Author Topic: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories  (Read 1248 times)

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Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« on: April 23, 2017, 11:14:40 PM »
-INDEX-
Rideable Minecart High School books
Rideable Minecart High School omake
Other stories

ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 1st Book
The critically acclaimed adaption of an ancient irc in-joke – Now available in format other than minecraft book!

Track 1
A Ridable Minecart High School?!


My name is Umeko Takenaka. Age; 14. Residence; Kanagawa Prefecture. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been shy and clumsy, so I only have a few friends. Today though I'm finally going to go past that, because today I officially become a high school student... so I'm going to wear sailor fuku, join a club, do all sorts of fun things with my new friends... Under these cherry trees my dream is finally going to come true! I thought, making a triumphant pose and expression.

"I'm going to become a beautiful and confident high school girl!" I said aloud, before I realized how many other students could hear me and became horrified, running to sit behind a tree. "Soembarrassingsoembarrassingsoembarrassingso-"

"U-me-chii!~". I looked out from behind the tree through my tears of embarrasment. "...Ringo-chan?"

This girl with the red hair and huge grin is Ringo Yutani, one of my childhood friends. She's a huge nerd but she's really really fun to be friends with.

"I-I-I didn't know you were going to Shin Ojimachi, Ringo-Chan", I said, stuttering. "Uhuhu... I was just really busy and didn't manage to tell you", she replied, leaning forward, "I couldn't pass up seeing you in a high school girl's uniform though; it's just like anime! uhuhuhuh-"

"Don't be such a troublesome person", another girl said, abruptly cutting Ringo off and pulling her ear. This is my other childhood friend, Shiori Kusanagi; she's really smart and serious. And so, the three of us started walking together.

"What clubs are you thinking of joining, Ringo-chan, Shiori-chan?"

"Redstone club"

"Uhuhu... the doujinshi club! What about you Umechii?". I wasn't ready for that; I tried to think, but I wasn't sure. Then, I felt my shoe get caught on a loose brick and found myself tumbling at the ground. I saw Shiori try to grab my arm but she missed and I fell flat on the brick walkway.

"Uuueee... maybe if I do a sport I could learn not to be such a clutz"

The rest of the morning passed uneventfully through the entrance ceremony, but I still kept going over the question of what club to join without getting anywhere, and was so focused on it I totally spaced out through almost everything. Soon lunchtime and afternoon classes came and went, and I rose from my seat in a bit of a daze, hoping to walk home with Ringo and Shiori. Joining a club could wait a few days, right?

I was shocked out of my daze by the loud bang of the door being opened. "Everyone who isn't in a club, stand up now!"

I looked around and saw no one else standing except the girl in the doorway, who turned her eyes toward me with an intense look. "You! You're going to come to our clubroom!"

"Uuueee?! Right no-" before I could even finish, the girl grasped my arm and ran out, dragging me along behind her at what felt like light speed until we were standing in front of another door, which we seemed to barely avoid crashing into. Inside the room, I collapsed dizzily onto a cushion and tried to look around. At the table, a gloomy looking girl was building something that looked like a rollercoaster out of toothpicks. Off to the side there was a very elegant girl with long hair who looked a bit concerned. The girl who dragged me in cleared her throat dramatically and spoke up.

"Welcome to the Shin Ojimachi High School Minecart Club!"

"Minecart... Club?"

"Mhm, mhm", the girl emphatically nodded, closing her eyes and crossing her arms before clearing her throat.

"The Shin Ojimachi High School Minecart Club is about furthering the appreciation and understanding of minecarts among high school students in the modern day so as to educate productive members of society who will contribute to the global economic and social wellbeing and to generally enrich the high school experience", she said breathlessly, lowering her voice to a mock dramatic tone. There was a period of silence.

"...I, uh... I don't really get it?". The girl's eyes got really wide.

"You need to understand the beauty of minecarts! The dedication and spirit that goes into crafting each one! The smell of lubricating oil...", she trailed off, probably noticing my distant expression, and hung her head. "The truth is we just really need two more members or the club is going to get shut down, so...", she kneeled, clasped her hands together, and looked up at me pleadingly.

"If you don't have any other club to join, please join the Minecart Club! If you don't, I'll shave my head and become a monk!"

"Oh my, Subaru-san...", I heard the elegant looking girl say. "You're going to frighten her"

"No fair, Yasu-chan", Subaru replied, standing up. "I'm sorry if I creeped you out. I'm Subaru Hashibami, club president."

"U-u-umeko Takenaka", I replied, bowing uneasily. "I-It's ok really, you just surprised me. I didn't know people were so passionate about minecarts. I...", I gulped. "I'm interested in learning why you love them so much, Hashibami-san!". Subaru stood there blinking and then turned away from me.

"Ooohh, I didn't expect you to join that easily... I'm really that good?!", she mumbled, quickly turning back to me. "Anyway, you just need to fill out a form and it'll be official, where is that...", as she looked over the messy desks off to the side of the room, the gloomy looking girl pushed a piece of paper into my face.

"I-Is this it Hashibami-san?". She flipped around and saw the paper. "Oh, yes!", she shouted, in English I couldn't quite understand, as the other girl poked my cheek with a pen. I took it and hesitantly filled it in and handed it to Subaru.

"And with that", she said dramatically, "You're officially a club member, Umeko-chan!"

Track 2
An Official Club Member?!


That night, I went to sleep dazed from everything that happened that day. It was only the next morning on my long walk to school that I came out of my daze and started thinking again. I don't understand minecarts at all! I don't know anything about them! I decided that during lunch I needed to go to the library and find an easy book about minecarts.

I spent morning classes still fumbling while getting in to my new high school routine and freaking out about the club. Before I knew it, lunchtime came and I made my way to the library. Somehow I managed to find a book that looked helpful without making any other books fall off the shelf, and hurried to the spot on the roof where I had lunch with Ringo and Shiori yesterday.

"Umechii!", I heard Ringo calling me over to the corner of the roof. "What took you so long?"

"Eh? Oh, I went to the library for a book I really needed"

"That isn't very like you, Umeko-chan", Shiori quipped. "Uueeee... that's not nice Shiori-chan... Actually, I needed it for a club"

"Eeeeeehhhh? You already joined a club Umechii?", Ringo asked, leaning towards me, "Which one? Tell me, tell me!"

"Uueee... The minecart club...". Ringo and Shiori looked at me blankly. "Minecart club? I never would've thought you'd be interested in something like that", Shiori finally said.

"To tell you the truth", I started, "Neither did I, but I met a girl who really really loves them, so I wanted to understand what it is in her heart that makes them so beautiful to her". "UhuhuhuhuUHGKU", I heard Ringo start to giggle before Shiori interrupted her with a chop to the head. "Don't be such a troublesome person, Ringo-chan".

Soon enough lunch and afternoon classes slipped away. As I got up from my desk, just as quickly as last time I found Subaru dragging me breathlessly to the clubroom.

"Ok, listen up Takenaka-... Eeehh, that doesn't sound right", she shouted, "Can I call you Umeko-chan? Ok! Listen up Umeko-chan! Today, first I want you to meet your club comrades!". I don't understand how Subaru can talk so fast after running all the way here unless she doesn't have to breathe. "This is Yasuko Matsuoka-chan, club vice president", she gestured at Yasuko. "And this is Ran Kimura-chan!", she gestured towards the gloomy looking girl from yesterday, who was totally engaged with a model minecart she seemed to be repairing.

"Pleased to meet you, Matsuoka-san, Kimura-san", I said, bowing towards each of them. "Yasu-chan, Ran-chan, you already met Umeko-chan", Subaru finished. Yasuko closed her book, got up, and bowed. "Pleased to meet you, Takenaka-san. I hope you have a fun time with our club and that you can handle Subaru-san's boisterousness", she smiled. "Yes", Ran said flatly before looking up and adding in the same monotone "Good evening, Umeko-san".

"Eh?", I blinked, confused by her mannerisms, before my chain of though was interrupted again by Subaru. "Ok! Umeko-chan, how much do you know about minecarts?"

"I, uh... They have wheels that go on rails, and you can ride them or put chests on them to put things in?", I replied as best I could. "Mhm, mhm", Subaru nodded her head, looking to be deep in thought. "We can move on to your first test". She paused a moment.

"Eehh! I mean, don't get scared or anything!", she added quickly. "It's just, I want you to come see our gear. It's nothing scary", she said meekly. "C'mon!". With that, I followed her, Yasuko, and Ran out behind the school, past the track and down a short path through a copse. I found myself in a field, the afternoon light coloring it orange. In it stood a shed and a small oval of track. Not far from us, a minecart sat on the rails.

I approached it and ran my hand along the side. It was cold and felt solid, and I could see parts were dented and rusted. I gave a small push and heard the wheels grind and groan without turning.

"This... It feels sad". I turned around to face Subaru. "I really really want to help you fix this up". She smiled.

"Let's have lots of fun this summer!"

ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 2nd Book

Track 1
A Very Unique Minecart?!


My name is Umeko Takenaka. Age; 14. I'm a student at Shin Ojimachi High School. Recently, because of someone I met, I became a member of the Minecart Club, even though I'm shy and clumsy and don't really know what it's about. But the girl I met, Subaru Hashibami-san makes it seems really fun, and she needed help or her club was going to get shut down, so I’ve decided to try it. I’ll do my best!

"What are you thinking about, Umeko-chan?". I looked up and realized I'd been idly swishing my broom across the same patch of floor.

"Eh?... Oh, nothing really, Shiori-chan... Just club stuff, you know", I answered, conspicuously stepping over to sweep a different bit of the corridor. "What do you even do in that club Umechii?", I heard Ringo ask.

"Uuhhh... I'm not too sure? We haven't done anything yet", I heard the bell ring as I finished sweeping my new patch of floor. "Ah, I'll put the brooms away, Umeko-chan, Ringo-chan".

"Thanks, Shiori-chan". I handed my broom to her and turned to walk to the club room, but quickly felt myself slip and topple forwards. "Uuuueee..."

"Are you alright Umeko-chan?", Shiori shouted after me. "Uuee... I'm used to it by now". I picked myself up. "Have fun at your clubs, Shiori-chan, Ringo-chan". With that, I skipped off toward the clubroom, soon finding myself at the door. I knocked and entered, seeing a scene much like always.

"...Hmhm, hmhm... I agree we need to take our time and do it right, Ran-chan... Oh! Umeko-chan! You're here!". Subaru was also as excited as always. She bolted up from her chair and dramatically cleared her throat.

"For our first club activity of the school year, we're going to build a new minecart!". I felt confused. "Don't we already have a minecart, Hashibami-san?"

"Mhm, yes, we do but, as it turns out... This is a very unique minecart!". I noticed Ran opening a book and flipping through pages. "And even if it wasn't, the beauty of every minecart demands respect! It would be a crime to skimp out on restoring any minecart! Ever!". Ran turned the book around to face me. "Model Vk71. Produced FrVZ Frunze, Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic 1977 to 1989". She closed the book so I could see the cover. "Minecarts of the Soviet Union?... Kyr... Gyz?...". Ran nodded emphatically. "Silk Road."

"...China?". Just as emphatically, she shook her head no. "Anyway!", Subaru picked the conversation back up. "It would be easier to just build a new one. And in doing so we will learn important lessons about craftsmanship and further our understanding of the beauty of minecarts!"

"Y-you think so, Hashibami-san?". She looked deep in thought for a few moments.

"Maybe!" Uuuuee?!

"I wouldn't worry, Takenaka-san". I glanced over at Yasuko. She's pretty quiet in the clubroom. "Matsuoka-san... Uuee, I didn't notice you there". She put down her book. "No, it's fine. You might not see it, but Subaru-san is very dedicated and talented when she puts her mind to something"

"Might not see... Hey! Meanie!". Yasuko stood up and smiled. "I apologize, Subaru-san. I suppose we should go the the workshed, then?". And so, we walked down the same path into that field past the trees, and then into the little shed. "Hashibami-san, don’t we need plans first to build a minecart?", I asked as Subaru opened the door. "Isn't it hard?". She closed her eyes and crossed her arms, looking like she was concentrating intently.

"It's true we will need to do some drafting work, but it's simple... Well, kinda simple... If you compare it... Anyway!", she opened a large wooden drawer in a storage chest. "It's useful before a project to clear out your work space and take inventory... Huh?". She turned around, showing a flustered expression. "Ehehehehe... I, uh, I remembered something...". She hung her head and continued in a low, embarrased tone. "We only had one iron nugget left over last school year"

"How much iron does it take to build a minecart?". Wait, wasn't there... "Hashibami-san, don't we have a mining and smelting club at this school?". Hearing that seemed to cheer her up. "Then it's settled! We're going mining tomorrow!"

Track 2
An After School Mining Trip?!


"Oi... Oi, Umeko-chan!"

"Shiori-chan?... Uuuueee... I was spacing out in class again wasn't I?". Shiori sighed. "Just forget it... Me and Ringo-chan were going to check out that new cafe since its Saturday if you want to come along"

"Oh, the one in Midorimachi?... Actually, I have club activities after class... I'll have to come try it some other day, hehe..."

"Wo-ah, you're really getting serious about your club, Umechii!". I shook my head. "Uuee, actually, we still haven't done any real club activities yet, Ringo-chan..."

"Huuuh?! You've been going there everyday, Umechii". Ringo gave me a mischievous smile. "Don't tell me... Uhuhuhu...". I noticed Shiori roll her eyes. "So, what have you been doing at your club, Ringo-chan?". Her face got red as soon as Shiori said that.

"Uhu... Actually... That is... Yknow... Uhuuuuuu". She gulped. "I like drawing yuri art! I'm bi! Is that bad?!". It seemed like other people in the classroom noticed her yelling, and Shiori looked exasperated. "Uueee... I'll just be going now, ok Ringo-chan, Shiori-chan?"
___

"Uuueee, let's see... Was it here?". I turned the corner to find Subaru, Yasuko, and Ran already standing at the door of the mining and smelting club room. "Ooh, Umeko-chan! You're here finally!". As soon as I got to the door, another girl opened it.

"You must be Takenaka-san?". I nodded. Her school uniform was dusty all over, she was wearing an orange mining helmet with a lamp, and had two cases that looked like they were for musical instruments slung on her back. "I'm Hinagiku Akane. It's nice to meet you". She bowed.

"Uue, you too". I clumsily bowed slightly in return. She seems nice but there's something weird about her. There's weird tags on those cases too. "Nathan?... William?..."

"Ah", she nodded and carefully placed the cases on the floor. She unzipped one and twirled a pickaxe around in one hand, prompting me to jump back and fall. "Silk touch diamond pick, Nathan", she placed it back in the case and took out another pickaxe. "Fortune diamond pick, William. Oh, we should get going"

Hinagiku led us past our club's shed and across the field until we reached the side of the mountain, coming to a small cave entrance propped up by logs. She stood her pickaxe cases up beside the rocks and turned to face us.

"This is our school's mine! We have iron picks and mining helmets in that shed...", she gestured to her right, "...so get some equipment you like and we can start!". After we gathered up our gear, Hinagiku led us into the mine that spiraled downward into the mountain, lit sparsely by torches on the wall. "Students have been using it for a REAL long time, so most of the ore that's left is REAL deep!". I was starting to get chills.

"Uuueeeee... Akane-san... Do you hear something?". She stopped and turned around, and I had to cover my eyes against the glare of headlamp. I noticed Ran put her ear to the wall, then turn around to face me with an unsettling smile on her face. "Ah. It sounds like giant cave spiders. Umeko-san."

"G-G-GIANT CAVE SPIDERS?!". She nodded yes and pointed to a page in a guidebook that I couldn't read even if I squinted. "It says 'highly poisonous'". I tried to scream but stifled it into a squeak. Yasuko and even Subaru looked worried too.

"Now, now", Hinagiku started, not sounding very reassuring. "I'm sure we'll be just fine... After all, I've never seen one before... Anyway, we should keep going". We continued deeper in. I heard a sound, but it was different from before, like the soft trickle of a faucet. "Just a little further. Ah, there's some iron here I think!". I squinted to look up ahead at Hinagiku. Then I felt myself slip, and let out a scream.

"UMEKO-CHAN!". Subaru? I saw a headlamp up ahead that got smaller as I fell. I closed my eyes when I couldn't bear to look at it anymore, and felt myself hit the bottom of the hole with a splash. I felt relieved, and my eyes shot open just in time to see Subaru crash down on top of me. The two us managed to pull ourselves out of the water and onto a rock.

"H-Hashibami-san...". She put her hand behind her head and ruffled her hair, looking embarrased. "Ehe... I wanted to save you but now we're both stuck, Umeko-chan"

"Subaru-san! Takenaka-san! Are both of you ok?"

"Ah, yeah, Yasu-chan! There's an underwater lake, so we just need to find a way to get back up!", Subaru replied, then turned back to me. Suddenly she had a surprised look on her face. I froze. Did she see one? A g-giant cave spider?! Her face widened into a huge smile. "Umeko-chan, look, look!". I cautiously turned around. In the light from Subaru's headlamp I saw cave walls glittering with iron and gold. I felt around my backpack, and sure enough my pickaxe was still there, and I pulled it out. I saw Subaru had hers balanced on her soldier. "Let's go, Umeko-chan!"

Track 3
Umeko's Side. After


The sun was totally gone by the time we all made it out of the caves and back up to the mining and smelting club room. Finally able to relax I slumped down in a chair while Hinagiku emptied our backpacks of ore onto a table and carefully counted it.

"Uueeee, I'm so exhausted... I could eat so much..."

"I'm just glad all of you are safe", Hinagiku replied, looking up from the table. "I couldn't live with it if someone had gotten badly hurt!". She went to a cabinet and got a magnifying glass to examine the ore with. "But we managed to get this much ore... Hmm...", She looked up again. "This should be enough for almost half a stack of iron ingots and maybe a dozen gold ingots". She smiled.

"You can leave it to me! I'll have our club smelt it after school Monday and help you move it to your workshed". I saw Subaru walk in. There was something off about her. Maybe just that she was wearing her casual clothes and her hair thingy was weighed down? "Thank you so much for everything, Hina-chan! I even got to be cool and save Umeko-chan!". She ruffled her wet hair sheepishly again. "But, I guess it didn't quite work out, ehe?..."

"Is something wrong, Hashibami-san?"

"Eh? Ehe, no, I'm just great, Umeko-chan! Ehehe!..."

Subaru's Side. Before

"I'm gonna go to the gym and wash off some, ok Umeko-chan? I'll be back!"

"Uuuue...". She sounded exhausted. "Ok, Hashibami-san... Matsuoka-san and Kimura-san already went home?...". I nodded and rushed off down the stairs to the girls' locker room.

"...Is that true, Wakagi-san? Because it's too far?". Ehe? There are still people here? Wait, Wakagi?... The student council president?

"Yes. I heard maybe this could be the last school year here, then they're going to close it. Ah well... What can we do about it, if students don't want to come all the way out here. Not much of a loss anyway"

"Wakagi-san..."

The school could... Close?

Omake track
Shiori's Side.
(never before seen! deleted because it wasn't good!)

Eh? Oh, my name is Shiori Kusanagi. High school student, age 14, Redstone Club member, resident in Kanagawa Prefecture. I'm childhood friends with Umeko and Ringo. Of the three of us I'm the only one who takes things seriously. These other two are always slacking off!

Umeko doesn't seem to paying attention to cleaning. Seriously now... "What are you thinking about, Umeko-chan?".

"Eh?... Oh, nothing really, Shiori-chan... Just club stuff, you know". She doesn't seem too sure about it. "What do you even do in that club Umechii?", Ringo asked back. "Uuhhh... I'm not too sure? We haven't done anything yet". Ah, so she isn't sure. Well, it's good that she's trying to do new things anyway. Oh, there's the bell.

"Ah, I'll put the brooms away, Umeko-chan, Ringo-chan". The two of them eagerly handed them to me. "Thanks, Shiori-chan", Umeko replied, turning to leave. Eh?! What's that? Before I had time to react, Umeko slipped on the piece of paper and fell flat. "Uuuueee..."

"Are you alright Umeko-chan?"

"Uuee... I'm used to it by now". She got up. "Have fun at your clubs, Shiori-chan, Ringo-chan".

"Ah, yeah". I glanced over at Ringo and saw she had a surprised expression on her face. Wait, does she have a nosebleed?

"UhuhuhuhuUHGKU", I quickly put a stop to Ringo's giggling by slapping her. "I saw something I shouldn't have, Shiorin".

I put my hand to my forehead in frustration. "Ay ay ay..."

Did you know
  • All the characters have the name of a plant in minecraft in their name (disclaimer: some are approximate)
  • The name of the town their school is in literally means New Princeton
  • Kyrgyzstan is a real place
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 02:50:21 AM by Snack »

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School and possibly other short stories tbd
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 12:56:38 AM »
Good *bleep*post

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Ozymandaisy
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 12:34:51 AM »
reposting here so it's in the same place as other stuff
please relike it

Ozymandaisy

I trudged further through the sand, the orange hem of my dusty and faded garment sweeping at its grains. This *bleep*ing dress, I mouthed silently to myself, How I wish I could wear something I can MOVE in. The grains collected in my shoes, on my clothing, on my bared teeth and the tip of tongue. I saw only the sand and the weathered monuments rising from it, desiccated and denuded mountain peaks of ochre and madder stone.

Stopping at the crest of one wavelike dune, I gasped for air with my parched mouth, as if I could draw some bit of moisture from an atmosphere as heavy as the colossal stone heads, visages of kings and queens of yore, of my forebearers. I recall the time before, when towns clung to this lifeless, pale gold ocean, irrigation channels sewing together its fabric, conveying water like man-made veins of lifeblood across a landscape tamed and yoked. The days I spent in the palace courtyard, bursting with the green of grass and vines, the blue of aquaducts and fountains, the kaleidoscopic shades of flowers my mother had taught me to cultivate so lovingly. My beloved father and our faithful retainers.

I do not even dream of the times between then and now, that past has locked itself away somewhere beyond my grasp. I lie awake some nights gripped by fear of it, of what hell I would glimpse should the key to those catacombs of my memory once more thrust itself into my hands. Of the war. I could no longer stand, and I fell to my knees.

"My Princess," the retainer whispered to myself, voice raspy and dry, standing darkly over myself, her pale yellow dress glinting in the sun through flecks of grime caked on, her auburn hair matted with dust and sweat. "You must not stop. You must attend the coronation ceremony. Your father..."

"What *bleep*ing coronation?! What is this?!," I jabbed my finger ahead, towards what was once, I believed somewhere in my heart, a town. "My father IS-". I felt myself be thrown from my knees onto the ground, the sand shoved into my face, grains cutting at my eyes and filling my mouth. "You *bleep*! How dare you?!," the retainer sputtered, "You insult father like this?!."

I struggled to sit up, coughing and spitting, but feeling some of the sand enter my lungs despite all my efforts. The retainer's shadow against the sun enveloped myself. From her dress she produced the rusting crown.

"Stand, Princess Daisy of Sarasaland," I commanded myself, and myself I did.

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School and possibly other short stories tbd
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 05:29:17 PM »
ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 3rd Book
Secret ingredient was the power of music all along – The lewdest one yet!

Track 0
Subaru’s Side.


"...I'm home". I shuffled off my shoes in the entryway and pulled on my slippers. "Welcome back Oneechan. You're home late; it's past dinner already so yours is in the fridge".

"Ehe, Shuko... I had some club stuff...". I turned my head and stopped for a moment.

"You're still in your minecart club or whatever?". I nodded as my sister spoke, and walked into the kitchen. "Oneechan, you're weird yknow!". She looked to be thinking something over while I opened the fridge and grabbed the plate of curry rice. "My friend said that's why you don't have a boy that likes you! You minecart-otaku!".

"Eh, and what if I'm fine with that?! Stupid! Stupid!". I glared at her. She looked worried, like she'd realized she'd made a joke that went too far. I sighed. "Are you ok, oneechan?".

"It's just something at school. I didn't mean to yell at you.". Is it weird to care so much about a school? But, it's the school I've been going to since elementary school, so I guess it's normal that I'd have so many memories of it.

Track 1
A Minecart Track To Where?!


I stifled a yawn as class ended. “Uuueeee... I stayed up too late...". I'd been busy reading the minecart forum I found to learn more about them; I hadn't gotten much sleep, but I feel hyped to go to the clubroom today!

After skipping off to the clubroom, I threw open to the door to find the room feeling slightly off. Blinking a few times as if I didn't believe what I was seeing, I realized the unusual sight was Subaru slumped back in her chair, not looking at all her usual self, hanging her head over the wooden back with a bit of a blank expression. It's starting to get hotter out these days but could that really be so hard on her? What's going on?.

"H-Hashibami-san?!". She jumped out of the chair, looking to have gone back to her normal self. "Umeko-chan! It's you!". I wasn't expecting her to leap forward and hug me, and predictably when she did I lost my balance and went tumbling onto my back with her on top of me. I noticed Yasuko and Ran didn't seem to be here yet, before I hit the floor and heard commotion outside.

The door swung open, and to my surprise I saw Shiori. I suddenly realized how this could look to her. "Uu... Ueeeeee..." I heard someone else running outside the room too now. "Oi, Shiorin! Did something happen?". Ringo-chan?. As Subaru scrambled to her feet and helped me up, a blushing Shiori calmly closed the door. We sat awkwardly around the table for a minutes, the late afternoon sunlight flickering.

"Ehe... Sorry about that, Umeko-chan...". I shook my head. "No... It was my fault that I was so clumsy, right?". I paused.

"By the way, Hashibami-san, where are Matsuoka-san and Kimura-san today?". She sighed. "Yasu-chan and Ran-chan both couldn't make it today. To tell you the truth I figured you'd be doing something with your friends too."

"Ah, my friends had club activities today also...". I neglected mentioning that Shiori who had seen us was one of my childhood friends. "...Do you have many friends, Hashibami-san?". She didn't respond. "Uueee... Me either". She stretched her arms and laid her head down on the table. "Hey, Umeko-chan... Have you heard anything about the school closing?”

"Uueee? No... Is that true?!". She shrugged. "I overheard the student council president talking about it, the other day. The day we went mining actually". I felt surprised. "Is that what's been bothering you, Hashibami-san? You don't seem like yourself today...". She nodded. "I went to Shin Ojimachi elementary school and junior high school too..."

"Maybe there weren't that many new students? Uuee, I don't know... Oh, I know not many of my friends from junior high were going here even though Akaiwa isn't that far". Subaru sat back up. "Eh, you live in Akaiwa, Umeko-chan? How long does it take you to get to school?". She seemed like she’d remembered something. "Uuee, it's not really that-" I started, but before I could even finish it was like all her energy had flowed back into her from somewhere, and I almost fell backwards in my chair as Subaru leapt up, standing half on the chair, half of the table with a determined grin on her face. I can see her pa... Uuueee, why am I thinking about that?!

"Umeko-chan! I've seen the divine revelation!". She jabbed her arm into the air, pointing her index finger to the ceiling as if to emphasize the heavenly source of her inspiration. "We are going to build a minecart track from here-" she whipped her finger around to point what I assumed was east "-to Akaiwa!"

Track 2
A Walk Over The Mountains?!


I was so busy catching up on schoolwork I'd been neglecting that the rest of my school week went by slowly but pretty uneventfully after that Monday. My excitement was building for Saturday, since Subaru told me it was going to be a big day for the club, and I kept learning more about minecarts on the internet, even finding out I could download a minecart driving simulator on my phone!

By the time classes were over on Saturday I could barely even eat my lunch before rushing to the club room and throwing open the door.

"Hello! I'm here!". Nothing. Uuueee?! I couldn't believe I was the first one there. I was about to take a step into the room and sit down when I was startled from behind.

"Umeko-chan!". I felt Subaru hug me and struggled not to fall over like last time until she let me go. "It's great that you're the first one to the club room today! I'm so proud of you!".

"Uuee? Is it that much to be proud of, Hashibami-san?". She thought about it for a minute. "You're the first person other than me to be here first, so that has to mean something... Except sometimes Ran-chan is. Sometimes I think she lives in here! Ehe". Now I was just even more confused. "So, ue, what are we doing to today Hashibami-san?". She grinned. "Just wait!".

A minute or two later Ran and Yasuko arrived, and Subaru dramatically cleared her throat and jabbed her finger in the air. "Today, fellow club members, we're going to take a walk!". She paused for effect, but I still didn't get what she was talking about. "...Huh?". She just giggled. "Let me explain! As you know, we're going to build a minecart track to the school from Akaiwa! So today, we're going for a walk over the mountains to get the lay of the land! It's about two hours... I think!".

I thought about it and wasn't sure it was a good idea. Something seemed off but before I could remember what Subaru interrupted my train of thought. "Umeko-chan! You should just go get changed and we'll be ready to go!".

"Get... changed?". Uueee? Why does she- I opened my mouth to speak but realized what I thought was off. "UUUEEEEE?!", I gasped, finally noticing that Subaru, Yasuko, and Ran were wearing casual clothes and not their uniforms and remembering what a pain it was wearing my uniform and getting it dirty when we went mining. "Haaah... I just remembered you said to bring casual clothes... Uueee... Whatever".
___

We got going after that, down past our club shed and towards the mountainside, past the mine entrance, and into the woods. It was such a nice spring day and walking in the forest was so relaxing that I almost forgot what I was doing, when I felt my foot get caught under a root and felt my heart sink before my body did.

"Uuueeuuueeeee!". I flapped my arms aimlessly to try and keep from falling over before Subaru grabbed hold of me. "Uuuee... Thanks, Hashibami-san... Geeze, whenever we do club stuff you always have to help me like this”.

"Of course! Because I'm your friend! What kind of friend wouldn't do anything they could for their friends?!". She jabbed her finger in my face, almost making me lose my balance again. "To be a friend you need fighting spirit!". I didn't really get it, but I appreciated it.

"Blushing", I heard Ran whisper in my ear, freaking me out so much I almost fell over a third time. Her tone of voice was way creepier than normal too. I turned my head to look at her and it seemed like she had magically moved back to a more comfortable distance behind me. "Nice day, Umeko-san", she said in her usual weird monotone, smiling. I turned my head back to Subaru, but as soon as I did I felt a chill and heard her again.

"You can't have my Subaru-chan, okay, Umeko-saaaan?". I whipped my head back around and just saw her still standing a few steps behind me, with a bored expression. She raised her hand and waved at me half-heartedly. Have? What? Why would I have Subaru? Is this what Ringo calls yandere moe?! I uneasily looked at Subaru again, but she didn't seem to have noticed anything weird, she just seemed to be thinking about something.

"Umeko-chan, there's just one thing I want you to do for me". I looked back over my shoulder reflexively but Ran was just talking to Yasuko about something. "Since we're friends, it's weird that you keep calling me Hashibami-san! You can call me Subaru-chan if you'd like".

"But you're an upperclassman? It's really-". I was cut off by her smirking and again jabbing her finger in my face, which I was somehow ready for this time. "Then call me Hashibami-senpai! Worship me as your visionary club president!"

"Uuueee, are those really the only two choices?!". Yasuko pointedly cleared her throat as if to tell her to stop scaring me, and Subaru laughed. "Ok, ok... But really, if we're going to be friends you don't need to be so formal with me". She smiled. I smiled back and nodded. "Okay, Subaru-chan!"

Track 3
A Pink Sheep And A Daughter Of A Super Rich Family?!


We'd been walking for about an hour and a half when we started to realize Subaru's estimate had been optimistic, based on our phone maps. I was starting to feel worn out when she suddenly stopped and turned around. "Guess what!". She took off her backpack and threw it open, grabbing out bags of snack mix with bits of square cereal and a handful of chocolate bars.

"It's snack time!". She thrust one of the chocolate bars into my hands. "You know this is a symbol of absolute victory, right?!"

"K*t K*ts are my favorite!". We sat down on a rock nearby and started to eat. "By the way, Hashi- Subaru-chan, I mean, uuee... What are those little flags you've been sticking in the dirt?"

"Oh! Those are survey flags. If it's like this, it's easy to see where the track should go when we come back". She held up a map that she'd sketched on with a marker. "I've been trying to follow the smoothest path over the hills! You know though..." she stood up and ruffled her hair. "We should keep going. I guess I underestimated how long it'd take, ehe”.

Not fifteen minutes after we'd started walking again, I heard a rustling noise coming from the trees. "Uuee... Don't try and scare me again Kimura-san...". I turned around and it seemed like Ran wasn't doing anything. I heard the rustling again and peered into the trees when I saw something. "Uuee, wow! A pink sheep! I've always wanted to see a real one! Woah, another!". I whipped out my phone and started filming them. "Hey, hey, guys, do you see?".

"Guys?...". I looked around. "Uuee, hey, wait up guys!"
___

"Uueee... How long has it been now?". I was exhausted, especially after having to run to catch up, miraculously not falling flat on my face. I pulled out my phone to see it had been more than three hours since we'd started. The sky was already taking on the first tinges of its afternoon golden color. Finally, we stepped out of the trees to find ourselves standing on a retaining wall across the street from a playground.

"Hey! This is right near my house I think! We did it!". Everyone else was looking tired too. I jumped down off the wall and crossed the street, since it seemed ok since there was no traffic. Subaru, Yasuko, and Ran plopped down on a bench. "Eheee... Yeah, we sure did, Umeko-chan...". Subaru ruffled her hair again, the way she does when she's nervous or apologetic. "Sorry it took so long though".

"Goodbye, Subaru-chan, Matsuoka-san-" I paused. "You know, is it alright if I call you guys Yasuko-chan and Ran-chan too?". Yasuko nodded, but Ran didn't respond to me... It's weird if I only call her Kimura-san though! "Bye Yasuko-chan, Ran-chan!". I turned to leave, but overheard the others talking as I started to walk home.

"...Ehe, Yasu-chan, I didn't think of what we were gonna do to get back to Shin Ojimachi, so...". Yasuko sighed. "I'll call my house and ask our driver to pick us up". Wow, Yasuko must be pretty rich if her family has a driver, right?. "Just like you'd expect from the daughter of the Matsuoka Corporation!", I heard Subaru laugh. Uuee, wow?! Like the big redstone company?

As I walked home, I thought about how much I still didn't know about minecarts or my new friends and how exciting it was to learn about them.

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School and possibly other short stories tbd
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 01:53:02 AM »
Shiori and Ringo's omake from book 3, which I neglected to post earlier.
It's not really very good.

Omake track
Shiori's Side.

It’s Shiori Kusanagi again. Hey, why do you even care? Why are you seeing this again? Are you some kind of pervert who likes high school girls or something?! Huh?! Haah, whatever... Anyway, you remember who I am. I’m childhood friends wih Umeko and Ringo. Geez, those two goofballs...

I sighed as I turned the corner in the hallway. Maybe today I can figure out what's wrong with that comparator memory circuit. What?! Suddenly I heard a crash from one of the club rooms a few doors from the redstone club. I ran to the door I heard it coming from and threw open the door to see an... Unexpected scene. Umeko was on the floor just inside the room with another girl laying on top of her.

"Uu... Ueeeeee...". I just stood there for a moment not exactly sure what to do as the girl I didn't know got up, looking embarrassed, and started to help Umeko up. This is... I mean, maybe there's nothing wrong with doing that... But people should be quieter... Wait, this is probably just a misunderstanding, right?

"Oi, Shiorin! Did something happen?". Oh *bleep*, I forgot Ringo was just behind me going to her club. I quickly closed the door and stepped away. It's better if Ringo didn't see that and I just forget it happened.

"Hmm? No it's... Everything's fine Ringo-chan!", I called out as she turned the corner and caught up to me.

"Uhuhuhuhu... Are you blushing Shiorin? What happened? Tell me tell mHHGGK". Hitting her on the forehead with the side of my hand shut her up. "No I'm not blushing!"

Character names

At some point I may write real character profiles, but the most important thing in my notes right now that doesn't come up in the story itself are the character name origins. As mentioned in the first post, the entire cast are named after plants that exist in Minecraft, although some of them are stretches to avoid just making names up.

Umeko Takenaka (TAKENAKA Umeko, 竹中梅子)
Her given name Umeko 梅子 means "plum child", while her family name Takenaka 竹中 roughly means "among bamboo" (lit. "bamboo-middle"). This is one of the inexact ones; the reference of course is to reeds.

Subaru Hashibami (HASHIBAMI Subaru, 榛昴)
Her given name Subaru 昴 means "Pleiades", while her family name Hashibami 榛 means "hazel". This again is an inexact reference; hazels are closely related to birches.

Yasuko Matsuoka (MATSUOKA Yasuko, 松岡安子)
Her given name Yasuko 安子 means "peaceful child", while her family name Matsuoka 松岡 means "pine hill".

Ran Kimura (KIMURA Ran, 木村蘭)
Her given name Ran 蘭 means "orchid" (no link because Minecraft Wiki doesn't have subheads for different flowers, so you'll just have to trust me on this), while her family name Kimura 木村 means "tree village". So technically this is a double reference.

Shiori Kusanagi (KUSANAGI Shiori, 草薙栞)
Her given name Shiori 栞 means "bookmark", while her family name Kusanagi 草薙 means "grass cutter" (which I'll admit is kind of a lame reference). Her given name was originally spelled 詩織 roughly meaning "weave a poem" (lit. "poem-weave") before I realized it could also be spelled 栞, which fits Shiori even better.

Ringo Yutani (YUTANI Ringo, 湯谷林檎)
Her given name Ringo 林檎 means "apple" (fitting I guess since I always imagined her with reddish brown hair), while her family name Yutani 湯谷 means "hot spring valley".

Hinagiku Akane (AKANE Hinagiuku, 赤根雛菊)
Her given name Hinagiku 雛菊 means "daisy" (see the above note on Ran's given name), while her family fame Akane 赤根 means "deep red" or "rose madder". This is an additional reference to redstone. Fitting since she's in the Mining and Smelting Club.

Setting notes

The setting for the story is the two (fictional, of course) towns of Shin Ojimachi (新王子町) to the west and Akaiwa (赤石) to the east, in inland Kanagawa Prefecture (near Sagamihara). The two towns are separated by a line of mountains/hills. Shin Ojimachi High School is located adjacent to the satoyama below the mountains, and the school mine is in the mountains. The main roads between the two towns are towards the southern part of the hills (going between many locations in Shin Ojimachi and Akaiwa then requires some backtracking). The main shopping area in Shin Ojimachi, and the biggest and trendiest in the two towns, is Midorimachi (緑街).

“Shin Ojimachi” literally means “new prince town” (New Princeton). “Akaiwa” is spelled the same as the name of the Akashi Mountains, which are part of the Japanese Alps (Alps server). The name also literally means “red stone”. “Midorimachi” literally means “green neighborhood, green district”. The intended reference was to Green Road and Green House in New Princeton.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 01:54:51 AM by Snack »

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The Legend of Bird, Dimensional Super Hero
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 10:32:29 PM »
ever wonder why the birds in splatoon disappear into nothingness as they fly away? me too

The Legend of Bird, Dimensional Super Hero

My name is Bird. You probably know me from my day-to-day life, eating discarded takeout krillburgers from Five Squids. But would you believe it if I said that in the Bird Dimension I'm a superhero? It's true! When I'm not chillin' like I'm krillin' in Inkopolis Plaza, I fight crime and supervillains like the notorious Colonel. But Inkopolis is where I like to relax. Anyway so one day I’m just chillin’ on the pavement in the alleyway where Spyke hangs out when I see the Bird Signal in the sky. I’m just about to get going when this inkling who thinks she’s so fresh comes up, probably to buy some overpriced merchandise or add another slot to her Sky Blue Squideye tee.

“Bird!”, she yelled, confusing me since I expected her to want to talk to Spyke. I ignored her and me and my wingman took off and flew towards the sky. “Wait! Do you want to talk about our lord and savior Callie?!”.

“No!” I yelled back, “I must go save my people!”.

“You have *bleep* taste in idols!”, I added.

And then I broke through the fabric of space-time, to return once again to the Bird Dimension and battle the forces of darkness, in the unending struggle against my nemesis, barbeque-flavor nuggets.

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School and possibly other short stories tbd
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 02:20:03 AM »
ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 4th Book
Subaru is basically a diet Toshino Kyoko

Track 1
A Golden Week Heatwave?!


Subaru flopped down on the clubroom table. "Aaaaahh! It's so hot! How is it so hot when it's still only April?". She managed enough strength to look up at the thermometer by the window. Her eyes went wide. "Th-thirty one degrees?! This is wrong! This is so wrong!". She turned her can of tea upside-down as if hoping it had magically refilled, but not even a drop came out. "Haaahh... Can we really work under these conditions?".

I slumped down in my chair, wishing I could already be wearing my summer uniform. "Say Subaru-chan, where is Yasuko-chan today?". She somehow managed to sit back up. "Ah, she didn't have time for club activities again. She had to pack for a trip. Oh, Umeko-chan, are you going anywhere for Golden Week?".

"Not really... Uuueee", I sighed. "Everywhere is way too crowded anyway... Ah, where is Yasuko-chan going though? It must be really exciting since she's from a rich family!".

"Ehe, did she tell you that?". Subaru sounded a bit surprised. I shook my head. "A-Actually I heard you say it after we went surveying. Was it something I wasn't supposed to know?". I felt flustered, but Subaru just laughed. "No, no! I just wondered. She's really modest about herself. It's weird you know! You wouldn't expect it! Anyway, I don't think it'd be exciting. She's just getting dragged to some cousin's wedding in America". I felt confused. Uuueee, I always feel confused! Do I even have to keep saying I do?

"Why would that be weird? And, uuee, I think it's exciting that her cousin is going all the way to America to get married, right?". Now Subaru looked confused. "No, get it! Her mother is American! Don't you think she should be more brash if she's half-American? She got her blonde hair from that side of her family, and her... ehe...". She glanced down at the table. Or I guess her chest? "Boobs". Uueeee, this is awkward... I tried to think of something to say.

"I'm sure yours will grow soon, Subaru-chan... Uueee...". I thought about just hiding under the table for a while, but decided I couldn't. I glanced worriedly over my shoulder, expecting Ran to be glaring a me or something, but she didn't even look up from the thick book her face was buried in.

"Flat is good". She kept reading and I really, really wanted to change the subject now.

"Uuaah! Ha, you know, didn't you say we should build our minecart over Golden Week if we had time, Subaru-chan?". She sighed. "Yeah, yeah, we should... Geeze, I wish we could wear our summer uniforms, right?". That reminded me about how I'd wished I'd worn something other than my uniform the last club activities. "Ah, I'm going to go get changed and then we can get to work! Well, I'm not sure if I'll be much help, uuee... But I'll do my best!".

Track 2
An Embarrassing Situation with Subaru?!


I stretched my arms, feeling much better now that I changed into casual clothes, and stepped out of the shower stall I'd been changing in, turning towards the door to leave. I yawned and opened my eyes.

"Hey, Umeko-chan!". Confused I looked around and saw Subaru sitting on one of the benches, pulling her skirt off one leg. "Uuuueeee...". I looked away. "I-I'll be at the shed, Suba-". She interrupted me. "We're both girls so it's ok! Right? Ehe, I mean, I didn't mean to embarrass you."

"I-It's just...". I remembered what Ran said the other day and wondered what she'd think if she knew I'd seen Subaru like this, and felt really flustered. "I know!", Subaru said, standing up and snapping her fingers. "It wouldn't be embarrasing if we were both in our underwear, right? Cmon!".

"Uuueee!" I yelped, backing away and almost tumbling over the other bench. "T-that's not how it works I-is it?! I already changed! That's sexual harassment!". Subaru suddenly looked a bit uncomfortable and ruffled her hair apologetically. "Ehe... I guess I took it too far. I'm sorry!". I looked at the floor. "Uueee, it's fine, Subaru-chan... Y-you're just really forward I guess". She smiled. "Ehe, yeah! I get that a lot!". She slipped on a pair of khaki shorts and a pink T-shirt. "Cmon, Umeko-chan!".
___

I arrived at the shed a little after the others, having dodged Ran seeing me by lying I’d forgotten something in my classroom. I’d worried I was still blushing from earlier and Ran would see me with Subaru and think something happened.

"Oh, Umeko-chan!". Subaru handed me a pair of thick goggles and gloves. "I figure you probably didn't have goggles so I bought you a pair!". I nodded and took them. "So, uueee... Where do you even start?". Subaru gestured at some blueprints on the wall. "This is the design me and Ran-chan drafted!". She picked up a thin piece of carved, sanded wood. "So, to start we... Ehe, Ran-chan can explain this better than me really". Ran cleared her throat and picked up another piece of wood that looked almost the same as the one Subaru was holding.

"This is a pattern". She seemed unhappy to be explaining it to me, but continued. "We use wood planks to make a square around it and put sand mixed with clay and water over it in the square and do it again with the one Subaru-chan has, making sure they're lined up the same and leaving a hole in one side... Then we remove the patterns and put the two molds together, and pour liquid iron in the top... Then after it cools we break the sand with a hammer."

"It's called sand casting!", Subaru added. She pointed at part of the blueprints. "These patterns are for the outside of the frame, which'll hold the axles and wheels, and then the body of the cart goes on top of that". I understood most of it I think. It seems dangerous though?! I put on the goggles and gloves and made a determined fist. "Ok! I'm ready!... I guess..."
___

"Uueeee... I'm beat...". I hung my head down and walked towards the front gate of the school with Subaru and Ran. It was still hot even as the sun had started to set. We'd managed to cast the two side frame pieces... Or Subaru and Ran did. I was too scared to do the hard parts working with hot iron, so I'd just helped pack sand. "Uaaahhh... I hope it's not this hot all week..."

I suddenly thought of something I hadn't realized before. "Subaru-chan... How are we going to be able too keep working during Golden Week? Won't the school be closed?". She stopped and turned around. "It's no problem! You know, clubs can get special dispensation from the student council! But...", she ruffled her hair again, "I totally forgot to make the application! So we're gonna be sneaking in!". My eyes went a bit wide after a second.

"...Uuueeeeeee?!". I can't become a delinquent!

Track 3
A Great Success For The Club?!


I stood up and stretched my arms as class ended. Before I could do anything else, I heard the old familiar sound of rapid footsteps outside followed by the classroom door being flung open, and predictably enough saw Subaru barge in. "Hey hey, Umeko-chan!". I glanced at Shiori and Ringo who seemed a bit taken aback. I guess the last times Subaru did this they'd already left? "Cmon and have lunch with us for once, Umeko-chan! Yasuko said she brought souvenirs home from America for the club!". I realized Shiori and Ringo had never met Subaru and felt a little embarrassed.

"Uuueeee... Uh, I guess I could, Subaru-chan... Where should I meet you? I-I'm just going to be a minute". She nodded. "Mhmm! Okay! We'll be in the club room today!". She left the classroom almost as fast as she'd came in. I turned to Ringo, who had a cheeky look on her face, and Shiori, who had a wide-eyed, mouth-agape expression. "Uueee... I guess you haven't met Subaru-chan before...".

"Uhuhuhu... Is this your girlfriend from your minecart club?". Shiori rolled her eyes. "Uueee... It's not like-", I was interrupted by Ringo standing up and throwing her arm around my shoulder. "She's pretty cute! You scored, Umechii! So have yoUgkhuhuaaaahh, Shioriiinnnn...". Ringo herself was interrupted by Shiori grabbing the collar of her uniform and pulling her off me.

"I-It's not like that at all, Ringo-chan! But she is who you're thinking of I guess? She's the girl I met who's the club president". I sighed. "Uuee, I should get going... Sorry I haven't been able to have lunch with you guys lately... You know what, I'll make it up to you soon, we can go to that cafe in Midorimachi you were talking about, Shiori, ok?".
___

"I'm here!". I pulled open the club room door and took my seat on the left side of the table. "Ah, welcome back, Yasuko-chan... How was your trip?". She leaned back in her chair. "It's always nice to see my cousins and my grandmother and grandfather. And it's so much more relaxing than spending Golden Week in Japan". Subaru and Ran had already started eating, and we both opened our bento too. "What about you, Umeko-san?".

"Ah, I didn't go anywhere for Golden Week, but... Uueee... We snuck into school to work on our new minecart". I hung my head, and Subaru flashed a sheepish grin across the table and ruffled her hair.

"Cheer up, Umeko-chan! You can blame it all on me if you want, ehe," Subaru said. "Oh!", she added, looking at my bento. "Omu-rice! How nostalgic!". To my disbelief she reached across the table, somehow grabbing a bite of my lunch with her chopsticks without having it fall apart, and plopped it in her mouth. As soon as she started to chew she got a surprised, slightly queasy look on her face. "U-Umeko-chan... A-Are there eggshells in this?".

"Uuee?... Oh, uh... I'm clumsy so eggshells get in all the food I make... But since it's still delicious I don't even notice anymore!".

"O-Ok... A-Anyway," she moved on. "Cmon Yasu-chan, what'd you bring back for souvenirs?!". Yasuko opened her backpack, grabbing out a few bags. I strained to read them. "Ore... Gon?".

"Oregon potato chips," she pointed at one bag, "And craisins. Ah, and in the last bag-" Subaru had already looked inside, pulling out a few boxes, with pictures of minecarts on the side. "Ah! Model kits!". I ate one of the... craisins? as Subaru handed me one of the models. "Uueee... Sour...". I tried to read the English writing on the box but barely understood any of it as I finished my lunch.

Subaru finished off the last of her pork cutlet and dramatically stood up. "Ok, club! Meet back up at the shed after class! Today we'll test our new minecart!".
___

I hurried to the shed after class, excited to see our work come to fruition even if I hadn't done too much of it myself. The others were already there when I arrived. Subaru was lounging on the grass by the tracks and stood up.

"Ok, Umeko-chan, Ran-chan! Would you do the honors?". I smiled and nodded. "Alright, Subaru-chan". I tried to avoid eye contact as me and Ran swung open the double doors in front of the spur of track leading to the shed. "Ok, remove chocks!", Subaru called out. I unclasped the chocks from the rails in front of the cart and stepped back. "Clear!".

"Release brake!". Ran pushed the brake lever all the way forward and I hurried around to the other side of the cart. The two of us pushed the cart forward, and it smoothly rolled down the track and out of the shed. The afternoon sun glinted on the iron carbody, and Ran pulled back on the lever, bringing it to a stop outside the shed doors. I noticed Subaru's eyes sparkling a bit.

"Uuee, Subaru-chan... Are you crying?...". She wiped a tear away with her hand and grinned. "I'm just happy! And you know, Umeko-chan, you really pulled through as a club member!". She ran her hand over the front plate of the cart. "The metalworking you did is really high quality, Ran-chan! This was a great success for the club... Oh, what do you think, Yasu-chan?".

Yasuko looked the cart over. "Ah, it's very well made, as you'd expect from you and Ran-san!". She turned to me. "Have you done anything like this before, Umeko-san?". I shook my head. "N-No... I didn't do much anyway, uueee... I was scared, If I'd spilled it..."

Ran put her hand on my shoulder and smiled. "You did do some of the casting though and did fine even though you were afraid! So I'm proud of you! Ah, I know, I'll bring you a bento tomorrow without any eggshells!".

"Uuee, Subaru-chan, I was going to have lunch at cafe and meet my friends actually so you don't nee-". She cut me off. "Ok! It's settled, I'll bring you a bento on monday then!".

Uueeee?! Subaru-chan is really going to make a lunch for me?!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 10:01:11 PM by Snack »

Kokichi Ouma

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 05:18:36 AM »


Tried to do a concept sketch of Ran since I have writer's block. Idk how to feel about it

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Rideable Minecart High School Omake: Lunchbox.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 03:33:00 AM »
Otherwise unrelated to Book 5 which seemed like it would run slightly long (but not as long as turb's awards presentation), so I'm seperating it out.

Omake track
Lunchbox.

My heart was beating a bit faster than normal as the bell chimed for lunch. I mean, I've never had someone make a bento for me before... Uueee, I mean, I guess my mother did when I was younger, but... I've never gotten chocolate back on White Day either... Ah, I guess I haven't given ever given anyone love chocolate for Valentine's Day so I wouldn't... Uuueeee... Why am I even making a big deal out of this?

"Umechii!", I was shoken out of my confusion by Ringo. "Wanna eat lunch with me and Shiorin?"

"Uueee... Ah... No thank you, today". She seemed to notice I didn't have a lunch box with me. "Eeh, don't you always bring a lunch with you, Umechii?"

"Uuueehe... Yeah... I need to get going!". I wanted to leave quickly and not have to mention to Ringo that Subaru had insisted on bringing me a lunch or she'd take it weirdly. Half way to the club room I ran into Subaru, almost literally.

"Oh, hey Umeko-chan!, Ah, yeah, I promised to give you this!". She reached into the plastic shopping bag she was carrying and grabbed two identical convenience store pork cutlet bento and handed one to me. "Here!". I took it, feeling confused again. "Ah... Thank you, Subaru-chan". I started to turn. "Wanna come eat with us at the club room then?".

"Ah... I'm fine actually."

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 04:32:33 AM »
ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 5th Book
Ringo would share her potato with you any day, Shiori – As seen on awards!

Track 1
An Icy-Cold Girl?!


I looked at my phone and sighed. "Uueee... It's already Friday and we haven't gotten anything done this week, have we?". Subaru was sitting with her arms crossed and an intense expression on her face. She slammed her palm down on the table. "It's been a month now since we went surveying, and we still haven't started working on the rail! We need to start soon if we want to save the school, don't we?!".

"We still don't know if we can build in the forest, though," Yasuko added "Or who to ask about it". Wait, I remembered something. Maybe I can finally say something useful?! "Uueee... Uh... I heard from a boy in my class, who's in the forestry and mushrooming club I think, that most of the forest is owned by the school... So, uuee, maybe they could give us permission?".

"Big if true," Ran responded, sounding a bit sarcastic. Maybe I was imagining it? I know she doesn't like me though... Uueee... "This is good! It's just what we need, Umeko-chan!". Subaru smiled at me. "Ok! Since tomorrow is Saturday we can do a lot of work then. Until then, club adjourned!".
___

I waved goodbye to Shiori and Ringo in the hallway, and opened the clubroom door to find Subaru, Yasuko, and Ran standing around the table, intently discussing something. "Ah... Hey, everyone?".

"Oh! Hey, Umeko-chan!", Subaru shouted over to me. "After we talk to the forestry club we're going to do something really fun! Did you know Shin Ojimachi has a seventh mystery?!".

"Uueee... Don't all high schools have seven mysteries. At least, in stories..." I trailed off. Subaru shook her head. "Last year when we started there were only six. It was really disappointing! But yesterday I overheard a seventh one!". She lowered her head and continued in a low voice. "They say... That late at night... A ghost haunts the club rooms...". She looked up and grinned. "How'd I do? Ehe, I guess I'm not very scary". She ruffled her hair a bit and we started walking down the hall until we got to the forestry club's door. Subaru knocked and swung it open.

The room was empty except for a girl sitting at the table. I blinked a few times. Blue... hair...? We all sat down around the table, but she didn't say anything, seemingly engrossed in a book. "Ehe... Hello?", Subaru asked. "Ah, I'm-".

"Fuyumi Maitake," the girl abruptly cut Subaru off as she tried to introduce herself. "Ah, nice to meet you, Maitake-san... I'm Subaru Hashibami, president of the minecart club". The girl turned a page in her book. "Vice president. Forestry and mushrooming club."

"So, uh...", Subaru continued. "We're interested in building a new minecart track and heard your club could give us permission to build in the forest?". The girl nodded. "Maybe it could be done". She paused for a while. "Do you have anything I can review?". Subaru seemed a little uncomfortable talking with her. "Ah, yes... Oh, Ran, you got the map, right?". Ran nodded and spread out the survey map on the table. Maitake closed her book, carefully set it aside, and began pouring over the map.

After a moment she got up and retrieved another map and returned to the table without saying anything. As we waited, Maitake increasingly looked perplexed and almost... flustered? She doesn't seem like a girl who gets flustered though... Before she finally looked up. "Why are you all still...", she brushed a strand of hair away from her eye. "I'll get back to you Monday...". Subaru nodded and stood up. "Ok! Thank you, Maitake-san!", she said, switching to English for some reason. I guess she thinks she sounds cooler that way? We filed out of the clubroom, and thinking about Maitake, something finally dawned on me as we started walking away.

"Uuee, Subaru-chan... Uuuu, maybe this is rude, but... How do you get your hair to be purple like that?". She stopped and I was afraid I really had been rude. She turned around and winked at me, flashing a grin and a hand gesture. "It's a secret! Kira!". Ran stifled a giggle and I was left a little confused. It was weird to hear Ran laugh, and I felt like it was a joke that went way over my head. "Uueee... Ok, Subaru-chan...".

Subaru led us down the hall toward the north end of the building until we got to the stairs, and then up one flight to the third floor. "They say that the stairs to the roof at the north end of the building have thirteen stairs going up and twelve going down! Isn't that...", Subaru sighed and plopped down on one of the steps. "Aaahh! I can't get excited for this one... It's lame...". Uuee, even I think the typical stair mystery is lame, really. "Ah, Subaru-san," Yasuko interjected, "We counted these stairs last summer now that I think of it."

Subaru stood up. "Ehe, yeah, I kinda remember that too". She jabbed her finger in the air, pointing back the way we came. "Ok, club! Onward to the real mysteries! We must search for them without any fear in our hearts of where they lead!".

Track 2
An Investigation Of Seven Mysteries?!


As we walked back towards the clubrooms, Subaru launched into an explanation of the next mystery, at first in her attempt at a spooky voice. "A long time ago... Sometime in the 90s...", she gave up, clearing her throat and going back to talking normally. "They say there was a girl who was in the mining club who died in an accident-".

"Ah," Ran jumped in, in her actually creepy voice. "Some say she was killed. By a love rival for the girl they both liked". She nudged my shoulder in a way that might have seemed friendly if it was Subaru ot someone else doing it and not Ran. "Romantic". She stifled a giggle at her own joke, and Subaru and Yasuko snickered in that way you do at a joke that's bad but sort of funny anyway... I-Is this really just her idea of a joke...?

"Anyway!", Subaru continued. "They say that her ghost haunts the mines!". We came to the door of the mining club room and Subaru threw it open. "Hina-chan!". Hinagiku and a few other girls were looking over a tray of lapis gems inside. Hinagiku said something to her fellow club members and walked over to us in the hallway, closing the door. "Ah, what did you want to talk about, Subaru-chan?".

"Oh, I wanted to ask you about the mystery of the mine ghost!". Hinagiku looked disappointed. "Really?... Ah, wouldn't you rather talk more about rails? I know you were asking if it's possible to install continuous welded rail withou-". Subaru shook her head and interrupted. "Some other time. Right now we're on the trail of the seven mysteries of Shin Ojimachi High!". Hinagiku sighed.

"Aww... Actually, do you believe in ghosts? I mean-", she blushed a bit. "I still believed in them in junior high, so!". Subaru ruffled her hair. "Ehe, not really. Ah, but do you know if the urban legend is true?". Hinagiku shook her head. She seemed depressed talking about it. "I can check the club records and see". She walked back in to the clubroom and rummaged around in a filing cabinet for a few minutes while we milled about in the hallway.

Hinagiku came back to the doorway. "So, the club keeps records of any injuries in the mines. I double checked and there's nothing like that urban legend". She tried to smile. "Ah, we've made some REAL serious improvements over time it looks like, from the records, so that's good, but... Geeze, it's still kinda a downer...". I felt depressed too now, and Subaru looked like she felt a little bad about bringing it up.
___

"Ehe, that didn't go so well either, I guess...", Subaru said, reading on her phone. "The third mystery is the instruments in the music room that play themselves at sunset... I guess we can't do that one right now". I sat down on the floor, leaning back against the wall, and Ran flipped through a glossy reference book, the three of us waiting for Yasuko to get back from the restroom. "Which is after that, Subaru-chan?".

"The place where things dropped roll uphill... Should that one even count?! It's not even on the school grounds! It's just on a side street near here". I glanced across the hallway after hearing footsteps and couldn't help but try and listen in to the two girls' conversation. "Hey hey, Kusanagi-san, whatcha doing on your phone?". Wait, Kusanagi-san?

"Oh... Geeze, don't laugh...". It is Shiori?. "I was playing L*ve L*ve, ok?!"

"Eh, you like stuff like that? I thought you only played serious games like Spl*t**n... Who's your favorite?".

"I can like cute stuff too, can't I?! And... It's embarrassing, but... Aagh, I like Nico... I think girls with twintails are kind of cute, ok?... Ah-". Shiori stopped abruptly and got a kind of... Worried? look on her face when we she saw me sitting there. "Oh, uh, you can go on ahead to clubroom, Narazaki-san". The other girl waved and hurried off. "See ya, Kusanagi-san!". I stood up and ruffled my hair... Uuee, did I pick that up from Subaru now?! "Uuee, hey Shiori-chan..."

She straightened her glasses. "Hey, Umeko-chan," wait, is she blushing a bit? That's weird for Shiori. "D-Don't make any weird assumptions, ok Umeko-chan?!". Huh? "Uueee, uh, ok, Shiori-chan?".

"Oh!", Subaru butted in. "This is one of your friends, right, Umeko-chan? Ah-", she bowed. "I'm Subaru Hashibami! It's nice to meet you! Oh, what club are you in?!". Shiori returned the bow. "Shiori Kusanagi. I'm in the redstone club. Ah, I should probably get going... It was nice meeting you". She turned and started walking away. Subaru leaned towards me, grinning. "Ehe, doesn't your other friend wear her hair in twintails?". It dawned on me what Subaru... and I guess Shiori earlier? were implying.

"Uuee, don't be silly, Subaru-chan! Shiori-chan doesn't think of Ringo-chan that way at all!". For a second I thought I saw Shiori flinch out of the corner of my eye but decided it was my imagination. "Oh! Yasu-chan, you're back!". Ran put her book away in her backpack. "Ah, where were we going next, Subaru-san?".
___

"Oh!", Subaru shouted after checking her phone again. She'd led us to a side street where we seemed to be looking slightly up hill. "This is the place! Ehe, anyone bring a ball or something?". Ran fished a baseball out of her backpack and dropped it. To my shock it really did roll uphill ahead of us.

"UUUEEEEEE?! H-H-How can it...?!". The ball rolled to a stop a dozen or so meters down the street, seemingly perched at the top of a hill. Subaru had an awe-struck expression too, but Ran and Yasuko looked unimpressed.

"Wow! It's some kind of optical illusion you said, right Yasu-chan?!".

Yasuko nodded in response to Subaru. "It's caused when the horizon is obstructed. Ah, actually". She got out her phone and clicked around before placing it at her feet. "Ok, take a look". Confused, I peered at the screen, which seemed to showing how high up we were. She picked up the phone and led us over to where the ball had come to a stop, putting it down next to the ball. "Uueee?! It's really a meter lower?! How does the phone even know?!".

"Ah, it has a digital barometer which measures air pressure by measuring electrical resistance in a strain gauge. The sensor has a relative accuracy of plus minus point zero five hectopascals I think, so it should be accurate to within point four meters...". I was starting to zone out, but Subaru and Ran still seemed to be listening intently.

"And another one checked off the list!", Subaru announced. "Victory is in sight!".

Track 3
A Ghost Haunting The Clubrooms?!


By the time we made it back to the school the sun had started to go down, coloring the sky golden, and I was starting to get worried thinking about how I'd need to go home in the dark. Yasuko had decided not to stay while we investigated the last four mysteries and gone home already, leaving just me, Ran, and Subaru, who looked a little sad.

"Aaagh... Ehe, I don't think we'll have time to research the sixth mystery today... That sucks!".

"What's the sixth mystery, Subaru-chan?". She stopped walking and leaned against a wall, clasping her hands behind her head. "It's the rare pink sheep of the Shin Ojimachi hills. No one knows why they're pink, but they are! ...Or, that's what the story says!". I remembered something. "Uuee! They're real!".

Subaru seemed surprised by my enthusiasm. "Ehe, seriously? Have you seen them?". I scrolled through my phone camera videos until I found the one I took when we went hiking. "Yeah! See, see?!". Subaru and Ran crowded in to watch the video. "...Uueee... This part is where I dropped my phone when I ran to catch up with you guys...". Subaru slapped me on the back. "That's our Umeko! Even when you're clumsy you really come through for us! Ehe, some would say that makes a girl more endearing and moe!". I wasn't sure how I should take that.

"Uuuueeeeee... Uh... Thanks... I guess?". I put my phone back in my pocket and tried to regain what composure I ususally have and avoid looking at Ran's expression. "...What mystery is next then?".

"Ah, the fifth mystery is a real scary one!". We entered the school building and she started leading us in the direction of the library. "They say that in the darkest corner of the library there's a frame that holds a cursed book of enchanting... It hangs upside down, and if anyone touches it... It disappears! And later reappears, like nothing happened!". Soon we made it to the library, following Subaru to a back corner. Sure enough, there was an old-looking framed book.

"Uueee...". I gulped. "S-Should we touch it?". Subaru looked a bit unsure too. "Ehe, we have to to prove it, right? Should I or do you want to...?". Ran glanced back and forth at us, and reached out and grabbed it out of the frame. Nothing happened, and she flipped it open, looking unphased. Me and Subaru peered over her shoulder.

"Hey, hey, what's it say?! One cup flour, two egg-". Subaru looked shocked. "I-It's just a book of pastry recipes?! What?! Why is it even...?!". Ran put it back in the frame, upside down. Subaru shook her head in disbelief. "Well... It's almost sundown. One more mystery before we go after the clubroom ghost."
___

We hurried to the music room, getting there a minute or two before sunset. I was getting tired, so I plopped down on the floor. "Uueee... I'm hungry...". I clicked around on my phone, making sure the bus I take part of the way to and from Akaiwa ran late enough I wouldn't miss it. We waited in silence as sunset approached.

Suddenly we heard a few notes playing, and soon a whole melody. "Uuueeeee... I-It's really playing my itself...". I looked at some of the instruments in the room, but, none of them were moving at all. I felt like I almost remembered the tune, but not quite.

"Beethoven," Ran whispered. "Moonlight Sonata". After only a few moments, the music faded. Subaru started looking around the room. "There's got to be a CD player or something hidden in here somewhere, right?! Right?!". I got up and me and started looking too. I walked up to a large cabinet off in the corner and swore I heard a tiny noise. I put my ear up to it and didn't hear anything else, but I was still curious. I stepped back, took a deep breath, and swung open the cabinet door. As soon as I did, a girl tumbled out of it on top of me and I feel over backwards. "UUUEEEEE!".

Feeling fuzzy as the shock wore off, I squinted at the girl as she clambered to her feet. I blinked a few times in shock. "S-S-Shiori-chan?!". I scrambled to my feet as Subaru and Ran ran over to me. "W-What in the world are you doing here Shiori-chan?!". She straighted her glasses, looking more flustered than I could remember seeing her in a long time. "A-Absolutely nothing! Absolutely!". I had to admit she didn't seem convincing. Subaru seemed to pick up on it too.

"Cmon, Kusanagi-san! What is it?! I can keep it a secret from anyone else I promise! Cmon!". Shiori had an expression like she felt trapped. "I already said! I-It's nothing! I-". Ran quietly interrupted, leaning in to Shiori's ear. "Wouldn't want someone to know about their friend's twintail fetish". Shiori's face went a bit blank.

"T-There's nothing like that! Don't be troublesome! Who even are you?!". Ran just kept smiling. Shiori sighed. "...The redstone club set up note blocks as a prank a long time ago; they're on a daylight sensor. Every Saturday someone changes the tune... I'm just saying this so you don't do anything troublesome, ok?!".
___

It was completely dark as we walked down the corridor toward the clubrooms, with only a half moon in the sky. The only other light was from the Subaru's phone flashlight as she led the way. "Uuee... I'm glad the vending machines still work at night. I was so hungry!". Subaru giggled a little. "Hey... It's not funny! Uueee...". I thought of something as we kept walking.

"You know, Subaru-chan... If you don't believe in ghosts, why did you want to look for one?". Walking next to her I could see her smile. "Well, you never know what might turn out to be true! And besides, even if we don't find anything and it's silly, it's fun to go on an adventure with your friends, isn't it?". It made me feel good to hear her answer.

"Oh, here's our clubroom!". Subaru opened the door and the two of us sat down. "Geeze, didn't Ran say she was gonna meet us? Oh, ehe, what about you, Umeko-chan?". She shined the flashlight on her face like she was telling a campfire ghost story. "Do you belive in ghosts?". I shrugged. "N-Not really, but... It still scares me to think of them... I once thought I saw one, actually...". Subaru looked curious. "Oh?".

"Uueee... When I was younger we used to live in an old house... One night it was really windy; I had just gone to bed and I heard a knocking sound from above me... B-But I didn't want to be scared, so I found a flashlight and went up into the attic". Subaru even looked a little bit scared by now. "A-And I still heard it, but it was like it was coming from outside now... S-So I looked out the window and-". Suddenly I heard a slamming noise and my blood went cold.

"UUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!". Subaru screamed too, and we both snapped our heads around to look at the origin of the sound, in the corner where Ran or Yasuko sometimes sit to read. I blinked a few times through my tears and saw Ran stepping out of the closet, wearing pajamas.

"R-R-R-Ran-chan?!". She yawned. "Good evening Umeko-san, Subaru-chan. Let's look for the ghost?". I tried to process it but couldn't come up with anything, and Subaru looked almost as confused as I did. She cleared her throat. "Ehe... Why are you doing wearing pajamas, Ran-chan?". Ran turned her head away from us. She seemed almost a little embarrassed, another expression I didn't expect from Ran.

"I don't like the noise at home some nights when it's busy. So sometimes I've been sleeping here".

"Busy...?", I asked. Ran just stared at me. "Oh! Ran-chan's family owns a noodle shop... They make the most incredible curry ramen! Eheee...".

"Uuee, S-Subaru-chan, you're drooling...". She wiped her face with her sleeve and ruffled her hair, giggling. "Uuueeee... Ran-chan, wouldn't your parents...". She glared at me, but answered the question. "I tell anyone who asks I'm sleeping over with Subaru-chan". Subaru laughed. "You should just come sleep over for real then, Ran-chan! I wouldn't mind you know! Ehe, I don't think my parents would mind either I think...". It was hard to tell in the dark but I swore Ran actually blushed a tiny bit. She looked at her feet. "I'm ok".
___

Subaru leaned back in her chair, swallowing the last bite of her lunch and taking a swig of her canned tea. "Aaahh... We never did learn anything about the clubroom ghost, did we?". I swallowed a bite of mackerel and sighed. "Uueee... Guess not". As I chewed a piece of egg I thought about it, almost choking as I came to a realization.

"It must have been Ran-chan! Ran-chan was the ghost people saw!". Ran and Yasuko looked dumbfounded. A grin crept over Subaru's face. She grabbed my hands suddenly. "It's brilliant, Umeko-chan! That must be it! We solved all seven mysteries!".

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 04:38:01 AM »
Right now battling lack of interest and ideas to bring you part 6

In the mean time, happy birthday Shiori Kusanagi (September 15)!

Honestly there's not much of a point to this post, but
Here's all the birthdays so you know when to not actually celebrate;

Subaru Hashibami – 7 February
Umeko Takenaka – 10 March
Ran Kimura – 19 August
Shiori Kusanagi – 15 September
Ringo Yutani – 3 November
Yasuko Matsuoka – 23 December

real character profiles and ART someday
I need to focus more on the real main characters and less on Ringo and especially Shiori tbh

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2017, 05:05:47 AM »
ToroKoko – Rideable Minecart High School 6th Book
So while doing this I read some of Citrus and let me summarize the plot of it

Track 1
A Moe Anime Club?!


I let out a sigh, stretching my arms and laying down on the roof. "Uuueeeee... I'm so glad exams are over with for now... I wish I could do as well as you do though, Shiori-chan...". Shiori put down her chopsticks. "You just need to be conscientous about studying, Umeko-chan. Ah, high school tests are pretty challenging though. I don't know when the last time I didn't ace an exam was... Ah, sorry, I didn't mean to brag."

"Uhuhu, did Shiori Kusanagi-sama not score 100 this tim-UGUHKhuhu". Shiori shut Ringo up by flicking a bottlecap at her forehead. "Shi-o-riiinnnn... Sorry". I giggled a little and Shiori rolled her eyes. "Oh, I'm glad you did fine on your exams despite being disciplined, Ringo-chan".

"I wasn't even gonna read it! I just always buy Comic Y*r* H*m* on the day it comes out! I couldn't enjoy it fully at school anyway...". Shiori blushed a bit and turned her head away at Ringo's reply, straightening her glasses. "No one needs to know about that". Ringo grinned mischievously and leaned in towards Shiori. "Was I saying anything like that? Uhuhu, are you sure you're not the one with the dirty mind here, Shiorin?". I felt like I was missing something embarrassing here.

"I-I-It's nice to eat lunch together again, Shiori-chan, Ringo-chan... It feels like we've all been so busy lately with club stuff and the midterms...". I sighed again. "Uueee... Especially me not making time for doing stuff with you guys...". Shiori shook her head. "No, it's good that you're spending time on club activities. Oh, how are things going? You said you were building a new rail, right?". I nodded.

"Yeah, but, uueeeee... We've barely gotten anything done especially with exams. The forestry club said our survey map was no good so we need to do another one with them starting on Monday... What about you, Shiori-chan?".

"We've still been working on projects with comparators a lot. Oh, did you know there's an experiment you can do with a cake and a comparator?". I shook my head. I only kinda know what a comparator is and it doesn't seem like something that would have anything to do with cakes. "Ah, so, you cut a cake into seven slices and put a comparator on front of it, and it will output a fourteen strength signal that'll decrease by two for each slice you take."

"Uuueeee? How does that work?".

"Well, it's similar to a potato batt-". Ringo jumped in, cutting Shiori off. "Uhu, more importantly, is this some kind of moe anime club where you just make excuses to eat cakes everyday or what?". Shiori seemed to be getting a bit annoyed, and straightened her glasses again. "No. We're a serious club".

Ringo leaned back against the wall. "Eeeehhh? That's good I guess." Shiori grinned. "Oh? You're out of things to say, Ringo-chan?". Ringo crossed her legs. "Yep! Geeze, I can be serious too". Shiori snickered and stood up, the sun glinting off her glasses and obscuring one lens completely.

"So, you're declaring your defeat then at the hands of Shiori Kusanagi-sama? You were always a hundred years too early to face me anyway". Me and Ringo burst out laughing, and after a moment Shiori started laughing along with us and sat back down. "Aaagh, I got some sun in my eye doing that".

Ringo laid down, resting her head on her clasped hands. "You know, Umechii, I get what you mean. I miss when it seemed like we could just be carefree all the time. But we can still be carefree when we have the time to, right?". She sat back up. "Hey, since we don't have classes tomorrow, wanna come over to my place? It's been ages and I picked up a new fighting game the other day!".

I nodded, gathering up my lunchbox. "Yeah! That'd be fun. What about you, Shiori-chan?". She closed up her bottle of water. "Sure. Ah, text me about it later, ok Ringo-chan?". I turned to leave. "One more thing Umechii!", Ringo got my attention. "Uhuhu... Ask me for advice if you want to enhance your relationship," she put her hand on my shoulder and her eyes seemed a little... sparkly?

"There's knowledge an innocent maiden just wouldn't kno-UGHUK". Shiori hit her pretty hard. "Don't put weird ideas in her head!".

"Uuueee... Uh... I'm gonna get going and I'll see you guys tomorrow?".
___

I yawned as I opened the door to the clubroom. "Good afternoon, guys". I heard Subaru shout something unintelligible as I stepped in. She gulped down whatever she was eating before trying again. "Umeko-chan, guess what?! Ran brought a cake!". I tried to process it; I wouldn't have guessed Ran would be one to bring something like that and I started thinking about what Ringo and Shiori said. I pulled out a chair and sat down, more hesitantly than usual. "So, you want some Umeko-chan?! Right?!".

"Uuueeeee... N-N-No thank you Subaru-chan...". I stuttered out. "Eeeeehh? You sure? That's not like you!", she replied, glancing at the cake. "And there's this much left... I can't eat it all, Umeko-chan!... Ehe, maybe one more slice..."

"I-I need to watch what I eat though!", I said. It was true even if it wasn't my real reason. Uueee, I don't get how Subaru can eat so much... "Eeeh... You're pretty thin anyway, Umeko-chan, so some cake isn't going to hurt you, right?". She snapped her fingers. "Ehe, maybe it'll all go to your breasts like Yasu-chan!".

"Ah, Subaru-san, that's a bit..." Yasuko protested. I felt myself blushing, and Subaru sheepishly grinned and ruffled her hair, cutting herself another slice of cake. I looked around and noticed the model kit Yasuko bought for me still sitting on the shelf and made up my mind. Okay! I'm going to do club stuff! I conspicuously pushed my chair back and got it down. My determined expression quickly melted as I remembered how intimidating it looked.

"...Want a slice of cake, Umeko-chan?", Subaru asked, pushing the box towards me. I hung my head. "Uuueee... Yes Subaru-chan". I cut myself a slice and started eating. "Is something bothering you, Umeko-san?". Yasuko's question caught me off guard a little, but I nodded. "I-I was just thinking about something my friend said... I don't want to be in a club only to eat cakes and hang out, but I still don't know much about minecarts..."

"Umeko-san. What is it about minecarts that makes you want to be in this club?". I was surprised Ran seemed to be talking to me kinda normally and it took me a moment to think of my answer. "I... You see... Well, I-I like to cook even if I'm not good at it, so I understand being joyful about the work you put in to making something... And it's actually pretty interesting how all the little parts in something like that works together, it's...", I searched around in my head for a metaphor.

"Like a soup!". I wasn't surprised when Subaru started laughing but I still felt embarrassed. She grinned, still choking back laughter. "That's a good answer. I mean it! You know, I'm really glad you joined the club, Umeko-chan! Ah, and not just because otherwise we'd be on the way to getting shut down, ehe..."

Oh, I know!", she added. "I'll help you learn all the tricks for putting model kits like these together! It's really not scary at all."

Track 2
A Goal Before Summer Vacation?!


Silencing the alarm clock on my phone, I sat up and stretched my arms. Glancing over at a shelf I saw the model kit Subaru helped me put together. It's already June! Summer is almost here! Finally I can wear my summer uniform! I smiled, hopping out of bed and down the hall to brush my teeth. "Uhehe", I giggled a bit to myself looking at my reflection in the mirror. "My hair's gotten pretty long...". Uuueee, 15 is too old to be talking to yourself isn't it?!

Returning to my room I slipped out of my pajamas and pulled on my uniform when I had an idea. I rummaged through a drawer and dashed back to the bathroom, tying my hair up in twintails.

On my long way to school I started thinking about my first two months at Shin Ojimachi. It's only been two months, but I'm already starting to feel more confident as a high school girl! I've learned a lot too, and lately we've been doing a lot of stuff at the club to get permission from the forestry club to build the new rail. Getting off the bus, I skipped the rest of the way to school, enjoying the refreshing feeling of short sleeves.

"Oi, Ringo-chan!". Shiori? I glanced about, expecting to see her and Ringo somewhere, then turned around to see Shiori. She blinked a few times, a look of shock and a slight blush creeping across her face. "Huh, Umeko-chan? Why are you... Geeze, for a second I thought you were Ringo-chan from behind because of your hair". We started walking towards class together. "Uuuee... I just noticed my hair hadn't been cut in a while and thought it would be fun."

Uuee, I guess twintails make her excited so... I froze. Uuuueeee?! Why am I thinking about that?! Oh no, am I becoming a pervert from hanging around Ringo and older girls?! Even for a high school girl it's not normal to think about what your friends like like that is it?!

"Umeko-chan, you can't sit there all day". I snapped out of it and noticed Shiori standing in the doorway of the classroom. "Uuuee... Yeah, Shiori-chan...". I decided to pull the ribbons out before stepping into class. Uueee, so much for my confidence now, I guess.

The rest of the day in class and lunch with Shiori and Ringo was exhausting but luckily more uneventful, and after what felt like forever I made it to the clubroom, setting my backpack aside and flopping down into a chair, collapsing on the table. "Uuueeee... I'm so tired today..."

"Listen up, Umeko-chan!". I jumped a bit at Subaru shouting in my ear. "Alright! Now that everyone is here, it's time to go over our club goals for the last few weeks of the semester". She made a determined fist. "The whole world will judge us on if we succeed or fail! Our summer vacation hangs in the balance! We can't possibly enjoy it with a guilty conscious from not achieving our dreams!". She scanned the room. I noticed Ran and Yasuko politely clapping in response to her motivational speech and clumsily joined in too.

"Aha! I found it!", she yelled, picking up a piece of construction paper and holding it up. "...B-Break ground on the new rail by the end of June?", I asked. She flashed a grin and a thumbs up. "...I couldn't think of anything else! Ehe, but it's a good goal, huh?". I blinked, processing it all. It's still hard for me to keep up with how fast Subaru goes sometimes. "Y-Yeah... Uh...".

I wondered if my question was silly for a second. "W-We know how to build a rail r-right?". Subaru's eyes darted around and she ran her hand through her hair. "Ehe... Hina-chan has been giving us advice on the stuff I didn't know". Ran looked up from her book, briefly. "We need a new rolling mill". She quickly returned to being engrossed in what she was reading. "Ah, I made sure we had money set aside for tools in the club budget for the semester, so it shouldn't be an issue."

"Oh! That's our Yasu-chan! Ehe, it's almost like you're the real club president and not me sometimes". Subaru cleared her throat. "See, Umeko-chan! There's nothing to worry about! Well, not too much... But anyway! In the meantime, now that the survey map is done, while we wait for the forestry club to review it..."

"...I have no idea!".

"Uuuueeeee?!". She ruffled her hair again. "Ehehehehe... Well... We could test the minecart some more!".

"Ah, that would be fun, but...", Yasuko responded. "We already tested it a lot."

"We ran out of lubricating oil", Ran added. "Hmm... Oh! We still need to figure out who to ask for permission to build on the Akaiwa side of the hills."

"I-I think it's municipal land...", I spoke up. "Uuueee... Would they really take a school club seriously?". Subaru slammed her hand down on the table. "School clubs are very serious! High school clubs are the building blocks of society! Without them it would be like the youth of society were adrift on the ocean!". She kept up her pose and determined expression for a moment before hanging her head.

"Aaahhh... You might be right...". She sat back down, and just as soon as she did she snapped her fingers, seeming like all her energy had suddenly come back to her. "Aha! I know! If there's nothing else to do let's go to D*nny's on Saturday! It's decided then!".

"Uuueee...? O-Ok...".

Track 3
Something Like A Date?!


I caught my breath as I finally made it to the restaurant, after jogging from the bus stop. I checked the time on my phone. "...I'm already ten minutes late... Uueee, I didn't want to keep Subaru-chan and the others waiting...".

"Eh? Umeko-chan?!". Uuee? I looked up to see Subaru. "S-Subaru-chan? I-Is something wrong?". I couldn't figure out why she seemed surprised. "I just wondered why you were here is all. Ran-chan and Yasu-chan had errands to run so I figured I'd just have lunch by myself". She glanced at her phone before looking up and ruffled her hair a bit. "Ehe, I guess I didn't text you like I meant to. Well, eating with friends is better anyway, right?!". We stepped in to the restaurant and a waiter welcomed us and lead us to a table.

"Ehe, with just the two of us though it feels kind of like a date, doesn't it?". I wasn't sure how to respond. "Uuee... I don't really know?". Subaru says embarrasing things like that sometimes. "Oh! I know... Do you have any boy you like, Umeko-chan? Ehehe, or maybe you like girls better?!".

"Uuueee, I-". Subaru glanced away a bit and cut me off. "Ehe, maybe that was a bit too much too soon for a moe character like you, Umeko-chan". Uuueee, why does Subaru always call me that?! That's some anime thing right?! I sighed. "N-No, I don't really have anyone I like... Uuee, are you ready to order?".

"Oh, yeah, sure, as long as you are!". She tapped the call button and the waiter came over to our table. "What would you like, miss?". Subaru answered almost before he finished asking her. "Pork cutlet! Ah, with the eggplant and spinach side."

"And for you, miss?". I panicked for a second before remembering what I wanted. "I-I'll have the h-hamburger steak with egg please...". We sat in an awkward silence for a moment before I broke it. "W-What about you, Subaru-chan? Uuuee, I mean, do you have anyone you like?". She seemed to think about it deeply.

"...I like everyone!". Uuuueeeee?! "...Ehe, I mean, not like that though, I guess". She flipped through a menu. "Oh! For dessert they have a giant parfait for two!". She put it back in the holder and again looked like she was deep in thought. "Ah, if we got that then it'd really be a date! Ehe, we aren't even on a real date so that'd be a bit too embarrassing, huh?".

"Y-Y-Yeah... Uuuee...". I shifted awkwardly in my chair. "Do you have any plans for summer vacation, Subaru-chan?". She looked up from her phone. "Not really right now. Aaah, Yasu-chan is going to America again this summer and said I could come but it's so expensive... What about you Umeko-chan?".

"I might go to Hokkaido with my parents... Uueee, Yasuko-chan gets to do so many cool things though...". The waiter returned with our food and I started quietly eating. "Can you believe having a job after school is against the regulations? But summer jobs are fine for some reason... Aaagh, I dunno how I could come up with a hundred thousand yen, so I might just find one anyway!".

"H-How is it, Subaru-chan... I've actually never had the pork cutlet here...", I changed the subject. She looked up and I noticed she'd already eaten most of her cutlet. Uuueee?! How did she eat so much of it so fast?! "It's great! Ehe, if there's one food I'm passionate about it's pork cutlet!".

"Uuueee... Y-You have some sauce on your cheek". She blinked and then licked it off, ruffling her hair again. "Ah, you know in the movies and anime how when people are dating and when some food gets on their girlfriend's face sometimes they lick it off them? Don't you think that'd be way too much in real life?!". I giggled a little. "Uuueee, yeah... I think I'd die of embarrasment...". I finished my hamburger and, unable to resist, started looking over the dessert menu.

Subaru threw her hand down on the call button. "I'll take the giant parfait!". I was surprised and looked down at the table as the waiter left. "Eh, you don't want anything, Umeko-chan?. "Uue?" I looked up. "D-Didn't you get the parfait for two?... I-I Mean, I guess it isn't really embarrasing for friends to share something like that, so...".

"Eeeh? Why are you blushing, Umeko-chan?" A-A-Am I?. "-Ehehehe... I was just really hungry so I got one for myself!". I blinked a few times. "Ueh?". After not long, the waiter brought out the parfait with two spoons. "I-I guess I'll have some then."

"Ah, sure go ahead... Wait though, are you saying you don't think I can finish it all?! Just you watch me!". Uuueee...
___

"Aaaaaah... I feel a little sick... Why didn't you save me and eat more, Umeko-channnnnn?". Uuueee, I almost thought there was no way she could ever eat so much she got sick... "I-I wasn't that hungry anymore and I thought you still wanted it... Uuueee, and it was a little embarrassing after all..."

"Oh, Umechii!". I looked and saw Ringo a few meters away. Uuueee, she isn't going to say anything weird since I'm alone with Subaru is she? "H-Hey Ringo-chan". She walked over to us. "Oh! This is one of your friends, right Umeko-chan?!".

"Y-Yeah. This is Ringo Yutani-chan. A-And Ringo-chan, this is Subaru Hashibami-chan... S-So what are you up to Ringo-chan?". I tried to keep the conversation going. "Oh, just buying some manga...". She took a book with a weird cover of a blonde-haired girl with messy clothes and a sad expression laying on top of another girl out of the plastic bag she was holding. "W-What's it about?".

"Uhu... Well...", she looked a bit more uncomfortable than usual talking about it, maybe because Subaru was there. "It's a yuri love story between two stepsisters". Uuuee, if it's that kind of weird book I'm kind of sorry I asked... "What about you though Umechii?".

"Uuee, n-nothing much, w-we were just having lunch as a club...".

"Ehe, no one else could make it though, so it almost felt like a date!". Uuuee?! W-What are you doing Subaru? Ringo grinned. "Uhuhuhuh... So tell me, is this your first date Umechii or have you been out before?".

"Uuuee, I-It's not really like that Ringo-chan...".

"Aagh, I need to get going anyway. Later, Umechii!". Ringo started to walk away but turned around after a few steps, flashing a thumbs up. "Oh, I just want you know you have my blessing for this, Hashibami-san!". She turned back around and skipped away.

"...Ehehe, your friend is pretty interesting huh, Umeko-chan?".

"Uuuueee... I-I mean, she's cool but... Yeah...". I let out a sigh. "Uuaah, I should head home...".

Snack

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 02:40:32 AM »
Book 6 omake
Vruet make sure to complain about Ringo's taste in fighting games

Omake track
Manga.


Shiori's Side.

It's me again, Shiori Kusanagi. Today I was going to visit my childhood friend Ringo's house and play a new game she got, so... Yeah, that's why I'm here.

"Haahh... I wonder what insanity Ringo has for me today...". I stepped up to the door of the house and was about to knock when I heard someone calling me. "Hey, Shiori-chan! Uuueee, I thought I was gonna be late!". I turned around on the doorstep. "Ah, good afternoon Umeko-chan". I knocked on the door, quickly hearing rapid footsteps before it was flung open.

"Shiorin! Umechii! Good afternoon. Uhu, come right in". I stepped into the entryway, slipping out of my shoes and into a pair of slippers. "My parents are away, so you don't have to feel like you're imposing either!". I noticed Umeko smile sheepishly and ruffle her hair. She's picked that up as a tic from Hashibami, I guess?

"Ah, is the PS4 still in your room, Ringo-chan?". She nodded. "Yeah, you can head right up if you want, I'm just gonna look for some snacks."

"Uuee, I'm going to use the bathroom first then I'll be right up, Shiori-chan". Well, ok. I went upstairs and into Ringo's room, sitting down on the carpet by the TV stand. "Ah, is this the game Ringo-chan was talking about?". I picked up the case. "D*ng*k* B*nk* Fighting Climax Ignition?". These kinds of games always have such ridiculous titles. I don't know many of these characters... I put the case down and leaned back agaist Ringo's bed.

Is there something there? I turned around. "Oh, there's something sticking out". I suddenly felt tempted to look inside it. "That wouldn't be...". I thought of the last time Ringo came to my house and ransacked my room.

"Nevermind". I pulled the cardboard box out and opened it. "...Of course it's all manga, typi-". Wait, this is all R18 manga?! H-How does she even-

"Ah. So you saw it". I felt a chill and turned around to see Ringo with a dark expression. I'm never going to live this down so maybe I should just fake my own death now... She grinned, making her usual goofy face and jumped down onto her hands and knees over me, blocking me from escaping and trying to jump out a window or something. "Uhuhuhu, just like I thought, you totally have a dirty mind, don't you Shiorin?!".

"I-I didn't even look at any of them! These aren't something a high school girl should even have!". Can   I just jump out that window now?

Umeko's side.

"Ah, I wonder what kind of snacks Ringo-chan has today?". I skipped up the stairs and towards Ringo's room, pushing on the partially opened door and steppinng in. "Did you find anything good Ringo-cha...". I took in what I was seeing, with Shiori laying against the bed and Ringo on her hands and knees over her. "Ueh?". I blinked a few times, not quite able to thing of a response.

"It's nothing like that at all, Umeko-chan! Don't be stupid! And that applies even more to you Ringo-chan!".

"No fair, Shiorin, you were the one who was snooping! Uhu, she's right though that it's not like that, Umechii... Dating a tsundere like her would be too high-maintenance anyway". Shiori looked even angrier after Ringo said that.

"Uuueee... I'm so confused...".

Omake track
Stakeout.


"Ehe, it's really too bad you and Yasu-chan were both busy today. Ok, see you later Ran-chan!". Subaru waved and turned towards the restaurant. Ran was about to turn and go on her way herself when she happened to notice Umeko near the restaurant entrance, catching her breath, and decided her errands could wait. She took up a position in the bushes not far from the window and watched as Subaru and Umeko entered and took their table. Isn't this kind of like a date then if it's just the two of them? Maybe Umeko-san is more of a rival than I even realized... They just seemed to be making ordinary smalltalk and eating.

"Ah, what in the world are you doing there, Ran-san?".

H-How can it be the very last person I would want to be busted by? "Ah, Yasu-chan...". Ran pointed at the window. "...Are you spying on them?".

"Uh... Yes". Yasuko sighed. "You're jealous of Umeko-san, aren't you?". Ran shook her head emphatically. "I just don't think she should take Subaru-chan."

Ah... I-Isn't that the same thing?, Yasuko thought. Ran went back to watching. Her eyes got wide. "Sharing a parfait now. Doesn't that count as an i-indirect kiss?". Ran jumped up and Yasuko grabbed on to her to stop her from running into the restaurant. "You shouldn't, Ran-san!". Both of them tumbled over.

Yasuko sighed. "We should really go before anyone sees us here. Ran shrugged her shoulders. "Fiiiinnne, Yasu-chan...".

Notes

I debated whether or not to post either of these, mainly because I'm not sure what I think of the characterization. The first one is kind of a little over-the-top in general I feel (even it being Ringo I dunno about her having a box full of H doujins), and I think Shiori acts slightly out of character by looking in the box in the first place. Umeko also acted a bit out of character by almost immediately assuming it was a sexual situation, but I cut the line before posting because the scene works well enough without it. I debated this writing Book 6, Track 2 as well, specifically the paragraph where Umeko's thoughts wander to Shiori's thing for twintails. This was also toned down slightly; originally Umeko specifically said "turned on" and not "excited", which seemed a bit too much for her. For that matter, in her first spoken line in Book 1 she originally stated her ambition as being "to become a sexy and confident high school girl!", not "beautiful".

The second one I think suffers from me not writing much in third person, as well as from me not spending enough time developing Ran and Yasuko as characters. Part of the reason I wrote it in third person to begin with is I didn't think I could do a good job with Ran's internal monologue, although I ended up having to attempt that anyway to make it interesting and fill time. I guess while I'm rambling about what I cut out I'll post some deleted scenes from other chapters.

Book 5, Track 1

"Uuee, Subaru-chan... Uuuu, maybe this is rude, but... How do you get your hair to be purple like that?". She stopped and I was afraid I had been rude. She turned around and grinned. "A secret makes a woman, woman", she replied, in English again. Ran stifled a giggle and I was left unbelievably confused. It was weird to hear Ran laugh, and even though I kind of understood what she said I felt like it was a joke that went way over my head. "Uueee... So, are we going to research the mysteries now?".

[This was cut because it felt awkward, particularly the dumb meta-joke; Subaru's quote was notably used by a character in Detective Conan, and Ran shares her name with Detective Conan's main female protagonist. Instead in the final version, Subaru does the Ranka wink.

Macross did it first, Nico]

Book 6, Track 1

"Uhuhu, did Shiori Kusanagi-sama not score 100 this tim-UGUHKhuhu". Shiori shut Ringo up by flicking a bottlecap at her forehead. "Shi-o-riiinnnn... Sorry". I giggled a little and Shiori rolled her eyes. "Oh, I'm glad you did fine on your exams despite being disciplined, Ringo-chan".

"I wasn't even gonna read it! I always buy Comic Y*r* H*m* on the day it comes out. I couldn't enjoy it fully at school anyway...". Shiori seemed to blush a bit at Ringo's reply. "A-are you- I don't need to know about tha-". Ringo grinned and laughed. "Uhuhu, no, no". She leaned back on the roof, resting her head on her clasped hands. "I have better stuff... Uhu, the perks of having an older sister who understands your interests...". Shiori went completely red.

[So, that's how she gets her H-manga. Ringo goes WAY over the top here, and the implications would've gotten pretty awkward if Ringo still ended up buying Citrus (the manga she buys in Book 6, Track 3), which she would've probably since it's already established here she's an avid reader of Comic Yuri Hime]
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 02:42:22 AM by Snack »

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Sadly not Rideable Minecart High School
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 08:19:05 PM »
Due to some circumstances which I will not go in to I've been in no mood for some time write Rideable Minecart High School; even at the best of times it can be hard for me to move the story along while keeping up a cheerful tone and I definitely haven't been anywhere near my best for most of this past month or two. There's been some other projects I've been considering or working on but the main one of those I haven't worked on much either, mainly because I'm lazy and don't feel like creating a bunch of all new characters.

Then there's another project I felt compelled to do; I have it basically thought out in my head to a greater extent than most of my ideas but for various reasons I am now even less confident about it than is usual for my stories and I planned to keep it to myself at least for a long time. I've kind of had fun writing some battle scenes (something I obviously can't do for ToroKoko) for this and my other prospective project though, so against any better judgement I decided to post what I have so far. I made a point of avoiding character names but especially if you know me well at all it should be easy enough to guess what is going on, I just feel like being cryptic. This is probably closer to my default style of writing than ToroKoko where I try to keep it upbeat; darker, angrier, and pretty overwrought. It ends a bit abruptly I know.

Some asides. I decided early on I wanted to use Irish for attack callouts here (another long-ish story). Irish is kinda more divergent than I would've expected for an Indo-European language and when I wanted to write a snippet of real dialogue I was totally lost (I'm not actually good with languages, I just pretend to be, plus I was far less familiar with the Celtic languages than the Romance or, obviously, Germanic ones), so if anyone here is Irish I should probably apologize for likely mangling it badly. Also, I need to start writing in wider windows; whenever I post stuff here what I thought were nice substantial paragraphs are actually kind of slim.

Actually "wider" is fitting here. Ha ha... Also I need a dumb blog, this is actually longer than the story text.

_____

The girl leapt backwards out of the path of the spearhead, the chain-linked shaft coiling behind it like a scorpion's tail, the purple and golden sky reflected on it as it crashed and buried itself in the ground. She somersaulted backwards, her white cape billowing around her, before she hit the water, plunging into the river. She closed her eyes, tightly grasping her sword in her right hand, and held out her left in front of her. She spoke, somehow, but couldn't understand the words. "Uisce Céim!".

She felt the water under her push her up. She shifted her weight forward and rode the column upwards, shooting up out of the river, silhouetted against the underside of an airplane roaring into the evening sky behind her. She focused her eyes on her adversary, another girl about her age, her long red hair and red tunic waving violently in a gust of wind. The red-haired girl yanked on the handle of her spear, dislodging the tip from the earth and pulling the segmented shaft together.

"There's no need for you to fight her; let's withdraw!". Floating above the riverbank she glanced aside at the small animal, sitting on the roof of a building. "If she wants to fight... I'm not going to lose to her or run away, ever!". She closed her eyes, breathing deeply. "I riocht is go bhfaighidh mo focail leat...", she held her sword with both hands, turning it so its cutting edge faced up, tip aimed at the other girl. She released a safety and pulled the trigger.

"Síon Lann!". With a flash and a burst of steam, the blade launched from the hilt. The spent cartridge ejected from the chamber, and she swiftly retrieved a fresh cartridge from her cloak and inserted it, liquid metal flowing from the hilt and forming a new blade. As it flew, the blade exploded, blanketing the riverbank in a storm of ice needles.

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Re: Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2017, 05:34:44 AM »
Sadly I still haven't been working much at all on Rideable Minecart High School. However, I did make a little bit more progress on book 7 and I can share Turb's new sketch of Ran



With that, here's the full first chapter draft of my other project.

__________

The girl leapt backwards out of the path of the spearhead, the chain-linked shaft coiling behind it like a scorpion's tail, the purple and golden sky reflected on it as it crashed and buried itself in the ground. She somersaulted backwards, her white cape billowing around her, before she hit the water, plunging into the river. She closed her eyes, tightly grasping her sword in her right hand, and held out her left in front of her. She spoke, somehow, but couldn't understand the words. "Uisce Céim!".

She felt the water under her push her up. She shifted her weight forward and rode the column upwards, shooting up out of the river, silhouetted against the underside of an airplane roaring into the evening sky behind her. She focused her eyes on her adversary, another girl about her age, her long red hair and red tunic waving violently in a gust of wind. The red-haired girl yanked on the handle of her spear, dislodging the tip from the earth and pulling the segmented shaft together.

"There's no need for you to fight her; let's withdraw!". Floating above the riverbank she glanced aside at the small animal, sitting on the roof of a building. "If she wants to fight... I'm not going to lose to her or run away, ever!". She closed her eyes, breathing deeply. "I riocht is go bhfaighidh mo focail leat...", she held her sword with both hands, turning it so its cutting edge faced up, tip aimed at the other girl. She released a safety and pulled the trigger.

"Síon Lann!". With a flash and a burst of steam, the blade launched from the hilt. The spent cartridge ejected from the chamber, and she swiftly retrieved a fresh cartridge from her cloak and inserted it, liquid metal flowing from the hilt and forming a new blade. As it flew, the blade exploded, blanketing the riverbank in a storm of ice needles.
_____

The girl jolted up, in her ordinary bed and ordinary room. "...A dream?". Her memory of it was already faded. "Gah, a weird one too!". She glanced at the alarm clock on her nightstand. "Aagh, I can't believe I woke up early all because of a stupid dream like that!". She reluctantly pulled herself out of bed to get ready for school, pulling on her uniform, combing her hair, and affixing a small golden clip in her hair. She yawned and opened the bedroom door, making her way down the hall to brush her teeth.

"Ah, good morning Sayaka; you're up early today."

"Good morning mom". Sayaka straightened her hairpin again in the bathroom mirror. "Yeah, I guess. I'll actually have time to eat breakfast before I leave for school". She struck a pose. "Alright! I'm feeling good about today!". She ran back to her room to grab her bag and dashed down the stairs to the dining room. She yawned as she took a plate and sat down, scooping up a fried egg and slice of tomato from the serving platter and grabbing a slice of toast.

"Good morning Sayaka". She took a bite of her breakast. "Good morning dad". Her father flipped through the pages of his newspaper. She caught a glance of one of the headlines, something about a case of amnesia in Shinjuku. "Be sure to thank Madoka-chan for the tomatos again for me; they're delicious."

"Yeah, I will. Madoka's dad is really good at gardening, huh?". She finished off her toast and slung her bag over her shoulder. "I better get going". Sayaka stood up, stretching her arms. She set her plate down in the sink and headed out the door. "See you later!". She took a more leisurely pace walking to school today, enjoying having the time to spare.

"Good morning Sayaka-san!". She turned around and paused. "Oh, good morning Hitomi! Heh, for once I'm not the one catching up with you, huh?". Hitomi smiled. "And Madoka-san is still last". Sayaka giggled. "Hehe, naturally".

"Hitomi-chan! Sayaka-chan!". Sayaka and Hitomi smiled. "There she is, huh? Good morning!". Sayaka looked her over. "Back to your usual ribbons, huh Madoka?". Madoka put her hand behind her head, looking a little embarrassed. "Y-Yeah... The other ones just felt too flashy and it wasn't really me". The three girls started walking and Madoka sighed. "I've been feeling like someone was watching me in class... Is that crazy?".

"Do you think it's that transfer student, Madoka-san?", Hitomi offered.

"If there's that kind of creep I'll take care of them!". Sayaka grinned. "After all, Madoka is all mine!". Madoka just looked more embarrassed and Hitomi rolled her eyes. "Uh, T-Thanks, Sayaka-chan..."
_____

Sayaka yawned as she stepped out of the classroom. "Hey, Madoka, wanna stop and eat somewhere again?". Madoka shook her head. "I don't really feel like it today, and Hitomi-chan couldn't anyway. She has piano lessons tonight". Sayaka shrugged. "Ah well... Oh geeze, I forgot my bag! I'll catch up with you, ok?". She dashed back into the classroom and retrieved her bag before walking out.

She quickly caught back up with Madoka and Hitomi outside the school. "Hehe, sorry about that... Hey, anyway, did you figure out if it really was that transfer student girl who was leering at you Madoka? What's even her name again, anyway?". She shook her head. "No... I mean, I wasn't going to go up and ask her, so... She's Akemi Homura-chan, right?".

"Something like that sounds right, yeah. What is up with her anyway?! Lately she seems like she's trying some weird image change ditching the braids and glasses and acting all edgy". Soon enough the three of them came to an intersection. Sayaka turned and stretched her arms. "I'm going downtown today. See ya tomorrow!".

"Oh, you're visiting the hospital again today, Sayaka-chan?". She blushed a little at Madoka's question. "Heh, yeah, I guess". She waved and crossed the street to make her way to the station, climbing the stairs to the elevated platform and boarding a half-empty inbound train. Taking a seat, she plugged a pair of earbuds into her music player and pressed play, a gentle violin melody filling her ears. Sayaka closed her eyes, the fifteen minutes to Kawasaki Station seeming to pass even quicker.

Stepping off the train, she crossed the elevated pedestrian tunnel toward the shopping center. As she walked, she got a strange feeling she couldn't quite shake. Looking around, she saw no one else in the tunnel, and as she passed by the open air pedestrian deck the sky was completely dark.

Sayaka came to a stop, standing in the middle of the empty tunnel and pondering. "Was it this late already? Geeze, visting hours must be over already...". She glanced over her shoulder back towards the station. "Should I just go home?". She heard a small noise, and turned back to look at the pedestrian deck. A small animal walked into the light at the at the entrance from outside.

"...A cat?". Squinting at it in the glare, she could make out a cat-like body with brown fur, short, rounded ears like a teddy bear, and a bushy tail curled at the end like a cartoon squirrel. She blinked a few times and turned around to leave.

"Miki Sayaka?".

She looked around but didn't see anyone. "A-Am I hearing things now? What the heck?!".

"Over here!". She turned again in the direction the voice was coming from, again seeing no one, except for the 'cat', which had walked into the tunnel and was now gazing up at her. "You're Miki Sayaka, right? I think you can help me with a big problem I have."

"D-Did you just talk?! H-How do you even know my name?!".

"Ah, pardon me, I should explain myself. I know this must be startling to you. Have a seat". Sayaka glanced down to see a cushion having appeared without explanation. The surroundings seemed to have changed as well, the pedestrian tunnel gone and replaced by a small, square room, empty except for her, the animal, the cushion, and four and a half tatami mats. Reluctantly she sat down. "I'm Nanabey, an angel. Ah, I suppose my official job would be 'incubator' but that doesn't sound nice, does it? I certainly don't like it. So just think of me as an angel, ok?".

"...What?". Sayaka was dumbfounded. Nanabey scratched her head with a front paw. "I guess it's a lot to take in. Well, to put it simply, I'm interested in recruiting you as a magical girl. You seem to have an important errand here, so I don't want to keep you any longer. Please remember this". Nanabey waved her paw and a series of numbers appeared in front of her. They circled around Sayaka and dissipated in front of her face. "If you're interested at all, you can reach me at this phone number. If not, please just consider this another weird dream, ok, Miki Sayaka? Oh, and if you are interested, just also keep in mind that this job could be quite dangerous."

"Another... Hey, wait, what the hell, you can't just leave after saying so much weird stuff!...".

"Are you alright, miss?". She suddenly found herself sitting up against the wall across from the entrance from the pedestrian deck. She looked up the concerned station employee. "Y-Yeah... I guess I'm just tired". She stood up and looked out at the evening sky in the gateway across from her.

"Maybe I should get a coffee."
_____

Sayaka dropped the empty plastic cup and hamburger wrapper in a trash bin and sighed, glancing across the front courtyard of the shopping center. "I need to get going...". Still feeling a little dazed, she crossed the courtyard and passed through a door on the righthand side. A few more doors and she found herself in a narrow alleyway between the shopping center and a nearby office building.

"Did I take a wrong turn somewhere?". She turned around to find the way she came choked by a curtain of thick vines with an otherworldy silvery green color. "...I-Is this another dream?". She reached out to pull the vines away.

"Miki Sayaka, don't touch that!". Before the words registered, she grasped hold of one of the vines, at first feeling cool and metallic in her hand. All of a sudden she felt a searing heat from the vine and a screeching noise echoed in her ears.

"Aaaaggghh!". She shut her eyes tightly and leapt back in pain. When she opened them again, the vines now appeared to be made of a colorless, translucent, spectral substance. Terrified, she glanced down at her right hand, a line burnt across her palm. The 'vines' began thrashing at her and she starting to back away, but they continued lashing closer and closer. She looked over her shoulder, noticing Nanabey behind her.

"Hey, you again?! That so-called angel?! Can you tell me what the hell this is?!".

"Uh, basically it's a spectral being formed by peoples' frustrations and sorrows, so you can call it a ghost or spectre for short, if that makes sense! They can be very dangerous if left alone to grow and affect other people in the area... This one seems to be associated with a boy from your school, Kamijou Kyousuke-"

"K-Kyousuke?!". Sayaka stopped in her tracks even as the vines lashed their way towards her. "Hey, when you said something about magical girls and how you had a problem... Was this what you meant?".

"It is. But for now we-". Sayaka turned around. "Then I'm ready. How do I start?!".

"...Huh? Right now we just need to get out of here! You should think this through first, Miki Sayaka!".

"There's no time for that is there?! Come on, what do I need to do?!". She flinched and stifled a scream as one of the vines whipped at her leg, singeing the back of her sock.

Nanabey sighed. "I can't let you become a magical girl without you understanding exactly what that implies. It would be against the rules besides being wrong. So if you're going to be this way..." Nanabey raised her paw and made a circle in the air. The vines froze in place, and with another sweep of her paw the two of them were back in the same small room from before, although this time they were seated at a small table and Nanabey had summoned herself a cushion as well. "I've sealed it temporarily so we don't need to worry about it for now. So, since you are interested, let's go over your employment contract, ok? I've underlined the really key points here".

A piece of paper appeared on the table in front of Sayaka. "T-There's seriously paperwork to become a magical girl?! What the heck, that's not how it ever is in anime!". Nanabey rolled her eyes. "I take my job seriously, ok? I don't think you'd appreciate it if you didn't go over this and it turned out I'd, I dunno, ripped your soul out of your body or something...". She noticed Sayaka's expression had gone a bit blank. "N-Not like there's anything like that in there, you know!... Uh, sorry about scaring you, but this is a serious matter here. Be sure to read it carefully."

"It does say 'Heaven is not liable for any injury or death' though...".

"Of course there are risks, but it's not as bad as that makes it sound, ok?"

"Uh... Ok... 'Must remain a magical girl for a term of at least six months'. After that what happens?".

"After that you can retire at any time. It's just that it takes magical energy to create a magical girl, and it takes time for heaven to replenish that energy. Basically, and don't take this the wrong way, they want to get a return on their investment in you. Oh, and if you retire you can apply to be reinstated as well, although that's on a case-by-case basis."

"Ok. Anyway, it says payment is provided, but it doesn't say what it is?".

"Oh, it's gold! You see, humuan currencies change a lot, but humans always value gold. So you get paid 10 grams of gold every two weeks. I think that's about 39,440 yen!".

"N-No way... That's almost a million yen a year!".

"Actually, it's a little more! Anyway, those are the main points to be aware of". Nanabey paused.

"So, now that you know what you'd be getting in to, again, if you aren't interested, you're free to leave. I'll transport you somewhere safe and you can forget all about this. And don't worry about that spectre; I know someone who can take care of it in a pinch if you choose not to. What will your decision be, Miki Sayaka?". Sayaka took a deep breath.

"It hasn't changed. I'm going to go through with this". Nanabey nodded. "I understand. All I need is a personal item of yours. That will become a talisman for your magical powers."

"Personal item?". She thought for a moment and then removed her hair clip, placing it on the table. "I'm ready". Nanabey waved her paw above the hairclip, a deep blue magic circle surrounding it, then dissipating. "That's it. The basics should come naturally. I'll tell you what to do after you transform."

Sayaka picked up the hairclip and stood up. "I'm releasing the seal now, Miki Sayaka. Get ready". The room shimmered like a mirage and faded away to reveal the alleyway. Sayaka held out her hand and tossed her hairclip up. As it fell, it glowed and changed shape into a fortissimo musical motif, and she caught it and swiftly clipped it back into her hair. In a burst of steam, her school uniform was replaced by a strapless white and blue top lined with golden thread, a deep blue pleated skirt, black detached sleeves, white gloves and long white socks, blue shoes, and a long white cape. In another burst of steam, a cutlass appeared in the air and she reached out and grabbed it, then spun around to face the spectre.

"Uummm... This outfit is a little, uh..."

"I can't do anything about that, for now just focus! First you need to weaken it and find its center!". Sayaka grasped her sword with both hands. "Alright, got it!". She slashed at a group of vines to her left, severing them, and leapt forward swinging, cutting a gap in the curtain of vines ahead of her. She sidestepped right to dodge a vine shooting forward and continued to push towards the back of the alley. "What am I looking for when you say 'center' exactly?!".

"It's there! Look up!". Sayaka glanced up at the glowing sphere several meters up on the office building wall, spectral vines spiraling down from it into the alley. She jumped and twisted her body in mid air, sweeping her sword around in a full circle and cutting down several more of the vines before landing. She lunged forward, swinging her leg up and planting her foot on the alley wall, dashing up. As she approached the spectre's core, she kicked and pushed off the wall, somersaulting backwards feet first and landing on the far wall. She reversed her mountain, jumping at the sphere, slashing across it with a swing of her sword.

"Ok, it should be weakened enough. Yell 'release' and cast the spell!". As she fell, Sayaka held out the palm of her right hand, sword hanging at her side in her left. "Scaoil!". The sphere squished and flattened as it fell in on itself, before it and the remaining vines dissipated into a cloud of shimmering particles like stardust. She held out her arms to either side of her body, softly landing on the pavement. Her costume shimmered, her clothes and hairclip turning back to normal, and her sword vanished in a puff of steam.

She panted, trying to catch her breath. "You did a good job, Miki Sayaka. Maybe it was a bit of overkill, but you did well for your first fight. I was fortunate to find you". Nanabey smiled and tilted her head. "Let's be partners from now on, ok?".
_____

Sayaka took a deep breath as the elevator door opened and she walked down the corridor to Kyousuke's hospital room. She paused for a moment before knocking and entering. Kyousuke turned towards her as she walked in.

"Hey, Sayaka...". She noticed his expression seemed a little less distant and unhappy than the last few times she had visited him. "Hey, Kyousuke... Oh, I didn't bring another CD or anything this time... I hope that's ok...". He shook his head and smiled. "No... That's ok. I'm grateful for you visiting". She sat down in a chair next to his bed. "A-Any news, or...?". His expression got a bit more distant again. "It's still going to be at least a week before I can go home...". He looked down at his left hand. "And I won't be able to play again for a while after that."

"I-I'm just glad you'll be able to play again at all, after...". She trailed off. "S-Sorry, I shouldn't bring it back up again."

"It's fine, Sayaka. I'm grateful for that too". For a while she just sat, gazing at the side of his face, a slight blush on her face, before she tried to break the silence. "Aaagh, I miss when I'd always play baseball with you and your friends too!". Kyousuke laughed. "I'm glad you haven't changed at all, Sayaka."
_____

The girl effortlessly dodged the snake-like spectre's lunging bite, dancing around the backalley illuminated only by the spectre itself and the neon glow of the entertainment district's signs, her long red hair swirling behind her.

She swung her spear, it's chain-linked segments wrapping around the snake's body, and yanked hard, sending it crashing into a pile of garbage bags. She yanked again, snapping the spear back together, took a step back to line up her attack, and drove the tip of the spear into the snake's midsection and held it in place. With a screech, it burst apart, leaving only an incandescent stain across the garbage pile and a red strand of energy that circled her body before dissipating.

Her spear and red tunic shimmered and faded back into a muted green hoodie and denim blue shorts, and she sat down on a doorstep, the back of some nightclub or bar. She reached into a paper bag and grabbed an apple. She glanced at a figure in the shadows across from her. "Hey, ya want one?".

It walked forward into a slightly better lit spot in the alley, a cat-like creature with white fur, a long, bushy tail, cat ears, and two long, drooping appendages on its head, looking like something between an ear and a squid's tentacle. She tossed the apple, which the creature nibbled at and retrieved another one for herself, biting into it and tearing a chunk of fruit off it.

"I've been monitoring this region and I found something today, Kyouko. Apparently there's a new magical girl in Kawasaki. She seems like she has the potential to be quite powerful, so she might try to muscle in on your turf someday. I thought that might concern you."

"Oh?". She grinned. "I'd be interested in paying her a visit. I'm getting bored of Shinjuku anyway lately". She grabbed her bag of apples and stood up. She looked up at the moon.

'Some other day, Momo', she thought to herself.

__________

Still not sure at all where I'm going to go with this concept. I had fun writing it and it honestly came to me easier than Minecart High School has as of late, but even with it being my fanfic and knowing how it ends writing it also gives me a sense of dread. I'm not sure how I feel about the first chapter either. In particular the second scene with Nanabey is clunky, but the way it's written is narratively important to establish the sort of ground rules here and to try and build some trust with Nanabey. This is more for my benefit than for the benefit of the reader, who doesn't necessarily have a good reason to inherently hate and distrust Nanabey, which I do; it's a long story but you'll understand if you have any familiarity with the source material, which I haven't been naming because 1. writing fanfiction is embarrassing to begin with and 2. I've gotten *bleep* for 6 years about my feelings on that show (for further reference for the like one or two people who will read this and not know, it's Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which I won't recommend watching although I'd say it's a *good* show). Even worse than fanfiction in general, it's an AU, AND has an OC in the form of Nanabey. The other big issue here is I'm not confident in my characterization, which is something I worry about enough with my own characters let alone writing existing ones. One other "issue", although partly this was intentional, is how closely I mirrored the show's first episode in the early part of the chapter.

I think it's worth mentioning the setting, which has notably changed from the source material's fictional city to a suburban Tokyo location. In general, I wanted to change the setting because in the series the near future setting full of sparse, ultra-modernistic interiors for me is part of the ambient menacing feel it has even in its first two episodes. The choice of Kawasaki in particular was because I thought it was a tiny bit funny to set this in the same area as Minecart High School, plus I happened to notice while scrolling around Google Maps an industrial area directly across from the runways of one of Tokyo's airports which inspired part of the initial battle scene. The use of a real setting, even an unfamiliar one, has some benefits in terms of planning and getting inspiration (the initial scene with Sayaka and Nanabey was largely inspired by the feel of panorama I found on Google Maps of the actual elevated pedestrian tunnel at Kawasaki Station) but is also challenging and requires taking some artistic license (the alleyway the fight scene with the vine spectre takes place in doesn't really exist as far as I can tell from maps).

I thought about if it would be better to leave it a little cryptic but since I went into all this detail about my own analysis of the story I figured I'd post the translations of the attack callouts/spellwords from my notes anyway;

Quote
Uisce Céim (IPA: /ˈɪʃcə ceːmʲ/) – Lit. "Water step"; Sayaka uses a wave of water to propel herself into the air.

Síon Lann (IPA: /ʃiːnʲ lˠaːnˠ/) – Roughly "Storm blade", Lit. "Weather blade", but "Síon" is used mainly for stormy weather. This is a version of the explosive projectile blade attack from the Madoka Magica production notes but less violent; the blade explodes before reaching its target (possibly it bursts into water/hail?).

I riocht is go bhfaighidh mo focail leat (IPA: /ɪ ɾˠʊxtˠ ɪsˠ ɡə ˈwajɪx mˠə ˈfˠɔkəlʲ lʲatˠ/)
In form as that find-FUTURE DEPENDENT-ECLIPSED my word-PLURAL you
"So that my words will find you" [Gonna get befriended  : )  ]

Scaoil! (IPA: /ˈsˠkiːlˠ/) – Lit. "Release"; this dispells a spectre.

Edit: While I'm editing this to add literally just one missing letter "T" I guess I should mention I still can't actually vouch for the accuracy of the Irish used at all and that I'm still sorry for how inevitably mangled it is.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 06:02:07 AM by Snack »