The knock on the door, tentative at first, grew louder and more demanding.

"Answer the door love," the wife said from the kitchen. "I'm busy preparing a bottle."

"Sure hon," the husband said. He put down his paper and answered the door.

At the door stood a young skinny man, distinctly East Asian, dressed in a navy blue suit a size too large for him. He held a metal vacuum cleaner in his hand, obviously heavy by the way the man shifted his weight to carry it.

"Hello sir," the salesman said, in English touched with a Japanese accent. "My name is Koiwai. I hope I am not bothering you at this time. I have an amazing offer to share with you, this Dedede vacuum cleaner, guaranteed with a lifetime warranty."

"Sorry mister, we have nice vacuum as it is," the man said.

"May I offer you a free demonstration, sir? I'll vacuum your floor for you." Before the husband could turn down the offer, Koiwai entered into the house, managing to maneuver past the husband while carrying the heavy vacuum cleaner.

"Really, this is unnecessary," the husband said, as the salesman hunted for an electrical outlet. "We are preparing baby's bottle at the moment."

"Ah, is he asleep?" Koiwai asked.

"She isn't, just hungry."

"Then there won't be any problem demonstrating the amazing cleaning power of a Dedede vacuum cleaner." Koiwai plugged the cord into a power outlet behind the silverware table.

"Really, this isn't-" but before the man could finish his protest, Koiwai turned on the machine. It roared ferociously as he pushed it across the carpet.

"Notice that amazing suction power?" Koiwai shouted over the roar.

"Yes, that's grand," the man shouted, giving up. At least he'd get his floor vacuumed.

Koiwai worked efficiently, reaching the last bit of untouched carpet and turning off the vacuum cleaner. It powered down, making a sound like a dying jet engine. "Notice the even pattern on the carpet? That's the new Eventuality Propulsion technology. It leaves an even, homogenous pattern on your carpet regardless if you push or pull."

"Yes, that's really lovely sir," the man said, wondering how he could shoo this insistent salesman away.

"What's going on here, love?" His wife had entered the living room. She was holding their baby girl, who was drinking from her bottle with a pleasant gurgling sound.

Koiwai's eyes widened and his jaw dropped slightly. The husband and the wife glanced at each other before returning their attention to the salesman. The wife was flattered that the salesman was admiring her beauty, and the husband, while acknowledging the unprofessional behavior, felt pleasure at the effect his wife had on people.

"Is that your daughter?" Koiwai said.

"Y-yes," the wife said, now put off by the salesman's stare. "Her name is Clover."

"She's very beautiful," Koiwai said, as he approached the nursing child. The man, the hair on his neck raised, stepped between Koiwai and his wife.

"We appreciate the demonstration," the man said. "However, we aren't buying today. Have a nice day, sir."

Koiwai looked straight into the man's eyes. "How much for your child?"

"I beg your pardon, sir?" the man said, as his wife gasped. He couldn't possibly have said that, he thought. Surely I misheard him.

"I'll pay for your child," Koiwai said. "I'll give you this vacuum cleaner for her."

"Get out or I'll call the police!" The man shouted.

"You can have this suit, too," Koiwai said, as he began to unbutton his shirt.

"Call the police, dear," the man said, and the wife ducked into the kitchen and ran upstairs. The man attempted to grab Koiwai, but Koiwai quickly dodged his grasp.

"Oh, I almost forgot to talk about the metal construction of this amazing vacuum cleaner," Koiwai said.

The man snorted a laugh in amazement. "You're mad," he said. "You aren't a salesman, you're a drug addict! You stole that vacuum cleaner, and want to sell it for drug money. Mad!"

Koiwai pulled off a metal bar attached to the vacuum cleaner, and slapped the end in his hand in demonstration. "This is one of the attachments," he said. "Notice the stainless steel construction."

The man rushed at Koiwai, but Koiwai swung the metal pole at the man's head. A sickening crack echoed throughout the room, and the man fell forward.

Koiwai began slamming the metal attachment pole against the man's head. He was dead after four strikes, but Koiwai added an extra ten to be sure.

"I called the police and put Clover to bed," the woman said, as she entered the living room. "Did you-" she saw her dead husband on the floor, and the blood splattered salesman standing over him, holding a dented metal pipe.

"Hello ma'am," Koiwai said. "I was demonstrating one of the many attachments provided with the Dedede vacuum cleaner."

The woman screamed and ran upstairs, toward her child's nursery. She wasn't fast enough.


Clover mumbled lightly as Koiwai picked her warm body out of her crib. She wrinkled her nose at the smell of her parent's blood splattered across his face, shirt, pants, and hands.

"Hello dear," Koiwai said, as he gently cradled the baby and made his way downstairs, carefully stepping over the corpse of Clover's mother. "Your name is Yotsuba," he said, softly. He touched Yotsuba's sleepy face, smearing some of her mother's blood on her cheek. "I'll raise you as my own. And then, when you turn sixteen, we'll be married. You'll make a lovely bride."

Koiwai smiled as he and Yotsuba left the house. He could see the future clearly, and it was beautiful.


"That's... that's sick!" Fuuka shouted, standing up. "That's the worst thing I ever heard!"

"I know," Asagi said, as she reached for an apple slice sitting on a paper towel in the middle of the kitchen table. "Who would've thought Koiwai was so evil?"

"No, your story is sick!" Fuuka said. "How could you even come up with it?"

"But you have to admit," Asagi said, "it makes sense."

"It does make sense," Ms. Ayase said, sitting next to Asagi. She spread some goat cheese on her slice of apple. "It's probably true."

"It's not true!" Fuuka said. "It's Asagi telling lies! Falsehoods!" She turned to Ena, sitting next to her. "Ena! Tell them that's a horrible story!"

"It is horrible," Ena said thoughtfully. "But we don't know how Mr. Koiwai found Yotsuba, so it could be just as true as any other theory."

"I knew I was right," Asagi said, as she chewed on her apple.

"You know," Ms. Ayase said, "I wonder if we should call the police."

"You think so?" Asagi said.

Fuuka buried her face in both palms and groaned. "My whole family is crazy," she said.

"Oh calm down Fuuka," Asagi said, tossing a bit of apple at Fuuka's head. "You need to lighten up."

"Yeah, lighten up Fuuka," Ms. Ayase said.

Fuuka sat back down, laid her head on the table, and swore that she'd never ask Asagi anything ever again.