15. His Stalking Feet

It doesn’t take long to disappear in a city like Tokyo. Exiting the building, I turned left, heading up Roppongi-dori away from the crossroads. I continued along Higashi-dori until I came to a series of multi-story towers that caught the glint of the setting sun in their steel and glass ramparts and flashed it back to the ant-like pedestrians like some great, indecipherable semaphore. Tokyo gleamed all around me. I was seeing it as though for the first time, and as before, its shimmer was entrancing. I stopped in my tracks, heart pounding, head back, spinning slowly. I believe, for a moment, surrounded by that glory, I was happy. It couldn’t last. That’s when I felt it: something, something very close . . . something sly and slippery . . . something I’d encountered before, something I needed to flee.

I took off, weaving through the side streets, then backtracked to Roppongi-dori and turned left on Gaien Higashi-dori. Twilight had unobtrusively draped itself over the city. Lights began to wink on. My pace slowed to a walk as darkness crept over the town. But the darkness offered no cover. I could still feel something following me in the gathering gloom. And I recognized it. Bad, ominous, so unpleasantly familiar: It was Takashita, the cabbie, Miura, Carlyle; it was him.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 14.4/Three-days-dead

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