Chapter Seven: Fox is the Devil:

The Mother needed to test her strength before acting. She decided to use Chijou as her playground this morning. Anna�s body helped her blend in. First, she needed a victim. The Mother wanted someone pure with skeletons in their closet. Anna already objected to this plan.

�Oh come on, Anna-chan; this could be fun.� the Mother said, �I have to test my powers.� A tasty idea crossed her mind as she smirked, �Hey, I have a little bet for you,� she said, �If you let me stabilize my power�.� The heavy traffic rushed by the woman. The Mother grinned at the silence.

�Good,� she cooed, �I�m glad you understand.� She walked across the crosswalk.

The Mother came to a Woman�s Advocate Building downtown. She waited by the entrance and used her senses to �fish� for her prey. The hunt lasted for one minute. She opened her eyes and smirked. The meeting would be over in twenty minutes.

Close to eleven o�clock, the Mother watched the ladies exit the building. The smells of their souls teased her, tempted her. She used her years of experience to control her appetites until her target came out. Her attention focused on the last woman to exit the Woman�s Advocate Building. The Mother studied her target. Akiyama Mikiko, aged forty-five, married with two children. Oh, her scent was intoxicating. The Mother walked over to her target.

�Excuse me, miss?� she addressed her. Akiyama paused and looked up. The Mother stopped in front of her and gave her an innocent smile.

�Are you Akiyama Mikiko?� she asked. The other woman blinked at her.

�Yes,� she replied. �May I ask why?� The Mother bowed gracefully.

�My name is Niwa Midori,� she replied, �I have heard wonderful things about you.� Akiyama began to smile.

�Oh,� she said. �That�s nice to hear.� The woman stuck out her hand to the human-formed kitsune. Once she shook her hand, �Midori� saw her target�s hidden crimes.

Akiyama�s son, daughter, and even husband lived in fear of her. Every day, she tormented her family to be her idea of perfection. The daughter took pills to cope. Akiyama even killed her infant son after making him drink lighter fluid as punishment. The whole thing was passed off as an accident.

Midori smiled at this newfound information as she plotted the perfect murder. She drew back her hand.

�Say, have you had lunch yet?� she asked.

�No�� her target answered.

�Perfect!� Midori said as she took the woman by the shoulders. �I know just the place.� She led her target across the street before she could argue.

They went an outdoor caf�. Akiyama fidgeted in her seat.

�Listen,� she said, �I really need to get back.�

�No, no,� the kitsune insisted. �Stay. The food is really good here.� Akiyama bit her lower lip.

�At least let me call home,� she said, �I have to tell the maid about the mess in the kitchen and�.�

�Don�t bother,� Midori interrupted. �Cell phone reception is tricky here. Sometimes it�s perfect and other times it�s just a dead zone.� She looked around for a brief moment. �Yep,� Midori said, �We�re sitting in a dead zone.�

�Well can�t we move?� her target asked.

�What�s the rush?� the Mother asked. �We have the best seat in the caf�. Stay, relax.� Akiyama reluctantly lowered her hand. Midori patted her on the shoulder.

�That�s better,� she cooed. �Just sit and enjoy lunch.� It�s your last meal after all, she thought. Akiyama sat squirming. Midori timed the whole execution through their lunch. She didn�t eat or order any food. Akiyama looked up from her Alfredo pasta with a puzzled look.

�Hm?� she asked as she spotted her companion�s glass of wine, �That�s all you�re having?� Midori chuckled over her full glass.

�I�m not really hungry right now,� she lied. Her target nodded uneasily.

�Okay�.� she mumbled. Midori�s face changed into a grim one.

�Actually, I haven�t been fully honest with you,� she admitted. �I have to tell you something.� The target lowered her fork.

�What?� she asked. The Mother grabbed her by wrist and whispered something in her ear in a honey-sweet tone. Akiyama dropped her fork. She rose to her feet in a daze and began walking away.

�Hey!� Midori called out behind her, �You didn�t order dessert! They have good cheesecake here!�

�No,� her victim mumbled sadly as she walked to the guillotine in her mind, �I won�t need it anymore.�