Pachinko

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 17 (v.1) - The Devil Is Coming For You!

Submitted: May 05, 2019

Reads: 30

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Submitted: May 05, 2019

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Dear Mio,

 

I knew the moment I met you it would mean trouble. That it would end up in one leaving the other, but also that it would probably be for the better. You would be better off without me in you life. I bring nothing but trouble and I don’t want that for you! I can’t escape my lifestyle, or the choices I’ve made because of them.

So that’s why I left you there, standing in the rain, holding the umbrella I stole for you to keep us dry. That’s when I came to my senses. So I need you to trust me. This was the best decision I could make back then, for the both of us. I didn’t want you to get invoked with my family. So please, try to forget about me and go on with your life.

I’m sorry!

 

Takayama Jiro

 

 

 

You shouldn’t have done that! You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into. Why did you have to steal from Kurai?”

I woke up with a jolting pain in my left shoulder. Crying out in pain I grabbed my shoulder with my right hand, hoping it would relieve some of the pain I was feeling. 

“So this is how getting shot feels,” I said whimpering. 

Next to me was a small bowl, used for crushing tea leaves, with some kind of white powder in it. Seeing the pills right next to it, someone must have crushed some EPC to take away some of the pain. I had no idea how long I was lying there, but the effect of those pills must have worn down by now. 

On the other side of my bed there was a dark try cat grooming its tail. It took me a while to recognize it was the same cat I saw back at Kurai’s mansion. With each lick the bell around its neck made a small noise. 

“You shouldn’t have done that you know,” said the cat.

Even though I heard him talk back at the mansion, I was still surprised to hear words coming out of its mouth. 

“Why not?” I asked him, “and besides, who are you to tell me what to do or not to do? It’s not like I can break in again to put it back, now can I?” I said slightly annoyed.

I didn’t like people telling me what to do, never have and never will.

“You’ll see in due time!”

“What’s that supposed to mean? He doesn’t even know who I am.”

“You’d be surprised in what Kurai knows about you.”

I wasn’t really that scared of him finding out about me. Besides, there’s nothing to do, the fiddle is long gone by now. If I’m lying back in HQ, they must have brought the fiddle to the client back in Aoyama.

“Who are you btw, and how come you can talk?” I asked.

“The name’s Djenzie and I was ordered to protect you.”

“By who? Besides, you didn’t really do a good job in keeping me from getting shot now did you?”

“It was never the plan for you to see me, the only thing I’m allowed to do is to warn you for any kind of danger, and that my dear Jiro, that I did!”

Our conversation was cut short by a knock on the wooden frame of the door. 

“Jiro, there’s someone here to see you!” someone said from the other side.

I was wondering who that could be, so I ordered him to let them inside. While I was still looking at the door, waiting for them to come in, I heard a soft whisper:

“The devil is coming for you!”

 

“What the hell is this supposed to mean?” a women shouted.

By the time I realized it was Mio, she had already thrown the letter at my futon. I didn’t know what to reply to her, I couldn’t even remember writing her a letter.

“This is really how you want to end things between us?

Carefully I read the letter and somehow I could find myself in those words. I would have done the same thing if I was actually a criminal in the real world. 

“Look at the scar on your face! Doesn’t that mean anything?” she said.

My hand was flowing gently over the scar beneath my right eye. The combination of her voice and the feeling of scar tissue between my fingers made me remember.

 

It was one of the rare days it didn’t rain in Tokyo. I was on a date with Mio, sitting in a local jazz bar down in Shinjuku. A glass of whiskey stood before my eyes while my hand was entwined in Mio’s hand. A candle was burning bright in the middle of our table. Her hand felt small in mine, she was shorter than average so it was buried in my hand. Mio had dark, curling hair and the flame of the candle made her flawless skin shimmer as white as the keys on the grand piano in the back of the bar. She had a certain innocence floating around her, unaware of her own beauty. Emotions were not easily hidden on her innocent face, whenever she smiled, you couldn’t help but smile along with her. 

I had run into her earlier that day at the supermarket and we immediately hit it off. We started talking and one thing lead to another and here we were, having a couple drinks for our first date. 

The music was rather different than the jazz I was used to in the real world. You could tell there were a lot of influences of the young Miles Davis, back in the fifties, combined with a more industrial type of synth. It required getting used to if it was the first time you heard it, but people in here seemed to enjoy it. It was a friday night, so most of the tables were occupied with people enjoying their well deserved weekend. It didn’t matter if you were either a white or a blue collar, this was a place were everyone was equal. 

I wasn’t involved with the criminal aspect of life back then. I had a mediocre desk job at one of the local law firms in town. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t smart enough to be a lawyer, I was hired to do only their paperwork and bring the mail around. Being so close around lawyers made me pick up a thing or two, which came in handy when I made my career switch to the other side of the law. 

We talked about all kinds of things, trying to get to know more of each other. She told me she was working for a marketing firm. She recently got a promotion so things were really looking favorable for her. We had talked for hours straight when we decided it was about time to leave, but we agreed we should do this again real soon. 

On our way out I accidentally bumped into a table where four people, all dressed in suits. Given by their attitude, they had to be Yakuza. It didn’t take long before all four of them jumped out of their seats and stood right before me. Mio was still standing behind me. 

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” one of them yelled at me, while he pushed me back. 

“You bastard! Do you know who we are?” another one added.

There wasn’t anything I could say, it all happened so fast. Out of nowhere, one of them lashed out with his fist, making me stumble back a couple of steps. It wasn’t hard enough to get me down to the ground, which angered him even more, but strong enough to knock the Golden Bat right out of my mouth. He came walking towards me with a determination to hit me to the ground, whatever it would take. He was about to land his second punch when his eye fell to Mio standing behind me. She had a certain beauty that would stop a man’s action, even though she didn’t realize it herself. Immediately their attention turned to her, all four of them circled around Mio. If I didn’t stop this now, who knew what they would to her. 

This was my moment,  I thought to myself. I balled my fist and hit him with full force. He stumbled back and after two steps he fell down, wiping down the blood that was running from his nose. 

“What the hell!” he cried, while regaining his balance, “You’re a fool trying to oppose us!”.

When it came down to protection an innocent woman, I didn’t fear anything, not even Yakuza. Most of the other people down there either ran outside or stayed way back. They clearly did fear these people. Maybe I made a big mistake.

 

One of them took something out his jacket, something sharp. The blade gleamed under the artificial light of the bar. If I wasn’t careful, only one of us would walk away from this. He stood right before me, staring me down. His eyes never blinked once, they were filled with rage. 

“Don’t worry, this’ll be quick,” he smirked, right before he made his move. 

Before I even realized what was happening, the blade cut through the flesh of my right cheek in a flash of pain and disbelief. A sudden gush of pain jolted through my face. I tried to stop the bleeding by pressing my hand against the wound. Despite it was just a cut, blood gushed through my fingers. My opponents blade was stained with blood, some drops still fell to the ground. He had a look in his eyes that he wasn’t satisfied yet. He was laughing out loud, while he was preparing to give me another blow. He raised his blade and came back at me. Just before he wanted to stab me in my chest, someone stopped his attack with his arm, grabbing the wrist that was holding the knife, while he pushed his other hand in the attacker’s throat, flinging him to the ground. It all happened so fast, just as he hit the ground, the rest of his comrades ran outside. They were clearly afraid of something.

“Yeah you fucking run, you cowards! This is our turf!” someone yelled at them. 

My attacker was still lying on the ground. A man, dressed in a suit too, was plunging his knee on his chest, making sure he stayed down. 

“Are you okay?” he asked me.

“More or less,” I said, still shaken from what had happened.

Apparently these guys were Yakuza too and those four guys were trespassing on their turf. Just as long as they kept to themselves, they didn’t feel like intervening, but the moment they started attacking someone, they just had to step in. I just wish they had gotten involved a lot sooner, preferably before they cut me. Two of his friends helped my attacker back on his feet and lead him to the back alley.

“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that!”

I wasn’t sure what they were about to do to him, but it was best I didn’t get involved. 

“I liked how you stood up for your girl against four people,” he continued, “Come with me, we need to talk. Our family could use someone like you!”

“What about Mio?” I asked.

“We’ll make sure she gets home safe!” he assured me. 

No idea what it was, but something inside me told me I could trust these guys, even though they were criminals. After all, they did help me out back there. That was how I got involved with the Yakuza, the people who eventually became my family. 

 

You told me you didn’t want me to get involved with your family,” Mio said to me, “but I’ve been a part of it from the start. I witnessed how you got that scar on your face. That’s the moment I knew I could trust you, that you would always protect me.”

I didn’t know what to answer, I just sat there, looking her in the eyes. She was determined to not leave my side, we were in this together.

“I accept you for who you are, Yakuza or not, I love you!” she whimpered. 

Still recovering from being shot, I was gasping my lungs to breathe. It gave me a while new look on life, making me realize what I had with Mio.

“Look Mio, I almost died yesterday. It made me realize I love you with all my heart. Love is like a world map, something you need to discover, and I want to be the one to draw it out with you! I love you too!”.

With that being said, I searched the room to get a glimpse of Djenzie. Was I dreaming, or was he actually real?

“Are you looking for something?” Mio asked me when she noticed I was searching around the room.

“There was just a cat in here? Did you see it?”

“I haven’t no, but you know how cats are, born to be free. Creatures that prowl the night. I’m sure it’ll come back whenever it’s ready.”

Maybe she had a point. If Djenzie was real, he would come back whenever he was needed. But still, those words were still lingering around in my head:

“The devil is coming for you!”


© Copyright 2020 Nick Van loy. All rights reserved.

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