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File 125335313885.jpg - (72.87KB , 557x446 , green_tree_2.jpg ) [iqdb]
94836 No. 94836
I can't sleep.

She's coming for me.

Every night, another place. Another little hole I've scratched out for myself in the feverish hope that she won't find me.

Some days she doesn't. She gets angry those days. Being angry makes her worse. Her skill dulls. Her brain makes more furious. Seeing-bad, Thinking-bad. But it doesn't last more than a week. It never does. Her parents make her better, but they can't make the thinking-sick go away. She just gets quieter and happier.

I don't like her when she's happy. It hurts so much when she's happy if she finds me. I don't know why I haven't broken my head like what must have happened to her. I don't even know why she wants me. Finding me makes her happy.

She's been angry for two days now. I hid in the big forest with the magic women and the fairies and the monsters and the other ones like me. It's been working, but I think she's learning how to find me here. If she finds me or not, this is still my last night here.

I squeeze my friend. I touch the knife. The other tools I've devised, learned how to make on the run. They're all within arm's reach.

It's going to rain tomorrow. My friend tells me this. He doesn't talk much, but only to me. Maybe that's why my head isn't broken. Even if it's only myself, I have his smile to talk to. He's very good friends with everybody, even her. She gives him a place to watch when she has me, but he always turns away. I know he can't help, and he knows he can't help, but he at least gives me that.

I wake up.

I bite back the scream that almost pushes its way past my lips like it does every morning since she began coming for me. It's still dark out. I'm not safe. The vigil is taking its toll on me.

Getting my breath back under control, my eyes dart left. Right. I'm not in her house. Still outside, still in the roots. My friend waits beside me. I squeeze him reassuringly.

It must be a few more hours until dawn. I have to make it that long. I can do it, I know I can. I just need to stay hidden long enough, and then I'll be free again until sunset.

Almost free.

I don't know why she's doing this to me. She wants me. Me and only me. She never tires of me, it never grows old. Even when I can't move anymore and my throat is raw. Especially then. She looks so happy, so warm.

She's so broken I want to cry.

I want to cry for her, and I want to cry for me. Something happened to her. And now she's making things happen to me

I can't cry right now. I'll cry later. I always end up doing so, one way or another. For now, I offer up a prayer to the god of the other one:

Don't let the green girl find me, God. Curse me for the rest of my days, and may I never have a home again, just don't let her find me tonight.


-------------------------------------------

I don't know what I'm doing. I don't even know if there are going to be choices. This might be a one-shot.
But I had inspiration strike me, and now I know what it's like when something Must Be Written.

If it's bad, I'm very sorry.

>> No. 94841
Welcome to my world. You're gonna do just fine here.
>> No. 94842
Can't decide yet, i always judge new stories after some updates. Even if they are shit, it might give the writer more time to improve.
>> No. 94843
Interesting start. I could read this.
>> No. 94946
Hmm, yeah, looks interessing. The green girl? Would that be who? At first I thought he was talking about Rumia, but she isn't green.
>> No. 95013
File 125344610247.jpg - (748.62KB , 1600x1200 , dream_forest_1_1600x1200.jpg ) [iqdb]
95013
The other one's god must have heard me. The green girl doesn't find me by the time the first rays of light filter through the twisted, bizarre branches. I imagine that far off, I hear her screaming in frustration as she's forced to give up for today. The thought doesn't make me smile anymore.

It stopped making me smile after the third time she caught me.

After the fourth time she caught me, I wondered if I was doomed to be her plaything forever.

After the fifth time, I knew I was. She told me as much, right before she put the nineteenth nail into me, between my eyes.

I cry a little now, for her and for me. A lot more for me. The arrival of dawn has me so pathetically grateful. This must be how stranded humans feel, poor little lost souls wandering in the blackness, acutely aware that their lives could be ended at any moment. I don't much enjoy being on the other side of the fence. Perhaps that's what she wanted to show us, them, me, oh so long ago.

But then she became broken.

Perhaps she's been broken all along.

I don't know, but I find myself caring. I don't want to care, but it stopped being a choice I was able to make some time ago. I hate her so very much, but I feel so sorry for her, even as she violates me and tears me to shreds

piece by piece

part by part

it hurts it hurts so much stop

stop

stop

stop her

I must stop her.

This ends only when one of us is dead. It's far easier for me to kill her than for her to kill me. It's also far easier for her to kill me than me to kill her.

Both sides of the fence are green, just different shades.

Drying my tears, I gather myself, my things, and my friend, and hop down the fifteen foot drop to the forest floor below. I begin to walk north. I now have ...options.

I can't go far up. That mountain is out of the question. The village that I don't remember the name of is not viable until nightfall. This forest is no good for another few weeks. Hiding with the dead may be possible. The bamboo forest... not yet; needs more moon. Silverman's store is an option but only as a bolt-hole. The magicians would probably talk about me, I know they run in the higher circles. Down below offers several opportunities, but the green girl knows much of that place like the back of her hand. Elsewhere would be a dream come true, but I don't know how to get there on my own. The rabbit house would be fine if I could ever find it. The little ones here and there aren't strong enough to stand against her. The vampire's island and the lake around it offer too few hiding spots found that out the hard way, didn't you although the other vampire and her red lake would be fine if it weren't so close to th--

red sticks red sticks stairs building NO DON'T THINK ABOUT IT STOP

--I come to again. There is a familiar searing pain in the small of my back. I'm on my hands and knees, panting hard. My skin feels cold and awful and clammy from the sweat that's broken out. Shuddering, I close my eyes to stop my vision from swimming. It barely helps.

My friend is on the ground next to me, looking up at me with a worried smile. I hug him close, and reassure him that I'll be okay in a few minutes.

I got lucky, that time. I almost thought about the other one too much.

The green girl made very sure the other one was not an option for me. I wondered at first why she bothered, but I've long since figured out how cruel that particular joke was.

I get to my feet, and open my eyes again. My vision has steadied. Good.

I set off again. My mind is made up. I know where to go.

[ ] The dead
[ ] The world below

-------------------------------------------------
This story is brought to you by the Kill Bill 2 soundtrack and Jack in the Box.

And a minor edit, too.
>> No. 95016
[x] The dead

Like always, the dead had all the answers
>> No. 95020
[ ] The dead
>> No. 95021
Sounds like 'The Green Girl' might be psycho-Sanae if we assume 'the other one' means Reimu. We wonder how humans feel... implying we're not human. We have a friend who only talks to us, but can detect the rain. That sounds suspect.

I think we might be Kogasa.


[ ] The Dead
>> No. 95026
[x] The Dead

If this is Kogasa dealing with a crazy Sanae, this is the best place to be out of the two. (Reimu knows the area better, but I don't think she'd bother with us)
>> No. 95030
[X] The world below

This. Always.
>> No. 95032
[ODIN] The dead

This seems interesting indeed.
>> No. 95034
[X] The dead

Ooh, I like this already.
>> No. 95111
File 125349294873.png - (258.28KB , 435x450 , HighMeadow.png ) [iqdb]
95111
[x] The dead

What better place to avoid death and dismemberment than the land of the dead?

...Lots of places. But most of them I can't go to, so it's the Netherworld for us.

I was surprised to learn that some of the Netherworld is up, some of it is on the ground and away, and some of it is far away and very Else, but none of it is actually underground. No nethering at all. It's doubly unfair.

The forest thins ahead, and I step out into the light.

I used to like to watch the sun come up in the morning, sometimes. Just to enjoy the sight.

I can't remember when I last did that. Not for its own sake, at any rate.

The nearest way to the Netherworld is a little over a mile away from the outskirts of the forest. It's one of the more distant, outlying points of its border and not as easy to enter as the more traveled route, but that one lies six miles further, closer to the road from the village.

I walk across the lightly grassy field, intent on reaching my goal. It's still early enough that I'll likely not be spotted. Green blades and the occasional flower brush against ankles as I make my way across.

Any other time of day I would worry about being noticed. I'm not a criminal or anything, and it's quite likely that nobody would think twice about seeing me. Perhaps they might even fly down and chat with me. I can't take that risk, though. I don't want anybody letting the green girl know where I am, where I've gone, where I'm going, how I was doing, anything, nothing.

It makes me wonder if she tracks me. No, I know she tracks me, or rather, hunts for me. But does she study my movements? Does she have some kind of elaborate map in her room up, up, up there? Perhaps she has little pins in the map, marking where I go, and green pins for her. Two kinds of greens, she'll need, to tell us apart. More greener grass. The fox is on this side of the fence, but the dog will dig through, or hop over. It's not a big dog, it can't knock the fence over.

The other one can knock the fence over, I'm told. It doesn't do much, but when somebody sets that dog off, they're going to get bit. And they remember it.

The smaller dog dreams very big.

But I don't know if dogs can have maps. I don't think the green dog has maps or pins.

I'm sure she would have said something by now. She's all too happy to talk when she finds me, and she's commented before on how difficult it was to find me (or how easy, sometimes), and what new things she has in mind for me, and what a lovely pain I've been, and how happy she is to see me once more, and we go up and up and up then down, under, below, into stone and root and bar and table and the glowing coals and she's got a funny hammer with a curving split crest and a soft black handle and my wrist is smashed over and over and then it's my other wrist and then she listens to music I can't hear on the little white electric shingle with strings into her brain and sings beautifully as she crushes each toe in time with the music and then I can't scream anymore and I pass out.

But nothing about maps.

I cross a little stream. I wish I could lose this dog's scent by running through water.

Hop

And I keep on walking.

I reach the spot. It doesn't look special to human eyes. Not if you look right at it.

You have to look somewhere else. Focus on something else. Admire the birds in one of the nearby trees.

Suddenly you become aware of something that's very there, in the corner of your vision. It's quite tall.

You look.

There's nothing there, of course.

Giant vague walls in the middle of a field aren't real, of course.

That's why untrained humans can't see it. The things they see at can only be real. But in the corners of their sight, on the very edge, they can see what they think they see. Humans think they see things all the time. They're there, just not real.

It made far more sense when my friend explained it to me. He's had plenty of experience in being real, and then in being not real. In fact, that's how we met.

However, real or not, I can see the wall just fine. I walk up to it

I pause.

...I don't know how this next part goes.

Hesitantly, I touch the wall.

It feels soft.

I try walking into it.

I fall on my ass, rubbing my nose. It's harder than it looks, apparently.

Another poke. Still soft. I try pushing my hand in.

It's like my arm is being slowly eaten by a pillow.

[ ] Ask nicely
[ ] Ease in
[ ] Not real
[ ] After curfew
>> No. 95114
[ ] Ask nicely
>> No. 95116
[x] Ask nicely
>> No. 95124
[x] Ask nicely
>> No. 95134
[ ] Ask nicely
>> No. 95140
[X] Ask nicely

Kind words will take you far.
>> No. 95264
File 125360085411.jpg - (124.33KB , 369x500 , HuaShan_staircase.jpg ) [iqdb]
95264
No climbing over like children sneaking out.

Pretending is hard and it might go away.

Pushing through makes it harder.

Maybe I should simply ...ask.

"May..." I stop, and cough, clearing my throat. I haven't spoken aloud for two days, ever since she dropped me out of the sky. I landed in a farm that time.

"...May I come in?"

business-with-Saigyouji-yesno

The wordless reply comes back to me in words. It's wordless because it isn't real.

Of course.

"With...I don't think so, no?"

no-business-no-invite-still-alive-no

"Pretty please?"

haven't-died-still-alive-no-entry-goodbye

Maybe this was a waste of time. I thought the magician and the other one were able to come and go? Maybe this part of the wall doesn't know what the rest of the wall knows.

Poor little isolated wall. Maybe you'll become a nurikabe if you sit here long enough.

I don't know if it works that way, though. It's already not real. I don't think unreal things can become more unreal.

Perhaps you'll become less unreal, then. Go the other way. More real instead, like the the tiny boy in the peach, or doll boy from the olive country.

I think the doll boy had a blue fairy involved.

I met a blue fairy once. I don't think she knows how to make dolls come alive. She's more about freezing frogs.

...I might need to talk to her.

My friend steps in at this point. He wonders if the wall might not respond to a more serious discussion from someone who's been alive and dead and real and unreal. It sounds like a good idea, and so my friend touches the wall. It's silent for a minute.

Whoosh

The wall parts wide for me in a sudden, violent movement. I blink. What?

My friend assures me, with a satisfied smile, that they have come to terms.

His smile seems a little sad. I nod, however, and thank him. I step through into a hazier, more dim version of the field. As I do, I turn and bow in thanks to the wall.

"Thank you for letting me pass. This means a lot to me."

didn't-know-more-dead-than-most-who-enter-deeply-regret-many-condolences-thousand-apologies-not-enough

"...You did your job." I smile a little sadly, as well, now.

good-luck-might-talk-to-musicians

"Musicians?"

music-ghosts-old-house-poltergeists

It gives me directions to their house, should I choose to go there, and sends me off, apologizing again. I thank it, turn, and walk through the mists for a while. Eventually, I come upon a staircase. I look up at it.

It's quite high.

I miss being able to fly. But until I find some people, that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Well.

Journey of a thousand miles, and all that.

Step

And I keep on walking.

As I ascend, I look around the place. featureless grayness, and a light fog, but not exactly cold. I've never been cold, though. Perhaps I saved up all that warmth. My footsteps make a quiet clacking sound as I take each step. Up and up and up. It's not the bad up, like the green girl's up. You get get to that up by walking, too, but she always flies me there. Plus, it's probably a longer trip, and you have to deal with the dogs and the birds and the little blues. I think she doesn't want to have to deal with them, either, or answer questions about the unconscious, bleeding girl slung over her shoulder.

Those questions would make her angry.

I look over the side.

Gensokyo is visible again. It's quite pretty, but I've seen it from up here before. Well, not here but from when I was up-up and about in the high up.

I really miss being able to fly.

I don't like this side of the fence. I don't think I would wish it on any of the others, though. Not Little Dark, not Flygirl, not Blue Fairy, not Curly Fairy, not Extra Bird, not Water Mouse.

I miss them.

I don't start crying.

I don't dry my tears as I reach the top, and pause, not looking around at the fantastically huge garden I've stepped into.

So much grey and pink.

It's very pretty. I wouldn't mind just falling asleep here.

But then I'd be found and sold out I'll eat that silver woman's lungs first so she can't scream like before and I can't abide by that.

The green girl would have a reason to do these things to me if I did something bad, anyway.

Footsteps sound from a ways off. They're coming nearer.

[ ] Nonchalance
[ ] Hide
[ ] Run
[ ] Tree
[ ] Surprise~

-----------------------------------------------
I'm amazed and pleased this is being read.

Not the story, of course.

This note.
>> No. 95265
[x] Hide
>> No. 95266
>>95265
...You can't have actually already read it.
>> No. 95267
[X] Tree
>> No. 95270
>>95266

It's not impossible to read it all in 4 minutes.
>> No. 95278
[X] Tree

A very purple tree.
>> No. 95297
[x] Surprise~
>> No. 95298
[x] Surprise~
>> No. 95304
>>95297
>>95298
Oho~

Keep voting~
>> No. 95306
[x] Hide
>> No. 95310
[x] Hide
>> No. 95328
Keep voting some more. The correct option isn't winning yet. Oh well, voting called.

Writing soon.
>> No. 95342
File 125366992818.jpg - (1.47MB , 2048x1536 , the constant gardener.jpg ) [iqdb]
95342
[x] Hide

I know this place is supposed to be open to the public, but we're in the proper morning now, I think, so I guess I can't risk letting myself be seen. I don't want a repeat of the first vampire's house.

Watching Girl was nice, but Silver Dog doesn't deserve the air she supposedly breathes.

I brush these thoughts away. Shh.

Looking around, I find... not much. No, wait. there's a perfectly sized shrub. I duck behind it, and my friend hides with me, both of us drawn up and trying to conceal ourselves. I can't see his face, but I know he'd be smiling at me.

He's a really good friend.

Footsteps are closer, now.

Step step step

step

step step step step step

step step

step

steep

too steep

sheer cliff face

looming right above the wall of the shrub

looking at me

another silver dog faster than the first

Already at her mercy

"Shh!" I tell her.

She blinks. She wasn't expecting that.

I feel a very good twinge from inside me, somewhere. It's small, but it's there. She's human, it seems.

Something nudges my friend.

A cloudy thing pokes him gently. Swirls and twirls and investigates curiously.

Thinking faster now, come on sea green traffic light come on now think think she's about to talk keep her off balance

Oh

Perfect

"I'm hunting!"

I leap out at the cloudy thing. It wasn't expecting this at all, but it's not human, so that's no good.

It's soft.

However, as the shriek from above me tells me, she wasn't expecting it either. And along with it comes the accompanying rush.

...Not nearly so strong as to match the severity of a situation that truly merits such a vocal reaction, but clearly the gesture is unexpected. Perhaps she's not fully human, then. Balanced Head Nice Blue in the village was similar, as was Silver Tinkering Examining Man.

Fascinating.

--I'm brought back down to me that does the most of being me (and not the me that does the self) by her voice, agitated but being brought back under control, professional and cool, like the Silver Bitch. Not uncaring, though. She is rather quite caring. And she was ever so happy to oblige me a little panic.

How nice~

"Please do not touch my ghost half, Miss... Visitor--" Ah, she doesn't know me. Good. "--ain from such inappropriate action while visiting Hakugyokurou's outer gardens."

She straightens up, and composes herself. She's tiny, but seems like she could be dangerous if made angry.

She's got a lot of green on, but not the same as the bad one.

"My name is Youmu Konpaku, and I am the head gardener at Hakugyokurou and servant of Lady Saigyouji. May I help you?"

I don't think she gets a lot of visitors looking as bad as I do. She's trying to keep that look off her face, though.

[ ] Tour
[ ] Directions
[ ] Road Map
[ ] EJECT

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It could have been worse.

It could have been better.

I'm trying too hard, and not hard enough. I think I'm beginning to understand, Kelvin.
>> No. 95343
[ ] Tour
>> No. 95345
[ ] Road Map

Holy fuck, this protagonist has lost how many screws?
>> No. 95346
>>95345

Being tortured by Sanae will do that to you.
>> No. 95348
[X] Tour
>> No. 95349
[X] Tour
>> No. 95350
File 125368817256.jpg - (0.97MB , 900x1270 , 69600a8543c887b41a7279b25c84f70d.jpg ) [iqdb]
95350
[\!/] Tour

No Anon, you are the Youkai/Kogasa/Unknown Fairy

>Balanced Head Nice Blue

Keine-sensei ;__;
>> No. 95351
[ ] Road Map
>> No. 95353
>She's got a lot of green on, but not the same as the bad one.
>Sanae

But Sanae doesn't even wear green.



[x] EJECT
>> No. 95354
>>95353

She's got plenty of green hair though.
>> No. 95356
Calling it for [x] Tour.

It's a real shame you didn't pick [x] EJECT ( Except for >>95353 ). You didn't lose any chance for anything, but it would have been a lot more amusing.
>> No. 95358
>>95328
>>95356
>>95342
You are getting annoying. If you want it like that, write for yourself and not for other people.
>> No. 95366
Rolling with the votes is an important skill for any writer here; sure writers have their favorite in the choices, but when that fails, use the other plans and improvise some.
>> No. 95416
File 125373876455.jpg - (434.96KB , 1280x1024 , sued for not paying naming rights.jpg ) [iqdb]
95416
>>95358
Calm down. Yes, I'd have liked it if certain other votes were chosen, but I'd also like a million dollars, too. I have long since become aware that them's the breaks (brakes?), and am fucking dealing with it accordingly.

But if it'll make you happy to hear me say it: I will avoid this behavior in the future.

>>95366
Figured that out for myself last night before I saw either of these comments, but thanks anyway.
---------------------------------------

[x] Tour

Oh dear.

I need to go from here, go to there, go some where, anywhere, as long as there's a there and I'm not here.

Figuratively.

Small Silvergreen asks with infinite patience, "Have you come for a tour of the outer gardens, then?"

Well, she started it.

"Why not?" I answer.

She pauses for a moment, but seems to let it pass, and seems to shift selves slightly, stands a little straighter, the cloud thing drifts a little closer, less aimlessly. She has done this many times before, I think.

"Hakugyourou is the residence of milady Yuyuko Saigyouji, Princess of the Netherworld. It boast an enormous number of cherry blossoms, many of which actually belong to a number of smaller sub-gardens that make up the whole. If you will follow me, I can show you some of the more fascinating and notable sub-gardens."

She begins to walk away from me, expecting me to follow.

I don't know where to go, except what the wall told me.

Small Silvergreen tells me in body-words that she'd like me to follow.

I guess it'd be best to try and blend in.

Seem normal.

That's what side of the fence I'm on right now, anyway. best not to be seen hangign around to close to it in front of other people.

Small Silvergreen looks back at me.

Time for sea green traffic lights to just look like the grass.

I follow her

Step

And I keep on walking.

"Over here, we have the Garden of Tigers, so named for the large white cherry blossom in the center. Can you guess its name?"

I think I know this one.

My friend agrees with my guess.

"Byakko?"

Small Silvergreen nods, doesn't quite smile. Most people would have smiled. Poor girl should smile more.

"Correct. Now, this particular tree was planted during the Meiji era, but was uprooted and disappeared for twenty years before reappearing here--"

Small Silvergreen keeps talking. She really likes plants. She even has some on

Oh

Those aren't tails

Those are swords

Not tails

That only makes sense.

I squeeze my knife in my pocket tightly as I remember the Silver Dog your lungs, do you hear me? YOUR LUNGS and her daggers and what she did.

My friend nudges me, almost imperceptibly.

I break out of my trance and out of my head and pop welcome back to the unreal world

Small Silvergreen is staring at me silently. Mostly in worry and concern. A little suspicion, too.

It's understandable. I look plenty suspicious.

Perhaps she's picking up on my unpleasant thoughts?

Legends of people able to read another's spiritual or emotional energy are all over hither and yon.

They're just that, though. Legends. They aren't real.

However, this is an apparently highly trained warrior who is half of a ghost and half my height (okay, maybe a bit over), working in the unreal land of the dead in Gensokyo, Land of Legends.

Perhaps she's picking up on a little something, then.

"Ah, I'm sorry." I laugh a little, and wave it off, leaving the knife in my pocket. "I was recalling something rather unpleasant."

"Ah." She nods, and looks a little sympathetic. "One of the groves here does that." She points off to a grove where a large tree stands out-- not as much as the gargantuan tree rather a lot further off, but I assume she'll cover that eventually-- among the others around it, partly from its size, and partly from how vibrantly pink it is.

"--pervisor is what my mistress named it." Oh, she's talking about it now. "Apparently it was rather popular for suicides, and so it was cut down by the city a number of years ago. It was an amazingly unpopular move, and so the combination of the grudge it carries and and the spirits of those whose lives it watched pass still weigh heavily on especially sensitive people. I have had to change the tour path because of it."

Small Silvergreen looks at me curiously. "Have you had a brush with death or seen something unpleasant lately, perhaps? That has been known to increase one's sensitivity to death."

I almost laugh.

"You could say that."

You could say that.

And far, far, far, far far more besides just that.

"I am sorry, then," she says. "I hope you are well, now."

"Far better than I was then~" I reply.

It's true.

I'm not looking at the green girl trying to knot together a jumprope out of my intestines right now, after all.

36 jumps before it came apart. I was impressed, despite myself.

There's a truly tasteless joke about being able to stomach unpleasant sights that could be made here, but I'm the only one qualified to make it, and I don't think I will.

There's a time for such macabre humor, after all, and it's not when my gut is tying itself in a knot.

My friend groans silently and kicks me.

I giggle.

Small Silvergreen looks back at me, but says nothing, and resumes her tour.

She's used to my drifting, I think.

We continue through the garden, and the rest of the tour takes another hour or two.

It's about ten in the morning, now.

"--And my mistress and I apologized to everyone I caused trouble to during that incident, and we have maintained an open-gate policy ever since with the rest of the world," she says, finishing up. "And that concludes the tour! I hope you have enjoyed yourself. Do you have any questions about Hakugyokurou or the Netherworld that I may answer?"

That's a silly thing to say. I don't know if she can answer or will answer or wants to answer an (d) swer (ve) away from questioning.

She doesn't seem to be so tricksome, though.

Nevertheless.

[ ] Road map
[ ] Mansion

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm more and more glad that this is my first story and not NiG. I'm still going to write NiG someday, but this comes to me far, far easier. It'd probably be more like a few days between updates if it were NiG, too.

...I was going to say something else here instead. I'll probably remember when it's too late.
>> No. 95419
[ ] Mansion
>> No. 95420
>sued for not paying naming rights.jpg
>"--pervisor is what my mistress named it."
I'm in despair!

[X] Mansion
>> No. 95429
[x] Mansion

Sliver dog must be Sakuya....

I'd hate to live in that Gensokyo if innocent little Kogasa's being so ruthlessly hunted down. But it seems for the time being, Kogasa has a safe spot. Hopefully Yuyuko will regard her nicely.

As for her friend? Most likely the umbrella, though I think the fact she considers it another being is a sign of how bad things have gotten for her.
>> No. 95459
>Kogasa

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-

[]Mansion
>> No. 95472
[X] Mansion
>> No. 95479
I may have done something bad, here.

When I said "Mansion," I was referring to the Prismriver house, but I think many of you thought I meant Hakugyokurou. Our heroine is not asking for shelter here for the same reason that people don't generally ask, after a tour of the White House, if they can crash for the night there.

I'm terribly sorry for the ambiguity.

I'll try and make it up to you all somehow, later.
>> No. 95481
>>95479
Oh, I forgot to mention: in light of this, I'll wait another day or so for people who want to change their votes to do so, if they want. Unless you're fine with this, in which case... well, nothing will change.

I'm really sorry about this.
>> No. 95482
Eh, I don't mind.
To someone like the protagonist of this little tale, a big house is a big house. What matters if whether or not there's someone inside whose lungs she will have to eat.
>> No. 95489
>>95482

I think the lungs remark was said about her, not that she had the desire to eat them. In this Gensokyo, it seems some youkai aren't treated too fondly at all.

Nah I won't change my vote; it's a great place to hide, since few consider it a significant location. That and Kogasa might surprise the sisters by being a good singer.

But I wonder if this is post UFO or not, timeline wise.
>> No. 95491
Well, I'll give it until noon tomorrow, plus writing time.

(That's in about... 10 and a half hours.)
>> No. 95623
>>95491
Suddenly, things came up.

Writing now.
>> No. 95628
>>95623

hooray!
>> No. 95638
=============================================================================

[x] Mansion

Over the river

And through the woods

But I don't think I have a grandmother.

Small Silvergreen doesn't know that, but she can probably guess. She would never guess, not in a million years because you don't wonder about such thoughts.

If only I could hide in thoughts, the green girl would tear her grass out in rage.

I would laugh

I would cry

I would not die.

A thought is a fragment of a waking dream.

I met somebody who lived in a dream once.

Tall Red she was and her golden lands and golden hands shone bright bright bright until I told her I wanted no gold or green and I was not an impostor. My friend helped convince her.

Perhaps I'll go there one day if I find my way out there again, but I can't go there because the other one lives near by with her red sticks and long steps and no no don't go there hush hush little brain don't say a word

hush

shush

small silvergreen

she talks, she does

she has asked something

perhaps you should answer

I respond with a cheerful smile, saying: "No, I don't think there's anything else!"

Small Silvergreen nods. "Very well, then. I must leave, but please feel free to enjoy the gardens of Hakugyoukurou."

She bows to me, and then takes her leave. Once she is gone, I turn to my friend.

So.

Off we go.

We walk through the gardens a bit more, heading south, until eventually we come up against a wall.

This one doesn't talk, and it isn't soft.

Bo~ring.

I climb up a tree ("Shinzetsu," the nameplate reads), and crawl over the branches and

d

o

w

n

we go.

It might be down through air, or down a hill. Down a ladder, or down some stairs. Down, down to goblin-town.

Ho-ho~

We alight upon the ground, once more in sunny Gensokyo.

We never left.

We never returned.

Those are both true, which is the really fun part.

Looking around this place, it seems we've arrived in a more ...moist area of Gensokyo. The grass is greener, more abundant. The ground is a bit more hilly and holey. And there's a House on a Hill.

It seems run-down and old-old. Poor little house.

It doesn't seem local. It's not a normal house, all flat. This one is big and uptall and very foreign. It's what they call "Western."

I've seen a bigger one, even though this one is big.

Hopefully no Silver Dog lives here.

I climb up the little hill, foot over foot hand over hand climb climb climb up to a path of cracked stones and weeds pouring out between them

If I'm lucky

oh so lucky

gonna get lucky tonight

oh

oh

lucky tonight

I try not to shudder at the memory of the green girl's singing.

IF I'M LUCKY

no song no song so long stay away long time

This is my new home

you mean hideout you can't evade her forever

okay a temporary home

for a little while

for a little while.

The path stretches ahead like bones left to dry in the wilderness.

one leg moves

click as the geta touches white stone

carry me up the path

step

and I keep on walking.

A door lies before me. Perhaps it's feeling particularly untruthful, because it doesn't lie, it stands. worn, and beaten, but still sturdy.

I hear music inside.

[ ] Knock
[ ] Sneak~
[ ] Peek!
>> No. 95670
[ ] Sneak~
>> No. 95671
[x] Sneak~
>> No. 95672
[X] Knock
>> No. 95675
This is an excellent story, and you should feel excellent for writing it.

[X] Sneak~
>> No. 95685
[X] Sneak~
>> No. 95749
File 125393740365.jpg - (35.90KB , 562x421 , brody_palace.jpg ) [iqdb]
95749
[x] Sneak~

I could knock. Knock knock knock all day until I'm so good at it I could start selling knocks.

But then my store would get miscategorized as a brothel, and then I'd get into trouble with the city council and eventually be run out of town, tarred and feathered.

Sometimes people call me impulsive. Sometimes people think I'm weird.

I'm only thinking thirty-five steps ahead, is all.

Or perhaps I'm stepping sideways, not ahead.

That's how I'm moving, certainly.

Side side sidle Goodbye door. I'd probably never open that store, standing at the door, knocking away, burning the day

already making rhymes to match the music, how cute

Not with the racket they're making. They'd never hear me, and I'd be doomed to knock forever. I wonder if this has happened before. A kage-onna wouldn't be too surprising to see, since it's a mansion of ghosts

poltergeists

okay, but those are ghosts, right

well sort of

all right, what's the difference

i think they throw things around and get angry

so it's an abusive ghost, then

no, they wait what are you doing

I'm sneaking~

While the inaudible single double imaginary talk happens-didn't happen s ed ing, I stepped away from the porch, back out onto the white path of earth-bones click click I can't go down the chimney and being a saint wouldn't help.

Besides, religion has left a bad taste in my mouth.

It tastes like blood and sounds like screams and smells like fear and feels like pain and looks like a smile

a kind, caring smile

a gentle smile

a warm smile

Then you realize the warmth is the pool of blood you're lying in. Oh hey, that's my blood. So that's why I feel so cold.

Nobody should be smiling at that.

I didn't expect the Viridian Inquisition.

I'm not so stupid as to let this spook me for all of them, though. The stories I've heard about the other one boil down to her punching people in the face until some punchee said they'd stop doing bad things. And then they drink tea.

It's got to be complete nonsense, I'm sure, but I admire its simplicity.

Simplicity is nice.

It makes things calmer and easier. More relaxing, more placid.

A ripe atmosphere~

This mansion is not simple. it is tall and complex and is far, far, far from calm.

The tuba stops, and the sounds of a kazoo replace it briefly. There is shouting, some laughing, and all the instruments fall silent. I hear talking. I hear walking.

...When did I get up on this balcony?

not very tactical at all i want my money back

very funny

I heave myself over the balcony rail, and land lightly

click

And I keep on walking.

quietly

It wouldn't do to be heard.

Footsteps going by pause.

As expected, this won't do.

I hide with my friend, all tight-small-small-innocuous-two-one-where did I go I wonder

He's had lots of practice staying still.

We hide in the corner beside the doors opening onto the balcony. I wouldn't fit there, but my friend hides me.

Very comfortable!

The doors opening onto the balcony become opening doors as they are opened.

A pink blue pale girl looks out, suspiciously. She takes a step out, peering around. Looking this way, and that.

But the only way you can look this way is to look like that.

Pastels are the key.

A small frown. "Hello?"

Nothing answers. Not even me. But I didn't brang anything, not even any girl's song. You can't brang within city limits, there's a law saying so.

That's good for everyone, I think.

A pause. More frowning.

"Hmm."

Then the house retracts her, and she shuts the door.

I wait.

Good.

[ ] Lay low
[ ] Infiltrate!
___________________________________________________________

>>95675
I really hope so.
>> No. 95750
[x] Infiltrate!
>> No. 95762
>quietly
So being on the lam has taught Kogasa how to sneak and hide, so she can actually surprise people now? I guess there's a silver lining to every cloud.

...Even if the cloud is a psychopath who plays children's games with your viscera.

[X] Infiltrate!
>> No. 95765
[X] Infiltrate!
>> No. 95836
>>95762
>...Even if the cloud is a psychopath who plays children's games with your viscera.
Unzan has nothing to do with this. Retract this horrific libel at once.
>> No. 95866
Well, okay.

Writing.
>> No. 95870
File 125401475150.jpg - (127.09KB , 500x333 , tidy ghost or lazy maid you decide.jpg ) [iqdb]
95870
=============================================================

[x] Infiltrate!

I need to get back into practice. Even it doesn't taste the same, I shouldn't let myself get rusty. There shouldn't be any rust in me at all. Except in my eye. And even then it's only a metaphor. Or is it?

I don't know which one's missing.

I am, that's who.

Thumbing my nose at fate, that's a good idea.

Sneaking forward, I poke the doorknob.

Hmm.

It feels old and clunky

a little familiar

don't say lonely

But it feels well-used. How odd.

I turn it a little. I use a little of me to make sure it doesn't creak. It would have.

It's a haunted house, after all~

I step inside. I find myself in a long hallway, with more rooms on the left, and a few rooms, and then some stairs, on the right.

It's a mess. The place looks abandoned and decrepit, mold in spots here and there, broken windows all around. Peeling paint, exposed brickwork, the ceiling has fallen in in places, and yet...

It looks lived-in.

There are little cleared pathways among the tile and wood (and threadbare carpet on the stairs, I think) floor. They seem to have been half-cleaned, half-grown that way, from repeated traffic and occasional nudgings-to-the side of something in the way.

The windows are clear and clean. No mold growing on them, no flyspecks.

There's electric lighting pouring into the hall from one room, and from downstairs-- I don't know how they managed that.

Maybe because the house is just the right mix of real and not real.

I don't think they're modern, though.

The green girl has rather a lot of modern things. She uses them like she's used them all her life.

Some of them were used on me.

Electroshock therapy isn't therapeutic. I don't think it's meant to be administered with a stun gun, either.

Maybe I'm just behind the times.

I look down at myself and my friend.

Yeah, we're behind the times.

But my head is catching up. Silverman has all kinds of books. I stole a few from his pile outside, but I put them back when I was done. I made sure they would be noticed, though.

Things like to be noticed.

This is true and untrue of me at the same time.

Oh look, green girl. I'm straddling the fence.

I snicker to myself and then cut it off. I'm supposed to be sneaking~

Which way, then?

[ ] Merge left ⇨
[ ] ⇦ Keep right

___________________________________________________________________

Yes, there is a reason for it.

No, not the choices.
>> No. 95873
[x] Merge left ⇨
>> No. 95879
[x] Merge left ⇨
>> No. 95881
[x] Merge left
>> No. 95882
[X] ⇦ Merge left

Maybe a write-in will do something interesting~
>> No. 95883
[X] ⇦ Keep right

Maintain current heading for three miles.
>> No. 95897
>>95882
Oh, you're just adorable, you know that?
>> No. 95898
[X] Merge left ⇨
>> No. 95990
Called, writing.

I'm sorry for starting late.
>> No. 96008
Correction: writing tomorrow afternoon, probably.
>> No. 96052
File 125417324699.jpg - (139.19KB , 500x493 , THERE IS ONLY ONE LIT ROOM.jpg ) [iqdb]
96052
[⇨] Merge Left

Left is good. Thinking is better than faith.

The green girl might actually give pause had she heard me say that. Or she would look at me funny, and cut off the other quadricep.

Sometimes I really don't think she's on this side of the fence at all. Maybe someone used some bad fertilizer, and now she's growing a different green on the wrong side. The fence doesn't work that way, though.

...I think I just contradicted myself. It's a good thing there's nobody to see me do that; such behavior would be scandalous.

Speaking of people to see...

I move in a sinister way, with no evil in my motions

step

hop over a pile of bricks

--tap-tap

tap

and I keep on walking.

...Hmm.

I move carefully through the hallway, the elevation of mid-day sun lighting the hall where it pours in through broken windows and empty windows.

How do windows break if nobody is around to break them? This doesn't seem like the kind of place thoughtless little shits with no respect for the property of others

i'm fond of clipping the little bastards across the shin

back of the head sends a more direct message actually

can't do it near their parents though

true

would come with rocks and whatnot. Besides, nobody would disturb a haunted house with actual ghosts

poltergeists

whatever

I reach the first door. Carefully reach out to try the knob don't pull the door now no sense in stealing an opportunity

Unlocked.

Okay, good.

I slowly, carefully open it.

No creaking. These ghosts have funny ideas about maintenance.

I peek in first. Seems unlit. I open it a bit wider, and light from the windows brightens the inside a bit.

A small, amazingly clean room with what looks like a heavy-duty birdbath attached to a block with a lid, and a different, higher birdbath with no water, a faucet and a mirror above it.

Oh.

This is a western bathroom, isn't it? I read about them in Silverman's books, but I've never actually seen one with my own eyes. The traffic lights have only been in Japan.

It seems more comfortable, though.

Now, there should be... ah, there it is.

A long, huge trough, and yes, there are the handles and the faucet.

People seem to get killed in these a lot, but if you're already dead, I guess you don't have to worry about that sort of thing.

I'll have to be careful.

Leaving the bathroom, I carefully shut the door behind me, and sneak down the hall to the next door.

It's open, and brighter light pours out of it.

I step carefully closer.

click

tap

Ah, somebody's still trying to beat me at my own game, aren't they?

The jig is up, then.

That's no good at all~

I turn, facing behind in front of but it was behind a moment ago but not anymore, flashing a smile at the person there.

...How odd. Are these ghosts invisible? I should be able to see them

poltergeists show themselves through their actions, not with human presence

but everything in Gensokyo looks human

i've always wondered why that is

i wouldn't know maybe ask one of t

A flash of pink blue grinning curls of madness leaps at me from above no wonder I couldn't see her and bears me to the ground, driving the breath out of my lungs as we land on the floor.

I had an arm out in time to break my fall to keep from knocking the traffic lights askew, but I find myself frozen as I regard my assailant.

A girl, shorter than me, but grinning fiercely at nothing in front of her straddles me, holding a trumpet in one hand. It's shiny almost like a mirror like silver but no dogs or men here but the man did have some at his store that's how I know what it is

dammit

She got me.

She leans forward, looming over me a little. Curly pale blue hair almost white falls over her closed eyes. She takes in a deep breath, and lets it out. Another, and out, almost ragged.

She leans more forward, hands slamming to the floor the trumpet's still in the air, though with a thud, and shouts at me as her eyes fly open, wide and furious.

"I REMEMBER EVERYTHING!"

Her eyes take on a hollow, almost haunted

ha

hush

look and her voice drops down in volume and takes on this feeling as well.

"I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday." Her head tilts back a little, as if recalling memories. "I was barely seventeen, and I once killed a man with a B-flat trumpet."

Her head lolls to the side, gaze going with it.

"I don't remember if it was a Getzen or a Yamaha, but I do remember that it had a heart of silver, and a voice like a hungry ghost!"

Her expression grows agitated.

"I don't remember if it was a Getzen or a Yamaha, but I do remember that it

wasn't

at all

easy."

She turns back towards me, and looms a little closer with each of those last words. A pair of bricks rise from the rubble behind her as her voice grows more animated and dives deeper into madness.

"It required a precise combination of the right notes, and the precise times at which to breathe!"

The two bricks are smashed back into the pile by an unseen hand as she shouts the end of her sentence.

"The trumpet bled for about a week aft-- Ow!"

A black-sleeved hand reaches over my head and slaps Pinkblue Madness upside the head, eliciting a cry of surprise and an indignant look as her lunatic tirade is interrupted.

"You're bothering the burglar, Merlin," says a calm, entirely level voice. I assume it belongs to the Black Hand of Slap.

"She's a burglar? I thought she was here to audition!" Pinkblue Madness looks back at Black Hand of Slap, who must be standing behind me. I crane my head to look back at her. It doesn't involve herons or construction, so it's an easy thing to do.

She looks sort of like Pinkblue Madness who rides atop me without moving, but goes in for black rather than pink, and shoulder-length blonde hair frames a serious face which holds no emotion. Aside from seriousness, but she does it without looking frowny. Neutral, more like.

She tilts her head slightly. "We've already got one singer who does fine. Why would we have more auditions?"

"I dunno."

They both look down at me, after a beat.

[ ] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[ ] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead
[ ] Oh god how did I get here I am not good with mansion

___________________________________________________________________

Stupid or not, I've wanted to do that for a while now.
>> No. 96070
[x] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead

Let's hope they're nice enough to let us stay for a time.

But luckily we're outside Sanae's area of knowledge so we can at least relax for a bit before running again.

Though I think the best hope would be the temple if it's up.
>> No. 96080
[X] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[X] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead

Despite her experiences so far, Kogasa seems to have a remarkable amount of sanity left (or at least a remarkable ability to fake it around other people); let's use it and make a good first impression before begging for asylum.

>>96070
The temple is a good idea, but depending on how the games are interpreted, Sanae's probably beaten Byakuren once and could potentially do so again. I'm really interested in how Sanae removed Reimu as an option for escape, since it seems like the only way to end this is to find someone strong enough to beat Sanae herself.
>> No. 96093
>>96080

Well I think Reimu might not take fondly to weak youkai, since it's believed she's only friendly towards the strong ones.

As far as the temple, I think attacking a known place in the village would be troublesome, since it's also said that her temple is a popular place with both Youkai and humans.

And I doubt Sanae would have much luck with Byakuren, Nue, and Shou bearing down on her. Also Nue could use her power to hide Kogasa if she wanted.

Sakuya most likely perceived Kogasa as an intruder... and we all know how kindly she takes those.

Youkai mountain is a no good (Sanae knows that area, and the Tengu would also make things diffcult.)

there might be a chance underground, but Sanae knows that area pretty well, and again there's the matter of how the underground youkai would perceive her or if they'd sell her out.

There's the bamboo forest, but it's not easy to get through that (and who knows if Mokou would even help a Youkai like her), she might have a nice chance in Eientei, since I don't think Sanae can get through easily, and I doubt that Mokou in this case would let her through without good reason.

There's Yuuka's area, but that's a major longshot, since who knows how Yuuka would welcome her.
>> No. 96097
File 125418915171.jpg - (136.06KB , 1273x999 , kogasa_yuuka2.jpg ) [iqdb]
96097
>>96093
Two members of the Umbrella Alliance? Surely they would be the best of friends.
>> No. 96201
Unless some more votes come in the next 2-4 hours when I can (hopefully) get to writing, I'm calling it.

Also, in retrospect, I think there was supposed to be a third "help me" in there. The rhyme doesn't flow as well without it. No big deal, though.

Go read Fallout or Disco while you're waiting if you haven't already.
>> No. 96202
[0] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead
>> No. 96204
[ODIN] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[ODIN] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead

I don't know why, but crazy scared Kogasa is goddamn adorable.

And yeah, the verse doesn't flow as well without the third repetition unless you use a really strange inflection.
>> No. 96214
[x] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[x] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead
>> No. 96215
[x] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[x] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead
>> No. 96227
[X] Oh god how did I get here I am not good with mansion

This has been a fun read so far. thanks.
>> No. 96327
[x] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[x] Help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead
>> No. 96338
File 125433103126.jpg - (62.00KB , 384x640 , Black Hand of Slap.jpg ) [iqdb]
96338
Okay, wasn't entirely expecting the tide to change this way. Hoping for, a little, but not expecting.

>>96204
Thought so. Do you know that nursery rhyme, though?

-----------------------------------------------

[x] Burglar? I don't even know'er!
[x] Help me / help me / help me / she said / Before the green girl shoots me dead

"So, can you sing basso or something?"

Pinkblue Madness looks back down at me inquisitively as she asks this.

"...Merlin." Black Hand of Slap says only her name, but in a reminding patiently impatient stop screwing around voice.

"I don't think so. I'm not a good singer." This reply of mine is mostly the truth. The green girl calls my screams wonderful music, but her opinion doesn't count. It doesn't spell, either. It's a very useless opinion. "I'm not a burglar, either."

Pinkblue Madness looks down at me, a little irritated now.

"You can't sing, you can't burgle, and you can't detect a hiding ghost. What the hell can you do? I want my money's worth, dammit."

"...Merlin."

I look back again. Black Hand of Slap does not look at all irritated, but her voice carries an edge on the last syllable. It's an edge that makes you edge away from someone lest they be pushed to the edge and kick you over it. Edgy.

"Whaaaat?" Pinkblue Madness does sound irritated. "She gypped me, Lunasa."

"Merlin." Ah, over the edge and cut by the edge. "Why don't you go help Lyrica with lunch."

It's very much not a question.

"Fiiiiiiine." Pinkblue Madness gets up off of me, brushing the dust off her self, and steps over me, before turning to jab a finger in my direction. "You're getting off easy, you talentless..." She studies me up and down, and doesn't seem to know where to start. "...person, you!" Ah, what a lame finish~

She huffs, and goes back down the hall the way I came, past the balcony, and then down the stairs. Her trumpet follows along obediently behind her, bob-bob-bobbing-aran in the air.

"You can get up now." The other poltergeist

see i knew you could do it

i mean ghost

too late now

dammit

says to me.

I get up, brushing myself off. My friend shakes himself off a few times as well.

"I guess it makes sense you're not a burglar," Black Hand of Slap muses. "Nobody comes here by accident, and any thief who did come here wouldn't give this place a second glance."

Her thoughtful gaze turns to me, focusing in on me hard and sharp and now is the time for all good men to not lie to the party.

I don't have a typewriter but I think I'm working just fine. I answer the unasked question.

"The wall told me to come here."

"...The wall?"

"The cloudy thing that isn't real that's next to the stairs leading to Pink Heaven."

She pauses a moment, making things more confusing for herself by trying to follow thoughts in a straight line before deciding that it would make more sense to follow the path that's there, not the one that should be there.

Is that normal?

It's normal for her, but: is it normal for me?

Did I always do that?

no

then help me out when i talk to people

too busy with you

d'awww

I think you misinterpreted that

and on purpose no less~

"...You actually sought formal entrance into the Netherworld?" Black Hand of Slap took only a few seconds to piece it together, but she's back on this twisty track.

"Yep~"

"Huh." Her voice takes on a thoughtful tone again. "I didn't think anyone actually bothered, anymore. We certainly don't. There are enough holes and weak points in it that it's basically open to anyone."

I say nothing. I smile a little, though.

"...Well, if you were referred here, there must be a good reason. But it's lunchtime, so won't you join us?"

"Certainly. Do you greet all burglars this way?"

We walk down the hall, and her reply comes back in that same level, calm voice.

"Yes, and then we poison them."

I am silent for a moment.

"It's a joke, miss Burglar."

I'm broken out of my reverie. "Oh, I'm sorry, yes. I guessed as much. I was just thinking, though, that it would come across as something of a rather large shock to them. It's a splendid idea."

Black Hand of Slap looks at me when I say this, but only lifts an eyebrow; no other change in her demeanor.

We arrive at the staircase, a broad, wide thing. It seems it must have been quite grand back when it was grand. It looks perfect for running up and down. It is... grand.

Or was. It's clean, but cracked, weathered, and old. A worn red carpet still goes down the middle of it. It's bare in places, and faded, but it's still whole.

They know how to die in style, it seems.

We reach the bottom, and turn left, away from a large, wide main hall lined in dirty, rubble-covered white marble. It's not lit by electric lights at all: the sun peeks through down here, too, most prominently from a large skylight.

And then the Sky Light shines its beams through a large glass window designed to let in sunlight.

It's not redundancy, just making it handicap-accessible. Balanced Head Nice Blue talked about this sort of thing once. it had something to do with ramps and big big words (not long, big), but sometimes people like a shortcut instead of switchbacks. Unlike a mountain, the switchbacks aren't good in headwords or outwords.

We enter a room with a long table dominated by the huge, ancient chandelier which smashed into the far end at some point. Pinkblue Madness and another girl in red with short, sharp brown hair are setting out a tray of white triangle things and something that looks like ramen, but much more soup than noodle and a lot more boring-looking, in fact. It smells nice, though. And different.

Little Red murmurs something to Pinkblue, who nods, and walks out of the room. She looks up as we enter, and smiles at Black Hand of Slap, and then looks

I've seen this look before when I don't know I wasn't there but it's the kind of look that thinks a lot very fast and very long very short she likes to think I think

a rich emperor has two colors

why is that relevant? I'm walking on switchbacks again

in my direction.

I have a feeling she's going to be the one asking the questions.

I can't say forty-two, though. It's not as good a catch-all as it was made out to be.

She smiles, and gestures for us to sit.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I started on this later than I wanted to, and then I couldn't post it in time.
There is more to come, as well.

>>96227
It makes me feel all fuzzy inside to hear that. Thank you.
>> No. 96358
At least Keine seems nice form what Kogasa remembers.

This Kogasa seems rather sharp and quirky. (42 being a catch all is a funny notion)
>> No. 96418
I have the update written, but I'm not entirely satisfied with it. Still a little unsure about it, but I don't think I have nearly enough writefag credits accumulated to get to the point where all the readers would reply to this with "Hey, forget that, just post it already." I'm pretty sure I'm still in the DON'T FUCK IT UP, FAGGOT stage, so I'm going to run it by a few other people first to see if it's as hashed as I feel it is.

I should have it out tomorrow some time.

I'm very sorry about this.

Again.
>> No. 96478
File 125442339947.jpg - (68.16KB , 580x684 , Cunning pours off her in waves_ WAVES I TELL YOU.jpg ) [iqdb]
96478
Pinkblue Madness returns, and we take our seats at the table. Dust covers most of it except for the first twelve feet from this end.

The Black Hand of Slap takes the plate of white triangles and holds it out to me, offering it rather than passing it along. I'm supposed to take one, it seems.

Looking at them from the side, the triangles seem like colorful rock strata. The edges of the white layers are thin and brown. Between each brown-edged white layer is some kind of filling, presumably edible. Some are smooth white chunks in a gold mush. Some have what looks like more glassy, fibrous cabbage alongside something dark that seems like thin meat. Some have what looks like some kind of slightly pale brown-pink fishy-smelling stuff that's been chopped and shredded a few times.

Hesitating for a few moments, I tentatively take one with the maybe-meat and not-cabbage and set it in front of me, on my plate.

I don't remember having a plate there.

Black Hand of Slap takes one white-and-gold triangle and one shredded probably-fish triangle, and passes the tray across to Pinkblue Madness, who takes one of each. She, in turn, hands it to Little Red who sits at the head of the table. She takes a pair of gold-and-white triangles, and then sets it back down in between us.

Pinkblue Madness takes a small bowl from in front of her, and ladles golden noodle-and-something soup from the large bowl into it. Little wisps of steam and pleasant smells rise from the large bowl as she takes each girl's bowl in turn, and repeats the process.

While she does so, Little Red speaks to me for the first time.

"Welcome to Prismriver Manor, miss. Merlin tells me you wanted our autographs."

Pinkblue Madness finally takes my bowl, fills it, and hands it back.

I don't recall having a bowl, either.

I ponder this pair of ponderable things.

"I don't think I do. Are they valuable?"

Little Red smirks. Black Hand of Slap picks up one of her triangles and bites into it, chewing thoughtfully.

"Not exactly. Most of the die-hard fans who really want one already have them. However, this raises a question: Why are you here?"

There's a light clink clink clink clink sound that travels around the table and a flash of something metal. I look around, and then down, and notice a spoon in the bowl, still wobbling slightly after having been neatly placed into it.

Pinkblue Madness notices my puzzlement, and says, through a chewed mouthful of pink-and-brown, " 'at's just the cook show'n off. Sh' 'ikes to play 'round 'ith new people." She's already mostly done with her second triangle.

Black Hand of Slap looks at Pinkblue Madness, and sighs quietly. Still no change in expression.

I think I was being asked something.

Oh.

Right.

"I am here because I was told to seek you out."

Little Red's eyebrows lift. "Oh? By whom?"

"She came into the Netherworld through one of the older tangential sections of the Boundary. The wall suggested us to her." Black Hand of Slap interjects. Little Red nods, and takes a bite of triangle, and chews, looking at nothing in particular for a moment.

"You're on the run, then, or moving in secret for some reason." she says, finally. She's saying, not asking. "You want shelter, or some kind of business with us."

Well.

That saved some time. She's good.

"I'm being hunted," I say. "She searches for me every night. No matter how far I run, it seems that I can't hide forever. She finds me sooner or later, and then it's back we go to the land of horrors in and under home and hearth."

The table has gone mostly quiet while I pause and try to remember without remembering too hard because even a memory hurts

especially with as many as I have

too many

too many

"...Over the last six months, I have not stayed alive for longer than eleven days in a row."

Ah, that got their attention.

Little Red is eating her soup, but almost mechanically, and her gaze is focused on me. Black Hand of Slap is absolutely still. Pinkblue Madness is frozen, almost about to eat the last bite of her last triangle.

You would think dead people wouldn't be so shocked by death, but here they are, doing it.

Or maybe it's sympathy? Or empathy. I get the two confused sometimes.

This being the first time, but it's still some time. One time.

Little Red speaks, carefully: "...Who is hunting you, exactly?"

Pinkblue Madness chews once, slowly.

I think she thinks I'm crazy.

Well, she's right, but it's more fear crazy, not delusional crazy.

i'm not crazy am i

no, talking to a voice only you can hear is perfectly normal

you're making fun of me, aren't you

a little bit

not the best time for it

don't worry, you're fine. besides, i'm not really interested in having you do my bidding

there's something very wrong with me, isn't there

understatement of the year

you're still good to have around, you know

aw, you'll make me blush

how would i notice

how cold

Back to the matter at hand. The triangle, which is rather soft and fluffy. The colorful parts inside smell good.

Back to the subject on the table at the moment. But I haven't been talking about the chandelier.

Back to back, I never shut up, except when I die.

Oh right, somebody's killing me.

"She's the green girl who lives up high--" I pantomime long skirts, and long hair "--And she lives on top of the up and up and up on the rock."

I place a flattened fist above my left ear for a second, then make a twirling, coiling downward motion by my left temple.

I hear a voice singing, somewhere in the house. Perhaps it's the cook. She isn't silent at all.

Little Red gets it first. She says nothing, but her eyes widen, and there is a short intake of breath. She slowly puts down her spoon and leans back in her chair.

Pinkblue Madness is next, oddly, and lets out a slow, dragged out, "Ffffffffuuuuuuuuuck."

The Black Hand of Slap is right behind her, and looks back and forth between them, frowns, and then says, softly, "...Oh."

Little Red looks up at me, finally. "Did you kill someone?"

"Not in the last seventeen years," I reply. It's the truth. The number will have to be reset if I ever find my way back to the red house with some time to kill

how long did you spend coming up with that one

only a few days

but I don't think I should mention this.

She looks at me for a moment longer, then back at the other two. Some kind of unspoken question goes between them.

Little Red looks back at me. She doesn't look crafty or sly, now. Just serious. And worried.

"We'll let you stay overnight for at least tonight, but you and I need to talk some more, later. For now, though, please feel free to eat, sleep, bathe... You look like you could use all three, honestly."

It's not an insult. It's the truth.

[ ] nom
[ ] splash
[ ] zzz

______________________________________________________________

Only pussies don't eat the crusts.

Also, I hated writing this update. If it doesn't feel right, I'm sorry.
>> No. 96481
You're doing fine. I should have read this sooner.

[Q] splash

A bath is a good way to relax.
>> No. 96483
[x] splash

I think we'd have time to relax some.

I wonder if we might find out more on why Kogasa is so poorly detested in places. I wonder if Kogasa accidentally spooked someone to death.
>> No. 96484
>then help me out when i talk to people
>too busy with you
>d'awww
>I think you misinterpreted that

>not the best time for it
>don't worry, you're fine. besides, i'm not really interested in having you do my bidding

If I ever have a psychotic break, I hope the voices in my head are this awesome.

[X] splash
>> No. 96487
[X] splash
Must have been a while since Kogasa had a proper bath. Getting relaxed might help her a lot.
>> No. 96488
[x] splash
>> No. 96498
So, unanimous Bobby Darin choice?

Writing, then.
>> No. 96656
[X] nom

unanimous votes are boring.
>> No. 96692
File 12545724881.jpg - (240.12KB , 1024x768 , pretend this is on the second floor.jpg ) [iqdb]
96692
>>96656
Taken into consideration.

----------------------------------------------------

[≋] splash

A bath sounds nice. A bath. The syllables flow nicely.

And the idea of bathing appeals to me, as well. I haven't taken one since my days of stealing household fixtures. It was a lot of work, but the reactions were priceless. And I think the last time I bathed was a few days before the green girl caught up with me last.

The pond was clean and clear but colder than Blue Fairy's danmaku or Forkpin Mother's breath. Cold things.

I got clean, but then the green girl dirtied me up again. I don't know how my clothes come back when I do. Part of being a youkai, perhaps? They don't mend as fast as skin and organs and bones and muscle do, though. Most of the damage comes from my own travels and from fighting against her. When she takes me up and in and down, she strips me down because it's easier to get to me that way.

It places me a little closer to my old side of the fence when she does that, I think, but only a little hop. It doesn't help much against her shoving me in her direction.

But it's one thing I can cling to and I never say anything about it no matter how many times the knife goes in, comes out, glides across my skin, parting it with the red river parade behind it. You can taunt your enemies, but when you know you have no escape and they have nothing but time, it's best to not make it worse.

"A bath sounds lovely, I think." I look at my food, untouched, feeling a little guilty.

The Black Hand of Slap notices this, and says quietly, "We'll put it in the fridge for you, so don't worry about it." My confused expression prompts her to explain a little further, "It's a box in the kitchen that keeps food cool and fresh for longer periods of time."

"Oh! One of the white winterboxes? Thank you, then!" I've seen them at Silverman's. Some are outside in the piles, but he has a few inside. He keeps pretty-colored liquid in not-glass bottles in them, and food, too. I never knew what it was called.

"I'll show her to the bathroom." Pinkblue Madness stands up, and makes such an offer. It's rather unexpected of her.

I follow the girl up the stairs and back down the hall to... oh.

"I've been here before," I tell her. "You've got one of those Western-style bathrooms."

"I know you have. I was watching you, after all. But you don't know where you'll be staying the night, do you?"

"Ooh... nope, didn't get that far." Pinkblue Madness must have found this funny, because she laughs after I say it.

Still chuckling, she leads me down the hall a little ways further, past two more rooms, and around a bend. A few more rooms, another bend, a few more rooms, and my blood is going to get bubbles in it if I turn any more corners.

Finally, we arrive at the end of the hall, and she opens a door on the right. It opens up into a smallish but clean room. Clean as this place generally gets, at least, which means somebody probably sweeps the dust off it once a week and most of the rubble has all been pushed to one corner of the room.

My friend points out a few other things to me: the windows are all intact and clean, there is both electrical and conventional lighting in place, the bed looks rather large and nice, and the carpet on the floor doesn't seem very old at all.

so this is the guest room

can't think of why else it would look so nice compared to everything else

i could've guessed that's what it was because they're putting a guest in it, too

entirely true, but beside the point

sometimes it's like you think like me

god forbid

That's not an insult, coming from him. By being me outside of me, he's allowed me to stay more of me than what I feel like. It's an incredibly terrifying moment when you discover you're less of yourself than you think you are. It's not like bits are falling off of me or disappearing. They just move a little more to the green girl's side of the fence.

Even the most dim youkai

airplane?

how rude of you

knows when she's becoming less of herself.

"So... yeah." Pinkblue Madness turns back to me after opening the door, and gestures at its interior. "This is one of the guest rooms. We try to keep 'em really nice for company, as you can kinda see, so don't party too hard and trash the place or whatever you groupie freaks like doing."

I look at my friend. He smiles back at me. There's two of us. I suppose that does makes us a group, but I don't know if that's what she meant.

"The guest bathroom is the second door on your right as you go back out into the hall. Towels and stuff should be in there. You, uh... you want some new clothes?" Pinkblue Madness eyes my slightly-less-tattered-but-it's-not-obvious-for-someone-who's-only-known-me-for-about-an-hour apparel.

"Nope, they'll be fine," I reply, waving away her concerns. I look down at them, thinking for a moment. "Although... they could use a bit of a wash. I guess as long as I'm somewhere nice like this..." I look back up. "Do you have a place I could clean them?"

Pinkblue Madness grins. "We've got somebody for that. Just leave them somewhere, and she'll pick 'em up."

I nod, and we go back into the hall, and to the bathroom. I step in, and Pinkblue Madness reaches in behind me and calm down no need to beware of Dog flips a little something on a plate by the wall. 'Light switches,' right?

The illumination reveals a bathroom a little larger than the first one I saw. I was going to ask why we didn't go there, but that bathroom-in-training must have just been a normal one. This one is all nice and big and posh for guests, or at least as posh as things in this house can get: The tile, the birdbath things, and the big big tub with two faucets (one high and one low). One of the birdbaths is off to the left, and the other must be around the corner inside. There's a big white dresser sort of thing, too.

"You know how everything works, so if you don't need anything more, I'll be back downstairs." She goes to leave, before I stop her.

I bow once, deeply.

"Thank you very much, Miss Madness. You really don't know how much this means to me. I am eternally grateful for the aid and shelter you and the other girls are providing me. If there's anything I can do for you, I'll try my best to do it."

She seems taken aback for a moment, then embarrassed, then confused. I can't see her, being in mid-bow, but my friend tells me this.

"Oh, it's no-- well, it's def-- But we're not expec-- ...wait, um. Thank you? But... 'Miss Madness'? Is this because of earlier? I only do that when... you know, we go out and perform, and... Er. Just enjoy the damn bath, okay?"

The pastel girl hustles out of the room, closing the door behind her. I giggle, and then begin to undress.

I look around as I disrobe. I was right: around the corner from the door, out of sight, is the... 'toilet,' I think it's called --there's the handle and everything.

My friend has a seat on the middle level of the tabletops and watches me undress. Nothing scandalous about it. It's like worrying if the person in the mirror who looks like you might be thinking dirty thoughts about you.

...Although if you're feeling frisky, they might be.

I haven't felt ...frisky... in a while. That thing about living on the edge of uncertainty of whether or not you'll die tomorrow being a powerful source of arousal? Having been living that edge for around half a year straight, I can say with certainty that it's mostly bullshit.

...Mostly.

you're blushing now aren't you

good luck finding out

I stick my tongue out at him, and then pull off my shirt the rest of the way. I set it and the rest of my clothing down on the upper level of the dresser between the other birdbath thing and the bathtub, and approach the latter.

Hmm.

Now, from what I remember, there are supposed to be two knobs on either side of the faucet, but... there's only one, here. No, wait, there's a second, but that's tiny... hmm. And there's no drain plug to pull out. And a handle sort of thing underneath the faucet.

And and and and and and how does this work?

Perhaps it's a psychic bathtub, or maybe a kanbari-nyuudou sits behind the wall and takes care of everything? It's the least it could do after watching me undress.

I look a little closer at the handle above the faucet. There's what looks like a sideways エ on one side and a backwards つ on the other. I have no idea what they mean. Perhaps this is some sort of artistic bath fixture?

I look around at the rest of the bathroom. No, I don't think these people get too into fancy pointless things. I turn back to the handle.

Oh, wait. It's a traffic light, too. But I think it means hotness, I think. I think? I do.

I turn it towards the red stripe and the funny sideways エ, and... nothing. I wiggle it back and forth, and-- oh, it's like that? You have to pull it, it seems. I do so, and a lot of water comes pouring out of the faucet.

Yay~

I clap my hands a little, having bested this tricky gaijin contraption.

After a minute or so, I begin to think I celebrated too early. The water's only pooling a little, and it's going right down the drain in short order.

Time to poke something else, then. This handle thing seems pointed down. Perhaps that tells the water which way to go? I don't see a drain plug, and I don't think one would work anyway, since this drain has metal holes over it.

Or the holes are made of air, and the circle is made of metal.

Don't get me started on butterfly dreams.

I reach out and poke~ the handle. It gives a little. So I don't want the water going down. Then... up?

poke~

...Aha. The guttural gurgling stops immediately, and the water stops going down. After a bit, the water level begins to rise.

Satisfied, I stand up, and look around the room, which is beginning to fog up.

Now, when I was reading, I'd assumed they just glossed over the wash-before-you-bathe step, but I don't see any such area. Shrugging a little, I accept this oversight in foreign design. It's a lot more than I've had recently, so I can't complain.

A few minutes later, the tub is filled about right, and I push the handle back in, shutting off the water. Then, I gingerly climb into the tub, letting out a happy sigh as I submerge myself in the hot water.

I drift for a little while.

away

still here

not going very far

but away enough to not care for a little while

while

the fog hangs on the ceiling

I relax.

I haven't been able to do this in so long.

It feels good.

Very good.

The door opens.

Hot water without, ice water within.

[ ] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.
[ ] Have you ever simply tried... talking to them?
-( ) Hail the incoming vessel and give us a visual, Ensign.
-( ) Be cool, Honey-bunny. Just be cool.
-( ) I'm not crazy! I'm too rich to be crazy. I'm eccentric!
[ ] All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai.

________________________________________

Did you know that the only reason separate hot/cold knobs still exist on faucets is because they're easier to make than sensible single-handle faucets? I hate them.

Also, I can't believe there's no water drop/teardrop thing in Unicode. There's got to be one, right? Even if it only looks like one, that would've done just fine.
Oh well. This works pretty well, too.

So sorry that this is so late. I planned to have it up by this evening at the worst, and then plans got planned elsewhere.
>> No. 96695
[X] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.
>> No. 96696
[x] Have you ever simply tried... talking to them?
-(x) Hail the incoming vessel and give us a visual, Ensign.

Figuring out who's in the bathroom. Umbrella crazy moe.

I don't know if I said this before, but the notion of Sanae charging into the temple to go after Kogasa would be bad PR for her shrine. Since humans also go to that temple, and if they see a crazed shrine maiden out for youkai blood in a safe haven for them; they'll think less of her.
>> No. 96734
>airplane?
>how rude of you
I don't get this one.

[X] Have you ever simply tried... talking to them?
-(X) Be cool, Honey-bunny. Just be cool.

It's probably the laundry poltergeist, so getting a visual may not be possible or wise, given the cook's reaction.
>> No. 96740
[x] Have you ever simply tried... talking to them?
-(x) Hail the incoming vessel and give us a visual, Ensign.
>> No. 96786
[x] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.
>> No. 96790
[x] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.
>> No. 96791
[x] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.
>> No. 96798
File 125463740290.gif - (32.23KB , 380x370 , VRRRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMMM.gif ) [iqdb]
96798
[X] Have you ever simply tried... talking to them?
-(x) Be cool, Honey-bunny. Just be cool.

Kogasa once moonlighted as Samuel L. Jackson's umbrella. You can tell because she is purple, and has "Bad Motherfucker" written on her.
Where, exactly, is a closely-guarded secret.

>>96734
>>dim youkai
>>airplane?

?
>> No. 96811
File 125464264948.jpg - (766.48KB , 900x900 , b7a422fee8f4b4cb5c35f7703609e18f.jpg ) [iqdb]
96811
Think we're going to get revenge any time soon?
>> No. 96814
[X] All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai. All work and no play makes ______ a dull youkai.

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERES YUKARI!!!
>> No. 96835
Voting won't close until at least when I'm on a wireless bus if in fact such things exist and jesus it's 5:34 am.
Also went to see Dethklok in concert. As expected it was fucking metal.

>>96798
>picture
Good, somebody has been using their thinking.
>> No. 96850
Okay, called for stealth bathing.
>> No. 96929
File 125471787468.jpg - (674.26KB , 900x750 , Hi there don't mind me looking at your wet n.jpg ) [iqdb]
96929
[☄] Its vision is based on movement. It can't see us if we stay still.

I chill.

No relaxing here; far from it.

I freeze up.

The green girl has caught me entirely off-guard a few times before and I've found myself unable to run, unable to do anything. I see her coming, and I want to run, I know I need to run, fight, escape, do something.

But all I can seem to do is watch her lovely, smiling face walk closer and closer.

It's absurd.

I don't know how or why.

This has happened before, back when I used to hunt on my own for my own. I had to do it just right, and it was only certain kinds of

but I haven't done that in a long time now, even before I crossed the fence

I don't like doing it

not if it talks

...When I did, though, it was so beautifully easy to pick them off.

Perhaps the shades of different shades of green haunt me when she finds me unprepared.

I have plenty of shades around me now.

There's a

Click.

of heeled shoes on tile. Western ones; it's a smaller sound, more like a

-click-

I find a little warmth: the green girl doesn't wear heels.

I look over to the door, which has opened wider. Part of a long blue dress is visible, obscured by white frills over and the door before. In another second, it brings more of its owner poking in, looking in.

"You can't make raisins like that."

Hmm.

"You have to dry them, you know. You get wrinkled, but it ends in nothing but tears and another body to get rid of."

The voice would be nice if it didn't sound like a person that's thinking about being impatient. The tap tap tap and the darting eyes seep into the voice, even if they're happy to wait. It's a different sort of broken, but maybe more like a crack in the glass.

The head that holds the mouth that uses the lips is covered in gold and a large white hat. Maybe it's pink. It's the color of old, faded cherry blossoms. White or pink, yes?

I think so. I think--

She looks around, birdlike, twitch dart peek.

-click click-

and in she comes.

Definitely not the green girl.

Besides, I think--

I then notice the rest of her clothes.

A different sort of warmth suffuses me. A flash of wanting to kill someone with every fiber of your being.

Not silver, but a golden dog. Gold and white.

Her clothing is older. It looks crisp and clean, but older in style.

And, because I think--

--I exist--

--that's not the same as being real. You can make the same argument for either side or different arguments about the same side.

And that's why I think how I can tell--

--she's quite unreal.

The warmth of anticipation of blood fades, replaced by warmth returning to me and me-and-me and the very me.

She steps over to the clothes on the split-tabletops, picks them up, moves them back, and hops up onto the smooth white surface.

White and white, and yet no blend. Will it? It doesn't. Too much blue and gold and maybe-pink.

She crosses one long stocking-clad leg over the other and white sheer fabric sounds like a soft smooth noise as they touch and leans back on arms propping her up. More long white over her arms but no rub and they don't make a sound-sound. Her head turns a little towards me, and her eyes turn the rest of the way.

I don't know what to say. Or do.

So: I don't.

She eyes me for a minute, doing nothing. We keep this at each of us with the looking and the not saying not moving further and then without a change in posture she whips out one long-white-gloved arm and smashes it with the back of a clenched hand and it shatters and there's a crash and a clatter and now she looks at me, wide and alive and the two together make wild.

The grin on her face matches it. I've seen something like it on the red lips of the green girl and never on the red lips of Tall Red but my friend told me later he could feel it wanted to escape.

I flinch.

I feel a little humiliated at being bested once again at this but.

If I'm right.

That's why I read about the girls and their kind and by definition most of the sort of people here in this Grey Area.

I'm humiliated, but I take ever loss and it becomes a learning experience and another item in my repertoire.

It's a tiny bit colder, now, but it's the outside cold, not the inside cold. I drift a little lower in the bath. The red on my cheeks is only from the heat, then.

"A? Ah. Ah ha-ha~ ha! ha. haha- - -"

White Opening giggles a strange, disjointed, laugh that doesn't jar the ears but makes you nervous.

"You aaaaare alive. Extra good is being had today by all the people worth enough of a damn to pay the shipping cost. So it's good! See-seesee, I thought maybe you were just one'a them thing that looks like, uh, people n' ya know, whatsit, a, a , a , thingthing you use it when hunting, sorta looks like--- no wait, no, I'm thinking of the sex ones. What? Don't interrupt."

I haven't said anything.

"Anyway. But you isain't that, sohoho-ho-o.... you're alive. How's it feel to be outnumbered 4 to one c'mon spell it out lady there you go! Surrounded on all sides by the spirits of the tormented and the damned? Doooooo tell."

She leans over slowly as she drags that word out, and looks at me, still grinning the smile. But I think now it's a little different from the green girl's smile.

"...I'm not particularly worried," I say, honestly. The dead don't frighten me nearly as much as the living.

"You are not? How brave of you, dear. Perhaps your courage is due largely in part to your youkai nature: one fantastic creature sees nothing fantastic in its reflection, no?" Her tone changes, her posture shifts a little. A lot. She seems more thoughtful, more refined in her movements and speech.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is some kind of bad acting, or more and more likely, if this person is in fact entirely all there.

i'm not going to say a single thing

damn right you aren't

"That makes a little sense," I reply, carefully.

"Does it?" she replies airily. "How fortunate. I only now came up with the idea." She gives a polite laugh, before continuing. "Anyhow, my dear, I have come to collect your clothing. That you wear. Not to be mistaken with the kind you don't wear, and the kind that isn't there!" She laughs again, covering her mouth a little, and then bows.

"I assume that this is it right here. I shall take it down and begin washing it immediately. I will bring you a set of temporary clothes to wear in the mean time. Is there anything else I may do for you in the meantime?"

[ ] Name, rank, current posting
[ ] Location of critical supply depots
[ ] Status of the HQ
[ ] What is your major malfunction, soldier?
>> No. 96931
>>96929
Picture filename should've ended in "wet, naked body.jpg" but it seems to have been cut off.

It's the truly important details like this that I feel my readers need to know.

Don't let anybody say I don't watch out for you guys.
>> No. 96945
[x] Name, rank, current posting
[x] Location of critical supply depots
[x] Status of the HQ

She can be captain. We're going to be sergeant.
>> No. 96948
[X] Name, rank, current posting
[X] Location of critical supply depots
[X] Status of the HQ
>> No. 96951
[X] Name, rank, current posting

The pink-white likes to talk, and the green to listen. the less that can be said, the less that can be heard, although I hear this isn't true in all cases.
>> No. 96957
[∂U/∂x] Name, rank, current posting
[∂U/∂y] Location of critical supply depots
[∂U/∂z] Status of the HQ
>> No. 96967
>>96951

This is asking Kana the questions.

[x] Name, rank, current posting (her name and position)
[x] Location of critical supply depots (food)
[x] Status of the HQ (House condition?)
>> No. 97049
File 125480411112.jpg - (75.43KB , 565x812 , Kana 04.jpg ) [iqdb]
97049
"Yes, actually," I answer, looking back up at her. "I've got a few questions--"

"Of course you do, dear. Let us start with the five W's. I can answer the first four, but only you can answer the last, since I do not know much about you, other than that you are a guest here, you are in the bathroom, and of course, that I am to go and fetch your clothing and then wash it."

There is a long pause before I reply.

"...What's a dubblyew?"

White Opening looks at me with pity.

"Poor child. You are unlettered? ...Ah, wait. Could it be you only know Japanese, then?"

"I can read it and speak it, and a bit of Chinese, but nothing Western."

"Ahh, I see. The 'Five Ws' are a series of questions children are taught to ask oneself in a number of situations. In English, all of them begin with the same letter. Who, What, Where, When, and Why. I am correct in assuming you wish to know the first four of these?"

I nod.

She begins ticking off each one on her fingers, but she goes backwards: fingers closed, and then opening. I don't think I can be very suprised by weird things she does, anymore.

"First: I am Kana. I do the laundry and the cooking for the Prismriver sisters. Occasionally I do cleaning, too. Second: Like the sisters, I too, am a poltergeist. How we came about to be that way differs, however. That is another matter for another time, however. Third: You are in the Prismriver Mansion. It is located in the Netherworld, but on the edges, so to speak. It is closer to the Living World than most in the Netherworld. Fourth and final: It is around one-thirty in the afternoon."

She hops off the table

-click!-

and gathers up my clothes.

Her smile is bright like her name as she asks, "Will there be anything else, then?"

...She's already answered much more than I meant to ask. Oh wait, my food.

I raise one wet finger as the idea comes to my mind. "Just one thing... where's the kitchen?"

"Well... have you been downstairs, yet?"

"Yes," I reply, with a nod and a little splash. "I was at lunch."

"Oh, goodness that's right. I feel rather foolish, now... Yes, the kitchen is through the door by the chandelier end of the table, and to the right."

"Oh, okay. Thank you."

She nods, and goes to the door. Just be fore she leaves the room, she tilts back, waves to me, and winks.

"Enjoy the bath.~"

The door closes.

...Well.

see how i'm still saying absolutely nothing

keep it that way, chuckles

I close my eyes and I begin to clean myself.

Time passes.

It is Space's turn.

Space plays a youkai girl in a mansion of the dead drying herself off with a pleasantly soft, fluffy, large towel. She slips into a kimono left outside the door, and walks out into the hall. She is feeling much, much better, but now she is tired.

She is also hungry.

She becomes Me, and I am myself once again, just like always and before, except for that time when we weren't.

But we're still us, now.

My friend joins me once more, and off I go.

[ ] fud
[ ] slip

____________________________________________________

It's a shame Gary Larson isn't still drawing The Far Side.

I wanted this update to be better, but it seemed to resist most of my efforts to make it that way.

>>96967
Two out of three ain't bad.
>> No. 97053
[ ] fud
>> No. 97054
[X] fud
>> No. 97056
File 125480807559.jpg - (23.82KB , 400x253 , fud.jpg ) [iqdb]
97056
[X] fud

Get there before someone else does.
>> No. 97057
[X] fud
>> No. 97058
[X] fud
FUD.
>> No. 97062
[X] fud
>> No. 97088
[X] fud

fud then slip.
>> No. 97119
File 125485692111.gif - (343.89KB , 758x902 , FarSide-CatFud.gif ) [iqdb]
97119
Writing eventually.
>> No. 97144
File 125487877020.jpg - (97.46KB , 611x404 , Kana is its ace (and taking names).jpg ) [iqdb]
97144
[x] fud

Down the hall, down more halls, Down the halls, down them alls, trip over a pile of bricks

stumble

upright

balanced again

Even if it's not a ghost, the things of ghosts still can catch you off-guard.

Reading about them helps, but meeting them first hand is educational.

Balanced Head Nice Blue would approve. ...Okay, maybe not. But on philosophical grounds, she might.

Do hakutaku philosophize in their sleep?

I don't think they do, but there are weirder creatures than that.

I'm still not sure how a horse gets into a tree, or why something would clean bathrooms with its tongue, or why a chicken would breath fire.

...

I pause for a moment of self reflection, standing on one leg. My friend smiles up at me. He saw this coming, I think.

I guess I'm definitely not one to talk about weirdness.

no, no you are not

hey at least i make a bit of sense

oh the irony

dammit i walked right into that one

Hello, stairs.

They don't answer back.

Next time I'll try saying it aloud.

I skip down the stairs, feeling more alive than when I first came down them. One-two, one-two, one-two.

Third from the bottom

hop

Clack

land

go forward

move ahead

and I keep on walking.

I turn, and walk back along the side of the stairs, over to the doorway into the dining room.

Nobody's here, now. I wonder where they went? I nudge the chairs Pinkblue Madness and Little Red were sitting in back into place. The other sister's chair is already away. She did mine, too, so that chair tilted up to balance on one leg and turning in slow, lazy circles must be White Opening's.

If she eats with them, that is. I'm not sure. She wasn't at lunch, so who knows?

I wave hello to the chair, in case it's just had it's hundredth birthday and is trying out animate motion for the first time. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

I have no mixed feelings about that, but I love it and hate it at the same time.

It's just that extremism is bad.

I pass the chair and then the chandelier which also gets a friendly pat and a smile, and pass through the entryway at the end.

Left~

I come into a large, room, very clean and more intact than anything I've seen in this house so far.

It's very quite kitchen.

Focus~

I look for something like Silverman's white winterbox. There are two things like it though, both much larger.

I check the first.

I shut it.

It appears I need to rethink my terminology, because this one was far more of a winterbox than a winterbox. If I'd looked past all the things stored in it, I wouldn't be surprised to find Forkpin Mother or the Blue Fairy dozing away. So cold and everything was so hard in there.

I open the other one and am greeted with something much more like what I had expected. It's not half as cold, so I gues that makes it an autumnbox? It's full of containers and bottles and packages and food covered in that oil-ceramic stuff, 'plastic.' But this plastic is thinner than paper, and visible-invisible.

I would love to get ahold of some of this.

Ah, what's this?

Some of the clingy plastic not-paper covers four of those triangles on a plate and a bowl of that soup from earlier. Above them both is a note with a spoon atop it, which reads:

This is for our guest, so keep your damned paws off it.

PS: Lunasa, this means you.

PPS: Cooking directions:
1. Find the microwave. It's that black box with the glowing green numbers on it to your left.
2. Press the rectangular button in the lower right to open it. The door will open.
3. Place the bowl inside, and close the door. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING METAL IN THE MICROWAVE.
4. Press the numbers "2," "0," "0" and then press the button with the word "Start" on it to heat the soup for two minutes.
5. A beeping will sound when it is done. Press the rectangular button in the corner to open the microwave once again. Remove the bowl, and shut the door.
6. Enjoy!
7. Or else~


PSPS: Put the dishes in the sink when done. Also, don't heat the sandwiches. They taste better when cool.

Below all this is a little picture of someone that looks White Opening winking and giving a thumbs-up while sticking her tongue out slightly.

I smile at her kindness, and whisper my thanks as I pull out the plate and unwrap it.

I follow the directions, and am soon happily devouring what feels like an emperor's banquet. 'Sandwiches,' huh? They were incredibly good.

Afterwards, I fold up the not-paper, and tuck it away for later. I place the dishes in the sink, and wipe the crumbs off the counter in there where I ate.

I look at the clock in the kitchen just before I leave, which tells me it is almost 3 pm. So early and yet so tired...

I climb the steps again, and wander down the halls, the sound of music loud from behind one shut door with light underneath it. I trudge past it and conti

Bonk

--ow.

My hand massages my nose as my eyes register a door in front of me. It seems I reached the end of the hall.

Wait, did I just walk the rest of the way down here in my sleep?

i was guiding you through but couldn't stop you in time, sorry

oh? thanks

My friend smiles in return, and I am glad to have him with me.

I enter the guest bedroom, and with the last of the wakefulness and energy left in me, I make a few preparations; measures I've become accustomed to taking when sleeping indoors.

When I finish, I undo my obi, slip out of my kimono, and crawl naked between some amazingly nice sheets. Knife in one hand, bag of tricks near my other, my eyes close.

night

night

I fall fast asleep.

--------------------------------------

I wake up screaming in terror.

I wonder if I stop screaming only once I realize I'm not in her house.

It cuts off shortly after I realize I'm in a nice-ish bed, lending more credibility to the idea. That certainly isn't her style.

My eyes flick around the room, taking in details, and looking for certain signs.

Nothing seems out of place. It's exactly as I left it last night.

What the hell is this place, anyway? Seems sort of old.

Oh, wait.

Right.

...Okay.

My fingers unclench from around the knife handle, and my breathing slows down to a more normal rate.

Knock, knock, knock.

"You all right in there? What was that?"

It's White Opening's voice, but it sounds almost-irritated, impatient, and agitated.

Morning sunlight bathes the room in cool light.

[ ] FIGHT TALK
[ ] MAGIC
[ ] ITEM
[ ] RUN
________________________________

>>97056
I smiled.
>> No. 97145
[x] TALK
>> No. 97146
[x] TALK

I think we should just talk since she's mix of concerned and perhaps annoyed since the whole thing might have woken her up.
>> No. 97150
[X] ITEM
[X] TALK

I'm interested in this "bag of tricks" we seem to have, and I think "magic" has a good chance of being danmaku.

Inb4 "item" means the knife
>> No. 97158
[x] TALK
>> No. 97160
[x] TALK
>> No. 97165
[Q] TALK
>> No. 97167
[X] TALK
>> No. 97168
[X] TALK
>> No. 97178
[x] MAGIC
>> No. 97181
You are now noticing the title of the story.

[x] TALK
>> No. 97186
[X] TALK
>> No. 97251
File 125498413694.jpg - (88.83KB , 400x550 , Lyrica and what appears to be bubble wrap.jpg ) [iqdb]
97251
[x] TALK

I yawn and shiver, then sit up, slowly returning to the waking world.

"Yes... that was me. I'm sorry i--"

"You're not bleeding, being attacked, raped, robbed, assaulted, nothing?"

"Um... no. But w--"

"Well, shit. Now I'm bored again. Lyrica's waiting for you downstairs in the dining room. Move it, already."

White Opening walks off briskly and I blink.

wow

yeah

I shrug, a little unnerved by that treatment after her mannerisms yesterday... Wait, she changed then, too. Maybe she's crazy, then?

Crazy Ghost sounds like some kind of alcohol name. Or a drink.

I get out of bed, and stretch. Pop pop poppity crackle click. It's like that bubble wrap stuff Silverman had in some of his boxes, only made out of naked women.

...I could probably make a fortune if I could combine those two things.

I'm lost in idle thoughts of women that make such sounds and being fabulously rich before my friend nudges me to get going.

I put on the kimono once again, and take care of last nights preparations. Once they're all put away, I go out into, and then down the endless hallway to its end, then go downstairs. No sign of White Opening.

As I enter the dining room, I see Little Red is indeed sitting there at her place from last night. An empty bowl with a spoon in it sits in front of her, and she's reading that tengu's newspaper more intently than I've seen anyone read it. I wasn't aware people took anything Whooshing Noise said seriously.

"Have some breakfast, and we'll get started. My sisters won't be up for another hour or two, so we have some time," she says, without looking up. She points to where another bowl sits with a spoon beside it, in front of my chair from last night. Near it are

flip

a translucent jug of ...something white --milk, maybe?-- and a tall box with foreign words on it, and a simple drawing of some kind of some sort of green bird. It looks sort of like a chicken.

I sit down, and take the box and milk... and then pause.

I am not good with western food.

-click click click-

"Open the box, pour out the cereal, pour some milk in, eat," White Opening snaps, impatient and irritated. "Haven't you eaten these before?" She picks up Little Red's empty bowl, prompting a mumbled thanks in return. She strides out of the room, -click click click-

Something is very wrong with her, but if I'm right, it's always been a part of her. Wrongness doesn't often come from the start, but sometimes it happens. Although in her case, which start?

"Don't mind Kana," Little Red says to me, still engrossed in the paper

flip

"She'll be better in an hour or so."

I nod, having had my idea sort of confirmed. Corroborated? No, I think I'm using that wrong.

Whatever.

I find two flaps at the top, and pull them apart. Inside the box is darkness and a bag. The bag seems curled up, so I uncurl it. It makes crackling sound and a rustling sound as I do and inside are golden --hold it up to the light; yep, golden-- flaky... flakes. I look back at my bowl, and carefully follow White Opening's directions.

I am soon crunching my way through a rather odd, sort of plain, and yet interesting morning meal. They aren't too bad.

flip

done

Little Red looks up at me, hands folded together, saying nothing. I'm not too bothered. My friend always watches me when I eat; one more person doesn't make a difference.

She waits until I am done, and then speaks.

"For someone so worried about being caught, you're awfully relaxed."

I consider this for a moment, and then nod slowly.

"I think it's because I'm inside," I say. "I feel a bit safer. I've been spending most of this time hiding in the wild."

Most of it. I haven't tried hiding out indoors ever since I'll laugh as she struggles to breathe with nothing to breathe with nothing but air the vampire's island. I guess I've been avoiding doing so.

I shouldn't be feeling this relaxed, should I?

I really shouldn't.

Damn, she got me.

Little Red looks at me a little strangely. "But... you're still on the run, aren't you? What difference should a house make?"

I'm silent for a bit.

"I don't know," I lie.

No, I told the truth.

I don't know.

But you don't learn nothing when your hunter likes to talk.

I'm not sure even she knows.

...That's a new thought.

Hmm.

Little Red sighs, and gestures at the paper. "There's nothing about any escaped or fugitive youkai in the Bunbunmaru. I'm not sure Aya would cover such a story anyway, but--- ...no, she'd cover that. Wow, yeah, she'd definitely cover that."

She looks at me a little strangely.

"I can't recall hearing anything like that at all for the last six months or so, for that matter, either. Granted, I wasn't scouring the paper then, but..."

I give a little grin. "I've learned to hide very well. ...Sort of well. And the green girl doesn't want any of this getting out, I think."

Little Red nods at this, and then frowns.

"Hey, I've been wondering about that. Why do you call her 'the green girl'? Why not just call her---"

Pain.

Screaming, shrill, gut-wrenching pain radiates outward from my back.

Quiet and white

No body, and yet pain centered in my back spread throughout

No sensations

just white and pain

It hurts

badly

The world fades back into view and my head spins.

Cold wood presses against my side, muffled by the kimono. My right foot is caught in something

Little Red is over me, looking panicked. Slowly, I begin to be able to hear again.

"--ay?! C'mon, answer me!"

Oh, I'm lucky.

It didn't last long this time.

" 'mm k. dwry," I manage to slur out. My tongue feels thick, barely moving. " 'iss h'ns."

I blink a few times, and look around. I'm flat on my side, the table behind me, and-- oh. Tangled my legs in the chair's support bars. Doesn't hurt yet, and it would've by now if I'd done something to them.

Little Red looks relieved, but still plenty worried. "...What the hell was that? --Ah! Don't move yet!"

"'mm fi. La' ahh ss'd, ha'ns."

I push myself properly upright, though still on my knees, and wait for the room to stop spinning. Or my head. Possibly both. I wonder, in the corner of my mind, if Christmas Curse ever suffers from hangovers. Does she even drink? I'd ask her if she didn't live close on the mountain. Or near it.

Shakily, I stand, hands gripping Little Red's shoulder and the tabletop. She guides the other arm to the table top, too, then lets go quickly while she picks up my chair and disentangles my feet, then pushes it under me. That done, the poltergeist assists as I ease myself back down onto it.

Sitting again, I let out a huge breath, and wipe the hair out of my eyes. "Than'z," I say, gratefully. She nods, but doesn't leave my side just yet, and pulls out her sister's chair next to me and has a seat.

"What happened back there...? You looked like you had a seizure for a second, then flung yourself back."

"S'cur'y p'cautions sh' sse'up. Cann' sayer name. Cann' say the..." I pause, trying to think of a way to talk about something I can't talk about.

I bring the tips of my thumbs and fingers together to make a circle, then use one hand to draw a short wavy line down the middle that curves to one side, then curves back to the other once halfway down. I poke two imaginary holes in the air near the hollow of either curve, then make as if picking up this shape, and throw it at Little Red.

She blinks for a second, and her eyes widen, then narrow. "Oh. Her. ...You can't say the name of either of them, then... and neither can you hear it said, I have to assume." She gestures with one hand to the where I had been laid out a few minutes ago.

I nod, and tap the side of my head. "Na' on'ny tha', I cah' even think 'bout the se'ond one's name. Iss' even worse, 'en."

Little Red looks a little alarmed. "It gets worse?"

"Lots."

"...I'm so sorry. I guess this explains why you never mentioned her by name."

I grin a little. She's missing something, and the last of the numbness in my mouth and speech is fading in time for me to actually coherently tell her this.

"She did somethin' else nas'y, too. I never really knew f' sure 'til now. You, you're a... thinker. Y' plan, right? Y'do th' family business-y... stuff. 'm I right? You're th' one that takes care'a stuff. That's why you're talkin' to me without them around. That's why I know you're gonna go apeshit when you hear this."

Little Red looks at me skeptically. "Yes... I am in charge of most family affairs, and I generally do handle the deal-making and whatnot. We're musicians. Someone has to know how to do this. What's your point?"

I grin a little bit more. This is going to be good, I know. Well, good for the me-me. Not me, but me-me might get something out of it, even if she isn't human. She was at one point. That's got to count for a little something. I lean over closer to her.

"You forgot to ask me the biggest question of all, and you should've asked it soon after I came here. Anyone would ask it in the first five minutes, but I think you'll figure out what happened, and be able to appreciate it, in a way."

I shouldn't be this giddy.

"The question is: 'Why haven't you told anyone else about what's happening?' "

A pause.

blink

and then a little bit of power from the rush~

Little Red slams her fist on the table, causing the bowl to clink as it jumps a bit.

"Son of a bitch! how-- what the -- No, even a fucking six year-old would ask that! Goddammit, why didn't--"

She freezes, and then looks up at me with awe or fear, and maybe respect. She shakes her head, and the disbelieving smile of a beaten opponent who realizes she's lost forms on her lips. Not intended for me, but for the handiwork of the green girl.

"...The name thing isn't the only curse she's stuck you with, is it? She's done something that makes people just... avoid talking about it, then. Ha... Wow. That sneaky fucking woman."

She leans back slowly, folding her arms. "This makes things a bit difficult, then."

I nod my head. "Mm-hmm."

Little Red says nothing for a few minutes.

Finally, something seems to occur to her, and she leans forward, as if still thinking something over.

"You know... we're--"

What we are is interrupted: Pinkblue Madness comes storming through the door wearing pale blue pajamas, and leaps into her chair, across from where Little Red sits.

"Gimme!" she shouts gleefully as she snatches the box and the milk from by my bowl. She pops open the top, and unscrews the lid of the milk and pours them both onto the table--

cling-a-ing-a-ing

clink

--or would have if a bowl hadn't zipped through the air under her upraised arms and come to a stop right underneath the stream of milk and hail of rustling flaky things.

Out of curiosity, I tilt my head over left and right, peering at the table by the bowl.

Not a splash anywhere.

Huh.

She's good.

I turn back to Little Red, who seems to have fallen silent.

[ ] Pursue the Little things in life.
[ ] Stare into the depths of Madness.
[ ] Admire the talent Opening the show.

_________________________________________

It's harder than I thought to quickly describe an S shape with only words, and without using the phrase "S shape."

>Picture
The really funny part of this is that I completely forgot I had this until I was scanning my Lyrica pictures for something that seemed right, and came across it. Bricks were had.
It's almost creepily appropriate, except she isn't naked. I guess you can't win them all.

>>97181
Doesn't matter. Everyone who does is exempt from losing since that's not the intent. It'll be fixed next thread, anyway.
>> No. 97253
[x] Pursue the Little things in life.

Wow, that's cold.
>> No. 97254
[X] Pursue the Little things in life.
>> No. 97255
[x] Pursue the Little things in life.
>> No. 97259
[Q] Pursue the Little things in life.
>> No. 97264
[X] Pursue the Little things in life.
>> No. 97265
[ ] Stare into the depths of Madness.

Gaze not long into the abyss, lest the abyss gaze back into you
>> No. 97266
[X] Pursue the Little things in life.

Man, the pleasant meal and relaxing bath made me forget how terrifying this entire situation is.
>> No. 97271
[X] Stare into the depths of Madness.

weee! a carnival ride!
>> No. 97273
[x] Stare into the depths of Madness.
>> No. 97274
[x] Pursue the Little things in life.

Seesh... Green girl really gone out of her way to make Kogasa's life miserable. Basically making it impossible for Kogasa to get much help.

But it seems Lyrica is agreeing to try to help.
>> No. 97297
[x] Stare into the depths of Madness.
>> No. 97332
[x] Pursue the Little things in life.
>> No. 97345
File 125504636560.jpg - (93.66KB , 322x500 , the secret of the universe is written there.jpg ) [iqdb]
97345
[x] Pursue the Little things in life.

Pinkblue Madness giggles ...well, madly, as

clink

a spoon lands in her bowl along with the torrent of the morning meal that she feeds into it.

"Thanks, Kana!" she shouts, not taking her eyes off her work.

Little Red seems lost in thought, occasionally nodding, oblivious to the horrifying display of Pinkblue Madness tearing through her food.

Her chin rests on one hand, and I could probably hear her thinking from across the room if not for her sister.

Well, maybe not. Neither my friend nor I nor us nor we nor we ster are satori, like Pinky Think down down in Goblin-town.

Ho-ho.

I watch her for a while, wondering what she was going to say. Her sister interrupted us, but it sounded like she had an idea, or at least another question.

cling-ity-ng-ititink

scrnnnff

"Bye guys, gonna go get the studio set up and maybe start packing catch ya laOh hi Lunasa."

Pinkblue Madness drops her spoon into her empty bowl Cripes, I don't think it took her more than a minute, and her bowl was full to the top and scoots back and then leaps out of her chair and nearly collides with her more reserved sister as she zooms out of the room, all while delivering that speech.

The Black Hand of Slap walks dazedly into the dining room, wearing similar pajamas, only black. She shuffles to the table,

--I watch, curious and amused--

over to her seat I think she's actually going to do it and sits down in it.

However, since her sister is not only occupied in thought, but also occupying her chair, Black Hand of Slap plops down onto Little Red's lap.

It seems even ghosts can spook other ghosts.

Little Red is jolted out of her reverie, planning, plotting, daydreaming --who knows-- by the other girl sitting on her, and then leaning forward forward forward timberrrrr

thud--

no, wait

flumpf~

and her head lands on a pillow that skids to a stop just underneath her.

Presently, Black Hand of Slap begins to quietly snore.

...I don't think she opened her eyes once.

Little Red is less than amused. Little Red is also a little red.

"...Dammit, Lunasa! The hell is with me? She always comes down about now." she says, griping under her breath as she tries to gently maneuver out of her predicament.

My friend and I both smile, and I giggle.

Hopping to my feet

clack

I help Little Red out, gently lifting the blond girl up while her sister scoots out from underneath. She's not too heavy, but then again, she's not sitting on me.

"Then again, I guess I'm not normally sitting over in her spot," she says, looking down at her sister, and then back up at me. "Thanks, by the way."

"Quite welcome~" I reply. Because I'm curious about earlier, I add: "You were about to say something before, weren't you?"

"Yes..." She looks a little apprehensive, now.

Moving around her sleeping sister in black, she takes her own chair at the head of the table, and I follow the leader the leader the leader oops wrong game and I sit in the chair vacated by Pinkblue Madness.

Little Red looks at me. "There's a bit of a problem, but it may be its own solution."

Hmm.

I nod, silently urging her to continue.

"You see, you came here at a somewhat tricky time. We're going on tour for a few concerts tomorrow, and we will not be home for a few days. While you don't seem very untrustworthy, I don't have much in the way of details verifying your story, and I'm not exactly sure how I can find anything out that would not bring your presence here to the attention of anybody who might be seeking you."

'If anybody actually is' is the part she doesn't say aloud. She's kind enough that it sounds like she wants to trust me. I'm not sure why.

Perhaps it's my eyes.

Ha-ha.

But what she very clearly isn't saying is that she would really like something that can corroborate I think I used it right that time my story.

I stand up, and my friend waits for me, next to the table. I turn around, facing away from her, and silently undo the obi.

"Um... what are you..."

I think Little Red is getting a little red again, mixed up between confusion and embarassment. Her voice is nervous and unsure. It wants to laugh a little to make it go away, but I say nothing to help it do so.

She'll see why in a moment.

I then let the top of the kimono fall off my shoulders, slipping down. I keep it from falling off me entirely by keeping my arms raised at the elbow.

There's a sharp intake of breath. My friend tells me of her wide eyes, an almost panicked look of recognition. It's followed by a pause, and then confusion, and she peers forward.

"Is this acceptable as proof? There are a very small number of people in Gensokyo who could be responsible, you know."

Little Red is silent. I am told of her fascinated, horrified gaze which disappears as she comes back to reality. Or unreality, given where she lives.

"Yes. Yes, that's... sufficient proof. Please, put your clothes back on."

She isn't pleading.

I can her her not doing it.

I nod, and pull the garment back up, re-tying the sash, and sitting down once again. My friend smiles reassuringly at me.

Little Red looks me in the eyes, her expression serious.

"That's more or less the sort or proof I needed before I told you about the plan I had in mind. Thank you... and, I'm sorry."

She reaches out to squeeze my hand comfortingly.

"Would you like to come on the tour with us? I know it sounds more dangerous, but you change hiding spots often, don't you? You'll get three more days out of this, and we might be able to talk to someone who can help."

I don't think I can be helped. Rather, I would like help, but I don't think it will end. It always comes down to the green girl, and myself. Nobody else. The only help I can really accept and use is shelter.

It's not pride that makes me say this. It's a sense of the situation I've become accustomed to dealing with these last six months.

And I don't think anybody else should be drawn into it.

I don't say this, any of it. But I make sure to avoid clearly not saying this.

There's a difference. Besides, such a thing isn't so subtly conveyed anyway.

I ask quietly, "There's another option?"

She nods. "You can stay here. There isn't much to steal that we keep here, and it'll be unoccupied. Kana will be with us, though, so you'll have to make do. I will be honest, though. I'm worried about what will happen to my sisters and Kana if ...she..."

the green girl's name is swallowed

not spoken

"...finds you here. If she's so into it that she's been hunting you for so long, I fear she or..." Little Red looks at me, worried about something.

Not sure what or who she means. She doesn't want to say somebody else's name, but nobody else is directly associated with--

Ah.

"Her parents?" I supply.

Little Red smiles a little at the interpretation, and continues. "Yes, she or her, um, parents, and what they would bring down upon our heads. I'm sorry to be selfish like this, but it's a very real concern. I won't kick you out if you want to stay here, but..."

She really is worried about them. I don't blame her at all.

So.

Both choices have their appeal.

Then there's the lonely middle road: walking off down the road.

[ ] I wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
[ ] im in ur base, hidin from green girls
[ ] time to gtfo

_________________________________________

Wow, I actually had to pause and count votes this time just to make sure. This is my first non-(mostly-)unanimous vote, isn't it?
...
Oh, no it isn't. But it's my first proper one, on account of the other one not being memorable enough to stick out in my mind. The heck with it, this is the first.

>>97265
When I wrote that choice, it wasn't a reference to that quote. Nietzsche is overrated.

>>97274
It's actually "sheesh."

>>97253
What is?
>> No. 97348
[x] I wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.

I don't think Sanae would be that brazen to attack during a concert.

Though Kogasa does need some help against a crazed shrine maiden, at least to make the battle even.
>> No. 97357
>Nietzsche is overrated.

Are you God?

[x] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
>> No. 97362
[X] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

I don't think that the Moria gods are going to willingly help Sanae, but they will help due to being bound to her. If Reimu can seal gods, then Sanae can bind them to her service. Not much stands in the way of a crazed demi-god. I may be wrong with the binding, but I still stand by the crazed demi-god bit.

Also, this goes without saying, but we need to find a way to remove the curse seals on Kogasa. Then we can get Reimu to help us and then Sanae is done like dinner.
Unless Reimu is in on it, then we're screwed. Unless we can get Yukari on our side. Then we're slightly less screwed. Heck, Yukari can help us with the curse seals.
>> No. 97363
>flumpf~
HNNNNNNGGGH

[X] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.

All we can do for now is run, and the best direction to run is usually 'away'.

>My friend tells me of her wide eyes, an almost panicked look of recognition.
So something on Kogasa's upper back that Lyrica recognizes, but even youkai healing won't fix? It's probably not important in the long run, but I'm still interested.
>> No. 97367
>What is?

The curse on Kogasa. It's coldblooded as fuck.

[x] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97368
[0] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97372
[X] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97382
[X] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97406
[X] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.

I see three bad options, really. At least with this one we both have backup (in theory) and keep moving.
>> No. 97411
[ ] time to gtfo

Well, crap. I actually rather like Nietzsche.

GTFO'ing because being trapped in Little Red, Blue Madness, and The Black Hand of Slap's house or being on the road with them cannot possibly end well.

>>Tall Red she was and her golden lands and golden hands shone bright bright bright until I told her I wanted no gold or green and I was not an impostor. My friend helped convince her.

I think this might be Yuuka. If so, finding her might be helpful. She may be crazy, but I don't think even Sanae'd be willing to mess with Yuuka.
>> No. 97414
I enjoy the wording of the choices, I think they're pretty hilarious
>> No. 97424
[x] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97437
[x] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97447
File 125510240450.png - (565.70KB , 502x738 , putinwink.png ) [iqdb]
97447
[x] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.

Hopefully we won't cause THAT much trouble for them. dohoho~

Just picking this story up now, awesome stuff.
>> No. 97449
[Q] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.
>> No. 97479
File 125512193634.jpg - (210.46KB , 500x711 , what me worry.jpg ) [iqdb]
97479
[✉] I am intrigued by your events and wish to subscribe to your concert newsletter.

I don't want to bring misfortune or smashing or destruction or persecution or any other such quaint religious pastime upon the poltergeists. It would be only marginally better than using them as human figuratively shields. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I don't know what betrayal tastes like. I've never had to eat it It tastes like blood and the inability to breathe but I've seen it served.

To me.

I blink as my hand clenches, nails digging into my palm.

The other alternative is to flee. Goodbye, farewell, been a great help, so long and thanks for all the room and board. Make my own way; don't take risks that might hurt anyone. It's a safe road.

Right?

That's a lie and I know it.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I've been trying to do the same thing for most of those six months.

This explains a few things.

I don't want anybody but myself getting hurt-- No, that's not true. I don't want to get hurt, either. But like hell I'm going to let others get injured or killed just because they help me.

Very well. I'll tour with them, then. But I will do anything and everything I must to distance myself from them if trouble comes a-knocking.

knock knock

...Goddammit. I jumped that time.

I look over with wide wild whites of the eyes at the source of the noise. Black Hand of Slap appears to have shifted her chair's position --in her sleep, no less-- which bumped it against the table twice. She mumble mumble mutterspeaks in her sleep.

"Mm... t'rn dao' th' fug'n voll'm, Merliiin..."

If she had said "I can't eat any more," I think I would be obligated to punch her.

We all got off lucky, then.

Feeling a little red, I turn to Little Red, and clear my throat before speaking.

"Um. Yes, I think I'll go with you on this... tour, then. As you say, it's best to keep moving."

Little Red breaks into a grin and she sticks her hand out. What is thi-- Oh, oh, I know this one.

I stick my hand back out, and match the gesture, sliding it alongside hers, and-- oh, you squeeze, too? And a little bob bob bob. Learning experiences, free for the taking.

"Well, now that that's settled, let's go get packed, and I'll tell you what you'll be doing!"

Little Red gets up from her chair, and we go back uppity up the stairs downity down the halls, and stop in front of the guest room I have been using.

Some sort of large bag shaped like a potato with the rounded ends sheared off hangs from the doorknob, and my clothes sit beneath them, in front of the door, already neatly folded.

Even Little Red gives pause, and rubs her chin thoughtfully.

"...Huh. That was... yeah. Maybe I'm rubbing off on her. All the better, though, no?"

I agree with her, and pick up the bag There's a bit of weight to it; is there something inside? off the door, pick up my clothes Already well on their way to being mended anew~ and we go inside.

My eyes dart to the nightstand. Nothing's been touched, I think.

Good.

Little Red sits on a windowsill.

"Would you like some help, or do you want to hear the plan first? Not sure how you are on multi-tasking. Anything works. We don't have to get moving until about three in the afternoon, and it's only a little after nine right now."

Multi-tasking makes no sense until you hear the word and then it still makes no sense but you have to stop and think. And then you realize: it's exactly what it means and sounds like. I don't know why the mind makes you stop for no reason.

[ ] What's the plan, man?
[ ] Help me pack, Jack.
[ ] I got it covered, brother.

___________________________________________

I could have sworn there were two Ts in pastime. It looks like some kind of French word or something with only the one in there.
>> No. 97481
>>97447
Thank you; it's an honor to hear you're reading this, especially since SOG is one of the things that helped shape this story.

>>97414
Thank you. I try.

>>97357
YES.

But yeah, no, the only reason I really remember that quote is because of something I saw scrawled on a whiteboard at school somewhere: "Nietzsche is dead." -----God

Also, thank you for adjusting the wording of the vote, intentionally or otherwise. Thank you >>97363 , as well. I'd have written it like that, except that I forgot the complete wording of the meme.

>>97363
~

>>97362
~

>>97367
That is, indeed, one way of looking at it.
>> No. 97484
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97485
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97488
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97489
[X] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97494
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97522
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97523
[ ] What's the man, plan?
>> No. 97527
[X] What's the plan, man?

>oh, you squeeze, too? And a little bob bob bob.
For some reason, this make me think of an old Eddie Izzard sketch about handshakes.

"Always keep a fish up your sleeve for that one! Somebody gives you one of those limp-wristed handshakes, and bam! Slap in the fish!"

...Which actually seems like something Kogasa might do.
>> No. 97533
[X] What's the plan, man?

YAAAY! explanation time!
sadly, this parody is the best I can find. 10 points to anyone who gets the joke.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0lY7wbl3z0
>> No. 97539
[x] What's the plan, man?
>> No. 97614
File 125521029433.jpg - (83.63KB , 580x783 , man not pictured.jpg ) [iqdb]
97614
[∡] What's the plan, man?

A Plan? But we have no Panama.

That's a hardship I'll have to endure.

"I'll hear you out, first," I say. "Might help me know what to expect, right?"

Little Red winks at me. "A girl after my own heart."

...Wait, what? She doesn't mean...

she's talking about aspirations, not romance

you're sure?

pretty much

if she tries making out with me later i'm blaming this on you

win-win

what

i said, won't happen

...

"Heh... I guess so?" I reply, nervously.

"The tour consists of three stops," she says, launching right into it. "The Garden of the Sun, since Kazami wanted us over at her place, this time; Mizukan, which is one of the more outsider-friendly kappa cave towns, and that's outsider in the sense of non-kappa, non-tengu people, not folks from over the Border; and lastly, the Human village. I mean, there are other villages, but that's just sort of what everyone's called it. You know. The big one."

"I know."

Well this sounds just fine I don't see any pr

Pause

Back a tick

What?

"Wait."

Little Red looks at me. "Hmm?"

"...You mentioned a kappa town?"

"Yes, Mizukan. It's almost as unimaginative a name a--"

"Is it on the mountain?"

I don't think I have to specify which mountain.

"...Yes. I'd thought about that, and was going to mention that next," Little Red says, pausing, and then continuing on. This is the hard part to sell, right here.

She knows.

I know.

"It's nearer to the base of the mountain than most, and certainly further from the summit than the tengu's fortress settlements."

I'm quiet for a little feeling little worrying just a little little while.

"You want to know how you can stay safe and out of sight." It's not a question that she asks.

Nod.

"You are going to be backstage, in the sound tent. Or room. Or booth. It changes, depending on the venue. Whatever it is, you'll be working as our assistant sound tech. You can read, correct?"

"...Only Japanese, but yes."

'Assistant Sound Tech'? I don't even know what that is. Or what she's talking about.

"That's perfect. You'll complement our senior engineer just perfectly."

Still no idea what she's on and on and on about or on.

Just about. Not on.

Sort of?

"And we'll stop in the Forest of Magic get some work done with our costume designer and beautician. That way, you won't even recognize yourself!"

That's actually impossible.

But.

I'm a little worried.

More than a little worried.

But she sounds confident. I don't think she'll betray me. And these other people won't either, right?

I don't want to have to start making a List.

I'm taking a very, very big chance here.

I wonder if the green girl got tired and put out a bounty on me?

I dismiss the thought immediately. This is between me and her Which is why I'm getting involved with other people? in the sense that I run, she hunts.

I hate that arrangement.

She loves it.

And no amount of boredom in the world would make her grow tired of searching for me.

I wonder sometimes, when I have the time to, what drives her to do this? Madness? Some bargain, some deal? A ridiculous game in which I'm only a pawn?

Now I'm thinking like a book again.

I'm impressed and, despite my worries, a little excited.

"You've thought this out a bit, then," I say, complimenting the ghost girl.

Little Red smiles a well-of-course smile of pride and grins. "Absolutely. I'm always planning ahead. So go ahead and get packed," she says, hopping off the window and going for the door. "We'll be packing up our own stuff and heading out in a few hours."

"Thank you very much, Little Red," I say to her, bowing.

She gives me an odd smile, saying, "Eh? ...Oh... Heh. You're welcome."

I hold up a finger. "But I want you to promise me something."

"Hm?" Pause, turn. Curious.

"Should I go missing, I want all of you to say NOTHING. To anyone. Don't ask after me, don't come looking for me, don't go to the green girl's place on high, don't talk to--" ow "--the other one, don't do anything. You've done far too much for me, and although I appreciate it greatly, I can't risk you all becoming anything more than unknowing dupes in her eyes if she finds me."

Little Red is a lot of quiet, and gives a small, sad smile. "I know. I'm sorry. But if that's what you want, then I will speak for all the Prismrivers, and promise to respect that."

I let out a sigh, relieved.

Then she gives me a bow, a wave, and sets off down the hall.

Now.

Packing.

This is an interesting bag.

I have to keep my kimono on for now. ...Or do I? I should.

I empty things out of my pockets and the bag and have a little look before carefully repacking everything.

Clothes: Check.

Knife: Check. And newly sharpened.

Bag of Tricks: All accounted for, and check. Several new things thrown in that I don't recognize.

Some sort of canned food? Check times four.

Fork: Check.

Cup: Check.

Two extra changes of clothing; one western, one eastern: Check. Is that a cheongsam? Can't be.

A towel? ...Right. Check.

A pair of green metal rocks: Check. What the hell are those?

Handwritten note from.... White Opening, it seems. Check. "Esteemed Guest: I talked with Lyrica and she said you were on the run from the law or something. As a convicted felon, I know how life on the lam can be, so I'm sharing a little of my stash with you. Use it well, keep it hidden, and don't trust Whitey. Love, Kana." ....This explains so much and yet so little.

New bag: Check.

Me: Check.

friend:

check

(I smile.)

--------------------------------------------------------

I'm flying again.

I'm slow not in the head, not on my feet, just in the air, as I haven't got nearly the power I used to, but dammit, I'm flying!

Whoosh~

Didn't think I'd have enough left to do this, but I guess Small Silvergreen was more jumpy than I thought.

I'm glad being jumpy doesn't cut into my own supply. I'd already be drained dry by now.

Even poltergeists are hungry ghosts, then. No, wait. They're not. Or are they?

I should ask someone.

But no: I'm certainly not complaining.

About flying, that is.

Black Hand of Slap and Pinkblue Madness are going on ahead to start getting set up. White Opening and Little Red are flying with me. Feels sort of like an escort. Not guarding the world, guarding me. I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but I'd need at least one of them to take me there.

I think I've been to this Garden before, so I could probably find that in time, but I don't know where the first two stops are, so that's probably why Little banks in close towards me and asks:

"Where do you want to stop at first? Engineer, or costumes?"

She's asking me?

How unexpected.

As expected.

[ ] Mic check
[ ] The camera adds ten pounds

________________________________________________________________

I was worrying about the concert tour, since I only had a dim, hazy notion of what it would entail, but I think I'm back on track, now. Mizukan is a completely made-up thing, and PMiSS helped me pick a third location pretty easily by mentioning that The Garden of the Sun is a concert venue, which seemed rather creepily convenient. But hey, Yuuka shows up way earlier than expected, now, and you can't have enough Yuuka.

Hope this is still going okay.

>>97523
...I only JUST now noticed this, a few minutes before I posted.
>> No. 97616
[X] The camera adds ten pounds

The radio only adds three.
>> No. 97634
[x] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97639
[X] The camera adds ten pounds

As much as I want to meet the engineer, paranoia is still the order of the day, so the sooner we get disguised, the better.
>> No. 97651
[X] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97652
[x] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97675
[X] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97690
[X] The camera adds ten pounds

if she tries making out with me later i'm blaming this on you
win-win
<b>what</b>

I lol'd
>> No. 97727
File 125522499566.jpg - (13.58KB , 300x394 , teddy-roosevelt.jpg ) [iqdb]
97727
[ ] Mic check
Lesee if our heroine has any sort of technical skill!
Also,
I see. I SEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I see what you did there.


... and it made me smile. Picture related.
>> No. 97738
[x] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97762
[x] The camera adds ten pounds
>> No. 97861
[ODIN] The camera adds ten pounds

Kogasa will be the best roadie ever. Mark my words.
>> No. 97862
[x] The camera adds ten pounds
We better get in disguise first to reduce the chance of a mess up.
>> No. 97899
File 125532668773.png - (711.21KB , 548x501 , Chateau Murgatroyd.png ) [iqdb]
97899
[♎] The camera adds ten pounds.

I look down (and down and down but not really looking at the ground; it just happens to be the backdrop. Bottomdrop?) at myself.

I'm already not looking quite like me, and looking much less like me would help.

I glance at my friend. He's not ashamed to admit the same thing, and gives me a rueful "whaddya gonna do?" sort of smile, and a little

lift=shrug

I turn back to Little Red.

Dress me up, buttercup.

"Costumes would be a good idea, right? The less I look like me, the better I'll be."

I'll be better by virtue of not being dead. Well, as close to dead as a youkai gets.

I stopped worrying a month or two ago about whether or not the green girl would really do it. And by it, I mean "me in." Unlike most other denizens of Gensokyo, she doesn't need no stinkin' historical weapon of legend. That and sheer obliteration by magic until no body remains are the best ways to rid yourself of one of us. Both of those are hard to get your hands on, which is why the other one still stays in business despite two competitors setting up shop.

You see, it's very difficult to unseat an old, established firm with a very solid history of getting results. It's that amazing level in one's career where your proficiency and skill can and do outweigh everything negative about you.

At times, I (wa wa wa) wonder if the spellcard rules were instituted out of necessity, pity, or simply because things would get too damn boring if we were all killed off.

Never underestimate the power of faith as a weapon in certain hands.

Little Red nods, signals to White Opening, and we bank left/port/thataway and head off to go meet the maker of costumes and costume accessories.

--------------------------------------------------------

Back so soon?

It seems I am.

Once again I walk the magical forest, once more in the company of green elders and red alders.

I'm not worried yet. She won't be out to hunt until a few more hours, and she won't try attacking me in golden lands where golden hands bring sun-bright retribution to those who fight near there.

Unless she, too, knows how to sneak.

And she does.

Does she ever.

Ever forever maybe not in the past and of course not always-ever-to-be in the future

But she has learned well and learned swiftly.

Flying helps

hover

that's how you do it

part of the way.

The house.

The house sits on the edge of a wide clearing, wide enough to bathe most of the front in afternoon sunlight.

I begin to get nervous.

There's no rule that says nobody else lives in the forest That's not a rule anyway, that's a fact besides the magic women and Silverman. But I know better. Better than what? Better than me who thinks there might be.

It's not Silverman's. No junk and clunk and crash and clutter here, and that's his stock in trade.

Literally.

So: Magical Woman's House? Whose house is this house?

The sign, faded, sitting by a box on a pole says something in foreign letters like on the humming hotbox in the ghost kitchen:

The letters are: Murgatroyd

I don't know what that says but I know what it says because something else says what it is by being something else.

And that is: マーガトロイド

And now I know exactly how that first word is pronounced. Katakana is a brilliant thing.

And by that name, I now know that this is the house of Small-walker. The little ones, she walks them along and they fly too but for all intents and purposes, it doesn't matter: You just take a

hop

skip

step

jump

And you keep on walking.

Even if it's flying.

Little Red knocks on the door again, White Opening behind her, me behind she, friend beside I.

No footsteps coming near.

Little Red turns her head and starts to say

but ends the say

because the door opens. Pulled by one of the small ones, it pushes it open, looking frantic and apologetic.

It says nothing, conveys many things.

It holds the door open, bowing and bowing. Odd for a foreigner. How foreign is she?

Perhaps it's something for the guests. More of us than her, mostly.

I look at my hosts.

I giggle. Poor thing.

Miniature in miniature, she ushers us in, ribbon in her hair bobbing, and closes the door behind us. Flitting fastly forward 'fore friendly guests sit, she nabs a note from a nearby table and flies to Little Red, who reads.

This place, too, is Western.

But more friendly.

It's not in utter disrepair. Nothing says friendliness like a complete lack of piles of rubble in the home.

I see other bits of movement. Not from Mini Mini, but other small ones. Only two seem different: Mini Mini, and another distinctly different small one who comes floating out from a side room joining onto the entryway where we stand There's a place to take off your shoes but I see no inside-pairs belonging to the owner and goes to wait by Mini Mini, a string flowing behind and above her. She gives a little wave to us, but doesn't look up.

I wave back.

I'm petting the next one that gets close enough.

Little Red looks up at the two five of us standing or hovering there.

"Seems Alice went out, but she's got our stuff ready and it's in a-- oh."

Two more of the regular small ones zip up to her, bearing a box with a handle. They look happy. Damn, can't reach them from here without moving closer.

"Thank you, you two," says Little Red, and smiles at the two small ones. They bow in tandem, and zip off back upstairs.

"Well, that just made this stop a lot quicker, except... Hey, Shanghai?"

Mini Mini looks up at Little Red, head tilted slightly inquisitively. Or waiting-ly.

Still isn't a word.

"Does Alice have any..." Little Red pauses, searching for a word, and looks back at me, then at Mini Mini. "...Anything in the way of costumes that's ready to wear, I guess?"

That little head tilts the other way.

"Like anything that could be grabbed off the rack and worn out of here, sort of ...quickish?"

Mini Mini stays rubs her chin in silent miniature thought.

Next to her, Mini On A Shoe String, still bent, perks her head up, and smacks a tiny fist into an equally small palm.

Mini Mini looks up as Mini On A Shoe String flutters past her and out of the room for a moment, disappearing into what looks like a small office. She comes back with a long, thin piece of paper Almost a wide paper ribbon and a small pencil, then makes a few gestures to Mini Mini.

A second passes, then Mini Mini smacks her forehead, and turns to Little Red, nod nod bow bow, then takes the pencil and paper from Mini On A Shoe String and begins scribbling things down on the paper at a rapid pace.

The result is beautiful but unreadable to my eyes. I admire such skill and craftsmanship.

I can admire it because I've moved closer to Little Red this whole time: step pause, wait a while step and again.

Target in range~

She finishes, and hands it to Little Red, who takes it and reads it.

"Hmmm... No, schoolgirl's out. ...She's already got a kimono. ...what's a Domo-kun? ...that'd work if we were playing Eientei, but no..." Little Red's voice trails off for a few more seconds, until she gives a triumphant laugh, and turns to Mini Mini, pointing out an item. "There. That's perfect. Can you all get started on that right away? It's for her, in the-- oh, you're right there. Hey, all the better."

I at least manage to pat Mini Mini on the head before several other small ones descend upon me.

-----------------------------------------------------

We fly away from the house, out of the forest, high high hi there sky and zoom, we're off.

this kind of sucks

i think it's brilliant

it's cramped

would you rather have me be spotted easier

no

there you go then

why couldn't i have been noticeable back then?

don't get grumpy about the past

and hey, look on the bright side

now i have an excuse to hit people with you

oh, joy

White Opening turns back to me and raises her voice to be heard over and above and through the wind. She smiles a bit as she looks at me.

"Miss 'Oni'? Miss Lyrica would like to know if you would like to stop and meet the sound engineer first, or let her handle that while the two of us go on ahead to the Garden."

[ ] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain
[ ] I could get lost in this... field of sunflowers. But I'd never get hungry. I could eat... sunflower seeds.

_______________________________________________________

While searching for this post's image, I learned that Shanghai has been drawn wielding pretty much any weapon known to man.

And then I did not use a picture of her.

Sorry.

>>97727
I'm glad to see that at least one of you knows your palindromes.

>>97616
>The radio only adds three.
...is that something you made up, or is that really the last half of that phrase?
>> No. 97900
[x] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.
>> No. 97905
[X] I could get lost in this... field of sunflowers. But I'd never get hungry. I could eat... sunflower seeds.

>>...is that something you made up, or is that really the last half of that phrase?
No clue. Don't think it's supposed to go with the phrase, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who would have thought of something like it.
>> No. 97907
[X] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.

>I (wa wa wa) wonder
The first thing that came to mind was "Runaway" by Dion, and if you're referencing that I love you even more than before, but otherwise I'm stumped.
>> No. 97909
Actually, it seems it's Runaway by Del Shannon ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLLcvWeiKw ). Not sure if you meant that one or what, but I'll admit Runaway Girl's lyrics are closer to being relevant ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErKUBVEqJi0 ).

I think I like Runaway better, though, just for the music.
>> No. 97910
>>97909
>Runaway by Del Shannon
That's the one I was thinking of. "And I wonder... where she will stay-ee-yay... my little runaway." Fantastic.
>> No. 97912
[x] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.
>> No. 97913
[X] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.

hmmmmmmmmm
>> No. 97919
[Q] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.

I like the image of Kogasa trying to pet as many of the dolls as possible.
>> No. 97930
[x] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain
>> No. 97942
[X] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.
>> No. 97968
[ ] I could get lost in this... field of sunflowers. But I'd never get hungry. I could eat... sunflower seeds.

In before our heroine has taken one of Alice's dolls, and proceeds to pet it in secret.
>> No. 97970
File 125536849873.jpg - (92.44KB , 480x310 , Lennie.jpg ) [iqdb]
97970
>>97968
That won't end well.
>> No. 98053
[x] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain.

>>97909
first video:
lol @ ring dancing girls in pants.
second video:
...and I pictured sanae longingly staring staring out a window...Kind of disturbing, actually...
>> No. 98058
File 125540936552.jpg - (174.11KB , 549x1250 , Senior Audio Engineer Mimi.jpg ) [iqdb]
98058
[雀] Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain!

Sound sounds like a sound plan, from the sound of it.

I'd carry that further, but there's no ocean.

I think.

Don't eat the takoyaki. It's imaginary.

"I love a new face," I say, rubbing at the horns on my forehead. "Let's go meet her."

White Opening gives me a thumbs up, and passes that on to Little Red, who nods. No change in course, of course.

Of course?

Of course.

Horses aren't actually very common in Gensokyo, you see.

I still don't know how they can get stuck in trees.

Such nonsense.

We fly along and on and off and up and again and land on a wooded path that leads to the village, which is still some ways off.

Here There Be Food Carts.

It looks like a typical ramen or yakitori stand except that the character on the outside says 鰻 instead. A niche market, then?

Yes, I would like to buy one niche, please. Something suitable for a small home, and reasonably priced.

Why that one looks lovely, thank you.

That's how you buy a stand like this.

...I think I wanted to run a little food stand once, too.

It would have been made entirely of chairs, and it would have been wonderful.

Chairs are surprising. A store made of chairs never stops being surprising, even if you live next to it.

I grow a little wistful, and it blooms. I grow a lot of wisteria, but it will take longer.

Noises come from inside the store. There isn't any light coming from inside, but the flap on the side is tugged aside.

Oh, hold on.

This sounds familiar.

The stand. The humming.

The sound sounds familiar. My memory for sound is sound.

Still no ocean yet. There'd be a whole thing with seashells and all. It'd be great.

"Just a minute~" calls out the voice from within. My voice from within is different from this voice within. Two places, three people.

Not my friend. He can't carry a tune.

won't disagree with you there

makes it easier on all of us, then

A slim hand reaches out and hangs a kimono on a coat hook.

Clothing goes rustle rustle rustle click click click click ziiiiiiip.

The floating arm grabs the kimono and takes it back inside. Is it so cramped in there?

Clack thunk wunk thump closed door

oh

I know her.

Extra Bird comes out to meet us, not wearing what I'm used to seeing her in. Her other new different not the same certainly outside clothes are very Outside. Different hat, olive shirt A black olive doesn't make sense now does it with stripylines up and down, rather quite mini skirt, thighhighs. Stripes are one apiece, get'em while they're hot.

I feel overdressed. Luckily, I have bigger things to worry about.

Extra Bird waves at Lyrica and smiles as she jogs over to where we wait. She hesitates on seeing the big oni Hi there accompanying the pair of poltergeists.

"Hi-hi~ Who's the new girl? I didn't think there were many oni left here aside from Suika~"

Little Red starts to speak

White Opening pauses and looks back

I step forward

Big smile, talk loud, confident

Okay to look them in the eyes; the in-the-eye glasses fix that part

Heft the club over the shoulder, arm out

Grin a liiiiittle bit more pumped-up

Gender-neutral name from one of the thin boxes holding 'movies' at Silverman's store

There we go.

"Hey! Name's Kabuki Ah, broke the first rule of being an oni already and I'm told I was hired for some concert. Sounded awesome, so I was totally up for it. And, uh... I'm supposed to helping you, right?"

Just keep up the friendly grin, loud voice, shake shake shake the hand, wrist wrappings bounce a little.

Poor thing looks taken aback.

blink

"Uh, I, Yes? Yes~ ...Do you have--"

"Sweet." Can't let her get a word in. "Lookin' forward to working with you. Let's haul ass, Boss!"

That last gets directed to Little Red, who is trying not to smirk. White Opening looks calm but I can see the lip being bitten.

Little Red coughs, and tries to serious more harder. Harder-er. "Yes, no time to waste. Move out, people!"

And up into the blue

slowly turning pink and orange and red and and eventually purple

then dark blue

and little white white white white white white and big mommy Egg against black.

Her hunt starts now, or soon. Maybe another half hour?

If I live through this music-filled charade, this will make the sixth night in a row Anger doesn't come until the morning of day three this time through which I've spent alive.

The average is six days.

It gets much harder soon after that.

By Day Ten, I usually stop being able to sleep at night.

After all, I'm too busy dodging the 'midnight bombing raids.'

The sound of joyful, maddened laughter amidst explosions and the hills are alive with the sound of magic and things falling all around me--

It is exhausting.

It is terrifying.

It is what she wants.

Simple as that: she wants, and she takes.

She takes and takes and takes and takes and takes my life and smiles every time because I'm her best customer her only customer but repeat business is assured because the customer is not god and she knows this better than almost anybody else here

so

her stand her stall her store her shop her little shop of horrors is always open for business when I show up and we do business and she takes and laughs and takes and takes and takes.

I think As we fly through the sky with the evening sun making a red carpet over Gensokyo for the green girl to walk that this time, I'm going to be selfish.

Even if I can't see him, I can feel my friend smiling at the thought, and he smiles as maliciously as I do.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sun has dipped a notch because I go go go so slow but we are there and the others are there and there we are they are.

We come to, indeed, the Golden Lands, and will soon alight upon the grassy field between here and there and the amphitheater set up nearby.

Slowing down, coming low, we touch down.

Welcome back.

The other foot follows an imperceptible fraction of a second later

one goes forward

another step

And I keep on walking.

The walking walks me along until we find where the ghosts have gathered.

Others have gathered in groups and pairs, and some are sitting down on the rings of seats.

A large group is on the other side around Tall Red, she of the Golden Hands.

The audience is mostly not human.

I'm already a member of the club.

I pat my friend, the club, and give him a smile which he returns but I can't see.

Pinkblue Madness spots us, and motions us over.

I stride over there.

Big steps, swagger a little

You don't own the place, but you have every right to be there

Proper mindset

Proper bodyset

It's all a big trick, after all.

I like tricks~

I don't see Extra Bird. Perhaps we lost her? I didn't lose her. I never won her either, though. Damn.

We join Black Hand of Slap and Pinkblue Madness. They talk excitedly for a bit with Little Red.

White Opening pulls me aside.

"Sooo... like, they're probably gonna be busy n' stuff for a bit." Her speech sounds not bored, but not-slurred: it's half-there, on the edges and making its impression in the brain. Not bewildered, but like maybe it should be. It's weird, and dips out of that them there what BOTH yes into kind of smirking-grinning voice-ness.

"Aaaand yeah. So. You like, wanna check this place out? I've been here and there and lots of theres actually and I got the fuckin' postcards to prove it; I'll show 'em to you. And if you wanna get goin' with the ampin' and the soundin' and the alla that with Mimi in the tent, that's totally cool, too."

She glances over at the crowd around the one hosting this, and grins. Maybe it's a leer.

"O~r.... I can totally setcha up with the Yuukster. She's a crazy fuckin' lady, but man, you need to talk to her at least once while we're here. But yeah. What's your call, Miss Oni-Licio~us?"

Smirk, not-a-giggle, and a little finger twirls twirls twirls while smooth white stockings keep her stalking so as to keep her walkings right up with mine.

[ ] Ideal location
[ ] Noble calling
[ ] Model citizen

_____________________________________________________________

There needs to be an anthology of Ran-focused doujins. And it should be called "Tenkobon."
>> No. 98063
[x] Model citizen

[x] If she's called the Yuukster does she tell jokes? I like jokes when they're funny except when they aren't.
>> No. 98066
>Extra Bird
Indian names for touhous may well be the funniest part of this CYOA.

[X] Noble calling

The prospect of trying to fool Yuuka terrifies me.
>> No. 98068
[x] Model citizen
>> No. 98069
[x] Model citizen
>> No. 98071
[0] Model citizen
>> No. 98082
[∀] Noble calling

>The prospect of trying to fool Yuuka terrifies me.

I agree
>> No. 98083
[X] Noble calling
Take a message.
>> No. 98084
[x] Model citizen
>> No. 98090
[X] Noble calling
>> No. 98091
[x] Model citizen
>> No. 98096
[x] Model citizen
>> No. 98116
>...I think I wanted to run a little food stand once, too.
>It would have been made entirely of chairs, and it would have been wonderful.
>Chairs are surprising. A store made of chairs never stops being surprising, even if you live next to it.

you... that. Why would you do this? Why would you do such a thing. This is evil.
>> No. 98123
[ ] Ideal Location
>> No. 98218
>>98116

....

I dont get it....
>> No. 98220
>>98218

Fallout Gensokyo reference.
>> No. 98249
File 125548430359.jpg - (216.27KB , 591x797 , Summertime Killer.jpg ) [iqdb]
98249
[❀] Model citizen

I look around.

She's a magnet.

Not necessarily a magnet for people, but a magnet for your gaze.

Compelled compelled com pelled come be pulled in

It's her personal charm.

But like a magnet, she repels some types as well.

She seems to be somewhat popular with the populace here, so maybe those repelled are more often humans?

Maybe.

That she's hosting the show helps, too.

White Opening grins, and I can almost hear it without looking.

"A-ha-ha-ha-aaallll righty then. Let's go have you a talk with the Lady of the Hour." And with that, she seizes my hand and drags me over.

I really hope nobody notices. This is conduct unbecoming of an oni.

Oh, wait, that's right. I can do something about that.

I hiss at White Opening to pause for a moment, and she looks back at me, slightly irritated.

"Oh, for fuck's sake, maaaan... You're not gettin' cold feet after Krazy Killer Kana just offered to introduce you to one of Gensokyo's most batshit babes, are ya? You better not be, 'cause I'll be disappointed and upset if you do. Y'ever seen me upset? It's fuckin' gut-wrenching, man. I make sad kittens and kicked puppies look like, uh... fuckin'... granite, or something. Like, not emotional, but not even marble. You're gettin' where I'm goin' with this, right? Shit. Y'ain't, are you. ...Fuck."

With her rambly grumpy tirade brought to a close, she folds her arms and pouts.

No ma'am, the product was not as advertised.

My guts were not wrenched.

Nay, not even pliered, hammered, nor mitered.

Well, of course I would know, I've had those first three happen to me. The green girl had gotten ahold of some tools, and it might've been fascinating if it weren't so terribly painful.

...No, my guts haven't been mitered. I think.

What? That proves nothing.

I'm going to go talk to your manager.

"Aha, no, it's not that," I say, smiling nervously and trying to wave away her concern. "Sorry if it came across--" If what came across? Barely anything was said "--like that. I just meant that... you know," I gesture to myself. "Oni, and all?"

White Opening glances at me out of the corner of her eyes, sighs, and throws up her hands.

"Yeah, yeah, fine. Jesus. I guess you gotta point, but let's fucking go already. Time's a tickin', and you need to get yer ass back in the back back with Miz Meems so we can rock this place all proper-like-and-ike. Now c'mon, scoot."

I grin back, yeah, not-smirking-but-maybe, that's the start

Shoulders a bit broader

Swagger is key; don't overdo it

Back in the groove.

White Opening looks at me thoughtfully as we walk the rest of the way over to Tall Red and the quickly diminishing crowd Oh, it really is getting closer to showtime around her.

"Huh. Ya know, you aren't bad at playin' the part, just to look at it. You walk like a smug asshole, but a lotta oni are just that. 's good, it works."

I glance at her. "I get it from the my-I-me of a longtime back. It came with the territory, and you soak it up."

"Really? Well shit, keep it up."

was that a compliment she made?

sounded like one

you keep strange company

that's the cost of being selfish

certainly cheaper than the alternative

I shudder.

got that right

Only one person is left by the time we reach Tall Red. She's blushing frantically but grinning like she won something huge.

-ffwip ffwip ffwip-

She also seems to be seems to be fastening up the top of her shirt, concealing a decent bustline.

Tall Red is smiling quite

click

calmly, and places a cap back on what looks like one of those longtime-ink markers Silverman had here and there and by the register and always close at hand.

I bought one, once. It's in my back of tricks. They're surprisingly useful.

The girl bows, thanking Tall Red profusely, and scurries off.

was she--

i have no idea

but

none at all and i'm happier this way

why couldn't i be red

don't complain

She glances over at us.

Green she is as well, and green she embodies with her very fiber and being, but only half, and just an eighth of her appearance but morally technically legally it should be more.

You would think.

But reputation and words that live on lips hide in mouths travel between people in whispers make it clear:

She's known for red and gold.

"Ah, is that Kana? Good ev-- oh, and a friend, too? Good evening to you both, then."

"How's it going, Yuky?"

They hug. She really does know Tall Red, after all.

"Don't use that nickname. I don't want snow coming early."

It's spoken pleasantly and not like an elegant lady. Just normally. Such a tone to an admonition makes it feel somehow worrisome.

Worry some or worry a lot? Both have their place and time around Tall Red.

They part, and White Opening jerks a thumb in the direction of the last girl.

"Didn't know kids were still into that. I'm surprised you put up with that shit, though."

"Fans can be very strange, can't they? Well, she asked quickly, and it made her happy, and she's not chittering away like the others, so I didn't need to get forceful. One hour of problems can be fixed with one minute of careful weeding if you spot the bad leaves early."

White Opening turns and ushers me forward with a pat on my back. I step forward and shake the hand that Tall Red stretches out to me.

"Good evening, child."

"Hey, how ya doin'? Pleased to meet ya. I'm with the band. Helpin' out the sound lady and stuff."

Cheerful, loud, friendly

Good.

Tall Red looks me up and down with a flick of her gaze as we shake.

"Not an oni. What was your name, again?"

I think

I think I need to stick to the role.

And to do so, I must abandon it.

That really makes no sense at all, but the menace she is making a point of not displaying, the threat which isn't being spoken, the declaration that every word is being considered carefully that goes unmade

They scream at me with their definite lack of presence.

It's not that I personally am under her suspicion.

Anyone she talks speaks writes listens to is subject to this.

Step - carefully

Honesty is crucial to now and on and smoothness of the road of words.

"...Not Kabuki."

A slow, friendly smile appears on her face.

"Ah. This must be dedication rather than stupidity that demands you continue to play. I wonder why~?"

"Fearing for my life."

Tall Red leans in close. Close close close like she wants to kiss but I don't think that's on her my our her mind.

blink

"Oh, it's you. The little not-an-impostor. And yet, here you are. Imposting."

I wonder if this may not have been a good idea.

White Opening swoops down to save me from highly potential death: "The fearin' for her life ain't just from, from you, you know. On the run."

Change of pitch in the middle of that. I hear teeth closer together as she talks and a more impatient tone in her voice and a tap tap tap would come from her heels if we were on a solid floor. Nailbiting on the edge of hearing.

This gets something of a reaction. Just a bit of something.

A raised eyebrow, and a new sort of glance, ready to re-appraise.

"Oh?"

"Yeah. The, uh. Rookie from Hilltop Station. Holdin' a foxhunt. This here's Foxy."

There's code in the air. The pause and eyes flicking from side to side in the middle of it scream of it.

Tall Red's head tilts slightly, and she nods.

"I see. My condolences to you, little maybe-impostor. However, this place is no safe haven for you."

I speak up, swallow, and start again.

"I. I'm traveling with the band. I won't be here any longer than they."

"Good," Tall Red replies. "See to it that you do, and stay well. Your concert is beginning. Perhaps you should go attend."

The nailbiting stops.

White Opening's eyes go wide, and her head whips around to look at the amphitheater, where the seats are mostly full.

In that second, I feel something on my wrist. My eyes flick down, and suddenly, I realize that I still have a wrist. And hand beyond, too. Tall Red lets go of it, finally, and something else.

"Shit!" White Opening spits a frantic oath, and almost yanks me off my feet before I can recover and keep up. She turns back and waves to Tall Red as we run. "Bye Yuuka sorry leaving now seeya later!"

Tall Red calmly waves, and favors us with a smile.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inside a little pink pavilion at the center of the amphitheater, there is some unhappiness at our lateness, but it's being brushed aside in the hurry.

"Where have you been, Kana?!"

"Has anyone seen my bow?"

"We doin' Hendrix before or after the Blood Sweat and Tears?"

"Took Miss Kabuki to meet Yuuka. Didn't say they'd met. Not nice of you, Miss Oni."

"It was in the dressing room last I saw it..."

"Oh, here's the program."

"Whatever. Did you practice your lines, at least? No, I know you were. Of course you wandered off."

"I kind of like that bow. And my lucky guitar pick, but I have that with me."

"So... where do I go, exactly?"

"Been practicing for a few weeks. Don't worry. I'm good."

"Hmm... whoa, wait. The next two shows are light shows? Man, that's gonna kick ass."

"Oh, there it is."

"Maybe it's where all these cables are going t-- oh, that's the stage."

"We're on in five. Need to get ready. Hurry more? Careful, though."

"Dammit guys, we can't have a mess like this happen again, even if I have to keep you all on a leash to make sure."

"Which songs will I need the guitar for?"

"So... It's probably in the other direction. Let's try that."

"I think I might keep Merlin on a leash anyway. It'd make life easier for all of us."

"Guitar? ....uh... last two and the second one, I th-- Hey, fuck you."

"Dirty mouth. Watch it. But not nice to tease. Any of you ready yet?"

"You know I love you, Merlin."

"And they go into... Oh. 'Audio Room.' Maybe I should read the sign by the door first, next time."

"Thanks."

I close the door behind me.

Finally.

Extra Bird doesn't look up from the panels and banks of damn that is very very very a lot of electronic ...stuff.

What does all this do, anyway?

My mind glazes over for a moment, but Extra Bird's voice snaps me out of it.

"You're late. Let's get moving already. We don't have any time to waste, and you're going to need to work fast. Hurry."

There's something in my hand.

[ ] Microfilm from your contact in the Kremlin
[ ] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field

______________________________________________________________

Yanno is not a word. It's only a typo made when writing a certain singer's name. Anything else is idiocy.
Don't let this kind of faggotry happen to you.

>>98116
Because I fucking love Fallout in Gensokyo.

And if there's a single one of you people reading this story who haven't read Fallout yet, go to the archives and read it now.

It's the best thing on these boards since Retrospective and Astronomical Narration.

You also need to read that as well.
>> No. 98257
>She also seems to be seems to be fastening up the top of her shirt, concealing a decent bustline.
Rock star Yuuka?

[X] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field

Whatever Yuuka slipped us, I doubt it's time-sensitive, and we have a concert to help run. Let's not forget about it, though.
>> No. 98258
[x] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field
>> No. 98261
>>98251
...what?
>> No. 98263
[x] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field
>> No. 98269
[ ] Microfilm from your contact in the Kremlin

>>98249
Doesn't make you any less evil for reminding me of it. And the fact that it's not here anymore. And the fact that it seems to be raining. Yes, it's definately raining.
>> No. 98270
[x] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field
>> No. 98273
>>98269
>Yes, it's definately raining.
Then the store is working perfectly.

>and the fact that it's not here anymore
Thread 6 of Fallout? >>84441 ; there you go. It's on page 9, though.
>> No. 98274
[X] Microfilm from your contact in the Kremlin
>> No. 98332
[X] Microfilm from your contact in the Kremlin
>> No. 98352
>>98273
I meant that it's not updating anymore and that the writefag seems to have been lost in transit. Also, the most recent thread is here >>88567 On page 2. Shows how much THP's slowed down since the move.
>> No. 98359
[0] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field
>> No. 98366
>>98352
I'm almost positive that's not the case, considering that the TH-P thread has an update on 9/17, whereas the THP thread's last update is on 8/9. Fallout writefag just takes his time, that's all.
>> No. 98377
Calling it for getting to goddamn work already.

>>98352
Oh.

>>98366
What he said.
>> No. 98510
File 125558146125.jpg - (87.26KB , 400x300 , oh god what is this shit.jpg ) [iqdb]
98510
[〄] Roomful of machinery monitoring the operations of our agents in the field

Lines and switches, lights and gauges, and more buttons than a clever analogy relating to a thing that has buttons.

I screwed that one up.

Ah, hell with it. Time to get to work. I'll look at what it is later. In the mean time: into the Bag with you!

I walk over, and as I get close, Extra Bird practically shoves my face into the bank of controls.

"Quick, what does the word above that one say~?"

A very long nail, almost a claw, points out one particular control.

I read the little label above it. "'Mic 1,'" I tell her.

"Good. Now this one~"

flick and the claw darts across the board

"'Amp 1'."

The musical tone to her voice drops to an irritable mutter for a short moment.

"...the fuck? Why'd they put that next to... whatever. No time. This one~?"

flick

"Subwoofer 1'."

This continues for another minute, rattling off various strange words, occasionally being corrected when I mispronounce something. It's like some kind of bizarre reading comprehension quiz.

I notice her making adjustments to various things on the board with her other hand even as I read off the labels and titles.

I can hear music starting to play.

She sits back finally, and seems to completely forget about me as she becomes completely absorbed in whatever she's doing.

...This room could use a little more light.

I take a seat in one of the chairs and listen to the music nearby and lean back a little.

Time passes.

Cause bids one Spade, Space passes, Effect raises to two Spades.

The first two songs were good ("Shining Blue" and "Gentle Massacre of the Cherry Blossom"), the third had me giggling enough that Extra Bird threw a pencil at me ("I Swear It's Not What It Looks Like"), and the last two were something foreign from outside, but the music was catchy. The last one had a lot of trumpets.

As the music dies away, Extra Bird slumps back, and waves to me, half turning.

"Thanks for the help, Kabuki~ You're free to go~"

I nod uncertainly, and get up to leave. As I'm about to step out the door, she calls out. "Ah! One more thing~?"

I turn back, and find her smiling sweetly.

"Next time, please don't be late."

The threats are hiding behind her teeth but I can hear them quite clearly.

She probably couldn't take me in a fight, and she doesn't seem to have caught that I'm not really an oni, but... There are plenty things you can do to make a person's life miserable that don't involve touching them.

Best not to push it.

"Oh. Eh heh... Yeah, sorry about that. I'll make sure to be here much earlier next time."

"See that you do~"

And with a cheery wave from her, I leave the darkened room.

Back amongst the pink walls of the backstage area, I find myself unguided for the first time in a while.

Ghost talk to the left of me, crowd chatter to the right of me.

[ ] Speak to the dead
[ ] Walk amongst the living
_____________________________________________________________

This update was terrible to write. I am not at all pleased with it, but I wasn't going to let it stop me for long. Now you have it, so let's move on.
>> No. 98515
I missed mah Kremlin vote D:

[x] Speak to the dead

Keepin' up the trend
>> No. 98517
[ ] Walk amongst the living

I'm waiting for a 'El dia de los muertos' vote.
>> No. 98519
[X] Speak to the dead
>> No. 98520
>>98517
Man, now I want to go rent a bunch of Robert Rodriguez movies and make the fights in this story based on them.

I hope you're happy.
>> No. 98530
>the last two were something foreign from outside, but the music was catchy. The last one had a lot of trumpets

Ah, that isn't a very good hint at all


[x] Speak to the dead
[x] MICROFILM
>> No. 98546
>>98530
Based on the update before last, I can only guess that's the Blood, Sweat, and Tears; "And When I Die" seems like it would make a good show closer, although one wonders how ghosts would feel about the lyrics.

Still loving your taste in music, Fell.
>> No. 98557
[x] Speak to the dead
>> No. 98601
[x] Speak to the dead
>> No. 98637
[X] Walk amongst the living

I'm going for "hide in plain sight" here...
>> No. 98720
New thread: >>98717