Ability Shop

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
This short story is an adaptation of a one shot manga titled Ability shop, by Tashiro Tetsuya.

Submitted: July 22, 2011

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Submitted: July 22, 2011

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ONE SHOT.

1 ABILITY SHOP by Tashiro Tetsuya

 

The boy had no redeeming features whatsoever.

Whilst playing football he fell, taking a ball to the face.

‘Toshiki-kun, Are you okay?’ exclaimed a girl running towards the boy.

The other players on the boy’s team started to jeer at him.

‘You should’ve been able to receive a pass like that…’

‘You’ve been playing football since primary school, right? Why can’t you do that?’

‘You really are totally useless.’

‘Wait! Isn’t this a little too much’, spoke the girl in Toshiki’s defence.

‘It’s okay, Kumi-Chan. I really can’t do anything right’ said the boy with a determined smile.

*

Toshiki walked home that day alone and downcast. The insults of his peers troubling him.

‘Why can’t you solve this problem? What have you learnt in these three years at school? You fail at everything you try.’

‘Damn!’ he shouted out loud, and started to run home with tears in his eyes.

For the second time that day he fell, crashing into a sign and breaking it.

Looking up, he saw in front of him the most peculiar shop. ‘What is… this shop’ he muttered in shock.

It was four storeys high, covered in moss and had one large circle window on the top most floor, completely out of place on the quiet street.

Toshiki entered to apologise for breaking the sign. As he walked up the long winding staircase he regretted ever stepping foot in the strange shop. He was about to turn back, when the old door at the top of the stairs swung open.

*

‘Please come in. Welcome to the ability shop!’ said the young girl standing opposite Toshiki. She was dressed head to toe in black gothic clothing, with an odd hat placed on her long blonde hair, which nearly reached her ankles. Toshiki thought that she must only have been a little older than himself, but there was something curious about her yellow eyes, they were almost snake-like.

The room was empty apart from the large window.

‘What is this place? What is this shop!’ thought Toshiki in panic.

‘Ah! Please wait!’ said the girl enthusiastically, sensing the boys anxiety.

‘This shop might be a bit queer and confusing but please listen to an explanation about it! It definitely won’t be to your disadvantage’

‘..No... No need’ said Toshiki who turned to leave.

‘I won’t ask for any compensation for that sign if you stay’ shouted the girl, with an unusual smile.

Toshiki thought it best to stay, at least for a little while.

*

‘What in the world is this shop? It doesn’t seem as if there are any goods’ asked Toshiki

‘The goods of this shop are a little special, it is not necessary to see them with your eyes’ replied the girl.

‘My shop… sells abilities.’

Toshiki was perplexed, and the girl continued her explanation.

‘The inferior parts of yourself are a drawback. People wish to be reborn as someone great, they are jealous of others. I answer these customers’ needs and offer them abilities for sale.’

‘Is this person insane, was she serious about all that?’ thought Toshiki.

And then an idea came to him.

‘So… I have a test tomorrow, so I want to be able to study really well…’

‘Understood! You want the ability to study’ replied the girl.

Out of nowhere she pulled out an odd handheld machine, unlike anything Toshiki had seen before.

‘What is this?’ asked Toshiki.

‘It’s a register! The numbers displayed show the remaining life span of the customer.’

Sure enough, -70 years, 4 months, 8 hours, 38 minutes, 2 seconds- was shown in front of him, and they were counting down.

‘This shop takes some of the remaining life span of the customer as payment for the abilities’ explained the girl with a wicked glare.

There was a silence.

‘…I will buy’ said Toshiki.

Suddenly the room turned dark and started to spin.

‘Thank you for your purchase!’

A white light came from the girls pointed finger and engulfed the room.

*

The next day Toshiki received the highest grades on the test.

This was a surprise to the teacher and other students who thought that the test was especially hard.

‘He seriously got full points?’

‘It was really difficult this time, he must of cheated.’

The only person happy for Toshiki was Kumi-chan. And for once he didn’t feel like a failure.

‘Great! You really can buy abilities in that shop. If I use that shop… I won’t be useless anymore’ thought Toshiki on the walk home after school.

‘But… This receipt says that I’ve lost some years. If what is written here is correct, I’ve lost three years of my life span because of yesterday’s purchase.’

‘However… that is not a problem. As long as I keep an eye on the price when I buy abilities then I should be fine. Instead of living a long life as a useless person, I wish to live as a competent person, even if it is a bit shorter. I...will change!’

*

Over the next few months Toshiki was a changed person.

He helped the football team win many matches, and was invited back to play. He scored highest on all of the tests, won competitions and charmed those around him.

By using his new found abilities, which he bought more and more regularly, he made friends, impressed class-mates and was very popular.

‘This is fun! I never knew that having an ability would feel so rewarding. I can tell that they see me in a new light. Everyone has a better opinion of me. This sensation is a first.’

Although, some people did not like the new Toshiki.

‘Oi. Useless-Kun. You seem to have gotten cocky recently, huh’ yelled a group of boys from the year above.

Toshiki beat up the boys without a second thought.

‘I knew that this would happen, that people would be jealous of my abilities’ he thought.

‘But as long as that store exists there is nothing that I cannot do!’

‘…Still, I might have overused it. Only 50 years remaining’

*

The next day Toshiki ran into Kumi-Chan on the way to school.

‘You’ve really changed a lot recently Toshiki-Kun. It’s as if you’re a different person. We hardly talk anymore. I feel like I’ll never meet the old Toshiki-Kun again…’ she said, with a forlorn expression.

Toshiki had never felt more confident. He had always loved Kumi-Chan since they were childhood friends.

‘The things that I could not say before, I can say them now!’ he thought.

She interrupted him as he was about to confess.

‘Even though you used to be useless, you would try your hardest at everything, and I really admired that about you Toshiki. I have to go. I’ve got a boyfriend during this time since we haven’t been speaking, and I’m going to go meet him now, see you tomorrow!’

*

‘Please come in, dear customer! Thank you for coming to the ability shop even in this rainy weather!’

Toshiki felt empty. He realised that he did not wish to become capable or to be acknowledged by everyone. All he wanted was to feel worthy enough to be with Kumi-Chan.

A mad look spread over his face.

‘Shopkeeper… I do not care how much you take, give me an ability which a normal human can never obtain.’

‘Dear customer, I do not know what has happened, but you should  not be irrational. You are paying with your life.

‘Shut up! I am not useless anymore, there is nothing I cannot do!’ Toshiki was wild, almost inhuman.

‘Very well, sir.’

*

Toshiki returned to school. It was almost empty apart from Kumi-Chan who was waiting for her boyfriend.

‘Oh Toshiki, I thought you went home’

‘I obtained a great ability. I want you to see it, no matter what Kumi-Chan’

He raised his hand to a class room then clenched his fist, the room was then completely destroyed.

‘I did it! I showed her this great power and now she will definitely fall for me’.

But Kumi-Chan was horrified, and saw no fragment of the Toshiki she used to really care for in the strange, demented boy standing in front of her.

‘What’s the matter, Kumi-Chan?’

‘Stop! Don’t come any closer!’ she screamed.

Kumi-Chan’s boyfriend came running down the corridor and embraced her.

‘What’s wrong? What on earth happened!?’

‘Why… even though I finally became a capable person…even though I obtained great abilities…why?’ yelled Toshiki desperately.

Furious, he turned on Kumi-Chan’s boyfriend, a moment of insanity overwhelming him.

‘I see. If you…If you were not here’ and Toshiki leapt at the boyfriend and started to thrash him.

‘Hahaha! Behold this. You are the one at fault, because you dated my Kumi-Chan!’ Toshiki murmured out loud, his eyes wide and vacant.

But then, covered in blood before him was Kumi-Chan.

All that could be heard was the cries of her boyfriend calling for help.

‘No. Kumi-Chan… Why? What have I done…?’

A voice bellowed, ‘You really are useless’, inside of Toshiki’s mind.

Toshiki, hands clasped around his head was facing an internal struggle.

‘…That’s wrong!’ I am not useless anymore!’ I am…’

He remembered Kumi-Chan’s smiling face.

‘I am… below useless. I was only popular because I bought my abilities. I thought that I could obtain anything, even though I did not obtain a single thing with my own power. Why… did I not realise this sooner!?’

*

Behind Toshiki stood the ability shop girl.

‘Dear Customer. You forgot something, the receipt of your remaining life span. Only 30 years are left. Some abilities, especially those above humans, are expensive. Even though you had such a long life span, it’s dropped extremely low.

Toshiki clenched the receipt.

‘…Shopkeeper, sell me an ability which can bring people back to life.’

‘This is a very valuable ability, would you be prepared to forfeit your life?’ asked the girl.

A silver ball was spinning in her hand, wind torrents whirled around it.

‘I don’t care! I realised thanks to her… If I can save Kumi-Chan with my life… I would not mind dying!’

‘Very well, sir. Thank you for your purchase!’ replied the girl with another unusual smile.

A white light once again engulfed Toshiki.

*

When he opened his eyes he was floating in darkness.

All around him were large circle windows with people inside, it was as if he was looking into the lives of others.

‘I see, I died’ said Toshiki solemnly.

‘Dear customer, please take a look over there’ said the ability shop girl.

She was pointing to one of the windows, inside was Kumi-Chan laughing with her boyfriend.

‘…Kumi-Chan. She was revived, with this I have no regrets.’

Toshiko felt happy, sincerely content for the first time in ages.

‘It is not all good news I’m afraid’ said the girl. ‘You have personal insolvency.’

‘Personal insolvency?’

‘Another person clears the debt you cannot pay, a liquidation measurement. You will have to bear the insolvency penalty of not having an ability, your entire life span will be restored. Return to your useless self and make a fresh start!’

*

Toshiki returned to his ordinary days, as if nothing ever happened.

Kumi-Chan forgot everything about him. He lost all the abilities he had before.

But, he will make a fresh start and this time, with his own power. The greatest ability of all.

 

 

 

 


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