Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Chapter three (segment two), twenty four years earlier, May, Ulf

There were times when he wanted Yukio by his side. Most times were those times. This time, however, wasn't.

Ulf had stolen inside Red Rose Hell, or Red Rose Academy as the clowns running it preferred to call it. It even had a brass plaque nailed to the gates stating the lie. He wore a stolen senior high school uniform. He was the thief. Now he was on the look for a certain fictional second year.

There was a certain symmetric irony to the exchange of uniforms. One bad deed balanced by another.

If he had been told early October that he would ever set foot here again, he would probably not have believed it. What was probable was that he'd club such a person to the ground for suggesting anything that distasteful.

Last October he had still been scared enough to willingly resort to violence. It wasn't that he had developed gloriously as a person since then. Fifty year old people seldom did. But he did feel a lot more comfortable now, and that made clubbing people to the ground a less appealing option. Which was probably lucky for the student he tried to find.

He wasn't about to use violence if he found him. He was about to hurt the bastard much, much worse.

Nakagawa wanted the problem to vanish permanently. Ulf planned to oblige him.

In the end it took him three hours of skulking around in the school. Three hours for catching a glimpse, and another five minutes to make it out of the school-grounds.

Ulf waited for his prey a block away from the school. He stalked it for another five. Then he opened up his ambush.

“Senpai, could you please help me?”

The prey stopped, unaware of the assault that was about to follow.


“I'm looking for a second year student from Himekaizen Academy.”

“From where?” But there had been a tell-tale glimmer in his eyes.

“It's this student,” Ulf said and flashed his smart phone to the prey. The photo was a perfect face shot. Much better than anything Ulf could have dared to hope for without the object noticing the photo shot.

Nakagawa's gift was enlightening.

The prey stared at him with the eyes of a deer facing headlights of an onrushing car.

“Within two weeks that person has dropped out of high school, or these pictures will start circulating among the Red Rose parent community.”

Ulf flicked to photos where his prey received a large sum of money from a Red Rose teacher. They showed the prey in a Red Rose uniform, with what was clearly a Himekaizen uniform in his hands.

The prey stopped breathing.

Nakagawa's gift was profitable.

“After dropping out, this person will never, ever, attend any education of any kind again. That is a lifetime condition.”

Ulf flicked from photos to a film where a second year male student hammered Christina Agerman into a locker room wall. The face of that student was splendidly captured.

“This film, and a lot of other interesting data will find its way to the police should that condition not be met.”

The prey was on his knees sobbing.

Nakagawa's gift was instructive.

Ulf called Nakagawa and reported that the gift had lived up to all its promised attributes, and that he had recognised the student after all. It was the limping that gave him away.

All in all it took Ulf the better part of five hours to permanently destroy the life for an eighteen year old school kid. He had seldom felt better.

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