Skin like Hokkaido silk- I had planned on driving the pass at night. A stop at the bar I’ve seen a hundred times, on the side of the pink Hotel, on the side of the road, on the side of a mountain, made sure to change that. I wanted hot food, not the jerky
and water I’d brought to keep distracted. Before I’d finished the first page of the menu I could feel her on my brow, looking over the top of the page.
An empty pub is a strange paradigm. All you hear are the whispers of breath from the few others, the weather outside, the soft radio. Disquiet. Our eyes met, and I couldn’t help but smile at the first line to come silently into my head. What’s a pretty girl like you… What’s anybody doing here, really? When I laughed at my own dialogue I realized I’d yet to shift my eyes from hers.
Just passing through , she spoke suddenly from across the room. Strange. I stood and made my way to her small table. Her name turned out to be Iō, or at least that was the line she’d fed me. Like most things from strangers mouths, I have to take them at face value. I didn’t believe her, because I could feel the upset in the air around her.