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 :)
AA

7. Chapter 7


Miyazono made sure that Aunt Reiko wouldn't see me when I snuck through the corridors to my humble abode. She then said that she would do her best to calm her down before the fateful hour hit. 


I spent a good hour just sitting there, abyss in my gut, fear in my veins. Part of me knew this would happen the moment I left. But I'm also pretty sure that even if I knew it would turn out this way, I would've still made the same decisions. After all, I met Yuki - whatever she was. 


But Yuki wasn't especially on my mind. I had to ensure my own survival so that I wouldn't join her in the forest. I wondered what punishment Aunt Reiko would hand out: a death march? Toilet duty for the rest of my life? 


It was 8:55pm. With a heavy heart, I went downstairs, ducked behind the lobby counter and knocked on Aunt Reiko's door. She worked and slept inside the backroom office. "Come in," she said and I stepped in. 


It was a small space. I could cross the room in four strides. There was a futon, a laptop and table. A heater in the corner. A picture of her late husband. A bowl of oranges. Nothing more, nothing less. A tiny universe of quiet discipline. 


She was typing something on her laptop.


She said, "Sit down."


An order. A voice confident in her authority. I obeyed. 


"Haruka told me about your little excursion. She said you got lost outside.” 


Aunt Reiko seemed calm. Thank you Miyazono! I owe you a steak with a bottle of wine. 


"I just wanted to take a walk, see a bit of the village and — " 


“Did I give you permission to go outside?"


"No, but — " 


"Do you realize the inconvenience you have caused Miyazono and the other employees of this establishment?" 


"Uhm..." 


She gently closed her laptop. It sounded like thunder. "Miyazono said that you got lost outside. Did you ask her to lie for you?" 


"Uhm..." 


"Because I don't think Miyazono is so dumb as to think of such a shit excuse. No one can get lost in this village." 


I sighed inwardly. I guess this is it. Aunt Reiko is mad. Like really mad. I steeled myself for what would happen next. 


Aunt Reiko said, "No food tomorrow. Breakfast, lunch and dinner." 


"Y-yes..." 


"You will work double shift." 


"Yes..." 


"I will inform your father of your behavior." 


I said nothing. 


She said, "Am I clear?"


"Yes..." I mumbled. 


"If you do something like this again, I will send you back to Tokyo."


Normally nothing would have brought me more joy than those words. But if I get sent back to Tokyo now, especially with Aunt Reiko sending a report...and knowing her she isn't going to mince her words, then hell would await be back in the city. No, no. I'd rather stay in this godforsaken snow country. 


She said, "You may leave." 


I got up. "Excuse me." 


I made a slight bow, turned and left the room. Past the guest counter and I was in the lobby. No one was there. Most of the guests were probably enjoying the outdoor bath right now. Or maybe the indoor bath downstairs. Well, whatever. I was just glad that no one could see me right now. 


My heart pounded like mad. I dropped myself into one of the lobby chairs. Behind me were large windows: the little Japanese miniature garden would bloom in the summer and in the winter it formed a white landscape, the bushes creating waves of gentle rises. Above it was a tree with its thin naked branches carrying a slivers of white. The flakes fell slowly, silently. The light from the lobby illuminated all of it. Beyond the garden: a few cars, tire tracks in the snow, street signs in Japanese and strange English. 


"You look like you just saw death." 


I took a sharp breath. Who - ?

 

Miyazono plopped down in the chair across me. She leaned over and put a can in my hands. There was a slight smile on her lips. What did she want?

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​A/N: The above is pic is sorta what I imagine Miyazono to be lol 

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