Red Fish Blue Fish

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Oddball
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Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Oddball » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:38 pm

If there was one thing Lilly had a lot of, it was books. Her parents constantly added to her collection with books in both English and Japanese. Books were very important to her. Reading was the hobby for the educated lady. Her mother told her that. Now, Lilly wasn't quite sure how reading worked yet, but all her books had recordings with them so that was good enough for now.

Her books were designed to be listened to as the child read along. Reading along somehow involved holding the collection of papers and turning pages. The instructions to the stories told her that much. Even if they didn't, she would have been able to pick that up from listening to her mother and sister. So she held the books and turned the pages when told to do so. One of these days, she would figure out how to read without the recordings. For now, she enjoyed listening to the stories.

One of the books in her latest assortment of presents was giving her trouble though. She liked it. It was just full of words she didn't quite get. She was familiar with the author and knew he liked to make up silly words, but there were other ones she was pretty sure he wasn't making up that just confused her. So, as usual, it was time to go get help.

Her mother wasn't much help at times like this. She didn't really explain things that well. Often she'd just sigh and tell Lilly "it doesn't matter." Her father on the other hand knew everything, but he'd just tell her that she'd understand things when she was older.

Lilly often thought about this. She'd imagine how nice it was to be older and understand everything, but sometimes she wondered if her dad was telling the truth. Her mother was older and she wasn't that good at explaining things. Regardless, she hadn't heard her father all day, so that option was out. He must have left for work before she woke up. This left Lilly one option, the option that usually worked the best. Her father may know everything, but her sister was the one that was good at explaining everything.

Lilly felt her way across the floor until she found the wall and from there, she felt her way to the door. She had a cane for these sorts of things, but she didn't like using it at home if she didn't have to.

Once she was out in the hall, it was easy to find her sister's room. Her sister, Akira, had the room at the far end of the hall. It had a lovely window that always got a nice breeze. The window's in Lilly's room faced a different direction and didn't get as a nice of a breeze flowing through as Akira's, but that was okay. Her sister had a bad habit of leaving her clothes lying around too long. Her room had a very faint smell because of that, so she needed the breeze more anyway.

Akira didn't greet Lilly when she entered. That, combined with the sounds of scribbling, told Lilly that Akira was busy doing something.

"Akira," Lilly called out. The scribbling sounds stopped. The squeak of the chair told her that Akira was turning around in her seat.

"Hey, shrimp. What's up?" She said cheerfully.

"I was reading this," Lilly started to explain holding up her book. Even though she couldn't do anything more than listen to her books at this point, she always referred to it as reading. "But I didn't understand some of the words."

Even on the carpet, Lilly could hear the soft sounds of Akira's footsteps signaling her approach. The next thing she knew, she was being lifted into the air and set down on Akira's bed. "One of these days you're going to get too big for me to do this," Akira said with a slight grunt. That was just foolish though, and Lilly knew it. Akira was a lot bigger than she was. She could tell by how high her voice was coming from. She'd always be her big older sister. "Now let's see what book you've got there." With Lilly now sitting on the edge of Akira's bed, Akira took the book from her. "Dang. Doesn't he pay the lightest attention to what he gives her?" Akira muttered quietly to herself. Lilly knew that when people used that tone of voice she was supposed to pretend she couldn't hear it. That was called being polite. "Dad was being a knucklehead." Akira said in her normal tone of voice. Lilly couldn't help but giggle.

"Dad can be silly sometimes," Lilly said cheerfully.

"Silly isn't the word I'd use, but close enough for now." Akira mumbled. "Let me guess, you want to know what fish are?" Akira said playfully as she put her hand on Lilly's head and ruffled her hair.

"I know what fish are," Lilly laughed.

"I know. I know. Let me think about this for a second." Lilly sat there in silence for a moment while her sister tried to think. Akira was good at explaining things, but sometimes it took her a minute to figure out the right words. "Okay. Let's try this. You know how you can feel something and if you feel something else the same shape it doesn't always feel the same? Sometimes it's rougher or its smoother. That's called texture."

"Okay," Lilly said eager to hear more of the explanation.

"Texture is something you feel by touching. Color is sort of like texture for your eyes. Red and blue are colors." Akira said. Lilly had heard and red about colors quite a few times, but she still didn't fully understand what they were.

Lilly thought hard for a moment, trying to grasp the idea in her head and turn it into something she could better understand. "What things are red and what things are blue?" She finally asked.

Akira began to rattle off anything she could think of, hoping that it would make some kind of sense to her sister. "Apples, cherries, blood, those slippers mom has that you seem to like so much--"

"The really really soft ones?" Lilly said cheerfully.

"Yeah," Akira said with a chuckle and a nod of her head, even though she knew Lilly couldn't see it. "Those ones. As for blue … water, the sky, the carpet in this room, that shirt you're wearing, those are all blue thing."

Lilly bent down and ran her hands across the carpet. When she was finished with that, she did the same from her t-shirt. "Thank you, Akira," Lilly said with a bow. Manners were very important to her. "That helps some."

"Cool. Anything else you need?" Akira said.

"What are you doing?" Lilly asked, quaintly curious.

"I've got an assignment due for class. I have to do a picture to go along with it, so I'm drawing one. I'm not very good at drawing." Akira added that last line as almost an after thought.

Art was a big thing with their mother. She would often drag Akira to museums and exhibits, trying to educate her on fine art and hoping to establish some appreciation for it into her daughter.

Akira couldn't care less. However, she did insist that if she went along, Lilly should come to. She didn't want Lilly to be left out of their trips. It often meant Lilly would have to follow them and stand around hearing people describe works to her. She didn't understand half of what was said, but she liked the way people talked about art. It made everything sound very important and classy.

Having Lilly along with them also served another function. Their mother usually felt guilty taking Lilly to places that weren't designed for the blind. Because of this, she'd often try to rush through them faster than if it were just her and Akira. Afterwards, she would always apologize to Lilly by taking them all out for ice cream. Lilly actually liked hearing about art, but if you asked Akira, the ice cream was always the best part of the trip.

Art was very important to their mother and right now Akira was making art. "Can I draw a picture too?" Lilly asked. Akira just sat there for a second starring at her little sister.

"Heck. You know what? I think you can." Lilly recognized the tone in her sister's voice. It was the tone that said she didn't care what the rules where, she was going to do whatever she wanted. Sometimes that tone got her into trouble, but a lot of times, it was just plain fun.

Moments later, Lilly was sitting between Akira's legs at the table. Her hand reaching out and feeling the colored pencils Akira had been using. "What do you want to draw?" Akira asked. Lilly thought about it, but it didn't take her long to decide.

"Fish" she answered confidently. "What color are fish supposed to be?" she asked with a bit less confidence.

"Usually gray, silver, or black, but they can be any other color you want. How many do you want to draw?"

"Let's do a fish for mother, one for father, and one for us." She said enthusiastically. "Are gray, silver, and black good colors?"

"They're pretty horrible," Akira said casually before realizing she'd have to explain it again. "Silver is the color of metal, gray is the color of cement, and black is the color you see when you close your eyes." It wasn't until the words left her mouth that she realized that last explanation wouldn't exactly mean anything to Lilly. Quickly she tried to think of something else black. "The big cast iron skillet dad uses for cooking is black, so are these pants I'm wearing," She said.

"But we can make fish any color, right?" Lilly asked.

"Any color you want. You name a color, and there's a fish that's colored that way," Akira assured her, and she was pretty sure it was the truth too.

"Then let's make one red, one blue, and one the color of grass." Lilly said eager to get started.

"Green. Grass is green," Akira said.

"Then we'll make it a green fish," Lilly said with a smile.

"Okay, now you do know the shape of a fish, right?" Akira hated patronizing Lilly, but at the same time, she didn't want the girl to make a fool of herself either.

"Something like this?" Lilly said, moving her hands in a crude outline of a fish.

"Alright. That's good. Now what color are we starting with?" Akira asked.

"The one that's the color of cherries and mom's slippers," Lilly said. Akira placed the red colored pencil in Lilly's hand and then took Lilly's hand in her own.

She expected to have to guide Lilly's hand completely, but in the end all she had to do was make sure her sister lined things up correctly, making sure the top lines connected with the bottom and that the fins were actually drawn attached to the fish.

"You know, you're almost better at this than I am," Akira said with a chuckle. "We just have to add the eyes on it and color it in and we're done with this one." Akira paused. She wasn't quite sure how to explain coloring something in to her sister. Telling her to stay in the line wouldn't mean much if she couldn't actually tell where the lines where.

"Are we waiting for something?" Lilly asked.

"Ah… Yeah… umm… we have to color it in, and then we … put color between all the lines," Akira tripped over the words trying to think how to say them in a way that had meaning to her little sister.

"I think I understand," Lilly said, although her face still showed some signs of confusion. "How do I do that?"

'Good question,' Akira thought to herself. "Scribble back and forth," she ended up saying tightening her grip on Lilly's hands. "and just let me guide you."

It took quite a bit longer to color the fish than it did to draw it, and Lilly was starting to show signs of boredom by the time it was done. Coloring the fish in didn't exactly excite her. She had a hard enough time trying to imagine what that even was. Doing it was like trying to perform an abstract idea. It felt pointless, but Lilly did her best to try to hide it.

"Okay. I think we're done with this one. It looks pretty dang good. Let's do the next one," Akira said. He words were quite a bit of relief to Lilly. While Lilly was excited about making art for her mother, actually doing it was proving to be exceedingly boring, even with her sister's encouragements.

"Alright," Lilly said. "That's the cherry colored one. That will be the fish for mom. Now let's do the grass colored fish for dad," Lilly said with a smile. As much as she loved her sister, Akira couldn't help feel a bit weirded out by how Lilly's hands could be so active and she could be talking with people, yet at the same time starring straight ahead. She kept telling herself that's just the way Lilly was, but it wasn't always easy accepting.

"Alright, next color," Akira said, taking the pencil from her sister's hand and replacing it with another one and repeating the steps from before. Akira couldn't quite get her grip right on this one, so the eye of the fish was higher up on it's head than it should have been but the very fact that Lilly was trying to draw at all was pretty impressive. It was the coloring that seemed to bother her. Even Akira was beginning to notice how she lost her excitement when it came to coloring things in.

The sisters added another fish to the drawing.

They skimped when it came to coloring in the water, only scribbling color in certain patches. While guiding Lilly's hand, Akira took another shade of blue in her free hand. She pressed harder on the paper to try to make it match the darker shade her sister was using in order to speed things up. It wasn't easy trying to control Lilly's hand while coloring with the other. Ambidextrous she was not.

"Is it done yet?" Lilly asked a few minutes later.

Akira looked at the paper. Half of the water section was colored in, maybe two thirds if she was being generous. The picture itself was sloppy, badly colored, and generally looked like it had been done by someone even younger than Lilly. "It looks perfect," Akira said. "Now go show mom. I bet she'll get a big kick out of it."

"You really think she'll like it?" Lilly asked eagerly.

"I bet she will," Akira said.

"Do you think she'll hang it up with her other art pictures?" Lilly continued.

I don't know any reason why she shouldn't." Akira said. Even though she knew Lilly couldn't se it, she smiled, but the smile wasn't completely genuine. Their mother had already had a miniature art gallery in their library. Akira just couldn't imagine their colored pencil on white typing paper picture joining the painted works that hung there. At best, she expected their mother to put Lilly's picture on the fridge. Either way, Lilly would never really know the difference. ""Now scram squirt," Akira teased. "I still have homework to do."



….


"We've got something in the mail," Hisao announced. "It's addressed to 'Lilly Satou and companion'. I'm going to assume that's me," Hisao chuckled.

"It must be from my parents then," Lilly sighed. "Is it typed or handwritten?"

"Handwritten," Hisao said.

"It's most likely my mother, then. Don't take it personally. She was never good with Japanese names." She left the alternative unspoken. If it had been from her father, he would have most likely typed it and purposely left off Hisao's name. "So, what is it?" Lilly asked excitedly.

"A big tube of some kind," Hisao said. The tearing sound told Lilly that he was just now opening it. "There's a picture and hmm… a note."

"What does the note say?" Lilly asked as eagerly as a child on Christmas. It wasn't often she received written mail, and mail from her family was practically unheard of.

"Maybe you should read it," Hisao handed her a card. A curious expression passed across Lilly's face that vanished into understanding when she felt the Braille writing on it.

"So, are you going to tell me what it says or are you just going to leave me hanging then? "Hisao asked.

"Give me a second, my mother's Braille is … difficult to read at best," Lilly hands glided over the paper, feeling the dots and repeating the process several times.

"At least she's trying," Hisao said. "It can't be worse than my attempts. Can it?"

"No. Her writing is actually readable," Lilly giggled. Hisao had tried learning Braille in the past. Say he hadn't been successful would be a major understatement. "This is a rough translation mind you, but it says, 'Here's a reproduction of my favorite piece. I wanted you to have this for your new home. If you don't mind, I'm keeping the original. It's priceless. With Love, Mother.'"

The sounds of paper told her Hisao was unrolling the piece. "Hmm… Okay. This is a bit odd. It looks like somebody enlarged a child's drawing. There are some multicolored ovals with triangles attached to them; I think its fish, and a half done background. I've never really understood art. Maybe it's some kind of statement of modern expressionist something-or-other. It doesn't mean anything to you, does it?" Hisao's tone of voice seemed rather puzzled.

Lilly thought for a moment. "No. I'm afraid I can't remember hearing about anything like that. I'll have to ask Akira next time we talk. Maybe she knows something."
Last edited by Oddball on Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Barkinson
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Barkinson » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:45 pm

I like it :D is this a one-shot or there will be more of this ?

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Oddball
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Oddball » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:28 pm

This is just a one shot.
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nemz
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by nemz » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:35 am

Very cute story, despite the implied sour note at the end. Jerk parents are jerks, as expected.

Especially interesting bit with Akira weirded out by Lilly's mannerisms; I suppose it would be a lot of effort to learn appropriate body language if you can't see it, which might actually explain her habit of holding her hands together in the game... sort of a constant self-reminder to not do that. Nice touch.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:43 am

Sour note? Jerk parents?
Have we been reading the same story?
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by nemz » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:50 am

I mean that they are intentionally slighting Hisao and her relationship with him by refusing to use his name. Hisao doesn't realize this because Lilly (surprise!) lies about it.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:21 am

I don't think Lilly was lying. It's perfectly reasonable if her mother has problems with japanese names. Those are written in Kanji.
Her father would have slighted Hisao if the letter had been from him, but I don't let that sour this cute little story for me.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:47 am

nemz wrote:I mean that they are intentionally slighting Hisao and her relationship with him by refusing to use his name. Hisao doesn't realize this because Lilly (surprise!) lies about it.
Perspective Time!

You are parents of a lovely daughter. Your daughter is blind. For various reasons, you had to leave for another country, but something (Akira assumes shame, but we only have one side of the story) means you have to leave your 12 and 19-year old daughters in the first country. Your finances are such that you can afford to support them monetarily, even if you aren't there yourselves. 6 years later, your sister (it was Lilly's aunt, right) falls very ill. This gives you an excuse to request the presence of your daughters. (Perhaps pride prevented any request prior to this?) You feel terrible for the fact that you've been gone for 1/3 (and 1/5) of their lives, so, while they're visiting, you present the idea that they come to this second country so you all can be a family again. They both seem receptive to the idea.

When the time comes, the day of their departure, you get a phone call. A close friend of your daughter's had a heart attack, and they want to make sure he's all right. It's a little disappointing, considering you had a welcome home party planned and everything, but these things happen. A week later, another call. Your younger daughter's not coming. Because she's in love.

It's only human to be a little cool to the boy (Polite, but cool. This is Japan, after all.). Furthermore, I'm getting the impression that this is Lilly and Hisao moving in together before they're married. The implications from the route are that Lilly's mother (at least) is Catholic. Catholics frown on cohabitation before marriage, and this can lead to mild passive aggression.

So, frankly, it would probably be more off-putting if there wasn't a minor snub to Hisao. The fact that the snub is only minor is probably a good thing, all others being equal.


As for the story itself, it's a cute little slice of life. Everything feels more or less natural and in character. It made me smile.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:42 pm

The implications from the route are that Lilly's mother (at least) is Catholic. Catholics frown on cohabitation before marriage, and this can lead to mild passive aggression.
Obviously it's different for each person, but from what I've experienced, Catholics have loosened up significantly on that in the last few decades. At least here in Europe. Apparantly Catholics in the States are a lot stricter.

The ironic thing is...Lilly's mom also left her home and family to be with the man she fell in love with. The game never really says much about their personalities, aside from a few lines from Lilly's mom.

Nice story, btw.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by nemz » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:04 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:I don't think Lilly was lying. It's perfectly reasonable if her mother has problems with japanese names.
...You're kidding, right? If she really didn't know she could just call up Akira, but the 'companion' bit is a backhanded politeness.
ProfAllister wrote:Perspective Time!
I understand their perspective, I just don't care what they think. Even if they're only doing what they believe is best for her and disapprove of Hisao for religious or any other reason, they still come across as jerks because they ultimately are only interested in imposing their views on Lilly rather than asking what she wants. If they really want to try and reconnect with her they should come visit her, see the life she's made for herself and accept her for what she is rather than what they want her to be.

But, again, I did enjoy the story. That fact shouldn't be lost in all this bickering.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:54 pm

No, I'm completely serious. I guess it's possible that your interpretation is correct, but from what little we learn about Lilly's mother in this short piece I see no indication that she would intentionally slight her daughter's boyfriend. In fact, given the nature of the package, it would have been perfectly reasonable to adress it only to Lilly and not mention Hisao at all.

By the way, I meant to ask what book she's been reading. I've been trying to come up with books about fish, but in the story she seems to be a bit young to be reading Douglas Adams...
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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Oddball » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Out of all the places I've ever posted fanfic, I think I like this forum the best. There's actual discussion abut what certain things mean. I have to admit,I love the way some of you take certain things.

Now while I could clarify what I meant, I think it can be more interesting not to just to see where you people go with it.

Also, Mirage, are you serious? You really don't know the book? It's by Dr. Suess.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:26 pm

His post info says he's from Germany. Dr Suess isn't quite as well-known here around these parts (I'm dutch myself) as he is in the US.
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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:25 pm

Well, while I've read a good three digit number of English novels, by the time I was learning the language I was a bit to old for literature like that :lol:
After some googling, I assume you are talking about Dr Seuss - a name more fit for a Bond-villain than a children's book author. I think I've come across the name before (probably in some cracked article or other), but I think the only story of his I actually know is that of the Grinch - and that mostly because of the Jim Carey movie. He really isn't that well known in non-english speaking countries.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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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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Re: Red Fish Blue Fish

Post by Kyvos » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:05 pm

The book is One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish
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