Danae Lewis | fiction | Don’t Lose Your Head, Mrs. Kubi

Don't Lose Your Head, Mrs. Kubi                            
                                                                                                                 [cw: body horror, blood]


Margaret Kubi truly loved her husbandー but sometimes he made things difficult. Like today.

First, he was late, forty minutes to be exact. Enough time for her to make the pie dough from scratch and plenty of time to worry what was making him late. 

Then he comes home without his head. Suitcase in hand, his tie loosened, but no head. Bodi, their cat, glared with a feline’s judgment as her husband walked inside. When she heard him enter the kitchen, Margaret stuck out her neck for a kiss but simply got a pat on the cheek, which was so unusual it made her look up from the pie crust she was rolling out.

“Hisato! Where is your head?” she asked.

Being headless, and therefore mouthless, she got a shrug before he wrote on a notepad. No idea. Closed my eyes and it wandered off.

Margaret tried not to get upset, really she tried. Butー  “You know better than to take naps in public. Your flightinessー ”

He put the notepad in her face just an inch from her nose. I know and I’m sorry. Please, just help me look.

She sighed, realizing she still had a pie crust to make. “Can I make my pie filling first? I’ll be real quick.”

He rolled his shoulders in that way that meant he was impatient. Fine. He slouched at the table holding Bodi on his lap. Her husband had grown thin in their time being married, and Margaret worried that he no longer liked her cooking. Before their marriage, he ate everything she made happily and even asked for seconds, but now he picked at his food, no matter how she made it. She baked, she fried, she boiled, and she grilled. She even stopped cooking with that special oil she liked, that he said was too sweet but to no avail. He found all her food unappealing regardless. She wanted him to put some weight back on him hence the pie since he liked pie, specifically dessert pies.

“Where were you when you lost your head?” she asked, stirring the berry filling.

I was at the bus stop, and some woman was talking to me about the differences between crochet and knitting. I tried to listen politely buy zoned out and I suppose that’s when I fell asleep. Missed the bus, he wrote.

“Do you think she might’ve stolen it?” she asked, pausing in her stirring to read what he wrote.

Maybe. But no one’s ever stolen it before and I’ve left it in some strange places.

Margaret sighed. The day they got married, he told her he had a surprise for her on their wedding night. She was expecting oral sex and got her husband’s head floating about the honeymoon suite. It was a shock, but she kept her own secrets too.

He nudged her shoulder with the notepad. Are you mad?

“No, dear, just… your head could be anywhere, you know? It might take all night to find it. Unlessー ” she turned to Bodiー  “someone wants to help?”

Bodi jumped off her master’s lap and strutted out, too good to involve herself in her master’s foolishness.

Margaret sighed again, pouring the filling into the waiting pie crust. “Alright, I guess the pie can wait.” She popped the nearly finished product in the fridge and grabbed her coat, her husband following her. “Now, take me to this bus stop.”

The bus stop was a long walk from the house and by the time they made it, it was half an hour to sunset. With it being a weekend, all sorts of people were out; the teenaged onis illegally racing their hot rods, the tofu boys selling their tofu, and a couple of kappa tourists taking pictures.

Hisato nudged her with the notepad again. Picking up anything?

“Yes, I’m picking up a headache,” she snapped.

Sorry, I know this isn’t what you wanted. You wanted to make that pie you’ve been putting off for weeks and I’m getting in the way of that. We can look tomorrow.

“Sweetheart, please don’t do the guilt trip thing. I am already out here.” She closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, the smells she picked up making her head throb. Cigarette smoke, a broken beer bottle in the gutter, a moth burning to death on a bug light outside, a restaurant that oozed a fried fatty smell. Her husband’s cologne, which was both soothing and irritating, annoyed her, especially because it was mixed in with some pink-smelling perfume. The same pink perfume was also in the air, a thin thread of scent.

Margaret’s eyes flew open. “Was the woman wearing perfume?” she asked her husband.

He shrugged. Something that wanted to be floral but came out smelling like plastic peonies. The smell actually made me sleepy.

“Yes! This way.” She took her husband by the elbow and they followed her nose.

Normally, Margaret liked nighttime and was a bit of a night owl before she met Hisato, but nowadays, she was just too tired to go out. At night, Hisato’s head floated off in his sleep, banging against the window like a bat, mumbling something about drinking blood. One time after a spat with a coworker, his head got so ornery, it tried to take a bite out her shoulder and that was when she suggested he wear an eyemask tethered to the headboard but that made his head moan and tug at the rope like a hurt dog. She didn’t tell Hisato that though. He still thought the tethering idea was working.

“Excuse us,” she said, leading her husband through a crowd of women in bloody surgical masks, Hisato tripping over the tail of a nure-onna.

“Watch it!” she hissed, wrapping her snake body around a ;amp post so hard that she bent the metal.

“He literally can’t! Missing a head!” Margaret shouted back, following her nose down an alley. She stopped so fast, Hisato ran into her back.


What’s up?

“We gotta go to the red light district.”

A lot of blood was shed in this part of town and the scent forced itself into her nose. Old and fresh blood stained the sidewalk shades of red and brown; a fresh stream of it ran out from under a restaurant door into the storm drain. This part of town held little danger for Margaret but her husband was a married man and prime meat. She put his arm around her and led him down the street.

Red lanterns with lolling mouths laughed and leered, swinging themselves at some private joke.

“What do you call a man missing his head?” asked one lantern.

“Which head? The one between his shoulders or his legs?” the other laughed.

“Well, if he’s missing the one between his shoulders, he’s a fool. But the one between his legs means he’s getting a divorce!” crowed a third.

Hisato gave a rude hand gesture, but the effect was lost since the lanterns were projecting their voices across the street and he couldn’t see where they were, flipping off a wall. The red light given off by the possessed lanterns was cold.

“Come on, dear,” Margaret said, leading the pair on.

The places they passed all had closed doors, some with pretty women hanging out the upper window. A woman waved down at her Hisato, but Margaret could glimpse a man wrapped in spider silk behind her, caught in a lethal trap. At another place, shadows fell across the shuttered windows, showing a horrible play where a trio of singing men were pounced upon by horned, distorted shadows, their drunken revelry turning to screams of pain and sounds of rending flesh. More red flowed from under the door to stain the sidewalk.

A man ran towards and Margaret pulled Hisato aside so he could pass. The man was middle-aged, wore a nice three-piece blacksuit, and was utterly terrified. He turned around and around, colliding with a wall in his fright.

“Can’t you hear her? Can’t you hear her? She’s laughing at us!” he said, hands over his ears as he peered over the buildings at something. He ran on and Margaret was glad Hisato had no ears at the moment.

Across the street, an uncannily tall woman in a worn kimono peered through upper story windows, smirking when she made someone inside shriek.

A door slid open in front of them and out came a well-endowed woman in a strangely cheery blue tube top and matching skirt, her hair falling in thick black curtains over her face and shoulders. Silently, she watched Margaret and her husband pass her, her neck smoothly swiveling to follow them. Her grip on her husband’s arm was vice-like as his steps faltered, sensing the woman. It felt like Margaret brought a hungry dog into a butcher shop and there were leavings and scraps everywhere.

He held up his notepad. You’re upset.

“We’re surrounded by man-eaters and you’re a man. Forgive me for not being ecstatic that I brought my husband into a den of predators.”

No, I mean about our wedding night still. Five months ago.

“Look, everyone has their flaws, ok?” She wanted to add I told you all mine from the start after all but said instead, “Some men snore, your head flies around at night. Are we talking about this now?” Her headache was a faint hum, not so painful just adding to her overall discomfort.

I’m not dreaming about other women.

She stopped walking, her grip on his elbow sliding down to his hand. “Then why do you want to go out at night? If there’s no other woman, then what’s out there that you can’t find with me?” She did not, did not, want to start crying in the middle of a sidewalk with carnivorous whores around them,but her eyes were getting watery. She loved Hisato, but he wasn’t satisfied with her. It hurt to know this in her heart.

He laced his fingers with hers, then unlaced them to write for a minute. Margaret, I love you. I really love you, but that is something I cannot tell you.

“Please, whatever it is, I will do it for you,” she begged, putting her arms around his waist. “I’ll wear whatever kinky outfit you want, call you ‘daddy,’ whatever you want. I’ll get on my knees and suck you off right now if you like doing it in public.” Just don’t say you don’t love me anymore.

Gently, he removed her arms. Margi, this is not something that can be solved with a blowjob. It’s embarrassing but not like that. I’ll explain it when we get my head. He pressed her hands to his heart then pointed ahead. Without writing it down, he told her he wanted them to finish their search.

Ok Margaret, put the heart away and let the head work for a bit, she told herself, wiping her eyes and sniffing the air again. Her husband’s cologne was nearly gone but the scent of pink perfume was still there. Hand in hand, she led Hisato farther into the mess they were in.

To Margaret’s relief, the street split in two ahead and there was a food stall where a man grilled eel with his back to them.

“Excuse us, did a woman with a head in a bag go by here?” she asked.

The man turned around and he had no face, just smooth peachy skin. There wasn’t even a bump for a nose. He tilted his head as if to say Can I help you?

Margaret kept her composure and borrowed Hisato’s notepad, flipping to a clean page. She held it out to the vendor along with the pen. “Can you tell me if a woman with a head in a bag or a bag shaped like a head passed this way?”

The vendor took the notepad and wrote quickly. Nope, but eel on a stick is at a discount right now.

Margaret held back her urge to throw the notepad at the man’s missing face. Her husband’s head is missing, her marriage was on the rocks, her pie was unbaked, and this guy wanted to haggle? Let the head work for a bit, she reminded herself. “Ok, how about I buy three and then you tell me where she is?” she bargained.

He tapped his chin and held out his hand for the money. She nudged Hisato, but being headless, he could only hand over his wallet as he couldn’t see which bills to take out.

After handing three eel sticks to Hisato, the vendor wrote out his response: The she-demon lives in the ruined house with the weeping blue lantern.

Margaret beamed, finally feeling like she was getting somewhere. Hisato tossed the eel sticks in the general direction of a wheezing stray dogー  except it wasn’t a dog but a rat the size of one. The rat and Margaret locked eyes and the intelligence she saw in them almost made her piss herself.

The ruined house with the blue lantern was easy to find. The lantern was much quieter than the previous red ones. It wept silently, fresh drops of blood dripping from it to stain the sidewalk purple. Margaret thought she saw the shadows on it turn into a grotesque that glared a warning at her. She glared right back at it and knocked on the wooden frame of the paper door.

The door slid open, the must of ages curling out to greet them. The smell was like the older husband of the pink perfume scent, aggravated that someone had followed his younger, vapid wife home. Hisato shivered, his thin frame appearing to shrink in his work clothes.

My head is here and she’s prying at my eyelids, he wrote out shakily.

Margaret did not hesitate. While things were complicated right now with Hisato, he was still her lover and husband.

They ran into the house together, swallowed up by the unwelcoming darkness. Paper walls blended into paper doors. Margaret didn’t realize ehr footsteps had slowed with trepidation until Hisato led her forward, no longer needing her nose now that his head was so close.

They walked through the darkness together and Margaret was reminded of their wedding night, the two of them exploring their suite in the semidarkness, not needing light as they only needed each other. Much like then, they were walking into an unknown, possibly terrifying future, knowing that whatever happened, it wouldn’t happen to them apart.

The she-demon was bent over something on a kitchen counter, her concentration entirely upon it as a rotten-smelling pot boiled over, filling the room with smoke that diffused the purple light of the stovetop fire. The pink perfume scent mixed with the scent of warm sour meat and Margaret’s throat leapt with the urge to vomit. When Hisato’s foot stepped over the kitchen threshold, the she-demon straightened and turned around.

Her eyes were yellow and sunken in, rimmed with red that trickled down into the wrinkles leading to a pair of bloody stretched worms that served for her lips. Fangs curled up and jutted down. Her dry, stiff hair was like black bristle from an old broom.

“Headless one,” she addressed Hisato in a grandmother’s voice. “Looking for this?” She held up his head, the hair mussed, the lips blue and eyes circled with black bruises. Hisato went to it, hands reaching out.

“Tsk tsk. Not so soon,” she crooned, twisting his ear. Hisato fell to his knees before her, dropping his notepad. Margaret found her feet unresponsive. The whole kitchen was the she-demon’s domain and she wasn’t letting them do anything she didn’t like.

“Grandmother, what use could you possibly have for his head?” Margaret asked, trying to be polite. “There’s very little meat on it. It’s all fat and fat is very bad for a heart such as yours.”

The she-demon scoffed, wrinkling her pointy nose. “Who said I wanted to eat it? My grandson had the same affliction as your husband and because of my son’s stupid wife, my grandson is no longer with us. Are you a stupid wife?”

“No, I am clever. I tracked you all the way here after all,” she smiled, her mind in a panic.

“Are you a good wife?”

“I’m good! So very good. My husband never has a bad thing to say about me,” she assured the she-demon.

“Oh? What about your cooking?” She held up Hisato’s head as if to talk to it. “Nothing bad to say about that?”

On the floor, Hisato stiffened.

“Of course not!” Margaret replied.

“Then why is he so thin, hm? You call him a fat head but his head is so small. Look at him! His clothes hang off him like he’s a mannequin. You’re starving him.”


The she-demon’s grin got even bigger, splitting her face in half with glistening shark teeth. Her little eyes were swallowed by shadow. “Then get over here and feed him.”

Under foreign power, Margaret’s legs began to move, step by step in her black flats until she stood beside the kneeling Hisato.

“Here, take him,” the she-demon commanded, holding out Hisato’s head. “Feed him.”

Mercifully, Margaret felt the she-demon’s power leave her. She took Hisato’s head, bringing it to her breast like a cradled babe. She looked at the witch, the purple firelight making her twisted features tremble. Her lips seemed to be squirming, her eyes burning like embers.

“What do I feed him?” Margaret did not see anything she could cook with, no ingredients or utensils save the boiling pot.

“What he’s always wanted,” the she-demon answered cryptically.

Hisato slapped the floor trying to get her attention, to tell her something, to warn her.

Margaret opened her coat and undid the first three buttons on beige shirt. Coincidentally, she preferred front hook bras so it was easy to bare her breast. Hisato felt the press of her brown nipple against his cheek and like a baby, he opened his mouth.

Sharp little teeth latched on to her breast, engulfing the nipple and areola whole. Margaret gritted her teeth against the pain, the smallest of cries escaping her as Hisato fed. Tears slid down both their cheeks, as Hisato finally opened his eyes, looking up at her with shame and love and hunger, such a raw hunger it quickened her heart with fear and pleasure. His body put his hands in a begging position, communicating Forgive me, please, I can’t help it. Forgive me. All Margaret was concerned with was the love she saw there in his face, for he never stopped loving her like she feared.

“That’s it,” the she-demon whispered. “A man so afflicted needs to drink nightly or he’ll get sick. I’m glad you accept your duties as his wife.”

Margaret felt lightheaded, maybe from joy, most likely from the moderate blood loss. Hisato must’ve sensed it too because he dislodged himself from her breast, his head flying back onto his body where he sprang to his feet.

His pale face reddened as he glared at the she-demon. “I’m going to make you pay for this.”

“Pay for what? Keeping you alive?” She chuckled darkly.

The boiling pot tipped itself off the stove, causing Margaret to leap back and the room to fill with nasty smoke that made them close their eyes. When they opened them again, the she-demon was gone, the room dark and cold. Even the she-demon’s pink perfume smell was gone.

“Margi, your breast.” Hisato pulled an off-white handkerchief from his pocket and palmed it over the wound. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take so much. Iー ”

“Hisato,” her voice was soft but firm, “I’m not upset with you. I’ve never been upset with you. I just thought you didn’t love me anymore and assumed it was a personal failing on my end.” She placed her hand over his, her heart thumping beneath it. “Frankly, finding out you need blood is a relief because I think calling you ‘daddy’ in bed would’ve killed me.”

He frowned at her levity. “I’m serious.” Seeing that her blood stopped flowing, he removed the handkerchief. “This affliction of mine requires nightly hunts for blood.”

“Then I’ll give you my breast every night. Or my neck.” She stretched out her neck until it was over two meters long and wrapped it around her husband’s shoulders.

“Margi, as savory as your blood is, it’s humans I need. Or small animals,” he said as she unwrapped her neck and shrunk it back to a normal length.

“Too bad Bodi is a bakeneko then,” she lamented, putting back on her bra and buttoning up her shirt. “She’d curse us blind if you fed off her.”

“Yeah.” Hisato kissed his wife on the neck. “There. I do that everytime I come home, don’t I? I’m a little late, but I can’t break the tradition now.” He put his arm around her waist.

“No, I suppose not,” she leaned her head on his shoulder. “Come on, let’s go home so I can finish making that pie.”

Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram

Danae Lewis (she/her) is a young writer from the southern US. She likes singing, writing, procrastinating about writing, and developing elaborate stories in her head that she rarely writes down