The Purification of Izanagi

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Also an exercise for a writing course.
We randomly chose a story and a genre. This story is based on the Japanese myth, the purification of Izanagi who with his wife, set creation into motion by stirring the primordial soup with a big spoon.
The genre I chose was comedy.

Submitted: May 19, 2019

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Submitted: May 19, 2019

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The Purification of Izanagi
Comedy

The god Izanagi fled to the center of the ocean after failing to rescue his dead wife from–well–death. He could still see the image of her rotting corpse. And that left eye. The eye hung near her chin still attached by a strand to its empty socket and it spun in all directions whenever Izanami had moved her head. Izanagi shivered at the memory. After seeing that eye he’d abandoned his mission and got away from her as fast as possible.

He was lying on the surface of the water trying not to feel guilty. He held his magic staff as gentle waves shushed him into the calming state needed for his purification ritual. At least he thought that was how a purification should go. He didn’t know since, like everything else, he had to create it himself.

The sun bathed him, and he bobbed on the water’s surface like an infant wrapped in it’s mother’s embrace.

hap-chu

He contemplated the sky. Izanami and he had made it all, the sun, the atmosphere and the color blue, his favorite. A seabird cried a remote and lonesome call. He smiled at the sound. Even birds, they had devised together, though they hadn’t counted on the excrement.

hap-chee

All their work seemed to come out that way, with unexpected consequences. Ah, well, no use thinking about that now. Now was the time to relax.

ha

To let the sea lull him…

haa

into a state of…

haaa

tranquility.

HAAAAP-CHET

“Magic staff,” Izanagi did not move his head or even sigh. Now that he finally felt calm, he was determined to remain so.

“Magic staff,” he repeated, “could you please control yourself?”

“Guntrol myself? Berry funny.” The staff sniffled. “If I were in guntrol, I’d’v binded my own business and let you go on that hi-egg alone. HAP-CHEESE!”

“High Egg?” Izanagi could feel the fringes of his serenity begin to fray so he doubled his concentration on the seabird’s flight, only half listening to his staff’s complaints.

“Hi-egg! A walg in the bountains. But this hi-egg was in the wrong direggtion, down.”

Izanagi floated lazily. The bird criss-crossed the sky, searching.

The staff sniffled again. “You tage me to hell to get your wife but all I got was this gold.”

“Gold?” Izanagi almost whispered it.

“Gold, gold! Li-egg an infeggtion.”

If Izanagi had been looking at his staff and not the sky, he would have seen a sudden mischievous grin brighten the staff’s face.

“A staff infeggtion!” Enjoying its joke, the staff tittered.

Now, Izanagi sighed. “I’ve heard of a cure for infections.”

“Yeah? What’s that?”

“Salt water.” Izanagi plunged the staff under the surface of the sea.

He sighed again. The purification ritual did not seem to be helping so far but at least quiet had returned.

“Glub-glubble,” said the staff.

Perhaps he needed to pinpoint what exactly what was bothering him. Ever since he’d seen his wife dead and in hell, a feeling he’d never felt before had sprouted inside him. Like a creeping vine it slowly covered him, bit by bit, until he’d felt himself surrounded, squeezed. Again, an unexpected consequence. He’d wanted to save his wife but instead damned himself.

In the distant sky the bird moved nearer. He could hear its call more clearly. He closed his eyes.

In fact, when he really thought about it, everything had turned out differently than he and Nami had planned it. The sky had clouds. Life had death, the sun caused acral-lentiginous melanoma. None of those things had been part of the plan.

“NA!”

Nothing ever worked,

“NA!”

the way it was intended.

“NAGI”

Had the bird just called his name? Or perhaps, cawed his name? That staff was beginning to rub off on him.

A shadow fell over him and he opened one eye in time to see the bird gliding on the breeze directly above, blocking his view of the sky. The bird was just about ready to drop…

“No!”

Izanagi raised his arms to shield himself and two things happened. First, a yoyo fell toward him from the bird. Second, the staff spewed water in his opened eye.

A yoyo?

“HACKKK Wheeeeze.” He had forgotten about his staff. With his free hand Izanagi wiped his face before opening his other eye. The staff continued to cough, and behind the staff the bird still flew in the air. Now he could see what had fallen from the bird. No yoyo. He gasped.

“Staff,” he said trying once again to remain calm. “when I told you to bar the entrance to hell, what exactly did you do?”

“First, I put up some shelves and a mirror, with a variety of colored bottles. I went with modern decor, lots of metal and glass. And of course stools, the spinning kind.”

“You did what?!”

“I barred the entrance. Get it?” The staff giggled insanely. If it had had a neck, Izanagi would have chocked it. He tried anyway.

“Ouch!” Said the staff.

“NAGI, STOP THIS FOOLISHNESS!”

Izanagi sighed again. He supposed there was no way to get out of this one. He looked up to face the bird. No, not to face the bird but what dangled from the birds talon: his dead wife’s eye still attached to a sinewy optic nerve.

The staff whistled. “Eye Yai Yai. It’s her!”

“Shut up staff!” Izanagi’s calm had completely gone away.

“Eye eye, sir!”

The bird shrieked.

“Izanagi, please listen.” The eye shifted worriedly in the air, and Izanami’s voice emanated from it. “I don’t have much time. I’ve made a deal with this bird offering it a meal if it flew me to you. But the bird did not expect such a long journey and it is hungry.”

The bird shrieked again.

“I will get right to the point." the eye looked at him for approval.

“Go on.”

"When you came to rescue me in hell, I was so happy to see you. My Nagi. The father of my children. We did it all together, stirred the seas with a spoon, used mud to build an island, created the whole world, had several children…”

“RAAACHK” screamed the bird.

“And so on…” The eye blinked.

“Yes, Izanami. It is true.” Izanagi felt very uncomfortable having this conversation with just an eye.

“Well, my love. I went to hell because I was tired and needed some time to think. And I’ve made a decision.”

“Decision?”

The eye opened widely, “I want a divorce.”

The bird started to wobble in the air. It beat its wings furiously forcing the eye to whirl and bounce eratically.

“Anyways,” and here the eye seemed to smile, “I am at peace. So, there is no need to rescue me.” The eye looked up at the bird, “Whenever you are ready.”

The bird’s neck swooped forward and it caught the eye in its beak. It tossed its head back and swallowed, then it rose higher into the air and away, the long nerve still dangling from the side of its beak.

Izanagi floated and thought for a long while.

Even his marriage to Izanami had unexpected consequences. Did nothing ever turn out the way it should?

There was always the color blue.

He looked up at the blue sky and sighed. At least now, he could begin to feel at peace.

“Well,” said the staff, “I guess you and she didn’t see eye to eye .”


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Michael Smith. All rights reserved.

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