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Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:23 am
by Scroff
Thanks for the lovely words, glad you liked it! I get a lot of pleasure from writing but it's good to know that it can provide some enjoyment to others too.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:07 pm
the idea of Suzu as a sort of prophetic dreamer is great!
Taking "randomly falls asleep at plot-convenient times" off the table made me think about other consequences of her narcolepsy that could be interesting and her being a dreamer seemed worth exploring, hence Suzu the sleepy shaman!

"Hang on..."

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:19 pm
by Scroff
Hisao makes his way through the crowd, still unsure of the layout of the school grounds, the stalls and the people milling around them making navigation harder. He was not going to visit the festival but changed his mind when he found that the cafeteria was closed for the day. His belly is being ungrateful, forgetting past favours, and delicious smells are floating on the gentle breeze.

He grabs a selection of tasty, but decidedly not Nurse-approved, treats and finds a seat which is secluded but close enough to watch the festival goers. He has a nagging feeling that there is something odd about the scene in front of him. It is not the visible disabilities, he has seen enough of those in the last few days to accept them as part of his new reality. He is the only person who is alone, everyone else is part of a group or a pair, but that is how things were at his old school too. He finally sees what he is searching for: it is the groups' interactions he finds unusual.

He looks more carefully, checking for signs of the niggles and annoyances which, in his experience, lurk under the surface at events like this. Nothing! He leans forwards and concentrates on teasing out strands of conversation from the hubbub.

"Keep going, the bench is right there, we can sit down in a couple more steps."

"I'm sorry I didn't notice your new 'chair, I was blinded by your smile."

"Come on, you can do it! You always get a steady moment after a big shake, throw then!"

"Hold on tight, I'm gonna get us there in record time! We'll get some before they sell out."

"Hey, that was great! Remember last year? You couldn't even pick up a gun. You'll win a prize next year fo' sho'."

"So what if he doesn't want to watch the fireworks with you? There's plenty more fish in the sea."

Friends encouraging each other, giving and taking comfort without hesitation, everyone included. He understands: the academics, the twenty-four hour medical care, the well-connected careers service are not what this school is about. Such things are attractive to parents, customers who want tangible benefits for their money. Yamaku is about creating a place where cripples, discarded by Japanese society, can create their own community. Where they can find the unconditional acceptance that they should receive from their families, but seldom do. Where they can forge bonds which will help them through the rest of their lives.

Realising he needs time to think through this revelation, to consider how it applies to him, he starts to walk towards the dorm. He recognises a familiar face and nods to her in passing; he decides that he will make an effort to learn the names of his classmates.

"Hang on Hisao, don't leave. The best is yet to come."

He turns to look at her, returns her smile, and takes the hand she is holding out to him.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:47 pm
by Hanako Fancopter
d'awww, short and cute. Wonder who the mystery girl is? Maybe Emi (short and cute!)

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:55 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Short and very to the point. I like it. Nice work!

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:04 am
by Scroff
Thank-you both for the kind words! The idea for this popped into my head when listening to REM's "Everybody Hurts" and it kept bugging me till I wrote it.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:47 pm
Wonder who the mystery girl is?
We can rule out Rin at least! In one sense she stands for Yamaku, promising Hisao a bright future if he turns his back on manly picnics and all that entails. In another she's a cute girl from his class who fancies a snuggle during the fireworks. Personally speaking, I prefer the latter :mrgreen:

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:03 am
by Feurox
Beautifully done Scroff. And over-the-shoulder watch from Hisao’s lonely festival. You mentioned R.E.M. with this, but it actually really reminds me of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve- just crowds of people coming, going, living in front of a stagnant Hisao. You could have ended it there, but I’m glad you went for a more optimistic ending - Very well done.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:15 am
by Razoredge
I never gave my feedback to your writings, it's a shame, I know.

But, yeah, I enjoyed every piece you dropped. Especially the last one. It was very well done. It's short but so cute.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:52 am
by Scroff
Thanks to both of you for the encouragement. I really didn't expect that this piece would get such a positive reaction, being a mish-mash of how I see Yamaku, my reaction to what I've read about the education of kids with disabilities in Japan (e.g., and my (perhaps overly) optimistic world-view.
Feurox wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:03 am
it actually really reminds me of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
This is the most rewarding thing about putting my stories out there - different interpretations that make me think about them in different ways. Yeah, if you cut out the bit about learning classmates' names and change the final sentence to:
He turns to look at her, shakes his head, and continues on to his room.
then the whole piece would have a darker feel to it.

Manga Evening

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:48 am
by Scroff
Hanako opens her door and smiles when she sees Miki bearing snacks. Their weekly get-togethers are manga evenings in name only, neither of them is very interested in comics, but they enjoy each other's company so much that there is never a shortage of things to talk about.

Miki notices a photograph taped to the wall above Hanako's desk. "That's new, more food porn eh? I like it."

"Misaki says pictures of my dishes are a g-good addition to her portfolio. I'll probably use them in applications too."

"Still planning on going to pudding school then?"

"C-catering college thank you very much! Have you thought about what you're going to do n-next?"

Miki grimaces. "Suzu and Hisao are dead set on University but it's not right for me. The government guy who came to the Track and Field Club said there's money to fund one or two of us, we'd be pin-ups for their campaign to get more disabled kids into sports. It'd give me the chance to train full-time and I should be able to find a coach near wherever the guys end up, so I'm gonna go for it. I not going to compete as a disabled athlete tho', this doesn't slow me down," she brandishes her stump, "and the best opportunities are in the mainstream."

She puts the snacks on Hanako's desk and points at a teacher training prospectus. "This doesn't look like pudding school, unless you're going to teach others to make puddings."

"Catering college! N-no, that's for Lilly, I'm helping with her applications."

Miki raises her eyebrows in surprise. "I thought we'd seen the last of the Amazon?"

"She's not happy in Scotland and wants to return h-home."

"How do you feel about that? You've come a long way since she left, do you think you'll fall back into your old ways if she takes you under her wing again?"

Hanako shakes her head emphatically. "No, we've talked it through, we b-both realise our relationship wasn't very healthy a-and we've been making changes. I miss her a lot, but I've really enjoyed g-getting to know more people, walking my own path"

"Yeah, I doubt I'd be sitting here if she was still around. If you ever want anyone to join you on that path, shout and I'll be there." She wrestles a card from the pocket of her hoodie and gives it to Hanako who smiles when she sees the doodles of chibi Suzu and Hisao.

"Pizza and m-movie night?"

"Yeah, they've been feeling a bit out of touch now you're busy with the Newspaper Club. We're not trying to guilt you or anything," Miki says hastily, "it's good you're doing new stuff, but they don't see you as much as I do and want to re-connect." She watches Hanako fidget uncomfortably and avoid eye contact for a few moments before saying, "come on, out with it, looks like you've got ants in your pants!"

"You always collapse into a c-cuddle pile as soon as we've eaten and I feel-"

"-like your intruding? Gotcha. Less cuddling, more chatting."

"N-not intruding. M-Miki..."

"You OK?" she asks in surprise, she hasn't heard Hanako's shy voice for a long time.

"It's not impossible that someone will l-like me, is it?"

"Of course not, I like you loads."

"N-no, like me."

"Has Hanako got lurve on the brain? They grow up so fast.."

"Hush you! You see all sorts of people p-paired up, do you think there's someone for me?"

"Oh my sweet girl." Tears spring into Miki's eyes as she hears the yearning in Hanako's voice and she can't help but hug her. "Yes, there are people out there for you. You've got to be picky tho', don't settle for the first person who's nice to you, you're worth so much more than that."

"A-am I?"

"Fuck yeah! You're smart and kind and loyal, and you're getting a wicked good sense of humour. It might be hard for you to accept but you're beautiful too. Anyone who won't look beyond the obvious can fuck right off." Miki feels Hanako nod against her shoulder and they lean out of the hug.

"How did it h-happen for you?"

"I wouldn't ask me for advice, the number of break-ups I've had means I'm hardly a role model."

"What about the three of you? It's stable i-isn't it?"

"Yeah but that's different."

"In what way?"

Miki runs her fingers through her hair as she tries to think. "It's difficult to put into words. I guess it was a similar story with both of them, we had a strong base to work from before adding the romance. Nurse told me to keep an eye on Suzu and even tho' she annoyed me at first, she got to me in the end. She's a persistent bugger, never gave up on me even when I was at my worst. She took whatever shit I threw at her and answered it with a cuddle."

Hanako nods, "I was t-terrified of you in first year, it's hard to imagine now."

"Hisao looked beneath the surface, saw things most people don't notice cos they're too busy checking out my boobs. He said I helped him get back to his old self after his time in hospital. I didn't find out about that till later, all I knew was he stopped being a little scared boy and learnt to give massages which had my toes curling in pleasure."

"How did you go from friends to l-lovers?"

"There's no magic recipe, it's different every time. You've got to be brave and follow your feelings."

"I'm n-not brave..."

"You say that sweetheart, but there's times when it takes more courage for you to set foot out of this room than most people ever need. Have you seen someone who tickles your fancy?"

"Not really, I've o-only just started thinking about the possibility of a relationship."

"What about a preference? Boy or girl?"

"I haven't thought about that either. I think who they are is more important t-than what they are."

"Good for you! You may be a late starter but you know what matters. Make sure to run 'em by me before you get up to any mischief."

"Nuh-uh, you'll scare them off and I'll die a v-virgin!" When their laughter dies down Hanako asks, "what's that like?"

"Sex?" Smiling at her embarrassed nod, Miki replies, "it can be the best thing or the worst. Often meh."

"How come?"

"First times with strangers have a sense of excitement, a feeling of danger. The sex isn't usually great tho', it takes time to learn what buttons to press for your partner. Going by the book gets you close, but it's never as good as with someone who really knows you."

"I-I can't imagine doing that."

"Never say never! But yeah, you should go slow at first. I'm not gonna say I regret anything, tho' I learnt more about what I don't enjoy than what I do." Miki leans closer to Hanako. "Don't tell anyone, I kinda miss the thrill of the hunt."

Hanako gasps, "you wouldn't do anything to h-hurt them would you?"

"Nah. Sometimes I see a cutie and wonder what it'd be like, but it's not worth it, what I've got is too important to me."

"So when is it the b-best?"

"Predictably enough, when you know each other, when there's trust and love, all the cliche stuff. The things Suzu can... Well that's probably TMI eh? I wish there was a way to get the best of both worlds."



"Be someone you a-aren't. I bet you could think up all sorts of scenarios between the t-three of you. What if you p-play the part of a rich businesswoman and offer Suzu a million Yen for a night with Hisao w-while she watches and-"

"Bloody hell Hanako, where'd that come from?"

She blushes, "I've been reading Yuuko's an an magazines, she's always l-leaving them lying around the library. Once I've read the good bits I pretend I've just found them and give them b-back to her."

"You sly old dog!" Miki grabs her phone starts laboriously typing a message. She sends it and looks up at Hanako with a smile. "Let's see how long it takes them to get bac-" She is interrupted by several notifications going off in quick succession and reads the messages. With a laugh she stands up and walks towards the door.

"Miki? Where are you g-going?"

"To rescue a stranger in a dark alley. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!"

Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-04-03)

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:04 am
by Lap
Awww, poor Hanako. That's worse than having to watch their cuddle-pile after pizza. This was supposed to be her evening with Miki.

Fun story, I'm loving the way the M/H/S triad is developing.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-04-03)

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:44 pm
by Scroff
Yeah I was cross with Miki for thinking with her vagina, but then I realised that she's treating Hanako exactly the same way as she treats everyone else. No kid gloves, no allowances for her being "delicate", so I reluctantly gave her a pass, providing she dishes the goss at the earliest opportunity!
Lap wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:04 am
I'm loving the way the M/H/S triad is developing.
Thank-you! I've been skipping around their timeline and the tale of how they got from the end of Three of a perfect pair to the start of "You are not alone..." has yet to be told but it's almost finished and will probably be posted next

True Love Waits

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:46 am
by Scroff
He pulls himself up from the seat and shuffles to the kitchen. His body tells him to eat, to drink; he obeys though there is no savour to be had. As he washes the dishes he watches the children playing in the park across the road while the young mothers enjoy each other's company, one eye on their offspring. Not having children is a source of sorrow but not regret: he never found another he wanted to have a family with after they parted.

He remembers.


"Oh come on Hisao, it's just a bit of fun. Do it for me, pleeeeeeease?"

"Why Saki? Why?"

"You'll look cute, and I'll make it up to you after!"

He found it almost impossible to deny her anything, though he always put up a fight. It cost him little but his dignity and what did that matter in the long run? Besides, she was very talented at making up... "Fine, do your worst!"

With a giggle she started twining ribbons in his hair. "Oh yes, don't you look pretty. Now now, no scowls, give your Aunty Saki a big smile."

A make-over from Saki was a lengthy, strangely enjoyable, experience; the making up after even more so. As they rested on the bed he noticed her grimacing and rubbing her feet. "They playing up again?"

"Yeah, the new meds Nurse gave me seem to be causing some water retention and it's making them sore."

"My turn to pamper you then." He rolled off the bed and put some ice from the mini-fridge she kept under her desk into a half-finished glass of water, dunked a wash cloth in it and bathed her feet.


He remembers.


He sat by the hospital bed, her hand in his, conscious of how small it was. The superfluous flesh had melted from her body, only her smile remained unchanged.

"Hisao, you're not living, you're killing time until time kills me. You have to let go, to stop torturing yourself about something that is not your fault and you can do nothing about." She coughed, her breathing shallow and laboured. "Why spoil our memories of what we had? This is hard enough without having to see your hangdog face every day. Why won't you say something?" She pulls her hand out of his grasp. "You know what, I'm done. Get out and don't come back."

"No Saki, please, you don't mean it."

"I'm pressing the call button if you're not out of here in ten seconds."

He left reluctantly, reasoning that it was just a bad day, that she would relent tomorrow or the next day. On his next visit he was told she had transferred but they cited patient confidentiality when he asked where she had gone. Frantic to find her, he phoned everyone he thought might know where she was or might lead him to someone who did. No-one told him anything.


He remembers how long it took to recover from his feelings of betrayal. He remembers the spiral of depression he fell into after reading her obituary in the Yamaku Alumni newsletter. He remembers when, in his mid-forties, he finally understood that she had excluded him from what remained of her life out of love, not spite.

Half a lifetime has elapsed since then and he is tired of his memories. He has put away his keepsakes and no longer visits that haunted attic room. He is waiting for the time when they can again share lollipops and crisps.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-04-14)

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:53 am
by brythain
That's a good Saki one. I was just thinking of how old Hisao would look a bit like the storekeeper.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-04-14)

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:47 am
by Mirage_GSM
Sad one, but good one, too.

Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-04-14)

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:44 pm
by Feurox
Both fantastic Scroff. Brilliant reads, even if the second made me a little sad. Quality is near perfect as usual.