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File 144983212479.jpg - (75.02KB, 550x750, atypicalchristmasstory.jpg) [iqdb]
63073No. 63073
It's cold again today, but that's okay. It's always cold in the winter, and concrete only makes everything colder. But that bracing chill on my legs and face every time I leave a happy customer's house is just another reminder that I'm still here and kicking, so why be bothered by a friendly reminder that I'm alive?

A little money to afford something longer than my usual skirt wouldn't hurt though. Or maybe socks would help more. Of course, if I have time to worry about something silly like that, I have time to head over to my next client! It's my duty to my customers to make sure they feel loved on Christmas, even if only for an hour! I can't waste time thinking about sad things like not affording a longer skirt!

I take a quick check in the secret pocket I keep on my body proper. Nobody in their right mind would think to look in the umbrella for the money, so it makes a perfect hiding place! So long as the wind doesn't pick up and tear the pocket out over a drain, like yesterday, or like how the news on my last customer's television said there would be a record snowstorm tonight with high winds! I still have the seven yen from my last customers. The local Girls don't let me work for more than 20 yen an hour or their boss will hurt them for not telling them about a potential employee, they tell me. The thing is, I get so scared that my friends will get hurt that I can never bring myself to work for more than a single yen, and I always end up advertising them at the end of my sales pitch...

I'm getting side-tracked. So, there's the seven yen. Snug and secure in its pocket. Good. There's the Ticket Home that should get me back to Gensokyo if I can earn the money for a trip from Okayama to Hakuba. While simultaneously feeding myself. And finding children that are young enough to not be numbed by video games and actually be scared when I find them. Between jobs to feed my body.

I'm getting sidetracked again. Seven more yen than you had this morning, good. Ticket Home, good. Box of home-made matches to sell between clients, good.

It's getting dark, and I'm on 221 Minato Dori. I only have one more regular customer, and they always meet me at Tomada hot springs. I'm fairly certain I won't make it anywhere NEAR on time, but... What if he waits for me? I certainly can't keep him waiting! It's cold, snow's starting to fall and it's getting darker REALLY fast!

But! First thing's first! I'm about to go to the emotional aid of another customer! That means it's time to take my vow!

Alright, brain! Somewhere in there, there's a vow! It's hard to think straight in this cold, though... Gah, what was it!?

---

[X] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [ ] -to do anything the customer demands, no matter how demeaning, uncomfortable or unsanitary, to make my customer's day!
- [ ] -to give of my body wholly to the customer, because the customer's smile is always worth it!
- [ ] -to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!

-[ ] It's not important, so don't take the vow, we don't have time as it is! The customer's happiness comes before our silly little pep talks! We're peppy enough without it anyways!

-----

A happy story for a happy holiday.

Bear with me, as this is gonna' be kind of different from what I usually write.
Expand all images
>>No. 63074
[X] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [x] -to do anything the customer demands, no matter how demeaning, uncomfortable or unsanitary, to make my customer's day!



Prostitution!
>>No. 63075
[x] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [x] -to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!
>>No. 63076
[x] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow- 
- [x] -to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!

>>63074
Let's not.
>>No. 63077
[X] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [X] -to give of my body wholly to the customer, because the customer's smile is always worth it!
>>No. 63078
[X] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [X] -to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!

Nice, more Kogasa stories.
>>No. 63080
File 144988826812.png - (2.00MB, 1000x1405, 631ed57a10f9d0acd18efa47784d05ca.png) [iqdb]
63080
[X] I, KOGASA TATARA, hereby vow-
- [x] -to give of my body wholly to the customer, because the customer's smile is always worth it!

This seems like the perfect start... for a tragic story full of FEELS.

I'll take it as such until proven otherwise. It is just too perfect.
>>No. 63081
- [x] -to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!

I'mma start writing as soon as possible! Our precious Kogasa's been waiting in the cold for close to twenty-four hours for our next update to begin, so I'll get it out as quick as I can!

>>63080
Where the hell are all the good sad umbrella pics, all mine are crap
>>No. 63082
File 144992591553.jpg - (701.90KB, 1125x900, snowandsun.jpg) [iqdb]
63082
Oh, wait, that WAS it, wasn't it? I should have asked for a cup of coffee before I left, since it's late and cold and all. Oh, well, it's too late now, so the only way left to get warm is get moving!

I place a hand on my heart and close my eyes. I recite my vow in my head. I used to say it outloud, but that bothers people sometimes, so i just say it in my head now.

I, Kogasa Tatara, hereby vow to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been!

It's a good vow, isn't it? I thought of it myself, after all, and I should be able to trust my own ideas to be good, right? Of course, nobody else even knows I have a motto (unless you count the granny who got angry at me saying it next to her fence the first time), so, really, I'm my only judge on things like this. That might be something to think about as I walk.

You know, brain, we don't really think about how our feet move, do we? I mean, 'we' as in 'living things'. I'd assume this is the same for humans. They're essentially the same as my big body, right?

Save for that weird long bit they all like. But whenever I give that bit attention during the Hotel Part of a job, they always get so happy! A lot of the guys I work with even say they love me!

My job isn't really all that hard, now that I think about it. I just make humans smile, and it's as simple as making contact in the right way most of the time. A girl couldn't ask for a better way to live! Well, having a place to live might be-

Nonono, no sad thoughts! I have to be happy when I meet my customer, because it's always better to assume that nobody likes it when I cry unless they ask for it! No sad thoughts until the customer says cry, you got me brain?

Thinking about my life always brings me to sad thoughts, so why don't we look around instead? That should help! Let's see heeere...

The road I usually take is the fastest route I could think of. I'm walking by a river, but i never figured out what it was called. The river is frozen solid. I'm walking on a road that's already piling up with snow. And, if I'm not mistaken, the hot springs are a little over 200 kilometers away. Thank goodness I walk so much, or I wouldn't be in shape for this!

A little in front of me I see a family walking. This family is properly dressed for the warmth. Daddy, Mommy and little Baby are all nice and warm, and the baby's stroller has one of those plastic covers that keep the rain off on it. I can hear the baby laughing at something, and the lovely couple laughing with their kid. I've seen them around before. They're a generally sweet family, though they're also living in Okayama, the literally least friendly place in japan (or so I've heard), so I don't know if I should even consider approaching them. It's highly likely they won't even see me. Humans don't usually see youkai. I'd have to touch them and get some magic on them for them to notice me Unless I'm on the job, people I grab usually just punch me. I perfectly understand, this IS a city, and cities are dangerous and all. But I can't show the customer a black eye, or they stop smiling!

Walking a little in front of them is an officer. I recognize him. He's kind of scary, and he makes a funny face at the end of every job I've worked with him, but he always tips nicely and treats me to curry bread afterwards, He always makes sure I feel good if we go have the Hotel Part, and he even calls me 'outsider' instead of the other names most of the other customers use for me. But he says I should never talk to him outside of our 'little meet-ups', so I shouldn't talk to him. Especially while he's on the phone. With his wife, if I'm not mistaken by the constant shouting quietly under his breath. He's far enough off that it shouldn't bother the humans, which is good, but I can hear him just fine. But he DOES have a car...

On the other hand, traffic on this road is pretty heavy, and he might get hurt if he drives me part of the way. His car can't be too far, he takes great pride in it.

I think I'm out of protection, though, so if he proposes work to me, I might get pregnant again...


---

[ ] I shouldn't talk to the officer...
[ ] It IS an emergency, though.
[ ] Maybe I should scare the baby for energy, instead...

[ ] Or maybe I can just follow the family. It's nice to play pretend sometimes.



-[ ] I hope my baby girl is alright.

-----

>>63076

Though you can try to improve things, it doesn't always work out, does it? Sometimes, all you can do is make the most of what your given, even if it leaves an odd taste in your mouth, right? Sure, it might not be the most comfortable thing in the world to do, but a girl's gotta' eat, and if she's putting bread on the table by making people smile, why would it be something to be upset about?

Right?




Right?
>>No. 63083
[X] I shouldn't talk to the officer...
-[X] I hope my baby girl is alright.

Let's not make the nice man angry.
>>No. 63085
[X] I shouldn't talk to the officer...
-[X] I hope my baby girl is alright.

I'm not sure how I feel about this story. I can't bear to see a sad Kogasa.
>>No. 63086
[x] Or maybe I can just follow the family. It's nice to play pretend sometimes.
-[x] I hope my baby girl is alright.
>>No. 63087
File 144994285713.jpg - (224.14KB, 850x1167, home.jpg) [iqdb]
63087
>>63082
>Where the hell are all the good sad umbrella pics

Why do you need them for anyway? SEE, I'M UNTO YOU YOU FUCKER.

[x] Maybe I should scare the baby for energy, instead...
Safest play.

>[ ] Or maybe I can just follow the family. It's nice to play pretend sometimes.

;..;

>[ ] I hope my baby girl is alright.

NO
>>No. 63088
>>63082
>Though you can try to improve things, it doesn't always work out, does it? Sometimes, all you can do is make the most of what your given, even if it leaves an odd taste in your mouth, right? Sure, it might not be the most comfortable thing in the world to do, but a girl's gotta' eat, and if she's putting bread on the table by making people smile, why would it be something to be upset about?

>Right?




>Right?
...Oh. I seem to not have read the first post closely enough. That's right, though. Nothing to be ashamed of.


[X] It IS an emergency, though.
-[X] I hope my baby girl is alright.
Any way to cut down the 200 km she'd need to walk is probably a good thing. At least comparatively. And...hopefully he'd agree to give her a ride without other compensation.
Damn, this is going to be a depressing story. Sincerely hope there'll be some way to give Kogasa a happier ending.
>>No. 63089
Unless there's a sudden flood of votes, it seems pretty clear that Kogasa misses her daughter. We might be ignoring the officer, as that's the polite thing to do, since he's busy arguing with his wife on the phone.

But Kogasa just can't decide if she wants to scare the baby and be done with it, or pretend she's part of the family...

Come on, brain! One more vote! That's all she needs, or she'll have to just walk past them. That'd be sad, but, if she can't come to a decision soon, she'll never come to one, and she can't trail them all day!

So, next vote gets it!

- [ ] Scare the baby for energy.
- [ ] Play pretend. Just for a little bit.

- [ ] We... We really don't have time for any of this, do we?
>>No. 63090
- [x] Scare the baby for energy.

This is certainly a different Kogasa story.
>>No. 63091
>>63090

It's a shame she doesn't have time to pretend she has a loving family, but Kogasa has a job to do! It looks like Kogasa is [X] scaring the baby for energy! Can't make customers smile without a little pep in your step, right?

She might even take a moment to think about her daughter on the long, cold walk. Let's hope they're warm thoughts!
>>No. 63092
File 145011479313.jpg - (234.00KB, 728x455, ahappystory.jpg) [iqdb]
63092
On second thought, I probably shouldn't bother the nice officer. Sure, he could get me a ride home, but considering what day it is and how late it is, his wife could just be angry that he's not home with her! Besides, it would be rude to interrupt anyway. On top of that, I'm already kind of tired, and I'm pretty sure the locals might stop taking my children if I start leaving a baby on every doorstep, you know? I mean, little Mary might not even have-

Oh, who am I kidding? OF COURSE they brought her in to the house! A baby is sitting there, crying and sick, calling out for the mother who can't provide for her, surely somebody came for her, not even Okayama can be that mean! They just forgot the basket on the doorstep is all! I mean, it's not like a SPOOKY YOUKAI got to her! I'm the only youkai in Okayama, as far as I can tell! And dogs are man's best friend, so a dog couldn't have eaten her. Besides, I gave her the name of some western saint of great power! It's not possible that one of the local starving dogs took her, is it? They had to have brought her in to the house! Sure, the lights were off both times I was there, but it was late! And it's not uncommon for the car to be all rusty and broken down around here, and yards have grass up to your waist all the time around here! Okay, not all the time, but I refuse to believe I put my baby girl on the doorstep of an abandoned-

The sudden pain as I slap myself was hard as I can is enough to jolt me out of my thoughts. Did I not tell myself I wasn't allowed to cry until the customer demanded it? I need to get a grip on myself! You know what'd help that? A little jolt of energy!

I walk closer to the couple. They're walking at an easy pace, snuggling close and whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears. He tells her that she's a mother her mother would be proud of, she tells him that flattery won't get him more lunch money, they laugh some more. Then silence as they walk and watch the baby look on at the world in wonder. She looks up at me and smiles as she flails her little arms, as if to say 'Big sister is here, big sister is-'

I give a little wave and back up a step, out of her view. I need a moment. I need to scare her, not play with her. I have things to do, and it's freezing out! I need the energy!

I steel myself and my heart. I need to be strong! I'm not actually hurting her, just scaring her is all.

I fold up my body proper and begin waving myself in front of the baby, tongue flapping and flailing all over! I use my very best spooky voice, for maximum surprise!

"I ENVY YOUR LIIIIIIIFE!!!"

I stop flailing long enough that I can see the fear and the tears welling up on baby's face. The baby screams with all the might her little lungs can muster.



As Mommy tries to console her baby girl, I walk behind the family. If I let the baby see my tears, it might make her start crying again.

I told myself not to cry, but I just can't help it. I don't like scaring children anymore. I haven't for a while. Back home in Gensokyo, whenever I scared children, it always taught them a valuable lesson. They'd run home to mommy, who'd scold them and tell them 'now you know! If you go outside alone at night, the youkai will come out to get you!' But here, none of the kids have to worry about youkai. When I scare kids here, it doesn't just scare them, it horrifies them, because I just shattered their whole world view. Then they'd go home and either never tell anyone for fear of being ridiculed, or they'd tell parents who don't believe and just laugh it off. Either that, or I'm forced to scare babies like this one. Out here, I'm nothing more than a big bully.

The tears on my face are frozen solid. When I wipe the frosty streaks from my face, I can see a cop car driving off. Traffic has died down, so the officer has no trouble. I hope he makes it home in one piece. There's another car parked by the side of the road. It looks nice. Really expensive. Daddy pulls out his car keys and unlocks the car. Why are they even parked all the way out here?

---

[ ] They wouldn't notice if I hitched a ride, would they?
[ ] I should ask if I could get a ride. They seem nice.

- [ ] Maybe I could try selling them a match?

-- [ ] I need to cheer up the baby.

--- [ ] Strike a match. It's cold (10 matches total)


-----

Note to self: Writing suffers considerably when well-rested. Lose sleep before reattempting.

>>63085
>>63088
It could be viewed as depressing in a certain light, couldn't it? But under a different light, it's almost inspiring, isn't it? I mean, no matter how hard things are, she always tries to smile... Truly
, a noble and inspiring attitude! Her life isn't sad! It's not! It's really not! She's really not sad!


Really!
>>No. 63093
[x] They wouldn't notice if I hitched a ride, would they?

>Okay, not all the time, but I refuse to believe I put my baby girl on the doorstep of an abandoned-

This just crossed the line from tragedy to comedy.
>>No. 63094
>>63093

Repeat.
Note to self: Writing suffers considerably when well-rested. Lose sleep before reattempting.

This was no joke.

I'll be sure to kill my brain through sleep deprivation before I start writing next.
>>No. 63095
[X] They wouldn't notice if I hitched a ride, would they?
>>No. 63096
[x] They wouldn't notice if I hitched a ride, would they?
-- [x] I need to cheer up the baby.
>>No. 63097
>>63094
If we don't find a young but powerful half youkai named Mary (real, not a product of a guilt induced allucination) later on, I will find you and I will kill you-and everyone you hold dear.
So, just you.

[x] Grand theft auto
>>No. 63098
Kogasa might finally get a break from the cold! She's [X]hitching a ride!
>>No. 63099
An opportunity like this is too rare to pass up! So long as I'm careful not to touch anybody too much, I should be able to make it into the car easily. It's only a matter of timing...

Mommy opens the back door while Daddy gets in first to turn on the heat. Mommy straps the Baby into its' car seat. She slams the door shut. I wait for her to take a few steps, and...

She's half way around the car when I slowly open the car door, slowing down further, making it look like the door opened itself, or that it wasn't closed right.

As I'm buckling in, Daddy points out to Mommy that the door isn't shut. When she comes around and shuts the door, she doesn't even spare me a second glance. Mission accomplished! Now it's a simple matter of-

The car backs up, turns around and begins driving back the way I came.


---

[ ] PANIC LOUDLY! MAKE THEM KNOW TO TURN AROUND!
[ ] Tuck & Roll, because we need to get out now!
[ ] Tap Daddy's shoulder. Let him see us so we can tell him!

[ ] Stay in the car. It doesn't matter how long we drive... The car is warm, and I can't feel my feet, no matter how hard I bump them on things...
[ ] Look around inside. This is one of those cars with the pockets behind the front seats! There might be something!

-----

Forgive the micro update. I just couldn't figure out how to bullshit this a mile long AND I've got things to do tomorrow. Bad combo to write with, but don't worry! Kogasa won't let a little something like a moment of writer's block hold her back!
>>No. 63100
[X] Tuck & Roll, because we need to get out now!
>>No. 63101
[x] PANIC AT THE DISCO
>>No. 63102
[X] Stay in the car. It doesn't matter how long we drive... The car is warm, and I can't feel my feet, no matter how hard I bump them on things... 

None of these seem like the "right" option but I get the feeling that's intentional.
>>No. 63103
You all voted, but nobody could decide! Looks like Kogasa's brain is [X] Paralyzed with panic! Poor girl just can't catch a break, can she?
>>No. 63104
[X] Stay in the car. It doesn't matter how long we drive... The car is warm, and I can't feel my feet, no matter how hard I bump them on things...
I feel that trying to force our way will only turn everything worse.
>>No. 63109
Looks like it's a bit too cold out for Kogasa, so she's going to [X]Stay in the car!

Sure, she'll never make it in time, but... At least now she has time to play pretend!
>>No. 63111
I just sit and stare at the back of the driver's seat.

All that progress for nothing? I should be upset right now. I should do something to fix this. I should turn this car around. But I'm not going to.

If I tried anything, Daddy might crash the car, and I'd never live it down. On top of that, I don't really think I want to. This car is warm and I'm freezing. I'm sure I could sell a few matches and pay for a taxi or something. Besides, it's just until the car stops or my feet warm up. Even my main foot is freezing, and it normally doesn't get that cold.

There's a song playing on the radio. I don't recognize it, but it sounds cute. Daddy tells a joke. I really didn't hear it, but hearing Mommy laugh makes me laugh. Baby starts laughing, too. We all laugh for the longest time. The laughter slowly fades into silence.

Not an awkward silence, but the comfortable kind of silence you have when everyone is perfectly fine not talking, because everyone knows there's no need to talk.

Daddy breaks the silence with a question. He wants to know who wants to help him make a warm cake from the box when everyone gets home. I want to help make cake, and Baby doesn't get it, but Mommy says we should probably let the cake cool instead of eating it right out of the pan like last time. I stifle a giggle at the thought. It would be rude to laugh about it, even if it IS pretty silly to eat a cake while it's still hot, but-

The car pulls to a stop. We're home.

No, that's not right. If I stay, I'll end up making contact with someone and they'll scream and hit me again.

But at the same time...

... Cake and warm...


---

[ ] Cake
- [ ] -and warm
[ ] I can't go in, but I can still sleep in the car, right?

[ ] I have to go. My client needs me, and I'm pretty rested now.
- [ ] Grab baby's blanket. Baby's home, so he'll be nice and warm anyways.

-----

Well, that took longer to push out than I'd like, but our favorite umbrella got a little rest out of it, so it's alright!
>>No. 63112
[x] Cake
- [x] -and warm

Time to play a game of PRETEND
>>No. 63123
[x] I have to go. My client needs me, and I'm pretty rested now.

Responsiblity!
>>No. 63124
[X] I have to go. My client needs me, and I'm pretty rested now.
- [X] Grab baby's blanket. Baby's home, so he'll be nice and warm anyways.
>>No. 63127
File 145069323593.jpg - (133.57KB, 715x1000, shehasanumbrellashellbefine.jpg) [iqdb]
63127
[x] I have to go. My client needs me, and I'm pretty rested now.

Even when the promise of a moment of warmth in her life beckons, she trudges onwards! Nothing will sway her for long! That's our Kogasa!
>>No. 63142
File 145086676819.jpg - (1.65MB, 3648x2736, happyskiesahead.jpg) [iqdb]
63142
I can't. I need to leave. My client is waiting, and I've got a job to do. Even if I'm a little hungry and even if it's freezing outside, I can't afford to stop for long. But, at least this family mad it home safely! Count your blessings and all that.

Before I go, I take a moment. There's something I have to do.

I turn to the baby, soundly asleep in her car seat. And she was giggling just moments ago... I wish I could still fall asleep whenever I pleased, like when I first woke up. I was so scared and alone, I remember. I always wondered, do humans remember when they first woke up? It must be nice to come from a mother who's been there for you from the beginning. I brush the infant's cheek. Gently, so as not to wake her.

"Hey there, little fella'. You've got a nice family. Cherish them, always."

I give the baby a kiss on the forehead before I slip out the car's open door, careful not to touch the mother who opened it. I have a lot of practice slipping between people. Staying away from people, slipping through crowds unnoticed, avoiding line of sight, just in case. It's a helpful skill, I think.

But I let myself slip sometimes. It always happens when I get close. I don't know if it's because I don't have a home or because most of my customers don't want to be too intimate with someone like me, but I can't help but get attached sometimes. I couldn't help but give the kid a bit of older-sisterly advice. I certainly hope she takes it to heart, but that's doubtful. Humans tend to be forgetful. But, even so, she might-

My thoughts are cut off by the crack of thunder. The snow hasn't let up, but now it's also raining. Heavily. Like the Snake God What's-her-name got mad or something. Of course, that can't be the case, because she has no power outside of Gensokyo.

Still, I'm grateful for the rain. I can still feel it on my skin, despite the cold, and even though from the time it leaves the clouds, the rain is nearly frozen solid by the time it hits my legs, I can still move my legs to warm them up. And even if I'm covering my body, I can still blame my tears on the rain, so the customer doesn't have to know!

But, at the same time, I'm freezing cold... I can still move my legs, true, but only barely. On top of that, the energy I get from scaring infants isn't much, and it definitely won't last me the whole walk.

I don't think I can do this, brain. Pep can only get me so far. I'll just make his next one free.

I've been walking for a while now, so I'm past the river. There's tall buildings looming in the dark overhead. I see a back alley to my immediate right. I'm cold, and I have matches and there might be cardboard to cover myself in. Or, better yet, a trash can! Or maybe even a live cat or rat! Maybe I'll be able to eat food tonight!

---

[ ] But the customer will be lonely! Since when were you a quitter?

[ ] Duck into the back alley! It's so late that he's probably gone anyway! Plus, it's too dark to see between the lamppost!



- [ ] Light a match! Moving or no, we need to warm up!

---
Nearly there! We've almost brought Kogasa to the finish line! We can do this!
>>No. 63143
[X] But the customer will be lonely! Since when were you a quitter?
- [X] Light a match! Moving or no, we need to warm up!

You can do it kogasa! Don't give up!
>>No. 63144
[x] But the customer will be lonely! Since when were you a quitter?
-[x] Light a match! Moving or no, we need to warm up!
>>No. 63145
[x] Duck

Fuck him
>>No. 63146
[x] But the customer will be lonely! Since when were you a quitter?
-[x] Light a match! Moving or no, we need to warm up!

Kogasa's such a hard worker, she's earned that little bit of warmth!
>>No. 63147
File 145096607978.jpg - (25.71KB, 236x327, apictureofperfection.jpg) [iqdb]
63147
Your right, brain! I have work to do! And I took a vow! I, Kogasa Tatara, hereby vow to always approach my customers with a bright, honest smile, no matter how tough things have been! And I can't approach the customer with a bright and honest smile if I'm not there, can I? Besides, cardboard won't be much good in this rain anyway! And most animals would most likely be hiding somewhere warm by now!

I march on, the snow and rain sloshing into my sandals and giving me even more reason to keep walking. I can't feel them anymore, but I can tell my feet are soaking wet. I can feel the chill freezing the bones in my arms. The core of my umbrella leg is so cold that I'd probably shatter if I were to swing myself hard enough. I can't feel my umbrella leg with my fingers. They're freezing cold.

I didn't want to do this, but this is an emergency, isn't it? I reach into my umbrella pocket and pull out the tiny box with my homemade matches. There's only ten, but-

The wind decided that now would be the perfect time to pick up, and I lose two matches to the wind and rain before I can shut the lid again. When The wind dies down enough, I open the box again, closer to my body this time. I can barely keep my fingers from shaking long enough to grip the match, and it's even more work maintaining that grip. Hopefully that won't be a problem soon!

I try to strike the match on my umbrella leg, but the matchstick breaks. I can't even see the match head hit the ground when it falls into the nearly solid wall that is the snow and rain falling around me at such a sharp angle that my knees are getting wet. I need to warm up now, or I'll never make it before daybreak, so I need to try again! I have seven more matches, so I need to make every single one count!

I grab the match... I grab... Come on, Kogasa, you can do this! Bend your fingers and grip! Now gently...

For the first time in who-knows-how-long, I let out a sigh of relief. The flickering little flame can hardly light anything around it, but I can see my fingers again! They're pale and frozen stiff, but I'll fix that!

I hold the little match to my umbrella-gripping hand as I walk, giving myself a well-earned reward for working so diligently! Speaking of rewards, I can maybe play pretend while I walk, since it's still a ways away!

I stare into the match flame, letting my mind wander as I walk. I've had plenty of time and practice with letting my mind wander, so it's not long before I'm already in my happy place...

I can see the little wood stove in the cabin we share that always kept us warm. The little cast iron pot with the little carrots and potatoes she always grew in her garden. The little feast just for her. At the little table with the little chair, in the cozy little cottage in the mountains.

Gram-Grams lived alone most of the year, growing her little vegetables in her little garden... When ever it would rain, she would pull out her favorite purple umbrella, the last one her husband made her before his hands grew too shaky. But, tonight, even though Gram-Grams was alone, she decided to have a feast. She waved me over to the table.

"Sit down, sit down little one! You look so hungry! Eat, eat and be warm, then it is off to bed with you!"

I sit at the table, ready to eat! The stew smells delicious, just like always! But why am I going to bed early? Gram-Grams is always quick to answer, and tells me exactly why!

"We are going to have another feast tomorrow, but I cannot get the carrots from the garden if I do not have my umbrella. It is going to rain tomorrow, I can tell!"

Gram-Grams could always tell when the rain was rolling in. She knew lots of tricks to make living out in the mountains fun. Like-




I drop the match as it burns my fingertips. A burnt out match is no good and I want to be with Gram-Grams now and I need my fingers for a new match and it's too cold, strike, strike, why won't you strike-

Gram-Grams is such a good cook! The stew smells fantastic! The rich, earthy scent of boiled potatoes fills my nostrils as the warmth of a fresh bowl of Gram-Grams' stew fills me with joy! I say my grace with Gram-Grams first, though! Gram-Grams always said grace before every meal. But when that was done, I dipped my spoon into the bowl faster than I should have and spilled soup everywhere. Gram-Grams wasn't mad, though. She giggled at how eager I was. It was still embarrassing, though. I took the time to wipe the warm soup off of my clothes, though I didn't really mind how good it felt on my skin. It was only a little spill, but it felt warm. I know it's kind of cheesy, but it felt warm like Gram-Grams' love.

But the fact that it felt like it only meant that it would taste like it that much more! All clean and ready to eat, I-


Drop another match. Jeez, why does being burned have to hurt so much?


---

[ ] Quick! Strike another match!

[ ] Where are we even? Are we lost? Are we close?

-----
Just a little closer! The finish line is almost here! Fight on, Kogasa!
>>No. 63148
[x] Where are we even? Are we lost? Are we close?
>>No. 63149
[x] Quick! Strike another match!
There's something here...
>>No. 63150
[X] Where are we even? Are we lost? Are we close?

Focus on the mission, Kogasa.
>>No. 63158
[x] Where are we even? Are we lost? Are we close?

---

I can't stop to think about how my fingertips hurt, though. I need to give them a rest or my fingers might never get better. Besides, I have five matches. I should be careful not to overdo it, or I'll freeze to death with nothing to warm me. We certainly don't want that, do we brain? We've still got work to do before we can rest!

Although, I can't really tell where I am anymore. Am I even on the right street? I'd normally be able to tell by now if I was close, but I still can't see in front of my face! Why did the weather have to turn so harsh? Although, it IS a white Christmas now, so there's that at least!

Wait a minute, is it still Christmas? It's probably tomorrow already, isn't it? But, then again, maybe not. Either way, I still owe it to the customer to at least show up, right?

Oh! All that rambling to myself gave me plenty of time to find a street sign! The cold metal is freezing reminder that one should focus on moving when they're in motion, so, really, it's only my fault I walked into it.

...

...

... I don't know where I am. I missed my turn. I was so caught up in my stupid fantasy that I forgot to watch where I was going. I don't know how far away from where I should be I am. I don't even know if there's a building on this corner. I can't see anything.

What am I doing? WHY am I doing this? To get home? For the customer? To pretend someone loves me for an hour?

What's even the point to me working so hard to get home? I should have just made a life for myself out here instead. I should have hiked to the next town over. I never should have left home. I never should have been forgotten, I never should have left Gram-Grams' cottage, I never should have woken up, I never should have been made, I'm just a stupid useless umbrella that can't even keep herself dry or even show up on time. I'm that asshole umbrella who hidews when it rains so nobody can find them when they need them, so, really, if I just freeze to death right here, it's actually beneficial to everyone, right?


---

[ ] This isn't like you, Kogasa! Buck up, kiddo! You've got a job to do, and by George, you're gonna' do it!

[ ] You've worked hard, Kogasa. Strike a match. Melt away all those unhealthy thoughts.


[ ] Yeah... It's probably for the best. I can't blame you, kid.

-----

HAHAHAHA CHRISTMAS UPDATE god i'm late
>>No. 63160
[x] You've worked hard, Kogasa. Strike a match. Melt away all those unhealthy thoughts.
>>No. 63161
[X] This isn't like you, Kogasa! Buck up, kiddo! You've got a job to do, and by George, you're gonna' do it!
>>No. 63162
[x] This isn't like you, Kogasa! Buck up, kiddo! You've got a job to do, and by George, you're gonna' do it!
>>No. 63163
[X] This isn't like you, Kogasa! Buck up, kiddo! You've got a job to do, and by George, you're gonna' do it!

Gotta work a little bit harder, Kogasa! Even if this 'George' is your client! Or wait, no, especially if this 'George' is your client!
>>No. 63167
As Christmas is WELL BEHIND US, this story shall be PUT OFF until CHRISTMAS of 2016!

Someone be sure to remind PLATEMASK NO FUTO to CONTINUE THIS STORY! Because, chances are, I'll forget/be using that handle more often!
>>No. 63168
>> 63167
You got to be shitting me.
>>No. 63169
>>63167
....you bloody wanker.
>>No. 63170
trololol.mp3
>>No. 63171
this is the greatest troll fic I've seen in quite some time. gj author
>>No. 63172
And authors always wonder why some people prefer to not get attached to a story by voting.
>>No. 63180
>rusemaster.jpg

My man
>>No. 64339
I think we were supposed to remind you to update this story
>>No. 64340
File 148261780356.jpg - (105.64KB, 842x1023, Touhou-Christmas-touhou-horidei-26082673-842-1023.jpg) [iqdb]
64340
You had one fucking job.

Also, Merry Christmas THP
>>No. 64342
File 148273715065.png - (463.82KB, 491x640, The Tale of an Earnest Girl.png) [iqdb]
64342
Hello again, brain. It HAS been a while since we had a proper heart-to-heart, hasn't it? What with everything that happened, though, it IS understandable. But at least we have food and bed semi-regularly now! Maybe the food is just making it easier to think, so THAT'S why we're talking now.

Speaking of 'everything that happened', we really don't have time to do this today, do we? We're already a day late and we only have so much tape, and we can't really PROCEED unless we wrap it up first, right?

-----

[ ] Keep wrapping! FASTER! Late or no, nothings going to keep you from making this client happy!

[ ] Don't be stubborn! Remember what happened LAST time you were stubborn?



[ ] What do you have on you today, Kogasa?
- [ ] Down those soup crackers! You need ENERGY for your line of work!
- [ ] Maybe have ONE soup cracker. Save the other for later!
- [ ] Don't eat! You already had a fifth of a bowl of rice! Don't be greedy!


[ ] You ever wonder how things changed at home since you left?


[ ] Rub it. The cold is making it ache again.

-----

I'm sorry I waited so long to continue this, but if Kogasa could wait so long, surely another day couldn't hurt, right?

Besides, continuing on despite your parents deleting ALL of your notes after you moved out is really an inspiring way of saying that there's no need to give up, right?

Besides, Kogasa is here now! I'm sure she's missed you as much as you've missed her!
>>No. 64343
What is this, a Kogasa tale?
Dammit, I have not been paying attention!
That umbrella is my absolute favourite of all things!
>>No. 64344
File 148274454888.png - (456.62KB, 1000x1000, Chibigasa about to cry.png) [iqdb]
64344
>>64343
...Oh.
I see.
...
I shouldn't be here.
I shouldn't have come.
I'm endangering the mission

Now I'm sad...
>>No. 64345
[X] Keep wrapping! FASTER! Late or no, nothings going to keep you from making this client happy!

How did I miss a Kogasa story last year? I feel terrible now.

Sure, I wasn't a fan of her last year, nor did I look at /other/, but still!

...Wait, the gift will surprisingly be a year late, won't it.
>>No. 64346
[x] Don't be stubborn! Remember what happened LAST time you were stubborn?
[x] What do you have on you today, Kogasa?
- [x] Down those soup crackers! You need ENERGY for your line of work!
>>No. 64348
Next vote has it, I suppose.

I'm posting from my phone, so this is all I can do for you guys. But Kogasa can wait, and so can you, right? It'll probably be dark when we get back to her, but yokai don't mind the dark, so it's fine, right?
>>No. 64349
[x] Don't be stubborn! Remember what happened LAST time you were stubborn?
[x] What do you have on you today, Kogasa?
- [x] Down those soup crackers! You need ENERGY for your line of work!

Breaking that tie for Kogasa
>>No. 65214
so any chance now that it's nearly Christmas season again we can get an update?
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