Author's Note: This chapter deviates from the anime at one crucial point. In the anime, Shion makes a certain mistake entirely by accident. Here, she chooses the "mistake" herself. It turns out that this is very similar to what happens in the manga, and I think it fits Shion's character better.
***The Fate of Mion Sonozaki***
I left Keiichi tied to the wooden slab and prepared to attend to my most important business. When I apologized for defiling Mion, I meant it, because I was finally going to deal with my sister, "Mion." She could not be allowed to survive if I wanted any chance of getting out of this. I reverted to Haruka, or I wouldn't have been able to do it. When we approached, Mion was shaking in panic.
"Come on out," Haruka said, opening the cell door. "I only stunned Keiichi-kun, by the way. Listen, the police will be here in just minutes."
"Thanks a lot, Onee," Mion replied in a trembling voice. She actually thought we were being merciful.
"You and I aren't finished yet," Haruka said to disillusion her. "I still need to escape."
As Haruka untied the teal obi, the kimono started slipping off, revealing her shoulders and cleavage. She ordered Mion to take off her things too. My sister was too frightened to do anything but obey. Haruka changed into Mion's dirty slip and waited by the edge of the corpse well. As soon as Mion joined her by the edge, dressed in the kimono, Haruka rested the Taser threateningly against her sister's back.
"I want you to go down there," she grinned, "and apologize to Satoshi-kun."
"Shion!" gasped Mion in terror. "There's no point in me climbing down there. I won't see Satoshi…"
"What do you mean?" Haruka asked facetiously. "You told me yourself that his corpse was thrown down there."
"I was wrong," said Mion desperately. "You asked if he was in the well. I said I thought he might be, because that's the only place I could think where the body wouldn't be found. But look, the Sonozaki family can't be involved in this, so they wouldn't use the well."
As if it mattered now, Haruka thought. She still needed to escape. However, she met with resistance from Shion and Mari. They wanted to know the truth about Satoshi. The three of us battled for control of our body. In the meantime, our head felt on fire, and we were overcome with the urge to kill. It was Mari who won out. She realized we were about to kill our sister and she believed she was strong enough to stop it. She didn't consider that she could be almost as cruel as Haruka when her "righteous anger" took over.
"Our family is innocent," Mion continued. "I should have tried harder to tell you, but you wouldn't listen to anyone! I really liked Satoshi too, so I confronted Grandma about it. I was even prepared to kill her with my own hands if she harmed him! But then… she told me that the Sonozaki family has nothing to do with the Curse! It's a coincidence. That's why Oishi can never get anywhere with his investigation."
"You liar," Mari hissed. She was unable to accept this reasoning so late in the game.
"I think Grandma was telling the truth, Shion!" my sister pleaded. "I could tell by looking at her! And besides, she had already blessed your relationship with Satoshi after you removed your nails. She said she learned from the experience of rejecting her daughter's relationship. Grandma told everyone at the committee that it was ok for you to be with a Hojo."
"Liar," Mari said again. "If Oryo didn't kill Satoshi, then who did?"
"I have no idea…" Mion's voice was subdued.
"You're lying!" Mari insisted. "Look at what each of these deaths have in common! The dam worker, the Hojo couple, Priest Furude and his wife, and Satoshi with his aunt! And as for Tomitake and Takano, you said they incited Oyashiro's wrath! Everyone was marked by the Sonozaki family!"
"I know, it's weird," admitted Mion, still sounding frantic. "Grandma thought it was strange too. But when she asked, everyone denied involvement! It's not as simple as you think, Shion. Everyone has already denied being involved."
"No!" growled Mari. "If what you're saying is true, I've been killing innocent people for no reason!"
This took a second to sink in. A wave of absolute dread washed over Mari. Just like my other personalities, though, she laughed to hide it.
"You're really clever," she addressed Mion again. "You thought you could get me with a little reverse psychology. Good try."
"Please believe me, Shion," begged Mion. "I am not the one who made you this way."
"Shut up!" Mari bit back, and her brain was taken by the Syndrome. "If you're innocent, then you'll be fine. I hear Heaven is a nice place. Say hello to Satoshi-kun!"
We used the Taser against Mion's spine. Her body teetered for a moment and then fell into the depths of the corpse well. It wasn't just Haruka who was a murderer now. The brain parasite had persuaded Mari into siblicide. That was when the personality known as Mari "died."
Jun's will had crumbled after accepting that Satoshi had been dumped in the well, and she had never taken control of my mind since. Sweetness was her forte, but she died easily because of that sensitivity. Mari's reason for existence had been her ideals of justice, but now she was the worst kind of evil. She could no longer exist. She could not allow herself to exist. The only ones left were Shion and Haruka, and both were being influenced by the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
As Shion, I threw my Taser into the well, and dropped down to my knees. The memories of the last few minutes were lost to me. Since I was dressed in Mion's slip, I could only think that one of my personalities had either let her go or killed her. I remembered, after all, that Haruka had killed four people. I noticed the absence of Mari, too. So I figured that I had killed Mion.
This meant that my plan for escape would work—everyone would blame Mion for the killings, while I would look like her helpless prisoner. Was it really worth it to escape at the cost of my sister's life? I didn't think so, but the parasite inside me certainly did. It was the only thing keeping me from killing myself. I passed out in the cell, hearing the sounds of sirens.
Ever since I woke up, and was returned without suspicion to my apartment, I have been writing the chronicles of my madness. I did my best to fill in the missing memories by talking to other people and by having Haruka write the descriptions of her abhorrent acts. I, Shion Sonozaki, have been writing to try to keep my mind together. It isn't working.
Every day, things get worse. My throat is so itchy I can't help scratching at my neck, my head burns, and I am nearly always having violent urges. The paranoia has gone beyond anything remotely justifiable. I can't leave my apartment because I'm afraid someone will find out what I've done. I'm also horribly afraid I will kill someone else. I feel like Keiichi must know the truth—he must know that I'm Shion, that I'm the killer. So I keep dreaming of killing him next.
Then there are the hallucinations, assuming that's what they are—I can't tell what's real. I still sense someone watching me, and almost constantly hear those shuffling footsteps. I don't hear the voice of Satoshi, but I hear other voices. The dead—Kimiyoshi, Oryo, Satoko, Rika, Mion—they all shout at me, telling me to die. I think their ghosts are trying to kill me. The living—Rena, Keiichi, Oishi, Kasai—they say they know what I am, and that they can never forgive me.
I can no longer tolerate this madness. I leave this chronical in the hopes that it will shed light on the many mysteries I encountered. I will never understand Rika's part in this, unless Oyashiro really does exist and did speak to her; but that's the least of my concerns. I hope that someday, someone can find Satoshi. His body was not found when Oishi and his team dragged all the corpses from the well.
There's another mystery I hope my information can help solve. Miss Takano leant me some of her research scrapbooks, and they were filled with nonsensical explanations of the town's bizarre deaths. As absurd as it might seem, though, I could believe one of the notebooks: the one that included the idea of Hinamizawa Syndrome, which exists as a brain parasite. If such a thing exists, it's odd that Takano would know about it—perhaps she was killed for having that knowledge. Perhaps she passed me her notebook in the hope that someone else would continue her research.
Consider Hinamizawa Syndrome a disease with early stages marked by paranoia and auditory hallucinations. As the disease progresses, uncontrollable urges of violence join the paranoia and the strong beliefs in conspiracy theories (such as my belief that the Sonozaki family was full of killers). The disease only hits those who come and go from Hinamizawa. That's why I got it so readily. Rena's psychotic experiences started when she transferred away, but the symptoms disappeared when she returned to living in Hinamizawa. Tomitake came and went from Hinamizawa too, and he had the bizarre death of scratching out his throat. That may be the final stage of the disease.
Before I leave off, I have a note for anyone who reads this. Apologizing would be useless after all I've done. Trying to sound like I had fair excuses for my sins is also pointless. But it may not be meaningless to leave you with this piece of advice. If there is a Demon living in you, too, you must try to control it as long as you can. The only way to do that is trust your friends and lay down your own ideas of what's right. If you've gotten to the point where the Demon has hurt or killed your friends, then I believe the only thing to do is end yourself and thus put a stop to the Demon. That is the only justice left for me. Before I can find and kill Keiichi, my only hope is that I will be strong enough to kill my Demon.
***The Last Act of Shion Sonozaki***
Shion's hopes of leaving Keiichi alone were not fulfilled. The young lady of tragedy found herself driven to leave the apartment as the madness overtook her again. As she finished writing, Shion began to hear the voices of the ghosts again. The voice of her sister told her to die.
"After all what you've done, do you still intend to live?" the voice demanded harshly. "YOU DESERVE TO DIE!"
The ghost seemed real to Shion. Mion's strong hands reached through the wall to grab her throat—Shion could almost see them visibly. She could certainly feel them, and when she did, she screeched in terror. Throwing herself to the floor, Shion escaped the perceived "ghost," but it continued yelling for her death. Now it seemed to be beating on the door, trying to get in. This was it, thought Shion; if she didn't do something now, the vengeful ghosts would surely find her.
Shion exited the apartment via the balcony door. From there, she grabbed onto the balcony wall's edge and lowered herself down onto the stairs below. Feeling triumphant, and not having left the apartment for days, Shion took off at a run. She descended the stairs like a rabbit with a weasel hot on its trail.
"Ha!" the teenager laughed. "You all will never catch me!"
Without any clear plan, Shion jumped onto her bike and started pedaling. She then realized that a knife was slung through her belt, hidden by the jacket tied around her waist. When had she put that there? It must have been Haruka's doing. It was certainly Haruka who drove Shion to head for the Okinomiya General Hospital. That was where Keiichi was staying. He had seemingly recovered, but was under observation for a few days because of his concussion.
Shion knew exactly what room Keiichi stayed in because they had temporarily been just across the hall from each other. In their divided mind, Shion and Haruka were battling fiercely: the latter wanted to kill Keiichi, and the former wanted to confess to Keiichi with the hope that he would kill her in anger. She—or they—threw a few stones up at Keiichi's window on the second floor. It wasn't too late at night, so he might still be awake. If he slept lightly, the sharp pang on the window might wake him up.
Sure enough, young Keiichi heard the sounds. He looked out the window and saw the teenage girl waiting for him outside. It was a little odd that Shion was still wearing one of Mion's outfits, he thought, but that only made him more curious. He asked a nurse to let him get some air. She agreed, adding that someone would come and get him if he didn't return in ten minutes.
"Hey, I haven't seen you in a while," Shion began with a nervous laugh. "How are you?"
"Um…why are you wandering out here instead of coming in?" Keiichi sensed something was off. "Why did you come to visit me at night?"
Shion could feel Haruka trying to take control of her again. "I… can't be here anymore," she said, unable to look her last friend in the eye.
"Hey now," said Keiichi, looking concerned, "are you sure you're ok?"
Shion's voice was low and breathless. "I tried really hard for the past few days… I've been in my room just writing… But… I can't take anymore."
The diseased girl suddenly snapped. It was difficult to tell if she was laughing uproariously or crying like a small child. Keiichi lost his sense of caution, anxious for his friend. As he stepped forward, asking Shion what was wrong, he suddenly felt cold steel driven into his body. Haruka had won. She had whipped out Shion's knife and stabbed Keiichi. He fell onto his knees, so shocked that he didn't even shout.
Haruka did not pull the knife out, nor did she try to stab Keiichi a second time. That would end up saving his life. The demented girl had no idea that Keiichi would survive the stab wound and live to tell the tale. He would stay with Rena, and the two of them would die as best friends fighting side by side to escape the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. As it was, though, Haruka was too excited by the thrill of victory to care about the details. She laughed. And, completely out of character, she began to scream at the night sky.
"I made it just in time!" she howled. "I did it! All of it! Praise me, Satoshi-kun! EEYAAAAAH!"
After that, the girl rode speedily back to her apartment. Her mind switched states between Shion and Haruka rapidly. But, realizing what her alter had done to Keiichi, Shion made a final, bold decision. She took control of her body and ascended the stairs. She didn't pause until she was hanging by both arms from her balcony.
"If only I had never been born," she whispered into the night as she climbed. "So many lives would have been saved, and so much pain would have been spared, if only I had never existed. Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe I'll wake up to find I was in a coma, and Satoshi-kun will be caring for me. I know I don't deserve such an outcome. But... it's ok to go out imagining it, right?"
Let it be said that Shion could climb excellently. She had been an active member of the rock climbing club in St. Lucia's Girls' Academy. In addition, she had escaped the Academy by climbing up a tree and over the wall. If she so desired, Shion could climb to the top story of the apartment without a problem. That wasn't what she decided to do.
Shion decided to let go. If she had lived defiantly, then she would die defiantly too: defying Haruka and the Hinamizawa Syndrome. She made sure justice was fulfilled. She plummeted down several stories, and just before hitting the concrete and shattering her skull, she looked up at the moon. It seemed to Shion that the face of Satoshi appeared there. He was smiling at her with his sharp eyes sparkling and his golden hair glowing.
"Satoshi-kun," Shion thought as her life flashed before her eyes, "I'm sorry. I didn't protect our promise. I'm sorry, everyone. I'm so sorry. If I get another chance, I won't ever make the same mistakes again."
When her head hit the ground, she died instantly.