Friday Fictioneers – Moonies!

 

ceayr

©C.E. Ayr

Moonies!

by Miles H. Rost

“Michelle! Come here!”

Yumi Tanaka bounced on her 12-year old feet, waiting for her gaijin homestay to come and join her.

“What is it, Yumi?”
“You remember that show I wanted to show you?”
“No, I think I was studying…”
“Come on, Michelle. Time to go watch!”

Michelle Davis was pulled into the living room of the comfortable suburban Tokyo home. Plopping down on some pillows, the show started.

“What’s the name of this show?”
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon!”
Ugh. Sounds weird…”

<15 years later>

“Welcome to L.A.X.” the speakers droned.

Michelle waited at the gate, smiling. A short blue-haired bob jumped up and down.

“Ami!”
Yumi Tanaka’s eyes turned around and opened wide!
“Rei!”

“I missed you!” they said as they hugged.

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Warriors of Honor – The Fire Sniper

(Author’s note: Here is what I hope to have as the start of a new weekly or bi-weekly series. Enjoy the first installment, the story of The Fire Sniper.)

 

Screaming. Blood curdling screams heard everywhere.

The central part of Tokyo has always had some sort of action. On this night, however, it had one of the worst scenes of depravity playing out in front of the flashing lights and glowing neon.

A horror in the form of a 12-year-old girl.

She shambled down the street, a feral grin on her face. People passing by would look down towards her, and quickly move out of her way. Occasionally, one of them would get too close, and the girl leaped at them, beating them down to the ground. She would crouch down by their ear and suck out the energy in their bodies, then steal their money.

The police couldn’t do anything about her. Physical confrontation left them injured, and tasers didn’t faze her a bit. Thinking that if they gave her room, she would leave peacefully; they did their best to keep the area cordoned off. They would move their human shield as the girl moved along. Unless one wanted to be a sacrifice for the hell-spawn, it would be a battle of attrition between her and them.

From a far rooftop, a pair of violet eyes scanned the entire scene. Seeing everything up to this point, her eyes dilated, focusing solely on the form of the possessed girl as it did it’s routine. The eyes were like that of a hunter, scanning and waiting for their prey. The hunter pulled her bow from her side, and did a quick lineup of the girl and the bow guide.

An arrow rested upon the bow guide, colored black with thin red bands upon its shaft. The hunter anchored herself into position and quickly checked her mark. The girl hadn’t moved in a little bit, so they would have to get things together quickly.

The hunter drew back the bow, the hood of the cloak the hunter wore moving back slightly to reveal long fire-red tresses falling to the side of her head. Her eyes fixed on the girl, who had just sat from feasting on another passerby.

“Soul Snipe,” she quietly called out, letting the string go, and the arrow flying.

It streaked through the air, passing through a myriad of clotheslines, tangled power lines, and other obstacles. People standing outside swore that they heard a bee buzzing by quickly. Even with all obstacles, the arrow’s aim was true.

The girl below had just finished taking a short rest after consuming a good amount of energy, and was about to move onward.

Suddenly, pain erupted through her mind. An inhuman scream blasted forth, as she stumbled forward and fell to her knees. The pain was sharp, but quickly started to die down. Her mind started adjusting back to looking for her next victim.

The arrow, imbedded in her left shoulder, started to glow. From a deep brick red to glowing crimson, the arrow lit up quickly. A sound, like the charging of a defibrilator, rang into the girl’s mind. She reached her arm back to grab the arrow.

Her eyes and mind went white with pain. The blood-curdling screams of the girl, mixed with the inhuman growling, caused the police officers in front of her to fall backwards and scurry back into a larger sized circle. She gripped her head, feeling as though she was being torn in two.

From behind her, the slow clopping of shoes started to invade the screams in her mind. As they slowly got more noticeable, the possessed girl turned around. She looked behind her, and saw the person making the sounds.

She looked no more than 15-years old. A black hood framed part of her face, connected to a black cloak that flowed behind her. She was clad in a red and orange pleated skirt, white leotard, and long, brick-red sleeves. Her fingerless gloves were designed with fire markings, the bright yellow and orange mixing with the reds and blending into the sleeves of her uniform. As she pushed the hood back, the wavy locks of red spilled down around her face. A pair of red reflective sunglasses obscured the young girl from seeing her eyes.

“Fire Sniper!” the girl rasped, her words sounding worse than inhuman.

“You will leave her,” Fire Sniper said, her words quiet yet with authority.

The girl cackled and jumped around, taunting her.

“You have no power over us! You have no power, period!”

Fire Sniper looked down, and shook her head. The stony look of her face soon carried a glower, and she finally kneeled down quickly.

“You’re trapped. Goodbye.”

She yanked the arrow out of the girl’s shoulder.

As the tip became exposed to the air, a roaring scream blasted the area. Black “mist” flowed from her mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. The arrow’s color grew in intensity, from the glowing crimson to a bright cherry red. The mist absorbed itself into the arrow, the arrow growing brighter and moving longer down the arrow’s shaft by the second.

The screams suddenly went silent. Everyone in the area stopped moving. No sound besides the background noise from the various shops and cars could be heard.

Fire sniper pulled out a metal cylinder from her pack, and placed the arrow into it. Flipping it back into her backpack, she clicked the side of her sunglasses.

“Quarry contained. Going home. See you tomorrow,” she reported.

“Sending EMTs now. We’ll debrief tomorrow,” the sound from her earpiece replied.

She looked at the girl, now splayed out on the ground. Quickly checking her pulse, she breathed a sigh of relief that it was still strong.

Before anyone could say anything to her, she ran from the scene, jumping upon the rooftops in a single bound, and hopping over the roofs of Tokyo.

=

With a quick kneeling landing, Fire Sniper found herself at the foot of a long set of stone stairs. She slowly climbed to a dirt path, which led to her small, ornately designed building within the grounds of a Shinto temple. Straddling the borders of two districts within the Minato City area, her home was a refuge from the business of the main streets and lights of the “Foreigner Part” of Tokyo.

She slid the screen door open, and walked in. Turning on the main hallway light, she smiled as she stepped up onto a middle step. Placing her large black duffel sack above her on the hallway floor, she turned towards the door and started to focus her breathing. She removed the cloak, and placed it atop the sack, and kept breathing steadily.

After a few seconds, the red of her shoulder-length red hair started to recede, the color bleeding out from it’s tips as it shortened. Her uniform started shifting colors, the red and orange fading into a darker, bluish color. The fingerless gloves retreated from her hands into the long sleeves of her shirt, sleeves that were puffing out and becoming more and more white. Her high-heeled boots slowly retreated down her leg, the heels becoming flatter and less noticeable.

It only took a few more seconds, and the Fire Sniper was nowhere to be found. In her place was a shorter, 14 year-old schoolgirl.

She sighed, and kicked off her shoes. Walking down the hallway into her room, she put down her duffel bag, and pulled out a smaller green backpack from it.

She dusted her blue and white school uniform off, preparing herself to study. She adjusted her round glasses, and sat down at her desk.

The phone rang.

“Imino Residence. Sayaka speaking. Whatcha’ need?” the girl formerly known as Fire Sniper said, loudly.

Everywhere That I’m Not

by Miles Rost

A small green light popped on. A buzzing sound rattled urgently across the dresser.

An arm reached up from the bed, thrashing around while trying to grab the buzzing phone that was going insane. After a few seconds, and a vase knocked onto the floor, the hand and arm grabbed the phone and pulled back under the covers.

“mmmmfrla…Hello?”
“Hi, honey!”

Paul sat up in his bed, hearing the voice of his insanely beautiful fiancee, her voice waking him up like a shot of espresso to the veins.

“Anna! I…I miss you!”
“I know, honey! I do, too.”
“Where are you today?”
“I’m  sitting on a beach, looking out over the tides in the Bay of Fundy.

Paul just shook his head, and chuckled.

“I thought you were in New York?”
“Not today. I was two weeks ago, remember? I had to deal with a mugger that day.”
“That’s right. I remember now…did he recover from his injuries?”
“Hey! I didn’t kick him in the nuts that hard.”

Paul winced a bit, in sympathy.

“So where were you last week?”
“I had to go to Tokyo. They needed my services taking care of a negotiation between Culture Japan and the Aomori city government for promotions.”
“I find it fascinating where you go, but I feel very…lost without you.”
“Why do you say that?”

Paul sighed, as he pulled on his pair of long sweatpants.

“Well, let’s see. You call from New York, where I’m not.”
“Yes?”
You go over to Tokyo, where I’m not…
“Yes?”
You’re in Nova Scotia, but I’m not.
“And what are you saying?”
Yeah, you’re everywhere that I’m not. And I feel lost. I want to be everywhere with you.”

A giggle resonated through Paul’s ear, as Paul’s face twisted in frustration.

“What’s so funny about that?”
“I think it’s very cute that you want to join me on my adventures, even though your job doesn’t allow you to go anywhere.”
“I wish I could get a job where that would be the case.”
“You never know, you may actually get one soon.”

His eyebrows furrowed, as his twisted into one of confusion. This was unusual, not Anna’s normal words that he was hearing in his head.

“What do you mean?”
“Why don’t you look out the window?”

He ambled over to the window. Looking out, he saw the snow-covered ground of his rural Pierce County home, the lights of his neighbor’s Christmas lights, a Tacoma power truck. He was about to tell Anna that he didn’t see anything important, when he noticed someone waving. He blinked again, and saw a person standing on his front lawn.

It was his lovely Anna, holding up her phone in her hand.

“Anna!”

He ran out of his bedroom and bounded down the stairs like a boy at Christmas time. He opened the door, nearly ripping it off it’s hinges as he ran out into the cool air and the snow. He bounded over to Anna, and just as she opened her arms, he pounced on her. They fell, in a mass of tumbling brown and auburn hair and pasty, while legs.

“Anna! I missed you so much!”
“And for a second there you actually thought I would be sent to Nova Scotia.”
“It’s because you’ve been gone so…”

A look of shock rang across his face.

“Are you wearing my favorite outfit of yours?”
“You mean the dark green turtleneck and short black miniskirt that you bought for me on our trip to Vancouver last year?”
“That’s the one!”
“Then the answer is yes!”

Paul smiled as his beautiful fiancee beamed her relief at being home.

“How about we go upstairs and crash for the day. I’ll call into work and take a sick day.”
“I think we can do that, so that you can be where I am.”

Anna smiled at him, as he lifted her up and carried her from the frozen lawn into their house.

I Wish It Would Rain Down

by Miles Rost

The Rainbow Bridge glowed at this time of night, the reds, whites, and greens eminating from each of the towers like christmas lights on a tree. The beauty of the bridge shadowed the pain and hurt that was present on its platform.

Yumi sat on the sidewalk of the center span, looking out over the tossing waters of Tokyo Bay. The rain just started as she sat down, and the drops pelted her slowly. It seemed as though even the sky was giving her grief.

She was alone, again.

So this is what Saya felt all those nights ago, she thought, staring at a freighter passing below her, Again, I am alone. When my parents died, I was alone. When I was rude to my sempai, I was alone.

She sniffled, as the rain started to pour down upon her. The storm in her heart was raging, the emotions filling up her heart like a rain barrel. Her body ached, her left index finger most of all. She knew these signs, of what was to happen, and that there was no controlling it.

Why am I always alone?! Why do I do this to my friends? Why do I always hurt like this? I don’t want this! I don’t want this burden!

Her mind panicked, her heart raced, as the sobs she knew were to come finally announced themselves in a groan and a cry of pain. She wrapped her arms around herself as she shifted her body, giving her more room to grieve. The war inside her heart was fierce and intense, and the emotions continued to overflow.

In her mind, a flash of memory shot out from nowhere.

Yumi-chan, you’ve buried your emotions,” Sayaka said, as Yumi remembered the conversation from the previous day, “You show bravery on the outside, but you haven’t reconciled yourself inside. The only person who can change you is Iesu. He’s tough on the heart, but he also shows you that you’re never alone, and that change comes from trusting.”

She looked at Tokyo Bay yet again, and continued sobbing. The pain of her heart joined the pain in her head, feeding her tears. At the same time, another thought pierced her.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Sayaka’s voice cut through the anguish of her thoughts, with passages she had read to her earlier in the day.

“These words were from the great King David. He seemed to be like you, in a lot of ways, Yumi-chan. He was stoic, and very ardent in battle. But he had his problems too. And his petition there, that was his confession to God.”

Yumi looked at her now soaked uniform, and the drops of water off the leather tote-bag she carried. Her sobs continued, as she looked at the towers to her sides.

“Kami-sama,” she cried out through her sobs, “I have failed.”

The rain suddenly started pouring heavier, the sounds of thunder in the background calling a chant, seemingly echoing her cries.

“My life has been filled with pain, Father. My parents, my sempai, all those who left me, they gave me nothing but pain. And you, you gave Saya hope. You gave her something that I did not have before, something that I don’t have right now.”

Yumi breathed in a heavy breath, as hail started to fall on the bridge. She stood up, and bent her knee to the concrete. The pain that shot through her knee was temporary, and caused another flood of sobs to come through, even after the pain subsided.

“I don’t want this! I don’t want this burden, this load that I am carrying. Iesu, I want you to carry this with me. I want what you gave Saya those weeks ago. I ask of you to come into my heart, and take the pain, the anger, the strain, and transform them into something that can be used.”

Yumi clutched her fingers until they were white, as her prayers rang out like a tolling bell. The hail continued to fall, as the rain cascaded down like a waterfall.

“Lord…savior…You have the power to make me whole again. Take my life and make it whole, make me the warrior that I was before all these events. In your holy and saving name, Iesu, I pray this…”

A peal of thunder in the background shook the bridge as she held steady. Her cries were done, and she held her ground against the thunder’s call. Her face turned serious, as she uttered the final words.

“Amen.”

As the word rolled off her tongue, a bright bolt of lightning split the sky from north to south. After a minute, the hail stopped as the rain kept falling.

She breathed in the air, the damp rainy air, and looked around at the bridge. As she stood up, the rain slowed down from a waterfall to a steady but barely soaking shower. Yumi was soaked fully, her ponytail hanging low from the weight of the water. Her seifuku was fully drenched, and as she walked back towards Minato-ku, she felt the squish of water in her shoes. Her mind was on other things, though.

She needed to see Sayaka, and she needed to see her right away.

*************

Sayaka sat at her table, working on homework. The scrapes of her mechanical pencil as it drew across the paper filled the room with a sound that was previously filled with the sounds of the rain on her roof.

I hope Yumi-chan is okay, she thought, I don’t know why, but it seemed like the only thing that could be done was to let her go off on her own.

She put down her pencil, and reclined back a slight bit, remembering the events that unfolded earlier in the day. She remembered the pain and bewilderment on Yumi’s face, the similar pain and bewilderment she felt weeks before.

“Yu-chan, I hope you haven’t done something crazy…”

At that moment, Sayaka folded her hands and closed her eyes. She felt the need to pray, and the moment for it was then. As she sat there, a picture of peace and patience, she was silent and focused.

Suddenly, a conspicuous knocking at her door caught her attention. With a quick ‘amen’, she stood up, bowed, and walked into the main hosting room to check and see who it was. As she opened up the screen, she was greeted by a soaking wet, crying, and broken Yumi.

“Yumi-chan!”

“Sayaka,” she sniffled, “I didn’t know where to go, but you’re the first person who would understand. So here I am.”

“Come in, come in. You’re soaking wet! Did you walk all the way over from your apartment?”

“I want to tell you everything, but I need something to drink first.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll get you something to drink, and a dry kimono to slip into. Head into my bedroom and wait there.”

Sayaka quickened her steps into the kitchen area, where she started boiling water for tea. As she quickly walked towards her room, she heard sobbing and rushed to see Yumi on the floor, head in hands, letting her tears fall. Sakaya immediately rushed to her closet, grabbed the nearest kimono, and rushed to the fallen girl’s side, giving her a tight hug.

“I’m here, Yumi. I’m here. Just let yourself go, and I’ll take care of you,” she whispered, with concern and warmth. For a short while, she sat with her friend, someone who she never thought would ever look broken, and just let her sob into her shoulder. As the sobs died, Sayaka slowly moved away and looked at Yumi.

“I will be right back. But, when I get back, I need you to tell me everything. In the meantime, put on the kimono.”

Sayaka walked to the kitchen and came back a minute later with the white tea that she always brewed.

“Yumi-chan, tell me everything.”

She sat in front of the small reading table, the dry, greenish-colored kimono wrapped around her cold frame. Her hair was still wet from the rain, but seemed to be starting to dry.

“I…I…” she stammered, as she tried to recollect her thoughts, “After the confrontation, I just started running. I ran…so far away. I was alone, as I usually am. I was so wrapped up with anger and guilt, the memory of my parents and my sempai came back to me. I ended up on the Rainbow Bridge. I actually wanted to jump. I wanted to end it.”

Sayaka’s eyes opened wide, and she gasped slightly.

Yumi told her the full story about what happened on the bridge, not leaving a single crumb of detail behind. In between descriptions, she would cry for a moment, then start speaking again.

“As I left the bridge, I was in shock. My heart was flooded with emotion, but I couldn’t cry. I had nowhere I could really go, nowhere that I could have a safe haven with. So I walked from the bridge to here. The only thing I could think about was talking to you about what happened.”

Sayaka gave her a giant hug, and looked her square in the eye.

“Yu-chan, I’ve been hoping for this for a while. I thought you’d be the most resistant to His message, but now I see you here. You don’t even know how happy I am that you were able to come here and trust me with this.”

“Really?”

“Really. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had anyone that I can trust come visit. But, it’s not just that. You came here after something that you know very few have gone through. This is going to be new for you, and I think that it might be good to have you stay here for the night.”

Yumi looked around, and sighed.

“I think I can do that,” she replied, “I don’t have to be at school early.”

Sayaka smiled, as she sipped her tea.

“At least now I have someone around who doesn’t think I’m crazy.”

Yumi looked at her, and smiled slightly. Then the sneeze hit.

“Oh no. You’re not getting sick!” Sayaka chuckled, as she walked to the bath and started some running water.

While she ran the water and got towels ready, Yumi looked at the Bible that was open above Sayaka’s homework.