I had written this story for halloween, but decided not to post it straight away. With all the snow we've had recently I've decided that this is as good a time as any. The title is Japanese and if I've managed to get the title correct its literal translation is - Dreams of Death and Blood. I hope you enjoy it.
The wind tousles her snow white hair, obscuring the girl’s terrible beauty. Kneeling naked beside him; stroking his face. She has nothing but love for this man. Lying in the snow he doesn’t understand why she wants him to die. He tries to tell her but he doesn’t speak Japanese. Blood in the moonlight looks black and now his hands are slick with it. The snow is falling on his blood spattered face, the flakes remind him of… cherry blossom.
There are no real Geisha anymore, only whores from what was the old USSR with faces made of sharp angles and their all-too-blonde hair. At least I’ve had a good skin-full of bad Sake. As I stagger back to my apartment across the bridge, Kyoto at night in the snow looks like a postcard and I love her. A little old man stops me, he’s smiling, all bad teeth and bowed legs, he speaks, but…
‘I’m sorry my Japanese is very bad.’ I say by way of an apology. He laughs and tells me that my friend said it would be. I laughed at this – but what I found amusing, I didn’t know.
‘Which friend?’ I asked, thinking he might know my girlfriend.
‘The one you think about whenever you cross a bridge.’
‘…He died, yes… but he still worries about you.’
I thought of him then, all wrapped and tangled in weeds, struggling - then still - carried off down stream before he was found at last, weeks later.
‘What’re you?’ I sneer. ‘Some sort of mystic?’
‘No’ he said, his bad teeth forming another smile, ‘more of a colleague you could say.’
‘What’s he worried about then?’
‘What… you mean Kitty?’
‘Is that what she calls herself? She is Kitsune!’
‘Kitsune… I don’t understand?’
‘She hunts in the snow, her coat’s almost white and she will kill you!’
‘What the fuck! Are you seriously trying to tell me you’ve spoken to my dead friend, and he’s told you that my Japanese girlfriend, who I met Salsa dancing, is some sort of serial killer…’
‘…I’m not telling you anything about salsa-dancing serial killers, I’m not even here… but, in your dreams when you’re looking up and the snow is falling on your face, when you see your end, ask yourself who kisses you goodbye.’ He’s interrupted by the buzz of my cell.
‘It’s her’ he whispers.
My thumb hovers; do I choose red or green? I look back at him for courage or guidance but I’m alone on the bridge, and the snow starts to fall again, big flakes that remind me of cherry blossom.
The fox sniffs at the man lying in the snow, and gives out a little cry - if he heard it, it would have sounded almost childlike - and then tastes him. With the coming dawn the fox makes her way silently through the mist, moving deeper into the temple’s ancient gardens.
(c) Lee Auburn 2010