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Jul. 21st, 2006 | 07:39 pm
location: Storehouse, Minnakami Village
mood: depressed
posted by: lonelyremaining in zero_snapshot

Who: Itsuki Tachibana
Where: Storehouse, Minnakami Village
When: Just after Nightfall
Open To: Ghosts of Minnakami, Amakura family

Itsuki Tachibana rose from his futon in the same manner that he had for decades. Even before the village had suffered the Repentance, Itsuki had been locked away for about a month. One day Sae had snuck into the back of the storehouse to tell him that his friend Ryozo had come. She only stayed for a few moments, but it was enough to tell him that the village leaders planned to either keep him there forever or do away with him. 

As Itsuki rose from what had, on that fateful day, been a nap, his mind wandered to his family. Those thoughts came to him often, when he wondered about how his little sister had finally died, like the rest of the village. Itsuki's dark brown eyes fixated blankly on the courtyard outside of the barred window, but he didn't see it. In his mind danced a day that had occured nearly two years before the repentance. It was shortly before he and Mutsuki had performed their ritual. It had been raining hard for several days, and there was fear of a flood. The reason according to the priests, of course, was the anger of the abyss. In Itsuki's mind, he had always considered Mutsuki to be the stronger, more vivacious and outgoing of the two of them. On the other hand, Itsuki loved to read, and would often be found singing to himself. He would often rush to meet outsiders and ask them to teach him the popular songs from other parts of Japan, and loved it when the rare travelling performer appeared. 

That rainy day, Itsuki had been going to his own room when he heard the sound of someone crying; a hollow mournful sound that made his blood run cold. It was coming from his brother's room, and he went to the door, knocking quietly.

"Mutsuki, are you alright?" He called quietly. The only response was a tiny whimper. The boy splayed his slender fingers on the wooden surface and said "I'm coming in."

when the door swung open, Itsuki's brown eyes searched the area for his twin, but didn't see him. Upon a second hasty sweep of the room, his brown eyes caught the shape of someone's back and shoulders peeking out from behind one of Mutsuki's grey kimono on its stand. "Mutsuki?" He asked in a near whisper, gently pushing the light wooden stand aside. The other boy was hugging his knees close to his chest, eyes squeezed tightly shut. Tear stains were evident on his milky cheeks, as though he had been crying for a long time. Itsuki knew that when his twin cried, he was immensely troubled. Mutsuki was the strong one, the one that always stood and supported both Itsuki and their sister Chitose. The younger twin rushed to his brother, enveloping him in a tight hug.

"Itsuki, don't be afraid. Don't worry, okay?" Mutsuki said, his voice dry. "Will you... sing to me? Stay with me until I fall asleep... like you do with Chitose."  Mutsuki begged, tugging at his twin's kimono. Itsuki had thought that it was a strange request from his strong, forceful Mutsuki, but had no problem complying at all. Mutsuki curled up on his futon, and Itsuki laid on his side next to him, trying to give him comfort. And then he began to sing, a quiet melody that had come from the capital city, the same one that Chitose called her favorite of all the songs he'd sung for her.

"Sleep, sleep, little one, sleep
You're always a good child
now go to sleep

Do you know where your nurse has gone?
gone to her village
she won't be long

What will she bring child
when she does come?
a flute so lovely 
and a thunderous drum.
and a tunderous drum."

By then, Mutsuki's expression had passed into one that was somewhat peaceful and had begun to breathe deeply. Itsuki fell asleep there too, consumed by the sadness that he knew his brother felt; his twin who was doomed to die at  his own hand.

Itsuki blinked, scanning the contents of the moonlit garden. He almost hoped for that girl to come back, to give him an excuse to escape being alone with his thoughts. 

Mio, are you alive?

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Comments {10}

lonelyremaining

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from: lonelyremaining
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:06 am (UTC)
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"But what about your sister?" He asked, lifting his head only slightly. Itsuki closed his eyes, shaking his head yet again. "I know it must be scary out there... I don't know what it's like, what the malice has made of my village. But if you want to save your sister, you have to be brave... you have to be strong." He said, slowly closing his fingers before leaving them to dangle from the window again.

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from: not_a_butterfly
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
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"B-but lately things have been strange. During the day, she never talks to me anymore, it's always everyone else. And even though her leg is injured, she's always trying to run ahead... like she's running away." Mio bit her lip, feeling like a horrible sister for even thinking about staying here instead of trying to catch up to Mayu.

"Something's wrong with her and... and I don't know what it is." She sat down and curled up into a ball against the wall, "She called me that name. The one you called me when I first saw you, Yae. Who's Yae? I'm not Yae! I'm Mio! Mio!"

Mio closed her dark eyes. "I-I love Mayu. I know I do. But I'm scared right now and don't know what to do. What can I do? I can't figure it out..."

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lonelyremaining

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from: lonelyremaining
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
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Itsuki didn't know what to think. So her sister called her Yae?

The more Itsuki thought about it in that silence, the more he realized that he too, had almost no doubt that the girl he was looking at was Yae. How could he mistake some other girl with a twin for his childhood friend?
"Mio. Something's going on. I obviously can't investigate myself, but it sounds like something... has gone horribly wrong." Itsuki shook his head.

"What about during the day? This village never sees daylight. It's trapped in darkness. It was wiped from the map." He frowned. "And you want to know about Yae. She was... she is one of the twins who is to perform a ritual. Tonight. I don't understand how your twin can even know that name." The white haired boy stared off toward the Osaka house for a moment, trying to absorb all of the strange things that the girl had just told him. Then,Itsuki suddenly reached down with all of his might, straining against the bars. His slender fingers grazed the top of Mio's head.

"You can't give up, or else you'll loose someone you love. Just like I did."

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from: not_a_butterfly
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
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"Daytime comes all of the time, because-" How was Mio going to explain to this guy that he was just part of an extremely elaborate dream?-"I'm dreaming this. Mayu's dreaming it too, I think. But this isn't just a dream... when the ghosts attack me sometimes, I find weird bruises, and from what I've seen, the same happens to Mayu. That doesn't happen in a normal dream."

Mio stood up with renewed determination, "I'm not going to let Mio get hurt, even if she's acting strange. She's my twin sister, and I won't let anything tear us apart. All of these ghosts are terrifying, but being without her is worse."

She turned and looked at Itsuki, "You said the keys were in those twin statues, right? I guess I'll have to start looking. When I find Mayu again, I promise I'll come back with the key and save you too, Itsuki." Mio smiled at him, "Thank you for the help."

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lonelyremaining

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from: lonelyremaining
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
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How do you smile like that?
Itsuki wanted to smile at her too, but he didn't seem to remember how. The remaining decided that a simple nod would be sufficent.

She didn't seem to realize that there was no way to rescue someone from being dead.

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from: not_a_butterfly
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
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"I should sta-" She stopped midsentence and shivered uncomfortably. Mio took a camera out of a black bag that she was wearing, and snapped a picture of a nearby guardian statue. "Red butterflies..."

She lowered her camera, "Strange. Now I should probably leave." Mio gave him a small wave, "I'll see you later, Mr. Itsuki."

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lonelyremaining

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from: lonelyremaining
date: Jul. 22nd, 2006 05:10 am (UTC)
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Itsuki frowned as the girl turned the corner, out of sight. She had somehow come across the strange device that Munakata had brought to the village, a camera. As far as Itsuki could tell, it captured people's images on paper somehow. When Ryozo visited the village years before, he had taken a photograph of all three Tachibana children together.

The Tachibana boy fell back into deep thought as the night came into full swing. He could hear familiar sounds outside of the storehouse. Then Itsuki remembered one of Ryozo's letters telling him about a new "camera" that his master had created and it could capture the unseen world. Was it perhaps one and the same with the box-like thing that Mio had?

Itsuki could only hope.

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