Friday Fictioneers -Sunshine

(Author’s note: It’s 3-1 in Korea, Revolution Day. This means a day off. The only one I’ll have for the next 2 months. So today, I give my best! Enjoy! And there will be more stories during the week as I go walking and enjoying the nice weather.)

clouds-above-the-trees

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Sunshine

by Miles H. Rost

“I wish I could travel,” Rockne said, staring at the bright clouds above.

“Where would you go? Not many people leave Blackford County,” his cousin, Marcus, replied.

“I dunno. I had a dream of beautiful girls in robes recently.”

“Are ya thinking of Japan?”

“Maybe. Korea sounds pretty cool, too.”

Marcus turned to his side and looked at Rockne.

“You got the hots for Yumin in science class.”

“Whaaaaaaaa?”

“She’s from Korea, and quite nice to look at.”

Rockne squinted, as the sun came out.

“She’s Korean-American. She’s from Portland.”

“Oh.”

“But yeah, she’s my ray of sunshine…”

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Friday Fictioneers – Moonies!

 

ceayr

©C.E. Ayr

Moonies!

by Miles H. Rost

“Michelle! Come here!”

Yumi Tanaka bounced on her 12-year old feet, waiting for her gaijin homestay to come and join her.

“What is it, Yumi?”
“You remember that show I wanted to show you?”
“No, I think I was studying…”
“Come on, Michelle. Time to go watch!”

Michelle Davis was pulled into the living room of the comfortable suburban Tokyo home. Plopping down on some pillows, the show started.

“What’s the name of this show?”
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon!”
Ugh. Sounds weird…”

<15 years later>

“Welcome to L.A.X.” the speakers droned.

Michelle waited at the gate, smiling. A short blue-haired bob jumped up and down.

“Ami!”
Yumi Tanaka’s eyes turned around and opened wide!
“Rei!”

“I missed you!” they said as they hugged.

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Warriors of Honor – The Fire Sniper

(Author’s note: Here is what I hope to have as the start of a new weekly or bi-weekly series. Enjoy the first installment, the story of The Fire Sniper.)

 

Screaming. Blood curdling screams heard everywhere.

The central part of Tokyo has always had some sort of action. On this night, however, it had one of the worst scenes of depravity playing out in front of the flashing lights and glowing neon.

A horror in the form of a 12-year-old girl.

She shambled down the street, a feral grin on her face. People passing by would look down towards her, and quickly move out of her way. Occasionally, one of them would get too close, and the girl leaped at them, beating them down to the ground. She would crouch down by their ear and suck out the energy in their bodies, then steal their money.

The police couldn’t do anything about her. Physical confrontation left them injured, and tasers didn’t faze her a bit. Thinking that if they gave her room, she would leave peacefully; they did their best to keep the area cordoned off. They would move their human shield as the girl moved along. Unless one wanted to be a sacrifice for the hell-spawn, it would be a battle of attrition between her and them.

From a far rooftop, a pair of violet eyes scanned the entire scene. Seeing everything up to this point, her eyes dilated, focusing solely on the form of the possessed girl as it did it’s routine. The eyes were like that of a hunter, scanning and waiting for their prey. The hunter pulled her bow from her side, and did a quick lineup of the girl and the bow guide.

An arrow rested upon the bow guide, colored black with thin red bands upon its shaft. The hunter anchored herself into position and quickly checked her mark. The girl hadn’t moved in a little bit, so they would have to get things together quickly.

The hunter drew back the bow, the hood of the cloak the hunter wore moving back slightly to reveal long fire-red tresses falling to the side of her head. Her eyes fixed on the girl, who had just sat from feasting on another passerby.

“Soul Snipe,” she quietly called out, letting the string go, and the arrow flying.

It streaked through the air, passing through a myriad of clotheslines, tangled power lines, and other obstacles. People standing outside swore that they heard a bee buzzing by quickly. Even with all obstacles, the arrow’s aim was true.

The girl below had just finished taking a short rest after consuming a good amount of energy, and was about to move onward.

Suddenly, pain erupted through her mind. An inhuman scream blasted forth, as she stumbled forward and fell to her knees. The pain was sharp, but quickly started to die down. Her mind started adjusting back to looking for her next victim.

The arrow, imbedded in her left shoulder, started to glow. From a deep brick red to glowing crimson, the arrow lit up quickly. A sound, like the charging of a defibrilator, rang into the girl’s mind. She reached her arm back to grab the arrow.

Her eyes and mind went white with pain. The blood-curdling screams of the girl, mixed with the inhuman growling, caused the police officers in front of her to fall backwards and scurry back into a larger sized circle. She gripped her head, feeling as though she was being torn in two.

From behind her, the slow clopping of shoes started to invade the screams in her mind. As they slowly got more noticeable, the possessed girl turned around. She looked behind her, and saw the person making the sounds.

She looked no more than 15-years old. A black hood framed part of her face, connected to a black cloak that flowed behind her. She was clad in a red and orange pleated skirt, white leotard, and long, brick-red sleeves. Her fingerless gloves were designed with fire markings, the bright yellow and orange mixing with the reds and blending into the sleeves of her uniform. As she pushed the hood back, the wavy locks of red spilled down around her face. A pair of red reflective sunglasses obscured the young girl from seeing her eyes.

“Fire Sniper!” the girl rasped, her words sounding worse than inhuman.

“You will leave her,” Fire Sniper said, her words quiet yet with authority.

The girl cackled and jumped around, taunting her.

“You have no power over us! You have no power, period!”

Fire Sniper looked down, and shook her head. The stony look of her face soon carried a glower, and she finally kneeled down quickly.

“You’re trapped. Goodbye.”

She yanked the arrow out of the girl’s shoulder.

As the tip became exposed to the air, a roaring scream blasted the area. Black “mist” flowed from her mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. The arrow’s color grew in intensity, from the glowing crimson to a bright cherry red. The mist absorbed itself into the arrow, the arrow growing brighter and moving longer down the arrow’s shaft by the second.

The screams suddenly went silent. Everyone in the area stopped moving. No sound besides the background noise from the various shops and cars could be heard.

Fire sniper pulled out a metal cylinder from her pack, and placed the arrow into it. Flipping it back into her backpack, she clicked the side of her sunglasses.

“Quarry contained. Going home. See you tomorrow,” she reported.

“Sending EMTs now. We’ll debrief tomorrow,” the sound from her earpiece replied.

She looked at the girl, now splayed out on the ground. Quickly checking her pulse, she breathed a sigh of relief that it was still strong.

Before anyone could say anything to her, she ran from the scene, jumping upon the rooftops in a single bound, and hopping over the roofs of Tokyo.

=

With a quick kneeling landing, Fire Sniper found herself at the foot of a long set of stone stairs. She slowly climbed to a dirt path, which led to her small, ornately designed building within the grounds of a Shinto temple. Straddling the borders of two districts within the Minato City area, her home was a refuge from the business of the main streets and lights of the “Foreigner Part” of Tokyo.

She slid the screen door open, and walked in. Turning on the main hallway light, she smiled as she stepped up onto a middle step. Placing her large black duffel sack above her on the hallway floor, she turned towards the door and started to focus her breathing. She removed the cloak, and placed it atop the sack, and kept breathing steadily.

After a few seconds, the red of her shoulder-length red hair started to recede, the color bleeding out from it’s tips as it shortened. Her uniform started shifting colors, the red and orange fading into a darker, bluish color. The fingerless gloves retreated from her hands into the long sleeves of her shirt, sleeves that were puffing out and becoming more and more white. Her high-heeled boots slowly retreated down her leg, the heels becoming flatter and less noticeable.

It only took a few more seconds, and the Fire Sniper was nowhere to be found. In her place was a shorter, 14 year-old schoolgirl.

She sighed, and kicked off her shoes. Walking down the hallway into her room, she put down her duffel bag, and pulled out a smaller green backpack from it.

She dusted her blue and white school uniform off, preparing herself to study. She adjusted her round glasses, and sat down at her desk.

The phone rang.

“Imino Residence. Sayaka speaking. Whatcha’ need?” the girl formerly known as Fire Sniper said, loudly.

Angel In The Snow

Angel In The Snow
by Miles H. Rost

The Witch of Winter. Snow fairy. The Winter Wife. Yuki-Onna.

She was called many different names from the time of her youth, referred to in legends. She was one of many, but not as many as others. She wasn’t a monster,though, like what many people thought.

Her skin was a beautiful alabaster, her hair nearly crystalline in appearance. Out of the sun, it looked a beautiful strawberry blonde color. She was dressed in a shorter yukata that came down to the knees, colored white, with broad and wide sleeves, along with a salmon-colored sash across her waist. To the uninitiated eye, she would have been described as a young, teenaged beauty.

However, to quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.” With the internet, more people found out and knew about the legend of the Yuki-Onna. As a result, more people were scared, or were fascinated but didn’t do anything about it as human instinct is to avoid things that mean death.

She remembered hearing about the stories from her mother. While there were many who took to the traditional way of freezing their mates to death, and joining them in whatever afterlife there was, she wasn’t one who would do that. She was different, and to her kind, an outcast. She wanted what the humans had.

She sat on a cliff, overlooking a lake that was thawing. She sighed as she kept thinking about her love, whoever he was. She looked at the melting snow,  a sign of the springtime that was to come and the summer that would be tough. She thought about leaving her native land, going to a new land where she may be more accepted. She heard about the Australian snow fairies, who make their homes in the highlands of the east coast; and even the Rocky Mountain Yuki-Onna, the rare and yet most striking of the snow fairies in the mountains of America and Canada.

She didn’t have the income to move, however. Because of this realization, she slid further into her reflections. She sighed as a slight chilly air flowed from her mouth into the air.

She heard a slight crunching behind her, and she immediately shifted around to see who was coming. She waited, patiently, hearing the slow movement of rock and the groaning of someone who sounded quite masculine. Waiting patiently, she sat placidly as the form of the newcomer came into view.

The man was brown-haired, young, and a slight bit overweight. He didn’t look unhealthy, but he could easily shed a few pounds if he so chose. He reached the overlook where she was and sat down.

“Hello there, love. Looks like…WHOA-!”

He looked over the lake, the beauty of it all flowing into his eyes and piercing his brain. The deep blue of the lake, contrasted with the grayish white of the melting sheets of ice, and the deep, dark green evergreen trees that blanketed the landscape. The sun shone in rays and peaks from around the needles of the trees, creating a near-kaleidoscope effect to a person’s eye.

In the young man’s eyes, this was intense beauty. He smiled broadly, as he pulled out his expensive camera and started taking shots. The young beauty sitting close to his feet was in awe at how engrossed he was in the scenery, many thoughts and questions running through her mind.

“You…like nature?” she asked him.

He looked down and grinned.

“Absolutely! I have never seen or experienced such beauty since I look out from Cape Blanco in Oregon, in the USA. This is the essence of Japan, and I now have a piece of it for my memories. Now, since I’m done gushing over nature’s beauty, how about you?”

She looked down, demurely, trying to hide the embarrassment of having this foreigner’s attention on her.

“The name’s Tom. Tom Bishop. Cairns, Australia.”

Her eyes lit up and she smiled, broadly.

“Australia?! Is Cairns anywhere close to snow?”

Tom looked at the young lady and smiled.

“Nah. Snow is farther south. Down in the hills around by Melbourne and Canberra. Cairns is tropical. Which is okay, because I don’t really like tropical places. What’s your name?”

The young yuki-onna bit her lip as she looked at him.

“My name would translate to Yukiri in this language. It’s hard to pronounce my actual name in your language.”

“Well, Yukiri, I am very glad to meet you. It’s not everyday you see someone who is beautiful surrounded by beautiful nature.”

She sighed, and a wan smile towards the compliment.

“If you know more about me, you may not think I’m so beautiful. Many times, people even think I’m a real monster.”

Tom looked at her, squinted for a few seconds, and gave a little chuckle.

“Everyone has a little bit of monster inside. The most pious of people have that, or there wouldn’t be something called “the human condition”,” he said, while looking out at the placid lake, “There are men and women out there who appear to be normal, but who are murderers and thieves deep down. They show kindness to the world and hatred reigns in their hearts. If you think you are a monster, then obviously you haven’t seen how some humans can be.”

Yukiri looked at him with wide eyes, not realizing that for even a moment that someone would state that some humans are worse than her. She quietly looked out at the lake, serenity perceived, and a tear started to fall down her face.

“Tom, what if someone told you that they were a real monster. Like a monster from legend, or someone who was unbelievably different that it would make you question everything you know?”

Tom looked down at her, and gave her a sideways smile. He crouched down and his smile broadened.

“Everyday, I question what I know. It’s not because I think God’s wrong, or that I’m wrong, but it helps me to realize that there are things I can’t explain out there. If you told me you were a real legendary monster, it’s likely I wouldn’t believe it. But, after a while, when I think about it and pray over the idea, I might change my mind.”

He sat down, dangling his legs over the edge of the cliff, and he reached over to touch her shoulder. Yukiri started to pull away, but then relaxed as the warm hand lightly gripped her shoulder.

“God has shown me many things in my life. He’s shown me the greatest highs and the greatest lows. He has shown me beauty unimaginable in nature, and he has shown me true ugliness. If you’re asking me whether real life monsters exist, then I could say yes. But again, the question we should be asking is, ‘What is the true definition of a monster?'”

Yukiri eyes started to tear up heavily as Tom continued to speak to her.

“Yukiri, beauty and monstrosity are in the eye of the beholder. I know of women back in Oz that are beautiful as can be in their looks, but their personality is absolutely horrific to the point of revolting. I also know of women who are not 10s in their looks, but have some of the warmest and most beautiful hearts imaginable. When you find a balance, that’s where perfection comes in.”

She launched herself at Tom and buried her head in his shoulder, cold tears soaking into the microfiber jacket that he wore. He looked down at her, and he didn’t know what to do.

Do I hug her? Do I ask her what’s wrong? What’s…does she really think she’s a monster?

After a minute of sobbing, the icy tears soaking through Tom’s jacket, she pulled away slowly and sniffled.

“You made me feel…like a human, Tom.”

Tom put up his hands and laughed nervously.

“Hey hey…I’m no saint here. I’m guilty of being a monster myself at times.”

Yukiri smiled at him as he attempted to deflect the compliment with self-deprecation. She put a finger on his lips and smiled.

“What I mean is this, that your words make me think that there is hope for someone like me.”

“What do you mean?”

She looked him in the eye, and took a deep breath.

“Well, what I’m going to say may be hard to believe. You’re talking to a real live legendary monster.”

Tom cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrows, as if he was saying, “Go on…”

She stood and revealed her true face, which was a little bit wider, with what looked to be sharp saw-like teeth. She raised her hands, which were now a deep ice blue, the fingers looking like sharp, razor claws.

“My family are snow fairies. We are Yuki-Onna. In legend, we are accused of leading men to their death.”

Tom’s eyes widened, but as Yukiri looked into his eyes, she didn’t see fear. She saw what she only could describe as amazement.

“You….aren’t scared?”

Tom blinked, and reached for her icy claws. She started to recoil from the touch, as if to cry out “Don’t touch me!”, but he was quick enough to put his hand into her claw.

“Your hands are ice cold. It’s like dipping my hand in a blast freezer. But…I can still feel a bit of your skin. It’s like grooved ice.”

Yukiri smiled, showing the razor teeth in her mouth. She wasn’t showing malice at all, and she felt like Tom was receiving that message in his mind.

“Yukiri, I want to know more. You’re a new being that I never knew existed, but a testament to the greatness of the God I serve.”

She morphed back to her human form and smiled, knowing that this was something she hoped for.

“I’d like to know more about you, Tom. And the God you talk so highly about…”