TOKYO GHOUL: EMBRACE OF THE FLESH

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: dreamscape
Morihei Katzumi and Nishitouin Gushiken, eke out a survival existence in shadow of the prosperous Tokyo city. The two have differing approaches to feeding, the first feels his ghoul race are destined to kill based on nature whilst the other has doubts about taking lives even in the face of what their body demands.
This clash of ideals would lead to someone's violation. Nishitouin himself is more than even a ghoul would assume at first glance.
What's more the human prey has been up to affairs that would blur the line distinguishing which species is the monster.

Submitted: October 12, 2018

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Submitted: October 12, 2018

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Tokyo Ghoul: Embrace of the Flesh

 

Based on the Sui Ishida manga

 

Tokyo, the rich, high-tech ode to man’s prosperity and development. Yet some denizens relegated to gazing at its steel castles from another perspective - its streets. Deeper still a parallel existence, hunters of the self-proclaimed dominant species called humans – ghouls.

 

Fiancée. My younger sis finally did it, took her ages. Money and career got in the way of getting hitched. First I learned of that Buddhist temple boy was when she outta the blue told me she getting hitched. A wedding gift? Thinking a big chocolate. 

Those everyday thoughts are replaced by rapidly moving feet. The thinker running for dear life, benign versus horror contrast. The person’s thoughts determine a ray of hope in the familiar, stopping by a fair skinned fellow, taking unavoidable moments before speaking unable to overcome their body’s need to pant. ‘In the park…after me. A bakemono! We gotta run!’

The person kneels and apologizing, ‘Wish it weren’t you.’ Their eyes red looking up at them. More specifically a rubicund iris, and the sclera black with red veins across the eye. The runner had not only fear but inevitability on the face – they about to be eaten, the race for life lost. Briskly walking up from behind is another young fellow, Morihei.

The kneeler again, ‘If life didn’t give me a raw deal.’

Bloodstains indicate a finished meal and passage of time in the park that night.

Day had come. They share an apartment of a condemned building to squat in.

Morihei lay down, hands behind the head. ‘Kneeling like you hung up. Nature made us predators. There are seven billion of them?’ the dead can hear the unspoken scoff.

This is our life…bottom of human social order but we prey on them at the same time, horror personified. Nishitouin Gushiken had a trait separating from most human and even ghouls. Locals of this land have light skin tone, this guy goes even paler if that were possible, approaching but not quite albino. Both late teens below nineteen.

As lions they collaborated to herd the prey to another, unsuspected predator. Tokyians have a lethal parallel residence, outclassing man in every physical parameter and matches his intelligence.

The ghouls’ attire is rather simplistic and early signs of wear. Humans would moan if made to live as bums, no hassle for us ghouls. Superhuman bodies and our diet of humans, all we eat are humans, two of us can survive this rat hole with the yen snatched off warm corpses.  

‘Don’t even breathe “we can make a little change selling our finds,”’ Morihei affirmed. The two walk toting burlap sacks among a bustling, concrete jungle decorated by traffic and pedestrians oblivious to predators in their midst, abuzz 24/ 7 including daylight hours like now.

Collect old stuff. Travelling the city to pick up knickknacks and junk. I shirk at comparing to a vagrant – if I and Katzumi busted our brains we could catch a meal with this treasure. Gotta hand it to our prey, efficiency limited pollution making an overwhelmingly clean metropolis. Casting a broader net, a landfill in Tokyo Bay with super speed and leaping we can reach, staying off public places if we wanted. While our open goal was to have stuff for our apartment, filling an emotional crevice with them proved the former a façade.

Yoyogi Park. At the moment they with many prey around, walk the immaculate path lined either side by Sakura, high above branches touch each other reaching across, innumerable flowers forming a pink canopy.  

Nishitouin, ‘Rush into a morgue and get a body that way. They won’t see us coming.’  

‘Keep this up and I transform in front all the humans.’

‘They’d be already dead, no real risk of humans hunting us for murder, enough bodies we don’t have to share one. You did say seven billion…’

An audible scoff this time cut him off, ‘Hooked up only so I can have an easier life with CCG up our asses. But damn you act up like you found a conscience. Up my ass with your human complex. Murder? That no ghoul I ever heard of. We do what we have to and that is eat to live.’ Indicating the relationship isn’t the best for some time.

For sure ghouls typically are something like wild predators, not having a heart for what they kill, mainly that a food chain would come full circle.

‘Killing…it’s so part of us.’

‘Nishi.’ Warns Katzumi.

‘Killing humans, killed by CCG. We live on the run. Endless cycle.’

‘Something our prey would say.’

‘Give it a chance!’

‘Tell yourself this. You killed. But your body says you must or you can’t eat. Regret taking a life still?’

‘You can’t frame it that way.’

‘Act like the soul of the humans you ate inhabit your conscience.’

‘We’re so much alike with our eyes we can’t tell each other apart. A spirit of killing has to exist between us? Please give it a chance.’

Katzumi asserts, ‘Never asked to choose my parents so nothing there in shedding tears. I am the superior species by luck of the draw, hard luck for humanity.’

He feels the humans would kill them, their entire species, without remorse, kids and all. Under circumstances he could easily be of a mind ghoul can inherit the earth. In essence the philosophical reasons for questioning one’s natural instinct uneased him.

Tokyo Skytree, another of man’s monuments, 634 meters, rising above all, this tower.

Stark relief, elsewhere in the city and no beautiful park in sight, rummage amongst the refuse heap they do. Wasn’t merely garbage bags, but treasure like those of plastic and metal to be had.

One hand under the chin, index finger and thumb touching it with the head looking downward as cogs turned, only to drop the hand before speaking. Broaches Nishitouin, ‘A single morgue means no turf battle for feeding grounds…’

Cut off again, ‘A body a month ain’t doing it.’

Nishitouin protests, ‘Just because not your style doesn’t mean we should risk the CCG!’ longest lived predators cognizant to their limits. A ghoul can survive that long on a single body, doesn’t bar an individual from going over, drawing deadly attention.

Morihei retorts with this partner more like half a body per month. ‘Since you think that way shouldn’t fuss about this. I know you heard a rumour. Word a ghoul squad rounding up people for food under CCG’s nose. The Cafeteria is the name. Kinda messed up because ghouls go missing.’ Then loathing, ‘That missing part is BS.’

The near albino partly convinced - that is accepting ghouls could get together in spite of territorial preferences, conceding a way to satisfy a want to go over the one body quota. Nishitouin doubting its veracity calls his disbelieving the missing part the actual rumour.

Morihei entertains CCG, sly bastards, crazed enough to spread the rumour scaring off ghouls.

Another night, another hunt.

Clearly my ideas went nowhere.

Back to the first park they were originally in at night. The two have ventured out when no CCG dove investigators are in sight. Noses audibly sniff the air. Senses are sharper than a human’s like the one out of view.

Morihei produced a noise by sucking air and saliva through the teeth, he wasn’t happy. On another island far away it’s called a steups. He did it for the same reason – annoyance.

‘If I can’t sort this scent out you can’t to save your life either, Nishitouin. Wind scattered the smell.’

Both pair off in a super speed run at separate directions. The yellow moon cloudy.

Morihei later is walking over; his face draped in annoyance once again. Reaching the spot where his partner is standing over a fallen body, stops, he emphasizes in speech his partner’s name, ‘A heartbeat Nish.’ He expectant of a warm corpse.

‘You’re talking to someone who eats corpses.’ The person was unconscious.

Morihei scoffs that down. ‘You might as well give up and drink coffee alone,’ a beverage these parallel existences can consume.

His turn to emphasize a name and with it the eye effect of the rubicund iris and all appeared. ‘Leave me alone Katz!’

Morihei turned rubicund as well. ‘I’m only talkin’ the truth.’

‘Longest while now you place complaining about me than actual survival. Leave me alone Katz!’

‘Oh morgues. Actually more and more I feel one of us isn’t the predator here!’

‘If you can’t stand this partner then run away.’ A split can trim the odds of survival. If bad only a matter of time before hit by four or five Q bullets.

Morihei slightly laughs, ‘You already ran! Nothing changes ghouls are supreme predators. Put on earth to be more than human.’

‘Don’t peg me like that.’

‘Can see it now, in a church asking the catholic priest? to cleanse your sins in confession.’

‘Like you can judge.’

‘Can’t I? Face it. Truth doesn’t care if you hate it. Humans wanna live but they all can’t if ghouls want too!’

To him the question is the simplest. Accept what you are. If you ask him, nothing in worrying if humans treat his kind like criminals, scared like deer or hate our guts. Predator and prey. Nature, take your complaints to her.

The person stirs, looking up at the ghouls standing over them. A student judging by book bag, their age. Both are rather surprised.

‘Hi I am Morihei,’ gesturing to the other, ‘Nishitouin. You had your whole life ahead, by rights you should die tonight if my partner here wants you to.’ Nishitouin wears a forlorn body language and questions internally they are flawed one.

‘With you its kill as we want.’ Came the weak answer.

His partner responds to the human instead. Scornfully preaches to the human his partner knows he has to eat you but is held up by a human complex – they don’t want to kill you, he goes on ghouls God slated as predators, in his mind angry he sounds philosophical like his partner, rubbed off, and continues, ‘Our fate we can’t fight against.’

Morihei suggests it’s your find, your kill. Nishitouin is rendered still as a statue. The young man followed by insisting his partner make the kill else he Morihei will simply walk and leave – implication is victim will live to report and CCG will not be far behind.

Nishitouin clenches a hand, the body on the verge of trembling. This struggle was interrupted when the prey spoke up. Said they know it’s a kill or be killed world, this night death would lay a hand. They asked from one person to another that their family know their fate. Not begging but in dignity. Katzumi determines it’s closure for the family. I slew them with my own hand, painlessly, whatever consolation that was.

Mouths caked in blood, flesh scraps dangling from the mouth. They feast.

Unwanted advance. Back in the apartment a night, Nishitouin lay fast asleep sprawled atop their old mattress and suddenly feel a presence. Morihei was behind laying down on his side, his arm over them. Clearly sexual. Gushiken’s eyes pop open, red and warns the youth away.

Been several days since the student. Gushinken, a morning, surreptitiously as able is leaving the vicinity of a mail box, belonged to the family home nearby. Within its bowels penned with my own bloody hand is a note of what transpired, their wish they know along with some belongings as proof.  

They return to the apartment, entering a room. Katzumi hands behind his head and lying down silently, mien featureless. Must’ve known I did it in secret without his knowledge risking our lives. Dignity in death pulled on my heart strings. Couldn’t help but write the words, “I regret.” Could that human have accepted us? They addressed us as actual persons. Up to the last remained what I could never be – human.

Moved, tears run down his visage.

Day or night neon signs glitter, mecca of shopping and anime, city of Akihabara.

Morihei exits the home a day. Back inside, hand on the face, Nishitouin is evidently distressed over something unknown.

The youth arrives at a pleasant looking building. His door knock is answered by a man, ‘You are whom?’

‘Morihei Katzumi.’

He is let in, assured he is when his keen olfactory determine he met human. ‘Welcome to the Cafeteria. We humans eat ghoul.’ A stunned face the response.

Nishitouin walks the street, deep within relieved in not eating a meal of late. Morihei has been no show several days. I sought him out.

They wander around the city and check his known haunts, by afternoon ending in front one place.

Uttered in confusion and protest through gritting teeth, ‘Piss off! Guys don’t do that in the rear hole!’ Morihei has them pinned to a wall with his own body, making thrust motions from behind – sexual defilement. Next Katzumi’s fateful exit to visit the cafeteria seen again. This flashback explains Nishitouin’s distress back then.

They knock on the door, same man opens it a crack, the ghoul was careful not to blatantly sniff – but scent told them a human who resided at this pleasant looking building. All the time they knew Morihei would certainly be here – but the youth had mentally put off coming. Why would I bother looking for that reipu?

‘You are?’

‘Nishitouin Gushiken is my name. A youth man came by here? Goes by Morihei Katzumi.’

He is let in, definitely human. Shutting the door, ‘Make yourself welcome.’

‘Um have you seen him?’

‘That fellow really a good friend of yours to come way out here.’ A probe.

‘Yeah.’ Gushiken turns their head that moment in shame for a lie.

Glum mindset is interrupted.

The man had been leading deeper into the place. ‘Welcome to the Cafeteria. We’ll reunite you monsters.’ Quickly he performed a 180 to face the visitor, his arm raised, the sound of a gunshot later and Gushiken’s face became stunned. Moments went.

Gushiken remained standing. ‘A Q bullet!’ they declared. The man is sent sprawling, impacting the floor in a fall despite a seemingly soft shove. That aforementioned sound had another effect, gaggle of several humans charge through a side door.

‘More CCG!’ yells the surprised ghoul. One then two are shoved to the ground by super strength. A second gunshot, which doesn’t phase, Gushiken whips their body around to stare the man, only to be rushed again, this time tackled to the floor, their strength no different to a human’s, Q bullet’s point, particular when administering Rc suppressants.  

The rumours about missing ghouls bared its fearsome singularity. A man other than the one who shot him sits on a table. The ghoul is situated in a terrifying looking room chained by the arms and legs to a wall. Antithesis of the building’s attractive exterior.

‘My brain would rot too if I knew I’d end up like this. A ghoul has the blood drained, the flesh is boiled to soften the meat, not to the point it falls off the bone, then cut up, your tough flesh a human jaw can then bite.’

‘Impossible.’

‘Cannibal ghouls hate the taste of their own kind that don’t stop them eating.’ He laughs like the worst villain and continues, ‘Payback is not strong enough for why we do. We got the mental strength to swallow your flesh.’

‘Going to eat me in revenge?’ his silence confirmation enough. Human culture is known to eat each other to absorb their essence.

My strength would return but would I last long enough? Back when I said we only eat human? Well ghouls can eat each other, can make you stronger – yet that’s not who to fear right now.

On the table sharp butcher implements. Rc suppressants remove immunity to such objects. Gushiken claims they aren’t CCG, they know investigators won’t eat targets. The man responds never said they were.

He walks over and caressed the face, his hand moved under the chin. Those hands proceeded to strip, a human female would find so familiar. Rape equals reipu, back at the apartment the emotions a tide of shock, fear…and disappointment. When you think about it culmination of an impassable gulf between them. The “plan” takes a turn because he wore bra and panty. The man’s face nonplussed. 

The shooter arrived soon after with the other humans. Gushiken knows her strength was yet to rise to normal levels. Reipu in the apartment was not homosexual, sex in the “rear hole” was vaginial. That side of me exposed.

Her eyes are rubicund and her clothing still undone. He calls her a Madonna for the artist had androgynous tendencies too. The girl disagrees describing herself a tomboy, as for why, the missing skirt and heels, failure to hang out with her own sex, missing lipstick, all a guy’s way. She couldn’t answer except it wasn’t a clever way to evade authorities, instead a mental bulwark. He labels her ‘off the grapevine’ in response.

Nishitouin’s wannabe rapist was present. ‘Sounds to me you share a lot with monsters you hate,’ she addressed them as her eyes glance the implements.

‘Can feel it building can’t you? Fear of being prey,’ breathed the shooter.

She asks why can’t the races reach out to each other. The man scoffs. ‘Lookalike that talks, plays, experiences joy and sadness, you can never be like us, always on the outside looking in.’

He tilts his head signalling someone to raise with their arm Morihei’s disembodied head. Her face grimaces in grief. I found it impossible not to feel for him.

‘Even the law won’t jail us. We reduced the predator into what they view us. Prey.’

She outpours, ‘We can’t go on like this! I never wanted to kill.’ And so it was my fate to be eaten. Our species were similar both unleashing the monstrous side.

Afternoon is succeeded by evening. For some reason they hadn’t sought to end me yet when it comes to ghouls and suppressants, a miracle from on high. 

Rapist re-enters the room. First time proved him a pederast. Making his way over and proceeds to rape. Not a second time, welled up inside was a will. She burst the chain restraining one arm and its hand found his neck. In moments an inhuman strength strangles him. She breaks the remaining extremities free. She looks down at the dropped human not with anger but pity, a condom in the hand.

The hunters discover her out the room and she they. Grew from the base of the back. The main killing tool a kagune. A muscle that hardens or softens and moves per desire. Release of which heighted her attributes, as every human present needn’t be told put them in grave danger - piercing and lifting a body up, twisting a body in half, blows landed, avulse another.

“Bakemono”. Word for beast. A moral hill have I no right to climb. Am I avenging my rapist? Can’t be. What I think led up to now is somewhere inside me wanting to be human if only reduced to a caveat of each species being accepted socially, where I could loosed from the shackles of being a bum, mingle freely without being marked for death.  

As it were unable to wrest free from a fate of blood and guts.

She locates the man who shot her previously as well. She dodges gunfire, immobilizes him and says fatefully, ‘If only fate was kinder.’ Organs pushed out the front of the torso, bursting the skin from pressure from behind exerted by a very hard kagune.

Her actions next, My act of remorse, self-doubt, were to lay out my victims humanely and leave.

Nishitouin is seen again dressed in female attire, walking the street one day in a sea of Tokyians.


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