Sometimes, spirits chase their lovers down and haunt them until their passion is fulfilled.
It was the same dream, night after night. But this time, something was different.
He dreamt that Asami Yamazaki had won everything. She killed the man who had been her previous pet, put him down with a lethal injection like a dog that had outlived his use. The man who made the fateful decision to cheat on her, long before Shigeharu Aoyama even knew her name. She put him down, just like she killed Aoyama’s beloved beagle, he thought with a shock of grief. She pledged to love Aoyama and no one else. And she captured, bound, and tortured him until he became the next man to live in her burlap sack.
He struggled in vain, arms shackled to the ceiling. She had injected him with something that felt like fire and acid in his veins. He lurched about, gurgling like his predecessor had in the sack, but now the burlap sack was folded in the corner of the room. She had taken him out to play.
Asami sat on the floor on the far end of the room, her sleek black hair hung like a curtain over that pale oval face, the haunting face that stole his senses, ensnaring his soul until he fell into her trap. Her lips were like the brush of a pink cherry blossom. At the sound of his struggles, a slow smile spread over them. She looked up, he shuddered. And those eyes lit up with an insane smile.
Asami slowly approached him, heels clacking on the floor, her gait graceful like the ballerina she used to be. Aoyama looked down. She was holding a bunch of silver needles in her hand. Their sharp points glittered in the darkness. Slowly, gently, tenderly, she pushed them up under his eyes and into his abdomen.
“Deeper, deeper, deeper,” she breathed.
She seemed to think that penetrating him was as intimate as the time they made love, that fleeting moment when he breached her with his cock and she gasped in pleasure spiked with pain. But Aoyama had always imagined he would be the one on top, the one doing the penetrating, holding her, soothing her, as she moaned in pleasure and pain.
Pain, pain, pain.
“Asami, stop!” he shouted.
Being an old-fashioned gentleman, he was used to ordering women around. And it was a hard lesson to unlearn, despite everything this girl had put him through.
And a girl she was to him, not a woman, despite the fact she was an adult. She was closer in age to his son than to him. And he learned the hard way that she took a girlish, almost childlike delight in his suffering. He should have known better than to pursue her in the first place.
Her eyes flashed.
“I’ll decide when it’s time to stop,” she said, slapping him lightly across the face.
She fished out a piece of barbed wire.
“This wire can cut flesh and bone so easily.”
And those eyes never left his as she carefully sawed off his left foot. At the sound of his screams, his rage, agony, and terror, she grinned like a shark, teeth glinting like the needles in his skin.
“You have so many others. I’ve only got you,” she muttered, petulant and almost pouting, “even though I gave you all of me you won’t be mine alone.”
His screams turned to howls, his commands and demands melted into desperate pleas for mercy. He promised to return her love, to love only her, until the end of time.
In a hazy part of his brain, Aoyama wondered when she was going to get bored with him and kill him like her last boyfriend. His fear seemed to fill her with tenderness, which confused him because girls were supposed to dream of men who could take care of them, not the other way around. She stared deeply into his eyes. One by one, Asami gently plucked the needles from his body and he gasped, eyes widening in relief.
She gathered him in her arms, seating him across her lap. A hand stole down his back, all the way to his buttocks, petting him like a dog. The touch was suggestive, degrading but strangely soothing, and he felt himself relaxing in her grasp, his head light from the loss of his foot.
She was younger and smaller than he was, but she could give him a hard spanking in this position. The kind a bad dog would receive from its owner. She was young and strong, while he was older and far more frail than he liked to admit. If he weren’t in so much pain, he would have been hard, he would have humped her leg like the dog he was, and they both knew it. And the knowledge seemed to please her.
“You were always very busy,” she murmured, “sorry for being jealous. You were the first one to support me, warmly wrapping me, trying to understand me...”
She broke off and flipped him over, brushing a kiss across his brow, and then his lips. And then it was over. Aoyama could feel the sudden change in her mood by the way she stiffened against him. He braced himself, fully expecting more pain.
It was always the same, night after night, but this time, something was different. This time, the pain never came.
She stood up and stepped out of the room for a moment, humming an old love song she was surely too young to know, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. But she had an old soul. He recalled that was one of the things that had drawn him to her the most.
When she was out of sight, Aoyama’s son Shigehiko and his friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa stepped out of the shadows. Almost like they were actors who had been waiting for their cue a long time.
“Is she gone?” Aoyama wheezed. “Yoshikawa, IS SHE GONE?!”
“Hush, not a sound,” Yoshikawa whispered back, “we’re going to get you out of here.”
And they stole him out of the dark room, bundling him up in a car. The vehicle started and they left, Aoyama terrified that Asami would hear them. A part of him felt guilty for betraying her, for betraying their dark, twisted love. And if she caught him the punishment would be very painful, especially because she had just been so tender with him.
“She’s coming for me, I can feel it!” he babbled.
They arrived at Yoshikawa's house, Shigehiko opening the door for him.
“Don’t worry father,” he said soothingly, “you’re safe now!”
Aoyama knew better. She was coming for him and she would never, ever stop. She was coming for him and he had to be ready. He stumbled and staggered to the kitchen on his hands and one remaining foot. He found a pair of scissors in a drawer and clenched it tightly in his fist. She was coming for him. And he waited for her in the foyer.
Sure enough, Asami burst through the door clutching her needles, her eyes wild, face twisted in betrayal and rage. She ran straight at him, her flowing hair streaming out behind her in a wild mop. She had no words, she needed none. Only a long, inarticulate scream.
Aoyama stabbed her in the solar plexus with the pair of scissors. Deeper, deeper, deeper, until the blood seeping from her heart bubbled and pooled like the blood gushing from his severed foot. Asami collapsed and died on the spot. She didn’t put up much of a fight. She died with Aoyama’s name on her lips. Shigehiko and Yoshikawa dragged the body into the basement and took care of it. But later that night, he heard someone tap on the window.
She was watching him through the glass. Asami had returned in the form of a ghost, her beauty luminous in the moonlight, she was smiling and there was seemingly no malice on her face. She was clad in white and looked like Asami, his Asami, the gentle, heartbroken girl he had fallen in love with. The girl he thought she was. The girl who still lurked somewhere in the maelstrom of hatred and madness. And Aoyama knew he would never know peace.
You were always very busy. Sorry for being jealous. You were the first one to support me, warmly wrapping me, trying to understand me...I think I’ve been waiting for your call all my life.
He was all alone, and his eyes finally opened.
Aoyama was recovering well after Asami’s death. A part of him was ashamed he hadn’t been the one to kill her. He was such a weakling. Pathetic, really. An old man past his prime and foolish in love. She had threatened to hurt his son, and Shigehiko kicked her down the stairs, breaking her neck.
Aoyama was slowly learning to manage without a foot. He had long given up trying to marry again. Shigehiko and Yoshikawa were there for him. He didn’t know what he would do without them. And life went on. But there were nights, nights like this one, when he could have sworn he heard the light step of Asami’s heels on the floor. And he had the same dream, again and again, of Asami torturing him. Tonight had been the first time he’d turned the tables on her.
And still, it meant nothing.
She was dead. Asami was a restless, vengeful spirit who had been wronged in life, who had died with many desires unfulfilled. His heart ached for her. For both of them, and what they could have had. The morning she disappeared, he had been going to ask her to marry him. He fought everyday to exorcise her from his mind. He had stabbed her with the scissors, but she was not gone from his life. The things she had done would stay with him forever.
He was still her dog, and he would die a dog’s death.
Sometimes, spirits chase their lovers down and haunt them until their passion is fulfilled.
And somewhere in the afterlife, she was watching him, waiting for him. Haunting him and hunting him. It was a long time before he could fall asleep again.