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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sick God

Note: This story has been carefully translated from Japanese into English by me. Please do NOT copy/distribute it without my permission. 

Click "Read More" at the bottom to continue reading the story.



A long time ago my family thrived as Onmyo-ji *1 and because of that I have a rather unusual surname. For some reason the women of the family have always been born with stronger power than men, so strange as it may seem, it is always women who get designated as the master of the house.
But with so much mixing of blood the power has diminished, and in recent years, up until my generation, my grandmother was the only woman who was gifted with the power to ward off evil. All my grandmother's sons, including my father, have ordinary jobs.

However I was born with the power. Grandmother said that it was because I happened to be born on the death anniversary of someone from many generations ago, who had a very strong spiritual power.
My peculiar family, combined with my power, meant that I had scary experiences almost every day during my childhood.
Ghosts are usually invisible unless you can "tune in" to them; I often saw things others could not see, and because of that, my classmates, and sometimes even my own parents, called me a liar.

So that was the state of affairs in those days.
One day my classmates -  two boys - were bullying me as usual and they locked me up in a small, old, derelict shrine; it was one place from which Grandmother had always told me to stay away, at all costs.
I guess the boys thought it would be fun to lock me up in there, because I used to cry by the mere mentioning of the place.

During the first 10 minutes of being inside I just kept screaming, begging them to let me out, but somehow after a while the taunting by the boys from the outside stopped altogether.
All of a sudden a cold air brushed my cheek. Strangely, I didn't feel it was unpleasant.

"You must not turn around."
I remember it to be a curiously androgynous but beautiful voice, like the tinkling of a bell.
And he (?) touched my hair; it was very long because Grandmother had told me to always keep it long.
"It is beautiful....I want it."
He talked quietly and deliberately. I was overcome by a sudden fear.
I remembered then what Grandmother had always told me: "Because your soul is empty, it becomes a good source of nutrition for those other-worldly creatures. Therefore if you ever find yourself in danger of being devoured by them, cut off your hair and give it to them."

His words "I want it" echoed in my head.
My voice trembling, I managed to say to him at last:
"If it's my hair...If it's only my hair, you can have it."
My words were hardly out before I heard sticky saliva-like sound from behind and the back of my neck suddenly became cooler.
Oh.. he's eaten it... My knees gave out and I thought I was going to collapse.
But hands reached out from behind and, getting hold of my waist, they slowly lowered my body down.
I had never been touched by something not human and I was surprised. Moreover, I felt my body heat gradually begin to drop.

I apparently fell asleep after that. When I awoke I found myself riding piggyback on one of the boys.
They were both crying, and for a moment I was distracted by their voices, but I could hear some footsteps following me from behind.
The boys told me that they tried to open the gate to let me out, but somehow couldn't open it.
After a while I came out of the shrine by myself but they were shocked to see my hair had become shorter; and the next thing they knew I collapsed in front of them.
Also they told me they got chased by some white, mist-like thing.





I thought we must go home quickly and tried to tell them, but my mouth wouldn't open.
And bit by bit my eyesight too was growing blurry. Only my sense of hearing was becoming disproportionately sharper, and I could hear the footsteps behind us getting louder and louder.

I struck the boy's back hard and climbed off. I then firmly gripped both of their hands and started running.
The footsteps were now even louder than before. My instinct told me that if I lost my eyesight completely I would die and the boys would die too; and this realisation terrified my young heart.

I kept running through the country road towards the head family's house, where I knew Grandmother would be.
As I came nearer to the house I saw the blurry image of the house's gate. In front of the gate stood Grandmother. Strangely I could see Grandmother very clearly.
It was such a relief to see her and all I wanted to do was just run up to her but Grandmother glared at me vehemently and shouted;
"Throw those boys inside first so you are the last one to go in!"
I was scared to death and could do nothing but follow her order. I let go of the boys' hands and pushed them inside the gate, and I flew in immediately afterwards.

Grandmother walked in after me. Inside the house I saw the mothers of the two boys dressed in white kimonos*2.
"So you've been to the shrine."
Grandmother was furious. But all I could do was open and close my mouth soundlessly like a fish. By then my eyes sight was nearly gone and I had lost the power of speech.

Grandmother touched my lips; she had taken some peculiar smelling rouge out and smeared it over them.
Instantly I regained my voice.
I started making some excuses but she would take none of it and just dragged me to a room where the boys were.  The room was protected by sacred texts.

She then told me the following things:
The one who was following me just now was a "god."
He was the god of a shrine that was very popular in the olden days, but one time when there was famine he was offered a human sacrifice and since then he had become sick.
He had taken a liking for me and devoured my shadow (at that point, I realised I no longer had shadow).
He did not eat my kami (hair) but ate my kami (god)*3 who had been with me since my birth*4.
It was because my god had been taken away that my eyesight was nearly gone.
I was someone who should have died at the age of three, had it not been for the god that was originally with me.
I was able to speak now only because of Grandmother's power and my voice had not completely come back yet.
The two boys were now cursed because they had bullied someone who was the god's favourite.

Then finally, she told me she would now perform the kami-oroshi *5.
The mothers of the two boys had been called so that they could become scapegoats if things went wrong.

The boys and I were all very sorry for what we'd done and cried.
And Grandmother looked at me straight into my eyes and said,
"For you, there is no scapegoat, because you are unique. There's no one who has the same level of spiritual power as you. You might die... Even with my power I cannot ward off a god.  So I will bring him down in you. Take my heed, as long as your soul does not fall into darkness, you will be safe..."

I cried imagining that thing entering my body.
But Grandmother said, if I stayed the way I was, I would be devoured by him when I died.
Also the boys would be exposed to danger if she didn't bring him down in me.

How could I refuse her plan after hearing all that had been said?
It was all I could do to nod in agreement.

It was decided that Grandmother would now take me to outside through the gate.
But as I walked through the gate my eyesight completely went black and....I fainted.

I don't know what happened during the time I was unconscious, but when I came to I was lying in my own room in the furthest back of the house.
I was sure someone had been stroking my hair but there was no one around me.

Even as I sat up in my bed Grandmother came in and uttered only one word: "He is here."
Oh...so he's gone inside me. I understood. But I felt nothing strange about it.
So he was the one who had been stroking my hair, I thought.

For the next seven days I was ordered to do misogi*6 every day and at night Grandmother always stayed with me until I fell asleep.
I also had a dream every single day during this period. I don't know if it was the memory of his past, but again and again I felt the deep sadness which he felt on that fatal day when he succumbed to eating human flesh.
Maybe it was just a dream, but I felt he truly loved humans and I felt guilty and very sad thinking he probably would have let me go without problems if I hadn't said I would give him my hair.

That's the end of the story of him who lies within me.

There are many other strange things that happened to me, but I started having less of them since he came to be with me.
I'm now a high-schooler and I have a feeling that I might end up succeeding my grandmother's business.
If I find there are many people who want to know more about my other stories I might post them too.
My clumsy writing must have been hard to follow, but thank you for reading it until the end.




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

*1 Onmyo-ji (陰陽師)is a practitioner of  Onmyodo (陰陽道), which is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology (wiki) . The picture on the right shows an illustration of the legendary onmyo-ji, Abe no Seimei  (安倍清明),  (wiki) in the typical ritualistic attire.


*2 White kimonos or shiro-shozoku (白装束) are traditionally worn by Japanese people when performing sacred rituals at shrine. They are also clothes worn by the dead.  (picture, left: women performing a ritual in white kimonos) And no, dear, they're NOT from KKK. lol



*3 The Japanese word for hair "髪" and  for god "神" are homonyms, both being pronounced as  "kami."

*4 The original Japanese text says the author had been possessed by a god since birth, but "possession" here is meant to be a positive thing, and does not have the negative connotation that the English word has.  Think of it as a powerful guardian angel.

*5 Kami-oroshi (神降ろし) : Literally, "god-descending."  A ceremony to invite a god to enter into a human body, normally done in order for ordinary folks to converse with, and ask for guidance from, a god.
 
*6 Misogi (禊): A ritual purification, typically done by immersing oneself in water. You can do it by going into a river, or the sea, or by standing under a waterfall, or simply by pouring some cold (purified) water over your body. (pictured bottom left: a solitary man performing a misogi under a waterfall)  see also Wikipedia.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

just check what is KKK and it makes me depressed... :(

arshvein said...

This is a great story! An ancient, forgotten kami met a powerful onmyou-descendant and she gave the kami her innate guardian (her kami), and that she cannot live without her guardian to hold her power.. so the grandmother sealed the ancient kami into her to be her guardian..

A sad story for the ancient kami, indeed.. but it's good that she lived through it..

One question : how about the boys who are cursed? Did they die, or the curse are successfully removed? From what i understood, they are cursed by the girl's kami for bullied her.. if the girl's guardian was eaten away, would the curse gone away too? or would it get stronger that it is a dying curse? *just a thought*

Anyways, welcome back Saya, and thanks for a really nice story! It's really interesting for me because i know it is very real(at least for me) and can happen...

Ragnarok Maelstrom said...

nice to see saya has made her blog uncopy-able (no, i wasn't copying) since you can't even highlight the words now. this is nice! now people cannot copy your blog anymore yay!

Tia said...

This story was a neat comeback in the Underworld, Saya chan! :) People of the blog, abandon your hopes at the doormat and enter, Saya is back! hehe, this is a great story actually, old shrines make powerful energy cradles and are definitely to be reckoned with! I wonder if now that the narrator's kami has been replaced, will she retain her godly gifts of warding of evil? Can the ancient kami be cleansed of this curse of craving human flesh? I feel bad for both of them really...i mean, every curse, no matter how gruesome can be broken somehow, all the girl needs to do is find seek out the means... but asap, cause grandma wont be around for too long! :P

Chester Ho said...

Wow,this is an amazing story. I love every detail of it. Thank you Saya,for posting this story. Well,I guess the morals behind this story is: Never,ever disturb ancient spirits and human sacrifice is not the answer to everything. It kinda sad when I look at the sick god. He got a terrible curse that corrupted him because of his believers. I wish the curse put on this god would disappear overtime. Or it will end when the girl pass away(in peace). Thanks again for the story,have a nice day and welcome back Saya.
@ arshvein:Yeah,I'm also curious about the boys fate as well.

Anonymous said...

AAh you're back Saya!

Mimi said...

Amazing story. I love long stories like this. Thanks for your hard work! :)

Lion said...

Great story. More than creepy or scary, I found this story very interesting, it could even be the beginning of a movie or TV series about supernatural stuff. I've been reading your entries for a month now, but this is the first time I've commented. Great entries you have here!

toyboxed said...

Wow very great story! love it!

so i guess every morning she did not need to combed her hair lol. Saya you reach more than 1 million viewers, congratulation!

HN3 said...

Totally unrelated comic to not publish

It has begun Saya, first video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQEVM8NByN8&feature=youtu.be

Maybe if i do well you could replace that youtube link for this channel link xD

Anyway thanks a lot for letting me do this

Subaiii said...

This would make an awesome movie/tv series. Hahaha
Wish i could read Japanese and ask her to write more stories :3
Anyway, thanks Saya! <3

Sadae said...

Amazing story! Thanks for sharing, Saya-san! I really enjoy stories that involve Japanese religion and folklore. I really like the concept of gods becoming ill with human flesh offerings. It's quite disturbing, yet sad, specially beacuse most westerners believe gods (or God) are incorruptible, and yet, this story talks about how they are not. Loved it.

Kira Collins said...

Yay,Saya! You're back on! I really missed not reading your stories and comments from the other readers. I also wanted to ask for your permission to post White Kimono on my blog. Don't worry, I will give you 110 percent acknowledgement to every person that reads it telling them that the story belongs to you.

Saya Yomino said...

@Kira Collins: "Post white kiomono"? What do you mean? Or do you mean you want to post "Sick God" on your blog?

I'm sorry but I don't want you to post my story elsewhere. You can put a link to the story on your blog, but please don't copy the whole thing. Thank you for asking me first though.

Anonymous said...

i think this story is really sad ... i feel really sorry for that god.

Kira Collins said...

Oh okay. I didn't want to take anything without your permission. I understand how hard you work to translate and upload these stories but I'll put a link to your site! :)

Kira Collins said...

By the way, I forgot about how you didn't want people to copy your writings even if we asked for your permission. I'm really sorry. Otherwise, love the story! Thanks for uploading!

Tani M said...

A lovely story, but sad too. I really love how much I learned from this story! But i hope the narrator does not lose her powers. The situation certainly wasn't her fault, after all.

Saya Yomino said...

@Anon (29 Jun 2013 11:46): Haha, sorry about that. That remark was probably bordering on impropriety, but no offence meant.


@arshevein: I'm glad you found it interesting, dear!

The boys were probably OK since if something bad had happened to them, the narrator would probably have said so.


@Ranarok: it was made uncopy-able before I closed down the blog last time. However, people are still bent on copying my works by hand. Bloody criminals. haha but yeah, thanks.


@Tia: I thought I had to publish something good so people would feel it was worth waiting. :D I love visiting sacred places like churches and shrines. These places are usually surrounded by trees and bushes which make them even more appealing.

I think the girl probably has retained her power because at the end of the story she says she is considering doing the same business as her grandmother in the future. If anything her power has probably increased because the god sounds like a powerful one. idk


@Chester Ho: What a joy to hear that you love it! I also feel sad when I think about what the sick god had to go through. Thank you for reading the story and you have a nice day too! ;)


@Anon (29 June 2013 21:37): Yep, I'm back! :D


@Mimi: Thank you dear. It's my pleasure to entertain you!


@Lion: Hi, thank you for commenting, Lion. I always welcome newcomers! <3 The story certainly seems fit to be turned into movies or TV series. It would be nice and different from usual supernatural stuff like vampires and witches.


@toyboxed: Good! I'm happy that you love it. :D

Oh I didn't realise it reached 1 million viewers until you mentioned it. haha Thank you.


@HN3: Thank you for the link, dear. Perhaps you could also put the link to my blog on the youtube page? I'd definitely love to share the link with everyone on this blog if that's what you wish.


@Subaiii: I would ask her to write more stories myself, if I knew her whereabouts! She's an anonymous author and the story was written a long time ago, so there's no way I can reach her. X( But anyway thank you for your comment!


@Sadae: Japanese gods are bit like ancient Greek gods, I guess, in that they're more human-like. :D
Thanks for your comment!


@Kira: Thank you, dear. You're such a lovely, decent person. A lot of people just copy my stuff without asking, but you didn't. I appreciate your kind understanding.


@Tani: I think it's nice that people can enjoy the story and learn a bit more about Japanese culture at the same time. I want it that way. :D


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

Petzie said...

Oh dear, this is one unbelievably calming point of view from a tremendous experience, even to the stage of losing her eyesight. The story teller sure is a calm person, but I guess its just her personality.

If saya san can somehow talk to the person, could you please tell her that there are a lot of people waiting for her to share her story? I mean, she have such a big power but keep it down, until she grown up. And even manage to understand the god's feeling. This is not a normal girl, that's for sure.

Again, thanks a lot for sharing this story saya san! And welcome back to the underworld.


p.s. the no-highlight copy thing is totally cool! Hahahhaha die you copy-catters! >3<

unicorn said...

ohhh i get it. so kami has same meaning, hair and God, eh? so that spirit took her God instead of her hair?

Adorably Dead said...

Awww, her poor God got eated. ;_;

Kelly said...

I didn't understand the very ending until I realized the word for god and hair sound the same and the god thought she was offering her god and not her hair. its very interesting! ( also, the word Kami always makes me think of malice mizers drummer!)

I have long hair and this story makes me never want to cut my hair! :)

Anonymous said...

I think you've answered this before, but it isn't on the FAQ! I hope it won't be bothersome to you.

Please may I record myself reading this post and put it on my blog? Of course I will credit you, and link you to it if you like!

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of afraid people will call me a liar, but this is honestly what happened to me. Well, I've experienced something very similar to this girl. Last year I had an exorcism performed on me. A very powerful demon was killed within my body. Luckily there wasn't any need for human sacrifice, but it almost got to that point ): Yeah, it was a really fucked up thing to experience; feeling a demon talk through your mouth, moving your body... the tearing of a life from your essence... I became spiritually empty for a while and saw the world in a new light. The experience also required the demon to be locked within me. Luckily for me, I only had to experience it for a brief period of time, hours instead of what appears to be years in this story. However, I was possessed for years before it became apparent what needed to be done.

Yeah... it's really weird. My life is pretty fucked up.

nara said...

what i most intrigued about this story were her guardian.
Afterall, her guardian has been eaten by that ancient god and died right?

Retty Tania said...

Hi Saya-san!

I've actually stalked this blog for a while now but because I was just reading, it didn't cross my mind to follow the blog (silly me!) until suddenly you made it unavailable for viewing and I regretted didn't follow this blog sooner! Though now that you've come back, I'm very happy and the first thing I did when I realized I could read this again was to add this to my following list XD

Anyways. I just want to tell you that I love the stories you post here. They are different and fresh and well, very creepy compared to what I can usually find elsewhere. Thank you so much for your hard worrk translating these stories and please keep posting! :D