Thanks for the reviews everyone! I'm glad that you're liking the story, and I can't wait to post more! Here's Ch.3. Enjoy! =)
When my eyes suddenly opened into the real world, they were greeted by the bandages wrapped securely around my head. I knew this was the real world, because I could no longer see as I had before. My hands were instantly pushing the covers off me, as I stood from my bed only to trip forward to the ground. Though I couldn't see completely, if it was daylight or night I could tell that much, because as soon as I forced the bandages off my head the light of the sun from our window burned them. I had never really been sure why the daylight felt like fire, but from the moment I had looked into that pit, I saw so many horrific things that seemed unimaginable to a normal person. I felt their pain within me and the first thought that came to mind was the question of whether or not I was going to die.
My fingers dug into the soft carpet of out bedroom floor, I lay there and couldn't do anything but scream. Because of pain in my eyes, because of the nightmare that had revealed Sae Kurosawa, and because I knew right then and there that I would never be able to forget the events that happened in that village, no matter how hard I tried.
I had been dreaming again about the village. I was completely alone standing at the edge of the bridge, to afraid to walk on and to curious to turn back. But my dream shattered away when I heard Mio scream. I shot up from my pillow glancing around, though it didn't take me long to find her. Mio was in the middle of the floor, tears streaming down her cheeks and mumbling something I couldn't quite make out. I couldn't manage to move closer to her yet, because I was to startled at what I saw.
Since Mio had left the hospital, she had worn the bandages daily till they needed to be changed. Both me and Kei changed them for her, since she couldn't exactly do it herself yet, but each time we had Mio had always left her eyes closed. This was the first time I saw them clearly opened before me, and it gave me a chill of terror to look at my poor sister. Her eyes were missing pupils, completely white in color, with thick blood shot veins coming from the edges. She almost looked like one of the helpless ghosts I had seen in the village begging for help.
A thought came to mind as I retraced my memories of the Lost Village. Was this what the mourners ghosts had looked like when they were alive? Had their eyes looked bleached of color with bloody red veins that seemed to pulse when looked right into?
"Mayu... Are you there? I can't see, it hurts!"
My body reacted to Mio's cries before I could even think about doing it, I was on my knees beside her, wrapping my arms around her. Mio berried her face into my chest as her sobs continued for a while longer. It was odd, usually I was the one who cried or became scared. The one who was running to her for help. It was like just for this moment, our roles were reversed.
"I'm here Mio, every things alright." Unable to help it I linger on silently for a moment without asking the question I know I want to be answered, but finally after everything is quiet and calm and Mio is lifting her head with her eyes closed, I give a small smile and continue. "What happened to you?"
"I...had a dream about the village..." Her words came out almost in broken whispers, as I couldn't believe what she said. In ways it's said that twins are connected, I believe this even more now that I know Mio also dreamed of the village, but it seemed to frighten her more than it had me. We had both been through what some would easily call hell in Minakami village, but to have escaped only to fear the possibility of returning was worse than being there in the first place. I quietly picked the bandages that lay on the floor beside her up, they were damp with sweat, unusable anymore.
"It's alright Mio I'm here. I wanted to tell you, that I'm dreaming of the village as well. It's a bit of a relief to know I'm not the only one, but also a shock. Wait here I'll get more bandages."
As I rose and stood I suddenly felt Mio's hand on my ankle, she was looking up at me with a horribly frightened expression, though her eyes were still closed. "Mayu I saw her, I saw Sae! She's coming back for us!" She shouted at me as small tears flowed from under her eyelids again. That was one thing that I hadn't counted on hearing Mio say. In my dream I had only been walking in the village, in control of my own body, completely alone except for a glimpse of that one woman, but if it was Sae or not I couldn't tell.
After Mio had defeated her and I was free from her grasp, though I assumed I would have to do the ritual, I felt all ties of emotions such as those and memories float away like a cloud in the sky. Still those feeling were gone and nothing had approached me, so why would Mio see Sae before I had? If she was really back, her goal would be as before, to finish the ritual and free her captive soul from the hellish abyss. At least I believe it would be. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I promise it! Haven't you seen her? You said you're dreaming of the village too, so you must have seen something right Mayu?"
I didn't say anything at first, knowing I had seen the one woman in a red kimono, but I was positive for the time being that it wasn't Sae Kurosawa or Yae. Since I hadn't seen their face though, I hoped I was right.
"No... I haven't see anything in my dreams, I'm always alone."
Mio reached her hand up and I helped her slowly stand. "I don't want to go back there, we can't. I'm afraid that if we do we won't survive a second time..." She trailed off with a grim expression, her eyes opening for a moment to slits then closing quickly from the lights rays.
Our windows didn't have but small curtains and they were still open from the night before. Shutting them I sighed, unsure exactly what to say. Mio was right. It was luck that we escaped the first time, and with her injured like this, but to face Sae another time after we had done so much. After all the ghost fights and all the puzzles and my mindless wandering, though I was aware of things I couldn't stop myself. What would be the outcome of another battle with Sae?
"Mayu..." Mio paused a moment before she looked directly at me, sending a chill down my spin at the thought of what she had said before. "What exactly happened to you in your dreams?"
After Mayu had replaced the bandages on my eyes, somehow they helped me feel a little bit better though not much considering the situation, we sat in the living room on the couch side by side. Mayu had told me everything that had happened, which wasn't much. She had only just started dreaming of the village, and I had followed in her footsteps. I wondered if it was possible that I only started dreaming of it because she had, or if my accepting what had happened had made me do so. Either way, she hadn't seen Sae like I had and that worried me.
"So you see, after I broke this small mirror in the shrine, Sae appeared behind me. And another thing... She called me Yae."
Mayu blinked as she thought for a moment about this. Though I had assumed that Sae thought of me as Yae, she had never actually called me Yae till now.
"Didn't she call you Yae before?" Mayu asked as if psychic.
"I don't think...maybe, but I can't remember to be honest. There was so much going on in that village, it's hard to recall small details like that. When Sae was ever chasing me, I was to scared to hear all her words. All I could think about was escaping."
We both sat there in silence for a while, not exactly sure what to say, what to talk about. Though it was possible that Sae might be back, we couldn't know till we dreamed again. There was nothing else to do with our time but wait.
"Hey Mayu, remember when we use to play by that stream? The one we were at before we got trapped in the village that day. Is it still there or did they begin building yet?"
Mayu gave a small sigh before answering me, which I could gather was because she had been thinking. "No it's still there. When we went missing and Kei told them where we had gone, they moved the date to sometime next month for that. Why?"
As much as I didn't like the idea of it my mind still wondered on the subject of returning to the village once more. "Maybe... If we go back there we can stop her for good." I said. I wanted to believe that we could, but what could we do? The camera was long gone after I had dropped it in the hellish abyss, plus part of me still wondered if it was just nightmare related and Sae hadn't returned for us.
"Mio, I think we should go back then. I wanna know if this is only a dream I'm having or something more." I felt Mayu take my hands in hers clasping them tightly. "We always promised together forever... We won before right? We can do it again I think, I hope..."
"Don't speak like that. I won't let Sae hurt you again. We will be together forever, I promise." It took a moment to realize that my eyes were already wet with small tears that soaked into the bandages. For some reason it brought back memories from waking in the hospital at once. The smell of bleach and something mixed still stuck in my nose. I couldn't see and began to panic. Then Mayu's voice had greeted my ears and everything seemed to be alright somehow.
"I promise." The words repeated from my mouth as she hugged me close. Part of me could imagine Sae's wicked smile on Mayu's innocent face, but as long as I was here that wasn't going to happen to her again. Nothing would harm my dear sister, not even if it meant my own death for her life.