Witness Relocation


Note: an older, re-edited story

Suki opened the door to her employer’s office just in time to watch a man put a bullet into his brain as he sat at his desk. She brought a hand to her mouth and gasped. The moment she was seen she turned and fled.

She ran through the strip joint and found the back door. She nearly knocked the man over who’d been reaching for the handle outside. He grabbed her shoulders to keep her from tumbling over.

“Whoa there, miss. You should watch where – are you all right? You look pale!”

“I just saw… my employer murdered!”

“You did?” All she could do was nod her head, the horrific scene frozen in her mind’s eye.

“Let’s get you out of here. My car is parked around the corner.”

They rushed down the alley and turned the corner. He ran to the driver’s side door of the nearest vehicle and opened it. She raced to the passenger side and slid into the seat.

He started the motor. Then he gunned the engine as two men appeared in the alley. “Oh NO!” she gasped in terror.

He smashed his foot on the accelerator as he pulled away from the curb before either of the two could draw a weapon. He looked back to see they were not firing at them. Then he said, “You say you saw your employer being murdered, miss?”

“Yes. Those two men in the alley! I think… they were the same ones in his office!” That’s when she started to cry softly.

“I’m afraid I have dishonored my unit. I was sent here to offer him protection. I was… too late.”

She looked at him with tears in her eyes. “So what will happen to me?”

“You are a witness to a crime committed by the Yakuza organization. I will get you to a safe location and restore my dishonor; that is, if you will allow it.”

“Can you keep me safe?” She looked hopefully into his eyes.

“I will try,” he said with determination. “My name is Nomuri.”

“I am Suki,” she answered, feeling a little bit better…


He took her down to the wharf, telling her he had access to a boat. Travel in the city would be dangerous, he explained. But the harbor was safer. There were many places to hide a small craft.

They pulled into a small lot and exited the vehicle. They dashed between two buildings to a wooden dock with a small cabin cruiser that bobbed on the water. It looked promising, certainly big enough to spend a few days inside with some small degree of comfort.

She jumped aboard as he quickly released the boat from the ropes that held it against the dock. Then he stepped onto the deck where he moved to the controls and started the motor. Suki breathed a sigh of relief when it started. Soon the boat was pulling away from the dock and motored off into the night…


“Do you have something for my nerves?” she quivered. “A drink, perhaps? I can’t seem to… stop shaking.”

“A thousand apologies. Come below. Let me fix you something. Then you will feel more comfortable.”

“Thank you,” she said as she followed him down the steps.

She moved to a sofa and slumped into it. It was then that her mind fully replayed the scene in her employer’s office. She put her head in her hands and started to cry.

Nomuri added two cubes of ice to a glass and filled it with an alcoholic beverage. “This should help calm you,” he told her as he brought the glass over.

He sat down next to her. Then he put his arm around her shoulder before offering the drink. “I am very sorry,” he said quietly. “It must have been awful.”

She nodded as she accepted the offered glass. Then she took a long drink. It made her feel better.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life,” she said tearfully as she shook her head. “Yamato was a nice man. Why did they have to kill him like that?”

She took another drink as the alcohol began to calm her down. “No one knows the ways of the Yakuza,” Nomuri replied with sadness. “I am truly sorry you had to witness such a thing.”

“Where will I go? What will I do now?”

“I will help you,” he replied firmly.

“Thank you,” she replied, “You have been very…” She paused as she blinked her eyes.

“Is something wrong?”

“I don’t feel so good.”

“A sensitive stomach after witnessing such a traumatic event. It will pass, I am sure.”

She waved dismissively as she blinked again. She was feeling felt lightheaded. He looked at her and asked, “Miss? Are you going to faint?”

He caught her as she started to fell out of the sofa. He picked her up and carried her into the interior. There he gently laid her onto the bed…


Suki awakened with a splitting headache. She glanced out a window and saw the sky getting noticeably lighter. She concluded it must be dawn.

Had she slept through the night? Had she imagined it all? Then she sensed something was not right.

What was wrong with her arms? It was uncomfortable lying on them the way she was. So she tried to pull them out, only to discover…

Her wrists were bound together? But why?? Why had he tied her wrists together??

She tried to sit up. But she still didn’t have the strength. That’s when she noticed how her feet hung over the bed, immobilized in some sort of material and…

‘I’m NAKED!’ she thought in alarm.

A shiver of fear swept through her. Had Nomuri taken advantage of her? Why couldn’t she remember?

Had the Yakuza found them? Suki’s blood ran cold. What if he had also been tied up… or worse??

“Nomuri?? Nomuri, please help me!” There was no answer.

Maybe the Yakuza had indeed found them. She felt a lump in her throat as her panic rose. That’s when Nomuri walked into the little cabin.

“You are awake; excellent. Allow me to carry you up on deck so that you may enjoy the dawn.”

“Nomuri? Why am I bound and naked?”

“You are a stripper, are you not? Is it inappropriate for me to see you in this manner?”

“But why am I bound?”

“You thrashed around in bed last night. I did not want you to hurt yourself.”

“But… but what is this on my feet?”

“It is Styrofoam, surrounded by a concrete membrane,” he explained as her carefully carried her up the steps.

“Concrete membrane? I don’t understand! What is it doing on my feet?”

He matter-of-factly told her, “It is there to help keep your body on the ocean floor.”

She gasped in horror. Her eyes got big as saucers. That’s when realization set in.

“You’re… you’re with them??”

“Yes. I am a part of their Witness Relocation Program.” Was that why he had been outside the back door??

“The sun will be up shortly, Suki. This is the best part of the day, the moment right before the rays of the sun flicker over the water. I wanted to share this moment with you before I let you go.”

She tried to cry out, but a lump hung up in her throat. That’s when he carried her over to the side of the craft. She finally found her voice… “NOOOOOOO…”

“Don’t worry, Suki,” he said soothingly. “The Yakuza will never be able to reach you where I’m sending you.” And with that, he tossed her over the side.

She hit the water with a splash and then sank from view. She struggled all the way down as the water got colder all around her. Bubbles fizzed out of her mouth and nose.

How could she have been so foolish?? He was with them the whole time! Sadly, she had no way of knowing.

She could feel her toes wiggle inside the encasement. But she couldn’t break free. She tried jerking arou,d but the weight was too heavy.

Her lungs ached for another breath. Her cheeks bulged as she tried to hold her air in. But she was already to the point where she could not keep from inhaling.

It was no use. She wasn’t much of a swimmer, and she wasn’t very good at holding her breath. Air burst out past her lips, causing her to inhale reflexively.

She started hitching and gurgling as her body fought the intrusion of water into her lungs. She coughed, gurgled, and spasmed again. She jerked and twisted around as her wrists yanked behind her back.

As she drowned, she became dimly aware of a tingling between her legs. Her nipples had hardened considerably from her plight. She was terrified, although her body was betraying her from a different emotion.

She convulsed painfully one last time as she nearly doubled over. Then she ceased struggling altogether. Sporadic bubbles trickled freely past her parted lips.

She looked up at the hull of the boat in time to see is start to pull away. There was the faint sound of a motor. Then the life flickered out of her eyes.

At that moment the gently rays of the sun shimmered over the water. Dawn had officially arrived. But Suki was beyond the moment where she could enjoy it.

2004; 2020 (written Jun 20 ’04; ed. Feb 22 ’20 by riwa)

(Inspired by the render I included for illustration purposes.)

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