one, two, three, four.

let the record show

Kafuka Fuura sees no evil in the world. She doesn't see any in her scrapbook either.

All the pictures glued on the paper together are smooth and crisp and blend perfectly into each other, their smiles overbright and perfect against the dusty background of the wall, and Kafuka Fuura pastes little stars around the edges. She is making frames out of corrugated cardboard, frames around the photographs she takes when her parents don't see her – which, frankly is all the time. Because they don't see Kafuka Fuura, no, nobody ever sees Kafuka Fuura. (They see someone else, someone who doesn't exist anymore).

Her father isn't a short man by Japanese standards, but he tries to grow taller every day. And her mother is a lovely woman, but her tongue is clogged with the speech of those that don't like saying nice things. But that's alright; it's kind of her to want to be spokesperson for an under-represented group. These snapshots are pictures three and four in the string that is on page two, the page with "Kafuka-chan's Parents" handwritten in green crayon over the top. Kafuka Fuura tried very hard to make her writing as clear and precise as Chiri-chan's, but it's alright to have it slant a bit, right? It adds to the chic style of the whole thing.

Kafuka Fuura is two years old, but her body is thirteen. Kafuka Fuura has a clip in her short, dark hair and a big smile and she loves cooking and it is her natural talent to find the bright side in all things.

Kafuka Fuura sees no evil in the world, because there is none.

how strange

Kafuka Fuura is five years old, this body is sixteen.

Sekiutsu Maria Taro is her protégé. Mataro can see the happiness that hides in the darkest corners of filth. Mataro can see the happiness that eats the darkest corners of filth.

She sits with Mataro next to her on the train and admires the black smoke that protects them from the sun. Because the sun has to take a break too. And the smoke that curls up around it is like a blanket. Warm. She tells this to Mataro and Mataro thinks for a while, swinging her feet (bare).

"In Maria's country, the sun shone all the time, and the smoke was too thin for a blanket, so the sun was mad and decided to glare angrily at us, so our crops didn't grow," she says. Frowns a bit. "Maybe if Maria's country made the black smoke thicker, the sun would be happy and let our plants grow?"

Kafuka Fuura sees no fault in this, and the spend the rest of the ride thinking about whether Maria could crayon out the sun or if those places that sewed pieces of the black smoke and threw them out their chimneys could work harder. This idea she rejects, because the smoke smells bad. The best solution, she decides, is to contact the aliens from planet Peacock and ask them to give the sun a thicker blanket, woven from wool and love and blood.

And she says this to Mataro, but Mataro doesn't think the aliens would like to help our sun, because they're too troubled with trying to make theirs happy.

So she says, "The aliens want us to work harder for the human race, then!"

And Mataro agrees, and falls asleep next to her. They miss their stop, but maybe that's because Kafuka Fuura is too busy thinking of what next to cook for Sensei and because Mataro hasn't been on a train like this before and it doesn't matter, anyway. It's not like someone dies because they missed their stop—

(Some poor man who was trying to glomp and take home the first girl who stepped out of that train went home crying and committed suicide later that day. Neither of them would know, and his name isn't important – it's Kurota Iyou, in kanji: 黒太 陽.)

Kafuka Fuura smiles and looks outside and wonders where the past self of the face that stares at her is now.

the art of suicide

Sensei is trying to make himself taller. It's a silly thing; he's really tall for a Japanese, taller than her father. And he doesn't really grow much after these attempts anyway, Kafuka Fuura has been monitoring his height and length so she can tell Matoi so Matoi can love him more deeply and know how he shops. And while he's trying to do that, Chiri-chan is exploding. Someone hasn't passed their paper to her, and that means the list isn't complete, which means that things were not done properly and God help whoever didn't submit their paper.

The class fairy who Kafuka Fuura sees sometimes is waving his hand, trying to get Chiri-chan to see him, but Chiri-chan's third eye isn't opened. So as Chiri swears personal vengeance on the person who hasn't turned in their paper, the class fairy hops and dances with the very paper in his hand.

He's trying to return it because he stole it so it could be used in an ancient ritual and now the Fairy King is pleased so they don't need it anymore.

Kafuka Fuura blinks and the class fairy is gone, and Chiri picks up the missing paper from the desk next to her and gives a satisfied smile. Kafuka Fuura wants to look at the class fairy and tell him that he just has to stare intently in Chiri's eyes and she'll see him, really see him.

But then Kafuka Fuura remembers what Meru and her family and her teacher sees in her eyes. And how her family said her mother's sickness came to her because the sickness got tired of staying in her body and the golden, heavy crosses and the chanting and her smile widens just a bit more. Because at least the sickness was gone from her. And apparently, it liked her mom better.

Sensei is pulled from the rope by Nami-san and chided by Chiri, and he massages his neck and screams to the heavens about how youngsters have taken it into themselves to look into adult affairs and how they shouldn't pry and how it leaves him in despair. And then Kafuka Fuura, because Kafuka Fuura is the type of girl who always shares her opinion, says, "But isn't it better this way? The adults have less to care for and at the same time the children learn things faster and become responsible!" She stares into Sensei's eyes, but he flinches and looks away.

Then shakes his head. "The children don't know. That's the point! They haven't yet learned things! Which is why more things get messed up. Look!"

And suddenly they are walking towards town, with the wind blowing their sailor collars.

"This is what happens when a child is put in charge the checkout of her parent's convenience store!" Itoshiki Nozomu-sensei cries, and with a large sweep of his arm, beckons.

The girl pushes the buttons too hastily and enters the wrong product code three times ,prints three false receipts, and apologises thrice. The customer is baffled and takes his goods with a little ill-will.

"A child who has not yet grown is not responsible enough and shouldn't try to work as an adult!" Sensei declares triumphantly, his voice rising.

"But Sensei," Kafuka Fuura says, "look at this example! This child is the one managing himself—"

And the small boy she gestures toward prepares his own meal (microwave, but who cares?), packs his own bag, does his homework without help, and reads himself a story at night. There is a silhouette behind the screen, of a laughing man with laughing friends and a bottle in his hands, but it's not like they couldn't just be drinking Cola or something.

Kafuka Fuura beams and doesn't notice her classmates' and teacher's discomfort. "See? Even children can be responsible and do what adults should!"

Sensei coughs. "A-anyway! It's still meddlesome when they pry and take responsibility where they shouldn't."

This gets Chiri into a rant about how Sensei himself needs someone o take care of him because he's so lazy and Matoi, who is always there (although Sensei never notices) agrees, and Meru types out a scathing message ("I suppose you're the child and Kiri's the adult then, Zetsubou"). Kafuka Fuura gets lost in the crowd of students and ends up watching them for the rest of the day, quietly. But it doesn't matter – she gets Sensei all to herself later, when she puts on a wig and gives him his dinner for the night.

She is Kafuka Fuura. She is That College Student. She is nothing else, not the name that appears in the registry books.

faces like mine

When flowers grow in spring, the smaller boys who like to pretend that anything beautiful is disgusting step on them. Kafuka Fuura smiles at them as she passes and thinks that they are only trying to give a present to the soil.

One year ago, she met Sensei and branded him the Pink Supervisor. Then she named all the trees here, so she now skips over to them and greets them. And renames them. Because she can't remember the original names, but that's okay.

Kafuka Fuura was always a happy child. Really; getting lost on a field trip, being locked in the closet, having the aliens not respond to her first contact – she found the bright side. It wasn't that hard for Kafuka Fuura.

For Akagi An it was, but Kafuka Fuura doesn't think about her much.

Kafuka Fuura draws a disposable camera from her pocket and finds the crushed little flower in the dust. She leans down and frames the crumpled petals in the lens, the faded centre lying open, mournful. It's pretty, so she snaps a picture and tries not to get the tails of her collar in the dust.

It's going in the scrapbook. On the last page. The one titled "The Previous Me."

a/n: yes, I should be working on mAelSTROM, but I felt like doing something less graphic. Please criticise. Kafuka-chan's cool, da? I want to take Majiru home. /shot.

Oh, by the way. 黒太 陽 = black sun. Lol, I'm lame. Hey, also, there are multiple references to a very awesome singer in this story. Including the title, although that one isn't apparent.

Thank you for your time.