I open my eyes. All I can see is darkness, though. No, wait, my eyes are adjusting, I can see some objects now; am I on the floor? I turn my head slowly to the side, and wince in pain a little. My body feels sore all over, why do I feel this way? I . . . I can’t remember . . .
I see there’s someone lying next to me, on the floor as well. My eyes try to adjust to the dark light to see who it is. This guy, he looks kind of familiar . . . but I can’t quite put my finger on who he is and . . . dear god, is that blood!?
Ignoring the soreness of my muscles I quickly scoot away from him, and he doesn’t move. I’m afraid he’s dead. There’s blood all over him, looks like there’s stab wounds in his chest. No, not just stab wounds, there’s a hole in his torso. A big, wide, gaping, hole. I can see some of his organs, oh lord it’s awful! I want to look away, but somehow the gruesome scene keeps my eyes locked onto it.
Then I notice there’s another body, lying next to the one I’ve been looking at. Holy hell . . . this one’s worse! I can hardly see the color of his shirt; it’s so soaked with blood! I can’t even make out what the poor man used to look like, his face is so mutilated!
Trembling, I scoot back some more. I look around, trying to see where I am; I can’t remember where I am or how I got here. I can see plants, definitely can see some trees. So I know I’m outside, woods possibly. Outside in the woods. With these two dead bodies. How did they get here? And, why am I still alive? Am I . . . next?
There’s a crunch, sounds like dead leaves crumbling. Someone else here? Maybe they can help me, or maybe they’re here to kill me as well? To my horror I realize the crunch had come from much closer than I’d like, it came from right beside the first dead body I saw. There’s someone hunched over the body, looks like a human.
There’s more sounds, the sounds of dead leaves crackling underneath feet; someone else is approaching. I see another person emerge from the shadows and walk towards the one next to the body.
“オイ、お前、終わりかな？” (Oy, you, done yet?) The approaching figure speaks. The clouds moved, and more light from the moon flooded down through the leaves and I can see him clearer, both of them. The one who had spoken, he’s in all black along with a black and white scarf, and a peculiar mask. I don’t know what he said, though.
“What?” I turn my attention to the one next to the body, I can see he’s also in all black, but he has a dark blue mask on. Both of these two were also covered in blood.
“You done yet?” The other one snaps irritably. “You’ve been digging around in that carcass for nearly- . . .”
I freeze. He’s looking at me. Oh fuck. I’m next, aren’t I?
“What? What you lookin’ at?” The one by the body looks quickly from the one with the split mask, and then to where he is looking; at me.
“エ、”(Eh,) The split mask one is still staring at me. But, there is something odd about the way he’s looking at me, it’s like, he’s looking at me, but then again, he isn’t. “何でもない。” (Nothing.) He mutters quietly, as if startled. The one in the blue mask glares at me, but even he doesn’t seem to see me.
“Well if you two won’t hurry the fuck up then I’m just gonna go now” A new voice speaks. I see now there was a third person there. He had been leaning against a tree, playing with a bloodied knife in one hand. I look towards him to see what he looks like, but he had turned and was walking away; I can only see his pitch black hair and blood stained white hoodie.
“Oh son of a bitch-fine! I’m done!” The blue masked one exclaims when he sees the other follow the one in the white hoodie. As he stands up I see there’s something in his hand, what is that? Looks like a chunk of flesh . . . Is that an organ?
I turn away quickly to keep from retching. I had enough luck being in the shadows where they can’t see me, can’t ruin it now. I keep my head down until I hear their footsteps fade away, and even then I stay still. Was probably only a few minutes, felt like thirty.
Finally it feels safe, so I look up. I’m alone now. Well, unless you count the two dead bodies as people. I get to my feet, but stumble a little. My body still feels sore for some reason. And, I still can’t remember what happened. I don’t know where I am. I look down at the bodies again. It puzzles me. The first one I saw, he seems familiar; but then again, he doesn’t. What’s his name? I feel like it’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t quite remember.
This other one. Even with his face practically gone, it still seems familiar. Very familiar. Almost eerily familiar. I can only make out that he has blonde hair though. That’s about it. Poor guy. Perhaps I should bury them, or something. But . . . Ugh. I don’t think I could bring myself to touch such a mutilated corpse.
Sorry, but I’m going to have to leave them. Getting steady on my feet, I look in the direction those three people had gone. I turn and walk the other direction.
As I walk, everything feels . . . weird for some reason. All the sounds and the way the wind feels, it’s all odd. Sort of . . . distant . . . if that makes any sense . . .
I don’t know how long I’ve been walking. But finally, I start to hear other noises, so I look up. To my surprise, it’s daytime. Have I really been walking that long? Hell, how fast was I walking? I look back towards the forest. It looks so undisturbed and peaceful; I don’t think anyone could guess that there are two dead bodies in there.
I turn back towards where the noises are coming from, as I walk closer, I’m walking faster now, I can see it’s a town. I can hear cars. And I can hear some voices. I can also hear a dog barking.
I walk out of the woods, onto a sidewalk. Yet again, everything seems so familiar, but I don’t remember . . . What’s this town called? I look around; maybe I could ask someone . . .
I see a bird fly by, two birds. A car horn beeps in the distance. There’s a dog tied to a post. A golden retriever, it’s lying down with its head on its paws, poor dog. It looks sad, I wonder if someone abandoned it there. Bastard.
The dog was staring intently at the woods, and I passed it without it noticing me. As I walk along the sidewalk, I can see there’s a man walking towards me. He doesn’t really look intimidating; I can ask him where I am. Hell, I might seem a little eccentric . . . But I’d rather be seen as eccentric than be lost like this.
“Excuse me, sir?” I call to him. He lifts his head a little, and stiffens up slightly. He looks worried. “Could I ask you something?” I continue.
He shivers, pulls his jacket tighter around him, and walks on.
Huh. I guess he didn’t hear me. I need to learn to speak up then. Maybe the next person could help me; I don’t want to seem like a nuisance to that person. I see someone else, and I call to them as well. But they don’t pay attention. Well, they didn’t look nice anyway.
So I continue forward. I only see cars now, no one else on the sidewalk. How much time has passed? I . . . I’m not sure anymore . . . I feel so lost . . .
What was that? A voice?
“Bye! Hi! Bye! Hi!”
I look up, I’ve approached a playground. It seems to be vacant, with the exception of one small girl standing on a bench. She’s looking towards the road, and waving at the cars as they pass by.
“Hi! Bye! Hi! Bye!” She greets them as they pass, giggling and smiling. Some of the drivers see her and wave back. How adorable, it makes me smile. Although, she would probably ignore me as well. Ignoring seems like a favorite hobby of the people around here. So I continue walking by.
“Hi!” She giggles. But all the cars had passed. I turn and look, she’s looking at me?
“Hi! Hello!” She waves her small hand vigorously. “Hi mister!”
I smile, and I wave back at her. She giggles and waves some more.
“Suzy, come on, it’s getting late” A woman walks over to the small girl and takes her by the hand. And I notice it’s noon. Well, possibly almost sunset. How long have I been walking around?
“Bye! Bye!” The little girl turned to look at me and waved goodbye at me. So I waved goodbye back.
“Mommy! Say goodbye to him too!” The little girl looked up at the woman, smiling, and then waved back at me. The woman turned to look at me, but, just like those people in the woods, she didn’t look at me . . .
“Sweetie, no time for games now it’s getting late” She turned and led her daughter away. I waved goodbye one more time and then watched them leave. And, as before, I turned and continued walking. I still don’t know where I am though . . .
Walking. More walking. Walking walking walking. It’s night now. Again. I can’t tell if that day went by quickly or slowly. I don’t really know where to go. So I think I’ll just keep walking. This path I’m on, it goes back towards those woods. So, what the hell. I see a path in the woods, it’s not the one I walked out of though. I go and take that path. Why the hell not.
So, more walking. I’m surprised I’m not tired yet. More walking. Just looking around at the sights and sounds. Distant sights and distant sounds.
Wait . . . Is the sky getting lighter? Is it dawn already? Can’t be . . .
No no, sure enough. Dawn. Where am I now? Looking forward, there seems to be something beyond the trees. A building, perhaps? Two buildings? Three?
I get past the trees, and, sure enough, buildings. Not the same town as before, though. This one seems . . . different. I don’t see anyone walking around. A lot of the houses look a little dilapidated. Is this some kind of ghost town or what?
I go onto the sidewalk, I still don’t see anyone though. Alas, more walking. Walking walking walking. I don’t hear footsteps. I don’t even hear my own footsteps. Just a small . . . padding sound?
I stop and turn, there’s someone behind me. But, I don’t see anyone at first, then I look down. There’s a cat. This chubby gray tabby cat. It walks past me, its short little tail swaying slightly.
“Cat? Are you the only one here or something?” I say jokingly to the cat. It stops, and turns to look at me.
Damn. This cat has one unsettling stare. Its wide blank eyes stared at me for a few seconds, and then it turned and resumed walking. Slightly disturbed, I walk after it.
I follow the weird cat for, hell, I have no idea anymore. But I’m not by houses anymore, now my surroundings look more like a small town.
Still following the cat though. Well, I thought I was. I was looking at the buildings, and when I looked down again, the cat was gone. Oh well. It was an odd cat anyway. Looking around at the buildings, most of them don’t seem to have anyone in them. Except one, one has its door open.
I can’t really tell what the building is from its exterior, there’s not really a sign or anything. But I walk in anyway. I just want to know where I am.
Inside now, I think it’s a bar or something like that. Bar, pub, tavern, whatever. But it looks empty, just like everything else. Although, I see some cups and bottles of liquor on the shelves, they look kind of recent. There are stools right up to the counter, and then booths. I go over to one of the booths and sit down. I’m not tired, but it’s good to rest every now and then.
But, there’s something on the table. What is that . . ? Looks like some kind of gardening tool, a sickle? It’s pretty big . . .
“Why is the door open?” A voice, from outside. I flinched at the sudden noise, and following the voice there were footsteps, entering the bar.
“Why the hell are you asking me” A second voice replied.
I shrink down a little, trying to hide, even though I want to ask them where I am.
“Just hurry up” The first voice said, the footsteps got closer. Someone’s walking towards the booth I’m in, I can feel it. Yep, now I can see them. He reached out and took the sickle from the table, there’s a bandage on his arm, he’s missing two of his fingers. I cringe, wondering how that happened.
He stares blankly at the table. One of his eyes has a jagged scar over it, I don’t think it works properly anymore.
“What’re you standin’ around for? Hurry up!” The first voice calls from the door.
“Xav shut up!” The one in front of me yells back, “Something feels . . . weird” He pauses, but then turns away from me. “Nah, maybe I’m just losing my mind.” He . . . He didn’t see me . . ?
“Well to be honest,” The first voice chuckled, “I didn’t think you had any more mind to lose”
“If you don’t shut up I will end you” The second one grumbled, and they both left.
Alone again. But . . . what . . ? I’m so confused . . .
This is all so frustrating. I just want to sleep, maybe it’s all just a bad dream. So I put my arms out in front of me to lay my head down and . . . my hands . . ? Where are my hands? Where are my arms? Where am I!?
I stand up from the booth quickly, and look around. There’s a mirror on the wall, so I run over to it. In the mirror, I can see the counter, I can see the stools, I can see the booths and the walls and the things hanging on the walls.
But I can’t see me.