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Happy Birthday

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It's finally my eighteenth birthday, thank God. In just a few months, I would be going to study at a Japanese university in Tokyo. I've been obsessed with everything Japanese for as long as I can remember. My Japanese is okay, but not great. I hope going over there will help my Japanese. Plus, Japanese people are gorgeous. That's just a bonus. 

"Happy birthday, Aiden!" my mother said as she walked through the door. She had a golden box in her hand that looked Japanese. Oh my god, was that my gift? Please tell me it is. It looked antique.

"Here's your birthday present, sweetie," she said warmly, "I bought this at the antique shop down the road. This box has quite a story to it, as well. Have you heard of Amatsu-Mikaboshi?" she asked. 

"Yeah, that's the Japanese deity of evil. Why?" I asked, confused. 

"Well," she began, "legend has it that this box belonged to a cult in Japan trying to summon him. The cult was very famous in Japan, but one day their meeting place was burned to the ground with them all in it. This was the only thing that survived the fire. Nobody knows who or what started the fire."

Mom, why would you give me a box that belonged to a cult trying to summon a god of evil? That's like bringing me a Satanic relic and going.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY. ENJOY THIS RELIC OF THE DARK LORD, SATAN. WANT SOME CAKE?"

"Thanks, Mom." I said, trying to be as happy as I could. I took it from her hands and I was surprised. It was extremely light and covered in a gold and white design. It was actually quite beautiful. It had the characters for "Evil" etched into the top. I tried opening it, but it wouldn't open. What the hell? 

"Oh, yes," Mom said, "it's locked. The man who ran the shop told me that the box chooses who can open it. It last belonged to a boy in Mexico."

"Why'd he get rid of it?" I asked. Obviously he had to have a reason to get rid of something this old and beautiful. 

"The owner didn't know. He got it while he was in Mexico on vacation. He said the boy just gave it to him and said that he didn't want it." she said. 

"And you don't find that strange at all?" I asked. 

"Oh, honey," she laughed, "those are just legends. You don't need to listen to them; they're just for fun." she said as she looked at the clock. "Oh my god! Honey, I have to leave, or I'll be late for work and my boss will have my head. When I get home we'll have cake and open the rest of your presents. I love you." she said as she kissed me on the forehead and walked out of the room. 

Hmmmm, this box was intriguing. It had a hell of a legend, too. The box chooses who can open it, my ass. I was gonna find a way to open it. It was so light it probably had nothing in it, but it's worth a try. I got up and sat it on my desk and walked downstairs, went outside, and got in my car. I was going out to eat with my friend and then headed to his house for a while for my birthday. My mom doesn't get home until about ten anyway.

~Later that night~

It was about eight o'clock when I got home. I walked inside, took off my new leather coat, and hung my keys up. God, tonight was so crazy. I actually had my first kiss; it was amazing. Yeah, I know, eighteen years old and just now getting my first kiss. It was so worth the wait, though. It was from my friend, Eric. He was the first one I came out to back in eighth grade and he's been my best friend ever since. We didn't do much other than the kiss, we watched movies and cuddled on his couch. This love thing was great. Suddenly my phone in my pocket vibrated. I pulled it out and saw it was from my mom. 

"Hey, honey! I'm sorry, but I won't be home until one AM or so. A guy came in with a heart attack and we have to perform an emergency operation. Your gifts are in the closet and your cake is in the fridge. Be home later! Love you!"

Just great, I kind of wanted to have my birthday with my mom. My father passed away from brain cancer about five months ago and I'm an only child, so I kind of wanted at least someone here. Oh well, I'm used to being alone. At least I spent the night with Eric. I might as well open the rest of my presents. 

I opened the rest of my presents and they were pretty nice. I got some new jeans, a phone case, some shirts, and some money. I went to the fridge to get some cake. Yes! She got ice cream cake! I love ice cream cake. I cut a slice and dang, it was the best ice cream cake I had ever eaten. It was late, I guess I should take a shower. 

I took off my clothes and started the hot water when I heard something weird. It sounded like a type of chanting. I figured it was our crack head neighbors and just ignored it. While I was in the shower, the only thing I could think of was that box. Why would someone try to summon Amatsu-Mikaboshi? From the myths I've read, he wasn't evil in a Satan sense. He was a dark form that led people to be destroyed in a physical and emotional sense. He would drive you crazy with lust or greed until you eventually destroyed yourself. Later on, he became related with evil creatures in a slave like relation ship, but I still don't understand why someone would try to summon him.

I got out of the shower, dried off, put on my clothes, and went to my room. I sat on my bed and opened my laptop when I noticed that I had a new Facebook message. It was from Eric. 

"Hey, Aiden. I wanted to be the last one to wish you happy birthday. Tonight was so amazing. I guess it's obvious that I like you a lot, haha. To be honest, I've liked you for a long time, but I've been too afraid to say anything because of how you might react. I like everything about you. Your intelligence, your good looks, your pure heart, your hilarious personality, everything about you is perfect to me, even the way you walk. Can you call me when you get this? I want to ask you something." 

I started to blush when I read that. I've liked him for a while, too. This has honestly been the perfect night. 

I ran to my cell phone, dialed his number and waited for him to answer. I was so nervous as to what he was going to ask me. 

"Hi, Aiden." he answered. 

"Hey, Eric. You wanted me to call you?" My heart was pounding a million times a second. 

"Yeah, well I guess you read my message. I wanted to know if we could take it to the next level. You know, date. Will you be my boyfriend?' he asked. 

"Of course I will." I answered. The sheer bliss that ran through me at that moment was ineffable. "Hey, do you wanna come over? I know I just left your house, but I kind of want to be with someone right now." I said. I don't know how to explain it, but I was afraid. That box was still on my mind and so were the legends. 

"Yeah, I only live like five minutes away. Are you okay?' he asked, worried. 

"Yeah, just get over here soon, please."

"I'm on my way." The phone cut off. Thank god, I was really creeped out tonight. 

I walked over to the box and examined it carefully. This thing was beautiful, why was it creeping me out so much? I looked around the box for a way to open it. There were words etched into the bottom of the box, too. They were in a mixture of Japanese and Korean and Latin. Huh, that's weird, thankfully I'm a polyglot. All of the words flowed together, in a sort of a rhythm. When I finished reading it off, I heard a click. The top of the box had clicked open. Okay, now that's super creepy. Inside of the box was a piece of paper. I picked up the paper and it had English writing on it. Huh, I guess they tried to make it diverse. 

"Thank you." That's all it said. Wait, what? "Thank you", that's it? I read over it about ten times when I suddenly heard a knock at the door. 

"It must be Eric, thank God." I said. I put the piece of paper down and closed the box. I walked down the stairs and opened the door.

"Aiden!" He said with a happy smile. Something wasn't right. I mean, it was him. It was still the same tall, blonde, blue-eyed guy, but something was different. "Why don't we go upstairs? I'm here for you now." 

"Yes, please. Let's go." I told him. 

We walked up the stairs holding hands. I just needed to relax. They were just stories. They aren't real and I have my boyfriend now. I'm okay. 

We got to my room. He walked over to the box and eyed it very carefully. 

"Wow, that's a very pretty box. Was it a birthday present?" he asked, picking it up.

"Yeah," I said. I know Eric, he normally wouldn't care about anything antique. What was up with him? "It apparently belonged to a cult in Japan trying to summon a god of darkness."

He smirked. "Ah, that's all nonsense." He put the box down and looked at me. "I'm here for you." He began to lean in to kiss me. 

The kiss was heavenly. He then pushed me onto the bed and started taking off his clothes. Whoa, whoa, whoa, I wasn't ready to have sex yet. We hadn't been dating for thirty minutes. 

"Eric," I said pushing him off, "we haven't been dating for long at all. I don't think I'm ready for sex." 

"Come on, babe. Just relax and let it happen." he said, trying to rip my clothes off. What was he doing? He would never do that. 

I pushed him off of me. "Wait, just let me go to the bathroom first." I said. I had to go and figure out was going on. 

"Alright," he said, "hurry back."

I got up and went to the bathroom. I pulled out my phone to check the time. It was only 10:00. I guess I still had to time if I decided to have sex with him. My mom said she would be home at one. Suddenly, I got a text. From Eric. Why didn't he just come to the bathroom if he needed me? I opened the text message.

"Aiden, I'm so sorry. My parents won't let me out of the house this late. Please don't be mad. I love you so much. Are you okay? I can come over tomorrow. I promise."

My heart dropped. No, this can't be happening. Eric was in my room. At least, I thought he was. Who was in my room, though? It did make sense, though. The person who was in my room wasn't acting like Eric at all. 

I slowly crept toward my room and cracked open my door very slightly. I saw him holding the box. Suddenly, his eyes turned black and a long, serpent like tongue extended from his mouth. He, it, whatever it was started to lick the box. 

What was going on? Oh my god, were the legends true? Aiden, think. Think back to every myth you've ever read. What was Amatsu-Mikaboshi's weakness? DAMN IT, he's barely mentioned it anything. Well, salt and water are purifiers in Shinto. It's worth a try. 

I walked slowly down stairs and went into my kitchen. I filled a water gun up with purified water and got a container of salt. Please let this work. 

"What are you doing, Aiden?" a voice said behind me. 

Chills ran through my body. I turned around. "Oh, um, I have a cut in my mouth and I was going to rinse it with salt water."

He looked at me, he obviously didn't buy it. "You know, it's dangerous to lie." He said as he started to walk toward me. 

I began to spray him with water and threw salt on him. Wherever it hit, his skin burned. "WHO ARE YOU?" I shouted. 

His voice turned demonic. "Evil." he said with a maniacal laugh. 

He ran toward me with superhuman speed and knocked me out. When I woke up, I was in my basement. All four of my limbs were tied up. Then I saw him. 

"You know, Aiden, I guess I don't need this form anymore." he said. Then he began to shift into a creature. It stood like a human, but was covered with fur with razor sharp teeth. "My real name is Tomohisa." it said. 

"Please," I begged, "let me go. Why do you want me?" 

"We need you, Aiden. We need you to be our vessel."

"We?" I asked, when suddenly, more of those creatures walked down the stairs. They all looked exactly like him. 

"We need you to be a sacrifice for Amatsu." he explained. "Don't worry, we'll make your death very slow and painful." it said. 

Tomohisa grabbed a dagger and started to carve markings into my body. The only thing I could do was scream. The pain was unbearable. 

"Shhh," Tomohisa said, "you're really giving me a headache." 

Suddenly, Eric walked down the stairs to the basement. 

"Hey, you didn't reply to me text so I snuck ou--- WHAT THE HELL? AIDEN!"

"ERIC!" I yelled. No, please no. He was going to get himself killed. 

"KILL HIM." Tomohisa yelled! 

"ERIC! QUICK! WATER AND SALT DO NOTHING TO THEM INDIVIDUALLY. TRY MIXING THEM TOGETHER AND SPRAY THEM WITH IT." I yelled. 

"SHUT UP, YOU SHIT." Tomohisa yelled. 

Eric ran up the stairs, hopefully doing what I said. Please, let him be okay.

"You little human," Tomohisa began, "you know, we've been searching for a vessel for decades. I'm sure the rest of my minions can take care of your little lover. Do you have any question before you're sacrificed?" he asked. 

"What happened to where you guys met? How was it burned down." I asked. I was trying to stall because I found a sharp point on each side of the table I was tied to. I knew I could cut my way through. 

"Ahhh, that. Well, obviously people weren't happy with what we were trying to do." he began. "Nobody wanted a god of darkness summoned. So, they burned us down. I placed a spell upon that box, though. I made it to where anyone with a pure, but corruptible heart, could read it and open it. I had all of the cult's souls put into the box when the place burned." He explained. Yes, I was almost there. "I've been waiting for this day. Now, it's time. Time for you to die and the master to be summoned." 

Yes, I got the last knot cut. I ran as fast as I could upstairs. I couldn't fight Tomohisa myself. Eric had the salt water, maybe he could help. 

I got upstairs and I saw Eric. He was alive, but he was beaten up. 

"It worked." he said. "They're gone." 

"Good, we have one left. The master." I said.

"Fuck!" he yelled. 

Then Tomohisa walked up the stairs. "It looks like the rest of the cult is gone. Go ahead, kill me. I really don't care anymore. The ritual can't be performed without the entire cult. I'll meet the master in the afterlife." he said.

Eric threw the water at him and he evaporated. 

"It's over." He said with a smile. "It's over." 

I grabbed him and hugged him as tight as I could. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my back. Eric stabbed me. 

"Eric...... w-why?" I asked. 

"Dumb human," his voice began to change, "you think you can kill us with salt water?" Then he morphed into his real form, like Tomohisa. He then threw me to the ground. The pain was too great. I couldn't even speak. Then, the rest of the creatures appeared in front of him. Including Tomohisa. 

Tomohisa opened my pantry and threw Eric's destroyed body onto the floor. "Time for you to join him." He said. Tomohisa walked over to me and whispered into my ear. 

"Happy birthday." He then stabbed me in the heart and everything went black.

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