But. So. So what? It's nice in here. It's dark, quiet, no windows to show me a blue sky I don't care to see. Had me a friend once --and he's dead now, you know-- that would tell me about this one prison he'd been in. Yeah, wouldn't shut the Hell up about it. All the damn time he'd ramble on about what a great place it was. Food, bed, air, and a friggin' barred window. He'd rave about the sun and the sky and shit loads of crap about it. Blue and blue and white glimmering in his lashes, man. He were nothin' but a soft wannabe. Had no taste for killing, not like he should've. Bastard died with the funniest expression on his face. Eyes bulging out, man. I always kinda regretted that I pinned 'im up by his loud mouth. I would've liked to see if he would have smiled.
I'm smiling. Right now. It's
dark in here. It's nice. That stupid fat guard out there gave me a few
scraps of paper. I made me a boat an' a crane. Origami's stupid,
but it passes the time. Now I've got a boat an'a crane an' two pieces of
paper. Gotta keep 'em around. I can draw me a nice picture. But I'll probably
just leave 'em there. I can't draw. Here, take a look--
|My face is a happy face,
'cause it's so nice in here and nice and nice and nice is nice.
Man, I'm going friggin' mental--
Oh, man, fuck. I forgot to tell you the date. Damn. I don't know what fuckin' day it is. The day after yesterday. Something in the Meijii era. The number sixteen's stuck at the top of my head. Is that good enough? Man, what do I care? Who's readin' this? I guess it's fuckin' Monday. It's always Monday when it can't be anything else.
The police officer said he had not paid his meal. He grumbled that he did. The police officer hit him, the cane cracking against his temple. He had not paid his meal, no, sorede? And he had been loitering, the police officer said. He blinked, wrists starting to tingle at the spot where the officer was gripping hard. I was doing what?! he growls, what the Hell is loitering?! Apparently, it was against the law in that village to spend more than one minute on the entry bridge before crossing in and more than two minutes deciding whether to go into a restaurant or not. Yodan ja nai da, temee! But the police officer wasn't joking and he was being pushed down the back street and towards a tiny, dingy building at the end of the block. Away from Kyoto. Away from Kenshin.
The police officer wasn't
very agile. The kick caught him square in the jaw, the hollow crack of
the man's bones ringing in his ears as he rushed back towards the bridge.
sono baka na gohan... The rice had been dirty. His stomach hurt.
Biting his lip, he pushed on ahead. He'd be safe beyond the bridge. He
just had to make it to the bridge. That bridge. The bridge up there, right
beyond his reach. Damn it was far.
A paper rustles.
Smoke is exhaled. No.
katana gari cho
I was a washed up jerk a couple'a years ago. Nothin' t'tell before I was a washed up jerk, either. Stupid father, fuckin' martyr mom. Little money, empty stomachs, stumbling home drunk after a night'a gambling. That kinda shit. You know. I guess it was coming that I'd be a jerk. I had a rusty old katana and an empty belly. I didn't care who I killed so long as I could get some food. I didn't care if I killed. I knew where my corpses came from. Fucked up houses like my own. They went home t'dirt and screamin' children and cheap booze and passing on the herpes. Better off dead, the lot o'them. Killing 'em was a blessing.
It felt unreal, the first
couple'a times. I had a rusty blade. It wouldn't slice through properly,
you know? Got a sword a few years later, a real piece of work. Belonged
t'some jerk Mifune. It was as sharp as Hell, man. Clean, fluid movement.
Went right through the ribs and across the stomach and gore and bilis without
so much as a jerk. Felled heads like all men were babies. It was my
But it wasn't mine when I was a fucked up jerk. Back then I had a rusty
ol' piece'a shit that stuck halfway 'cross the ribs with a sick little
noise. It was funny. You'd expect ribs to crack. But it was as if you'd
hit a mass of mud, soft mud and all this junk stuck in it. Real weird,
man. Had no other sword, though, and I soon wound up in jail. Some stupid
bitch squealed t'the cops when I killed her busu little boyfriend.
Asshole supplied me my opium. Great shit. It was a nightmare t'be without
it back then. Could'a killed that bitch. Not that I do that shit anymore.
Like I said, I was a washed up jerk by then. But if you'll excuse me now--
Not for what you did, was the curt, clipped reply. It hurt. He stuffed his hands into his pants and kicked at the dust floor. Maybe it hurt. Maybe he wanted to feel proud to be the only person in that jail who could really hurt someone. Break the wooden bars, at least. He grinned, running his left hand over the right's knuckles. A giddy, childish glee filled him. Flexing his right hand, he began to whistle. The guard didn't say anything, merely carried out his duties--to unlock the prisoner's cell and motion him in, secure the lock and be on his way, keys dangling from his belt--as quickly and efficently as possible.
Squatting down on the cell's
dirt floor, his charge gave him a feral, undecipherable grin. Pretty
comfortable, he said. When's dinner? The guard left him like
that, grin stretched out comfortably over his lips, legs dangling from
the openings in the wooden cell door. He wondered how anyone like that
could break anybody's arm. He hoped they wouldn't have to keep him for
katana gari cho
He wasn't concidered a threat when I first met him. A freak. A mummy. A crazy. But not a threat. Messed up little Kisai jerks like me where more of a threat to 'em. He strolled up to my cell as if he owned the block. Looking down at strays in a pound or som'thing. Choosing the pick of the litter. Spewing all this bullshit about needing a strong guy. I listened to him for a while. I was bored outta my shit, you know. Hands clasped behind my head and swinging my legs and shruging away everything he said. I guess he was impressed. You can never tell with him. He has that funny way of looking at you, as if he knew you and everything that was you 'cause someone had burned him up and he had lived to tell the tale. I dunno. Funny, fuckin' mummy. I started to like him by the end of the day. I had to piss at some point, and he followed me around. That jail I was in at that time, a prisoner could go out with a guard to a nice little pissing chamber. Toilet paper an' everything.
I rolled out a few feet of
it as he talked to me, tryin' to convince me to join him. I wasn't paying
much attention to him then. I just wanted to sleep. I broke outta jail
the next day. The fuck if I know why. I had a reason back then. I think
it was because that mummy was so fuckin' funny. I don't think it was because
I wanted to belong anywhere. Bullshit. People belong in the backs of their
heads. When we can talk to ourselves and carve our flesh out in the dark,
that's when we're real. That's where I belonged.
did you leave them
No. I carried out the Taisho.
You stood by idly and watched him die.
i watched him.
You watched him die.
i watched him die. i wanted to stop it. but i couldn't do anything. there was a fence.
i watched him die. his blood. his blood dripped onto the pavement. it was thick and red. gollops of it.
His head was.
his head was like those magic tricks. unreal. it was done with mirrors. his body was underneath the stool.
They blew his head off.
his body was under the stool. i didn't leave him behind. i
couldn't find his body. that's all.
his eyes were.
his eyes were closed. closed.
sweat down his back
katana gari cho
Sometimes they're like Yumi.
Something you can't touch. So you just mumble some dumb shit and walk away.
Sometimes they're like
Kisai girls, and they start fumbling and
giggling and moaning till you just wanna dash their heads against the wall
and shut the fuck up, bitch. It's not real then. But sometimes they're
like the nice lady. The lady that sat at her porch and watched her husband
die. Her nice, handsome husband. She must have been crazed with grief.
Who'd ever love an asshole like me? Shit ugly an' nothing you wanna touch
or what the Hell, but she was looking at me with those big, brown eyes,
man. That was real. And I ain't gonna tell you about it 'cause I can't
remember. If I remember then I want her. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna
fuck myself in this damn cell.
Sano likes his bandana. It's
red and worn and dirty, but he loves it. It makes him happy to wear it.
His captain gave it to him. His captain wore one just like it. Sano's captain
had to go away. He had to say goodbye and Sano never saw him again. (some
say his head was blown off, but some also say a tomatoe is a fruit and
that the earth is round.) Sano misses his captain. But his bandana makes
him happy. It reminds him of all the good times they shared. He remembers
the laughter. He remembers fishing in the rivers. He remembers how it felt
to hug the captain. It felt nice. It felt warm and safe. Sano likes safe.
He likes his bandana. He likes happiness.
katana gari cho
The ass out there's gonna turn off the lights soon. Some idiot's banging his head on the bars out there. Asshole. You can't bang your head in jail. This is your home. We're little shadow birds. We ain't going nowhere. Might as well get comfortable.
katana gari cho's note on shadow animals, writen from the security block cell no. 14, was the last i received before i lost contact with both him and the prisoner on cell 11, sanosuke sagara. as is often the case, i was called away to precide and take notes at a case in nagoya and when i managed to return cell 11 was empty and katana gari cho had fallen inexplicably silent. hajime saito would not tell me anything more about them, and i was forced to put an end to this report. it was... a sad thing. i'm afraid i was enjoying myself a bit too much. nevertheless, this is goodbye. thank you for the sake.
if you'd like to reach me, don't stop by the house at tokyo. it's kind of abandoned by now. but leave a message with sakura yamatori, she'll make sure i get it.
@September-October, 1998 Team Bonet. Rurouni Kenshin is @1994 Nobuhiro Watsuki and Shonen Jump. This story owes a debt of gratitude --if stories can even do that-- to the much maligned and misunderstood last episodes of Evengelion (@1995 Gainax Studio) and to the work of Japanese director Kazuhiko Kunihara. Thank you for reading. I know the story's a bit pointless... Ma, thanks for all the fishes, as She 100.3 fm DJ Shark might say.
- Owari -
Report 56043 (END)
Copyright © 9808-09 by Team Bonet
HOT is © 1999 - 2000 by T-chan
All Rights Reserved 1999