My favourite dish is stir-fried cabbage (lightly salted). Japanese cabbage is soft and tastes sweet.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The Day My Brother Became Different

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

It happened just before I entered the primary school.

One morning, I woke up and sensed no presence inside the house apart from me and my brother who slept beside me.

I got up and walked around inside the house, but there was no one around.
I started feeling scared, and tried to wake my brother up by calling his name and shaking his shoulder, but he wouldn't wake up.
No matter how hard I shook him I didn't get any response from him and his body felt limp like a dead body.

I became even more scared and went outside.
It was rainy and gloomy.
I walked around the house, crying, but there was no one to be seen outside too.

I went back inside and was still crying when my parents suddenly showed up.
I asked, "Where have you been?" but they didn't answer me.
All they said was "Father is here," and "Mother is here."

I couldn't understand what was happening, but I was just glad they were back.
Then my brother came in. The moment I saw his face, I drew a sharp breath.

The brother was not the brother I had known. Their overall body shapes were similar, but his face was different from that of the brother of yesterday or of the brother who was sleeping beside me.

His eyes looked sharp. His nose was thin and prominent. His cheeks were hollow.
His hair looked greasy.

That was the first and last time such a bizarre occurrence happened in my life, but to this day my brother has never changed back to his old self and remains a stranger to me.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Emails

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

This is a cryptic story! 

I have received 4 emails today.

The first email was from my mother, telling me that sister gave birth to a baby.
"I will visit the hospital to see them tomorrow," I replied.

The second email was from the father and included an invitation to a family gathering this weekend.
"I'm too busy with work to go home," I replied.

The third mail was from a female (?) friend, saying that she was worried because she tried to call but no one would answer the phone.
"I have a flu and feel dizzy. I'm hungry but can't move at all...," I took a chance and replied.

Then the fourth mail arrived.
She says, as soon as she finishes work,  she will come visit, bringing with her some cakes.

So I have decided to clean it all up tomorrow. I bet I'll be so busy that I won't be able to go see the baby.


Friday, 17 August 2018

The Severed Head

 (Translated from Japanese by Saya) 

I wanted to drink some milk and opened the fridge; and found someone's severed head inside.
Startled, I instantly shut the fridge door in spite of myself.
I thought, surely what I saw was just a trick of the mind,
and opened the fridge again, but would you believe it, there was someone's severed head with its eyes rolled back.
I shut the door in spite of myself, but I thought I must have seen something that was not real due to fatigue,
and summoning up my courage, I opened the fridge once again.
Then I saw there some unknown person's severed head with its eyes rolled back, and it was smiling faintly.
Startled, I shut the door, but I thought I must have seen some hallucinations,
because I haven't been sleeping properly I saw something that was not real, and I
opened the door. Then I saw inside a severed head with its eyes rolled back.
That startled me and I shut the fridge door before I even knew it, but I thought I must have imagined it,
and opened the door again, but sure enough there was a severed head with its eyes rolled back, smiling faintly.
I shut the door in spite of myself, but I was sure it was just some hallucination. Because recently I haven't been sleeping well.
So I changed my mind and opened the fridge but sure enough there was someone's severed head inside.
Before I knew it I shut the door, but I thought it must have been my imagination.
Because I am tired I saw something that was not real, so I changed my mind and opened the fridge,
but would you believe it there was a severed head there with its eyes rolled back -- I went, what!? and shut the door,
but I told myself I was just seeing hallucinations due to fatigue,
and opened the fridge again, but would you believe it, there was someone's severed head inside, with its eyes rolled back, and it was laughing.
In spite of myself I shut the door, but it surely must have been my imagination,
I told myself I mistook it for something else, and opened the door once more,
but would you believe it, there was some person's severed head inside, with its eyes rolled back, and it was laughing hysterically.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Boy Who Loved the Occult

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

There was this high school boy who one day suddenly began seeing some weird shapes darting about out of the corner of his eye.
Since then, he would often see black shadows and lights of unknown origin.
He told his family about it, but no one would lend an ear to him.

Not only that, his mother chided him for talking nonsense.
The reason for this was that his mother was aware that the boy loved all sorts of things relating to the occult and would often watch occult TV shows and exhibit other weird behaviours.
So that was why his mother flew into a temper saying,
"You are watching those silly things all the time, and that's why you have started imagining things!"

Before long, the boy started having a strange headache and feeling weak in the whole body.
Seeing the state he was in, his mother became furious even more.
"You are just being lazy. Stop your silly talk and behave yourself!"
And then ignoring his protests, she threw away all his occult collectibles, and continued to force him to go to school everyday.

However, some days later, the boy collapsed at school and was taken to the hospital.
The doctor's diagnosis showed that the boy had brain tumors.
The doctor asked the mother, "Didn't your son tell you that he's been unwell? Why didn't you bring him to the hospital sooner?"
The mother apparently just broke down and cried.

I wonder who was to be blamed for this?
The boy who loved the occult too much and was acting weird all the time,
or the mother who never tried to listen to her son properly?

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Order

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

Another cryptic story! 

Three friends - A,B and C - were  kidnapped by a psychopath.

The psychopath said to them,
"Decide among yourselves who will give me a right arm and a left arm.
Otherwise I'll kill you all."

A "What!? There's no way I'll do such a thing. You guys do it."
B "OK....then I'll cut off the right arm."
C "Then I'll cut off the left arm."

The two of them were able to survive.

Friday, 10 August 2018

The Guide

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

This is a cryptic story! :D

I live in a European-style house, due to my wife's taste for all things European.
So my room too is in European-style, which actually befits my beautiful cat, who is my best friend-cum-family member.
My cat has beautiful, shiny Russian-blue hair; his name is Noisuled.
My treasure is a certain box, made of paulownia wood and large enough to enclose a whole person.
Noisuled seems to have taken a liking to it too, and often sleeps on the top of its lid.

You may ask, why do I treasure such a box?
This may be hard to believe, but when one goes inside the box, one can go to the future.
Well, to be precise, only one's sight and hearing get transported to the future.
I can only see and eavesdrop on the future events, but cannot exercise influence over the future in any way. 
I call the box "The Eye of God," and the images of the future that are projected in the box  "The Guide."

I owe my life to The Guide.
Inside The Eye of God, I saw myself being murdered by someone. 
So I killed the person before that person could kill me in the "real" world. That was all.
No one has yet discovered that a murder has been committed.
The body is hidden away completely, so it is going to be safe for a while.

But recently, Noisuled appears to be often unwell.
He doesn't even go near the lid of The Eye of God anymore.
Should I find out what the future holds for Noisuled? I began to really worry about him.

I put my head inside The Eye of God and closed my eyes.
What I saw was a decomposing body of my beloved cat.
I left the pitiful image of my beloved friend and the stench behind, and came back to the "present."

I hugged my cat, who is the only family member left to me, and deeply regretted seeing the future.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Please Feel Free to Use It

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

It all started on a whim at first.

What got me started was a TV show I used to regularly watch two years ago.  It was a rather obscure 30-minute mini TV show aired after midnight.
It's no longer on air, but it used to be aired throughout the country so some of you might have seen it.
The TV show had one fairly popular segment where they featured viewer participation.

The "participation" wasn't a big thing; it appeared only at the end of the show, and consisted mostly of funny and often surreal photos and videos taken around the local area by the viewers.
If those photos and videos were good enough, the contributor was awarded a small gift.

As I watched the show, I too started racking my brains to see if I could come up with a good idea like the other viewers.
It wasn't that I wanted to get the gift. I only wanted to try my hand at making an interesting image.

Eventually, a brilliant idea came to my mind.
It wasn't a most respectable kind of idea, but I fell in love with it in an instant, and started the preparation for it straightaway.

What I prepared for it were a wooden board, some wooden nails and a rope. That was all.

First, I hammered the nails into the board and created a signboard. Across the board, I scrawled, "Please Feel Free to Use It."
So far, there was nothing so peculiar about that. You would see this kind of sign everywhere in parks, public toilets and at drinking fountains.

Next, I moved onto the rope. This one was even easier than the board. I only tied the ends of the rope together to make a loop.

That was all for the preparation part. Now, all that was left to do was look for an appropriate place to leave these stuff and take a photo of them; then, my artwork would be complete.


Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Non-Existent Floor

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

In Tokyo, a man who had been missing for five years was found, looking exactly the same as he looked on the day of his disappearance.

According to his story, he one day discovered that there was a button for a third floor to an elevator inside a two-storey building, and out of curiosity pressed that button; and before he knew, five years had passed.

It was during those five years that the said two-storey building built a third floor on top of itself.