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East Asian Contemporary Horror

Kazuto’s friends had invited him to their party. The party was at Hiro’s place, in the quiet and suburban areas of the city. It was in a newer residential area too, which meant that he didn’t have any neighbors around; besides the one or two that were few and far between.

Without anything else to do, without work or any assignments or anything else he wanted to worry or simply deal about—Kazuto, with a sigh of slight reluctance, put on his clothes that evening and went out.

The place was dark, with lights only turned on here and there, one and two along the hallways, like streetlights in the night. There were streamers hung around, and there, too, was a disco ball Hiro had just recently bought for no other reason than this little party; then again, this party wasn’t so much of a little party, with the amount of people around.

And so the night was submerged and colored in this low, ambient lights of purple and dark blues and rare yellows and pinks moving around like ballet dancers and quiet spotlights in the dark, moving to the winks of the ball spinning and twinkling above like some starry constellation.

Simply watching everyone else move around, Kazuto stood against the wall, tucked away in a corner, quiet as the night moved right before his eyes. He had been drinking a lot, not that he intended to, it was just that that was all that he could do—he didn’t feel like talking or chatting around, he didn’t even want to in the first place; nor did he feel like moving to the music, it was just too much trouble for him, so he’d rather just stay away from it all and be a silent observer; in which case, brought him into drinking and drinking, glass after glass, without his notice.

But he didn’t mind—the alcohol in him made him feel dreamy; even the music playing around seemed to have that touch of dreaminess, and it just seemed and felt as if the music itself were playing and dancing along the lights and their streaming colors, red and purple and pink and yellow and blue…

It just felt that way, as if the world were lost—as if reality itself, and the night right before his eyes, had submerged into a dream…

Where everything grew muffled and sleepy, yet brightened and heightened in some quiet sense…

Quiet yet loud…

There were J-Pop songs playing, mainly those that were remixed—Makoto must’ve gone and simply searched for nightcore music on YouTube; Kazuto wasn’t mad or anything, Makoto didn’t choose only EDM songs this time; at least he didn’t only pick his favorites and whatever song that fit his tastes—at least, Kazuto could say that he rather liked the songs he had on at the moment. Whether it was the alcohol or not, he didn’t know—then again, he didn’t care.

There were a few Western songs playing too, which was rare to find Makoto playing. There were songs like Halsey’s Without Me or Zedd’s The Middle. What stood out to him was a song Kazuto hadn’t heard in a long time, Cody Simpson’s La Da Dee. He had liked it once, back in senior high, and despite not knowing the meaning in the lyrics due to his incompetence in English in general, Kazuto used to put this song on his earphones whenever he felt like it. He wasn’t much of a Western fan, and he only knew some of the songs because of how famous they were or how his friends, those who liked Western music, would mention them without end.

This one however, despite its name, he liked it; even if he didn’t know why…

At one point in his reverie of night, Hiro came up to him without his notice, smiling with usual warm smile, his best smile— coming up beside him, asking, “You’ve been drinking a lot. Enjoying the party?”

“So-so,” Kazuto replied, taking another sip.

Hiro nodded. “Sorry to hear about her. I hope this party helps,” he said, then looked at Kazuto’s glass. “Or the alcohol.”

“I don’t feel like talking about her. Yui broke up with me, and that’s it. Nothing else to say. It’s just a simple fact.”

“But I know it must hurt.”

Kazuto clamped his mouth shut, then took another sip, feeling his chest tighten. He didn’t want to think about it.

“You would’ve come here with her if that didn’t happen, right?” Hiro said, venturing a guess.

Reluctantly, Kazuto simply said, “Mm,” as if to let out something off his chest. It pained feeling so cramp inside.

Then, feeling like he needed to, he asked, “Is Yui here tonight?”

Hiro shook his head. “No, didn’t see her show up.”

She probably just didn’t want to see me, Kazuto thought.

Eventually, someone called Hiro over.

To that, he turned to Kazuto and said, “I need to attend to something. Enjoy the night, as much as you even can.”

With that, Hiro was gone. Kazuto felt something sour upon his tongue, mixed in with all the burn elsewhere. It wasn’t that he hated Hiro at that instant, he couldn’t; he couldn’t just hate his closest friend— it was just that he hated that all he did was come and remind him of her.

Usually, the best place for him was by her side—there were times where he’d come to her place and they would just cuddle through the night; yet now, even that thought brought with it a painful snap at heart. If he couldn’t be by her side, let alone imagine it— what else could he even do?

He tried to drink it all away, yet it brought nothing but further dizziness and further burn.

Now, if he looked at the crowd—all he’d see were images of her, and she was all that he was searching for…

Feeling as if it were turning insane, Kazuto left his corner and decided to go to the bathroom.

He felt dizzy and confused, but he at least knew the layout of Hiro’s house. He’d been here a couple of times, so this shouldn’t be any trouble.

Passing people, he eventually entered a dark room, this was the bathroom and he knew it was. Though he couldn’t see a thing. He didn’t bother switching on the light either, so he simply drifted in, his mind wobbling back and forth.

He could, at least, make out the basic outline of the things around him—both through memory and through the slight bit of light there even was.

The mirror was here by the side, the sink beneath it. He could see the glass pane separating the rest of the bathroom and the shower and he could barely see the outline of the shower placed high above and the knob below; he could also see the outline of a person standing there. Besides that, the toilet sat silently there, right in front of him, a meter or two away; and on it, he could see someone sitting there, and through the darkness, he spotted two piercing white eyes…

Nothing unusual; everything’s where he it should be, and it’s just a matter of getting there, Kazuto thought. And he wanted to go to the toilet seat, so that was the easiest of them all; he didn’t need to open the glass doors to the shower or the tap on the sink. It was a simple journey.

But just then, walking straight for the toilet, he felt something—he felt some sort of darkness envelop him, it felt cold yet warm at the same time; and it felt alive, as if the thing enveloping him were breathing.

Like a live blanket…

And just then, before a thought could come up from his hazy mind— he blacked out without a word.

May 08, 2021 03:51

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