“Who is that?” She said as she turned around. But the room was empty.
“Oh, you are most aware of who I am, prey” The dark voice continued. It was as if it also dampened the light in the room as it spoke. Yet Akemi was not able to discern anyone but her in the room. Was she dreaming again?
“No, this is not a dream. This is as much awake as it gets, Prey.” Somehow hearing those words were like an awakening to her. Suddenly she realized that this was, in fact, not a dream. This was reality.
“Who are you? Where are you?” She asked, but somehow she already knew that the answer was cryptic.
“I am here, within.” Was the only reply she got.
“Show yourself!” She demanded, trying to apply as much authority as she could. It failed.
“To reveal myself is a choice that belongs to me only, not for you to command. And you are not ready, not by far. For now, you will have to settle with my voice.” The dark voice said with much self content. “My voice and the knowledge that I am within you.” It sounded almost smug.
“What do you mean not my choice?” She asked.
“It means that it sounds like, what the words spells like, what I want it to mean. That I, alone, chose when to reveal myself.” The voice seemed a bit agitated at the question.
“So what am I then? A servant?” Now Akemi started to get upset. If there was something hiding in the dark at least she would put up some sort of fight.
“Now, that might be just a suitable word for you. For now, prey” Once again it turned smug.
Akemi suddenly felt a wave of uncomfort rushing through her. This was not a dream, she’d had alerady established that. But it was also unreal somehow, in a way that she could not clearly define. And it scared her.
“I can sense your fear, that is good. Fear makes for a good listener. But fear is not what I seek within you. Fear is somehing that you will have to overcome in order for you to prevail. To reach the destination I have set for you. Or, well, you have set it for yourself rather.
This all seemed to get out of hand so Akemi decided to try to steer the conversation in another direction. “She is not real?” She said.
“No, she is not. Or well, she exists but not in the wanted form. Thus she is not real to this world.”
“This world? What do you mean by that? Why would she not be real to this world?” Akemi asked as the logic did not make sense.
“Do not expect me to ‘spill all the beans’ the first time Prey. There is are so many things that you do not even have the faintest idea about. Yet they are as real as you, and as unreal as that little girl. To you she is a test.” The smugness was back again.
“Why am I even talking to you?” Akemi asked hoping to get some sort of hint as reply.
“Talking, are you moving your mouth?”
“Of course I am movin my mo…” She suddenly realized that she was just staring into the darkness of her apartment and not talking. Somehow she tried to shut her imaginary mouth.
“If I had some sort of sense for humour I would probably find this a laughing matter. But I don’t. Prey, there is no use trying to shut me out. You will acknowledge me either you want it or not. Let’s just say it is in your nature, at least for now.” Somehow that logic seemed to make sense to her. But she could not pinpoint why.
“you.. you mentioned a test? The little girl?”
“Yes, a test indeed. As I said there are many things that you need to know, things that to your feeble mind are nearly uncomprehensive. Yet you need to know them. Now, how to sum things up so that your weak mind would interperet them correctly. ” She could almost hint a small confusion in the dark voice, as if it suddenly were in deep waters. But it quickly changed.
“Before I explain, you will need to find the little girl. Find her before we speak again.”
Suddenly the apartment was as bright as when she had walked through it to get to the windows. The darkness was all gone and there were but a few simple shadows left in the apartment reminding of any sort of darkness. Find the girl she thought to herself, why would she do that? Why did she have this urge to rush out through the door after that little girl that just got there to retrieve her lost dog?
Akemi pondered these questions as she suddenly found herself outside her apartment staring down the street. Now where did the little girl go? For some reason she took a left and continued down the street. Somehow she was moving along the streets as if she was in a third person view, a perspective. Her body moved almost by itself, as if it was in control by someone else. A corner there, a crossroads there and suddenly she saw the little girl and the dog playing about in a small park. It then became all black again.
“Are… are you there?” Akemi asked almost stuttering.
“Yes, I am here. Why would you doubt that Prey?” It was almost teasing her.
“I.. I followed her.. I think. To here.”
“Yes, you did.” The voice felt sort of sarcastic.
“What am I supposed to do now?” She asked but for some reason she felt like she already knew the answer, but she needed some sort of confirmation. It felt very confusing.
“You need to kill her properly.” The dark voice said coldly.
“Kill her? Why? Why in hell would I do that?” She asked firmly. This was crap, she was suddenly quite upset. And somehow she knew why.
“Because, that is the way things need to be. And you know that, don’t you.” It was not even asking.
“You are asking me to take the life of a little girl. Why in the fucking hell would I do such a thing?” Akemi felt firm, this question demanded an answer. And she was not giving in until she had gotten a damn good one.
“You cannot kill that which is already dead.” Was the solely explanation offered by the dark voice.
“What do you mean by that? She is very much alive. Just look at her playing with her dog over there!” Akemi was pissed.
“Look around, is there anything in the surroudings that would say different.” the voice was suddenly very cold.
For some reason Akemi felt compelled to inspect her surroundings when the dark voice mentioned them, she could not say why. But it felt like the right thing to do. And as she looked around she noticed that close to a telephone pole there were a lot of flowers and lit candles. She walked up to it to have a closer look and saw that the flowers and candles were of the kind that was usually placed on graves. As Akemi sat down next to them she saw that some of them had small cards attached to them and she slowly opened one of them. It read “Dear Orihime, always loved and never forgotten”. She sat there for a moment, all quiet as it sanked in.
“I told you.” The voice was back again.
“But, how would I know that this would even be for her?” Akemi asked.
“Try calling out to her then. If that calms your mind.”
Akemi got up and took a few steps towards where the little girl was playing happily with her dog. She looked at her for a moment before she inhaled, closed her eyes, and decided to call out her name. She was hoping that she would not answer the call.
“Orihime” She said, still doubting something that she felt was correct.
“Yes?” The reply cut through her with such cold that it sent shivers down her spine.
When Akemi opened her eyes the little girl was standing in front of her. “You called me? Hey, you are the one that found my dog! Did I forget something?”
Akemi almost started to cry when she heard the little girl’s voice. For some reason she knew that she had to do, why these things were connected. She was certain, but still yet very doubtful.
“Thank you….thank you for finding my dog. I have looked for him ever since that day.” The little girl suddenly said.
“That day?” Was all that Akemi could muster.
“Yes, that day when my mom and dad and I were in an accident. Just over there.” The little girl said and pointed towards where the candles were lit. It suddenly made sense.
“Accident?” Akemi asked but she already knew the answer.
“Yes, we were going to the sea for a picnic when we were hit by another car there. I do not remember much but I managed to get out of the car. But I did not see mum or dad, or Tikk. So I thought that they had made it out of the car already. I saw all the people and the police cars. And after a while I saw that mum and dad was loaded into an ambulance. I know that they would be fine, but they had forgotten about Tikk. So I decided to look for him before going to visit them at the hospital. It took a while, but then I saw your poster and went to get him. And now I have to go visit my mum and dad at the hospital to tell them that we are okay.”
Akemi smiled towards the girl, even though it hurt.
“What should I do? What do I need to do?” She asked the dark voice.
“That which is right, you need to pass her on.” It replied.
“Pass her on? How?” Akme asked.
“In whatever manner you see fit, this is your show, Prey.”
She could not explain her next action, but it all seemed to fit. Seemed to be the right thing to do. The most suitable way to go.
“Would you like me to follow you to the hospital?” She asked the little girl.
“Yes, if you want to. That way I do not have to walk there by myself.” The little girl answered. “Tikk! Come here boy! We are going on a walk.” The little girl said.
As they started walking Akemi felt how the little girl grabbed her hand. Suddenly she saw herself standing at an unknown intersection holding something in her hand that no longer existed.