“What do you mean, your hole?” Owaki was skeptical, and his face showed it.
“There was one of these that was identical to me. My silhouette, it framed it perfectly!”
“The cameras were pretty far off, don’t you think? You could easily have mistaken it for-” He raised an eyebrow.
“No! I know that the hole was based off me!” She gestured violently to herself.
“The researchers say these holes are thousands of years old. You heard them yourself. It’s rather silly to think that one of these is based off you. And to be so exact, well, that’s impossible.”
“Not quite.” A gently lilting voice sounded from behind Owaki. He turned to face a gaunt man, perhaps a few years older than him. His wiry frame bore nothing but skin upon itself. “I saw my own hole on TV. I know what you’re feeling. It’s unbelievable, how many people came here not to see this place for themselves, but because they saw their hole. I was asking around while I searched for mine.”
“Who are you, that makes you such an authority?” Owaki was not so easily trumped, meeting this newcomer with indignation.
“I’m just Nakagaki. But the reason I can back your friend up is this.” He gestured grandly behind him, to the wall. His finger pointed at one of the carvings which, Owaki had to admit, bore striking resemblance to him. But the idea was still foreign to him, that these holes could have been carved for specific people. Nakagaki read this doubt on his face. “I don’t blame you for not believing me. But, just watch this!”
Nakagaki quickly unbuttoned his shirt, revealing the bones of his rib cage beneath, poking out from the skin, and threw the garment off to the side. His jeans came off just as quickly, and suffered similar fate; he spared Yoshida the embarrassment of looking away, sparing his underwear. He strode confidently up to his hole.
He fit perfectly. There was not a gap of air to be seen; there was no break between stone and flesh. Then he started to sink into the hole. Owaki dashed forward, but could not get any grip on the man’s skin to pull him back. “Come back! That’s dangerous! You don’t know where it leads!” Soon, Owaki could not touch the man at all. He was gone into the darkness.
“Did you see that?” Owaki turned to Yoshida, who stood, unmoving. He shouted this time, “Did you see that? Someone just went into that hole! Help! I don’t think he can get out himself.”
“Get the research team! They have a probe!”
“Call a rescue team!”
“Someone get rope!” A sense of panic began to fill the crowd, and dread filled those who had come looking for their own holes.
Just five minutes later, after the research team had put their thirty-meter optic probe into Nakagaki’s hole, he was gone. The team could find no trace of him.