Hideto Higashiyama stared at the lines in his wife’s face as she placed the cup of tea in front of him. They ran out from her eyes and around her mouth like the lines on a road map representing rivers. She had not looked like this when they had met. Father time was a sneaky bitch. “Are you going to accept this challenge?” she said.
“I have to,” he said. Hideto’s reputation as an origami grandmaster had been challenged numerous times over the years, but none had been as serious as the latest one. He was in the latter stages of his life, but he was still able to fold paper with the best of them and that was why he was more than willing to take on this latest challenger. The challenge had come from some smartarse motherfucker from Aomori called Shigefumi Nagakawa. The leading origami publications in the country had likened him to a rockstar and he was broadcasting origami videos on some bullshit called YouTube. All this confused Hideto. The days of the one on one origami challenge were over. He looked at the letter and read it for the eleventh time. It read:
Dear Mr Higashiyama,
Your origami is shit and it’s time for you to step aside. I hereby challenge you to an origami contest to be held on the twelfth day of October of this year. Failure to appear will result in forfeit and proof that your origami is shit.
The True Grandmaster
Hideto was not fazed by the young master’s arrogance. He, too, had been arrogant in his youth, especially after becoming the first origami master to produce a two metre penis with only one piece of paper. Until Hideto has burst onto the origami scene, penises were rarely attempted, even in the grandmaster circles. This Nagakawa wanker had impressed the general public with his unicorns and internal organs with their impressive details, but the old timer was cunning. He looked at his tea. He hoped it would not come to the point where he would have to unleash his secret, but if this Shigefumi dickhead pushed him hard enough he would. He threw the tea down like a shot of whiskey and asked for another. His wife poured it and he looked at her again. Had she aged another five years this morning? The constant feeling that time was slipping away from him was never more intense than in that moment.
He had a battle plan. Even though he had faced many great grandmasters over the years, this Nagakawa motherfucker was something different. He was an amalgamation of modernity and tradition. He had a crowd of fans behind him. Hideto had a handful of geriatric women who remembered him from the front pages of Origami Monthly back in the 1960s. He had appeared shirtless for that publication, the first origami grandmaster to reveal any part of his body in public. Of course, he had received a lot criticism from the old guard for this stunt, but at the time he was young and didn’t give a shit. His battle plan was simple. He would make the classics. The staple folds like the crane, the frog, the box and the penis. His own teacher had once told him many years ago, “Some days, your origami will be shit. Those are the days that you must use the weapons you have been given.”
The day of the challenge came around well before Hideto had even become used to the idea. The hall at which it was being held was swarming with verminous spectators and camera crews. Dressed in his custom hakama, Hideto looked as if he had just stepped out of a time machine. A young woman approach him, “Mr Higashiyama, please follow me and I will take you to your dressing room.”
“Yes, please follow me,” she said. What kind of soy bullshit was this? Hideto thought back to a time when folding paper until your hands bled was considered normal. He doubted whether any of these new grandmasters had even so much as received a paper cut before. His dressing room was the size of his living room, about six tatami mats. There was a fridge in the corner and a dressing table with a mirror against the back wall. In the middle was a low table for sitting around. A stack of paper lay in the middle of it. “The paper is for warming up,” said the girl.
“I don’t need to warm up. I’m ready to fight,” said Hideto. He sat in the room for forty-six minutes before he was called to the origami fight of the decade.
Out in the the main arena, a large crowd booed as Hideto made his way to the table. Shortly after he sat down, that piece of shit Shigefumi Nakagawa made his way to the cheers of the crowd. When he sat down he said, “Ready to die?”
“I didn’t know this was a fight to the death,” said Hideto.
“You’ll want to die after we’re done,” said Nagakawa.
“How about we just sort this out in the car park?”
“Oh, I can’t fight for shit. LET’S FOLD!” said Nagakawa and Hideto made a crane. Nagakawa looked at him in disbelief. “Are you serious?”
“Shit yeah, I am”, said Hideto and without responding Nagakawa launched into a fury of folding comparable to the flapping wings of a humming bird. Hideto watched in awe as Nagakawa placed an origami rendition of the human brain. It was life sized and Hideto wondered how this millennial fuckwit had achieved such a feat with only one piece of A4 paper. It was time to bring out the big guns.
While impressive, Hideto’s origami penis was nothing compared to the Nagakawa’s life sized recreation of the Boshin war. All this was also achieved with a single piece of A4 paper. “What the fuck is going on here? You some sort of demon?” said Hideto.
“Why do you ask?” said Nagakawa.
“Motherfucker, you are making life sized shit with one piece of paper. It’s physically impossible.”
“You’re origami is shit. You’re not up with the latest. Follow me on YouTube and you might learn something,” said Nagakawa.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS A YOUTUBE!!!” said Hideto and he had reached the point where he could no longer hold it back. The years of meditation and copious amounts of green tea had amounted to jack shit as he now struggled to suppress the beast within. It had been forty-seven years since the origami rager had destroyed an origami tournament and he was thirsty for destruction. Hideto doubled in sized and his hakama burst off him in shreds of fabric that resembled bits of old undies that had been mutilated by a particularly bad fart. He had once again become the Origami Rager and his wife clapped from the stands as hordes of millennials ran in fear. He picked up Shigefumi Nagakawa, who by this stage had shat himself so extensively that those running to safety vomitted spontaneously when they got within twenty-three metres of him. The Origami Rager brought him level so that they were face to face and shot fire from his eyeballs into Nagakawa’s, roasting his brain. He then picked up the table and hurled it into the fleeing crowd. It took out thirty-one millennials. They all went over like bowling pins. He then set fire to the hall.
On the way home Hideto’s wife said, “I’ve missed him.”
“The Origami Rager,’ she said.
“Me too,” said Hideto and he looked at her. Behind the lines he caught a glimpse of the young woman who had approached him the last time the Origami Rager had been unleashed. She had been the only one not to run away after he had set fire to a Shinto shrine. He smiled at her and said,”Let’s go home and burn some more shit.”