Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

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Hoitash
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Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:50 am

I LIIIIIIIVVVVVVVEEEEEEE!

Now, Ilya… oh right, I gave her the weekend off so she could trick-or-treat with Megumin. That totally won’t blow up in my face later.

Well, guess I’ll have to outsource this job. WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD! TROPES FOR THE TROPE THRONE!

Okay, serious time. Ladies, mentlegen, and mole people, I present to you:

Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories


Waiting within the stuffed animal strewn dormitory room of a particular student of Yamaku stood a short young woman with black stockings, long red hair, and a frilly black and purple coat over a cream colored blouse. A large purple and black pointed hat completed the witch’s outfit.

On the dormitory’s lone bed lay an auburn haired girl with dark green eyes dilated far too wide for normality, her bare feet dangling over the edge of the bed while her empty arm sleeves flapped lazily in a breeze that had no business existing. Glancing briefly at the bed’s occupant, the witch turned to the far wall, grinning.

“Behold!” she declared, “It is I, the mighty witch Wilbell voll Erslied! Tremble in awe before my mighty magic! Just kidding~!” the girl assumed a cute pose, winking briefly before explaining, “It’s just me, Emi Ibarazaki, your favorite running girl with a route-”

From somewhere beyond the dorm came a shout of, “Hey I heard that!”

Emi turned toward the door and shouted back, “Sucks to suck Gaylord!”

“Oh you did not just steal my catchphrase!”

“It’s not your real catchphrase so it doesn’t count! Anyway,” Emi turned back to the far wall, her smile much less cutesy but still earnest, “I’m here in my room with Rin to help out the Writer because he’s busy drinking-”

Working. I’m busy working.

Emi frowned and glanced up at the ceiling briefly before continuing, “Anyway, Rin, introduce yourself.”

Rin slowly rose from the bed, her eyes wide and mouth hanging open slightly. Facing the opposite direction of Emi, she slowly declared, “I can taste colors.”

Emi sighed as Rin slowly fell back onto the bed, “As you might be able to tell, Rin is tripping balls on codeine again, and apparently she’s caused something Professor Mutou called a ‘timey-whimey ball.’ As a result she’s completely distorted the time-space continuum, or something, which is why the fourth wall is a shattered mess in my dorm and I’m wearing a costume from a character in a game that premiered in 2013 even though it’s currently 2007. So because the Writer is a dick-”

Harsh but accurate.

Emi glowered at the ceiling again, “Hey! You called me in to take over for your loli wizard apprentice; the least you could do is let me do my damn job!”

I’m supervising while I drink. I mean work. I am quite the multi-tasker, you see.

Emi rolled her eyes, “Fine. Ass. Anyway, since the Writer is busy ‘working’, Rin and I are going to showcase a series of short stories fitting the Halloween season in his stead. It woulda probably made more sense to post them on a weekly basis, but by the time the Writer thought of that it was too late.”

My bad, folks.

Emi sighed, rolled her eyes, and continued, “Anyway, our first story involves a certain Shrinking Violet in the tea room, having to deal with inner demons and the importance of a good cup of tea… did Lilly write this?”

No, it was Iroh. The story was up his sleeve the whole time.

Emi rolled her eyes, “No wonder you needed my help for this. Rin, send ‘em the story.”

Rin slowly waggled her left big toe, and the room dissolved away to reveal an entirely new scene.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:51 am

Part II:

Every now and then I found myself having lunch alone in the tea room. For whatever reason, the small size of the room only registered when I was alone. It went from being “cozy” to being “small”. When I was alone in the tea room for lunch I tended to eat quickly and grab a book to focus my mind on something.

One day, though, something happened, something I never told anyone else about because I really didn’t need to give people more reasons to question my mental stability. Alone in the tea room and having finished my lunch for the day, I reached into my bag for a book.

“Not having tea today?”

I paused, my hand in my bag. It sounded like someone said something, but I couldn’t be sure.

I looked toward the door, “L-Lilly?”

“Oh, you can hear me! I thought you might. Guess I’ll have to thank him for letting me out after all.”

I pulled my hand from my bag and focused on the door, although the voice didn’t seem to be from there. It almost sounded like it was coming from the air vent, and, having heard it for sure that time, the voice did have an echo. The echo sounded like someone shouting in a room devoid of furniture or carpet, though, not like someone in an air vent. Besides, Emi was the only student who could even hope to try and fit in the ducts, and I doubt even she could do it.

“I-I’m s-sorry, w-who are y-you?” I asked, the strangeness of the situation making me anxious, “And w-where are you?”

“I’m in the vent,” the voice –definitely a girl’s voice- replied, “and my name is Chiho, but you can call me Chi.”

Something wasn’t right, and I didn’t know what, and because of that I could feel my mind shutting down in panic. Before things got worse I quickly grabbed my bag, hopped out of my chair, and stepped toward the door. I was hearing voices and they were talking to me and I definitely needed to see the Nurse or maybe find a quiet spot in the library or Lilly where was Lilly no don’t depend on her you just needed a moment in the library…

“Aww,” the voice pouted as I reached for the door’s lever, “please don’t leave. The Occult Club finally let me out and I found someone to talk to. I have to go back after lunch, so could you please~ stay?”

“I’m h-h-hearing v-voices,” I stammered, “I’m h-hearing v-voices in the v-vents from another c-club and it m-makes it s-s-sound l-like they’re t-talking to m-me.”

“Sure, whatever keeps you here. Rin overdosed on codeine again and she's talking to you as if she was a different person."

The statement triggered a vague memory of mine. Lilly mentioned that earlier in the year Rin got sick and took too much cough medicine, and as a result when one of the members of the art club went to check on her -a student from Class 3-3- she ended up kissing him full on the mouth in her addled state. That memory and the voice's remark, absurd as it was, gave me something to focus on, and the burgeoning panic attack started to fade. Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths. When I opened my eyes again, I looked up toward the duct vent.

“Feel better?” the voice asked.

“I… th-think so.”

“Good. So, want some tea? I’d offer to make it but I’m apparently in another room and high on cough medicine."

Managing a brief twitch of a smirk, I took a few more calming breaths before walking over to the tea making equipment. After all that, a cup of tea sounded like a good idea anyway.

Lilly kept a lot of tins and bags in the room, and seemed to select whatever tea she wanted on any given day on a whim. Perhaps people from the UK had a Sixth Sense for picking out the perfect tea for any situation.

I jerked my head side to side and muttered to myself, “I’m starting to sound like Kenji.”

“Setou?” Chi asked, “I like that guy –he can hear me, too.”

“I’m going to ignore that,” I said aloud, “do you have any preference for tea?”

“Nope!” Chi replied, “Does it matter?”

“It can,” I replied, “Lilly’s explained it to me several times, but honestly its one of the few things I tend to tune out when she talks about it. As far as I’m concerned, tea is tea.”

“Tautology is tautology,” Chi agreed.

I smiled briefly before settling on a simple black tea. Picking something to drink did not need to be so complicated.

I sighed and started the electric kettle, “I should talk to her about cutting back the selection. As it is exams are getting closer and we won’t be able to come nearly as often as before.”

And then we’ll be leaving Yamaku, out into the real world. I suppressed a shudder at the thought, barely.

“Yeah, exams suck,” Chi declared, “any idea where you’re going for college?”

I sighed, “Somewhere local, I think. Part of me would like to attend with Lilly and Hisao, but part of me thinks I should go somewhere else, and part of me finds that idea terrifying.”

“Gonna have to fill in the blanks here Ikezawa-san.”

Ignoring how she knew my name when I hadn’t given it, I rolled my eyes as I readied a cup for the water, “If I can call you Chi you can call me Hanako. But not Hana –only Hisao can call me that.”

“Ah-hah!” Chi exclaimed, “Blanks filled in. Anyway, from what I know of Lilly she means well, and she hasn’t tried to have me Exorcised, which is cool. Hisao’s a dork, but if he’s your dork, don’t knock it. Did he get you that hairpin?”

I reflexively touched the silver hairpin I used to pull back my bangs when I felt comfortable doing so. Lowering my hand, I smiled and nodded to myself.

“He did,” I replied, “I… I love him, a lot.”

“So go where he goes if you can,” Chi stated, “He’s the science nerd and you’re the one over-thinking things? Gross.”

I frowned, added the teabag to the cup, and poured the water, “There’s over-thinking and then there’s over-simplifying. I choose to think over my options carefully and thoroughly, and not barrel through life like Misha or Emi.”

“Now be nice, they have issues too,” Chi said, “but we’re talking about your issues, not theirs –although Emi can probably hear me, but I haven’t had the chance to check. Nakajima is a real jerk about keeping me locked up. Anyway, you love Hisao, right?”

“Yes…” I replied, glancing up at the vent despite myself, “I said that not a minute ago.”

“Leave the snark to Hisao,” Chi griped, “and you love Lilly, right?”

I nodded, “She’s basically my sister,” frowning slightly, I added, “even if she acts like my m-mother sometimes.”

“Yeah we’re not touching that. My point here is you’re strong enough to tell them to back off, so just go where they go if you can.”

“It… can’t be that simple. Can it?”

Chi snorted, “Hey, have I ever let you down before?”

I pouted up at the vent as I grabbed my tea, “You’re a ghost kept locked up by the Occult Club.”

“No, I’m Rin having a multiple personality in her overdoes state, remember?”

I sighed and blew on my tea to cool it down, “R-right. L-lunch will be over soon, you know.”

Chi sighed, “Yeah, I need to head back soon. Enjoy your tea.”

“Thank you… will I see you again?”

“Technically you haven’t seen me yet, but I meant what you knew,” Chi replied, “and honestly I’m… not sure. I’m thinking of Moving On soon, so… we’ll see.”

“Alright, well… goodbye? And thank you for the company.”

“You’re welcome, goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.”

Smiling at the parting reference, I listened silently for a few moments, but heard nothing more from Chi. Sipping my tea, I mulled over our conversation, making a mental note as I did to never discuss it if I could avoid doing so.

As for Chi, I never heard from her again. I wished I could’ve talked to her later to tell her things worked out well. Maybe that’s why I finally told someone. Hopefully she’ll get the message; whatever choices I’ve made, I can only learn from them as I move forward.

+++

And now Emi sounds like Mio from K-on! to me (she also voiced Wilbell for the Dusk Atelier games.)

Anyway, we’re back. To me as me, not me as The Writer, if that makes sense.

Does your head hurt yet? Because mine does, and I don’t think it’s just the Wild Turkey. I mean I’m only two fifths in and we got at least three more stories.

Anywho, we’ll be right back after these messages from Binford.
Last edited by Hoitash on Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

Toothless
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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Toothless » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:07 pm

After surviving getting run over by his own baneblade, he bring us yet another awesome story.

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:16 pm

Toothless wrote:After surviving getting run over by his own baneblade, he bring us yet another awesome story.
CREEEEEDDDD!

I got at least three more locked and loaded, too. Oops, better get on that.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Oddball » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:42 pm

Hanako talking with a ghost is far more believable than students smoking weed in Japan. That just killed the story for me.

Japan has no tolerance for marijuana and even a single joint will usually get you a five year jail sentence, and people are VERY quick to call the cops on you for that sort of thing. Then there's the public shaming that will follow.

I was looking forward to your typical Halloween output here, but that one just didn't do it for me.
Not Dead Yet

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:47 pm

Excellent points. TOO THE EDITING MACHINE!

...There. That will hopefully work better. Or at least not worse.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by WillDfly » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:09 am

Short and sweet. Always appreciate it and can't wait for the next ones.

but we’re talking about your issues, not there’s
*theirs

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:50 am

WillDfly wrote:Short and sweet. Always appreciate it and can't wait for the next ones.
Thanks, I'll do my best :)
but we’re talking about your issues, not there’s
*theirs
Whoops, thought I got over that. Fixed and thanks :)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:24 am

Emi shook herself like a wet dog, causing her hat to tilt awkwardly. Righting it with a careful push of her hand, she turned and beamed at the ravaged remains of the Fourth Wall.

“Hope you all enjoyed the story! Honestly, ghosts in Yamaku,” Emi rolled her eyes, “everyone knows ghosts don’t exist.”

From the depths of her bed Rin slowly rose, a confused frown on her heavily drugged features as she said, “Really? Then how come at Obon you-”

Emi glared at Rin, “Not. Another. Word.”

Rin slowly blinked and settled back into the bed.

You okay?

Emi shivered lightly and nodded, “I’m fine.”

Please, I’ve played your route at least four times. You never say that when you’re actually fine.

Emi glared up at the ceiling, “If I wanted a psych evaluation I’d talk to Miss Yumi!”

All right, all right, calm your tits. Here, there’s a strawberry tart in your underwear drawer. Enjoy.

Emi blinked up at the ceiling, “What?”

Consider it a gift. You can eat it now or later, up to you.

Emi continued to blink at the ceiling for several moments. Slowly, she walked over to her dresser. With a quick grab and pull she opened the appropriate drawer. A strawberry tart, packaged as if straight from the bakery, sat atop her clothing.

Emi closed the drawer and blinked furiously. She opened the drawer. The tart remained. Closing the drawer again, Emi looked up, gaping at the ceiling, “How…?”

I’m The Writer, remember? I’m the second most powerful being in this story. Well, third if Mutou is actually the Doctor. Me and Rin are effectively gods right now.

Emi sighed and rubbed her forehead, “I hate this job so much. Alright!” Emi looked to the far wall, smiling like she just hadn’t had to repress anything even as a vein near her hairline throbbed unnaturally, “Our next story-”

“Wait.”

Emi sighed and turned to Rin, “Why?”

Rin once again rose from the bed, her unnaturally wide eyes focusing on the door. Slowly, it started to shake and tremble, the lever slowly clicking as if someone were cautiously attempting to open it.

Emi, too, turned toward the door. The lever started clicking louder, and in response she glowered up at the ceiling, growling like an angry terrier, “What the fuck are you doing up there?”

Drinking and working. I thought we established this.

Emi pointed at the door, “Then what the fuck is that?”

Rin’s distortion is temporarily aligning with a similar distortion in another universe to create a temporary harmonic convergence.

Emi rolled her eyes, “In Japanese you jerkwad!”

Wow, rude. Fine, you want it plain, here it is: you have an incoming guest.

“And you can’t stop it?”

Hell, no. I’m a wizard, not a sorcerer. True Magic is beyond me.

Emi threw up her hands in anger, “What kind of god are you then?!”

Rin frowned and pondered aloud, “What is a god to a non-believer?”

I said effectively a god, as in Clarke’s Third Law style. And calm down, Kanye, I’ll let you finish later.

“Grrr…” Emi clenched her fists and barked at the ceiling, “You nitpicking, quibbling, sanctimonious ass!”

Hey, I am not sanctimonious!

Before anymore could be said, the door burst open. Instead of the outside hallway, there existed only a swirling blue fog, thick and smelling faintly of cough syrup. Entering from the fog, wisps of it cloying to her long raven hair, appeared a thin Caucasian woman of slightly above average Western height. Wearing a simple purple dress and black vinyl coat, the woman scanned the room as the door slammed shut behind her.

This….,” she said in English, “is not the Bronx.

Oh shitsnacks I’m going to get Squatted.

Emi blinked at the foreigner, struggling to comprehend the scene and utter some semblance of a greeting. Eventually she managed to say, “Um… hello?

The woman blinked at Emi, her eyes slowly widening in apparent comprehension.

Holy shit...Ahem,” collecting herself, the woman slowly bowed, “Hello, you must be Emi Ibarazaki. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

Emi raised an eyebrow at the woman, “Um… have we met?”

The woman stood up, smiling faintly, “No, but my girlfriend mentioned you a few times. Hello, Tezuka-san.”

Rin slowly blinked at the foreigner, “Rin is fine. I feel converging harmonies is sufficient intimacy for this level of address.”

The woman raised an eyebrow but nodded, “Very well. Oh, my name is Lynda Long. It is a pleasure to meet you both… what year is it?”

“Uh…2007.”

Lynda blinked at Emi, “But… you’re wearing the Escha & Logy version of the costume.”

Emi shrugged, “I know. So, who are you, exactly? Wait, girlfriend? Are you Miki’s girlfriend from the future?!”

From outside the dorm came another shout, “I will kick your ass Shorty!”

“Save it for the track Lefty!” Emi snapped back.

Lynda glanced behind her, then to Rin, then to Emi, then back to the door, “I… don’t suppose I can just leave? I seem to have stumbled upon some sort of multi-dimensional anomaly.”

Yeah no you’re stuck here until another convergence.

Lynda looked up at the ceiling, “The fuck was that?

Hi, I’m The Writer. You’re welcome for finally moving the USM timeline forward.

“Thanks…wait, what? Ugh,” Lynda started rubbing her forehead, “My head hurts.”

That’s the Fourth Wall breaking within your mind. It’s fine.

Lynda raised an eyebrow at the ceiling, “Huh?”

Emi sighed and waved at Rin, “Rin overdosed on codeine and broke reality.”

Side effects may include headache, nausea, and out of character behavior. Which in hindsight is no different from your meds, really.

Lynda glanced to the far wall, ignoring the voice above as she mused, “That explains the wall and how I got here, I guess. Is it all right if I stay?”

Emi nodded, “Sure, have a seat. I’d offer you snacks or something but all I have is rice crackers and bottled water.”

“I’m fine for now, thank you. Oh, please pardon the intrusion,” Lynda bowed again.

Yep, I’m dead. Deader than disco on Mars.

“Oh go drink or something,” Emi grumbled.
Last edited by Hoitash on Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:25 am

Part II:

Lynda, shaking her head slightly as she removed her coat, gently moved one of the stuffed bears on Emi’s bed so she could sit on its edge, putting her roughly in line with Emi. Rin, blinking once at the foreigner, slowly sank back into the bed.

“Um…so…” Emi balked, “I’m kinda doing this thing right now, is it okay if I keep going?”

Lynda tilted her head slightly, trying to hash out the rapidly squeaked Japanese. Once she had connected the dots, she nodded, “Yes, please don’t let my presence bother you.”

Emi smiled at the foreigner, “Relax, okay? It’s Halloween! Well almost.”

Lynda smiled faintly and nodded.

Emi grinned and turned to the far wall, but the door shook again before she could say anything.

Growling at the door, she asked, “Now what?”

“Squats,” Rin declared, “they want a new codex and The Writer’s heart on a spit.”

Knew this was gonna happen. Good thing I’m a motherfucking wizard with a broken bottle and a crazy straw.

“Okay….” Emi shook herself again, readjusted her hat once more, and turned to the far wall, “Okay! Our next story is a light-hearted sojourn into the inner workings of the Occult Club! Yours truly makes an appearance, so you know it’s gonna be good! Rin, do the thing!”

I shall ride the fury road shiny and chrome! WAAAAGGGHHHH!

Lynda looked up at the ceiling, blinking.

Emi sighed and rubbed her forehead, “Rin, now would be good.”

Rin once again lazily waggled her left toe, and the world dissolved and reformed.

==

“I can’t believe you used rock twice in a row,” Emi grumbled next to me.

I rolled my eyes, “Hey, it’s a legitimate strategy.”

“Whatever,” Emi muttered, “let’s just get this done.”

I nodded, “That’s the plan.”

Emi’s discontent could be attributed to two very simple problems: Misha and Shizune. Specifically, one of the clubs was in dire need of cleaning up its room, but with the third-years recovering from exams and only a handful of first and second year students in said club–most of whom claimed medical issues in the one school no one batted an eye if you did- the soon to be former Student Council duo pawned the job off on us by waiting for us outside the Nurse’s office after our morning run. I mean drafted the first two students they found for the job.

Naturally Emi and I stood our ground; we did our bit for our clubs, so why help some lazy club whose members didn’t care enough to clean up? Shizune, inspired, challenged us to a game of rock-paper-scissors to get us to go. If we won, two free dinners at the Shanghai. If they won, we helped the club.

The rest is pretty obvious to figure out from there.

“I don’t even know anyone in the occult club,” Emi continued to complain, “do you?”

I shook my head, “Not to my knowledge. Speaking of, it’ll be interesting to see their club room, at least. If a fourth of the rumors about them are true I might be able to start a new field of science.”

Emi smirked and rolled her eyes, “Nerd.”

I returned her smirk with my own, “Jock.”

We bantered back and forth the rest of the way, until finally the door to the occult club loomed before us. Well, it would have if it had been closed. As it was the door stood open, allowing us a chance to look inside before entering. Though most of the room remained obscured, I could see a girl holding several stacked boxes in front of her. The boxes blocked her face, but her white hair clued me in to who the person might be, so I stepped into the room to address her.

“Rika?” I asked, “Is that you?”

The girl set the hopefully light boxes on a nearby desk and turned to face me. The perky, red eyed albino, her white hair in its usual braid, grinned at the two of us.

“Hey Sempai!” she chirped. Beaming at Emi –still several paces behind me in front of the room’s threshold- she added, “Hello, Ibarazaki-Sempai!”

Emi puffed with pride at being recognized as she stepped next to me to greet the energetic second-year.

“Hello!” Emi chirped back, “Are you a member of the occult club?”

Rika nodded, “Yep! I’m Rika Katayama, nice to meet you.”

Emi turned to me, one eyebrow raised in silent accusation, “You said you didn’t know anyone from the club.”

I shrugged, “I didn’t know she was a member.”

Rika and I had crossed paths a few times to and from the Nurse’s office. As it turned out we had similar conditions, and Rika’s advice on the subject had helped me a few times. We never really hung out because she was a second-year, and so our conversations tended to revolve mostly around video games and health issues.

Rika grinned in response to my remark, “I’m a ghost member!”

I sighed and rubbed my temple, “I’m sorry Emi- I should’ve seen that coming.”

Emi grinned, “It’s fine. I’m glad someone from the club is actually helping.”

Rika sighed, “Nakajima-Sempai kept nagging me and the other second-year kicked my butt in Mario Kart, so here I am.”

I raised an eyebrow, “You lost at Mario Kart? Did the other guy toss your controller out the window?”

“I got screwed by RNGesus,” Rika grumbled, though she rallied quickly as she added, “but anyway, I’m glad the Dynamic Duo sent someone to help.”

“More like coerced, but either way we’re here,” I said, “Whaddya need us to do?”

Rika looked around the room, and I found myself following her gaze, giving me a chance to appraise the club room properly for the first time.

Built like every other classroom, the desks stood out first, because instead of rows they sat clumped together in triangular groups spread out across the class, except the empty center where faint traces of various patterns remained on the floor. Shelves lined the far wall and the wall beside the chalkboard by the door. The shelves by the chalk board looked full of labeled boxes loaded with books. The shelves on the far wall, though, had all sort of various esoteric devices.

The Ouija board, 8-Ball, and paku-paku seemed reasonable enough, as did the metronome. The large black box covered in Latin on the bottom shelf seemed a bit much, and the rest of the shelf’s contents looked like stuff from Dumbledore’s office, and what they did, I had no idea. Under the closed and curtained window sat a row of cabinets, their surfaces clean of any random items, though I had no idea if the drawers themselves had already been emptied.

Having completed her scan, Rika focused on us and explained, “Since the club’s pretty small they tend to bring in a lot of personal stuff to help with activities. Now that it’s the end of the year I need to sort club items from personal items, return the personal items, log the club items, and get approval for said club items to remain in the club room over break. I also need to make sure none of the books are library books which should have been done weeks ago but no one did it so now I have to do it.”

Emi blinked at the rapid response. You’d think as high pitched and chirpy as she was, she could handle it when someone else fired back the same way.

Fortunately I was used to it from both of them, so I recovered first, “Let me guess,” I said, smirking as I added, “you’re the club secretary now.”
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:26 am

Part III:

Rika grinned, “Just until the rematch! For now could you give me a hand with the books? Whoever packed them apparently didn’t expect the girl with a heart condition to get saddled cleaning house.”

I glanced down to my fellow senior, “You got this, Emi.”

Emi blinked at me, then Rika, then back to me, “What?”

I pointed to myself, “Heart condition,” I pointed to Rika, “heart condition,” I pointed to Emi, placing my hand over her head and pointing straight down for emphasis, “books.”

Emi looked up at my finger before sneering down at me. Or up, rather, “Considering the sounds I’ve heard from Hanako’s room, I seriously doubt you’ll have trouble with a few books.”

“Oh that’s what that was,” Rika said.

“Hey that was Hanako most of the time!” I snapped.

A moment’s silence ensued as the two girl’s eyes widened, and it took me a few moments to realize why.

I… said that out loud… didn’t I?” I asked, in the vain hope I was wrong.

Emi grinned, “So she’s a scratcher and a screamer?”

I hate being right sometimes.

“Ikezawa-Sempai?” Rika asked, her eyes shining and cheeks slightly pink, “No way!”

I groaned and covered my reddening face, waving my other in front of me to try and make them forget, “This conversation never happened.”

Rika snorted, “Sure Hisui, sure. Should we move along while we’re at it?”

“Huh,” Emi grunted, “So you’re a nerd, too?”

“Um… maybe?” Rika asked, shrugging as she added, “Not nearly as nerdy as Sempai, though.”

Lowering my hand and attempting to scrape the remains of my dignity from the floor, I cleared my throat to get their attention so we could get back on track.

“Moving on,” I said, “I’ll help sort the un-boxed books if they haven’t been already, okay?”

“Those are already sorted,” Rika replied, “You could give me a hand sorting through the drawers, though –there’s all sorts of crap in them and I have no idea what most of it is. Ibarazaki-Sempai, could you grab the boxed books? Those still need to be sorted.”

I nodded and walked over to the cabinets set under the window, while Emi looked to the nearest bookshelf, the highest boxed books silently mocking her. Rika followed me, and, against my better judgment, I asked the last question I ever thought I’d ask until I started working with Kenji.

“Emi,” I started, “how did you know Hana’s a scratcher?”

Emi and Rika both rolled their eyes, “The Nurse, obviously.”

I sighed and rubbed my forehead, “I really need to remind him I know how to make explosions.”

Rika grinned, “He’s in control of your meds, though. Do you really wanna play that game?”

“Fair point,” I conceded, “so, first drawer?”

Rika opened the drawer nearest to the right wall, its contents a mish-mash of things best described as stuff.

I raised an eyebrow at the drawer’s contents, “Why is there a potato battery attached to a rubber chicken?”

Rika shrugged, “No clue. I have no idea whose it is, so you want it for the science club?”

“I’ll… think about it,” I glanced at Emi, “You okay over there Emi?”

Emi continued to glower at the books just out of reach, “Why did the jerks put the books in a box and back on the shelf? Shouldn’t they just have sorted them while they boxed them?”

“You’d think so,” Rika concurred, “do you need a hand?”

Emi shook her head and started rocking back and forth, “I got it.”

Rika opened her mouth to say something, but I raised a hand to stop her.

Rika frowned and leaned over to whisper, “Does she actually got that?”

I glanced toward Emi as she started reaching for the highest box, her fingertips barely touching the lip as she hopped in place.

“Probably not,” I muttered, “but there’s no point telling her that.”

Rika raised an eyebrow, then, after taking a moment to observe the shorter girl’s determination, nodded in comprehension, “Gotcha.”

We watched Emi continue to fight her short stature with all the grace and dignity a short girl who couldn’t properly stand on her tiptoes could muster. Eventually she managed to clasp the edge of the box, and with a triumphant “Ha!” pulled the box forward.

As someone well versed in the laws of motion, I could tell you in technical detail how that turned out, but here’s the layman’s version: the books in the box shifted forward, causing the box to leave the shelf faster than Emi expected, and before she could compensate the box hit her square in the chest, missing her head thanks to lack of velocity. The force of the box, combined with her off-balance stance just to reach it, sent her falling back into the floor. Fortunately she didn’t hit any desks on the way down, though she did somehow end up with an open book on her face.

“Holy crapbaskets are you alright?!” Rika gasped as she dashed over to help Emi.

Knowing it’d take more than that to K.O Emi, I just raised an eyebrow at the albino, “Crapbaskets?”

“Mfff,” was Emi’s eloquent reply to Rika’s question.

Rika knelt down next to Emi, covered in books like some sort of weird librarian’s kinky dream. I walked over as well, kneeling down to pick up the fallen books. Fortunately the box survived the fall.

“You okay?” I asked.

“’m fnne,” Emi replied.

I sighed and grabbed the book off her face, “Didn’t catch that, but I’m guessing it’d take a lot more than that to keep you down.”

Emi groaned and sat up, “I’m fine, and thank you oh so much for your concern, Hisao.”

I rolled my eyes and smirked at Rika, “See, she’s fine.”

Emi glowered at me, “Jerk.”

I ignored her and closed the book that had been on her face, looking at it properly for the first time. The book looked more like a journal or log, with a simple blue cover. The back was blank, but the front cover had a crucifix made from those little studded craft gem thingies glued in place.

“Hey Rika,” I said, “does this belong to one of the club members?”
Rika, busy picking up the books and placing them back in the box while Emi hauled herself up, didn’t answer right away. Instead Emi leaned over to look at the cover, one of her twintails tickling my nose in the process.

I leaned back while Emi snorted.

“This girl got middle grader syndrome or something?” she asked.

“Huh?” Rika finally rejoined the conversation, “Oh, that’s Takanashi-Sempai’s. She was club secretary so it’s probably a club activities log or something. Oh, and she’s the real deal –goes to church in the city and everything.”

“Huh,” Emi grunted, “I thought Lilly was the only Christian here. That’s gotta be a record.”

Intrigued, both scientifically and from simple curiosity about the club, I stood up and opened a random page. Dated at the beginning of the year, I started reading aloud:

“’Bad convulsions today, had to miss a week of class’ –shit,” I closed the book and shoved it at Emi, “this is a diary!”

Emi took the diary and immediately opened it. Rika proceeded to reach over her head and grab the book from her.

“Sempai!” she chided, “What the hell?”

Emi spent a moment realizing the book was no longer in front of her, then turned to face the second-year, “You’re right –you should read it.”

Rika raised an eyebrow, “What.”

“What she said,” I added, “if you caught me reading someone’s else’s diary you’d shove one of your legs so far up my ass I could do a headstand. Come to that, who even keeps a diary anymore?”

“People who enjoy the tactile sensation of writing?” Rika offered.

I opened my mouth, closed it, then opened it again, “Did you just make a Stargate reference?”

Rika grinned and nodded. Emi, however, glowered at the second-year.

“You can’t tell me you don’t wanna know if the rumors are true?” she demanded.

Rika’s eyes lit up as she asked, “Wait, you heard that, too?”

Emi rolled her eyes, “Everyone has heard it, even Hisao, and he practically lives under a rock.”
Last edited by Hoitash on Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:27 am

Part IV:

I raised an eyebrow at the runner, “You know I can hear you, right? And that I’m standing right behind you?”

Emi ignored me and continued pestering Rika, “Besides, as the current secretary, you have a duty to understand your previous secretary and how they worked in order to maintain the continuity of the records. The best way to do that is reading her personal writing style.”

I sighed and rubbed my forehead, “You’ve been spending way too much time with Kenji.”

Emi continued to ignore me as she eyed Rika, “Well~?”

Rika sighed and rolled her eyes, “Fine, but I’m only doing this for the club, and not because I wanna know if the rumors are true and maybe sell the info to the school paper so I can get a new laptop.”

My forehead rubbing intensified, “You all need the God-Emperor.”

“Ooh!” Rika exclaimed while flipping through the book, “I found it! ‘Finally got out of the hospital, so my classmates wanted to go to the Shanghai to celebrate, but only Nakajima could make it in the end. We stayed and ended up talking for hours. He asked if we could do something like that again, and I said yes.’” The excitable second-year pumped a fist in victory, “I knew it!”

Emi shook her head in denial, her twintails nearly slapping me in the face, not that she noticed.

“No way,” Emi declared.

“Yes way!” Rika retorted, “Takanashi-Sempai and Nakajima-Sempai are totally dating!”

Emi snorted, “No way it’s true! Naoto has a stick so far up his ass he burps cedar scent.”

I smirked and ceased rubbing my head, lest it worsen my cowlick.

“Yes way!” Rika flipped through a few pages, scanned it, then turned it around and nearly shoved it in Emi’s face, “This page is where they go on an actual legit date and it even has little pink hearts in the corners of the page!”

Emi scanned the page and let out a breathy, “Wow…” collecting herself, she asked, “What the hell does she see in him?”

I reached into the box and pulled out a random book to flip through, as I had nothing to contribute to their investigation and, more to the point, didn’t care –they weren’t my classmates or clubmates, after all. Besides, Kenji had told me about their relationship weeks ago during one of his rants. I only remembered it at all because he actually split a pizza with me that time.

“Huh,” I grunted to myself, “this guy’s use of echo-location on paranormal activity is actually based on legitimate research….”

“I’m looking, I’m looking!” Rika declared, reluctantly dragging me back into the two’s impromptu mystery theatre even as the two continued to ignore me, “Let’s see… ‘with exams looming I need to focus on studying, but I can’t stop thinking about him. Should we keep seeing each other? We’re both going to try for the same university, but to what end? We’re both on borrowed time, and he’ll outlive me by at least a decade-” Rika closed the book with a snap, “okay! Let’s sort these drawers!”

Emi swallowed, “Um… wow…”

Closing the book I’d been skimming, I put a hand on Emi’s shoulder. She jumped at the contact and looked up at me, apparently finally remembering I was in the room.

“You okay?” I asked, knowing the answer but asking for sake of propriety.

“I’m fine,” she insisted, “it’s just… being in Class 4, there’s this whole thing about the kids with neurological disorders and stuff, because sometimes they need to go to the hospital for a while. Sometimes they come back…”

“And sometimes they don’t,” Rika finished, “Right?”

Emi nodded.

I removed my hand and placed the book back in the box. On a superficial level I could see what she meant –my old classmates felt similar when I transferred, though my own jackassery at the time combined with the obvious difference of me not being dead made the comparison more insulting than apt.

“Let’s get back to work,” I suggested, “this stuff won’t sort itself.”

Rika nodded, her eyes slightly unfocused as she muttered, “Right… um… Emi, you still got the books under control?”

Emi nodded, “Yep.”

“Okay,” Rika said, “I’ll put personal books on the teacher’s desk for now. Oh, and Sempais?”

Emi and I focused on Rika.

“This never happened.”

“Agreed,” I said.

Emi nodded, “Yeah… stupid books….”

I gave her a mild glare, “Hey, don’t hate the books.”

Emi rolled her eyes and went back to sorting, while Rika and I returned to the drawers and their collection of random things. For a while we just silently worked, the occasional query by me or Rika regarding the drawer’s contents the only sound beyond the rifling of items and books. At one point I saw Emi grab a box easier to reach and start sorting through it. A moment later she let out a small eep that got both me and Rika looking at her in concern.

“You okay?” Rika asked.

“What is it?” I asked.

Emi held up a simple blue book with the words “Presidential Log” in Japanese and some runic script that hurt my head to look at, along with the date span for his term of office.

“Nakajima’s log,” she replied.

I raised an eyebrow, “So?”

“So,” Emi replied, “Naoto –that’s his first name- has a tendency to scribble personal notes in the margins of his regular school notes –he sits in front of me and it makes copying them a major pain.”

Rika blinked at the shorter girl, apparently doing some quick trigonometry in her head, “But how can you-?”

“What’s your point?” I asked Emi before Rika could bring up the obvious height question, which was sure to ruffle Emi’s feathers.

“My point,” Emi replied, a smug look on her face that reminded me of Rin for some reason, “is since we already have one half of the story, we may as well see if we can get the other half, right?”

I groaned and rolled my eyes, “Really?”

“I’ll read it,” Rika declared.

I turned toward the second-year, “Really?”

Rika nodded, “Really.”

I sighed as Emi handed over the book, “So much heresy….”

The two girls ignored me as Rika started flipping through the book, “Ugh, I forgot how bad his penmanship is…okay, this log’s got the same date as when Takanashi-Sempai took him on their first legit date. ‘Captain’s Log, Stardate-”

I rolled my eyes, “It does not say that.”

Rika managed to stick her tongue out at me, “Just trying to boost the mood. Anyway,” she cleared her throat before continuing, most likely just to be dramatic, “’Went on a date with Yuki. Need to plan another one before exam crunch time.’”

Emi blinked at the second-year, “That’s it?”

Rika shrugged, “For that day. I wonder, though…” she started flipping through the log until she found what she wanted, “Aha! ‘Got into same college as Yuki.’”

“Awwwww~!” Emi gushed, her voice reminding me so much of Misha’s I looked behind me to see if the Prepare for Trouble Double Duo were at the door.

Rika grinned and closed the book, “I love a happy ending, too!”

I’ll admit even I felt happy by proxy about the two, though honestly I don’t think I ever met them, and if I did I didn’t remember it. If nothing else it proved once again how the school’s students dealt with and overcame their disabilities.

“I’m very happy for the couple,” I declared, “now can we please get back to work?”

Rika nodded and turned to the drawers, stiffened in place, and slowly turned back to me.

“Sempai,” Rika held the item in question as far away from her as possible, her red eyes pointedly not looking at the thing in her hand. Slowly, as if to delay the inevitable, she asked, “Is this a voodoo doll of President Hakamichi?”

“I… really hope not,” I said, ignoring the fact said doll had twist-tie glasses, “speaking of, if we don’t finish this today, those two will never let us hear or see the end of it.”

Emi giggled and went back to sorting books, while I joined Rika at the drawers. Still, even as we worked, I couldn’t help thinking how it still marveled me how the students of Yamaku overcame their disabilities, each in their own way, so they could have the life they wanted.

+++

Thanks Sharp-O for letting me borrow Rika! Hope I did her justice.

In the meantime this whiskey needs some Fireball and Dirty Bastard to liven it up.

See you tomorrow for the next story, presuming the Squats don’t finish me off.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Toothless » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:59 am

“Emi,” I started, “how did you know Hana’s a screamer?” I think you meant scratcher there.

Only thing i noticed, awesome as always. Emperor protects.

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:06 pm

Toothless wrote:“Emi,” I started, “how did you know Hana’s a screamer?” I think you meant scratcher there.

Only thing i noticed, awesome as always. Emperor protects.
Whoops, stupid last minute proof-reading... fixed, and thanks :)

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"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Tales from Yamaku: A Halloween Series of Stories

Post by Hoitash » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:07 am

Emi blinked at the ravaged remains of the Fourth Wall, Rin lying on her back and staring at the ceiling, while Lynda munched on a rice cracker. Emi opened her mouth to speak, then closed it and looked up at the ceiling.

“You okay up there? I’ve heard nothing but varying sounds of violence since we started the last story.”

AVE IMPERATOR FURIOSA! I AM THE CONDUCTOR OF DEATH! BOW BEFORE MY MIGHTY DAKKA!

Emi sighed and rubbed her temple, “Great, The Writer’s lost his mind. Anyway,” Emi grinned at the far wall, “That was a fun little romp, wasn’t it? Although I feel the end didn’t do the link to-”

Don’t give that bit away.

Lynda looked up at the ceiling, “I guess he’s back.”

Emi rolled her eyes, “What, you think the readers will figure it out themselves?”

I trust the intelligence of my readers, thank you.

Emi blinked up at the ceiling, “You have readers?”

Woman I just had to mow through enough Squats to start a game of Dwarf Fortress, do not test me.

“Hey,” Lynda looked up at the ceiling, “Be cool, she’s just being an ass.

Sorry, just a little wound up from playing multi-dimensional tower defense. Carry on.

Emi nodded and focused on the far wall, “Speaking of the next generation of Yamaku students-”

Dammit.

Emi ignored The Writer and continued, “Our next story tells the harrowing thrill-ride of a little girl who… wait a fucking second… No!” Emi glared up at the ceiling, “No fucking way are we doing Soon-hee meets the Predator! I’ll put up with a lot of shit for this job but I am not telling them that story! It’s dark and creepy and a little girl gets… no! Not cool!”

Lynda gasped and glared upward, “What the fuck is wrong with you?

Okay, okay, calm down. It was just an idea –I didn’t expect to actually tell it.

“Then why put it on the list?!”

Time constraints.

“You started writing this five months ago!” Emi snarled.

And I’m a full time drinker. I mean employee. Deal with it. Speaking of, I should probably be looking into how to get Lynda home.

That would be nice,” Lynda remarked, “I was kinda planning a birthday, you know.

Yeah, I do. Hmm… say, Lynda, how about you tell a story?

Lynda blinked up at the ceiling, “Me? I don’t even have a costume.

One moment… hope you like Trigger.

A clap thundered through the room and Lynda suddenly found herself wearing a light purple robe with a very high skirt, a broad brimmed witch’s hat, and high leather boots.

Um…,” Lynda looked down at her outfit, “Did you just dress me up as Akko?

Emi glared up at the ceiling for the untold time that night, “You know, this language barrier is getting really annoying.”

Again, deal with it. And yes, you are. Mork knows you have the legs for it. I also have a Kiki uniform, Louise from Familiar of Zero, and of course Hermione. Although I think Misha would look better in that, honestly, even if your chest is closer to Emma Watson’s.

Lynda sighed and rubbed her forehead, “This is getting too weird. The Akko costume is fine –I like how it shows off my legs.

“Seriously what the fuck is going on?!” Emi snapped, “I know two languages people: Japanese and bad Japanese!”

Technically Japanese is three languages last I checked, though I appreciate the reference. Anyway, Lynda’s apparently willing to spin a yarn while I try and set right what once went wrong, so have fun and don’t break reality any more than it is, okay?

Emi sighed in relief, “Finally an answer! Lynda, you’re willing to tell a story?”

Lynda slowly nodded, “I am,” standing up, she turned to the far wall and gave a brief bow so as not to unsettle her hat, “My step-bother’s side of the family has a story told to them from the Civil War. It’s an odd story that no one is quite sure is true, but I think it is rather fitting for this series. Rin, would you please send them the story?”

Rin slowly rose from the bed, “You have to do it. The story’s in English and I might mess it up.”

Lynda nodded, “Alright… um, story, go!”

Lynda double finger-gunned the wall, which slowly dissolved and reformed into a new reality.

Holy shit I did it!

“See, that I understood.”

==

Where in Damnation was he?

The thunderous rumble of artillery and small arms fire, Rebel and Union, echoed all around the young man, his blue uniform covered in twigs and leaves. Most of his kit lay caught in the underbrush as he struggled to find the mess area, the soldier –his Sergeant’s stripes frayed from thorns and low branches- clinging to his rifle for dear life.

The plan, at the time, made perfect sense to him: get to the rear, find the chow, bring the chow to the boys, lick the Rebs, go to bed. Unfortunately no plan survives contact with the enemy, and somehow the sergeant had gotten lost in the woods.

If I could just find that damn creek again….

The panic of war clouded his mind, but after stumbling blindly through the woods yielded nothing but sore ankles, the soldier stopped to catch his breath and bearings. Rebel Napoleons thundered in the background, which at least gave him something to base his directions on, presuming the bastards hadn’t advanced.

Distracted as he was, it took the sergeant a few moments to realize that not only had he stumbled onto a clearing, but that clearing was occupied. A dark haired man with bright eyes and the rough-and-tumble clothes of a Methodist circuit rider sat against a tree, his hat an impromptu pillow as he rested his head against a tree’s trunk. He held a harmonica in both hands, and an oddly lustered cavalry saber sat strapped to his belt.

The Sergeant blinked at the man, who smiled and nodded in acknowledgment.

“Hello there.”
Last edited by Hoitash on Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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