This town was cursed. Every season someone would go crazy seeing an invisible man, and then they would go killing a few people before disappearing into the forest. Most of the young ones in our town were dead. The young children were still alive but the last young teenager had disappeared. The elders called me to meet with them. They said they wanted to me to go to the city. They wanted me to bring some young ones from the city and use them to appease the curse. I didn't want to do it but I knew what it was implied if I didn't. It was either the adults or children that were next. I had moved to the city for two years now, and every season I had brought someone back to the town. For some reason, it was easy for me to take someone away. The elders said it must be my fate to perform this duty.
I would constantly move to different complex buildings in the city. I had recently moved into a small building near the subway. To my luck, my neighbour was my next target. I didn't have to search around but I had to wait for the next season. During the time I waited, I had in some ways I had concerned myself with my lonely neighbour. He was a high school dropout and lived alone. While rearranging my apartment space I had noticed a small hole, the size of a nickel, in my wall. I peered inside and was surprised that I was able to see, not clearly, inside the apartment of my next victims. I covered it, not making it a habit to peek inside.
I was coming home late in the evening with a bag of groceries. I decided I would make my first move to further befriend my neighbour and convince him to come with me back to my town. I knocked on his door and was surprised to find no response. I found it odd. I walked back into my apartment and started dinner, I would assume that he wasn't home. Obviously, the curiosity got the best of me. I peeked into the hole and took a step back. I immediately ran back to his apartment door and kicked the door down. It was lucky that the doors were cheap here. I called the police and alerted them to an emergency. He was lying on the floor, bottles of pills were beside his body. I checked to see if he was breathing and panicked. I couldn't lose him yet, I just found him.
At the hospital, he was being treated by a doctor and nurses. The police officers were asking me questions which I answered. I wasn't taken away for any interrogating which was good for me. When my neighbour woke up, I was relieved. He stayed in the hospital even longer for recovery. I had noticed that the police officers were still hanging around me. I was worried. They might be connecting me to the kidnapping of young teens. I needed to leave before it's too late. It wasn't too hard to convince my neighbour to escape with me to my town.
When we arrived to my town, the townspeople were apprehensive. I had come too early. I assured them everything was going fine and not to worry. I introduced everyone to him and in the time that he stayed here, everyone enjoyed his company.
But then we heard it. The news was spreading. I had to know if it was true. It was too early for it to be happening. The season hadn't changed into the new one yet. I ran over to him.
He turned around.
I was looking at him apprehensively. I needed him to tell me but I didn't know how to ask him. He asked me what was wrong, I swallowed and searched for words.
"People are talking…" I started off, but my voice started to fade off when I realized I shouldn't say it like that. I knitted my brows together, and spoke. "They say you've been asking strange questions."
Kaneki's eyes widen.
"...That's not true, right?" I asked him, I need him to tell me. Kaneki's face was contorted up and I knew he was feeling troubled. Kaneki's mentality was very vulnerable. So something like this, the buildup I gave him about this town's crushing nature, it's affecting him. I took a step back. He was taking too long to respond, I need him to be pushed into answering.
"No!" He yelled too loudly. His face winced up as he shut his eyes. I chuckled in relief. It was true. Kaneki's reaction was all I needed.
"Hey, don't worry man, I don't believe them!" I said and placed my arm was wrapped over his shoulder, half hugging him. "You look like you're gonna cry, dude!"
Kaneki's face was buried in the crook of my neck. It was good that he couldn't see him but I was grinning so wide. The look in my eyes must be giving off what I was feeling. My neck started to get wet and I told him not to cry.
"I'm not crying….but don't scare me like that next time…"
I apologized to Kaneki. "Alright, I shouldn't have asked that useless question. I won't do it next time." Like there ever will be a next time. My body was shaking from excitement. I don't know where it was coming from. From all the other ones before Kaneki, I had never felt so excited. I left quickly, knowing I wouldn't be able to hold it all in.
I went back to the elders and told them the news. Their concern was confusing. It was the first time since the curse, which the invisible man had chosen someone early in the season. They didn't know what this meant or what it was implied. They began to worry that we might need another youth for the end of the season. I wasn't all about that plan. I wanted to witness the disappearance of Kaneki. I didn't want to leave again. So I argued that we should keep Kaneki away from the forest until the end of the season, that way we wouldn't need more sacrifices. That way I wouldn't have to take any more youths for now.
I kept him in the room for a few days now. He said he wanted to leave but I refused. I didn't go upstairs to see him after but then I heard a scream coming from his room. I smiled.
"This is it!" I exclaimed, running to the room. Kaneki was going rampant upstairs, which meant he was going into the stage in which the chosen ones would be on a killing spree before disappearing. There was the sound of something shattering as I ran towards the door. I opened it and frowned. He wasn't inside. He was gone. The window was shattered.
"...no...You were supposed to kill sacrifices," My voice was shaking as I walked over the broken glass. As I walked closer to the window, I felt a sob be stuck in my throat. "...you were supposed to kill me…." I was so sick of this curse. Kaneki was supposed to be my ticket out of this life but he left me behind. I laughed bitterly.
"I can kill you for him." I widened my eyes. As I turned around to see who it was, I could only see the colours red and white. My throat was stinging and I was tasting my own blood. I fell forward to the ground and my vision started to blur into blackness.
Hide dropped to the floor. He lay, unmoving, in the empty room that Kaneki once stayed in.
Author Notes: This chapter is shorter than the first one but hopefully this gives some light to the town's oddity. And, as a head's up, sorry for my lack of description in what to expect.
What to expect in the next chapter: The demon's hunger.