Hikari, inukashi

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LordDarknus
Posts: 508
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Hikari, inukashi

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:36 pm

I remember my 6th birthday very well...

Daddy bought me a puppy, a Golden Retriever-Labrador Retriever mix. His fur was brown, soft and fuzzy...

I never named him. Mommy did, after we accompanied Daddy to the hospital when he had his heart attack.

"Chocolate", we called him. Daddy was lying on the hospital bed, and Mommy was shaking beside me, afraid of showing the doctors and nurses the scars on her face.

Daddy kept smiling and telling Mommy that it was going to be alright, and he apologised to me for having to go to surgery on my birthday.

I never saw him alive again after that.


Mommy was always crying at first, but after a few years, she just stopped living like a normal person. She would spend hours every day staring at nothing.

The only thing she would respond to was Chocolate, probably because he reminded her of Daddy. She would play with him, pet him, and desperately hold him in her shaking arms.

Mommy would always scold me too, for ignoring Chocolate or not taking care of him properly. "Hikari! Be a good child and take care of your pet!"

"Hikari! Don't tell me Chocolate means nothing to you! He's the last thing we have left of your father!"

"Hikari! Don't hurt Chocolate like that, I know you did it on purpose!"

...I didn't at first.


I was sick of the dog, and sick of Mother yelling at me all the time. She kept it up even when she was coughing and wheezing.

I didn't understand it at first, or I ignored it, but her coughing got so bad she had to see the doctor a few times.

I didn't know then that she was asthmatic, and that she was ignoring the doctors' advice to stay away from allergens like dust, pollen, mold... and pets.

She thought wearing a surgical mask and proper cleaning and grooming would help ease her suffering, but Chocolate was growing into a big dog, and over the years, as I stopped caring, Mother slowly developed her severe allergy that got worse and worse, until one day... I found her collapsed on the floor beside the phone, unable to call for help.

Chocolate was still whimpering in her arms.


The ambulance came in time, and I left Chocolate alone in the house and accompanied my mother to the hospital.

I was crying the whole way...


When Mommy finally woke up from the drugs, the first thing she asked, wasn't "Are you okay, Hikari?"

She asked about the dog first.

I yelled at her. I yelled and shouted that I never want to see her again, and ran away from her... hoping I could find Daddy again.


When I found myself back home, a large familiar brown shape stirred and sat up, then rushed to me, barking and whimpering at me, filled with worry in his big sad eyes.

"Mother is in the hospital now. Thanks to you. Are you happy now? ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? YOU STUPID MUTT!! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!?"

I treated Chocolate badly from then on.

Sometimes I would just kick him or hit him. Sometimes I would suddenly snatch away what little food I gave him. Most of the time I just shouted at him as he lay flat on the floor cowering.

I despised him for destroying my life.


One Sunday morning, I finally made myself get up out of bed, and go visit mother in the hospital.

The doctors called and said she was recovering, but she was lonely, and would like to talk to me in person.

I got as far as the hospital's entrance... before I found myself running and crying, desperate to find someone to hold on to.

I sat there on a bench in the hospital's tiny garden. Alone and confused.

Then, someone came over to me, lightly tapping a white cane as she walked.

She asked me if I was Hikari. I got up, wiped my face, bowed and said, "Yes."

She smiled like an angel from the west, her golden hair glimmered, and she spoke with a beautiful voice.

We sat down and shared a long conversation, though time passed by quickly...

She said that I probably don't remember her, but we'd met before, a long time ago... I apologised that I really didn't, but she just smiled and told me not to worry.

She asked me if Chocolate was doing well... But I lied to her, and felt shame and guilt cloud my heart.

Her eyes widened briefly, stern and disbelieving, then she pondered to herself for a while, idly smiling as she does...

And she asked, "Did you know that I once had a Golden Retriever?"

"No," I answered.

She smiled kindly, and said, "His name was Niji."


She told me a bit about her childhood, and how much she loved Niji, how she fondly remembers him cheering her up when she was sad and lonely, and how she cherishes every moment Niji was in her life, no matter how brief a time it all was.

...A golden rainbow that still shines in her garden of memories.


As the afternoon grew, her phone suddenly rang. She excused herself and answered it quickly, apologising to her... cousin? for having taken so long.

She answered that she was on her way and hung up, and told me that she really must be going.

I said farewell and hoped she didn't anger her cousin too much.

She gave a sudden look of surprise, before smiling and saying, "Family will always be there for you, no matter how badly you might sometimes treat them."


We parted ways amicably... She left the hospital, while I... I made my way to Mother's room... and knocked on the door.

I opened it... and saw my mother lying on the white bed, her head turning to me.

"Hikari..."

"Mother."

"Are you okay?"

"Yes..."

She smiled through her scars, and I slowly walked close to her and held her.

"Are you feeling better, Mommy?"

"...Yes, dear."


Mother still needs to stay in the hospital for a few more days, and depending on her condition then, she may need to wear a Medical Alert ID Bracelet or carry an "epinephrine EpiPen" with her from now on...

As I make my way home, I suddenly realise an awful truth...

None of this would have happened to Mother if I had taken care of Chocolate like she asked me to.

I bury my face in my hands, and sob pathetically in regret.


I open the door to my home, ...a thin, familiar brown shape stirs, ...and approaches me. Fear is in his eyes.

I reach out to pet his head- he jerks and barks! And immediately runs away from me... as if I was about to hit him...


Later at night, after eating instant ramen for dinner again, I climb into my bed... and stare up into nothing.

I wait for sleep to come... but only echoes of the past enters my head.

I remember Daddy holding Mommy tightly in his arms, as they watched tv together with me... and they fell asleep before I did.

I hear an ambulance siren scream loudly as Daddy breathes through a medical ventilator... Mommy is still sobbing and shaking...

She holds me... I feel her comforting me... She kisses me awake.

I wake up sobbing and crying in bed, with... Chocolate beside me, licking my tear-stained face, whimpering and nuzzling against me.

I sit up, and stroke him lovingly...

He rests his head on my lap, ...and I try not to cry anymore.


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Oddball
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Re: Hikari, inukashi

Post by Oddball » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:23 pm

Nice. The narration feels a bit detached and that threw me at first, but in the end, I think it actually helps add more emmotional impact to how things played out.
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Hesmiyu
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Re: Hikari, inukashi

Post by Hesmiyu » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:35 am

Initially it threw me that there were no names, other than Hikari's, but by the end I felt like it fit. I like there was just enough information to determine the other 4, but not too much information. :)
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Gajzla
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Re: Hikari, inukashi

Post by Gajzla » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:28 pm

I really like this. It’s completely unapologetic in being fanfiction, the reader is simply given a small hint or clue and trusted to know who we are dealing with. The only thing I find slightly confusing is the age of the main character. At the start of the story she is celebrating her six birthday and towards the end she is trusted to be home alone for extended periods of time, as well as making her own way to a hospital. So a fair number of years must have passed, but that does not really come across in the story. (At least to me.)

Looking forward to reading whatever you post next. :)

LordDarknus
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Re: Hikari, inukashi

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:54 am

Thank you for your posts, I appreciate your responses.
Oddball wrote:Nice. The narration feels a bit detached and that threw me at first, but in the end, I think it actually helps add more emmotional impact to how things played out.
Thanks. Sorry about that, but I'm glad you think it actually worked out in the end.
Hesmiyu wrote:Initially it threw me that there were no names, other than Hikari's, but by the end I felt like it fit. I like there was just enough information to determine the other 4, but not too much information. :)
Sorry about that too, but again I'm glad that you also found it fitting by the end. I wanted to portray things from Hikari's perspective, yet still keep the characters familiar enough to be recognised.
Gajzla wrote:I really like this. It’s completely unapologetic in being fanfiction, the reader is simply given a small hint or clue and trusted to know who we are dealing with. The only thing I find slightly confusing is the age of the main character. At the start of the story she is celebrating her six birthday and towards the end she is trusted to be home alone for extended periods of time, as well as making her own way to a hospital. So a fair number of years must have passed, but that does not really come across in the story. (At least to me.)

Looking forward to reading whatever you post next. :)
Thank you. As above regarding the characters' obscurity. Sorry about the abrupt time-skipping, I guess I failed to make that clear. Six year olds aren't great narrators anyway, which is why I used past tense for nearly all of the story, so I could just time-skip like crazy. (But obviously I didn't do it right.)

Thanks but I don't know when I'll be posting another thing, or if I'll ever do so.


Thanks again for your posts. :)

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