Type of Short Story: Novella
Summary: The time is now. The place is Japan and Mark is living the only life that he knows or can remember. He does not spent any more time away from his box like apartment than is needed. That hermit style life that he has chosen for himself is about to change. It all is about to change because of her. After who knows how long he has found love again or is it the same love. All he knows is that Masumi has the eyes that he yearns for. Masumi herself comes with a past that she herself does not even know. Their world is about to unravel to show what lies behind this plain natural world we think we know.
The taking of her love.
What did they need him for?
Why was she spared?
How was she to find them when she did not know who they were? These questions ran across her mind as the first rays of light started to creep into the room. The light had started to reveal a scene that was hard to bear. What she thought were shadows strewn across the floor from some unseen source were in fact spatters of blood. It was almost as if beast had fought for supremacy. As she the image of blood started to become a reality in her mind copper taste of it touched her senses.
Having spent enough time in a hospital she new it to be real blood and not a dream as she had hoped. Slowly she stood and new that she did not have much time before the street outside became crowded with people, one of them would surely call the police and there would be questions. The questions would not stop coming until she provided an answer, answers that she could not provide. This fact she knew clear as the light that was coming on stronger now.
She started from the corner where she sat. Scanning the area she started picking up the scene and her imagination started filling in the gaps of what must have happened.
Someone was thrown against the far wall with force. Another must have been thrown over the desk nearest her. This was evident to the fact that the desk looked out-of-place and the chair behind the desk was shattered. A piece of the broken chair was missing. To her utter horror it lay close to the stairs covered in blood. There were drips of blood leading towards the door. Who ever was bleeding tried to leave only to be suddenly side swiped into some left over file cabinets breaking one.
Fear got the better of her and tears washed away the images. She had to scan the area for clues to what had happened or what was missing from the day before. It looked as if something was drug back down the stairs bleeding. Only now had she noticed her own footprints in some of the spattered blood on the stairs. There was also a missing desk from near where she had found the legal paper.
The puzzle had started to fall into place. They had stumbled into a robbery. They must have. Why else would someone want Mark and not her? They must have taken him for questioning and she new that time was not a luxury she had. The police would hold her for questioning all the while her love that had found her twice was now lost. She would not sit back and let the hands of fate have their way with him. This time she did not have the courtesy of a lost memory and in that found her resolve.
She quickly gathered every piece of paper she could find. Among the papers she found part of a torn cloth. Not knowing what it was from she decided that at the very least it could be used to bundle together her findings. As she wrapped the papers together she noticed a small glimmer out of the corner of her eye.
It seemed as if years had passed and she was stuck frozen like a statue waiting for that glimmer to attack. It never did. To her surprise she had just noticed that part of the wall was damaged from the fighting and a glimmer was coming through. Holding her package to her chest she walked towards the wall.
The light from the wall was abnormally strong. There must have been a secret room behind the wall with a strong light turned on because this was not sunlight coming in. This light was stronger. But how could there be a room if this was the wall adjacent the alleyway. Something was definitely not normal here. Still she could not stop herself from approaching the wall.
To her relief there was no hidden room but merely a small crawlspace. Her sense of reality had been challenged enough for a lifetime she thought. But still she found herself crawling through this hidden passage with her bundle of papers held tightly to her chest. Somehow she new this was where she had to go. The passage went on for a few hundred meters before opening up to a courtyard.
The house was small and did not bear anything fancy. In fact it looked out-of-place in the center of this fabulous courtyard. There should have been a mansion sitting in the center or some grand building in order to justify the sheer vastness of the space. Yet there was a quaint small house which did not look bigger than a three bedroom one story home. The walls of the courtyard were high and with no tall buildings around it became apparently clear that no one was meant to look inside. Why would someone want such privacy? She felt that she needed to be in this courtyard.
“I followed this passage from my doctor’s office.” she muttered her excuse.
She rehearsed it in her mind over and over to make sure that she was ready to answer it at the first question posed to her for being in this secluded place, this sanctuary from the harsh life of the city.
“Take heed child you will not need such an excuse here.” a warm voice called out to her.
“What, I didn't say anything.” She responded.
'Had she been talking to herself?' the thought came as quickly as the realization that she had not been.
Looking around she found that she was alone in the courtyard.
'Was the stress too much for her?' Her thoughts continued to stress her even more.
“Don't worry you had not been speaking dear child. I read your mind.” The voice said again. “Please do not be scared and come into the house we have much to talk about.”
Masumi found her need to find out was more than the need to be scared at what was happening. She held her package tight to her chest and started to walk towards the house. As she stepped closer the house which was simple before started to show unique markings along the wood banisters and columns, each step had what appeared to be Druidic markings but the hand railings carried markings which looked Egyptian.
On the walls were writings that she had never even seen before. Not even in doodles of the major fantasy movies had she ever seen these. They looked almost artistic by nature. As she approached the door she felt compelled to continue. There was no sense of foreboding or as we would call it a fight or flight feeling. She felt at peace. The door opened almost instantly when she had reached for the knocker. There in front of her stood a simple old woman. She could have been anyone's grandmother as she stood there holding a tray of lemon bars. Masumi stepped into the home which looked more spacious in the inside than it had from the outside.
The little old lady led her towards the sitting room. As this house was of classic design there was a sitting room where guest would sit for tea. Clearly this woman had spent time in the United Kingdom to learn some fineries of human civility. She was not clouded by suspicion as she walked quietly ahead of Masumi.