Nervously, she stared at the clock.
5 minutes until the bell.
She turned to face the front and made attempts in pretending to care about her teacher's lesson. It was difficult to pay attention to the millionth tale of the failed Russian invasion. She knew the story. Probably more so than her history teacher, but she could never admit to it.
History was all about primary sources and she was well-acquainted with her town's history.
Ever since she was young, she heard everyone tell her about how Iwara survived the oncoming onslaught.
She was lucky to hear from both the dead and living.
Speaking of the dead, she wondered about the slow-pacing clock.
"Maybe, I can get someone to speed it up," she muttered quietly.
The jittery blonde girl shot a helpless look to her right. Standing by her side, there was an obese samurai focused on the lesson she was unwilling to listen to. In his past life, he was known for being astute and intimidating. With his hair pulled so tightly, he was left with a permanent leering look for a face. Inside, he was soft. But, that quality did not transcend pass his death.
Sensing a weird gaze, he peered down to see Izaumi Chiaki close to losing her nerves.
He knew she was pressed for time. And unlike the other spirits who were at her beck and call, he did not give into her silent pleas.
Katamori Saigo was adamant about defying her. "You are truly spoiled, Izaumi-san," he said, ignoring her incessant puppy-like eyes.
"But, why," she cried. She was careful to keep her voice extremely low.
"Time is a non-issue. It will always pass."
"But…but," Chiaki blubbered. She should have known Katamori was going to be difficult. He was one of the few spirits who did not give a damn about her wants or needs.
"Food can wait. Pay attention to your teacher. You are missing out on valuable facts."
Frustrated, she slouched in her chair. Although she was annoyed, she did not dare voice out her opinion. She needed to conserve her energy.
There were other spirits in the class. There was Mariko-chan, the young florist who died in the surrounding forest. She was the closest to the clock. At the window sills, the Tomago twins were busy out-flicking one another.
Chiaki knew she had better chances with them, but laziness kept her from trying to get their attention.
With a hopeful heart, she glanced at the clock for one last time.
One minute. DAMMIT!
Yamada Nobunaga stood up to marvel at his finest work. For weeks, he had slaved over fixing the 1969 Vespa Rally 190. It had been a struggle, but he had a good feeling over this time.
Deep in his gut, he knew the wait was over.
Rubbing his hands together in glee, he crept over to turn on the ignition. Suddenly, there was a spat. Confused, he rotated the key again and the exhaustion pipe coughed a few times before revving to the beautiful melody he was waiting for.
For a lanky teenager, he was overly pleased with himself. At sixteen, he fixed his first motorbike which was a feat his father, Ryu, had not accomplished.
He could not wait to show the masterpiece to his family. The bike was once a deteriorating hunk of metal. Now, it was a shiny mint wonder machine.
Once he got his family's approval, he was going to whisk out for the Iwara ladies. Both the living and dead women were totally going to love his new slick ride.
His lecherous thoughts were abruptly halted by a soft knock. Before Nobunaga could answer back, his little brother, Nobuhide, opened the door.
Everyone in Iwara was confused by the Yamada brothers. They were drastic opposites. From appearance to personality, the brothers consistently remained at odds. The older brother was a red-haired, insanely freckled delinquent who repeatedly failed Japanese class. The younger brother was meek in comparison. He always appeared sickly with his porcelain pale skin and stick-thin frame. One brother was the epitome of their father's past, while the other was creating a new story for the Yamada ancestry journals. Nobuhide felt more comfortable testing gender barriers. It was common to see him sporting either a burgundy yukata or his Lolita-like dresses. He kept his dark hair perfectly cropped to his chin and Nobunaga often went scissor-happy with his own red hair.
The only similarities between the brothers were the old-fashioned names and the ability to see the dead. The latter fact, very few people were aware of, was what kept the brothers bonded for life.
In his sombre monotone voice, Nobuhide said, "Mom wanted to know if you were planning to go to the Food festival."
"Nope," Nobunaga said, his eyes firmly situated on his Vespa. "I have things to do."
"I doubt you'll succeed," Nobuhide closed the door.
"What's that supposed to mean," Nobunaga blasted. Unfortunately, he was unable to get an answer. Nobuhide was long gone and uninterested in arguing.
"Bear-sama, can you pass me the monkey wrench?"
Obediently, the cub spirit went to help its master. "Thank you," Nobunaga grinned, patting the spirit.
Out of the blue, there was another unwanted visitor. From the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a speeding blonde force. The streak flashed by his shed and was heading towards the town square.
Not giving into his curiosity, he turned back to his work.
Confused by the sound, he looked at the entrance and quickly he grabbed a large blanket to cover the Vespa. Bear-sama was already cowering behind the counter.
In front of the garage, there was a settling dust cloud. Once the cloud disappeared, a teenaged girl came forward.
Izaumi Chiaki was a fearsome foe. With her long dirty blond locks and piercing blue eyes, she was known to enchant many. Growing up, the citizens expected two things from Chiaki. One, that she would grow up to become a great beauty. And two, her mouth would be the end of her. Iwara was right. When she opened her mouth, only spirits remained attracted to her.
She was athletically astute and excelled in her studies. However, she was socially inept.
From the day she was born, Chiaki was better suited with the dead.
There was a gravitas and charisma she possessed that worked better with spirits. Because of her odd predicament, she only associated with her neighbors, the Yamadas.
Just from one look, Nobunaga dreaded her presence.
He should have been on guard since Nobuhide mentioned the Food Fesitval.
With impassioned fervor, Chiaki set her sights on the frightened boy. "Give me the bike!"
"No," he exclaimed, trying his best to stand his ground.
She proceeded forward with her hands stretched out. "Give me the keys," she cried.
"No," he repeated, tearing the key out and the key slot with it.
"Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh," he shouted, shocked to see how easily his bike came apart.
"Nooooooo," the girl cried, collapsing to the floor.
Nobunaga tried fiddling with the Vespa. The key slot could not go back in. Pushing him out of the way, Chiaki tried her chance. She too failed with fixing the bike.
Both were visibly distraught. Weeks of works were down the drain for Nobunaga, while Chiaki lost her chance to get to the Food Festival on time.
"This is your fault," she shouted, slowly getting enraged.
"MY FAULT? HOW IS THIS MY FAULT?"
"I DON'T KNOW. BUT, THIS HAS YOUR DOING ALL OVER IT!"
And for the millionth time, the two locked their foreheads into a head-butting battle.
Thanks so much for reading the first chapter. There will be more to come.
This is a sequel to the Tomorrow Cases. Chiaki and Nobunaga were characters from it. I didn't get to write much about them since they were babies. But, now they are teens! And weird ones at that!
I haven't abandoned TC. When I get a chance to finish reorganizing, I'll get straight on it. For now, please enjoy the journeys of Chiaki and Nobunaga.