It’s time again. Time to keep the momentum going and introduce a brand new short story coming soon or most ebook platforms. This is also a learning process for me, so forgive me if there are a few bumps along the way.
So this short story takes place in late 1800s Japan at the height of Commodore Perry’s famous voyage. Our hero, Shiro Kawamoto, is living life as a hunter, getting fox meat for his boss. However, Americans are hunting as well, and their recklessness causes them to taint the forest with dead animals they’ve killed and skinned needlessly. This attracts a kitsune who tells our hero to get rid of them or suffer her wrath.
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, it’s a love letter to my love for anime. I’ve been a huge fan of anime and Japanese culture. So I wanted to showcase my love with this short story. It’s also to show that I can write about all types of characters and worlds and that nothing is off limits. This is the beginning of a new moment for me as my author career truly begins. I’m still hard at work on my first novel, but it’ll still be a while before I can get it out there.
So for now, here’s a preview of my paid short story, Do Not Stare Into The Eyes Of A Kitsune. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
NOTE: The below excerpt might be a little graphic, but this is as gruesome as it gets in the entire story. Just a heads up.
I would never forgive myself if I returned to Imai-san with blood-stained clothes again. I swore each time I would be cleaner and more efficient with these kills. The forest was calm, the trees swaying and birds chirping. I admired the natural aroma. There was a lake not too far where my father used to take me fishing. Even now, I had the blood of a hunter, raised by a samurai.
I made sure I had plenty of arrows for this trip. A young deer kept still, motionless, yet alert. Its ears twitched. I nocked my arrow, drew the string, and before I could fire, I heard a startling blast that made her bolt. Gunfire. I searched all over, but couldn’t find the source.
Another shot. Perhaps another hunter was out there. I was familiar with guns, but they were too brutal for wildlife. Who in their right mind would use guns? Too noisy for hunting. I continued on, eventually finding a young fox, scratching its neck. Same as usual, I nocked my arrow and struck its body, felling the vulpine. I knelt down in front of it, praying for a good feast. Even hunting, I had to show respect.
I placed the dead fox in the basket. I had to find a few more, then I would start over again in the afternoon, and again before I left work. It was the same every day.
As I walked through the woods, I stumbled upon a sight that froze me in place. Skinned, decaying carcasses strewn about in various spots. Deer and foxes alike. Such wasteful carnage made my stomach churn.
An orange furred fox sat in front of her deceased kin, howling at the sky. Feeling guilty, I approached it.
Did you do this? A child-like voice asked in my head. I glanced around, wondering who said it. Did you kill my kin and rob them of their hides?
It came from the fox. She spoke in my mind.
I took a few steps back. “I…I did not–”
Did you kill them? She said in my head.
“I did not. I can’t imagine who would do this. Y-Yes, I hunt animals, but…I cannot accept this.”
The fox nudged her fallen kin.
Such horrible acts against my kind. I understand the need for clothing. Food as well. Fur is not clothing. Food is wasted. She glared at me. If you know who did this, tell them to leave. It does not matter who they are. Anyone who takes my children’s fur will suffer.
As she left, I could have sworn I saw more tails on her body. I held my head. Was I not getting enough sleep? Had Imai-San given me too much work? We had myths like the kitsune, but a telepathic fox was nothing I had anticipated. Perhaps mother was right.