The light snow had finally stopped falling unto the mountain. The sky was shedding its blue-violet skin and slowly revealing its orange heart. The sun had yet to creep over the horizon, but its rays had already touched the forest’s treetops. A small rickety blue car struggled along the rock infested road along the side of the mountain. The thin veil of snow over the road wasn’t helping either since the car’s tires were as smooth as freshly caught tuna at 5AM. The car was paper thin, and the cold easily pierced through the bones. Yet the cold nor the rocks fazed Ken’s driving as he’d driven this route ever since he bought this car. Beside him was a girl, blindfolded and tied shibari style. Ken felt comfortable in his blue jacket and white scarf unlike his passenger who was naked and shivering.
After another 30 minutes, they stopped at a small rusted gate. Ken reached for two duffle bags at the back seat and got out. The girl stayed in the seat blowing hot air into her rope-tied hands. Her side of the door swung open, and Ken pulled her rope which was tied to her chest dropping her on the damp forest floor. Her snow white skin was a stark contrast to the dirt and dead leaves that stuck to her. Ken pulled the rope up signalling her to get on her feet.
They walked on a path weaved in tree roots. Ken looked up at the canopy: two duffle bags in one hand and a tied girl in the other. This brought a smile to his face, for how lucky must one be to be able to do this each weekend? They reached an opening to a field covered in snow, and in the middle was a wooden shack.
“We’re nearly there,” said Ken to his shaking companion. Her feet were red from the forest floor. Her sides were red from branches and bushes scratching at her skin.
Ken looked for the door key as they approached the shack. He unlocked the door after finding the keys in one of his eight jacket pockets. The inside of the shack was much cleaner than the outside. It had a bed, a chair, a table, and a fireplace. Ken threw duffle bags on the floor and took the girl’s blindfold off. “Maya, go wash while I light the fire,” said Ken.
Maya stared at Ken with her beautiful black pearl eyes.
Ken chuckled. “That’s right. I forgot you were deaf.” He took out a pen and paper from the duffle bag and scribbled what he told her earlier. Maya walked out the door, got a pile of fresh snow, and started rubbing it on her skin. She came back relatively cleaner. The room was a bit warmer but still freezing.
Ken emptied the two duffle bags and laid its contents on the floor: clothes, packs of ramen, a pot, chopsticks, more rope, whips, sex toys, gags, candles, a knife, and a gun. She walked over, picked up the gun and cocked the hammer. Ken stopped feeding the fire with wood and slowly turned his head. He saw the fire reflected from her eyes.
“Maya, be careful with that.” She didn’t hear him, but she could tell what he was saying. She manoeuvred him out the door, and into the middle of the field.
Ken stared at her then his eyes widened like an owl at night. “You’re not Ma-“
She turned around and walked back into the shack. She used the knife to cut the ropes and wore the clothes that were on the floor. She looked at the wall and noticed it was filled with polaroids. Photos of naked girls and boys with bruises and red marks on their skin. Each one had a date written on them.
She packed the duffle bags once again and headed back to the car on barefoot. She looked up the canopy with the sun high in the sky and smiled. The car was a pleasant sight, but she didn’t know how to drive. Thinking that the walk back to town would be long, she placed the duffle bags on top of the car and started her way down the mountain.
“So this girl killed our victim for revenge?” Kazu asked Ryo as they sipped from their cups. They sat across Rui in the investigation room. The translator stepped out for a break so she couldn’t understand what they were saying.
“It does seem like it,” Ryo responded. He scratched his chin as he thought more. “But why the revenge? She knew no one in those photos. In fact, no one in those photos is related to each other.”
“They all look alike,” Kazu said as they stared at the table full of polaroids. Two other officers found the shack that Rui and Ken were at while Rui was recounting the events.
Ryo exhaled in frustration trying to wrap his head around his first murder. “Let’s bring Mika in again to the interrogation room.”
Mika stepped in a couple of minutes later and sat between the officers and Rui.
Ryo leaned back and started asking again. “How did you know Ken?”
“Ken was my sister’s boyfriend.”
“Sister? You didn’t tell us you had a sister.”
“You didn’t ask.”
“So why were you with Ken?”
Rui let out a sigh and said, “I have very little time in my hands, and I think telling you now or later wouldn’t make a difference.”
Kazu and Ryo looked at each other puzzlingly.
“My sister was my twin,” she continued. “She and Ken have been doing that kind of stuff since high school. They got other people to do it and then eventually got kids involved.”
They stared at the photos, and there were some that were clearly still children.
“She didn’t mind… doing kids. She was as sick and demented as Ken. But Ken was something else. He started choking them, waterboarding them. Then one day, he took it too far. I don’t remember how he did it, but Ken made my sister kill one of those kids as they climaxed. Later that week, she came over to my place and told me what happened. We drank and cried. When I woke up, I saw her hanging from my ceiling.”
Rui stopped there and stared at the photos. They all sat there in stillness as the universe outside continued to move.
“I decided to kill Ken for my sister, for the child. Besides, I’m dying soon anyway so prison life wouldn’t be so bad.”
“What do you mean by that?” Ryo asked.
“I have a sickness, Captain.”
“So you decided to do one final act before you faded away?”
“You could say that. He would have kept doing this if I didn’t stop him.”
“The police could have done something Ms Rui.”
“He was too clever to be caught. Look at how many victims he had. This was the work of a genius. Then again, he couldn’t tell that it was me and not my sister. Either way, that’s one less scumbag, and when I die, you’ll have another one gone.”
Kazu raised an eyebrow and looked at his captain. Ryo rubbed his temples, and his eyes changed from an officer to a concerned parent.
“There are always other options Ms Rui. Reaching out for help would have been better. We could have brought justice to your sister, but you stained her death with revenge. She accidentally killed a child. She killed herself for it. Then you killed her lover. The cycle doesn’t end with this sickness killing you. Ken’s family would want revenge as well, and if you’re gone, Ken’s family will go to your family or your friends. Revenge is pouring oil on a fire. It’s a selfish way to satisfy your shallow desires. Your revenge has accomplished nothing. It has only passed the anger on to more people.”
The ending to this story has been put off for over a year because I couldn’t find the perfect way to introduce the twin sister. This is no way that this is in its perfect form, but I am satisfied with the ending. I hope you are too.
This story of revenge was inspired by one of my close friends. She told me how getting revenge towards my father wouldn’t solve anything. She told me that the cycle would only continue if I wouldn’t let go of the hatred I had in me. And so I did. Not right but eventually I did.