For Your Information
For an explanation of what this is all about, please take a minute and look at this page about my new fanfiction.
Miyoko no Naku Koro ni
Punishment Chapter (1st Arc)
Episode 1: Sudden Tragedy
Miyo had recently enjoyed a birthday party with her doting parents. She even got to eat expensive, western-style cake. For birthday gifts, Miyo’s parents gave her a little doll, a toy truck to which she could attach the miniature Japanese flag that had been in the center of the cake. Since it was a pleasant day outside, Miyo was playing with her toy truck on the hard-packed dust of the path behind the house.
A tall and thin adult woman approached. She had long hair, short straight-cut bangs, and bright clothes of white and red. She almost looked like a shrine girl, but far too old. Little Miyo, with her short, tan-colored hair and big, brown eyes, stared up at the tall woman. She had paused in her walk, standing right next to where the little child was playing.
“Tanashi Miyoko,” said the woman in a surprisingly deep and grim voice, “do you wish to avoid pain and suffering?”
Miyo didn’t understand. “How do you know my name?” she asked. “And what is ‘suffering’? Is it like getting bloody knees from a rock scrape?”
“Pain much worse than that,” replied the woman with long hair. “Do you wish for it?”
“No way.” Miyo put her tiny toy truck down and frowned up at the strange adult. “Who would want that?”
“Indeed,” said the woman, expressionless. She pointed to Miyo’s house. “I suggest you go with your parents today. Go out with them. This way, you’ll avoid longsuffering. But you will die.”
“What are you talking about?” demanded Miyo impatiently. “And how do you know my parents are going out? I don’t want to go with them today. I want to play with my new toy.”
“I see.” The tall woman left after that, and Miyo quickly forgot about her.
Before too long, Miyo’s house received a call on the telephone. The person on the other side urged Miyo to come to a certain hospital ER. When Miyo asked why, this is the reply she was given: “Your father and mother were in an automobile accident. They are in critical condition. As their only family member, please come to see them at once.”
Miyo found herself in a state of combined shock and panic through the next few hours. She rode her bike to the hospital, but was not allowed to see her mother. Somebody said something about an emergency operation going wrong. As for Miyo’s father, he only managed to choke out a few sentences directed at his daughter. Then he violently vomited blood. Some of it splattered across Miyo’s face. At once, a nurse pushed her out of the way and hurried along pushing the father’s bed-on-wheels toward the operating room.
That was the last time Miyo ever saw her father. She made sure to remember it clearly.
“Miyoko,” the man had said, “if daddy dies, you must contact Takano Hifumi. Remember it. Ta-Ka-No Hi-Fu-Mi. He was my professor.”
“Yes,” Miyo responded, feeling like she might cry.
After that, her father lost his voice, but for a minute, he kept looking at Miyo and moving his mouth. His lips were moving as if he still thought he could talk. Before Miyo could figure out what her daddy was trying to tell her, the man retched blood and was taken away.
Miyo was a strong girl. After she was officially told that her parents were both dead, she tried not to cry. She could cry later. First, there was business to attend to. A brown-haired man in a white dress shirt escorted Miyo to his office. He asked lots of questions about Miyo and what relatives she had. The little girl only knew half the answers. All she could do was tell the man that her parents had no living relatives because of the war. That, and she mentioned Takano.
The office man, sweating and adjusting his tie, seemed rather at a loss. He clearly felt sympathetic but awkward. As kindly as possible, he tried to explain to the girl about how she’d need to be moved to an orphanage. By then, Miyo was gone. She had dissociated. Unable to hear anything around her, and only able to see a blurry tunnel of vision ahead, the child was lost to reality. She couldn’t speak, either. The situation felt like a weird dream, and Miyo felt like she was floating in the air among grey clouds fat with rain.
Miyo couldn’t remember and wasn’t conscious of anything else. Until, that is, the driver-escort assigned to her stopped the car in front of a large house. The sign on the high fence enclosing the property read, “Sky House.”
At first glance, it looked like a welcoming place. It was a relatively large western-style house with two main sections in front, each with two floors, and a section in the back of only one floor. The walls were painted a pleasant, muted shade of pastel green, with roofing and door looking light, yellow-ish brown. There was a large property behind the house, though in front all that could be seen was a boring lawn and tiny garden.
Had Miyo been looking closely enough, she would have noticed some warning signs. There was tall, dark wooden fencing all around the main house. The only ways in and out were through sturdy-looking metal gates with several padlocks on them. Beyond the back gate, the large property of grass, greenery and trees was also fenced in by tall metal wire fences. There were no kids outside, and no sounds came from the house. Unfortunately, Miyo was still lost in grief and only vaguely aware of the world around her.
An elderly woman was waiting inside the gate, smiling. Her silver hair was styled in a bun and she wore a faded purple women’s kimono. To her right was a middle-aged woman with very short, dark green hair and eyes. To the older lady’s left stood a huge man with buzzed-cut hair and an imposing air. Despite looking like they didn’t want to be there, the green-eyed woman and the bulky man tried their best to smile. Miyo couldn’t bring herself to smile back at them, but she looked at them hopefully, as the escort led her up to gate.
“Welcome,” said the silver-haired lady. “We are sorry for your loss, Miyoko, but we shall care for you well here at Sky House. I am the headmistress here, Ichihara Sumire.” Next, she indicated the woman to her right. “This is Ebina Meisa, part of my trusted staff. The hulk on the other side of me is Hosoda. He is also a valuable part of the staff here.”
Miyo mindlessly exchanged all the polite greetings and introductions with the three of them.
As soon as the escort walked back to the car and the gate closed behind the Miyo, the atmosphere completely changed. Nobody was smiling. Ebina appeared to be moderately annoyed as she turned away back toward Sky House’s door. Headmistress Ichihara frowned tiredly. As for the Hosoda, he looked angry and menacing. Unceremoniously, he grabbed Miyo’s skinny arm with one of his huge hands and dragged her toward the door.
“Hosoda,” the headmistress called after them, “you’d better take care now. Don’t break her before she learns the rules.”
Miyo had a sick feeling in her stomach as she was dragged into Sky House.
To Be Continued