K-Shounen!

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LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat May 25, 2013 12:48 am

I'm sorry, but it's way way too big to fit, it would simply take more than it rewards to cut it down to small tiny posts of a bunch of one-liners and significant empty space.

http://lorddarknus.blogspot.com/2013/05 ... nable.html

I'm sorry.

EDIT on 2013-08-15 (AUG 15): K-Shounen! "One More Act" OVA series | (forum post index)
_____Beta_________________________
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8691#p166390
_________________________Part 1_____
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8691#p166392
_____Part 2_________________________
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8691#p166685
_________________________Interim One_____
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 15#p168197
_____Part 3_________________________
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 15#p168200
_________________________Interim Two_____
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 30#p169880
_____Part 4_________________________
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 45#p169885
_________________________Interim Three_____
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 90#p172189
_____Part 5_________________________
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 20#p172221
_________________________Part 6 - END_____
http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t ... 78#p173878
Last edited by LordDarknus on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:27 am, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
SemisoftCheese
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:44 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by SemisoftCheese » Sat May 25, 2013 2:48 am

okay i'm going to go out on a limb here and say what most people haven't said.

your writing needs work. a lot of it. what you write often doesn't make sense and doesn't even follow the logical form of prose.

sentences like
"What Are You Doing Here?!", my finger is pointing at the Student Council President, and I'm being stared at by Yukio the Librarian. Some students are bearing witness. Wow I'm bold.
are painfully clumsy in terms of writing, and they give the reader a headache. the statement "Wow I'm bold," makes me cringe as i read it. it's non-colloquial and tells me that you either intentionally mucked up a simple sentence, or that you don't speak english a lot.

look, it's good that you're writing, and it's even better that you do it alot, but from someone who reads a lot of shit, trying to read your writing is like trying to shred a mouse in a blender.

it's painful to look at, kind of noisy, and massacres something that could actually be useful.

i think i previously indicated that your language seems a lot like an international, which would explain the over-formal prose and the weird noun-verb structure you seem to favor. but i think you said that you weren't an international so i don't really get it...

reading one of your pieces is fine... it's kinda experimental. okay. it's a struggle to get through, but i'm willing to tough it out.

the only problem is, everything you write is like this. it becomes a chore. i don't think you've ever written/published anything anyone could consider "normal," and judging from your writing, i'm kind of in doubt as of your ability to do so. your writing lacks basic grammatical structure, and is punctuated by oddities in spelling, capitalization, and language.

listen, criticism on the internet is stupid at best. you can read this post and think "this guy is a fucking idiot and also a dick," and you can keep writing like you do now. and i respect that right. you create for yourself, and no-one else.

but if not, you should probably re-evaluate your writing. try writing something "normal," in the sense that it mimics traditional creative writing in terms of sentence structure, plot, and grammar. you'll learn alot along the way and make it much easier for your readers.

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sun May 26, 2013 12:11 am

SemisoftCheese wrote:okay i'm going to go out on a limb here and say what most people haven't said.

your writing needs work. a lot of it. what you write often doesn't make sense and doesn't even follow the logical form of prose.

sentences like
"What Are You Doing Here?!", my finger is pointing at the Student Council President, and I'm being stared at by Yukio the Librarian. Some students are bearing witness. Wow I'm bold.
are painfully clumsy in terms of writing, and they give the reader a headache. the statement "Wow I'm bold," makes me cringe as i read it. it's non-colloquial and tells me that you either intentionally mucked up a simple sentence, or that you don't speak english a lot.

look, it's good that you're writing, and it's even better that you do it alot, but from someone who reads a lot of shit, trying to read your writing is like trying to shred a mouse in a blender.

it's painful to look at, kind of noisy, and massacres something that could actually be useful.

i think i previously indicated that your language seems a lot like an international, which would explain the over-formal prose and the weird noun-verb structure you seem to favor. but i think you said that you weren't an international so i don't really get it...

reading one of your pieces is fine... it's kinda experimental. okay. it's a struggle to get through, but i'm willing to tough it out.

the only problem is, everything you write is like this. it becomes a chore. i don't think you've ever written/published anything anyone could consider "normal," and judging from your writing, i'm kind of in doubt as of your ability to do so. your writing lacks basic grammatical structure, and is punctuated by oddities in spelling, capitalization, and language.

listen, criticism on the internet is stupid at best. you can read this post and think "this guy is a fucking idiot and also a dick," and you can keep writing like you do now. and i respect that right. you create for yourself, and no-one else.

but if not, you should probably re-evaluate your writing. try writing something "normal," in the sense that it mimics traditional creative writing in terms of sentence structure, plot, and grammar. you'll learn alot along the way and make it much easier for your readers.
Thank You


Was this more "normal"?

http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=7130#p126317

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:59 am

This is a "Beta" Version. It's meant for clever people only. The same way how the original above is meant for creative people only. </stupid joke> </snide>

For the Emperor's New Groove, skip this and scroll down after it to Version 2-1.

I'm putting this "Version 1" here just for the sake of completion and because I like a silly conversation that's in it. (and the ending is closer to the original. Version 2-1 takes a different approach ..sort of)

It's not much, but you don't have to read it if you don't like really bad prose / poor writing. Version 2-1 should technically be somewhat "better".

(Version 1 was created directly after SemisoftCheese's kind encouragements. Thank You again SemisoftCheese)


===============


Katawa Shounen

One More Act: Graduation (Part 1)



I brush my fingers against the cold black bars of wrought-iron, walking past the open embrace of Yamaku's unlocked gates...

There are no classes today..., as I travel alone in the echoing hallways, loud and empty of voices, only sunlit silence bringing forth memories that have faded long ago with the erasing of the chalkboards.

I try to find my old familiar footsteps, on the path that used to take me out to the track, as if I were a gladiator navigating the mazes of locker-rooms and bleachers, the blue sky above peeking through the thin gaps in the wood planks. And I return a triumphant smile to the sun and clouds, my spirits lifted high as I emerge proudly onto the fresh fields of Elysium.

'Such childish fancy', I thought to myself, when Rai Ibarazaki, my former classmate, whose youthful looks could have him mistaken for a child, was anything but a child.


I pat clean a spot on the bleachers, smooth my skirt and sit myself in the midst of a warm afternoon breeze. My hair briefly blown unkempt, but I straighten it. 'I am a girl', I think to myself, 'I'm not going to get a buzz cut just because you have one.'

“But don't you see..., how efficient it is?”, Rai's voice reaches out to me from a memory,

“Not..., really.”, I was panting too, we were both... running, I guess. I can't remember why.

“I spend less time... in the showers, and at the barbershop... also,”

“I'm not going to cut my hair, Rai.”

It was early morning, we were both enjoying the exertion and excitement of running free, around the school track still moist with twinkling dew drops, as the rising red sun battles with the waning blues of a beautiful night sky.

We both crossed the finish line, though Rai had passed me twice in my three laps around the track. We both kept going at a slower pace, to walk off the rush of the run, and ease our strained muscles.

“The track... I think the track... is getting bigger, Rai,”, I was panting, but still able to start a silly conversation.

“No it's not... it's... well, ...maybe you're getting smaller Iwanako.”, Rai was as exhausted as I was, and more than happy to make a teasing remark.

“No. ..You're small.”, I was having trouble hiding my grin,

Rai gave me his usual mean look, though it was his default expression, it seemed to have softened a lot in the time I knew him.

“Yeah. I'm small Iwanako. ...that means I do twice.., no three times as much as you do on average.”, Rai's cat-like grin was interrupted briefly as he swallowed to clear his winded throat,

“-No you don't, you have.. your legs don't get tired!”

It's true, his prosthetic legs aren't made of weak vulnerable muscle, they're black durable springing plastics, or some incredibly flexible alloy.

“I do get tired! ..I have to take two steps.. no, three steps! When you only need one!”

“I think... you're exaggerating, Rai.”

“I am not!”

“Are you a hamster then?”

I brought out a pause of silence between us with that wry remark, as Rai just stares at me with his cat-like grin, before answering;

“...you know Iwanako, everyone thinks you're an innocent angel, but you're actually really mean and sarcastic.”

“I am not!”

“....., you're a wolf in hamster clothing, Iwanako.”

By then, we were under a sky of bright yellow morning, and our smiles burst into laughter. We don't know why we thought it was so funny, we just did. We laughed until the aches in our muscles went away, and under virgin sunlight we made our way back to our dorm rooms, showering and changing for breakfast, and then, head to classes and embrace the school day.


That was my happiest memory with Rai, I believe. We were both running partners in the morning, but why? Why did-

"Can I tell you a story? Iwanako?"

"S-sure,"

I remember this, it was... it was Rai telling me his past, in the form of a story.

"There once was a little kid, who loved and looked up to his parents, ...but all the family ever knew; was how to argue and fight, over petty things, over things not even worth it.”

“The parents argued for the sake of arguing.”

“The kid liked to take books from the study, to build for himself a castle under the bed, to cower and hide in. But over time, he taught himself to read the difficult books, at first with drops of tears on the pages, then slowly with interest in the words, then finally in fascination and awe of the concepts.”

Eventually, the kid grew up reading books all day and night, somehow ignoring his parents yelling and hitting each other. It was an escape.

A long time after he stopped hiding in his castle, the kid found himself happy to be coming home one day. He earned something from his own making; he was given a chance to skip ahead one year in school, his grades were excellent.

He tried to tell his parents, who were caught in the middle of screaming ugly words, with 'divorce' coming out the ugliest. The kid cried and yelled, begging for his parents to listen, “The Teachers Gave Me A Letter! Saying I'm Good At Studying! Isn't That Great? Look! Look Mama! Papa! Look!”

His parents didn't care, they had nothing to say but twisted words, no attention to give to their child, they just kept flinging disgusting accusations at each other. The fighting went on, as evening withered into dusk, the screaming and yelling went on, as dusk faded into night, and the mother finally walked out the door.

The kid didn't give up, he chased and clung to his mother under a street lamp, and wouldn't let go of her until the light of dawn. The last thing the mother did was try to push her child away, but... a split second and a drunk driver...,

the motherless little kid ended up wasting a year crying, calling for his mother on a hospital bed, forgetting the fact that he had lost his own legs.


The little kid died inside, when he stood up, and tried teaching himself to walk again. First with crutches and prosthetics, then slowly on pain and tears, then finally with hate, rage, and self-disgust. It worked wonders. The kid became violent, antisocial, and alone. He had exactly zero friends and terrible grades in his first year at Yamaku.

Then in his second year, came the Student Council President; an unpleasant junior named Hanzou Ikezawa. The half-masked villain put the stupid kid on the track team by force, and it was painful. The kid got it in his head that he was being stereotyped, “You got prosthetic legs! You should be a runner! It'll be inspirational!”, condescending words played in his head, when all he wanted wasn't to be running, but to hold on to his mother, ..and die with her.

But still the kid ran anyway, he put all his rage into every single step, breathing out all his hate into the world and its rushing winds, and stripping himself the stain of self-disgust, leaving his shadows behind as he crossed the finish line. He didn't understand the brightness of the colours he was seeing, or the jubilant cheers of the crowds he was inspiring, he can't explain why he was elated, why he felt so much release, ..but he did, and he was completely in awe of the euphoria bursting through his veins.

He became the “Lightning of the Kawasaki”, a champion runner.

The kid won event after event, making himself something of a school hero. He made friends with fellow runner Miyuki Miura, and Eita Tezuka of the theatre club. It was going good for the kid, and it was so good, that he was completely lost in running. Enduring only for the absolving ten seconds of freedom, from a hundred miles a day, and nothing else mattered. He became so lost, that on the final year exams; he failed every test.

He had to repeat the year.

He went home on summer vacation, not sure how to live the next year at Yamaku. In that time since the accident, since the hospital, since the running and falling face first in his studies, he finally realised his father had remarried. But he didn't greet his new mother, he muttered something and went to his room. He became pathetic. A little kid reduced to crawling back into his castle, under the bed, sleeping in cold dusty darkness, hoping to drown out the sounds of his father and foster mother loudly enjoying themselves.

He was completely baffled, by life, by himself and his choices. How somewhere along the road he stopped believing.. he didn't know when, but he stopped. He didn't try anymore, what was the point? He tried to be the little kid he left behind in the dusty shadows, but he didn't want to feel so dead inside anymore; He tried to run to escape, but then he had already run himself back where he started.

Still he tried studying, even if half-heartedly, and looking for his release in singing, and playing the guitar. He even got it in his head to try auditioning to be a rock star, but everyone he looked up to in the indie music scene ignored him, or said his music wasn't worth the language it was defiling. But it doesn't matter, he would play even if his fingers bled, because he just wants someone to hear him out, and say... “I hear your tears falling, Rai; even when you don't cry.”



I told Rai honestly, that I could see his tears, even when he tried to hold them back. I asked him to forgive himself and his life, and for once truly let go and be himself, be who he wants to be.

I remember him trying to run from it, but I held him, I asked him to stay, I made him say what he desperately wanted to say; “I wanted to hear mama scold me.. for getting bad grades; I want to see mama smiling, ...when I cross the finish line....”

The little kid in the castle of books; the lonely kid on the hospital bed; the kid who held on to his mother; Rai Ibarazaki, was crying in my arms, begging for forgiveness, asking for someone to set him free. He asked; "Mama.. do you forgive me?"

"Don't be silly Rai, of course you're forgiven.."



".....thank you"





I remember his promise; as we started running together in the mornings; that he'll graduate this year;

We'll cross the finish line ...together.





I smile even as I cry; I've finally remember Rai, and the story of the little kid.

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:18 am

internet connection problems. Not my fault. Must post faster. Will pray harder.

Special Thanks to BlackWaltzTheThird for his good proofreading of version 2. Veersion 2-1 comes directly after.


===============

Katawa Shounen

One More Act: Graduation (part 1) (Version 2-1)


I am hesitant, nervous, and my emotions are in turmoil, as I stand completely still, staring at the old buildings and fresh gardens, as if they were a painting made real. As if a poignant scenery, lifted from faded colours of an unreal memory, waiting for me, just beyond the open gates of Yamaku Academy.


I am here rather early, and in its soothing silence find only the morning sky to keep me company. The sun is hiding behind a veil of clouds, withholding its warmth from all beneath, as a gentle wind comes to kiss me coldly on my cheeks. The cheery chirping of distant birds does little to alleviate my unease.

'Maybe I shouldn't be here', goes the thoughts in my head, nervously my eyes too start to wander away from the school. I start feeling daunted with every breath; despite the unexplainable yearning that brought me here to take the first step.

If I just stay out here beyond the open gates, 'I will be safe', I reason without logic. Yet I know deep in my heart that if I don't, I'll forever be haunted by the empty echoes of muddled memory in everything I see.

My mind becomes nothing but tumultuous. I take a long moment, and feel it swell with every doubt I have. Time slowly passes over me, rippling troubled waters. Murky thoughts move in the unseen depths of my mind, but they stop suddenly, when I hear him. I hear his voice in my heart, calling out to me, calming me. It gives me pause, and enough reason to smile.

Resolution rises into clarity, and again I find myself alone, with silence and a choice to make.

I idly brush my fingers along the gate, as I walk into Yamaku Academy.



The pleasing smell of fresh grass is in the cool morning air, making me wear a pleasant smile of gentle delight on my face. I skip a little, just one or two steps, as I walk the path through the gardens. At the path's end I push open the entrance of the main building, and instinctively, I look over my shoulder once before I let myself into the school.

Walking boldly inside the naturally-lit room, I find no human figures except my own shadows, translucent grey petals against the walls and at my feet. The morning light pours in through clever windows fixed with mirrors and illuminates a somewhat classy interior design, such is the sight I find upon my intrusion, as the building greets me with a vacant and lonely lobby.

I wander further in, none of it feeling familiar; not the handrails fixed on the walls at average height, nor the wide halls adorned with giant portraits that gives me a bit of a fright. As I wander further in toward the other end, I can't help thinking that my every footstep feels foreign and out of place.

At the turn of a corner, I notice a doorway opening into brightness, I hear it creaking its hinge from a flash of memory, stunning me with a brief flicker of Rai running out into the light. The sound of his springing steps, his buzz cut, his determined eyes and cat-like grin, his laziness and bad grades, his loud harsh guitar and poor singing. Who he was and what he was like; all of it is suddenly returning to me.

After a flash of light, after so long, I finally remember, I finally remember again the time I spent with Rai, it's as if the memories never left me, and as if to affirm his existence against all doubt, I say his name. I say his name in the trace of a tear; Rai Ibarazaki, the 'Lightning of the Kawasaki'.

I follow him, I follow the memory of Rai out the doorway of light, onto a path to the school track.

I feel myself walking into a memory...


It's still early, the sun is above the horizon and already lifting a bright morning over us. But the twinkling galaxies of dew drops haven't faded yet, still they hide in the shadowed patches surrounding the track.

“Do you.. do you think I'm a disappointment? Iwanako?”

He doesn't look at me as he asks, and his usual mean look is fixed on his face again. I really prefer to see his playful cat-like grin.

“R-Rai?”

A little whisper of wind brushes past my face, tussling strands of hair to fall out of place. I instinctively straighten them, running my fingers through the long tracks of my hair. Rai obviously doesn't have the same problem with his buzz cut, as we both sit and relax on the cool wooden bleachers, enjoying the rest of our morning together.

My heart fluttered in our early morning run, forcing us to stop. It wasn't serious, but I'll still have to see the School Doctor about it later.

So here in the midst of a cool breeze we find ourselves, doing nothing in particular. Just watching the ember sun rise from the depths of night, just idly waiting for its roar of brilliant light. From beneath the orange-red sea of a distant horizon, then slowly in a climb to a bright yellow dawn. The poetry of a painting in motion, lovingly breathing with all the colours in the sky, seemingly meant for just me and Rai.

“Your boss has been harassing me again lately.”

“My boss?”

I have no idea what 'boss' Rai is referring to.

“You know, 'Hanzou the half-masked villain'? The jerk who was class rep of 3-3 before you took over? The Student Council President?”

“Oh! You mean President Ikezawa?”

“Who else?”

Rai seems more than annoyed with me, but to be fair, this is the first time someone's ever called Ikezawa my 'boss'.

“What did the President do this time, Rai?”

He gives me a quick glance, and in his eyes is sadness, mixed beneath jaded anger.

“Nothing.”

An obvious lie that makes him even more depressed.

“Nothing?”

Rai focuses his attention on the brightening horizon, letting a gust of wind speak in his stead as it billows through the grass. The chilly morning breeze freezes us still.

Suddenly, Rai breaks the cold silence and says calmly, “If I flunk this year again, I won't be repeating. I will be kicked out.”

Rai's revelation overwhelms me by surprise, I don't know what to say. I can only stare at him, with my lips quivering slightly, failing to form a single word. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice the dew drops slowly stop twinkling.

“Your boss is still trying to 'motivate' me, I guess.”

“He doesn't want you to repeat the year.”, I reply without a moment of hesitance.

“Probably.”

His curt answer gives me greater pause in thinking what I should say next, but I speak up with confidence.

“Ikezawa cares about you Rai, he wants you to pass your exams and finish school. We all do.”

My words reach him, but Rai looks even more troubled as he starts to ponder pensively.

“Rai? What is it?”

A moment of doubt, a blink of silence, before Rai tells me, sadly, “To be honest, Iwanako; I don't really think I care.”

“What? How can you say that?”

“What does it matter? I don't need a diploma to run around a track.”

“That's.. That's not the point!”


“Can I tell you a story, Iwanako? A story about a foolish little kid.”

“There once was a home, with a mother and a father, and a little kid named 'Lightning'.

“The little kid was named 'Lightning' because when he was born, a dark storm was brewing and sparking with brilliant tracks of light. His mother told him that often, mostly on rainy days when thunderstorms used to scare the little kid, but his mother was always there to hold him tight and keep him warm, always doting on the foolish little kid.

Eventually, the kid came to love rainy days, he even smiled about it and was no longer afraid of the loudness of the thunders. He hunkered close to the biggest storm-rattled window in his house, his toes just touching on the freezing glass, with only the imperceptible thickness of the window pane keeping him coldly dry.

He was in awe, just watching falling water blown wild in furious winds, strands of running silk swirling deftly on invisible tracks, amidst a darkness mixed of cloudy blues and stormy greys. A world of powerful fury, punctuated with unpredictable bursts of thunder that would blind and deafen all in sudden shows of might.

The roaring rain became his only comfort, as the little kid's parents started arguing every day. Scolding each other ugly things, threatening each other with physical violence. The little kid would try to cover his ears and close his eyes, as the rainy days pitied him and drowned out the sharp voices, dulling the pain raindrop by raindrop on the window pane. Even if the sadness never went away, even if the storms always came too late, the little kid could at least remember, and pretend again; his mother holding him gently in her warm embrace, softly telling him why he was named 'Lightning'.

On days when the sun shone too starkly, and not a single cloud would shade the little kid from harsh reality, he would start to take books from the study room, one by one, thick volume after heavy dictionaries. He would pile them up under his bed, and build for himself a surrounding embossed wall of dusty bindings and raise the drawbridge, locking himself in; imagining himself lost but safe inside a vast castle.

But being locked under darkness took its toll, and the little kid started to feel suffocated each time he tried to hide. 'It's better than going outside', he reasoned, 'I don't want to hear mama and papa fighting'. Yet one day, the little kid simply lowered his drawbridge, picked himself up, and decided to read the books that sheltered him.

He started with the big white book that was his drawbridge, a “picture book” he never read before, it was an illustrated encyclopaedia on human anatomy. He flipped through the pages slightly disturbed by some of the pictures, but he stopped once on a page detailing the human leg, analysed in running motion. It even had a curious quote from Leonardo da Vinci about the human foot; 'a marvel of nature's engineering', or a paraphrase to that effect.

Of course he couldn't understand any of it, the difficult words were far beyond him, but still the little kid would flip through book after book, craving for knowledge wherever he could find it. And when he couldn't find the truths he sought, he learned to look in the tiny words of thick dictionaries, to help himself understand, to give himself meaning, to maroon himself far from a world where his parents fought and shouted.

Sometimes their voices were sharper than usual, and the little kid could hear them through his door closed against reality. He would focus on the book cradled in his hands, trying to drown himself in a suffocating sea of confusing concepts.

He would force himself to read, even if his eyes misted with tears, he made himself turn the pages, accidentally cutting his finger on fine paper. He needed to read, he needed to escape, he needed to find his happy ending, a new horizon just waiting for him, at the end of a road paved with difficult words.

It would start with tears flowing down the pages, then a broken heart reading aloud the sentences, then finally; an epiphany of knowledge, and a world that shone just a little bit brighter.


Reading more and more; the pain became less and less. He got better marks in his exams, and he got a little arrogant towards his teachers. He learned to ignore the bad things his parents did, and erased the bad memories whenever they happened.

He started living in a broken picture frame of happiness. He believed his own emotional lies, and read them out louder than the unbearable ugly truths. With the turning of the pages, with the changing of the seasons; the little kid found his happy ending, at the end of a road paved with easy lies.


Yet it was true happiness he felt one day, when he came home with good news for his parents. The little kid got so good at school that they allowed him to advance one year ahead. It was the best thing that ever happened to him, he even skipped a little on his way home.

A home where his mother and father were again yelling twisted things at each other for some petty reason. It was the ugly reality thrown violently back in his face, cruelly and all too suddenly. The kid was angry, the kid became afraid, the kid started crying by himself, as they kept shouting long after dusk.

Without a window pane between him and the torrents of verbal abuse, the word 'divorce' screamed out and terrified the little kid. In shock and fear he called for his mother, but she ignored him and left him crying at the doorway. The street lamps flickered over her as she stormed down the empty road.

He ran down the silent road to her.

He tripped and fell once, cutting his shin, but he picked himself up and clung to her tightly and refused to let her move. He was crying and begging with all his heart in the dead of night, asking mama to stay with him. He tried to show her the letter the teachers gave him, saying he was good at studying, but she just pushed him away.

It was the last thing she did to her crying child, under a flicker of street light. He saw her cry in desperation, in the split second before the headlights of a drunk driver.


He woke up cold and alone, sharp pain gripping at every bone. He was breathing with a plastic cover on his face, he pulled it off and threw it away. He tried to free himself and stand up, but his knees swung to side of the bed quicker than usual, they felt lighter and disconnected.

He remembered the painful cut in his shin, he remembered his toes pleasantly pressed against the cold window on rainy days. He will never have those sensations again.

When he realised what he was, what he had become, he screamed. He screamed in horror, he cried in shock, and he begged for mama, he violently ripped at the tangle of cords on the hospital bed. The nurses came and held him down, they tried to comfort him, they tried to tell him mama was gone.

He refused to listen. He only stopped thrashing when they injected a sedative into him, a needle of liquid dreams that dulled the unbearable pain of reality, just enough that he could faint, and fall asleep from the cold, from the horror, from his hollow survival. He wished he never woke up.


The funeral for his mother was quick, he didn't mourn her passing, he simply refused to accept it. He sat alone in the cold on his hospital bed, ignoring what he had lost. He looked out the window to a brighter summer day, and thought about nothing in particular.

But eventually, he did come to accept reality, just long after it was too late. It was on a cloudy day, when howling winds deafened and threatened a thunderstorm at any moment; he fell off the hospital bed and dragged himself along the floor. He pulled himself up to the window, and pressed his hand against the shuddering glass. Scowling at his helplessness and at the cold violent world, the little kid accepted his fate, and cried; not in sadness, but in hate.


He was particularly resentful of the prosthetic legs they gave him, but he hated the wheelchair even more. It was the lesser of two evils, he thought, as he put on the fake limbs and stood up on his own. He took his first step, wobbling towards the window, and he would have fell on his face if the nurses hadn't caught him. But without reason he yelled at them, he vented his anger on them, and told them to leave him be. Of course they didn't at first, but eventually, as his gait slowly steadied, and they grew tired of his insults, they respected his childish wish and left him alone.

No one was there to catch him the millionth time he fell on his face, hitting the stupid cupboard that someone put there for no reason. He wanted to move it out of the way, but couldn't do it on his own. He was also too stupid to ask the nurses to help him, so he crawled and propped himself up against the cupboard, and violently shook it a few times, before he calmed down and concentrated on learning to walk again.

The number of times he fell was uncountable, and the days he gave up in frustration even more so. He cried every night, trying to accept loss. He struggled every day, trying to live with what was left.

Until the day came, when he was still half-asleep, but childishly frustrated at the sight of the cupboard; he got up and moved the stupid thing, all on his own. Only after the angry pushing and straining, did he suddenly realise it; he had learned to walk again. Finally, just like that, after all that practice, all that pain; it was over. It was an early summer morning, exactly one year after the accident; he did it.

He stood tall before the window, admiring falling leaves dancing in the air, a peaceful view that calmed his soul, waiting for him, just beyond the window. He reached for it, carefully opening the glass that closed out the world, and he was rewarded with light and warmth. A fresh breeze soothed his heart and cleansed his soul. His hate was cast on the floor as a shadow. He smiled softly to the world, and the sun shone on him just a little bit brighter.

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:19 am

Presumably, one of the teachers didn't forget about the kid's exceptional academics, because as soon as the kid walked out the hospital, he somehow got an acceptance letter into Yamaku.

'Yamaku Academy'. A highly regarded institution; a special school; a place for disabled children to learn and adapt themselves better. To 'fit in' to society better. To learn to be more 'normal'.

He scoffed at it. The kid derided Yamaku at first glance, and threw away the letter.

He went home, and let his life fall away into nothing. He slept in his room all day, and folded paper aeroplanes at night. He tore the precious pages out of his beautiful books, and sent them flying out into darkness. He touched the tip of his prosthetics against his favourite window, and fully expected the absolute lack of sensation.

One afternoon, whilst flying more paper planes and wilfully destroying his beloved books; He accidentally flew one that hit a visitor, bumping at her shoulder and falling to her feet. A lab-coat wearing woman with a fox-like grin, and eyes seemingly closed most of the time. She picked up the paper plane, and brought it back to the kid with a warm smile.

Apparently, she was Yamaku's 'Chief Day-Shift Medical Practitioner And Consultant', or something of the sort. Less sophisticatedly; she was just 'School Doc'.

They talked openly and freely through the afternoon, the setting sun warmly drew a friendly mood in orange glow. Although he resented nurses and doctors, the kid somehow felt comfortable in her presence, and when she asked him to attend Yamaku Academy, he simply nodded and agreed, surprising even himself.


The rest of the story; well, you already know. The kid was a loner, he was antisocial, bitter and angry at everyone. He barely passed his first year-end exams, and in his second year, had the displeasure of encountering an unpleasant fellow named Hanzou; the mysterious class rep of 1-3 and young a**hole president of the student council.

Hanzou went out of his way to put the stubborn kid on the Track Club, forcing him to run. Only later did the School Doc admit it was actually her idea, but that aside, the kid felt seething indignation about the imposed extra-curricular activity. He lashed out at everyone who tested his patience, even went so far as yelling at the School Doc who only wanted to give him an outlet and a chance to make more friends.

The kid wouldn't have been so angry if it was some other club, maybe he could have joined Eita, his newfound hall-neighbour in the Theatre Club. But to be put on the Track Club and told to run; the kid immediately leapt to the conclusion that he was being 'stereotyped' for his disability, that he was chosen to dash around a track simply because he had no legs.

Even if technically he could have quit the club and tell Hanzou and the Track Captain to go screw each other... and not that it matters but the Track Captain is a lesbian, I just felt like elaborating on that. Regardless, the kid could have told them to go screw themselves, but for some reason, he decided to run anyway.

Maybe it was the School Doc's encouragements, maybe because he wanted to shut Hanzou up. Or maybe he was infatuated with the Track Captain, despite her orientations. Or perhaps because of her orientations... The kid didn't know for sure why he ran, he just did. He was glad he did, for at the end of the tenth run or so, he was still completely lost in the euphoria of exertion. He stayed with the Track Club until the end of the year and the next, becoming wholly obsessed with running.

He triumphed at events, winning first place in just about everything. He made friends with his rival; the invincible Miyuki Miura, after equalling him, then surpassed him. He became the inspirational track star every student knew and looked up to. He even earned his title; 'Lightning of the Kawasaki' from his beloved Track Captain.

The kid held on to his boyish love, for the Track Captain who could never love a boy. But it seemed destiny favoured the star-crossed lovers, as she regarded their bond to be deeper than friendship. He felt the possibility she would return his love for her. He decided he would tell her, amidst the beauty of falling pink petals on graduation day; that he truly liked her, and ask if she would be his girlfriend.

At the end of the year, his exam results came back terrible; he failed almost every test. He had to repeat the year. He lost his face. The Track Captain found him again, hiding in the club room. She took him out for a walk, and gave friendly encouragement and urged him to keep trying, amidst the cruelty of falling pink petals.

Before she parted and left, she told him to look after the Track Club's reputation for her, and to make sure he would graduate next year. He just stood there and listened, he didn't even have the face to say goodbye. Long after she left, he sat alone in the club room, still haunted by her sweet smile. The kid felt a warm tear run down his cheek, and finally realised just how much he loved her.


The world stopped making sense to him, and the kid stopped trying and believing. He went home. He found his father and foster mother loudly enjoying themselves, he didn't even realise his father had remarried. He went up to his room, barely acknowledging them.

He took the books from the study, his favourite books that he loved so much, but found them as nothing more than empty spines and hollow covers. Immense sadness welled up in him, and the kid took to hiding again under his bed, in his castle of empty books. Cold and alone, as he cried himself to sleep.


The next year, the kid could only put half his heart into studying, the other half was forgotten and left behind somewhere. His attention in class started improving when he stopped going to the Track Club altogether. No one asked him to run again anyway.

He picked up and learned to play the guitar; the School Doc gave him one for his birthday. He never really was any good playing it; he just liked it slung across his back, while wearing a long scarf and riding a borrowed Vespa scooter, going wherever the wind called to him.

He skipped school sometimes, just so he could wander around the city like that; either playing in the streets for small change, or auditioning at recording studios for a big break. He slept on public benches under flickering warmth of street lamps, under shoddy shelter of bus stops in cold pouring rain. He lived in meaningless freedom.

But at least; he was free, he thought or lied to himself. Even if no one looked at him when he played on the streets, even if the recording studios said he was absolute sh*t, even if he himself wasn't even happy being stupid and doing whatever he wanted. At least he was lost in a world he could understand.


“And then, you came along, Iwanako.”

I don't know what to say to Rai, so I keep quiet and try not to cry.

“You and Hanzou set me up for a stupid race with Miyuki. Then Hanzou humiliated me with insults when I lost, saying you had feelings for me, but you were utterly disappointed at the end.”

“Aaa! No, that was President Ikezawa! He was lying that I did. Aaa! I mean no, I mean, maybe he thought I did, or, ..or-”

“Yeah I know technically it was all his idea. You're too much of an innocent crybaby to begin with.”

“..huh?”

“But hey, at least one good thing came out of it; to make up for what Hanzou did, you promised to be my running partner in the morning, to help me get back in shape to beat Miyuki.”

“Aaa, y-yeah,”, I blush a little as I speak, I am glad that is what he chooses to remember about what happened.

“Although, Iwanako; thanks to you coming into 3-4 and loudly apologising about the 'indecent incident that shamed us', every idiot in my class thought I had taken your virginity.”

Oh... he still remembers.

“And not only that Iwanako, you had to keep “explaining” that it was the 'indecent incident that involved Miyuki stripping and running around the track three times with me'. Your fair bit of eloquence started a god damn rumour throughout the whole school, about me and Miyuki being 'partners in crime' in 'squeezing lemons' together out in the track shed.”

“Umm, I'm sorry.”

His mean look softens to small smile, then a playful cat-like grin.

“Don't worry about it Iwanako, I'm afraid if you do, you'd try to quell the rumours and end up making them worse.”

“Aaa, I'm sorry.”

“Hey,”, he smiles and reassures me; “it's not your fault.”

I linger on the moment, then smile comfortably in return.

The morning sun is climbing higher into the clouds, the lush grass surrounding the track shine in vibrant green. Not a single breeze comes to us though. It will probably be a little warm today.

“Rai, can I ask you something?”

“What?”, he stands up with a proud smile, even when his small size has him towering over me by only centimetres.

“What is it that you want most?”

Rai stands motionless, seemingly stunned by my question. Then he looks away and mutters an incomprehensible reply.

“Rai?”

“I don't know, Iwanako. Why do you ask?”

“I think you know, Rai. I think you've been wanting to tell someone about it.”

He starts walking away. I quickly follow after him.

“Rai!”

“I don't know!”, the sadness in his voice comes with tears.

“Rai...”, I hold him, surprising him a little.

“..Iwanako?”

Iwanako, why do you want to know? You know what kind of person that little kid was, you know he doesn't deserve to be happy. Yet; why are you so kind to me?

There are many things I want;

I want to put back every page I tore out and threw away, I want to graduate with the Track Captain, and take her hand and ask her to be my girlfriend.

I want to say 'I'm sorry' to the School Doc for yelling at her, I want her to know I think of her as family. I want to be good friends with Hanzou, and tell him how I learned to walk again. I want to walk and run on my own two feet, I want to feel my toes pressed against my favourite window. I want to hear mama tell me why I was born.

I want to hear mama scold me for failing my exams; I want to see mama smile when I cross the finish line.

I want to hear someone tell me that they completely understand me, I want someone to comfort me when I'm alone and crying.

I want you to forgive me, I want you to hold me, I want you to tell me...

“I want you to be happy, Rai.”


He cries softly in my arms, I feel the warmth of his body, the coldness in his tears. I hold him tighter.

He cries loudly in my arms, I feel the happiness he left behind, the sadness he carries with him. I hold him tighter.

He begs for mama in my arms, I soothe and comfort him, I kiss his head and love him. He holds me tighter.


The quiet afternoon feels warm and kind, shining on us just a little bit brighter.


“Mama... do you forgive me?”

“Don't be silly Rai, of course you're forgiven.”


“...thank you.”





Days later, Rai eagerly calls for a rematch with Miyuki. Ikezawa says he's busy, but quietly admits he'll be watching from a window. I give Ikezawa a smile before I leave him, and he returns a half-hidden smile of his own. Rai and I meet up at the track with Miyuki, who makes an evident show of being well-tanned and well-muscled and handsomely-bald and already shirtless and warming up.

The two track stars exchange competitive glares and friendly banter. Miyuki criticises Rai for being lazy, always wearing his running prosthetics and never bothering to change into his Track Club uniform. Rai asks Miyuki to put his shirt back on, a request that comically silences Miyuki.

Rai rolls up the legs of his pants and warms up, revealing completely the sight and sound of his springing prosthetics. I take a seat on the bleachers, and cheer them on as they ready themselves at the starting line.

I count down for them;

“Ready!”, Miyuki nods politely.

“Steady!”, Rai smiles determinedly.

“GO!”



The memory ends for me, fading away into the warm early afternoon. The track is empty now, quiet and deserted. The world around seems completely still, as I sit on the bleachers, and wonder who won.

I think about Rai, and the story of the little kid. Glimpsing his cat-like grin out of the corner of my eye, in the midst of memories. Then, with a little smile; I start to cry.

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:00 am

“Everyone has a favourite memory...”

“A lot of us choose to hold on forever to a moment, afraid to forget the happiness they once felt.

“Some of us are inclined to move on, only reflecting thoughtfully on moments that mattered.

“While a few of us, are forever entranced by the moment their lives changed forever.


“I can still remember it, every time I close my eyes from the world...

“Underneath vastness of an achromatic cloudy sky, under blurs of billowing black clouds greeted by gusts of gentle grey sky, beneath a quiet world hanging heavy in hueless sadness, amidst a horizon drearily rife with distant rumblings.

“Looking upon transient mirrors rippling darkly in slow motion, walking past haunting shadows draped wet on the boardwalk.

“Whipping winds rushing thick with dampness, soft silent mists singing with howling cold, loud oceanic echoes born of harsh white water blasting against smooth drab rocks.


“All of it I remember so vividly, in my virgin memory of the sea.

“I was so small then, when the world seemed so big. Unending distances over sorrowing seas waveringly measured by the impossible passing of eternal years, beautiful memories so easily tied up as loose ends and left forgotten. My mother left me on a bench overlooking the horizon at the end of the earth, cruelly admitting she wouldn't be coming back.

“I was desperately calling, wearily reaching, mournfully yearning through the tears, asking for the sky to bring her back to me. I waited through the years, I wept through the memories, I woke through the agony. From a time lost and forgotten, from a childhood abandoned out of sight, from a love banished out of mind. On the road, on the journey, on the path of my life.

““Eita...” the sky called out to me, whispering my name with a smile, comforting me and beckoning me to reach out to it. A beam of light trickled out of the darkness, a rising calm set aside the choking tears. I created an understanding of myself, I made an absolution for my mother. I let my shadows go, I lifted myself from the world...

“and embraced the sky.”



Laboriously breathing in a triumph of uplifting emotions, Eita finishes his incredible impromptu performance with a transcending declaration of courage. His sleeves are dramatically dangling, swaying subtly as if gracefully caught on the wistful winds of a brewing storm blowing from the sea. He gazes up and high above, beyond the clouded dark of inconsolable despair, breaching past and breaking through a firmament harrowed by fears, with his heart full of hope, his soul full of vigour, his innocent reach touching the light of brilliant heavens.

I'm completely speechless, I'm moved so deeply by the beauty, by the power of Eita's performance, by his unforgiving evocation of overwhelming emotions. I can't even stop crying, my sullen face is buried in my hands, hiding gasping sobs and desperate tears.

“Jesus Christ, Eita!” Rai speaks as I sob, “Iwanako only asked you how was your day!”

“Oh.” Eita replies simply, with an eternally-overdramatic tone of voice, “Well my day is good, my good hallmate! But that is boring. So I performed the ending of my new play for her!”

“Why?” Rai asks in frustrated impatience.

“Hm-mmm, no reason. No reason at all!” Eita answers with a cheerful disposition.

A slightly antagonistic silence settles between Rai and Eita, interrupted only by my poorly-stifled sobs. It seems Eita's flippant attitude annoys Rai to no end.

“You just wanted to make her cry, didn't you Tezuka?” Rai questions jadedly.

“Wah ha ha ha!” Eita answers charismatically.

I can only imagine Eita's elephantine expression of unsubtle slyness.



[OP: Tashika ni by Angela Aki]

K-Shounen!

One More Act: Graduation (part 2)



The sun seems a little late in bringing vibrant morning today, as we wait in the cafeteria where the flow of time stagnates in unmoving existence, preserving a shadow world trapped in the air of night. I strain my ears to listen; not a single sound rises to give a touch of life to the empty chairs at empty tables.

It's peaceful though, it's a softly-lit world of quiet calm, a lullaby of soundless emptiness so pleasing, that I nod asleep and hit my head on the sharply cool table. Sudden pain and embarrassment rudely jolts me back into alertness.

“Sleep well? Iwanako?” Eita voices sarcasm with utter sincerity.

Eita looks all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed so early in the day, I should feel annoyed. But then, the delicate Shizuo, the stoic prince of my dreams, the coffee-sipping class representative of 3-1; also shares Eita's inhuman ability to stay completely awake, at an ungodly hour just a few scant minutes past being precious sleepy time.

It must be his constant intake of coffee. As a matter of fact, I could use some of what Shizuo is sipping on right now...

I almost hit the table again before I pull myself back into the waking world, banishing the comforting pillow-clouds of sleep deprivation from my head.

“Sorry! Sorry, err.. sorry Eita, everyone. ..sorry.” I reply half-awake, half-dreaming.

Rai yawns a long unhappy whine as he speaks, “Where is she? I'm going back to bed!”

“Have patience my good hallmate!” Eita encourages loudly but somewhat ineffectively.

“I'll strangle you Eita, if you don't give me a good reason right this instant.” Rai threatens weakly, but very effectively.


We wait a few more minutes, the four of us together, sipping lukewarm coffee and biting icy sandwiches. Thin specks of sunlight are hardly melting the dark cold of moonlight, as we sit on freezing chairs in dim light, at a cafeteria table still stunningly cold to bare touch.

I start to estimate the passing of time by Shizuo's mechanical sipping of coffee, since I forgot my watch and there are yet any reliable sun-cast shadows to measure. By Shizuo's third cup of coffee delicately clinking on an immaculate saucer, Rai finally slaps his hands on the table and stands up, dreamily declaring in amusing anguish that he's going to bed.

Eita reacts dramatically to Rai, whipping his head around in a mock state of shock. The flurry of long messy auburn hair seems to actually exaggerate rather than distract from Eita's convincing expressions, mouth agape and eyes widening still, while his shoulders had already subtly shifted to an accusing angular posture. It all conveys effectively Eita's intended emotions, more than enough to silence Rai in his tracks and draw an interest out of the robotically-calm Shizuo from his consummation with coffee. ...I mean 'consumption of coffee'.


Without warning, the person we've all been waiting for suddenly barges through the entrance and rudely announces herself, “Sorry I'm late!”

“Ah! The Blind Girl from the Art Club! Glad you could make it! Only about thirteen years late. But then, that is a woman's prerogative, no?” Eita wastes no time gently exclaiming back to her.

The Blind Girl from the Art-- I mean Hinata, takes a moment to “glare” at Eita, before saying “You pickin' a fight with me? Sleeves?”

“'Sleeves'?” I ask, before quickly covering my mouth in realising the rudeness of the insult.

“But I'm unarmed!” Eita.. professes innocently.

Hinata “rolls her eyes” at Eita's poor choice of words and simply ignores the retort. It's a wise course of action that most of us fall back on as a last resort, seemingly all too often.

Putting up with the lack of a good night's sleep and putting away the grumpiness, we all try and peacefully sit down at the table, finally beginning the discussions and preparations for Eita's new play.

I read out the small list of essentials needed, from sound effects and background music, to costumes and make-up, and even nourishments and personal necessities.

Rai will be handling the sole spotlight. He'll track Eita's movements precisely, while the secondary character will be completely stationary or will move in predetermined paths on stage. Timings and positions will have to be practised and honed. Should more lighting be required, they'll either be fixed or we'll have to ask one of our stand-ins to come along, though we doubt it'll be necessary.

Sound effects is Hinata's department. She won't be doing much other than minding volume and starting the prerecorded music, since Eita wants to boldly rely on his own voice and words for effect. Although we do decide to make separate tapes of music cues and dramatic sounds just in case.


By the sixth cup of coffee and the warm arrival of a cheery morning, we finalise and summarise what we discussed, then clearly restate the travel schedule again and pertinently remind Eita not to forget his wallet and student ID when we embark.

“-and no, your library card doesn't count.” Rai adds lastly, as if expecting Eita to ask just that.

“Hmm, can I just bring my library card-- ..oh, that's a pity.” Eita responds amusingly, no doubt familiar with Rai's wit.

I half-expect Rai to turn and look wryly at me, or at least flash his cat-like grin, but he doesn't do either.

“You know Eita,” Rai slowly asks in concern, “this new play you're doing? I don't think-”

“Trust me Rai!” Eita proudly cuts Rai off.

Rai stares at Eita for a moment, before continuing to ask “What are you trying to accomplish here Eita?”

Eita thinks deeply for a moment, lowering his head and losing his smile. I think this is the first time I've seen him lost in serious thought. Then suddenly, his smile returns and he shoots his gaze back up to us, his dramatic voice majestically answering “Something.”

This time Rai looks at me incredulously as I look to him questioningly, Eita looks at us both amusingly.

“Are you two in love?” Eita.. asks us, completely without subtlety or tact or respect or consideration or-

“Wha-- NO!” Rai loudly answers, as I quietly look at my twiddling fingers and blush.

Eita just keeps wearing his huge ridiculous smile as he stares at us, perhaps analysing our reactions and emotions.

“I-I-I am not.. in love, ..with Rai.” I state somewhat firmly, as my gaze lifts up for a moment, before darting back down to my fingers again.

“Well well! She confesses! Now you just have to stop being gay, Rai. Oh! Can I be your best man? Since we're already good hallmates and all.”

“Do you know what a 'best man' is?” Hinata interjects, somewhat unhelpfully.

Eita comically ponders thoughtfully, before immediately declaring “No, not really.”

Rai exasperatedly hangs his head dejectedly, as Shizuo sips obliviously.

“Hmm, Rai, did you know? That I've always wanted to be a priest!”

A stunning silence purifies the air.


“Wouldn't it be fabulous if I could just go around pronouncing random people as husband and wife?”

Not a single sound is worthy enough to escape the gravity of Eita's revelation.


“And I've always wanted to wear a black dress in public!”

Beyond the event horizon in the kitchen, a near-inaudible sneeze effectively punctuates the silence. Gesundheit.


“Rai Ibarazaki, do you take Iwanako to be-”

“NO.” Rai angrily cuts Eita off.

“Well alright then. I'll see you all again in our rehearsals.” Eita stands up and leaves, far quicker than we are reacting. He laughingly shouts something just before he disappears into the hallway.

“W-What did he say?” Rai asks through frustration and confusion.

“You may now kiss the bride.” Hinata answers directly with a playful smirk.

Rai grits and grinds his teeth while calmly saying “I am not going to dignify that childish man's idiocy by getting angry and gluing all his colourful fancy mismatched flip-flops to the ceiling and then say 'Oh hey Eita! I made you a rainbow!'”

“Will it be a polygamy then?” Hinata asks suddenly, as I wonder and ponder if Rai is actually high enough to reach the dorm rooms' ceiling.

“-W-what? What will be a pygmy?”

“Err, you. And Miyuki. You're both already lemonade-buddies right? Adding Iwanako in the mix would-”

“I WILL PAIN YOU, WOMAN! PAIN YOU!”

LordDarknus
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:03 am

Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:01 am

Days later, after classes, I find myself the only one left in the student coffee room, sitting in the warm calming sunlight. ...'student council room' that is, the modified British-style alarm clock and coffee maker machine over there, gleaming proudly beside the window, actually belongs to Shizuo. It's positively functional and efficient, since there isn't a clock in this unused classroom, and we always time it to have finished brewing a fresh batch of coffee, right when lunch break starts. God Bless British progress.

While technically the 'official' designated student council room is the big dark blue classroom downstairs, we really only go there when we have 'business meetings' with the second-year and first year class reps. Sometimes we even use it to interview new members over a game of chess or 'Risk', but Ikezawa is a horrible boss and no one ever stays after the first day.

The coffee room is our 'unofficial secondary' council room, for 'third-year class reps only'. We don't really gather here to accomplish important goals, we just like to hang out together and discuss random things over warm cups of coffee. 'Friends being friends', I smile thinking to myself, suddenly feeling lonely, as treasured memories ..of Ikezawa, Lionel, Kaori, ..Shizuo and Sasha vividly play in the corner of my eye.

My glinting pink fountain pen rests idly on the half-revised script, while clouds in my coffee ascend as wispy fumes in a scene of serenity, softly calming the swells of my soul.

I lean back in my chair, resting against the bright silence of daylight solitude, vacantly looking out into the distant blue sky, hoping for a wind of inspiration.

His presence manifests pleasingly beside me, I should be startled, but I just turn my head and greet Ikezawa “Good afternoon Mr. President.”

“Good.. afternoon. Miss Hanajima.” He answers unsurely, with hurt and disappointment half-hidden in polite facade.

'I'm sorry', I try desperately to apologise and ease his guilt, but a choke of sadness crushes my voice. I look down in regret, remaining quiet, then just look away, ashamed and afraid.

A moment like this happened before, I fondly remember him gently putting a reassuring hand on my shoulder, smiling at me warmly, encouraging me with uplifting hope in his voice.

Now he just, asks me coldly how the play is coming along.

“It's.. okay so far, I think. Eita said that he wants the words and sentences to be strong enough to wrest tears out of hardened criminals and reform them.”

A brief pause before Ikezawa fully processes Eita's over-the-top sarcasm and answers, “Ambitious.”

“Mm-hmm, but his on-stage performance is very powerful, and he wants the words to also be powerful on their own.”

“I thought you were just the manager, Miss Hanajima.”

“I'm.. the manager, the director, the script co-writer, the ticket holder and travel coordinator, the luggage and logistics department, talent scout, multi-role stand-in, and one-girl focus group.”

A long pause before Ikezawa fully grapples what I said so naturally, and utters “Huh.”

“Why take on so much work? I hardly have you with us anymore, you're always too busy directing the stand-ins' rehearsals, or half-dreaming about Student Tezuka's play during classes.”

“Well.. umm, Rai needs to focus on spotlighting. Eita is the producer and main character. The Blind Girl from the Art-- I mean Hinata! She's.. umm, busy, and grumpy, ..all the time.”

“In other words, Student Ibarazaki is lazy, Student Tezuka is undependable, and Student Hinata has an attitude.”

“Rai is not lazy!” The sudden exclamation comes uncontrollably out of me, painfully cutting off the flow of conversation.

A cloud seems to pass over, dimming the room in regret. My stupid shouting echoes quietly in the uncomfortable air between us.

Ikezawa lowers his head in guilt, while I can only stare apologetically at him.

“I'm sorry, Iwanako.” he softly says and turns to leave.

There are choices we want to take back, words we wish we never said. They hurt, a lot, but what hurts even more, is not mending what we did, and just letting Hanzou walk away from me. Stubbornly refusing to learn from mistakes, to reach out to someone, and understand them for who they are, even if it's not who they want to be at all.

Oh Hanzou, the bad parts of our lives scar us, but they don't define us.

I force myself up and run to him.

“Iwanako~! I'm back from the girls' lavatory~! Did you miss me?” Eita god damn announces his return to the coffee room.

“You-- were-- WHERE?” Ikezawa calmly questions Eita.

“Oh hello Mr. President. How was your day?” Eita seemingly mocks Ikezawa with an innocent question. I sarcastically wonder if he expects Ikezawa to perform a scene from a play in response.

From out behind Eita, I notice a delicate, blushing young girl, walking shyly into view.

“Student Tezuka! I am having a very bad day! And I intend to exponentially share with you the misery I've been dredging through all week, and make you suffer every minute of your pathetic, misappropriated, wasted academic life unless you properly explain yourself with a valid reason why! Did you proudly announce! That you were in the female washroom?”

“Why not? Eh?” Eita asks with a wink, poorly attempting to defuse the exploding Ikezawa.

“Umm, Eita?” I timidly ask, trying to divert Eita from provoking the President further, “Maybe you should-”

“Did you know there are pink vending machines in there? I don't know what they vend, since I couldn't put any money into it. But they are there! In pink! Mysterious! The hidden Eight Wonder of the World! No?”

Tampons. Tampons you idiot! Tampons come out of the pink vending machine! But I doubt you'd understand since You've Never Had A Period In Your Life!

“What period? You mean a school period specially for girls?” Eita asks, making me realise in abject horror that I had said it all out loud.

“But girly periods aside, I would like to present to everyone present, my latest exploit!”

Eita gently nudges the shy young girl with his shoulder, making her step forward before us. Wow~! She's a pure beautiful flower... wait, did Eita say 'exploit'?

“Applause! For in a brief magical moment in the bathroom, I have wholly made her my woman!”

Ikezawa's face contorts in horror, my jaw falls far out of reach. Eita smugly looks over the blushing young girl.



Thankfully, Hinata isn't far behind and comes quickly enough to explain to Ikezawa.

“Eita tried coming inside once, but I grabbed his big red head and yanked him out at the last minute. Though I suppose I wasn't quick enough and some of his stupidity spilled out on us anyway.”

Unfortunately, Hinata's permanently-moody tone of voice and poor choice of words is more hilarious than helpful.

“How do you know what red is?” Eita asks curiously.

“That is the colour of your hair, right?” Hinata asks contemptibly.

“Oh.. actually it's auburn! No wait, it's green! Poplar green! With white stripes! Like the band! Or a gentleman's underpants!”

“Screw you, Eita.”

“Oh Yes! The way you explained it, I guess there is nothing to be ashamed about at this point!”

“What? ...Aw crap!”


Hinata starts over, this time carefully phrasing her sentences.

“Eita wanted a neutral character, someone who literally won't react and will just stand there on stage. 'Emotionally indifferent' or whatever to Eita's performance. I wasn't going to do it, and Iwanako is the biggest crybaby.”

“I am not!” I childishly exclaim, skirting over the welling hurt in my emotions and bravely holding back a few tears.

“So the idiot decides to cast Shizuo as the secondary character, yet refuses to change the role to that of a male's.”

“Compromise is for the godless!” Eita yells, needlessly interrupting Hinata.

Hinata ignores Eita with a “roll of her eyes” and continues “I get that Shizuo is cool with dressing up as a lady to please and satisfy Eita's passions and desires, and I don't really care to judge people based on their preferences. So of course they appealed to my generous, magnanimous nature and somehow got me helping Shizuo into his costume. Which would be the weird part, since I don't know how, or want to know why Eita has a closet full of girl's uniform-”

“In my size!” Eita interjects completely unnecessarily.

“-in his size. ..err, yeah.” Hinata finishes saying with a twitch of frustration in her usual bored expression.

“Why-- why-- why-- …..why--?” Ikezawa affectedly asks.

“Why I wear the girl's uniform to bed? Why, I'll gladly tell you!” Eita eagerly expounds.

“It all started a long time ago, in a laundry service far far away. It was a dark and stormy night, when I bravely accepted my order of uniforms, taking them responsibly and respectfully from the old lady barely acknowledging me. I returned with honour to my dormitory room with the robes entrusted upon me, proud and excited to be consummate with them! But I discovered the true nature of my precious prize, half past the eleventh hour, that they were not the clothes that would befit me. Indeed! Verily! For sure no one soul has the capacity to imagine my indignations, to have been laden with a whole set of girl's uniform!”

“I can't imagine.” Hinata affirms with jolly sarcasm.

“Why didn't you just return them?” Ikezawa demands with a very low voice.

“Egad! How could I? A bond had forged between me and the clothes, a connection beyond sensual skin and far deeper than bone.”

“What?” I have to ask flatly.

“They were there for me! Waiting expectantly to protect me in their shielding warmth! When I exited the showers into the freezing cold world and was so vulnerable in my soaking stark nakedness. Alas! The cruelty of the drenchings in soapy waters! Incidentally, I stopped by a party downstairs to grab a soda, and everyone in the hall and lobby who saw me fully admired my tackle. ..Say, weren't you there, student council president? I think it was you who liked to watch guys showering-”

“I believe I was in my room.” Ikezawa spits out monotonously, “And you should be suspended.”

“Aww don't be like that! We're in Hollywood! Everyone feels a little gay once in a while! Just ask Rai the Lemonist!”

Somehow, somewhere, far off stage, Rai shouts “I'll kill you Eita! I'll kill you with lemons!”

“So anyway! I put on my hat and girly robes--” Eita abruptly pauses his sentence for emphasis.

“And it was good! It felt sexy on my nipples! And it flowed silky smooth down my buttocks!”

All this while, Shizuo wasn't really reacting in the slightest, but his eyes widen in shock when he sees Eita sensually flex and wiggle his behind at Ikezawa.

“Girl's uniforms make the best pyjamas!”

Unexpectedly, Hinata nods somewhat in agreement and affirmation.

“And not only that I tell you! Whenever I visit the lavatory, all I need do is lift my skirt up and go!”

“This...” Ikezawa mutters as if he's lost his mind, “this explains... the ghost stories, in the male dormitories, about a 'Mystery Toilet Girl'. ..long messy blood-red hair, deathly-pale complexion, unearthly wispy arms, unnaturally graceful gait. Holy god in heaven. It's you-- It's you the entire time..”

“You flatter me, my good student council president! But yes, everywhere I go the crowds love me! I'm a kitten. Rawr!”

“You are expelled, Student Tezuka.”

“Wah ha ha ha!”

“And you, Class Representative Hakamichi, what are you thinking acquiescing to this madness and dressing up.. so.. cutely...” Ikezawa trails off as he-- wait, what did he say?

“Her name is Tsunade, my good student council president! She'll be in my play, you can watch her perform if you wish, but you'll have to pay. Extra for autographs and photographs. No physical contact allowed. Don't stalk her.”

Tsunade-- I- I mean Shizuo certainly looks like a beautiful young woman, her long slender legs gently rubbing against each other in nervousness, her delicate hands clasping close to her chest and idly tugging at her uniform's black bow, her cheeks flushed red in embarrassment, her shy soft smile and innocent timid eyes tempt me to kiss her teasingly. With the long ponytail undone, her dark silky hair joins the twin fringes that strikingly frame her youthful face, looking at me ever so tenderly-- oh yes, I'm in love!

Finally done gawking at her, Ikezawa briskly shakes away the hearts in his vision, slightly dislodging his white half-mask and black student cap. Straightening himself, he says and signs “Never mind, Shizune” to Tsunade, adding [You look pretty] without speaking it aloud.

Tsunade gasps a little, then beams with gentle happiness, clasping her hands together and swooning joyfully at Ikezawa's compliment. Awwww~!

“I'm tried. I'm retiring. And never speaking of this again.” Ikezawa weakly declares, while slowly shambling out the door.

Eita waits until Ikezawa's lingering footsteps and shadows fade entirely from the hall, before turning to us and dramatically say “I'm pretty sure he's the one who likes watching guys showering.”

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:03 am

Weeks later, in the amphitheatre of the prestigious Tokyo art school, after being familiarised with the stage and arrangements, Eita discusses his new play with the Tokyo art teacher, a smartly-dressed woman with a quaint golden necklace curiously contrasting her attire. She's the one who took an interest in Eita's talents and invited him to perform here.

I can hear Rai adjusting the loud creaking spotlight high up in the back, I wave at him with the rolled up script in my hand, before remembering I have my walkie-talkie with me. I immediately radio to him that he's on the wrong one, there's a much closer position near the lighting console. His handling is also too rough, I impress upon him that we don't want to end up paying for damaged equipment and incurring the ire of the Tokyo art school.

“Yeah yeah yeah! I'm small, Iwanako, I need to stand on a baby chair just to see the stage properly, and I don't have enough leverage, so why don't you come up here and help me? Because these things are Heavy! --over.”

“Tsk tsk, complaining already? What a baby.”

“What? Hey, shut up Hinata. No one was talking to you. --over.”

“Why don't you make me, Rai?”

“I'm not going to stoop to your level. --over.”

“Ooooh, someone's feeling high and mighty today.”

“Better watch your tongue woman, I don't take kindly to-”

“~Rai is a baby~! ~He can't take a joke~!”

Hinata continues to goad Rai in sing-song, and I tune out from them just as Rai starts shouting like an angry chipmunk. I slowly take an interest in Eita empathically explaining the play to the Tokyo art teacher.

“Tsunade sees the main character of course, but does she realise he exists? Does anything the main character do matter? Is all his strutting and fretting upon the stage, in the end, signify nothing?”

The Tokyo art teacher nods thoughtfully as she listens, her chin idly resting on the palm of her hand. Eita continues elaborating on the relationship between Tsunade and the main character, how the poor man must seem desperately mad, yet the beautiful woman is entirely unaffected by his existence at large.

It almost seems like a classic unrequited love story, except it.. it's Eita's story. Embellished and dramatised of course, but still, it's a very personal story for him to be enacting. I feel nervous again, I start to worry about Eita more than the play itself, about how desperately he's trying to perfect and deliver his performance.

In the last few weeks, I stayed up late, determinedly working on the script, generalising the story and perfecting the lines. I thought I was at least as diligent as Eita, but when I went to the coffee room one night to look for my dropped pen, I found Eita sleeping there, he was so tired and overworked that he collapsed, he even admitted it wasn't the first time.

He's already too hardworking to begin with, yet he's taking on the desperate honesty of performing his life's story. I talked to him, I told him to stop pushing himself so hard, but he smiled, he just smiled and said this will be his finest show yet. It will be all or nothing, 'now or never'.

I couldn't smile sincerely in return, knowing that Eita is so madly invested in this play.

At dinner, which is generously provided by the Tokyo art school, the weight of concern is still on my mind. I'm the only one who doesn't laugh or snicker as Hinata tries amusingly to feed Eita, but ends up putting the whole spoon into his mouth. I just focus on finishing my meal, politely explaining that I'm just feeling a little tired when Rai asks.
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:04 am

Late at night in the hostel, after tucking Hinata into bed and plucking a bead of rice she somehow got into her hair, I lie awake staring into darkness for hours, dreaming with my open eyes, listening to the lullaby of fear and concern for Eita, buzzing imperceptibly at the back of my head.

I don't think I'll be getting any sleep at all, I admit as I heave a sigh.

I repeat the schedule in my head again to distract myself. We'll be performing the play tomorrow evening, while Rai promised to take Hinata out into the city at dawn. But everyone will be at the amphitheatre by afternoon for a quick rehearsal and last-minute checks.

Hmm, I suddenly feel I have a brilliant idea, and after failing to subdue the urge, I decide to drag myself out of bed and do a quick check on our set-up and equipment. I move slowly to quietly change in the bathroom, leaving the room lights off so I don't disturb Hinata.

Soundlessly closing the door behind me, I rub my shoulders and cup my breath to stay warm, before starting to wander through the cold open corridors, hoping not to get lost on the way.
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:14 am

I arrive at the amphitheatre a lot sooner than I hoped, pleasantly surprising myself a little. I give a small triumphant chuckle that becomes a long yawn, and realise just what a bad idea this is turning out to be.

I'm very tired, it's really dark, I could get lost, and I forgot that I can't do any checks at all since I'm not allowed to switch on the power. ..Not that I know how to switch it on in the first place.

I sigh again, sad and a little frustrated. Oh well, I'm here anyway, might as well wander around in the theatre a little bit, try to get an understanding --a 'feel'-- for the place, when it's so completely devoid of elements from the outside world. ...Huh, now I'm starting to think just like Eita.

I wander onto the echoing stage in the calm of dark, minding not to trip again on that particular step. I boldly walk into the intimidating attentions of an imaginary audience, and shriek a little when I see Eita sitting there in the front row, looking back at me with great surprise.

We both keep looking at each other expectantly, waiting and anticipating, but as if we've read our scripts beforehand, and already knew the cheesy lines we would say, we just keep quiet. Until our silly smiles in the dark suddenly give way to bright laughter.
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:23 am

“Sleep well? Iwanako?”

I gently shake my head, with a wide smile on my tired face.

“What do you want most?”

Huh?

“Tell me Iwanako, what is it that you want most?”

The happy smile is still on my face, but it's slowly fading.

“I don't know...”

“You miss Hanzou, don't you?”

I nod slowly, a frown has found itself on my face.

“Go ahead. Let it out.”

“Eita?”

“Pretend he's here right now, don't think about it, just imagine he's here. What would you do?”

“I..”

“The world is a stage, Iwanako, and right now it's yours. Show me what you want to say.”

I feel sadness welling up in me without tears, I'm in confusion and turmoil. I stare at Eita, not knowing how to continue.

“It's now or never. Are you sure you won't have any regrets?”

The memory of Hanzou walking away blinds me with tears, and I cry quietly into my hands.

I breathe and gasp, but I don't whimper. I'm overwhelmed with tears, but I don't sob like a little girl.

The moment passes, but not the sadness. It feels as if I've returned to reality from a dark dream, the dead of night brightens into vivid clarity. I'm freed from the glass prison I locked my heart in.

I lift my head up to Eita, to the world, proudly.

And tell my story.
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:24 am

The next morning, I wake up beside Eita, both us still embracing each other in the front row seat.

With a warm smile, I softly wish him “Good morning”.

That was the best sleep I've had in years.



The day passes quickly and full of life, as if I'm living again for the first time since the hospital, since my broken heart stopped beating, since the long forgotten winter of a fateful kiss.

I don't regret it, I don't regret living at all. I cherish every moment I have of life. Every memory I make with my new friends.

As soon as we return to Yamaku, I'll apologise to Hanzou, and catch up with Lionel and Sasha. I'll even go bowling with Kaori despite what I told her about my heart, it'll be good exercise, and my heart should be fine as long as I'm careful.

Hinata and Rai come back incredibly late in the afternoon, both of them apologising profusely for it. But I cheerfully show forgiveness and tell them to change quickly, as the play will be starting in a few hours.

Although.. I suppose I am being a little too cheerful, even Shizuo notices I'm smiling far too often to seem normal. Ah, that must explain why Rai and Hinata aren't bickering over the radio anymore, they must assume I've quietly gone mad from overwork.

Well, I'll let them think that for now, as I check Shizuo's make-up one last time, and tell him to stop playing with his skirt. The audience is starting to gather, and Eita is quietly meditating in the corner.

Rai goes through the fixed lightings one last time, while I warn him over the radio not to confuse 'left' and 'right' again, and I smile almost-wickedly when he startlingly obeys without a squeak of complaint.

Hinata puts on the prologue music, as I quickly take my seat in the middle of the audience. Eita said something about me being his 'secret weapon', that since I'm a crybaby, my sobs should 'radiate' out from the centre of the viewing audience and send them all spontaneously into a cascade of mutual weeping. --What a cunning plan.

I ignore that one boy who tried to pinch my butt, and who is now harassing me with wolf-whistles. I'll deal with him later, for right now the lights are dimming completely, the shades are drawing down on the grand windows, and the stage curtains are rising slowly. The play starts... now.
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:27 am

The triumphant orchestral music lavishly paints the scenes Eita describes, the fixed coloured lightings only miss Eita's cue twice, but he salvages every little mix-up like that and improvises brilliantly, gracefully changing the emphasis of his postures and movement, and even adjusting his lines mid-sentence. Eita is just so impressive, no matter what happens.

Using this much minimalism does lessen a lot of problems, but the focus falls entirely on the main character alone, since Shizuo's character is-- kind of just.. 'there', naturally ignoring everything Eita is saying. And also stifling a yawn, which I hope no one notices.

An older actor with more experience might be able to perform better than Eita, I admit, but right now, the entire audience of rich pampered boys and poor jaded teachers are only enthralled and captivated, by all the perfect magnificent power and incredibly honest emotions, emanating from Eita's graceful delivery of his life's story.


Suddenly falling to his knees as the ending music shifts to the reprise, Eita kneels under the spotlight, desperately heaving, his long auburn hair hiding his downcast face.

The illusion of the story drifts and dissipates, the magic and the moment melts into rude reality, as I suddenly realise what's happening.

My eyes dart wildly, to Hinata in the control room, to Rai high up behind me. Shizuo isn't sure what to do, if he tries to help Eita, he'll be breaking character... but are we to just keep staring and do nothing?

“Iwanako, what do we do? --over.”

“What's happening out there? Someone tell me what's going on with Eita.”


“Should-- should I kill the lights? Or Hinata, drop the curtains! --over.”


“No! Not yet,” I radio quickly, “don't do anything unless I tell you to.”

But even I don't know what to do, ..someone tell me what to do! Eita! Tell me what to-

A bright memory flashes by, when Eita and I were alone in the coffee room, just talking and smiling... with not a care in the world.

'I understand', I think to myself and smile.

I stand up proudly, shouting “Show me what you want to say!”

The audience softly rustles, as every pair of confused eyes turn and fix hard on me.

“The world is a stage Eita! And right now it's yours!” I shout and smile encouragingly, “Don't be afraid... Have no regrets.”
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

LordDarknus
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Re: K-Shounen!

Post by LordDarknus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:29 am

Eita finally hears me, and slowly lifts his eyes to see me, with a gaze strained by desperation.

I show him my most sincere smile.


Eita finally nods, slowly righting his posture. He doesn't get back on his feet, but that's alright.

His sleeves dramatically dangle before him, stretching his reach out into the sky, calmly finishing the rest of his story.

“It was a long time ago. In a memory far far away...”

“The hoarsely-roaring sea was dark and stormy, the heavy sky black and ready to fall into light grey rain.”

“I was entranced by the golden swan twinkling on my mother's necklace, as she.. as she kissed me on the head, and tied my sleeves into knots to keep out the cold.”

“She was crying, she was so sad, but she smiled and told me to be a good boy. She won't be coming back for me. I'll have to find my own way home.”

“I only cried once after that, in the orphanage at dinner, I tried to feed myself for the first time, but all I could think of was you. You were always there to feed me, mummy. I missed you so much the first time I picked up a spoonful of rice.”


The Tokyo art teacher stands up, frozen in staring at Eita.

Eita smiles and looks back at her, asking “Do you remember me now? Mummy?”


“EIITAAAAAAA!”

She crawls on stage madly and holds Eita tightly, crying and screaming his name.


“Why did you leave me, mummy? I knew you were sad, that I wasn't born with hands. But I was sad too, mummy. I was crying too. ...I wanted to cry with you, …..I wanted to be with you.”

“I'M SORRY! ..I'M SORRY!”


Eita stretches his reach towards the sky again, and delivers the last lines.

“As the cold rain came down upon me, washing away my sins. I felt the sky warmly embrace me, ..I heard a heavenly voice, softly whispering to me...”

“I LOVE YOU!”


Eita finally smiles with his tears, through his face contorting with sadness.

“Thank you... mummy, for coming back for me.”
Last edited by LordDarknus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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