Fandom: Dragonball Z
Publish Date: 4/25/2004
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.
The party was in full swing—in other words, loud, rowdy, and full of teenagers that by all accounts probably won’t responsible enough to be there. Sharpner’s parents were out of town for the week, so naturally he had completely disregarded their warning not to have any parties, and thrown one of the biggest parties in the history of Orange Star High School.
And for the life of him, Son Gohan couldn’t figure out what he was doing there. Parties didn’t really interest him, and most of the people here were shallow, superficial, and the like. So why was he here? Most likely because Videl had grudgingly said they needed to put in an appearance, considering that Sharpner was a longtime friend of hers.
He was about ready to ask her if they could leave already when he was suddenly accosted by none other than his none-too-gracious host. “Hey, Son, you up for a dare?” The level of talking in the room dropped suddenly as everyone strained to hear what this unknown dare could possibly be.
“Depends on what it is, I guess,” Gohan replied, and it was the truth. Sort of. Actually, it was more like he was up for anything that would get him out of there.
The blonde jock cackled. “Ever heard the story of Bloody Mary?” There were gasps around them, and laughter, some of it nervous, at the mention of this story. Obviously, many were familiar with it.
However, Gohan was not one of those blessed with the knowledge. “Can’t say that I have.”
“It’s an American urban legend,” Videl cut in. She had been on her way over to ask if Gohan wanted to leave, but apparently they weren’t going to be able to escape just yet. “A woman named Mary really wanted to have kids, but it didn’t work out that way. She lost, like, five kids. Some said the Devil took them, for whatever reason. So if you stand in front of a mirror in a dark room and say ‘Bloody Mary, I have your children’ five times, one for each kid she lost, you’ll see the face of the Devil in the mirror.”
“There’s a bunch of different versions of the story, but yeah, that works,” Erasa added.
“So, Brains,” Sharpner grinned, using the hated nickname, “I dare you to try it!”
Gohan raised an eyebrow and turned to Videl. “I thought you said it was an urban legend.”
“So why bother trying? It won’t work,” Gohan’s words were logical, but the party wasn’t interested in logic. They wanted to see the resident genius take up this challenge, no matter how ridiculous it actually seemed.
“Aw, what’s the matter? Is the nerd chicken?” Sharpner jeered, grabbing Gohan’s arm and pulling him along towards a nearby door. Gohan allowed himself to be led, though if he really didn’t want to go, he could have planted his feet, and nothing short of Majin Buu would have been able to move him.
With a flourish, Sharpner opened the door, revealing a darkened room. “The ghost’s waiting.”
Gohan shook his head. “This is ridiculous.”
“Come on, Brains,” Sharpner jeered. “Or are you just scared that Bloody Mary will get you?” This last was said in a mock-creepy voice, and the rest of the party burst out laughing at the jibe; only Videl remained neutral, and she looked faintly bored at the idea.
Feeling somewhat defeated, Gohan agreed. “Fine. I’ll do it. But you’re going to see this is just a stupid urban legend. Nothing more.” But those later words were lost as the assembly of teenagers began cheering, hooting, and hollering at the acceptance of the challenge.
Sharpner held the door open, and mock-bowed as the ‘victim’ passed by. Gohan stepped into the small room, and the door closed behind him.
The room was dark, with only a tiny bit of light coming from the crack under the door. He could hear the rest of the party outside talking frantically. He sighed. This was so stupid. But he was humoring them, and protecting himself from relentless teasing at the hands of his classmates. Sit in a room and say a stupid phrase five times. Whoop-dee-doo.
Though Saiyans couldn’t see in the dark, his eyes adjusted quickly, and he could make out the form of what looked like a small vanity table. There was a faint glare, revealing the mirror’s location. He moved slowly, and felt out where the stool was. Thus acquainted with his surroundings, he sat down. If he focused hard enough, he could make out his reflection, shadowed as it was.
“Go for it, Gohan!” Erasa chirped through the door.
He studied the mirror. Nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seemed normal enough.
So he took the plunge.
“Bloody Mary, I have your children,” he began. Outside the room, there were hushing noises, and he knew they were all standing with ears pressed against the door, trying to listen for anything out of the ordinary. Not that anything would actually happen.
Gohan managed to keep from rolling his eyes, though, and managed to focus on his reflection in the mirror as he continued. “Bloody Mary, I have your children.” This was so absurd.
“Bloody Mary, I have your children.” He paused. Suddenly, the room felt a little colder. He tried to rationalize, but it was true: a slight but definite chill had sudden hit the room. How strange.
Still, he shrugged it off and went on, “Bloody Mary, I have your children.”
The temperature dropped again, but he still ignored it. A window had probably opened somewhere nearby, letting in the chilly night air, or maybe it was even just a set-up, part of an elaborate prank to try and freak out the class nerd. He wouldn’t put it past some of his classmates to go that far, just to try and make an idiot of him.
Fools. Son Gohan couldn’t be scared by a little cold air. He’d show them…
Whoa, where did that come from? Gohan shook his head slightly. Strange thought. Oh well. He had to go on. “Bloody Mary, I have your children.” That made four. One more time, and he would have completed the ritual, and the ridiculousness.
“Bloody Mary,” he breathed, surprised at how softly his voice came out, “I have your children.”
He waited, eyes boring into the mirror.
Outside, he could hear nervous laughter, and finally, someone knocked on the door. “Hey, Son! Everything okay in there? Or did the ghost get you?” Uproarious laughter followed.
Gohan sighed, and didn’t even bother calling back. He stood up, eager to get out of there, and took one step towards the door when he stopped. Just froze. His stomach twisted into a knot before it uncoiled, like a cobra readying a strike.
He shook his head again to clear it, and looked at the closed door, only a few small steps away. Outside, he could hear the laughter, the joking, the talking. To his ears, it was like nails against a chalkboard. But he kept his face passive, and opened the door. The light momentarily hurt his eyes, but his vision cleared quickly, and he looked at his assorted friends and classmates.
“Well?” Sharpner asked, arms folded casually across his chest. “Did you see the Devil?”
Gohan shook his head. “I thought I saw something, but it’s gone now.”
This sent the assembly into a fresh round of twittering gossip. All but Videl. She was watching him carefully, like he was something strange she had never before laid eyes on.
He grinned at her, and her eyes widened. She knew.
The lifeless form dropped from his hands into a rumped heap on the ground. A crimson blood-stain was already forming around the body.
Gohan knelt and casually wiped his hands on the guy’s shirt. It wasn’t anyone he knew very well. Someone in one of his classes, though they had never really spoken.
Humans were so breakable. Apply a tiny amount of pressure to the neck, and it snaps like a twig. Pitiful. So pitiful. Almost took the amusement out of it. Key word: almost.
Leaving the fallen kid there on the floor, he began walking around the house. In search of someone else. In search of another victim. There were still plenty more. But they were hiding.
Sharpner had been first, and it had been delightful, the way the blonde jock’s eyes had widened in confused horror in that last instant of life. From there, the fun had really started. Everyone had fled, screaming. He had knocked a few down with simple ki blasts, but that really took the fun out of things.
But he was doing this at his leisure. Let them try to hide. It was just postponing the inevitable.
So he walked around, locked all the doors, barricading all the windows, except for the ones on the top floor. Watching them jump could prove amusing as well, he reasoned. And he wondered what those in hiding thought as they heard. Each click of a lock meant another escape route blocked off. He could imagine how deliciously terrified they must have been.
Now he strolled down a seemingly vacant hallway. However, he wasn’t fooled. His sharp Saiyan ears picked up on a sound. The tiniest of whimpers, coming from a closet just ahead. With a sneer, he headed towards that door and the helpless teenagers undoubtedly cowering inside.
After all, Gohan had been telling the truth when he said he thought he saw something.
He had seen the face of the Devil in the mirror.
Even though the only face there had been his own.