Kindred of the East: the Song of Lanterns
Kyoko Akito 慊人 杏子
"The Slave with a Second Chance"
Deminor: Bon Vivant
P’O: The Slave
Darma: The Path of a Thousand Whispers
Stength – 00
Dex – 00
Stamina – 00
Charisma – 0000
Manupulation – 000
Apperiance – 000
Perception – 000
Intellegence – 00
Wits – 00
Alertness – 0
Althletics – 0
Dodge – 0
Empathy – 00
Expression – 000
Leadership – 00
Streetwise – 00
Subtrafuge – 0
Animal Ken – 00
Etiquette – 00
Martial Arts – 00
Performance – 0
Stealth – 0
Politics – 00
Rituals – 00
Black Wind – 0
Equilibrium – 0
Tapestry – 0
Alternet Idendity – 0
Herd – 00
Jade Talisman – 00
Horiscope – 00
Nushi – 00
Rites – 000
Phobia (Sever) – Claustrophobia
Nothing in the darkness but Screaming.
Nothing around you but Screaming.
And the worst of it, is that it is only you Screaming.
Nobody else with you, no light, no other sound but your own voice Screaming.
In absolute darkness, Screaming.
From a physical pain? Emotional Torment? Even you yourself are not sure. But you know it hurts, constantly. All you have is your thoughts. All you have is your own voice. There is nothing more here. You don’t know if you are walking aimlessly in the darkness or if you are confined in a small box unable to move at all. When you first got here there was a malevolent laughter in your head, but that too faded and was drowned out by your own screaming.
This is Hell.
Or at least one of them.
The one that Kyoko Akito found herself in.
When she was alive she couldn’t believe there was anything worse then what she was in. But she was wrong. Though her first life was a Hell, it was not this Hell.
At least the other Hell had one thing this one did not. That Hell had hope.
She didn’t like to think about her childhood. It ended very fast. She couldn’t remember being very young. The years that children play and do not know the horrors of the world. She could not remember these, or she chose not too. She remembered being about 16 though. She remember being woken up in the middle of the night by a man with tattoos. At the time she was living in a small house with her mother, her aunt, and 4 sisters in Little Tokyo in New York City. She was the oldest. She could remember that her mother worked two jobs to keep them all a float, as a waitress and cleaning lady. Her aunt worked too but only on a nail salon. She barely saw her mother as she was gone all the time. Her aunt was at home long enough during the days to eat dinner with the girls and make sure everyone got to bed ok. It was Kyoko’s job at that time to get everyone up in the morning and ready for school where they spent the days and then make sure everyone got home ok. The girls kept to the back of the house, sharing 2 rooms between the five of them. They didn’t really have toys, but they had each other. Kyoko could remember that men would come by. A few came by frequently. They may have been family members. They could maybe even had been fathers of some or all the girls, but they never knew. The girls kept to themselves in those back rooms. Kyoko also remembered fighting, and yelling. Sometimes in English, sometimes in Japanese. There was one man who came over a lot. He had tattoos up and down his arms and probably into his chest too. He would come over, a lot of times unannounced, would sit on the sofa with a beer from the fridge that he would not ask if he could have and proceed to yell. Most of the time he yelled at her Aunt, but only because she was the only one there. But when her mom was there it was far worse. Not only would he yell at her, he would hit her too. Kyoko would get the girls to the back rooms as fast as she could and would have her sisters sing to each other so they would not hear what was going on in the living room. She did what she could to keep her sisters from fully understanding what was going on.
Then there was the day Kyoko would never forget. She had just gotten home from high school after picking up the last of her sisters from the elementary school down the street. She had gotten everyone back to the rooms and started on their respective homework. She told them she was going to the kitchen to make everyone a snack and that she would be back in a moment.
Kyoko went to the kitchen and pulled out some celery and peanut butter. Her mother and aunt were both still at work so it came as a shock when she heard the front door open. Standing there in the doorway was the man with the tattoos. He was obviously drunk (or at least Kyoko assumed drunk) and seemed out of breath for some reason. His white tank top was moist with sweat along with his short black hair. He scanned the room looking for the two adult women.
“Can I help you?” Kyoko asked timidly
The mans attention snapped to her. He may not have even noticed her if she hadn’t spoken up… why oh why did she speak up.
He smiled a wide, wicked smile and walked over to her, obviously trying to keep his composer and balance.
“You are one of Ayame’s girls, aren’t you?”
Kyoko couldn’t identify full what the smell coming off the man was but it got stronger the closer he got. It made her feel dirty just being that close to him. This was the closest she had ever seen the man. His teeth were yellowed from smoking. His skin was dry and wrinkled before it’s time due to lack of care.
“You know, I remember you from when you were little” he said only a few feet away. Kyoko stood perfectly still, terrified at what would happen if she moved. The man reached his arm out in a flash and grabbed her chin roughly in his calloused hands. “You have grown up, haven’t you….” he said as if he was examining her. Kyoko shut her eyes and tried to pull away, but the man was too strong.
“Let her go!” a loud voice yelled from the doorway. It was Ayame, Kyoko’s mother. She was wearing her waitress uniform and Kyoko was pretty sure she ran here. She did not know what happened earlier that day or how her mother knew to come home or what the man was really doing here in the first place, but she new it wouldn’t end well. The man squeezed her face one last time, enough to leave a couple of finger size bruises, and threw her face to the left. Kyoko caught herself from loosing her balance.
“Go back to your sisters” her mother instructed, not letting her eyes off the man with the tattoos. Kyoko hesitated, not wanting to leave her mother alone, but eventually obeyed.
Days passed and Kyoko started to forget that afternoon.
She was asleep. It had been a long day at school and she was glad to be home. It was a Friday. This weekend she was thinking of talking to her mother about the idea of getting a job to help out. Her sister was old enough to start helping out and if she worked then her mother wouldn’t have to work as much. Thunder crashed outside as the storm started coming down. Kyoko slept peacefully, that is until she felt a hand over her mouth holding a rag that smelt funny. She struggled to get away. She struggled to try to yell. But neither came to anything. Then the world went black.
She woke up some time later. She was in her PJ’s still sitting on a hard ground with a metal wall behind her. She was blindfolded and gagged. She heard muffled crying around her but couldn’t identify anything. She could tell there were a lot of people around her. She pieced together that she was in a metal shipping create. The next few months were rough. She lived in the metal create with 24 other girls all about her age. It was hot and humid. Living conditions where horrible. The girls could only whisper comfort to each other. If any kind of noise was heard one of the guards would come in and hit whoever they thought was the offender with the butt of their rifle usually knocking the girl out. Every now and then the guards would bring someone inside. They would point to a girl. The guards would grab the girl and take her out of the create, and they would never see them again…
One day, it was Kyoko’s turn.
The door opened. The bright sun from outside flooded the dark create. It was a slight relief as fresh air filled inside. All the girls turned their heads to see what was going on. All they could see was three guards with rifles and a man in a suit. He walked up and down the row of girls. Every now and then he would have the guards get one of the girls to stand up and would have them turn around. Kyoko was one of these girls. She stood up, never looking the man in the eyes, and turned around. She faced him again and was just starting to think of sitting back down when he pointed at her and said “That one”….
He took her back to a small apartment. He instructed her it was her job to cook, and clean, and to do anything he requested. She soon learned what anything entailed.
Every night he would come home, Kyoko could only assume from work. He would expect that dinner was ready at the exact time he was home and would expect it warm. Any diversion from this and he would beat her. Sometimes even if it was to his specifications he would still beat her. It seemed to be what he loved to do. He would tell her during the week he was so tired that is all he had energy to do… which was why he waited for the weekends to rape her. All Kyoko could do was try to not think about what was going on. She would keep her mind blank and try to pretend that none of this was happening. At night, instead of sleeping in a bed, he would keep her in a small closet. He would let her out in the morning with instructions on what he wanted done for that day…. she obeyed….
At any time she could have tried to run away. At any time she could have screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear. At any time she could have tried to defend herself with one of the kitchen knives. She would actually plan a lot of these ideas. At night when she slept curled up on the floor of that small closet she would plan how she would get away. But she never did. She could never get the courage to. She remembered what happened the last time she showed courage. She spoke up, and that got her here. There was even a time that he came home and dinner wasn’t done. The kitchen knife was in her hands. It was 9 inches long. It was sharp. It would have done the job. But instead she put it down and tried to say sorry as twisted her arm almost to the point of breaking it. She did nothing.
It went on for years.
He came home one night and she could tell something was different. His business tie was half undone. His face was red with anger. He held a small cardboard box with random items in it in one arm, and crunched a handful of papers in the other.
Kyoko couldn’t help herself as she asked quietly “What happened?”
His eyes flashed wildly. He grabbed a lamp and through it at her head. She fell to the ground dazed. Blood ran down her forehead. She only had a moment to look up before she saw his belt buckle come down to her face, repeatedly. She felt herself dying. She heard him say something that told her he thought she was dead. He wrapped her up in a shower curtain. She felt herself slipping away. The last thing she knew before she left her body is that he dumped her in the large trash collector in the alley near the back of the apartments. Then darkness…
And then Hell….
All she had when she was in Hell was the memories of her life. So much she regretted. She did nothing. She could have been anything and she did nothing. She could have been a singer, she could have been a mother, she could have been a business woman, but instead she let all the horrors of her life happen around her and she did nothing. Regret and guilt was all she had. She would worry about what happened to her mother and aunt and sisters. Horrible thought flew through her head as she Screamed in the Darkness. Fates far worse then hers, and that they were all her fault. She wasn’t really sure what happened next. She remembers thinking one day that she wished she could fix it all. She remembered a feeling of determination. Then she remembered going up. She realized it was herself that was fighting as she pulled herself up, but she couldn’t tell if someone was pulling her up too. Suddenly she felt a tightness on her face. She clawed through it, realizing it was the shower curtain she was wrapped in. She was tired and in pain. The moon shown bright lighting landfill that she had been dumped in. She heard a noise to her right. She was so hungry. It was a homeless man digging through the piles. She couldn’t stop herself as the beast came forward. She was just finishing her first meal when she heard someone behind her.
She turned around expecting her next victim but instead recognized power. She could not tell if the person in front of her was male or female. But she knew they were powerful. The person looked down with a scold on their face.
“This… this will not do… come, I am going to show you another way” They held out their hand to Kyoko and she used her own to wipe the gore off her lips “My name is Yuki. I am going to take you to Japan… I am going to teach you….”