Category : Stories
Sub Category : Romance
| | "One thread for the needle, one love for the heart." | |
Stitch after time-consuming stitch — delicate fingers worked with the needle and its black thread; curved metal prodded through cold lifeless flesh. With dull ebony eyes staring skeptically at the complex design, turning the limb of an arm at different angles and examining the intricate string woven within the pale wrist.
Scarlet painted lips pulled into a dissatisfied line and eyes narrowed slightly while grasping a pair of thin silver scissors and quickly snipping at the black strand of string. Her fingers smoothly gripped the thread and pulled the thick fiber from the flesh, immediately disposing it on top the cluttered table afterward.
In the background, behind the woman's standing figure as she worked tirelessly, a furnace – built into the stone walls – was heard popping and crackling at the freshly placed wood within its ferocious flames.
The basement-like area she stood within, smelled utterly repulsive. How one could even focus properly without feeling light-headed was beyond anyone's comprehension.
The air was fridged and dry — rotting flesh and organs laid in large plastic tubs pushed far into a dark corner. Bodies hung on thick metal hooks attached to the wooden ceiling, elaborate stitching ran throughout their joints and limbs — obvious they were carefully put together with separate parts.
The woman's figure was tensely hunched over the steel table where she worked; continuously redoing the same stitch over again. Her bright crimson hair tied high into a round bun sitting on top her head as she continued to work vigorously, a frustrated sigh escaped past her red lips. Creases were seen against her sweat-filled forehead revealing how focused she was on this lone project.
She suddenly dropped the role of string carelessly back on the table, it bounced about the metallic surface and knocked several oddly shaped surgical tools to the stone floor. Scrunching up her nose and staring down at the mess she'll have to pick up, she cursed quietly and rolled her dark eyes.
Sucking in a harsh breath and attempting to keep calm as she knelt down, picking up the steely instruments one at a time.
Careful not to prick herself in this tedious process.
Still silently crotched over, two hardly noticeable knocks were heard above the cold basement, signaling someone was at the front door. Her eyelid twitched at the sudden disturbance, she huffed placing the remaining tiny tools back where they belong and stood to quickly ascend up the creaky staircase. She was greeted by the bright lights in the first level of her home, the simple furniture crowding portions of the empty space. A low oak-wood table sat in the center with mahogany colored cushions surrounding its layout, a small iron stove rested against the wall across from the door; which continuously received harsh raps when the ebony-eyed woman didn't answer right away.
She shouted aggressively at whomever it may be during this time of night, a low growl following soon after as she wiped her blood-soaked calloused hands within the fabric on her dress. The long gown being a deep cream tone, trailed behind her gracefully — blotches of red stained randomly about. Its shoulder straps were tied loosely around her neck, revealing bare cleavage in the low cut front.
Grumbling to herself as it painfully revealed the person carried absolutely no patience; due to the relentless pounding against the old wooden door.
She swiftly grabbed ahold of the rusted knob and swung it open forcefully, her dark line of sight instantly glared out at the downpour of rain in the night sky. Then she took notice to the tall figure before her, cloaked in red and black – his face, shielded by a poorly woven straw hat – and his fist was still raised from knocking just seconds ago, caught off guard by her sudden appearance.
Taking a second to catch her breath, she leaned against the door's frame with arms crossed over her breast and an eyebrow raised in question.
"Can I help you?"
His hand lowered to his side as he hurried to pick up a brown sack from the dirt beside his foot and lifting it to her line of sight. She instantly stared in shock recognizing the stench that began to reek off it.
"Zangei asked - "
In anticipation after hearing the familiar name, she snatched the bag out of his hand and searched through the multiple limbs occupying it. The man was about to speak again, but the door was briskly slammed in his face; leaving him to stand alone in the heavy downpour.
Now safely inside the comfort of her home, she excitedly rushed down the creaky stairs towards the cold basement. A wide grin etched into her usually solemn tan features. She was extremely happy that her uncle had not forgotten her and kept his promise to deliver 'gifts'.
Searching for an empty steel hook amongst the mended corpses, she finally found one in the far back and tied the sack around its curved tip. Satisfied, she strolled calmly up the stairs listening intently to the muffled patters of the rain, then soft taps picked back up again at the door.
She rolled her inked irises and audibly sucked on her teeth, making way towards the door once more.
"Okay, relax for Kami's sake."
She mumbled aloud, taking the time to grip a senbon needle between her fingers for defense while grasping the door's knob. The woman paused, contemplating whether or not to continue, but a gut-wrenching notion crept deep inside her — dragging the woman's curiosity toward the stranger just outside her home.
And without dwelling any longer in deafening silence, she yanked the door open to reveal the man's odd attire. She obviously didn't recognize him, and considering how he covered his most noticeable features; just demonstrated her uneasiness towards this outsider.
". . . Can I help you?"
She asked curiously, her black irids gleamed innocence against the lights' yellow glow.
"Momiji, long time no see."
His voice deep and gruff, mentally noting how the stranger probably doesn't speak often. Raising a slender brow, it was clear by her dubious behavior towards the broad man's presence that she held absolutely no trust or regulation towards him.
"Have we met?"
The senbon needle was tightened in her stressed grip that hid behind the door's frame.
"We have. - " He nodded his head then motioned towards the cozy area situated just behind her. " - Can I come in?" Her eyes narrowed before she wordlessly stepped aside, allowing him to pass through. To which he thanked her and welcomed the warmth of the room.
Without warning, she lunged forward and aimed the thin weapon towards his subclavian artery within his neck. She knew exactly each open vital point on the human body were located, the woman could easily severally injure anyone with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back — the anatomy was her main specialty, she spent years of agonizing training and studies to reach this goal.
A hand was brought up in a blur from beneath the bizarre cloak, instantly catching her dainty wrist and forcing her body to collide with his. She gasped at the amount of strength used, her eyes widen taken aback at the unexpected action and squirmed uncomfortably in his grasp.
"I didn't think you'd attempt to harm an old friend, Momiji."
He gruffly responded, twisting her wrist just enough to release the long needle and listen as it tinged across the wooden floorboards. She swallowed hard, intimidated greatly by his tall stature looming over her own and the quick reaction that caught the woman defenseless.
With frightened black eyes, she searched vigorously for any feature she might recognize but the straw hat still covered his face and blocked her view. The man's grip loosens excessively, allowing Momiji to possibly yank her arm away if she wanted too.
But she didn't.
Her gaze trailed down to the man's uncovered hand that grasped her frail wrist, stitches — she saw thick carefully placed stitches wrapped around his forearm beneath the sleeve, right below two thick black tattoos that circles his tan skinned wrist.
The dread of being attacked within her own home, was easily replaced with surprised annoyance. His head turned up slightly to watch her expression change drastically, a sly grin crossed over his Glasglow smile beneath the mask he wore.
"Why you stingy bastard, " she growled out, teeth bared as her gaze traveled to the man's face once more.
Catching his odd eyes in her own.
Green, pupil-less irides and a deep red sclera stared curiously down at the woman, mused by her sudden recollection and jarring attitude.
"You got some balls showing up back here, especially after your disappearance." She jerked from his hold and pulled herself away to stand beside the low top table, leaving him near the front door and the basement stairs.
He didn't respond and just watched her pick up a rusted kettle from the table's surface.
"Do you want tea?"
The question was so off topic, but it didn't surprise him much and simply nodded.
She bit the corner of her red lips, sucking quietly while eyeing his attire as he shimmied out of the cloak and placed the hat on the table. "Just drape it over there." Pointing a slender finger towards a corner of the room closest to the door, she motioned about the lone wooden coat rack that held several jackets and scarves.
Placing the pot on top of the iron stove, and readying two cups for them both.
He strolled over to the mentioned corner and easily hung his mysterious cloak on a hook, but not without noticing the significantly smaller clothing items that daggled beside his own. Raising a brow, he gazed over at the woman whose back was turned to him as she hummed an unknown tune. The thought quickly crossed his mind if she was a mother, but no sooner had it come — was it gone just like that.
He wasn't gone that long, was he?
Shaking his head, he took a seat on the mahogany cushions and folded his hands on top of the table. Waiting patiently for her presences to join him.
". . . So, how are you?"
He was the first to make civil conversation; this, was quite amusing to Momiji as the male was never known for pointless talk.
"What do you want, Kakuzu?"
She turned around and leaned against the wall beside her stove, silently listening to the water slowly boil. The male just shook his head, impressed by the woman — she never seemed to bore him with her spontaneous attitude.
"I need a heart, " he started, turning his unique eyes to meet her obsidian black. "And in return, I'll fetch any part you need."
Although the offer was tempting, she knew it wasn't that simple.
"Sorry, but I don't do that side of business anymore." Shaking her head side to side with a frown against her red lips.
"Oh really?" He challenged, raising a hidden brow from beneath the grey hood that covered his hair, a sly smirk hide behind a black mask over his lower face. "Then, what was in the sack that I just delivered to you?" Seeing her flustered face, he knew she lied about her hobby and had just wanted to prolong his stay. The red-haired woman huffed, rolling her eyes and motioning for him to follow her with a finger. She led him towards the entrance of the basement and carefully stepped down the frail stairs until she reached the dying furnace built into the cement walls.
"Don't touch anything."
Momiji warned, glaring over her shoulder as he stood a few feet away by the bottom of the stairs, watching her stroll to the bodies that hung limply on their hooks.
He did as told and didn't touch the stitched corpses, or the barrels of random organs and limbs pushed into a corner of the room. Instead, his colored gaze studied and admired her work — with bodies of men and women, they all held traits belonging to separate clans from worldwide villages, it was obvious she went through great lengths to receive certain features.
Taking a step closer to an average looking female, her head lowered and body stiff, he noticed how properly groomed she was. Navy blue hair sewed against pale skin was neatly tied back into a low hanging ponytail and side bangs framing the woman's gentle face. He was almost tempted to run his fingers through the cadaver's hair, or even place the loose strands behind her ears. But he refrained himself, deciding the action was most definitely against Momiji's grim warning.
The soft voice of the said red-haired woman shook him from his quiet thoughts, as he turned his gaze to notice she was behind the rows of mended bodies. Another room was revealed, secretly hidden away from prying eyes. "Wind." He answered back, deciding to follow the sounds of her muffled movements, but not without taking one final look at the woman's corpse.
"Do you like?"
She asked again, this time coming out with a murky jar, the human heart easily noticeable through the thick syrupy liquid.
"Huh - "
"The girl. I'm asking if you like her mendings." Momiji's black eyes stared proudly at the hung corpse then quickly handing him the jar. "She's one of my best works, I call her Azumi!" Her eyes lit up with crazed excitement; joyous about sharing her most favored project with someone other than herself.
". . . Safe. . Space?"
He mumbled under his breath, watching as she ran her knuckles gently against the dead woman's cheek. Passion burned from her touch followed by love and affection towards a being no longer living. It was almost pitiful just to watch – has she truly been alone for so long that she's lost from society? Momiji smiled, quickly taking a step back beside the male as he continued to watch her, "Open her eyes, I think you'll be in for a surprise." She held her bottom lip between her teeth with hands folded expectedly as her dark gaze trailed from him to the corpse.
* * *
Authors note; Don't worry, this will be continued.
→ Momiji, means Red Leaves
→ Azumi, means Safe Space
Thank you for reading!
P.s, most stories I publish here will be fanfiction.
I write a series of fanfiction short stories immersed in romance and suspense, drowned within twisted plotlines. All are which revolve deep in the heart of the Naruto verse — I own none of the canon characters, and simply take claim to the identities of my own ocs and their remorseful expositions brought to life with each short story.