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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.


Friday, 31 October 2014

How to Go to Another World by Using Closet

Hi, everyone! Happy Halloween! :D

〔How to Go to Another World by Using Closet〕*1

What to Prepare:
  • A piece of paper with your name on it
  • Two cups: one filled with water to the 7th of its capacity, and the other empty
  • A cardboard box large enough for one person to sit in and still have a bit of extra space

Note:
  • The material of the paper can be anything, but its size should be small enough to fit inside the cup.
  • Use a brush pen*2 when you write your name.
  • The cups should be the ones you always use; prepare two cups of the same kind. It's best if they are made of glass.

After you've finished all the preparation, get inside the closet and pull the cardboard box over your body.
Make sure the closet doors are shut tight so no light can penetrate inside.


Below is what you should do while inside the cardboard box:
  1. Put the paper with your name on it in the water-filled cup.
  2. Close your eyes, and count up to the number that is the square of your age, in time with your heartbeat (e.g. If you're twelve count 144, if twenty-two count 484 and so on.).
  3. When finished counting, open your eyes, and transfer the water and the soaked paper to the other cup.

Now step out of the closet -  and you will know.

Caution:
Take an extra care NOT to crack or lose those two cups.

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*1 Closet - In Japan, we have two names for closet: one is kurozetto (クローゼット) which is a transliterated form of the English word closet, and the other oshi ire (押入れ).  The former conjures up a more modern western-style closet, while the latter refers to a type of built-in closet in a traditional Japanese home. The original text uses oshi ire, not kurozetto.  
Pictured right: a typical example of oshi ire

*2 Brush pen - called fudepen in Japanese (Wikipedia). They're talking about these kind of stuff.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Meadow

This story has been translated from Japanese into English by Saya.
source
This is not a scary story... but I want to share it with you.

It happened when I was about 7 years old.
When I was a child, I often had strange experiences.

The town in which I lived was called Shio-iri, in Yokosuka City.
It is the place with the one long slope. *1
On that particular day, we were playing hide-and-seek.

Chikoku-saka (source)
I had a hard time finding a good place to hide, but in the end decided to hide behind my friend's house.
The moment I ran to the back of the house, the scenery changed in an instant.
Before I knew, I was standing in the middle of a large meadow.

Where am I....?

I was stunned and at a loss about what to do. Then I saw ahead of me one flower rising from the ground, and also a little vase beside it.

Without thinking, I picked up the flower and put it inside the vase.
Soon, I spotted a small hill not far away, so I picked up the vase with the flower and walked towards it.

Then, young as I was, a sudden understanding dawned on me - that this hill was someone's tomb.
I put down the vase with the flower, closed my eyes and prayed.  (It wasn't like a proper form of prayer. I just closed my eyes and pressed my palms together...lol)

Next moment I was back behind my friend's house again.
I was so startled that I was just sitting there in a stupor when I heard my friend shout,
"I found you, Ai chan!"*2

What was it just now...? A dream...?
That was what I thought.
Maybe I just daydreamed, but ever since then, strange things started happening to me even more frequently.


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*1 One long slope: This could be Chikoku-Saka (pictured second from the top). Chikoku means "to be late." The slope is so named because the story goes that the soldiers stationed there used to ran up the slope, in order not to be late for the curfew after being out downtown.  
*2 Ai chan: Ai is the narrator's name, chan is a suffix indicating endearment. Judging by the name and the form of suffix, the narrator is probably a girl.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Jigsaw Puzzles

This story has been translated from Japanese into English by Saya.

A cryptic story.
Easy peasy!

As I have started living by myself recently, I decided to decorate my room with jigsaw puzzles.
Those are the type that, after receiving light, glow in the dark, and I really like the soft light they give off.

The other night when I returned home, the puzzles were glowing faintly in the dark,
and seeing that made me feel instantly warm and fuzzy inside, because it was as if the puzzles were welcoming me home.

I'm already itching to work on another set of puzzles.
Next time I might buy one that's the same size but has 2000 pieces.