Category: Fiction

Yukihime

  Long ago, before mortal foot had touched the earth and Fuji-sama was still shaking the ash from his head, Yukinomau-O-Kami, Goddess of Winter, and Kitanokaze-O-Kami, the God of the North Wind, sported amongst the islands of the blest, dancing together in the swirl of the blizzard-tossed snow. In those days of endless dance the love Yukinomau and Kitanokaze held for each other knew no bounds, and neither did their joy in the icy storms with which they played. There came a time, however, when Amaterasu-O-Mi-Kami called together all the deities of heaven and earth and proposed the creation of mortal beings. The proposition was greeted with acclaim by many of the gods, for they sorely felt the lack of worshippers. Kitanokaze and Yukinomau, however, laughed at the idea thinking that they had no need for mortal playthings when they already had the mighty blizzard with which to play and no need of the love of mortal beings when they already had each other’s. Amaterasu was not pleased with their laughter, however, and, concerned lest the two cause havoc with her plan, she conspired with Susano-Wo, the mighty Lord of Storms, to entrap the two troublemakers in mortal forms until her plan had reached fruition. The Lord of Storms agreed for he believed that Yukinomau and Kitanokaze had stolen the great blizzard and unleashed it unseasonably upon the southern lands, for which the other gods had blamed him. Susano-Wo called Kitanokaze and Yukinomau to his great palace, feigning sympathy with…

Golden Kangaroo

We hated the road even before they made it, but there was nothing we could do. A big shot in the city decided the track we had wasn’t good enough so the graders and steamrollers came leaving the scars of progress behind in a stinking black oil slick that cut through my fields. It was a long time before we learned to live with the rush and roar of the late night trucks. The house always shook when a particularly heavy load went past and plaster would fall from the ceiling into our breakfast, or into our eyes. We sometimes saw them with little red kangaroos painted on their doors, like the fighter pilots in the war, proud of their kills. The garden was never the same. The flowers didn’t like the fumes any more than we did, and our kitten was roadkill before it was a cat. That should’ve been a warning, and it was, though we didn’t see it that clearly at the time. We kept the critters indoors after that. We should’ve done the same for the kids. “Go out and play,” we said, “but keep away from the road.” And they did, usually. But a garden is no place to learn to ride a bike, so our son went out on the road. The first we knew of it was our daughter’s screams and we thought, “Just another fight,” but it wasn’t. We went out and found his bike — squashed flat, wheels bent at odd…