As always, thank you everyone for leaving comments. I'm sorry I'm too busy at the moment to make a reply to each individual comment. But I hope you enjoy the time browsing through my blog!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My Master Series Episode 7: "Deformity"

Note: I'm not the author of this story. I've translated it from original Japanese into English. Please do NOT copy and paste it somewhere else on the web without my permission.

I knew someone whom I called the Master in the Way of Occult, and he had his own ideas about ghosts. He would often give me lectures on their nature.

According to my master, nearly all ghosts are not aware that they are actually dead.

For example those who died in accidents may still be hovering around the scene of the accidents and continue asking for help; there are others who keep repeating the same routine they used to follow when they were alive.
The ghosts like those get scared of the same things that we humans get scared of.
Just like us, they get scared of yakuza*1, savage dogs and crazy people. You can give them a fright just by shouting at them.
The more problematic ones are those who are immune to such intimidation
Anyway it is always better not to get involved with those who are not aware that they are dead.

Such were his words, and I could understand them easily and also had heard similar things being said by others before.
But one day he told me a thing about ghosts which I have never read or heard from any other sources.
It could be that I'm just ignorant, but I wonder what you people's opinions are on this matter.

When I was in my second year at university some curious incidents happened to me in succession.

The first incident was when I went to a pachinko parlour*2. I was just loitering about when an  unusual appearance of a man, sitting in front of one of the machines, stopped me dead in my tracks.
His lips were abnormally swollen and drooping down to such an extent that they nearly touched his chest.
I just acknowledged then that there were people with such a disease as that and that was all.

But then the next day I was on the bus on the way to the town, and while I sat absent-mindedly in the seat opposite the front door*3, I noticed a person sitting in front of me had an extra finger.

No matter how many times I counted, the hand on the armrest had six fingers.
I saw a thumb sticking out from the left side of the hand but there was another one huge finger sticking out from the other side of the hand.

Was it something called "polydactyly*4"?
The person got off the bus before I did, but no one seemed to be looking at the person apart from me.
I wondered why no one paid any attention to a person with such an obvious deformity, but later on I realised how thoughtless I was.

Then on the following day I encountered a dwarf.
I was in a pachinko parlour again and noticed a child wandering around the aisles; but when I looked carefully it was actually a middle-aged person.
The person had a peculiar face and it was impossible to tell whether it was he or she; the dwarf kept muttering, "It's not coming out, " in a high-pitched voice.
The dwarf's gnarled legs seemed to be making him(or her) appear even smaller.
He or she was probably no taller than my chest, and I am not a very tall person.

This time I kept myself from staring. I felt it strange that I got to see so many unique individuals within such a short span of time.

I told my master what had happened, but instead of being overjoyed, his face hardened.
He loved scaring me and I had half-expected him to start teasing me and say irresponsible things like "you are cursed" or something, but he said nothing of the sort.
My master was sunk in deep thought for sometime but finally opened his mouth.
"Once you see something out of ordinary, for sometime after it you would naturally start paying more
attention to people. So things like that could happen. It's a matter of probability, you see. But there's something in your story that doesn't sound quite right."

"The seat, which is the one you sat in, was opposite the door of the bus and had windows on the right, wasn't it?"
I thought, what is he on about now?, but just nodded to his question.
"Of course the same goes for the seat in front of yours.  Now, the hand you saw on the armrest; was it a right hand or a left hand?"
I didn't know what he was driving at, so I just shook my head.
"While some buses have seats with their armrests on the window side, considering the situation you told me - that you could clearly see the hand and you also wondered why other people weren't noticing the deformity - I assume the armrest was on the aisle side. It follows then that the thumb shouldn't be sticking out from the left side of the hand."

Gosh! I thought.
"The hand that was on the armrest should have been a left hand, but from the way you describe it, it appeared to have been a right hand. But all you noticed was about there being an extra finger. Even I, who was only listening to your story, noted the incongruity; and it strikes me as odd that you didn't. You of all people should have noticed it, because you saw it directly, and what's more, were making a detailed study of it."

I had a feeling that I was going to hear something terrible and felt cold sweat breaking out all over me.

"In the other two stories, you gave me accounts of the people's sexes or their appearances, but in the bus story you didn't. But you said you saw the person stand up and leave the bus. You should have known what the person looked like. You have seen but you do not remember. All the details are very hazy. You are unconsciously hiding from yourself that some parts of your memory are hazy, and trying to convince yourself that it was just a matter of deformity and nothing more. I ask you again, were you the only one who was staring at the person in question?"

My master unfolded his previously crossed arms, and held up his hand in front of me.
"Look, show me your dominant hand. So you are right-handed.
Have your right palm facing downwards. And then on top of the right hand lay your left hand facing downwards as well. Let all the fingers, except the thumbs, be placed exactly on top of each other. Good.
So your left middle finger comes on top of your right fourth finger. Draw the left hand back a little...
Get the rest of the fingers do the same, don't worry if some fingers are not quite the same in length. Now you see you have six fingers all together."

I hope you, the readers, try this and see it for yourself.

"Now you have two thumbs, and your hand becomes symmetrical. How do you feel?"
It was a very strange feeling. How can I describe it -  Calm? Peaceful? I felt more unified than when I am simply, say, pressing my palms together.
I felt that especially when I moved my hand up and down while keeping the six-fingered form.
"That is the shape of a hand we humans unconsciously wish to attain.
Symmetrical, with one thumb on each side for grabbing things.
I have seen  "ghosts with two thumbs"  on some occasions."

"So you mean, that person I saw was actually a ghost, that was only visible to me?"
"Probably. You get those kinds sometimes.
Some ghosts retain their former shapes, but some others try to stabilise their ever-changing selves by unconsciously altering their shapes. So they end up becoming ambidextrous or six-fingered..."
Said my master, and he jokingly made a gesture to attack me with his six-fingered hand.

His talk filled me with the sense of wonder.
I have never heard it being talked about, either before or after I heard it from my master.
No books I have read have ever dealt with such a subject.
Was it just something my master made up? Or were they some rules about the world I do not know?

I will never find out the truth now.



*********************************
Footnotes:
*1Yakuza are members of traditional organised crime syndicates in Japan (wikipedia)
*2The second picture from the top shows a pachinko parlour. A pachinko is a Japanese gaming device used for amusement and gambling ( wikipedia)
*3 Look at the picture at the top. It shows the inside of a typical Japanese bus. The storyteller would have sat on the seat in the right row, the second from the front. The driver's seat is on the right, and the front door on the left.
*4 Polydactyly is a congenital physical anomaly in humans, dogs, and cats having supernumerary fingers or toes.(wikipedia)

21 comments:

Adorably Dead said...

Makes sense, if I was dead I might try to experiment with my form too.

Bleblo said...

wow its been a long time since i've read anything from My master series hahaha thanks for this and welcome back Saya! :D

SAYA said...

@Adorably Dead: So there's something to look forward to after life, innit? :D

@Bleblo: Oh thank you very much Blebo! Glad you enjoy my stories. I hope to translate more episode from My Master series soon.
And may I say that paint on your face looks very innovative, dear :)

Hasumi said...

my waiting for a year has been paid ! another new post today :D glad that you're so alive, Saya.

i try to put my left hand on top of my right hand just like in the story, and i feel... weird. hahahaha

btw thanks for updating :* i really enjoy your blog!

Bin said...

wow, another interesting story from Saya, anyway, i just found this blog few days ago, and i can say that ur stories are superbly translated... and also, i just finished reading my master series eps 6 just yesterday, and today i found it updated with new story, such a coincidence...

SAYA said...

@Hasumi: sorry to have kept you waiting! :) Thank YOU for reading my blog! Very sweet of you to say these things!

@Bin: your kind words boost my often precarious confidence, my friend! lol
Oh really, what a peculair coincidence! I hope to translate more of these master stories so come back again! Thank you!

ryuu said...

yehey! the master series! ^^
thank you for translating this saya. i've been wondering what will happen next to the master.

Nick said...

Wow. I was having kinda a bad day and then I find out one of my favorite blogs is updating again. I'm glad you are doing this again, Saya. Welcome back and thank you for making my day!

SAYA said...

@ryuu: really? Very glad you like it :D Thank you!

@Nick: Oh you poor thing. Cheer up! Eat chocolates!

Thank you and take care! :D

Tia said...

Goodness! I was so looking forward to a new episode of My Master series!! Arigato gozaimasu Saya!

SAYA said...

@Tia: wow you know some Japanese? Excellent! Do itasimasite(<-- どういたしまして you probably know it already, but it means "your welcome!")

Eve said...

Hi Saya! I'm new and just finished reading your entire archive! Thank you so much for translating these stories! And of course, thank you for the nightmares I'm going to have tonight ;)

SAYA said...

@Eve: Hello! Welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading my stories! Don't worry, you won't have nightmares! I'll be praying for you! :D

♡Princess Pon♡ said...

I like this series ♡ I want to know a cool occult master!!!
I'm not sure about two thumbs. When I did it made me feel sick and I could'nt quite get the hang of it. I don't think I want two thumbs but if I was a ghost i'd love to be really tall and loom over everyone...

Tia said...

Yes, actually i do!! i have some trouble trying to remember the katakana though, the hiragana seems easier to remember! For me, complexity= uniqueness, therefore i can remember hiragana better! And the funniest part is that i read japanese like a stutterer, but normally, i dont stutter!! :P

SAYA said...

@Princess: my dear, you seem to be a sensitive sort of girl! I got worried when I heard you felt sick! Oh but yes, I have the same desire to be tall, I am a short person too XD

@Tia: that's very interesting, Tia, that you have more affinity with hiragana than katakana.
You know, when I speak Japanese I stutter quite often too. So don't you worry! XD だいじょうぶ!

Tani M said...

A very interesting story. And the Master series is back too! I love it! It must be fun to be able to alter your appearance. I wish I could do that. Maybe I should have been born a shapeshifter- like a kitsune!

Icemelts said...

Wow, I just read all of these tonight, and I have to say, I'm a little obsessed with this Master!! Is that strange? xD

Please tell me there are more of these to translate, I'm really interested in reading more!

SAYA said...

@Icemelts: Hello! Welcome to my blog! :D

Oh is the global warming affecting you, Icemelts? I hope you haven't been melting too much! XD

Yep, there are more stories about the Master - a lot more! And I hope to translate them all. So you just wait in expectation for the next story! ;)

VirusCoreS said...

Hello Ms Saya, I'm a new reader to your translation stories, and I must say that I'm interested in you My Master series. He's so cool :D

Though I'm rather sad that he will 'disappear'.

Will you update this series? :3

I'll bring my friends to read this series :D

SAYA said...

@VirusCoreS: Hello! Nice to meet you! :D

I love my master series too and I'm glad you enjoy reading it! I'd like to publish another episode soon! So please wait a bit more!

Thank you for commening!