That damned teacher, I pulled myself to school with great difficult today, only to have a bloody free period?
I complained in my thoughts as I looked out the window.
It was finally the summer holidays but apparently I needed extra classes. Somehow, I managed to force myself to come and there, waiting for me on the blackboard was ‘something important suddenly came up, study whatever you want today’.
If that’s the case, there’s absolutely no point in studying! I don’t know what a normal high school teacher would consider important, but I for one, also have something important to do! I have to read!
Free periods were fun but suddenly I had more free time than I imagined and I ended up finishing all of the books I had brought with me to pass time during summer class. I even finished the books I had planned to read on the train home and my emergency stack of books. Having said that, why do they have summer classes anyway? Though I’d say changing it to a free study period is one real tragedy.
Sigh, if I knew, I definitely would have gone to the library before coming here.
To be honest, I don’t like buying books outside Occhan’s place since he’ll probably cry if he saw me at another bookshop. Yes, he may be a fully grown adult, but he will still cry.
Can’t do anything about it, I’ll just read the junk mail.
By the time I had finished reading the advertisements of the moving services, printing press and the gynaecology services, the train had already arrived at Shininaba station.
The moment the train door opened, I flew outside and rushed down the stairs. I ran through all the security checks, ignored the sign post and paid the train fare…… I didn’t bother looking at the scenery, ran through yet more security checks and out the southern door of the station. I was gradually picking up speed, like the wind was on my back and by the time I had walked out the southern door, I was already running for Honda Bookshop.
I burst through automatic door and the familiar bell rang.
No one was at the counter, only a sign that read “Business All Good”, which proves that Occhan is buying rubbish again. This shop was pretty much doomed since it started, since Occhan has no brains for business.
Honda Fumio, the person I usually called Occhan, came out from behind the shop. His face was friendly and one would feel relaxed at the sight of him, besides he suited the pink colour of his usual clothing. He heard the bell, but he was still way too slow coming out.
“This isn’t good, Occhan, you should be coming out immediately upon hearing the bell. If you continue to be like this, you’ll attract thieves sooner or later.”
Occhan stuck out his bottom lip and confidently replied.
“Don’t worry, no one here is bad.”
How could you say that? These days, people are just getting wilder. Never mind that, what would you do if it actually happened? I wouldn’t be able to buy books then, remember that.
“These are the only books today, what do you think of them?”
Occhan took out a couple of books, a selection of novels, manga and magazines, all of them published earlier today. Seeing the bright covers almost made me drool in delight. Yes, yes, that were good, that’s why this shop is the best. As expected of Occhan, he knows me too well.
“I want all of them.”
I had just gotten my paycheck and therefore, I had plenty of money to spare.
Occhan replied “yes” before opening the counter. While he was at it, I took another look around the bookshop. I was browsing through some of the titles when my sharp, hunter’s eyes darted towards something, perhaps my prey.
……Oh, this book wasn’t bad. The title, ‘Hell Zousui’, suggests a story that not many people would like to buy, but I was a little curious, so I decided to buy it.
“Occhan, add this book.”
I held out a copy of ‘Hell Zousui’ to Occhan, only to realise that he was holding the same book.
“Sorry, I forgot this book. It’s written by a new author but it’s pretty interesting, I bet you’ll enjoy it.”
Occhan must be gloating over the fact that he was a step ahead of me, for he was smiling sweetly and innocently at me. Oh well, it’s good that he knows what his customers prefer to read.
“You can have this one for free. Have a read of it.”
As expected of Occhan, he really has no brain for business.
Who would give a book, which they spent some money buying, away for free? But I accepted it anyway, because I bet he will be criticised by his wife again. His wife is truly scary when she is angry and she resembles Amazon warriors when she is. She once knifed through a thick stack of magazines, which is something not many normal people can do.
Including ‘Hell Zousui’, I had bought a total of ten books.
I said goodbye to Occhan before leaving. Honda Bookshop was only ten minutes away from home, though it wasn’t very far, I still felt a little tired today.
Harumi Kazuhito is a bookworm.
I love books, I love them so much that you could say I’m one real book-loving idiot.
As a bookworm, not reading books makes me feel uncomfortable. As I had no book to read on the train today, I realised that I had significantly read less than usual. At least I didn’t live with my parents, so I live a pretty free life, as I can concentrate on reading at home.
What should I do? Read now? Which book should I read while walking today?
The angel in my heart tempted me with an evil smile. My Angel, this isn’t your work right? Do I have no conscience to stop myself?
But time is precious, walking home would take ten minutes, during this time how many pages can I read, how many words will I read! ‘Addiction’ is perfect for describing me.
When I was five, Mother told me to ‘focus on the road while walking’. Back then, she already knew that I always read while walking.
No, I can’t resist the urge to read. Sorry, Mother, I can’t listen to you this time.
Mother and Father are both normal people and the education they gave their son was flawless, but unfortunately their son himself is flawed. This is what they call a stupid kid right?
I’ve lived in Shininaba for a year now and I have to go down this street every day. Even if I closed my eyes and tried to walk home, I wouldn’t have to worry about bumping into anyone as not many people went down this road.
I made up my mind and slipped a hand into my bag.
The one I got was ‘Hell Zousui’, I stared at its bright covers.
Ah, I’ll start with you, don’t be scared, come here!
I casually muttered a couple of words while I turned over the colourful cover, reading the blurb on the inside cover. I see……seems interesting. Now, let’s begin.
I was just about to jump into the book’s world when I suddenly felt something squish under my shoe.
I think I stepped on something——dog poo.
Sorry, Mother, your wise words were right after all. In the future, I won’t be reading while walking anymore.
……Maybe for the next three days at least.
[The following names, terms, expressions explained by author]
[Harumi Kazuhito] Bookworm. Born in Tokyo, Area-K, living alone in an apartment of Sumiya Residence in Area-K. His father’s name is Kazuki, mother is Rio and his sister, Madoka but they all live in Okayama due to his father’s work. His hobby is reading and he specialises in reading. Wears glasses. Virgin. He can find a bookshop within five minutes, even in an unknown place.
[Shininaba Station] Both normal and express trains stop at this station. The next stop is Nobui station.
[Honda Bookshop] A bookshop located within thirty seconds of Shininaba station’s southernmost gate. Centuries behind the rest of the world, though no one knows whether the cause is the rapid development of technology or the shopkeeper himself.
[Honda Fumio] Owner of Honda Bookshop. Also born in Tokyo Area-K. Lives together with his wife, Youko and his daughter Sakura and someone else called Yayoi. Hobby is photography, specialises in kneeling techniques. Considerate to others, weak personality, probably has metabolic syndrome and is terrible at owning a business. The Honda family literally lives off what Youko earns from teaching at a local high school.
[Hell Zousui] Hamada Youichi’s debut work. Explores the world’s spiciest dishes. (Translator’s Note: Zousui is a Japanese dish, check it out!)
Going straight home didn’t seem such a good idea, so I headed towards the park to wash my shoes.
How should I put it? I felt pretty sorry for myself.
I finally cleaned it up, most of the smell was gone but there were still some faint brown stains. Was rinsing not enough to clean it? I don’t know if there’s still any soap left.
Oh well, who cares about my shoes, the most important thing is to read now.
I must read all ten books I bought today. More books will be published tomorrow, today’s books must be read tomorrow, I must absolutely not delay the reading or else I will violate the seven deadly sins.
I have to go home as soon as possible and concentrate on my reading.
I picked up my book and took off into a sprint, pretending that this was just my reading warm-up.
I finally arrived back at my beloved place, Sumiya Residence.
This apartment, located in a small alleyway, was like my fortress, like my treasure trove.
I looked at the mailboxes, number 101, 102, 103, 105, 201, 202, 203, 205, all of those mailboxes were stuffed with pizza flyers and electricity bills. These electricity bills should have been paid automatically through the Sumiya Residence internet account, but as the housekeeper, I still had to store away a physical copy of each of these bills.
When I was a third year in middle school, because of Father’s work, all of my family had to be transferred to Okayama but only I firmly opposed moving.
Father eventually heard my request to stay in Tokyo alone, but he set a condition, that is, to get into that super-difficult, prestigious school in the very centre of Tokyo.
At that time, my grades were average and therefore my parents and my sister assumed that it was impossible for me to get in. However, they were too naive, as I slowly but keenly strode towards my goal despite the many exams.
Though my results weren’t exceptionally high, in short, I managed to squeeze into that school. My parents got the results and they just had to let me stay in Tokyo alone.
After that, I began to live with my grandmother’s younger brother’s daughter’s husband’s friend’s daughter, the most distant relative possible——in Sumiya Residence.
Hmm, there seemed to be something else in 102’s letterbox.
It was a postcard, from Madoka.
Flipping it over, it was a photo of her eating dried Udon noodles in front of Kurashiki Station. Madoka had also written ‘Kazu-nii, Okayama is a cool place!’
What does that mean? A plot to trick me into going to Okayama? Impossible Madoka, Kazu-nii will never go to Okayama because the books there come out a day later than the ones in Tokyo.
No no no, it’s definitely a no.
How could I possibly delay my reading? Even if it’s just a day later, it would seriously disrupt my plans. If you could get the new books there to release faster, I might come, but that’s something impossible for you to do. Wait until you get older before deciding what to do.
But why was the postcard in 102’s letterbox? I live in 101……that’s right, I had forgotten to tell my family about the room change.
During spring this year, my room was about to burst from books, when the original landlord came back to Shininaba.
At once, I begged the landlord ‘if you have any spare rooms, could you lend them to me for storing books’ and to my surprise, she excitedly replied ‘you can have all the rooms if you want’.
Had this landlord hit her head? That was my first impression, until I saw the spare rooms myself, each room was filled with books. She had been using the spare rooms of Sumiya Residence as storage space for books. That’s how the colliding sound that I occasionally heard in my room came to be.
Sumiya told the stunned me, “Kazuhito-chan, if you agree to look after these treasures, I’ll give you every room, including the 102 room you’re currently in. You don’t need to pay the rent either.”
The proposal was just too good to be true.
Of course I agreed immediately.
That goes without saying!
Sumiya heard my reply, answering “ok! Then you’ll be the housekeeper of Sumiya Residence! Dong-Dong-Dong-Ba-Ba-Ba! Woah!” With that, she ran out of the room. I decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea if I tried to remind that she was already well past the age of being funny.
Back then I had concentrated all of my energy on my facial muscles, pulling them forcibly into a sweet smile. Anyway, I was to have the entire residence and therefore, this wasn’t too much of a sacrifice.
Having said that, why was she wearing cat ears? She wore rabbit ears once too.
I remember that her profession is a lawyer, but can she really pull off debating in court? The plaintiffs, defendants and judges are unlucky enough but Sumiya is even more pitiful. Though I suddenly had a thought that maybe she could be pretty good if she took the defensive side of things.
In conclusion, as the housekeeper, I have to clean all of the rooms and tidy the stacks of books. Tidying these piles of books was not necessarily work, but a hobby. It is just the dream of those who love books, like me.
At that time, I had a thought that I should move to room 101, as it was the largest room and the closest one to the door. I could use all of the rooms anyway.
But I forgot to tell my parents, what should I do……
No, it’s better if I don’t tell them. If I told them that the rent was free, maybe they’d send me less money for living expenses. As a result, I would get less money to buy books and what good can come to that!
I don’t care if they call me a ‘rice worm’ or ‘eating off family’. Work? What’s that? Is it tasty? Even buying books to read was sometimes a waste of time. Father once taught me that one should be spending money with friends, club activities or reference books but I found this very hard to believe.
Listen up, the Earth spins because of books!
Just like that, Sumiya left me this beautiful place, calling out ‘the world is still waiting for me!’ before running out and to this day, she has never come back.
I really don’t understand idiots, but it’s not that bad that she hasn’t come back yet. Let the sea call her.
This way, one day, this place can be renamed as the Harumi Residence.
When the time comes, I’ll be making this the finished plan of mankind.
[The following names, terms, expressions explained by author]
[Sumiya Residence] Where Harumi Kazuhito lives in Tokyo. Concrete building, built two decades ago, two floors and one kitchen. Rent approximately forty-five thousand yen a month. Separate bathroom.
[Sumiya Yuiki] The landlord of Sumiya Residence. Born in the Shizuoka Prefecture, current whereabouts unknown. Family members unknown. Hobby is observing others, specialises in getting herself cornered and making a comeback at the last second. Lawyer. Acts like a young girl, wears different animal ears every day.
[Grandmother’s younger brother’s daughter’s husband’s friend’s daughter] If you think carefully, she’s actually a complete stranger.
[Paycheck] At the end of each month, Harumi Kazuhito receives ten thousand yen.
[Finished Plan of Mankind] Unknown to this moment. Check for new updates.
At nine fifty-eight, the sky was gray, I went to Honda Bookshop. Occhan always opens the door at exactly ten o’clock, but there was still two minutes left. I thought those two minutes took forever to pass.
Akiyama Shinobu’s new book was going to come out today.
Last time it was suspense, what would be the theme this time? Sci-fi? Non-fiction? A thriller? Could it be a sweet romantic comedy?
Ahh! I can’t take it anymore!
Akiyama Shinobu was a talented author, my favourite one too. I would always mention that name long before someone actually asked me who my favourite author was.
The date of Akiyama Shinobu’s new book’s release date had been marked as a major event on my calendar. Luckily it was summer, so I didn’t have to school. In fact, even if I did have school, I would have no choice but to have the day off.
To enjoy the fun of this moment, I never read the book’s description. I had gotten the release date from Uncle and not knowing what kind of book I was just about to encounter made me bubble with excitement.
The door opened at exactly 10:00. In front of me was Occhan’s smiling face and book he was holding.
“Morning, Akiyama Shinobu’s new book is here, including tax, that would be a total of one thousand two hundred and fifty yen.”
This extraordinary reaction rate……I told you so, Honda Bookshop really was the best!
Well done! Occhan! That pink apron really suits you today.
Seeing his bruises, I knew that he had punished last night.
The word ‘wife’ only looks good in text form. When it forms into a human, it is truly terrifying.
Never mind, I took the long-awaited book of Akiyama Shinobu, hands trembling slightly.
“Thank you, thank you! I don’t need a receipt!”
I handed him a one-thousand yen note and two one-hundred yen coins, then dropped a fifty-yen coin into his right hand, not forgetting the points card.
Then I turned and ran, the weight of the book feeling comfortable in my hand.
What the hell? It was just like a bento box! I can’t believe she wrote such a thick book!
I didn’t buy any other books today, hers was enough!
Run, run, run, must get to Bright Sun Cafe.
I’ve decided to read Akiyama Shinobu’s new book at Bright Sun Cafe today.
If anyone tries to stop me, I will thwart them, even if it is the demon king himself!
I finally arrived at Bright Sun Cafe.
I was breathless, but my spirit was stronger than my body as I did not feel tired at all.
I guess this is the greatest excitement a reader can feel?
Bright Sun Cafe was obscure like usual, keeping a low profile in its area. It had a barely visible entry and its interiors were also very plain. The outside was tattered and the inside was shabby, it wasn’t a pretty sight.
In addition to the checkout counter, there were six tables, six tablecloths, twelve chairs and several cracks on the windows. A big fan hung from the ceiling and there were some things stuck on the walls, for example, English newspaper.
The old man looking after the shop aimed a quizzical look in my direction, but he was usually so wry-looking that it was hard to believe that he was just a businessman. “Sadou Genji” said his badge, which was worn with age.
The menu on the table, apart from "coffee" and "tomato spaghetti", also had some unusual ones, such as "winding orange juice", "happy yellow coffee", "Italy's march of pasta" etc.
I just said "coffee" and went to my usual spot. There was obviously dirt everywhere and the place felt somewhat dodgy, as if someone sinister would enter sooner or later.
But, that's better.
The restaurant was old and the owner couldn’t care less about it, but these little details weren’t that important to me– the only thing that’s important is the atmosphere. I just need somewhere quiet to read, even if it’s in a corner of hell or that the earth is on fire, I won’t react unless I finish the book. My surroundings aren’t important, the book is everything.
A couple of minutes later, a cup of coffee was delivered to my table…damn, it’s disgusting like usual.
It’s not that I’m picky; it’s just that it tastes like mud sludge and it does nothing else but give me energy. Even though I don’t know much about coffee, even I can tell that it’s disgusting. Why do so many people drink coffee despite the disgusting taste? Actually, it’s one of the Shininaba Seven Mysteries.
Never mind, the main point is reading, food and water should only quench hunger and thirst.
Before reading, I prepared myself. I rolled my head a couple of times, if you don’t do this, you won’t be as relaxed while reading as you should be. It’s a bit exaggerating to say that your body affects your reading, but, it’s true that people can read due to having their bodies.
While I was reading, I couldn’t help checking out my surroundings.
It was still early, but there were already a couple of customers. There was a man wearing glasses who was typing on a laptop, a long-haired girl who seemed to be writing a report, a frowning middle-aged man drinking coffee… why bother drinking it when it’s so disgusting.
Okay, preparation complete, time to read. Now I will melt into the sea of words.
Boy in the middle of reading.
…Some time later.
I stretched and looked up. Out the window, I could see clouds gathering as if it was about to rain. Then I glanced at the clock and realised that it was three-thirty in the afternoon. Already? Time never waits and this always happens when I get immersed in a book.
Books stole the most important thing in my life; my life is now consumed with books.
But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I don’t even care if someone stuck a pillar in my brain, as long as I can continue reading.
Maybe that’s better as I won’t need to do any unnecessary actions.
Maybe it’ll be a bit like becoming a book-reading machine.
“Not bad, though it’s much different to what I’d imagined.”
I took a short rest from my continuous reading.
Akiyama Shinobu’s latest novel, The White Butler and the Arab King, was in reality, completely different to what I’d expected. But.
I ended up having more questions that I’d expected, but that was a given since I hadn’t read the blurb. Akiyama Shinobu had never written some like this one, just what was going on? Entered a new world maybe?
But anyway, this book was really interesting and that is the undeniable reality. Akiyama Shinobu’s stories never disappoint me. No matter what genre or style the stories are written in, all of them are masterpieces.
I had already forgotten who I was as the relationship between the butler and the king was really emotional. I could feel my body “reacting” to the story.
Ah, had I just entered a new world?
There are lots of unknown things in the world, but of all the things, she chose Arab. Thank you Arabs, for your expertise.
I casually paid the old man at the till and walked out of Bright Sun Cafe.
Akiyama Shinobu’s stories are indeed interesting, even such an unknown topic intrigues me. I learn so much about life and about different people.
Though, I really hadn’t imagined it would be BL……
[The following names, terms, expressions explained by author]
[Bright Sun Cafe] When it first opened, it was popular but now there are only a few regular customers. The main, advertised dish of their menu is tomato spaghetti and their disgusting, undrinkable coffee.
[Sadou Genji] Owner of Bright Sun Cafe, born in Kanagawa Area-Y. Wife, Mari, died thirteen years ago and since then, he has been living alone. His hobbies are coffee and watching TV, he specialises in cuisine. He is very quiet and can be mistaken for a butler, but usually not (due to his ugly face). He writes in his diary every night to remember all his customers and what their orders were.
[Shininaba Seven Mysteries] Seven hot topics spread as rumours among Shininaba students. These include ‘the pet shop owner’s afro expands everyday’, ‘the invincible cafe’, ‘high rise buildings that never cool down’ etc. etc. All of them lack solid evidence.
[BL] All of these stories describe male x male relationships. These books have always been targeted at female readers, but this seems to have changed.
[The White Butler and the Arab King] Written by Akiyama Shinobu. This story is about a butler who finds out that the enemy country’s king, the Arab King, had fainted in the desert. Therefore, he decides to help but the King had already lost his memories. From thereon begins the story of seduction.
Two hours later.
I was back at Bright Sun Cafe and I had already finished two books.
I had returned to Honda Bookshop, where I bought a stack of BL novels.
Occhan was shocked. His face was even more twisted with shame than when I first bought an erotica novel.
Then I came back to Bright Sun Cafe to continue reading these BL novels. To be honest, they were surprisingly interesting. If you could get past shameful parts, it was actually a refreshing experience.
After a while, I looked out the window, the sun was setting soon.
I read many good books today and I will definitely have a good dream tonight, so I’ll just read five books before going to sleep. It’s healthier to balance my reading out.
It was about time to go, I reached into my pocket. Wasn’t there. I groped for my wallet, but I couldn’t feel it, my pocket was empty.
I broke into cold sweat.
Can’t find it! Had I dropped my wallet somewhere?
“Losing my wallet” was an unexpected nasty surprise.
Fortunately I had bought many BL novels this morning, my wallet hadn’t much money……no, the money is not the most important thing in it. It also had my keys, student ID and the Honda Bookshop points card!
I don’t care about my keys as I have a spare and losing my student ID isn’t that important either. However, the points card cannot be replaced. I got it from buying so many books from Honda Bookshop, they were a complete record of my daily reading life in Shininaba, and I just cannot lose that thing.
Find it! If not, go to the police station and ask there!
My student ID has my address on it, so if a kind-hearted person picks it up, they will send it to me. Even if a bad person picks it up, I would be very pleased just to get the points card back. I believe bad people have no need for a points card.
Okay, now that my plan is intact, calm down and continue reading.
Therefore, I began reading again.
Another hour passed.
Sure enough, it was very exciting……wait!
Why did the hell did I start reading again! Suddenly I felt amazing, that I was an extraordinary person, that I could stay so calm in a situation like this. Wallet, I must find my wallet soon!
Can’t help it, good books are good no matter how many times you read them.
The decorations were tatty and the menus on the table were dirty. Out of the corner of my eye, a man tugged at an old man, who stood rooted on the spot, eyes wide open. There was nothing unusual and the world was without incident, full of peace.
No no no, wait wait wait.
What with that ‘nothing unusual’, everything’s abnormal here!
Trembling, I took another look at the tatty decorations and the dirty menus. I heard voices around me. “Cut the crap, bring it out!” “Eh! What do you want?” “Hurry!” said the man with the shotgun threateningly, holding onto the confused old man.
What’s with this?
I blurted out, using a Kansai accent I rarely use.
That man seemed menacing, his eyes were dangerous but the more I looked on, the more I felt he was no ordinary person. His bloodshot eyes were as red as ripe tomato……why was that all I could think about?
Must not get too absorbed in this book.
Suddenly someone stared into my eyes.
A hoarse voice froze the cafe. You don’t need to yell, I can hear you and having said that, who are you? A youkai who has decided to pay a visit to this world? A robber perhaps?
“What the hell are you looking at!”
Then why the hell are you saying that!
However, I was not brave enough to say this humorous response for there was a huge lump in my throat and it felt inappropriate. This was my first time seeing a robber and I couldn’t get my mind around that.
“You, get up!!”
The robber scratched his head impatiently and a lot of dandruff fell down from his crew cut. Please, don’t come near me.
Eh? Did he just say ‘you’ as in ‘more than one’?
I felt that the atmosphere behind me was not quite right so I turned to look.
There was a girl in black.
……Who the hell is she?
I suddenly forgot about the robber and could not help but look at her, entranced.
Black. Black, was all I could come up with to describe her.
She was probably the same age as me. Black jacket, black shirt, black vest, black miniskirt, black stockings and black high-heeled shoes. Her black clothes did not have any summer spirit. Her beautiful, wavy black hair went all the way down to her waist and she was a bit like a shadow extending out of the floor, like a woman of the night.
The night-girl had a fierce expression as she focused down at her table and if I still had my wallet, I would have immediately surrendered it. She was good enough to challenge the robber.
Wow! There was another weirdo facing her and the atmosphere was very tense.
Then I suddenly realised that the girl was writing a manuscript for a book.
Scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch
The night-girl was focused on her writing, completely unaware of her surroundings.
The groan that left her lips, the sound of her left hand scratching her head, as well as the sound of a pen making contact with paper, continuously echoed around the cafe.
She no longer looked human, but an automatic writing machine.
Her black hair slightly hid her eyes, which were red. The firmness in her eyes seemed to show that even if the world was about to destruct, she would continue writing. My eyes refused to pull away from her powerful yet beautiful appearance.
Writing is something more honourable than most other things.
However, not everyone could understand the profundity of that.
“……How dare you ignore me.”
The robber approached her, his shotgun pointing at her.
Hey hey hey! What are you doing? What’s up with that? That’s a gun, are you really going to pull the trigger? No way, you’ll kill someone, just what the hell are you doing! That girl is stupid too, for not reacting at all!
In this tense situation, even I was trembling in fear.
However, the night-girl never stopped writing.
Hey stop! Open your eyes and look at reality!
The robber found himself being ignored and his face distorted in anger. His finger closed around the trigger and it seemed that there would be a shot any time soon. Even the slightest displeasure would influence him to pull it.
However, the night-girl did not respond, she didn’t resist nor take any notice, just continued writing. Did she not know how much danger she was in? Or had she chosen to deliberately ignore him? Either way, both of them meant bad news.
I can’t take this anymore!!
As if possessed by something, I began to move.
I pounced, rammed the robber from the right, tried to knock him down and reached for his gun. But the robber may have been scared of this sudden movement, as he pulled the trigger. The bullet almost hit the floor but it bounced up and hit the side of my foot instead.
It hurts, so hot, it hurts.
Just what am I doing?
I tried to steal his gun, tried to stop the robber.
The robber’s movements were slow, but mine were so slow that they were scary. Damn it! Faster! Move faster!
Spilling the coffee all over the floor made his feet look like it was stained with mud, but I didn’t stop attacking. Why the hell would I stop!?
The robber and I began a fight with a series of turning over tables and knocking over chairs. My wound really hurt and it was so terribly hot.
He fired a second bullet, it broke the ceiling fan which made the old man scream. I wanted to scream too, I need peace!
“Bastard, let go!!”
I had no answer nor was I able to answer.
My body suddenly felt pathetic and my muscles ached. My right foot and the hand clinging onto the robber both felt very sore, but I refused to let go. If I did, he’d shoot the night-girl or the old man anyway! I’m not that stupid!
I just want to read, the night-girl just wants to write, there is no need for you so go home! Let books beat you to hell!
I felt a heavy blow on my stomach. As I felt myself being kicked, my body felt as if it were floating and my glasses had disappeared.
Then my head fell onto a table with a heavy thump and my vision began to flash. I rolled onto the floor, the pain killing me. I must stand up quickly or else I will be in more pain.
I opened my eyes, only to find myself looking into a dark cave. That is the cave that leads to Hell, a place to be feared. The muzzle of the gun could now be seen clearly and wow, it was a formidable scene.
The robber’s voice sighed as he pulled the trigger and soon after came the sound of the third and last gunshot. My grazed right foot no longer felt sore as that moment, as an incomparable pain flooded through my body, as if I had been hit by a truck.
Vision blurred. Body will not move.
The sound of rain, the coffee aroma, the taste of blood in my mouth and the heat of the shot, everything had disappeared. It was like the darkness of the night, the silence of a field in snow. The last thing I ever heard was the sound of the gun, not the robber’s wretched laughter, nor the sound of my own body bleeding.
Hovering inside my abyss of death, I could only hear the sound of paper and the hard, sharp sound of a pen tip.
What’s going on, heart throb.
Looking forward to the nothingness, my heart stopped beating.
[The following names, terms, expressions explained by author]
[Shotgun] Benelli M3, designed and manufactured by Italian manufacture Benelli. May be used by the public sector and has internationally renowned quality.
[Heart Throb] Element of surprise.