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Saturday, 15 June 2013

I Can't Open Them

Please do NOT copy or distribute my works without permission. Thank you.

This is what my older sister experienced.

It happened in the middle of one very cold winter night.
My sister was sleeping in bed, when she heard something  go padump, padum, padump, padum.

"So annoying....!"
She thought, and she tried to open her eyes, but couldn't open them.

Then the padump, padum, padump, padum grew louder and louder.

"What the hell!?"

While she was panicking, the thing suddenly jumped on top of her chest.

It was bouncing up and down, and giggling.

She could tell that it was the voice of a little girl.

My sister was sweating like a pig and tried to chant some sort of prayer.
But then she heard the voice say:
"Open your eyes and look."

My sister muttered,
"I can't open them...."

Then the thing said,
"If you sleep with your eyes open, you'll get a rooound cake.
So you'll be fine.
Because you'll get a roooound cake you'll be fine."
It repeated the same phrase over and over.

My sister still thought she couldn't do it, but in the end she managed to open her eyes.

And there she saw an ordinary looking little girl sitting astride her.
Soon after that she passed out.

I heard her story on the following morning.

"Some rich imagination! lol"
I told her, laughing.
"That's what I told myself. lol"
My sister was laughing too.


That was the last conversation we had.
On the same day, my sister got run over by a car on the way to school, and died.
Her eyes were wide open.

At the funeral, when I was preparing some offerings, a daugther of a distant relative - a little girl - came up to me.
She said,
"Here. Mi-chan*1 told me to give you this."

I thought this Mi-chan must be another kid of a distant relative I don't know about, and I accepted the gift without hesitation.

"Who's Mi-chan?"
When I asked, the girl said:
"Mi-chan says, because she lives inside the closet, she can't come out. But she says she'll be able to come out soon."

I was lost for words.

The gift she gave me was a small, tasty-looking round cake.*2




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*1 "chan" is a suffix at the end of a person's name, used to show endearment towards that person.

*2 A round cake : the original text at this point was manju
 (まんじゅう) , a Japanese-style round cake with usually red bean paste inside.  Pictured right: Cherry-blossom manju.


33 comments:

Adorably Dead said...

Mi-Chan is a jerk! D: lol.

Younger sister needs to watch out.

Tia said...

Hello again Saya! Thats a pretty neat story, although inexplicable and obscure in a lot of its details... Oh, the questions rise once more! Was the little girl doing that "Mi-chan's" bidding? Could only the little girl see the ghost girl from the closet? Is this a yurei case rising before our eyes? Oh, these never to be answered questions! :P But, as always, i will note that once more our imagination is provoked to work its miracles and create some horrible story...leading to some gruesome end... and deprive us of sleep once again...! :P Thank you Saya-chan, for this wonderful and bizarre story! :)

PS: I wonder why the dead girl's sister got the round cake.... hmmm :/

Anonymous said...

Hi Saya~ I visit your blog every morning to check if there are new post because i think i've read everything i could and I love every story you make. I like the cryptic ones especially. I would just usually look at the comments and it's really fun to read them.

Going to the story comment. So if she didn't open her eyes, would she have lived? it makes me think lol and even the round cake thing. XD will something to the narrator too after she got the round cake? o.o I think i see every story of yours as cryptic lol i think too much XD
Thank you for the update~ Wish you all the best. :)

Anonymous said...

real creepy Saya! will the narator get the next visit by Mi-chan? Anyway, I recommended this blog of yours to my friend, and utimately he became so afraid of Japan, and swore never to come to Japan! What a chicken! LOL!

Chester Ho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chester Ho said...

Thank you Saya for the story.The idea of something innocent like little girl that bring unexplainable harms fascinate me.I tried to look at the story of the eyes of a child.When I was little,the concept like death didn't exist to me.I always thought that the one that passed away was sleeping.And their coffins are just big,ugly closets that trap them from meeting their love ones.Maybe Mi-chan is the name that little girl gave the older sister.Didn't we love to name people when we were small?.I love this one,it bring back memories,thanks again and have a nice day.

Sadae said...

Hello, Saya-san, and thanks for such a creepy update! I have to say this story scared the hell out of me because I used to be very frightened of my closet when I was little. I lived in a building built in the 60's, and there were stories about shadow people in the place. My closet was very deep and tall, like in any other old building, and it was always dark in the inside, so I was afraid something shadowy lived in there. I still have that fear, however childish it might be, so I do regular cleansing and protection rituals in my closet. D: I hope no Mi-chan offers round cakes to me, lol.

arshvein said...

that was... interesting. maybe this mi-chan is some sort of monster in the closet, or a doppel that can only get out once there's an offering. And the offering is the dead sister, with a manju. A question is, why did the narrator get the manju instead of the dead sister? Maybe if the sister didn't pass out and get the manju instead, she didn't have to get killed (it implies that the sister was killed in accident because of curse of bad luck, that probably happens because she didn't accept the manju in that ritual, so she would get the backlash of the ritual instead?).

Well, there's many maybes, and theories. no one would know anyway.

Really interesting inexplicable story Saya! thanks for the update! and thanks for teling us when is the next update~ it assures us that you are still there, just a bit busy. just take your time, RL can be pushy lately (at least for me) -__-

unicorn said...

I don't get this story lmao

Anonymous said...

Hello Saya-san, you have a new reader =D I read all your stories and they are very creepy, this one is no exception, now I really have troubles sleeping at night! Thank you very much for your work!!

oneplainjane said...

creepy!!! i got goosebumps lol

Time Waits for No One said...

ok im scared

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog today and I've already finished reading everything. It's a gold mine! Keep up the good work!

FallingBlackCat said...

Since the older sister died with her eyes open I suppose it can be passed as she 'slept with her eyes open'? But she couldn't receive the round cake anymore, so the author got it instead. And now he/she will be safe when Mi-chan comes out (that is if Mi-chan is an evil spirit).

There's also the girl the older sister saw. If Mi-chan is said to be coming out soon at the end of the story, then that girl couldn't have been her. That leaves the girl at the funeral, but then what was she doing in a distant relative's house in the middle of the night =O

I have to say I like the Inexplicable tag a lot, since I can come up with so many theories! My favorite is still The Master Series, though! Thank you for another interesting story, Saya-san =)

HN3 said...

well......at least this ghost gives cake, its better than most ones that only kill you

anne cruz said...

Hi Saya! What an interesting story! I wonder if there are any cultural implications in the story. For example, what does round cake imply in the Japanese culture? Is it some sort of cake for the dead? Funeral cake perhaps? What is the significance of the name Mi-chan? Does it mean something?

I am curious rather than scared with this story as I am interested in culture of other countries.

Thanks <3 Keep it up!

sunflowerbloom said...

Thank you for the interesting story! ^^
A little tad creepy though.

Mimi said...

That's scary...
I recently had a nightmare where my eyes were gouged out by a metal spoon. I was sweating and I couldn't open my eyes.

I guess there's no sleep for me tonight.

Anonymous said...

so happy to find this blog.
always love to read horror stories especially japanese ones.
thanks for your effort for translating.
hope you won't stop blogging..
always know what there're people who support you.
these people will always be more than the haters and people who make your feel uncomfortable...:)

Wira_Scinfaxi said...

It's fascinating :D
creepy and yet..... it reminds me of a dream I had when I was a kid
I'm surprised to find something quite similar :D
thank you very much Saya!

Anonymous said...

saya I am addicted to your blog. i've read every single story you've published and please we want more ^^
awesome work:)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the manju tastes any good.

Tani M said...

This is eerie. I wonder who Mi-chan is and exactly what the nature is of this little girl. Perhaps Mi-chan IS the older sister, and that is the name the little girl uses to refer to her?
@Chester Ho: It is a very interesting concept, to use a child as the monster in a horror movie. Perhaps it's because a child is seen as the epitome of purity and innocence and making one a monster twists the world as we know it.

Anonymous said...

Lol, I think she got the round cake (the car's wheels) form the ghost for good =)) That cute little ghost kept her promise =))

Stephanie T said...

Thanks for the update! This one is a bit confusing to me but creepy. I'm not sure I want to devise any theories.

Taunting Dreams said...

Super unsettling. Absolutely like the vagueness nature of japanese creepy stories.

cha said...

OMG! Now that I've think about it, I've been on some creepy situation too. Including one similar to this one...

It was last year when I slept at my aunt's home, and it happened exactly like this story up to the bouncing on my chest and giggling part. However when I opened my eyes, it stopped. It's definitely a little girl's voice too. It's one of the scariest thing that have ever happened to me. :(

Saya Yomino said...

@Adorably Dead: Mi-chan is a jerk, but at least she gave a gift to the narrator! XD


@Tia: I just love inexplicable and obscure stories. hehe :D Stories with clear endings don't scare me as much.

Manju is written as 饅頭 in kanji. "頭" means the "head." The name comes from a Chinese story, where a man created some cakes looking like human heads to throw into a river, to appease a river god.
This origin of the cake becomes creepier when you think about it in relation to the post.


@Anon (15 June 2013 09:13): Hi! How are you?:D
Sorry that you've been checking my blog every morning but I didn't update it for days! I love reading comments too, it's so much fun!

I think she might have lived if she hadn't opened her eyes.. but you never know! It's true every story on this blog can be labelled cryptic! XD

Thank you for your comment, dear!


@Anon (15 June 2013 09:33): What, your friends are THAT scared? XD
It seems I'm doing disservice to the sight-seeing industry of Japan. I hope YOU are not afraid to come, dear!

@Chester Ho: Nowadays when they put corpses into coffins, they make real effort to make the corpses look as nice as possible, don't they? They get to have a makeover and all. So I can understand if they don't look like they are dead, but look like they're just sleeping.

But thank you for the lovely, poetic thoughts, dear. Have a nice day too! ;)


@Sadae: You aren't the only who's closet-phobic! It's good for you that you do a regular cleansing ritual!
The shadow people you mentioned sound interesting!
Thank you for sharing your thought!


@arshvein: Hmmm, you made me think! As you said it's possible that the sister died as she didn't accept the manju when Mi-chan offered it to her. After all Mi-chan said "you'll be safe."

Thank you for your kind words! I have a lot more free time now so I hope I can update more frequently!


@unicorn: that's why it's labelled "inexplicable"!

Saya Yomino said...

@Anon (15 June 2013 00:22): Hi! Welcome to my blog! It's always weird to get messages saying "thank you Saya for making me lose sleep"! XD haha But I really appreciate your feedback. Take care!


@oneplainjane: Good! That's what I like to hear!


@Time Waits: It's my job to scare to you! haha


@Anon (16 June 2013 13:03): Thank you very much, dear! It's just so nice to hear people say that they like the stories I translated. Take care!


@FallingBlackCat: Oh! Here we have another good theorist!

I think the funeral itself was taking place in the narrator's house, so Mi-chan was hiding in one of their closets??

I hope to update an episode from My Master series soon! Be on a lookout! :D Thank you dear for your comment!


@HN3: haha true. But I wouldn't eat something that's given by a ghost!


@anne cruz: Sometimes Japanese people give out manju to the congregation at funerals. It's called 葬式饅頭 (soushiki-manju, or funeral manju). This practice is apparently born out of Buddhist philosophy. The funeral manju are symbolic representations of the personal objects that belonged to the deceased. Desire for objects is thought to be a bad thing and having it lessens your chance of entering the heaven; but most people cannot shake off the desire for things while they are alive, and leave a lot of personal objects behind when they die. The presider of the funeral seeks to redeem the deceased's sin, by giving away manju (that is, they are pretending to be giving away deceased's personal objects).

When I hear someone being called Mi-chan, I imagine someone from my father's generation. It might be a nickname for Mitsuko or Michiko, or Michiyo...maybe. These are rather outdated names. But I have a friend whose name's Miyuki who is younger than me, and she's called Mi-chan by her family, so I cannot be certain.


@sunflowerbloom: Thank you! Glad to see you smiling! lol


@Mimi: Awww, what a horrible nightmare you had! That sounds more like "The Monkey Dream." I hope you're sleeping soundly now.


@Anon (17 June 2013 21:03): So happy to meet you too, dear. I really appreciate your support! Yes, everyday I try to remember there are nice people like you out there, who are waiting in anticipation for new stories to arrive. I hope I don't stop blogging too, because I enjoy translating these stories and sharing them with you people. Thanks a lot for taking the time to post a message! :D


@Wira_Scinfaxi: Oh? You had a similar dream before? How frightening it must have been!! Thank you dear for commenting! :D


@Anon (17 June 2013 22:03): Oh my! I hope the addiction doesn't get in the way of your life! :D haha Thank you very much for your sweet words!


@Anon (18 June 2013): There millions of different kinds of manju out there, dear, and I'm sure some of them are better than others. Try to befriend a Japanese person and ask him/her to recommend one.


@Tani M: Very interesting. It never occurred to me that Mi-chan could be the older sister, but it might be so!

Children that appear in horror movies are the scariest things. I think traditionally Japanese people have viewed children as beings who exist in between the real world and the spirit world. They're like half-human and half-spirit.


@Anon (19 June 2013): So you think the round cake might have been a symbol for the car's wheel! A great theory! It's the first time I heard someone say the ghost is cute though. haha


@Stephanie T: New theories are always welcome! By all means be free to theorize! :D Thank you for your comment!


@Taunting Dreams: I jump with joy when I hear that I managed to scare people with my post. Thank you dear! XD


@cha: Goodness gracious, I hope you're alright. The good thing she didn't offer you any cakes! XD



THANK YOU VERY MUCH AGAIN everyone, for your comments!!!

I hope I haven't left any comments unanswered.







Tani M said...

It is very similar here too! In stories, if there are children, they are always the ones who notice or get picked on by the supernatural beings.

Miss Huda said...

Hello Saya-san !
Well, the rounded cake is so cute but I cant see its cuteness anymore; in thought it'll be a sign of a death /andwae!!/overreact of scaredcat/kekeke
::I wonder why Mi-chan stay in the closet

Anonymous said...

Mi-chan is an Yukkuri! Older Sister couldn't take it easy, that's why she died!

Take it easy!

Sami Spandley said...

sounds like a few of the fairytale stories I heard growing up. My father's family comes from Germany, and there are a few stories I've heard of otherworldly creatures playing mean tricks and tests on people.. in those its not unusual to offer sweets or money in an attempt to get someone to "fail" a test. If they found you greedy, they'd likely give you the promised item, and then eat you.