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Old 03-18-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
Tempest Wind

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Re: Shin Megami Tensei RP Thread

Kanji Tatsumi - TATSUMI TEXTILES - Afternoon

"Okay, folks, good job today," Kanji said as he stuck the needle into the square of cloth and dropped it unceremoniously onto the counter top. There was a clatter of chairs and a rustle as his ten students, comprised mostly of housewives, began packing away their scrap cloth and needles.

"Next week, it'll be cross-stitching," he called over the noise of erupting conversations and squeaking chairs. "Which can get pretty bloody, so bring some band-aids," he added with a smirk.

"Hey mister," said his only male student, the little boy Kanji met in the park -- his name slipped Kanji's mind for the moment: Hiroki? Hiraku? "When are we gonna learn to make dolls?"

Kanji grinned and shook his head. "Y'gotta learn to stitch before you start doing big projects like that, y'understand? Besides, you have to learn to stop crying every time you poke yourself with the needle."

The little boy crossed his arms and blushed. "But it hurts," he mumbled. There was a sound at the door. "Oh! My mom's here. Gotta go mister!" He scampered across the tile and almost tumbled off the step as he tried to put on his shoes while walking.

Kanji buried a chuckle and shook his head. He watched the last of his students leave, each of whom bade him farewell with the occasional "see you next week."

The sliding doors closed one last time, and Kanji flicked off the lights. The thick smells of heavy dyes and dusty cloth were something of a comfort these days. He maneuvered to the back of the shop, organizing stacks of papers and making piles of scrap cloth along the way.

He finally slid open the door to the back room and stepped quietly onto the tatami. The problem with tatami has always been that no matter how gently the person steps, the sound it generates is always like someone beating clothing with six bamboo sticks.

The room was so dark that it took several seconds for Kanji's eyes to adjust even though his eyes knew what to expect. Kanji's mother groaned and turned onto her side under the pile of blankets as the TV hummed by her feet.

"Sorry, mom," Kanji whispered. On tip-toes he very slowly made his way across the room and knelt by his mother's bedside.

She grasped his hand and smiled. "You've always been a clumsy boy, Kanji," she said.

"Heh... I'm gonna stop by the market because we're all out of miso, and I'll stop by Shiroku Store to pick up some medicine for you," he said.

Strands of his mother's hair were stuck to her face from perspiration, and he fought back the urge to push the hair away. Instead, he pressed a damp cloth to her forehead, and attempted to pat away some of the sweat. It always worked in the movies, but Kanji watched the water and perspiration mix and everything he did just felt like one big mess.

"Uh.... sorry," he mumbled and dropped the cloth back into the bowl of water.

His mother attempted to shake her head, but didn't have enough strength.

Kanji's lips shook, so he pressed them together. Finally, he glanced back at the TV and stared at the hazy black-and-white image. The box still had antennae despite the fact that everything went digital years ago. It only picked up two channels: national news and some weird German television station. "Y'want me to turn that up for you?" he asked.

"Mm..." his mother breathed.

He nodded and very gently turned the dial. The voice of the newscaster finally grew loud enough to overcome the constant buzzing. "--Prime Minister wants to remind everyone to stay calm. If you see one of these bizarre creatures on the street, do not make direct eye contact. If the creature seems agitated, walk -- don't run -- to the nearest sheltered area.

"In other news, a strange new illness has caused the the death toll to climb to staggering height--"

Kanji flicked the volume off, despite his urge to chuck the entire TV out the window. "Stupid ***holes don't even know what they're... This is such BS."

His mother began coughing: the kind where the entire body shakes and the head hangs back limply. Kanji tensed, frozen for a moment. The only thing he thought to do was hold up his mom's head so she wouldn't choke. He held her for nearly a minute until the coughing fit subsided.

"Tha..." she murmured as a few smaller coughs attempted escape.

"Shhhh, don't try to talk, mom," Kanji murmured. Slowly, he lowered her back onto the futon and climbed to his feet. "I'm gonna go get some cough medicine now. If anything happens, call my cell phone. You don't even have to say anything -- just call it and I'll come rushing back."

He lingered, waiting for a response, but never received one. After a long moment, he decided that his mother probably understood but was too weak to reply. He made his way back into the main hall and closed the double doors behind him. He slipped on his shoes and locked the door behind him as he began walking down the block. He wondered if Marukyu sold miso, since miso soup had tofu and it made logical sense in his mind.


Last edited by Tempest Wind; 03-18-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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