RECOMMENDED FOR MATURE READERS
The rain fell before midnight. The streets were covered in blood, and God came to wash them clean; clean as a city could be, anyhow.
I stepped inside and slipped my shoes off by the door. Cold ran down my fingertips and fell as fat drops onto the wood panel. Each was stained with a cloud only visible if you saw it close; life itself watered down and made thin.
Beyond the threshold the lights were still on, dimmed, and permeated with whispers from the center of the room. On the television were two men fighting to talk over each other; between them a picture of three figures they mistook for human.
“Nobody really knows what these magical girls want,” one pressed.
The other nodded. “I agree, Kamina. People have been calling them ‘heroes’, but rumors of monsters have been unsubstantiated. The only proof we have is of the damage they’ve caused”
“Police are still wondering if they’re connected to the murder of the Black Soul Angels, a gang based out of the Shinjuku district-”
I shuffled deeper into my home and peered over the shoulder of my would-be sister. With beer in hand she sat leaned from her chair toward the screen. She hadn’t noticed the creaking of the floor until I turned and started for my bed.
“Midori! Are you seeing this?” she slurred. “It’s fuckin’ insane! Magical girls and monsters in the city, like out of a shitty comic book! Can you believe it?”
My stomach churned; the magic was working, but it would take time to fully heal. For the moment I arched my back, drew a deep breath through my nostrils, and fixed my gaze to the end of the hall.
Hinata frowned as she caught my limp. “Hey, are you okay? You look like shit. I mean, more like shit than usual.”
I said nothing and kept walking.
“Do you want a beer?” she called after me. “Don’t tell me you don’t drink. If you want I’ve got something stronger in my room; tequila, or whiskey! Even saki if you want something more traditional!”
The bathroom door shut her out and my coat fell to the floor. Contrasted by the tiles what blood I trailed became more obvious, though still pale after enduring the weather.
I reached to the bath, turned the handle and allowed it to fill. While I waited I began to undress and stared into the mirror. With any luck the steam would obscure it by the time I was done.
First I removed my tie, then I removed my school blouse. The bruises along my arms and torso were fresh; angry, ripe and swollen in pools of plum radiating into sickly yellow. At every touch they screamed into nothingness, but what did that mean when every other moment was pain?
My hands reached to unclasp my bra. Tiny breasts fell, the realest part of me, that rolled into larger mounds as my palms pressed them together. Their weight and bounce as they fell free let breathing come easy.
Smog filled the room and my lungs, tickling the back of my thoughts by releasing them into the haze. It was the end of a long, long day.
Finally, my thumbs pulled at the waistline of my panties. I stiffened as they fell to the floor and glared. The mirror had not yet been consumed by the steam. There my reflection held the gory truth of what I had become; not a woman, and by no means a man. Instead, mangled flesh and the memory of once upon a time.
“Not… a boy,” I’d told him. “Never… a boy!”
The scissors had returned to my hand, and in my nightmares the organ was restored. I looked down, still aware of its ghost; still hating it long after it was gone, and with it the words that echoed “death is a small price to pay to fight for our integrity of self. Every true woman knows that.”
What was shrouded in fog was proof enough of that. Was any other so-called doll willing to do the same?
Only God and Buddha could knew my tears under the running shower. They knew how many had been shed, and how many were still to come; they also knew my heart, and what I would do to slay one thousand evil spirits.
To be concluded…