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19 May 2007

Short Novel: The Flight to Tokyo, Chapter 6


A story of a B-29 bomber pilot who time-travels from the war-time Tokyo to present-time.

Please read from Chapter 1 to Chapter 5 first.

 Jim and Sayuri were taking a taxi to get to where his sister, Katie was. Sayuri had been worried that how Katie would respond to Jim’s appearing. It has been 60 years since Katie parted from her brother. How would she believe that Jim was real brother who she had believed being dead. In fact, no one could believe Jim time-slipped and he was still 21 year-old man.

 Jim suddenly said “Stop, please.” The taxi stopped on the street near sidewalk. Then Jim said to Sayuri, “Is that store selling dolls?”

Sayuri looked at where he pointed by finger. She could see the show window that displayed several dolls on the shelf. The sign of the store said “Akasaka Ningyo-ya (Doll shop).”

“Yes, it is doll store. Why?” said Sayuri.

“Well, I want to go there and buy a doll for my sister. Can we go?”

Sayuri couldn’t understand what he was up to but said “Yes, let’s go.”

They went out of taxi. Sayuri asked the driver to wait for 10 minutes. They went inside of the store.

 There were lots of kinds of dolls displayed in the store. Western antique dolls, Chinese dolls, Japanese traditional dolls with kimonos. Hundreds of dolls to choose. She asked Jim what kind of doll his sister would like. She just teased him because she knew his sister was too old to like a doll. But in Jim’s memory, Katie was 10 year-old girl. Jim looked very serious looking for a doll.

“I am searching for a particular one.” After a while, Jim shouted “Oh, there it is. I found one.”

Sayuri was surprised that it was Japanese dolls wearing bright yellow kimono. Sayuri paid the money for a doll and they went back to the taxi.


After 10 minutes, they reached the U.S. embassy. They got out of a taxi. Nancy was waiting at the entrance.

“Thank you, Nancy .”

“My pleasure, Sayuri. The ambassador is waiting for you, two” said Nancy .

Nancy took them to the ambassador’s office. Actually, she was not the ambassador any more.

Kathleen Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to Japan was packing her things. Tomorrow she would be flying back to the U.S. Kathleen Bolton heard the knock on the door by Nancy .

“You can come in” said Kathleen. Nancy opened the door.

Jim and Sayuri entered the office. Jim looked at Kathleen. They both looked shocked. Jim was shocked to see Kathleen looking like his grand mother he knew. Jim had already seen her at the Civic Hall. But at this moment he was seeing her in much closer distance. Kathleen was shocked to see her brother who was supposed to be dead 60 years ago looking just like she remembered.

“Nice to see you again, the ambassador. As Nancy told you and it should be hard to believe this is your brother, James Austin.” Sayuri said very nervously.

“So you are the one who claims to be my dead brother.” Kathleen said smiling.

“Are you really Katie? Kathleen Austin? You really survived from the sickness” Jim asked.

“Yes, I am. Austin is my maiden name. I was married to a man named George Bolton later. He died 10 years ago. Yes, I was survived because I was the only hope for my parents since my brother died. I went through many surgeries to survive. That is common knowledge. What are you after? Is this some kind of joke? Do you want some money? Yes, everyone knows I am a widow of a very rich man. I do have so much assets. But you should be more clever to deceive me.”

The way Kathleen talked sounds accusable. That was what Sayuri expected.

“I know you would be surprised. I am the one more surprised. I still could not believe I time-slipped to 60 years later. But it is true. I do not know how to prove it. Well, why don’t you ask me any question only you and I could share? I know a lot about you and our family.”

Kathleen then said, “Actually, I am too busy to play such a silly game but since you came over here and resembles my brother so well. You seem to talk the same way as my dead brother as far as I remember. Alright. What is your favorite tune, which we always listened to?”

“Glenn Miller’s In the Mood” Jim answered.

“Correct, next is who was your girlfriend you date with when you were in high school? What was her name? I met that girl several times at home. She was a beautiful girl with brown hair.”

“Her name was Dorothy Jackson. But I broke up with her before joining the army. She already dated with other guy.”

The question and answer time went on for 20 minutes. The ambassador asked questions related her brother’s personal matters, her parents, relatives, neighbors and herself which he might know. All the answers he gave her seemed correct. But the ambassador still looked suspicious.

 “Well, you know so much about my brother, me and my family. Some of the things were I did not even remember. But I still cannot help thinking about you being imposter. You can do complete research for me. If you are after big money, you would want to do that. You can even get a plastic surgery. But this is too strange if you impersonate my dead brother and tried to look as young as he was at the time of his death. Making up such a fairy tale. You know I am not that stupid. I graduated from Harvard University and then worked for State Department for decades. I am now 70 year old lady. You should know you cannot make me believe such a Hollywood kind of fantasy. Why are you doing this?”

For a while, there was a silence among 3 people in the office. But Jim said to Kathleen.

“Kathleen, do you still have a Clara?”

“Clara? What are you talking about?” Kathleen wondered.

“A doll I bought for you before leaving home.”

“Yes, a doll, Clara. Yes. I still have it right here.”

Kathleen pointed to a doll in the glass case set on the side board. There was a doll of little girl. Typical western doll but it got tainted after 60 years of the time. The clothes Clara was wearing faded. No one could tell what it looked like when it was made.

“You know about Clara. Well, I talked about this doll’s story with some people. You might hear from them. It is a doll I kept because it was precious gift from Jim. Last gift from him. One time for many years I put it in the attic to forget about him. But since I was appointed to live in Tokyo where Jim died, I brought it here. Why do you want to talk about it?”

“Do you remember what we promised before I left home? I bought a present for you. Clara’s sister.”

“Clara’s sister. Yes, I remember Jim promised to bring Clara’s sister with him if he would come back home alive. You also heard that story from someone” said Kathleen without surprise.

“You and I should remember what should Clara’s sister wearing” said Jim looking Kathleen seriously.

“Yes. So what? Is that what you brought?” Kathleen looked annoyed.

“Katie, please open it. This is Clara’s sister, only I could choose what you want.”

Jim handed the box wrapped with “Akasaka doll shop” logo paper. Kathleen took it saying nothing.

She then opened the box and saw the doll wearing kimono.

“Oh my god. This is the doll I asked Jim to buy. You know it. Only he could know that. You are my brother, Jim.”

To be continued to Last Chapter.


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