Re: .Kuragari. [Don't Post Yet]
Beep. Beep. Beep.
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
BEEEEEEP. BEEEEEEEEEEP. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
Why was everything black? And why was there no oxygen? And why was she feeling claustrophobic all of a sudden?
She blinked sleepily. Her eyelashes brushed material and she raised her head a little, feeling a cool breeze waft onto her hot face. A corner of a thick duvet hung in front of her eyes and she attempted to focus, her body not yet responding to the wake-up call.
Her head fell forward again onto a soft pillow as she slid a hand out from under the covers, flailing blindly and pathetically for the irritating source of the noise.
She winced. As if the alarm clock wasn’t bad enough, She thought grumpily as her hand collided with it; it slipped from the bedside table and fell to the floor with a sorrowful thud. She winced again.
“Kuragaaaaaaaaaaaaaariiiiiiiiiiii! Are you awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake?”
Even from downstairs, the voice was loud and shrill enough to reach her bedroom. She obediently lifted herself free from the suffocating clutches of the pillow, not because she was being told to, she told herself, but because sleeping was getting boring anyway. Yeah. That’s right.
“KURA, ARE YOU AWAKE?!”
Kuragari made an impatient noise in the back of her throat.
“NO, I’M STILL FAST ASLEEP AND THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL I’M EVER GONNA WAKE UP!” She yelled back, blowing strands of jet-black hair from her face as she sat up, the duvet falling off of her back and onto the bed. She raised a slender hand and pushed back her fringe, revealing her beautiful, delicate features: eyes of a deep, dark blue, framed by long, dark eyelashes; pale, tender skin; a teasing, slightly sulky mouth and a sheet of raven hair, shining blue in the morning light flooding through her bedroom window. She blinked blearily, gazing around her bedroom. It was small- not cramped small, but a sort of cosy small- and decorated in plain, neutral colours. With a sigh, she swung her long, shapely legs off the bed and hauled herself up, glancing downwards as her warm feet connected with the cold wood flooring. She listened. There was silence from downstairs.
Thank you, she thought haughtily as she walked across her bedroom to the door, reaching for her short silk dressing-gown as she went. As she emerged, pulling the gown tight around her slender waist, a pair of thick hairy arms wrapped themselves around her and pulled her into a bone-crushing embrace.
“Hey, beautiful! How’re you today?”
“Hey, dad...” Kuragari muttered, unable to keep the smile from her face however much she stubbornly tried to beat it back. “I’m okay.”
She looked up into her father’s face. It was solid, weather-beaten and slightly intimidating, but at the moment it was grinning in such a way that it was impossible to feel frightened. His cropped brown hair was bleached by the sun and his light blue eyes sparkled down at her.
“That’s good to hear, princess! What are you up to today, hmm? Coming out with your old dad?”
Kuragari thought the only way that she’d go anywhere with her father is if it was to his funeral, and prised herself out of his firm grip.
“No way... you’d make me mow the lawn or something...”
Her father blinked, and then roared with laughter.
“That’s my girl! You’re dead independent, just like your mother!”
“Right...” Kuragari muttered distractedly, already heading down the stairs as fast as she could without making it look like a deliberate escape. The end of the descent lead her straight into the small kitchen, where a young-looking woman with soft blonde curls was busy at the table in front of a wooden tub. As Kuragari padded further into the room, it became obvious that the tub contained clothes.
“Hello, darling,” The woman smiled warmly, lifting up a sopping shirt and wringing it out firmly. “How are you today?”
Kuragari sighed on her way to the kitchen cupboards. Hearing the same question twice was wearing. But of course, she was used to it.
“Fine,” She answered bluntly, as she did every time. Even if she was ill, tired, stroppy or upset, the answer was still the same. Why bother changing it? It wouldn’t make any difference.
“And what are you up to today?”
Kuragari stopped rootling around for a source of sustenance and closed her eyes. Once again, the same question. Do they have no life whatsoever?
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, darling, you really should plan ahead you know.”
“Why?” She resumed her search. “I don’t want to wish my life away... because unlike some, I actually have one.”
Her mother opened her mouth to answer, her blue eyes indignant, but whatever she said in reply was drowned out by a loud ringing of a bell from outside the house. Kuragari smirked as she turned towards the open door, an apple clutched in her right hand and a small brown pouch in the other.
“Really, mother... that noise is disturbing.”
The day was delicious. The sun beat down on the small house and everything around it, but a gentle breeze kept everything perfect. The dirt street, lined with more little houses, trees and foliage, was merrily alive with traders and merchants, eager to show off their merchandise; twirling woman in dresses with baskets of roses and fruit; men flashing gold watches and jewellery to the passers-by; animals and birds, plants and food... nothing went amiss. Two large black hairy creatures with stout legs, long noses and two thick white horns protruding from the sides of their heads were plodding along slowly, pulling along a wooden cart behind them. The cart was piled with rusted metals of all sorts, scraps and unwanted objects like kettles and pitchforks. A man sat in pride of place, a whip in one hand and a bell in the other.
“Scrap metal to buy and sell! Scrap metal!” He hollered loudly over the noise of the people and his own bell. Kuragari winced slightly at the noise as she approached the cart, hot red dirt puffing up from the ground with every step she took.
“Hey, Boro!” She said loudly over the racket. “Got anything for me yet?!”
“Ehhhhh?” The man blinked his pair of crinkled black eyes and leaned down from his seat, adjusting his cloth cap over his messy brown hair. “Whossat? That ye, Kura?”
Kuragari grinned up at him. “Who else? You got what I want yet?”
“’Course, honey,” Boro answered, giving her a wizened smile and sitting back up straight. “Old Boro gets anythin’ his customers want.”
“I’m barely a customer,” Kuragari muttered as Boro turned in his seat, digging into the pile of metal with much clanging and crashing.
“This was no easy feat, honey,” He said breathlessly as he turned back to face her. “I normally deal in scrap. This is somethin’ special.”
Kuragari’s anticipation rose as Boro lowered his clumsy, brown hands down in front of her. He was holding a large sword of ornate design; the metal of the blade, which widened away from its setting and then thinned into a point, was dull and seemed uncared for; the hilt was engraved with a type of navy stone, set into a entwining pattern that swirled fancily. Her eyes roved hungrily over it, then narrowed slightly as Boro lifted it back up out of view. He glanced around nervously.
“Had a lot o’ trouble gettin’ hold o’ that,” He told her, lowering his voice. “Don’t want anybody thinkin’... I mean, it’s not Palupian-made... if anybody knew-“
“Where’s it from?” Kuragari interrupted. “Where was it made?”
Boro seemed highly uncomfortable. He looked down into the girl’s face, which was set and impassive. Her eyes were fixed longingly on the blade.
“Well... I don’t know if I should go shootin’ me mouth off abo-“
“Is it Kirikorosan?”
Boro looked thoroughly alarmed.
“Shush, girl!” He hissed, glancing around edgily. “If ye must know... yeah.”
There was no mistake. Kuragari gave a small shudder of anticipation.
“Okay, hand it over.”
“Wh-What? Listen, honey, this thing ain’t leavin’ my hands until I know that your parents are okay with it... and I need a decent coin, too.”
The familiar burning feeling of fury bubbled in the pits of her stomach, but Kuragari didn’t tear her eyes from the blade.
“Hand it over.”
“Give it to me!”
“Okay, okay!” Boro stared nervously at the passers-by, who were beginning to stare. He gave them a wobbly grin, and then looked back at Kuragari. “Just shush! Don’t tell anybody, I gave it to ye, understand? No good for business, handling metal like this... but I still want that pay.”
“Sure, whatever,” Kuragari answered briskly, reaching up for the sword, but Boro held it out of her reach.
“Let me wrap it up, first... don’t want people seeing ye walkin’ away from me stand holding a bloody great sword that can slice people’s heads off...”
The minute these words left his lips he regretted it; at the mention of this violence, Kuragari’s eyes glittered. She gripped the side of the cart, her stomach performing back flips. Boro cleared his throat uncomfortably and pulled some ragged, pale red cloth towards him. He was aware of the girl’s eyes on him as he carefully wrapped the sword, the noise of the market meaningless noise around them.
“Here,” he said eventually, firmly tying a piece of dirty string around the package. Kuragari let out a little noise. “Don’t tell anybody where ye got it, y’hear?”
He watched her fumble in the brown pouch in her hand, and managed a weak smile as she took out several fat gold coins.
“Good girl. And... don’t tell ye parents, either.”
“I won’t,” Kuragari answered as she took the sword, holding it close as she turned away from the cart to the bustling street. “... It was their money.”
Last edited by Tombi; 08-18-2008 at 07:27 PM.