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The most curious thing was happening on the surface. Kasumi had never seen such colors lighting the top of the water before. For so long it had just been the usual light of the sun and the darkness of night with white lanterns occasionally extending out over the water as the humans looked for one lost to the river and its inhabitants.

But never had spheres of blue and red twinkled above her river home. They twinkled and tempted her with their newness. There were other colors too, bright greens and the lightest shade of purple that she had ever seen that moved with the waves on the surface.

She had behaved lately, doing as she was told and not tricking anymore humans into the water. While she did that, the males were still going around and doing whatever they wanted. A group even went ashore and took a woman by force. No one in the village believed the poor woman about her rape either and was being shunned but nothing was being done to the kappa that had left her alive.

Out of all of them, she probably deserved a moment of rule breaking. The lights continued to tempt her and Kasumi was finding it harder and harder to find reasons why she should stay in the river. Whatever was going on up there was something new and no doubt fascinating. Why couldn’t she just take a peek? So long as she didn’t start toying with the humans, no one would even know that she had left.

Glancing around for any sign of another Kappa, Kasumi made up her mind. She was going to find out what was making those colored lights on the surface. That’s all. It would serve alleviate both her curiosity and boredom in one fell swoop. No one would complain about that.

Following the floor of the river, she crawled her way up to the least visited part of the bank. It was covered with reeds and other water plants. Humans stayed away because they believed it was the home of one of the kappa. As wrong as they were, it provided her with a space to emerge in secret.

Her green skin blended in fine with the plants but she knew that leaving that safety would leave her exposed and obvious. But not only were the lights still tempting her, there was music and more laughter than she had ever heard come from the confines of the village.

Creeping her way from the water, she darted for the closest house. Hanging along the edge of the room were the lights that had been taunting her. They were brighter than the usual lanterns, and painted in bright colors. Other than the ones that hung out over the edge of the river, there were more around each edge of the room and then strung along to the next house to do the same. The ground around the houses was cast in all the colors and melded them together where they overlapped.

It was such elaborate decoration for the little village and only served to make her wonder what so special about the day that they had decorate each house with bright colors. Edging around the corner of the house, she slowly made her way to the town center. That was where they always held large events.

The noise got louder with each step that she took. Laughter and music prevailed but there was an occasional screech of delight that she could only attribute to delighted children. Finding a perfect place to sit and watch, Kasumi didn’t really care if she figured what they were celebrating or why. Not anymore.

Humans were always plagued with trouble and hardship but it didn’t seem to bring them down. Kasumi had eaves dropped on many river side conversations and knew that there were things that were very wrong. Yet, the humans were still able to smile, to dance, and live as carefree as a babe.

A tiny smile tugged at her green lips as she watched and she swayed with the music, wishing for the first time in her life that she could understand what really kept the humans going. Maybe one day the answer would come from her eavesdropping or when the next unsuspecting soul was dragged down into the river. Maybe there would be a time when she could actually join in on the festivals.

For now, she was content with being the audience to the colorful celebration.


I probably could have saved this to develop it more but I also don’t want to spend days spilling over it. For now, it’ll stay as is.

Next Creature: Tanuki