Sometime in the middle of the night a hard rain begins to fall. I wake up every once in a while, part the chintzy curtain at the window, and gaze out at the highway rushing by. Raindrops beat against the glass, blurring streetlights alongside the road that stretch off into the distance at identical intervals like they were set down to measure the earth. A new light rushes up close and in an instant fades off behind us. I check my watch and see it's past midnight. Automatically shoved to the front, my fifteenth birthday makes its appearance.
Hey, happy birthday, the boy named Crow says.
Thanks, I reply.
The omen is still with me, though, like a shadow. I check to make sure the wall around me is still in place. Then I close the curtain and fall back asleep.
End of Chapter One - continue reading chapters 2-5 at Haruki Murakami's website
Excerpted from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami Copyright © 2005 by Haruki Murakami. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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