Red Eye

This took place in the old days when the houses in Japan still used paper sheets for walls and doors. A young business man was traveling through town after a day of hard work. He though he could make it back home but it got dark before he knew it. He didn’t want to waste time going back to the town for shelter and thought perhaps he could find a house down the road. Lucky for him, he saw a glimmer of light a little ways off the road and decided to try asking for shelter there. He came upon this little hut and knowcked on the door. An old man came out and asked if he could be of any help. “Would you be so kind to let me stay tonight? I will pay you for a room.”

“Nonsense! I’ll be happy to let you stay. I don’t many visitors out here. Come on in!” Te old man said. He gave the young man food and told him he could have the spare room. While walking to his appointed room, the young man noticed another room right next to his. Saying thanks to the kind old man, the young man went into his room. After he blew out the candle to go to sleep, the young man heard a soft melodic sound from the next room. It sounded like someone singing. Being curious, he crawled to the wall, wet his finger, and poked a little hole in the wall (remember the wall was made of rice paper). He peeked into the hole and saw the most beautiful woman dancing and singing, her long black hair covered one side of her face. He looked away from the wall and thought to himself, why didn’t the old man introduce them? He decided to look back into the hole but all he saw was a red glow and nothing else. Maybe he was dreaming, he thought, and decided to go back to bed.

The next morning, the young man was waken up to eat breakfast. While they were both seated, the young man asked his host who was the beautiful woman in the room next to his last night. The old man was shocked. “There’s no one there. That was my daughter’s room until she died. She was born with a disfigurement and could never find a suitor to marry her, so she ended her life in that room.”

“What was the disfigurement?”

“She was born with one red eye.”

She was staring at him with her red eye through the peep hole when he was trying to look at her a second time! The young man decided not to reveal his story. He left as soon as he was done eating and thanked the old man once again for giving him shelter.

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