Rhinoceros Beetle

A story from when I was a grade school student.

During summer break, I went to the riverside in the woods with my friend Ka-chan, to catch rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles. It seemed that rural areas were buzzing with so many of these insects, but in reality there weren't any at all. Two of us walked around, searching here and there, but while there were cicadas and scarabs, we didn't find any of the ones we had intended to.

After we couldn't search any longer, we went home. Two of us discussed it with our teachers, and discovered that insects swarm around a particularly fat tree. All right!! Surely, there'd be one or two rhinoceros beetles inside of it!! When we went to see, there were so many kinds of insects we couldn't count, around the sap seeping out from the tree. We still had a bad feeling about it... even so, we patiently searched to see if we wouldn't find a rhinoceros beetle or stag beetle in there. Somehow, we noticed one small creature mingling with the strange things.

"Hey? Ka-chan, what's this bug?" I asked.
Ka-chan stared for a little while, and when he saw that bug he suddenly let out a scream of "Gyaa!!" and stumbled backward.
"What? What is it?!" I asked him again, and Ka-chan was quivering as he said "Look at it closely! That rhinoceros beetle, it has no head!!"
'What is he talking about?' I thought, as I looked, and there was a strange liquid oozing out from the base of its neck as it moved its six legs around in the sap.

The insect stopped moving soon after, but that image is burned into my mind and will never leave...

<Coach's Skepticism>
...Hmmm. Surely since you had a bad feeling about it, you thought it was scary, but isn't it different from the scariness of a ghost story? ...Well, if Isshi thinks that it's scary, then that's the essence of Isshi's ghost story. Personally, I like the part "there was a strange liquid oozing out". However... this scariness is a little cunning!!

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