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Dec 21st, 2016
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  1. A Trip to Cape Cod That I Won't Forget
  4. Chapter 1
  7. I remember watching a show called Goosebumps on Cartoon Network when I was a little girl. From what I can recall, it was a horror anthology show based on the book series of the same name by R.L Stine. Think of it as a kid's version of something like Tales From the Crypt or The Twilight Zone. Even though I watched the show, I wouldn't call it a masterpiece of television history or anything. You see, the only time I would watch it is when there was nothing else on television because I just found this show to be way too cheesy for me to fully enjoy it. I also found the child actors and even some of the adult actors to be terrible, especially the kid who played Matt Amsterdam in the episode, "Don't Go to Sleep". Look, I'm not saying it was the worst show I've watched, but it had some major flaws that were just too prominent for me to overlook.
  9. When I heard that another kid's horror anthology show based on R.L Stine related works called R.L Stine's: The Haunting Hour was coming to the Hub (Now Discovery Family) in 2010, I was intrigued. At the same time though, I still had my doubts about the show, thinking it was going to be just as cheesy as Goosebumps. When the trailer aired on TV, the show seemed a lot darker AND scarier than the original Goosebumps show, which I thought was a much needed improvement. The acting from both the kids and adults seemed vastly better as well. After the trailer played, I decided to give the show a chance and check out what it had to offer.
  11. I had seen quite a few episodes of this show and I have to say, for a kid's horror anthology series, it wasn't that bad. While it did have a few good episodes such as "Weeping Woman", "Intruders", "Scary Mary", and "The Golem", I wouldn't consider it one of my favorite shows of all time. I guess this was because I found some of the episode plots to be predictable, especially the episodes where a kid sees a monster and no one else believes them until they see it for themselves. I'll give the show some credit. It did at least fix the problems of the original Goosebumps TV series and kept me entertained until the end of an episode.
  13. From what I saw, the series seemed to end in its forth season on the episode "Goodwill Towards Men" and I was rather disappointed that it had ended so suddenly. I think this had to do with the fact that I found it pretty underwhelming for a series finale. After the series ended, I went back and watched a few episodes from season four of The Haunting Hour on the DVR at my mom's house. It was a rather hit and miss season but not anything atrocious. The only episode in the entire series that I considered god awful was Poof De Fromage. Ever since the Goodwill Towards Men episode first aired, I constantly wondered whether or not it was even intended to be the series finale as I always felt like the network wanted to air another episode but couldn't do so for whatever reason.
  15. Chapter 2
  17. When the warmer months came, my brother and I decided to go up to Cape Cod and stay with my mother's friend Erika for a little while, hoping that it would break the crushing boredom we were experiencing at the time. Our mother didn't object to it since she and Erika were on good terms. Not only that but she also felt like we were mature enough to go by ourselves and reminded us to be on our best behavior.
  19. From what I remember, it was a pretty nice place. It was quite tranquil and seemed very remote but it wasn't too far away from any shops or businesses. The house was located on a dead end street and there was a lake near it although I wasn't allowed to swim in it because there was too much algae or something as I couldn't quite remember the exact reason. All I knew was that the lake looked like it had a bunch of tall recycling bins with their tops floating on the surface. It was rather disappointing that I couldn't go in the lake since I grew up near the sea and loved dunking my body in the calm and refreshing waters.
  21. Not only that, but this neighborhood was kind of boring to me. For one thing, there wasn't much to do. There were no basketball courts, baseball fields, or anything of the sort. Heck, there weren't even other kids my age to hang out with! It seemed as though everyone in this neighborhood was around Erika's age, which was about fifty or sixty. To add fuel to my disappointment, it was extremely humid that day, despite the fact that it was cloudy and foggy. The only things that were cooling down the house were open windows and fans. However, even they weren't enough to completely repel the humidity as I still felt very warm.
  23. I was hanging around the house looking for something to watch since my older brother Hunter had already taken up the big living room television that had Netflix on the Blu Ray player. He also covered up the entire couch with as many pillows as he could find to form what he would've called a "marshmallow fortress". I didn't bring many DVDs with me and I had already gotten bored of watching those. That's when I got the idea to browse through Erika's DVD collection since it had a nice variety of different movies and TV shows. Her collection mostly consisted of titles that I hadn't heard of and while some of the show and movie names sounded cool, they didn't seem to interest me once I read the actual summaries on the back of the cases. Oh well, I guess it was better than nothing.
  25. As I was browsing through the collection in her room, I came across this odd-looking DVD case. For one thing, it seemed like the case was large enough to fit a whole VHS tape in it, let alone a DVD. In fact, it reminded me of those clamshell VHS cases that you had to open to get the tape out, rather than just simply sliding it out. When I took the case off the shelf, I looked at the cover and while I was intrigued, it made me raise one of my eyebrows and say "huh?" out loud. Basically, the cover had the title "R.L Stine's: The Haunting Hour: Super Disc" written on it with what I like to call "Microsoft Word Bubble Text". It was kind of like that fancy graffiti that was really colourful and made the text seem like it was popping out at you.
  27. It also had an image of R.L Stine standing in front of a densely foggy purple background that had at least a couple of triangular grey trees with what looked like extremely slender arms for branches that kept overlapping one another. In addition to that, every other branch was either slanted up or down diagonally. R.L Stine himself was standing in the center of the cover with four outstretched arms that obviously didn't belong to him.
  29. One of the left arms looked like it was made out of light silver smoke that had see through holes and scratch marks. It also had three wispy, jagged fingers that were gradually faded at the top. Above the arm, there was an even smaller DVD cover that read "The Haunting Hour: Season 1". The arm on the upper right of Stine's body was a plastic, ivory beige arm with short and stubby fingers. Above that arm was another DVD cover that read "The Haunting Hour: Season 2".
  31. The lower left arm had a bright yellow tuxedo sleeve that nearly covered the arm in its entirety with a hand the size of a baseball mitt. The sleeve had a white circular end with a black button on it that seemed to come from an undershirt with longer sleeves. There was yet another DVD cover hovering over the arm's hand but this time it said "The Haunting Hour: Season 3". The final arm looked like it was made out of cheap light blue fur and had scrawny metal fingers. It held up a DVD cover that read "The Haunting Hour: Season 4".
  33. I was looking at the cover when, at that moment, something had caught my attention. I heard a creaking sound coming from the hardwood floor inside the room. The strange thing was that I had been sitting on the floor quietly, without vigorous movement. I tried to shift my attention back to the DVD cover, hoping that its surreal appearance would distract me from the noises.
  35. However, just when I was starting to relax, I heard another creaking sound that was louder and closer to me than the last. Eventually, another creaking noise had occurred inches away from me and my body had really tensed up. During this time, I was unable to move and breath as I was trying to figure out what was going on. After a little while, the creaking had stopped and I told myself that it was probably just the settling of the house that had caused those creaking noises. I got up off of the floor and prepared to leave the room. As I had gotten close to the door, I felt a strange sensation. I noticed this unpleasant tingling feeling, almost like a million tiny insects were crawling all over my body. This feeling had also made me seem rather jittery, which I tried as hard as I could to keep it under control. I felt a bit of agitation as I seemed like I was being crowded by a group of people, even though I was the only one in the room.
  37. At that time, I felt vulnerable and extremely uncomfortable being alone in Erika's room, even though it was during the day at the time I had found the DVD. I felt like someone or something was hiding in Erika's room, watching me and waiting for me to let my guard down and inflict harm. Not only that, but it felt rather difficult to move. All of a sudden, I had caught something out of the corner of my left eye. I saw a small, shadowy, humanoid figure zipping past the bedroom windows. The strange thing about this situation was that when I saw the figure, there was no one outside that could've made this shadow.
  39. A little while later, Erika came home and as soon as she went into the kitchen to put away some groceries, I asked her about the DVD I had found. Although... she seemed rather stressed out as she was putting away the groceries. The closest thing I got to a response was "Yeah OK, whatever honey!" Even with that said, she didn't really seem to be paying attention to me when she said it. This was rather odd because Erika was rarely ever stressed out.
  41. Don't get me wrong, I was unbelievably impatient on the inside and I did ask her about the DVD with a bit of aggression in my vocal tone. Nevertheless, it seemed like she may have been avoiding the question altogether. Though, maybe it could've been something else that made her stressed out. Was it a long line at the checkout? Did she have a bad day at work? Or was it a hectic drive home? I honestly had no clue. All I knew was that I felt really fraught around her at that moment.
  43. Chapter 3
  45. I went upstairs to my "Temporary Bedroom" which was really a room no one was using at the time of my visit. This room had two types of beds in it. Leaning up against a wall in the middle of the room was a daybed with white railings on three of its sides. It also had a thick, navy blue comforter with a couple of white blankets underneath. On the right side of the room was a queen sized bed with a camouflage coloured comforter, two light green hypoallergenic pillows, and a memory foam mattress.
  47. My room also had a television with a stand that was on wheels. Not only did it have a VHS player underneath it, but a DVD player as well. The television didn't have cable because Erika couldn't really see the need for it when her grandkids brought their own movies to watch up there anyway. As you can imagine, my entertainment options were very limited. Before I viewed the DVD, I decided to look for another fan because the fan in my room wasn't working right and the room was as hot as a sauna. I had looked in my closet but much to my dismay, I only found a few empty coat hangers sitting on the thick, wooden rod.
  49. Thinking that there was a fan in another part of the house, I left my room and proceeded down the stairway. As I was walking down the stairs, my heart started to beat rather quickly and I had felt rather faint. Since I thought these feelings were occurring from overheating, I took a few deep breaths and continued on my way. I went into one of Erika's spare bedrooms to see if there were any fans in there. I opened up the closet and a towering pile of forgotten objects had toppled over and buried me. I soon heard Erika's voice grow louder as she got closer to the room. She hastily dug through the rubble until she found me lying on the ground, moaning in pain.
  51. "Are you alright?!" asked Erika. She also wondered if I had gotten a concussion from the rubble.
  53. "Nope!" I responded cheerfully.
  55. Although I didn't get a concussion, I did get a couple of nickel sized bruises on my forehead. I went on to say that I was looking for a fan to put in my room. She let out a couple of small chuckles and proceeded to crawl underneath the bed. When she emerged, I was given a fan that was one foot high and had a square base. The cord was wrapped tightly around its neck like a snake and there were four buttons on the base, each with their own colour. The high setting was red, the medium setting was white, the low setting was blue and the off button was black.
  57. "Oh boy!" Erika said with concern, "It looks like you've got bruises all over you! Maybe you should go upstairs and rest for a while." I agreed and gave Erika a hug. While I was heading off to my room, I noticed that I was slightly limping and I felt rather sore. It was even worse when I had to climb up the stairs because it seemed as though somebody was whacking my leg bones from the inside of my body. By the time I reached my room, my legs had turned into jelly as I could barely stand without feeling extremely sore.
  59. Regardless, I had started up the DVD player in my room. I opened the disc tray and the DVD case. When I picked up the DVD, I saw that it had the season and episode number along with the actual name of the episode which was titled: "Samurai Shōjo o Shōkan!" At first, I thought I had gotten the Japanese version of the episode. When I thought about it again though, this wasn't the first time The Haunting Hour had a foreign sounding title. Poof De Fromage, as I recall, was the first episode with a title like this so it didn't seem that strange to me.
  61. Chapter 4
  63. I was itching to find out what was going to happen in this episode. With my hard-to-contain excitement, I quickly put the disc into the DVD player and sat down on the daybed. However, instead of showing all the "FBI warning" screens, distributor logos, and the network logo, it had cut straight to the intro of the show. The quality of the intro was so sharp and the motion was so fluid that while it was playing, I was unable to blink and I had gotten a bit of a headache from it.
  65. Keep this in mind. I wasn't watching this on a big high definition television. Instead, it was one of those little, "Camel" televisions with the big backs on them. I had also made sure to give myself enough distance from the television to the daybed to prevent eyestrain. Besides, the television screen itself wasn't that big to begin with. From what I remember, the screen was quite miniscule. In fact, if you took a ruler sized throw pillow and put it near the television screen, the pillow would've covered the screen in its entirety. It felt rather odd to me since the room itself was quite large and it made the TV look as though it had been shrunken down. For that matter, I had also felt very small staying in that room as it seemed liked I was the size of a mouse compared to most of the furniture in there.
  67. When the intro was done playing, instead of showing the name of the series, it cut to a DVD menu that contained the episode "Samurai Shōjo o Shōkan!". Not only that, but the menu had also included a few other Haunting Hour episodes as well. There were two episodes from season two (Bad Feng Shui and Dreamcatchers), three episodes from season three (Weeping Woman, Intruders, and Uncle Howee), and three episodes from season four (Grandpa's Glasses, Spores, and Lotsa Luck). At first, I was a bit miffed by the small episode count but that had quickly dispelled when I realized that I didn't have anything else to do.
  69. I took a good look at the menu to decide which episodes to watch after I had seen "Summon The Samurai Girl!" But then again, maybe this new episode would satisfy me enough to where I didn't need to watch another episode in a single sitting. After I planned my "playlist", I clicked the samurai episode and it had begun to play.
  71. Chapter 5
  73. This episode started out with a cold opening, where the initial establishing scene would play before the opening credits. Though to be honest, some of the episodes in this series had started out that way so this didn't seem unusual to me. In this opening, a battle between Japan and another country was taking place. There were multiple, three second scenes of soldiers running across a vast green field and clashing with each other that had me on the edge of my seat. In these scenes, the Japanese army, in which the soldiers are samurai, used weapons such as Katana swords, fans, and some scythe-like weapons. After that montage of fights, the episode cut to a scene where a group of samurai were chasing down a soldier from the invading army on horseback. As they were chasing the soldier, he made a sharp turn into a forest, hoping to escape the samurai.
  75. When the samurai entered the forest, they split up and searched the area for the missing soldier. The search was proven to be unsuccessful though as they turned up empty handed and decided to leave, thinking the soldier may have gone elsewhere by now. As they were leaving, a strange bellowing growl had stopped them dead in their tracks. A few seconds later, they came to the conclusion that it was probably a wolf or somebody's stomach growling and continued on their way out. Unfortunately, they didn't make it very far as a streak of golden light came towards them at such a breakneck speed, that by the time they turned around and tried to get out of the way, the light had already dashed through them, causing them to fall off their horses and hit the ground hard enough to be rendered immobile.
  77. When I saw this scene, I felt like it went by so fast that it had warranted an audible "What?!" out of me. I decided to keep going in the hopes that the golden light would be fleshed out more later on. After the "Golden light samurai" moment, the episode immediately cut to a scene involving a frustrated elderly man wearing a green low cut vest with a puffy white shirt underneath becoming even more frustrated by the fact that more of his troops have been disappearing and the most recent disappearance wasn't helping him simmer down at all. As he was trying to figure out why his troops had disappeared, it's revealed that his daughter was listening in on the conversation. Seeing the amount of stress her father was under, she became worried about him because she knew her father's heart wasn't very strong and if too much pressure was put on it, then his chance of survival would be slim to none.
  79. Armed with this knowledge, she needed to figure out a way to help her father without drawing too much attention to herself. That's when she got the idea to saddle up a horse and dress up as one of the samurai to investigate the disappearances. As she ventured out to the samurai's base camp, she started to become quite anxious at the thought of seeming suspicious to the samurai. Despite the fact that she was dressed up as one of them, she feared that her voice might seem too high pitched to pass for a samurai. She then took a few deep breaths and tried to figure out a way to disguise it. A few moments later, it seemed as though a lightbulb went off in her head and she immediately opened up her bag. She rummaged through it until she came across a little book with blank paper and a quill pen. The girl eventually made it to the camp, where she wasted no time writing down questions about the disappearances and showing them to the samurai.
  81. "From what I've heard, the invading army is using some kind of technique where they hide in various places and ambush enemy soldiers." said one samurai.
  83. "They seem to be using soldiers to lure our men into the woods with a horseback chase. We would go investigate ourselves, but we've been told by our superior to stay put in order to prevent losing more men," said another samurai.
  85. When the girl listened to the samurai's answers, she felt as though something was amiss. As the soldiers were giving their answers, she noticed that their voices sounded a little shaky and they seemed to have trouble making eye contact with her. Even though she was a bit suspicious of the samurai's answers, she thanked them anyway and proceeded to exit the camp. As she rode on her horse, she had felt a surge of energy flow through her and commanded the horse to run at full speed towards the forest. This energy also made the girl quite fidgety as she constantly wondered what the enemy of the forest could really be.
  87. She had made it to the forest where she noticed that it was quite dense and filled with trees that seemed to touch the sky. These factors had failed to intimidate her as she entered the forest with no second thought. As she traveled through the woods, she noticed that the forest was too quiet for her liking. In fact, it seemed as though it was absent of life. When she was investigating, she came across samurai armor with no body attached to it. "Hmm..." said the girl. "If there were enemy soldiers here, you'd think they would take the armor and weapons when grave robbing."
  89. As soon as she finished stating her observation aloud, the golden streak had burst through the forest at such a magnificent speed. I then saw the streak ripping through her body, leaving no visible wounds. The girl cringed and gasped as her eyes rolled up into the back of her skull. Since the streak went through the girl at an extremely high speed, she fell off her horse, and hit the ground in slow motion with such force that it sounded like a faint cannon blast. The camera slowly zoomed in on her unresponsive face, making it clear that she was down for the count.
  91. Chapter 6
  93. By the time the cold opening had ended, I found myself sitting on the edge of the daybed in a trance as my eyes bulged out of my head and my mouth gaped open as wide as it could. Out of all the Haunting Hour episodes I've seen, this had to be one of the best cold openings of the entire series. In fact, I would've been satisfied if this cold opening was just the entire episode. I had soon gotten out of my daze when the intro to the show came on. Since I had already seen this intro, I decided to fast forward through it.
  95. When I came to the beginning of the episode, I decided to pause it and get a drink. Although I wasn't limping as much as I did earlier, it was still difficult to walk down the stairs. I eventually made it to the kitchen and started to search the fridge for a refreshing beverage. It didn't take me long to find something I liked and started to make my way upstairs. Before I could make it to the stairs, I saw the shadow figure from earlier dash across the living room floor and disappear behind the ivory beige leather couch. However, the figure seemed to be a bit more detailed than before. You see, it seemed to be wearing trapezoid shaped headgear.
  97. At that moment, my heart had skipped several beats as I dropped my drink and bolted as fast as I could towards the door leading to the backyard. "Erika!" I shouted frantically at the top of my lungs. I started to check all of the areas in the backyard, especially the most visited spots such as the shed and grilling area. When my search came up empty handed, I ran back in the house and screamed Erika's name even louder. At this point, sweat was pouring down my forehead and my head felt extremely tight as I was wondering where Erika was. I had yelled Erika's name and banged on nearly every door in the house but she along with Hunter were nowhere to be found! Hell! I didn't even see a note anywhere. Tears were running down my face and my whole body felt extremely hot. "Oh no! Please don't tell me they..." I sobbed.
  99. After my search turned up empty, I scrambled to find Erika's old beat up flip phone to contact her. As soon as I found it, I attempted to turn on the phone by holding down the "end" button with as much force as possible. After more than a few seconds, nothing showed up on the screen. I tried frantically tapping the button with my thumb but it was as effective as trying to fix a sinking ship with a band aid. I quickly pulled out all of the kitchen drawers and fished around for the charger, hoping that it would actually be the solution to the problem. When I spotted an outlet on the left hand side of the oven, I dashed over there as fast as I could. I forcefully shoved the box-like end of the charger into the outlet and pushed the smaller end into the bottom of the phone. The moment I had gotten everything plugged in, I didn't even wait to see if anything would happen and bolted up the stairs and slammed my bedroom door shut.
  101. I made my way towards the closet and carefully slid the door open. When I got in there, I did my best to make sure that I made as little noise as possible while closing the door. I sat in there for at least a half hour until I decided that whatever that thing was downstairs had left and it was safe to come out. I breathed a sigh of relief and soon plopped myself on the daybed, and hit the play button on the remote without hesitation.
  103. As the episode began playing, the setting had been switched to modern day Japan. There was a flat hooded black and white truck parked alongside the half opened steel gate of a two story home. From what wasn't blocked by the truck, the house seemed to have a large, green trapezoid shaped roof with rectangular windows on both sides of the house front. The siding had a beige colour and its texture reminded me of those "echo reducing" panels that are sometimes implemented into large rooms like concert halls. This shot was focused on for a few seconds with almost nothing but the ambience of humming cicadas and the occasional chirping of the birds alongside calm but faint orchestral music. The episode then cut to a family moving into their new home where a young girl that looked like she was in her early teens was carrying two cardboard boxes over to her mother on the first level porch.
  105. "Mom", said the girl, "I'm not sure that moving to Japan is a good idea. I mean, it's one thing to move to a new town or even a different state. But another country?!" The mother let out a small chuckle and started to give the girl a big hug.
  107. "I know this isn't easy for you Kristy, but this is a decision that's not really yours to make."
  109. Kristy tried to pull away from her mother and continue moving boxes but the mother had stopped her before she could pull off the action successfully.
  111. "Kristy please! Don't act like you're the only one who isn't happy about your father's company forcing him to transfer to another branch for God knows what!" she cut herself off and took a deep breath. "Look if it makes you feel better, I'm not exactly up to moving out here myself. I'll tell you what though, when your father gets home from checking out his new workplace, we'll have a big celebration! Until then, let's get this stuff moved in, alright!" At first, Kristy tensed up and let out a huge sigh. However, Kristy's mother had reassured her and they disbanded to continue moving boxes.
  113. The episode had then shown one of the rooms inside the house. At first, I couldn't tell what it was supposed to be but after closer examination, it looked like a living room with only a couple of furniture pieces in place. Kristy and her mother were then shown on opposite sides of the room unpacking various objects like vases and two small end tables.
  115. "Kristy! In a bit, I'll show you your new room, okay?" said Kristy's mom.
  117. "Alright mom. Let's just hope it's big." Kristy replied.
  119. The mother laughed and said, "Not every room in Japan is the size of a closet you know!"
  121. After the girls were finished unpacking things in the living room, they started to walk up the stairs. As they were walking, the episode had switched to a point of view shot of Kristy walking up the stairs with her mother just a few steps behind her. By the time she had nearly reached the top of the stairs, there was a still shot of the doorframe of what appeared to be Kristy's room. Kristy shortly appeared in the shot and she took a peek at her new room. As she was looking around, she noticed that something was amiss. In the middle of the room, there was a large empty space where Kristy's bed should've been.
  123. "Mom!" Kristy shouted, "We've been robbed!". Kristy's mother came flying up the stairs and burst into her daughter's room. She hastily examined the room and had also seen the empty space. Her panic had quickly turned into frustration as she let out a huge sigh.
  125. "I'm sorry honey. I thought the moving guys got all your furniture set up. Besides, I don't think burglars would want to go through the hassle of moving a bed."
  127. "Let me guess, I'm going to have to sleep on the dirty reed floor, right?" Kristy asked furiously as she sat down in her pink bean bag chair. Her mother came up to her and started rubbing her back.
  129. "Well until me or your father have time go bed shopping, it seems like that's the case." Kristy immediately climbed out of the chair and stormed out of the room in a huff, saying that she was going to go for a walk.
  131. Chapter 7
  133. The episode shifted back to the outside of the house where Kristy had slammed the door behind her. As she proceeded down the walkway, she seemed to stroll at a very brisk pace. When she got to the gate, Kristy was shown to have a slight scowl on her face as she unlocked it. The gate had burst wide open as Kristy fiercely heaved it forward and hit the surrounding stone wall so hard, that one of the hinges had almost broke.
  135. As Kristy set out on her walk, she took note of the street's colour. Instead of the inky black asphalt she was used to, the street had a grayish green tint to it. She then let out a small grunt and said to herself, "Who chose the street colour, leprechauns?" Kristy calmed down as she started to look around at the colourful flowers that lined the tops of the beige walls on both sides of the street. A bit later into her walk, she started to realize how narrow the street was and became more fidgety.
  137. At the thought of being run over by a car, Kristy hastened her stride and the background music became more audible and gradually increased its tempo. The music kept building until Kristy got to an open gate where a figure had leapt out at her and let out a thunderous roar. At the same time, I heard the window on the right side of the queen sized bed shatter, which made me shriek and roll off of the daybed and onto the left side of the queen sized bed.
  139. I paused the episode and slowly crawled over to investigate. Once I was within inches of the shattered glass, I got up off of the floor and saw something that made me jump back and whisper "What the hell?" There, on the floor near the window, was a dark bronze and ivory feathered bird with yellow eyes and a lengthy wingspan lying down. The bird was still as a statue, as I didn't see it even attempt to move. I also noticed that it had small strands of green plant life in its sharp slate beak and feathers that I thought got caught on whatever the bird had eaten.
  141. After I looked over the bird, I turned away as quickly as I could and inched my way back to the daybed while holding my breath. Before I climbed back on the daybed, I swiftly grabbed a blanket off of the queen sized bed and threw it over the bird.
  143. Chapter 8
  145. I once again propped myself up on the daybed and continued watching the episode. When Kristy saw the figure, she turned around and scampered as quickly as she could. As she was running, a voice called out saying "No! Wait come back!" and "I'm sorry!" This continued until Kristy felt someone gripping her arm very tightly. She was forcefully turned around and as soon as she saw who grabbed her, she started to calm down a bit. It turned out to be a boy her age who was wearing a plain white T-shirt, black jeans, and glasses with thin, circular frames.
  147. "Mind telling me what that was all about?" Kristy asked as she was panting heavily.
  149. The boy started to laugh and said, "I'm sorry! I was trying to scare my friend and you looked a bit like her."
  151. The boy kindly introduced himself as Hotaka Koizumi and Kristy had followed suit. Hotaka told Kristy about the truck and she had responded to him by saying that her family had just moved in.
  153. "So you're the new neighbors, huh?" Hotaka asked with enthusiasm. "You know, my family has been wanting to meet you and your family but they were busy with other things." Kristy told him that she would be more than happy to visit his house since she was out anyway. She called up her mom and let her know that she was going to be a bit late getting back from her walk.
  155. The next scene showed Kristy and Hotaka sitting under what looked like a cross between a table and a blanket. They started talking about various things from both their cultures, which led to Hotaka asking Kristy if she had heard about the legend of the samurai girl.
  157. "I gotta be honest, I haven't heard of that legend." Kristy said. Hotaka began to tell Kristy about it and as soon as he said the words "Well, you see", it immediately cut to the outside of his house with an orange sky in the background. The episode shifted back to Kristy and Hotaka. Only this time, Kristy had a bit of a surprised look on her face.
  159. "Speaking of girls," Hotaka began, "me and my friends were thinking of playing a game of Kokuri San in the forest near our school sometime this week. Would you like to join us?" Kristy thought about it for a moment and happily accepted Hotaka's offer.
  161. When I got to the scene where Kristy arrived at her house, I heard tiny footsteps coming from the bathroom, which was right next to my room. "Huh... That's strange." I thought to myself, "I didn't hear anyone come up the stairs." Thinking somebody had broken into the house, I grabbed a large wooden coat hanger from my closet and made my way towards the bathroom.
  163. As I opened the bathroom door, I ran in and checked every possible hiding place. When my search came up empty handed, I proceeded back to my room. I was just about to shut my door when I encountered the shadow figure once again as it glided along the wall of my brother's room across the hall. This time however, it seemed to be even more detailed. Along with the trapezoid headgear, it now had thin crescent horns in the middle of the headgear and rectangular shoulder pads. I hastily gasped and slammed the door shut. I started to hyperventilate for a bit as I locked my door and made a break for the daybed.
  165. Chapter 9
  167. I was inches away from the daybed when I jumped up and collided with its mattress just hard enough to find myself bouncing a couple of feet up in the air. A moment later, I had stopped bouncing and tried to find the remote, only to discover that it had fallen off as I landed on the mattress. I quickly found it lying under the queen sized bed and hit the play button as soon as I sat down. The episode showed an establishing shot of the outside of Kristy's house before shifting to the inside of it. The moment Kristy walked in, her father was calling her name in a rather ecstatic tone of voice.
  169. "Ohh! There's my girl!" Kristy's dad said as he gave her a big hug.
  171. "Hi dad." Kristy replied with a sheepish chuckle.
  173. Kristy's dad asked her how her day went and she told him she had met with a neighbor, to which he immediately lit up. "Well would you look at that! Not even one day as residents and already my girl has gotten to know the others." He then moved his hand around Kristy's hair and enthusiastically announced, "Way to go, honey!"
  175. Kristy's muscles started to stiffen as her eyes widened and her mouth turned into a frown that showed the upper half of her teeth. "Uh dad... You feeling okay?" Kristy asked in a shaky voice. Before Kristy's dad could answer, the two were called into the dining room to start the celebration that was mentioned earlier in the episode.
  177. Like in the rest of the house, the room had sliding doors and reed floors. The table had thick but tiny legs and a thin rectangular top that had a bit more width than the average dugout bench. Despite its size, the table was able to have room for two bowls of what looked like slimy beans on top of white rice and three black boxes that had five compartments in them. The chairs had plush, white cushions on the back and on the sitting area. However, these chairs had no legs which I assumed made it nearly impossible to pull them out easily.
  179. The family all sat down in the chairs and as soon as everyone was given a glass of what I assumed to be non-alcoholic wine, they all gave a toast to their first night as residents in Japan. From there, everyone happily dug into their food and guzzled down their drinks. As the family was eating, an ear piercing crash came from the kitchen. At that moment, everyone dropped what they were doing and scurried towards the kitchen. By the time they got there however, their jaws had dropped.
  181. Appliances such as an electric can opener and toaster were thrown on the floor and had a few large scratches on them. The trash bin was still rolling around as garbage nearly covered the floor. The window above the sink had a large hole in it and glass shards were found in the sink and on the dish towel near said sink.
  183. As Kristy stared in awe at the chaotic mess, she noticed a trail of odd looking black spots that began from the floor up to the left hand side of the counter leading to the window. Kristy then walked through the rubbish to get a closer look at the dots. She kneeled down on the floor and leaned over a bit. "Hmm..." Kristy thought as she was examining the trail, "These don't seem like any animal tracks I'm familiar with." Kristy's parents asked her what she was looking at and the only answer Kristy gave them was a small shrug.
  185. Chapter 10
  187. After that scene played out, I noticed that my room became dimmer. I turned around to see that the sun was setting as it turned my room orange. While this seemed beautiful to look at, my breathing became faster as I slowly walked over to the shattered window to shut the blinds. When I was a kid, my mom would tell me to close my blinds at night so that way, people would be less inclined to look into my window or break in or something like that. Ever since then, I have NEVER left my blinds open at night. Even during sunset, I still closed them anyway.
  189. As soon as the blinds were shut, I went back to the daybed and grabbed the remote. Just as I was about to hit play, I heard some low rumbling sounds that seemed like there was a thunderstorm coming from the basement. At that moment, every part of my body had stiffened tightly and I took in a small gulp. I then got up and grabbed the blanket that was covering up the bird and broken glass. I headed down the stairs and opened up the basement door.
  191. When I put my foot on the first brown wooden step, I noticed that it gave off a creaking sound and it seemed as though the step was hollow and ready to give way if I'd put too much weight on it. Nevertheless, I continued down the stairs into the basement where I turned on the light as soon as I made it to the bottom.
  193. Much to my surprise, I couldn't hear the rumbling anymore and brushed it off as a really loud motorcycle passing by the end of our short street. Just to be safe, I had checked both the washing machine and dryer to make sure that they weren't left on by Erika or Hunter by mistake. Aside from the abundant amount of loose change I found in the back of both machines, nothing had really seemed out of place.
  195. As I was inspecting the basement further, I once again saw the shadow figure but this time, it was gliding on a wall that was just inches away from me. It also seemed to be carrying a thin rectangular blade with a diagonally cut tip on the right side of its waist. I hollered so loudly, that I almost broke the glass of the basement windows. I then threw the blanket with the dead bird inside it at the figure but when the blanket hit the wall, the shadow figure had disappeared.
  197. At that point, I ran out of the basement so fast that I didn't even bother bringing the blanket upstairs with me. I headed for the kitchen counter and tried using the flip phone once again. However, when I grabbed the phone, I accidentally ripped the charger out of the wall. I frantically plugged the phone back in and tried contacting 911. However, when I tried dialing the number, I noticed that the phone's screen was blank for a few seconds. I forcefully sighed and quickly tapped my foot up and down.
  199. When the screen finally turned back on, I tried contacting 911 once again. The dial tone played for at least a few seconds. Before anyone could answer however, the screen had gone blank and when I tried turning the phone back on, the screen remained unchanged. I angrily screamed "Oh come on!" and threw the phone against the living room wall so hard, that the cheaply made phone had snapped in two.
  201. Chapter 11
  203. After I threw the phone, I began panting slowly and heavily. A few moments later, a sudden jolt had rapidly travelled across my body and at the same time, I had gasped. I ran over to where the phone had landed and I looked over the shattered unit. I noticed that one half of the phone went under the cyan recliner near the couch and the other half was in front of the light brown TV cabinet. I picked up the pieces as quickly as possible, fearing that the shadow figure would show up again, and threw them in the trash. I scampered past the kitchen and travelled up the stairs so fast that I nearly tripped on my way up.
  205. When I got upstairs, I slammed the door and locked it. I even went as far as to put a small white wooden chair that I found in the back corner of the room under the door handle. I scrambled over to the daybed and tried to hold the remote but my hands were shaking so much that I kept dropping it. I did the best I could to steady my hands and I was eventually able to hit the play button.
  207. The episode had shifted to a scene where the police were investigating Kristy's house. Several officers were shown to be thoroughly examining the kitchen for potential clues to lead them to whoever or whatever caused the damage. Kristy and her parents were sitting in the living room until a police officer came over and told them about what he and the others have learned. The officer cleared his throat and began to explain what happened based on the clues presented.
  209. "Well I've got some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that we were able to identify the animal tracks. They appear to be from some sort of fox. The bad news is that the fox might've had rabies since they usually come out at night." Kristy and her parents were just about to be interviewed when they heard a knock at the door. Kristy's father moved slowly towards the door and barely opened it. He saw that it was a boy around Kristy's age.
  211. "Hi there, sir." the boy said, "I saw a couple of police cars outside of your house and I came by to see if Kristy was okay. Is it alright if I come in?"
  213. At first, Kristy's dad harshly refused and growled, "Look buddy! I don't know how you got my daughter's name, but I want you off of my property now!"
  215. The boy was taken aback by what Kristy's father said and found himself unable to move, thinking he'd get beaten up badly by the father if he did so. However, Kristy recognized the boy as Hotaka based on his voice and told her dad that's who she met earlier.
  216. Kristy's father gasped and hastily said, "Wait! You're Kristy's friend?" He took a deep breath and continued with what he had to say. "I'm so...Sorry. Look, if you want to visit Kristy, you're more than welcome to do so." Hotaka started to calm down and was escorted into the house by Kristy's father. "Eh... Sorry about that whole mess back there, pal." said Kristy's father as they made their way towards the living room.
  218. When the two made it to the living room, they had sat down on the couch and another officer who seemed to have tree trunks for arms and legs had walked over to Hotaka and opened up her dark blue notebook to a clean page. She got down on one knee and placed the notebook on it as if it were a little desk. She fished out a badge from her pocket and held it up to where Hotaka could see it clearly. She then introduced herself as Officer Sugimoto and asked for his last name. Hotaka gladly gave it to her and she immediately began writing his name in her notebook.
  220. Sugimoto looked at Hotaka for a few moments before saying, "Do you mind if you come with me to a separate room? Don't worry! You aren't in trouble. All I need you to do is answer a few questions, okay?" Hotaka nodded and got up from where he was sitting. Hotaka and Sugimoto made their way up to the second floor of the house and decided that the master bedroom at the end of the hallway would be the most quiet and private room to conduct their interview. The two had split up and wheeled over a couple of office chairs from both sides of the room. As soon as the got settled, the interview had began.
  222. "So you're Kristy's friend from what I understand. Is that correct?" Sugimoto asked in a stern voice as she looked at him with a fixed gaze. Hotaka nodded and she immediately started jotting down notes. She took a deep breath and proceeded to ask the next question. "When was the last time you saw Kristy and what were you two doing?" Hotaka stroked his chin and stared at the ceiling for a moment.
  224. He then looked at Sugimoto again and said, "I think it was around 13:00 and I was at my house telling her stories and---"
  226. Before he could finish, Sugimoto quickly interjected with "What kind of stories?" Hotaka glared at her and sighed. "Well... If you must know... I was telling her about the samurai girl legend."
  228. Sugimoto's eyes had opened wide and her pupils quickly shrunk. Her breathing came to a halt and she was unable to move. She eventually packed up her notebook and slowly backed out of the room as she peered at Hotaka. She carefully unlocked the door and opened it one inch at a time. When she distanced herself enough from Hotaka, she booked it down the hallway and flew down the stairway and at that moment, her breathing had matched the pace of her speeding heartbeat.
  230. As soon as Sugimoto reached the bottom of the stairs, Hotaka sat stiff in his chair as he stared through the open door for a few moments before shutting his eyes tightly and slightly shaking his head back and forth. After that, he immediately opened his eyes and continued to stare through the open door.
  232. Chapter 12
  234. A few moments later, Kristy dashed up the stairs and made her way towards the master bedroom where Hotaka was now slowly making his way down the hall with his head facing down towards the floor.
  236. "Hey Hotaka! I saw that Sugimoto lady making a mad dash out of the house. Is everything alright up here?" Kristy asked loudly. Hotaka collapsed to his knees while still keeping his head down.
  238. "Kristy..." Hotaka said in a low voice, "I shouldn't have told you that story out loud."
  240. Kristy jumped back a couple of inches and yelped "What?! Why?" Hotaka let out a deep and slow sigh and began to explain.
  242. "Well, let's just say that things go from bad to worse for both the storyteller and listener after the tale is told."
  244. Kristy began rubbing her eyelids with her fingers and let out a rough sigh.
  246. "Listen Hotaka! What happened today WASN'T your fault, okay!" Hotaka nodded his head.
  248. "You know what, Kristy. You're right. I mean, kitchens getting destroyed is just an everyday occurrence." Kristy smacked her hand against her face and growled.
  250. "Look Hotaka... You've obviously been through a lot today so I want you to go home and get some rest. Maybe you'll feel better tomorrow." Hotaka took a deep breath and gradually got up off of the floor.
  252. "You know what Kristy, maybe you have a point. By the way, I'm sorry about what I said regarding your kitchen." The two had bowed to each other and said farewell.
  254. After the two parted ways, the episode cut to a scene that showed the front of Kristy's house. The sky behind it was now a navy blue colour with very few white dots scattered about. I also noticed that the streetlights in front of the house had a milky white glow to them. A few seconds later, the focus shifted to Kristy's room where Kristy's mother was busy setting up a temporary bed made up of at least a dozen milk crates and a purple sleeping bag. Kristy then walked into the room where she was immediately greeted by her mother.
  256. "Hey there, sweetie!" Kristy's mother said softly. Kristy had stretched out her arms as far as they could go and began to yawn. She then turned her head to the right and noticed the bed her mother had set up.
  258. "Now that's what I call a bed!" Kristy giggled wearily. Kristy's mother had also giggled a bit as she grinned and scratched the back of her neck.
  260. "Well, I know it's not the most comfortable thing ever but I think it should get you through the night. Then after that, you can pick out whatever kind of bed you want at the store tomorrow." Kristy once again yawned and shuffled over to her bed where she wasted no time crawling into the sleeping bag.
  262. Kristy's mother walked over to the other side of the room and flicked off the lights. She wished her daughter a goodnight and closed the door behind her. It didn't take long before Kristy felt her limbs becoming too heavy to lift and her eyes eventually shut. A few moments later, Kristy heard a loud creaking noise coming from downstairs and decided to go investigate. As she crept down the stairs, Kristy noticed that one of the living room windows had been opened.
  264. Kristy groaned as she went over to shut the window and proceeded to go back upstairs. Just as she was about to do so however, she felt something crawl and wrap up her legs and she eventually fell to the ground. The episode switched over to show a close up of Kristy's face as she turned around and started to scream at the top of her lungs. She tried as hard as she could to escape but alas, she still found herself stuck in the grasp of the off screen entity. Just as the entity was about to be revealed, the episode abruptly switched to Kristy sitting up in her bed and panting heavily as sweat poured down her face.
  266. Chapter 13
  268. Before Kristy could lay back down, the episode abruptly cut to the outside of her house. This time, the sky was a dark yellowish colour with a few dull orange clouds filling up the space. There were also a few birds chirping outside, along with a faint wind chime slowly swaying in the breeze. The episode shifted back to Kristy's room as soon as the sound of someone knocking on the bedroom door had played out. A few seconds later, Kristy's dad had entered the room.
  270. "Good morning, Kristy!" Her father said as he waved to her jovially. The only reply Kristy gave however was a slow and groggy moan as she rolled around in her sleeping bag. Kristy's dad went closer towards her bed and kneeled down. "Look Kristy, I know we had a rough day yesterday but you know what? I think today's going to be a lot better. Why don't we start by going downstairs and getting something to eat, huh?"
  272. Kristy rolled over and gradually began to sit up. She then stretched her arms up and yawned. "Alright, I'm coming." Kristy replied groggily. The episode then cut to Kristy and her dad walking down the stairs. As they were making their way down the stairwell, Kristy had missed a couple of steps and went tumbling down the stairs. When Kristy made it to the bottom, she began groaning loudly and could barely move any of her limbs.
  274. "Kristy, are you okay?!" Kristy's parents yelled as they began to surround her. Kristy's mother began frantically examining her from head to toe, making sure that she didn't have any serious injuries.
  276. "Well, nothing seems like it's dislocated and none of the bones seem broken." Kristy's mother concluded.
  278. She suggested that she and her husband should move Kristy over to the couch and mustered up as much strength as they could to lift Kristy up off of the floor. Once they got her on the couch, Kristy's mother took a close look at her. She noticed that Kristy's eyes had a faint dark purple colouring around them. "Oh no wonder you're tripping and falling, honey!" Kristy's mother said, "You look like you didn't get any sleep last night." She sighed and told Kristy to rest up for a little while and let her know when she would be up to going shopping.
  280. Chapter 14
  282. As I was watching the episode, I noticed that the glow of the television was even brighter than before. I noticed that my eyes were starting to hurt again and decided to pause the episode and look at something else in the room. I slowly shuffled over to the window and reluctantly opened the blinds. As I stared outside, I noticed that the sky was dark blue on one side while the sky on the other side was orange.
  284. "Woah! It's dark out already? How is that even possible?" I said out loud. At that moment, I wondered if Erika and Hunter had come home. However, when I tried to make my way to the door, I stopped dead in my tracks and went back to the daybed. A few moments later, I suddenly froze in place as I heard three heavy knocks that were at least a few seconds apart. My heart was beating quickly and my eyes darted around the room. They sounded like they were coming from across the hall but I didn't bother to look and see which room they were coming from. A few seconds later, something slammed against the door to my room and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I then cowered behind the queen sized bed and softly whimpered. Sweat was pouring down my forehead and my head was throbbing profusely.
  286. It took me at least a few good minutes before I started to calm down and I slowly crawled back to the daybed. I gradually climbed back up and layed down on the bed. "That's it!" I thought, "From now on, I'm not getting up for anything and I'm certainly not pausing this damn episode any more!" Soon after, I picked up the remote and hit play.
  288. The episode now focused on a shot of a wide rectangular building with a blue green square towards the front left side of it. The square and the rest of the building were marked with what looked like glitchy text and cars were parked all around the building. There were quite a few people walking around and the sound of cars passing by could be heard coming from the left speaker of the television. A few moments later, the episode cut to the inside of the building where Kristy and her mother were casually browsing.
  290. The walls and floors were covered in white marble and the store had various bed displays scattered about. While the two were browsing, something had caught Kristy's eye. Lined up against a mirror covered wall was a slightly narrow, rectangular bed whose frame looked as though it was made of grey, steel pipes. Fluffy purple blankets enveloped the bed and white drawers could be seen sticking out from the sides.
  292. Kristy stared at the bed for a few moments. She then yawned and slowly walked over to it. As she did so, her breathing became slower and eyes started to become heavy. When she got to the bed, she climbed in and quickly drifted off to sleep. A little while later, Kristy woke up and gasped when she noticed that the store was completely dark and deserted. "Mom? Mom!" Kristy cried out. She gradually sat up and lifted the blankets off of her. She rolled out of the bed and cautiously tiptoed all over the place, as she couldn't see the floor she was traversing.
  294. A few moments later, a lightbulb went off in Kristy's head and she immediately rummaged through her pockets. Eventually, Kristy had managed to find her phone and didn't hesitate to pull it out. She then turned it on and opened the flashlight app. As soon as it finished opening, Kristy wasted no time and slid the switch up, which in turn, brightened the area around the beam of light the phone was emitting. Kristy then began to walk faster and as soon as she stepped onto the tiled flooring, her footsteps echoed throughout the store. "Well, if there's nobody here," Kristy thought, "I might as well find a way out and call my mom."
  296. Kristy aimlessly wandered around the store, wondering where the exit was. As she was doing so, her body gradually tensed up and she began to walk slower to reduce the amount of noise her shoes created when they made contact with the floor. A few minutes later, a message popped up on Kristy's phone saying that the battery was at zero percent and began to shut itself down. "Oh come on!" Kristy growled, "How can the battery die when it's at eighty percent?!" She then sighed and forcefully shoved the phone into her pocket.
  298. Kristy continued to aimlessly roam around the store, becoming more frustrated and exhausted in the process. Kristy stopped dead in her tracks though when she felt something vibrating in her pocket. "What?" Kristy exclaimed. She immediately dipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out her phone. The phone was only held for a few seconds before she screamed at the top of her lungs and sent it flying out of her hand. Based on how she sprinted around while cradling her hand with the other hand, the phone battery had gotten so hot that it felt like she was holding a pan that just came out of the oven with her bare hand and needed to cool it down.
  300. When Kristy got at least a few feet away, the episode showed a close up of her phone lying on the ground. A couple of seconds later, a creature with lighting bolts for arms and a cyan glow around it floated out of the phone to the top of the screen rather quickly. The episode then cut to Kristy at a water fountain who put her hand in front of the stream of water. She sighed and took her other hand off of the button. Kristy panted for at least a few moments before slowly moving away from the water fountain.
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