Fandom(s): Yume Nikki/ Ao Oni
Character(s)/Pairing(s): In this chapter, characters are: Madotsuki,Hiroshi, Poniko, UBOA and Irisu from Irisu Syndrome.
Rating: T for death.
Theme: Table 2 theme #8 Night
Summary: Madotsuki goes to her "house."
Note: This is actually chapter 17. This is part of the second story arc. A list of chapters for the first arc is here This story is typically updated once a month.
Monsters in the Dark
Hiroshi awoke to the feeling of something cold and wet on his face. When Hiroshi opened his eyes they were in a world surrounded by sea and snow. When he looked at the sky, it was grey and small flakes of snow were swirling downward. Instinctively, he stuck his tongue out and caught one of the snowflakes. He adjusted his glasses. This world of snow seemed new and untouched.
Wait, where was Madotsuki?
He stood up and looked around. A wave of relief washed over him. Turns out Madotsuki was a short ways away, making a small group of snow bunnies.
“Hey, Madotsuki,” he said.
She turned around at the sound of his voice. “Oh. Hiroshi, you’re awake. Good.”
“Hey, do you… know where we are?” he asked.
“I think the mirror got messed up. U-chan and Chie aren’t here.”
Madotsuki didn’t say anything else to him. She simply stared at the white sky and walked into the ocean. He didn’t want to get separated, even if this place was nice and quiet. He rolled up his pant legs and stepped into the water. It was freezing! How was she not feeling it on her bare legs? He couldn’t head back to the shore fast enough.
“Aren’t you cold?” he asked through chattering teeth.
She looked back at him and shook her head.
He continued to watch her from the shore. She was still standing in the middle of the cold water, undisturbed as it lapped against her legs. She was looking oddly serene, unlike him who was freezing and doing everything he could think of to keep warm. He hoped she didn’t look over at him now because he was jumping around like a lunatic. He noticed a single green balloon float by. It was the only bit of color in this white world. Where had it come from? Madotsuki reached out her hand to grab the string of the balloon. When she touched it, it pulled her up into the sky.
He wasn’t really seeing this right now, was he? He got up, brushed the snow off himself and ran after her.
“Get back here!” he called.
It was times like this he wished he was better at gym. She didn’t seem to be floating all that fast, but his legs were not running fast enough to catch her. He stopped to catch his breath. When he looked again, a yellow balloon was just sitting in front of him. He thought for a moment before he tugged on the string. At his touch, it shot skyward. He was traveling at her pace now. He closed his eyes. If he didn’t look down, his hands wouldn’t get sweaty and he wouldn’t die horribly.
He didn’t open his eyes until he was sure he felt his feet were solidly on the ground.
“You look pale, Hiroshi,” Madotsuki remarked. “You missed a lovely sunset. It was really impressive how the hues lit up the sky.”
He didn’t care about any of that. They had landed on a small island that was surrounded by cones of varying shades of purple. Were they mountains or some other kind of structure?
“Where is this?” he asked.
Madotsuki smiled a little and walked towards the strange shape. It took him a moment to notice there was a door there. “It’s my house. Won’t you come in, Hiroshi?”
This weird structure was her house?
Why was her house on an island of ice surrounded by a freezing ocean and only accessible by a balloon of all things? It made no sense! For one thing, how on earth did she get to school? Well, she hadn’t actually been to school in a while. Maybe this was why? No, that couldn’t be. He was sure she lived in a nice normal apartment complex.
“Big brother, I’m home!” Madotsuki called as they entered.
“Welcome home, Mado-chan!” a bright voice answered. A girl peeked out from inside the kitchen. She had long blond hair that was tied back into a ponytail. She was a very practical looking girl in her sensible green turtleneck sweater and brown skirt. “Dinner is almost ready!”
“Since when do you have a sister?” he asked.
Madotsuki’s face twisted. “Since never. Poniko! Why are you in my house? Where’s my brother?” she demanded.
The ponytailed girl sighed, “How many times do I have to tell you. Mado-chan? It’s not ‘Poniko’ it’s Pinoko! Didn’t Mafuyu tell you that he was going to check out that old mansion on the outskirts of town? He asked me to look after you until he came back.”
“I’m old enough to look after myself,” Madotsuki muttered.
Hiroshi paused. That old mansion on the outskirts of town…? Wasn’t that place supposed to have some sort of thing haunting it?
Pinoko’s eyes fell on him. “Oh! Who’s your friend, Mado-chan?”
He bowed quickly. “I’m Hiroshi; I’m a classmate of Madotsuki’s.”
The older girl’s eyes lit up. “Oh! So this is Hiroshi-kun? I never figured you’d invite your rival over, Mado-chan!”
He paused for a second. “Rival? Since when?”
Madotsuki snorted. “Ignore her.”
Wait, was Madotsuki blushing? Or was it because of the cold?
“Aw, Mado-chan, isn’t he like one of the top-ranked people in your class, though?”
Well, that was true, but…
“Madotsuki always beats my scores, though,” he admitted with a laugh.
“Shut up, Poniko! You’re being awfully nosy for not even introducing yourself!” Madotsuki snapped.
The older girl laughed. “Oh, how silly of me! I’m Pinoko, I’m Mafuyu’s, girlfriend! You two go ahead and sit down and I’ll serve up the stew!”
Madotsuki still looked uneasy.
“You okay?” he asked.
She shook her head. “I feel sick.”
He sighed. “It’s because you romped in the ocean earlier. Maybe some warm food will help you feel better?”
She nodded a little. “Poniko’s a ditz, but she’s a good cook. Sometimes I think she found her way to big brother’s heart through his stomach.”
The atmosphere buzzed, but the mood was cheerful overall. Hiroshi sighed. This was nice. It was so much nicer than eating alone. The stew was delicious, too.
“So Mado-chan, how’s school going?” Pinoko asked.
“Fine,” was Madotsuki’s quick response.
Liar, you haven’t come to school for weeks now.
Pinoko must have seen his eyes shift to Madotsuki because she followed up with another question. “Have you been keeping up with your homework?”
Madotsuki nodded. She became very focused on finishing her stew.
“Are you still having that little um, problem?”
Madotsuki slammed her spoon down on the table. “When will you learn to keep your mouth shut?” She pushed her chair out and headed up the stairs.
“I’m going to my room! Don’t follow me you stupid monster-girl!”
“Should we go check on her?” Hiroshi asked. “She said she didn’t feel well.”
Pinoko shrugged. “Nah. She does this all the time to get Mafuyu’s attention. She’s so smart, and yet so like a little kid. It’s no wonder she’s not well liked by others her own age.”
“That’s not true. She has friends at school.”
Pinoko’s eyes lit up again. “Oh? Are you one of them? Do you protect her?”
“It’s not like that! I’ll help you with the dishes.”
“Thanks, but I don’t need any. I was just teasing you before. She’s too immature for someone like you.”
Hiroshi walked into the living room. He saw a picture by the fireplace. It was of the two siblings together in front of a completed snowman. Madotsuki was wearing the hat and scarf he’d seen her in before. Both of them looked so happy that Hiroshi felt himself smile a little.
The lights flickered slightly as if something was trying to overpower them.
He heard Pinoko mutter softly from the kitchen.
“That girl, calling me a monster. Well, if that’s how she wants to be, then fine! Be a little witch! Mafuyu, you’ve spoiled her, you know that? It’s your fault she’s getting bullied. She’s probably just as entitled around them as she is around me with her, ‘who do you think you are? Get away from my brother! He’s mine! He’s mine!’ Honestly, is one night as a couple so much to ask? But no! It’s always ‘my sister this! My sister that!’ from you too, isn’t it, Mafuyu?” The lights began to flicker more intensely. “What do I have to do to get you alone, tie you down? I should have never told you about that stupid blue demon. I wanted to go hunt for it together, not get stuck playing mommy to your sister while you have all the fun investigating it.”
Suddenly, the power went out completely. There was a loud crash and a scream.
“Pinko! Are you alright?” Hiroshi called.
When the lights came back on, this massive, black, melting thing with a white face was standing in the kitchen where Pinoko should have been. What was it? It didn’t have any legs and looked like it was made out of tar and chalk.
He glanced around for something to use as a weapon. All he could find were the scattered shards of the bread plate under the dinner table. Well, it was something. He cautiously took the sharpest looking shard and put it in his pants pocket. Now if he could just…. He froze. The white face of the monster was looking at him from under the table. It slowly oozed forward. It was making strange, raspy noises.
“…Madotsuki… hey… Madotsuki…” he gulped as he tried to back away slowly.
He heard the door from the upstairs open.
“Hey, what was that noise?” she asked.
“Help me!” he whispered frantically.
It took her a moment to register he was in peril. “Hiroshi!”
Madotsuki jumped down the banister and landed in front of him.
“Ah…you… witch… you turned me… into this… didn’t you?” The monster slid slowly forward.
Was that Pinoko’s voice?
Madotsuki pulled out her knife and pointed it towards the monster. “You did it to yourself, you two faced lair! Just wait till I tell my brother all about this other side of yours!”
The scream that came afterwards was an inhuman, unfeminine, long wail. When Madotsuki jumped away from it, it came after her with great speed. Madotsuki looked back at him as she ran. “Hiroshi, run away!”
He couldn’t run. He was frozen in place. He watched as it caught up with her. The lights went out for a moment. They flickered on again just long enough for him to see Madotsuki had stabbed it in the face with her knife. But the monster had consumed her legs. The lights dimmed again as it continually sucked her into its large mouth. Strangely, Madotsuki didn’t make a sound. When the lights came back on, he looked over the room again and again.
They had both disappeared.
“Madotsuki! Madotsuki, where are you?” he called.
“If you’re looking for Mado-chan, she’s not here anymore,” a soft voice said.
Hiroshi turned sharply.
The girl standing in front of him wasn’t Madotsuki or Pinoko. She had long white hair and eerie red eyes. Madotsuki’s eyes were also red, but hers were usually more docile. This girl’s eyes had a cold, calculating expression to them. Which was strange, given she was wearing what looked like a homemade witches outfit. The mesh of pink, white, and blue, the obvious stitch marks on the hat and apron, and were those rabbit ears on the hat? She looked like some sort of deranged magical girl!
Not that he knew anything about magical girls…
“Who are you?” he asked.
“My name is Irisu Kyouko and I have come to kill you, Hiroshi-kun.”
Hiroshi back away. “Kill me? What?”
Irisu cornered him against the wall. Her little body was an unexpected cage. She leaned into him. “Hmm, you’re too tall.”
For being so petite, this girl was also surprisingly strong. With just a quick punch to the stomach, Hiroshi felt the wind getting knocked out of him. He wanted to stand strong, but his knees gave out. Irisu smiled a little at the sight. She leaned over him again, this time their lips touched. She lingered there for a long moment before Hiroshi felt something soft wrap around his neck.
“I do hope that now you can die without any regrets.” The sweetness in her voice was gone.
He felt the fabric around his neck squeezing tighter and tighter.
If only he could reach into his pocket…
“…Why? I don’t… even… know… you…”
Irisu’s eyes became redder; her face overcome by shadows. He was fading fast.
“Because you are useless! You stupid boy! You failed again! You failed my dear mistress, and for that I can’t forgive you!”
Failed? Failed what?