Are You Afraid?
Taisho - owner of the Daramu
Okaa-san - owner's wife
The Darumaya was packed. Loyal customers chattering about their days, commiserating about families and work. They came there to forget their worries, as Okaa-san did her best to distract and entertain them, even Taisho's seriousness was comforting to them. The two always succeeded in their task, that is, until today. The customers felt something was off but they couldn't put their fingers on it. Unable to shake the annoyance anymore, one of the regulars asked,
"Hey, is something going on? I feel like something has changed in here."
Taisho looked up at him, while Okaa-san came over and joked,
"I'm sorry Mamue. Here let me get you your third sake, I apologize for being late with it tonight."
At that several other customers laughed. Another customer spoke up,
"No seriously something is off. "
There was a small murmur of agreement at that.
"Oh, no. I don't think anything is off."
Okaa-san responded trying to keep the discontent from spreading. Her attempt was soon ruined by a noisy college student.
"Must be the spirit trying to drive us away."
The gaki managed to grab the attention of the customers, who quietly asked each other what they boy meant.
"Huh? Whay'ya mean?"
"Haven't any of you heard the rumors?" The arrogant boy didn't even wait for an answer to his question before he answered it himself. "For the last year it's been the talk of the neighborhood. Apparently, there is a spirit running around in the middle of the night causing trouble, scaring people maybe even attacking them."
"What do you-"
Everyone begin chattering, their curiosities peeked. They felt it was all very exciting.
"Okaa-san, did you know about the spirit?"
"I have heard rumors, but seriously I doubt it. No harm has come to us, or anyone else in the neighborhood. I am sure it's just a kid trying to seek some attention."
Okaa-san smiled politely, going to grab some more oolong tea, waving off the rumors. The customers just nodded, seeing the sense in what she said. The young man noticed this and started speaking again.
"Then what do you have to say about Rame-san claiming he saw a ghost wondering around screeching in front of Yosowara Convenience Center? They found broken glass and large scratch marks the next morning…"
He smirked as the gossip started up again, everyone alarmed. Okaa-san let out a sigh.
"That was a cat. I know it seems really unlikely but it is true. The police that checked it out came here to get coffee and were laughing about it."
She smiled, setting down a fresh sake in front of Mamue.
"Ah, but Okaa-san, don't you worry that ghosts might come try to haunt you?"
Okaa-san stopped her bustling, and stood still. She raised her hand to her face and let her other one point towards Taisho, much like a lovesick teenage girl.
"No. I have Taisho here to protect me."
The customers all observed her actions slowly moving their gaze to a stern no nonsense Taisho fully garbed in his chef garments large sharp cleaver in hand. They gulped. Some bit their lips. It was very difficult to not start laughing, but they couldn't help but imagine a ghost coming to the Darumaya to scare Taisho. No, it would definitely be the ghost running away not the other way around.
Stomp. STOmp. STOMp. Smash. Shrip, shrip.
Eyes wide open, Okaa-san stared at the dull brown wood ceiling. Next to her, her husband Taisho also had his eyes wide open. Both were perfectly stationary, not moving a centimeter even to breathe.
The cry more a banshees sob than a wolf's song.
"I wonder what that girl is doing in her room?"
This was beginning to be a regular occurrence, once every two weeks or so Kyoko would stay up late talking to someone. It would start out quietly then slowly escalate into this odd screeching match. It was so strange though, Okaa-san always went to say good night to Kyoko but she would never see anyone, but she could always hear another person talking. Oh well, Kyoko was a good girl so she and Taisho didn't have to worry. It was at times like this that the ghost stories the customers were spouting at dinner plagued her, but of course, she knew better.
"I think I'll take tea with Sinei-san. She would like to hear about the ghost rumors my customers were spreading last night. I'll let it slip that one came by in the morning claiming he saw the spirit wandering around afterwards."
Why should she fear spirits? She and Taisho were the ones spreading the rumors.
They were really quite fond of Kyoko, afterall.
Thanks for Reading!
This fic is a bunch of drabbles, involving different characters. Kyoko and Maria will not necessarily be the focus. Last chapter was the prologue.