Page 13 - WTP Vol. VII #1
P. 13

 been. We have met many times before Kane, and you leaves under the avocado trees.
still don’t remember my name. How do you think it makes me feel?”
Kio Joyful retuned to where Kane was standing, wiped
Yoshi Araki’s blood against his blue trousers and “I could remember,” Kane said. “The thing you are handed the knife over to Kane.
holding in your hand is blinding me. If you put it away, I could remember.”
“That was very good, Kane,” he said. “That was pre-
cisely what I wanted. You are better at granting wishes “I will not put anything away,” Kio Joyful said. “Espe- than you understood.”
cially for a boy so impolite and oblivious. When a person tells you that you have no name—when he tells you he is giving you a new name—when he tells you that your name and your brother’s name and your neighbor’s name and the butcher’s name and the druggist’s name and the local thief’s name—are now all the same name—do you know why he is offering you that name, Kane?”
Kane looked down at the needlepoint knife in his hands. It was as though his neck muscles would not permit him to see another thing. The light it reflected shot through Kane’s vision.
“I can’t remember,” Kane said.
“My name is Joyful,” Kane heard. “My name is Kio Joy- ful. Kio Joyful. Kio Joyful. Kio Joyful. Do you think it’s a strange name?”
“What devil was known
“You have been told my name four times,” Kio Joyful said. “When I come tomorrow to visit your mother, you will remember it, won’t you?”
But Kane had lost his voice. His lungs felt squeezed. There was no air to answer.
In response to her grandson’s dreams, Yuki Araki took to exclusively menace to the Butte Camp library to research the ghosts,
to be so cowardly as
beasts and spirits populating the deserts between California and Arizona. What devil was known to be so cowardly as to exclusively menace such a young boy? Who was the cowardly monster that would not risk showing himself in the flesh? Who preferred the fog and primordial terror of a child’s dreams?
such a young boy?”
 “He is offering you the name in place of your body. He is telling you that your body is allowed to vanish. The butcher’s body may vanish. The druggist’s body may vanish. The thief’s body. Your father’s body. But there will always be a new body we call by the old name, don’t you think, Kane?”
Over the Araki family’s camp years, Yuki Araki que- ried every block manager of Butte and Canal Camp. She spoke with every unarmed officer, every minis- ter, every librarian, every mythologist, every school- teacher, every nurse and Nisei doctor. No one knew of any man, demon or spirit who referred to himself as Kio Joyful.
Then Kio Joyful turned and pointed the needlepoint knife to a neighboring row of avocado trees.
“Oh!” he said. “Oh, there is your father. My wish is already coming true.”
Reverend Kenichi Toguri suggested that Yuki take Kane’s shirts—shirts Kane had sweated and cried in —and fabricate a garment from them—and then for Yuki to wrap herself in that garment at night. Before nightfall, Kashi and Yoshi were to rub Kane in ethereal oils distilled from cedarwood, wild mint, mountain pepper, lemon balm, and then to disguise him in Yuki’s clothes or the clothing of a neighbor.
And when Kane turned to look, Yoshi Araki’s tall, muscular figure, his back turned to them, stood with a padded crate and a netted fruit picker. The large, leathery fruit dropped into Yoshi’s net. Before Kane could call out, Kio Joyful bounded over and stuck the needlepoint knife through the back of Yoshi’s throat. Kane’s father made no cries of distress. No sound of any kind. His body tumbled to the ground. Yoshi’s avocadoes thudded and rolled upon the dirt in ev- ery direction. And then Yoshi’s body half-vanished beneath the loose soil, beneath the black and rotting
“We need to divert Kio Joyful from Kane’s scent,”
Toguri said.
For a time, Kane’s nightmares subsided. Kane rested 6
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