The Story / Hiromi Suzuki

Rutsu (or Ruku) calls me from the editorial department at midnight. I could not refuse their aggressive offer to need the finished manuscript because of my sense of inferiority that I completely forgot about my work. Though the deadline was already past, I was wearing sleeveless nightgown and feeling drowsy on the bed. I was about to write a story for a long time. I have never met them. In the nightmare, they referred to themselves as Rutsu and Ruku.

For their midnight snack, I arranged French roast coffee, butter cookies and Playboy magazine of the 1970s. I heard a knock at the door. Once open the door, little twins like spiteful goblins are standing at my feet. They both are wearing a little shy expression. Holding the briefcase like a Bible, they look over the inside of the house as if they were true clergymen. (Your sins are hiding here and there in this house, are not they? Look at the framed picture on a dressing table. Who is that guy in a smiling face? Acoustic guitar on the couch. High E string is still broken. Until just a minute ago, we listened to your singing. A worthless song that is not like a song …) Plastic bags of 24-hour grocery store are hanging on the twins’ both arms. I can see through the bottles of bourbon. I go to my bedroom to put on a sweater on the nightgown and peep the goblins from roll-neck collar. They eat red herrings and drink bourbon with two shot glasses, and start calibrating the manuscripts spread on the table in the dining room. Whose manuscript? Was it the story well-written? I am jealous of twins. Two boys are good-looking in slightly different personalities, but seem to be not getting along with each other.

Even the special correspondent in the dawn could not bring me the story, so I throw a bunch of blank sheets on the dining table. One of the twins is playing in an antique cradle. Either Rutsu or Ruku who pretended to be a baby is kicking the Teddy bear with his legs. “Oh, you have grown quite a lot!”, moving my face closer, Rutsu (or Ruku) blows his provocative breath from the toy trumpet. Sweet scents of whiskey and lemon peel excites my low passions.

After the twins received an empty envelope, they put the red herrings on the dining table while preparing return to their office. They say “Please eat these. We no need the story” and run their spiteful eyes on my bare feet. “Could you call a taxi for us?”, Rutsu (or Ruku) as a clever conspirator begs me. Intuitively, I understood that the twins must keep a secret that they visited my house. But to whom? Why do they keep me a secret to the others? Does the publisher editing the story really exist in this town in the first place? I wonder if the twins are really collecting the stories. Because I was always contacting with them by the phone. (The voices of Rutsu and Ruku were indistinguishable.)   The taxi carrying the twins disappeared into the white sky floating on the surface of lake. I will wait for the twilight as ever. I will hear the knock at the door again. Outside the door, I know there is nothing at all.

hiromi suzuki is a poet, novelist and artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of Ms. cried, 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (Kisaragi Publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018), INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018). Her works have been published internationally in poetry journals, literary journals and anthologies.
Web site: https://hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com

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