BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr 2014)

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BlackWaltzTheThird
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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:09 am

First | Previous | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

“Whatcha got there?” Emi asks, trying to sneak a peek. “A speech?”

“Not really. I wrote this while I was cooped up in my room the other day. I guess it’s a letter to my parents.”

Emi nods her head in acknowledgement. “I see, I see. Are you gonna read it to them? That’s a pretty good idea. I’ve never done anything like that before.”

“It wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“Oh. If you want me to give you a minute, I–”

“You don’t need to do that. It’s just because… this was more for me than for them.”

“So… what do you want to do with it then?”

“I think just leaving it here is enough. I’ve said everything that needed to be said in that letter. You don’t need to have heard a tree fall for it to have fallen, right?”

Emi just shrugs and goes quiet. If I’m going to leave this letter here, then I have to find somewhere to put it. I take a quick look around the immediate vicinity and spot a knothole in the tree looming over my parents’ grave. That’ll do. I get to my feet, refold the sheets of paper and slot them neatly inside the hole.

“It’s almost like their letterbox,” Emi states. It makes me smile.

“Yeah, I suppose it is.” I throw one last glance at the twin headstones behind me before turning to Emi and catching her in a hug. “I think I’m done here for today.”

It takes her a second due to the shock, but Emi returns the favour. When we break apart, Emi begins leading the way out of the cemetery. “Aren’t you glad you did this? Takes a weight off your shoulders, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks for coming with me.”

“No, thank you for letting me come. This is usually a pretty personal thing, so it’s good to know you want me to be here with you.”

“We’re friends. We have to support each other, right?”

“‘Have to’, eh?” Emi jabs me in the shoulder, chuckling, “So you’re only doing it because you’re meant to be? Because that’s what friends do, huh?”

“You know what I meant.” With a little jab of my own, I add, “I’d have done it anyway because I want to, not just because I should.”

“Aww Hanako, ya big ol’ softie.”

“Must be all those little jabs of yours. They’re tenderising me.”

In the dying echoes of our shared laughter, the train station comes into view. Just before I pass through the gates to the platform, something in the back of my mind gives me pause. I turn to look back the way we came, but nothing of note grabs my attention. So then what made me turn around?

“What’s up?” Emi says. “Wanna stay a while longer?”

“No, I just… it’s been so long since I was here last. Things have changed so much. This town is nearly as unrecognisable as the cemetery.”

“We could take a look around, if you want. The last train isn’t for another few hours.”

I scan the buildings around us and into the distance. It really has changed a lot. It’s almost as if it isn’t even the same town. “There’s nothing for me to see here. Not anymore.”

“Not even your house? Or where you went to school? Nothing like that?”

“I came here to reconcile with my past. Looking around would just be dwelling on it even more than I already have. Besides, there was nothing left of my house. It’s probably an apartment block now.”

“Yeah, but… reconciling doesn’t mean you have to forget! It’s about closure, and closure is about knowing.”

“I know enough. What might be there now doesn’t pertain to me anymore. It’s like you said, way back when: ‘these things happen’.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Things happened here, once. This town has moved on. And so should I.” I say the words with a little more force than I intended. It leaves Emi with a pouty look on her face. I sigh, bringing a hand to my brow. “Sorry. I just want to go home.”

“It’s okay. Let’s go.”

The two of us pass through the gate and board the train home. ‘Home’. It’s funny; when I think about ‘home’, I no longer think about the place in which I grew up. Instead, I think about the tea room, where Lilly awaits us with freshly brewed tea. I think about the roof, where Rin both says everything while meaning nothing and says nothing while meaning everything. I think about room 3-3, where the friendly smiles of Hisao, Naomi and Natsume await. And I think about Emi Ibarazaki’s house, where – if only fleetingly – I feel as if I have a family once again.

Now’s the time to ask. I know that I should take the opportunity. I know what needs to be said. And I know that I can do it, even if I think I can’t.

Tentatively, I ask, “Taking the train like this is pretty cool, huh?”

“I guess. I prefer to take the Shinkansen. It’s faster.”

I stifle a small giggle. “I should have expected as much. I like these older trains. There’s a certain charm to them, wouldn’t you say?”

Emi looks over me with one eyebrow arched. “That sounds like something Lilly would say.”

“It was Naomi. But Lilly would probably say something like that too.”

“Yup, she definitely would. Why do you ask?”

In spite of my certainty in Emi’s answer, I struggle to form the question. “Would you… uh… would you want to travel around the country? With me. By train.”

“Travel around the country? Like, up to Hokkaido?”

“Maybe. Well, more than that. A bunch of places.”

“So, kind of like a European backpacker? Sounds pretty hard to organise.”

“You see, that’s the thing. Naomi and Natsume were planning to take a trip around Japan, travelling entirely by train. We could go too.”

Emi taps her chin thoughtfully. “Have you talked to them about this? You can’t just show up and expect them to change their arrangements.”

“Actually, they’re the ones I was speaking to yesterday morning, and about this exact thing.”

“You planned this out in advance, huh? Do I need to ask what they said?”

“They’d be happy to have us join them. That is, of course, if you’ll come with me.”

“Are you kiddin’? I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“So you’ll do it? You’ll come with me?”

“Absolutely.”

*****

The sound of someone approaching catches my attention. I open my eyes – which I hadn’t realised I had closed, albeit lightly – and look over to my companions. Emi and Rin appear to have come bounding over from a pit stop at the vending machines and have taken up position on the bench next to me. While Emi opens a packet of some snack for Rin, she steals glances at the large clock suspended from the ceiling nearby. It seems it’s almost time to go.

What I wouldn’t give for it to be nearer and, at the same time, further away. The allure of travelling abroad attracts me like a magnet, and though staying here with everyone does as well, it’s not for the same reason. The idea of seeing amazing places inspires such excitement in me. Exhilaration, even. I know that Lilly has been abroad before, both within Japan and across the globe. How many places have I gone? Zero, that’s how many. But now that’s gonna change.

I look over my shoulder towards Lilly, reading peacefully on the bench behind me. Of course, she would travel more than I would. Her family lives in an entirely different country, after all. I wonder what Scotland is like? I’ll have to ask her about it when I get back. And when I do, I can tell her all about all the fantastic things I’ll have seen. Heck, I can tell everyone.

But why did they all even come to the train station? It’s not an easy trip. ‘It’s what friends do,’ they said. I guess they’re right. I did insist that seeing us off at school would be more than adequate, but they refused to just let us leave like that. That’s what makes me wish I weren’t leaving so soon; having friends that would shell out for an expensive taxi ride just to see us off, and then gift me a custom-painted bag filled with snacks – which, apparently, is supposed to come back filled with souvenirs.

It makes me smile. Normally, my fringe would cover a fair amount of that up, but today it sits above my ear thanks to a cute hairclip recommended by Saki. People will stare, most likely. Emi was certainly caught by surprise when she saw it. I’m quite glad Naomi managed to capture her expression on camera. But it doesn’t matter. If not me, then they would be staring at someone else. That’s just how it goes. Why get embarrassed about something that happens to everyone?

The imminent departure of our train bears down on me mercilessly, even as I wish for it to hold on a little longer. Still, I refuse to let anxiousness get the better of me. I rise from my seat and, along with Emi, Naomi and Natsume, say my farewells. It’s a struggle not to cry, especially when Lilly whispers that she’ll miss me, but my resolve holds long enough for the four of us to board the train. As it departs from the station, and I return the waves of those on the platform, the realisation sets in; I’m actually leaving. I’m actually going to see the world. This really is goodbye. I crack a smile.

I knew this was a good idea.



The end.

First | Previous | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

==========

It has been a pleasure writing for you all these past two years. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve been a wonderful audience.
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Tue May 06, 2014 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop - my fanfiction portal topic. Contains links to all my previous works, plus starting now any new ones I may produce (or reproduce)! Please, check it out!

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by brythain » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:14 am

Three cheers for a great ending: it's heartwarming from the characters' perspective as well as from this KS fan-reader's perspective! I think your dialogue's good honest material and your attention to detail is rather evocative in some ways. Thanks for this sequence! :)
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.
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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:14 am

...to make up the short distance between Emi and I.
You know what this is about, don't you?

Great ending to a great story. I especially liked the scenes with Rin in the beginning.
Thanks for not feeling obligated to fill in every last irrelevant detail.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by forgetmenot » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:32 am

Mirage_GSM wrote: Thanks for not feeling obligated to fill in every last irrelevant detail.
Hear, hear. Although I think some parts of Hanako's transformation come off as slightly sudden, it's more an effect of the pacing than anything else. I'd rather that throw me a little bit than spend hours reading trivialities.

Overall, it's a job well done. I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by Minion of Chaos » Thu May 01, 2014 4:57 pm

BlackWaltzTheThird wrote: We watch as her car pulls out from the kerb and makes its way down the winding road leading away from Yamaku, out of sight.
I believe you meant curb, unless it's just spelled differently Down Under (like color and colour).

Nice way to end this series though

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by bhtooefr » Thu May 01, 2014 5:08 pm

Kerb is the UK English spelling, which Australian English uses.
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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by Oddball » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:44 am

I finally read the Hanako/Emi stuff you wrote here. It's pretty good. Light, fluffy, and cute, but I had a hard time really getting into it because Hanako just felt so off.

It wasn't bad at first. She was more social, active, and outgoing, and it worked... until I found out that it took place before Hisao even showed up. It felt more like a story that would have taken place after Hisao had been around to help get her out of her shell more. From there she just seemed to improve and grow strong at a ridiculous rate until I couldn't even recognize her as Hanako by the end of the story. She just felt too normal.

Other than that ... I'm not into musical parodies so I skipped those.

Final Gear Solid was pretty fun. Rumour Mill was ... an after school special that didn't work on any level. Fireworks was awesome.

The Girl who Cried Wolf was a fairly decent horror, nothing special, but I thought it worked. Other people seemed to get a bit too worked up over it.
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BlackWaltzTheThird
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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr)

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:49 pm

Oddball wrote:Hanako just felt so off. ... She just felt too normal.
Understandable. I guess it's in part because it's an AU that Hanako is more developed by the time Hisao arrives, but that transformation could have been better paced, I agree. It comes down to the series being concieved as a single one-shot and spontaneously getting seven (mostly independently developed) sequels. Not exactly a lot of forethought going on there, haha. I could retroactively smooth it out a bit (and probably would, were I to republish this), but that would spoil the fun, wouldn't it? :P

I don't really have a lot to say about The Rumour Mill or The Girl Who Cried Wolf. I fully expect that kind of response for the former, and I fully expected a more scathing opinion of the latter. I'm not a fan of either, myself.
Mirage_GSM wrote:I especially liked the scenes with Rin in the beginning.
You know what? I've come to appreciate that a lot more since posting it. I never meant for it to have that kind of impact but somehow it did anyway. Glad you liked it.
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BlackWaltz's Pastebin - for those who prefer to read things with no formatting and stuff. It's mostly the same as in my thread. Also contains assorted other writing!

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr 2014)

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 am

Was sorting through my harddrive and came across the alternate ending I wrote for The Game way back when. I said I was gonna post it the next April Fool's, but I seem to have forgotten for like two years. Additionally, the other significant date that could have pertained to it has also already passed. Oh well. Have a read at the link below, which is also available in the original post:

The Game (Alternate Ending)
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BlackWaltz's Pastebin - for those who prefer to read things with no formatting and stuff. It's mostly the same as in my thread. Also contains assorted other writing!

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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 30th Apr 2014)

Post by Strongstache » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:58 am

Oh, you.

I remember reacting to those two particular words when I first read The Game, but I didn't see anything coming this time.

I feels a bit strange to have Kenji be on the Patriots' side. Then again, with Feminist Outer Heaven on the other side, he probably picked the lesser evil.

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