The white figure in the night sky is that of a woman. She wears a fancy white cloth that one might mistaken for a dress, and has long, black hair reaching down to her waists. Her arms and legs are slender, and it makes this woman look even more beautiful.
The thin brow and the cold eyes are beautiful. I can estimate she’s in her twenties. Although its doubtful that you can fit an age for a living thing onto something like a ghost.
But the white woman is not abstract like a ghost. She is really there. If you want ghosts, the girls floating around the woman are more like it. The girls floating around aimlessly seems more like swimming than flying. Even their figures are abstract, as they turn transparent from time to time.
What’s above Shiki right now are the white woman and the girls floating around the woman as if to protect her.
The whole sight is not horrifying. No, this is more like…
“Hmph, this is indeed demonic.”
This woman’s beauty is already not that of a human’s. Her black hair is especially beautiful, as each seems like silk. If the wind was strong, her figure with the hair flowing would have been a profound beauty.
“Then I have to kill you”
Maybe she heard Shiki’s murmur, as the woman looks down. The woman is four meters above this rooftop already over forty meters high. The woman and Shiki’s gazes meet.
There is no words to speak, nor is there a language to communicate with.
Shiki puts a hand in the jacket and takes out a knife. A weapon more like a sword than a knife, with a blade about eighteen centimeters long. (7 inches)
Shiki’s mind fills up with the intent to kill with the gaze from above.
The white figure sways. Her arm flows and a slender finger points at Shiki. That slender, fragile arm does not remind Shiki of white.
“… More like bones, or a lily”
In the windless night, the voice stayed in the air for a long time.
The will put into the fingertip is the intent to kill.
The white fingertip points at Shiki.
Shiki’s head sways. The thin body steps once to regain its balance. But only once.
The woman overhead hesitated a bit from that.
The suggestion that “you can fly” is not working on this person.
Her power can give someone the impression that “they were flying”, and it’s more like brainwashing than suggestion. There’s no way to fight it, and as a result, one actually triesto fly, or runs away from the fear of being able to fly. But Shiki was able to stand is with just a small daze.
The woman wonders if the contact was too weak, and decides to use suggestion again.
But this time, stronger. Not a weak impression like “you can fly”, but she orders “you have to fly”.
But before that, Shiki looks at the woman.
One on each of her legs, one on her back, and one point on her left chest. The cutting section called death can be certainly seen. The one on her chest would be a good one to aim for. That would be an instant kill. Even if that woman is just an image, I could even kill God if it is alive.
Shiki raises the knife with one hand. Holding the knife backwards, Shiki looks at the enemy in the sky.
Then, the impulse attacks Shiki again.
… I can fly. I can fly. I liked the sky from before. I was flying yesterday too. I could probably fly higher today. Freely. Feeling peaceful. Laughing. I have to go quickly…
Where? To the sky? Free? … That’s…
Escape from reality. Yearn for the sky. Reaction to gravity. No feet on ground. Flight under unconsiousness.
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go… GO!
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Saying that, Shiki raises the empty left hand.
The suggestion does not work anymore. Shiki does not even get a daze.
“I don’t have that kind of admiration for the sky. I don’t feel alive, so I don’t know the pain of living. To be honest, I don’t care about you at all.”
… A murmur more like singing.
Shiki does not feel any restraint, joy or sollow of life.
That’s why Shiki is not attracted to the liberation from pain.
“But I don’t like for you to keep him. I got him first, so I’m taking him back.”
Shiki’s left hand grabs the empty air and pulls back.
As if being pulled by the left hand, the woman and the girls are pulled toward Shiki. Like fishes being pulled in with a net.
The woman’s expression changes. She puts more power into her will and pounds it on Shiki.
If she could communicate with Shiki, she would have screamed,
Ignoring the curse, Shiki responds in a scary tone.
The knife pierces the chest of the woman coming down. As easily as stabbing a fruit, and so sharply that even the one stabbed admires it.
There is no blood.
The woman could not move from the shock of the knife piercing her, and convulses just once.
Shiki throws the corpse casually, to the other side of the fence into the night town.
The woman’s body goes past the edge and falls without a sound. Her hair does not flutter even during the fall, and disappears into the night with her white robe expanded in the wind.
It was like a white flower sinking deeo into the ocean.
And then, Shiki leaves the rooftop.
Above, the floating girls still remains…
I wake up getting a knife stabbed in my chest. It was a tremendous impact. That person had to be really strong to pierce someone’s chest that easily. But that was not a violent power. It did not have anything unneccesary, and it went in between the bones and the muscles like it was nothing. What a sense of unity!
The feeling of death that runs through my body. The sound of my heart being pierced and ripped through. More than the pain itself, but the feeling of it hurt me more. Because that feeling was fear and pleasure uncomparable to anything else.
The chill running through my spine is mind-boggling, and my whole body is trembling. There exists uneasiness, loneliness, and will to live, and I cried without a sound.
Not because of fear or pain.
It is because the feeling of death I’ve never felt before was there… even for me, who every night wishes to be alive the next day.
I will never be able to escape this feeling
Since I have fallen in love with this feeling…
I hear the door open. The clock points two and it feels like the sun in shining through the closed window. It’s not yet time for the examination, so maybe it’s a visitor.
I have my own hospital room and there is no one else in here. What’s there are the bright sunlight, curtains that never flutter from wind, and this bed.
“Excuse me, Are you Fujoh Kirie?”
It seems the visitor is a woman. Greeting me with a husky voice, she comes near me without sitting down or anything. It seems she’s looking down at me. Her stare feels cold.
… This person is a scary person. She probably would bring me destruction.
But I was actually happy inside. Because it’s been many years since I’ve had a visitor. I cannot send anyone back, even if the one came visiting was death himself to finish me off.
“You are my enemy, right?”
The woman nods yes.
I try to focus and somehow see this visitor.
… It may be because of the strong sunlight, but I can only see her silhuette. She is not wearing a jacket, but her wrinkleless suit makes her look like a teacher and makes me relax. But her orange tie is rather flashy for her white shirt, and I have to take some points off for that.
“Do you know that person, or are you that person?”
“No, I’m an aquaintance of both the one who attacked you and the one you attacked. We, you included, made contact with the weirdest people. We have to be pretty unlucky.”
Saying that, the woman takes out something from her pocket and puts it right back.
“I forgot you can’t smoke in here. And to add, it seems your lungs are bad. The smoke would do you nothing but harm.”
She sounds regretful. I guess it was a cigarette box she took out. I have never even touched one before, but I wanted to see this person smoke. Probably… no, surely it would suit her well like a lizard pant on a showcase mannequin.
“It’s not just your lungs that are bad? That must be the reason, but there are lots of tumors all over your body. Starting with sarcoma, it’s worse inside. It seems that hair of yours is the only thing normal. But it’s amazing how much strength you have left. If it’s a normal person, they would die before it gets this bad. … How many years has it been, Fujoh Kirie?”
She is probably asking about my hospitalization, but I cannot answer her.
“I don’t know. I stopped keeping track.”
Because it’s meaningless. Because I won’t be getting out of here until I die.
The woman nod and says “I see.”
I don’t like her tone, as it contains no sympathy or dislike. The only thing I get from someone is sympathy, but this person is not willing to give me even that.
“Is the place Shiki cut all right? I heard Shiki cut you around the heart area, near the main artery… I would assume it was in your bicuspid valve.”
She says an amazing thing with an normal tone. I let out a smile from her weirdness.
“What a strange person. I wouldn’t be able to talk to you like this if my heart was cut.”
“Of course. That was just for confirmation.”
I see. She confirmed with that question if I was that woman stabbed by that person I couldn’t tell as Japanese-styled or Western-styled.
“But the effect will come in time. Shiki’s eyes are strong. Even if that thing was your double existance, the destruction will reach you in time.
I wanted to ask you a few things before that… which is why I came here.”
Double existance… she must mean that other me.
“I haven’t seen you actually floating. Can you tell me what that was?”
“I don’t know either. The only view I can see is this view out of this window.
But maybe that was bad.
I’ve been looking down at the world from here. The trees showing the colors of the four seasons, people coming to the hospital in turns.
They cannot hear me even if I talk, and I cannot reach them no matter how far I stretch out my hands. I have been suffering all this time inside this room. I have been detesting this view for a long time. Isn’t that what you would call cursing?”
“I see, it must be your Fujoh blood. Your bloodline is that of an old pure family. It seems they were specialized in prayers, but I see that their true powers were in cursings. The name Fujoh might come from the word Fujoh (impure).”
My family. But that has came to an end few years ago. Soon after I was hopitalized, my parents and my brother died in an accident. Since then, a friend of my father has paid for my medical expenses.
“A curse is not something you do unconsciously. What did you wish for?”
… I don’t know myself. Even she wouldn’t know either.
“… Have you ever looked at the outside world for a long time? For many years, until you become unconscious? I hated, detested, and feared the outside world. I was overlooking it all the time.
After a while, my eyes became weird. I was in the sky above that garden, and was overlooking the world below. It was a feeling like my eyes were flying around while my body and mind were still here. But since I cannot move from here, all I can do is to overlook the area around here.
“You must have imputted the scenary around here into your brain. If that’s the case, you should be able to think that you can see it from all directions. …You started to lose your vision around that time too?”
I’m surprized. She knows I’m on the verge of losing my vision.
“That’s right. The world turned white and in the end, nothing was there. At first, I thought everything turned into darkness but that was wrong.
Everything disappeared, or at least everything you can see.
But I had no problem with that. Because my eyes are already flying around. I can only see the scenary around this hospital, but I cannot get out of here anyways.
Nothing changed, nothing…”
Then, I cough. It’s been a long time since I’ve talked this much, so my throat is burning.
“I see. So your mind was up in the sky. But then… why are you alive? If that ghost at the Fujiyoh building was your mind, you should have been killed by Shiki.”
Yes, I am wondering the same thing.
That person… I guess the name is Shiki, but how was that person able to cut me?
That floating me cannot touch anything but in return, I cannot be touched by anything. But that person killed me as if I had a real body.
“Answer me. The you at the Fujiyoh building, was that really Fujoh Kirie?”
“The me at the Fujiyoh building isn’t me. Myself looking at the sky and myself in the sky. That me gave up on me and flew away. I have been left behind even by me myself.”
The woman gasps. For the first time, she showed her emotion.
“It must not be that your personailty split up. There was someone that gave you with one container a second container. I see, you controlled two bodies with one mind. This is indeed nothing like before.”
Now that she says so, that might have been the case.
I gave up on myself and was looking down on the world. But neither one of us could put our feet on the ground, and just ended up floating around. Since I am rejected by the world outside the window, there is no way for me to go out there no matter how much I wish for it.
It must mean that we were connected in the end.
“That makes sense. But why weren’t you happy with just imagining the outside world? I don’t think there was a need to let those girls fall.”
Those girls…? Oh, I see, those girls I am jealous of. They were unfortunate. But I did not do anything, because the girls fell on their own.
“The you at the Fujiyoh building was more like a will. You used that, huh? Those girls were able to fly from the beginning, right? Even if it was just an image in their head, or if they really had the power to fly. People flying in their sleep isn’t rare, but it never gets to be a problem. Why? Because they only do so in their sleep and they never even think about flying when they are awake. Since they are unconscious, they have no evil will when they are flying.
Those girls were special even in that case. We’re not talking Peter Pan, but it’s easier to fly when you’re small. Maybe one or two might have actually floated, but most of them should have floated only in their dreams.
But you made them think about it. You gave them the impression they had while they were dreaming when they were awake.
As a result, they found out they could fly. Yes, they can fly… but only unconsciously. Flight with only human power is difficult. Even I cannot fly without a broom. The chance of flight under consiousness is about thirty percent. The girls tried to fly as usual, and fell as they were supposed to.”
Yes, they were flying around me. I thought they could be my friends. But all they did was float around me like fishes without noticing me.
It was fast after I found out they had no consciousness. I just thought they would notice me if they had consciousness. That was the only reason, so why…
“Are you cold? You’re trembling.”
The woman’s voice is cold like plastic.
I embrace myself as the chill does not go away.
“Let me ask you one more thing. Why did you admire the sky? You detested the outside world.”
That’s probably because…
“There is no end to the sky. I thought there would be a world I wouldn’t detest if I could go as far as I want, if I could fly as far as I wanted.”
The voice asks me if I found that world.
My chill does not stop. I tremble as if someone’s shaking me, and my eyes are getting hotter.
“… Every night, I feared if I would be able to wake up the next day, I was scared if I would live until tomorrow. I knew I wouldn’t have the strength to wake up if I fell asleep.
The days like a tightrope was only filled with fear of death. But because of that, I could feel that I am alive.
I could only smell death everyday, but to live, only that smell was reliable.
Since I am nothing but a discarded shell, I can feel alive only when I am facing death.”
That’s right. That is why I like death more than life.
To fly anywhere, to go to anywhere I want…
“You took my boy as a companion to death?”
“No. At that time, I didn’t know. I was attached to life and I wanted fly while being alive. I should have been able to do so with him.”
“You and Shiki are similar. You guys have a bit of salvation in that you guys both chose Kokutoh. It’s not a bad thing to search for the feeling of being alive in someone else.”
Kokutoh. I see, so that Shiki person came to take him back.
I guess my savior was also my death. I have no regret in that though.
“That person is really childish. He is always so straight. That’s why he should be able to fly to anywhere he wants if he tried.
… I wanted for him to take me.”
My eyes are hot. I don’t get it, but I’m probably crying.
Not because I’m sad… If I could really go somewhere with him, how much happiness would that have been. Because it’s something that wouldn’t come ture, because it’s a dream that shouldn’t come true, that’s why it’s so beautiful and makes me cry. That is the only dream I had in the past few years.
“But Kokutoh has no interest in the sky. The more one wants the sky, the farther they are from it, huh? How ironic.”
“You’re right. I have heard that humans have many things they don’t need. I was only able to float. I could not fly, and all I managed was to stay floating.”
The burning in my eyes disappeared. Probably, this will never again happen in the future.
What’s controlling me right now is only this chill inside of me.
“Sorry to be a bother. This is the last question, but what will you do now? I can heal you about that wound Shiki gave you.”
Without answering, I shake my head. It seems the woman frowned a bit.
There are two ways to escape. Escape without purpose, and escape with a purpose. You call the former floating and the latter flight,
You are the one to decide which one your overlooking view was. But if you choose one out of guilt, that’s wrong. You shouldn’t choose the path ahead of you based on the sins you carry, but you should rather carry the sins on the path you choose.”
Then the woman leaves. The woman has not told me her name, but I know there was no need to.
… She must have known what I would choose from the beginning. Because I could not fly, and all I could do was to float.
Since I’m weak, I cannot do as she said. That’s why I cannot overcome this temptation. The flash of light I felt when I was stabbed in my heart. The overwhelming torrent of death and the beat of life. I always thought I had nothing, but there is still that simple thing left in me.
What is there is death.
This fear that sends a chill down my spine. I have to feel the most death I can and feel the happiness of life. For everything in my life I have ignored until now. But it probably would be impossible to die like I did that night. I probably cannot hope for such a striking end. That death pierced me like a lightening, like a needle, like a sword. That’s why I will try to come close to that as possible. I don’t have any idea right now but I still have a few days to think about it. And I’ve already decided on the method. I don’t think I even need to say this, but I think my end should be a falling death from an overlooking place.