Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Invådu • Hill House (Draft, January 2007)

The entrance hall was empty, the floor thick with dust. Garlands of dead leaves straggled along the baseboards. Many sets of footprints, booted or sandaled, tracked to and from the west corridor. Laila followed them into an old-style guest wing; none went farther than the first door. Kōdayū's room. She slid the door open and looked in.

A paper screen half concealed a folding camp bed, neatly made. On a tray beside the bed leaned a painted miniature of two women, wife and daughter.

—Let his spirit not be lost.

Against the far wall, Kōdayū's full-dress uniform hung like a decapitated ghost on a wooden clothesframe. She shut the door and went back up the hall.

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