One More Chance

By: Lakija X

Chapter 1: In the Twin's Room

"Mio, my... brother..." Chitose said.

I could have sworn that I had taken care of this ghost. She was in a room with me as I was searching for some medicine. I'd just found Mayu, and she was sitting down on someone's pillow.

I was not aware that Chitose was in the area until I heard her timid but cold voice.

Chitose. She was just a child when she died. In a closet, she had hidden, and was not aware of the Repentance. The Cold. The Calamity. The Malice. The Dark had taken her. And she had never known.

The realization of her calling me Mio, and not Yae, a name belonging to someone else, hit me hard. She should have been at a halt in time. Why? Why did she know who I really was?

Slowly, I turned to face her. I had to see her. She could be more dangerous now. Now that she knew me. Mayu looked up to see what I was doing. Somehow, she did not realize that Chitose was there. She was very groggy. "Itsuki, I..." she whispered

She couldn't help.

And for some reason, my cheeks burned as she spoke. What was this? Jealousy? That she knew something Sae knew? Something Yae, I, didn't know? Nah...

The camera would be my only chance. The tatami on the floor caused my movement to become sluggish. It was littered with boys' kimonos. I was scared. I reached for my camera.

Chitose came into view suddenly, before I could continue my turn. It was so sudden, almost, supernatural. And it couldn't have been anything else but this.

"Ah!"

I dropped my antique camera on the floor. Obviously, it was very durable. It did not crack even slightly.

My knees crumpled, and I sat on the ground. I clasped my hands together as she stood in front of me. She put her face so close to mine that I could see her shiny black eyes. The surface of them was marbleized, but marred, because she could hardly see.

I whimpered as I shuffled backwards. Chitose smiled softly, vanished, then reappeared a foot away from me. She was so hazy, as if she was from an old film reel.

Her hands slowly delved around in her kimono. She seemed to be searching for something.

Her presence was chilling the room. I could see my breath in front of my face. The room was so dark, cluttered with boy's things. I even caught a glimpse of a... mummy.

I'd been in here before. It had been filled with ghostly presences. My camera was able to see things the naked eye couldn't. I'd gotten lots of pictures, even one of a twin boy.

Chitose's face was so pale, causing her hair to stand out. She was looking down at something in her hand. She held it out, as if to get a better look.

"Ma... may I, see it?"

The little girl stopped gazing at her treasure. She held her picture in one hand, and touched mine. Her icy fingertips sent chills up my spine.

"Look."

Chitose dropped the picture. It drifted to the ground, fluttering like a butterfly. So slowly. Graceful, even. Chitose pointed to it, as it rested on the ground.

"Cleanser, Mutsuki, and Itsuki."

I looked at her. Yes. I had heard of them. Itsuki and Mutsuki just happened to be two teenagers who had to go through with the Sacrifice. The Cleanser had, cleansed them before that.

I bent down to retrieve the picture. It was so old.

Chitose touched me on my thigh, as if to get my attention. I looked down. She was giving me my camera. She smiled very shyly, mysteriously.

"Can I go?"

I looked at her. Her cheeks looked rosy, though that was impossible. She looked so innocent now. When did all of that happen? I didn't know. Chitose seemed to be urging me to look at the picture.

I had seen it already, but then I noticed why she wanted to give me the camera. The filament on the lens of my camera was glowing.

I lifted the camera to my eyes, trying to focus on the source of the strange energies. It seemed to be emanating from the photograph in my hand...

I adjusted the camera to take a picture of it. After I clicked the shutter, I was startled at what I saw. There was an image of the white haired boy, Itsuki. A rope was around his neck. He was horrifically suspended from the ceiling. As I gazed upon the picture I could hear the creaking rope as Itsuki's body swayed with every wispy murmur of the wind.

---Itsuki's Demise---

My heart pounded. The scene was petrifying. Little Chitose started to whimper as she put her arms around my waist. Her presence no longer felt cold. Now it felt warm and comforting. She dug her head into my side. I could feel her. She... must have been ... I don't know. Maybe now that she had feelings, I had brought her back to life. Somehow. So simple...

I didn't know what to make of this photo, so I went to Mayu's side.

"Get up, Mayu. We've got to go."

"Huh? Yes Mio?"

"Um... Itsuki is in trouble."

"What? I...oh Mio, we have to save him!" Mayu's eyes blurred with lucid tears.

"Don't worry Mayu. Okay? Yeah..." Why was I feeling so... weird? Itsuki...?

I felt annoyed at the thought of Mayu worrying after giving me so much grief. Now she suddenly wanted to help? Now that it involved Itsuki. And, why didn't I want her to help? Because I wanted to help him. Alone.