Starting today, I’m putting my blog on a bit of hiatus. Instead of my usual ramblings, I will post excerpts from KOJIKI–one per week until the e-book’s April 19th release. Enjoy…
“Isn’t this our train?” Keiko tossed her head at the tracks.
Yui blinked. “Train? What train? We still have another ten minutes. There. Look.” She pointed to an illuminated sign dangling from the ceiling.
“I don’t care what it says—even if I could read it.” Keiko sighed. Nobody ever listened to her. At eighteen, she was too young to be taken seriously and too old not to be. She shrugged. “Maybe we just got lucky. Maybe the sign’s wrong. I don’t know. The only thing I do know is that a train’s on its way.”
Yui shot her a skeptical look.
Keiko sighed again. She shifted her body toward the tunnel and waited for her hair to fan away from her head. “Here, see? A train pushes the air down the tunnel. You feel it before you hear it. Everybody knows that.”
“Wakarimasen!” Yui muttered. “This isn’t right. Japanese trains run on schedule. That train would have to be a full ten minutes early, and that never happens…not ever.” She stood slowly, woodenly.
“You’re sure?” An irrational feeling of dread fluttered in Keiko’s chest, some instinct both powerful and undeniably clear.
Yui nodded, her face grave. “Hai, Keiko. I’m sure.”
Keiko moved away from the rails. The strengthening draft clawed at her, hot, dry, and stronger than it should have been.
“I’ve never felt that before.” She clutched her throat.
Yui’s head snapped toward the tunnel entrance. “What? You’ve never felt what before?”
“The heat. It’s like an oven in here.”
Face paling, Yui followed Keiko’s gaze down the tracks. “Our train doesn’t come from the left. It’s a northbound train. They only approach from the right.”
“What are you talking about?” Keiko started to say, when a throaty growl boomed out of the northern passage to silence her. Air rushed ahead of it in powerful blasts, each stronger than the last—blisteringly hot and accompanied by a hellacious glow that tinted the station’s white walls with amber. “What was that?”
In a flash, Yui seized Keiko’s jacket and forced her to the ground. “Stay down! You need to stay down! I didn’t go through all the trouble of crossing the Boundary just to have you incinerated!”
Dropping to one knee, she dragged Keiko with her, her face lifting to meet the flickering glow. It churned faster now, coming down the tracks in a rush of sound and light. A wave of intense heat seared across the platform. Keiko’s mouth went dry. She stared at Yui, but the question she wanted to ask died on her lips.
Yui wasn’t paying attention to her. Instead, she stared into the light with an urgency that brought twisting knots to Keiko’s stomach.
“Fiyorok,” Yui hissed, scrambling back into a low crouch. “It’s free!”
Kojiki is due out April 19 from Musa Publishing as an e-book. You will be able to purchase it directly from Musa at http://www.musapublishing.com. It will also be available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook sellers.
**Disclaimer: Kojiki is the property of Musa Publishing, copyright 2012 by Keith Yatsuhashi. You many not be copy or otherwise manipulate this text without permission.