The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series Conclusion Update

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Hoitash
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:51 am

Part II:

Looking around, I noticed all the signs were in at least English and Filipino, while some of the older ones had faded Spanish on them, and here and there someone had bolted on a section in Arabic. I had read that Japanese was somewhat known in the metro area, but the vast majority of our conversations would be in English.

We entered the terminal and moved on to customs, the inside of the building looking like what I expected an airport terminal to look like: high ceiling, rows of attendants behind counters, groups of people hauling luggage to and fro, and a loud buzz of chatter that worsened the pounding in my head and starting making me nauseous and light-headed. It was quieter in the terminal, though, so I was able to block out the more worrisome sounds and focus on the low buzz of chatter. It was loud but bland, and helped me focus on the tasks at hand.

Getting through customs took me a bit longer because of my passport and residency, and inspecting my bag was slowed when they made sure my allergy medication was just that. Mr. Nakai took a bit longer because of his medication as well, but other than that we didn’t have any problems, and once we were through we headed over to baggage claim to get our remaining luggage.

While we waited, Miya called some taxis and Satomi kept Refia from wandering off, which she seemed to want to do every few minutes, as her eyes kept roving around. If something kept her attention for more than a few moments, she tried to follow it, only to have Satomi tug her back into place. Considering how little resistance Refia was giving, I got the idea that if she really wanted to wander off, she could easily do so.

Having tucked the bags I was holding between my legs while we waited, I rubbed my temples to fight the headache. The terminal buzz was serving as a decent impromptu white-noise machine, and closing my eyes to block out the bright overhead lights helped dull the pain. My stomach was still a bit woozy, but it, too, was slowly calming down.

“Taxi’s are on their way,” Miya stated, tucking her phone into her purse.

I felt her footsteps patter over to me and felt her place her hand on my head. I jumped a bit but relaxed when she gave me a concerned pat. Opening one eye to look at her, I saw her giving me a concerned look as she asked, “Headache?”

I nodded and grimaced to try and reassure her, “It’s getting better.”

“Want some aspirin?”

I shook my head. I hate drugs.

“Are they here yet?” Satomi asked. I glanced over to her with one eye, watching her tap her foot while watching the conveyer moving the luggage around and around.

“It gets here when it gets here,” Mr. Nakai said, “Refia, careful, you might make yourself sick.”

Refia was moving her head along with the movements of the conveyer. Just watching her made me dizzy, so I closed my eye and focused on dealing with my headache.

By the time we had gotten all the bags and stepped out of the terminal, my headache had gone down to a dull throb. I was still a bit nauseous, but at least my head didn’t feel like someone was pounding on it with a sledgehammer.

The entrance/exit to and from the terminal was in front of a short roadway that led off and on to a main street, which was currently full of traffic hastily and noisily making its way around. Traffic noise was dulled enough by dispersion that it never really bothered me, unless a car backfired or rattled really loudly, but that was a separate issue.

We didn’t have to wait long for the taxis to arrive. I was prepared for a car barely worthy of the term to be taking us to the resort, but these cars looked to be in decent shape. Miya waved them down to show where we were and they stopped close by. Once they had stopped and popped their trunks Mr. Nakai started loading one, while Kenji and I loaded the other.

“I’ll take the kids in one,” Mr. Nakai said, “It’ll be tight, but it’s not like we haven’t done it before.”

Kenji nodded, “We’ll take the third one and any bags that won’t fit.”

It took some clever geometry, but we did manage to get all the bags stowed. Mr. Nakai herded the younger kids into the cab with him, waved to us, and hopped into the taxi, which almost immediately hurtled off into traffic.

I sat between Kenji and Miya in the back of the second cab, Miya on my right and Kenji on my left. It was a bit of a tight fit, but fortunately I don’t take up much space.

Here we go, folks,” The driver, a slightly older man with crazy eyes said.

Miya grinned and called, “Hit it!

The driver grinned and, for lack of a better word, cackled, “You got it!

Kenji sighed and turned to my general direction, “You might wanna close your eyes.”

I tilted my head but obeyed, just before we pelted forward at an angle that I’m pretty sure should have flipped the car.

As much as I would like to recall my trip from the airport to the resort, I spent the entire time with my eyes closed and grabbing onto Miya for dear life. I had read that drivers in the Philippines could be enthusiastic, but we had passed enthusiastic and entered a strange world of bat-crap Social Darwinist insanity. Horns honked and bicycle bells chimed as people somehow managed to make their ever more creative curses heard over the din of traffic. The car moved in ways and speeds that felt physically impossible. Kenji was entirely silent during the trip, but Miya gave an enthusiastic yip after every harrowing twist, turn, or dodge.

I guess that’s one interpretation of “action through inaction”, but I wished she wouldn’t egg on the man whom our lives depended on.

All things considered, it was a small miracle I didn’t throw up during the drive, which seemed to go on longer than “The Squire’s Tale” and War and Peace combined despite the suicidal speed we seemed to be traveling.

After what seemed like hours to me, I felt the car lurch to a stop and Miya gently pat my head, “We’re here. We can get out now.

Keeping my eyes closed even though I knew the car had stopped moving, I asked, “Is it over?”

“It is.”

I opened my eyes and blinked a few times to let my eyes adjust to the filtered light. Fortunately the windows were tinted and I still had on my sunglasses. I blinked a few more times to buy time to collect myself. When I had recovered I realized I was still clutching Miya, so I scooted over and let go, flushing at my immaturity.

“Sorry about that,” I said, “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“Nope,” Miya replied, “You ready?”

I nodded, so she opened the door and partially stepped out. With one foot outside, she turned to the driver and said, “Thanks for the ride. I thought that last jeepney had us for a moment.”

The driver looked back and grinned, “They ain’t managed it yet! Enjoy your stay!

Miya nodded and hopped out of the taxi, while I did the same. It was only then that I noticed Kenji was already out of the cab. I looked around for a minute and saw him and Mr. Nakai loading luggage onto a cart. Satomi was holding onto Hisato and Refia while she looked out at the street in front of cul de sac in front of what I figured was the check-in area. Since I was still getting my bearings, I looked around a bit to get an idea of the lay of the land.

The resort was clearly in the suburbs, surrounded by other resorts and hotels, and a smattering of small convenience stores to accommodate their clientele. The streets were smaller and had less traffic, though it was just as frenetic as the city traffic seemed to be, just slightly slower. The city itself was in the distance to the south, the skyscrapers jutting through a thin layer of smog that had formed over the course of the day.

The resort itself was a wide, multi-storied structure of beige concrete and tons of small windows. Part of the building jutted out so they could put an outdoor pool on the second floor. We weren’t the only ones unloading luggage, either, as other families gathered their belongings and children to sign in or settle in for their own vacation. Their chattering was in a mix of languages that made it impossible to pick anything out, but it reminded me how out of my element I was. From bookworm hermit to world traveler was a major leap, after all.

“Are Mom and Nii-chan here yet?” Satomi asked.

“They get here when they get here,” Mr. Nakai replied.

“Need help with the bags?” I asked.

“We got it,” Kenji replied, “You should rest your arms and shoulders.”

“I’m fine,” I said.

“They should be here soon,” Miya interjected, “Hana’s just taking the scenic route.”

“She always does,” Mr. Nakai remarked, “When she gets here we can check in –she’ll have to sign for her parking tag.”

Kenji and Mr. Nakai finished stacking all the bags onto the cart, and the taxis zoomed off to join the traffic fray. Kenji turned toward Miya, who had pulled a small camera from somewhere and was photographing the city skyline. He started to walk over to her, but stopped and perked his ear.

“I think I hear ‘em,” he stated.

Mr. Nakai turned to face the road, and a few moments later I heard it too –a deep, loud, poorly muted rumbling. Watching the street in front of the resort, it wasn’t long before I saw the two black figures, riding a dark green motorcycle and zipping through traffic like one of the locals at speeds that would have been dangerous if everyone else wasn’t going as fast or faster. Mrs. Nakai started to slow down as she turned into the curved pick-up/drop-off road in front of the resort, and slowly meandered next to us. She stopped the engine and kicked the stand down, hopping off the bike while Akio dismounted more slowly

“Hey,” Mrs. Nakai said, taking off her helmet and shaking her head so her ponytail could settle, “S-sorry for the wait. We took the scenic route.”

Mr. Nakai grinned, “You always do. Akio, could you and Soon-hee grab the cart?”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Satomi sneer and call, “Unless you wanna have the girl do all the heavy lifting.”

Akio took off his helmet and glared at his sister, “Did you throw up on the way here?”

“I’m not you,” Satomi shot back.

“She swallowed it back in,” Refia interjected.
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
"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!)
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:53 am

Part III:

Satomi groaned and Akio grinned before turning to me, “She has a point, so how about if I push and you steer it? It’s pretty top heavy and, well….”

I glanced at the cart-full of luggage and nodded, “Piled too high for me to see over. Sounds like a plan.”

Akio and I walked over to the cart and took our respective ends. The cart was heavier than I expected, and I had to pull a bit as well as steer so we could haul the thing after the rest of the group as they headed inside. On the way Mrs. Nakai spoke to one of the doormen, who quickly moved to stand watch over her motorcycle.

Checking in took some time, even though Mr. Nakai and Kenji were apparently VIP’s. Though Miya had mentioned that the resort was a timeshare the Nakai’s owned, I didn’t know anything beyond that, and, my curiosity getting the better of me, I asked Akio –who had taken over Refia watching so Satomi could use the restroom- why the family had a timeshare.

“Mom likes to travel,” he replied, “So does Miya.”

“Any reason they chose Manila specifically?” I asked.

“Well, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but when I asked Mom about it, she said Dad won the timeshare in a high-stakes game of poker with some old college friends.”

I blinked at Akio, not sure if he was pulling my leg or not. He coughed and looked away, watching the adults sort through the papers and passes for resort facilities. Satomi returned from the restroom about the time they were finished, though Akio kept hold of Refia’s hand while Mr. Nakai reminded everyone about the facilities, the passes to use them, and needing an adult for certain places at certain times.

The gist of it was no one under eighteen could use the pool after nine, anyone under thirteen needed adult supervision regardless of the time of day, and that no one under sixteen could use the gym equipment without adult supervision. Since I didn’t have a partner for the gym equipment and swam in the mornings, none of those were an issue for me. It was weird getting a keycard for the gym, though, since I probably wouldn’t use it.

When Mr. Nakai finished his little spiel, Mrs. Nakai went back outside to properly park her motorcycle, while the rest of us made our way to the elevator. We all managed to fit inside, though getting the cart out was a bit trickier than getting it in. The suite was on one of the higher floors in a corner to maximize space, since nine people took up a lot of room. When we finally got to the suite, Mr. Nakai opened the door with his key and shoved the door open, propping it with a door-stop to keep it from closing. Miya was the first inside, carrying Hisato along with her. Satomi followed, practically dragging Refia behind her. Mr. Nakai glanced behind me to Kenji before stepping inside, while Akio and I manhandled the cart into the room.

“Just leave it by the door for now,” Mr. Nakai said.

“Yes, Sir,” I replied.

“Got it,” Akio stated.

We did as instructed and stepped back so that everyone could grab their belongings. This gave me a chance to look around the suite before taking my own things.

The suite itself was massive, in my opinion. Outside of the bedrooms and bathrooms, the various “rooms” that made up the suite were really just portions of the suite marked off with tile, carpeting, or in the kitchen’s case, a counter. An area to the left of the front door served as a den, with a simple wooden table and some lounge-like chairs. The kitchen was across and slightly to the left of the front door, perpendicular to the living area where the television and some couches were. On the other side of the kitchen was the dining area, which was just a longer wooden table surrounded by chairs. At the other end of the suite the wall was mostly a large window, which at the moment had its drapes closed. Part of the window was a door that opened out onto the balcony, according to the floor plans I had looked up.

Between the front door and kitchen on the left was a large closet to the left of one of four bedrooms. Two master bedrooms and master bathroom were behind a door to the right of the living area –which I couldn’t see because of the closet, but knew they were there from the plan. To the right of the dining area was the fourth bedroom and another, smaller closet.

“The bedroom by the door is bigger,” Mr. Nakai stated while everyone unloaded the cart, “so the girls can stay there. Akio, make sure to keep an eye on Hisato.”

“I will,” Akio said, “Not like he’s Refia or anything.”

Looking up at the ceiling, Refia glanced at her brother and asked, “Am I really that much trouble?”

“Nah,” Kenji replied, rifling the young girl’s hair, earning him a giggle.

“I’m back,” Mrs. Nakai announced, stepping through the front door.

“Great!” Miya chirped, dropping the bags she was holding, “Now we can go get groceries.”

Kenji pulled a wad of paper from his pocket, “You could settle in first.”

Miya shrugged, grabbed the paper, kissed Kenji on the cheek, and dashed out the still opened door. Smirking and grabbing the now empty cart, Mrs. Nakai followed.

Mr. Nakai sighed and closed the door, then grabbed both his and his wife’s bags from the floor.

One of the benefits of the resort was the kitchen, which knowing Miya meant a lot of cookies and maybe even some muffins. Although with how much running around Kenji and Mr. Nakai had planned, how much normal cooking would take place was debatable.

We all separated to stow our stuff, and I was the last of the three girls into our bedroom for the week.

Like the room overall, everything had a western design, with two beds on either side of a dresser drawer, with another set of drawers serving as a television stand. Satomi had shoved her and Refia’s bags into a corner, and Satomi was bouncing on the bed farthest from the door while Refia wandered around the room. The way she slowly looked at everything without focusing on it made me feel a bit nervous. Like she was a spirit or something, and I wondered for a moment if she’d vanish when I plugged in my night light. Which probably meant I read too much fantasy.

“Um,” I said, “I can sleep on the floor if you two’d rather not share a bed.”

Satomi stopped bouncing to look at me, “No way! You’re a guest of Uncle Kenji and Aunt Miya.”

Groping the wall opposite the door, Refia interjected with, “Why isn’t there a closet?”

“Not enough room,” Satomi said. Turning back to me, she added, “Besides, Refia sleeps better if there’s someone with her.”

“Keeps me from fidgeting,” Refia interjected, “I wonder if Mom and Dad have one?”

Satomi sighed and rolled her eyes, “Why don’t you sit quietly and stare off into space for a while?”

“Can I do it under the bed?”

“If you can fit.”

While Refia started trying to crawl under the bed, I set my bags down next to the other one, which looked far too poofy and sheet-covered for my liking. Then again I was used to sleeping on glorified cots when I wasn’t on the floor, so maybe it was just me. Satomi started bouncing on the bed again, which started creaking lightly. The sound started to bother me, so I turned to leave, nearly running into Mr. Nakai in the threshold.

“Don’t bounce on the bed,” he scolded, “You might break something, like your head when you end up doing a dive into the wall.”

Satomi obediently stopped bouncing, “But I’m bored!”

“We’ll be doing some local walking in a bit to reacquaint with the area,” Mr. Nakai stated.

“When?”

“Knowing Miya, after we’re buried under a mountain of cookies.”

Satomi sighed and glanced down at Refia, who was still trying to fit under the bed, “Hey White Mage, wanna play checkers?”

“Sure,” Refia said, popping up next to Satomi.

Mr. Nakai smirked and stepped aside, “Soon-hee, a word?”

I repressed a gulp and nodded, following Mr. Nakai back into the living room space by the front door. No one else was around, and after glancing around to make sure of the fact, Mr. Nakai smiled down at me.

“Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble,” he assured me, and I released a breath I didn’t know I was holding, “I just have a bit of a favor I wanted to ask.”

I looked up at him and tilted my head quizzically.

“Since you’re the oldest of the kids, I was hoping I could count on you to look after them a bit,” he stated, “Especially Refia –she tends to wander, and can be a bit blunt with people.”

I repressed another gulp and nodded, knowing I had to help as much as I could, “I will, Sir. I’ve… looked after kids before, and sometimes the first-years in the club act like children, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Mr. Nakai smiled, “Good, and don’t be afraid to tell Satomi off if she gets on your nerves.”

I nodded, “Yes, Sir.”

“Thanks,” Mr. Nakai said, “Anyway, it’ll be a bit before we head out, so how about a game of chess?”

“Did I hear chess?” Akio asked, appearing out of nowhere and making me jump, “S-sorry! Didn’t mean to startle you!”

“I’m fine,” I said. Shaking my head to clear it, I turned to face Akio, “You play chess?”

“The only one in the family who doesn’t is Satomi,” Akio replied, “Doesn’t have the patience for it. And Refia’s a bit young, obviously. But if you wanna play, Uncle Kenji’s watching Hisato, and I brought my travel board with me, so we could play, though if you’d rather play Dad, or Kenji, I mean, um….”

I turned to Mr. Nakai, who was giving his son an odd look. Shrugging and smirking, he said, “Go ahead, the table here should work.”

Akio nodded and bolted to the other bedroom to grab his board. When he was gone Mr. Nakai smirked at me and said, “He should be a bit more of a challenge than Miya. Oh, and please just call me Uncle Hisao –Sir makes me feel old.”

I smirked and nodded, once again unsure of the Nakai’s familiarity, but appreciating the sentiment. A little while later Akio and I were playing chess, which allowed me to ignore the memories that were threatening to claw their way out after my talk with Mr. Nakai. As long as I was awake I had a fighting chance, but once I fell asleep not even my night light could save me from the nightmares.

+++
Next Chapter

Looking at the characters I’ve molded through the eyes of another character is kinda cool. And challenging.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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 6/5)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:02 pm

the man whose lives we were depending on.
I'm not quite sure, but I think you wanted to say something else...
Solid chapter again. GJ.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:08 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
the man whose lives we were depending on.
I'm not quite sure, but I think you wanted to say something else...
Solid chapter again. GJ.
Well, they're lives are in the hands of the cabby's, so I think I got it right.

This is me we're talking about, though, so it's probably 50/50 either way.

And thanks :).
"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 6/5)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:40 pm

Then it should be "the man whom our lives depend on"

The way you wrote it they are depending on the (several?) lives of the driver... Maybe hoping that he doesn't run out?

...

Also: "their lives"
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Lord_Atomsk » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:06 pm

Hoitash wrote:
“Well, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but when I asked Mom about it, she said Dad won the timeshare in a high-stakes game of poker with some old college friends.”

I blinked at Akio, not sure if he was pulling my leg or not.
Reading this made it sink in how exotic the Satous and Nakais are. Don't know why it was just this one line even though they do a lot more than this, must be because it's from an outsiders view.

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:48 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Then it should be "the man whom our lives depend on"

The way you wrote it they are depending on the (several?) lives of the driver... Maybe hoping that he doesn't run out?
Ah, I get it now. Thanks, I took care of it :)
Lord_Atomsk wrote:
Hoitash wrote:
“Well, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but when I asked Mom about it, she said Dad won the timeshare in a high-stakes game of poker with some old college friends.”

I blinked at Akio, not sure if he was pulling my leg or not.
Reading this made it sink in how exotic the Satous and Nakais are. Don't know why it was just this one line even though they do a lot more than this, must be because it's from an outsiders view.
Glad that that side of the story is paying off.

Why Takarada had a timeshare in Manila is anyone's guess, though. Maybe for secret rendezvous with Sanageyama.
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by King of Beasts » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:02 am

Just wanna say, huge fan of your work.:D

Is it odd to say that your entire Master Detective series and Sisterhood are part of my headcanon?xD

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:28 am

King of Beasts wrote:Just wanna say, huge fan of your work.:D
Thanks, and thanks for reading :)
Is it odd to say that your entire Master Detective series and Sisterhood are part of my headcanon?xD
I think everyone who's a fan of Hanako/Hisao considers Sisterhood headcanon at this point. I know I kept it in mind when writing, incorporating broad strokes of it for the character's backstory in my MD writings.
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by King of Beasts » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:33 am

Hoitash wrote:
I think everyone who's a fan of Hanako/Hisao considers Sisterhood headcanon at this point. I know I kept it in mind when writing, incorporating broad strokes of it for the character's backstory in my MD writings.
I noticed, especially when Hisao mentioned that Hanako had First Aid Training back at "Road to Tokyo". Let's hope that program Miss Yumi put her through paid off somehow.:D

Anyways, I don't know if this is the place to ask this, but is there a crossover section in this site? I got an idea for one that I hope I can put to writing soon.:)

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:09 am

King of Beasts wrote:
Anyways, I don't know if this is the place to ask this, but is there a crossover section in this site? I got an idea for one that I hope I can put to writing soon.:)
If it's fanfiction, you can just put it here as long as it abides by the forum rules (which for fanfics are pretty basic; we're a pretty chill bunch.)

Although Silentcook -our Benevolent Overseer- hates crossovers with the passion of a thousand burning Hot Pockets, and crossovers are a lot trickier to write than people might think, so if you decide to go through with it, be careful. And make sure you take your towel.
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by King of Beasts » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:16 am

Hoitash wrote:
If it's fanfiction, you can just put it here as long as it abides by the forum rules (which for fanfics are pretty basic; we're a pretty chill bunch.)

Although Silentcook -our Benevolent Overseer- hates crossovers with the passion of a thousand burning Hot Pockets, and crossovers are a lot trickier to write than people might think, so if you decide to go through with it, be careful. And make sure you take your towel.
Will keep that in mind, Sir.:)

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Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/5)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:08 pm

“We have done with Hope and Honour, we are lost to Love and Truth,
We are dropping down the ladder rung by rung,
And the measure of our torment is the measure of our youth.
God help us, for we knew the worst too young!” –Rudyard Kipling’s “Gentlemen-Rankers”

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Chapter Four: The Explorer’s Tale


The main reason I preferred sleeping on the floor was that whenever I had nightmares, I rolled in my sleep. If I was on a bed, that meant I’d end up on the floor. Which at least woke me up.

So that’s why I was on the floor, clutching my stomach and tears welling in my eyes while entangled in my bed sheet. I forced myself up to see if I woke anyone, but Satomi and Refia were still asleep, the forms barely visible in the dim light provided by my night light.

Lucky them.

Feeling my mouth dry and my stomach on the verge of revolt, I stumbled out of the room into the almost complete darkness of the suite. Since I was used to the dark I managed to stumble my way to the bathroom, where I immediately keeled over the bowl and threw up. The vomiting turned to dry heaving, and the dry heaving turned to sobbing as I remembered the horrors of That Night.

There had been another girl There, Ayano –They never said her last name. She had been about six years younger than me. She did most of the household chores for Them, because I was… unavailable. I was more or less in charge of her, and it was our closeness that helped keep us sane and functioning, when the smart thing to do would’ve been to grab a kitchen knife and end both our miseries.

That Night, she was in the kitchen, so she was completely out in the open. She knew about my hiding closet, and I had told her if anything went down, no matter how scared she was or how angry They might be or get, to run for it and hide until I could get her –and had taken whatever punishment would likely be due her.

That was why I had peeked out from the closet, and seen the Ghost do… those things. I was making sure Ayano made it to safety.

She didn’t.

The Ghost gave her maybe half a seconds notice, but They were panicking and firing wildly, and she got caught in the crossfire, and I was too scared to do anything but watch as she was blasted to shreds and They reduced to lifeless, bloody chunks.

As early as the first days in the hospital I knew I couldn’t have done anything. If I had tried, I’d be dead, too. But logic has no place in the subconscious, and seeing her eyes go blank as she was riddled with bullets was just one of the many horrid scenes that haunted my nightmares.

Eventually I stopped crying, reminding myself yet again there was nothing I could have done, and nothing was going to happen to Satomi and Refia while I was watching over them. After spending some time kneeling on the floor to try and collect myself, I hauled myself up from the floor and moved over to the sink. I cleaned myself up a bit and splashed some cold water on my face. When that didn’t help, I filled the sink and dunked my head in. That helped a bit, and after spending a couple seconds recovering in the cold water I dried myself off, including the sweat that had soaked my hair.

Even though I was cleaned up and relatively calm, I didn’t feel like going back to bed, and, having hurled up dinner and had time for my stomach to settle, I was hungry again. So I went to the kitchen and made myself some warm milk. I also grabbed some snickerdoodles from the mass of cookies Miya had made, and sat down at the dining room table facing the now draped windows. Even though they were closed thin slivers of light from the stars peeked through, giving me just enough light that I could see what I was doing without having to turn on any lights.

I was slowly working through my cookies and milk when I heard the closet by the front door creak open. I froze mid-movement, fighting back my imagination’s worse creations and forcing myself to think sensibly. That helped me remember the warning about Refia. Finishg my milk and placing it in the dishwasher, I grabbed the last two cookies I had taken and walked over to the closet.

Sure enough, the closet was open, Hanako and Akio’s leather jackets hanging on hooks along with Kenji’s suit jacket. Since it was so warm no one else had brought a jacket, but the closet also had cleaning supplies provided by the resort. Which is what Refia, a small blanket wrapped around her like a cloak, was poking through, examining the closets contents as intently as Allan Quatermain would examine his next quarry.

Having already collected myself thanks to the cookie therapy and roughly an hour in the bathroom sobbing like a child, I quietly cleared my throat. Refia didn’t react, so I kneeled down and asked, “What’re you doing?”

“Exploring,” Refia replied, not looking behind her as she poked the expensive-looking vacuum cleaner in the corner.

“I didn’t wake you, did I?”

Refia shook her head, “Nope. I just woke up. Did you have a nightmare?”

“…Yes. How’d you know?”

“Saw your sheet on the floor. Wanna explore with me?”

I didn’t answer right away, thinking the question over. What I should do was make her go to bed, but she was probably too worked up to sleep. So she’d likely end up waking up Satomi. On the other hand, if I didn’t keep an eye on her, I’d be failing Mr. and Mrs. Nakai.

Fortunately the open closet provided a third option, which I seized with a small smirk, “Maybe, or, would you rather play a game?”

Refia finally turned around to look at me, “What kinda game?”

“It’s called ‘cave explorer’, but we can only play if you can say ‘I wanna play a game’ in Korean.”

“I wanna play a game in Korean,” Refia replied, then repeated the phrase in accented but understandable Korean.

I couldn’t help rolling my eyes, “Anyone ever tell you you’re too clever for your own good?”

Refia nodded, “Nee-chan does all the time. So how do we play?”

“Well, first I have to squeeze in here,” I said, crawling into the closet next to Refia, “then I have to close the closet door, and we pretend like we’ve been wandering through a cave and need to camp for the night. Sound like fun?”

Refia grinned and nodded, closing the closet while I settled next to a small shelf with sweeping supplies. When she managed to close the closet from the inside –a somewhat tricky proposition even with a sliding door- she removed her blanket cloak and settle into my lap. I instinctively wrapped my arms around her while she used the blanket to cover my bare feet.

“Like this?” Refia asked, looking up at me.

I smiled down at her and nodded, “Exactly. You’re a natural. Wanna a cookie?”

Refia nodded and I handed her one of the cookies, keeping the other for myself. After a few moments of silent nibbling, Refia looked up at me again and asked, “Do you get nightmares often?”

“…Not too often” I replied, feeling honesty was better than evasion; the Nakais seemed an oddly intuitive bunch, “I used to get them all the time, though.”

Although the nightmares from Back Then were nothing compared to the PTSD-like horrors that infested my mind after That Day.

“Mommy gets bad nightmares too, sometimes,” Refia stated, “They get worse around her birthday. Nii-chan says when he was younger she would spend hours locked up in the office around that time. She gets them because of the fire that made her an orphan –although that’s not why I’m named after an orphan, because that’d be weird- and after one she usually comes into our rooms and hugs us, and tells us she loves us and that if anything bad happens to her or Dad, we have a big family of people who love us and will look after us.”

A hug certainly sounded like a good idea, so I pulled her closer to me and rested my chin on her head. She settled herself more comfortably in my lap, leaning against me while I leaned against the closet shelf. If I hadn’t been used to such a position, it would probably be uncomfortable, but I found it incredibly relaxing and comforting.

Apparently Refia sensed my more relaxed state, because she asked, “That’s better, right?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Hee… oh! Since Uncle Kenji and Aunt Miya and Mom and Dad think of you as family, that makes you family, so I should be calling you Hee-neesan!”

Refia giggled at her little wordplay, while I blinked some moistness from my eyes. Sniffing lightly, I managed to choke out, “I’d like that. A lot.”

“Okay, Hee-neesan,” Refia chirped.

Refia squirmed a bit and settled more into my lap, and I reflexively held on tighter to her. Maybe she was worried she had upset me, or she had run out of things to say, or she was just plain tired, but she didn’t talk after that, and it wasn’t long before I heard the shallow, rhythmic breathing of someone who was asleep. Feeling the rhythm of her breathing against me caused my own to slow down, her shallow breaths reverberating along my body as I closed my eyes and relaxed. Entranced by the hypnotic nature of someone else’s breathing vibrating along my own body, I eventually managed to fall asleep, too.

+++
Next Chapter

I regret nothing.

As part of the homage to the work my titles are indirectly referencing, chapter length may vary depending on time of day in the story, the characters involved, how many dice I have in my Winds of Magic pool, and what fell into my spike trap this morning.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go reassert my manliness by setting things on fire. And then shooting them. With more fire.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:15 am, edited 6 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 6/19)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:06 pm

Awww...
You need a warning label for diabetic on this chapter^^
"...Did you have a nightmare?”

“…Yes. How’d you know?”

“Saw your sheet on the floor...”
How old is Refia supposed to be again?

I never saw the predator movies, but from what you wrote they don't seem like the kind to go after helpless girls, do they?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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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 6/5)

Post by griffon8 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:34 pm

Hoitash wrote:I titled my head but obeyed, just before we pelted forward at an angle that I’m pretty sure should have flipped the car.
Why does her head need a title?
Hoitash wrote:Fortunately the windows were tilted and I still had on my sunglasses.
Does the tilt of the windows really help?

So, where you had ‘titled’ you meant ‘tilted’ and where you had ‘tilted’ you meant ‘tinted’. That's amusing.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

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