As you've probably noticed, I've kind of fallen out of writing. I haven't had much time to write. And the ideas sort of dried up.
So, for fun and to get started back up, I did a writing exercise I've seen a lot on Live Journal- the fifty sentences fic.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, the author has a prompt of fifty words and he/she must write a sentence for each word. (Note, mine sometimes deviates from this as it has more than one sentence for some words)
Other people can use this prompt but the results can be REALLY different. That's what makes it neat, I think, and there are some 50 sentence fics that are spectacularly effective, more so, sometimes, than your conventional fanfiction.
I made this prompt through a random number generator, and if anyone else wants to use it, the prompt will shortly be up on my fanficton and LiveJournal profiles.
This is also my first time writing in second person. I don't prefer to write in second POV, but the story just ended up that way. Frankly, I don't really want to do anything else in second.
found the best word EVER:
schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.
Does he leave it intentionally undone so that you will scold him and snap the top button of his collar shut every morning?
You are drawn to him because he is solitary, even more than you. Seclusion is your choice.
Itsuki is alone even in a crowd.
Your only regret is that isolation means he cannot take you with him.
He slides the newspapers over them, but you've already seen the stack of unpaid bills, their faces stamped bright red.
After Baal, nothing seems real to you when you come out of the egg with Mana until Itsuki grabs you desperately by the shirt and punches you hard.
The first day she makes you lunch, Itsuki manages to steal the pickled radish before you can snap the box shut. It is agreed in the following days that he will have the soybeans and half the sesame rice.
As he and you sit up on the roof with the lunchbox open between you, you don't think this is what Mana had in mind.
You realize as you let Itsuki copy your homework that for all your differences, he and you are similar triangles with the same binding sides and cold cutting angles.
You are afraid of the day she will wake up. His existence is tied to it. An obligation, a driving force. An anchor.
When she comes back, what will keep him here? What will prevent him from hurtling off into dark places you cannot chase him into? Places you cannot bring him back from?
When you come back from drying your hair, he's fixed the lamp in your living room. He shrugs it off, says he used to live next to an electrician in Toyama, and you understand there are depths to him you'll never know.
Why did she pick her childhood friend over the lonely one wormed protectively into the underground? The sun-starved one, scarred and desperate, the only crime he'd ever done was love her.
"What do you think of that one, Kaname?" His face is pressed up against the glass.
You tell him he's going to leave streaks on the window and ask him to just pick one.
Then spend the next two hours helping him choose between the coconut pudding and strawberry jam torte.
After all, this is the first time Itsuki will be able to celebrate his sister's birthday with Haruna there.
He came back. He always comes back. The others see it as your strength, but it is merely the certainty that whatever blood they find in remote dirty alleys and however long he goes missing, you will always eventually come home to find him huddled, warming himself by the heater in your kitchen.
You wonder if it is only the promise of your sister's generous cooking that draws him here every evening.
The both of you are sitting in the back pews, uncomfortable and out of place as you wait for Nakaura's service to finish. They invoke a prayer, ancient and sweet, but all you hear is sound without words.
Mana is a strawberry, cheery and sweet-mouthed.
Itsuki is a bell pepper, all hollow on the inside.
He came. You knew he would come.
You never again want to see the expression on his face when he accidentally jostles your freshly broken arm.
The idiot. You try to warn him that it is a trap, but the way he carefully lays you back down as the brick wall beside you shatters makes you realise that he had known it was a trap before he came to get you.
And yet he came for you anyway.
You were just waiting for him to accidentally spill that vial of hydrochloric acid on himself. You're the last to forgive him but the first at his side when you hear the glass shatter and his surprised cry.
He's afraid. You can see it in the line of his shoulders. Afraid that something he does will catch up to you in the end.
If he weren't so ashamed of it, you would tell him it didn't matter where his darkness flung you as long as he was there to face it with you.
The Aquarian Age doesn't exist here.
The only time you've laughed that long and hard is when Itsuki was gesturing comically and only half understanding the foreign tourist he met on the subway.
Itsuki hasn't shown up at school for a week, and you wonder if he is awake and breathing with you now- wherever he is- and what he is thinking about.
You forget how much money he's borrowed over the years.
The x is the independent variable and the y is the dependent, whether it admits this or not.
You wonder which one you are.
You know if the day finally comes, he'll chase them to the ends of the earth for you.
He flirts. It's just what he does- no harm- as natural as breathing. Almost second to breathing.
But you wish he would not flirt with her. She is too close to you. It is too personal.
And it is suddenly important to keep count, find out if he breathes more around you than with other people.
Funny how you remember it down to the very minute even though he's been gone nine years this August.
He asks you if you've decided on something, but why should you even bother?- he helps you break them all during the year anyway.
You look along the arm that's serving your dish, and it's him. You can't think of anything to say. There's a small pang of unexplainable embarrassment when he dutifully clears your plate or refills your glass.
When your dessert comes, it has a few more strawberries than it should.
He comes to pick you up, fluid and smiling, easily swinging your bag over his shoulder. Some of the women are staring at him openly, but all you can think is how like a stranger he looks in his dark suit.
It was forged long before she came and Mindbroke the two of you.
You wonder if she even had to in the first place.
You found it under the stairs one day.
It comes and goes as it pleases, suffering you to feed it, care for it, when it shows up yowling at your door at two in the morning.
And you heat up a saucer of milk, dry the cat off, and patch up its raked side because it feels familiar, and you know you are paying off some unknown bottomless debt.
He could not be…
You would be damned if it was finished like this.
He's killing himself the only way he knows how.
Not in a fight- he's too good.
Not against an equal- he would never wish such a horrible blood guilt on your head.
Not deliberately- he's too responsible. How could he let his mother come home to that?
You are glad it comes to you so naturally, if only to hold his interest a while longer.
They've always split everything: checks, food, bus fare.
But she isn't something they can divide down the middle.
You've looked everywhere: under the bridge near the railroad tracks, through the alleys dangerously close to enemy psychic territory, in the remote seedy warehouses he doesn't know you know about.
The day the Aquarian Age ends, he drags you into a bar and pushes an overflowing glass of something alcoholic into your hands.
You wake up the next morning with a splitting headache and vague memories of dim restaurant lamps, the taste of cold dumplings, and Itsuki hazily divulging things he's never told anyone.
The smell stings your nose, familiar like perfume. He tries to be gentle with your shoulder, dabbing it in softly and wrapping it carefully in fresh itchy gauze.
When turns to give you his back, you don't even know where to begin. How did he manage to support you with your injured leg like this?
He walks away abruptly, and you know you've missed something.
Kana picks the bleeding Arayashiki up easily and shakes him like a doll. "Never touch my son's best friend again, do you understand?"
You can see where Itsuki gets it from.
Sometimes you wonder why you even take all the trouble. Tolerating him is strenuous work, and you envy Shiba's freedom to dismiss him so indifferently.
It is not the dismissal you struggle with. It is the indifference.
They come too close and you fight them off. That's how it has always been.
You still stay in touch.
You meet him just once every year at the UCC in Chiyoda-ku. The coffee tastes better when you're not drinking it alone.
He's never stopped making fun of your tie. He asks about your job, your life, and you don't ask him what he does nowadays. His face says you don't want to know and you don't think he's allowed to tell you anyway.
The year he doesn't show up you will know he is dead.
As Itsuki comes down the aisle, you know you would have always picked him as your best man.
But as he stands beside you and tries to make you laugh at Shiba's long monotonous wedding, you wonder if having his proximity prickling into your back through it all would be too painful.
He does it himself- uneven on the sides, though he's become an expert at trimming the back.
You wish the Aquarian Age didn't mark its right of passage for its novices like this, with the baptism of blood.
You were the novice once, trembling and raw with newness.
Now you are the hooded candle bearer. The one who holds the basin. The priest.
It has pictures of all of them. Untouched with swipes in the dust where he's touched a face or an old memory.
Why do you always end up wrenched into his problems?
Dear god, you have a wife. A child. A steady job.
But one frantic phone call and you come rushing back. You were supposed to leave it all behind and start over, and yet here you are, fighting beside him like the old days.
You're oddly pleased when it starts coming back, when you find you haven't grown entirely out of practice in your complacency.
Mana doesn't know. She thinks you come back to see your sister. You never thought you would keep anything from her.
Perhaps Itsuki was right. Perhaps he is the mistress.
He's grinning and dangling by the old leather strap as the bus rumbles over a pothole. His plastic bag is sharp-cornered and lumpy; the sun breaks out through the window behind him.
"Kaname, why haven't we ever gone to the beach?"
The drugs the doctor prescribed Mana have side affects none of you could have guessed.
It's almost like a knitting together, a taking up of seams, and Itsuki is suddenly there within you; if you move your arm, it feels like you are both going through the motion, one atop the other. A ghost reflection. You're falling and feel Itsuki's consciousness rising up to meet you. The impact-
-Mana smiling up at him-
-the bandage is soaked through; he'll change it at the end of the shift-
-his hand won't stop shaking, but he can't afford the cigarettes-
-the vomit sprays as the fist catches him in the stomach-
-Orion looks so much closer when he's sprawled drunk on the sidewalk-
-Haruna screaming and the furniture blasting away-
You can't remember when you pass out.
When you take Mana flying, you go over the central city gardens and ringing clock towers. When you take Itsuki, you two end up perched on top of a lighthouse looking over the dark turbulent ocean.
Review if you'd like.