Chapter Twenty-One: Lost Tapes:

March 4th, 1983.

Three-day-old Anna slept peacefully open drawer Daisuke used for her since he didn�t have the money to buy a decent crib. Daisuke sat on his bed watching her. Eighteen years old with a baby. He lied back on the bed and sighed. Suddenly, he heard the door open. The boy slowly lifted his head to see his roommate walking into their dorm.

�Hi,� he said sounding bummed out. His roommate tilted his head at him.

�What�s the matter, Dai?� he asked. The other boy sat up and nudged his head over to baby Anna. The roommate looked at her.

�Oh,� he mumbled, �That bad?� Daisuke nodded and sighed.

�I don�t know what to do with her or myself,� he spoke up, �I�m just stuck.� His roommate looked at him in sympathy. He walked over to the bed, sat down, and patted Daisuke on the back.

�Have you talked to anybody?� he asked. Daisuke looked at him with a puzzled look on his face.

�Like whom?� the young father asked. The roommate shrugged at him.

�I don�t know,� he said, �Just anyone.� The other boy shook his head.

�My problems are too big for that,� Daisuke replied.

�Ah,� the roommate answered. Then an idea came into his head.

�Make a journal,� he suggested. Daisuke looked at him oddly.

�What?� he asked.

�Sure,� the roommate said nodding.

�How will that help?� the other boy asked. His roommate nudged him on the arm.

�It�s better than nothing, yes?� he replied. Daisuke thought about that for a moment.

�Guess it wouldn�t hurt,� the boy mumbled. His roommate smiled and nodded.

�See? There you go!� he said, �What would you do without me?� Daisuke gave him a little smile.

May 23rd, 2009.

Anna typed fiercely on her laptop. She still burned in anger from last night. They let Kaoru go? He should have been punished! Not much for her to do than to do random research on the computer. Better than self-harm or harming someone else, she reasoned. Today, Anna looked up panic disorders. She just thinks up random topics and looks them up; just anything to keep herself sane enough not to kill anyone. Anna kept typing until she heard a knock on her door. Agitation crossed her mind.

�What?!?� she snapped.

�It�s only me,� Seita said on the other side of the door. Anna calmed down as she began to return back to reality.

�What do you want?� the woman asked.

�You�ve got a package,� the boy said. Anna became perplexed. Who else knew she was alive?

�Why?� Anna asked.

�How should I know?� Seita asked apathetic, �There�s no return address.� She got up from her desk and opened the door. Seita stood in the doorway with a big cardboard box in his hands. Anna stared at the box as her �guest� offered it up to her.

�Take it,� he said, �I�m sick of holding it.� Anna raised an eyebrow at him. She�ll have to work on him a little bit more, but right now she had to see what was in the box. Anna slowly took the box and Seita walked away to his room. The woman looked at the package in her hands. Seita was right; there was no return address. Who sent this and why? What�s in the box?

Anna listened to it closely. No ticking inside; good, at least it�s not going to explode. Still could be something deadly inside. Anna sat the package on the bed. Was this a clue or a trap? Did the anonymous e-mailer send her this package? Anna had a determined look in her eyes as she took out her Hello Kitty pen and clicked it open. The woman dragged the pen right down the middle of the sealed entrance and ripped the box right open. The box had dozens of unlabeled cassette tapes inside. Confusion washed over Anna�s face.

Tapes?, she thought, What the hell? The woman took out one and stared at it. �Play me!� it seemed to say. Well, she had no choice. Anna dug through the rest of tapes until she found the player.

Perfect!, Anna thought as she smiled in success. The woman set up shop and hit play.

Tape Entry #1:

March 4th, 1983. I don�t know where to begin on this, but my name is Kimoto Daisuke. I�m eighteen years old and a single dad. My daughter, Anna, was brought to me three days ago by hospital officials from Sapporo, Hokkaido. As you can expect, I don�t know what to do. That�s not my only problem, however.

-He sighed on tape-

I don�t know� This was my roommate�s idea. I�m more lost doing this than before I started. Still, I have to keep going. So here goes.

My life is a mess; I have many dark secrets.

-He took a long pause on the recording-

It�s my family.

-His voice dropped into a whisper-

They are the Eda-Kimoto clan. Yes, that�s right. I am a kitsune-tsukai descended from a long line of tsukai. My heritage dates back to the Nara period as I have been told many times. We employ foxes to give us our powers and do our bidding in exchange for giving bribes like food, protection, or sex as a price. According to our family history, our ancestor, Sen, was to marry this farmer�s beautiful daughter. Her name escapes me at the moment, but she was always a sickly girl. Many thought that she would die soon. Afraid for her life, Sen desperately searched for a way to save his fianc�e. That�s where the story changes.

Sen made a pact with a powerful kitsune. This kitsune would save his wife-to-be if every wave forty within generations; a daughter would be given to the great kitsune as payment. Sen agreed and thus the birth of our bloodline. We started out pure at first, but somewhere in the Meji Era, out family became corrupt with the taste blood and power.

End Tape Entry #1

Anna sat on the futon startled. A daughter of every wave of forty in the generations was to be given to the great kitsune? Was that why her powers were sealed off? Something about Daisuke�s words troubled her to her very core. He sounded� a little happy about his background, almost subconsciously bragging about it.

The woman lied back on her futon. That tape opened doors to so much more. This revelation explained the dreams she had three years prior to Daisuke�s death. She could remember them so clearly to this day. He always stood naked before a fire with his hands soaked in blood and big, blank eyes. He had tears streaming down his face. Until now, Anna couldn�t understand any of it for many years.