Author: Razorine PM
Likely to be the only aspiring ghostbuster with a butterfly net, Lucky aims to catch 100 of Hell's escaped souls so he can be granted one wish. But when he is suddenly sold to a circus by a bounty hunter, the adventure begins! What are the chances of him ever succeeding? NaNoWrimo complete!Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Humor - Chapters: 18 - Words: 32,419 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-05-12 - Published: 10-25-12 - id: 3068586
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"How did you do that?!"
Lucky just gave Tiki and Rukia a plain look. "Do what?"
"THAT!" Rukia pointed at Koko, who was innocently chewing. "How'd you make him release your head like that?!"
"Oh, that." Lucky waved his hand. "I just told him, didn't I?"
"THAT'S WHY IT'S WEIRD!"
Lucky gritted his teeth. "Well, a lot of things listen to me. Maybe it's because I listen to their souls. Or not. I don't know!"
"Souls?" Tiki interrupted the tirade. "What do you mean by that?"
"Souls." Lucky looked at her. "You know, souls. Something inside your body. Along with your mind, of course."
Tiki didn't understand Lucky's nonsense. "Wait, what do you even do?"
"Yeah, butterfly boy." Rukia agreed, crossing her arms. "What do you do? That net of yours can't just be for pink butterflies flapping in a meadow."
"It's for catching ghosts." Lucky replied as he took hold of the net and removed it from his back. "It doesn't always work, but yeah."
Tiki looked at him like he was a mental case. "Ghosts? You mean, ghost ghosts or like, just ghosts?"
"Ghosts." Lucky replied.
Tiki just kept staring before Rukia snapped her fingers at her. "He means it. I heard him and the Ace guy conversing about the supernatural."
Tiki flickered her eyes. "Well, coming from you, I guess I should believe it… I'm not a staunch believer in them but anyway, we haven't had a ghost-catcher in the circus before, so it's exciting!"
"Don't worry, I won't be here for long." Lucky stated. "I'm going to win that show and get out of here." He swiveled to Rukia's direction. "You said you'd train me hard for it. I'll be glad to be your student."
This statement surprised Rukia. "Woah, woah, wait. Where'd you get that confidence boost?!" She pointed her finger at him. "Do you have any idea how tough my training drills are?! They're harsh enough to make any grown man yelp!"
"Um." A puzzled Lucky said. "Okay."
Rukia narrowed her eyes. "Where'd you get that shameless attitude of yours?! And you're too straightforward! Stop answering so quick!"
"Um." A puzzled Lucky said. "Okay."
Rukia, having been defeated in a futile conversation with the unbeatable Lucky, hunched forwards and flashed the 'death stare' (famous among her peers).
"ERHM, erhm." A crackled voice mumbled. "Is this thing on? Right? Good. Now, ladies and strongmen, Mr. Ringo will now announce the chosen candidates for the Freedom Show!"
Lucky, Tiki and Rukia turned their heads to a P.A speaker attached to a long pole. Other circus performers were bounding with hope, crossing their fingers. Even Koko blinked and looked up to see what all the fuss was about.
"They've decided the candidates this soon?!" Tiki puffed. "Xavier sure is unpredictable."
Rukia turned to Lucky. "This is your chance. If your name is called up there then you've gotta dodge whatever training I throw at you. Got it?"
"Yeah." Lucky replied, still looking up. "But I can't dodge that much, so I'll have to face them." He glanced towards her. "Any problems?"
"Nup." Rukia was amused.
"Hello, kids! I'm here to announce our Freedom Show candidates! As you know, candidates can only be performers that I've bought throughout the years, so sadly, a few will miss out." He paused, as though feeling pity. "But anyway, I'm pleased to say that the first candidate is Korogi Jin, the toddler with hands as light as a balloon!"
"Everybody give a round of applause for Jin!" Xavier congratulated as a bunch of circus performers clapped for the tiny prodigy.
"Hey, it's Jin!" Tiki exclaimed, jumping up and down. Lucky looked at her. "Jin? You mean the toddler I saw before?"
"It's him, alright?!" Rukia slapped her hands on Tiki and Lucky's mouths. "Now shush! The next candidate is being announced."
"Our second candidate is a hardy kid from the remote town of Iwazaru. Please clap for the boy who claims to be a ghostbuster, Lucky!"
"Yes! You're in!" Tiki cheered, jumping up and down. Lucky grinned like a Cheshire cat. "Freedom Show, here I come! I'll be sure to win!"
"Zip it!" Rukia slapped her hands on Tiki and Lucky's mouths. "There's still the last candidate. Seeing as though you and Jin were the only ones ever bought this fortnight, this last candidate could be anyone's game."
"And as for our final candidate, I'm pleased to say that we had a wide range of our performers to choose from." Xavier said in a delighted tone. "Ultimately, we chose the person that earned the position the most, although this decision broke the rules."
"What?" Tiki gasped. "Broke the rules?! They never break the rules!"
"Cheapskates." Rukia huffed. "Can't even keep their own promises."
"It doesn't matter." Lucky said. "I'll just beat them."
"The final candidate is…" There was a corny drum-roll, which earned itself a few groans and mutterings from some of the performers.
"… Vazquez Rukia!"
an ABSOLUTE EXCUSE to pluck the soul strings
Chapter 7, Rukia (Unicycles and Undoings)
"What the…" Suddenly, Rukia was out of breath. "Why'd they choose me?!"
"That'll be all." Xavier concluded in a singsong voice. "May you all be chosen next time and I will see your acts tonight!" And with that, the P.A speaker crackled and turned off, leaving the rest to be utterly shocked.
"R-Rukia?" Tiki glanced at her. Lucky widened his eyes, stunned.
"They must be bluffing…" Rukia muttered. "A person like me shouldn't even be in the show…"
But the awkward moment seeped into the ground as a plethora of performers crowded around the trio. "Congrats, Rukia!" They cheered, clapping with laughter in their eyes.
Rukia just stood there as she woodenly indulged within the celebration. Even Lucky was getting some praise.
"Do us proud, Rukia." A flashy trapeze artist smiled as a bulky strongman grinned. "Yeah! Do your best!"
"Hey, Lucky." Said a tiny figure as Lucky looked behind. "Huh? Who're you?"
"I'm Jin." The boy introduced, smiling. "I want to say good luck!"
Lucky slightly smiled. "Yeah… good luck, too!"
Tiki tumbled onto the ground as she rolled on top of Jin. "Ah! Jin! I'm so sorry!" she panted as a dizzy Jin wobbled on the ground. "I just wanted to congratulate you!"
"T-thanks, onee-san." Jin smiled, in a daze. Tiki picked him up. "We've got some training to do, okay?"
"Actually," a person interrupted. "I've been told that you're on service duty for the guest. Sorry."
"What?! Ohhh." Tiki crouched down and let Jin hop off. "Sorry, but I promise I'll be back."
"It's alright." Jin chuckled. The rest of the crowd uproariously laughed. "Everybody! After tonight's show let's have a feast!"
Meanwhile, Rukia was silently hiding behind bales of hay, wrapping her hands around her knees. She was feeling very solemn and confused.
"I have to do it." She mumbled to herself. "But then… what'll I do?"
"Just do the dang show."
She looked behind her and saw a very calm Lucky sitting on the hay bale, back turned. "Lucky…"
"I don't get why you don't want to do the show." Lucky briskly replied. "You're stuck here, never getting a chance to be free. You were raised by that guy, so you must hate him, right?"
Rukia blinked. "So Tiki told you…"
"And when you got that chance just now," he continued, ignoring her words. "You won't even accept it?"
Rukia clenched her fists full of hay. "You don't get it. I have a duty here." She gritted her teeth. "I have to help people escape this pit. Including you."
"And you're not one of those people?"
Her mind clicked.
"I know what you're feeling." Lucky continued. "You have a family here. I accept that. But what I can't accept is you just suddenly being helpless." He turned towards her. "The Rukia I know doesn't just fall to her knees so easily!"
Rukia slowly gained her breath. "Then what should I do?"
"I don't know." Lucky shrugged, rubbing his head. "That Jin kid sounds good. He might beat me.'
"Then what about you?"
"I'll lose and stay here." He replied. "But I'll be happy to it."
Rukia faintly panted as her face became all uneasy. "No. I'm the one going to stay."
Lucky widened his eyes. "What?"
"I'll lose on purpose." Rukia began to stand up. "I'll let either you or Jin win."
"No buts." Rukia smirked as she put a finger to Lucky's mouth. "I've made my decision. If you truly care about me then I suggest you accept my stubbornness too."
Lucky had an unmistakable frown, but after a few seconds turned into a smile. "Fine."
"Good." Rukia put her hands on her hips.
"… So," Lucky wondered. "What do we do now?"
"Here's the plan. The Freedom Show is tonight. Us two have at least three hours of training time. Got it?"
"So what can you do besides catching ghosts and succumbing others to your will?" Rukia questioned, traipsing around Lucky. "Seances? Exorcism?" She inched closer. "Everything paranormally amazing?"
Lucky shook his head. "No, but I guess I can do a bit of magic." He beamed. "If I can fixate myself on someone's soul, I can usually find out if they have any dead relatives or family. Along with some other tricks."
"Interesting." Rukia put her fist to her chin. "Let's see you do it. Try it with me. But tell me the name as well."
"Alright." Lucky shoved his hands in his pockets. "For starters, it's just one person that you're referring to, right?"
Rukia felt a little jolt.
"Tch. That still doesn't surprise me. I gave you a hint by saying 'name'."
"I know. It's the oldest trick in the book." Lucky walked to her. "Okay, I'm gonna get started now!"
"Woah, wait, what're you doing?!" Rukia took a step back. Lucky had an innocent expression emblazoned on his face. "The thing about knowing your dead whoever-it-is's name! I have to come closer so I can listen to your soul."
"Yeah, but why this close?!" Rukia took another step back as Lucky stepped forward. "When you're up on stage you can't just walk up to a stranger in the audience and
"I'll pick a volunteer. Besides, I won't hurt you." Lucky grimaced in annoyance. "I can't even do a headbutt."
"Well, I'll have you know that I can kick pretty hard." Rukia responded with another excuse. She lifted her foot up, ready to kick collarbones and shins.
But that ended up as a half step.
"Rukia."It was Lucky's turn to furrow his eyebrows. "You can't possibly have an absolute excuse for everything." He was extremely close. Rukia glanced to her left as Lucky sighed. "Come on, you're supposed to be helping me. It won't take long so don't object, kay?"
But Rukia couldn't even if she wanted to. Somehow, her jaw seemed restricted, as though it was clamped shut. Her hands felt sweaty, her face so tense she couldn't even blink.
Like Lucky's hands were clutching her throat.
Was this it?, Rukia thought. Was this the feeling Koko felt around him?
END of Chapter
This feeling, as though the walls were closing in on me…