Chapter 2:

Chapter 2: The First Time You Bring a Girl Into Your Room is Definitely a Stressful Experience!

Love Bites

Daisuke’s feet were like lead as he walked home, his thoughts in a jumble. He should have been flying high in the sky, walking with a girl as beautiful as Kuua Ueda-san at his side. Indeed, mere hours earlier, he would have seen such a thing as a blessing from the heavens themselves, an honor he was unworthy to gifted.

Now, well…

Kuua Ueda-san’s angelic face only brought to mind images of grotesque horror that he wished he could banish from his memories. What nauseating affliction had he been stricken with?! How could it be that he were so cursed as to spend this evening not with a goddess, but an unspeakable monstrosity such as this?

“I can’t believe you live so close by, Oishi-san! This is such a lovely coincidence!” Ueda-san chirped, flashing a big smile his way. The sight of those shiny white teeth brought a wave of revulsion bubbling up in Daisuke’s stomach and he had to resist the urge to throw up. It would have been the third time in the last twenty minutes and he didn’t know how much more he had in him.

“I can’t wait to meet your lovely family, Oishi-san!” Ueda-san continued. Her smile was as bright as the sunlight, but her words carried a different meaning now that he’d seen her true face. Ueda-san was no angel at all, she was the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and like a fool Daisuke had bitten the apple she’d offered and now found himself damned for eternity.

Daisuke was still troubled when his sister came to greet him at the door.

“Geez big brother, what are you doing out here? Were you blowing off work or… something…” Sakura’s popsicle fell from her fingers and her jaw dropped. The look of disbelief on her face at the sight of Ueda-san and Daisuke could not be understated.

I understand your shock, little sister. The idea that someone like me could bring home a beauty like Ueda-san must seem like an affront to nature itself. But please, don’t let yourself be fooled by that smile! Daisuke pleaded.

“DAD! MOM! DAISUKE BROUGHT A GIRL HOME!” Sakura screamed at the top of her lungs, running back into the house.

“Daisuke…? That boy did?!” The voice of Daisuke’s father grunted in disbelief from the living room.

“Now, now, Sakura, what have I told you about making up stories?” His mother’s gentle voice chastised her.

“It’s the truth!” She cried. “They’re at the door, go and see!”

Daisuke let out a sigh as he heard the clatter of his father getting up, the sound of footsteps walking down the hall.

“I don’t understand kids’ jokes these days,” Mr. Oishi grumbled as he walked into the entry hall.

“Sakura just has an overactive imagination,” Mrs. Oishi assured him with a smile. “But there’s no way that…”

Daisuke’s parents laid eyes on the beatific smile of Ueda-san and for an instant they lost the ability to speak.

“She’s… real…” Mrs. Oishi stuttered, her eyes bulging in shock.

“Daisuke… brought a girl home?” Mr. Oishi mumbled, his jaw hitting the floor.

They both rubbed their eyes and took another look. “And she’s a beauty?!”

When the initial shock wore off, they exploded.

“What sort of mind control drugs did you use on her?!” Daisuke’s father shouted, grabbing his son by the collar. “I don’t remember raising you to be the kind of boy who could pick up a beauty like that!”

“Please don’t blame my son!” Daisuke’s mother wailed, throwing herself at Ueda-san’s feet and beginning to sob. “He’s a good boy, really, if you’re in trouble and need money we’ll give you whatever you need, you don’t need to sell yourself like this!”

“Who did you buy her from, huh? The sex trade?! A shady man in a black car?!” Mr. Oishi demanded. “Think of your mother, and how she’ll feel when you’re arrested for kidnapping and human trafficking, you ungrateful son!”

“Where did I go wrong?” Mrs. Oishi sobbed, wiping her eyes with a handkerchief. “My Daisuke was always such a sweet and gentle boy, he wasn’t the kind of person who would do something like this!”

Sakura stuck her head out from the hallway, her cheeks red. She gave Daisuke a withering, scornful glare.


Why? Daisuke asked himself. Why do I have to go through this?

“Excuse me.” Ueda-san interrupted the frantic, panicked ravings of the Oishi family with a heavenly voice that rang like a bell.

Gasping in shock, Daisuke’s parents threw themselves at her feet in dogeza, tears streaming down their faces. “Please, forgive our idiot son!” They begged.

“I believe there’s been a misunderstanding,” Ueda-san’s smile was unaffected by the exclamations of Daisuke’s parents, addressing them with a polite bow. “My name is Kuua Ueda-san. I’m Oishi-san’s classmate. We agreed earlier to study together for our test next week! I’m sorry for the late hour, but he said that he had to help out at your restaurant and couldn’t meet until now. Is that okay?”

Ueda-san’s words blew away the frantic atmosphere, and Daisuke’s parents greeted her with big smiles on their faces.

“Of course! That certainly makes sense!” Mr. Oishi laughed. “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding!”

“Indeed, I just knew my son couldn’t do anything so horrible,” Mrs. Oishi chuckled. “Please, do come in, may I get you anything?”

Ueda-san returned their smiles with a smile of her own, stepping into the house and slipping off her shoes. “Just some tea would be lovely,” she said, patting her stomach. “I had a very large dinner.”

She glanced back at Daisuke, still standing frozen in the doorway. “Oishi-san? Are you coming?” She asked, tilting her head to the side, her sweet words undercut by the menacing glint in her narrowed eyes.

Daisuke gulped and followed her into her house.

“I must say, you have a wonderful home!” Ueda-san said, looking around as she followed Daisuke’s father into the living room.

“Oh! That means quite a lot coming from you, Ueda-san!” Daisuke’s father was all laughs.

“You and Daisuke can go get started up in his room, I’ll be by shortly with the tea,” Daisuke’s mother said. “You two have fun now!”

“Oishi-san, is this the way to your room?” Ueda-san asked, looking back to him. Daisuke gulped, his palms breaking out into a cold sweat. He nodded and followed her down the hall.

Sakura was waiting for them there, standing halfway up the stairs with her hands on her hips. She might have thought she looked intimidating, but with what Daisuke had experienced tonight, she was no more intimidating than the stuffed animals that filled her bedroom.

“I just want to check,” Sakura said, narrowing her eyes in suspicion of Ueda-san. She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “You really aren’t dating my brother?”

What do you think you’re asking, little sister?! Daisuke wailed.

“No, we’re just classmates,” Ueda-san assured her with a sweet smile. “Your concern for your brother is nice. I wish I had a little sister like you.”

Sakura’s eyes widened and her face turned bright red in sheepish embarrassment. She padded up the stairs in a huff, slamming the door to her room behind her. Daisuke sighed and shook his head. She never stood a chance.

“Your sister is really quite cute, Oishi-san,” Ueda-san laughed, turning back to him. “I could just eat her up!”

Daisuke’s heart caught in his throat.

“Lead the way!” Ueda-san chirped, stepping aside and letting Daisuke lead her into his room.

From his experience with manga, Daisuke had associated the idea of ‘a girl entering his room’ with something akin to anxiety and tension.

His expectations had been more than exceeded at the moment. Ueda-san followed him inside and he closed the door behind her, his heart pounding in his chest. She walked into the center of the room and turned to Daisuke, taking the initiative to sit herself down on his bed.

She crossed one leg over the other, and her whole demeanor changed. Like Lucifer cast down into hell, the beautiful smile of Ueda-san slid off her face, and a scornful look of derision replaced it. She scowled at him, an angel no longer.

“Let’s get down to business,” she growled, a guttural sound completely at odds with her previously bell-like voice. She crossed her arms in front of her chest, her eyes narrowing into a glare.

Daisuke said his silent goodbyes to his family and kneeled before Ueda-san, head lowered. Riku’s baseball bat rolled away, forgotten. He knew it would be of no use against the… thing sitting in front of him.

“So, you saw that whole mess,” Ueda-san sighed, playing with a lock of her hair like the horrors Daisuke had witnessed were no big deal. “What did you think?” She looked at him with piercing gold eyes, her insistent glare demanding a response.

Daisuke wanted to answer, he did, but he couldn’t let out anything but soft squeaks.

Ueda-san was clearly not amused.

“Fine,” she scoffed. “At least you can tell that I’m not human, yes?”

Daisuke gulped, and nodded.

“I’m what you humans might call… a monster,” Ueda-san explained. “But if you ask me, that term is unfairly pejorative. My species classification is fame-sapien, or ‘Faminean’. A Famine Being, if you will.”

“And you-you’re a…” Daisuke stuttered.

“If you say ‘monster’ then we’ll be having a problem,” she snarled. “I told you, I’m faminean.”

“You… you ate those people…” Daisuke could still smell the blood. He could hear the screams. He wondered if he’d ever stop flashing back to those horrors, assuming he lived long enough.

“Yupp-p,” Ueda-san said, popping her lips. “Now, shall we make proper introductions?” She sat up off the bed and lowered her head. “Greetings. My name is Kuua Ueda-san. I’m pleased to make your re-acquaintance.”

“A-Ah, yes, hello,” Daisuke said, scrambling to his feet and returning the bow out of reflect. “I am Daisuke Oishi-san- HEY WHY AM I GREETING YOU LIKE THIS IS NORMAL?!”

“Oh?” Ueda-san raised an eyebrow, her stern glare glimmering with intrigue.

The absurdity of Ueda-san’s words were what had allowed Daiskue to fumble his way through the dark and confusing events of that night and return to some semblance of sanity.

“You ate those people!” He exclaimed. “I-I don’t even know how many, you ate- you ate all of them, the blood, and those teeth, and the claws, you’re not human!”

“You don’t listen very well, do you?” Ueda-san dryly asked. What the hell was that supposed to mean?! Daisuke was hanging on every word she said.

“You’re a monster and you eat people, what more do you want me to get?!” Daisuke demanded.

“Oh, you seem to be taking this remarkably well,” Ueda-san complimented him. She sat back down on his bed. “Good, I was thinking I would be stuck with the drooling moron all night, that makes this easy. First, not a monster, I’m a faminean. And yes, famineans eat people, like those punks from earlier.”

“If you eat people, that makes you a monster!” Daisuke exclaimed. “Ogres eat people! You’re basically an ogre!”

“If you call me a monster, that makes you a bigot,” Ueda-san glared.

A bigot?! How did that make him a bigot?!

“There are lots of famineans you know,” Ueda-san continued. “How do you think it makes us feel, to be labeled as monsters? Just because we eat humans? Is that a crime?”

“Yes! It’s exactly a crime! There are specific crimes against eating humans in Japan!” Daisuke exploded.

“Are you aware that there are over 100 documented cases of cannibalism committed by Japanese soldiers in World War II?” Ueda-san asked.

“That was decades ago!”

“Fine then. Show me where it’s illegal for a faminean to eat a human,” Ueda-san countered. “There aren’t any!”

“That’s sophistry!” Daisuke protested. “You can’t seriously be arguing that because Japan doesn’t recognize monsters as being real that that gives you the right to eat anybody you want!”

“Oh, so you would have us all starve, is that it?!” Ueda-san growled. She shrugged her shoulders. “It’s not like we want to eat people. It’s just how we survive. Just a couple a week, no big deal. It’s just natural selection. We have the right to live just as much as you. Don’t be mad just because humans are no longer at the top of the food chain. Just the way it is.”

“What the heck are you talking about?! Are you telling me there are more of you?!”

“Uh, yes? I think last I heard there were about…” Ueda-san scrunched up her face in thought. “600,000 or so famineans in Japan? That’s more people than Tottori prefecture, why’s it okay to just have us all die out?”

Daisuke shook his head, pacing around the room. This was crazy, this was crazy, this was crazy. Not only was Ueda-san, his angel, actually a monster, but she was telling him that there were 600,000 monsters just like her? And that was just in Japan? He couldn’t believe this, this couldn’t be real. This had to be some crazy dream.

That’s right, you’re just hallucinating, you’ve thought about Ueda-san so long that you snapped in the head, Daisuke told himself. This isn’t Ueda-san, she’s a hallucination. Daisuke closed his eyes and pictured Ueda-san’s angelic smile. But it kept warping back into that hideous monster.

Daisuke fell to the floor in defeat. My beautiful Ueda-san… is that monster?

“I feel like you’re thinking some really disrespectful thoughts about me,” Ueda-san scowled at him.

Daisuke sprung up, anger overriding his better judgment. He turned on Ueda-san. “Disrespectful?! You eat people! I think that warrants a few harsh thoughts!”

“I have feelings too, you know,” Ueda-san huffed. “Ugh, you virgins are all the same. You fawn over girls you barely know and the minute they do something to ruin your perfect image of them you get all angry at them like it’s somehow their fault.”

“EATING PEOPLE IS A LOT MORE THAN JUST ‘RUINING MY IMAGE’ OF YOU!” Daisuke wanted to shout, but he realized he had to keep his voice down. Wait, did she just…?

Ueda-san smirked. “I get you’re disappointed to end your crush like this, but what can I say? It never would have worked out between us anyway.”

She knew about his feelings?! “Im-Impossible! There’s no way you could’ve found- err, I mean, I didn’t have a crush on you!” Daisuke sputtered, his face turning bright red.

“Oh please, you have about as much subtly as a tsundere shouting ‘baka’ at the top of her lungs, you baka,” Ueda-san scoffed derisively, rolling her eyes. “Besides, famineans can smell human pheromones. Every time you saw me you were oozing so many it was like you were a dog humping furniture when I was in the area. Here’s a little tip, no one likes a simp.”

Daisuke wanted to curl up into a ball and die of humiliation. Her words were hurting far more than any hypothetical future devouring.

“That was before I knew what you were really like!” Daisuke protested, putting up a valiant effort in defense of his wounded pride. “If I knew you were a monster I never would have looked twice at you!”

“Exactly what I mean, you reek of virgin energy. Believe it or not, hot girls poop too.”

Daisuke wanted to scream.

“It’s just a sad fact of life, everyone’s hiding things,” Ueda-san shrugged. “Some better than others. You were trying to hide that you were in love with me, I was trying to hide that I was a faminean.” She put on a smile that was a ghostly reminder of the goddess he had once seen her as. “Now we can be honest with each other!”

“This is you being honest?!” Daisuke exclaimed. “Then tell me, why?! Why did my dreams need to be crushed like this? If you only see us as food then why are you even attending a human school in the first place?! If you had just gone to some monster school then none of this would have happened!” He wanted to cry.

“Famineans care about our education too, you know, it’s not just you humans,” Ueda-san shrugged. “I need to get good grades from a good school if I plan to enter Todai.”

“You have college plans?!” Daisuke couldn’t believe it, she was saying one absurdity after another.

“What? So according to you, because I’m a monster I shouldn’t be worried about my future?” Ueda-san exclaimed, outrage flaring across her face. “Apologize to all the famineans aiming for the University of Tokyo right now!”

“There are more of you?!” Of course, logically, Daisuke should have figured that. There were 600,000 of these monsters after all, and the University of Tokyo was the most prestigious school in the country. But he couldn’t wrap his brain around it. A terrifying thought passed through his mind. “Wait… then… are there more monsters in our school?!”

“Um, yeah,” Ueda-san said, nodding.

Daisuke went pale.

“H-How many?” He asked.

“Um… more than ‘some’ but less than ‘a lot’,” Ueda-san replied, counting on her fingers. “I didn’t take an entry survey or anything.”

“This is not a reassuring answer!” Daisuke wailed.

“Man you really need to get over this anti-faminean bias of yours, you don’t want us to eat, you don’t want us to get an education, yikes. I know Japan has a history of xenophobia but come on, I was born here,” Ueda-san scowled.

“I think it’s fair to see you as a monster considering you’re only seeing us as food!” Daisuke protested, pointing an accusatory finger at her.

Ueda-san blinked.

“…Okay, fair enough,” she admitted.

“That was not an ‘I guess you have a point there’ kind of objection I was making!” Daisuke couldn’t believe how so matter-of-factly she was stating that she only saw them as food. “You don’t honestly believe that?! Don’t you have friends? What about Ushigome-san and Tonjiro-san?! They are monsters too, are they?”

Ueda-san blinked, confused. “Who? What? I don’t have any faminean friends… oh! You mean those two! Gyudon-san and Tonkotsu-san!”

“WHAT?!” Did she just refer to her friends as food dishes?!

“The one with the big boobs is Gyudon-san because she’s a cow,” Ueda-san explained like it was obvious, moving her hands in a curvy pattern to simulate Ushigome-san’s figure. “And the chubby one that looks like a pig is Tonkotsu-san.”


“Geez, you don’t have to shout,” Ueda-san said, rolling her eyes. “It’s not my fault, you guys just look so delicious it just brings food to my mind, Karaage-san.”

What the hell kind of nickname was that?!

“And that’s another thing!” Daisuke said. “Why do you need to eat people, anyway?! Why not just eat, like ramen or something?!”

“Oh really? When was the last time you ate leaves?” Ueda-san fired back, crossing her arms indignantly. “Just because something can be eaten doesn’t make it nutritious. Human meat’s the only thing that does it for me.”

“So what you’re saying is that you famineans can just eat people and there’s nothing to be done about it?! That’s not fair!” Daisuke protested.

Ueda-san rolled her eyes. “Just so you know, between the two of us your species kills more humans on average, who’s the real monster?”

“That is NOT the point!” Daisuke scowled. “Stop changing the subject! You seriously don’t see a problem with this?! You’re eating people! You just see us as food?! What’s the MATTER with you?! Even if it’s to survive, eating people is still immoral!”

“Your perception is so human,” Ueda-san narrowed her eyes in a disapproving glare. “Your family runs a restaurant, Karaage-san. What did you have for dinner, Karaage-san?”

“…Hamburger steak…” Daisuke answered, not sure what she meant.

“Well that cow had parents too. Or were you under the impression that it wanted to be eaten?” She snorted in disdain. “Why not go down to the slaughterhouse and ask the animals there how they feel about your moral high ground?”

Daisuke’s mouth flopped open. “That’s… that’s… I mean, it’s different, because, well… I mean…” He couldn’t believe she was trying to equate humans eating meat with… with eating people! It was absurd!

“You think it’s all well and good because your dietary needs are met by eating animals you consider ‘lesser’,” Ueda-san rebuffed his weak protests. “The food chain sure seems nice and fair as long as you’re the one holding the chopsticks.”

“But… but you can’t just say humans are cows!” Daisuke protested. “We… we’re evolved, and stuff, we have higher-order thinking! You can’t just dismiss us as food!”

“The only thing that matters to us is that you’re prey animals,” Ueda-san dismissed him with a wave of her hand. “How ‘smart’ prey is doesn’t matter to the predator you moron. You really think a leopard’s gonna care if the chimpanzee it ate could paint a Van Gogh? Natural selection.”

“That’s sick!”

“That’s reality. You can go ahead and pretend to be superior because the living creatures you eat are ‘lesser’ beings to your enlightened humanity but that’s the way us famineans think of you humans. So who’s the real monster, hmm? Nobody. We’re just doing things as nature intended.” She shrugged. “And besides, it’s not like we’re going around eating everybody we come across. Look at me. I take great care to make sure that with every meal I’m committing a public service.”

Daisuke felt like he was going to throw up.

“You… You can’t possibly mean…” The glimmer in her eyes confirmed that, yes, she did mean what he thought she did.

“Those thugs from earlier? You know full well what they were going to do to me, right?” Ueda-san asked. “That’s why you came in running all heroic with that baseball bat. The world’s a better place without people like that. I eat humans who deserve it, and I sleep like a baby every night.”

Daisuke was not about to debate the ethics of who should and should not be eaten by monsters. “Nobody should be eaten!” He exclaimed.

“Ugh, we’re going around in circles, and we’re getting nowhere,” Ueda-san groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Okay, look, think about it like this. There aren’t a lot of us famineans, but we’re still contributing to society. We’re working-class Japanese citizens, just like you. And sure, we occasionally eat a few undesirable people. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to live, does it?”

“And what about their right to live?!”

“I already said it, natural selection. The prey become food for the predator, that’s the way the world always works, even among humans. Famineans are just a little more primal about it.” Ueda-san slapped her chest. “Look at me! I’m a diligent high school student who studies every day and was the top of my class in middle school. And you’re saying that those thugs and rapists deserve to live more than me? I’m going to improve this country from the bottom-up, Karaage-san!”

“That’s- huh?”

Ueda-san rose from his bed and put her hands on her hips, a wide smile stretching across her face as she stood triumphantly. “You happen to be looking at the future Prime Minister of Japan!”

If Daisuke thought this conversation could not get any more shocking, he was wrong.

“PRIME MINISTER?!” Daisuke exclaimed.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of leading Japan forward into a new age,” Ueda-san firmly declared, crossing her arms and nodding. “A future Japan where famineans and humans live together in harmony, dining at the same table. …Probably not dining on the same food, but at the same table. Whatever, you get the idea.”

Daisuke really didn’t. Coexistence? But she wanted to eat humans!

“I love humans,” Ueda-san admitted, holding her hand over her chest. “They’re quite persistent, so very resilient, they keep trying, working hard to improve themselves… and they breed like crazy. Of course, Japan is far from the perfect future I envision.” She snapped her fingers. “Karaage-san! What is the biggest problem facing Japan today?!”

Daisuke didn’t know how this turned into a civics discussion, but he guessed the most likely answer. “Um… the economy?”

“Exactly, the sinking birthrates!” Ueda-san nodded. “Japan is nothing without its people! And that’s why, upon becoming prime minister I plan to enact a three step plan to solve our declining birthrate! Come here, take a look!”

Ueda-san sat back down on Daisuke’s bed and dug through her backpack, shoving her bloodstained uniform (she’d changed into a spare) aside and pulling out her notebook. She patted a spot on the bed beside her and Daisuke sat down.

“Okay, take a look. So the number one contribution to the declining birthrate in Japan is the rise of unemployment among citizens in their 20s and 30s,” Ueda-san explained, flipping through some graphs that she showed him. “So the first step we need to take is to mitigate this. So I’ve decided to institute a housing and workforce plan. By building low-income apartment complexes in towns with universities, offering special deals to people in that age range, and couple that with monetary incentives for companies to hire more people in those age ranges, we can begin to see a steady increase in job sustainability for people in our targeted age demographic. That’s Step 1, you get it?” Ueda-san asked him, turning to look at Daisuke.

Daisuke nodded. He had no clue about economics, but what she was saying sounded like it made sense. Ueda-san nodded and turned the page.

“Good. Now, Step 2 is to incentivize people to get married and have children. So each married couple will be given money by the government for their first successful child,” Ueda-san explained. “As well as a permanent tax break for having a child. And they will get an increase to that tax break for each subsequent child, until the family has produced at least three children. That way, families are incentivized to have more children, do you understand? There will be a bit of a growing period before these children are ready to contribute to society, but after the first generation or two, we should see a drastic rise in Japan’s active workforce.”

Daisuke could definitely see the merit in that. Tax cuts for children? His family would have saved a lot of money that way.

“Then, for Step 3, once all the children of the household have reached adulthood and their parents have completed their duty to society, the parents will be taken to the slaughterhouse where they will be ‘humanely’ repurposed into the faminean food supply for distribution in supermarkets and restaurants,” Ueda-san finished.

“OKAY THERE’S A REAL BIG FUCKING LEAP BETWEEN STEPS 2 AND 3!!” Daisuke exploded, Ueda-san rolling her eyes and plugging her ears.

“Geez, don’t you understand economics?” Ueda-san griped. “This is the most efficient method for everybody! Humans get to live nice, peaceful lives and raise their children up to adulthood, and then they’re processed for their meat. What’s the big deal?”

“That’s horrific! ‘Bright future of Japan’?! You just turned our country into one big slaughterhouse! It’s sick!”

“Oh please, don’t be so dramatic! Like the way you humans treat cattle is any better. Didn’t you hear what I-“

“Why on EARTH would you think this was a good idea?! No one would vote for this!”

“Well the idea would be to have famineans elected into key positions to influence-“

“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR CRAZY CONSPIRACIES! For a second, you actually managed to convince me that you cared about this country!” It was only Daisuke’s crippling fear of Ueda-san leftover from seeing her real face that kept him from trying to strangle the girl. She was insane. An insane, human-eating monster.

“I do care about this country!” Ueda-san protested. “The declining birthrates of Japan is a serious issue, one that I aim to solve! Do you have any idea how low the population is getting? Another few percentage drops and we’ll have to start considering humans as an endangered species! And then we’ll be going back to the dark ages where it was every faminean for themselves, eating whatever humans they could come across! Is that what you want?! Carnage in the streets? Monsters going around eating people like a zombie movie? This is for the good of everyone, Karaage-san! It’s like what that guy said, with the pointy ears, on that sci-fi show, ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the food’. Or something.”

“Why the hell are you even telling me all this?!” Daisuke wailed, holding his hands over his ears. “I didn’t want to hear any of this! I don’t want to know about your insane monster society or your plans to turn Japan into a people-eating factory!” He was sobbing now. “I woke up today thinking everything was normal… I never wanted this!”

He stared at Ueda-san with tears in his eyes. But he was a fool to think he would find any sympathy in those cold eyes of hers. She glared at him. Then, stunningly, her face softly.

“I thought you would feel relieved,” she whispered gently.

“Relieved?!” He spat in shock.

“I thought you would feel better… knowing you died for a greater cause,” Ueda-san said. Before Daisuke could respond, she lashed out at him with superhuman speed, pushing him down onto the bed. She climbed on top of him and held him down against the sheets. Daisuke struggled, trying to push her off of him, but he couldn’t. She had the strength of a monster, of course. He stared up into her eyes. She almost looked sad. “I suppose it was no comfort to you.”

And Daisuke knew his life would be over. His heart raced in his chest and he began to shake. He was about to scream, but his voice caught in his throat. Who would he call? His father? His mother? Sakura? Ueda-san would just eat them, too. With everything she’d said, he had no doubt in her disregard for humans.

All he could do was cry in silence.

She opened her mouth, her cheeks and lips splitting and tearing across her face, row upon row of razor-sharp teeth ripping out and oozing drool.

“Don’t scream, don’t cry out,” Ueda-san whispered, her voice almost gentle. “If you alert your family, I have to eat them, too. We can’t allow humans to find out about us. If you stay quiet, then they can live. I can be very thorough. I won’t even leave a drop of blood behind, I promise. I’ll go out your window, and make your family think you ran away. That… is all I can do for you.”

Daisuke choked, and nodded. He closed his eyes, and pictured his family’s faces. His mom and dad would be in shock. But they would one day use that believe that he’d run away to move forward. Sakura would be devastated. But she would eventually get over it, too. He wished he’d given Rika her bat back. His one friend and they’d parted fighting.

Ueda-san pulled open his collar, and sunk her sharp fangs into his throat. This was the end.

“Daisuke, Ueda-san, I brought your tea!” Daisuke’s mother entered his room at precisely that moment. Ueda-san pulled herself off of him and whirled her head around, and Daisuke saw through his tears that her face had returned to normal. He glanced back at his mom, who was standing there, shocked.

Her face turned bright red.

“Y-Yes, I… I’ll be back later, yes, here, enjoy the tea!” Moving in an awkward shuffle his mother set down the tray and dashed out of the door. “Take your time!”

Daisuke was so stunned that he almost forgot he was about to be eaten, until he felt something warm and sticky on his collarbone, pain shooting through his neck. Ueda-san had been seconds away from devouring him whole, and now she was… just sitting there, looking at him, her mouth smeared with his blood (or perhaps, to his mother’s eyes, lipstick)

While Daisuke bled into his sheets, Ueda-san stared contemplatively at him, licking her lips. He didn’t know what she was staring at with those eyes, but it frightened him even more than the idea that she was going to eat him.

Then she began to giggle. Not the low hum of a warm spring day like he’d heard her share with her friends, this was a wicked, jagged cackle that sent a chill down his spine. She leaned in again, and he feared she’d resume her feeding, but instead she pressed her lips against his ear and whispered hotly, “congratulations, Karaage-san. You get to live. For now.”

She climbed off of his bed and stood over him, her face flushed with excitement. Once upon a time he would have loved to see Ueda-san in his room, making that expression. But this wasn’t the look of a maiden in love, it was the filthy smirk of a starving beast staring ravenously at her prey.

“At lunch tomorrow, join me on the roof,” she rasped. “We have much to discuss.”

Before Daisuke could respond, she had grabbed her bag and fled his room, leaving him lying there, stunned and confused and bleeding profusely.

What… what have I just gotten myself into? Daisuke fearfully asked himself.