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Toshio Ozaki's Story

Part 15 ~ Mourning and Imitation

Chapter36
Name Kanji 尾崎敏夫編 第悼と偽話

"Ozaki Toshio Hen, Dai Tō Nise Wa"

Volume 8
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Early Summer

Nao Yasumori, her husband Mikiyasu, take their young boy Susumu for a walk to the river. They greet Sadafumi Tamo and Hiroya Tamo, who are going fishing there. The cry of the cicadas fills the air.

November 6, Sunday

As Sadafumi Tamo reflects over the body of his father Sadaichi, Chizuko Murasako arrives with other women of the village, bringing supplies of food. Sadafumi wants to get on with the hunt. He suggests that there may be more shiki hiding in the irrigation pipeline. The pumping station at the Mizuguchi dam was built to supply the farms, but now in the off-season, it's shut down, leaving the pipline empty of water.  He is eager to get his revenge. 

SadafumiIchi

Sadafumi mourns his father

Sure enough, in the pipeline they find a crowd of shiki, sleeping now that it's daytime. They take note of Yuzuki and Shuuji among them. Dr. Ozaki cautions everyone to not think of their names. Sentimentality is just a detriment. Munetaka is reluctant to proceed, but Sadafumi relishes taking up the task of staking them to their final death. He talks of his memory of the cicadas. The last good time he had with his son Hiroya was in the summer, on that fishing day, with the cicadas crying loudly. He can still hear the cicadas in his head. 

Munetaka begins to sing; "Fickle Venus", a song of the harvest. It helps to keep thier minds off of the grim horror of their task. Everyone joins in singing, trying to drown out the sounds of the hammering and splattering. 

They come to Ebuchi.  He startles at the touch, and jumps up. Dr. Ozaki checks his watch. It's just after 6, and the sun has gone down. The villagers back off, as the remaining shiki awaken, including Nao and officer Sasaki. The shiki decide to fight. Dr. Ozaki stands his ground, wielding a cross. The shiki cower before him. Ebuchi is taken down and staked through the chest. The remaining shiki run for their lives.

NaosDeath

Nao's death

The main tunnel becomes ever more narrow as smaller pipes branch off. Nao is sobbing, trembling in terror. Soon they are crawling, and then at a dead end. One by one Nao sees the remaining shiki behind her dragged back out the way they came. Then she feels rope snaking around her ankles.  She kicks, but Sadafumi stabs her in the legs with a sharpened piece of pipe. As she is hauled out, she sees a vision of her husband Mikiyasu disappearing beyond her, and despairs how she will never reach to where he is. She is held down, and staked through the back. 

As the last of the shiki are staked to death, Sadafumi wonders to himself, "How many do I have to kill, for the cicadas to stop crying?"


Character Appearances

References


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