It’s laying there, on the pebble filled shore near his washing spot. The skin is wrinkly and spotted like an eel’s, lose and baggy over the creature’s bones. The red spot forming beneath it pulls at his heartstrings, but Onoda dares not approach such a strange animal in its death throes.
Then it coughs.
Full-body heaves rack the long form, and Onoda is horrified to find his poor eyes have fooled him twice in one day.
It’s a person!
He drops his laundry on the grass and skids down the bank towards the poor soul, “H-hey! Hold on!” He falls once or twice on the way down, but doesn’t stop moving until he’s by their side.
He feels idiotic for thinking a wet kimono was flesh, though the pattern is rather unique.
It really does look like an eel’s skin.
The person is still hacking wetly, and now that he can the long dark hair over their face, he sees that they’re coughing up blood.
"W-wait, I’ll get you some water-"
A hand shoots out of the wet cloth and coils tight around his arm and jerks him down closer. He can see the red smears of blood around their mouth, and when the lips part he can see the coating of it on their teeth.
The other hand slips from the wet kimono to reach into their mouth, fingers searching through coughs and gags and painful dry heaves.
When they still, Onoda finds that he’s be holding his breath for awhile, and when they retract from behind the victims teeth holding something curved and thin, his lungs release in sympathy.
"Wow, what is that?"
The hand pushes it closer to his face, closer, closer, closer until it’s right before his eyes.
"…fishing hook…" he whispers.
Onoda stops breathing.
His eyes snap back down the person in front of him, staring at their very straight, sharp, and snapping teeth.
A wail starts somewhere in Onoda’s chest, and almost makes it to his throat. He glances away only to see a pair of wide, hollow eyes staring right back at him from beneath wet hair.
The eyes narrow suddenly, and the hook between those long. long fingers spins teasingly.
Onoda shrieks and pulls away. He scrambles up the banking and sprints past his laundry pile. He runs and runs and runs and doesn’t stop until he’s slammed the crude lock on his hovel door shut.
(a sort of maybe prologue to some MidoSaka feudal/fantasy thing)
(Mido is an eel/river god who fights with kappas
and doesnt afraid of anything and Saka is just a poor kid living in the woods trying to save up money for some glasses)