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  • Charlaine LeRoux

Cotton Eyed Whoa!

Hey Bookworms! What’s shakin', bacon? I, personally, am doing just swell despite the weather continuing to be cold as all get out. I spent rather a lot of time in a possibly haunted antique store this weekend and it really got me thinking. Of course, my first thought was “I wonder if these walls are filled with teeth?”. Tooth walls are a story for another day though. After that I started pondering the character and history of antique items. They’ve been around. Not that they’re promiscuous and it’s honestly none of our business if they are. I respect their choices. What I’m saying is that they have absorbed so much history and emotion that we may never know about. One might call them mysteries and you know I like a good mystery.

Finally, I started thinking about Japanese folklore. Generally it is hard core and terrifying and I wouldn’t put my precious Bookworms through all that, but this story delights me. It Jimmy Dean delights me. It’s like putting on socks straight from the dryer and then playing with an adorable kitten. You see, the Japanese call all of their non human supernatural type folks “Yokai” and there is a subgroup of Yokai called Tsukumogami. What’s that? Tools that have been around for at least a hundred years and have become sentient. Yup. Sentient tools. Hey Alexa? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

The particular Tsukumogami I want to talk about is named Ittan-Momen. Who dat? Ittan-Momen is a roll of sturdy cotton used for making clothes that has hit one hundred and made it to the big leagues. Picture it. Ittan-Momen is ninety-nine years old and is about to turn one hundred. It’s been lucky enough not to be turned into hot pants or a half shirt and it’s just moments away from coming to life. The clock strikes midnight and something changes. A sort of tingle goes through the air and suddenly the fabric rustles just slightly. Ittan-Momen is alive! And it can fly! It’s wonderful! Finally IM can get out of this stupid fabric shop and see the world. Really feel the fresh air in its fibers, ya know?. Then Ittan-Momen will do what it’s really been longing for. Today Ittan-Momen will kill for the first time.

Uh huh. You heard me right guys. Ittan-Momen is a sentient roll of death cloth that flies through the air with fabric trailing behind it like a tail. So whimsical! Of course, it’s goal is to wrap it’s trailing cottontail around your face and suffocate you which is slightly less adorable but objectively it’s still pretty dang cute. The touch, the feel of cotton! It may mean your impending death but that death will be entirely organic.

My favorite thing about Ittan-Momen is that its body count must be pretty high. If it’s got its own name and its own written history, then this wicked bit of weaving must be patrolling the night sky on the regular. A soft but durable flying nightmare. How many lives has IM taken? It has to be a lot, right? What I’m saying is that terrible tapestry torments towns all over Japan and, other than all the murder, I think it’s just great. I want to live in a world where the greatest threat to my safety is a large roll of fabric that straight up flies through the air looking for its next victim. Heck, if I have to go out violently, I hope Ittan-Momen would consider making the trip over here to get me. Carrie Fisher wanted to drown in moonlight strangled by her own bra. Aunt Charlaine wants to be violently conked on the head by a flying evil bolt of fabric and then suffocated by a villain that might have been parachute pants in another life. After Smoky has thrown herself on my coffin and the mourning is over, it will be a hilarious story. I hope you will all respect my wishes. What eldritch horror do you hope takes you guys out Bookworms?

#folklore #folkloreFriday #LynxLeRoux

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