Horror in my hallway

Junji Ito is both brilliant and disgusting. I’d had meant to write about this a while back but between my personal computer dying with a frightening knock sound and long awaited exams (only delayed by a month) I had to put it off.

While my friends were faced with the horrors of parroting behaviorists who were convinced the mind didn’t really exist (you’d be inclined to agree after reading their mindless ideas) I was enjoying Ito’s work. I no longer have access to those chapters but I think simply recounting his stories should work well enough.

Ito writes short horror manga that’s unlike anything else out there. It’s not particularity scary and the body horror isn’t enough to make you turn away. Most people I’ve convinced to read him end up giving me a look of concern and get to repressing the stories from conscious memory.

Ito’s Japanese background might help, there’s an Asian sensibility that I’m never able to put my finger on. But what really makes his work click is that uncanny sense of familiarity. There’s something about his stories that seems to echo an almost conversational recollection of horrors, ghosts and monstrosities. Relatable cultural taboos, settings and moralistic implications that I could see coming from so many people I know. He writes horror simple, weird and relatable.

There’s one story that features a demon that seduces houses. Another has a time traveling bird demon that feeds lost mountaineers but then never decides to stop helping, visiting them everyday for a force-fed meal of human flesh. One has a fortune teller behead an unfaithful boyfriend with a single strand of hair. He won’t die till he lets his head drop of course, so she forces cockroaches down the gap to get him to let go. My favorite involves a man who develops a fetish for living- yes living- secretly inside peoples chairs.

The most wholesome I’ve seen him is a story where it turns out half the people in it are actually dead and one where a abused social worker comes back as a vengeful spirit and helps a neurotic young girl overcome her anxiety by killing her ex boyfriend.

If you’ve got the stomach and a little time for some weird, uncomfortable horror try starting with the Enigma of Agigara Fault- .

Yet Another Story About You

You should have known then, that this day wasn’t going to be like any other day. You remembered that day well, when you lent back and stared at the revolving fan and thought that this was the beginning of a story, a story about you.

You were like any other cubicle slave- you went everywhere in overpriced cabs, you saw the world through your corner office window. You were a success or at least that’s what you liked to tell yourself. But one day began a story, a story about you.

You’d picked up your phone and called your fiancee Linda, but she didn’t answer her phone. You called all your tie wearing friends but they didn’t answer either. You walk to your closet but no coat would stay on. You walked down the street and no one saw you. You walked and walked and found a village when you no longer had shoes.

There they saw you but said nothing, after all this is a story about you. You stayed amongst them; maybe one day you’d be one of them. You listen carefully to their silence as they sipped tea and smiled, their little mustaches smiling too. You realize the sun was setting and the villagers fleeing.

You are soon alone in the dark dirt road with a million stars above you. You don’t care, you aren’t afraid, after all, this is a story about you. You walk towards the bright crescent moon above you, off the road and into the fog you hadn’t noticed between the trees before. You don’t know where it goes because this is a story about you.

The Hill

He looked like he planned to spend the entire day sitting out on the branch kicking his legs and day dreaming about Dragon Ball Z or whatever anime he had last watched. But unlike the other days, today he hopped off the tree.

He stomped a few leaves, savoring the sound of them crunching. He looked hard at his sandals and seemed reluctant to put them back on. He crushed more leaves as he made his way down the mud road. A thin layer of dirt stuck to his bare feet. Behind him trailed a long line of foot prints that zigged and zagged and overlapped.

He turned to the swaying bamboo; a yellow cluster of them blocked the view behind him. He looked around like he was lost in a memory or maybe he was just thinking hard. He moved to the left, the side with the trees that blocked off the sharp drop on that side of the hill. Leaves gave way underneath him as he hopped of the crumbling red wall that blocked the bit of land before the drop.

They were brown and dry and hid the ground. It seemed like you would find nothing but leaves if you tried to dig your way to the other side of the planet. The smell of dry leaves and bark coated the area while an unceasing breeze flowed through the trees.

No else seemed to be on the hill. The world below look like an alien place. The wind carried the distant noises of the city. The grey towers and roads dotted the landscape between the green cover to the blue horizon. No one could see him, but he saw all in his elevated realm.

He drew a deep breath and put his hand on a tree. This was an act of rebellion; no one is supposed to go there they always said. It didn’t make sense. They only risk you face is the risk of remembering that the rest of the hectic noisy world still existed.

The White Revolver (R word essays)

“Only a few meters away… The revolver must still have a round in the chamber”

He dragged himself across the cold white marble that grew a sickening shade of red as the hallways’ occupants bled out. His sticky fingers irritated him. He drummed them against the floor as he caught his breath. Funny how he still felt excited, like adrenaline made him invincible, like he was still in control. If only he could get up.

“No. That’s not it. I’ll just need the gun, he’ll be back and he won’t be ready,”

The revolver was an old thing. Primitive; a remnant from naive days. His coat looked like one he used to wear back then. He’d picked it up last week on a whim. Maybe it could have been a return to the glory days. It seemed a bit hilarious to start reminiscing at that moment.

“Must be the blood loss. Where’s the bloody revolver anyway? Might take me forever to find it in all the blood,”

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. It was supposed to be easy. But he was uneasy the second they’d walked through the revolving doors. All that planning was for nothing. What a time for revelations! The cities best law enforcers would never be suspected of staging a robbery. It had taken them forever to gather up fall guys, but those were worries from a time when he had more things to worry about.

Four shots rang out and a gun clattered as it hit the floor.

Everything went wrong when they choose their first collateral for the day. They’d have more glory and authority if a few clerks and tellers hit the floor. Four shots rang out and a gun clattered as it hit the floor. The first victim didn’t fall. He grasped at his head and gargled black foam, one that seemed to drip from the hole in his head too. His face threatened to pull into his ears drums and he groaned like a falling tree. His arms tore themselves apart and seemed to extend into a hundred antennas. Before anyone said anything, one antennas flew across the room and whipped him. It cut halfway through him and he fell over, mouth agape. He looked like he was trying to understand why he’d turned into butter.

He didn’t die. He wished he had; he wished he hadn’t seen everything else that happened. One by one, the thing hunted down everyone in the bank. Everyone who had seen, everyone who…

The doors spun open.

“Well… Hello there,”

“Too late” he thought to himself.

He didn’t take his eyes off the ornate handle

Upturned now and against the wall, he turned and spotted his revolver. It’s ivory white handle unstained out just out of reach. He didn’t take his eyes off the ornate handle even as a crack filled the room and his ears rang with the sound that be his end.

This is a part of the word essay challenge.

Prompt words- revolver, round, revelation, remnant, reminiscing.  

T Word Essays

T seems to be a portentous letter. Yes I know what portentous means, no I didn’t look at a dictionary to learn what it meant, and yes I am smug about the fact that I know what it means.

Terribly tiny tales were these series of images that had a line or two that would make up an entire story.  And they would be these tiny, tragic stories that were very enjoyable. I haven’t come across them in a while so I assume they aren’t written anymore or have dipped in quality. I found myself struggling to work with fiction the other day, everything kept turning into a novel. So I’ve decided to try and do something similar to the terribly tiny tales type. Not too close though, nor too different.

Today we were told we will have to try and type out word essays throughout this month for our creative writing course, a very convenient task. I’ve been writing these essays since forever and should beat everyone else to the end. I had forgotten where I had stopped this series and wondered if I should even bother continuing it when the word essays were mentioned and terribly tiny tales and the letter T screamed from some corner in my head. The letter, had in a few seconds, filled me with ideas about what to do with the blog.

These essays are a welcome break between stories, poems and non fiction, and these breaks stop myself from working too hard and sounding like a tactless crustacean. This is one assignment that’s terribly portentous of being all too easy.

PS: If you haven’t noticed, every sentence has a word starting with t. T is a very easy word to work with after all; I wonder if I should start writing these word essays differently.

The Maid

Pity was the last thing she needed, maybe it was even a little insulting, but that’s all he had to offer as she left.

A few days ago she flew in like she always did. She was always turned around, looking out to the street while the doorbell still rung. When the door swung open, she’d turn, and with formal greeting head straight in. He would stay out of her way, but like the ears of a cat would follow every step. Far too often he’s look around and feel something out of place, something missing. He was wary, and watchful when he wasn’t indifferent. But that day she was a was a bit nicer. Meeker? He pushed the thought outside and went out to the balcony where he could rock the cane chair a few inches shy of the late morning sun. From here he could see and ignore most of what happened inside.

A few cushions paled with age were moved around and leg was swung onto a reading table. He looked out at the sun coated sprawl of buildings, rented houses that cannibalized former homes. They rose irregularly, their bones of steel sprung out of the roofs of many, the grilled windows unable to protect against dust. They were all he saw except for irregular burst of green and glass behemoths at a distance. She spoke again.

He hardly head what she had said. Her contacts were lost she said, she wanted help she said. A few days later she nicer still, said she wanted help. His curiosity was sufficiently piqued. He tried piecing together a mystery as she asked him how to block a number. Her’s was an old phone, a worn touch pad that poured light through faded keys. There was no block option. It wasn’t one of those call drop numbers. This was a person. A person who had called frequently, late into the night she informed him. She asked if it was possible to have it blocked at a store. He doubted that was possibly and shrugged no longer interested. He told her to try. Late into the night… It’s a little more serious than call drops then. “Bored pervs” he though to himself.

Today she asked for his number. She’d lost her phone. He couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d gotten rid of it to escape the calls. He remember her husband, a loud, brash plumber he couldn’t stand for too long. He didn’t see the plumber being much help. He saw her fly away like usual but felt disturbed. Maybe he should have done something more. A phone wasn’t cheap,it must have cost her dearly to get a new one.She might have asked for help but maybe it wasn’t his business to offer help.

She joked that she must have forgotten it somewhere. Her laughter seemed awkward. He offered her his usual curt smile. She carried on as always,back to the un-speaking self, having found her way of coping while he stayed out there perturbed. His indifference made him feel guilty but soon he was lost to thoughts about the city before him.