A major source of inspiration for this chapter was Fightstar's songs, especially Shinji Ikari and Unfamiliar Ceilings. You should check them out.


Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

These are the events of the twentieth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy was asleep in his father's car.

Hayate Arisoto was driving his family home that night, after visiting his parents for the weekend.

On that Monday morning, the Dark Hour was born.




It's dark…


Something's burning…


I sat up and rubbed my face.


I'm bleeding.

"Mom…" I said, reaching for the front seat. "Mom, I'm bleeding-"

Mom wasn't there.

There was big black thing in her chair.

"DAD!" I shouted. "MOM'S-!"

He's collapsed.

He's bleeding.


I looked at the seat next to me.

She's bleeding.

She's breathing.

I undid my seatbelt and reached over for Natalie's. "Come on, wake up…" I told her, shaking her.

She's not waking up.

I'll have to carry her out, but the back doors are kiddie-locked.

Come on, I'm almost eight, I can do this.

I crawled over her and slipped out through the broken window. "Alright, come on." I told myself, pulling my four-year old sister through the window.

She coughed as I laid her on the road, but she's safe now.

Now for mom and dad.

I ran around the car, climbing onto the hood to see if they were okay.

They weren't.

Dad's gone through the steering wheel.

Mom wasn't there, just a big black coffin that went through the roof like it wasn't real.

Why aren't I scared?

I'm a big boy, but this…

He's dead.

Dad's dead, and something's happened to mom.

I slipped off the car and looked around. Daddy didn't drink anything, so how did this happen?

All the other cars have stopped.

Coffins everywhere.

And blood.

So much blood.

Whole puddles of it all over the place.

And the moon…

I've never seen it so-

What's that thing on that island?

What's that bell..?



I turned around and saw a monster fighting a sword in a dress. The sword vanished and a blonde girl charged at the monster.

She kept shooting out of her fingers.

"HELP!" I shouted. "MY SISTER'S HURT!"

The monster looked at me.

"RUN!" the girl shouted as the sword-dress thing appeared again.

The monster tossed it aside and charged for me with its own sword.



I gripped the sword that had impaled my chest.

I see…

So I was mad.

That's why I'm not crying.

I'm a monster just like this one now.

A mad, insane monster with nothing left to lose.

"This Is Your Fault." I said to the monster, letting the blood soak into my hands. "It's Your Fault That Dad's Dead."

It tried to pull free, but I wouldn't let it.

What was it that they said in that game?

"No Pity." I growled to myself, raising my other arm and grabbing the monster by the wrist. "No Remorse. No Fear."

The monster screamed at me and pulled its sword out of my chest, and I fell backwards.

The girl dashed around between the monster and me, shooting at it again.

I stood up.

I walked to the car.

"RUN!" the girl shouted as I reached through dad's broken window.

I reached into his jacket pocket.

I pulled out his gun.

I have no idea how to use this, but someone's about to die.

I clicked off the safety and pulled the top bit back to get a bullet ready.

The girl shouted again, but was stabbed in the shoulder by the monster.

The monster pulled its sword away, tearing her arm off as I aimed the gun.


A hole appeared in the monsters chest.

The girl's finger guns weren't doing that to it.

I loaded the gun again.

This time, I hit the head.

It didn't kill the monster, but it hurt it.

"The Enemies Of Man Shall Die." I snarled, loading the gun again as I walked towards the monster. "By My Hand, They Shall Be Broken."

The monster screamed at me and charged.

I held an arm out.

Darkness rose from me and tied the monster up.

It slammed to the ground.

The monster screeched and fought, but I kept it trapped.

The floor underneath the monster glowed with a blue light.

"Please, run!" the girl shouted at me. "I keep it trapped and kill it with my self-destruct, but please get out or I'll get you too!"

I looked at her.

I looked at dad.

I looked at Natalie.

"Kill For The Living." I said, turning back to the monster and walking towards it. "And Kill For The Dead."

This just feels so right.

I stepped into the holy circle and shoved the gun into my trousers before putting a hand on the monster's head. "You Trapped The Monster Here." I said the girl. "Trap Him Inside Me."

"I- What?"

"No More Need Die Tonight." I said. "I Chooseth This Fate Of Mine Own Free Will. If There Is A Price, Then I'll Pay It Gladly. If Taking This Monster Upon Me Will Be My Death, Then So Be It. Wherever This Choice Leads Me, That Is Where I Will Go. This Is My Right."

The monster laughed.

It collapsed into smoke.

The world turned black.

I fell.

I opened my eyes and saw a white ceiling.


I sat up as I was tackled by Natalie, who was covered in bandages. "Hey, gerroff!" I laughed, shoving her. "Where's mom and dad?" I asked, seeing as I was in a hospital.

"I dunno…" she said. "They won't tell me."

I froze.

"Is there a grown-up who was looking after you?" I asked her.

"Aiko-san's just gone to the bathroom." Natalie said. "Why?"

"I want to ask her something." I told her. "What's the first thing you remember after waking up?"

"I was in an ambulance with you." Natalie said. "Why are you so serious?"


I looked up at the woman who just entered the curtained-off area that served as my hospital room. "Aiko-san?" I asked.

She nodded.

"Mom and dad are dead, aren't they?" I asked her.

She froze, but looked down at her shoes. "I'm sorry…"

Natalie shuddered. "Aniki..?" she asked.

I turned to my sister and pulled her into a hug.

I never hugged my sister.

I'm not a hugging person.

So when I did hug her, she cried.

Not because I was hugging her.

But because I was hugging her.

Mom had been where I saw that coffin; in her chair.

She'd fallen forward and cut her throat open on the broken glass.

I spent much of the day with doctors, social workers and the police. They wanted to talk to me alone, but I wasn't letting Natalie out of my sight.

Granddad Kuzunoha was coming to collect us, but we would have to spend the night in a local children's home before he got here, since he was on a plane half-way to Russia when the news finally reached him.

We were orphans going to an orphanage.

That was fine.

No, it wasn't.

Mom and dad should be alive.

They should be home.

I should be playing today.

I'm going to have to look after Natalie now.

The other kids in the care home avoided us.

I don't blame them. Natalie looks like a walking corpse.

I doubt I look much better either.

That was to be expected, really. We are 'fresh' orphans, after all.


I hate the word.

It'd be easier to forget about mom and dad altogether.

But I won't.

I hadn't even cried for them yet.


"I'm awake." I told Natalie, rolling in my futon to face her. "What's up?"

"Mom and dad…"

I reached over and pulled her close.

Dad always made sure that we were aware of death from as early as possible.

Natalie would be five next month.

Ten days after this and I'll be eight.

We understand death.

And it had happened to mom and dad.

We would never see them again.

But at least I'll be here for her.

Where Is Your Power?


The Power You Used To Make Death Yours. Where Is It Now?

I don't know what you're talking about.

The Enemies of Man Shall Die. By Your Hand, They Shall Be Broken. Have You Forgotten Already, Boy?

I just want to look after my sister.

I never promised you anything.

You Chose This Fate Of Your Own Free Will.

Kill For The Living.

Kill For The Dead.

That's not me.

I don't know who promised you that, but it wasn't me.

I never promised to die.

I never promised to kill anything.

You Are Human.

It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves

It's In Your Nature To Kill Yourselves

It's In Your Nature To Kill Each Other

It's In Your Nature To Kill, Kill, KILL!


I sat bolt upright to find the bedroom on fire.


I pulled Natalie close. "Cover your face." I told her, picking her up and walking towards the door.

I touched the door handle.

Crap! That's hot.

Still, we went up some stairs and the fires already in this room…

Natalie coughed.

I took a step back and kicked the door down, then stepped into the corridor.

The doors landed against the opposite wall at an angle, but there was still plenty of room for me to get into the corridor.

I jumped over the door and ran through the flames and towards the stairs.

"LET ME GO!" One boy with gray hair screamed, fighting against the firemen who were holding him back. "MY SISTER'S STILL IN THERE!"

I just held onto Natalie under the blanket as I sat by the fire engine, watching the orphanage burn.

I knew what would happen to me if I lost her like that boy might lose his sister.

Right now, she's the only thing keeping me going.


I looked up.

Everyone was gone.

Only coffins remained, standing where everyone else was.

Natalie herself was a coffin in my arms.

I didn't cry when my parents died.

I'm crying now.

These are the events of the twenty-first day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy was cradling his sister's transmogrified coffin.

Having lost everything, the boy that carried death broke.

On that Tuesday morning, the fate of the world was almost decided.


I stopped crying and looked at Natalie.

"You're alive…" I said, smiling.

"You look bored Aniki," Natalie said.

I didn't care.

I pulled the one thing that mattered to me close.

I am not going to let her go.

They found the boy's sister dead in the corridor.

She'd been knocked unconscious by some falling debris, whatever it was had been reduced to ash.

I shook my head.

I'm not a killer.

I didn't knock that girl out by kicking the door down on her head.

I didn't murder a stranger to save my sister.

If I had to make that decision?

I don't know what I'd do.


I know exactly what I'd do.

We ended up sheltering at a nearby school for the night.

I was shaken awake.

It was that gray haired boy.

"You love your sister, don't you?" he asked me as I sat up on the futon.

"Yes." I told him. "Yes I do."

The boy looked down. "Look after her." He told me. "Please."

I nodded.

"Your parents died recently, didn't they?" he asked me.

"Yesterday." I told him.

"Does it hurt?" he asked me.

I looked at Natalie.

"No." I replied. "It should, but I'm too busy to hurt. Natalie cries for both of us."

The boy nodded. "Look after her." He told me. "Please."

"I will." I told him.

"Aki." Another boy hissed. "What're you doing?"

"Nothing." The gray-haired boy replied, walking away from Natalie and me. "Go back to sleep Shinji."

Granddad arrived for us that morning.

"I'm sorry Grandma couldn't come." He said, holding us both tight. "She's still upset…"

"Aren't you?" I asked him.

"I'm not allowed to let that stop me from looking after you." He said with a shaky smile. "Come on; let's get you two kids home."

"I'm home!" Natalie shouted as we stepped inside our house. Granddad and I followed suit as I walked to the fridge and granddad broke the security alarm somehow.

"Alright, we'll stay here for now." He told us. "Who wants breakfast?"

I sat down on the floor.

Dad used to say the exact same thing on Sundays…

I'm still not crying.

I had a bath and took off my bandages after teatime.

I've got a scar above my right eye now.

I wonder if anyone will notice if I grow my hair over it..?

Well, a plaster will do for now.

Mum kept them in the bathroom cupboard.

I climbed onto the side of the bath so I could open it and look inside.

Let's see… plasters… plasters… plasters…

There, got them.

My foot slipped.

I cracked my head against the metal cupboard as I fell. "ARRGH!" I shouted.

Granddad rushed in after a few seconds. "What happened?" he asked. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah…" I said, pulling my hand away from my forehead. "I slipped while getting the plasters for my head." I smirked. "I guess I actually need them now, huh?"

Granddad smiled. "Come here." He said, rubbing my forehead and whispering something.

It stopped hurting.

Granddad took his hand away and frowned. "That scar's gonna be there for a while." He told me, standing up again. "Anyway, get in your pyjamas; it's past your bedtime."

These are the events of the twenty-second day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy was sleeping in his bed.

Having not yet comprehended his pain, the boy focused on keeping others happy.

On that Wednesday morning, the boy faced Death.

I sat in a dark place, facing the monster.

"What do you want?" I asked it.

What Do YOU Want?

I stared at it.

"You're the one that's inside my head." I told it. "You're the one that killed my mom and dad."

And You Were The One That Demanded To Be My Jailor. Very Few Volunteer To Walk With Death.

"Is that your name?" I asked it.

If That Is What You Wish To Call Me.

I nodded. "I'm Minato." I told it. "I guess I'm stuck with you in my head then."

Until You See Fit To Release Me.

I glared at Death.

"No." I said. "You won't hurt anyone else."

I Can Hurt You.

"I don't care." I snarled. "I won't let you hurt anyone."

A Human Infant Against An Infinite Death God.

Your Songs Say That I Shall Lose.

I Disagree.

I woke up, panting for breath.

It's three in the morning.

I'm not going back to sleep.

I got up and walked into the living room.

Granddad was sat on the couch, watching a film on the telly.

"Granddad?" I asked him.

He turned around to look at me, then paused the film. "Hey." He said. "Have a nightmare?"

I shook my head. It's not lying. "I can't sleep." I told him. "Can I watch the film with you?"

"Well, it's not really one you should be watching." He said.

"Tyler Durden is really-"

He held his hand out. "Have you seen it before?" he asked me.

I nodded. "One time when mum and dad were out."

Granddad sighed. "Alright, but don't tell me what happens." He said. "This is a new film you know."

I jumped onto the couch next to him. "You might want to look away for this bit." I warned as he unpaused the video.

He cringed as the human fat escaped from the bag and they tried to catch it with their bare hands.

I woke up to find Natalie shaking me.

"Whut?" I asked her, rolling over in my bed.

"Don't you want lunch?"

I sat up and looked at the clock.

It's early afternoon.

I must've fallen asleep during the film and granddad put me to bed.

"Yeah." I told her. "I'm coming."

We spent much of the day packing mum and dad's things.

The funeral was going to be tomorrow.

After that, Natalie would go to granddad's house with grandma, while granddad and I continued packing.

I didn't like it, but our things needed packing, and someone had to look after grandma, and Natalie's too small to lift things.

Grandma arrived around evening time with sweets from outside the city.

It was good to see her, and she was happy to see us.

We couldn't play with her for long though, we had an early night that night.

We were saying goodbye to mom and dad tomorrow.

You Disgust Me.

Oh yeah mister monster?

I Allowed You To Serve As My Host Because Of Your Strength. All You Have Are Lies.

And I don't care.

I'll Kill You And All Your Family.

No, you won't.

I won't let you.

You Know There's Only One Way To Stop Me.

Dad's gun appeared on my lap.

Prove Your Resolve.

Stop Me.

"You're insane." I told Death. "I'm not going to kill myself."

Then You're Weak.

Your Strength Can't Protect Anyone.

"SHUT UP!" I shouted, picking up the gun and shooting.

The bullets passed harmlessly though him.

Death laughed.

I'm In Your Head, Child.

There's Only One Place You Can Point That Gun.

Death smirked, pointing at the side of his head.

Go On…

I snarled.

I loaded the gun and put it to my ear.

These are the events of the twenty-third day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy had a gun to his head

With monsters in his mind and fear in his heart, the boy fell for the lies of the beast.

On that Thursday morning, the boy pulled the trigger.

"IDIOT!" Granddad shouted, smacking me across the head as he pulled the gun from my hands. "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

I just stood there, numb.

Granddad got there in time to pull the gun away.

There were bullet holes in the ceiling and the wall.

I fell to my knees and granddad emptied the gun, throwing it away. "Explain yourself boy." Granddad told me.

"He's inside my head."

"Who is?" Granddad asked.

"The monster that killed mom and dad." I replied.

"They died in an accident Minato." Granddad said.

I shook my head.

"Since Monday, time stopped for an hour at midnight." I explained. "I'm the only one there, but there's another girl, and a monster called Death. We fought the monster, and we sealed him inside me. He talks to me at night."

Granddad would believe me.

Granddad was a detective.

He'd believe me.

"I believe you." Granddad told me. "But don't you ever dare listen to him again, you hear me?"

I nodded.

"Come on, smile." Granddad said, pulling me into a hug. "Don't make that face, it scares me."

We were at the funeral at ten in the morning.

It was boring.

Some guy we didn't know sprinkled water over mom and dad's grave and said some things.

I didn't know any body there except for Natalie, grandma and granddad.

I wonder what my funeral would be like.

After the funeral was a party-thing called a wake.

No-one was smiling.

A lot of people had died in an accident on Monday, so the wakes were all mixed together.

I saw a face I recognised.

I'd never seen the girl before, but I recognised that face.

It looked just like Natalie's did when she thought no-one was looking.

These are the events of the twenty-fourth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy stood in his bedroom.

Having buried his parents, he decided to bury his demons.

On that Friday morning, the boy sought Death.

You Were This Close You Know.

"I'm here to get rid of you." I told the monster.

And How Do You Intend To Do That?

"My way." I told is, holding my arm out to the side.

Black flames erupted in my hand.

I See.

So You Are The Side Of Him That Is The Destroyer.

"The Moment Man Devoured The Fruit Of Knowledge, He Sealed His Fate." I told Death. "Beyond The Beaten Path Lies The Absolute End. No Matter Who You Are, Death Awaits You."

The monster laughed.

Proud Words, But Will That Be Enough?

I rammed my hand into his face.

I smashed his head against the wall.

I dug my fingers into his skull and threw him to the ground.


Feel Your Fury, Your Hate, Your Pain!

Let It Consume You!

Become An Engine In MY NAME!

I roared as black flames burst from my arms and consumed the monster.

I slapped a hand on the floor and white spikes burst from the wood, tearing his body apart.

I then held my hand out to the side, summoning a powerful gun to point at Death's skull.

"Stay Where You Belong." I told it. "In The Pit Of My Madness."

Death laughed.

I'm Always With You.

I snarled, and pulled the trigger.


I stepped over the carnage and went back to bed.

I'll sleep easy tonight.

Granddad decided that I should go with Grandma instead of Natalie that morning.

I shrugged.

"I'll see you both on Sunday though, right?" I asked.

Granddad nodded with a smile.

"Yeah." He said. "Of course you will."

I hugged Natalie on the doorstep. "Be good for granddad, okay?" I told her.

She nodded. "You be good for grandma."

I smiled and kissed her on the forehead. "I'll see you Sunday." I said, walking out the door. "Bye!"

She waved back as I climbed into the car.

"It's going to be a long trip." Grandma said once we were on the highway. "Do you want to play a game?"

"I like 'I Spy'." I told her.

"Alright then." Grandma smiled. "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with… D."



"Driver's seat?" I asked.

"Nope." She replied.

"Duck?" I asked, craning my neck over the dashboard-


"Dashboard?" I asked.

"You got me." Grandma chuckled. "Your turn."

I grinned.

"I spy with my little eye-"

"Tractor." Grandma said.

I looked at the tractor we were over taking. "No fair, you cheated!" I shouted.

"Grandmothers know their grandsons, and nothing grabs a grandson's attention like a tractor or a fire engine." She explained. "Elementary, my dear Minato!"

I'm so going to have to get her to teach me how to do that.

Wait, we have another six hours driving left before we get to grandma's house.

"Grandma?" I asked. "Can you teach me how to do that?"

"Of course!" Grandma laughed. "We can start tomorrow of you'd like."

"What about now?" I asked. "It'll be more fun than I Spy."

Grandma frowned, but then smiled. "Alright, you're a smart boy Minato." She said. "I can teach you the basics of psychology and deduction for now."

It was hard.

Eventually, I fell asleep.

These are the events of the twenty-fourth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy slept in his new bed.

The monsters were gone and he had a new home.

On that Friday morning, the boy was at ease

I woke up in the middle of the night.

I was in my room at grandma's house.

It was a big house.

I got up and looked around, trying to find grandma.

I didn't find her, but I found a coffin in her study.

There were a pile of documents on the desk too.

Who's Raidou Shirogane?

I yawned.

I'll just go back to bed.

That morning, I explored the house while grandma worked.

I'd been here before, but I still get lost sometimes.

Grandma would play with me, but she's got her work to do.

It's very important she says.

Raidou Shirogane must be a very important man.

I played all day.

So much that I didn't see grandma again until tea time.

She looked scared.

"What's wrong grandma?" I asked.

"N-Natalie…" she whispered. "And your granddad…"

"Are they going to be late?" I asked her.

"They're dead." She whispered.

"That's not funny grandma." I told her. "It's a rubbish joke."

"The house… it burnt down." She said. "They were sleeping, and they didn't get out…"

"Rubbish." I laughed. "Granddad could get out of anything, and he'd hear the alarm straight away."

"It was broken…" Grandma explained, pulling me into a hug. "I'm sorry…"

These are the events of the twenty-fifth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy lay sleepless in bed.

His sister was gone. His new life shattered.

On that Saturday morning, the boy was broken.

I stood next to grandma as she sprinkled water and ashes over the Kuzunoha family grave.

"Is that… granddad and Natalie..?" I asked grandma.

"Yes…" she whispered.

"Why's she here?" I asked. "Natalie's not a Kuzunoha."


"We're Arisoto's." I said. "Dad left the family, and Natalie should be with MOM AND DAD!"

"Minato!" Grandma shouted, kneeling down to grab me. "You're bleeding!"

I pushed her away. "NO!" I shouted. "SHE SHOULD BE HERE! WITH! ME!"

Thunder crashed in the sky and it started raining.

It was sunny before.

But I don't care.

I like the rain.

It washes the pain away.

"In the end…" I sobbed, looking up at the sky. "Everything's lost like tears in the rain."

I looked in the mirror after washing the blood from my face.

I didn't look sad.

I look bored.

I cried.

I still look bored.

My head just keeps on bleeding.

I still look bored.

I really am a monster.

I walked into Natalie's room that night.

It's cold in here.

I can hide behind my breath.

Light up and breathe in too much.

It goes cold with a gunshot.

To be here it still feels nice.

I grow old after one shot.

I breathe in and it feels nice.

I feel it's over.

Drop the light in here.

This is goodbye.

These are the events of the twenty-sixth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy sat on his sisters' bed

Power, monsters, none of it matters.

On that Sunday morning, the boy wished to die.

It hurts.

I can smell her.

She slept here last week.

Grandma knocked on the door frame. "Are you okay?" she asked.

I just nodded, squeezing Natalie's pillow.

Some of us will know what none of us should know.

Smoke will fill this room and there'll be nothing left to show.

Hold onto the ones you love. There won't be time to show enough.

Grandma tore the lighter from my hand. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" she screamed, pulling me from the petrol-covered bed.

I don't know.

I honestly don't know.

I can feel her.

She's sleeping next to me.

"Stay awake with me." I told her, squeezing her hand. It's getting light outside. "Stay awake with me." I begged.

People change their ways when there's nothing left to lose.

You won't recall all your wins.

But the toughest beats will hold your heart and mind.

She's gone.

Natalie's gone.

I couldn't protect her.

I killed the monster, but I couldn't protect her.

At least I'm crying now.

These are the events of the twenty-seventh day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy wished for his sister.

He wanted his mom. He wanted his dad.

On that Monday morning, the boy realised that he was all alone.

Grandma can't look after me forever.

She's old.

She asked me if I wanted to go live in England with Uncle Amos.

I don't wanna live anywhere.

I want Natalie.

I want mom and dad.

I want Natalie.

I had to get out of bed so grandma could change the sheets and the pillows.

She didn't want me drowning in my own blood.

I don't see why.

One more and we'll be a complete set.

Dad got his chest crushed by his steering wheel.

Mom got her throat cut on broken glass.

Natalie burnt in her sleep.

I'm the only one left.

If I'm lucky, the plane will crash and it'll all be over.

I'll be with Natalie again. I'll be with mom and dad in heaven.

But I killed that boy's sister.

I didn't cry at mum and dad's funeral.

They've been dead a week, and I still haven't cried for them.

I probably haven't cried for Natalie.

I'm probably crying because she left me alone.

I only care about myself.

I'm a horrible person.

I'll probably go to hell.

These are the events of the twenty-eighth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy wished for love.

He wouldn't let anyone close. It hurt too much.

On that Tuesday morning, the boy wanted it all to end.

Grandma made me eat something.

I didn't want it.

Grandma made me get a bath.

I didn't want it.

Grandma pulled me into a hug.

I didn't want it.

Grandma tucked me into bed.

I didn't want it.

I want my sister.

These are the events of the twenty-ninth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy left his bedroom and walked outside.

Taking a shovel, he did the only thing that made sense.

On that Wednesday morning, the boy dug a grave.

Grandma found me outside that morning.

"What are you digging for?" she asked me, happy that I was out of the house at least.

"I'm digging a grave." I told her.

"Everyone was cremated." She said. "You don't need a grave."

"I never did anything for them." I said. "I could only cry for Natalie."

Blood dripped onto the soil.

"You need a doctor to look at that." She said, wiping a tissue across my forehead. "It should've healed by now."

"It only bleeds when it hurts." I told her. "Please can you get me some water?"

She smiled. "Of course." She said. "I'll be right back."

I nodded, then returned to digging.

I've only dug up to my knees.

My hands hurt.

Blood is seeping into the blisters in my hands.

It's good.

It's supposed to hurt.

That's what doing something for someone should feel like.

This is good pain.

I dug for the rest of the day, and Uncle Amos was impressed when he showed up.

I recognised him from the funeral, but he didn't stay long before going back.

I remember granddad telling him that he had everything sorted.


Uncle Amos reached into the hole and offered me a hand. "Come on." He said in English. "Let's get something to eat."

I ate more that day than I've eaten all week.

I was starving.

I was tired.

But it felt good.

"You know, one of the best ways to deal with the death of a loved one is to dig a grave for them." Amos told me at dinner. "You're doing something for them, and the physical labour turns the pain into something physical that you can get out." He smiled. "It's like sweating out your tears."

"Did you dig a grave for mom?" I asked him.

Amos looked down.

"I'm going to build a porch back home." He said eventually. "That'll be my grave."

"Can I help?" I asked.

He looked at me, then smiled. "Of course." He told me. "Can you mix cement?"

"I can use a shovel." I replied

These are the events of the thirtieth day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy dreamt.

He dreamt of the family he'd lost, and he dreamt of saying goodbye.

On that Thursday morning, the boy's head didn't bleed.

Uncle Amos and I got on a plane that day.

I was moving to Yorkshire.

Grandma kissed me goodbye at the terminal.

I never saw her again.

I slept on the plane.

I had a nightmare.

About monsters and girls, on a bridge where mom turned into a coffin and dad died.

I couldn't protect Natalie.

I'll protect who I can.

Kill for the living. Kill for the dead.

When we arrived in England, it was morning again.

I looked out the window as Uncle Amos drove me to his house.

It was a beautiful country.

So many hills…

They have purple grass that's supposed to be springier than a mattress over here.

When we got home, I met Uncle Amos's family. His wife as called Anne, and she was pregnant.

Marina was around the same age as me, give or take a few months. She seemed nice enough, but kinda violent.

I'd be sharing a room with her brother, Noah. He's four.

Just like Natalie.

I pushed past them. "Gomenasai." I told them. "I… I really need to sleep."

"Didn't you sleep on the plane?" Marina asked, but Uncle Amos put a hand on her shoulder, shaking his head.

These are the events of the thirty-first day in the month of March in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

It started at midnight.

The boy tried to sleep in the sickening sunlight.

In England, it was still the thirtieth day.

On that Thursday afternoon, the boy tried to sleep.

England is cold.

It rains too.

The world goes wrong in the afternoon here, not at midnight.

I'll have to face this every day.

I'm still getting used to the time difference.

I get up in the middle of the night, and go to bed in broad daylight.

I'll have to fix this too.

Noah and Marina tried to play with me, but I was too tired.

I'll play when it stops hurting.

Uncle Amos brought some things from a building shop.

He said we could start building the porch that weekend.

I nodded.

It'll be nice to do something again.

These are the events of the first day in the month of April in the first year of the new millennium.
As told by Minato Jonathan Arisoto.

The boy took a muffin from the pantry and walked outside into the twisted world.

It was Saturday back home, but Saturday was eight hours away from England.

On that Friday afternoon, the boy sang a song.

"Happy birthday to me." I sang to the empty world. "Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear Minato. Happy birthday to me."

I looked down at the bleeding grass.

It's been a week since I last saw Natalie.

And I never will again.

Blood dripped from by head, splashing in the puddles.

I bit into the bun as it began to rain blood.

Remember you will die.

Because he comes for us all with that sick smile of his.

All you can do is smile back and remember that today, you're one of the living.

I clenched my fist.

Because that's crap.

Death isn't fair.

It's easy for those doing it, but for the rest of us, it's impossible.

There is no justice.

There is only death.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Except Death is my companion, and I even pushed him away.

I finished the bun and stood up.

I'm eight years old today.

I chose this.

I didn't want this, but this is what I chose.

I didn't want to choose this, but I did.

I should've-

I sighed.

I've no room for more regrets.

"Goodbye sis." I said, wiping the blood from my face as I walked back inside.


That was easily the saddest thing I have ever written.

I actually cried while writing this, and I've never suffered a major death in the family.

It was hard at first, getting into an eight-year old's head, especially when I was so used to doing it as an adult, but as I went on, it got easier. I don't know why.