Author: Priyanka D PM
17 years old Yano Kagami moves to a new house with her mother. Big deal? Yes, because the previous owner of the house was a famous singer who committed suicide there. DROPPEDRated: Fiction K+ - English - Horror - Words: 2,421 - Published: 05-20-11 - id: 2916315
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
- This is purely fictional.
- All characters, names of characters, descriptions and incidents mentioned in the story are mere products of the author's imagination.
- Any resemblance to any of the characters or incidents is coincidental.
- Japan, the country where the story is set, is not ruled by the author!
- The band 'Metallica' mentioned in the story is not related to the author in any way.
Here are some terms/words used in the Japanese language that you will come across in this story and their meanings:
-san is an honorific suffix added to a person's name or surname. It is equivalent to the prefixes 'Mr.', 'Ms.' and 'Mrs.' used in English.
-chan is an honorific suffix added to the name of a kid or a young girl.
-sensei is an honorific suffix added to the name of a person who has higher authority than you to show respect, such as teachers and doctors. It is equivalent to 'sir' and 'madam' in English.
-Bento is Japanese lunch box.
-Howaito Paresuis the Japanese pronunciation for 'White Palace'.
Another thing to be noted is that in Japanese, the last name or family name is written first and the first name is written at last. For example, in Suzuki Kana, 'Suzuki' is the last name or family name and 'Kana' is the first name.
-19th December, 2008-
Japanese Pop artist and former actress, Akimoto Reina, was found dead in her bungalow in Hokkaido. As per Akimoto's talent agency, Red Sky Entertainment, she decided to take a short break from the entertainment industry last month and left for holidaying in Hokkaido with her boyfriend, Nakazawa Juichi–actor-cum-producer, on the night of 13th December. Early in the morning yesterday, the caretaker of Akimoto's bungalow, Yamada Koji, 48, found her lying on the floor of her bedroom with her wrists slit.
"She (Akimoto) came with Nakazawa-san last night. She was drunk and not in a position to stand. Nakazawa-san took her upstairs to her bedroom. When I asked him if he was not going to stay, he said that he had some important work elsewhere and would not be able to stay over that night. Akimoto-san usually woke up by 8 in the morning, but today she didn't. When it was quite late, I was worried. I thought she might be having a hangover so I decided to go and check her. But to my horror, when I opened her bedroom's door, the very first thing I saw was Akimoto-san lying on the floor near the dressing table. Her wrists were badly slit with a kitchen knife. I tried to contact Nakazawa-san but his cell phone was switched off," said Yamada.
According to forensic reports, the reason behind Akimoto's death was overdose of sleeping pills.
"We are indeed very grieved to hear this news. She (Akimoto) was not just a talented singer but was also good at heart. We don't know why she committed suicide. We never saw her in depression. She was an extremely optimistic person," Akimoto's manager, Suzuki Haruto, said.
Akimoto's boyfriend, Nakazawa Juichi was not available for comment.
-13th May, 2011-
"Wow! You are really going to live there?" Akane exclaimed, breaking the silence which made her classmates turn their heads towards her in surprise, and their homeroom teacher threw a sharp glare at her.
"Sshh! Do you want to be grounded by Uehara-sensei?" Kagami snapped at Akane.
"Okay, I won't be loud but Kago-chan, tell me, you are really going to live there?" Akane repeated.
"Apparently yes," Kagami whispered, flipping the pages of Japanese History, pretending to read it. "Dad bought the bungalow a month ago. But I was not sure if we were really going to live there. We were supposed to return to the States but my parents decided we won't until I graduate so in the end, it's Dad who is going to the States, leaving me and Mom here. And you know what we are naming the bungalow as? Howaito Paresu. What a clumsy name!"
"So exciting! I wish I was your Dad's daughter!" Akane chirped.
"Exciting? What's so exciting in that? That bungalow doesn't seem to be anything special," Kagami chuckled. She saw Uehara-sensei looking at their direction and hit Akane's foot with hers, indicating her to keep quiet but Akane was too excited to keep her mouth shut.
"You don't know?" Akane raised an eyebrow. "You don't know that bungalow belonged to Akimoto Reina?"
"Who?" Kagami interrogated, looking at Akane.
"Akimoto Reina," Akane said. "A dead singer and actress. You don't know her? She was pretty famous back then. How old were we at that time? Fourteen?"
"What? Are you serious?" Kagami asked in a jesting tone.
"Of course, I am serious," Akane replied, nudging Kagami's elbow with hers. "I heard she committed suicide. And you know where? At your new home."
"How come I never knew about it?" Kagami said, now with a bit of seriousness in her tone.
"Who knows? You always live in delusion," Akane laughed. "My sister used to be a fan of her. But after she died, my mom threw out the entire CD collection of her because she believes that keeping things related to dead people at home brings bad luck."
"Umm, I think I did hear about Akimoto Reina a long time back. I guess I didn't remember because I wasn't a fan of her. Heck, I don't remember listening to any of her songs either," Kagami said.
"Yeah, you foreigner, you liked to listen to Mi…what was that band's name? Mitta…lika?"
"Metallica," Kagami corrected.
For recess, Kagami, Akane and their friends had their own reserved place- the emergency exit stairs.
"I was thinking," Mitsuko said and ate a piece of meat from Akane's bento, "about going to karaoke this Sunday."
"Hey, you snatched the words from my mouth! I was thinking the same," Risa exclaimed.
"Sorry girls, I can't go," Kagami said in an apologetic tone.
"Why?" Mitsuko and Risa asked in unison.
"Didn't I tell you people that I am going to shift to my new home?" Kagami replied.
"Yeah, and I will tell you something interesting," Akane chimed and took a sip of her lemon soda. "You know about Kagami's new home? It is the bungalow that belonged to Akimoto Reina."
"Ehhhhh?" Risa exclaimed as if she was told that Kagami was going to live in the Whitehouse.
"Akimoto…Reina," Mitsuko muttered. "She was a singer, right? And she committed suicide?"
"Bingo!" Akane clapped. "What's more? She died where Kagami is going to live for probably the next few years until her parents drag her back to the States."
"Heavens!" Risa exclaimed. "It sounds so thrilling."
"You girls are impossible!" Kagami snapped. "There is nothing thrilling in living in a dead celebrity's house, you know."
"You think that. Anyway, do invite us there," Akane said and sipped the remaining drops of her lemon soda.
"Sure," Kagami smiled.
After school, Kagami and her friends usually visited the manga store near their school and then the café owned by Akane's family, but that day Kagami had something else to do.
"You girls go to the manga store. I have something to do at home," Kagami said.
"'Something'?" Akane asked.
"Mom asked me to help her out in packing stuffs. We are moving to our new home this Sunday, remember?" Kagami said.
"Oh," Akane said. "Fine. See you tomorrow."
Kagami waved her friends goodbye and took the bus to her home.
"Good that you came back home soon. Help me with packing, will you?" Mrs. Yano, Kagami's mother said.
"Mom, I have something to do. It will take just a few minutes. I'll help you after that," Kagami replied. She hurried upstairs to her room, closed the room's door and turned ON her laptop.
"Akimoto Reina," she whispered as she typed the words in the Google search box and hit 'Search'.
Mrs. Yano was in the kitchen, making preparations for dinner. Kagami pulled out a chair and sat down, flipping the pages of her mother's recipe booklets kept on the dining table.
"Mom, can I ask something?" Kagami said, stacking the booklets and keeping them back on the dining table.
"Hmm. What is it?" Mrs. Yano said, chopping capsicums.
"You do know about the previous owner of our new home, don't you?" Kagami asked in a tone that detectives use to question suspects while they are on investigation.
"Why do you ask?" Mrs. Yano said in a slow voice.
"So, you know. Why didn't you tell me?" Kagami asked.
"Is it important for you to know? Why do you care about who owned that house previously? It is ours now," Mrs. Yano snapped.
"Umm, is it true that she committed suicide there?" Kagami said, her eyes fixated on her mother.
"Who knows?" Mrs. Yano replied. "Why are you so curious?"
"I shouldn't be? Mom, we are going to live there. We have the right to know about what happened there previously, don't we?" Kagami snapped this time.
"Oh God, Kagami, stop worrying about your 'rights' and lend me a helping hand, will you? Pass me the soya sauce and curd," Mrs. Yano said.
"Fine." Kagami sighed.
-15th May, 2011-
"You have been here for only a few months but it seems as if we have known each other for years," Mrs. Abe said to Kagami's mother. Mrs. Abe was their neighbour– friendly and caring.
"I feel the same. We will be missing you a lot. Do visit us once in a while," Mrs. Yano said and handed Mrs. Abe a neatly wrapped box. "Just a small gift as a thanks for caring for us all this time."
"There was no need for this. Thank you. Ah, you have to visit us as well, Yano-san."
"We will for sure."
Kagami sat in the car, waiting for her mother to finish her conversation with Mrs. Abe. She looked at the house she had been staying in for around ten months after she came to Hokkaido from Osaka, and wondered how staying at her new home would be like. Mrs. Yano got into the car. "Sorry for the wait," she said as she started the engine.
It was merely a ten minutes' drive to their new home- Howaito Paresu. Kagami still didn't have a clue why her parents gave such an embarrassing name to it. As Kagami and her mother got down the car, the caretaker of the house, Yamada helped them with their luggage.
"Hello, I am Yamada Koji. I am the caretaker," Yamada introduced himself.
"Nice to meet you," Mrs. Yano smiled.
"You go in. I'll carry the luggage," Yamada said.
"Oh, thanks a lot," Mrs. Yano said. "Kagami, let's go."
Kagami didn't hear her mother. She was busy looking around, her eyes scanning the white two-storey bungalow and the garden in which roses and marigolds were in their full bloom.
"Kagami, didn't you hear me? Let's go," Mrs. Yano repeated; this time a bit louder.
"Ah, yes," Kagami replied as if she just woke up from sleep.
"Oh my, it is so spacious and everything looks tidied up. You did a great job, Yamada-san," Mrs. Yano complimented as she scanned the dining hall.
"Thank you," Yamada replied. "Should I take your luggage to your rooms?"
"No need for that. You can leave it here."
"Alright. I will be taking my leave now."
"Kagami, do you like it?" Mrs. Yano said.
"Hmm," Kagami nodded in agreement. "It looks good. Which is my room?"
"Take any one that you like. The house is all ours," Mrs. Yano replied.
"Alright. I am going upstairs to check the rooms," Kagami said and ran upstairs.
Kagami checked the rooms and chose the one in the corner for herself. She carried her luggage to her room, opened the windows and slid the curtains to let in fresh air. She heard her mother talking to Yamada downstairs, something about electricity and water. Unpacking her clothes into the wardrobe, she threw herself on the bed and went through the contacts list in her cell phone, searching for Akane's number.
"Yeah, Kagami?" Akane said over the phone.
"What's up?" Kagami said.
"Boiling rice," Akane laughed. "What about you? Did you reach your new home?"
"Hmm, just a while ago."
"How is it there? I am so jealous. You are getting to live in a celebrity's house."
"It is good. And I told you, it's not a big deal."
"Whatever. Hey, did you see her spirit?"
"Akimoto Reina's, of course. Duh."
"Yeah, I did. I saw it passing through the corridor a few minutes ago."
"Wow, this is like a horror show we see on TV."
"Stop freaking me out, will you?"
Kagami suddenly felt someone's gaze on her. She looked around the room.
"Hello? Kagami?" Akane yelled on the other side.
"Yeah, I am listening."
"So I was saying, you know that new karaoke that opened in Minami? How about we four go there next Sunday since we couldn't make it today? You know, I heard that these hot guys from Shibuya High often visit that place…"
Kagami found it difficult to pay attention on what Akane was saying as she found herself uncomfortable in the room with the feeling of being constantly stared at by someone though there was no one in the room except her.
"Akane, I am hanging up. Sorry, something important has come up. I will call you later," Kagami said over the phone.
She could clearly feel someone's presence there. She went downstairs to look for her mother but couldn't find her in the dining hall. Just then, a brief but sharp screech echoed through the bungalow.
A/N: There!I finally finished it *phew* I could have finished it way before but I have this habit of procrastinating . Anyway, this chapter was basically a sort of introduction to the plot and the characters. I would like to hear your opinions. Criticisms are welcome. And if you find any grammatical error which I am sure you will, do notify me. Thanks :)