Vision

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
d2r
Posts: 407
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:38 am

Vision

Post by d2r » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:58 pm

Munchenhausen suggested I put this up here, so I shall. Thank you Munch for your support, and for your kind help in editing. This is the first chapter of a multi-part work - and don't worry, I've written several in advance, so I won't leave it hanging at just this. Also, it's a lot less experimental than my last one, I promise.

Some brief comments by way of introduction. I think a lot of people have wondered in passing what it would be like if one of the main characters were suddenly cured of their disability. For my own part, I've always felt that this is self-indulgent, indeed naïve. The question is not what Rin would gain if she had arms, what Shizune would gain by not being deaf, nor anything else of the sort.

The question, rather, is: what would they lose?

***

TABLE OF CONTENTS (will be updated as I add more chapters)

1. Awake

2. Examination

3. Limbo

4. Sight, Stains, and Soap

***

Vision

Chapter 1 – Awake

Lilly

I awake to an onslaught of silent noise.

For several long moments, I cannot move or think. My eyes are open, and they burn. My eyes hurt, but somehow they will not close. Everywhere there are things I can’t explain, I can’t describe, a…loudness in my eyes. I close my eyes as tightly as I can, but this offers little relief – there’s still a thing there, a presence. I feel my heart pounding in my chest.

Somehow, I force myself to ignore the thing. I feel the softness of the sheets around me, the warmth of the heated room. I smell the familiar smell of my room. I hear the room – silent except for the sounds of my breath and the pounding of my heart. I say my name aloud, so the sound of my voice gives me something else to focus on. “Lilly,” I say loudly. “I am Lilly.”

I fight down the panic and open my eyes again to the assault, sitting up. The thing changes, and like that, something clicks in my mind. I realize what this is, what this must be.

I can see. I can see. The thing in front of me is sight. It’s my room, what it must…look like.

“Oh…” I whisper. “Oh, my.”

I can see, but I don’t understand what I’m seeing. I can’t understand what I’m looking at, I realize, because I’ve never seen it before. I fight down a sudden wave of vertigo and close my eyes again, but I can still see one thing, one…shade? Colour? Those words never had any meaning to me, and now that I need them, I don’t know what they’re meant to refer to.

I remember learning about the human eye in class. The eyelids block light. But the eyes don’t stop seeing when the eyelids shut. You can see the dark, the absence of light, even with the eyes closed. People used to ask me if I saw only blackness, but that was a foolish question: before, this, there was nothing there, whether my eyes were open or closed. Before me now is not nothing, but darkness. And that’s what I find terrifying: there’s no going back to the absence, the comforting absence of input. I pinch myself, but I do not wake up.

No. I can’t think this way. This should be a blessing, shouldn’t it? More than a blessing – this is a miracle. I can see. When I learn to interpret what I’m seeing, I’ll be able to see my friends. I’ll be able to see paintings, to read books. To see beauty. I should be awestruck, filled with wonder, but all I can think about is how much my eyes hurt, how my inability to escape from seeing, even with my eyes shut, is so distracting that I can’t focus on listening, on where my body is, on how I can move.

I steady my breathing again. I open my eyes and move my hand in front of my face. A shape appears. I’ve heard my skin described as “pale” and “smooth”, so the shape must be both of those things. I flex my fingers and watch the shape change. I try to reconcile the sight with the feeling, the perception with the proprioception. It’s interesting. It’s beautiful, in its way, but my eyes hurt, and there’s too much at once for me to match up the vision with the room I know, the room of touch.

Seeing…hurts. Is it because I’ve never used my eyes before? Am I not used to the light?

I close my eyes and mentally block out the darkness – the darkness people always assumed I saw. I carefully get out of bed and make my way toward the door – the dark is distracting, but I know my room well enough that I can still find my way. I reach for my walking cane and unfold it, and take the keys from the hook near the door.

“All right,” I say aloud, the sound of my voice in the empty room distracting me from the vision. “All right. Where to next?” I pause and think. “The nurse. I need to be examined.”

And I do. I’m a medical mystery now – a blind girl who woke up one morning and could see. But, I realize, I can’t get there on my own. Even with my eyes closed, I feel dizzy.

“Hanako,” I say. “Hanako can take me.”

***

Hisao

I’m startled awake by a loud banging that makes me roll out of bed and land on the floor with a thud.

“What…” I moan, rubbing my head. Another round of banging, and I realize that it’s someone knocking on the door. Hard.

“Wh-wh-wh-wh-who…” comes Hanako’s voice from the bed above me. She’s stuttering again, which means she’s been badly startled – not that I blame her. Since we started going out half a year ago, her stutter’s improved a great deal – she rarely does it any more, unless she’s embarrassed or caught off-guard.

“It’s Lilly,” comes the reply from the other side of the door as I pick myself up. “I…I need help.”

Hanako and I look at one another. Lilly’s voice doesn’t sound normal. In fact, she sounds…scared.

“W-wait a m-m-moment,” Hanako replies, still stunned into her old stutter. “W-w-w-w…”

“We’re not dressed,” I finish for her. I know Lilly’s blind, but I’d still feel awkward opening the door naked, and Hanako definitely feels the same way. Besides, what if someone else were to walk by?

“Hisao? Oh…I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you two were…”

She trails off into silence as I grope for my pants and boxers among the scattered bits of clothing on the floor at the foot of the bed – where we left them last night – then find Hanako’s pyjamas in the drawer she leaves them in and hand them over to her. She accepts them with a grateful nod, and pulls them on while still covered with the sheets. Even now, after all this time, getting out of bed stark naked and walking over to get them is a hurdle she’s not yet ready to jump.

Lilly doesn’t say anything else, but we pull our clothing on as quickly as possible and then open the door. She’s standing there in her pyjamas, her hair dishevelled and uncombed, her eyes tightly closed, one hand gripping her walking cane so tightly her knuckles have turned white, and the other balled into a fist at her side. She’s rocking back and forth slightly.

“I’m sorry to wake you like this,” she begins, then stops as if unsure what to say next.

“A-are you OK?” Hanako asks. “W-what’s wrong?”

In response, Lilly opens her eyes. I realize with a start that they aren’t cloudy and unfocused as usual – they’re bright, and flicking back and forth.

“I can see,” she whispers. Her normally serene face is a mix of panic and delirious rapture. Hanako and I look at one another.

“I can see,” she repeats. She reaches out to touch Hanako’s hand, as though reassuring herself that she’s there. “I can see you.”

“B-but that’s not p-possible…” Hanako stammers.

“I know,” Lilly says. She’s slowly regaining some of her composure. “The nurse. You have to help take me to the nurse. He’ll need to examine me. And I…it’s too distracting to walk on my own.”

There’s a long silence. I look at her, and meet her eyes. My stomach does a flip, and for a moment I brace myself for the heart palpitation that – thankfully – doesn’t come. I meet her eyes. This is real.

“Hisao, is that you?” she says, as though trying to convince herself.

“Yes,” I say. “I’m here.”

***

We quickly dress up, and then Hanako helps Lilly get changed into her coat while I wait alone in her room. It’s mid-January, and snow fell last night – I can see it as I draw open the curtains and look out over the courtyard. This early on a Saturday so cold and wintry, no one is up – the new snowfall outside is pristine in the morning light. I suddenly realize that it’s been a year since my first heart attack – it was around this time last year that it happened – but before I can follow that train of thought into reverie, Hanako knocks at the door and I follow her out into the hall. Lilly seems slightly calmer as we take her arms – one each – and guide her through the corridors and out the building, but she’s still visibly nervous, constantly rubbing at her eyes.

We make our way through the thankfully-light snow. Lilly’s eyes are open, and she’s looking around her with an unreadable expression. We walk in silence.

“So that’s white,” she says suddenly.

“What?” asks Hanako. Lilly looks at her and smiles.

“White’s always been my favourite colour,” she says. “The colour of snow, and ice cream…”

“But…” I begin, but I can’t think of what to say next and trail off awkwardly.

“I know, it’s silly for a blind person to have a favourite colour. I just always liked snow, and ice cream. The feel of it. So, I thought, why not make that my favourite colour? What was the harm?”

We walk for another few seconds in silence, the snow crunching under our feet.

“Is it everything you hoped it would be? White, I mean.” I finally ask. She closes her eyes again, and her smile when it comes is sad.

“It’s beautiful,” she sighs. “But it hurts my eyes.”

We don’t say anything else for the rest of the walk to the nurse’s office.
Last edited by d2r on Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Comrade wrote:infinite options does not mean all options, just like that between every two numbers there are infinite numbers, but not all.

If I see that sentence anywhere I am going to send your head to your mother with a replacment order
If you like a moodier fanfic, why not try mine?

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3496
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Vision

Post by brythain » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:04 pm

I suspect this is the most conceptually beautiful piece of literature I've seen for a while. The pain of having something you've never had before, and of realising that white hurts your eyes... aaaaaah. Classic, as in a worthy prime representative of its class.
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)

User avatar
d2r
Posts: 407
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Vision

Post by d2r » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:05 pm

Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Comrade wrote:infinite options does not mean all options, just like that between every two numbers there are infinite numbers, but not all.

If I see that sentence anywhere I am going to send your head to your mother with a replacment order
If you like a moodier fanfic, why not try mine?

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Re: Vision

Post by CloudGrain » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:14 pm

I have to laugh a little...

The only story that I can remember concerning an entirely blind person losing their sight ended... very grimly. Spoiler for those who might not necessarily want such a dark thing revealed. In the story that I recall, which is an old one somewhere in the back of my mind... a man who'd been blind for his entire life ended up in a very similar situation. By the end of the story, he ended up gouging his own eyes out to save himself from the 'horrors' that he experienced through sight. But this piece is much tamer, and all the same manages to convey a certain sense of both wonderment, disbelief, and fear of the new unknown.

Very much like it. Glad that Munchenhausen convinced you to put it here, will definitely keep up with your updates!
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

User avatar
AntonSlavik020
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Vision

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:53 pm

Loved it. Like it was already said, one of the more beautifully written pieces in some time. The only thing I'm wondering is when this takes place. It sounds like they're still at Yamaku, but if its a full year after Hisao's first heart attack, shouldn't they have graduated by now? If memory serves me correct, Hisao arrived at Yamaku during the final semester.

Anyways, great start. Can't wait for more.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

User avatar
d2r
Posts: 407
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:38 am

Re: Vision

Post by d2r » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:59 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:The only thing I'm wondering is when this takes place. It sounds like they're still at Yamaku, but if its a full year after Hisao's first heart attack, shouldn't they have graduated by now? If memory serves me correct, Hisao arrived at Yamaku during the final semester.
Japan's school system ends in March - Hisao missed his own third term, and ended up beginning at the first term of that year at Yamaku. Thus, this story is set during the third term of his (and Lilly's) time at Yamaku.

Source

Obviously, I'm not an expert on Japan's education system, and ultimately as in so many things I've taken some creative license with the timescale, but I believe the scheduling works out.

I may later edit this & backdate it to December if needed, but for now I'll leave it as is.
Last edited by d2r on Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Comrade wrote:infinite options does not mean all options, just like that between every two numbers there are infinite numbers, but not all.

If I see that sentence anywhere I am going to send your head to your mother with a replacment order
If you like a moodier fanfic, why not try mine?

User avatar
FelOnyx
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:50 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Vision

Post by FelOnyx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:01 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:Loved it. Like it was already said, one of the more beautifully written pieces in some time. The only thing I'm wondering is when this takes place. It sounds like they're still at Yamaku, but if its a full year after Hisao's first heart attack, shouldn't they have graduated by now? If memory serves me correct, Hisao arrived at Yamaku during the final semester.
Hisao's first heart attack happened in the winter of his second year. As Japanese schools get out in spring, he would still be in school one year later. He arrived at Yamaku during the first term. Summer vacation marks the end of the first term, and it occurred during the VN.

edit: ninja'd

edit 2:
OK, now that I've read it. I agree with the others here, beautiful concept, beautiful execution.
d2r wrote:
I remember learning about the human eye in class. The eyelids block light. But the eyes don’t stop seeing when the eyelids shut. You can see the dark, the absence of light, even with the eyes closed. People used to ask me if I saw only blackness, but that was a foolish question: before, this, there was nothing there, whether my eyes were open or closed. Before me now is not nothing, but darkness. And that’s what I find terrifying: there’s no going back to the absence, the comforting absence of input. I pinch myself, but I do not wake up.
This, I find utterly fascinating. The difference between void and blackness, to me, is utterly incomprehensible. A true "non-sight" distinct from simple darkness is as alien as nonexistence itself for most people, yet for her, it's a real thing, and a real issue.
Last edited by FelOnyx on Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
AlexG wrote:For a moment there I thought Marx woke up as some kind of stripper in the middle ages
BlackGoldShooter wrote:This is what happens when children don't eat their vegetables. First they start manufacturing statuettes. Next they take over the world.

User avatar
AntonSlavik020
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Vision

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:07 pm

FelOnyx wrote:
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Loved it. Like it was already said, one of the more beautifully written pieces in some time. The only thing I'm wondering is when this takes place. It sounds like they're still at Yamaku, but if its a full year after Hisao's first heart attack, shouldn't they have graduated by now? If memory serves me correct, Hisao arrived at Yamaku during the final semester.
Hisao's first heart attack happened in the winter of his second year. As Japanese schools get out in spring, he would still be in school one year later. He arrived at Yamaku during the first term. Summer vacation marks the end of the first term, and it occurred during the VN.

edit: ninja'd
Ah, gotcha. I'm not sure why I remember him arriving in the third term. Part of it might be winter break not being covered in Shizune's route, which made me assume he arrived after it already happened. Thanks for the correction.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3496
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Vision

Post by brythain » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:25 pm

d2r wrote:
AntonSlavik020 wrote:The only thing I'm wondering is when this takes place. It sounds like they're still at Yamaku, but if its a full year after Hisao's first heart attack, shouldn't they have graduated by now? If memory serves me correct, Hisao arrived at Yamaku during the final semester.
Japan's school system ends in March - Hisao missed his own third term, and ended up beginning at the first term of that year at Yamaku. Thus, this story is set during the third term of his (and Lilly's) time at Yamaku.

Source

Obviously, I'm not an expert on Japan's education system, and ultimately as in so many things I've taken some creative license with the timescale, but I believe the scheduling works out.

I may later edit this & backdate it to December if needed, but for now I'll leave it as is.
We can calculate Hisao's arrival at Yamaku to be Monday 4 June 2007. The school year began on 2 April 2007, so he was a late entry. It's quite likely that his event with Iwanako took place on Monday 26 February that year, because 25/26 Feb were the coldest days that year, and in some places, the only days with snow.

The class would have graduated from Yamaku in March 2008, and they would've entered university in April 2008 if in Japan.

Edit: If it took place in mid-February it would be more likely to have had snow. Records show no snowfall in Sendai in January, but some in February for 2008. Then again, up on Mount Aoba, who knows? :)
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)

User avatar
NekoDude
Posts: 495
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:54 am

Re: Vision

Post by NekoDude » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:45 pm

brythain wrote:We can calculate Hisao's arrival at Yamaku to be Monday 4 June 2007. The school year began on 2 April 2007, so he was a late entry. It's quite likely that his event with Iwanako took place on Monday 26 February that year, because 25/26 Feb were the coldest days that year, and in some places, the only days with snow.

The class would have graduated from Yamaku in March 2008, and they would've entered university in April 2008 if in Japan.

Edit: If it took place in mid-February it would be more likely to have had snow. Records show no snowfall in Sendai in January, but some in February for 2008. Then again, up on Mount Aoba, who knows? :)
Snowfall in Sendai is irrelevant, Hisao and Iwanako weren't in Sendai when he had his first heart attack. They were near Tokyo. This may limit your options even more.
Art is never finished, only abandoned.
Nekonomicon thread and downloads
White Mice music!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3496
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Vision

Post by brythain » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:50 pm

NekoDude wrote:Snowfall in Sendai is irrelevant, Hisao and Iwanako weren't in Sendai when he had his first heart attack. They were near Tokyo. This may limit your options even more.
I checked. Around Tokyo/Yokohama, it was 25/26 Feb 2007. To clarify, my Sendai remark was aimed at this piece, which has snowfall in January, and not at Hisao's hypothetical prior school, which is near some metropolis (I actually found a school in Yokohama that had snowfall on 25/26 Feb 2007 and has a little wood behind it, within the boundaries).
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)

User avatar
Craftyatom
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 pm
Location: Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: Vision

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:17 am

Wow, flippin' lovely, I don't usually get far into fics involving Lilly, but this was extremely well-written, and I love the concept, even if it's a little on the impossible side; I'm hooked, so write on, if you please.
FelOnyx wrote:This, I find utterly fascinating. The difference between void and blackness, to me, is utterly incomprehensible. A true "non-sight" distinct from simple darkness is as alien as nonexistence itself for most people, yet for her, it's a real thing, and a real issue.
It's one of the cool things you get when applying philosophy to neuroscience, or the other way around; both combinations rarely end in an "Oh, yeah, that makes complete sense" moment. This discrepancy, between darkness and nothing, is especially interesting in space - on occasion, even with one's eyes closed, radiation makes it through your head and hits your optic nerve, causing it to send a signal to the brain, resulting in strange flashes of white light, even while asleep. I've often wondered how a blind person would handle this phenomenon - though quite a lot of true blindness is caused by damage to or malformations of the optic nerve, I believe there are usually still remnants that can pick up electrical signals, meaning that blind astronauts would, with varying frequency (depending on their positioning in the solar system/space), 'see' things quite a lot, and the transition from nothingness to white (as shown in the above fic) is a hell of a lot more startling than the transition from black to white. Note: this is the point where we start building bionic eyes, because we're just that good with nerves. Shit's cash, yo.
A couple people wrote:Argument about whether the anniversary of Hisao's heart attack would pass while he was at Yamaku
I am not someone whose judgement on this matter you should trust, but I will say that I don't think it matters much, especially in this context. In my opinion.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

User avatar
Munchenhausen
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:43 am
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: Vision

Post by Munchenhausen » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:02 am

Craftyatom wrote:
A couple people wrote:Argument about whether the anniversary of Hisao's heart attack would pass while he was at Yamaku
I am not someone whose judgement on this matter you should trust, but I will say that I don't think it matters much, especially in this context. In my opinion.
I'd hate to be a finnicky bastard, but I completely agree.
Time and Date is pretty much irrelevant to the story, do we really need a humongous debate as to what the date was? :P Do we need to know that before we can settle down and enjoy Lilly's bittersweet miracle?

Either way, great chapter, mate :) Keeping myself intune to this one ;)
Like stupid, silly doodles with no point? You've come to the right place, friend :^)
I also occasionally write oneshots. Why not have a skimread?
Miki fic? Miki fic!
---
"We are a small country full of the most stubborn bastards on the planet. You might want to rethink your actions." - Anon

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3496
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: Vision

Post by brythain » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:06 am

Craftyatom wrote:
A couple people wrote:Argument about whether the anniversary of Hisao's heart attack would pass while he was at Yamaku
I am not someone whose judgement on this matter you should trust, but I will say that I don't think it matters much, especially in this context. In my opinion.
I completely agree. I was merely responding to those who wondering about times and dates, and since I'd already done the research, I thought I might as well share. It doesn't matter at all, relative to what Munch calls 'Lilly's miracle'.
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)

User avatar
Zarys
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:27 am

Re: Vision

Post by Zarys » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:53 pm

It's Lilly or Hanako route ?
"With my eternal life, I will see the world through to its end. Until everyone who won't like me is gone."
— Porky Minch

"Can you face your fears ?"
— Hanako

I speak from the noise
Souls and shapes, forever twisted
the lost voices of the damned
lure the bringer of despair

Post Reply