Chapter Eleven: Meeting:

December 10th, 2010.

Tokyo, Japan.

Hitomi waited at the train station. She tried to push aside all doubts about this. It was for a good cause, after all. Hitomi shut her eyes. I’m sorry, Haruka-sama. We can’t do this anymore.

“Hitomi-san?” a man asked. The grade school teacher opened her eyes and turned around. Kato-san stood in front of her, smiling.

“Welcome,” he greeted her. “I’m so glad you made it. I thought you would get cold feet.” Hitomi opened her mouth to speak, but the ghost cut her off.

“No, they can’t see me,” he said. “Don’t say a word and just do as I say. Nod if you understand.” Hitomi nodded once.

“Good, good,” Kato said. “Now let’s go somewhere private and talk. Follow me.” Kato led Hitomi out of the train station.


They wound up in the park. Hitomi’s eyes shifted around the darkness. She didn’t see many people in sight. A lump formed in her throat as her footsteps grew slower.

“Don’t worry, no one’s following us,” Kato said. “Why do you think I chose this park in the first place?” Hitomi pressed her lips together.

“Fair enough,” she said under her breath.

“Keep up,” he said. “I don’t want to take up your night any more than I have to.”

“How kind of you,” she said. The pair made it to a white park bench. Hitomi took her seat first. Kato sat beside her. The kitsune looked at her small hands.

“What exactly do you need me to do?” she asked. Kato raised an eyebrow.

“You don’t mess around, do you?” he asked.

“Please! I’m putting my life at risk here!”

Kato put up his hands. “I understand.”

Hitomi took another breath. “Just say it.”

“Fine. Tell me all that you know about their illness.”

The kitsune narrowed her eyes. “How can you trust me?”

“You want to be free.”

“I could lie.”

“Why take the risk? You already are lying to Haruka by coming out to meet me.”

Hitomi lowered her head. “That is true. I only want it to end.”

“And I am aware of that.” He placed his hands on hers. “Let me help you.”

The kitsune bit her lower lip. “They really are dying.”

“I knew it! Is it the Mother?”

Hitomi nodded. Already, she wanted to get up and walk away. It felt so easy. This could end right now, she thought.

“How is she killing them?” Kato asked.

“I don’t know,” Hitomi said. Her bands broke down into trembling. “Please don’t make me kill them. She may do bad things, but Haruka-sama is my dear friend. She saved me and I don’t think I have it in me to kill her.”

The ghost patted her on the shoulder. “I won’t ask you to do that. In fact, I just need you to spy on them for the time being.” Hitomi lifted her head.

“What?” she asked.

“It’s really easy. You just keep your ear to the ground and act normal. You won’t have to murder anybody. Can you do that?”

“Yes,” Hitomi said. She sniffled as she felt like fainting. Kato held her still.

“Thank you,” he said in a low voice. “You are doing the right thing.” However, Kato glanced behind him. “Hitomi-san.”

“Uh-hm?” she asked. Kato stole a quick glance behind him.

“We’ll carry our conversation elsewhere, okay?” he asked.


“I believe we have company.” Kato saw the panicked expression on the teacher’s face. “Oh, no. no. It’s not her.”

“How can you--?” Hitomi asked. The ghost was quick to cover her mouth.

“Shhh,” he whispered. “They don’t have her scent or her energy. Go on, smell.” Kato lowered his head and the teacher took a sniff.

“You’re right.” But then, Hitomi paused. “Wait, then who are…?”

“There isn’t time to explain,” Kato said. “Follow me!” He grabbed the kitsune teacher by the hands and rushed her out of the park. He kept pace ahead of the footsteps trailing them.