Published April 30, 2018 by

How I Was Murdered by a Fox Monster Chapter 19

Summary: They say life flashes before you in that moment before death. I could see it all reflected in the blade. I was standing under the cherry blossoms at my school entrance ceremony, eating cake at my sister's wedding, standing outside praying the monster wouldn't come tonight. I might not be dead yet but I can see what's coming, this is the story of how I was murdered by a fox monster! 

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Chapter 19

The mood between Kiyori and I didn't improve over the following weeks. I stopped hanging out with him at school, and he went out of his way to shove me when we passed each other in the hall.

The rainy season had finally begun, and there wasn't much to do but watch the constant downpour that fell from outside my window.

I liked watching it, it reflected my mood. 

Like Kiyori, Akito had also become very distant with me, but unlike Kiyori, I didn't understand what caused his sudden change in attitude. He used to be exceedingly pushy, and never gave me a break, but he suddenly ceased ordering me around. I was excited at first (like I'd finally been set free from his iron fist) but after a few weeks the mundaness was beginning to bore me.

I don't know why, but I had a feeling that he was going out of his way to avoid me. He would quickly dash into another room if we were going to meet in the hall, and he spent most of his waking hours locked away in the study.

I asked the others about his sudden change in attitude, but none of them knew what I was talking about.

“Akito?” Mana asked while tilting her head in confusion. “He didn't seem any different when he talked to me this morning. He ordered Taisei to polish the floors and then lectured him on the importance of cleaning products.”

“Oh,” I said while averting my gaze to the floor. “He hasn't ordered or lectured me for at least a month.”

“I'm sure it's nothing,” Mana assured me. “Maybe this is his way of,” she stopped to think of something to say. “Letting you know that you're doing a good job?”

“Ha!” Laughed Kiyori as he walked past us in the corridor and pretended to accidentally knock me into the wall. It seemed to be his new hobby and he looked like he was enjoying it immensely.

“Oi! Kiyori!” Yelled Mana as she began running after him. “You shouldn't treat Daisuke like that!”

Apparently even a girl had more courage than I did when it came to standing up to Kiyori.

I continued to ask around about Akito's whereabouts only to be told that he was busy in the study, or out running an errand.

Eventually I couldn't take the anxiety anymore, and I decided to sit myself outside his study and wait for him to emerge. I sat there for hours and struggled to keep myself awake, but Akito had nowhere to run when he had to take a toilet break.

He almost jumped out of his skin and fled back inside when he slid open the door to find me staring back.

“Daisuke,” he said nervously. “What are you doing out here? And especially at two in the morning.”

“Hey Akito,” I replied. “I was wondering when we're going to start training again?”

He chewed his lip. “I'm sorry, but I'm very busy Daisuke.”

“Oh,” I stared down at the ground. “I understand.”

He reached out his hand to pat me on the shoulder, but he suddenly stopped midway and returned his hand to his side, like he didn't want to touch me.

“It's alright, you'll learn it with time,” he said quickly before fleeing back into the room.

It's alright, you'll learn it with time,” I mocked before punching the corridor wall. It left a small dent and I had to quickly flee before anyone saw me.

After that incident Akito asked to see my back a few times (he claimed he was looking for signs of an Obake attack) but he only stared at the scars and continued to look puzzled. He also took a few pictures to send to a friend who was apparently an expert.

I still couldn't comprehend what his problem was. The only plausible theory I had come up with was that he was still secretly in love with Sis, and her sudden reappearance was causing him anguish. Maybe I was a constant reminder of his pain.

I was unsure how to ask without causing suspicion and making him flee. I decided to be direct and ask while he was eating lunch.

“So Akito,” I said from the kitchen doorway. “I heard that you and Sis were going to get married but she dumped you for a dude called Keigo. I know it was a long time ago, but I was wondering if her sudden re-appearance is making you feel depressed.”

He spat the soup from his instant noodles all over the table.

“No, of course not!” He coughed. “What gave you that impression?”

“I don't know, “ I shrugged. “But if I were you I'd be pretty angry.”

“I have to admit there was a time when I was quite upset about the whole affair,” he whipped out a tissue and began wiping up. “But then she was dumped for someone else.”

His face broke out into a manic grin and I've come to realize that Akito can be quite vindictive when he wants to be. 

After that he made up another lame excuse about having to study or run an errand (Akito's excuses were all so lame that they've blended together in my head) and he disappeared.

I wandered off into the livingroom to mull over how much my life sucked.

I laid on the tatami mat and stared at the ceiling. There were signs of water damage and spots of mold in the corner. I hadn't noticed before, but it suddenly hit me that headquarters was pretty old and decrepit. The wallpaper was pealing off and the paint was chipped in several areas. The place seemed cool when I first arrived, but I suddenly realized it was just a decrepit house full of moody teens and their lame teacher.

I was beginning to have real doubts about whether I wanted to spend the rest of my life as an exorcist.

“Maybe this wasn't such a good idea,” I said to myself.

I could have been, and I should have been, doing all the fun stuff that regular teens did. Like hanging out at the mall or playing video games.

“This sucks,” I muttered.

Patter patter patter, came the sound of small footsteps up the hall and the sliding door flew open with a bang. I looked up to yell at the guy who'd disturbed my angst, only to find my five year old niece Hikaru staring back at me. Her smiling face was enough to melt away all my sorrows.

“Dai-chan!” She cried.

“Hikaru-chan!” I yelled back.





This continued until I gave in and picked her up. Hikaru then began telling me about her day, and how difficult it was to do homework when she was too busy eating dinner or taking a bath.

As soon as I placed her down, Hikaru grabbed my wrist and dragged me outside while demanding that we play tag immediately.

I chased her around the garden pretending to be a ghost who would turn her upside down when she was caught. This may sound mean, but Hikaru thinks it's awesome and always pestered me to play when I was busy doing homework.

Sis was casually chatting with Akito on the verandah. I'm sure my sister thought it was a casual conversation, but from my perspective it look more like she was interrogating Akito about my recent progress.

I pretended that I was immersed in play, but I was actually listening in. I gained so much insightful information last time I eavesdropped, so I thought it was my chance to discover what was really going on with Akito.

Most of what they were saying was pretty boring, like the weather, and how this summer was going to be hotter than the last. It didn't sound like he was still harboring a secret crush on my sister, and I almost gave up until Akito said something that made my ears prick.

“Kanako, there's something we need to talk about,” said Akito.

“Hmm, what's the matter?” My sister asked.

“It's about,” he stopped to look at Hikaru and I.

I stared back at him until I realized the best thing to do would be to appear oblivious, so I went back to playing with my niece.

I hoped it was the revelation I'd been waiting for. I couldn't help but assume that he'd discovered the truth about my parents, and now held all the answers to my mysterious past.

Unfortunately, what came next was only disappointment.

“Maybe it can wait for another time,” he said.

It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but his words gave me a renewed sense of hope. There was something about Akito's tone of voice and recent behavior, which left me convinced that there was something about my past he wasn't telling me. He had to know something! Akito liked to pretend that he was cold and aloof, but the man was as translucent as plastic wrap.

I was determined to confront him. I slept over the following night, but Akito was out on errands so my efforts were in vain. Luckily I still had Itsuki who would listen to me moan about my problems.

“I know he's hiding something,” I said while pacing around Itsuki's room.

The great thing about us being friends was that I could now stay over in his bedroom instead of being squished in with the others.

“Maybe,” said Itsuki while he was bent over his desk studying. The guy obviously hadn't given up his dream to get into a good school. “I don't know why you're pushing so much, sometimes it's better if you don't know.”

“So you're saying that it could be bad news? Like they already died in a terrible accident?”

“Well.......” His voice trailed off.

“Oh no, my parents are dead!” I flung myself dramatically on to the bed which creaked under my weight. “I'm an orphan! I'm just like those children in all the miserable fairy tales!”

“But haven't you already spent the last ten years assuming they were dead,” said Itsuki's voice of reason.

Oh yes,” I suddenly didn't feel so depressed. “I suppose that's true. But I need to know!” I rolled over and began punching his pillow out of anxiety. “This feeling is killing me. The truth may be out there just beyond my fingertips.”

“There's nothing we can do right now,” said Itsuki as he closed his books and placed them back on the shelf. “We just have to wait until Akito gets back.”

Hmpth,” I fumed.

I rolled off his bed and on to my futon which had been placed neatly on the floor beside it.

“I'm turning the light off,” said Itsuki.

Errrr,” I groaned.

I could already feel sleep begin to overtake me as soon as my head hit the pillow. There was a click of Itsuki pulling the light string, and the room was plunged into darkness. There were no houses or street lights nearby, so whenever the lights went out it was pitch black. I no longer had the light of Taisei texting to act as a night-light, and it was difficult to shake my feelings of fear. The darkness reminded me of the day Grandpa locked me away, but I quickly fell into a dreamless sleep before I could spend time dwelling on the past.

I never stopped to consider how that night would be my last.

Go To Chapter: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

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