Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chapter 1 (k)

In the end there was nothing we could find inside the shed. Satsukawa checked every nook and cranny to no avail. I told him it was completely pointless, but he didn't listen. He double checked that I heard that sound too and that I was as sure as him that it came from the shed. Once again I told him that there was no doubt, and even Dlanor confirmed it. There is absolutely no kind of hole or crack that could be used for something, no matter how small, to exit or leave that room. Naturally the door is an exception, but it was in plain sight and we were both very close to it. For someone or something to get out from there without any of us noticing, it should have been invisible. And naturally this also applies to when Satsukawa checked the shed, because Dlanor and I stayed outside in front of that very door. Considering all these facts, I can only conclude that whatever caused that sound it had to be still inside, and yet it was completely invisible to Satsukawa's eyes.

Erika: "It's been a few minutes already since we heard that sound, Satsukawa-san, but you still look troubled. Are you still thinking about it?"

Satsukawa: "Of course I am! How am I supposed to simply forget that I've just witnessed something that defies any logic?"

Erika: "Then do you mind if I ask you something? I'm curious about your thoughts. You see, there is an inherent shortcoming in having a superior mind: it's hard to understand how a commoner sees and interprets the world. So in this situation it would help me greatly if you could tell me more about what's going on in your head."

Satsukawa: "Sure... this commoner will be more than glad to share his trivial thoughts with the great genius..."

Erika: "Perfect! Then I'll go straight to the point: are you, right now, contemplating the possibility that the sound we heard was caused by a ghost, a demon or something equally supernatural?"

Satsukawa: "Of... of course not!"

Erika: "Is that so? Are you being completely honest? In other words, are you completely positive that this event didn't shake your disbelief of the supernatural? As I said earlier, I need to understand your perspective and you aren't of any help if you lie to me."

Satsukawa: "Well... okay... maybe a little. But I really don't think it was a ghost or anything in the end!"

Erika: "You don't... as in you have absolutely no doubts or you do have some?"

Satsukawa: "It's... only natural to become a little dubious after something like that..."

Erika: "Is that so? Something like that is enough?"

Satsukawa: "You make it sound as if that wasn't a big deal! Are you telling me that it didn't faze you not even a tiny bit?"

Erika: "Big deal?! Is that a big deal for you?! Of course I couldn't be bothered less!"

Satsukawa: "So you just see something that can't be explained by natural means and you still don't even contemplate the possibility that it might have a supernatural explanation?"

Erika: "Absolutely not."

Satsukawa: "But..."

Erika: "Listen, Satsukawa-san, if you can't explain something, it just means you lack the necessary informations to comprehend it. Jumping directly to the conclusion that it must've been magic, is simply stupid."

Satsukawa: "Then... how do you explain that?"

Erika: "Sigh... why do commoners always expect to understand everything easily and instantaneously with their limited minds? Why do you need to convince yourself that it has to be magic rather than conclude that you're too stupid to understand the trick? Oh, wait... don't bother answering, it was a rhetorical question."

Satsukawa: "So what about you? If you're a genius..."

Erika: "Ah, whatever, whatever. I'm not interested in this conversation at all."

Satsukawa: "You're the one who started it..."

Erika: "I just wanted to know if such thing could be used to make someone believe in the supernatural, and I think I've got my answer already. Think if the same thing happened while you were inside the shed, during nighttime with a hundred candles dancing around you. And think if it happened to a high school girl, which would certainly be more impressionable than an adult policeman. Now think if everyone around you was pretty serious about this occult stuff. I suppose it'd have a way greater effect."

Satsukawa: "Well... I guess it would've freaked me out a lot more..."

Erika: "That's what I think. Too bad you aren't a teenage girl though, you could have given me an even better insight."

Satsukawa: "Sorry for being an adult man instead..."

Erika: "Oh, it's quite all right. You're close enough."

Satsukawa: "Great... Anyway we've arrived, that building is where Hitomi Gotsuji used to live."

I take a look outside the window, while waiting for Satsukawa to park his car. It's dark outside so I can't really see it well, but it really looks like the kind of place where you stockpile poor families that can't afford a decent home. I wonder how many apartments they managed to fit in that eight story building, probably more than I would think. Oh nevermind, you can tell simply by counting the AC condensers... and there's quite a lot! Plus there must be an equal number of apartments on the other side.

Dlanor: "It looks like a danchi."

Satsukawa: "As a matter of facts, this is indeed a danchi, a public housing, the rent is very cheap."

Erika: "There are still people living in danchi in the 21st century? I thought they were a relic of the post war era."

Satsukawa: "There are still some that survived to this day. Beside, this is one of the most recently made, it's not that antiquated, especially for what concerns the interiors."

Erika: "I see... but I don't really care about the building itself. What I'm looking for is the victim's room."

Satsukawa: "Yeah... I thought that much..."

Erika: "You've been there already?"

Satsukawa: "Yeah, we couldn't find much of use, but we took her PC. Our computer experts are examining every single byte they found in the hard disk."

Erika: "They can't afford a decent house, but instead of saving money they spend it in computers and mobile phones."

Satsukawa: "That's the kind of stuff only a rich person would say."

Erika: "Indeed, if they could even think about the importance of saving and investing money they wouldn't be poor anymore. Instead they waste what little they get into futilities and thus they're bound to remain poor forever."

Satsukawa: "You make it sound as if it's their fault."

Erika: "But it is their fault! Do you think I should pity them? They simply lack the will to get a better life, and this is what they deserve. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. A strong will can achieve everything, even miracles."

Satsukawa: "Now that's interesting, I'd never expect you to talk about miracles."

Erika: "Don't misunderstand me, Satsukawa-san. If you think miracles are granted to you by divine providence without any effort from your part, then I'm very sorry. The witch of miracles herself once told me: miracles are called miracles because they don't happen."

Satsukawa: "Now I'm even more confused..."

Erika: "No doubt. So, where's this apartment?"

Satsukawa: "... Third floor..."

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