My name is unimportant. What matters is my story. I am the one known to many as Kira, known to some as S but known to all in some way or another, because you do not need to know my name or even my face to know who and what I am. I am merely the manifestation of the human conscience.
Chapter 1: September 30, 2008
I had just started my third year in secondary school when it happened; when my life changed. The rain was particularly heavy that day and I sat at the back of the class listening as the teacher droned on monotonously about one thing or another. I looked up for a minute to find out what we were learning about and unsurprisingly it was a lesson about spirituality, being that this was a Religious Education class. Then the question came. "So, in the eyes of a religious man a criminal should be forgiven as long as he repents and serves his punishment. What do you think of this?" asked the teacher, gesturing with his arms towards us all, waiting for one of us to answer. Almost instantly a girl sat one row from the front threw her hand into the air. The teacher nodded towards her and she began to speak. "Well, I think that that's a good way to think. I mean, everyone deserves a second chance." Hmmph. How did I know that was coming? Looking around the class I could see that everyone would have given this answer if they had been picked. It's amazing how in social situations people feel they have to put on this act and pretend that they are forgiving and understanding and politically correct.
I pack away my things quietly and shuffle out of the class when the bell rings and the teacher permits us to leave. Walking down the corridor all I see is a battle. Good versus evil. It's the same in any school in the country, wherever you go. The weak are picked on and the strong thrive on the fear they sew into their victims minds. It's as if their target's pain is their sustenance, like a vampire leeching the blood out of a once beautiful creature, turning it into a shrivelled husk. One kid is shoved against a wall by students at least two years above him. Another is yelled and laughed at from people following behind him as he makes his way to class, doing nothing but minding his own business. People like this think they are powerless but that's not the case, not in the slightest. If they banded together they could stop the minority that threaten them but the ones in the middle, the ones who are neither the bullies nor the bullied, stand by and do nothing, refusing to take sides. Perhaps this is through fear or perhaps it's because they do not wish to stand out. After all, society today is based around groups and the need to fit into them. However, all it takes is for one person to break away from the crowd and fight for their beliefs to spark a revolution. How I long to be that person.
I could walk the streets from school to my home with my eyes closed and I often do as it allows me to think more clearly. On this particular day it's a solitary sound that makes me stop and open my eyes. I look around me at the brick walls on either side of me and wonder where the sound could have come from. It sounded like something falling but from looking around I can't see what could be the cause; nothing but an empty gennel. However, I decide to keep a lookout as continue my walk home. Just as I'm about to exit the gennel I spot something on the ground next to a bin. It doesn't look like it's been there long as it's not covered in mud or dust or anything. This must be what I heard fall! I think as I go to pick it up. At first glance it seems to simply be a notepad of some sort. It's face down on the floor as I bend down to retrieve it, scanning my eyes over the black cover. I straighten up and hold the notebook in my hands, not bothering to look at the front of it just yet as I start to turn over the back cover. There's nothing written in it. At least not in the back. Turning it over to examine the front of I hope for a title of some sort to tell me what this thing is. I get exactly that. DEATH NOTE. Written in big white letters at the top of the cover of the notebook. Death Note? Is this a joke? What is this thing? Even though I have my suspicions I open up my bag and place the notebook in there with my school stuff, hoping to try and figure it out at home where I have a small amount of privacy.
As I walk in the front door I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as usual and think fleetingly at how untidy my hair is before going to throw my bag into the cupboard. I do this every time I come home and the force of habit almost makes me forget about the notebook. After retrieving it from my bag I make my way upstairs to my room, shut my door and sit on my bed looking at the thing in my hand. Death Note…so it's used for writing names of the deceased or something…? I decide that I clearly have no idea what I'm looking at so I decide to look through it to try and find some clues. I look around first and decide to make it seem that I'm actually doing something in here so I turn on my TV in the corner and then turn my attention back to the notebook. On opening it I'm confronted with a black page covered in white writing, just like the front cover.
How to use it
Wait! There are instructions for this thing? Scanning my eyes down the page I read the first two rules on how to use it, hardly able to contain my excitement, my fear, but also my scepticism.
The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.
This is unbelievable. According to this notebook I can use it to actually kill people! I ponder the possibilities of actually using the Death Note and whether it would be right to do so but as I do my mind harks back to today's lesson when the girl at the front had said that everyone deserves a second chance, and how I resented those words, knowing them to be lies brought about through social desirability. Of course I should use the notebook. But only if it works, of course. This was the big question but something inside me knew that it just had to work.
I turn the TV channel over to the news and quickly identify my first target. A report on the man was being made live from the scene of the crime. The news reporter was standing with a microphone in his hand and a solemn look on his face. "I'm here at the scene of this horrendous crime where a family of four was brutally murdered in their home in what is being described as a random attack. We can reveal to you now that the culprit, a Mr Mark Donovan, has fled the scene and is now on the run. We urge anyone who has any leads to come forward. Here is a recent picture of Mr Donovan." Perfect! The photo flashes up on screen and I stare into the face of one of many criminals I despise from the moment I lay eyes on them. I reach for the notebook and the pen I keep on my bookshelf next to my bed and write his name down, keeping his face in my mind the whole time. A thought then hits me. How will I know he's dead? "Dammit, I should have accounted for that" I mumble to myself but my despair is short-lived as the reporter presses his finger to his ear. "Yes! We can now bring you the news that Mr Donovan has been apprehended not far from here and we have a camera crew at the scene!" Luck must be on my side after all. I allow myself a smile and continue watching as the image on the screen wobbles. It looks as though the cameraman is running to try and get a shot of Donovan before he's escorted away. From what I can make out Donovan had been surrounded by police officers and was being almost dragged along the street, struggling all the way. All of a sudden a man wails in pain and the cameraman stops running and is able to get a clearer shot. Donovan is now on his knees clutching at his heart as the officers look on in shock. He falls to the pavement and all is silent. I hear the beating of my own heart and stare at the name I wrote in the Death Note and then flick back to the first page and my eyes widen as I read the next two rules.
If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the person's name, it will happen.
If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack.
A heart attack…