Welcome back, Ms. Christina Cross, to what is her second entry in her work for Chilling Tales For Dark Nights! Christina narrates this sordid tale, translated from a Japanese legend, about a man named Kevin. Kevin, home alone during his recovery from a recent car accident, plans to treat his upstairs neighbors to some leftover pizza. When he finally meets them, however, something just doesn’t add up. From the little of them he can see through their barely-open front door, he can tell there is something wrong with their faces. Something unsettling. Read on (and listen) to find out what has Kevin so spooked.
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Narrator: Christina Cross
Producer: Craig Groshek
This is a story I heard from my friend at the local university. A man named Kevin got whiplash in a car accident and decided to convalesce at home for a week. Kevin was married but his wife was also working, so he was all alone during the day. For the first few days he enjoyed the freedom, but when the third day came, boredom began to set in. Still, he had to stay in, because his injury kept him from going anywhere.
Then, one day past lunchtime, he was watching TV absent-mindedly when he heard heavy stamping noises and children’s voices from upstairs. He didn’t pay much attention to it, although he wondered if the kids were on a school holiday. The next day, he again heard the same children’s voices, around the same time as the previous day. It sounded like there were two children up there. The place where Kevin lived was a large apartment, but in spite of that, it tended to be very quiet during the day; the children’s voices, therefore, echoed loudly in contrast to the quietness of the surroundings. Kevin, however, did not feel annoyed, but was rather glad of the distraction and the break it provided him from the eerie silence.
The next day, Kevin, feeling bored and not motivated enough to cook lunch, ordered a couple pizzas. The pizza, which arrived within 30 minutes, turned out to be too much for Kevin, and so he left one whole pizza untouched. Usually, he would keep any leftovers for his wife, but this time he remembered the children upstairs and, willing to do something kind, he decided to take the pizza to them.
Kevin had no idea who the occupants of the room upstairs were, but he rang the bell on the door anyway. He heard something stir inside, but there was no answer. He rang the bell again. Strangely, he got the feeling that someone was looking at him through the peephole.
“Who is it?” A faint voice called out from behind the door.
Kevin explained he was from the room below and that he had some pizza left from his lunch and wondered if they wanted it. The door opened a crack. It looked unusually dark inside the room. Through a gap half an inch wide, a woman appeared, revealing only half of her face.
“Thank you very much. But we don’t want it,” the woman said coldly.
It was a little too dark to discern her facial expression. Kevin suddenly felt he was somehow out of place, like he shouldn’t be there; however, he tried to explain to her that he wanted her to give the pizza to the children.
A lukewarm air breezed out of the door. He smelt an unpleasant odor. In an instant, two children’s faces lined up below the woman’s face. The door was open still just a crack. The dull eyes of the children stared at him. The three faces were forming a line.
“I see…. then… I will accept your kindness,” the woman said. When Kevin put the pizza box through the gap, a hand reached out from the side and snatched it away.
The three faces were still staring at Kevin.
“Thank you,” the faint voice spoke again.
Kevin quickly left the place. He felt spooked. In the corner of his mind, he sensed something was seriously wrong. The image of the children’s faces had left a burning impression in his mind.
He felt a chill down his spine.
Faces…they were forming a line…
His pace quickened. He wanted to get away as fast as he could. He waited for the lift, but it would not arrive.
Forming a line….vertically….on top of each other…..
He pressed the button again and again, but the lift still did not come. He turned to the emergency stairs. His head throbbed with pain. He began to feel nausea.
Just as he opened the heavy door leading to the emergency stairs, he felt eyes on his back. Turning around, he glimpsed, about 10 meters from him, the same three faces looking at him from the corner of the corridor. Like before, they were showing only the upper half of their faces and staring at him with their dull eyes. The cold day light shining through the windows illuminated their faces.
No longer caring about his neck, Kevin frantically ran down the stairs. Although Kevin was fairly athletic and often used the stairs instead of the lift and could easily run up four floors in one go, he felt as if no matter how fast he ran, he would never reach the ground floor.
Faces lined up, on top of each other….that’s impossible…that means there are…no bodies……
He ran into the nearest convenience store and asked the people there to call the police.
The police came, and when they searched the flat, they found there the headless bodies of a mother and her two children in the bath tub.
According to the police report, it had been three days since the mother and children had been decapitated.
The husband was found hiding in a bedroom closet, his eyes wide with terror. Though the police had no evidence linking him to the crime, it was determined that he was the murderer. The husband was clearly insane, they said. He had claimed to have no knowledge of his family’s death. In fact, he insisted they were still alive.
The police never did determine the reason for his terror.