StilesLong's One-shots

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StilesLong
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StilesLong's One-shots

Post by StilesLong » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:39 pm

Blackout

Inspired by http://pascalcampion.deviantart.com/art ... -689944937

Snowflakes blow in swirling eddies past my window, visible only for a moment as they pass through the muted glow of a small candle. My hand instinctively moves to the right side of my face as the thought of the fire enters my mind, this even though I was alone (my boyfriend doesn’t count) in the room! I dismiss it as nothing more than a tic, or an unavoidable physical side-effect of waking up from a nightmare, like the sweat or the racing heart. Nothing to be ashamed of, I tell myself to keep the bad thoughts at bay.

My literary mind draws me to the irony of the situation: a horribly-scarred burn victim sitting near an open flame, after heating a pot of tea with another open flame! Is that more or less ironic than me not owning a single flashlight despite installing extra smoke alarms? I set these thoughts aside and let pride wash over me: five years ago, I wouldn’t have even dreamt of using candles in a blackout, given what happened. It’s amazing what time and support will do for a person.

I look over at the bed to Hisao’s sleeping form, familiar now after all these years. I could trace every line of his face, they’re so etched in my mind. After a moment, I realize I’m smiling a small, private smile. It’s the only reaction I can muster to the happiness, past and future, I hope to feel for him and with him. If I give out awards for most supportive, Hisao would get first place, of course, but how many others have there been?

Natsumi and Naomi from the newspaper club, my best friend Lilly, all those strangers who don’t shy away from the scars that cover my face, back and arm, the countless nurses and doctors who took care of me following the accident, my mother… My eyes tear up at the last, but I wipe them away with measured practice.

Do those who’ve helped me know how much of a difference they’ve made on my life? Will I ever get the chance to return the favour, or even to help others the way I’ve been helped so much? I hope so, but too many of them are like the snowflakes outside my window: they blew through my lives, visible for only a short while. Some would take longer to drift past me but they’ll all slip away on the twisting winds someday. It makes me sad to think that but still, enough snowflakes can eventually make a difference on those around them. They can cause blackouts and create flurries, or even be used to create beautiful art, like snow-sculptures or snowmen.

I wonder for a moment what I’ll do with all the snow in my life, then I laugh softly: my analogy has gotten a little forced. Oh well, aren’t they all? I pull my big blue sweater a little tighter around me then I drink down the rest of my tea to stave off the cold that’s creeping in.

Snuffing out the candles, I plunge the room into darkness. With skill that rivals Lilly’s ability to move around without sight, I feel my way back to the warm bed and climb in. Hiaso stirs, but surprisingly doesn’t wake up; his heart medicine normally plays havoc on his sleep schedule. Wrapped in the warm blankets, I drift to sleep quickly for once, snowflakes still dancing in my dreams.
Last edited by StilesLong on Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Zerebos
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Zerebos » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:21 am

I think this premise is kinda cute! I always think it's fine truly getting inside the head of characters like this, especially someone with complex mental/emotional issues like Hanako.

The writing was fairly good, you had a couple sentences that didn't flow quite right. May have been lack of comma or a comma when there should not have been.
StilesLong wrote:I look over at the bed, at Hisao’s sleeping form.
Stuff like this would read better using a dash instead of a comma.

That said, it's a cute little one shot! Also, welcome to the forum! :D

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Visionary
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Visionary » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:37 am

Hi, and from one newbie to another: welcome!

It seems pretty short at first, but the length works pretty well, given that this is pretty much only describes a moment.
Your poetic and introspective writing style is very nice, and it seems to fit a mature Hanako very well.

There are a few parts where the flow seems to get a bit choppy (or at least, a few points where my internal narration stumbled):
... as the thought of the fire enters my mind-this even though I was alone (my boyfriend doesn’t count) in the room!
I don't think this is how you're supposed to use dashes: I was taught that they always had to be in pairs--a bit like this--but, on the other hand, I do remember doing what you did a few times in my own writing. Personally, I would remove "this" (it seems unnecessary) and go with a comma in this situation.

Your sentences also seem to go on for too long without a comma or a pause at times, especially when Hanako's narrating. It doesn't really affect the meaning, but it kind of makes the sentences hard to read after a while (wall-of-text syndrome, I call it).

All told, it's a very nice look into Hanako's life after the main story.
(Lilly == Shizune) >= (Rin == Hanako) > Emi

StilesLong
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by StilesLong » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:38 am

This one was written surprisingly quickly so I'm not surprised it's a little choppy at times. In addition, the number of edits and rewrites is a little obscene. BUT, that is the danger of writing and the reason for proofreading: to iron out faults. Thanks for your help, both of you.
Visionary wrote:
Your sentences also seem to go on for too long without a comma or a pause at times, especially when Hanako's narrating.
In my headcanon, I imagine Hanako as thinking very complex and elaborate thoughts. She probably knows full well all of her physical, verbal, and psychological tics and once upon a time, I'm sure she would get frustrated over them, rather than amused as I think she is here. She probably also captures the small ironies of her life and finds them entertaining; they are small contradictions and contradictions are what make life interesting. I wanted to put them on paper.

Lengthy sentences are the danger of stream-of-consciousness however. When you follow a character's thoughts, thing can get bogged down easily. Unfortunately, it's a vital tool to really see what a character is thinking at those dark, lonely moments late (early?) at night.
Visionary wrote:
Personally, I would remove "this" (it seems unnecessary) and go with a comma in this situation.
Personal style, so I'm going to leave it in :P Again, I wanted to suggest that she is amused, more than irritated, at her compulsions.

By the way, Zerebos, don't feel left out if I didn't mention your post. You have a point, so I rewrote the offending section.

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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:19 pm

Visionary wrote:I don't think this is how you're supposed to use dashes: I was taught that they always had to be in pairs--a bit like this--but, on the other hand, I do remember doing what you did a few times in my own writing.
Not sure where you're from to have been taught this, but it's not used in the English language that way.
To substitute for commas, parentheses or colons you use am Em-dash which is slightly longer than an En-dash or a hyphen. Some style guides say to use spaces before and after, others say not to use them. I prefer using them to minimize the danger of mistaking them for hypens.
It's possible that some software will automatically convert two regular dashes to one Em-dash which might be where you got that info from.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Zerebos
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Zerebos » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:47 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:To substitute for commas, parentheses or colons you use am Em-dash which is slightly longer than an En-dash or a hyphen.
I have been trying to tell people—the ones I betaread for—about using Em dashes as well with little success. Although, I think what Visionary was getting at was the phrasing of that sentence as opposed to the formatting. :D
StilesLong wrote:By the way, Zerebos, don't feel left out if I didn't mention your post. You have a point, so I rewrote the offending section.
Totally not feeling left out :cry:

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:05 pm

Zerebos wrote:I have been trying to tell people—the ones I betaread for—about using Em dashes as well with little success.
Actually I simply use normal dashes for Em-dashes, En-dashes and hyphens - mostly because I'm too lazy to type some obscure piece of punctuation that isn't even on my native keyboard and because there's zero overlap between use cases, so using one instead of the other cannot lead to misunderstandings.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

StilesLong
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by StilesLong » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:13 pm

Should I be offended or pleased that most of the conversation generated by my post surrounds the correct use of dashes? :P

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Zerebos
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Zerebos » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:33 am

Probably both :lol: I will make another comment on the fic though, I really like the snow analogy for some reason.

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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by Oddball » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:47 pm

StilesLong wrote:Should I be offended or pleased that most of the conversation generated by my post surrounds the correct use of dashes? :P
Well, there's not much to talk abut in the story. It was very short, very to the point, and nothing much happened.

I mean, it was well written and I did like the snowflakes analogy, but otherwise there's not much meat to it.
Not Dead Yet


StilesLong
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Re: Blackout [One-shot]

Post by StilesLong » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:14 am

Oddball wrote:I mean, it was well written and I did like the snowflakes analogy, but otherwise there's not much meat to it.
Fair enough. I was trying to capture those small, idle thoughts I think we all have on occasion. I'm sure everyone has some truly amazing ideas, though I'm equally sure they tend to get over-analyzed and their original point lost. I'm also sure that Hanako would be unable to convey much of what she was thinking to others in words. These late-night thoughts might reveal themselves in her actions (more loving/caring towards her friends), but I don't think they could ever be put into words. They're the product of a set of circumstances and will vanish like smoke on the wind.
Sharp-O wrote:Welcome to the boards, Stiles and thank you for sharing this charming little story. Certainly put a smile on my face after a rough day. :)
Thank you, you're welcome, and I'm glad to hear it :) I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

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Evening (Shizune one-shot)

Post by StilesLong » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:32 pm

Inspired by this image.

“It’s my favourite customer again!”

The girl saw Sachihiro’s lips move, struggled to read their words but smiled anyways at the kind, familiar face. She produced a notebook from her school bag, wrote something down, then carried it to him.

Sachihiro shook his head and repeated himself, more slowly and carefully than he had before. The girl made some corrections, then offered him the note again.

He read it, then spelled out [G-O-O-D J-O-B] with hands more accustomed to stocking shelves and moving boxes than to sign language.

That brought another smile to the her face, one that grew larger when the shopkeeper gave her one of her favourite candies. She flourished her hands about quickly - “You’re welcome,” he replied - then wrote something else in her notebook.

You’ve been practicing

Sachihiro just smiled when he read that. They ‘talked’ a bit about school and how busy things were at the shop, pausing whenever other customers needed his help, always passing notes back and forth to confirm what was said. Eventually, as he knew she must, the girl finally asked about the stray.

The stray cat-more kitten than cat- had been hanging around the Stop-n-Go for a few weeks now. Occasionally she’d allow passers-by to pet her but to Sachihiro’s knowledge, Shizune was the only one who’d ever picked the cat up, a fact of which he knew she was proud. That would make this all the harder, but it had to be said.

I haven’t seen Toshiko in a few days and she hasn’t been eating the food I leave out for her

The girl signed a single, slow word which Sachihiro recognized- sad- and he decided it was time to change the topic.

“It’s supposed to rain this evening, Shizune. You should probably think about getting home soon.”

She looked like she wanted to say something more, then turned and started pulling items off the shelves. She didn’t need much - just some snacks for her cousins’ visit later - but didn’t work with her usual vigour and Shizune was still thinking about the missing Toshiko when she brought her stuff to the counter.

Sachihiro was in the middle of ringing up her purchases when, in the middle of inputting her strawberry-flavoured milk, he paused and looked up at the ceiling. Shizune looked too but didn’t know what he was staring at until the shopkeeper got her attention.

“It just started raining. Do you have an umbrella?”

Shizune nodded, then signed something.

“And a coat too? Oh, a raincoat! Smart girl.”

He handed Shizune her change, then said good-bye.

"Say hello to Akira and Lilly for me okay?"

Shizune nodded, then left Sachihiro’s small store. Between the clouds that had gathered to pour rain and the late hour, it had darkened considerably since she’d entered. Under the overhang, things were dry but beyond, everything was soaked.

She pulled on the raincoat she’d left outside then sat down to put on her own shoes under the dim light of a bare bulb. A small patch of black shadow moved.

Shizune squealed, almost falling on her side as she tried to get away from… a cat!

She squealed again, instantly forgetting her fear. Toshiko!

While Shizune scooped up the small, black cat, the shop’s door opened quickly, narrowly missing her. Sachihiro burst through it.

“Shizune! What-”

He stopped mid-sentence and smiled when his eyes settled on Shizune, holding a reluctant Toshiko tight to her chest.

After a few seconds, Sachihiro tapped his foot on the wooden porch to get her attention.

“I see Toshiko came back.”

He spoke more slowly than he normally did and Shizune nodded immediately.

“I’m glad to see that.”

Shizune had to shift her grip on the cat to sign back.

[Happy.]

Sachihiro smiled at her, then thought of something.

“I’m going to grab her some food.”

He disappeared into his store again, leaving Shizune alone with Toshiko.

She cooed -quietly, she hoped- at Toshiko, whose plaintive meows fell on deaf ears.

Poor cat, Shizune thought when she put the struggling creature down. She was nothing more than skin and bone and she was hurt!

Toshiko stood on only three legs, favouring her right forepaw. The cat took a few hopping steps, then sat back down and meowed. In its injury, Shizune saw an opportunity to get even with Lilly and to help Toshiko. It wasn’t fair that Lilly had Niji, her guide dog, while she had nothing.

By the time Sachihiro returned, Shizune had brought out her notepad again and had written out a couple of pages that she frantically shoved into his free hand. Sachihiro set down the food before reading.

“Call your dad? What for?”

He sounded confused and Shizune grimaced; she’d forgotten to reorder the messages after writing them. She snatched them back, corrected things, then returned them.

Toshiko needs a vet.

Sachihiro looked at Toshiko, who was limping over to the food dish. Understanding lit up his broad face, as did concern.

“Shizune, I don’t think your father will want to pay.”

Seeing her confusion, he held out his hand for the notebook.

I think Toshiko will get better on her own

What he wanted to say was that he didn’t think Jigoro would want to pay the vet bills. He wasn’t even sure Jigoro could afford them, given his new business.

Shizune ignored his inconsistent answer, merely sweeping a hand at the skinny cat who’d already emptied the dish of food and was now licking it clean.

I’ll set food out for her every day

The young girl shook her head at that answer and reached for the pen.

She could get hit by a car. She needs a home,

Shit. Sachihiro hadn’t realized what Shizune’s goal was. He owed it to Jigoro to try to talk her out of this.

Your dad is allergic to cats

Shizune shrugged, scribbled something down.

Not that allergic. There are pills he can take.

Sachihiro sighed. Had he just talked his friend into another expense? It was time to try another tack.

Are you sure you can take care of a kitten? It’s a lot of work

To that, Shizune didn’t reply. She just fixed Sachihiro with an indignant gaze until he wrote another note.

I think you will have a hard time talking your father into paying for Toshiko’s vet bills and for food and litter

Shizune’s eyes flashed and narrowed. She chopped the air decisively and snatched the notepad back from Sachihiro, a man twice her size and height.

Leave my father to me.

Sachihiro sighed again. He considered continuing the argument, then decided that he’d rather deal with an angry Jigoro later than an angry Shizune now. At least he could yell back at Jigoro. He went into his store to phone his friend, marvelling at how much like him his daughter was even at age 8.
Last edited by StilesLong on Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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NoticeMeOppai
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Re: StilesLong's One-shots

Post by NoticeMeOppai » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:03 pm

That was cute. I liked the characterisation of young Shizune, could definitely see her being like that at that age.

StilesLong
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"Commission" for Scratchminus

Post by StilesLong » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:25 pm

Scratchminus wrote:I'll pay someone in love and affection for a fic of Emi calling me a nerd and having lunch on a rooftop
I don't think I'm getting paid for this one but here you are, Scratchy!


"Hey Scratchy," Emi calls as she walks toward him in the deserted hallway.

"What's up, Emi?" Scratchy sounds confused, and no wonder. He's never been addressed by anyone half as popular as Emi.

She motions at him to get closer, then leans in conspiratorially. He shivers with excitement at being so close to a female, then jumps back as she shouts, "You're a nerd," right in his ear.

"Aaah!" Scratchy trips over his feet, falling onto his ass.

"Ha!" Emi laughs, then disappears into the stairwell that led to the stairs. A second later, the lunchbell rings and students spill from their classes, flowing around Scratchy's prostrate form without a second glance.

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