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I stared at the screen in disbelief. This has got to be a scam, I thought, scrolling through the email over and over again. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Common sense told me that much, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the details were too fine for this to not be legit. I looked at the attached picture once more and sighed. If this was a scam, it sure wasn't a big one; I mean, a donation of 2000 yen for a lifetime of free service? Maybe I was losing my mind, but that sounded like a risk worth taking even if it turned out to be bullshit. How could I live with myself if I didn't apply for this if it turned out to be true? I already knew I'd beat myself up like there was no tomorrow, and I had no intention of letting that happen. I had to take my chances.Hovering over the link, I took a deep breath before clicking. As I did, the new tab was consumed by a high-resolution photograph of a woman's eyes. They were brown and beautiful with long lashes, their surfaces glistening in apparent joy. Ironically, she didn't appear to have contact lenses as far as I could tell. Under it was a slogan, bringing new visions to your doorstep. Nothing stood out as suspicious at first glance, nor after I was done reading the about and FAQ sections. This was a legitimate business if there ever was one, but I couldn't help but wonder what the catch was.
Filling out the detailed form, I signed up for my share of clarity. Either that, or wasted today's lunch money. Either way, it didn't really matter. The worst case scenario was that someone somehow stole what little amount I had left on my credit card; I hadn't even used it for anything useful in over a year so I wasn't too worried.
A week later, a package was brought to me by a delivery man and I signed the necessary paperwork. It was larger than I'd have expected, definitely containing more than just a pair of lenses. Excited, I sat down on the couch and began to open it. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. Wrapped inside the paper was a basketball-sized wooden box with a lock on it, the keys to which were taped on the lid. Fragile – handle with care was inscribed on the side. I picked up the key and inspected the box closer. It was a finely crafted object, not at all something you'd expect from an unheard of company. Interesting. My hands trembled in anticipation as I penetrated the lock. Click.
Inside, there was no sign of contact lenses. Instead, there was a slimy gob of pale flesh with a single eyeball attached to it. At first I thought it was dead, but then it turned to look at me and wiggled in a manner reminiscent of a hungry puppy. I was disgusted. Its skin was pearly and sweaty, below the eye was a gaping orifice that oozed a thick clear fluid and inside that orifice was a mess of vestigial bones that some would call teeth. Between them, viscous brown chunks floated in the liquid it was constantly gargling with. I couldn't tell whether that hole was a mouth or an anus. Maybe both. It squealed in a way much like a newborn baby and tried to crawl out.
I closed the lid and set the box on the table, wondering. What could this strange creature be? Was it a human fetus with some kind of a rare birth defect or a strange exotic animal? Why was it given to me instead of the contact lenses that I had ordered? It was then that I noticed the piece of paper that had been included in the package. I started reading it and my confusion only deepened.
Breakfast: 8 AM. Bath time: 9 AM. Morning walk: 9:15 AM... the list went on, detailing the thing's daily activities. I looked at the clock. It was five past eight. What was I supposed to feed it? The list neglected to mention the critter's diet. Even more importantly, how could I get rid of it? If I wanted a pet, I'd have bought one already. Yet, I had an inexplicable feeling of responsibility over this tiny, unwelcome little bastard.
Feeling pity, I decided to drop a piece of chicken in the box and watched it disappear into the thing's maw. It was unable to chew, but the fluid seemed to be just barely corrosive enough to turn the meat into mush over the course of five minutes. The eye rolled around in what I could only describe as happiness and satisfaction, pulsating in its undefined socket. I closed the lid again and went about my day as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
When I returned home from work, I noticed a bitter stench emanating from the living room. I took a cautious step forwards and breathed in. The thing couldn't possibly have gotten out of the box, and even if it had, what was the worst it could do? Crawl around, shitting all over the floor? It seemed pathetic above all, not in the least bit dangerous... but I couldn't shake the feeling that this was a bad idea.
As I entered the room, the smell hit me like a wall. It was like dry piss, sweat and shit mixed with pickles, rotten meat and semen. The box was still where I had left it, but it was leaking, overflowing with that small monstrosity's saliva or whatever it was. It had dripped on the table, the carpet and on the laminate. I could hear squelching from inside the box, but was startled by another noise. It was the sound of wet footsteps.
I turned around and saw a naked woman squatting at the back of the room. Her long black hair was messy, her eyes foggy and her skin ashen. Her frame was emaciated and her ribs protruded from her chest below her dried-up breasts. She had no nails on either her fingers or her toes, her limbs were bony and gnarled, her hips jutting out like craggy cliffs from the valley that was her sunken belly. Her lips were chewed-out and chapped, her teeth yellowed and crooked. Dangling between her legs was a stillborn fetus still attached to its mother by the umbilical cord. She swayed slowly from side to side and breathed in a raspy, wet whimper.
Her bones crackling, she took a cumbersome leap towards me and let out a high-pitched, grisly moan. It echoed in my head as my body tensed and my instincts told me to run. I fumbled about in place as my feet slowed down like in a nightmare, time dragging to a halt. Every throb of my heart felt like a jackhammer throughout my body and cold sweat pooled on my eyebrows, beard and armpits. I began to black out because I recognised her face. Thump. I hit the floor.
”My name is Fumiko Terajima and I'm reporting live at the crime scene that has sparked national attention,” I spoke as loudly and clearly as I could, holding the microphone far enough to not cover my face. ”Here, right where I'm standing now, a man was brutally stabbed over a hundred times and his body mutilated beyond recognition. The police have yet to arrest any suspects, but it is thought that an escapee from the neaby Gifu Prison is behind the gruesome crime. He is currently being looked for and law enforcement are asking people to report sightings of the man, Tōru Kagawa.”
”This is what he looks like,” I heard the newsreader's voice in my earpiece. ”Be on the lookout, and remember to report any sightings to the local authorities!” As if it's him, I thought, he's been said to have found God in prison. Men of God don't do things like this... Of course, I knew they sometimes did, but Christian violence was still uncommon, especially extreme acts like this. Then again, what would a newly promoted reporter like me know? After all, I was hired for my looks rather than my brain... that's what the guys say, anyway.
I lit a cigarette and leaned over the rail, gazing down at the river. It flowed gently in the light wind, the setting sun's rays casting glitter across the waves. A group of five girls in school uniforms was sitting at the embankment. They seemed to be having fun, laughing at something on their phones. I bet it was something to do with boys. I missed the times I could be as carefree. It seemed like it had been ages since the last time I had time to relax. The worst part was that I needed more money than this job gave me and needed a second one.
The dick squirmed on the floor as if weeping and drooling. It was a disgusting sight, but I didn't mind. I had a job to do and I would do it; a blowjob. I took the dick in my hand and pushed out my tongue to lick its dribbling mouth. I kissed it as passionately as I could before swallowing it. It got caught up in my throat and made me gag, but I knew I had to get it down no matter what or else I would walk out of this godforsaken room empty-handed.
”Good job,” the man said in a sneerful and gruff voice. His vacant crotch was close enough for me to smell the blood. ”Now, I want you to throw it back up.” You've gotta be kidding me. I couldn't possibly do that, not right after eating it... it would have to go down into my stomach first, and it just wasn't there yet.
Nonetheless, I stuck my fingers as deep into my throat as was physically possible. It had the desired effect and I began to gag again, then cough. Soon vomit was dripping down my chin and the regurgitated cock fell between my knees. Thank God. I had already began to fear that it wouldn't come up. If that had happened, I would've had to eat shit.
”Cut!”, the man behind the camera yelled, excited. ”You did great!” He handed me a towel and a bottle of water, smiling radiantly. This was all just entertainment to him. What a dick... but at least I got to walk away unharmed this time. Last time, my co-star had gotten a bit too excited and given me a black eye. That was a bitch to cover up for my daytime job. It was shit like that that made me consider retirement from this fucked up industry every once in a while, but I needed the money.
I got dressed and took the bus home. Inside, I had a warm shower before watching some shitty cooking show. They taught you how to make some strange Korean cuisine; I'd always found it odd that they eat dogs, but the end result did look appetising no matter how disgusting the ingredients were.
Later, I lied in bed and once again pondered about what would happen if the news station found out about my other job. Not only did I do porn, it was some of the nastiest fetish stuff that you could possibly imagine... the least that would happen would be that I'd get fired and have to cope with the embarrassment that would follow. Thankfully, a fake name and entirely different kind of make-up went a long way, not to mention the wig and sheer absurdity of it all. Some so-called fans did speculate the truth, but the general consensus was that it was just a lookalike.
Just as I was drifting to sleep, I heard clatter from the other room. I jolted wide awake and sat up, clenching the sheets. I could feel my heartbeat inside my head. A shadow swung along the hallway towards me, heavy footsteps knocking the bare floor.
I forced myself to jump out of bed and make a run for the door so I could close it before whoever had broken in could get to me, but he knew what I was planning and dashed forward like a rabid wolf, his figure looming over the frame as I slammed it shut. All I had time to see was a knife that glistened with fresh blood. He began to frantically hammer at the door, each strike pounding it one stretch more. I could hear him grunt obscenities at me, threats of what he would do to me like I was nothing but a piece of meat.
The door would give in at any moment and my only hope was to squeeze out through the window, but my legs trembled in place and I could only take one step forward before instionctionally leaning back against the door as if that made any difference. His punches and kicks got more and more intense as time went by – what felt like hours –, and eventually I had no choice but to do it. The very second my feet were an inch away, he smashed down the only barrier separating us. I ran for the window, screaming for help knowing full well that it was useless.
He raped me. When he was done, he sank the knife in my body countless times from countless angles, slicing pieces of flesh off like butter. I don't know how long he kept going, but at some point I lost consciousness and drifted to sleep; It wasn't a peaceful sleep, but a nightmarish slumber with one eye open from which there was no waking.
Remember those who are in prison as if in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, as you also suffer in the flesh.
To let your mind be consumed by flesh is death, but to let the Spirit into your mind is life and peace.
Who can say ”I have cleansed my heart and am pure from sin”?
He said unto me, ”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
–2 Corinthians 12:9
For he has now himself suffered temptation, he is able to help those who suffer temptation.
After a period of suffering, the God of all grace who has called us unto His eternal glory in Jesus Christ shall Himself perfect, establish and strengthen you.
–1 Peter 5:10
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you fall into temptations, knowing that proving your faith shows patience, and let patience run its course so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.
Do not say ”I will have my revenge.” Wait for God and He shall avenge you.
Clang, clang, clang, the hollow sound of a baton against the bars. Three guards stopped at my cell and brought out a pair of handcuffs. One of them gave me a condescending look and opened the door, telling me to turn around and wait for the cuffs. I waited for the click and did as he told me, following him across the corridor. He told me to sit down and wait. I waited. I had grown patient during the last twelve years. Too patient, some of them said. It just wasn't like me to be a good boy, to obey others. Little did they know, it was all coming together... the time had finally come for me to get my release. All the rage that I had bottled up would be unleashed and I could finally declare myself the man I was meant to be... the man God had made me.
The other prisoners buzzed around me as I was escorted outside, some mocking me and others even spitting at me. I let them. I was a patient man, a man who had purified himself of all sin and turned to the path of light. One more step and the last piece would complete the puzzle...
Before I knew it, I found myself standing on a bridge crossing the Kiso River. The love of my life awaited on the other side, the sun accentuating her beauty. I knew she was still a sinner, but I loved her so much that I was willing to cleanse her. It was my mission to make sure that she, too, would know the love of God and see the light. Soon we would be together in Christ for all eternity. I could already see the pearly gates in my mind's eye, pried open by angels to let us in. Even they would admire our purity as we would be like Adam and Eve before their betrayal. We would be loyal to the Almighty and not submit to the temptations of flesh.
I raised my head and was met with her body, hanging naked on the gnarled branch of a tree. Her eyes had turned inward, unblinking and yellowed but still trembling as tears gushed out. Her mouth was fixed on a wavering frown with thick, foaming drool on the sides, her chest twitching violently as more oozed out. She spattered garbled, nearly unintelligible complaints in a gnawed-out voice, fermented spit spraying out as her swollen, leathery lips rubbed together. They were covered in gruesome, twisted pocks and notches with vomit stretching between her teeth, dried bits detaching with a sickening chalky noise as they ground against one another.
Wet, dark trickles poured down her legs, liquid shit falling on the ground. There were solid clots in the stream, prompting soft thuds as they merged with the soil. Freckles of blood glistened in the blackened sludge like squashed berries. A damp, rancid stench crawled its way into my nostrils, reminiscent of an unflushed toilet and a garbage bin crammed full of spoilt groceries.
I sank on my knees and stared at her. The noose around her neck was tightening with each passing second, dragging vertebrae apart as the spine bent under her own weight. It was clear that she was past the point of no return. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to help her felt like a stone being repeatedly pounded against my skull.
She gargled one last time, hacking up putrid blood and acidic vomit in the most sickening wheezing noise I had ever heard in my life. An assortment of white, sticky bubbles popped in her mouth and splurged down her chin as if mother nature was trying to mock her amorous loyalty; her corpse was left drooling like a demented puppy.
Murky silence spread across the dank air like a swarm of flies.
”Why?” That was the only word I managed to squeeze out of my throat. Slowly, her eyes turned in their sockets, giving me a heartless glance that drilled deep into my soul and sent burning shivers through my heart. She said nothing, but I felt profound shame for whatever it was that had driven her to do this.
As much as I wanted to ignore it, I realised that she wasn't looking at me. She was looking behind me. Slowly, I bent my head around and prepared to face the worst.
There he was, skulking between the trees. The gaunt man with a goat's head and the feet of a crow, taunting me with his yellow-toothed grin. I'd never seen teeth like his before, each splintered with sharp edges as if to mimic some predatory beast. Alive but putrefying, he shuffled in my footsteps with his skeletally thin hands stretched out, clawing at the branches and the trunks. His breath was like sewage and a swollen, blackened tongue hung between the bestial jaws. His mere presence was deafening, a visceral wall of hollow noise rising from the ashen earth in nauseating pulsations like a stygian cluster of primordial serpents bathed in afterbirth.
We stared into each other's eyes, his nothing but bottomless, maggot-infested pits and mine burning with anger. He was responsible. He killed Fumiko. I couldn't explain how I knew, but it was as if I had known him for my entire life, like he had been there all along, waiting – for what, I couldn't yet grasp, but I could already see the forest for the trees. This monster may not have raped and stabbed her, but somehow he was the one that was to blame.
”It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Ms. Narahashi,” he said. His voice was even worse than his stench. ”I would like to make an offer that both of us would profit from. All you need to do is tell me the name of the man who attacked Ms. Terajima and she will wake up.”
His words struck a lightning inside me. ”She can't wake up... she's dead. You killed her.”
”I did, but that means I can also bring her back. All of this can be a dream for you and her alike.”
I couldn't believe what he was telling me. It was too good to be true. Yet, somehow, I knew he was telling the truth. ”What's in it for you?”
He smiled. Maggots crawled out of his mouth and evaporated the second they detached from his tongue. ”His soul,” he said, ”That is what I want. All I need is his name and he can be gone from your lives forever and given a correct punishment for his sins.”
”Kagawa... Tōru Kagawa.”
Something dead awoke. I couldn't tell what it was or where it had come from, but forlornly it dragged itself atop my bedstead and began speaking.
”Hello there, Princess.” His voice was smooth and mellow like syrupy honey poured into my ears, reverberating deep in the tone of a gong above open water. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that was off about it, but I knew there was something wrong with the intonation.
Gathering my courage, I was finally able to muster a response but my voice came out weak and it trembled in tune with my body. ”Who are you?”
”Oh, my sweet little darling,” he began, leaning closer. The stench of old, damp sweat and rotten fish crawled its way into my nostrils. His crooked yellow teeth parted and gave way for a bloated tongue, dribbling urine-coloured spit. ”I am the Devil.”
”What do you want?”
He laughed in the voice of a child and whispered into my ear, ”Mr. Kagawa's soul. All I need is the date he attacked you.”
Written by VerminGoat