The Kami-kiri: A Hairy Tale
“How much longer?” InuYasha asked for the sixth time.
He was pacing in front of Miroku’s house, dressed not in his customary red fire rat, but in a fine indigo blue hitatare jacket with matching hakama. The jacket had been adorned with mon worked in white depicting Kagome’s idea of the Goshinboku. He had teased her when she first handed the clothes to him, making a joke about her sealing him, and she had gotten rather upset, and he had tasted dirt for the first time since she returned.
Making up, though, had been almost worth the dirt.
Miroku sat in front of his house, remembering another day like today about three years earlier, and how he had been the one pacing, and InuYasha been the one who didn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about.
“When the sun goes down,” Miroku replied. “It’s not much longer.”
Sango stepped out of the house. “It’s too quiet here with the girls at Kaede’s,” she said.
“I’m sure Rin will bring them back when it’s time,” Miroku replied. He patted the ground next to him, inviting Sango to sit.
Joining him, she watched InuYasha pacing, occasionally clutching the handle of his sword. “I don’t know who’s more nervous, Kagome, or InuYasha,” she said to her husband. “She made me leave while she puts her hair up so she can wear the wedding wig. I don’t think she likes it very much. Were we this bad?”
“Probably,” Miroku said, smiling.
Suddenly, from inside the house, Kagome shrieked.
In slow motion, the three of them turned towards the sound. Miroku slowly got to his feet, but before he was fully up, InuYasha had Tessaiga drawn and transformed and was sliding the door open. “To hell with tradition,” he yelled. “Kagome!”
“Don’t come any closer!” Kagome said. She was dressed in a white under-kosode, brandishing a sacred arrow, bright pink with purification energy. At her feet were her hairbrush and an assortment of hair pins scattered all around her.
“What?” said InuYasha.
“Not you, InuYasha - him!”
The confused hanyou turned and looked what she was pointing at. It was a youkai, a rather strange looking creature. He was a small thing, shorter by a good head than Kagome. His head was shaven clean, like a monk’s. Blue skinned and red of eye, he wore nothing but a fundoshi, but most threatening was that in one hand, he held a razor, and in the other, a huge pair of scissors.
“My apologies, Miko-sama, but I have to do this thing,” the small creature said.
InuYasha jumped in front of Kagome, being careful not touch her arrow. “Who are you, bastard, and what are you doing in this house, and what in hell are you doing talking to my wife?”
“Oh, are you the bridegroom?” the little youkai asked.
InuYasha’s ears twitched as his eyes narrowed ad the creature. “Keh. What’s it to you?”
The small creature bowed, a polite formal bow, which seemed strange, considering the way he looked and how he was dressed. “Excuse me, Inu-Hanyou-Sama, but I am just a lowly Kami-kiri. It’s my job to punish those humans who would wed with youkai or bakemono.”
InuYasha began to growl. “I’ve heard of your type, bastard. It was one of your types who gave my mother such a hard time right before her wedding. If my father hadn’t stepped in, you would have cut off all her hair!”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry, Dono, but we have to,” sniffled the little creature. “If we don’t cut their hair, then my master, Lord of the Hair Youkai, demands we give him our hair.”
Kagome peaked over InuYasha’s shoulders.
“But your head is shaved.”
“I know,” whined the little youkai. “My last case was . . . particularly difficult.” He looked like he was about to cry. “If I don’t take your hair, then my master will take my head.”
“And if you try to touch her,” growled the hanyou, “I’ll take it for him.” He gestured with Tessaiga to make his point clearer.
“They didn’t tell me you were a miko, Miko-sama. Usually, once I appear, the woman shrieks, panics, freezes, I take their hair, and it’s all over.” He sniffled, wiped his nose with the back of the razor holding hand, being careful of the blade. “It’s so much easier when I just sneak up on ladies’ maids when they are taking their baths. They usually don’t even know I’m there until I have it. Damn all hair youkai to the darkest corner of Yomi.” He began to cry in earnest.
Kagome sighed. InuYasha gave her a look, knowing she was beginning to feel sorry for the creature. “You are not giving him your hair, Kagome.”
“But, but . . . ” she began, chewing her bottom lip.
Miroku, who had been standing in the entryway, stepped up on the raised floor, bent down and picked up the elaborate wig that Kagome was going to wear as part of her wedding attire.
“Can your master tell if it was the hair off her own head?” he asked, studying the headdress. “Or does it just have to be hair that belongs to her?”
The little creature looked up. “Uh . . . ” the little creature looked up. “I was just told to go cut her hair.”
Miroku tossed the wig to the youkai. “This is her hair. I was there when she bought it. You might want to cut that.”
The youkai’s eyes lit up. He caught the wig, ran his hair over it. “Hair,” he whispered like someone talking to a lover as he lifted it to his chin, nuzzling it affectionately. Suddenly, he vanished.
“Now that was interesting,” said Kagome.
Sango poked her head in around the shoulders of her husband. “Okay, men. Out. We have to get finished.”
“Keh,” said InuYasha, lowering his sword. He turned to Miroku, giving him a careful stare. “You know, that’s how my old man got rid of the Kami-kuri that was pestering my mother. How did you know what to do?”
Miroku shrugged. “I heard it once in a hairy tale. What can I say?” Laughing, he dragged the hanyou out of the house.