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Return to Hinamizawa

a Higurashi no naku koro ni fan fiction by Michael S. Repton

Prologue


Medical report by Dr Yamamoto Shiho, Kyoto, 23 May 2003

Patient: Teramachi Miaka

Date of birth: 31 May 1988

Description of case: The patient was admitted after a bout of disorganised and assaultive behaviour.

Chief complaint: While much of her speech is incoherent, Miaka seems to be fixated on the idea of killing her parents, especially her mother. Her father explained to me that last night, while both parents were absent from the house, she discovered a certificate stating that she was adopted by her current parents, which she had not previously been aware of. On their return, she confronted them and accused them of "stealing" her; when they tried to pacify her, she became violent and attacked with a knife. (The mother is currently being treated for wounds to the forearm and chest, which are not believed to be serious.) Miaka's father emphasised that until this incident, their family life had been harmonious, and that he considers her behaviour, even allowing for the shock of the discovery, to be atypical for the patient and indicative of a deeper abnormality.

Mental status examination: The patient was severely agitated and behaved violently towards hospital staff members. When put under restraint, she seemed to be hallucinating, as she repeatedly screamed out in alarm and pressed herself into her seat even when no other person was present. She has been sedated, and no further examination has been carried out at this time.

Past psychiatric history: No previous illnesses or treatment.

Diagnosis: Level 4 Hinamizawa Syndrome? I have discussed Miaka's case by telephone with Dr Irie Kyousuke of Hinamizawa, an authority on this disease, and his opinion is that all symptoms are consistent with this diagnosis. However, a confident assessment will require examination of blood samples. As Dr Irie's clinic is equipped to make such an examination and to administer treatment, I have recommended that the patient be referred to his care, and her parents have agreed to this.


Diary of Dr Irie Kyousuke, Hinamizawa, 1 June 2003

Teramachi Miaka regained consciousness this morning. Her memory was hazy at first, but seems to be recovering well. As might be expected, she remembers very little of her Level 4 stage, and was convinced that she had actually cut her mother's heart out; fortunately, in the end she accepted my assurance that this was not the case. After seeing so many tragedies caused by the Syndrome, I am so glad that in this case, the worst was averted. Miaka seems to be an intelligent and likable young person, and it is terrible to think of what might have happened and how close she came.

As well as telling Miaka the truth about what happened that night, I have explained to her about the nature of the Syndrome, and recommended that she remain in the clinic for a month, to which she has agreed. I do not think there is much danger of a relapse, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and if she stays here it will be much easier to administer treatment on the spot. In addition, her staying here may prove to be vital for my research. I must now attempt to discover how she came to contract the disease – I fervently hope there is not about to be a new outbreak in Kyoto! When I completed the cure all those years ago, I hoped that would be the last the world would ever hear of Hinamizawa Syndrome. Is this the sign of a new terror about to be unleashed?


Author's Note

Welcome to Return to Hinamizawa, my contribution to the current spate of epic-length Higurashi fics. (At the time of writing this, Green-Eyed Demon has just finished, The Champion Trilogy is on its second book, Wolfeden's Higurashi Kan is steaming ahead, and Cherrylin's Kurushii-hen has just started. I don't know whether that makes this a specially good time to be adding another to the pile, or a specially bad one!)

Before I start, I'd like to say a few words about the kind of story this is.

You've probably already noticed the date: 2003, twenty years after Matsuribayashi. Yes, this means the Higurashi cast have grown up and had children, and there will be a lot of OCs. The first arc (Predestination) focuses on introducing Miaka and the next-gens, but in the story overall, focus will be shared roughly evenly between the next-gens and the original cast. You will find out what has happened to all the Higurashi characters in the intervening twenty years, but this information will be spread out so as not to slow the story down with too much infodumping at the beginning (and because some details are unknown to the viewpoint characters; these are part of the mystery and cannot be revealed early).

Other than the Prologue, the story is told in first-person, with each arc having a different narrator. I didn't actually plan it that way to start with; I only got the idea once the sequence of arcs already had a firm shape, and so had to choose my narrators to fit the structure I had already created. This means that not everyone gets a turn to narrate, and I know this may disappoint fans of particular characters. However, all the characters are still an important part of the story, whether they ever narrate or not.

This story uses Japanese name order, family name first.

Each story arc opens with a quotation from Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra; for these I am using the translation by R. J. Hollingdale. In some cases I may abridge a longer quotation, or slightly alter the punctuation.

Please leave reviews. My main reason for writing this story is that, once the idea got into my head, it would not give me any peace until I had got it out again; but it would still make me happy to know that people are reading it, and even happier if you let me know what you like about it and what I could improve on. Once the story gets going, I would also love to hear your predictions and guesses, and if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer.

Someone just tapped me on the shoulder. I think Miaka is impatient to begin her narrative, so I'll pass you over to her.


Additional note

If you prefer to know who's who among the next generation before starting the story, this information is now available in Appendix 1, which is entirely spoiler-free (it does tell you which Higurashi characters are married to which, but everything in the Appendix is revealed in the first three chapters anyway).