Candy Granny

Candy Granny (Shindo Makoto #02)

I’m second? Alright, let’s go. My name’s Shindo Makoto. Nice to meet ya. By the way, have you ever heard the story of the “Candy Granny”? This Candy Granny was an old lady that used to stand in front of the student entrance.

She used to be there until five or six years ago. She’s pretty well-known. Even I heard about her from one of my seniors. I haven’t seen her myself though. And the teachers, well they probably still know about her as well, I’d say.

So this Candy Granny, she looks just like a witch riding a broom.

She wears a bright red robe with a hood, which she wears whether it’s summer or winter. She has a large nose like a hawk, and giant warts like beans. Her chin tapers to a sharp point like a crescent moon, and her face is covered in wrinkles. When she smiles she has almost no teeth left, but you can catch a glimpse of her abnormally long red tongue.

In one hand she has a rugged tree branch, and in the other she holds a large basket. Right? Just like an old witch from a fairy tale. But even though this old lady looks scary, she’s actually quite nice.

She stands in front of the gate and when she sees a kid she likes, or who looks sad and all alone, she approaches them.

Then she reaches down with her bony hand, nothing but skin and bones, and gives them a candy out of her dirty, packed basket. And that’s how she got the name Candy Granny. That candy is supposed to be amazingly delicious.

It’s as big as a golf ball, and so big that if you stuffed it in your cheeks it would fill your entire mouth, but it’s so good that… it’s like it melts in your mouth, or you forget time itself, it’s not too sweet, but not too bland either. The flavours work in delicious harmony.

Just thinking about it makes you salivate, right?

But I mean, I’ve never actually eaten one myself. They’re all just rumours in the end, but it sounds nice, right?

Wouldn’t you want to try one as well? 2. Not really.

You don’t want to? They’re reaaaallly good. But these candy aren’t just tasty. How about you, you don’t wanna try one? I’m gonna keep asking.

I’d love to try one myself.

1. Yes.

Right? Right? I understand that feeling completely. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of sweet things, but I do love delicious food. There’s no brand name or anything written on it, and it’s wrapped in an old wrapping, so at first there must have been heaps of people who didn’t want one.

Most people who were lucky enough to receive one threw them away.

I mean, that’s what you would normally do in such a situation, right? If you received a weird candy from a creepy old lady. You don’t know what’s in it, it could be poison for all you know. Any normal person would throw that away. But, there are curious people out there. Which means there are people out there that ate it.

Naturally, according to the rumours, the first person to eat one of her candies was a kid being bullied, and constantly thinking of suicide.

He didn’t care whether it was poison or not, and ate the candy ready to die. What do you think happened then? He realised it was delicious. It was so good that it was out of this world.

It was so good, he didn’t realise anything on this earth could taste quite like that. It gave him the encouragement to keep going.

After that, he fought back when he was bullied, and became so cheerful that he was like a different person. After graduating high school, he went to a cooking school, and now works as a chef in a three-star restaurant in France. His whole life changed thanks to a single candy.

But, at the end of that day it’s just a rumour. Still, an amazing story, right?

Whaddaya think?

You wanna meet the Candy Granny?

2. Not really.

After all that you still don’t want to? Whatever. You mean that you can create your own happiness then? That’s not bad either. But humans have a limit as to what they can achieve on their own.

Working hard and chasing after dreams that seem impossible isn’t a bad way to live. But, there are only a handful of people who were able to achieve their dreams like that. Those without desires. But if that’s what you want, then go for it.

There’s also this story from someone who once got a candy from the old lady…

At the time, Katagiri Satoko was a first grader who wasn’t very good looking, nor was she very thin. What do they call it, she was pear-shaped? But she was a friendly girl, and everyone liked her. She had a good friend called Hara Eriko.

This girl was pretty cute, but she was not a kind person. Nobody knew how the two of them could be together all the time. But it’s not like I ever saw them myself. It was like Katagiri was Hara’s patron or something.

Maybe Hara had a superiority complex and the relationship satisfied that for her. She really wasn’t a nice person. One day, Katagiri was waiting at the gate for Hara, who had to stay back to clean.

“And who are you waiting for, little one?”
“A-Ah, my friend.” Katagiri was surprised. Anyone would be surprised by an old lady who looked like that suddenly speaking to you from behind.

“Well, while that friend isn’t here, I have something to give you. Look, here you are.”

The old woman’s wrinkled hand grabbed hers and she was holding something.
When she opened her hand, a candy the size of a golf ball in dirty wrapping was there.

“I’ve seen that you have a good heart. Children like you should be happy. I’ll remove the handicap that’s been following you around. Hihihihi.”

Having said that, the old lady seemed to hop away and disappeared.
“Just who was that woman?”
“Satoko! What are you doing, staring off into space?”
“Uh, well, you see…” She then told her everything that just happened, from beginning to end.

“This is what she gave me.”
“Eww, it’s dirty, why did you take it? Quickly, get rid of it.”
“Yeah, but I think I’ll keep it for now. There’s something about it…”
“Whatever, do what you want. If you’re gonna keep it, put it away. It’s gross.

Katagiri put the candy away in her bag…

Then, while she was chatting with Hara about this and that, she entirely forgot about the old lady. When she got home, she was preparing for the next day’s classes when…

“Hmm, did I take that out of my bag?” The candy was sitting on the right hand side of her desk. “It must have fallen out when I grabbed my notebook before.” She picked the candy up and thought about the old lady. “But, it doesn’t seem weird at all. I wonder why…”

“Ah, whatever. I’m hungry, so might as well eat it.” She popped the candy straight in her mouth.

“Wow, this is delicious! It’s so good it makes me glad to be alive! Thank god I didn’t throw it out!” She enjoyed it until the end, blissfully happy the entire time, and went to bed without brushing her teeth. But the strangeness was yet to come.

“Hey, Satoko. Did you lose weight?”
“I did! I’m not dieting or anything, but I’ve slowly been losing weight!”
Yes, not only was she thinner, but her skin was glowing as well. Strange, right?

She became so beautiful that she was like a different person.
“Hey, Katagiri, you’re so pretty now.” She quickly become popular with the boys as well. But Hara mustn’t have liked that.

One day, she questioned Katagiri. “What’s your secret? Tell me!”

“We’re friends aren’t we?”

1. Tell her the truth.

“Sure. Eriko, do you remember? That old lady. It’s all thanks to the candy she gave me that time.” She told her everything that happened after eating the candy. “Is that so?” Hara grinned.

After that, Hara waited by the gate for the Candy Granny day after day. When it rained, when it was windy, even when it stormed she took shelter behind a telephone pole and waited. If she was that stubborn, she should have just used the time to work on herself and she could have become even prettier that way.

Hara waited. She waited desperately.

“She’s not here again…” The sun had completely disappeared and everyone gone home. Hara pinned her hopes on the next day, and decided to go home.
“Are you alone?” As she was about to leave, she heard a voice from behind her.

When she turned around, an old lady wearing a red hood over her eyes was standing there. It was the Candy Granny. Nobody was there just before, it was like she appeared out of thin air. “Ah, you’re the Candy Granny, aren’t you?”

The old woman approached her, so close it was like the wart on her nose was going to press into her skin.
“Ihihi. Indeed I am. Were you perhaps waiting for little old me?”
“…No, I was just hanging around.”

The not very pleasant Hara quickly acted tough. But the old lady laughed, like she could see right through her. “Is that so? I love kids like that.”

“Even though you’re so cute, your personality is the exact opposite. Your only redeeming feature is your looks.” Hara was suddenly annoyed. “Which of us is the ugly one again? Whatever, just hurry up and give me the candy already!” Hara yanked a candy out of her basket and then ran off.

“Oh my, what an impatient child. Well, that is her fate…”

As soon as she got home, Hara ran to her room and locked the door. “I can’t wait to see everyone’s surprised faces, fufu.” Then she slowly ate the candy. A few days later…

“Eriko’s changed, hey?”
“I know right? It creeps me out.”
And what happened to Hara?

Her eyes turned up, her mouth dropped to the side, and wrinkled formed between her brow, making her look spiteful. Just like her heart. You see, the old lady has different types of candy she gives out. She gives people the candy best suited for them.

That’s why everyone reacts in their own way. Hara stole a candy from the old lady’s basket, and so the candy she took made her outward appearance resemble her heart.

Makes you laugh, right? Katagiri had the same candy as her. After that, the old lady never showed her face again.

And what happened to Hara after that? Apparently she got surgery to go back to how she looked before, but she was greatly changed after what happened. She did a complete 180, threw herself into study, and went on to medical school. She said she wanted to become a plastic surgeon herself.

If you’re speaking of Doctor Hara today, you could count all the famous ones on a single hand. You could say that’s all thanks to the old lady as well.

But if such a candy really exists, don’t you think it would be interesting? You’d want your teachers and friends and even boyfriend to try it, right? So you can find out what type of person they truly are… And that’s the end of my story. Who’s next?

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