The Spooky Night Episode 5: Peeling an apple at the midnight
Ichika glances at the black-cat clock, Neko, on the dressing table. In Japanese superstition, a black cat will bring a single woman more suitors.
It’s almost midnight. She’s been planning for this moment for several days. She wipes the table mirror next to the clock for the last time, before turning off the light. The room turns pitch black.
“Lub-dub, lub-dub,” she almost hears her own heartbeat. She gives out a grin, tries to comfort herself. Then she flips open a lighter. Her face jumps into the mirror, staring at her. Tonight it has an odd aura of solemnity. She doesn’t know why.
She lights two candles on the table. She bought the candles for this special moment. The room, like a little universe, is skewed at one corner with a ring nebula. The center of the ring is the two flames and her glowing face. The rest fades into profound unknowns. Many shadows are dancing in the dark.
Ichika’s heart is dancing, too, only the pace is a lot heavier. She doesn’t know why. It’s all about romance. But when it comes to superstition, it always feels dark and heavy.
Right in the middle of the night, sit in front of a mirror, light two candles, start to peel an apple. If you can keep the peel in one whole piece. you will be able to see the face of your future lover.
It’s a Japanese superstition, too.
Ichika’s colleagues always quip that superstitions never come true. But she believes that it’s because they have lost all the rituals. Tonight she will prove it.
Ichika sits in front of the mirror, holds an apple with the left hand, a knife with the right. It’s a Fujisaki apple, large and juicy. For this special ceremony, its skin is resilient as much as its flesh is crisp.
Dong, dong, dong ……
Neko gives out twelve sounds.
The last one feels like it’s awakened something. But Ichika doesn’t think too much. She starts to peel the apple.
She does her best to focus on the apple while stealing a glance or two in the mirror. Nothing but her own face. “I must be faithful,”…