Author's Note: This is probably the longest chapter in the novel... Please tell me what you think of it! Especially if the shinigami part made any sense! Thanks for reading~
Staring at my reflection,
I look and see rejection.
The pieces of my wings
break away into the abyss
lost in the slopes of time.
It's hard to breathe,
My anger seethes.
Relapse back inside my mind.
The chains on my heart unbind,
It spirals like a dropped dime.
My old withered wing
can no longer cling
It's been chopped and clipped.
It's been cropped and stripped.
It deserves a requiem.
Someone is going to pay,
for taking my wings away.
Oh they'll surely regret
that we ever met.
My ticking crime.
My present, past, and future have all been filled with the smell
of rotting corpses. It's the life I had always
And to tell the truth, I was sick of it.
Unfortunately, I was a guardian of death. My sole purpose was to collect human souls and cut the life threads off of those who were meant to die. I also had an obligation to kill vengeful spirits, who often resisted. With the long, curved blade my patron gifted me when I was created, I cut the spirits' bonds between earth and death. I remembered when my first kill stared at me with his bulging, brown eyes.
"Shinigami," the Japanese man croaked before I cleanly sliced his body in half. What he said was not entirely wrong though.
"Shinigami," I echoed the name through my teeth and the cursed noise reverberated throughout the cavern. Roughly translated, it meant that he called me a death god. I didn't know whether I should have shown remorse or gratification when the Black Butterflies carried the murderer's soul away from this pit of endless despair. The tiny, fluttering creatures traveled away from this forsaken lair. I watched them climb through the stars and disappear behind the glassy night sky.
I laughed and cried in the company of talking skulls. Their mandibles clanked together in symphony and
only silence whispered from behind my black cloak. How unfortunate, it was for them all to be in the company of a murderer in their last moments. Together we gazed at the waxing moon, and its unwavering cycles.
After ending one peaceful man's life, I saw the little humans who wept besides their grandfather's deathbed. His earthly body looked withered and stretched as if he had too much skin wrapped over a brittle frame. The ghostly man looked on with twinkling, gray eyes before the White Butterflies carried his soul into the dissipating clouds.
Before departing, two boys kissed their smiling grandfather's cheeks for one last time. And although water flowed from underneath their eyelids, they both wore a smiling face. After I left the hospital room, something stirred behind the black curtain and I plunged into the darkness.
I don't know what came over me, but I begged my patron to set me free. Many times he kicked and ordered me to continue my solitary work, but I continued to plead desperately for freedom; I wanted to be driven out from this maddening spree.
He mocked me, chastised me, and finally made an example of me. His bony hook tossed my bruised, beaten body to the floor and I slithered weakly on top of the cushioning bones fragments.
He lunged forward with a thundering stamp that jarred the floor I laid on and he split the air with his own blade.
Before I realized it, my patron had created a bright lit passage; the alternative solace.
He gestured me to go, but also ordered me to leave my sword and cloak behind. So I left my possessions with the talking skulls and traveled into the glowing tunnel away from this dark place. My old companions didn't stop me nor did they mourn for me because casting away my darkness meant receiving divine punishment.
Not long after, a black fog crept behind me, but I fell upon the hard, flat ground. The terrible smoke clogged the air and pressed into me.
"You would've been better off staying as a shinigami," the talking skull chortled and the light disappeared completely from view.
Fear gripped my insides as I struggled against the heavy fog. Pale hands were at my sides and I couldn't lift them up. My legs, torso, and head were strapped to the floor as well. The darkness seeped against my skin, and I finally let out a strangled cry.
A storm raged inside my chest and sweaty palms gripped the edges
of a thick, green blanket. Moonlight poured inside the dimly lit
room, offering little condolences. The screen door to the room
slid open and my grandmother rushed inside wondering why I
Her hushed tone, helped me quiet down. She carefully tucked a special Japanese talisman, an omamori, in my hands and with it she said it was to ward off evil spirits. The small, red pouch softly glowed in the tiny palm of my hand, feeding me warmth. I held up the omamori to my face and examined the red threads intricately connected to the pouch. She weaved me through time of how this red pouch was conceived and now she would pass it on to me. I truly believed in its magical protection and her large arms swooped me in a gentle embrace, sheltering me from the darkness.
Around elementary school, my parents made me accompany them to the hospital, most likely because they wanted me to follow in their footsteps. I was the chairman's only son, so it was expected of me to take after the family's business. But I absolutely hated hospitals. They reeked of disease, unhappiness, and not to mention death. Old nurses prodded my cheeks and friends of my parents always complimented my blue eyes or my black hair. All of them, never failed to mention how much I reminded them of my parents like I was a mini version of the great doctors.
I swung my legs in one of those black stools. But my father's stern voice told me to stop and follow him. Today's patient was special. She was dying of an incurable disease. Her sallow skin resulted from a damaged liver caused by the aggressive cancer and day by day, her teeth rotted away. Underneath her sickly appearance, however, her features still retained the same comforting warmth I saw as a child. I clung onto my grandmother's omamori as I stared helplessly at the white wings sprouting behind her back. She was flat-lining and there was nothing I could do to save my dying grandmother. The silver wings grew bigger until they embodied her entire sleeping state and they beautifully fragmented into white butterflies. The beautiful looking creatures flew through the thin, gray hospital walls until they humbly disappeared into the foggy patches of the sky. No one else could see these creatures but myself.
I recalled the same nauseating smell from my dreams. When my eyes started to water, my father slapped me cleanly across the face. I looked up at his dark, giant figure and he simply said, "Dying is a part of life." Sitting on the cold, hard floor in front of my dead grandmother's body, a sudden wave of assurance overwhelmed my body. It was then, that I learned how to cope with death.
Dun-dun. Dun-dun. Dun-Dun. Dun...
I closed myself off from the world and buried a piece of me inside a never-to-be-opened box.
I went with my father all the time to the hospital, learning medicine in a new light. I became unfazed by death, like it was a friend that you never wanted to see, but always showed up at the front door somehow.
I got better at reading people's emotions. I said what they wanted to hear, told them what they should hear, and kept to myself about their secrets.
I cried and laughed.
I smiled and watched my so-called friends back stab each other, smothering each other with deceit and unwholesome flattery.
It was brilliant, this trickery.
In middle school, my father and mother switched to another hospital and I had to transfer to J. Clearwater Academy during the second semester. It was a private school that strung several buildings together to accommodate both middle and high school students. It was also a prestigious school with many sources of funding so that its arts and science programs were well known.
My transfer was no problem of course, but those silly ex-classmates of mine, decided to throw a farewell party. It was annoying to an extent, but I continued to play along until I got to walk out the front door.
My first day at the
academy was utterly boring. My classmates were uninteresting
people that lead so-so lives and they were mostly interested in
my parents or my wallet.
I dawdled around the vending machines looking at the options available until soft footsteps attracted my attention. Around the corner, an innocent-looking girl walked slowly in the hallway with her eyes clearly focused on the ground. I needed a new game quick and she could be the perfect opportunity to distract me.