Philip Jensen had been working for the Old Town Coin Shop for five years
now. It was the main store of a twenty store chain of coin shops. He started
working there because he needed to pay for college, but now, a year after
graduation, he worked there simply because he did not want to leave and
enjoyed the atmosphere. He had majored in Archeology in college with a
special affinity for Japan. He could speak almost fluent Japanese and could
read it even better.
His immediate boss was an old lady of seventy that stories went around
that she had worked for the present owners grandmother. Although the old
lady, Gertrude Hamilson, was slowing down physically, she just seemed to
get shrewder every year.
The owner was a lady of reportly twenty five although every time he
talked to her, he had the feeling he was talking to someone much older.
She had taken over the business in 1986 after her mother died and was running
it quite well for only having six years of experience. Yasu Michamo, the
owner, was five foot tall with blond hair and large green eyes. He thought
that she had never age in the five years he had worked for her, and although
she had a strange abnormality that caused her ears to be pointed, she was
the most beautiful woman he knew or had ever seen. She spoke with a faint
Japanese accent and often wrote poems in the same.
This year, Philip was taking more and more responsibilities in the store.
Now, he would regularly be the person who would lock up the shop. On one
such night, he was sweeping the shop up after locking the door when he
noticed a book on the counter. Curious at what it was, he picked it up.
After he picked it up he recognized it; It was the diary of Ms Michamo.
"She must have left it when she went to the shop", He thought. Unable to
resist the temptation, he picked up the book and started leafing through
the book. The first four pages were written in something he had never seen
before but seemed to flow across the pages. He continued to skim through
the book. It seemed to be written in a form that would indicate synopsis
of major events. Page five was written in Japanese and he could not stop
himself from reading it.
The Year is 1787, Location is Michamo Village. This year I decided
to marry Hirono. The wedding was wonderful and he treats me very well.
Although women are supposedly second class citizens, he never treats me
this way and is teaching me his way of the sword. I am gaining a very good
knowledge of the language and can fit into the culture.
He stopped reading and started looking at the paper. It was of the same
material as you would expect for paper from eighteenth century Japan. It
also looked and felt the right age. It also appeared to be in the same
hand as the owner. He could not help but think about Gertrude calling Ms.
Michamo "Old Lady". Still, he could not help but to continue reading. He
flipped many pages forward and started reading what he flipped to. It was
also written in Japanese.
The year is 1845, Location is a ship headed for California. Two months
ago, An assassin from another family came and murdered everyone except
me. I have all the family items I could get away with. Like my husband,
son, and daughter, they would have killed me if they knew I was still alive.
Tears welled out of his eyes as he finished this synopsis. He flipped a
few more passages and noticed that soon they were written in English.
The Year is 1863, Ipswich, Massachusetts. The man I married two years
ago is dead. He was shot by a Confederate and I got the letter last week.
He insisted I write this in English. It is best if I fulfill his last wish.
The general store is doing alright. Is everybody I marry going to die?
I don't think I am going to ever remarry.
This writing was so much like Ms. Michamo's handwriting, it could not have
been done by her mother and the aging of the book would have cost a fortune
if it was a fake. "Is this real or am I working for a Mad Woman", is his
thought. His curiosity kept him reading though.
The year is 1895, Ipswitch, Massachusetts. The business of coins is
doing very well. The trick will be to collect the coins when they are valuable
and then sell them 50 or more years later. I had a daughter this year (I
am my own daughter). I think I will die in about sixteen years and everything
will be passed to her.
He did not know why, but for some reason he felt all this writing was real
and not fiction of lunacy. He launched himself further along getting entangled
further into the diary. The heading of the next chapter appeared more terse.
1943, Ipswitch, Mass. Mrs Gertrude Hamilson, A new employee discovered
all about me. Hopefully, I can keep her from telling everybody about what
I am. She seems so nice and I would also hate to move.
As he read, He believed more and more that he was actually working for
a two hundred plus year old lady. He thought about all the conversations
between the Ms Michamo and Mrs Hamilson and the way they talked about events.
1962, Tokyo, Japan. I am in Japan learning Aikido. Gertrude is handling
the Business well and I am about to be reincarnated so to speak. I heard
the funeral was very nice. This is the third life I have faked. I figure
the next one will be in 1986. Gertrude sent me three book she thought I
should read. They were called the Lord of the Rings. The writer was J.R.R.
Tolken. I do not understand how but it is the exact history of my world
and all about us elves.
He flipped to the last written page in the book next, preparing to lock
it up for the owner thinking it might be best to run as far away as he
1992, Ipswitch, MA. Mr Philip Jensen has been working for me for about
five years now and if I do not tell him about my condition soon, I think
there might be problems. I think I will leave him this diary to break the
ice. I'm sure he will be unable to resist the temptation of reading it.
He almost dropped the book as he saw that both Ms Michamo and Mrs Hamilson
were watching him from the back.
"Would you care for a cup of tea, Philip?"
By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 1998, Kitsune. All rights reserved.