Happy Wonderland


Halo Seven: Ticket:

Mikado looked out the window as he was put on hold. In his mind, he tried to figure out the identity of the caller. He didn't recognize the number and the name came up as unknown. The voice sounded distorted by some sort of an electric device. Still, the biggest mystery was why did this person keep calling him night after night around ten o'clock. The subject of these conversation were either about Noriko or the notes that Mikado had been collecting over the weeks. Instinct screamed "hang up" in Mikado's head. Still, his curiosity wouldn't allow it.

"Hm? It's okay," he said once the caller came back. "Now, where were we?"

-Across Town This Evening-

The outside light flickered as Keiichi stood in front of the run-down 7-11 fifty feet away from Kinko Sekai Apartments. Isao gave him a quick run-down of what to do.

"Here you are," he said, handing Keiichi the fancy black and red card.

"Thanks, man," the journalist student said, slipping it into his jacket pocket.

"If you really want to get in, you have to pick up a gold or silver mask."

"Where would I get something like that?"

"Don't go for the cheap party shops. Get it from a sex shop."

Keiichi's face turned bright red. "What?!"

"You want to get into the club, don't you?"

"Well… yes, but—"

His senior leaned in close enough for his lips to graze his ear. "Do what you have to get inside." Isao smacked him on the back.

"Ow," Keiichi mumbled. So after an embarrassing trip to the nearest sex shop to get the proper pass that he needed, (He couldn't get the clerk's snickering out of his head), he stood in front of the 7-11 wearing a gold mask decorated with black feathers. He had to do this to bring Arisu home. Keiichi counted down in his head and pulled open the glass doors.

Virtually, nobody was in the store. Except for the clerk reading a magazine on the graveyard shift, the place might as well have been dead. Keiichi was almost convinced that he had stepped into the wrong place. No, this was correct. Might as well get this over with. Keiichi walked up to the counter. The clerk peeked up from her magazine.

"Uh…" Keiichi said. "I would like to cash this in, please." He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the card. The clerk's dull expression didn't change on her face as he slid it across the surface. She picked up the card and rang it up. A receipt printed out and she handed it to the journalist student.

"You have a good night," she mumbled. Keiichi took his ticket, saluted, and headed out the door.

"Good night," he said before heading out the door.

Keiichi found the club entrance without any trouble. The further he walked, the more he noticed that there weren't any people around. This feels kind of creepy. Keiichi looked up when he heard shouting. He founded the sound to a man in a cheap suit holding up his ticket, begging another man in a black hoodie standing in front of two steel doors.

"Please that can't be right!" the suited man begged. "You have to let me in! I want more! I want more!" The stoic guard pushed the man off. The crazed soul crawled back, clutching his ticket like it was his last yen bill.

"I must get in!" he wailed. "I want to see the goddess! I want to see the goddess!" The hooded guard pulled out his phone and made a quick call. The suited man looked around as two more guys with Heaven's Slave tattoos came and dragged the addict away.

"What?!" he yelled. "No! Stop! Stop! My goddess! My goddess!" Keiichi clenched his teeth under his mask. Poor bastard. Still, his rescue mission didn't allow him time to feel pity. He hoped that he would have better luck as he walked up to the hooded guard. Keiichi gulped as he held up his ticket. The guard looked at the numbers on the faded piece of paper. The journalist student bit his lower lip as he waited. Suddenly, the big man in the hoodie handed back the ticket and moved aside. Keiichi bowed his head and walked through the opening doors. Whoa! I'm in!

Keiichi followed the red jasmine-scented perfume down the narrow dark halls. He didn't stop moving as his eyes shifted left and right. Steps one and two were down. He would first check things out, take some notes, discreetly ask some questions, and build his case from there. However, the walk through the black and gold confetti curtains would end up leading him into both a bigger distraction and another project.

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