Chapter 0:



Breaking News: A body of what appears to be of the missing student Himura Sora has just been found. The police have confirmed this and the family of the boy have just been informed.

A local woman whose identity will be kept a secret for safety purposes, has stated that she was out on a walk with her dog this morning when he came back holding a locket, that locket belonging to our victim.

Police are still investigating but have found no links to any gangs or anything that could be potentially life threatening. More on this as the story uncovers.

The snow was starting to melt and Himaru-san had been dead for several weeks did we understand the gravity of our situation. He’d been dead for 15 days until they found him, the biggest manhunt in Japanese history. FBI, state troopers, even an army helicopter. People coming from everywhere to cover this story, Himura Sora, the son of the businessman, Himaru Tadashi. The university as well as other small shops were closed and people were helping out with the search.

It is difficult to believe that Daisuke’s plan had worked so well despite these unforeseen events. In fact, it was never in our plans for things to escalate so much, we were just hoping that, by some luck someone would have just stumbled upon the body before anyone had even realised, he had been missing.

I still can’t believe it took them this long to find him, considering he was in plain sight, it was one of those tales, you know. The loose rocks, a body at the bottom of the ravine with a clean break in the neck, and the muddy skid marks of dug-in heels, basically a hiking accident, no more, no less.

And it would have been left at that, quiet tears, small funeral, had it not had been for the snow that fell and covered him leaving no trace, and then it wasn’t until 15 days later that the FBI, state troopers, and the town searchers realised that they had been walking up and down his body until the snow above him was packed down like ice.

It was difficult to believe such an uproar took place for an incident that I was partially responsible for, even more difficult that being Himaru-san’s classmate meant that all the cameras and police interrogations were pointed towards us, but still we managed to walk through it like a breeze.

However, that being said, walking through it is one thing but walking away is another story. And although I thought I had left that ravine and all the memories linked to it that Winter afternoon long time ago, now looking back I’m not so sure.

Now that the searches have departed and my life has gone back to being as quiet as it was before, I have come to realise that for years I might have imagined myself to be somewhere else, but to be honest with both you and myself I have been there the whole time.

Up at the top by the muddy wheel-ruts in the new grass, where the sky is dark over the shivering cherry blossoms and the first chill of the snow that will fall that night is already in the air.

When I close my eyes and focus on nothing, I still remember the words that were thrown around that day as well as the brawl that followed, the loud thud of body meets floor as well as a loud crack, the thrill of the night as we crammed into the back of Daisuke’s car, the adrenaline rush, the panic in everyone’s eyes as we passed uniforms and questions.

I still remember how we all made sure that nothing was left behind, no lost glasses, dropped keys, everybody got everything? - then we walked in a single file back to the car as the first lonely flakes of snow that came drifting through the pines.

I was the last to sit in the car and took one last glance back through the saplings that leapt close to the path behind me.

“Come on!” I heard someone say, no idea who, their voice sounded distorted.

Once we were all sitting in the car and started down the road like a family on vacation, with Daisuke driving clench-jawed through the potholes and the rest of us leaning over the seats and talking like children.

Now it’s been 10 years since that incident, 10 years since we thought that everything had been swept under the rug. But now I’m not so sure, not after those messages;

‘I know what you did 10 years ago’

‘Remember that one eventful Winter afternoon, back in 2011?’

‘I am coming for you’

Did someone see us?

Did we drop something?

What went wrong?

What are we going to do?

These questions have been flooding my mind for weeks, and there is nothing I can do about it, because he knows who I am.

He knows where I live.

He knows everything about me, about all of us.

Now we’re all being Hunted.