Miki: Fragments (Complete)

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Gajzla
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Miki: Fragments (Complete)

Post by Gajzla » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:09 pm

Having recently awoken in hospital, minus a hand, Miki Miura's life seems to be coming apart at the seams. Now with the accident a mystery locked somewhere inside her head, and a new school on the horizon, Miki will be forced to make new friends, while coming to terms with the facts of her past.

FanFiction.net Mirror.

Act 0

1. Hospitals suck (This post)
2. Midnight Run
3. Day One
4. Roller Coasters, Therapists and Unexpected Slumber Parties
5. Racing at Sunrise
6. "Pride Only Hurts, It Never Helps"
7. Complications
8. Family Matters
9. Festival Frolics
10. Victories
11. Date Night
12. Letter's
13. Laces, Trains and Rain
14. Limited Time Offer
15. Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
16. You Were There for Summer Dreaming

Act 1
17. The Truth Will Set You Free
18. Preparations
19. “The Tranquility of Repetition”

Act 2
20. Fallout
21. A Note on Settling Dust
22. Running Into You
23. Glorious Victory (At last!)
24. Defeat?
25. Derailment
26. Clean White Walls
27. On a Roll of the Dice

Act 3
28. Study
29. A Death of Dreams…
30. …And the Speechless Poet
31. Meet the Nakais
32. A Hostile Environment
33. Sea Salt, Blackmail and a Horse Named Kuri
34. Wine, Scandalous Advice and Moonlight
35. Glossy Brochures
36. The final call
37. The Interview
38. Just Like Old Times
39. Attack
40. Defence

Hospitals suck

I open my eyes slowly. Where the hell am I? Woken by the soft beeps of what is mistakenly a heart rate monitor I blink furiously against the blinding sunlight; soon my eyes have adjusted enough to give a slightly hazy view of the room. Oh.

The walls painted in a cool white are interspersed with pastel colour paintings, that I assume someone imagines to be relaxing, a soft wind rolls though the window, parting the cream curtains and gently rocking the tubes that run down a drip bag before vanishing into my arm.

Did I drink last night?

I don’t remember, I left for school on Friday morning and now, this. Trying to sit up I'm hit by a dagger of pain in my side, forcing me back onto the bed, I breathe heavily, the pain subsiding into a dull ache. What the hell? All my senses start to come back, as if I were a computer being rebooted.

Lifting my left hand my vision is filled with thick white bandages, contrasting harshly with my dark skin. I blink a few times trying to understand what I'm seeing. My hand is gone? I jump in surprise, causing another wave of angry pain from my protesting body.

What the hell? What the Hell!

This has to be a dream, I start to calm feeling relief rushing through me. It makes perfect sense, not remember what happened, no one else being here, this is a dream. So all I need to do is wake up.

… Nothing.

Just wake up. Please?

I start to scream, I don’t even realise I’m doing it as I clutch my arm to my chest. This can’t be happening. Oh don’t let this be real. A door slams open followed by the squeak of leather shoes on vinyl flooring.

“Miss Miura?” A panicked voice asks from what seems like a million miles away.

“W..what the hell I… is going on?” My throat is so dry it feels like I've swallowed a beach, I can barely form coherent words.

“You’ve been involved in an accident,” he says pouring me a drink from the jug on my bedside table, before helping me to drink. Even so I spill water down my chin and onto my chest, its freezing. His eyes follow the trail before looking away quickly, I almost want to laugh. Does he really think I'm worried about modesty right now?

“What h… happened?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know, you were rushed in with incomplete paperwork,” he seems to realise what he just said. “But I can ensure you that medically everything has been handled professorially.”

“My hand?” I ask, this is beyond surreal.

“Yes, I’m afraid despite our best efforts it could not be saved. However, many people in your condition live full and rich lives.” Is it just me, or does not even he believe his own words?

“My side?”

Looking perplexed he picks up my chart from the end of the bed, disappearing behind it all I can see is a tuft of untidy red hair. Lowering the clipboard his golden eyes bulge slightly. “It would appear you also cracked three of your ribs and,” He checks the chart again. “Yes, you bruised your hip. Err, sorry about that.”

So I’ve lost my hand, and the doctor is as surprised by all this as I am. Figures, people are useless. Even with white coats and flashy jobs.

“Couldn’t I get a transplant hand? You can get a new heart can’t you?” The words seem hopeless as soon as they leave my mouth. It can’t just be a case of you lost your hand, too bad. Can it?

“I’m afraid it does not work like that,” trying and failing to be subtle he checks his watch. “Listen I have to get to another patient, I’m not really scheduled to be here you see,” he says apologetically.

I thank him for his time and watch as he leave the room. My manners are ingrained into my being, despite how I might be feeling. Before he left he mentioned he would send some nurses to attend to me, but if they are as useless as he was they can stay away.

— — —

My time passes numbly between watching television, sleeping and being poked and prodded by every white coated maniac that seems to be feeling bored. Thankfully I'm able to walk short distances only after a few days of being bed ridden. I never want to be pushed around in a wheelchair again. So I can add wandering the halls to my list of activities.

Never having any visitors, I think the staff are feeling sorry for me, doing my best to wave off their concerns I think about my family. Dad’s not around, apparently in prison but I have no idea, and mum? Well she’s either drunk, asleep or both. I don’t care that much, but she at least could have put the bottle down for one visit?

I’m surprised my grandfather has not arrived yet, then again he has been growing increasingly fed up with my lacklustre behaviour at school. I’m not to blame this time though, surely? I still can’t remember anything after nearly a week, this at least seems to keep the doctors entertained. After throwing me in a white tube that makes a sound like a old car trying to change gear they conclude that there is nothing wrong with my head, and with luck my memories should return by themselves.

I don’t think I care honestly, my life is over one way or another. Knowing more details would just depress me.

With the days growing increasingly longer my pain is slowly replaced by boredom. I’m still in quite a lot of discomfit of course, but it’s faded into the background like music at a restaurant. That is until my left hand starts to burn uncontrollably causing teeth clenching pain, apparently this is phantom limb pain and its quite normal, explained my new friend the physical therapist. A women who is so cheerful it makes me cringe.

“Good afternoon Miss Miura,” A nurse walks into my room unannounced, pulling me out of my depressing whirlwind of thoughts. “How are we feeling today?”

“Bored and in pain,” I say grumpily, not moving my eyes from the television. Though I’m not really watching it.

“Well then this will cheer you up.”

I’m handed a pink flowery envelope, turning it over shows my name but gives no clue as to the sender. Intrigued I clamp the letter between my knees. Bottled orange juice seemed lost to me forever until I learned this trick. Tearing the letter open I’m greeted by a wall of signatures and small notes. A message from school?

Ignoring the nurse, who starts to prepare my pills I read through the messages. Each is more bland and generic as the last, this wasn’t some kind-hearted attempt to cheer me up, it was a class project. Well I hope they had fun. I go to place the card on the nightstand, when I notice a message tucked into the bottom corner.

‘Miki, please be safe and come back to us soon! - Everyone at the track club.’

I smile softly, taking the little paper cup containing an assortment of pills to reduce pain and swelling. Choking back the pills I grab a glass of lukewarm water to wash away the chalky aftertaste.

“There we go, told you that would cheer you up!” The nurse beams at me.

“Yeah,” I say with a shrug. I guess the track team writing did cheer me up, running is about the only thing I'm any good at. Well running and getting into trouble.

— — —

“Come on, move it or lose it sister,” the physical therapist says, herding me towards her torture chamber. Her Australian accent just detectable, why she would come to Japan I have no idea. Perhaps she was a tourist who got lost and just decided to stay here?

“I’ve already lost it,” I sneer, falling into a reluctant step beside her.

Her teeth flash as she shoots me a glowing smile. Some people smile with their mouths, she smiles with her entire freckled face. “Miss Miki, you’ve only lost what you're willing to give up, now get a move on.”

“You're too cheerful,” I complain.

“Well one of us has to be, have you been working on your stretching?” Her blonde haired head bounces with each enthusiastic step.

I sigh, “Of course Miss Montrose.” Like hell I have.

“That's good, we can work you extra hard today now you're all limbered up,” She opens the door to the therapy suite, grinning at me. “Oh and call me Julie.”

— — —

My grandfather finally arrives on my thirteenth day of hospital incarceration, to find me lazing in my visitors chair, my legs propped on the bed. We watch each other for a long moment, he takes in my messy hair, thinning frame and obvious bandaged stump with a frown.

“Hello Miki.” His voice has a low rumbling mummer to it. Standing before me he looks the same as ever, a mane of greying purple hair framing his soft leather face. It’s still possible to make out the outline of muscle below his plain white shirt. To some he would be intimidating. To me he’s just granddad.

“I didn’t think you would come,” I raise my eyebrow at him.

“I’ve been away on business, I was hoping it was possible to leave you for two weeks without you getting into trouble.”

Shrugging I move my feet to give him somewhere to sit. “How's mum?” I ask.

“Doing well, it’s you I'm worried about.”

“I’m fine,” I blatantly lie.

“Doesn’t look like that to me.” He chuckles lightly taking a seat. I’m glad he came.

“I guess not,” I pause before continuing. “I’ve really messed up this time haven’t I?”

He considers me for a moment, before shaking his head slowly.

“This perhaps was not one of your best moves, although, perhaps this is fact an opportunity”

“Opportunity?” I remark, trying to scratch a hand that is no longer there. Damn it.
“Well, just take a look.”

He hands me a clearly well-read pale green and beige pamphlet. On closer inspection it turns out to be information on a school. Yamaku Academy? Flicking through the pages certain words start to jump out at me. ‘Specialist care’, ’24/7 nursing staff’, ‘inclusive environment’. Wait, Is this what I think it is?

“This is a school for the disabled?” I say, flabbergasted.

He nods slowly, going to say something, but I cut him off.

“I am not disabled!”

“Well, I’m afraid by almost every legal definition you are,” he says calmly.

Great, just great.

“And how is this an opportunity exactly?”

“They have a reputation for academic excellence.” he smiles brightly.

“So that rules me out then.” I groan. My schoolwork is fine, I guess. It just never holds my interest for long. I could do better if I could take my lessons in short sprints instead of long boring marathons.

“I believe you will surprise yourself, and me, given a chance.”

I would continue to argue, but we’re interrupted by the nurse pushing her squeaking medicine cart into the room. She looks shocked to see I have a visitor, momentarily speechless.

“I have to have my bandages changed now.” I sigh, hoping he gets the message.

Luckily being a layer for a number of years nothing slips past my grandfather, rising to his feet with the grace of a much younger man he bows to the nurse, before turning to me.

“I’ll be back later Miki, okay?”

I nod solemnly.

“Don’t fret dear, not all change is bad.”

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Last edited by Gajzla on Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:14 pm, edited 54 times in total.

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Feurox
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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Feurox » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:40 pm

Gonna leave the spelling's and grammar for the pros.

Right. So. Its not a bad start. Its a one-shot. Which is nice, since you're not just jumping straight into a route. However I feel like a lot of the information you want to present you straight up state:
I have enrolled you in a new school


This may be personal, but It really halts the flow of conversation. Don't coddle your reader, there's a balance between what you need to say and what can be interpreted. Its a very fine line, but it exists.

Might I recommend you read the tips for fan fiction writers, especially to rereading and condensing. 500 very meaningful words is better than 1500 where only 500 have actual meaning. Here's the link: http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2485

Though,you have a nice start here and I highly suggest you keep making One-Shots until you feel ready for something longer and more dedicated.

Overall, Impressed. To bigger and better!

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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:41 pm

Generally, a newish take on Miki and an interesting introduction to her back-story.

However, I lost it a bit at "try and take some clam steading breathes". :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Gajzla
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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Gajzla » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:48 pm

Feurox wrote:
I have enrolled you in a new school


This may be personal, but It really halts the flow of conversation. Don't coddle your reader, there's a balance between what you need to say and what can be interpreted. Its a very fine line, but it exists.
I agree upon re-reading, I’m not sure if the inner monologue really worked, or as you say was unnecessary words. My intent at lest was to keep at lest a semi cheerful note through what is otherwise quite a depressing story.

Another thing while I’m here should I go to the effort of describing characters that people around these parts are likely to know, or is is more or less assumed that in fan fiction the reader already knows how the characters look?
However, I lost it a bit at "try and take some clam steading breathes". :)
Its good advice! You might cough up a pearl if you do it right :)

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Feurox
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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Feurox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:20 am



Another thing while I’m here should I go to the effort of describing characters that people around these parts are likely to know, or is is more or less assumed that in fan fiction the reader already knows how the characters look?
Well with fanfiction you don't need to define characters you already know. Though in all honesty its good to at least briefly do it because its good practise. Though if you're making an OC (original character) like the granddad, the reader very much relies on you for how they look.

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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:53 pm

Not even touching spelling and grammar in this one - I suggest finding a proofreader.

As for content...Well, Miki and her grandfater are okay I guess, but the whole situation in the hospital seems quite surreal to me. The interaction and dialogue with the doctor are very short and not really what I'd expect of a doctor informing a patient on their condition.
It's basically: "You're awake? Okay, you lost your hand, but otherwise you're fine. Memory problems? Don't care, bye."
And two weeks later, still noone saw fit to tell her what happened...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Gajzla
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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Gajzla » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:30 pm

I have edited the story to take some of the information that was in monologue into a conversation that should not now feel so rushed. These changes where based on your constructive feedback, so thank you. =)
Mirage_GSM wrote:Not even touching spelling and grammar in this one - I suggest finding a proofreader.
Yes, I will admit here and now that spelling and grammar are not my strong suit, perhaps not the best weakness for someone who likes writing stories.

I think the best thing to do might be to put a disclaimer at the start of all future work so people who have a real problem with it are forewarned.
the whole situation in the hospital seems quite surreal to me.
Ummm thanks, I was going for something like that. I do agree with you on the point about the doctor.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Re: Miki One-shots (Possible Pseudo-Route)

Post by Gajzla » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:01 pm

(Edit: Moved posts around a bit to make them neater. Feedback appreciated)

Midnight Run

My hand feels like it's being crushed between two molten plates, I groan into my pillow forcing the stump into my stomach. The pressure brings with it another wave of pain, but its impossible to tell if it's real or just phantom. I've been out of the hospital for six weeks now, I was told when I left to get plenty of bed rest, ha, a chance would be a fine thing. Between trying to figure out what happened, weekly physical therapy appointments and trying to help out at home I have seldom got more than a few hours sleep.

Stump still clutched to my stomach I sit up, gazing over to the green illuminated alarm clock on my bedside table.

2:14 am

I grab for a pill bottle that sits beside the clock, only to find its empty, I swear under my breathe. At least I didn’t knock the bottle flying trying to grab it with the wrong hand, I have slowly but surely been gravitating my entire life to my right hand side.

Standing up I glance at myself in the mirror, even lit by moonlight I look a state, my long hair a fuzzy mess framing the bags under my eyes nicely. In the silver light the bandages on my arm seem to glow, I turn away quickly. The phantom pain slowly starts to disperse back into the void from whence it came. I breathe a sigh of relief, normally the attacks are intense but short lived. While I was in hospital I heard stories of pains lasting hours and even days, I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

I consider a shower, but that means taking the bandage off my stump, not an appealing thought. A bath then, but if i’m honest I don't want to spend another moment being still. A peek out of the window shows a dark world bathed in soft orange streetlights. A grin crosses my lips as I start to pull on a pair of black track suit bottoms, the crumpled T-shirt I've been sleeping in will do fine for this. Sliding socks on one handed proves to be a challenge, but is nothing when compared to tying the laces on my trainers.

“I will not,” I loop the first side of the lace and pin it under my stump.

“Be beaten,” gasping I push the next loop under the stump with the first.

“By string.” With a last grunt and some deft finger work I manage to get my laces tied. I heave a sign of relief, before noticing I still have a shoe to tie.

"Shit"

Before I leave my room I glance down at the Yamaku leaflet, next week I will be traveling half way across the country to a school I've never even heard of to be with people… people like me? Ha, there is no way you could have a school full of Miki’s it would have burned to the ground within the first week.

I cross the dimly lit living area in three strides, then pause. My mum lays passed out on our threadbare sofa. Looking at her it's hard to believe she's not yet forty. Her hair once my dark purple is faded, grey roots starting to show through. Dark bags under her eyes reflect many restless nights. Since I came out of hospital she has made a real effort to help me. She's not the perfect mother, but she's mine.

I lay a blanket over her peacefully sleeping frame and pick up a half empty bottle of shochu from the floor. Would she mind? I don't think she would even notice if I took it, my non existent hand prickles uncomfortably. I place the bottle on the kitchen counter, but I can’t quite look away.

I stare at the opaque liquid in the bottle for a few long moments, did I drink before the accident? It would not be that strange to liberate a bottle from my mother before going out to meet my friends. Well I say friends, they were mostly seniors from another school, people I thought were cool. Not like at my own school, everyone there seemed so focused on their studies, I never really got on with any of them. In the clear light of dawn I see these cool people only cared about me because I brought them booze. Not one of them sent me so much as a text message since the accident.

Stepping out into the cold night I let an excited shiver run up my spine. I have always liked this time of night, it feels strangely rebellious to be out when everyone else is tucked up safely in bed. The quiet air feels restless, waiting for a sound that during the day would go unnoticed but now can shatter a world of peace. My eyes scan up and down the street, finally settling on a tree at the very end of the road. I run, eyes fixed on the tree, that is my goal, I will not stop until I reach it. Nothing else matters now, I fly towards my target, for the first time in weeks I am free.

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Last edited by Gajzla on Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:53 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Miki One-shots

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:53 pm

I liked it. Not to much to comment on that hasn't already been said, though I did like the grandfather. And yeah, most fanfics don't bother describing what the already known characters look like(like Dipper and Mabel in Gravity Falls fanfics. God I love that show).
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

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Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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Re: Miki One-shots (Updated 12/3/15)

Post by Gajzla » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:36 pm

Quick update: Happy with how this story worked out, my proofreader has deemed it 'Okay' so we shall see how it goes. As always feedback is greatly appreciated.

Day One

Quiet farmland slides passed the car window, as I lay my forehead against the cool glass. Grandad points out interesting landmarks, interesting to him at least, and comments on the weather. Having started overcast and foggy it looked this morning as if it would be a miserable day, but now the sun has burned away the mist to reveal a bright blue sky.

"Mmmhmm," I mumble when required.

"Did you remember to pack everything?"

"Every last item of clothing I own, couldn't fit the kitchen sink though, think I'll need it?" My response is met by a wide grin.

"I think second years are provided with a sink when they first arrive," he nods his shaggy head wisely, trying and failing to keep the smile off his face.

"Well that's a weight off my mind," I can't help but giggle.

We fall back into comfortable silence. As time passes the green country side is gradually replaced with sprawling traditional suburbs.

“Do you remember anything?” His question shatters the silence.

“No,” I still can’t remember more than I did a week ago.

“Miki, this won’t be an option for long, they want you to meet with a therapist at the school, to help you come to terms with the incident.” His tone is stern, more lawyer than grandfather.

“Who wants me to meet with a therapist?” My eyes narrow, he wouldn’t do this to me, right? He knows I don’t like people asking me questions, or judging what they don’t understand.

“The police,” He sighs. “They need a wit-“

“You told me you spoke with them?” I interrupt.

“I did, I explained your condition, I pulled some strings, very big strings if I’m honest,” A flash of regret touches his face, almost to fast to catch. “But they need your witness statement, the crash wa-“

I interrupt him again, raising my voice to almost a shout.

“Don’t tell me!”

“Why? Why don’t you want to know Miki? Forgetting this won’t make it go away.”

Its a good question, I have spent hours trying to pick out some little detail about what happened. Of course someone else will know, but at the same time I need to remember for myself. I’m afraid that someone else’s memory of the accident will become my own, that in my own mind I will never know for sure how I lost my hand.

“Nothing is real, not if I can’t remember it for myself.” I say stubbornly.

“No one is going to lie to you”

“I just want to be sure I know what happened, not someone else’s best guess.”

“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness Miki, one day you will learn that.”

Nothing else is said, we weave deeper into the dense city streets. Images of car crashes flittering across my minds eye, like a bad action movie montage. An image of being pulled lifeless from a crumpled car to the soundtrack of my mothers sobs snaps me out of my reverie.

"You will keep an eye on mum won't you?" I ask, looking up into those sparkling brown eyes.

"Of course Miki, don't you worry about your mum," he considers for a moment before finishing. "I think I might have found her a housekeeper."

I groan internally, I don't mind my mum getting help at home, I don’t even think its a bad idea, but a stranger? Someone clueless who will judge. I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my mum. But someone else might be, and that bothers me more than it should.

"Do you trust this person?" I ask.

"Completely."

Well if this person is good enough for him; at least she won’t be alone. Mum and me have looked out for each other for as long as I can remember. She might not always be around when I need her, but she cares, thats what matters. She tries harder than any parent I know, I guess some things are just easier to live with through a haze.

"Okay,” I reply softly, and I mean it. This could be a fresh start for both of us. We return to our own minds as the traffic builds around us. My grandfather always seems to give me reassurance mixed with equal parts fresh worry when we talk.

- - -

Our parting is simple, a one armed hug, a promise to be good and a wave as the train rattles away from the station.

I keep my stump hidden from curious eyes in the pocket of my hooded sweatshirt. This is one of the few times I have been around other people since the accident. I know people will stare, I know they will try and work out what happened. I would. Hell I still am trying to remember what happened.

The back of my missing left hand glows hot, as if someone was holding a lit match too close. forcing the stump into my stomach I press my forehead against the train window. Not here, not here, not here I repeat in my head desperately trying to focus on anything but crashing cars and ghost limbs.

---

I heave a contented sigh as I settle into my seat on the last overcrowded train of my trip. Battling through the last station was a nightmare of compressed bodies and narrow train connections. With some luck and a little, okay a lot, of pushing I make it just in time. The train rattles out of the platform and I close my eyes, learning my forehead against the window. Today has been exhausting and its barely even lunchtime.

Thinking about lunch I check on the boxed meal I brought at the station its a little squished, but I think it might just survive. The rest of the journey is relatively peaceful. At one point I have to quickly reveal my hidden stump to battle my way into my lunch. Hopefully no one noticed.

Stepping off the train in a sleepy town, the contrast to the last station is staggering. A gentle breeze flows along the platform, catching my hair and rustling unseen trees, peaceful is a good word for this place. Another way to look at it is that its a good out of the way place to hide all the cripple kids. Bad Miki, you are one of the cripple kids, remember?

I start down the platform battered pull along case in one hand, the other hidden safely in my pocket. Apparently I’m not the only teenager getting off at this stop. A boy gets off just ahead of me his messy mahogany hair caught in the same breeze that took mine. He starts to walk away from me along the platform, with a start I see he is missing his right arm. Though unlike me he is making no effort to hide it.

I follow him at a distance, I assume he’s heading to Yamaku, unless he’s just heading home, that would be embarrassing. Together we wind our way out of the station and through quiet streets, I notice a small market and a traditional looking tea room as we go. I am not sure if he’s noticed me yet, in fact I hope he hasn’t.

The town is even smaller than I first thought and we soon leave its boundaries to start up a fairly steep hill. They put the school for disabled kids at the top of a hill? someone must have a very dark sense of humour. Cars pass occasionally but otherwise the only sounds are two cases rattling. Suddenly the boy turns to me.

“Are you going to mug me? I warn you, Im armed!” He waves his stunted limb in the air for emphasises.

“W… what?” Im taken aback, I can’t tell if he’s being serious or not. Now facing me I notice his plump face is framed with thick glasses. He’s also… chubby? Chunky? whats the right word. He’s the kinda person my old group of friends would have made fun of.

“New to Yamaku?” He smiles widely, apparently pleased at having caught me off guard.

“Yeah,” I remember my manners just in time, offering a bow, “Miura Miki.”

He bows in return, the stupid smile still plastered on his face. I don’t quite know why, but I feel myself relaxing around him.

“Kuromizu Ryouta, would you like some help finding your way Miss Miki?”

“If you're offering Mister Ryouta,” I grin, he snorts with laughter, gesturing with his stump to follow him.

A little further up the hill we come across two large black cast iron gates, spread wide they welcome in a steady stream of people. With a pang I realise I'm looking at students accompanied by their parents. What strikes me is how normal everyone looks, I don't know what I expected, not this I guess.

“Welcome to Yamaku academy,” my eccentric companion spreads his arms wide before the gates, drawing stares from nearly everyone in the area. I feel the heat of a blush in my cheeks as the small crowd turn their attention briefly to me. Together we stroll quickly into the school.

“So housing office first, you're boarding here right?” I nod, entering a large courtyard surrounded on all sides by large western style buildings. The structures look like something you might see on an American or European university campus.

“This place is bigger than I thought,” I muse aloud.

“Nah thats just the staff building, the students have a shed out back.”

I raise my eyebrows, perhaps keeping a serious expression for all of two seconds Ryouta bursts into raucous laughter, startling a girl who rolls passed us in a wheelchair. I am taken aback a little by two students waving their hands rapidly in front of them as we enter the housing office.

“Never seen sign language?” Ryouta asks, following my gaze. I shake my head, I’ve never seen it in person, but what else did I expect here?

“I tried it once, though no one seemed to know what I was on about, can’t imagine why,” Ryouta says, I’m not quite able to meet his gaze, he seems more than comfortable joking about his arm. I am not sure I could ever be that open. He seems to have noticed my discomfort.

“Hey, don’t worry about it, everyone here deals with their problems in their own way,” his brown eyes flicker to my arm that I haven’t yet had the courage to take out of my pocket. “Now shall we find out where they intend to keep you?”

— — —

“Room 193 up on the first floor,” the disgruntled looking caretaker hands me two keys attached to a tag showing the room number. “Replacements can be purchased from the office.”

“Right, where do I get my uniform?” I ask, his eyes go wide for a moment before he picks up and begins to scan a long list.

“Right, right, yeah my mistake, here.” he hands me a pile of clothes. Looking through the bundle I notice a couple of green skirts and a collection of white shirts. “Im afraid your stuck with boys shirts for now, there was a problem, come back next week.”

“Kimura are you sure you're one hundred percent dedicated to this job?” Ryouta asks from beside me, a smirk on his face. I assume these two know each other, or else Im going to get thrown out of an office on my first day.

“This isn’t my job, my job is groundkeeper, trees, grass, plants that kinda thing,” he looks thoroughly put out, “I am here against my will, the normal women is sick.” Ryouta nods in understanding, looking genuinely sympathetic to the groundskeeper’s plight.

“Do you happen to know which classroom I am in?” I venture, hoping to get the last piece of information I need before these two start talking about how unfair the system is, like builders in a bar.

“2:3 with Mutou,” Kimura reads from his list. Sitting down with a long sigh he looks between us, “Anything else?” We hasten to tell him we have everything we need. As I turn to leave I notice my predicament, with my new uniforms balanced on my arm its going to be extremely hard to pull my suitcase.

“Would you like some help?” I look at him a little startled, surely he has the same problem I do? Rolling his eyes he takes the uniforms out my hand, balancing them over his thin stunted arm. “You only have a problem until you can find an answer,” he recites as if from memory.

We walk across the lavishly planted grounds, this must be the work of more than one groundskeeper. It really is amazing how fast the day has gone, given how worried I was this morning everything seems to have worked out okay. We take the lift up to the first floor of the girls dormitories, and only a brief while later we are standing outside my new room, neither of us move for a moment.

“You do know how keys work right? You’ve not lost it already?”

“You ever find you grate on people?” I smirk fetching out my key, to my dismay the smile has vanished from his face, in fact he looks hurt.

“Hey, whats up?” I ask, matching his worried look with my own.

“Nothing, just…” He trails off, “I think I’m a bit overbearing sometimes.”

“Perhaps your a bit of a smart arse, but wanna know a secret?” I grin at him as he nods, mutely. “I like smart arses.” The return of his smile is immediately satisfying. I manage to get the door open and without thinking reach out for my uniforms with my missing hand. To his credit Ryouta says nothing, placing the clothing delicately on my outstretched arm.

“Will I see you tomorrow?” He asks, his cheeks reddening just a little.

“I’d like that,” I reply.

“Great, meet me in the cafeteria for breakfast, you know where it is?” I shake my head, “Better set off early to find it then.” He grins from ear to ear, turning and walking away.

“Smart arse!” I call after him, before entering my room. Its spacious, bigger than my own room at home. The plain peach walls remind me a little of the hospital, I will have to remember to get some posters or something. I place my uniforms on the desk and lean the suitcase against the wardrobe. So this is home for the next two years? Could be worse. I peer out of the large window in time to see a plump boy pulling a suitcase across the grounds. Not all change is bad.

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Re: Miki One-shots (Updated 16/3/15)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:01 pm

Another nice chapter. Ryouta seems like a fun character. That said, I'm not sure one-shot is really accurate anymore.
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Updated 16/3/15)

Post by Gajzla » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:02 am

I agree, I wanst 100% sure if I would continue this when I wrote the first part. But given the good respone I've been motivated to up my game and carry on. I"m enjoying highlighting parts of Miki's (or at least my Miki's) life in the manner I have been. I'm in no rush to get to act one.

Thanks for the feedback.

Note: changed the title to better reflect the story.

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Updated 16/3/15)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:35 pm

Your proofreader has massively improved the legibility of this story.
A few of the leftover issues:
all I need is for him is to lead me to the school.
A bit of copy-pasta, and:
“If your offering Mister Ryouta,”
...
your boarding here right?”
...
Kimura are you sure your one hundred percent dedicated to this job?”
"You're" - in all three cases

I like Ryouta, he seems like a fun and interesting character. I see the story isn't titled "One-Shots" anymore - looking forward to the next chapter.
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Updated 16/3/15)

Post by Gajzla » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:03 pm

Update: Thank you for the kind words, the problems highlighted in the last chapter have been fixed. I have this part for you and another coming hopefully with out too much delay. Enjoy and as always feedback is greatly appreciated

Roller Coasters, Therapists and Unexpected Slumber Parties.

“I’m sorry there is no way that happened,” I smirk, striding out into a bustling corridor. I’ve been at Yamaku for three days now. I wouldn’t say I have settled in yet, but at least I found the cafeteria this morning on the first attempt.

“Honest, I lost it on a roller coaster,” Ryouta declares from beside me. We have been meeting up fairly regularly for breakfast, lunch and even after classes at the end of the day. It feels strange connecting with someone so quickly, stranger still to connect with someone who seems to want nothing from me but my company.

“Ryouta, you did not lose a prosthetic hand on a roller coaster.”

“I did, I did! I had to go to lost and found, I’m being completely honest.” Ryouta’s version of completely honest differs a little from everyone else’s. We hug the left side of the stairs as we climb, this way I can keep my stump against the wall and out of sight. Beside me Ryouta sniggers, but says nothing. Another nice thing about him.

“So that’s why you don’t wear a prosthetic anymore?” I ask as we reach the top of the first flight of stairs.

“No, that was purely for the ladies,” he nods wisely, oddly reminiscent of my grandfather.

“The Ladies?” I raise my eyebrows at him, I used to think this look was intimidating, but based on his fit of laughter apparently not. We stop outside of room 2:3, I still have a little time before class.

“You see I was worried they might think I was to much for them to handle, so I lost the hand so there would be less of me to handle, you see?”

“That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” I try and look stern, but a grin betrays me. “Will I be seeing you for lunch? I won’t need to get in line will I?”

“Nah, I put you on the V.I.P list, but…” He grimaces, “I kinda need to stay behind and finish homework at lunch, its due straight after an-.“ Trailing off he looks guilty.

“Can we meet up after school then? I need someone to show me the nurses office.” I say softly, the halls have grown quiet while we’ve been talking. Ryouta gives me a worried frown.

“Are you okay?” His eyes flicker to my stump. I’ve noticed he deliberately avoids looking at it very often, its a kindness I wish he would extend to my chest. But no one’s perfect.

“Just an appointment,” I smile, happy to see his relief. “So back here at last bell?”

“Yep!” he replies happlily, digging in his pocket. “And Miki?” I look up as he hands me his room keys, attached to them is one of those on-ride photos you get at amusement parks. I do not believe it. The picture shows a very amused looking Ryouta holding up one and a half arms, and beside him a girl looking completely horrified.

“Told you!” He laughs loudly. Snatching back his keys he starts walking down the corridor, waving his stump behind him. I do not believe it.

— — —

“God dammit,” I announce to the empty corridor, standing outside the door that I just tried to knock on with my left hand. I don’t want to be here, it feels like I’m back in the hospital. I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting the head nurse. He wasn’t to bad, cheerful and helpful he directed me down to this office.

“Come in,” a deep voice announces from inside the room before I can knock again. Looking around quickly I can’t see a security camera, he must just have good hearing.

Opening the door slowly reveals a modern looking office, though it could just as well be a sitting room. The furniture looks sleek and stylish, but also comfortable. Everything in this room blends together, nothing is eye catching or alarming. The occupant sitting in a comfortable looking cream recliner surveys me over a delicate pair of wire glasses.

“Do come in Miss Miura, shut the door behind you please,” his voice is even, it never dips or raises, its like the room, trying very hard not to startle. I close the door, my phantom left hand prickles uncomfortably under his gaze, though his eyes do not leave mine.

“Im Dr Ueda, I’m here to help you with some of the problems you’ve been having remembering the accident,” he nods at a collection of chairs opposite him. A straight backed wooden affair, a bean bag and a wide sofa. “Please sit wherever you feel most comfortable.” Is this a test?

I take a seat on the lefthand side of the sofa, pushing my stump between the cushion and my leg. Dr Ueda smiles at me. I notice the only sound in the room is the gentle ticking of a clock. Now that I’m eye level I can get a good look at the man across from me, he’s old in his sixty’s at least. Bold, the only hair on his face is a wispy white beard, he wears a neatly pressed green suit.

“Miss Miura I want to start by telling you this is a safe place, nothing you say here will leave this room,” he takes a deep breathe, like the calm before a storm. “However. You are involved in an active police investigation, and if called on I may be asked to testify against you.” He lets that statement hang in the air.

“Do you understand?” He says.

“How can you testify against me and not let anything I say leave the room?” I ask, more defiantly than I intended. Not answering at once the doctor touches his fingertips together.

“I cannot reveal anything you tell me in confidence, I can however submit my findings on my assessment of your mental state.” Picking up a jug of water from a tray on his desk he looks up at me. “Would you care for a drink?”

“No, thank you.” I pause for a moment. “Is testifying against me something that’s likely to happen?”

“I hope not, but these are far from normal circumstances.”

What on earth have I gotten myself into now? I don’t remember, that’s the problem. The way this doctor talks it sounds like the police are much more involved than grandfather lead me to believe. Did I do something? Something bad? Did I hurt someone?

“Tell me Miss Miura, what do you remember about the accident?”

“Nothing” I reply simply; honestly.

“Well then we have much work to do.”

The next hour is spent talking, strangely not about the accident or what I can remember but about unrelated matters. How I was getting on in school, how I was interacting with my peers and even touching on my home life. I thought this would be a sword fight, an interview where I would have to rebuke his clever accusations. In reality I realise I’m more like a fish caught on a hook. He tests every question, if it appears I’m in danger of braking the line he lets out slack with an easier less intrusive line of questioning.

As time goes on we become more comfortable talking, he switches seamlessly to using my first name. I can’t quite seem to relax though, I’m constantly on guard unless I should accidentally reveal too much. He says very little about himself, but seems, at least on the surface, to be honestly interested in me. As the session starts to unwind he pulls a blue file from his bag sat beside his chair.

“Before you go Miki I would like to know if you could try and identify somebody for me?”

I nod meekly as I’m passed the open folder, on the front page is a photograph of a young man. Older than me for sure, his silver hair is buzz cut close to his skull. His eyes are bright in contrast to his hard face. He seems familiar, but I can’t place him.

“I’m sorry, he looks familiar but I can’t remember where I would have met him, why?” I ask, handing pack the file. I notice a concerned frown dent the doctors otherwise unflappable outward appearance.

“Not to worry too much about that for now Miki, we have made good progress today,” putting away the file he withdraws a small white card. “Will you contact me if you remember anything or have any concerns at all?”

I agree to do so and he gets up to open the door for me.

“I would like to meet with you this time next week, is that acceptable to you?” I nod my assent, then step out into the corridor, I look back to Dr Ueda who nods at me before retreating to his office. Fatigue hits me as I make it to the end of the corridor and out into the evening sunset. I feel like I’ve been in a mental boxing match, all I want is to sleep and try and get the image of a silver buzz-cut out of my head.

— — —

I step off the bus onto a hot dry sidewalk, the bustle of the city fills my ears. I head down a familiar street, passing bars and clubs, closed this early in the afternoon. Rounding a corner I come across a group of people gathered around a huge black pickup truck. The english letters “F.O.R.D” are written across the front bumper but I don’t really know what they mean.

“‘Sup Miki?” A girl asks me, I can’t recall her name.

The crowd parts before me as I approach. One person is left leaning lazily against the front of the truck, his short silver hair catches in the sunlight. He’s gorgeous. I feel the heat rise in my cheeks, with a small smile he reaches out a beautiful hand to me.

Everyones looking at me now; waiting. I know if I take his hand everything will be better. I will be a better person. I won’t be alone. I place my left palm in his.

Pain. Pain like I have never felt before forces me awake. My hand is on fire, it feels as if each finger is being stretched then shrunk before being bent back and crushed between two irons. I scream in pain, the yell unnaturally loud in the quiet room before I force my face into the pillow.

Curled in a ball my stump pressed hard to my stomach I look over at a familiar illuminated clock face telling me its past three AM. I hope I didn’t wake anybody up, all I need is for my neighbours to start thinking I’m some kind of screaming banshee. Three light taps in quick succession are followed by an even lighter voice.

“H… Hello? Do you need me to get the nurse?” Oh good, day three and I’m a banshee.

I scramble out of bed, nearly tripping over my bedclothes in my haste. I open the door just as my missing hand gives another stab of pain, annoyed at being ignored. Before me stands a short brown haired girl with perhaps the biggest blue eyes I have even seen. Her petite frame is covered in a pink and white night dress, a blur of lace and frills in the feeble lighting from the hallway.

“I’m sorry I woke you,” I apologise, my little finger picks this moment to stretch itself to twice its normal size before bending backwards. I feel sick, dizzy, I need to sit down. I land on my bed In a heap, groaning into my pillow. Quite forgetting my guest.

“Whats wrong?” The girl asks, she looks terrified. Screaming? Check. Locals afraid? Check, I have this banshee thing down.

“My hand forgets that its not a hand anymore, it hurts.” I gasp as my phantom hand makes a fist so tight it could crush steel. I feel wetness on my cheeks, this is pathetic Miki. “It really hurts.”

“What can I do?” She edges closer.

“Something, anything. Distract me?” I plead, the pain has never lasted this long. What if it’s stuck like this? Okay deep breaths, deep breaths.

“My Sister lives in Paris, she says it’s lovely this time of year.” Well that was distracting.

“You don’t look French,” I groan, even my hand lets up a fraction to see where this is going.

“I’m not, she attends university there,” she edges a little closer to the bed, I sit up cradling my burning hand in my lap. “Heard of the Ecole Normale Superieure?” she asks hopefully.

“Its too late for made up words, who are you?” I ask, more sharply than I intended.

“Oh I’m sorry, I’m Komaki Ikuno,” She pauses slightly, “I sit next to you in class.”

I blink a few times, trying to make her out in the darkness, she’s about a head shorter than me and now that I think about it she does seem familiar.

“I’m sorry, I’ve not really gotten to know my classmates yet,” I apologise, I’m doing that a lot tonight. “I’m Miki, sorry again that I woke you.”

“It’s okay,” Ikuno smiles, bouncing a little on the balls of her feet. “I’m kinda a night owl anyway.”

Well lucky for me I guess, at last the pain in my hand has started to slip away. Only biting in sharp stabs every now and again, like a monster clinging desperately to an icy cliff face as it slips to its doom. I look up at my visitor who for all the world looks like she’s having the time of her life.

“Would you like to sit down?” I ask, pulling the blankets back to reveal a clear bit of mattress. She nods earnestly and taking great care climbs into bed next to me, her back to the wall.

“Are you new here as well?” She asks, straightning her nightdress. I nod, nice to know I’m not the only person trying to fit in.

As it turns out we have a lot in common. She attended a boarding, I assume private, girls school before being transferred to Yamaku for reasons she doesn’t reveal. I guess it’s like in prison, when the inmates don’t ask each other what they did to wind up behind bars. We talk at length about school, she’s modest about it but I get the feeling she is way ahead of me in class. She talks about how she misses her friends at her old school, how she does not know how to act around people here. If I had to make a guess I would say she’s not spoken much to anyone since term begun.

“Would you like to come to breakfast with us tomorrow Ikuno?,” I ask.

“Us?”

“Well me and a friend, he’s kinda nice,” I have to think for a moment. “Nice smart arse, lets go with that.”

“I would like that,” she yawns into her hand. “I should get back to bed.” I nod in agreement, though I don’t think I will be getting any more sleep tonight.

“Thanks,” I gesture to my stump. “It helped.”

She just smiles and nods sliding off my bed and over to the door. We wish each other goodnight then she is gone as fast as she appeared. As I lay down in bed I start to go over the events that lead me to this point. The therapist shows me a picture and the very same night I have a dream about the same person.

My hand prickles as I let my mind wonder back to the dream or was it a memory? I’ve been to the street before, I know that. The people seem familiar, I even vaguely remember the truck. English letters on the front sticking out more in my mind than the pickup itself.

I thought I would remember everything all at once. A lightbulb would come on inside my mind and I would know. I am not sure I can do this on my own, its a scary thought. I’ve been alone as long as I can remember, surrounded by people, but alone.

I try and find a comfortable spot in bed, but its useless. My body has given up on sleep, I feel restless like an overcharged battery. I spring out of bed heading to my suitcase. Perhaps I don’t have to do things alone anymore. Ryouta has become a better friend in three days than I’ve had in three years. I pull on my well used tracksuit bottoms.

It’s too much to think about, friends, memories, crashes, pain. Far too much. I need to let go, I need to run. I head out of my door with a grin, striding out into the rebellious night. Now, where did Ryouta say that track was?

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Updated 21/3/15)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:14 pm

Looks like we have another friend for Miki. And if I were to guess, there was an alcohol related car accident. The evidence points pretty strongly that direction.
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Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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