Hello. If you're looking for the next chapter of Look After You, I'm sorry that I've been so slow on it. I'm working on getting around the huge writer's block and putting out a decent chapter. In the meantime, here's a new story for you.
He had had an ordinary day, the day that everything had changed.
He went to school, had lunch with Himawari and Doumeki, dodged a spirit as he made his way home, alone. Doumeki had an archery tournament coming up that he stayed everyday after the final bell rang and practiced for. The days were longer now, humid summer days where sunlight lasted well into the evening.
Watanuki could tell that Doumeki was stressed. He never said anything, kept him company when he could spare the time, but Watanuki saw the faint lines perpetually crinkling his forehead, spotted his focus sliding during lectures. He would never in a million years admit to anyone how worried he was that Doumeki was pushing himself too hard.
Today was hot and sweltering, the kind of weather he despised because all he could hear was cicadas buzzing as he walked past the train station, and felt exhausted anytime he had to step into the oven of the streets outside.
Rubbing his eyes behind his glasses, he made his way past their park, the little animal benches abandoned and the playground completely deserted. The air was still and thick over the trees. Which were silent, no leaves rustling, only the buzzing of insects there to drive him crazy.
Somehow, he made it to his apartment, heading up the stairs to feel the whoosh of air inside pass over him, cool and musty from being closed up since morning. He threw open a window for circulation, wanting the slight stirring of a breeze despite the ridiculous heat it brought with it. He set his bag down by the tiny closet, flopping down onto his bed and turning over to stare up at the slowly swishing ceiling fan, trying to decide how to spend his rare afternoon off from work and away from his slave-driving boss. That proved to be a mistake, as he shut his eyes and, swiftly, was out like a light.
"Do you know the legend behind the Star Festival, Watanuki?" Yuuko asked, gazing away from him, up at the clear night sky above her backyard. She was sitting on her knees on the porch deck outside, wearing an elaborate yukata that trailed behind her, her hair loose and undecorated, flowing down her back. Even though it seemed as though it was late at night, the yard was flooded with pale light from the impossibly enormous full moon hanging beyond the fence. It was so close, almost close enough to touch, the world reduced to this place, this time. The moon was reflected in an utterly serene pond, untouched by any ripples despite the strong blowing wind. It smelled of jasmine.
He knew the pond didn't really exist in Yuuko's backyard- he'd just beaten the dust out of the rugs in that exact spot yesterday. That's how he knew this was a dream, and that also understood that he was trapped in it.
She turned to look at him as he stood frozen in the doorway that led onto the deck where she sat, her eyes glowing with the magic of the moon. A small bottle of sake and the traditional cup were set next to her. Out by the boundary of the fence, throughout the tall grass lining it, fireflies danced and swirled.
"It began when the Weaving Star and a Shepard star fell in love. They were wed in utmost happiness, but were completely wound up in each other, enough so that they began to neglect their duties. Her father was very angry, for his daughter wove the most beautiful cloth, and forced the couple to stand on either side of the river of stars, where once a year, a bridge forms and they can meet. That night, Watanuki, is tonight." She said, her voice calm and meaningful.
Watanuki stared at her, this dream becoming hazier, her words echoing as she spoke.
Though she did not smile, her eyes did, the moonlight in them becoming stronger and fiercer.
"I have a job for you." She said.
To be continued. It's absolutely unedited, but please comment anyways!