A few short stories

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brythain
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Re: A few short stories

Post by brythain » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:46 pm

I think this one was meant to be a spoof of various email scams for sucking money out of gullible recipients. Like the infamous Nigerian ones.
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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forgetmenot
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Re: A few short stories

Post by forgetmenot » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:59 pm

brythain wrote:I think this one was meant to be a spoof of various email scams for sucking money out of gullible recipients. Like the infamous Nigerian ones.
I, for one, got the joke. I just feel it wasn't very well-executed. It might have been better if there were some obviously egregious spelling errors, or maybe some more obvious parallels to actual Nigerian scam emails (for example, the tacit deposed prince could be Shizune claiming she was disowned from her own family with a few subtle jabs at Jigoro... I dunno. I don't really feel like wasting brainpower on this). As it is, it's a poor parody. I liked the "drunk Lilly" story much more.

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Re: A few short stories

Post by brythain » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:03 pm

forgetmenot wrote:
brythain wrote:I think this one was meant to be a spoof of various email scams for sucking money out of gullible recipients. Like the infamous Nigerian ones.
I, for one, got the joke. I just feel it wasn't very well-executed. It might have been better if there were some obviously egregious spelling errors, or maybe some more obvious parallels to actual Nigerian scam emails (for example, the tacit deposed prince could be Shizune claiming she was disowned from her own family with a few subtle jabs at Jigoro... I dunno. I don't really feel like wasting brainpower on this). As it is, it's a poor parody. I liked the "drunk Lilly" story much more.
Yeah, it should have included an implicit Yakuza money-laundering scheme. :)
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)

81pi81
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Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:15 am

The drabble format is tricky, but interesting. Here is my first attempt.

Lilly's route: Diminuendo (early draft).

Lilly: Have you locked the door?
Hisao: Yes. I am sure Hanako is sleeping anyway. Imagine her catching us here?
Lilly: Poor Hanako, I do not think she would get over it... Hisao, your are nervous, aren't you?
Hisao: It is my first time, actually. But I am sure I love you and I know I am ready.
Lilly: I love you too, I would do anything to please you.

We kiss tenderly. Then, Lilly's gentle fingers unwrap the lemon-flavoured lubricant and the strap-on dildo which we have chosen together.

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Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:39 am

The Interview

Kobayashi was the editor in chief of Loud'n Heavy, the number one heavy metal magazine in Japan. He was sitting in his office, consulting the sales of the previous month. March had been worse than February. Sales were dropping steadily, month by month, and the magazine was losing money. The era of music magazines was over. Nowadays, kids did not buy papers: they chatted on Internet forums, and the artists expressed themselves with Tweeter or Facebook. Who needed quality journalism? He would soon have to reduce the staff a little bit more, and next, he would have to find another job himself.

Those were his thoughts when Suzuki came in with his laptop computer under his arm. Suzuki was the youngest journalist in the staff. He was back from Sendai where he had interviewed a new local band, the Dismembered Demons. Now that was a classy name. Bands sure had taste, these days. Their music was crap too, some generic melodic death metal with a female singer, but their first album sold well, and the public enjoyed their gigs. So Kobayashi guessed the magazine had to interview them.

When he saw Suzuki's face, he knew that something was wrong. More bad news were coming.

"Hi Suzuki, how was the interview?"
Suzuki answered, embarrassed: "Well, things did not really go as expected."
"What do you mean?"
"I first took a few photos of the band. Let me show you."
Suzuki turned on his laptop and they viewed the pictures together.
Kobayashi asked immediately: "Where's she?"
"There, behind the drummer."
Kobayashi almost screamed: "You took photos of the Dismembered Demons with their lead vocalist standing at the back?"
"I swear, I tried to make her stand in front of the others, but she did not want to. The only way I could get a photo of the band was with Ikezawa standing behind the others. No way to take a pic of her alone either. What are we going to do?"
"Well, you know how to use Photoshop, don't you? Tomorrow, I must have a picture of the band with her in the foreground."
"Errr, yes, sir."

Suzuki was shocked. He had a lot to learn about this job.

"Then I interviewed Ikezawa. But there was an incident too."
Kobayashi shook his head, expecting the worst.
Suzuki selected a sound file on his computer and played it.


"Hello, miss Ikezawa".
"...."
"Speak louder, please."
"H-hello."
"Miss Ikezawa, the Dismembered Demons are just at the beginning of their career..."
"Y... Yes..."
"How does it feel to be successful this early?"
"It... is great... We... we are all under 25, and I am the youngest. We are lucky that our first record p-pleases the public."
"Tell me about your musical background."
"Well, a-actually, when I was in high school, I did not listen to heavy metal at all. J-just soft pop music."
"Then, how did you become a member of the band?"
"O-one day, I went to a karaoke bar with some friends. We sang in a private room, just between us. But this time a strange guy approached me, with long hair and tattoos. It was Kouji, the guitarist. He told me he had heard me by chance, and that I would be a great addition to his band. He told me I had the perfect voice and... the perfect l-look..."
"And how did you react?"
"I did not believe any of this at first, but he sounded serious. He gave me his phone number and a demo recording of the band. My friends did not like the idea... and they did not like the demo either. I thought I would never call him, but I came to find the idea interesting. I did not have anything to lose, after all. Finally, two weeks later, we had a first session together, and things went unexpectedly well. Soon, I became part of the band and the songs written by the Dismembered Demons were meant to be sung by me and a backing vocalist."
"Miss Ikezawa, can you tell us more about your vocal style?"
"Well, I... can sing normally, like a pop singer, laalallala, and I can also scream like a death metal vocalist LIKE THAAAAAAT! see? The point is to make a contrast with the other vocalist, with the low-pitched growls."
"By the way, rumour has it that you discovered your talent for death metal screams when shouting at your boyfriend in high school. Is it true?"


The recording was silent for a few seconds.


"Igottadosomething!"
"Hey! where are you going?"


Noises were heard of steps hurrying away, and a door was slammed. Then a new female voice; she sounded calm but angry.


"Mr. Suzuki, I am afraid this interview is over, you must leave immediately."


"This woman is Ikezawa's agent. A blind blonde, she was with us during the photo session and the interview. There was no discussing with her, I had to leave."

Kobayashi exploded. "You fucking moron! Why the hell did I send you to Sendai? You can't even interview a musician properly! Couldn't you feel it? She was tense at first, but she was starting to relax a little bit as she was talking about music, she might have said interesting things next! That was the time you chose to drive her away with that bloody personal question!"
"It was just a little joke! I did not expect her to react like this!"
"Well, she did not find it funny! And neither do I! What if the rumour was true? Remember, that girl is new on the scene. Despite rumours, nobody knows anything about her. Not even how she got those scars! And now, because of your brilliant interview, she is still a complete unknown to us!"

Suzuki let Kobayashi shout at him for a few more minutes. When he could talk at last, he asked:
"Now what? We cannot publish this interview?"
"Not as it is, of course! You are going to write the rest!"
"But how..."
"Make it up! Use your imagination! Tomorrow morning, I must have a good photo of the Dismembered Demons, AND a complete interview of Ikezawa!"
"Err, yes..."

Back in his office, Suzuki started to rewrite the interview, thinking of how much he had to learn about journalism. His screen was split into two windows. On the first, he was typing the "interview". On the second, there was a video of the Dismembered Demons playing live. He stopped typing and watched the video.

Kobayashi was right: the band sucked. They sounded the same as dozens of others all over the world. In a few years, they would break up and nobody would remember them. Their only good idea had been to invite Ikezawa to join the line-up. She certainly did not look like a rock star. In the video, she was wearing a dark dress covering her from the neck to the wrists and heels, probably because she did not want to show more scars. Not really a sexy outfit. And the kind of face you did not want to watch for too long either.

But the band had felt that she was the girl which could bring them success. And she did, for obvious reasons. Her scars raised curiosity, some weirdos among the fans were even attracted to her precisely because of them. But it was not that simple. She had something else that he could not define. She was a beginner, just like himself, she still looked stiff on stage, and her vocal technique could be improved, but she had a strange charisma. Sung by another woman, the songs would have been just boring crap. But when Ikezawa sang, or screamed, the public felt the emotions of the song: anger, despair, sometimes even hope... Whenever there was a guitar solo, or the other vocalist growled, the energy exchanged between the band and the audience was weaker. Just watching the video was enough to feel these changes.

There was a gap Suzuki could not explain between the girl he had talked to a few hours before and the singer he was watching. Maybe she took drugs in order to feel good when she performed? In this case, she would soon join the club of talented musicians dying of an overdose or committing suicide. Suzuki watched her carefully. No, he could swear she was not on drugs. On that small festival stage, facing the public, she enjoyed herself, she felt genuinely happy, at home and ready to give it all. When she performed, she just became someone else.

Suzuki could wait. In a few years, he would certainly hear from her again, and in a better band. She was special.

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Re: A few short stories

Post by brythain » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:30 am

I think this is the best one so far.
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)

Hotkey
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Re: A few short stories

Post by Hotkey » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:04 am

Yeah, this interview story was fun :).

81pi81
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Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:44 am

Happy Father's Day, Hisao!

At first, we were just six girls who had been together in Yamaku high school. Lilly, Hanako, Rin, Emi, Shizune and myself, Misha. We were good friends and we had kept in touch. Although we lived in different parts of Japan, we managed to gather from time to time and have a good time together.

The first meetings were organised at the Shanghai, near Yamaku, but, year after year, children were born, and the Shanghai became too tight. It was better to meet at Lilly's house, a big mansion with a large garden, which was perfect for the little ones.

And here we are now all together, for our yearly ritual meeting: the Yamaku bunch and their children. You already know us grown-ups, we are now old, plain and boring, so let me quickly introduce these children. Let's start with the oldest: Lilly's twins. They are 13 years old.

Hisao and Lilly got married as soon as they graduated from university. We were all invited, it was a beautiful wedding, they were a beautiful couple, and soon they had these adorable twins. Their happiness lasted for about two years, until Hanako said she was six months pregnant. She only told us when she could not hide it any longer. None of us understood: we were her friends, especially Lilly, why did not she tell us earlier? Why had she never told us she had a boyfriend? At first, she stubbornly refused to say who the father was, but finally, she admitted that it was Hisao. He had tried to make her have an abortion in order to save his marriage, but Hanako held fast: she wanted to be a mother, and she might not have further opportunities later. So she was going to keep the child, even if it meant she had to raise him alone. This is what happened, unfortunately: poor Hanako is still single.

So, Hisao and Lilly got divorced. Lilly chose me to be her lawyer. I wish I had not accepted. You see, I have been a lawyer for more than ten years, and I know that divorces are never a pretty business. But I have never pleaded in a divorce case uglier than this one. Very often, the lawyers are blamed for encouraging the spouses to fight, but in this case, I really did not need to. You only knew Lilly before she was married, right? Then you do not know her at all. During the divorce procedure, she turned into a bloodthirsty demon. She was much richer than Hisao, but she would have robbed him of everything he had, just for the enjoyment of making him suffer.

She forgave Hanako rather quickly, however. Who would not be moved by Hanako carrying her baby in her arms? Lilly will never admit it, but I think she now loves Hanako's son nearly as much as her own children. But forgiving Hisao is another matter: even now, I cannot make her understand that Hisao has the right to keep the twins once a week. The judge decided so, he is their father, and his is not a criminal, after all. She answers that such a scumbag should never be allowed near her kids. She would like them to hate their father as much as she does, and they nearly do. I hope you did not want to see Hisao here today, because this house is the last place where you will ever find him.

Lilly remarried three years after her divorce. Look, her twins are now playing in the garden with Hanako's son, and the fourth little boy with them is the son Lilly has had with her new husband. The little one is only six.

Lilly's husband is not with us, but do not be afraid, he still lives here with her, they have not broken up. During our yearly reunions, he just feels like an intruder in a girls-only meeting. This afternoon, he has decided to hang out with friends of his.

The little girl playing on Lilly's piano right now is Shizune's daughter. Shizune is at the beginning of a bright career in politics. She is not forty yet, but she has been elected to the Diet, and she is an important member of the Liberal Democratic Party. Have your heard of the "scandal", a few years ago, when she had a child out of wedlock? This child is the girl now sitting at the piano. There was a lot of gossip back then, but it was quickly forgotten, and it did not hinder Shizune's career. You do not know who the father is? Fortunately, he is not a celebrity and his name was not published in the papers: it is Hisao. Eight years ago, Shizune had an affair with him, but it did not last long. Shizune works a lot, so they had too little time to spend together, and finally they broke up. She has had other boyfriends since, but none of them has lasted very long either.

So, we grown-ups are sitting in the living room, listening to the music. I am a bit bored: after all, Shizune's daughter is 8 years old, and plays... like an 8 year old. Since Shizune cannot hear her daughter playing, she is bored too. But, while the others are listening, we have both noticed something funny. I sign with Shizune:

[Have you seen what Rin's daughter is doing?]
[Yup. Looks like she is redecorating Lilly's house.]
[Maybe we should get up and stop her?]
[Naaah... Everyone is listening to this beautiful concert. It would be a shame to interrupt it.]
[She may be only four, but she has a very good taste. Lilly's wallpaper is so ugly.]
[At least, today, she is drawing with a pencil.]
[Who gave her the pencil, by the way?]
Shizune feigns embarrassment.

I do my best not to laugh out loud. I remember when Rin's daughter painted on Lilly's wallpaper last year. That time, she had no pencil: she used some mud she had picked from the garden, mixed with the contents of her diaper. Lilly loves children, but this time, when she found out where the stench came from, she was really upset. Rin did not apologise to Lilly, or scold her daughter, she just looked at the "painting" on the wall without saying anything for about a minute, then she sat down, held her daughter delicately with her feet, and changed her diaper.

Now look at the little artist. She has Hisao's eyes, don't you think? Well, it is because she is Hisao's daughter too! A few years after he and Shizune broke up, he often hang out with Rin. He told me later that he was not really in love with her, but when he felt depressed, her company helped him relax. They liked to walk around together far away from the town, without talking. One afternoon, they were sitting side by side in the middle of a dandelion field. Dandelion seeds were floating in the wind, then she kissed him, he kissed her back, and soon, Hisao and Rin, both aged 34, were having sex among the wild flowers. One month later, when Rin told Hisao that she was pregnant and that she was going to keep the baby, Hisao reacted strangely. He was not angry about that unwanted baby, he did not try to argue, he was just a little more depressed. Maybe he thought that if the gods had decided to punish him for what he had done ten years before, trying to fight back was useless.

Finally, Hisao has remarried two years ago. He has found true love at last, or so he says. The one his heart chose is Emi. When she was at the university, Emi met a boy at the athletics club, fell in love with him and married him. They had one boy, but got divorced four years later. This child is ten years old now. It is a pity he is not here, but unfortunately, he is staying with his father today.

I cannot understand why Emi has chosen to get remarried with Hisao. First, no-one has forgotten what he did to Lilly and Hanako twelve years ago. Secondly, he has changed since then, and not for the better: he is now as sulky and bitter as when he was transferred to Yamaku. He sometimes drinks too much, he looks older than his age, and last but not least, he is broke. He earns a comfortable salary as a high school teacher, but he does not spend much of it himself. First, there is the alimony he owes Lilly; it is not a trifle, believe me. And as he has acknowledged the paternity of his three other children, he still has to send more money to support them. What remains is barely enough for him to survive.

By the way, Shizune, Lilly, Hanako and Rin have a secret agreement. I know about it because Lilly told me, but Hisao and Emi are not aware of it. As Shizune and Lilly are rich, they have decided together to give all the money they receive every month from Hisao to Hanako and Rin. Hanako has a part-time job as a computer technician, and Rin's paintings do not sell very well, so they could not refuse. Shizune and Lilly do not need Hisao's money, but for Hanako and Rin, every yen sure helps.

When Shizune's daughter has finished playing the piano, we gather around the living room table to have some tea and chatter.

They talk mostly about their children. How well they are doing at school, their various talents, blah blah... They lie a bit about their little prodigies and they downplay the difficulty of raising a child when you are single. But nobody is fooled: all of them know how hard it is; even Lilly and Emi, who are now remarried, have not forgotten. At least once, each one of them has phoned her best friend sobbing, just to let off steam and hear comforting words, one day when it was really too hard, and she just could not make it any longer. Maybe I should not tell you, but myself, I have been called at 2 AM on the videophone by Diet representative Hakamichi; she felt really down, she could not sleep, and the conversation lasted for two hours. But today, we are all happy to be together, so we avoid unpleasant topics; today, having children is pure awesomeness! I feel a bit like a stranger among them, and, even if they do not ask me directly because they are all kind and tactful, I can feel the question hanging in the air: "How about you, Misha? When are you going to have a child? You are not getting any younger!" They do not know; only Shizune knows, and I trust she will never tell anyone. Back when I was in high school, I hesitated between boys and girls, and I even found Hisao rather cute. But now, I am sure that the idea of having sex with a man disgusts me. And even the girlfriends I have had... None of them has stayed with me for more than a year.

When we all have drunk our tea, Emi solemnly claims our attention. "I have great news to tell you!" She is sounding so happy that it is not difficult to guess what it is about. "I had a pregnancy test yesterday... and it is positive! I am expecting Hisao's child! My little Tetsuo is going to have a little brother or sister!"

Well, we all know that Hisao is not the perfect father or husband, but we are nevertheless happy for Emi. We all hope for the best for both of them and their children. Even Lilly does her best to look glad, so she opens one of her best bottles of single malt whisky, and fills our glasses, even Emi's. It is time for a toast:

"To Emi and her family!"


+ + + + +
This story has an epilogue: here.
Last edited by 81pi81 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A few short stories

Post by poopooface » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:57 am

Didn't like it that much.
Hanako>Lilly>Emi>Rin>Shizune

81pi81
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Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:40 pm

Here is a little post-scriptum, or post-mortem, to "Happy Father's Day, Hisao!"

On Sunday, I posted a story which was OK for me, with just the right mix of sweet and sour, as I like it.
On Monday, I thought it was a pity that I did not talk a bit more about the relationships between Hisao and his kids. I wanted to edit the post, and add a few lines. So, today, I looked a bit on the Web for some details about what happens in Japan to divorced fathers.
I found various articles, for example this.

Conclusion: In Japan, some bits of my story are highly unlikely.
even now, I cannot make her understand that Hisao has the right to keep the twins once a week. The judge decided so, he is their father, and his is not a criminal, after all.
Strike it out. No judge is going to decide this.
This child is ten years old now. It is a pity he is not here, but unfortunately, he is staying with his father today.
Strike it out too. Emi has her boy with her.

Hisao seeing his other children?
Want to see Hanako's boy? Dream on, Hisao. Hanako is not going to let you.
Shizune's daughter? Maybe if Shizune has so much work that she needs to leave her daughter to Hisao for one day or two.
Rin's daughter? Maybe, Rin does not care about custom, law, or what is proper or not. So she may let Hisao spend a few days with his daughter from time to time.

Anyway, my story is now too sad, and not funny at all. Now I feel like a cook who has forgotten the sugar in his sweet and sour sauce. Sorry, readers, sorry Hisao.

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Re: A few short stories

Post by Oddball » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:27 pm

The father's Day thing is implausible enough that I'd almost think it was some attempt at parody if it didn't feel so humorless and mean spirited.
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Re: A few short stories

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:45 pm

I didn't like this one at all. The instant it was revealed that Hisao cheated on Lilly with Hanako, I lost all interest. Cheating is something that, to me, is completely unforgivable.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

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Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:12 pm

Fewer Options

Mr. Nakai and his wife needed to talk to Hisao about matrimony.

Hisao was the only son in the family. He had once had a little brother, but he had died in infancy. In 1926, Hisao, aged fourteen, had felt a pain in his chest for the first time. The doctor had diagnosed a congenital heart condition, for which there was no known cure. Hisao was now eighteen, and maybe he would never be twenty. Any effort or strong emotion could be fatal to him. Even if Hisao was barely an adult, he had to get married soon: if he did not, he might die without any offspring, and that would be the end of the Nakai family. The situation was tricky, and Hisao's heart condition had to be kept hidden. Who would want a son-in-law with such a short life expectancy? You may as well ask "Who would want a daughter-in-law without arms, like Miss Tezuka, or without legs, like Mrs. Ibarazaki's daughter?". Nobody. Even Mr. Hakamichi, the wealthy cloth retailer, would probably never find a husband for his deaf daughter.

Mr. Nakai did not know many families of his social class in his little town who were looking for a husband for their daughters. Miss Suzuki and Miss Yamamoto were already engaged, some other girls were too young, or too old. Mr. Nakai was only a tailor, and he could not dream of marrying Hisao to the daughter of Mr. Sakata, the banker, and on the other hand, neither was Hisao going to marry the daughter of a factory worker. Two months before, he could only think of two matches for Hisao: Ikezawa Hanako and her best friend Satou Lilly. Miss Ikezawa, the baker's daughter was really beautiful and had a sweet and cheerful temper; Miss Satou, the grocer's daughter, was pretty too (though not as much as Miss Ikezawa), and had received a very good education in a Jesuit school. Whenever he met them, Mr. Nakai wished he were himself twenty years younger, but it was now Hisao's turn to get a wife. He just needed to choose one, Mr. Nakai would talk with her parents, and if everything went smoothly...

That was only two months ago. Back then, the Ikezawa and the Satou households were happy families, the business was good, and the girls were so beautiful... That was before the small pox outbreak. The disease had struck several families in town, and the Ikezawas had been among the first victims. Mr. and Mrs. Ikezawa had both died, but their daughter Hanako, who had a more robust constitution, had survived. Miss Satou had ventured to visit her sick friend Hanako and had been herself infected by the virus. Fortunately, the contagion had not spread to all the city, and the outbreak was now over. A total of twenty people had been ill, and five of them had died. But even for survivors, the aftermath were terrible. Even if Miss Satou and Miss Ikezawa had now both healed, their life was over. Miss Ikezawa, who had lost her parents, now lived with Mr. and Mrs. Satou, and never got out. According to rumour, the disease had left horrible scars all over her body and the sight of her face was just unbearable. Miss Satou had fewer scars, but her eyes had been infected, and she was now completely blind. Mr. Nakai had come across her one week before: the poor girl was walking down the street holding her sister's arm. He had been sleeping badly since this encounter: in his nightmares, he kept seeing Miss Satou's empty eyes. He also avoided walking by the empty, gloomy house which had once been the Ikezawa bakery.

But today was not the time for lament, sound decisions had to be taken. Mr. Nakai and his wife had a talk with their son about what should be done. They did not know any girl in town he could marry. Did they need to hire a professional matchmaker?

To their surprise, Hisao answered hesitantly:
"There is still someone..."
"Who?"
"Misha... er... Miss Mikado."

Hisao's parents looked at each other, frowning. Mikado Shiina was the hairdresser's daughter. Everyone in the street knew her, it was hard to ignore her. She never stopped chattering with a very loud voice, she laughed all the time, especially at the most inappropriate moments, and her favourite pastime was to mix chemicals and concoct home-made dying products. She tested them on her own hair, which was currently pink (one year ago, it was green). Her parents were both honourable and intelligent, but they had been unable so far to knock some sense into her. A perfect match for Hisao indeed.

However, it was to be expected. Hisao had been hanging out with her often this year. Mr. Nakai thought they were just friends, but he was obviously wrong. It seemed that he and "Misha" were already giving each other ridiculous nicknames. He wondered how Miss Mikado called Hisao. "Hicchan", maybe? These days, with those new ideas coming from the West, kids wanted to choose their spouse themselves. If such brilliant ideas kept spreading among the Japanese youth, the Empire would sure crumble pretty soon.

Hisao continued:
"I often see her and talk with her, and we get on well together."
"You have not told her about your condition, have you?"

Hisao looked embarrassed for a few seconds, then he answered:
"I... I did not need to. Miss Mikado spoke about it first. She told me she had already noticed that I could not run a few meters without having to sit down, and that I sometimes clutch my chest. I try to hide it when I feel pain, but she is not fooled. She has told me that she does not mind if I am not healthy, and that her parents will probably not mind either."

Mr. and Mrs. Nakai looked at each other again. They did not say a word, but they agreed that the situation could not be worse: Miss Mikado knew about Hisao's heart condition, and since she was not exactly the silent type, this meant that everyone in town knew. Which decent family would now give their daughter to Hisao?

Two months ago, Mr. Nakai would never have given his consent to such a union. But now, did he have better options? Mr. Nakai did not like Miss Mikado, but he did not want to make a hasty decision. She was certainly not the smartest girl around, but she had the reputation of being hard working and kind, so maybe she would turn out to be a good wife and a good mother in the end. And maybe Mr. and Mrs. Mikado would really agree to marry their daughter to Hisao despite his heart condition? If they did, why should Mr. Nakai refuse?

Mr. Nakai could not make up his mind yet. He was going to take his time and think about it.

"Right, Hisao, you can leave now. I am going to discuss this with your mother."

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brythain
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Re: A few short stories

Post by brythain » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:50 pm

Ooh, pseudo historical fiction now! Really a wide variety of genres.
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)

81pi81
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:52 am

Re: A few short stories

Post by 81pi81 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:44 pm

The story below is an epilogue to this one . Read it first or this one will not make any sense.

Four Father's Days later.

Hisao keeps all the father's day cards he has ever received inside a drawer in his bedroom table. He has written the current year on each of them, so they can be easily sorted by date.

The first is dated 2025. Shizune's daughter has written "Happy father's day, Daddy" and signed.
The second is not very different from the first.
While the two first cards were bought in a shop, the third and the following ones are home-made. The front page of the 2027 card is an "abstract" crayon made by Rin's daughter, who was aged 3. Shizune's daughter has signed on the inside page.

On the cards dated 2028 and 2029, the drawings made by Rin's daughter get better. They still represent nothing but they show that the artist handles her crayons better. She even shows some taste in her choice of colours. Also, there are two signatures: one by Shizune's daughter, and one by Rin's daughter.

In 2030, a third "signature" appears on the inside page. It is Eio, the boy Emi and Hisao have had together; he was only two back then, and he could not write his name yet, but Emi made him draw something on the card. On the 2031 card however, little Eio has managed to write his first name.

Today is Father's Day, 2032. Eio has shouted "Happy Father's day!" and handed a greeting card to Hisao. On the front page is the usual drawing by Rin's daughter. On the inside page, Shizune's daughter has written: "Happy Father's day, Daddy! We all love you."

The card must have travelled a lot during the last two weeks. Under the sentence are six signatures, written by the children of five different mothers, with five different pens, in five different houses, but still, the card has been delivered to Hisao on time, right on Father' s day.

First comes the signature of Shizune's daughter, then the signature of Rin's daughter, then Eio's.
But Hisao's eye has immediately spotted something new at the bottom of the page: for the first time, there are signatures by Yoshio and Yoda, Lilly's twins now aged 17, and Shinji, Hanako's boy, now aged 14.

Right after opening the card and reading the inside page, Hisao whispered "all six, they have all signed". He looked at the card closely, touching the place where his older sons had written, as if he did not believe his eyes. Then he looked overjoyed and relieved, as if an enormous weight was lifted from him. A few seconds later, he fell on the ground and lost consciousness immediately. At no point did he seem to feel any pain in his chest.

Hisao is now lying on the floor, still holding the card Eio has just given him.
Little Eio is staring at him, without understanding why his daddy is not moving or talking any more.
Emi has grabbed her telephone to call an ambulance, but it is already too late. After a frantic acceleration, Hisao's heart has stopped beating completely.
Last edited by 81pi81 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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