"Hey, are you listening to me?" Yoriko, a rumour-lover, said in her usual quiet voice, even though no one was listening in.
"Yeah, yeah, I heard you. So, what's the story this time?" I said elusively, going along with her. I was quite curious, myself, wondering if perhaps I might be able to use one of her stories to fill a page of the magazine.
It was after school. Perhaps because of the weather, seeming as though it might rain at any moment, the school was deadly silent. We were in an old, normally unused meeting room. A few long desks stood in the deserted room. We had forced our way inside this vacant room of the old campus, a club room in name alone.
The "culture club" had been born from four clubs that were on the verge of being abolished due to a recent decrease in members - an assembly point, as it were. Even still there were fewer than 20 members, and half of those were phantom members who hardly ever showed.
Forgetting the broadcast club, newspaper club and literature club - the Occult Research Society of all things being lumped in with "culture" was itself an act of the occult. A "research society" isn't even a club to begin with. Is it a jab at how many ghost members there are? That would make for a good joke. Maybe they should go and join the rakugo club.
I know the real reason anyway. It's all to do with the convenience of our advisory teacher. Mr. Yamamoto used to be the advisor for both the broadcast club and the newspaper club, of which I had been a member, and Mrs. Tanaka of the literary club had only just gone on maternity leave the other day. If she was advisor for the literary club, she can't be that healthy anyway. I doubt she'll be back for a while.
I heard that the teacher who used to be in charge of the occult club got sick and now a trainee teacher is meant to be taking charge, but she hasn't come to school since last week either due to family reasons.
"Come on, that rumour about a curse..."
Naturally, since it was the Occult Research Society, it looked like Yoriko's current club activities were spreading rumours about the succession of advisors being "cursed", or something like that.
"It came - to Senpai..."
"Senpai" referred to Ms. Hasebe, the trainee teacher. Since she was a graduate of the school, she was called this by students with whom she was familiar.
"The Purple Diary..."