thrownoutbento said: Sausage
Sirens blare as dogs bark. Alternating flashes of red and blue light up the outside, just beyond the window near the stove. Familiar silhouettes stand in wait, hands clasping and faces wrought with worry. The wretched Kurosawa, reluctant to pull out his gun, does so and fires a warning shot. Two more follow. Nothing happens. He resorts to the flare. Accompanied with a great burst of fire, the flare sears through the curtain of night, eventually raining down as hard, distorted light.
Nothing happens still. The officers think of a more effective plan; clearly, their course of action is ineffective. A sea of wrinkled brows and not a single strategy among them—Iwatodai’s finest stand crestfallen as a boy and his dog prepare dinner.
Because lugging boxes around a dorm is difficult as it is. Undermanned and overworked, the boy enlists his dog to lend a paw in the work effort. After a number of protests (pouting, whining, pissing on the couch), the dog caves in. He does as told, ferrying box after box without pause. After an hour or two of heavy lifting, they decide it best to stop, as the onslaught of packages seem impossible to prevent. And they were right; a veritable Mount Everest of cardboard boxes confront them in the kitchen, looking like it could fall at any given moment. Knowing he needs to dispose of the evidence fast, he stole for the stove, turned on the burner, and requests the dog to begin opening the packages.
One by one, Koromaru carries over the contents in his mouth. Without hesitation, Shinjiro threw them on the skillet, frying them to perfection even as the police, K9 squad, and the entire Kirijo clan force their way in. He does not seem to mind, as there is enough sausage to go around for everyone—including his dog.
It was a false assumption to believe that she was ready for this. Up until now, only snide comments and minor mentions had passed her ears about the man in her sight. He wasn’t anything like she expected. But, such is life, no matter how low the aforementioned was within this man.
"…" The cough caught her off guard, going as far as making her hesitant to retrieve the payment. She realized there were effects, although, precisely what, she hadn’t the slightest. "… A-are you okay?" A sense of compassion and sympathy coats her tone of voice as she gently approached him for the trade. It’s a stupid question. He sounded far from okay, and even less inviting.
"I guess… you don’t have to answer me."
“…then I won’t.” He spoke between coughs, his voice lacking its characteristic bass. He already regretted his insult. Not because of the nature of the remark but rather, wasting his breath on someone who was, ostensibly, a conduit, a messenger, a middleman. Her job was to deliver Package A to Location B, no strings attached. Any compassion she had fell on deaf ears; they were merely two people working under the aegis of business. Anything else would be unprofessional. The coughing stopped.
His hand remained clutched on his chest, just in case. “Shouldn’t you be going? I gave you the money.”
something you don’t talk about much
Aki says I should go see someone. I don’t tell the others; they wouldn’t understand. Not even the dog.
Submachine guns are fairly light depending on the make. You could almost call them plastic, the ones I bring with me to Wild Duck Burger. Kurosawa-san loaned them to me, said he got them from some faraway country. We laughed but he stopped before I did.
It’s not about killing people. Those burger joints are polluting the minds and bodies of everyone who eats from them. And they make a huge profit: fast-food’s a quadrillion-dollar enterprise in Asia alone. Furthermore, none of that money goes back to the people, the communities these places are siphoning them from. Robin Hood came on TV one night, which leads me to my problem.
The cashier opened the register as I read the constitution to her, forking over wads of cash with her tiny fingers. She was struggling, so I gave her a hand. I could taste the scent of French fries on her baited breath and grease running down her shaking arms. I think the gun in her face made her uneasy. I dispersed an equal amount of money to everyone and once my job was done, I left with a clear conscience. Bullets, didn’t need them—didn’t have them. Japanese firearm legislation’s pretty rigid and I’ve no need to stir the pot.
My therapist is nodding away as I relate to him my dreams for a third time. I tell him that Kurosawa-san might be Yakuza; he doesn’t buy it.
being in the rain
“You know the rules, Aragaki.”
“Like that’s ever stopped me before.”
“So you’re disobeying orders.”
“Do you feel disobeyed?”
“It’s not my feelings you need to be worried about.”
“I’m not Aki. Shallow threats don’t mean shit to me.”
“I guess I’ll be the judge of that.”
“Aren’t you always, though?”
“I’ve never known you to be so acerbic.”
“I don’t even know what that means.”
“Of course not. So, are you going to play by the rules or not?”
“What do I get out of it?”
“You get to keep your dignity. A fair deal, I’d say.”
“And I have to do what exactly?”
She told him.
“And for how long?”
She told him.
“I’m only doing this because as a friend, I care.”
“The fact you’re doing this at all means a great deal, Shinjiro. I just want you to know that.”
“So exactly how does one hold this?”
“First of all, it’s still little. Grab it by the shaft like so…”
“If you hold on to it, it’ll spread out a little more.”
“In other words, adequate protection.”
“Yeah. People get all kinds of things when they don’t use protection.”
“So I’ve seen.”
“Here, let me show you.”
“Make sure it’s out. Haven’t used mine in a while, but it works just fine.”
“You must think I’m naïve, I’m sure.”
Critical hit to the nads.
“You’re being disobedient.”
“I know, I know.”
“And now you’ve gotten me wet.”
“Not my fault.”
“How are you going to take responsibility for this, Aragaki?”
He extended the rod, covering them both with shade.
“Impressive. And people use these all the time?”
“And these are called…umbrellas, yes?”
someone you love
Yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Mold rambled his ear off about their family dilemma. He leaned back and listened to them. Mr. Mold, who normally spoke with a raconteur’s charm, was unable to find right words to express his disbelief. Equally crestfallen, Mrs. Mold stood back and shook her head with uncertainty. Whatever happened, it clearly sucked the verve out of a usually happy couple. Like a good listener, Shinjiro nodded from time to time, using the gaps in the conversation to ask questions, trying to unearth bits and pieces of the story for his personal knowledge. Though fragmented their details were, he managed to gather the following: their son, Mold Jr., fell in with a gang and adopted their ways. They bemoaned a lack of effective parenting on their end, but also complained about the prevalence of “good kids going awry” in Japanese society. Unable to disagree with their argument, he tried reassuring them by saying that if he were their son, he would sever any ties with those delinquents and give back to his family, clearly disconsolate over the whole matter. The Molds, in slightly better spirits, gave their thanks and said their goodbyes and left. Not a minute later did he fall asleep.
Today, he feels dull. The world is limp. Nothing works; the rush he’s come to know and appreciate does not work. Instead of dwelling on it, he goes out and purchases replacement items. The bill is high but that is fine. He hobbles back to his shack, a squalid little thing on the outskirts of Iwatodai, and gets started. Pressing down with his atrophied thumb, a fine line of purple something worms its way into his arm. He purchased a month’s worth of needles and syringes, one for each day. When the pain gets too much he goes for the peroxide. Be careful, Shinjiro warns, don’t drink it like you did last time. Hospital trips are old, anyway. He jerks the needle out and covers the aperture with a damp towel. Casting the syringe aside, the knives sitting on the kitchen cabinet are up next. Like before, he handles the instrument with precision and digs deep into his skin. Bloodstains fly everywhere: the carpet, the walls where the Molds live. He screams something fierce and does it again, deeper than the last. This spills over into the next day.
Tomorrow, something will happen. It is a universal constant; the very fabric of life constitutes itself on the occurrence of events natural or otherwise. Shinjiro will awaken to lacerations covering him from head to toe. The water running in his bathroom will be cold and dense enough to snap him back into the reality he discarded so many years ago. The water on his face runs out and in its place, a river of tears will pour down. His image in the mirror will grow blurry and distorted, reflecting the state of his mind. The man in the mirror will also cry and in that moment, it all will make sense. Tomorrow, something will happen. However, before he gets to that point, he must endure the pain of today, and dispel the static of yesterday. Then, and only then, will he be able to reconcile with himself.
He kicks up sand on the beach. Mother and father watch from under the parasol, their only defense from the sultry heat. By the waves he now stands, letting the break of the ocean submerge him underwater. He soon rises, much to the relief of his parents, who rush to his side in an assault of hugs and kisses. Like any boy his age, embarrassment never strays too far away, cheeks flushing red. The other kids snicker at him. Father and mother pick up their son, hair covered by sand, and walk past the din of laughing children, hand in hand.
He tends to a garden. He has a little help from his new friends, a brother and sister who recently moved in. Nothing much is the little plot of land, but it does his mind well. The adults, who admire his penchant for creativity, offer advice on how to cultivate different fruits and vegetables on the soil. He finally has enough to make dinner. The sister and brother gather the plants on his command and they steal to the kitchen to cook. None of them can read, which poses a challenge or two, but they have all the time in the world to learn. Nothing can stop youth.
He goes to school. The brother has since lost his sister. Now they are brother and brother. A girl with red hair approaches them. She talks often of the mind, power, and ability. The latter is her go-to word for everything. A gruff-looking cop stands in the background, taking infrequent drags from a cigarette. After she finishes, his brother asks her a few questions while he remains silent, looking about the room. The girl seems to be part of something far bigger than anything he can wrap his head around. A few days later, he meets Castor.
He fights. Tears, addiction, trauma—he is a world-class athlete in the sport of battling demons. Very little escapes his leer, the penetrative gaze that scorches red-hot magma through that which gets in his way. He may not seem like much on the surface: five foot ten, eyes of steel, but beneath the faux-menacing visage is a resilient, and sometimes foolhardy man. One more to go, his teammates shout. Because he is back in the fight, he goes for the finishing blow. They stand in awe. Like the boy he used to be, he does his best to conceal the blush spilling over onto his face.
He watches the sky. Hoarse voices bray in the distance. He makes out whose they are, but anything beyond that is asking too much. They seem content on screaming his name, for whatever reason. Don’t call it that, he insists. The wry smile on his face tells them he is merely taking a break. No stranger to a comeback, he promises that his next return will be twice as good, if not better. For now, however, he needs a little space. The world has become too cramped for his likes. So he closes his eyes and goes for a stroll down the avenues of his past, reliving the frames of yesterday as though they were still happening…
You are exhausted, so you decide to rest.
She stumbled twice, shuddering at his words. “I-I’m afraid I don’t understand. You have done everything on your own. I did not assist you.” Words spoken consisted of genuine nervousness, with a hint of curiosity, a dash of surprise. A recipe she won’t forget.
He scoffed, trying to lessen the flush spreading all over his face. “I didn’t do shit. You’re really one of a kind.” Naturally, it failed.
Because there’s no where else to go but deeper in. “L-Let us not forget you did a fantastic attempt as well—!”
She exposed her back to him. Big mistake. “Couldn’t have done it without your support, ojou-sama.” With small steps, he began closing the gap between them.