Monday, July 17, 2017

Japanese Urban Legend: Kuchisake Onna


Translated from Japanese by Shishou(師匠)

 

Urban Legend


Kuchisake-onna-manga-portrait
Am I beautiful?

"Hey! Which one of us do you think is the prettiest?"

It was the evening of a snowy day.
Three girls with face-masks and a boy carrying a school bag on his back were inside a dimly-lit tunnel.

"Who, I wonder?"

"I am!"

"No, I'm prettier!"

The boy remembered about a certain rumor that was the talk of the town those days. The dread had already taken over him, as could be seen from his face that grew paler with every passing moment.
He was still thinking of the best possible answer...




"It's...It's really cold!"

Kenta, who would soon be becoming a 5th-year student, said that while shivering from top to bottom.

"I think I was a cat in my previous life...my body is small, and I hate cold..."
 Kenta continued his monologue.

A girl, who looked as energetic as one could be, came running towards Kenta.

"Kenta~ Let's play in the snow!"

"Pass. I can't stand cold unlike you, Shiori."

"Tch...it's normal for kids our age to play in the snow. You're just too sensitive to cold."

 The girl, who was known by the name Shiori, said that to Kenta while pointing her thumb at him.

"....you must be a dog in your previous life...or a fox..."

Though Kenta said that in a low voice, it was clearly audible to Shiori.

"Ha? Just because I want to play in the snow, you say I was a dog!?. That's mean!"

"Okay, okay. I need to go to the library now. You'll have to play with someone else."

"O-kay...I'll find someone else. But please come back to play when you are free."

"Yes, yes."

With those words, Kenta parted with Shiori and headed towards the school-library.

school-snow-evening


He sat at the counter and started reading a small-book.

"I love the heating in here." Kenta was enjoying his time alone in the library that was devoid of other people.

"Alright, I'm about to finish this book too. What should I read next...?"
Kenta was absorbed in his thoughts about his next book. Suddenly, a voice came from behind him.

"Kenta-kun, do you have a moment?"

"Y-Yes...Ah! It's Sensei."

"Would you help me with something?"

"Oh-kay! You always let me stay in the library as long as I like, so helping you is the least I can do for you."

"Thank you, Kenta-kun! Please arrange these books in the bookshelves according to their categories."

 "Understood."

Kenta picked up the books and went to the bookshelves.

"This goes here...this here..."

"A few more books and I'll be finished."

library-school


After completing the work, Kenta looked towards the library-clock.

"Yikes! It's already 5, I need to hurry!"

Darkness was starting to engulf the surroundings with the setting of the sun. Kenta hurried outside the library.

Kenta looked around. Not even a single human appeared to be present on the school premises.

"It looks like Shiori already left for home."
Kenta murmured to himself in a disappointed tone while walking towards the shoe-rack.


Kenta opened his shoe-locker. In addition to his shoes, a note, which appeared to be written by Shiori, was also present.

"I have some work to do today, so I'm heading home earlier.
--Shiori"

"Just what I thought."
With that, he put the letter in his bag, changed into his shoes, and headed to his home.

"I can't believe it got this dark."


Kenta regularly used a tunnel that was on route from his house to the school. Normally, he didn't pay much heed to it, but tonight was a little different. The tunnel was lit by the lights but still felt dark.

"I don't like in here," Kenta said in an anxious voice.

Kenta's mind started recalling various ghost-stories that were quite popular among his classmates. This was certainly not what he wanted at this time.

"T--They...talked about...snowy evenings...and...Kuchisake Onna..."

Kenta was so frightened by his thoughts that he started running towards the exit without even realizing.

Kenta was running with all his speed. The exit was getting closer and closer.

*BAM!!*

He collided with something--or rather someone.

"S--So--Sorry!!"

"It's okay."

There stood, in front of him, 3 girls with surgical masks covering their faces.

"By the way, boy. Which one of us is the prettiest?"

Kenta couldn't comprehend what the girl meant by that.

After a few moments, which felt like hours, Kenta realized something. That realization sent a wave of chills on his whole body.

"Does that mean...they...they...are...Ku-Kucihsake Onna?........But isn't...isn't...Kuchisake Onna a single person."

"Who, I wonder?"

"I am!"

"No, I'm prettier!"

 "U--Uummnn"

Kenta tried to think of the ways to escape the girls, but his brain didn't cooperate with him.

The girls were getting impatient.

"Hurry!"

"Tell us quickly, boy!!"

"Who is the prettiest?"

"Ah--Umm.........You all are pretty!!!"
Kenta just blurted out without even giving it a second thought.

"EVEN NOW?"

They all removed their masks to reveal their heavily severed mouths that were ripped from ear to ear.

"Who is the prettiest? Be honest, boy."

Kenta was on the verge of crying but composed himself somehow. He looked at the disfigured faces.
The shortest girl had less disfigurement on her face.

"T--That girl...is the prettiest." Kenta pointed at the girl on the right.

"As expected."

The other two girls hung their head in disappointment. The girl on the right started dancing with joy.

Kenta was about to leave when his shoulder was caught by those two girls.

kuchisakeonnabehind


"I'M THE PRETTIEST!!!!"

"SAY I AM!!"

One of the girls took a hatchet out of her bag and swung it towards Kenta.

"GYAAAAAAA!!!!" Kenta shrieks at the top of his lungs.

The white snow was dyed with the red color.

kuchisake onna unmasked


*The next day*

When I meet him at the school, I'll apologize to him for returning home early yesterday.
Shiori was on her way to the school.

When Shiori reached the tunnel, she noticed something on the ground that looked like a human.

"I wonder what happened."

She approached the body.

"GYAAAAAA!!!!"

Shiori noticed that the body was decapitated.

The people who were near the place heard her shriek and came to see what was wrong.

"What the..."

"Somebody call the cops..."

"Hey! There is a bag beside the body. We should see if there is anything inside to determine the identity."

"Here........It's an ID card....The card reads...4th year, classroom 3....Otsuka Kenta."

Shiori realized that it was the same Otsuka Kenta she was friends with.

"I-It...can't be..."

She looked at the body one more time. The body had the same clothes Kenta was wearing yesterday.

"I-It...Ca-Can't......No--NO!!...IT'S A LIE!!"

Shiori stood there dumbfounded. The shock received from the realization made her mind go blank.

People started leaving the place once cops came to retrieve the body.

Shiori was still there, trying to comprehend what she had just witnessed.

She looked towards the spot where the bag was found. A paper was lying there.

She unfolded it and started reading it.

"I have some work to do today, so I'm heading home earlier.
--Shiori"

The moment she read those words, her heart ached and tears came rolling down her eyes.

There was nobody else there to witness this.

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So, this is somewhat a different take on the classic Kuchisake Onna. What is better than 1 Onna? 3 Onna! XD
Also, please stay away from tunnels in Japan. They house ghosts.
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