by J. De Costa
Heike Revenge. They watch you. They come for you. They devour you.
Ancient evil stalks a young descendant of the famous Japanese clan. Based on actual events.
Lina, a young teen, is cast in the stage play of Hoichi the Earless, the story of a Japanese novice monk whose pure voice captures the attention of the souls of the dead Heike clan. The director retains a professor of religions to teach the actors the Buddhist prayers essential for the play. The professor tells Lina and her friends, Sam, and Masumi, who have the roles of priests in the play that they will be taught the text for the prayers separate from the hand signs that usually accompany the prayers that save Hoichi. If recited together the hand signs and the text become too powerful. Masumi and Lina we learn later have issues to settle.
Lina and her friends don't take the professor seriously. They rehearse together one night in a deserted rehearsal room. Masumi matches a prayer with a hand signal and the room morphs into a cold graveyard, dark, misty, and crowded with head stones. The head stones have Japanese kanji written on them and the teens fear they are in the graveyard of the Heike. They hear a Biwa playing and someone wailing. Now they know they are at the Heike gravesite. So who is reciting the Tale of the Heike? They listen to the tragic tale of Hoichi.
The once mighty Heike clan lost their final battle with the Genji clan; a battle that took place at sea, during which the Heike were forced to horrible suicides. They found and lured Hoichi, the blind monk, to their gravesite, and their demands on him consumed him. He was on the brink of madness when the temple priests saved him with powerful mantras painted on every part of his body: accept his ears. The next night the Heike came for Hoichi, but found nothing of him but his ears, which they took. Hoichi survived the attack- minus his ears. He became a legendary chanter famous throughout Japan. [This is mostly backstory, which is worked into the plot.]
The legend becomes all too real when the Heike discover the teens in the spirit world and begin their monstrous plan of revenge. Lina discovers that the Heike have been stalking Matsu and she has opened herself up to their evil. The Heike trick Sam into reciting their tale to them as well. Unaware of their real intentions, Lina tries to save Sam and Masumi before the Heike consume them all.
Lina then learns that the Heike have trapped someone else in their world. She discovers the professor's former student, who must now chant The Tale Of The Heike each night for the doomed Heike souls. The trapped student cries out for help. In a desperate attempt to save them all, Lina must persuade her friends to help them get back to their own world. Their plight is turned upside down as the final discovery is revealed.
The Empress found her grandfather’s keepsake, proof that they are descendants of the Genji clan; Lina is now the primary target of the Heike Revenge.