Yume Kokochiyoi II: Okami Hime: Chapter 3: Katherine

Author's Note: Sorry this chapter is soooo late! Again, more finals! I hate tests!

In a small, deserted harbour, near the Wolf Hill Lodge, a boat pulls into the dock. The stars twinkle in the black blanket of night. A man ascends from the bottom of the cabin and stands on the deck. He pulls a lighter out of his back pocket and produces a cigarette from a small carton. He lights it and the flame illuminates his face. He looks around him. The leaves rustle. He pays no heed to the sound. He continues to smoke, the air around him becoming thick with puffy, grey smoke.

The leaves rustle and the wind blows cold. He hears a noise, a scuffing of feet. Still, he smokes. The sound becomes louder, and he grows cautious. Then he hears a low, deep growl, and something flashes past, behind him. He darts in that direction, but sees nothing. He then hears something in front of him, but does not turn around.

His mouth shakes, and his cigarette falls to the wooden deck, still lit. It begins to ignite, but something puts the flame out, a drop of thick, red liquid. He feels nothing, nothing but death as everything inside of him is wrenched out.

"Honey!" a voice calls out from below. She calls out four more times before slowly ascending the stairs to discover her "honey" lying on the deck with a large hole in his back, and nothing in it except a pool of blood. Before she has time to shriek, a hot pain enters her shoulders. Blood squirts on to her face, and she falls over.

~~~ At an old abandoned shack at the foot of the mountainous region, a small snow blows. Then, a man walks up to it and his long, pale fingers wrench the door open. His black trench coat glides over the surface of the fine, white powder. He enters. He sits down on an overturned bucket and pulls out some device from his coat pocket, a communicator. He flips the switch and begins to talk. "Hey, where are you?"

A voice answers, much like his own, on the other line. "I'm at the docks. Did you get them?"

The man in the shack hesitated, and finally answered. "No! No, but I was so damn close! Those bastard policeman kept me from it!"

"It's alright. We have a few more chances. We'll be ready next time. I'll be at the lodge tomorrow morning. I hope I can get at least one of them."

"Hey! Remember, we aren't dealing with natural humans!"

"Exactly! That's just why Mr. Yumano wants them!"

~~~ "Honey?" Yagami called around the apartment, looking for Kari. He peered into the kitchen, but not there. He finally came to the bathroom. He opened the door and saw her laying against the wall, hands covering her stomach, and sleeping. "Honey!" he cried, dropping down next to her. "Wake up!"

She slightly opened her eyes. She caught a glimpse of the light and shut them back. After adjusting them, she opened them fully.

"Are you all right?" He bent over her, stroking her hair.

"I'm fine," Kari said. Then she remembered the scars on her body. 'He can't find out!' she thought. She tried to cover her thoughts up by telling him, "I must have been sleepwalking." She looked into his worried face. "I'm okay! I promise!"

He embraced her. "I just thought something had happened to you!" She got up and started to walk back into the bedroom, but felt drowsy and drunk. Yagami caught her as she fell, and laid her down on the bed. "Just lay right there! I'll go get some ice." He went to the freezer, opened the white door, and looked inside. "Damn! No ice!" He walked back to the bed and sat by her. "I'm going to go get some from the lobby. I won't be gone long."

"Alright," she said. He kissed her, and then left. She lay there, thinking about all the things that had happened on their way to America and their stay so far. 'It's like a dream! Is any of this really happening?' These thoughts raced through her mind. She closed her eyes and dozed off.

Then, she felt the cold wind wrap around her. She looked around and the balcony door was ajar. A confused look crossed her face. She felt something, something in that room. She could sense it. She tried to think positive thoughts, but the eerie silence was creeping upon her. She flipped the television on to break it, and then went to the sliding glass balcony door. 'Yagami must have left it open this morning' she thought. She closed it and was about to turn around, but she saw a reflection in the glass. Her heart froze in terror as she stared at the reflection, draped in a black trenchcoat. She whipped around, but didn't have time to scream. The man was upon her. She was thrown to the floor and overpowered. 'Hurry! Hurry Yagami!' she thought. The man extended a chain from his pocket. It was attached to some kind of hand restraints. He was about to clip them on her, when she started glowing. Her clothes disappeared from her body, and a silken, blue cloth replaced them. Wings sprouted from her back and with a powerful blow, she knocked the man back.

Then, they both paused. A news bulletin flashed across the screen. "And now, the latest on the Wolf Hill murders."

"Yes. There was another murder last night. It was a couple that had docked their boat in the harbour. Their bodies were found mangled, some parts missing. A witness said that as peering out his window saw a tall figure lumbering over the male victim. He said its structure was like that of a humans, but its shoulders were hunched and it had a snout-like face. That makes the fourth murder in two years. It has been so long since the last murders occurred that the case was totally dropped. But now, as you can see, it will definitely be picking up again."

The man stared at the screen. His eyes were filled with fascination. He quickly dashed out and tried to escape, but some animalistic instinct in Kari restrained him. She grabbed him by the neck and slung him back. Her eyes gleamed strangely. It was like her mind had no control. 'Where did I get this strength?' she asked herself, shakingly. The man stared at her in horror. Her wings somewhat expanded, and a strange sensation entered her body. She leapt onto the man. He then pulled out a dagger and sliced her side. She had swung her body over enough so that it only left a small gash. He kicked her off him, ran out the door, and jumped off the balcony rail. Kari fell to the floor. Her wings receded and the silken cloth disappeared, leaving her barren on the floor. Blood trickled from the cut. In a dazed stupor, she let the blood run onto her hand and then put it to her mouth. She sucked the blood that was left and then curled up on the floor.

Just then, Yagami walked through the door. He turned his back to the room, securing the lock. "Sorry I was late!" he called. It wasn't in the lobby, and when I finally found it, I had to wa -" He entered the bedroom and his face went ghostly white. He dropped the ice and ran to her. He scooped her up in his arms and examined her body. He saw the scars and then saw the fresh gash to her side. His eyes widened with each scar. He looked at her face and saw the blood on her lips. He wiped it off and went to the kitchen. He fumbled around, searching for the first aid kit. He dashed back to her and applied all that was necessary.

*** The snow swirled about her. She lay on the ground, trying to cover herself to keep from freezing. "Kari! Kari!" she heard a small voice call. "Kari! Kari!" It sounded closer now. She looked up to see a young girl standing in front of her. She recognized the girl, but could not remember where she had seen her.

"Who are you?" Kari asked her. She didn't respond, so Kari asked another question. "Why are you here?"

"I've come to warn you. They are powerful, very powerful! They can't be overcome by your Angel powers, only by their own."

"What do you mean?" Kari asked, bewildered.

"It's already happened to you. There's no way to reverse it. You are now our only hope." ~~~~

Suddenly, Kari was transported back into the bedroom. She opened her eyes and looked around. Her torso was covered in bandages. She looked at the glass window, overlooking the snow-white ground. She felt something strange, pulling her to the window. She could not resist, so she got up and slowly walked over to it. She slid back the glass door and stepped out onto the balcony. The stinging cold swept over her. Her eyes were drawn to the spot on the ground, right below the balcony. She fell back at what she saw. The ground was soaked in blood, and in the red pool was the mangled body of a little girl. Kari came to a startling revelation. Thoughts flashed back in her mind:

'The receptionist at the desk, I remember her worried face and what she said! "Oh nothing! It's just that - that we haven't had as many customers lately, because - because of - well -" I remember the vision I had when Ifirst walked into the room: the little girl, and my pale hand with long, sharp, blue fingernails. I remember what the girl said in my dream: "You're are only hope." '

She had almost solved the portion of the puzzle that was the girl, but was far away, yet closer than she thought, about solving the puzzle to the cold, pale hand and her being the only hope.

Yagami was in the kitchen and heard her stir. He walked into the bedroom and saw her standing outside. "Honey! You should be lying down!" She didn't turn around or respond, she just slipped on a shirt and rushed passed him and out the door. Yagami ran after her.

Kari didn't bother to take the elevator, she ran like lightning down the stairs, Yagami barely able to keep up. He marveled at her speed.

She got to the main floor and ran out into the lobby and up to the reception desk. It was the same receptionist as the other day. People turned and stared at her as she panted and began to speak. "Ma'mm, was there a murder in room 249?"

She looked surprised. She tried to quiet Kari down, but she wouldn't listen. "Tell me! Was there a murder in that room?

The receptionist led her into the back room and told her to stay calm. "Now, please be quiet."

"I will not unless you tell me if something happened in room 249!"

She looked around her and back at Kari.

Just then, Yagami ran out into the lobby, looking for her.

"Alright, I'll tell you. Two years ago, a little girl was murdered in that room. The authorities never found out who did it, but they found half of her body under the balcony. It was as if some beast ripped her apart." She stopped there and shuddered to herself.

"What was her name?" Kari asked.

"Katherine, her name was Katherine Blair. She was the first victim of the Wolf Hill murders." The receptionist sobbed.

Kari looked around the room. She found a section of phonebooks. "Did this family live close by?"

"Yes, a few towns away. The were a famous family in this area because of their wealth."

Kari started fingering through the phonebooks and finally found the one she wanted. She grabbed it and walked out of the room. Yagami saw her walk out and rushed to her. "What's the matter with you?" he asked.

"I know. I know who the little girl is!" She went back up to the room.

Yagami closed to door behind her, and immediately asked, "Kari, what is it? Is there something you need to tell me?"

"I've been having dreams, dreams about this little girl. She was killed two years ago. She was the first victim of the Wolf Hill murders."

"You mean those murders that have just been discovered?"

"Partly, but this was a little girl. Her name was Katherine Blair. She was the daughter of a wealthy family, and was killed in this very room. And the murderer isn't a human. It's not even, really an animal. It's a demon, a wolf-demon. And now they're coming after me."

Yagami looked bewildered by her speech. "Honey, it's alright! Nothing's going to happen to us!"

Kari jumped up from the bed and tore of the bandages. "It already has!!!" she screamed.

Yagami put his arms around her. "That man did this to you! Damn him!"

'The man!' She hadn't even given a thought to him. New questions started pouring into her head. 'Who was he. What was he doing? Why did he leave right after the news bulletin? Does he have something to do with the murders?'