Kage closed his eyes tightly, hoping that it was all a dream; some horrible nightmare that had struck in the night. He hoped that he would wake up soon, and everything would be normal.
He opened his eyes; everything was still in its ruined state. He closed his eyes and opened them again; still the same. Kage stood up, but moving had made the open wound on his chest hurt again. He sat back down and sighed. This wasn’t a dream; it hurt too much to be a dream.
Kage sat and waited. He couldn’t tell how much time had passed, everything seemed to drag out. What he perceived as minutes were probably just seconds. Maybe he should just go to sleep; his parents would probably be back when he wakes up.
Kage climbed into bed and tried to drift off into sleep; but sleep wouldn’t come, the weight of the situation was just too much.
So he simply waited. He waited for his parents to get back. He waited for everything to be better again. He waited for everything to be normal. Still, nothing happened.
It felt like he had waited for an eternity, but in reality was about half an hour. Kage sat up, trying to ignore the pain.
Then a memory flashed in his mind; it was of Scollex when he approached the tree. One of his claws, it was covered in blood . . . from his parents?
Kage got up abruptly and opened the window. He climbed out and looked around frantically.
No! They can’t be dead! They just can’t!
Kage climbed to the roof and looked around at the forests; no one was approaching the house.
They have to be alive! We’re a family! They can’t be dead!
Kage stared in the direction where they and the shinigami had gone. He desperately wanted to see them walking along the path towards him. They didn’t.
“お母さん! お父さん!” (Mom! Dad!) Kage called out to them; but no one replied. There was just the silence of the night. Wind in the trees, crickets chirping; no mom or dad. Tears filled his eyes as he realized what probably happened.
“母 . . . 父 . . .” (Mommy . . . Daddy . . .) Kage trembled, feeling like a small child who was hopelessly lost in a strange and cruel world.
I’m . . . alone now . . ?
Kage looked around at the dark forest; it seemed so much bigger now. Suddenly he stood up and jumped off the roof.
No! They’re not dead! I know they aren’t!
He refused to accept it. He ran off into the woods, looking for them.
They’re not dead! They can’t be dead! I saw them alive just a little while ago! They were alive when I last saw them! They’re alive! . . . They have to be . . .
Kage stopped running. Tears were in his eyes, something inside him told him to stop looking; they were gone.
But then there were voices, there were two people; but they were the wrong two people.
Kage hid in the bushes silently, watching the two shinigami. Scollex approached Ascaris, and Ascaris told him something. From the distance, what he said was inaudible; so Kage had no idea what they were talking about. However, he could see that both of them had blood on them, as well as a few wounds.
Kage sneaked closer, their voices slowly came into range of hearing.
“-got away though, I don’t know where the little fucker went.” Scollex hissed. “Maybe I should search again-”
“No dammit!” Ascaris growled. “You tore up the house, had a fight, shed some blood, so let’s go!” Ascaris turned and headed off.
“Fine. We’ll come back soon.” Scollex followed his brother away.
Kage felt hate rising up inside him; be intensely wanted to run over and rip Scollex’s other eye out. But Kage knew that he couldn’t take him on in this state, and also Ascaris was there.
Kage watched them leave, and then turned back towards the house. It was late, he was tired, and he felt utterly hopeless.
Walking back, a strong scent was in the air along with an odd sound. Kage stopped, the scent was blood. The sound was a little harder to identify, it kind of sounded like footsteps, but they were very odd sounding.
Kage reached the house, as he approached the sound and smell was more noticeable. He climbed onto the roof again and looked around. The sound was coming from the woods, slowly getting louder. Finally he saw who was making the noise. Could it be . . ?
As the makers of the noise grew closer, Kage could see who they were. It was his parents, they had survived.
Yuki was leaning against Kurai who was helping her to walk; she had three deep gashes on her leg and was bleeding heavily. Kurai had wounds along his face, arms, and torso, and was also drenched in blood. They made their way slowly back to the house with difficulty.
Kage climbed off of the roof and ran over to them, overjoyed. He embraced them in a hug; they were alive.
* * *
The next couple of days were mostly spent recovering. It was night now, Kage was trying to sleep but couldn’t. He had heard Scollex say that they would come back soon; but how soon?
Since he couldn’t sleep, Kage walked out of his room. He didn’t know what he should do, but he had to do something. Then he heard his parents, they were discussing something. Kage walked over to the door of their room and leaned against the wall to listen.
“They know where we are now; what are we going to do? We aren’t safe, Kage isn’t safe!” Yuki spoke, frightened.
“We can’t just keep hiding,” Kurai sighed, “Or trying to defend ourselves from them. We simply cannot keep this up forever.”
“What do you suppose we do? Scollex won’t stop until he succeeds.”
“There’s only one thing I can think of.” Kurai said this forlornly. “But I don’t think you’ll like it.”
Yuki was silent.
“Considering Scollex’s rage and Kage’s thirst for revenge, it’s all I have. It’ll be harsh on all of us, but it’s the only thing I can think of that won’t end up with Kage dead.”
Kage, a little shocked to hear about something concerning his death, unsheathed his claws. His claws made a small noise when they hit the wall. The voices stopped. The door opened, and Yuki looked out at Kage.
“Kage, go back to bed alright?”
Kage was silent, but walked back to his room. He felt that he should sleep, but still, he couldn’t. He opened his window and climbed outside, he got onto the roof. From here, sitting above their window, he could hear them. Some of the conversation had passed.
“No! Kurai, I don’t want to lose him!” Kage could hear in her voice that Yuki was starting to cry.
“I don’t want to either.” Kurai sighed. “But can you think of any other way?”
“I . . .” Yuki stopped, she could think of nothing. “Can’t you think of anything else?”
“If we stay here, Scollex will come back. If we move, then he’ll hunt us down. If we hide, then he’ll find us. If we kill him, then he’ll just come back angrier.” Kurai paused. “In all of those scenarios; Kage dies.”
There was no more talking, only the sound of Yuki weeping.