The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story by Jon F. Merz – Part Four

The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story
By Jon F. Merz

Part Four

Fixers usually have a jurisdiction they’re assigned to.  I operate out of Boston, which meant me flying off to Japan was a bit strange.  Niles told me that the local Fixer assigned to this area of the world was currently doing something else.  And since I’ve been to Japan any number of times before, I was chosen to investigate in his stead.

Arriving in Kyoto, I drove northwest into the mountains.  Towns are few and far between, but the mountains were home to hundreds of shrines dedicated to a variety of Buddhist and Shinto deities.  As I drove, a thick fog hugged the mountains.  After driving for almost an hour, I pulled in to find accommodation.

The ryokan I chose was like most of the other country inns you’d find outside of a major metropolitan area.  The room itself was traditional, with sliding shoji screens, a futon on the floor, and a small bathroom better suited to someone half my height.  But the room also included free wi-fi and a widescreen television that looked larger than my futon.

I pored over the file details while a game show played on the television.  I spent three seconds trying to figure out the point of the game before shaking my head and going back to work.  I spoke fluent Japanese, and I’d spent enough time in the country to feel comfortable operating in it.  But one thing defied all logic: the game shows.  They were wacky, crazy things that involved everything that westerners might consider borderline illegal and offensive, but that the Japanese found hysterical.

Such is life.

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