A Substitute/Sacrifice, and then…
Exposed in the moonlight were swollen-up, pale hands containing water.
Those arms wriggle and zigzag many times like snakes.
It’s terrible. This is totally dangerous.
Chika hurriedly distances herself away from that area.
Her brain, her body, all her senses are ringing alarm bells.
I have to leave this place or I will die!
Chika’s instinct is telling her that.
Chika immediately carries John up and moves to the edge of the room.
The arms won’t reach them at the edge of the room.
That’s what she thought.
But that was useless.
“I heard you…… So you’re over there, Chika-chan.”
As the voice said that with a sneer, the twisting and zigzagging arms stretch even further.
They head towards her like snakes lunging towards their prey.
“It, it can’t be…… N, no…… Otou-san, Okaa-san, SAVE MEEEE!” (TN: Dad, Mom)
Chika’s voice only echoed inside the room in vain. Because no matter how much she screams, her parents are not coming home today.
The pale hands are about to reach her.
Chika screamed and hugged herself to protect herself from the hands.
At that moment, John steps forward as if he responded to Chika’s scream.
It looks as if he’s protecting his master.
“John!? No, don’t go there……”
Chika’s restraining words are also futile.
John is being captured by the pale hands.
John didn’t struggle. He knew that it was what he should do.
John looked over at her and lightly cried.
To Chika, it sounded like a farewell greeting.
Chika loses herself and tries to grab onto the hands that are capturing John.
But she couldn’t do it because John tried to bite her.
It was as if he was preventing her from getting closer.
John no longer barks. He also no longer looks at her. He was simply quiet.
He was taken by those hands and brought towards the door.
The door rippled like it did the moment the hands entered and sucked John in.
Chika couldn’t call out to him.
“Chika, you’re finally here~…… Oh dear, you shouldn’t be this hairy, right?”
Sounds of something being ripped apart and the sound of a large amount of liquid dripping could be heard from the other side of the door.
Chika could no longer move.
The next night, when her parents returned home, they found that the house had been flooded.
Her father went to her room to scold her and is terrified.
There are plucked fur and bloodstains in front of Chika’s room.
And sitting against the wall was Chika, staring at the door with her eyes wide open.
When her father ran up to her to ask her what happened, Chika could only utter a single word, “Obaa-chan……”
After that, Chika was carried by an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
She was dehydrated and weakened from not eating, but her life was not in danger.
A few days later, Chika was discharged from the hospital.
However, no matter how many times they ask Chika, she would keep saying that she couldn’t remember anything so both her father and mother were unable to learn what happened that day.
On the day of Chika’s discharge, her father received a call from the chief priest of that’s taking care of the grave.
He told him that her grandmother’s grave has been damaged.
But the weird thing was that it looked like it was dug from the inside and the hole was filled the next day.
Also, there was something that looked like a spread of dog fur beside the grave.
Thank you for reading.
This is Homura Koorimizu.
Although it’s out of season, how was it?
This story is actually not completely fiction.
I think it was when I was in junior high school, our pet died.
It was still healthy until that time, but it suddenly fell ill for about a month.
Then, I will never forget on June the 1st.
When we buried its body, my mother quietly murmured.
“…Today is ojii-chan’s death anniversary. It must have become a substitute.” (TN: Grandfather/Grandpa)
It was exactly a year ago when he passed away.
“Dead people will come and get you if they’re lonely.”
It was probably like that.
Stories are said to have the power to appease spirits since ancient times.
Hopefully this work will bring peace to their souls.