Chapter One

Welcome Home

The street lights flickered before completely blacking-out. An awkward silence followed that really freaked me out. I quickened my pace. My house was just a few blocks away, and I couldn't shake the feeling that someone -or something- was following me. Then I heard it. The ear-splitting sound of metal against black-top. He was here and after me. I broke into a dead run, toward my house, and the sound just followed me. Closed in and jumped on top of me. He was right there, about to kill me.

I turned on my heel. If I was going to die, I at least wanted to see the sickening smile of the killer. But my eyes detected nothing. I stood, awfully confused. I heard the sound of his silver hockey stick. I heard the sound of skateboard wheels rolling over pavement. But...No one. I turned again, clutched my bag, and kept my quick pace. Maybe I was just imagining things...

There were times on my walk home when I jumped up and almost screamed at the top of my lungs. A cat knocked over a trashcan, most likely searching for a midnight snack before going home and asking it's owners for some food. A man, no older than forty yelled something at me, but I wasn't paying enough attention to know what he had said. All I wanted was to get home and off of these damned streets. And then the sound came back. That sickening scraping. This time, I immediately turned, in hopes of finding my pursuer, but my attempts came up empty handed.

A wave of relief passed over me when I reached my house. I fumbled with the keys, attempting to find the correct one, so I could shove it in the keyhole and finally be lost in the safety of my bed. But they were being awfully stubborn, and it took me several minutes to locate the correct one, and even when I did, it took a while for me to put it into the keyhole and turn it. As I was attempting to open my door, I made sure I looked around to make sure no one had actually followed me. I then slipped in my house, bolted the doors, and jumped right into my bed. The covers were pulled so far up that they nearly covered my face.


I jumped. I threw the covers off of me. I leaped out of my bed. The sound of his hockey stick came from my kitchen. And I was a fool for thinking that jumping out of my bed would do any good. For, in reality, all it did for me was get my adrenaline flowing faster and my heart pounding harder. The sound stopped and was replaced the rolling of skateboard wheels. It was only then that I realized I was in serious trouble. Lil Slugger's next victim was me.

I grabbed my bag and made a run for the door, breath coming in long gasps of horror. I could feel warm tears spilling from my eyes. I punched the door and, surprisingly, it swung open. Losing my balance, I fell. My hands were bleeding and my knees hit the pavement so hard that I was paralyzed momentarily. "I don't want to die, Damn it!" I screamed. And then everything went black.

"The murder of Arysa Kudosai is a sad one indeed. She was found beaten right outside of her home in Tokyo, Japan. We believe the killer was none other than 'Little Slugger', the menace who has killed many others in a similar fashion. If you have any information on this case, the police are giving a reward of five-thousand yen to any hints that can help in the apprehension of this cold-blooded killer. In other news…" The television screen went blank and the teen stood. The beer can that had been resting on his lap was now on the floor, it's contents spilling onto the filthy carpet. Smoke tendrils made their way out the open window and flames licked the walls violently as the boy grabbed his blood-covered hockey stick and silver skateboard.

The days following the Lil Slugger murder of Arysa were far from peaceful. People were starting fear-driven riots, stores shut down, and the city of Tokyo was nearing a state of emergency. Detectives were reluctant to take the case in fear of being slaughtered themselves, but someone had to take the case anyway. It was finally decided upon that Gin Shinryu would be the head of the case and his partner would be Kayo Iota.

Gin was a fairly young man, being at the age of twenty-five. He was tall, standing at five foot nine, and weighed around one hundred forty-nine pounds. He had neck-length black hair that fell from his scalp in long swirls. His eyes were light blue near the pupil and darkened into an almost aqua green. He was usually moody. At times he would be slap-happy and at other times he would be as pissed as a cat in a bath. He was certainly not one to be trifled with. His formal outfit consisted of a loose black over-shirt over a white tank top, black dress pants, and black polished shoes. His casual attire consisted of a white or black shirt, Dark blue faded jeans, and black skate shoes.

Kayo was a young woman, an apprentice of sorts. She was twenty years old, five foot seven, and one hundred thirty-two pounds. Her wispy blond hair fell down about mid-back. She typically wore it in a bun or pony-tail. Her eyes were brown around the pupil and an emerald green around the rim of the iris. Her formal outfit consisted of a long-sleeved blue dress shirt over a lighter blue undershirt, a knee length, loose blue skirt, and tall, black lace-up boots. Her casual outfit was the same as Gin's: Simple and comfortable. She was usually very quiet, but she spoke out when she had to.

They had taken the case after it was denied by almost every detective in Tokyo. Sure, they didn't fancy it much, or even want to risk their young lives for the case, but they really had no choice. They both had houses to run and the Lil Slugger case was the only one with decent enough pay. So it was settled for them. They would become enemies.

Three days after the murder of Arysa and two days after Gin and Kayo took the Lil Slugger case, police were stationed at almost every street to reduce the violence. But even the police were having trouble keeping the people at bay. Some went insane and resigned and some committed suicide. All because of a blood-thirsty teenager.

Gin walked out of the detective office slowly and silently. He ignored the reporters that were already upon him and got into his car. With a glare plastered onto his face, he started the drive home. Though the streets were dark, he could see the constant violence that plagued the area, teens hitting teens and adults hitting anyone that stepped in their path. It appeared as though no one was trusted anymore- friends suspected friends, neighbors suspected neighbors.

With a heavy sigh, he pulled into his driveway. It had taken him thirty-seven minutes to complete a ten-minute drive. That was how bad things had gotten. Just the other day, he had assured the city he would find Lil Slugger as soon as possible. But still, the riots continued. He stepped out of his car, stretched, and walked toward the door. Just as he was about to drop his hand onto the knob, his phone rang and he jumped in surprise. No one, not even Kayo, called him so late at night.

"H-Hello?" He asked, still a bit surprised. There was no reply for a moment or two, so Gin asked again, slightly agitated. "Hello?" There was a laugh of sorts on the other line, which really pissed him off. "You Damn Teenagers better get a life!" He screamed, slamming the phone shut and entering his house. A wave of relief passed over him when he took a seat in his arm chair and propped his feet up. The house was silent then, and Gin nearly fell into a deep sleep.


His phone rang again, and he was reluctant to answer. But, in case it was Kayo, he had to. Flipping up the screen, he answered, quietly. There was a rustling, then a maniacal laugh. "Who the hell is this?" He demanded, sitting up.

"Little Slugger."

Gin dropped the phone. He could hear the loud, insane laugh on the other line. He could just picture the expression on the kid's face. But, he couldn't believe it. He bent over and picked up the phone, placed it next to his ear, and took a huge breath. "Who?"

"Don't make me repeat myself, Detective." Came the mocking reply. Gin heard a screeching sound and immediately knew, this was no joke. Lil Slugger was on the other line, talking to him. "Are you still there?" He laughed, again.


"Well, Detective, unless you give up this case, you are my next victim."



"I said No."

"Foolish, for a Detective."


The line cut out then, and Gin placed to phone on the night-stand next to the arm-chair. His heart was racing, faster than it ever had. He had to call Kayo, tell her of what just happened, and get the call traced. But not today.

He was Lil Slugger's next victim. Unless he gave up the case. But he wouldn't be that foolish. No. He turned off all the lights, except for the one in the hall, and headed for his room. When inside, he shut the door, locked it, then did the same to the windows. Only then did he lay in his bed and cover up, falling into a deep, dreamy abyss.

When Gin awoke the next day, it was nearly three in the afternoon. After getting out of bed, he stretched and sighed, smacking his dry lips, then walked over to his dresser. He grabbed a fresh change of clothes and stumbled to the bathroom, still in a sort of dreamy state.

Then the memory hit him.

He quickly pulled on his clothes, without bathing, ran into his room, grabbed his phone, and sprinted down the stairs. Before exiting, he tidied his hair and made sure he looked alright. Then, he was off, speeding toward the Detectives Office. The streets were remarkably clear, he noticed, with only a few small groups fighting. By now, the police force was nearly gone. Only the men and women who would truly give up their lives remained.

Gin made it to the Office in record time. When he burst through the door, the secretary looked utterly confused. She allowed him to pass after telling him where Kayo was and he bowed in a thankful manner. The secretary quickly smiled, but worry was written all over her features. It was as obvious as rancid milk.

He was soon upon her door, which he knocked on quite hard. She answered it and Gin pushed past, sitting down quickly in her chair.

"Kayo!" He yelled, not really meaning to.

"What's wrong, Detective?" She inquired, her head tilted questioningly to the side. Gin sighed, grasping his bearings, and continued.

"I got… a message last night." He said. Kayo merely stared, and Gin continued. "The teen on the other line claimed to be Little Slugger. At first I didn't believe him, but after I heard it…" He stopped.

"Heard what, Gin? What did you hear?"

"His Hockey Stick."

"Are you mad?" She spat, taking a seat opposite him, an agitated look plastered on her face. "Any Teenager in Japan can own a Hockey Stick!" Gin looked defeated for a moment. He hadn't thought that far.

"Well… Damn." He said. "But look, Kayo! It's our only lead so far! If we could trace the call, we could possibly find the menace!" Kayo shot a look of pity, almost, at Gin.

"Gin, quit. You're being rash. I think you need a day off."

"NO!" He shouted, slamming his fist on the table. "I do not!"

"Yes, you do. Now go!" Her voice raised slightly.

Gin finally gave in and went home. He practically threw himself onto the arm-chair and sulked. Damn her! What does she know? For all I know, that could have been the real Little Slugger! And if it was, She'll be sorry! She will!

But in reality, he knew. He knew that he would be the one.

There was a rap on the door. At first, Gin was reluctant to answer, just as he was when the phone rang the previous night. But, with a sigh, he got up and walked to the door.

But what greeted him was far from pleasant.

"Welcome Home."