And here it is. So, i've realized that my prose is quite weak when i'm just trying to tell a straight up story, with no frills or purple prose or post-modernism or whatnot. It's a shame, so i'm just going to try and focus on the comedy and trying to get the story across well. Hopefully i'll get better with this as I g along, so to whoever's reading, thanks for putting up with it.
I wrote the first part of this chapter while watching Pulp Fiction and listening to Wu-Tang Clan. Why is this important? You'll see.
“Shizune?! Misha?! What the fuck are you two doing here?” You’d think by now I would’ve gotten used to these near-constant surprises, but apparently not.
Shizune frowns and signs something, “Wahaha! Hicchan, you really should stop swearing~”
“Answer the question Mikado,” Kenji’s tone is scarily calm; icy cold, radically different from his regular heated demeanour.
“Mr. Setou, that is no way to address members of the Student Council.”
Emi raises her pimp cane to point at the duo, “I’m with them. What are you two doing here?” Hunter also pipes in, crowing his assent.
“Well, due to your little party, which was highly against school regulations, we’ll have you know,” Misha and Shizune give us all a frown so synchronised it must have been rehearsed, “Several members of the student body have gone missing. The teachers have sent us to retrieve them.”
“Hrm, you know, that doesn’t really add up,” Kenji puts in, stroking his chin.
Shizune arches an eyebrow, making her intent very clearly; don’t fuck with me. “Oh?” Misha translates, despite Shizune not having signed anything.
I nudge Kenji and whisper to him, “Drop it man.”
“No,” he replies to me, then turns to face the Student Council again, “Yes. That doesn’t make any sense. For one, how would you know our exact location? Secondly, even if you did, why would the teachers send two students unsupervised to a different continent to retrieve several students that may or may not be there?” Kenji grins wickedly, in the back of my head I can hear an announcer loudly proclaiming FINISH HIM! “And finally, if I remember correctly, I remember seeing you,” he points at Misha, “and your handler at our “against school regulations” party.”
FATALITY! Throughout Kenji’s little speech, the pair have gone very silent (Shizune more than usual) and very subdued. Shizune motions slightly, an inclination of her head. Misha gives a devilish grin, and a very chilling “Wahaha!”. Suddenly, before I even have time to register what’s happened, Kenji, Emi, and I are down on the floor. Misha coathangered Kenji and I, while Shizune swept Emi’s feet out from under her and is holding her cane like a rapier. Misha’s pressed a shiv against Kenji’s throat,
“Bitch you wan’get shanked?” Misha waves the small knife in front of our faces. Somehow she’s still kept up a continuous stream of signing, and Shizune is watching this with mild amusement on her face as she keeps Emi’s cane pressed up against her chest.
I gulp, “No,” both me and Kenji answer, at the same time.
Misha somehow manages to grab both our collars in one gargantuan, bear like paw and lifts our faces up to meet hers. Her eyes have a maniacal glint to them. Her breath smells of garlic and fish. “What does Shizune Hakamichi look like?”
I try to stutter out an answer, but my tongue trips over itself; the only word I can get out is a fumbling “W-what?” Unfortunately, I respond before Kenji does, drawing Misha’s attention to me, despite Kenji having been the one that spoke out against him.
Misha suddenly picks me up and throws me back a good foot. Before I even have time to get wind, she’s dragged Kenji back to where I am and is straddling both of us again. “What country are you from?!”
“W-what?” My brain is still trying to desperately catch up with the chain of events that’s unfolding, and with the searing pain in my back from my fall, and the frantic thudding in my chest.
“Wahaha! Hicchan; What ain’t no country I ever heard of!” Froth and saliva are coalescing on Misha’s upper lip and her smile looks unhinged, deranged, “They speak Japanese in What?”
I can’t think, the only thing my lips manage to get out is a reflexive response by now; “What?”
Misha knees me in the groin, and then laughs, her regular chirping behaviour offsetted by the violence of her actions. I barely feel it, it’s just another list to the accumulating white hotspot of pain that is my body.
“Japanese, motherfucker! Do you speak it?”
“Good,” she smiles, “then you know what I’m saying?”
“Wahaha! Good, Hicchan. Describe what Shizune Hakamichi looks like!”
Misha’s smile drops, she presses the shiv into my throat. I can feel it’s smooth sharpness against my adam’s apple.
“SAY WHAT AGAIN! I DARE YA! I DOUBLE DARE YA MOTHERFUCKER! SAY WHAT ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME!
The pain is starting to recede a bit, and with it I regain some mental faculties. Still barely enough. Luckily, Kenji’s got my back.
“She’s got black hair,” he whispers to me.
“S-she’s got black hair!” I repeat frantically.
“She..she wears glasses.”
Misha’s slasher grin jumps to her face once more, “Does she look like a bitch?”
Suddenly Misha’s gigantic ham of a hand smashes me in the face.
“Does. She. Look. Like. A bitch?!”
“No!” Blood is running freely from my nose, down my face.
“Then why you trying to fuck her like a bitch, Hisao?”
Goddamn it, why am I catching the flak for Kenji’s stupidity. Luckily, at this point Misha picks up some telepathic signal from Shizune, or something, and leaves us and returns to Hakamichi’s side as eagerly as some psychotic puppy.
Shizune throws the cane back at Emi, who’s rising. She doesn’t seem to have gotten as much abuse as we did. Shizune signs something, “I think we’ve made everything clear now, haven’t we?”
“Y-yes,” Kenji, Emi, and I stutter.
“Good. Bitches, in the van.”
Meekly, Emi, Kenji, and I shuffle into the back of the van. All the seats except for the front two seem to have been removed, and replaced with bean bags. On the floor there’s a large briefcase, and a mysteriously stained full body Easter Bunny suit.
“What’s in the briefcase?” Emi asks.
Misha shrugs, seeming back to her regular, non psychotic self. It seems that Misha and Shizune have returned to their normal selves. Or their fake selves, as may be the case. Honestly, I’m a bit too shaken to try and puzzle it out.
Kenji grabs the briefcase, stares at it for a second, then fiddles with the combination. Suddenly, it snaps open. Several packs of gum fall out of it, along with a ticket, car keys (presumably for the van), and a piece of paper with a phone number.
“Jesus, why are we being left so many pieces of paper?” I ask no one in particular, “They’re like MacGuffins in some poorly written story.”
No one responds to my words, seeming to be unaware of their existence, as if they were blotted out by some kind of intradimensional invisible wall.
“Hrmm, I wonder whose number that could be?” Emi ponders aloud.
“Well we could always use the phone in the main office! Wahaha!” Misha translates. Shizune is, as ever, the voice of reason. That’s probably at least some small benefit on having her along on this goddamn trip.
“Hicchan, please pass the keys over!” Misha chirps at me.
“Is Shizune driving?” I ask.
“Nope! I am! Wahaha!”
I’m going to die in this fucking country.
Not willing to risk the wrath of Misha, I hand over the keys without a fight, and settle down, cursing the lack of seatbelts and their accompanying seats.
“Wahaha! Let’s do this bitches!” Misha presses the CD player play button with a finger. Suddenly, a soft folk love ballad starts playing. The disgust is plain to see on Misha’s face.
“Fuck this pussy ass shit!” She ejects the CD and throws it out the window.
“MY MIXCD!” Kenji looks on the verge of tears. Misha inserts in another CD that she’s somehow pulled out of her bosom; the stereo system starts blaring Wu-Tang Clan. To my amazement, I see that Shizune is nodding along to the beat as well, somehow. This does nothing to allay my concerns.
My fears are well founded, as Misha is quite possibly the most reckless driver I have ever encountered. She backs up stupidly fast out of the storage unit, drifts instead of turning, and floors it the few metres to the driveway leading out to the main street. She parks there. In the middle of a drivewayTo make it worse, Misha was somehow STILL signing everything that was being said, including the rap lyrics to “Shame on a Nigga”, while she was driving.
I get out, trembling, and head to the main office building, which is adjacent to the driveway we were parked in. As I enter, the lady looks visibly shaken. I assume she heard the sounds of Misha’s god awful driving, and the loud gangsta rap that accompanied it. I’m pretty sure people in Sweden could hear it.
“Oh, hello. I hope you found everything in…order?” She asks, her face blanched, her hands trembling.
“Uh, yeah. Thanks. Do I have to pay a fee?”
“No, your bill was settled when you rented out the storage space. You’ve still got a week left, actually.” She jerks her head slightly in the direction of our van,
“Who are those two? You didn’t come in with them.”
I sigh, “I’m sorry. They’re schoolmates of ours. Honestly, I don’t know how they’re here either.”
“You guys aren’t from here, I’m assuming?”
“No, we’re Japanese students from a private school for the disabled.”
“Oh? What are you doing in Bergen?”
An awkward silence stretches out to fill the room. I remember what I came in here for, “Say, can I use your phone?”
She turns to face me again; her concentration had lapsed out on some random knick-knack on her desk as she furrowed her brow, probably thinking about the absurdity of her situation. If only she knew.
“Oh, yeah, sure,” She hands the telephone to me. I pick it up and dial the number, looking at the page found in the briefcase.
After a few rings, someone picks up, “Hallo?” The voice says in a thick accent.
“Uh, hi. Do you speak English?”
“Oh, great. Uhm, I don’t know how to put this, but I found your number in a briefcase I think is mine, along with a ticket of some kind. For a boat, I think.”
The voice on the other end lets out a deep laugh, “OH! You is that Japanese kid! HAHA! You is a funny guy. Yeah, you come down, you get on boat. I give address.”
And he did. I wrote it down, said goodbye to the lady at the counter, and got back in the vain (albeit reluctantly), and conveyed my findings to the gang.
Misha doesn’t even wait to hear the full explanation; as soon as I hand Shizune the address she’s already pounding off down the street, leaving several scared pedestrians in her wake.
And a dead cat.
I think it was a cat.
I hope it was a cat.
Yeah, this Chapter is pretty much the last chapter of the "introduction" phase of the story. The REAL country-hopping starts now, and it only gets weirder from here.