I can hear it again... that terrible, hoarse voice. It's repeating something. I wonder what it's saying? It sounds like some kind of incantation... I... shouldn't listen to it...
I heard faint laughter from around me, followed by a delayed dull pain in my head. I finally understood what was going on. A grey wall appeared before my blurry eyes. It was the grey coat of Mr. Yamamoto, advisor of modern Japanese and the culture club. In his hand was the spine of a closed textbook. Had he used that to hit me over the head? Maybe I should write an article about teachers employing corporal punishment in the next school newspaper.
"I'd rather you wrote an article about dozing students," he said, reading my mind, which finally woke me up. He returned to the lecture without waiting for me to reply. Using the comfortable sound of him reading out the text as background noise, I looked absentmindedly out of the window. Through the glass, warped by the rain pouring down it, I could see the clematises in the courtyard. The place was visible even from the classrooms of the new building. Lately, it seemed as though I'd been catching myself staring at the courtyard a lot - praying that nothing was there...
"An incantation that means you'll never wake up again."
There was a tale related to this in the Purple Diary.
A hoarse voice heard at night - a curse upon those who get close to the Purple Diary.
This hoarse voice, heard from far away, gets closer bit by bit each night. The closer it gets, the more of the words, repeated like an incantation, you are able to make out.
But no one knows what those words are.
This is because all those who learn the details of the incantation are captured by the speaker, who uses sharp needles held in both hands to shut their eyes so as to never open again. So they will never wake up again. So they will never escape the darkness of the diary.
"The use of an incantation and stopping someone from opening their eyes isn't something you see anywhere else, is it?" Yoriko said, enraptured. The story was one she had researched.
The majority of stories relating to the Purple Diary are stories about its victims: how do those victims pull in the next victim and increase their number? But this tale had nothing like that. Besides...
"Besides, the woman in black doesn't appear in it, either. Even if the voice probably belongs to her."
Naturally, though, no one would know what she looked like since they had their eyes closed permanently while they were asleep.
"An incantation, needles in both hands, shutting their eyes so they can't open them... They're all weirdly specific," Yoriko continued.
Apparently, there were occasionally descriptions of cruel rituals in folklore books or old regional documents.
There's the tale of the Tattoo Master who takes in pain and sin by having it engraved on their body as tattoos; the story of the Sleeping Priestess who is said to take on people's nightmares, sleeping forever and being sent to the "other side" never to awaken; the story of the Twin Shrine Maidens who are offered up as human sacrifices; and a ritual to create shimenawa stained with the blood of the shrine maiden...
"Those kinds of regional legends serve as the basis for a surprising number of urban legends. I've never seen anything like having your face cut off the way it is in the Purple Diary one before, though..." Yoriko said, like the punchline from some manga.
Maybe manga and urban legends have something in common. At the very least, I suppose they were still that way to Yoriko - back then, anyway...
If you hear a hoarse incantation in the night, you mustn't listen to it. You must be quiet, hold your breath, cover your ears, and not let it notice you until you open your eyes the next morning.