After The Dream—MAIN INDEX (Rika update 20190704)

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brythain
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Re: Interlude (20140820)

Post by brythain » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:00 am

dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:Suddenly I realise that the only real person in the room right now is Misha. The rest are… what? Collections of images. Multiple perspectives. I focus on Shizune, and see her young and old, single and attached, a mother, a daughter, a spouse… and many versions of those many aspects, and more. It's dizzying. And it's true, at the same time.
So, you downloaded the KS Desktop Pets and then had a power surge :wink: ?
Shhhhh! If Kenji finds out, we're all doomed!

"Too late, ha ha, you are now property of the Sakura!"
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20140824): Pavane

Post by brythain » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:39 am

The slightly gaunt and unshaven stranger surprises me as I enter my room. Then I realise that he's no stranger, that in many ways we know each other a lot better than most.

"Mutou-sensei," I say politely. "What brings you here?"

"Heh, author, we're about the same age, same profession, more or less. You can drop the formalities."

"Sure," I reply, heading over to my bedside table. "Scotch?"

His eyes light up when he sees my 2009 Uigeadail. "Much appreciated. But there was another matter… I believe that some of my family have approached you?"

"Yes." I know what he's here for now. To tell the truth, I'm not sure what to say. But I try. "We're publishing 'Pavane'. Miyagi-san gave her approval."

Sorrow crosses his face. "Ah. Too late, then. I never meant to hurt her, or she, me. We might have had a chance, had it not been badly-timed."

I weigh my words. "I think sometimes we just have to accept that this is the way it went, and that both of you didn't end up badly."

"True, true."

The tumblers are empty. And so is my room.

=====

Pavane, a complete story taken from the memoirs of Akio Mutou from 2006 to 2016, is now available here.

It's also the half-anniversary of the happy day on which I first found these forums and registered. Amazing place, wonderful people, and lots of fun. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20140826): Remembrance—Akiko's Arc

Post by brythain » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:43 am

These fragments come from the archive of Akiko Nakai, daughter of Emi Ibarazaki and Hisao Nakai, adoptive Hakamichi.
They are reproduced in edited form by kind permission of the archivist, and provide insights into the lives of many interesting people.
(N, Osaka, 2068)


Currently, the fragments consist of the following pieces:
Akiko 0 — Remembrance (2031)
Akiko 1a — A Letter to Mother (31 Jul 2036)
Akiko 1b — A Letter to Mother (07 Jan 2039)
Akiko 1c — A Letter to Mother (06 May 2040)
Akiko 2 — Mothers and Daughters (Winter 2040-41)
Akiko 3a — A Change of Heart (10-11 Mar 2044)
Akiko 3b — Breaking News (12-25 Mar 2044)
Akiko 3c — Space, Time and Destiny (2044 onwards)


Akiko 0: Remembrance (2031)

It’s seven years later, or just one year, depending on how you look at it. The girl with the twin ponytails has been heartbroken for a long time. She’s sitting down on the waxed wood-plank pine floor of her room, her old toys neatly shelved around her, her back to the door. Somehow, she’s grown up too quickly—her favoured friends, the faded yellow bear and the white tiger, have been set aside long ago.

“Time to go, sunshine,” says Meiko Ibarazaki. “Time to go…” her voice trails off, because she hasn’t the heart to press further. It was bad enough when Emi was young. It is worse now.

It always takes so long to load up the car.

It always takes so long to get to the cemetery.

Gravestones with strange markings. Words with no more meaning in them. The summer breeze tugs at the girl’s tails, but finds no real purchase, gives up. Here, as the trees close in, there is silence, there is peace.

But she’s still heartbroken. This time, as for a few years, she still needs company. Meiko holds her hand, the sun highlighting a few silver strands in the older woman’s hair. Akiko, the child of summer, looks up at her. Her jade-green eyes are brimming but still brave.

“Why was I left behind, Gramma?”

Wordlessly, Meiko shakes her head. She looks down at the three graves. One is noticeably older, although well-maintained. The other two share a common stone. One side of the stone has a metal plaque of clouds and stars; the other has a simple engraving—a running track heading off into the distance. Once upon a time, there were butterflies, even. Today, none.

Akiko's younger brother Akira holds Meiko’s other hand. He’s young, still innocent. He says solemnly, “Mom went running after Dad… she finally caught up with him, right?”

That’s two good questions, Meiko thinks. For which there are no answers at all.

=====
main index | next | return to Emi's arc
Last edited by brythain on Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:53 am, edited 10 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20140906)

Post by brythain » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:49 am

Like a mermaid, the other guy said. When I see her sitting on the edge of my desk, I can almost believe it. She has this habit of hooking her right ankle behind her left, like a fishtail.

"Hello, Ms Suzuki," I say softly.

She opens one eye, the rest of her still twitching to the beat of some internal song.

"Hi. Didn't really want to get into this, but after a while... peer pressure, you naughty man. And then you did the 'our revels now are ended' thing with Hanako, and I started thinking about it."

"Well, I'm trying to decipher the material, and I have to say, you've led an interesting life."

"Hah. All will be well, and all manner of things will be well, and suchlike. Thank you for giving it a try!"

I smile at her. She's got this reassuring air about her, sleepy or not.

"That's not quite how it works, this narcoleptic cycle. And in case you're wondering, my hair is ice-blue, but it goes a bit algae-like when the natural brown shows through." She laughs, shakes her wrists, and is gone.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: AtD Basic Chronology (Some Spoilers)

Post by Serviam » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:21 pm

brythain wrote:-Chronology-
For some reason, I'm tempted to list causes of death for each individual...
"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else."
- Tom Clancy summing up l'état in a nutshell

In order of completion:
Lilly > Hanako > Rin > Emi
Currently on: Shizune

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Re: AtD Basic Chronology (Some Spoilers)

Post by brythain » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:44 am

Serviam wrote:
brythain wrote:-Chronology-
For some reason, I'm tempted to list causes of death for each individual...
I might do that after I'm finished. And then bury it a bit so that people don't get spoilerised. :)

I do update that list now and then as characters unspoiler themselves. Just added Suzu and company to my personal list, and will update the chronology here when I've revealed enough about them in the arc.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20140916)

Post by brythain » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:38 am

"I always was envious of Lilly Satou, you know. Big British cow, I used to think. Then I got to know her better and felt slightly wicked for having thought so."

Who's this, now? I turn away from mulling the mysteries of organometallic chemistry and look at… a striking middle-aged lady, dusky but fair, with piercing midnight-blue eyes, almost black, perhaps purple? She breaks categories. She doesn't look Japanese at all.

"Well, I suppose those genes have never quite expressed themselves. But at Yamaku, I can tell you it was painful; the Japanese have no qualms about looking at a blonde foreigner and seeing something of alien beauty. When they look at me, they think kami, if not oni—otherworldly being at first glance, unnatural spirit at second look."

"I'm sorry to hear that, ma'am."

"Please avoid 'ma'am'. Moriko will do, as it did for my mother. Father used to make jokes about 'Mollywood', but then he would, being that kind of man."

"What can I do for you, Moriko?"

"You can be honest. Tell them what I did, for good or ill, in sadness or in joy. It is not the first time that request has been made of you, I know; but in this case, I think we owe it to Suzu. And the others."

"Should I tell them about your meeting with Lilly?"

"When we were older and wiser? It would be an interesting story for some of them. But stick to Suzu's story. I want to get to the happy ending before evening falls."

I watch her fade, her black and gold sari, her hennaed arms, the image of female divinity, Ratri of the Night.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Hisao2: With Shizune in Summer 2009 at Todai

Post by brythain » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:35 am

This vignette is from the second summer that Hisao, Shizune and Hanako spend at the University of Tokyo after leaving Yamaku.
It comes shortly after this part of Hanako's arc, and is the second in Hisao's own 'arc'.
This part of Rika's story also takes place around that time.



Hisao 2: Paperwork (T -15)

I have to come to terms with this. My fingers are too thick, but if she can do it, so can I. Damn the outer reverse fold. I just can’t get it right.

I look up over the table between us. She grins, looking almost like a cat. It’s a warm summer day, just enough to make my skin prickle in the sun. Her smile makes the warmth level rise a bit. When my friend begins to tan, she glows like a goddess of the sun.

Carefully but swiftly, she vanishes the tatty bit of paper from my fingers and waves it at me. [Watch] she seems to sign. I will never get tired of watching the complicated hand-ballet that is Shizune signing and folding origami at the same time. It takes a lot of concentration, though.

I relax and look at the neat little white-outside black-inside polar bear she showed me, and the green frog she said she made to look like me. Simple things, enormous pleasures.

Thought: she’s beautiful with the tip of her pink tongue peeking out from her mouth, and stray dark-blue hair floating over the rims of her glasses. She’s also beginning to freckle a bit. My eyes trace the curve of her cheeks, the tilt of her nose.

She looks up, places the half-folded raven on the table. [Like what you see, Yokohama kid?]

Summer in Todai, our venerable University of Tokyo, brings out a different Shizune. I smile back. [Yes, very much so.]

[Then you must learn to fold better! It is a basic skill that all Japanese adults should have mastered!] she signs emphatically, each phrase punctuated with the urgent finger twitch that serves her as an exclamation mark. She has a wicked glint in her eyes.

[I didn’t mean the bird. I meant…] my fingers stop moving as I suddenly realize what the warmth has almost made me do. It’s only been two years since Lilly left. In those two years, I’ve drawn closer to her cousin.

A strange expression crosses her face. It’s as if she wanted me to complete what I was signing, but yet not. Then she huffs gently and looks down at the raven.

[You need to decide what you want to do, and do it well. Accurately! Sharply! Whether it’s a simple mountain or valley, a petal fold or pressing in the tip, you just need to have a plan and then carry it out. Logical.]

I tap the table politely to request attention. [I’m glad to have such an understanding origami instructor] I sign slowly once I have her gaze. [It has made university life a lot more bearable.]

I can see her eyes shift from a narrowed ‘surely you are mocking me’ to an eyelid-fluttering ‘oh, now you are embarrassing me for thinking that’. I’ve spent so much time over these years learning to read Shizune. It makes me feel uncomfortable that I’ve not done that so much with Hana, my other Yamaku classmate at Todai.

For some reason, it’s become a desire in me to understand every nuance of what she’s saying through her fingers and head or body movements. Back in high school, this had not been the case.

[That’s good to know] she replies. [Let’s finish this raven.]

Getting me to do work, however—that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.

*****

It’s another one of those summer days, a week later. Hana’s stuck in the library grinding out extra assignments and there’s only the two of us. The light gleams hotly from the Sanshiro Pond, the lovely lake in the middle of Todai. This time, Shizune’s come up with a new competition. I should be used to it by now.

[Crane eats frog] she says, brandishing her little sharply-creased avatar.

It takes me much longer to respond, but well within the time given by the plastic sandglass she’s put on the table between us. [Horse scares crane.]

She snorts. [How unlikely!]

Her quick fingers aren’t long, but they are strong and precise. [Owl startles horse.]

It’s my turn to snort. [That’s a reverse copycat.]

[No, it’s different. And your time is running out.]

[Dragon flames owl.]

[That’s very cruel of you. And all you did was refold the crane.]

[It works, right?]

She humphs at me, already folding something. [Samurai slays dragon.]

[That’s not a samurai. It’s a… helmet .]

[Symbols have power. You said so, once.]

I have a winning masterstroke in mind. [Then, here.] I fold quickly; it’s something I taught myself. [Heart beats head. Love conquers all. I win.]

She frowns. [Really, Hicchan?]

I start a little. For a moment, her signing looked a little like Misha’s. But without the flirty little flourish at the end, of course. Before I can respond, she’s using the last seconds of our sandglass to fold a response.

She looks up at me with a challenging stare. [Here’s a box to put your heart safely in. Let’s both win. But me more than you, because I made the box.]

She folds another box to act as a lid for the first one. She’s really fast, and the sand runs out just as she closes up my heart.

It’s teatime. Footsteps crunch along the path. There’s no time for further thoughts about hearts and boxes. I turn my head to one side, and Shizune follows my gaze.

“H-hello! I’ve finished for today!” says our mutual friend. Hana looks cheerful, as if a huge weight has been lifted from her mind. She offers Shizune a little sheet of notepaper with writing on it.

I try to read the neat writing upside-down. [Do you want to watch an evening movie? Iron Man 2 is showing. It has 3D sensurround.]

[Why not?] she signs cheerfully as I interpret. Not that Hana needs it much, since she already knows a bit of sign.

“That’d be great!” I say, standing up and offering Shizune a hand. Hana blushes a little. She tends to do that when she’s been successful at getting us to do something. “Do we have time for tea or an early dinner before the show?”

My other friend brushes her long hair away from her face a little. “If we have the time, maybe light tea before the show and supper afterwards?”

I automatically translate, and Shizune agrees. [We deserve it. After all, we’ve done our paperwork for the day.]

*****

Many years later, when I look back at the sheer amount of paper Shizune and I have shared between us, I always remember that summer. Things were easier then.

=====
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Last edited by brythain on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20141013)

Post by brythain » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:56 am

"Tell me about your sisters again, Suzu."

Her eyelids lift sensuously. By now, I know her well enough to tell that she's not flirting; it's just the way she looks.

"Eldest is Manami, fierce and obsessive, ruthless. People think she's crazy, but they also respect her, because she's good at what she does.

"Second is Wakana, strict and quiet, helpful. People are afraid of her because she doesn't talk much to strangers. Musical, also very serious.

"Third is Shiori... warm and bitchy? She's not that bad, but she tends to say the wrong thing because she doesn't seem to care."

"I'm fourth. Suki, Asuka, is last, my baby sister. She's very pretty. Everyone falls in love with her. Everyone."

Is that a note of jealousy I detect? Or perhaps, longing. I'm not sure. I nod my thanks, and Suzu closes her eyes. And she's gone.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Finality

Post by brythain » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:37 pm

Sometimes, you have pieces that don't quite fit, and you don't know why.
But you have to respond. Perhaps.



Iwanako: Finality (T +4)

His voice is trembling. She doesn’t know why.

“… died four years ago. Nobody told us.”

They wouldn’t have, of course. There was nobody left to tell anybody. She herself, coping with the long-delayed aftermath of Fukushima, her own suffering, her own ‘died four years ago’—it was all too much.

A second round of hospital visits? It might have broken her.

For twenty years, she’s lived in the shadows. If it is traumatic to almost die, it is even worse to have caused death. Did she cause this death? She has caused many, it feels. She doesn’t cry any more for any of them, because the wells are dry and the fields are barren.

“How is Mai?” she asks, because there isn’t anything left to ask.

Her question isn’t answered. Instead, both grievance and grief war in her old friend’s voice.

“They could have told us.”

Why? Because we were friends once upon a time? Some things are broken beyond repair, and that’s all there is to it.

She knows she’s just a thing now. A robot woman, beautiful and sexless, perhaps a partner in some activities, a contributor to her workplace, an efficient manager in a faceless industrial complex. A Hakamichi drone, the competitors say. It’s not like that at all. The legal work is interesting. It’s only she who isn’t. She knows this is true. Always shy, easily shocked, she is now hardened like a callus: not shy nor easily shocked, and so, not interesting.

Besides, there’s no one left who could be interested.

Maybe, she should visit the grave. It’s probably in a family plot, somewhere in the old hometown, far to the south. She hasn’t been back for a long time. Four years, to be more exact, the year Takumi passed on, his body neatly wrapped to conceal the terrible wasting and bloating, the strange changes.

*****

When she gets there in early winter, when she’s finally found the time to clear her work schedule, take a break, she finds nothing. The parents are there, at least their spirits in the ground. She’d heard about the disaster, of course. But no third marker. Just the one that says Nakai, husband and wife. Strange. Or maybe not so.

She makes the formal gestures of respect. Who knows? In some strange other world, they might have been my in-laws. She straightens up, adjusts her plain black silk skirt and jacket, wonders briefly where the third body lies. Her face feels only slightly warmer than the chill.

Her route takes her past Kibogaoka Station. She remembers it well, the school, the little wood behind the school. But the wells are dry, the land is parched. She would like to cry, perhaps, but it isn’t happening, so she soldiers on.

She knows whom he married in the end. She had come across this knowledge on the Internet. He had a ‘trophy wife’, she thinks, her lips twitching a little at the joke. To her, it had been a nice coda. It had made her feel better for a while. But now she’s going home, with not much else to think about.

She alights at her station, walks along the concrete-stippled path. Dim twilight and trees, shadows and wind. Around her, the world is so huge, so wide; she feels small, insignificant. She finds herself remembering two young ladies, chatting along a path on a cold winter’s morning many years ago.

“He’s cute with that tuft always sticking out. Nice guy, smart, gutsy!”

“W-why didn’t you go for him, then?”

“Too smart for me. Also, has a sharp tongue. Me, I’m easy-going, I think he’d be too much for me.”

That fed her fears. But she’d already written the note.

“What if he says ‘no’?”

There’s a lot of anxiety as Mai pulls her hood closer around her ears.

“He won’t say ‘no’. He’s not an idiot! You’ll be good together!”


Any regrets she might have had are now gone, polished away by time, covered over with other sorrows. She grimaces ruefully. Never very fortunate, eh?

Well, nothing to be done. She hasn’t the energy nor the inclination to pursue what was lost. She’ll just visit her parents, play with the dogs. She’s not told her friends she’s back in town. Perhaps she’ll surprise them. Perhaps not.

She can imagine it. “Shin! Mai!” and then the realization that there are people missing from the room, missing from the world. Not very pleasant.

Humming softly under her breath, she walks on. The neighbourhood has changed quite a bit in four years. She looks up and sees her father grinning at her from the balcony. She can already hear the dogs snuffling and barking.

“There you are, Iwachan! Welcome home!”

She puts everything else out of her mind, the bad and the good, the broken and the left-unfixed. She puts her feet on the stairs. Right foot, left foot. A simple game of putting the correct foot on the correct piece of wood.

“Hi, Dad!”

“Took your time, my daughter. What happened?”

“Nothing, really. Just sorted out some old matters.”

“That’s a good thing!”

Iwanako takes off her shoes and puts on her slippers. Then she enters the warm light of the house and makes the cold world disappear.
Last edited by brythain on Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:43 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Main Index ('Finality' up 20141016)

Post by Professor Q » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:53 am

Just wanted to say that I loved this story.

I'll have more substantial comments up here in a while, but my initial reaction is simply "Wow". Started last evening, couldn't put it down.

I've added it to the "Recommended Fanfics" at TV Tropes for the time being. From a reader to an author, thank you. :D

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Re: After the Dream—Main Index ('Finality' up 20141016)

Post by brythain » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:50 pm

Professor Q wrote:Just wanted to say that I loved this story.

I'll have more substantial comments up here in a while, but my initial reaction is simply "Wow". Started last evening, couldn't put it down.

I've added it to the "Recommended Fanfics" at TV Tropes for the time being. From a reader to an author, thank you. :D
Wow, thank you very much. From an author to a reader, I'm glad that you felt moved enough to do that!

Any comments you wish to make would be very welcome too, whether positive or negative. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Main Index ('Finality' up 20141016)

Post by LordDarknus » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:16 am

From some random person to the author: I think you're good, and your works rather impressive.

You touched my feels.

And I see what you did there.

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Re: After the Dream—Main Index ('Finality' up 20141016)

Post by brythain » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:17 am

LordDarknus wrote:From some random person to the author: I think you're good, and your works rather impressive.

You touched my feels.

And I see what you did there.
Aww, you're no random person. You're the person who wrote 'Shiina' and 'KS-Evangelion (2012)', which I liked.
And a lot of odd little pieces too, although a number (I must admit) weren't quite my type!

Thanks for the kind comments, from one author to another. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

Professor Q
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Re: After the Dream—Main Index ('Finality' up 20141016)

Post by Professor Q » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:01 pm

brythain wrote:
Professor Q wrote:Just wanted to say that I loved this story.

I'll have more substantial comments up here in a while, but my initial reaction is simply "Wow". Started last evening, couldn't put it down.

I've added it to the "Recommended Fanfics" at TV Tropes for the time being. From a reader to an author, thank you. :D
Wow, thank you very much. From an author to a reader, I'm glad that you felt moved enough to do that!who

Any comments you wish to make would be very welcome too, whether positive or negative. :)
Always welcome! :D

Well, here are a few scattershot comments, in lieu of the review that I should really write someday:

- I liked the chances that the "non-main characters" (clunky term, but how else do I put it?) had to shine. Particularly Kenji. The kid deserved a break after all he'd been through. (Also, I found it interesting that he had "issues" with his father in your story: in one of the routes - I believe it was Shizune's - he speaks vaguely favourably about his dad, and seems to be a bit bitter about his mother.)
- I'm still torn about how to react to the Mutou route. From a personal point of view, it's a kick right in the old myocardium, especially one particular detail that is revealed near the end - but from a storytelling point of view, it's awesome. So let's call it "awesomely painful." :(
- I liked the science-fiction angle, something that I'd never considered even if I actually live in the middle of a field like that (or, rather, of its semi-practical applications), and the whole level of advancement reached reminded me a lot of Asimov's "The Bicentennial Man", which is one of my all-time favourites.
- Poor, poor Lilly and Emi. They really bring to mind another all-time favourite quote of mine, by G.B. Shaw: "There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it." (Sort of sums the whole thing up, doesn't it?)
- I found the idea of Hideaki / Hanako a bit strange at first, but strangely appealing, and it worked brilliantly within the context of the story. Score one for offbeat ships!
- Finally, I think the greatness of the story lies in the interlocking arcs. That's something I love (I write a bit of fan-fic and book fantasy wrestling leagues in my ever-decreasing spare time, so I know how hard it is!) and it was pulled off almost perfectly here. Kudos, kudos.

Have a day off on Wednesday, so maybe I'll write something a bit more coherent then. For now, thank you very much again! :D

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