stories

When The Shogun Awoke - Chapter 1 - page 5

"What was the last year of Meiji?" Kinjiro interrupted the eloquent speaker sharply.
"Huh?" The winsome smile disappeared from her face and turned to a suspicious look.
Kinjiro repeated, "The first year of Taisho falls on which year of Meiji?"
"The forty fifth."
"What! Forty fifth?" he shouted standing up. Then he started to figure out how old he was by counting his fingers thrust out in front of his face. He was otherwise motionless.
When he finished counting, he cried out, "forty seven years!" Pointing his finger at the woman who was preparing to get away, he raised his voice once again: "You mean forty seven years have passed since I lost my memory? You are saying I'm seventy two years old? You want to say I'm now a decrepit man seventy two years of age, born in the fourth year of Kaei, a twenty five year old youth in the eighth year of Meiji?"
"No, no. I don't mean to say that at all. On the contrary you look very young, Mr. Shogun."
"Shogun? Who the hell is shogun?" He groaned and with his back bent over he inched his way toward the woman.
She flinched, her face distorted as if she were about to burst into tears.
"Hospital! You said something about a hospital, didn't you?" He looked into the woman's face. "This is a mental hospital, isn't it?"
The woman took a deep hissing breath. "Well..."
"Tell me. What kind of patient was I?"
"Yipe!" She jumped out into the hallway slamming the door violently. Her scream and the clatter of her steps grew fainter.
Kinjiro was so shocked by her scream that he fell on the floor on his buttocks. He remained dazed for a while. Then he mumbled to himself, his eyes fixed on the door, "Why does she have to scream so loud when a crazy man comes back to normal? Is it because a madman turned normal is creepier than a real madman for a nurse in a mental hospital?"