January short stories

1月の小説アイキャッチ winter story
Use copyright free illustrations

Click on the “date” in the table of contents to jump to that day’s story.

January 1st  First sunrise

I never thought something like this would happen.

“You said you’d watch the first sunrise with me.”

“I guess so.”

“It’s already terrible. I’ll hate you for the rest of my life.”

Suzuko’s cheeks seemed to swell up, like rice cakes baked on a seven-wheeled rice cake.

Takuro held the phone receiver around his neck and flipped through the newspaper’s “sunrise time column.”

“Um…okay, I have plans to meet someone in Osaka tomorrow, but I’m going to watch the first sunrise with you and then fly straight away.”

“Oh, really? I really love Taku-chan.”

“Then, could you please wait for me at the usual beach tomorrow at 6:50?”

“roger that. You must come, Professor. If you run into me, I’ll kill you.”

“Oops, I’m sorry, but I’ll be dashing when I see the sunrise, so we’ll split up right then and there.”

“Okay, I’m going to go to New Year’s visit with Aya after that.”

The phone went off, but in the middle of the conversation, I received a call. Looking at the history, it is from Saori in Osaka. Try listening to the answering machine.

(I’m sorry, Saori, but I wonder if it’s okay to wear a kimono for the first sunrise tomorrow…)

I was careless.

I was so absorbed in my research that I didn’t notice the double booking.

Even though I’m so busy, I’m dating two women, so this happens.

If this happens, there will be no choice but to use the experimental machine to move.

Takuro is a scientist who was experimenting with a rocket that could fly at the speed of light. Moreover, just as I had ordered, the departure and landing area was located in a section of the pine forest in Shonan where I had met up with Suzuko.

The sunrise in Kanagawa is at 6:50, and the sunrise in Osaka is at 7:04, so if I travel using the light-speed rocket currently under development, I’ll be there in time.

That morning, Takuro lightly kissed Suzuko on the cheek and whispered in her ear as she gazed at the part of the sun that had turned into red magma staining the coastline.

“Happy New Year. I wish you all the best this year.”

“Good luck this year too”

Seeing Suzuko’s enchanting gaze, I felt the urge to hug her.

Takuro quickly snatched Suzuko’s lips like a kite, then turned around and waved.

“Ok” I have to hurry.

Takuro launched a rocket toward a landing site near Osaka Castle Park.

At that time, something strange was happening in the lower world.

It is said that a ballistic missile was launched from a neighboring country.

Moreover, the plane disappeared midway, and news broke that it had finally crossed the exclusive economic zone and was heading into Japan.

“Saori, please wait. I’ll be there soon.”

…Saori was looking forward to it.

It seemed like her neighbor was listening to something on the radio, but she didn’t hear that.

“We would like to say… We would like to bring you some special news. We just received a report that a Self-Defense Force interceptor shot down an unidentified flying object, believed to be a ballistic missile from another country.”

January 2nd  First dream

“I heard you invented a device called the ‘Dream Theater Station’.”

The person who asked me this was a long-time bad friend of mine, a man named Saito.

“Are you talking about the new game console that Nanigashi Ogura made?”

I didn’t dare to say “What’s wrong with Umezawa?” but I handed it back to him.

“That’s a song written by ‘Yoshi Ogura.’ What I’m talking about is the ‘Yume Shibai Station’ that you’re currently developing.”

Saito is a nice guy, but he is a businessman and has a lot of money. Sometimes I don’t even have a good nose.

Even my best friend, there’s a part of me that tries to get away with it by letting money dictate to me.

“Actually, I would like to see “1 Fuji, 2 hawks, and 3 eggplants” in my first dream, which are auspicious, even if it’s only once in a lifetime.It’s said to be a device that makes you dream of hope.”

“No, no. That’s still a prototype.”

“I guess you need development costs. How about this?”

Saito stuck out his thick palm as far as it would go, like a sumo wrestler’s palm.

“5 million, that’s pretty good.”

“Are you an idiot? 500,000 yen. Don’t look at your feet!”

“I can’t help it. Then, I’ll take action as a development monitor.”
…That was the beginning of the tragedy.

That night, Saito was in my laboratory.

He was trying to fall asleep with a prototype headgear-type device called “Yume Shibai Station” placed completely on his head.

Enter “1 Fuji, 2 hawks, 3 eggplants” into the program.

The content of dreams can also be viewed in the monitor room.

After a while, the image of Saito lying in a hospital bed appeared on the screen.

Saito had a pale face and was as thin as a dead branch. A transparent oxygen mask is attached to his mouth, and his limbs are connected to machines with IV drips and colorful tubes.

The monitor was in a foggy state for a while, but I could see that the fog was gradually clearing up.

The machine started working.

A nurse with a creepy, skeletal face appeared from the depths of the mist, swaying like curtains in the wind.

In the nurse’s hand was something that looked like a shining silver fork.

She gently raised it and brought it down towards Saito’s face with all her might.

Saito screamed “Gya!” and jumped back. The IV drip came off and cracked on the floor.

The tip of the fork curled up the cotton in a big way, as if it had pierced the pillow with a kusudama ball.

Saito tore the tubes from his limbs and fled into the hallway in his pajamas.

A gloomy, expressionless nurse chases after him, brandishing a fork.

“Wait! You are already suffering from an incurable disease. I will send you to the afterlife with this fork!”

It was a hoarse voice that sounded like it was coming from hell.

He can feel the nurse chasing me like a vampire.

Saito, who was sick and weak, ran desperately, losing his balance like a tangled marionette.

Even so, in the end he was grabbed by the neck.

“I told you to wait.”

The spear-like tip, shining cold, was right in front of Saito.

…and then Saito woke up from a dream.

Saito, whose face had changed, came rushing out from the next room.

“What is this!”

That’s why I said it. It’s still a prototype. But there was an incurable disease (Fuji), a fork (hawk), and a nurse (eggplant).

“What’s that?” Saito was breathing heavily.

“And come on, your acting was good.”

This translates to “auspiciousness” and “acting” in Japanese.

January 3rd  Eye Day

“Okay, this hormone injection…”

In recent years, as the birth rate continues to decline, the government has enacted legislation to promote adoption.

By injecting this medicine into the eyes of the adopted child, the bond between parent and child becomes stronger.

“It’s a new drug that takes advantage of the animal’s tendency to think that something it sees for the first time is its parent. However, it only works once. It won’t work if you try again, so you need to be careful.”

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The microphone was being pointed at an old mountaineer who had set an unprecedented record of climbing Mt. Fuji 2,230 times.

“Why are you so particular about Mt. Fuji?”

The old man looked down and thought for a while.

“…I don’t know either. But for some reason, I’m attracted to Mt. Fuji. That’s all…”

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“Hey, hurry up!”

The husband chides his wife.

Finally, the woman who is about to become a mother emerges from the restroom.

“What were you doing? The teacher is waiting for you.”

“Because I’m meeting my baby for the first time, so I want to make sure I look nice.”

At the doctor’s urging, the woman smiled but nervously approached the crib.

…The baby opened his eyes slightly.

His eyes were wide open, clearly reflecting the shape of Fuji’s forehead.

January 4th  Stone Day

 That day, the martial artist was more fired up than ever before.

He felt a magnificent power fill my whole body, like a moving flame.

He was an undefeated master of mixed martial arts at the time.

However, he was unexpectedly defeated in the subsequent TV project “Natural Stone Breaking World Championship.”

After that, he suddenly disappeared from the media.

After spending 13 years in the mountains, the martial artist had learned to break any type of stone with a hand sword.

“Thank you for waiting. The moment of the century has finally arrived!”

The TV announcer was also strangely excited today.

That should be the case.

After all, today is “Stone Day”.

This Kenpo practitioner’s revenge broadcast is being broadcast live all over the world.

“The genius martial artist who suddenly disappeared has now returned. What do you think, Mr. Sekine, who will be providing commentary?”

“Well, what do you think? There’s a blank after all. But I guess they’re trying to break this rock with one blow. It would be impossible for a normal human to do it, but they have that kind of spirit after all. I’m sure they’ll do something.”

“But Mr. Sekine, the rock is well over three meters in diameter. Is it okay?”

“Well, let’s see.”

The man’s fiery eyes widened and he jumped high into the air.

The accelerated sword cut through a 3 meter long rock as if it were cutting a radish.

Right after that.

With a tremendous tremor, the people were hit with the greatest shock of this century.

…Kenpo practitioners got so excited that they turned even different things into “true two“.

Yes, even the earth was, in a sense, a “block of stone.”

January 5th  Go Day

It was at the end of last year that Shugoro Fujimura, a former Go master, was executed.

This incident shocked the public because the culprit of the “indiscriminate serial murders” was an active Go master at the time.

In accordance with the patient’s wishes, the body will not be returned to his family, but will instead be donated to a medical university.

It is said that the university was very happy to accept the donor’s brain, believing that it would be meaningful for future medical research.

That day, Minako, Shugoro’s daughter, came to visit the dimly lit reception desk of the prison.

He had come to pick up Shugoro’s belongings.

“Miss”

When she turned around, the old detective Sezaki was standing there like a dead tree.

Minako was too old to be called a “young lady.”

At that time, the beautiful girl had transformed into a woman.

When I looked at Minako, I saw that she was holding something that seemed important to her chest.

“Is that a go bowl?”

A Go bowl is a wooden container that holds Go stones.

“Yes. This was the only thing left behind by my father. It’s not an urn.”

Minako tries to make a joke to lighten the mood.

“I know. And one thing…?”

“Yes, that’s right. It’s weird, isn’t it?”

“Can I take a look?”

“Um, I don’t mind, but why?”

“No, thank you. I still can’t believe that your father is the culprit.”

“I’m sorry…”

Sezaki gently receives the Go bowl from Minako, as if holding a baby.

The contents of the Go bowl were black stones.

“Since he himself confessed, I can’t help it.”

He sat down in a chair in the waiting room and began lining up Go stones on the empty chairs.

“As the master confessed, the murder weapon, a knife, was also found, and his fingerprints were sticky and sticky.”

The Go stones were lined up in an orderly line starting from the left end.

“Even after the death penalty was finalized, I kept looking into it.”

Once the Go stones are lined up end to end, the player moves back and forth over them.

“Well, think of it as a detective’s hobby. It’s a bad hobby, though.”

“…”

“The victims were office workers, university students, and taxi drivers. At the investigation stage, we couldn’t find anything in common. We finally found out that they were apparently members of a religious organization. That’s what I did.”

“Haa”

The Go stones continued to go back and forth and had already reached the fourth row.

“So, Minako-san. You were also a member of that religious organization at the time. Is that so?”

“What do you want to say?”

Minako’s nose went blank at the sudden remark, and she looked like she was about to get angry.

“Inside this black Go stone…”

Sezaki picked the last Go stone from the Go bowl and placed it in the center of the row of Go stones.

That was the only white Go stone.

“One white Go stone among the black ones. Minako-san was humiliated by these guys in what was called an initiation (ritual), right? One by one…one by one…”

One by one, the old detective slid the white stones off his chair and knocked the black stones off the desk.

“Isn’t Shugoro Meijin the same person who confessed on your behalf?

The expression disappeared from Minako’s face.

Then, her shoulders trembled, she broke down and cried in a hoarse voice.

Sezaki thought.

A white that is as close to black as possible

One white (daughter) among the black

I wonder if this was the final message left by Goro Fujimura.

January 6th  Cake Day

“Why don’t you just say “eat me”?”

“Mr. Takanashi ”

Yumiko looks at his fellow researcher seriously, as if she’s into it.

“Sorry, sorry, it’s just a joke. It’s just a joke.”

“That’s good”

“···what?”

This is the “Materials Fusion Research Institute.”

Although it is a public institution, it is understaffed and the director is usually absent as he also serves as a university professor.

There are only three research staff, including graduate students, and the professor’s pet dog, Popo, who lives in a doghouse in the backyard.

Takanashi is the oldest and tallest.

Shinichiro is only interested in research and books.

And Yumiko Kisaragi, who is the only one with a beautiful face, is one of the members.

Yumiko is in love with Shinichiro and tries to make a motion for him, but she is dissatisfied that he doesn’t do anything with her.

Or rather, it would be more accurate to say that I don’t notice it.

“When I look at you guys, it makes me cringe, or what can I say…”

“It can’t be helped, after all. Shinichiro is dull at heart. But that’s what’s good about it, isn’t it?”

“Yes, yes. Oh, by the way, I knew that tomorrow is Shinichiro’s birthday.”

“Yeah, I’d like to give you something, but I haven’t decided yet.”

“Then why don’t you just say ‘eat me‘?”

Takanashi’s idea is as follows.

Using a machine under development, Cake and Yumiko combine.

A cake and a message are left on Shinichiro’s desk in a gift box with a ribbon attached.

Eat me

The trick is that when Shinichiro is eating a sweet cake, an even sweeter, smaller-sized Yumiko comes out from inside.

Of course, once the cream is gone, Yumiko returns to her original size.

he next day, Takanashi was intentionally late to the research institute and was released. I was trying to get my attention through this as well.

“Good morning. Good morning Shinichiro. What about the cake?”

“Ah, that ribbon box. I’m not a big fan of sweets.”

“waht?”

“I just gave it to Popo.”

At that moment, a woman’s screams that could not be heard from this world came from the backyard.

January 7th  Nail Trimming Day

“Look! This is the ultimate nail clipper.”

Said a lazy, clean-haired date guy who is the CEO of a bright IT company.

“Hmm. What’s the difference?”

As my friend since school and my doctor, I asked him without hesitation while examining him.

Because I knew that alone would satisfy him.

“This one is handmade one by one by a craftsman in Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture. Look! When the blades come together, you can’t see the line between them.The sharpness is completely different.”

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After a while, he came again.

He went even further and asked an overseas manufacturer to develop his own nail clipper.

“Look. This is my personal nail clipper.”

“Hmm. What rich people do is different. What’s different this time?”

The nail clipper my friend pulled out was shaped like a small xylophone.

It is fan-shaped.

“You know the phrase “TIME IS MONEY,” right? This is the only ultimate tool in the world that accurately simulates your own 10 nails and can finish cutting your nails in one second. It’s an electric nail clipper. I don’t know, it’s amazing.”

“I see. Perfect for those of you who don’t have much time.

“Yes, that’s right.”

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One morning, my friend called me in a panic.

“I’m looking forward to it! Could you please come and make a house call right away?”

“What happened?”

“You’ll know when you come.”

I had no choice but to go to his house to make a house call and find the electric nail clipper hanging from both hands and feet as if they had been bitten.

Apparently he intended to cut the nails on his hands and feet with a knife.

It’s like a half-mermaid flapping around.

“It’s all because of last night’s thunder and power outage. I can’t move at all.”

The man said, looking like he was about to burst into tears.

Sorry, but I couldn’t hold back my laughter.

“Haha, just a nail clipper… So it was ‘full’.”

January 8th  Earphone Day

That was five years ago in the fall.

I am a tennis instructor.

I don’t know if I say so myself, but I am a very handsome man.

It’s a common story: Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with a female student.

She also had a husband, but I guess they were attracted to each other.

It was a natural progression and we hit it off.

There were always about 20 students in my classroom, and many of them were wives who were interested in me.

That’s why my girlfriend and I made secret signs to communicate with each other.

Make a circle with the thumb and index finger of each other’s left hand, put your hand on your chin, and twist your wrist to make your left eye peek out from the circle to signal “Today is OK.”

If you both put your left thumb in your left ear and squeeze or open your other fingers, it’s a sign that “today is no good.”

If one of you puts the little finger of your left hand into your left ear and bites your left thumb, it’s “Come the day before yesterday.”

Our encounter didn’t last long.

This is because her husband started to have doubts about our relationship.

After a while, she left the tennis club without saying a word to me, like an autumn breeze scattering leaves.

For a while after that, I had no choice but to spend my days feeling like a cold wind was blowing through the void in my heart.

Today was another chilly day.

Someone is whispering inside the train, which is colored like fresh green.

“Hey, I heard that A-ko from the general affairs department was having an affair with manager K from the accounting department.”

“You must be kidding”

“It’s true. That’s why A-ko’s husband got angry. He called the company.”

“That’s bold. Who handled that?”

“It turns out that Manager K himself took the call.”

“What the hell?”

…Feeling bothered by the crowds around me, I took out my Bluetooth earphones and plugged them into my ears.

Then, a voice guidance message called Connected was heard, and music began to play.

Is there a crosstalk?

No, Bluetooth shouldn’t cause any interference.

Surprisingly, the music that was playing was a song that I remember listening to often with my girlfriend five years ago.

I looked around. I saw her in the car next to me, staring at me.

Is this from her cell phone?

Her expression didn’t change at all, and she looked rather calm.

And from around her waist, a girl who looked like her daughter was constantly stealing glances at her.

Her face looked just like hers.

Then the girl looked at me, put her left little finger in her left ear, and was biting her left thumb firmly.

All I could do was smile bitterly.

January 9th  Cold Day

Being childhood friends is a troublesome thing in a sense.

Just because our house is nearby, Fumiko seems to have developed a habit of coming into our house as if it were her own.

Although we are the same age, she was born in January and I was born in March. She is more like an older sister.

“So you caught a cold?”

It’s still early afternoon.

Fumiko comes to the apartment carrying a supermarket bag and wearing a duffel coat.

Hang her coat on the chair.

Her thick white sweater and tight-fitting jeans are dazzling.

Even though Fumiko had just entered a university in Tokyo and started living on her own, her parents gave Fumiko a duplicate key to keep an eye on her.

Little did I know that she was also taking the entrance exam for the same university…

“Your mom was worried about you.”

“It’s none of your business”

It’s true that Fumiko was very intelligent, and I’m sure that she often let me take pictures of her homework.

t’s also true that when I was working as a public relations officer for the student council, I used to hold an instant camera called “Utsurun desu” and ignore the people running at the sports day and only focused on Fumiko in the viewfinder.

Yes, and I swore to myself that I would never do that again.

That’s right, I don’t think I’ll ever become a college student and have only Fumiko as a lover.

I should still be able to meet many women, fall in love, cultivate love, build a happy family, and be full of dreams and hopes…

The doorbell rings.

When Fumiko opened the door, two middle-aged women were standing nearby.

“God forgives your sins. If you’d like, here’s this book…”

“No, thank you”

Then the chime sounds again.

This time, the woman is alone.

“I came from 〇× life.”

“It’s fine because there’s a sick person.”

“In that case, all the better for life insurance.”

“I’m on time.”

When I close the door, the chime sounds again.

“Would you like to buy some lucky water? 5 liters available now…”

“There’s a sick person, but we don’t need him at all…What’s going on in this room?”

When Fumiko turned around with an astonished look on her face, the door was thrown open.

A man came rushing in.

He has a knife in his hand.

“Oh!” Fumiko screams.

“Shut up. I’m sorry. Just go kill someone. The police are chasing me.”

“Um, there’s a sick person.”

Oh my god.

“I’ll tell the culprit. You are completely surrounded. Stop your useless resistance and come out.”

Looks like a police force. A voice can be heard through the loudspeaker from outside the window.

“shut up!”

A man shouts at the window.

“Um, please be quiet. There’s a sick person…”

The man put his left arm around Fuyumiko’s neck and put the knife in his right hand to her throat.

“Otherwise, this woman will die!”

“Um, that’s why you’re sick.”

“noisy!”

“What is noisy?”

When Fumiko’s arm grabbed the criminal’s arm, she twisted the man’s arm and kicked him in the knee with her right foot.

The poor man was thrown out the window with only one strap on his back.

The man’s screams become smaller.

Miss Fumiko is cool.

Yes, I forgot to mention that she is a judo expert.

That night… nothing happened.

A “heart’s oath” can be easily broken.

I completely infected Fumiko with a cold.

Moreover, it is a deep ground technique of judo.

January 10th Emergency Call Day

Officer Taguchi was assigned to the N police box early in the morning, just after the new year.

After greeting Sergeant Mita (his boss) and Officer Sano, he was sitting at his desk and thinking about a map of his jurisdiction.

The telephone at the police box began to ring with a tingling sound.
The display shows “Miss Mizushima”.

The sergeant and Officer Sano looked at each other for a moment, and their gazes were directed at Taguchi like a tank’s main gun.

It seems to mean “answer the phone.” I can’t help it since I’m a newbie.

“Yes N police box”

“It’s me.”

She is a young woman.

“Um… Miss. Mizushima?”

“that’s right”

It’s rare for someone to call the police box and say, “It’s me.”

“May I help you”

“It looks like there’s an intruder in my house. Could you please come right away?”

“Understood. What’s your address?”

“You know that. It’s urgent.”

At that point, the phone call ended.

Director Mita and Sano looked as if they were disappointed.

“Officer Taguchi, let’s go together then.” Sano raises his hips heavy.

“Who is it? Miss. Mizushima.”

“She is a regular customer,” Sano said with a smile.

Apparently she is addicted to calling police stations.

She lived on the second floor of an apartment in a quiet residential area.

We parked our patrol bikes and headed up the stairs.

I thought she was an old woman, but Miss. Mizushima was quite young.

When she opens her eyes, she is quite beautiful.

Even so, having an intruder in her apartment is certainly a big deal.

“Which one is the intruder?”

“He’s in the back room. He’s quick so be careful.”

“Swift?”

When we entered the room, we found a cockroach on the wall.

After that, Taguchi was put in charge of Mineko Mizushima, who was called up in less than two days.

I guess it can’t be helped since I’m a newbie.

Even if the police knew it was Kyogen, they had no choice but to rush to the scene if a report was received.

However, it’s fine if we have free time, but it’s also good to be a big nuisance on the day of an incident.

But maybe that’s because I’m young?

As they met many times, Taguchi did not realize that he was looking forward to her phone call.

One day, the calls from Mineko Mizushima suddenly stopped coming.

It would be annoying if I received reports from her, but if she stopped reporting, I would be worried.

Finally, Taguchi decided to visit her apartment on his off-duty day.

Then, the door to her room was open and there were no household items, making it a completely empty room.

“She look so poor,” an elderly woman spoke to me from behind.

“Um…Miss.Mizushima, did she move?”

“Huh? What are you talking about? That girl died six months ago from domestic violence at the hands of her husband. It seems like she was desperately trying to call the police.”

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“Are you okay with this? You’re making fun of the police. You’re a really poor woman.”

“It’s okay, that police officer Taguchi, I was surprised when he first came here. He dumped me when I was a student. I thought I’d punish him a little.” I have to.”

After that, Mineko Mizushima, who was wandering around town, was arrested by Officer Taguchi for obstructing official duties.

It was later revealed that her name was changed to “Mineko Taguchi” and she was sentenced to eternal imprisonment.

January 11th Barrel Sake Day

“I’m thinking of holding a Kagami biraki event at this New Year’s party.”

As night fell, the lights were still shining brightly in the community hall.

Sukeroku, the secretary of the neighborhood association, and Sadakichi, the treasurer, are having preliminary discussions for the New Year’s party.

“Kagami-biraki is the one where you break a barrel of sake with a mallet.”

“Yes, that’s it. Well, I think it’s boring if it’s just a Kagami biraki.”

“Oh, what’s going on?”

Sadakichi crossed his arms and looked back at Sukeroku.

“I think I should stop adding alcohol.”

“Huh? What’s wrong with no sake in the barrel? It’s Kagami-biraki.”

Sukeroku’s peony-like mouth curves into a grin.

“That’s it. I think I’ll put tartar sauce in just the barrel.”

“Are you an idiot? In what world is there someone who toasts the New Year with tartar sauce?”

“No, no, alcohol ruins your life. I’m going with tartar sauce here.”

“What’s that? Are you trying to make fun of me with tartar sauce? You idiot.”

“Would you like some tartar sauce?”

“Didn’t you just say you were going to do Kagami biraki with tartar sauce?”

“Fried shrimp.”

“What should I do with the fried shrimp?”

“Okay, let’s all stick some fried shrimp on our forks and hold it.”

“Then what are you going to do?”

“Let’s put tartar sauce from the barrel that broke the mirror all at once and eat all the fried shrimp!”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t stop smiling (shrimp) this year because of the fried shrimp. How’s that!”

“I can’t do this with you.”

Meetings regarding the town’s New Year’s party continued after that.

It seems that the barrels of sake prepared for Kagami Biraki were almost empty by the end of the night.

January 12th Ski Day

The marriage has come to an end.

I broke up with my wife of seven years.

Well, to other people, I might have been joking around.

In the winter, I’m hardly home. Because I am immersed in a world of silver.

My wife, who is not good at skiing, always leaves me at home.

Moreover, I usually ended up having several mistresses during the season.

However, it seems that most women don’t find me attractive when I take off my skis.

During the off-season, he was abandoned by all his mistresses, and it became an annual ritual for him to return to his wife.

This mountain is my battlefield.

My daily routine is to slide down the mountain as quickly as possible.

This year, when I thought that I had no place to go back to (my wife), I sometimes felt lonely, like a pile of snow falling through a hole in my heart.

When I arrived at the foot of the mountain, I immediately circled around like a swallow and boarded the lift.

Since it’s a two-seater lift, I may find yourself sitting next to skiers I don’t know.

This time it’s a woman with long hair.

She wears pink “Salomon” and wears “Smith” goggles.

Looking at the stock of “Stokuri” and looking at the board, it appears to be made by “Atomic”.

She may be a very capable woman.

“Excuse me, are you alone?”

“Yeah···”

“Do you come here often?”

“This is my first time. This course is difficult.”

“Ah, that board is the new Atomic.”

The words fell out of my mouth quite naturally.

“Yes, but”

This is probably what is meant by a voice that is “like rolling a bell.”

“Are you local?”

“No, I’m from Tokyo.”

“Ah, what a coincidence. I’m from Toyosu.”

“Oh, then it’s close. It’s from Kyobashi.”

“Oh, I see. I have a family home.”

It felt like the woman’s glossy lips were smiling.

“If you don’t mind, would you like to have a beer downstairs?” This looks like it’ll work.

The lift reaches the top.

I got off first and turned to escort her.

When I stopped with a sharp edge, I looked back at her, grinning and showing my white teeth.

“Come on, would you like to join me?”

“I don’t care, but what are you going to do about your mother?”

“!”

“I was worried because I heard you went into the mountains with a broken heart. If you’re strong enough to pick up girls, then you’ll be fine.”

Yes, I seem to have slipped again.

And perfectly…

January 13th Tobacco Day

On Monday, the mail arrived at the organization’s headquarters.

“Captain, we have received mail from Team Sonoda.”

“Hmm. What’s inside?”

“That’s a pack of cigarettes.”

“A cigarette? What does that mean?”

“I don’t understand”

“It must mean something. Think about it carefully.”

This is a national intelligence organization.

For the past week, one of the members, Katsuo Sonoda, has been sent on a mission to infiltrate the enemy country.

If there was any movement on the enemy’s part, we would be able to contact them in some way.

But what does this mean?

“Cigarettes, cigarettes… cigarettes… maybe.”

“You understand?”

The captain becomes excited.

“There’s a risk of bombs being dropped on the Shiga Islands.”

“There is no such archipelago.”

“Isn’t that so? However, the enemy country must have developed an ‘artificial earthquake weapon’. I’m sure they will use it in the near future.”

“Hmm, I wonder when that is. Sonoda! You can’t tell just by cigarettes!”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

Meanwhile, a major earthquake occurred on Thursday.

The city area was completely destroyed, and transportation and communication systems were paralyzed.

Just then, Sonoda stumbles back, covered in smoke.

He has a rather cool look on his face and is smiling.

“Captain, I hope I was helpful. My message.”

“I had no idea what that was.”

The captain has a sour look on his face.

“Oh, I took the trouble to send you a message in advance.”

Sonoda looked astonished.

“You mean that cigarette?”the corporal asks.

“Yes, it definitely said, Be careful after Wednesday.”

The captain’s thunder fell.

“There’s no way I’ll understand!”

This is Japanese for “Be careful not to smoke too much” and “Be careful after Wednesday”.

January 14th A day of love, hope and courage

“What is that!”

“It’s a bird.”

“It’s a plane.”

“No, that is Lover Man, a warrior of love, hope, and courage!”

That was said a long time ago.

That doesn’t happen very often these days.

The other day, there was a robbery at a jewelry store in Ginza in broad daylight.

However, Lover Man appeared only after the culprit had fled.

“disappointing”

A tourist submarine has gone missing.

Lover Man appeared as the searching coast guard was pulling up the casing.

“It was almost there.”

And when King Kong went on a rampage at the Tokyo Skytree, it was after Kong fell to the ground and left a huge hole in the road.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

After that, Lover Man received a slap from the blonde woman who was being held in Kong’s left hand.

“What were you doing? I thought I was going to die.”

“I mean, it can’t be helped.”

“Why?”

“With the proliferation of cell phones, it’s hard to find a public phone to change clothes.”

January 15th Strawberry Day

“Daddy’s a liar. Now I’m going to shoot you in the heart!”

As I yelled, my son Wataru held up a toy rifle.

“Okay. Daddy has some urgent work to do, so it can’t be helped.”

My wife, Yoshie, came to his rescue.

“Ugh! I got shot.”

Although I almost collapsed on the spot, I quickly put on my shoes at the entrance.

“Wataru, I’m sorry. Let’s go tomorrow. Tomorrow will definitely be fine.”

“Please be careful.”

Yoshie gives me a small wave.

“This betrayal”

My son curves his mouth into a curve.

I grabbed my suit and rolled out the door.

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Today is Saturday. The weather is nice too. The three of us had promised to go to an amusement park together as a family.

When working in sales for a medical equipment manufacturer, it is a daily occurrence to suddenly receive an invitation to play golf from the director of a client’s hospital.

But today was not golf.

He was nominated to accompany the hospital director’s family on a “strawberry picking” trip.

When I heard about it, he was told that the driver had come down with a cold and had a fever.

The woman was surprisingly youthful, which didn’t suit the elderly hospital director with his white hair and beard, and even looked beautiful.

His son seems to be about the same age as Wataru.

He is full of mischief. Be more careful than when entertaining golfers.

I received a plastic container of condensed milk from a strawberry farm. Even though it was January, I started picking strawberries in a greenhouse that felt tropically hot.

The lukewarm strawberries collapsed in my mouth, and the sweetness of the strawberries spread in my mouth like a flood.

“Ah, I wanted to feed Wataru and my wife …”

I mumbled as I looked down at the little condensed milk left.

(That’s right, even if I put a little bit in my pocket and bring it home, I won’t know.)

I put as many red berries as I could into the inside pocket of my suit and smiled.

It’s good to have a time limit when picking strawberries. After about an hour, the time was up.

I drove carefully on the way home. The hospital director and his family were all together, and he was concentrating on getting his family home safely.

I puts the hospital director’s luxury car in the garage, greets the hospital director’s family, and heads home.

“Mr. Toda, I couldn’t have called you out of the blue today.”

“No, that’s not true. It was fun for me to go strawberry picking.”

“I see. I’ve decided to introduce the medical equipment you introduced me the other day.”

“Oh, really?” (Yay!)

“By the way, there’s one vacancy for golf tomorrow. I wonder if you can come?”

“Of course!”

I patted my chest.

At the same time, a sweet smell rose up, and I noticed a red stain spreading on my left breast.

I felt like I heard Wataru’s voice in my head.

“Daddy’s a liar. Now I’m going to shoot you in the heart! ”

January 16th Alcohol Prohibition Day

 Kinzo’s dream was to find the legendary “God’s waterfall“.

After more than 20 years of searching and searching for him in the mountains all over the country, he finally collapsed in the mountains.

Fortunately, the place where he collapsed was near a teahouse.

The teahouse run by an old man and his daughter was not very prosperous, but they were kind, and they devotedly took care of Kinzo when he collapsed, and before he knew it, the girl and Kinzo were brought together.

“It would be best if he refrain from drinking alcohol for the time being. If he continue like this, his life will be lost.”

While washing his hands in a bucket, the town doctor tells her to chew.

By the time they became a couple, the owner of the teahouse had passed away, and Kinzo and his wife were living alone.

When Kinzo, who had become used to a life of drinking alcohol for many years, collapsed for the second time, the town doctor came to make a house call.

Kinzo wasn’t the kind of person who could easily give up drinking.

He drinks alcohol every day, even if he hides from his wife Yoneko.

Yoneko was at a loss and cried to the town doctor.

“Doctor, is there anything I can do?”

“It’s not like there isn’t one, but…I don’t know.”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

A few years later.

Kinzo’s old friend comes to visit him at the teahouse.

“Hello, isn’t this Tomekichi?”

“Mr.Kinzo. It’s been a while. It seems like you’re making a lot of money. You’re popular in the village.”

“That’s right. For some reason, people suddenly started to gather.”

“Oh, welcome.”

Yoneko smiles like a flower from behind.

“It’s my hometown, Tomekichi.”

Kinzo introduces Tomekichi.

“Nice to meet you”

“You’re welcome”

“Hey, I’m going to go do some errands. Please wait for me. I guess you can stay the night.”

Kinzo raises his bowl and makes a gulping gesture as he leaves.

“Mr. Tomekichi. I’m sorry.”

“What is it?”

“Actually, I have a favor to ask you. My doctor, my doctor, gave him a allusion.”

“Allusion…? What exactly?”

“Yes, it’s a type of hypnosis. Every night, one of my family members replaces the contents of the sake bottle he buys from the liquor store with water in the jar.”

“Haa, alcohol turns into water.”

“Yes, I’ve been hinted that the water tastes like alcohol. So, I’m sorry, but could you please join me for some water tonight?”

“Hmm, what do you mean by that? That drunkard, Mr.Kinzo hasn’t had a drop of alcohol lately.”

“That’s right”

“What are you doing with the alcohol that Mr.kinzo bought?”

“There’s a river in the back, right? It flows there every night.”

“Ah, I see. So…the river behind it probably connects to the waterfall there. Now it’s getting a reputation as the ‘God’s waterfall‘.”

“Yes. Thanks.”

“Haa! This is what you mean when you say ‘married couples don’t enter the water‘.”

“It’s not water, We don’t need alcohol.”

January 17th Rice Ball Day

Development employees should bring at least one idea to the meeting.”

Even though it was January, the park was warm and cheerful that day.

Susumu Kato was sitting on a bench and unrolling his lunch rice balls.

He worked in the development planning department of a toy manufacturer.

I have a new product development meeting that afternoon, but I can’t come up with any ideas.

Naturally, I have no appetite, and I stare at the small children playing on the slide in a daze.

“There’s nothing wrong with me.”

Before I knew it, a large man was sitting next to me.

“What, don’t you think so?”

The man was talking to Kato.

“Huh? What?”

“That’s why. Even if you roll into the hole.”

“Huh… what is it?”

The man is wearing an old-fashioned gray coat.

He was wearing round sunglasses, had a pointed mouth, and had a slight beard.

Kato thought that he had an animal-like face.

Maybe he’s a vagrant.

“It’s a rice ball!”

“Ah, if you like this.”It looks like they’re aiming for rice balls.

“It’s crazy, you idiot. It doesn’t matter how much you’re a mouse, even if a rice ball rolls down the hole. You don’t want to eat a rice ball that’s covered in mud and gravel like that.”

“that’s···”

“Konkororin. What can I say? And you rolled two of them!”

The point was finally reached.

“Is this about a fairy tale?”

“That’s right. Moreover, it’s a hole that a mouse can pass through. How dare a human fall through it!”

The man pulled out something like a hammer from his pocket and brandished it at Kato.

“Wait a minute. That’s not me.”

Kato jumped off the bench.

At that moment, the rice ball rolled off my lap like a stone.

“Look, it’s you after all. That hole is the one I dug for the mice. There’s no way you’d look at it and get in there. Bury the mouse family alive.” Nishiyagite”

The hammer was mercilessly brought down on Kato’s head.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

Before I knew it, I was sweating cold even though it was winter.

On Kato’s lap, instead of a rice ball, there was a toy hammer. (Yes, he is)

I looked around, but both the rice ball and the man were gone.

At the meeting, Kato’s idea was adopted.

It may or may not be said that this product later became a huge hit as “Whack-a-Mole.”

In Japan, there is a fairy tale called “Omusubi Kororin.”

January 18th Metropolitan Bus Day

 We, a trio of high school seniors, were sitting at the end of the bus that day.

“Hey, look at that.”

Yoshimi, who was sitting next to me, whispered.

“what?”

Sakiko is twisting her chestnut-colored hair, which she had styled in the morning.

“There, there. That old man,” Yoshimi pointed.

Aki also casually looks ahead.

There was a certain person there.

(The worst) That’s my father.

The inside of the car was not very crowded.

A bald old man was sitting in the second row from the front with his legs crossed.

He wears a tattered jersey and sandals, and has a red pencil stuck in his ear.

Moreover, he was seriously reading what looked like a newspaper with a toothpick in his mouth.

“That’s not true. he’s a shame for Japan.”

Yoshimi’s words were as sharp and cold as the tip of an ice pick, piercing Aki’s chest.

“Don’t stop. He can hear you.”

Sakiko chides.As expected of my class president.

I want to calmly get through this.

“It’s a city bus. There’s no such thing in Tokyo. Aki thinks so, too.”

“…Ugh. That’s right. That’s terrible.” (Please get off somewhere quickly. Please.)

When the bus stopped at the next stop, a large foreigner got on board.

Perhaps he is a backpacker, as he is carrying a large backpack.

“Where is this bus going?”

The foreigner asked, but the elderly driver was stunned.

“This is the circle bus.”

Apparently they want to call it a circulation bus.

“How should I pay the fee?”

“Pe, Pei?”

I’m sure you didn’t expect it to be Hayashiya Pei.

At that moment, the bald father stood up.

“May I help you”

“I want to know where to go and how to pay.”

“Where do you want to go? You can either put the fare in the fare box there, or you can swipe your electronic money card when you get off the bus.”

“Wow!”

“What!”

Sakiko and Yoshimi look at each other.

“Ok, then let’s all go to hell.”

A pistol was held in the man’s hand.

The next moment.

The bald father’s newspaper was thrown in front of the foreigner’s face, the pistol was raised, and the big man was pinned down by the bald father.

“It’s the police. We’re arresting you red-handed on suspicion of violating the Firearms and Swords Act and confinement. Driver, report it.”

“Y-yes.”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

When I got off the bus, I saw a sign saying “An emergency has occurred!” ” had changed.

My father was standing there.

“Hey, Aki. Were you on board too? I’m glad you’re safe.”

(Uh, he talked to me)

“Yes! You were Aki’s father! You were so cool.”

Yoshimi, who had her hands back, let out a cry of joy.

“Ah, Aki’s friend? Aki always takes care of me.”

“This is ridiculous. Is this some kind of undercover investigation today?”

(It’s not a disguise)

Sakiko, an honor student, bows her head with respect.

“Yeah, well… I guess that’s it.”

(You lied, even though you were off-duty and trying to go to the bicycle races. But it’s okay, I’ll buy him a stylish hat for Father’s Day.)

Hayashiya Pei is a Japanese comedian.

January 19th Song Pride Day

“Perfect”

This sound cannot even be heard by normal humans.

The sound is similar to the special ultrasonic waves of bats and the like.

I am the director of the only ENT clinic on this island.

I has also run for mayor several times. In other words, I am “island celebrity.”

However, over the past few years, he has been dealt a lot of trouble by his opponent, Yamamura, a construction company.

Then I came up with the perfect crime.

I use an ointment for otitis media that I accidentally discovered the other day.

Using this, by making a person listen to a certain sound for several minutes, it is possible to cause necrosis of the brain cells of the person to whom the drug is applied, leading to death.

What’s more, the advantage is that it leaves no trace at all.

I researched songs that could produce that frequency, and finally found that a certain song by Seiko Nakata was suitable.

After that, I practiced the song every night at karaoke and became proficient enough to get the OK on the “frequency counter”.

The day of the examination was chosen to be the day before the island’s only entertainment, the “Song Pride Tournament.”

I’m sure almost all the islanders will listen to my song.

Since I am the one conducting the otorhinolaryngological examinations on the island, I applied plenty of medicine to Yamamura and other potential opponents.

Since I’m singing in front of all the islanders, my alibi is perfect.

Now then, number 11 is “You’re all alone today too” sung by the head of the otolaryngology clinic. Please!”

I sang into the microphone. (Ha-ha-ha, I did it!) I smiled inwardly.

The next moment, after singing just one phrase, a single, dry, high-pitched bell rang out.

…Unexpectedly, no one could hear the song at this frequency.

All the audience could see was a strange old man with a bright red face and his mouth wide open.

January 20th Overseas Group Travel Day

“Dad, what is this…a souvenir?”

My only daughter, Yoshiko, tried to open the box on the table.

“Oh, wait. Stop it!”

I heard my voice and my wife Nanae’s screams at the same time.

However, despite her cries, Yoshiko opened the box.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

“Thank you very much for joining us on our overseas mystery tour today.”

My wife and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, our so-called “silver wedding anniversary.”

At that time, we were forced to register against our parents’ wishes, so we were unable to go on a wedding or honeymoon.

Then, their only daughter became a university student, and to commemorate the occasion, the two of them signed up for a group tour overseas.

“The aircraft will soon pass through the Florida peninsula and then head to Puerto Rico via the Bermuda Islands.”

After having a lot of trouble deciding where to go on our trip, my wife, who loves mysteries, and we chose this mystery tour with no known destination.

“Hey, I didn’t expect this place…”

“Bermuda Triangle…right?”

“I guess it’s okay.”

“We’re going into the clouds ahead. We expect some shaking. Please fasten your seatbelts.”

When the captain’s announcement was heard, the airliner plunged into pure white fog.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

I was back in my first year of high school.

I was on the platform with Yoko Iijima, who is one year older than me and who always commutes to school on the same train.

Straight hair with a slight chestnut color. A well-shaped face. Long, slender legs.

I was about to give her a book.

There was a letter between the books.

It was the first love letter I ever wrote.

My heart felt like it was about to burst like an inflated piece of bubble gum.

“Excuse me···”

“What?”

Yoko Iijima tilted her head slightly to look at me like a baby squirrel.

There was a moment of electricity and I ran out of there.

Yes, I couldn’t give it to she.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

I don’t really remember what happened after that.

However, there was no doubt that they enjoyed the sweet and sour memories.

At the end of the trip, we were both handed a souvenir. It was like Urashima Taro’s treasure box.

When we returned home, we both put our “treasure boxes” on the table and wondered what we should do with them.

As soon as I open it, I’ll be transported back to that time.

Or what if the wife sitting in front of me was not Nanae but Yoko Iijima?

We looked at each other and sighed. (It is a such a fool)

My wife went to the kitchen to make some coffee.

I went to the toilet to do some errands.

When I returned, our daughter Yoshiko was opening the box.

“Oh, wait, stop it!”

…Nothing happened.

When I checked inside, my wife’s box contained a heart-shaped chocolate.

In my box, there was a letter sandwiched between books.

When I looked at the address, I saw that it had been changed to the name of my ex-wife, not Yoko Iijima.

My wife handed me chocolate with both hands. My name was decorated there.

I also gave my wife a love letter.

There is a Japanese folk tale that says that if you open Urashima Taro’s treasure box, you will turn into an old man.

January 21st Rival Day

“Shin, I’ll go first.”

After saying that, Makoto picked up his pace.

“That’s unreasonable.”

In order to complete the 42.195km distance, pacing is extremely important.

Shin, who has been running with Makoto since childhood, knows best about Makoto’s physical strength.

“Come on Makoto, it’s too early to pick up the pace yet.”

There are 20 kilometers left.

Shin continued to maintain the same pace while staring at Makoto’s back.

The cheering along the road echoes like a tree spirit.

With 10 kilometers remaining, Makoto was no longer visible as a dot.

Behind Shin, a group of athletes ranked 3rd or lower followed like shadows.

Shin also gradually picked up his pace.

As if shedding the past that clings to him

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

“Shin, you love her, right? About Kotomi.”

“Oh, what’s so sudden?”

“It’s annoying. If you love her, just say you love her.”

“Makoto…you”

“Ah, I love Kotomi too. If you don’t say it, I’ll be the first to tell you.”

“stop it”

Kotomi is the manager of the track and field club.

She has a face like a kokeshi doll and is a little cute.

It’s annoying that he takes care of me no matter what, but I’m happy.

“Then, let’s do this. In the next match, whoever scores first will confess to Kotomi. There’s nothing to complain about now.”

“…”

“If you don’t get a response, that means it’s OK.”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

Gradually, Makoto’s figure came into view.

After all, he had reached the limit of his physical strength.

I’m sure he is running on energy alone right now.

Even Shin is running with all his strength.

I can never lose to Makoto.

A white goal tape can be seen in the distance.

I see Kotomi in a red jersey, holding a towel and waving her hands as if it’s going to rip.

Just a little more.

100 meters, 50 meters, 30 meters, 20 meters…

Shin’s figure overlapped with Makoto’s body.

10 meters left…

Makoto and Shin’s gaze intertwined for a moment.

5 meters left…

Makoto seemed to laugh.

1 meter left.

Goal!

Shin, who jumped into the goal, was being held by Kotomi. “Yay! Congratulations on setting a new personal record.”

“Oh, there you are.”

Shin looked into Kotomi’s eyes while breathing heavily on his shoulder.

“At a time like this, I…I love you, Kotomi.”

Yes, my competition is myself.

It’s myself.

Shin was always fighting Makoto.

The Japanese word “誠” can be read as both Shin and Makoto.

January 22nd Curry Day

“There’s still something different about it.”

After I finished eating the curry my wife had made, I put down my spoon.

“I wonder what it is. your late mother-in-law gave me the recipe, and I made it exactly like that.”

My wife sighs as she looks at my mother’s portrait with her eyebrows furrowed and a look of resentment on her face.

My father passed away at an early age, and I grew up in a single-parent household with only my mother and one child.

My family was poor, and I thought I was fundamentally different from my friends.

The clothes I wore were shabby, and the food I ate was far from luxurious.

However, my mother worked multiple jobs and was able to send me to university. I have nothing but gratitude to my mother.

I still remember that the only thing my mother made was the curry and rice that was exquisite.

After entering the workforce, I joined a major real estate company, and a few years later went independent and started his own company.

Shortly after I got married, my mother passed away from liver cancer.

His current wife was his secretary at that time.

She was the one who wrote down my mother’s recipe for curry right before my mother’s death to make me happy.

The curry base is a common commercially available one.

Of course, there were no special ingredients included.

Apparently, she persistently asked her if there was a secret ingredient, but she said there was no such thing.

In the end, she borrowed the pot she was using for cooking at the time and tried making it, but the results were the same.

Unfortunately, however, it was not possible to recreate the curry of that time.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

A few years later, the bubble burst and the Japanese economy collapsed.

My company was also affected and was forced to go bankrupt.

We decided to sell our mansion and start a new life in an apartment with my wife.

Our diet became frugal, and we cut down on daily necessities as much as we could.

One day my wife made curry for me.

“!” I was surprised.

It tasted just like my mother’s curry that I ate that time.

“I see, maybe…last night’s dish was oden.”

“Yes,” my wife nodded. “I didn’t want to throw away the soup, so I used it as is for curry.”

January 23rd Almond Day

“Everyone stay where you are!”

At that time, I restricted everyone’s actions not as a “friend” but as a police officer.

We were invited by an old friend from a university club and we gathered at the old mansion of the banker Konno.

Although it was called a circle, it was just a group of mahjong friends…

The only people gathered were architect Shiraki, writer Akatsuka, university assistant professor Kuroda, and me, the police inspector, Aoyama.

It was nice to be guided by the young maid Midori and gather in the large hall, but the host in question never showed up.

“Miss.Midori, what happened to Konno?”

Kuroda said to Midori in frustration.

“he’s in the study, but it’s been locked from the inside for a while now.”

Midori stopped putting away the tea utensils and frowned.

“I’m a little worried. Something may have happened.” Akatsuka finishes his tea.

“Don’t you have a duplicate key?” Shiraki asked.

“There we are. Please wait a moment.”

“Then let’s go together.”

When I said this, all the members in the room got up from their seats, probably because it had been a long time since I last heard it.

The study was at the end of the second floor.

Midori knocks on the old door and calls out, but there is no answer.

Midori retrieved a brass key from her lock and slowly pushed the door open.

“Oh my god!” Midori screamed, and at the same time I saw Konno lying on the floor.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I quickly approached Konno and checked his pulse, but there was no response, and when I tried to check if he was breathing, I noticed an odor of almond coming from his mouth.

(Potassium cyanide?)

“There is a possibility of poisoning. Everyone, stay where you are!”

A few minutes later, a police car approached, its siren blaring like a poem, and police and forensics officers gathered with the swiftness of a ninja squad.

“Inspector, why do you call it murder?”

Forensician Kisaka asked while examining the corpse.

“It was locked from the inside, but I couldn’t find anything that looked like a suicide note. There’s no way he would call us and commit suicide.”

Shiraki stepped forward.

“Wait a minute, I bet you didn’t think there was a culprit among us. I don’t think there’s any motive at all.”

I looked around at the four people and said.

“Mahjong is played by four people. If you include a dead body, there are five people…don’t you think that’s one too many people?”

“It’s possible that 2nd place will drop out.”Kuroda said.

“Actually, for the sake of business, I was looking into the current status of the people gathered here today.Firstly, Shiraki owed Konno a large amount of money, and he had recently been asked to repay it.Konno’s deceased wife was Akatsuka’s former lover. It seems that Kuroda’s son’s job offer at Konno’s bank was recently rescinded.And Midori, the maid, is not a stranger. She is Konno’s illegitimate child.The inheritance will all belong to her.”

Kisaka looked up. For some reason, he looks like he’s not satisfied.

“Inspector, we know the cause of death. This wasn’t poisoning. He ate too many almonds and choked on them. He must have been trying to gather up some energy for an all-nighter of mahjong. It was just suffocation.”

Needless to say, after that, I felt the murderous intent of the three men and one woman on my back.

January 24th Gold Rush Day

“Does such a country really exist?”

Italian merchant Marco Polo opened his eyes.

“It’s true. The name of that country is ‘Zipangu.'”

Lee, a Chinese man, whispered in a low voice. “I heard that palaces and private houses are made of gold.”

“I would like you not to say anything about that story until I write it in the Book of Travels to the East.”

With that said, Marco Polo quietly handed Lee a package containing money.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

At the end of that year, Italy assembled a large fleet for Zipangu.

His goal is to steal a large amount of gold for himself before his travelogue “The Travels of Marco Polo” is published.

“Merchant Marco. I guess that ‘Golden Palace’ really exists.”

The captain who was at the helm shouted this to Marco Polo.

“It’s called ‘Chuson-temple.’ It’s a temple in the Tohoku region of Iwate in Zipangu.”

The captain gave a big nod and sped the fleet toward the northeast of Zipangu.

However, the charts at the time were not accurate.

The large fleet docked in Akita, not Iwate at the time.

It’s already late at night. Italian troops landed one after another from the convoy.

“Go forward to the first division!”

Italian troops, lying low and carrying single-shot guns, marched in single file.

“All troops stand down!”

At that moment, a group of people carrying torches crossed their path.

Every single member of the Italian army trembled when they saw this.

It was a group of demons.

held a large Deba knife in his hand, their hair stood on end, and sharp fangs were exposed from their large mouth.

“Isn’t there a crying child somewhere? Isn’t there a bad child somewhere?”

The sight of them parading around, screaming like crazy and staring at the surrounding area, looked like a feast of the devil crawling out of hell.

The Italian army was forced to retreat to their homeland of Italy on the spot.

Later, “The Travels of Marco Polo” was supplemented with notes on the Golden Country of Zipangu.

“Be careful. In the land of gold, Zipangu, there live a race of people who have a habit of being cannibals.”

After that, it is said that no one came close to Japan for a while.

Namahage” is a custom in Akita

January 25th Chinese Bun Day

This is a story from the Han Dynasty.

Shokatsu Komei’s army was about to return home after finishing the subjugation of ethnic minorities in China’s Yunnan Province.

However, after a long period of rain, the rivers flooded and the army was stranded.

“Bashoku, what should I do in a situation like this?”

Shokatsukomei, who was on horseback, looked back at his subordinate’s Bashoku.

“Since ancient times, it has been customary to sacrifice severed heads to the dragon god in order to quell river flooding.”

“What, a person’s head?”

Komei’s face darkened.

“No, no, I can’t bear to shed any more blood. Isn’t there a better way? Well, let’s make a manju by dissolving wheat in water. Then, we’ll put some sheep or cow meat inside. I think the Dragon God will be happy if we add some seasoning to it.”

“I see. That sounds like a great idea. Let’s have the cook make it right away.”

The next day, an altar was set up in front of the river, a statue of the dragon god made of pumice, and meat buns were offered.

That afternoon, the giant Bashoku leant his back behind the Dragon God statue, following the muddy waters of the river with his eyes.

“Shokatus Komei is such an idiot. I wonder if something like this will stop the flooding.”

I bite into the meat bun on the altar. “Oh, isn’t this good?”

The steamed buns offered on the altar were quickly devoured by the voracious Bashoku.

Then Komei came to inspect.

“Oh, there’s no meat buns, is there?”

In a panic, Bashoku had no choice but to stay still, choking on the steamed bun.

“It is a great honor that all the Dragon Gods have been taken away. Could you please subdue the flood?”

“Uh, uh, Shokatsu Komei…”

Surprisingly, the dragon god statue emits a voice!

“Meat is good, but I want red bean paste too.”

Komei opened his eyes in surprise.

“Okay. Right away.”

Komei bowed down and ran like the wind to the camp.

The next day too, Bashoku ate his fill of red bean paste. However, the flooding continued to persist.

“How do you like it?” Komei asked, prostrate.

“Yes, this is delicious. You stole the milk cake (cheese) from Yunnan Province. Next time, try adding that.”

Although Komei thought this was a shame, he quickly responded.

When Komei arrived earlier than usual the next day, the river’s flooding was gradually slowing down.

“Thank you very much.”

“No, no, it’s not a big deal.” The Dragon God statue is shaking.

At that time, a gust of wind blew.

The pumice stone statue of the Dragon God sways and falls over easily.

There was a man with a cheese bun in his mouth. Komei and Bashoku’s eyes met.

“Oh, you!”

At the same time as Komei ashoku ran away like a rabbit.

“Hey, you ate all my precious cheese.”

“Please forgive me.”

“No, I’ll cry and cut you down! A commander should abandon his personal feelings and protect the cause.”

“Private feelings are just appetites, aren’t they?”

“It’s so loud, shut up and hang up.”

Bashoku narrowly escaped the scene and fled to India.

After that, Bashoku may or may not have popularized curry buns in India…

January 26th Collagen Day

“Director Tachibana. Teachers, are you fooled that easily?”

AD (assistant director) Kosakai is flipping through the script.

“Also, it seems like all the performers this time aren’t on good terms…”

“It’s okay. It was already discovered. The theme of this prank is beautiful skin. All you have to do is make it look like a fake shark’s fin.”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

“The stage this time is a long-established inn.The guests will be asked to eat the “ultimate boiled shark fin” and guess the details in a free discussion. Points will be added based on the content, and the winners will receive luxurious gifts.

Filming began with a light MC opening.

The guest is Oya K, a cooking expert.
N, who is famous for being an actor and a gourmet foodie.
Businessman and food opinion leader O.
W is known as a comedian and gourmet.
There are 4 people.

Food is brought to each table.

“It’s huge! I’ve never seen a shark fin like this before. It’s full of collagen.” Entertainer W rolls his eyes.

“I wonder if I can eat it?” The first person to pick up chopsticks was O, a businessman.

“It’s very thick, it melts in your mouth, and it has a great flavor.It’s definitely the dorsal fin of the reed shark from Kesennuma.”
Kesennuma 0 points.
Yoshikiri 0 points.
dorsal fin 0 points.

Then K, a cooking expert, interjected.

“Wait a minute. This…isn’t a blue shark. Judging from its huge body, it’s most likely a whale shark. And it’s probably a pectoral fin.”
Jinbe shark 0 points.
pectoral fin 0 points.

Actor N raises his hand.

“I don’t think there are any whale sharks. They are under protection. I think they are the tail fin of a great white shark.”
Bunting 0 points.
tail fin 0 points.

Entertainer W stands up.

“No, no, what are you all saying? This blue shark has a different pelvic fin.”
Blue shark 0 points,.
pelvic fin 0 points.

“What do you say?” asked K.
“It’s not worth talking about,” said N.
“You idiot,” O said.
“You’re an idiot,” W says.

The clouds were becoming cloudy, and the venue was about to descend into chaos.

“I guess it’s about time.”

Tachibana, who was watching the monitor in the waiting room, had the AD prepare a “pock” sign and rushed into the venue himself.

“Everyone, I’m disappointed. This was a new product called ‘Fukahire Hare Hole’, which is a copy product made from vermicelli noodles…?!”

The venue had turned into a sea of ​​blood.

It appears that K, a culinary expert, stabbed O, a businessman, with a knife.

Actor N is holding K down, and entertainer W is buckling down, his teeth chattering.

“Did you do it…?”

The prank placard fell at his feet, and Tachibana ran up the stairs, his face turning pale.

“Hey Mr.Tachibana!” the AD yells. “Camera, follow him”

“It’s a prank, Tachibana-san. It’s a prank.”

The businessman who was bleeding and dying woke up, and the culinary experts who were supposed to be the murderers started chasing Director Tachibana along with the AD.

“What’s going on? It’s a different story!”

At the moment the actor shouted to the AD, Tachibana dived from the landing.

“Ah!” His yukata was blown off in the air.

The place I flew into, drawing a beautiful parabola, was a large hot spring bath that was famous for its beautiful skin.

Tachibana held up a placard with a big smile on his face as the actors looked down from above.

“Beautiful skin special: Prank success! ”

January 27th Marriage Proposal Day

That day, I met the “God of Eros”.

As for why I met…I can’t tell you the details.

Rather, it seems that the words he uttered by chance were a spell to summon the god of Eros.

Therefore, I could never cast that spell again.

How did I know it was the god of Eros?

That’s because the words “God of Eros” were written on his chest.

Said the god, who had a psychedelic appearance and could not be recognized as male or female.

“Let me grant you one wish.”

What came to my mind immediately came out of my mouth.

“…If I get excited when I see a nice woman, make sure I can see through what she’s wearing!”

Yes, I’m a natural erotic person.

From that day on, I was able to enjoy the proportions of beautiful women to my heart’s content.

However, some women find that their stomachs are protruding, and women who thought they were glamorous actually have almost no undulations in their breasts… I realized that there were surprisingly few women with ideal body proportions.

(I’m really erotic, aren’t I?)

One day, I met a woman with ideal body proportions.

From then on, whenever I slept or woken up, I could no longer think about anything but her.

I took the plunge and proposed with all my heart and soul.

As a result, we were able to build a happy married life.

But every day I regret it…why?

I ended up sleeping with a skeleton in my arms every night.

January 28th Clothes Dryer Day

It was just by chance that I started using that laundromat.

It’s because the washer/dryer in my house is not working properly.

At first, I was planning to do it until the washing machine was repaired.

Later, I learned that the main earner at a laundromat is actually the dryer, not the washing machine. Is it because there are more environments where it is not possible to dry clothes outside?

She always comes by to use the dryer at 2pm when I use it.

At his age, she looks about the same as me, or maybe a little older.

I wonder if she’s a female college student since she comes to the laundry at such an hour.

Long chestnut hair, big eyes, long limbs, thin fingers…

For some reason, from that time on, I started visiting this laundromat just to meet her.

My daily routine is to sit on a pipe chair, pretend to read a magazine, and watch her every move.

The woman stuffs her clothes into the dryer, inserts a coin into the dryer, and leaves the store.

I loved watching the brightly colored clothing go round and round like a merry-go-round without looking.

I was amused by the way my fantasies spread like summer clouds, such as, “I wonder what kind of underwear she’s wearing…”

One day, the dryer stopped working and she didn’t come home.

The merry-go-round seemed to be swinging weakly like a Viking, but in the end it quietly lay down like a large, tired dog.

Even though it’s 2 o’clock, this laundromat seems to be popular, with new customers arriving all the time. All the dryers except the one she was using were running, so if a customer wanted to use the dryer, they would have to take out her clothes and use it.

A sign on the wall says, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but if there is any leftover laundry that has been done, please take it out into the basket provided.”

Just then, a punk guy walks into the store, wearing a leather jacket that looks like he’s in a rock band, and jingling his Chrome Hearts bracelets.

No! I can’t let that man touch her clothing.

I quickly stood up, grabbed the basket, and opened the door of the dryer she was using.

It smells like fabric softener. Once all the laundry is in the basket, I throw my own laundry into the drum.

I can almost hear the punk guy click his tongue. The man, who had been looking around for a while, left, still holding the laundry bag.

When I took the baskets to the table provided, I somehow became fond of them and folded them one by one.

(Was she wearing underwear like this?), and I entered a state of fiction, filled with a mixture of anticipation and guilt.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

“Thank you for the other day”

She showed up at my usual laundromat and bowed her head to me.

“Did I do something?”

“The owner of the laundromat showed me the recorded video. That day, my mother suddenly collapsed and couldn’t come to pick up the laundry. She was very helpful. She even went out of her way to fold it for me.”

“Oh, no, I used to work in an apparel company, so whenever I saw crumpled clothes, I would automatically fold them up.”

“So, actually, I’m an underwear thieves investigator.”

“What?”

“The owner of this place has been asking me to do this because everyone’s underwear has been stolen a lot lately.”

She wrapped her arms around me.

“I-I’m not an underwear thief.”

“That’s different. I’ve added one more piece. I want to give it back to you now. Isn’t that okay?”

January 29th Antarctic Day

“President, we have been attacked again!”

The guard, Penta, panicked and ran towards me.

“Hmm, it’s the work of the ‘Great Thieves Seagull Corps’ again. So, how much damage has been done?”

“Five eggs and three chicks.”

“Shit.”

“If this happens, why don’t you talk to Miss.Sanae?”

“That’s right… it’s a way to create a flying penguin army.”

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

Sanae Fujisaki, a member of the Antarctic wintering team, was surrounded by a flock of over 1,000 penguins.

“Do you want to fly in the sky?”

More than 1,000 penguins all shake their heads all at once, like ears of rice waving in the wind. It’s spectacular.

“Well, first of all, you’re too fat. You need to become slimmer. Also, your wings are tiny, so you’ll need to make them bigger. Also, to give you more propulsion, you should grow your tail straight and long. Anyway, all of you should keep that in mind.”

“Thank you, Miss.Sanae.”

Sanae returned to the observatory, sticking out her tongue and wondering if this was a good thing.

Summer in Antarctica is short.

All work must be completed between November and March.

The penguins immediately gathered 55 eggs at a nursery called “Kureishi” and continued praying together.

As a result of this, about 20 new species of penguins were born.

Although they were small, they had slim bodies, pointed wings, and straight tails.

Their symbol was red, in contrast to the emperor penguin’s yellow cheeks.

The results are good.

The great thieves, the seagull corps, were completely defeated by the agile flying attack of the new penguin interception squad.

However, it was not without its problems.

For their slim bodies, surviving the Antarctic winter, which can reach temperatures as low as -89 degrees, meant death.

The New Penguin Interception Team decides to head to Japan, where Sanae is.

They later came to be called “young swallows.”

In Japanese, a young swallow is a man who has secret meetings without telling his husband.

January 30th 3 Minute Phone Day

In 1970, local calls, which had previously been available for an unlimited amount of time, were changed to 3 minutes at 10 yen.

Many users mourned, but thanks to that, I found the courage to call my classmate Yukiko.

This is because at the time, as a high school student, it was nearly impossible for me to have unlimited conversations with girls.

One match for 3 minutes.

I prayed to God that my father wouldn’t answer the phone, and with trembling fingers I took out a 10 yen coin from my pocket.

Just as I was about to put a coin into the coin slot above the spinning dial, the phone started ringing loudly.

“Wow!”

I thought my heart was going to stop. Have you ever received a call even though it’s a public phone?

I gingerly pick up the phone. The sound that sounded like a wind-up alarm clock disappeared, and there was a sound like something falling.

“Hello···”

“★%※※#◎Ah, hello. Ah, we’re finally connected.”

There was a sound like radio static, and a man started talking.

“Um, which one are you? This is a public phone…”

“I understand. I don’t have time. It’s important. I’ll only say it once, so listen carefully.”

“Haa”

“Well, there are some restrictions, I think it’s hard to understand.”

“…” Was it an elaborate prank call?

“Listen, you’re going on winter break soon, right?”

“Yer”

“Before that, you should go to your relatives’ house in Yokosuka.”

“Huh…how do you know that?”

“Say to the owner: “Daddy is a visitor, get some cream puffs and red bean paste.””

“what is that”

“Okay, just say, “Daddy is a visitor, let’s get cream puffs and red bean paste.””

“Daddy is a visitor…let’s get cream puffs and red bean paste?”

“That’s right, just do the ★◎△##■%, no matter what.” The noise started and the audio cut out.

I looked at the receiver.

I wonder what it was. Was it an elaborate prank after all?

I pulled myself together, put in a 10 yen coin, and dialed her house number.

“Hello, I am Gondo, but who are you?” her father said.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

We went on winter vacation.

I ride Yukiko on the bike I had just bought and went touring.

I succeeded in asking her out on a date.

“Aren’t you cold?”

“It’s okay”

As they reach the pass, Yukiko’s arms become stronger. I felt happy.

It was near the top of the pass.

A white car traveling in the opposite lane skidded and spun towards our bikes.

I couldn’t make a sound.

Immediately I turned the steering wheel. That was the joint of the guardrail.

We fell into a lush green valley.

Is it 200 meters to the bottom of the valley?

The wind blows against my cheek. Will I die like this?

I found Yukiko falling head first onto her back.

I took off my jumper in the wind and tried to swim to catch up with her, but she had already passed out.

I hugged her tightly.

“I won’t let you die. No matter what happens.”

I pulled the strap on my chest.

The parachute opened with a sound like a Japanese drum.

We were saved.

When I checked later, I learned that my late father and the owner of the store, which was owned by the U.S. military base in Yokosuka, were cousins ​​and often played together.

When I spoke on the phone, the old man folded his arms and thought for a while, then silently handed me his parachute.

“It’s the code we played with when we were kids.
Pa… Daddy is
La…Visitor
Puff… cream
To… and
Ah… Cunt
Ge…get it
Yo
(Give him a parachute)
Right?”

That three minute phone call was from my father in heaven.

If you connect the initials, it says in Japanese: Give him a parachute.

January 31st Beloved Wife’s Day

A letter has arrived.

“Thank you very much for applying to the “My Husband is a Loving Wife Contest” today.

In this program, your beloved husbands will present something off the record that will make their wives happy.

The situation will be Recorded a video using a micro drone.

Of course, please rest assured that any parts that cannot be broadcast will be cut.

We will then grade them, and the winning couple will be invited to travel around the world in a luxurious project.

Yoko was surprised. Surprisingly, her mother had applied for the program without her permission.

Moreover, the recording has already been completed.

A TV station is recruiting couples whose wives have the same birthday. The day’s events are secretly filmed, shown to the venue and viewers at a later date, and scored using a remote control.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

The first person to appear on the screen was a man from a leading trading company.

After work, He met my wife at a high-end French restaurant and had a luxurious full course meal.

An approving voice can be heard from the venue.

The next person that appeared on the screen was a stout man who looked like a businessman.

When He returned home in my luxury car, He absentmindedly took the box out of his pocket. It contained diamonds like she had never seen before.

A scream of joy came from the venue.

The third person to appear was a handsome gentleman with a mustache.

As soon as he returned home, he handed his wife a bouquet of 100 roses that he had hidden behind his back.

There was a sigh of envy from the audience.

The fourth person is a pleasant and refreshing man.

Whistling, he placed the box in front of his wife.

When my wife opened the box, a cute Scottish Fold kitten came out.

The audience applauded.

Finally, Yoko’s husband appeared. He’s just an ordinary office worker who seems a bit unreliable.

If this was the case, I should have dressed him in a better suit than usual, but I had no choice but to do it now.

It’s late at night.

It seems that her husband came home late from work, and Yoko had already gone to bed.

My husband finished his meal early, washed the dishes, took a bath, washed the bathtub, and came out.

It seemed like nothing happened to this couple.

Her husband enters the bedroom without making any noise, and quietly approaches Yoko with his face so as not to wake her up.

And then he kissed her softly.

Something unbelievable happened.

Yoko and her husband received a huge round of applause and a huge number of points.

The phone rang. It’s from a TV commentator. Her husband left.

“congratulations!”

“Thank you”

“Please give us your thoughts.”

“Nothing special. Because that’s what I always do.”

“That’s it, that’s it. That’s what a loving wife is all about, isn’t it?”

 Afterword

Read till the end Thank you very much for your time.

I am bad at English. Therefore, this is a mechanical translation of the novel I wrote. It would be helpful if you could point out any strange expressions.

And,This story is a fiction.

All characters, organizations, etc. are fictitious.

In rare cases, there is no relationship even if there are similar names.

References/sites, etc.

高級海外ブランドセレクトショップ。「SKY SHOP JIRO」 https://www.jiro.co.jp Reference date:2023.6.2

岐阜の旅ガイド 「養老公園・養老の滝」 https.//www.kankou-gifu.jp  Reference date:2023.6.9

ウィキペディア 「ジパング」 https://ja.wikipedea.org/wiki/ジパング Reference date:2023.6.12

ウィキペディア「中華まん」https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/中華まん Reference date:2023.6.13

自宅兼コインランドリー経営奮闘記+地獄2号店 「さすがにそれは・・・想像の斜め上いを行くお客さんたち。コインランドリー経営あるある」 https://loundromat.jp/strange-custmer Reference date:2023.6.18

ウィキペディア「南極」 https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/南極 Reference date :2023.6.20

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著者紹介
Yukitoshi Sugimura

[Birthplace] Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
[Favorite field] Mystery novels
[Favorite authors] Natsume Soseki, Murakami Haruki, Hyakuta Naoki
[Favorite works] "Sanshiro", "Norwegian Wood", "Eternal Zero"
[Hobbies] Golf, guitar
[Academic background] University graduate
[Work history] Retired from a food company
[Qualifications] Real estate agent, MOS master, 2nd grade information processing, IT passport, forklift, 3rd degree shogi amateur
[Created by Sou] Online novel collection “365 Days of Short Stories”

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