Disclaimer: No, I don't own it. However, the story line is very much mine. My precious!
"…" – speech
'…' – thoughts
--- - change in scenery or time
In a small house on the edge of Tokyo, lived a little girl and her father. The girl was but five years old, but unlike many other little girls her age, this girl had no friends.
It wasn't that nobody liked her.
Quite the contrary, anybody who was able to speak with her for just one minute- indeed, just anybody who was simply in her presence was struck by the open and friendly atmosphere that seemed to surround her. She was a talkative young lady, never afraid to speak with those others rejected, or to ask a stranger a simple question. She always wore a sunny smile that seemed to brighten a room instantly.
She always wore a smile- even though she had no reason to.
For you see, this little girl's father wasn't the most pleasant of people.
His disposition was the exact opposite of his daughter's- dark, menacing, but one thing the pair had in common, was the ever-present smile. But while hers was bright and cheerful, his was dismal and daunting. And while in the eyes of the public, this man was polite, even kind to strangers, his nature at home was a complete turn.
As soon as he passed through the door of the shrine house in which he and his daughter lived, he became rude, dangerous, even….
The little girl had to endure his raging temper, occasionally fuelled through alcohol, for her entire life.
She wasn't allowed to go out to play in the daytime.
Sometimes, this child would spend the entire day just staring sadly out of the small window of her small room, longing to run out and meet the people who visited the shrine. She so wished to be able to run and laugh in the sun.
But for her entire life, all she remembered was the dank room in which she was kept.
She wasn't allowed the simple, childish pleasures, such as a picture book, in fact, the only toy she owned were two dolls that she had found in the closet of her small room.
Her belly was never full.
Indeed, the only time this girl was allowed to venture off of the shrine grounds was to perform tasks for her father, and even then, she had a time limit in which to finish it.
Or else the consequence would not be pleasant.
This girl's name?
Kagome hummed softly to herself in her small room, playing with the dolls that were her only real friends. Suddenly, the cheerful laughter floated from the open window to her ears. Slowly, grey-blue eyes turned upwards to land upon the bright square of light, and she quickly clambered from the cold wooden floor, jumping onto the bed that was the only furniture in her small room.
Almost desperately, the girl looked out of her window, staring outside.
Her heart swelled with hope and longing.
For right there, were four children, playing underneath the great tree!
There they were, laughing and running around, immersed in some game of tag, four children that couldn't have been older than she was!
Hoarsely, from a voice unused for quite a while, the girl called out to the others, "Hello! Hello!"
Suddenly, one of the children stopped their game as he heard a small voice. Violet eyes turned to look at a small window, al lo! There was a girl looking out from within!
He, being the curious child he was, ran over, followed by his companions.
"Hi! Come out and play with us!" invited the boy.
Kagome reached out a small hand from within her room, her bright, eager face breaking into a smile. "Hello! My name's Kagome!"
He cocked his head to the side, the small dragon's tail at the base of his neck bouncing a little. "Mine's Miroku!"
And one by one, the others introduced themselves.
"I'm Sango!" smiled a magenta-eyed girl.
"My name's Shippou!" squeaked a smaller boy with bright green eyes and orange hair.
The last child had black hair and cobalt blue eyes. He smiled shyly at the girl. "I'm Kouga, and you're pretty."
Kagome's smile grew, and a pleased blush spread across her cheeks. Never before had she been complimented on her appearance, and on the contrary, her father had called her an 'ugly, good-for-nothing, brat' so many times, that she very well believed him.
And there, the children grouped around the small window that barely rose above the ground, as the room was underground, talking to the little girl.
"Come out and play with us!"
"We'll have so much fun!"
Their invitations were so tempting, that Kagome's heart cried out desperately for her to be able to break through the lock on her door, and to run away with these children. But for now, she had to be content with simply talking with them.
And talk they did, as only young children can, for a long time, before suddenly, there came the sound of heavy footsteps descending into the lower level of the house where Kagome's room was. The girl's heart lurched, and she quickly lowered her voice, waving to the others.
"Go! Daddy's coming! Go before he gets here!" Perplexed, the others blinked at her, not moving. The blue-eyed girl waved desperately at the others, her eyes darting from the door the window. "Please! Go!"
"Who are you talking to?" Came the coldly smooth voice that she knew only too well.
Kagome shook her head, and mouthed to the others. 'Go!'
The locked clicked, and just as the door began to open, the other children ran off. One by one, each snuck a quick glance backwards, until they left her completely, running down the long stairs to head home.
They would never see the small girl again.
And back in the darkening room, Kagome sat down on her bed as her father appeared in the doorway.
"Who were you talking to, Kagome?" his voice was soft, warning.
The girl smiled timidly. "I was talking to the birds, Daddy."
His expression darkened. "Don't lie to your father." His tone had softened with menace. "Who were you talking to?" He advanced on the small figure.
The raven-haired girl moved backwards on her bed. "I was talking to…"
Suddenly, a large hand reached out to roughly slap Kagome across the face. Her head twisted to the right from the force of the blow, and already, a red outline was beginning to spread across her cheek. But even then, she refused to cry- that would only result in more punishment.
One by one, Naraku's blows fell upon the whimpering girl, accenting his words. "Do. Not. Lie. To. Me. Understand?"
Suddenly, the attack stopped, leaving the young girl in a small ball on her side. The hard bed squeaked as her father sat down on it. A rough hand cupped her cheek to bring tearful blue eyes to meet startlingly red ones.
"Daddy's only doing this because he loves you, understand?"
Nodding coldly, Naraku stood up and left the room.
Kagome lay there, never moving from her position on the bed, never speaking, never bothering to tend to the bruises that were sure to form.
Of course her father loved her- he told her every time that happened, and when one hears the same thing over and over, they begin to believe it.
Wide eyes stared at the wall opposite from her, until sleep finally overcame her, and it was then, and only then, in her dreams, that the young child let the tears fall down her face to leave glistening trails on her cheeks.
The next morning, Kagome sat up, having been woken up by the sun on her face and the sound of birds chirping. She stretched tired muscles, and winced from the soreness and pain. Slowly, the girl climbed out of her hard bed to walk over to the small bathroom. And there, she tended to the bruises and pain that had overtaken her body like she had so many times before.
After all had been done, and she looked presentable, the blue-eyed child awaited patiently for her meagre breakfast, never uttering a word. She muttered a quiet 'thank you' to her father as he passed her the plate through a flap in the door, and then left the plate there to be collected later.
This was routine, and happened everyday, during every mealtime.
As Kagome settled down on her bed for the usual loneliness, a sudden movement startled her. Searching eyes suddenly lighted upon something in the darkest corner that was furthest away from the wall.
She got up, and slowly made her way to the corner, not afraid of anything.
Naraku was sweeping the shrine grounds, occasionally throwing suspicious glances at the various visitors of the shrine. In the fall, the leaves of the Goshinboku littered the ground.
He glared at the tree.
That would have to come down sometime.
Red-eyes swept across the grounds again, pausing on the window through which could be found his daughter. A sneer twisted his mouth.
The damn bitch had left him with this excuse of a child with him. She had died in giving birth.
He had no love for the child.
Abruptly, light laughter drifted through the window, reaching suspicious ears.
The broom fell to the ground with a clutter. He stomped towards the door of his house.
She was not allowed to be happy.
Not when he did not allow it.
Angrily, though for no apparent reason, the man made his way down the stairs, but even his loud footsteps hadn't alerted to Kagome of his presence, for the soft talking and laughter continued. This only made the man's rage burn and he quickly turned the lock, slamming the door open.
Inside the small room, he found…
…only Kagome, and nobody else.
It appeared that she had been talking to herself, though now, her attention had been drawn to the angry man in her small doorway. She appeared to be no worse for wear than that morning, and indeed, the bruises were hardly visible. Naraku briefly wondered about that before his thoughts were interrupted.
"Who were you talking to?"
Her lips lilted upwards in a smile. "I met somebody new today, Daddy!"
An eyebrow raised as red-eyes glanced around the empty room. "Somebody… new?"
"Hai! He says he wants to be my friend!"
Naraku's lips lifted upwards in a cruel smile. Had his daughter finally lost it? Had her treatment finally caused her will to snap? "And what is this… person's name, hn?" He decided to play along with her little game.
"He says his name's Inuyasha!" chirruped the girl.
The man sneered. "Of course. And how did he get in here?"
There was a pause. "He says that he's always lived here!"
"And what does he look like?"
"He has the longest silver hair, Daddy! And golden eyes. He says he's five years old- just like me!"
"Of course." Finally reaching the conclusion that his daughter was inventing friends, Naraku nodded mockingly to the small girl, exiting the room. "You can talk to… Inuyasha all you want, Kagome. Just remember- don't disappoint me."
And he left the girl to her own devices.
The next afternoon, Naraku was, once again, tending to the grounds of the shrine on which he lived. It was as tiresome task, but there was little else to do, and this was the best way to generate business for the 'operation' he led. A slow smirk flitted over his expression, as he contemplated the figures that his last 'sale' and made.
By the time just a few more transactions were completed, he would be free to leave this shrine, and to travel to new places.
He would be able to leave Japan.
He would start a new life.
But most importantly, he would finally be able to leave behind the brat that was the plague of his life.
Suddenly, just as the previous day, familiar laughter drifted out of a small window, only this time, it was much louder, and much more carefree.
The smirk was suddenly replaced by a frown.
What did she have to be so happy about?
Once again, he heavily made his way into the house and towards the room in which she was kept. He walked past the rooms, ignoring the mess that had gathered over years of not having been kept.
After she had died, there had been nobody to look after to house, to keep the grounds, and all the work had fallen upon Naraku himself. He had been forced to give up his lax lifestyle for one where he had to work. And not only did he have to provide for himself, but he had to support the kid as well.
But of course, that was only one of the reasons why love was longer an emotion he welcomed in his heart.
Gradually, the small door came into view, and the man, just as before, slowly opened the door.
And again, he found his daughter to be in the room- alone.
This time, it took her a little longer than usual to notice her father, and as soon as she did, her face broke into a happy smile. Naraku found none of the fright he had seen so often before, and his previously good mood turned sour. She had no right to be so happy.
"What are you doing?" His voice was quiet, smooth- a sure warning of his evil condition.
Kagome, however, took no notice. "I'm talking to Inuyasha!"
"Inuyasha, again?" His expression dark, the man stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. "And what did Inuyasha say this time, eh?"
The girl cocked her head, as if listening to some voice that only she could hear. "Inuyasha says that he doesn't like it when you hit me." Another pause. "He says that we should be allowed to go out and play with the other children!" Her face brightened hopefully. "Oh wouldn't that be wonderful? Please, Daddy? Could we be allowed?"
The sneer was back, and Naraku advanced on the unsuspecting girl. Obviously, these thoughts were her own, as there could be no alleged 'Inuyasha', and that she was questioning his actions.
"Kagome," The slightest hint of alarm flashed in the blue-eyes she had inherited from her mother. His hate grew. "What did I tell you about listening to Father?"
"Quiet." She fell silent. "Do you know what this means?"
Her face was full of fear now, and she was shaking in anticipation. "Wh-what?"
Cold eyes of crimson narrowed, as a hand balled into a fist.
"I'm going to have to punish you."
And this time, the five-year-old girl's cries of pain echoed through the house, though heard by no other people.
The sun set, and the moon rose.
Once the night was over, the next day dawned in a brilliant display of colour and light, but Kagome saw none of this as she carefully cared for the injuries that littered her small body. However, while she cleaned herself, the little girl began to speak, as though talking to an invisible person.
"What do you mean, he shouldn't hit me?" questioned the small child.
There was a pause before she spoke again. "But Daddy does it because he loves me…" Her voice was soft.
She stopped cleaning herself, "I don't remember my mommy." She closed her eyes. "Daddy said that I don't have one, but all kids have moms, right?"
Ocean blue eyes opened to glance at the space beside her. "You don't remember your mommy either?"
"I think my Mommy's up there." Kagome climbed up from the floor onto her bed. She stood up to look out her window, but moved over a little, as if to leave room for somebody else. A hand reached out, directing a finger to the clear blue sky. "I think both our Mommies are up in the sky, and they're waiting for us." She paused. "And your Daddy too."
The little girl climbed down from her place and sat on the edge of her bed. "Maybe, someday, I'll get to visit them." She looked to her side, a small smile breaking her face. "You can come too! We both fly into the sky, and see all the stars!"
Kagome laughed, dancing around the room with her arms outstretched, as if soaring through the air, and if one looked closely- ever so closely, they would swear to seeing the outline of a boy beside her, the two joined in a playful game.
Was this the alleged Inuyasha?
The day passed by quickly, and soon, it was evening again.
All through the daytime, Naraku had been absent from the shrine grounds, but now, as his heavy footsteps cluttered down the stairs, Kagome instantly knew that something was wrong.
For one, the footsteps were not steady, but uneven, and the heavy breathing alerted her to the fact that her father had been drinking- again.
Quickly, the little girl sat up from where she lay on the ground, wide eyes staring at the door where the figure of her father would soon appear.
"Shh! Don't talk, Inuyasha!" She whispered quietly, but even then, her father heard.
The slurred voice of Naraku seeped through the door, "Who you talkin to, urchin?"
The door creaked open, and the man stepped in, not bothering to close it.
The whites of his eyes were red, his clothes unkempt, and his hair was mussed up. There was the unmistakable odour of alcohol and smoke on his clothes- the man was very obviously intoxicated. There was even an empty beer bottle clutched in his right hand.
"I asked you, who're you talkin to!"
Kagome shrunk back from her father. "Inu-Inuyasha!"
An ungly sneer twisted his face. "Again with Inuyasha. AGAIN!" With the last word, the bottle flew out of his hand, narrowly missing Kagome's head, and crashing against the wall behind her.
"D-daddy?" Never before had she seen her father in such a foul mood, even in the worst of times. Clearly, something had greatly displeased Naraku, and now he was going to take out his anger in the most effective way possible- lashing out at his daughter.
His face going calm once more, the man stumbled towards his daughter, a deceptively kind smile on his face. "Come here, Kag. Daddy promises not to hurt you…"
The girl continued to creep back, until her back hit the wall. "Ow!" She looked at her hand- it was now bleeding, with a small sliver of glass sticking out from within her hand. She whimpered.
When Naraku had effectively cornered his offspring, the evil smirk grew once more, and his hand raised up in a fist. "Damn brat."
The girl winced as he brought down his fist- but the blow never came.
Opening blue-eyes. Kagome gasped as she saw her father on the floor, cursing loudly. Her eyes detected movement to her side, and they suddenly opened wide. The glass was floating! Suddenly, the small fragments of glass that remained of the bottle pierce through the air, headed directly for the man on the floor.
Cursing, Naraku jumped up from his position, causing the glass to miss him, and fall to the floor. He rubbed his eyes. "What the hell?" He advanced on the girl again. "Whatever you did Kagome, I dun like it." His breathing became ragged. "I'm going to have to… punish you- punish."
But then, just as he was about to kick the small child, his foot froze, and red eyes widened in shock. In vain, the man tried to move his limbs, but he was frozen in place, unable to move an inch.
Kagome watched as her father struggled to stir, but without success. A single word escaped her lips. "Inuyasha…"
Naraku's eyes snapped to his daughter. "This is Inuyasha's doing? Bullshit. It's you. I know it is. Damn you to hell!" But even then, he could not succeed in convincing his body to move. "You're going to hurt all week when I'm done with you.
The little girl's head suddenly twisted to the side, as if looking at something only she could see. "Run? But what about you?" Then, abruptly, she stood and ran for all she was worth for the door.
The man gaped, and tried to move- again, unsuccessfully. "Get back here, bitch!" Suddenly, he gave a mighty wrench, tearing his arm from whatever grip held him there. "I'm not done with you!" With a gait surprising for one so drunk, he ran after his daughter, following her footsteps out of the house.
Kagome threw a frightened glance behind her, and upon seeing her father, put all of her energy into running. However, his legs were much longer, and he was not hurting, and so Naraku quickly gained on the girl.
Suddenly tripping, the girl fell to the ground with a yelp. Quickly, she got up, ignoring stinging hands and knees. But it was too late- her father had caught up, and was now slowly stalking her as if she were prey.
"Come here, Kagome-chan…"
She whimpered, and backed away, unknowingly headed directly towards the towering steps that lead away from the isolated shrine.
"Come to Daddy…" His voice changed suddenly. "Bitch, get back here!"
With several quick lunges, Naraku had walked Kagome right up to the edge of the stairs, and a sinister plan formulated in his intoxicated head. With just one tiny push, she would tumble down the stairs, and from that fall, she would most certainly not survive.
But just as rough hands reached out to give the girl that tiny shove, the man's eyes widened in shock as he lost his balance.
Slowly, ever so slowly, red eyes widened in shock Naraku could only watch as he slowly tipped over, his fall imminent. And in his moment of despair, one thought coursed through his fog-hazed brain: to take the girl with him. However, even as filthy hands reached to drag the small child with him, she was whisked out of his way by an unseen force, and the man was left to tumble down the stairs, alone.
And for a split second, as his mind cleared, he swore that behind his daughter, holding her protectively, was a small boy-
A boy with silver hair, and piercing golden eyes.
The next morning, a passer-by found a man at the foot of the shrine steps, unmoving and not breathing. The police were called, and they found him to be dead- his neck snapped, and his limbs broken.
Upon closer analysis, the man was identified to be one, Higurashi Naraku, a person whom the police force had been eager to get their hands on- there had been rumour that he was the head of a major drug operation based in his very own home.
In fact, the previous day, the law had cracked down on a sale house, and had confiscated all of the firearms and illegal drugs in the place. That operation had been completely uncovered, and they needed only to find the mastermind.
If it was true that Naraku had been the one responsible for the products, then his sale had been ruined. This, combined with evidence that he had fallen down the stairs, led the police to believe that the man had stumbled down the stairs on purpose- suicide.
Soon, they learned of the fact that the man had had a daughter by the name of Kagome, and that she should be in the house. However, on questioning the people who had most recently visited the shrine, they discovered that the little girl had never been seen there.
Confused, the police conducted a wide search throughout the city, but found nothing.
Finally, a full three days after Naraku had been found dead, they decided to search the shrine grounds themselves, though doubtful of finding anything.
They examined the house, but didn't find anything except for a dirty living quarters. There was no child hiding among the branches of the tree, nor was there anybody near the altar. But at the end, they ventured into the dark well house, hopes low at locating the girl, when one of them gave a shout.
"What the hell?!"
The female officer was gazing down the deep well, that for years, had been closed. However, now, at the very bottom, was the unmistakable figure of a young girl, pale, and lifeless.
With much trouble, the police drew her body up, and she was soon identified as indeed, being Higurashi Kagome, the five-year-old child of Higurashi Naraku and the long deceased Amai Bara.
Sadly, the men and women laid out the cold body on the floor of the well house, but the peculiar thing was that the girl, in her death, wore a brilliant smile. Half-lidded eyes revealed a beautiful grey-blue, and had she been alive, this child would most certainly have charmed many people.
However, despite the grin she wore, the experts that had been called discovered the most horrible bruises on her small body. There was a cut on her palm, and several other incisions over her legs. Her knees were scratched, but other than there, they could find nothing that could account for the girl's death.
In the end, they finally decided that it was from hypothermia.
But curiously, clutched in the palm of her small hand, Kagome held a note.
It had been written with childish hands, the kanji awkward and uneven. Where the girl had learned to write, was a mystery to the police, but even more so, was the what the note read:
"I'm going home now. Inu-chan says that we're going to visit Mama in the sky. He says that we're going together. We're going home together."
There are two sides to this story, and two ways in which one can interpret it.
One, would be the scientific method, in which there is no room for the paranormal, and in which everything has an explained beginning and an end.
The other, would be the mysterious explanation used in accordance with the supernatural, where everything is not as it seems.
Before you draw your own conclusions, there is one more fact I must convey to you:
Fifty years ago, living on the very same shrine grounds, was a young boy, not over five years of age. He too, was an unhappy child, shunned by his classmates and even his brother. All because his mother was the second wife of his father- a previously rich business man.
He lived a dreadfully lonely life, never having friends, and always bullied by his half-brother, until one day, he disappeared.
Nobody knew to where- he was here one day, and gone the next.
A search had been conducted, but he hadn't been found in the city- or on the outskirts of Tokyo either.
His mystery was left unsolved.
And now that all the clues have been relayed to you, dear reader, it is up to you to make your own decision.
The question that you must answer yourself, is:
Do you believe in the Supernatural?
[You've read the story, now draw your own conclusions.
A different style to write in, but it was entertaining.
And for all of you who thought this would be the next chapter for either SG or LD, many apologies. I am currently in Italy, and the night before I left, this idea popped into my head.
And since you were all waiting patiently (or not so), I decided to lessen the tenacious wait with a oneshot.
If I'm in Italy, how is this being posted?
Everybody, thank the wonderful person who is my beta reader! If this goes up before I get back, it means she figured out how to 'create a story'!
I'll be back in a week or two…