Chapter Eight: Missing Children at Play:

The little girl ran through the alley. Small white butterflies led her through the darkness. Thanatos picked up steam.

“Come back here!” she yelled. The bounty hunter reached out to her. The child made it to the road. But then she froze. A rushing car ran through her ears. Her eyes widened as she backed up. Thanatos caught her by the shoulder.

“Got you, you little brat!” she shouted. The little girl screamed and tried to fight her off. Thanatos gritted her teeth.

“Keep still!” she screamed. “Stop that! You’re coming with me!”

“No! Let me go!” the little girl screamed. “Mama! Mama!”

“Leave her alone!” Tsuzuki shouted. Thanatos and the child looked up. The boys managed to catch up near the road. The female bounty hunter glared.

“Back off!” she shouted. “This prize is mine!”

“She’s a high-risk soul,” Tsuzuki said. “She has to come with us.”

“Hell no!” Thanatos shouted. “That prize money is ours! Do you have any idea how much this baby doll’s worth? Half a million. Half a million!” The poor child looked back and forth with tears in her eyes.

“What’s going on? Who are you people?” she asked. She bit Thanatos on the hand.

“Ow!” the bounty hunter screamed. “You little brat!” The child turned to the road, but froze.

“No,” she murmured. She turned around to the dead people. Hisoka stepped forward.

“Excuse me,” he said. “But what is your name?” The child blinked at first.

“Ki… Ki…” she said. Tsuzuki perked up.

“That’s a cute name,” he said. “I’m Tsuzuki and this is my partner, Hisoka. That’s Eros and the scary lady next to you is Thanatos.” Thanatos glared at him.

“Oi!” she shouted. Kiki tilted her head.

“Tha… nat… what?” she asked.

“Never mind that!” Thanatos snapped. “You’re coming with us!”

“No!” Kiki yelled.

“Thanatos, please!” Eros said. His partner gritted her teeth.

“What are you doing here, Kiki-chan?” Tsuzuki asked.

“Who cares?!” the bounty hunter woman asked. Kiki lowered her eyes.

“Mama,” she said quietly.

“Your mama works here?” Tsuzuki asked. The little girl nodded once.

“I see,” he said. “Is she the one with the charm bracelet?” Kiki nodded again. Thanatos gritted her teeth.

“Who cares?! Who cares?! Who cares?! Who cares?! Who cares?!” she yelled. “Who fucking cares?!” Eros put up his hand.

“Thanatos,” he said. “Enough!” His partner opened her mouth, but he stopped her again.

“Enough,” he said. She tried again, Eros cut her off.

“Enough,” he said. Thanatos finally gave up.

“Thank you,” Tsuzuki mouthed at the male bounty hunter.

“What happened to you, Kiki?” Hisoka asked. “Do you remember?” The little girl put her hand in her mouth.

“I died in an accident,” she said in a whisper. Her eyes welled up with tears. Tsuzuki’s heart sank.

“So that’s why…” His words trailed off.

“Yes,” Kiki said. She could hear the car racing towards her again. The child flinched as the sound got louder.

“Did they catch who did it?” Tsuzuki asked.

“No,” Kiki said.

“I’m so sorry,” the older shinigami said. A tear ran down the little girl’s cheek.

“Let me guess,” Thanatos said, snorting. “You’re still here because of your mommy?” Kiki slowly nodded. The female bounty hunter groaned and rolled her eyes.

“Pathetic,” she grumbled.

“Kiki,” Hisoka spoke up.

“Hm?” the little girl asked.

“Has strange things been happening to your mom lately?”

The child blinked. “Strange… things?”

“Has she been in any accidents or gotten sick for some reason? Try to remember. You could save her life.”

Kiki’s eyes widened as she covered her mouth. “Is something bad going to happen to mama?”

“Not yet,” Tsuzuki said. “But she might be if we don’t so something. Has she been sick lately?”

The little girl thought for a minute. “Well… Mama’s been having headaches lately. She can’t think straight. Work’s been hard on her. Mama fainted last night. Tsuzuki took a step forward.

“Kiki-chan, listen to me,” he said. “A high-risk soul attached itself to you. It’s feeding off of your mother’s life to keep you in this world.” Kiki trembled as she backed away.

“I… I’m hurting mama?” she asked.

“Not intentionally. You can still save her, though.”

The little girl’s eyes widened. “How?”

“Surrender the soul,” Hisoka said. “You’ll need to come with us.”

“Oh hell no!” Thanatos shouted. “The brat’s coming with us!”

“We do not have time for this,” Hisoka said.

“That money’s ours!” the female bounty hunter yelled.

“But her mother could die!” Tsuzuki said.

“I don’t care!” Thanatos yelled. “We’re getting that money!”

“But…” the older shinigami said. Kiki screamed as she grabbed her stomach.

“Kiki-chan!” Tsuzuki yelled. The child sank to her knees as black clouds formed around her body.

“Mama! Mama!” the little girl cried. Bloody tears ran down her scratched up cheeks.


Around the front, the barmaid with the charm bracelet was taking out the trash. She had just closed the lid when a sharp pain struck her chest. The woman gasped as she clutched her chest.

“Gah!” she cried. The barmaid sank to her knees, gasping.


“Here is comes!” Hisoka shouted. Tsuzuki drew out his fuda.

“Return to your prison!” he yelled. “Let Kiki-chan and her mother have peace! Begone!” He threw the fuda at the child’s forehead. Kiki howled as the black clouds left her body. Hisoka held up Christine’s book.

“My money!” Thanatos cried. The clouds sailed into the book. Hisoka held onto it as tightly as he could as it settled down. Kiki stood up glowing as she floated away.

“It’s okay, mama,” she said. “I will be fine now. Thank you.” The child vanished into thin air. Thanatos clenched her fists and gritted her teeth.

“We’ll get the next one!” she shouted. “Come, Eros!” The quieter bounty hunter followed his angry girlfriend/partner as they vanished into the night. Tsuzuki stood beside Hisoka.

“How did they find out?” the younger shinigami asked. Tsuzuki shook his head.

“You think Kiki-chan’s mom will be okay?” he asked.

“I think so,” Hisoka said. Both boys looked up at the sky. In front of the bar, Kiki’s mom, the barmaid looked at the same sky with a new calm.

Eleven more souls left.