The sequel to "To Be Good" is up:

Stare into the Abyss

Yukio was about to step out into the rain when a voice shouted "Yo, Wimpy Four-eyes!" Yukio turned and saw a barely clad woman, her long red hair tipped with vibrant yellow, waving to him. "I heard you got transferred to Rio, thought the least I could do was pick you up from the airport."


Yukio stood at the edge of the viewing platform staring out over the city of Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ the Redeemer towering over him. "So you came," an aged voice declared.

Yukio turned and saw a thick-set man, the top half of his face covered by a mask. "I could hardly refuse an invitation from my grandfather," he said.


A young man with sharply pointed ears poking through messy black sat on the infirmary bed, retching into a basin. He looked up, where his left eye should have been was a gaping pit faded scars ran across his cheek like tear-tracks. He paused to wipe away a thick red liquid from his mouth. "A lot of blood this morning. Think I'm gonna die this time?" he asked cheerfully.

"Over a little thing like this 106? Definitely not."


Yukio's feet kicked as the phantom woman lifted him from ground, her icy fingers tight around his throat. "The stolen children. You've seen them."

"They aren't your children, La Llorona," Yukio wheezed.


Rin's electric blue eyes popped open. His gaze fixed on Yukio as he started dragging his charred body across the ground to Yukio. He pulled himself up on Yukio's body until he could drape his scorched arms over Yukio's shoulders in a parody of a hug. Yukio felt like he should collapse under the weight of Rin's body and the stench of burnt flesh was suffocating. Rin's cheek was rough and felt like charcoal as he nuzzled Yukio's throat affectionately. "I'd let you do anything to me if you'd just promise to love me again."

Yukio jerked upright in his bed, heart pounding, breath coming in ragged gasps.