My August HISTORY themed tale should fit right in with the season of spooky stories in Japan - "The Mountain with Eyes"

“You're privy to a secret only a few have known over the centuries. I am far from *ancient in the *eyes of my kind, but have outlived each of my human caretakers. I am glad to have you, a fellow yokai, as the one to provide my needs, now.” @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

“You collect yokai tales. I was one who asked you to collect our local stories. Might I suggest studying the *haunted houses popping up?” Reizei said.

“The rumor of the mountain with eyes also intrigues me. Which should we *visit first?” @vsscollab@twitter.com

Reizei shuffled his feet. “I’m not yet an *expert in transporting you unseen. And I don’t wish to *strain your capacity.”

I shook my head. “I am kodama, tree spirt and echo. Where you go, my kind will repeat what they see and hear.” @vsscollab@twitter.com

Follow

@vssCollab@twitter.com Reizei drafted a *letter for me to the Nonogawa River Valley Historic Society inquiring about who might know the tales of the Mountain with Eyes. Undoubtedly, the group would put the letter in the *circuit of the group’s folklore archivists. @vsscollab@twitter.com

Reizei’s peculiar tengu and Nonogawa *dialect was sometimes hard to understand. But he never *stewed over it. He slipped on his sandals to hand deliver the message. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com Was there a *relation between the uptick in yokai activity and the story of the Mountain with Eyes? Would it be wise to *disturb such a large yokai? It may wish to be left in *solitude. Mountains’ moods changed with the weather. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com I certainly didn’t want to *tangle with it, if didn’t wish to share its story. But surely, it wouldn’t mind a single *question.

My rumination halted when Reizei returned, diving from the sky at full speed to meet me on the veranda. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com His wings flicked open to slow his descent. My tree’s leaves flutter wildly in the gust.

“I have news! The historic society dug up an obscure reference. They say *telltale sign of the mountain’s location is that it sits directly in the river.” @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com We combed the map for anything that matched the clue. Bingo! A *branch ran into the Nonogawa river!

Dread crept in and clung. Approaching this powerful yokai had no *undo. We’d have to face the consequences, good or bad. @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

@vssCollab@twitter.com We combed the map for anything that matched the clue. Bingo! A *branch ran into the Nonogawa river!

*Dread crept in and clung. Approaching this powerful yokai had no *undo. We’d face the consequences, good or bad. @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

@vssCollab@twitter.com Reizei tested an idea that allowed me to stay put and yet help explore. On his camera’s lens, he opened a small portal allowing me to see his surroundings and communicate. Then he took to the sky.

Would we be able to *build rapport with the mountain? @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

I couldn’t *feel the wind rushing by, but I could hear it. Seeing *lush forest below took my breath away. My own perspective had been limited as a ground dweller.

Reizei quietly landed across the river from the remote mountain. @vsscollab@twitter.com

Still, the *event had been noticed. Bulbous eyes, much larger than my house, opened as if awakening from a deep sleep. The ridge blinked slowly.

Reizei waited for several moments. “Master?”

I gulped. Despite earlier rehearsals, my mind blanked. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com My host tree quaked in *protest over the mountain spirit's presence despite being on the other side of the portal window. This is your opportunity to *influence generations and share this kami’s story if you just muster the courage to ask. @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

My voice emerged as a squeak. “Great mountain spirit, apologies for disturbing your slumber. My associate and I wish to hear your story, to save it for posterity.”

The ground rumbled violently. Reizei’s cellphone blared a *major earthquake warning. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com Reizei took to the sky for safety.

*Twilight’s soft hues were blotted out as the mountain emerged from the river, cresting higher and higher above the horizon.

My heart sank. Did our chance *vanish? All of Japan must have felt the tremors. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com The enormous peak leaned to hover over Reizei and my view from the portal. Darkness from the spirit’s shadow *heralded early *night. Its eyes glowed bright, fixed on me through the portal window my tengu friend shakily held. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com The mountain’s words emerged painfully slow, rumbling like *thunder, sending quakes in every direction. “For centuries I slept, *ignored. Yet you, who won’t even set foot on the base of my vastness, dare to ask me for my tale? Cowardice!” @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com Reizei perched on a sturdy branch, *waiting an hour to verify the spirit was done speaking—lest we be *banned from its presence. Finally, I said, “I am kodama, my host tree grew difficult to move. We’re working on a means of transport.” @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

@vssCollab@twitter.com “A kodama tied to a bonsai pot? Humanity’s *avarice knows no bounds.” The ground shook so violently, it liquefied.

My hands waved frantically. “Great Mountain Spirit, until me, no kodama had the pleasure of travelling to record yokai stories!” @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com The *rollercoaster shaking subsided. Reizei fluffed his feathers, settling in as we waited again.

Dawn hid inside a thick, misty *gloom. Rumbling startled Reizei and I awake.

“I am Hoshi. My tale is one of *war.” @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

*Fear could have no *quarter. I fetched my notebook, praying the telling wouldn’t shake Japan to pieces.

The mountain said, “I am a *celestial spirit, cast down to earth. Hideous from the impact, I was driven out of every province. @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

@vssCollab@twitter.com My *state was rage against the King of the Moon, the one who condemned me for daring to court the moon princess, Kaguya-hime. He tried to subdue me with tsunami tides. I shoot molten rock back and tethered myself to the land with boulders and trees. @vsscollab@twitter.com

@vssCollab@twitter.com I destroyed everything in my path. It led the Moon King to set a *horrible *precedent. I would have preferred death. For, he cursed me to be this mountain and watch my beloved marry another—in slow motion, over and over. @vsscollab@twitter.com LiminalChronicles

Show newer
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

A newer server operated by the Mastodon gGmbH non-profit