Once again it is time to write Portrait of Words, which is a monthly challenge to write a fictional story about a given theme. You could go to Jeff B's Blog and look at the photos. I do not use the photos in my stories.
The March story had to be about a trendy boy in his twenties, feature a coach with a Japanese background, a piano, a dentist and a rusty bag of screws. Brilliant!
Only in his early twenties, Tom Berry knew that he was really lucky to have found a sponsor to send him to Tokyo for two weeks. This seemed to be beyond his wildest dreams. He was excelling in his piano playing and he was a good singer too. He had played in several English cities and had proved to be popular. This was to be his first tour overseas. A different culture. A different race, on the other side of the World.
Tom flew from Heathrow to Narita and was met by Miho Tanaka, who was the representative of the firm who had sponsored him.
She gave a short bow, produced a business card and ushered Tom towards a luxury coach that was to take him the two and a half hour journey into Tokyo.
Miho was a typically slim, petite Japanese woman in her thirties. After the first courteous greeting and then the small talk, they relaxed into the plush seats and into an easy silence.
Tom had been travelling for a long time as his plane journey had been twelve hours long, but he had spent hours travelling to Heathrow before he even started the flight. It had been mid day when he boarded the plane in England and now it was first light in Japan. The excitement had kept him awake on the plane, so now he was feeling jet lagged.
In between dozing, Tom stole glances at Miho when he thought she wasn't looking, but he knew she had been looking at him and had pretended to be shy and diverted her eyes when she realized he had noticed.
Not long into his tour, Tom developed a gnawing toothache that threatened the whole trip. He had appeared on stage in Tokyo for three nights when it first started to bother him. Miho had soon found a dentist for him and he was surprised at the difference between Japanese and English dentistry. This dentist took out the old filling and made an impression of the hole that was to be filled. The filling would be tailor made and fitted at the end of several visits. He left his first visit with a temporary filling and his pain had gone. On his last appointment at the dentist, Tom was very impressed with his new white filling that was cemented in to the cavity. He was really grateful to Miho for finding him such a good dentist.
Most of the audience at the theatre where he was playing, seemed to be made up of what looked like schoolgirls in white socks and short skirts and they tried to mob him afterwards. He was proving to be quite popular.
Tom was seeing Miho regularly and she seemed very eager to meet him in sushi bars and to accompany him for a drink after his gigs.
Although she was a good deal older than he was, Tom found Miho really attractive, especially after all those school girl fans. They had slept together several times but Tom realized that this relationship wasn't going anywhere and he had tried to cool it.
Miho wouldn't take no for an answer. She turned up everywhere that Tom went, whether it was at the theatre or in a bar - whether alone or with people from his sponsor group, Miho was always there. She shadowed him wherever he went, so he began to ignore her.
Her eyes were dark and steely. He had no idea what was going on behind them. They could be soulful one minute and look cold and distant the next. All Tom knew was that he had to get away from her. He felt he was being stalked. He needed his freedom. He was young.
She had told him she was going to come to England to be with him. She was going where he was going and for the first time in his life Tom felt suffocated and disturbed.
The night before he was due to go home, Tom spent the evening in an English bar that he'd frequented over the last few days and lots of British people as well as other foreigners spent time there. All foreigners were known as Gaijin to the Japanese. The exact meaning of the word is outside people.
Laughing and drinking with some people who had befriended him, Tom looked up.......... to find himself looking straight into those deep pools that happened to be Miho's eyes.
He walked over to her.
"You know its my last night,"He stated. "Tomorrow I fly back to England."
Miho showed him her ticket. She was flying too. She was looking for a sponsor so that she could stay there a long time.
He took her arm and they walked out into the night. Tom kissed her in a stairway and Miho leant against a door, while Tom pressed his body against hers. The door started to open and they stopped and looked at the steps that went down into a kind of cellar.
"Let's go and find a place to be alone," Tom suggested as they made their way down the steps and Miho eagerly went down into the cellar, following him.
There was not much light down there and there was nobody about. A window at street level let in enough light for Tom to see the surroundings and it seemed to be a place where carpentry items were stored. He noticed saws and hammers and nails.
He drew Miho towards him and she surrendered to his kisses.
With a swift movement of his right arm, he picked up a bag of rusty screws and clutching the bag firmly in his hand, he smashed it into the back of Miho's head.
She gave a gasp and her legs crumpled slightly. Her eyes reflected horror and disbelief when she realized what was happening and she started to struggle. By then Tom had snatched a hammer which he smashed into her head with all his strength.
She crumpled down onto the floor like a rag doll.
Tom slowly walked out of this place into the Tokyo night. He felt free again.