Valse Sentimentale - OC Drabble (Updated 4/10/16)

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Chapter 5: Ite, missa est

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:10 pm

Chapter Five
Part Two

Kyouko nods to herself, and I’m hesitant to even wonder about what might be going through that head of hers now. In a single moment she’s established an ambition I hadn’t quite sensed in her before.

“I’m guessing that case you had before was an instrument then?” I ask, a bit dumbly if I’m to be honest, recalling the bright yellow thing she was holding when I first met her.

“One of them! Well, the one I own at least. Pianos tend to be a bit expensive on their own,” She snickers, and I have to join in despite not quite understanding her meaning. “It was a violin, if you hadn’t guessed before. I also dabble on the viola. I’ll probably be asked to switch over completely before too long.”

My eyes go a bit wide as yet another instrument joins the fray. At this point, I’m wondering if the drums and guitar aren’t about to show up too, but I address my awestruck state less haphazardly than that.

“That’s pretty incredible. Lots of practice, right?” I feel like my body language is selling my expression for a change, and the moment is long past before I realize patting myself on the back is useless given Kyouko can’t detect it.

All I get is a nod. A strange choice, but it’s effective enough and she seems to know this.

Somehow, giving her a nod in return is sufficient, so we start on our path back to the dorms. The clubs are relentless as ever, but we’re doing our level best to ignore them at the moment.

We almost get away with it too, but a curiously familiar sight steps in front of, a rotund man in an obnoxious pink jacket. I remember now that he spoke up on the platform earlier, introducing himself as the art teacher. I actually start to feel a bit sick again. This isn’t a good start to this looming interaction.

“Afternoon there! Couldn’t help but notice you. I don’t always learn much about the faces I see but I do always remember the face!” Kyouko doesn’t have a moment to wonder about why we stopped as the man speaks up. He chuckles after that, and it’s clear that neither of us will have any shortage of loud, boisterous people any time soon.

“What do you mean…? Um…” I struggle with his name despite remembering it too easily. Sadly, I’m almost certain I know what he’s about to talk to us about. It isn’t going to help my roiling stomach.

“Shinichi Nomiya! Art teacher here. Can’t blame you if you fell asleep while we were talking. Especially while that Mutou was talking…” His cheerful demeanor grows sour as he speaks on. I offer nothing more than a light bow of the head, Kyouko matching the gesture nervously. At least I’m not the only person feeling uncomfortable around here.

“Right, um, nice to meet you Mr. Nomiya.” I continue, my voice betraying my nerves all too easily.

“You too!” He bellows, this time about causing Kyouko to jump out of her skin for the fifteenth time today. He at least has presence of mind to notice it. “Ah, well um, sorry. I tend to be a little loud. What can I call you two, anyway?”

We both give our names as quickly and politely as possible. Nomiya nods along carefully, the look of appraisal he’s giving us chilling me greatly. It isn’t a good feeling for a teacher to be exuding, but that might be tempered by the fact that I’m seriously moments away from losing my bland lunch.

“Akiyama, huh? I thought you looked familiar! Well, aside from having the same hairstyle as my star protégé,” He laughs again, his voice thankfully not so large it causes problems for Kyouko. “I think it was three years ago by now, an exhibit by one of my colleague’s studios. Your sculpture there was quite a hit!”

Ah, there’s the fear confirmed. Even preparing for the worst isn’t enough to flush out the diabolical thoughts. I lurch forward violently, barely able to stop bile from spilling unceremoniously out of my mouth. It’s good I’m not holding onto Kyouko anymore, else the force of my heaving might launch her right into his ridiculous gut.

“Ah, um. Not something you’d like to talk about?” Nomiya blinks with surprise, and I can entertain the thought once again that he actually possesses some humanity in him. It isn’t enough to stop the inevitable though, and if I don’t move quickly there’ll be an embarrassing mess to clean up.

“We should go…” I murmur, looking back to Kyouko and pulling her towards me, apparently quite surprisingly as she yelps loudly. I would apologize, but if I speak up again it really will be a disaster.

Nomiya simply nods, but it seems he’s not intent on giving up his pursuit.

“Should I get the Nurse?” The look on Nomiya’s face is more one of mild annoyance than genuine concern, but I decide it’s more likely I’m just seeing everything he does as an affront to me.

“No.” I choke on the words, starting to walk on now and drag Kyouko along. I can barely even begin comprehending her words of protest, much less heeding them, my situation becoming worse every second.

“Are you sure–“ Nomiya’s voice is cut off by the chatter growing exponentially around us, as well as the distance I’ve opened up as quickly as I can. There’s no time to explain or anything. I need to get down soon or else I’ll make a mess or…

Or worse, I’ll start reliving it again.

“We’re in our hall.” I murmur as soon as we clear the doorway, letting Kyouko go as I beeline for the nearest toilet stall. I’m surprised it actually went this quickly, but the adrenaline pumping in my veins has made time hard to distinguish as well, to say nothing of the memories threatening to explode out of my head.

The lunch I spill isn’t the worst I’ve had to deal with, but it’s still nothing resembling pleasant. I haven’t eaten much at all yet today, so what leaves is highly dense, and disgustingly adhesive. The sensation of that alone draws a few more painful heaves out of me.

“Damn it all…” I murmur, just glad it’s ending quickly and the bad feelings seem to be flowing out with it. Soon, the encroaching memories and nightmares start to dissipate, and I start to feel just a little bit closer to normal.

I stand up, feeling dead inside, a husk of myself. This is nothing new, just something to deal w–

“Sora,” I hear a tap at the edge of the bathroom door that interrupts my self-reassuring thoughts. Kyouko is standing at the edge of the tiles, the concern on her face blatant. “Is everything alright in there?”

I swallow, the awful taste of bile rolling back down my throat and causing me to choke up again.

“Yeah. I’m alright.” I lie as soon as the coughing stops.

The Ite, missa est is a part of the traditional Catholic Mass Ordinary, meaning simply "Go now, you are dismissed." Though it probably ranks below the musical diversity of the preceding texts, the Ite, missa est is nevertheless an important text with as many musical settings as there have been churches to exist. Like the first two chapters, no specific setting is meant to be evoked, but the text itself describes the contents of the chapter relatively well.
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by brythain » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:15 pm

TubaMirum wrote:The Ite, missa est is a part of the traditional Catholic Mass Ordinary, meaning simply "Go now, you are dismissed."
I first heard your handle from the Requiem Mass. :)
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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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:25 pm

brythain wrote:I first heard your handle from the Requiem Mass. :)
Good catch :P It's kind of a dumb pun, since "Tuba" is just Latin for "trumpet," but I can still pretend my primary instrument is a part of the Requiem.
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Chapter 6: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:51 pm

Those edits took far less time than expected! I'm actually all caught up now, including with a chapter that hasn't been published anywhere as of yet.

I suppose I'll go ahead and get the rest of the first scene posted here before I can finally start writing again

Chapter 6: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn
Part One

“You don’t sound like it.” I turn the corner to face Kyouko now, and she isn’t alone either. Dad rushed up to follow us once he’d seen me keeling over, and not too far behind him are Kyouko’s mother and little sister. I can hardly blame her considering I was flailing her older daughter about like a ragdoll.

I look at Dad before I can give any answers. The look of fear on his face isn’t reassuring, but I can’t act like this isn’t something I can’t handle, not around him or anybody else for that matter.

“I just had a bit of a rough patch. I’ll feel better after some rest. Maybe some medicine–”

“You don’t sound like you’re even convinced what you’re saying is true.” Kyouko’s voice cuts as clear through the air as I think I’ve ever heard a voice, and I think even her mother is surprised by the stern tone behind it. It’s incredibly jarring, to say the least.

“It’s nothing… I’ll feel better soon enough…” I continue to be stubborn, and the dejected look I receive from my father and hallmate might end up making me feel worse than the sudden sickness had. I can’t meet their gazes like this, so I try to walk past Kyouko. Thankfully, she isn’t able to react before I’ve already gotten halfway to my door.

“…lying to me…” Kyouko speaks, but I’m barely able to make out what she says. The words I do pick out are ones I least want to hear, but what am I supposed to do here? I’m nothing resembling comfortable right now, and lingering on this only makes my awful feeling all the worse.

I try to speak up, but the raw feeling in my throat destroys my words before they can escape. Instead, I simply face Kyouko, breathing slowly. We’ve only just met, and yet I feel this guilty around her just for not telling something I’ve never really told anybody before? My thoughts are rapid, but every one of them boils down to wondering what a high school girl could possibly be expected to do in this situation.

“Sorry.” I finally manage. No compromise. No offer to see deeper into my heart. Just an empty, worthless apology.

Needless to say, nobody is pleased.

Thankfully, Kyouko at least respects my wishes; turning to face me with what I can only assume is the broken version of her smile.

“As long as you’re fine with it, I can’t force you to say anything else.” The words sting in my ears like nettle, but they’re not the worst things that could be said. I don’t want to talk, so it’s thankful that it’s Kyouko’s mother who does it next.

“Should we let you two be alone?” This gets a grateful nod of my head, which is an answer enough for everybody except Kyouko, who of course can’t see it.

“Let’s get my things ready to go, Dad.” I turn to him, feeling as close to defeated as I have in a few weeks. His dumbfounded and helpless look is only exacerbated by the disapproval of the other parent in the room.

It’s not his fault I’m getting like this. It’s nobody’s damn fault, really. I want to say it, but I don’t.

“And if you’d like to come over… Or um, if you’d rather I came over Kyouko… Um…” I bite my lip, not sure how to proceed from there. Why am I even opening this door? The words are out of my mouth before I can even take a chance to comprehend.

“It’s fine, I’ll knock when I’m ready.” Kyouko nods solemnly, and the atmosphere finally relaxes, if only by a small margin. It’s too soon in the school year for anybody to get too heavily invested into drama like this, and I’m thankfully not the only one thinking this.

Still, as we make our separate ways in close proximity, I have trouble quelling the awful pain in my core. Yamaku was supposed to be a new opportunity, and yet the shadows of my past are biting at my heels all too ravenously already. It’s hardly fair at all, is it?

I hardly even notice the short passing of time between our standoff and my room being unpacked and fully ready to go. It’s not a surprising or unfamiliar feeling, though it’s not quite like my early stay in the hospital, when I was bedridden. It’s more like the early parts of therapy, when I was still struggling to come to terms with the paralysis, still trying to understand just how I’d been affected and what I needed to do to be functional again.

“I suppose this is goodbye for now, Sora?” Dad’s voice cuts through my thoughts like a sharp knife, and I’m thankful that I don’t jump as a result. I nod and give him a hopeful smile, a genuinely hopeful smile.

“Yeah. Thanks so much for everything. I’ll be sure to send as often as I can.” I start towards him, but he takes the bigger initiative to close the distance and begin the hug, making the job as easy as lifting my left arm to wrap about him. I haven’t been hugged this warmly in a while. It’s incredibly calming.

“I’m going to miss my little girl.” He rubs at my auburn hair, and I can’t help but giggle. Whatever Mrs. Tadamichi might have to say to him, she can’t take away that Dad can make me feel better in an instant.

“I’ll miss you too, Dad… I love you.” I lean in further to the hug.

“I love you too.”

The moment is tender but it passes too quickly. It’s good it didn’t come any closer to my episode, else I might never let him go, and his fairly nice outfit would need to be washed of tear stains. Instead, we’ve said our goodbyes, and I’m left to it right away. My new school and home for the next three years, Yamaku Academy awaits.

My heart flutters a bit, and I raise an arm to my stomach to check out of habit. This isn’t a bad feeling though. It’s hopeful, episodes or not.

Continued...
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 6: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:54 pm

Chapter Six
Part Two

I don’t expect a knock for quite some time, so I set to my desk to begin some writing therapy. A piece of paper is already lying at my desk, a pencil on the left side of it with nothing yet written. It’s all I can manage just getting myself to write very basic characters one at a time now that my right hand became useless, but the improvement through daily practice has been incredible.

I start immediately on my name, carefully gripping the pencil in my left hand. It’s still a foreign, unnatural feeling trying to write like this, but the stroke is far more even than the unnatural feeling makes it seem.

“A-… Ki-…” I murmur gently. Talking through the writing process always helps considerably, especially since the first character of my name is a rather hard one, involving more strokes than the rest of my name combined. I’m thankful I was given the simplest option for “Sora” at birth. The character for “mountain” that precedes it is even easier.

“Yama…”

It’s as soon as I’ve finished transcribing my name the fifth time that the knock finally comes, surprisingly at my wall and not my door. It’s curious enough that I knock back, perhaps in an attempt to get some kind of complex answer. Instead of a response, I hear a faint shuffling, which I interpret to mean Kyouko is moving about in her room. I decide there’s still time to write later as I look down at my awful calligraphy, leaving it for now.

I open my door and turn the corner, a relaxed smile on my face. I wasn’t entirely lying when I said that the bad feelings would dissipate, but that of course didn’t mean they stopped existing. Kyouko is standing just outside her threshold, about to extend her cane.

“I can come in if you’d rather stay.” I offer, giving her pause, a rather long one, surprisingly.

“I guess.” She finally murmurs her answer after some delay, and I take that as my blessing to enter. The lack of objection as I walk past is plenty to reassure me that this was a good assumption.

“Are you feeling any better?” Kyouko immediately cuts to it, and I nearly lurch at the suddenness of the question. So much for the possibility of subtlety…

“Yeah. It’s um,” I scratch at my cheek, standing by her chair anxiously. “It’s just something that happens, I guess. I’m not saying we can’t talk about it ever, but… I’d rather we didn’t for now.”

“That’s fine,” Her answer is too plain, and it feels as if a wedge has driven between us again. I’m left wondering what I’m supposed to say in this circumstance for the second time today. She doesn’t let these thoughts linger for long, though.

“So I take it moving in wasn’t a hassle?”

I shake my head before realization kicks in, very quickly this time around.

“Not too badly. It might have been worse if Dad hadn’t come by, but even then I could manage it.”

“That’s good.” She nods as well, visual language clearly something she hasn’t entirely forsaken despite her condition. It’s pretty comforting to have it, regardless of how unnecessary it might be.

Before I can finish thinking, she opens her mouth again, but pauses before words escape. A finger goes to her lip and she seems to contemplate the hanging words hard. This of course leads to another protracted silence between us. It’s not easy to break into the conversation when the only other participant wants to say something very badly.

I do it anyway.

“Hey, so… The violin right?” I tap my finger against my shoulder, looking around the room for the object in question.

“Oh good, you were paying attention!” There’s a sudden spark in Kyouko’s eyes, and I remember now that she had this same spark when I asked her about what clubs she was interested in joining.

“Yeah,” I giggle nervously, giving up my helpless search for the bright yellow case in question. “I um… You wouldn’t mind playing some time for me, would you?”

The question seems asinine and dumb to ask, especially considering the same question asked whenever I still painted or sculpted was obnoxious and warranted a “No,” but I went ahead and asked anyway.

I’m surely a fool.

Instead of a straight “No” or a scoff though, I instead get a rather serious look. Kyouko’s contemplating things yet again. I’m starting to really appreciate this careful thinking she can go to, not the least because she looks surprisingly adorable when she does so. Kaede must have learned much from her.

“I think sometime of course! Tonight probably isn’t good, though. I’m not too sure where there are any practice rooms here, and I wouldn’t want to disturb our fellow students.” She finally reaches a decision, her face showing more realism than enthusiasm.

Somehow, I doubt anybody here would mind a bit of violin playing, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait.

“Right… Well, just as long as you don’t mind me, at least. I understand if you change your mind.” I offer a smile, before my legs finally give in. The chair is far too tempting to resist after all.

“Oh, you’ll have a chance to hear me eventually anyway. I’m certain the music club will probably play for this festival they’re having.” She reassures me, though I’m not sure why that would be necessary. That is, unless she genuinely thought holding out on me was depriving me of something.

“Well I’ll look forward to it.” I smile, leaning back in the chair and kicking my left leg up, resting it over the less active right. I stare at the plain ceiling, painted the same way as mine and undecorated like mine. It reminds me a bit too closely of the hospital, where only as much life and energy as is safe for a patient is allowed into the space.

Continued...
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 6: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:09 pm

Chapter Six
Part Three

The reason in Kyouko’s room is a lot less dire; it’s simply that decorations can’t really be enjoyed. It’s simple, yet the minimalistic styles are pleasant to look upon, and provide no obstacles for walking.

It’s relaxing to the point that I almost don’t catch myself starting to doze off. As I look across the room for the clock, I realize that it’s already almost 6:00 PM. The light outside has almost entirely given way to night. Where did all of that time go?

I don’t fret over it too badly, this comfortable silence between me and Kyouko too pleasant to want to break it deliberately. Of course, that says nothing in the case of something unexpected.

“What’s it like sleeping blind?” I blurt my thought aloud, and my eyes go wide as I realize it’s far too late to take the words back. Compared to how she often lingers on words, I’m an absolutely stupid mess.

I don’t know why I expect a harsher reaction, but all I get is a chuckle and a bright smile from my short hallmate, her eyes closed and body looking relaxed.

“It’s just a little bit darker than the pitch black it was before. At least to me. Why do you ask?” She angles her head towards me, but makes no real effort to break the trance-like appearance of her face.

“Just… Um, n-no reason!” I quickly justify, and it seems the sudden segue out of silence ends at that.

Kyouko at least seems amused, rather than truly annoyed.

The light ticking of the clock in the room threatens to lull me to sleep, and it seems like the next hour or so of time passes in a blur. The room is dark now, impossibly dark actually as the lights had never been switched on, and I have to squint to make out even the faint outline of the clock.

It’s all I can do to lift myself out of my seat before sleep takes me. From the sounds of it, Kyouko already passed out a few minutes ago, so I do what I can to tip-toe away so as not to disturb. It’s only by the time that I get to the door that I realize it might be a bit cruel to leave her without letting her know.

“Kyouko,” I edge closer, barely able to decipher outlines in the matte black of her room. It’s a good thing her floor is almost entirely devoid of things to trip over. “I think I’m going back over to my room.”

My voice is quiet enough that I fear she won’t stir, but the form of a girl in the Yamaku uniform starts to fidget under the covers of the bed. She’ll probably want to see about changing into pajamas. Or whatever she wears when she’s in bed. Don’t think about your blind hallmate sleeping naked. Stop it.

“Ah… I fell asleep didn’t I..?” Her question goes to nobody in particular, so I only give an affirmative nod to it. One day I’m going to realize how fruitless that is...

“That’s no good…” She murmurs, and I swear I hear the faintest hint of a sniffle. Is she..?

“Erm, are you alright?” I edge even closer, able to finally make out a few dark details. I wish I had thought to turn on the lights on the way back in. It’s not as if I would do her a great disservice or anything. At most things would go from very dark to slightly less for her.

I’m not able to entirely make out what she says next, but it’s equally not directed towards me. Her face is scrunched with worry, and I’m suddenly concerned she might have been having a bad dream. Of course, the natural thought in regard to that just about passes my lips before I catch it.

“Yeah. Good enough,” She shrugs, finally answering and smiling sleepily as I start to back towards the door. “You’re leaving now?”

“Yeah…” I murmur, suddenly feeling a bit bad. Was she really alright? Her voice seems a bit shaky, uncertain whereas it’s normally been crystal clear. I would have chalked it up to having just woken from a nap, but I’ve already seen her wake up before. She acted decidedly more like herself back then.

“Have a good night then, Sora,” she starts with a smile before remembering something. “Would you like any help waking up, by the way? I’ll probably be awake way before classes start.”

“We’ll um… I guess we’ll find out?” I answer meekly. It’s actually rather fortuitous of her to suggest this; I’m probably as close to the antithesis of a morning person as anybody can be.

With that, she simply smiles in the darkness, her head bobbing sleepily as I creep away. Once in my room, I return to my writing drills, going through the first two alphabets five times each. The work is pitiful, but it’s been getting better. I have to remind myself that it won’t be great overnight.

I swear I hear a knock or some other sound against the wall at some point, but a light tap back at the wall I face doesn’t receive any answer. Another comes minutes later, but I tune it out now, too involved in my writing drills to worry over it.

The drills done, I collapse into bed, almost forgetting to undress from my uniform. It doesn’t really matter; there are at least three or four more in my closet, so letting this one get wrinkly isn’t so bad a thing. I do know how to iron, if anything else.

“Kyouko Tadamichi…” I murmur, staring at my ceiling, room still lit thanks to personal oversight. Sleeping with the lights on isn’t too bad. It just makes waking up a bit harder.

I let her name mingle in the air a bit longer. I feel a bit sad that I’ve only really made acquaintance with one person so far here at Yamaku, but I’m also relieved that she’s my hallmate, and a nice girl to boot. There’ll be chances to meet more people tomorrow, I decide.

I don’t know exactly when I pass out, but my lights never do go off over the course of my first night spent at Yamaku Academy.

"O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn" (O tremble not, my dear Son) is the first and less famous of two arias for the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). The Queen of the Night is arguably the most famous soprano coloratura part to ever exist in opera, and it's still among the most difficult voice parts in the repertoire given its range, dynamic, and color demands. This aria in particular is more noted for its lyrical nature, while the later aria is focused much more on the sheer, hell-raising fury a powerful coloratura can muster. The biggest connection to the chapter it names is the text itself. I think it's fair to say that there's much trembling to be had here!
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:32 am

the festival they’d just mentioned. I had heard only a bit about it, but my limited experience with attending other high school festivals told me that they typically weren’t anything to get worked over.
This section is past tene - also probably "worked UP over"
I can navigate on my own and all.”
She can? After only walking this way once?
Aren’t I just overthinking this again?
"Am I not"
I almost fail to catch myself from the surprise at being dragged around by a blind girl.
Is she really blind?

There's some disconnect between the end of part 1 and the beginning of part 2 (of chapter 5). I'm still not certain if there's supposed to be a time skip or not and whether or not they did talk to the music club in between...
Dad rushed up to follow us once he’d seen me keeling over, and not too far behind him are Kyouko’s mother and little sister.
Their families are still there? And they all followed her into the bathroom?
especially since the first character of my name is a rather hard one, involving more strokes than the rest of my name combined. I’m thankful I was given the simplest option for “Sora” at birth. The character for “mountain” that precedes it is even easier.
秋山?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:31 am

These are valid criticisms of how I handle Kyouko during these scenes, but I'm going to clarify before I think about changing anything. The first example is probably about 75% her own pride rather than actual practicality. The rest will become apparent as we go on (though I still haven't gotten to explaining it 6 chapters later...). For the second example I figured it wouldn't be improbable that Kyouko could navigate out of a completely straight row of fold-up chairs even with a person in tow. If there's one thing I can say about her as a character, it's that she's far more reckless than her condition should allow.

That said, I can probably clear it up in the story that this pulling around is haphazard at best. This won't be the first time Sora's dragged around by somebody, for certain.

As for the families, nobody actually went into the bathroom with Sora, given Kyouko is at the edge of the bathroom tiles when they link back up after her episode. Everybody is in the hall outside of their dorms. I'll see what I can do to keep this more clear, but I figured people would understand families would want to see their kids' opening ceremony if they were around. I remember Uncle mentioning pictures at some point...

I guess the break would be a bit confusing here, but there is no time skip between the first and second parts of the chapter. I'm not sure how I would clarify that without breaking the flow that the chapter has when it's in one chunk.

And yes, 秋山 is the character I had in mind for Akiyama, with 天 for Sora. I would include it, but suddenly using the characters feels awkward. I'd be tempted to just use a picture but I don't think I could make one myself.

I'll certainly take suggestions about anything though, there's no reason the story should be completely unclear without external context! The tense fixes are being made immediately...
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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:47 pm

TubaMirum wrote:I guess the break would be a bit confusing here, but there is no time skip between the first and second parts of the chapter. I'm not sure how I would clarify that without breaking the flow that the chapter has when it's in one chunk.
Well, the previous part ended with Kyouko telling Sora that she might be interested in joining the music club, and the first spoken line in the next one is:
“I’m guessing that was an instrument you had before, then?”

So it's not really clear what "that" is referring to. At first I thought it was referring to a conversation they had with the music club menbers that had been skipped, but it seems that wasn't the case.
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Re: Valse Sentimentale - OC Romance

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:15 pm

That puts the potential issue a lot better into context! I've amended the dialogue to hopefully be a bit more indicative of what Sora is actually asking about.
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Chapter 7: Fugue in G Minor "Little"

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:13 pm

I'm going to spend tonight getting a couple more chapters posted so I can get to posting real updates as soon as possible rather than re-posting things that are already published elsewhere.

Also, this is where things start getting... Weird, to put it bluntly. I have a narrative in mind, but it's taking a long time to get to the meat of it. So I can only ask for some momentary trust in regards to a certain character's actions. Beyond that caveat, everything is very, very open to criticism.

In any case, please enjoy!

Chapter 7: Fugue in G Minor "Little"
Part One

I don’t fully recall when I passed out last night nor details of my dreams, but as I groan and toss about in my bed at what must be 6:00 in the morning, it’s clear I didn’t manage to have a good night’s sleep. I’m having trouble deciding whether to call the images in my dream a nightmare or not.

This kind of scenario seems to call for a trip to the bathroom, but my body is stiffer than expected as I work myself upright. I reach up to brush tangled red locks out of my eyes, blowing at the right side of my bangs to do the same.

There’s some momentary panic as I nearly tumble out of my high bed onto the floor. Nothing around me seems familiar in the least and I clearly didn’t have a good night’s sleep despite never once awaking in the middle of the night.

I can only reassure myself I’m still myself once I’ve looked in the mirror, the memories of my school situation rushing back into my head. I’m still me, still looking painfully thin and tall for a girl my age, still wearing various faint, coffee-colored stains on my pale legs, still not able to move my right arm in any useful manner.

I suppose that’s a good thing, not changing drastically in one night. It’s still no less disappointing when I try to lift my arm to absolutely no avail.

Given the darkness and the hour, I hardly expect what comes after yet another yawn. There’s a concentrated, light tapping at the door, a knock that almost scares me out of my skin. I bite my lip, looking down again to see my preferred pajamas, a t-shirt that barely covers me modestly and panties as plain as they come. I’m in no state to answer a door…

“Are you up, Sora?” A voice calls from the other side. It’s familiar, like one I know rather closely but have only learned recently. It takes me a moment to remember exactly who it could be.

“Close enough,” I groan, barely loud enough for me to hear myself, but it’s sufficient for a quick acknowledgement. I suppose I was worrying over nothing looking down at my clothes. “It’s unlocked.”

As expected, the lock clicks gently and the handle turns, my door giving way to a petite, relatively robust blind girl the same age as me. It seems she was about to catch a morning shower as her head and body both are wrapped in clean white towels. The sight is more than a little-attention grabbing, and I have no choice but to follow my baser instinct of staring at it.

“I’m surprised you’re up this early. It’s barely past 6. Don’t classes start at 7:30?” Kyouko steps in, her eyes closed peacefully but her face active and seeking feedback.

“I’m surprised too,” I murmur, before tilting my head at her. “Have you been up long?”

“I just finished a 20-minute. But I was up for a couple hours before that.” She speaks somewhat triumphantly, and it’s this that reminds me of her sleeping schedule. I can hardly imagine how that would possibly work, but she seems insistent that it does.

“I see… Um, I mean, well,” Damn, I never realized before how close I normally come to being an absolute blithering mess around her. Thankfully Kyouko doesn’t seem bothered, giggling lightly to herself and saying nothing. “I guess you’re taking a shower?”

Before she can answer, my stare returns to her curious features, the extensive scarring that’s far worse than mine, caused by cuts, scrapes, and gouges rather than chemicals. I hadn’t seen much more than her face and a few inches of her round legs before, but now that she stands before me with little but a towel, I can see that they continue unevenly across her entire body. As I trace it across her leg, I notice that there’s a sudden, unnatural change in direction lasting only a few inches before resuming.

When I settle on her bare feet, I feel another urge to rush to the toilet. Her left side is largely unscathed, but her right foot is missing the outside toe, and the ones closest to it look grotesque and malformed. It’s incredible that I never noticed any kind of limp before in her gait presented with this new information. I look back up quickly, breath heavy and stuck in my throat.

“Sure am! Thinking of one too?” Her response almost catches me completely off-guard even if it’s an expected one. I can’t shake a sinking sensation that the question is being heavily loaded with emphasis. I’m having a lot of trouble discerning exactly why though, so I press on.

“Yeah, eventually…” I murmur quietly, rubbing at my bum arm and looking away. Truthfully, a shower immediately would be nice. A bath would be even more so, but that isn’t too practical this early.

She simply hums her approval, turning about on the balls of her feet with surprising grace. She doesn’t leave just yet, instead resuming her conversation with me.

“Don’t worry about waiting for me to finish or anything. I’m pretty sure there are at least four different showerheads.” She reassures me.

“They’re all in different stalls, too.” I add, probably meaninglessly, but she seems to nod with understanding over it. With that she departed for the bathroom, the light padding of her feet the only discernible noise being made in all of Yamaku for a few moments.

There’s no use overthinking this anymore, a shower is desperately needed right now.

A few minutes later, my outfit resembles Kyouko’s, though my towel is beige and I don’t have another for my head. Just one of the many lovely things about short hair I’ve discovered in the past few years is that it doesn’t need to be dried as incessantly as long hair.

One of the showers has already been running for a few minutes, the splatter of water rather heavy and plodding. I sincerely hope the showers here can at least hold temperature on their own. I’m not looking forward to either an intensely cold or scalding hot foray. The step onto the tiles doesn’t make me feel much better about being able to control my shower fate. It’s icy cold on my naked, square toes.

Continued...
Last edited by TubaMirum on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 7: Fugue in G Minor "Little"

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:22 pm

Chapter Seven
Part Two

There’s a strange aroma to the bathroom, one that wasn’t there before. At first I decide it’s just the smell of Kyouko’s soap and shampoo, but there’s a musty quality to it that doesn’t make much sense. I don’t really have the time to worry over it as I slide past the stall holding Kyouko, taking up the only spot adjacent to it.

My movements aren’t entirely quiet, but my presence is either unnoticed or unacknowledged for the first part of my shower. I slip the towel off and onto a holding ring away from the shower chamber, sighing gently as the cold air of the room starts to seep into me. It’s by and far my least favorite feeling, this frailty in the cold, my dappled form naked and exposed. Even though they easily conceal me, the plastic stalls do not comfort me from the sensation.

Kyouko finally seems to notice me as my feet smack gently against the tiles of the shower chamber. “Ah, so you did decide to join me.” She speaks softly, her tone very matter-of-fact.

“I had to shower eventually.” I confirm, yawning again as the cold of her shower encroaches into my stall even before I can begin the water. My skin is prickled with bumps, and I can feel the urge to let something out dominating. I resist it, even if I’m unsure I’ll be able to hold out.

“Well, I’m glad you chose now. It’s always nice having somebody to talk to.” She chuckled, before continuing about whatever her business was.

My unease continues as I begin the stream of water, dodging it expertly as it starts and biting down hard as the thought of being enveloped in this frigid, uncomfortable feeling proves difficult to come to grips with.

It’s a great relief that my probing reveals a warm, voluminous stream of water. Still, the temperature might soar out of control if I don’t adjust it constantly, so my left arm is constantly trained upon the knob even as I relax and let the cleansing rain wash over my body. I didn’t realize until now, but I must have sweated a puddle last night.

Despite her comment, Kyouko doesn’t seem all that interested in carrying a conversation with me. I would have trouble carrying one myself if my shower were as cold as hers, though. Is she just unlucky in her stall choice or does she prefer it this way?

Unfortunately, I’m never graced with an answer as she finishes moments before I set to washing my hair. A light dripping accompanies the steady stream of my wonderfully warm envelope of water, then the light ruffle of a towel against skin. I haven’t paid much mind to the time, but Kyouko seems to have gotten through her shower rather quickly.

It’s strange that neither of us seem to be able to think of something to say. The silence excepting the sound of my shower isn’t wholly uncomfortable, but it feels stagnant, unwanted. It’s not the kind of silence you’d ever want to be locked in a room with for a long time.

Before I notice anything else, I realize I’ve finished my shower, body and hair washed, suds properly rinsed everywhere… I almost forget to check my dud arm for offending white bubbles and I’m immediately glad I do.
In any case, I turn the knob a final time, and let out an audible sigh. I’m not too sure what the sigh is for. Is it out of relief? Am I just bored?

I rub some more of the sleep from my eyes and start to swipe off some of the water lingering on my skin so my towel isn’t completely soaked through. It’s a nice feeling, the steam rising from the tiles and back onto my skin as I pat it clean, vigorously everywhere but the arm again. I had woken up feeling worse than I’d felt in a while, but a simple shower has done a world of difference.

Normally the only bad thing about bathing is the lack of a time reference. My family never really kept clocks or the like in the bathroom for a lot of reasons, probably the biggest being just how thoroughly invested they were in traditional Japanese baths. I thought I never saw much in the investment, but my disappointment at the lack of actual baths in the bathrooms here is telling enough. Something about Utilitarianism being enforced after a life without it makes you miss comforting things.

I started that thought for some reason, but I’ve completely lost track of why I’m still having it. It doesn’t really matter, the clock in the bathroom ticking as I peer over the shower curtains, reading 6:33 AM. So it really is way too early, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter, it is the first day. Showing some initiative never really hurt anybody, and it’s kind of nice too, like I’m on top of my game for a change.

I draw the curtain open with a real smile on my face. At the very least, it feels as if I’m really smiling. There isn’t much there in the small cubby before the main shower chamber of mine, but there’s enough to remind me that I forgot a razor.

This elicits a sigh, even though the weather is still at the point where a bit of extra, hairy warmth isn’t entirely unwelcome. Pulling up pantyhose might be a bit more difficult, though.

I gather up my washcloth and soaps, parting the final curtain and taking a step back out into the bathroom proper. What I don’t expect is for Kyouko to be right behind it, wrapped loosely in her towel, something of an impatient look on her face. Has she been waiting for me to finish?

I don’t have much more time to contemplate it as she starts smiling rather immediately.

“There we go. I guess I lied about wanting to talk.” She says with a light giggle, and I can’t help but match it, even if I continue to offer a bewildered expression she can’t see.

“It’s fine, I couldn’t think of anything either…” I murmur, unable to train my gaze on her for too long anyway.

“I suppose we’ll get used to it as the year goes on. Or we’ll just stop showering ‘together’ at some point.” She giggles and offers a playful wink. Somehow, she manages to emphasize “together” flirtatiously but still make it sound like it’s only the technicality that it is.

“Yeah,” I murmur, biting my lip before thinking suddenly and speaking hastily. I really need to stop doing this. “You seem to be in a really good mood, y’know.”

“It’s hard not to be excited about this. I’ve known about Yamaku for a while now, and I’m finally here…” She pauses, as if to go on I realize, but the feeling is dispelled when she shakes her head dismissively.

I don’t know exactly what to say to her in response to that. I’ve already gathered that a lot of students here see Yamaku as a kind of Promised Land where they can live out their high school years peacefully without worry of their conditions, but Kyouko’s reaction seems strange. She wasn’t born with her blindness, after all.

The more I think about it, the more I realize the silence between us is growing awkward. I can’t think of anything else to really offer, so it’s good she takes the initiative again.

“Well, in any case, I doubt you need me harping in your ear while you get dressed,” Kyouko nods as she takes a path to her door, stopping there and grinning deviously at me. “To say nothing of the fact that I’ll get far less out of it than you will.”

“Right. Wait,” I blink, suddenly confused. “What do you mean?”

“Just teasing! I’ll see you in a few minutes.” She gives her all-too-convincing wink before closing the door behind me.

“Huh…” I murmur under my breath before heading inside my own room.

It takes me a few minutes to understand exactly what she meant, but it gets the barest hint of a blush onto my cheeks.

BWV 578, probably best known as the "Little" Fugue in G Minor, is probably one of Bach's most ubiquitous pieces. I'd venture to say that it's the second best-known only to the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor among his organ works. In this case, the chapter title is meant to poke a bit at the double-meaning of the word "fugue" as both a composition and a psychological state. Sora has a "little" fugue at the beginning of the chapter when she wakes up for the first time in new surroundings, though it's hardly a real state. On another note, it's rather funny that BWV 578 is nicknamed "Little" as there's nothing I personally find particularly small or trivial about writing a four-voice fugue! I wrote a three-voice fugue last semester for Counterpoint... It was not a particularly simple or satisfying experience.
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Chapter 8: Introduction, or Sunrise

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:31 pm

Chapter 8: Introduction, or Sunrise
Part One

Dressing myself alone in my room is about as quiet as should be expected. I chance another look in the mirror, nodding along as I confirm that I’m still me once again. My hair has grown damp and is depressingly straight as a result, but everything else about me is normal.
Everything is normal for me, at least.

The morning is supposed to be rather chilly, so I thankfully have the foresight to throw on the Yamaku blazer over top of the regular uniform. It’s still a nice, clean fit even though I haven’t tried it on in a few weeks.

It’s kind of sad that the heat wave that prompted all of the early cherry blossoms hasn’t continued, but at the very least the green blazer is rather stylish and covers up the ridiculous bulbs on the shoulders of the girl’s uniform blouse. I think I might make it part of my regular school day attire actually, but I really would just prefer to wear the male uniform altogether.

Hmm, I suppose neckties would still be pretty troublesome even replacing the ribbons though. I’ve heard it’s possible to just leave one tied overnight and just pull it over your head, but at this point I’m just wasting time conjecturing and leaving the required ribbon untied around my neck.

I take another look at myself in the mirror, dressed up in the Yamaku uniform now with a bag slung over my shoulder. My hair has dried quickly as expected, but its preferred unkempt appearance is taking its sweet time to return. Honestly, if I weren’t so thin I might look the part of a middle-aged woman walking into a job interview.

That thought makes me want to be sick, but a sudden, expected knock at the door dislodges the feeling.

Kyouko is dressed in the same exact ensemble as I am, her hair flat and muted in its color. It’s always been a curious sight to me, seeing another girl with her hair wet and out of its typical character. I suppose it’s just testament to how important self-made appearances are, but no amount of looking at my own hair after bathing has diminished this surprise.

“Ready to go?”

“Of course.” I nod along dumbly before realizing why she remains paused, stepping forward to offer her my arm. I’m not sure when I’ll get used to doing this, but I can at least figure out that doing it now is necessary. Kyouko is certainly learning this school just like I am, after all.

The juxtaposition of our forms is precarious as we practically stumble towards the outside doors, rhythmic tapping from Kyouko’s cane accompanying us. Both of us are carrying our own bags, and she her violin. It seems like bad luck to think too much about it, but it’s a miracle we don’t topple over at all on our short journey, immediately greeted by an icy cold breeze that chills me to the core.

“Even though it was so nice yesterday…” I mention off-hand, eliciting a giggle from my hallmate.

“Yeah. It’s like somebody forgot they had the heat on and then made it cold again to make up for it.” Kyouko sighs alongside me, and I simply shrug with an amused smile.

“Something along those lines.” The line actually reminds me of something I’ve read before. Come to think of it, that series had a new release yesterday too, didn’t it?

Our walking falls into step as we seem to finally get down how to balance guidance with bag holding. We’re still a good distance from the main building, but I can’t help being curious about where I’ll be escorting her.

“What room for you?” I ask, the wind slowing at a perfect time to help my quiet voice carry. The very real possibility of forgetting her answer during the admittedly short walk doesn’t dissuade me.

“Mine’s Class 1-2. The teacher is Yamamoto, I think.” Her answer this time is prompt and polite.

“Oh, that’s right next to me then, right?” I ask, allowing another long pause to begin before I catch the details I’ve neglected to mention. “Um, I’m in 1-1.”

“That would be how they number them!” She giggles, a rush of warmth heading to my cheeks. Somehow I’d already let myself forget about her sarcasm.

“Right… Um, what about the Music Club room? Where will that be?” I retort, able to keep my wits.

“Oh, you’re thinking about stopping by?” Again she answers me with a question of her own, this one a definitive tease. It’s becoming a slightly grating personality trait by this point, but at the very least she concedes without delaying.

“It’s in the auxiliary building, actually. There’s an entire wing called the ‘Performing Arts Center.’ It’s pretty impressive if I recall correctly.”

“I s–Gotcha.” I nod, able to smile a bit, but unable to diminish the growing blush on my cheeks.

“You think you’ll stop by though, right?” She slows down, perking her ear up a bit and developing a lightly concerned face rather than try to look at me. Somehow, she laces a good deal of innocent hope into that statement. I’m afraid to find out what will happen if I say no…

“Yeah. If I can find it at least… Or we might find it together after class?” Might as well extend the offer, we seem to be handling this current arrangement impeccably well. It’s not exactly bad if I decide to go; I do want to hear her play.

“Sounds like a date to me,” The sly smirk on her face pushes me over what’s surely the edge of blush brightness, but I don’t have any way of telling. Neither does she, for that matter.

“I’ll look forward to it, Sora.” The way my name rings so playfully off her tongue convinces me that a bit of embarrassment at the expense of her humor is worth it. Adorable friends are never a bad thing.

“If you say so…” I murmur, able to laugh it off at least a little bit.

The gates that greeted me so coldly yet with such an unmistakable welcome yesterday look like they might freeze my hands off should I touch them today. The main building is just as overly pompous and ridiculous as the dorms and the gate. The doorway is wide, and what I can see of the halls suggests the inside is even more functional than the outside would have you believe.

Its relative, the auxiliary building, is of the same style, and it’s far harder to read into than the main building. Despite this, several more lights are already on inside than in the main, and at least a few people have already stopped by for what I assume are routine check-ups.

Now that I think about it, the Head Nurse for Yamaku is housed in that building. I have no clue which if any of the heads I can see in the auxiliary building right now is him, though. It’s surprising that we were only given the Nurse’s gender ahead of time. You’d think anybody with something resembling medical credentials would be in a rush to display them to the world.

Maybe it would be better to wait on meeting the Nurse.

It’s only now that I come to realize we’ve been paused outside the main doors for some time, and I’m shivering to boot. This, of course, is what stirs my partner.

Continued...
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chapter 8: Introduction, or Sunrise

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:40 pm

Chapter Eight
Part Two

“Do you actually enjoy freezing to death or did something steal your attention?” She smirks, the way she makes light of it both hilarious and frustrating.

“Sorry. We’re at the doors now.” I murmur, defeated yet again, as if I ever stood a chance to beat this girl in a game of wiles and wit. The steps up to the hall are quicker than the rather long ramp, but I don’t want to test whether we can handle stairs with this ridiculous rig we’ve set up among ourselves.

Some semblance of warmth starts to return to my body as we finally enter. It’s strange really; temperatures like this in January would be nothing short of balmy and unseasonably warm. I’m not alone in expressing relief at leaving the cold weather behind. Kyouko lets a sigh as we find a stone bench to settle on for the meantime. Our bags join us shortly after.

There are still at least 30 minutes until class, but neither of us seems to have much in mind to talk about. It’s actually a rather relaxing atmosphere, the rest of Yamaku starting to arrive for the first day of class in a gradually crescendoing wave.

Nobody seems too interested in bothering us just yet, so I imagine we must look either totally exhausted or inseparable. I don’t know which possibility is scarier. It could be both.

A few minutes later and Kyouko starts up on her own accord, feeling about for her things before standing and waiting for me to join her.

“We didn’t completely lose track of time, right?” Kyouko inclines towards me as we link back up into our precarious joint stance once again.

“Not a chance,” I state proudly, having kept a close eye on the clock during our relatively silent sojourn at the bench. “Ready to go then? Room 1-2, right?”

“Yeah.” Kyouko nods with a rather bright smile, and it manages to infect me rather convincingly. I can hardly even seem to remember all of the bad stuff that happened…

Ah shit, I went and started thinking about yesterday and now my stomach is groaning again. At the very least I can blame that one on not having had any breakfast, but unfortunately it’s too late to try and get something now.

Still, a bit of queasiness does nothing to dismantle the general good mood I’ve worked myself into as we walk down the First Floor. Logically enough, all of the first-year classrooms are here, and in the order that makes the most sense. Little markers are over the classrooms, running from 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, etc. though some doors in the hallway are completely unmarked.

Surprisingly, activity is bustling far more actively here than it had been by the entrance hallways. We had only been sitting for ten minutes at most, and there were still about fifteen left before the first bell, but I know for a fact that this many people didn’t pass us during the stay.

Either Yamaku is accepting espers that can make themselves invisible, or there’s another way into the building than the main hall. The espers idea is probably the safest bet if magic really is involved here.

We come to a stop outside of Kyouko’s classroom, 1-2.

“We’re here.” I say with a light hum, the subtlety probably lost as the morning hubbub and the general excitement for classes to begin washes over the surprisingly large early morning Yamaku crowds.

Rather than just unlink and be on our merry ways, though, Kyouko seems intent on being connected to me if even a bit longer. I don’t think much of it, but it might be a little uncanny?

“It got busy when we weren’t paying attention.” She jokes with a light laugh that I have to match as we make our way precariously through the door. It might be wide to accommodate students with mobility needs, but even still, two girls side-by-side with bags and a case to carry is pushing it.

When I look around, I see that Kyouko wasn’t kidding about 1-2 being designed specifically for blind students. There are as many canes to see in here as I remember seeing all of yesterday, and yet not every student here seems to have one in reach. Varying levels of blindness, perhaps? It’s probably most convenient this way grouping students like this, though it strikes me as a bit odd considering how hard Yamaku tried to sell the angle of inclusivity. They even accept students without disabilities, after all.

“Yeah,” I’ve completely forgotten to even answer her as we finally unlatch from each other, her with cane, bag, and violin case and me with just a bag.

“Anything else you need, or are you fine from here?” I scratch nervously at the back of my head, the light giggle coming from her making the nerves a little heavier.

“Oh aren’t you in a rush to help?” She teases, but the way her head moves side to side suggests pre-emptively what she’ll say next. “I apologize oh Prince Charming, but I should be able to handle myself from here.”

The way she practically curtsies is just the icing on the cake of haughty ridiculousness, yet it’s still too fitting and cute for me to mind. What I do mind is what follows shortly afterward.

“Well, I mean…” I blush, unable to conjure up a response despite how surprisingly aware I am of the situation.

I don’t have time to react anyway. Kyouko has closed the short distance between us expertly, as if she has an innate extra sense of how to find another person without bumping into them. I suppose enough practice might help with that? It’s just as likely she’s being bold and just getting lucky, though.

“I do appreciate it. I’ll see you after class, my Prince.” Her lashes flutter as she closes her eyes. I notice for the first time that they’re long and feminine, unusually attractive. She raises a hand, and manages to find my cheek, which is currently blazing an inferno under my skin.

“O-O-Of course…” I stammer, taking so long that I barely even notice the moment has passed. In a few moments our casual morning exchanges have suddenly taken a turn for the overtly flirtatious. I suppose it’s just how Kyouko is, but damn if I don’t look a love’s fool clutching my bum arm.

It’s probably not a big deal as I dash some of the confusion away and start to smile in response. Kyouko hasn’t left just yet.

“You’re incredibly fun to tease. I wasn’t entirely expecting that.” Kyouko gives one of her inexplicable winks and leaves me to my own devices.

I don’t know what else to really say, but her words have a calming effect even if my cheeks still feel quite hot. While I trudge for the adjacent classroom where I’ll be spending a great deal of my next year, I realize why I’m feeling so embarrassed.

I haven’t been treated this frankly and teasingly since my accident.

It’s a refreshing feeling, and it’s enough to get me excited about class. If only I weren’t starving…

"Introduction, or Sunrise" refers to the beginning of Richard Strauss' famous tone poem, Also Sprach Zarathustra, best known today as "That theme from 2001: A Space Oddysey..." The reasoning for using the title is simple enough in that we're exploring the first sunrise since our two characters have met, so it seemed an appropriate name. Now that I've rewritten a bit, I think it also fits well as a calmer introduction to how Kyouko and Sora normally interact, compared to the more tumultuous first day. Heavy-handed flirt rejoice! If you haven't listened to all of Also Sprach yet I'd highly recommend it, if anything else because the opening motif just never, ever, ever stops happening
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Chapter 9: Children's March: "Over the Hills and Far Away"

Post by TubaMirum » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:29 pm

Chapter 9: Children's March: "Over the Hills and Far Away"
Part One

After a morning like that, class is such a relative and unequivocal bore that it’s all I can do to not sleep through all of the lessons. I was hoping that the excitement Kyouko had infected me with would help inspire me to pay better attention in class, but alas it seems I’m stuck being a naturally bad student.

Class introductions are the closest thing to exciting that the period has to offer. Our homeroom teacher is Mrs. Nakahara, teaching History and apparently serving as one of the track coaches.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure the two of us will get along too terribly well. Nakahara has singled me out to start classroom introductions, probably because I’m sitting by myself in a back corner of the room. At the very least she doesn’t ask me to move closer to the rest of the class, but she could at least be sensitive enough to understand I’m sitting here exactly because I don’t want to be picked first.

Standing is easier than it normally was in middle school when chair and desk were the same object, but even still I manage to make a bit of a mess of it. Are these first day nerves?

“I’m Sora Akiyama… Um,” I bite my lip, my voice coming out before I can measure or appropriate its purpose. Thankfully, it’s behaving itself. “It’s a pleasure to meet you all… I-I hope we can get along…” Darn, I completely forgot to so much as think about my class introduction. I thought I didn’t care before, but this bumbling is kind of embarrassing.

Thankfully, it’s sufficient and I can sit down. While my mind is still occupied, I can at least pay a bit of attention to all of the other students. To my surprise, most of the students in the room look very normal, more so than my impression of Yamaku yesterday. The most notable feature of anybody in the room seems to be a girl proudly wearing a nearly bald head just in front of me.

Of course, this is failing to mention the three students confined to wheelchairs, one of them a boy forced to speak through a computer. It’s a morbid thought that I could be in that situation myself instead of the one I’m currently in, but the sobering thought won’t exactly dispel all the lingering gloom in my current state of consciousness. It would be nice if it were that simple…

I can barely register all the names of my classmates when introductions have ended and class starts its course. I’m tempted to slam against the desk and lull myself into a comfortable sleep, probably to make up for the fitful rest I had last night, but instead I opt to looking about the room again.

I really am on an island over here, I realize. The class isn’t quite filled with students, but I’m definitely the only one without a neighbor to my side. My isolation is eased a bit by students in front of me, but maybe it wouldn’t be bad to scoot over a desk after all?

I’m too lazy to consider becoming a disruption though, so I at least decide to focus in on the subjects being written about on the board. History is actually probably one of my preferred subjects, but it’s hard to get much into the mood of school today despite all the excitement from it being the first day.

There aren’t too many notes to be taking as most of the important subjects are already covered on the papers that Nakahara has already passed out. I settle the majority of my attention on reading these thoroughly rather than pay much mind to what she’s saying, but I imagine I’ll get the same information regardless of where I focus.

I don’t really expect to feel a tap on my shoulder from in front of me. It’s the girl whose hair is still recovering from being shaved off.

“Hey, Akiyama right?” She grins, turning to face me. There’s a curious clamor in the rest of the classroom starting from her tapping, but it seems to be only chronologically related.

“R-right…” I blink, realizing I’d kind of been zoning out with my head buried in the handout.

“Wanna group up for this? There’s an uneven number of us in this class so we can be the group of three.” The boy next to her speaks up and I have to start wracking my brain for their names before I can even offer a verbal response. He’s one of the three in a wheelchair I’d noticed, his hair a nice, muted blue.

Thankfully, my gentle nod is sufficient to finish the group agreement.

“Everything alright? Isn’t it a bit early in the school year to be spacing out?” The girl speaks up again before I’ve finished fishing around in my head for their names.

“Well, yeah I guess?” I murmur, as my head floods with even more thoughts. When had we decided to break into group work? Why did I forget to eat breakfast on the only day that it would bother me?

“Nothing’s wrong, right?” The boy cuts in next, as if they’re taking carefully constructed turns to talk to me.

“No, I’m just hungry,” I murmur, sighing and leaning back to look at the ceiling with a pencil lodged in my functioning hand. “I guess we went from syllabus to group work right when my brain shut off.”

I don’t know why this elicits giggles from the two of them, but at the very least it sets the atmosphere at ease when it had been threatening to grow tense. We settle into the work, which is included in the packet we were handed at the start of class.

The assignment is plenty easy enough since all of the material was covered for me last year. I can’t help but feel like there’s no reason a multiple choice questionnaire should involve group work though. Wouldn’t the purpose of an assignment like this be to diagnose any holes in the students’ foundations of knowledge?

Given Nakahara is sitting idly away at her desk I imagine it’s just her way of getting class out of her hair until the next bell. That thought doesn’t sit too well with me, but at least a multiple choice questionnaire is easy enough to fill out with my weak left arm. Having to take minutes to write simple sentences on the first day would be even more embarrassing than my introduction to the class earlier.

Class is over before I’ve even noticed, and the parts of our packets containing the group quiz are sent up the front. Nakahara stuffs them into her desk before rushing off to her next class with a wink and a spot for the track team. I don’t know if it’s possible for a classroom to be any less excited about a club endorsement than after that one, but a choice few seem energized by the announcement.

Right behind her is a young, portly man wearing glasses and looking more than a bit unwashed. This one is Onitsuka, and he teaches Japanese, second only to English as my most hated subject. That said, at least English isn’t taught every day like this class…

I don’t know how it’s possible, but he seems even less prepared to teach than Nakahara had been. Like before we get a handout and have to introduce ourselves. In contrast to Nakahara, he asks for the introductions during roll-call, rather than make them an event fitting to start a manga with.

I’m pretty thankful for that, but it’s going to be difficult to appreciate him as a teacher when he’s teaching a subject I’ve come to abhor so deeply. The situation would be less dire if I actually enjoyed reading true novels, but even those don’t give me something to look forward to here.

Still, it won’t pay to completely tune things out. The second round of introductions is enough to tell me who my partners from last period are. The girl is Anja Fujimoto and the boy is Seto Tsukino.

I hadn’t noticed until her name, but Anja actually seems to be part foreign. It’s very subtle on her face, and she’s considerably shorter than I am, so up until that point it had simply been a strange feeling rather than something I picked up on immediately.

It’s hard for me to really comment much of anything about names, especially when I think of mine, but at the very least nobody seems to have a particularly difficult one to pronounce. Tsurugimine is probably the worst in the class to get right, and her given name is Aoi, which simplifies the matter.

As expected, Onitsuka’s class is even more boring than Nakahara’s as he spends the entire time reading from the syllabus and from a book of poetry. I’m sure he’s affiliated with a club, but I can’t imagine which one it might be. Given his figure, I doubt it’s anything athletic.

Still, it seems I’m not alone in being bored. Notes are practically flying around the room every time he isn’t looking, and he ignores them on the occasions when he looks up from his glasses.

Not a single one of the passed notes heads my way, which is fine. It does mean I yawn a few more times than necessary throughout the instruction before the lunch bell finally rings.

Honestly, I’m all too thrilled to get to eat. I usually don’t mind skipping meals, but today is different for whatever reason. Now that I think about it, it actually has been almost 24 hours since I stuffed anything into my mouth.

“Hey, do you have a lunch Akiyama?” As if on cue, Anja turns to face me, standing up from her desk. Seto is watching our interaction intently.

“No. I was going to go to the cafeteria.” I stand up slowly, my legs a bit shaky since I’ve been sitting for about two hours straight now. Something is bothering me right now but I can’t put a finger on it.

“Wanna go together then?” In an unexpected twist, another girl from across the room walks over towards us with a wide grin on her face, her hair tied up into a ponytail. I can’t remember her name from the double round of introductions, but amazingly enough she’s taller than I am by at least a couple centimeters. That’s a first for Yamaku, then.

Continued...
Last edited by TubaMirum on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gustav Mahler wrote:If you find you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

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