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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Witness

Translated from Japanese by Saya
A row of vending machines
A Cryptic Story!!

It was around midnight, three days ago.
I was on my way home from a night of drinking. As it was a very cold night, I stopped by a vending machine to buy some warm tea. **
While I was at it, suddenly a kid went running like a thunderbolt down the cross street on my right.

"What the fuck is that kid doing in such a cold night,"
I thought to myself.
After getting tea, I again began walking when a woman came running up to me and asked,
"Have you seen my son?"

It was cold, I was sleepy and couldn't be bothered to get involved, so I told her I didn't see her son and went back home to sleep.

But a surprise was lying in wait for me the following morning. The mother of the kid I saw had been stabbed at home and was now fighting for her life.
The tobacconist near my place told me all about it.
The case didn't get to be on the news, so I don't know the details, but it was the kid who first discovered his mother in that state and ran to the police station for help.
Hearing that made me feel sorry, because I thought there was perhaps something more I could have done to save them...



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**   You find those vending machines, usually selling hot and cold drinks, on every bloody street in Japan.

Learn more about Japan's vending machines below:


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Playful Sister

Translated from Japanese by Saya


A Cryptic Story.

While watching a rented Japanese horror movie with my older sister, I told her something I learned off the net.
"Japanese people tend to get scared of female ghosts more than male ghosts, so that's why Japanese horror movies tend to centre around female ghosts."
My sister responded with an uninterested "uh-huh."

A few days later, when I came home from school, I glimpsed someone in white dress in the sitting room through the half-glass door.
I thought, "ah, sis is home," although I hadn't seen her shoes at the front door.**

I thought that was weird and looked inside the sitting room but she wasn't there anymore.
And she wasn't in her room either. I went to every room looking for her but she was nowhere to be found.

I was feeling slightly uneasy as I went to my own room.
I took off my school blazer to hang it up, but just when I got to the closet, the doors suddenly opened and, "Boo!" my sister jumped out from the inside.

As I fell and landed on my bum from the shock, she looked down at me with a triumphant gleam in her eyes.
"Did that scare you? Hahaha!" She laughed at me!

Little Devil! She probably did it because of what I told her about female ghosts before.
And at the time she was acting as if she wasn't the least bit interested!

"But why did you change clothes? The dress you were wearing before was much nicer."
 She had changed from the dress into jeans.
But she again pretended as if she hadn't the slightest idea what I was talking about.



----- Those sweet memories come flooding back to me as I look around my sister's room.
That winter, she met with a car accident and passed away.

She looked rather aloof on the surface, but had an endearingly playful, mischievous side to her nature.
That sweet, adorable sister is no more.

But one thing is sure: my sister is still watching over us.
She never comes to me directly and show herself fully, but sometimes I catch little glimpses of her -  still wearing that beautiful white dress she wore on that day.


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** Japanese people leave their shoes at the front door before entering the house.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Homecoming

Translated from Japanese by Saya

8 years ago, the Golden Week - *1
I had just graduated from university*2, and was working and living alone in Tokyo.

It was my first GW since I began working *3  and I decided to go back to my hometown in Tochigi.*4
I decided to drive, but on my way got caught up in a traffic jam; that totally drained me out and I had to stop and take a break at a rest area.
Because of all that, when I finally arrived home it was already 10 in the evening.

When I arrived I immediately felt a very unpleasant, heavy air surrounding the house.
I'm a sort of person who doesn't believe in ghosts or that sort of thing, and have no psychic power whatsoever, but I could feel that the atmosphere had a certain quality that can best be described as evil.

But, at the time, I simply wrote it off as a silly feeling born out of exhaustion, and walked straight into the house.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Precognition

Translated from Japanese by Saya

This is a Cryptic Story!


This is something that happened a long time ago.
When I was a kid, I always walked home from school with my best friend A.

ME: "Hey, we have a test next week, right? Do you want to get together and study for it tomorrow?"

A: "Sorry. Tomorrow is the day when Final Fantasy I comes out, so I'll be skiving off school to get it. lol"

ME: "How come you play video games all night every day and sleep through classes, yet still manage to get high marks?"

A: "Well....actually, to tell you the truth, I have the power to see into the future. I know what's going to be asked in tests beforehand, so that's why I can get high marks...."

ME: "Huh? lol If you have that kind of power, give it to me, will you? I'd live off horse racing!"

A: "....Stupid. It was only a joke. lol"

ME: "What? You suck!"

A got full marks in that test. Now I think about it, that was only too natural.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Teeth Marks

This story has been translated from Japanese into English by Saya

The Shibuya Station, Tokyo

This happened 13 years ago.
Today I still cannot make sense of what it was that happened to me. I just hope someday I can erase the whole incident from my memory.

At the time I had just arrived in Tokyo, and I was completely lost.
Holding a tattered old map of Tokyo which my grandfather had given me, I tried to navigate my way around the unfamiliar city.
  
The reason I had come to Tokyo was to look for a job.
Employment was scarce in my rural hometown and I had come to meet a distant relative who had promised to help me.
"I don't know about jobs, but I can rent you a cheap place to live,"
said the man, who was my uncle. I only ever spoke to him on the phone and my heart was filled with misgivings.
Looking back now, the sense of misgiving I felt at the time may have been a warning that something bad was about to happen to me.

By the time I arrived at the apartment I had been directed to go, the sun was about to sink below the horizon.
A stout old woman was standing at the gate.
"Welcome. You must be tired. Please follow me."
I followed her as she bid me, and walked into the gloomy apartment.
Not only was the building located in a maze-like area, but it was also elongated, extending to the back of the land, that the whole place gave off an air of an inexplicable oppressiveness. It was overgrown with weeds too.
In fact, what with the sun going down, I felt as if I were entering a deep, dark cave.

I became strangely afraid of the fly that had come to rest on the old woman's back, and clutching my luggage hard, I said in a voice louder than usual:
"Oh my goodness, it's the first time I've come to Tokyo, and it's so crowded!"
The old woman turned around and yelled, "Be quiet!!!"
I realised then that the person who I thought was an old woman was actually an old man dressed as a woman.
It was his sudden harsh voice that betrayed his sex.

I became depressed and felt the terror of the urban city life.
When I think back on it now, I realise that that was clearly abnormal.

My room was fairly large and I had no complaints about it except that it had a faint smell of blood.
But the rent in Tokyo was high, and even though the room was rented out at a discount, it still cost me 90 thousand yen.
It consisted of one 6-jo room,*1 and a kitchen with half-stripped floorboards. The water that came out of the taps was always murky.
Nevertheless, I was thankful that I had a toilet*2 all to myself.
But it was from the bottom of the toilet where the smell of blood rose most strongly.