Contributor: Kelly Kusumoto

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“Here they come,” Keiko said. She was peeking through the curtains.

“Oh no.” June whispered, afraid that they might hear her.

“They’re parked in front of Michiko’s house.”

“What are they doing?”

“I can’t see too good,” Keiko said. “Go get my glasses would you?”

June crawled into the kitchen. The linoleum was cold and unforgiving compared to the beige, berber carpet of the living room. On her hands and knees, she could not see the surface of the table. She raised one arm and searched for Keiko’s glasses. As she scanned the table top blindly with her hand, she knocked down a glass of water and it shattered onto the floor.

“What are you doing?” Keiko asked.

June felt a piece of paper and then Keiko’s glasses on top of it. She pulled both of them down in her grip and crawled back to the living room.

“What’s Executive Order Nine-One-Oh-Two?” June asked as she read the heading on the paper.

Keiko put her glasses on. “It’s the law that says they can come and take us away.”

“But I don’t want to go anywhere,” June said.

“Neither do I,” said Keiko. She peeked through the curtains again. The big, green truck was blocking the front of Michiko’s house so that she couldn’t see what was going on. Suddenly, another truck pulled around the corner and was heading towards their house.

“What’s happening, Keiko?”

“Here comes another one,” she said.

“I’m so scared.”

“Me too.”

June dropped the paper and held onto Keiko’s arm. She was shaking.

They heard the sound of screeching tires and men yelling incoherently. Keiko wanted to look out the window but was too afraid. She was unfamiliar with the sound of machine guns being cocked and loaded, but the tools of war were clanking around as the men hopped out of the truck and onto the lawn.

June was petrified. She was stuck to Keiko’s arm like a leech and shaking violently as if in a trance. The hot smell of urine wafted through the room. Just then, Keiko let out a horrific shriek as she involuntarily opened the curtains. A man was standing on the other side of the window, just inches away.

“Japs!” the soldier said. “Over here!”

Two more men carrying a battering ram ran over to the door. A loud crash followed and the muffled cries of the whole neighborhood came rushing into the house. The three soldiers grabbed Keiko and June and carried them to the truck as their futile screams joined the laments of their neighbors.

In the back of the truck, wedged in with the other captives, June and Keiko cried for their mother. How she heard them above the collection of wails and caterwauling, only a mother could say. She inched her way over to them and they embraced.

“They took father and me at work. He is in a truck with all the other men,” she said. “They’re taking us to Heart Mountain. We couldn’t even pack a bag.”

“At least...” Keiko said, shaking with fear, “...we are all together.”

Their mother began to cry. Then all three of them were crying. As the truck drove down the road, their cries mixed in with everyone else’s. They would continue to cry for generations to come.

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Since falling in love with writing at the age of 12, Kelly Kusumoto has written for local entertainment newspapers and magazines and is currently pursuing his Bachelor's at Full Sail University while writing various forms of fiction in the Brooklyn, NY area.
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