One Week of Evil -- Chapter 6 "Saturday"

Eventually, I was thinking 'I did really foolish things...' but when I noticed it I was just in my own room, with things that were no more than things scattered everywhere. Without anyone's consent I had abandoned everything, and went back home of my own accord. Of course, I'd left my knapsack and lunch bag on top of the desk an hour ago when there was no class. A mood that was a blend of sadness, bitterness, and anger was all I brought home. Naturally, still being morning, there was nobody else in the house. While I tidied up the scattered books, games, and cassettes that I had thought of, despair darkened in the depths of my heart. And thinking like that, I really wondered if there was somewhere I could disappear to, but I didn't have anything like money anyway, so after that my thoughts gradually changed to be even more tragic somehow. Naturally the homeroom teacher would likely be searching for my whereabouts, and by some chance she could get in touch with my parents and maybe even enter their workplaces... Ugh, that would be horrible. For my mother, not to mention my father, it would be absolutely horrible. To an extent, I'd be tumbling into a real hell... Anyhow, it occurred to me that I'd have to take some kind of action, which first of all meant I'd investigate with my mother. Telephone receiver in my hand, and phone directory open, I dialed my mother's workplace and the receptionist answered. Then, while she was calling for my mother, I started to think about how to start speaking of the situation and I was idly flipping the pages of the phone directory and closing it repeatedly. After a little while the sound of "For Erize" stopped and my mother's voice sounded in the receiver.
"Well, it's just me..." My mother's thoughts seemed to be as unsettled as I was, and I could relate to that which was good for me when she'd say the obvious lines, but the words she said were indeed quite surprising words.
"Ah, I got a phonecall from the teacher, you know. She said you weren't there, but I told her it's probably okay because you'd be at home."
Huh? What was that? Since I didn't quite understand why she wasn't getting angry, "Ah, okay," was all I said, and hung up the phone.
After so long, my own mother was a great enigma of a person, illuminated by common sense. Maybe her usual self had a change of heart...
In any case, I'd overcome the first barrier. Next was my father. No, I'd better wait, I shouldn't call my father after so soon getting in touch with my mother.
'Great, it's okay.' After confirming that thought inside myself, I started on the next problem. Right, my knapsack. How would I recover my knapsack and lunch bag...? I had various thoughts but only one solution appeared. 'It can't be helped...'
With regards to that problem, I could do nothing but leave it behind. I wouldn't be going to school anymore that day, and even if I did go to pick it up the next day, it would be Saturday and school would be closed. I had no choice but to let happen whatever would happen. After thinking about that for a while, I stayed in bed out of spite...

I woke up to my mother's subliminal voice in conversation. Since the staircase was beside the entrance to my room, I could just barely hear the voices passing through from below. And it took no time at all for me to realize that the owner of the other voice was my homeroom teacher. I was afraid deep in my heart, but when I heard the sound of the main door closing, I went down to the first floor. Then my mother, holding what I thought to be my knapsack and lunch bag, turned off the light in the hallway.
"Yes, your teacher brought this just now. There was nothing wrong, and she just headed out again,"  was all she said, and gave me the knapsack. While I took out the lunch bag contents myself, she briskly headed to the living room. Once again an enigma remained, but somehow or other it seemed to end without me being scolded. I ran up the stairs as I was, and slept for the second time without eating dinner.

The next morning, my mother was in a good mood for some reason.
"Hitoshi, we're going to the zoo. The zoo!" she said, and opened my room's curtains.
'The zoo? Why the zoo?' I thought, even though by nature I like animals. So without hearing any reason, I started getting ready to go out. 'Well, after only bad things have happened, seeing animals I don't normally get to meet will be a good change of pace won't it?'
Casually thinking such things, I got into the car, but after that there was certainly an 'impossible' occurrence that even Buddha wouldn't be able to guess...

In around an hour, the car arrived at our destination with a jolt. In a spacious public park near Matsumoto Airport, a mobile zoo had been set up. Things like zoos and circuses very rarely came to this kind of backcountry. I threw aside all of the events up to yesterday and scrambled to be the first one through the zoo gate. Among the many unusual animals inside, there were certainly lions and tigers, and large dogs called "Chow Chow" that originated in China.
I looked at the written explanation that was posted at the edge of the pen.
'These dogs originate in China. Shishimaru, who appears in Ninja Hattori-kun, is this species of dog. Primarily for food.'
It was written as just trivia.
I started having strange thoughts, like 'Shishimaru is lovely...' and after that I looked at the illustrated Chow Chow, thinking 'If it was just a little smaller it'd be a good Pomeranian,' that I had never seen with my own eyes. If I think back on it now, I believe the written explanations produced a lot of misunderstanding.

Here and there I looked around at the various animals, feeling completely cheerful, and my mother called me to stop. When I looked she was standing at a pen, and turned toward me with her arms folded.
"Come here, come here."
I trotted over, and my mother said
"There's an interesting monkey," pointing into the pen.
In there was a 'Crab-eating Macaque', a type of large Japanese monkey, aimlessly wandering around inside the pen.
"Look, shall we give him this?" In the palm of her hand, my mother held out 'kappa shrimp' to me. "It eats crab, so it'll likely eat shrimp too, right?"
While she was saying such foolish things, I looked it over. "Well, not necessarily. But it's interesting so I'll try to give it."
I took one shrimp from my mother, and threw it toward the monkey.
Clink.
It made an unusually shrill sound when the shrimp hit the metal bar of the pen and fell to the ground.
"Ahhh, may I have another?"
My mother held out her hand, saying "Go pick up that one," and pointed to the shrimp that had fallen to the ground.
"Tsk. It's not ginger, is it?" I grumbled while bending over. At that time, some person pulled my hair hard! And pain shot through me. When I looked up toward my mother for help, my eyes met the monkey who had one hand stretched out from the cage, and was making a strange noise. It was that monkey gripping my hair and not letting go. Already I fell into a panic. I even had a foreboding feeling of death.
'This guy's gonna eat me. What a final moment! Like this, I don't wanna go like this~!!!'
I seemed to have used up all my strength and fell...

I don't remember much, but I'm certain I had the same scream as the monkey. When I came to, I had been put in bed in the zoo's first aid room. Nearby, my mother was earnestly apologizing to a middle-aged man I didn't know. Somehow or other, I checked that I seemed alive. I was dazed for a little while, but once again I cursed my fate of being attacked by 'evil spirits', even on my day off.
 

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