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Friday, 21 March 2014

Suzuki

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This happened when I was still a high school student.
My friend Yamada (pseudonym)'s parents had to attend a Buddhist memorial service and they were away for three days.
It was a summer holiday but Tanaka (pseudonym) and I so far had had nothing interesting to do, so we decided to stay over at Yamada's place to just mess around.  (Saya's note: all three of them are boys.) *1

We got together in the evening and first cooked dinner together.
After that we started telling each other some ghost stories.
It was then that Yamada's old friend from junior high school, called Suzuki (pseudonym), came over to join us.
Suzuki was a quiet and serious boy. At first glace he looked like some pampered rich kid who was rather small built for his age. He didn't look like a high school student at all.
Tanaka and I met Suzuki for the first time, but Suzuki kept up with our conversation easily like we had known each other for a long time.

After Yamada told us some urban legend I started telling them my favourite creepy story, but Tanaka started acting like a wet blanket.
Even as I spoke he kept interrupting me with stupid remarks and tried his best to dampen our mood.
"You're just scared, admit it! That's why you are being such a nuisance."
"Hell, no! Don't blame me when your story is boring."
At the time we often became competitive about small things which sometimes led to a full-on fight.

Yamada wasn't about to stand by and watch us go into a scuffle, and he came up with an idea to pacify us both.
"Why don't you decide who is more brave, by trying a game of dare? "
Tanaka thought that was a cool idea, but I wasn't so into it.
"There's a storehouse around the ___bridge. I heard some reports of ghost sighting around there. My own friend from junior high school told me he and his girlfriend saw it with their own eyes. Let's do it there."

Suzuki said he would go home because it was getting late.
By the time the three of us left for the storehouse, it was already about 11pm.




There was a small empty lot near the bridge and an old prefab storehouse stood on it.
The prefab had sliding doors that were padlocked.
"This padlock is actually broken,"said Yamada flatly,  as he took the padlock off.
"My friend brought his girlfriend to this place, and they were doing it*2 inside. That was when they saw it. I hear that some homeless guy died in here before. I bet it was his ghost that appeared to them."

The inside was about as large as a classroom, and some sandbags, safety cones, and poles were stored in an organized manner.
Because of the river bank protection works that had been going on for the last several years, those safety cones were not in use, and the entire room was dusty.
There was one light bulb hanging overhead, but we couldn't find a switch to it.

"Doing it alone would be too hard, so I let you two stay together here for an hour. After that each of you get extra 30 minutes alone to yourself. The one who gives up then is the one who loses."
Tanaka said OK right away. He was smirking as he looked at me.
(Is he trying to say that the game has already started?)
I thought, and took his bait.
"I will lock the door on the outside. I'll come and reopen it after an hour."
"Leave the flashlight with us, will you?"
When I asked Yamada, the smoker Tanaka flicked his 100-yen lighter. *3
"This will do." He said.

It looked like if we climbed up the sandbags we could turn the light bulb on, and there was also a fixed sash window.
Faint light from the bridge lamps was seeping through the window.
Straightaway, I secured a place for myself and sat down.


He who gave up first would be the loser; I decided to shut my mouth tight and bear it like a real man.
Tanaka lit a cigarette, and when our eyes had grown accustomed to the dark, he finally opened his mouth.
"That friend of Yamada he was talking about - you know him?"
"Dunno."

"So Yamada said that friend once brought his girlfriend over here. I wonder what they were doing."
"You're such an idiot."
Tanaka was probably afraid of the silence and the dark as much as I was.
But if we stayed all chummy with each other it wouldn't be much of a game, so I stubbornly ignored Tanaka.

"Maybe they spread out some sheet on the floor here and did something?"
Tanaka got up and lit up the surrounding with his lighter.

The room had two blocks of sandbags, one large the other small, and between them was a small aisle.
The smaller block was piled up by the window and we sat atop it.
For some reason there was a rope coiled up like a snake lying next to it.
"What do they have at the back?"
Tanaka cautiously started walking between the sandbags.
I couldn't believe his nerves. I was scared to be left alone and for one second wondered if I should follow him. All I could think was about the homeless man who died in there.

I prepared myself to run to Tanaka's side if anything happened, and endured the aloneness for the time being.
"Heeey, I found some incense."
Tanaka uttered nonchalantly. His figure, which had been vaguely discernible before, had suddenly melted into the dark.
"It's just a mosquito coil though."
"Perhaps some other people came in here recently?"
It seems his libido was stronger than his fear.
It was astonishing that he could imagine something like that in such a situation.

"Woo hoo, look here! We have Mr. Condo's bag. *5"
Now I was certain of my defeat.
"He's from ___ junior high, right? Does our school have any cute girls who are originally from ___junior high?"
I was too overcome to answer him.
".......yeah,  you're right. All cute girls end up going to ___girls high school."

"But  ___from class D,  she's from ___junior high too, right? Don't you think she's a good catch?"
Every time the fire from the lighter flickered, Tanaka's body was briefly illuminated in the dark.
"Especially around her chest, y'know."
I realised there was something odd about the way he was speaking.

"Hey, Tanaka! Who are you talking to?"

Aaaaaghhhhhh
There was silence for a second, and then Tanaka started screaming his head off.
He shot out from behind the sandbags, and ignoring me, threw his body against the door.
The doors, which were probably poorly constructed, came off.
The light from the lamps outside flooded in and I glanced back towards the back of the storehouse.


---- Huh!? Isn't that Suzuki?


Having no time to hesitate, I followed Tanaka out of the storehouse.


"Wait, that was only Suzuki just now."
I finally caught up with him in front of a convenience store and took a deep breath.
"We've been duped. Both Yamada and Suzuki ganged up to scare us."

"Suzuki? Who is Suzuki?"
 He gave me a blank look.
"Huh?"
Our conversation didn't match up.
"Then who were you talking to back in there?"
"It was too dark to see, but I thought I was talking to you. I couldn't see the face but there was definitely someone behind me."
"Well, that must have been Suzuki."
While I spoke I was thinking, that guy certainly didn't look like the sort of guy who would go around pulling a prank on people like this.
I remembered that back in Yamada's house, Suzuki sat in front of me and listened to me more attentively than the other guys.
He never really spoke but he sometimes nodded to my story as if he was really interested, and I was even beginning to like him a little.  

However, Tanaka was adamant that no one by the name of Suzuki ever visited us.
We decided we would ask Yamada to settle the matter and walked quickly to Yamada's house.

As soon as we rang the doorbell, Yamada came out, looking uneasy.

"Where the hell have you two been?"

Yamada and I looked each other in confusion

"OK, so after we had a meal, we sat on the sofa and watched baseball on TV together"
We all agreed on that part.
"I was up until late last night so I nodded off as we watched the baseball,"
said Yamada.
"You looked sleepy, so I started telling you a ghost story,"
said I. Tanaka nodded in agreement.

"While we were talking, a guy called Suzuki, who was your classmate from junior high school, came into the room, right?"
Only I remembered this part.

"Dude, I have no friend called Suzuki. You're saying he just came into my house without asking?"

When I couldn't answer to his question, Tanaka said,

"But you do remember that you took us to the storehouse by the riverside, don't you? It was you who suggested us to go there in the first place."
I said we should ride on bikes, but Yamada ignored me and started walking by himself.
He did not utter a word until we reached the storehouse.

As soon as we arrived, as if he had rehearsed the whole speech beforehand, he gave us the instruction about the game of dare from start to finish, without stopping.

A guy sleepwalking couldn't have accomplished that feat.

Yamada was confused as hell.
"LISTEN, dude, I was completely asleep."
Maybe he was scared.
"Then you don't know about that storehouse?"
I asked on behalf of Tanaka, who had become totally speechless.
"I know about the storehouse. I walked past it everyday when I was at junior high."
Yamada had turned ghastly pale and it seemed he was trembling too.
"A long time ago, a guy who was being bullied, hanged himself inside that place."

Everyone became silent.
Tanaka and I didn't have a clue about what we saw and were confused.

"I was sleeping......and dreamed."
Yamada opened his mouth suddenly, as if trying to break the heavy silence.
"In the dream I saw you guys in a room and you were dead because you had hanged yourselves."

Just as all of us raised our faces, the lights in the room suddenly turned off on their own.
Then we saw a white human-shaped mist gliding past the coffee table.

 
-----------------------------------
*1 Tanaka (田中) and Yamada (山田) are both common Japan surnames
*2 doing it : The act that's reserved for adults. You know what I mean.
*3 The 100-yen lighter: A generic name for cheap (one-coin) disposable lighters

*4 Mr. Condo's bag: Talking about the famous contraceptive device.

10 comments:

DonAbad said...

I read this shortly before noon, and while most of the story was actually sort of expected, the last part gave me real chills. xD Looks like poor Suzuki's trying to find other people to bully.

CRRobbins said...

Poor Suzuki, to have died so young. To think he is so desperate for friends he would go to such length even after death. Perhaps if the boys could help him find peace, they could all be saved.

Though this story has a longer set up, it serves its perpose well. It helps immerse the reader by bringing them closer to the group.

A very enjoyable tale with an open ending!

Thank you

nunu said...

Was Suzuki just lonely that night that he decided haunted them? Or maybe Yamada used to bully Suzuki.
Sometimes seems to me that ghost really have an instinct and can know when people are going to do ghost-story telling, and of course it will then join in the activity.

novemberain said...

Dear kakak saya, love to see ur update X)) u know what, I felt sorry for suzuki, he just want to have a friends and joined them. Its so suck for being bullied. Everyone will ignored him, well, afterall it's a creepy enough. Be healthy kakak saya, love u so

Mokom said...

Great post. Picturing the ghost of Suzuki reaching out at the end of the story saying, "buuuudddyyyy" got me laughing.

Anonymous said...

First reaction reading the title of the story : "Oh cool, finally something different a car creepypasta :v" *hence the name Suzuki*

After reading the whole story : "I didn't see that coming XD"

Sadae said...

Well, well...I had the feeling that ending was coming, and yet, it made me sad. Still, I'm thinking Yamada deserved the scare...maybe he didn´t bully Suzuki directly, but he was a bully himself. Great story!

Tani M said...

Poor Suzuki... perhaps he is looking to punish other bullies now? Certainly Yamada was quite a bully.

Anonymous said...

Wait, how was Yamada being a bully?

Saya Yomino said...

@DonAbad: Well, well, it's good the story gave you chills! I enjoyed translating this story so it's so nice to know other people enjoy reading it! :)


@CRRobbins: I always like horror stories with an open ending. Some readers find that unsatisfactory though! When things are in the dark, your imagination run wild.

I think that's one of the things which makes novels like Lovecraft's scary. If everything is explained and is clear as day, you have nothing to fear anymore.

Thank you for your comment! :D


@nunu: I hear that when people get together to tell ghost stories, spirits that are floating around come join the party too. So, yeah, we should be careful! :D


@novemberain: Bullying at school is a huge problem in Japan so it's no wonder you get stories like this one.

It's quite interesting that you people are all so sympathetic towards Suzuki, rather than be scared of him! haha

Thanks dear, you stay healthy too <3

@Mokom: haha what's that? That sounds more like a zombie than a ghost! XD


@Anon (22 March 2014): haha "Suzuki" is a very common name in Japan. It's like "Smith" in English. But I'll see if I can find a creepypasta that deals with cars! XD


@Sadae: Yeah, maybe Yamada had a direct/indirect hand in the bullying of Suzuki, you never know. Or as you say he is bullying someone else which pissed off Suzuki. I never thought of these possibilities until you people pointed them out! Thanks for your comment!


@Tani M: Oh I see why you people are saying Yamada is a bully. It's because you people think Yamada suggested the game of dare, right?
Actually the Yamada who suggested the game was NOT the real Yamada, from what I know after reading the story. It was solely Suzuki who manipulated the whole thing.


@Anon (31 March): My sentiments exactly. That was the question that bugged me when I was reading other people's comments. Read the comment I left above! It might serve to answer your question. :D