1 One shot - 10PM Door-to-Door Sales

Pin pon.

The chime rang. I suddenly look at the clock. It is precisely 10PM. Gently opening the door and peeping out, there was an unfamiliar black cat.

「How about some soy sauce?」

There was a certainly heavy bottle of soy sauce being carried vigorously in the black cat's hand. At that time, about three minutes ago, I was in the middle of preparing a late dinner when I had just noticed that the soy sauce had run out.

「How much is it?」

When I called on the black cat, it said it would exchange for one pack of dried bonito flakes. I handed one pack of dried bonito flakes and received the soy sauce. The black cat gave me a fleeting look.

「Thank you for your continued patronage!」

Then it went back carrying the important pack.

Pin pon.

The next day, the chime rang again. I looked at the clock. It is precisely 10PM. When I opened the door, it was the same black cat as yesterday.

「How about some soap?」

The black cat said so energetically while grasping in his hand some soap wrapped in a refreshing looking wrapping paper. At that time, about three minutes ago, I was about to take a bath when I had just noticed that I had forgotten to buy soap.

This time, without saying anything I headed to the kitchen and fetched a pack of dried bonito flakes. Like yesterday, the black cat said,

「Thank you for your continued patronage!」

and handed me the soap in exchange.

The next day and the next day too; every night a black cat came to ring my room at precisely 10pm. And surely it would have what I want. Soy sauce and soap, batteries, postage stamp ―― although they were not that big of a deal, it can't be helped that it was a mystery for me. Why I needed those, I guess the black cat knew. Though I questioned it everyday, as if it were natural, I would hand over the dried bonito flakes.

Such days continued for a while and before I knew it, the dried bonito flakes had come to be on hand at the entrance of my room.

One day. I was laying down in bed all day. Covered with a futon while staying still in the room, I knew that time ticked by. It has been a month since I've begun to live in this town. A huge ghost of loneliness that had been holding its breath until now felt like it had suddenly attacked. Feeling lonely without reason, I thought that I wanted someone to be near.

That time,

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Pin pon.

The chime rang. Lifting my head, the clock needle was pointing to 10PM. I am reluctant but I sluggishly got up to open the door.

Then ―― the black cat was there as usual.

However, in what way was it different? Today, he did not have anything. I couldn't feel his usual vigour and looking down, it would seem like a different cat like a different person.

When I looked puzzled, the black cat was slightly embarrassed and said in a small voice.

「Uhm, black cat・・・・・・do you not need it?」

Before I knew it, I held out a dried bonito flake to the black cat. Approaching slowly, softly with both hands, I gently lifted it up. A mysterious warmth.

「・・・・・・Thank you for your continued patronage.」

Within my arms, the black cat muttered a little.

I already, became a little less lonely..