“We go, son. Now,” Dad said absently. He took a long step up and pulled the driver’s door shut with a grunt, the mosquito net clinking against the thick safety glass of the windows. He stashed the gas mask between the seats. Dad’s worn leather cowboy hat was pulled up and a sweat covered his forehead, his gray, bushy eyebrows riddled with tiny drops. He propped his massive body into the driver’s seat, wrinkling the plastic coat that covered most of what was inside, and rammed the car key into the ignition.
Ietaka’s legs hurt. At least he could still feel them and had not lost one, or worse: both. He had seen how Ootani lost his feet, two clean cuts directly under the kneecaps. That had only been a minor quarrel in Nagoya, and out of petty revenge had ended in Ootani’s death. This, now, was a war.
Ietaka tried to move his left hand, but it was bound somehow, pressed against his ribcage. His right hand was free, and carefully he moved it to touch his hips, his stomach, his chest, heaving from the slight exhaustion. Everything was still there. Ietaka breathed a sigh of relief and finally opened his eyes.