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Friday, 24 April 2015

Precognition

Translated from Japanese by Saya

This is a Cryptic Story!


This is something that happened a long time ago.
When I was a kid, I always walked home from school with my best friend A.

ME: "Hey, we have a test next week, right? Do you want to get together and study for it tomorrow?"

A: "Sorry. Tomorrow is the day when Final Fantasy I comes out, so I'll be skiving off school to get it. lol"

ME: "How come you play video games all night every day and sleep through classes, yet still manage to get high marks?"

A: "Well....actually, to tell you the truth, I have the power to see into the future. I know what's going to be asked in tests beforehand, so that's why I can get high marks...."

ME: "Huh? lol If you have that kind of power, give it to me, will you? I'd live off horse racing!"

A: "....Stupid. It was only a joke. lol"

ME: "What? You suck!"

A got full marks in that test. Now I think about it, that was only too natural.

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.