Swaying, swaying

Strange

I have received permission from the author of this web-series to translate and post his stories in English. I’ve really been enjoying reading it and I hope you will too! Please click the author’s name below for the original Japanese stories.

Author: Ukari

To say here is far, and to call yonder nearby. Stories on the edge of the every day, strange tales you may or may not be moved by. Strange, curious, fantastic stories told by me, you, him and her. There are many stories but they’re all concluded within a single page, each story around 200 to 1200 characters in length, a short story collection you can easily read. Please enjoy them. Updated every Saturday at 6pm.

***

There was a large, nicely shaped cherry blossom tree in the junior high I graduated from.
There were ghost stories to go with it as well.
Apparently, “On the night of the first flowering of the season a figure appears swaying in the branches.”
Of course it’s not a living person. Hanging from a tree branch with a rope tied around your neck, there’s no way a person wouldn’t die from that.

Who is the person hanging from that tree? How did they get there? Well that depends on who you talk to.
It was a student who failed their tests. It was a student who was bullied. It was a student who was rejected. Or perhaps it wasn’t a student but a teacher. Perhaps it was neither and just someone passing by.
But whether failing a test, being bullied, being rejected or being tired from work, this person was regardless enchanted by the cherry blossom.
And so rumours became rumours, speculation became speculation, and the truth became indiscernible from fiction.
But amongst all those stories there was always one thing in common.

“I should have stopped I should have stopped I should have stopped I should have stopped.”

The figure whispers while swaying beneath the tree.

A few years ago I returned to my former junior high school for teaching practice.
I was intrigued by the story, so in the small hours of the morning I went to visit the tree. There was no reason to get especially close to it. While looking at it in the moonlight from afar I could most definitely see a figure swaying there beneath the tree.
After that, I never returned.
But I was absolutely convinced.
That person, they’re still hanging there.

“I should have stopped I should have stopped I should have stopped I should have stopped.”

Repeating those words full of regret.
Probably, even now.
Most likely, forever.

 

Original Japanese

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