Chapter Ten – The Birth Of HallowIchigo
They had all returned to the Halloween Ball at the Karakura High School and were standing close to the stage, around the tables of sweets and juice. For some reason, Ichigo even lost his usual scowl, but was still pulling Rukia's hood down her face, at every possible excuse.
"Why do you keep doing that, Ichigo?!"
"It's because you're too small. With a pointy hood hiding your face, instead of a witch, you look like a smurf!"
Rukia punched Ichigo's stomach, making him gasp and bend over his waist, ending up lowering his head exactly to match Rukia's height, who patted him on the shoulder.
"You know… being someone so easy to be lowered to my level, you really shouldn't make fun of my stature…"
They were interrupted by Ochi-sensei's voice on the microphone.
"Alright, little devils! It's time to announce the Grand Winner of our Costume Contest! Let me tell you, let me tell you, you all look great tonight, but, for the first time, all the teachers were unanimous on the choice! Without further ado, tonight's Grand Winner is… Kurosaki Ichigo!" and before anyone had time to digest it, Kagine-sensei had already pulled a very clueless and scowling Ichigo up to the stage, by the back of his sweater. "As the… the… what's your costume called again?..."
Ochi-sensei dropped the hand that held the microphone, so she could speak privately. "Don't 'huh' me on public, Kurosaki! What's your costume called?"
"… Undercover… Policeman?..."
"No! That black suit you were wearing when you climbed up the light platforms!"
Ichigo widened his eyes and sweat drops started to come down all over him "…What?... I didn't…"
"Oh, come on, stop pretending! I screamed at first, but then I saw that unmistakable carrot top of yours… Still, it was quite a feat to actually scare people in Halloween, that's why we voted for you! … But don't think I've forgotten you broke a window" she was hitting his head with the microphone, at this point "nor that you pulled a nasty prank that almost scared us to death! But the costume was really something! So, what's it called again?"
Ichigo articulated the first thing he could relate it to, after a gulp "… Hollow…"
She didn't look impressed. "Hallow what?"
"… Hollow… were… I mean... I was... nothing."
"That's just… so lame." and she spoke back to the microphone, with a tone that made it sound like the most exciting thing in the world "HallowIchigo!" making the audience cheer by mere contagious influence. "… Don't forget you'll have the honor of representing Karakura High, wearing it on Don Kanonji's TV show!"
That's when it hit him… tonight… was really a nightmare!
"Of course I can! No one will catch me on that show, unless dead!"
"Then you'll attend high school until you die, because I'll have you fail all subjects for dishonoring our town!"
"Sensei!" his voice was no more than a loud whimper, that shook not the omen of Karakura's HallowIchigo on national broadcast.
And the sounds of the party, transpiring through the walls of Karakura High School's gym, were heard blending with the noises of that Halloween night, as wolves were howling at the distance, crows were screaming their mockeries closer by, and the occasional bat flight made the full moon flicker, to all those musing themselves with watching it.