Kimchi's Diaries (Christmas special): Dorm Alone

"He squinted his eyes. Did he imagine it? He could swear he saw a person under the blinking light. When the light blinked again, this time the oldest had no doubts. Three doors away was standing some stooping man with an old, torn hat and cane. The oldest student wanted to ask if he was the one who pranked them, when the light blinked once more and the man suddenly disappeared."

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1. Dorm Alone

If you ever have a choice: go home on Christmas or stay in a dorm, always choose the first option. I’m not joking. You have no idea what it’s like to be in a big dorm, only five of people… *a moment of tense silence*

 

It was day like other…

Wait, only bad stories I began with those words. Let’s try again.

 

Another Christmas came. (Okay, better). Because my members’ families and mine made some conspiracy and went together on Christmas holidays abroad, we had to stay in our dorm on this Christmas. It’s not that we didn’t like it, we stayed like that once or twice before, when our activities, like this year, lasted to the Christmas Eve.

This year was similar. We finished our practice in the morning on Christmas Eve and went to sleep. We woke up around 1 p.m. in order to go buy groceries for today’s dinner.

Well, I wanted to go shopping but I couldn’t for one, small reason…

“Hyung, are you up?” Heejun came into my room, that this time I owned alone. At least until now. “Oh…”

“That’s great reaction,” I commented. “But I’d prefer you to help me instead.”

As some of you guessed, on my bed, tangled in MY sheets, slept Seungjun. His big Pikachu mascot was crushing my cheek. Even now, when I see this mascot, I remember that stupid dream about the zombie apocalypse and have chills.

“I wondered where he went. Inseong-hyung is almost up too.” Heejun came closer and stared at us, as if he was watching rare animals in a zoo.

“Really?” I hissed through teeth. “You still wonder about that?”

“Pretty much. Come on, I’m hungry.”

“I’ll be right up,” I said and tried to sit, but Seungjun and his Pikachu were surprisingly heavy. “Aaah, wake up!!” I hit Seungjun’s head with Pikachu’s giant paw.

Seungjun only mumbled something in his sleep and changed the position, throwing Pikachu in the corner and hugging me instead.

“I’m really hungry too…” I groaned desperately, together with my stomach. Seungjun only smiled widely, as if he received boxes of chicken on Christmas.

After a few minutes I was free and we could finally go for something to eat.

In Seoul was a happy Christmas atmosphere and soon we were influenced by it. I meant, all of us except Youjin, as always. He was watching us carefully, in case we got too naughty. But the grocery outing was calmer than our usual outing (not counting Inseong’s crazy loud ‘Merry Christmas!’ to random people, who thought he was drunk and called the police. Ah, and Heejun’s psycho laugh as he slipped on the ice and hit the Christmas tree on a square full of people. They tried to call the police too, but we ran away. Did I mention Seungjun, who accidentally broke chocolate Santa Claus’s hand and put it into Frozen Elsa’s mouth? Kinda creepy, if you imagine it…). We returned two hours later with two bags full of food and we ate most of it right away. Thank God we had Youjin, who quickly put away the dinner’s part when we dig into the food, as if we didn’t eat for days.

“Ready for our usual stuff?” Heejun asked as we were sitting on a sofa and watching Home Alone like every year. Inseong almost hit me with his fist, when his elbow slid from sofa’s back, because he started to fall asleep. “The dinner will be ready probably in an hour.”

“We already pranked Seungjunnie-hyung…” I muttered, rubbing my eyes. We’ve been doing that every year too and – to our surprise – succeeding every time. He was still feeling offended and didn’t talk to us though.

“I’m not talking about that! The other usual stuff.”

“Ah, this stuff.” I yawned. “But we already told every story we knew.”

When we were spending Christmas together, we’ve been telling each other a scary story based on Christmas. However, we ran out of ideas long time ago and it became boring.

“This year I have something pretty good,” Heejun whispered, switching off the lights, leaving only Christmas tree’s lights on. This was like a signal to Seungjun to forgive us and to clung to me. Inseong patted his own cheeks to wake up and Youjin turned off the TV.

“This better be good,” I said.

“A week ago I saw this on the Internet,” Heejun began the story with his creepy smirk. “I didn’t find all story though. It interested me, so I asked my friends about it and one of them told me the ending.

It’s called Dorm Alone. It was just like our case now: five youngsters stayed in their dorm on Christmas. Although they were university students, not idols like us, they were similarly close with each other. They planned to have some fun that night and after a few beers one of them came up with a game. It began like any other ouija game, but later the nightmare began…

After they placed the board on the floor, they moved closer to each other and the originator said the intro formula, putting his hands on the wing, which was supposed to show the letters.

‘Now, who wants to begin?’ he asked with horror in his voice.

At the beginning everyone volunteered. The youngest went first.

‘Are you with us?’ he whispered, pretending to be scared, while the others burst out laughing.

There was silence after his words. ‘See?’ he laughed. ‘I told you this is –’

Suddenly the wing moved. All boys, who had their fingers on the wing, looked at each other.

‘You could warn, if you were to do it,’ the oldest scolded his friends.

‘I didn’t do it,’ the youngest said.

‘Me neither.’

‘Don’t look at me! You know I’m a chicken, especially when I’m drunk…’

‘It’s not me.’

Because all of them denied, either one lied, or everyone told the truth. When the awkward silence continued, they decided to look at the board.

YES was the word under the glass of the wing.

‘I have to tell you’ the youngest said. ‘that it creeped me out a little, even though it’s pretended.’

‘Is it?’

‘Yes! That’s why –!’

Once more the deathly silence fell. The boys froze terrified.

There was one more person in their dorm.

‘Are you trying to play trick on us again?’ the oldest scolded the one sitting beside him, who was known to prank everyone almost every day.

‘No, I swear!’ he denied violently. He wanted to take his finger off the wing, but then it moved to the other answer:

 

NO.

 

‘What is this!’ the oldest planned to stand up, but the others pulled him down again. ‘WHAT!?’

‘Stay still!’ the youngest hissed. ‘You can’t let go until you finish the questions!’

‘Did YOU plan this!?’

‘No! Just… wait a moment. Maybe one of the neighbors is pranking us, so let’s finish it and beat him up.’

The oldest hesitated for a moment but eventually nodded and came back to the game.

‘Are you alone?’ the youngest continued.

This time the wing moved faster than before, which frightened the students, who surely couldn’t react so quickly if it was pretended.

 

YES.

 

‘Are… Are you angry?’

 

YES.

 

The boys glanced at each other unsure what to do.

‘Why are you here?’

 

BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS.

 

‘So… what’re you doing on Christmas?’

No movement worried them. After a while it formed another answer:

 

HUNTING.

 

The youngest wanted to ask what was he was hunting, but the others glared at him, so he stayed quiet.

‘Why are you angry?’ the quietest student asked suddenly, before he was stopped by his friends who wanted to avoid that question.

Then the wing moved so fast to each letter of the alphabet, that the boys screamed, trying to move back, but their fingers were literally stuck to the wood. Four of them closed their eyes and opened them only when the quietest one gasped, which was unusual for him. He said the sentence he saw:

 

BECAUSE YOU WOKE ME UP.

 

‘Why did we wake him up?’ the youngest whispered with trembling voice. ‘We didn’t do a thing!’

‘But we began the game…’ the quietest said. ‘And now we have to end it.’

‘No way!’ the oldest stood up violently, throwing the board away, which caused the wing to flew to the dark corner of the room.

Suddenly some of the lights on the Christmas tree blinked and burnt out. The students shrieked surprised.

‘What did you do!’ the quietest hissed.

‘What!’ the oldest outraged. ‘I ended this stupid game!’

‘You can’t! Always greet and always say goodbye. That’s the rule!’

‘So what!? It’s just a game!’

‘YOU’RE WRONG.’

All of them froze again, when they heard the weird, low voice from before.

‘Where are you!’ the oldest shouted angry. ‘Come out or I’ll kill you, I swear!’

No answer. Instead, there was someone’s heavy breathing. It was coming from the front door. The oldest went there courageously, even though the others tried to stop him. He looked out into the corridor, but there was no one. Some of the corridor’s lights were burnt out too. There was only one blinking light left, three doors away from their dorm. The oldest cursed under his nose and wanted to come back inside, when he saw something.

He squinted his eyes. Did he imagine it? He could swear he saw a person under the blinking light. When the light blinked again, this time the oldest had no doubts.

Three doors away was standing some stooping man with an old, torn hat and cane. The oldest student wanted to ask if he was the one who pranked them, when the light blinked once more and the man suddenly disappeared.

The oldest got goosebumps. He quickly came inside the dorm and locked the front door. He turned around to his friends, who were standing next to each other, hugging.

‘W… Where are you?’ the oldest whispered, having some suspicions.

This time lack of the answer was the worst, because they heard the breathing again, but they couldn’t guess from which side it was coming from.

‘Where are you!’ the oldest shouted with panic and anger at the same time.

 

BEHIND YOU.”

 

“OH MY GOD!” Seungjun suddenly shouted into my ear, when some lights on our Christmas tree burnt out as Heejun said strange man’s answer.

Seungjun scared the hell out of me and Inseong. We jumped on Youjin, who groaned and pushed us on the floor. Heejun wanted to continue, but he froze terrified too, looking at the tree.

“W-Where did you hear that story?” I muttered.

“It was on the Internet, but…” Heejun stopped when all of a sudden something started to creak. We looked up and saw the lamp was slightly moving.

“It was me,” I calmed him down. “I hit it earlier.”

“Ah, thank God… I mean, I hope you’re okay though.”

“I’m okay.”

“It was on the Internet, but it was cut in the middle, somewhere during the oldest student’s walk toward the front door. The rest I heard from my friend.”

“I don’t really want to ask, but I think I have to,” I said. “How it ends?”

“I just finished it. It ends with stranger’s ‘behind you’.”

“Just like that? Without an explanation like any other scary stories have?”

“Oh my God!” This time it was Inseong.

“What now?” Youjin grumbled, rubbing his ear.

Out of nowhere Inseong turned pale. “I heard about that kind of stories!” he gasped.

“What kind?” I asked confused.

“Only the ones based on facts are cut like that! If it’s true, then –”

“You’re saying I just told you a TRUE GHOST STORY!?” Heejun panicked, digging his nails into my arm. On my other side Seungjun hugged me tightly and I thought that in a moment his teeth will dig into my skin, because he was now clenching them on my blouse.

“But it’s still weird,” I muttered, thinking. “There should be an explanation who the ghost was. Let’s assume the students died, went crazy, or something. Who then told the story in the first place, if it was true?”

“That makes sense,” Youjin sighed. “So don’t panic.”

Only when he said that, something fell next to the sofa and he screamed surprised, curling up. The thing that fell turned out to be an empty can of Cola, that Youjin drank himself.

“Don’t panic, huh?” I said sarcastically, smirking at our oldest and fearless member.

“Shut up.”

“I’m not sleeping today,” Seungjun said.

“You’re right. You’re not sleeping in MY room. That’s for sure.”

“Oh no, I’m staying with you. I don’t want to be alone.”

“You’re sharing the room with Inseong-hyung. How is this being alone?”

“He’s a coward.”

“And I guess you’re the hero then?” Inseong grumbled.

“You’re both hopeless –OH MY GOD!” I shrieked when a fly passed my ear with a dreadful buzzing. I jumped into Seungjun’s arms without realizing it.

Before members laughed at me, we heard another weird sound.

BREATHING.

There was breathing sound coming from the front door. We all panicked. We tried to push each other to check it, but no one wanted, even Youjin. Eventually we played rock-paper-scissors and Heejun lost. I was so glad that I hugged Seungjun and didn’t let go, until Heejun was in the midway to the door.

“Are you sure you don’t want to volunteer?” maknae whispered desperately.

“We’re quite sure. Go on.”

“You’re horrible!”

“It’s your fault we’re in this situation anyway, so be responsible.” I showed him thumb up with serious face. “Fighting.”

Heejun swallowed hard and continued. When he reached the door, it turned out to be just a wind, whistling through a chink below. Heejun sat exhausted next to the door. He wanted to laugh, but then we heard footsteps coming from the corridor and froze again, listening.

The footsteps were echoing in the empty corridor in a creepy way. Suddenly they stopped somewhere near our door.

We played rock-paper-scissors once more and this time I lost and had to sacrifice myself, so I went slowly to the peephole. I looked through it and saw the lights were on. Damn, we had lights that were turned on only when there was a movement. But there was no one in the corridor.

“No, I don’t want to do it!” I groaned, but members surprisingly fast founded themselves behind me and pushed me toward the peephole. I tried again. The lights were still on.

Suddenly a man in a hat straightened up just before the door, as if he emerged from the floor. I screamed and fell on my members, who caught me and put me on my feet. Then the door opened by itself and the hoarse, low voice (which I imagined as the stranger’s voice in Heejun’s story) said:

“Merry Christmas…”

We all shrieked, surprising the person behind the door. Then the ‘stranger’ came in and turned out to be our manager, who was carrying five gifts.

“Jeez, what’s gotten into you!” he groaned, massaging his forehead where he probably hit himself.

“Oh my GOD!” I hissed and all five of us sat down. I lied on Heejun’s lap, suddenly tired. “Hyung! Stop scaring us! And please get rid of that ugly hat. It’s the creepiest.”

“Were you telling scary stories again?” He put the hat on a table with care, glaring at me, as if I insulted his best friend. “Sorry about my voice, I caught a cold. I came to you just to give you gifts and wish you a Merry Christmas.”

And that was the end of our Christmas adventure. When manager and members went to the kitchen, I looked through the peephole once more, just to chase away my vivid imagination. Now the corridor was dark. I sighed and laughed at myself.

However, when I wanted to join the others, I heard the footsteps and cane’s tapping, even though the light were still off.

I swallowed hard and walked away.

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