Karin is Sick!~Locked Girl~


Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Atsuko Daisuke and today, I’m baby sitting. Thats right, me. Baby sitting. How fun, right? I seem to be the one people come to for impossible request.

I can’t even see how someone would think to ask me to baby sit—

Ah, thats right. A friend from school asked me to watch his sister.

“Daisuke,” asked Akiyama Keiji to me. “I have a small request for you.”

“Eh? What kind of request is that. Let me tell you, I won’t do anything weird—“

“No no, its nothing like that,” He said quickly. “Listen. My family is going to see a relative this weekend. But my sister, Karin, she’s sick. So she can’t go, in case she spreads it to everyone else. So I wanted to know if you’d watch her.”

“…Isn’t Karin the oldest. I mean, you’re twins…”

“…Details man,” He waves it off. “Please.”

“She’s…old enough to watch herself, isn’t she? I mean, you two are the same age…”

I did notice she had been missing school for a few days, though. It must be serious.

“If its so serious, why ask me? What if I get sick?”

…Details, man.” He smiles. “Please man, I’m begging you. You’re the only person I know that Karin can stand.”

I don’t blame the others. She’s a bit off putting, isn’t she—

Come on, man! Please!”

…Fine. I don’t plan to do much this weekend anyway,” I shrug. “How long you gonna be gone?”

Just one night,” He says. “Come over at about 5, okay?”

Yes, thats how this all started. And now that smug bastard is looking me in the face with a smile as his family goes out the door.

Alright man, good luck,” He says. “And, uh…don’t try anything weird with her, okay? I mean, I know she’s attractive, but you touch my sister and I’ll kill you. Got it.”

He waves a finger around to accent his point. A spark of electricity shoots up to his finger tips. I frown.

I wouldn’t dream of it. She’s not my type,” I mutter. “Too bossy, you know?”

Hahah. Well, have fun. Karin, be good alright?”

I’m not a child, Keiji!” The girl shouts from another room. He only laughs. The door closes behind him.

My frown doesn’t move at all. Immediately, I feel a pressure on my brain. Its as if the girl is prying into my brain from the other room. With a sigh, I go in to take a look at her.

She sits in her bed, wearing pajamas. Her long blonde hair is a mess, and dark circles line her eyes. Her face is sulky, her expression sullen.


She turns her nose up at me.

He could have asked Yumi. I’d have preferred her…”

Well, I didn’t jump for joy when he asked me,” I reply. “What if you get me sick? Then what?”

She folds her arms. I fold mine.

…I’m thirsty…

You can speak out loud, you know,” I say, scratching my chin with my thumb. “There’s no need for telepathy.”

I don’t care. I could use a drink.”

Anything in particular.”

Hot water, please.

…Coming right up.”

I grumble such as I exit, making my way to the kitchen. She watches me leave the room. Entering the kitchen, it takes a while to find the cups. I turn the faucet—

Not from the sink! Use the water in the fridge!

…I suck my teeth in irritation. To think she can send such a message from all the way over there in her condition. Opening the refridgerator against the wall, I pull a jug of water out and pull off the top. I realize the problem of coldness at once and suck my teeth once again.

Sigh. I set the mug down and reach in my pocket, removing a glove. Pulling it over my hand, I pick the mug back up again.

Looks like I’ll have to…” I mutter as I hold the mug above my hand. Looking over my left and right shoulder, I snap my fingers. A flame sparks to life.

…Perhaps it would help to mention that I myself am an Esper, and Karin is a psychic. Her brother’s an Esper too.

Let me explain. An Esper is someone who was turned into a psychic by an injection of a substance known as Psycho Dust to their body. Psycho Dust is, if I’m understanding correctly, a nanomachine cocktail that rewrites the genetic sequence and some other techno-bable I don’t understand at all, which somehow in the end turns us into people with weird powers.

I light fires. Sort of. I kind of use whats already lit and do stuff with it. Its a long story.

Here. Hot water.”

I hand the girl the mug. She eyes it suspiciously.

…You didn’t do anything to it, did you?” She asks. “No drugs or anything , right?’

Why does everyone suspect I’d do some awful thing to you,” I snap at once. “Just drink it, okay.”

…” She sips it. Then, she gulps it down at once. I wince at the sight.

Doesn’t that burn your throat.”

It soothes it, really,” She sighs. “I’ve got a sore throat, so the heat heals it right up. Helps with the headache a bit too…”

Hm. In that case, I should’ve brought you some tea.”


I nod as she looks at me with those raccoon eyes of hers.

Yeah. Milk tea would’ve been a better choice. It’d soothe the throat for longer and relieve the headache as well. On top of that, it has a better flavor to it. In fact, I should brew some right now.”

…Eh? Whats with that look?

…Where did you learn such a thing?” Karin asks.

Well,” I explain. “Its just me and mom over there. When she gets sick, who do you think takes care of her? I had to learn remedies for stuff quickly, or else I had to deal with her ridiculous demands.”

She tilts her head and narrows her eyebrows.

Did I mention,” I continue. “That I also cook and clean around the house too?”

…You’re like a house wife,” she says. “You’d make a good bride for someone in the future.”

I’ll take that as a compliment,” is my reply. “Buzz me when you need anything.” I say, tapping the side of my skull as I exit. She only gives a ‘hmph’, folding her arms and watching me with those raccoon eyes of hers.

And so, the day continues like this.

Daisuke, bring me something to read.

Daisuke, I’m hungry…

Daisuke, about that tea…”

Demand after demand. I realized that I was running around quite a lot, making food, bringing things for her to do, supplying tissues, etc. It wasn’t for another three hours that she fell asleep. I lay on the couch in the living room, resting my arm over my eyes.

This girl,” I mutter. “Is going to kill me.”

At the very moment the words leave my mouth..


She calls for me again. I hop to my feet and shuffle to the room. Upon seeing her sitting there in her pajamas, I give a low, mocking bow.

How may I help you, Ojou-sama?”

Very funny,” she scowls. Then, with a much softer expression, she frowns. “I can’t sleep. Know anything that can help?”


I place my hand on my chin in thought. Remedies for sleep? There’s a few old wives tales that come to mind, but nothing concrete. I shake my head.

We could try warm milk.”

Milk tea is warm milk.”

Ah, thats right…”


…If I must,” I scratch the back of my head. “I could tell you a bedtime story.”

…Hm? Whats with that look?


She doubles over, laughing ridiculously. I frown deeply as she slaps her knee, wiping her eyes.

Oh…Oh god, you’re serious. Truly?”

Well, if you don’t want me to, find your own way to sleep.”

And so, I turn on a heel and step out the room. Grumbling, I lay back on the couch.

An hour passes. Its at that time I feel a presence above me. I look up to see Karin standing above me. A blush is across that sickly face of hers.

…Hey…I still can’t sleep.”

Hah. Funny that,” I shrug.


She fidgets.

…Do you…I mean, could you…”


Don’t…make me say it.”

…You want me to tell you a bed time story?”

She nods her head quickly. I sigh.

It’ll be weird, telling a bed time story to a girl the same age as me, let alone one I know so well…”

J-just do it. Please.”

…Heh. Is that a demand, ojou-sama?”

Stop it,” She blushes redder. “Don’t…don’t make it any harder than it has to be, alright!”

…Alright. Get in the bed. I need a few minutes to think of something.”


She slinks back into her room as I lay on the couch, pondering. While I suggested a bed time story, I’m not the best story teller. Personally, I don’t even remember being told any as a kid by my mom. And most of the books I’ve read don’t equal out to things you can tell someone going to sleep. Unless I’m reciting the dictionary.


…Why…is a song suddenly playing in my head?

Crap. Its a song from a game I was playing earlier, too…

Ugh, this isn’t the best thing to have happen when I need to tell a bedtime story—wait. Wait, I have something. Hahah, this might just work…!

Alright,” I say, as I step into the room. The girl is wrapped in her blankets, watching me with her panda eyes as I circle the bed, with a chair in hand. Setting it just out of arms reach of her, I turn clap my hands together. “I have just the story to tell.”

Do you now—“

Stop,” I hold up a hand immediately. “No mind reading. My brain is off limits to you, got it.”

…Eh…” She frowns. For someone who does such a thing instinctively, she probably feels insulted at the demand. So I quickly add in another part to the demand.

Either you stay out of my mind,” I say. “Or you fall asleep on your own.”

She pouts.

Fine. Whatever,” She says. “But this had better be a good story.”

I smile.

Well, it goes like this—“

In a mansion, there is a dark, gloomy room much like a library. And in the library sits a girl.

The girl is often ill and rather pale. She can’t remember the last time she saw sunlight. The other residents of the mansion often worry about her, but leave her to herself. So, in the dark gloomy room, the girl sits alone, buried in her books.

That is, until her reading is interrupted by a knock at the door.

Who’s at the door—“

I’m getting to that,” I say politely. “Have a little patience. I’m building up.”

…Alright. Continue.”

What is it that you want today?” The girl says, never looking up from her books. And just as expected, the words come from beyond the door as a fist pounds on it.

Locked Girl? You gotta be kiddin’! Open this door!”

The person on the other side is a young girl, a witch that often came to steal the Locked Girl’s books. However, the Locked Girl never opened the door for her. As such, the witch returns every day and bangs on the door, making the same request.

I’ll definitely grab you by the hand and take you out! I promise!”

And with that, the witch leaves. The locked girl returns to her books.

A while ago, when the witch first broke into the mansion, she learned about the locked girl.

Apparently, the original dwellers of the mansion kept her sheltered from the world due to her illness. They gave her books to read and soon her collection grew large enough to fill an entire library. However, as the girl continued to read, something happened. All communication from her family was cut off and monsters began to fill the halls of the manor. The witch then decided, “I’ll drag that girl outside if it’s the last thing I do!”

Thats stupid,” Karin mutters. “If the girl wants to read her books—“

Ahem,” I clear my throat. She falls silent with a glare.

In a room full of dust, a coughing girl closes her book. The banging on the other side of the door has returned once again.

This has nothing to do with you,” says the locked girl.

No way, ze!” shouts the witch on the other side of the door. “You keep inviting me over, but you seem like you’re going to break at any moment!”

No one is inviting you, you keep coming on your own,” the locked girl replies. There is no reply. The locked girl stands up.

Hello? Are you there?”

Immediately, the pounding at the door is her reply.

Locked Girl? You gotta be kiddin’! Listen to this feeling! I’m gonna cry out your name and make you face me, you hear?”

And with that, she leaves. The locked girl holds the book to her chest. Why did she call the witch’s name like that? If she disappeared, then what? She could go back to reading, right?

Angrily, she throws her book down and shouts at the door!

I don’t need you anyway! Stop coming here every day! You’re just a nuisance!”

I pause for a moment. Karin looks at me with those panda eyes of hers.

…Why’d you stop?” She asks. “Its getting good.”

Well,” I reply. “I was sure you were gonna say something.”

No no. Go ahead.”

I smile.

Two days have passed. The locked girl sits in her library, reading.

Its been really quiet lately,” she thinks. “That witch must have given up. Good, she was really annoying.”

She turns her page. Dust causes her to cough. As the coughing fit ends, she finds a tear has come to her eye. Wiping it, she sniffles.

…Its only the dust. I’m not crying.”

She tells this to herself, but another tear rolls down her face. Another one follows. Soon, she’s sobbing. She throws her book at the door and breaks down into tears.

Where are you? You said you were gonna save me! Did you just abandon me?”

The girl is a mess. Her tears won’t stop flowing down her face. She wipes her eyes in an attempt to stop when she notices something slip under the door. She walks over to pick it up.

A letter?” She says, looking it over. On the back is a star seal. She opens it at once.

The leader is simple and short:

I’m going to save you, ze. Wait for me.”

And then?”


Outside, the witch flies on her broom.

She can see the castle. But she quickly flies to dodge.

At the castle gate stand three monsters, ready to defend against her. They breath fire, ice, and lightning. They throw scales and bones and attack her with all their might. They’re trying to protect the Locked Girl, the witch realizes. If she leaves, then they have no purpose.

That girl is a locked girl, closed in tight.

Well, thats too bad, ze,” the witch smirks. “Because I’m going to save her.”

And so she plows right through them. The gate flies open and she soars into the castle.

As she flies, she quickly dodges again. Falling off her broom, her hat is nearly pierced with knives. There, at the end of the hall stands a maid.

The witch smirks.

She doesn’t want to be with you,” the maid says in a cool voice. “She’s happy with the books. She doesn’t need to go outside.”

Who decided on that,” says the witch. “You or her? Either way, she’s going out whether she likes it or not.”

If you insist on causing trouble then,” says the maid. “I’ll have to stop you. You’re a pest that has to be put in its place.”

Her hands grasp three knives each.

If you really want to save her, defeat me!”

The witch pulls a magical stone out of her pocket as the maid throws knives. She hops on her broom, flying straight through. The blades graze her, cutting her, tearing her clothes.

She casts the spell. The maid is knocked aside. Without a thought, she continues down the hall.

She can barely fly straight. Her broom hits the ground and she rolls with it.

Her entire body is covered in cuts and bruises. But she staggers towards the library.

The door is right ahead of her. She’s almost there.

She tries to pound on the door, but her hand misses.

From behind the door, she hears a voice, scratched and mumbling:

Please, don’t worry about me anymore.”

The murmuring voice is mixed with tears. The locked girl sits on the other side, crying. The book in front of her is open.

The page is covered with the witch’s letter, and the ink is smeared with tears.

The witch smirks.

I’m tired of this response, ze.”

And so, she calls her name once again.

A girl in the shadows, covered in knowledge.

Locked Girl, you gotta be kidding! As much as you cry, there’s nothing here for you! The door is already open—!!”

The door explodes under the force of the magic the witch uses. The locked girl covers her eyes as the room fills with light.

There, at the door, the witch stands with a smile.

Locked Girl, you gotta be kidding,” she says kindly. “Lets go. Open this door. I will grab you and I’ll definitely take you with me.”

She holds out her hand. The locked girl with her tear stained face stares.

She wipes her eyes. Throwing her book aside, she takes the witch’s hand.

Two girls riding the red tinged sky.

Below them, the monsters of the mansion watch happily.

Fly a little slower,” the locked girl requests. The witch smiles happily.

So? Where shall we go to?”

I look over to the girl laying in her bed. She lays on her side with a smile.

That was sweet. I love it,” she yawns. “And I think that did the trick.”

Here’s hoping,” I say, standing up. “Call me if you…”

I cut myself short. Her eyes are already closed and her chest rises and falls in a steady breathing motion. I sigh, moving to the living room. I get a phone call not too long after I sit down on the couch.

Hey man,” Its Keiji on the other end. “How’s it going? Karin driving you up a wall yet?”

She’s asleep now,” I say. “I told her a bed time story, so—“

…Hey man, I don’t wanna know what you’re doing to my sister. Out of mind, man.”

Oh shut up.”

Heh. Anyway, the family is going to be out for the weekend, it seems. You up for watching her for another day or so, man? I’ll be back after tomorrow to take up the spot.”

I glance from my position at the peacefully sleeping young woman.

…Yeah man, not a problem. See you when you get back.”

Alright, thanks. See you then.”

He hangs up. I set my phone down.

Looks like I’m be watching after my own Locked Girl, then,” I say.

I just hope she doesn’t realize I was talking about Touhou…”

[Happy Belated Birthday, Frankie Elric!]


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