The Paper Cranes is a creepy story about about a boy who is seriously ill and receives 1000 folded paper cranes from all the kids in his class.
There was a boy I knew when I was young. His name was Araki and we hung around together all the time. His mother and my mother were best friends.
After a while, he moved to a different school and we lost touch. However, our mothers remained friends and still kept in contact with each other. Occasionally, my mother would tell me how Araki was doing.
When I was in junior high school, my mother told me that Araki was seriously ill. The doctors said he didn’t have long to live. She wanted me to go and visit him in hospital. Although I hadn’t spoken to him for years, my mother insisted, so I went.
When I got to the hospital and found his room, Araki was asleep. He looked pale and thin. On his bedside table, there were one thousand folded paper cranes. There was a card with them that read: “From the whole class”.
In Japan, origami is very popular. People fold sheets of paper into various shapes. Paper cranes are a symbol of healing. There is a famous Japanese legend that says if you fold 1000 paper cranes, then your wish will be granted.
“How nice,” I thought. “His entire class folded 1000 paper cranes to help him get better. It must have taken a long time. The other kids in his class must really like him.”
The paper cranes were held together with string. When I picked them up to admire them, one of the paper cranes came loose and fell on the ground. To hide my mistake, I grabbed it and stuffed it in my pocket.
Araki must have heard the rustling sound, because he woke up. We made some small-talk and he looked happy to see me. However, he was very tired and didn’t seem to have any strength left. After a few minutes, he couldn’t keep his eyes open and fell asleep. I left quietly without saying goodbye.
When I got home, I took the paper crane out of my pocket and looked at it. It looked as if there was something written on the inside. I unfolded it carefully. On the back of the paper, in large letters, were the words:
“Die! Die! Die!”