The Fox Window
Fox Window, the title of a popular post announces in sinister lettering. Apparently, it’s some viral Japanese shamanist trick that allows the user to see ghosts through the space formed by their fingers.
Skeptical but intrigued, Ari replicates the first step. The pointer and little fingers of each hand stick upward like a fox’s ears, the rest curling inward to form a ring: two fox heads facing each other.
Suddenly embarrassed, Ari glances around The water is still running: her friend Mina is still in the shower. Reassured and feeling both foolish and excited, she repeats the following instructions until, with some difficulty, she’s woven her fingers together to form a small gap.
Belatedly, she realizes there were warnings under the pictures. Heartbeat quickening at this mistake, she skims the ominous red letters.
Don’t look at other people through the window or you’ll both be cursed. If the person you look at is a fox or raccoon-dog spirit in disguise, it will curse you. If you see a ghost, immediately undo the window: a ghost will know if it has been seen, and it will latch onto you. Don’t look at corners or under desks: ghosts tend to linger there.
Ari exhales. She is alone, and Mina is still in the shower. Emboldened, she raises her hands up to her eye and peers at her room through the tiny window.
Relieved and disappointed, Ari slowly turns to take in the rest of her room. A spurt of daring has her peeking at the corners, but there is nothing, only the faded wallpaper.
Ari jerks around to look at Mina before she can stop herself, the first warning flashing through her mind. Mina smiles at her in the doorway, long dark hair dripping over her shoulders, and her lips stretch wider and wider as Ari watches, frozen.
“Oh, Ari,” Mina croons. The lights flicker once, twice, and suddenly there is only darkness. Through the gloom, a pair of slitted red eyes glow down at her over a fanged grin. “Should’ve been more careful….”
She doesn’t have time to scream.