A to Z Challenge: H – Hyakki Yagyo

Greetings, mortals! I had almost decided not to tell you a story today, because there was a carnival parade passing by my house. I thought joining them would be fun, but then I realised a living skeleton would not really add to their mirth. Oh well, I guess I shall tell you the story of a parade that would have no problem in including me. Listen well…

I peeked out of my window with my binoculars.

I had always wanted to see the town on this night every year. I had heard the other kids say that on this night, there was not one person walking on the streets. Everyone stayed home and shut their doors and windows. That is exactly what my parents had done every year. But this year, they had gone to visit a relative and had tasked granny with keeping an eye on me. Poor granny had fallen asleep and had forgotten completely about the doors and windows. I had locked them all, save the one in my room. The window overlooked our lawn, and since we lived in the higher part of town, I could get a good view of the city.

With my binoculars, I scouted the city. Indeed, I could not see even one person on the street. As I was looking around, I spotted illuminated globes appearing out of the air. They were lighting up the path for what followed, a parade of people in the most grotesque getups I had ever seen. They looked like demons and ghosts straight out of a story book. Some of them even looked like they were using special effects to project fire on their face, blood dripping from their eyes and other such effects. As they began walking closer, I noticed something peculiar. Some of those costumes looked familiar. I remembered them from my dreams. The lady with a snake-like neck, the red-haired oni, the flaming old man, I had seen them all.

The parade got much closer now, as I continued observing them, my heart beating rapidly in my chest. By the time they reached the street adjoining my house, I was pretty sure that those were not costumes. They were real demons and ghosts, and they were all staring at me. Then they began chanting in unison.

We bow to you our new Nurarihyon. Come down and lead us, help us finish our parade….

(Word Count: 334)

I hope that kid enjoyed leading the parade. Readers, would you enjoy being a part of such a parade, or at least witness it? Until, next time mortals….