Yokai of Long Island

I’ve developed an interest in yokai (thanks to GeGeGe no Kitarō) and in mythology in general (thanks to PBS series Monstrum) and it’s got me to wondering – what kind of yokai would I see in the New York metro area if I were to go looking? This is what I think I’d find…

高速道路の昆虫 (Kōzokudōro no konchū, or highway insect)

a Dall-e interpretation of the prompt “photo of a large black iridescent scarab beetle with glowing eyes, antennae, and a mouth with lots of teeth at night on a highway in the style of Miami Vice”

This enormous shiny black beetle is what became of an asshole driver who died after causing a car crash in a rage.  The legs move so fast they look like wheels and the eyes shine like highbeams as it tailgates you on dark and deserted highways late at night.  The Kōzokudōro no konchū will tailgate you at high speeds and if you tap your brakes it will swerve around and cut you off, forcing you off the road and into a ditch so it can open its toothy maw and swallow you whole, car and all.

The Kōzokudōro no konchū is testing you – when it tailgates you have to take your foot off the gas and allow your vehicle to slow naturally, This will signal to the yokai that you are not going to be goaded into losing your temper and it should move on to another victim.

my drawing of a giant beetle with headlights, a front window, and windshield wipers on a street.

pencil and ink drawing by Annelies Kamran

January 8th, 2023 8:14pm

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