Daniel has wanted to be a writer ever since he was in elementary school.He has published stories and articles in such magazines as Slipstream, Black Petals, Spindrift, Zygote in my Coffee, and Leading Edge Science Fiction. He has written four books: The Sage and the Scarecrow (a novel), the Lexical Funk (a short story collection), Reejecttion (short story/ essay collection), and The Ghosts of Nagasaki (a novel).
To get to Kawara I had to take the bus forty minutes south, passing through Sanwa on the way. I had been to many small fishing towns in the past few days, looking for the young princess who was said to have drowned many years ago.
In Kawara, I swam in the little bay area where the fisherman docked their boats. All I had was my goggles. I dove down into the water half expecting to see her there. Instead, I saw a school of fish swimming together, each no bigger than my pointer finger.
I grabbed onto a rock at the bottom and stayed there as long as I could.
I was a foreigner living in Japan. Soon my visa would expire and the immigration bureaucrats would come to find me. I was sure that as long as I stayed underwater, I would be safe from them. I stayed down for fifty-two seconds. My absolute limit. That’s when I saw a man in a black suit swimming toward me.
I let go of the rock and drifted up to the surface, taking in air with heavy breaths.
I couldn’t run forever. Soon, I would have to face my problems. Why not now? Why not here? I caught my breath and went back down to face the bureaucrat. But when I reached the bottom, he wasn’t there. .
Instead there was a girl. She smiled at me.
“You don’t want to see my passport, do you?”
“No, I came to see you.”
You can check out more free short stories right here: http://issuu.com/danielclausen/docs/lexical_funk_2014_-_issuu/1