Death by Ex-Girlfriend: War Cloud
It was a pallid, winter day like any other. Snowflakes lazily swayed in the wind as they made their way down to the iced over roads of the neighborhood. The air was so cold that it almost hurt to breathe it in. It seemed as though all of Kyoto was blanketed in a accumulating layer of white. A single snowflake fell upon a head of long, scarlet hair, prompting her to turn her sapphire eyes upwards. You may know such a red-headed girl with sapphire-blue eyes that lives in this quiet little Kyoto neighborhood alongside her ex-boyfriend and sister ex-girlfriends. Yoko Akiyama, of course.
Yoko gently ran her fingers through her hair before stuffing her hand back inside of the pocket of her suede scout jacket, her other hand carrying a plastic bag of miscellaneous goodies from the grocery store. A pair of rushed footsteps echoed behind her, accompanied by the frantic voice of a young woman.
“Izanami, which street did you say he lived on again? Oh, wait! I think I might’ve found it!”
Izanami? Yoko doubted there very many women named after the Shinto goddess of death that just happened to live in the area. She instantly turned to face the young woman, forcefully yanking her by the wrist as she tried to pass by. Hey ocean-blue eyes scanned the woman before her, starting with her beautifully long tendrils of raven hair. Her eyes were as red as a blood moon and her peachy skin as smooth as porcelain. Strangely, this young woman was dressed in a black yukata and haori, a rather uncharacteristic outfit compared to everyone else in the area.
As the woman stumbled forward, Yoko also caught a glimpse of a sheathed tanto tucked inside of her obi. Had this woman stepped out of a portal from the Warring States era or something? Yoko seriously began to wonder if this person was some sort of time traveler or a very traditional, blade-bearing woman.
The two women briefly met eyes before recoiling away from each other.
“The hell is your deal? Why did you grab me?” The red-eyed woman asked.
Yoko snatched the phone out of the woman’s hands and put it to her ear.
“Hey! Give that back! That was a gift, you bitch!”
Yoko kept the young woman at bay with her arm as she spoke to the person on the other end of the phone. “Hello? Izanami?”
“Huh?! Yoko?! Is that you?”
Without a doubt, that was definitely the same Izanami that Yoko was thinking of.
The red-eyed woman backed away with her eyebrows raised. “You know Izanami?”
Yoko flipped the question around. “You know Izanami?”
Yoko put Izanami on speaker phone. “Ah! I was wondering why you had Gekko’s phone, Yoko! I can’t believe you two ran into each other!”
“Izanami, who the hell is this woman?” Yoko asked.
“My apologies! I call her Gekko, but her name is Tsukiakari Senkumo! She’s a really good friend of mine and a fellow goddess! She knew Osamu when they were both tiny! Ah, that might need some explaining to, but I invited her over so I could introduce her to everyone. Bring her back here so we can talk!”
“Hold on, she knows Osamu too?” Yoko questioned.
“Of course I do. What are you to him?” Tsukiakari asked.
“His ex-girlfriend.” Yoko replied.
“Is that so? I’m also his ex-girlfriend.” Tsukiakari scoffed.
Izanami could sense the tension seeping through the phone as they both went silent on the other end. “Hey…guys? Listen, if you come over, I can explain all of this pretty easily!”
Yoko hung up the phone, her eyes still locked upon Tsukiakari.
“Return my phone, please.” Tsukiakari said, her grumbling tone betraying her bubbling anger.
“Or what? If you reach for that tanto, you’re a dead woman.” Yoko threatened.
“You did hear what Izanami said, right? I’m a goddess. A war goddess, mind you.”
“And I’m a very jealous woman. I’d wager I’m far more dangerous.” Yoko hissed.
The two stared daggers at each other before Tsukiakari put her hands on her hip, clearly trying to inch her hands closer to her tanto.
“I only came to see my friend after a decade and a half. You’re not going to settle this peacefully, aren’t you?” Tsukiakari said.
“Sorry, but it wasn’t Izanami’s place to invite a complete stranger to my home. Even if you’re a friend of hers, I need to speak with you first.”
Tsukiakari sighed. “Good. I like it better this way.”
Sitting at home, Izanami stood paralyzed in the kitchen, the disconnect tone ringing out from her pink cell phone. If the idea of the ditzy Izanami using a cell phone perplexes you, it may help to know that Isabella was the one that got it for her and taught her how to use it. Isabella was helping Osamu make a batch of takoyaki when she noticed Izanami looking unusually stiff and nervous.
“Hey, something wrong, Izanami?” Izzy said.
“Osamu, can you come with me real quick?” Izanami asked.
“Huh? Did something happen?” Osamu said.
Izanami nodded. “I think Yoko is about to pick a fight with a war goddess.”