Get This Guy In Ya
Feb 5, 2022, 8:21:53 PM
Catherine didn't know where Natsumi was taking her. She barely knew her at all. They had met only two hours ago and already she was traveling with her to Roppongi on some far-fetched notion that she had something important to do, but what could be more important than stopping a demonic pup from running loose in the city? Especially since it was her fault in the first place.
Both women disembarked at Onarimon Station. Without a word, nod, or beckon Natsumi marched off the subway, through the platform, up the steps, and out onto the city streets. She whistled as she walked. Her right hand gripped her staff and it rested on her shoulder and she didn't care which way she swung it. As they passed by pedestrians they were left dodging left and right to avoid her advance. Others simply gave her a wide berth and kept their heads down to avoid eye contact with her.
Well, with them. They were a strange pair for sure in their two woman parade down the sidewalk. Some of the men stopped to stare, half prepared to catcall but half startled. Their tired salarymen eyes suggested that they were uncertain as to who they were or why they were dressed as such. Usually if Catherine walked alone all eyes would be on her or be averted from her. She already had the stigma of being a foreigner in Japan, and it certainly didn't help to be tall, blonde, and flaunting it in body tight leather. One of the salarymen stumbled close to Catherine unaware of her. She smelt the alcohol on his breath and by the time his lagging senses caught up to him and he realized he was in her personal space he almost fell back in surprise. With a firm hand, she gripped him and kept him on his feet. Without a word, she tipped her cap at him and continued after Natsumi who hadn't bothered to stop.
Natsumi walked with determination and purpose and somehow even in heels managed to widen the distance between them. Catherine was left chasing the bobbing heart talisman sitting at the end of her staff hanging over her shoulder. It was much like the same talisman connected to the hilt of her whip except for the extra pair of floating wings. At random intervals the floating wings would flutter like moth wings.
As they approached a dark area of the street, Catherine caught up to her prepared to ask her about the wings but instead found that Natsumi had come to a stop.
In front of them was a beautiful monument. An ornate red and white Japanese structure with a tiled steeple roof. She unzipped the top of her dress and slipped out her phone. The map called it the Gate of Daitokuin and Catherine realized she had seen it before many times, but not from up-close or this angle.
Behind it was a structure Catherine knew well: Tokyo Tower.
She had gone on multiple paid dates to the top for clientele eager to impress her with one of Tokyo's older tourist traps. Her clients paid well enough for the dates and each time they brought her up she feigned the proportional amount of excitement at the views of the city skyline, but even repeat visits made it difficult for her to be enthusiastic for this part of the city.
It was from the top of the tower, the observatory, where she had seen the Gate of Daitokuin. To her it was nothing more than an ornate and beautifully constructed piece of ancient Japanese architecture, but to Natsumi the gate seemed like something else. Her eyes wandered the roof and then her gaze shifted to the night sky. She stared at the stars like a cat might observe floating dust or some unseen ghost.
"What're we doing here?" Catherine asked.
Natsumi's attention was perked and her gaze shifted to a point to the side of the gate. She pointed with her finger. "I promised these ghouls I'd help them out of a jam."
"Ghouls?" Catherine planted her hands on her hips.
Natsumi pointed towards an open space. Only the light filtering from some distant trees gave the spot any definition but Catherine saw nothing. She shifted her gaze to Natsumi. Was she messing with her? No way, not after what she saw tonight. The strange bone creature, the spirits under the city, that strange spider-like monstrosity living under the arch in the sewer pipes. They were bewildering sights to behold, a whole different world she didn't know that existed along the people of Tokyo. If Natsumi said there were ghouls, she was willing to believe it, not that she wasn't far off from one herself.
The only issue was: she couldn't see the spirits. It bothered her. What made it so she could see them earlier, but impossible now? Was it because they were in the land of the living?
Catherine tucked her phone away and pulled the zipper up on her dress.
"Heya!" Natsumi said, her gaze shifted down to something in front of her. "Okay, where is it?"
The air filled with some kind of garbled static. Natsumi nodded along. Catherine placed her hand on Natsumi's slender shoulder and pulled her towards her.
"Um," she began. "Who are you talking too?"
"They're right in front of us, or can you not..." She tilted her head. "Huh. You can't see 'em can you?"
Natsumi made a small step back. She stood tall and closed her eyes. She raised her arm and opened the palm of her hand. Catherine let out a sharp exhale. As she came up with a verbal rebuke, Natsumi's hand began to glow with a faint color that bloomed into a vibrant golden light. Her translucent flesh pulsated with energy. With her other hand, she reached into her hand as if dipping into a pool of water and plucking out a golden creature.
Catherine stepped back.
Natsumi opened her eyes. "Here, get this guy in ya."
"Eww. Gross! No!" The words escaped Catherine's mouth before she could bite her lip.
Natsumi narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. "If you want my help, you gotta do it."
Catherine stared at the writhing creature between Natsumi's golden fingertips. She sighed. "Fine." She opened her palm. If anything she was technically still protected wearing a pair of leather gloves separated her bare skin from the bug Natsumi placed in her hand. Catherine plucked it up. "Where does it go?" Natsumi better not tell her to eat it, then she would definitely be messing around.
"Your ear," Natsumi said with a no-nonsense, business-like voice. To answer Catherine's non-verbal follow up question of "why" she added, "He has to get to your brain." There was no further elaboration on her end. Natsumi simply stared and waited for her to do what she said.
Having already agreed, Catherine brushed her hair back over her left ear. She plucked the caterpillar up and grimaced at it. "Ew, ew, ew, gross." she mumbled as she brought it closer to her ear. Maybe eating it would be preferable. At least she knew where that was going and certainly not going straight to her brain.
Before she could change her mind or ask any questions the caterpillar touched her ear lobe and scurried inside.
She lowered her hand. She no longer felt the scurrying of legs or the weird bumps and ridges of the creature lodged in her ear. In fact she didn't feel him in her ear at all. It was as if the thing disappeared. "Well that's not too..."
She spoke to soon.
She gasped for air and clenched her teeth. Her eyes widened as the colors in front of her began to pulse, glow, and sparkle.
But Natsumi gets her to do it.
I also thought it might be fun to write a prose version of the comic. Also, it might be useful for the SEO-able nature of the post.
The Great Move
So next week is a big one for me. I'm moving upstate. So it'll be exciting and familiar. What does this mean for the comic. Well... I'll have a post ready for next week, but it won't be a new comic -- at least that's what I'm thinking right now because I don't have a new comic for next week. I'd have to write and draw it over the week which I won't have time for.
So next week's post will most likely be a standalone piece of art. This time in color. Look forward to it!
Then for the next couple of weeks it could be a bit... sketchy?
I'm not sure. The moving truck company says it could take a week for me to get all my things so I may not be in the greatest of moods to do art in that time. If I can I'll post some older artwork from Magical Girl Kamiko, stuff that used to be on my Instagram but should live here.
I hope you're having a great weekend. I've got some packing to do and some time to enjoy my last weekend in Los Angeles.