The incident happened shortly after 1AM, on a Monday. The noise was very loud, sharp and it scared the small and usually quiet community we're in.
The night was quiet as most residents were either seniors or needed their rest for another long week in the office, starting the morning. A very loud BANG! was heard in the night, similar to the sound of a gun getting shot in the movies. After that, everything went quiet again.
Here, nobody owned a gun, nor did people know if the others owned one. This also meant they had no idea where the sound came from. If you managed to get close enough to anyone in the community, you'd also learned they would even speak about such details because it wasn't in their nature to do so, especially since guns were taboo.
Mrs. and Mr. 月山 were also asleep at the time of the loud BANG! but the noise woke them up: it sounded so close to their house.
"What was that?!" they wondered looking confused one at the other. They knew that the occupants of the house nearest theirs, were not in town. Or at least they were supposed to have left some 2 days earlier. They were over the moon because apparently they had won a 5-night getaway, from a TV contest. They were heard saying the trip was to an area well known for their hot-springs, at a really nice but not overly expensive ryokan. According to their calculations, they had yet to return.
A young couple from abroad lived across the street, so technically still close enough to the 月山* house. They seemed like nice people, spoke little and broken Japanese. Some residents were scared of them simply because of the language barrier and other misunderstandings that came with it. Others feared the foreigners because of their cute tattoos, however they never gave the impression of being violent people or the kind to carry guns.
However that night Someone pulled the trigger of a gun and it was still Somebody who called the police.
At around 2AM the police lights and sirens started to fill this quiet neighborhood. An ambulance also arrived, though two more were on their way to the crime scene. When something like this happened, TV station crews usually appeared as well, but maybe this time they will stay away. Or will they?
The doorbell of the house where the 月山 lived rang sharply in that quiet darkness. Voices soon followed: "We're sorry to disturb you, we're the police..." Of course the couple expected them to come to their house. Mr. 月山 went to open the door, just like any other good citizen would.
"But was that really the sound of a gun being shot?" he wondered.
©Charly Cross. dec 2017**. All rights reserved.
*月 [Japanese: tsuki; Chinese: yue4] =moon, month
山 [Japanese: yama; Chinese: shan1] =mountain
**written in December 2017, published in March 2018