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Falling
Chapter 3 from volume 4 of the Horror World of Junji Ito Collection, The Face Burglar .


PlotEdit

A town is experiencing a wave of suicides whereby people leave an identical suicide note ("Something strange is going to happen in this town") and then hang themselves. One victim, Erika, is saved just in time by her husband. Erika is taken to hospital, and that night, she and many other young patients simultaneously rise from their beds and disappear.

Erika is later found draped over a tree branch, but the others are all still missing. Erika indicates that she witnessed something terrible and wants to die; but then she slips into a coma. She begins to levitate at night, to the horror of her husband. From then on she is tied to her bed every night.

The townspeople suspect that the missing young people went into a cave near where they were seen gathering. However, the cave is full of water and there's no way to walk through it. The townspeople and police want to talk to Erika but she still isn't conscious. Suddenly, Erika wakes and shouts "They're falling down! They're falling down!" Some of the missing people begin to fall from the sky, and are killed on impact. Erika intermittently wakes to announce when they will fall; but lapses back into her coma afterwards. The faces of the dead people are twisted in expressions of horror and fear.

A homeless man tells Erika's husband that he witnessed where the missing people went. They gathered on a hill and ascended into the sky. Her husband believes him but has no idea what happened or why. He returns home to find that a mob has seized Erika; they blame her for what's happening and want to kill her. They knock out her husband and throw Erika from a high balcony. She announces that all the missing people will now fall down.

Her husband regains consciousness just as Erika begins to drift into the sky. She pleads with him to save her because she does not want to return to the "horrible" place, but he can't reach her and she floats away. As she said, all the remaining missing people now fall down from the sky. All have the same terrified expression as the previous ones, and we are told that the sky threw them down because they could not bear to be at the dreadful place they had ascended to.

Erika's body never falls down, and her husband vaguely wonders if perhaps she will fall from the sky one day.

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