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Yokai Manor by Inuyaoi

The Good Demon

This plot came to me months ago and I’m finally getting it out of my head.A word of caution, as of right now all I can say is that this story (can I even call it that?)  is intended to be dark, though not needlessly for the sake of it, but a flashlight might prove useful. I suppose, eventually, there will be a chance of a romance, but it’ll mostly be angsty, painful, depressing...sweet? I’m not even sure if I have the ability to convey it in the way I imagined it but I’m going to try.  

Guess we’ll find out.  

I don’t own Inuyasha and won’t make any monies from this. You know, the usual disclaimer.

OoOoOoOoO

Tokyo, Japan

June 13th, 1998

As sinister storm clouds rolled and churned above, below a group of children raced across thirsty, neglected grass adjacent to the Yoi Orphanage. It was the only home most had ever known, and sadly, what most would likely ever know. But ignorance was bliss and the children could afford to lay down the weight of their reality for some years to come. In the meantime, until their statistical probability, games needed to be played and muscles needed to be exhausted. Tag, a youth’s staple, was the game of choice on that humid summer evening, and all energetically participated.

All except one.  

The resident black sheep of the lot wasn’t permitted to join in with the other children. Shunned by her peers for her strange mannerisms, it was treatment the frail, jade haired girl grew accustomed to over the years. Alternatively, she busied herself with a game of jacks on the pavement a good distance away on the far out most edge of the property, the extent of which any of the youngsters could stray.

Come children!” a senior matron beckoned from the entrance, “You all must wash before dinner.”

Jolting from the call, the girl moved quickly to collect what she cherished. If she was slow to make haste there would be no share of bread for her - often the most reliantly edible allowance of her meals. Scrambling onto her feet, hurriedly, she gathered the small metal bits and turned to run back, but in her peckish urgency she dropped her tiny rubber ball.

The child whined wistfully as she watched vibrant blue bounce beyond what she was allowed to venture. She lingered at the edge of the sidewalk, hesitant to retrieve one of the few items the girl could rightfully and truly call hers.

Oh, no! You mustn't go over the curb!” She cried out to it. Her ball had jounced until it rolled off the pavement and onto the street.

Rin,” the caretaker’s governing voice resounded, impelling the girl to turn around and stare down the stretch of the neglected estate, “supper is not a suggestion.” The woman then chastised as she ushered a herd of famished children through the door. The forewarning in the matron’s voice only corroborated with what the child had already been wise to.

Yes, Soto-san, Rin is coming,” she strained merrily, resisting her looming fret.   

Shifting anxiously on her scrawny, mosquito bitten legs, Rin waited until Soto-san converged back to the clambering children.

When an opportunity offered itself, she reverted back to the ball and saw that the brown loafers of a rather tall man stopped and thus prevented it from rolling further down the street.  

His spontaneous appearance startled her. Rin was certain he hadn't been there moments before. Her eyes cast down the street, as if seeking for a logical explanation of his snappish arrival, but she didn’t let it worry her for too long.

She shrugged it off, opting to beam the brightest of smiles at him.

Hello, Mister,” she greeted with a friendly wave, “Could you do Rin a favor and retrieve that ball for me? Rin is not allowed to take even the tiniest of steps beyond…” the chittering girl waned as she drew an imaginary line with one foot, “...there, and I am sure to become most melancholy without it.”

A silent gaze lowered to the object of her desire.

Yes, that ball right there,” the child coached to the stranger.

Delighted, Rin clasped her hands together and squealed as she watched the mute figure bend over and pick it up. Her elation was felt so strongly that she not only disregarded the man’s alien features, she dismissed his starchy and unnatural gait too.  

Ooh!Rin gasped as the man sedatedly ambled closer, “You aren’t a Mister, you are a youkai,” she awed with wide eyes now that he towered before her. “Why are you on our side of town, Mr. Demon?” She innocently wondered craning up to him.

Forgoing words, the demon loosely followed Rin’s next move - her small hand shoving forward and dangling expectantly in the air, thereto his own stiffly advanced. Pale and utterly dwarfing hers, his hand trembled as it hovered, to which her thin brows wrinkled upon sighting. Inclining her head higher, Rin eyed him curiously as her property was released into her custody.

Why do you shake? It’s much too hot to shiver.”

He did not speak.

No, far too hot to be cold...” The child digressed sweetly before jumping head first to her next hypothesis. “Are...” Another gasp narrowly escaped the tiny fingers that attempted to smother it, “Are you shaking because you are... afraid of humans?”

He did not speak.

Soto-san has told Rin that I should fear demons because they are bad and scary...”

He did not speak.

But Rin does not think you are scary or bad. Rin does think you are pretty and good, though.”

He did not speak.

Mm-hmm, yup,” she nodded with conviction, “you retrieved Rin’s ball. That means you are a good demon… right?”

He answered her simple question with a palpitating nod of his own, drawing out an even brighter smile from the girl until his neck spasmed and disgustedly cracked. What was formerly a ‘yes’ abruptly morphed into an unsettling and arrhythmic ‘no.’

Rin bristled to that disturbingly ghastly display and took a single cautious step away from him. For she knew necks weren’t supposed warp and pivot in that way, nor were they supposed to jerk with a tremoring tick.  

And too, like her jacks and ball, the child’s harrowing and blood curdling screams were also hers and hers alone.  

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Yeah, like I warned...dark. Let me know what you guys think about this idea or what’s written so far.  

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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