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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Strange Painting

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

A cryptic story.

One day I was assigned to clean up the art room at school **
I wanted to go home as soon as possible, so I was doing it very fast when I noticed a painting hanging on the wall.
It was a portrait of a very beautiful woman but it was a little creepy and had a distinctive look around her eyes.
It felt like her large eyes were looking at me.
I got a bit scared and quickly finished cleaning up and went home.

Next day the school was in commotion.
The painting in the art room got stolen.
Because I was the last person to have seen it, the art teacher pounded me with questions.

"So you're saying it was still there when you were cleaning up."
"That's right. Was the painting expensive?"
"The painting's entitled  'Sleeping Beauty' and it was given to me by my artist friend who painted his own daughter while she slept. It's not worth much. Both the painter and the daughter already passed away too."

"I see...."

The painting in the end was never found.
Strangely they didn't find any traces of someone breaking in.

** Japanese school kids are often ordered to clean their own classrooms during lunch break and/or after school.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Day He's been Waiting For

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

This is a (sort of) cryptic story. Enjoy!

Man "Yes! The day I've been wainting for has finally arrived! I really couldn't wait!
Woman "Can we break off our engagement?"
Man "No, impossible."
Woman "Do you love me?"
Man "Of course!"
Woman "Will you ever cheat on me?"
Man "No way. How can you think I would do such a thing?"
Woman "Please kiss me."
Man "Of course. I'll do it many, many times!"
Woman "Will you ever beat me?"
Man "Never!"
Woman "Can I trust you?"

(edit) For a BIG hint, click "Read More" below.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Dreaming of Hide-and-Seek

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

This is a story about my little brother. At the time, my little brother was 10,  I was 14, and my older brother 16. *1
My older brother was living at boarding school so he was often away from home.
I was a member of the school athletic club so I went jogging every morning.

One summer day, I got up early as usual but my little brother, who was supposed to be sleeping on the lower bunk bed beneath me, wasn't there.
I thought he'd just gone to the toilet, and went out of the house without being a least bit worried: but then I saw my little brother sleeping outside.
I woke him up and went jogging.  When I think about it now, the front door was locked when I came out.

From that day onward, my little brother sometimes disappeared, and every time he did so he was found somewhere inside the house.
He never went outside after the first time but he was often found hiding underneath a desk, a table or in the dark narrow space behind a wardrobe.

We had pretty much forgotten all about it when around new year this year, while we were talking about family memories, our mother started saying, "all of you used to sleepwalk."
I couldn't remember I ever sleepwalked and I never knew my older brother sleepwalked either.

But then I remembered something. I asked my older brother:
Me "When you were a kid, did you ever have the same dream over and over again? A dream about hide-and-seek?"
Brother "Yeah, come to think of it, I did have a dream like that a few times when I was an elementary schooler."
Me "The kid who was with you, didn't he often ask you to come with him?"
Brother "You mean, to the riverbank? I never went with him."
Me "Me too. I said no. But didn't he say something at the end?"
Me, Brother "Ok, never mind. I'll take your little brother with me then."
I think it was at that point that I stopped having the dream.

Next month it will have been 13 years since our little brother passed away.
One morning in December, I came back home from jogging to find an ambulance parked in front of our house.
My mother had found my little brother in bed, his body stone cold.

I don't know if my little brother ever had the same dream as us. Did he follow the kid to the riverbank? Or was it simply because he was the youngest among us? Or did he just die from unknown illness?

I decided I will never tell my parents about this. It's a secret only known to me and my older brother.

*1 the original text here says, "the little brother was a fourth-grader at elementary school, I  was a sophomore at junior high school, and my older brother was a freshman at high school," which correspond to 10, 14, and 16 years of age respectively. I thought leaving them as they were would be confusing to the readers who don't know the Japanese educational system, so I decided to simplify this part.

The Legend of River Sanzu

The picture at the top shows River Sanzu (三途の川 sanzu-no-kawa)  near the sacred Mount Osore (恐山 osore-zan) which bears the same name as the mythological river that divides this world and the world of the dead (Wikipedia).  Once a person crosses this river, he or she can never come back to life. 

Click "Read More" below to find out more about River Sanzu!