, “Um, her name’s... Hailey,” she finally blurted out. She got a sudden idea as she grinned with a devilish smile, “She’s one of Big Brother’s girlfriends.”
“Oh,” Allison said crushed as she hesitantly backed away and stared at Ray half-heartedly, “I didn’t know you were- I mean I-I think it would be best if I go.”
She hurried away with tears in her eyes, but was caught by Roy’s hand, “No, wait,” he pleaded, “You have the wrong idea about this. You remember Hailey, Hailey Mitsukuni. She went to high school with us. She’s been working at the bookstore with me ever since. She’s not my girlfriend though, just a good friend.”
“Then why did Melo-” she stopped flustered as Roy leaned towards her. Their bodies almost touching, their faces nearly cheek-to-cheek, They were so close that they could feel the heat coming off of one another.
“I think she doesn’t understand my relationship with her,” Roy whispered, “Especially considering how touchy-feely Hailey can be,” he retreated back a bit to give Allison space, “You remember right?”
“Um, uh, yeah,” she blushed, “I remember how frisky she was in high school,” she shook off her embarrassment, “I think I see why she would think Hailey was your girlfriend.”
“Yeah,” he sighed, “She could be a handful at times, but she’s a good person overall. She’s always been helping me out with raising Melody, as well as Mira’s step sisters.”
“Well,” she finally said, “I guess you guys seem to be doing well since high school considering the hell we live in.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, “But what exactly have you been up to?”
“Oh yeah, I didn’t really get into it,” she realized, “But the reason I’m going to a crime scene is because I’m a DDC investigator now. I went to school in Sacramento and been working there ever since. I was transferred back here to help out on a case on a demon that’s recently reappeared in the area. The One-Eyed Reaper.”
The air froze around Roy. His body fell into a state of shock and paralysis, not knowing if she were onto him or not. He began questioning whether or not she was still an old friend or his new foe.
“Yeah, I get it,” she said to break the silence, “It’s some really heavy stuff, but I enjoy doing it. I have to admit that it’s extremely tough most of the time and I’ve lost a lot of friends to demons in the past few years, but I intend to avenge all their deaths.”
Allison’s phone rang loud, worsening the tension Ray was feeling. She quickly pulled it out to see who was calling her, “Oh shit,” she said, “I gotta take this real quick.”
“No problem,” he said. This was his chance to kill her, before she became any more of a problem then she already was. Maybe if he did, it would prevent any unnecessary fights they would have in the future. But he couldn’t for two obvious reasons. For starters, she didn’t fit the criteria he had for killing, and even if she did, there was still something about her that was preventing him from doing so. She was too intertwined with his past and he could never bring himself to do it. If he did, then the person he used to be would die along with her, and he wasn’t about to let that happen. He let his feelings get in the way. What an idiot.
“I understand First Class, I’ll be there immediately,” she hung up the phone, “Sorry about that, I need to get going. It seems that the response team is already there. I have to rush there and give them a hand.”
“It’s fine,” he said, “It was nice seeing you again.”
“Yeah, you too. Don’t get into any trouble, you’re not just looking after yourself anymore.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t,” he said, “You take care too. And don’t overwork yourself.”
He watched as she faded from his vision and towards his bloody mess, not knowing if he had made the right choice or not. Only time would tell. He turned back to Melody and started their way home.
“Big Brother,” Melody growled intensely as she stopped in front of Roy, “Who was that woman? She better not be one of your ex girlfriends?”
“God no,” Roy chuckled at her obvious jealousy, petting her on the head, “Like I ever had a chance of being with her back in high school. She was way out of my league back then.”
“I doubt that,” Melody snarled, “She’d need to be a pretty amazing person to be too good for you and that wouldn’t happen in like a million kazillion years.”
“She was that kind of girl, and you gotta remember that I wasn’t the same guy I am now,” he clarified, “I was a totally different person in high school.”
“Oh Big Brother,” Melody sighed disappointed, covering her face in shame. She finally removed her hands and said in distaste, “And why did she keep calling you Bruce for? If she really went to school with you, she should know that your name is Roy.”
Roy continued to laugh at her frustration, “Well,” he started, “Bruce actually is my real name, but I had it changed after I became a demon.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I had to.”
“Because Bruce died when I became a demon,” he blurted, “Bruce was human and after what happened to me, I was no longer a human anymore. So it kind of seemed fitting to choose a new name for myself, considering I was reborn as a demon.”
“Um,” she started, twiddling her fingers, “How was it like?”
“How was what like?” he said walking, “Being human.”
She abruptly stopped, putting her hands behind her back and giving a curt nod.
“Well, I guess the best way to describe it is to say that it was pretty bittersweet,” he said after thinking about it for a brief moment, “I don’t really remember having much as a child, but I was happy with what I had, I just made the best of my situation. But that happy period didn’t last long after my parents had died. I used to have a baby sister too, but she disappeared shortly after they died,” he paused slightly to clear his throat, “I don’t remember having much of a childhood after that actually, I really just spent all my time alone. I wasn’t living, just getting by, y’know.”
“Stop,” Melody pleaded, eyes full of tears, “You don’t have to continue anymore. It’s fine.”
“You don’t have to worry about me,” he said patting her on the head, “If it really bothered me, I wouldn’t be telling you. In fact, it helps me out a little sharing it with someone else. Plus the rest of the story isn’t bad, I promise.”
“Okay,” she said, wiping the tears from her eyes, “But are you sure you want to tell me the rest? I think I’ll be fine if I don’t know the rest.”
“Of course, I’m not going to just leave a story half-finished” he said, “Now what was I saying,” he scratched his head, “Oh yeah, I was talking about what happened in my childhood. After that, it was rough being an orphan, humans these days don’t give the slightest shit about others like they used to. I remember I picked up stealing from others just to get by. I stole anything I could get my hands on, money, food, clothes, but I changed in high school. I made a couple friends and one of them let me live with him, he was a really great guy, and his parents were pretty generous as well. Even though he did that for me, I still think some of my best friends in high school were Hailey and Mira, considering I even dated Mira for a couple years.”
“WHAT?!” Melody bursted out in disbelief, “But don’t you both hate each other?!”
“Whoa, keep it down Melody,” Roy insisted, gazing around to see if she attracted unwanted attention, however, he saw that they were completely alone, not a soul for blocks, “It’s not that much of a surprise, is it? And we don’t hate each other. What would make you think that?”
“You two are always fighting with each other. Like ALWAYS. You two can never talk to each other without getting in a fight. It’s like you guys don’t know how to be nice to each other.”
“Well I’ll agree we have very different ideals,” Roy explained, “But we aren’t afraid to speak our minds to one another and sometimes it does get out of hand, but we’ve never gotten into a fight just so we could hurt each other, even though we’ve hurt each other plenty of times. We’re just so close that we don’t see the need to try sugarcoating anything.”
“Then why did you guys break up?”
“Well,” he thought about the question long and hard, “I actually don’t know the reason. She just broke up with me one day and that was that. I don’t think she ever told me why we broke up either, but it didn’t bother me at the time. I might ask her the next time I see her, though, it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Maybe. Anyway,” Roy looked down at his watch to see the time and blurted ecstatically, “Oh shit! It’s already eleven fifteen! You should’ve been in bed already. Can’t have you going to school tired.”
“But can’t I just stay home from school,” she pleaded batting her eyes, “Tomorrow’s Friday, so we’re not going to be doing anything anyway.”
“Nice try, but that’s out of the question,” he laughed, “I don’t need Mira getting mad at me again for keeping you home. She hates not having her favorite student at school.”
“Okay, fine,” she groaned, admitting defeat and getting on Ray’s back, “But I don’t like this idea one bit okay.”
“Neither do I,” he said as he started walking home, “But sometimes you gotta do things you don’t like, and going to school just happens to be one of them. Now get some sleep so you don’t wake up cranky tomorrow. We have enough moody women at the bookstore as it is. Don’t need to add another to that list.”
“Okay, but I’m going to tell Mira Roxy and Aya that you said that,” she threatened with a tiresome grin, “Well, good night Big Brother.”
“Good night Melody,” he replied, then he whispered, “I’m going to regret having said that later.”
He walked into the distance with his sleeping foster sister. An odd couple to be seen in the midst of the night to the average person, but a mysterious shadow peering from the corner of an alleyway knew otherwise.
“Oh my dear Reaper,” the shadow whispered to herself, “That delusion of a peaceful world is such a farce.” The shadow intensely gazed at the parting duo, clenching a head in hand, “I’ll definitely get my revenge on you,” she licked her lips and moaned, “Oh I wonder what you taste like,” The apparition released a sin and scaled up the wall, “I can’t wait to find out.”
Once she had gotten to the top of the roof, she began laughing maniacally, grabbing her sides in anticipation, “Hope we get to finally meet each other soon. You’ll be surprised to see how much I’ve grown.” She started running from building to building and disappeared as the night breeze thickened.
Today is October 14th 2055. The battle between humans and demons has been going on for over a century, getting more gruesome with each passing second. Each side is ready to fight for the survival of their species. There have and will continue to be casualties on both sides, but neither will stop until the complete collapse of the other. In the meantime, Sinbourne and the DDC can only prepare themselves for the battles that lie ahead.
Which side will come out triumphant? Only specters like us can tell what’ll happen next.
Never trust the words of an observer, be them the almighty angels, the demons lurking in the shadows, or even the nine muses fallen from grace. Every perspective to one person is the absolute truth or absolutely a lie. Be wary.