Author: Serom Kim PM
Enter the imagination of 15 year old Shuichi Gering as she drags her friends into a fantasy world of her own creation and fights the evil forces that lurk in her world and the corners of her mind.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 11 - Words: 37,874 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 09-14-07 - Published: 01-14-07 - id: 2304181
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: Return to the World
It was ten-thirty in the morning and third period had just ended. Lisa "Shuichi" Gering dashed out of her classroom excitedly, exhilarated that she only had to survive four more periods before the long weekend, as she screamed, "Whoopee! Class is out!"
"I'll see you after school, Shuichi!" Sora "Yonie" Hwang, one of Shuichi's friends, said to her as she followed Shuichi.
"Oh, yeah, you don't have brunch now, right?" Shuichi asked Yonie, brushing a loose strand of neck-length auburn hair behind her ears.
"Yep!" Yonie nodded in response, making her shoulder-length black hair fall in front of her face. Pushing the strands aside, Yonie grinned at Shuichi and waved. "See you later!" she hollered behind her as she walked down the hallway.
"Bye!" Shuichi waved to Yonie as well. Once she was out of sight, Shuichi sighed and leaned against the wall. She was supposed to wait for her some of her other friends so they could hang out together during their brunch. To make the time pass by faster, Shuichi smoothened her gray plaid skirt with her right hand, which had multicolored bracelets dangling from it, and played with the black ribbon tied around the collar of her white short-sleeved shirt.
"Hey, Shuichi!" a familiar voice called to her just then. "Back here!"
Shuichi twirled around to see who was calling to her and once she saw who it was, she grinned and called back, "Haewon! What's up?"
Haewon Sung, who was dressed in the same outfit as Shuichi was wearing, waved to her. Haewon walked over to her friend and asked her, "So, Shuichi, can you come?"
Knowing that her friend was referring to the after school get-together at Haewon's house, Shuichi answered cheerfully, "Yes! My aunt Carla allowed me!" Aunt Carla's so great, she thought to herself. I can't believe that she's letting me go over to Haewon's house although I haven't been getting the best grades this semester! There has to be no other aunt like her …
Shuichi was so lost in her thoughts she was taken by surprise when a multitude of voices shouted at her, "Shuichi!"
"Nani?" she yelled in Japanese. She dropped her black cat bag on the ground in surprise as she broke out of her trance.
Standing behind her were not only Haewon but also three of her other friends, Mike Weber, Joseph Cameron "J.C." Taylor, and Kelchie Wilson. All four of them were laughing at Shuichi's shock, although Shuichi doubted whether or not J.C. had heard any of the conversation, since he had his headphones on, as usual.
"Shuichi got scared!" Mike sang teasingly, winking at Shuichi.
She drew in breath to yell at Mike and the others had not the sound of wheels rolling on the tile floor of the hallway filled her ears. Immediately, she knew who it was: Nikolai Ivanov, the senior of her friends. He came wheeling down the hall, his geography book in his hands. Shuichi could always spot Nikolai in a crowd, no matter what, because he never wore his school uniform: a white collared shirt with a black tie, a gray sweater-vest, and black pants.
Haewon spun around to find the source of the sound, her black neck-length hair whipping in front of her face, and asked the others, "Hey, isn't that Nikolai?"
"Where?" Mike turned around as well and when he saw Nikolai heading straight for him, he groaned and moaned, "Oh no …"
Nikolai held his book over his head, shouted, "Time for a geography lesson!" and smashed Mike over the head with it, making a few leaflets of paper fly out of it.
"Ouch," Mike moaned, toppling to the side and onto Kelchie's chest by accident.
"Huh?" Kelchie stared at Mike, shocked, when he landed on her chest, then she grew furious and shouted at him, "Mike!" as she smacked him over the head with her fist. The force of her punch knocked Mike to the ground. What Kelchie hadn't realized then was that in the hand that she hit Mike with, she was holding her blue highlighter. The highlighter streaked a noticeable line on Mike's short blond hair and trailed down to the right side of his face.
"Aah …! My hair!" Mike shrieked when a now blue strand of his hair fell in front of his face. "Why you!" he screamed at Kelchie, charging at her with a green permanent marker in his hand so he could leave a green streak in Kelchie's blond ponytail. Much to his horror, Kelchie had ducked behind Haewon, laughing, and the marker had left a trail of green on Haewon's hair. "Uh-oh …!" Mike groaned, horrified.
Haewon bared her teeth at Mike, grabbed the marker out of his hand, and smacked him over the head with it.
"Wow, Mike, you're a complete loser!" Kelchie taunted him.
Mike groaned in pain and threw the marker at Haewon. He glared at Shuichi, who had taken a seat on one of the benches that were placed against the wall. The girl just said to him cheerfully, "Mike, here comes Yukie!"
Kunyukie "Yukie" Yamamoto, a Japanese foreign exchange student at Shuichi's school, came running down the hallway, his short black hair trailing behind him. When he approached Mike, he said, "Hi … ya!" as he raised his leg and kicked Mike in the chin.
"Ouch …" Mike moaned again.
Shuichi giggled. So, yeah, she thought to herself, these are my friends. Well, some of them. The rest don't go to this school.
Once Kunyukie, the last of Shuichi's friends at school, had arrived, the group spent their twenty minutes of brunch talking about what to do at Haewon's house after school. About halfway into brunch, however, Mike, who had been swatting at a fly with his folder, accidentally hit Nikolai in the face with it. Nikolai attacked Mike back and got everybody else, except for J.C., involved in beating up Mike. By the time brunch had ended, Shuichi and J.C. were the only ones to avoid the chaos that the others were causing.
"Oh! There's the bell!" Shuichi exclaimed when she heard it ring. She picked up her cat bag, brushed the dust off her skirt, and waved to her friends. "Bye, guys, I can't be late for Chinese!"
"Oh … okay, see you later," Haewon, who was in the middle of smacking Mike over the head with her binder, grumbled in response. "Don't forget to come over after school, okay?"
"I won't!" Shuichi giggled at her friends' actions and walked to her Chinese class in the best of moods.
Shuichi and her friends sat through their remaining classes, impatiently waiting for the day to end and the weekend to start. When seventh period, the last class of the day, finished at three o' clock, Shuichi and Kelchie, who had their last classes together, packed their backpacks, and wrote down the weekend homework. Then, they walked up the hill to Haewon's house. J.C., Mike, Haewon, and Yonie had gotten out of school earlier than Shuichi and Kelchie and were already waiting for them there. Nikolai and Kunyukie, although they got out of school earlier than Shuichi and Kelchie did, weren't able to come.
Although Shuichi was happy enough that all of her friends at school were able to make it to Haewon's house, she was happier when she saw two people whom she hadn't expected to come: Juanita Castilla, Shuichi's older cousin; and Livia Davis, one of Kelchie and Haewon's friends from another school.
Shuichi and her schoolmates went to the only private school in their southern California hometown. Because she usually had much work to do during the weekdays, Shuichi was rarely able to hang out with her public school friends—such as Livia. She saw her cousin Juanita less frequently than she saw Livia because Juanita lived in Tijuana, Mexico. The fact that both Livia and Juanita were able to be at Haewon's house made Shuichi's day even better.
"Hey! You guys finally made it!" Livia exclaimed when Shuichi and Kelchie walked into the living room.
"You made it just in time for lunch!" Haewon said, shifting to the right to make some room for Kelchie and Shuichi at the table.
"What's up?" Yonie greeted her friends, flashing them the peace sign.
"Juanita!" Shuichi shrieked gleefully, hugging her cousin from behind. "You're early! I thought you weren't coming until the end of the week!"
"Change of plans," Juanita responded, grinning at her cousin. "Turns out we didn't need to wait that long. I'm here now!"
"Ooh, I like it!" Shuichi cheered, taking her spot between Haewon and Yonie and crouching down on the floor. The table was low and there were no chairs, so everybody had to sit on the carpeted floor.
"All right! Korean food!" Kelchie celebrated as she seated herself on the floor between Shuichi and Juanita.
"I've never had Korean before," Shuichi remarked, staring at the dishes of food laid out on the table in awe.
"It's really good!" Yonie told her friend through a mouthful of noodles.
"Okay, now that everybody's here, let's eat!" Haewon proclaimed, passing chopsticks to Kelchie and Shuichi.
The others nodded in agreement and served themselves some of the Korean food that had been set out on the table.
"Wow! This is good!" Shuichi exclaimed to Haewon after sampling a dish of Korean noodles and kalbi. "Korean food's good!"
"Thanks, Shuichi!" Haewon replied cheerfully. "So what should we do now, guys?" She turned the others in the room.
"Why don't we pick on Mike?" Yonie suggested, elbowing the young man's shoulder.
The others burst out laughing at her idea, except for Mike, who slumped forward and put his head down on the table, muttering, "Why me?" and J.C., who had his headphones on and couldn't hear anything.
"Um, why don't we play a game I made?" Shuichi asked once the laughter died down, holding up the box she had designed for her game. Immediately, she regretted the suggestion. Oh, man, that might be a bad idea because it'd be life-threatening … she thought to herself despondently as the hand holding the box wilted down to the table. But she cheered up quickly as she promised herself, I won't let anything bad happen this time! Balling her hand into a fist and an enthusiastic expression on her face, she asked, "So you guys want to play?"
"Yeah, let's play Shuichi's game!" Haewon agreed. She and the other girls jumped to their feet.
"Yeah! A game!" Yonie yelled excitedly, waving her arms around.
"Yeah!" Juanita exclaimed and patted Shuichi's shoulder.
"But I'm not done with my ramen," Kelchie, who was holding a Styrofoam cup of instant ramen in her hands, complained.
"Yeah! Something fun!" Livia hopped in place and clapped her hands gleefully.
"Let's do this!" Juanita cheered, punching the air triumphantly.
"Don't I get a say in this?" Mike groaned, knowing that everything that the others thought was fun would end up being painful for him.
Still wearing his headphones, J.C. remained oblivious to everything.
"Well, I think it's a good idea!" Haewon argued back, crossing her arms and nodding. "Go for it, Shuichi!"
"All right!" she said as she opened her game box and brought out the disk. She also took out a small brown cloth bag filled with something. Her friends stared at the bag strangely. Shuichi inserted the disk into the laptop that Livia had brought with her, and then she reached into the bag. As she rummaged around in it, she commanded the others, "Hold hands, everyone!" as the lights suddenly flickered out.
"Hey … what happened to the lights?" Yonie stammered uneasily as she glanced around the room nervously.
"Creepy!" Livia grinned, not feeling at all intimidated by the situation.
Kelchie, forgetting about her ramen, tossed her half-eaten ramen cup over her shoulder as she laughed at Livia. The Styrofoam cup landed on Mike's head and spilled ramen noodles and broth on his hair and shoulders and got his school uniform wet. He complained, "Why me?" as J.C. pointed at him and laughed.
"Here we go!" Shuichi shouted as she sprinkled rainbow-colored powder across the room. The particles danced around the room for several seconds, surrounding everyone present. The others were so entranced by the colors and the atmosphere that they forgot to hold hands at first. After a few seconds passed, the powder, along with Shuichi, Juanita, Haewon, Kelchie, Yonie, and Livia disappeared. The lighting in the room returned and everything was as it had been before Shuichi brought out the powder.
J.C. and Mike were the only two people left in the room, having been out of the range of effectiveness. J.C. looked around, took off his headphones, and asked, "Where'd they go?" as Mike stared in amazement, ramen broth dripping off his head.