Author's Note: I do not own Corpse Party, nor it's characters.
Chapter 1: Rain
A home was many things to a family. To them, it was a sanctuary of comfort and rest, a place of assured protection, and the standing proof that they were together in one place, bonded by love, trust, and ties than run by blood.
Japanese families were especially was very committed to the strict roots of such a belief, with a good sense of discipline and duty, while a touch of unadulterated fun was here and there added to the mix. From all this executed to seemingly perfect detail, someone might say, the embodiment of a lovely family with loving and dutiful parents, with their kids growing up in a positive atmosphere with a bright future in the world is present here in land of the Rising Sun.
Kenneth Sakamoto's life however, was a whole different take on 'perfect' families here in Japan.
Here he was now, getting a tirade from his mother for acting like a jackass and abusing his sister.
"Give me a break already."
"You won't be getting any of that till you apologize to your sister!"
Ken murderously glared at his little sister, no more than thirteen, but already having the mental capability of a psychopath. Oh sure, trust her to bring her friends to this house and let them study for some bullshit project he couldn't care less about.
He should've at least anticipated the fact that they were all older than he thought they were, and it didn't help that all of them started to flirt with him…then moments later made an irreverent joke about his haircut.
What really ticked him off was when one of them asked him to tone down the 'horrible music' he was trying to play on his guitar in his room. Apparently since they were in the middle of some important discussion and they needed pure silence, he got himself a rude interruption.
What, can't Japanese folk handle a little Iron Maiden once in a while?
Oh wait, of course not…they got their stupid pop culture fads to discuss, not their science project. He could hear the excited exchanges of various fashion trends and their boy crushes in school and in their movies. His sister in particular was getting in the heightened sense of their company that she apparently had gained after a while of trying to fit in with the popular clique of her school mates.
It was deplorably pathetic, and he as an older brother had to take action lest his sister fell into bad company...but he was actually less tolerable of house guests who did not live up to a fine standard of being house guests.
They were messing up the living room, to say the least. How can she just allow them to do that?
What he didn't expect was, once he started to reprimand them, they had to give him the evil eye, and then Misa his little sister to tell him to just - how did she put it – 'screw off and bleed you ears out with your shit music'?
Right, he did as told, minus bleeding his ears out because he enjoyed his music. If they were really going to keep this up all day, they might as well left him alone in his room in peace at least.
Not happening though.
The next thing that happened was that the pesky underage bimbos had the nerve to invade his room when he was taking a late afternoon nap, and then proceed to gawk and stare at his guitar equipment and posters pasted around the room.
When he woke up an hour later, his prized black Les Paul was missing, and so were his amplifiers and speakers.
He didn't need another warning to figure out that they were messing with his stuff without his permission, and of course royally screwing up guitar playing right there in the living room.
It made him wince to hear how badly they were singing and playing crude renditions of hit tracks while strumming their manicured nails over the Les Paul's strings.
Initially he wanted to march over, and ask them to politely hand over his guitar...until heard the loud sound of something…getting hit with blunt force.
He dashed to the living room and beheld his Les Paul custom with a freshly made large chip off its ebony body.
Silence so profound, the girls were all scared of Ken's dark expression, as if he would kill the person responsible for this act.
Misa vouched that her 'friends' just wanted to have a look at his guitar and it 'slipped'. She must've been thinking that they could escape and pass this off as an involuntary accident.
He provided his own statement by slapping her across the cheek with brute force than stunned both him and her friends. While Misa was crying on the floor, he angrily forced her 'friends' to hand over their phone numbers so that he could personally ask their own parents to repay for this damage, since his mind was intact enough not to mug the girls off right now, and he dismissed the thought of beating the living shit out of them.
He didn't hit girls…but be damned he was tempted to try.
They shakily complied and promptly left the house. Misa then bawled over that his brash actions would lead to her losing her 'cool friends' and she would be labelled having a thug of a brother.
Which led to an hour long argument, till their mother returned home from work personally to stop the two from ripping at each other's throats. Wouldn't be the first time this had happened…particularly for any reason whatsoever.
Anyway, explanations were given, hence this.
"I don't have to apologize for someone's stupidity which isn't my own." Ken crossed his arms indignantly.
Misa yelled, "You're full of it!"
"Says the dimwit who had the bright idea to break my guitar with the bimbos you hang out with!"
"Don't you call dare them that. I said it slipped, why you can't just - ?!"
Ken's hands reached out viciously for his sister's blond locks.. "Say that one more time and I'll tear you hair out!"
"That's enough! Both of you!"
Their mother, with a modicum of unnatural strength, managed to keep them both at bay, albeit their evil glares at each other. However, her attention was solely focused on Ken's angered state which had been known to lash out at the most inconvenient of moments.
"You shouldn't have hit Misa, especially in front of her guests like that for something trivial as this."
Ken brusquely pushed his mother's arm away from his chest. "Trivial?! My guitar is strictly off limits to anyone here but me!" He then glared at Misa, "Your friends are going to pay for the damages and I'll see to that."
"Mom, that's unfair to them!"
Izumi gave an angry look at her son as well. "Pay for the damages? What are you playing at Ken?"
"Hmph, I don't need to trouble you anymore than I should. Her friends owe me, technically."
"You will have none of that young man. Your belongings are not supposed to be the concern of others but yourself."
Ken's expression darkened. "What?"
"If you want to fix it, earn the money and be done with it alright. Problem solved."
Ken gritted his teeth. "You expect me to let this slide off? That guitar was a custom made birthday gift from Uncle Zimmerman -."
Izumi raised a hand, silencing him. "It doesn't matter who you got it from. If it's yours, then you should take responsibility for it, no one else should be doing that for you young man."
Misa was sticking a tongue out at his face.
The seventeen year old Ken, shook his head with disgust. Arguing would only increase the heat of the issue, and he for one couldn't stand arguments, and it was more aggravating when nothing ever went to his favor. What teenager in their right mind wanted to even be in one with a parent who constantly got herself in and out of work and hardly bothered about the going ins of the house she was in, or a sister barely reaching the stages of her adolescence and with a god awful voice shriller than a seagull.
He turn tail and walked back to his room.
"Ken, you get yourself back here and apologize to your sister this instant!"
Ken gave no reply, slamming the door upstairs in his room. Loud enough to wake the whole neighborhood around perhaps.
But he couldn't care less, he grabbed a pillow, buried his face in it, and screamed till his throat was dry.
He'd skipped dinner, again, having lost his appetite for anything edible and thought pleasing for the rest of the night. Izumi did not come up to even check on him.
Why would she even care anyway?
For what possibly could be the hundredth time, Ken lied on his bed, with an empty and bereft expression, and he drifted off into his mind. What encompassed the whole fabric of its existence was cold, dark and empty, kindly put.
"That guitar was the only thing that kept me sane in this place."
It's not that badly damaged…
He gritted his teeth. Above everything else in his life, he loved music, and he took pride in that custom model, since it was his source of providing musical output. Admittedly he was a little relieved at the fact that it was only the body of the guitar that was mildly damaged and not the neck or the tuners that could seriously affect it's use.
But seeing something that was precious to him getting mishandled like that, it made him lose control of his cool. And he for one was usually a very nonchalant and aloof person.
"Can't be helped I suppose…" He sighed, turning over on the sheets. He would figure out a way to solve this minor problem, one way or another...
It was at this point where at his bouts of imposed loneliness would Ken stumble into an old friend. He would freely talk and communicate in a fit and normalized manner with this person.
It was normal wasn't it? To have moments to talk to yourself and re-examine on the aspects and the things that have affected your life, all alone in your own safe place, where no one else but yourself can act and behave as you wish. He read that fact somewhere in Sherlock Holmes, or so he roughly understood. Truly an inspirational fellow that guy was. A little eccentric the character's methods were, but he knew how to spend his time nicely alone, and created an air of intrigue with his methodical mannerisms and nearly unparalled genius, whenever he's with his trusty sidekick whenever they solved cases beset with mystery.
Yet, no matter how hard he tried, he wasn't nearly narcissistic nor intellectually charismatic enough as Sherlock had been. The more he drew his thoughts and words out, he only received nothing in response that could alleviate this…emptiness.
More so was the lack of a Watson character at his side. Not that he needed one to being with.
Wait, why was he even thinking about Sherlock…when's the last time he read Sherlock anyway -
"Am I really this bored?"
He opted to reach for his MP3 player, but just as quickly lost the mood for anything remotely heavy nor relaxing. His mind couldn't even drift towards studying, much less his array of novels.
And he was not going downstairs for the TV, that's for sure.
"I really have nothing to do…huh?"
His phone that was on his table, predominantly silent for the whole part of the day…vibrated on his table with a hitch of sound.
Anything was better than just lying here on the bed. He wasn't that sleepy anyway for now.
(HEY! Don't 4get to bring those extra notes for Maths you promised me tmrw! Thnx a bunch!)
His lips curled into a frown. Fingers typed away in the phone, replying to the message.
(You still haven't figured out the probable statements?)
It didn't take long for the phone to beep again.
(Heehehehehe, I fell asleep when teacher's was giving out her questions, n even after your explanations. Silly me huh? :p)
(I'll bring the notes. Do you need anything else? More private tutoring again?)
(Maybe…I dunno. I'll catch u later n I'll tell you kay?)
Ken sighed, switching his phone off.
First the problems back here in his lousy household and now he has to deal with a student, that he barely even associates himself with in school. Hasn't the tantamount of life's designs done enough?
He looked up at the night sky from his bedroom window. It was wide open, letting him get a glimpse at the dark blueish black sky…
The moon was half full. And it was a starry night.
Stargazing was an unintentional habit of his. Yet, it was not looking at the stars that entranced him with a universal beauty that could not be matched by earthly means, and neither was it simply wandering his eyes around the pinpricks of light that shone light years away from him, amid the endlessly black outcrop of space, that amazed him.
He couldn't fathom the reason why. But looking at them just…gave him serenity. Unbiased, unblemished, and pure...serenity.
Grabbing his pillow, he propped it on his bed stand and leaned on it.
He hummed a tune to himself. It wasn't likely to work after the first few tries, but if he relaxed enough and allowed his mind to relax…he just might be able to sleep even if he didn't feel it like right now.
He shifted his position to better look at the sky, when his eyes drifted towards a bottle of pills on the table.
He looked away for a moment, trying to focus back on stargazing. It didn't work.
So much for the unlikely therapy.
"Oh, one couldn't hurt…"
It was a rainy night.
The rain never seemed to stop here in this place. If one took a critical moment to think, it was a predominant background of an ancient piece of art that stood against the test of time, to keep its existence relevant. Without the background aspect of any artwork, how will it be noticeable and discerned from the otherwise blank environment it was in? It would be irrelevant, ignored, thrown aside…because there is no value on an empty background.
No value at all…
These rainy nights…the way it presented a never changing view of bleak skies, especially in a place like this, gave a mystifying, yet melancholic representation of sheer gloom.
She'd been so busy with being so focused on her hobbies, she hadn't even stopped to appreciate the rain and its beauty.
The consistent noise of those droplets hitting the ground…the greyness of the clouds, it made her smile. It was so beautiful…this gloom fitted this place nicely.
Her beady black eyes swivelled at the sound of the floor. Short, shallows gasps of air greeted her blank stare.
The boy dressed in a white school uniform and black pants stepped back, his own features filled with dread. He was profusely sweating from running for a considerable amount of life, as if his life had depended on it. To affirm the idea, his barely noticeable green hair was dishevelled badly and body was smeared with traces of dust and grime. If the lighting in this place couldn't be any worse, a splotch was present on the uniform as well.
It was blood. Not his own as far as he can tell.
However the little girl in front of him had the answer. He just saw her moments ago. She was with his friend…what's left of him anyway…
He ran away, for the third time so far, hoping for a sliver chance to escape from her sight. Apparently it was futile, the girl showed up everywhere he was at without fail. As if she instinctively knew where his blind adrenaline pumped senses was going to bring him.
The little girl smiled at him. Her lips stretched at the corners of her mouth.
It was all it took for the boy to choke his raspy breathing and stumble, falling on his behind. He tried to pick up his legs, but it felt numb from the ceaseless running he'd been doing earlier.
The little girl kept smiling, advancing slowly towards the teenager. As much as the rain-gazing was nice...she preferred her hobby any time. Her hobby always had her undivided attention and enjoyment maximized.
The boy faltered in his efforts to get up and keep running. His eyes were unimaginably wide with panic and fear at the shuffling feet, red dress, and a wide smile.
A glint of steel. Rusty, but painfully sharp.
"I see you…" The girl laughed. The high pitched laughter that screeched off the four walls of the building was too much to take for the boy.
The girl just kept smiling.
It was 3.a.m. when Ken jolted out of bed.
There was no vivid dream, neither was there a nightmare that could've done that. His bladder didn't have a late night warning either…it was just blissful empty sleeping.
Why on Earth did he wake up at such an unconventional hour?
Above it all, sweating his ass off. He cursed briefly, taking off his shirt and tossing it on the floor.
He sighed, staying in his sitting position and breathed in long mouthfuls of air, steadying his suddenly racing heart. He looked around in his room…and everything was at place. His band posters pasted on the walls, guitar stand unmoved, study desk still cluttered with guitar tabs and schoolwork…
Even his little stuffed monkey was still lying neatly beside him.
The curtains of his window were billowing…wait?
The air had gotten colder. He hadn't shut the window, of course. That's why the curtains were…
Sighing again, he got out of the bedsheets and closed the windows. The winds at the nights were getting pretty harsh lately…thunder was flashing in the skies, plus he saw a vague branch flying in the air. A drizzle was already falling down on the barely light trees of the neighbourhood he lived in, then slowly as he kept watching…a downpour started, the droplets now following the wind's direction to viciously splatter the pavement and reverberate on the rooftops.
Were gales this uncommon around Japan? He'd only been here in for a few months already…no, that was too quick a rash criticism of the weather around here. Plus this occurrence usually happened at late nights…at least, that's how he saw it…every time he'd wake up…
He scratched the back of his head, a habitual thing, while his half lidded eyes gazed at the desk. He calmly brushed aside the half written tab lines he recorded…when did he record that?
Never mind, the memory will come back to him later. For now, his bothered mind made his hands brushed across the books he arranged on the small rack on the top shelf, then reaching for the one that laid haphazardly beside the corner.
The journal was as simple as it can get, really. Bought for a measly price of a thousand and half yen (the value of the currency he noted was ridiculous) Adhesive binding, light purple fabric, eighty pages thick…forty of which have been filled.
He flipped it open and penned down the following words.
Fifteenth time I've woken up to a storm outside here. One hundred and thirty six days of being here in this country.
Keep the logical thought in our head. It's just a coincidence. As always.
Why the hell would anyone wake up right on a storm's occurrence anyway? The thunder wasn't that loud.
A gale's blowing out. Saw a branch flying. Nothing out of the ordinary...maybe…that blotch below the street light –
Did my eyes play a trick on me…I…I saw something out there…it's just a dark shade under the light… something…something on the light was it?
Did I really see that?
He gritted his teeth. And he scribbled out the last sentence, shutting the journal and getting back into his bedsheets.
Nothing else was seen more than a bothersome 'coincidence'.
He didn't even internally question why he was sweating when he returned to his slumber minutes later. Not that he bothered…he grew tired of asking himself the question ten times before and eventually gave up, letting the afterthought slide. Like this.
If he'd been any less focused after being woken up earlier, he'd have noticed that the shade under the streetlight he was looking at, amidst the rain and winds beyond the glass window that blurred his already sleepy vision, was still there.
A second later it vanished.