A Little Funky: Katsuro, Miyuki, Rose

Katsuro propped her feet up on the dashboard of the car, humming along to the music pumping into her ears. Jazz. Wild, raucous jazz. That was what she liked. Closing her pale green eyes, she rested her head back against her seat.

“Heyyy... don’t fall asleep on me. We already lost one,” said Rose from the driver’s seat, jabbing Katsuro in the ribs with an elbow and motioning to the back seat, where Miyuki was crashed, dead asleep.

“I’m not asleep,” grumbled Katsuro, opening one eye a crack to look over at her redhead friend.

It’d been four hours since the trio of friends had left Tokyo, driving up into the mountains. Their
destination was Katsuro’s grandmother’s house. Baba, the girls all called her. Rose Galleateau, Miyuki Sasaki and Katsuro Niigata had been friends since childhood. Rose was the girlish one, bright red hair curling around a pale, freckled face with big, yellow-green eyes. Always in vogue, Rose was wearing a tight, short skirt and a black tank top. Miyuki was a pianist and an artist. She was the tallest of the three, slender, with dark clothes that accentuated her features well. Katsuro was the oldest, with a boyish figure and short, wavy auburn hair and a long, aquiline nose. Katsuro could be considered somewhat of a renaissance woman; she played violin well, painted, did gymnastics, rock climbed, and would try anything at least once. That particular day, she was clothed in a pair of gym shorts and a long, light green tee shirt.

“You look asleep,” grumbled Rose, taking a turn up into a little grove of trees.

“Well sorry for living,” snorted Katsuro, staring out the window to her left.

It was late evening, and the sun was just beginning to set over the horizon. They’d gassed the car at the last city they’d passed through, nearly an hour back. The three girls had spent almost half of their lives at Baba’s houseThey knew the road there so well that any one of them could drive there blindfolded, not that they wanted to try, of course. The winding road meandered up the side of the mountain through dense forest. It was a whole hour before they reached the small offshoot that lead to Baba’s house. Katsuro’s old jeep rattled over the rickety bridge, waking Miyuki. She sat up, rubbing her eyes and looking out the window. Rose parked the car in Baba’s gravel lot outside the small, traditional-style house. Baba herself sat on the front porch, waiting for them.

Katsuro was the first out of the car, bursting out into the open evening air, glad to be free of the close confines of the vehicle. She retrieved her bag from the trunk and ran up to meet her grandmother, bowing politely before embracing her. Rose and Miyuki were close behind Katsuro, Rose lugging a heavy, bright red suitcase, while Miyuki carried only a loaded backpack over one shoulder.

“And how are my favorite girls?” asked the old woman, bowing slightly to each in turn.

“Very well, Baba,” replied Katsuro.

Rose and Miyuki nodded in agreement. Baba smiled and led the trio inside the house. They ate a lovely dinner of hand-rolled sushi and rice before settling down in the main room, seated on plush cushions. After dinner was always story time. Baba always told the most wild and outlandish stories, but somehow made them all sound real and believable at the same time. There were always common characters; Syseli, an evil witch, Ereseis, a just king, Filanely, an air-headed bard, Raygonya, a monstrous demon who hunted small towns, and Battista, a flamboyant prince with a troublesome streak. Sometimes, Baba would work the three girls into the stories, making them the characters in an epic journey or some such fantasy. That night’s story started of something like this:

“Battista stood at the window of his tower, cursing his bad luck, Syseli standing behind him, a clawed hand gripping his shoulder...”

The story continued as King Ereseis sent hero after hero to rescue his son, but all failed, meeting an untimely doom at the hands of Raygonya, whom Syseli had set to guard Battista’s tower. Baba ended the section of the story just as King Ereseis was about to call the Champion of Lost Hope before the court. The abrupt stop of the story dragged groans out of Rose and Miyuki and Katsuro, even though Katsuro was still holding back gales of laughter at the fact that Battista was trapped in a tower like a helpless princess. Baba smiled at her granddaughter’s antics before shooing the friends up to their bedroom. All three girls fell almost immediately asleep.





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