Chapter 25: Oh, the Horror
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As excited as Tahiko was for the day of Halloween, there was one thing still left on his mind about it. That being, what exactly should he be expecting? They told him that it was about scary stuff and costumes and candy. The last two points, he could get behind, but what did they mean by scary stuff? Based on the ideas of the monster cafe, it seemed those creatures were what this world deemed as something to be feared, even if they apparently didn’t exist.

To him, none of those things seemed particularly frightful. Despite never seeing most of them in the world of Enatis, outside of some nice goblins, none of them were scarier to him than a demon. Now those things were just the worst, and they didn’t even appear all that different from humans.

Of course, these questions could only lead him to one person. That being his adoptive sister, Amasa, who would’ve loved nothing more than for him to leave her alone.

“Come on, you have to at least show me why these things are so frightful.” He asked like a little, much younger, type of brother would to his sister. “I don’t understand fear.”

“There’s a lot of things you don’t understand.” She called him a dimwit for good measure, then looked through the family’s bookcase for the section of their films. “Here’s a horror flick, just watch it and you’ll find out.” It wasn’t even that scary of a movie she handed him. If anything, this was simply more of a children’s movie but with horror as the main genre. Her family bought it when she was really young, so she barely remembered the details. But given it’s apparently kid friendly nature, the girl figured it’d be safe to give to him.

“You’re not going to watch with me?” He asked as she handed it to him. “But, if it’s truly frightful I’d rather not be alone.” Not to mention he had never seen a movie before, so didn’t want his first time to be so lonely.

“Why would I want to watch a movie with you?”

“Do you have anything better to do?”

“…” She didn’t. At least, nothing productive anyway. So defeated, the girl was left with no choice but to sit next to him as she popped in the film for them to watch. “This ain’t some super special movie, so don’t think like this is what all films are like.” She made sure he knew as things got started. The last thing she wanted was for him to believe that was what the whole world liked was featured in this one single movie.

“Seeing as no one seems to live their lives in fear around here. I can see that.” He responded as the opening scene began.

The film started off generically enough. A group of people hanging out in an abandoned house telling ghost stories. They were all kids, seeming to be the main characters to this stories. There were some spooky moments, with lots of comedy to keep children watching entertained.

Then things took a turn as the dark spirits were revealed. They caught the characters by surprise, and grabbed one of them, sucking out their souls.

“Huh, this movies a little darker than I remember.” Amasa commented as the drained body of the kid fell to the ground. Wrinkles covered them to showcase they had lost their life essence. Of course, being a family friendly flick, it wasn’t that graphic. No blood was shown, and it was cartoonish enough to not make an adult sick. Plus, from what she remember, everyone lived at the end of the plot. So that kid wasn’t going to be dead for good or anything.

However, for Tahiko, this was scaring him like a kid watching their first scary movie. Sure, this was his first time, but he was a grown boy. Not to mention that back when Amasa was little, watching this didn’t scare her at all. Most things didn’t. The biggest fright she had ever had in her life was being kidnapped by that demon and being flung off the roof by said demon.

So back to Tahiko, he was shivering in fear as he watched that child get killed. Not being aware that they were just going to be brought back anyway. It was more of a plot where the soul snatchers were stealing souls for no known reason where the kids would have to pull off some genius and silly plan to save the day.

“The idea of having your life drained out of you. It’s enough to make me sick.” He said, feeling more dread as the film progressed. She had no clue why he was freaking out so much about it. Even if this was a scarier movie, it still was only just that. A movie, a work of art, fiction. “I’ve heard of demons being able to steal magic, but seeing it is something else.” Another statement he made that caused her confusion. This was an older movie, so the special effects were pretty bad. How could he be fooled by it when he’s literally capable of doing real magic?

They continued on, much to his chagrin. The film moved along nicely enough, without many stops to settle for things like developing their characters or the story. Instead, it was focused on the spectacle of the heroes now trying to overcome the odds, of which many were stacked upon them. As time went, more and more were taken out by the dark sprints, a lot of them in gruesome ways for a the standards of children.

As they neared the climax of the movie, he was truly scared out of his wits. Now the boy was freaking out as he took hold of Amasa to have some sort of anything to keep him calm.

“Hey, what are you doing!?” Of course, she wasn’t cool with this as the girl attempted to push him off. But he was too strong, and to afraid to want to let go.

“I’m sorry, but I need to hold someone.” He said, keeping his eyes glues on the screen. Tahiko still wanted to see what was considered horror on this world, no matter how badly it scared him. “Please, don’t mind me.” He spoke while breathing heavily.

“It’s impossible to not mind.” She scolded him. “Watch where you’re holding.” He didn’t care about what he grabbed from her as long as it was her. And of course, despite not having a size like Fukuna’s it’s not as if the girl was flat chested or anything. “Stop being such a pervert.”

“Pervert?” He looked over at her, the first time since starting this movie. Only now did the boy realize his actions as the pair stared in each other’s eyes.

“H-hey…” She said, feeling the growing warmth under her cheeks. What was this feeling, as they simply sat still, not moving a muscle. “G-get your face… Away from me.”

“I…” He was at a loss for words for the first time in a long while. They were so close, they would’ve practically been sharing a blush if this were a manga panel. But, it was not, and quickly he finally was able to regain some composure to give space between them. “Sorry about that, I wasn’t thinking.” He apologized.

“Sheesh, when do you ever think?” Her heart was still racing from that close encounter, but Amasa was still able to find her wits about her to insult him again. She hated this boy so much sometimes. Yet at the same time, she hated herself for feeling this way. It was only likely because he was the only boy somewhat close to her. Sure, most people in general were not close to her, but it was impossible not to notice the different between them.

Worst yet, technically they were siblings, even if not by blood, or even by marriage. There are so many degrees between them in terms of relation, if not infinite since he was from another world. But while here on Earth, he was her brother through adoption and by law.

“It looks like the film is finished now.” He said, commented on the text now running up along the screen, signifying the credits. A shame that he missed how things resolved, so he’ll just have to watch it again some other time. Likely on his own, now that Amasa was upset with him. “Again, I apologize for causing any discomfort. If you’d like to punish me, then I can-”

“Don’t get on the ground again.” She stopped him from proposing that insane plan. Though she did promise him that she’s publish him were he to wrong her, so this would be the first time to put that to the test. “And definitely don’t grab my foot either.”

“Then, what should I do?” He asked. “I did bad, so I should be punished, no?”

“How about this?” She then promptly took and yanked his ear. “There, that should be good enough.” She didn’t want to punish him too harshly for things. And certainly didn’t want to do any of the weird stuff his apparent princess did, so this was a happy medium to get some of her anger out on him.

“That’s it?” He responded, not at all in pain from it. “I thought you’d at least want to torture me for a bit, but I suppose if it’s good enough for you.”

“You really need to understand the difference of our worlds.” She commented. And he will in time, but for now the boy was still going to be uncomfortable with the relative lack of strictness coming his way.

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