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Cursed Movie

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"Wanna watch a scary movie, Mob?" Reigen asks as he closes up his laptop. "We're fresh out of clients today."

"Alright," answers Mob. He’s sitting at his usual study spot a few feet away from Reigen’s desk and puts the book he’d been studying back in his schoolbag. "I've never seen one before."

"Seriously?" says Reigen, surprised. "You're always so unfazed by our jobs, I thought you'd have seen dozens by now." 

Mob shrugs. "I mostly watch whatever Ritsu or our parents choose. We've never picked out a scary movie."

Reigen nods with his arms folded. "Well, we'll just have to change that then. You get to pick the movie."

The video rental store is a short walk away from the office and boasts an impressive collection despite its tiny space. Visitors aren't often present and today is no different: he and Mob are its only customers. Reigen is glad the place hasn't gone out of business, though he thinks its days are numbered. Before he can entertain the idea of Spirits & Videos & Such, however, he directs Mob over to the Horror section. 

"Just give me a holler when you see something interesting," Reigen says to Mob. Mob nods in response before walking off to explore the section while Reigen picks up a favorite title of his and studies the back of its case. 

Time ticks away and Reigen realizes he's read the same cover at least a dozen times by now. He grimaces, remembering what he'd told Mob earlier. His phrasing of "something interesting" may have just thrown the kid off even more. A quick glance at him confirms this: Mob's usual neutral expression has slipped into one of the same bewilderment he wore while studying his Algebra.

Small wonder that his family always picks the movies, Reigen thinks to himself and turns his attention back to the same case he's holding.

"How about this one, Master?" Mob says after much deliberation, holding out his choice. "It looks scary, I think." 

Reigen barely gives it a look-over before pushing it away, shaking his head and clicking his tongue. "No, you're way too young to be watching violent stuff like that," he says. "Besides, every true connoisseur of horror knows the scariest movies are the ones that don't show much on screen..." A menacing grin creeps up on his face. "They take you to the darkest recesses of your mind and see what your imagination can conjure up."

Mob blinks. "O-oh."

Reigen hands Mob the DVD he'd been studying. "Let's check this one out! It's a classic."

"I thought I was going to choose…"


 

The movie wasn't very scary so far, or at least Mob doesn't think so. He wouldn't have thought much of that until he noticed Reigen suddenly missing from the seat next to him. Maybe he'd gone to the restroom without him noticing. 

Before Mob can focus his attention back on the movie, he hears the chattering of teeth nearby.

"Master?"

It's coming from behind him. Mob turns around and finds the source: Reigen sitting with his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped tightly around his legs. His eyes are wide and bloodshot, and he's quivering all over.

"Master..are you alright?" asks Mob, wondering if he's coming down with an illness.

Reigen doesn't open his mouth to speak, opting to pull out a shaky thumbs-up signal instead.

Mob wonders if it's the movie. It may not have been scary to him, but he remembers Reigen's words about his preference of horror movie: They take you to the darkest recesses of your mind and see what your imagination can conjure up. Mob wasn't the imaginative type. His Master, however, had bountiful amounts of it. That must have been it; no wonder he was acting this way.

"Master...we can we can watch something else," Mob says, hoping to quell Reigen's apparent state of discomfort. 

"N-n-nonsense Mob! I-I j-just wanted to…to test! Test how well you handled something like this without me being there…" Reigen says, laughing and sweating. "K-keep the movie going! I-I'm just going to watch from here…"


 

The movie eventually came to an end, or so Reigen assumes when he hears Mob say "Wow, that was pretty scary." Reigen himself still hadn't moved from his spot behind the sofa.

Mob glances over the couch at him again. "Master…" he says worriedly.

"T-t-take the disc out already, Mob!" Reigen sputters, unable to think. "Your test is finished!"

Mob nods and walks over to the television. A whirring noise sounds as the DVD player opens and Mob picks up the disc. "Oh, it's cursed."

"Cursed…th-that's right!" Reigen springs up, or tries to, before his legs give way and he's shaking on the floor again. "I-it was a cursed movie! Yes, another part of your test--I wanted to see if you could pick up on its aura. N-now get rid of it."

Reigen waits for Mob to perform his usual exorcism, but Mob simply holds a hand over the disc for a moment and then puts it back in its case.

"Huh?" says Reigen. "Did you do anything to it?"

"It was a pretty weak curse," Mob responds. "I couldn't sense it until I touched the disc." 

"Must have cursed me the moment I touched it…good work, Mob."


 

Mob heads home, but not before Dimple appears before him.

"Oh, Dimple, I have something for you." Mob holds out a fist and opens it to reveal a long red flame-like spiritual energy. Dimple wastes no time floating down to slurp it up. 

"Greasy but tasty, kind of like what you pulled back at the office," Dimple says between chews and slurps. "I'm impressed. Nice little payback for not getting to pick the movie, huh?"

Mob cocks his head. "I'm not sure what you mean."

Dimple laughs, mouth still full and slurping up Mob’s finding like a long noodle. "Trying to pull the wool over my eyes too, huh? You've really changed." 

"What do you mean?"

"Come on, Shigeo! Lying to your boss about a curse to get him to settle down? I can't decide if that was kind or sneaky of you."

"It wasn't a lie.”

Dimple’s green aura turns blue as he chokes. “H-huh?”

Mob nods, pointing at Dimple’s meal. “That movie was cursed."