I'm surprised y'all still read this story. It's a shame I didn't get to finish this story before I left the Fatal Frame fandom but to be honest, this was the fanstory I had most fun writing. Seeing as there's only two chapters left of this story, I might as well finish it.
I'm planning on rewriting these stories sometime after I finish it as one long-ass stories. My English seems to have gotten weaker in the past two years so my grammar may not be…perfect. I'm sorry in advance.
Now that's out of the way, let Sae's story be finished.
"Hey, did you hear about Minakami village?"
"No, what's up with it?"
"Some girl went crazy and killed a whole bunch of people during a festival! Everyone's either dead or left town!"
"You gotta be kidding me! Did they arrest the killer?"
"Nah. By the time the police arrived, she hung herself."
The girl nearby, who was eavesdropping on boys' conversation, collapsed on her knees. The familiar pain of regret and remorse returned to her mind as she realized what she had done to her sister's fragile heart.
-December 14th 1983-
Just what was wrong with that girl?
Ryokan knew his eldest daughter took after him more than Yae did, but he never had any idea how off she was.
Although Sae started eating again and stopped injuring herself, something about her was still off. She barely talked to anyone, including her father, and she would shut herself in her room, never coming out unless she absolutely had to. At this point, everyone believed she'd snapped and was beyond any hope of professional help. They were absolutely afraid to talk to her; even her father was afraid to say a word to her.
There was one person who was willing to talk to her though. He was the only person other than Yae and Itsuki that she felt comfortable to talk with about anything.
"They all hate me, Mr. Seijiro! They all hate me, I can feel it!" Sae cried into her pillow. She felt a presence sitting by her weak leg, caressing the top of her head. It gave some comfort to her broken heart.
Young maiden, you are merely upset. People may look at you differently than before but I can assure you, they do not hate you.
"You're wrong." Sae sat up and leaned against the headboard. "I know you mean well but you haven't dealt with what I deal with outside of this room. I get ignored by the townspeople whenever I walk through the streets and when I'm not looking, I can feel their resentful eyes staring at me. Not even my loving father wants to be seen by me. Even he looks at me like I'm some kind of freak.." Sae felt her eyes watering once more as she tried to gather the strength to talk. "At school, no one even makes any try to interact with me after Itsuki's suicide because they all blame me for encouraging him to hang himself."
Surely you are exaggerating.
"I'm not!" Sae covered her face with her hands, not wanting to show her tears in front of the spirit. "They say after that incident at school last month, Itsuki has been acting strange around everyone. They say that my little incident brought up memories of Mutsuki's death and it drove him to suicide. What they don't know is the truth behind Mutsuki's death. Nobody other than Itsuki and I know the real truth."
(.. "you yourself still has yet to face the truth"..)
Sae ripped her hands away from her face, her eyes as large as dinner plates. "…I realized something..."
What is it, young Kurosawa?
(.. "EVERYONE CAN DIE" ..)
"No one ever cared about me…" Sae muttered as she cracked a smile. Tears were flowing freely from her eyes as she stared at the spirit. "My mother abandoned Yae and I before we were even born… my father decided to abandon me in my time of need and keep the truth about Yae from me… all the villagers fear me… the only two people I could rely to always be there for me both left me all alone in this world…the only two people that I thought I could trust my entire life…" The broken girl buried her face in her knees, her voice being shaky. "I gave them all my heart and they think they can just take it and rip it to shreds…its like they didn't even care about what I have to say…"
I understand how you are feeling.
Sae turned to face where the spirit is sitting, her eyes filled with anger. "How can you understand how I'm feeling? It's not like you've been through this before!"
Yes, I have.
I died here in this village many years ago when I was just an outsider. As I was staying here, the village elder's daughter decided to help me with the information I was investigating regarding the history of the town during my visit. While that was sweet of her, I assumed the village elder had suspicions of the two of us being in a relationship as we spent time together in the library.
Sae was absorbed into the spirit's story. "You…you two weren't, were you?"
Of course not! She was around your age at that time and I was…well, around my 40s. I had no interest of gaining a wife during that time so I had paid no attention to her advances, if she had made any.
At first I believed she didn't…until her father and the other villagers captured me. They accused me of raping the young maiden and despite the daughter's protests, they—
A fog built up in Sae's mind, filling her head with immense pain. "No. You don't need to continue. I think I got the idea." She rubbed her forehead as she laid back down on her bed and faced the wall. "Just stop talking. I want to get some rest."
Young Kurosawa, I—
(.. "just leave, you outcast"..)
"Just go." Her voice was full of anger.
As you wish…though, I have one other comment to add: We're not so different, you and I.
(.. "He's right, you know"..)
Sae's heart skipped a beat. "What do you mean?"
We're both misunderstood by this damned village. These people judge us without listening to our side of the story…the pain we have to go through because of their close-mindedness. However, ehe pain they inflicted on me is nowhere as stressing as yours. You've been through so much, poor maiden. You've lost a mother, a father's love, a best friend and most importantly…your sister.
(.. "DON'T LEAVE ME YAE"..)
(.. "Yae, please back…."..)
(.. "Yae, you promised.."..)
Chills ran down her back as snippets of that night played in her mind; the night Yae and Ryozo eloped together and left her behind. That night, Sae's legs were too weak for her to run through the forest at the time as Yae and Ryozo ran ahead. Yae urged her twin to keep running despite her knees being in pain. Truth is, however, Sae didn't want to leave the village and was trying to slow down the two of them so they could stay with her. She was hoping that if they stayed behind, the three of them would get caught together. Seeing as how they didn't slow down for her, she did the only other thing she could think of…
(.. "YAE, WAIT UP!"..)
(.. "Please don't leave me"…)
As soon as the flashbacks cleared up, Sae found herself standing near the window in a complete trance. Outside the window, she could see few of the village men setting up for the Shadow Festival for tomorrow night. The Shadow Festival…
(.. "The Repentance"..)
…stirred up many cherished memories of Yae, Itsuki and her father. Oh, how she wished she could go back to those days. Why did it all have to change? Why did her life have to change for the worse? What has she done to deserve this? She tries to be a good daughter, a good friend and a good sister. What else did she have to do?
(.."they can all die"..)
Sae fell forward as her mind blanked out for a moment. She managed to avoid falling completely fall on the ground and alerting both her father and the men outside but something was going on inside her head. She rubbed her head in frustration as she tried to get her mind back together. Just what was going on with her? She fell to her knees as the pain in her mind distracted her from the sight of the outside world. Her eyes widen with intense fear, not sure what was going on. As the fear grew and nearly consumed her broken heart, one thought came to mind.
"My dear sister…." Sae muttered as she stood back up. Her eyes were filled with so much life compared to the last few months she had endured and yet, they looked soulless. She had a cracked smile across her face, hiding something sinister inside. "You'll come back, right? I know you will."
I know you will.
(.. "I don't want to be alone.."..)
-December 15, 1983. 20:23-
Ryokan let out a heavy sigh as he put on his kimono, the one he wears for festivals. It would be the first year he would've gone without any member of his family. He had to spend it without his brother, his wife and now, his daughters. He knew Yae had run off far away by now, presumably starting a new life with that outsider boy. She was always the selfish one of the twins. Sae, on the other hand, was thought to be too emotionally unstable to be brought to the festival, as much as her father wanted to bring her. He knew the festival would overwhelm her emotional capacity and it might lead to something disastrous but he felt completely horrible leaving her behind. He would've stayed home with her if he wasn't the village elder. Not attending any of the village festivals would make him look terrible among his people, despite his current situation.
After he finishes putting on the robes, he looked to his side and sees a couple of photos hanging on the way: an old photo of Ryokan and brother before his untimely death; a photo of him and Chouko, who was heavily pregnant with the twins, at that year's Shadow Festival; and the twins naively grinning in the park before Sae's accident that day. Taking some time to let the bittersweet memories soak in his mind, he made a sad smile. "If only…"
Shrugging off the memories, he turned to face the door only to see…
(.."the vengeful spirit"..)
…his young daughter standing in the doorway. She was wearing her oversized white sweater with white knee socks. An eerie smile was on her face as she stared at him with soulless eyes. Ryokan was utterly surprised at his daughter's sudden appearance, having not seen her so often.
"Sae!" The man exclaimed, frightened by his daughter's appearance. He held his chest from the excitement his old heart wasn't used to. "You shouldn't frighten me like that. I may be your father but I have the heart of a grandfather!"
Sae made no response to the supposed joke, not amused. "Where are you going, father?"
Ryokan felt his heart jump a little, surprised by Sae's voice's change in tone. "I…I was heading to the Shadow Festival and—"
Sae's eyes grew with immense rage. "Were you planning to leave me behind, Father?" She took a few steps towards her frightened father. "You were, weren't you? You were going to leave me all alone to die."
While he was indeed scared of his daughter's sudden aggression towards him, he didn't allow her words to bring him down so easily. "Sae, don't be so foolish! You know I am supposed to be there for the traditional opening of the festival! It is my responsibility to take part of this sacred ceremony and I cannot allow anything to stop me from it. As much as I want to take you with me…I do not think you're ready to face an emotionally triggering event like the Shadow Festival. Do you understand?"
(…"lies, they were all lies"..)
"…you're embarrassed to be seen around me, is that it?"
"The past few months, you didn't want to go out in public with me…I always had to go on my own." Sae muttered as he stepped towards her father. As much as Ryokan wanted to get out of there, his body was paralyzed with fear. He collapsed on his knees and he watched his daughter come towards him. "I am sick of being so alone all the time…I didn't need you because I had Yae and Itsuki…now that they're gone, I had to depend on you for company and you weren't even there to begin with. All that paperwork crap…you lied about that. You just don't want me and Yae around because you always blamed us for Mother's death…"
Ryokan looked into his daughter's eyes as she got closer and closer. All he saw was nothing but pain and anger; the same eyes as that man back then who was being punished for touching his elder sister. At that moment, he knew what had happened to his poor daughter. He knew they were beyond help now.
(.. "kill him"..)
Sae lightly wrapped her fingers around her father's neck as the smile on her face grew bigger and bigger. The old man did nothing to resist his fate and waited for his death. His eyes closed with defeat, knowing this is his punishment for neglecting his both his daughters and his heart during all the years he's been in this world. He did have one thing to say, however.
"Sae." His daughter loosened her grip on her father's grip a bit. "I know I am a terrible father and I am truly sorry for the neglect I've shown towards you and Yae…"
(.."you're not a terrible father.."..)
"…all the times I said 'I love you' were sincere. As much as seeing you two hurt me, you two were the ones that kept me from suicide. As I wait for my death, all I have to say is 'I love you, Sae.'"
(.. "love is the ultimate sin"..)
(.. "don't let it get to your head, you stupid girl"..)
Sae felt the tears flow from her face as her grip on the old man's neck tightened tenfold. "..you are a terrible father.."
-December 16, 1983. 02:43-
Sae found herself in her bedroom, completely exhausted and worn out. She had no memory of what had happened the previous day but she knew it was the opening of the Shadow Festival. As much she wanted to, she couldn't face the people staring back at her in disgust and anger. Instead, she decided to check on her father, hoping he wasn't out at the booths, getting drunk.
Before Sae left the room, she noticed how the lanterns were still lit despite being two in the morning. She shrugged and assumed the festival just went on later than it was supposed to.
As she made her way to her father's bedroom, she noticed how unusually quiet it was in the building. Usually her aunt and uncle that lived in the same household with them would come in all loud and drunk, making inappropriate noises after the festival was over. Probably still partying it up outside.
Reaching her father's bedroom, she peeked inside and noticed her father asleep in bed, still wearing his robes. Sae giggled slightly, thinking her father came home all drunk and what not. She closed the door lightly and headed to the bath room, intending on washing up; she reeked of a terrible but familiar odor. She had no idea what she had day the day before but must've been absolutely tiring for her to actually neglect to wash up after wards.
After reaching the bath room, she stood by the sink and splashed water into her face, wanting to get the icky feeling off her face. As she directed her eyes towards the drain of the sink, she noticed how red the water was turning, surprising the girl. She turned her head to face the mirror and saw what appears to be dried blood splattered on her face.
"What the hell?" she exclaimed as she backed away from the sink, leaving the water running. As she back away, she noticed her face wasn't the only one splattered in red.
"O-Oh my god…" Sae shakily whimpered as she felt the blood splatters all over her sweater. Most of it was dried out by this point. "What did I do? What happ—"
Sae held her head in pain as she fell to the floor, fear growing rapidly inside of her. It was the same pain she felt after that conversation with Seijiro. Surely he knew what had happened, did he? As soon as she knew it, pain ran through her head, making her cry out in pain. Her eyes were shut tight as tears leaked out from her eyes, mixing with the dried blood on her face. Memories of last night were coming in as small snippets as the pain continued to last.
Sae left her father on top of the bed as soon she made sure there was no pulse left. Killing her father was the first thing on the list, she knew that. But what was the next thing to do?
As she stood there pondering, she heard an uproar of laughter downstairs. Bingo.
"Kennichi, keep it down! You're going to wake Ryokan and Sae up!"
"Ah who cares, Sara? Ryokan won't care and Sae's just crying about her selfish sister! What would happen?"
Sae's fists tightened as the rage in her intensified. She spotted the family's treasured sword on display on top of her father's dresser. Knowing what she was going to do, she grabbed the sword's sheath and headed downstairs…
The screams of people filled Sae up with joy and excitement. Seeing as how as the sword broke after only a few deaths, she had to resort to using alternative weapons such as bricks and planks; Sae made no complaints, however. As long as it killed people, it made her happy.
As she preyed upon the villagers, she was laughing the whole time. Not the kind you'd expect from a little girl playing with her favorite toys. No, this was an unhealthy laugh you'd expect from a serial killer. For every cry of pain she got from her victims, she just laughed. For every beg, she just laughed. For every insult, she just laughed. For every painful memory she received during her rampage, she just laughed. For every tear that has fallen, she just laughed. She laughed nonstop, filling the night skies with the shrills of her pleasure.
"Chitose…Chitose…come out, come out wherever you are…"
Even in her deranged mind, she knew Chitose would never go to the Shadow Festival without her brothers and knew she would be at home. Even though her mind was broken, there was a part of her that wanted to see Chitose herself. After she got done with her parents, she went upstairs to find the girl… only to find her missing from her bed. She presumably heard the ruckus her parents made trying to fight off Sae and ran off to hide. Pathetic girl.
Knowing the Tachibana family far too well, she knew the young girl's regular hiding spots would be in the closets of the household. It shouldn't be too difficult looking for the girl. As Sae explored the second floor of the household, she heard bells ringing in a closet not too far away. Sae smiled as she headed towards her prey.
"Chitose, it's Sae. Please come out." Sae calmly said to the young girl was she tried to get the door open. Strangely, it wouldn't budge. The brat must be keeping it closed from the other side.
"No!" The little girl cried out. "I know it's not Miss Sae! The real Sae would never laugh like that! She would never hurt innocent people like that!" The brat must've seen everything.
"Chitose…don't you want to see your brothers?"
"N-NO, YOU'RE LYING!" The little girl's sobbing can be heard from the other side. "They're both dead! Mommy and Daddy told me the truth! Why are you doing this? ….What happened to you, Miss Sae?"
Sae felt a tear drop after hearing those words. Her mood, however, did not change. "You're the only one I care about now Chitose. I want to send you off to a better place where you can see your brothers again…there's no hope for you to live in this town anymore."
"…." Sae sees the door slightly opening a bit, revealing Chitose's tear-streaked face. Her gray eyes stared up into Sae's soulless ones, completely in fear. She was curled up in a little ball, shaking from fear, her bells jingling slightly. Seeing Chitose's frightened form softened Sae a bit, giving her a look of true remorse.
"Oh Chitose...you young, naïve fool…" Sae whispered to her as she held Chitose's pale face with her hands, startling her a bit. "We may never see each other again…the place you'll be going to is a safe haven for young, innocent girls as yourself. You may see your brothers there…"
Sae wrapped her hands around the young girl's neck. "…but they belong to rot in Hell like the rest of those bastards!"
Sae sat against the wall, completely in despair. There was no reason to cry anymore. Crying won't bring anything back from the dead. Not her father. Not Itsuki. Not all those innocent people she's slaughtered. Not even poor little Chitose. She can't cry for their deaths, knowing SHE'S the one who caused their deaths.
Sae had never felt so alone before. Everyone in the whole town is either dead or had fled. She was the only one remaining in the whole village…a feeling that has never left ever since Yae left her.
Was all of the rumors true? Did Yae purposely left her in the woods that night?
No, Sae refused to believe that. She knows Yae would never leave her. She's going to come back some day, she knew that! Yae has never broken her promise! She promised to always be with Sae and Sae believed that. Why would Yae lie to her like that? Good sisters aren't supposed to lie to their siblings. They're supposed to be honest with each other no matter what, right? Well, Sae promises one thing to her sister.
She'll wait for Yae in Hell.
A young girl, who looked no older than 15, stood in front of the yellow tape that was blocking the entry into the town she used to call home. She was sobbing into her hands, feeling complete despair building up inside her. A boy dressed in shades of green stood nearby, watching as the police past the yellow tape were running around like disturbed ants. He held the weeping girl in his arms, trying to comfort the maiden. Ignoring his tries of comfort, the girl continued to weep harder and harder. Among the feelings of pain and despair in her heart, she felt complete guilt and remorse over what has happened to the village...specifically, what has happened to her family.
"I'm sorry..." she cried out in her shaky voice. "I am so sorry..."
The boy escorted her out of the field of curious eyes before any trouble or drama would occur.
-End of Kurosawa-
This is probably the longest chapter of the whole story and I regret nothing.