I'm so exhausted these days that I can't really summon enough brain cells to churn something out anymore... Too much has happened in the past year. Where do I even begin!
BUT good news; I've finally completed the 'short story' that I've been working on the last semester whoohoo!
Somebody get me a publisher plz haha.
All jokes aside, I really hope you all will like it! ^^
PS: May contain lots of grammatical errors coz ain't nobody got time to edit!
"I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living. This message has not changed." — Hayao Miyazaki
Cat in Wonderland
Written by Kira Lim Xinyi
Written by Kira Lim Xinyi
|Story inspired partly by this pic|
She did not answer, and continued her furious scrubbing at the frying pan. I counted five new white hairs on her head, and let out a great fart.
“Ew! How unsightly for a lady!” she finally cracked, laughing and waving my poison gas out of the kitchen. In that brief moment when she turned, I caught a glimpse of her red-rimmed eyes. She saw the look on my face, and turned away.
“Mom…” I touched her elbow. It was sticky with sweat, and the usual floral balsamic scent on her had a strong, acrid undertone. She jerked her arm away and screamed for me to get out.
She had been crying again. She had been crying for a very long time. But he would not be coming back to us. Not ever.
I went back into my room, feeling thoroughly drained. The curtains were drawn, gently fluttering along with the wind. I shut the door and crumpled against it. The dimness was cool and calming. I changed out of my uniform, and grabbed the bottle of Benzos from my bedside table.
I’ve been worried about mother, and nicked the bottle from her daily medications.
But I guess I should have been more worried about myself.
I turned on the TV, and swallowed two Benzos. It felt good.
I watched as Howl the handsome magician saved Sophie from the lecherous guards, watched as they walked on air, watched as the Wicked Witch of the Waste place a curse on Sophie, turning her into an old hag. I knew their story already. That’s how I knew the story.
I cherry-picked a few more Benzos and stomached them. Calcifer the fire demon was begging Sophie to break the curse between him and Howl. The funny scene gets me every time. I nearly choked on my Benzos.
I was trying to decide whether I liked Howl or Calcifer more as a character, when he spoke to me.
“You must really like this picture.”
There was a sudden extreme close up shot of Howl. His soft, azure gaze twinkled merrily as it ventured curiously all across the screen, before fixating on me.
Stupid DVD player glitched again, I thought, reaching for the plugs.
“HEY HEY HEY HEY STOP! DON’T TURN IT OFF!” Calcifer’s squeaky voice rang out in full volume.
“Now now, calm down, Calcifer…” Howl shrinked back from the screen and put up his hands as if approaching a wounded animal.
“Well, don’t you understand?”
“Yes, yes I do. But we’re all in this together.”
“NO! She doesn’t understand how it all turns black, and we disappear! We become NOTHING! We become annihilated!”
Howl chucked two logs of wood into Calcifer’s open mouth, and gazed out of the screen, looking right at me.
I dropped my bottle of Benzos.
“Pretty lady, don’t cry. You’ve been watching us so many times, even we have lost count! But you were always crying…why don’t you join us?”
He reached out a pixelated hand towards me.
I must have lost my mind in the middle of my misery. Or, I’ve watched so many Studio Ghibli films that I have even started dreaming about watching them. A Ghibli-ception, perhaps?
There was a babble of protests behind Howl, and the speakers started crackling with static.
If this is a dream, it might as well be a good one. I reached for Howl’s outstretched hand- it was surprisingly solid- and he yanked.
In the instant when I slammed into the screen, I saw nothing.
I was suddenly conscious of my physical body, and it felt as though I was on an amusement Viking ship ride, sitting at the very edge of the ship as it swung up. It was a sense of weightlessness, as the motion of the pendulum opposed gravity. The next moment, I was falling, plunging down, gravity sucking every particle of my being-
I was greeted by the warm chromatic woodwind progression of Jinsei No Merry-Go-Round, with the playful timbre of percussion bursts echoing all around me in welcome.
“Watashi wa hansamuda to iu koto o shitte imasu.”
Brünnhilde like her father does. She is rather sniffy about it AND she actually has quite a temper. Even the dragons of the Earthsea obeys her.
“Now now, Haku, you are too into character, y’know what I mean?” Howl teased. “Oh yes! We’re here for some food.”
Just then, a young girl was running across the bridge, her ponytail swishing wildly behind. She jerked to a pause when she saw us, momentarily lost for words when she looked over our unusual party. “Chihiro, you’re supposed to run the other direction.” Haku sighed, and turned back to us. “Alright, alright. Stop that, Howl. I’ll visit and bring you guys some *saké when the story is over, okay?”
“Which is never!” Howl huffed. “You have alot more lines and scenes in your story than I do! C’mon.” He led us into the bathhouse. “Don’t mind Haku; he is a *Tsundere, so he’s just being shy.”
The interior of the bath house stunned me into silence. It was brightly lit and intricately decorated with vinyl lanterns and delicate vases. There were multiple levels in the building, and I spotted the familiar wooden doors and lever-engineered elevators.
“Impressive, isn’t it?” Howl crossed his arms, satisfied.
Chikuzenni! And horse mackerel, deep fried please! A plate of Salmon in béchamel sauce…” Kiki had already settled down on a *kotatsu and started ordering.
gelatinous shell packed with impeccably grilled meat and shiitake mushrooms, munched down on deep fried sizzling mackerels, and inhaled bowls of vegetable stew. It was heavenly. The babble of talk from the other patrons were rather interesting too; I couldn’t help but to eavesdrop.
You have cat to be kitten me.
Wow, the mackerel is pawsitively pawsome!
Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. The workload from the spin-off is pawsitively driving me insane.”
“I’m so envious…” Howl sighed. “I need a favour from you, Baron.”
“Anything but a sequel. Ask away, my friend.”
Howl briefly explained about Cat. The Baron nodded thoughtfully, stroking his whiskers.
“Well, I certainly haven’t seen her around before,” the Baron said, scrutinizing Cat with his great orb of eyes. “Perhaps, the Waste…?”
There was a shattering of the glass, the sickening twist of metal. The impact of the collision hit me hard on the face. There was an odd metallic taste in my mouth.
Life is hard. It is cursed. The world is suffering. But still, you have to find a purpose to keep living.
gut-wrenching sobs to tear through my being. I clutched at my chest.
The floors started to shake violently; the hardwood flooring started to crack and the walls shrieked.
“THIS WAY!” It was Haku and Chihiro. Haku gestured urgently towards a hatch on the floor. Howl fireman-carried me and shot through it.
“YOU MADE IT!” there were loud, party poppers exploding all around us, showering us with glitter. Everyone seemed to have waited there for us.
“I thought it would be slightly safer in a drama story,” Haku sighed. Distinctive blues arpeggios of ‘Country Road’ resonated through the tranquil streets.
“I forgot Haku is a magician too! But ‘whisper of the heart’, really? You must be more sentimental than we thought!” Howl laughed, giving an approving pat on Haku’s head.
“I’m a wizard,” Haku said, irritated, and shook Howl off (“C’mon, what’s the difference?”) “And…we haven’t got much time.”
“You’re right.” Howl crushed me to his chest. “I hate to say this, pretty lady. But it’s time to say goodbye.”
“I hope Howl hasn’t been teaching you all sorts of bizarre ideas,” Sophie kissed my cheek. “I was so worried. Calcifer wanted to say goodbye, but he’s currently jailed to the hearth.”
“Let’s eat together again someday!” Kiki and Jiji waved.
“It’s been a pleasure meeting you, young lady,” the Baron’s two-handed handshake was reassuring.
Chihiro hugged me affectionately. “You must come back and visit us again, okay?” she said sweetly.
Haku came up to me. “I…still owe you saké.”
“He means he will miss you!” Howl said, while leaving a good five-foot space between him and Haku.
“Rawrrrawrrrrawrrrawrrrrawrrr…” Totoro whimpered, pouting. But I understood. I planted a kiss on his fluffy belly.
“I won’t. We never truly forget someone once we met them, right?”
The world shook again, but this time, I was vaguely aware that someone was palming my cheeks, crying with the force of tears being vomited all over my face. A finger dug into my mouth, and I immediately felt sickeningly nauseous.
The taste of Benzos was sour in my mouth, and I puked them out.
“Mom…I’ve just had the best adventures in a Wonderland.”