Will we meet again sometime? I’m sure we will. Promise? Promise. Now go. And don’t look back.
Chihiro had lived a long life. She had saved several rivers from the fate that had befallen the Kohaku River. Ensuring the rivers and their spirits could continue to protect their community. Yet she had not met Haku again. She constantly found herself dreaming of her ten year old self. She longed to feel Haku’s shingle like scales, to fly through the twinkling periwinkle sky on his twisting back.
Chihiro had returned to the site of the Bath House once, when she got her first car. The woodland road was even more overgrown, she had left a small offering at the dilapidated remains of the Shinto gateway. The moss-covered Stone Spirit had remained unchanged, she left another offering there, hoping it would bring her luck and safe passage on the other side of the tunnel.
The grass tickled Chihiro’s knees as she made her way to the dried river bed. She could almost see the ferry carrying its Spirit guests. She couldn’t find the strength to pass the river, as if something was stopping her. The wind brought her friends voices, yet they still felt far away, separated by time and place. She had turned and run away, wishing she’d had the courage to turn back that day. Maybe then…
Chihiro looked around the room she was in, it was a small and pokey room, but she was a small and pokey old lady. The walls were covered in drawings of her friends from the Bath House, as she’d tried to hold onto her ten year old self’s memories. No one had ever believed her story.
Chihiro wondered if Haku would be waiting for her in the afterlife, she closed her eyes, and he was there, majestic in his dragon form. She reached out and touched his soft muzzle, she felt safe, as once again she
Lindsay is a 29 year old part time MA creative student, based in South Wales. Her work has featured in Aze Journal and Wishbone Words. You can find her on twitter @Lindsay_Writes3.