tagErotic HorrorForest of Hungry Ghosts

Forest of Hungry Ghosts



Isonash "Iso" Harada was used to being invisible. He was, after all, three-quarters Ainu. The Ainu were an ancient people, the aboriginal population of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, although they may also be found in Mongolia, Siberia and the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka. Unlike the Japanese, the Ainu sported white skin, full beards and roughly Caucasian features. Take off the beard and you might even mistake them for the ancestors of the Amerinds, namely the Siberian and Mongolian wanderers who crossed the Bering land bridge and entered North America well before recorded history.

The Ainu traditionally sat on the floor of their dwellings, had no furniture, and ate bear, ezo deer, salmon, sea eagles. They were bear worshippers and animists, although they had no priests. The Japanese treated as if they were just a smidgen above Yetis. As one wag colorfully put it, the Japanese regarded the Ainu as turds, or as even more lowly creatures such as Americans. Iso's full Ainu name Isonash meant "great hunter," which surely marked him as subhuman in the eyes of most Japanese.

But don't feel bad yet, my undoubtedly miniscule Ainu audience. The Japanese term for outsiders (non-Japanese) is "gaijin", which means "lowlife barbarian bastard pig eaters." and is used to refer to all foreigners including Koreans and chinks, without regard to race or creed. So don't feel bad, roundeyes, the Japanese are equal-opportunity haters. They despise non-Japanese slopes and slants with as much fervor as they do roundeyes. They even look down at Hitler's master race of homicidal Aryan towheads, despite their dalliance with Germany in WWII, the Big One. We all know how that worked out for them.

The nips have largely done away with the Ainu. However, despite their professed obsession with racial purity, this virtual extinction came, not at the point of a samurai's katana, but largely through intermarriage. However, there was still strong resistance to such intermarriage, as Iso found out the hard way when he asked Rei's father for her hand in marriage. Not only was Iso Ainu, but he was also a lowly Level 2-C Salaryman at AmaterasuCorp, one of Japan's largest financial and tech firms. Despite the fact that his coworkers and supervisors said that they were in awe of his mathematical and inventive skills, he was still stuck at the Level 2-C Salaryman pay grade. It was just the Japanese bureaucracy at work, they all told him, sometimes with a gentle pat of consolation on the back. They let him know they sympathized with his plight, but told him in no uncertain terms that their hands were tied.

But Iso knew his earning capacity was the primary factor behind Ohayashi Katsu's refusal to assent to the proposed marriage between his daughter Rei and Iso. The really galling thing was that Iso's superiors were constantly praising him for the tremendous insight they had gained from his mathematical modeling showing for the first time the precise nature of the dependence of the growth rate of furnium on the partial derivatives of mentum flux and plasmagonic flow. This analysis was one of the primary factors behind the doubling of AmaterasuCorp's revenues and the tremendous growth of the Japanese economy over the past five years.

When Iso threatened to quit, they told him that math and computer geeks were a dime a million in Japan. He told them that it might help if they told him what the hell furnium, mentum flux, and plasmagonic flow really were. They shrugged their shoulders and said that this information was provided on a need-to-know basis and that the only way to insure the security of AmaterasuCorp's intellectual property was to make sure that within the organization, the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing. Only in this way could the group mind of the organization attain the the sublime states of shibumi, feng shui, nintendo, sake, teriyaki, and shitake.

Iso's simmering thoughts had led him unwittingly to the entrance to the dark forest that was called Aokigahara, but was more widely known as Suicide Forest or the Back Sea of Trees. Over 100 people make the pilgrimage to Aokigahara each year to commit suicide. And those are just the successful pilgrims, if self-annihilation can be counted among one's successes. Another hundred came up just short of their goal of self-murder each year, through no fault of their own.

Aokigahara has always been dogged with morbid myths and legends. It is said that the Japanese custom of ubasute, where an elderly relative is left to die in a remote location, was widely practiced in the forest before the 20th century. Now, getting an AARP card in the mail doesn't seem like such a bad thing after all, does it?

There are widespread stories of demons and yurei (angry spirits) roaming the forest. The more recent nickname of "Suicide Forest" began to dog the region after Fuji-loving hikers began to encounter tastefully composted human bodies lovingly cradled in its vegetation in the 1950s. Since the early 1970s, police, volunteers and journalists regularly scour the area in search of human corpses.

There is also a soon-to-be-released film about Aokigahara called "The Sea of Trees," directed by Gus Van Sant and based on the 1960 novel Kuroi Jukai ("The Black Sea of Trees") by Seicho Matsumoto.

The film stars the ostensibly deep-thinking, Academy Award winner turned Lincoln-Continental-huckster Matthew McConaughey as the obligatory gaijin star of a film about Japan. Thus, McConaughey carries on in the proud tradition of Tom Cruise in "The Last Samurai." McConaughey's obligatory shiksa costar will be none other than Naomi Watts. Cruise's sidekick in "The Last Samurai," Ken Watanabe, scores the token Japanese role in the principal cast. One must only presume that Keanu Reeves, the star of "47 Ronin," was unavailable.

When Iso reached the entrance to Aokigahara he was surrounded by a throng of do-gooders handing out anti-suicide pamphlets and literature and offering counseling services to the self-destructive seekers of nothingness. If a Grim Reaper devotee made it past these good samaritans, he was immediately confronted by a bank of telephone operators standing by and ready to take his call now, with T. J. Lipinski as their benign overlord. T. J. personally asked Iso for the gift of his estate, seeing as how Iso wasn't going to be able to use it after his imminent demise. "If you don't cough it up, you'll never see the poor little doo wop concert again," the PBS solicitor warned. "No more Patti Page, no more Four Aces, no more Pat Boone. They'll all be dead and gone.

"I can throw in this tote bag," the avaricious Lipinski offered, as Iso walked past him into the darkness of the woods.

Iso then ran into a series of kiosks offering to sell the seekers of oblivion the whole spectrum of implements of self-destruction, from high quality pre-noosed hanging ropes to the finest of samarai tantos, which, for you Western barbarians, are swords used in the act of ritual self-disembowelment known as seppuku or hari kiri by those crazy enough to live by the code of bushido in this age of cell phones and Facebook. What a bunch of pussies the Japanese people have become, Iso thought. In the old days before the roundeyes dropped the enlightening gifts of Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, many of those who had committed seppuku would demonstrate the glory of the act by spilling their intestines on the ground, carefully unraveling them into jump rope form, and then doing their best to perform a solitaire game of colonic Double Dutch and trying not to wince as their assistant beheaded them from behind with a razor-sharp katana. Tears are coming to my eyes as I contemplate the pureness and beauty of this sacred act.

Evidently many of the contestants entering Suicide Forest were not inclined to such acts of ritual disembowelment. For these dishonorable worms, the kiosks also offered a wide assortment of automatic pistols. They even operated a small pharmacy, offering pills to those too cowardly to submit to the prick of a needle or to the biting cold steel of a finely-crafted Honzo tonto slicing its way through their transverse colon.

When Iso was almost past the assembly of hawkers of life and death, he heard a gruff voice behind him.

"Ainu dog, you sure you don't want any of these fine weapons? Or don't you have the kintama to stick yourself like the dirty pig you are."

"Maybe next time," Iso told the make-believe samurai. "Tell you what. I'll pick up a katana of cold steel to send you on your own voyage the next time I pass through these gates. And it won't be long."

"You dare threaten me, Ainu dog? You ain't nothing but a samurai wannabe mazakon, a mother's boy."

"Yeah, with your mama, hot shot."

"You're nothing more than a mushi, a lowly worm."

The best retort Iso could manage was the great Flip Wilson's classic rejoinder: "You another one."

The darkness of the woods before him unnerved him. With his heart still beating fast from this encounter, he turned his back on the nip cretin and began walking into the interior of Aokigahara, better known as Suicide Forest.

The purveyor of implements of personal destruction called after Iso one last time. "Come on, give me a break. I'm trying to make a living here, you baka ka, you asshole. You guys stop killing yourself in Aokigahara, then the tourism stops and we're all up shit's creek, you stupid meshugana worm."

As Iso walked deeper into the blackness of the forest, he felt a great sadness overcoming him. The brilliant light of Fuji-san's snowy peak, which had watched over and guided Iso and his people all his life, could not penetrate the thick, dark vegetation of this forest of death, even though it was located at the very base of that shining peak, which so faintly promises the sweet kiss of volcanic obliteration.

Iso soon heard voices in his head, the cries of the damned, who were condemned to rove this forest for eternity, with no hope of redemption, no hope of regaining Mt. Fuji's light.

He saw shadows moving about in the forest, driven not by branches undulating in wind, but by trees bending to the perverse endogenous will of thousands of damned souls acting as a single mind.

One voice stood out from the rest in its urgency. "Dude," it said, "did you by any chance run across a left arm out there?"

"No man, I can't help you out there," Iso told the three-limbed obsidian shadow. "Well maybe, about a klick in that direction, but it was most likely a log."

"You haven't by any chance also come upon on an IED?"


"Improvised explosive device."

"Sorry, can't help you there dude."

"Thanks, man. I'll do you a solid of my own when we meet again."

"I very much doubt that we will meet again," Iso told the tripedal umbra.

"Oh, we'll meet again," the three-limbed darkness told the three-fourths Ainu. "You don't think that there is any way out of here, do you, infidel? Well, do ya, punk?"

After a quick chuckle, the umbral involuntary amputee fled into the dark woods, in the direction from which Iso had emerged, in order to seek his lost arm and his ticket to a blissful afterlife with 40 virgins.


The further Iso walked into Aokigahara, the darker the Black Sea of Trees became. He was assaulted by the whispering, muttering and shrieking of thousands of voices calling for his death. Presumably these came from gaki, hungry ghosts that are too attached to the material plane to continue on to a nonphysical realm, and onryo, angry ghosts who come back from purgatory to avenge a wrong done to them during their lifetime.

"Won't you join us and play?" seemed to be the gist of what these lonely yurei were saying. "Please love us or we will drag you down to the depths of hell to be our friend forever."

Sometimes Iso could catch a glimpse of their faces out of the corner of his eye. The female yurei sported diaphanous white gowns that did little to hide their anatomy. The males favored white gi, some of them carrying their neatly-sliced heads like bowling balls. Whether wearing their heads on their shoulders or about to bowl them, they all had one thing in common, the dead obsidian eyes of a shark. Iso wished he had seen more Japanese horror movies so that he would know the rules that governed their behavior, being as how those movies got the eyes spot on.

Suddenly, Iso heard Rei-san's voice, a quiet wispy thing amid the howling of the damned. Evidently, suicide doesn't solve life's problems, Iso concluded.

Ahead of him he saw the mouth of one of Aokigahara's fabled ice caverns, shining in the moon's glow. A good place to shelter overnight, he thought, in view of the dark clouds that were rolling in across the sky.

Having walked into the cave, Iso lay down, and a deep sleep immediately overcame him. At first his dreams consisted of the brief hypnopompic imagery that overcomes all questers of Morpheus in the transition from wakefulness to sleep. He continued to hear the wailing and banshee screams of his fellow mourners who had come to this unholy place to plead to the dead loved ones that they stubbornly refused to relinquish into the darkness. He still heard the voices of the angry ghosts as they tried to wrest his own mortal body from him.

Then he was in Rei's house. He had not been in the interior since Rei vanished without a trace a few days ago. Rei's father, the financial realist Ohayashi Katsu, was sleeping in an easy chair, snoring his head off. Rei's mother, the still delectable Ohayashi Mieko, lay on a futon in another room, her long, silky black hair spilling down her bare moonlit back.

Iso entered Mieko-san's dream, a power that he seemed to have acquired the day Rei disappeared. He saw the black shadow things that slithered across the walls and ceiling of Mieko-san's bedroom and threatened to drive Mieko-san insane. Iso read from her mind that Katsu-san had hired a Shinto priest to perform a Harae, or purification ceremony, which involved standing under a cold waterfall in order to drive Rei's onryo away, so that his family would be tormented no longer, but to no avail.

Katsu blamed Iso for Rei's disappearance, calling him a gaijin demon who had ruined Rei's life. In fact, Iso knew that Rei had fled Katsu-san's tyranny and his refusal to acknowledge Rei's love for Iso. Katsu-san must believe that Rei was dead, although Iso was sure that she still lived. He could still feel her within him and knew that she must still walk this godforsaken world.

Iso had not seen Rei's mother in the flesh since Katsu-san had banished him from the house, and what flesh it was! One distinct advantage of dream imagery is that attire is optional and changeable, and right now both Iso and Mieko were naked as jaybirds. Now he was fully there, no longer just a shadow flowing across Mieko-san's dream walls along with the demons and yurei who tormented her night and day. He floated over to her and lay his dream body on top of Mieko-san's gloriously naked back, feeling her long silky hair against his chest. He let out a warm breath into her ear, and he nestled his throbbing ochinko into the welcoming crack of her ass. At first she tensed, thinking that he was Katsu-san about to subject her to another brutal anal rape, but as she turned her head and saw that it was Iso, she smiled and spread her legs, offering herself to him. Iso had always known that she was attracted to his thick muscular hirsute Ainu body, but she had never voiced her lust out of respect for Rei-chan. Now they were both mourners for the lost girl and united in their grief. Fucking Iso would bring Mieko-san closer to her lost daughter, if only for a few minutes.

Iso reached out to interlock his dream fingers with hers. He ran his tongue up the soft white highway of her spine, feeling her dream body and her real body shuddering in delight at the brief solace to come.

His mouth found her ear, and he ran his lips over every convolution of that sacred organ. He rammed his rock-hard ochinko into the softness of Mieko's wet, throbbing manko, as he licked his way across the nape of her downy neck and across to her other ear, feeling her shudder as he began to ram his way in and out of her slender frail body, giving her a taste of the violence she craved, which was what had led her to the cruel arms of Katsu-san in the first place.

He put his arms on her neck, burying her face into the futon even as he buried his throbbing ochinko deeply within her shuddering body. He could her flesh surrender to him, her soaking wet manko's lips closing around his rock-hard member, drawing him deeper inside her pale, surrendering, and trembling meat.

She felt his dense Ainu beard against her back, and ran her arms over the gigantic muscles of his barbarian's arms. She turned her head to the side and drew his amazingly thick tongue into her own oral cavity, now sucking him with both her upper and lower mouths. Her nether lips closed about his Yeti shaft with each thrust in and out of her pummeled body. Tears of pain and pleasure gushed from Mieko's eyes, adding their wetness to the oceans of fluid love pouring from their desperately sucking mouths.

Iso grabbed her shoulders and rammed himself up to the hilt into the blank abyss of her grief and longing as they both exploded in deep union and a blinding flash of white light.

Iso found himself in the darkness of the ice cavern once more.


Dawn had broken, and the air was filled with bats fleeing from the dangers of the light and into the protection of the cave's icy womb.

Iso looked around for his clothes but found he was already wearing them. Looks like the dream is over, he thought. He heard the sound of familiar footsteps slowly approaching his hideaway. He grabbed a rock and stepped back out into the forest. It was still as dark as coal. The light of Fuji-san's snow-filled peak and even that of Amaterasu, the sun herself, were unable to penetrate the dense vegetation to these godforsaken depths.

He stepped out into the light raised the rock over its head.

"Whoa there, hoss,"said a familiar voice. "I don't think spring training begins until next month."

It was the three-limbed failed suicide bomber once again. Iso lowered the stone and dropped it into the dense ferns at his feet. "Well, if we're to keep on meeting like this, we might as well introduce ourselves. I'm Iso, three-quarters Ainu and one quarter pure nip. I guess that makes me an infidel in your book."

"Don't sweat it. I'm Hafiz Mahmoud, one-time kidnapper and rioter. But now I'm just a failed suicide bomber. Just managed to blow my left arm off and blow out a bakery's window. I'm not even a martyr, just an incompetent bomb constructor that can't do anything right. Took out a dog and kitty cat, that's all." He began to sob.

"There, there, Hafiz. You tried your hardest, and that's what counts. That's all Allah can expect from any of us. Sometimes a plan does not come together. Even Mr. T on the A team failed to kill several people despite hitting then with his best shot.

"What did you use for an explosive?" Iso asked the one-armed felon.

"I think it was some kind of nitrate. I don't know. I didn't make the bomb. It was delivered to me."

"Delivered by whom?"

"The guys at 'Pipe Bomb Dreams: Where all your Terrorist Fantasies Come True. Serving Lone Wolf Jihadists for Over a Fiftieth of a Century.'"

"How did they deliver it?"

"A guy drove it to me in a van."

"Were there any markings on the van?"

"Just a black ISIS flag painted all over the body of the van."

"Can you remember anything else?"

"Yeah, there were six men, all wearing blue jackets."

"Any markings on the jackets?"

"Yeah, there were some letters on the back. DHS, I think."

"You know what they stand for?"

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