Sunday, 5 April 2015

Teeth Marks

This story has been translated from Japanese into English by Saya

The Shibuya Station, Tokyo

This happened 13 years ago.
Today I still cannot make sense of what it was that happened to me. I just hope someday I can erase the whole incident from my memory.

At the time I had just arrived in Tokyo, and I was completely lost.
Holding a tattered old map of Tokyo which my grandfather had given me, I tried to navigate my way around the unfamiliar city.
The reason I had come to Tokyo was to look for a job.
Employment was scarce in my rural hometown and I had come to meet a distant relative who had promised to help me.
"I don't know about jobs, but I can rent you a cheap place to live,"
said the man, who was my uncle. I only ever spoke to him on the phone and my heart was filled with misgivings.
Looking back now, the sense of misgiving I felt at the time may have been a warning that something bad was about to happen to me.

By the time I arrived at the apartment I had been directed to go, the sun was about to sink below the horizon.
A stout old woman was standing at the gate.
"Welcome. You must be tired. Please follow me."
I followed her as she bid me, and walked into the gloomy apartment.
Not only was the building located in a maze-like area, but it was also elongated, extending to the back of the land, that the whole place gave off an air of an inexplicable oppressiveness. It was overgrown with weeds too.
In fact, what with the sun going down, I felt as if I were entering a deep, dark cave.

I became strangely afraid of the fly that had come to rest on the old woman's back, and clutching my luggage hard, I said in a voice louder than usual:
"Oh my goodness, it's the first time I've come to Tokyo, and it's so crowded!"
The old woman turned around and yelled, "Be quiet!!!"
I realised then that the person who I thought was an old woman was actually an old man dressed as a woman.
It was his sudden harsh voice that betrayed his sex.

I became depressed and felt the terror of the urban city life.
When I think back on it now, I realise that that was clearly abnormal.

My room was fairly large and I had no complaints about it except that it had a faint smell of blood.
But the rent in Tokyo was high, and even though the room was rented out at a discount, it still cost me 90 thousand yen.
It consisted of one 6-jo room,*1 and a kitchen with half-stripped floorboards. The water that came out of the taps was always murky.
Nevertheless, I was thankful that I had a toilet*2 all to myself.
But it was from the bottom of the toilet where the smell of blood rose most strongly.

A 6-jo room with tatami mats
The old woman - no, the old man's thick make-up glittered and the odour from it was making me nauseous. Then the old man went to wash off his make-up, and came back. He greeted me as if nothing had happened.
"Coming all the way from such a faraway place must have exhausted you.  I'm sorry that because of some urgent business,  I could not welcome you at the front door... A lady received you first, didn't she? How was it?"
"Was she beautiful?" Having said thus, the flabby old man stared into my eyes intently. Was it eyeliner? I saw some black smudges around the edge of his eyes.
"I cannot say..." Hearing my uncertain answer, the old man's mood obviously turned for worse.

The air-tight room was redolent of the strong, iron-like odor of blood, with the smell of my oily sweat and of the uncle's make-up all mixed up together.
That night, as I lay on the dusty, coarse bed*3 that had been prepared for me, there inside the room -

  I'm beginning to feel sick just remembering the whole thing.
  Should I continue with the story, or not....?

 -  inside the room, there were a number of things that kept moving. I kind of felt them .... or perhaps there were some faint sounds, or some rotting smell ....Anyway some things surrounded my bed.
But I shut my eyes tight and willed myself to sleep. I was exhausted.

Next day, I set out on a job hunt.
But no luck was forthcoming. I sat inside a coffee shop, feeling lonely and insignificant in the middle of a bustling city.
.......Then, my eyes were suddenly riveted on my own hand which was holding the coffee cup.

......................Teeth marks?

 The teeth marks were so faint as to be barely noticeable; but they were definitely there.
I probably made them by myself while half-asleep, I tried to convince myself.
As I looked at the hand with the teeth marks that seemed far smaller than the ones that would have been made by me, the coffee in my mouth turned as tasteless as water.
To be honest, all I wanted to do then was go home.

But the only place I could go back was that apartment.
Would I see the old man again?
Fearing a chance encounter, I quickly made my way back to the apartment and locked myself in the room.
The bloody smell was fading.... but the fresh odour of cosmetics was floating in the air.

That same night.
As I lay in the bed covered by saliva-drenched duvet,
I again felt many presences. Cats? I thought at first,
but in the warm, sultry air like that of a hot summer's night (it was actually not summer yet)
all I could do was lay shivering and sweating in the bed. 

But in the end I could not bear it any longer. On an impulse, I pulled my hand out from under the duvet in the dark, and grabbing the duvet, swung it at the black masses to drive them away.
I wanted to ascertain that it was only my imagination. But the back of my hand knocked down something cold, and it seemed the thing crashed into the wall and then rolled back to the floor.
I felt a chill steal through my body the moment my hand came into contact with the object. The sensation was the same as the one I felt when, a long time ago, I struck someone's cheek in a fight.
As the black mass stopped rolling, I suddenly recognised it as a human head. Then the head suddenly cried, "Where is this!!" with a deep, guttural voice.
Before I knew it, I lost consciousness.

When I woke up the hordes of heads had disappeared. I was soaked in sweat, so I took off my shirt to wipe my body. Then came a shock.
My whole body was covered in teeth marks.... It wasn't that I made them myself half-dreaming; as a proof I had a teeth mark on my cheek which was so deep that it nearly bled.
The teeth marks also varied in size, raging from small ones to large ones.
I was gripped by an urge just to run out of the room screaming, but I didn't forget to shave my face first.

The old woman or old man did not turn up, but I was becoming cornered with each passing day.
My behaviour was clearly bizarre at the time.
For one thing, I still continued to sleep in the same room.

My weight had dropped by more than 10 kg and I had become so pale that it scared people off.
Perhaps for that reason I could not find any works at all, and each and every day I went home exhausted from job hunting that yielded no results.
The teeth marks did not disappear but continued to spread to my entire body; one of the interviewers at a job interview asked me, "What happened with all those teeth marks?" but I couldn't come up with any plausible excuses and ended up just saying, "It looks like I've been bitten," making the man laugh.
He probably thought that my girlfriend did it or something.

But I was reaching my limit.
I started hallucinating, and to hide the teeth marks I would even wind gauze around my entire body.
Despite all that I would still take a walk around outside and did strange things such as shouting loudly "Good morning" to a total stranger.
I think I was starting to lose my sanity.

That evening, I found a bottle of an energy drink with a note from the uncle that said "for you" inside my room.
I was so exhausted that I drank it up in one gulp without hesitation.
Soon I fell into a deeper sleep than usual.
When I opened my eyes in the middle of the night, my head had become very clear.
I realised with certainty that those 10-odd numbers of black masses that were haunting and gnawing at my body were abnormal.
This was no time to feel scared.
Well, of course. So far, I thought I had been dealing with the situation in a relatively calm manner, but I suppose I was on the verge of breakdown.
When I sprung up from the bed, I felt the black masses roll away on the tatami floor in the dark room, and disappear into the kitchen.

I roared, "Wait!!!" in the kind of voice that I had never used before, and went to the kitchen.
And I somehow felt the shadows running away to the toilet, so I rushed after them to the toilet.
The toilet was Japanese-style*4, and it was pitch-dark inside.
I tried to turn on the light but it wasn't working, so I rummaged through a storage box for a torch.
Giggling, I directed the torch towards the toilet.

The light illuminated some urine and excrement in the darkness. My strained eyes caught sight of maggots squirming in them.
Then I saw numerous rotting, glassy-eyed heads and white skulls all staring up at me - all drenched in my urine and excrement....


I screamed, and somehow grabbing my hat, kicked the door open and shot out of the room in my underwear, with such force that the door nearly broke.
There was someone behind the door.
I turned around and found my uncle in woman's clothes, with a master key and a saw in his hands, sprawling on the floor.
"Don't open the door so suddenly!!"
He shrieked, and I became so furious that I picked up the stones lying around me, and started hurling them at him.
The uncle screamed and crouched on the floor.

Soon I realised that what I was throwing were not stones but human heads.
One by one, the heads bit into my uncle's body.
Probably because his meat was being bitten off and chewed to pieces, he kept screaming.
I became terrified and ran out of the apartment.

Since then, I have never been in touch with the uncle. He has never contacted me either.
I hope those heads were just ghosts.
If they were not, that would mean that the whole time I was living in that apartment I always had the urine and excrement for ....*5

13 years have passed since the incident, and the memory is fading away.
But one set of teeth marks on my neck did not disappear for a long time.
They were probably teeth marks left by the head that I struck.

*1 6-jo room: jo (畳) is a traditional unit used for measurement of rooms. One jo is equivalent to the size of one tatami floor mat.
*2 toilet: In Japanese houses, bathtubs and toilets are often in separate rooms. 
*3 coarse bed: The words in the original text were coarse futon. A futon is traditional Japanese bedding consisting of padded mattresses and quilts pliable enough to be folded and stored away during the day, allowing the room to serve for purposes other than as a bedroom. (Wiki)
*4 Japanese-style toilet: that is, squat toilet (see Wiki)
*5 He trails off here and doesn't say what he means by urine and excrement.


Nothing said...

Welcome back saya :D

Saya Yomino said...

@Nothing: Thank you! XD

Crow said...

welcome back!

Mokom said...

So glad you're back!

Saya Yomino said...

@ Crow and Mokom: Thank you very much! I will soon become even busier but I hope I can update something from time to time!

Tri Rahyuni said...

welcome back Saya! i'm so glad that I randomly open your blog this morning, because I have some web design assignment, and I decide to recreate your site, and I FOUND YOUR NEW POST! <3
don't be burdened by us, your readers, Saya, take your time.

its not quite right to leave comments without commenting the story you've been worked hard to translated.

the worst part ( i mean where i got chilled all over my body) was when the narator found the woman he greeting was a man in a lot of makeup. the worst part even more that the man even asked how did she looked. insanity scared me tho.

and... can I guess that the first woman/man was his uncle? and how the uncle ended up? was he died?

Aiden Smith said...

Teeth Mark nice horror story thanks Saya

Haliemah Zahari said...

....that was hella creepy and weird. Hahaaha although there were some things that remain unclear to me, like why did the uncle dress up as a woman, and what was up with all those heads and the toilet thingy.. it was overall quite scary! Thanks for translating Saya and welcome back! <3

Nunu. said...

OH MY GOD. Ms Saya-san. I'm so glad I check this site today. I'm so glad to see you back.
I miss your post so much!!! :D
Off to read your new post now.

Nunu. said...

Wow. This story is very... disturbing.
What baffled me most was how accepting the narrator was of the situation. He was in a very strange and spooky environment, but he persevered. He continued living there.

At first I thought desperation due to his unemployment made him strong. But the more I read the story, the more I felt as if he was in daze, or he just stopped caring.
I wondered if the heads drank his blood, and that's why he was always exhausted. I was glad that he eventually got away.

The mystery surrounding the uncle was very intriguing. Was he taking care of the heads? I bet he killed people for the heads. And he was about to enter narrator's room using the key and saw narrator's head off. Why must the uncle dressed like a woman though? Must be a very strange ritual to dress like a woman to harvest a head.

You came back with a bang, Saya-san. This story is very interesting and mysterious. Thank you for this story.:)


ReignTracer said...

Welcome back, finally after all the wait, great story

Saya Yomino said...

@Tri Rahyuni: Thanks for the comment! I always welcome feedback!

But what do you mean by you deciding to "recreate" my site? Can my site have anything to do with web design assignment?

@Aiden Smith: Thank you for taking time to comment, Aiden, dear.

@Haliemah Zahari: Oh I like the big heart at the end of your comment! I'm glad you found the story scary! :D

@Nunu: Oh what a great joy it brings me to see you again here!

I think the narrator is basically a crazy person. He might have dreamed the whole thing, who knows? XD

I think this story has a very Japanese atmosphere (it is especially fragrant of the Showa period), so I was worried how it might be received by people who are not familiar with Japanese culture, but I'm glad you found it interesting!

Thanks a lot for your comment, dear Nunu!:D

@Reign Tracer: Sorry for the very long wait, dear! Thanks for welcoming me back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Saya!!!! The story is really good and very creepy!

So apparently the heads all came from the toilet or below it?And the owner of the place, probably all those make-up are for hiding the bite marks on uncle?

Thirteen years and still the mark stayed. Probably a sign of grudge by the head he hit or something? That or the head(s) is(are) still latched onto him even now.

KuroNeko said...

Yaay Saya-san is back! :D Welcome back!

That's one creepy story though.
I really wonder if the heads were ghosts and if the uncle tried to hide his teeth marks using make up.
Thank you for translating this <3

Yudhi Hidayat said...

Yay welcome back saya! as usual I love your way to retell the story. I can't imagine how this man could survive in that kind of room for more than one night. It's just too unnerving..

And what is the uncle going to do with the saw...very disturbing.

Farz Wolf said...

Thank you for the update.

And welcome back Saya.

Petzie said...

wiii! Finally! A new post! I have been waiting to see the latest update from you saya san! sometimes i think writing these posts have make you being haunted by the stories which makes you unable to post anymore.. creepy pasta of saya chan! Haaahaha

Welcome back!
And this story is disgusting.. especially the part where he found the rotting heads and skulls filled up in urine and excrement of his own... that is euw.. euw.. euw!
So disturbing, disgusting, horror.. you name it! But i think his uncle put up some spell in the room (?) That the main person can't see that his room and toilet is actually a graveyard and his uncle has been dumping heads and he mutilated ppl on the street and dumping it there (hence the saw)

He said that he stayed for one reason, maybe he is under the uncle's spell but why did the uncle give him 'drink this' energy 'potion'?

Mind = blown!

Hahhaa anywy, those are my deductions. Always great to see you, saya! I hope you can make time to post other stories later.., おつかれさま!

Denna Charlotte said...

Saya-san!! Finally, you're back! QwQ I'm so scared you sill haven't come back even after new year 2015, I almost though you abandoned this website ;ww;; I will be so veeryyy saad.

As usual, you gave us a terrifying story, ah how i missed your post!

Thank you for your hard work Saya-san! \(^w^)/

Nunu. said...

Hi Saya-san,
I like your idea that the narrator was crazy and dreamt the whole thing. It's very likely since he was under depression. Very interesting theory. This would make a good movie.

After reading the comments, I couldn't decide which theory is scarier; @Petzie's that the site was a grave yard or the head still attached to the narrator by @celestialraine.


Ghastly726 said...

Man i love this blog. Also welcome back Saya c:

Saya Yomino said...

@celestialraine: Oh! I never questioned to myself why the uncle puts on make-up, so your theory is interesting to me. Thank you for that! :D

@KuroNeko: So you also think the uncle's make-up was there to hide teethmarks. Interesting! :D Thank you for your contribution!

@Yudhi Hidayat: Thank you for your compliment! I know feel my effort has been paid off! XD

@Farz Wolf: Thank you dear! :D

Saya Yomino said...

@Petzie: Hi! I'm sorry for the late reply! How are you? I'm glad to hear from you again :D

Haha I'm sorry you found it disgusting. It does have rather nasty descriptions.

There are a lot of unexplained happenings in the story, which give it a surreal, and almost comical, feeling. I don't know if you've read Edgar Allan Poe's "Loss of Breath" but this one reminds me of that particular story.

Wow thank you for saying おつかれさま! I need TLC! haha

@Denna Charlotte: I will never abandon the site, although sometimes I may not update it for a long time. I do lose a lot of readers while I'm away, so that's sad, but it can't be helped.

Thank you for reading! All my hard work pays off when I hear you people enjoyed reading it! <3

@Ghastly726: Oh your picture scares me! Is that a face of an alien? But thank you for loving my blog. I appreciate your comment very much!


Welcome Back Saya-san. The story always creep me out as usual, but i enjoy it very much. THANK YOU :)

He -Chan said...

Welcome back Saya! :'D I was worried something had happened to you ><;, so I am glad to see that you're okay ^w^ (Sorry if I've sent this comment more than once! I tried sending this comment 3 times but I'm on mobile so when I tried to login in to comment, the comment was erased xD)

Saya Yomino said...

@Kucing Gila: Thank you! I'm glad the story managed to entertain you! :D

@He-Han: Your comment was sent to me only once, so don't worry! It must be difficult logging in from mobile! Sorry my blog has a complicated comment system, but if I don't do this I get rude comments from anonymous readers. Thank you for taking trouble to comment! :D

rupice said...

Welcome back Saya:)i was missing the stories you translate :(thank you for all the work you do and the time you invest in this blog:*
ps in the stories you can sense the effort you put on each translation
thank you very much for blog and missed you and your updated blog :)

Maulidiah Primaputri said...

Hi saya-san! i always liked the stories you post, everything, literally. lol >.<
but i wanted to tell you something that some unofficial accounts in LINE have been posting your stories into their account i didn't know if you already know this or not ._. but what i know is, weren't you never allow anyone to copy-paste your story and post it somewhere else?

Yuri Meindar said...

Thanks for the update and welcome back Saya :)

I always want to try live in a Japanese style apartment like that, have you ever try?

And the uncle is he a cross dresser? Because I know some people that like that, they wearing female clothes and walking around in a department shop then go outside change his clothes to male clothes going in again and asking the employee about how he look like before.

··Dorian Schneider·· said...

Hello, Saya! Long time I didn't visit your blog, and I'm so glad of being back! You really bring misterious stories!


Hope you're doin' great! Hugs! :)

Tani S. said...

Actually, to me this sounds like a serial killer. The uncle uses that room as his kill room and the bathroom is where the bodies are hidden. When he puts someone in that room and they use the toilet, it seems like it might cause the vengeful spirits of the previous victims to turn on the new victim and weaken them enough for the uncle to kill them easily. I think the uncle cross dresses to hide from the ghosts. He might only target men so that the heads will be more likely to attack the victim thinking is their killer. When the victim brought them out they realized their killer was in front of them and attacked him instead. The lasting bite might be because he pissed off a vengeful ghost and it left a permanent wound in its anger. The energy potion might also be too ensure that the victim is alert enough when they're killed to become a vengeful ghost and try to get back at the uncle. If he didn't make it angry it might not attack the next victim or even try to help them escape.