Chapter 1: Death and the HealingA Chapter by Minoru Kusari
In the first chapter the main character...well, I'll let you read and find out. Don't want to spoil anything, I'll let the writing speak for itself.
Chapter 1: Death and the Healing
A boy collapsed to the ground, choking in a warm pond of his own blood. He felt a searing pain spread throughout his every vein, every muscle. What is this unbearable agony? Damn it, is this what it feels like to die? So this is the end, huh? What a short life, only sixteen years. That girl will probably be raped. Oh well, at least I tried. And to think, I could be at home playing video games right now…damn it. Just a couple hours ago I was…
Ring! Ring! Ring!
Minoru Kusari was tired of school. Every day wear the same school uniform: a black blazer with a button-down shirt underneath (though Minoru always broke this rule by wearing a T-shirt underneath and unbuttoning the blazer) with dark pants. Each day he got up at 6:20 a.m., ate breakfast, went to school, where he sat through some boring classes, then went home, neglected his homework, and went to sleep. It was the same routine day in and day out. He felt as if life were just a monotonous cycle of doing what you were told. Like society had dictated his path in life before he was even born, and he was expected to continue down that path blindfolded and gagged. Heaven forbid if he were to stray from that path, for he would be shunned or kicked down for attempting to free himself of societal constraints. You must be this. You must do that. You must go to college or you won’t get a good job. Your future rests on your grades. You must get into one of the top schools. The best schools look for a test score of such and such or higher. Minoru hated all that. People were being rated by often arbitrary numbers rather than by personal merit, actual intelligence, or creativity in nearly all aspects of life.
It had been a long week, even though it was still only Thursday, and he needed some good old-fashioned video gaming to take his mind off school and other things. He always enjoyed his afterschool free time.
Minoru got up from his seat which was two away from the window on the left side of the classroom. He sat in the second to last row. Tomaro Onsoku, a polite boy with neatly combed hair who sat directly next to the window, turned to Minoru and smiled. Minoru had known Tomaro since they started high school the previous year. Tomaro was also the son of Mr. Onsoku, their current homeroom teacher. They were juniors in class 2-A. Minoru and Tomaro often played video games together and they shared a common taste in non-mainstream music. They both liked jazz and various types of rock and heavy metal, with their tastes ranging from genres as different as thrash metal to jazz fusion. Most people didn’t even know what that meant. Most people didn’t even know there was more than one type of heavy metal or jazz. But they did, and they often jammed together, with Tomaro on drums and Minoru on electric guitar or bass, depending on the day.
“Will you be on Xbox Live tonight?” Tomaro asked. Minoru and Tomaro often played video games together from their own homes, using an online connection.
“Nah, sorry man. I gotta"actually, yeah. I’ll be on,” Minoru said. He was supposed to go over to his friend Konata’s house and study with her for a test coming up on Monday, but he really didn’t feel like it tonight. So he would just conveniently “forget”. It’s not like I need her help anyway, he thought.
“Cool! Talk to you later then,” Tomaro said as he put his backpack straps over his shoulders. He waved goodbye and walked out the door, struggling to shuffle past all the students heading out.
Minoru looked around the classroom cautiously. Luckily, it seemed as if Konata had left already. Perfect. Now he wouldn’t have to face her until tomorrow. Minoru took out his iPod, placed the earphones in his ears and chose some music. He put his books into his bag and left the classroom. He walked down the hallway, ignoring the excited chatter on either side of him, ignoring the kids already making plans for the weekend, and any other sounds in the environment. All Minoru was aware of was the music.
Shortly, he stepped out into the cool autumn air. It was early November, and Minoru dreaded the prospect of winter approaching. He liked snow and whatnot, but he just didn’t like feeling cold.
Walking back home usually took him about an hour. He could take the bus to shorten the commute, but today he just felt like taking a walk. His home was an apartment building in the heart of the city. There weren’t too many people out and about, probably because most people weren’t off from work yet. It was only 3:25. Instead of people, the streets were lined with buildings of all shapes and sizes, and a few street vendors selling warm food and drinks. Minoru’s city wasn’t the most cluttered urban area he’d been in, but it was certainly more claustrophobic than he preferred. Minoru liked quiet, rural areas with lots of trees and grass; not a concrete cage like this place where almost everything is man-made.
While walking down the street Minoru thought he heard a scream. He figured it was just his music or his imagination, so he continued walking. Until he heard it again. He paused his iPod.
“Stop it!” a female voice cried out.
Okay, so I wasn’t just imagining it. What should I do? I’m already pretty close to home. Hmm
“No! Help! Let me go!” there was pure terror in her voice.
I won’t get anything out of this. Why should I care? Why put myself at risk? Someone else will take care of it.
Minoru looked around. The few people who were in the area carried on as if nothing was wrong, even though Minoru could tell that most of them heard the screams. This sort of thing wasn’t too uncommon in this part of town. The crime rate wasn’t ridiculously high, but there was certainly quite a bit of crime around these parts. Assault, robbery, gang violence, drug dealing etc. Still, it surprised Minoru that something like this would be happening in the late afternoon; it was usually quite safe around here during the daytime. He considered calling the police, but realized that there probably wasn’t any point. Here, the police either didn’t give a crap, or they were too busy with their current cases as is. The police force in this city was not large enough to handle the amount of crime, and many of the officers lacked the motivation to get stuff done. They simply saw it as a waste of time, hopeless. At any rate, even if the police were responsive today by some rare chance, Minoru figured they wouldn’t show up fast enough to be of any help.
Guess I should at least check out the situation. Minoru walked in the direction of the voice until he approached an alley between two buildings. He stepped into the shadows and crept with his back against the wall of one of the buildings until he got to the end of it. A quick peek around the corner revealed a girl being harassed by three delinquents in a closed-off area behind the buildings.
Damn it, I can’t just pretend I didn’t see this, can I? Or…maybe I can? I already know calling the police won’t get anything done, and it doesn’t seem like anyone else is gonna step in and help out. So the only option left is to…go out there myself. Minoru felt a chill go down his spine. If he went out there, he knew he’d definitely get his a*s kicked. Minoru wasn’t particularly strong, and he was just average height. Sure, he’d taken a few martial arts classes in his day, but never for very long, and it was always just for fun. Nothing that would give him an edge in this situation.
If I go out there, I’ll get beaten up, and that girl will still be assaulted anyway. So what’s the point? He asked himself. He could walk away, scot-free if he just let this whole thing go. Yet, even though he could come up with a hundred reasons not to make his presence known, he still couldn’t bring himself to just leave.
Damnit, I’m an idiot.
He stepped out of hiding, dropped his school bag, and declared, “Hey, I’m pretty sure she told you guys to piss off!”
The three delinquents turned and glared at Minoru, malice gleaming in their eyes. Minoru’s knees went weak. The three of them had the girl surrounded, and the one standing behind the girl seemed to be their leader. He had short spiky blond hair on top with the bottom dyed black. Or maybe the black part was natural and he dyed the top blond. Whatever. He wore black sunglasses, a black muscle shirt with a sleeveless denim jacket over it, and jeans. Though he had a bit of a goatee coming in, he didn’t look any older than eighteen or so. The delinquent to the left of the girl had messy black hair that seemed to stand up as if held in place by some invisible hand. And the last one, to the right of the girl, was an angry-looking shirtless muscular guy with a shaved head. They all looked strong. And angry. Minoru suddenly wished he could turn and run, but there was no way they’d just let him go at this point. He’d seen too much.
“Are you threatenin’ us, kid? What could you possibly do?” said Sunglasses with a smirk. “Let’s teach this punk a lesson. Get him guys!”
“Sure thing, boss! We’ll kill him!” The two subordinates sang in unison as they launched towards Minoru. The boss with sunglasses stayed back, holding the girl still.
The delinquents’ speed overwhelmed Minoru. They were obviously used to fighting, unlike him. Baldy punched Minoru in the face with a left hook, and then danced away as the other delinquent thrust his knee in Minoru’s solar plexus with a laugh. Minoru fell to one knee as blood dripped from his mouth down his chin.
Despite the pain, he tried to formulate a plan. For some reason, I don’t think I’m winning this fight. If I could just get past these two clowns, then I could distract the sunglasses guy long enough for the girl to run. Suddenly, an idea came to him. It wasn’t very smart, but it was all he had, and so was worth a shot.
The delinquent with messy hair laughed again, taking pleasure in seeing his wounded victim kneeling before him. “Look at this weak-a*s peace of crap! Two hits and he’s down on the ground! Haha! C’mon, let’s finish hi"“
The delinquent was cut off by a bag to the face. Minoru’s bag. Complete with heavy textbooks. He went down hard. While the bald one was looking at his fallen comrade in shock, Minoru quickly ran up to him and punched him as hard as he could, right in the face. Completely caught off guard, the bald guy fell to the ground too.
A chuckle. “Not bad, kid. I’m impressed. But don’t think that was enough to take care of my guys,” Sunglasses said, still smirking.
“What are you talking about?” Minoru didn’t like the smug look on the guy’s face.
“Just look behind you.”
“What?” Minoru tried to turn around, but it was already too late. He felt the blade penetrate the flesh of his upper back. He saw the blade poke out through his chest. Blood spilled out of his chest like a leaky faucet. Wide-eyed, disbelieving his own misfortune, Minoru collapsed to the ground, blade still in his body. He coughed up some warm blood, the hot taste of Death filling his mouth. His every vein, every muscle, and every cell in his body cried out in agony. What is this horrible burning sensation? Is this…how it feels to die?
“That’s what they call a bull’s eye right there! How did you like my sword through your back? Yahoo!” the assailant howled with a twisted grin.
But Minoru could no longer hear him. All Minoru could focus on was the burning of his insides as his blood spilled out underneath him. Regret suddenly flooded his mind as if the thin strand of resolve he’d mustered to start this fight had been cut by the murderer’s blade. Lying with his cheek in his blood, he regretted his inability to protect the girl. He regretted his weakness. He always talked big but failed in the end. He was never able to protect anyone. He was never able to help anyone; not even himself. He hated himself for being so pathetic. He regretted so much…so much! Most of all, he regretted that he had not yet lived. By dying here, he had lost whatever possibilities had existed for his pathetic life. At least before now, he still had a chance at becoming something: a musician, maybe? Didn’t matter what he wanted to be anymore, since it was all over. He would never get married, and he would never have the chance to have a place in a family. He hadn’t accomplished anything, and now he would never be able to obtain happiness. Minoru felt himself slipping…his mind unable to form even the simplest thoughts now. I’m sorry Tomaro, looks like I won’t be playing Xbox with you tonight after all…
“Good job, man,” said the bald delinquent to the messy haired one. The two of them walked away from Minoru’s lifeless body and towards the girl and their boss.
“Hey boss, lemme have fun wit’ her since I killed the kid,” the messy haired delinquent said as he licked his lips in anticipation. He was ready, he had done well, and now he was to be rewarded. Without waiting for permission from his leader, the delinquent started to grab at the girl. The boss made no moves; he just stood still, holding the girl by her arms. It was strange of the boss not to say anything, but the delinquent took this as permission. “Quit struggling so much!” he said while trying to grab at the girl’s breasts. She was wriggling around, but could not break free from the leader’s grasp.
“Don’t touch me!” Suddenly the girl broke her left arm free and subsequently jabbed her fingers into the assailant’s eyes.
“Ah! Damn it, you b***h! That didn’t tickle you know…” The messy haired delinquent grabbed the poor girl by her hair as he growled in her ear, “I’ll make sure to take my time with y--”
“Hey, uh, I hate to cut in, but, you seem to have forgotten about me,” an eerie voice called.
The delinquents and the girl all turned to see who was talking, but couldn’t believe their eyes. Standing just a few yards away was Minoru! The messy haired delinquent was in shock. I know I killed the little b*****d! I stabbed him right through his body. He was dead a second ago!
Sunglasses, the delinquent ring leader, could also tell something was amiss. Minoru had taken off his black school blazer, clearly revealing a hole in his shirt over his left pectoral region. Though the surrounding cloth of his shirt had been bloodied, the skin showing through the hole no longer had a trace of blood on it! Furthermore, Sunglasses thought the boy looked slightly different. Minoru’s black hair had lengthened and become unruly. His canine teeth seemed to have become sharper and slightly longer, and strangely, the boy’s green irises had blackened and his pupils became white.
Furthermore, in addition to all the physical changes Minoru had inexplicably undergone, the boy’s personality suddenly seemed different. He was scared before, but now he seemed… confident. Perhaps even arrogant. Sunglasses didn’t know what to make of the situation, it was all so strange.
“Did you miss me?” Minoru said with a smile. His voice sounded strange, it was almost as if it were floating around in the air as he spoke.
“How the hell are you still alive, kid,” Sunglasses said calmly.
“ ‘Cause I’m just that awesome. Just try and take me now!”
Sunglasses nodded to his two subordinates and he took the girl back from the messy haired guy. The messy haired delinquent was angry that Minoru had survived and was making him look bad. Plus he had interrupted their time with the pretty young lady twice now. It was time to make him pay. The delinquent charged alongside his bald partner and threw a straight right jab for Minoru’s face.
I’ll get this punk for sure this time"huh? Minoru had ducked at the last second and buried his fist in the messy haired hoodlum’s gut, knocking the air out of his lungs. The delinquent flew back a few feet and hit the ground with a thud. Once again caught off guard while staring at his companion’s fate in shock, the bald delinquent felt a strong hand grasp him round the throat. Minoru choked his victim until he lost consciousness.
Minoru put his hands in his pockets, leaned casually against one of the buildings in the alley and gave their leader a sideways glance. Grinning widely, showing his sharp teeth like a sinister beast about to devour his prey, he said,
“Looks like you’re the only one left, man. Wanna give up and keep your head, or do you wanna stop hiding behind that girl and face me?”
Sunglasses was surprised by Minoru’s sudden apparent increase in strength, but he wasn’t about to back down. He stepped in front of the girl. Despite his young age, Sunglasses was much stronger than his two underlings.
“Well, since you asked so nicely, how could I refuse?” he asked with a smile. He took off his sleeveless denim jacket and assumed his fighting stance.
Minoru could see that Sunglasses was a better a fighter than the other two already, just from the way he moved. His lean, muscular body was also a good indicator. But Minoru wasn’t concerned in the slightest. He hunched forward and started sprinting towards the leader.
What an idiot, running straight at me? I got him right where I want him then.
Sunglasses shot a right jab for Minoru’s face so fast, no one could dodge it. Well, almost no one. Defying all logic, Minoru suddenly stopped running and leaned backward suddenly, throwing his feet up in the air as he put his hand on the ground for stability. He’d dodged the punch by doing a handstand.
Before Sunglasses could react, he felt what he thought could only be a sledge hammer slam into his jaw from below sending him flying backwards through the air. Using the momentum from swinging back into a handstand, Minoru had brought his feet up to kick the delinquent boss from below his jaw.
What the hell is this guy made of? Sunglasses thought as he fell to the hard pavement of the alley.
Minoru walked slowly towards Sunglasses, an expression of pure malice on his face.
“How about I play with you some more?“ he said with a twisted smile.
Minoru leaned down to pick up Sunglasses by the collar of his shirt when suddenly a wave of pain shot through his whole body.
Ugh! I feel that burning sensation again! It’s too much…Minoru soon fell to his knees, and upon losing all control of his body, fell forward like a ragdoll. The pavement rose up to meet his face with a hard Smack! Soon the burning pain subsided a bit, but all over his body Minoru had become numb. He could no longer move at all. Not good.
After a few minutes of lying on the pavement, Minoru heard footsteps approaching. He struggled to lift his head to look in their direction, and to his dismay, he saw Sunglasses approaching him. The young gang leader smiled devilishly; he could taste revenge. Unfortunately, so could Minoru.
“You really knocked me good back there, kid. You’re about to learn I’m a guy who likes to pay back his debts as quickly as possible.” Sunglasses lifted a foot above Minoru’s head. “With interest.”
“Oh shi"“ was all he could get out.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Darkness. Pain. Fear. Regret. Sin. Each tied him down to this empty plane of non-existence. There was nothing for him here. He did not know what he was supposed to do, and couldn’t bring himself to care. Why should he? What awaited him at the end of this path? More nothingness; emptiness, loneliness. And it suited him just fine, for it was what he deserved. He deserved this, and he knew it, yet he could not help but feel wronged…
He wanted help No one would give it; he did not deserve it. He wanted light. Light, too, would only be turned to darkness by his touch. He wanted answers, but only darkness answered his cries. Only death would answer his prayers.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Hey, hey, wake up! You can’t die yet!” a young girl’s voice called.
Minoru painfully cracked one eye open. He could see the night sky. That meant he was somehow lying on his back now. Night sky?! Damn, how long have I been out? Everything hurts… He could tell that he had dried blood all over one side of his face and it felt like several bones were broken. Some of them important ones.
“You don’t look so good…” the girl said. Minoru could not see her
“Yeah, that guy overdid it a bit,” Minoru managed to speak just above a forced whisper.
“Just a bit?”
“Yep. It’s been kind of a rough week.”
The girl looked over Minoru’s body and giggled. “Yep. You’re probably gonna die.”
“Thanks for your concern. Why don’t you help me out? I did kind of save you after all.” He decided not to point out that the three delinquents seemed to have left while he was passed out, meaning they could have continued assaulting the girl after Minoru had been knocked out. He figured they had just decided the girl wasn’t worth all the trouble that had resulted. Maybe someone finally threatened to call the cops on them.
“Hm…I can help you, but there are a few conditions,” the girl says with false apprehension.
“Like I care! I agree to your conditions or whatever. Just help me out here please!” Minoru’s head started reeling from yelling. He just noticed the girl had been crouching near where he was lying on the ground. He looked at her through his open eye and tried to appear pitiable. It was the first time he had seen her face. He lost his breath for a moment. She was one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. She seemed to be about his age, had a creamy complexion, and short-medium length peach colored hair. Unusual hair color, Minoru thought, and strangely enough, it seemed to be natural. She was wearing a sweatshirt with a skirt and long black socks. What stood out most to Minoru though were her eyes. The color of her irises was red. Not a frightening red either, but rather a deep red that seemed to house the entire breadth of human emotion.
“Okay,” the girl said, giggling again. She then climbed over Minoru, careful not to put any weight on his injured body. The girl planted her hands on either side of Minoru. She brought her face closer to Minoru’s, her eyes half-closed.
“H-hey, what’re you doing?” Minoru’s heart was beating faster.
The young girl responded by pressing her soft lips against his. Minoru’s eyes went wide with surprise. Well, the open one anyway. Her peach colored hair tickled his cheeks. He felt all his pain melt away, and he didn’t think it was just because a pretty girl was kissing him. It was almost as if she were sucking the pain out of his body through his lips. He suddenly felt very sleepy. The last thing he saw before losing consciousness again was the girl smiling at him.
© 2012 Minoru Kusari
AboutI'm in my late teens. I'm a pretty laid back guy most of the time, but I get really passionate about certain things. I like to play guitar, video games, draw and read. I love music. I've always liked .. more..