Chapter Twenty-Three: Monsters:

December 24th, 2010.

Hitomi turned over in Haruka’s futon in the middle of the night.

“Are we monsters?” she asked.

“Yes,” Haruka said.

“But why?”

“We just are.” The tsukai turned and saw the worried look on Hitomi’s face. She gently touched her cheek. “What’s so bad about being a monster?”

“They tried to kill me because of it.”

“They were stupid men. I killed them, remember?”

Hitomi frowned. “I wish you didn’t.”


“They were people. They probably had families.”

“It doesn’t matter to me. If anyone hurts me dear friend, I will kill them. I prefer you over them.”

“It doesn’t feel right.”

Haruka patted her on the head. “That’s how I am.”

“I don’t understand it.”

“What is it now?”

“Why did you save me? I don’t really know you and I have nothing to give you. So… Why?”

Haruka tapped her on the nose. “Does there have to be a reason?”

Hitomi closed her mouth. “Oh.”

“You are a peculiar girl.”

“What do you mean?”

“You worry about tiny things.”

“Tiny things?”

“Like human lives. They mean nothing to me. You feel bad for two hunters who tried to kill you.”

“Well… yes.”

“I don’t understand that about you. Why? Why cry for those men?”

“Because life is precious.”


“Why doesn’t human life mean anything to you?”

Her friend shrugged. “They just don’t.”

“How strange.”

“Not really, at least I don’t think so.” She noticed the concerned look on Hitomi’s face. “What now?”

“Don’t you love anyone?”

Haruka raised an eyebrow. “Do I love anyone?”


“I can’t say I do.”

“That can’t be possible. Everyone has someone they love. What about your parents? Akio?”

“My parents don’t care. They probably didn’t notice I was gone.”

“And Akio?”

Haruka sneered. “He’s just a useless imbecile.”

“But he loves you.”

“It’s really pathetic. I don’t know why he does.”

“Does there have to be a reason for love?”

“Excuse me?”

“Does there have to be a reason for love? Can’t people love without motives?”

Haruka patted her on the head. “You are so adorable. You really believe a monster can love.”

“It is possible.”

“Did you ever love someone?”

Hitomi lowered her eyes. “Yes.” She felt like crying again. Haruka lifted her head.

“Where is he now?”


“Left or dead?”


“Oh.” Haruka took Hitomi by the cheeks. “Stay with me. Maybe you can prove to me that love can have no motives for monsters like us.”

Hitomi drew her mouth closed.

-Present Day-

Tears landed on the letter Hitomi was writing. She paused to dry her eyes. This would be the fifth draft tonight. The kitsune knew she couldn’t say goodbye to Haruka’s face. Despite what had to done, it wouldn’t stop hurting. Hitomi lowered her pen and sniffled.

I’m so sorry, Haruka-sama, she thought. The school teacher folded up the completed letter. Hitomi turned off her desk lamp and went to bed.