EIDBT – April 14, 2011
Let me just preface this by saying that what I’m about to describe happened to me. I experienced it firsthand, and so did two other people. This happened to me, and even I don’t believe this.
I wish I could say “the day started off like any other.” No, it started with me being freaked the hell out. Let me explain.
So after Chie went on her little “let’s all check out the midnight channel!” speech, the three of us decided to at least try it once. As midnight approached, I walked up to the TV in my room, and stared at it for a while. The only thing showing up was the light reflecting off of the screen, showing the rain outside my window. I turned to leave and get ready for bed, already thinking of how I could use this against Chie, when the screen started to glow. No, I hadn’t stepped on the remote. No, there wasn’t a lightning storm outside. I looked back to see… flashes. Flashes that seemed oddly familiar… and of a girl. A girl who seemed too recognizable. She was flailing around, as if in pain. I could never see her face. She had curly brown hair, only lightly saturated though. I’d be able to describe more, but a voice began to fill my head.
“I am thou. Thou art I. Thou art the one who opens the door.”
I couldn’t think; my hands clutched at my head in reaction to this strangeness. A lightning bolt saved me from this, as the voice left and the TV turned off when it struck. Still, I was drawn to the TV for some reason. Before I knew what I was doing, my hand was reaching out to the surface. I touched it, but I didn’t. I don’t know how to describe it. My hand could feel the surface, but it was uninhibited by it. My fingertips seemed to sink into the screen. Then my knuckles. There was a sharp tug, and I fell toward the TV.
Thankfully, my TV was not big enough for me to fit through. This meant though that I was struggling against the frame, trying to pull myself out. When I finally did, I slammed my head against my table. All this commotion must have woken Nanako, because she knocked on my door and asked if I was okay. I lied to her and said that I was fine. There was no way that I was going to show this little girl, who has just started to warm up to me, that I can stick my head inside a TV screen. Even worse, if I couldn’t do it again, and just looked like a mentally disturbed transfer student.
The next day at school, I was out of it. I didn’t even have time to come up with some good insults for Ms. Sofue, our history teacher who seems to like to dress up in Egyptian headdresses while carrying an Assaya. She asked me a question, which I mumbled through, but beyond that, I forget just about everything she said.
Yosuke and Chie finally came over to talk after school. Yosuke looked pretty shaken up too, he didn’t want to tell me what he saw last night at first. Before we could get started, Yukiko left again to go help at her family’s inn. She’s kind of being deprived of a life here… Though when I think about it, when my life involves vivid dreams of creepy guys with ten foot noses, fog-filled battles, and carnivorous TVs… Maybe she doesn’t have it so bad after all. Once Yukiko left, Chie went straight to last night’s news. Much to her dismay, and mine, she saw a woman in the TV. According to the rumor, the person who appears in the TV is your soul-mate. That has some interesting (and somewhat disappointing) implications… Here’s the thing though. It looks like we all saw the same person. A woman, possibly around our age, with curly light brown hair… It seriously made me wonder if this was something that anyone looking at the TV would have seen. That means Chie’s back in play, boys.
Because we were on the topic of bat-shit insane things that happened at midnight, I brought up the whole “my TV tried to eat me” story. Maybe that happened to the two of them as well. Turns out it wasn’t. They thought I was telling a story, or that I just had a lucid dream (not impossible, considering what happened in previous nights, and what happened latter today…). Chie particularly was impressed about the part where I couldn’t fit through the TV screen because it was too small. I let out a barely audible sigh of defeat at that. Thankfully, I was given a second chance; Chie had reminded herself that her family was in the market for a new TV. Chie said something like,
“I want to watch my kung-fu on the big screen.”
As if to show us how much, she took up a ridiculous looking stance and shouted “Hi-chaa!” Yosuke gave her a tired stare, then without saying a word, turned to me.
“We’ve got some pretty big ones in stock. I bet they’d be big enough for you to fit into, hehe.”
Little shit. As much as I wanted to give him three straight days of pain by giving him a swift kick in the groin, I resisted. I had a strange feeling that I’d show them up when we got in front of some TVs.
When we got to Junes, the first thing that Chie and Yosuke did was put their hands on a TV screen. They had intent looks on their faces for a moment, then relented. Yosuke cracked a smirk, saying
“…Nope, can’t get in. Figures.” Chie joined in,
“Haha, this proves it. It was all just a dream.”
Content with that, they went to go look for some TVs in Chie’s price range. I didn’t follow them; I felt a little too chided to want to stick with them for the moment. Still, the experience from last night was nagging at me. I had to test it out for myself.
As I reached out for the TV’s screen, the unusual sensation from last night came back. I don’t even know how to describe it that well. Something inside of me caused me to feel comfortable… and almost anxious. Once my hand touched the screen, it was the same as last night. My hand touched the screen, yet it didn’t. All I had to do was… push.
Before I knew it, I was wrist deep in a TV screen. I heard astonished yelps from Yosuke and Chie, and they rushed over. Wanting to test this out further, I stuck my head inside the screen. I could see… a lot of space. There was a landscape below, and it seemed to stretch on forever. My view was obscured by a thick layer of fog, however. As I was glancing around, I heard a commotion outside the TV. Yosuke had noticed some customers coming, and the two of them started panicking. Before I knew it, the two of them ran into me, all three of us fell headfirst into the TV, and I cursed myself for having such idiotic friends.
The fall was hard. Real hard. Judging by the grunts and gasps Yosuke, Chie, and I gave out, we all landed awkwardly. When we finally had recovered everything but our dignities, we were able to take a look around. This was… I still have no idea where it was. We were surrounded by fog, standing on what looked like a target. I asked out loud if this was a dream. Yosuke disagreed, saying that his pain was far too real to be true. To me, I had that feeling that I’d had for the past few nights. I’ve learned to associate that feeling with a vivid, lucid dream, but it didn’t seem likely that I was actually dreaming. Through the fog, we could catch glimpses of our surroundings. We were indeed standing on a target, covered in chalk outlines of bodies, in what seemed like an open-air studio. I had no idea anything like that existed anywhere near Inaba.
I was still convinced that this was a dream, so I decided to start taking a look around. Chie was freaking out, wanting to find the direction we came from. I gave her an off-handed remark that since we fell, we probably came from somewhere above us. Nevertheless, she started to freak out and cry. That took me aback a bit, just because out of her, Yosuke, and Yukiko, she seemed like she’d be the last to cry about anything. I was getting right annoyed at this whole thing, so I decided to take control of the situation. After telling them to calm down, I began discussing our search for an exit.
After walking in a random direction for a short while, we found ourselves in what I can only describe as an incredibly foggy apartment building. The sky in the horizon was a mess of red and black lines flowing over each other… It looked fairly ominous. We were eventually able to see a door. Having nothing better to do, we decided to enter, and found ourselves in… a bedroom. Maybe because the fall took a harsh toll on his head, Yosuke decided that now would be the perfect time to try and check his voice-mail. Of course there wasn’t any reception, but I guess he wanted to wear the “derp” hat for a moment. As the three of us turned around, we noticed the walls. They were plastered with posters of a woman with the face ripped out, and blood. Yosuke and Chie started to freak out about the fact that this was a dead end, while I was getting pretty unnerved by the decor. Apparently, once I stuck my head in the TV, Yosuke decided that he really had to pee. Now was when he remembered this again. We’re standing in a room covered in “murderer” flags in a fog world we came to by falling through a TV screen, and Yosuke just needs to pee. I’ve been around him for two days, and that amount of stupidity still surprised me. As he was running to one of the walls to relieve himself, I noticed that he ran by a noose. A noose hanging from the ceiling with a chair nearby. Okay, so make that a room covered in “murder” flags in a fog world we came to by falling through a TV screen, with a friend who can’t care enough to stop from peeing, and there’s a noose there. Understandably, Yosuke couldn’t get himself to go. Finally, we all decided to leave and go back to where we came from. Come to think of it, by the time we left, none of us were feeling very well. The entire place was so… oppressive.
We eventually came back to our starting place, just as confused, but now we were all feeling a little more disoriented. As if to challenge my thought that things couldn’t get any worse, we all noticed a shadow in the fog. A shadow that started to move toward us. A shadow that was… a bear mascot. His feet squeaked as he walked, and his face looked deceptively innocent. The first thing it did was to ask what we were. What WE were? What about the fact that he’s a freaking bear mascot! Chie lashed out at the bear, asking if he was looking for a fight. That seemed to take any fight out of him. I took the opportunity to ask what the place we had found ourselves in was.
“This place is what it is. It doesn’t have a name. It’s where I live.” Yosuke asked the obvious question,
“You… live here?”
“If I was you guys, I’d hurry back to the other side. Someone’s been throwing people in here. It’s a big headache.” Yosuke responded again:
“Huh? Throwing people in? What’re you talking about?”
“I don’t know who’s doing it! I just want them to think before they go doing things like that!” Chie couldn’t take it any more,
“Hey, what’s your problem? What gives YOU the right to yell at us like that!?” The bear started cowering again. “What ARE you!? Where are we !? What the heck’s going on here!?”
The bear, somehow deciding that I was the most trustworthy of the bunch, decided to cower away from Chie by standing behind me. Finally having enough of us, the bear told us very sternly that he was going to let us out, which surprised the three of us. He tapped his foot, summoning a stack of CRT TVs. As we walked around them, trying to figure out how they showed up, he shoved us all into the TVs.
We all found ourselves in Junes again, in front of the TV we fell through originally. As we were regaining our composure, Yosuke redeemed himself a bit: he recognized the posters we saw in the murder room. They were of Misuzu Hiiragi, the Enka singer who was involved in the scandal. I don’t think any of us cared enough at that point though to think any further about it. We all said our goodbyes and went home.
That night, I was surprised to find Dojima at home, actually eating dinner with Nanako. As soon as I sat down with them though, he put his Detective Hat back on, and asked me about Saki Konishi. I didn’t think much of it, but I mentioned that I knew that she was the one who discovered the body of the reporter. He told me that her family had called, reporting her missing. The news brought forth some news that disturbed me. The announcer was staying at Yukiko’s inn. I started to connect the dots… The woman who was killed stayed at Yukiko’s inn. Saki was the first to find her body, and now she’s missing. I can’t help but think that Yukiko, or someone in her family, is next.
The stress of all of this really got to me. Nanako and Dojima noticed, and ordered me to take some medicine and get to sleep. I’m not arguing.
I’m still not totally sure what of all of this is real or not. I keep expecting to wake up to realize that this has just been another of my vivid dreams, but it hasn’t happened yet. If all of this does turn out to have really happened, I’m going to have to re-consider everything that’s happened to me up to this point. Am I crazy? I don’t know. I can only wait until tomorrow.