The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series Conclusion Update

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/13)

Post by bhtooefr » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:18 pm

Previous chapter:
Kenji’s sausage’s taste the same coming up as they do going down.
Other than the grammar correction, SO not going to touch that one.

This chapter:
Winner get’s the rest of the cookies?
bhtooefr's one-shot and drabble thread
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/13)

Post by Hoitash » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:49 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Previous chapter:
Kenji’s sausage’s taste the same coming up as they do going down.
Other than the grammar correction, SO not going to touch that one.
...Yeah, me neither.
This chapter:
Winner get’s the rest of the cookies?
Got both of 'em, thanks for that :).
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/13)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:21 pm

You’re parents, I mean.”
Your

Short. Sweet.
I wish I could play ping pong even half as well as Hee... I'm lucky if I get the ball back across the net once.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/13)

Post by Hoitash » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:43 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
You’re parents, I mean.”
Your
Whoops
Short. Sweet.
I try. sometimes I succeed.
I wish I could play ping pong even half as well as Hee... I'm lucky if I get the ball back across the net once.
Satomi was doing most of the work. Soon-hee just passed the ball back.

I'm okay at ping-pong. A lousy server, but okay. Pool, though, is where I truly suck.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/13)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:39 pm

Pool is okay - it's mostly geometry and physics, which I'm better at than quick reactions ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:00 am

"The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel." –Theodore Roosevelt

Previous Chapter

Chapter Thirteen: The Hiker’s Tale


To the north of Manila are large swaths of land, undeveloped and free of the grip of urbanization. A simpler place from a simpler time, where the local fauna cheeps and shrieks from the edges of your hearing, only to go silent at the merest hint of humans trespassing on their domain.

At least, that’s what the trail brochure said. What it was really like was lots of hilly trails, streams, a chorus of birds all around us, incredible humidity, and trees. So. Many. Trees.

To escape the noise and bustle of the city, Thursday was going to be spent traversing some of the better known nature trails north of the city. Near the end of the expedition was apparently a hot spring well known for its natural beauty, but obviously that wasn’t a priority for me. Actually, Satomi seemed the only one excited about that. Then again, that might be because she was carrying all of Miya’s camera gear.

For whatever reason, perhaps Satomi’s not so quiet grumbling about another day full of walking, Miya had made Satomi her personal assistant. Which basically meant she was carrying all of Miya’s extra gear, which included pouches, lenses, data cards, a tripod, and not one, but two ancient looking old fashioned cameras that used film; one was color, one was black and white. Considering we were just going on a glorified nature hike, all the equipment seemed a tad unnecessary.

Since Satomi was loaded down with all the camera gear, Aunt Hana was on Refia duty, along with carrying most of our water and snack supply. They were sticking close to Satomi, as much as to keep a slow pace as to keep an eye on her, was my guess.

I decided to stick close to Satomi as well, both for moral support and in case she needed someone to carry something. Despite her energy, Satomi was at heart a sprinter, and carrying all the equipment on a long hike could become a problem. Which might have explained why every now and then Satomi would glare at Miya’s back from between her sunglasses and baseball cap.

We were taking up the rear of the group, while Miya led from the front, beckoning Satomi forward when she needed her. Uncle Hisao alternated between the front, middle, and rear, depending on how he was faring. The weather must’ve been terrible for his condition –and Aunt Hana’s, come to that- but neither one complained, and when they stopped, we all stopped.

Kenji stuck close to Miya, Hisato in tow as he carried the rest of our water and supplies. So did Akio, who probably wanted to stay as far from Satomi as possible.

So far, it had been an interesting day. And we hadn’t even had lunch yet.

As we walked up one of the gentler sloping hills, I noticed Aunt Hana seemed to constantly be looking up and around her. It seemed like she was looking for something she knew was out there amongst the wilderness, but, whenever she looked, it was just out of sight.

Her constant movements and searching were making me nervous, and after a while I had to ask what she was doing just to ease my own nerves.

“They’re out there,” Aunt Hana replied, “Watching us. Mocking us. Waiting,” Aunt Hana looked down at me, the look on her face suggesting she was just now realizing how much she was creeping me out, “Sorry, I’m making you nervous, aren’t I?”

I nodded, “Sorry.”

“I’m sorry,” Aunt Hana stated, “It’s just… we’re surrounded by monkeys.”

“…Huh?”

Satomi was the one to answer that, replying, “Some macaques gave them trouble during a road trip to a concert back in college. Dad saved the day. Talk to Auntie Emi if you want the whole story, but Uncle Kenji probably tells it best.”

“If by ‘best’ you mean inaccurate,” Uncle Hisao called from the front, “I did not gun down a troop of knife wielding monkeys with a Gatling gun, nor did Kwan use the Power of Rock to become the new troop leader.”

“Artistic license,” Kenji retorted.

“We’re stopping,” Miya declared, apparently oblivious to the conversation around her.

“About freakin’ time,” Satomi muttered, leaning against the nearest tree and wiping her forehead with her hand.

“Satomi,” Miya called, “I need the tripod and some lenses. And the panoramic card, and maybe the film camera… wait, you’re carrying everything, so it doesn’t matter.”

Satomi groaned and marched over to Miya. Aunt Hana and I watched her go, while Refia looked around her at the surrounding trees.

“I really should be the one carrying all that,” I muttered, mainly to myself.

“She can handle it,” Aunt Hana said. Looking down at Refia, she added, “Be careful. This is monkey country, so watch where you look.”

Refia looked up at her mother, “Why?”

“Most primates consider eye contact a challenge,” I stated.

“Miki the Cat learned that the hard way,” Hisao remarked.

We weren’t spread out very far, so it was easy for people to hear each other if they were paying attention.

Refia looked over at me, “Can I have a ride for a bit? I’m tired.”

I looked to Aunt Hana, who smiled and nodded. I lowered myself and Refia immediately scrambled onto my back.

“Thank you!” Refia chirped.

“You’re welcome,” I said.

Aunt Hana handed me two water bottles and a pack of crackers. I handed one of the bottles to Refia, drank half of my own, and split the crackers with her. There were six, and while I probably should have taken another one for myself, I figured Refia could use the boost. She was just a little girl, and once she was out of energy, somebody would be carrying her back to the resort. I could keep going. She couldn’t.

Satomi seemed to be determined to keep going, too. Sprinter or no, she had the stubbornness of a person who would keep going until she either got where she was going, or collapsed from exhaustion. Miya had that air about her, except she seemed more likely to get herself hurt rather than worn out.

While we took our break, Miya took advantage of a clearing in the surrounding trees to take some panoramic shots –the apparent source for our stop. We weren’t that high up the mountains, but the view was pretty good anyway, and thanks to the near noon sun and clear sky, the lighting was pretty good, too. Which was why we all had on sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. And bug repellent.

“Hey guys, you might wanna look at this view,” Miya said, a camera propped on a tripod, her digital camera in her hands, and another camera and her bag strapped around her short frame.

I glanced at Aunt Hana, who smirked and started walking over to Miya. Everyone else was starting to gather around as well, so I made sure Refia was secure against my back before following suit.

Once Refia and I got there, Miya, apparently done with the camera she was holding, was handing it to a Satomi, and giving her instructions on how to use it. It struck me as unwise to give something that hefty and expensive to someone who was upset at having to carry it for the better part of several hours, but Satomi was actively listening to Miya’s instructions. Perhaps the eye coordination of photography appealed to her fashion sense.

“Pretty!” Refia chirped.

I turned toward the clearing, slowly taking in the scene before me.

“Pretty” seemed the best description, actually. We were maybe halfway up one of the smaller, rolling hills around, which was certainly plenty high for Aunt Hana and Uncle Hisao. Despite that, the view was still impressive. Mountains rising and falling, a valley filled with trees, the sounds of nature all around us, and a clear, bright blue sky. Since the opening was bracketed by trees, the view wasn’t open enough to make me too nervous. Though I made sure to look at it in bits and pieces, and definitely not to look down anywhere near where we were standing.

Miya was visibly twitching with excitement, probably regretting not having her painting supplies with her as she observed Satomi taking pictures while she alternated between the one she was holding and the one on the tripod.

After a while it became pretty clear Miya wouldn’t leave until she had at panoramic and still life photos of the entire valley and surrounding mountains in digital, film, and black and white. That would take a while, and we were sort of on a schedule, so eventually Kenji put a hand on Miya’s shoulder and whispered something in her ear.

Miya grimaced, muttered a reply, and started packing up.

“We’re a couple hours from the top of this hill,” Kenji declared, while Satomi reluctantly resumed her role as pack mule for Miya, “we can lunch up there and then it’s a nice easy trek down the mountain to the springs. Any questions?”

I wanted to ask if I could carry the equipment after lunch, but decided to do so privately. No one had any spoken questions, so once Miya was finished loading everything up, and had Hisato safely on her shoulders, we resumed our trek.

Satomi had drifted closer towards the middle of the group, to be nearer Miya, I guessed. I stuck close to Aunt Hana in the rear with Refia. Uncle Hisao had drifted towards the back as we ascended the hill. He looked pretty worn out, but his pace was steady and he was still moving, so hopefully it wasn’t serious. Yet.

Aunt Hana wasn’t looking much better, and whenever she thought someone wasn’t looking, she scratched at the edges of her scar tissue. The humidity must’ve been making her even itchier than I felt.

Maybe there was something to this hot spring idea, after all.

Refia, at least, seemed to be having fun. I could feel her head darting around as she tried to catch a glimpse of the birds that flittered around us, and occasionally she’d give an awed gasp as something bigger and most definitely not a bird moved above us.

Behind us, I heard Aunt Hana mutter, “They don’t seem happy we’re here.”

Uncle Hisao chuckled and replied, “They’re used to it. They’re probably waiting for us to stop so they can try and steal some food.”

I made a mental note to email Mrs. Kotobuki about that road trip as I ducked under a particularly low branch.

“You okay?” I asked Refia.

“Uh-huh!” Refia replied, “Thanks for the ride, Hee-neesan.”

“No problem,” I replied, “Though when we start going downhill you’ll have to walk, okay?”

“Okay!”

Up we continued, Miya pausing every now and then to grab a few quick pictures through a gap in the foliage, or to spin around and sneak a photo of the rest of us. Kenji gave her a wide berth, while Hisato seemed to enjoy the ride.

Hisao took up a pace next to me after a while, although it took Refia a while to notice.

“Hi, Daddy!” Refia chirped when she saw him next to us, “Are you and Mommy okay?”

Hisao grinned and nodded, “We’re fine. This hill’s not so bad, and we’re almost to the top anyway. You’re not giving Soon-hee a hard time are you?”

“Nu-uh!” Refia replied.

Hisao smirked and looked at me for confirmation.

I returned the smirk, “Little Albatross isn’t any trouble. I like her there. Gives me something to do. Less time for thinking.”

Hisao’s smirk faded and he nodded, “Yeah, it always gets you when you’re on your own, not doing anything. Just thinking, letting your mind wander….”

I nodded, surprised at how serious he looked. Even married to Aunt Hana, there was no way he could have that haunted look unless he had something that kept him up at night, too.

Well, the constant worry of dying and leaving your family behind certainly qualified. Even so, there seemed more to Uncle Hisao’s discomfort than that. Maybe the hike was getting to him worse than he was letting on.

I was used to dealing with bravado in the face of pain or injury, and even in only a few months had to state very firmly to more than one student that if the limb was in a cast, they couldn’t spar. Even if it counted as improvised weapon training.

Maybe that’s why I asked if he was okay, even though Hisao had told Refia he was not a minute before.

Hisao nodded, “Yeah, although this humidity doesn’t help. What I wouldn’t give for a dry heat right now.”

“Can we visit the Grand Canyon next year then?” Refia asked.

Hisao chuckled, “We’ll see. I’m gonna talk to Uncle Kenji, so be good and don’t make trouble for Soon-hee, okay?”

Refia nodded, “Don’t worry, Daddy; Nee-chan makes enough trouble, so I don’t have to.”

“I heard that!” Satomi snapped.

Hisao sighed and moved up ahead, while I slowed my pace to match Aunt Hana’s. She was still looking above her, watching the occasional flits and jumps in the overhanging branches from under the brim of her cap. A half-empty water bottle was in her hand, and when she saw me she smiled and offered me another pack of crackers.

I took the pack and split it with Refia, “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. Holding up well?”

I nodded, “So far, so good. How are you, if I may ask?”

“Fine, although –Refia don’t do that!”
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:01 am

Part II:

I looked above me and rolled my eyes; Refia was holding out a cracker, trying to tempt one of the surrounding monkeys.

Refia sighed and lowered the cracker, nibbling on it and getting crumbs on my head. I’d sweat them off quick enough, so I didn’t mind.

“Sorry,” Refia muttered.

Sighing in clear relief, aunt Hana smiled and stated, “No harm done, but if you want to feed a monkey, you can go with Aunt Natsu to visit the r-reserve in Kyoto.”

Refia cheered up a bit at that, and the rest of the climb passed uneventfully. The instant we leveled off, Miya quickly set up mission control on a large rock, overseeing a clear area that allowed her to once again photograph the valleys and mountains around us.

Reaching the top also meant a break for lunch, which Kenji and Aunt Hana had prepared before we left. More importantly, it meant an extended break and an end to the hard part of the day’s hike, as we would be cheating a bit and taking a bus back the suite from the springs through one of the few roads that had been carved through the mountains.

The view was definitely worth the hike, at least if you were into that kinda thing. Without as many trees surrounding us now that we were higher up, my agoraphobia was kicking in, so I couldn’t do much more than catch glimpses of the view in between calming breaths.

Both to keep the view close but out of my vision, and because I wanted to be close to Miya, I sat down and ate my lunch against the rock, adjusting my position to be as comfortable as possible. Apparently taking a break from playing assistant, Satomi plopped herself next to me, gnawing through her lunch with a speed that caused stray grains of rice to fling everywhere.

“Hungry?” I asked.

Satomi had the sense to swallow before raising her eyebrow and glancing at my excessively large sandwich, “Little bit. That hike was a pain in the… it was worse than I thought it would be. Nice view, though.”

I nodded, “Yeah. Bit more open than I like, though.”

Satomi tilted her head at me as she continued her rodent impression, “Fear of heights?”

“Swallow first,” Miya chided above us, “Then talk.”

Satomi rolled her eyes.

“Not heights,” I replied, resuming our little back and forth, “open spaces.”

Satomi swallowed, “Wow. Are you okay up here? And at Yamaku?”

I nodded, “It’s fine as long as I don’t look too much, and mountains aren’t too bad. Fields and looking up at the sky are the worse.”

“Noted if we ever go to Hokkaido,” Miya stated.

“Good thing it’s not too bad,” Satomi said. Looking thoughtful for a second, she paused from her lunch long enough to mutter, “Better’n me and spiders, at least.”

“Don’t like spider?” I asked.

Satomi shivered, “No. They have too many legs and they can be anywhere and they sneak up on you-”

“Breathe,” I instructed, “inhale, exhale. Relax. Please.”

Satomi swallowed, chomped a chunk of rice, chewed, swallowed, guzzled half a water bottle, inhaled, and exhaled, “Thanks. Sorry about that.”

“No problem.”

Satomi looked up towards Miya as she continued to take a million pictures with every device she had at hand that wasn’t a cell phone –lousy resolution, “Hey Aunt Miya, are you afraid of anything?”

“Being chased by local villagers,” Miya replied.

Satomi blinked, “…How often does that happen?”

“Just once so far,” Miya replied.

Kenji, who had been chatting with Hisao, coughed and walked over next to us, “Considering those ‘villagers’ were Syrian partisans, I don’t think that counts.”

Miya shrugged and continued her work. Kenji sighed and tapped her shoulder. When she turned to face him, he shoved a foil wrapped something into her mouth, with an accuracy that had to be from experience. Miya used one hand to grab the food, sighed, and started eating, reluctantly sitting down and setting down the camera she had in her other hand.

Smiling, Kenji sat down next to us, his thick glasses reflecting the bright sunlight so much it was hard to look at him.

“How you holdin’ up?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” I replied, “It is a nice view, when I look at.”

“At least you’ll have plenty of pictures to look at,” Satomi remarked.

Kenji chuckled and reached into one of his jacket pockets. How he managed to wear that and not sweat himself into a stupor, I have no idea. Slowly pulling out his hand, he held out one of the last chocolate chip muffins Miya had made earlier in the week, carefully wrapped in plastic wrap.

I took the muffin with a thanks, unwrapping it and tearing it more or less in half to share with Satomi. She took the half and thanked both of us, and we finished eating. While we ate, Satomi asked Kenji when we’d be at the springs, how much longer was the trail, and the like.

When we were done eating and resting, I had Satomi hand me the extra gear, while Akio took over Refia duty. Miya reluctantly packed up her impromptu base, helping to make sure everything I had was securely strapped, secured, and balanced.

“Everyone ready?” Kenji asked.

We all were, so with a dramatic flourish toward the trail, he pointed and said, “Then move out!”

+++
Next Chapter

Miya has lived the PC (player character) lifestyle.

And I shall challenge anyone who questions the awesome bodacious badassery that is and was Theodore Roosevelt to the field of honor. Which I guess means I get to choose the weapons, technically.

Before anyone complains, if Hisao and Hanako couldn’t handle the hike, they wouldn’t of gone in the first place. It was a small hill.

Oh, and a bit of trivia: I now have three Word documents of H&K works, because they keep getting so long the spellchecker breaks. And I need spellchecker.

On a semi-related note, cats tend to live for a while, so it’s likely Miki the Cat is still alive, under the loving care of Mrs. Ibarazaki (and most likely the Nurse as well.)

One last note: This morning during my jog I decided to become intimately acquainted with the sidewalk (or rather my shoelace decided for me.) Besides looking like a southpaw bare-knuckle boxer that threw a match, I’ve injured my left wrist and shoulder. Fortunately I’m right handed, and while I don’t expect it to be a problem, it may be once the endorphins wear off (which they are. Ow.)

Least I didn’t get a concussion. I think.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by BaldBombshell » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:42 am

One nitpick. The plural of Nakai would be Nakais. Nakai's is possessive.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:48 am

BaldBombshell wrote:One nitpick. The plural of Nakai would be Nakais. Nakai's is possessive.
Yeah, I'm slowly learning the various interactions between grammar and people's names.

Also: Ow.
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Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:43 pm

Maybe that’s why I asked if he was okay, even though he had told Refia he was not a minute before.
This made me pause a bit, because of the ambiguity.
...even though he had told Refia he was not - a minute before.
...even though he had told Refia he was - not a minute before.
I read it wrong the first time.
Without as many trees surrounding us now that we were higher up, my claustrophobia was kicking in,
You mean agoraphobia, don't you? Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. I wouldn't be surprised if she had that after the experience in the closet, but it probably wouldn't kick in in this situation.
“Not heights,” I replied, resuming our little back and forth, “open spaces.”
Agoraphobia it is.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Maybe that’s why I asked if he was okay, even though he had told Refia he was not a minute before.
This made me pause a bit, because of the ambiguity.
Fiddled with it a bit, hope that helps.
You mean agoraphobia, don't you? Claustrophobia is the fear of enclosed spaces. I wouldn't be surprised if she had that after the experience in the closet, but it probably wouldn't kick in in this situation.
“Not heights,” I replied, resuming our little back and forth, “open spaces.”
Agoraphobia it is.
You know, I had that right several chapters ago.

I'm gonna blame the pain for that.

In related news, I may have sprained my wrist, slightly. However, I took a nap and did not die, so I think we can rule out a concussion.

Swelling's a bit annoying, though.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
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Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:32 pm

However, I took a nap and did not die, so I think we can rule out a concussion.
I'm not sure what that's got to do with a concussion, but naps are not usually lethal ;-)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by bhtooefr » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:36 pm

There's a belief that falling asleep after receiving a concussion is fatal.
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:38 pm

bhtooefr wrote:There's a belief that falling asleep after receiving a concussion is fatal.
Which according to MASH isn't true, but I didn't feel like taking any chances (my tired body felt like taking a risk, apparently.)

Although my headache went away, so who knows.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
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Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 8/28)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:35 am

Then this Mash probably shouldn't be looking for a career in First Aid training ^^°
The best treatment for a concussion is "physical and cognitive rest" and sleep has been known to provide both.

Of course in the case of a severe concussion (symptoms that include nausea, partial amnesia, double vision etc. in addition to the headache) you should always visit a hospital, but for a light concussion sleeping is actually the best thing you can do.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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