Author's Note: Oh dear. I swore I would always finish a current story before starting another, and that I would never be one of those people who have 6 or so stories going on at once and only update each one like once a year. Sigh. But I got this idea, and I really needed to start on it or I would have forgotten by the time I finished writing 'This is not my life' (cause it will be quite a while before that one gets done.) I promise I will update my other story soon, it's not getting abandoned just because I have started a new one.
Background information on this story: The idea behind this story was borrowed from one of my favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones. It is not related to any specific book of hers, but to her 'perception of reality' which acts as a base in all her stories. She has a theory that there are multiple worlds which all occupy the same place in space. Every time any sort of decision is made, reality divides into two new realities, one for each outcome of the decision (or whatever number of outcomes there where.) So for example, there is a reality in which Germany won WWII, and a reality where the US was never separated from England, etc, etc. But because these all occupy the same physical space, only a small amount of people can move between the worlds, by sort of 'dimension jumping' or something like that. She came up with very specific details about how all this works, but I'm not copying her idea point for point, just loosely basing the plot of my story on it. So That's all you need to know for now, the specifics to how this works in the Weiß universe will be explained a few chapters on in the story.
Disclaimer: I am not Koyasu Takehito. I am not Diana Wynne Jones. Heck, I can't even claim the real 'Sky Rat.' That's right folks, I own nothing.
This story is dedicated to Mr. Effington.
Watch Me As I Fade Away
I was having one of those "moments."
Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Have you ever noticed how some days just seem to feel more 'real' than others? Not that things aren't always real, it's just…I don't know. One day you're walking down the street and you suddenly look at a tree…but instead of just seeing 'a tree' you see each and every individual leaf. You notice the way the sun shining through them makes them light up like pieces of green stained glass. You suddenly see the patterns in the bark and note how it's distinctly unique from each and every tree around it. You don't just see the cement under your feet, but the tiny grains of sand that make it up. The sky seems deeper, and weighty….Hm, maybe I sound like I'm posing as some sort of stupid philosopher. Man. Yohji would have a field day teasing me if he ever heard me talking like this. I can hear him now; "Ha ha! Hey everyone, the stupid jock is trying to be deep! Ha! Ha!"
Well anyway…maybe I sound stupid, but I'm just trying to explain myself. It's something that happens to me every now and then. More often on overcast days than not….I suddenly look up and everything seems different. Like…I spend most of my life in a 2-D world and then every now and then I get a chance to step out into 3-D. Maybe it's just me. It could be that everyone sees the world like that, and I just spend most of my life in a daze. It sure wouldn't surprise me. I've never been known for paying attention, or…oh well. It's not important.
Anway, what is important, is that I was having one of those moments, on that particular day. Otherwise I might not have even noticed when things changed, and…er, I'm already getting ahead of myself. Okay, okay, I'll start at the beginning.
Lets see…It was Saturday…Yohji woke me up by screaming in my ear that Birman was down in the mission room doing a strip tease to "Touch-a-touch-a-touch me" and then laughed at me when….Uh, maybe that's too much the beginning. Damn, I was never any good at telling stories.
Okay: fast forward five hours, to after soccer practice. I had to end the game early because it was starting to rain. The kids begged to keep playing, but I could hear thunder in the distance and decided it was too dangerous to let them stay out. They called their parents, and eventually everyone had gone home except for me. I took my time. Out of all the dangerous things out there, lightening is not something I'm particularly worried about. Heck, if it hits me, I figure it's probably doing me a favor. I'd rather go out that way then by slowly bleeding to death from a gunshot wound or watching my guts spill out from a…eh, you really don't want to hear about all that. Back to the point.
Anyway. I was slowly walking home in the rain. When I say "home" I mean the flower shop, of course. I'm never really sure whether I should consider that as "home" or not, the word instantly making me think of my mom back in…ooh, depressing train of thought there. Never mind.
So it was raining, and I was really enjoying the weather. I could actually smell the rain, although I couldn't for the life of me actually describe to you what that smell was like. I was watching the little ripples radiating out from each raindrop as it hit a puddle, and I was particularly interested in the smoky patterns of the clouds ahead of me. As I said; I was experiencing one of those rare moments when the world seems exceptionally more tangible than normal, and I was feeling a lot more aware of my surroundings then my usual day-dreamy self does.
Which is why I actually took notice when it all changed. I was almost back to the Koneko, just taking a shortcut through an alleyway one street over. I was precisely halfway through the alley, when the rain stopped. I'm not talking about the rain gradually letting up either. I mean it was pouring and then just instantly halted. Just like that. It was like walking through a waterfall or something. Now, shamefully I'll admit that there are days where I actually wouldn't have even noticed this. My mind really wanders sometimes, and I think best when I'm moving, so there could have been plenty of days where it would have taken me a good ten minutes before I even noticed I was no longer being rained on. But this day was different. I wasn't really thinking at all, just looking. So the second the rain stopped, I noticed. I didn't just notice the rain stopping either, but that the ground was suddenly dry. Everything was dry…well, except for me. The sky was several shades lighter, and for all one could tell it had never been raining in the first place.
I blinked. I rubbed my eyes. I turned around and really looked hard at where I had just been walking. It was dry behind me, right where I had been in the rain. It was…well, creepy. But aside from the bizarre change in weather, everything else seemed perfectly ordinary. In the end I just shrugged and blamed it all on global warming, or whatever it is that scientists are worrying about these days. I had more important things to worry about. Like changing into dry clothes before I froze to death.
So I sped up my pace, and hurried to the shop. I never bother knocking, I just barged in and threw my coat on the floor. Hey, I was really ready to warm up! I was about to yell a greeting to the guys, when I heard Omi's voice.
"Sorry, sir, but the shop is closed now."
"Hey, Omi, it's just me!"
At the sound of my voice, Omi drops the flowerpot he was holding.
He turns around, and his mouth drops open. I've never seen him look so pale in my life.
"What? You didn't think I'd keep the kids out in the rain, did you?" I ask nervously. Somehow, I get the impression that he didn't think I ought to still be playing soccer.
"Rain?" He asks, backing up a little, "Heh…heh…what rain?" Why is Omi laughing like that?
"Uh, Yohji? Could you come here a minute?" Omi yells down the hallway.
"Sure thing kiddo! Whadda ya need the Yohji-meister for….Holy SHIT!"
That last bit would signal Yohji's reaction to looking up and noticing me.
"Um, guys? What's wrong? Why do you both look like you've seen a ghost, or something?"
Uh oh. From the looks they're giving me, that wasn't the best wording I could have used.
"Cause we have seen a ghost!" Yohji yells, a finger shakily pointing at me, "And he's fucking talking to us!!!"
I frown. "What the hell are you talking about?!"
"Um, Ken kun…." Omi takes a few steps forward again. "I don't know how to tell you this…but…you're, uh….well, dead."
Okay, I aim to make the average chapter length about twice as long as this, but I thought that was a nice-cliffhanger to leave this one at. Dun-dun-dun!