Author's note: This is the second
part of a short story titled, Photograph,which I wrote for
another challenge. Several people have requested I write an
appropriate ending to the story.If you have not had a chance to
read the first part please do so.
My name is Reika Takahashi and I
have been dead for two years. I was not quite fourteen when Mr.
Jones a famous photographer who is a friend of my father's
murdered me. Since that time I have been here with these other
poor unfortunates who were senselessly killed by not only Mr.
Jones, but my father as well. The last thing I remember as I lay
dying in Mr. Jones' photography studio after he stabbed me was my
father arriving and me discovering his part in my death.
I have waited here as have the
other restless spirits to extract revenge on those who did this
to us. My two younger sisters Miki now age ten and Haruka, who
just turned eight, have no knowledge of what really happened to
me. These past two years I have watched over them trying at
different times to make contact with them. Alas they do not hear
me. No one hears me save the others who are trapped in this
alternate world of spirits.
It is eternal darkness here where
we reside, but there is great beauty as well. The garden of
sorrows is covered with dark red roses. Each rose is a symbol of
an innocent man, woman, or child who has died a horrible death.
There are many roses which can be seen in this garden. I cannot
say whether I am happy or sad. I do not have feelings as I did
when I was alive. There is however a need for revenge and to set
things right. The others are aware of this obsession which we all
have in common. It is not a desire, but a need to repay what was
done to us.
It is two days before my sister
Miki's eleventh birthday and I find myself drifting around my old
home. This had been my residence in life. I stand guard over my
sisters as if their lives depend on it. I know my presence is a
necessary thing or it would not be so.
I fear for my sisters because I
know my father will torture, rape, and kill them as he has so
many, as he had tried to do to me. Miki is in the living room
watching television and I observe my father staring oddly at her.
It is the same look he would from time to time cast at me when I
was still alive. His eyes have a strange eerie glow to them and a
sinister smile is etched on his fast aging face.
"How clumsy of me," he says to Miki
deliberately dropping his newspaper, "I dropped my paper. Miki,
would you be a good girl and get it for me?"
Miki, her eyes still glued to the
television, walks over and bends down to pick up the newspaper.
The short dress she is wearing rides up just enough so that our
father can see her pink panties. Miki oblivious to his lecherous
gaze hands him the paper and takes her seat back on the sofa next
to him. I watch in horror as the scene unfolds in front of me. He
would be at my sister Miki next if something was not done and
I flee from the house trying
desperately to devise a way of communicating with Miki, Haruka,
or my mother but it seems all is lost. I travel instead to the
scene of my death and find Mr. Jones there. He has finished for
the day and is drinking a beer. I remember the night he killed me
and anger rages through my body. I scream and for a moment by the
look on Mr. Jones' face the sound carries over into the world of
"Hello?" he questions.
The sound echoes through the studio
hollowly. Satisfied there is no one there he continues to down
his beer. Piles of photos lay on the table in front of him. He
riffles through them deciding on the best ones. I recognize some
of the girls in the pictures because they have become my
cellmates in the spiritual realm.
How I want him dead at that point
in time. I want him to suffer as I and the others had. A quick
death was not good enough it would be slow and painful. I find
the knife he used to kill me. Feeling as if he is above suspicion
he has not even tried to conceal the weapon. I try desperately to
lift the knife. I want so much to stab him multiple times and
watch his life force leave him. Maybe then my sisters could be
spared the same fate as mine and Mr. Jones would be in hell where
he belonged. After several attempts I am able to move the knife
slightly but not enough to do what I want to do. Frustrated I
make my way back to the others like me. Perhaps together we might
stand a chance of accomplishing the deed.
They are clustered together in the
garden of sorrows. Like zombies or mindless robots words are
being exchanged between them. Their eyes are dead and lifeless as
are mine. I would have to convince them to work together and
right the injustice we have suffered. Teal is the first to greet
me as I draw near. She and I have talked on several occasions and
her hatred burns as deep as mine.
"Ah Reika," she says to me as I
land next to her, "had enough sight-seeing for the day?"
"Yes, Teal I have," I reply loudly,
"and I have devised a plan to make Mr. Jones and my Father pay
for what they did to all of us."
As my words carry across the garden
the others draw near. Curiously they stand waiting to hear my
plan. Their dead eyes glow with anticipation.
"We must work together." I tell
them, "If we work together they can hear us and we can interact
with them. I know because I was able to make Mr. Jones hear me
this evening and could move the knife he killed me with."
A stir begins spreading from one to
the other. They begin to talk with one another about the
possibilities of torturing and killing the two men. Finally Anna
one of the older girls steps close to me.
"We will help on one condition,"
she says to me with something akin to evil in her eyes, "we want
them to suffer before the deed is done. No quick death. Is it
I smile and nod my head
affirmatively. All that was left was to wait for an opportunity
to present itself. We have no way of knowing our chance would
It is Miki's birthday and my father
is taking her to Mr. Jones' studio. He has promised her a
surprise if she lets Mr. Jones take her picture. I watch with the
others praying our plan will work. If not my sister would be
joining us very soon.
The other girls are already at the
studio. They have located things to torture the two men with.
Bits of barbed wire, nails, a hammer, and an acid compound have
been relatively easy to uncover in the old building. They have
been taking turns combining their spirit energy to move the
objects. Concentration would play a key factor in the execution
of their plan.
"See here we are," Reika's father
says smiling at Miki, "you'll have your surprise soon enough.
Just you be a good girl for Mr. Jones."
"I will," Miki promises our
Before Mr. Jones can make his way
across the room invisible hands restrain him and force him to the
studio floor. There is a sound of laughter and cries of hate
floating and echoing from the studio walls. Miki terrified runs
to the far corner of the studio away from Mr. Jones and her
father. Barbed wire, nails and the hammer guided by seemingly
nothing find Mr. Jones' skin.
Two of the girls pour the acid
compound over Mr. Jones' lower limbs. Almost instantaneously his
clothing begins to smoke and dissolve. Now red angry skin
appears. Skin which blisters and begins to melt as the fabric
did. Mr. Jones' cries out in agony.
"Please," he pleads to the
nothingness, "I'll give you anything you want. Just let me
There is more laughter and the
barbwire floats above and across his upper body. The razor sharp
barbs tear away his shirt and then sink deep into tender tissue.
More cries and pleas for mercy are uttered, but the spirits
continue extracting their vengeance.
"Don't just stand there man! What
is happening to me," Mr. Jones screams at my father, "help
Before Reika's father can do
anything the same invisible force grabs him and pushes him down
"What the hell is this," Reika's
father yells, "I can't move. Miki come here and help us."
Miki is not sure what to do. Her
eyes are wide with fear and her skin is ashen in color. I reach
out and touch her gently on the shoulder. Sensing my hand she
turns and for an instant I see my reflection in her eyes.
"Sister," Miki cries out to me,
"are you a ghost?"
The spirits having found new zeal
in and pleasure in extracting their vengeance turn their full
attention to my father. The acid comes first. He cries out as Mr.
Jones had done. Blood curdling screams explode from his mouth. I
smile reveling in his pain and suffering.
I stand watching as the others take
turns pouring acid over the two men's bodies. They use the
barbwire many times. Now their bodies begin to remind of freshly
ground hamburger meat. Finally, nails are driven into each of
them. Screams and cries of pain resound for an eternity until at
last my co-conspirators grow weary of the game and they hand me
the hammer and nails. By now the two men can see and hear us and
they know why we are there.
"You tortured, raped, and killed
all of us," I spit at them as each word leaves my lips, "we
extend to you the same mercy you showed us."
I take the hammer and drive the
nails deep into the most essential part of Mr. Jones' brain. One
last blood curdling scream leaves his lips as he dies. My chore
is not yet over I focus my attention on my father. His eyes are
huge and he is crying.
"Reika," he begs as I approach him,
"I am sorry. I won't do it anymore. You have my word on
I hand the hammer and nails to Miki
and whisper, "He killed me and he would have done the same to you
as he did to all these others."
Miki walks over to our father and
spits on him. Without hesitation she drives the nail deep into
his head. There is a loud thud as the hammer finds the nail. She
smiles as she watches him die. I kiss her cheek one last time
knowing I will see her again, but not for many years.
My name is Reika Takahashi and I am
here with these other spirits waiting for the light to consume
us. Our job here is done, justice has been served, and now we can