Author's Notes:

The Last Sunrise is based upon the first eleven episodes of the anime, Shiki. May contain spoilers. Rated 'M' for language, violence, suggestive dialogue, and adult situations. Standard disclaimers apply.

I've planned to write six chapters. Hopefully, the epilogue will be posted before the new year.

Chapter One: Death

Megumi Shimizu...

I wonder why, while she was alive, I simply could not stand her. Was it the way she looked at me? The way she constantly sought my approval? My attention? My affection? Did her obvious, one-sided crush simply cause too much discomfort; a discomfort I could not bear?

Damn girl. I remember every night that I sensed her presence, hiding in the darkness, lurking outside my window. I remember every night that I was forced to close my window; to shield myself from her prying eyes. Then, after she died...

After Shimizu died, she grew to become more than a mere nuisance. Megumi Shimizu became a fucking nightmare. She spied upon me. She terrorized me. She invaded my dreams as I slept. Megumi Shimizu murdered Tohru. No; Shimizu committed a sin far worse than murder alone. She turned my best friend into a damn monster.

A monster I can not save. His thirst for human blood is... overpowering. Tohru is doomed.

And, I suppose, so am I.

I lay upon my futon, calmly staring death, or-possibly-a fate more hellish than death, full in the face. I will not survive much longer in my present condition, not after last night. Not after I offered my body and my life to a hunger vastly beyond my own comprehension. Yesterday, I fought for the villagers of Sotoba. I fought for Tohru. I lost. I lost my family and my friends to the curse of the okiagari. I lost my strength to fight.

My approaching death does not frighten me. Once I have died I will be able to rest. I pray for death. I pray for the endless void. I pray that I do not become an okiagari; that I do not become like Tohru. Until very recently, I had never given much thought to the existance of a higher power. Until very recently, I had never hoped that a higher power even existed. I pray fervently that someone, anyone can hear me.

Shimizu is here. She probably wouldn't stalk me if Tohru were stalking me tonight. I wonder where he is. He is still in Sotoba, somewhere, I am certain. Maybe he is hiding. Maybe he is too ashamed, too disgusted, by what he is to do anything more than hide.

My window is open. My father checked in on me earlier, tried to make me as comfortable as he could because he is worried. He is a city man, too educated to believe tales of okiagari, yet he does suspect that I've something more severe than a common cold. "Maybe I should take you to the government hospital in the morning," he murmured.

I didn't respond. "Will you open the window," I asked, effectively changing the subject.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm hot."

My window is open, but Shimizu still needs an invitation. "Shi-Megumi," I manage to croak, chosing her first name because I know she will appreciate the intimacy of the gesture, "come in."

A minute or two or three, tick-ticks-ticks away so slowly before both her hands, fingernails painted a crimson color, the color an intense contrast paired with her stark, pale skin; grip the window sill. Effortlessly she slides through the opening, like a snake, her body twisting at strange angles. All the while her face is turned toward mine, her empty, eerie eyes focused and unblinking, as if she is searching; attempting to glimpse my soul.

Once her feet are steadily planted upon the wooden planks of the floor, she shifts her skull until her neck is again straight. She whispers, "Natsuno..."

Hearing my first name tumble from her swollen, blood-stained lips causes me to flinch involuntarily. Despite the feel of my own skin crawling in revulsion, I do not protest. "Megumi... I'm so tired."

She smiles, exposing a set of fangs, and croons, "I'll be gentle, my Natsuno. You won't feel a thing."

I do not believe her, but I do not dare to speak. Let her cling to her romantic delusions if she will deliver me unto the arms of the abyss.

Shimizu seats herself upon the edge of my futon and brushes a stray strand of hair from my face. Then, faster than my eyes or my mind can register, she dips her head toward my neck...

I bite back a cry of pain as her teeth penetrate my fragile skin. I do not scream or shout as my remaining life force drains from me; as she swallows my blood in great mouthfuls. I refuse to breathe a sound, even as my vital organs spasm and seize before inevitably failing.

The world fades away. I hear Shimizu, "You will rise again, my love. You and I shall be together forever."

She lied about the pain. I pray, with my dying breath, that these words are false as well.