Halo Ten: Natsuko:
I work for a small supernatural magazine. We started back in 2006. The magazine an underground one until about three months ago. Lately, my boss is interested in the tadpoles. I just couldn’t pass up this case. My boss was the one who came to me. I couldn’t believe it at first.
“Wait… are you serious?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “Write a piece about the tadpoles.” I about jumped to attention.
“Yes sir!” I shouted. “I won’t let you down!” So out the door I went. Let’s just say it’s not been an easy hunt. Not many people want to talk. I wasn’t going to give up that easily. That wasn’t in my nature.
Lucky for me, I snagged an interview.
Tetsu walked up to the ticket booth. The woman behind the glass didn’t look at him.
“One please,” Tetsu said. He slid across his money. She took it and gave him another ticket. The tadpole bowed and walked inside. Tonight, it’s another old samurai film. These are the only types of movies playing this late at night. The newer stuff plays at other theaters in the areas. Somehow, Tetsu didn’t feel those would help in his case. He walked into screen room three. His usual seat was near the exit in the back. Once the tadpole sat down, he let himself get lost in his mind. Tetsu never really watched the movie.
But tonight, Tetsu was not alone.
In the middle of old trailers from the 1950′s, he heard the door open as quietly as possible. Footsteps shuffled in and stopped next to his seat. The chair to the tadpole’s right creaked down and someone flopped down into it. He didn’t sense anything from them. Not tadpole or a demon. Just a plain old normal.
Then, the movie started.
“You come out here at night too, huh?” a voice whispered. Tetsu didn’t turn his head. Maybe it was a guy or a girl.
“Yeah,” he said nodding. The title card came up.
“Are you afraid to come here alone at night?” they asked.
“No,” Tetsu said.
“But you could die out here. Because of them.”
Tetsu looked out of the corner of his eye. He couldn’t really see the face. The tadpole still couldn’t sense anything about them.
“Who are you?” Tetsu whispered.
“Tell who you are.”
“Just tell me.”
Tetsu focused his eyes back to the screen. “Tell me who you are first.”
“Nobody. I am nobody.”
“Okay… I’m Tetsu.” He tried to focus on the black and white fight on the screen. Still, the tadpole could still feel the eyes locked on him.
“What do you want from me?” the tadpole asked.
“I just want your story,” they said.
“Tell me everything about yourself.” The tone of the voice sent up a red flag in his head. There was something almost robotic about it. Like it sounded rehearsed in a way. The worst part was he couldn’t pin down the motivation. He didn’t sense any evil from them. But, Tetsu doubted there was any good will behind it either.
“Can I please just watch the movie?” he asked. The tadpole got no response for the rest of the night.
“I’m home,” Tetsu said walking back to his apartment. Taichi looked up from his couch.
“Welcome home,” he said. “Where did you go last night?”
“The movies,” Tetsu said. He walked over and sat down next to his boyfriend.
“Why do you feel the need to go out?” Taichi said. The tadpole sighed.
“What else can I do?” he asked. “I can’t sleep anymore. Watching you sleep won’t do anymore. I could look for the others but I don’t know where to start.” His boyfriend looked at him when he heard the part of watching him sleep.
“Wait, what?” Taichi asked. It was then Tetsu realized what he had said.
“Uh… just ignore that,” he said. Taichi raised his eyebrow. His boyfriend tried to wave him off.
“I wasn’t being a stalker!” he said. “I just can’t sleep anymore. I need something to fill my nights!”
“Wait… so… you don’t sleep anymore?” Taichi asked. Tetsu shook his head.
“Not ever?” his boyfriend asked.
“No,” the tadpole answered.
“Wow…” was all Taichi could say. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
“What is that?” Taichi asked. Tetsu froze. Don’t tell me… He stood up as if in a daze.
“Tetsu-kun?” Taichi asked. The tadpole didn’t listen as he looked out the peep hole. A woman in a yellow and white dress stood outside. His stomach turned as Tetsu opened the door. The woman smiled with a notepad in hand.
“Hello!” she said. Tetsu blinked as Taichi joined him at the door.
“Listen, we are not donating any money to whatever charity you work for. We’re not joining your religion. And we’re not buying what you are selling,” Taichi said. “Goodbye.” He started to close the door in her face. But the woman blocked the door with her hand and foot.
“What are you doing?” Taichi asked.
“I just want to talk,” the woman said.
“What for?” Tetsu asked. Her eyes locked onto him. “You!” The tadpole froze.
“Were you at the movies last night?” Tetsu asked. His boyfriend turned to him. The woman gave him a cute little smile.
“Guilty,” she said. Tetsu slowly backed away.
“Why do you want my story so much?” he asked. “Who are you?” The woman broke into a huge grin.
“Let me in and I will tell you,” she said.
“No!” Taichi said.
“Come on,” the woman said. “Just thirty minutes of your time and I will be gone.” She struggled to keep the door open. The couple looked at each other for a pause.
“Thirty minutes, how?” Tetsu asked at last.
“Yes,” the woman said. “And then I will be gone.” There came another pause. Taichi let go of the door.
“Fine,” he said. “But only thirty minutes.”
“Thank you,” the woman said, bowing. She walked into the apartment. The couple looked at each other before Taichi closed the door.
Tetsu ran calculations in his mind. Who was this woman really? Why was she so interested in him? It smelt like a trap. The woman sat across from them smiling.
“My name is Sakamoto Natsuko,” she said.
“Tetsu,” the tadpole said. “And this is my partner, Taichi.”
“Pleasure,” Taichi said. Tetsu had his eyes locked on Natsuko. She reached into her brown and purple bag and pulled out a small tape recorder.
“What is that?” Taichi asked.
“It’s just a tape recorder I use for my interviews,” Natsuko said.
“Who yo do you work for?” Tetsu asked.
“Spooky Tokyo Nights,” she said with a hint of pride. The gay couple frowned.
“Isn’t that that lame paranormal magazine started back a few years ago?” Taichi asked.
“I think you’re right,” Tetsu said. Natsuko gritted her teeth as she tried to stay pleasure for the job. Meanwhile, the tadpole did some quick math. This could play into his favor. Maybe he could expose the corruption of Tandeki. Even find more tadpoles lost out there. Tetsu relaxed as he made his decision.
“What all do you want to know about us?” he asked. Natsuko raised her eyebrow.
“There is an us?” she asked. The tadpole smirked with a cold look in his eye.
“Why yes,” he replied.
“You still think that was a good idea to do that?” Taichi asked again. Tetsu stretched his arms above his head.
“Yep,” he said. “I think I have kicked up the hornet’s nest for those bastards.” He saw the worried look on his partner’s face. Tetsu walked up and gently stroked his cheek.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “It will be fine. Once we take down Tandeki, this nightmare will be over. And then figure it out from there.” Taichi shook his head.
“We can’t be normal anymore,” he said.
“I know,” Tetsu said. But then he froze with that shock running down his spine.
“Is it another one?” his lover asked.
“Yes,” the tadpole boy said. He walked over to the front door and looked out the peephole. Yamato stood outside, waiting. Curious, Tetsu opened the door.
“Hello?” he asked. Yamato pressed his hands together and smiled.
“Tetsu, my friend!” he said. “I have an interesting offer for you!”