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I shape you

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What the Akabane family did, no one knew.

Were they rich?

Were they weird?

The mother, Rin Akabane, dead under suspicious circumstances, the father, Kiado Akabane, hadn’t been seen outside his garden in years. You could talk to him, through the railings.

He’d show you his latest project. Smoke that turned the sky pink, a rock that caused all gravity to drift slightly to the left (or so he claimed).
That is, until he stopped coming out. Till he started spending all his time in the dark basement with 4 locks.


Till the Akabane boy felt he had no parents left at all.


He was weird too. But no one dared say it to his face. Hands constantly bruised from fights he never lost, he sat in the back getting every question right.
That is, when he actually showed up. He never answered questions about his parents. Never said what happened to his mother, or what his father was doing. (Never said the two things were connected.)


One day, Karma Akabane woke up and smelt something wrong. And he knew what it was, even before he walked downstairs to the kitchen. Even before he opened the door to the basement he wasn’t allowed to enter.

Even before he saw his fathers body on the floor, gun in hand.


The blood was very red against his white shoes.

Karma ignored the body and explored the forbidden room. It was disturbing.
On the floor was a chalk pentagram, old candles dripping wax. His fathers smell mixed with the dozen dead animals littering the floor.

Behind this madness was an old door covered in a sheet, and wrapped in chains.

Horrer movie clique! Karma thought as he picked the lock.
Dead body. Suspicious cage. Possibly about to die.

But right then, he didn’t care. If there was something behind the door, then he wouldn’t be alone right now.

Not that he cared about being alone. Because he didn’t.


The thing behind the door was listening. It heard the shot. Heard the footsteps. Heard the fear.

And now heard the lock click open.


Karma stared.

“What are you?”

“You are the child” said the thing, it’s voice soft. “You’re father spoke of you”

“The fuck are you?” said Karma again, fists clenched.

Behind the door was a cage of thick metal bars. He decided he wasn’t going to open them. Not now, not ever.

The thing was made of black water, in the shape of a person. It left little puddles of itself on the floor as it crept closer. A dripping hand reached out, clasped the bars.

“I’m me” said the thing. “You’re father brought me here.”


“Are you,” Karma swallowed, “I know he was looking, looking for my.... mom”

“When he took me here your father called me by her name. Rin?”


“I am not her”

“Have you ever.... met her?”

“I think you know where I have come from. You do not wish your mother to be there. You do not wish anyone to be there.”

“I wish my father was there. How come you’re talking so weird?”

“I learned to talk 3 weeks ago. Mostly from your father. I will improve.”

“He did talk like an oxford dictionary. So... what’s your name?”

“I don’t have one. Your father called me a freak of nature but I don’t think that’s a name. I know you are Karma. Such a pretty thing. The only pretty thing here.”

“I’ll get you a name.” Said Karma as the thing oozed water, almost flooding the cage before randomly evaporating.

“How about... Nagisa? That means waters edge, and you’re basically a sentient puddle.”

“Nagisa.” It purred. Actually purred. “I like that. Pretty. Your father wouldn’t give me a name. He wanted to get rid of me.”

“Well, can you blame him?”

Karma edged away from the cage thing as Nagisa leaned against the bars.

“Your father didn’t like me. He tried to kill me you know.”


“Fire. Lots of acid, he set up a tap that dropped constantly over me. He only stopped when it started eroding the bars. It didn’t work you know, only hurt. Hurt a good deal. But nothing he could do could possibly kill me. That’s why he shot himself you know. Because it was him or me. He said he will join your mother. He won’t.”

“Where will he go?”

“My family will take care of him. They know what he has done to me.”

Karma tried really hard to believe Nagisa’s family were a kindly group of puddle monsters.
He tried.

“Where do your family live? What’s it like?”

“It’s... wonderful. Everything is blue, or green. It’s very wet. And there is fire always. We are so cold so we sleep on the fire. It can not be put out. The people come, the ones who deserve to be with us. Sometimes they won’t believe, or bargain with us. Offer us many things, none of which we care about.
You have nothing we tell them. They say we can have their houses, money, children, husbands, wife’s. And we tell them they have none of those things, not anymore. They belong to us and us alone. That fear is what we use. They live in anguish over what they have lost. We see them, curling up small till their bones split open, trying to dig their way out, escape. They use their hands for they have nothing else. Nothing but us.
And when they give up, lie still, say they no longer care.
That’s when we give them to the ones below. If you are very quiet, especially at night, you can hear them screaming.
Are you scared? You looked scared.”

Nagisa reached a long hand out through the bars. Karma stared at it as it grew nearer.

“Because if you let me out, I’ll stop you from being sad. Open the door. Let me out. I’ll take all that fear away. I know how. Let me out Karma, or perhaps you will become like your Father. Do you think you could bare it? Will you see my family too?”

His long elongated, fingers stretched out grotesquely. Karma leapt backwards

“You’re not coming out you sick fuck! You’re going to rot here, and you’re never going home. Got it?”

“But I am so lonely. Will you not open the door? It would be so easy for you. The keys are in your fathers desk.”

Karma ignores him and turns to the basement stairs. He’s never coming down again.



He came down two weeks later. Every second he was in his house he could feel wet fingers brushing against his neck, feel wet eyes watching him. Whenever he went near the basement door his hair would suddenly start dripping, only to be completely dry when he walked away.

In school he started fights at the drop of a hat. Literally. Some guy dropped his hat in a puddle and Karma went berserk.

His teachers wanted to talk to his father, but Karma said he was busy. He declined to mention he was probably busy being tortured by the family of a demon locked in his basement. That wouldn’t go down too well.

He didn’t want to go down there.

But then he ran out of groceries, and his father kept the money in the basement, so...

So he speed walked down the basement and rummaged through the drawers

“You were gone for ages.” Said Nagisa reproachfully. “I was lonely.”

Karma ignores him.

“Are you mad at me? Is it because I look so different? Is this better?”

Karma turned to see his dad crouching naked behind the barred door.

“Is this better... Karma stop screaming, since your father looks like you I thought... would you shush? Is this not better?”

Once he calmed down Karma looked from the decomposing dad, to the locked up dad.

“That is a whole new level of weird.”

“Do you not like this one? You could get me a better one?”

“You want me to kill someone?”

“No. Anything with a shape I can copy. Then you will like me!”

Karma shrugged and headed upstairs. If anything he wanted to burn that image out of his head forever.
He went into the sitting room where his mom used to collect china ornaments. On one shelf, nestled between teacups were 3 large doll. He always liked looking at them, even though he was always told not to touch.

Take that mom, he thought to himself as he carefully picked up his favourite.


When he went back down the stars Nagisa looked like a sentient puddle again. He never expected to find this as an improvement.

“Here, be this thing. And I brought you a blanket, you know, to.... cover up with.”

Nagisa arched backwards till he was bent in half below his rib cage. It burst open, spraying Karma with dirty water. Skin clumped together and fell to the floor as hundreds of little tendrals sprouted from the drops. They slither together across the floor till Nagisa stood, the dolls mirror image.

Pale, blue hair, white skin and wide shiny blue eyes. Nagisa stared at him hopefully.


Karma stared at him, soaking wet.

“Just. Take. The. Blanket.”

“As you wish.”

Karma unlocked the door and Nagisa stepped out.


“So you do like this shape!”

“Just follow me.”

Nagisa obediently followed him up the stairs and into his room. There he put on the offered cloths and smiled expectantly.

“So I’ve decided the basement isn’t an ideal location for a demon. Mostly because I don’t like having wet hair every time I walk past the door. So, I have taken the initiative to put you in the guest bathroom.”

“What’s a bathroom?”


Nagisa apparently liked his new home. A bath filled with water accompanied by several candles, old towels and a nice sunny window that didn’t open. He smiled, eyes flickering around. He actually looked quite nice when he smiled. And when he didn’t look like a puddle.


Karma locked the door behind him. The bathroom was on the top floor, far away from where he usually stayed. This was no longer a him problem.


The next day Sugino from class showed up for a project Karma had told him he wouldn’t do.
Sugino decided to ignore that particular conversation point.

“Hey Karma?” He called through the front door.

“Not home!”

“Who’s this guy?”

Karma yanked the door open. Nagisa, dripping wet,wearing cloths 3 sizes too big and covered in broken glass stood next to Sugino.

“I found him in your garden. He said he’s your friend?”

Karma signed. This would take some explaining.