Red eyes, a long, pink tongue with drool leaking from it and more teeth than an alligator. It was definitely a dog but it was something other as well.
It was the kind of sight that human eyes couldn’t see, but I could. I suddenly understood why the cats had disappeared and why the nezumi had given it’s all to get away. I never thought I’d see one in person. An Inugami. Here, in Kyoto. Stories concerning this violent dog spirit were scattered throughout Japanese legend and myth and were more often than not, filled with blood and death. They were vengeful beings and grew more powerful with hatred, capable of possessing people and taking over their bodies.
Alarm welled up inside me. Inugami were not known to take harmless walks around the town. Was the Inugami being sent out to possess someone? I put the rat on the ground, putting one foot on top to prevent it running off and searched my pockets for a spell. Then I noticed there was a body attached to the spirit. Correction, a person. The Inugami hovered above a figure who was slowly walking by. Male, with pale skin whose face was turned away from me, and he had a convenience store bag bulging with food on his arm. That…was not supposed to be part of the picture. Actually, nothing of this was what I should expect of an Inumgai. It wasn’t emitting any kind of murderous or destructive aura, wasn’t leaving a trail of blood – I’d go so far as to say it was practically sedate. This wasn’t making any sense. Inugami were vindictive spirits, even when you were the original possessor, they tried to kill you. Was this person already possessed? And what was with the grocery shopping?
While I was having a tiny conniption on all the possibilities, the source of my anxiety had slipped off. I opened my mouth to call out to him, but closed it when I realized him – it – they – had completely vanished. The rat under my foot squealed plaintively.
“Oh, shut up.”