Case 1

V

(Terror rate:...**?)

"Mummy Won't Wake"

Normal POV

Schizophrenia: when one has trouble differing illusions from reality, and starts acting extremely paranoid and secluded more so than the average person. Some can act emotionless. They think differently than most and react differently in social situations. Usually occurs in young adults.

After Mai had finally calmed down enough, she sat at the table as Naru cleaned up the mess after "offering" in the most Naru-ish way ever ("If you clean up in such a state, you'll end up hurting yourself and making an even bigger mess."). Mai closed her eyes and leaned her head against the back of the chair. She felt herself drifting into what would have been a (hopefully) blissful sleep when Naru placed something in front of her. She opened her doe-like eyes and was shocked to find a hot cup of tea sitting on front of her. She blinked once, twice, just to see if she was still imagining things or not. Naru paid her no mind and sat across from her at the table.

"Did you make this for me, Naru?" Mai asked incredulously. Did Naru actually make me tea? She brought the cup up to her lips and blew on it before sipping. The calming affect of the tea immediately set in, and whatever fear that had lingered behind floated away. He's not too bad at making tea, Mai hummed in her head, but it's obvious he doesn't do it too often.

"Do you see anyone else who could have made it?" Mai's eyes snapped open and she nearly spit out her drink at him. He smirked in all his smug glory and sipped his tea, which only made Mai angrier. "You have a bad habit of staring at me, Mai. I know I'm attractive and that I make wonderful tea, but you should control yourself." Mai jumped to her feet and angrily made a fist.

"M-Maybe the ghost could have made me tea!" She weakly protested. Ugh, that was lame, even for me. Naru looked at Mai in a bored manner and raised his eyebrow.

"Are you so idiotic as to believe that, Mai?"

"S-Shut up! You never know with ghosts!"

"I know ghosts don't make tea."

"What if it possessed you?"

"Then I wouldn't remember making it, and I do."

"And what if it influenced you actions somehow?"

"I highly doubt that. Unless a ghost possess someone or threatens them somehow, then it cannot simply influences people's actions. Even if the ghost could, they have no reason for me to make tea."

"Maybe Ayako would dis-hey, where is everyone?" Mai looked around the room quickly. "Didn't they hear me screaming earlier from that...incident?"

"You didn't scream." Naru sipped his tea again. "You were just cowering in the corner like a tiny thing." Why do I feel as if he just compared me to an animal? Mai growled in her head. "It would have been useless to drag you back to base while you were in a panicked state. Everyone would have been frazzled over you, which I doubt you would like. Besides, I wouldn't be able to get any work done."

"...How is it that you're able to insult me and help me in the same sentence?"


"...and then Naru snapped me back into reality." Mai finished. Before, Mai and Naru had finished their tea, argued a little more, and then headed back to base. They were immediately questioned as to why they took so long once Mai sat down. Naru simply ignored them, asked Lin if anything happened while they were gone, and left Mai to answer the obnoxious questions. After more pestering, Mai explained what happened.

Ayako and Bou-san were hugging each other out of fear once the tale was over, John's innocent eyes were wide as saucers, and even Lin and Masako seemed surprised. Mai rested her chin in the palm of her hands and sighed. Why does this stuff always happen to me?

"I hate bugs!" Ayako screeched, which caused Bou-san to flinch and snatch his arms away. They didn't realize they were hugging each other? They can be really oblivious sometimes... Mai whistled in her head.

"Don't scream in my ear!" Bou-san growled

"I didn't scream! You're the one screaming at me!"

"I'm screaming at you?"

"Yasuhara-san sent us an email with the information you asked for." John piped up before a full blown argument could break out. "We decided to wait until you two came back before we read it. It would have been rude of us to read it without you." And you probably didn't want to face Naru's wrath? Mai added dubiously. Naru nodded, satisfied. Everyone crowded around Lin or pulled up a chair when he opened it up.

Dear Big Boss, my Darling Houshou-Bou-san fell off his chair with a, "Gack!"-and Little Boss,

Normally I would call, but I spent the day singing karaoke and gained a sore throat. If only you were here, my Darling Houshou, then everything would be perfect...

Anyways, Big Boss, I got the information you asked me to gather. First off, as we all know, Yumi and Yuina were sisters. Their real names, however, were Tomoe Kyou and Tomoe Haruka. That's not the only strange thing, too; Kyou was officially declared insane. There used to be a hospital about fifty miles away that took care of Kyou. In the records it said that she heard and saw things no one else could. She would be able to tell when someone would die and how they would, too. When it was asked how Kyou knew, she would always reply with, "They told me. They're everywhere. They're screaming at me to help them, but I don't know how. So I make them help me. No one besides Haruka understands me. I'm alone, but I'm always with them, no matter where I am. Can't you see them?" Apparently, Kyou-san said that so much that the nurses took note of it. Kyou was always void of emotion, extremely paranoid, and claimed that the doctors were sticking bugs in her brain and trying to kill her. The records also said that Kyou claimed she was constantly attacked by bugs, and that they were always crawling over the walls and over her clothes.

"That's like what happened to me!" Mai blurted out.

If it was almost fifty years later the doctors could have realized that Kyou had-

The laptop screen suddenly shut off. One by one, the monitors also shut off. The lights in the room flickered and then everything turned into darkness. Mai felt her body tense up and she grabbed the nearest person to her. There was a small gasp, but then Mai felt a hand squeeze hers. These must be Masako's hands, Mai guessed.

"Does anyone have a flashlight?" Bou-san asked.

"I think there's one on the table here." There was a shuffle, another unrecognizable sound, and a mixture between a yelp and a growl. "Ow! I stubbed my toe!" Ayako hissed.

"Miss Matsuzaki, if you don't want to stub your toe again then I suggest you get the flash light." Naru irritatedly scowled, even if no one could see it. Ayako grumbled under her breath and searched blindly for the flashlight on the table. Finally, she found it and turned it on. The flashlight pathetically flickered once, twice, then died out completely.

"How is that possible? I just replaced the batteries yesterday!" Bou-san growled.

All of a sudden, something rang in Mai's ears. Her eyes widened, and her breath hitched. The unfortunate, yet recognizable sense of dread washed over Mai. Every part of her screamed, "Move! Danger! Danger! Don't stay in this spot!", but where could she go in the pitch black darkness?

A cold shiver ran down Mai's spine, and her breath hitched again when she felt someone trace the back of her neck.

"M-Masako? Is that you doing that?" She whispered, but she doubted Masako even heard her. Considering Masako's grip increased ten fold, Mai had to guess that Masako did hear her, and the would have been a, "no."

"I can sense a spirit here. I don't believe it is the spirit you and Naru encountered earlier. It's very powerful, though-" Mai wasn't even able to reply when she felt her cheeks sting, as if a thousand hornets stung her at the same time. Falling backwards from the blow, Mai's grip on Masako's hand was gone, and Mai's head smashed into the ground. While her concioussness slowlt trickled away, there was the sound of a door opening with the tiniest slimmer of a dim light, and then everything turned to a lonely murkiness.


Mai's POV

"At least we found some candles," John-san said optimistically as he gave a large candle to Naru. "And the flashlight is working again. Well, sometimes..."

"But Masako is missing." I kept my eyes on the ground. Why did I let go? If I didn't, then Masako might have still been here! If I had stayed conciouss, then...

Acording to Naru, I was out for a couple minutes. Bou-san had put me on the couch (er, tried to. He mistook the floor for a couch one time, but he finally got it right the second time.) I remember waking up and still thinking I was unconciouss. It was only until I sat up did I notice I wasn't dreaming. The darkness was so thick I thought I could grab it with my hands.

"It's not your fault, Mai-san." John-san reassured me. "I think the spirit would have taken her at some point, and due to the slap mark on your cheek, I think it was determined to get her, no matter the costs."

"The spirit must have turned off the power, along with taking Hara-san." Lin-san concluded. Thanks to the candle he held, all of us could see the frown in his face. Even if Lin-san still held predijuice towards us Japanese, it had lifted a considerable amount once he and Naru returned. He could now talk freely with us (of course, Lin-san never really talks, but when he did he was relaxed).

"They're playing with us." Naru's lips tugged into a frown, too. "They're aware that we use electricity when we investigate them, and that Hara-san was able to see them. One of them must have possessed her and took off."

"Not to mention they attacked Mai and knocked her out." Bou-san huffed. "How's your head, Mai?"

"I'm fine, Bou-san." I gave a small smile. Truth be told, my cheek still stung so much I didn't dare touch it, and my head was pounding as if someone was hitting it with a hammer, but I didn't want anyone to worry over me. They would have over reacted (in fact, Bou-san did. Once he saw my cheek he swore he would excorise the ghost himself. That is, he said that after he finished hugging me to death...).

As if he read my thoughts, Naru scoffed. "Don't lie to us, Mai. Your cheek is still red." I flushed in embarrassment. I opened my mouth to reply when Naru cut me off. "You're an open book, Mai. Your emotions are easily shown."

"Who said I was going to ask about that!"

Everyone raised a brow, which caused me to huff and cross my arms. I hate being an open book...

"In any case, I hope the Jubas are alright. They seemed fine on the monitors before, but..." John-san's voice trailed off.

"I think they're alright." My hand's grip on my arms tightened. "My gut's telling me so."

"It's nice to know your animal instincts still stayed over time." Naru smirked.

"Don't forget, this girl with the animal instincts makes your tea every day, Naru." I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Lin-san, do your shiki sense anything?" John-san piped up. He probably knew that Naru and I were going to get into another argument. Hey, it's not my fault Naru's so...Naru! When Lin-san shook his head no, Ayako responded by whining.

"Moui, why don't we go out of this room and look for them?"

"Your hearing's getting bad, Old Hag. We only have a few candles. That, and we can't communicate with each other too well if we have no electricity." Bou-san rolled his eyes. I felt me eyes droop suddenly as a wave of exhaustion rolled over me. I leaned back against the couch and closed my eyes. I exhaled deeply and made myself more comfortable. A few minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt...

"Mai, don't-"

I fell asleep before whoever it was could finish their sentence.


I opened my eyes and saw myself outside the house. There was a dark flog that snaked around the house, but there was white orbs floating behind the black fog, as if they were trapped. The walls were transparent, just like...

"I'm in the astral plane," I muttered to myself. But where was Gene? He hadn't been showing up lately in my dreams...

"Does that mean he passed on?" I couldn't help but feel a little sad. After all-Gene was like an older brother to me. Well, if he's happy, then I should be happy. I inhaled deeply, exhaled, and started to walk towards the fog. As crazy as that might sound to someone, I felt like the fog wouldn't hurt me.

True to my instinct, the fog really didn't do anything. It just felt extremely cold, both inside the fog and inside the house. I swear frost grew on my arms! I shivered and rubbed my arms. Alright, Mai, focus!

I started to look around, but everything was cloaked in a thick darkness. I shivered and rubbed my arms again.

"I wish I brought a jacket..."

"Excuse me, miss, but what are you wearing? Where is your kimono?" A small voice squeaked. I piped up and turned around, but no one was there. Kimono? "M-Miss, I'm over here." I turned to the right and saw a girl with her hands folded behind her back. Her eyes were dark brown, and she had her hair up in a bun. She wore a dark red kimono decorated with orange lotuses designs. "What you're wearing is entirely unsuitable and I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to change clothes or leave."

"Who are you?" The words popped out of my mouth before I even knew I said them. The girl looked surprised, but smiled and bowed.

"I am Sato Junko. It is a pleasure to meet you." She bowed politely. With a flushed face, I bowed back, too. To be honest, after spending so much time getting insulted by Naru, I felt like politeness was a rare gift.

"I am Taniyama Mai."

"Taniyama-san, I hate to ask again, but please change clothes. My employer does like to keep the hotel's reputation as formal and clean." Hotel? But-

I felt the scene change, and before I knew it the house looked like a hotel. There was some people talking quietly with each other on the stairs, while there was some who were cleaning. The floor was clean, and sunlight poured in through the windows. I could hear a fountain outside, and there was some laughter far away. This place was beautiful, but why am I getting such a bad feeling about it?

"...What is this place called?" I asked quietly. Sato-san tilted her head to the side in confusion.

"This is the Blushing Wind, of course."

"The hotel with-"

"The disappearances?" Sato-san's face darkened, and she beckoned for me to come closer. Once I was close enough, she whispered, "Don't stay here. As a worker, I'm not supposed to say that, but I still believe the murderer is still here. I even heard someone scream once! And the scariest thing is, last night I was attacked and I blacked out, but that's all I remember! This morning I woke up, and my door was left open, but no one was there!" She suddenly stepped back and bowed again.

"I'll have to escort you outside then, Taniyama-san. This way, please." Sato-san started walking in the other direction, but everything was fading quickly. The sunlight retreaded, the people were fading away, and any warmth that used to be here was quickly escaping.

"Wait! Hold on!" I shouted, but the hotel was quickly fading. The temperature drooped, and my breath turned into a fog. I shivered and crossed my arms. I forced my eyes shut as my teeth chattered. C'mon, Mai! Wake up! I need to wake up-

"Netanya..." I felt a cold finger trace the back of my neck, just like what happened earlier. I started to shiver again, but it definitely wasn't because of the cold. The finger traced down from my neck, over my back and then on my stomach, and that's when I felt an even colder arm wrap itself around me. I felt three sharp nails dig into my skin and drag them across my stomach. I was paralyzed with fear-I couldn't move, no could I speak. Finally, I screamed as loud as I could.

"No!"


Normal POV

"-fall asleep right now, Jou-chan!" Bou-san whined, then stopped. "How does she do that? Falling asleep so quickly?"

"Because this is Mai we're talking about." Naru pinched the bridge of his nose. "Never the less, keep her asleep. She might find some valuable infirmation for us. Lin, are the monitors back on-"

"Jou-chan! You're awake!" Mai stirred a bit and moaned. She sat up, but immediately stiffened. She rubbed her temples, as if she had a headache, and winced. Before she knew it, the poor girl was engulfed in a hug by Bou-san. "You're freezing cold, Mai!"

"Let go of her, you old monk!" Ayako cried and chucked a pillow at his head.

"Ow! Ayako, that was me!" Mai whined.

"Oh. Sorry, Mai. This pillow was meant for that idiot!"

"Ow! What the hell Was that for?"

"Don't hug her to death!"

"Are you two done acting like idiots?" Ayako and Bou-san stiffened, and Bou-san let go of Mai. Upon release, however, Mai let out a strangled cry and doubled over. She clutched her stomach as her shoulders shook.

"Mai!" Naru was immediately at her side. Mai shakily released her hand from her stomach and lifted it up to see it. John grabbed a flashlight and shined it on Mai's hand. Upon seeing it, everyone gasped.

"W-Why is t-there b-blood o-on my h-hand?" Mai stuttered. Naru's eyes narrowed dangerously at the sight. In a second, Ayako was right beside Mai.

"Mai, lift up your shirt quickly."

"W-What?! No!"

"Mai, lift up your shirt." Naru demanded, his tone hard.

"Don't worry, I'll be the only one who can see." Ayako soothed. Mai bit her lip, but did as told. Ayako's eyes widened at the sight. "Someone find me a medical kit!" She snapped.

If only Mai could see the three long, deep scratches on her stomach.


A/N: Errm, heeeeeeey guys. (^_^''''). I'm sorry this chapter is so late DX School started up, and I'm taking all honors and a college class. Fuuuuun. That, and my sister has mono for a month (For those who don't know, mono is a virus that is spread by bodily fluids, and more commonly kissing. It makes you extremely tired, and has a lot of symptoms (fever, nausea, itching, etc). Lastly, on my profile, there's a section for "Obsession". It'll say if the chapter is done, if it's being reviewed by my (as she puts it) "wonderful, amazing, best beta reader on earth", or any of that other fancy jazz. Also, expect a one-shot to come out soon! My beta read lovely forced me into a chair (she's not an online beta reader. We see each other in real life every day) and basically told me to write a one-shot. Trust me you don't say no to my beta reader...

Anyways, R&R, aub! (It's Dutch for "Please". Thank you, google translate :3)