There last few days are going to be challenging. Thanks for still being here. Thanks for reading.
It took years, but the gift was finally ready. Kiminoki held the beast’s leash, a thin metal chain that would’ve done nothing to hold the creature in check. But it would give the assistant a feeling of control, and Kiminoki appreciated the importance of that.
“He’ll follow your commands,” she assured the wary assistant. “Don’t worry. I’ve tested him beyond reason.”
Frowning, the assistant reached for the chain. “Why not send a puppy? Everyone likes puppies.”
“I don’t give everyone gifts,” she replied.
The beast was the size of an earth buffalo, and it almost seemed like a buffalo, from the side and from a distance, but move closer and it was a monstrous wolf, except for the horns that were almost buried in its long, thick fur.
“Fine, but…” the assistant gathered himself. He was allowed, after all, to question. Within reason.
“But any gift at all? You never have—”
“As if you would know.”
He wrapped the chain around his hand. The beast swung his massive head head in his direction. “And I thought it wasn’t allowed.”
“You’re here to follow my instructions. Not enforce rules.” Kiminoki patted the animal on the head. “Just this once I’m sending a gift. After all these years, one. If they don’t like it…” She shrugged. “They still need me, so it’s a risk worth taking.”
“But she won’t even know it’s from you. What if she shoots it?”
“Then she shoots it. When a gift is truly given, you let it go.”
The assistant shook his head. “But this was years of work. She won’t even know. She’ll have no idea. She’ll think it is just some dumb beast!”
Kiminoki stepped away from the assistant and the creature at the end of the chain. “She’ll find out otherwise if she’s clever. And she is clever.”
“Are you sure?” the assistant asked, perhaps going to far. “How long has it been? Twelve years?”
“She’s my daughter, isn’t she?” Kiminoki marched back to her desk. There were formulas to review, files to read. She couldn’t fall behind schedule for personal distractions.
The assistant stood, staring at the animal. The animal stared back. “Are you sure it won’t hurt her? It’s teeth…”
“Go! The window of time is short. Go. Or I’ll tell them you’ve been proven incompetent. I wouldn’t mind a new assistant in the least.”
“I know too much.”
She looked up sharply from her papers. “Tell them that and see what happens.”
The assistant tugged at the leash. “C’mon…thing.” The beast moved forward. “Does it have a name?” he asked.
“That’s for my daughter to decide,” Kiminoki replied. “She’ll do that better than I would.”
She didn’t watch them leave. There was too much work to do. She’d sent her gift, and the rest was out of her control.