I slowly opened my eyes, the moonbeams revealing to me the bloody aftermath of what I had just done. His pupils were dilated and his eyes stared blankly at the sky… not that I knew who he was. A large chunk of his torso was gone almost like it had been edited out of its original position, and the look of terror, was as if he had seen the Devil before he died. It was harrowing, but I was unfazed.
I blinked, trying to get the mixture of blood and sweat out of my eyes, and the ringing in my ears wasn’t helping my nausea.
What in the world had happened here? I thought.
"Wow, you've made quite the mess." came an unfamiliar voice from behind me. I turned my head, only for my eyes to meet a humanoid entity in a frilly purple dress.
"Ok, what's going on here?!".
Beep, beep, beep, beep...
Izuki’s clock went off, displaying the time to be 9:00 PM throughout his one-bedroom apartment. While groaning, he begrudgingly drags himself off his bed. His hair was a mess, he was only in underwear, and he wasn’t in the right state of mind to be thinking about work. Walking over to the bathroom mirror above the sink he observed his reflection,
“Hey there, handsome,” he stated while smiling awkwardly.
He cringed a little but was instantly reminded of his sorry state. His ribs put themselves on display like some sculpture by an eccentric artist. His black hair was a mess, and that mole near his left eye stood out like a black dot on a white painting.
“Well, I’d better get ready for work” he sighed.
Grabbing the electric toothbrush in the cup next to him, he got to work on brushing his teeth. To put it plainly, Izuki hated life. Rather, it would be more accurate to say he was indifferent to everything this life had to offer. At the age of twenty, he had already established himself as one of the best contractors at his firm. No one understood him, and who'd blame them? Izuki barely understood himself. He'd be likened to a psychopath that enjoyed beef bowls. He always had this forced expression, like he was trying to make himself look more human. Not that his life was always like this. Izuki turned to look at the only memento of his dead family. A photo framed in Cedarwood. His dad and mom smiled at him through the glass, while his younger brother used his fingers to make bunny ears over Izuki’s head. “Good morning,” he said with a bit of a lump in his throat. Ever since the rift accident that took his family away from him, he wasn’t able to look at life the same way.
He was pretty well off in terms of finances, making a 7-digit figure monthly. That coupled with the inheritance money his parents left for him, and as long as he didn’t spend like crazy he’d be well off for the rest of his life.
As soon as he was done with his teeth, he took a shower, walked out of the bathroom, and turned on the 10 o'clock news channel.
“More strange phenomena here in Japan, as we look to the Kansai region of Osaka, and the Kyushu region of Nagasaki where the appearance of rifts has been more frequent. The Phenomena and Anomaly Investigation Agency, P.A.I.A, have further refused the press access to the aforementioned sites, due to safety hazards and cosmic radiation generated by the rift which has been further identified by the P.A.I.A, to be a class 2 Anomaly. The district has further been put on Tier 3 lockdown in hopes to control the reality distortions generated from the rift.”
“We now go to a live interview with Chief Investigator, Kazuma Yuuji.”
“We are doing everything in our power to contain the rift, to that end, we will be setting up a Tier 3 barrier to ensure safety as we prepare to explore and investigate. This line of work isn't safe, and so the P.A.I.A advises that civilians never out of curiosity enter or even approach a rift on their own. Apart from the risk of being ripped apart by space-time quaking, you can also develop permanent mutations due to cosmic radiation. Always report any rifts found to the P.A.I.A and stay safe, thank you for your cooperation.”
“Wise words of warning again from the Chief Investigator once again, advising civilians to avoid rifts at all costs. Thank you for watching, this has been the 10 o’clock news”.
“There's another rift? They have been becoming more frequent these days” thought Izuki.
Well, the national estimate of running into a rift is a 0.1 percent chance. He thought as he turned off the Television.
"But never zero," he muttered under his breath with a furrowed brow.
He opted to make breakfast, hoping to take his mind off the news. Thinking about them wasn't going to put food on his table. His job on the other hand...
He pulled out a couple of pans from the cupboard and opened the fridge. While looking for what to eat, he stopped.
“Why bother? it’s not like it’s going to make me any healthier.”
He dropped the pans back in the cupboard, closed the fridge, and head off to the closet.
Hmm, what to wear? he thought.
Not that it mattered since all his clothes were the same. He wore a white button-up corporate shirt, and a pair of black trousers. His sleeves were folded up, and he wore a pair of black Chelsea boots. He wore the silver watch he had gotten for his 15th birthday, and fixed his hair, he then grabbed his suitcase, and after stepping outside, locked his door. He got to the apartment garage, opening it to reveal a Toyota Camry.
This was the first car he had bought and he had plans to make it the last. It had, after all, served him faithfully these four years.
He hopped in the car and thus began the thirty-minute drive to work.
About 15 mins later,
A call? But from who? And at this time? Izuki thought.
He took out his cellphone to see the caller, it read “Nuisance”. He sighed in exasperation, what could she possibly want from him at this time of the day?
He fought against the devilish temptation of ignoring the call and pressed the answer button.
“Hello? Kiriha-senpai?” he said apathetically.
“Ah, Kikuhara-san, good morning. I just love the enthusiasm in your voice” replied a feminine voice over the phone. She sounded like she was in her early twenties.
“So, what could you need from me this early in the morning?” he said, knowing what she was gonna ask.
“Oh, come on, don't be so cold all of a sudden, I promise it won’t bother you much” she replied.
“Much?” he said in an inquiring voice.
“Ok, fine! Can you help me pick up one of those meat buns from the bakery downtown?” she asked after a pause.
“No,” he replied instantly.
“No, wait plea- “, Izuki cut the call before she could even say anything.
What a nuisance... he thought. While working his way through traffic Izuki sighed, "Maybe I will get them for her".
With that he drove off, expecting one hell of a hectic work day.
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