Chapter Twenty-Six: High Tide:

Daisuke started to relive his old nightmares again. His nights became haunted with sorrowed and heartbreak. Tonight was no different…

-Tonight’s Dream-

Pitch darkness was all around him. Thick clouds of it lingered around as if uncertain of where to go. No outside sounds existed in this place. He’s seen this before in his nightmares as a child. This time felt different however, but the man couldn’t exactly guess how. Daisuke looked around as he walked.

“Yumiko-chan!” he called. “Kirika-chan!” The winds howled over his head. He could hear those noises inside of his mind. Why does it always have to drive me crazy like this? Covering his ears didn’t help either. The man trembled as he made himself pushed forward. He remembered seeing something like this before.

I have to find my sisters! Daisuke forced himself to keep moving.

“Girls! Where are you?” he asked. “I need you!”

I need them, he thought. I can’t survive without them like this. Daisuke hoped that nothing bad happened to his sisters. A cold drop fell on his left cheek. The man froze with a chill down his spine. Against his better judgment, Daisuke inched his head upwards to the endless black sky above. Blood drops began increase, raining down on him. Daisuke shielded himself in vain as he tried to run away from the endless blood. No matter where he went, more blood fell upon him. Despite all of it falling on him, the endless black refused to let up. It soaked through his clothes and hair. The smell made him want to vomit.

All of his running led to a pristine shrine. Daisuke slowed to a stop to check his breath. However, he found himself greeted with a horrifying site. Yumiko’s and Kirika’s bodies lay before him on the shrine floor with their blood draining into ground, and raining down on him. He backed away with his screams drowned out in the silently bloody rain. He froze when a small voice filled his ears.

“Help me.”

He turned to see a large hand reaching out to grab him. Daisuke shook his head in fear.

No, stay away! Stay away!

The hand sailed over and grabbed him. The man didn’t even get chance to scream as it swallowed him whole into a bleaker emptiness.


Daisuke suddenly awoke feeling sick to his stomach and sweating as he stared up at the ceiling. He shut his eyes in displeasure of recalling the nightmare again two nights in a row.

-Five Nights Ago-

Daisuke was walking down the hall to his own living room in upbeat mood.

“Yumiko-chan, Kirika-chan!” he exclaimed. “I have someone I’d like you to meet!” The man raced into the living room only to find it empty. He looked around rather puzzled.

“Yumiko-chan? Kirika-chan?” he asked. An uneasy fear crept inside him as he took slow steps backwards. It didn’t take him long to notice that his home had turned into background of endless black. Daisuke’s heart pounded against his chest.

“Anna-chan?” he asked. “Anna-chan?!” The man’s eyes widened in panic as he noticed the darkness floating towards him. That same whisper filled his ears again.

“Help me.”

That same hand returned and it looked like it was swallowing up a teenage girl. Just by looking at the long skinny legs, he knew who it was.

“Stop it!” the man tried to scream out. “Stop! Let her go! She has nothing to do with my family! Let her go!” Once her feet went through the darkened cloud-like skin, the hand turned its attention on Daisuke. He tried back away as it inched closer towards him.

Get away from me! Why won’t you leave alone? Get away! Get away!

Nevertheless, the hand grabbed the man’s body and swallowed him up. The last thought in Daisuke’s mind before he was consumed was of his daughter. He disappeared into the endless darkness around him.


Daisuke couldn’t understand why he kept having these dreams, and now of all times? They stopped shortly after Anna was born. Even before then they started to diminish. Daisuke couldn’t piece together why his dreams had started up again. The man didn’t want to think that his move to Tokyo was the cause of all this trouble. Daisuke decided to try and rule out all other possibilities first before drawing his own conclusion. He called up Tai-sensei to see if these dreams were a side effect of his medicine one afternoon.

“No,” the older man explained calmly over the phone. “Your dreams are not being caused by the pills I am giving you.”

“Then, why do I keep having these dreams?” Daisuke asked.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” Tai-sensei replied. “It’s a psychological cause. Have you had any real stress in your life lately?” Daisuke bit his lower lip at that question.

“You can say that…” he mumbled.

“Well then,” the doctor said over the phone. “I would suggest that you try and get rid of the cause of the stress in your life, and perhaps talk to someone like a therapist.”

I don’t think it’s that easy, Daisuke thought. Instead, he replied. “Sure, I think you’re right.”

“Is there anything else you need?” the good doctor asked him. Daisuke shook his head on his end.

“No, I’m good,” he lied. “I’m sorry to have bothered you like this.”

“Oh no, it’s not a problem at all,” Tai-sensei brushed off the apology. “Call me whenever you have any more problems or questions you would like to ask me.”

“Alright, you have a good day,” the younger man said before he hung up. Daisuke slumped over his desk and sighed. Where does that leave me now? He reflected to the past few weeks. Anna herself looked rather uneasy about his state over the months. Her questions kept piling up day after day.

“Are you feeling okay, Papa?” she would start the day off with. He did his best to either dodge her questions or be pretty vague in his answers. That reliable tactic was failing by this point. Finally, he had to break it down the best that he could to her in small bites. He lowered his chopsticks on his bowl at the kitchen table as Anna headed off to go on a class trip to the museum.

“Anna-chan, wait!” Daisuke spoke up. His daughter turned when she heard footsteps approaching from behind her. The man stood before her with a serious look in his eyes.

“Look,” he spoke up. “I’m so sorry to have been avoiding your questions like this.”

“What kind of problems?” she asked. Daisuke pressed his lips together before preparing to deliver his answer.

“Personal problems,” he said in a very low voice.

“Are they really bad?”

Her father paused for eleven seconds as if to think of the best way to answer her question. “Yes, they are.” He noticed the glow dimming in his beloved daughter’s face.

“Papa…” she murmured. Daisuke put on quick fake smile as he tried to wave off her worries.

“Don’t worry!” he was quick to brush off. “I will try to have everything fixed in my life and tell you everything when I’m ready to, alright?”

Anna looked at him rather uncertain. “You promise?”

Daisuke gave her a thumbs-up as he nodded. “I won’t let you down.”

Anna perked up when he said that. “Alright, see you later.”

“Have a good day, sweetie,” Daisuke said back. He felt so much better as she closed the door behind her. Jin floated beside of his master, shaking his head.

You know you just told her another lie, right?” the kitsune asked. Daisuke pretended not to hear him.

“Oh yeah,” he said aloud. “I have to go take my medicine now.” Jin rolled his eyes as his master turned and walked down the hall to the bathroom.

You know those pills will quit working one day, right?” he asked, “You will have to really feed me one day.” The bathroom door slid shut as a response. Daisuke took his pill and headed off to work. He wasn’t as on edge as he had been in the last two weeks. The man actually felt much better today. His colleagues and the students couldn’t help but notice.

“You’re in a good mood today, Kimoto-san,” a history professor pointed out, “You have a date tonight or something?”

“No, nothing of that sort,” the younger man replied, “Just had a little talk with my daughter for a change is all.” Daisuke could manage with this. For now, all he could do was smile. That’s all he had been doing to keep himself together ever since Haruka showed up on his door that night back in July. Speaking of which, he still had his nightmares to deal with. Maybe he should talk to a therapist about them. However, one phone call changed the entire game plan for him.

That evening, Daisuke had just gotten home when the phone rang. Curious, he went over and picked it up in the kitchen. “Hello?”

“Daisuke-kun?” a familiar old voice asked on the other line.

“Kato-san?” he asked. “Is that you?”

“Daisuke-kun,” the old man told him in a stern calm voice over the phone. “Please listen to what I have to tell you.”