Finally!!! It's FINISHED!!!!! Well, that is, if you based it on the movie... Then this chapter's the ending... But.. I continued it so expect four more chapters to come... And expect the unexpected for that...LOL, for now... Enjoy this chappie!XD
Hitomi gave the box with three snakes to Rika. Its size was just right for it to fit in the opening of the door. Rika on the other hand gave her the bag which contains the journal, the lighter which she used earlier, the piece of wood she picked up and Miki’s silver laptop. She also gave Hitomi the box that she found just now.
“You can do it. Just put these things and the nails on her ashes before burning her.” Hitomi tried to smile as she accepted the things. She moved closer to the gap and pulled Rika closer to her.
“Sure… you too.” Hitomi kissed Rika’s forehead. It’s a sign that in just a short period of time, Rika became an important part of her life. It may seem fast but, the only person she had kissed in the forehead was Maki, her best friend.
“If we survive this ordeal, I want you to become my best friend.”
“Hai, it’s alright with me. Just tell it to Maki so she will not scare the wits out of me… If you know what I mean.” Hitomi laughed and patted Rika’s head.
“You sure can joke at this time around.”
“Yeah… and you’re so slow! You’re wasting our time…” Hitomi got what Rika wanted to say. She stepped back and got all the needed things before running towards the stairs. Rika sat on the floor and leaned back on the wall behind her. She looked around at the place. She knew that Eri or the zombies will strike her soon enough. She held the box close to her.
Hitomi reached the top of the tower. She took a deep breath before opening the door. The light from the outside was seeping through the open window. Hitomi saw a figure on the bed. Her heart started beating fast. She squinted her eyes to see well. She walked towards the figure slowly. It was the girl in her dream.
“Eri-Hime? But she’s supposed to be in ashes right now… I don’t really understand this game.”
“There’s only one left… Hitomi… move faster…” The first two attacks seemed pretty normal. The first girl appeared suddenly near her feet and pulled her back. She quickly opened the box and threw a snake. The second one crawled from the ceiling and went behind her. It grabbed her hair and tried to break her neck. She grabbed a snake and put it right onto the woman’s face. It disappeared as fast as it appeared. Now, something’s different. Rika noticed that the place was getting darker than usual. The first time she experienced this was the time when she was trapped in Eri’s chamber in the palace. It only means something. Eri’s coming for her. She readied the last snake and threw it in front of her. It vanished but the dimming of the light still continued until it’s totally dark.
Hitomi put down the box of snake and the bag on the floor. She first grabbed the nails and the wood. Hitomi positioned the first nail on the girl’s heart. Her hands were shaky but she managed to get enough energy to drive the nails deep in Eri’s rigid flesh. She positioned the next one on the neck and lastly, on the forehead.
“I hope this will end the curse once and for all.” Hitomi gathered all her strength and hit the nail, really hard. She repeated it once again so only the ‘head’ of the 6-inch nail was seen. She walked back towards her things to get the other items.
Rika screamed in pain as someone was pulling her hair away from the door. She thought that it was the killer princess that was pulling her but she saw that Eri was standing near the door where she was sitting before. She tried to look at her attacker. She caught a glimpse on her attacker and saw that its wearing white before closing her eyes due to the extreme pain that she’s feeling right now. The pulling stopped so Rika opened her eyes again. She was stunned to see that there were chains on both of her hands and feet when she didn’t felt it at the first place. She scanned the room but only Eri was there, coming towards her.
“Don’t come near me, you monster!!!” Rika screamed. The figure stopped right in front of her, and grabbed Rika’s neck. She can feel the pain made by Eri’s nails digging onto her skin. She noticed a snake-like sceptre on the side of Eri’s transparent body. Eri took it and dabbed it on Rika’s wrist. Warm, crimson red blood instantly dripped out of the wound that Eri created and Rika witnessed how Eri’s face turned into a beautiful woman as placed her wrist on her mouth and drank her blood.
“This may be the girl which Hitomi saw in her dream.” Rika was scared for her life as she saw the beautiful woman took out a kunai out of her robe.
Hitomi was busy looking for the other things in the bag. Unknowingly, the nails that she driven in Eri’s body was slowly being removed by an unknown force. Suddenly, Eri sat up straight on the bed. The last nail in her head fell onto the wooden floor of the tower. Hitomi froze oat what she’s doing when she heard the noise. She slowly looked behind her and saw that Eri had risen from the dead.
“Maki, what shall I do now? Help me!”
“There’s a lamp on top of the table behind you. Throw the gas to her and the snakes… Then you can burn her using the lighter.”
“Thanks!” Hitomi tried to stand up but moved right on top of her and grabbed her shoulders. She was trapped right now.
“You’re too slow! Use my lap top and position it right on to her damned face! She doesn’t like mirrors and since it’s made out of metal, she can’t break it.”
Hitomi did what she was told. She didn’t know whether she was just hearing things or Miki and Maki’s ghosts were right beside her; she was just doing what she’s told to. She grabbed the lap top and put it right in front of Eri’s face. Eri let out a high-pitched scream and let go of Hitomi. Hitomi immediately did what the voice told her to do. She threw the oil-filled lamp to Eri, followed by the snakes. Eri was trapped right there. She grabbed Rika’s lighter and lit it up.
“This is for my friends whom you killed!” Hitomi threw the lighter and it quickly set the other girl on fire. The snakes tried to evade the fire which started to grow out of control and crawled into different directions. Hitomi tried to get out of the room but the door was stuck. A snake crawled up to her right leg which she immediately tossed aside. Her confidence suddenly vanished and was replaced by her phobia.
“Yocchan! Let’s play in our garden.”
“Matte! Let’s call Maki first!” Hitomi answered. The two little girls went to their neighbour’s house and called their playmate. The other one emerge from her house together with another girl.
“Hello! Nono asked us to play in their garden; would you like to come with us?”
“Hai! Let’s play there! Ano, this is Fujimoto Miki… She will be staying with us soon….”
“Hello there! I’m going to be her sister.” The other girl grinned.
“Ehh? How come? Your mother is dead right?” Hitomi asked Maki but it was Nozomi who answered her, with a matching smack on the head.
“Baka! Of course her father will marry Miki’s mother… That’s why they will become sisters in the process. My favourite auntie explained it to me before because she married my 2nd uncle who had a daughter. At first I was really mad because her attention was now on Makoto. But in the end, we end up really close. They will visit us again next week.”
“Oh… is that so?” Hitomi looked at the two and asked, “So, are the two of you mad at first?”
“No, in fact we both get along with each other well.” Miki answered while putting her arms on Maki’s shoulders. “In fact it was my long time wish to have a big sister.”
“Ohh…” Hitomi trailed. She was feeling a little bit jealous of Miki. Maki was her close friend so this ‘sister’ might take away their bonding time. Nozomi noticed Hitomi’s blank look.
“So let’s all play in the garden!!!”
“You’re jealous right?” Nozomi inquired Hitomi while the other two were busy playing with the see-saw near man-made lake of the Nozomi family. Nono, as she was frequently called by her friends, went beside her friend and looked at the flowers that Hitomi was picking.
“No I’m not!”
“Your face says so… Come on… It’s not like she will totally take Maki’s time... And besides, it’s fun to play if we are many, right? Don’t feel bad about it!!!” Hitomi noticed something in the bushes behind her friend. It slithered towards her friend and she realized that it was a large green snake.
“Nono, there’s a snake behind you!”
“Itai!!!” Hitomi’s scream was too late. It already bit her friend’s right wrist. Hitomi moved back. The sudden movement caused the snake to gaze directly at Hitomi. It removed it’s fangs at Nono and slowly glided towards Hitomi’s direction. When the two heard the commotion, Miki immediately called for help while Maki grabbed a branch and ran towards her friend. She helped Hitomi get on her feet. The snake put out its tongue, producing a hissing sound before opening its mouth wide. It seemed angry when it saw Maki’s ‘weapon’ and it tried to intimidate them with its sharp fangs.
“Nono! Hold on! Miki called for help!” Maki screamed towards their friend who was now turning pale due to the venom from the snake’s bite. The snake took it as an opportunity to attack Maki. Maki on the other hand was faster than the snake and was able to dodge the attack. When she saw the snake jumped towards her, like a professional batter in baseball, she hit the snake and it flew right towards the lake. Miki came with Nozomi’s father and killed the escaping snake.
Hitomi sat beside the door and hugged her knees. She felt weak and incompetent for being not able to do something. She can’t protect her best friend and Miki; her kouhai Sayumi, and her online friends like Risa, Ai and Reina. A snake even killed her friend when she was young, right in front of her that’s why she developed her phobia. And now, as some of the snakes were slithering towards her, she felt that she will end up the same with how Nono died.
“I’m sorry Rika… I cannot protect you any longer.” Hitomi closed her eyes as she readied herself for her inevitable fate when the door opened unexpectedly.
“Hitomi, come on!” Rika screamed. Hitomi raised her head and saw Rika extending her hand towards her. Beside Rika was Risa, holding a torch in her hand to make the snakes go away. Hitomi grabbed Rika’s hand and stood up. Risa closed the door as soon as Hitomi was out and ran away from the burning place.
“How did you escape? I thought that you’re dead!”
“I fell on a cliff full of those snakes… So yeah, I stayed there for a while until those dogs vanished. And then I used my socks and put some of the snakes in there.” Risa explained.
“Woah, you’re brave. I’m glad that it didn’t bite you.” Hitomi messed up Risa’s hair.
“I put the head inside one of the socks and then I used the other to bind it around so their heads will not move to bite my hands.
“So in short, you almost suffocate the snakes with the smell from your feet?”
“Hey! That’s mean! I don’t have smelly feet! If I didn’t bring them you might be already dead from Eri’s ‘ghostly’ hands.” Risa smacked Rika’s head but it didn’t make the other stopped laughing.
“I’m glad that it’s finally over.” The three looked back and saw that the fire from the shrine was getting out of hand. They decided to run away from that place before the fire trucks will come and extinguish the fire.
The three survivors debated whether they will report what happened to the authorities. Hitomi said that if they will tell it, they might be put into custody or worst, inside the asylum. No one will believe the story about the cursed game and an already dead princess killer, Eri. The other two nodded in agreement. It’s not only the killings of the gamers that will be related to them, but the burning of one of the Shinto shrines in Japan.
“Ok, its finalized then. We will not tell what happened to our parents or the authorities. How about Maki’s parents then? What will we tell them?” Risa asked. Rika looked worriedly at her new found best friend. Hitomi sighed.
“They were inside the house when Maki left you there right? I guess, they will not blame us if we told them that we found her dead.”
“But ‘if’ we DID tell them that she’s dead, they will report it to the police; just like what they did when Miki died. Since were the ones who found the body, the police will question us… it’s too risky.”
“But Risa, it’s not just anyone. It’s Maki that we’re talking about. Do you realize how hurt Hitomi’s feeling right now? It feels like we’re not giving respect to a dead person. We need to tell what happened to her parents!”
“Hey, it’s alright not to tell what happened to me. My parents will soon know it. The firemen came and brought some police. They are currently analyzing my remains so it will only take a short time before they will identify me.”
“Are you sure it’s alright? I’m…”
“Baka! Don’t feel guilty about what happened. It’s my fault that I was killed, not you. I know it hurts you a lot… But this is my fate. We’ll see each other again sometime. I hope you treat Rika the way that you treated me.”
“Cut that crappy scene! Sis, we’re already late! Nono’s waiting for us to play in her garden.”
“So, goodbye for now.”
“Ja… say hello to Nono for me.”
“It’s ok Rika. We’ll not tell them what happened. Her parents know that she went out alone. Let’s just say that we went to Rika’s house and played games. So let’s all go in their house right now and act like we were there to cheer her up or something.”
“But Hito…!” Rika whined but Hitomi covered her mouth with her hand.
“We’re best friends now, so you can call me Yocchan.”
“Ok, rephrase…” Rika said in a sardonic voice. “But ‘YOCCHAN’, Maki’s your best friend! She might feel…”
“I knew Maki since we were young and I know that it’s alright for us not to tell what happened to her parents. In fact, if her ghost is besides us in this very moment, she might tell us not to say a word concerning her death. So don’t worry about it. We’ll survive this trial.”
The three formulated a lie. That after going out of the Goto residence, they went to Rika’s house to play. They also talked about the death of their principal. Principal Iida might know some information about the game and question them this coming Monday. Rika reminded them that the Seijiku Gakuen’s vice principal died in a game shop, far from them. After discussing their plans, they all went to Maki’s house.
Their plan was working really well. After the police interviewed them one by one, they cleared the three of them. Another problem aroused on Monday morning. As what Rika predicted, principal Iida knew about the game.
“No! It’s not used for gambling, who told you that? It’s just a mere coincidence for it to happen. We were just enjoying ourselves in playing games after midnight!” The principal eyed her. But Risa was not the one who will back out in a staring fight. It was also the same reason why she and Miki were ALWAYS fighting.
“In vice-principal Abe’s report before she died, she told me that Maki’s playing the game ‘Maiden’s Curse’ in the library. Kindly explain to me what your relations to the killings are?”
“It’s just a matter of perspective reality… I mean perceptive reality.” Risa grinned.
A month had passed and the three became closer than before. Risa and Hitomi were always waiting for Rika after class and they will all go together to sing in the karaoke pub. They also play in the arcade, take ‘purikura’ and eat in some fast food place whenever they had the time. However, this wonderful Saturday afternoon, Risa had to go home early. She waved back at them while Hitomi and Rika decided to stay for a while to shop for some accessories before going home. Rika and Hitomi were walking side by side as they passed a game store and decided to drop by.
“Hello! I see that you’ve gone shopping again … So what may I serve you?”
“Hahaha… you sounded like a waitress with your question.” Rika laughed. Makoto laughed also.
“You’re right! I do sound like a waitress… Let me do it again…” Makoto coughed a little to clear her throat. “What type of games are you searching for?”
“Nice! That’s a good one… We’re searching for a game called “TEKKEN 5”. Hitomi grinned while looking at Nono’s cousin.
“Gomen! It’s still out of stock! I’m still waiting for them to deliver it here…”
“It’s alright. We’ll just buy NBA Live 2007” Makoto nodded and walked towards one of the shelf to get the game. She went behind the counter and put it inside a plastic bag.
“Ja!” Hitomi said after paying the game. She also messed up Makoto’s hair before leaving. Rika mouthed the word ‘gomen’ to Makoto before following Hitomi out of the store. Makoto just smiled and went back to work. A few minutes later….
“Hi Makoto! Here’s the delivery!”
“Geez! I thought that you’ll arrive here yesterday?” Makoto approached the head of the delivery service. The other men went down from the truck and unloaded five large boxes.
“I already explained it to your manager. Kindly sign here.” Makoto got the pen and signed the needed delivery papers.
“You know, there were many gamers looking for Tekken 5 but you didn’t show up.”
“Gomen… We’ll try to be with the schedule next time!” The man bowed down before getting out of the game store.
“So let’s see what they brought here…” Makoto got a cutter from her desk and cut the packaging tape on one of the boxes. Inside were the latest CD’s of games released a month ago in the U.S. She opened another box and it contained some games created in Japan. She scanned some of it and took a CD case with a snake with orange streaks in its head inside the Star of David.
“Maiden’s Curse? Now where did I hear this before?”