Sticks and Stones

"By the end of this book you are going to hate me.

Scratch that - By the end of this blurb you will sincerely hate me."


Akilah Ackerman and Asami Akuhei are step-sisters.

Both share dark pasts and both have created dark futures for themselves.

One is suffering from a mental illness and one is a manipulative back-stabber.

One is trying to gain approval from the living, while the other is trying to gain approval from the dead.

One is Psychologically Efficient whilst the other is trying to keep themselves sane.

One is about to rule an entire nation and one is going to lose that and their history.

This is no ordinary story about sibling rivalry...


6. 4. Occam's Razor


The last time I talked to my mother, I wished her dead.


Date:  8th August 2118


It was about an hour before I left for my ballet class.

You see, I hadn't spoken to mother in a while and thus I took it upon myself to find her and make sure to see how she was. I headed up to her quarters to find her drinking , just as she did all those years ago. She wasn't smoking a cigarette this time which was something , instead, she was sat on the swinging chair, quietly singing a song ( which I believe came from one of her favourite shows as a child)

"kuroi tetsugoushi no naka de

watashi wa umarete kitan da

akui no daishou wo negae

nozomu ga mama ni omae ni

saa ataeyou seigi wo

kowashite kowasareru mae ni

inga no daishou harai

tomo ni yukou namae no nai kaibutsu"

("I was born behind these dark iron bars

I pray that the evil in you can be amended

So bring justice to me

To destroy this evil before it destroys me

We'll pay for our karma and go together, nameless monster")

I never knew that my mother could sing, that was the first time that I had ever really heard her, and I couldn't help but stand and watch. She finished and took another sip of her bottle, but in doing so, she ended up accidentally spilling it on her white blouse . This caused her to throw the bottle at my direction ( though unaware of my presence) in sheer fury. I just stood mute and taken aback at what was happening before me- I wasn't afraid for myself but I certainly was for her. I wished to turn away and pretend as if I had never seen this but my mother finally caught sight of me before I could leave and ushered me to come in. Upon really taking a look at her , I saw only a broken, powerless drunk. Her eyes were swollen and looked tired, her normally pristine dark-chocolate hair, was ragged and unkempt , her attire was creased and even her posture and body language (which normally presented as very confident and regal) only showed vulnerability of a level I had never witnessed before.

The floor was ridden with glass from the aforementioned bottle (I had to tread across very, very carefully) Mother's jewellery , make-up and perfumes across various parts of the room, her clothes had been removed from the wardrobe and were burning in the fire place . All the curtains had been drawn across and the room had a very dark ambiance to it. I felt as though I had in a way entered my mother's head.

"Asami-san, I am sorry you had to see that." mother murmured , her arms are crossed and her eyes seemed to be fixated on the ground below us.

"It's ok, whatever it is , you know I can always listen." I reminded her

Mother laughed , though very mockingly and remarked

"You say that and then..."

I caught the dismissiveness of her attitude and pushed on

"And then what, have I done something wrong mother?"

She doesn't tell me instead she asked me to get me her another drink from under her bed - I didn't. I instead stood my ground and asked her again

"Have I done something wrong mother?"

She looked up at me and gave me a chilling stare before she got up and stumbled across the room to her bed to retrieve her bottle , after which mother stumbled back to her seat and took a sip of her drink.

"You have no idea, no idea what it has been like to grow up rough. You have no idea what it has been like to work had for everything you've ever wanted and then have that all taken away- all because you gave birth to a liability!"

I walked up to her and slapped the bottle right out of her hands and screamed,

"Everything I have ever done was to please you! I came to this place and I have spent every day of my life , trying to impress you , I have lost part of myself to please you! I have killed for you! I am sorry if I am a liability  , but considering the state of mind you're in, you have no right to call me the crazy one here."

Before I knew it, mother slapped me hard across the face, causing me to fall onto the floor and on top of the shards of glass.

There was no sign of guilt nor sanity on her face, just fury.

"You don't think I know Asami? Alexi was it? What about Yuki, Vivian, Charlie, huh? What about Kazue ? People seem to always be one step ahead of you until their bodies end up in the grave,"

She steps closer towering over me and continued

"You call may me a crazy, pitiful drunk but at least I can live with myself, can you Asami, CAN YOU?"

I wanted to hurt her so bad, I wanted to make her pay for all the lies she had ever spoken of me , I wanted revenge.

I let karma take control.

"Just die and rot in hell!" I managed to say before I managed to get up and walk out of her room, slamming the door behind me shut.

Her words struck a chord with me, one that only she seemed to have the power to hit and it threw me for a while. I went back to my room, freshened up and changed ballet gear before I headed to class again.


Date: 12th August 2118


" Al'amirat Suki Ackerman was a woman of great virtue. She had a certain grace about her that only presented love and her love to serve the system she was so blessed to have been born into. Giving birth to child Asami Ryoko Akuhei and being step-mother to Al'amirat Akilah Louise Ackerman showed us how her ways have truly transcended across to her kin. As a dutiful wife, Suki stuck by her husband the honourable Tobias Regis through thick and thin these past eight years . As a person, she acts and will forever more act as a shining example of what good still lies in Imperia."


A prayer.

Akilah speaks

"Me and Suki had our ups and downs , as any parent and child would have, but we worked through it. Suki was a guide for me , she taught me to accept truths and embrace them. Her way of thinking and her love helped me become the person I am today and for that I am forever grateful - thank you... mother."

I perk my head up in disgust when I realise it was my turn to speak. I get up and walk to the platform - conscious of the fact that the whole country is watching my every move.

"My mother was a lot of things, a wife, a princess, a former enforcer and a human being. She wasn't perfect and she had her good days and bad days, on her good days, she was a guide to the sheep who'd follow. On her bad days, she exerted herself in excessive drink. My mother was a lot of things , but she certainly wasn't perfect - so thank you Suki, for helping me embrace that and may God bless your very gone soul."

I resume to my seat , leaving an extremely appalled minister to continue the service.


A prayer.

My step-father speaks

"The first time I met you, we were young children who didn't know what we were doing. We had no direction and we lacked a companion. Well Suki, you were the best companion a man could ever wish for. You were everything I needed in a wife and more , you didn't just raise two girls, you raised an entire nation with your spirit... I love you, Suki Ackerman ."

Final song.


We all go home.


Date: 12th August 2118

Time: 20.00pm

I stare at the meal. It's hideous, just like the person who is sat in front of me.

I can't eat, I have no appetite to.

Akilah just stares at me, like she  used to. Her eyes only present a sense of pity that I just need to get away from, so I glance at everything apart from her.

"Asami, are you feeling?" She asks with slight hesitation

"Me? Oh I'm grand thank you so much for asking!"


"Asami... how are you really feeling?"

I just throw the plate to the side , leaving a splatter of food on the floor.

Akilah just looks at me in slight fear but proceeds to hide it almost immediately

"I told you I was feeling amazing! Now if you will excuse me, I am now going to spend some time celebrating this uncommon grand feeling!"

I hurry off to the hallway and make my way to my bedroom

She is there.

My mother.

Sat on the bed dressed in her beautiful, pristine self. Tracing the patterns of my duvet. No sign of upset nor scratches or bruises on her face, just her normal tranquil self. She turns around to me and simply says

"I am disappointed in you Asami, you had so much to live for."

"GET OUT! GET OUT!" I keep shouting before I simply fall to my knees and  begin to sob loudly. I have no energy to hide it so I continue for a while, until I hear a slight knock on my door.

I turn to find Akilah stood there (still in her funeral clothes)

"What are you doing here?" I mutter,  vigorously wiping the tears away from my face.

Akilah attempts to walk towards me , however I stop her.

"Don't even think about it." I warn her

She walks back to the door and begins

"I wanted to apologise for earlier. It wasn't very smart nor considerate of my choice of words during the service. I just wanted you to know that. I'll go now."

"My mother was a lot of things, but she wasn't a mother- at least not to me anyway. Have fun confiding with your mother now that she's 6 feet in the grave." I reply to her as she leaves and shuts the door.

I sit on my bed to note a small box sat on top of it. Carefully, I open it - it was a necklace. A gold chain with an amber stone (That had a golden wire going around the stone) attached to the chain. There was also a note inside the box , which read


If you are reading this, then Suki is dead. Please keep this safe, she trusts you to do that

She trusts me?  She trusts me? She TRUSTS me?

I throw the necklace in fury.

The next thing I know, my room is on fire.


Authors Note:

Song Suki Sings - and Songsperation: Namae no nai kaibutsu (Monster without a name) by EGOIST

The song is an upbeat one,  however Suki sings it in a more softer and mellow way (if you get what I mean!)

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