Kabukichō Aglow


  The three of us drive back to the Womb; Officer Kurosawa and Suzette up front whilst I kick it in the backseat, the invalid westerner behind bars. Despite our involvement in the investigation having come to a formal end, Kurosawa is still engaged in conversation with Su, who is sitting in the passenger seat looking as freaked out as I know I should be feeling.

  Despite ignoring me for the last few hours, Officer Kurosawa seems to have some people skills when it comes to the Japanese. Or perhaps it’s just Su. Regardless, he still manages to bring a smile to her face – which, all things considered, is an achievement – by letting her try the siren. As it belts out its long, angry wail, I peer out of the window and watch Kabukichō prepare for round two. Like all big cities in the world, dusk simply means halftime for Tokyo. Neon signs flicker lazily into life as if reluctant to begin another long nights work.

  Behind closed doors a thousand girls get ready in much the same way; flickering into life. The soapland staff are lathering up, massage parlours are adding happy endings to their list of services and the cosplay girls are slipping into their uniforms for shifts at the Imekura – a road I sincerely hope Su’s passion doesn’t lead her down.

  I spot a few girls sink into the shadows as we pass them by. Whilst their sumata-sisters have nothing to worry about in their brothels when it comes to the law, these girls are outcasts, away from the legal umbrella the establishments offer. They are true ladies of the night, willing to go way past simple frottage. They have reasons for disappearing at the sight of our squad car, tearing past with sirens ablaze.

  As the sun dips below the giant equaliser that is the Tokyo city skyline the streets glow a rich orange. The air itself seems to carry colour, hinting suggestively at the reds to come that will soon pierce the night, our dolls being just one of the many attractions Shinjuku has to offer. The neon is a signal for the students and salarymen to leave the arcades and doujinshi shops and head home for the evening, knowing that the night does not belong to them. Not here. I see a few heading down into Shinjuku station as we pass it, the same subway exit that will belch forth customers of the night in but a few hours.

  After a quick sprint to the centre of Kabukichō we pull up to the Womb in the Toyota Crown. Like all the other places we passed on the way here, our sign is buzzing softly above our door, its warm glow welcoming us home. Dalton must be in, having opened up on his own, no doubt confused as to our whereabouts.

  It smells way too much like new car back here to actually be new car. I don’t really want to think about the history of this backseat, so I don’t, going instead to get out. The door, of course, is locked.

  The flirting up front seems to be reaching an end anyway so I loudly try the handle a few times until Kurosawa excuses himself from both the conversation and the car to open the door for me. I step out of the cruiser, mumbling some simple Japanese the officer’s way as Suzette lets herself out up front. He bows in response and closes the door after me.

  Suzette insists in waiting outside to see Kurosawa off and won’t enter the store until the sedan has disappeared completely. I get the feeling that for once she is embarrassed about where she works.

First of a two part chapter. For anyone keeping score in regards to the timeline of Kiss of the Womb, this fits neatly between Kurosawa’s initial confrontation in Slow Day in the Womb and the start of a mad dash across Japan in Chasing Haruka. It’ll all pull together one day.


~ by Joseph Blame on August 23, 2010.

One Response to “Kabukichō Aglow”

  1. […] AUTHOR’S NOTE:Continues from Kabukichō Aglow […]

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