After the Dream—Emi's Arc/Akiko's Story (Complete)

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brythain
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Re: After the Dream—Emi's Arc/Akiko's Story (Complete 201506

Post by brythain » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:03 pm

HipsterJoe wrote:I think Akiko's story is the most tragic one in your 'verse, which is kind of an accomplishment. It's good to see that she ends up finding her own bit of happiness. I think some of your most elegant writing revolves around the subtle heartbreak of doomed relationships—the Kaori/Koji interaction didn't fail to deliver. Glad you posted this in the evening because it makes it easier to avoid the temptation of making myself depressed at work.

I've read all of the main arcs and most of the side arcs, but I honestly cannot remember where it said who Akira (Nakai) is dating.
Thank you very much! Life is what it is. I try to base my writing on relationships I've seen or experienced, the closer the better. At least it wasn't an 'anthem for doomed youth'! Akira's big reveal (if there's such a thing) has already been hinted at, but not in the usual places. His favourite Aunt Lilly might know. :)
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 (20160203)

Post by brythain » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:50 pm

Do you know what sunlight -is- ?

It's February in 2016 as I write this, a broad swathe of light falling into the room behind me. I know that this light is composed from an orchestra of photons. The harmony of that bright music is acted on by everything else that has a voice along the path of the sun.

And yet... I sense a rare voice in my mind. I turn around slowly, hoping not to scare its owner away.

"Author-san?"

"Hai?"

She's very tall, lean and muscular. Even seated, she's twitchy. Her hair is dyed coppery, or perhaps bleached by exposure to the day. It takes me too long to recognise her, but that's all right, since she won't be born for another few years to come. It's too long because even under her tan, I detect a faint blush when she breaks the silence.

"This person's family name is Nakai. Author-san knows her as Akiko. She thought she should pay her respects. She just wanted to know..."

She's struggling even to get this far. Irrelevantly, I think of her godmother, who used to stutter at such moments, and try to make my body language more welcoming.

"Go ahead, Akiko. We can be informal here."

"Ah. Thank you. Akiko... I... have a question." She pauses, and I nod. With a tight, pained half-smile, she continues, "Am I... allowed to be happy?"

That's a terrible, sad question. It's as if she has come to me as a supplicant. The thought makes me very, very uncomfortable.

"Of course you are. Your story says what it says. I don't change it one way or another—it just is."

She looks up, suddenly sharp and yet apprehensive. "But do I... am I happy in the end?"

I can't tell her. Not now. Yet, I can. This direct approach is not Emi's, nor Hisao's; it's not even what Shizune would have done. She is her own person.

"You find your happiness where you can get it. It's not all bad. Much of it is good."

As if I have been uncommonly kind, her face lights up. Her smile is now full, and warm. "Thank you, author-san!"

She leaves without so much as a whisper. But I can now answer that question.

I know what sunlight -is-.
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 (20190529)—What Sunlight Is (Redux)

Post by brythain » Wed May 29, 2019 2:55 am

brythain wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:50 pm
Do you know what sunlight -is- ?

It's February in 2016 as I write this, a broad swathe of light falling into the room behind me. I know that this light is composed from an orchestra of photons. The harmony of that bright music is acted on by everything else that has a voice along the path of the sun.

And yet... I sense a rare voice in my mind. I turn around slowly, hoping not to scare its owner away.
From the warmth at my back, I know who it is, and more than three years have passed since we last spoke.

I am completely unprepared for what follows.

"Author-san?" says a slightly accusatory and considerably more breathy voice.

"Emi?"

She is sitting on the corner of my worktable, titanium-graphite composite legs neatly crossed. Her daughter stands tall behind her and to her left, the ghost of a smile etched in the folds of her eyelids.

"Yes! And you are a terrible, terrible person! You let that crazy Kenji feed you his story and left out the part where my girl made the closing speech at Aoba in 2064! Bad! Bad!"

She twitches as if one of her lethal prosthetics is about to kick a hole in my kneecap, and I wince instinctively, tilting my chair away from her line of action. Akiko winces too.

"Mother, he already wrote about it in Natsume's epilogue, and I did not think it would be polite to put my words in someone else's story."

"Ha! Your author-san is always putting his words in someone else's story! Awful! And you gave such a good speech too, better than Shizune's by far!"

Akiko's graceful frame shudders a little in the background of Emi's glare.

"I didn't think Koji would approve," she says softly.

Emi turns to her with a look of betrayal. "You too? This author-san, he told both our sad stories to everybody, and he didn't tell the happy ones!"

"He tried to, mother. Have you read them?"

"Hmph!" But Emi's gaze softens a little. "I suppose he did a reasonable job, even though he could have done MUCH BETTER."

"I apologise for not spending more time on better work, Madam Ibarazaki."

"What?? Don't Madam Ibarazaki me! I'm a Nakai, and don't you forget it! Also, you haven't finished writing my son's story, even though he has annoying tendencies to hang out with all the wrong women! Ha! Apology indeed, go and write better stories!"

Akiko looks mortified, but both she and I know better than to say anything else.

With the wicked gleam in her eye that we know so well, Emi's lip curls in triumph at last. "I'll be back to haunt you, author-san! Thanks anyway for what you've written, just keep your promises!"

Akiko has just enough time to give me the smallest wave of her hand, before the room darkens once more and I'm left alone with my notes.
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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