28
Sep

Closed Circuit

by Morokoshi Katsura (唐 桂)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/30625.html)

Sasha woke slowly. For minutes he allowed himself to drift in and out of a light doze, too lazy and comfortable to open his eyes. It had the flavour of luxury, as if he’d been sleeping for longer than usual already. Sleeping and dreaming. His limbs were slack with REM-paralysis and barely felt there at all. He wouldn’t be able to move freely even if he made an effort to rise, but the thought caused no anxiety. He reached for the dream again: it slipped over the edge of consciousness and was gone. Something about a key—

It was not entirely dark in the room. Had he left the bedroom lamp on? Or was it morning?

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22
Dec

Reunion

by Morokoshi Katsura (唐 桂)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/8978.html)

For the first few weeks on Alba Venne dressed in layers: woolen stockings and quilted silk jackets and rivers of sable fur, long gloves and tall boots. The attire was necessary, as much for form and semiotics as the function of the outdoor ceremonies that marked his arrival, but he could not get comfortable. The least physical effort while bundled up caused him to overheat, which caused him to sweat and itch maddeningly in public, but remove any of his bulky outer garments and straightaway he was chilled. He had to show his face to the crowds, and the bitter air chapped his lips and made his eyes water. It was as well he did not care to appear lordly; charisma was difficult to achieve with a perennial runny nose.

“I don’t know how I managed to survive here as a child,” he remarked to Aramaki. “No wonder Lenore left on the first ship after her Contract expired.” Aramaki only sighed and said something about thickness of blood, or perhaps the stark poesy of the landscape.

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31
Oct

Witching Hour

by Morokoshi Katsura (唐 桂)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/3707.html)

“Back then,” said Yukio, “I hated summer vacation, because my mother would send me to the countryside. She’s never liked me underfoot though I suppose I can’t blame her, since she works at home and I was such a noisy kid. No matter how I begged her to let me stay in Tokyo, when the first day off rolled around there I’d be on a bus to my grandparents’ place out in the middle of nowhere.

“My grandmother was a bit deaf, and my grandfather’s legs weren’t in great shape. Every night they watched television and went to bed by nine. They treated me pretty well, I guess, or at least they didn’t much care what I did. The downside was that there was nothing to do. When I went into town I’d see other kids hanging around the baseball pitch or quickie mart parking lot, but they all hated me because I was from the city. The first time I fought and came home with a split eyebrow, grandma cried so much I gave up and avoided them afterward. They were all idiots anyway.

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9
Sep

Revels

by Morokoshi Katsura (唐 桂)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/729.html)

Makoyo balances on the edge of the stone wall and lets himself drop, landing noiselessly in the flagstone-paved courtyard below. After a moment he stands up on his two feet and draws his feasting robe over his shoulders. He has carried his sabre with him, and fastens it to his sash.

A fountain bubbles in the moonlight. He is in a garden, one of many such walled spaces of greenery connecting the villas adjoining the palace. The air is heady with the odour of clambering jasmine. Beneath it Makoyo smells topsoil, incense, cooked meats, and – faintly – a salt tang he has learnt to associate with the sea.

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