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Thread: Losing It (KnK - Snippets)

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    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Losing It (KnK - Snippets)

    This is something I was working on for the past two days or so. I've hit a spot of writer's block about 3/4 of the way through the next update of Maybe I'm A Lion, so I started work on this - which is an idea I've had for a while now - to take my mind off it. (I have exams coming up in the next two weeks or so, so you probably won't see the next MIAL update for a while yet. Sorry. I will get it done, I promise you.)

    Lio Shirazumi is one of my all-time favourite characters. Not my absolute favourite (Kiritsugu), but he's near the top. Sure, he's a depraved, drug-dealing, sociopathic, cannibalistic, cross-dressing, serial-killing, possibly-bisexual stalker, but none of that can change the fact that, in my view, he's an absolutely fascinating character study, up there with Kotomine, Kiritsugu or Rin. While every 'antagonist' in KnK is tragic to some extent, that scene in Murder Speculation Part 2 where he asks Kokutou to save him and Kokutou can't bring himself to answer is utterly heartbreaking, and probably one of the saddest moments in the entire series. Lio Shirazumi is also unique because, as far as I know, he's the only character in the entire Nasuverse who keeps a diary; that was where the inspiration for this came from. In the original draft, something like this was going to be at the beginning of Maybe I'm A Lion, but I decided to leave it out at the last minute. This is a conscious attempt on my part to emulate the style Shirazumi's diary entries were written in in cokesakto's translation of the novels. (Hence the italics.) I must also confess that I was stylistically inspired by the Rin x Misaya post-HF fic which was done as a series of small snippets (whose name and author I have completely forgotten, and would be very appreciative if someone could point me in their direction). On top of that, the whole thing was written while listening to Frou Frou's "Must Be Dreaming" on repeat. Anyway, I thought I would post it here.

    Also, I skipped 1997, because nothing of interest to the plot happened in 1997. (Also because I'm lazy, and this was written in between studying for World History 1001.)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1995
    January

    This was a gift from my parents.
    I'm not sure what they expect me to use this diary for.
    I suppose I'd feel bad if I didn't use it.
    It's not like I'll have anything interesting to write, mind you.

    February

    Today, a girl in my class told me she liked me.
    I thought she was joking, so I laughed it off.
    I should apologise to her.
    But I don't know what to say.

    March

    The school year ended today. My first year of high school.
    I looked around my classroom for the last time, and found that I could not give names to any of their faces, nor could I remember the sounds of their voices.
    I don't know what they think of me. All I can do is guess.
    I must be the worst kind of person.

    April

    Who is she?
    I saw her from my window last night, for the second time this week.
    What is it that makes her walk around the city after dark, when the rest of the world is asleep?
    I don't know. I have no reason to be, but I am somehow jealous of her.

    May

    This morning, on an impulse, I helped someone. A first-year student.
    It wasn't a big thing. He was looking lost in the hallway, and I helped him find the library.
    And he thanked me. For something that no-one else would have thought twice about, he genuinely thanked me.
    I don't know why, but that made me happy. I should have asked his name.

    June

    How can a person like her exist? She's so...unreal. It's as if she stepped, fully-formed, out of the pages of a book. I can't be the only one who's noticed this.
    I found out her name yesterday. It's perfect. A wholly unique name for such a unique girl.
    I truly believe that I could go my entire life without meeting another person like her.
    I need to hear her voice. I need to talk to her. But I can't. I can never find the words.

    July

    Today is the day. I've made up my mind.
    I don't think I would have been able to contain myself around her for any longer.
    Today I'm going to tell her how I feel. How she makes me feel.
    I know she'll understand.

    August

    I almost lost control today. I was in class.
    It was...dizziness. Nausea. Asphyxiation. Euphoria. I don't think I'll ever fully understand it.
    I was surrounded by humans, yet all I could see was prey. Bone, gristle, tendon and meat.
    It was all I could do not to vomit.

    September

    It takes all of my effort to simply appear normal in their eyes.
    The lure of the other side is ever-present. Seductive. Addictive. My drug, my lover and my saviour – I could not rightly call it anything other than all three.
    There's no need to worry. I won't have to keep up this charade for much longer.
    All I have are these last few attachments to sever.

    October

    The world I once knew has been obliterated.
    I no longer see things as humans do. Nor do I smell, taste, touch or feel the same way.
    It makes me happy to the point where I can feel nothing else.
    I could be stabbed in the heart and cry only tears of joy.

    November

    I took another photograph of her.
    I taught myself how to develop the negatives, so I wouldn't have to let them out of my sight.
    I take as many of them as I can with me whenever I go out. I can't stand the thought of leaving them alone and unobserved in the dark.
    They are becoming almost as precious to me as the woman herself.

    December

    It's working. I can see it, even if the magus can't.
    She'll realise it soon. She can't live with one foot on both sides. No-one can.
    Someone as pure and special and beautiful as that should never be made to live in a cage.
    This time, I know she'll understand me.

    1996
    January

    'A failure', he called me. He abandoned me.
    I'm not a failure. I'm perfect.
    He's forbidden me from seeing her. From contacting her.
    It's not fair.

    February

    It's not fair. It's not fair it's not fair it's not fair
    i love you
    i love you so fucking much
    why won't you LOOK AT ME

    March

    She's gone.
    She's not dead, but she may as well be.
    Nothing seems...worth it any more.
    What was all this for, if not for her?

    April

    I was out the other day. Wandering in the alleyways, no destination in mind.
    I saw a rat. Scurrying, crawling along the ground near some garbage bins.
    I couldn't stop myself. I tore it apart with my hands and teeth, and ate the remains.
    I haven't eaten for a week since then.

    May

    It's eating me alive. I see it now.
    I should have seen it from the beginning.
    It's always hungry. Always ready to feed.
    Without fresh meat, it has begun taking my mind instead.

    June

    I saw the ants again today.
    The hallucinations came faster than I expected.
    I'm not an insomniac. I'm just afraid to go to sleep.
    It's been eight days.

    July

    It's so tempting. So enticing. It would be so easy.
    To just let everything break down, and slip into insanity.
    Would I be happy, if I did that?
    ...no.

    August

    I looked in the mirror for the first time in months.
    That is not my face. That is not me.
    I screamed until my throat went hoarse.
    Who is that person?

    September

    I didn't want to be like this.
    I wanted to be like her.
    No.
    I think...I wanted to be her.

    October

    I finally managed to track him down. He's a difficult man to find.
    He gave me a place to stay, at least.
    I think he actually believes he did the right thing, last year.
    He's got to be even crazier than me.

    November

    He explained to me a little more about what was happening to me.
    I think it was more because he wanted to see how I'd react than anything else.
    As I thought. It's not my fault I was born with this.
    It's not my fault reincarnation screwed me over.

    December

    The cold feels...sharper. More acute, than it did before.
    I wonder if that's a side-effect?
    My past lives would, by definition, be more acclimatised to warm temperatures.
    I wonder if that, too, is part of my ancestral heritage?

    1998
    January

    It's ready.
    I've lost count of how many failed attempts it took, but I finally made a successful batch.
    I can begin selling them tonight.
    I know I have no experience in this, so I'll just have to imitate the others I see around from time to time.

    February

    It's a very strange thing.
    These people know I'm destroying their lives. They know they'll never be able to go back to a normal life. They have been beaten down, forgotten, overlooked, and abandoned, if by no-one else, then by themselves.
    So why are they always happy to see me?
    I don't understand these people.

    March

    One of my clients is a homeless woman. She's probably a few years older than me.
    I asked her why she did drugs. I don't know what answer I was expecting. I don't really know why I asked, either.
    She just laughed at me. That was a week ago.
    I still don't know why she did that.

    April

    Concentration helps.
    In the face of the steady erosion of my mind and body, what slows it down more than anything else is simply having something to concentrate on.
    This is why the drugs are more for me than they are for the buyers, even though I'm not the one who takes them.
    The regular chemical rituals and observances of their production are what's keeping me alive.

    May

    Today, I watched a man get stabbed and left for dead in an alleyway.
    It surprises me, when I think about it now, that I really didn't feel anything at all towards him.
    That's probably another part of my inheritance. Empathy isn't evolutionarily selected for.
    A carnivorous animal would never survive if it had to feel bad about killing its prey.

    June

    I must be dreaming.
    Once again, she has proved herself to be a completely impossible character, someone to whom the ordinary rules do not apply.
    I can scarcely believe it even as I write this.
    She's alive.

    July

    I saw that schoolgirl again.
    Another one of his pawns, no doubt. I can tell.
    She's all wrong, though. She isn't like me.
    She isn't like her.

    August

    I watched her, today. She fought a criminal. A bomb-maker. Exactly the kind of person you should be able to kill without feeling guilty.
    She didn't kill him.
    Was it because he was only a boy? No. The woman I knew wouldn't have made that kind of distinction. So why?
    Has she changed? Or has she been changed?

    September

    Apparently, ghosts exist. I came across some of them on top of a building last week.
    It seemed like they were content to do nothing but admire the scenery all day.
    I became a little jealous of them, for that.
    So I was glad when she came and cut them down.

    October

    I have so many photographs of her. More than I can count.
    I could cover my walls in them three times over.
    There is so much of her in them that they almost have a kind of physical presence.
    Like she's in the room with me.

    November

    He's dead. I can feel it.
    It's as if a great weight has been lifted off me. It sounds like a cliché, but it's true.
    He's dead, and she is the one responsible. She saved me.
    It's perfect. It's so beautiful it makes me want to cry.

    December

    I'm reaching my limit. The final breakdown is approaching.
    I woke up at noon today, and couldn't remember my own name until after the sunset.
    I don't know if I can recover from it, this time.
    But I have to try.

    1999
    January

    I don't want to kill people. It's not who I am. What I wanted to be. I know that, intellectually, but I can't really believe it.
    The act of murder has become such a simple and easy thing that I can't even hate myself for it.
    I have to do this. It's the only way to draw her out.
    It's our only common language.

    February

    i did it
    it worked
    she's coming

    i'm free
    Last edited by Dullahan; June 11th, 2012 at 05:48 AM.
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    もく


  2. #2
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Excellent work like always, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


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    The Royal Chancellor of Avalon Keyne's Avatar
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    February

    i did it
    it worked
    she's coming

    i'm free

    And in pieces. ;__;


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    Κυρία Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post

    I woke up at noon today, and couldn't remember my own name until after the sunset.
    I don't know if I can recover from it, this time.
    Suggestion, Lio. Write it down in your bloody diary!

    Other than that and the bit about empathy not being evolutionarily selected for, neither of which were bad, but did knock me out of it slightly, this was really good. Especially liked his reaction to seeing himself in the mirror.
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    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    Suggestion, Lio. Write it down in your bloody diary!
    Yeah, he probably should have done that. I don't think it really occurred to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    Other than that and the bit about empathy not being evolutionarily selected for, neither of which were bad, but did knock me out of it slightly, this was really good. Especially liked his reaction to seeing himself in the mirror.
    You have a point there, now that I read over it again. One thing I tried to express - well, it's probably more evident in Maybe I'm A Lion, but it should be here as well in some capacity - is that Lio is actually really smart when he doesn't have his Origin or his obsession with Shiki screwing with him (which is basically all the time). In terms of pure intellect, he's easily at around Rin's level (honour student) - just sans Tohsaka's social skills (and fashion sense). If he'd gone to a different high school, he probably would have grown up to become a doctor or something. I suppose that's why I thought it'd be reasonable for him to be able to use words like 'evolutionarily' even in the midst of his slow descent into insanity.

    It's also worth noting that he's not a sociopath. At the very least, he wasn't one before his Origin was awakened and started eating his capacity for empathy for breakfast. He's actually - and this is part of the characterisation I'm using for Maybe I'm A Lion, too - more likely to have a mild form of Schizotypal disorder, which is at least in some way responsible for his tendencies towards social withdrawal (except towards Kokutou, who, as we've seen, can make friends with anyone), bizarre patterns of ideation (basically his entire relationship with Shiki - also his obsession with 'the box' in MIAL), obsessive rumination/introspection (I think basically around 50% of MIAL at this point is Lio talking to himself), difficulty with picking up on social cues (Breakfast of Champions! Oh, that bit was so much fun to write.), eccentric or peculiar behavior/appearance (refer to: stalking, crossdressing, et.c.), and, as Wikipedia puts it, vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, over-elaborate or stereotyped thinking, manifested by odd speech or in other ways. I've tried to write his internal monologues with that in mind - him using a lot of strangely poetic metaphors, focusing on highly particular aspects of the environment while ignoring others, quoting Gurren Lagann for no good reason, and generally being very weird.

    In objective terms, Shiki's more of a sociopath than he is.

    Incidentally, this just occurred to me, and it's got to be one of the greatest pieces of Fridge Brilliance Nasu's ever put in, but:
    • Why is Lio so good at stalking Shiki without being detected? Lions are stalking predators. It's how they hunt their prey.
    • During the infamous saliva-rape scene in Murder Speculation Part 2, he bites Shiki in the throat. Lions (or, rather, lionesses, as the males generally don't hunt) kill large prey by suffocation, by biting their throats.
    • Lions hunt their prey during times of low visibility. Every single one of Shirazumi's kills took place at night. In MS Part 2, we only ever see him at night (or late evening, in the case of that scene in his apartment with Kokutou).
    • Lions hunt in packs, and very rarely by themselves. There's a kind of intrinsic awareness or pragmatism on their part by which they know they have a greater chance of survival in a group (makes it easier to bring down large prey and deal with competition from other predators). Makes you wonder if his desire to turn Shiki into someone like him was an expression of that.

    In essence, pretty much every single action Shirazumi makes in Murder Speculation Part 2 is something that makes more sense from a lion's perspective than a human's. Guess it just goes to show how far gone he was by that point.
    Last edited by Dullahan; June 12th, 2012 at 02:12 AM.
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