Back to Dreams Part 2
I looked at Akira. Now Akira and Erika had joined Kana’s family to try to hold Kana down. My friends were fighting against a knife while I was standing with weak knees and wishing that this was just a dream. I told myself to get my shit together and stop Kana. I tried to get a hold of her swinging arm.
I’m pretty sure my adrenaline was running high, but Kana swung me off easily. I had no idea in Kana’s petite figure this much strength had been stored. She had managed to push everyone off as everyone continued to try stopping her from stabbing herself. After a long fight, we finally managed to hold Kana down on the floor. More minutes had gone by and she finally stopped struggling to get out of the hold.
Her family loosened their tight hold for a second.
That mere second, Kana whispered “Not needed..I’m not needed” She gashed on her face with a knife multiple times, then stabbed her stomach deeply.
It happened so fast. Kana’s sister frantically started crying and screaming next to Kana. Her mother was covered in Kana’s blood, pressing on her daughter’s stomach wound trying to stop the bleeding.
Kana’s father ran to the phone and called the ambulance. Kana’s stomach was bleeding so much that the entire floor and most of the wall was covered in blood. Her arm was so damaged it was barely attached to her shoulder anymore, hanging by just skin. There were multiple wide, deep cuts over her face. Akira, Erika and I were standing there shaking. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
We heard two sirens approaching, the ambulance and the police. The neighbor had heard the noise and called the police. Kana was immediately taken to the hospital by ambulance. Her family accompanied her. The police took us to the station.
Since we were underage, our parents were called in as well. The police briefly questioned us about how Kana had been acting lately. When we were done, Akira approached me and showed me the ball in his pocket. He told me to come to his house the next day.
I spent a sleepless night and went to Akira’s house the next morning. I found Erika sitting on his front porch. She told me she had visited Kana in the hospital earlier. But no visitor was allowed and her family was in no condition to talk.
We were taken to Akira’s grandfather’s room where he was waiting for us.
Grandfather: “ We have to talk, but before I start..”
His grandfather hit both Erika’s and my head with his fist.
Me: “Why’d you hit me for?”
Grandfather: “ You should be grateful that this was all you got! You could have ended up like that Kana girl!”
Akira’s grandfather started talking to us about the ball:
“The ball” was made in ancient times. Nobody knows exactly when, but we are talking centuries ago.
A young man named Sosuke was studying “dream” to figure out its mechanism.
Sosuke believed that dreams had power. Sometimes people dream about the person that they have never met, or the things they had never seen or heard, and some time later, these dreams would become reality. By understanding how dreams occur, Sosuke believed he could use the power of dreams to help people.
He travelled through different villages interviewing people about their dreams.
It was during one of these trips that Sosuke was invited by a village leader to his house. The leader had heard about Sosuke’s activity and wanted to see if he could help his daughter, who had been having trouble sleeping due to recurring nightmares.
Sosuke gathered all of his knowledge and conducted therapy sessions for the daughter. In a few days, her nightmares stopped and she found herself sleeping restfully every night.
The leader was extremely grateful to Sosuke. He ordered the villagers to build a new house for him and asked Sosuke to stay in his village. Sosuke was hesitant. His study was still in the process.
But at the same time, he was deeply impressed by the warm hospitality of the villagers. People of the village treated Sosuke like their family. He was happy in the village. After much consideration, Sosuke decided to accept this offer.
Sosuke quickly earned the respect from the whole village due to his sincere personality. The daughter of the leader seemed to take a liking to Sosuke. The leader of the village openly discussed that he would like Sosuke to marry his daughter and take over the role of the village leader. Everything was going well for Sosuke for a while.
However, there was one person who did not appreciate Sosuke’s presence at the village.
A servant at the village leader’s house was an ambitious man. He was aiming for the position of next village leader. He even got his job as a servant at the leader’s house for the sole purpose of seducing his daughter, so that he could marry her and be the next head of the village. He was looking for ways to get rid of Sosuke.
One day, this servant overheard the conversation of other servants. They were gossiping that the daughter had been getting erotic dreams lately. The daughter was raised in a very conservative and strict household. Prior to her therapy sessions with Sosuke, she had had no experience talking to any male in her age except the servants.
As the daughter was going through teenage, it was only natural that she started to have interests in the opposite sex. It was everyone’s knowledge that she had feelings for Sosuke.
However, this servant decided to use this to turn the situation against Sosuke.
The servant told the leader “The reason your daughter’s been having erotic dreams is because Sosuke implanted that in her. He approached you with the intention of getting your daughter and your position.”
The leader was furious. With or without the daughter, he was going to give Sosuke the position anyway. But using his daughter like this and taking advantage of her feelings was a complete betrayal from him. The leader called Sosuke and severely criticized him. Sosuke claimed his innocence.
But the leader was having none of it. It was Sosuke’s words against the words of a loyal servant of many years. On top of that, Sosuke was the only person that everyone believed to have the ability to manipulate other people’s dreams.
The leader gave Sosuke 2 weeks to stop the daughter’s erotic dreams. Sosuke did everything he could think of to stop the daughter’s dreams, but all of his effort brought the reverse effect. For the daughter, day by day, her crush was right in front of her eyes giving attention to her. It only accelerated the frequency of the dreams.
Meanwhile, the servant walked around the village spreading bad rumors of Sosuke among the villagers. Most of the rumors were fabricated by the servant.
The villagers’ attitude toward Sosuke started to change. Sosuke depended his life in the village on the neighbors. He would get food from the other villagers in exchange for doing odd jobs around their houses.
But nobody gave him a job or offered him food anymore. Sosuke was deeply devastated. Eventually, every last relationship with the villagers was gone and he had no idea why. He had no food or money.
In the end, the stress drove Sosuke insane.
Sosuke, in a mad state, came up with a crazy idea. He thought if dreams occur inside people’s heads while they sleep, he could observe their dream by looking inside their heads. He started hunting tourists and villagers who went to the remote area. Day after day, he cracked their heads open to look inside their head.
10 days later, Sosuke appeared at the village leader’s house. He handed the leader a small ball, and told him that the ball would cancel the erotic dream of the daughter at once, and that it would help getting good dreams only. Then he walked away.
The leader gave his daughter the ball as Sosuke told him to. Her erotic dreams stopped at once. She started getting good dreams only.
The leader thought that this was Sosuke’s apology and he decided to forgive him. The dispute between the leader and Sosuke seemed to have settled at last.
But this wasn’t the end.
In less than one week, his only daughter killed herself by cutting up her own body.
The leader suspected that Sosuke’s ball had something to do with it.
But by this time, he couldn’t find either the ball or Sosuke.
Then the real nightmare came to the village. Other villagers started dreaming good dreams, and after a while, they killed themselves by cutting up their own body.
The leader thought it was a curse of Sosuke.
The rest of the village started losing sleep. They were so afraid of being the next victim. They tried to avoid sleeping as much as they could.
A monk passed by the village one day. He saw the abnormal atmosphere that surrounded the village and went to the leaders’ house to ask what was going on. After hearing Sosuke’s story, the monk told the leader
unless you find the ball and deal with it, the situation would continue to get worse.
The monk decided to find the missing ball and save the village. He went to the house that Sosuke lived in, and told the villagers to search the house. The villagers claimed they had already searched every corner in Sosuke’s house before and did not find any ball.
But the monk was adamant that it was there.
At first, it seemed like the villagers were right. There was no ball in the house.
The monk told them to dig under the floor.
They ripped off the floor and started digging into the ground.
They couldn’t believe what they had found.
Under his house was a rotten corpse of Sosuke, hugging 4 balls in his chest.
The monk, who was covering his mouth with his hand trying not to puke, told the villagers to contact the puppeteer from his hometown and tell him to come to the village immediately.
Everyone else was ordered to stay away from the house until the puppeteer arrived.
A couple days later, the puppeteer arrived. He went inside Sosuke’s house with the monk and spent one night inside. The next morning, they both came out with 4 wooden boxes.
The monk told the villagers how the balls were made.
The ball was made of concentrated human brains, human ashes and blood. For the shiny coating, Sosuke would mix his own blood with Japanese lacquer and coated the ball with it. In order to make sure that each stroke was applied with utmost anger and grudge, Sosuke cut himself before each stroke of the brush.
This method is known as a black magic called “Yumemi”, though the monk had no idea where Sosuke had learnt about it. It is a powerful magic that could bring deadly results if done in a correct way.
The rule of this black magic is to make 4 balls. Each ball had a different level of concentration. Generally, the shiny-er the ball, the stronger the curse.
The monk and puppeteer told the villagers that each of the 4 balls were placed in a separate wooden box and sealed with talismans, and that they would deal with the ball No.3 and No.4, the less concentrated ones.
But the ball No.1 and 2, the more concentrated balls, could not be handled by the monk or the puppeteer. Since they were not the original target of Sosuke’s curse, the 2 balls wouldn’t allow the monk or puppeteer to handle them.
The villagers had to take care of them by themselves. They made the villagers promise that they would keep the boxes in the place that nobody knew or could find, and to never open the boxes for any reason.
The monk and puppeteer left the village with ball No.3 and No.4. After returning home, they each built a temple with an underground storage to keep the ball hidden from the rest of the world.
They sealed the wooden box inside the storage room and made sure the box would be kept there and watched by the person in charge of the temple even after their death.
I asked Akira’s grandfather
Me: “So you mean…the abandoned temple belonged to the monk or the puppeteer…right? And they were friends so.. Does that mean the other storage room is somewhere near too?”
Grandfather: “Yes. The puppeteer was our ancestor.”
Akira: “What? Are you serious? How come you never told me this?”
Grandfather: “Because it wasn’t the time yet. Or would it have made your life merrier if I did?”
Akira : “….”
Grandfather: “It’s in the shed at the far end of our house. I change the lock every year.”
Grandfather: “When the last monk left the temple, I told him to bring it with him. But I guess he chickened out…”
Akira’s grandfather looked at the floor with a bitter expression, as if it was his own mistake.
Akira: “So what’s gonna happen to the Yumemi in the temple? Are you going to take care of both boxes now?”
Grandfather: “No. I can’t have two boxes in one place. I had the wooden box fixed and sealed with a new talisman. I’ve asked a monk that I know to take care of the box from now on.”
Everybody exhaled with relief.
Erika, who’d been quiet, opened her mouth.
Erika: “Kana… She’ll get better right? If she survived the injuries?”
Grandfather: “I’m sorry. She wouldn’t be the same person even if she made it. I never heard that anyone survived the Yumemi.”
Erika started crying.
3 days later, Kana died in the hospital.
End of Story