ナム

First Floor Metaphor

Setsuna was sipping his apple juice box impatiently.

He'd been asked to show up behind Harajuku High at the request of a few old friends. The sun and the heat were not making this task easy, prompting Setsuna to do the unthinkable and tie his jacket and muscle tank top at his waist.

Most students had already gone home, in the peaceful embrace of properly air conditioned cars, homes and malls. Not him, nor his desk neighbor Yuta, who was waiting with him.

Yuta was a short, cute looking boy about a head smaller than Setsuna. He had hooves for feet, massive triangle shaped horns above a messy tuft of jet black hair above doe-like blue eyes, a pale complexion, and a strong preference for leather from head to hoof. Which make him perfect as Setsuna's desk neighbor; nobody paid attention to Setsuna's black wings when the person he orbited around looked less the part of a normal human.

Just when Setsuna was about to suggest waiting inside, a girl’s voice called out in the distance. “Mecchi Mecchi Tenseiiii!”

Riding on the back of Setsuna’s Cerberus friend Cool was a girl with a dark brown haired bob-cut wearing an orange headband with (fake) horns and a pin with the face of a smiling demon. A demon that he used to have close to him to cheer him up on bad days.

But one day, that demon evolved into something terrifying; an inquisitive teenage girl.

Setsuna rolled his eyes and inquired, “what are you doing inside the school? You’re not a student here.”

“Mechiyama wanted air conditioning!” the girl smiled as she stood up. “And big brother Cool always finds a way inside.”

Yuta was focused on Cool, with his spiked collar and mohawk. For most grown ups, including an older Setsuna, it wasn’t a very intimidating look, but for a tiny person who was trying to head off “awws” and a rotating cast of taller people messing up his own hair, Cool appeared to be an absolute badass.

“Well, whatever you did, I will pretend that you didn’t make another hole in the middle of the hallway.”

“Can’t prove it!” Mecchiyama asserted, her greyish purple Thelema hexagram shirt, black boots and black double belted pleated miniskirt brimming with confidence as she crossed her arms with her eyes closed.

“Nobody will notice a thing.” Cool confirmed, “Not unless they step on that one tile in the janitor’s closet. We’re pretty sure nobody goes there.”

“Setsuna, Setsuna told me you knew something about the rumor of the white slayer.” Yuta interrupted the reunion of friends, “That’s what I came here for… if it’s not much trouble?”

“Ahh!” Mechiyama gave an approving glance and put her forefinger on her chin. “Yes, I do believe there was a new lead posted there next to THE SECRET OF THE EAR CLEANING TEACHER FROM MAKAI, REINCARNATED BASKETBALL MVP REIKO KASHIMA, and THE MYSTERIOUS VIRAL SENSATION OF NAPS ON LAPS.” Yuta’s ears perked up as Setsuna was giving Mecchiyama looks.

Mecchiyama pulled out her handheld DeviPsion connected by cell phone to call up a website that was more banner ads than words. Scrolling slowly with the arrow keys as banner ads animated in and out of view, she pointed at a comment from “Anonymous Blob”.

“I can’t read that.” grumbled Setsuna. “Are you sure that’s not spam?”

“Positive! Look, they mention a place,” she ran her finger at a specific sequence in the sludgy typography, “Omoide Nukemichi, that’s in Shinjuku, right?”

“Back alley with bars, crooks, and plenty of dark places to get jumped in the night?” Setsuna was not looking forward to this evening.

“Yeah! Perfect place for investigating a mecchi mecchi rumor, isn’t it?” badgered on Mecchiyama.

Setsuna looked at Yuta, one part looking for confirmation, another part for sympathy with the things he had to put up with.

Yuta nodded, “If this has anything to do with the man in white who followed me home for the past few nights, I think we should check it out. We haven’t had much luck with anyone else…”

“Right.” agreed Setsuna.

Previously, Yuta went to countryside transplant Hinata Sumiyoshi for help. Hinata, for her troubles and boisterous manner, did a fine job of walking Yuta home safely. So impressed was he with the degree to which she stayed focused, ignoring the mass of explosions along the way and the sense that at least one building might have been turned to rubble. Still, the man in white seemed to be at large, the local police finding nothing in the ruins, despite the efforts of the pink haired exorcist’s seals and seances.

To be continued...