A stray Marisa moved silently through the grass left untreated behind an apartment building. Marisa is a long timer stray, which means she had learned the behaviour needed to survive stray life, especially when facing human.
This is still early morning where not many human is awake yet. Marisa's target is only one, the garbage dumping site. On her way, she met with Chen and Reimu.
All three of them are acquaintance who used the same "hunting ground". They're all experienced strays. Because of that, none of them talk casually to each others like what one would imagine yukkuri would do. Marisa is in a hurry and she's not interested to dig too much about other yukkuri's family. The other two think the same way.
The trash is most abundant right before dump truck arrive at nine. Inexperienced stupid strays would laze off and go there late, then they will die.
Now, it's five in the morning and there's small amount of trash there. Marisa, Chen and Reimu observe the small collection of trash bags piling in the dump site to measure and guess what's inside.
Why not bite the bag and see what's inside like a yukkuri would do ? Then go on doing munch munch happyness right there, yes, their last munch munch. The problem is not just about dying on spot, it's about making trouble to others. All three know that their hunting ground, human's dumping site, is the place that kept their family alive. If human ever finds out yukkuri is scattering the trash, then they will put wire to keep yukkuri away. That means the end of it all.
That's why Marisa and her friends studied the trash bags carefully from all side. They can't be greedy and take the big bag, they don't have the strength to do it. What they will do is get one with hopefully enough organic trash inside back to their home and eat with their family silently, without leaving any trace.
Chen got hers first and went home. Reimu and Marisa have to hide for a while when unexpectedly a human came to throw his trash early. They can't run away because human would spot them and realize yukkuri have been hunting there.
Marisa found her food last. She dragged the bag home, no longer worrying about her hat crushed by the trash. She has stopped caring and what's important now is to bring it home.
She has to pick the trash carefully. Although they don't understand why, through experience, Marisa and her friends know that after organic trash today, there won't be other edible trash for three days in the hunting ground. If they failed this time, they have to get other food to eat, which in Marisa's case means the bitter grass around her home.
Marisa's home is the tight space under the apartment's raised floor and the concrete base. If we imagine Marisa is a human, her house is a place where everyone has to squat down all the time. The low ceiling is crushing her hat and pressing on her body, but she's used to it already.
While the edge of her house is bright, inside is very dark. Her family can see Marisa's shilouette coming, but they can't be sure if it's really Marisa, wild animals or maybe scum before Marisa replied.
Marisa's wife is a Reimu. She's not a Deibu and can take care of her three babies. She's also not so stupid.
Marisa is born stray. She has many sisters, but along with moving houses, she saw everyone die one after another until only her big sis Reimu still survive when she left home. At that time, Marisa remember how her parents look like, it's like they hasn't slept for years. Marisa understand the difficulties of raising children as stray.
Marisa can't blame Reimu, she understand that it's Reimu's instinct to desire little ones. Even after Marisa told her many times to give up having children, Reimu keep on begging her. Finally, Marisa is a yukkuri herself and she succumbed to the temptation of those words, "little ones". From stalk birth, three babies are born.
Now that she has her children, Marisa educate them strictly. She's not hesitating to beat her children if they don't follow what she says.
Everyone in the house have to stay quiet, no yelling even when having munch munch. They're living under the devil's floor and will definitely be killed if human noticed their presence.
No spoiling the children. Even if they ask for more food, Marisa only give them their share because giving koyukkuri what they want will quickly make them become spoiled.
What Reimu can do for her crying children is only by doing rub rub.
After calming down, the children asked for gulp gulp from Marisa. Normally, water is yukkuri's enemy. The water from their food alone should be enough because too much water will kill them. But these days the weather is really hot. Even in Marisa's house under the big shade of the apartment, the air is hot and humid.
Marisa spilled collected rain water from empty cans to the floor. Her braids are not dexterous enough so Marisa spilled the water to the floor to avoid killing the children with water.
There's nothing to do here for the family. Even surviving alone is something they should be grateful of.
Want to sing ? Are you stupid ? Wanna die ? They've been living in silence and now the children want to call the human into their house to kill them ?
Want to do roll roll, but their concrete floor is too hard and hurting for koyukkuri.
Want to chase each others, but the house if too dark and they can only see shilouette when they moved away from each others. The darkness is really uneasy.
How about going outside to play under the sunshine ? Be my guest, but you'll be dead.
Thus, the family only sit there until night falls and they're asleep. While the children are still small enough to move inside their home freely, seeing their parents' accessories pressed by the ceiling gave them that cramped sensation too.
The next day, Marisa is going out. The weather is good, so she will go further today.
Destination is a natural park. Marisa move as stealthily as she can through the back alley. What she learned from living as stray is that, unlike private space such as house or the neighbourhood like dumping site, human will just ignore passing yukkuri. They wont bother stepping on yukkuri who happens to pass by them on the street or they saw in the alley.
One of the factor is the perception that stray are dirty. Even elementary children are taught about it and they usually won't play with yukkuri abyuse. These days, abyuser would pass on stray yukkuri and buy more their toys from specialized store that has better sanitation.
So, unless the yukkuri is blatantly looking for trouble, nobody would ruin their shoe or trousers with stray bean paste.
The natural park is a heaven for strays. The ground is covered with more edible trash and the strays live side by side with human and those creatures. Human will ignore the yukkuri alone. For the yukkuri, this is an easy place.
Marisa has thought of moving here, but even as she can see the coexistence here, Marisa has it in her paste that human kill yukkuri. That made her feel uneasy so she let the idea away.
Today, she didn't see any yukkuri in the park. The weather is very nice, but nobody is here. Well, there are those creatures, those who looks like yukkuri and laugh together with humans.
Those creatures are pet yukkuri. They look like adult yukkuri, but their skin are smooth and clean as babies. Their accessories are pristine and their hair are shining. There's no way a yukkuri can stay that clean for more than a few days on the street.
Chen told Marisa before. Pet yukkuri are given house and sweets sweets every day in exchange of obeying human's rule. But as soon as they break it, they're killed. For Marisa, that's not the life she wanted, throwing away her pride for shelter and sweets sweets.
Unable to understand what happened, Marisa find the City's Sage, a wise Patchouli. Luckily, Patchouli is still alive. She told Marisa that dreaded word, "total extermination". All adults are taken away by Mister Human.
They left the little ones though.
That's not an easy thing for Marisa. She and Patchouli know well that koyukkuri wouldn't survive long without their parents. Marisa now realized that uneasy smell she has been smelling until now. In the park there are lumps of paste eaten by insects. Those must be the koyukkuri dying after losing their parents.
Patchouli joked that she can show Marisa a nice home now because there's a lot of empty house to stay in after the yukkuri moved away. Marisa kindly politely rejected the offer, this park is not safe.
Before entering her home, Marisa checked the grass. No sign of human coming here. She then thought of what to tell, but put the story about extermination away. They're living in an angst story, so they have enough story on their own.
"I'm home ze!"
Only in her home Marisa use "ze".
Reimu and the children's reply is very energetic, something sounds wrong. Marisa checked the food storage and founds out the children has been eating it.
While Marisa did scold and hit the children with her braids, she's not really angry to them. They're children, and it's futile to expect koyukkuri to have self control in face of food.
The one to be blamed is herself for not taking precaution by hiding the food, and... Reimu for spoiling the children while she's supposed to keep them in control.
As punishment, Reimu and the children don't get food for dinner and breakfast. Of course, the children also can't cry loudly.
Marisa move away, hiding her tears. She wanted to let the children take it easy too, but that's impossible. The best she can hope for is to raise the children into adult, teach them how to survive as stray. Maybe they will survive, they will have their own children and in easyness tell stories to her granddaughters about what an uneasy scum she is. That's enough.
The next day, Marisa went out for another hunt. Today is the organic trash day.
As usual, Marisa met with Reimu and Chen. They exchanged greetings and went to the dump site silently.
Today, a trouble happened. There's a Reimu and her KoReimu looking at the mountain of trash, speaking loudly. Aah, Marisa and her friends thought, this must be a newbie, and worse, an idiot.
Idiot is worse than even scum.
Failing to tell Reimu to shut up before human came out, Chen took drastic measure to send body blow to that Reimu. Marisa helped her friend Reimu to quickly kill the shouting KoReimu.
Killing other yukkuri is not the same as seeing them getting killed. Marisa and her friends had seen strays getting punishment from their own kind, but doing it themselves, feeling the crushed paste under their feet, gave a very uneasy feeling. But they have to bear with it.
After killing those two, they will need to clean up the corpse despite the uneasy death stench. If human saw the corpse, they will suspect yukkuri here and put mesh to the dumping site. These strays can't afford losing their hunting ground.
That's when Chen's words are stopped. A man is late to work and accidentally stepped on Chen.
Marisa and Reimu is frozen in fear. What do the human think about them ? Strays fighting for trash ? In any case, they're dead.
Just before Marisa is crushed, Reimu shouted like a scum and send body blow to the human's leg. They both know this is useless, but Reimu continued so Marisa can escape.
Marisa returned to her home empty handed. When she came back to the dumping site, the truck has came to collect trash so nothing is left. Marisa's family will have to settle with bitter grass for lots of days.
When dragging Chen's corpse to behind the dumping site, Marisa found Reimu there. Marisa barely recognized her friend who's face is left with shoe mark from her unhurt accessories.
Reimu told Marisa about her family. Her husband and children are all dead. Marisa and Chen are her only friend in this world, the only yukkuri who will greet her. Every days, Reimu eat alone in her house, waiting until the hunting day when she can meet her two friends again.
Although they never talk to each others, Chen and Marisa is precious enough for her to sacrifice her own life.
Saddened by it, Marisa came home and have her wife screaming at her. Their little one has been crying since she's awakened.
Marisa quickly put her braid to muffle the child and dragged her outside, hoping she's wrong.
Just as she thought... KoMarisa's body had a blue patch of mould. Their house under the apartment has been protecting them from being found by human, but the place is damp. The darkness has prevented Marisa from noticing her child catching mould in early stage.
The only thing she can do is bring her child away and let her take it easy forever. Reimu's wish to at least rub rub with her little one is rejected because they both know it can spreads and probably kill the entire family. Marisa told Reimu to take all the children outside and check if any are infected too.
Marisa bring her little one as far away from home and took a stick. She can't crush it in fear of becoming infected, so one fatal strike to the paste core is the best way to end this child's suffering.
Even though she had just killed another little one this morning, doing the same to her own child is incomparable.
Marisa cried alone, lamenting her suffering life.
She wanted to die right there, but she also has wife and children to take care of. First thing she has to do is get some food, and then check her little ones for any mould infection. If they're infected, she will need to kill them too.
Marisa wanted to take it easy, but there's no such thing.
She will have to move somewhere else in search for new hunting ground, but where ? To the park ? Total extermination happened there and she can't let her children in place with so many pet yukkuri.
No matter what bright future she imagined, reality soon sinks in and show her the cruel fate awaiting. What Marisa can do is only to cry out loud.
The weather in this summer will just get hotter now.