Friday, August 26, 2016

The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village Volume 4

Chapter 1: Zashiki Warashi Yukari / The Past is a Present that Once Was

Part 1
March 24, 5:00 AM. 

I was napping and not sure if I was experiencing a dream or reality.

My mind had fallen to an odd level not quite awake and not quite asleep. In that state, I suddenly felt a sensation seeping out from my chest. It was as if some kind of barrier had grown weak.

Something was clearly wrong.

From the top of my head to the end of my butt, I felt something like thin, thin wires passing through the center of my body.

They were not sturdy or strong. In fact, they felt like they would break like dry pasta if I twisted my body even slightly.

Nevertheless, I felt a vague chill of unease as if letting those sharp fragments spread through my body would be a fatal mistake.

At that time, it came clearly to my mind.
Ahh. I’m definitely not a normal Zashiki Warashi.

National Registry ID #36110054Ra2.
XXXXX Prototype Ver. 39 XXX.

Traditional Species Designator: Zashiki Warashi.
Personal Name within the Jinnai Family: Yukari.

There were a lot of terms that could refer to me, but not even I knew which one truly indicated “me”. Even if there was a “me” I wanted to be, the truth of the world would not necessarily take
my side so conveniently.

As I thought on my vague definition of myself, the sense that something was wrong travelled down my back.

The thin wire-like sensation seemed to say it was the only thing on which I could rely to identify who I really was.

“…”
Even sighing seemed like too much trouble, so I closed my eyes once more within the thick futon blanket.

This was a thought pattern that only existed in this vague level of consciousness.

It was a fluctuation.
An error.

Once I clearly woke or clearly fell asleep, this unease would vanish. And I hated putting in any kind of effort, so going back to sleep was always the way to go.

Or so I thought.
Another action interfered with my meager plan.

Something began rustling around next to me in the futon.
“Yukari.”

I heard a small child’s voice and a boy’s head popped out from under the blanket.
He was about six and had short, black hair.

His face was as red as a boiled octopus as he spoke.
“It’s hot and hard to breath.”

“That’s what you get for pulling such a thick blanket over your head.”

He was well-known for tossing and turning in his sleep, so his pillow had been thrown to the other end of the bedroom. And it was not the work of a Makura-Gaeshi.

If he had woken up, going back to sleep would be difficult.
I rolled over to check the digital clock and found ten minutes had passed since I had last checked.


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