Monday, 31 December 2012

Boy and Grandmother

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

I'm 33 years old this year and this happened nearly 30 years ago when I was still at nursery school.
Nursery schools in those days were often run by Buddhist shrines and mine was no exception.
I remember there was a charnel house and a cemetery right next to the nursery building.

One late afternoon I was playing in the nursery playground. I was the only one playing outside.
I think there were still a lot of children staying behind but somehow I was playing alone.

I saw a child standing on the top of the climbing frame. It was a boy.
The boy wore short trousers and a jacket with gold buttons. He was barefoot.
He had closely cropped hair and looked a few years older than me.

He stood still staring down at me.
I don't remember feeling scared or surprised. But I remember being overcome by a sudden, inexplicable loneliness.

Without a word, the boy got down from the climbing frame and started walking, past the charnel house and towards the cemetery.
I followed him from behind. I didn't see the cemetery as a scary place because, being next to the nursery, it was a part of the everyday scenery; we sometimes even played  hide-and-seek in there.
I am sure I had my eyes fixed on the boy's back all the time but somehow I can no longer recall what happened next, no matter how hard I try to search my memory.
The only vivid image I still retain is about a small grave overgrown with moss. A massive tree, such as the ones often seen in old cemeteries, towered over me, shutting off the dying sun rays and making the place appear darker than usual. I think I was out there only for one or two minutes but it felt like I was there for a very long time.

Sometime later my grandmother came to fetch me home. When I think about it now, it was the first and last time my grandmother ever came to the nursery to fetch me.
 For some reason I felt really relieved the moment I saw my grandmother's face.

My grandmother stood there, gazing at the cemetery for sometime, her eyes full of sadness. Then she said:
"You have nothing to worry about, dear. Granny will take care of it." I remember the intense look she had on her face as she uttered these words.

We went home with our hands firmly joined together. On the way we walked past a sweets shop and I really wanted to go inside, but she chided me by saying,  'Not today! Not today! We have to go home quickly!'

It was the evening of the very same day that my grandmother passed away.
Strangely I don't remember clearly the details surrounding her death. I do remember the funeral and how it was busy with all the relatives rushing to our house, but even now I don't remember feeling sad at the time, although my grandmother's death must have caused me a great distress because I was very attached to her.

The following year I entered the elementary school. The school was right across the street from the nursery but I never went near the nursery anymore.
To be more precise I couldn't go near it because whenever I thought of the nursery the image of the little moss-covered grave flashed across my mind and it disturbed me.
When I became a junior-high schooler I got involved in a community work and it gave me an opportunity to revisit the shrine in the nursery.

The cemetery had been going through a renovation and all the ancient gravestones had been removed. The nursery too had a new building. The place looked very different from how I remembered it.
The main shrine was also about to get renovated and our job was to clean it out and take all the old things and rubbish to the outside. The chief priest was sorting out various things that had been brought to the shrine.
Among these were many photographic portraits of the deceased. We were told to carry them out as well.
All portraits were wrapped up in old yellowish newspapers but there was one portrait which had come unwrapped.

The moment I picked up the exposed portrait and looked at it, all the blood in my body froze.
It was a portrait of the very boy I saw in the nursery. But there was also my grandmother, who was strangling the boy's neck from behind, with such a fierce expression on her face that she did not look like someone of this world.  

I passed out right there and when I next came to, I was in hospital.
My father and mother were there and they both looked terror-stricken.
I found out later that they asked the Buddhist priest to perform a purification ceremony on the portrait and had it incinerated.

According to the story which my father heard from the priest, the boy was adopted by the landowner who lived around the area during the war. The boy suffered much maltreatment until one day he scummed to illness and died.
My grandmother used to be a housemaid at the said landowner's household when she was young, and she was the only one who treated the boy with affection.

The priest told my father that the boy probably appeared to me because he wanted to take me with him.
My grandmother was not going to let that happen, and the result was what we saw in the picture.

We moved out of the area soon after that, but even after all these years I still find myself musing over the incident from time to time.


Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Storeroom

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

The end of one corridor in my house was a cul-de-sac, and my father, who had just retired from his job and had too much time on his hands, said, "We can make use of that space by turning it into a storeroom," and set out to make one by himself.

Like a man possessed he kept at it, and within less than a day managed to construct a storeroom with a shelf and a door.
The day after that I came home but my father, who should have been at home, was nowhere to be found, so I wondered if he was still working on the storeroom. I went to the corridor but he wasn't there. I only saw a padlock hanging on the door of the storeroom.
In the end my father didn't return that day.

The following night when my father still hadn't come home, my mother got reallly worried and said to me, let's break the padlock and look inside the storeroom.
I was also curious what he had hidden inside that he wanted to protect so badly. It was strange that he even went the length of locking it up with a padlock. I removed the padlock together with the metal fittings.
Inside we found my father sitting on the floor hugging his knees, facing us, with a faint smile and vacant eyes.
Why was the door locked? Why was my father inside?
I am yet to hear a plausible answer from him because he's gone senile since that day.
Today he still sits inside the storeroom, looks at the empty space and keeps laughing happily.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Notice from Saya

Thank you all for your messages.

But I'm quite busy right now!
You are still welcome to leave messages but it'll be at least a few days before I can post proper replies.
So please be patient with me!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Stalker in the House

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

This is a story that appears on the website of Dr.Hayashi, a well-known psychiatrist on the internet.
He recieves a lot of mails everyday and the contents of these mails sometimes get displayed anonymously on his site alongside his own responses to them.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Case【1087】 I Have a Stalker in My House

Question:
It's about my younger brother, who is 38 years old.
He hasn't been working for the past seven or eight years and he just stays at home all day.
For a long time now I have suffered constant childish harassment from him but he is getting even worse recently.
My room and his room were originally one and the same room but we divided it by a sliding door and by propping some pieces of furniture against the door.
These things have no sound insulating properties and we can hear everything in each other's rooms.
On weekdays my younger brother wakes up between thirty minutes to an hour before I get up, by a very loud alarm clock.
When I go downstairs he follows close behind me.
When I go upstairs he comes up immediately after me, stands in front of my room and bursts out laughing in a creepy way, and then goes back into his room, banging the door shut.
When I am getting ready for work in the morning, he follows me every time as I go back and forth between the 2nd floor and 1st floor.
When I want to use the washbasin he follows me too and uses it immediately after I finish.
When my hands get dirty and I go to the bathroom to wash them, my younger brother comes soon after me and washes his hands too.
When I come home from work and start having supper he goes to the washbasin and starts brushing his teeth and makes disgusting noises.
Those noises make me lose appetite so I always decide to stop eating and wait until he finishes, but when I stop he stops too, and he waits until I start eating again to start brushing again..
When he has a bath he is determined to have it before me so he is always watching me and biding his time.
When he does have a bath before me he either drains all the hot water and pours cold water in instead, or pours scalding hot water in instead, purely out of spite*1.
When I have a bath late at night and goes upstairs after bath, he will be waiting for me in the dark on the first floor and follows me to upstairs from behind and bursts out laughing in a creepy way.
When during the night I go downstairs to drink water and after that go upstairs again, my brother, who has followed me secretly, comes upstairs right after me.
When I turn off the light to go to sleep he immediately turns off the light in his room too, although he may have been watching TV and laughing up until then. He then does his best to make some loud noises before he finally goes to sleep.
When I have a day off he gets up earlier than usual and turns up the volume of the radio really high.
He won't stop listening to the radio until I wake up.
If I still don't wake up despite his radio he starts vacuuming the room.
It appears that he contrives to make the vacuuming as noisy as possible, and he would let the vacuum cleaner go over the windowpane for many minutes producing squeaky noises, or he would sometimes keep vacuuming the same place over and over for more than an hour.
When he opens and shuts the door he does it so violently that things in my room move.
He stops doing all these things only after I am completely awake ( I use ear plugs).
The only time he dries his laundry on the balcony is when I have day-offs.
He uses every single wash-line and dries everything he has and tries to prevent me from drying my laundry.
He does it even when it's raining.
Other times he won't dry his laundry even if the weather is fine.
Instead he comes while I put things on the wash-line and watches me, pressing his face on the windowpane, and again starts laughing in a creepy way.
When I am vacuuming he immediately comes along and sits in the middle of the corridor to block the way.
He also does numerous other things that are not on the list.
At the moment I try to ignore him and do my best to get on with my own things, but I might go mad if things continue the way they are now.
Sometimes even when I try to ignore him, something would get on his nerves and he would start hitting me or try strangling me.
My brother is the only male in the household and nobody can stop him.
Other things he does include him leaving mosquito coils*2 all around in the house in summer because he hates getting stung by mosquitoes.
I think the reason for all his abnormal behaviours is that he has schizophrenia. What do you think?


Answer:
Dr. Hayashi

If all the facts in your mail are true, we have a strong reason to believe that your brother is suffering from schizophrenia.
But some details in your story puzzle me.

 Even supposing your younger brother really is a schizophrenic and has some sort of delusions about you, would he do something as elaborate as constantly keep a watch on you and obstruct your every single action? It is hard to imagine he would do such a thing.
 It is also hard to imagine you have been able to ignore his actions and go on living relatively normally for such a prolonged period of time.
 On top of that, this "someone is keeping a watch on me all the time and tries to interfere with my every single action" type of thinking is a typical delusional complaint made by a sufferer of schizophrenia.

  I cannot be sure but do you think there might be a possibility that this "younger brother" you speak of is someone who exists only in your imagination? If so it is most likely that you yourself are suffering from schizophrenia.
 Or it is possible that this "younger brother" does in fact exist but he doesn't exhibit these strange behaviours, and all of them have been the creation of your delusion. In this case too you are most likely to be suffering from schizophrenia yourself.

I may be completely wrong but I wanted to point it out to you as a possibility.
Since I have to base my judgement solely on the information provided in your mail, please understand this is the best I can do on this Q&A psychiatric site.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


*1 Japanese bath - some Japanese people like to share bath water, so for example the first person who has bath might not drain the water after he finishes, thereby letting other people who come after him use it too. This might sound rather unhygienic but modern Japanese bathtubs (I believe) often come with this hi-tech self-cleaning system that cleans the water at the touch of a button so that shouldn't be a huge problem. (my own house doesn't have this system because no one in my family likes to share bath water, except my dad lol)

*2 mosquito coil (pictured above): This coil of green incense produces a mosquito-repellent smoke when burnt, and is used widely in Japan during summer.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Miso Soup

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

A cryptic story (but an easy one!)


The mother-in-law, who passed away a year ago, was a very warm, kind and elegant lady. She was even nice to her daughter-in-law.

But the father-in-law, in contrast, was quite mean and stubborn.
He bombarded the daugther-in-law with constant nagging although she always did her best to serve him.

He especially had issues with miso soup**.
Father-in-law: "This is nowhere near the excellency of my wife's miso soup.  You really are a dimwit who can never learn to cook properly!"
Thus he screeched at her on daily basis.

One day the daughter-in-law got so pissed off that she sprayed a tiny bit of insecticide on his soup bowl.
The father-in-law, after taking a sip from the bowl, said,
"This is it! This is the taste! My wife's miso soup!"




**************************************************************
** Miso soup (pictured top) : a delicious traditional Japanese soup made from miso. Miso is a type of seasoning of which the chief ingredient is soybeans (wiki). Some people drink it everyday, and some families pass down its own secret recipe from generation to generation. It's full of goodness!

Monday, 17 December 2012

10-Day Dream

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



(WARNING) If you hear this story you might end up having the same dream within three days.
This story is not known to be cursed but I put it under the curse category just as an extra caution.

You will dream for ten days in succession.
Each dream comes with a rule you must follow.

The 1st day:
You will dream that you are sleeping in your room. Then you will notice a girl peeping through the window.
The 1st rule:
You must let the girl in.

The 2nd day:
The girl is inside your room. She is looking downward and you cannot see her face because of her long hair. She is muttering something ― after a while you realise she is saying "Please...Please...."
The 2nd rule:
Let her come into the bed. And lie down next to her.

The 3rd day:
You and the girl are lying side by side. You are now able to see the girl's face.
Her face is horribly burnt.
The 3rd rule:
Do not cry out when you see her face.

The 4th day:
You get out of the bed.
The girl says "Let's go to the park."
The 4th rule:
Take the girl to the nearest park without saying a word.

The 5th day:
When you arrive at the park you will notice someone pushing a stroller.
You look closely and notice that the mother is a cat and the baby is a dog.
The 5th rule:
You must kill either one of them.

The 6th day:
While you are playing with the girl in the park you will see an airship about to take off.
The 6th rule:
Make sure you get on the airship in time.

The 7th day:
The airship is full of people who have heard this story just like you.
The 7th rule:
Find a seat for yourself at any cost.

The 8th day:
After sometime red roses and black roses start raining down on you.
The 8th rule:
Throw out only the black roses from the airship.

The 9th day:
The airship takes you back to the park.
The 9th rule:
Go home with the girl and lie down in the bed again.

The 10th day:
You will not know what happens on the 10th day unless you have observed all the rules in the previous days. And you should tell this story to someone while you are awake, otherwise you will go back to the 1st day of the dream. Forever.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

True Genius

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


Marie the French doll, who always comes back by herself no matter where or how many times I dump her ―
During my student years I often put her in pawn to pay my drinking bills.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Gateway to Another World

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. Thank you for your cooperation.

Apparently, according to the Building Standard Act or something you have to install an elevator in the building of five stories or more (maybe it was six stories or more. I forgot).

So the apartment block along the highway where I used to live also had an elevator.
I lived on the 6th floor and almost never used the stairs. Well, everyone on my floor did the same, I think.
I was totally dependent on the elevator. The stairs are fine when you are going down but no good when you are going up.

But these days, although I know walking up the stairs is hard, I use the stairs only.

One weekday around noon I had no classes at college,  so I thought I would go out and buy a lunch at the nearest convinience store.
Like always, I was going to use the elevator to get down.
The elevator at the time was stopping on the 8th floor and I guessed someone else must be getting off or in.

I pressed the button and waited for it to come down.
When the door opened I saw one middle-aged woman inside. I often saw her around so she must have been a resident on the 8th floor.
I gave her a small bow and got in. The 1st-floor button had already been pressed.

The elevator stopped again on the 4th floor, and a delivery man got in. It looked like we were all going down to the 1st floor.

But.

The elevator suddenly jolted and stopped between the 3rd and the 2nd floor. For a moment I felt gravity weighing down on me.
All three of us looked at one another.

What's happening? Broken? Not a power failure. There was nothing wrong with the lights inside the elevator.

"What...do you think has happened?"
I mumbled. The woman and the delivery man were both looking as puzzled as I was. We waited for a while but the elevator showed no sign of moving.

The delivery man was the first to spring into action. He pressed the button for the emergency phone. But we got no responses.
He sighed.

"I wonder what on earth is happening?"
He echoed my question.

We all fell silent. If we had a mind to measure the time the silence lasted, it wouldn't have been more than three minutes; but it was long enough to make us feel nervous and agitated.

All of us were beginning to fidget again when all of a sudden the elevator started working again.
The woman gasped in surprise. It was a bit of a shock to me too, because it just started moivng without a warning.

However.
Even though the only button that had been pressed was the 1st-floor button, somehow it was not going down. It was going up.
It went past the 4th floor, then the 5th, and then the 6th....

Finally it stopped on the 7th floor and the door opened. I eyed the opening with suspicion.
Really, what the hell is happening?

"I think it's unstable."
The woman said, as she stepped off the elevator.

"Yeah. It definitely is unstable. We'd better use the stairs to get down. You never know what might happen next."
The delivery man agreed and he too got off.

"That might be the best option." 
I agreed with them wholeheartedly. We were able to get out now but we might not be so lucky the next time. We could get stuck inside for a long time, or worse still get injured as a result of the malfunction.
That wouldn't be very pleasant.
I felt I could no longer trust it to take me safely down and I almost made up my mind to follow them.

But, wait.
Something is wrong.

The scenery I saw was familiar enough; the 7th floor of the apartment that looked pretty much the same as the floor where I lived.
But it was too dark. Not one light was on. No source of illumination whatsoever.  I could barely see the end of the corridor.
So is it a power failure after all? I thought, and turned around. But the elevator itself was aglow with lights, making it look out of place with the rest of the surrounding.

Of course. The elevator was malfunctioning but it was still moving. We couldn't be having a power failure. I don't know what, but something is wrong.

With an unsettling feeling inside, I next shifted my eyes to the scenery outside of the apartment.

What the hell...?

The sky was red. It looked like the sky either at dawn or dusk. But it wasn't the time of day for either of those. I also saw no sun or clouds.
The vivid crimson red somehow made my skin crawl.

Next I looked at the highway. It was dark... no, all black. I saw only black buildings and black highway silhouetted against the sky.
Like inside of the apartment there was no source of light to be seen anywhere.

Not only that, but I heard no usual, loud, unpleasant sounds of cars from the highway.
Dead silence. I could hear absolutely no sounds.
I also saw no movements. I don't know how to express it, but I felt there was nothing "alive" about the scenery I was seeing.
Only the sky was vividly red. The red-and-black world.

I quickly glanced back inside the elevator once more. The elevator looked as brightly aglow as before.

I had only a few seconds to decide. The doors began to close.
Wait. Think again. Should I get off or stay inside.....?

The doors closed.
This time nothing out of ordinary happened and the elevator descended smoothly down to the 1st floor.

The doors opened and I saw the usual scenery. People walking, cars driving. The sounds of life. It was noon outside. Just an ordinary, everyday life scenery.

I sighed with relief. I'm safe now ― that was the immediate thought which darted across my mind. I got off.

When I had sufficiently calmed down I began to worry about the other two.
I waited for them at the bottom of the stairs.
But no matter how long I waited they didn't show up.

I waited for a good 15 minutes but no one was coming down. They couldn't have taken that long to come down the stairs.

I got completely freaked out. I sprinted to the outside. I didn't want to stay there any longer.


Ever since that day I have develped a phobia for elevators.
Now I've moved to a different apartment and I use the stairs whenever I need to go up or down the floors.
The stairs are "continuous with the ground" so I won't have to worry about suddenly finding myself transported to another world without noticing it.
But the elevator is different. That thing is a gateway to another world. At least that's what I think.

I'll never, ever get into an elevator again.



Monday, 10 December 2012

(updated) Do You Have A Grudge?


An interactive flash promoting the horror flick "The Grudge (US version)"
Are you courageous enough to play it through?

***************************
2012

Just fixed the link. Enjoy!
 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sorry! From Saya

OH NO! Do you know what I just did?

 I deleted some of your comments by mistake!

Recently I changed the setting so the comments cannot be displayed unless I first check and approve of them.
But just now...I ticked the boxes beside your comments and pressed the "delete" button...

So I'm so sorry!

I just found out it's bopluseven bopluseven and Adorably Dead's comments I deleted.

So Adorably Dead, and bopluseven bopluseven , please do post your comments again, if you can!

********************************

10/12/2012

AH-OH.
I just found out I actually did NOT delete the comments. They are still there.
What happened to me? Was I dreaming or what?
I should go to bed early... I have been staying up late for too many nights....LOL


Dream in Reverse

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

I had a nightmare.
In the dream someone was trying to strangle me.
The face of the attacker was blurred like it was shrouded in mist so I couldn't tell who it was.
I tried desperately to shake him off and gripped his wrists but it was to no use. I only felt my consciousness slowly leaving me.

I woke up as I  completely lost my consciousness in the dream.
Inadvertently I felt for my neck.
Copious sweat was teeming down my entire body.

If I find some handprints on my neck this will turn into a piece of ghost story -  I thought, as I went into the bathroom to take off my clothes. And the moment I looked in the mirror I froze.

They were there.
The vivid purple handprints.


Not on my neck, but on my wrists.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Broken

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. Thank you for your cooperation.

A cryptic story!

*******************************************************
A short while ago my headphone, which cost me 24,000 yen, abruptly stopped working.
Perhaps I'd been listening to music at too high volume for too long. All of a sudden something snapped and the sound won't come out anymore.

Out of annoyance, I flung my TV set to the floor.
I felt the heavy thud as the TV landed on the floor and came to my senses.
What am I doing? This TV cost me 150,000 yen!
Fortunately, the place where the TV dropped was carpeted and although I felt the thud I couldn't hear the sound as it dropped.
It can'be broken, can it?  - I  thought, as I flicked on the TV.
It was showing images as usual, but not a sound came out of it.
Great. The 150,000 yen TV is now broken too.

But it's strangely quiet outside today....
Maybe I'll go out now and take a walk for a change.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Pikopiko-cooking

Let's cook  a sweet omelette!
When you break an egg you have to do it very gently. Otherwise....



I was meaning to post this for a long time but I kept forgetting.