Chapter Four- Realization

Electra yawned to herself as she briskly walked down the street towards the block of houses mentioned in the magazine Megumi had given her, on a crisp Sunday evening.

Although it had seemed like a good idea at the time to leave her trendy apartment in Shibuya late in the day to visit the houses that were said to be 'haunted', it didn't seem like a good idea now as she traveled closer to the block of houses and as the day grew darker.

But, leaving at that time was truly not her fault. In fact, Electra would have arrived at the block much earlier- had it not been for the usual group of fans demanding photographs, confessing their undying love and so on. Electra, trying to keep up her good reputation of being a friendly celebrity, promised herself she would only sign about four autographs, after all, she did want to be at the block of houses quickly. However, four became eight. Eight, became twelve. And soon, twelve became thirty four.

After much time reading and re-reading the article with a Japanese-to-English dictionary, Electra had received valuable information as to where the houses themselves were situated and the stories behind them.

The houses were located on the outskirts of Tokyo, about twenty minutes walking distance away from the actual city. That was definitely not a problem for Electra. She needed the exercise. But the problem was the history that came with the houses in that block.

It started off innocently enough. The houses in the block were built one right after the other during the nineteen-twenties by a man named Derek Nagasaki a half Japanese, half American who seemed to think that he owned all of Japan. The houses were once seen as luxurious and only the truly wealthy lived in them.

But times had changed, and so did people that accommodated the houses. From the truly wealthy that had graced the houses walls, followed the middle-classed families of a size of ten, and after the middle-classed families came the poor and underpaid. The houses which were once seen as luxurious had actually turned into living areas which people who had naughty children that weren't doing well in school, that if they didn't study long enough, they would have to live in houses like those.

At least Derek Nagasaki had keeled over and died from a heart attack many years before the houses started to loose status in Japan, otherwise it wouldn't have been his heart that would have killed him- but a bullet.

However, things took a change for the better when police in the area had raided one of the houses on the block, and had found it to have been used as an illegal brothel and drug house. Although not see as a good thing back then, the raid did help to get rid of the wrong-doings that were going on inside the house, and an architect, fresh out of university by the name of Mizuho Hanazaki took pity on Derek's block of houses, and bought up the whole block, which didn't cost much at all, and rehabilitated all the houses, making them fit for people of at least a middle-class background to live in once more.

This happiness seemed to last for a decade when suddenly the most bizarre and grotesque murder had taken place in one of the houses.

A family of three was found dead, each found in different parts of the house. The wife was found in the attic, with her neck broken and stab wounds all over her body which had been wrapped in plastic. The young boy and the household's pet cat were both found in the bath, drowned. As for the father whom many blame for the murders of the boy and his mother, was found dead outside the house, in the alleyway. Some said it was cardiac arrest, others say his heart died out on him for a different reason.

For a while, that seemed to be the only negative event that had shaken up the block of houses and the whole of Tokyo, but a few years later, the sensation had died out again and everything was back to normal. There was a new family living in the house of the murder and people stopped talking about it. The past was the past after all, right? But then suddenly, as if reassuring the public that the house wasn't finished with it's bad luck, the new family disappeared and for some days had been notified missing, until they were found by police with the help of a care taker from a local old-age home in Tokyo. They were found dead, but how they were found was spine-chilling in itself- the wife and husband were found dead in the attic, just as before, and the old woman who was the husband's mother, had died in her room in the bottom of the house, where the care-taker was found, unable to register what had happened at all.

The deaths of both families of the household caused many residents of nearby towns and such places to gossip about the house. Some thought of it to be some sort of cursed area, others believed that a serial killer lurked in between the walls of the house and hungrily waited for new residents to arrive. But, just like the last time, the rumors disappeared like smoke in the wind and the world of the block of flats returned to normal, and the house remained empty and quiet for a while. Until only five years ago when another family moved in, this time a foreign family from the same country as Electra was from. They hadn't been there for more than three months when the neighborhood and block were shaken up again with a gruesome scene of blood and gore. But it wasn't only the house that the bodies were found. It was the whole block- everyone was dead or either missing. One man was found on the roof of his house, nibbling away at the skin of his fingers and muttering to a person by the name of 'Kayoko'. He disappeared soon after. Since then, or so the article describes, whoever lives or even walks onto the grounds of that house or even passes the alleyway of that block itself, is doomed to live a life of the cursed.

Although Electra was quite shocked by the graphic history of the block, she truly did love a good horror story, and even though she had second thoughts about visiting the block of houses, the story behind the houses and what had happened only fueled her curiosity and fascination of the block of houses, making her want to see them for herself even more.

As Electra saw the block of houses in the not-too-far distance, she picked up speed and quickly changed from a walk into a jog as the day slowly opened up the sky for night. As Electra got closer towards the block of houses, she couldn't help but notice how the environment changed around her.

Houses looked ransacked and dilapidated. Trees were dead and grasping onto their last leaf. Cars were left open and rusted on the sides of the cracked and empty road and garbage was scattered everywhere. Posters with the words "LOST" printed on them in Japanese were stuck on every fence and window of the empty houses. Some posters were stuck on the rusted cars. Each poster displayed a different head, a different face. There were thousands, and by the look of things the people had not been found. Perhaps this was a bad idea…

"I hope you know what you are doing," a voice from behind Electra said, scaring her and making Electra twirl around on the spot to face whoever had spoken to her, "this place has a reputation…"

Electra turned to face a young man, about her age of twenty-three, was a Caucasian with thick brown hair that was combed back and long sideburns on each side of his face that met at his chin. Although slightly rugged and stocky, the man was quite attractive.

"I don't know what you mean," said Electra, pretending to play dumb. Hopefully this man didn't know who Electra was, but he seemed to be a foreigner due to his accent which sounded slightly European.

"If you don't know, let the 'Lost' posters educate you," the man said bluntly, frowning at Electra's lack of knowledge of the area.

Electra smiled meekly and looked around the desolate street, pretending to view each and every poster, "bad area, huh?"

"The worst," the man said, "I suggest you leave."

Electra frowned at this, "do you own this area?"

The man stared at her.

Electra continued, "…then I suggest you don't tell me what to do," and turned her back to him and slowly began to walk away.

The man seemed to take a humorous take on what Electra said, and with a sly sneer replied, "…even movie stars die here…"

Shocked at what the man had said to her, and sensing a threat, Electra spun around again, and gasped in surprise.

The man was no longer there.

Had he walked away? No, Electra thought, I would have seen him. Ran? Yes. That must have been it- the man must have run away, and hid behind something, just to be a jerk and scare me…

But, what caused Electra to cry out in shock wasn't the audacity of the young man and his blunt attitude, but one of the 'lost' posters that had been stuck to a nearby fence that waved in the wind… with the face of the young man Electra had just been confronted by.