Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, M.E.L.Unit1; Date:29.10. Officers: Kuro (BLACK, han'yo), Lou Rouxgaroux (Lou Wolfwolf, werewolf), Felix Kanagawa (HAPPY Kanagawa river, river spirit)
Part 1 HQ
Lou sat on the office couch reading his book.
Well… No, he didn’t. He was pretending to read, and he was pretending to sit. Being a werewolf seemingly gave him cat-like abilities to turn into liquid in and on any surface or furniture.
Lou was focused on Felix’s lunch.
How could I tell?
I was eying that lunch too.
We had a bet going, the three of us. If we didn’t touch Felix’s food for a lunar cycle, he’d make his husband cook for us. All. We. Could. Eat. That was worth it. Lou and me, we always held back, because we could consume a lot more than should be possible, or normal. Only a month, and Aoi, Felix’s husband, a human, was capable to create art from ingredients, not just meals. Lou and I were considered family, supernatural kinfolk, and therefore accountable for our greed, and lack of discipline.
We gave in and ate or stole any meal, we’d pay Felix and Aoi’s honeymoon trip around Japan. Every sacred well, every lake, and every mountain creek. Three weeks of visiting supernatural and half-human family members, showing his human partner off. Since River spirits couldn’t leave the land they were created from, Felix had a list of fun activities with his family and husband. We’d probably pay a part of that trip anyway, as his friends.
Felix used every opportunity, every coffee break, every snack, breakfast or dinner to try and trick us into eating his food. Oh, those beautiful bento boxes were a piece of art. Just a tiny bite! I swallowed. He even tried to glamour us into eating it. Felix and his river spirit shenanigans!
It almost worked on Lou. One day he hallucinated, that he found a half-eaten sandwich in the fridge, tried to bite down on it until he realized, he was chewing on the wooden bento box. Felix got chased around HQ, cackling maniacally, and Lou trying very hard not to transform into a wolf form and punch through walls. Since then I took precautions and prepared a stash of more or less powerful talismans to dampen the effects of Felix’s telepathic tricks.
Being a river spirit, men and women were a book with seven seals to him. He rarely understood what men and women did, or said. Not to mention the who, why and the when. Lou tried to explain human verbal interaction to him as an elastic cement filling in the cracks of individual ideas rubbing against each other.
Then, one day he came in with proud bright eyes. He finally understood what small-talk was. Felix was so satisfied with himself, that he bought cupcakes for everybody in HQ. That was how he met his husband, by the way. “A cupcake is the small-talk equivalent of a cake.” Never thought of it as a sampling exchange of juicy more or less personal information, but he was right in a refreshing manner.
“BORING! You guys are so boring! I want a wonderful and long holiday.” He clapped and pointed at the phone on my table. “Oh, the phone, darling. Get that before -” I had the receiver already at my ear. We all hated the ringing, so we never let it scream at us. Felix’s precognition was better than mine, and he stood up, bouncing on his toes.
“Dispatch? What’s up?” I asked.
“The Moonlight Market has arrived and is in need of Unit One. At Biwa-ko.” Lou perked up.
“Moonlight Market at Biwa-ko?” Felix beamed at me a blinding smile, almost sweeping me away with his psychic bow wave of joy. I waved at him to dial that down.
Dispatch turned suddenly ecstatic. “Can you imagine? Finally the Moonlight Market in Japan! What a happy occasion to shine! DO YOUR BEST! Oh, I’ve heard so many manymany stoooories! Can you-“ Maybe I caught the woman with the contagious happy Felix was sending.
“NO!” I broke the joyful chatter before dispatch could ask for souvenirs or stories. She has been so nervous about this call. Huh.
“I’ll ask Aoi to bake some snacks for us and crackers for the deer,” Felix chirped and took out his cellphone to dial his husband. He ignored most humans but bothered to engage with those he saw on a daily basis.
What I wanted to know was: “Who requested us?”
The woman chopped up the syllables, like someone not used to read English. “Au-ntu Na-nchi-i.” Who? “Auntu Nansi.” Could it be, she personally left the market for this? Dispatch shifts her position. She had something else to tell me, something important. “I have another pressing message from the Minister for your ears only, Kuro. He begs you for this favor. You and your men. Please, look after the Moonlight Market. Keep it safe, and happy, happy, happy!”
Sticky euphoria was seeping into the line again. But it did not manage to bury the strange hard sensation in the pit of my stomach. Something wasn’t right. A favor, from the minister? “This must be serious then. I see. Thank you very much.” She hung up.
“Why are you worried?” Lou growled softly.
I looked at the phone. Did Aunty has her pincers in this one. “Kuro? What’s wrong?” So there were three different things going on… How do I fit into this? So many possible individual strands. First, the Market finally arriving in Japan. Second, Aunt Nancy being here, and third the minister’s personal request for safety and happiness. Why didn’t he tell me yesterday at lunch? Why this detour over dispatch? Was it even the right minister requesting us? Maybe this wasn’t Minister Kagekamui, maybe he didn’t know yesterday, and could only warn me over dispatch. Hmmm. This is a warning then.
“KURO!” Yeah? “WHAT’S WRONG?”
“Sorry, I was somewhere else. Nevermind.” I swallowed and tried not to stammer. “We will be responsible for safety at the Moonlight Market, at Lake Biwa.”
Lou raised a brow. “And?”
“And. The Minister and Aunt Nancy requested us. Personally.” Lou whistled.
“Aunt Nancy?” Felix got curious.
“Oh yeah, you never met her!” Lou grinned and I knew what he was thinking. This was payday for Felix and his annoyingly beautiful and mouthwatering meals. “She is very old and very magical. Maybe she weaved magic into the world herself.” Lou chimed in. “Yeah, she is a friend of entities of questionable origin. She protects, she makes stuff mostly.”
We left the bit out, where we told him she was a giant magic spider, and possibly the creator of the whole world and humans. I wanted to see Felix’s stupid face, meeting her.
to be continued:
Part 2 (Biwako-Ohashi-Bridge) /
Part 3 (Rustling in the Dark) /
Part 4 (Moonlight Market) /
Part 5 (Giant Magic Spider) /
Part 6 (Woven) /
Art: original art by the author (pencil, ink, paper) 2000