POV - Akari

"This place is huge," I mumbled. Sora walked ahead of me, her hair bouncing behind her. "I wonder how Grandma and Grandpa could live here and keep this place clean all by themselves for so many years."

I popped my gum as I opened the door. It swung open quite easily despite the thick wood's age. Sora walked in before me, looking around at everything in a dazed, childish way. I began to look around the house, which was filled with ancient furniture and paintings. There was a thin layer of dust over everything. I ran a finger across a table, leaving a trail of cleanliness in its path. I drew a smiley face and continued on.

Sora had wandered off, looking for the pantry to inspect its contents no doubt, so I explored for myself a while.

The house really was huge. Five stories, including the attic. It had been in our family for generations. It reminded me of a monastery, with its high arches and mossy bricked outer walls. In actuality, there is a chapel in the back of the house, but it hadn't been used for church services in years. All anyone used it for now was as a storage house.

The last time my sister and I had been here, we were 3. That was 12 years ago, right before we moved to our father's home country of America. We lived in New York up until Grandpa died and left us this house—a large, secluded mansion in the middle of Hokkaido. Why we got the place made me wonder. Why give a huge mansion to two fifteen-year-olds instead of their two loving, responsible parents? Who, by the way, had more than enough money to just make it a summer home and such.

But here we were deciding what to do with the place. We had no use for it. It's too large for the two of us and we have a home in America.

I remember when we first moved there. I thought it was so big and cluttered compared to here in this house. As soon as we got there mom took us to watch the Phantom of the Opera, as a sort of rite of passage. I fell in love instantly. I've been going to see all the big productions ever since. Sora didn't like it as much, however. She's always been into obscure bands and foreign culture. Not in a bad way, not at all. Some of my favorite bands are ones she's shown me, and she really has turned me into an anime nerd.

It wasn't that long ago that we sat in the bathroom of our small NYC home and I was dying blue streaks into her hair. They're still there, complimenting her long chestnut mane. It's about the same color as mine, but just a bit lighter. That's about the same time that that I helped her pierce her lip and we got matching tattoos. It took a LOT of convincing on mom and dad's part, but in the end we achieved them successfully. A tribal sun on my right hip and a tribal moon on her left, both of my own design.

A large mirror hung on the wall before me, casting a reflection that to me had always seemed like someone else. My eyes, which had been a grayish color when I was born, were now brilliant blue, and my brown hair had started parting itself down the middle even though I had always preferred my hair parted down the side. There are these moles, too. One on top of my forehead, one on my chin, and one beneath both eyes, like a clock. I ran a hand through my hair, which was just my shoulders. It wouldn't take long for it to grow out, however. Pushing my hair back also gave a good look at my ears, which were covered in earrings of all shapes and sizes. They relatively matched the rest of my jewelry, which was composed of thick rings and chain necklaces.

My wandering thoughts were interrupted by an abrupt scream. "Akari, get your ass up here quick!"

My heart rate sped up and my throat tightened. I turned quick on my heels and chased towards the stairs. "What's wrong?"

My sister was leaning heavily on a closed door grinning like a maniac. "You will never believe what I just found!"

I groaned, leaning against the wall. "Come on, you scared the hell outta me."

"Okay, okay, I know you want to punch me in the clit but remember when we watched Narnia and you talked about what would happen if that happened to us?" Sora's grin widened.

"Sure, but what does that have to do with the current situation?"

Her hand found the door knob and slowly turned it. "How about a game of hide and go seek?"

My eyes widened. "Oh there is no way that's real."