The Snow Maiden

I was always a straight B student. Because a C made me look dumb and an A wasn't worth the effort. Scoring an A is for suckers. This pissed off the wrong people (my parents), so I was punished by being sent out here: a village in the snow country. But instead of building character, I met this village's darkest secret: the girl in the snow. She was dead and she changed my life. - UPDATES EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY!

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Author's note

My latest story! I think it's the best yet :)
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11. Chapter 11

I stood still, waiting. Maybe it was the killer. Maybe I was seen by someone walking into this part of the forest, that person got suspicious and then...


Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. 


Impossible to tell if it was a man or woman. Then a thought occurred to me: Aunt Reiko. She has come back early from her meeting, discovered my absence and will now bury me in the snow. My body would be hidden until late spring and after that bears and other animals would get rid of the remaining evidence. No footprints, no hair, not a drop of blood. As if I was never here. 


The perfect crime. 


Around the bend, a person emerged. 


"Yamata-kun!" It wasn't Aunt Reiko. Miyazono wore a thick black winter coat that reached down to her knees, unlike the stylish North Face jackets the tourists wore. 


"Miyazono?!"


She came to a stop and rested her hands on her knees. She was panting. She said, "Aunt Reiko...she...she..." 


I swallowed. I feared the worst. 


Miyazono breathed hard. "She called and said that she's coming back early. From the meeting. It ended early."


Death reached into my stomach. Miyazono saw my expression and grabbed my hand. "Come on! Hurry! If you don't make it back, then — " 


I gripped her hand and together we ran back. 

 

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I didn't think that my first time holding hands with a girl would be like this. Much less with Miyazono. Not that she was unattractive. I’d say she was actually my type. Kind of. She wasn't like the Tokyo girls I always saw. No make up, no fancy clothes and shoes. Simple hair, simple clothes, a smile in her eyes I couldn't quite put my finger on. 


But anyways. We rushed back to the inn, changed into our work clothes, and since Miyazono was supposed to manage me, she did some managing. She pulled out a list of guest rooms and told me to go to the top floor and start cleaning them out. Which was a surprise because usually the regular staff would be responsible for that. But it seems that for today, some people had a day off, some people were sick, some had unexpected emergencies. Which left the majority of the work to me and Miyazono. 


Vacuum cleaner in hand, I climbed up the stairs. I had to work fast or else Aunt Reiko would do the numbers in her head (number of rooms cleaned divided by number of hours) and she would sooner or later figure out that I had snuck out again. And she would do the numbers. For sure. Because she was an Excel spreadsheet with a human face. 


But something else worried me. Miyazono. She had given me this look when we came back. This look that she wanted to talk to me later. If she asked me what I was doing all alone in that forest, then I'd have a tough time explaining...


Anyways. I reached the top floor and quickly came up with a plan. Clean the rooms at the far end of the corridor first. Because those were the smaller rooms meant for two or three guests. The ones closer to the stairs were larger and meant for four people or more. Aunt Reiko once told me why: larger groups tended to be noisier because more people meant more noise, and this way, when the larger groups came back at night, they wouldn't need to walk down so far to get to their rooms, which meant they didn't walk past the other rooms, which meant they didn't disturb other guests. Everyone would have their peace and quiet that way. 


So why did I clean the smaller rooms first? Because that way I can increase the raw number of rooms cleaned per hour by the time Aunt Reiko came back. Hopefully that would be enough of a smokescreen. 


Alright. Hurry, hurry. 


I strode down the corridor. No one was here. All the guests were out skiing at this time of the day. I used the staff key Miyazono gave me and unlocked the room at the end of the corridor. It was the smallest room we had, meant for two people.


I muttered an "excuse me..." and entered the room. 


And I stopped. 


As I expected, there were two futons laid out in the room, but they weren't empty. Two people were there. A man and a woman. Naked. The woman lay on her back…they were both breathing heavily. 


I said, "Ah..." 


The man stopped and turned his head around. 


The image of them in the futon burned into my mind. I forgot to breathe, took a step back, turned and stumbled out the door. 


I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!!

 

I ran down the corridor, down the stairs and ran straight into Aunt Reiko.

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A/N: Aunt Reiko = Death lol 

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