Fourth Customer- The Little Girl Who Loved Perfection
“This old man was the first in all the cases of veterans going crazy.” The man wearing the police uniform took a photo out of his pocket marked with “Fassett”.
“The cleaner? No wonder I haven’t seen him in a long time. I am really sorry about what happened to him.” The man in the chair with his two hands bound behind him looked at the picture for a very long time before commenting on it with a tone full of regret.
“The day before he went crazy, he met you right?” Officer Fassett asked while watching the man closely.
“If communicating through facial expressions counts as meeting someone, then sure we did meet up.” The man shifted his eyes away from the picture, looking straight into the police officer’s eyes before replying slowly.
“Then what about him? Him? HIM?!” Officer Fassett took one photo after another out of his chest pocket and threw them all onto the man’s face.
“Sir, if you could stop doing things like that I would be very grateful.”
“They all met you for the most basic meeting and then they went crazy. This is a coincidence?!” Officer Fassett continued to interrogate, not paying attention to the man’s tone.
“Sir, please remain calm.”
“What do you want to do? Is it that fun to play with someone’s emotions? Why won’t you even let this little girl off!” Officer Fassett was so emotional that he got up from his chair, and then dragged the man up with his collar.
“Officer Fassett, visiting time is over for the patients…”
“I got it! Go die!” After interrupting the nurse’s words, he roughly threw the man back onto his chair.
“May I ask if there’s a problem?” The nurse curiously looked at the situation inside the ward.
“No, I’m really very sorry. I…” Realizing he had forgotten his manners, Officer Fassett left the ward with the nurse after an apology.
“Sir you must understand that I didn’t play around with them.” The man leaned against the chair, half squinting as he looked at the somewhat gloomy light. After Officer Fassett and the nurse’s voices became so soft that they could not be heard, he slowly said, “They came to find me because they want to be normal.”
The man who had just finished enjoying his afternoon tea took his official bag and walked back along the road.
Suddenly noticing someone’s attentive gaze, the man stopped in his steps and then looked over, noticing a porcelain doll quietly sitting in a vendor’s stall.
The man was silent for a moment, before heading towards the stall. When the vendor saw the man, he immediately extended an enthusiastic greeting.
After waving his hand to tell the vendor that he didn’t need him to introduce the products, the man put down the bag in his hand and then picked up a porcelain doll that had been placed in the corner of the stall.
The moment he saw the cracks on the porcelain doll’s face, the man understood that this was a damaged good.
Holding the porcelain doll in one hand, the man didn’t say more but instead handed some money over to the vendor. The vendor didn’t refuse the unexpected money, but instead took out more damaged goods that had been abandoned.
When he returned to Cotidianus, the man found that there was already a little girl waiting outside the shop.
“I’m sorry, did you wait for a long time?” The man slightly bent his body. The little girl only shook her head, not speaking.
“Please enter.” The man took out a semi-transparent card and opened the door, tilting his body so that the little girl could enter first. The little girl still shook her head and then gestured at him as if to say ‘please’.
“All right miss.” Shrugging his shoulders, the man walked into the shop first.
“May I help you with anything?” The man asked, after leading the little girl to the reception room.
“Why did you want to keep that doll?” The little girl didn’t reply to the man but rather asked a totally unrelated question.
“That one? I bought it because he wants it.” The man looked at the porcelain doll that he had put in the cage. “Tom seems to like it a lot.”
“Meow.” Tom gave a sound of protest, and then continued to comfortably lie in the cage.
“Damaged things should be destroyed.” The little girl said with a slightly unpleasant overtone.
“Can you tell me why you would say this?”
“Because it shouldn’t exist.” With this reply, the little girl tightly clenched her fists.
“Then what do you want to destroy?”
“Eh?” The girl drew a blank, as if she had never thought of this.
“If everything were damaged, what would you hate the most?”
“I don’t know.” The little girl lowered her head, her two hands clenching tighter. “I don’t want to know.”
“This doll is for you.” She didn’t know when the man had left his seat, but he then handed the pottery doll that he had just bought to the girl.
“This is for me?” The little girl suspiciously asked. Hadn’t she previously expressed how disgusting this porcelain doll was to her?”
“I put a little magic on it so you’ll like it.” The man caressed the porcelain doll’s hair while saying, “If she is broken, whatever you hate most will also disappear.”
“Yeah sure.” Even though she said that, the little girl took the porcelain doll.
That night, a badly damaged porcelain doll was broken and a little girl had disappeared.
TLN: Does anyone have any theories on the setting of this story? Is Cotidianus a real place and is the man actually curing these people or somehow pretending to?