|| Prolouge ||
Today will be the new start and probably a turning point in my life, I just finished unpacking my stuffs and putting away the boxes we used, I just moved with my Mom to the city not too far from our previous home. There's no definite reason as to why my mom suddenly wants to move away and also It's not like we got a problem in our old place, I pestered Mom before asking why we had to move but she won't tell me anything, i missed all things i left there. My Bestfriends, Classmates... neighbor's Cat... Old retro arcade..
I will miss our hangout spot on the only candy store in town..
But no! enough being reminiscent, i got to start new life on the city and make friends, you got this! I practiced my introduction to the class a bit more before Mom knocked on the bathroom door "Hon, you should hurry you're gonna be late!" She said
"Just a minute~!" I hurriedly got out and get my stuffs before leaving.. oh and kisses from Mom. She smiled and wished me good luck as she send me away, That put me more pressure than it should be i should do my best not to disappoint her..
While following the directions to my new school i indulged in the new atmosphere and scenery. There isn't much to see cause we lived in a neighborhood where is mostly elderly citizens lived, i did looked around a bit when paying a visit around the nearby houses.
Moments later i'm deep within my thoughts when i bump into someone, I admit to myself that i really am not paying full attention on where i was going.. "I'm sorry, I wasn't looking" i said and tried to slip pass the guy.
He let me through just to realized that i made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a unfamiliar alley but i kept going thinking i will find my way back... Eventually.. But i'm pretty sure i'm on the main street, Did i walked unconsciously to the alleys ? I had a bad feeling emanating deep within the long alleyways.. suffocating presence.. Am i being watched ?
It wasn't long till i Confirmed my suspicions, a tall crooked man is tailing me.. eerily walking slowly but steady. I tried to lose him by walking faster but he still kept up. I walked and walked, turns after turns, but it seemed i completely lost my way out of this maze like alleyways. I panicked and ran but because of that carelessness i ran straight into a dead end.
I'm at wit's end, thinking what will happen to me, I just arrived and this happened to me already, Why is everything just won't work in my life. Is my fate really to suffer ? To despair ?
I'm lost in thought in the moment of crisis, I tried going back. But the crooked man stood tall in the end of the alley, hiding in the shadows of tall apartments. Our eyes met and felt like he will devour me any second
The crooked man appeared to be like in his early 30's wearing a grey shirt and tattered pants as if it caught on fire, My heart races as he slowly creped towards me waving his bent hand motioning to come closer. I took a step back as he gets closer and closer, not long till I'm backed up on a wall and cornered, "Ah.. it's over, I haven't even met someone yet.." i said to myself. The air feels heavy, Every breathe felt stagnant, Cold sweat flows down my cheeks and tears started dripping down from my eyes. Tried my best to shout for help but my voice barely came out.
He did not talked and reached out touched my face, His cold rough hand isn't human-like at all, So rough that it can peel my skiin off with just light touch of his. I looked up to him and tried to make out his face, but before i got the chance to. I'm not in the alleys anymore, But still not in the main street where i was moments before. The crooked like man had vanished also, I looked around and saw wreckage of a burnt house and few people by the side, I tried reaching out but none can see me or hear me. In the blazing fire i stared, not long till a man carrying a small girl emerged from the flames barely alive.
I watched the man hand over the girl safely to someone before dying on where he stood, there were burns all over his body made him so inhumane looking, I can't seem to recall having to be involved of what's happening. "Is this a memory ?" I felt a strange feeling swelling in my chest, I tried to comprehend what is happening but then multiple cracks appear as if the space itself is tearing it self apart. Everything around me is breaking apart and felt like being sucked out by an invisible force.
Shortly after i regained consciousness and greeted with a seering pain in my head, accompanied with a high pitched sounds echoing over and over till it somehow stopped. Trying to gather my thoughts i made myself belived that "I must be just too tired and adjusting with my new environment" and pushed things aside for now and continued making my way to school. Because of what just happened made me forget my Class introduction, At this moment I'm screaming internally as the anxiety entered in my system.
The walkway from the gate to the main building is quite the distance and the yard is wide and scenic, It's like what i pictured it to be the day before I arrived. I walked a bit before i reached the lobby of the main building, from there i approached a group of student and asked for the direction to the faculty.
With the help of the student's direction i got to the faculty finally without any other issues, "I braced myself before finally walking in" is my plan but my anxiety kept me from going inside. So for now i decided to peek from the doorway, "Looking for someone ?" a female voice from behind almost made me jump in surprise. "U-uhm.. yes im the new transfer student I'm looking for my homeroom teacher Mrs. Miguchi" She smiled, "So you're my new student, I'm Mrs. Miguchi nice to meet you" she said gently.
There's something in her voice that calms me, I can feel that she's a calm and gentle person by the way she spoke to me. "So shall we go to the classroom so i can introduce you to your new classmates~?" She suggested, So i followed her as we pass through different classroom in our way and found out that my classroom is located in the far side of the 3rd floor from Mrs. Miguchi.
While walking i couldn't help but observe Mrs. Miguchi, looks like She's in her late 20's and have the aura of a adult woman both in speech and mannerisms. We talked as we walked to the classroom, she reassured me about my new classmates if that worries me, She is really thoughtful.
A little while after i found myself standing infront of the classroom, Mrs. Miguchi walked inside and loud chair shifting noises can be heard from outside. After Mrs. Miguchi being greeted by the class, She procceeded to announce about me. "As you know, you will have a new classmate from today, She comes from a far place and it's her first time in the city i hope you all will be kind to her and help her if she needed it" She explained
I'm anxiously waiting outside and calming myself, "They are your classmate you don't need to be nervous" talking to myself while Mrs. Miguchi continued with her speech. I calmed myself even for a bit "Now she will introduce herself, will you please" but when i heard that my anxiety level went through the roof, after all of this Mrs. Miguchi smiled and waved at me.
I took a deep breath as i slowly walked inside steadly trying not to trip or slip, I stood in front of the class facing my classmates, readjusted my Glasses and bravely say "My name is Natsuki Kuramochi, and.. it's my first time in the city.. oh uhm.. nice to meet you !" i bowed and let out a big sigh of relief "I did not mess it up" i thought to myself.
It's still in my head what happened yesterday, from the odd encounter to the moment i nearly exploded because of nervousness. Now to prepare what i need for school today "Bag.. Notebook.. Books.. Pen.. is that everything....? uhm.... oh my sketchpad and pencil! That's it i guess". After getting my stuffs into my bag I went down stairs and greeted Mom "Good Morning" Before sitting at the table, while Mom prepare my breakfast "So how was school?" Mom asked "I know it's hard for you to suddenly move out and be with new people you don't know--" she followed
"Mom I'm fine, you don't need to worry mom and anyways.. i.. made.. a friend already !" I said because I want to reassure Mom that I'm fine and not to worry about me, She's always working hard for me, this is the least i can do to not add further stress onto her. I finished my meal and picked up my bag "I got to go Mom, I'll be back straight home after class" i said "Ok but still be very careful this is a new environment to you and me also" she's in the middle of her speech but i decided to interupt
"Mom.. I'm going now" i said and smiled at her, she just sighed and smiled at me while sending me off from the hallway. I walked quite a distance from home by now then it suddenly came to me about the encounter i had before, i stopped for a bit and took a look on my phone to check the time "It says [7:26 am]". I still have 4 mins to check the spot where i met the guy that chased me into the endless alleys, After a bit of walking I got to the spot but there is nothing. I tried going back and always check this place that may lead me to some clue as to what happened to me at that time, I also tried looking at the city map to pinpoint my location and learn about the area, but there isn't a single pathway leading to some maze alleyways.
Another day of searching led to nothing, I checked my phone again says [7:31 am]. I started heading to school before the class starts at [8:00 am]. While walking i tried to shrugged it off I got no time for that so i continued walking towards the school gate entering the premises
Still not used to the size of the yard that reminded me i still haven't explored the other parts of the school, Except for the hallway of 2nd floor where the 1st years are and the faculty, i haven't gone to anywhere at all. So my goal is to explore the school today maybe I'll discover some hidden hangout place with a pond or some occult club, Jokes aside I'm almost at the classroom, Also I hope everyone will forget yesterday and start fresh.
i stood by the door preparing myself to enter "Ok.." i said to myself, As i reached the door handle someone at the same time reached for the handle and i accidentally flicked his hands off "Oh I-I'm sorry! didn't mean to" was nervous "hm.."
He sneered at me and grab the handle again anyways and entered the classroom shutting it behind him, Is he a classmate? i didn't saw him yesterday perhaps he's absent. I think i made him irritated, after a bit of contemplating i reached for the door handle. The nerves in my hand was shocked by the cold steel as i hold it, I got startled a bit but i open after calming myself.
The noisy classroom turned silent as i closed the door and head to my assigned seat in the back [Seat 24], Still silent as i walk down to the my assigned seat and noticed someone is looking at me with observant eyes, it was too much for me it's suffocating, I feel like I'm sinking into the ground till i heard a girl's voice asking me "Hey you're our new classmate right ? I'm Hongo Yuki nice to meet you" She said smiling "N-Nice to meet you too!" i replied. "There's my seat infront the guy sitting on his desk beside the door, Looking at you when you arrived you seemed nervous" She followed
"Well.. yea everybody is staring at me like i did something" She giggled and said "That's because they don't know how to approach you yet", I didn't get what she said so i was gonna ask but the bell rang and she went back to her seat after saying "It's Okay you'll get used to it"
Soon after Yuki sat down a little while later the teacher came, The class proceeded without any issue for till break time, I csn feel the overwhelming pressure on me because i need to catch up with the rest of them so the teachers paying attention to me more than others, Time goes by fast as the class progresses till the bell rung. After our teacher left Yuki called out to me "Kuramochi-san! Want to go with us to the cafeteria ?", She with other 2 girls, one with glasses and pony tail and the other is short haired with a head band, I was anxious.
Yuki noticed "Oh i forgot to introduce them, This is Hagata Haruhi and Towa Ikko", Yuki is nice enough to notice that so i agreed and go to the cafeteria with them. This will be my first time going to the cafeteria so i followed them closely afraid of getting lost, After heading down to the ground floor we arrived at the Cafeteria. It's not as crowded i thought it would be though it makes sense because most students attended school with packed lunch and have no reason to eat here unless they need to, As for me i wouldn't bother Mom to make me one everyday.
Ikko asked Yuki "Uhm.. So what should we get ?"
"Dunno" She replied, I'm not really hungry and i already got lunch to eat so i don't really need to buy anything. The girls are discussing about food when i noticed something was moving over their shoulder scurrying along the walls, I looked at a map of the school in a school pamphlet before and I'm sure that leads to the back, There's a part of me itching to see what did i saw and there's also that's telling me i shouldn't. "Uh.. i forgot something i had to do so I'll be going first, Sorry but thanks for the invite!"
I know this is stupid but, "I'm just gonna take a quick peek" i thought to myself, So after i slipped pass the Girls I hurriedly followed the silhouette i saw to the back of the building, I ran straight to the door leading outside. It's supposed to be locked and inaccessible for security and safety issues but it's unlocked, I opened it and got out.
I started to look around and scanned the area looking for something suspicious, then i thought i saw someone just by the corner. Walking slowly and carefully not to make a sound strange ideas started to pop out in my head, "What if it's a lurker spying on students ?" i thought to myself, I only scared myself by doing that how stupid. I'm almost at the corner of the building where i lost sight on the figure, "This is a bad idea..", I read an article before and it seemed that the school is an ideal hiding place for sketchy stuff. Sweat started to fall, heart beating rapidly, despite all the "stranger danger" going on my head i still got the courage to take a peek.
"Huh ? what's he doing here ?" i thought to myself, Its the Boy i encountered this morning, I asked Yuki about him as far as i know he barely go to school or talk. Besides his name they don't know anything more, this got me curious but i know i shouldn't just assume anything and i thought that "Maybe he's one of those type that just likes being alone", "Or there's more to it, like what if He's meeting with his secret lover here or something ?. Should i be even here !?"
Break is almost over and It's been 2 minutes already, He's just sitting there staring in the woods and i thought there will be a wall here but it's actually open space straight to the Woodland behind the school, His back is facing me this whole time and couldn't even see anything i wanted to take a closer look at what he's actually doing. I'm bored now there's nothing interesting happening so i carefully stood up and about to walk away but suddenly His voice broke the silence, "Is it your hobby to spy on someone you don't know ?" So He already knew that i was following him, Now i felt Bad about this whole thing.
"Oh you found me" i said and laugh nervously, I have to apologize to him "U-Uhm.. I'm not spying on you really ! i didn't see anything ! I just happen to see you and followed you, Really sorry !" I explained and bowed, I thought I'll get a reaction but He stared at me and didn't say anything. "Come on say somethinf !" I thought to myself, He just stayed silent.
Record ??? ???? ??? XX??
I had searched everywhere and still couldn't find "It", "Where's the other part of the Record ?" i said to myself, I'm running out of time. Just a little bit more and this place will be crawling with those "Things", I have to find "It" before the buddies outside collapse.
"It should be here some where!", If the intel we got it should be here somewhere
I kept on searching intensively, I came across a small journal that fitted the discription, I grabbed it and examine the contents. "T-This is.. I found it ! But why is there some parts had been torned off!? is this a doing of someone else ?" It looks like that I'm not the first who found it, Some of the pages had been torned off, i hope that those pages are not of a value.
I can hear a low growling sound just beyond the door leading to the hallway, Those "Things" are starting to flood this place again, i hope those guys are okay outside.
I hastily search for a place where i can hide and after a short time i found an old and worned out locker "I can hide here for the time being" i thought to myself, I got on and close the locker door.
[Opening and Closing(Locker)]
[Insert Loud crashing FX]
They got in so fast even with the barricade i set up, they tear through it so quickly that if i haven't found the locker, I'd be dead instantaneously.
"...." I need to calm myself down and stop looking at them, Even if you're used to living in this apocalyptic world, these things are the worse of all. I'm afraid that just by simply looking at them for a period of time is enough to send someone into madness, "And they're everywhere, Just my luck" [Low voice], I haven't been paying attention with the time of how long have i been inside this locker. As soon as the noises sounded far enough, I woke myself up and readied myself to move again.
[Opening and closing(Locker)]
Those "Things" are still in the vicinity i need to be quick and find my way out of this hell hole, As i crawl around the building Howlings and voices of sort can be heard echoing, It's Sundown so those "Things" are expectedly active. It's been smooth sailing for now and hope that it continued like this, Screams of past students can still be heard just because those "Things" mimic the voices of their victims attracting those who heard it, The first time they appeared many perished just like that and if i knew any better i could've saved her ! *Sigh*
I got distracted for a moment and i already bumped into something, the sound of metal bounced off the walls several times then silence and dread loomed the whole building, "I need to quickly relocate and find a safe spot before moving again now know I'm here, Just being distracted even for a bit will cost me my life, I still haven't learn for the past mistakes. How stupid !" I thought to myself
Running like this is not a smart thing to do but i got no choice if i want to survive this night, Finding somewhere to find somewhere safe considering the situation right now, instead of finding a safe haven i might end up in a lion's den instead.
I can hear a faint wailing voice as i ran so i stopped and try to identify what's causing this sound, if I'm unlucky i might run into a "Banshee".
As the wailing continued to pierce the silence enveloping the whole area, It sound much closer now and I'm still lucky that it's not what i think it is my luck is still siding with me, Still this creature is what we call a "Roamer" as the name suggests. These things have no physical form whatsoever they roam the areas with high concentration of negative energies like tainted souls of the deceased, It's not surprising to see some of them in this place.
I quickly hid under the pile of rubbles near me, I crawled in and did my best to cover myself not to expose major parts of my body, "Roamers" Doesnt have the heighten senses of the "Things" i encountered before. What makes them so troublesome is their wailing voices, If you got expose to the sound for no more than 5 secs within 8 meters from them, will be enough to enduce Hallucinations, Being exposed for more than 10 secs will fry someone's brain resulting to lost of sense and basic functionality.
[Hearing blocked(Ear plugs)]
Hearing this wailing being this near is dangerous, fortunately i prepared ear plugs if i ever encounter one, It said that "Roamers' voice" will trap anyone in their own "world" using the griefs and suffering from one's heart. Many gave their life to the "Roamers" hoping the griefs in their hearts to-.. I... for once fell in one of these things...
[Hearing restored(Ear plugs removed)]
The cold aura seemed thinner indicating that it's pretty far away, so i removed the ear plugs and stood up But this time i continued slowly, I started observe the surroundings more carefully because of there's "Roamers" there are "Hunters" nearby. This two entities are like Peanut Butter and Jelly combination in simplified sense, "Roamers" just roams a certain area till someone unlucky enough to encounter one unprepared, "Roamers" Doesn't have any physical form at all and they don't need sustenance of whatsoever.
"Roamers" Roams and immobilizing people it comes across into, Meanwhile the "Hunters" are the one that does the killing using the "Roamers" they don't even have to catch the prey, Those poor souls will be ripped to pieces and be shared with the rest of the pack.
While scanning the area i saw a sliding door that's still intact from the corner where I'm at, It's a bit far so I'm hesistant to consider but comparing the risk of being out in the open is like asking to be killed and eaten. so i risked it, I ran stomping my way forward, stepping on junks along the way. I didn't care, Almost there just a bit more i can reach the sliding door to hide... My guess is right the "Hunters" are indeed just around and i happen to run pass by on my way, I caught their attention immediately so i hasten my steps, "I'm sooo.. not gonna die here !" i yelled when i saw one of them fast approaching me on my right side from inside of one of the rooms i passed by.
[Opening and Closing(Sliding door)]
[Loud Banging and Angry Growls]
I almost got bitten by one as i got in, my quick reflexes saved me this time and dodged in time, hurriedly closed the door behind me and locked it. "I really need to stop doing that if i truly value my life" i said to myself, I gambled everything when i did that i don't want to think about what would happen to me if this door was locked from the inside, after baricading the door i examined the room to look for possible escape route i can go through.
I discovered a girl or what's left of her in the far side of the room, "Unfortunate.. I hope you can rest in peace away from this unforgiving world" I examined her clothes and it seemed she's a remainder of the survivors hoping to find supplies on this place, The way her corpse looks like it must've took a bit of time before she finally died. I can't imagine watching your own body devoured piece by piece as your consciousness slowly fades with the excruciating pain, I took of some of dirty cloths lying around and cover her corspe as last respect to her.
I think I'll be in here for awhile with those things outside, I'm worried about the guys outside providing cover for me but i should worry about myself first, I got in here with four other members and now it's only me left. I got this far and risked everything for the cause i got no plan on dying here, I'll keep my promise, "I'll borrow your seat mate's chair for a bit.. sorry i hope you don't mind". I grabbed a chair and pulled a desk over near me, I sat down and let myself relaxed for now ignoring the hungry growls outside the door.
I think that it's safe enough to reorganize my stuffs on my backpack, I still got two bottles of water and food that can last me a day and a half if I'm careful and eat just a small amount, Bandages and also flashlight with slightly used batteries. "I'm still considered lucky after all that happened, i got away with bruises and few scratches only" talking to myself kinda calmed me down.
I atleast need to see if this thing is truly worth all the trouble.
I fell asleep due to exhaustion but more like my body couldn't handle the stress anymore, the moment i relaxed my body just collapsed "Just a little rest wouldn't hurt.... right..?" i said to myself falling into slumber.
[R$C@#d ?: &*%-X6th XX20]
"I seriously just happen to follow you here, and wondering what... are you doing here..?" I asked nervously, He sighed "Curiosity killed the cat" I can feel pressure just from his gaze alone. "U-Uh.." The tense atmosphere got broken by the school bell "T-The bell.. I'll be going now my friends are waiting for me afterall.." I explained, I turned around to walk away but he jumped infront of me and obstructed my path "I think you should compromise me for invading my privacy" He said.
"Will you let me go if i give you something ? i didn't mean to spy on you and i left my money with my friends, i.. I'll just go get it and give you my money.." i replied, My voice is shaking.. Just from his mere presence is making so unsettling and so uncomfortable, I started to wonder what exactly is he to emit this kind of animosity towards someone.
"I'll let you go for now, but what you did is quite inappropriate for a... cute girl like yourself don't you think ?" He followed, I got offend when he said this, I know i was in the wrong but it's also inappropriate for him to ask me something unreasonable. "What i want..." He's pacing around infront of me as if he's some villain planning something sinister.. then i thought "w-w-wait do he want to do his way on me ?? Noo! i must get away"
I tried to get away from him with spraying pepper spray on his face, while distracted i tried to break for it and run to the door that leads to the cafeteria, I'm almost at the door when a hand grabbed my collar picking me up. "W-Whaat !? L-Let me go !" i yelled, He pulled me to his chest as his gripped slowly tighten, "I-It hurts ! Let go of me you pervert ! How dare you treat a lady like this ! He-Help !" I screamed loudly expecting someone to come and help me.
"Clever little kitty sadly no one will hear you even if you scream, and even if they do hear you.. they won't help you or even check on you" He explained, I noticed that he's in pain based on his voice alone but his words is full of confidence and thought that he is not lying.. We are currently in the most desolate part of the school near the woods
But i don't understand why they won't help.. He's dangerous my brain told me, "That hurts you idiot ! Are you trying blind someone !?" He yelled while rubbing his eyes, Probably still affected by the spray. "It's your fault for being creepy !" i retorted
I think i heard something broke "You followed me and spied on me, then sprayed me with that thing ! And you dare to it's my fault ? You need to compensate me for this ! I thought you're cute but now i find out you're so scheming fox !" He replied angrily
"I'm sorry okay ? How can i compensate you if you don't let me go !" I answered, He clicked his tounge "You better not think of escaping.." he said, He let go of me and i fixed my uniform "Alright Alright ! Now what do you want ?" i asked. "You" He said, I thought i did not hear right so i asked "You want what again ?".
This time he pulled out a Silver decorated knife and point it at me, "I said You.. Serve me, you said you'll do something for me so be my servant" He explained, "W-What !?" i was about to retort but he put the knife on my neck so near that i felt my skin got sliced "C-Can you.. please put that away, I-I'll do it !" I got no chouce at the matter. I'm really close to crying, i never experienced something like this before in 16 years of my life.
"Good Kitty.. Now i want you to proceed to your normal day like always, I'll be always watching you now and comply everytime i call you, let's talk about the terms on a different day" He explained
His voice shakes my entire soul as if i made a deal with the devil himself, I wanna go home and tucked myself with a blanket but right now i think he will finally let me off "I'll be going now.." I said hurriedly and nervously, He's like a ticking time bomb. I can't seem to understand what's going on in his head or what he'll do "I need to get out of here- away from him, fast" I said to myself.
I started to walk away slowly from the mad man and planning to dash after making the turn, "Oh wait i forgot, another thing" a sharp gust of wind brushed by my cheeks, Apparently it wasn't a simple gust of wind. My legs felt weak and collapsed at the moment, He moved so fast i couldn't even comprehend what happened, Dumbfounded as i looked at him and he looked back at me with a satisfied grin in his face
"Ok you can go for real now" He said while giggling, "He's a psycho" I thought to myself, Even though he looks calm and kind but indeed looks can really be deceiving. I want to severe my connection with this guy as sson as possible, I picked myself up refusing his hand for help and started to head back to the cafeteria, The others are not there anymore so i assumed that they already got back to the classroom.
I arrived at classroom late as expected, "Ms. Kuramochi why are you late, the bell rang 20 minutes ago" Teacher said, I suddenly thought that what if i report about what happened earlier. "A-Actually i was--" A hand grabbed my shoulder and interrupted me speaking, I almost lost control of my legs when i looked back seeing him behind me, "This will be the first and last time little kitty, think about it" he whispered
He appeared behind me suddenly, i did not expect he was just following right behind me on the way here, i did not even noticed anything till he spoke. "I just want this to be over already !" I thought to myself, "Teacher I'm sorry i had her helped me with some accidents, I'll take responsibility on us getting late because of it". He talked so smoothly and convincing if i didn't know better ill be also fooled by him and believed him, I glanced at Yuki who was on her seat this whole time she looked back and smiled at me, I don't want her to be involved in this so i better not tell her anything.
"Is that so ? okay then please head back to your seat and so we can continue the class", He walked back to his seat first, I started to head to my seat right after luckily his seat aren't near me, I'll be traumatized everyday if that is the case. i want to just go home and roll around my bed this is too much for me, I need to keep Yuki and others from getting involve in my predicament, I'm losing my mind because of being so unlucky having to deal with these troublesome stuffs.
I Hope tomorrow will be a better one, Don't jinx it.
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Hikaru TakeharaWrite a Review