Chapter Sixteen: Worsening Storm:

By morning, Tsuzuki called the doctor. Kirika-chan hadn’t gotten out of bed like she normally.

“Sweetheart,” Tsuzuki said. “Are you okay?” He put his hand on her forehead.

“Oh crap!” the shinigami said. “Anna-chan!”

The doctor arrived by eight. The parents sat by worried. Tsuzuki held Anna’s hand.

“Well?” he asked. The doctor took out his stethoscope.

“I’ve never seen a fever increase that quickly,” he said. “What all did you use?”

“This here,” Tsuzuki said. He handed the doctor the small bottle of medicine. The doctor looked at the label.

“Hm,” he said. “Let’s try another brand right now.”

“Will that really help?” Anna asked.

“Some medicines aren’t effective in half-breeds,” he said. “I want to rule out everything first. This brand might have made it worse. Is that the only dose you gave her?”

“Yes,” Tsuzuki said. “I didn’t give her anything else.”

“Good,” the doctor said. “I’m glad you called in time too.”

“What if the medicine doesn’t work?” Anna asked. Her husband turned his head.

“Anna!” he said.

“Like I said, we are trying to rule out everything,” the doctor said. “This could be nothing.”

“But what if you miss something?” she asked. “This is our child. She’s not some guinea pig! Don’t experiment on her with different drugs! I will not have her blood on your hands!” Tsuzuki held her hand.

“Anna,” he said. His wife took a breath.

“I understand,” the doctor said. “I will do my best. For now, try this medicine.” He pulled out a small blue and white bottle.

“Follow the directions. Don’t mix meds. Call me if anything changes,” he said.

“Thank you, sensei,” Tsuzuki said. The doctor packed up his kit.

“You have my number,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to give me a call.” He and the parents bowed. The doctor made his exit. Anna stood next to Tsuzuki, trembling. He squeezed her hand.

Kirika-chan slept the whole time.


Around noon, Tsuzuki took food to his daughter. He knocked on the door.

“Sweetie, I’m coming in,” he said. The shinigami pulled open the door. Mimzie poked her head out. Tsuzuki’s heart jumped in his chest before he saw her.

“Oh, it’s you,” he said. The ferret twitched her little nose. It was then Tsuzuki noticed something off. He set the tray down on the floor.

“Hey buddy,” Tsuzuki said. He picked up the little ferret. Tiny red bumps formed on her back. Tsuzuki touched one of them. Felt so hard. A confused look came over his face. Tsuzuki looked over at Kirika-chan in her futon.

“What the hell is going on?” Tsuzuki asked. Mimzie shivered in his hand.