The Ghost Hunter’s Club
The Ghost Hunter’s Club
The Ghost Hunter’s Club were pretty famous in their hometown, and even more so in this place. They would visit this establishment at least once a day. With books lined up on cases for two and a half floors, it was a place anybody could go to escape. Hidden on a back street which was infamous for the alternative scene, its capacity usually topped twenty people on a week day. However, it wasn’t unheard of to squeeze in up to fifty when live music played on the open attic floor, or when everywhere said they were fully booked during a street festival.
Kurosawa had found it whilst looking for an old print of The Tales of Genji, and it had somehow become their second base. Despite the clear 21+ on all three doors, the group had been accepted into the secret society which lurked in the offset of the closed community. Even now, after nearly a decade, a handful of the same regulars sat at the counter which doubled as a bar.
Animosity replaced by a cold chill, the group of five stared off in different directions. Kurosawa kept his eyes on his glass. “Is this enough?” His voice was meek.
“He would tell us it was.” Kujo rested her elbow on the table and held her vice by her lips as she stared off out of the trippy windows, avoiding looking at the empty seat to her left.
“You would know.”
Tilting her head, the blonde narrowed her eyes. “I expected some bitching from you, Himura, but I never thought for a second that you’d-”
Exhaling a lengthy sigh, the tallest nodded his head facetiously. "Thanks, but I think I've had enough of complaints for today."
Glaring down at the man she thought she was making progress with, Kujo shot up out of her seat. Taking the tray filled with empty glasses, the blonde walked away.
"Ku-Ta…San?” The fair male pondered whether he should be using honorifics after such a long time. “She gave you an earful on the way, didn't she?" Kurosawa tore his eyes from the blonde’s back and looked to Himura with a small smile of pity.
"Five minutes hadn't even passed before it started. We actually kinda...fought." He placed his hands poised on his lap as he avoided eye contact with the others.
Trying to break the tension, Kurosawa tapped the table top with both palms and gave a welcoming smile. "Enough of that kind of talk, what's everyone been doing?"
Shibata thought seeing as everyone was trying, she may as well put in effort to get along as well. Fiddling with her cigarette, she looked up. "I'm at Uni, studying psychology."
"Ouh~ Shi-Ri Chan has always been into in that kind of stuff." Kurosawa seemed extremely interested in what his old class mate had to say.
"I bet she picked that because she's used to playing mind games." Tsukino cut in with a snort of laughter.
Snapping at the snide comment, the redhead kicked her ex-classmate in the shin under the table and then glared at his pained face. "Tch, shall I make you my next experiment specimen?"
Holding his hand up in defeat, Tsukino hissed as he rubbed the assaulted spot with his other hand. "I'll pass, thanks."
"Here." Kujo had reappeared and placed a tray of drinks down on the table before sitting down on the seat between Shibata and Himura.
A moment of silence passed of the group looking at the glasses before their eyes went to the eldest female. Eyes flittering up to meet her senior’s, Shibata tilted her head. "I meant to ask, but how did you know what we were drinking?"
The blonde cocked her head with fake seriousness as her eyebrow flickered up in jest. "I've developed psychic powers."
"Very funny." The redhead chuckled and shook her head.
Kujo shrugged and gestured to the assortment of beverages. "Does it matter? Drink up, they're on me."
Leaning forward with his arms on the table, Kurosawa redirected the conversation. "Back to what we've been doing. What about you, Hi-Ka Senpai?"
The blonde jutted her thumb casually to the brooding figure beside her. "'Guy's a cop."
Just like he used to, Kurosawa seemed enthralled by even the slightest of things. "Really? That's so cool."
Licking his lips after taking a sip of his black coffee with an after-taste of Irish Cream, Himura made eye contact with the youngest man. "I'm training to becoming a detective."
Rubbing the side of his head while he frowned, Tsukino mumbled in thought. "I feel like I've just had déjà vu."
"Hm?" The eldest tilted his head.
Looking up at his senior, the shortest person wondered. "Didn't you mention that back in high school?"
Kujo clocked the man behind the bar staring over at them. Trying to ignore the intrusive stare, the blonde brought herself back to the conversation at the table. “That wasn’t him.”
"Then who was it-o-oh..." Tsukino shrunk back upon realizing what he'd brought to light.
Kurosawa found the bright side of the situation and praised the older man. "It's nice you're doing something like that."
"Don't misunderstand." Himura cut him off before he could run any further with the fantasy. “It’s what my family wanted of me.”
Rolling her eyes, the eldest female continued to watch the outside scenery as she berated her old classmate. "'Shoulda kept ya mouth shut; it made you seem like a kinder person."
"A-anyway..." Kurosawa glanced between his two seniors with panic, hoping another situation like the last one wouldn't blow up. "Tsu-Sho and I have been getting on okay; trade around here’s picked up since we were in school. He's been doing construction on contract and working part time at an industrial plant that opened last year, haven't you?" He looked to the man beside him and smiled.
"Hm." Tsukino stared down into his drink but stopped when a fray of curiosity caught him. "What about you, Senpai?" He turned to the blonde.
"Me?" The eldest female leaned her head back as she took a breath. "This and that, odd jobs here and there." Hooking her finger over the edge of the ashtray, Kujo pulled it closer and took out a cigarette as she glanced to the youngest man. "How about you, Yuki? How's your health?"
The effeminate male seemed to loosen up at that very moment. Most people pussyfooted around that subject, so he was glad that his old friend just came out and asked. "I've had a couple of seasonal colds, but everything seems to be going good. I've even managed to get a part time job at the local kindergarten, too." The youngest was truly happy about the way things were going for him. "It seems as though we've all been able to make ends meet." An eye-smile brightened Kurosawa's face upon hearing that everyone was doing well.
Shibata sat forward as she prodded the top of her glass. "Well, that’s great and all, but what about the reason why we’ve all been summoned here?"
Himura hummed at the wording. “You make it sound like we should be wearing shrouds and meeting in dank spaces to take part in black mass.”
Kujo pointed around the enclave they were sat in. The whole place smelt like old wood and patchouli, but being under the stairs made it seem like some kind of hippy Hobbit hole. “We are meeting in a dank space…”
Recalling the initial incident, Tsukino sat up to face the others properly. "That...I got a weird request from my boss at the construction site." He pulled a strange face, something halfway between confusion and worry.
Finding a crack in her old friend's concentration, Shibata leapt at it mercilessly. "Did he tell you to pull your pants down and bend over, Chibi Chan?"
The sour expression from earlier returned as the smaller redhead faked a laugh. "Har-har-har, very funny."
"Carry on, Sho." His female senior decided to join the group properly and rested her elbow on the polished table top.
"He told me that he heard I used to be part of our old club, and then acted all shifty.”
“Sounds diabolical.” Kujo sarcastically groaned at the lack of details.
“He said he needs that kind of help. His brother was the one who went to him after an incident had happened at their family compound in Tokigawa. Rather than me explain here when I don't know all the details, he gave me the address and told me to call around."
“Sounds like another bust to me.” Himura shot but just as quickly halted himself when he realized he had used the slang they used back in high school.
“You couldn’t watch a five minute porn vid without going bust.” The blonde tutted and returned her attention to her junior.
“I could.” Himura mumbled but it went unheard as the others continued their talk.
"You just didn't want to go by yourself because you're too scared." Shibata picked at her fellow redhead again.
The shortest bared his teeth. "I am not!" Kurosawa grinned as he nodded his head from behind his lifelong best friend.
Placing her arms behind her head, the younger woman’s tank top strained over her bust as she leaned back and hummed for a moment in thought. "I took some time off, so I'm in regardless. What about you two?" She looked at the two seniors with what seemed like a blank stare. However, this was no ordinary blank stare. This was Shibata Rin’s ‘If you don’t do it, I’ll make your life Hell’ stare, and both senior’s knew it.
Clearing his throat, Himura also went about taking a dig at his high school acquaintance’s previous remark. "Why not, I may as well get some on-the-job experience after being dragged away from my 'comfort zone'." He emphasized his point as he picked up the bizarre concoction he was afforded.
Kujo stubbed out her vice and wobbled her head. Rolling her neck, she downed her untouched drink in one. "It's gonna get dark soon. We should make a plan and prepare what we need, and then hit the road early.”
"Good idea, Batman, but where are we staying?" Shibata asked, confident that there still wasn't a decent hotel in the place she had hurried away from years before.
Tsukino held his hands up, knowing what was about to happen. "I have no room at my place."
"I only have enough room for one at mine." Kurosawa admitted with an opaque look of regret on his face. A familiar turn was about to replay itself.
The three temporarily homeless people instantly paid mind to each other. "There's no other way to solve it." Shibata sat up straight and glared at her seniors. The air of the enclosed space became heavy and muscles tensed at the turn in situation.
Holding his head high, Himura agreed. "You're right."
"On three, then." Kujo instructed and held her hand behind her back just like the other two.
"Shit." The blonde hissed.
Himura clenched his jaw. "Fu..."
Glee painting her face, Shibata flashed a dark grin at her dejected victims before looking at Kurosawa and patting his shoulder giddily. "Looks like I'm staying with you, Kuro-Ma Chwan~"
Kujo glanced to Himura, who looked a little more than irritated by the whole idea of having to settle sleeping arrangements by a kid’s game, and then going and losing to top of it.
"A friend of my Pa's may be able to help. I'll get him to call for you." Tsukino offered.
"Kujo?" Himura glowered down at the woman sat beside him.
"What?" She glared back, taking the tone as a confrontation.
"Take me back to my place."
The blonde sneered in disbelief. "Hah, are you runni-"
"No, I need to pick up some stuff."
"I suppose I can, on one condition." The blonde nodded with her nose turned up and her eyes closed.
"And that is?"
"Stop using my Goddamn surname." Her fake composure crumbled and she slapped him on the back of the head as she stood up. Putting her smokes in her pocket, Kujo rolled her shoulders. "I'll call around your place after I've finished chauffeuring Baby-Chan around." She tugged at the cloth covering Himura’s right shoulder, motioning him to get up - which he did.
Halting from putting the empty plates and glasses on the tray, Himura huffed at the teasing nickname. "Who're you calling a baby?!"
"Careful, you'll get wrinkles from stressing too much." Waving over her shoulder, the eldest female nudged her company to hurry up.
The trio of junior’s watched the older pair pause at the bar as they continued to nag each other. Himura put the tray down on the counter and gained thanks from a gushing barmaid. Kujo slapped his arm and wobbled her head mockingly at her yearmate’s bashful reaction.
Eyes locked on the pair leaving through the main door, the youngest man hummed to those remaining. "Do you think she can help it?"
"What?" Shibata asked as she unwrapped one of the complementary toffees and shoved it in her mouth.
Kurosawa sighed while watching his two seniors quarrel as they walked past the giant, spandangled floor-to-ceiling window on the front of the establishment. "Ku-Ta Senpai just has to goad Hi-Ka Senpai whenever she gets the chance."
“You’re saying it like anything’s changed.” Arching over the backrest of her chair, the woman groaned as she stretched, the few and far between bits of fabric straining over the full figure. “Do you recall a time when they were ever out-right friendly to each other, because I don’t. If they acted like that now, it would be creepy.”
Updated: 13th May 2018 - 13:43
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