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Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:11 pm
by NuclearStudent
Index

Burnt Woman Burns Body

A spider crawled on the boy’s eyelids. As they hovered above, Hanako’s hands shook, then snapped down to slap it off and away. The spider did not move or even break, but simply disintegrated, like the glassed landscape that the dirt beyond them had been reduced to. At ground zero in an empty field, where the world had turned volcanic, a scarred girl crouched over the burnt corpse of an acquaintance and wondered why she was alive.

Nobody was left on the emptied campus. The nurses and teachers had surely been flattened, together with everyone else who’d failed to go north. It was only by luck that a late train had trapped her in a Hokkaido winter, away from her hometown, and away the sickness which had ended the world. She’d come down as soon as the fallout had faded, evading quarantines and robbing the dead in the vain hope that something would remain.

The summertime sun shone on the ash-flaked corpse in front of her. In this heat, the track smelt like hot tar and sick-sweet bodies. Judging from the smell, Hanako had arrived just a little too late after the bodies had thawed. She stared downwards and sighed. She knelt down, got on her knees, and cupped her hands over the body. Then she lowered them, bit by bit, to feel a dead face too clean and untouched to belong to an uncursed body.

She’d deal with it the way she’d seen other people deal with it. First, as she’d seen, she’d pat the corpse down to feel all what remained. She moved her hands downwards from the dead boy’s face, patting the brittle remains of his hair, testing the spongey softness of his decomposed shoulders, and feeling the half-fused way his shirt melted into his skin. She fought down the urge to jerk her hands away when grease from melted fat slicked her fingers. It was her duty to keep going.

She took a moment to breath deeply before moving down the sides of the body. She bit down on the inside of her cheek when she cut the skin of her finger on burnt-black rib bone. Her fingers rasped against a section then wet again in grease from another. Then he felt the lump where his pocket should have been. She fished her fingers into the ruined denim and pulled out a darkened plastic case.

The case had half-melted. She crack it against the ground, like an egg, and just manage to catch a little slip of paper which fell out. It was a note. From Kenji Setou, owing Hisao forty-three hundred yen. Well, she’d known the only Hisao in that area and the circumstances on how he’d died, so the body before her must have been Kenji Setou.

Hanako shook her head. Try as she might, the name rang nothing. She closed her eyes, trying to connect with Buddha, with karma, with anything. She had no idea how to pray but simply sat there, waiting, as if her silence would guide the dead boy’s soul into reincarnation. Then she lifted a heavy can of gasoline from her side, unscrewed the cap, and began to pour.

The large red can glugged and spat liquid unevenly, and it was with effort that she controlled the flow as if she was serving tea again in a room with windows. Then Hanako took a length of her cheese wire from her pocket and put it slowly around the corpse’s neck. She breathed once, twice, and yanked the wire with hideous strength.

The weak spine of the beast snapped and the snake-length of an alien white worm within protruded outwards. As it squirmed away from her. She nodded, sickened but satisfied that the juices from the worm would feed her and flush the fallout from her system. The corpse began to twitch, but before the headless body reanimated, Hanako pulled a lighter from her left pocket and a little can of hairspray from her right pocket. In lieu of a fuse, she popped and struck sparks into a jet of flame which breathed over the body.

It began to sizzle, with the pain distracting the newly reborn zombie. As it screamed Hanako stepped back, scooped up her rake, and began to swing the end with abandon. Too weak for stabbing, the tines of the rake broke off in the burned flesh of the dead boy. She knew how painful fire was, so she allowed herself to smash the dead without fear, secure in the knowledge that burning meat meant crippling pain.

She stopped, breathing heavily, after seeming hours of battering. She had no idea where the mind was in those zombies. In the heart, perhaps. Maybe the worm stitched together a web in the chest, like a ready-to-walk cocoon for its children that would rise once it had done the work of spawning. Half-born and weak as these caught corpses were, she could take care of them. For now.

When she ran out of gasoline, if she couldn’t find any from stations around, she would have to find other ways of dealing with the dead. Even though other food was available, she needed that little dose of worm to keep her going. Worm served like how good company did, a comfort, a companionship, a flash of memories in the moment being formed, and in replacement of everything that had been good in her life.

She closed her eyes, nodded, and began to walk away. The glassy burned-out track behind her began to vanish in non-euclidean fashion, disappearing impossibly quickly. She wondered if she was dreaming all of this. When she accidentally trapped her fingernail in an edge within her lighter and felt a tugging pain, she knew that she was not. She let her breath whistle out of her lungs.

When she was far enough from the field to outrun the smell of burnt meat, she put her back against a wall, slid down, and cradled her eyes and scars with her arms. Tomorrow, she’d find a new place to go. She’d go on as she’d done for months, feeling the pain of being exposed to everything live and dead in the world.


Index

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:04 pm
by Feurox
Well, obviously I had the opportunity to read Reprisal before you posted it, so much of my feedback will be stuff you already know. I'll preface this comment further, by pointing out that your writing style is technically sound, and even quite decent. As others have pointed out, your first post is a very effective piece, and you've said yourself you enjoy that writing the most - It's not really my genre, and it's definitely not my area of expertise, but you deserve props for that skill.

I'm going to start with what I consider to be the fundamental problem with your stories, and I apologize if this sounds harsh, because I really don't mean it to be, and I'd like to see your writing continue.

My problem with a hefty proportion of your posts is that Katawa Shoujo seems to be an ill fitting suit that your stories are forced into. It's like you come up with the premise, but it's not based on the themes of KS, or the characters themselves - Mirage pointed out the problems with your characters of Rika and Miki, and Oddball pointed out that 'Burnt Woman Burns Body' has nothing to do with KS really. So my questions is effectively, what's the point? I know that sounds dismissive, but really, why make this KS fanfiction? They're effective pieces, but they're in ill fitting suits - when it actually seems they'd stand far stronger if you made them their own entities. This make it very hard to be invested in your stories, because it feels superficial, like KS is just a convenient place to dump your stories.

I think your style partly lends itself to this feeling, because it feels very disconnected from the reader. Even when you switch to first person, things feel calculated and cold, which, I'd like to stress CAN really be a fantastic style. In some scenario's it works, and in fact, I'd argue that in 'Until I Rise Again', you do quite a good job of making it work, but I'm going to come back to this story because to me it's your most interesting one. To sum up the problem with your style, it feels like when you're writing about these characters, you don't care about them, your emotive language is pretty minimal, and things feel very matter of fact. Let's look at 'Reprisal' for an example:
Something in me is just desperately, desperately trying to hold things together as if they're alright. I want to believe that they will be alright.
If you say this sentence out loud, (something I recommend everybody tries when re-reading their own work), you'll immediately notice which word feels clunky and uncomfortable. Now try this:
Something in me is desperately trying to hold things together as if they're alright... I want to believe that they will be. But I don't know anymore.


(Added last line, I think it fits the tone of 'Reprisal'.)

This is a HUGELY stylistic preference I'm pointing out. There's no real need to change your style, but the thrust of this point is that there's something missing. It feels cold, even when you're characters are feeling, they're not. They're going through the motions. For someone who I think masters this style utterly, I'd recommend reading Brythain's most recent one-shot.

That being said, this observation only points out one element of your stories that I don't enjoy. There are in fact elements that I do very much enjoy, and think are brilliantly written.

I am an absolute sucker for short and powerful sentences. I try to dot them throughout my own work, but I'm a little bit in awe at how many of them you manage to dot around in your pieces. Again, 'Reprisal' does it best.
Is this how I want to think of her, as a dependable coward and a fool who never lies but hardly tells the truth?
I utterly adore this kind of thing, so well done.

When it comes to stories as whole entities, I'm only going to discuss 'Reprisal' and 'Until I Rise Again', because I simply cannot engage with the other stories as of yet.

With regards to 'Reprisal', the story itself is definitely your best piece of KS fan-fiction. Not because your other stories are poorly written, but because this feels like the only one I can recognize immediately as KS. There's a very interesting story to be told about Lilly's decision to stay in Japan, and whilst the whole scenario feels over-done, especially with Akira being forbidden to help Lilly, it has the potential to be a heart wrenching story. Lilly is a character at odds with her obligations and her heart, and I think that the Lilly you present, one robbed of all her emotional control, is one that works in the setting provided. It's a sad story, I like those - nothing other-worldly happens, it's just two people hurting. Once again, we find ourselves encountering the problem of style - i think a story like this could be written in such a way that it could tear the hearts from it's readers.. Family is an important aspect of Lilly's life, whether it be duty to her blood family, or her affection for the family she's made in Japan, your story has her effectively giving one family up in place for another. That's a strong, emotional story, but the clinical nature of Hisao's thoughts, the weird innuendo from Mutou at the beginning, the perhaps overdone element of Akira, these make it hard to read this story with the seriousness I think it merits.

Then, as I said, there's 'Until I Rise Again'. I said that I found this to be your most interesting piece. There's one major reason for this.

More than any other story you've written, 'Until I Rise Again' feels like something akin to self awareness:
“This is Yamaku. On this track. The whole place looks kinda like volcanic glass and there’s ash everywhere. And there’s Hanako pouring gasoline on a zombie alien thing.”

Rin had that same pleased expression. This was the first time I’d ever known what I was looking at with one of her paintings, but I still felt like I’d understood nothing. I wondered vaguely if I should have become offended on Hanako’s behalf. I decided to ask a question which has always and will always be useless at divining Rin’s intentions.

“Why?”
This is the same question I find myself asking. Why? What's this fascination with worms about? What does it mean? Rin is maybe a bit strange, but she's not unhinged. I simply don't know what the implication, or significance is from this 'worms in my skin' image you seem so keen on demonstrating.

Maybe I'm the problem for not getting it, or maybe I'm taking it all too seriously and this is just meant to be nonsense. But then I'm back to the first point, why? Why write these things?

This moment in 'Until I Rise Again' really got inside my head, because I can't help but see it for as some kind of elaborate metaphor for you and the reader, where the reader is Hisao, confused at what you mean, and you're Rin, glad that we've seen your story, but not at all concerned about whether we get it.
I frowned. “Rin, you’ve completely lost me. I have no idea what you’re going on about.”

Rin laid back on the grass with her eyes closed. She looked content.
Am I being too harsh? I sincerely hope not, because your writing is really quite good, and there is so much potential, especially having read 'Reprisal'. I know that you can write good KS stories. I know that you can write brilliantly. I know that you're putting some genuine effort into these, and that below the surface, there's some good stories waiting to come out. But as of right now, it feels an awful like I'm the Hisao of 'Until I Rise Again'.

I am trying so hard to understand. To decipher what you want us to gain from this story, what you gain from writing them. But I just... can't.

And somehow we're back at the question of why? But this, time, I'd like to point out one final thing.
I'm not satisfied with it and I can't define what's wrong. It is also the closest thing I've written to being conventionally good. It starts with sexual innuendo to lighten the mood. I am displeased.
Why should we read your stuff if you haven't got any pride in it? I understand being skeptical. I understand wanting feedback and help, I hope you feel like I've given you some of that here, because again, I don't want to just criticize you. There's something good here, but it's being buried by your attitude, and your desire to confuse us.
One long scream into the night means a great deal less when it's a stranger.

Oh pooh
This was in response to Oddball.

He was giving you some praise, he was reading your story. Giving you feedback, giving you something to move on from. He was right, it truly lacked as a KS piece. And this response, whatever it means, it made me angry when I first saw it.

Your response to him just comes across as dismissive, it comes across as rude, like you don't care if we understand your writing...

Do you not?

Because once again, we're back.

Why?


I've tried to give you some balanced feedback here. I know that you're trying with these stories, and please do understand that I don't want to see you stop writing. You're scratching at the surface of something good.

I know feedback like this can seem discouraging, and I'm sorry if you feel like I've been too harsh. It took me quite some time to formulate this into something that I think can be helpful.

Good luck with your future writing and please, have some more faith in yourself.

We are all our own worst critic.

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:48 pm
by Mirage_GSM
NuclearStudent wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:19 pm
Mutou returning was not meant to be such a mood breaker. Mm. I made no attempt to imitate Suriko's writing style or put this as anything other than a reflection of my own wishes, but I was quite serious in that part. I'll mull on it.
Okay, then let me elaborate on why I thought this was a crackfic:
In the beginning you very heavily implied that Hisao and Lilly were trying to get a place to have sex. They went to a classroom for that and asked Mutou for his coopreation - something he would never do in a serious fic - and he agrees.
When Mutou has left you solve the misunderstanding. At this point I might have let it go. For me such a joke is misplaced in a serious story about deep emotional turmoil, but okay - you could say it's the reader's fault for misunderstanding...
But then Mutou returns and he is surprised that the two apparently did NOT have sex, meaning that he indeed DID let them have the classroom for the purpose of having sex - and at this point the story has quite irredeemably turned into a crackfic...

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:15 pm
by Feurox
I'd like to actually amend something I said earlier. I do not think it is a bad thing to be skeptical about your story's quality, nor is it bad to ask for suggestions and ways to improve. I've posted things I'm unhappy with, we all have. But when you combine that with how far removed these stories seem to be from KS, it becomes quite difficult to give you feedback about them.

I hope that makes my comment a little clearer.

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:41 pm
by NuclearStudent
Feurox wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:04 pm
Well, obviously I had the opportunity to read Reprisal before you posted it, so much of my feedback will be stuff you already know. I'll preface this comment further, by pointing out that your writing style is technically sound, and even quite decent. As others have pointed out, your first post is a very effective piece, and you've said yourself you enjoy that writing the most - It's not really my genre, and it's definitely not my area of expertise, but you deserve props for that skill.

I'm going to start with what I consider to be the fundamental problem with your stories, and I apologize if this sounds harsh, because I really don't mean it to be, and I'd like to see your writing continue.

My problem with a hefty proportion of your posts is that Katawa Shoujo seems to be an ill fitting suit that your stories are forced into. It's like you come up with the premise, but it's not based on the themes of KS, or the characters themselves - Mirage pointed out the problems with your characters of Rika and Miki, and Oddball pointed out that 'Burnt Woman Burns Body' has nothing to do with KS really. So my questions is effectively, what's the point? I know that sounds dismissive, but really, why make this KS fanfiction? They're effective pieces, but they're in ill fitting suits - when it actually seems they'd stand far stronger if you made them their own entities. This make it very hard to be invested in your stories, because it feels superficial, like KS is just a convenient place to dump your stories.
That's a good question, as to why I'm here. I don't remember my reasoning. I really was writing random stories and slapping a KS label on them. I'm still doing that, but I'm not releasing any of those onto the renai.

Stories like Reprisal are a step back towards KS mainstream, to attempt to engage with KS canon. That said, I deliberately made zero attempt to imitate Suriko's style or Hisao's voice. I wrote that from the heart. Pretty much everything I complete has been written from the heart. In my planned work I'm consciously trying to reconnect with the themes and characters of KS. Uh, success may vary.

I think your style partly lends itself to this feeling, because it feels very disconnected from the reader. Even when you switch to first person, things feel calculated and cold, which, I'd like to stress CAN really be a fantastic style. In some scenario's it works, and in fact, I'd argue that in 'Until I Rise Again', you do quite a good job of making it work, but I'm going to come back to this story because to me it's your most interesting one. To sum up the problem with your style, it feels like when you're writing about these characters, you don't care about them, your emotive language is pretty minimal, and things feel very matter of fact. Let's look at 'Reprisal' for an example:
Something in me is just desperately, desperately trying to hold things together as if they're alright. I want to believe that they will be alright.
If you say this sentence out loud, (something I recommend everybody tries when re-reading their own work), you'll immediately notice which word feels clunky and uncomfortable. Now try this:
Something in me is desperately trying to hold things together as if they're alright... I want to believe that they will be. But I don't know anymore.


(Added last line, I think it fits the tone of 'Reprisal'.)
I wrote that line that way, because that is how I would think it. It is also how I would say it. It's not in compliance with how Hisao is actually shown to think in game. That's a constant disconnect I have with stories here and elsewhere. The thoughts are not structured in the ways that I structure my own thoughts. Reading foreign thought processes can be tiresome; writing foreign thought processes can be tiring.

I'm trying to think of ways to make this work. I'm thinking I write more Rin.


As for my attitude to the characters that's...something that comes through, an indifference mixed with a degree of active hostility to my subjects. I should probably take the time to implement some happiness in my stories. To find times and places for characters to just enjoy themselves. I can and should lighten up on the edge once in a while. I think my stories would indeed be the better for it.

This is a HUGELY stylistic preference I'm pointing out. There's no real need to change your style, but the thrust of this point is that there's something missing. It feels cold, even when you're characters are feeling, they're not. They're going through the motions. For someone who I think masters this style utterly, I'd recommend reading Brythain's most recent one-shot.
Absolutely, I will do.

...I read a classic book recently. How To Win Friends And Influence People. It mentions an anecdote from a literary editor, which claims to be able to tell, with a few short glances, whether an author is genuinely interested in human beings.

That sort of observation makes me nervous. I like to think I care about human beings. My writing doesn't really provide evidence for that.

That being said, this observation only points out one element of your stories that I don't enjoy. There are in fact elements that I do very much enjoy, and think are brilliantly written.

I am an absolute sucker for short and powerful sentences. I try to dot them throughout my own work, but I'm a little bit in awe at how many of them you manage to dot around in your pieces. Again, 'Reprisal' does it best.
Is this how I want to think of her, as a dependable coward and a fool who never lies but hardly tells the truth?
I utterly adore this kind of thing, so well done.
Thanks. I am proud of this. It is what gives me the hope to continue.

When it comes to stories as whole entities, I'm only going to discuss 'Reprisal' and 'Until I Rise Again', because I simply cannot engage with the other stories as of yet.

With regards to 'Reprisal', the story itself is definitely your best piece of KS fan-fiction. Not because your other stories are poorly written, but because this feels like the only one I can recognize immediately as KS. There's a very interesting story to be told about Lilly's decision to stay in Japan, and whilst the whole scenario feels over-done, especially with Akira being forbidden to help Lilly, it has the potential to be a heart wrenching story. Lilly is a character at odds with her obligations and her heart, and I think that the Lilly you present, one robbed of all her emotional control, is one that works in the setting provided. It's a sad story, I like those - nothing other-worldly happens, it's just two people hurting. Once again, we find ourselves encountering the problem of style - i think a story like this could be written in such a way that it could tear the hearts from it's readers.. Family is an important aspect of Lilly's life, whether it be duty to her blood family, or her affection for the family she's made in Japan, your story has her effectively giving one family up in place for another. That's a strong, emotional story, but the clinical nature of Hisao's thoughts, the weird innuendo from Mutou at the beginning, the perhaps overdone element of Akira, these make it hard to read this story with the seriousness I think it merits.
I posted the piece because I did think it was the best thing I ever wrote in terms of quality and compliance with KS canon. It reaches the level of mediocre. It was a promising candidate in my mind. I think I see the same thing you see, an possibly good story trapped in the mud I tried to shape it from. A failed candidate.

Then, as I said, there's 'Until I Rise Again'. I said that I found this to be your most interesting piece. There's one major reason for this.

More than any other story you've written, 'Until I Rise Again' feels like something akin to self awareness:
“This is Yamaku. On this track. The whole place looks kinda like volcanic glass and there’s ash everywhere. And there’s Hanako pouring gasoline on a zombie alien thing.”

Rin had that same pleased expression. This was the first time I’d ever known what I was looking at with one of her paintings, but I still felt like I’d understood nothing. I wondered vaguely if I should have become offended on Hanako’s behalf. I decided to ask a question which has always and will always be useless at divining Rin’s intentions.

“Why?”
This is the same question I find myself asking. Why? What's this fascination with worms about? What does it mean? Rin is maybe a bit strange, but she's not unhinged. I simply don't know what the implication, or significance is from this 'worms in my skin' image you seem so keen on demonstrating.

Maybe I'm the problem for not getting it, or maybe I'm taking it all too seriously and this is just meant to be nonsense. But then I'm back to the first point, why? Why write these things?
By experimenting with and without an Only Sane Man character, I think I do need an OSM like Hisao. I want to signal that I plan to make myself clear eventually. And I want this signal to be a truthful signal.

This moment in 'Until I Rise Again' really got inside my head, because I can't help but see it for as some kind of elaborate metaphor for you and the reader, where the reader is Hisao, confused at what you mean, and you're Rin, glad that we've seen your story, but not at all concerned about whether we get it.
I frowned. “Rin, you’ve completely lost me. I have no idea what you’re going on about.”

Rin laid back on the grass with her eyes closed. She looked content.
If I remember what I was consciously thinking, this was Rin being very satisfied and pleased that Hisao knew what he was looking at. That's a step up from usual. Hisao gets it more deeply than before. I suppose this extends as a metaphor for my work. If I successfully transmit imagery, I consider that a success. Of course, I should learn to do far more than that, and I want to do far more than that.
Am I being too harsh? I sincerely hope not, because your writing is really quite good, and there is so much potential, especially having read 'Reprisal'. I know that you can write good KS stories. I know that you can write brilliantly. I know that you're putting some genuine effort into these, and that below the surface, there's some good stories waiting to come out. But as of right now, it feels an awful like I'm the Hisao of 'Until I Rise Again'.

I am trying so hard to understand. To decipher what you want us to gain from this story, what you gain from writing them. But I just... can't.

And somehow we're back at the question of why? But this, time, I'd like to point out one final thing.
I'm not satisfied with it and I can't define what's wrong. It is also the closest thing I've written to being conventionally good. It starts with sexual innuendo to lighten the mood. I am displeased.
Why should we read your stuff if you haven't got any pride in it? I understand being skeptical. I understand wanting feedback and help, I hope you feel like I've given you some of that here, because again, I don't want to just criticize you. There's something good here, but it's being buried by your attitude, and your desire to confuse us.
I agree, it really dampens things if I start by shitting on my own work without being helpful. I won't do it in the future.

Not too long ago I never would have posted any of this. I would have waited until I had something I thought was good. I'm still holding out for when I post something I consider good. I pushing myself on the idea I can have maybe three really promising story-candidates out of the morass I produce, and one of the candidates might be good.
One long scream into the night means a great deal less when it's a stranger.

Oh pooh
This was in response to Oddball.

He was giving you some praise, he was reading your story. Giving you feedback, giving you something to move on from. He was right, it truly lacked as a KS piece. And this response, whatever it means, it made me angry when I first saw it.

Your response to him just comes across as dismissive, it comes across as rude, like you don't care if we understand your writing...

Do you not?
God help me, I've never making a joke like that again. It is ridiculously edgy and flippant. You are absolutely right in that it comes off as dismissive.

Because once again, we're back.

Why?
I used to write poetry. People told me I was good at it. I found no purpose in it. It felt like good was the same as bad, and that I wasn't communicating anything. Some people told me that I could say anything and make it sound nice, which forever ruined my will to write poetry. After August, I might take up poetry-writing and public reading again. I'm older now, and more likely to find a hostile audience that will make me feel better. I think I have some need to alienate myself to puff up my own ego. It's not a very noble motive.

That's not a complete answer to the question of why I write the way I do. But it is probably part of the answer. I want to belong and I want to not belong. Very childish.

I've tried to give you some balanced feedback here. I know that you're trying with these stories, and please do understand that I don't want to see you stop writing. You're scratching at the surface of something good.

I know feedback like this can seem discouraging, and I'm sorry if you feel like I've been too harsh. It took me quite some time to formulate this into something that I think can be helpful.

Good luck with your future writing and please, have some more faith in yourself.

We are all our own worst critic.
I found this feedback very encouraging. From my heart, thank you.

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:43 pm
by NuclearStudent
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:48 pm
NuclearStudent wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:19 pm
Mutou returning was not meant to be such a mood breaker. Mm. I made no attempt to imitate Suriko's writing style or put this as anything other than a reflection of my own wishes, but I was quite serious in that part. I'll mull on it.
Okay, then let me elaborate on why I thought this was a crackfic:
In the beginning you very heavily implied that Hisao and Lilly were trying to get a place to have sex. They went to a classroom for that and asked Mutou for his coopreation - something he would never do in a serious fic - and he agrees.
When Mutou has left you solve the misunderstanding. At this point I might have let it go. For me such a joke is misplaced in a serious story about deep emotional turmoil, but okay - you could say it's the reader's fault for misunderstanding...
But then Mutou returns and he is surprised that the two apparently did NOT have sex, meaning that he indeed DID let them have the classroom for the purpose of having sex - and at this point the story has quite irredeemably turned into a crackfic...
I see. If I ever try to write a noncrack fic, I'll try for more tonal consistency.

Re: NuclearStudent's Story Repository

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:25 pm
by NuclearStudent
Index
The following post was written in response to Stiles Long's writing contest. Each participant was given a list of KS character pairings and a list of locations. One of each was chosen for this fic. There were a limited set of options available to participants in the contest and it may be that this fic resembles others. Any such resemblance is coincidental.
The Long Walk Alone

As he struggled upwards against the mountain, Kenji took a little sip of whiskey from his travelling flask. He coughed as it burned down his parched throat. He wondered if his blonde bitch of a companion would notice. She currently had her head down in shame just as she deserved to. Christ, how Kenji hated school trips.

“Lilly.” Kenji groused. “I trusted you to know the way”

Lilly didn’t say anything back. That made Kenji feel guilty, so he took another gulp. Then he felt angry about being made to feel guilty. It was her fault. She was the one who’d dragged him along on some raggedy marathon along a sidepath away from all the chaperones and witnesses. It was always the fault of women and their feminist ideology.

He closed up his flask of liquid courage and turned around dramatically. If he didn’t feel confident in his ability to take the broad mano a mano, then he wouldn’t have put himself alone with a feminist at all. Lilly had the nerve to act all uncomfortable even though she was the one who’d invited him out. He’d figured her out for what she was.It was time for a manly confrontation, to seize the initiative for himself.

“Lilly.” He announced. “I know what this is really all about.”

He strode towards her in long and confident steps. Then he tripped over a rock and slipped. Lilly grabbed outwards and managed to clutch his sleeve. She shouted and held him steady as he skid around in the struggle to get back on his feet. He scrambled in place, slipping against the stones and scrabbling for footing.

He managed to get himself up and steady. Panting, he glanced towards the blurry contours of the valley below, with all of its green and greys and blues. Tumbling into the river, being impaled upon a tree, and being dashed upon the rocks would have all been equally deadly. He took a deep breath. He dusted his scarf off. Lilly’face was turned towards him with an expression of concern.

“Thanks.” Kenji said begrudgingly.

Lilly sighed in relief. “You are quite welcome. It wouldn’t have done for you to have fallen here.”

Kenji frowned. His heart was still jackhammering, but he couldn’t let that stop him. He had to step out from the shadows. He had to know the truth. “Why did you save me? You know what I am.”

Lilly was damned good at pretending that nothing was wrong. Her face didn’t give away a thing. “I am sorry, I don’t understand.”

Kenji shook his head. “You know that I’m the center of resistance against feminism here, and you seduced Hisao to get to me. You’re here to talk terms.”

Kenji saw the dismay quake through Lilly. But her voice stayed calm and polite.

“I don’t know what you mean or what you are implying. I don’t know a thing about feminism. And I fell in love with Hisao for who he is.”

“Come on.” Kenji grinned. “You tried to seduce all of my secrets out of him. You stole his trust away from me and you’re trying to make him your slave. You’ve damn well gotten to him already. He’d jump off this cliff if you asked him to. But I’m going to free him, like I’m going to free every man from the fascist domination of feminism.”

Kenji could see the strain growing in Lilly’s face, but she didn’t crack. “I still don’t know what you mean,” She said slowly. “But Hisao is his own man.”

“Bullshit! You’ve taken him completely.” Kenji tried to fling his flask dramatically, but it bounced on its rubber neckstrap and hit him in the chest. “I did my best to warn Hisao about you. He even knows that you’re connected to the Mafia and to the student council. But Hisao ignored the danger. And now look at what you’ve done to him.”

“I’ll try.” Lilly said tersely.

Kenji ignored her. “Day and night, he looks like a dope, all of his energy sucked out and taken by you. When I talk to him, and I can tell that he’s always thinking about something else. He’s your thrall now. You’ve taken my last ally from me.”

Lilly frowned. “How do you know that he’s thinking about me?”

Kenji glared at her. “I am a subtle tactician. I may have been hiding my power levels in class, biding my time, blending in with the normal students. But do not underestimate my command of psychological warfare. Nobody, not even Hisao, has witnessed all the precision and depth with which I can penetrate the human psyche and look past all barriers. He’s never paying attention and doesn’t know that he talks in his sleep. All of his secrets are known to me.”

Lilly’s eyes widened. “Is that so?”

“Argh!” Kenji beat his head. “I’ve been tricked into revealing the weaknesses of one of my allies. I had assumed that you already knew. Classic feminist ploy, Lilly. A masterstroke of intelligence gathering. I’ve only just revealed myself, but already you have your counters ready.”

Lilly leaned forward mischeviously. “So, what does Hisao say about me?”

Kenji ground his teeth. “I know about your secret expedition up north.”

“Do you have anything to say about it?” Lilly challenged.

“I know you stole his soul there.” Kenji shook his head. “You used your black-magic Scottish powers to sacrifice the burned girl and corrupt his mind. You probably also used Russian liquor and street drugs to prepare him for hypnosis. I’m still convinced that you’re tied up with the Russian mob. My keen eyes never lie.”

“Anything else?” Lilly, now simply amused, pouted.

Kenji shook his head. “I don’t know for certain. But I know you’ve slipped into his mind grotesquely. He says your name.”

Lilly blushed. Kenji took another sip of whiskey.

“Look,” he said, almost reasonably, “I know what you’ve done. I know now that he won’t be free this year or even in this decade. You’ve sunk your claws into him. I just want to know what it’s all about. And I know you brought me here for a reason. Nobody willingly walks alone with me nowadays. Not after you feminists have poisoned all minds against me.”

Kenji expected Lilly to reveal some of the harsh-like-liquor secrets about the coming fascist takeover that he was preparing to fight. She wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to gloat. He’d seen the preparations, the construction, the raid-drills conducted under the guises of “school festivals.” He knew that the student council was simply a trial run for the autocratic dictatorship that women would subjugate mankind under if he failed to stop them.

But Lilly spoke, her words were alarmingly simple.

“What would you do for someone you cared about?”

Kenji scratched his head and then shrugged. “Anything, I guess, for a fellow brother.”

Lilly’s voice was small. “Anything? It’s easy to say that. But what would you sacrifice?”

Kenji opened his mouth, and then closed it again. He stared moodily off at the sunset. “I guess the question doesn’t matter. Hisao’s the closest thing I’ve got to a friend. And I’m not stupid. I know he barely cares. I also don’t have a girlfriend anymore, so she wouldn’t matter.”

“And what-” Lilly’s breath caught. “What about your family?”

“My parents barely care about me or what I do, and I don’t think I care about them either.” Kenji drummed his fingers against his whiskey flask. ”And don’t even get me started about our class. Nobody in the world would think about it twice if I fell off this cliff right now. They’d think I jumped.”

Lilly was quiet for a while. Kenji glared at her and waited. The sun finished disappearing underneath the horizon. No flares or flashlights appeared on the mountain, no searchlights from signaling rescuers. The silence went on and on. Kenji took his flask, swished around the contents, and then thrust it at her.

“Drink.” He ordered.

Lilly hesitated. Then she smelt it. It was good whiskey. When he forced it into her hands, she took it, and almost unwillingly, held it close to her nose to sniff it. Kenji grabbed the flask and tipped it into her mouth. Lilly sputtered, but swallowed almost all of it.

“Keep drinking.” Kenji ordered. “All of it.”

Lilly sniffed the whiskey again. Slowly, and with greed in her face, Lilly sipped the rest all down. Finally, she stopped and leaned back with an expression of both guilt and pleasure. Kenji grabbed Lilly around the shoulder.

“Today, we are not alone, and we are not strange.” He proclaimed. “We are only ourselves. Everybody has damage, but we can be the better people. Even if you are a feminist and I am the savior of mankind, we have that much in common.”

Still gripping Lilly by the shoulder. Kenji tapped the flask hopefully against his mouth. Nothing came out. He felt Lilly’s fingers pinching him back.

“I’m sorry.” She mumbled.

Kenji frowned. “For what? Getting us lost?”

Lilly shook her head. “For everything.”