Chapter eight: Possession:

    “Haunting you, I can smell you, alive. Your heart pounding in my head!”

-Evanescence “Haunted”

    Takeru’s mother was in her room when her son awoke in fear. Ban after ban, her worry for him grew. Something had to be done.

    Therapy. Nancy would turn to therapy for help. So, Takeru missed school in the morning to visit the psychologist. “Don’t worry Takeru,” Nancy said. “The therapist will help you.” The boy said nothing. “I hops so.” he thought.

    The therapy office wasn’t completely busy. There were only about three or four other patients there. But Takeru still felt nervous. “This is how Aneko must have felt when she was five years old here.” he thought. But the boy stayed strong.

    A few minutes later, the door opened and everyone looked up. A young looking man who was in his early thirties looked around the room from the doorway. “Takashi Takeru,” he said. “I will see you now.” The boy stood up, bid his mother sayonara, and walked into the office. The therapist closed the door behind him.

    The office was a little bit freezing, but it was nice-looking. Takeru was busy looking around. The doctor cleared his throat. The boy looked up. “Relax, sit down.” the man said. Takeru slowly compiled. The doctor sat down on the opposite side facing him.
    “Now, talk to me,” the doctor said. “Nani has been troubling you?” Takeru drew in a deep breath. “Here goes.” he thought.

“I keep having recurring nightmares.” the boy began. The doctor was taking notes. “Hai,” he said. “About nani?” Right there, Takeru grew completely nervous. Should he continue? Hai. He had nai other choice. The boy drew in another breath.

“About this torture prison. These guards always beat me up.” Takeru kept on. “I’ve even seen other prisoners being beaten on and even killed. I am forced into slavery under this cruel young girl and a few other like her.”

    The doctor listened and took notes. “Have you been seeing these disturbing images in real life?” he asked. The boy nodded. “Can anyone else see them?” the doc asked. “Iie san.” Takeru answered. “I see.” the psychologist said.

    “Nani reason do these people in your nightmares to beat you?” the doctor asked. Takeru wanted so desperately to teishi now. But it was too late now. He had nai choice but to go forward. The boy drew in another breath.

    “If I questioned them or make a mistake, they would beat me until I was out cold.” he answered. “Have you had any bruises or scars from your nightmares?” the doctor asked. “Hai.” Takeru answered. The man read over his notes.

    “Let me ask you something.” the therapist said. Takeru looked up. “Hai?” he asked. “Do you believe some recurring nightmares are caused by onis?” the doctor asked. The boy’s eyes grew wide. “Well, this is the age of the supernatural, right?” the doc continued. “It is possible a yokai is sending you these nightmares.”

    The boy almost went pale. “Is that… nani I…. Have?” he managed to get out. “Could be,” the doc said. “But there’s iie way to be certain. I’m going to examine this farther. I’ll call you and give you results. Understand?” Takeru nodded. “Good.” the doc said. “That will be all for today. You may leave now.” “Arigato san.” the boy said as he bowed his head. Then he stood up and left the office.

    For once, Takeru felt much better. He was his agreeable self again. Aneko was feeling much better with him. However, this feeling didnít last long. Then ban was even crueler than the others in comparison.

    *Nightmare starts*

    A guard-slave stood over him. Takeru was asleep for the first time since this saga began. Anyway, the guard-slave had a huge wood plank in his hands. He took ichi big smack in the other boy’s ribs. Takeru awoke in pain.

    “You’re late!” the guard-slave yelled. “Get up baka!!!” Takeru tried to do so. But he wasn’t doing it fast enough for the guard-slave’s taste. “I said GET UP!!!” he barked. Then he hit the boy again. Takeru felt the pain but tried not to show it. “GET UP DUMASS!!!” the guard-slave screamed. “I’m trying to!!!” Takeru yelled. The guard-slave grew angry. “SHUT UP!!!” he yelled. Then he struck him again. Takeru finally got up. “Now come on!” the guard-slave yelled.

    The two boys walked to the mistress’ room. She looked really pissed. “You’re late!” she snapped. “But…” Takeru began. “Silence!” she yelled. The boy complied.

    “Now,” the girl said. “ I will have to punish you. On your knees.” Takeru complied. She pulled out a long leather cord and flogged him with it.

    By ban, Takeru was sore with more bruises and whiplashes than ever. He was even too sure to sleep.

    *End of Nightmare*