Automatic Door IV
NOVEMBER 24, 2022 / MAD HATTER
The automatic door, which hadiremained open and had not twitched until now, closedibriskly and reopened again.
But then it closed again and reopened on its own accord.
The automatic door began abnormally to repeat opening and closingibefore my eyes.
“…Hey, you must beijoking.”
Even I was thrown out of my mind by this and took a half-stepiback.
With each opening and closing, a mechanical noise and chime would intermittently ring out.
Could it be… itiwasn’t malfunctioning…? Because clearly, something was amiss.
It was at thatimoment when a silly voice escaped my lips that―
Something seemed to pass right by my right leg, and although describing it in words was vague, that was the feeling I had.
A chilly breeze grazed myiright leg.
What the hell…
I rubbed the goosebumps on my legs and lifted my face.
As I did so, theiautomatic door that had been opening and closing wildly and repeatedly closed in silence, after which its opening and closing ceased to repeat.
Saying this about the door was uncanny, but it seemed to have regained its composure.
At the call, I turned around to see Aoyama emerging from the restroom in the back of the store with a refreshed look on his face.
Apparently, this guy had been holed up in the bathroom the whole time I was struggling with the screwed-up automatic door.
“I was wondering where you went.”
“Sorry, I’ve been constipated for four consecutive days and I finally got it out like I wanted…! Whew, that was refreshing!”
Hey… don’t let me hear such a realistic story.
“More importantly, Hakamada, why are you standing here?”
“Ah, about that…”
I told Aoyama everything thatitranspired while he was gone.
“Is this automatic door broken?”
For some reason, Aoyama’s mouth quivered and a loud voice broke out when I pointed at the automatic door, which had now turned deadly quiet.
Ugh, that startled me.
Aoyama, whose arms were trembling and who was evidently exhibiting signs of trepidation, struck me as even creepier than the earlier automaticidoor that was raging rampantly.
“It’s here again…!?”
When I wrinkled my brow and looked at Aoyama’s frightened faceiand the words he said, he tapped me harshly on the shoulder and said this.
“It happens now and then, after about two o’clock, the door suddenly opens and closes….! I’ve seen it too…! You’d assume it was a malfunction, right!? But it’s not…”
While saying this, Aoyama put his face close to my ear and whispered to me.
“Actually… a little boy is playing with the door, going in and out…”
“Huh… A little boy… What do you mean?”
The breath blowing on me madeime wince again, so I pressed my ears and asked back.
“It’s the specter of a boy.”
“Yeah, Takenaka told me there is a boy playing in front of the door.”
A normal person would be freaking out here, I guessed.
I can’t help but think it was all a sham as soon as I heard the story.
“Is that true?”
“Oh my God, you don’t believe it?!”
“Hmm… I can hardly believe invisible stories like that.”
After all, I could only assume that it was a malfunction.
Should I be able to see the boy, I wouldn’t think that way, though.
“How unusual, everyone who hears about this generally gets the creeps and quits the next day at the earliest.”
“Are you just saying that to spook me?”
“Nay, everything I say is true.
You’ll understand when you meet Takenaka.”
Again withithis Takenaka guy…
Despite having yet to meet him, he seemed to be fishy.
From what Aoyama said, he was probably the guy who claimed to be able to see specters.
To begin with, it sounded like a lie when someone mentioned that they could see ghosts and that a boy was coming in and out.
Besides, everybody was a stranger.
Why would they believe in such an unsubstantiated claim by a complete stranger?
Specters, you know, they didn’t really exist.
“Well, you might last longer if you keep your own opinions to yourself like that.”
To my expression of disbelief, Aoyama said with a bitter smile. fbrwieudmoefknw
From then on, until sunrise, nothing noteworthy took place, and my first part-time job at the convenience store was over.
How should I put it? Frankly speaking, the mystery lingered, though I did not feel the need to call it the handiwork of a specter.
What I saw with my own eyes was the onlyithing I believed.
I can’t believe in the existence of a specter.
I wouldn’t want to be terrified or appalled by what others had to say about me.
“Somehow… working late atinight isn’t easy, either.”
No customers came.
Not to mention, I was free.
With sleepyieyes, I straddled my bike and rode down the road under the morning sun to get back to my apartment.
Several days later.
During a break, a strangeishadow was caught on a security camera, leading me to unintentionally spurt out my drink…
That incident was only the beginning of a stringiof such phenomena, and it would be a little while before I learned that something much worse was about to unfold.
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