To get to Kawara I had to take the bus forty minutes south, passing through Sanwa on the way. I had been to many small fishing towns in the past few days, looking for the young princess who was said to have drowned many years ago.
In Kawara, I swam in the little bay area where the fisherman docked their boats. All I had was my goggles. I dove down into the water half expecting to see her there. Instead, I saw a school of fish swimming together, each no bigger than my pointer finger.
I grabbed onto a rock at the bottom and stayed there as long as I could.
I was a foreigner living in Japan. Soon my visa would expire and the immigration bureaucrats would come to find me. I was sure that as long as I stayed underwater, I would be safe from them. I stayed down for fifty-two seconds. My absolute limit. That’s when I saw a man in a black suit swimming toward me.
I let go of the rock and drifted up to the surface, taking in air with heavy breaths.
I couldn’t run forever. Soon, I would have to face my problems. Why not now? Why not here? I caught my breath and went back down to face the bureaucrat. But when I reached the bottom, he wasn’t there. .
Instead there was a girl. She smiled at me.
“You don’t want to see my passport, do you?”
“No, I came to see you.”
If you would like to read more short stories, please check out “The Lexical Funk” here: http://issuu.com/danielclausen/docs/lexical_funk_2014_-_issuu/1