Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Kappamaki?" I asked, my Japanese still a bit rusty.

"Kappamaki?" I asked, my Japanese still a bit rusty.

The hooded figure I'd been tailing down the jam-packed, yet entirely lonesome streets of Osaka looked over his worn, leather-jacketed shoulder at me. He looked a little pissed. Perhaps he didn't want to be bothered, or perhaps he didn't like being made out in the open, on a busy street.

Whichever it was, he didn't speak.

So as usual, I started yammering. "I hear you guys love it. It's the cucumber, right? It's your total favorite." I had no doubt that particular bit of Japanese phraseology was now thoroughly butchered. A hopeful grimace peeked through my grin, but at the same time, a smirk crawled slowly across his scowl.

Despite the language barrier, I took it as a good sign.

He corrected my pronunciation and asked me if I spoke English. His voice was a rich, deep baritone--not at all what I was expecting from a Kappa.

I nodded.

"Perhaps then, strange Lady, we will use your mother tongue. It is known to me."

"Ok, sure." For some reason, I was suddenly holding my breath. Great! That's just great, Sil, I chided myself. Started out all cocksure and in-your-face but as soon as he started to talk, then you back down.

He did not blink. I wondered if he even could. "What is it that you want, strange Lady?"

"Uhm...ah...well, I said I would buy you some kappamaki, didn't I?" I flicked my dainty, pale chin in the direction of the nearest sushi joint. "You hungry? I could tear up some futomaki myself."

The scowl returned to what I'd begun to think was its usual roosting place. "I will only ask you this one more time, and then you will not see me again. What is it that you want?"

I swallowed--hard. I was hoping to build up to this, maybe get him a little tipsy on some saki or something before I went for the jugular, so to speak.

Would a Kappa even get tipsy, I wondered...anyway...

I took a deep, shuddering breath and blurted it--all of it--out all at once in the hopes that my tongue won't figure it out ahead of time and strangle me before I could finish.

"I need you to go with me to West, specifically and help me get to the Hidden Well that lies in the bottom of the Niger River, then help me to steal the Sacred Pearl of the Opte-Hogon in order to free the trapped soul of the French anthropologist Marcel Griaule!"

The Kappa stared at me for so long that I thought he was going to turn into stone and that I was going to pee in my pants. Finally, that deep, rumbling voice replied.

"Okay, but you're buying."

Art Source: "Portrait - Kappa" (c)/by Eric Belisle
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Sil, #Kappa, #Japaense, #folklore, #Osaka, #sushi, #Mail, #Hogon, #NigerRiver, #MarcelGriaule


Post a Comment