Halo Eight: Namie:
I have always hated graveyards. But thanks to my current situation, I wish I was in one. They will never find my body. That psychotic bitch grabbed me in my bed and pulled me under. That was it. My body will never be found. I wrinkle my nose is disgust at all of the faded missing posters on my face. They have stopped caring about me. That little bitch tried to hide my death from my Seiji. She kept the truth to herself. Of course she would. That little bitch whore never liked me and wanted my Seiji all to herself. She saw the opportunity and took it. Did a good job of keeping up the rouse too. She secretly paid the bills and dealt with my duties on her computer. My mail still kept coming to them. Finally, that little slut had to tell my Seiji the truth.
I felt myself getting angry again.
Because of him, my Seiji got possessed by that sleazy demon who tried to make a pass at me. I saw him the moment that he took over too. I tried to scream at him to stop but that creepy bastard took over my brother. It broke me up inside to see my Seiji possessed like that. I practically screamed out him in his ear when he would wander the city at nights. My voice never could reach him. Shinra, Shingen, and that weird little girl saved my brother to my relief.
I couldn’t help but smile.
At least now I can take comfort in knowing now that my Seiji doesn’t trust that little whore anymore.
Oh yeah, there are other weird stuff happening around the city below too.
-Aoba and Izaya-
Aoba walked up to Izaya’s door and rang the bell.
[Oh, look. It’s the kid Izaya hired to replace me. I don’t envy him at all.]
The teenaged boy puffed up his cheeks and knocked again.
“Izaya!” he shouted. “Come on!” Aoba pounded on the door again. This time, it creaked open. His boss poked his head out. The boy puffed up his cheeks.
“I have been standing out here for a while now,” he complained. “You told me to show up at nine.”
“Did I?” Izaya asked. “What time is it now?”
“Ten,” Aoba said. He held up his phone to sound his boss. Izaya squinted as he looked at the screen. 10:13.
“Oh,” the information broker said, shrugging. Aoba’s right eye started twitch.
“Come!” Izaya said. “You have some much work to do today.” He stepped aside and let him in. Aoba frowned as he dropped his shoulders. Like he had a choice. The former Blue Square followed his boss inside.
[Good luck, kid. You could always poison him, you know?]
“I hav written everything down for you on the computer,” Izaya said as they walked into the living room. Aoba’s right eye twitched again. List? Am I a joke to him? It wasn’t enough that Izaya had him working for him. But he would leave the boy a list of tasks that needed to be completed before the day was over. Kururi was quick to point out that her brother paid so well.
“That’s more money you could spend on me,” she said, batting her eyelashes at him. Aoba tried not to laugh nervously. Izaya walked Aoba over to his computer.
“This is everything you are doing today,” the information broker said. The former Blue Square read down the list. Just as predicted, these were all meaningless and petty tasks around the apartment. Of course Izaya would never give him anything important to do. Izaya patted him on the shoulder.
“Get right to it,” he said. The information broker backed up and headed to the door.
“Hey, where are you going?” Aoba asked.
“Out,” his boss said. “I will be back. Just do your job, Chibi Same.” Aoba froze as his eye started to twitch again.
“What did you call me?” he asked. Izaya gave him a goofy grin.
“Chibi Same,” he said again. “That’s what your nickname from now on. Get right to work, Chibi Same!” Then Izaya headed out the door. Aoba growled as his blood started to burn.
[Get used to it, kid. You could just always poison him, you know?]
Kadota, Saburo, and Walker all sat in the waiting. Erika had to go inside and pick up the latest yaoi doujinshi from one of her cosplay friends.
[Who are these weirdos?]
“Is she out yet?” Walker asked.
“No,” Kadota said. Saburo was sitting behind the wheel zoning out when something caught his eye. Up ahead on the street was a girl standing on the middle of the road. She had on a pink t-shirt and black capri pants. This girl didn’t look Japanese from where Saburo could see from his van. American, maybe? When was the last time he ever saw any Japanese girls with short red hair? This girl was looking up at the sky with nothing in her hand.
“Saburo?” the driver heard behind him.
“Hm?” he asked. Kadota turned his head.
“What are you looking at?” he asked.
“What is she doing up there?” Saburo asked.
“Hm?” Kadota asked. He turned to the windshield. Walker took a look for himself as well. They could all see the teenaged girl looking at her hand above her head. But there was nothing in it. All three men looked confused.
“What is she doing?” Walker asked.
“Why is she looking at her hand like that?” Kadota asked. Saburo moved his hand to the horn. He honked it twice. She didn’t even look up. The van driver honked again.
“Hey!” he shouted. “Hey! Hey!” This girl still didn’t look up.
“What’s with her?” Saburo asked.
“Maybe she’s deaf?” Kadota asked. The girl outside kept looking up at her hand. Suddenly, the van door opened. The boys turned to see Erika carrying bags by her side.
“Oh, you’re back,” Walker said. She looked at her boys.
“What are you guys looking at?” Erika asked.
“There is some girl standing in the road up there,” Saburo said. The lone female in the group turned her head for a look.
“What are you talking about?” she asked. “I don’t see anyone there.”
“Huh?” the boys asked. The boys looked up at the road but there was no one there.
“Where did she go?” Saburo asked. All four of them were looking now. There was no way anyone could’ve disappeared that quickly with anyone turning their heads, could there?
“Good night, everybody,” Madoka said at the front door of the café.
“Thanks for your hard work!” her boss said.
“Thanks for your hard work,” Madoka said back. They bowed and parted ways.
[This poor little freak. She’s been living on her own out of capsule hotels because grandma lied to her. She can’t go back home. She can’t go home and face that lying old lady.]
Madoka slowed down her pace. Where was she going to sleep tonight? Last night was an internet café. So far, Madoka had been doing well to survive on her own. She went to school like everything was normal. Same with going to work. She couldn’t let anyone know how bad her situation was. It began to hurt to smile now. Madoka would ignore calls from her grandma. Nothing that lady could say would change my mind.
Her stomach began to growl. Looked like it was time for dinner. Madoka made her way over to McDonalds. She had gotten used to eating alone. Not a real problem. She walked up to the glass doors.
A sharp shiver raced up her spine.
Madoka turned her head. A woman her age stood across the street from her. Her light brown hair came down to her high back. The wavy curls bounced as she ran over to her. Madoka tilted her head.
“Uh… who are you?” she asked. This woman smiled as she bowed.
“Good evening,” she said. “My name is Kate Erina.”
“Madoka,” Madoka said. “Uh… did you want something?”
“Oh,” Erina said. “Have you had dinner yet?”
“No…” Madoka said. “But you aren’t asking because you are trying to be nice, are you?” The other tadpole chuckled.
“You got me,” she said. “But let me buy you dinner and we can talk for a bit.” Madoka narrowed her powerful eyes.
“Just talk, huh?” she asked.
“Yes,” Erina said. “Just to get to get to know each other for a bit.” The other tadpole couldn’t argue. It would be nice to eat with someone for a change.
Turns out, the ladies didn’t talk much. Just the standard introduction. Plus, small talk on the side. The whole time, Madoka had the feeling that Erina wanted something more.
“Why don’t you come out with it?” Madoka asked.
“No,” Erina said. “Not tonight.” She took a bite of her burger. “How was work?”
“Good,” Madoka said.
“How is the apartment search coming?”
The other tadpole shook her head. “Not really going. I’m just costing around from internet cafes, friends’ apartments, and capsule hotels.” She saw the look on Erina’s face. Madoka rolled her eyes.
“Come on,” she said. “Spit it out.”
“What is there to say?” Erina said. “You already know that you either have to move back in with your Grandma or find your own place.” Madoka just munched on her fries in silence. She could take her eyes off of those shining green-blue turtle earrings in Erina’s ears.
After dinner, Madoka checked into the Capsule Kinuya Hotel Ikebukuro for the night. She had been saving up her money to survive for the time being. Sure, she should find something more permanent to stay. But between work, school, and Tandeki’s experiments, she didn’t have the time. This would have to do for now.
Madoka walked up to the front desk and checked in. Once she paid for the night, the receptionist gave her a key to capsule 616 and a small bracelet.
“Enjoy your night,” she said.
“Thank you,” Madoka said. The women bowed and the guest walked down the hall. After putting away her bag, Madoka went out the local bath house. And a nice bath, she came back, changed into pajamas, and settled in for the night. But, she didn’t fall asleep just yet. (Tadpoles don’t really need to sleep, you know.) Well, time to kill time until she decided that she would attempt to sleep. Madoka watched TV, checked her school email, finished her homework, and scrolled through social media. When she got bored, the tadpole turned off the light and drifted off to sleep.
For ten minutes at least.
Madoka awoke to hushed whispers and heavy breathing. Hm? The voice kept whispering, talking at rapid pace. The tadpole tried to listen in. It sounded like it came from next door. The voice sounded like a woman. Madoka couldn’t make out exactly what her neighbor was saying. It didn’t sound Japanese. The hard “r’s” sounded almost German. Maybe Latin. The words went too fast, too breathless for the tadpole to keep up. Madoka groaned. What was her problem? This woman wouldn’t stop trying. Her voice sounded like it was going around in circles. The tadpole sighed and rubbed her forehead.
Madoka remembered the buttons in her capsule. She used her powerful eyes to find the button for white noise. With one press, sweet relief filled the capsule. Madoka smiled at the sound of rain. She let her mind relax as she closed her eyes. The rain sounds drowned out that woman’s voice.
The tadpole was about to doze off when the sound of wailing joined the rain. Wait a minute. That’s not supposed to be there. Madoka ripped open her eyes and looked at the wall next door. The woman was now weeping. Was she okay? Madoka didn’t know whether to knock on the wall or not.
The weeping turned into pained wailing. Madoka gritted her teeth as the sounds grew louder. She looked up at the clock. Two in the morning. The tadpole clicked her tongue. Seriously? The wailing grew even worse. There is only so much a homeless woman trying to keep up appearances can take.
Madoka slammed her hand against the wall.
“Shut up!” she screamed. “People are trying to sleep!” Instead of going quiet, Madoka was greeted with a loud thud back. So loud that her capsule shook. The tadpole grabbed onto the sheets. The thuds turned into full-on body slams as she screamed. Boy did she scream. It didn’t help that Madoka’s own hearing was amplified from the experiments. The screaming drowned out the rain. The tadpole covered her ears.
“Shut up!” she yelled again. Madoka backed away to the other side of her capsule but the thuds and shaking grew worse. She couldn’t take it anymore. This had to stop. The tadpole opened her capsule door and climbed out. Her “Occupied” light turned off as her feet hit the floor. Everything went quiet. No more screaming. No more banging. Madoka turned her head. Her heart pounded against her chest as her eyes widened.
Her neighbor’s indicator light was off. Madoka shook her head.
“No…” she said. “No, no. That can’t be.” Maybe the indicator light was broken or something. The tadpole walked up to the capsule and opened the door. Nothing. There was no one inside. Madoka turned and ran to the front desk. She rang the bell as fast as she could. The night shift concierge.
“What’s the problem?” he asked. “What seems to be the trouble?” Madoka tried to explain the situation to the best of her ability. At first, the man looked confused.
“Hold on, what did you say?” he asked. Madoka showed him the bracelet.
“This,” she said. The night shift concierge took one look and his eyes widened.
“Oh, I am so sorry, miss,” he said in a low voice. “We gave you the wrong capsule. You were supposed to be in 919. Not 616. I am terribly sorry!” The way he said it and the look of terror in his eyes told him what her needed to know. His thoughts told her as much.
We did Maki give her that capsule? Why? Why?!
Needless to say, Madoka is now looking for an apartment to live in.
-Shinra and Celty-
It was supposed to be a rare quiet night in.
[Oh good, more weirdos.]
Celty turned to Shinra. Lately, the doctor seemed to be away in his thoughts. He mostly spent his mornings at Yagiri Pharmaceuticals. Shinra didn’t seem to be eating or sleeping much. When was the last time he took a shower? The couple didn’t talk much anymore either.
Celty began to type on her PDA but paused. What could she say to him? He barely responds to her anymore. Shinra always seemed so… distant.
“I am fine,” Shinra spoke up. Celty paused. The doctor didn’t look up.
“I am fine, Celty,” he said without looking away from the TV. “You don’t need to worry about me.” The dullahan didn’t look so certain about that. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Shinra seemed to snap out of it.
“Who could that be?” he asked.
[I don’t know,] Celty typed. The couple got up when the pounding on the door grew faster. Shinra looked out the peep hole.
“Who is it?” he asked. He could only hear a soft mumbling outside. Curious, the doctor opened the door a crack. A woman stood outside biting on her hand. Confused, Shinra opened the door wider. The woman kept her eyes to the ground. Despite it being summer, she had on jeans and a thick brown sweater. She looked so pale with her wrinkled and messed up clothes covered in blood. Her feet were just as dirty as the rest of her appearance.
[Uh… Can we help you?] Celty typed. The woman trembled at first. She finally looked up at the couple with wide glazed over eyes.
“Call the police! I just killed my husband!” the woman screamed. The volume of her voice was enough to make Shinra call the cops. About ten minutes later, the police showed up. Celty stayed by her boyfriend as they searched the apartment. The detective walked up to the couple.
“We can’t seem to find her,” he said. “And dispatch never received calls about any murders in this neighborhood. Are you playing some sort of a prank on us?”
“No,” Shinra said. “It all really happened. That lady was standing at our door.”
[He’s telling the truth,] Celty typed. [I saw her too. She was right there.] The dullahan pointed out the front door. The detective looked out the empty door.
“Hm,” was all he said. Shinra and Celty looked at each other. Who was that woman who confessed to murder?
She stood by the side of the street as if looking for something or someone.
[I have seen her before. I don’t think I can do her story any justice.]
“Excuse me!” someone shouted. The woman in the yellow sundress turned her head. Tatsuya stood inches away from her with a puzzled look on his face.
“Are you lost or something?” he asked. She looked at him with big eyes.
“Am I… lost?” she asked. The woman’s voice trembled as she spoke. Tatsuya made a face as he blinked at her.
“Yes,” he said. “Are you lost?” The woman in the yellow sundress shook her head.
“Are you waiting for someone?” he asked.
“Waiting for someone?” she asked.
“Uh… yeah,” Tatsuya said. “Look, are you feeling okay?” The woman’s face twisted up into despair.
“I don’t want to die,” she whimpered.
“What?” he asked. The woman in the yellow sundress grabbed her head and started wailing.
“Miss?” Tatsuya asked.
“He’s coming to kill me!” she shouted.
“What are you talking about?!” he yelled, grabbing her by the wrists. “Miss? Miss?” But then, Tatsuya found himself standing on the side of the road alone.
“Huh? Where did she go?” he asked. “Hello? Hello?” All that he was greeted with was the sounds of the city at night.
The smell of cigarette smoke and perfume teased Mikado’s nose. When he opened his eyes looked around, he found himself in unfamiliar surroundings. Vintage enlarged photos hung from the walls. Brown and red invade the room. White diamond chandeliers hung from the ceilings. The furniture looked like it could have been from a Victorian catalog with the stuffy-looking brown leather on the couches and booths. The wooden floor felt cold to his feet. Mikado found himself sitting in a booth with a Tiffany lamp turned on.
“Oh good, you’re awake,” a woman’s voice said. Mikado turned his head. A woman with long blonde hair stood by his table. Her green and white cocktail dress hugged her curves. Mikado frowned a little bit.
“Hello, Rin,” he said. Rin giggled and sat down in his lap. The tadpole cleared his throat.
“So… how are you?” he asked. He could smell her perfume from her cleavage. The tadpole adverted his eyes from down her dress.
“A bit lonely,” Rin said with a pout. She cuddled up to the tadpole boy. Mikado tried to inch away from her.
“I am sorry to hear that,” he muttered.
“Rin leave the boy alone,” another woman’s voice said. “Can’t you see that you have stressing him out?” Rin and Mikado looked up to see that woman standing in the doorway. She had on a deep purple and gold kimono with her hair done up in a traditional bun. Mikado stared at the black moon earrings in her ears. Rin frowned.
“Get off me, Naho,” she said. “Don’t you have your teddy bears to tend to?” The woman in the kimono forced herself to smile.
“My children are fine,” she said. Naho slid into the booth and sat across from Mikado and Rin. She leaned in and smiled.
“Tell me, Mikado-san,” Naho said. “How are you doing?”
“Good…” the tadpole boy said. “Why am I here?” The women didn’t speak at first. They looked at each other before they turned to Mikado. Rin rested her head against his chest.
“Please don’t join Yamato and his crew,” she said in a low voice. “We don’t want anymore blood on your hands.” Mikado gave her a confused look.
“What are you talking about?” he asked. “I haven’t killed anyone. Who is Yamato?”
“Another tadpole,” Naho said in a matter of fact tone.
“What?!” Mikado yelped.
[Oh, would you look at that? Another little freak on the loose.]
It’s another slow night at the hospital. Only Joe and Arisa were on shift tonight. Arisa gave her coworker an uneasy look. The English nurse looked up at her.
“How are your babies?” she asked.
“Good,” Arisa said, trying to keep calm. She didn’t even make eye contact. Just finish this shift and get home. Arisa wasn’t supposed to be working tonight. One of their coworkers got sick and had to check into the hospital itself. Arisa ended up covering her shift for the night. She didn’t have much of a choice. Her fellow nurse gave her a sympathetic look.
“I wish you luck,” Himeko whispered. Arisa forced herself to smile.
“Geez, thanks,” she muttered. Back in present day, Joe raised an eyebrow at her.
“How old is Goro now?” she asked. Arisa gave her a quick odd look.
“Why?” she asked. Joe shrugged.
“Just asking,” she said. Arisa wrinkled her nose. But then, Joe paused.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “One of the doctors needed you to go down to the basement to get fresh scalpels.” Arisa raised her eyebrow.
“Which doctor?” she asked.
“I can’t remember his name,” Joe said. “It was one of those old stuffy guys.” The way she stared at her co-worker sent off red flags.
“Why do I have to go?” Arisa asked. Joe didn’t answer. Instead, she grinned. The other nurse forced herself to smile.
“Alright,” she said.
“Thank you,” Joe said. Arisa gave her a fake smile and walked out of the nurse’s station.
Joe had been acting weird lately. It’s been getting worse. But the nurses didn’t know how to approach the subject. None of them wanted to work shifts with her anymore. Arisa tried to come up with excuses to avoid shifts with her. Tonight, she had no luck.
Arisa made it down to the door. She took in a breath and put her hand to the doorknob. How long has anyone been down here? The nurse shook her head. Just get this over with and get through this shift.
“Right,” Arisa said to herself. She turned the knob on the door. To her surprise, the nurse found it unlocked.
“Huh?” she asked. “Who left this unlocked?” Arisa felt goosebumps forming on her arms as she opened the door. When she looked down the stairs, the nurse froze. At the bottom of the stairs stood a figure in a long white hospital gown. This… creature looked so pale with skinny limbs. The bottom of its gown was covered in blood. The worst part was its head shaking rapidly. Almost like it was having a seizure. One step towards the stairs was all it took for Arisa to turn around and run.
Meanwhile, Joe finished up her paperwork, chuckling to herself.
[Oh, it’s only going to get worse with that crazy bitch.]
-Lunch Day Out-
On Sunday, Midori found it hard to enjoy lunch. She shook her head.
“Are you okay, dear?” her mother asked.
“No,” Midori said.
Her mom put her hand on Midori’s. Her daughter jerked her head upwards. That old concerned look in her eyes made her daughter’s heart ache.
“We can go home if you want,” her mom said. Midori shook her head.
“Are you sure?” her mom asked. Her daughter nodded one. She slowly drew back her hand.
“Alright,” she said.
“Thank you,” Midori said. A waiter came by their table. He looked about Midori’s age, maybe a little bit older. His cheeks turned bright pink as he stared at the tadpole. Midori reached up and started waving in his face. She cleared her throat aloud. The waiter came back to earth.
“Oh!” he said. “Ladies, are you ready to order?”
“Yeah,” her mom said. “I will have Classic Spaghetti with meat sauce.”
“I’ll have the pizza Margherita,” Midori said. The waiter took down their orders and took up their menus. Midori turned back to her mom.
“What did you want to talk to me about?” she asked. Her cheeks turned bright red.
“I’m seeing someone,” she said. Midori’s eyes widened as her jaw dropped.
“Who?” she asked. Her mom tried not to giggle.
“You remember that coworker I told you about?” she asked.
“The geeky one that is so nice to you?” the tadpole asked.
“Yes,” she said. “We have been dating for three weeks now.”
“Wow, congratulations,” Midori said. “I’m so happy for you.” Her mom’s cheeks turned red.
“Thanks,” she said in a soft voice. The waiter came by their table with a big bottle of wine.
“Um… excuse me, we didn’t order this,” Midori said.
“I know,” the waiter said. “It’s compliments of the bartender to the pretty ladies at table eight.” The tadpole looked over at the bar. There was the bartender looking at her blushing.
“Oh,” Midori said. “Tell him I said thanks, I guess.” The waiter nodded and walked over to the bar.
“Wow, the staff here is really nice to us today,” Midori’s mom said.
“Yeah…” the tadpole said uneasily. She tried to laugh off the unwanted attention. Suddenly, Midori heard a low whisper in her ear. Their words made her blood run cold.
I will kill your mother. Midori started shaking.
“Baby?” her mother asked. “Baby, what’s the matter?” The tadpole went pale as she shook her head.
[Poor little freak. Mommy’s going to be dead too.]
-Little Red Diary-
Noriko had just finished her summer homework when something was slipped through her door.
“Hm?” she asked. Curious, Noriko got up and walked over to the door. When she looked down, a confused look came over her face.
“What is this?” she asked. Noriko bent down and picked up a book with a blank red cover.