Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to the Fatal Frame series.
Author's Note: I was inspired to start writing this time by a terrible group called Critics United that operates on ff dot net,. Hopefully, this is the first you're hearing of them. I only learned of them after they targeted this story, and you can still see their reviews on it, unfortunately. They insisted it was an original work and tried to threaten me into changing it or taking it down. This is what they do. Under the guise of "bettering the site", they target stories. My story, based only on that short prologue, they tried to claim was an original work, which it obviously is not. I tried to reason with them, but they were rude and arrogant in reply, and the first person who reviewed had the rest of the group leave reviews to help me "get the message"-as a side note, I'd appreciate people reporting these reviews. They mass-reported my story, and it was taken down less than an hour later, and my account got an infraction that could have resulted in it being taken down entirely, along with all my stories and reviews. Thankfully, I was able to get it restored, no thanks to them. They only admitted fault AFTER it got taken down, then acted like they were justified once they learned that, unwilling to take any responsibility for their actions. The admin posted a fake apology, banning me at the same time. She refused to get the others responsible to apologize or even get them to contact the site in an effort to get my story restored. Eventually, that original reviewer saw the error of this group and left it, offering me an honest apology. I had subscribed to their forum's complaint topic, and I have seen them treat various people quite badly, though they save the worst of it for PMs and other forums. They delete the posts of most people who make good arguments, so they can make it seem like only trolls are harassing them. Even now, they're still bad-mouthing and lying about me. They've even got TheFanficCritic helping them, which I was disappointed to learn.
CU targets stories that break rules that honestly the site either should not have, are vague, or are pretty minor. They rarely target stories for being very offensive or plagiarized, instead going after ones for things like bad grammar, being slightly racy, having some song lyrics, or being in script or list format. They don't just point out these things and make suggestions, but actually DEMAND these authors change their stories and threaten to mass-report them if they do not. This is not right, as they are not site staff, and it's very rude, no matter how polite the review itself may be worded. They stalk said authors, putting them on Alert, and then often go on a reporting spree as soon as the author shows any sign of activity that is not them giving in to said demands. CU has even admitted to doing this.
Sorry for the long note, but I really want to help people become aware of this. Too many people blindly praise them without realizing what kind of group they really are.
Oh, and don't forget to review.O_o Actual comments mean so much more than "Favorites" or "Kudos".
Saigo winced at the loud creak the mansion's old door made as she pushed it open and stepped inside. It slammed shut behind her the minute she let it go, and she cringed at the painful sound, before turning her attention to the large room that stretched out in front of her.
The round beam of her flashlight swept over the dilapidated walls and floor. A gasp escaped her lips as her vision suddenly blurred, flashing black-and-white.
"I think Surai might have been right. No more Photoshop. Stupid grayscale, messing up my perception of reality, making me feel like I'm having some kind of psychic experience…" Her mutters trailed off at that point, until they were suddenly interrupted by a soft whisper from over her shoulder.
Saigo whirled around, her flashlight focusing on the door. Though she had definitely felt some kind of presence behind her, there was no one there. This made her shiver.
"This place really is like a haunted house…" she thought out loud, wanting to disturb the eerie silence. "Next thing you know, I'll realize I'm trapped in here."
Her nervous laughter trailed off as she looked at the door. "Oh, what am I worried about? That kind of stuff only happens in movies! I'm just letting those creepy rumors get to me."
Still, once the idea was in her head, it was hard to get it out. Finally, she moved her hand to the door and pulled, earning her yet another annoying noise.
It wouldn't open.
"Damn." This was bad, wasn't it? She was supposed to go ahead while Surai got the stuff from the car, and now she had gotten herself trapped.
"No! A proper assistant never accepts defeat! I shall get this door open, even if it kills me!" With that, she used her all her strength and speed to throw herself into the door.
When she regained consciousness several hours later, she decided it would probably be best to look for another way out.
"There must be an emergency exit somewhere…" Saigo said, as she opened up the door to the far left and went through it.
A jolt of energy surged through her the minute she did so, and she turned to see a man she recognized as one of her brother's friends standing behind a partition in the room she had just left. His imagine swayed in front of her, and she was shocked to realize she could see right through him.
As she approached him to ask after his diet plan, the man disappeared, leaving behind a blue flame. Normally, she would never even think about touching such a thing-fire should be orange, not blue. Her pyromania had taught her that. But she was desperate to escape this mansion, and if burning it down with mysterious flames of unnatural color was the easiest way to accomplish that, she was going to do it. She knew such a thing would cost her heavily, but she could always buy another can of Pringles. Oh, and maybe talk to her parents about getting another brother. Akano was basically useless anyway. But people loved babies. If she were to get a new brother, she could probably trade him for a whole truckload of Pringles!
Just as she was starting to drool from the mere thought, she had reached the flame. Much to her disappointment, it disappeared as soon as she got close, words echoing in her head, seemingly from the man who had been standing there just seconds ago.
"The reviews… There are more reviews now…"
On the floor, there was a scrap of paper that finished the thought.
But they're all really mean.
Saigo didn't really get it, so she ate the paper and returned to the next room.
She found herself in a long hallway with a mirror at the end. Ropes hung from beams above, each with a different-colored pen tied to the end.
Saigo carefully made her way to the end of the hall, taking care to steal each of the pens on her way. A good writer could never have enough pens! And if there really were ghosts in this place, she could possibly use them as weapons to kill them! Bwahaha!
The seventeen-year-old grinned maniacally at the thought, until she noticed something on the floor in front of the mirror. It was an old camera not unlike her own, and she recognized it as the one her brother always carried in his pants, strictly for space reasons.
She briefly considered taking it with her, but promptly decided against it. What good would something like that do her? As she kicked it out of the way, another jolt shot through her the minute her foot touched it, and her vision once again become a blurry black-and-white.
There was Akano, running through the same hallway she now stood in. Hands reached out from the walls, grabbing at him. A long-haired girl in a white kimono stood watching him, and as he turned to face her, his eyes went wide, and the hands closed in on him.
Suddenly, the vision ended, leaving Saigo gasping harshly.
"Aw, man, why did it have to stop?! It was just getting good!"
With an irritated sigh, Saigo stomped over and picked up her brother's camera. The camera was clearly psychic, just like her own. Now she could be the owner of two gifted photography tools! No need to tell her brother she had found it, after all.
Grinning evilly, she stuffed the camera down her shirt with her own. She would resume the search for her brother eventually, but for right now…
After rummaging around in her top for a while, Saigo finally pulled out a notebook. Using one of the pens she had just stolen, she started writing down what she imagined to have happened after those hands caught her brother. Someone had to script his memoirs, after all. All she had to do was change that creepy kimono woman to a guy, and she had a guaranteed best-seller on her hands!