Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a sighting that terrifies some people in Japan, begins after the photo.
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Humor
Photo by: Alastair Forbes
It was nearly 11:00AM at the boardwalk in Tokyo Harbor. Joggers, food vendors, and sightseers flowed in the sidewalks and picnic areas of Odaiba. Ichi the security guard sat on a bench, perfectly placed to keep an eye out. He could easily see anyone who approached, and he was fast asleep.
Hitomi and her boyfriend Shiro were enjoying a day together. They’d just begin dating and they enjoyed constant laughs and smiles together. As they walked down the sidewalk snacking on barbequed squid on a stick, Riko noticed a pay-per-view telescope. They walked straight past the sleeping guard. Loading the telescope with coins, Hitomi said, “Show me your favorite place.”
Shiro paused for second then aimed the telescope straight at Hitomi. She blushed and squirmed. “Show me another,” she smiled.
Shiro grinned back and goosebumps arose on his skin when Hitomi placed a delicate hand on his shoulder. He looked through the telescope and panned across Tokyo Bay, scanning for the buildings above his favorite electronics store. His view moved across the waters until he saw something strange.
At first, the waters swelled. He stopped his movement, squinting to see better. Something rose slowly, glistening in the morning sun. First one, then two more enormous tentacles rose out of the water. If the passing cargo ship was was any measure, the green and gold mottled arms stretched a hundred feet across the waves. They crashed through the water, advancing closer. Shiro couldn’t help a strangled shout.
“What is it, Shiro?” said Hitomi.
“A creature!” shouted Shiro, pointing across the water. He pulled her to the telescope. “Look! Look!”
Hitomi looked through the telescope and immediately let out a piercing scream. “It’s coming, Shiro! It’s coming closer!”
Joggers and sightseers, hearing the screams, ran to them to see what was going on. “It’s a monster,” shouted Shiro to the arrivals. He implored them to look through the telescope. One by one, the onlookers peered through. Each one stepped away, mouths agape. Some began chattering, others began screaming. The crowd grew larger. Some who couldn’t get close enough to use the telescope scanned the waters, looking for the beast. “I don’t see anything,” said an incredulous onlooker.
Then the first splashes erupted from the water. The crowd broke and ran, screaming, “Daikaiju! Monster!”
Just as the last of the crowd streamed by, the insomniac Ichi woke up. Seeing no one, he sighed. His job was safe.
Kenji and Masaru walked towards the telescope from their maintenance van. Kenji pointed to the remnants of the screaming crowd. “Aren’t they running the wrong way?” he said. “You’d think they would be running toward the water to see the Bay’s pilot whales.”
Masaru pointed to a man running with barbequed squid on a stick. “I’ll bet old man Ando is offering two for one.”
Kenji nodded knowingly. “Right. That causes a stampede every time.”
Neither of them noticed the splashes in the water.
Masaru sent Kenji on ahead to the telescope while he stopped beside Ichi the security guard. “Anyone use the telescope?”
“No sir! I’ve been watching very carefully.”
“Excellent. It would be bad if anyone saw the anomaly.”
He joined Kenji as the younger technician began removing the telescope’s housing. “How’s it going?”
“No problem,” said Kenji. “But I still don’t understand how a baby octopus got inside this telescope!”
Daikaiju (Monster): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiju
Odaiba (Man-made island in Tokyo Harbor): http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3008.html
Each week, photographer Alastair Forbes presents a photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. This is my answer to the photo prompt above. Look here to see more stories drawn from the photo: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/sunday-photo-fiction-october-19th-2014/