Yesterday I went to the 2017 Hong Kong Rugby 7’s, played in Hong Kong Stadium in Causeway Bay. It is one of the most popular sporting events in Asia. Thousands of fans, many dressed in costumes, party in the stands as teams from all over the world compete on the pitch.
In an excerpt from a book that I am currently writing, two Japanese twins, sisters of the most feared Yakuza oyabun in Japan, are in a Hong Kong coffee shop discussing Midori’s plan to poison the fans at the Rugby 7’s. Midori, who fantasies that she can reanimate the dead, has developed a poison that causes a catatonic trance, making it appear that the victim has died and is coming back to life:
Murasaki and Midori, after leaving the museum, walked down the hill and entered Heavenly Grounds, a coffee shop so narrow that if a Great Dane stood in the middle he would hit either wall with his wagging tail. The women ordered espressos.
“You must think that I am crazy, Murasaki-san,” Midori said, the rich, almost-burned-beans aroma of the espresso wafting up from the white porcelain cups on the table between them. “I told you that I plan to poison people and then that when they wake up I will take credit for resurrecting them. However, I do know that after they twitch a bit and show signs of coming back to life that then they will die for real.” Midori said as she took a delicate sip. She repeated, “I know that.”
“Good, sister, I am very glad to hear that. I was thinking that your grasp of reality had slipped a bit,” Murasaki said. “So, why do you want to do it then?”
“For my own entertainment. It is like fantasy play,” Midori shrugged. She paused. “No, sorry, that is not true, dear sister. I am afraid that I am becoming one of those people who tells a lie so much that they believe it themselves.”
“So what is the truth then, Midori-san?” Murasaki asked, taking a sip of her coffee.
“The truth is that I want Brother to know what I have done and realize that he never showed me the love I deserve. I want him to feel bad about that. That is the truth. Am I a bad person, Murasaki-san?”
“No, no, not at all. You deserve Brother’s love, dear sister. I mean, after all, you are the Pretty Woman,” Murasaki said, sipping from the porcelain cup.
“Thank you. Glad that you understand,” Midori said. “Shall I tell you what I am planning to do once I perfect my formula? How I plan to bring my acts to the attention of Brother?”
“Please do, dear sister,” Murasaki said.
Midori settled back into the chair and adopted a tone of voice as if she was reciting a bedtime tale to a young girl. Her eyes got wide as she spoke. “OK, listen carefully, dear sister. The biggest sporting event in Asia happens every March in Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. Hong Kong Stadium in Causeway Bay fills up with thousands of fans. You know what they all have in common, dear sister?”
“What?” Murasaki asked.
“They all are drinking beer,” Midori answered. She leaned forward towards her identical twin. “So, what if my formula was somehow put into their beer? Could you imagine if a whole stadium of people dropped dead in front of the media? Every major TV station in the world will already be filming the tournament!”
“You would dose an entire stadium of people?” Murasaki asked.
“Well, probably not the whole stadium,” Midori said. “I would have beautiful woman in bikinis with big breasts strutting through the crowd with trays of poisoned beer. A sign hanging on the tray would say ‘Free Beer’, like a promotion.”
“Brilliant, sister! They would go fast,” Murasaki said.
“Yes. As the media is filming the tragic event, people dropping dead suddenly at the Sevens, a diminutive Japanese woman will walk out onto the rugby field. She raises her hands. She screams at the heavens! She howls! She pulls her hair! She yells, ‘Arise! Arise from the dead! I am the Animator!’ Can you picture it, Murasaki-san?” Midori said.
“Yes, I can see you, beautiful sister. Every news camera in the world is recording your performance,” Murasaki said.
Midori continued, “Yes! Suddenly in the stands dead bodies start to twitch. Eyes start to flutter open. The dead come back to life! The living cheer loudly. The woman strolls to the NHK cameraman and whispers, ‘I am Midori. I am the Animator. The NHK announcer will then announce my name and all of Japan hears it. Brother is watching. He is overwhelmed with emotion.”
“But then the reanimated fans will fall dead for real. What then, dear sister?” Murasaki asked.
“The Japanese woman on the rugby field will fall to her knees as NHK draws in for a close up. She removes a concealed knife from beneath her dress. She looks slowly, poignantly, at the long silver blade. The late afternoon sun glints off the metal. She then plunges it into her belly. Brother is struck as if the knife has been stuck in his own stomach. He watches in horror. As the woman grimaces in pain, another woman, her identical twin, walks up behind her, and with one quick strike decapitates her. Seppuku! The most touching seppukuever! Brother screams in anguish.”
“So I am in this drama too cutting off your head? Won’t the police arrest me after you are dead? Won’t I be blamed for all the deaths in the stadium then?” Murasaki asked, the porcelain cup vibrating like a tuning fork as she put it down in the saucer.
“There you go, only thinking of yourself again!” Midori hissed. “You are such a selfish bitch! You have always hated me!”
“No, no! I was just asking for the details. Please don’t mind my stupidity, dear sister.” Murasaki applauded. “Brilliant performance, my sister! That would truly be art. You are such the Pretty Woman!”
Midori sat back and beamed a broad, crooked-tooth smile. “I love you, dear sister.”