Forced Confession

Ben stared at Max with wide eyes.

“What?” he asked. Max broke down trembling as he realized what he said. By now, everyone heard him.

“What are you talking about?” Kris asked.

“Maxxie, what did you do?” Julie asked. Max shook his head.

“What are you talking about?” Taro asked. Ben turned around. He was about to open his mouth when Maxxie clenched his teeth.

“There was a fire at our old school,” he admitted. “I started it.” It hurt him to see it again, but he might as well since the truth already came out. His eyes stayed on his feet. He could feel his friends’ eyes digging deeper into him.

“Maxxie…” Lisa said.

“That’s not true,” Julie said. “They said it was faulty electric wiring that was so old.” Her mothering tone felt like salt in an open wound. Max shook his head.

“That’s not how it happened,” he said.

“Maxxie…” she said.

“No, listen!” he shouted. Meanwhile, the angels and the children tried to keep up with what was unfolding in front of them.

“What’s going on?” Baby Doll whispered. Masayuki shrugged and shook his head.

“Excuse me, but what the hell are you all talking about?” Izumi asked.

“It was a fire at our old school,” Julie said. “It happened by accident.”

“That’s not true!” Max shouted. “I started it. I was angry at my dad that day and didn’t want to go to school. While you all were playing in the classroom, I slipped into the classroom closet and walked down to the basement. I lost track of time as I kept walking down the narrow hall. And… And…”

“What happened?” Kele asked. Max roughed up his hair.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I saw some wires plugged up somewhere and started playing with them. And… And…” The man rested his head on his knees.

“There was a spark and it caught somewhere,” he said. “That’s all I know.” The man broke down trembling.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Max muttered. Ben walked over and rubbed him on the back.

“Okay…” Natalia said. “So why are you telling us this now?”

“I don’t know!” Max wailed. “It all just came out. Someone’s been sending me threats.” The whole room became silent.

“Who?” Gordon asked. Max shook his head.

“You have to tell us,” Lisa said. “We can’t help you if you don’t.”

“I don’t know! I don’t know!” Max yelled. Thunder erupted in the sky.

“Do you need to throw up?” Ben whispered. The other man nodded.

“Okay,” his friend said. He pulled Max to his feet and took him to one of the bathroom. Everyone tried to ignore the sound of vomiting. The rest of Tokyo ’87 started whispering among each other. The angels and the children looked around. Something didn’t seem right now. Baby Doll looked down at her feet.

“I think reapers are hunting me,” she mumbled. Part of her hoped that no one heard her. But that wasn’t the case.

“What did you say?” Izumi asked. Baby Doll looked up at her. She trembled as she looked around.

“I think reapers are hunting me,” she repeated in a low voice.

“Why didn’t you say anything?!” Yoshiko asked.

“I wasn’t too sure,” Baby Doll said. “I’m just scared.” Masayuki had to grab her and keep her standing.

“Idiot!” Natalia screamed. “You should’ve said something! We could help you!”

“I don’t know if you can,” the small angel said.

“What do you mean?” Izumi asked. Baby Doll shook her head. Julie breathed out.

“Okay…” she said. “Anyone else that want to get off their chest?” Nobody said a word.

“Okay then,” she said. More thunder ripped through the sky.


Max sat back on the bathroom floor.

“Better?” Ben asked.

“Not really,” Max said. “Ben.”


“Will you stay by me no matter what?”



Ben dragged his shoulders and sighed. “Alright.” Max lowered his head.

“Thanks, Ben,” he said. Despite this, it did little to soothe him. For something told him that this wasn’t over yet. The worst was on its way. And this was only night one.