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Message to Readers

Welp, it's been a while. Finally got around to writing this chapter. The next one won't take as long (hopefully).

Explosion, pt. 4

February 26, 2019


Explosion, pt. 3
"Slow down, Kei-chan!" Haru yelled from behind me.
I threw my head back and laughed, propelling myself even farther. "We're going to be late if we wait for you!" I yelled from over my shoulder.
For the past year, the three of us (Watanabe Haru, Nakamura Youta, and I) have been penned  as 'the Taiko yaki Trio.' Every day, right before school, we hurried through the busy streets of Hiroshima to find our favorite taiko yaki stand. At that point, our teachers were accustomed to us running in late. 
Youta jogged past me, seemingly effortlessly, as his bookbag thumped rhythmically against his back. I pushed myself harder, ready to beat him to the sweet smelling stall on the corner of this street. 
The man who owns that brightly decorated stall, Kobayashi-san, was already grilling several pancakes, a calm smile on his face. Youta stopped in front of him and grinned, holding out a few hundred yen. 
"Three taiko yakis, Kobayashi-san!" Youta grinned. As Haru and I arrived at the stand, the pancakes were being filled with delicious chicken and topped with Kobayashi's secret recipe. 
Taking Youta's yen, Kobayashi-san hands us our pancakes, a smile on his face. "Make sure you children get to school on time, alright?" he says, giving Haru an extra taiko yaki.
The same thing happened every single day until Haru and Youta went away. Until I was left alone. 
I feel alone as I gaze at the blackened stand on the opposite side of the river. Pieces of what used to be decorations are barely more than ash while some of the metal and wood float in the river. This was not Kobayashi-san's stand. But it was someone's. And that someone could have sold his wares to idiotic children, too.
Youta sucks in a deep breath and I stop thinking, my attention shifting back to him. I watch as his chest rises and falls slowly, his arm draped over his injured stomach. We had walked as far as we could during the day, trying to look away from the haze of our city. After escaping the collapsed center, we found the outskirts crawling with other survivors. 
Despite Youta's disagreement, I decided to stop at the river bank by sunset. We could have walked farther. But to where? And what's the point? Yes, we've survived this long, but what will we do in the future? What will we do when the B-29s come back?
I look away from Youta's sleeping body and gaze at the river. I wouldn't try to drink that water. It didn't look odd yet, but I've heard stories about these types of wars. The last thing I need is to die by poisoning. 
My stomach rumbles violently and I gasp, pressing a hand against it. It has been hurting me for hours, threatening me to find it food. But I can't leave Youta to go find some. Who knows what animals are lurking around this river bank?
A cough from nearby catches my attention and I look to see a little girl clinging to a torn doll. She stands silently at the river bank, tears falling down her cheeks. All at once, I don't see a random girl crying at the river bank. I see a much younger version of my sister, Nakami.
Nakami was clinging to her stuffed dog, sobbing as we packed up the rusty old truck that my father rented. My mother just sighed and brought yet another box of her kitchen supplies into the truck. I stared at the truck angrily, my lower lip trembling in anger. My older sister, Mirai, strutted out of the house, holding onto the leash of our childhood dog, Chibu.
I watched as Mirai tied Chibu to the fencepost and climbed into the truck. Our father called Nakami and I into the truck, but I couldn't move. Nakami sobbed even more before taking slow steps with her pudgy legs to Chibu. She rubbed his ears before putting down her stuffed dog next to him. Then, she ran into my father's arms, burying her face into his shoulder. I remember how hurt I was to see my sister in such pain. 
That reason alone makes me stand to my feet and slowly climb down to the river bank to see the little girl. I stand beside her, staring at the still water. 
"Everyone is g-g-gone..." she whispers, wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her dirty sleeping gown. I nod, feeling tears in my eyes. How are my parents, still living in that tiny house we moved into when I was eleven? How is Mirai in Tokyo? How is Nakami in London? What about my fiance, Hinata? Is anyone okay?
I blink hard and let out a deep breath before crouching in front of the little girl. "I know, and I'm sure it hurts. But everything is going to be okay. You should get some sleep," I whisper, giving her a bright smile. The little girl nods and takes my hand as I lead her back toward Youta. I help the little girl lie down and warm her by rubbing my hands on her limbs until she nods off, her dirt-streaked face becoming peaceful. 
But, I don't sleep, even when my eyes try to fail me. 
As soon as the sun rises, Youta wakes up, groaning softly. I glance over at him, feeling tiredness tear at my body. He blinks slowly before sitting up. I don't bother to help him, knowing that he'll push me away anyway. He glances at the little girl sleeping beside him. 
"Who is that?" he asks. I shrug, and he nods, immediately knowing my thoughts. 
I clear my throat, "We should get to the hospital. If we keep moving, we'll get there by noon." Youta shakes his head quickly, rolling his eyes. 
"The hospital will be over-flowing with patients. They will be understaffed and filled to capacity," Youta grumbles. I sigh and look back at the river. The pieces of the burned stand were gone. 
"Then we should go to a safehouse," I suggest, climbing to my feet. Youta shakes his head again, clearly agitated. 
"Also overwhelmed with injured people. They can't help us," Youta snaps. I start to pace, frustrating filling my body. I don't know what else to do. For years, we have been told that in case of an emergency, we need to go to the nearest bomb shelter. If a bomb drops, go to a safe house or the hospital. There have been numerous drills where the entire city moves.
"If the government can't help us, what do we do?" I shout. Youta flinches, his expression softening. The little girls stirs from her sleep. "Huh, Youta? What are we supposed to do?"
He slowly gets to his feet, holding onto his stomach. Youta sighs, wavering on his legs before finding his balance. "I don't know."


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  • February 26, 2019 - 6:59pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Quille

    I love reading this (did I mention that before? :).
    That's cool about the flashbacks; it's weird sometimes the things that help us go forward are actually going back......... or something like that :DDD

    over 1 year ago
  • korra4life

    Thanks so much for always reading! I think the childhood flashbacks are a great idea too (I was planning to stop with the flashbacks after chapter 2, but they actually help give me inspiration). I'm not really sure I know how I want to proceed. Of course, I want to continue with the natural events that occurred, but I want this to be unique. I don't know how to continue... but that's okay.

    over 1 year ago
  • Quille

    Wow, I'm really loving this story!! I think it's even better than Mission and the flashbacks into their childhood really help bring all of the characters (even dead Haru :( to life.
    Don't rush yourself to get the next chapter out; take as long as you need to......... And I'll definitely be ready to read it when it's out :)
    Please keep writing! You're awesome at it, no matter what the inner critic tells you :DD

    over 1 year ago