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Freak Attraction: The Final ChapterChapter 12: Divergent Paths
Fresh snow crunched beneath her feet as Mrs. Higurashi made her way across the shrine grounds towards the street. It was still early in the day, the sun just cresting the peak of Mt. Fuji, and the air was full of winter's chill. An eerie quiet had settled over the hill where the Higurashi shrine rested, devoid of bird song or the whistle of wind through the empty trees. Usually with snow this thick, her son would have been knee-deep in it by now, but instead he was inside under the warm kotatsu. He'd been inside more than usual lately, but Mrs. Higurashi could understand why. It couldn't be much fun to play in the snow if you were playing by yourself, especially if you knew someone else should have been there playing with you. Mrs. Higurashi sniffled, trying to distract her thoughts and pretend her red eyes and runny nose were due to the cold, and mustered a stoic face as she continued on her way toward town. She'd been avoiding trips to the market lately; t
Freak Attraction, Chapter ElevenChapter 11: A Grave of Bone and Fur
Waking up felt just as it had for the past couple of weeks. He was all senses; ears listening for danger, nose sniffing for foes, muscles tensing and flexing to test their strength, eyes closed as he took inventory of his surroundings. Beneath him was a bed of some sort, stiff but not the metal of his cage, with an overwhelmingly pleasant smell that he couldn't yet place. He could sense a demon beside him, but it was docile: a cat from the smell, its aura calm, making a contented purring sound. It wasn't a danger to him. There were humans around him too, but they didn't seem to notice he had awoken. Last was a fox demon, who smelled vaguely familiar. His brow furrowed as he inhaled the scent deeper, his mind working overtime to place the musty scent of dirt and embers. Suddenly along with the smell came a name: Shippo. The fox's name was Shippo.
It took a moment for the realization to process, but Inuyasha's eyes shot open as he registered what he ha
Freak Attraction, Chapter TenChapter Ten: The Show-Stopper
Kagome awoke with a start, rubbing her eyes and looking around to try and find what had woken her. She had only meant to doze and couldn't be sure how long she'd been asleep, but from the light she could glimpse peaking under the tent flaps, she knew it must be just after dawn. She could make out the sleeping form of Sango across the room on a bed similar to hers, and not far on the floor of the tent was Miroku on a moth-eaten bedroll. Kirara slept between them in her transformed state, with Shippo nestled against her warm fur. At the way they were all huddled together and the feel of extra weight against Kagome's back, she guessed the circus performers had given her their extra blankets, and her heart warmed at the thought.
A sudden pulse of energy swept through her, and Kagome startled, realizing the pulse was what awoke her originally. The feeling was familiar… like the barriers she had learned to make, and her curiosity got the better of her. She
Freak Attraction, Chapter NineChapter 9: Performances and Interludes
There weren't many quiet spots in Tokyo anymore. What with the foreigners and carriages and noisy shop-keepers, Grandpa Higurashi had few places of respite left to him outside of the shrine grounds. But even an old man needed a little socializing every now and then, and lucky for him the other old men in town had carved out their own niche in the winding back-streets of the bustling city. Every few days the old men would gather on the wood benches outside a run-down fish stand, sipping sake and sharing tales that stunk more than the tuna hanging on hooks behind them.
"It's gone up to twenty people I tell you, and like as not there're bound to be more missing what don't have family to report they've gone in the first place, if you catch my meaning."
"You're full of it Hiroshi; twenty people can't have disappeared over night! Where're you getting this information? Been speaking to the foreigners again, have you? Remember, you don't speak Dutch
Freak Attraction, Chapter EightChapter 8: Transformations
"Lord Takemaru, Lord Takemaru! The demon emissary has arrived. He wishes to speak with you."
Takemaru glanced up from his tea, the ceramic cup warming his fingers against the chill of the empty mansion. The candles lighting the room were powerless against the frigid air – winter would come quickly and the village was ill-equipped to meet it. It was only a matter of days before snow fell.
Locking eyes with the guard in shabby armor before him, Takemaru said distantly "See him in then" and with a quick bow the man exited the room.
He had barely been gone a moment before an airy voice broke the silence, saying with amusement "My my, I do believe it's colder inside than out! It seems even the winter wind is no match for the bitter moods of the great Lord Takemaru of Setsuna."
Takemaru's lip quirked in the ghost of a smile as he responded tersely "I see your respectful nature has not changed since your last visit, Byakuya."
The moth demon's red lips stretche
Freak Attraction, Chapter SevenChapter 7: Decisions made alone, Resolutions made together
When Kagura woke up, she wished she hadn’t. Her chest burned and her head was throbbing. Her arms were like lead beside her; she couldn’t yet feel her legs.
The damn mutt - when did he get a demon weapon? She fumed, thinking of how he had toyed with her, pretending he was weak to lure her into false confidence so he could deliver a killing blow. She had been thrown back into the tree-line by the blast and had quickly lost consciousness. She could have died for all she knew, but there was something between then and now that she could remember feeling: fur and the wind on her face. Had it been a dream?
But something had happened, for now she could feel cloth underneath her fingers and a softness cradling her head. Carefully she cracked her eyes open, giving them time to adjust to the low light around her, and saw wooden beams over her head. ‘… Where am I?’
The soft sliding of a wooden door caught her
Freak Attraction Ch 6: LeverageMrs. Higurashi hadn’t slept well for over two weeks.
When she did sleep, visions of her daughter being gagged and carried off by crazed carnival workers had her waking in a cold sweat, and every moment awake left her worriedly pacing the shrine grounds, day or night, hoping to catch a glimpse of her little Kagome coming up the steps.
Souta watched her with sad eyes as she threw herself into her house work. He knew she was trying to keep from worrying, and they both knew it wasn’t working. The fact that she insisted on walking him to and from school each day was testament enough to her paranoia.
Grandfather spent his days praying for Kagome’s safety – there was really little else he could do at his age and with his means, but his efforts were sincere, and Mrs. Higurashi appreciated his diligence.
Kagome’s school friends came by almost every day to see if she had returned, and to offer their help around the shrine. Mrs. Higurashi wished she could be angrier
Freak Attraction, Chapter FourFreak Attraction
Chapter 4: The long-way round
His senses that morning were telling him very strange things.
For one, he was cold. So, so cold. Perhaps his mother had gotten up to start breakfast and forgotten to cover him back up with the blanket. When he tried to sniff out what the morning’s meal would be, he choked on the stench of blood and sweat. The sweat emanated from countless different sources… as if dozens of people were surrounding him.
Was it… the villagers? Had they finally had enough of a half-demon living among them and had come to throw him out? No… there was something much more vile than a human in that stench.
The blood was mostly his own, but there was the faintest scent of another’s…. Mother!
His eyes snapped open and immediately squeezed shut again as the glow of gas fires burned behind his eyelids. Tiny claws dug into the floor underneath him – but they did n
Freak Attraction, Chapter Three~A Village of Outcasts~
Byakuya stood in the center of the now empty and silent arena, kicking absently at a pile of ash, mingling the remains of the centipede-woman with the rubble left over from the previous night’s performance.
And what an unexpected performance it had been!
Nothing like this had ever happened with the other specimens. The types of people who possessed enough spiritual power to actually see the hidden circus advertisements were usually men and women of some holy standing: priests, monks, exorcists, diviners and the like. Once the posters had worked their magic in luring such spiritualists and Byakuya had led them into Naraku’s web, all the hard work was done.
Most specimens were getting on in years, and all were sheltered by their sacred positions, lacking the skills or willpower to fight their way out of the circus enchantments or away from the hordes of hungry demons.
But not only had this black-haired young girl fought her way out, actually killing a