9th Post

Here it is my Darlings, the final part of Mom’s story. Enjoy.

The Dragon’s Promise

by Cillanoodle (aka Mom)

Tomoe had never seen anything like it. True, she was only six years old so she hadn’t seen a whole lot of the world yet, but this sight was amazing. She knew her Mother had been here several times and had many friends here, but the trade district was still a bit scary.There were many merchants selling things like clothes, weapons, armour, and many types of food. Crowds of people milled about, inspecting wares and tasting food stuffs. Tomoe clung to Miya’s hand, a little scared of all the activity. Miya smiled down at her gently as she led Tomoe and her brothers into a shop. They were greeted at the door by an elderly lady dressed in a simple brown yukata. The woman spoke with Miya for a moment before looking pointedly at Daishiro. She ushered them into a meeting room and they sat down to wait. The elderly lady came back with tea. She introduced herself as Hamasaki Kameyo and said that her husband would be in to see them soon. Daishiro looked around nervously as he sipped his tea. Tomoe wondered what he was thinking of. She was about to ask him when the door opened. Hamasaki Yuji was not a small man by any means, but he was not tall, either. Most of his size came from his muscles, especially his forearms which were very impressive. Daishiro gulped audibly and began to sweat. Ryutaro, who remained calm despite his brother, pushed the box to Hamasaki. The man looked at both parts for a second before placing them back in the box. He closed the lid and looked down at his knees. They heard a snort and at first Tomoe thought that the man was crying. Then he threw his head back and laughed long and hard. He doubled over, still laughing as the siblings stared at him in shock.. Soon he calmed down and wiped the edges of his eyes with his sleeve.
“Oh, I was wondering when this would happen.”
“What do you mean? You expected the statue to break?” Ryutaro looked confused. Hamasaki hiccuped and smiled.
“Yes, young man, I did. You see, when you’re Father came to me and asked me to make this, I was just starting my apprenticeship. He had confidence in me, which was inspiring, so I took the job. The night I finished it, I was so tired, I fell asleep on the table and I completly forgot an important step, which was to seal the stone to protect it. When I woke up, it was a half an hour before your Father was to arrive . That was not enough time, so I just buffed it to a shine and told him that it was very fragile and to be very careful with it. He was so grateful that I didn’t have the heart to tell him why he should be so careful. I expected him to be back soon after, demanding my head and his money back. But he never came. It’s been fourteen years and now his sons come to me.”
The smith smiled and drank his tea in one gulp.
“Wait, so this is originally your fault?”
“Technically. But you broke it, Boy.” Miya spoke up before the two could start an argument.
“Why don’t we just get the statue fixed and then we can forget that it all happened.”
Hamasaki opened the box again and picked the tail up. “I might be able to fix it. It will take a few hours though.”
“Well, we’re just going to have to stall her when she gets home.”
“But it sits on the hall table so she can see it when she comes home. She’ll know right away that it’s missing!”
“Then we have to keep her out of the house. Maybe if one of us had gotten hurt on our shopping expedition.”
“Why are you looking at me?!”
“First of all, this is your fault. Second, it can’t be me. With my training, Mom will never believe it. Third, it can’t be Tomoe-chan. Do you know what she would do to both of us if she got hurt when we were supposed to be watching her? It would be worse that if she found out about the sculpture, I can tell you that.”
“Yeah, but why does it have to be me?”
Miya gasped suddenly and clapped her hands together. “I’ve got it! Here’s what we’ll do. You can tell her that you came to see me because I wasn’t feeling good and you decided to stay and help with the shop.It’s true because before you came, I had a stomach ache.”
“That might work. It’s really the only option we have.”
Everyone said their goodbyes and Hamaski promised he would bring the dragon by the shop when it was finished. On the way back, they stopped into a small clothing store and picked up Tomoe’s scarf. She danced and whirled down the sidewalk, enjoying the way the pink fluff of her new scarf tickled her face. She happily bounced into the shop and saw something that crumbled their hastily laid plans.
Daishiro could swear that he saw his short life flash before his eyes.
“Where have you been? I was worried sick!” She stared pointedly at the boys as they walked hesitantly toward her.
“Well, Miya-san wasn’t feeling well, so we came to see her.”
“You have such good kids, Suki-chan! I am so jealous. They saw right away that what I needed was some fresh air, so we went for a walk.It must have worked, because I feel so much better.”
“Oh. Well you could have left a note. I was so scared.”
“I’m sorry, Mother. I’ll remember next time.”
“Good. By the way, do you have any idea what happened to my dragon sculpture?
“Yes, the one that sits on the hall table.”
“I’m not sure. I didn’t see it before we left.” This was not technically a lie as the dragon had been in the box when they left and Ryutaro honestly had no idea where exactly the dragon was now. Suki frowned as she thought this over. She was so confused that she didn’t really notice when Miya led the group into the back room and sat them down at the table.
“I just don’t understand. It was there when I left. I had put Hamasaki-san’s phone number next to it so I could call him.”
“Did something happen to it, Suki-chan?”
“It’s the weirdest thing. For twelve years, that dragon has sat on that table and it’s been perfectly fine. Then yesterday, I was doing the laundry and the phone rang. When I went to answer it, the hamper bumped the table and the dragon fell over. It didn’t fall off or anything, it just fell over. When I picked it up, I noticed a crack on it’s tail.I wanted to get it fixed before Takehiko returned home. I just don’t understand what could have happened to it.” Suki jumped slightly as Daishori’s head fell to the table, hard.
“What’s wrong, Shiro-chan? Are you sick?”
“You could say that.”
Ryutaro figured it was time to tell the truth, if only to keep his brother from getting a concussion.
It took some time to tell and by the time Ryu had finished the story, Tomoe had fallen asleep on her mother’s lap. Suki sighed deeply.
“You could have come to me even if I had not cracked the sculpture. I just don’t know where you got this fear of me.”
“It wasn’t really fear of you. I think it was more a fear of disappointing you. Father gave it to you as a promise and we knew you would be very sad that it was damaged.”
“Well, at least I know the truth now. You’re not getting out of this unscathed, any of you.” She looked over at Miya and raised her eyebrow. Miya looked down at her teacup and tried her hardest to be invisible. She understood how her friend felt. After all, she had conspired with the boys to lie to their mother. Even if it was for a good cause, it was still not her brightest idea.
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. I know you were just trying to help. When is Hamasaki-san supposed to be here?”
“He said it would take a few hours.”
“Let’s just hope he gets here before your Father does.”
In the end, Hamasaki ended up coming to the shop an hour before their father arrived at the train station. They made it home with half an hour to spare. Suki had reworked the chore list so that each boy got an even amount of extra work. Daishiro grumbled, but he didn’t outright complain. The only thing they ended up getting away with was the apparent bribery of Tomoe and that was only because she was not letting go of that scarf for anything. When their father arrived home, Suki told him what had happened. She told him what Hamasaki had told the boys and showed him where the tail had broken off. Takehiko smiled as he put the dragon back in it’s place.
“Well that explains why he offered me such a steep discount. I’m just glad he was able to fix it..” Suki rested her head on his shoulder and smiled.
“Either way, I’m not sure it would have mattered.”
“Why do you say that, Love?”
“Because even without the statue, I know you will keep the promise you made all those years ago.”
Takehiko closed his eyes and kissed her forehead.
“But it is nice to have a reminder of it and the boys did go through a lot of trouble to fix it.”
They heard a distant thump that sounded suspiciously like a head hitting a desk.
“I’ll go check on him.” Suki leaned up and kissed her husband’s cheeck before walking off towards Daishiro’s room. Takehiko ran his finger down the length of the dragon.
“Thank you for helping keep my promise.”
He walked down the hall, completely missing the tiny sparkle in the little dragon’s eyes.

The End.


8th Post

For today’s post, we have a story! Well, part 1 of, hopefully, 2. Enjoy, Friends!

The Dragon’s Promise

by Cillanoodle (aka Mom)

“Are you going to tell her?”
“She’ll find out eventually.”
“I know. Hopefully by the time she does, I’ll have fixed it.”
“Dad gave that to her.”
“I know that. Are you trying to make me feel more guilty than I already am?”
“Not particularly. I just want you to remember what’s at stake here. If this goes wrong, you probably won’t survive.”
“Thank you so much for that vote of confidence.”
“Don’t worry. You’re young, so she might go easy on you.”

Tomoe wandered the halls of her family home, searching for her brothers. They were supposed to be watching her while their mother had gone to the market. Instead, they had left her in her room and disappeared. She had long since exhausted all forms of entertainment. She had finished the coloring book they had given her and watched all the videos they had downloaded. Now she was bored and it wasn’t helping that she couldn’t find her brothers to tell them. She was just about to give up and start crying when they came up the stairs that led to the cellar. Daishiro was cradling something in his cupped hands, but Tomoe couldn’t see what it was. Ryutaro noticed her standing there and sighed.
“Let me guess, you finished everything I gave you.”
“Uh-huh.” Tomoe sniffled a little and pulled her handkerchief out of her sleeve. She looked up at her eldest brother as he knelt down next to her.
“And you’re bored?”
“Uh-huh.” She nearly giggled when his head dropped, his long black hair falling down to cover his face. He rubbed his forehead with his hand and looked back up at the little girl before him.
“Fine, you can come with us. ”
“Quiet Daishiro. She’s not going to say anything because I’m going to buy here that cute scarf she wants.”
“You’re bribing me? Mom says bribery is bad.”
“Yes, normally it is.” He picked her up and settled her on his hip. “Do you want the scarf or not?”
Tomoe cocked her head to the side and thought for a moment. “Okay. I’ll keep quiet.”
“Good. Now keep up, okay?” He set her down and started walking towards his room. Daishiro and Tomoe followed solemly. Tomoe noticed that her brother was walking slowly and carefully, as if to protect what was in his hands.
“What are you holding?”
Tomoe rolled her eyes at her brother’s vagueness.
“I know that. I asked what it was.” The boys sat down at Ryutaro’s desk while Tomoe jumped onto her brother’s bed and made herself comfortable on his pillows. Her eyes widened when she saw what was placed on the desk.
“You broke Mom’s dragon sculpture?”
“You said you were going to be quiet!”
“Don’t yell at her, Shiro. Yes, he broke it. But we’re going to fix it.”
“Mom’s going to kill you if you don’t.”
Daishiro glared at her and she burrowed her face into the pillows to escape his gaze. Ryutaro slapped his arm and turned back to the broken sculpture. He picked up the tail piece that had broken off and fit it aginst it’s mate.
“Well, it’s a clean break, so it should be easy to put it together with some glue.”
Ryutaro opened a drawer and took out a tube of extra strength glue. He spread some on each side and put the ends together, holding them for a while to make it stick. The glue held for all of five minutes before the tail slid down and thumped onto the desk. Both boys groaned and Daishiro sunk to the floor.
“I am so dead! She’s going to kill me and then bring me back so she can kill me again!”
Ryutaro looked despondently at the little tail. “It’s got to be the stone it’s made of. Mom said that Dad had it made from a special rare stone. I don’t remember what it’s called.”
“So why not go to the guy who made it?”
The boys stared at her for a long second and then looked at each other.
“It’s worth a shot.”
“What else are we going to do?”
“Get you’re coat, Tomoe. We’ll stop by Miya-san’s shop on the way and get you the scarf.”
Tomoe took off down the hallway and flung the front hall closet open. She pulled her coat on and buttoned it and then she put her boots on. She sat on the stairs waiting for the boys. When they came to the front door, Daishiro was carrying a small wooden box. He set the box down on the hall table and pulled his coat on and slipped his shoes on. He put the box gently into his pocket. He looked up to see his brother was ready to go. The trio left the house and walked down the street towards the bus stop. When the bus came, Tomoe sat in between her brothers, swinging her legs and humming to herself. She loved taking the bus. It was always interesting with lots of new people and the promise of adventure. When they reached the downtown stop, the siblings got off the bus.
Ryutaro led the way to a little curio shop that wasn’t that far from the stop. Takenaka Miya was one of their mother’s friends from high school. They had kept in contact when they graduated and gone to college. When Miya had taken over her family’s shop, she had insisted on giving her friend a line of credit to help her establish her new household. Ryutaro had been two years old then and had always enjoyed coming to the shop. It was always filled with interesting things as Miya’s husband was an anthropologist and had traveled the world many times over. He always brought back some new thing for Miya when he returned.
When they entered, Miya greeted them warmly and set them down for some tea. Ryutaro explained that they were there to get Tomoe the scarf. Miya smiled and took a sip of tea. “Are you sure that’s the only reson you’re here?”
“What do you mean?”
“Hayashi Daishiro, I have known you you’re whole life. I can tell when something is bothering you.”
The boy sighed and took the box from his pocket. When Miya saw it’s contents, she raised an eyebrow. “She’s going to kill you.”
“I know. I figure that it won’t be so bad if I can get it fixed. We tried glue, but that didn’t work.” He sighed heavilly and put his head in his hands.
“Miya-san, when did Dad get the dragon for Mom?”
“You don’t know the story, Tomoe-chan?”
Tomoe shook her head and held up her cup so Miya could refill it.
” You’re parent’s met when they were in junior high scool. You’ve heard of your Aunt and the way she treated your Mother, haven’t you? Well, it was this treatment that drew your Father to her to begin with. At the time, he desperately needed a reason to keep living and he pledged to protect her for as long as she needed. When your Grandmother abandoned her children and your Aunt left the city with her latest boyfriend, your poor Mother was left alone. She had nowhere to go, so your Father asked his sister to take her in.”
“Aunt Ran!”
“That’s right, Tomoe-chan. When she was settled in, your Father came to see her. He gave her this dragon and a promise that they would one day be married.”
“Now I feel really guilty.” Daishiro’s head hit the table hard. Miya looked at him, concerned.
“Well, I may be able to help.”
“You’ll see, my Dears.”


I’ll post part two tomorrow!