Chapter One, Part Three
You know in adventure stories when the hero gets told they are something special; that had just happened to me.
Me, in this strange Polish lady’s old corner shop kitchen while a ghost and something called a Kappa looked on like it was an episode of Jerry Springer.
But that wasn’t even the bad thing. The bad thing was, I had no idea what a Creature Seer even was! In Harry Potter, wizards were something he probably had heard of! Buffy Summers probably heard of vampires and hunting meaning she could put one and two together! Every character from Anakin Skywalker to Liu Kang and even Po from Kung Fu Panda knew that being called the chosen one meant they were going to be doing something big, and dangerous. But me? I get something that was confusing that came completely out of left field. Creature Seer.
“What?!” I frowned eventually after moments of silence.
“Hold on,” She said then picked up her cup of tea, went to the door to lock and turn the sign around to closed. “Get your brother,” She said pulling the box I used as a bad barricade back where it came from with her free hand.
“Why are you gonna confuse him too?” I asked sidestepping the strange things on the bottom of the stairs.
“Just get him. Zack?” She called pointing then my little brother appeared from the room of antiques.
“Wow, there’s a whole lot of old stuff in there! There’s even a model ship Ryder!” He exclaimed pointing back to it as I strode over and grabbed his hand.
“That’s great, now come on we need to go with the strange lady she’s going to explain something to me,” I then turned back to her. “Something she better not be lying about,” I added impatiently. She lowered the shutters on the window with a button near the window in the room with groceries.
“I am not, but I will say it will confuse, and get even more strange,” She chuckled then lead us into the back room where the antiques are.
“Where are you going now?!” I demanded as she went to a door in the back room that was hidden by two cabinets with glass in the doors that let you see the expensive and colourful fine china on display.
“We are going into my study,” She replied opening the door and propping it open with a small wooden carved statue that was tucked away on the inside of the doorway. “Zack, do you like cars?” She asked my little brother who silently nodded. “Good, here you can play with these in the other room through here while I talk to your brother,” she calmly said going to the shelves in the centre of the room that had various boxes of old toys still in good condition for cheap to pick up a medium-sized box of cars. “Now come through here,” She said striding through the door resting the box on her small hip while she held the side furthest from her with her hand.
“Wait! You need to tell me what that means!” I exclaimed following her and pulling my brother with me gently getting him to walk faster down the little cramped hallway that had the underside of the staircase above and another door at the end of it. “And why do we have to go into your-” I stopped the second I walked through the door after her and saw her study. It was nothing like any old study I’d seen before. Not like my Appa’s shoebox of a room across from the living room, or like the old-fashioned end of the wild west time style rooms you see in fancy boarding schools. It wasn’t even a room; it was a whole other building! There were three levels to it, all with high ceilings. The bottom one had a raised circular platform in the centre that had two sets of staircases with fancy black metal designs with symbols on flat disks every so often on the railings and dark wooden steps going up to the next floors marking the edges with smooth wooden beams on the tops. The ground on the first floor was marble up until the circle. That had a black marble rim and in the middle was a blend of all multicolours. On the other side of the circle, there was a wooden table with a few comfy chairs around it and some books, scrolls and a small treasure chest. Around the end of the long room, there were two-sided cabinets that had shelves and display cases holding various unusual ornaments, and even a few that looked like animal bones that went right around the room in sections. At the other side of the room, there were a set of closed double doors that had some glass edging it letting in sunlight. The main source of light in this massive room however, was the sunlight being let in by the glass ceiling marked by more beautiful stained-glass symbols you could see better from the higher levels. The overall style of it was start of the 20th century Edwardian with modern touches where needed. It wasn’t too far away from looking like a museum for all kinds of strange things, and it was unbelievable. “Study…” I stuttered as I slowly turning to take in the whole room.
“You can play just here dear,” Elsa said to Zack, putting the box of toys on the platform.
“What is all of this?! How is this here and not seen from outside?!” I asked wandering towards one of the sections that had a human-like figure carved on the grand cabinet up against the wall the door was on.
“It is my Creature Seer’s study, and it is hidden by magic. Now come,” She began then beckoned me to come up to the second floor with her.
“Magic?! Magic is hiding this?! It’s like Narnia meets the Tardis!” I exclaimed, my day was getting even crazier by the second.
“Yes, now come. Before we do anything else, I need to make you sign some things,” She told me as we moved to the second floor that had artefacts, statues and other historical and weird things, but they were from all over the world. If Alisha was here, she’d be naming which country each of them was from.
“Sign what?” I asked suspiciously slowing down a little.
“I know it is worrying, strange woman you just meet asks you to sign things, but you must trust me,” she insisted as we walked towards the two next smaller and less impressive looking stairs. We went to what looked like a small armoury. I only got a few seconds to look at as we went up the stairs going to the right side. This side of the highest floor went to an area that looked like a comfy meeting area with plush chairs, a nice black wooden coffee table, a painting of a pair of eyes that were rainbow coloured and below that there were two silver filing cabinets with locks on each draw.
“Yeah, glad you are aware,” I said looking down at my little brother while he played. Near him was the little ghost boy, Hanz sitting watching. My brother didn’t pay any attention to him though. “But he doesn’t look aware of that ghost,” I pointed out getting Elsa to come over and look down at the scene with a frown. “Why doesn’t he see him? He saw that creepy woman,” I asked her.
“He is not like you and I,” She said shaking her head then walked over to the filing cabinet. “He is not Creature Seer, and Hanz is shy. He can see 8-Feet-Tall because she likes him,” She added opening it up to get out a paper document and a small green leather cover book. “Now sit,” She said putting her tea, the paper and book open on a blank page on the table.
“What is this?” I asked seeing her name written on another page while I took a seat.
“This is a record of every Creature Seer since the mid-nineteenth century,” she told me. “And this is a blood promise note-”
“A WHAT?!” I screamed jumping up and backing away from that paper version of nope.
“It is necessary. Something signed in the blood of a Creature Seer cannot be forged as easy as something signed in pen,” She explained surprisingly calm, but what she just told me was far was calm!
“Signing something in blood is a little cult-like don’t you think?!” I pointed out.
“It is needed. There will be people who will pretend to be you to do bad. You need to trust me,” She nodded.
“Who?” I asked.
“Bad people that I explain to you about, but you must understand that all of this I am about to tell you must stay secret,” She told me sitting down in the chair across from mine.
“Why?” I frowned sitting down again.
“Well, how would you think the world would react knowing every creature, deity, demon, monster and ghost from every mythology in history is real?” She questioned raising an eyebrow lacing her fingers in front of her.
“Good point, they’d panic, or do some crazy stuff with it,” I replied nodding. It’s a classic excuse but it is true. “Wait, every creature from mythology is real? All mythical creatures?!” I exclaimed my jaw dropping open while resting my fingertips on my temples.
“If you have seen it, it is real,” She then held up one index finger. “Rule one of being a Creature Seer. Seeing is believing,” I let a slow and silent breath while I processed what she just told me.
“Dragons?” I asked and she nodded. “Vampires?”
“Demons?” She nodded again leaning back into her chair. “Zombies?”
“Every mythical creature you can think of,” She told me.
“Are, Creature Seers mythical?” I asked.
“No. We are still human. But we see things most humans don’t,” she explained.
“How? Why?” I asked as she turned the book to the front of the book.
“We were given them by deities from other worlds. Gods and Goddesses after they were created by whatever it was that created them, that we do not know,” She told me picking up the book. “But we are not hunters or slayers or vanquishers or busters,” She told me gesturing a lot with her free hand before she put on her reading glasses she got from her cardigan pocket. “Creature Seers are beings that keep the balance between the world of creatures and the world of humans. We must remain unbiased and use our ability to for fill that duty as best we can by living by the rules set in places after thousands of years of trial and error,” She read from the book, which must be some kind of bible as well as an autograph book for Creature Seers. “You understand we don’t kill unless we have to, we resolve things as peacefully as we can. This is not a superpower or gift. There have been past Creature Seers who have had horrible lives because of what they see,” She told me.
“Like what?” I asked, I know I was asking tonnes more question, but she was answering them now thankfully.
“Past Creature Seers, who may not have understood what they were, have been treated bad by society, driven mad, and lived lonely lives for fear of seeing terrifying creatures,” She told me grimly. “Good thing for you is that you have been brought by fate to me, and you now know you are not crazy,” She told me with a warm smile then flicked the pages.
“So, with great power comes great responsibility?” I asked.
“A lot of responsibility. But you will be guided and taught. That is the way of Creature Seers, for the elder to pass it on to the student when they meet,” She told. She called herself old, at least she was self-aware. “Now for the rules. You need to know all of them and understand them before you sign this book and the promise note,”
“Actually, could we go back to that please? What is a blood promise note?” I said, pointing to the paper.
“This is an agreement that you sign, to promise you will not tell humans about what we are or about this world unless you have no choice. Some know about it, but they also have to keep it secret or there will be consequences,” She warned me still mysterious.
“What consequences?” I asked.
“Death,” She told me casually making me gasp.
“DEATH?! YOU KILL PEOPLE?!” I screamed, but she held up a hand to calm me down.
“No, we make an agreement that states if they break this promise freely, a creature will come and kill them. It serves as a guarantee,” She shrugged. “It rarely happens, it is just to cover us, Ryder. All contracts have terms and this is the one for this,” She told me. It still sounded shady, but I guess Creature Seers were pretty serious about keeping this a secret.
“Pretty serious contract that if it involves that,” I said picking it up to read it.
“Serious thing,” She replied watching me read the promise note. “If you want me to explain something else I can,” She told me as I read it. The note went like this:
‘By signing this blood promise note in my very own blood, I hereby promise that I will not reveal Creature Seers and the world of creatures to any Blind Humans unless I have no other choice but to do so. If I break this promise then a creature chosen by the one who has revealed this world and Creature Seers to me and given me this to sign will be sent to kill me. The Creature chosen for this is:’.
Then there was a gap for the name of whatever thing would be chosen. There was a space left underneath for me to sign and below that there was a line saying Creature Seer that told me and another space for them to sign.
“Will he have to sign one of these?” I asked. Elsa glance sideways and listened to Zack happily playing with his cars.
“Children his age can be convinced it is something else. We aren’t cruel. But he may need to be told when he is older,” She told me which made me sigh heavily in relief. “Now for the rules,” She then went back to the book of signatures. “I say first rule before, what was it?” She asked me and I frowned trying to remember it.
“Err, seeing is believing?” She nodded smiling then adjusting her glasses read the second one.
“Rule two, do your research. You wouldn’t walk into a battle without knowing who you enemy is, especially if you have all the information on them you need,” She told me gesturing to the study around her. I bet some of those books on the shelved below us weighed more than my brother. “Rule three. Only kill a creature if they are a threat to you. If you can avoid fighting that is good. Like I say before we are not killers,” She said seriously once again.
“We will have to kill that thing out there?” I asked referring to that tall woman.
“No, but she is still dangerous,” Great I thought feeling stress fill me again for my brother and took my hat off to run my fingers through my hair. “Rule four. Prepare where and when you can. We do not do all what we do magically. Preparing means fewer mistakes and fewer mistakes means less risk of hurt,” I wonder what kind of preparation I’d have to do to fight mythical creatures. Would it be cool? Or gross? Or boring? “Rule five. Weapons, magic, and artefacts are not to be misused,” She then pointed at where the weapons were being kept on all kinds of displays both on the wall and stood on the ground in glass cases. “They are not toys,” She told me and I nodded. I dread to think what damage they could do, even if it probably was OP and badass. “Rule six. Keep the peace, don’t be biased. As in anything in life to do with people. Listen to both sides before you choose what to do,” She explained. I chuckled thinking if only everything was like that in life. “Rule seven. Do the right thing even if it is the hardest thing,” She said leaning forward as she told me another more serious rule. That made me stress more about the possible situations I could end up in. “Rule eight. Record new things you see always. Anything you don’t find already in a book or scroll you make note of. All this is built on information passed down Ryder,” She told me once again gesturing around her to the study. That made me raise my eyebrows in amazement. If all those books were written by Creature Seers how many Creature Seers have existed?!
“It’s possible for new stuff that could be learnt that isn’t already in those books?” I questioned gesturing to the floor of books with my thumb.
“You may learn something new Ryder. But make notes if you do,” She then turned the page onto the next page of rules. “Rule nine. Know when to leave something alone,” I frowned at that one.
“But, aren’t we supposed to keep the balance and peace?” I asked frowning.
“Yes. But sometimes leaving things alone or not doing anything is how we do that,” She explained holding the book at the bottom between her thumbs and index fingers. “Rule ten, and this is very important rule. Do not bring Blind Humans into our world unless you have no choice. This rule is mentioned in blood promise as you read before. It is one of the most important,” She stressed.
“You’re making people sign things in blood to do with that rule, I gathered,” I said holding up the promise note. She hummed raising an eyebrow disapproving of my sarcasm but went on to the next rule.
“Rule eleven. Relations with Blind Humans are not encouraged,” She told me and I frowned again as she let out a heavy sigh. “I warn you this is to do with the last rule. A relationship with a blind human will put them in danger. You should not be stopped from being in love, but know that duty is important too, and no matter how much you love someone they will never know what it’s like to live with this ability, and it will be extremely difficult,” She told me. It sounded like she was speaking from experience a little.
“Are Blind Humans people who don’t see creatures?” I asked and she nodded.
“Your brother is one,” She told me. Thank goodness he didn’t realise that woman out there was dangerous and real. He’d probably be traumatised. Any person would be seeing monsters. “Rule twelve. Relations with creatures are forbidden,” She said making my jaw drop open.
“There have been Creature Seers who got freaky with, Creatures?” She just shrugged at me in astonishment like it was nothing.
“Probably with a humanoid creature. It is forbidden as they have caused us to break rules on being unbiased and cause problems. Relations with creatures can be much more complicated and we cannot hold them responsible for doing wrong like we can humans, and they can be much more dangerous than humans,” She told me which made my eyes go wide while I wondered what messed up situations Creature Seers and creatures go themselves into that meant they needed this rule to be more serious than the last one. Bad ones I assume. “Rule thirteen. Do not make a deal with the Devil,” She said in a serious tone again.
“…The Devil is real?” I asked speaking quieter and she nodded.
“There may be times where they ask for help. But you don’t deal with the devil as forces above see it as us being biased. And it can come back to nip you later, to say the least,” She explained, again blowing my mind.
“Wow, I thought deal with the devil was just a saying. Did you mean it can come back to bite me later?” I asked and she tutted then nodded.
“Yes, I get muddled sometimes,” She said laughing softly at herself. “We are nearly there. Rule fourteen. Kill any Bounty Hunters you come across,” I gasped.
“Hold the horses and bring ’em back to the starting line. You said before we weren’t killers and to only kill if we have to!” I reminding pointing at the book with the rules.
“Bounty Hunters are different. They are humans that like us, can see creatures. But they were not given the ability by deities on the other side. They earned it by doing horrible things to humans and creatures. It is in their blood to kill anything they can for their own gain. They exist to destroy the peace and balance so any chance you get you kill a Bounty Hunter. They will likely try to kill you anyway Ryder,” She explained, understanding my confusion but once again not taking back what she said.
“…Would they try and kill a loved one of a Creature Seer?” I asked looking sideways thinking of my family and she nodded.
“And anyone close to them. They take pleasure in causing pain to anything they can, but Creature Seers most of all,” She told me. I swallowed looking over at the railing. I may just be finding out about all this, but I would not let any Bounty Hunter no matter how crazy get away with hurting anyone.
“Is that it?” I asked looking at her again.
“One more rule. Rule Fifteen,” She began and I shifted to listen to her with a nod to show her I was focused on her and ready for what insane rule she’d tell me next. “Be discreet,” I wasn’t expecting that.
“Be discreet?” I repeated.
“Yes, it is to keep Blind Humans from this world of creatures again,” she explained turning the book back to the blank page she wanted me to sign. “Think them over dear,” She told me as I held my head with one hand looking to the side at nothing. “I know it is a lot but you will learn,” She told me taking a sip of her tea. As she did the little lizard creature come up waddling up the stairs with the small chest from the table downstairs and a plastic cup of water in his webbed hands. I frowned even more confused by this creature seeing there was a bowl of water in its head and it had a turtle shell on its back. He stopped next to Elsa then held out the chest a little like a child wanting to impress his parent; Zack did the same when he did his homework with our parents. “Thank you, Kappa,” Elsa said in Japanese bowing her head before taking it to put on the table.
“You speak Japanese?” I asked her in Japanese making her smile impressed by me and a little surprised.
“I studied business at the University of Tokyo, and I also did a lot of my Creature Seer studies there, ” She opened the chest to take out two small twin ceremonial daggers instead of fighting and a golden feather quill. She then got up to walk over to the filing cabinets. She then opened the middle drawer on the right cabinet but before I could see anymore the little Kappa creature stepping in front of me glaring at me with his creepy beady eyes. I yelped and jumped out of my chair.
“WHY DOES LEONARDO NOT LIKE ME?!” I screamed, hearing him let out an aggressive ‘reeeee’ lizard sounding noise while he clenched his fists.
“He is a Kappa, a Japanese creature that is quite offended by you and your bad manners,” she told me, walking back over to sit again with two small glass bowls with carved leaf trails on them in her hand. “Ryder is new to this Kappa, forgive his rudeness. He will learn,” She said to him in Japanese. The Kappa backed off a little. “You should try to be polite to him. Kappa like good manners,” She told me and I nodded then remember the traditional manners my Grandma drilled into me when we would go to see her in Korea. I stood up then turned to the turtle man.
“Forgive my rudeness Kappa. I am very overwhelmed by all of this. I will make sure to be more thoughtful when I see new creatures,” I said then gave him a bow. He then tilted his head at me, and I smiled trying not to look awkward or insincere.
“Pointing and shouting at something strange is unkind, but the nature of humans. I accept your apology,” he replied, and it took all my self-control not to show my shock at the fact he could talk. His nasally voice sounded was like if Zack had a really bad cold, and it gave him a cartoon feel. He then turned to Elsa. “I will be downstairs watching Hanz and our other guest. And putting salt down,” He told Elsa then he waddled off after Elsa thanked him.
“He’s way cooler than a Ninja Turtle,” I said, seeing him walk down the stairs making a nasally humming sound.
“Never mind your Ninja Turtles. You need to sign this, now that you know what this is,” She told me then she got up holding the dagger. “Give me your hand you don’t write with,” She asked and slowly I held out my hand to her. She then made a teeny cut on the end of my finger. I cringed at the pain as she held the glass bowl under my finger as blood slowly started to drip into it.
“This was not what I expected to do today,” I chuckled at her and she huffed. “I won’t catch anything right?” I asked as she pushed the cup of water towards me.
“Every Creature Seer says the same thing,” She replied then took out a cotton handkerchief from her pocket. “And no,” She then wrapped the handkerchief around my finger.
“You see that quill? Pick it up,” she told me. I did so. “Dip it in the blood, write your name and sign the book of Creature Seer names,” I gagged a little at the smell. Blood was gross to me, but I wasn’t faint or sick. “And now the promise note,” She said then I dipped the quill in my blood again.
“Uh, nice quill. Looks like a phoenix feather,” I complimented as I signed the blood promise note.
“You guess well Ryder. That is phoenix,” She told me and I almost dropped it, my eyes going wide admiring the beautiful glimmering feather even more.
“Thanks…lucky me…” I stuttered then I carefully put it down when I finished, holding onto the hanky around my hand. She washed my blood off the quill, and put it down so she could cut her finger and signed the ‘Creature Seer that told me’ bit of the promise note. She then took out two band-aids quickly putting one on her finger then told me to move the handkerchief.
“Let me put this on your cut,” She said gently plastering my cut.
“Do you have a pen?” I asked. She took out a blue pen from her pocket. I then drew a smiley face on it so my finger looked like it was a little finger puppet. Elsa raised an eyebrow at me. “It’s for Zack. He hates band-aids and getting cuts. Always upset him when he was a baby,” I told her, wagging my finger playfully.
“You are a good big brother,” She smiled and I nodded.
“Does this mean I can protect him from that thing now?” I asked and she nodded.
“We need to pin down what the thing is,” she said swishing the tips of the daggers and the quill in the water to clean the blood off it, and put it all away in the chest.
“Come, we now go to the library,” she told me picking up the glass bowls, her teacup and the cup of bloody water, balancing them in her hands while she walked back towards the stairs down the second floor. “Also, this floor,” she said holding out an arm holding the teacup and water cup stacked in her hand. “Has artefacts from all over the world that have come into the possession of Creature Seers,” She then pointed to the left-wing. “Starts with North America, then round to South America, Europe here,” She explained pointing to the area around where the stairs ended, a suit of armour. “Then it goes to Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia and Polynesian, it follows world map you see?” She explained sweeping her arm around as mentioned each continent so I could see which one was which. “Now then, Zack?” Elsa began moving the bloody glass bowls to behind her back so he couldn’t see it.
“Yeah?” He replied looking up.
“I need to ask you and Ryder about that woman you saw, so you will need to be truthful with me okay dear?” She explained as I saw one of the cars roll along. Hanz was watching it as it moved and when it got near him, he began to play with it like a normal child. Zack nodded then went back to playing with his own car not irritated by Hanz in the slightest. Nice to know Hanz was a nice ghost, because I watched Poltergeist and I haven’t slept in complete darkness since.
“Stay here one moment, have a little look at the shelves but do not touch,” she told me then rushed off back towards her kitchen with all the dishes. I saw Kappa stood near the double doors putting salt down across the bottom of it like he said before.
“Don’t demons hate salt, Kappa?” I asked him and he turned around holding the plastic container labelled ‘salt’ in both his hands.
“Most do. I sense that the demon targeting Zack is evil. There is a feeling of familiarity about her too. I think she may be from Japan,” He told me passing the salt back and forth in his webbed hands. “Also there have been slugs trying to get in from the garden. Pests,” he added, disgusted at the slimy creatures. “If you will excuse me, Ryder, I must finish this job, ” He then bowed and went to put salt along the bottom of the windows around the door. I bowed back then turned back towards the other side of the study looking up at all the details of the carvings in the ends of the cabinets. They all were different like they were set to each section. And there were at least ten on each side of the study!
“You look?” Elsa suddenly spoke up as she entered the study.
“A little, how are we going to find out what that thing is in all these books? There are loads of them,” I said looking at a shelf of different sized books stacked upright against each other.
“We go off what we know and use the categories,” She explained.
“Categories?” I frowned. She then beckoned me to come over to the middle of the study.
“Over time we have put all the creatures into categories. There are thirty,”
“Thirty?!” I exclaimed glancing around counting the sections separated off by the tall cabinets.
“You will soon be able to list them in your sleep Ryder,” She told me patting my shoulder probably seeing that I was not believing that.
“School is tough enough, now I have this to learn too?!” I groaned letting my shoulders drop.
“Your Creature Seer studies can be fit around school dear, now. You say this creature was a woman yes?” She asked and I nodded then she stepped off the raised circle towards a section next to the one in the back right-hand corner. “That would be Female Frights, but she’s following you and your brother who are both children,” She muttered then wandered back over the platform, weaving past my brother and the toys to stop in front of the fifth section. It was down on the right side of the door leading in from the shop. “What did she look like again? Was she pregnant or crying at all?”
“No, she was tall, skinny and made a po, po, po noise,” I explained as she got a ladder out to open and climb.
“I know what it is,” She then took out a book with a shiny cover that looked newer compared to the other ones. “And there is good and bad news if it is her,” She added stepping back down the ladders.
“What is it?” I asked her as she brought the book over to me.
“Hachishakusama,” She said flicking through the book titled ‘Weirdest child snatchers’ to a page that had some Polaroid pictures of the woman I saw. It was her!
“That’s her!” I said pointing at one that was her stood under a lamp post at night creepily.
“Well that means the bad news outweighs the good news,” She sighed then looked over at Kappa. “We need newspaper, Kappa,” She said in Japanese and he let out a gurgling noise while he let his scaly shoulders drop.
“Newspaper?” I frowned then she told me to sit in a chair, her sitting in the one next to me.
“Hachishakusama means eight feet tall. She is a demon that steals children. It is easier than adults for her, and they are never seen again. But she is supposed to be in Japan only. Not all creatures can leave their native country freely,” Elsa read from the book.
“How is she here in America then?” I asked and she shook her head.
“I do not know. Good news is that she can be stopped.” She then hummed in thought frowning deeply. “It may not be too late to call K. But we do have things here to warn her off,” She then looked back at my brother playing hesitantly. “We also may have to ask your father for help. It will not be easy telling your parents.”
“Tell my parents? About all of this?!” I exclaimed pointing with both my index fingers to gesture to this world she just introduced me to.
“There is a ritual we can do to try confuse her. We may even be able to force her to leave and go back to Japan. It would be easier with K. We need to make more preparations quick,” She told me making me frown again.
“What kind of preparations. And who’s K?” I asked as she stood up.
“Statues and salt. And K is my friend from Japan-” Elsa trailed off when she saw a short old Asian woman in a purple cotton buttoned shirt, loose jeans and a shoulder bag frantically knocking on the door. “Is here,” She trailed off momentarily shocked before she rushed over to open the door.
“ELSA! You will not believe this! I just got a call from, oh,” She paused when she saw me. “You have guests. Sorry,”
“No worry K,” Elsa reassured her, locking the door. “Ryder here is like me,”
“Oh! You finally got your student!” K exclaimed looking me over with a smile. “Good, he can help. She is loose, I got a call from the temple. She escaped and somehow got to America!” She explained gripping her bag strap tightly.
“Do they have any idea how she got here?” Elsa asked, but K shook her head.
“We have to capture her before she takes any children!” K exclaimed.
“You can say that again, she’s already picked my brother,” I told her.
“She is being bold,” K said horrified to Elsa.
“She may think she can get away because he didn’t know he was a Creature Seer, but now they are she may back off,” said Elsa.
“Will she leave us alone now?” I asked.
“No! She will never stop liking your brother, even when he grows up! She will use extremely deceitful way to try and take him!” K stressed.
“Like what?” I asked then from the study I heard my brother call my name. I rushed back into the study and saw him looking right up at the ceiling. “What is it?”
“Eomma,” He said and pointed up at the ceiling. As he did that a looming shadow was cast over the room making my brother back towards me terrified at what he was looking at.
“Oh no,” I heard K whisper as Elsa strode into the study stopping next to me.
“It is her! Grab him!” Elsa exclaimed then she ran over to a storage section.
“Ryder!” Zack sobbed as I ran to him. I looked up to see something that looked like our mother. That didn’t last for long her figure blurred transforming back into the tall woman in white with a hat. She aggressively shouted ‘PO PO PO’ while she pressed her forehead and hands against the glass glaring at my little brother.
“CLOSE YOUR EYES ZACK!” I heard K shout as she rummaged in her bag for something.
“Do what she says!” I told Zack picking him up but all he did was sob.
“I’m scared…and who is that lady?” He whimpered.
“Keep him away from the windows and doors!” Elsa told me. She rushed to put a beautiful and heavy looking jade Buddha statue on the circle right in the middle of the room.
“I am Elsa’s friend, now take hold of this for me, Zack,” K said, handing him a small piece of parchment. “Stay out of sight,” she told us. She went over to Elsa.
“We need to get the boy home,” K said to her.
“No! It is too dangerous. He is safer here,” Elsa said looking up to watch the demon.
“Alright. But she’s bearing the pain that the magic is causing her, she may try and get in through the shop! We need his own blood to try and confuse her!”
“Blood?!” Zack whimpered clinging to the parchment with one hand while I held him close.
“They mean our parents, y’ know their blood runs in our veins because they’re our parents,” I explained looking over at the two talking.
“We can tell the mother and father here, they will be safe,” Elsa said going back to the storage area.
“Ryder was it?” K began looking at me and I nodded. “We need your parents here and any other family members that can get here tonight,”
“It’s only us, the rest are in California or South Korea it’d take too long for them to get here by tonight,” I said back.
“Then you need to get your parents here now,” She said then she looked into her bag again. We heard Kappa let out an aggressive gurgling growling aimed at the door clutching a few newspapers in each hand. She was stood there peering in through the glass.
“Kappa, help me with the newspaper!” Elsa called to Kappa, rushing towards him with a black bucket in her hands.
“You still have that creature?” K asked. She must not be a Creature Seer and able to see Kappa. “Hello Kappa, I hope you are well given the circumstances,” Kappa paused from putting up the newspaper with water from the bucket to look at Elsa and speak.
“Kappa says he is currently feeling threatened but hopes you are well too and thank you for asking K,” Elsa said covering the windows up while Kappa moved to the other side of the window around the door to glare out the window.
“Keep him sheltered, and call your parents,” K told me then she went over to the door and began saying a prayer in Japanese. I set my brother down on the floor in the corner but kept him looking at me as I took out my phone.
“My parents said they were busy, what if I can’t get them to come?” I asked.
“Make them, Ryder!” K shouted.
“O-okay, where should I get them to meet us? At our house?”
“No, you must bring them here. Zack cannot leave this room until tomorrow morning,” Elsa told me as rushed back to get something else from the never-ending storage area. Seriously this place was like Narnia mixed with the Tardis, and the natural history museum!
“Tomorrow? Where’s he gonna sleep?!” I asked.
“You may be able to get some things for him from home,” Elsa offered coming back with four ceramic bowls, all with flowers patterns on them. “Now call your parents,” She told me. I then called my Eomma first getting an answer after nearly seven rings.
“Ryder? Are you and Zack okay?” She began.
“Umm, sort of,” I stuttered unsure of how to answer her. “I need you to come and meet me.”
“What did you do? Do we need the police?” she asked frantically.
“No! No, but we do need Appa,” I told her.
“He won’t get back until late,” She reminded me.
“We can hold her off until then,” Elsa told me, K shouting her prayers like they were battle cries now.
“Who is that?!” My Eomma demanded.
“A friend who can help us. Please Eomma I know this is weird and vague and that it probably sounds like I’m in a madhouse at your end of the phone, but I need you to trust me and listen to me,” I begged then there was a pause.
“This isn’t your pills, is it? I can call the doctor again-”
“No! This is not that! Well, it is to do with that, but this isn’t because of me! We need you both right now, I’ll meet you at home as soon as after I’ve called Appa!” I said in English so everyone understood I didn’t want to be secretive then put the phone down.
“Ryder, are Eomma and Appa going to come here?” Zack asked me.
“Umm, yeah. They wanna meet Elsa. She says they can help make that mean lady go away,” I replied tapping on contacts.
“Are we gonna stay here?” He asked.
“Yeah, just for a night. Like a sleepover,” I told him smiling as I held my phone to my ear as it started ringing.
“Oooo can I bring my iPad?” Zack asked.
“Maybe, it’s up to them,” I replied and my Appa picked up.
“Hello?” He began, the sound of car engines revving in the background.
“Hey, it’s me, are you on the way home?” I asked just as I started hearing a tapping sound coming from the covered-up window. Zack, I heard whimper then curl up shutting his eyes again.
“Yes son, I’m well out of LA now, I should be there in less than two hours, what’s wrong?” He said back. “Other than this excellent person driving next to me while eating on the highway,” I smiled at his passive-aggressive sarcastic comment about bad drivers, which he often made and I would join in on but not right now.
“Zack and I need you to get home as soon as you can,”
“Are you two hurt?!”
“No, but we need you to get home as soon as you can. I’ve told Eomma, call me when you get to town,” I told him.
“Okay, stay safe,” he replied then put the phone down. The tapping sound had stopped, and the afternoon sun was shining in through the ceiling again. “Is she gone?”
“Yes, Kappa went out and move her on,” Elsa told me.
“Why? How?” I asked as the short turtle creature came waddling in from the shop with a bowl of water.
“You see this in his head?” She asked pointing to the bowl in his head. “That is his Sara, the source of his power,” She said then took the bowl of water and refilled it. “Thank you, Kappa, for your bravery,” She said in Japanese and gave him a bow.
“Power?” I frowned.
“Yes. They are good with medicine and combat. Also, this is Kappa’s territory. He feels threatened by any demon that comes close to it,” She told me.
“Okay, and what about Hanz does he have any ghostly superpowers?” I asked then the bowl from Elsa’s hand was flung upwards making me scream and her gasp.
“No!” She shouted catching the bowl successfully then glanced around like she was looking for him. “He can do things like that. He is also a child ghost. He knows Hachishakusama is a Child Snatcher,” She said then strode back to the storage area while I saw K pour salt into the four bowls Elsa had placed in the north, south, east and west parts of the room.
“What’s with the salt bowls? And the parchment?” I asked, sheltering my brother. He was still curled up with his eyes shut and hands gripping the parchment.
“Preparations. We are in for a long night,” K told me kneeling in front of the bowl placed under the archway of the stairs nearest me. “Are your parents on the way?”
“Yeah, but it’ll be a while,” I told her.
“Ah always is. Elsa, we need to figure out a way to trap her,” K shouted.
“I am thinking, but all we can do is force her into something and take her back to Japan,” Elsa replied.
“Tomorrow morning?” K questioned.
“Yes. She will be more inclined to do so as she is in America and not her home country. Plus, with two Seers and angry Kappa, we may win this,” Elsa went on striding back over to me.
“Ryder, you may go get some things for him from your home while he is here,” She said then looked down at Zack. “He will be safe with me,”
“Really? Because after that I don’t think he’s safe,” I argued.
“We knew about what to do to warn her off and keep him safe, we will do that again and send her back to Japan away from Zack when she comes back,” She promised.
“You just said Kappa got rid of her!” I exclaimed pointing at Kappa, not caring that he was looking at me judgementally.
“For now, but she will not stop until she has her prey and now, she probably realises he is related to a Creature Seer she will try harder to take him,” Elsa told me. I let out a groan. This shit was so complicated!
“Fine,” I huffed then sat down cross-legged in front of him. “Hey, Zack. I umm, am gonna go to the house and get your stuff,” I began and he looked up at me.
“Will you bring my iPad?” He asked and laughed. I’m just thankful that he was still a bit oblivious to the danger he was in.
“Yeah, and I won’t tell Eomma,” I told him and he grinned. “High five?” I asked holding a hand. He then gave me a massive high five and I cheered. “I will be right back,” I promised then eventually let him go then went over to Elsa again. “Is there anything I need to get to protect him?” I asked her.
“Just bring things to make him feel comfortable dear,” Elsa told me, K praying to Buddha in front of the jade statue.
“Okay,” I nodded then grabbed my bag before I walked with Elsa out of the study, down the hallway and back to the shop. “Will she follow me?” I asked as Elsa unlocked the door.
“She may watch you. But she will not try and take a Creature Seer,” She told me as I stepped out.
“Good to know, now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna make like sonic,” I told her trying to sound cool and set off running down the street to my house. When I got away from the shop, I started to hear that ‘PO PO PO’ sound, but it was coming from above me. While running I looked up and behind me seeing her in the air flying along with me. “OH OKAY! YOU CAN FLY CAN YOU?!” I exclaimed panting as stumbled a little too busy looking at her. “OKAY WENDY, GO FIND PETER PAN AND LEAVE MY BROTHER ALONE!” I shouted then focused on running again, ignoring the burning feeling I got in my legs and lungs. I need to start going to the gym if I’m going to be running around more now I’m a Creature Seer.