The Curse 2
The curse of one who dies in the grip of a powerful rage. It gathers in the place of death, working its spell on those who encounter it…and a new curse is born.
It was now sunset, and Toshio’s parents hadn’t returned home. Kobayashi still waited at the living room window, occasionally glancing to see a sleeping Toshio on the couch. He punched in Manami’s number and waited. A voice came on the line.
“Hello, Kobayashi Residence.” She said.
“Manami? It’s Shunsuke.”
“Finally you call! I’ve been worried sick!”
“I’m sorry…I’m still at a student’s house. His parents haven’t come home yet.”
“I’ll give you thirty minutes. Honestly, Shunsuke…”
A doorbell rang on the other line. He wasn’t expecting any visitors…
“Someone’s at the door. I’ll call you back later. Bye!”
He clicked off the phone and put it in his pocket. He looked down to see a torn up photo. Rearranging the pieces like a puzzle, he derived a family portrait. Toshio and his father, Takeo, were grinning at the camera. Kayako’s face was crudely torn out. He glanced over his shoulder habitually, only to see the couch vacant.
“Toshio?” he said loudly. He heard voices on the second floor. One was a child’s: the other’s was…a woman’s?
Kobayashi slowly walked up the stairs as to catch bits of the conversation.
“Mother, did I do it correctly?”
“Yes, you did.”
“Will dad be coming?”
Kobayashi was now at the bedroom door where the voices were. He opened it…and Toshio was drawing on the floor. Relaxed, he glanced around the room to see drawings of cats. Lots of cats.
“Toshio, was someone in here with you?” he questioned.
“Kobayashi-kun…” It was the woman’s voice. Kobayashi, determined to find the voice, stepped out of the room and into the hall.
He looked over the balcony into the foyer, but there was no one there. Behind him, he heard a door creak. He turned around to see the door to the master bedroom fully open. He reluctantly entered.
The bedroom was strewn with papers. Kobayashi stepped through the papers and to the main desk, which had photographs on it. All the photographs featuring Kayako had her face torn out like the portrait. He wavered his glance upwards to see a journal. Inscribed on the front cover was “Kayako Kawamata”. He opened to some random pages and began to read.
“…I saw him in a comic book store. He’s browsing, as usual…”
“I’m in love with a person who doesn’t acknowledge my existence…”
“I’m pregnant with a child. The doctor says it’s a boy…”
The rest of the pages were either bloody or scrawled with one word: KOBAYASHI. He dropped the journal and it landed on a torn page, revealing a poorly drawn eye. It seemed alive, staring at him.
“Kobayashi-kun…” the voice rang out, louder this time.
It was coming from the closet.
Kobayashi stepped wearily towards the closet, a light buzzing coming from the inside. He opened the closet to find many flies buzzing towards the open attic door. Pulling out a lighter, Kobayashi raised it up in the attic to get a better view. He wished he hadn’t.
Inside the attic, wrapped up in a garbage bag, was the body of Kayako Saeki.
He ran out of the room and picked up Toshio.
“Toshio, we have to leave. NOW.” He shouted.
They were down the stairs in a flash. Then he realized something.
He ran into the living room and left, gathering up his briefcase and files.
When he was in the foyer, his cell phone rang. He dropped the stuff he was carrying and pulled the phone out of his pocket.
“This is the teacher right?”
“Who is this?”
“Takeo Saeki. Kayako’s husband.” His voice was bitter and cold.
Kobayashi’s face went pale.
“I know all about you and Kayako. That’s why we’re changing places. Up to now I’ve raised Toshio…now it’s your turn.”
“Changing places? What?”
“Mr. Teacher, your baby’s been born.”
Kobayashi felt time stand still.
“I see that it’s a girl.” He laughed.
The cell phone dropped as Kobayashi slid to the floor. Kobayashi didn’t hear Takeo scream in terror, followed by a croak like a death rattle. Wherever Takeo Saeki was, Kayako had got to him.
Still in shock, Kobayashi didn’t notice Toshio pick up his cell phone and start talking.
“Mom? I have him. Yes. Yes.” Toshio said as if in a trance. After he finished, he emitted a low sigh.
Sounds of cracks and croaks filled the air as Kobayashi looked up. Whatever it was, it was coming towards the stairs. A bloody arm came out of the darkness, then another, followed by a face. Kayako Saeki was very much alive. She came down the stairs, lunging, crushing, grabbing for Kobayashi. He backed towards the door, grabbing and feeling for the door handle. He finally grabbed ahold of it and opened the door. It wouldn’t budge, opening just a little.
Kobayashi looked up to see Kayako’s head through the crack, lunging for him.
Several feet away, Toshio made the meow of a cat through Kobayashi’s silver cell phone.
The young and pretty Kyoko Suzuki walked towards her brother’s real estate business.
“What could he possibly want this time?” she muttered to herself as she walked through the sliding door. Her brother Tatsuya greeted her and offered her some sake.
“Tatsuya, isn’t Nobuyuki waiting for you at home?” she scolded.
“Fine, let’s get down to business. I need you to look at a property with me.”
“This house has a history. Everyone that’s lived there has died. You’re psychic, so I was wondering if there was anything…unusual there.”
“Fine…where is it?”
It was now late in the afternoon, and Tatsuya was unlocking the door to the Murakami residence. When he was finished, they stepped inside and into the foyer.
“I hope the buyer doesn’t mind buying the house as is…” Tatsuya said.
Kyoko felt a presence towards the window on the second floor. She could’ve sworn she saw a woman. She blinked…and it disappeared.
“Are you alright?” Tatsuya questioned.
“It’s not just those people who died here.” Kyoko whispered.
In a trance, she moved upstairs and into the master bedroom. The light inside flickered on and off.
“Tatsuya,” she shouted downstairs. “Get me some distilled alcohol!”
Tatsuya did as she requested, bringing her the bottle of sake. She took a big swig from it and spluttered. She ran towards the window to the outside and spat it out, coughing. She turned towards Tatsuya.
“Distilled alcohol is used in exorcism,” she said raspily. “Because it’s able to absorb large amounts of psychic energy. Leave the sake in this room. Whenever someone wants to buy the house, make them sip this sake. If they spit it out, they can’t be allowed to live here. Promise me, Tatsuya!”
“I don’t understand.” Was all he said.
“There’s nothing more I can do here.” Kyoko said quietly as she descended the stairs and out into the night sky.
In Tatsuya Suzuki’s new apartment, Nobuyuki Suzuki was sitting in the TV room, a glazed look on his eyes. Everything that had happened in the past few weeks was a blur: his parents getting in that car crash, him moving to another part of the city, losing his friends…at least he had his Uncle Tatsuya and Aunt Kyoko. As he mulled this over, the TV signal started getting worse and worse. He moved forward to fiddle with the TV…and saw the most disturbing image he’d seen.
He stumbled back and gasped for breath. This stopped when he felt a hand crawl up his back. He turned his head over his shoulder to see a woman looking at him, her hand on his shoulder.
“What? You sold it?!” Kyoko shouted into her cell phone.
“It’s alright. I made them drink the sake.” Tatsuya replied as he sat in his office.
Kyoko had nothing more to listen to as she shut off the phone and ran towards the Saeki house.
When she finally arrived, the front window was drawn open. Kyoko stood paralyzed in fear, finally realizing what the curse, the Ju-on, had become.
The placard that read “Kitada Residence” was to her a farce. Standing at the window, looking straight at her, was none other than…
Kayako Saeki. The woman, smiling, turned away from Kyoko and into the confines of the house.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a camera’s flash go off. She turned to see a policeman walking off, a sullen expression on his face. Was he crying?
Kyoko pulled her cell phone out of her purse and dialed Sato, her assistant in her detective agency.
“Suzuki Detective Agency.” His voice rang out on the phone.
“Sato? It’s me.”
“What do you need now, Kyoko?”
“I’m going to need all information connected to the Murakami disappearances and anything related to it. Think you can do that, Sato?”
“Why do you need this?” Sato replied inquisitively.
“Just do it, Sato.” Kyoko retorted, and hung up.
The next day, Kyoko was watching the children play in the park, laughing and having the time of their lives. She wished she could have some of that innocence back. An arm came to rest upon her shoulder. She turned to see Sato, smiling and holding a stuffed blue folder.
“Kyoko…I’ve read some of this stuff and it’s pretty creepy. You sure you want to read this stuff?”
“Kyoko…I don’t want you to die.” Sato said as he patted her shoulder and walked off.
Kyoko started flipping through the folder:
…Takeo Saeki (24), is still missing after brutally murdering wife Kayako (22) and son Toshio (6)…
…Murderer Saeki found dead in neighborhood street…
…Saeki has been connected with another brutal murder…
…body of Toshio Saeki still missing…
…Murders and disappearances in Saitama home…
…Noriko Murakami, Kanna Murakami, and Yuki Murakami were all found inside the attic of an infamous house…
…Shunsuke Kobayashi (26), a local teacher, was found inside the Saeki house…
…wife of elementary school teacher found brutally murdered in Apt. 205…
The last article stuck in Kyoko’s mind. What made it so familiar? Then it clicked. Kyoko ruffled through her purse and eventually dug out Tatsuya’s new apartment address: the apartment number was 205, in the exact same complex.
She froze as she received one of her “psychic feelings”: the Ju-on had spread to more places than just that house. It was in that apartment. Where Nobuyuki was.
She sprung up and ran to Apt. 205, where a lingering evil lay.
It was nighttime when Kyoko arrived to Tatsuya’s apartment. Kyoko, out of breath, pulled out her key and tried the door. It was already unlocked. Kyoko walked fearfully into the inky-black apartment. The first noise she heard was the static of a nearby television. She ran into the TV room and tripped over an outstretched leg on the floor. It was Nobuyuki.
“Nobu-chan! You’ll die if you stay here!” She yelled to the boy. He just stared towards the double sliding door of the living room.
The doors were slid open just a little, revealing a slice of gray light emanating from the room. Kyoko moved forward, flung open the doors, and immediately recoiled in terror.
It was like a flashback, except it seemed all too real. A bloody Takeo Saeki was in front of a very dead Manami Kobayashi, pulling out…something from the woman. Then Takeo slowly turned around to look at the fear-driven individuals in the back of the room. Kyoko’s world went black as the Ju-on spirit approached.
Detectives Kamio and Izuka stood in front of their partner Yoshikawa’s house. Kamio couldn’t help but be concerned for him after the Murakami case. He had suffered a complete mental breakdown afterwards. They made their way to the front door and rang the doorbell. Mrs. Yoshikawa answered.
“Excuse me, but I’m Kamio Yuzu and this is Izuka Igarishi. We’re Yoshikawa’s partners.” Kamio said.
“I know who you are.” She replied, bitterly.
“We wanted to check up on him. Is he here?”
“No he isn’t. Please leave.” She said, and shut the door.
They wouldn’t give up so easily. Kamio and Izuka walked around to the back and peered through the shrubbery. Sitting on the porch was Yoshikawa, staring blankly into space. Yoshikawa tilted his head towards the two cops, and started a godawful scream. Mrs. Yoshikawa rushed to her husband’s aid and begged at the cops.
“Please! Just leave!” she shouted, and they did so.
Kamio and Izuka sat in their tan sedan, watching a sullen-faced Nobuyuki Suzuki walk towards Keisei Jr. High.
“Wasn’t that kid found in an abandoned house a few weeks ago?”
‘Yeah. His grandparents were found dead along with his aunt. His uncle is still missing.”
“I recently found out that he lived in the apartment where the Kobayashi murder took place. Mr. Kobayashi was found in the attic of the Murakami house after they died or disappeared. Only this kid is still alive.”
“How did Yoshikawa go crazy?”
“He saw a photo of Mrs. Yoshimi Kitada, now missing, and just broke down.”
“Show me that photo.”
Back at the Yoshikawa household, Mrs. Yoshikawa had stumbled upon a very dead Mr. Yoshikawa, eyes frozen in fear, staring at the ceiling. She heard a weird noise, a croaking, above her. She turned to see the image of Kayako Saeki, eyes moving back and forth, suddenly locking onto her. She joined her husband in the corner before silently becoming part of the ring of horror.
Izuka was sitting on a plastic bench outside of the evidence room of the Saitama police station. Before long, Kamio emerged, in his hands Yoshikawa’s photograph and a photo of Yoshimi Kitada before she moved in the house.
“What do you notice about these two photos?” Kamio said as he handed the photos to Izuka.
“Well, her appearance has changed drastically, and…”
“Who does she look like, Izuka?”
Izuka realized it.
“She looks like…”
“Exactly like Kayako Saeki.”
Kamio plucked the photos of Yoshimi away and pulled out a lighter.
“Kamio!” Izuka shouted.
“I don’t care what they’ll say about me, but I believe in curses. I now fully withdraw myself from this case.”
Kamio proceeded to burn the pictures, setting them down in an ashtray. Kamio, with a calmed expression on his face, re-entered the evidence room. Izuka sat down on the bench, staring at the smoldering pictures. He pulled out a scrapbook and flipped to see a picture of Kayako in happier times. He felt a hand tap his shoulder and turned around to see Detective Anjou.
“Excuse me Izuka, but there’s a woman here to see you and Kamio.” She said in a pleasant tone.
“Fine, fine.” Izuka said as he got off the bench and started to walk to the front office. Anjou’s voice stopped him.
“Izuka, I noticed you have a picture of the woman who’s here.”
Izuka was shocked.
“You mean this woman? Right here?” he said as he pointed to Kayako’s picture.
“Yes. What’s wrong?”
“This woman’s been dead for a year.”
They didn’t see the shadowy figure of Kayako float into the evidence room. A half-second later, Kamio burst out of the room, screaming and pointing.
“Kamio!” Izuka and Anjou shouted.
Kamio didn’t respond, still screaming.
“Calm down, Kamio! Calm down!”
Izuka ran into the evidence room, Anjou following him. Their screams were muffled inside the room.
Kamio, still in shock, glanced in fear at the evidence room. Then the croaking started. Kamio glanced down at the floor and saw Kayako emerge from beneath the bench. Without a sound, Kayako pulled the helpless man under the bench and into the darkness.
At Keisei Jr. High, five students remained in Mr. Yubari’s math class, cleaning up. One of these students was Nobuyuki Suzuki. The others, two boys and two girls, were buzzing about the room. Nobuyuki was staring out into the courtyard and torrential rain. The noise inside the room stopped, and Nobuyuki looked over his shoulder to see…an empty room. Everyone had disappeared. He looked back towards the courtyard and there was someone in the rain: a pale woman with long, black hair.
A thump on the window distracted his thoughts. Its origin: a pale, milky hand scratching to open the window. Eventually it was successful, and the pale woman with black hair cracked and crumbled into the room. It lunged for Nobuyuki, a hungry look on her face.
“Kayako.” A voice rang in Nobuyuki’s thoughts.
He found himself at the door of the classroom. With a burst of action, he flung open the door and ran out into the inky black hall. He turned behind him and saw the woman—Kayako—crawling fast for his feet. He resumed running towards the exit. As he ran down the stairs, he saw an impossible image: it was the woman, crawling toward him with her hair over her face. She made a horrible croaking sound—like a death rattle. Another croak joined the other, and Nobuyuki looked towards the ascending stairs. It was the same woman. There were two of them. He gasped one more time and exhaled as a strange new power took over him. Then, his entire world went black.
There were now two figures inside the art room, and about a thousand outside. One was Nobuyuki, now succumbed to the Ju-on. The other 1,001 were duplicates of Kayako Saeki.
Outside the school in the courtyard, it was still raining heavily. Along with the sound of rain on the concrete, 1,000 more croaks rung out in the air. Kayako Saeki and her many multiples stood on the concrete, croaking into the fading sky.
Many, many years later, four schoolgirls were in the house. To be more specific, they were in Kayako and Kanna’s room, giggling as they gossiped. Of course, they broke into the house, but it wasn’t for value.
The main leader, Saori Aki, was looking around the closets and such when she found a long brown bottle. Sake.
“What did you find, Saori?” Chiaki Ishigura said. She was flipping through a discarded magazine.
“It’s sake.” She replied as she took a big swig from it. She immediately started coughing and gasping.
“That’s no sake.”
“Guys, I really think we should leave.” Izumi Toyama said with a whimper as she stood up.
“Why do you have to be so chicken, Izumi?” Ayano Matsubara scolded.
“I don’t care! I’m leaving.” Izumi yelled as she exited the room. Chiaki started to follow her, but she was at the foot of the stairs. She seemed transfixed, in shock. She then proceeded to run out of the house and into the afternoon.
Outside the house, Izumi was crying as she left, realizing what would become of her friends.
She ran down the street and turned the corner as Kayako Saeki proceeded to attack, creating the new curse: the Ju-on would continue.
TO BE CONCLUDED IN
“JU-ON: THE GRUDGE”