yokai

six months ago i wrote this one, always loved it. wanted to share it again – me

she wore an ankle length kimono as she walked barefoot through the lush grass of her yard, porcelain beauty in lunar rays broken by cloud

the silky robe is adorned with a phoenix bursting forth from ash into a cherry blossom colored sky, pinks and reds like a watercolor trailing her steps

her movements were stunted, jerky and awkward to any stray onlooker in the summer night, like a newborn foal tenatively moving forward

thematically she blends in, shinto and buddhist inspired pagodas and prayer bells gently spinning in the wind, a koi pond with bamboo shishi odoshi gently clacking, the sand swept with grace around it

a sound from the manicured topiary, a faint rustle of leaves to concentrated to be the light breeze, her head jerks instantly to the sound and she lifts the hem of her robe

without a noise she shuffles to the edge of the yard to investigate, the sublime motion of a predator, not disturbing the grass, head cocked at angle, following the near imperceptible vibration

she remains carefully downwind of the interloper, blending into the shadows, a ghost in silk crouched low to a pic the errant light

the heavy scent of vinegar fills the yard, her eyes narrow as the noise grows louder, and her eyes rise searching the skies above for the source of intrusion

the rustle of the bush, barely noticeable movement in currents from on high, she sheds her kimono and let’s it fall in the darkness silently to the ground

a face is briefly illuminated by the moon as the clouds part, beautiful except for the jagged fangs on cherry red lips, floating eight feet above the ground

dangling from the neck, the source of the vinegar scent, throbbing entrails dragging along the bushes, nostrils flared as it seeks nourishment

she steps from the shadows and launches herself into the center of the yard, bare breasts the color of the moon, challenging the interloper to approach

the nukekubi let’s out a hiss and darts forward, mouth agape and fearsome, too late to see the near invisible threads swaying in the breeze, uncaring of danger, hunger given shape

it darts into the yard, the need for stealth gone, all black eyes fixed on the lush body presenting itself in opposition, a feast of flesh in the once peaceful night

she stands, daring the demon approach, no sign of fear in her eyes, one arm extended, fingers beckoning it forward with casual insolence

one line spoken clearly from her thin pink lips, ‘nukekubi, you dare trespass into my home’

it snarls in anger, rage transforming the beauty into ferocity, toxins streaming from the long fangs, leaving brown pockmarks on the lawn

too late the swaying net is seen, unable to pull out of the lunge in time, grabbed by thin strands as strong as steel, every move to free itself causing it to become more and more trapped

ensnared in the sticky web crisscrossing the air, it flails and screams in high pitched dismay as she watches in delight, her eyes breaking into a thousands reflections of it’s hopelessness

her form shimmers as a smile forms on her alabaster face, to the nukekubi’s terror no longer the image of chaste beauty but the bloated abdomen of a spider

eight black legs lift her into the air to stare into the demonic eyes, quickly working to encase the nukekubi in strands of silk, careful to avoid the venomous drip

‘jorogumo, peace please, i beg of you, i was mistaken, i meant no dishonor upon you, allow me to egress’ it utters as the mask of webs grows thicker around it

‘soon the sun shall rise in the glorious east, then you shall find the peace you beg for’ the jorogumo whispers back, her dagger like limbs cutting the head and entrails from the net

with a shudder of ecstacy she returns to her other shape and slips back into her kimono, her prize resting beneath her now supple arm, still struggling faintly

she slips into her home, sliding the door closed behind her as the rays of light peak over the forest to the east, satisfaction written in serenity

the clack of bamboo sounding over the gently moving water, beads of dew reflecting the light like a million diamonds suspended in the air, a sense of peace and tranquility flowing again

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