STORYHansaneega@Lee Jongbeom
Shaman(Korean)A host that brings gods into their body.A traditional shaman of Korea who sees the future and makes talismans. If they are chosen by a god, they cannot refuse it.  In return for getting glimpses of the flow of the universe, they offer their own happiness as payment. “What should I do about my daughter?” “What do you mean. I told you, you have to accept the possession.” The shaman looked serious.  She wouldn’t be bothered about an incompetent candidate, but this girl wasn’t. The mother sighed deeply. And she pulled out an envelope from inside her jacket.  It was a thick envelope. “Can’t an exorcism… work? I have plenty of money.” “No.” “Wait, but you said that if you call on the general god, you could take care of most things!” “Well…” The shaman clicked her tongue. And she looked at the girl, no, the woman who was too much of an adult to be called a child. In her hoodie and jeans, with her long disheveled hair tied back, she looked like a regular college student. However, the waves of fever and the erratic seizures ruined that image. She is really quite different from when I first saw her… Did she want to take the girl?  The shaman was undecided. Although, it wasn’t like her decision mattered, anyway. A colossal ghost… No, with this size, could they call it a ghost? Anyway, that huge being was after this child.  Not just persistently but doggedly. “This is not something that can be done even with the general god.” “Wait, what is even going on?!” “All general gods are different. Just looking at that reddish-brown face… It gives me the chills. I’m scared.” “Scared? Is that something a shaman should say?” “Exactly… I told you, I’ve never seen this either. I don’t need money, so accept the possession. I’ll do it for free.” Was there ever a shaman who’d refused money before?  It was probably very rare.  Whatever field it was, truly skillful people were rare.  But this shaman was truly skilled.  And yet, the mother took the girl home. The next day, the mother accepted the possession of her daughter.  Even the sedatives had no effect on the seizures, and she had to give in.  Although, she wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for her daughter’s words. Mom... I’m just gonna accept it now. I’m exhausted… It was the memory from the day when the shaman’s life turned upside down.  The shaman paused in her work and thought back to the day she first decided to accept ‘that thing.’  She shook her head and spoke to the customer who was looking at her anxiously. “There’s an evil spirit.”  She muttered as she looked around the house.  Then she reached out a hand. “What…?” “One grand. I’ll be able to send it away with that much.” “Oh… Oh, yes, okay. Then everything will be fine?” “Of course. Don’t doubt.” “Yes, thank you!” The shaman took the money but didn’t even do the exorcism.  She just tossed a fistful of the red beans she’d bought at the grocery store on her way here. The customer, the owner of the house, looked anxious. Does this… really work?  Wasn’t she supposed to at least buy a pig’s head as an offering? The owner of the house kept watching anxiously.  No, watching wasn’t the right word since he couldn’t see what was going on in his house.  His eyes couldn’t see the evil spirits groaning from being hit by the red beans and being chased. Unlike him, the shaman was throwing the red beans right at the evil spirits.  She couldn’t destroy them.  She wasn’t a grim reaper, which meant that she couldn’t borrow Yeom Ra’s power. What are the grim reapers even doing? But she could make them feel pain.  It had to be painful enough to make them not even dream of coming back.  This was an ability she liked.  It was an ability that none of the other shamans nor the gods that possessed them had. “Okay, all done.” “Oh… Really?” “I’ll call it back if you doubt it.” “No, no. You really are how the rumors say.” Actually, if there was an exorcism, there were many annoying things to worry about.  For the owner, he thought it was better he didn’t have to see a blood-soaked floor, although he did feel it was a little lacking from doing almost nothing. But that’s what the reviews on the internet said.  That this shaman was a real one, so it was simple without any unnecessary frills. “Uh…” The shaman’s face turned grave. “Why… Is there something wrong…” “It’s not a problem with your house, so don’t worry.” It was because she heard a sound in her ear. She did hear that one of the grim reapers she’d become acquainted with had been dragged away.  It’d be understandable if she were someone of that stature since grim reapers could borrow the power of Yeom Ra. But her?  All she could do was cast away some weak ghosts.  Regardless of what she thought, she heard the sound again. -Ring It didn’t take long for the shaman to resign herself.  She had been this way since the day she accepted her possession.  It was a law of the world that nothing ever worked the way you wanted.  Truly, there were things that didn’t work out no matter how much you tried. “Welcome, shaman.” “There must be so many shamans greater than I…” “The one who was chosen is you.” The woman, no, the shaman, fidgeted with the sunglasses she wore day in and day out.  The capillaries around her eyes burst the day she’d accepted her possession, maybe from tensing her body so much, and hadn’t healed even now.  It had already been so many years now but seeing how it still was like this, she basically thought of the scars as a proof of her past life.  These days, the shaman reminisced by touching her sunglasses, not the scars. And now?  Now, she was fidgeting with them because she was nervous. “Whatever you do here is up to you.” It wasn’t that she couldn’t believe what she had just been told.  Rather, she could feel that more than ever. Dammit… Where did it go? When she didn’t want it, it was going so crazy it caused seizures.  But now that it came to a place that looked dangerous with just a glance, it disappeared. She felt a bugger sense of betrayal because it had claimed it would never disappear no matter what she did.  “Don’t worry too much. Your powers aren’t limited to just something like that.” “What do you mean that…?” “I’ve said too much. Then, I wish you a good fight.” “Wait, don’t go!” The guide disappeared, despite the shaman’s cry. The space she could see got much bigger all of a sudden. “Ah…” Still, she couldn’t feel the ghost within her.  Not even a trace.  It was so perfectly bare that she wondered if it had been destroyed. “Damn this…” At the fact the shaman no longer had a ghost, she swore in despair over how she herself was looking for a being she had thought of as a curse all this time. And then a strange thought popped up in her head. Does that mean… that I’m empty? She could feel the space, the large space inside of her.  There was an emptiness inside her, one that had been filled by a being who’d forced their way in and then grew bigger. Will I be able to fill it with… other… better things? Finally, she thought she could understand what the guide meant by things being up to her, what the guide meant by her power not being limited to that ghost.  That didn’t mean her fear in this unfamiliar place disappeared immediately.  But hope was something that gave any human being the courage to go forth.  She was a shaman, but she was human too.  And so, the shaman started walking with her hand on her sunglasses.  She didn’t know what was awaiting her, but she knew it would be better than just standing here.