The God's Child
Once again Yuki fought the urge to swat at the many mosquitoes that hovered near her face as she laid quietly in the ditch her sister had, so rudely, pushed her in. She had been too scared to make a sound or move, after hearing the serpent crash through the daycare doors. Every muscle in her body ached from laying on the hard ground and the dust from the tall grass tickled her skin unpleasantly. It felt like she had been waiting for hours. But most likely just about forty minutes. A very long and miserable forty minutes.
“I swear when I see Rika, I’m going to really lay one on her!” Yuki thought angrily to herself as yet another mosquito bit her. “Pushing me and leaving me out here alone...all alone.” She knew Rika had only acted impulsively, wanting to protect her. That thought wasn’t enough to lighten her mood.
“She still never thinks though! What was she planning to do? Outrun the snake while carrying a toddler? Oh very smart Rika! Brilliant! Such a great idea on how to die! Oh great….”
Yuki had fought hard, but she could only hold in the tears so long. Like a broken pipe, they fell without constraint, trailing down her cheeks as she stared up at the stars popping up in the night sky.
“Baka.” Yuki whispered. “Why do you always do this to me?”
The night sky suddenly disappeared as steam from the tears clouded up her glasses. Yuki sighed. “Great. Now I’m blind. If anything wants to get me, now is the chance.”
A lone mosquito buzzed, landing on the tip of her nose. Yuki growled.
“That’s it!” She jolted up from her hiding place, smacking her nose as she exclaimed loudly. “I'd rather die than sit here any longer with these damn bugs!”
“Yuki! There you are!”
With a blood spattered nose, Yuki turned to find both Rika and Emi alive and well, but also in the company of some strange man. Danger flags instantly started flaring in her cautious mind. Who was he? Why was he suspiciously here right when some strange monster showed up? Is he eying Emi a little too much? Maybe he’s a phedophile? That would explain why he’s soliciting near a daycare facility. That creep! Why...IS THAT A GUN HOLSTER!?”
Before Yuki couldn’t comment, her sister ran with outstretched arms towards her twin. “Yuki I’m so glad you’re alive! I was so wor….” Before Rika could even come close to embracing her, Yuki’s hand came up to clench tightly around her face, stopping her in her tracks.
“You have some nerve pushing me in the ditch like that.” Yuki seethed, an angry vein pulsing on her temple. “Leaving me alone in the country….on the ground… with the bugs… the things I hate most…..” With each word, her grip tightened over her poor twin’s head.
“Yeah…..My bad….” Rika gave a mumbled apology through Yuki’s palm.
On the ground, Emi ran up and started beating Yuki’s leg with her tiny fists. “No hurt Rika! No hurt Rika!!!”
“Hey, are you sure this is your sister?” the unknown guy called out. “Cause she seems kind of suspicious to me. Should I shoot her?”
“Eep!” Yuki instantly let go and hid behind Rika, glaring daggers at the stranger. He stood away, casually twirling a pistol in his hand. She pointed an angry finger at him. “How rude! Of course we’re sisters! Any moron can see that we’re twins!”
“Hmmm….” He stopped twirling, using his gun hand to scratch the top of his head. He lazily glanced from Rika to Yuki, before shrugging his shoulders. “Nope, don't see it.”
“Well no one asked you….you...Whoever you are! AND CAN STOP HITTING ME?” Yuki yelled at the toddler still attempting to beat her leg. Emi looked up at her, violet eyes blazing stubbornly as she blew a raspberry in response.
“Now, Now, Emi, you know we don’t hit.” Rika said sweetly, picking Emi up. “See, I’m perfectly fine!” Emi gaped at the large, red hand shaped indentation on Rika’s face.
“Still don’t want me to shoot her?”
“That’s it! You two come with me!” Yuki grabbed Rika by the shirt collar and pulled her a few feet away.” She turned back towards the guy before he had the chance to follow. “YOU! Stay there! And for goodness sake! PUT THAT GUN AWAY!”
He made an annoyed tch sound, jamming his hands into his jacket as he waited. Both sent murderous glares at each other as static electricity sparked between the two.
Rika set the toddler down, watching the exchange with concern. Emi, who was very unconcerned at the moment, instantly bent down to examine the pebbles on the ground. Rika set a hand on her twin’s shoulder. “Yuki is everything alright? Have you been crying? Your eyes are red?’
“Is everything alright?” Yuki repeated the question, voice escalating. “OF COURSE EVERYTHING ISN’T ALRIGHT! Some giant snake thing attacked us out of nowhere, almost killing us! You leave me alone in some country ditch filled with bugs and nothing to do but worry about if you are dead are not! AND NO I HAVE NOT BEEN CRYING! THEY’RE BUG BITES!”
“On your eyes?” Rika asked, with a humored smile.
“Yes. In my eyes.” Yuki answered through clenched teeth, an embarrassed blush creeping along her face. She held up her sketchbook, preventing her twin from getting any closer to her.
Rika leaned forward, resting her forehead against the sketchbook. “I’m sorry I made you worry. I promise I won’t leave you alone like that again.”
Yuki was glad the sketchbook hid her face as she quietly whispered. “You promise?”
She felt the book suddenly get yanked down, so that Rika’s toothy grin was suddenly in front of Yuki. “Of course! We’re twins after all! Together forever! So no need to be all grouchy, especially since Emi and I are fine.”
Yuki jerked away. “But how? How are you alive?” She shot a sharp glare at the man waiting for them on top of the ditch. “And who is that guy?”
“Oh….well….” For some reason, Rika seemed to be hesitating. Yuki narrowed her eyes, watching as she fiddled with her ponytail, a trait she’s kept since they were kids of doing when she was anxious about something. “What is she hiding?”
“Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!”
“Huh?” Yuki looked down and saw that Emi had abandoned her hunt for pebbles. Instead she was now crawling around on her hands and knees, making growling noises similar to a dog. “Weird.” Yuki commented dryly, turning back to her sister. “Rika, is this some toddler….”
Yuki paused from her question, transfixed on her twin who was watching Emi with a look of shock on her reddened face.
“Emi!” Rika exclaimed in an overly loud voice, picking up the toddler. “Let’s not play that game right now, eh?”
Emi tilted her head. “Emi wants to be ruff ruff! Rika ruff ruff!”
Yuki quirked an eyebrow. “Ruff ruff?”
“Ruff ruff just means dog! You know how kids are, always pretending to be things they’re not.” Rika explained brightly. “Just like that time when I was little and pretended I was a dragon and stole all kinds of things around the house to guard?”
“Oh right.” Yuki remembered that clearly. One of the things Rika had stolen was Yuki’s new set of crayons. When she had tried to retrieve it from Rika’s little makeshift blanket cave, she had received a painful bite to the hand by her twin. “I remember clearly now.” Yuki replied, suddenly feeling really annoyed. But again, what’s with Rika’s strange reactions?
Rika sighed wearily, setting Emi down. “As for both your questions. I guess you can say we’re alive thanks to Police-kun over there.” Rika answered.
“Police...kun?” Yuki repeated.
The guy sighed from his spot away from them. “If you’re going to introduce me, at least use my real name and not some weird nickname you and the child cooked up.”
“Hey! I think it’s funny!” Rika smiled. “Right Emi?”
“Police-kun! Police-kun!” Emi replied, twirling around and dropping all of her pebbles in the process.
Yuki watched in calculating silence. So this guy was a police officer? I guess that would explain why he had a weapon. She pushed her glasses up, doing a quick examination. For a police officer, he seemed rather young, probably age twenty-one at the most. Instead of a uniform his clothes were casual, consisting of a white tee and blue jacket with jeans. Though if he was off duty, shouldn’t he not be carrying around a gun? Yes, he for sure was still suspicious in her book.
He glared down at them, crossing his arms impatiently. “Hey kids! I told you I’m in a hurry. We found your sister, now let’s hit the road!”
“Kids?! Who is he calling a kid?!” Yuki grabbed Rika’s arm roughly, pulling her back as she glared at Police-kun.
“Who says we’re going with you?!” Yuki demanded, shooting daggers at him.
“Uhhh, she did.” He answered, pointing down at Rika’s guilty face. Yuki turned to her twin, bristling angrily.
“Can you give us just a moment?” Both twins squatted down together, whispering furiously with each other. Emi stopped crawling on all fours, turning curiously to the two girls.
What are you doing?! We can’t go with him!”
“Why! Why? Because we don’t know him!” Yuki felt like shaking her sister. “Why do we even need to follow him? What we need to do is get the hell out of here! Let’s go home, call your boss and tell them some punks broke into the daycare. They can deal with the rest.”
“But that didn’t happen!”
“Rika…” Yuki told herself to breathe, trying to be patient. “I know you don’t like lying, but do you really think ANYONE would believe us if we told them what happened tonight?”
“Maybe not, but I don’t think pretending it never happened is the best idea either.” Rika replied in a way that made Yuki feel yet again that Rika was hiding something. “Look I know it’s strange, but he says he can explain why that monster was here. Also even if we go home, we need to do something about Emi”.
That’s true. Yuki had forgotten that Emi's guardians still hadn’t shown up. Going home with her wouldn’t really be proper. Yuki groaned, feeling a headache come. Why is this my problem?
Yuki glanced around. “Hey where is Emi”?
Rika had covered her mouth, cheeks puffed up with suppressed laughter. “Yuki…” She giggled, “Your back.”
“Uh?” Yuki put a hand on her bend back and felt something….slimy? “ACK!” Yuki screamed, jumping up and furiously swatting at her back where a dozen frogs had been perched.
“Froggie!” Emi exclaimed, approaching them with two more frogs in her hands. Rika chuckled, picking her up and wiping the toddler’s hands as Yuki continued to swat her back, muttering irate curses about the countryside and kids. Police-kun watched the commotion with the look of someone who just realized what kind of mess he was getting himself into.
“As a police officer I’m ORDERING you all to get into the car now!”
“Is he really a police officer?” Yuki asked grudgingly as both her and Rika followed him to his parked vehicle.
Rika nodded. “I saw his badge, right Emi?” But the toddler was starting to doze off in her arms. Yuki sighed, feeling defeated.
“I guess we had to deal with the authorities at one point or another.’ Yuki thought bitterly, as she buckled into the back of the police car next to Rika and Emi. “At least this guy seems to know what’s going on so he won’t think we’re crazy. But the fact that he knows, makes him even more suspicious.” As he drove onto the road, Yuki leaned towards him. “Hey Police-kun. Where exactly are you taking us?”
“It’s not Police-kun. My name is Takuya. Takuya Yamamoto.” Takuya replied, looking up at the rearview mirror. “And I’m taking you to my workplace. The Yamamoto Police station. It’s located in the nearest city, about 50 minutes from here.”
“That long?” Yuki checked her phone. It was already almost 8:00pm. She glanced at Rika and found she had taken off her button up work shirt and had made a makeshift pillow for Emi to lay her head on. The toddler was fast asleep, her body curled into a ball as she snuggled into Rika’s lap. Her sister was stroking the top of the little girl’s head, her own eyes drooping slightly.
Two things zeroed in on Yuki’s radar as she took in this scene. First, a red ruby necklace on an antique gold chain rested on Rika’s chest. Second, Rika’s undershirt had two tear marks going across her right side, as if something had slashed at her. A kinder sister might have let these curiosities slide and waited for a more appropriate time to ask questions. Yuki was not in the mood for that.
“Wah?!” Rika’s eyes flew open as Yuki’s sketch book popped her on the head.
“Where did you get that?” Yuki pointed to Rika’s necklace. “And that.” Her finger moved towards her slashed clothing. Rika glanced down at the tears in surprise.
“Oh wow. Guess I didn’t notice.” Rika chuckled, poking a finger through the hole in her shirt. “It probably happened when the snake’s fangs scratched me.”
Yuki stared. “Snake’s fangs? Is she serious?”
“Rika...how are you still alive?”
An uncomfortable silence followed this question. Rika stared at her lap, where Emi still slept, a bit of drool sliding from her mouth. She gave a heavy sigh. “Yuki, the truth is….”
“Hey we’re here.” Takuya’s bored tone cut through their conversation.
Yuki glared. “I thought you said it takes about 50 minutes to get there?”
“Yeah usually, but I sped.” Takuya explained casually as he parked the car and turned off the engine.
“YOU WHAT?” Yuki yelled, hands clamping the metal bars that separated the back seat from the front. “What kind of irresponsible police officer are you?”
“It’s fine.” Takuya replied, getting out and unlocking the doors for the two girls. “You’re all still alive right?”
“That’s….THAT’S NOT THE POINT!” Yuki, hands itching to throttle this man. “You…”
Yuki paused her rant as her sister marched ahead of her. Without hesitation, she grabbed Takuya’s arm, stopping him in his tracks. He looked down at her with a slightly surprised expression.
“As a person who is supposed to aim to protect, you shouldn’t endanger the lives of others.” She set a hand on the top of the head of the still sleeping Emi. “ Especially the lives of young ones.” Rika lectured, her voice containing a hardness to it, Yuki had never heard before. It felt very unnatural to her.
It seemed like Takuya was also taken aback. To Yuki’s surprise, there was no sarcastic comeback. Instead he broke away from Rika’s intense stare, muttering an apologetic, “Got it.”
Satisfied with the reply, Rika followed him into the police station with Emi, leaving Yuki alone with her thoughts. The spectacled twin stood outside the entryway, with an unsettling feeling in her chest. Why did it seem Yamamoto-kun had a soft spot for Rika? What kind of connection did those two have?
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this.” Yuki declared, pushing her glasses up determinedly.
Once inside, Takuya had the girls follow him towards the back of the station. They passed a number of empty office desks, where only a few police officers sat filling out paperwork. For a big city station, it seemed kind of barren.
He must have noticed the critiquing look she was giving the place, for he suddenly explained. “Since it’s the midnight shift, most of the officers are out on patrol.”
“Shouldn’t you be out on patrol?” Yuki asked pointedly.
“Nope.” Takuya answered, crossing his arms behind his head. “I’m technically off duty tonight.”
“Then why were you at….” Before she could finish, he held out a finger, shushing her.
He turned away, unlocking a heavy door as Yuki silently fumed at being interrupted. She turned to her sister to complain but found her sister acting rather...odd. Rika had her one free hand, covering up her nose as if a bad smell had entered the room. Yuki sniffed, but didn’t find any unusual scent in the air. That wasn’t all. She also seemed rather twitchy, her head turning this way as if an invisible fly was bothering her.
Before she could ask, the door unlocked and Takuya ushered them in. It was a rather small room, only consisting of a table and a few chairs. It would be rather boring if it wasn’t for a long mirror that stood on one side of the wall. A shiver ran through Yuki as the realization hit her.
“Go ahead and make yourselves comfortable.” Takuya said, pointing towards the chairs. “I’ll be back in a minute.” With that he turned and shut the door behind him. An audible lock was heard.
“Rika do you have any idea what this is?!” Yuki quickly whispered to Rika.
“Uhhh….” Rika glanced around, unimpressed. “I guess a meeting room of some sort?”
“No! Haven’t you watched any crime shows? This is an interrogation room! That mirror has people on the other side, watching us!” Yuki explained, voice growing frantic as she continued. “WE’RE BEING INTERROGATED!!!”
“Shhh! The baby!”
“We’re being interrogated!” Yuki repeated in a terse whisper.
“I don’t think we should jump to conclusions just yet.” Rika replied, casually wiping drool from Emi’s mouth. “Let’s just see what Yamamoto has to say before we freak out.”
“No! No! No! This is exactly when we should be freaking out!” Yuki argued heatedly. “What if what we saw tonight was some sort of escaped alien that the government was hiding and now we’re in trouble because we are witnesses? What if they decided to erase our memories or hack up our bodies so we don’t tell anyone? Or even worse! What if they frame us for the property damage and this goes on our permanent records?! WHAT KIND OF COLLEGE WOULD ACCEPT CRIMINALS?”
“Yuki?” Rika replied cautiously, her hands covering Emi’s ears. “Don’t you think your priorities are just a tad skewed?”
Yuki glared at her twin. “Rika. We live in Japan. Nothing is more important than college admission.”
“True.” Rika reluctantly admitted. “But let’s not jump the gun just yet. If Yamamoto-kun can explain what happened tonight, I would rather stay and listen.” Yuki noticed her fidgeting with the ruby pendant around her neck and she realized her sister never gave her an explanation for where it came from.
“Hey I’m back.” Takuya announced, carrying in a dinner tray.
“Can you stop interrupting us?!” Yuki hissed, glaring bullets at him as he set the tray on the table. It contained two bowls of instant ramen noodles, a kettle of hot water and two cups of green tea.
“I figured you both would be hungry.” Takuya explained, ignoring Yuki’s outburst.
Yuki huffed, refusing to look at the food. “No thanks! Don’t think you can butter us up with food… RIKA!”
“Oh wow thanks! This is great!” Rika exclaimed as she slurped up more noodles from her bowl, unaware of her twin’s look of betrayal. “Emi? Do you want some food?” Rika asked, gently prodded the toddler awake. Emi yawned, rubbing sleep out of her eyes.
“Night? Night?” Emi murmured sleepily.
“I know it’s night time, but let’s try to eat some dinner okay?” Rika urged, holding up some noodles to Emi’s mouth. Still half asleep, the toddler instinctively slurped the noodles, mewing in delight at the taste.
“I know! Yummy right?” Rika glanced at Yuki’s untouched bowl. “Aren’t you going to eat?”
“I’m not hungry.” Yuki answered bitterly, just as her stomach gave a loud growl.
“If you don’t want to eat it. I’ll eat it.” Takuya said, reaching for the bowl. Yuki instantly snatched, shooting him a murderous glare.
“I changed my mind.” Yuki murmured, angrily breaking apart her chopsticks. "Thanks for the meal." Takuya’s eye gave an annoyed twitch as more angry sparks flew between the two. Rika gave a weary smile as she tried to keep the peace.
“Now, now guys. Let’s just try to listen to what Police-kun has to say?
“It's Yamamoto to you!"
"Polchees wun!" Emi exclaimed while slurping a mouth full of noodles. Takuya sighed.
"Fine then." He sat in the chair facing across from them. " I'm sure you're wondering why I've put us in the interrogation room."
"Naturally." Yuki replied, slurping her broth.
"Don't worry. I could care less about your college admissions."
Yuki spewed out the liquid. "YOU WERE LISTENING TO US?!"
"Well yeah." Takuya replied, his thumb pointing casually at the mirror. "We keep all our snacks in there. Plus you were being super loud."
"This guy!" Yuki muttered darkly, too flustered to respond.
Takuya continued. “Listen, we’re in here not for an interrogation but because it’s the most private room in the building. I want to make sure no one hears what we’ll be discussing. What I’m about to tell you both is top secret information. It’s too dangerous to speak of it to anyone.”
“Okay, we don’t want to hear it then.” Yuki declared, standing up from her chair.
“Yuki!” Rika hissed, pulling her back down. “We have to know!”
“No we don’t!” Yuki wanted to scream. “None of this involves us! We’re just innocent civilians who just happened to notice something strange. All we have to do is walk away and pretend it never happened. We can just continue our ordinary lives without knowing about anything dangerous or forbidden or whatever it is he’s going to say!” Yuki wanted to scream all this out, but one look at Rika clearly showed how desperate her twin was to know the truth.
With a regretful sigh Yuki sat back down, sulkily crossing her arms.
Takuya’s gaze fell on each twin and then finally settled on Emi. Takuya closed his eyes, bracing himself as he explained. “That monster you saw tonight wasn’t just any random creature. It was a serpent spirit sent by a God to kill Emi.” He opened his eyes, his hand coming up to point straight at the toddler.
“That child is no ordinary human. That child….is a demigod.”