Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Chapter two (segment seven), 2016, October, Kyoko

With a firm push she turned her walkie talkie off. Kyoko desperately needed the rest. An hour after the opening well over two thousand guests crammed the school grounds. Several stalls were already running dry, and only Urufu's desperate gamble kept most of them supplied.

She sank to the floor in a tired heap and listened to the pandemonium from the office area turned festival headquarters. While the official festival planning room and student council room still operated as formal planning centres, the students there were swamped beyond capacity from before the cultural festival even opened.

Weary beyond belief she rose to her feet and struggled to the desks occupied by a few club members, two students from the festival planning committee and the student council treasurer.

“Noriko, how can I help?” she asked and slumped into a chair.

“Rest, please just rest,” her friend said. “You've been fantastic. I understand Yukio better now.” The smile in Noriko's face spoke of respect, and for once Kyoko felt she deserved it.

Kyoko watched Noriko send another email before she continued reading a seeming-less endless number of unread ones on her screen. With her right hand she jotted down notes on a piece of paper, moved it to the keyboard and opened up a document and changed something in it. After that she composed yet another email and sent it.

How can you keep all of it in your head? My larger than life midget sister, isn't that what Ryu calls you?

For each email sent the treasurer made a quick call only making certain who was to execute the instructions in it. An expression of awe played on his face whenever he stole a glance at Noriko.

“What are you guys really?” he asked during a brief lull in the madness.

Kyoko shot him a tired smile. “We're part of the club management,” she teased. “I'm the secretary and Noriko is our treasurer,” she continued knowing well that wasn't what he really had asked.

“Treasurer, huh?” he said instead. It made sense in a way. They shared that position.

Noriko flashed him a grin between emails “Talking about money,” she said, “we're unable to provide more funding at the moment. I need your help.”

“Huh?” That question pulled him back to the operational reality. “Funding?”

“Yeah, stupid, we're out of money. I need council funding to secure the continued flow of supplies,” Noriko said and frowned.

The treasurer sat upright. “You paid from the club funds? How much?”

Noriko sighed and pushed her laptop aside.

Kyoko couldn't help but giggle when she saw her friend stare at the ceiling while waving her fingers in the air like a Showa era elementary school kid. Learned the abacus did you?

“Three hundred, eh, make that four hundred thousand yen. Anyway, we're bled dry.”


“I know. And we can't recirculate the money paid at the stalls either. Way too many coins.” Noriko grinned. “We'll get it all back later anyway, but I can't wait until the banks open.”

The treasurer stared at her, but Kyoko noticed how Noriko read the same email over and over again. Kyoko rose from her chair and walked behind her friend. Absentmindedly she started massaging tired shoulders while looking out the window.

A bit inside the back entrance another piece of Urufu's black magic grew into existence. An unplanned outdoor café with the capacity to handle over one hundred guests, staffed by third years he had managed to scrounge up from gods knew where.

How he thought up the concept and made it reality while handling security patrols, their own food plaza and taking overall control of the cultural festival when the student council organisation crumbled was beyond her. Then she noticed one clue.

Among the third years manning the impromptu café a few club members walked around directing students two years their seniors as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Yukio was among them, her Yukio, and a third year always by his side year she didn't recognise at first. A girl with gorgeous waist long black hair.

Kyoko felt a brief sense of panic running through her until the identity of the girl finally found a match in her brain. What's the council president doing there?

“How much?”

The voice from inside the room tugged at her attention and she turned, still massaging Noriko's shoulders.

“How much, Wakayama-san?”

Kyoko looked down over Noriko's head and saw the email she had read so many times. And gasped.

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