My airways tightened as I tried to gulp down breaths but the massive, gnarled hands of my captors were too strong and over powering. I have always found it ironic that the one place my beautiful, loving mother always let me play was the place where I died. If I had been abandoned on the side of my local park, I would have survived. I used to know the four faces of those unsavoury, murderous men so well that if I had survived I would have personally hunted them down like a police dog. I’d hunt them down so faithfully even if everyone else gave up, I’d still be sniffing their trail like a German Shepard. However, even if I had survived the best use I could be to the police is as an office woman. I used to be quite the opposite of athletic. That’s why I was caught. That and I had tripped on a dip in the cement path I was trying to use as a getaway route.
I can still picture my middle school self. I can picture myself doing homework. I was class president. I was the reliable, smart one in my group of friends. The day I died, it was a normal day. I frequently remember my final thoughts as those accursed hands sealed my fate. Those thoughts still haunt me. I sometimes wish I had thought differently because I’m sure everything I thought would happen but didn’t. Those stupidly childish thoughts of a dying adolescent:
How strange... I’m being suffocated yet why am I crying. This is a rather peaceful way to die compared to others. I wish I died looking good...seriously; my hair is in an ugly plait today. Why didn’t I wear that nice pink barrette? I wonder if some of my friends will be glad I died? I wonder if my teachers will miss me. Will those rowdy idiots grow up or will they end up like these idiots? These child killing, tobacco smelling, sake drinking, bleached hair yakuza-like idiots.
Even though so many years have passed and so much important things slipped from my memory such as my surname. I still remember those thoughts with such clarity it hurts. I’m just glad that the final thing I saw was pleasant. I distinctly remember that it had been raining recently and the park glittered in the afternoon sunset because of all the droplets of moisture still clinging to the trees and ground. There was a rainbow nearby and I would swear to anything that it was so close that if there had been more blood going around my body, I could have crawled towards it and touched the indigo and violet stripes. I foggily remember the last thing I heard too. It sounded like traffic, a little kid playing and an argument about “What to do with the body”. That body was without a doubt me.
It’s hard to believe that seven or so years later I woke up, as if death had been sleep. At first it was strange. All I could see was nothingness and there was blackness. My fingers were stony and I couldn’t move. The only thing I could feel was cement. It was coarse and uncomfortable. I heard voices. I couldn’t remember a thing, especially about the fact I was dead. It was like I had momentary amnesia. There was a clobber and something fell out place. A few things came to mind. The final thoughts of what is considered a normal life. The first thoughts of a final beginning:
What’s going on? Why can’t I see anything? I just want to scream but I can’t! Seriously, what is happening?
‘Ah, it seems that hair has absorbed my aura and came to life.’ a male said, his voice was strong and deep. He has been saying weird things, for example, I think he was referring to me when he said “hair”. After all, I’m probably the only dead being in the world which has come alive again. It’s strange. I can interact with the world but it’s strange. I feel smaller and as if I’m being looked down upon. I grasp for the closest thing and it turns out to be a pen. I don’t think I grasped it with my hand. Everything looks like it is through a shade of brunette fog. ‘Looks like it can hold a pen. Ask it a random question.’ the man in the blue suit and blonde hair said. He had a rather bored expression upon his face. He also was rude, calling a young girl an “it”
His female friend was short, in a school uniform and had a bob of blonde hair. She seemed rather scared…of me. ‘Uh-uh…What…what’s your name?’ she stumbled through her words. I wrote “Akane” down on the paper they had and that’s when I realised why her friend had called me an “it” and why everything looked as if my hair was billowing through the world like mist. I had turned into the ugly plait of hair I had worn on my last day of “life”. A few memories were rekindled through my mind. The girl read it and she raised her eyebrows. ‘Ah…your name is Akane. Then why are you in there? Did the people who lived here before do this…?’ she guessed
‘Hmm, so your name is Akane. The scent of “mystery” is on you but not enough to interest me…’ he said. He seemed eccentric and rather cryptic. He came close to me and stroked my hair. ‘Wait patiently. I have many things on my hands right now. But I shall “eat” your “mystery” someday.’ he put me down then walked away. ‘Do you know how to use a computer?’ I manage to nod. I feel so weird. Am I getting my first full time job? The man in the blue suit rambles on about the sorts of things I have to do and I listen attentively. I find it strange that he doesn’t mind that I’m a living braid of hair.
This definitely wasn’t how I imagined my life. I died and came back to “life”. I’m now an office woman for a demon named Nougami Neuro and his two “slaves” Katsuragi Yako and Godai Shinobu. The four of us make quite a team even though one of us, Mister Shinobu, barely recognizes my existence…we still make a good team: a good, dysfunctional team that is. Miss Katsuragi puts me on her cell phone and it seems we’re leaving again for one of Mister Nougami’s requests.