The Scarlet Haired Girl
The girl just barely avoided being spotted. She pressed her palm over her rapidly pulsing chest. Deep breath. Deep breath. Gradually, her breathing and heartbeat came under control. Hiding in the shadows, she desperately tried to calm herself down.
“What’s wrong? Standing still and hiding all of a sudden.” A woman’s voice sounded from the seemingly empty space beside the girl’s ear. Then, the air in front of the girl flickered, and, just like a colored liquid filling a clear glass, a fish like creature with translucent red and silver scales revealed itself. The flying fish, whose voice did not depend on physical sound, whispered to the girl again. “… that boy you were just looking at seemed a little strange. The color of his soul hadn’t disappeared. It seems unlikely that he would still be connected with his actual body, though.”
“… impossible …”
“Oh? Why are you blushing? He did have decent looks. Did you fall for him?”
“No, no that!” The girl turned to face the fish. “It was Willem! He shouldn’t be here!”
“Willem? … ah, that Second Technician who that girl met up in the sky?”
The young girl, her face now deeply flushed red, nodded vigorously.
“Well, in that case, he might be the reason why time in this world suddenly started moving again last week.”
“Wonderful! He’s really strong isn’t he? I’m assuming he also wants to get out of here, so if we reveal our identities, he might help us!”
“That won’t work. He probably really hates me.” The girl clenched her fists. “If he finds out who I am, it’ll cause him great suffering.”
“… how did your relationship get this bad before you even met him for the first time?” The fish said as she shook her tail fins. “Well if you say so, then I guess we’ll have to do it by ourselves. It looks like the dates are a bit off, but pretty soon that day will come to this world. When it happens, we need to find your body and release it.” With that, the flying fish traced out a circle in the sky with a dance and disappeared, seemingly melting into thin air.
“Okay.” As she answered, the young girl cautiously peeked out from the shadows of the small alley where she stood. She searched for a particular young man amidst the bustling evening crowds, but couldn’t find him anywhere. He must have walked off somewhere already.
“You’re interested in him, aren’t you?” The fish, although now formless, still whispered to the girl.
“… not really. He’s not even that handsome. I don’t have bad taste like Kutori.” The girl shook her head and went back into the alley.
“All you care about is looks, huh.”
Soon enough, the rapidly descending evening darkness enveloped the girl in shadow.