Heavy footsteps scramble along the narrow street. The man tries to run away as far as he can from the monster that reveals itself to him. His fast heartbeat is deafening his ears and his shallow breathing dries his throat and almost choke him. The sweat dripping on his forehead flowed over his disgruntled face. He didn't mind the sting of the salty sweat seeping into his orifices. As long as he could escape the dreadful image of the demon that haunts him down, he will never stop running around.
He has heard frightening stories of it before, beginning from his old penniless grandfather trying to scare him off. Whenever his mother would leave him at his house to work as a masseuse in the evening, his beggarly grandfather would say:
"Close your eyes before the Dalgyal Gwisin arrives. The demon has no face and it will get yours if it sees you awake at night."
He never paid attention until now. Even when his friends share ghost stories with him about a faceless devil that lurks at school grounds or abandoned houses and buildings where it dwells to hunt. For him, they are either drunk or hallucinating. Scaring themselves with nothing more than creepy children's fantasies.
'How long has he been running?' The man thought to himself.
The scammer is out of breath, gasping for air. He stops his tired feet and turns his head to search for the monster disguised as a man.
He isn't there. He wasn't followed.
His tee-shirt stained with sauce is wet at his back from sweating too much. He slumps on the ground and feels his energy drained like his life is on the verge of ceasing away from his soul. He notices his hands are pale and dry like an old man and when he looks at his reflection from a shallow pool of water on the floor, he is shocked by what he sees from his mirrored impression.
An empty face.
Fearing the image made him scurry backward with his hand until his back hit the cold wall of a deserted establishment. The street is silent. There is no one around. Even the street cats don't make a sound.
He touched his face. The gooey thick texture of melting skin in his fingers is the last thing he sees. His eyeball that carries his dark brown irises fall from its socket and drops down to his melting cheeks. He can't see where they fumble down but he can feel something in his hands, so he squished it hard. His eyeballs are now mushy members on his palm. Trying to scream is impossible to do, as his lips melted down to his sauce-stained shirt and the thick sickly liquid sealed his mouth shut.
He has no face.
No eyes to see.
No mouth to scream.
He will only run and haunt people in the narrow street.
The faceless wraith hovers over the new ghost created by the cruel punishment he bestowed. The scammer cheats people and now a monster tricks him to get his soul. It is not fair. Very cruel indeed. The monster has no mercy when he catches people committing bad deeds.
This is only a part of his nature. He can do a lot more terrible things. The mirage is a vengeful demon that gives death in an instant and makes their souls wander eternally as a penalty. This is how he is made. This is how he has been. Once a human sees the faceless monster their life ends. Their souls are bound to his existence and only the demon can release them.
The monster picks up the money the scammer threw haphazardly on the ground and puts it in the back pocket of his pants. It is stained with a curse and needs to be burned or sent to a shrine to be cleansed for if someone uses it, they will experience unfortunate events. He puts his pair of clear glasses back to his mortal face and walks away from the narrow street.
Roaming along the road, wearing the human body of a man makes him exposed to the senses of cold and warmth. Like the wind mildly blowing through the air, his skin quickly shivers from its touch. His sense of smell is still impeccable, he can breathe in the scent of burning oil and waste that surrounds the city of Seoul.
Alone, he walks down the road. The disguised man reaches the parking lot when his phone vibrates in his pocket and flashes a name on the screen.
Detective Lee SungMin
He slides the button with his finger to answer the call.
"Detective?" The ghost greets the man with a question. He knows the investigator wouldn't call him if it's not a matter of urgency.
"Ghost, have you seen the news?" The detective asks on the other line with a worried tone.
"Yes. They finally found the body at the seaside." The disguised man replies, barely bothered by the knowledge of the authority finding the corpse of the person he wears.
It's the therapist that troubles him more than anything and the beating heart of his body elevates with the image of the woman passing through his thoughts again. The masked monster has a puzzling discomfort remembering Ms. Han Soojin and the sense of warmth she left on his hand. He raises his arm and stares at the fair skin of his palm. The lines depicting human life are gone symbolizing the end of its path.
Does this body still remember sentiment or is it him, beginning to perceive emotions again?
"Are you still there???" The detective yells from the other end.
"I'm still here," Ghost answers holding the phone tight with his hand, "The therapist saw me and found out about her client's death." He added.
"She wouldn't be a problem. We have the best friend as the suspect. We only need to connect him with the black car that dumped the body into the sea and after that, you know what to do with him." Detective Lee SungMin explains but the faceless wraith is certain the woman will be their next dilemma as he turns his head to scan the parking lot before opening the door to his car.
"Okay." The entity replies and hung up the call. He puts his phone inside his pocket, veers around, and stares at the woman standing behind him.
She is wearing a white dress that covers her thighs down to her knees. The string-strapped satin nightgown reveals her beautiful shoulders and arms settled at the side of her body. Her black long hair swiftly sways against the breeze of the night and her eyes have the same doll-like features encircled by long lashes. The pinkish skin and blushing cheeks are now pale and gloomy under the moon that shows its light to bring illuminance to the dark.
The disguised monster is not worried about how the woman looks. It's the bruise on the woman's neck under her chin that bothers him the most.
It came from a rope.
The woman didn't wail. The woman didn't move. It only stares at the entity that will give justice to the unwanted death of the apparition.
"Han Soojin..." The faceless wraith calls the woman's name and the dry pale lips of the ghost curve into a smile on her face and suddenly, it disappears into a void of thin air.