Author’s Note

This is an adaptation of a story that stems from a Reddit post about a possibly “lost anime” called “Go For A Punch” or “Sakisanobashi.” The search started in February of 2015 and many people have attempted to locate the anime. There have been a few false leads and as of this writing (December 2019), there is still no solid proof that this anime actually exists.

 

I first heard about the story through Justin Whang’s YouTube videos and the plot intrigued me. This story about the death of a group of girls stuck in a bathroom became an ear-worm for me over the course of weeks, and my imagination was sparked by the concept and started to fill in the blanks. What would this descent into madness and the grotesque be like? What situations could possibly happen to drive the girls to kill themselves? How could it ever be a sane thing to sink your own fingernails into your own flesh and rip it to shreds until you die?

 

Eventually, I made the decision to write my own version of it, utilizing as many of the different plot points that had been disseminated as I could. While some plot points were memories on various internet sites, this is an original work that will (hopefully) stand on its own. While I have no problem uploading this to freely read and disseminate among fans, I currently have no plans to sell it unless there is demand for it to be purchase-able.

 

If the internet communities can’t find this “lost anime,” at least we’ll have a wonderfully gruesome story to digest, if nothing else. What happens if it eventually surfaces? I don’t really know. If there’s enough similarities to warrant copyright concerns, I may take this story down. Part of me actually hopes it stays lost so this story can stay on the internet. Part of me wants to see the anime to see how close it is to what I wrote here.

 

Fate is a fickle thing, though. Sometimes we are just powerless to stop it.

Caitlyn Benoit, December 2019

If you like what you read here, please consider giving a donation via my Paypal account.  It's not required, but it'd be a neat thing to do for a girl who tried to fill in the blanks on the mysterious "lost anime" story!

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING STORY CONTAINS SCENES OF AN ADULT NATURE. TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR GORE, MASTURBATION AND SUICIDE.  IF ANY OF THESE TOPICS MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY NOT READ THIS STORY.  

“Go For A Punch: Saki-san no Bashi 咲さんの場所"
Original Story ©2019 Moderate Potatoe Multimedia

Day 1


          Takako was convinced that Saki should just confront her already. Emiko had just ducked into the bathroom down the hall and it was the perfect opportunity to do it. Saki just needed to be a strong, independent woman and stand up to her.

          Saki and her boyfriend Kichiro had only been going out a few weeks, but lately he seemed to be pushing Saki away. Where before he made plans in advance, she now couldn’t even get him to talk to her. She didn’t want to be the pushy type and force him to speak to her. Saki had noticed that he was acting different around other girls lately, and she was starting to get the creeping sense that there was something going on.

          “Do you remember my crazy grandfather back on the island?” Takako asked her. She nodded. “He had this saying that if someone threatened the safety of those close to him, just ‘go for a punch’ and they’d leave them alone.”

          “But how is this even like something your grandpa would deal with?” she said, a skeptical look on her face.

          “Okay, look: he’s your boyfriend! Clearly Emiko is just going to use and abuse him as she has other boys. That would HURT him! Do you see where I’m going with this?”

          “I mean… I don’t want her to hurt him, but… isn’t that, like, his choice if he wants to be faithful or not?”

          “Geez, you have no guts,” Takako said, her tone of voice indicating she thought less of Saki.

          The two 3rd year girls had known each other since elementary school. Takako was always the headstrong one. Some of their classmates were put off by how forward she was, but Saki absolutely loved her best friend’s willingness to put herself on the line for what she believed in. Takako was a loyal friend, sometimes even to a fault. Especially when Saki acted milquetoast and had trouble making decisions.

          Saki was the quiet one. Unfortunately for her, she was nearly always the center of attention due to her albinism. Her skin was an almost slate white with flecks of red in her cheeks and lips. Her eyes were an almost impossible light blue, the color of the sky on a cloudless day.

          All of the attention on her made her shy and reluctant to talk. She bottled things up because she didn’t want to be dramatic and seen as a freak. If she just stayed quiet, things usually stayed on an even keel. And the last thing she wanted to do was confront this young woman, especially in a high school bathroom!

          They were supposed to stay after school for a drama club meeting, but finding out what was going on with Kichiro was more important to Takako. She had specifically seen him talking with one of the more popular girls, another 3rd year named Emiko.

          Emiko was the epitome of beauty with her long black hair, graceful movement and natural beauty. She was all too aware of how she was seen, as evidenced by the long string of broken-hearted boys (and even a few girls) in the school. Most of them didn’t stand a chance, but Emiko seemed to react strongly to Kichiro… at least, according to what Takako had seen.

          Finally having enough, Takako said, “It’s time,” and grabbed Saki by the hand. She nearly dragged the other girl to the bathroom, strong-armed the door open, and walked right up to Emiko whose eyes were wide in surprise as she finished washing her hands.

          “What the HELL are you doing with Kichiro?” the headstrong one demanded of the other girl.

          “I’m... sorry?” Emiko said, not wholly surprised. Women always seemed to think there was something going on if she deigned to talk to their boyfriends. This situation was not new to Emiko, even if it was frustrating.

          “Ki-chi-ro.” Takako enunciated each syllable of his name by point her finger at her nose. “What did he say to you?”

          “Oh, you mean the skinny boy with the overbite?”

          Saki gave a weak, “Yes.”

          Emiko simply let out a loud sigh in response. She thought to herself that she may as well play around with these girls if they presume she’s easy. She looked behind Takako and noticed Saki.

          “Did you really think he wanted you, porcelain child? Why would he bother with you when he could have a woman like me? I plan on showing him a… good time, if you know what I mean. I’m going to give him an experience that a frigid strange albatross like you could never give him.” The girl walked towards the pale girl, ignoring Takako completely.

          “Just look at yourself! What man could ever want to have sex with you, you freak? With skin like that, I’d be surprised if you weren’t a rosuke or something. Da?” she said and laughed at Saki. The two friends looked at each other and Saki noticed the anger in Takako’s eyes and clenched fists. Please, don’t, Saki mentally pleaded with her friend.

 

          After several moments, Emiko’s continued laughter was cut short by the sound of a fist hitting her in the bridge of her nose. This caused Emiko to fall back into the mirror, creating a spider-web of cracks where the back of her head hit it. Emiko didn’t fall down and looked more shocked than hurt.

          “OH, MY GOD! What the hell are you doing, idiot? I’m going to sue your family so much that your grandchildren will be in my debt!” At this, a couple of the other girls ran out of the bathroom.

          Takako answered the other girl. “I’m protecting my friend; that’s what I’m doing! You’re a whore who doesn’t care who she hurts! I hope he gives you a disease!” She said, then stomped towards the direction of the door.

 

          Except there was no door. By all rights, there should have been. The door they literally walked through moments ago was simply gone, replaced with another section of wall.

          After her sudden stop, Takako said, “Wait. What?” She looked at the other three girls in the bathroom, one of whom was putting cold water on her possibly broken nose.

          “There… there was a door here… right?” she said.

          Emiko’s voice came from behind the others. “For fuck’s sake, have you gone blind now?” the voice piped up, and then she looked towards where the door had been. “Huh?” She turned off the water in the sink.

          All four girls stared at the blank wall, then gradually started to look all around the bathroom. The only other exits they noticed were be the tiny rectangular windows at the top of the stalls, but they were simply for appearances and non-functional.

          Takako said, “Wait a minute.” She paused for a moment. “Do you hear that?”

          Saki listened for a moment. “I don’t hear anything.”

          “Exactly! There aren’t any sounds to hear.”

          Emiko had a look of confusion on her face. “You, my friend, are one overcooked bowl of chili.”

          The fourth girl, a 2nd year named Nao, chimed in. “No, Takako’s right. Usually we would be hearing other students in the school. But… this is just… strange.”

          Saki was the one who broke the uncomfortable silence in the room. “So what do we do now?” Her voice echoed loudly throughout the room with the high-ceiling.

          “We can try yelling,” Takako said.

          “I could try yodeling,” Nao said in a helpful voice. The other girls simply looked at her.

          You know how to yodel?” Takako asked.

          “Yes, it was part of my cultural exchange club, where you learn things about other countries.”

          “Can you do it loudly? Because loud would be definitely be good right now!” Saki said.

          “I can try.”

          A moment later, a loud, “YO-DO-LO-YOO-HOO!” repeated several times, cutting through the lack of sound like a knife. After a few repetitions, she stopped. “My throat hurts a little. I hadn’t done that in a while.”

          Emiko said, “What if we all simply yelled instead of the fancy crap?”

          Takako approached the girl again. “Look, you’re already on my shit list, lady! This girl had a good idea and we tried it. Why don’t you just be nice to her instead of...?”

          Emiko talked over her. “Oh, after you cold-cocked me, you stupid...”

          Nao loudly interjected. “Girls! Can we please stop this? We’re in a little bit of a jam, and it would help if we weren’t clawing each other’s throats out here!” The quarrelers looked embarrassed and shot dirty looks at each other, but stopped short of saying anything to each other.

          They eventually yelled themselves close to hoarse. They didn’t hear or see any movement outside of the four of them. It was extremely eerie.

          There was no place to sit except the toilets, so they ended up perching on the floor. They made it a point to make sure the bottom of their skirts were touching the floor and not bare skin.

          Emiko quietly let out an “Oh” then dug around in her bag. She brought out the pager she had crammed in between her school books and writing utensils.

          The pager was about the size of a box of cigarettes, made of black plastic and had a tiny LCD display. When you turned it on, it would state “No New Pages” or how many pages you had. At least, that’s how it was supposed to work.

          Unfortunately, this time when Emiko turned it on, nothing happened. She had just replaced the batteries a week ago, so they shouldn’t have died. She muttered under her breath.

          “Nothing, huh?” Takako said to her.

          “Nope,” the other girl said, her shoulders slumped in defeat.

          “The school only allows you to have those in case of medical emergencies,” Nao said.

          “Yeah,” Emiko said, not wanting this conversation to continue.

          “So why do you have it?” Takako asked her.

          “Mind your own business!” she spat out.

          “Hey, hey, hey!” Nao said. “It’s okay. There’s no idea what’s going on or anything. May as well just tell us.”

Emiko sighed.

          “My father is a smoker… was a smoker, really.” She paused in thought. “Four months ago, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He quit smoking immediately. Mom had to quit her job, and both her and I have had to go with him to treatments. It’s brutal.” Another pause. “Mom talked to the school and they allowed me to have this just in case something bad happens. A lot of good it does me now. Stupid thing doesn’t even work.”

          “I’m so sorry.” Saki’s small voice sounded loud in the room as her apology echoed in the high ceiling. “I had no idea.”

          Emiko looked at Saki for a moment. “I was kidding about Kichiro, by the way,” she told the other girl. “He just wanted to flirt with me, was all.”

          Takako angrily said, “...and you were okay with that?”

          “He’s his own man. He can figure out for himself who he wants.”

          Nao’s voice was next. “Let’s… not talk about that anymore.

          “I wonder if that’s what started all this in the first place?” Nao continued.

          Takako looked surprised. “What do you mean?”

          “It was only after you hit Emiko and the other girls ran to get a teacher that the wall disappeared.”

          Takako’s eyes grew big. “Oh, wow! You’re right!”

          The girl suddenly got up from her space and hoarsely yelled to thin air. “I’m sorry I hit her! It was a mistake! Can we go now?”

          They were met with stony silence.

          “Well, shit,” she said and sat back down.

          Each of the girls talked about their families. Nao’s uncle runs a local jinja shrine, and occasionally Nao would help maintain it if one of her cousins couldn’t do it.

          Takako’s family originally came up from Okinawa a generation ago. Her parents spoke both the family dialect and the more traditional form of Japanese. Saki mentioned the stories she would tell about her family and their odd customs, which gave them all a chuckle.

          Nao and Emiko asked Saki some rather personal questions about her albinism. They were relieved that she seemed just like any other girl. She just looked different, is all. Emiko apologized for her earlier comments to Saki.

          They each drifted in and out of sleep.

Day 2

          Nao woke up to the sound of water running. Saki was at a sink getting a drink of water, while the other two girls were asleep. Emiko was actually laying on the ground, muttering nonsense words in her sleep.

          “Oh, good! You’re awake!” Saki said to Nao. “Do you have any food?”

          Her own stomach started to rumble at the thought of eating. “I don’t. I might have some gum in my bag.” After a few moments of searching, she found she didn’t.

          “I wonder if one of the other girls have any food in their bags?” Nao asked. As if on cue, Takako woke up. “Wha-huh? Food?” she asked groggily.

          “Did you have any snacks in your bag?” Saki was desperate for something, even a piece of gum.

          “Uhhh… lemme see...” she said, still wiping the sleep out of her eyes. “You just wake up and people are already asking questions. This is inhumane.” She kept complaining as she rummaged through her bag. She pulled out a half-consumed pack of sugar-free gum. “Hereyago.” Saki barely had time to catch it.

          Nao spoke again, “Emiko’s still asleep. Should we check her bag?”

          “Lemme do it,” Takako said. “If she wakes up and bothers me, I’ll just slug her again.” The tall girl wandered over to the slumbering figure whose bag was leaned up against the wall. Without any compunction, she opened the pack and looked through it. “Nothing but books, paper, and pencils. Dammit!”

          Just as Takako was sitting down, the loud ring of the school bell went off. Takako fell on her butt from the sudden noise, while Nao and Saki leapt to their feet. Emiko sat up immediately.

          The ring sounded almost exactly like their school bell… but it wasn’t quite the same. It continued to ring longer, for starters. Much too long. The sound eventually changed as if a record player was slowing it down. It also got much louder, forcing the girls to put their hands on their ears.

          Conversation was impossible because of the din surrounding them. Emiko panicked so much that she went headfirst into a wall. She didn’t stop, however, but kept ramming her head into the wall.

          Then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. It was only then that Emiko fell on the floor, unconscious. The other girls ran to her. Nao tore off a piece of her school uniform, soaked it in cool water, and brought it back to Saki who placed it on Emiko’s forehead.

          “Should we move her?” Nao asked.

          Takako answered, “No, that’d be a bad idea. We could accidentally break her neck or something if we move her.”

          “Jesus, it looks like someone threw a tomato at her head!” Saki said. She felt along Emiko’s forehead and it felt bumpy, as if her head was made of ice on a pond and there was a little give to it.

 

          “What was that bell anyway?” Takako asked. “It scared me so hard that I think I broke my tailbone!” The other two girls just looked at her and shook their heads.

          Saki was the first one to notice the color through the opaque windows. She alerted the other two, and all three of them saw that the color on the other side of the frosty glass was purple.

          “Purple sky? What on Earth would cause a purple sky?” Nao said in wonder.

          Saki’s voice rang in this time. “What the hell is happening to us? Like, where the hell are we? Have we all gone crazy?” The blonde girl started to cry and sat down in the corner where the hinge to the door had been.

          Takako tried her best to comfort her best friend. Takako was so used to being stoic, but she felt absolutely useless in this situation. Nao was also starting to cry and also sat down on the floor.  Takako herself started to cry and also sat down. 

          Several hours passed. Emiko continued to be passed out. Every so often, one of the girls would check on her and check her pulse to see if she was still alive.

          Each of the three girls had different ideas about what had happened to them. Takako said that this could be punishment for her earlier actions against Emiko. Nao thought they might be in another dimension where the standard rules of space and time don’t apply. Saki thought it might be time travel, but Takako said she was ridiculous for thinking that, because how would that explain a missing door.

          None of them noticed when the slumbering figure behind them awakened. The figure then walked over to the shards of silver-backed glass, grab one bare-handed and walked towards the trio.

 

* * *

 

          Emiko was in her bedroom. It was night outside and she had awoken with one of her random headaches she got on occasion. She got up to use the restroom, when there was a knock at her bedroom window.

          It turns out it was Kichiro who had knocked. What’s weird is her bedroom is on the second floor, so how did he get up here? Before she knew it, he was inside her bedroom.

          In real life, she hadn’t been drawn to him. But the figure before her was taller, more handsome, and lacked the overbite and neediness that turned her off. Before she knew what was happening, they were kissing and rubbing all over each other.

          He picked her up and took her to her bed where the kissing and rubbing continued. They gradually got to the point where they were going to have sex and, without saying a word, he put himself inside of her.

          It felt so incredibly good and the warmth of intercourse spread throughout her body. They developed a rhythm and started to ride the roller coaster of love-making together.

          Without warning, a pungent smell hit her nostrils. It smelled strongly of feces and vinegar.

 

* * *

 

          She opened her eyes and found herself back in the bathroom again. Instead of the hard cock of the idealized Kichiro, she found herself holding a shard of glass, piercing her vagina.

          Emiko found herself sitting in a combination of blood, feces and urine, all of them hers. It was a puddle of her fluids that spread quickly below her. She started to let out a low moan.

          At first, the three girls didn’t hear the moan. They weren’t even aware that Emiko had awakened, much less had started masturbating with the glass. It was only when that low moan reached a shout and then a scream of terror that they looked behind them, observing the gory scene.

          Emiko was afraid to move. She didn’t want to make things worse, but she didn’t see how things could get better. She painfully unlatched her hand from the sides of the shard wedged between her thighs and reached out towards the other girls.

          “HEEEEELP! MEEEEEE!” she yelled at them. The fear was a live thing in all of the girls’ throats, kicking up acid and making them feel surreal. The other three started screaming in tandem with Emiko. The cacophony of sound filled the room. The girls were too scared to do anything but gawk at the terror in front of them.

          Slowly, Emiko’s screams trailed off. Bizarrely, her eyes never completely closed. The look in them went from panic to simple pain to lifeless in a matter of minutes.

          Likewise, the girls each slowly stopped screaming and started crying. They huddled together, holding each other close, afraid of letting go of an iota of the sanity they had left.

          Eventually, Nao got up and ran to the closest toilet and dry-heaved for several minutes. The only thing that came out was the gum she had earlier. Saki went to an adjoining stall and did the same thing with much the same results.

          The smell became cloying and overwhelming in the small bathroom. There were very few paper towels in the bathroom and not nearly enough to attempt to clean up the puddle on the other side of the room.

          For the longest time, the girls avoided saying anything at all. Eventually, they started talking about what happened. They were all confused as to why she would have killed herself in such a manner. Especially with such a grotesque move as putting glass in your privates.

          Having empty stomachs wasn’t helping their moods any. They snapped at each other over small things, eventually falling    asleep on the other side of the room from the corpse that had up until recently been their classmate.

Day 3

          Saki woke up to see Nao staring at the corpse of Emiko intently. “What are you doing?” she said to the other girl.

At first, Nao didn’t acknowledge Saki. She continued to stare at the corpse.

          “I’m… so… hungry...” Nao said hypnotically.

          “No. You shouldn’t.”

          “But… she won’t mind… Not like she can protest even if she wanted to.”

          “But… it’s bad...” Saki said.

          “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t eat her, Saki!”

          “She’s a human being, for God’s sake!”

          “She’s fucking meat, is what she is. She’s dead! Not alive! Don’t you remember what happened to her?”

          “Yes, but she’s still our friend!”

          Nao scoffed at Saki. “Friend? Wasn’t it just yesterday that Takako punched her for being a whore?”

          “But...”

          “So the whore is dead. Let’s just get some food in our bellies, okay?”

          Saki starts to cry again. “WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT? WE’RE JUST GOING TO DIE ANYWAY?” she yells.

          Exasperated, Nao walks over to the corpse of Emiko and sniffs her upper arm. It smells like a mixture of her perfume, sweat and the overwhelming stench of the grossness below.

          After a few moments, Nao feels like she can’t do it. She stops for a moment, unable to shake the stench from her nose.

          Takako wakes up in the middle of the argument but doesn’t look so good. Saki puts her hand on the other girl’s forehead and finds out she’s running a fever. “Do we have ibuprofen?” she asks the other girl, glancing in Nao’s direction.

          For the first time, she notices that Nao has a sliver of glass from the broken mirror and started to cut part of the skin of Emiko’s upper arm off. With no expression of guilt whatsoever, she puts it in her mouth. She tries to chew but finds the texture gross, so swallows it whole instead.

          Saki yells at Nao. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

          “COME NEAR ME AND I’LL CUT YOU!” the other girl yells through tears. “I’M SO HUNGRY AND I HAVE TO EAT SOMETHING! I WILL HURT YOU IF YOU STOP ME!”

          Saki quickly looks through the three school bags nearby, not venturing near the horrible scene with Nao. Nothing. No ibuprofen, no acetaminophen, nothing. She huddles with Takako, who is still overbearingly warm; partly for comfort, but also because Saki doesn’t want to look at Nao. The sounds of someone cutting apart and eating parts of their body is gross, but not nearly as much as what it would look like, Saki figures.

          “Better pray she doesn’t get a disease,” Takako mutters through her fever and lets out a chuckle. Throughout all of this, somehow Saki and Takako stay quiet and fall in and out of consciousness over time. Nao starts talking to herself and paces around the bathroom.

Day 5

 

          Nao is back at her uncle’s shrine. The jinja has been in the care of their family for generations. The usually-nice clientele have all been replaced by wolves who are running towards the shamusho offices where the more vulnerable members of her family have taken shelter.

          Her uncle hands her a knife. He is giving her explicit directions to guard the entrance to the office and kill the wolves that come near her. Along with the other men and the women who don’t have children, her uncle runs towards the wolves.

          Unfortunately, very quickly it becomes a bloodbath, with her family being decimated in seconds by the large gray canines. The pack of assassin’s quickly notice her position and start moving toward her. She readies her knife and starts yelling at the semi-circle of gray creatures. At first, they seem cowed by her yells. They look from one to the other and out of the corner of her eye, Nao sees one leap for her.

* * *

 

          Saki has been awake for awhile, watching Nao walk the same circle for what seems like hours. Nao has the same shard of glass in her hand that she used to slice up Emiko.

          Suddenly, she stops in the middle of the room moaning unintelligibly. She starts screaming, causing Saki and the still-ill Takako to scream as well. Nao flails the shard as if it were a weapon, and starts to move towards the other girls.

          She makes contact with Saki, who screams even louder and begs her to stop. Nao appears to snap out of it and looks at Saki with the wound on her arm, then back to her bloody hand still clutching the shard.

          Nao drops the shard as if it had burned her hand and starts to yell in a very quick manner about wolves and how they will all be destroyed.

          “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE! THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US ALL! THEY WON’T BE HAPPY UNTIL WE’RE ALL DECIMATED!! MY EYES! MY EYES! WHY DID THEY TAKE MY EYES??? I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!!”

          Nao’s fingers quickly flex into claws and frantically scratch at her throat as she continues to yell seemingly nonsensical words. Eventually, her fingernails find purchase on the raw skin of her neck and start ripping flesh and tendons and blood vessels out of it. The claw-like motion never stops, continuing like some insane machine. Nao’s eyes are full of terror and fear, with tears streaming down her face.

          The yelling stops only when the young woman’s voice goes hoarse, still mouthing the words “wolf” and “death” among others. The claws dig in as far as they can, but gradually lose the intensity they started with.

          After a hellish wait, her hands finally fall to their sides. Nao’s eyes roll back into her skull and she collapses in a heap on the floor. The left side of her body falls on part of one of the sinks, taking that part of it down with her. It leaves a mostly-intact basin, with one edge of it sloping up like a ski ramp.

          The two girls oscillate between crying and screaming, and trying to console each other. “We’re… gonna… die… here...” Saki mutters between sobs.

Day ?

 

          It wasn’t until she really tried to look that Takako noticed the darkness on the other side of the frosted windows. The two electric lights in the bathroom appeared to start to fade in luminescence.

          She was still feverish, but less so than before Nao died. Consciousness was a slippery thing to grab a hold onto. Both of them were hungry and thirsty. The stench of death was everywhere and sometimes it was easier to sleep than to stay alive.

* * *

          Takako was back on Okinawa at her grandparent’s place. Her grandfather had always appeared to be ageless to her, but a great sadness was hidden behind his eyes. He had lost his wife some years ago, but kept on living mostly on spite and how much he reviled most other people.

          She had a close relationship with her grandfather. He had always been there, even if it was only through letters throughout the year. During the long holiday season, they would occasionally go visit in person, but it never seemed to be long enough for her.

          However, when she rang the doorbell and he answered, this time he started berating her. “What type of warrior are you that you won’t fight me? Huh? What is your fucking problem?”

          “Are you okay, grandpa? Why are you trying to fight me?” Takako said in response. Suddenly he was hitting her repeatedly, each blow stronger than the one before it until…

* * *

          ...she woke up screaming in Saki’s arms. She was crying hysterically at the nightmare and flailing around, accidentally scratching Saki with her fingers. Saki held the other girl until she was able to talk again.

          Saki, however, was dealing with other problems. She used the bathroom while Takako was asleep this last time and realized her period had started. She didn’t always carry pads because her cycle could be erratic, and she knew with certainty that this wasn’t nearly the right time for it. Usually they were pretty light, but this time it was heavier than she had ever experienced. In lieu of a pad, she used some of the paper towels in the dispenser. It wouldn’t take long for her to soak through them.

          All of this started Saki thinking about how long they had been stuck here for so far. How much time since the door disappeared? How many days since Nao had passed? How many since Emiko? Time had started to blur together since they had no discernible night / day pattern to follow. If her period started 10 days early (at her best estimate given their circumstances), what did that say about how time worked now?

          Takako’s fever was starting to let up and she almost felt normal. Saki sat down next to her and looked into her best friend’s eyes.

          “I have a favor to ask you. I know you’re not going to like it, but… I want you to kill me.”

          Takako’s eyes grew wide, “You want me to what?”

          “Please?,” Saki pleaded to her. “I don’t think we’re ever going to get out of here and I want all of this… the death… the craziness… I want it all to go away.”

          Takako stared hard at the slightly gaunt version of her best friend who was trembling next to her. How long had they been here?

          “But… you want ME to do it? I mean, you could always grab a piece of glass and do it yourself.”

          “But I can’t. I CAN’T! I can’t cut myself. I tried to do it before when you were sleeping and I don’t have the nerve. I can’t deal with cutting.”  Saki was crying again and now seemed close to hysterics.

          “I… I understand. Everything has gone to shit. I just wish I knew why,” Takako said, looking more like the child that Saki had met way back when.

          “What do you want me to do, then? How do you want to do it?” the taller girl asked.

          “In- in the sink. I want you to fill up the sink with water and drown me. A bloodless death. So there’s no blood, no urine, no… feces.” Her nose wrinkled at that last point.

          “If you’re sure this is what you want...” Takako said feeling less and less like a warrior girl and more helpless than ever.

          Takako tried to talk her best friend out of it, but Saki could be very willful when she needed to be. They talked about what could happen and what to expect. The two of them wondered what happened after death.

 

          Both girls stood up and walked towards the sink. Takako turned the cold water on full blast, then a little of the warm. They held each other and said, “I love you” and goodbye to each other. When the sink was full, Takako turned off the water. She lovingly put the ponytail holder in Saki’s hair, only leaving the bangs on her forehead intact.

          “I will never forget you,” Takako said.

          “I won’t forget you either,” Saki said.

          She then put her face in the sink, soon followed by Takako’s hands holding her head down. Tears streamed down Takako’s face and she let out a loud, heart-breaking cry that never wavered as she did what she was told.

          Almost as soon as her hands went to the back of Saki’s head, Saki’s hands flew up to try to remove Takako’s. But Saki had warned her about this. It was something that they learned about in biology class. The fight-or-flight survival response was strong, even if Saki was certain that she wanted to die.

          But Takako knew she was stronger than Saki and fulfilled her best friend’s wishes. After her body stopped moving, she waited what felt like 5 minutes. Then 10 minutes. When it felt like 15 minutes had passed, she let go of her best friend’s hair and Saki’s body fell on the floor like an inanimate object.

          Takako sat back down in the same spot where her and Saki had just been talking not too long ago. The tears wouldn’t stop coming and again she fell in and out of consciousness as she mourned her best friend, as well as the guilt of being the person who murdered her.

Day ??

          An unmeasurable amount of time had passed and Takako was getting desperate. She eventually came to the same realization that Saki did. There would be no escape from this place, and death would be the only way out of here.

          She cradled Saki’s corpse and talked to it. She sent prayers to the gods that Saki wasn’t in pain on the other side of wherever this was.

          Takako thought of her grandfather. She thought of her family. She’d never get to see her kid brother graduate from elementary school. Her happy life with school and friends and family was literally over. She was relegated to this bathroom full of corpses, some of them rotting for days. This was not a life she wanted anymore.

          Takako only hoped that her next life would have a better outcome. She didn’t know how or why she had ended up here and no longer cared. Since the bell rang, there had been no other noises. There was only the darkness on the other side of windows that were too high to even try to get to.

 

          She devised a plan but wasn’t entirely sure it was going to work. The broken sink had a slope, but it didn’t look too stable. Her hope was that she could use it to decapitate herself. It was kind of risky. Worst-case scenario, if it didn’t work maybe she could sever her jugular with glass then just fall asleep. To be on the safe side, she put a large blade of glass on the left ledge of the sink. If it didn’t work at all, she would simply slit her throat with that.

          It took a lot of time for her to even attempt to do it. She kept chickening out, had a plethora of crying jags, but eventually tried her plan out.

          The edge of the sink may have looked like a blade slope, but it didn’t do much damage to her before it broke too far to be useful. She sat on the floor in frustration, crying again.

          She grabbed the same piece of glass that Nao had used as a makeshift knife. After what felt like hours but could have been days, she finally dragged the glass across her throat. The first couple of times, it didn’t seem to do anything but hurt and draw a bead of blood. It was only on the third attempt that the blood in her body rushed out, at first in a small spray like a mini-waterfall eventually slowing to a stream that ran down her shirt. It looked as if someone had taken a red paint brush and went from her neck down to her waist.

          The shard of glass fell out of Takako’s hand and onto the floor as her life-force flowed out of her. Finally, maybe she would find some type of release.

Epilogue

          Chinatsu woke up in a strange place. She groggily looked around to see it was the bathroom she had just left a short while ago. She and Tomoko had went to get a teacher when the one girl punched the other girl. They found a teacher and ran back into the bathroom, then…
          Then it was a blank. That was the last thing she remembered before waking up here. Tomoko was here too, although she hadn’t woken up yet. She looked around and it just seemed like a normal bathroom to her, but something was wrong.

          Chinatsu noticed there wasn’t any noise beside her own movement. Usually the school would be bustling with noise, but there was none. After a moment, the second thing came to her: there was no door. Why would someone create a bathroom with no door? How were they to get out?

          She sat there terrified for no reason and screamed loudly, waking up her friend.

©2020 by Caitlyn Benoit