It was a warm summer day in Pennsylvania as 20 year old Violet Doyle had just finished packing up her stuff in her college dorm. She had waited all semester to come back to her hometown of Massillon, Ohio to meet up with her best friend Felicia Hart whom she had not seen since they graduated high school.
Violet had been bullied in high school for her love of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series and Felicia had stood up to the bully leading them to talk and eventually becoming best friends. She hoped to surprise her friend at her famed occult store that her friend's parents had opened a few years back.
Violet checked her phone one last time than grabbed her bag running out of the dorm to the waiting car where her mother was.
"What took you so long Violet?" Her mother had never been a patient woman especially since her mother had taken the day off to pick her up from college.
"Sorry mother I just had to make sure everything was taken care of." Violet smirked at the thought of her best friend screaming with joy as she walked through that shop.
"What is so funny?"
The rest of the car ride was silent for Violet didn't have a good relationship with either parent and rather read a book than talk about useless topics that led her to second guess herself in the end. After a few hours in the car they arrived at her house which Violet didn't even unpack as she ran in throwing her bag in her room.
She was about to go out of the house again and her mother yelled, "Where are you off too now?" Violet sighed for she was now 20 years old and an adult she didn't need to be told what to do anymore.
"Going to go see my best friend." She left than and went to her car. She pulled out of the drive and made her way to her friend's store. She found a parking spot and got out. She walked up to the entrance and pulled the door opened. Soon she heard a scream and someone running into her.
"Ohmygosh!" The voice came out in a rush as Felicia grabbed Violet into a crushing hug. "Violet, you're back!"
Violet laughed as she returned the hug of her bestfriend. "Fel, you're cutting off my oxygen." Felicia pulled away from her with a sheepish look.
"Sorry," she said and Violet smirked. Her friend had hardly changed since she had been away.
"Love the new nose ring," Violet commented. Felicia beamed. It was a shape of green alien head with wide black eyes.
"Yeah my mom and dad picked it out the last time they went to mall, so how was school?" Felicia asked as the two of them walked further into the shop away from the entrance. Felicia's parents Occult shop was never that busy but it had its regulars that helped keep them in business. At that moment the two of them were the only ones in 'Mystic Harts', as the shop was called.
"Well, that's what I came back to tell you…" Violet grinned. She definitely had a surprise for her friend. Violet had wanted to travel to Japan ever since she had some fellow college friends had told her that she should go. They said it was beautiful and so much to do there plus it's filled with centuries of history which was perfect for Violet herself since she was a history major.
"Well I was able to go on a travel site and I got us two tickets to go to Japan for a few days. We will be doing everything we want and there is a famed Summer Festival that would be fun. So what do you think?" She asked her friend hoping that she would go with her on this trip plus it would be perfect for them to bond.
She took out the brochure out of her pocket and handed it to her best friend. She also hoped that her friend will be able to get away from work and of course Violet knew her parents were going on their own vacation starting tomorrow and they would not care what their daughter did as long as it was within reason. She knew her mom already knew about her dream about going to Japan and her mom told her that it was fine as long as she was responsible for her actions. In other words don't embarrass yourself or the family name. She waited anxiously for her best friend's answer.
"Are you serious!?" Felicia was practically jumping for joy as she started to look through the brochure she had been handed. "Of course I want to go with you! Mom and Dad were just telling me to take some time off from the shop and enjoy the summer so they won't mind."
"Perfect, because the plane leaves tomorrow morning," Violet laughed.
"Summer is the best time to meet a yokai," Felicia said. "I'll pack a Ouija board." Any other person would have thought she was joking if they didn't know her, but Violet knew from experience that her friend was 100% serious on the matter. Felicia was a firm believer in the supernatural.
"Ugh, well as long as whatever you make contact sticks to you and not to me," Violet told her.
"Don't worry I'm a pro and I'll properly dismiss whatever spirits we encounter," Felicia told her confidently. "Anyways, want to spend the night and leave together tomorrow?"
"Yeah, sounds fun and I can say hi to your parents," Violet answered.
So the two friends spent the night together catching up and talking about old times late into the night. They had stayed up late, but they still got up in time to board their flight, which most of it they both slept through. They woke up with only a few hours of the 12 hour flight to go. Once they landed a tour guide greeted them. His name a Shun and with his help they navigated their way to a small, historical osen in the Japanese countryside.
The historical onsen was perfect for the girls and they thought it would be a perfect place to stay. They arrived which their hostess greeted them. As soon as Violet entered the building she got a weird feeling like they weren't alone. But she quickly shook off the feeling thinking that it was just due to exhaustion from the long flight. She noticed her friend was checking out the hot spring and laughed a little.
The hostess showed them to their room than told them to enjoy themselves before leaving them alone. Violet dropped her stuff. "Alright let's go see something I don't want to hit the onsen yet because it would put me to sleep."
Felicia laughed and they walked out of their room. Shun was waiting for them and Violet asked him. "Are there any shrines nearby?"
Shun nodded. "I will be happy to take you to one if your friend wants to go with us."
Violet turned to her best friend. "So do you want to check out a shrine?" Violet had a feeling that something exciting might happen if they went to shrine but she didn't understand why she was feeling this way.
"Of course!" Felicia was already grabbing her stuff to go. Shun led the way and the three of them started walking through the forest behind the osen itself. It was actually way off the beaten path and there was no way someone who didn't know what they were looking for would ever find it. Thankfully after about 15 minutes of walking the trio stumbled upon an old abandoned shrine.
"This shrine is said to honor the memory of a Daimyo's daughter who died of heartbreak," Shun explained as they walked inside and looked around. "The exact story of her death is unknown and her name has been lost to the years."
Violet turned an interested eye onto the golden decorations that adorned the roped off altar in the main part of the shrine. Behind her, she could hear Felicia rustling around in the duffle bag she had insisted on bringing with her on their hiking trip, but paid it no mind since she was too busy looking at the items left on the alter. There was an ornate comb decorated with falling cherry blossoms and a mirror that matched. Both of the items seemed ancient but in decent shape like they had never been touched after the original owners had passed.
That was when all of a sudden a loud shattering noise rang out and made all of them jump. Violet's eyes went wide. The mirror on the altar had just flung itself across the room and the glass inside it had shattered to pieces. She looked from Shun's surprised eyes to Felicia behind her only to notice that the other girl had her Ouija board out and was using it. Violet got a sinking feeling in her stomach.
"Setsuko", Felicia said in a frightened voice, "That was the name the board spelled out just now…" she told them.
What had her friend just unleashed on them….?