Fantasy Horror Historical survival Bugs Monsters Metamorphasis

The Cicadas of Okinawa

By Stephanie Lorée
Mar 6, 2019 · 1,189 words · 5 minutes

Photo by Ellicia via Unsplash.

From the author: Originally published at Penumbra magazine, a Tangent online recommended read of 2013, later reprinted in Niteblade Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. *TRIGGER WARNING* During the Battle of Okinawa and the following occupation, 76 cases of rape were reported. Historians estimate hundreds more went unreported. This is a story about one woman's survival through metamorphosis.


In the spring of 1945, it rained cicada skins and bullets.

I lay on the dirt just outside my house, face forced against the ground, arms pinned under my breasts. Around me, the cicada shells fell like cherry blossoms. One landed near my nose, and I met its vacant gaze. It seemed to study me, this broken bit, a discarded memory. It frowned as if to say, I'm sorry, I cannot stop him, but I will stay with you until it's over.

Behind me, on top of me, the man continued to move. He'd painted his...

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