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Author Topic: 547 Service  (Read 3032 times)

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Offline shuuen

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547 Service
« on: May 29, 2012, 12:11:16 AM »
Hi guys! So I've decided to post another story of mine which I've been working on over the last year... This is about a rock band trying to make it big in Japan. The genre is comedy/romance. It starts out a bit dry, but I hope it can somehow establish the story and the characters. Please let me know what you think! :)

547 SERVICE
Track #1 
i n n o c e n c e


“We are now shortly arriving at Tokyo station…”

I opened my eyes and looked out the window. I winced at the sudden brightness of my surroundings and observed the multitude of tall buildings before me.

I sat up straighter in my seat and stretched my body, complacently sighing when I heard several bones crack. I had been sitting on the train for the last eight hours. I badly needed to get out.

I began to gather my baggage along with the rest of the passengers as the train began to slow down. I slung my backpack over my shoulders and dragged my trolley case down the aisle, where a queue had formed near the exits.

The train finally came to a stop, and for a moment I was overwhelmed at the sheer number of people around me the moment I got off the platform. I guess Tokyo really isn’t one of the busiest cities in the world for nothing.

I had no choice but to pick up the pace when people started bumping against me. I sighed when I managed to step on the teeming escalator.

I couldn’t help but panic at the swarming crowd before me the moment I got off. Too many people and too many signs. I took out the cellphone from my pocket and frowned at the lack of notifications. My cousin was supposed to pick me up, but he was nowhere in sight.

I punched in his number and frowned further when all I heard was the busy tone. I moved to a spot by the wall and looked at my watch. It was half past three in the afternoon. I was right on time! Where the hell was he?

I was only moments away from a nervous breakdown when I finally spotted a tall figure with light brown hair wearing a striped, green shirt. He was on the phone with his back turned on me.

“What about Saturday? Will you be free by then?” The man said in a voice that sounded one too familiar. “Aw, c’mon baby... I miss you already…”

I caught the side of his face when he laughed. I cleared my throat.

“Shin-chan.”

The man turned around and looked at me.

“Sorry, hold on,” he said to the other line as he blinked expectantly at me. “Yes?”

My eyebrows met. “Yes? What do you mean, yes? I’ve been looking for you.”

He blinked at me again and thoughtfully frowned. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

“What the hell,” I snapped in disbelief. “It’s me, Haruki!”

It took him a good several seconds just staring at my face until his lips formed into an “o” of realization.

“Woah,” he said, flipping his cellphone shut. He gaped at me in amazement. “Seriously?? Is that really you??”

“Wait, weren’t you in the middle of a call...?”

“Doesn’t matter,” he said, placing his hands on my shoulders and bending over. Not that I’m small or anything. He just happens to be almost six feet.

“You cut your hair!” Was his first brilliant observation. “You always had long hair! Couldn’t imagine you without it!”

“It was getting troublesome,” I shrugged.

“Dude, I thought you were a dude,” He innocently widened his hazel brown eyes at me. “You kinda look like a boy with short hair, you know.”

“Thanks,” I muttered. “Um, could you help me with my stuff? This is getting kinda heavy...”

“Oh, yeah! Sorry,” he grinned, taking my luggage as we began making our way to the subway.

--

“Why do you live so far?” I groaned as we continued walking down the narrow street to his apartment. We were currently in a place called Arakawa, and it’s taken us amazingly almost an hour since we left the station.

“Are you kidding? Cheap rent don’t come easy in this city, and the only way you’ll find it is if you live around here,” My cousin said as we finally stopped in front of a building.

“Are we still even in Tokyo?” I snorted as we started going up the stairs. “Hey, doesn’t this place have an elevator?”

“You talk great for someone who just came from the province,” he scoffed as we stopped at the third floor. He began to fish his keys out of his pocket.

I decided to say nothing more as the door to Room 304 opened. The smell of cigarettes immediately reached my nostrils when I stepped inside.

It was a pretty small place. The kitchen immediately greeted me to my right, where there were a lot of pending dishes on the sink. Past the narrow hallway was a very unkempt bed to my left with the closets to my right. There was a lot of clutter on the carpet floor.

Shin-chan parted the curtains to let the late afternoon sunlight in. There was a small terrace where some of his clothes were hanging outside.

“It’s pretty cramped, but make yourself at home.”

“You haven’t changed.” I deduced.

“You know me best,” he grinned.

“Um, so where am I sleeping?” I placed my backpack on the floor.

“Er, there, I guess,” He pointed to the space of litter around me.

I morosely stared at him. “Do you at least have an extra mattress or something?”

“I think I have one in the closet? Hold on, lemme check...”

I problematically scratched my head. “You shouldn’t have allowed me to crash your place if it was going to be pretty tight.”

“Nonsense,” he shrugged. “People come over all the time here.”

I suddenly heard a meow from the other end of the room. A fat, white cat emerged from the kitchens.

“And you have a cat,” I realized with raised eyebrows.

“Oh yeah, that’s Yumi,” he grinned. “Cute, isn’t she?”

“Didn’t take you for a cat person,” I sat on the bed and tiredly sighed. “Man, I’m beat.”

“I can imagine,” He settled down beside me. “How’s Aunt and Uncle, by the way? I haven’t heard from them in ages.”

“They’re doing fine,” I shrugged. “Same old.”

“So which school are you going to again? That’s awfully nice of your folks to pay for your college.”

“Tokyo Tech, and I’m on scholarship,” I rubbed my eyes. “Not to mention I have to pay them back anyway.”

“Wow,” he whistled. “And what are you taking up?”

“Computer science.”

“You were always a math geek,” he grinned.

I stood up and kicked a crumpled piece of paper out of the way. I spotted a guitar case leaning against the wall.

“Looks like you still play,” I said, slipping my hands inside my pockets as I stared at the instrument.

“Of course. And what about you?”

I pursed my lips in reply. “I left mine back home.”

“Aw, you should’ve brought it with you,” he cooed, standing up as well. “Well, you can play with it anytime you like. I left my other one at a friend’s house.”

“Alright,” I answered as I began rocking on my heels. “But before any of that, I am starving!”

“Alright then,” He eagerly rubbed his hands together. “In honor of my darling cousin’s arrival, consider it my treat tonight!”

“Sweet!” I beamed. “Where are we going?”

“McDonald’s!”

“What??” My face fell. “Is a fastfood joint really the best you’ve got?”

“Hey, all you’ve ever done since you came here is complain!”

“Yeah but I mean, seriously...”

“Do you want a free dinner or not?!”

“Fine, fine...”

--

I awoke to the sound of meowing and found myself staring at the ceiling. The purring became louder, until I realized Yumi was meowing directly in my ear.

I sat up from the futon and grabbed my cellphone to check the time. It was half past two in the afternoon.

“Sh*t,” I muttered. The fatigue from traveling yesterday must’ve made me sleep in so late.

I stretched my arms and looked around. The curtains were still shut, but the bright afternoon sun was creeping in from the floor. The bed at the opposite end was empty and untidy. I stood up on my way to the toilet when I noticed a piece of paper near the kitchen sink.

I usually leave the house around 8.
There’s some leftover pizza in the fridge.
Here’s an extra key.


I looked at the key next to the note as I opened the fridge. I took out the box of pizza and opened it.

“F*ck,” I groaned, immediately closing it shut. Whatever was inside it seemed like another life form entirely.

I leaned against the sink with a sigh and spotted Yumi emerging from the bedroom. She stopped a short distance from me, still staring at me beadily while her tail flickered on the floor.

“How can you live with that slob?” I asked her as I stood up straighter with a sigh. “Alright. I’m getting something to eat.”

I slipped into yesterday’s clothes and grabbed the key from the sink as I made my way out of the apartment.

--

continued here at: http://tommycanwrite.tumblr.com/post/30457624988
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:27:00 AM by shuuen »
http://tommycanwrite.tumblr.com <-- My Literary Dump!

Offline takahashi

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 08:50:39 AM »
The story was a great read your really good at describing the area and the way the characters look good job hope to see more.

Offline shuuen

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 10:27:55 PM »
The story was a great read your really good at describing the area and the way the characters look good job hope to see more.

Thank you very much! :D
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Offline han ki-tae

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 10:57:44 AM »
Loved it!!!!!!!

Haruki is easy to identify with. I am a bit shoujo fan and loved the setting. Slightly androgynous main char. Big outgoing cousin, humorous lol. Nice friend from school. Mysterious dude... you got all the right ingredients.

I am going to rush to read ur chapter 2 now.

I want some cake...
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 01:16:42 PM by han ki-tae »

Offline Coach Fro

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 12:20:01 PM »
Nice little story you got here. It was very well written. In fact, it was so well written that I feel like a jerk for reading your other story Middle ground. One thing that stood out to me was how good your transitions were. They were very smooth and the story didn't stay in one place for too long which is something I can appreciate. I can't spot out anything wrong in your story to be honest.

So in closing, this is a very good start. Looking forward to seeing more.
Messatsu...



Offline shuuen

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 12:57:31 PM »
Loved it!!!!!!!

Haruki is easy to identify with. I am a bit shoujo fan and loved the setting. Slightly androgynous main char. Big outgoing cousin, humorous lol. Nice friend from school. Mysterious blonde dude... you got all the right ingredients.

I am going to rush to read ur chapter 2 now.

I want some cake...

Thanks Han! There's no blonde dude though... o.o;
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Offline shuuen

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 12:58:55 PM »
Nice little story you got here. It was very well written. In fact, it was so well written that I feel like a jerk for reading your other story Middle ground. One thing that stood out to me was how good your transitions were. They were very smooth and the story didn't stay in one place for too long which is something I can appreciate. I can't spot out anything wrong in your story to be honest.

So in closing, this is a very good start. Looking forward to seeing more.

Thank you so much for reading! Well, compared to Middle Ground, this one has much longer chapters... I actually can't post the second chapter because of the character limit! XD I'll try to work on that somehow...

Thanks again and I hope you can keep reading! :3
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Offline han ki-tae

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 01:17:11 PM »
Edited it - somehow I thought he was blond........ dark brown hair - *writes down notes...

Offline shuuen

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 03:55:26 PM »
Edited it - somehow I thought he was blond........ dark brown hair - *writes down notes...

Interesting though, because he does turn blonde later on in the story XD
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Offline shuuen

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 03:19:43 AM »
Thanks again for everyone's comments! Here's an excerpt from chapter two. Continuation can be read at the link on the bottom of this post (MR has a character limit, sorries!). Looking forward to your reviews! :3

547 SERVICE
Track #2
h o t  s e a t


"Haruki-san, an order of caramel walnut and chocolate framboise please!"

"Got it!" I tightened the apron around my waist as I slid the glass panel of the cake display open. I took out two servings of cake, placed it on the marble counter next to the cashier, and grabbed a tray. I rang the tap bell as Suzume quickly made her way over.

"Thanks," she smiled. "Oh, and two orders of house coffee please."

I took out two porcelain cups as I grabbed the pot of brewed coffee and began pouring.

It was the following Thursday morning and I was on my first week of work at the Café Chansonnette. Funny that I find myself being employed a week after Suzume brought me here. I needed a part-time job, and the store needed staff. Working in a cake shop didn't seem so bad.

"Here you go," I said, providing Suzume with a new tray as I added two teaspoons.

"Oshima-san, we're down to our last two berry tarts," I called out to the kitchen window behind me. A man in his early fifties was vigorously mixing flour on a bowl.

“Sure thing!” he sang. Suzume returned with her empty tray as she leaned by the cashier.

"Well, how do you find it?" she asked.

"Not bad," I smiled. "This is a nice place."

"I know, right?" she giggled. "I'm glad you like it here."

"Haruki-chan," Oshima-san said as he placed a fresh tray of vanilla cream puffs by the serving window. "Here you go."

I took the tray and settled it on the marble counter. I opened the glass panel again and began placing the cream puffs inside.

A woman raised her hand as Suzume scuttled back to their table. I glimpsed at Suzume talking to the two women by the window.

How may we serve you today?

--

"I’m home, Yumi," I murmured to the cat that meowed at my arrival. I placed the paper bag that contained my free take-home cake for the day near the sink as I dragged my feet and collapsed on my cousin’s bed.

I undid the first two buttons of my short white sleeves as Yumi stood watching me by the door. I didn't have classes on Thursdays, so it was already half past five in the afternoon by the time I arrived from the shop. My cousin wasn’t supposed to be returning until later from work, so I had the place all to myself.

I stood up, walking past the bed and taking the vinyl guitar case by the wall. I sat on the bed, unzipping the case and taking out his black acoustic guitar.

I traveled my hands over its polished surface, suddenly feeling a pang of regret for leaving mine back home. My cousin was the one who introduced me to the guitar, and I’ve loved it ever since.

Plucking several strings, I turned the knobs and tuned the instrument. From the corner of my eye I saw Yumi’s tail flickering.

I placed my fingers on the neck of the guitar and let out a strum, sitting up straighter as my hand traveled through the riffs of the song.

I'm not alone
I can't believe it, I still doubt it
Until I met you
I couldn't even see myself


My voice was barely a murmur as the sound of guitar strings filled the silence of the room. I found myself staring back at the cat in front of me as my fingers moved along the chords.

I used to walk all by myself
Not noticing this blinding light
Everything that I touched, I was afraid and I wondered
I miss you, your eyes
I love you, I think of you


I was only about to sing the next line when I suddenly heard the door open. I immediately put away the guitar and sat up straighter at my cousin’s arrival.

“Hey,” I cleared my throat. “You’re here early.”

“I heard you,” he grinned. “Why did you stop?”

“Whatever,” I glowered. “Aren’t you supposed to get off until later?”

“Not today apparently,” he shrugged as he collapsed on the bed beside me. He looked at my short white sleeves and black trousers. “Is that what you wear to work?”

"It comes with an apron."

"Ooh," he blinked. "I'll check it out sometime."

He rose from the bed and took his guitar. He strummed a random chord and opened his mouth.

“I wouldn’t even try, if I were you,” I suggested.

He ignored me. He sang the first line. His cat would've sounded better.

"To you, my most precious thing..."

I grabbed a pillow and threw it at his face.

"HEY!"

"You really wanna hit me with that??" I exclaimed when he raised his guitar and attempted to whack me with it.

--

Creasing my eyebrows and frowning, I found myself scratching my head in confusion as I stared at the small piece of paper in my hand. It was a note that my cousin had given me containing the location of the bar they would be playing in tonight.

It was the following Friday evening and tonight I would be able to see Shin-chan play with his band for the first time. I was standing outside Yoyogi station, anything but a stone’s throw from our apartment, and I currently didn't know where to go next.

I stared at the note in my hand again as my eyebrows met further.

The Yellow Room
2-14 Yoyogi 2 chome, Yoyogi, Tokyo
P.S. I'll be waiting for you at the backdoor. Call me if you get lost.


I stared at the two huge mailboxes in front of me. People were walking past me to and from the station entrance as I warily looked down the street. I've barely lasted a month in this city. How the hell was I supposed to know where this place was?

I scratched my head again and finally took out the cellphone from the pocket of my jeans in frustration. I dialed my cousin's number and tapped my foot on the ground. My forehead had only creased when he finally answered on the fourth ring.

"Hello? Haruki??" Shin began on the other line. "Where are you now?"

"I'm outside the station," I scowled. "How the hell do I get there?"

"Go right and just keep going straight," he said. "You'll pass by a coffee shop before you see it. It's the bar downstairs, but don't go right in. Meet me up at the backdoor."

"I'm walking now," I muttered as I began to pick up on my feet. "I'll see you there."

I returned my cellphone inside my pocket and shifted the messenger bag on my shoulder. The evening May wind was cool on my skin as I walked down the block in a light gray shirt and blue denim jeans. 

I had only gone past the second block when I saw a coffee shop to my right. I traveled my gaze down the street and saw a small building. There was a set of stairs leading down with a small blackboard up front. I walked to the board sign, which read 'The Yellow Room’. It had a list of bands performing for the night; free entrance with drinks on the house.

I took out the cellphone from my pocket again and dialed my cousin's number once more.

"Hello?"

"I'm here now. Where are you?"

"Are you by the entrance? There's a backdoor around the building," he said. "I'm outside right now."

"Wait, I think I hear your voice," I creased my forehead, stepping back and seeing a small alley to my right.

I peeked down the alleyway and saw my cousin by the door with his cellphone in hand. He was in a thin white shirt, and the color of his jeans so faded they looked almost white. I would've wondered how old his jeans were, until I saw black cross prints up close and realized they were brand new.

"Hey," he smiled, snapping his cellphone shut. "Glad you could make it."

"Nice pants."

"Thanks," he grinned.

"Cool shoes," I added, observing his two-inch motorcycle boots with the matching buckle straps as we stepped inside.

He closed the hollow metal door as we proceeded down the dim and narrow hallway. I could hear the current band playing from the other side of the hall as I looked at the walls of the corridor. There were numerous pen mark scribbles and doodles on it, like "We're going to be number one!" or "We're the best band ever!" in varying colors.

Shin-chan paused in front of a door and opened it as light and noise filled the dark hallway.

The only lights in the room came from the dressers, which were stark orange in the small space of the area. The room was swamped with people who were mostly guys. The room was noisy with boisterous laughter and strongly reeked of cigarette smoke.

Some of the guys glanced at me as Shin-chan put an arm around my shoulders and guided me to one end of the room near the dressers.

To my silent surprise, I managed to make out foreigner businessman Kei in his heavily darkened eye make-up. He was in a leather vest and shiny black leather jeans, with knee-high boots that seemed sharp enough to stab someone.

Beside him was a guy in short black sleeves; his black pants covered with numerous zippers and pockets. He looked familiar to me, until when he raised his head to look at me with kohl-smeared eyes that he was the cashier at the convenience store from the other day.

"Hey Ryou, I think you've met my cousin before," Shin said, patting my shoulder. "Haruki, remember Ryou? He's our lead guitarist."

I nodded at him. "Hi."

The man curtly nodded back at me. Shin-chan steered me to face the other man by the dresser, who was twirling his drumsticks on his lap. He had light brown hair and wore a white high-neck shirt with the print of a black spider on it. He had a chain hung from his waist to the low pocket of his black short pants.

"This is Yuuichi, our drummer," he said. "Yuu-chan, meet my cousin, Haruki."

His face looked the youngest that I figured he was closest to my age. He had chestnut brown eyes and a permanent pout to his lips. He had a small, mousy looking face, but in a cute way.

Shin took off his shirt and grabbed the sleeveless white shirt on the dresser. It had black and red ink stains on it.

"When do you guys play?" I asked.

"After the next band," My cousin replied, scooping up gum with his fingers and applying it to retouch the spikes on his hair. "You need to go back to the main entrance later, okay?"

"Why else did you bring me here then?" I muttered.

"So you could meet the guys," he grinned. Kei tapped his cigarette on the ashtray beside him. "Wish us luck, okay?"

"Yeah, hope you don't screw up," I smirked.

"You ever seen your cousin play before?" Kei asked.

"Not like this," I shrugged.

The group at the other side of the room rose from the couches and began to make their way to the door. They looked like the next ones to perform.

"I should go back," I said to my cousin. "Do I get a bottle of beer ready to throw at you?"

I heard Kei laugh in his seat. "Ouch."

"Don't bother, baby," Shin turned from the dresser and smiled sweetly at me. "Just watch us and we'll blow you away."

"Okay," I grinned.

"Well get outta here then," he said, shooing me away like a fly.

"Good luck," I waved on my way to the door and left the room.

--

The rest can be read here at: http://tommycanwrite.tumblr.com/post/30457859030
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:26:24 AM by shuuen »
http://tommycanwrite.tumblr.com <-- My Literary Dump!

Offline Cookies

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Re: 547 Service
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 02:49:02 PM »
This story is so amazing, everyone should read it!

 :sheep: