Rin: Osmosis

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cosmicmustache
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Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter I)

Hisao came to the realization that he was standing in a large hall. It was wide and tall in a way that would be instantly familiar to anyone who’d visited any large, older museum. It was a hall of the kind that echoes even the slightest noises that are normally overcome by the confined acoustics of lesser rooms. The walls were dark, grey marble. No, not just grey; flecks and streaks of white bespeckled the surface like stars and galaxies strewn across a dark, grey sky. The floor, also marble, was pristine white and appeared recently shined. Hisao could see his sad expression reflected in its surface.

Above, a milky plaster-white ceiling, accented with large, squared moldings, reflected the light that illuminated the comfortably bright hall. The source of the light, however, eluded Hisao’s quick scan. This, though, seemed a trivial thing easily ignored.

Continuing the review of his surroundings, Hisao could see that along both sides of the hall stood onyx columns, black and reflective in their sheen. They were plain in appearance yet imposing in their countenance. They stood like guards precisely aligned within a king’s throne room. Each was positioned about four meters from its neighbor, creating an alcove between the pairs as they continued down the length of the hall.

It was a long hall, but not so long that Hisao couldn’t see the end. However, the end was blurry, indistinct, and ill-defined to his perception. At first glance he thought he saw a single door. But with further examination it became two doors, then none at all…or were there three?! No amount of squinting, blinking, or head shaking provided clarity, so Hisao let the mystery rest for now.

The setting looked like a place that should be cold, best prepared for with a sweatshirt at the ready. However, he actually felt a comfortable warmth across his body as if he sat exposed to the sun of a late spring afternoon.

The murmur of many, quiet voices came to Hisao’s ears. It sounded as if the hall was crowded with other visitors, each voicing a thought or opinion while carrying on conversations both idle and earnest. However, perceptions of hearing and sight argued within Hisao, for, as he looked around, Hisao saw no other person in the entire hall.

Hisao didn’t remember coming to this place, which bothered him a bit. Also upsetting to his thoughts was that the hall had a seeming that presented a coexistence of common familiarity and uncomfortable alienage to his senses. He felt like a traveler experiencing deja vu while visiting a new and foreign land. Despite this, Hisao had the overarching feeling--a resignation perhaps--that he was here for a reason.

On the heels of this conclusion came a new perception--the hall wasn’t empty. Indeed, it was a well-populated venue. Within each pillar-defined alcove hung a painting. From his vantage point they were all, like the hall’s end, indistinct and unknowable, but he had a certainty that each was a masterwork--an opus of its artist’s talents.

Hisao also noticed that statues and sculptures resided at regular intervals down the centerline of the great hall. Like their canvas counterparts, these masterpieces were also indistinct in detail beyond general size and shape. It was as if Hisao viewed them from the corner of his eye, though he looked square at them.

Hisao had no idea how he’d not perceived all these masterworks earlier, as it now seemed they were the central purpose of the hall. Now perceived, however, each work seemed to call to him, seeking to drive his path in its direction and wanting to present its captured message and mood to him. The draw upon him was not noted by his mind or senses, however, but by a forlorn yanking at his heart and emotions. Hisao was sure, whether painting or sculpture, they each sought to make him feel before letting him think. But wasn’t that the way with art—its nature?

Gathering up curiosity as a courage against the unknown and unsettling aspects of this place, Hisao began walking down the great hall. True to its form, the hall echoed each step of his school dress shoes, standard fair with the school uniform he wore. With each step the leather soles tapped a sharp and rhythmically staccato, like dripping water or a beating heart—‘dap, dap’. But this foot music had an accompaniment—a familiar “clop, clop” originating from beside him.

Turning his head, Hisao was greeted by the sight of ruffled auburn hair atop a plain, unemotional, yet endearing face. Rin. She walked beside him as if she’d been there all along, not looking at him or even looking around, but maintaining a focus on what lay ahead. Her own school uniform hung loosely upon its lean occupant, and it was wrinkled in the way of clothing selected as being the most clean within some pile on a bedroom floor. ‘Most clean’ was a bit relative here, for specks of various color paint stood out here and there on her white shirt, and the cuffs of her trousers each had mismatched kaleidoscopes of paint residue.

Rin’s stride matched his in form, if not timing, and Hisao realized the “clopping” sound came from her sandals, flopping against the marble floor as she walked. It was a sound that drew, even demanded, attention as it popped from the ground to bounce along the walls and ceiling. Its resonance, ineffective on his companion, seemed as obtrusive to Hisao as a car alarm in a peaceful campground at night. Indeed, Hisao found himself gripped by a concern and embarrassment that the loud, unnerving sound would upset the people around him, all those people he couldn’t see. Surely he and Rin were about to be confronted by some authority that would judge them associates and earnestly brand them uncivilized, unruly, burdensome, odd, or any other number of designations used against those out-of-line with social norms.

Though no such authority figures appeared, the perceived imminence of pending social embarrassment caused Hisao to blush fiercely. He felt compelled, for the sake of common propriety of course, to take on the cause of the unseen authority, so he stopped and turned toward his companion with the intent of telling her…

…telling her what?

“Take your sandals off.”
“Please control your feet.”
“You’re causing problems.”
“Please act a little more normal.”
“Maybe you don’t belong here.”

What had he planned to say? How had he planned to judge and chastise this girl who continued doing what she’d been doing all along, oblivious to communal judgment? How do you tell the brook to stop babbling, the surf to stop crashing, the wind to stop blowing, or Rin to stop clopping along through life? Such judgments were so pettily artificial in comparison to these natural states that it all seemed suddenly rather silly to him.

Besides, the answer, even the question, no longer mattered, for as Hisao stopped and turned toward Rin she stopped as well and turned toward him, and he was left speechless.

Rin glowed.

Rin glowed like fresh paint just spread on white canvas. Her hair gleamed the auburn of wet autumn leaves, and her eyes sparkled a deep, damp green only nature could have created. Her skin was a fresh, clean alabaster, and her school uniform, though wrinkled and rumpled, now seemed a regal raiment heralding a princess of the venue he now occupied.

Hisao felt his face redden as a deep shame forced itself into his heart. He was ashamed that he had felt able to judge Rin so harshly and deeper ashamed that he hadn’t realized what now seemed to his perceptions to be an obvious, natural truth—Rin belonged here. She was as much a part of this place and as much a calling mystery as the masterfully worked paintings and statues. She was to this hall as a dryad is to a forest or a mermaid to the sea. Indeed, it was he who intruded upon this place, and that realization brought quick and unchecked fear and shame.

“It’s me…I don’t belong here!” his thoughts clamored, inducing a caged panic, “Why did I come here?!” “Where’s the exit?!” his mind continued, “I have to leave, I don’t belong in this place, why am I here?!”

Panic led to its usual abode, desperation, so it was a now desperate Hisao who stood swinging his head right, and then left, around this way and that looking for an exit. But no matter how quickly or in which direction he turned, he was presented with the same view of the hall leading away toward its unknown end. Tears born of frustration and embarrassment rimmed his eyes, and dread grabbed his heart as he came to wonder if the hall he’d found himself in was instead a prison…or a tomb.

And now a darkly familiar feeling embedded itself in his chest like a brand. Pain. A red, demanding pain that tapped on his chest and told him truths about humanity and mortality. The pain grabbed the reigns of his panic and gave them a wild shake.

As his panic reared to begin its stampede through his mind, a calming, external declaration interceded.

“It’s okay.”

The voice halted Hisao in an instant, and he turned to look at the speaker who was still standing beside him. Her green eyes soothed him as they seemed to look at him and at everything around him at the same time.

“It’s okay,” Rin repeated in a balming voice, and a knowing smile came to her lips. “You should stay. I like it if you are here.”

No sooner had her words reached the air then the pain receded with a “see you later” nod. Fear and panic went with it, replaced by calm contentment. Hisao’s gaze was locked on Rin, and he felt he should be ashamed for staring, but her look didn’t invoke that emotion. Indeed, with calm restored, they both seemed to enjoy this moment spent recognizing their company.

“Well,” Rin finally said, easing out of the moment, “The paintings aren’t going to look at themselves.”

“What?” asked Hisao, breaking from his daze, a bit confused by her statement.

“They don’t have any mirrors,” Rin said as if making a scientific declaration based in universal law. Then, more philosophical, she continued, “I’m not sure what they’d do if they did have mirrors; they can’t hold them."

Rin looked at Hisao as if what she’d stated should be completely obvious, like 1+1=2, and she seemed a bit bewildered that Hisao's countenance revealed a continued failure to grasp the simple concept.

For his part, Hisao’s mind was divided, trying to come to terms with Rin’s sudden…Rinniness…and, at the same time, the indiscernible philosophy of her reasoning. All his brain could manage was the confused look that Rin addressed with what she felt was sufficient clarification.

“The paintings--they haven’t got any arms,” she said and flapped the empty sleeves of her shirt as if to accentuate the explanation.

Her point made, Rin turned and walked off toward one of the paintings. This time the “clop, clop” of her sandals echoed a lovely, symphonic note against the marble walls, beckoning Hisao to “come, come, come along.” This tune brightened Hisao’s demeanor, and, smiling at the summons, he moved to follow Rin.

(Chapter II follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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cosmicmustache
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:15 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter II)


Before Hisao could go five paces, a voice called out to him.

“Program, sir?”

The sight that met Hisao as he turned toward this new voice caused him a discernible start that was amplified by the fact that he’d been sure he and Rin were here alone just a moment ago.

Two figures stood before him. One he immediately recognized as Yuuko, the quiet, nervous librarian at Yamaku, by her long, red hair and freckled, bespectacled face. She was smiling warmly, but her normally timid demeanor was replaced here by a confident, authoritative air. This new aspect of her character was augmented by the fact that she wore the crisp, precise uniform of a World War II Japanese admiral. More startling to Hisao than the fact that she wore the uniform was the unquestionable perception that it suited her, as if it were a part of her that, until now, had simply been hidden by the frumpy dresses she normally wore.

The hall’s ambient light reflected brightly upon medals pinned in tight, even rows upon her chest, and Hisao discerned she wore quite a number of them. However, instead of the normal squares, circles, and stars familiar across the world’s militaries, Yuuko’s accouterments were cast in the shapes of brass library books and golden coffee cups dangling from bright rainbows of ribbon. One large medallion was pinned high above the rest. It was a silver badge in the shape of a book. Upon it was stamped a single word—‘Wisdom.’

“Program, sir?” Yuuko queried once again. It was a clear and commanding voice, which is probably why Hisao hadn’t recognized it the first time. It was also a voice archetypical of one whose life was surely devoted to purposeful and honorable servitude to others. A voice you listen for in times of need.

Yuuko shook her right hand with a clatter, and Hisao saw that she held an iron chain. At the other end of the chain squatted the second figure, a large, grim-looking monkey…or was it a hairy boy? He was dressed in the red uniform of an old-style organ grinder’s monkey complete with a pillbox cap affixed with an elastic band around his chin and a red jacket secured by little, gold buttons. His short pants were bright blue with a red stripe running from waste to cuff on both sides. The chain in Yuuko’s hand was secured to this odd creature by a golden band around its thin neck.

The monkey-boy was obviously quite unhappy with his situation as he held out a paper program in a clinched hand…paw? Mechanically, his senses overcome by the sight before him, Hisao slowly reached out and took the proffered program with an equally mechanical, “thank you.”

This business accomplished the duo then turned toward Rin, who had apparently wandered back and now looked upon the couple with her not-uncommon blank stare.

“Program, ma’am?” Yuuko intoned as her assistant held out another paper.

When Rin failed to take the proffered program, for reasons Hisao thought should be obvious, the little monkey-boy shook the paper violently as if to say, “Hey, don’t you see this? Take the stupid thing!”

Rin just looked down at the paper blankly, which only caused the monkey-boy to grit its teeth and shake the paper harder.

Injecting some sanity into this odd scene, Hisao interceded by reaching over and taking the program, saying, “I’ll just hold that for her.”

Programs properly distributed, Admiral Yuuko piped out a quick, commanding, “Have a good visit!” Then, looking at her partner and giving the chain a little shake, she said, “Come along.”

Hisao watched as woman and monkey-boy turned to walk away. Suddenly the monkey-boy spun back, squinted fiercely and hissed in the loudest whisper Hisao had ever heard, “Dude, they caught me! Save yourself!”

“Kenji?!” came an astonished declaration to Hisao’s lips, echoing loudly through the hall.

“Enough of that,” came Yuuko’s commanding voice. She yanked the chain sharply, and the monkey-boy stumbled, turned, and followed dejectedly.

For a long, shock-fueled moment Hisao could only watch the couple walk away. However, as his senses returned, Hisao shook loose of the paralyzing stupor.

“Did…did you see that? Rin, did you see that?!” Hisao asked excitedly, turning toward Rin as he spoke and pointed toward the admiral and her detainee.

Rin shifted her stare from the receding forms and, looking straight at Hisao, replied in a deadpan voice, “No.”

To Hisao’s agape mouth and astonished look she only replied, “Let’s go. I don’t know when this place closes. No one does.”

Turning back to her former direction, Rin began walking her sandal-accented walk toward the painting. After a few moments pause, during which the words “feminist conspiracy” came unbidden to his mind, Hisao closed his mouth and, carelessly folding the programs and shoving them into his back pants pocket, hurried to follow his guide.

(Chapter III follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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cosmicmustache
Posts: 45
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:18 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter III)


He came to a stop next to Rin in the little alcove as she stood silent and still before the painting that resided there. It was an odd painting that Hisao didn’t recognize. A huge, misshapen, yellow head took center stage in profile against a blue sky background. Hisao had a thought that the head looked as if it had been skinned from its skull. The head, its lips appearing swollen and chapped, hovered above sandy ground supported by a number of thin, wooden crutches. The mouth, nose and closed eye were also supported by these little crutches. Rather than being attached to a body, the head seemed to taper off into what looked almost like a deflated, yellow balloon. Far in the background stood a little village, or perhaps it was a jumbled castle, alone in a wasteland of sand and rock. There was also a dog in the painting, which, oddly, also had its head supported by a crutch.

Just as Hisao thought to himself, “who would paint something like this,” Rin spoke.

“They put labels up.”

“What?” asked Hisao.

“Labels,” and she turned to look at him. “They put labels up next to each painting. Title, artist…stuff like that.” She turned back toward the painting.

Looking back himself, Hisao now noticed a small, square paper in its own little metal frame placed to the lower right of the painting’s base. Though it stood out now, he’d not noticed it before.

“You’re right, there is,” he said pointing at it.

Rin gave a very opinionated “hmmph!” and, in a slightly bitter voice Hisao had never heard from her before, said, “Oh yeah, they love their little labels…even if they don’t really tell you anything.”

Deciding from Rin’s tone that this may not be a conversation to pursue, Hisao looked at the label again and read aloud the sharp, bold letters imprinted on the clean, white paper.

“’Sleep - by Salvador Dali (1937).’ Oh, I’ve heard of him.”

“He eats marbles.”

It took Hisao a second to be sure he'd heard correctly, then, turning toward Rin, he spouted a confused, “Wait…what?!”

Rin’s nose crinkled up a bit as she sought to explain, saying, “I kinda understand what he’s saying, but it’s like he’s mumbling…like he’s talking with his mouth full of marbles.” She then turned her head lazily toward Hisao and continued, “It’s like he’s been eating a bowl of marbles for breakfast…or maybe it’s dinner…which is okay you know, eating breakfast for dinner that is, not eating marbles…and then he tries to talk to you, but the marbles get all jumbled and in the way of his words, and the milk dribbles out of his mouth…I like that word, ‘dribbles,’…and it gets on the floor where someone might slip on it if they’re not careful.”

For a few seconds Hisao could only stare back at the source of this odd, if apparently heart-felt, proclamation before giving a safe and calculated response. “I guess I get that…maybe...” then in quieter voice, “…maybe not.”

Rin nodded sagely at his response and, giving him a quirky, satisfied, little smile, turned back to the painting.

Hisao gave his companion a slightly concerned gaze, then, shrugging, turned back to the painting as well. What he saw this time surprised him. The painting was beginning to flow down the wall as if it were melting under some great heat. Shapes and forms, misshapen by their artist’s vision, found increased deformation as they slowly, silently flowed down the grey, glassy marble wall. Drops of white fell from the painting and collect in puddles on the floor. As an odd aside to an odd scene, Hisao realized that the little, framed label remained solid and intact, intent on outlasting its purpose.

As he stood there in shock at the demise of the art before him, Hisao realized that the painting had no frame. Indeed, it appeared to have been painted directly onto the marble wall from which it now made its messy egress. Turning his head to look back into the hall, he could now discern that none of the paintings along the walls had frames. They hadn’t been placed in the hall; they were a part of it! Hisao found himself wondering if this meant the other paintings were in danger of melting as well.

Hisao turned to Rin expecting to see some panic over the fate of the work before them. Instead he found that she was staring right at him, into him, with those beautiful, living, green eyes.

“The painting…” he began, stammering a bit.

“Nothing lasts forever,” Rin interrupted coolly, stopping whatever thought Hisao had meant to express. Then she turned around and began clopping on toward the next alcove.

For some reason he couldn’t fully grasp, Rin’s simple platitude seemed to make perfect sense, and it eased his confusion about the painting. However, he was still taken by a somberness at the loss of the painting. It was like the loss of memories once cherished, but now only grasped at as they fled. He looked once more at the oozing Dali, now well on its floorward migration, and then followed after Rin.

(Chapter IV follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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cosmicmustache
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter IV)


They came to a slow stop inside the next alcove to examine its occupant. This painting would probably have been a lovely, colorful picture of a street or bridge under a sunset captured in broad strokes of yellow and orange, except for the figure in the foreground. It stood with its hands grasping at the sides of its head, and the face between those hands was a horrifying visage standing with its mouth gaping open in a silent scream. In this one figure, thought Hisao, the artist had perfectly captured a look of life-altering terror, pain, and anguish.

“I know this one!” he declared, rather proud of his suddenly knowledge of common artistic culture. “It’s ‘the Scream.’ I can never remember the artist’s name though.”

Leaning forward, Hisao read aloud the label next to the painting, “’The Scream - Hanako Ikezawa (1893).’”

His face twisted in confusion, Hisao re-read the label two times, then a third. Then, standing straight up, he spouted, “Hanako?!”

Looking back up at the painting, Hisao was horrified by a dramatic and disturbing change in its content. The darkness of the piece, the swirling, chaotic oranges, blues, yellows and browns, remained, but the silent, screaming figure had become the image of Hanako wreathed in flames. They licked at her hair and ran up an arm that was lifted to her tormented face. Behind her tortured visage, bridge and sunset had morphed into a burning house with flames that seemed to dance orange and yellow. Though colors and forms declared the painting an impression of reality, Hisao was struck heart and soul by how real the image felt. It grabbed at all senses and even seemed to move grotesquely with the portrayed event. Was that a crackling sound? Couldn’t he feel the heat emanating from the wall in front of him? Even Hisao’s sense of smell seemed accosted by this image of his classmate's suffering, as he was sure he could detect the heavy odor of burning wood. Wood and something else--something horrible.

Hisao let out a startled cry and slammed his eyes shut to hide them from the terrible visage. His stomach roiled and invoked a sudden urge to vomit. Gulping air to settle the urge, Hisao snapped his eyes back open as his mind sought a morbid confirmation of the disturbing scene that had affected it.

Once again Hisao found himself staring into the deep, calming eyes of Rin. She stood close before him and made shushing sounds like a mother to a crying child.

“It’s okay Hisao. It’s over now, long over. It’s going to be okay.”

Hisao imagined that if Rin had arms, she’d have them wrapped around him now, stroking his head to sooth him.

“Gone?” asked Hisao with a sob, the terrifying image still with him, “I don’t understand!”

He looked past Rin, hesitantly, toward where the painting clung to the wall and saw Hanako standing in the alcove. It wasn’t the Hanako he’d just seen, but the one he knew—quiet and unassuming. She stood there calmly peeling the painting from the wall. Hisao had the unsettling thought that it came away like dead skin. Hanako’s right hand moved steadily and methodically around the edges of the image, tugging a little at a time, here and there, as her left hand collected the image as it came away. Once she’d completely removed the tissue-thin painting, Hanako began to fold it carefully. Half fold by half fold, the painting, once large enough to dominate the wall, became smaller and smaller until it sat as a thin, dark, angry square in the palm of her right hand. Hanako then tucked the square into the top left pocket of her clean, white uniform shirt and buttoned the pocket securely. Without a word, she walked away.

For a long moment Hisao just stood there and watched her leave, her long, black hair, hanging down across the back of her pressed, white uniform shirt, swayed as she walked away. The image she’d just collected stayed with him in a terrible way. It drove tears from his eyes with its tale of pain, loss, and sorrow. They all seemed too much in quantity and intensity for any one person to bear--certainly too much for one little, quiet girl.

“Hanako…oh, Hanako,” moaned Hisao.

“We all carry it with us,” came Rin’s quiet voice, still soothing, “All of us.”

The utter sadness of the moment still haunting him, Hisao stepped quickly past Rin and followed Hanako, wanting to comfort her, help her…pity her. As he came within a few feet of her, he called out in a desperate voice, “Hanako!”

Hanako stopped. She turned around to reveal--the back of her head, her long, black hair, hanging down across the back of her pressed, white uniform shirt, swaying as she walked away.

“Huh?” muttered a confused Hisao as he came to a stop. Then he called out again, “Hanako!”

Hanako stopped and turned around to reveal—the back of her head, her long, black hair, hanging down across the back of her pressed, white uniform shirt, swaying as she walked away.

Distraught and confused, Hisao just stood there trying to make sense of what he was seeing.

“You really need to let her go,” Rin said from close behind him. He’d not heard her approach, but he now felt her presence as surely as if he was looking at her.

Struggling to respond, Hisao finally whispered, “I don’t understand, why won’t she turn back and let me help her?” A sob wracked his thin frame, and tears dripped unhindered from his cheeks. “Why does she keep walking away?”

Hisao felt Rin’s comforting warmth as she stepped beside him and leaned gently, reassuringly against him.

“She’s not walking away,” Rin’s whispered voice said quietly and calmly, her mouth now beside his ear, “she’s moving on.”

Like morphine to the wounded, these simple words instantly lifted Hisao’s spirits. He saw Hanako differently now. He saw that she walked steady, straight, and with purpose. He saw a timid young girl growing into a confident woman. She was going to be fine.

Hisao turned to give praise to his companion for the insight and wisdom of her words and their effect on him. The solemnity of the moment was dampened, however, as Rin shrugged and continued, “Or maybe she’s going to get lunch. Maybe she’s hungry? I am.”

Caught unprepared, yet again, for Rin to be Rin, Hisao found he was unable to even begin the process of saying anything. After a moment, however, he couldn’t help but smile and chuckle at the seemingly out-of-place statement. This seemed to make Rin smile as well—slyly, with a certain look out of the corner of her eye. Hisao turned to look to Hanako once more, but she was gone, so he decided to take the lead and walked forward ahead of Rin toward the next painting.

(Chapter V follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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cosmicmustache
Posts: 45
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:24 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter V)


Stopping in front of an odd, colorful work on the wall in this alcove, Hisao glanced at the label, then called out to Rin, “Hey, it’s a Picasso!” As Hisao looked at the vibrant, if oddly disjointed, painting, the sound of Rin’s sandals came closer…and then continued on as she walked right past him.

Confused, Hisao called out to her, “Hey, don’t you want to see the Picasso?”

Rin stopped abruptly then pivoted sharply to look at Hisao. The look on her face scared him. For the first time that he could recall, Rin displayed an angry scowl. Her persona, gaining presence from her concord with this place, seemed to amplify the malevolence of the look.

“R…Rin?” Hisao said meekly.

“We’re not talking to each other anymore!” exclaimed Rin with great venom.

Hisao could only stand there in shock, horrified…and a little scared. He never knew Rin could be angry, especially this angry. “What did I do to cause this?!” he thought as he searched his memory. Was she angry that he took the lead in their tour of the hall? That didn’t seem like her, but then, neither did the angry girl in front of him! Rin had been his comforting companion in this odd place. Why would that so suddenly change? Hisao became so upset that his chest gave a short, painful throb, then another, as if it were trying to force out the hurt that had sprung within.

“But, Rin…what…I…,” he began, stammering.

“He stole my ideas!” Rin continued with unhidden anger.

Now Hisao was even more confused! He who?

“Wait, Rin,” he finally said, “what are you talking about?”

“That no good, ear hacking hack stole my ideas,” she replied through gritted teeth. Then, stomping right up to Hisao and tossing her head accusingly toward the painting on the wall, Rin growled, “He knew those thoughts were mine, but he took them and said they were his.”

Hisao blinked a few times as his perception of the situation shifted. She wasn’t angry at him; she was angry at Picasso…which still didn’t make sense.

Hisao gave a long, tension-releasing exhale, then, placing his hands on Rin’s thin shoulders, spoke quietly to her, as if seeking to reason with an angry child, “Rin, I’m pretty sure he died before we were even born. Besides, wasn’t that van Gogh with the ear thing?”

Rin gave Hisao a glare that, this time, felt very much directed at him and caused him to quickly remove his hands. “Now you sound just like him,” she hissed, “It doesn’t matter. He’s a jerk. Come on!”

With that Rin turned and stomp-clopped away. Hisao looked briefly back toward the painting and offered an apologetic shrug, then wisely did as he was told and followed.

(Chapter VI follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:27 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter VI)


Hisao caught up with Rin as she stood, relaxed and calm before one of the larger sculptures along the middle of the hall. For a moment it seemed odd to him that, in the pace of a few yards, Rin’s demeanor had reverted from unusually hostile to Rinishly subdued. The moment passed, however, as he reflected more upon whom it was that accompanied him.

Rin seemed to be talking to the statue as if they were familiar acquaintances. This somehow didn’t surprise Hisao, and he remarked to himself, “Rin would converse with a tree if her imagination told her it would listen.” He smirked at the mental image of Rin strolling through the woods and offering warm greetings to the trees as she passed them by. That would be a funny sight!

Stopping next to Rin, who ceased her conversation on his arrival, Hisao examined the sculpture and said, “Hey, even I know this one. It’s ‘the Thinker’.”

Indeed, there in rich bronze sat a large, muscular man. His head, perched thoughtfully upon his right hand, was cast with an expression that forgot the physical world as the mind lost itself in thought, wonder, imagination, and contemplation. Hisao had seen pictures of the famous work over and over again throughout his schooling. Indeed it was likely a familiar sight to most students around the world. This was ‘the Thinker.’

“No it’s nooooot,” replied Rin. She smiled a sly, knowing smile as she said this with a childish, 'I-know-something-you-don’t-know' lilt in her voice.

“Sure it is,” Hisao replied, turning to Rin as he pointed to the sculpture, “Just look at it!”

“No,” said Rin, still smiling, “You look.”

Giving Rin the best ‘you’re crazy’ look he could muster, he looked back to the very familiar sculpture before them. Thoughtful expression—yep. Head on hand—yep. Oddly muscular body for a scholar—yep. Yes, this was definitely…wait a minute.

“Where are his legs?!” Hisao asked aloud.

Bringing to mind all of the pictures he’d seen of the statue before, he recognized that the sculpture was supposed to have legs and feet. In this place and on this statue, however, the legs were missing. In fact, it looked as if they’d been torn off violently, leaving behind jagged, hollow stumps.

“You mean 'where are her legs', Hisao, and she hasn’t got any,” came Rin’s reply. Her voice had resumed an even, matter-of-fact air.

“Her?”

“Yeah. This is ‘the Emi Statue,’” replied Rin.

“The Emi Statue?” returned Hisao incredulously.

“You’ve probably heard of it before. They give them out to actors and movie people.”

Hisao wasn’t sure if Rin was joking. Rin’s normal conversations could be funny enough, so she didn’t really need to joke, and it could be hard to tell when she did.

Rin looked up at the statue and continued, her voice and face becoming a bit troubled and tempered with sadness, “She lost her legs years ago. Something bad happened—really bad. In Cleveland, I think.” Rin’s face scrunched up a bit as she took on that look she had when she was trying to explain one of her thoughts that even she didn’t understand. “I don’t think Emi has ever been to Cleveland, but that’s where it happened.”

“Cleveland?” Hisao was becoming more confused with this ‘explanation.’

“Yeah, it’s in Iowa or Nebraska. In the United States. Something very bad—like a weekend bad.” Rin tilted her head thoughtfully. “I think it happened on a weekend…or a Tuesday.”

Hisao was at a complete loss as to how to reply to what Rin was telling him, or trying to tell him, so he just continued looking at the sculpture and muttered, “Emi Statue,” nodding politely as if he understood.

Rin made an unexpected movement that brought her closer to Hisao. For some reason, Hisao had the perception that this short, physical motion was more than physical in its results. Rin spoke in a soft, caring, quiet voice, “Look at her…legs gone, lots and lots of thoughts going round and round in her head. But she’s a statue, and statues are stubborn things, so she won’t just tell you what she’s really thinking. You have to figure it out for yourself.”

Hisao thought on this for a moment as he and Rin stood, inches apart, quietly looking at the sculpture. Finally he asked, “Why don’t they fix it…uh, her?”

Turning his head to face Rin again, he was greeted with a “you’re crazy” look that put his own, earlier attempt to great shame.

“What?” he asked meekly.

“Hisao,” came Rin’s reply, now laced with exasperation, “she isn’t broken.”

There was an intensity and wisdom to Rin’s words, so uncharacteristic of her normal persona, that left him feeling very self-conscious, as if he’d performed a very public faux pas. In fact, he now noticed that the murmuring voices of the hall had quieted, as if dozens of unseen people had stopped all of their conversations at once and turned to look upon him in quiet, harsh judgment. The murmurs returned soon as he was deemed unworthy of further attention, but Rin continued to look at him. Hisao rubbed at the back of his head awkwardly and, desperate to avoid Rin’s gaze, looked around—everywhere but at her.

(Chapter VII follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:31 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter VII)


As Hisao turned his head, a flash of yellow caught his eye. Focusing, he saw a tall, blond girl at one of the nearby alcoves. She was dressed in a Yamaku school uniform, but the uniform seemed…different. The cut and fit seemed to perfectly match the figure it covered. The colors seemed more precise than the off-the-shelf garb he wore. It was the Yamaku uniform as if it had been made by some famous fashion designer then perfectly tailored for its wearer. There was something else as well. Hisao’s eyes had caught it, but his perception still lingered behind.

The girl stood staring intently at what was obviously a Monet. Hisao knew that, from here, the painting appeared to be a full and detailed picture, but, up close, the viewer would be confronted with thousands of broken segments of colors. Each was an individual mark upon the broad canvas, but, as the viewer stepped back from the painting, it became lost in the whole of the piece as the eyes and brain lacked the function to distinguish them.

Hisao couldn’t help but look at the girl. She was beautiful…beautiful and elegant. Refined in the same way as her apparel. Golden tresses flowed from head and cascaded down in loose turns, highlights, and curls to rest upon her thin shoulders and white shirt. The lighting in the hall glowed from her clear, pale skin. She stood on long, pale legs that appeared in abrupt contrast from beneath a pleated, dark green skirt.

Ah, that was what his eyes had been trying to tell him. The skirt wasn’t the standard uniform version the other female students wore. Instead, Hisao could make out a pattern of checkers and lines just visible within the green. He’d seen something like it before in a world history class. It was Scottish...a ‘Tartan’, he thought the pattern was called, though he had no idea why it would be incorporated into a Japanese school uniform.

The girl stood at an angle to Hisao and Rin with her arms folded in front of her and her back slightly to them—just the side of her face visible. Still, it took only a moment for Hisao to recognize her.

“Hey, there’s Lilly,” he said to Rin, nodding his head to indicate her direction.

“Hey, you’re right,” said Rin in what sounded like a mocking reply.

“What’s she doing?”

“Well, I’m no expert,” again the mocking tone, “but I think she’s looking at that painting.”

A bit angry at Rin’s sarcasm, Hisao turned to her and said, “Rin, she’s blind. How can she see the painting…any of the paintings in fact?”

Rin closed her eyes and shook her head. There was something to the motion...anger, pity, exasperation. Hisao couldn’t be sure if it was one of these or even all of them.

“No, Hisao, she’s not. You are.”

This statement was too much for Hisao, “What are you talking about? I can see just fine!”

Rin stopped shaking her head, opened her eyes, and looked penetratingly at Hisao. “Oh? Tell me, can you see what she sees?”

Hisao’s mind jammed as he tried to think of a way to respond to the seemingly absurd question. He stammered a bit, but couldn’t form the words.

Rin continued, unanswered. “Everyone sees the world in their own way Hisao, and none of us can really see it the way others see it.” Rin’s head dropped a bit and she finished, “And none of us can fully share what we see with anyone else…no matter how hard we try.”

This last statement made Hisao sad, and he noticed that the glow that had been with Rin in this place seemed to dim slightly. A light rim of tears came to his eyes. Though they were his tears, he couldn’t place exactly why they had appeared. Perhaps they were from knowing that, no matter how close you get to others, in some ways you are always alone.

Hisao’s chest and stomach became tight as he continued to look at Rin. He now understood there was something about her he was missing. Something about Rin that wanted to be understood, but couldn’t be. Something he just couldn’t see.

Rin didn’t lift her head to return Hisao’s gaze or continue with her explanation, so, after a few moments, Hisao shifted his focus back to Lilly.

Lilly was crying.

She wasn’t sobbing or wailing, but he could see light glint from tears as they flowed unabashedly down her cheeks to dangle from her thin jaw before leaping to the floor. Strangely, Hisao had the perception that the tears made her look stronger. It was an odd thought…odd but true.

As Hisao watched, Lilly moved her right hand out in front of her. The first thing he noticed was the blood. Blood stained her white shirt from elbow to wrist, and Hisao was immediately concerned that she was hurt.

Lilly seemed to ignore the blood, however, and, instead, focused on the object in her hand. It was a compass, one of the ones with a wooden case and a domed, glass top. It was very European and very old. Hisao was just able to perceive the needle on the compass as it pointed to Lilly’s left, then swung around fluidly to point to her right, then revolved around a few time and stopped with a bearing to her left again. Left, right, left, right, round and round went the needle, and, with each swing, Lilly would turn her gaze desperately in the indicated direction, then look again for a new heading.

After a bit she brought her right arm back up to her chest to rest with her left and bowed her head, allowing tears to drop more rapidly from her face. Hisao saw her give a heart-felt shudder, and then she turned and walked slowly…hesitantly…away.

As she turned, Hisao saw that her crossed arms cradled dozens of small, beating hearts! She held them with great care and concern, speaking gently and soothingly to them as she walked. It may have been the shock of this startling sight affecting him, but he was sure that, even from this distance, he could see a familiar scar running down the side of one of the little hearts--one held very close to Lilly’s chest.

“Rin!” Hisao gasped and turned to his companion, “Lilly!”

“Hmmm?” Rin hummed as if waking from a daydream. She lifted her head and gazed around them. “Lilly? Where?”

“Right there…” Hisao began, pointing. But, as he turned back to look, he realized Lilly could no longer be seen. “But she was right there,” he said.

“Oh?” came Rin’s questioning voice, “What direction did she go, to the left or the right?”

Hisao came to a startling realization—he didn’t know. He had watched Lilly walk away. He had just watched her walk off, but, try as he might, he couldn’t recall which direction she’d gone.

With a desperate look at Rin he replied, “I don’t know!”

“Yes, choices are like that,” was Rin’s response, “especially other people’s choices. Eventually we all have to make them, though, and go wherever they lead. Kind of like this,” and, as if all Hisao’s questions had been answered, she began walking again, leaving a stunned Hisao behind.

Hisao stood in pause for a moment trying to make sense of all the disturbing things he’d experienced since coming to this place, but he was unable to reconcile them, so he decided to continue on down the hall, following Rin.

(Chapter VIII follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:33 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter VIII)


He caught up with her in front of a painting that didn’t hurt his head. A quick scan of the label let him know that they were looking at ‘The Gleaners’ painted by Jean-François Millet in 1857. It also informed him that the painting was in the “Realist” style.

The scene was of three female farm workers from some time before tractors and automation. Two were bent over searching the ground for leftover wheat from a recent harvest. Their companion stood straight—or as straight as a day-long bent back allowed—tucking her find into her satchel before bending again to continue the effort. It was a very pastoral scene with no odd shapes, no harsh colors, and no crazy images. For all intents and purposes, Hisao could have been looking at a photograph--a photograph of a calm, normal, farmland scene frozen for just a moment for his review. The lack of any of the weirdness he’d seen in some of the previous artwork made Hisao smile a bit, and he commented to Rin, “Well, that’s pretty nice.” When his remark elicited no response from his companion, Hisao turned and looked at her.

Rin stood there with a look that would be described with words like “confused,” “quizzical,” and “confounded.” Her head was tilted slightly to the left, and her face was scrunched up to the point that her nose wrinkled and her eyes looked almost like she was squinting. She stood still in that pose for some time, and Hisao became a bit restless looking at her looking at the painting.

“Rin?” he finally said, tentatively and quietly.

Rin continued to stand there for a few more moments then suddenly gave her arms, what there was of them, a single, wild flap of resignation. They flew up then fell back to her sides, her sleeves giving a ‘slap’ as the knots at the elbow hit her sides.

“I don’t get it!” she exclaimed, then turned abruptly and walked on down the hall at a brisk pace. ‘Clop-clop-clop.’

This time Hisao immediately rushed to stay with her, and they soon arrived at the next alcove in the hall. Here Hisao stopped to take in the next masterpiece presented to him. What he saw surprised him.

“Hey, Rin, isn’t that one of your paintings?” He asked.

“Seen it!” was her quick reply as she continued onward with her brisk pace. The response was accompanied by another flap of her arms and slap of the knots.

(Chapter IX follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter IX)


The murmur-quiet air of the hall was suddenly breached by a loud, static-encrusted voice.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be closing very soon, so please get your stuff and get ready to get out! Wahahahaha!”

The voice had come across what sounded like the Public Address system at Yamaka, but no amount of archaic, electronic-induced distortion could hide that cheerful, sweet-as-bubblegum voice.

“Misha?!” Hisao exclaimed.

“Wahahaha!” continued the laughter, but this time it was much clearer, and Hisao realized it wasn’t coming across some unseen speaker system, but, instead, came loud and clear from the next alcove down.

“Heck, she doesn’t really need the P.A.!” thought Hisao as Misha’s laugh continued to reverberate into and throughout the marble hall. “I bet you can hear her no matter where you are in this place.”

Misha’s laughter finally came to a stop, and the air calmed enough to resume its murmuring. Hisao walked forward and looked into the alcove, only to find that there was no alcove. Indeed, there was no wall between these pillars. Instead Hisao found himself looking into the student council room. It was as if someone had removed the door to the room--in fact, the whole wall the door was on—and stuck the room against the side of the marble hall like some living, full-size diorama.

Not surprisingly, the room’s native inhabitants were on display as well. Misha was at one of the tables positioned near but perpendicular to the student council president’s desk. She was presented in pink-haired profile to the observer. Two tall stacks of paper sat on the table before her—one to her left, one to her right. She sat holding a bright pink pen which she used to write upon a single piece of paper that rested in front of her. As she wrote, she seemed to be carrying on a conversation.

“That’s right Shicchan; no one appreciates all the work we do to keep this place running. Why I bet they’re all upset that we’re closing. They probably think we should stay open forever, like some convenience store! Wahahahaha!”

Misha’s hair bounced happily with her laughter, and Hisao couldn’t help but to smile at the girl’s ever-present cheerfulness.

“What’s that?” she continued, looking toward the president’s desk.

The room’s other occupant sat rightfully at the president’s desk which was placed at the precise center of the front of the room. Where it sat was certainly in line with the room as Hisao had last seen it, but Hisao immediately realized that how it had been placed was different. Here the desk was turned around, facing away from the door and the rest of the room. Shizune sat with her back to the room, Misha, Hisao, and the world. Like Misha, Shizune had two stacks of paper on the desk in front of her. However, unlike Misha, who sat writing idly on the page in front of her, Shizune hand moved quickly and precisely across the unseen page. Every half minute or so she would stop writing, place the page neatly and squarely atop the stack to her left, then grab a page from the stack to the right and start writing again.

“That’s right!” declared Misha, holding up her pen like Columbia’s torch, “no one ever, ever says ‘thank you’ or anything for these programs. It’s like they think they just appear out of nowhere instead of taking hours and hours of our time to write out, and no one to help us at all!”

At this Misha lowered her pen, placed the paper in front of her on the stack to her right, then, giving a slight groan, took another page from the stack to her left and began writing again.

“Programs?” thought Hisao, and he reached to his back pocket and pulled out the papers he’d been given when he first got here. Unfolding them, he was greeted by two programs--one in bright, girlie pink handwriting, filled with curly-cues and little hearts, and one in carefully written, stoic black lettering. At the bottom of each program was a long, empty rectangle above which was written the word ‘Map.’

“Well, I guess that’s kinda what the hall looks like,” thought Hisao.

Below the map was written, “You Are Here.” There was no arrow or ideolocator to go along with the simple truth presented by those words.

“Yes, I guess that’s true, if not very precise,” Hisao thought, “I am ‘here.’ Aren’t we all?”

His pondering was interrupted by the continuation of Misha’s riotous voice, “So, how are we going to celebrate today’s spectacular success?” Misha paused a moment as if listening, then slumped back in her chair and frowned. “Awwww, but I’m getting so tired of take out!”

As if on cue, an empty takeout box tumbled down from atop a trash can beside Shizune’s desk. Hisao could see the can was filled with empty take out boxes, crushed soda cans, and used chopsticks.

Hisao continued to smile at the familiarity of the discussion and its tone, and he wondered how the student council would resolve this debate. But his amusement and his smile were stolen by an abrupt realization. Misha wasn’t signing as she talked! On top of that, even if she had been, Shizune’s back was to her, so there was no way she could see Misha’s hands. Yet, Hisao had the unshakable impression that the two girls were, indeed, in conversation as they sat cranking out program after program.

“So how are they talking to each other?!” thought Hisao aloud.

“Some people don’t need to talk to talk,” came Rin’s voice from beside him.

Having forgotten briefly that Rin was there too, Hisao gave a startled jump. There was also an element of proximity to Hisao’s reaction, for Rin spoke not just from beside him, but from right beside him. She stood barely an inch away, looking at the scene before them.

Hisao recovered from his start enough to gather his composure and to realize that having Rin this close was actually kind of nice.

“What do you mean?” he asked Rin in response to her statement.

Rin brought out her thoughtful look again and said, “Well, I guess if you know someone really well, like KNOW them know them,” and here her eyes widened for emphasis, “then you don’t have to talk to them to know them. You know them already, like you know you. Of course, it can be dangerous knowing someone that way.”

She turned her head to look up at Hisao with inquisitive eyes and asked in an unsure voice, “Does that make sense?”

Rin’s eyes looking right up at him again reminded Hisao of how close she stood to him. Her green, glowing eyes lingered in his direction, and he suddenly felt butterflies hover in his stomach and clogging his brain. It was an odd, unexpected feeling that left him devoid of the capacity to develop a reasonable response to the simple inquiry. He managed the best he could, however.

“Hell if I know,” he said, immediately wanting to retrieve the dumb response. The answer seemed to satisfy Rin however, for she gave him a quick, happy smile and turned back to the scene before them.

Glad to no longer be under scrutiny, but finding he missed the experience of having Rin actually look at him, Hisao also turned back to watch Misha and Shizune. His mind cleared up enough for him to find the words for another observation.

“Well, I guess some things never change. Shizune is all business, and Misha is all happiness and sunshine,” he said.

“Are they now?” said Rin, her voice questioning Hisao’s simple observation.

Hisao saw that Rin was looking at him again, this time with a look that told him the question wasn’t really a question and that maybe he should think more about what he was saying before he said it or at least get to know people better before thinking he knew them. It was a look he’d gotten from his mom on occasion.

“Tell me,” continued Rin, “can you talk to them without talking to them?”

“Well…no.”

“Hmmm, then maybe you don’t really know them, do you?”

Having apparently said all she had to say in the matter, Rin turned and continued on down the hall.

Hisao gave some thought to Rin’s statement as he folded the programs back up and returned them to his back pocket. He sighed and gave one last look at the student council diorama. His eye was caught by something on the corner of Shizune’s desk. It was a photo in a simple, conservative wooden frame. The picture had been taken at Yamaku’s front gate. Three figures stood in a haughty, ‘Three Musketeers’ pose, their imaginary blades held skyward. Hisao saw that the figure on the left was Misha. Her hair was cut short, and Hisao wondered to himself when she’d had such short hair. It was actually kind of cute on her. Misha stood with an air of self-confidence that he hadn’t seen in her before but fit her well.

In the center posed the bold, self-assured Shizune. There was nothing different in her physical appearance, but there was something different about her. The air she exuded was lighter, as if life had come in line for her and a weight was lifted from her shoulders. Hisao had always thought Shizune was cute, but, in this photo, she looked mature and beautiful.

The final figure gave Hisao a frown. Whoever it was, they were blotted out by a smear of light green paint that obscured any identifiable trace of who the person might have been. Hisao couldn’t imagine an answer to the mystery, for he was pretty sure Shizune and Misha were the only members of the student council.

Something else bothered him though. Looking at the picture, Hisao had a deep, odd conviction that he’d seen both the photo and that green color somewhere before. He gave the notion a few more moments of thought, then, not wanting to fall too far behind Rin, gave a dismissive shrug and went to catch up with her. Another loud “Wahahahah” followed his as he went.

(Chapter X follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:42 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter X)


Hisao’s concerns about catching up with Rin appeared to be unfounded. He only had to take a few steps before he found himself standing beside her confronted by a disturbing realization.

They had reached the end of the hall!

The wall that had first seemed so distant and indistinct was now before them. It was up close, clear, vibrant, and beautiful, and it was covered with the last masterpiece—Rin’s mural.

“Oh my God, Rin!” Hisao exclaimed as he stepped toward the glistening artwork, “How did your mural end up here?” Hisao felt and heard the rustling of a disinterested shrug from behind him.

Though he’d seen it before, indeed had somewhat helped in its creation, Hisao took some time to study the mural. He realized that, though he’d been there while Rin worked on it, he’d never really spent much time just looking at it as a whole and taking it in. He knew he couldn’t hope to fully understand the piece or what Rin was trying to say within its bright colors and odd, Picasso-like figures. (A description he vowed then and there never to share with Rin.) Similarly, he didn’t think he’d ever be able to fully understand the artist or all the things she said. Smiling, though, he came to the realization that he could appreciate both the art and the artist for being what they were in all their glowing, colorful quirkiness. Rin was an enigmatic character, and Hisao decided he was just happy to have the opportunity to revel in her Rinnishness whenever he could.

These revelations brought to Hisao’s mind possibilities he’d never really considered before—intriguing possibilities about his future and about Rin. Ultimately, though, he decided those thoughts needed some additional consideration, consideration that was too much right now for his tiring mind, so he let them rest knowing they would not be content to remain idle for long.

“Say Rin, this hall seemed a lot longer back where we started,” Hisao commented.

“Life’s like that, Hisao, long from the front and short from end,” Rin replied sagely.

Something in her voice, some grandness and ethereal quality made Hisao turn to look at her. What he saw startled him as nothing else in this odd place had.

There where Rin had stood just moments before was an armless statue of a woman. It was as if Rin had been replaced by a stunningly beautiful, alabaster sculpture straight from an ancient Roman temple. However, Hisao knew instantly and instinctively that this was Rin, and that Rin was beautiful. She was beautiful in a way that stunned Hisao as much as her sudden transformation—in a way that defined art in its purest form. In his heart, his aching, damaged heart, Hisao was struck with a reaffirmation of what he’d seen in Rin when they'd first started their wander down this hall--she belonged here. She was, herself, a masterful work of art, and trying to define, explain, understand, or change what she was would not just be wrong but likely impossible to do without damaging or destroying her.

As the sight, with all its feelings and thoughts, rushed at Hisao, he stumbled backward, only stopping when his head bounced hard against the muraled wall.

Hisao knees wobbled and he slide to the floor as he became dizzy and lightheaded. Rapidly losing his fight with unconsciousness, he looked out across the long marble hall and saw that the whole of it had begun to drip and melt away just as the Dali painting had done! The ceiling, walls, paintings, and statues slid and dripped to a floor that seemed, itself, to be dissolving. As darkness came to Hisao, his last sight and realization was that Rin’s statue was the only thing that remain solid and beautiful.

(Chapter XI follows...)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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cosmicmustache
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by cosmicmustache » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:49 pm

Rin: Osmosis
By cosmicmustache
[Based on the Four Leaf Studios’ visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”]

(Chapter XI)


Hisao awoke to darkness and muffled noise. He instinctively reached up toward his eyes only to encounter a soft, heavy cloth. Grabbing and pulling at the fabric, the darkness slid away to reveal an assault of light and sound upon his senses.

Blinking rapidly, Hisao looked down to shield his eyes from their attacker. He ended up looking at his hands and the jacket they grasped…his jacket.

“That’s right,” he thought as the fog of sleep cleared from his brain, “I used it to cover my face and keep the sunlight out of my eyes.”

Returning his hands to his face, he wiped the gritty sleep from his eyes and looked around as they adjusted to the light. An aura of sunset was beginning to threaten the warm day, but the sun still sat slightly above the trees far off in front of him, making Hisao squint even as it warmed his body. The noise, colors, and excitement of the Yamaku Festival were on display before him while a hard wall pressed up behind him.

Hisao was sitting on hard concrete, his legs crossed in front of him. As he tilted his head back, he found himself looking into the smiling face of a bald, chalk-white man who seemed to be laughing quietly at him. A collection of various feet rested above the man’s his left shoulder along with a stark, knowing eye. Hisao recognized Rin’s mural, and the flash of a dream came back to him for a moment before diving for cover behind his aching back.

Hisao stretched his arms high above his head, popping his back and relieving some of the stiffness and discomfort. A weight that his brain considered ‘familiar’ pressed against his right side. Looking down he saw Rin leaning against him, asleep. His memories returning with his wakefulness, he now remembered that a bored Hisao and an exhausted Rin had decided to “sleep this one out” as far as the festival was concerned.

Still, looking at Rin, he noticed that the sunlight on her face made her seem even more pale than usual—an almost alabaster white. This brought more fleeting bits of dream to his mind as he examined the artist beside him. Musing on these fragments of sleep-induced imagination brought a smile to Hisao’s face.

His back still stiff, Hisao stretched his arms up once again. His movement caused a rustling in his lap and a slight stir from Rin. Looking down for the source of the noise, Hisao saw a flyer draped across his legs. It was hand-written and hand-drawn with a bright, pink pen and was done in a very girlie style, with lots of little hearts and curly-cues. The flyer advertised a student council-sponsored trip to a nearby art museum that would be hosting a traveling exhibit of paintings and sculptures by famous artists. Dali, van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Monet and many others were listed.

“Hmmm, well THAT explains a lot,” thought Hisao with a smirk.

Looking up from the flyer, Hisao took in the sights of the festival. There were Lilly and Hanako leaving the class 3-2 noodle booth. They walked very close, Lilly’s cane tapping out before them, and it appeared they were headed out into the gardens or maybe downtown. They chatted happily as they strolled along.

Emi went flying by them at full tilt in the other direction. She was apparently carrying a box of disposable plates to one of the stalls. A boy in a Yamaku track-and-field team outfit followed close behind carrying a box of disposable bowls. Hisao didn’t recognize the boy and wondered briefly if Emi had maybe found a boyfriend who could actually keep up with her!

And there were Shizune and Misha! They looked oddly relaxed and not so oddly pleased with themselves. It was obvious that the festival’s success had lifted a burden from both of them, and they now had time to revel in the festivities just like everyone else. Indeed, they walked along just like normal festival-goers, their hands laden with plates of steaming food. Misha was chatting merrily away, loud enough that Hisao could just make out a few words—“success,” “celebrate,” and “Wahahahah” being the ones that stood out. Even the normally all-business Shizune seemed to have set aside stoicism for excitement.

Hisao’s attention was caught by another stir beside him, and he looked down into wet, sleepy, green eyes that looked back with recognition. The look and the closeness of those eyes met with scenes from the dream that still clung to his groggy subconscious, and Hisao found himself a bit flustered.

“Mmmmm….what’s happening?” asked Rin’s drowsy voice.

“Nothing,” replied Hisao, “just sitting here watching the festival.”

“Mmmmm,” was Rin’s only verbal response as she leaned right to sit up slightly.

Hisao picked up the flyer in his lap and held it up for Rin to see.

“Are you interested in going to this traveling art exhibit?” he asked with a smile. “It seems like your type of thing.”

Rin actually seemed a bit interested for a moment--or at least she put in the effort to actually focus on the paper in Hisao’s hand. But, after staring at the flyer for a moment, she uttered a simple, “Nope,” and turned away.

“But I thought you’d really be interested in a trip to see works by all these famous artists,” said Hisao, allowing his surprise to show in his voice.

“Nope,” Rin reaffirmed then wriggled a bit to find a more comfortable position before leaning her head back against Hisao’s arm. “Picasso’s there.”

“Picasso?!” blurted Hisao as his recent dream made a dramatic jump from abstract subconscious to startled consciousness. “Wait…WHAT?!”

Rin gave a slight sigh, then, tilting her head up to look at Hisao, calmly replied, “I already told you, we’re not talking anymore.”

A thoroughly stunned Hisao could only sit trying to speak, his mouth moving like a beached fish, as he desperately sought to get traction back to his brain. He was finally able to blurt out a shocked “I…I thought that was just in my dream?!”

Rin sat up again and calmly stretched her back, sides, and neck by arching gracefully this way and that. Then she gave a slight shrug and said, “Hmmm, I thought it was my dream. Well, I guess you can’t expect two people to sleep leaning against each other and not have their dreams get all jumbled together.”

Rin turned to look at the still stunned Hisao and continued, “It’s like that sciency thing. Osmis…Ozmas…Ozymandias…I think.”

“Osmosis,” Hisao blurted out, his still-numb mind running to the sanity of a topic he understood.

“Yeah, that guy!” smiled Rin.

Hearing nothing further from Hisao, who just sat there giving her a funny look, Rin said, “I wonder if we’ve been missing anything while we’ve been sleeping?” She then leaned forward as of to take a closer look at the festival on display before them--watching people run around excitedly between and around colorful booths, the smell of steaming food wafting across the air joined there by the sounds of laughter, friendly conversation, and festive music.

“Nope,” she shrugged, “nothing much happening here.”

With that, Rin leaned back against the wall and slid sideways to come to rest against a still staring Hisao. Shifting and snuggling a bit, Rin finally settled on a position that she apparently decided was as close to comfortable as she was going to get and closed her eyes.

“Hisao,” she said after a moment, sleep already tingeing her voice.

“Yes.”

“Try to dream something a little less weird this time, okay?”

“Okay,” replied Hisao, and a slight smile came to his face.

“And no Picassos!” Rin invoked sternly.

His smile widening a bit, Hisao replied, “No Picassos, got it.”

“No monkey boys either. That was just…creepy!” said Rin, accenting the last word with a shudder.

At this Hisao let loose a little laugh and, nodding, said, “No monkey boys either.”

It wasn’t long before Hisao heard the soft sounds of peaceful slumber from the girl leaning against him. Hisao wasn’t sure if he should be curious or scared about going back to sleep himself. He truly didn’t understand what had happened here—how Rin had known about the things from his dream. Still, this was Rin. As he pondered certain thoughts and feelings he’d started to have concerning this enigmatic girl, whether in his dreams or in his wakeful musings, he began to realize that being with Rin wasn’t about understanding her, it was about enjoying who she was.

Looking briefly at the sinking sun, then back to Rin’s peaceful face, aglow with the settling light, Hisao gave a shrug, leaned back against Rin’s mural, and closed his eyes.

(END)
Last edited by cosmicmustache on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
COSMICMUSTACHE

Don't let your life become your prison.

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” - Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)

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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by dewelar » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:56 pm

Heh...I happened to be on the board as you were posting this, and hovered here reading each post as it appeared. I enjoyed this trip thoroughly :D .

And yes...some people don't need to talk in order to talk, indeed...*sigh^
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:26 pm

Loved it! Need more rocket trips to Planet Rin!

On the technical side, I think I spotted a few grammar and spelling errors in the text. However, nothing screamed "HEY! I'M AN ERROR!!!!".
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by bhtooefr » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:22 pm

I... wasn't sure where that was going at all. Very... Rinny.

It almost sounded like it was going to be Hisao's last thoughts after a life with Rin, or maybe while falling during the Manly Picnic.
Rin brought out her thoughtful look again and said, “Well, I guess if you know someone really well, like KNOW them know them,” and here her eyes widened for emphasis, “then you don’t have to talk to them to know them. You know them already, like you know you. Of course, it can be dangerous knowing someone that way.”
Now that's the truth. (I have personal experience with that. Right down to it being in an unrequited love situation.)
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Re: Rin: Osmosis

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:04 am

When I started reading, I wanted to ask you why the heck you would start a story with a dream sequence.
Dream sequences can be used to give a bit more insights into a character's subconscious, but at the start of a story you have no idea about that character's current situation, no way to interpret what the dream is showing them.
Then I noticed this story would be only dream and little else...
And I think it's not quite right even for a dream: There's just too much detail - everything's too crisp for me to accept it as a dream...

I really liked the last chapter, but of the first ten chapters I think 6 or seven could have been left out and the story would not have suffered - especially all the chapters devoted to the other girls didn't seem to serve any real purpose.

I also wonder what the spoilers you warned time and again are supposed to be. I didn't notice any important plot points being given away at all.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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