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ain't it spiritual?

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Nozomi felt the presence as soon as she walked into her new apartment. It was a sense that she had held for as long as she could remember, so she wasn’t quite startled, but simply amused. “Looks like I’m sharing this apartment with someone else, huh? Don’t cause me too much trouble,” she joked.


The apartment gave no response, and yet, that feeling within her told her that she had been recognized. Spirits were tricky things. While some were certainly troublemakers, there were other, more docile ones that wanted to live on their own plane in peace. However, after being given such a bad name, it was hard not to be a little bit hostile towards their more tangible counterparts. Nozomi was sympathetic to that, of course; after all, how would she feel if she were a spirit, condemned for no reason other than being “spooky”?


“Well,” she sighed, looking at her brand new living room. It was fully empty, save for her furniture and a bunch of sealed cardboard boxes. “I oughta unpack.”

For months, the specter was silent. Nozomi had expected to maybe see some things trembling, or something out of place, or to even feel it sliding past her. But, no. Nothing happened. Nozomi was beginning to think that she had felt a false positive; or, perhaps, her friendly nature had already tempted the ghost into going its own way while she went hers.


She pretty much forgot about it as three months rolled around in her new apartment. She had moved to start her work at a new shrine, much bigger than the one she was used to attending to, so she rose very early to accommodate her new workload. One morning, she overslept. It was very unlike her, but she still handled it well, rushing into the shower and deciding that breakfast could be cut out for the day.


A big lunch, then, she decided as she cut off the hot water jets and stepped out of the shower. Nozomi walked up to the steamed-up mirror and revealed her face by clearing it off, then groaned. “Bags under my eyes?! But...but I got more sleep than usual! C’mon...”


Once again, though, she brushed it off. She’d be fine. Just as she was about to step out of the bathroom and get ready, she saw something out of the corner of her eye, something like a movement. Was she that tired as to be hallucinating...?


No, it was real. She felt it. She wasn’t alone in that bathroom.


When she turned back to the mirror, there was more steam wiped away, and not by her own hand. Written in neat, fine print were two simple sentences: You look fine. Don’t be late.


Nozomi felt a chill, naturally; however, knowing what she was dealing with, she quietly stamped down the terror she felt. “Yeah? You think so? Well, thank you, darling. I’ll be on time, don’t you worry.”


Another phrase, a bit more messy, as if rushed: Go get dressed, please.


“What, you don’t like seeing me naked?” A small dot of steam was rubbed off, as if the ghost wanted to write something but was too flustered to do so. Nozomi grinned wickedly, glad that her mischievous behavior could transcend like that. However, the spirit was right. She did have to get dressed. “We’ll talk later, alright? Don’t you move an inch.”


Nozomi rushed out of the bathroom, heart racing because of that ghost. She had finally had her first encounter with it (him? her?), and she was sure it wouldn’t be her last.

“ got creative, didn’t ya?”


Nozomi kicked her shoes off, her feet aching from bustling around the shrine all day. The holidays were approaching, and many people were coming to worship. However, she couldn’t complain; that job meant everything to her.


What she could complain about was the several pieces of paper taped to the wall with red lipstick written on them. The ghost was nowhere to be found...or felt, at least. Nozomi looked closer at the papers, reading them one by one.


Hello. First off, sorry for wasting so much paper.

However, I didn’t know where else to write this.

Also, I couldn’t find a pen, so I hope you don’t...

...mind me borrowing some lipstick.

My name is Eli Ayase.

This used to be my house, and now it’s yours.

It seems that you understand why I’m here...

...and why I’ll never leave. I died in this home,

and it will remain my home for all of eternity.

Stay out of my way, and I will stay out...

...of yours. Thank you.


Nozomi furrowed her brow. That was disappointing, to say the least. “Hey,” Nozomi yelled, shuffling forward so that she could yell down the hall. “Get out here!”




“We could be friends, y’know! I don’t mind!”




Nozomi took the papers down, sighing through her teeth. How odd. If this person (or lack of person) was going to live with her and see her every move, wouldn’t it be natural that they were at least more civil with each other? The spirit wasn’t in any way rude, but...


Nozomi shook her head, chuckling lowly. "You're not a very good roommate...I don't think this'll work out."

However, it seemed like it did work out. For two weeks, nothing was to be heard or felt from the ghost. That was fine with Nozomi, for then; she was busy with her own life, even though Eli passed her mind from time to time. Besides working at the shrine, she had just started seeing a new woman: Umi Sonoda, who worked at the dojo near the shrine.


They had been on a couple of dates, and Nozomi was quite excited. For all of her strength, Umi was quite adorable. So easy to tease, so responsive. The only problem was, it seemed like Nozomi was the only one who had been asking for more dates.


“I’m being insecure,” Nozomi whispered to herself. She tried to put Eli out of her mind as she did so, hoping that Eli couldn’t sense her worry. Umi was coming over that night for dinner. Nozomi had made more than enough spaghetti for the both of them, after spending all day deciding on how to season the meat or what wine Umi would want.


When the doorbell rang, Nozomi felt something enter the room, and it wasn’t Umi. Elicchi? Hm...maybe she’s just a little surprised. It’s not like I usually have visitors.


Nozomi wondered if Umi would be able to feel her too, but Umi had never mentioned having any kind of strong interest in spirituality or the supernatural. Nozomi smoothed down her dress and opened the door, smiling calmly. “Good evening, Umi-chan!”


“Nozomi-san,” Umi greeted politely. She was smiling at Nozomi, but something about that smile made Nozomi nervous. Umi looked...tense. Was she just worried about how the evening would go?


They sat down to dinner, and things went quite normally. They sipped wine, laughed, talked about their day. But the whole time, that tense smile didn’t leave Umi’s face, and Eli didn’t leave the room. As they both finished their second helping of spaghetti, Umi took a gulp of wine, not quite finishing it off, then grimaced. “Ah, Nozomi-san...I...I wanted to talk with you about something.”


“Oh? What’s up?” Damn, did her voice betray her?


“I’ve had so much fun with you these past couple of days. Thank you for your time and company.” Umi reached across the table and took Nozomi’s hand. That’s when Nozomi knew it was over. “And, I-I really hope we can still be friends, but, I think...I think we should see other people.”


Nozomi forced herself to go numb. Why did it feel like Eli’s presence was growing stronger...? Or was that just the feeling of Nozomi’s heart breaking? “Of course, Umi-chan. We’ll always be friends, alright?”


Umi breathed a sigh of relief. The fact that Umi was so worried about Nozomi being upset made Nozomi want to hold onto her even tighter. “Thank you! Thank you so much, I...I really-”


Nozomi felt the specter move right in front of her face, and her eyes went wide. Before she could even process it, Umi’s wineglass was tipping over into her lap and spilling on her icy-blue gown. Umi gasped and jumped up, grabbing a napkin from the table and dabbing at the spot. “Oh no! Umi-chan, I’m so sorry! That wasn’t me, I swear it-”


“It was me, I must have knocked it over,” Umi groaned. Nozomi swallowed thickly. Umi’s glass was at her right side, and her right hand was the one holding Nozomi’s. Not only that, but Umi wasn’t even moving when it fell how could she have been the one who tipped it over? Of course, Umi wouldn’t turn to the supernatural to explain such things, so she blamed herself. Nozomi sighed. “I ought to get home, Nozomi-san, and see if I can get this out...”


“Y-yes, of course!” The sting of hurt had already left, replaced with confusion. Okay, and a bit of entertainment. It wasn’t Umi’s fault that their relationship didn’t bloom, was a little satisfying to see her covered in red wine. In fact, as Umi said her goodbyes, Nozomi had to hold back a giggle.


After waiting a minute or two after Umi left the door, Nozomi burst into laughter, collapsing into a chair. “Elicchi,” she said as she caught her breath, “who knew you were such a rascal?! Her face was priceless! Aw, poor Umi-chan...”


Nozomi saw the tipped glass go upright, then raise up into the air. She looked at it, confused, then realized what Eli wanted. Nozomi raised her own glass and touched it to Eli’s with a clink.

From then on, although Eli was wont to disappear for a day or two, they grew closer. If Nozomi was brushing her teeth, Eli would fill up her cup so she could rinse. If Nozomi suddenly remembered that she left the oven on, she’d go to the kitchen and see it off. They had even worked out a rather primitive communication system: Eli would pick up an object, and bang it on something once for no, and twice for yes. Through that, Nozomi found out what music she liked (classical) and what movies she liked (rom-coms). Once, Eli excitedly picked up a chocolate bar and waved it around, which keyed Nozomi in to her favorite snack. A lot of their “conversations” were one-sided on Nozomi’s end, as having Eli write her responses all of the time could get a little tedious, but Eli was a great listener. It seemed indicative of her personality; from what Nozomi could see, Eli was rather cool, distantly polite. She had even admitted through another lipstick note that her actions on the night of Nozomi’s date were out of the norm for her (which led Nozomi to wonder why she even did it).


Every morning and every night that Eli was around, after Nozomi finished her shower, she would get messages on the mirror depending on the time of day: Have a good day at work, or Sweet dreams, or You look lovely today. Nozomi had even convinced her to scribble a smiley face once, after a couple minutes of stubborn NO s. Eli wouldn’t budge on the hearts, though.


One evening, Nozomi came from work and took her shower as always, but no mirror message came. As stated before, Eli would sometimes disappear (where to, Nozomi had never bothered to ask), but if she was around in the morning, she was around in the evening, and Nozomi distinctly remembered getting a Have a safe commute that morning.


“Elicchi? Where are ya?”


Not even a twitch in Nozomi’s heart.


Nozomi pouted, but dried off anyway, then crawled into bed naked. She laid there for a bit, still trying to feel around for Eli’s presence. She had masturbated before since being in that apartment, but that was back when Eli and her weren’t really communicating. After knowing her so well, it was a little odd to do such a thing in her presence, or at least, knowing that she was more liable to pop up when she wanted to.


However, Eli was nowhere to be found. Nozomi hummed to herself, letting her hand slip under the covers. “Jeez, I should have just gotten this over with in the shower,” she murmured. She slid her fingers over the surface of her pussy, brushing against her labia teasingly. Already, her skin was slick with arousal.


She didn’t really have anything in particular to think about; in fact, all she could conjure up was a faceless girl between her legs, her silky tongue prodding Nozomi where she needed it most. That was enough to make her stomach twist in excitement. Her fingers grew more energetic, moving up to her clit and pressing down on it gently. She felt the muscles in her thighs tighten, and she moved her hips upward to satisfy herself more.


Nozomi felt a tingling in her lips, then all over her body, and she went still, a bit paranoid. Was that her body’s reaction to her little bout of self-love, or was something else in that room with her? Once again, she called out, “Elicchi? You’ here, right?”


Then, the sensation left. Nozomi’s face went pale, then flushed. So, Eli had came in, and hadn’t even left until Nozomi mentioned it? Would Eli have stayed if Nozomi hadn’t said anything? Most of all...


Did she like what she saw?


Nozomi sat up, carelessly wiping her fingers across her sheets. She almost clutched her blankets to her chest to cover her bare breasts, but decided against it. For some reason, she didn’t mind that Eli was around. Perhaps she would have been a little more modest (or maybe not) if Eli was...tangible, but the invisible watchfulness of Eli was a little comforting, somehow. That, plus, Nozomi didn’t want Eli to feel guilty for peeping; then she would be too shy to come back.


Slowly, Eli’s presence seeped back into the room. Nozomi almost wanted to tease Eli as she always did, maybe prod her about the fact that she was a bit of a peeping tom. But Nozomi could almost feel Eli getting ready to slip away, so instead, she said, “You know, I’m not angry.” That seemed to calm Eli down a bit, and Nozomi felt her growing a bit closer. Nozomi felt her heart beat faster. Coming closer? What did Eli mean by it? Nozomi had to admit, she was curious as to what Eli planned to do. So, with a bit of an encouraging tone, she added, “I like having you around, Elicchi.”


Eli crept even closer. To Nozomi, it felt like Eli was...right on top of her. Nozomi tentatively kicked the covers off, feeling the energy in the room spike. It was quite clear what Eli wanted. Nozomi wasn’t quite sure how they would accomplish it, but-


Oh. Nozomi clapped her hand over her mouth to muffle her own moans as she felt a delectable sensation between her thighs, almost like a tongue, but somehow much more...heavenly. It was as if the faceless girl she had imagined was actually there, but just...invisible.


Eli’s “tongue” (presumably) ran up and down the length of Nozomi’s pussy, confident and pressing down hard. Her tongue moved in long, broad strokes, which hardly satisfied Nozomi’s hunger. As much as she wanted to push Eli’s head down, that was obviously impossible. So, resorting to the only method of communication she had, Nozomi closed her eyes and moaned, “Elicchi, more!”


Nozomi hadn’t pinned Eli as the type to tease, but Eli’s tongue just brushed over Nozomi’s clit before going back to its previous motions, leaving Nozomi to whimper softly in anticipation each time Eli’s tongue floated upwards. Finally, Eli’s tongue started to flick across Nozomi’s clit while Nozomi felt fingers tiptoeing up and down her thighs.


Nozomi palmed her own breasts, partly wanting to feel that glorious sensation on her nipples and partly wanting Eli to stay where she was. Eli made that decision for her. Eli’s presence moved up Nozomi’s body, and that same gentle tonguing sensation came to her tits. “You’re a mindreader, Elicchi,” Nozomi breathed. Eli had no way of responding, but Nozomi liked to imagine a smirk on her face.


Eli had briefly described herself as pale, blonde with blue eyes, and rather tall, but Nozomi couldn’t take too much from that. Still, she could imagine a beautiful, striking woman, looking up at her with a sort of cocky look as she doled out pleasure with her experienced hands and tongue.


However, it seemed like Eli had more than just her mouth and hands to offer; Nozomi felt a force pushing her legs apart, and she felt her blush deepen. Nozomi Tojo was not easy to embarrass, but as she felt something rubbing against the entrance of her pussy, she found herself wanting to hide her face in her pillow. Something about Eli’s ghostly touch was nervous, so Nozomi prompted, “Elicchi, I want it inside...”


That was all it took. Slowly, Nozomi felt herself being stretched open, a phantom sensation tickling her walls. She almost felt like it was fabricated, and yet, the pleasure was so real. Her body almost lifted off the bed, but then, she felt something pinning down her wrists. Nozomi’s eyes widened, and the force lifted a bit, but then she nodded, and she was being forced down to the bed again.


Eli’s shaft was long...or, perhaps, Eli was pushing it in so slow that Nozomi thought that it was more than it was. Once it was all of the way inside, Nozomi was panting. It was odd to feel someone else’s touch but not to hear their moans. No matter how eerie it was, Nozomi couldn’t escape the pleasure that Eli was giving her.


The tenderness that came with Eli’s penetration soon disappeared; Eli withdrew and slammed back in with cunning speed, the grip on Nozomi’s wrists growing tighter. Nozomi wondered if Eli was always such a possessive lover, or if the loneliness that came with her non-physical state had just made her a bit more lustful. Whatever it was, Nozomi couldn’t get enough of it, moaning into the not-so lonely air of her bedroom and begging for more.


Eli surely delivered, her thrusts getting even faster but not lacking in strength. Nozomi felt her slick pussy walls tense, accommodating the girth of Eli’s spectral cock.


The ghostly mouth that had been on her breasts went to her neck, starting to lick and suck there. Nozomi tilted her head, letting Eli claim the skin of her throat without a second thought. Suddenly, Nozomi wanted Eli to fill her completely, wanted to feel Eli in every part of her. “More, Elicchi, more,” Nozomi gasped, insatiable. Eli was giving all that she could, so much that Nozomi could almost feel Eli’s breath in her ear.


The essence of Eli’s spirit was crackling, and Nozomi could feel its presence all over her. It was almost like a heat, moving itself in and out of her womanhood. Nozomi wondered if Eli was pleasured by the undoubtedly embarrassing, blissed out look on her face. How long had it been since somebody had rutted her in such a way, leaving her almost dizzy with euphoria? Nozomi didn’t even want to think about it. The only thing on her mind was the wonderful feeling of Eli hitting all of the right spots, making her eyes roll back into her head.


One of Eli’s hands released one of Nozomi’s wrists, instead moving to her neck where kisses had just been placed. Once again, Eli faltered as her fingers wrapped around Nozomi’s neck. Nozomi nodded, too breathless to speak, and Eli’s grip tightened. Nozomi let her eyes slip shut. Eli’s thrusts seemed more hungry after that, as if the possessiveness of their position fueled her to fuck Nozomi harder. Nozomi felt like she was floating, then, somewhere else, as Eli pounded her even deeper into the mattress.


Nozomi let out a choked moan through the squeezing of her neck. She wanted to badly to reach up and touch Eli, but she had to settle for clawing at her sheets, her body trembling. Every squeak of the mattress springs beneath her started to sound more and more distant. The only sounds she could hear were her own moans. She was starting to see stars, her vision tinted by pleasure.


“Elicchi,” she managed to say. Eli’s hand loosened just a bit, allowing Nozomi to breathe again. “I’m c-close...”


Nozomi had never known herself to be so sensitive, but the astral experience that Eli was giving her rendered her helpless. Eli slowed her strokes for a moment, and Nozomi whimpered, arching into what seemed to be empty air. Eli let Nozomi silently beg for her climax for a bit longer before she started to build up to her previous pace, her hands returning to Nozomi’s wrists. She was far too out of it to ask Eli to start choking her again.


Besides, it seemed like she didn’t even need it to reach her climax; before she knew it, the low humming sensation in her body became a loud buzz, drowning out everything else. Eli’s name fell from Nozomi’s name like a shaky chant, begging her to keep going, but Eli’s rhythm started to fall short, getting choppier but rougher.


Before Nozomi could even begin to come down from her high, Eli was leaving Nozomi’s passage, and a warm, sticky substance that Nozomi could only guess was ectoplasm was being splattered across Nozomi’s belly. Nozomi laid back to catch her breath, letting the hotness drip onto her skin. It was somewhat comforting, to have some physical remnant of Eli other than lipstick messages.


Eli’s presence remained in the room, but it was quite difficult to tell the difference between that and the general exhaustion and elation that Nozomi was feeling. Floating tissues made their way from the nightstand to Nozomi’s stomach, affectionately wiping Eli’s ectoplasm off before floating over to the trashcan.


“Thank you, Elicchi.” Nozomi paused. “For the sex and the cleanup crew.”


The poke at Nozomi’s stomach told her that Eli wasn’t too happy about that description.


“Stay here with me. Just so I can feel you,” Nozomi cooed. Nozomi felt Eli’s presence settle next to her in the bed; Nozomi made space even though it wasn’t quite needed.


Somehow, Nozomi felt as if she had fallen asleep in Eli’s arms.