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Archivist’s Note: This story is part of Astral Void’s Halloween Co-write from 2011, and was the final story added. The chronological list of the event can be found on the PPC Wiki. TheCatfishCaper didn’t give this story a title; thus the very generic one given below. Minor punctuation editing has occurred.

TheCatfishCaper theirself never received permission, and this is Agent Hikari Matsudaira’s only appearance in PPC canon. The archivist personally believes the scary story told here is Hikari’s actual backstory, but there is essentially no way to know for certain, without any other material.

The PPC was created by Jay and Acacia, and is written in with permission (in this case, as part of an event with other writers with permission). Agent Grace Leon belongs to Astral Void. This story is rated about G, unless the reader is easily scared.

TheCatfishCaper's Story

“The end!”

“That was... lovely. Thank you,” said Agent Grace. “Now, who’s next?” she asked, looking out into the circle of agents around her.

“I am,” murmured someone. The flashlight was thrown in their general direction, and a few seconds later, it was turned on, illuminating the green face of the kappa agent Hikari Matsudaira.

“Here is my story, everyone.” She paused to clear her throat. “Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was a nice girl. She respected her parents, did well in school, and excelled at her favorite sport. She had a few friends, but she wasn’t too good at making them, so it was only just those few.”

She paused again. “The sport the girl did met every day after school at the school where she went. One day, it was her turn to clean up after practice was over. She quickly went to work, but as she had to mop the floors—they could get quite sweaty—as well as generally tidying up, it took her about two hours to finish.

“By that time, night had fallen, and she wanted to quickly rush home. It was not far from her school to her house, but it did take her over a bridge which had been built several years ago. It was steady, but the river it went over was fast and deeper than it seemed, and she wanted to get past it as quickly as she could. It was scarier at night, you see.

“When she was about halfway over the bridge, she could hear a voice calling to her. It said, ‘Hello up there!’ and it seemed to be directed at her since there was no one else around. She had no idea where it was coming from and decided to ignore it. However, as soon as she took another few steps, she heard the voice again. ‘I know you can hear me!’ it said, and she stopped. She slowly walked over to the side of the bridge and looked down.

“She did not see anyone in the river, but she could make out a spot on the banks that she believed was a person. She told herself to just leave it alone, as it did not appear they were in any serious danger, but when they saw her looking, the person said, ‘There you are! Come down here!’ and she knew it would be rude to refuse.

“She carefully went back over to the side of the bridge from which she had come, then slowly made her way down to the riverbank where the person was. It was obviously still dark and she couldn’t see very well, but she could tell there was some kind of hat on the person’s head. However, she ignored it when the person started talking.

“‘Hello there! I thought you might come down. My name is Kaeru. What’s yours?’

“The girl answered shyly, ‘My name is... my name is Hotaru,’” Hikari coughed. “‘Why did you want to talk to me, Kaeru-san?’

“Kaeru just laughed and said, ‘Well, I don’t have many friends. I thought we could be friends! Is that okay?’

“Hotaru reluctantly agreed.

“Kaeru grinned happily. ‘That’s great! Let’s shake on it!’ She stuck out her hand, which Hotaru took.

“However, when she did, she noticed there was something off about it. Her hands were webbed, like a duck’s feet! She glanced up at Kaeru’s head--that thing on top wasn’t a hat! It was a lilypad! Hotaru screamed.

“This seemed to make Kaeru angry. She yanked her hand away from Hotaru’s and jumped into the water. Hotaru’s heart was beating very fast now—what was going on? Was that a real monster she had just been talking to? What was going on?

“Suddenly, a cold, wet hand came out of the water and grabbed Hotaru’s ankle. She screamed again, but it was cut short when she was yanked into the black water of the river. Water filled her lungs. She tried desperately to swim back to the surface, but the strong hand held her fast and she passed out.”

Hikari paused again. “When Hotaru awoke...” She sighed. “When Hotaru awoke, she was glad to find she was not dead. Unfortunately for Hotaru...” She paused again.

“Unfortunately for Hotaru, when she woke up, she was a monster herself.”
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