Note: Some violence. Mentions of canon deaths, minor spoilers for parts of the game, particularly the intro portion and a small bit of Night 1. Mentions of characters from Fatal Frame II and Fatal Frame III. Some bits extrapolated from canon cutscenes.

Taken by the Hands
by Estirose
c 2012

"Forgive me...." The figure was moaning the words, while appearing and disappearing in front of him. Frantically, he raised his mother's camera, as if hoping that it would fend off the ghost - weren't ghosts afraid of photos, after all?

But he knew he was doomed. The figure - it was a warped parody of a man, almost like the aliens sometimes seen in American tabloids. Naked as far as he could tell, twisting back and forth and fading in and out of existence as he watched it through the viewfinder. Heart pounding, he snapped a picture.

To his surprise, the ghost was thrown back. Mafuyu could only gasp in astonishment as it came back, raised his camera again to take a shot, hoping this time he could get away somehow. Or drive it away.

With his second photo, it warped, faded away as he watched, and he had to sit down for a moment, down on that dark, rotting wood in the dark, rotting home as he considered the implication. "This camera…." He stared at it. Why could his camera make the ghosts disappear? It was old, true, but it wasn't anything magical.

His mother, though... his mother had become afraid after using the camera, muttering about things that weren't there. She'd eventually died, hung herself, because she couldn't stand it anymore. He had her sense for the supernatural, the ability to see things that weren't there.

So did Miku, his sister, and he hoped she'd never come. It was terrifying enough for him, this place, and so how much worse could it be for his sister? She was in High School, after all.

Mafuyu took a deep breath. Miku was safe. Yuu would take her in. Mafuyu had something to do in this place. After all, Mr. Takamine was trapped in the place, and unlike Mafuyu, he didn't have a camera. Mafuyu had a brief vision, that of Mr. Takamine grasping some kind of statuette, backing up in terror as a woman with many hands floated towards him.

He had to save Mr. Takamine! Hopefully it wasn't too late.

But where to start?

He looked down, to see a mysterious figure walk towards the door he'd come in. Taking a deep breath, he hurried down the stairs, past the fireplace at the center of the room, back towards the door.

It was open. He remembered closing it.

Maybe there was a clue in the hallway. Maybe the other door would unlock just as this one had opened. He had to take the chance; there was nothing else he could do.

Walking into the hallway, he checked the other door. Still locked. Sighing, started down the corridor, back towards the entrance. He'd have to get help, though he didn't know who else could fight ghosts. Maybe Kei would know, or Yuu. Yuu would know more.

And then he froze, the hairs on his neck standing up, the soft whisper of robes behind him. He turned, seeing the ghost appear from the mirror, staring at him with an unreadable expression. Spectral hands floated around her, for it was a her, reaching forward.

"Where have you been?" the ghost asked, wailing. "Where did you go?"

Mafuyu raised the camera, and took a picture, but it had no effect. The ghost started gliding towards him instead, and faint hands started reaching out of the walls.

So, he did what anybody with a survival instinct would do, and ran. It felt like he was running through something thick, and the air burned. He wondered if this is what Mr. Takamine and his crew had done as well, run from a ghostly woman with too many hands, and where they had gone.

But at the moment, it would be a good idea if he survived. He could sense the being coming closer and closer, closer and closer, and then the hands were grabbing at him, sapping his strength. He dared look behind, and she was looming practically over him.

The last of his strength left him as she touched him, images floating in his mind as the ground grew dim. Mr. Takamine. His assistant. His editor. One in the temple, one in the water, one in the closet, each screaming as she tore them apart.

"Never leave me again," the ghost told him. "I won't let you leave me again!"

As the world faded around Mafuyu, he closed his eyes. He'd failed. The others were dead.

And he would be, soon.

-End


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