1 June, Ryōe Tsukimura

文字数 2,688文字

“I’m gonna go to the park for a bit,” Takashi said, after finishing his microwaveable fried rice, then started to head out to play. Since school was out for the foreseeable future, he always did something after lunch every day.
  His mom, who usually would’ve said, “Be careful,” without looking up from her phone, reacted differently that day.
  “You’re allowed, but if Yūta’s there you come straight home.”
  “But why? I like playing with Yūta,” he asked, surprised. Yūta and Takashi were in the third grade together, and they were best friends.
  “People are getting infected at the hospital where Yūta’s mom works. That’s what people are saying.”
  “But what’s that got to do with me?”
  “Don’t be silly. If it didn’t have anything to do with you, I wouldn’t be saying it. What if you get sick?”
  Takashi was confused.
  “Are Yūta and his mom sick?”
  “Not necessarily.”
  “Then what’s the problem?”
  “The problem is, people who work in hospitals might have it but not have symptoms yet.”
  Takashi thought for a moment, then asked, “Do you mean that all the doctors and nurses might get sick?”
  “Yes.”
  “Then who will take care of them?”
  His mother seemed lost for words.
  “You know you’re always saying how amazing Yūta’s mother is for working at the hospital and raising him all on her own. Isn’t that right?”
  “That’s true, but. . . .”
  “When I got sick Yūta’s mom even checked on me.”
  “You say the most pointless, boring stuff, you know. Listen, you can’t get close to Yūta anymore. If you playing with him, you can’t come back in this house. Just remember that,” his mother yelled, with an expression that he had never seen before. It was a horrible face.
  For the first time since he’d started third grade, Takashi yelled and cried.


Translated by Morgan Giles/Arranged by TranNet KK

Ryōe Tsukimura
Born in Osaka, 1963. Graduated from Waseda University. Made his literary debut in 2010 with

Kiryū

keisatsu

(Special Investigators, Police Dragoon ). Won the 33rd Japan Science Fiction Award in 2012 for

Kiryū

keisatsu:

Jibaku

jōkō

(Special Investigators, Police Dragoon: Suicide clause), the 34th Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers in 2013 for

Kiryū

keisatsu:

Ankoku

ichiba

(Special Investigators, Police Dragoon: Black market), the 17th Haruhiko Oyabu Award in 2015 for

Koruto

M1851

Zangetsu

(Colt M1851 Zangetsu ), the 68th Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 2015 for

Dobaku

no

hana

(Flower of the desert), and the 10th Futaro Yamada Award in 2019 for

Damasu

shujō

(Deceitful living creatures). His other works include

Tokyo

and

Aku

no

gorin

(Evil Olympics), among others.

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