It was another beautiful morning, the chill in the air growing steadily colder as Winter reaches out ever closer. Pulling yourself upright in bed, you glance around your room as your vision begins to clear up.
Your hamper was empty of clothes, the room smelled of lemons and not a single speck of dust can be seen. As talented as a Kikimora is, a child can’t clean this room this well all on her own without at least stirring you awake in the process. Then again you tend to underestimate a lot these past couple of days. You peak at your clock, having passed out sooner than you expected it was natural that you awoke before your alarm rang. No doubt you’ll catch any potential Kikimoras by surprise; that could be fun you suppose.
Before anything else of course you have to get ready for the day with a shower, and a change of clothes. As you clean yourself you can hear the shuffling of feet as well as the excited whispers of several girls you don’t recognize; so much for the element of surprise.
“No let me do it-” one girl’s voice urged.
“I want to do it~” another girl whined.
“It should be me, I’m the oldest” a third voice argued.
“Lady Fubuki told us Master Anon prefers little girls so I should! I’m the smallest!” An excited voice piped up.
“(Damn it Fubuki)” Anon grumbled.
You’re definitely gonna have a talk with her about that, without a doubt that rumas has overstayed it’s welcome.
You dry yourself off, and open your door to see a quadruo of little girls in cute maid outfits.
“Good morning master!” The girls greet you.
“…Hm~ something seems off…” you mutter.
The girls look quizzically at you as you scan them one by one. One Kikimora; with mahogany brown hair in a long wavy streak ending to her waist, and a hazel eyes, two Kikimora; the shortest of the bunch with tiny little pig-tails on her soft blonde hair, and a couple of freckles to her face, three; the middle sized with sepia hair done a long, thin braids she would occasionally toy with. The fourth one however…
You feel like one of them is not like the other. You think back to your lessons, Kikimora usually have feathery furry tails, dog ears, feathers on their wrists and legs, and their feet are very distinct, and one of a kind if you had to comment on them.
…The girl in question however; was very slimy, purple, had glowing white orbs on several of her tentacles, black eyes with large golden glowing pupils…
But she wore a maid outfit so you couldn’t out her as the odd one out just yet.
“What is master Anon doing?” One of the Kikimora asks.
“I think he’s trying to pick out which one of us is better suited to serve him” another replied.
“Well I think it should be me! Everyone knows I’m the better cook!” The tallest declared.
“You’re only saying that because you can reach the high counters without a stool! I wash his clothes the neatest!” The middle one boasted.
“You only do it because you like rolling around in his clothes after they’re done drying!” The tiniest chirped.
“So what!? You guys do too!” She defended herself.
“Okay none of you are allowed to do laundry anymore” Anon declared.
“Then it should be me! I am better at cleaning this house than the three of you combined” the…fourth maid said.
She was well equipped, you didn’t even know where she pulled out so many cleaning supplies at once.
“I should be his stay at home maid!” The tiniest declared.
“Why?” They all turned to her.
“Because~ I’m too cute~!” She squeaked with a wink, and a poke at her cheek.
Well…there was no argument there you suppose…still a little too subjective to be a decisive favor.
It didn’t take long for an argument to break out…though not one without good intentions.
Anon looks on and sees the girls practically wrestling with each other for his attention.
“Come on girls, that’s enough…all of you need to go back, right-” Anon began until they swarmed around him with large, wide, pleading eyes.
“Please tell us who you like more” The tallest asked.
“You know I can’t answer that right here, and now” Anon explained.
“But you like it when we work hard for you right?” The middle one piped up.
“I like it when you do things that make you happy, I don’t like you girls risking the trip, and getting in trouble while making everyone worry back at the orphanage” you emphasize.
“But I’m too cute!” The tiniest repeated.
“You are really cute, but still not good enough to sneak out like this” you stand firm.
The fourth one just stared…rather intently actually…she was breathing heavily too, you’re almost certain she’s not as docile as she is suppose to be…you wonder if Mizari might know a thing about her.
You quickly grab your cellphone as the children attempt to tug you every which way, they continued to rant, and bicker as the need for your attention was reaching a breaking point.
[Anon: HELP! Some of the Kikimora have begun to fight over something and I don’t know what to do! HELP!]
You are relieved that you got a response so quickly.
[Fubuki: Got stuck in traffic, I’ll be there in a minute, just keep them in their dressed until I get back tiger]
You were about to file a formal complain in the form of intense swear words at Fubuki for spreading that stupid rumor, but a quick reply from Katy made you pause.
[Katy: Kikimora can be really competitive, usually the adults are more mature, and calm about it, but you must forgive them, they are children after all. Stay determined]
“(What does that mean!)” you cry out in your head!
You free yourself from their grasps only to trip on a purple slimy tentacle while the girls jump on your back.
“Girls if you don’t stop you’re gonna upset my daughters and they’ll protect me” you warn.
“Way~ ahead of you~*huff-puff~*-master~…” the purple, and black tentacled one grinned.
You notice several of her tentacles were traveling all the way out of your bedroom.
Meanwhile your daughters are excited about all the neat toys sprawled across the floor.
“Whoa~ cool! Daddy is the best! Look at these! Moon shoes! Moon shoes! Kid powered anti-gravity shoes~!” Chloe cheered strapping herself to the toy.
“When did big brother get all of these stuff-whoa-whoa! Is that a Blade action figure with Kung-fu karate chop action!?” Francine wondered.
“Who cares! Check out those sabers! Hey Francine? You up for a little morning spar?” Ceres exclaimed.
“Hah! I was looking forward to it all day!” Francine was more than happy to oblige.
“Oh! *Giggle~*-It-it appears to be working” The fourth one answered in a fit of giggles.
You clutch your phone and text Fubuki and Katy once more.
[Anon: one of the is some kind of purple slime shape-shifter. How do I approach her?]
[Fubuki: Hey Katy, I found out what happened to our newest addition]
[Katy: Yes, well that’s a great relief on my shoulders…she’s a Shoggoth, remind me to give you a lesson on them, they can actually be pretty tricky to handle, but here’s what you need to do-]
Before you can finish reading her text; your phone was suddenly stolen from you by the Shoggoth. Her fingers went to work rapidly tapping away for you, like a good maid would.
[Dearest Lady Katy, and Lady Fubuki, please ignore my two previous texts, I was overcome by the lack of quality maid service in my life, and suffered a hallucinatory episode. Be assured that there are no maids here. Sincerely, Anon E. Mous. P.S I am not a Shoggoth.]
[Fubuki: Works for me!]
[Katy: I’ll be sure to send Mizari for back-up if Fubuki fails to show up]
Your bedroom door opens and in comes Fubuki out of nowhere.
“Fubuki! Where you here the whole time!?” You cry out.
“Plot twist! I was actually behind your door this whole time!” Fubuki declared with too much pride in her tone.
“Words alone are not enough to convey how upset I am with you right now” Anon sighed.
“Come on children, play time is over” Fubuki simply said.
“Aw~” the girls sounded disappointed.
They did as they were told right away, and retreated with Fubuki, all of them leaving your home at once.
She could have done that this whole time…and just to spite you, the alarm you were early for suddenly blared in all it’s glory causing you to jump.
Today is gonna be ones of those days…
Chloe phased through the door like a spark of light covered in a small cloud before reforming herself once more.
“Dad! Dad! The toys suddenly vanished! My Moon shoes!” Chloe cried out.
Back to normal you suppose.
“…Sorry about that, just wait till Christmas Chloe” you sigh as you pick yourself up and get ready for another day.
It was finally your turn to cook, and the timing couldn’t be better. You had everything you need to make your little sister’s favorite breakfast; rib-eye steak, eggs, and hash-browns.
Her steak of course cooked medium-rare, eggs sunny side up, and hash-browns extra crispy with bacon bits, green onions, and a top of sour cream. You share the same recipe for the rest of the girls though you made sure to cook their steak, and eggs more casually to suit their taste-buds.
“Bih~g! Brow~tha~-*munch-munch*-thanshk-*munch*-you” Francine stuffed her face right away.
“Don’t eat with your mouth full Francine…” You remind her.
“I had no idea meat cooked this way tastes so good! Back at the Orphanage it was hard to ask Betsy to cook anything close to medium” Ceres was enjoying her meal cooked similarly to Francine as well.
“I understand, I tend to jump on the fruit salad with extra whip cream most of the time since Betsy, and some of the girls get sad, and despondent when they cook for the carnivores” Anon replied.
“It’s so~ big, and thick~! How am I going to fit this thing in my mouth-*giggle~*” Chloe poked at her steak with her knife.
“Not while we’re eating Chloe please” you gently scold her.
“How was your first day of school?” You ask.
“It wasn’t that much…we learned the school was big! It has everything! A-and a pool! Like so-cool! We spent most of the day just walking around trying to remember where everything is” Chloe said.
“Guess I’m glad, me, and Chloe have a few of the same classes then, I know my way around large labyrinths by now” Ceres assured.
“Thanks Ceres, I know I can count on you” you reply earning a bit of a smile from her.
“Too bad we only share lunch time together…guess I gotta wait a bit before we can all hang out more” Francine said.
“Eh, you’ll have plenty of time to hang out together in college, or running your own business, or if you’re family…speaking of, how was Veronica?” Anon asked
“She’s pretty cool, told me a bunch of stories about her time there, she’s like a pop-star dad you should have seen her! I think she even signed autographs” Chloe piped up.
Francine gave a loud huff to that, no doubt walking under her sister’s shadow still irks her to this day.
Conversation continued even further, the girls were in bright spirits despite the fact that it would now be their official first day of school. You kind of wish you were this confident when you were their age. Time decided to move a bit faster as the four of you continued to chat, and before they knew it; they suddenly rushed towards the scheduled bus stop.
Luckily you made it just in time to see them off.
Sure enough you see a school bus coming by your street. A soft lavender purple colored school bus being driven by a wide eyes golden retriever of a Cu-Sith. She was a tall one with wavy blond hair, and fur, and the occasional urge to stick her head out of the window.
“…You’re the driver?” You ask.
“Yup…just an old dog, and her duties, don’t worry about a thing I’ll take them where they need to go” The Cu-Sith was rather smooth in her manner of speaking. Confidently so, no doubt very well accustomed to her job.
“Right then, thanks for that.” you reply to the driver. “Okay, I’ll see you girls later then alright” you turn to the trio.
“Wish me luck! Bye daddy!” Chloe cheered.
“See ya later dad! I’ll keep an eye on them!” Ceres waved.
“Goodbye bro, thanks again for letting me stay with you” Francine smiled.
You watch them take the bus, you glance inside, and see several more children all reaching the same destination; Mamono of various kinds though you notice a large portion were part of the beast-type. Werewolves, Werecats, Wererabbits, your eyes also spot an odd duo, a Weresheep with thick creamy-white hair, and a Werebat with thick glasses, and navy-blue hair comforted by the embrace, her mind at ease enough to do last minute studying under the light of the sun.
Once again your mind was adrift as to what to do next. You’re not scheduled due to another new renovation. While you’re glad that doesn’t always affect your schedule given the building is constantly undergoing change. There are these rare moments where you have no doubt are serious in nature, you wonder to yourself how often the demonic aura threatens to overflow all at once.
Definitely gonna have to bring that up someday. In the meantime you decide to plan ahead, requesting to hang out with your friends outside of work instead of finding them by sheer coincidence.
Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned.
[Patty: Sorry Anon! I got caught up with work today, I’ll see you at the gym later workout buddy!]
[Elly: Damn, bad timing bro! I’m a little caught up on my end too, paper-work is like the worst thing about managing! 🙁 ]
[Trish: Sorry hun-hanging out with sis, and my little niece out of town to these hot springs-I’ll send you some pics later daddy~]
[Evellyn: Can’t study with you! Just started my new job-I can’t get distracted for a bit!]
It would seem like your options were very limited. Soon after that when a text alerted you to some news.
[Fubuki: It’s done, the fountain is finished, or a rough draft of it-well I’m going to unveil it soon, take a peak while you can]
Well there was something you can do, you can tell her off to her face. The drive was as casual as it could get, reaching your destination you notice a large object planted by the parking lot. You see Fubuki dead in your sights, but she was also accompanied by a few children, more than likely the ones who volunteered for the project. Even Betsy decided to drop by, just finishing up serving breakfast. She waves excitedly at you to hurry up.
The rant will subside for now.
“Hey Fubuki is that what I think it is?” You ask.
“Yup! The kids worked very hard as quickly as they could too, we just help bring everything they needed” Betsy smiled.
“The kids wanted to show us their hard work, and we were waiting for you to come so we can see it together. Okay dears, let’s show him” Fubuki instructed.
That was…really nice of them…guess they were happy they got the crowd they wanted.
They were only two of them, but new girls you never took notice of. Their heights deceive their age, the older one in her pre-teens was just under your nose in terms of height, and Her companion reached under your chin. They seem rather stoic, a simple bow to you, and nothing more.
Fubuki yanked the sheet, and reveal the mystery fountain.
“Wow! It looks…very…deadly…” was the best comment you can make.
The fountain was made of metal, bolted, or melted together to form a ring, swords, and shields decorate the rims, metal snakes twist, and turn in sharp zig-zags including a cobra in the center.
“Hm~hm~ it’s got…spunk” Fubuki murmured.
“Wow~ it’s so…shiny…” Betsy tried to stay optimistic.
“Oh it’s not so bad…it’s just…if we put some cushions on the spikes.” You figure
You may have showed your distaste more than you thought as the girl.
“Oh! But it’s beautiful really! It’s just…not kid friendly at all” you hate to break it to them.
“Well…a fountain’s a fountain, I’ll just check on our insurance and see if they’ll cover this in our building” Fubuki said.
The poor kids, they haven’t said a word, but hanging out with the quiet type you pick up subtle hints here, and there.
As Fubuki found the contact number she needed, a large black truck drives in, and parks itself on the parking lot. Out of it came a man wearing a lot of black in his attire, a black suit, wine red tie, nose piercing, and noticeable tattoo on his neck.
“Oh! Mr. Thamer, I’m glad you decided to come around, she’ll be thrilled to finally be a family with you. How’s the misses?” Fubuki replies.
“She’s doing fine, couldn’t make it, wanted to finish furnishing the room before she got there” the man replied.
“Charming, I’ll have someone tell her you’re here, the paperwork is done, so feel free to take her home to…eh? Are you listening?” Fubuki saw that she wasn’t being noticed.
“…The hell is that?” The man asked pointing at the fountain of blades
“…That is our fountain…it’s quite a sight isn’t it” Fubuki said.
“It’s-*Guitar-riff*-brutal” Mr. Thamer commented.
“Maybe you can tone down the swearing today?” Fubuki asked.
“I fu-…I want it” the man suddenly declared.
This was quite a shock to everyone.
“R-really? You want this?” Fubuki asked.
“It’s the most metal thing I’ve seen in my life. No one I asked would build me a fountain like that” the man said.
The girls began to cheer up a little, or you weren’t picking up negative vibes anymore.
“Well it was made with the talented hands of our dear children here” Fubuki said.
Mr. Thamer glanced down at the children waving back at him.
“…That’s metal…how much for it?” the man asked.
“P-pardon?” Fubuki said.
“I’ll give you twenty five-thousand for it” the man declared.
Fubuki, Betsy, and Anon gawked at him as he started writing the check in front of them. The duo Cyclops clap their hands.
“Wait, can he afford it?” You ask.
“He’s a pretty popular guy Anon, gets royalties from his old band songs, and one of the best tattoo artists on the west side. Plus he’s not a bad guy once you get to know him” Fubuki said.
Guess it makes sense, Fubuki might not always be the person you want to rely on, but you can rely on her to make connections, and do her part that the kids here can find a place to call home.
Fubuki rushed over to Betsy with check on hand, a huge grin.
“…Betsy! Take this money, and get the best fountain you can carry! Go-go now! And make sure it’s heatable! Hah! Told them I’d pay them back!” Fubuki proclaimed finally fulfilling her promise to reimburse them as she retreated yet again to tend to unite the man with a Zombie.
“Sounds like everything worked out after all, and I still couldn’t file a complaint” you sigh.
“Eh? Complain about what sugarcube?” Betsy asked.
“Nothing-nothing…so Betsy how was your shift?” You asked.
“Wasn’t too bad, it’s just a shame they’re testing some sort of fancy barrier thing to keep everything stable” Betsy said.
“I was just curious about that myself…is it really serious?” You ask.
“Plenty, sometimes we gotta work with Kosame, and other times we get help from the city. It’s hard to make things look normal, and casual like in the real world” Betsy said.
“Yeah, I guess they’re afraid of it leaking out, and infecting someone by accident…guess that explains I’m not allowed in some routes.” you reply
“Yeah, guess my schedule is gonna be open…we haven’t had a time like this for years, usually the work gets done overnight, or while we finish our shift…guess something has come up” Betsy said.
Your thoughts drift back to the Chesire Cat that found it’s way to your position. The two incidents could be related…
“So? Got anything planned?” You ask.
“Hm? Nah, got a garden, but I’m still waiting for the veggies to grow” Betsy said.
“Yeah…not much on my end either, lot’s of friends busy this week…so…hey, long shot, but would you like to hang out with me? There’s a swap-meet thing happening in a few days in the city. Maybe we can find some cool stuff there?” You suggest.
“Oh? W-well shucks Anon! I’d be delighted to go with ya! I don’t often mingle in the city, but I always wanted to give it a shot! Where are we meeting?” Betsy actually said yes.
“I’ll tell you the time, just gotta double check to make sure we get there early” you assure.
“Sounds like a hoot! Thanks for hanging out with me like this! I always wanted to check out the city more often! You gonna stick around Anon? You hungry?” Betsy asked.
“I’m alright, still full from breakfast, but maybe next time I clock in I’ll drop by…I’ll still stick around, gonna” you reply.
You continue to chat with Betsy, mostly forming a plan for your future date with her. Watching the fountain get towed away by a flatbed truck; you decide to drop by the shrine seeing as how you were practically there already.
One short drive, and one long climb up the stairs, and lo and behold it’s already being prepared for the month of holidays. Shipments of Christmas decorations are being organized, and accounted for by the shrine maidens, some of them also admiring their new outfits for the holidays.
You notice a new face, short, and stout, but noticeably bottom heavy with green skin coated in a sort of glistening mucus. A weird creamy white flower of some kind growing on her head. Kappa by the looks of it, though the webbed hands, and feet on top of everything else was a dead giveaway.
“So~ how’s the uniform treating you?” You asked a passing Kappa.
“*Kero~?* I hate it!” The Kappa complained.
“Huh, that’s not good, why?” You ask.
“Cause~ how can I show off my butt~ with a skirt like this? It’s too thick-*kero!*” The Kappa presented, sure enough it was knee-length, and clearly made for the cold Winter.
“. ..Sorry to hear that” you reply.
“I wish it was summer~ swimsuits are the best-*kero~ro~*” The Kappa sighed.
“Hang in there, hey super quick; can you tell me where Kosame is?” You ask.
“Sure, she’s in her room, she’s kind of stuck there though. She may be a dragon, but a lizard is still a lizard-*kero!*” The Kappa explained.
“I see, must be rough” you reply.
“Yeah, she always gets like this too. She insists on helping us and inspecting the decorations. Especially the giant pine tree coming here soon, but whenever she stays too long she passes out-*kero~*” the Kappa said.
“Poor girl, I’m gonna go see her then” you reply.
“Please? She’s been in a mood lately missing out on the decorations. Sometimes the most fun you can have is just decorating with your friends and family rather than just giving gifts-*kero!*” The Kappa said.
You thank the Kappa and head towards Kosame’s room tapping at her paper screen door.
“Kosame, it’s me, can I come in?” You ask.
“A-anon!? Of course you can-please! Come in!” Kosame practically squealed.
You smile as it seems this visit is gonna be the one with a hyperactive, happy Kosame, a personal favorite type in your opinion. Inside her room you see it in the middle of being decorated with all sorts of trinkets, and even her own personal Christmas tree sitting by the corner, lit up, and full of ornaments. A silver star glows with a soft light on the top of it.
“Hello Anon! Happy to see you today! It’s been…hard these past couple of days” Kosame said.
“Yeah one of your maidens explained it. Sorry you can’t decorate outside with them” you reply.
“Oh~ it’s okay, really. I got all the decorations I need here. I’m gonna stay up as long as I can to celebrate this holiday before I take the big nap” Kosame said.
“With all these decorations It’ll take past Christmas to finish setting them up” you muse.
“W-well they were all so cute, and beautiful I couldn’t help it~” Kosame whined no doubt realizing just how much her walls, and fireplace were decked out with Christmas cheer.
“We better get started then” you reply picking up a random Christmas decoration.
“H-huh? What do you mean?” Kosame asked.
“One of your maidens made a valid point, it could be fun decorating everything with some company, and it’ll suck if you had to do it all by yourself” you reply.
“Oh, Anon~ thank you very much!” Kosame bowed profusely.
“Well I don’t have too much time to be honest, In another hour, I gotta head back to pick up my kids from school, but every little bit of help counts right?” You ask.
“Yes-of course! I’m delighted to hear your children have finally started their education! How are they handling I?” Kosame asked.
“Better than my first time I bet, I was kind of a wreck with so many new faces to deal with” you confess.
“Sounds interesting though. I never got to experience the school life…home-school my whole life. Not that I’m saying it’s better, or worse, but well…it didn’t help me with my social skills…maybe that’s why I was so rambunctious when I was a teen, who knows?” Kosame shrugged.
“You’re kind of rambunctious right now, but at least you’re more professional about it unlike Fubuki” you confess.
“Oh~ she’s not so bad once you get use to her antics, she does have her moments after all” Kosame said.
“Yeah…yeah you’re right…so back to decorating?” You ask.
“Right! Of course! It’s funny, I’m so talkative around you, I get distracted easily…now then! I have these streamers I wish to hang, can you hold on to this end while I go to the opposite wall there?” Kosame asked.
The two of you share a warm moment decorating Kosame’s personal room with all her many decorations, and even touching up her personal tree. By the end of it, you marvel at how gorgeous and merry her room had become in such a short amount of time. Greens, reds, glitter, and sparkle, fake fluffy snow around the tree, the fireplace had several stocking with various names in them, all of them from the Orphanage; including your name she presented as a surprise.
“Anon, this is wonderful! I’m so glad you came!” Kosame exclaimed.
“Always a pleasure Kosame” you reply.
“Oh! Wait, there’s one more decoration I want to put up” Kosame said.
Kosame turns around, lost in a fit of giggles before facing you once more lifting an item on top of the both of you with her tail.
“Heh…mistletoe, nice” you muse.
“Yes~ you know what that means ri~ght?” Kosame purred.
She giggles a little more before she hugs you close, and quickly pressed her lips towards yours once more. Right away you felt her energy melt inside you, like warm cocoa rushing down your throat. As you continue to kiss you feel her arms wrap around you, her body squeezing you ever so gently, yet thoroughly, she moans, and giggles in between your make out session before it ends and she looks at you smiling brightly.
“Anon…before you leave, I-I want to tell you something” Kosame said.
“Yeah, anything” you reply.
“Thanks…thanks for spending time with me like this. Maybe I am being selfish, and I will repent in due time, but the moments we shared I will never apologize for. Now…you should get going soon, no doubt you still have to prepare dinner. Kids can get awfully hungry after school” Kosame smiled.
“Come on now, you’re making me blush now…besides I feel the same way, otherwise I wouldn’t be coming back so often…thanks again for all your help Kosame, I’ll be sure to put all this good luck to work somehow” you reply.
“I know you will! See you soon Anon~!” Kosame bid him farewell.
Kosame had a point, dinner is definitely going to be a must. Thankfully the traffic was light, and the bus is a short walk away from home. Reaching your house you set up what you could before meeting up with the girls. Not a moment upon reaching the bus stop out of breath from sprinting there you catch sight of the same colored bus turning the corner, and stopping short of where you stood.
“Evening!” The Cu Sith nodded to him as some of the older kids walk back home on their own, and soon after; your daughters, and sister finally leave looking to be in bright spirits.
Jumped on by both Chloe, and Francine, with Ceres being adorably professional with a hand-shake. Once more your quiet life to yourself was rocked with the chatter of family as they practically all clamor for your attention. Just another day you suppose.