Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 1/25/17)

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TubaMirum
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Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 1/25/17)

Post by TubaMirum » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:01 pm

Hello there everybody!

I'm glad as always that my current big project, "Valse Sentimentale" has been receiving a lot of much-needed attention. Lord knows I'd write something just absolutely dreadful without some helpful guidance, so as always I'm appreciative of what feedback I get!

In any case, I've recently had an idea pop into my head to explore something that I haven't seen too terribly much of when it comes to Katawa Shoujo, the supernatural. Specifically, and at risk of spoiling the first few hundred words of story, I wanted to look at how a certain ghost residing at Yamaku Academy might have some unique adventures of his own.

Actually, in order to dispel all of this cryptic ridiculousness, this is a fiction exploring the existence of Hisao as a ghost bound to Yamaku's roof after his untimely death at the hands(?) of Kenji in Act 1.

This is a lot more experimental for me than my previous, still ongoing story, so feedback is going to be even more highly appreciated here than it has been. I hope you enjoy what I've come up with so far, though! :D

Chapter Links:
Chapter 1: Cold (This post)
Chapter 2: The Cat
Chapter 3: Distractions
Chapter 4: Please Like and Share
Chapter 5: Bubble Bust
Chapter 6: They Did (Two halves)

Fanfiction.net mirror


Chapter 1: Cold

Reality is a cold bitch.

In the past I would append something along the lines of “sometimes” or “when it ruins your day the most,” but the events of the past few years have gotten me over that habit quite convincingly. At the very least there doesn’t seem to be anybody around to dispute the assertion anymore.

So with that kept in mind, I’ll reiterate my statement more boldly.

With conviction and finality, reality is a cold bitch.

The heart attack in the snow was just the beginning. In fact, thinking back on that day when Iwanako confessed to me might just be the reason I’m choosing to use the word “cold” right now. It’s strange considering I don’t even remember it being that much colder than what was needed for snow.

It’s even stranger to think about the sensation of cold itself.

You can’t measure cold, you can only measure heat. Cold is simply the absence of a comfortable level of heat, arbitrary, only useful by mental association rather than as a true, scientific measure.

I suppose the strangest part about the concept of “cold” now for me however is far less philosophical than that.

Since that night, the sensation has become an alien commodity, a distant memory. They say that the past can hurt or even feel as good as the present so long as it’s remembered, but I’ve done a lot of remembering what it feels like to be cold lately.

No amount of thinking is enough to overcome the lack of nerve endings becoming a spirit entailed.

The grand irony of my situation didn’t have a ghost of a chance to escape my observation. In life I never gave any real stock to ghost stories, even when I occasionally let myself be wrapped in the mutual paranoia for the sake of fun. Ghosts weren’t supposed to be real.

How fitting that I became something I never even believed in.

After that fateful day in January, I’d been bound to a hospital bed for somewhere around four months. The similarities between then and now are all too clear to me, and I imagine the sheer speed with which they came by my matchstick of a life has much to do with it.

I don’t remember much about the fall or the moments afterward, but I do remember waking up to bright sunlight and a quiet, sullen atmosphere. It was strange opening my eyes knowing the Sun was too bright for them and still feeling no pain.

At the time I still wasn’t sure where I was and what was happening. There was a me-sized hole in the fence, a crime scene assembled below it, and bouquets of flowers spread all around where the police allowed any kind of contact. I went to inspect it multiple times, but after only a few minutes I found myself back on the rooftop without any memory of what it was I saw.

It didn’t make much sense that I couldn’t visit the spot while it was being investigated, but I imagine it’s yet another cruel twist from reality keeping me from learning the details of my own death.

I tried to run away from it all, to flee the phantom Yamaku where nobody knew I was right there trying to talk to them. I only got as far as the wrought-iron gates that first welcomed me to the Academy before a powerful, magnetic force of some sort kept me locked in place.

I was and still am unable to go anywhere but the places I’ve been to before. The boys’ dorm, the main and auxiliary buildings, the track… All of these have become the limit of my world.

Even considering that, there are still places I can’t go even if I can see them clear as day. I never did visit the pool in the auxiliary building, and even though it’s a large room in plain sight from the halls, I can never cross over the window boundary to be there physically.

I can watch, at least, and I took full advantage of my existence as the perfect voyeur for a few days. Unfortunately, ghostly memory doesn’t seem to work as well for places I can’t visit either, and all I can retain is the perverse satisfaction I drew out of performing the act itself.

Perhaps that’s for the best, honestly. It’s not as if I could relieve stress if I even built up that variety anymore.

Though my hospital stay and now my existence as a spirit have many parallels, it seems my visitors died off even faster this time around than last. I know exactly why this is.

It was the day that my cold reality came into focus. A typical July morning, certainly sweltering and humid from the looks of it, didn’t seem that different from the other days I’d experienced since my death. Only this time, the spot where I died had been decorated again.

The investigation was naturally the first thing to go, within a day of my passing really. The flowers were next, and after that the wind carried off a placard with my name on it. Yet none of those really helped give me the context of my current situation until I saw that envelope sitting with its face up against the small memorial left to me.

Even a second tragic accident wasn’t enough for Iwanako it seems. Her name was unmistakable on the cover of the envelope. If she had had a third chance, I have no doubt now that she would have been the last to truly visit me for it too.

For days I raged at my inability to open or view the letter. At the time, it seemed like the letter was teasingly placed before me, the answer to my regrets in life that would let me move on from this pitiful existence as a rooftop spirit. I begged passersby to no avail, screaming and making unholy clamor in the hopes that they might hear. Instead, they only walked by faster it seemed. It was foolish of me to believe this, but at least it made me think I was able to affect the world around me.

The envelope came and went in a week’s time. I never saw who or what took it away, but ultimately all the mattered was that it was gone. It’s impossible to tell just how much time passed, even if the division between night and day was much clearer outside than it had been in the hospital.

Every waking moment was spent in writhing agony. Sensation may have left me, but the illusion of its existence is a constant. The thought that I could be stuck on this roof for all of eternity, lamenting regrets I can barely remember even now drove me literally insane.

Despite my raging, the roof slowly began to be occupied by students once again seeking a quiet sojourn for lunch or the like. I remember seeing at least a handful of confessions while my seemingly perpetual agony was taking place. I’m sure I would have caught a lot more things than just that if I weren’t busy trying to yell and wail like I’d become some kind of male banshee.

It was all useless for months, possibly even years. I couldn’t tell for certain how much time had passed anymore. The faces were vaguely familiar yet completely unknown to me. It only drove me deeper into the pool of despair.

My routine of making a ridiculous unearthly din was broken seemingly at random. A group of girls had come to the roof for lunch, but somewhere in my tirade I’d bumped against something, a shovel.

I’m not sure what it was even doing on the roof, but there was a strange resistance in the instant that my translucent arm passed through it. Suddenly, it fell loudly to the graveled ground, shocking the group of girls and prompting them to investigate. My insanity gave way to morbid curiosity, and I ran the same arm through the seeming leader of the group…

As it turns out, I only needed some time before I could start affecting the physical world again. I only succeeded in making the poor girl pass out, but the rumor mill must have started in earnest from there.

For the next week the roof was visited even more than usual, but the boldness of these expeditions diminished rapidly as I temporarily possessed their leaders or managed to cause any of their various possessions to act of their own accord. It didn’t take long for rumors of the rooftop poltergeist to completely overwhelm the student population.

The roof has become a lonely place since then. I still get visitors every now and again, and I feel more obligated than pleased to entertain their whims and desire to be spooked. I don’t think anybody has been able to fully enjoy a lunch up here since that first time I discovered my abilities.

Eventually, I was at least able to put a number to the number of years I’ve been stuck here. I’m not sure what prompted the sudden change in my ability to perceive time, but perhaps that’s just a part of the cycle of melancholy that comes with being a spirit.

It should be June again soon, almost nine years to the day that I lost my life falling off the roof. In that time, I’ve learned nothing I didn’t already know about my accident. That particular moment in time is still hazy, though I do at least know who was there and what we were doing.

I wonder how Kenji ended up faring. I find it highly unlikely that he escaped a circumstance like that without getting into some kind of deep shit, yet at the same time I can’t find myself really blaming him. He was more eager to entertain a guest than I thought was possible for such a strange, shut-in man.

While I think about it, how is it even possible that I’ve existed here for half as long as my actual life existed and failed to meet another like myself? For that matter, though I’ve come to haunt the roof I’ve still never once been seen by anybody still living. I shouldn’t be surprised, but there’s something inside me screaming that my situation is completely wrong.

I know for a fact I’m not the only student to have died while still attending here at Yamaku. Frankly, it’s statistically impossible knowing what I do know about the number of students here with life-threatening and shortening illnesses, even if that isn’t a terribly large amount.

For that matter, I should at least be able to be seen by somebody here. There’s no way to scientifically test it naturally, but those closer to death are supposed to be able to see ghosts more easily, right? The aforementioned internal screams try to assure me this is the case, yet I’ve never once been detected beyond my ability to influence objects in the physical world.

I think I know the answer for half of this, though, and it’s something I can only wish I’d realized while I was still alive.

Yamaku Academy is not a place where regrets run rampant.

It’s hardly surprising then that my untimely death would result in this cold reality where I’ve been confined to a lonely existence on the roof. My only week here was an unmitigated disaster. I spent my time doing equal amounts of bumbling, moping, and inadvertently pissing off people while also managing to come off as a willing asshole to boot.

I never really made a friend despite the opportunities. Kenji did his best, but his demeanor was too strange for me then, and it was his efforts that led directly to my demise anyhow.

So now here I am, doomed to another year watching Yamaku Academy go about its business from the roof of one of its haughtily-built buildings. The ultimate irony is that in my own struggle to come to grips with my existence, I’ve repeated history yet again. I’ve driven away any hope at companionship by haunting the roof, all others being spooked away by my behavior and demeanor.

This damned purgatory needs to go to hell.

At the very least I only get to feeling this ridiculously depressed around the anniversary of my death. The week is already nearing its end, and my manner is starting to feel more melancholy than truly angered by now.

It’s not that I’m unused to going long periods of time without visitors, but it would be rather nice to have something. Especially when the day is so pleasant like this, with blustery winds knocking about the few green leaves not quite strong enough to remain on their parent trees.

“What the hell are you getting so worked over, Hisao?” I sigh to myself, hanging off the fencing that had failed to save my life nine years ago. “It’s just another day in the non-life of a ghost, isn’t it?”

I try to tug uncomfortably at my uniform shirt, but the gesture is only successful psychologically. It’s strange that I’ve been able to move shovels and even people for the past several years but not the clothing on my own back. Given there’s no sensation in my body, I’m fairly certain I’ve completely forgotten everything there was to know about my own unclothed form.

I at least remember the scar over my heart, and I look down at it, the gravel of the rooftop visible through the unsightly blemish. I might have forgotten it too, but I must have unbuttoned the top layers of my clothing at some point before my fall. Even still, my shirt usually falls in such a way that it’s covered up.

A sudden gust of wind rattles the fence and causes me to flinch even if there’s no threat of pain or harm. Groaning, I pull away, floating back to the floor level and finding a spot near a bench, paying little mind to my surroundings.

“Nine years, huh?” I murmur to myself again, closing my eyes and contemplating my entire existence once again for a few moments. It’s been like this for nine whole years…

“Since what?” A voice cuts across through the wind, completely out of nowhere.

“W-wha–!?” I jump suddenly, feeling as if I’ve vaulted fifteen feet into the air. Strangely, I remain rooted to my spot despite being able to accomplish this kind of feat with ridiculous ease typically.

“A-ahhh!?” The same voice repeats and there the sound of thrown gravel as my ghostly senses return to me.

Sitting before me is a girl wearing Yamaku’s standard uniform, the top button undone and her ribbon either forgotten or kept away intentionally. Her position appears to have been compromised by our shared reactions to one another, and if I angle my head down a bit I’d be able to see…

Okay, you got over that kind of thing a long time ago, Hisao.

“A-are you okay?” I blink in surprise as I look towards this mysterious girl, before realization starts to dawn on me.

I can’t see through her the same way I can see through myself. Her glasses reflect real sunlight and her long, wavy brown hair is blown about by the wind whereas even my unfortunate cowlick is never affected so.

“Yeah I’m… Ah… This isn’t good…” She starts to reply before something stops her in her tracks. She leans forward to touch at her ankle before wincing heavily. “F-fuck… Dammit that’s not good at all…”

There’s no way this could be happening now of all times, could it?

“Y-you can see me?” I blink, unsure of how else to react even though she’s clearly in pain.

She looks up, looking far less calm than her tone of voice had been suggesting previously. Her eyes are a mixture of fearful and hopeful rolled up with a metric ass-ton of pain.

“I-I guess I c-can…” She starts, but suddenly those same strangely captivating brown eyes roll back into her head, the rest of her body following suit and collapsing into the gravel with a light crunch.

So this is how it is then, huh reality? Nine years almost to the day of my death, and a person finally able to see me injures herself and faints before I can even comprehend what’s happening.

I guess there are colder things you could have done to me today, but I’m standing by what I said earlier.

You’re a stone cold bitch.

You were expecting an OC-free story? Too bad! It was a Tuba story!
Last edited by TubaMirum on Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:42 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Gustav Mahler wrote:If you find you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

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brythain
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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing

Post by brythain » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:55 pm

It's interesting (and will likely continue to be interesting) to compare your writing with some of the other ghost stories we've had so far. Megumeru wrote one about Shizune [LINK], and FluffandCrunch wrote one about Saki [LINK], both with live-Hisao as protagonist. There's the short story I wrote about Hisao-as-ghost, but that's only a short one. There are a number of other ghost-story and pseudo-ghost-story tales around, but I don't think I've seen a long-form Hisao ghost epic before. What a sad set-up though. :(
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: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing

Post by TubaMirum » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:19 pm

brythain wrote:It's interesting (and will likely continue to be interesting) to compare your writing with some of the other ghost stories we've had so far. Megumeru wrote one about Shizune [LINK], and FluffandCrunch wrote one about Saki [LINK], both with live-Hisao as protagonist. There's the short story I wrote about Hisao-as-ghost, but that's only a short one. There are a number of other ghost-story and pseudo-ghost-story tales around, but I don't think I've seen a long-form Hisao ghost epic before. What a sad set-up though. :(
I am somewhat curious what constitutes a pseudo-ghost-story :)

As far as calling this a long form epic, I actually plan to resolve this one rather quickly, at least compared to Valse which may approach 40 chapters once all is said and done. At first I wanted to get through this idea in only three chapters, but I think it's going to take a bit longer than that. :roll:
Gustav Mahler wrote:If you find you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing

Post by kaserkin » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:01 pm

An interesting start! I've enjoyed a couple of ghost stories on this forum, and Hisao being the ghost is an interesting idea. Him being unable to read Iwanako's letter really hit me. I wonder how this will turn up!

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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:59 pm

The irony of Hisao isolating himself from interacting with any route leading to this is fantastic. As Brythain said, there's a few ghost stories haunting the halls of Yamaku (including one of my own, just for a subtle plug) but this is definitely interesting; a more psychological approach than straight-up supernatural.

I look forward to the next part.

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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:39 pm

I concur with the others: an interesting and as of yet little used concept.

Also, your writing style fits a well-read narrator like Hisao better than the OC from your other story.

At the beginning I was expecting Rin to be the person who would be able to see Hisao - of the characters from the VN she'd be the obvious - and stereotypical - choice, but after nine years we probably won't see any canon characters.

Now to see where you are going with this story. What we have so far is no more than a very elaborate setup. Looking forward to the rest.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Chapter 2: The Cat (4/6/2016)

Post by TubaMirum » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:54 pm

Chapter 2: The Cat

I stare at her, my appearance cross and my eyes appraising critically as the overcast sky shifts harmlessly above us.

I would’ve thought a week of meetings might change how our rooftop interactions went, but it seems I just can’t get it into my mind that somebody is actually here, able to see and hear me.

“Why do you keep coming back here?” I muse, trying to sound menacing like a proper haunting spirit and probably sounding more like an exasperated teacher.

“Because the roof is here..?” She fidgets in her spot nervously, looking down at the gravel in an attempt to negate the ire being directed her way.

“You’ve said that every time I’ve asked you the past four days. What the hell does that even mean?”

“I-I w-well…” She looks back up to me through those medium-thickness, homely glasses of hers. They’re a strange choice considering she’s hardly that visually impaired, certainly not legally blind.

“Spit it out!” I howl suddenly, causing her to jump off the bench. Before she can settle herself back down, however, I reach a pale arm forward and into her body. For a moment, I remember sensation.

“W-wait what are you..?” She blinks in surprise, making another one of those faces combining about three different emotions all at once. I’m beginning to think they’re her trademark.

I nod dully along and end the moment after only a few seconds, looking to the girl with some concern in my brow rather than apathetic annoyance. She seems to have recovered from the other day rather decently, but the way she blushes tells me she’s able to piece together just what I did all too well.

“Your ankle is still hurt. Why are you coming up to the roof even though it’s taking this long for it to recover?”

“T-that’s my own business…” Again with the stuttering. Is this just how she talks, or am I legitimately this disconcerting? If it’s the latter, then why is she still coming here?

“Your business is my business now, girl,” I glare at her, taking a seat against the bench adjacent even though I don’t actually rest against it. “Tell me why you keep coming here.”

“I told you already not to just call me girl… I have a name…” The stuttering seems to disappear when she’s annoyed at least, but I’m still struggling to piece together what’s going on here.

“Right, Kaede,” I spit and roll my eyes all too visibly. There’s no reason to hide my own distaste for these exchanges at this point. “Will you please explain your inexplicable propensity for visiting a vengeful rooftop spirit even though doing so is physically painful because of your injured ankle?”

The blank look I draw from her is all too fascinating, and it’s all I can not to burst out laughing at it. Have high school kids really regressed this far that such simple words are completely bewildering...

Actually, you know that sentence might have been a bit cruel for a first-year student after all.

“Why do you keep coming here if you’re so clearly uncomfortable around me and climbing the stairs is such a difficult thing?” I clarify, wondering if the interest in books I developed late in life was some kind of karmic joke meant for this exact moment in time.

Kaede is able to cling onto these words far better, taking a moment to contemplate an answer. There’s something vaguely familiar about this pause, but I can’t exactly place what that is.

“I can’t help being curious alright?” She finally admits with a defeated sigh, looking towards me with a saccharine pout that instantly melts my menacing façade.

“Curious about what exactly, here?” I frown despite the sudden shift in tone. This is only the third time she’s come by in total, but this is the first time we’ve had an exchange this lengthy.

“You’re a ghost! How could somebody not be curious about that!?” Her face suddenly turns into one of genuine disbelief, leaning so closely towards me now that I reel slightly even if personal space has been a complete non-concern for me the past nine years.

“Normal people would see a vengeful spirit and never return to the spot they saw them.” I insist stubbornly, but the shake of her head as response defeats any hope I had of winning there.

“I’m not exactly something you’d call normal,” She mutters under her breath, her demeanor sinking noticeably. “Well… I guess it’s just. I’ve always kind of been interested in the idea of the supernatural. I never would have thought the stories about a ghost on the roof here would be true.”

“You’re not alone there.” I mutter in response, but allow her to continue.

“Um, well… I guess I’m just curious about… How this came to be?” The concern in her voice is hard to place exactly, but as I look through those ugly frames of hers, I can see her eyes have a fearful tinge.

“How I became a ghost?”

She nods solemnly, the fear only seeming to increase now that I know exactly what she means.

“Y-you don’t have to say anything,” She murmurs, the anxiety of her eyes leaking into her voice now. “I-it was just a curiosity, so–“

“I’m not going to shout you off the roof for a question like that.” I groan, closing my eyes and shaking my head as the dots click into place. Is she worried that talking about my past is somehow going to trigger some kind of nasty reaction out of me? The dead don’t have time for things like that, insane or not.

“So… How did this happen? How did you come to be?” I look back up to see Kaede staring at me, the glimmer in her eyes an entirely new expression. It’s slightly unnerving, actually.

“I well,” I blink, stopping myself from blundering through an answer before continuing. “I don’t exactly know myself. I didn’t exactly think ghosts and the like existed before I died…”

I look to her for some kind of response, but she instead nods along enthusiastically for me to continue.

“I guess it was just kind of…” I scratch the back of my hand in a reflexive manner, but my words hang me up. I think I might have been lying to myself before. I can’t just admit everything like this, can I?

“Kind of what?” She tilts her head, morbid curiosity in those huge amber orbs of hers pulling me into a response.

“I mean,” I start to stumble for words again as the memories of my last night of life flood into my head again. “I was up here at a time I really shouldn’t have been… I uh… I guess I just couldn’t tell exactly where I was and then the fence gave way…”

The morbid curiosity only seems to grow, and she doesn’t seem the least bit put off by how potentially graphic my descriptions could get.

“That’s about all I really remember. I fell for a bit, and I landed suddenly on the ground. It wasn’t awkward or anything but,” I swallow, biting my lip. I haven’t thought about this other aspect of my past life in a while either. “I might have been fine if it hadn’t been for my condition…”

“Your condition?” She parrots after some careful consideration, her face only now transforming back into an ashen sheet.

“I had arrhythmia,” The words I haven’t said in over nine years, yet have never fully left me. “I didn’t find out about it until a few months before I died, actually. There was… Well, I was out in the snow and suddenly had a heart attack. I was in a hospital for four months afterward.”

Once again with the veiled origins Hisao? You’re an even worse liar to yourself than you ever were to other people.

“I see…” She murmurs, looking down to think about it for a second and looking visibly shaken. I’m not surprised she’s taken aback, but this extent seems almost an overreaction.

“I ended up here. It was supposed to be a new life and everything but,” My voice catches again and I feel a twinge of guilt coursing through me. “I blew that. I lasted all of a week here before I went and did something stupid enough it killed me…”

“So, you’re Nakai then? Hisao Nakai?” Her response is completely unexpected but the guess is hauntingly accurate.

“I… Yes, how did you know?” I look at her with a raised eyebrow, suddenly feeling a bit suspicious. On the one hand it’s hardly surprising somebody interested in ghosts might have done some small research about people who’ve died here before, yet even keeping that in mind I’m struggling to understand how she would be able to learn something like my name.

“Well,” She murmurs and starts to fidget suddenly, biting her lip before seeming to convince herself of what she’ll say next. “I um… My older sister actually went to school here at the same time as when you got here. She was a first year back then.”

I blink in disbelief for a moment, gathering myself before trying to clear my confusion.

“How would your sister know me? I was a senior then…”

“You were also a transfer student. That’s always news at Yamaku Academy. Even bigger news is that you died in an accident a week into your time here. Even my airhead of an older sister wouldn’t forget something like that…” The way she treads carefully around her words should suggest she’s hesitant to harp on her sister like this, but I’m somehow getting a feeling she’s masking something else.

I just laugh along. The irony is too disgusting for me to react any other way.

Kaede for her part seems confused by the reaction, even if I’m certain my laugh is as bitter as one can be.

“Well, it’s good to know I’m famous then. I guess that means the secret of Yamaku’s rooftop poltergeist has been solved by you. Congratulations!” I start to clap my hands together but alas no noise is made without physical contact between them.

“W-wait, wha–?”

“You’ve figured out what you wanted to figure out, right? Now you don’t have any reason to keep dragging yourself here while you’ve got an injured ankle on top of whatever else you’re dealing with.”

“Wait, that’s not why I’ve been coming he–“

I’m not in the mood to listen. I feel some sort of mad instinct taking control of me, compelling me to shoo this troublesome girl off the roof.

“Don’t forget your cane this time either.” I sigh, groaning low moving over towards her again and reaching out a pale arm. Before I can reach her again, she reels.

“W-wait please don’t do that again! I-I may not be… U-um, that is… Hahh…” She’s stumbling over words again, but it’s become annoying again rather than charming.

“Spit it out already!” I continue to press forward, pressing her even further backward.

Oh, what is this feeling? Is this what they call déjà vu?

“I-I’m still a girl y’know! Suddenly losing control and having somebody inside me that way…” She stops suddenly, allowing me to close the distance though I don’t carry through with my endeavor.

Instead, I hover in front of her with a bewildered expression and bright pink blush on my cheeks.

“H-hey, it’s not something dirty like that! I just…” I start on a defense, but the way she’s worded her concerns has me in a knot. No Hisao, it really is that bad, especially when you’re blushing like this.

“J-just don’t touch me again, please…” She whimpers a bit, looking up and seeming a bit less distressed than before. Her chest is heaving rather noticeably, and she’s eying her cane resting against the bench where she left it, the sturdy variety for support rather than guidance.

Here is where I would normally reach forward anyway. I’m a ghost after all, and I do as I please. It’s become my charge as a vengeful spirit to assure the roof is a lonely, haunted place after all.

Something is giving me pause though. I take a moment to contemplate just what that is, from the heartbreaking expression on her face, to the distress in her voice, but I know the answer.

Kaede’s back is pressed against the fence surrounding the roof of the building. It’s not the same spot from nine years ago, and the fences have all been reinforced in my time as a ghost no less, but it’s still plenty to get me going.

I turn about suddenly and with a massive flourish as guilt rocks me. Even in those moments of introspection, the one thought dominating me was simple and morbid.

“Make her feel what I did…” I murmur under my breath, collapsing into a shape like a ball on the same bench and feeling a wave of depression rush over me.

Just what the hell was I doing there? Trying once again to scare away the only company I could ever hope for up here on this cursed roof, and for what reason? Some petty sense of satisfaction at seeing somebody else suffer for a bit? Why do I keep doing this shit to myself?

This is my punishment, isn’t it? Doomed to deny companionship for the rest of eternity…

I pause, my thoughts suddenly as a pair of brown loafers cut into my line of sight accompanied by the sound of crunching gravel. I look up to see Kaede, leaning forward with a nervous and uncertain expression on her young face.

“I-I’m not going to just leave because I know what happened to you…” She pauses for a moment and it takes me more than a few seconds to remember what it is she’s struggling over.

“Hisao. You can call me Hisao,” I say simply, swallowing and looking up at her before blinking. “W-wait, Kaede if you lean any further forward you’ll–“

My warning is too late as the gravel underneath her very suddenly shifts and those amber orbs of hers shoot wide open, filled with fear. There are at least a few other emotions mixed in, but fear is the dominant.

Without thinking I brace myself even as it’s unnecessary. Kaede starts to pass through my body, just before there’s the sudden thud of her against the bench…

There’s no thud. The hurried, frantic sounds of falling dissipate suddenly and silence mingles amongst us for a few moments. Only the sound of the light breeze and the smell of looming rain accompany us…

Wait, smell? That can’t be right…

I open my eyes again, looking up towards Kaede as she’s framed against the overcast day sky. She looks back to me, her unsightly frames knocked loose by the impact of colliding with my arms.

She hovers there with my translucent appendages passing into her corporeal form, looking bewildered and partly fearful but mostly relieved. Without thinking, I float forward a bit and start to right her posture until she’s able to stand comfortably on her own.

We stay there for an amount of time I couldn’t begin to adequately describe, equal parts fleeting and long-lasting. Our eyes are fixed upon each other’s throughout, the lively sparkle in Kaede’s eyes capturing my attention throughout.

“I-I…” She suddenly starts to speak, and I realize her cheeks have burst into flame, both from the color of red they’ve turned and from the fact that she’s sharing the sensation with me.

“I..?” I angle my head curiously, too frozen to the spot to do anything but watch her.

“INEEDTOGOBYEHISAO!” She suddenly yells before she turns on one foot and heads for the exit without any concern for the wellbeing of her ankles.

“W-wait, Kaede!” I gasp as the motion pulls me along towards the solid door leading to the stairs…

Or rather, it seems like I’ve been yanked away from her body and am now floating dumbly in the air as she flees with cane in hand. Her glasses were forgotten, of course.

I only stare for what feels like a fair ten minutes at the door after it slams shut. In all my years of possessing people like that, I’ve never been able to do something like stop them from following the laws of gravity.

For that matter, I’ve never been pulled off a possessed individual by force without wanting to let go of them myself, even in the most extreme of circumstances.

“What the living hell was that?” I mouth to nobody in particular, looking up and frowning as the sky finally starts to open up, pattering against the gravel and coating her forgotten glasses in water.

Kaede Tadamichi is quite the curious figure, indeed.

It's out of the bag, for better or worse. :D
Last edited by TubaMirum on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 4/6/16)

Post by brythain » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:26 am

A cat-heartic experience, indeed. :D
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: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 4/6/16)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:47 am

I stare at her, my appearance cross and full of appraisal as the overcast sky shifts harmlessly above us.
I don't think "appraisal" is something an appearance can be full of, because an appraisal is an action. Were you going for appreciation? Apprehension?

I was going to comment that it was strange for Hisao to be so hostile to the first person he could talk to in nine years, but then he noticed the irrationality of his behaviour himself :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 4/6/16)

Post by TubaMirum » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:03 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I stare at her, my appearance cross and full of appraisal as the overcast sky shifts harmlessly above us.
I don't think "appraisal" is something an appearance can be full of, because an appraisal is an action. Were you going for appreciation? Apprehension?

I was going to comment that it was strange for Hisao to be so hostile to the first person he could talk to in nine years, but then he noticed the irrationality of his behaviour himself :-)
I was going for appraisal but it didn't get worded quite right :D

Hisao's reactions are going to be an intriguing thing to play with throughout this story. He was able to see how irrational he was being this time and stop himself, but the irony of his behavior is completely intentional.
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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 4/6/16)

Post by Dash9 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:02 pm

Hello,

Just wanted to stop by and let you know you have one more follower of this story. I haven't read your main story yet, I'm not sure if I'll do so this evening or save it for my trip this weekend but either way, it's currently on the top of my list.

I guess I have one question about THIS story:
The reveal of Kaede's name and connection to Hisao's time in the school via her sister seems pretty significant in this story, would it have more significance if I read your main work, or is it just a standalone plot point?

One of the main things that currently stands out to me is how you've managed to point my curiosity towards whatever it is that girl is hiding. I have a few theories, but no real degree of certainty about which direction this is going. Very well done!

Looking forward to your next update, thanks for sharing this with us!
--Dash

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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 4/6/16)

Post by TubaMirum » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:33 pm

Dash9 wrote:Hello,

Just wanted to stop by and let you know you have one more follower of this story. I haven't read your main story yet, I'm not sure if I'll do so this evening or save it for my trip this weekend but either way, it's currently on the top of my list.

I guess I have one question about THIS story:
The reveal of Kaede's name and connection to Hisao's time in the school via her sister seems pretty significant in this story, would it have more significance if I read your main work, or is it just a standalone plot point?

One of the main things that currently stands out to me is how you've managed to point my curiosity towards whatever it is that girl is hiding. I have a few theories, but no real degree of certainty about which direction this is going. Very well done!

Looking forward to your next update, thanks for sharing this with us!
--Dash
I've actually been planning to use her almost from the time I introduced her. It's only really significant in that readers have a little connection between the two separate works, but otherwise I planned from the get-go to focus on her interactions with ghost Hisao. The story's title is going to be explored quite extensively, and that's all I have to say about it right now.

Thanks though for reading! Thanks everybody for reading, really! There's no greater encouragement for me right now than seeing people care enough to comment on things I write about for my own personal enjoyment 8)
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Chapter 3: Distractions (5/3/16)

Post by TubaMirum » Tue May 03, 2016 12:12 am

I took a risk in my characterization in this chapter, so hopefully things aren't too wildly tangential to what I already established.

Chapter 3: Distractions

It’s been a week since Kaede last came to the roof.

In all honesty, I’m surprised she even made the trips she did last week with that hurt ankle of hers. That was quite a point in our interactions now that I think about it, yet the girl was stubborn about wanting to interact with me.

I did try to justify that the festival that killed me was going to keep her busy for the ensuing weekend, but there was a bit of disappointment when she didn’t show up the two days after. I think those ought to be Monday and Tuesday, but I’m not sure if they’ve made any changes to how the festival is organized or not. Fireworks are about the only sign I have to go off of that establish the anniversary of my death, but naturally the calendar date I died on doesn’t always happen on Sunday.

There was some consideration on my part to try to find her, but it seemed at the time that I would just end up bothering the one person who could see me in a crowd of those who couldn’t.

Oddly enough, even when I consider that reasoning now though, it doesn’t seem to quite hit the nail on the head for my motivations. I feel like I should be working as hard as I can to stay in contact with my only human interaction for the past nine years, yet I can never work myself to do so.

Come to think of it, I came to the realization earlier just what was happening, didn’t I? Is this just another extension of being forced to drive away those I could consider companions?



The more I think about these things the worse I feel myself slip back into depression. Just a month ago a week like this would have passed without incident for me, but now it feels like yet another eternity to suffer through.

Maybe I ought to consider all of this a good thing? I can’t shake this desire to get more out of all this sudden excitement, I guess.

Her glasses still rest where they fell into the gravel, a few scratches to the lens and frames about the extent of the damage to them. I haven’t really seen through Kaede’s eyes, but it’s still confusing she would need such thick lenses when her vision seems so generally normal. I might be ascribing a bit too much consideration to her ability to see ghosts, though.

Come to think of it, is she able to see other ghosts besides me? I haven’t had a chance to ask, and I’d be more than a little surprised if she couldn’t. I’m convinced a ghost should be able to see another of their kind, so there’s no real way to test her abilities without asking her myself.

Speaking of her curiosities, why is it that she needs a cane? It’s clear she’s not the most balanced individual I’ve ever met, and she was certainly taking her sweet time recovering from that hurt ankle, but as far as I can tell she’s not hobbling all over herself just to walk. She did successfully climb the stairs to get to me, after all.

The more I dwell on this the less coherent my imagined answers become. I wasn’t exactly lacking for knowledge in life, but I was certainly less than informed when it came to the kinds of issues that might land a person here at Yamaku. I didn’t even know what arrhythmia was until I had it myself, after all.

What’s the worst that could happen if I go wandering around Yamaku again? There’s always a chance we won’t come across each other, and if we do meet then I doubt she’ll be upset about not having to climb a flight of stairs just to see me.

“Right, enough moping.” I sigh, letting myself stand and then leave the ground a few centimeters behind, phasing easily through the fences surrounding the rooftop.
It’s actually quite late, the Sun only as relatively high in the sky as it is thanks to it being near the dead middle of summer. Still, it’s low enough to color the otherwise bright green landscape a verdant variety of orange, strangely reminiscent of fall. It’s certainly picturesque, something that I couldn’t legitimately care less about normally. Tonight is little different, save for the fact that I’ve actually noticed it.

This might be progress, or I might just be letting myself become too easily distracted.

It’s certainly the latter, I decide. I had something to do and somebody to find, and here I am barely a few meters from my permanent worldly residence getting distracted by not only the landscape but also the mere thought of getting distracted.

Stop it, Hisao.

Strangely vicious cycle that it is, I nevertheless manage to get to ground level, hovering a few inches above the ground and bobbing lazily as I moved along. To call it walking would be inaccurate, but calling it floating has always felt equally strange. I guess I’ll never get used to the sensation or, rather, the lack thereof, of still having legs and yet having absolutely no need for them.

Yamaku is more than a little deserted at this hour. The festival came and went, and now there’s absolutely nothing resembling a good reason for anybody to be out and about past club hours. The only humans I encounter are a group of boys coming back to Yamaku from the gates, likely from a visit to town for groceries or a lazy sojourn to one of the restaurants there.

Come to think of it, hadn’t I visited one such restaurant in my measly week spent here? Why do I get the impression that going there is some kind of Yamaku pastime when I’m struggling to remember the place’s name? It was something oriental…

“Again with the distracting thoughts, Hisao? Keep looking!”

I groan the last part out loudly, not really concerned about my voice for obvious reasons, but what is surprising is that I receive a response of sorts. Not too far from me is a familiar little yelp, muffled slightly but certainly easy enough to hear. I start to look around, but Kaede is nowhere to be found.

In fact, she’s uncannily so. Even after checking bushes and the like for what feels like a minimum of five minutes, Kaede doesn’t show up anywhere on my visual radar. Have I gone crazier in my nine years of ghostliness than I first thought?

“I guess I really am going crazy…” I finally murmur, stepping away from another bush and looking around the school grounds without any more luck. Why would I just randomly hear her yelping like that if she isn’t anywhere around?

Strange, but at least I’m cognizant of how strange it is. That’s a good thing, right?

I turn about one more time to appreciate my surroundings. I’ve managed to get myself to the dorms, the entirety of my search taking place around them, which I suppose makes sense given the length of my “walk” here. Still, I wouldn’t have expected to get here so quickly. My inability to pay much attention to what I’m trying to do certainly colors that expectation differently.

In the time I’ve spent looking around for Kaede the Sun has started to near the end of its journey past the horizon, and it seems increasingly likely she’s in her dorm already for the night. I should have guessed this would have been a total sham.

I return about to the point where I first heard the yelping, sighing when I see no place to sit. It’s not as if I can truly relax or rest in this state, but at least I can pretend. Oh well, I can just pretend to lean against the wall for a while and watch Yamaku’s vibrant nightlife… I can’t believe I even managed to finish that sentence in my head. It’s just the end tag that’s inaccurate though.

“Guess this was a sham.” I sigh finally, turning away from the building and starting to float off towards my unfortunate rooftop residence. Only, I barely get a step away before I freeze in my tracks.

“Boo.”

“W-what!?” I gasp and jump back a meter or so, my other senses far behind my hearing. Well, I suppose in this case the only other sense I truly possess is eyesight given smell, taste, and touch are gone save for when I’ve possessed something.

“Gotcha.” The same voice continues and I’m able to make out a smirk through the confusing haze of images appearing before me. I didn’t realize that it was possible for my vision to end up like this, but strangely enough the sensation is familiar. Eventually, the blur fades, revealing who else but Kaede Tadamichi, leaning forward with a new pair of red glasses and owning an impossibly adorable grin.

“How in the world did you manage to sneak up on me?” I blink, staring back at her, noting she’s not in the Yamaku uniform for the first time since I’ve met her, instead opting for well-fit sweat pants, a blue button-up top and a pink cardigan.

“Hmm… It’s a secret~,” She muses for a moment before putting a finger to her cheek, looking to the dusky sky. “Anyway, it’s payback for scaring the shit out of me in my dorm earlier. How’d you even know I lived right here?”

The way she’s inclining her head seems to suggest that the window we’re standing in front of belongs to her room. Of all the strange coincidences…

“I didn’t, actually. I guess I just got lucky.” I sigh, bowing my head in defeat. This was not how I expected her to be acting by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not based on our previous interactions on the rooftop. Where did this strange confidence run off to when we talked the first few times?

“Lucky? You were looking for me then?” As soon as I’ve appraised this confidence however it seems to diminish just a touch, Kaede’s voice becoming shakier, if only by a bit.

“I might have been,” I frown, crossing my arms and looking across from her. She looks about the same as she always has, her new pair of glasses a lot more fashionable than the pair that has taken residence on the rooftop with me. “I figured I’d scared you off forever.”

Kaede takes a moment to process, the look on her face incredibly difficult to read. Is this curiosity? Contemplation? That seems likely, but of what?

“Well… You didn’t exactly,” She shrugged, sighing, the barest hint of red apparent in her cheeks. Actually, now that I think about it, the red has been there from the beginning to some extent and overall Kaede looks a bit flushed. “But let’s just say staircases and I aren’t getting along right now…”

“That’s something I’ve definitely gathered,” I murmur, faking a rub of my temples and opening my eyes to see Kaede has turned her gaze from me, a pout on her lips. It takes me a moment to comprehend exactly what it is I might have done. “S-sorry I just…”

“Don’t apologize,” She snaps her head back to me, her voice probably more venomous than intended given the way her eyes widen afterward. “Well um… I guess it was inevitable you would have noticed something. At the very least you would have suspected something considering where we are.”

I open my mouth again to try and form words, but all I manage is a faintly guttural noise before I give up on the venture. Nothing I say as a response seems like it will alleviate or otherwise help the situation, so it’s better to just let this awkward silence pass between us. It shouldn’t last too long, right?

“Hisao?”

“Ah?” I blink, shocked out of my apparent stupor again by Kaede’s voice. I’m not sure exactly how long we’ve been sitting there just awkwardly standing around but…

“You want to go inside? It’s um… Well, it’d be weird if somebody saw me out here, y’know?”

“Understood,” I nod, and fully mean my statement. A lonesome girl out at dusk talking to nobody but clearly having a conversation of some sort… Even I understand the social suicide being caught in that situation could possibly entail. “Um, where to though? If you can’t get up the stairs and all…”

“Well, since you came and found my room.” Kaede starts after a moment’s thought, though even I’m having trouble finding her quick conclusion that innocent given her previous reactions to my “touch.”

Speaking of which…

“Well, that’s just the thing, Kaede. I can’t exactly go into the girl’s dorm.” I say plainly.

“Huh? Why would you be worried about,” Kaede starts, confused about my concerns before something clicks into place, her fingers snapping excitedly at the realization. “Oh! Right, I guess if you never went before… Hmm…”

“Isn’t there some place in the main or auxiliary building we could go?” I offer, but this gets a solemn and noticeably tired nod.

“I think I might literally collapse if I have to walk that far. Besides, that would be just as weird as just standing out here to talk…” She frowns, starting to feel genuinely disappointed in the prospect of not getting to talk to me. I’m not sure how or why I made the leap from being the cause of trembling anxiety to warranting such a fervent discussion of where to talk, but I’m certainly not ready to complain just yet.

I’m running short of ideas at this point. It’s clear she’s been physically exerting herself already to some extent, but I’m genuinely hurt to see her simple wish for conversation defeated by circumstance.

Thankfully, she seems to have an idea herself.

“Maybe I can just open the window and we can talk that way?” She nods to herself, hardly even directing her voice my way.

“Wouldn’t that be just as weird?” I give her a look of disbelief, but Kaede simply resumes by wagging a finger playfully in my face. Again, where was this behavior previously? Is this what exercise does to her? She’s not really sweating that much, but it’s all I can fathom for a reason why.

“Not at all! There are bushes that hide my window just enough that it won’t matter!”

I suppose I don’t really have a choice in this matter either, but it seems reasonable and I genuinely do want to enjoy some conversation again.

“I guess I’ll see you then. This window, right?” No use mentioning I’ve never been able to fully remember the details of events I’ve witnessed from beyond my sphere of existence, but there’s always a chance being an active part of those events will change that presumption.

“Yeah! It’ll be a few minutes then. Probably a few more if the window takes a minute to open… Ah, it’ll be fine. See you in a second, Hisao!” She grins again, the same as when she first greeted me tonight. It’s an adorable little sight as unexpected as it is.

As promised, the window right across from me starts to open about five minutes later, a rather surprising time given the distances involved. Even before it’s opening, I can see Kaede on the other side, offering her a wave and chuckle as she rushes to open up.

It’s a rather pleasant night all around us, I realize. There’s a light breeze that’s quietly dispelling the haze of the day, or so I imagine, and the moon is near full and out in splendorous glory already.

Kaede has buttoned up her cardigan, the sleeves just long enough that she can claw the bottoms to pull them even further over her hands. It must be cold inside the girl’s dorm if she needs a cardigan in the summer, however thin that might be.

“Hah… I forgot I set the AC so low… It felt good before but now…” She groans, her teeth threatening to chatter though I doubt such a reaction is anything but a cutesy fake.

“I wouldn’t know,” I frown, not really having anything to say about it. “I haven’t felt cold in a long time. I think I might have forgotten what it feels like.”
Kaede looks out at me, looking a bit introspective and then looking a bit hurt, guilty perhaps. The way she wears her emotions so plainly on her face, even when they’re not always easy to read, is starting to become an all-too recognizable trait.

“Sorry, didn’t mean for it to get all,” Hisao you piece of shit, don’t–“chilly in here…”

Dammit.

At the very least I can’t die of embarrassment any more.

Wait a minute, is Kaede… laughing?

“K-keh… You’ll have to try harder than that… P-pfft…” Kaede is barely able to contain herself her glasses removed now as she takes a spot on her bed. My pun wasn’t any good, how is this happening?

“It was a pretty cool pun, wasn’t it?” Dammit tongue, stop with this embarrassing madness.

Instead of stopping dead, Kaede starts to laugh louder, rubbing her temples and grinning happily. A new weakness has been revealed it seems.

“Ugh… That’s so not fair,” She pouts, unconvincing given how she’s still trying to laugh at my ridiculously awful puns. “They’re not even good…”

I simply shrug, holding myself back from more. Where the hell did I get this uncontrollable urge to be obnoxious from anyway? Clearly nowhere useful considering how poorly these lines were delivered.

“So why’d you come looking for me anyway?” Kaede finally collects herself, sitting on the edge of her bed, her legs crossed and kicking back and forth. There’s some anxiety apparent in it, but overall Kaede seems to be more comfortable than I ever imagined her being capable of.

“I got bored,” I start, trying my best to rest on the awning but having little success. Damn these ghost rules. “That and your glasses are still up there.”
“Aren’t they broken? I have a new pair already anyway, the others were…”

“Not terribly flattering?” I butt in, wanting to bite my tongue again.

“Yeah,” She smiles, pulling her legs up slowly to her chest and hugging them. “And those weren’t even my backup pair or anything. You should’ve seen my mom when I decided to go with the current frames.”

I didn’t really think they were that wildly different, but the frames were considerably less thick and weren’t an ugly matte black like the pair she lost. Still, if a change of glasses had her mother in shock, I can only imagine what other things she could do to get a rise out of her family.

“They certainly look a lot better,” I shrug, closing my eyes and putting my back to the window, trying to lean in but to little avail. “They don’t look completely out of place like the others.”

“Yeah…” She says again, the tone behind it mysterious enough that I can’t decipher it. Wanting to find out, I turn and look at her, the girl staring off at her own walls, seeming to be a bit spaced out but not seeming entirely unfocused either. For the first time I’m starting to gather some detail about the interior of her room, but for the most part it’s rather plain and unassuming for a girl’s room. The only thing I’d say is out of ordinary is the desk, but only by virtue of the kaleidoscope of orange and white plastic adorning it.

“You sure you’re alright? How much did you push yourself earlier?” I frown, the long silence starting to grow uncomfortable now that I’ve started to trail off in thought.

“Oh! No I’m fine, just ran out of things to say… Um…” She bites her lip, her reassuring words derailed instantly by her apprehensive appearance in the immediate aftermath.

“Um?” I feel anger rising up in me and I start to feel something familiar about this. Her difficulty in expression wasn’t easy to adjust to, but surely it shouldn’t it be this hard, right?

“Sorry! I uh… Ugh, okay,” She groans, leaning forward and rubbing her forehead again before looking up at me, still clutching her knees to her chest. “Let’s forget about that train of thought for now. I’ve been thinking a lot, Hisao. About why you’re still around and all that.”

“Thinking and researching too from what you already know about me.” I add on, chuckling but waving it off so she’ll continue.

“Well… I am one of Yamaku’s resident nerds,” She blushes, seeming strangely prideful of that little statement, though I have nothing to say about it. “But what I’ve found out is pretty consistent with what I thought was going to be true with you anyway.”

“What exactly are you talking about? You already know how I died and all that but–“

“I’m not talking about that, Hisao,” She sets off her bed, walking or rather hobbling over towards me, her cane carefully in hand as she settles against the windowsill. “I’m talking about what’s keeping you tied to the world like this. It’s not normal for somebody to stick around after they’ve died.”

“How do you… Y’know, never mind. It’s probably best I don’t know.” I sigh. Somebody seems like they’ve been watching too many episodes of ghost hunting shows.

“I subscribe to a few occult newsletters and all,” Wait a minute, what happened to not wanting to know? “But you’re missing the point here, Hisao! Ah… Hold on…”

Her train of thought is interrupted by a loud buzzing, the cellphone already up to her ear before I’ve had time to even process what’s happening to halt our current train of thought. It figures that the plague of cellphones would only grow in the years since my death, but I say nothing at risk of sounding like an old man.

“Hello, this is Kaede Tadamichi… Kaori!? It’s been..! Mmm… Mhm… Ah, really?”

This is more than a little obnoxious. I wonder if I can reach inside enough to touch her… Hmm, no dice there it seems. I guess she’ll fill me in.

“Well I’ll look forward to it! I haven’t seen you in so long… Um, yeah. Mhm… Alright, bye!” She closes up her phone and turns to me. Rather she pulls it away from her cheek and sets it on the table without any need to close it up. “Sorry about that, Hisao. Where were we?”

“Who was that?” I tilt my head curiously, not sure if it really matters.

“Just a friend from therapy. I um… Well, I’m actually kind of surprised to hear she’s still doing alright, but she’s coming to Sendai for a lesson with my sister and they decided Yamaku would be the best place to do it.” She starts talking at a mile a minute and I have to rush just to keep my thoughts collected.

“Hold on hold on,” I sigh, raising a hand, the invisible barrier keeping me from extending as far as I’d like. “Is any of this actually relevant…? Aside from–”

“That’s she’s from therapy and doing alright to my surprise?” Kaede’s voice breaks the flow of conversation, a bit of a meek sound considering how factually she states this.

“S-sure…” I blink, feeling the ghostly equivalent of my heart sinking into my chest.

“You’ll find out in time,” She smiles suddenly, a bit morbidly in my view, before moving to the windowsill, close enough that she could reach out and grab me at any point in time. “For now, let’s talk about how we’re going to get you to pass on, alright?”

I can’t fathom a reason to fight this development, but this path you’re going down is not going to be a game, Kaede Tadamichi.

Who's ready for a game of "Spot the crossover?"
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Hesmiyu
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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 5/3/16)

Post by Hesmiyu » Tue May 03, 2016 1:44 am

Spot the crossover?

My guess is Kaori from Shigatsu wa kimi no uso, am I right? :)


I quite liked this chapter, did have to rack my brains what other two were but that's my fault :P.

Have fun with the future chapters :).
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brythain
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Re: Regrets - A Post-Bad End Musing (Updated 5/3/16)

Post by brythain » Tue May 03, 2016 9:43 am

As amusing as always, so far. Hisao as ghost-person is far more entertaining than Hisao as 'everyman'. :D
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