by Brian DeGennaro
She saw nothing but blackness but could hear everything
that went on around her. She heard almost sub-audible cries of pain and
pleas for help; of crackles, hisses, of footsteps. A little boy slowly
materialized in front of her. He seemed to be running in place and moved
in awkward slothfulness. He was dirty and somewhat cut up as if he had
just emerged from a thorn bush. He was crying and screaming, his words
coming to her ears as slowly as had her vision. Shrieking cries of “Mommy!”
pricked her ears as the boy vainly tried to run to her.
In a blinding flash, a blue-white glow enveloped
the darkness and the boy as the terrain materialized around her, his cries
She peered at the streets of a large city. Overturned
cars littered the area, some having been plucked from the ground and planted
in the sides of buildings that were half destroyed and smoking. Streetlights
fell to the ground. She then noticed the boy was running from a crater
of warped and glassed asphalt and dirt.
A blue corona spun and swirled around and---
Akane shot up from her bed, sweat coming down in
droplets from her face and neck. Her gray tank top was drenched about the
neck and armpits. Her sheets were wet also. Akane panted, trying to breathe.
She had had the nightmare. She backed up to the wall and sat up straight,
wisps of air finally reaching her lungs. Her red face slowly came back
to its pale tan color.
She heaved and thought as she leaned against the
wall next to her bed. Akane had known this nightmare in different forms
but all had the same general point. She curled into a fetal position and
started to cry.
Akane found herself sitting in a psychologist's office.
It was small and quaint with degrees hung behind a desk. A small bookcase
contained not only psychology texts but also fiction for some reason. She
guessed if someone got bored and wanted to read something other than magazines,
they could select a book. She herself sat on a leather couch facing a matching
chair separated by a coffee table. Akane pulled her feet from her sandals
and buried them in the carpet. Nice and soft, giving her a tingle up through
her feet and legs. She turned toward the window. It gave her a view of
the skyline over small buildings and then halted where larger buildings
blocked off the vista.
Doctor Tresberg had stepped out for a minute to use
the bathroom and get prepared for this session. It wasn't the first time
she'd come to see him. When Akane first came to Seattle, she sought help
after about a month. She was somewhat still haunted by her experiences
and too frightened to stay in Japan. He had helped her enough to stay mentally
stable and hold an internship.
Akane stood immediately as the psychologist returned.
They greeted each other, shook hands and sat down. Tresberg was a tall,
lanky man in a gray suit and tie. His receding silver-streaked hair was
slowly falling away, revealing the crown of his head. His eyebrows bore
the same highlights.
“So, Akane, what brings you here today?” He was straight
and to the point with patients depending on the day and when the appointments
are made. He thumbed the pages of his pad until he reached her last session's
“Well,” she started off in a slight Japanese accent.
“I've been having recurring nightmares and recently, they've gotten more
vivid and frequent. Every day this week I have had a similar nightmare
and it comes to me during the day sometimes.” He breathed in and motioned
her to continue.
Akane searched for the right words and continued.
“I've been distracted during the day during work, almost all the time.
They just won't go away and it seems like I may be losing control.” Doctor
Tresberg puckered his lips, closed his eyes and thought of what to tell
“Akane, it seems as if the suppression of your memories
are... slowly eating you away, even with our sessions every month to relieve
yourself of these troubles. By now, they seem to be plaguing you and are
wanting something. Wanting to get out. The best ways I've found from patients
and personal experience are to confront the origin of these images.
“You said you lived in Japan and that's where all
your troubles originated from. You came here because you wanted to escape
the horrors that came from your home...”
Him, she thought.
“ ...home now to confront these fears before they
become worse and who knows what,” he concluded and glanced at his watch.
“It seems as if our time is coming to an end. I guess I'll see you when
you come back, most likely refreshed, or talk to you over the phone.” He
wanted to end this session rather quickly as it was unusual for him to
work on a Sunday and he had other business to tend to.
“Yeah,” Akane said absently without knowing it. She
got up, shook hands, chatted for a few final moments and left. When she
came back to herself, she was in her car and driving back to her apartment.
The time had just flown so quickly!
Back to Japan, she thought. What a strange idea,
yet good. Maybe if she did confront her nightmares at the source, they
would go away. And it would be nice to see how her friends and family were
Say ‘hi’ to Him up close and personal again.
Akane hissed at the voice in her head. She had developed
a different personality, she guessed. The Voice had always brought something
with it; a phrase that made her shiver, a nightmare, a vision created by
images from Tokyo two years ago but she could feel that it originated beyond
that. It was there before Him: her ex-husband, Yoshi. The rapist. Akane
clenched a fist. She married young at 19, was raped every night until she
became pregnant and then left alone to tend the child. She decided she
would change all that and moved back in with her parents in their new apartment
so they could help when her husband was put in jail. It felt good. The
Voice had come and taunted her a few times after that but not much, only
in dreams which she thought were nightmares.
Then Tokyo went up in flames, her family rushing
her child out of their building. The incident had changed her. The nightmares
and daymares came hand in hand and were trying to envelope her entirely.
She went to the U.S. to escape the focal point of these troubles but they
finally forced her to seek help. Doctor Tresberg had helped her much but
it became worse and worse. Now she was on a plane back to Japan. Back to
* * *
Akane found herself in a hotel room near her family's
home. The window was hard to open and the bed was rather unpleasant to
lie or sit on. At least she wasn't going to spend days on end here. Akane
had contacted some old friends before she arrived and they were going to
spend some time together, browsing malls and stores and eating at restaurants.
Her friendship with Io and Miyuki was caught up and was reborn. Akane felt
much better since she returned and was around her friends. She was happy
once more and the Voice had remained dormant. She didn't want to jinx everything
so she said nothing about it.
Akane felt something awkward as they were wandering
Tokyo's streets. She couldn't quite place her finger on it. She also couldn't
settle the feeling that eyes were on her, watching her from afar and nearby.
He's watching you.
She gazed at the crosswalks and side streets, looking
for anyone stalking her, with their eyes or otherwise. She saw no one familiar
and was brought back to reality by Io who rushed them across the street
and into the mall. They browsed the center with much enthusiasm and bought
something from every other store or so but she still felt as if she were
being watched. No matter where she looked, she couldn't find anyone who
was following them.
Akane started to feel uncomfortable until the feeling
shook free and disappeared when she had returned to her hotel. She walked
in, was greeted and greeted the clerks and took the elevator up to her
room. Akane dropped the bags she was carrying and herself on the bed and
dozed off. This time she didn't have any nightmares. She had a normal dream,
one of those you just enjoy.
Akane was jolted out of her sleep when a hand came
down onto her mouth and another held her hands together over her head.
She opened her eyes and stared into the face of a stranger with a thin
goatee and a scar underneath his left eye. Then the shock came to her.
She had cut him. Her ex-husband held her down and grinned at her.
“Long time no see,” he growled, his eyes looking
her up and down. "Since you were out of the country, they let me out on
bail until the trial." Akane attempted to scream or at least bite the hand
over her mouth but she couldn't. Yoshi planted his knees on her chest and
removed his hand to let her speak.
“Fuck you!” Akane screamed. He chuckled and ripped
her blouse off. For the next two hours, he raped Akane and even worse.
Even when she passed out, she was being violated by her ex and he only
stopped when he had exhausted himself.
Akane opened her eyes, her body sore from throat
to groin. She wriggled along the floor while Yoshi slept soundly in the
bed. She pulled herself up in the bathroom to get a look at herself. She
shivered there, almost unable to stand. Her hair was laced with gray streaks
of vomit which clumped it together, her face a little swollen, her throat
and lower regions ached; she just plain hurt. Akane doubled over and plunged
her face into the toilet bowl, vomiting whatever was left in her bowels.
She looked for something sharp. Something to get
him back with. Akane grabbed a pair of scissors and wobbled to the bed,
hovering above her ex's prone form as he stirred in his sleep. She clasped
her hands together and raised the scissors above her head as if in a sacrificial
manner and thrust them downward, impaling him dead in his chest as hard
as she could, spitting as many raspy curses as she could.
Yoshi screamed out a gargled cry as the blades punctured
his breast bone. Thick blood streamed from the sides of his mouth and the
wound as he squirmed, twisting the scissors and making the wound worse.
Akane shrieked as this was a different result than she had expected. Before
he could remove the scissors and get revenge, she scrambled for her clothes
and put them on, rushing out the door.
The halls were filled with screaming people. Akane
slowly got her bearings and followed them out. Amidst the chaos, she could
hear her ex-husband yelling at her.
“You bitch! You whore! I'll get you for this!” he
screamed with a gurgling sound. As she raced down the hall, she saw Yoshi
scramble out of the room, holding his bleeding chest and completely naked,
pushing people out of his way as he came after her. When he got close enough,
she back handed him and kicked and screamed, knocking him off his feet.
She bolted away, escaping with other fleeing people and avoiding those
who tried stop her.
Akane was outside in the night when she felt the
ground tremble beneath her running feet. She rounded the corner, seeing
a sight which made her scream and fall to her knees. It was the half-destroyed
wall she had seen in her dreams. She cried and screamed as people pulled
her to her feet and brought her with them, telling her “C'mon! We have
to get out of here!” But Akane just cried.
Tokyo was once again lit up in flames as it was with
Godzilla's first appearance fifty years ago. Thousands were already dead
or needed to be hospitalized within minutes after he arose from the ocean.
He came quickly and complete surprise as no one had anticipated the attack.
For a few moments, he swept along the shore silently and left everyone
in waves of flame and ravaged flesh. He continued inland like a volcanic
eruption, with little warning. There would be a death toll of millions
under his feet and even more incinerated by his atomic ray.
Akane and her child had gotten away from her parents'
house and joined the fleeing mass of citizens trying to outrun the behemoth.
When she found this out, one of the last things she remembered was the
sky raining ashes and splinters and rock as he made his rounds through
A large clawed foot came down, forming a crater.
White claws dug into the ground and cut the now soft earth. Scales walked
up the thing's legs which were attached to a bulky, charcoal body.
The creature towered upward to a pair of arms
which drummed the air below a reptilian head glancing down at her with
When Akane looked back, she saw her son trying to
stand up and make his way toward her. She stretched out her arms and he
was gone in a blue light, his silhouette visible among a small crowd scrambling
along with him. The light disappeared and the ground was glassy smooth.
Their shadows were now pasted on a wall.
Akane hid herself in an alleyway behind a trash can.
Godzilla passed her over and continued destroying the city as she was left
there to mourn the murder of her only and beloved child. Godzilla had once
again put a cut into Japan's people, leaving a trail of twisted metal and
debris in his wake. Akane was rescued, hysterical and distant from the
rest of what remained of her world.
Eight Months Later
The plaque read: “To Honor Those Lost in Godzilla's
Attack November 3, 2004”. The memorial didn't have any names on it, only
partial shadows of what appeared to be a few people on a wall. One of those
shadows was Akane's son. She placed her hand on it, trying to cup the outline
of his face as a tear rolled down her own. The realization that he wasn't
lost was both a joy and a pain. He was immortalized on that wall, the only
section that still stood. She couldn't understand why but she felt as if
it were an act of God. At least she could visit him whenever she wished.
Her hand moved down to her rounded womb and felt
the baby moving within her. Akane smiled and walked away, oblivious of
what was going on around her. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion
to her but she had conquered the Voice and it was gone for good.
So He had a name: Godzilla.