Story: The Positives about Watching Horror Movies (chapter 1)

Authors: bettynoire

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Chapter 1

Title: Triggering the flag

Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, so please don't sue me. I'm poor anyway.


Kona-chan thinks she's all that, thought Tsukasa, with only a slight bitterness. She didn't think she was capable of much more than that, but considering her limitations, this in and of itself was quite the feat. For Tsukasa was indeed embittered, regardless of how slight said bitterness might be.

It was Konata, after all, who had suggested the horror movie – had even chuckled, with her usual cavalier attitude, that since they were all together, it would be okay anyway.

“Ho ho ho” Konata had held up the DVD and gestured with it enthusiastically as she extolled the importance of watching a horror movie at a sleepover. She said something about “tripping event flags,” a concept that Tsukasa was entirely too preoccupied to bother trying to decipher. Konata, during her monologue, had seemingly grown increasingly entertained at Tsukasa's little dodges whenever she gestured with her DVD-laden hand, and grew more animated as time went on. Each time the DVD entered her proximity, Tsukasa made a small noise of distress, closing her eyes in exasperation as she tried to bury herself further behind her sister's shoulder.

Kagami, despite knowing her sister's weakness, agreed with Konata, not so much for the weird reasons Konata had stated, but because she'd wanted to see the film herself. Miyuki had just put her one hand to her face, tilting her head slightly as she blushingly admitted that she had seen that one already, but she'd liked it and would like to see it again, with friends instead of family this time. Tsukasa was, to put things bluntly, shit out of luck. Having gotten her way, Konata's smile was even more devious than always. She had chuckled at Tsukasa's nervousness, pointing out that they were all going to share a room, so it was essentially like sharing a bed with all of them, an upgrade from it just being Kagami at home.

Despite the logic in those words, Tsukasa had not found they helped her any while watching the movie. When she wasn't hiding behind Konata's huge yellow pillow, she buried her face into Kagami's pajama clad arm. The cotton made a decent enough mask for the light from the TV, but it did nothing to rid her of the horrible noises. Kagami patted her sister on the head absentmindedly, but being otherwise engaged with the movie (she kept muttering things like “Wow!” and “No way!”), she wasn't quite as comforting as she could have been. Konata seemed utterly unfazed, more entertained by the viewers than the movie. She even laughed at parts of the movie, goading Tsukasa into peeking, who found herself duped no less than three times by this same trick, only to dip her head back down in terror each time. Miyuki was equally as composed, and sat, legs tucked under herself as properly as if she were at a traditional tea ceremony the entire time, with only the occasional “Oh my!” or gasp escaping her lips. By the time the movie ended, Tsukasa was reduced to a shivering mess of fear, gripping her sister's sleeve with a vice-like intensity.

Though the preparations for bedtime where undergone in a leisurely fashion, Tsukasa's anxiety did not let up. Konata, Kagami, and Miyuki's conversation flowed easily around her, but Tsukasa found it impossible to join in, too distracted by the odd creaks and shifts of an unfamiliar house. Each little noise made her jump, grabbing Kagami's sleeve each time in mounting desperation.

“Come on now,” Kagami lifted her arm as far as Tsukasa's grip would allow, speaking as good-naturedly as she could despite her waning patience at her sister's continued inability to move independently. “Honestly, we're all here aren't we? I even brought the big sleeping bag if you're that worried.” She tilted her head, trying to coerce her sister into a calmer state.

“But O-onee-chan,” Tsukasa blushed and leaned in to create a semblance of privacy, though Miyuki and Konata were chuckling at something or another just a few feet away. “I have to go to the bathroom...” She blushed, too embarrassed to ask.

“What?! Geez, Tsukasa, I'm not going to go with you,” Kagami sighed, exasperated. “As if there's anything that could attack you in this house anyway.” She wrested her sleeve away from her sister resolutely, placing her hands on her hips. She put on her best reassuring smile, softening her tone – “Yutaka's not really the type to grow horns and come after us at night time, you know,” she joked.

Tsukasa, needless to say, had to find her way to the bathroom herself, which wasn't altogether a difficult task per say, being as it was only at the end of the hallway, but there was one – and to Tsukasa, major – difficulty. Konata's hallway had no light other than a singular, yellowish night light at the end facing the bathroom, making Tsukasa's shadow loom on the wall, a black monstrosity that somehow managed to become more menacing as it got smaller and she came closer to it. Angular and horrible, distorted and overly long, she felt like it was stretching horrible claws in anticipation. She rushed in and out of the bathroom, unable to shake the image of that shadow lying in wait for her, chasing her down the hallway, gobbling her up into a shadowy abyss. How horrible! Chased and killed by her own shadow! If such things were possible, Tsukasa was certain they would happen right now, to her. She ran down the hallway, barely aware of the fact that she held her breath as she rushed back to the room, and back to safety.

The light was off already when she got there, and the only sounds in the room were the occasional rustling of sheets and the soft breathing of her friends and sister. Though her panic drove her to seek immediate safety, Tsukasa found herself pausing, partly out of consideration for the oncoming slumber of her companions, and partly out of confusion. It was awfully dark.

“Where'd Onee-chan set up the sleeping bag, I wonder?”


[End notes: Just the teaser chapter for now. This is sort of the grounding event for the story -- the following chapters will be the three possible outcomes of Tsukasa's confusion, if you know what I mean. wink wink Just a bit of fun really. Reviews are greatly appreciated.]

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