On a summer afternoon, Tsukiko and her former high school teacher have prepared and eaten somen noodles together.
“Tell me a story from long ago,” Sensei says.
“I wasn’t alive long ago,” Tsukiko says, “but should I tell you a story from when I was little?”
“Please do,” Sensei replies, and so Tsukiko tells him that, when she was a child, she awakened one day to find something with a pale red face and something with a dark red face in her room, arguing with each other. They had human bodies, long noses, and wings. They were tengu, creatures that appear in Japanese folktales.
The tengu attach themselves to Tsukiko and begin to follow her everywhere. Where did they come from and why are they here? And what other invisible and unacknowledged forces are acting upon Tsukiko’s seemingly peaceful world?