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07 November 2008 @ 01:31 am
NaNoWriMo Entry: 02  


Chapter Two: A Broken Toy


Abe had always thought that being dead would be more exciting than this, but the first three hours aside, the life of a ghost didn’t seem any more interesting than that of a living person. If anything, the inability to make contact with friends made things even more boring. He guessed that part of the thrill of being a wandering spirit was being able to go through walls and flying, and while he appreciated the latter, the former didn’t really interest him at all.

And, he thought critically, being a spirit apparently made him seem tasty to all kinds of… non-human, but decidedly spiritual things. Like the cloud of teeth squelching along the street behind him.

It couldn’t really catch him. It was fat and apparently stuck to the ground. Abe let it trail after him, anyway, because he found that it kept most other hostile ghost-eaters out of his way. He wondered what would happen if he let it follow him to the hospital where his body was, but thought better of it. The hospital already had suspicious ghostly things wandering its halls. It would be cruel to add another one.

Abe had been in a coma for all of three days; his family had gone on an outing to Tokyo to watch a baseball game, and on the way back to their hotel, Abe had unfortunately been hit by a car. His body was alive, though in a coma, and here Abe was. None of the doctors knew when he was going to wake up, if he was waking up at all, but they had high hopes. So Abe tolerated this the way he tolerated everything that he knew would end sooner or later. In the mean time, he had to keep from being eaten by random ghost monsters, and perhaps spy on rival teams’ practices.

It would be a long flight from Tokyo to Saitama, though….

“Bad dog,” he told the creature still salivating after him. He hovered up higher as it attempted to take a bite out of his ghost tail (he didn’t even get ghost legs, what the hell?) and it gurgled, spewing black spit everywhere.

To Abe’s horror, the thing suddenly started growing tentacle-like wisps of cloud and reached for him. He barely managed to slip out in time, and it persistently made grabs for him.

“Quit it,” he snapped, but knew that it probably didn’t understand a thing that he said. He floated away faster, and winced when some of the wisps passed through where his legs would be. It stung!

It abruptly stopped pursuing him when he made a turn into a yard. It seemed lost, like it couldn’t sense Abe anymore, or like it had walked into a glass wall. The boy was too relieved to notice, and spent some time leering at the thing. “Serves you right.” It wailed despondently.

“You should come in,” a voice spoke up from behind, badly startling him that he actually jumped. He turned around abruptly to see who had spoken, and was surprised to find a… weird woman smiling wryly at him. Abe wasn’t sure if she was human or not. No woman on earth could have proportions like that, to be all long and wraith-thin, yet still have enough chest to terrify a teenage boy. It made Momokan look normal, and also made Abe wonder if her spine was made of steel. “Good afternoon,” she added, and turned around to practically glide back to the old-fashioned house further back in the lot. Strange, Abe hadn’t noticed it at all before now.

“You can see me,” he said flatly.

“Of course. You have a wish, do you not?”

“A what?”

A teenager slightly older than Abe (if Abe were alive) came trotting over, dressed in a school uniform and what appeared to be an apron. “Yuuko-san, what was that noise I heard? Do you have another guest over?” He gave Abe a questioning look before moving off, muttering things about preparing tea for one and maybe incense, or something of the sort.

“You are dead,” the woman called Yuuko said later, when she had settled down on the patio and Abe was hovering uncomfortably next to her. Two girls, twins by the way they acted, and a strange living plushie were playing tag in the yard.

“No, I’m in a coma.”

“You could die.”

Abe paused for a moment to compute in his head. “I have an eighty percent chance to wake up with nothing too bad happening to me. That’s kinda good, there’s no need to fall for your scam.”

Yuuko smiled, took a sip of her sake. “Would you chance the twenty percent? Risk death when you have the opportunity to change it to a full hundred?”

The catcher stared.

------

Abe had ended up going to Autopia with Yuuko’s servant, Watanuki, and a small statue of the plush thing around the teenager’s neck. Watanuki had given him a vague explanation that the statue would allow them to communicate with everyone they met without difficulty, but Abe hadn’t really understood what exactly that meant.

The mission – which was what Watanuki had called it – was supposed to be some quest to save some world. Abe had pointed out that saving the world was too high a price for an additional twenty percent to his chance to live again. Yuuko had replied that Abe was a ghost, and this did get in the way of… some productive things.

At least the statue was also supposed to make him visible to people who were less spiritually sensitive. Watanuki had explained that he had always been able to see the dead and then some. Abe had insisted that he was not dead. Yet.

All in all, the evening went well enough, despite the surreal addition to this whole being a spirit wandering around thing. He had wanted to put his foot down on being vacuumed into that plush thing (Mokona!, it had said), though.

And then he and Watanuki landed in some castle courtyard and got attacked by a weird, blond man. The jerk had actually stabbed Abe through the chest. If he hadn’t already been a spirit (and therefore intangible), he would have been butchered to death.

“Prince Kalien!” Watanuki said in alarm, the same time a horse tried to bite Abe’s head off. An electric current passed through his torso, and Abe blinked at it in surprise. He hadn’t felt anything, but it was still weird to have stuff just go through him and see it happen.

Yeah. This being a ghost thing was really being useful.

“Stand back, young Watanuki!” the blond man shouted, still trying to carve Abe up like kobe beef. “Your sight is disfigured, you must not see that you are communing with the undead!”

“My sight is what?” Watanuki demanded, and Abe was oddly reminded of one of his teammates. Similar voices, maybe. “I am not disfigured and I can see perfectly well! Prince Kalien, he’s here to help you.

The three – this Prince Kalien that Watanuki was speaking to, a large horse of pure white, and a shorter man in black clothing – stopped trying to maim him. Abe rolled his eyes, unimpressed, and took note of his surroundings. Yuuko had told him that he was going to be sent to another world, but he hadn’t been expecting to land in an actual castle. It even had towers and real turrets. Yuuko had also mentioned that the family who owned the castle were gone except for two. It explained the strange emptiness.

“Oh. Is he?” Kalien had the gall to be inquiring. “Well then!” he said, sheathing his weapon and clapping his hands together. “Welcome to the former Summorn castle. I am Prince Kalien, this is my older brother, Prince Elsith, and a magician, Cairre Stormbringer.”

“You’re psycho,” Abe informed him. “And your brother is a horse?” He paused. “I can see the resemblance.”

“Ahem,” the horse said in his head. It was obviously magical, Abe concluded, because not only could it talk (or at least project its thoughts), but everything about it looked surreal. It was white from head to tail down to its hooves, and its mane seemed more like white water than hair.

“Nice to meet you,” Abe finally said after the horse wouldn’t stop staring. “Your highness.”

“You’re the aid that the Dimension Witch has sent us?” Watanuki nodded at the imperious question. “We are doomed, brother,” Elsith declared with a toss of his head. “Our fate has been left into the hands of a misplaced prince, a talking horse, a lazy magician, a blind baby and a dead person!”

“I am not dead,” Abe sharply interjected, the same time Watanuki protested that he wasn’t blind.

“That is beside the point.” Elsith snorted and flicked his tail. “What can you do? Are you as skilled in combat as my brother? Can you do magic like this fool here?” Abe gave Cairre a look and wondered what he had done to incur the horse’s wrath. “How are you supposed to help save this country?”

“There’s no need to be rude,” Watanuki snapped. “Yuuko-san said that there will be other people coming, we’re just the first.”

“Are there?” the beast demanded. “Will they be just as useful as you? Do you understand that we lost our whole family, down to our fifth cousin, for your aid? Will the others actually be worth the price that we paid?”

“I—I don’t know,” the boy stammered, and then told him, firmly, “Yuuko-san always gives you service equal to what you paid for.”

“Obviously,” Abe said under his breath, “If all of your relatives are horses, then the price might not actually be all that great.”

The stallion gave him a rather dangerous glare. “Did you say something?”

“No.”

“We’re off to a good start, obviously,” Watanuki muttered, dusting himself. “Prince Elsith, nice to meet you. I am Watanuki, the Dimension Witch’s, er, servant. This is Abe, a ghost from my world. He’s very… smart.” He saw both parties about to say something and hastily plowed on. “Yuuko-san – er, that is, my employer – sent me this statuette of Mokona that’ll let us communicate without problems. She also sent me a compass to show us where we should go.”

“Ah, for the quest!” the prince said. What quest? Kalien seemed to know what he was talking about, that was for sure. Abe felt grossly uninformed and just a little jerked around. The least the witch could have done was give him the details of whatever it was that he was getting into, beyond ‘you’ll help save another world’ and other such tripe. Watanuki seemed just a little more informed than he did, which wasn’t really much. If Abe hadn’t just been run over and therefore turned into a spirit wandering around all over the place, he would probably muster up more shock for his current situation. As it was, the past few days had been anything but normal for Abe, and this? This was just another entry in this résumé for Weird Things A-Happening.

It made him miss Mihashi and his team. At least their brand of weird didn’t get Abe eaten by strange meat buns, only to be farted out into other dimensions and whatnot. The most he had to deal with was Tajima’s penchant for stripping in public and baiting Hanai to discipline him.

“We are still preparing for the quest,” Kalien was saying. “Elsith let all of the servants leave the castle, and unfortunately, only Cairre knows how to prepare for it. He has been very quick, though,” he added helpfully.

Cairre shrugged, looking a little helpless. “I know only how to prepare for a magician’s journey. I am not sure how to pack for a prince, let alone two.”

“I see,” Watanuki and Abe said at the same time, voices flat.

Watanuki sighed and gave them the look a mother would to their particularly inept child. It said, ‘do I have to do everything around here?’ and ‘princes are all so helpless!’ though in a rather fussy way. And then he said, “I’ll do it. With Cairre’s assistance, of course.”

------

The trip was made at the crack of dawn the next day. Elsith had refused to let Cairre and Watanuki put even a small bag of luggage on him, so the two had ended up wrestling a pair of horses from the stable to a cart, and piling everything they had there. Kalien had insisted on bringing velvet blankets, and Watanuki had somehow fashioned tents out of the tapestry from the castle entrance. Kalien had chosen horses for him and Watanuki, and had let the other animals go. All in all, Abe thought that his living companions had enough on them to survive, at least for the next week. He wasn’t sure what their plans were for the days after that, but something would probably come up. Anyway, they could probably eat the horses, if things were to get desperate.

The compass had pointed them in the direction out back of the castle. They had followed it through a small forest, over a river, and through a plain. The plain was very large, comprised mostly of tall, yellow grass, broken now and then by large boulders or trees jutting out from the ground.

Watanuki seemed to be getting along with Kalien well enough, talking about fabrics and cultural differences, and Elsith did not say much beyond the occasional disdainful comment about this or that, though he looked annoyed at having to walk next to horses and Watanuki’s gracelessness in riding. Abe mostly ended up trailing after the group with Cairre, who was seated in the cart with the rest of the provisions.

The pair had, expectedly, spent most of the morning in silence. Abe floated off now and then to explore the new world or join the conversation in front, and Cairre didn’t seem to be interested in doing anything but stare at Elsith. Personally, Abe thought it was creepy.

Eventually, Abe got tired of examining boulders and getting scoffed at by Elsith, and settled down next to Cairre in a heap of disgruntled and bored ghost. Cairre gave him an inquiring look that he returned with a bleary one of his own.

“So… how long have you been deceased?” Cairre finally asked, probably his version of acceptable conversation topics.

“Counting today? About four days. And I’m not dead, just in a coma.”

“A coma,” the magician repeated, fingering the leather of the reins. “What is that?”

Abe paused to think about it. “When your head gets injured and you end up sleeping for a long time because of it.” Cairre only looked puzzled. “You don’t get that?”

“No. We have magic to use for most devastating injuries. Anything that our mages cannot heal is probably fatal. Sleep that lasts that long is often magically caused, or perhaps because of a curse…” He gave the boy a questioning look, more interested than he should be. Magicians…

“I’m not cursed,” Abe told him, though if he thought about it, maybe he was. He had been having bad luck lately.

Cairre nodded, and then proceeded on to resume the riveting activity of staring at the white horse in front. Abe rolled his eyes, a little exasperated.

“So you can do that, heal people?” Maybe he could ask Cairre to heal him up for a moment before he woke up. It would really suck to wake up to a broken arm and hip, not to mention all the other bruises his body had managed to get during the accident. Abe was actually a little relieved that he was in a coma, although he’d like it if he could tell his parents and his brother that he was fine. Shun should really stop being a crybaby, though.

“Mm, a little,” was the vague reply. There he was again, getting distracted. Annoyed, Abe passed his hand over the man’s eyes. Cairre started and nearly drove the horses into a nearby pothole. He gave Abe another one of his disapproving looks as he steered the horses back in course. Ahead of them, the trio did not seem to notice. Watanuki was nearly falling off his horse and Kalien was busy laughing and helping him up. Elsith had snorted and moved to Kalien’s other side, fully intending to not be the cushion to Watanuki’s failure at horseback riding.

“Why are you so interested in the horse? Were you a family advisor or something?”

“No, nothing of the sort.” Cairre seemed surprised by the question, and blinked at him. His hold on the reins tightened, and the horses visibly slowed down, just a little. “I was the one who brought Kalien to the Witch of Dimensions,” he explained when they were out of earshot of the others. “My former master caused this country’s destruction. I wanted to help, and in exchange, I asked the King – their father – for Elsith.”

The catcher raised an eyebrow. “Let me get this straight. You asked for the horse or did you ask for the prince?”

The magician seemed irritated (and maybe a little embarrassed) at having to clarify, but did so. “I asked for the horse knowing full well that he is Prince Elsith. My master did that to him before the prince killed him. I saw it happen, of course I knew.”

“Ah,” Abe said, and said no more.

“You’re judging me,” Cairre accused, looking a little shifty. When it came down to it, Abe figured, Cairre was probably the strangest one in their lot. Who would ask for such a prickly horse that he couldn’t even ride? He didn’t seem to be out for revenge. Was it a succession thing, where the person who killed his master got to be his new master? That didn’t make sense, either, because Cairre was a magician.

But he didn’t carry himself the way the princes did, with a lot of air and flair. If only for that, Abe liked him. Anyway, Elsith seemed to hate him, too.

“Not much.”

He fidgeted. Abe chuckled and moved to the ghost appropriation of lying down, staring at the sky. It seemed the same no matter how far they went, although they’d just managed to march far enough from the castle to not be able to see its towers anymore.

When he looked up a few minutes later, Cairre’s eyes were on Elsith again, far away and pale green in the sunlight.

 
 
 
baby, you're my forever girlficcentricity on November 6th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
yet still have enough chest to terrify a teenage boy.

MOST TEENAGE BOYS ARE NOT TERRIFIED BY BREASTS, ABE.
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: chuyukitsu on November 6th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
ALL TEENAGE BOYS IN NISHIURA ARE TERRIFIED OF MOMOKAN'S.
(Deleted comment)
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: \o/yukitsu on November 6th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
EVEN MORE TERRIFYING THAN MOMOKAN'S! THEY ARE EXPOSED AND LOOK VERY SHARP IN MOONLIGHT.

;;; ilu tooo~~~ ♥
Teap: creepy koemushi LOLaflyingteapot on November 6th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
The consequences are terrifying, not the boobs! Kat is still right! XDD
baby, you're my forever girl: » love is a language。ficcentricity on November 6th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
>v<)d
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: :oyukitsu on November 7th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
I SUPPOSE! D: But by association, these boys will learn. Huhuhuhu!
a mind as vivid as it is absentmiir on November 6th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
OH YUKEH. *fangirls so much*
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: Uhiyukitsu on November 6th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
HAY MIA! *fangirls you* THOUGHTS ON THE THREE?
a mind as vivid as it is absent: thinky creammiir on November 6th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
Which three? XDDDD

*v distracted by Cairre looking at Elsith*

...I love that kind of dynamic. Not the man/horse part (!) but, you know...
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: speechlessyukitsu on November 6th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
The princes and Cairre. XD Oh, but you're not much in fandom, are you? Abe is from Oofuri, he's the ghost boy I used for the stupid pimp photo for this Nano. Watanuki and Yuuko are from xxxHOLIC. *points at icon* Abe!

;;; Cairre has bad taste, but he's unexpectedly adorable.
a mind as vivid as it is absent: digital briar vanillamiir on November 6th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
*nod* I recognized them, yup! I love Yuuko a lot, actually. For some reason every time I see art of her I really really really want to draw elaborate costumes and hairstyles. *is very impressionable*

ABE SO CUTE. YUKEH STOP, I'M GOING TO END UP CONVINCED TO READ OOFURI. *sobs*

...He is! Aaaagh, my OTP. My heart, Yukeh. I love the princes a lot (I have a huuuuge soft spot for brothers going off on adventures, and I also have this weird fondness for dorky idiots who are sometimes jerks) and Cairre is just... *____* YOUR ANSWERS FOOL NO ONE, YOU. LONGING GLANCES FTW.
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: \o/yukitsu on November 6th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO READ OOFURI. LOOK AT THIS HANDSOME BOY:
(delishus Abe fanart, but very accurate)

:D IT WOULD BE SO EASY FOR ME TO BURN YOU STUF, MIA.

You should draw Yuuko more! Whenever I see her now, I am reminded of you and your designs!

I am coming out victorious in making people ship horrifying ships! ♥ (omg saaaaaame! It is obvious in our nanoooos! NAKAMA! AND YES! Hahahaha, Abe is an idiot who is undeliberately but unfortunately a huge jerk) Cairre is my current favorite. *w* His kind of dumb is fun. AND HE IS SO TRANSPARENT ONLY THE PRINCES DON'T NOTICE.

Edited at 2008-11-06 06:21 pm (UTC)
Uni: buon notteonlyluminous on November 7th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
*c-cry at second pic*

Nnnooooooo, stoppit. They are all young impressionable boys! Want uh sophisticated men!

I mmmight draw her later? I don't know. I've been getting so much inspiration to draw and hardly any to write, NOES. But must make quota first!

I LOVE CAIRRE A LOT, SRSLY. AND THE PRINCES ARE SO OBLIVIOUS DENSE THEY COULD TURN INTO BLACK HOLES. REALLY.
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: <3yukitsu on November 7th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
THEY ARE THE MOST REAL BOYS EVER, MIA~~~ ♥

XDDDD Okey!

CAIRRE IS CUTE ~ I am becoming more fond of him than first expected! I thought I'd like Elsith best.
baby, you're my forever girl: » love is a language。ficcentricity on November 7th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
READ OOFURI, MIA.
Uni: with byakuranonlyluminous on November 7th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
ARE THERE HOT OLDER MEN?
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: Ufufuyukitsu on November 7th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)
UNFORTUNATELY, NO. BUT THE BOYS SHOW PROMISE, MIA!
do not feed the animals: fangirl mode on.izkariote on November 8th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR OVER A HORSE.

I APPROVE.

And lulz, Abe, your un-life is so hard. >:
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: \o/yukitsu on November 8th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
DA YO NAAAAAA! ♥

HUHUHUHUHUHU! Abe's life is always hard~ ♥
Lynlynkye_kestrel on November 10th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
Creepy xxxHolic-type monster running after Abe's ass barely two paragraphs into the chapter. I approve. XDDDb

Abe had unfortunately been hit by a car

Cry, you worded that so casually. Like unfortunate things happened to him on a regular basis. ;;;

and perhaps spy on rival teams’ practices.

... I'm going to end up picking out a lot of favorite lines at this rate. I love your Abe-voice so much. ♥♥♥♥♥ And Abe leering at the monster. Ahaha, figures that he'd end up picking on it after it had tried to eat him.

No woman on earth could have proportions like that, to be all long and wraith-thin, yet still have enough chest to terrify a teenage boy.
“Obviously,” Abe said under his breath, “If all of your relatives are horses, then the price might not actually be all that great.”
At least their brand of weird didn’t get Abe eaten by strange meat buns, only to be farted out into other dimensions and whatnot. The most he had to deal with was Tajima’s penchant for stripping in public and baiting Hanai to discipline him.

Asdfasdh;fa;sdfasdfaasdf--*fangirling*
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: \o/yukitsu on November 10th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
HE'S SO DRY AND FUN TO WRITE jksahdjkasdsa ♥ Clearly my bias is showing, because my best chapters are Abe's and Cairre's. ;;;;;;;;;

smdnasdasklj alskdj
Lynlynkye_kestrel on November 12th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
XD It shows, but you don't see anyone complaining. Your Abe chapters are fun to read. ♥