This story takes place within my own The End of Summer (EoS) fanfiction which is a sequel - one year on - to Whisper of the Heart. This is a single day in the period of the two weeks in my story when I don't describe any detail of the days in Cremona - it's a day when time is just passing between significant nodes of the main story. I knew long before I finished EoS that this day happened just the way it's described here, (although I've expanded the story, it would never have been this long if it had been a part of EoS) and I think there are also similar events like it on other evenings in the remaining week of the couple's stay in Italy. However for the sake of keeping EoS focussed on what was important I left out all mention of this. That may sound a bit arcane but as you read on you'll understand why. I think this subject is very delicate and best kept separate from the main 'pure' story of Shizuku and Seiji's deepening love.
You can read this story alone on its own merit, but there are many references and links in it to EoS and in order to get the most from this short I recommend you read EoS first.
UPDATE 16th DECEMBER: All done. Enjoy!
UPDATE 6th DECEMBER: Couple more chapters up. Chapters 9 to 13 kind of run at a faster pace so I'll probably upload a bit more frequently - one every couple of days probably. If all goes to plan it should be all online by about 16th December.
UPDATE 27th NOVEMBER: A couple more chapters up over the weekend.
UPDATE 21st NOVEMBER: Chapter 3 uploaded. I have also now written a Postscript, a Chapter 13 if you like, so with intro and outro notes the full story will be 15 chapters.
UPDATE 18th NOVEMBER: The story is now complete; it took me the week between 13th and 18th November to get it done. There are 12 chapters plus this intro and an 'outro' or a collection of mad author ramblings, self justification and other nonsense. I'll upload two to three chapters a week, so please stay tuned.
Be warned now. There is adult content in this story. If you are below the age of consent in your country YOU MAY NOT READ THIS STORY AND MUST LEAVE THIS PAGE NOW.
I wish to advise that I do NOT hold any copyright to the Whisper of the Heart anime by Studio Ghibli, nor the Mimi wo Sumaseba manga by Aoi Hiiragi, the characters, their names and some of their motivations do not belong to me. I do hold copyright on the parts of The End of Summer that are not based on Studio Ghibli or Aoi Hiiragi work. This includes, but is not limited to, new characters, places and themes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This story is one of gentleness, love, innocence and discovery. You will enjoy it more if you are in the right frame of mind when you read it. Once all 13 chapters are up may I suggest you leave about 90 minutes to read the whole thing (including the end notes), if you read at a slow pace and stop to think about certain bits 90 minutes should do it. I also ask that you be in a relaxed and unhurried, a gentle frame of mind, get comfortable where you won't be disturbed. Get yourself a drink: coffee, a glass of wine, a nice long cool milkshake - whatever, I don't mind.
I wrote this mostly on my laptop while commuting to and from work by train. Whilst writing I played some gentle and cheerful music that inspired the right mood. It was all stuff from Studio Ghibli movies - if you have some CDs or a collection of mp3 files may I recommend any of the following for playing in the background as you read:
Nausicaa main theme.
Laputa main theme.
The Great Tree in the Tsukamori Forest from Totoro.
End song from Porco Rosso.
End song (The Rose) from Only Yesterday.
Anything from Whisper of the Heart - the Japanese version of Country Road is nice as is much of the incidental music, especially Canon, 'Erufu', 'Engel's Zimmer' and the Earth Shop themes.
Pom Poko - all the nice quiet tunes from the end of the movie (there are three of them).
The opening and closing tunes from Spirited Away.
The closing song from The Cat Returns - a nice happy melody to put some zing in your heart.
The wonderfully evocative 'The Boy Who Accepted The Star' from Howl.
OK, thats enough of that.
Oh, and one last thing before I go. I have set up a forum. You can discuss The End of Summer, The Attic Room and The Other Side of the World if you wish. If you feel a burning need to tell me my work is complete pants then please do it there. I'd like to use the forum for C&C, feedback etc so that any discussion is public rather than in the form of replies to reviews which I hate because I lose them. I'll probably use the forum as a species of blog where I'll discuss what is happening / may happen in The Other Side of the World; thouights about stuff I plan to write; why I wrote things the way I did; and the price of fish. In case you are having trouble finding it, it's in the Anime/Whisper section.Are you ready? In the mood? Sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...