Jigoku: Last Chance!

By Laura, age 15, California

Editor's Note: For the Prologue, parts 1 & 2, see the May & June/July issues.

Chapter 1
Why Did You Leave?

Name's Jigoku, just Jigoku. I don't have a last name now. I lost it a long time ago along with my human self. The world has really changed since the last time I was around, and people have become so ignorant, such fools they are. I ... don't belong in this era of time; I'm supposed to be dead ... I am dead. I am now fifteen years old since today; that is in human years, of course. I am no human, no animal, no chimera; some could say a demon, a visible spirit, a specter, but no one knows what I truly am. I don't even know. Sora says it all goes back to the time I lived, to the time I was human. Thanks to the crystal orb, I can remember my past life. You could say I was resurrected and this is my reincarnation. I currently roam across this world's land and try to get used to it even more. It's still so new to me after being here for so long.

I guess I should start from the beginning then. It all took place around 100 years ago I believe; my memory is kind of sketchy though.

Continental Year 1804

"Luciana Elouis de Lunetta!" A worried voice yelled my name for the hundredth time today. I can hear the faint sound ringing in my ears, but my body feels so numb. That voice sounds so much like my mother's, but it's impossible. She's been dead for six years now. She died the day I was born.


"Luciana!" The voice grew louder, and I started to feel the cold icy raindrops against my skin. I was beginning to regain all feeling in my body, but I still couldn't move. How long have I been out here?

"Luciana! Sweety, where are you?!" I opened my eyes a little and noticed the puddles of rainwater surrounding me. I was alone. I stood up and leaned against the stone wall behind me. It was so difficult to move due to the fact that my clothing was soaked. The voice grew nearer and I made my way to it. Of course it was her. I knew I'd be stuck with her for the rest of my life, or as long as it took me to get adopted.

My name's Luciana Elouis de Lunetta. I'm six years old, and today's the day of my birthday and the day of my parents' deaths. I was an only child and I hardly had any friends. Lia, the one calling me is now my caretaker. She owns the orphanage I am going to live in now. She isn't old, mean, or anything. She just cares too much.

I walked a little further and whispered softly. "Lia? I'm right here." My vision began to blur, and the next thing I knew I was out cold on the stone streets of Gallilia. I began to hear voices around me, and I felt the silk bed sheets underneath me. The rain pattered against the window, and all of a sudden one little girl's voice stood out. "Is she okay, LiLi?" It was more of a shout that I heard. I quickly sat up and shot a glare at the girl. Her voice aggravated me already.

"Luciana, calm down. You have a cold, so just lie down and rest, sweety." Lia was trying to calm me down, but it wasn't working. The little girl stood by the doorway with a happy-go-lucky smile on her face. "Oh! LuLu's finally awake!" "Hmm?" I cocked my head to the side ... Did she just call me LuLu?

"Egh, Luciana this is Yui, the youngest of all the children in the orphanage."

"LiLi! LuLu's now my big sister!" Yui ran into the room and grasped onto my hand.

"Show some respect, kid! Name's Luciana Elouis de Lunetta" I smirked and shook my hand away from her.

"Lu-lu ...Chi ... Ana ... Luis ... Lunta?" The little girl looked confused, and I just sighed as I looked out the window. I was right, it was still raining.

"Just call me LuLu!" I gave up. There was no hope with this kid. I felt Yui climb onto the bed; she was so small. She looked like a newborn child, but apparently she is four years old. Her hair color is strange, along with her eyes. I placed my hand on top of her head and she smiled. Strands of sakura petal colored hair covered her head, each strand soft and silky. Pink orbs took the place of her eyes. Pink hair and pink eyes? Where is this kid from?

"Luciana, it is time for dinner. If you are hungry do not hesitate to come downstairs, okay?!" Lia smiled and headed down the stairs. I could smell the food from up here, but I'm not hungry, not after all that had happened.

After I heard the news that my father died, all I did was run, run as far as I could. I don't know how or why he died; I just ran for my life. I guess Lia called the authorities to look for me, but she also looked herself. There have been so many cases of sudden deaths in Gallilia that they won't bother to look for missing people. They must think they're goners because of what's going on. I got lost and it began to rain, actually pour is more like it. I love the rain, the taste, the smell, the feeling against my skin. I love it all. One day the rain is going to be the death of me if this keeps up.

I felt something or someone tug my sleeve. "LuLu?" I turned my head towards her, snapping away from my flashback. "Oh, YuYu?"

"YuYu? Are you retarded or something?! My name is Yui, silly! Come on! Let's go get dinner!" She pranced off to the kitchen and I sat there like an idiot. Who's the retard here?! Look who's talking! She's the one going around calling everyone silly names! I'm going to go through hell if they don't adopt me soon. "LuLu!"

"Coming, Yui! I'm coming!" I smiled and walked downstairs. The table was stacked up with food, food, and more food! Children gathered by all sides of the table were seated and feasting. Yui had saved me a seat and I noticed something - I was the oldest out of them all.

I never learned anything about my father's death or anything about my family. My father didn't like to talk about it. The years passed by and the cases of the deaths had stopped. I was never adopted and I saw the children of the orphanage go in and out of my life. Yui stuck by my side, it's just like she said! I'm her new big sis! She hardly ever grows; she reaches up to my knee or a little higher, but she's really mature for her age. I'm now ten. Four years have passed since that night and I've learned nothing about myself or my family. Yui got me a box full of tarot cards yesterday as a gift, but I don't know why though. I spent all night learning how to use them, but I'm so thickheaded I couldn't understand a thing!

"Yui! I need help with these cards!" I carried the box in my hand as I ran down the stairs, but I stopped halfway. "Y-Yui? L-Lia?" My eyes widened and I felt tears form in my eyes. Lia stood by the door with Yui. She held a suitcase in her hand and spoke to a young couple at the door. Yui looked so happy; she turned and looked at me. With a smile she waved, took the suitcase, and left with the couple. I just stood there in shock.

Lia sighed and turned around. She was crying. "L-Lia? W-what happened? W-where's Yui going?!" I dropped the box on the ground and the cards were scattered across the staircase. I began to yell at Lia and felt the hot tears stream down my face. "WHAT HAPPENED TO YUI?!" My body began to tremble, my hands were in fists. I couldn't think and my heart was throbbing from all the pain. Lia stood there and smiled. "You ... didn't! ... NO!" I cried and ran to my room. I slid down the door and curled up into a ball and cried. I cried my heart out. The only person I was close to, my only friend, she left me! She just smiled and left me! She left me all alone again. Was this why she gave me the tarot cards?

I opened my eyes and the room was pitch black. I crawled onto my bed and looked out the window. It was a full moon. I decided to go get my cards from the staircase. It must be late at night if the lights are off. I walked down the stairs and slipped on a few cards. I began to look for each one. I winced and felt a paper cut on my finger. I must have cut it on a card. I counted them twice and made sure I had them all. I began to climb the stairs to my room as I heard some strange noises. I stopped and looked around, but couldn't find anything.

I got up to my room and placed my hand on the door knob. It strangely felt wet and thick. I got my hand covered in the liquid as I opened the door, but I didn't care. As I opened the door my window was wide open and the moonlight was enough to see the trail of blood around my room. I let out a scream as I saw a pair of red eyes staring at me. The lights turned on and I could see a strange person with red eyes holding a blood covered knife in his hands. Lia stood by the door and looked around.

"What's wrong, Luciana?" My eyes were wide; my body was shaking. I couldn't speak. How could she not see it? She took me in her arms and sat on my bed cradling me. The creature began to look like a man and suddenly disappeared. The blood and everything was gone. That's when it all started, my living hell, and the death of me. Yui ... why did you leave?

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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