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A Deserter in the House is a short story by Junji Ito. It is the second chapter of The Bully, volume 12 of the Horror World of Junji Ito series, as well as the twelfth chapter of Museum of Terror vol. 3.


Kikuyo's family is hiding a man named Saburo Furukawa in their house. Having deserted the Japanese army during World War II, he hides upstairs in the store room, only emerging to join the family for dinner each night. Although it is 1953, eight years after the end of the war, Kikuyo's family has convinced him that it is wartime and he is still wanted for desertion. To help their ruse, a friend of theirs called Oshima poses as a military policeman, carrying out staged "raids" on the house. Oshima hates Furukawa because they had deserted the military together; Furukawa escaped, while Oshima was caught and punished.

After Oshima leaves from his latest "raid", Kikuyo confronts her siblings, wanting to know why they shut Furukawa in the house and pretend it is still wartime. It is revealed that Furukawa was a friend of Kikuyo's brother Adera; after deserting from the military, he had asked the family to hide him. During his stay, he fell in love with Kimie, a sister of Kikuyo and Adera. However, Adera found out about the relationship and confronted Furukawa. There was an argument which culminated in Kimie running from the house and being killed by an American bombing run. A distraught Furukawa locked himself in the store room and wouldn't let the family in, but three days later he came out asking for food as if nothing had happened. Adera has never forgiven him for this, believing that keeping him in the house is the only way to avenge Kimie.

With a town festival coming up, the family plans to trick Furukawa into thinking that the fireworks are a bombing raid. When the fireworks begin, they run up to the store room, calling to him to hide. When he doesn't answer, they force the door open...only to find the dried-out corpse of a man who had hanged himself long ago. They find a note written by Furukawa two days after Kimie's death; he had committed suicide because he could not live with the knowledge he was responsible for her demise. The stunned family realizes that the Furukawa they had been living with all this time is a ghost.

At this point, Oshima arrives to act out another "raid." The family try to warn him not to shout because it will alert Furukawa, but it's too late, and the ghost appears in the doorway.

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