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Countdown to Halloween

Chapter Text

The raindrops were making such a din against the windows that it was getting hard to concentrate on the teacher’s voice. The loud thunder didn’t help. The sky was dark, almost blackened by angry clouds. Shiki was quite happy to be inside and not under the storm.

Then lightning struck somewhere really, really close, the lights flickered and eventually went out. At least one student screamed. Shiki was unfazed. Neku had quite liked using lightning against Noises so she had got used to it fast.

It was hard to see anything in the darkness, but she knew they were safe so she didn’t care. The other students seemed to disagree, though, and one by one they lighted up their phones’ screen. For Shiki, that was actually creepier than staying in the dark. She didn’t like seeing so many people watch their phone at once. It felt a bit too much like a mission mail had arrived.

“What’s taking so much time?” someone complained. “The lights should be back already!”
“Oh, it’s probably the bats,” Shiki answered in a low voice.

With the storm still going, only Eri heard her.

“What do you mean the bats?” Eri asked.
“They love gnawing the electric lines, don’t they?”

In the relative silence that followed, Shiki realised she wasn’t talking about *real* bats. Fortunately nobody could see her facepalming.

“I honestly don’t know,” Eri said. “But since when are you a specialist about bats?”

The lights coming back saved her from the need to answer, but Shiki knew that Eri wouldn’t forget it. She would have to find an explanation eventually. Or maybe claim it was just a joke.