Chapter 23:

The Haunting Hour

Game Gyaru

Not much time seemed to have passed for them as they continued to live their normal lives. Hakuta simply kicked back on the Toystation, while Shiuka usually was out with friends. However, tonight was a little different. That being she wasn’t out. Instead, the girl had been interested in a new game he had picked up from a used games store.

“What’s this?” She asked, taking note of the dark and grim title screen as he prepared himself.

“It’s ‘Quiet Mountain’.” He answered. “I don’t know if you’d like it. The game’s supposed to be scary.”

“Ha!” She laughed in the face of potential fright. “Me and the gals are almost always renting out scary movies. I’m not some little girl who wets herself from a little jump scare.”

“Good.” He responded by turning off all the lights and closing the curtains to dim the living room as much as possible. “Then, I don’t have to hold back.”

“What’s all this?” She wasn’t used to the idea of changing the atmosphere when enjoying horror related things. At least, when it wasn’t Halloween. “Why’d you turn off the lights?”

“Don’t tell me you watch all those movies with the lights on.” He said. To which she denied, even though her and her friends actually did watch them with every single possible light on to brighten up the room they were watching in. Pretty much, she was actually a coward who might’ve spoken a bit too big of a game to him. “Anyway, I usually play these games with headphones, but since you’re here. I’ll just turn up the volume.”

“Yeah, I can handle that.” She gave him permission, even if every muscle in her body tensed up from the potential horrors about to meet them. “What’s this game about anyway?” They sat together on the couch as the game loaded into the starting cut scene.

“It’s about a guy who’s looking for his kid.” He explained as the narrator gave the explanation as well. Hakuta had played this game before, so he was glad to be able to repurchase it at a low cost. “Actually, speaking of looking. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from her dads.” At this point, it had only been about a month since the day those men left for this supposed adventure. The last time they talked to them, was about a couple weeks after they got stranded on that mysterious island.

“I’m sure they’re fine.” She responded absentmindedly. Shiuka was more worried about their own well being as he started to move his character around. The town they were exploring was dark, as it was late at night. It seemed as thought there was no one around, yet she got the feeling they were being watched at the same time.

It didn’t help that the camera switching over as if to indicate there was someone watching his character. She was also unsettled by how the camera wasn’t over the top of his shoulder. Instead, it appeared to be switching around as if security cameras were looking over him, which left them the inability to see what was coming up.

“It doesn’t really make that much sense.” He commented on said angles. “I think it’s cool for cinematic effect, but really the guy I’m playing should already be seeing the scary stuff.”

“Oh, so we’ve already seen it all?”

“We haven’t seen any of it yet.” When he revealed they had yet to be properly scared. Her heart sank to the depths of the abyss. There was no way she could possible continue looking at the screen, but at the same time the girl didn’t want to be a coward in front of him.

Meanwhile, Hakuta had kept his eyes glued to the screen. He already knew what was to come as they walked into an alleyway. She thought it was a stupid idea, but of course it was the only way to progress through the game. There, they were greeted with the first horrible sight. A dead body hanging from the gallows.

“Ahh!” She gave out a cute little yelp from the jump scare. A bit of her began to inch towards him to try and find shelter somewhere, anywhere. Then, that was where they were hit with the first monster. A grotesque beast made of multiple different human parts rushing to his character.

This broke her, as she screamed at the top of her lungs, which nearly blew out his ear drums from how close they were. Then, Shiuka tightly grabbed onto his shoulder, hindering his gameplay as he got destroyed from the monster.

“Hey, you…” He was going to complain to her, when the two of them noticed how tightly she was hugging him. The girl’s breasts were squeezed tightly onto his arms, leading to the pair sharing a major blush together and quickly separating. “I think we should go to bed for the night.” Yet another embarrassing encounter for the pair.

Hakuta didn’t like how things could turn out in this manner. As much as he might not want to admit it, it was impossible to ignore the differences between each other. He was a boy and she a girl. So even if nothing was ever going to happen with each other, that wouldn’t stop this from happening.

Sometimes, when he would head to bed like in this moment. The boy wondered what was going on in her mind whenever something awkward happened between them. When they first met, he assumed she was some airhead who forgot about things the second they entered and exited her head. Though now it seemed she could pay attention to those around her, so what did she think of him now?

Just as he was about to get into his bed, there came a knocking on his door. It was Shiuka because who else could it be? When he answered, she was dressed up in her pajamas, appearing ready to go to sleep herself. “What’s up?” He asked, trying to seem as normal as possible.

“Well, you see…” She sheepishly spoke to him. It was already bad enough to have grabbed him in the manner she did earlier, but there was another point for her that was a matter of pride. “Can I sleep in here tonight?”

“Huh?” He was taken aback by the request. “Well I know you held me and all, but…”

“It’s really scary in the dark.” She broke down in tears, making him realize that he misunderstood what she was asking from him. “I can’t sleep by myself, what if the monster gets me?” It was childish of her to admit these things to him. After all, it was simply a video game they played. The things in there couldn’t possibly hurt her.

Though that didn’t stop her from begging and pleading with him. Shiuka dropped down onto her knees and grabbed onto him to try and get him to accept the suggestion. “Please, please, please?”

“Okay fine.” He relented. “You don’t have to do all this.” It was a bit silly to see her to adamant on spending the night in his room. It was already unlikely anything would come after them. And even if those things existed in the first place, there was no way for him to defend them. The boy was not known for his fighting prowess.

“Thank you.” She perked up immediately upon knowing that he allowed her into his private domain. Immediately, she jumped onto his bed and got herself ready to fall asleep.

“Hey.” He scolded her. “It’s my room, and that’s my bed.”

“But I’m your guest.” She countered. “So you have to treat me.” Shiuka didn’t seem to care for his feelings as she stretched out her limbs onto the bed. If he were to try and lay down there, it would be practically impossible. She had everywhere covered with her body parts.

“Technically, aren’t I the guest?” This was her home in the first place. His stay here was supposed to be temporary. “Whatever, just move over.” The boy pushed her aside and got onto the remaining free space on his bed.

“Eh?” She was surprised to see him join her on the bed. It seemed like it was an expectation for him to just sleep on the floor just for the night. “B-but, are you s-s-sure about that?” Shiuka became a stuttering mess in realizing the error committed by her for being so selfish.

“Relax.” He assured her. “You can lay under the covers, and I’ll sleep over them.” To him, they could at least avoid touching each other while they slept in this configuration. “Besides, if you want me to protect you, then it’ll be easier for me this way.”

“Who said I needed you to protect me?” She asked, a bit riled up now. Funny coming from the girl who came here so she wouldn’t have to sleep alone.

“Anyway, good night.” He said, and turned out the lights. The two of them drifted off to sleep rather quickly. That was good with him, so they wouldn’t have to think about sharing a bed at this age together. It wasn’t even for something romantic… Not that he would do anything like that with her. But it was kind of embarrassing that she needed someone to sleep with because she was too scared of being alone in the dark.

However, the joys of sleeping were going to be lost for him at around three in the morning. Since she had been paranoid about monsters getting them, her mind was sensitive to things that went bump in the night. So when they heard a loud bang from down stairs, it caused her to freak out a bit.

“Ahhh!” She yelled, which knocked him off the bed and onto the hard ground.

“Great…” He quipped as he laid on the ground tangled with blankets. “Look, it was probably just something falling over.”

“No.” She disagreed and came up with a ridiculous theory. “I bet that game just summoned those monsters out to our world. You must’ve picked up a haunted game.” He rolled his eyes over her creeppasta and turned on the lights.

“Look, we’ll go downstairs and I’ll show you it’s nothing.”

“I don’t want to go down there.” She responded. He didn’t care and began to open the door and make his leave. “Wait, I don’t want to be left alone here.” Changing her mind, she followed him into the hallway. There, they both took note of something strange. The lights down in the kitchen were turned on. Odd, as they always made sure to shut off all the lights before bedtime.

“Did someone break in?” This house did appear to be quite nice, and some would assume those who lived here were wealthy. That made it a solid target for burglars. Perhaps they should hide away until they left and contacted authorities. “I’ll just take a peek.” He told her.

“Well, I don’t want to be left alone.” She whimpered, still stuck on the idea whatever was downstairs were not human. “Besides, what if you get caught and they kill you?”

“Well…” The idea did make him hesitate on the plan. “Just don’t think about it. Go ahead and call the police.” He commanded her and tiptoes his way down the steps. There, he saw shadows coming from the living room. They appeared to be of two men, clearly individuals with bad intentions to them.

Quickly, he scanned the area for something to grab and use as a weapon. That was when Shiuka arrived to inform him that she couldn’t call the police. For the only phones were downstairs right now. Somehow, they were unlucky enough that the only home phones were located down there. Then her phone was also dead because she forgot to charge it for the night. And of course, there was no way for her to unlock his phone to use it. “You know you can still call… Never mind.” Though one didn’t need that for emergency services.

The more important thing about her presence as that she did pick up a baseball bat she kept around because Ninka left it there. That girl happened to love baseball.

“Did you see who they were?” She asked, readying her weapon. The only response she got from him was a finger pointing towards the shadows. As they got closer, one of the men emerged and on instinct she whacked them right in the head, knocking them out. “Ahhh!” She yelled and tried to rush the other one. That one cowered in fear and yelled out.

“Wait, it’s us!” He screamed. “It’s me, papa!”

“Huh?” That was enough to get her to stop right in her tracks. Now that they had a better view with the lights. It was plain as day that the man standing in front of them was her dad, Kankichi. Meanwhile, Hakuta’s dad, Toukou laid on the ground.

“You guys are back!?” Hakuta expressed major shock in seeing his dad for the first time in ages. Though perhaps not in the best light as they had knocked him out flat on the floor.

“Papa!” Immediately, Shiuka dropped the bat and leaped into a tight embrace in her father’s arms. “I missed you so much.” 

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