Chapter 5:

Enter the Harpy

The God's Child

“She’s so talented!”

“Such a smart child!”

“I wish my child was as studious as Yuki!”

Praises like these followed me throughout my childhood. I neither liked nor disliked them. They were just there, like dust floating in the air. It was nothing worth acknowledging since I never tried to get their attention. Their expectations of me just happened to align with my own goals.

I knew from a very small age what I wanted to do with my life after flipping through picture books. The illustrations struck a chord with me. I found it amazing how such pictures could really bring the story to life, how they created another world entirely. The more I looked the more I wanted to do that, use my two hands to create my very own world.

Of course as I got older, picture books moved to animation, as I realized the potential of creating a world on the big screen. I not only wanted to create the world, but to write the stories that went with it. I wanted to make the characters in it my own. The truth was, I wanted to play God.

You see, despite what they thought of me, the truth was that I was far from the perfect image they had drawn up. Reality was that I was far less ideal. I was so obsessed with creating my own world because I couldn't understand the world I currently lived in.

Ever since I could remember, I always had a hard time reading the people around me. The things they do, their expressions, their body language….it all was a puzzle that didn’t always connect. Why would that person say one thing to one person and the opposite to another? Why did that woman always complain about her cats, but find another stray to keep the next week? Why did the teacher complain when I asked too many questions? Isn’t it his job to teach us new information? When I looked at these people, all I saw were masks. Masks that I couldn’t see through. There was only one person that I could see clearly, the one person who I could always understand. That person was my twin sister, Rika.

Rika has always been easy to read. Maybe a little bit too easy. Every emotion, ever feeling is clearly written on her face. She was an open book, at least to me. I found out quickly that others were not so quick to pick up on her intentions, often causing a lot of misfortune for her.

Of course, she also caused misery for herself for rushing in, never thinking ahead. For this reason, I always made a point of reprimanding her after she was punished. Of course, these sessions often led to her just watching me as I drew.

“Your drawings are amazing!” Rika would often exclaim. The sparkle in her eyes told me she was telling the truth. “I bet in the future your drawings will make a lot of people happy!”

That's the other thing about Rika. She always thought about the happiness of others. Me...I only drew because it made me happy. Nothing more. Rika was the opposite of me. She always tried to put herself out there to help, even if she got hurt in the process. It was annoying to watch. But no matter how much I called her an idiot, she would never change.

At least that’s what I thought.

Soon after we started our second year of middle school, our father unexpectedly passed away. It was a hard blow for my family, especially for Rika and my mother. My mother in general, took to laying in bed all day. At first we thought it would pass once the mourning period was over. But that period came and went, with no change.

Soon I started seeing Rika cooking dinner and doing the housework, only managing to get school work done late at night. At school she would sleep in class, getting reprimanded constantly for late work. Her grades were slipping. I grew angry. Once again, she was trying too hard to be helpful and she was taking the downfall for it. Of course, when I spoke to her, she would just give me that same happy grin and tell me everything was okay.

Baka. She couldn’t lie to me, not when I could read her like a book.

So I confronted my mother. For months she had stayed in her room, just lying on the futon, listening to the radio. I was sick of it. I asked why she couldn’t move on with her life. I still remember the words she spoke as she looked at me with sad, empty eyes. “Yuki, this is what it means to love someone.

Love? Love was the reason why you were mallowing around in self pity? Love was the reason why Rika was slaving away, doing all your housework while her academics crumbled? Did love make you lose sight of your goals in life? If so,then I can do without it.

It was after that confrontation, that I started shutting myself away in my room, focusing on my work. If I was going to get into a good school, away from here I needed to get a good portfolio ready and make sure my grades were in order. I wasn’t going to be like our mother and Rika. I wasn’t going to let anything prevent me from reaching my goals, especially something as silly as love.

The next blow came when I had to tell my teacher and grandmother about my future career plans. The high school I wanted to attend was far away from our little rural town, so I needed their permission to live in a dorm. With my grades, I figured they would agree instantly. Again, I read them wrong.

“An artist? That’s what you want to do with your life?” My grandmother was mortified.

“But with your grades, there are a number of possibilities in the math and science departments.” My teacher urged, pushing STEM centered high school brochures in my face. “Maybe an architect? They're artistic!”

“But…” I didn’t understand. Didn’t my family always tell me how much they loved my artwork? Didn’t my teachers encourage us to choose a career we would enjoy? Why are they pushing my goals away now, when I was trying to be serious? I made good grades and did what was expected of me. So what was the problem?

My grandmother patted my leg. “Trust us, there’s no bright future for you in that sort of field. We’re only doing this because we love you, Yuki.”

Afterwards I collapsed on my bed, pencil and sketchbook thrown on the floor. My mind was still reeling from the meeting at school. The control I thought I had over my life seemed to be slipping away. How was I going to escape?


“What?” I didn’t feel like talking to Rika, especially when I was at my lowest.

“You’re not sketching anything? Are you not feeling good?”

“I’m done with drawing. There’s no point, not when I can’t go to a good school. I won’t be able to make a career out of it. Good schools are far away. To go far away, I need money.” We had a little bit of money to live off, left by our father, but it definitely wasn’t enough for tuition. “I can’t get a job, since I have to focus on keeping my grades up. There's...nothing I can do.” I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I felt so frustrated because once again I became very aware of just how little control I actually had.


I had turned to Rika, annoyed. “Excuse me?”

I will never forget the determination that blazed in her eyes as she made a promise to me that night. “No, you can’t give up! Not yet! Yuki, your art is amazing. So amazing the world has to see it someday. I have money saved up from working. I’ll help you! Just don’t give up, don’t give up on your dream!”

I remember turning away from her so I didn’t have to look at that stupid, idiotic face. But mostly so she couldn’t see the tears I had tried so hard to hold back. I think this is when I started to truly hate my twin. I hated how she did these things for people without asking for anything in return. I hated how she never thought of her future. Most of all, I hated how much my world would crumble if anything happened to her.

I knew if that happened, I would truly be alone.

“LET’S GET OUT HERE!” Yuki screamed in terror, grabbing Emi and dashing down the hall as a horde of demon mice stampeded after them. She could hear the sound of many clawed feet closing in on them, their loud squeaks grating her ears.

“Why! Why! Why can’t I run faster?” Yuki cursed. Years of vigorous studying and drawing had completely depleted any of Yuki’s athletic stamina. She could already feel her muscles screaming in pain, her breath coming out in heavy gasps. It didn’t help matters that she had to carry extra weight around while running. “If the mice don’t kill me, my heart will at this point! Need to find some place to hide….There!”

She turned sharply, opening the nearest office door and slamming it shut. She managed to lock it right before she felt the shudder of many rodents banging against it. She fell to the ground, dropping Emi unceremoniously on her bottom.

“Omph!” The toddler tipped over, bumping into a rolling chair. The chair wheeled away, exposing the underside of the office desk. Emi’s eyes widened.

“Gah! Gah! GAH!” Emi shrilled, pulling on the sleeve of Yuki’s cardigan.

“I….can’t…”Yuki wheezed, still bent over as she tried to catch her breath. “….breathe!”

Emi’s cheeks puffed out angrily. Determinedly, she started pounding away on Yuki’s back with her tiny fists. “Yu! Yu! Yu! Look! Look!”

“How are you able to say Rika? But not Yuki?” Yuki grumbled, her hand seizing Emi's head and preventing her from coming near. “Now what are you yelling about?”

The toddler backed away from Yuki, pointing under the office desk. “GAH!”

“Gah?” Yuki crawled over, peering under the desk. “What’s gah mean….AHHHHHH!!!” She screeched as a bloodied hand appeared out of the darkness, reaching for her. She fell on her bottom, backing away as a wounded man crawled out from under the desk. Scrambling up, Yuki quickly grabbed the toddler and ran to the opposite end of the small office. She grabbed the rolling chair, situating it between her and the man, while she held up the only weapon she could find, a pair of cutting scissors.

“Stay back!” Yuki demanded, trying to conceal how truly terrified she was. “Don’t come any closer to us!”

The man miraculously sat up, his hands against a massive wound on his side. A crumbled police jacket was wrapped awkwardly around it, trying to stop the flow of blood that continued to leak out. Despite the pain he was in, he gave Yuki and Emi a rueful grin. “You know most people would try to help an injured person on the ground. It’s my luck I would find the one person who would run away.”

“If you’ve seen the crazy crap I’ve seen tonight, you would be cautious too!” Yuki replied defensively, not leaving her spot. “Wait where have I heard that sarcastic voice from?”

“Oh try me!” The man gave a short laugh, before doubling over in pain.

Yuki stared, unsure of what to do. “What happened to you? Why were you hiding?”

“I wasn’t hiding.” He explained gruffly, still clenching his wound. “I was attacked and left here to die by that annoying Haruto fellow.”

“So Haruto did that to him? But why would Haruto bother killing him?” Yuki wondered. “Not unless he was somehow related…” It was then she caught a glimpse of a badge that hung on his shirt.

“Yamamoto…..Wait! Are you Chief Yamamoto? Takuya’s father?” Yuki asked. “They have similar voices.”

He looked up with a worried expression. “You’re a friend of Takuya? Please don’t tell me he’s here!”


“I gotta get up! I got to…ARGH!” He gasped, starting to fall forward.

“Hold up!” Throwing caution to the wind, Yuki darted over and helped lower the older man back to the ground. Up close, she could clearly see how deep the wound was on his side. She fought back bile as his blood smeared on her clothes. ““Don’t look, Don’t look.” She took out her cell phone.

“Don’t bother, you won’t get a signal inside this building.” Mr. Yamamoto grumbled. “The reception here is horrible.”

“There has to be a way…. EMI STAY BACK!” Yuki snapped, noticing Emi creeping up.The toddler’s eyes filled with tears, her lower lip trembling.

“All crap.” Yuki grumbled, feeling slightly guilty for the outburst. “I just don’t want her to see this.”

“Hey sweetie.” Mr. Yamamoto called out, waving at Emi. “So your name’s Emi? That's a pretty name. Perfect for a cutie like you.” Emi smiled shyly, waving back at him. Despite his obvious pain, he continued to converse with her cheerfully. “Don’t worry about us over here. There’s a nasty bug on me and I would hate for it to crawl on you. Do you like bugs?”

Emi giggled, shaking her head.

“Me either!They’re gross!” He made a disgusted expression, causing Emi to laugh. “How about this?I have some markers in that drawer over there. Can you go draw a picture for my son?” He asked. Yuki thought she heard his voice crack a little as he continued his request. “I have a feeling Takuya will be sad soon. So I want you to draw a picture that will make him feel better. Can you do that for me?”

“For Police-kun?”

He smiled. “Yes, for my Police-kun.” Emi saluted eagerly, and ran to dig through the drawers.

“You cheered her up so easily.” Yuki commented. “While all I do is make her cry.”

“You learn a few things after having your own kids.” Mr. Yamamoto explained, shifting his weight. “And I didn’t do anything. She’s the one who cheered me u[. Both of you did.”

“But I didn’t do anything.”

“Just knowing my son has friends out there. Friends that give him a nickname like Police-kun. Cheers me up more than you can imagine. You see, my son’s pretty stubborn. I’m afraid once he found out about his real mother, he stopped associating with people much. I think he worried he would cause trouble for anyone if they got involved with him.” He closed eyes, weariness overwhelming him. “He really is too kind, that boy.”

Yuki fidgeted, not sure how she felt about hearing about this new side to Yamamoto. “You said you thought he would be sad?”

“I’m sure you realize as much as me, I’m not going to make it long with a wound like this.” He said with a shrug. Yuki stayed silent, amazed at how calm he was. He turned to her, dark eyes troubled. “Tell me, this girl, she’s one of Aphrodite’s daughters isn’t she?”

Yuki scratched the back of her head, unsure. “According to Yamamoto she is, but honestly I really don’t know. The daughter of a’s just too unbelievable.”

“Believe it.” Mr. Yamamoto replied. “Trust me, it’s all true. Aphrodite, the gods, everything. It’s because of her I have both Takuya and my daughter.” A soft look came upon his face. “I owe her a great deal for that.”

“Forgive me but isn’t it also her fault that you’re in this mess to begin with?” Yuki asked dryly.

He chuckled. “You’re quite blunt aren’t you?”

Yuki reddened, turning away. “I just don’t understand any of this. If all this is true about the gods, then why would you bother getting involved with them? Seems pretty unnecessary to me.”

“You sound too much like me, back in the day.” He replied, sounding nostalgic. “I remember the night Aphrodite spoke to me about the risks and conditions of fathering one of her children. She was brutally honest and in the end I felt it was too reckless to get involved.”

“Then why did you?” Yuki asked curiously.

He closed his eyes, a tenderness washing over his features. “Only one reason, because my wife asked me to. You see, for years we struggled to bear a child of our own. It really affected my wife, who so desperately wanted us to start a family. It was hard, watching her suffer like that. So when Aphrodite showed up, it was like our prayers were answered. She offered to help as long as I also sired a child with her.” He sighed, running his fingers through his greying hair. “I admit I found it all a little odd. But my wife insisted, despite the risks and the….other parts.”

Yuki found herself blushing, despite herself. Mr. Yamamoto chuckled. “Sorry, I forget I’m in the presence of a young lady. Ahem, well the deed was done and we got a wonderful son out of it. Five years later, my wife finally gave birth to a little girl to call her own. We were so happy.”

“You didn’t worry about the future? Of Zeus coming after you?”

“Of course it was always in the back of my mind.” He admitted. “But if you worry about the future too much, you forget to enjoy the present. No matter what the consequences of my actions, I’ll never regret what I did. I did it all for the love of my wife, in return I got many years of love from a family I cherish more than anything in this world.”

“Love, huh?” Yuki thought, watching the cloth around his wound turn darker and darker with blood. “Was it really worth this much?”

“I just wish I could see him.” Mr. Yamamoto murmured, studying the door. “Just so I can tell him…” He trained off with a painful grimace.

Yuki moved towards the door, resting her hand against the metal frame. It had been quiet for a while now, the mice moving to find prey elsewhere. “Somewhere on the other side is Rika and Yamamoto. Most likely fighting that creepy Haruto guy.” She glanced at Yamamoto’s father who was resting against the wall, his breathing starting to waver. “Without medical help, he won’t last longer. No one has come this way so I imagine both Haruto’s wind storm and the demon mice are keeping people at bay in the front of the building. If I can’t get cell service then…” She looked around the room, gaze resting on the old computer. “That could work.”

Mr. Yamamoto lifted his head, watching as Yuki started up the computer monitor. “Checking your social media?”

“Very funny.” Yuki replied dryly. “No, I'm connecting to a skype service so I can get you some medical help...oh great…”. The no internet signal blared on the screen, mocking her. Her head fell on the keyboard miserably. “What am I going to do now?”

Yuyu?” Yuki felt Emi tugging on her sleeve.

“What do you want?” Yuki asked, not bothering to lift her head up.

“Emi scared.”

Yuki looked down and saw Emi clutching a picture to her chest with one hand, while her other hand pointed at Mr. Yamamoto. “Won’t look! Won’t wake up!”

“Oh crap!” Yuki pushed off the chair, rushing over to the now unconscious officer. “Crap! Crap! Crap!” His head was slouched to the side, that hand that had been putting pressure on the wound was now limp. “Officer Yamamoto! Wake up! Come on, please!”

“Why is this happening to me?!”

Yuki grabbed the already soaked through jacket, pushing down on the wound frantically. She already felt her hands getting covered in his blood. “Damn it!” She looked up and to her horror saw Emi watching the scene with tears rolling down her face.

“Riiikaaaa!” The toddler sobbed, squatting on the ground in a miserable heap. “I want Riikaa!”

Even Yuki, who disliked kids with a passion, felt her heart break a little at the sight. Yuki closed her eyes, taking deep breaths. “Okay Yuki, relax. You promised Rika you would take care of Emi. You’re in charge. You’re in control.”

“I'm in control.” Yuki repeated, opening her eyes. Wordlessly she took off her dark green cardigan, wrapping it tightly around his wound. Once she was satisfied it was secure, she grabbed her sketchbook and walked over to the sobbing Emi and squatted down.

“Emi?” The toddler didn’t respond, her body racking in sobs. Yuki sighed, opening up her sketchbook. She began drawing, talking as she went. “I know I’m not Rika. I’m sorry if tonight I wasn’t a good replacement for her. We’re twins but as you can see we’re totally different. She’s friendly and is willing to put her life on the line. While me...well you already know.”

Emi sniffled, removing her hands from her eyes as she listened. “Tonight all I’ve been thinking about is why all this is happening to me. But in reality, you have it a lot worse. I understand why Rika does so much for you. We have each other, but you….you're all alone. ” Yuki paused from her drawing, reaching out and patting Emi’s head. “I’m sorry for not understanding.”

She ripped out a page from her book, handing it to Emi. The toddler looked down at the picture and her eyes grew wide. It was a sketch of Emi hugging Rika in her wolf form.

Yuki scratched the back of her neck, embarrassed. “I know it’s not the real Rika but….” She gasped in shock as Emi flung herself at Yuki, hugging her tightly.

“I love Yuki!”

“You….said my name.” An unexpected surge of warmth filled Yuki as she put her own arms around the toddler.


Both Yuki and Emi turned to the door as the sounds of the mice suddenly started back up again. Yuki pushed the child behind her as she moved towards the door. Before she even came close, the frame shuddered from many bodies ramming into it. Yuki stepped back, startled by the sudden intensity of their efforts. Emi clung on to Yuki’s leg tightly, watching the door fearfully.

“This is bad.” Yuki grinded her teeth, trying to think. “At this rate, the door won’t hold out very long.” But just as the words left her mouth, everything went silent again. Yuki reached for the door handle, feeling nothing on the other side. “Why did they stop?”


Yuki’s eyes widened in horror. Her hand flew to her leg and found empty space. “Emi?” She called, glancing around the room quickly. There she was, making her way towards Mr. Yamamoto. Above her, the ventilation duct gave a shudder, as beady red eyes beamed down at the oblivious toddler.

“EMI WATCH OUT!” Emi screamed. Just as the metal duct flew open and an enormous mouse pounced down.


Yuki covered her ears as a shot rang out. The mouse’s lifeless body fell sideways, just barely missing Emi. The small child screamed, running into Mr. Yamamoto’s waiting arms. Yuki was amazed to see him conscious, his arm shaking as it held on tightly to a small handgun.

“Officer Yamamoto!” Yuki screamed as he winced painfully, dropping the gun. It skidded across the floor, landing next to her feet. She stared at it.

“Please….” Mr. Yamamoto’s strength was slowly draining. Emi clung to his chest, looking up at him with big, worried eyes. “Use….it to protect...her.”

“But I…..I’ve never used a gun before.” She couldn’t get the words out. Slowly she picked it up, letting it rest in her palm. It felt very heavy. Above her, she could hear more sounds of the mice from above. “Even if I knew how to use this, even I know a gun like this only holds a few bullets.” She glanced up at the opening, wondering if there was any way she could block it. “Think! Yuki! Think!”

“Yuki?” Emi watched her with expectant eyes, holding tightly to both the sketch of Rika and the picture she had drawn earlier. It felt like a punch to Yuki’s gut.

“This isn’t right. This isn’t how things are supposed to end.” Yuki felt her mind wander to a dark place as panic overwhelmed her. “I was supposed to graduate school and escape from here. I had dreams, a goal...So why...WHY DO I HAVE TO DIE NOW?”

“You can run.” the same voice whispered. The cop is as good as dead already and Emi….well you know what’s going to happen if you take her with you. You’re always going to be a target. What would the logical decision be?”

Yuki gripped her sketchbook tightly. “No…..” she whispered, just as another mouse broke it’s way out of the ceiling and crashed to the floor. Yuki lifted her head, amber eyes blazing. “I’M NOT RUNNING AWAY!”

Before the demon mouse could pounce on Mr. Yamamoto and Emi, Yuki charged at it, pushing the rolling chair in front of her. The mouse squealed as the chair slammed into it. Yuki screamed a battle cry as she pushed both the mouse and chair against the wall. The mouse growled, slashing at Yuki with its sharp claws.

“Ahh!” Yuki screamed, falling back and barely escaped getting cut. The next thing she knew she heard a thud behind her and a second mouse appeared. It opened his mouth, revealing large yellow teeth ready to attack. “Stay back!” Yuki screamed, holding the gun with shaking hands.

“YUKI!” Emi screamed, before Mr. Yamamoto could put a hand over her mouth. It was too late. The mouse turned its attention to them.

“No!” Before Yuki could think she grabbed the mouse’s tail, giving it a hard tug. The mouse hissed, turning to attack her. Instinctively, Yuki threw whatever was in her hand at it’s head….which happened to be the gun and her only weapon.

The gun pounced off the mouse’s skull, momentarily stunning it. Yuki took the chance to move in between the mice and Emi and Mr. Yamamoto. The officer seemed to be barely staying conscious as he held Emi close to him with one arm. Yuki could see how terrified Emi was, watching all this happen in front of her.

“I’m sorry Emi I wish I could promise you everything will work out.” Yuki pulled out a sketching pencil, the only other weapon she had. “But I’m not like Rika. I can’t make the best out of a bad situation. It’s always been easier for me to just walk away, to concern myself with only things I could control.”

Yuki faced the two mice, holding the pencil in her shaking hands. “But life isn’t like that. There are things you can’t control. People you can’t control. All you can do is strive to understand. There’s so much I still don’t know, especially when it comes to the concept of love. One thing is clear to me though.”

As the two mice closed in on her, Yuki thought of her mother at home aching for her dead father, Rika who worked day and night to provide for the family, Mr. Yamamoto who made a deal with a goddess so his wife could be happy, Takuya who sacrificed having friends to protect the people around him, and Emi who was literally born out of the essence of love. Yuki felt a coldness sweep through her, chilling her very core. ““These people who let love guide their lives, I may not understand them, but they are important to me.” The blue sapphire around her neck began to glow. AND I WILL NOT LET THEM DIE!”

The mice pounced just as a sheet of ice suddenly encased Yuki. They hit the ice with a painful thud, falling to the ground in a tangled heap. With a loud crack, the ice shattered into a thousand tiny crystals as cold mist filled the room. A pair of blue wings came down, clearing the mist with a great gust of wind. Yuki stood not as a human, but a beautiful, blue harpy.

“What….what just happened?” Yuki gaped, looking down at her arms that were now suddenly covered in feathers. Her hands and fingers were gone, replaced by strong wings that came up to her shoulders. Her feet and legs were replaced by dangerous looking talons. The rest of her body was now clothesless, save for a greek top that barely covered her chest area. “Guess these are still the same.” She muttered, poking at breasts with the tip of her feather.

“Mousey!” Emi called out, bringing Yuki back to the present.

“Eeeep!” Yuki cried as one of the demon mice pounced at her. Instinctively, she swatted at it with her wing. She could hear a loud crack as if a bone had broke. The mouse was thrown to the ground by the force of the hit and Yuki was shocked to see it not get back up. She stared at her wing, noticing that hidden under shimmering sapphire feathers were powerful, lean muscles. “I wonder if…” She lifted her wings, bringing them down with a great force. To her amazement she clawed feet lifted from the ground. “I….can actually fly!” Unfortunately, she had no time to gawk as more mice suddenly started falling out of the ceiling, all aiming to get at Emi and Mr. Yamamoto.

She felt a sudden chill run through her body, entering her veins and flowing into her wing tips. Raising them up above her, she forced ice to form over her feathers. “FREEZE!” She yelled, giving her wings a hard flap. The ice covered feathers shot out of her wings, impaling several of the mice. As soon as the feathers stabbed into their flesh, the ice began to spread immobilizing them. The ones who died instantly disappeared, their bodies breaking down into dust.

The mice that were still standing glowered at her, baring their teeth in anger as they turned their attention to her. Yuki glared back. “Be my guest!” she yelled, as they started to pounce at her.

Yuki continued her freezing attacks only for more mice to replace the ones she killed off. Frustration loomed as she felt her energy start to drain. “There has to be a way to stop them.” Her sharp eyes did a quick scan of the room, roaming to the vents where they were coming in from. A pair of red eyes loomed over it, watching the others fight from above. “Could that be their leader?”

With one quick aim, she shot an ice feather straight at it. An anguished squeak rang out, causing the other mice to freeze. A much larger demon mouse fell through the opening,it’s back leg covered in ice. Before it had time to recover, Yuki clamped a talon over it’s neck forcing it down.

“No you don’t!” She growled, squeezing her talons. The mouse’s red eyes glared at her, but it’s struggling ceased as it realized how much danger it was in. Yuki’s eyes narrowed as she noticed a red and white braided collar around its neck. A bell hung on the collar, along with a talisman with a strange Kanji written on it. She flew up, lifting the mouse so all the others could see.

“Okay, you. Call off your little pack before I strangle you!” Yuki ordered, talons digging into this neck fur for emphasis. The mouse gave one last feeble struggle before resigning in defeat.

“Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!” It chirped out. The mice’s ears quivered and moving as one, they jumped back up to the ceiling. Once all the mice were gone, Yuki shook the leader free, her talons hooking onto his collar.

“Now shoo!” Yuki growled, baring her fangs at the mouse. He shot off a malicious look before following his pack. She watched, holding tightly to the collar. She glanced down at it, wondering what the kanji said.

“Yuki!” Emi squealed, running over and holding her arms up to the harpy.

Yuki smiled, lowering herself to the ground. “Silly girl. The one time you want me to hold you, I don’t have any arms.” She lowered herself to the ground and the toddler reached up and wrapped her arms around Yuki’s neck instead. “I’m glad you’re okay too.” Yuki whispered, wings encasing them in a hug.

“I guess it’s safe for me to go now.”

Yuki looked up and saw Mr. Yamamoto watching them, his eyes starting to glaze over. “Aphrodite once told me that when an angel appeared, I would know Takuya would be safe. I never thought I would see one in real life.”

“Mr. Yamamoto…” Yuki felt a lump in her throat. She held Emi close, not wanting her to see Mr. Yamamoto struggle through his final moments. “Please...hold on.”

“Please...tell Takuya…”

The door to the room suddenly burst open. Yuki turned, aiming one wing at whatever was about to attack. To her surprise, she was met with the very surprised face of a familiar white wolf. Both sisters stared at each other, speechless in their new forms. 


Real Aire