Thriller Restaurant Series – Volume 32
The Opening of Death God Restaurant
By Matsutani Miyoko
One day my mother brought me shopping with her. I was hungry when we were about to head home because it was around lunch time. While we were walking, we came upon a restaurant with a terrifying death god standing on its roof.
“Hey, what’s this? Death God Restaurant?” my mom said, wrinkling her nose.
Just then, a man who looked like he was probably the owner of the restaurant walked out and said, “Welcome. Please come into Death God Restaurant.”
“Well… that’s an odd name. Why did you open this kind of restaurant?”
“Well, you see, there’s a strange story behind it.”
“Really? I’d love to hear it.”
I sat down in one of the chairs in front of the restaurant. I love strange stories, so I had to ask.
“Well, where should I start?”
He looked wore casual clothes, more like someone who didn’t own a restaurant.
“He’s really fashionable, like an artist,” my mother whispered to me.
He began the story, “Boy, do you know where crows are born? Crows are born from ash. No one knows who wrote them or when they were written, but long ago, there were books which contained the time of everyone’s death. They were truly prophetic books, but the problem was that if everyone knew when and where they’d die, humans might have gotten lazy and stopped working hard.”
“A god saw this and said, “This is terrible.” That god burned all of the books. They turned to ash, right? From those very ashes crows were born. Therefore, crows know when people will die and caw in a strange fashion.”
“Crows weren’t the only creatures born from those ashes. A death god also sprang forth. By the way, if someone is about to die, death gods know because they have that information. Even now, important information has been burned. From the ashes of those things, too, death gods were born. Do you know Chernobyl? The disaster happened in the Republic of Ukraine, where at the time a nuclear power plant was created by a big country called the Soviet Union. After that country was bombed, too, countless death gods were born. Even before that, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by America, a terrifying amount of death gods were born.”
“It happened that one day, all of a sudden, a death god appeared in my backyard.”
“Woah! A death god was born in your backyard?”
The owner nodded his head seriously.
“I opened Death God Restaurant, but my real job is writing children’s stories. Nowadays, authors all compose their manuscripts on computers. I can only write good stories when I use a pen because I have no computer sense. So, why do you think a death god appeared in my yard?”
“Day in and day out I wrote manuscripts filled with mistakes. I’d write a little, crumple the page into a ball, and toss it into the waste basket. The next morning the crumpled sheets of paper would be piled up and I’d burn them. I kept at it every day and an area of my backyard became dark with thick, piled-up ashes.”
“Interestingly it happened that a mushroom grew from those ashes.”
“I squatted down to inspect it, and said “Wow, is that a mushroom?”. Somehow that thin mushroom grew out of a pile of ash. The sheets of my manuscripts and the words I wrote on them were burned and it sprung from those very ashes. Neither before nor after that day, has a mushroom just started growing in my yard. While I was pondering those thoughts, I thought it was a ghost moving the mushroom because it swayed and wobbled, but a figure like that of a death god revealed itself instead. I quickly put two and two together and I was certain it was a death god.”
“Hey, you, little death god, why did you appear here?”
“When I said those words, the death god responded, “Something was burned, and from the ashes a death god arises, and I chose to come from the ashes of your burnt manuscripts. That’s why.” He continued, “The thing I’m concerned with is that I thought your children’s stories were really good and very interesting, so even though I’m a death god, I’ll be really upset if you die. So, I’m a child death god.”
“Oh…I’m really shocked. I guess there are different kinds of death gods,” I said.
“I returned to my house, and the death god following along behind me. It had only read the stories I’d written which were filled with mistakes. I handed it a book I’d completed. It was really pleased. After putting out tea and cakes, it was even more pleased. Each death god is born with its own disposition. The death god that appeared in my backyard was a young one that loved fairy tales and sweets.”
“Well, because of that, I built Death God Restaurant. I hope that death gods, especially those born of radioactive ashes which have sad memories us humans can’t even imagine, will come here. Of course, I also offer a warm welcome to human customers, so please come in.”