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Author:Alvido Sanchez


19-year old Takuya Haruhiko of the Arts Department was not a run-of-the-mill student at Shiratori University. Sports, Academics or any other sector, he had the prowess to dominate anywhere. But he had an unusual habit of desocializing. No friends, no acquaintances, only a girl he glanced at sometimes. His abnormally bland and solitary life suddenly came to a halt when he started seeing things in the dark, which no one else would.
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  Ugh, I hate boring lectures, I thought, especially on Creative Handwriting? Without even looking at other people, I knew that it was an obvious and commonly known problem. Everyone expected the bell to ring any moment, and I could feel everyone jump on their benches, aching to go home. Like it was cued, the bell rang, the teacher left and the students left the class in succession. As I was packing my satchel, a classmate came up to me and asked,

  Yo Takuya, wanna grab a drink?

  I said, No, I'm busy.

  He scowled, What's with you? Being the best student doesn't mean that you have to be unsociable.

  I replied, I don't wanna make friends, okay? I don't understand why you're feeling so nosey about my life.

  He replied, Sorry, but don't be such a pussy about it, and stormed out of the class.

  Finally, after that I could peacefully finish my work and return home, like a normal 19-year-old would.

  I am Haruhiko Takuya, 19 years old, Shiratori University, Arts Department and I don't give a fuck about society.

  People call me an ideal student because I'm good at sports, academics and have never tasted loss in any challenge. But that's what people call me, while my classmates only call me a robot. Like I would care about a tease, meh.

  As I walk out on the streets of Tokyo, I see every kind of crime happening in every corner of the city. Theft, robbery, rape, kidnapping, murder etc. everything was this city's daily routine. The city was smothered with the scent of crime and death in every inch, including me. Why me? Because I am a bystander, letting every crime in this city to occur. The first Asian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore said,

  He who commits wrong or condones the same,

  May your contempt singe like a reed in flame.

  As I thought about this, I suddenly realized that I had already reached my apartment. I unlocked the door and entered, but I remembered that I lived alone. My parents stayed in Chiba and we're pretty well-off, so I could afford an apartment without a job. I felt sluggish all of a sudden, and decided not to do any chores and went to sleep.

  All of a sudden, I heard a voice, in my ear . It said, You.....

  I tried to open my eyes and check out what happened, but my limbs wouldn't move. I tried to roll my eyes,

  my eyes were shut tight. I was suddenly in a sleep paralysis. I tried to move violently and screamed at the top of my lungs, but I couldn't hear my own scream. I started hearing footsteps and thought that someone was here. I asked them for help but did not get any answer. The footsteps became louder. I again tried to ask the person for help, but I couldn't hear my voice again. The person put his hand on my forehead as if he were saying, Don't worry, you will be fine anyways.

  As assuring as his masculine voice was, the air conditioning was on, still his hands felt ice cold. I don't know how but I had turned my neck around and saw a gentle smile and a beautiful face, which was missing only one thing, his eyes. I screamed at the top of my lungs, and finally could hear it.

  The guy flinched, and said,


  I jumped up on my bed, breaking out of the paralysis. I could only see him gradually fading away as he said,

  Protect......Hanekawas... cure.....

  As he faded away, I instinctively went up to the mirror to look if I had no injuries. As I turned in my lights, I could only see one thing,

  My entire upper left body was covered in a bluish-black armour of metal, and I had gotten raven-black wings on my back, that reminded me of a crow in a knight's armour. I looked up to see if my face was distorted, but as I saw, my right eye was distorted into a flurry of colours, with my iris forged into a Solomon's Star and three joints of red, blue and green irises, rotating with my real iris as the axis.I tried to scream, but my voice turned into a full, low one like an youkai would have. I panicked and without thinking, I rushed and jumped out off my bedroom window.

  Like my body was controlled as a host would, I instinctively flew with the help of the wings and saw the dark city of Tokyo. But there was something weird going on.

  I know that it's well past midnight and the streets of Tokyo are mostly barren in this hour, but a lot of lights were visible on the roads. Like the strokes of bright paint on a black canvas, the whole city of Tokyo was covered in thousands, no, millions of strokes of light, as if those were travelling aimlessly, leaving their path.

  Curiosity got the best of me as I went a little lower to check out what those were. I saw a strange, humanoid figure as the source of one ray of light, and I stared at it untill it stared back at me. Then I realized it.

  It was a woman, whose face was distorted like it was grazed along the gravel of the street. Her clothes were stained with blood, as fresh as new. But, she also didn't have her eyes. Her eye socket was empty, just like that guy from my apartment. Their similar description only meant one thing, they were the same kind, a spirit of some kind. They were yurei.

  As soon as I understood the gravity of the situation, I dropped suddenly and fell face- first on the street.

  I woke up from that nightmare and giggled at my imagination, thinking that it was a bad nightmare. I stretched my arms and was about to leave my bed when I saw a huge, black feather on the floor. It resembled something very similar to what I saw in my dream. And it was impossible for the feather to enter my bedroom, as the windows were shut tight alongside the doors.

  I couldn't but believe what happened last night was not a dream. It was real. And I need to fix it fast..

  I sat up on my bed, thinking about a strategy to find out the solution to this. I remember the yurei said a name, Hana?...Hane..kawa?Wait, Hanekawa?..The Hanekawa? Fucking.... Hanekawa? I knew I was freaking out more about the name than the incident, because, I only know one Hanekawa,

  Hanekawa Ricka, my highschool crush....who I've never met for the last two years since graduation, who would always tease me as a unsocial bitch and probably has a boyfriend. Probably. Maybe. I think so.

  I screamed the word "F*CK" so loud that my neighbor started banging on my door in anger.