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A Note From the Author:

In this story I use the name “Onihime” as a sort of personification of Death, set toward the end of World War II. While the Japanese term Onihime does, literally, translate as “Demon Princess,” the idea that she has some sort of connection with yuri-lesbians is purely my idea. “Yuri” is a term for stories involving love between women in Japanese literature, focusing either on the erotic, the spiritual, or the emotional aspects of girl-girl relationships.

* * *

Outra noite de verão.
Na cidade morta, tristeza;
não lavado pela tempestade.

One more summer night.
In the dead city, sorrow;
unwashed by the storm.

March 10, 1945

Her lover was dying; Mai sat alone with her. Nothing could exceed the desolation of her surroundings on that early summer night. Her beloved Kimiko, a young woman who would soon be taken from her, coughed in her troubled, thin sleep. Mai sat in the dark on the third-floor of a wood-and-paper boarding-house. It was so quiet, even the cicadas had abandoned their song. It was a claustrophobic night. The other boarders had fled the building the day before; all the servants except the cook had been dismissed, joining the endless stream of refugees trying to flee to the country, to the mountains, to anywhere. The landlady was also missing as well; as if she had left on a brief holiday earlier that morning, a journey that spiraled horribly out of control.

The glassless window was open to let in the thick, stagnant air; no sound sprung up from the rows of long, narrow backyards below in the dark. The streets were deadened; all light extinguished. The whole city held its breath; their ears poised, waiting for that unmistakable drone coming out from the deep, dark sea — the heartbeat of those long-range B-29 Super Fortresses — sent, as if from another world, to burn all of Tokyo to ruin.

Mai sat in the dark, plunged in the deepest grief that could come to a young soul, for in all other suffering we can still hold onto a sliver of desire, however brief; except for this, this one grief. Mai gazed dully at the unconscious form of the woman who had been her best friend, her extraordinary companion, her soul mate during five long years of joy; two souls so full of life, so optimistic for the future, now and forever twisted by such a terrible destiny.

Like the Imperial empire itself, it was a wasting disease that had consumed her Kimiko; the girl’s face was literally shriveled; her night gown hung loosely upon two breasts which had never known deformity, a body no longer muscular from cum and orgasms and a life as a factory girl. Dully Mai wondered why the body that she had loved so much, that had brought her so much desire, had been changed forever; why Kimiko’s beauty, too, had gone somewhere else. She had loved her glorious cunt, her magnificent ass, her splendid breasts, as if they were a part of herself; loved Kimiko’s wild-fuck magnetism. Now the body lay limp under the quilt. For a moment something convulsed within Mai. Everything in the world had abandoned her.

She leaned over her lover, listening. Kimiko was in there still, somewhere. The ill-shapen breasts rose and fell, almost imperceptible, true, but they still rose and fell. Where does the soul go from its sodden clay form when one is no longer alive but not yet dead? Was it still conscious in there? Was it simply unable to communicate through such decaying corpus? Did the soul struggle to be heard? Did Kimiko see Mai’s agony? She called her lover’s name, she shook those thin shoulders, suddenly crazed to rip the body open, part the breasts and ribs, the wild urge to find the soul of her soul mate, yet even in that tortured moment she knew that such violence would undo everything.

Violence. Violence would be here soon.

The dying woman took no notice of her. Mai ripped open Kimiko’s gown, pressed her cheek to her breast, felt the long nipple smothered against her cheek. She had once joked that nipple was the only food she ever needed.

“No,” Kimiko had laughed, looking up from between Mai’s wide open thighs, her nose and chin and lips all sticky in the dark. “A girl can’t live on cum alone, but I think we’re seeing if we can try.”

Indeed, they had tried, over and over and over; every night on that little tatami mat while Europe burned on the other side of the world.

How could the connection between lovers be so strong if one of them was not alive at the other end? Kimiko had to be in there; her other, her best part. But the faintly beating heart did not speed up under her lips, even when she took the unresponsive nipple into her mouth and began to suck. With a sob she rose to her feet, went to the window. She feared some psychotic act on her part. She feared her own grief. She feared just how much damage she could do if she lost control just now.

She couldn’t see the charred grass in the backyards from where she stood. Something sinister, like the dread of the approaching raiders, clung to the city. An inky shadow. She returned swiftly to the bedside, wondering if she had remained away a long twilit hour or a couple of minutes, if her beloved Kimiko was dead. Had Onihime, the demon princess that lived in the shadow-world and fed upon the passions of all yuri girls, found their room yet? Mai clasped her hands against her own wildly beating heart, watching with panic-stricken eyes at the graven face which was becoming less defined as the night closed in around them.

Fearfully, she put her ear to Kimiko’s lips; she still breathed. She made a motion to kiss her, then threw herself back in a quiver of agony, they were not the lips she had known, she would never have those lips ever again. Mai’s vision became blurred, closing her eyes, waited for the pain to lessen. When she opened them Kimiko’s face had disappeared; the heat waves from the city silenced even the starlight. Night was here.

She sat there in the hot heavy night, pressing her hand hard against the other’s ebbing heart, waiting for Onihime. Suddenly a queer idea possessed her. Why did she have to wait for Onihime at all? Why was She lollygagging and taking Her leisure to get to them? The heart sounded like the kind of music that was always played in Kabuki theater when the heroine was about to die on stage. Mai had always thought that sort of thing was ridiculous. And it was; every attempt to portray Death in human form always is.

Far out at sea she thought she heard something, only for a moment. A drone of engines, the insect hum of war machines. For a moment the sweat stood on her face; she knitted her brows angrily together and pressed her palm against that wondrous heart, as if to keep guard over. Then the pent-up air burst from her lungs. Damn her, Onihime-kami, where was She?

That noise, that hum, it did not repeat itself. What a curious experience: to be sitting alone in a doomed building, one she knew that everyone else had stolen out from, waiting for an invisible, resolute enemy, with whom the Imperial will could no longer wrestle against. Mai wondered at the demon princess’ frivolousness at such a time and, turning her head slightly, she cried out in horror. Something was creeping into the window-sill. Two round, moon-like eyes glared menacingly back at her just above the black void of the window. Mai’s limbs trembled, she struggled to her feet, looked away but her own eyes dragged themselves back to the window against her will.

She realized that it was not anger that possessed her; she was horribly frightened. Is it possible? she thought. Kimiko used to call me heroic; but then with her it was impossible to fear anything. She glanced apprehensively about; the eyes were gone. A trick, she wondered, a trick of my nerves. Then she wondered if she could be able to see Her when She came; wondered how far off She was now. Not very far, it felt. She had heard about the power of the dead to drive away all mortal courage, had scoffed at that, having no morbid horror of the dead herself. You could always tell when the dead were touching you; that sudden chill, the goosebumps, the way the hair on your scalp felt electrically charged. But this was a different sort of terror. To wait, wait, wait, perhaps for the rest of her life, perhaps only until the midnight, while those awful, unhurried war machines stole ever nearer.

Where was the unconquerable love that had held her all these years with such a strong, loving embrace? How could her darling Kimiko abandon her at her greatest need? Suddenly, far down in the building, on the first floor perhaps, came a sound; a wary, muffled sound, as if someone were creeping up the old, wooden stairs, someone fearful of being heard. The whole still night felt wet, a wave of death-sweat had broken over the city.

Then came another footstep. A pause. Then another.

Mai knew that it was Onihime who was coming to her through the silent deserted boarding-house. The demon princess of girl-love was toiling up the stairs painfully, as if She were old, tired, exhausted with the knowledge of the howling fire-storm that would consume not only all of Tokyo that night but all the gay little girls whose love kept Her well-fed and happy. She reached the first landing, crept down the hall to the next stairs, then crawled slowly up as before. Light as Her footfalls were, they were squarely planted, unfaltering; slow, slow and they never halted.

Automatically Mai pressed her hand upon Kimiko’s breast, trying to find that precious heart; its beats were almost too feeble to locate. That beat would cease altogether in moments, just when the demon princess who made those creaking footfall noises would enter the room and stand before the bed.

Not a sound came from the outside world, save the song of the gremlins in the armaments, the wasp-buzz of engines, the yawning of bomb bay doors swinging open. Even the cicadas had begun to sing this song; but inside the quiet building the footfalls were becoming louder, until thigh-high leather kick-boots were pounding up the stairs, echoing across the world.

Mai had counted the steps — ten, eleven, twelve — as they moved with slow precision, noting their hollow reverberation that sounded like the blood pumping in her veins. How many steps left before She reached the door? The noise turned the corner of the hallway; it advanced, slowly, down the hall; it paused before her door, a whirlwind of fire, a diabolic presence nothing could stop.

The floor was trembling as knuckles knocked upon the frame of the wooden, sliding door. Windows and glass all up and down the city street shattered. Thousands and thousands of small fragments of splinters flew in every direction. Mai felt glass slivers penetrate her thighs. She could feel the blood steaming out into the hot night from her wounds; tears beginning to roll down her legs.

Black smoke filled the skies of Tokyo.

The knocking became more demanding; the very walls vibrated. The sounds of terrifying, deafening explosions rolled across the cityscape. A stabbing pain filled Mai’s skull. Blood was flowing everywhere, her ears bleeding furiously. Deaf. The shock of the sudden pain and stillness scared Mai more than the creature standing in the open doorway to their room. A girl only a few years older than Mai herself, with piercing black pits for eyes, was breathing rapidly. She parted the folds on her kimono and Mai could see she wore nothing underneath it. Her hair was so black it seemed to suck all the light from the corridor outside. Her breasts were nicely shaped, identical, in fact, to Kimiko’s, back when they had been in their prime. Her lips moved but Mai could not understand the words. She realized that the other had shamelessly buried one hand between her legs, her fingers moving at a slow, leisurely pace. Tender. The girl closed her nothingness eyes for a second while her lips moved wordlessly.

Onihime purred as her hand moved faster. Though Mai couldn’t see her exploring her own wet, cum-sticky folds, the demon princess seemed well-versed enough in pleasure; but with an unquestionable hunger that Mai had never seen before, not even in Kimiko.

Onihime whimpered as she gently twisted her clit and all tenderness that desire can bring evaporated into the incendiary, petrol-fueled air. The girl fiercely pinched her nipples, screaming with joy as her hand began to furiously finger-fuck herself — deep — deep — impossibly deep. The hum of falling bombs were all around them. The demon princess’ wrist gleamed with her own cum, a netherworld glow, what God’s tears would look like, if only such a thing as a God existed.

Mai’s voice was on the verge of screaming as the burning air was sucked out of the room. She sounded like she was about to cry or sob; an inhuman sound only the devils and lovers of demons can make. The city was aflame, flailing about, writhing in agony, screaming piteously for help, but beyond all mortal assistance. The wall of flame rolled over everything; there was a horrific beauty to this last orgasm as the two women screamed, caught in the aftershocks. With a last, wild, spontaneous cry Mai flung herself across her beloved Kimiko as the walls came tumbling down.