Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 9/29/18)

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ProfAllister
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (S8 Submission 12/24/17)

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:01 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (You Are Here)
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Shizune woke up to the sound of chirping birds way too early in the morning.

Stupid birds. Can’t they let me sleep in a little more?

A minute later, it sank in.

I can hear the birds!

Jumping out of bed, she cupped a hand to her ear, confirming that she was in fact hearing them. Not yet satisfied, she snapped her fingers, wincing at the surprisingly loud noise it made.

“I can hear! And speak, too!”

Excitedly, she threw on her uniform and rushed to the street corner so she could catch the first shuttle to the Yamaku main campus.

As she waited for the bus, she drank in the noise and bustle of the city - the rumble of cars, the chatter of the people conversing, and the general noise of the busyness surrounding her.

I can’t wait to tell Shiina!

Shiina’s dorm was on the main campus, and it was more likely than not that she was still asleep, but this was something that couldn’t wait.

Conveniently enough, Shiina was standing right by the bus when Shizune disembarked. With a smile, Shiina signed and spoke “Good morning, Shicchan!”

Returning the smile, Shizune replied. “Good morning, Misha. Guess what?”

“What is it, Shicchan?”

Shizune didn’t reply, and just smiled. After a moment, Shiina’s eyes widened and she squealed in excitement. “You can talk, Shicchan! That’s amazing! And your voice is so beautiful!”

Your voice is beautiful.”

Misha’s laugh was surprisingly melodic, like the ringing of sleighbells. It was cut short, however as Shiina’s face fell. Shizune’s heart fell at that same moment, recognizing the last time Shiina looked this sad.

“You know what that means, Shicchan. You don’t need me anymore.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! You’re my friend!”

Shiina’s eyes looked dead as she replied with a hollow chuckle. “You know that’s not true, Shicchan. The only reason I was your friend is because you needed me to talk to everyone else. It’s okay. I understand. I was happy to be your ears and mouth. But we both know that this is where we part ways.”

“What are you talking about? Of course we can still be friends. I’d be lost without you, Misha!”

But Shiina didn’t hear. Slowly, she turned around, and began to walk directly into the busy street. Amazingly, the cars sped by, but Shiina’s skirt wasn’t even disturbed by them rushing past. In the middle of the road, she turned to look at Shizune, a sad smile on her face.

Without warning, a car hit Shiina head-on, launching her into the air and into the windshield of another car coming from the other direction.

Shizune screamed, but she couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Everything went dark…

… and she woke up on the floor of her room. Shiina was sleeping cuddled up next to her, still alive and entirely not hit by any cars. Tapping a finger against her head, she confirmed that she was still, in fact, deaf.

A glow came from the small TV against the wall, displaying the menu screen for the movie they were watching. It was Misha’s choice, so of course it had been some boring American romance film. A weird story, too - guy meets girl, guy dies in a freak accident, guy comes back from the dead to kill girl’s father… or something. The ratio of explosions to plot was far too low for Shizune to consider it a worthwhile movie, but part of being a friend is sitting through their terrible movie picks, regardless of how much it would be improved if the main character were dual wielding automatic pistols. Given the dream she just had, there’s no question which scene stuck with her the most.

But there’s no way that Shiina really feels that way, is there?

Of course not. She knows she’s my best friend. My only friend, to be honest.

Right?


Setting her jaw, she came to a decision.

I just need to show her that she’s special as a friend, not just an interpreter.

As it was the middle of the night, first things first, she decided to go back to sleep. Snuggling up against Shiina’s sleeping form, she had a passing thought.

I wonder if this is what it’s like to have a sister.

As she drifted off to sleep, she made a mental promise.
Tomorrow, Shiina. Tomorrow is going to be all about you. Melon soda, parfaits, whatever you want, first thing after classes are over.

***

The school day started like any other, up until the teacher made an announcement.

[A new student will be joining us today. Please excuse me while I go out to meet him.] Shiina helpfully translates as the teacher leaves.

As soon as his back was turned, the students turned to each other to whisper excitedly about the mysterious new transfer student. Shiina in turn faced Shizune and threw a barrage of questions her way.

[So exciting! Do you think it will be a boy or a girl? Will he be cute?] Pausing, Shiina’s eyes went wide with excitement. [Maybe he’ll join the student council!]

Rolling her eyes, Shizune responded. [Don’t get too excited. When someone transfers in the middle of the year, it usually means a significant health problem. She’s probably in no condition to do any student council work.]

Shizune's realistic response managed to deflate Shiina, but that only lasted until the teacher returned, with a boy in tow. A surprisingly attractive boy.

The boy introduced himself in the normal manner. A moment later, the teacher said something in Shizune's direction, and Shiina waved in her cute, cheerful manner.

I guess Shiina-day will have to wait until tomorrow. Now let's see if this new kid is Student Council material.

***

The next two months passed in the blink of an eye - each day busier than the last. Every day brought a new urgency that had to be dealt with. And every day ended the same way: Tomorrow, Shiina. Tomorrow is going to be all about you.

And thus Shizune found herself in the field behind the school with that same new kid.

[Do you want to be my girlfriend?]

Shizune hesitated. The question wasn’t unexpected, but it wasn’t something she had planned for, either. So many thoughts, so many possible things to say, but none of them right. Finally, she settled on a reply.

[Okay.]

Sorry, Shiina. It looks like tonight was all about me. But tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be all about you.
Last edited by ProfAllister on Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 4/12/18)

Post by brythain » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:11 pm

That's so melancholy. Once it hits the mid-point, you know what will happen but hope it won't. It's very beautiful that way, and how it takes place (in a sense) entirely within Shizune's head. I would classify it as one of those pieces that makes you wish Misha would have a happy ending for once.
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: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 4/12/18)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:59 am

brythain wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:11 pm
I would classify it as one of those pieces that makes you wish Misha would have a happy ending for once.
Funny, I'm sure I saw that someone in this thread was working on a Misha route... :P

Seriously though, I like this little one-shot. It's too sad to be a personal favorite of mine, but the nightmare and the cuteness and the tragedy... very well done.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 4/12/18)

Post by WorldlyWiseman » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:57 pm

Oh, Misha. Runner-up for Saddest Girl. Cue her wailing and sobbing about how she can't manage even that and downing a can of whipped cream like it's a forty.

Seriously though it's been cool seeing your style progress. This one and 'Sharks and Minnows' are my personal favorites.
Hanako's favorite joke is The Aristocrats, but she never tells it because Lilly finds it really offensive. Instead, she practices her delivery in front of a mirror when she's alone. It's the only time she never stammers.

ProfAllister
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 6/28/18)

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:59 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole (You Are Here)
The Death and Return of Niji


Two Halves Make a Hole

Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse.

That’s how she chose to live her life.

Of course, she didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Her days were always numbered, and she had far fewer than most.

Standing over this same beautiful corpse, my thoughts travel back to those days when we first met, and she pulled me into the rollercoaster that was her life…

***

I had just woken up in the Nurse’s office. It was the result of one of my stupider decisions - trying to race the track and field star less than a week after my discharge for a heart attack.

I heard voices on the other side of the curtain, but I clearly wasn’t thinking things through when I pulled it open. On the other side there was the Nurse, attending to a girl about a year younger than me, her hair and skin stark white. More to the point, her blouse was open and pulled down around her elbows.

My eyes met hers - a striking red color, but not before I saw the large scar across her chest, nearly a mirror to my own. Realising her compromised position, her cheeks flushed a bright red, but she made no move to cover herself.

Turning around to avoid any further embarrassment, I complained to the nurse. “Don’t you take any precautions to keep something like this from happening?”

“As a matter of fact, I do,” he chuckled, “specifically, there’s a curtain to separate patients, and I make a point of speaking loudly so the patient sleeping behind the curtain will hear that there’s someone else should he wake up.”

Thoroughly chastised, I stood there in awkward silence - a silence broken by the girl.

“...I’m Rika… Rika Katayama.”

“Hisao,” I responded over my shoulder, studiously avoiding turning around, “Hisao Nakai.”

“...You can turn around now… I’m… all covered up.”

The odd meter of her voice was strangely tentative - as if she weren’t used to talking to people.

“I…” she began to speak again, “saw your scar… Do you have one too… a heart problem?”

My first reaction was to glance at the Nurse, but he just gave me a shrug and a grin.

“Patient confidentiality. I can’t tell her anything unless you let me.”

“Yeah,” I admitted, “I’ve got a heart problem. That’s why I’m here.”

The wound was still fresh. It hurt to admit it. But I’m glad that I did, so many years ago.

“So… we are the same… is what you’re saying?”

“Yeah. I guess it is.”

Around then, the nurse clapped his hands, breaking us out of our reverie.

“Right! It’s time for you two to head back to your classes now. Here’s a note for the teacher, Nakai.”

Though he managed to usher us out of his office, we still found ourselves enraptured with the other. For who knows how many minutes, I studied her face, while she did the same to me. Without warning, she nodded with conviction.

“I like you. You’re going to be my friend.”

Just as suddenly, she hooked her hands around the back of my neck, pulled my face down to hers, and caught me in a firm kiss.

When we finally broke away, she avoided my eyes, her cheeks flushed.

“That... was my first time. I... hope you liked it.”

Before I had a chance to respond, she was already jogging to get to her class.

***

“Really? You don’t have any friends?”

“I have you.”

“No one else?”

“It’s… hard to blame them… Who wants to be friends with someone… who’s always sick? Who’s going… to die… before she’s 40?”
She said it in her odd way of talking, but it was as natural as if she were asking about the weather.

“It doesn’t bother you?”

“Does it… matter? I can’t change… who I am.”

“I guess not. But, like you said, you have me.”

Another kiss. She gave them away so casually. Too casually. They felt almost meaningless.

***

“I don’t get it, Rika! We’ve been together for months. We go on dates, we kiss, everything! But you still insist we’re friends, and specifically not boyfriend and girlfriend. What am I supposed to think?”

“You… really want to be… my boyfriend?”

“I thought I was making that obvious!”

“Then… I need to be… selfish.”

I had no idea what she was talking about, until she looked at me with tear-filled eyes. I had never seen her crying before.

“I want you… to miss me… when I’m gone... I want to… know that… my life had meaning... I want to… know that… I mattered.”

In that one moment, it all became clear, and I pulled her close to me. “I promise, Rika. I’ll be your friend until… until it’s all over.”

***

And now here I am, having kept my promise. I’m not alone in missing her. There’s our two children, of course. And our parents - we all treasured her. And Emi, who always took time out of her busy schedule as a world-class runner to check in on our health. And Misha and Shizune - the Student council that never gives up, even decades down the line. Somehow, Shizune has managed to keep in touch with everyone in our class. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what drives that girl.

Regardless, Rika would be happy. She was happy - knowing that, in her own little way, she made a difference. I just hope I can continue to follow her example, making every minute count.
Last edited by ProfAllister on Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 6/28/18)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:46 pm

So sweet and heart-wrenching. Very well done.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 6/28/18)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:03 pm

Heart-wrenching, I see what you did there.

:( indeed

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 6/28/18)

Post by calcifer » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:14 pm

So bittersweet, nicely done.
ProfAllister wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:59 pm
Before I had a chance to respond, she was already jogging to get to her class.
So she is an HLHS patient who not only survived to her teenage years without external symptoms (like cyanosis) or intellectual disabilities, but has a life expectancy of 40 whole years and can jog to class? Well, she must be incredibly lucky and unique :)
Shizune = Rin > Emi > Hanako > Lilly
FluffandCrunch wrote: Every day is a gift, every hour is golden, every minute is a diamond. Life is wonderful, if you have the courage to live it.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 6/28/18)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:59 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji (You Are Here)

I've long wanted to write a story from Jigoro's POV, but it's never been a priority, given my other projects. But when this scene idea popped into my head, I couldn't not write it down.

The Death and Return of Niji

Jigoro Hakamichi lived his life according to one principle: there are two types of people - winners, and losers. Losers make the mistake of choosing rivals, and only do what is necessary to outdo their rival. A winner’s only rival is himself - his life is a constant struggle to outdo himself. On this occasion, Jigoro found himself face to face with one of the most irritating losers he knew - Hiroyuki Satou, his brother-in-law. The field of battle: a Shogi board.

As a matter of fact, this board brilliantly illustrates the point. At some point, Hiroyuki got it in his head that Jigoro would be his rival. It was no contest - Hiroyuki was always fighting last year’s battle, and unable to react to new developments. And therein lies the difference - were Jigoro a loser, he’d satisfy himself with a low-effort win, eventually allowing Hiroyuki to overtake him.

Halfway through Hiroyuki’s next move - a foolishly shortsighted strategy that will guarantee Jigoro’s victory - the game is interrupted by the wails of a distressed 4-year-old.

Without turning his head from the gameboard, Hiroyuki addresses his daughter.

“What is wrong, Lilly?”

The tiny blond girl turns her cloudy blue eyes towards her father, holding out a limp stuffed dog, “Niji’s dead!”

“He is dead? How did that happen?”

As if summoned, Lilly’s older sister appears. “We were playing cars, and Lils was being dumb. She kept making her dog walk in the road. We couldn’t help it when Shicchan’s truck hit it and burst its organs open, splattering its brains all over the wall-”

Thank you, Akira.”

A traffic accident again? For as creative as they can be sometimes, at other times children have a surprising lack of imagination.

“Now, Lilly, it is very important to follow the rules of traffic-”

“But Niji’s DEAD!”

Any further conversation is cut off as Lilly resumes shrieking.

Jigoro mutters under his breath, “I don’t believe this…” then, raising his volume, he turns toward Lilly, “Shhh! Did you hear that?”

Confused, Lilly stares blankly in Jigoro’s direction. “Hear what?”

“Woof! Bow wow! Arf!” Reaching forward, Jigoro grabs one end of the dog and gives it a light shake. “Arf! Arf! Woof!”

Her eyes lighting up, Lilly’s face fills with joy. “Niji! You came back!”

Holding him by the paws, Lilly swings the dog over her shoulders and starts running around happily.

“Watch out for walls, Lilly.”

As soon as the words leave Hiroyuki’s mouth, there’s a loud thud, followed by a near-simultaneous “I’m okay!”

The two men returning their attention to the game, Hiroyuki speaks again, “I respect that you maintain your house according to your own principles, but I do not appreciate you undermining an important lesson about traffic safety.”

Jigoro snorts, “What would you have done? Tell her the doll is gone forever and hold a funeral?”

“If I felt it would ensure her long-term security, I would do exactly that.”

“You don’t care about her security from terrible fashion, that’s for sure. A sweatervest? Really?”

“I do not see how that is relevant in the slightest. Besides, do I need to remind you that the girl is blind?”

“You never shut up about it. What’s your excuse? Also, I believe with this move it’s game over. My win. Again.”
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 9/29/18)

Post by Hoitash » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:33 pm

“Watch out for walls, Lilly.”

As soon as the words leave Hiroyuki’s mouth, there’s a loud thud, followed by a near-simultaneous “I’m okay!”
My entire perception of Lilly has been altered by this one line.

Child Lilly is adorable, and so was this story :)
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 9/29/18)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:28 am

If only more parents put as much value on traffic safety as Mr. Satou...
We'd have a lot more mental scars in our kids than physical ones. :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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