crystal edges

Yuki knew what had happened to Anna. She had felt it the night Anna had disappeared. She knew this just as she had known the night that Ichiro was going to die. That day, she had seen eight ravens circling the barn, and knew what it meant. That night, she had put her arms around Ichiro's neck and cried on his thickened, heaving chest. "Why are you crying?" he asked. "We got a good harvest. And the prices are up this year." She had said nothing, only tightened her grip. And the next morning he lay dead on the pillow. A heart attack, the doctors said. Too much strain. "Too much loneliness," Sophie muttered, out of earshot.

The night Anna disappeared, her soul came into Yuki's back bedroom window. It stayed in the window, neither lingering outside in the crisp fall air nor in the heated warmth of Yuki's bed. It took Yuki a few minutes to realize that Anna had no feet, the sure sign of a ghost. "Anna, are you alright?" she asked. But the words came out in her Tajimi-ben Japanese, "diajobu?" and Anna spoke her English too fast for Yuki to be sure she understood. After a few more aborted attempts, they stared at each other quietly for a long while. The moon spent her time spreading the clouds behind Anna's body into diffuse patterns of light and dark.

"You can come in" she told Anna's spirit in her own language. "You can come back to stay with me forever." The dangers in that sentence stood out like crystal daggers, but Yuki was beyond caring.

But the spirit Anna had shaken her head and floated slowly up out of the window and through the roof.

Yuki sobbed as if nothing had ever hurt her before. But by the time Amy came in with a late night umabushi to cheer her up, Yuki had forgotten what the matter was.

snow falls / thick in / urgent flurries / an individual only / from sky to ground / crystal edges / melt to / murky puddles

the word is / the sound / of water / dripping from/ ancient symbols / tiny particles / of merging / realities

Follow us all: Amy/Anna, Sophie/Yuki, Kit/Richard, minor characters or sift through water leavings and river journeys.