Wine, Demons and Things Left Unsaid 酒と悪魔と終わらぬ話

An interesting piece posing an interesting riddle. Author Tsukikage Yakou brings us this surreal story sure to leave you scratching your head

Tsukikage Yakou
Translated by Hamish Smith

Two shadows fell in a small, dimly lit room. One was that of a young man with long black hair. He had spread himself out on a couch. The other was of a young man with brown shoulder length hair pulled back from his face, sitting on a different couch. Although there was a small table between the two couches, the two men were not facing each other directly, rather they were sitting slightly diagonal from each other, nursing their glasses of wine.

A calm air of silence dominated the room, and the subtle smell of wine hung in the air. The pair drank from their glasses without speaking, without looking, and also without any feelings of displeasure. They simply drank their wine. The sound of ice rattled through the room.

The silence, which could have lasted forever, was broken by the sudden words of the the man with black hair.

“There once was a man.”

It wasn’t so much like he had started a conversation, more like he had started to tell a story. The man with brown hair glanced up at him, showing no look of surprise. He was probably used to the long haired man’s unexpected story telling.

“That man was always in a hurry.”

The brown haired man didn’t interrupt him, however the black haired man seemed unconcerned whether he was being listened to or not. The brown haired man did not consider his words to be pressing, but he listened quietly nonetheless.

“He is standing in a rain of emotion, so quiet and calm that one would think it an illusion. The words of others, which constantly downpour, are overbearing and distorting him. His life is one of being pushed and pulled. He has been suffering in this world for the longest time. If you were him, what would you do? ”

The young man with brown hair furrowed his finely trimmed eyebrows at the question, and replied in a small voice.

“That’s you. You can either put up with it, or not let yourself get pushed around.”

The man with the long black hair smiled a little at the brown haired man’s words, and gave him a small nod of agreement.

“No matter what he does, the voices still follow him around. Even if he covers his ears he can’t block them out. He just wants it to stop. He dreams of silence. But if he can’t move forward into silence, there is only one thing left he can do,” Said the man with long hair.

“You’re not saying that he’ll destroy all the sources of the noise, are you?” said the man with brown hair.

“I’m not saying that, Allan. He is the source of the noise. Basically, he destroyed everything in the world by speaking. Little by little. Right to the end. Until there was nothing left.”

At that the black haired man stopped and began to swirl the amber liquid inside his glass. An odd silence had fallen over them, however the black haired man seemed to be enjoying it.

“So what does he do?” the brown haired man, Allan, asked the black haired man, who no longer seemed interested in finishing the story. In response to that, the black haired man chuckled, and started talking about something else all together, as if dodging the question.

“Allan. Have you ever had this happen?” he asked, “You’re inside a small room and a lot of other people are there at the same time. From among them a ringtone sounds out. Because there are so many people there, you don’t know whose it is. Because you eventually get sick of the sound of the ringtone, you go outside, and then you finally realize it.”

At that, he raised his glass for the first time, and turned to face Allan. Illuminated by what little dim light there was, his dark green eyes gave off a sombre dark glow. As usual they were cold as ice.

So Allan thought about it

What would the “man” notice outside of the room?

“So, what did he notice?” asked Allan.

Unsure if he had even heard him, Allan made a face as if there was a bad taste in his mouth, and repeated the question. However the only reply he got was;

“You tell me.”

The black haired man answered, gloatingly. Allan let out a sigh of dissatisfaction, drank the remainder of his wine, and set the empty bottle down on the table. Allan, who had judged by the look on the black-haired man’s face that he would be unable to hear a “conclusion” to the story, sighed deeply, cursed under his breath and stood up.

Original work Copyright © 2011 Tsukikage Yakou All rights reserved
Original text can be found at Tsukikage Yakou's home page sodefuri.web.fc2.com/
English translation © 2013 Hamish Smith. All rights reserved