9.221.The Neighbor’s Hood–Part 1

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 221
“The Neighbor’s Hood–Part 1”

“Are you ready, Bes-Isa?” La-Iin asked.
“Ready when you are! But not too hard, alright? I don’t want to–“
La-Iin flung Bes-Isa across the sidewalk. She gave a cackle.
“Is that the Cahongyun girl again?” Asked an elderly Catori.
“Yes it is, Grandma.”
“What’s she doing now?”
The young Catori girl glared at the doll flying across the sidewalk. “She appears to be flinging her V-Puppet, Grandma.”
“Back in my day we didn’t fling V-Puppets, we befriended ’em! What’s become of the youth nowadays, Ei-Lin?”
“I don’t know, Grandma. I don’t have a youth of my own to know. Ask my brothers or sisters, they might be able to tell you.”
“Oh, I don’t remember th’ phone numbers,” she said with a scoff. “Ferget it.”
“If you say so, Grandma. Though are you sure you don’t want to yell at her from over here? I’m sure she might listen if you did.”
“Ain’t that Cahongyun girl a rabblerouser? Her mother’s prolly a whore, too. No point in talkin’ with people that don’t have two parents.”
“My Mom is dead, Grandma. Does that make me not worth talking to?”
“Naw, naw, your Mom is dead, you said so yourself. You have her, she’s just in a grave. Now that girl, where the hell’s her father? ‘S what I mean.”
“I don’t know why I live with you somedays, Grandma,” Ei-Lin sighed.
“Our neighbors are going on about something!” A little girl squeaked.
“Which ones?”
“The Grammy one and the one with the Vampy girl!”
“Now, now, you shouldn’t call Vampires Vampies, sweetie!” Her mother said. She picked her up and hugged her close.
“Awwww! I wanna plant in the mud!”
“Let her down, Hyo-Chin.” Her mother said. Hyo-Chin put her down, and their daughter went back to playing in the mud.
“Still, though…”
“What? You better not be complaining because I asked you to put her down. She doesn’t like being held; you know that.”
“Of course I do! I gave birth to her, remember? It’s not that. Just, don’t you wonder about the mental stability of that Cahongyun girl?”
“The Vampire?”
“Yes. Every time she’s outside, something seems…off about her, in a way. Maybe I should ask her mother someday if I can see if she suffers from signs of mental illness. I worry just looking at her from a distance….I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Hyo-Chin, she’s a little girl! A little Vampire to boot; don’t they say those ones grow really slow? Little kids are overly playful by nature. Sometimes they do crazy things. Remember the other day when Oka-Nkok was hanging off the roof?”
“Ah!” Hyo-Chin gasped. “I saw her life flash before my very eyes! It was terrifying!”
“You shouldn’t question these things, Alsi-Kyu.”
Next door to them were two Catori siblings.
“Oh no, creepy Hyo-Chin’s opened her mouth again!”
“She’s the one who always tries to examine people’s mentality from a glance or something, right?”
“That’s a little complicated, but yes. Scares me that she has a daughter…she might end up infecting her to be just like that….”
“You know who else scares me that they have a daughter?”
“No, that wasn’t–oh, whatever. But I guess you have a point. She seems like a pretty chill lady from what I’ve seen, but I worry ’cause of how that kid acts. Is that how she acts in the house?”
“They say kids sometimes take after their parents.”
“An’ another thing. Didn’t our cousin say Vampires grow real slow? Wasn’t that kid a baby less than ten years ago? How come she’s so big now?”
“Maybe the Cahongyuns are serial steroid users. Or maybe she’s actually half-Witch!”
The brothers stared at each other blankly.
“Trying to size-up that little girl, we’re no better than creepy Hyo-Chin…”
“Yeah….scary, man.”
Next door to them, Sale-Dessu quickly recognized La-Iin’s blonde hair fluttering in the breeze.
“Is she experimenting with her V-Puppet…?” He mused to himself as he watched her fling the doll across the sidewalk. “I don’t remember ever conducting an experiment like that….maybe it’s not an experiment. Though it looks painful.”
He was tempted to call out to La-Iin and talk to her, but found that just the thought had him flustered. ‘I sound so stupid and I didn’t even say anything to her….’
As La-Iin went after Bes-Isa, another neighbor noticed her.
“‘s the Cahongyun girl….flinging her V-Puppet!? How dare she! Does she not know that the V-Puppet is a sacred friend?”
“She is ignorant!” A chorus of voices called. At that moment, La-Iin, who had been energetically chasing Bes-Isa, stopped briefly to see where the voices came from. Not noticing the numerous V-Puppets, she shrugged and continued after hers.
“You say V-Puppets are sacred and precious friends,” the man’s next-door neighbor, a Cicadin man, said as he stuck his head out his window, “yet you’re the one who put quite a number of ’em into an early grave.”
“Is this true!?” The chorus yelled.
“Those were all accidents,” the Narwhaltae man said. “I was but a mere child in those days….unaware that certain V-Puppets would disintegrate in exposure to water, when hit by cars and such….if I could take my horrible actions back, I would, but…unfortunately, I cannot, as now, they are long dead.” He stared at his V-Puppets and held out his fin-arms. “Oh, won’t you ever forgive me!?”
“Oh, Gran-Howas! How could we not!” The chorus cried. Gran-Howas brought the V-Puppets close. The Cicadin man rolled his eyes and sighed.
As La-Iin bolted down the sidewalk, a few people noticed her, commenting to themselves on her sudden appearance. One such person, a Minomix man, pushed up his glasses as he watched her run.
“This is completely and utterly pointless,” he sighed. “People spending their time out in the hot Summer sun, finding nothing interesting to do with their lives except comment on the stupid actions of one small girl and to criticize her parent while analyzing her. I would wonder if these people have any life at all. I’d opt for saying they’re even worse than Skeletaltypes when it comes to their life quality and existence and such. And then, I am sure that there are people who are not observing the little girl herself but instead her observers. Such as myself, but I am justified in that I am giving criticisms to their lowly, pathetic lives. How one such person could spend their day in the Summer where they are likely in such a position that they could do anything–swimming, talking with friends, reading, being a productive member of society–observing a little girl’s observers is quite frankly disturbing and off-putting to me. What has our world come to in our year 2014. And if there are observers for this little girl’s observers, I would bet there would be someone who would think all this is a worthy story to put to pen and paper. I would argue that is even more pathetic than being the observer of a little girl’s observers.”
“Oh, shut up!” The people next door to the Minomix man said. He simply pushed up his glasses and gave an indignant snort in response.

“You know, Bes-Isa…” La-Iin started as the duo head back home.
“What, you maniac?”
“I felt like I had an audience today,” she said, then spat. “Fools, they are. For they know not–”
“La-Iin, after what you’ve done to me today, I’m not in the mood to listen to one of your ‘evil tirades’ right now.”
“You stink, Bes-Isa,” she scoffed. “Someday you’ll pay for shutting me down, no matter how minor the incident!”
“It’s only that today, you’re being incredibly annoying….”


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