Freaks and Friends

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brythain
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by brythain » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:25 am

I enjoyed this, partly because I suspected that would be the case, and partly because you did indeed pull it off with dignity and grace, and even pathos.
In the interests of full disclosure, I think of 'Freaks and Friends' when writing about Taro Arai (in particular 'Takoyaki'). Thanks for all this, and I look forward to whatever else you're writing!
Last edited by brythain on Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Alpacalypse » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:42 am

Oddball wrote:I've worried that once I revealed what was wrong with Hachisame I'd lose people.
Well, I'm still invested. Hachisame's condition is actually pretty horrible and I didn't think for a second "nope, I don't buy it". Having been to Ripley's Believe it or Not in London, I have learned that far, far stranger things have happened in the world.
Oddball wrote:“I mean really different. You see, I'm … not actually human. I come from a long forgotten race under the sea.” There's something strange in her tone. It's unbelievable, but she says it with an unnervingly serious tone and expression. “My people chose me to come to the surface world and retrieve a variety of both male and female humans to help repopulate our race. I was hoping you could be one of them.”
This gave me a hearty chuckle. I thought you were being serious about it at first (yes, I fell for Hachisame's trick :roll: ).

One last though from me:
Oddball wrote:how she uses the bathroom
I wasn't thinking it initially, but now I can't figure it out :/
God dammit!

Anyway, good chapter! I look forward to more :D
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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:14 pm

Nice job making her condition more plausible by first pulling out something completely outlandish.
After the Innsmouth reference I was relieved you didn't take the story in that direction :-)
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Oddball
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oddball » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:55 pm

I thought you were being serious about it at first (yes, I fell for Hachisame's trick :roll: ).
Nice job making her condition more plausible by first pulling out something completely outlandish.
After the Innsmouth reference I was relieved you didn't take the story in that direction :-)
It lessened the blow and some people actually fell for it. I'm glad that part worked as intended. I actually didn't even think of it until the third time I went back over the chapter editing.

Hachisame can be quite fun to write for sometimes.
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Mader Levap
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Mader Levap » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:24 pm

Sorry, but suspension of disbelief is close to break. Not because of condition (parasitic twin?). It is because I can't fathom why infant did not get any surgery.
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:56 pm

Mader Levap wrote:Sorry, but suspension of disbelief is close to break. Not because of condition (parasitic twin?). It is because I can't fathom why infant did not get any surgery.
In some cases of parasitic and conjoined twins, the risks of separation far outweigh the rewards. In those cases, the twins are left intact.

Fun fact... Myrtle Corbin (Hachisame's spiritual ancestor) had five children.
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Critical115
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Critical115 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:27 am

Wow, that was actually pulled off really well. I am ready to receive your next chapter.
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oddball » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:54 am

Chapter: 18

Today is the day.

Shortly after waking up, I change into the school-issued swimsuit and grab a nice big towel, wrapping it around my waist. The suit is the same red and white as the gym clothes but it feels just like the one I wore at my last school. I don't bother putting on my eye patch or putting my hair up in it's usual ponytail. Now that I'm ready …. umm ...

Now what?

I never said that I was going to join them. Heck, I didn't even ask. It's just that it feels like I'm supposed to given what happened yesterday.

I'm not even sure how I'm going to handle seeing Hachisame strutting around with all her legs visible but I need to prove to myself, if nobody else, that I can deal with this. I'm not going to be one of those judgmental people that turns their back on somebody just because they look weird. She went out of her way to make me feel welcome here, in her own way, and that actually means a lot to me.

Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I need to. Hachisame seemed to shrug off the seriousness of it pretty quickly. Of course, that could just be because she's used to people abandoning her once she shows them what's really wrong with her. That must make for a really horrible life now that I think about it. Would my friends have ditched me if I stayed at my old school? It's a sobering thought and I don't have the answer. Instead, I force myself to think of something else, like that poster on my wall.

What exactly is a 'Rayearth' anyway?

Sigh. I could use some new posters. We'll have to go shopping later. …. yeah, 'we'. Meaning … hmm... So much for getting my mind off things.

I start to open the door when something else occurs to me. We never came up with a place to meet. I suppose this makes sense since I never actually agreed to meet up with them, but it does create another stumbling block. I really don't want to head down to the pool alone, if I can even find it, and standing out in the hallways and waiting for them would make me look rather pathetic and possibly creepy. I entertain the idea of wandering around and 'coincidentally' bumping into them, but there are more ways that idea could go wrong than I even care to think about.

Time to swallow my pride.

Again.

At this rate, I'll have every bit of my pride digested within the month.

… God, that analogy sucked so badly I'm ashamed I was the one to think of it. Didn't I used to be wittier than this before coming here? …. Maybe. Actually, I probably wasn't. I was just never in as many awkward situations this close together before I came to this school.

Okay, seriously this time, I tell myself as I get up and head towards Time Warp's room. I'm worrying far too much. I just wished she lived across the dorms so I'd have time to procrastinate more. There's never enough time to put off something you don't want to do for later.

I knock on Tana's door, giving her time to answer it. If this turns out to be a bad idea, I'd rather her talk me out of it before talking to Hachisame. She's easier to deal with. As I knock, I notice my hand hits the door several inches away from where I had wanted it to, striking the frame of the door rather than the door itself. I curse to myself and readjust my aim, knocking again, more for my own benefit than for the girl on the other side of the door. It's a minor thing, but it's something I really need to start paying more attention too.

After the usual wait, Tana opens the door.

“Good morning, come on in,” she says stepping out of the way of the door. Her room is as much of a mess as ever and she hasn't changed out of her Hello Kitty pajamas yet. “Oh, hey Hitomi. I wasn't expecting you this morning,” she says. She's not quite facing me right. I have a feeling that she invited me in before she actually knew who I was. “Hachisame's going to give you hell for that swimsuit, you know.”

“What's wrong with it?” I say with a shrug. I know school swimsuits aren't actually the peak of fashion, but I don't see why she'd have a problem with that.

“You said you're uncomfortable with casual nudity, right? So you might want to give me a moment to get dressed,” Time Warp says to me. I turn my back to her and tell her I won't look. “She'll tell you what's wrong,” Time Warp says, jumping back a few sentences in our conversation.

“Are we supposed to meet Hachisame there, or do we go over together or what?” I ask trying to ignore the whole part about Hachisame getting mad at me. I pause and wait for her to respond.

“Trust me, she'll come get us when she's ready. That's her way. She barrels ahead and everybody else has to keep up,” Tana says. I hadn't actually thought of it before, but it's pretty weird how a girl that can't keep up with anyone and a girl with no real impulse control have ended up being friends. Where I fit into that, I'm not sure yet. “You can look now,” she adds.

I turn to see her wearing a light blue one-piece swimsuit with neon green palm trees on it. There's ruffles at the legs and shoulder straps making it look like it was meant for a much younger girl. It's a different suit than she wore last time I saw her in swimwear.

“Nice outfit,” I say simply because it feels like the thing I'm supposed to say. She smiles back at me and give me something that resembles a theatrical bow.

A few minutes later, and without knocking, Hachisame bursts into the room with all the grace and subtly of a rhinoceros on roller blades. She starts to say something then stops leaving her mouth open as she notices me. Her face then twists into a look of irritation. I was right. This was a bad idea.

“Do you own anything that resembles a real swimsuit?” she asks in exasperation. That wasn't the reaction I was expecting.

“What's wrong with this?” I ask.

“Most everything. It's got no style, no class, no personality. Also, I hate it. Need I go on?” she says dryly.

“It's the school uniform,” I say like that's supposed to explain everything and excuse me from any fault.

“A uniform is a uniform, you have to wear those for school, but when you're doing something for you, you need something with more pizzazz. Wear something that reflects who you are.” She crosses her arms as she scolds me. It genuinely seems like she's offended. I'm not exactly sure I am doing this for me. Even if I was, pizzazz isn't something I've ever had a lot of.

Oddly enough, Hachisame doesn't appear to be wearing a swimsuit herself. She's wearing the sweatsuit the school uses as winter gym clothes, or at least the top. She's got a blanket covering her legs as usual.

Hachisame then smiles and slaps me hard on the back, hard enough that it probably left a mark. “This weekend we'll take you shopping. I'll let it slide until then,” she says with a smile. That certainly works out. I was just thinking about shopping anyway.

It's a good thing it's early and nobody is out yet. Walking across the school grounds in a swimsuit makes me feel almost indecent. Even the fact that this is school issue and Time Warp is wearing less than I am doesn't help much. Next time, I think I'll follow Hachisame's example and wear sweats over my swimsuit.

“And this is where the pool is,” Hachisame says as we walk past a door in the medical building.

I'm about to ask why we're skipping it before Time Warp cuts in. “We have to get the key, if you're wondering. It's not like they leave it open overnight.”

“Although that would be nice,” Hachisame sighs.

I start to chuckle slightly when Time Warp cuts in again. “You realize we'd never get her out of the pool, right.”

“She'd be a raisin,” I add. Well, it's not a great joke, but it's something. I turn my head to see how Hachisame's reacting to our casual ribbing, excepting her to at least pretend to be offended. Instead she just smiles and laughs.

“That sounds like me alright,” she smiles and then clicks her teeth together.

We arrive at the head nurse's office; Hachisame pushes the door open without knocking. I'm expecting to see the half asleep unshaven man from my previous encounter this early. Instead, the person in the head nurse's office is the actual head nurse.

“Good Morning, Kurosawa, Wakahisa. Here for your morning swim?” he says cheerfully. “And I see we've got an addition to the group,” he looks at me and raises a single eyebrow. “How have you been, Fuku?” he asks.

“I'm doing fine,” I say. I manage to stop myself before adding 'all things considered.' I'm sure if I said that, he'd sit down and interrogate me over what I meant by that.

“That's good. I assume you've been taking care of yourself. If you're going to start exercising in the morning, staying hydrated is rather important,” he smiles at me. It's not a friendly smile, but a smile that says I'm completely at his mercy. “Of course, you know that already.” he pauses slightly to open a single eye and wink at me.

“I'm taking care of myself, “ I say, eager to end the conversation.

“That's good. It's often the minor things that can turn big before you know it. You know, not eating right, not staying hydrated, not cleaning your room and tripping over something, not brushing your teeth often enough... things you don't think too much about,” he smiles again before opening a drawer in his desk and rummaging around in it. “Also, you're making sure you're doing your laundry regularly and wearing clean socks and other clothing everyday, correct?”

We all tell him we are in as few words as possible and he turns his back to us and rummages through a desk drawer. “Oh what am I asking? Mature girls like you all? Of course you're doing everything you can to take care of yourself.”

“Right. We are,” I say trying to not to cringe. I haven't actually done laundry since I got here. I remember seeing a laundry room somewhere but I can't recall where it was. This is the second day I've worn these same socks.

“That's good,” he says turning around and handing Hachisame a small key ring. “Not that I'm trying to give you a lecture, not this early in the morning. It's just part of the job. Do I need to go over the rules of the pool with you?” he asks.

“It's okay. I've already filled her in,” Hachisame says. This is a blatant lie and I'm fairly sure he knows it too, but he doesn't push the issue. He just waves us off with a goodbye and just like that we're out in the hallway again.

“I feel like I've lost a battle of wits I didn't even know I was participating in,” I sigh once the door is shut.

“How does he know these things?” Time Warp exclaims, agreeing with although most likely oblivious to my own statement.

“I feel like that every time I talk to the guy,” Hachisame adds. “He's turned getting under your skin into an art form.” I'm about to stay something to continue the conversation, but Hachisame cuts me off. “but enough of that. It's pool time,” she smiled and spins the keyring around on her finger.

We reach the door and Hachisame made a motion of throwing the keys to Time Warp before simply holding them out to hand to her. Time Warp has apparently gotten used to this as she doesn't even try to catch it. She just rolls her eyes and reaches out for approximately where her hand was before correcting her bearing and taking it from her. As she does, she looks over towards me and mutters “every morning,” with a heavy sigh.

There's an audible creek as the door swings open; it's a sound you'd expect from a cheesy haunted house attraction. Inside isn't much better. There's something spooky about a pool in the dark with nobody swimming in it. The way the light reflects in ripples off the water brings to mind every ghost stories you've ever heard before. Anybody that tells you otherwise is lying. Time Warp flips the switch and illuminates the room, but it really doesn't improve the atmosphere any.

“Alright, stretch!” Hachisame said. In blur of motion, she jumps up from her chair quickly removes her sweat top. Underneath she's wearing the top of a two piece swimsuit designed to look like seashells are covering her breasts. One of the two bottoms she's wearing is green with a seaweed pattern and the other is blue with wave designs. I'm not sure which is supposed to match her top if either or why she doesn't match her bottoms.

Without pause, Hachisame drops to the ground and quickly does a few push-ups before leaping back up and beginning to stretcher her arms and all her legs. This was the first time I was able to see her actually using her extra legs for anything. With her extra two legs, she's able to bend and balance in ways that literally would have been impossible for any other person. Just watching her do bicycle kicks makes my head hurt. My brain can't seem to process the fact that the few extra legs I'm seeing are actually there. “Okay, you warmed up?” Hachisame finally says to me. It was this moment that I realized I had been so enthralled by her movements that I hadn't done any of my own. I couldn't tell if Time Warp did anything herself as she was on my blindside. Whether she had or not, she didn't tattle on me.

Hachisame gets on her two bigger knees and reaches with one of her smaller feet to rest the temperature of the pool. Content that it's an acceptable temperature, she waves us over.

“How do you do that?” I ask and immediately regret speaking.

“Do what?” Hachisame asks.

“No. never mind. Forget I said anything?” I try to back back out of it.

“Too late. You’ve asked something. Now I'm curious,” Hachisame says. By now even Time Warp is looking at me curiously.

I gulp and grit my teeth. “Your legs. Your other legs. How do you – how do they--?”

“I have no clue what you're trying to ask me?” Hachisame says.

“You're control over them. How do you know which part does what when you need it to do things and not the others?” at this point, I'm really regretting even bringing the subject up. Hachisame gives me a blank stare.

“She wants to know how you're able to move one set of legs separately from the other,” Time Warp comes to my aid.

Hachisame stops and looks down at her legs. She makes her middle legs kick out and then crosses them. “I don't know,” she says. “I'm not a biologist or anything. They just work. Your legs work without you thinking about them, right? Do you think about walking or do you just walk?”

“Okay. Good point,” I say.

“Yeah, actually the way you were tripping over your own words I was starting to think you had some kind of brain damage you hadn't mentioned yet,” Hachisame laughs before quickly adding, “Not that there's anything wrong with brain damage,” and elbowing Time Warp in the side.

“It's not damaged. It just grew strange,” Tana adds a moment later with exaggerated irritation.

Time Warp and I take a bit more time to get ready, but Hachisame doesn't waste another moment before diving in. As I walk towards the pool, I pay careful attention to how I'm stepping. I've never actually thought about how legs worked before.

For the most part, Tana stayed near the sides, holding onto the edge and leisurely kicking around. Hachisame is another thing entirely. I have never seen anyone swim so fast or … I don't know, the only word that I can think of is majestic. She goes from doing laps to diving under and swimming around, and swimming in ways I don't even have words for. Nobody could move through the water like she does, and I mean that. If the committees didn't ban her for the extra appendages, she could probably set new Olympic records.

“Okay, you two, race me. From this end of the pool to the other and back. I'll give you half a pool lengths head start,” Hachisame said.

“I guess. Why not?” I shrug turning to Time Warp to see if she wants in.

“No. Absolutely not and you shouldn't either,” Time Warp finally says.

“Once again, you're too l-” Hachisame starts.

“Your funeral,” Time Warp accidentally cuts in. “She's going to eat you alive, you know that, right?” I look to Hachisame. She makes a munching motion them smiles at me.

“Come on. I'm giving you a head start. Think about it. You're only going to have to swim a fraction of what I'm doing. You can do that. You're not lazy, are ya?” She taunts me. I look to Time Warp for support, but at this point she's just ignoring me, hanging on to the edge of the pool and lightly kicking in the water. “How about this. You start on the pother side of the pool and swim this way. I start on this side and have to swim to the other side and then back to here.” That I agree too. She's fast, but She's got twice the distance to go. I think I can pull that off.

It turns out that I'm wrong.

If it's possible to eat dust in water, I do. Hachisame makes up the head starts length in no time at all and shoots past me like I was standing still. Even pushing myself as hard as I can, I don't have a chance. Still, I didn't give in, even with Time Warp telling me not to bother, I did finish the race. I was panting and gasping for breath more than I should, but I finished.

Hachisame was waiting for me at the “finish line,” with the typical shark-grin of hers. “And the loser is ….” she started to announce. Then she dives underwater, grabbing my legs and pulling me under.

Whether or not, she actually called my name or not, I have no idea. I'm too busy trying to get back to the surface and gasping for air.

“You lose, you get dunked,” she said once I finally seemed to recover.

“That wasn't dunking. That was pulling me under,” I say as my breath finally starts to return to me. Hachisame responds by just splashing me in the face and laughing.

“It's time to get out anyway,” Tana said, as she climbed pout of the pool.

Hachisame bobbed up from the water, “Can't be. I'm three laps below my average.”

Time Warp had already moved to pull herself out of the pool. “It's your own fault for showing off,” she calls back eventually.

“I wasn't showing off I was just demonstrating proper pool ... stuff,” Hachisame says somewhat defiantly. Neither of us believe it for a second.

The rest of the day I felt a bit tired and slightly stiff from over exerting myself in the pool earlier. I haven't done much physical activity lately and it shows. Although, honestly, I was fun. It would have been a bit more fun without being nearly drowned, but I will make Hachisame pay for that one.
Last edited by Oddball on Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:12 pm

“You're control over them.
See what's wring here?
Still, I didn't give in,
From here on out you start skipping wildly between present and past tense. What happened?

Also: Yay, it updated again! :-)

Somthing that just now occured to me - isn't it strange that Tana and everyone else hardly ever talk over each other accidentally? It happens to me a lot even though I perceive others at the same time they're talking...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by strange desire » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:46 pm

Hooray, the pool! :D I'm not sure what the time skip between the two chapters is, but when Hachisame enters Tana's room and finds Hitomi there, I can imagine that being a very touching moment. Like, a confirmation that you didn't just scare away someone forever. I love little moments like that.
Somthing that just now occured to me - isn't it strange that Tana and everyone else hardly ever talk over each other accidentally? It happens to me a lot even though I perceive others at the same time they're talking...
I saw it as a consequence of their personalities. Hachisame drives the conversations and knows Tana's quirks. Tana knows how to follow Hachi but gets surprised occasionally. Hitomi is the straight woman who has to basically follow their beats. But I dunno, anything goes with Time Warp.

Also love all of the references to the monster source material. :wink:

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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oddball » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:47 pm

Somthing that just now occured to me - isn't it strange that Tana and everyone else hardly ever talk over each other accidentally? It happens to me a lot even though I perceive others at the same time they're talking...
I have given that thought.

Sadly, it's most just hand waved away. Talking over each other happens a lot in real life, but doesn't read so well in fiction.
I saw it as a consequence of their personalities. Hachisame drives the conversations and knows Tana's quirks. Tana knows how to follow Hachi but gets surprised occasionally. Hitomi is the straight woman who has to basically follow their beats. But I dunno, anything goes with Time Warp.
That too.
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oddball » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:30 am

Chapter ...19

I'm wrapping a bandage around my head to cover my eye when I hear a voice from the doorway.

“Hello,” Rin announces her presence.

I turn to find her standing in the open doorway. Did I leave it open or did she somehow manage to work the knob with her feet? That would be pretty impressive, even more so that she managed to do it without me hearing her.

“Umm... Hello,” I say back to her. She just stand there for a minute, looking at me and making me uncomfortable. “Do you want something?” I finally ask.

“Not really,” she says. She enters the room, seeming to drift in more than actually walk. Oddly enough, she looks more interested in studying how I've decorated than talking to me.

“So, what do you think of my posters?” I ask, hoping to get some kind of conversation going.

“They're different. From each other. Nothing in common,” she says in oddly broken sentences.

“Well, I like them,” I say as I continue to place the bandage over my face.

“Then they do have something in common,” Rin says. She smiles and turns to face me, pivoting like some mechanical soldier. When she sees what I'm doing, an expression of morbid curiosity crosses her faced. “Why bandages?” she asks. She can't be that dense can she?

“To cover up my scar and missing eye?” I say, phrasing it like a question.

“Will the bandage make it better?” she asks “Or is it an infection thing to stop your head from rotting and falling off. That would be inconvenient but interesting.”

“No. It's just going to stop people from seeing it,” I tell her. She nods her head indicating that she finally understands.

“Too bad. I've know lots of people missing lots of different things, but I don't know anyone missing a head,” she says flatly. That's … kind of funny?

I finish wrapping myself and take a good look in the mirror.

“That looks better,” I say more to myself than anything.

“I have no arms. Always,” Rin says. I don't know if she was trying to make a point or change the subject. When I don't say anything, she turns and walks to the door, stopping just outside my doorway. “Are you following me?” she asks.

“No. … Should I?”

“I don't know. If you want to. Hachisame wanted you to. So she sent me to get you,” Rin says without turning back around. I start to ask her why she said she didn't want anything earlier, but stop myself. She didn't want anything. Hachisame wanted something. It depresses me that I'm able to make sense out of that.

Then again... maybe … it's a good thing I can understand Rin now? She is part of our weird little circle of friends. Granted, she's on the outside edge of the circle and doesn't tend to hang out or tag along, but she's still part of the group. Kind of.

“So, we're going to go meet Hachisame and Time- Tana, now?” I ask, stopping to correct myself mid-name. Using nicknames when talking with Rin feels off somehow.

“We'll try,” Rin says. There's a grin on her face as she says this. Forget what I thought about understanding her. I'm not entirely sure she's not just messing with everybody half the time.

As we walk down the hall, my class rep appears coming from the opposite direction. I notice her carrying a large bag and running her hand along the wall as she walks. That must be how she navigates places when she's not using her cane. At first I think running into her feels like an odd coincidence, but them I'm reminded about 90% of the students at this school live in the dorms. Running into people I know is now just a way of life. As we pass her, she cheerfully says good morning.

“Good morning, Lilly,” I say back to her. This seems to take her by surprise and her smile lights up.

“Oh lovely. I was just coming to meet you, Fuku,” she practically beams with joy.

“You know, you can just call me Hitomi if you want to. I don't mind,” I tell her.

“Hello, Lilly,” Rin says. I notice Lilly's expression seems to dip slightly.

“And good morning to you too, Rin,” Lilly adds more guardedly while placing emphasis on the girl's name. I can't figure out what it is about Rin she doesn't like, but it's obvious that she doesn't care for her.

“I think it might be,” Rin replies, seeming to be not interested in the conversation. “We'll see.”

“Yes. I suppose we shall,” Lilly says, her pleasant demeanor sounding a bit more strained than usual. “Miyagi is going to be delayed, --”

“That was a joke. We'll see. You agreed to it. I'm not sure which one of us had the joke part, but it was,” Rin cuts in.

“I'll give the credit to you,”: Lilly says before continuing her conversation with me. Rin seems content with that. “Miyagi will be delayed but she wanted me to give everyone in our class something she made. I think you'll enjoy it.” This catches my attention. Who doesn't like gifts? I glance over at Rin to see her reaction, but she's wandered into my blindspot and I don't want to crane my head unnaturally to look at her.

Lilly reaches into the bag she's carrying and pulls out something wrapped in wax paper.

“What's that?” I ask as I take it from her.

“It's Miyagi's own special recipe. They're quite good, although I warn you, they are rather messy. Make sure you have a napkin on hand,” her smile as she says this feels carefully measured and rehearsed, as though she has a recipe for exactly how much amusement is allowed and won't allow herself any more.

“I can do that. The napkins. Not the part about being on hand,” Rin cuts in. If Lilly rehearses her emotions, Rin is the type that just goes out on stage, forgets her lines, and tries to ad-lib it. “I don't have hands. That must have been your joke.” I swear I can see Lilly grimace.

“These are only for the students in her class, Rin. She didn't make enough for everyone,” Lilly straightens herself up and tries to explain.

“I'm in her class. She comes in and teaches English. I don't know why she thinks I need to know that. Everyone I know speaks Japanese. This is Japan so that makes sense. They're not like pelicans. Those don't make sense. And they look like that feeling you have when you draw something and you know the details look wrong but you don't know which ones or why.” Lilly seems to be debating whether or not to try and add to the conversation or not.

Me? I have the strongest desire to take Rin to the zoo and listen to what she thinks of all the animals.

“Miyagi comes to your class to teach. Hitomi and I are in her homeroom class, the class she made these treats for,” Lilly tries to correct Rin.

“Okay,” Rin says in monotone.

“Well, don't let us keep you. You look like you've still got quite a few people to find and Rin and me were on our way to meet some other people too,” I say, trying to cut Lilly a break.

“Thank you, Hitomi. Do enjoy and I hope to meet you again at the cook out itself,” Lilly seems to ease up considerably.

I unwrap her little gift as she walks away. It's a hamburger bun, except instead of being filled with an actual hamburger, the meat appears to be ground up and swimming in greasy sauce. I feel like I'm gaining weight just looking at it.

“It's a sloppy,” Rin says looking over my shoulder.

“I can tell that,” I say back to her.

“No. It's called that,” she says.

“Sorry, misunderstood. I get you now though. People call it a sloppy,” I say while still looking at the bun. “The name fits.”

“No. People call it a sloppy Joe. I call it a sloppy. I don't know who Joe is so I leave him out,” Rin explains. “I hope he doesn't get upset.” I don't know how to respond to that so I don't say anything. “Can I have a bite. I think I had one last year, or part of one and I think I really liked it when I was the me that was back then.”

“I'll split it with you later,” I say to her. I think I'm starting to understand Lilly's dislike of Rin. She can be frustrating to talk to, but I think I might actually be enjoying it. There's it's almost like a game. I wonder if I could market the Making Sense of Rin Game and sell it. “Weren't you supposed to be taking me to Hachisame?”

“Maybe,” she says, turning and beginning to walk away. That wasn't a fun answer at all.

Following Rin's rambling and easily distracted train, we eventually find ourselves on the school grounds between the actual school and the dorms. It's the area I like to think of as the park. That's what it reminds me of with all the open greenery and the benches along the sidewalks. It's actually in better shape than the local park back home. It might not have the swing sets or the fountain, but I'm too old for swings and they never took care of the fountain back home anyway.

Today, it really feels like a park. Tables have been set up, people are grilling food, and various students seem to be running around tossing balls and frisbees around. A few people that I barely recognize wave at me. Even given the odd number of bandaged body parts and missing limbs, it feels relaxing. It's like a world where normal doesn't exist. For maybe the first time I think I can feel the real appeal of Yamaku.

“Okay,” Rin says. I wait for her to continue, but she doesn't. For three points, let's see if I can figure out what Rin means. “That direction,” she says gesturing with her head. Off in the distance, I can see Hachisame and Time Warp talking to three other girls.

“You can go. I need to find Emi,” Rin says.

“I thought you were going to hang out with us,” I say.

“No. I need to find Emi. She's like that kind of bird that flaps it's wings faster than you can see them and I need to make sure she doesn't make people feel sort of like that thing where you think it's going to start raining but never does.” Rin shrugs her head and gives me a sly smile like she just told me a joke.

I've got no idea what any of that means. Maybe the Making Sense of Rin game wasn't that great of an idea.

“I'll see you later, Rin” I say and she turns and wanders away. I half expect another eye reference but I don't get one. By the time I reach Hachisame and Time Warp, the other three girls are leaving.

“So, who were your friends,” I ask.

“No idea. I just thought they'd fit in with the group so I started chatting with them,” Hachisame says.

“That's cool,” I say.

“The fat girl was a bit of an asshole,” Time Warp says. I hadn't heard her cuss before. It seems strange coming from her mouth.

“Oh yeah. She was,” Hachisame agreed with a laugh. “Too bad, I liked the short weird looking girl. Shame they all seem to be a package deal.” I'm really not upset by this. The short girl looked like some kind of deranged goblin. It made me uncomfortable just looking at her.

“So, what do we do now?” I ask.

“Ehhhh... nothing much. Just hang out. Talk to people. See whatever one's wearing. Eat food. That sort of thing,” Hachisame says.

“It's a party, the Welcome Back to School Everyone Party. Just do party things,” Time Warp says.

“That means we get food first,” Hachisame states. “Have you got anything yet?”

Actually, I still haven't tried that hamburger thing Lilly gave me. I remember I was said I was going to split it with Rin, but she seemed to have already forgotten it and left, so I doubt she'll mind. “I've got this,” I say holding up the sloppy whatever that I was given. “Teacher made it for the class.”

“Oooh. The epic Miyagi Sloppy Joe's. Lucky!” Hachisame says. “Come on, I'll split it with you.” She says that like she's doing me a favor.

“I wish I had your teacher. Miyagi is the best,” Time Warp adds.

“Who do you have?” I ask.

“Ozaki, the homework machine,” Hachisame says. Time Warp follows this up with a slight point towards Hachisame, signaling her to answer and unaware that she actually did.

“He doesn't seem so bad,” I say.

“Give him a few weeks,” Hachisame says.

A moment later, Time Warp adds, “He's not so good either. He doesn't watch out for people like yours does. He's just perfectly mediocre middle of the road.”

“I hadn't really noticed,” I say, eager to change the subject. “So, what's there to do at this picnic?”

Hachisame looks at me oddly. “Eat. You already asked that.” I feel kinda stupid now.

“I'm just hungry,” I say trying to cover it up.

“Come on, let's hit up Mutou's first,” Time Warp says grabbing at my arm and missing it. There's a quick second where she seems to want to jerk me along, but doesn't follow though. A moment later, she realizes what happened, and lowers her arm. “Well, are you coming or not?”

“Let me give you a quick heads up. Mutou makes great grilled vegetables, but he's not so good with meats. His cooking ranges from bloody raw to burnt to a crisp with nothing in between,” Hachisame says.

We shuffle around each other for a moment before I even realize what we're doing. We're taking our places. It seems in the short amount of time I've been here, we've already established a pattern of who walks where.

“Also, don't mention hotdogs to him at all. He will tell you what's in them and how they're made,” Time warp adds.

“Good advice,” Hachisame says. “I'd forgot to warn her about that.”

We follow the smell of cooked food, dodging around a Frisbee game and some girls gossiping and in no time at all, we're filling our paper plates with nice grilled food and cheap snacks.

As I try my hardest not to stare at Mutou's awful shorts and his boney yet hairy legs, somebody calls my name.

“Hitomi, over here!” I recognize Daisuke before I recognize my actual classmates. It's not a formal gathering of my class, it's obvious that if that where the case there would be more of them there, but there's quite a few that have gathered together.

There's the green haired colorblind girl, the muscular guy that jokes about disabilities, the girl that's always wearing that stupid fedora, the dark skinned girl with the dark glasses, and the nerdy looking guy. I really wished I remembered their names. At least I know Lilly. One out of … how many where there in class? Somewhere around twenty? One out of not-quite-twenty, just isn't that good.

“Your people are calling you,” Hachisame gestures over in their general direction. “go see what they want. I'll just be over here. Alone. And lonely. By myself. With nobody else but Time Warp. Who doesn't count,” she teases me.


“I don't know if she's stopped yet, but you should probably get going anyway,” Time Warp says.

“I told you that was her walk,” green-haired color blind girl says as I approach. Did she really just recognize me from my posture alone?

“Come have a seat and eat with your classmates,” Daisuke invites me.

“Yeah, another pretty face is always a welcome sight,” the muscle guy smiles. Unlike some of my other blind classmates, his eyes don't even stay straight. They seem to wander and cross as though they don't even work well enough to stare blindly, … and he was complimenting my appearance?

“Don't confuse the new girl,” green hair says. “Be glad you can't see the look she's giving you now.”

“Don't worry. I can imagine it,” he smiles and adds in a voice better suited for a cheap porn “Oh yeah. I'm imagining it.” Even Lilly seems to be holding back a laugh.

“As the responsible adult here... I think I need to be somewhere else right now,” Daisuke says. This earns another laugh from the group. “I think I could use more chips, anyone else want any?” he asks. Two of my classmates make their requests and he gets off the bench and walks away.

“Don't picture me naked.” I want it to sound like a joke but just saying that makes me feel like I'm going to get in trouble.

“Now now. Behave everyone,” Lilly cuts in. “It wouldn't hurt us to have some civility.”

“So are you going to just stand there or are you going to join us?” nerdy guy asks.

“Yeah. We were actually going to get some more of our classmates together and challenge the second years to some goal ball later if you're interested,” dark skinned says.

“Actually, I was really planning to spend today with my friends.” I regret the phrasing as soon as I say it. I might as well have came out and told them they weren't my friends. “No offense?” I add meekly.

“None whatsoever,” Lilly replies. “I wasn't planning on partaking in any sports either, and I have a friend I promised to bring a plate to as well.”

“Is it Hanako? Tell her I said 'hi'” muscles says.

“Tell her we said hi and if she feels like joining us, she's welcome,” green hair corrects him.

“Mind if I ask who you're hanging out with” fedora girl finally speaks. “Gotta keep up on the gossip.”

“Tana and Hachisame,” green hair says. She then looks at me apologetically like she wasn't supposed to say anything.

“Hey, how's Tana's game coming along?” nerd guy asks.

“I really don't know anything about it,” I admit.

“I suppose we've taken up enough of your time if your friends are waiting for you,” Lilly says. That's probably as good an exit as I'm going to get.

I leave the table and find the bench where Time Warp and Hachisame have planted themselves. Time Warp is sitting on it and Hachisame is next to it using it as he table.

“Sorry it took so long?” I apologize as I rejoin my friends.

“who are you again?” Hachisame asks. She holds a blank curious look for a few seconds before smiling big and clicking her teeth together. If she's going to tease me, I'll just tease back.

Did you leave any food for anybody else?”: I say looking at the piles she's stack onto her paper plate. She's probably be in trouble if she had to carry it like everyone else instead of just putting it on her lap.

“No!” she says firmly. “All the food is mine!”

“Seriously, how do you eat so much?” I ask.

“I have two stomachs,” she says. I just stare at her. Even for her, that's weird.

“She does not,” Time Warp catches up with our conversation.

“I might,” Hachisame says picking up some unidentifiable meat thickly covered in barbecue sauce. “You don't know,” she finishes with her mouth full of sloppy meat.

“I do know. You've went over the peculiarities with you body several times ... in more detail than I ever needed,” Time Warp says a moment later. “Often while I'm eating.”

“I can't help it if I'm fascinating,” Hachisame says.

“I suppose even without an extra stomach, she still has more body to feed than your average person anyway,” I say trying to find something to add to the conversation. Hachisame seems pleased with that little contribution. “How much do you weigh anyway?”

“Now she calls me fat,” she says with mock anger.

“I was just curious. I was trying to figure out what the body weight, height, extra limb ratios would be,” I ramble on, not knowing exactly how to explain what I was thinking.

“I'm the average total weight and body fat percentage for somebody of my age and body type,” she says rattling it off like she's reading from a text book.

A moment later Tana chimes in, “Of her body type. Of which there is only her,” she adds.

“You know me too well,” Hachisame smile and motions like she's going to elbow her in the gut but isn't quite close enough. From their conversation drifts into various tangents, only reaching the occasional subject when Tana or Hachisame feel the need to point somebody out to me or criticize somebody's fashion sense, Mutou's is a popular target. He's a man that should not ever wear shorts. I've never seen legs that were that exact combination of hairy, thin, and pale.

At some point, I'm not exactly sure when, Hachisame manages to steal my Sloppy Joe and eat it. It's not that I wanted it, but it's the principle of the thing.
Last edited by Oddball on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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brythain
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:18 am

Another entertaining chapter. I like your Rin. Or at least the Rin that is Rin in this. On the other hand, which she doesn't have, there isn't another hand. Haha.

One little error that stood out: "It's a hamburger bun, except instead of being filled with an actual hamburger, the meet appears to be ground up and swimming in greasy sauce." It must be a swimming meet. :D
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: Freaks and Friends

Post by Oddball » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:29 pm

brythain wrote:Another entertaining chapter. I like your Rin. Or at least the Rin that is Rin in this. On the other hand, which she doesn't have, there isn't another hand. Haha.
Rin is always a though one for me. It's hard to decide whether she needs to ramble on or just give short non informative answers to things. I try to mix it up.

One little error that stood out: "It's a hamburger bun, except instead of being filled with an actual hamburger, the meet appears to be ground up and swimming in greasy sauce." It must be a swimming meet. :D
Fixed
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Re: Freaks and Friends

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:05 pm

Found a few more.
A few extra characters...
I remember I was said I was going to split it with Rin
“Good advice,” Hachisame says. “I'd forgot to warn her about that.”
it's obvious that if that where the case there would be more of them
I really wished I remembered their names.
...that you could use here...
I say looking at the piles she's stacked onto her paper plate. She'd probably be in trouble
You've went over the peculiarities with your body several times
...and this one:
From their conversation drifts into various tangents,
"there"

This story definitely needs more of these confrontations between Lilly and Rin :twisted:

...but I understand those are hard to write...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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