Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

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A Country Where the Thunder Goes Notes

Post by Feurox » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:05 pm

This story was written in response to the YA server competition, where we are given pairings, locations, and modifiers to write a yarn. Below are my options for each, though I think really all the modifies apply in some way or another.


A significant amount of this story is inspired by Brythain's Miki arc in AtD, please do me and him the honour of reading it. Of course, massive thanks to Lap for your feedback, help, and proofreading.

Here are some songs that I think fit the theme of this tale:

Her's - What Once Was

Lauv - Tired of Love Songs

JT Roach - Symmetry

Sorry Crafty, only three songs this time. And Mirage - the next one will be a happy one, I promise.

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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by brythain » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:05 pm

Ah that's some good writing, that is. Good characterisation, obligatory time-blips, has a nice stormy atmosphere of the time just before an end, fin-de-siecle kind of feeling. Or perhaps a new beginning. Melancholia plus a hint of petrichor. It's a winner in my book.

Taro, Miki, Hanako and Suzu are nothing like AtD-versions. But they're good ones anyway. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon May 04, 2020 6:18 pm

Lilly is a centerpiece in everyone's stories it seems. Taro was an interesting choice for a focus character as well. I have to say I think the idea of people mourning at Hisao's funeral is a bit cliched, but this one was still interesting due to the different perspectives and all of the lore-building. I came away from reading it with this image of Hisao as this Gatsby-esque figure throwing all these parties in his and Lilly's mansion with the social world of the Katawaverse revolving around him. Which, honestly, doesn't fit my image of Hisao very well, but it's an entertaining take nonetheless.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by Craftyatom » Thu May 14, 2020 12:33 am

A Country Where the Thunder Goes
I've seen this scenario come up as an option in a lot of my competition prompt assignments, and have considered it from time to time, but it never seemed that appealing. Specifically, having it be Hisao's funeral always seemed a bit cliche, as copter said - but I also believe you handled it quite well. You gave Hisao a decent lifespan, though it's left kind of ambiguous, and I did wonder at some points how he got such a high academic standing at such a young age. I guess it's some combination of his being a wunderkind and his drive to do as much as possible with the time he has.

I feel like you definitely took my advice on an earlier story about making things a bit clearer to the reader, without overdoing it. The characters are properly assigned names fairly quickly, but in a way that focuses on how they've changed since high school. You did leave the identity of Hisao's widow open-ended for the first section, with some clues here and there before the reveal, which I liked. I also didn't realize that the venue was Hisao's house at first - again, partly because his status is a bit higher than expected at first, and partly because it's not immediately confirmed that he's married to Lilly.

The characterization is good, and the dialogue feels fluid, as always. The way you portray the emotions of people who had varying levels of connection to Hisao is superb, and the theme of conflicting emotions at a wake is particularly powerful. At first, I thought that everyone had the right kind of response except Miki, who seemed too invested for just a random friend from high school, but that got cleared up in the end, and was (again) particularly poignant.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“Things can’t be that bad, you still living in New York?”

“Just outside, it’s a cheap commute to work,” I explain and he nods.
This part felt kind of out-of-place to me. Miki is lamenting how she needs to get her life together and hasn't really accomplished anything in her (now noticeably limited) time. She went to university in Japan, then went to work for a Japanese company in marketing, but was good enough at English that they moved her to work in New York? It's entirely feasible, but the story isn't set up in such a way that we can really find out. Or maybe this is one of those After the Dream references that I wouldn't get because I've never managed to read all of those.

Also, on a less technical note, I don't think anyone working in NY would ever refer to the commute as "cheap"; more like "hellacious, but cheaper than the outrageously expensive alternative". :P
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
Lilly’s father gives me a hug as I pass him, and we briefly talk about how things are getting on at our respective works. He’s always been very kind to me, and even offered to adopt me a long time ago.
Say what you want about Sisterhood, but I maintain that it leaves an impression on everyone's headcanon. Again, you'll have to forgive me if it's also a plot point in AtD.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“You know,” I begin, and sigh over the balcony edge. “I think he was my best friend, and I don’t think I ever told him that.” It’s a really long way down from here.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“At my place? Too small. Nah, but these guys have a balcony, you’re always talking about yours, so it got me thinking about you,” she explains.
I must admit, I really thought this was foreshadowing the cheesiest death ever: Hisao getting too caught up in his conversation with Miki, and accidentally falling off of the beautiful balcony of his own house. Thank you for not doing that.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:18 pm
I came away from reading it with this image of Hisao as this Gatsby-esque figure throwing all these parties in his and Lilly's mansion with the social world of the Katawaverse revolving around him.
I got that kind of feeling as well - particularly with the mentions of Lilly and her affinity for such things, which seemed to be emphasized. I personally quite liked it, even if there were one or two moments where it got laid on a bit thick.

As with your previous story, I think the quotes got better as the story progressed. The first had a good idea but was poorly worded and rather disconnected from the story's theme, the second was funny and wise (good old Pratchett) but those two aspects clashed with each other a bit, and the third had gravity in both subject matter and execution.

Anyways, overall, quite an enjoyable story! Not even that sad, all things considered! Quite possibly one of my favorites from you.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by NoticeMeOppai » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:34 am

Apologies for how long it's taken to getting around to commenting - apparently it's been four months since you managed to do mine. I have no excuses and having finally read through them regret not doing so earlier - Je suis désolée.


Not sure I'd describe it as a Rika x Hisao story myself, but an enjoyable read nontheless. Not really sure whether the romantic switch to Suzu for Lou was quite in keeping with the rest of the story though. I felt it was a little jarring.
I really liked his inner struggle of "am I worth it" finally having made his mind up only to realise he's missed his chance, very poignant.

American Spirit

Harrowing. Poor Suzu and poor Takashi. Really liked Saki's role as a foil for Suzu as well.

Spectral Letters

Got to say, your synopsis on the title page made me expect a very different story. That said, it was well written but otherwise didn't do much for me - feels like well trodden ground.

8 Years

"Now she'd written my accomplished academic work than..."

Had to read this one twice as I completely missed the point the first time. A beautifully melancholic piece that gives you just enough to paint a picture that you fill the details in yourself. Not sure if you've rewritten this since the initial comments but on a second reading it seemed pretty clear to me that she'd hung herself.

I am Disappeared

I really liked this. The pacing and mood throughout were absolutely spot on and Rika's narration draws you in beautifully. A̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶m̶i̶s̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶m̶u̶t̶ ̶s̶c̶e̶n̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶w̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶R̶i̶k̶a̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶S̶a̶k̶i̶.̶ I have to admit I also fell for the POV switch at first but don't think it detracts anything.

Requiem for a Heartsong

Damn Feu, I know this is supposed to be the 'feels' trilogy but calm down. Very cute story with an adorable OC.

Time is Dancing

Heavy stuff. Strokes are horrifically terrifying things for both the victims and their loved ones, sorry you had to go through that. You communicate across that sinking feeling of not knowing what to do, feeling obligation and then guilt for not wanting to deal with it any more very well.

When you mentioned the new guy arriving I half expected Suzu to start a relationship with Hisao, further complicating her feelings for Lou. I think I'm glad it didn't go that way but I do love a dumpster fire of drama so probably would have enjoyed it either way.

At the start when she's at her parents' house having flashbacks I definitely thought he'd died and somehow what actually happened is worse. Anyway, a very well written heartbreaking piece.

The Kintsugi Club

I'll start this by saying I really don't like Akio as a narrator here, he's just too bitter and full of self-pity to relate to or really want to root for him. The ending also left me wanting, as Crafty mentions earlier in the thread it feels like Saki's part in the story is unresolved. I feel like he should have pushed the point a bit more - Saki already matters to him at this stage, he's already going to be hurt when she dies. He's also learnt that it's more important to try regardless of the outcome so unless he's very much compartmentalised this revelation it would be good for him to try and get Saki to see this applies to her situation as well.

That being said it's excellently written as always and there's definitely some phrases that will stay with me here ("You can't un-crush a butterfly"? Love it). I also really liked the way Akio complains about Hisao, got a fair few chuckles from those parts.

A Long Way Down

I remember reading this at the time of the contest and I enjoyed it then too. Still not sure how Lilly knew it was Suzu though...

Circuitboard City

Cute little story, liked the two different perspectives and particularly Rin's conviction that she knows sign.

A Country Where The Thunder Goes

I always enjoy these 'what everyone got up to afterwards' fics. The perspective changes are nice although the added time skip of the last one threw me for a minute. It's a nice atmospheric vignette that leaves me wanting more.

The New Year

Haha Hisao giving it the old hoverhand! I like the way it jumps back and forth between the present and her memories (fantasies?). Good twist there, definitely surprised me. I wonder if any of the memories are real or just wishful thinking.

Christmas Spirits, City Angels, A Shanghai Carol

Love the idea of Rika being a Fujoshi! I really like how you've used a different writing style for the two sections, it's very well done.

Writing on the Wall

Not familiar with any of the music choices you've picked for this, but the title has meant I've had Prodigy's Omen in my head throughout.

As for the actual story, it's very well written, despite not being used to writing it you clearly have a good eye for smut. Very much enjoyed it, it captures that feeling of awkward teenage romance and how confusing feelings can be especially when you're still not sure who you want to be yourself.


It was fun reading this all through as you can really see how you progress as a writer! Definitely a master of the atmospheric melancholy and I look forward to seeing anything more you decide to write in future!
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