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  • Writer's pictureNaman Luthra

THE MYSTERY OF THE CURSED BOOK

Akito Hamada was a 45 year old Japanese businessman in Hiroshima. He was a very simple man who led a very decent life. But in recent times, with the second world war going on, he was very scared for his and his loved ones safety. The war had already taken the lives of many innocent people hence there was an atmosphere of fear. But life had never been like this, at least for Akito, who had been a very impulsive and courageous youngster. He and some of his old friends, who had now lost touch with him, were famous in school for being the group of students who could spend a night even in the creepiest of graveyards as long as they were together. They always seemed to derive some kind of satisfaction from exploring mysterious and eerie places.

Although these friends had gone their own ways, they used to be inseparable in their twenties. They had a band of their own and even took trips together. They did not earn enough to afford a ship ticket, so they would visit other places in Japan mostly by train. They would take at least one trip together every year. So after they missed their trip in 1924, they decided to take a relatively grand trip to the coastal city of Akashi. Akashi was famous for its delicious fish and beaches. The trip began smoothly. The five friends met each other at the Hiroshima railway station and boarded the train to Akashi.

The first two days went as planned. They spent their time sight-seeing, relaxing at the beach and eating new varieties of delicious fish. On the third day though, everything was going as anticipated till the evening, when suddenly it started raining in the area. They did not have umbrellas, so they took shelter under the protruding roof of an old house nearby and noticed that just to the other side of the house were similar houses, all very old and abandoned. Looking at this, their fascination for exploring kicked in and they decided to have fun and explore the place. They walked under roofs to avoid getting wet, but as they did not have any source of light, they could not see much. The rain kept on getting lighter and lighter and soon the moon came out. They saw that the shore was right in front of them and was completely empty with a bridge leading to an old lighthouse.



The lighthouse was tall and had moss growing all over its walls. It seemed like no one had been to the lighthouse in ages. The friends looked at each other and without anyone saying even a word, it was decided that they would be going in. The rain had come down to a light drizzle. This lighthouse had a eerie feel to it. After having spent a night in the graveyard near the school said to be haunted at the young age of fourteen, their fear of the dark and unknown had vanished. But yet while entering this lighthouse, they were scared. They went up the stairs and started looking around. The first five floors were completely empty, with spider webs everywhere. On the top floor though, which was the lantern room, there was an old book kept in a safe with a broken rusty lock. The men one after the other had a look at the book and when they opened the book, they found some names written there and just next to them were some weird symbols and dates. Thinking that it must be some kind of record for the people who once worked there.


They left the book there and walked down a little disappointed at not finding anything interesting. All of them reached down except Ichiro, who came down a little later. The rain had stopped and so they just walked out of the completely ghosted area and stopped to eat in a nearby restaurant. Ichiro, who was looking very disturbed, asked the restaurant server why the nearby town was empty. The server looked right into the eye and said,” Did you go in there?”. Looking at the expression of the server, Akito lied and said,``No''. “Good for you, because that place is cursed. There is said to be a book in the lighthouse there that can accurately predict the death dates of people who touch it and also the cause of their death through symbols” said the server. These men had explored various ‘haunted’ places together and had never found anything paranormal. So they had absolutely no belief in such superstitions. The remaining trip had gone well and the book was never mentioned again.

Akito sat in his chair, remembering these trips and how they used to enjoy life when it was not infested with war, when suddenly his telephone rang. It was Ichiro on the other end. Akito asked him if he and his family were well and if he had made contact with the other friends in the group. “Akito, I want you to listen closely.” said Ichiro. “Remember that book we found in the lighthouse in Akashi?”. Akito was a little annoyed. “In the time of war, Ichiro is concerned about a worthless book?” He thought to himself, but yet he replied politely by saying,”Yes I do”, to which Ichiro responded,” I did not tell you all but I had taken that book with me. I got a little scared about the supposed curse so hid it in the basement of my house and forgot about it, but now when I open the book, I see all of

our names written with a symbol of some kind of nuke to the side and tomorrow's date. Come and meet me at the garden near school now” Akito did not want to step out in the time of war and thought that that’s their strategy to call him to some kind of reunion of the group of friends, as according to him, they were capable of doing something like that. So he said ”I can't come, I am sorry.” and hung up the phone. He went back to doing his work and just happened to look at a calendar, which said that the next day’s date was the 6th of August, 1945, which in the future came to be known as the ‘Hiroshima Day’.


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