Death Note: Reclamation (Chapter 6)
The Game Begins
The night passed by surprisingly quickly, as I remember, though I was certain that that would change twenty-four hours from that moment in time. Approximately nine hours prior to my awakening, I had killed someone that I considered to be my closest friend. Within a few hours, I would find out if I had yet to take credit for that assessment. …In all honesty, I was not looking forward to it. Slipping my sweatshirt over top my white t-shirt and throwing a lollipop into my mouth, I stepped out of my home that day without first having breakfast. …I wasn’t too hungry at the time, anyways.
The walk I made at least ten times a week was its usual self, as were the people I passed by, but all thoughts were focused on one of them in particular, …and I was praying to the God I had turned my back on that I would see him today. The first in the classroom, as I usually was, I kept my gaze completely fixated on the door, watching everyone that walked in until I found the one I was looking for. Being the last inside, as he always was, I finally caught sight of Light Yagami, after waiting fifteen minutes.
"He’s still alive. Oh, thank God."
I immediately formed the Sign of the Cross over my chest in gratefulness, something Shahim found morbid humor in.
"Heh heh heh, I’m not sure that gesture really means much to you now, does it?"
I wrote my response on the same piece of paper that I used yesterday and, just as before, I made it brief and to the point.
"Daaaaaa-amn yeee-you…hey! Now, that’s uncalled for, Uric. I demand an apology."
"You’ll get one when you write my name in your Death Note, you insensitive bastard."
I’d have written that down, as well, had I not believed that he would actually do it.
The day passed by with no unusual occurrences and I returned home eight hours later. The moment I walked inside, I slipped my shoes off and reached for the remote to my audio speakers, turning the music up until it filled every room. Afterwards, I headed straight upstairs. Once inside my room, I lowered the volume of the music as Shahim began to speak.
"Well, it looks like your friend is still alive, so the entry you put in the Death Note worked, after all. Now you just have to wait for him to find another one, correct?"
I sat on my bed and crossed my legs, a position I usually took when leg space allowed me to.
"Hopefully, yes. But, as I mentioned before, there’s a possibility that a Shinigami won’t drop their Death Note in the human world between now and tomorrow, so I have to be prepared to give up this one if that dilemma presents itself. …The only problem now is trying to find out how to put this notebook in a position for him to find it and pick it up, should the worst come to pass."
"Oh? …Well, I can give you an answer to that problem…for a fresh batch of cookies."
While he made a sinister laugh at his own remark, I couldn’t help but smile myself. I was just hoping that his answer was worth the price.
"You got it. So, what’s your answer, Shahim?"
He quickly stopped his cackling and reset his gaze on me.
"Well, put quite simply, …all you have to do is give up the Death Note…and return it to me."
I looked onward in surprise. This was the first time I was made aware of this option, something that greatly irritated me. But, since complaints were utterly pointless, I just gave him my opinion on this idea.
"I can really just do that? That sounds perfect, but…what’s the catch?"
Whether he was surprised that I caught on to him or that I asked that question at all was uncertain, but he was undoubtedly caught off guard, either way.
"…Yes, actually. I’m surprised that you figured that out. It’s nothing really big or anything, I can assure you. …I’ll just have to erase any memories you had of this notebook prior to giving it back. Of course, you can have them all returned by touching the notebook again, but we both know the odds of that happening now, don’t we?"
In contrast to Shahim’s grand assumption, this was actually a very high price.
"He really is clueless. Of course, it’s big, ...huge even. There'll have been practically no point in going through with this plan if I no longer have any memory of it. …But, for Light’s sake, I may not have a choice."
"…Alright. I guess if it comes down to it, I’ll make the return. But, in that case…"
I stood up and walked over to my desk to grab the notebook. Once it was opened, I immediately pulled out the first page and made sure that no scraps were left along the crevice to give hints of a missing page to Light.
"Okay, I’m gonna burn this later on, so nobody finds it. After that, I need one last favor from you, Shahim."
"And what’s that?"
"…The next time that I say “good-bye”, …I’ll be talking to you, which is your cue to take the Death Note and leave. But, ...just promise me that you'll make sure Light receives it."
"…Got it. …Now then, how about those cookies, huh?"
I chuckled quietly to myself before making my way downstairs. I might, as well. These could very well be the last cookies Shahim will have a chance to eat.
As I had predicted earlier, the night was longer than it had been in recent weeks, though I still got up at my usual time. My stomach was rather uneasy today, so I went ahead and grabbed breakfast, in hopes that it will settle down. After that, I grabbed my normal supplies for the day, lollipop and all, and headed outside.
Almost every second of that class period was spent eyeing Light as he sat at the end of the room and kept his gaze focused on the window. As the bell was on the verge of ringing, I was about to turn to Shahim and give the signal, but then, I noticed that Light’s eyes were fixated on something...outside. I was unable to see what had caught his attention, but could it have been…another Death Note?
When school ended, I followed Light outside, making sure that he didn’t notice this, nor anyone else did. As expected, he had seen something outside that he simply couldn’t ignore and it wasn’t until I saw him pick it off the ground that I was forced to prevent myself from throwing my fist in the air with joy.
"I’ve done it, Shahim. I certainly hope that I get the opportunity to meet his Shinigami one day, …so that I can thank him personally."
"Heh, yeah yeah, I’m so happy for you. Now, can we go home? I can’t stand this place."
"Oh, don’t worry yourself about that. ...Things are about to get very interesting around here."
"Heh heh, certainly sounds promising. I can’t wait."
When I returned home for the day, rather than head upstairs as I normally did, I turned on the television in my sitting room, …something that I hadn’t done in ages. Afterwards, I turned my music on, as usual, and went into the kitchen to make another batch of cookies, while Shahim waited eagerly by. Twenty minutes into the thirty-eight minute process, the news broadcast I had been waiting for since I came home suddenly appeared on screen, causing me to sprint out of the kitchen and leap over the couch to sit down, turning my music down and my television up, once I was situated.
"The same assailant who attacked six people at a busy shopping district in Shinjuku yesterday has struck again, taking eight people hostage at this daycare center. His captives include both children and teachers. The police have now identified the suspect as forty-two year old Kuro Otoharada, currently unemployed. We expect negotiations to begin immediately."
I don’t know why, but I felt a sudden chill run down my spine as the man’s name was unannounced over the news. …This man was about to die.
"Well, Shahim, it seems that our game begins tonight, as soon as this man dies."
"Yeah? What makes you so sure, though? How do you know Light is even watching this right now?"
"It’s like I said earlier, Shahim. Light and I are completely different individuals, …and yet, oh, so similar."
A few seconds passed by before it happened…and the events to come suddenly became locked into place.
"…Wait! We’re seeing something here. It looks like there’s movement at the front entrance."
"The hostages are coming outside…and they all look to be unharmed. The Special Forces are taking action. They’re moving in. We don’t know if the suspect’s been arrested…huh? Yes? Okay, we now have confirmation! The suspect has been found dead in-"
I didn’t even wait for the announcement to be finished before turning it off. I already had all the information I needed, anyways. I silently stood up and made my way upstairs, as Shahim followed.
"Hey, where are you going? What about your cookies!?"
"…In a second, Shahim. I just need to do something."
I walked into my room and immediately dove beneath my bed to search for something.
"So, whatcha looking for?"
After a few seconds, I reemerged with a large, black case in my hand. After setting on my bed, I went over to my closet and took out a small, wooden table and placed in the center of the room.
"Now what? What’s the point of all this?"
After this, I walked back over to the case on my bed and set it in front of me, opening it to reveal thirty-two pieces of delicately-carved ivory and a wooden, checkered board.
"What’s all this? If you think I’m gonna play chess with you, you’ve got another thing coming."
Once he was done complaining, I picked up the board and set it on the table before returning for the pieces and, within fifteen seconds, set them all on top of the board. Once the game was completely set up, I took the white, queen-side, bishop’s pawn and moved it two spaces forward. Still confused, Shahim questioned my actions one more time.
"I still don’t get it. Why did you set all this up, if you weren’t even gonna play with anyone. And why'd you move that piece...and why two spaces instead of one?"
"…Because Light used a heart attack to kill that man, which was a much more drastic move. The two-space notion should mirror that action perfectly."
It took some time, but Shahim quickly burst into laughter as he came to realize what this board now represented.
"What a cruel, cruel metaphor,…Uric."
Looking back at this symbol of my horrifying accomplishments with an unjustified smile, …in that single moment, I completely forgot everything that I had sacrificed when I wrote down that man’s name.
"Shahim, …the game has begun."
- The End -