Chapter 6 of Voices in the Dark.


People begin to mysteriously freeze in place becoming statue-like, unable to move. If physically moved by someone else, they return to the same location. They become known as "the earthbound", and increase in number. It is soon believed that they are carrying a disease.

A girl named Asano begins visiting the earthbound, leaving food for them even though they can't eat or drink. She belongs to a volunteer group called "Blue Sky" which is trying to help the earthbound. She believes that the earthbound are not suffering from any disease, but the answer to their plight lies within them. She speaks to the mother of a boy who had become "earthbound" at the spot where his beloved dog had been buried. From this, she decides that the earthbound become physically restrained to a place where they hold an emotional attachment.

Asano goes home to find that a man has become earthbound in her own room. She realized that the man is her own boss, and he claims that he has never been to the house or room before, but his attachment is to Asano. That night, she wakes after a violent nightmare that has been plaguing her every night. Her boss tries to console her and Asano explains that some time ago she was raped at knife point by a masked criminal who broke into her house. Ever since then she has had to frequently move house because of her fear that the man would come back for her.

Soon, the earthbound begin to freeze solid like statues, and eventually shatter into pieces. Asano tries to speak to Minoru, the boy frozen in place beside his dog's grave. She reassures him that the dog would want him to go free but Minoru, enraged by her efforts to help, screams that he killed the dog himself. From his case and that of others who have become frozen at the scene of crimes they committed, it is soon established and widely agreed that the earthbound are trapped by their guilt over complicity in a crime.

Asano discovers that a girl had been raped and murdered in what is now Asano's room. The culprit was a serial burglar and rapist who was never caught. She confronts her earthbound boss in her room. However, he is unwilling to answer, and is subsequently removed from the room by a hazmat team collecting up the earthbound.

The earthbound continue to increase in number daily. Even though he is gone, Asano is still compelled to keep moving house from place to place.