Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kuchisake-onna - a haiku tale...

Want to dwell for a moment in a dark and macabre vengeance tale from old Japan? Here's another haiku horror story from the She of the Supernatural World project in which the excellent Jenna Whyte illustrates my stories drawn from Japanese folklore. This is the tale of the Kuchisake-onna...

By James Clayton

Smiling in the dark,
Candlelight graces the blade,
Fierce gleaming flash.

Caressing fingers,
Feel the polished steel,
Dagger of revenge.

Seething desire,
Her hand gripped to the weapon,
Waiting set to strike.

Due retribution,
Determined and resolute,
The Samurai’s wife.

Attractive and proud,
All others held her in awe,
Beauty beyond words.

Youthful and pretty,
Objectified by the men,
Captivating charms.

Skin soft as petals,
Lips of fullmoon maple red,
Arresting jade eyes.

Flawless female,
Vanity her only fault,
Lady of class.

But beauty is cursed,
Love drives humans to madness,
Passion engulfs mind.

A husband’s envy,
Paranoia consumes him,
Doubts rise and rankle.

Repeat denials,
Her faithfulness is constant,
Conscience wholly pure.

Suspicions remain,
She is far too beautiful,
The Samurai acts.

Taking up the blade,
Mania leads to violence,
Jealousy’s sharp kiss.

Lips drop darker red,
Blood stains her pearly white skin,
Face mutilated.

Ear to ear,
He carves an horrific gash,
So others won’t look.

Distorted smile,
Weeping wounds seal in time,
But lucid scars last.

Unbearable shame,
The cuts provoke revulsion,
Hideous, she grieves.

Ravaged appearance,
Hiding from the outside world,
A ruined recluse.

The slit-mouth woman,
Called Kuchisake-onna,
Disfigured goddess.

Days and nights may pass,
Yet pain persists and smoulders,
Lacerated soul.

Hate burns in her eyes,
Resolute in intention,
Vengeance takes heart.

The dagger glistens,
Her blade mirrors damaged looks,
Reflections of wrath.

Glowering fury,
Vowing retaliation,
The husband is marked.

Faint noises outside,
The screen door begins shifting,
The man arrives home.

Ambush from behind,
She reveals her dread self,
With long sweeping stabs.

Agonising shock,
The blade severs disbelief,
Vicious slashing blows.

In bloody embrace.
Affectionate enemy,
She holds her lover,

A cold goodbye kiss,
The crooked smile asks him,
“I’m beautiful, yes?”

He can not answer,
Swift slicing strokes come too quick,
Carving his grave face.

Regarding her work,
Joy cracks across her face,
Scars alight with glee.

Frenzies of passion,
Sweet revenge is beautiful,
Smiling in the dark.