By Vortex13 4 Comments
Chapter Two: A Fiery Temper.
Eric woke up feeling very warm and well rested. He was therefore surprised to see frost creeping from the corners of the glass on the window by his bed. He shrugged off the oddness of his feeling warm in such a cold environment (he could even see his breath). He simply looked forward to a most likely very slow day at the lake. He checked his cell phone to see if Luis (his boss) had called him or left a message. Something along the lines of “Hey, the lakes frozen over, don’t come in,” and hopefully the very unlikely added sentence of, “don’t worry about not getting paid we will totally pay you. In fact, we’ll give you three hours overtime just for the inconvenience!” Yeah thought Eric, that’ll be the day.
So with no messages and no indication work had been canceled, he prepared as though work was still on. He slid off his bed, put on clothes, and preceded out of his room to go downstairs. When he stepped into the living room he knew right away something was wrong. He could see it on his little sister’s face. He looked across the room at the rocking chair by the window that his mother always sat in when she was troubled. She was sitting in it. He glanced at his younger sister Elizabeth, she had tears in her eyes but was not sobbing. She looked angry in fact. He mouthed “are you ok” at her. She shook her head and then jerked it towards their mother. He nodded, confused, and walked over. “Mom?” Eric said soothingly. She didn’t respond. “Mom, what’s wrong?” He asked a little louder.
“Oh.” His mother said as if she had only just noticed here child’s presence. “I’m, I’m alright… it’s just that… I got a call.”
“A call? A call from who?”
She sniffed. She looked into her sons eyes. The eyes of his father. “He’s dead. Your father is dead.” She started to sob again. Now he understood Elizabeth’s look of anger. He had never heard his mother speak of it but he knew she probably thought of him often. He could never understand his mothers’ behavior over this topic. He often saw her looking at old photos of him, and she was now staring at Eric with a look of someone lost.
Cindy was a broken woman ever since she found out about her husbands extracurricular activities. She had known something had been wrong with him but she assumed he was having an affair. His behavior was off and she knew it. He had been distant and extremely introverted. When Cindy had confronted him about her suspicions of him having an affair he had laughed in her face. He called her a worthless woman who had no clue about his life and she would never appreciate what he had done for her and their children. He than said that she was not worthy of carrying any more of her children. She had been two months pregnant, and he punched her as hard as he could in her stomach causing her to have a miscarriage. He proceeded to knock her to the ground and kicked her while she lay there in a sudden world of horror.
Charlie had been a kind and nurturing husband and had been ecstatic when he found out she was pregnant with their first child. They had been trying ever since they had been wed, they had met at museum showing about the mythology of the ancient Mayan’s and their culture, and they had been deeply in love from their first date. He was wonderful with his children. Now, here he was, beating her viciously in the kitchen which they had painted and designed themselves. She was now trapped in a hell which had once been the story of a happy family life where their biggest problems had been whether or not they could afford to afford a new car on her husbands’ salary. When he left she lay there sobbing, staring at the floral patterned tiles they put in together when they first started to renovate their home. He had disappeared for a week after that. The next time she saw him was on the news confirmed as the serial arsonist that they had now dubbed as the hellfire arsonist.
It had troubled her all these years. She tried to be as strong as possible for her children. She had moved them away when Eric had to deal with viscous bullying at school and when reporters tried to interview the family’s babysitter, it was the last straw.
“I’m sorry.” She said, and she was. “I know I shouldn’t be like this, he turned into a monster. But he still was my husband, and despite all he did I still love him.”
“I know” said Eric. He was a monster he thought. His mother started sobbing again Eric heard Elizabeth stand up behind him walking over to where he and his mother were. He stepped back and said to his mother, “I’m sorry. I know you love him and I remember the good times two but you can’t feel too bad about it. We haven’t been in contact with him for ten years after all.”
“That’s just the thing” she said with a note of anguish in her voice. “Before he killed himself he-“
“He killed himself?” Eric asked a little surprised.
“How?” he asked.
“Oh you don’t want to know that,” said his mother. It seemed she was starting to pull herself together a little though.
“Please, I want to know.” Eric asked. His mother looked up at him a little bit of confusion in her face. While Elizabeth was giving Eric her “shut up now” look to Eric.
“Why?” His mother asked.
“It’s… its just important to me I guess.” Eric himself wasn’t entirely sure why he cared, but he had a suspicion and he wanted to know if he was right.
His mothers lip trembled, “he burned himself alive!” She said and she broke down again. Elizabeth held her trying to sooth their mother. So, thought Eric, I was right.
“Mom, I’m so sorry. It’ll be ok though. Look,” he said glancing at the time lit up on the cable box, “I have to go to work. But I promise we’ll talk about this when I get back. Everything will be alright.” His mother nodded, unable to talk at the moment.
Eric walked into the hallway getting the car keys off the hook on the wall and then exited the house sure that his sister would be able to calm their mother down. She was always good at that. Eric went to the car parked on the street his mind full of unpleasant thoughts and an even more unpleasant indefinable emotion that seemed to feel a little to similar to joy for him to feel comfortable with given the situation. He got to the car and opened the driver’s door and got into it. He put the key into the ignition and started the car. He was about to take it out of park when he paused. He was feeling strange. He felt the same small hole in him he did time to time when he thought of his lack of a father. This emotion almost always gave way for an intense feeling of rage and anger, but it wasn’t coming this time. He took several deep breaths and calmed himself down. He tried to ignore this odd lasting emptiness in him. He took the car out of park pulled away from the street curb and drove off to work.
The whole way his mind was racing with thoughts and feelings that were unquantifiable to him. He arrived at the lake quicker than he expected to see that it was indeed closed. “Thanks for the heads up Luis” he said aloud. He turned the car off and got out anyway though. He thought a walk on the lakes’ beach would help clear his mind. He was walking when he heard giggling coming from the small patch of woods on the side of the beach. He saw a young Asian girl’s head peaking out from behind a tree nearest the beach.
“Um, you’re not supposed to be here right now” he called to her. When he spoke to her she giggled again and ran deeper into the forest. He looked at her puzzled. Not only did he have no idea who she was but she was wearing a swimsuit. Usually he was the only one who could where clothes that light in weather like this. The sky was overcast and he was concerned about her. Maybe she wasn’t in her right mind he thought. He sighed and walked after her.
“All right, very funny! Now come out, we’re closed today and it’s to cold for swimming right now.” He heard nothing, he was getting very annoyed now. This little girl is just having some childish fun with me he thought. He turned around and walked out of the small patch of woods, once he was out he stopped dead in his tracks. There was the little girl knee deep in the water, except she was no longer a little girl. She was now a tall beautiful woman with long shining black hair wearing a white Kimono with blue embroidered swirls like wind running vertically down the Kimono. She had no trace of a smile on her face or any sign that she may giggle again. In fact she looked quite stern. He found himself suddenly fearful. This little girl, now full grown, but… how? He could tell it was the same person. Then he realized it was probably some kind of prank and this woman was the older sister of the girl in the woods. Still, something told him that he may be in trouble. He brushed off that idea. What harm can she do to me?
“Quite a lot of harm actually” the woman responded. She pale white skin was almost transparent.
It began to snow heavily and suddenly, it was collecting on the ground supernaturally fast. Eric was frozen in terror, and for once he felt very, very cold. “What, who are you?” Eric stammered. She had read my mind he thought. I didn’t say those words, but she answered me.
“You may call me Oyuki,” she replied sternly with no trace of the friendliness that the young girl had displayed. “Have you heard of me?” Eric shook his head. Oyuki sighed, “of course not. What can I expect from someone who was raised in the western world. You only pay heed to the knowledge of the west. Very few children of the west care to learn about anything else but what the west has to offer.”
Eric was very confused now. What was she talking about he wondered. All he knew and cared about right now was that this woman, Oyuki she called herself, was clearly dangerous. “What do you want?” He asked trying to invoke confidence in his voice and not show his fear.
“To talk” she said.
“That’s all?” Eric was still very nervous still.
“Yes, we will talk and then we will se what happens from there.” She spoke evenly and calmly, showing little emotion.
“Okay.” He said, “What do you want to talk about?”
“Perhaps we should talk about your father’s death.” She said.
“What?” Eric was now more nervous than ever. Nobody here knew about his father. He had always had this fear in the back of his mind that someone here would find out about him and Eric and his family would have to move again or worse someone would come back to avenge a relative or friend of theirs that had died in the fires his father started.
“Is it true he has died?” she asked simply.
Right, straight to the point Eric thought. “Yes, as far as I know” he answered.
“Hmm, well that’s not good.”
“What are you talking about? Of course it’s good!” Eric’s temper was now rising; it overwhelmed his current feelings of disbelief and fear. First his mom now this strange woman, his father was a sick psychopath who had killed over two hundred people. He knew this because (despite his mother’s insistences) he had looked up the news articles about the fires, he even knew the names of over two dozen of the victims of the fires. The names of all the children that had died in the apartment fire. After reading about the first three fires he hadn’t bothered reading about the last. It was a catholic school and it would have had so many children listed as casualties he wouldn’t of had enough room in his head for anything after remembering all there names too.
“He was a monster! How can anything about his death be anything but good?” He challenged.
“You hate your father very much I see. I agree that he was a monster of course, but the reason I’m here is because I very well be looking at another monster in the making.” Eric was taken aback, before he could respond Oyuki continued “your father had fire in his soul. It is now free.”
Eric could take no more. Who was this woman? How did she know about his family? “I have no idea what you are talking about. I have nothing to do with my father, and I want nothing to do with you. Goodbye.”
She had a look of anger on her face now and Eric’s terror returned with full force. What had gotten into me he thought. Since when do I mouth off like that and what the hell is going on in the first place! It was like he had awoken from a trance, a trance where this situation made sense and wouldn’t make him run in the first place. Well it was time to run now.
She drifted over out of the lake onto the snow of the beach leaving no footprints. Eric ran away from her as fast as he could. There was already two inches on the snow and he was slipping on it when he was going uphill on the sand. She was much faster and then he tripped over something just under the sand and landed on his face he looked to see what he tripped on. His blood turned cold. Half of a man’s face was sticking out of the sand that Erik had knocked off of it with his foot had hit it. “Luis,” he said softly. Luis’s face was blue and had ice coating his partially revealed face
He then remembered the issue at hand. Erik looked up and there she was right on top of him she was smiling now. She reached down and grabbed his face. He felt an intense burning cold on the spot where she held him and it was spreading quickly. His eyelids froze shut, he cried out and tried to break free but for a woman so slender she was incredibly strong. Then she hissed and pulled her hand off and Erik’s face felt warm again as did the rest of him. Though he kept his eyes shut for they were still quite painful. Then he felt her hand back on him this time on his chest. His heart was pounding fast but then it slowed and he started having immense trouble breathing and it hurt to try. He felt her hand jerk off him again as well as a grunt of pain from her quickly followed by a thunk a bit a ways off from where he was laying. He opened his eyes and saw her lying on her back she rose from the snow with a look of fury and fear. Eric felt his chest warming quickly he looked at it and he saw that it had been partially frozen but steam was rising from it and the frost on it was turning into a wet patch on his long sleeved shirt. What the hell is going on? He thought again. How did that happen? The woman wasn’t looking at him now she was looking at a point above and behind him. He turned his head upward to see what she was looking at, and he saw it, but it only confused him more.
Behind him was a very short man. He was over four feet tall at the most. He had a long dark brown beard braided many times in bunches at the end of it. His hair, also dark brown but with streaks of grey, was made into a single very long braid at the back that he had over his shoulder so it rested on the front of his chest. His facial features were off too. His nose was wider than any person he had seen and his brow jutted out over his eyes more than most peoples too. He was very broad for his height, and held in his hands was a massive two headed hammer that would have been large even on a regular sized man.
This woman had had no trouble manhandling him but this small man clearly scared her greatly. Who is the man? Eric thought.
“Go now or I will end you right here, little Yuki-onna.” He had an accent that Eric couldn’t quite place. Swedish? But his voice was very deep and very intimidating, and if that wasn’t enough to put her off from killing Eric the sight of the giant two headed hammer would certainly do the job. The hammers head was designed to look like two wolf heads facing outwards hackles raised with their teeth showing. There was a slight gap in the wolves’ mouths as they were open just an inch, and coming out of the wolf head mouths was smoke.
She spoke in a different language now, which Eric guessed as Japanese, he couldn’t understand it but the short man seemed like he could. He had slight smile on his face, like he was amused with what she was saying.
“You can leave any time now, little Yuki-onna” He said hefting the huge hammer onto his left shoulder. She hissed and burst into a snow flurry that spread and dispersed, and as she did the snow stopped falling all together and the sun began to creep out from behind the heavily overcast sky. The short man took a deep breath and looked down at Eric smiling.
“For someone so cold she had quite the temper, eh?” Eric stared bewildered at this man. He must have looked somewhat silly because the man just laughed. Beat his chest once with his free hand (the other one being occupied with the giant hammer) and yelled out “ek hlifa sja barn svell bikkja!”