Chapter Nine

It was opening time at the Bistro, and Pete was taking inventory.  Bottles need to be replaced on the shelves behind the bar.  Pete also makes it a point to clean those shelves at least once a week, because dust tends to collect.  As does cat hair. In between cleaning, there are always the one or two patrons who lived on a different time cycle than normal people, who would wander into the bar to start drinking, where everyone else was still asleep.

The TV set droned in the background and  BarCat sat watching a show.  Hidden in the Dark was one of those series where the host tells you about things that are supposed to be spooky to make humans be afraid in their beds.  This story was about Kudagitsune, Japanese fox spirits that are fond of possessing humans.  They are little, tiny things with big magic that can bring you and your family great happiness if you take care of them properly. Seems they steal from your neighbors to make you rich.  BarCat thought that interesting.  A kindred spirit.  BarCat then checked the waitress pickup area to see if there was a drink for him to snatch.  Nope, nothing.  He signed, and looked back at the TV.


Allow BarCat to warn you that Daytime TV will rot your brain.  Really.  What is so scary about these Japanese foxes.  They were actually kinda cute, thought Barcat.  They appeared to be smaller than he was, and that put them in the range of potential snacks. Obviously he needs to write the shows.  Nothing like a resurrected corpse wandering around looking for its master to clear the room.  Most patrons of the Bistro would be more inclined to leave simply because of the smell, but humans…  now there is where the scent of fear will really fill the room, stronger than the smell of the corpse.


He turned his attention back to the TV.  The commercial for human stuff was over, and the story continued.


Kudagitsune tend to have a wicked side effect.  They propagate at an amazing rate. You could try to give them away, but being as how they steal from people, you put your own goods at risk.  And I doubt they would let you fix them.  BarCat laughed.  They never got around to "fixing" him.  Something about his little finger razors that deterred them.  But if these little critters are actual magic, some human might find themselves fixed for their effort. 


As he continued to watch, two men plopped down at the bar and ordered beers.  One of them shoved BarCat almost to the point of falling off the bar!  BarCat turned around and looked at him. The two men, however, were talking.

It did not surprise BarCat to find out these two arrogant bastards were Chaote.  Now he started listening. They were discussing invoking some kind of spirit.  But isn't that the way of Chaote?  Always doing something to cause trouble.  As he listened, it was also apparent these two were not real Chaote.  Sometimes those wannabes who are not real magical folks wander into the Bistro.  It happens.  So he sat and listened to the two stooges discussing what they didn't know.


Pete brought them beers.  The one next to Barcat tried to shove him again.  Pete shook his head.  BarCat could hear him thinking - finger razors.  But BarCat just stood his ground and moved back into his place.


Pete brought them their orders. The one closest to BarCat asked Pete to please move the cat.  Pete shook his head.  He told the guy that the cat lives here, this is his place, and that if they wanted to eat without the cat, they would have to move.  The guy gave Pete a nasty look and started eating.


BarCat waited.  He settled back into his space.


The two were trying to decide what to invoke.  Seems they could not make up their minds what they wanted to do.  The guy continued to elbow BarCat.  BarCat stood his ground.  The other guy said he wished he had some idea of the best kind of spirit to invoke for their first attempt.  BarCat smiled.  He then granted his wish. 


The guy was looking at the TV, and the host was wrapping up the show.  The host mentioned once again the great magic that the Japanese attributed to Kudagitsune, that they brought prosperity to the families who housed them, and these spirits were respected by those who knew of them.  The one guy nudged the other and pointed to the TV.  They both listened to the summary of the magic powers attributed to the Kudagitsune,  At that point, BarCat made sure Pete changed the channel.


The two guys were looking at each other with greed in their eyes.  Yea, said one, Kudagitsune.  The other shoved the end of his sandwich into his mouth, nodding his head.  They agreed they would write a ritual up to invoke a Kudagitsune.  Boy, they would be rich, so very rich.  They couldn't be more pleased with each other.

They finished their beers. Pete gave them their bill.  They paid it, but didn't leave a tip.  One of them mumbled about keeping cats on bars, and something to do with the health department.  They left, still talking about their plans to invoke the Kudagitsune.

Pete came over and scratched his head.  He apologized for the asshole trying to push him around.  He cleaned off the remains of the meal, and brought BarCat a drink in a shot glass.  Scratching him again on the head, Pete told him he was amazed the guy left in one piece after pushing him around. Pete figured the guy would leave shredded. 


Barcat smiled.  Possession has a few meanings.  He wondered if it would be the police who would end up busting the two guys for stolen merchandise, or if the Kudagitsune would end up "fixing" them good the first time they tried to contain the population. 


Either way, the drink felt good going down.  It was going to be a good day at the Bistro.



Inspiration Source: Kudagitsune by

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