Everyone was afraid of Juudai Fumetsu but Jordan was starting to figure out exactly why.
| Everyone was afraid of Mr Fumetsu, the strange Japanese man who lived at the street’s end. A sour elderly man in his seventies who despised people, young and old. He yelled at them, calling the police if he heard loud music and threatened with legal action when someone stepped onto his lawn. Maybe that was why Jordan Andersen always dared to venture onto the property, only to be yelled at and pelted with various objects such as elastic bands, hair ties and sponges. Mr Fumetsu had yelled about legal action constantly, but it stopped being scary after Jordan did the same thing for the hundredth time. Juudai Fumetsu had stopped being scary.|
Jordan was sixteen years old, and, for as long as he could remember, Juudai Fumetsu had lived there, yelling and scowling at the children on his lawn and property. Jordan always thought that the older man was fascinating, a mystery to be solved quickly.
Grinning ear to ear, Jordan looked around from his place in the bush, waiting for the older man to head out the door any moment. Jordan has memorized Mr Fumetsu’s routine, down to the last second. Every Tuesday morning, Mr Fumetsu would run outside to grab the newspaper. Every Wednesday evening, he would sit on the porch, glaring at everyone who dared to come onto his lawn. Mondays and Fridays were designated for buying groceries. Weekends were spent the same as Wednesday evenings.
Every Thursday, he left his house, heading to a place that no one knew. He always took his car, a beat-up old Toyota almost as old as he was. It could rumble and give off a loud bang- similar to gunfire that had everyone on edge at first. Well, that’s what Austin’s parents said when they were complaining about the odd, angry older man down the street.
Today was Thursday. Jordan knew from experience that Juudai Fumetsu locked his doors and drove off. This could be a perfect opportunity to check out the inside of the house. The sixteen-year-old boy couldn’t keep the grin off his face as -like clockwork- the older gentleman stepped out of the house, locked the door and headed towards his car.
Jordan watched as the older man got into his car and started it, the exhaust creating a shot like sound that echoed around the street. It made Jordan’s ears ring with how close he was. He pressed his hands to his ears; Too late, his mind told him. He watched as the car pulled out of the driveway, taking off like a shot down the road and disappearing quickly.
Jordan waited ten minutes before getting up out of his hiding place, glancing around the street to ensure no one saw him. His mother would have his head if she knew that he was doing this. Granted, his mother never approved of his choice of anything. Good thing she was at work and couldn’t see him.
Shaking his head, he quickly tested the handle, disappointment shooting through him when he found it locked. However, he shouldn’t be surprised. He knew Mr Fumetsu locked his house all the time, but he had hoped it wouldn’t be locked. He looked around the area, noting the windows and occasional doors as he walked around the house. He tested all of those, too. However, the results were the same.
Jordan clicked his tongue, glancing around before testing one of the windows. It wouldn’t budge, groaning and creaking under his hold. However, it stood firm, stubbornly not moving as Jordan quietly admitted defeat. Sighing, he scrapped his shoes across the ground, the hard, white cement creating a patio that Jordan was standing on.
“I guess I won’t see what’s going on then.”
He looked at the door, his mouth dropping as it stood ajar. A crack could be seen through the door and doorframe, the silver-coloured door swinging slightly in the breeze. He had checked….
Shaking his head, Jordan walked towards the door, poking it slightly with his foot. The tip of his shoes connected with solid wood, the door moving barely but not shutting. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, he grabbed the door, pulling it open just enough to slide in and closed it behind him.
The interior of the house lacked the imagination that Jordan possessed. He had hoped for various coffins or blood and bodies lying on the floor. Instead, the sight that greeted him was vastly different. Ordinary, plain white chairs and a single table sat in the middle of the kitchen and dining room, one chair slightly pulled out more than the others. The counters held appliances and devices that Jordan wouldn’t expect an older man to use. Various appliances such as coffee machines, toasters, and a fancy blender littered the counter.
Frowning, Jordan walked out of the kitchen and down the hall, various doors littering the walls. He opened a few, some being supply closets, a bathroom and a coat closet. Nothing interesting so far. He was starting to wonder if this was worth the trouble.
He walked into the living room, noting a matching sofa and love seat set that seemed brand new. He couldn’t recall Mr Fumetsu ordering or having anything delivered. A flat-screen TV was mounted on the wall, taking up a significant area—another odd thing.
“Who are you?”
Jordan spun around, facing the stairs that led up to the first floor. He blinked, startled at the appearance of the teen on the steps. He seemed to be a year older than Jordan, with light brown hair fading to black. His deep brown eyes bore into Jordan’s soul as if searching for something.
Is this Mr Fumetsu’s grandson? Jordan thought as he took a step back. “I’m sorry for intruding. The back door was open.”
“So you barged in here and expected what, exactly?”
Yep. He was related to Mr Fumetsu. “I was checking up on the owner of the house. I wanted to see if he was alright and that no one broke in.”
“No.” The teen stared down the stairs, brown eyes locked onto Jordan’s green. “You came here to be nosey. Leave.”
“I’m sorry to bother you. Let your grandfather know I’m sorry, alright?”
The teen stopped at the foot of the stair, snorting before a grin crossed his lips. “Grandfather? No one else lives here but me.”
Jordan frowned, taking a step back towards the kitchen, only to find his back hitting a wall. Startled, he turned around, finding a completely different view than what he had seen. The details and decor were the same; however, the layout differed vastly. Where there should have been a wall was the hallway to the kitchen. Instead, the wall that had been on his right was now directly behind him.
Jordan felt uneasiness settle in his stomach as he turned, only to find the teen standing directly in front of him. His back broke out into a sweat, beads of perspiration trickling down and soaking into his clothes. The hairs on his arms and neck stood on end as he pressed his back further into the wall.
“Mr Fumetsu lives here.” Jordan stuttered, and glanced around the room for a way out. “I’ve seen him all the time.”
“He does.” The other teen replied, grinning as he took another step forward. “Again, I’m the only one who lives here.”
“You’re not making any sense.” Jordan retorted, keeping an eye on the hand that reached for his face.
He slammed his eyes shut, waiting for the hand to touch him, but nothing happened. Cautiously, he opened his eyes, seeing the teen further away from him than before, perched on the loves seat with a tea set on the coffee table.
“If you aren’t going to leave, have a seat.” The teen gestured towards the table, the ever-present grin that Jordan associated with him never leaving.
Jordan shook his head, eyes darting around the room to see if it had shifted again, which it shouldn’t have shifted in the first place. It was physically impossible to have rooms change in the blink of an eye. Everything was the same as before, except the hallway and wall behind his back.
“You came all the way here to talk with me.” The teen stated, raising an eyebrow before taking a sip of tea. “Let’s talk.”
“I want to leave.”
“You should have thought of that before walking into an open door. Sit, please.”
Jordan hesitated before walking over to the couch and taking a seat. The teen slides a teacup in his direction, his smile softer than earlier. He waits til Jordan takes the cup before he begins to speak, his accented English not hindering Jordan’s understanding of what he is saying.
“I apologize if I scared you. I wasn’t expecting anyone to waltz into my house.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m in Mr Fumetsu’s house,” Jordan stressed, not taking a drink as he looked around the room again.
“I believe I’ve stated that it’s my house, yes.”
“No, it’s Mr Fumetsu’s house.” Jordan glared at the person opposite him. “I’ve lived next door to him for years. You can look outside the window and see my house.”
“So you’re the one who keeps running all over my lawn.” The teen took another sip of tea, humming as he looked down in thought. “I thought throwing things at you would keep you off.”
“Throwing things at me?” Jordan’s voice was small, the cold sweat from earlier returning as he gaped at the other. “You’re…”
“Juudai Fumetsu, at your service,” Juudai said with a wink, snagging a biscuit off the plate and munching on it.
“You can’t be Mr Fumetsu.” Jordan shook his head, chasing away the thoughts before they could form. “He’s at least seventy years older than you.”
“Eighty, in fact,” Juudai replied with a grin. “It’s a clever ruse I came up with to keep people from coming near me. But it didn’t work.”
“Ruse? For what? I saw you drive off. You couldn’t have gotten here so quickly.”
“I never left. I allowed this street to see what I wanted them to see. I hardly ever leave the house. I find it boring. Dull. An annoyance.”
“How could you make the street see what you….” Jordan slammed the cup down in frustration. “You aren’t making any sense.”
“I’m not trying to make sense.” Juudai leaned back into his chair, his expression finally dropping from the grin to becoming more serious. “I just want to be left alone, and you waltzed into my house and decided to snoop.”
“I apologize.” Jordan stood up, dusting his pants off as he turned towards the door. “I won’t bother you again.”
“Oh no, it’s no bother at all. I’m curious about you now, Jordan Andersen. Come back anytime you would like. I’d love to have a chat with you.”
“Do I have any choice?” Jordan asked as he tried not to fidget, his voice wavering slightly until he could steady it.
Juudai blinked in surprise, chuckling at something before standing up himself. “You always have a choice. I’m not forcing you to do anything.”
He strolled towards the front door, pulling it open and gesturing for Jordan to go. Jordan didn’t hesitate, glancing out at the garage to see the beat-up Toyota still in the drive. As if it never left in the first place. Everyone was afraid of Mr Fumetsu. Finally, Jordan was starting to find out why.