Thanks so much RaegyStorm for the review and for adding to your follow list. I'm very appreciative! ~Blessings, Sasaria

o2 – Horror Flick

It happened innocently enough. Natsuki had suggested that they'd all rent a movie after school. Nothing big– just something to blow off some of the stress that school undoubtedly causes. Besides, it was a three-day-weekend, why not celebrate?

When the final bell rang and the three had congregated outside of the high school's walls, Haru (as always) was the first to speak up. "Natsukiii, what about Akira? Isn't Akira going to watch a movie with us?"

"We'd have to get in contact with him," Natsuki responded, glancing absently at a passing car. "I'm sure he'd say yes–"

"Yuki, Yuki, call Akira!" the blond-haired boy bounded, balling both hands into fists like an excited child. Yuki responded with a rather depressed-kind of look before uttering back with a tinge of exasperation, "I know, I know, I'll call."

He produced the white rectangular tool from his school uniform's pocket, flipped it on, and began typing on the keypad, both thumbs.

It was no surprise that they were all talking and deciding things like this. After all, they had been "friends" (if you wanted to call it that) for the past few months. It made enough sense that they'd be close enough to each other to at least call themselves 'that'. Yet and still, Yuki always seemed to grow exasperated by Haru's insistent whining.

Eventually, Yuki dialed in the right number and held the phone up to his ear. He was bristling slightly, his mouth puckered and at the same time almost in a slack, frowning. He was visibly tense, beads of sweat forming along his cheeks.

"H-H-H-H-H-Hello? A-Akira? W-Would you like to... get a... film– I mean, movie! I mean, Natsuki, and Haru, and I were going to rent a film –movie! We were going to rent a movie. Would you like to come over and watch it?"

There was a pause on the line, and soon Yuki's nervous trembling melted away into being less rigid and erect. His face rounded into a smile and he nodded and straightened. "Alright! We'll be meeting at Natsuki's house."

| † |

Eventually, Natsuki's house was filled with three other males– all of which (with the exception of Haru) hoped to not deal with a snafu.

"It was Haru's turn to choose. Alright, Haru, what did you pick?" Natsuki asked, plopping down on his dad's armchair. It smelled like vanilla ale, a nice musky, mystical scent and not like those other cheap beers.

Yuki had made himself comfortable on the couch, placing both his hands into his lap, polite and proper as always, while Akira chose to sit on the other side of the couch with Tapioca quaking in his arms.

Haru sat cross-legged on the floor, but immediately leapt up at the sound of his name.

"I chose this one!" the boy flashed a white cover with the title– "The Grudge" on it.

Yuki was the first to voice everyone's thoughts. "Uhh... Haru, doesn't that look a bit scary?"

"No! I read the back cover."

"And it didn't sound scary?"


Natsuki slowly walked over towards the television, pressing the button on the DVD player before placing the cold disk inside it. The DVD player closed and the film almost immediately started up.

"Maybe we should keep on the light?" Yuki requested, already looking quite nervous. But Haru shook his head. "Yuki, when you watch movies it's more exciting with the lights off! That's what Keito says~"

And thus the movie started. At first, it rolled a few trailers, but Haru grasped the remote and flipped through those.

"Wh-Why don't we watch the trailers?!"

"Nope! The trailers are just extra. That's what Keito says~"

The movie proceeded, and by the near end of it, Yuki, Akira, Haru, and Tapioca were all traumatized and frozen in place. Only Natsuki stared straight ahead without moving his eyes from the screen at all.

"N-Natsuki... w-weren't you scared?"

"N-...No" the boy quickly took to his feet to shake his head. "No. It's just a movie; it's all fake."

That night, they all returned home, and Natsuki couldn't help but notice Akira holding Tapioca a bit tighter than usual while Yuki and Haru scampered home as quickly as they could, each yelling at the other, "Wait up!"

Natsuki slowly closed the door to his house, and took the short, dark walk up to his bedroom.

Brushing his teeth and changing into his pajamas, he opened the curtains, allowing a glimmer of the full moon's light to bathe his room in intangible purity. He fell onto his bed, placing his glasses on the side table.

And he stared at the ceiling. Just stared for a second, two seconds, three seconds.

Natsuki stared so long his eyes began to feel dry from lack of blinking. One minute went by, then two, then three, then fourteen. And eventually, thirty whole minutes went by before Natsuki realized–

He was too scared to sleep.