Author's note: This fic will be a series of shorts from 'Siren'/'Forbidden Siren' based on one of the four paper fortunes that you can find in the Mizuhiruko Shrine during (Professor) Tamon Takeuchi's 'kill shibito brain' mission. It's possible to receive fortunes promising 'excellent,' 'good,' 'poor' or 'atrocious' luck, and after collecting the fortune as a document in your archive, it will change at random every time you reset the game. This piece will be largely from Takeuchi's point of view, but I am also planning to branch out to some of the other characters in the coming parts of the stories (this first chapter focuses more on Hisako).
Here is the 'Atrocious' fortune in full:
Overall luck: Atrocious
The leaves of winter turn to rot without seeing the light of spring.
That which you desire is never to be had.
He whom you await heeds not your call.
Ask a woman for that which was lost.
Journeys will end where they begin.
Trade is destined never to succeed.
All scholarly pursuits are futile.
Beg for pardon in feuds and quarrels.
Affairs of love will change to war.
Illness is sure to lead to death.
Marriage will not take place in this life.
1. Ask a woman for that which was lost.
He has never seen her real face. Sketches of it line his apartment; stare up at him from the pages of books, but they're all different—some are like beautiful, sad, and angelic, and some are deformed and green, their mouths hanging open, fishlike, in permanent, ghastly stupor.
The picture in his mind alternates between the images, even as he tries to decide whether she is sympathetic or despicable. That she might be both—well, he doesn't like to think about that.
He imagines her waking, terrified, in the middle of a cold ocean, twisting wildly like a fish out of water. He sees her coughing and sputtering as she paddles against the current, unaware that the life she is trying to save has already been lost centuries ago. If she can only make it to that shore, she thinks, seeing it off in the distance, faded like a mirage in the desert.
When her feet touch the sand, she doesn't wonder at how far away the land seemed before—she is only grateful not to have drowned. As she makes her way across the foggy, unfamiliar beach, the thick, icy water laps at her heels, as if to greet an old friend it has not seen in many years. She simply shrieks at the cold and moves inland, wondering why it seems that the ocean is following her.
When she finally feels stone beneath her feet and sees buildings lit up in the distance, her heart leaps with joy and fear. Perhaps there are people here who can help her. Perhaps they can tell her what happened—
The sky cracks open. It begins to rain. She reaches the steps of a church, and she knows, somehow, that there is just one man inside. He is looking out the window calmly, watching the storm, not expecting any visitors at this time of the night.
He will help her: his heart is soft. And there will be others, too—
A young boy who is still far away; a little, terrified girl with blood running out of her eyes, and the Kaijiros…
She can already hear the screaming, see the gate opening…
She starts from her vision at the sound of a voice and looks up, realizing that there is a man now standing in the doorway of the church, staring at the naked woman in front of him in complete amazement. She is soaked, the water running over her in rivers. It pulls her hair down around her shoulders and makes her skin shiny and slippery.
For a moment, she longs to go back to the ocean, swim to the deepest part and never leave…
But then she composes herself, looking up at the man with a kind of innocence that cannot be feigned.
She is innocent. She is going to save them all.