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Yami Shibai

While on my way home one late afternoon, a distant calling of an old man encircled a handful of people near the neighbourhood park. It was nearly five o'clock, and the children were just on their way to their favourite past-time. The old man gradually came into everybody's view, also eager to begin his favourite part of the evening. A little theatre had been set up right in the middle of the park. The words 'Yami Shibai' were boldly printed across the paper screen. It was the theatre of darkness, a world filled with hair-raising, spine-chilling stories. I decided to stop for a breather, and join in the anticipation.

The stories were brief, yet enough to keep anybody with a short attention span focused. I discovered that the old man had been telling those children scary stories at the park for a rather long time. I hadn't realise it before, since I was fairly new to the neighbourhood. The storytelling was done in the style of paper puppetry, which added some fresh appeal that had been missing in many other stories. The characters and backdrops were reminiscent of the good old days when grandfathers and grandmothers would gather their grandchildren for story time.

Since they were scary stories, naturally I became more excited and craved for even more. The first offering told of a young man who had just moved into a new apartment. He saw something peculiar stuck on the high ceiling. Upon a closer look, he realised that it was a paper talisman. Irritated, the man tore away the offensive object. From afar at the opposite apartment building, a creepy woman had been staring at his actions. The man was a little freaked out by that brief moment, but decided to ignore it anyway.

The next day, after a failed attempt to ask his friend for help in unpacking, the man returned home only to find yet another paper talisman stuck on the same place. Frustrated, he removed it right away. Suddenly, the creepy woman from the opposite building sprang up at him. Apparently, she had broken into his house which explained the slight confusion when the man wanted to unlock the door. Soon, the police were alerted, and the creepy woman was arrested. Her facial expression from the back of the patrol car sent a shiver down the man's bones.  

Of course, the story didn't end there. When the man eventually returned to the apartment, thinking that he would at long last have some peace and quiet, an even more horrific sight greeted him. Beneath the table stuck a whole bunch of paper talismans, one over another. The man had completely lost it this time. What awaited him in the end was something that he wished wasn't real. Unfortunately, it was. The story ended with the voice of the old man: Oshimai. Walking home had never felt so exciting before.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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