This is quite a famous story in Japan.
There is a girl, named Miho who lives in the city. She had moved to the city from the rural countryside to find a better job. One day, while at work, she was notified that her mother, who had been ill for some time, had taken a turn for the worse. They do not expect her mother to live much longer. This news prompted Miho to return to her hometown for the first time since she left, apparently several years earlier.
She took the train home that afternoon. As she got off the train it was already dusk and the sky was getting dark. No one came to meet her at the station. So, Miho started walking back to the house. Shortly, she came upon a set of railway tracks. Right across her was a little girl of about 12 years old, walking towards her. Miho had a strange feeling that she knew this girl but she just couldn’t figure out who and where.
As she was crossing the track, the girl grabs her arm and their eyes lock for a short moment. Neither mutter a word until the railway crossing signal went off and the gates started to close. Miho broke free and rushed through the closing gate. She turned to see if the little girl had made it but she could not see between the railway coaches. She had a goosebump, worrying if the girl couldn’t make it. But the length of the train seemed never ending. Miho tried to convince herself hat the girl was all right and moved on.
She made it to her mother’s house where she met her brother. He had changed so much since the last time she laid eyes on him. He had dropped out of school and was working in the local fishery to help pay their mother’s medical bills. Miho was upset that no one had asked for her help. She could have sent home the money. However, her brother told her that she was no longer his sister since the day she left. An argument followed and this upset Miho tremendously. She cried herself to sleep that night.
Later that night she was awaken by people’s conversation. She looked at her clock and it was midnight. She got up and went towards the sound. She reached a den lighted only by the glow of the TV. In front of the TV was that same little girl that she met at the railway crossing earlier.
“What are you doing in my house?!” Miho yells at the girl. “Where do you live? What makes you think that you can come into this house uninvited?!”
The little girl stared at the TV with unblinking eyes and did not seem to hear Miho. This annoyed Miho even more.
“Hey you little wit! I am talking to you! Look at me when I talk to you!” she screamed at the little intruder. “What is your parents going to say to you?”
Suddenly the lights came on in the den. Miho turned around and saw her brother.
“What is the problem? Whom are you yelling at?”
Miho pointed and said, “This little girr…..”
But there was no one there! Just the TV playing.
The next morning Miho visited her mother in the hospital. She knew it might be the last time that she would ever see her mother and that this was the only chance she may have to apologise for going away and losing touch with the family. Nevertheless, her mother rejects her apology and asks her to leave. Miho protested but the mother summoned the nurses to get rid of her.
Miho was again very upset and decided to go back to the city. As she was looking home she stumbled upon that little girl again.
“Who are you? What do you want from me?” Miho demanded.
The little girl smiled at Miho, then turned around and ran up a dirt road. Miho chased after her until they came to an old abandoned school. Miho remembered it was her middle school. She followed the girl inside.
She could hear banging and little boys laughing and shouting above her. “Stupid! We are going to get you!”
Miho dashed up the stairs to investigate where the noises came from. She looked around and soon found the boys pounding on a closet and yelling threats in one of the classrooms. Miho pushed past the boys and swung open the closet door expecting to find that little girl inside. But it was empty. She turned around to confront the boys, but to her greatest horror, the boys faces were all horribly disfigured! Miho screamed on top of her lungs and ran out of the classroom.
Then it was all silent and the little girl appeared in front of Miho again. Miho was still gasping gulps of air, recovering from her shock. The little girl stretched out her arm and touched Miho’s forehead, then she muttered one word, “Remember….”
At that point, Miho was taken back in time. She found herself in that same classroom and the boys, looking no longer disfigured but normal, were up to their same pounding antics on the closet.
Then from the back of the classroom, steps in the 12 year-old Miho.
“Stop it” she screamed at the boys as she pushed them aside. “Cut it out! She is new here.” The young Miho opened the door of the closet and inside that little girl, frightened and sobbing.
The scene advanced in front of Miho’s eyes. She now witnessed the two girls walking home after school. The little girl told Miho that she was an orphan and lives in the local orphanage. She told Miho that she thinks she is the nicest person that she ever met and from this day forward that they were going to be best friends.
The young Miho was taken aback by this, because this new girl was not popular with the other girls and if she hung out with her then the other girls would pick on her as well. But the young Miho just obliged unwillingly.
The scene advanced again to the time the boys were bullying that little girl again. They surrounded her and shoved her back and forth at the top of the stairs. Young Miho walked up the stairs and the little girl called out for Miho’s help but this time Miho just turned away. Subsequently, the leader of the boys pushed too hard and the little girl went falling down the stairs. She landed with a thud and her leg twisted rudely!
Miho having witnessed this screamed for the teachers to come out and help. They sent her to the clinic nearby and she was patched up with a cast. Later, the teachers asked Miho what had taken place. Miho lied and said that she had seen nothing and that most likely that new girl had tripped.
The teachers believed Miho and scolded the little girl. The little girl was so hurt she crept away on her crutches, crying. She ran away and came to the railway crossing. As she was crossing the first set of tracks her crutch got caught and broke causing her to fall. She tried to stand but her dress was caught on the track as well. At that moment, the crossing signal went off and the gates started to close. She cried for help desperately but no one was around to help her. A train came and ran over her.
The scene before Miho’s eyes cleared and she heard the railway crossing signal again. She found herself lying across the railway tracks where she had first met that little girl. The same crossing where the little girl was killed years ago. The gates are down and the little girl’s ghost was standing in front smiling at her. She fade away just as the train came….
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