By Audrey Howard, TIWP Student
All around her, ruins of the city, craters miles big, smoke clouds clogging the air, buildings ablaze. Then she looked behind herself, a girl, her hair was tangled and dirty, her clothes ripped, her legs bleeding under stones, and her arms scarred, and yet her eyes were hopeful, this girl who was in the ruins of her home, still looked hopeful, her mouth struggled to shape into a weak sad smile. “How did this happen? How could it? How can I fix this? HOW?” she cried, tears dotting her own dirty clothes. A small strange misty blue cat-like creature appeared next to her. It had beady black eyes, soulless pools of malice. It was the size of a large cat, and had a red insignia on its back. “I am Jingshen” it said in a commanding voice, “if you become a magical, this fate will cease to happen” it moved its tail, it moved like nothing else Homura Tomoe had ever seen before. It leapt at her, she reeled back. Suddenly she was back in the present, her own room. It was on her windowsill. She fell back on her bed. “That girl, Nayami Hinode, was fated to die the moment she was born, she is a magical, poor girl.” “Why must she die?” Homura asked in outrage, “She is an important part of our goal. She’s like you” the demonic creature added cheerfully. “ You are a girl who must be sacrificed for our goal. A sonaeru on’nanoko.” Then she left her room, got ready and left for school. Yumeko and Hitomi waited for her, and they ran to school laughing, but it would never be the same for Homura Tomoe. A strange object, it had the word reikon on it. She picked it up, on the other side it said Hitomi Ishigami. Then an identical one that was black on the floor. It floated up and the whole place turned pitch black. Multiple strangely dressed girls appeared. “Let’s just kill them and spare them” one remarked despondently. “We have to save them,’ one replied. “That’s not what stupid Jingshen said, we just have to die and let our souls go to his cause, that obstinate moron doesn’t care, he doesn’t see how one person’s death affects others. More like a sadistic, obstinate meaningless mindless imbecile.” The one that didn’t talk lunged at a strange monster, and stabbed through it, as it hit her with something, she fell to the ground. “Noooo” she yelled. The one who had not been talking and stood around by herself in a corner stepped forward and in her hands a blue sword appeared, it materialized out of air seemingly. She had short black hair and dark brown eyes, she was very short. She wore a black robe with gold embellishments on it. She leapt at the monster and stabbed it, blood splattered the ground. She saw Hitomi walk away, to a light. A creature that looked like the one that the girls fought, lunged at Hitomi, she shrieked like a banshee. It smiled cruelly from ear to ear as it tore at her. She suddenly was enveloped by a black cloud and when it disappeared she wore strange clothes as well and held a bow and arrow. She shot at the creature. “Who are you?” said the sad magical. “Hitomi Ishigami” she answered. ‘I’m Kanna Sakura’ Kanna said. She pointed to the others and said “the one who is fighting is Midori Tsuyuri and the other girl is Ruriki Ito”. Kanna jumps in and helps Midori, she however gets lifted by the arm and thrown to a wall. She screams with pain and it bleeds everywhere. The monster almost stabs Midori but she moves just in time. Hitomi stares at it, putting her head at an angle and wearing a haughty look at the monster. She leaps at him and stabs him with an arrow, blood pools out and spills on Hitomi. She wore a robe like Midori’s but it ended mid-thigh, under that she wore black leggings with a purple and blue zig zag design on the side facing out. Hitomi leapt forward and shot it with a gun. She shot multiple more times but it slapped at her arm, knocking her gun out of her hands, she cried out in surprise and fear. It grabbed the gun and shot Hitomi. She screamed and staggered backwards, “it shot her in the leg, she might survive” Homura thought optimistically, Hitomi was less hopeful however “I’m gonna die, i just became a magical a week ago. Sorry everyone, Homura, Yumeko, Miss Sakura, Miss Tsuyuri, and Miss Ito” she thought with a similar mentality to Kanna Sakura. With a silence more cutting and depressing than a scream, she fell to the ground, dying without a single syllable. Midori leapt at the monster, grabbed the gun and positioned the gun to shoot through the side of the monster’s head, if she closed down her finger. She shot it, and blood turned the gun red. Blood ran down her arm, it covered her hand like a macabre glove. The creature’s arm swung around and stretched out, it was now like a whip. It slashed Hitomi, tearing most of her left sleeve off and cutting her arm. Jingshen appeared out of thin air. Hitomi’s pained expression turned into one of pure, unforgiving rage. Midori wore an expression of aloof dignity, and when she spoke to him, her voice had an icy politeness and freezing detachment. Kanna Sakura held a dagger and stabbed Jingshen, calling him a heartless imbecile and told him to rot in he*l. Blood splattered across his body. Homura ran over, “Why would they do that to an innocent creature?!”, disregarding and forgetting immediately what Kanna orally demonstrated him as a demonic creature. She picked him up and stubbornly sat down on the ground, cradling him gently. Kanna frowned, “You are protecting the devil, Homura.” she warned, “Let him go, NOW!”. Homura stood up and turned her back to Kanna. Kanna shrieked in frustration and hate towards Jingshen for tricking so many. Homura tripped, and Jingshen practically flew out of her arms. Midori walked silently over, whisked him up by the tail and shot him in the head. She dropped the demon and crushed him with her heel, putting all of the anger of a dozen lifetimes into it. She lifted her foot and then brought it down with such inhuman speed and force, you would think he would explode, yet he stayed there, peaceful faced and acting like a martyr. If he was a good person and the magicals were in the wrong, he probably would be a martyr for his beliefs that these girls should die for his cause. Homura noticed that each of the girls had a strange object, like the one she found earlier. She asked Midori. “Oh, you mean the soul paragons. They seal the deal of us being magicals, that devil Jingshen creates them and gives them to us, if they are destroyed, we die, if they are removed from our body, we die. Its a bad deal, you can’t retire, you die no matter what, whether its from soul paragon related, you are eaten by monsters, killed by monsters, killed by magicals, turned into a monster and killed by magicals, not surviving the transformation into a magical or a monster, or thanatos, or killing yourself.” She gestured to her head, where on a barrette there was a gem, carved like a rose. “Thanatos?” Homura inquired. “Thanatos is when the monsters infect you and you slowly turn pitch black and then turn into ash, the ash then disintegrates or you turn pitch black and just die. If you don’t turn into ash, the monsters absorb or eat you. I’ve seen it happen, a girl got ripped limb from limb by a monster, he drank her blood and devoured her.” Midori said. “Hitomi’s is on her finger, like a ring, Kanna’s is a bracelet, Ruriki’s is a necklace, and that Nayami Hinode has it embedded in her clock pendant.” Midori informed post manuspeak*. (*Play on manuscript, trashy joke, sorry it was so dumb) Hitomi lay down. She was dying, Homura and Yumeko cried. Hitomi said hopelessly “Sorry you guys” as she closed her eyes, “I’m tired, tired of this awful cruel world. Goodbye, everyone”. Homura screamed out “nooooooooooo!” a banshee for her dear friend. Yumeko sobbed her eyes out. Hitomi’s body turned transparent and lit up, a light flew out of her into the monsters, Hitomi’s body was almost invisible. Ruriki leapt at a monster and shot it with Hitomi’s gun. It disintegrated. Hitomi was dead, gone, curtains. Jingshen strolled over. Homura, red hot with anger and redemption, brought her heel down on his head. Ruriki stabbed his head with a staff repeatedly. The world dissolved and Homura screamed for Hitomi.