December 23rd, 1950.

That was the year that everything changed. My demonic fox angel, Juriko, died that year. They say it was an accident, but I don�t believe that for one minute. She was murdered and I know who did it. The day played out like this:

It snowed that day which was strange because the forecast didn�t call for it. I didn�t really think much about this pleasant surprise.

�Mother,� I said. �Can I go out in the snow today?� She sat at the table smiling with her flowers in her hands.

�Of course, just be home for dinner,� she said.

�Alright,� I said. With that, I put on my snow gear and headed out the door. On that morning, I had only one place I wanted to go. There was an old pond near the woods in our neighborhood. I found Juriko and Haruka waiting for me there, or rather, the former was waiting for me. Juriko smiled as she stood up to greet me.

�Hello, Iwao-kun,� she said. I blushed at her angelic-like voice.

�Hi�� I mumbled. Haruka sneered as she rolled her eyes. I smiled and waved.

�Hello Haruka-chan,� I said. She glared at me and looked away. I felt a sweat drop form on my head. Bitter as usual�

Juriko twirled about in the snow, laughing. �You like it? I whispered for it to snow on our birthday today and it came true!�

At first, I didn�t get it. �Huh?� I asked. She giggled. The snow fox princess walked over to me and leaned in close to my ear.

�My powers have manifested today,� she bragged. Her hot breath made my heart jump. I looked at her.

�Really?� I asked. Juriko nodded.

�Uh-huh,� she said. I glanced over at Haruka.

�And what about her?� I asked. Juriko tried not to laugh as she shook her head.

�No,� she said. �Her powers haven�t come yet.� I happened to notice Haruka glaring at us. My heart went out to her.

�You sure it�s okay to talk about this in front of her?� I asked. Juriko shrugged.

�She�s fine,� she said. �She doesn�t really care by this point!� Her giggles sailed to the high winter sky. I laughed in a nervous way as I looked over at Haruka. She snorted and looked away.

Haruka didn�t seem to fare well from Juriko and me talking about her for the rest of the morning. She stood off to the side in the snow as her twin sister skated gracefully on the ice. I could understand how she felt. Everyone always focused on Juriko. She was more popular than Haruka and she had it all-- looks, charm, grace, brains, and a strong sense of independence. On the outside, she looked like an angel, but Haruka and I knew her much better over the years. Juriko could be as cold as the snow that almost came on their birthday every year. She had no trouble with killing a sparrow for me to resurrect. I hated to see what she would do if someone got her angry. That�s how the whole Eda clan was.

I bit my lip as I watched Haruka watch her sister skate on the ice. Despite it being a cold birthday, I could tell by her face that she burned hot with envy. Too many years she had been ignored, sixteen too many to be exact. The hateful look in her eye at her had me worried. Juriko She looked like an ideal winter princess as appeared to be having a good time. The weak winter sun gently kissed and caressed her long flowing midnight blue hair. The boys from down our street came to gawk at this dark angel as she skated around on the ice.

Haruka clenched her fists as she watched on in hate. Sure, she looked just as beautiful as her sister, but did anyone ever notice? No! It was always about Juriko! Her sister saw her as a burden in her life. But, I noticed her. She constantly complained to me about how badly she wanted to kill her sister.

�My life would be so much better without Juriko around,� she said on many occasions.

�You don�t believe that,� I would say, brushing her off.

�Yes, I do!� she snapped. If Juriko�s powers manifested today, what if Haruka�s powers manifested and killed her sister?

Suddenly, the ice cracked and broke under Juriko�s feet. She fell right into the icy black water below, screaming. I leapt in shock at the sound of her voice. The boys all ran forward to save her.

�Help!� Juriko cried as she struggled in the icy pond. �W-W-Water� too cold! Can�t swim here! Help! Help! Help me!� Two boys ran home to get rescue. Throughout the chaos, I happened to look up and notice Haruka standing off in the distance. She didn�t move an inch and her face was drained of any emotion. She watched as her twin sister was drowning in the black icy cold water.

Right then, I figured out what really happened. You did it, I thought to her. You really did it. You really killed your own sister. For one brief second, I thought I saw Haruka smiling at my realization. But, my memory is the only thing fuzzy about that particular second.

By the time rescue arrived, it was too late. The water and cold claimed Juriko�s life. By the time the adults could pull her out, she had already drowned with hypothermia. Eda Juriko was only sixteen on her birthday.

Things had never been the same ever since that morning. The day after Christmas, Haruka ran away from home and never returned to Nara. Naturally, nobody noticed her. Her parents didn�t even report her missing. I don�t even think that they noticed that she was gone. As for me, I buried myself in school and studying to become a priest. However, that wasn�t the last time I would cross the Eda clan or Haruka in my lifetime.