This was a personal challenge to myself to write a real person into a series and have them not come off as a Sue of any kind...I'm not sure if I suceeded or not, it was fun to write though.
Miranda is a real person, please be nice to her.
This indicates the characters are talking in english.
It was really quite a nice day for an early April sunday, sunny and warm. Subaru Sumeragi was not the only person out taking advantage of the good weather, as the park he was in was bustling with happy couples, happy children and happy people in general. He leaned on one of the few unoccupied benches still in the park, watching the world go by.
He was waiting for Hokuto and Seishirou to arrive. Hokuto had some sort of errand to run that Subaru apparently couldn't tag along on, and despite her complaints to the contrary, Seishirou had driven her around.
Seishirou-san was awfully nice to them, and didn't seem to have any trouble with using his vet's van as a personal transportation device for the two of them.
He tilted his face to the sunlight, shutting his eyes, feeling the red-lined hat that Hokuto had insisted he wore before leaving the house slipping on his head. The rays of sunshine were warm, sweet on his face and it was very peaceful.
The sounds of a harp rang through the air, along with a soft voice singing in english. He opened his eyes to look around in confusion.
On the bench across from him, a girl, obviously not of Japanese descent, sat with a harp and sang to the passersby. None of them stopped to listen, but several of them seemed to be confused momentarily before moving on.
He stood up and crossed the path with some difficulty to sit next to her. "You sing very nicely."
She stopped, and blinked at him in confusion. "Uh, I'm sorry, but I don't understand you." she said, obviously expecting him to up and leave.
"I speak english." he said haltingly, smiling at her, "I'm not that good at it, but I hope you can understand me."
She lit up, smiling back at him. The harp faded away from her arms. "You speak it very well. I'm Miranda. Am I talking too fast?" Her blue eyes shone at him in sudden concern.
Subaru hastened to reassure her. "You're doing fine. Nice to meet you Miranda-san." The name was unfamiliar, but not impossible to pronounce. "I'm Subaru."
Another one of her bright smiles lit up her plain face, obviously happy that someone had taken the time to talk to her. "You must have a strong second sight if you can see me and talk to me."
Okay...so she knew she was dead. That was not unusual, but usually the dead were unhappy and causing trouble. "What happened to you?"
The bright smile faded from Miranda's face to be replaced by a saddened look. "I came here two years ago, from America." Her hands twitched and the harp reappeared, for her to play a soft string of notes. "I had no money, no place to stay, I can't even speak your language." She smiled again, but it was more contemplative. "But I can sing, and play my harp. And so I would play on street corners, in parks. Often I didn't get more than enough for one meal, but I was happy anyway. I was doing something I loved."
The wind blew softly, and the laughter of people almost drowned her out. "One day, a girl stopped and listened to me. She couldn't really speak English, but she was happy to hear my songs. She gave me enough money that I could eat for a week." Another rain of notes, what sounded like the beginning of a song fell from her harp. "That was the happiest moment I'd had here. And then I was stabbed in an alley and had my harp and money stolen."
Subaru looked at her in confusion. "And you aren't angry? Usually ghosts stay because they are unhappy."
Miranda smiled again, and her voice was bright. "I was angry when I first died. I appeared to the man who stabbed me. But then...I saw that he sold my harp, and took all the money, to try and pay a doctor for his little sister's operation. And it was nowhere near enough, but the doctor took it and did it anyway." The melody stopped. "She would have died otherwise, but from the desperation of her brother and the kindness of the doctor, she was granted life. And I started to think that I had given my life so that someone who shouldn't have died yet could live."
"So you forgave them, and were able to let go of the resentment holding you onto the world..." Subaru finished for her, watching how her hair utterly ignored the breeze. "But why are you still here?"
"Because I loved life while I had it, and I don't think I'm ready to go on yet." she stated the answer simply, shifting her fingers on the strings to shift from a minor to a major key. "And while not many can see me, plenty can hear me on the winds. And they are sometimes still happy. That makes it all worthwhile." She pushed a lock of stringy brown hair out of her face. "I will go on to the afterlife when I'm ready. But until then, I think I want to make this world a happier place." Then she looked concerned again. "Are you going to send me anyway?"
Subaru couldn't help but smile at her. "No. I'm glad that you are okay with death. The world is a better place when you are willing to sing for it."
Miranda laughed. "I wish there were more people like you Subaru," she said, shifting the harp to be more comfortable on her lap. "Then I could sing for them too."
"Subaru!" he heard the call from across the street, stood up and waved. Miranda looked too. "Do you know her?"
"She's my sister." he answered, watching as she played dodge the cars along with Seishirou-san, and crossed the street.
"Who are you sitting with Subaru?" Hokuto called as she got across, bright green dress waving gaily in her motion.
"She's a ghost." Seishirou answered for him. "Hello ghost-san!"
Miranda seemed to know he was talking to her, although she didn't understand. "He's saying hello to you." Subaru told her, then explained to the others when they caught up. "She doesn't speak japanese. But she's happy to meet you."
The girl smiled at the three of them as Hokuto proceeded to look at her. "How well do you play that harp?" his sister asked, jumping past all hurdles of introduction and manners.
"Quite well, I've been told." Miranda answered. Subaru translated her for Seishirou's benefit. "Would you like me to sing for you?" She placed her fingers delicately on the strings while waiting for their answer.
"Does she sing well too?" Hokuto asked him, glancing at the girl. "And why is she still here and playing if she's a ghost."
Seishirou seemed to be distracted with studying the patient girl, but Subaru answered anyway. "She's happy playing for other people, she's not in danger of wanting to hurt anyone. She's just here to sing. And she does sing well."
"What kind of songs do you sing?" Hokuto grinned at the girl, almost wolflike in her intensity.
Miranda took the look in stride. "I sing folk songs, children's songs. They're pretty and I like playing them." she plucked a few strings in demonstration. "I will play for you if you want."
"Would you like her to play Seishirou-san?" Subaru asked the man who seemed still confused by the very nature of her presence.
Seishirou-san smiled at him, not the silly one, but the kind one. "I think we should hear her, just once."
"Yes." he told her.
Miranda grinned, and then turned her attention to her harp. "I think I know a good song for you three."
Hokuto flounced into the empty space on the bench, and Seishirou moved to stand right behind him. "You've done good Subaru-kun." he purred softly.
The first sounds of a new song rang out from her harp, and she began to sing.
How'd I do?