AN: This is a short story a friend and I wrote for Halloween last year. The first chapter is my part of the story. I will ask my friend for permission to post her part as well. The title may change later on, depending on what my friend says!

This is the tale of two sisters, great love and the ultimate betrayal. Once upon a time, during the Edo Period, there were two sisters named Atsuko and Moriko.

The sisters couldn't have been more different: Atsuko was a quiet young woman who never spoke out of place and went to great lengths to please everybody. Moriko, on the other hand, was very wild and loved to run around in the forest behind their parents' mansion. She always tried to get her way and never stopped to think about other people. But still, Atsuko dearly loved and admired her older sister. Their parents, though, always favoured the younger, more gentle sister, which made Moriko extremely jealous. She would always pick on her innocent little sister and try to make her cry.

Once they had become old enough to consider marriage, Atsuko had plenty of men that fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. Her parents finally chose a suitable candidate for her. His name was Nauki, a descendent of a very rich and famous family of samurai. Atsuko couldn't have been any happier about her parents' choice since he was a very handsome and nice young man.

Moriko, on the other hand, didn't have any admirers at all. Her parents were desperate since she scared every man with her wild and reckless attitude. She was a very beautiful woman but that didn't help, either. In the beginning, Moriko was glad that she wouldn't have to marry quite so soon. But when she found out that Atsuko was to marry Nauki, she became insanely jealous. Nauki was the only man she wouln't have minded spending the rest of her life with.

Atsuko was completely unaware of her sister's feelings and thus kept on talking about how happy she was and how dearly she loved Nauki and how she couldn't wait to finally get married. Moriko became more and more angry with her sister and desperetaly tried to think of a plan how to get back at her for taking the only man she ever loved (or that's what she thought she was feeling for him).

Meanwhile, Atsuko and her parents started preparing everything for the wedding ceremony. They would make a huge festival in the summer mansion and invite hundreds of people. Nauki was very pleased with his bride but he also continued treating Moriko very kindly and friendly. Atsuko was very happy about her fiancé's behaviour since she wouldn't want anybody to hurt her dear sister.

The great day kept creeping closer and finally Moriko had an idea. She sent a note to Nauki that she needed to talk to him about her sister. The day before the wedding, they met in the pavillion in the garden of the family's summer mansion. Moriko knew full well that Atsuko would be in the garden as well, going on her afternoon walk like she always did. Atsuko would be able to see everything that happened in the pavillion from her usual path while she wouldn't be visible from the told Nauki how jealous she was of her little sister and how he should have chosen her since it was her right to marry first as the first born daughter. Then she leaned closer and kissed him. Nauki was so shocked that he was unable to move for a few long moments. Finally, he drew back and ran off.

Atsuko only saw the both of them kiss. Suddenly she realized how extraordinarilly friendly Nauki had always been to her sister and how Moriko had looked so sad during the last few months. She was appalled that the man she loved so much didn't love her back and she was to marry that man the very next day! She could impossibly live on with this horrific betrayal. How could she ever share her life with this man? Blinded by her grief, Atsuko continued her walk, crying all the while. Finally, she found herself in the deserted courtyard, facing the old well.

Crying softly, Atsuko sat at the ege of the well. She looked down in the endless depth and yearned to forget everything. Slowly, she slid into the darkness and with a quiet splash, she ended her life.