A/N: This is an original story I'm working on. I'd like as much constructive critisism as you can give me. Keep in mind this is a rough draft. I am putting a lot of thought into this! XD.


Chapter One:
Sky


I was never a suspicious person, not once in my life; however today, August thirteenth (not to mention a Friday), bad luck was being thrown at me at every corner. I find it odd, since 'Friday The Thirteenth' has never been a day that I felt was different from any other… but, like I said, for once in my life, it was teaming with bad luck. I mean, what could be unluckier than dying?

Okay, I guess I can answer that: waking up late for school, missing the bus, and then dying. That's exactly where I was now, the barrel of a pistol between my eyes.

"Say your last words," the man said as I gazed up at him emotionlessly. I was on my way to school, when I saw him: he was beating a dog. Not a large one, and definitely not one that was attacking him. It was just a brutal assault where the poor animal was the victim. The black dog with white socks and a white-tipped wolf tail squealed and yipped under the man's attack. It was helpless…squirming under the sadistic man's blows. It had fallen to the floor moments after my arrival with a sickening thud. It was going to die at the rate it was going.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't involve myself with matters such as these, (sure, dogs were okay, but I wasn't about to get myself into unneeded trouble) but today, as I said, was odd. I ran to the mutt's aid, not because it was being hurt per say, but rather that it felt as though the canine was dragging me towards it against my will. It occurred to me, now, that I had the barrel of a gun to my face, that I could have easily called the police and let them deal with it.

But nope, here I was, about to be shot.

I stared blankly at the point of the weapon. There was nothing to think about except that the item was horribly kept, and rust was forming around its edges. Not a thought of remorse passed through my stupid teenage head as the man pulled the trigger.

And then it was black.

Am I dead? I thought amidst the blackness. Common sense told me two things: Yes, I got shot in the face, of course I was dead. The other was, if I was dead, how could I still be consciously thinking? Impossible. There was no afterlife…was there? Questions popped in my head as I desperately tried to figure out my predicament.

Quite right. You most certainly are not dead, a voice rang amidst the blackness. Odd. I couldn't feel the presence of anything but myself. The man who had shot me had probably run off ages ago if he were smart guy.

I wasn't moving, and I could feel the blood leaving my body… So maybe I wasn't dead, but I was dying, clinging onto the last moments of my pathetic life. I had no thoughts of sorrow, or remorse, only curiosity as to what was speaking inside my head, for it certainly wasn't me. I had never known myself to be insane, so it certainly wasn't that either.

Correct again human. I am not a part of you…. Or at least I wasn't until now, the voice said again. Upon hearing it a second time, I realized it was not speaking in English. Quite far from it; it was an animal; a barking animal. The dog I saved? Impossible. I was either crazy, or something from one of my fantasy novels had come to life in front of me.

Who are you? I demanded, although my tone of voice didn't hold any anger or suspicion. I was merely curious. No fear, no emotion; those were my rules. Besides, all I was doing was waiting to die anyway. If I was going insane at the last moments of my life, what was the difference?

I am an Inugami. I have no name.

How can you not have a name? I wondered, What am I supposed to call you? And what is an Inugami?

The creature laughed, but it sounded more like a fit of yips and barks. It was definitely a dog.

An Inugami, is the spirit of a dog who has died, and attached its soul to a dying human. Be glad I decided to spare you, for I had nothing to live for, the canine said. He sounded smug, like he had accomplished something great…but there was something else hidden in his voice. Something I couldn't place, but it made me very suspicious very fast.

I didn't have anything to live for either, I retorted carefully. So why save me?

The canine voice did something akin to a scoff, Nothing to live for? You have a family don't you? Classmates? I have watched you, so don't tell me you have no friends.

I grimaced in my unconscious state. This 'Inugami' had been watching me? It made me feel like a lab specimen. In the back of my mind, I sympathized with the class snake that was kept in school.

However, this 'Inugami' had a point. I had friends at school, and I had a family, but did I really care about them? That was a question that had gone through my head many times. Sometimes, my friendships seemed valuable, however, those same friends would only turn around and backstab me later. As far as I was concerned, friendship was a useless dream. Something one could never truly achieve. Same as love; a dream that people fool themselves into believing.

As for family…the word made me shudder. What family? A broken one; that was for sure. A father who worked non-stop, a mother who was slowly going insane, a sister who had been arrested, and a brother who was off trying to accomplish the impossible.

I have no attachments to my friends, or to my family, I replied. Dying would have been fine. I had nothing to gain or lose from it.

Perhaps you think that now, as you're here bleeding from a bullet wound, but believe me, there is no way you could have messed up your life so much you would rather be dead. You are young. Enjoy your time. All that I ask is you do me a few…favors, the Inugami said maliciously. It's the least you can do, sine I am not only giving you a second chance, but eternal health, and doglike senses.

Doglike senses? I questioned. Does that mean I'll be able to smell things better? Like the average human needs to do that, I retorted sarcastically.

The Inugami scoffed, Why don't you wake up and see Ms. Life-Is-Meaningless?

My eyes snapped open against my will, and slowly, my eyes started to focus. When my eyes finally could see clearly, I realized I was still in the alleyway where the dog and man had been. Either that was one hell of a dream, or I had just been brought back from the dead.

My eyes widened as I pushed myself up, looking at the floor beneath me. There was crimson wetness everywhere. Carefully, I put my hand to my forehead where I was shot: Dried blood matted my hair together in the front, but there was no trace of a bullet wound anywhere. In fact, I realized I felt more alive than I had been in a long while; like I could jump on top of buildings or something.

I got to my feat slowly, bewildered, and looked around. The alleyway was empty. Whomever that man was had gotten away. I ground my teeth together and bared them. From deep in my chest I could feel myself growl. "Damn him. Bastard got away," I snarled, only to stop short. I was snarling. I had never done that before.

Enjoying your new voice? a voice asked in my head.

You, I…I'm not dreaming this, I thought back.

I could almost feel the dog's smug smirk, although I could not see him in the depths of my mind. I just…knew he was there.

You are not dreaming. Now, run off to school…or something. I think I'll just watch you for awhile.

I said nothing in response to the canine directly, but I knew he was still in me somewhere. He was probably reading my thoughts. I shuddered at the thought.

Or, I was crazy.

But my sudden knowledge of smells and sounds could only be proved through the Inugami's explanation: I was harboring a dog spirit, and it gave me something akin to superhuman powers. Okay, maybe not that intense, but as I walked to school, I was fascinated by the smells and sounds I had never sensed before. The way things worked around me suddenly became clearer, like a new window had opened up.

"Wow," I muttered as I picked up the scent of something.

Students, from my school. The old textbooks they carry have a pretty distinct smell….

And let me just say, they smelled older than the man using a cane across the street from me, his grey hair unkempt and wild. He looked almost like an old rocker -minus the guitar.

I stopped, and looked up at the sky. No sunlight. Not unusual.

I shrugged and continued on my way. I was already late for school, so there was no rush I supposed.

I rounded the corner to a more populated area of the city, and found myself on a familiar street. A sense of nostalgia washed over me as I walked across the road without looking to see if cars were coming. I knew no one dared come here anymore. It was a gathering place for homeless and drug dealers.

I used to come to this place all the time…when it was still alive. Now all that was left were the broken souls of people, slumped up against the walls of ruined buildings. I stopped in front of one building in particular, the record store.

It was perhaps, the only thing still preserved from my childhood memories of this street. Upon entering, I inhaled deeply, and was surprised to find my own stale scent mingled into the carpet among scores of other people's footsteps.

Letting out a rare smile of happiness, I walked in, full stride. May as well take a look around, I thought. It had been a while since I listened to good music. I wonder where I left my music player anyway….

Well, the solution is quite simple. Just grab yourself a new one!

I stiffened visibly, causing a few people to turn their heads towards me, only to look away a moment later. Right, the dog…thing; the Inu-something-or-another.

That's Inugami, get it right you dumb human.

I scowled, and walked forward into the first row of CDs in the Rock and Roll section (in honor of the old man I saw). I started flipping through disk after disk, stopping to look at a familiar band once in awhile, only to shrug, and figure it wasn't really worth the price. As if I could afford it anyway. I didn't have a job, and my parents were too greedy to give me anything.

So, why don't you go with my suggestion? Grab a CD or two that you like, along with a new player, and use some of those abilities I gave you.

That's stealing, I replied disgustedly. Stealing is wrong, and illegal.

Since when have you cared about what's right and wrong Sky? The Inugami sneered in my head. Something about the way he said my name made me shiver. It was as if he thought he could control me. If you go by your theory, the only person that matters is yourself. If you don't live for others like you say, who do you live for? You must have a reason.

I don't, I replied as I picked out a CD: Irrational Fear. It seemed relevant enough to the day. It was, after all, Friday The Thirteenth, a day were people became afraid of stupid things like black cats and ladders. If that wasn't some kind of fear at its worst, I don't know what was.

Then you would have died long ago, The Inugami replied, breaking my thoughts. The dog had a point, even if he was just a mutt. What was I alive for? It's not like I had ever been suicidal in the past, nor was I now, yet the concept of death neither pleased nor scared me.

I guess I'm alive…for myself… I concluded. That made sense. I preferred to stay alone anyway. People only slowed me down.

Hm, the dog replied in a sarcastic tone. Now doesn't that sound familiar?

I swore in the back of my mind at that; I had just agreed with his reasoning. Tricky little canine. I'd have to be careful in dealing with him, but at the moment, I decided that being stubborn was the best way to get him to shut up.

I realized soon afterwards that the dog wasn't about to back down either. He was as stubborn, if not more stubborn than me, and that was saying a lot. Very quickly, the conversation turned from an issue of what was wrong and right to a long line of insults.

Clenching my fists together, I walked forward, not really looking where I was going. I was too busy having a mental battle with my new 'dog friend' to realize I was walking right in someone's path.

Cur! I yelled in my mind. I was running out of ideas. Turning to Shakespearian language of all things! The Inugami seemed to pick up on it, and mocked me right back, with some slang I didn't have time to process because I felt something block my path.

"Oomph--" a voice said as I collided with a person. I stepped back; barely muttering an apology before shrugging my way passed him.

Klutz, the dog sneered.

Shut it you mutt, I shot back heatedly, but then sighed in defeat. I didn't want to fight anymore. I was too tired already, and my day had only just started.

The dog snarled. Don't start with me, or I'll force you to do something you regret.

"Excuse me…miss?" a voice said in the background.

How do you expect to do that? I questioned to the canine lingering in my mind.

"You dropped--"

Easy, he replied in a menacing voice. All of the sudden, my line of vision started to fade, and an image of the dog appeared before me. He looked different from before. He was still black, with the white socks and tail tip, but he was wearing a collar, and had strange markings tattooed all over his skin and fur. He almost looked godly the way he carried himself.

Whenever I do this, he said, coming closer to me, I can control you. He let out a large, malicious grin, which reached from one pointed ear to the other. His fangs seemed to gleam with dark light, making them seem sharper than knives.

"Your CD."

And then, my line of sight returned. The boy I had bumped into was standing in front of me, holding out my CD. Apparently, I had dropped it.

"What?" I asked dumbly as I came back to reality.

"You dropped your CD," the boy said again, smiling a goofy smile and rubbing his hand behind his head. He appeared to be young, my age perhaps. He had black messy hair, and a yellow, long sleeved shirt. He wore a collared black vest, which almost matched his hair, only it was not as vivid a shade of black, and a pair of brown, somewhat baggy, pants. To top it off he had a nametag with his name and the words 'Store Employee'. The name Rai Akatsume was written in red pen.

"Erm, thanks," I said as I accepted my CD from him. Rai opened his eyes and his grin widened as he took his hand off his head. I narrowed my eyes at him. He probably was one of those kinds of guys looking for every possible chance to flirt, and no doubt, someone with his looks could probably get away with it with any other girl, but I wasn't interested. Not at all.

"Good CD choice by the way," he said. "They happen to be my favorite band. Great guitar work in there, and the lead singer has an amazing voice."

The fake praise wasn't getting to me, so I crossed my arms and muttered something like 'oh really?'

The boy sagged his shoulders a bit, but he still had a smile on his face. Soon, the smile started to lessen until it was just a shadow of its former self.

"Hey," he said, almost dejectedly.

"Hmm?" I said, waiting for him to give up and go already.

"Is that…blood?" he asked.

Immediately, my eyes widened. The dried blood on my head! I forgot to clean myself up!

I stuttered, unsure of what to say in this case, "Uh, that's--"

"Don't worry," he said, putting up his hands to silence me. "I won't question you, but someone else might. You can use the employee bathroom in the back and clean yourself up."

I stared at him blankly. He wasn't going to question me? Weirdo. I would certainly question someone who had dried blood all over their hair….

When I didn't respond to his invitation, Rai just shrugged, and grabbed my arm, pulling me along to a back room. He opened a door, leading to a rundown bathroom with a rusted toilet, and a small sink. I wrinkled my nose in disgust. It smelled more putrid than usual.

This is why I go outside. It doesn't smell nearly as bad when you have the smells of everything else lingering around you.

I ignored the voice in my head, and turned to Rai, "Thanks." I muttered before slamming the door in his face rather rudely.

"Don't use the left knob on the sink! It will come off!"

"Too late," I said as I stared at the rusty sink part in my hand.

"Damn it!" he shouted. For some reason, his use of profanity took me by surprise. Given his demeanor, he didn't seem like the type to mouth off, especially at something so minor. "Open the door! I have to fix it!"

I snapped back into reality in enough time to realize that the sink was filling up with water.

"Oh shi—"

But I cut myself off before I could finish, and opened the door. Rai burst into the cramped bathroom, and pushed me aside. I nearly went flying into the toilet, but before I could, the presence of my Inugami spirit took control, and I landed gracefully on all fours.

Heh, the dog muttered.

I growled back to him in my mind, but only for a moment, because my sight returned to me. Rai was crouched down, and attempting to bend the pipe in such a way that it would stop the water.

"You can't bend that," I said in disbelief as water started to pour on the floor. "It's a lead pipe!"

But to my surprise, the metal started to give way under the force of his arms, and let out a wailing sound of pain until finally, Rai let go. It stayed bent, barely letting any water through to the faucet, which was now sputtering like a broken sprinkler.

"That's going to have to do for now," Rai said, standing up and turning to me. "Now I gotta call the plumber. They're probably going to make me pay for this, but that's okay. It was bound to break any day.

I slowly got to my own feet, wiping my hands on my pants as I stared at Rai. That display of strength was inhuman.

Rai, who was smiling at me (which by now, I had figured was normal for him), quickly realized I caught onto his action. His smile disappeared as his eyes filled with something akin to worry.

"You didn't see that," he said in a stone cold voice. He held out his hand, and offered me the CD. "You didn't see that, got it?"

I stared at the CD for a moment, and then back at him. Ironic he was offering me a CD entitled Irrational Fear, when he himself was the one afraid. What, did he think I'd call the cops or something? I wasn't going to get myself into unneeded trouble; I wasn't that kind of person… but then again, Rai didn't know that.

"Go on, take it," he urged. "I would have bought it for you anyway."

I winced in frustration. No guy would just offer to buy a CD for a girl they had just seen randomly. Nevertheless, I swiped the CD greedily. It was free music, right? Nothing to complain about there.

But then, there was something else I wanted as well: a trade off perhaps, "I'll keep quiet if you don't say a word about my appearance."

I pointed to my head, where the dried blood clearly stood out. The boy nodded, in all seriousness. Together, we walked out the bathroom door, not saying a word. Rai peered over the counter towards the front entrance, and then gestured for me to go out.

"Don't want my manager to see you got a freebee," he stated. "So go on out now."

I said nothing, and shoved passed him on the way out, not even bothering to say goodbye. I'd wasted enough time here, and I was thoroughly confused. My day had just started, and already, I had been involved with two things I could only find in a TV show or novel. It was…creepy frankly.

After I was a good distance away from the music shop, I slumped against a brick wall and inhaled deeply as the morning's events played through my mind. Suddenly, everything seemed hopeless. Suddenly, my chances at even a pseudo-normal life seemed to be totally erased. Would people see me like I saw Rai? Sure, I wasn't one to go and sell him out, because things like that didn't matter to me. They did matter to the general public though.

This was the worst. To hell with not believing in Friday the Thirteenth, today was the most unlucky day of my young sixteen-year-old life!

The question of the day reentered my mind: What was more unlucky than dying?

Waking up late for school, missing the bus, dying, waking up with a voice in the back of your head, and meeting some superhuman freak at a local record store, only to realize that you too, are a freak. I mean, who else had a dog spirit inside them? No one, that's who.

I slapped my head in frustration.

"What have I gone and done now?" I asked to no one in particular. "Why'd I have to get myself into trouble again?"

No one walking by stopped to answer. No one even gave me a second glance.

"Please help me," I muttered as I slouched down to the ground. "I hate this, but I don't want to die. I just want to be in a place where I don't have to think."

Live for yourself to be happy. Right, Sky?

I buried my head into my knees and let out a sob. I had to ignore the voice, though he had a point. Living for myself was the way I was living, and the way I was going to live for the rest of my life.

Don't you want to feel happy?

Happy? Impossible. I'd given up on that a long time ago. Happiness was a carved picture in society. There was no such thing as true happiness, because, all happiness stood for now a days was how someone else described it.

"I don't want to feel anything," I said truthfully.

I can do that.

I froze, How?

I can make everything stop. Just let me control you….just for a bit.

And then, all I could see was his smirking face as he approached me. The canine wrapped his tail around my legs, You can trust me. I am a part of you now.

I said nothing, at first.

You can trust me.

"Okay," I replied. I had nothing to loose anyway.


A/N: Any reviews are appreciated and welcome! Constructive critisism is my best friend though!