The day is hot and humid, with a languid threat of thunder, when she comes to the shop. Her left leg is adorned with a tiger-print stocking, the other splotched with green paint up to the knee. Her skirt has a restless plaid pattern and purple beads.
Yuuko is, of course, waiting for her in front of shop. The dimensional witch is dressed in one of her formal swooping black gowns, never mind the heat. Even if the girl might not look it - or, in fact, be aware of it - she still and extremely powerful deity and deserves even Yuuko's respect.
"Hello", the girl says, her tiny voice a bit nasal, with a hint of an accent Yuuko can't place. There are small fishes swimming in the air, swirling around the girl's wild bi-coloured hair. As she steps closer, she brings forward a scent of fudge; slightly burned, hot-on-a-cold-winter-day kind of fudge.
"How do you do?" Yuuko smiles back. "Please, come inside."
She leads the girl into the shop, which takes half the time it normally would, the girl meanders around the yard and stops to pull and twirl at Maru's and Moro's hair at door. The floorboards complain loudly beneath her feet.
Tea is prepared while she fidgets in her chair.
"Now, what can I do for you?" Yuuko asks.
"I can't find my doggy," the girl says a bit miserably. "We were in the park, and there was a great big tree, and Barnabas - who is my doggy - peed on the tree and I think the tree didn't like it very much, because then there was a very strange man who came to smile at me. He didn't smile at Barnabas, though, and I thought: well, isn't that impolite, not to smile at Barnabas even if he said hello and all."
"Indeed, impolite it is," Yuuko says and waits patiently.
"He wasn't a very nice man, I must say," the girl goes on, as one of her fishes ventures too far away from her and pops out of existence. "I could see his teeth when he smiled. And he had sunglasses and I know there can be very bad things behind sunglasses. He said his tree was hungry and he got really angry when I said I could buy his tree ice cream, if he wanted, and then, well, I know it was bad, but he looked like maybe he was going to take his sunglasses off, so I made him dance for a while and we - me and Barnabas, not me and the man, because he was busy dancing and singing a bit too, since I thought, well, he must have a tune to dance to - and so me and Barnabas ran." She holds out her hand and lifts it up high, as if reaching through the roof for the unseen moon. An inch from her fingertip, a pink little fish unfolds and becomes alive.
"Only then Barnabas ran into some other place when I wasn't looking and now I can't find him. And I think I need to, I'm afraid the tree man will try to find Barnabas and hurt him, because he didn't look so very happy, even if he did make us pretty flowers. But the song wasn't very long, you see, and I'm sure he's stopped dancing by now already."
Yuuko sips her tea and the girl looks mournful.
"I sometimes forget how to make long songs."
Yuuko opens her mouth to reply but the girl cuts in:
"And I know Barnabas will worry and I don't want him to. Though I must say I don't understand why it is such a big problem. I have seen dogs pee on trees, and people as well." She places a delicate finger to her chin and looks charmingly thoughtful. "Maybe it was a very expensive tree. Or exclusive, but I thought it couldn't be, since there were so many people in it."
Yuuko regrets she wasn't present at the scene of the crime to take pictures. She knows a good amount of people who would pay a lot of money to see 'the tree man' dance and sing in the middle of Ueno Park.
"Barnabas sounds like a very resourceful dog; I find it hard to imagine he would get himself into trouble."
"Oh, he is, very special kind of dog! Only, if I can't find him, it's possible I may get myself into trouble."
"I understand," Yuuko says and holds out her right hand to her side. Maru is there, placing a slip of paper into her master's hand.
"I am familiar with a family that has for generations had ties with dog deities. They also owe me a favour and will surely be glad to assist you. This is a charm," she holds out the paper, just out of the girl's reach. "It will help you find them and also convince them that I sent you."
Her smile deepens and twists slightly from the edges.
"But, of course, this is a shop and therefore there is a price you must pay for anything you may desire from me."
"Really?" the girl asks, her mismatched eyes growing round. "I thought maybe you were a fairy, and would grant wishes, since they do, sometimes, fairies. Even if you do look very different from the fairies I've seen. I just thought perhaps you were trying very hard to look like all the other fairies and I shouldn't say anything because it would make you sad if you thought you were failing."
There is no love lost between Yuuko and fairies, but she kindly ignores the comparison.
"I do grant wishes, you could say that. But nothing comes for free in this world and for every wish fulfilled you must one day pay a price; I only take mine in advance and save you the trouble of worrying about consequences later, hmm?"
Usually, she would name the price for her favours herself, but has found it rather profitable to let the more powerful creatures give her what they deem appropriate. It tends to give them the illusion of being in charge, which in turn makes any future interaction much smoother, should the need for such occur. And the need usually does occur, sooner or later. It is always good to have people and Gods, especially, owing her favours. "For me to help you with your wish; you must give me something of yours."
"Oh," the girl says and considers, then her face brightens. "Oh, I know!"
She rummages around her pockets that her skirt did not, in fact, have a minute ago and finally holds forth something small and round. It's flat, like a cork or a coin, and it shines in glimmering golds and pinks and when Yuuko leans forward, a glowing green swirl of mist appears, as if pulling her closer. She is enchanted; dimensional witchcraft and near omnipotence aside, she is still attracted to anything shiny.
"I have an extra drinking problem you may have!" the girl shines with innocent glee.
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