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The Wrath of Kuki

“Ahh, nothing like a little myth and legend to start the week off with a bang!”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle — Nonesuch, Obnubilate, Easy, Float, Greasy, Wind, Shape, Scream, Shirtless, Return, Apartment, Men
Word of the Day – Invest
Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge – The picture above by  MilosCreativeArt at DeviantArt.

The Wrath of Kuki

I’d taken too long — it was coming for me.

The sky had begun to obnubilate above the city of Hokkaido. I watched in horror from my apartment window as the clouds descended upon the city. This was no ordinary fog bank — it was the return of Kuki.

With no time to lose, I stuffed the ornate Hitsumi-Bako puzzle box into my rucksack. I sighed at my bright pink shirt. No choice — no time — shirtless, or pink. Keeping the shirt, I shouldered my rucksack and fled to the garages beneath the apartment.

Grabbing my mountain bike, I pedalled out onto the overpass at top speed. A car horn blared at me but I ignored it as I turned left and made a bid for freedom.

There was no wind and yet the unnatural fog bank was able to float towards me at a terrifying pace.

Swishing past a slowing lorry, I angled to make a fast left turn. It was then I saw it.

Cloud began to change shape. Eyes and horns formed the nonesuch being known as Kuki. The ethereal dragon had seen me. Like a soundless, shapeless assassin it bore down upon the road.

The silence was unnerving. No men or women reacted. Not a single scream reached my ears as I rose from my seat and pedalled as fast as my muscles would allow.

Of course, I was the only one who could see Kuki. I was the only one who had what it wanted and, I hoped, the ability to stop it from destroying Earth.

Traffic jam.

“Shit!” I threw my body into jumping the bike. Bunny-hopping onto the back of the car, I pedalled on. Combining, speed and balance to jump from car to car.

Drivers and passengers swore at me as I thundered overhead and shattered windscreens in my desperate bid to escape.

Seeing the yellow back of a lorry, I angled right and jumped over the railings at the side of the road. The bikes spinning wheels scythed foliage to mush as I shot through a juniper bush and landed in an explosion of earth. “That was easy!”

“Stop running, human!” roared a godly deep voice.

“The Bonsho is not and never will be yours!” I yelled as I ducked beneath trees and cycled like a madman, searching for a new road.

A wall of air slammed into me.

I careened into a tree, kicked off and pedalled ever harder. Blinded by sweat and driven by desperation, I powered through the parkland.

“It is mine. With it, I shall restore my kind to Earth and the human realm will belong to me!” roared Kuki. His cloud form blustered into the trees in an explosion of leaves and twigs.

I felt the debris assaulting my body and held in a cry of pain. A security gate blocked my way. I never stopped peddling. Throwing myself into a sideways skid, I forced the bike to slide beneath the gate, kicked into the gravel and vaulted upright again. “Not while I still breathe!” I yelled back.

“Have it your way!”

Looking over my shoulder, I gulped. Kuki had taken on its full draconic form. A serpentine smoking dragon turning the air into a tornado-like vortex.

“Goodbye, Quan Chi!” The vortex dropped from the sky and ripped across the car park. Tossing vehicles like rag dolls, and spinning clouds of gravel and dirt high into the air.

The guardrail slammed into my leg and side with such force that I understood what it felt like to be hit by a truck. I’d gone from cycling to flying in a heartbeat. My body clanged into the metal fence, driving the air from my lungs. Somehow, I grabbed the chain links through ragged breaths. Bleeding from several places, I’ve vaulted the fence and swore.

Breaks screeched.

I slammed down onto the red bonnet, barrel-rolled off the car and thumped down into the road. Bruised and physically drained from my escape, I looked up expecting to see Kuki preparing to finish me off. He was gone.

“Hey, are you okay?” said the driver whose car I’d landed on.

“No, and it’s not your fault. Just go now and fast!” Staggering to my feet, I ran across the road and took an alley. I didn’t care where it went so long as it was away from him — It wasn’t.

“Going somewhere?”

I’d run straight into a near eight-foot-tall man clad in long grey robes. His face; a picture of evil surrounded by long black greasy hair, sharp eyebrows and a demonic Fu Manchu moustache. It was his red dragon eyes gave him away. Kuki had taken human form.

“You can’t afford to kill me. You’ll never get it if you do!” I yelled as I fumbled with the Hitsumi-Bako box in my bag. “Damn it!” I kicked the zip flap open and drew the etched mahogany, Japanese cedar and red pine box into the open.

“Really? You think that old piece of wood can stop me.”

“It’s a combination puzzle box. You smash it open and the Bonsho will be dissolved in the acid contained within,” I said setting my face with a ‘try me’ glare.

“You lie. Give me the box!” Kuki advanced on me.

I raised the box above my head. “Wanna test your luck?”

Kuki flashed into a cloud of fog and roared toward me.

“I gave my all to protect this bell. Now I invest my life!” I screamed and hurled the box for all I was worth.

Kuki never stopped he blew straight through me.

Feeling like a ghost had shot through my soul, I collapsed to my knees.

Kuki reformed in time to catch the box neatly out of the air. “Thank you,” he said with all the guile of the cat who gotten the cream.

“Gotcha!” I said rising with a sneer of my own. In my hands was a small but perfectly formed bronze bell. It was covered in depictions of Japanese lions, dragons, nymphs and the magnificent Phoenix. “Kaji Hinote!”

“Noooo!” Kuki raced towards me.

The orange and yellow glow of fire enveloped my hands. A burning ball of flames burst from between my fingers. The inferno encapsulated the bell as I unleashed a ball of pure fire into the demon.

Kuki burst into his fog form and flashed to steam as the fire evaporated him.

As the bell became a pool of bronze at my feet, rays of sunlight returned to the alley. I looked up and smiled. I’d lost bell, but at least Earth was safe again.

The End

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Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry NookShort StoriesShort Stories 2, and, Short Stories 3 tabs.


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