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134 2011/10/07 (Fri) 05:20 No. 134
From the outside view, the run-down apartment didn't look like a disgusting, maggot-filled dump. The same could not be said of the interior, however. There is mold in places where you didn't even want to think about, infestations and insects in every nook and cranny, and lastly, half-tap water and half-unidentified-liquid sewer system which makes you want to bathe in a latrine instead. But this was your home.

Or rather, it isn't until you pay your rent, which is due in a week's time. Your job as a manual labor freelancer doesn't pay as much as you hoped to be, but there's not much else you can do. The economy was run down to the ground decades ago, and is only starting to recover now, with dozens of help efforts being placed by the government. If only the government wasn't the sole cause of the economy being trampled down, then you'd find some solace in the regrowth of the cities. You rummage around in your worn down jeans, sorting through your pockets. You find a crisp ten dollar bill from the front of your pants, as well as a tiny business card with small print you can't read. Stuffing it back, you look around the shops to go search for some profit. A few lone shops have signs with something probably asking for employees wanted, but you weren't sure. Often times, you have trouble with the longer words. You open the doors of the first shop, making a jingling sound from the bells above. Nodding your head to the shopkeeper, you point to the sign, reading the long word, then “Wanted.”

“Oh!” He snaps with his finger. “Ya lookin' for a job here? Well, all ya gotta do is sign this form right there!” The man jabs his thumb on a piece of paper with squiggly lines over it.

“...Sign what?” You answer, not understanding what he meant by signing something. The shopkeeper raises his left eyebrow out of worry, or something else.

“Heavens, son. Don'tcha know how'ta read?”

“No, I do not.” you answer candidly. “Was never taught.”

“Good Lord.” He scoffs, then sighs wistfully. “Where you raised?”

“Nowhere, sir.” you reply in total honesty. “I never remembered.”

He frowns, but pats your shoulders. “Look, kid. I can't take ya in here, but I can see you a hard worker, so take a little kindness from me.” The man slips you a ten dollar bill, pushing it to your palms. “Now git outta here.” He says with no hint of anger, or disappointment.

You're pushed to back to the streets, looking for some more ways to get some money. One shop with sleek, black doors catches your attention. You're lured by its pristine, clear look as if the whole place was wiped down with a cleaner. A man with black hair slicked down to his neck straightens his collar. “Do you have business here?”

“No. But I want to.”

“You want to?” He questions.

“I want to have business here.”

After a few seconds of smoothing down his wrinkled business suit, he licks his lips. “Okay. Then you must swear to an oath. An oath that you must never say anything about what you will do for us. It will pay good money.”


“What I want you to do is to shoot someone real quick. Just kill her, the victim I mean. You will be paid a big lump of cash, depending on how it goes.” He throws you something. Its cold frame is unfamiliar, but you can guess what it is.

“A gun.”

“Yes, it is. There are a lot of them circulating, but try not to dirty your hands too much. It is very easy, however. Come” He directs, not waiting for you to follow. You scramble to a car, where a few men nudge you inside. The man from before is not here, but the new men say nothing until a neighborhood street pops up. 192nd Street, as its named.

The gun is slipped into your pocket, and then the car shifts itself into reverse, and tails off somewhere. You have a mission to do. A mission to save your home, and your life ultimately. But you just stand there, in front of the patio, not moving an inch. Time seems to slow down, although 30 minutes have passed. Or so you guess. A single step is taken. Then another, then a few more. Time reverts itself as you keep on making more distance from the patio. Soon enough, you're right inside the house, with a lone woman lying face down on the only couch. Looking around the place, you find nobody else living here. So she is clearly the target. You point the gun at her, closing one eye to adjust your aim. Your finger starts to shake on the trigger, then your arm. Both your eyes start to close as you pull it.

Click. Nothing.

Nothing comes out. You're puzzled by why nothing has happened. The gun didn't seem to respond to anything. After fiddling around with the gun for a good minute, you realized there was a switch that turns it on. Or something like that. Flipping it up, now you were sure to realize your mission goal. But your arm continues to stutter, spasming to the point where you can't see where to aim. Hoping to calm yourself, you take a few deep breaths, and squint to aim again. You pull the finger.

A large bang rockets around the room, the echoes bouncing off the walls. Then, a blood curdling shriek defies your ears, giving you chills on the back of your neck. The woman is clutching her arm, sobbing and screaming incoherently. A black mark is seen in the middle of her shoulder to her elbow, blood steadily oozing out. Fear kicks in, and you start shooting more.

You should've steadied your arm. Bang. You should've put it to her head. Bang You should've killed her quickly in one blow. Bang bang bang.

There she was. Lying on the floor, 'sleeping.' Blood flows steadily through multiple shots, accumulating on the tan carpet. You sit down on the floor, stupefied by what happened. What happened to your mission...?

In a few short minutes, the enforcers come and take you away.

A cold jail cell. You don't particularly hate it, but it isn't a five star hotel. Not that you've ever seen one.

A voice whispers to you. “I saw what happened. Isn't it unfair that you are forced to be in a world where you are born at a disadvantage? Where you are forced to kill to survive?” A blond woman is now appearing out of what seems to be a tiny hole in the corner. “But I can save you.” She assures herself. “Yes, I can save you from this hellish place you call the world. Just follow me.”

“I don't want to.” you reply. “I did a bad thing, so it's right for me to be punished. What can redeem a killer?”

“Okay then.” She shrugs. “Suit yourself. Your sentence is tomorrow. Pretty soon, huh?” The blond says, detached of emotion.

30 minutes or so passes, give or take a few. You are secured to a chair with a lot of wires. The same blond woman is in the corner of your vision, talking to another blond woman with what seems to be tails.

Blond woman number one whispers to her friend. You just barely overhear their conversation. “We have longer life spans right? But sometimes, I fear that humans understand us better than we do. Rather, we have no understanding of humans at all.”

“You know,” Blond number two responds. “I think about that often. But really.” She closes her eyes as a few men in the front flip a switch. “I think humans are the greatest youkai of them all.”

2011/10/07 (Fri) 15:52 No. 135
Some redundant sentences, but overall a good "yukari or death" short.
2011/10/09 (Sun) 21:07 No. 137
Sorry bro, but I didn't like it much. The ending seemed rushed. I expected more struggle or discussion when Yukari tried to save him. It just ended on a 'meh, then I die, whatever' note that just didn't trigger anything in me.

Maybe next time, ok? Try to put a little more heartblood and emotion into it.
2011/10/10 (Mon) 01:41 No. 138
I think that was kinda the whole point of the story. The protag didnt really know anything: literally other then that he was strong and could do labor. It was supposed to be emotionally lacking.
2011/10/10 (Mon) 10:45 No. 139
It's ultimately the story of a guy getting sucked into the flow of things and resigning himself to the bitter end in spite of whatever Yukari might offer him (such as answers to his past).
2011/10/11 (Tue) 02:06 No. 140
or you know he was a guy who grew up without any sort of life experience aside from physical labor
2011/11/07 (Mon) 08:15 No. 169
Yukari Yakumo had always found humans from the other side of Gensokyo intriguing. After the first few experiences, she learned not to get too close, specifically not right in front of their faces. While it gave her a good laugh, usually the person in question would run off screaming.

The modern world was very puzzling to Yukari, and for that she was drawn to its different lifestyle. Still, she pondered about how each person seemed amicable during work hours, while amazingly vicious in personal relationships. Sometimes, there was nothing she could do for 'them.' Yukari watched women get beat by their supposed loved ones, men get beaten on by his wife for no apparent reason, various underlings pushed to do more work than the actual boss for lesser pay; she saw them all.

Yet out of all the disgustingly cruel interpersonal relationships, only one stood out as a quintessence of purity than the rest. Yukari felt strangely bubbly and enthusiastic when it came to a particular human. By his name tag, he seemed to be named 'Jean Yuehan.'

Whether he realized it or not, Jean had a very naive but innocent face, blissfully smiling at anybody he came across. He worked at a small production facility that manufactured spare laptop utilities that was notorious for its low pay, but still took his job seriously nonetheless.

His work salary wasn't enough for a luxurious house nor a car, but Jean made sure to cherish both as if they were worth more than they actually were. In a one-story house with four rooms including the living room, it wouldn't fit more than three people. Which was relieving to Yukari, seeing as Jean lived with his wife and daughter, May Yuehan (whom she thought was unnaturally cute).

It seemed like Jean was living an imperfect, yet perfect life with his cheerful attitude and happy family. But Yukari knew (though she shouldn't have) by prying into their lives. Only recently, while the pretty, adorable daughter was sleeping, the mother, Lena Yuehan, has been trying her hardest to avoid Jean. She would often leave right before Jean would get home, much to his confusion. But he trusted, infuriatingly oblivious to his wife's neglect.

Yukari would see her from time to time, at another man's house. Lena wasn't satisfied, going at it with another man that she knew from work. Yukari didn't understand why she wanted something more out of her relationship that she had already, but didn't do anything as she watched Jean's wife dash out of her co-worker's house at 8:45 in the morning.

But even more surprisingly, Lena was the one who got mad at Jean. She screamed and barked demands at him for an hour straight, then yelling hurtful remarks at her husband like 'how he couldn't satisfy her anymore.' Jean stood there quietly, saying nothing while taking all her wife's insulting blows. As the daughter woke up from her nap, still rubbing her eyes. Immediately, Lena pauses mid-sentence and pets her on the head with the most artificial smile Yukari's ever seen.

It seems that the following days after, Jean is desperately fighting for his pretty daughter's custody in court. A shame, because the jury would much rather side with a pretty lady rather than an honest man. The day that Jean lost the dispute, he seemed so listless, fragile enough to break with just one touch.

His daughter May looked up to him the last day with wide eyes. Jean wiped his eyes and hugged his daughter before letting her go, where she seemed to disappear to her mother's side. Jean seemed to walk around aimlessly through the whole city afterward, not even bothering to use his car left in the parking lot. He goes back to his work facility, opening the main doors with a pair of keys. All the other workers are nowhere to be found on a Sunday. Taking the stairs up to the rooftop, he looks down on all the cars and people down on the ground. Then without announcing anything, he simply walks off, plummeting below.


“...Hey.” Yukari says. “Hey, Ran.”

“What is it?” Ran Yakumo, her shikigami answers.

“What do you do to a person who wasn't meant to be saved...?” Yukari questions, an unpleasant grimace on her face.

Ran is taken aback by her sudden tone. Then, with a knowing smile, she adds, “You do not frown, even until the end.”
2011/11/07 (Mon) 09:21 No. 171
And people consider Yukari the monster...
2011/11/07 (Mon) 11:24 No. 172
... I teared up a little. That was beautiful man.
2011/11/07 (Mon) 15:01 No. 175
Brings up a very sympathetic Yukari instead of the usual "MASTERMIND" type. Is this also related to the previous short, or are they unrelated to each other?
2011/11/25 (Fri) 18:37 No. 210
I was moved, but at the same time didn't understand the last line. Was it supposed to be some sort of "grin and bear it" approach? Did she whisk him away last second?
The grammar also seems off somewhat.
>“What do you do to a person who wasn't meant to be saved...?” Yukari questions, an unpleasant grimace on her face.
Wasn't meant? As in, supposed to?
>Ran is taken aback by her sudden tone. Then, with a knowing smile, she adds, “You do not frown, even until the end.”
'Until the end' should be 'in the end' or 'until the bitter end' I think.