Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Inugami Revisited

Due to increased responsibilities with my extended family, my writing has petered off to be almost nonexistent, but today I felt that if I did not put hand to keyboard, I would start to lose my edge.

Pulling up The Inugami, a story that runs concurrently with The Shrine War, I added 1,000 words bringing my total count up to 2,609.

What follows is an extremely rough draft of what I was able to craft this evening. Kelly is an American student studying Japanese at the University of Tokyo. She has rented an apartment that she discovers was the home of a recluse who disappeared eight years before the events of the story. Little does Kelly know, she has a mysterious resident in the building's tiny crawlspace and it may not be human:

That night Kelly tossed and turned in her bed. She always had trouble sleeping in new surroundings and she was grateful that the university classes did not start for another three days. It should give her plenty of time to get used to her new home.

Abruptly, she shot up in her bed, her ears alert. A faint sound had come from beyond her door for what all the world sounded like the faint clink of a chain. Straining her hearing, she listened for it to repeat, but aside from a car outside driving down the street, the house stood silent. She sat upright for what seemed to be five minutes and then curiosity got the best of her. Opening the drawer of the small bedside bureau, Kelly grabbed a tiny canister of pepper spray. Slowly, she swung her feet around and stood, trying her best not to make any noise.

Again, came the faint metallic ring of a chain, but sounding somewhat farther away.

Two steps took her to the bedroom’s sliding door that silently opened into the hallway. To her right was the door to the bath, but to the left, a short hallway led to the spacious living room and adjoining kitchen. Kelly stood still for a few minutes, but the noise did not repeat.

A dim light from the street illuminated the living room, but aside from her furniture, the room stood empty. With a sudden burst of energy, she lunged down the hall, reached for the light switch and flipped it on.


She quickly walked into the living room to check the kitchen. It too stood empty of any intruders, but the aroma of an open sewer hit her, making her step back. Maybe, she thought to herself, that was what I heard? The sewer backing up in the pipes again?

Kelly quickly checked the front door and the rear one that opened into the pathetic excuse for a backyard, but both doors were firmly locked. Spinning about to return to her bedroom, Kelly could see the door to the refrigerator was ajar just a fraction of an inch. Marveling at her own carelessness, she closed the door and with a cursory sweep of the rooms, she flicked the light off and went back to bed.


  1. Looking forward to reading this one when it's finished.

  2. Intriguing.

    It and your synopsis remind me of a news story where a guy in Japan discovered that a homeless woman broke into his apartment and had been living there for a year. Did that serve as any sort of inspiration? From what I know of your work, even if it did, I imagine that Kelly's mystery will have a more unnerving, otherworldly conclusion.

  3. Actually I remember reading the news report, but I don't think it consciously was an inspiration for The Inugami. Probably I just reused the the old "monster in the basement" trope.