Saturday, December 17, 2022


Note: A higonokami is a Japanese folding knife. The title of this piece transliterates into shikata ga nai, which means, “It cannot be helped.”

The limestone cell in which Aki unexpectedly awoke on Christmas morning would’ve thrilled Unit 731, especially how the walls of the countless chambers around her gradually constricted.

The rate varied to judge by the screaming, crunching, dripping. Aki’s cell steadily shrunk by millimeters. She beat her fists bloody against the stone, broke nails, screamed against the impossibility and unfairness.

Eventually, she found the higonokami in her pocket. Opened it. Held it to her throat. Then whipped it into the wall.

She carved kanji slowly:

My blood must be spilled.
With it, I will ink these words.
Stone, my printing press.


Ben Mann said...

Ahaha, what a deliciously dark haiku.

Loren Eaton said...

Thanks, Ben! I wanted to write something about acceptance -- even when the situation is really grim.

Patrick N. said...

I was surprised to see the Unit 731 reference. Unfortunately many don't know about that dreaded place. Great job!

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Fantastic atmosphere.

Loren Eaton said...

Patrick: The very little that I have read about Unit 731 was ... sickening. Truly depraved stuff.

CR: You are very kind, sir. Did you ever see Cube? It was something of an inspiration.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Dude. You packed a LOT into this very disturbing little gem. Bravo.

Loren Eaton said...

You're very kind, Rhonda. Thank you!