Cutscene: A Grave Birthday

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There is no rest for the wicked.

Such had been the adage that drove her on when her limbs felt tired, taxed, pushed beyond what her mind claimed was her limit, but it was also a burden of guilt. A double-edged sword, as it also bound her to certain rituals, a process of penance and apology that had to be offered yet never could be answered.

The ground keepers had gotten to know her presence, the quiet girl that showed up on a regular basis to pray, offer flowers and speak to a gravestone among all the lined up monuments in this area. Tatsumi Port Island may not be a very old area by all accounts, but even in a country that cremates their dead there was a need for a symbol, a family grave, a stone to mark the passing of people.

Today she did not come to only pray for that singular grave she visited with precision on sundays. None of them raised an objection to the gesture but to see a non-worker simply begin to sweep the stones and clean every single monument from the moment the sun rose to the very last few moments of sunlight was definitely an unusual sight. All attempts to communicate were spurned with a small piece of paper indicating that she would speak no word until the sun had set. Cleaning every grave stone, sparing a prayer for every departed soul regardless of name, age or gender. Yet she purposely avoided the very section she normally visited until late in the day, avoiding contact with people as well. Her own parents passed by, oblivious to her presence less than a half-mile away scrubbing the dirt and dust off names she had never met.

Would it be enough? Would it somehow cleanse the taint off her once and for all? That much was doubtful, yet she could find no other way to move forward. It was better than the alternative, the ankward atmosphere of death that permeated her own home on this day would have been unbearable.

Yet as the moon rose high into the night and the wind grew chillier, a single dot of light could be seen from a row of graves. A girl sitting cross-legged eating half of a small cake in front of a grave with the other half with a candle on it set before the stone was just something people don’t generally approach.

“You missed my birthday but I would not miss yours.” she said to the stone, and Himeru received no answer. “There’ so much that happened ever since you were gone, I...I don’t know if I can handle all of this. I wish you were here, I wish you could help me in this like you’ve helped me so much before...I’m scared, nee-san, the more I learn about the world around me, the more scared I feel.”

And as with every other prayer, every conversation, she found no wisdom, no answers. The sword left the sheath as her phone emitted the warning sound she had grown to expect, as her bottle of water became the color of blood.

“It’s time for me to go...goodbye, nee-san.”

The Shadows that stirred between the graves had to be answered and purged, annihilation was the gift that she was skilled to keep giving.

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