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Author Topic: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave  (Read 4499 times)

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Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2016, 05:59:17 PM »
Anzu is the star, after all! Can't have her be boring  :clapping:

Yeah I'm a very crude writer, I can't really help it. It calms down in this story as things progress and get serious  :ninja: Thanks for reading this one

Ah, and you wanted them to hook up  :unsure: Bad news, dude... lol

Offline Hope4Future

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2016, 12:04:34 AM »
after long last, here for my late review ... I mean like really really ... really late review ... hehe ^^;

Review for Anzu; Ch.1 - 14
well first of all, right off the bat, this was a very nice read for me and I very much enjoyed every chapter I read.

bad news is that I never really took any notes when I was reading this, I figured "oh I wont need notes, i'll just mention the basic stuff" which was stupid of me to think i'd remember my opinions from multiple chapters in one sitting. also, I believe its been a month since a last read one of your chapters ... have not been on a good streak lately.

anyway, based on what I remember: I thought the first chapter did feel extra longer than necessary, with all the character introductions and the setup of their understanding for each other when it could've 2 different chapters (again, this was looong ago, so i'd have to read it again to make sure but I thought i'd mention it anyway).

the details added into the story were very well done, it paints an accurate picture for the reader.

the only thing that baffled me the most was Anzu's ghostly existence, how is she able to touch objects (amongst eating, wearing clothes, touching and picking up items, etc) and yet she physically cannot be touched by another living being (besides those who touch her diary)?

(sry for the sloppiness, I did what I could with the time I have ... and also, lack of proper notes)


overall, a very moving piece of work you got here and I do still intend to finish what I started; after reading ch.14 made me hesitant to finish it because I honestly didn't want it to end T.T

i'll try to add more to it later on or when I finish the remaining chapters but for now, I submitted my review as promised (was late but still)

Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2016, 01:09:13 PM »
Thanks for remembering  :clapping: Glad you like it so far

I had the same feeling as I was writing towards the ending. All good things must end though  :(

Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2016, 02:17:55 AM »
I never did share this little chapter extra I wrote for Anzu  :ninja:

Chapter Extra
Spoiler
Anzu: Oh god, what's happening? Giuseppe?!

Giuseppe: Yeah, I'm here. What's up? Wait, where the hell are we?!?!

Anzu: We've been brought back from the dead, Giuseppe! OGHM is going to use us for a heartless, milked, effortless sequel to a story that already wrapped up nicely! I can't go through this Giuseppe, I just can't! Our story gave me such a good career and now we're going to be used like cheap whores in an alleyway for OGHM's pleasure! I'd rather die!

*Anzu takes out a tanto and sits on her knees, unsheathing the blade*

Anzu: I always knew it would end like this. Goodbye Giuseppe!

Giuseppe: No! We're not committing seppuku in the...Story Extra? Oh! It's just a kind of "Howdy, Remember Us?" Chapter.

Akahana: What the hell is going on here?

Anzu: Little sis!

Giuseppe: Can't you be a little more moe and say "Nee-chan!" with sparkling eyes and blushing cheeks?

Anzu: Eat garbage! I ain't moe! Cute, but not moe cute!

Akahana: Aww, the gang is back together!

Giuseppe: Hey, didn't we die in the story?

Anzu: Well, I was already dead, but I passed on. You died though! At a ripe old age, just how I told you!

Akahana: You sure did, your grandchildren were so adorable!

Giuseppe: I really hate when women get all mushy over stupid crap.

Akahana: Oh come now, lighten up!

Anzu: Maybe we should re-introduce ourselves since its been a while, right?

Giuseppe: Yeah, probably. Well, I'm Giu-

Anzu: I go first because I'm the star! Hi, I'm Anzu! I'm dead!

*DEATH*



I'm also beautiful (???), energetic (??), generous (???), and famous (??)!

*BEAUTY*



*ENERGY*





Akahana & Giuseppe: Where did she get those kanji from?!

Anzu: Your turn, guys!

Giuseppe: Uh, okay...Well, I'm Giuseppe. I'm not really sure how to write my name in Japanese though...

Akahana: Juzepe! You'd write it in katakana since it's foreign!

Giuseppe: Oh wow, thanks, Akahana! I'm down to earth, reasonable, and maybe a bit of a bully sometimes, in a friendly way.

Anzu: Booo! You suck! Get off the stage, dork!

Giuseppe: Uhh...Next up is Akahana!

Akahana: Hello! I'm Akahana, Anzu's little sister! Though now she would be my younger sister since she's still 17...

Anzu: No fair! I'm still the older sister!

Akahana: You died, you don't get to make the rules!

*Anzu pouts*

Anzu: Hey everyone, want to see how to write Akahana's name?

Giuseppe: Anzu, don't!

Anzu: Ta da!





*the word "hana" is used for both "flower" and "nose". Anzu is replacing the kanji for "flower" with the kanji for "nose" in this case. The name is still pronounced "Aka-Hana", but it now means "Red Nose" instead of "Red Flower"*

Akahana: Anzu, why?! What did I do to deserve this?! I'm so embarrassed!

Anzu: I think we can just go ahead and call you Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer now.

Giuseppe: Don't just take that, Aka! Get back at her!

Anzu: You can't mess up Anzu's name though, it just means "apricot"! There's also another kanji, but it just refers to the chieftains of the Ryukyu village! It would be glorifying her!

Giuseppe: Wait! What if we flip the readings around?! Use on-yomi instead of kun-yomi!

Akahana: Okay, let's try!

Anzu: It still won't work, you fools.

Akahana: Oh dear... it reads as Kyoushi, which means "teacher"...



Giuseppe: It's still glorifying her...

Anzu: Told ya! Really shows which of us Mom loved more, huh?

Akahana: I hate you!

Anzu: And I love you!

Giuseppe: *Sigh*. We never change.

Akahana: Nope...

Anzu: But our breast sizes do! We want to give one more big thanks to everyone who read Anzu: A Friend From the Grave!

Giuseppe: Thanks a million!

Akahana: Arigatou!

Anzu: Muah! Thanks!


Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2016, 05:37:48 PM »
Am I a hack writer? Probably. But I had the sudden idea to go a little more into Anzu's childhood, from the break up to her family, her spiral into depression that lead to her writing the diary, her bounce-back, and her unfortunate death afterwards.

This will probably be nothing but feels.

Childhood: A House Filled With Flowers
Spoiler



(I wonder how many years ago it was...)

*INTRODUCE YOURSELF*

An 11 year old Anzu stood proudly and happily in her uniform, in front of her fellow classmates with her name written on the chalkboard behind her. Back then, in days long gone, Anzu was a girl who always smiled, and her smile was a thing of beauty when paired with sunlight streaking through the windows.

Anzu: My name is Anzu Hodane. H-Hodane is written as "Hou" as in "Jewel", "da" as in "arising" and "ne" as in "sound". "Anzu" is usually only written in kana, I use the kanji for my name. I hope we all get along!

Anzu bowed, nervously anticipating an abrupt shout of YOU SUCK from the class, but was ultimately welcomed by the class as any other new student would be. Even if she did get treated badly, it wouldn't matter to her then, because her sister, Akahana, cheered and smiled for her among the students.

The twins shared many of the same features, with their bright, blue eyes, curly black hair, and ever so lightly freckled faces.

Anzu: Thank you very much!

Teacher: Excellent! Welcome, Anzu. You can go ahead and sit next to Akahana. There's an extra history book inside the desk so you can follow along.

Anzu: Thank you very much.

Teacher: Okay everyone, today we'll be going over the Archaemnid Empire and Cyrus the Great. Please turn to page 224 in your history books, and let's begin.

Anzu sat down next to her sister, exchanging smiles as they studied together.

(I always hung out with my sister, so things were okay at school. For a while, they were okay at home, too. Everyday, Akahana and I walked home, laughing, crossing the streets recklessly like the adventurous kids we were. Every time we'd come home, Mom would be cooking something delicious, and Dad would just be getting out of the shower after coming home from work. Seeing them together always made me thing they were made for each other in the same was Akahana and I were made for each other.)

The house in which this family lived was adorned with flowers inside and out, surrounding it with color and filling the inside with a beautiful mix of aromas. Anzu and Akahana ran inside, taking off their shoes at the door and dropping their backpacks in their rooms.

Akahana/Anzu: We're back!

(My mother...I gotta say, she was a beauty! Natsumi was her name. Naturally, she was like an adult me, or at least that's how I saw it when I was a kid. I always figured that when I grew up, I'd be and look just as beautiful as her.)

Not only was the house filled with the aroma of flowers, but the soul-warming smell of a mother's cooking. Natsumi set the food on the table as the girls emerged from their rooms in their house clothes.

Natsumi: Welcome home! Dinner is all ready! Anzu, how was it?

Anzu: School was good! I got by the introduction pretty well, and sis looked out for me too.

Natsumi: Good, I'm glad it worked out!

(Minor complications with my heart kept from going to school for the first week or so. I've had a heart murmur detected, and a few SVT's after that, so I had to be careful about tiring myself or doing anything too strenuous. When it was determined it wasn't serious, I was allowed to attend school, fashionably late.)

The father was your average man with a good home and a decent job who always worked hard to support his family. He too smiled more in these days, when most aspects of his life were as comfortable as they could be. He joined them at the table after his shower, ready for a warm meal to consummate the day.

Masato: Ah, you're home. How was school?

Anzu: Awesome!

Akahana: I think some of the boys were staring at her. Does that mean they're pervs, Dad?

Anzu: Aka!

Masato: Haha! Oh Akahana...yes, and don't you forget it. Men are nothing but pigs, and I should know!

Natsumi: Oh don't scare them, Masato.

Masato: Sorry, I just want to make sure they don't involve themselves with boys too early. They're not at that age yet.

Natsumi: Neither were we!

*WINK WINK*

Masato: Entirely different scenario! Anyway, this looks pretty good! Let's dig in.

(For a while, most of my days were just like this. It was a peaceful loop of school, family, and food. Most of the good memories of my time alive come from this period. However, these times would end, and my dreams of growing up...would never come to pass.)



Spotlights. Anzu, center stage. A little nervous, a little sweaty under the hot light, but ready nonetheless for her first audition session for the school play. They'd be performing a theatrical classic from the Elizabethan era of England, Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. Watch with awe as she recalls a rather large except of Hamlet's soliloquy, never once even realizing the irony that would ensue.

With a deep breath, hot lungs, and a focused mind, Anzu spoke. No, she acted.

Anzu: To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream.

Her teacher and several others from different classes acted as the judges, sitting in quiet admiration until she finished.

Teacher: Anzu Hodane...that was well done! Flawless recitation, emotive execution, it really captures the lamentation of Hamlet. Though, it would be weird to have a girl play Hamlet...what if we dressed you like a boy? Would you be okay with that?

Anzu: S-sure! I don't mind at all! I won't have to get a haircut, will I?

Teacher: No, no need. Maybe just a little snip, but we'll tie most of it up nice and neat so you look more boyish. Unbelievable, it's so rare that a member of the opposite sex is good enough to play a man or woman's role, but it looks like you fit the bill better than any of the boys.

Anzu: So I get the role?!

Teacher: Yes, yes you do, Anzu.

She could hardly contain her excitement as her skin flushed red with happiness.

(Needless to say, the boys were a little disheartened, but hey, you win some you lose some. My grades were good, and my performances were good too. Over the next few months, I studied hard and performed well, both academically, and in theater. Fall was on its last legs, and a beautiful Winter was approaching.)

The next time Akahana and Anzu sat at the dinner table with their family, the atmosphere was surprisingly morbid to them. Neither their mother or father asked them preemptively how their day was, or what they managed to accomplish in the past week. They ate in silence, seemingly uncomfortable with each other.

(It was mostly peaceful, but sometimes at night, Akahana and I would hear our mother and father talking about something serious. Their voices were muffled behind the walls, so we could never make out exactly what they were saying. That went on for weeks until that night at the dinner table. Then, for some reason...silence.)

Akahana: Uhm...so...Anzu managed to get the lead role in the upcoming school play! She's playing Hamlet! The teachers were really impressed with her!

Natsumi smiled as if she had snapped out of a trance.

Natsumi: Oh my, Hamlet? That's a huge role, Anzu! None of the boys got it?

Anzu: The teachers said I was better than the boys, and the'd have me dress up like one as much as possible.

Akahana: Hah! You should've seen how mad they were! Honestly, the boys at our school just aren't encouraged to do anything right.

Natsumi: That's impressive! Good work, Anzu!

Anzu: Thanks, Mom! Dad? What do you think?

A certain air of anguish surrounded Masato, becoming part of his very presence. He got up from the table, leaving his unfinished food behind. The slam of his bedroom door startled the girls as silence overcame the table again.

Akahana: Mom...what's wrong with Dad?

Natsumi: Oh, don't worry, Aka. Dad...is just dealing with a lot of stress. It has nothing to do with you two. He won't say it, but I know he's proud of you as well, Anzu.

(It sounded like she was trying to convince herself of that as well. When we went to bed, expecting to get a good night's sleep, we were instead kept awake by their voices beyond the walls again, much louder and violent than ever before. Now, we could hear their words clearly, because they kept screaming them at each other like commanders of opposing armies.)

Akahana and Anzu held hands, lying in the same bed together as the fight continued.

Akahana: Anzu...why are they fighting?

Anzu: I don't know...but...it's Mom and Dad we're talking about. I'm sure they'll work it out. I heard even people who love each other fight sometimes. I'm sure they'll stop...I'm certain of it...

(It never stopped.)

Natsumi: Anzu, Akahana...your father and I have mutually agreed...to file for divorce.

The dinner table was supposed to be a place where the family comes together, but on the snowy Saturday, it was torn apart.

(It was like all the flowers that filled the interior of our home had suddenly died, and the candles became mournful flames at a funeral.)

Anzu: Divorce? But...why?!

Masato: Adults are complex, Anzu. Even adults are still growing up and changing, and we believe that we've grown too far apart to continue as we are. That's why we'll be separating.

Natsumi: Anzu, we'll still be your mother and father. We'll never leave your lives, but I'm afraid we won't all be together. Given our financial situation, neither I or your father can afford to raise you alone. So...one of you will have to go with me, and the other with your father. I know that's a tough decision, but...I need to ask you to be stronger than you two have ever needed to be in your lives.

Akahana: Why can't we just stay together? Parents are supposed to solve their differences, right? Why can't you do that?

Natsumi: It's just...not possible, Akahana.

Anzu: I...I'm not leaving Akahana! I don't care what differences you have! Splitting everyone up can't possibly be the only solution!

Anzu took Akahana by the hand, dragging her away from the table and into the safe retreat of their room. The shock from their parents announcement still sunk deeply into their hearts. Most of all, the two couldn't even bare to think about being separated.

Akahana: Anzu-

Anzu: Don't you worry, Akahana. You and I will never separate. Even if I die, you and I will still be sisters, and I'll still love you to the moon and back. Even then, I'd be with you, watching over you, cheering for you. Understand? Nothing will separate us.

Akahana refused to shed tears. She believed in her sister perhaps even more than her own parents. Anzu's reassurance was a definite reality to her. Even should they physically separate, one would never leave the heart of the other.

Akahana: Okay! I understand.



Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2016, 06:22:38 AM »
 :ninja: Well, the reader should know who the third person to receive Anzu's Two Sacred Gifts is, though he may have never realized the importance behind those seemingly simple gestures.

Childhood: A Land Filled With Snow
Spoiler
(I was a child...making promises I did not have the power to keep.)


*SAY FAREWELL*


Before the play could even kick off, Anzu was back in front of her class again alongside her sister, bowing her head and trying with all her might to keep herself from crying.

Teacher: Anzu and Akahana will be moving away and transferring to different schools. As a result, neither of them will be able to perform the play.

Gasps and moans of disappointment filled the class, even from the boys that Anzu upstaged for the lead role.

Anzu: I'm terribly sorry! Please forgive me.

Akahana: It's a delicate family issue, so there is nothing we can do. Still, we apologize greatly for the trouble, and thank you for treating us well as your classmates for the past several months.

(That was our last week at school. I always imagined that on that Friday, Mom and Dad would watch me perform in a very difficult lead role that I had spent months perfecting. Instead, on that day, everyone packed their things. Akahana would go with Natsumi, and I would go with Dad. One couldn't raise both, so two had to raise one each.)





It was their last night in the house, and it was awfully quiet, as their parents had gone to sleep in separate bed rooms. The flowers that once adorned the house were all gone, tossed away like they were garbage. Many of the chairs, tables, utensils, and other furnishings had been packed and sent to the separate homes that Natsumi and Masato would live in. Even the family pictures were gone, making the walls feel empty, and the house feel so much less like a home.

Anzu and Akahana, unable to sleep, laid awake together in their bed, holding hands and staring at the stars that floated on their ceiling from their cosmic night light.

Akahana: Sis...

Anzu: Yeah?

Akahana: I'm scared. Are you?

Anzu: A little.

Akahana: Only a little?

Anzu: Mhmm! Things are bad now, I admit. Honestly...my heart feels like it's going to rip in two. But still, I made you a promise, didn't I? No matter what happens, we'd always be together. So, I have faith that everything will work out.

Akahana: But...when do you think we'll see each other again?

Anzu didn't have an answer. It was anyone's guess when they'd actually see each other again.

Anzu: Even if you disappear, I'm certain I'll find you again. So don't you worry. Let's just float calmly on the waters of life and let it carry us wherever the current takes us. In the end, all rivers lead to the ocean, right? So, in the end, all things will lead to you.

Though the words were definitely the most mature Anzu had ever laid out at that age, Akahana couldn't help but giggle to herself.


*TEE HEE*


Anzu: Eh?! What?! How can you laugh after I said something so cool!?

Akahana: Who are you and what have you done with my sister, Anzu? Since when were you more mature than me?

Anzu: Are you saying I'm not mature? Because we can have words over this all night!

Akahana: No, that's not necessary. Just from that little outburst, I think we know who's the most mature here!

Anzu: Can't you let me have ANYTHING?!

Akahana: Hehe! Nope!

Anzu: I hope you get socks for Christmas!


*GASP*


Akahana: You take that back, Anzu!

Anzu: Ankle cut socks that barely keep your feet warm!

Anzu flipped the other way, turning her back to Akahana as she buried her face into her pillow.

Akahana: Nooo! Stop it! I don't want socks! I want my feet to stay warm!

Anzu: Hmph!


*NOIR*


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEuVfcLMEYA

Akahana: Hey, sis...I'm gonna miss you.

Anzu:...I'll miss you too.

Akahana: But...I believe you when you say we'll see each other again. So, for now, that will keep my spirits up. Thanks, sis. I love you.

Anzu: Hmmammamm.....

Akahana: What was that? I can't hear you. Your face is muffled under the pi-

Anzu: Gosh! I said I love you too!

Akahana could sleep with a smile because of those words.

Akahana: Good, I'm glad. For the final time for a while, sis...good night. Sweet dreams.

As the stars continued to float on the ceiling, Anzu buried her face in her pillow even harder as she began to cry softly, all the way into the deep night, into deep sleep.

(I suppose, in a way, our promise was kept. Though, it was very one-sided.)

And then the morning came, along with the move. It was snowing lightly that day, so the girls wore their jackets and scarves as they joined their parents outside, each with their own backpacks and suitcases, each with their own separate destinations. An antagonizing air surrounded Natsumi and Masato, who didn't say a word to each other the whole time. It was if they had grown to be enemies.

Natsumi: All ready, Akahana?

Akahana: Mhm...

Natsumi knelt down by her daughters, kissing and hugging them both with equal affection.

Natsumi: Anzu, you be a good girl, okay? Listen to what Daddy says, and keep doing well in school. I'll try to keep us all in touch, okay? You just let your Dad know if you ever want to speak to me or to your sister. He'll patch you through.

Anzu: Okay, but Mom. This is "See you later", not "Goodbye". So, don't look so sad! We'll see each other again! I know it! When we do, let's cook together! You make the best dishes! I hope to cook like that for someone one day, so that if they're unhappy or angry about something, they can have the same taste of home that I did. I think...if anything...that's what I'll miss the most...

As Anzu broke down, Natsumi gently stroked her beautifully long and curly hair as the flakes of snow would fall like white flower petals onto her head.

Natsumi: Anzu...now I know I don't have to worry. You truly are a brave and stunning girl. You don't need to worry though. I actually packed my recipe book in your bag. I figured I wouldn't be needing it.

Anzu: R-really?

Natsumi: That's right. And here, I'm going to give you another beautiful thing to pass on to someone. Now this is very important. Unlike food, you can't just give this to anyone. It's a very sacred gift that you should only give to someone you truly, almost unbearably love. Someone who means the world, the moon, and the sun to you.

Anzu: What is it?

Natsumi: This.

Natsumi closed her eyes and kissed Anzu's forehead, as if to soothe her head of any kind of worries or sadness. Mother's kiss seemed to melt it all away.

Natsumi: One day, you'll reach the age where you meet someone who means the world to you. When you do, pass that kiss on to them. It's two birds with one stone! You're giving them their due affection, and at the same time, because it's a kiss you pass down, they're also receiving my love, thanks, and affection for treating you so well. So, be careful about who you give that to, okay?

Anzu: Okay! But...I already found the first two people.

Akahana: What do you mean?

(My mother and my sister...were the first people I gave that kiss to.)

After giving them both such a sacred symbol of love, the three of them embraced each other one last time. And then, it was time to go. Masato and Natsumi packed their things in their cars and prepared to leave behind their life together.

Since her car was in front, Anzu turned to look at Natsumi and Akahana through the rear window, wanting so badly to spend just a few more moments with them. But the engines started up, the cars went their separate ways, and Anzu could no longer see her mother or her sister. With her silent father, she was riding away into her own place in life, certain she'd reunite with her loved ones again, some sweet day.

(You can never have another mother, sister, or father. And so, I loved them, all three of them. Even now, I can say that properly. Though the story ahead only beckons tragedy, I can say that I have no regrets. I still love them all, and I shall continue to love them...)


*ROUGE*


(Until I fade away...)




Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2016, 05:36:35 PM »
Childhood: A School Filled With Strangers
Spoiler

*INTRODUCE YOURSELF*

Anzu stood before a class of strange faces in a strange town, forced to hide her heartbreak beneath her school uniform. Her sister was not there. Anzu was on her own. She wrote the characters for her name on the chalkboard for all to see, holding her head down as she spoke.

Anzu: My name is Anzu Hodane. Hodane is written as "Hou" as in "Jewel", "da" as in "arising" and "ne" as in "sound". Please...treat me well.

(It was back to business as usual, except...)

As Anzu took her spot at her assigned seat, the empty seat next to her was too easy to imagine being filled by Akahana. Without her sister, the world truly did feel like a brand new, scary place.

(I'd go to school in the morning and come back home in the afternoon. Dad was usually busy trying to find a good job, so I did most of the unpacking myself. Then came homework, a shower, dinner, and bed. Rinse and repeat, right? I wish. That rest of that year was fine, and even the year after that...)

Coming home alone that afternoon, Anzu put down her bags and immediately closed herself off in her room. She didn't have a single picture of her family, or her life before the divorce and move. So, to keep those memories alive somewhere, to allow her heart to bleed whatever it felt onto something tangible, she opened her drawer and took out her diary. Anzu's Diary, "Donut Steel".

She sat at her desk every time she wrote in the diary, always writing her innermost feelings of the day at the signal of her pen clicking. Outside of her window, there were no flowers. She only had a view of the fence at the back of the property. It was like being trapped in a bird cage.

Anzu: Dear diary...

*BLEED*




*SIXTEEN YEARS OLD*


(I had taken notice of Father's slow but obvious decline in happiness. He started drinking more, and he'd come home at odd hours of the night. Sometime's he'd laugh and try to speak, but his words were too slurred for me to understand. As his daughter, I was all too concerned for him. Was it the divorce? Losing Akahana? Was it that taking care of me was too much of a burden? Maybe it was all of these things combined that kept eating at him...)

In those 5 years, Anzu was certainly looking like a grown up woman. She had grown more beautiful, her eyes were a bit larger, her body developed well, and the spirit of youth charged her very presence. On this afternoon, shortly after coming home from school, a stench coming from her father's room worried her.

First, she knocked.

Anzu: Dad? Are you okay in there?

No answer.

Anzu: I-I'm coming in...

There was a feeling of great relief when she entered the room and realized the stench was because of plates of unfinished food left around the room. Given her father's condition, finding a corpse in the room was almost her first thought. Still, this behavior of uncleanliness was indicative to a larger problem as Masato sat on the edge of his bed, his head lowered in deep thought, or perhaps a deep stupor.

Anzu: Dad...you know, you have to take your plates out of your room, or your room will smell. You might get ants or roaches too...

No answer.


*SILENCE*


Anzu: Dad?

Masato: Leave me alone.

Anzu: What?

Masato: I said leave. Get out of my room. If I needed you, I would've invited you.

Anzu: Dad! I'm worried about you! Every day when you come home, you don't look happy at all! You haven't looked happy since-

Masato: Since what? Hmm? Since the divorce? You're a child, you don't know anything about having a family or a spouse. Just leave, Anzu.

She dared not irritate her father more.

Anzu: Fine...I'll go...

Silence befell them as Anzu walked out of the room and shut the door behind her. She continued to stand there, holding in her sobbing until she eventually, drearily marched back to her room. In an abrupt fit of rage, she threw her glass of water against the wall, screaming out in anger and sadness as it broke apart into tiny fragments just as her heart was doing. In this birdcage, she was the only one who could hear herself scream or cry.

Anzu: You idiot! Selfish, bastard! I just want my dad back!

(I loved my father...but I knew that I needed to get out of there. My very bones were telling me to get out of there, as if they had a prophecy and saw a terrible future ahead of me. What did my bones know that I didn't?)


*SCHOOL AGAIN*




Her corroding relationship with her father affected her performance at school. Anzu would often get caught by her teachers and classmates staring off into space, or out beyond the windows. After an uncharacteristically low test score in Mathematics, a subject she usually did well in, Anzu was called before her worried teacher, alone.

Teacher: A 62/100...very mediocre for a student of your caliber. Did you not understand the course material well enough?

Anzu hung her head low, knowing the exact reason behind her falling performance, but unable to gather the courage to tell the school.

Anzu: I'm sorry. I guess I got lazy and didn't study as well as I should have...

Teacher: Come on, that's not you either, Anzu. When are you ever lazy? You have some of the best grades in the class.

Anzu: I'm really sorry...

Teacher...Well...it's not that important of a test, and your grade should still be fine. But I've been hearing from the other teachers too, that you're dozing off in class. If there's something going on, or if you need someone to talk to, please contact one of us. Please keep doing your best, Anzu. Don't let your good habits fall off so soon.

Anzu: I understand...


*HOME AGAIN*


Forced to walk home with a mediocre grade, Anzu felt as it she had the word "Failure" branded on her face. When she finally returned home that afternoon, her father greeted her at the front door, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes.

Masato: Anzu.

Anzu: Yes, father?

Masato: Don't ever do that again.

Anzu: W-what do you mean?

Masato threw an empty beer bottle at Anzu's head, just barely missing her. She fell to the floor as it shattered, petrified by her father's sudden violence and his drunken screaming.

Masato: Don't you ever throw away my alcohol again! Who the hell are you to decide when and what I drink?!

Anzu: What are you talking about?! I didn't throw anything away!

Masato: Lying bitch!

Anzu suddenly felt a swift kick to her gut, knocking her over on her back and crippling her with a throbbing pain in her stomach. He didn't stop there. The kicks kept coming to Anzu's stomach and abdomen as she sat there covering her head, wondering why all of this was happening.

Masato: DONT


*HURT*


Masato: EVER


*FATHER*


Masato: DO THAT


*STOP*


Masato: AGAIN!

As if the spell of rage lifted itself from him, Masato looked up Anzu's crying face...and walked away. He was done exacting his anger on her.

(From that moment on...I feared my father.)


*SCHOOL...AGAIN*


Like nothing happened, Anzu walked through the busy halls of her school as students walked to class, chatted about nothing, and conversed by their lockers. Not a single one of them was her friend. She was desperately making her way to the bathroom with her schoolbag over her shoulder, and her eyes cast low to avoid eye contact with anyone.

Finally inside, she locked herself in one of the stalls and sat down on the toilet. She wasn't here to use the restroom. Everything was white noise to her. Even the sound of her bag's zipper opening was muted in her ears. All she could hear was her own heartbeat. From the inside pouch of her school bag, Anzu took a firm grip on her box cutter knife, taken from home.

She unbuttoned her school shirt all the way, revealing only to herself the awful bruises that her father's assault left on her. With the blade she wielded, she held out her arm and took a deep breath of the stale, bathroom air. Her skin and nerves burned as she quickly carved the blade across her wrists, over and over again, leaving drops of her warm, red blood on the floor.

(Doing this was the only thing that relaxed me...)

*END*


Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2016, 10:22:15 PM »
Butter me up, porkie

Childhood: A Kitchen Filled With Joyous Attractions
Spoiler
(Though we lived in the same house, it still felt like we were living apart. Father and I hardly ever saw each other. He was always in his room, locked away, doing god knows what.)


*OPEN SESAME*


As Anzu opened the fridge one night, the light that filled the inside and poured out into the dark kitchen revealed simple, yet horrifying sight to Anzu. The entire first shelf on the fridge was stacked with alcohol, mostly beers. She stood there staring at the bottles containing her father's favorite, most destructive vice, heartbroken by the mere sight of it.

(I wanted to ask him...is drinking the cause of your pain, or are you drinking because you're in pain? Which is it...Dad? No matter how many scars you inflict on my body, I want to know. I want to know because I love you.)


*ROUGE*


(Since I was old enough to work part time, I looked around town for a job, but most of the options were crap. Fast food? No. Heavy lifting? Please, I'm a girl. And then...that's when I stumbled upon Satoshi's Grill. After I got a callback about my hiring inquiry, I was summoned to be interviewed there. That's when I met her, my first best friend, Myu.)

In just a few days, Anzu was sitting in Myu's cramped little office, trying to keep from shaking as the constant tick and tock of her clock made her more self aware about herself with every passing second as Myu silently looked over Anzu's resume.

(Brown hair...green eyes...and she's so young too...she can't be much older than me...does she really own this place?)

While Anzu had dressed semi-formally, Myu was still in her bloody apron, her eyes scanning the resume behind her frazzled, brown hair. Needless to say, Anzu just wanted for the suspense to be over. She got her wish.

Myu: Anzu.

Anzu: Yes, ma'am!


*SILENCE*


Bright, white sunlight poured in through the windows that surrounded Myu's desk, illuminating the whole office and making Myu look like some sort of divine angel of jobs, employment, and minimum wage. It was magnificent in an awe-inspiring kind of way. The sound of the clock, the sound of cars outside whizzing by the building, and the fierceness of Myu's stare began to overwhelm the red and flustered Anzu.

Myu: Your resume is pretty garbage.

(MY HEART!)

Myu: I mean, you could've formatted it much better. You should've written everything in bullet points instead of paragraphs, given the pages a nice border, order everything in reverse chronological order, and hammer down any experience you have.

Anzu: I-I'm sorry! I've never done any of this before and I couldn't get any help! My deepest apologies...

Myu: Hmmm...


*TICK TOCK*


Myu: Yep, garbage. If any other store or company saw this, it would go right in the trash. What a shame.

Anzu: I guess this means this interview is a fluke, huh?

Myu: Yes.

Anzu: I see...

Myu:...Is what I would say if I were anyone else.

Anzu: Really?

Myu: No.

Anzu: Oh...

Myu: Yes!

Anzu: Please stop playing with my heart and give me straight answers!

Myu slammed the resume down on the desk and flashed an oddly enthusiastic smile for an employer who was just handed a trash resume.

Myu: But you know what? I still like you! Ignoring the format and technicalities, you said you've cooked for yourself and your family since you were little, right? Your mother even gave you a recipe book?

Anzu: Y-yes, that's right! I've been cooking for a very long time! I can handle beef and poultry pretty well, and I'm really good with rice. I can also make Western-style dishes like cheeseburgers, quesadillas, and French toast!

Myu: Impressive indeed. See, I had the same desperate, hungry look on my face when I was applying for my first job. My resume wasn't so well put together either.

Anzu: Uh...really?

Myu: Mhmm! I can tell, you're really passionate about cooking, aren't you?

Anzu: Yes, ma'am...

Myu: That's good to hear. Well, you seem to have a good set of skills on paper, a clear love for cooking and culinary arts...do you have reliable transportation?

Anzu: Oh, well, actually...this place isn't too far from my house, so I was able to walk here just fine in half an hour.

Myu: Haha...this is Japan, sweetie. What are you gonna do if a typhoon hits? You gonna walk here too?

Anzu: Oh...uhh...I could take the bus or a taxi in that case...

Myu: Well, what's important is that you live in the area. Do you travel a lot Anzu?

Anzu: No ma'am. My only other responsibilities besides this, hopefully, is school. I'm not in any clubs or after-school activities either.

Myu: Do you have a boyfriend? Do you plan on getting married, having children, and dropping out of the workforce in the near future?

Anzu: Uhmm...I'm way too young for that stuff...

Myu: Good. Let me think......yep. I like it. We don't get many applications for work here, so you don't have a lot of competition. You're definitely what we're looking for right now.

Anzu: R-really?! Am I hired?!

Myu: Well, technically, the final decision is up to my Dad since he owns the place. He's away right now, so that's why I'm the one doing this interview. However, if I put in the good word, he's sure to agree with me on this. Consider yourself semi-hired!

Anzu finally smiled for the first time in a long time.

Anzu: Thank you so much!

Myu: I'll go get you your paperwork to fill out. After your done, meet me in the kitchen so I can show you around!

Anzu: Yes ma'am! Thank you so much!

Myu: Please, Anzu. Call me Myu! We're co-workers now!

Anzu: Yes, Myu!


*NOIR*


The kitchen hidden beyond the service counter was small, but comfortable nonetheless. It could easily fit 4-5 chefs, a good size for a small diner. As quaint as it may have seemed to a four-star chef, Anzu's eyes were sparkling in awe as Myu pointed to this and that, getting her familiar with her surroundings.

Myu: This is where we keep all of pans after they've been cleaned. We organize them by size, so remember to fit smaller pans into larger ones if you can. It helps to avoid a cluttered mess.

Anzu: Understood!

Myu then whipped out two cleavers from the wooden knife block by the sink, smiling as the clean, sharp blades depicted Anzu's reflection.

Myu: There are several knife blocks filed with smooth knives, serrated knifes, chopping knives, cleavers, paring knives, you name it! A chef's soul is his blood, so take good care of any knife you pick up and use. If you ruin any of them, it's coming out of your paycheck!

Anzu: Never! I treat my knives like gods!

Myu: Excellent! And this!


*SUSPENSE*


Myu put aside the knives and opened up the walk-in fridge, a glorious, spacious vault filled with the diner's entire inventory. Wowed by it's chilly embrace, Anzu looked around at all the items as she rubbed her arms to keep them warm.

Myu: We'll get into more detail about the fridge later, but here at Satoshi's Grill, quality is everything! We get the freshest ingredients possible, date and seal everything we put in here, reserve sections of shelves for raw meats, vegetables, grains, sauces, and desserts. We clean our fridge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and we do inventory check pretty much every day. Because we focus on fresh ingredients, we need to know how much of an item we have, what their condition on the shelf is, and that in turn helps us decide how much we should spend for new batches of the ingredient, as well as the quantity.

Anzu: Myu, that's so efficient! I'm amazed! No, I'm in heaven! I thought I knew about cooking, but after meeting you, I think I've found my personal Culinary Messiah!

Myu: Me? A Culinary Messiah? Hehe...I guess this means you're my unofficial underling, hmm? Ask me anything you please, and I will teach you, child! I've been cooking since I was three! Stove top and everything!

Anzu: Hmm...how do I poach an egg?

Myu: THAT'S YOUR QUESTION?!?!

Anzu: Ah! Wait, let me try again!

Myu: Nope! Too late! You wasted your question for today!

Anzu: Aahhh! Myuuuuu!!!!!


*ROUGE*


(My walk home was a happy one. Actually, it was more like a joyful skip home than anything else. Now that I remember, this normal walk back home as the sun was setting that day was much more important than I could've ever imagined. Fate has a habit of bringing people who will soon be together in each others midst, long before they're destined to meet. As I skipped along, I saw a long-haired man, about as old as Myu, walking solemnly down the street.)

(His head was ducked low, and his hands were hidden in the pocket of his brown leather coat. Like any two strangers on the street, we passed by each other without a word, but now that I've met him, I can say without a doubt that I would recognize that shaggy, thick head of unkempt hair anywhere. Giuseppe and I actually passed by each other in that moment. I wonder...could either of us have realized how important we'd be to each other in just a few years? Could either of us have foreseen the days and nights we'd spend together, or all the meals we'd share? Hmph...of course not. Perhaps that what makes it all that much more magical and miraculous that it happened, and these two strangers passing by each other as strangers always do, would become two friends, together in their graves.)




Offline OhGodHelpMe

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Re: Anzu: A Friend From the Grave
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2018, 11:01:30 PM »
I haven't forgotten about this. Actually, I've been working on some of these Childhood chapters lately. Coming back to the homely atmosphere of Anzu has got me seriously thinking about doing another story with the same kind of vibe. You know, the characters living together, mundane tasks of their days, feels, passing seaons, and their own little place with obligatory stained glass windows