Author: May000 PM
Osaka fights the Jabberwock, has meaningful conversations with friends.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Ayumu K./Osaka - Words: 1,876 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Published: 10-07-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6380382
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Twas Brillig (or Osaka fights the Jabberwocky)
"`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
Yukari-sensei's voice pattered across the English syllables of Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, tripping over the gaps between consonants as she went. They used made-up words, there, even Osaka knew that, and it had taken a long time for her to work out that most English words were not made up as it was. But, what was made up? All words were made up. Why? Osaka could sit and make up a word and start using it in casual conversation. The others wouldn't listen, though. Osaka words would not be words to them.
But she knew the words of the Jabberwocky were never used in proper conversation, really. It described a fairy-tale. The words looked like real English words but were not. So, the hero would be out in the woods and things would look like things even though they were not things, just like those words. Words with Ls were hard for Osaka to say because she kept sliding down the Ls and rolling them into Rs because L did not exist. The katakana looked odd for this poem. But here, she was standing in a twilight clearing and it was bright. Not regular moon bright, but unnatural brightness, more than white-brightness but bordering on silver-brightness. The slithy toves loved the unnatural brilliance and their snail-feet slithered happily across the grass, azure carapaces glowing in the moonlight. Osaka touched one, and it felt dry and left jewelled flakes on her fingertips. The snail-feet rolled in a gyre, alternated between that and the snake-like undulation known as a gimble. The wabe stretched out before Osaka, and she moved carefully as she crossed it, careful not to touch the sides. Borogoves were perfectly mimsy, so they didn't bother her, waving their feelers in contentment, instead. The mome raths flew over her head, colourful, filmy wings flapping and claws outgrabing for potential food, though they only ate amphibians, mostly.
"Osaka-san?" A small, high-pitched voice broke the scene. A small, red-headed girl stared at her, her dark eyes questioning. "You looked unsure for a second."
Osaka stared at her, before it clicked. "Oh, yeah, I was just equating the nonsense words present in this poem with genuine words present in the English language, assigning meaning based on phonetics and synonyms, before creating the scene with my imagination."
Chiyo bit her lip for a second, before nodding. "Oh! That's what I do."
Osaka laughed. "It's good practice for America!"
""Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
Later, Osaka began talking herself through it at the lunch table, her voice a gentle stuttering meander, running slightly underneath the noise of the cafeteria. But just beyond the wabe at the edge of the forest, Osaka saw a looming shadow, like a giant toothed earthworm, or a howling wolf, its many fingers writhing in the night. Not a meter away, she saw the Jubjub bird, scrabbling in the earth with the claws at its wingtips, poking the air with its antenna nostrils. On a treebranch sat the bandersnatch, its middle-face contorted with a frumious expression, eyebrows barely above its ears. It was five inches tall, so Osaka had nothing to worry about.
"What are you doing?" A sharp, brazen voice cut through the scenario. Tomo's face was two inches away from her own.
"Doin' some work for Miss Yukari. The Jabberwocky." Replied Osaka.
Yomi wrinkled her nose. "Oh, I see. I don't much care for that poem, really."
Osaka turned to face her. "I feel that its ominous tone and incomprehensible words reflect the dour mood of the Victorian age."
Yomi smiled, tight-lipped. "Yes, well, I was going to suggest that."
Tomo laughed. "No you weren't, Yomi-chan!"
"He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought."
Osaka muttered the words under her breath as she ran along the course. The words moved more smoothly the more she spoke the foreign words, the course only interrupted by Kurasawa-sensei. In her hand she held a sword. It was thinner in the middle, and burnished with platinum, the tip slightly bent upwards to catch. The Jabberwocky was indeed manxome enough to warrant such a weapon, and this was generally apparent in the amount of eyes there were on the underside of its left tentacle, and the sixth finger on its second earlobe had an extra joint. Osaka knew the jabberwocky was both strange and dangerous, so she rested by the tumtum tree. Its florescent leaves shaded her, and its hexagon shaped fruit satiated her hunger before the battle. She pondered her plan.
"Hey, Osaka!" A slap on the back shoved her back into reality. She stared up at the school's second-best athlete, Kagura-san, whose enviable physique was silhouetted by the afternoon sun.
"Oh…hey." She replied.
Kagura paused. "You ran off course. In the complete other direction." She pointed out. "You okay?"
Osaka realised that she was indeed on the opposite side of the field to the rest of her classmates. "Oh." She replied. "I was thinkin' about the Jabberwocky."
"The what?" Kagura was non-plussed.
"A fictional creature devised as a possible metaphor for unseen dangers that one might encounter in one's life, whether physical or psychological." Replied Osaka.
Kagura spidered her hand into her hair. "Yeah…I guess."
"And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!"
Osaka spoke the words as they came perfectly rounded, now. Quietly, still, as she was walking home. The other students bustled around her, sighing with relief at the finished day and strolling in groups or hurrying home. Osaka returned to beside the tumtum tree, her thoughts truly uffish in their complexity, like they were tangled in a ball of wall, but with a sense of clarity, because she knew where the knots were. And then the ground almost erupted as it came nearer, its eyes burning with noxious flame. It was the Jabberwock, indeed, every tentacle, limb and feeler raised, Osaka noticed in its leonine shape. The wood was tulgey here, the trees malformed and tumerous, breaching paths to create obstruction to mere human travellers. But the Jabberwock merely whiffled them over, sending some of them flying miles. From the depths of its throat came a deep burbling, like lava bubbles in hell.
"Um…do you want to walk together?" A low, quiet voice. Osaka looked up. Sakaki smiled down at her, face slightly hidden behind her sheath of dark hair.
Osaka grinned. "Okay!"
"Did you like Yukari's lesson, today?" Asked Sakaki.
Osaka nodded. "Yes. I like the Jabberwocky poem."
"Yes, Alice Through The Looking Glass. One of my favourite books. How about you?" Sakaki tossed her hair over her shoulder, deep, shy eyes fully revealed.
"I agree. It is particularly interesting to consider that the poem, and, indeed, the whole book could be a symbol for Carroll's interest in the innocence of youth, in its fairy-tale aspect."
Sakaki-san stared, then her face slipped into that slightly vague expression of a half smile. Osaka wondered if she was thinking of delicate heroines in sparkling fairylands.
"One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back."
Osaka recited the poem as loudly as she was able, that evening in her bedroom. It rolled slowly, now, and evenly, her accent slipping and moving with the English words as they should. It was quiet, and her parents were downstairs, so nobody was listening. Back in the woods, she dashed at the Jabberwocky, waving her Vorpal blade, even though she had to be honest, now that she didn't quite know how to use it. But the curved point at the top hooked into its rubbery flesh and pulled, making a snicker-snack sound as it tore open the creature's abdomen. It roared, and Osaka dashed from the area as it fell to its death. Her feet made a galumph galumph sound against the ground, echoing among the empty night time.
A slight ring brought Osaka to Earth, again. It came from her computer, and, on closer inspection, it seemed to be that someone was talking to her.
Hi Osaka-san . It was Kaorin. Osaka had most of her friends on IM.
Hello Kaorin, how are you? Replied Osaka. I'm just doing some work for Miss Yukari.
I wish I was in your class this year. What are you studying? Have you spoken to Miss Sakaki, recently?
Aw, don't worry, Kaorin. It's just the Jabberwocky. Miss Sakaki is okay and I think she wanted to rescue some princess last time I saw her.
Kaorin went quiet for a while. Osaka almost returned to her poem. Then Was that the Jabberwocky…?
Osaka noticed and began to type. Yes, I think she understands that the text is, in some ways, an updated version (for the time it was written) of the fairy tales of old. There is the knight, and the unfathomable monster. However, there is a damsel missing from the poem, although it comes from Alice Through The Looking Glass which, of course, has a heroine trapped in an unfamiliar and increasingly hostile world.
Another pause, before ^_^ sounds so nice. Goodnight, Osaka.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy."
Osaka drifted on the edge of sleep, her mind going over the words again. Like this, it could be perfect, as if Carroll was reciting it, himself. Osaka had reached the town by that point, having slain the monster. The townspeople shouted and crowed as she returned, speaking their archaic dialect. Osaka was beamish, had always been beamish in her height and how she liked the length of her sleeves, but now it was noticeable. And the day was frabjous, and not because the Dawn sky was pink. Osaka chortled.
"Hello!" A loud, well-echoed voice filled her head, pulling her back. She sat up. The orange cat loomed, its face stuck in that perpetual openmouth smile. "Is it time? Have you returned?"
"Returned from what?" Osaka replied. The cat waved its noodle-thin arms.
"..EVERYONE." It said, in English. Osaka understood, here, even though she wouldn't, usually.
"Yes," Said Osaka. "From the Jabberwocky. All of my friends are free."
".." He said. "My daughter is safe now."
Osaka opened her mouth but the cat carried on. ".BYE-BYE-SAYONARA."
"`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
The cat's voice clattered over the last repeated verse. Osaka slept. Everything was certainly peaceful, now.