Mayumi tossed violently in her sleep as visions of her parents popped into her head. Her palms were sweaty and her legs felt numb. A sudden shot of adrenaline hit her when she heard the slight patter of footsteps. Mayumi jolted up and slowly, slowly got out of the bed, tip toeing out into the hallway. She first went to Koemi’s room, only a short distance away. She would not let anything happen this time. Whatever was going on, she would be in control this time. She gently slid her hands under Koemi’s back so she could lift her. Koemi stirred from Mayumi’s touch, wiggling side to side and opened her eyes, tiredly.
“Mayumi, what’s going on?”
Mayumi stroked her hair while rocking her.
“Shhhh… it’s fine,” Mayumi assured her in a hush tone.
Koemi stayed quiet as she plopped her head on Mayumi’s shoulder. She carried her like a doll out of the room and into their parent’s bedroom. There they found Machiko staring at the symbol on the wall. She must’ve been sleep walking again, which she tended to do when she was really stressed out or excited about something.
“Machiko, your room is this way.”
Mayumi tried to talk to her sister because it usually worked, but this time Machiko continued to stare at the symbol, eyes wide open. Mayumi, still embracing Koemi in her arms walked so she was standing next to Machiko. Koemi lifted her head and looked at the wall, curious as to what was grabbing her sister’s attention.
“Tamashi” she read.
Mayumi stood still, that word, that’s what she said before….
The serpent on the symbol began to spin. It spun rapidly, mixing the symbol of red into what looked like a giant blob. Mayumi knew what was coming, so she held Koemi closer and placed her hand around Machiko’s arm. Koemi watched as their parent’s room disappeared and a sea of black turned into the dark blue sky, a corn field and the smell of bamboo. Machiko could feel hard grass touching her bare feet. Their surroundings were different. They were in a corn field that seemed to expand on over the horizon. Where were they? After Mayumi placed Koemi down, she looked around and was surprised. Koemi turned toward Machiko. Somehow she looked different. Her hair retained its usual brown curls but her outfit and her aura was different. Machiko’s body was wrapped in a white and red robe. Its sleeves were long and wavy. A long red cord draped off Machiko’s shoulders and formed a bow near her stomach. Her left leg was exposed as the robe waved over the right side of her body.
“Machiko?" Koemi asked hoping her sister wasn’t still asleep.
Machiko turned her head and smiled.
Machiko looked down at herself realizing Koemi’s words. Machiko’s mouth opened in astonishment. Her clothes were different but not just hers, Mayumi and Koemi. What was also strange was something in her hand.
She thought for a moment before saying “This looks like a traditional kimono.”
“Doesn’t look traditional with your leg sticking out like that,” Mayumi mumbled.
Machiko turned and glared at Mayumi who was wearing a short kimono that resided over her thighs, being held together by a thick orange sash.
“Look at you, look at me. Look at Koemi! Where are we? What happened?”
“That thing on the wall did it,” Koemi yelled in excitement.
Koemi wore a short kimono like Mayumi but wore knee high socks that accompanied the high bows in her hair perfectly.
“Yeah…I mean once Koemi said Tamashi we somehow ended up here.”
“Wait…these cornfields, these outfits; they remind me of a story from old Japan.” Machiko spun her arms around embracing the cold evening air.
“So what are you saying?” Mayumi asked.
“It’s like the past.” Machiko mumbled.
“How do you figure that?”
Mayumi remained skeptical. It just didn’t seem likely. Well, considering what happened earlier at this point she was a little open to accepting it.
“I have a feeling…” Machiko stuttered.
She knew she sounded crazy, but Koemi and Mayumi nodded their heads in a silent agreement to show they believed her. They must’ve been transported back in time.
“This is strange, but it feels like….”
Machiko stopped in mid sentence, catching herself. She didn’t know why but deep inside there was something undiscovered.
“It feels like we’ve been here before.”
Mayumi finished off her sentence with the same exact words she was thinking. Koemi was oblivious to this but Machiko and Mayumi could feel that they had been there before. They had recognized the dry corn husks and the smell of bamboo. It was crazy to think it, so they brushed it off like it was nothing. The problem was how to get home.