Dance Subaru!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium

Based on Hullabaloo22's challenge title: "The clock is ticking."

This story is completely unedited. What you see is what I first wrote, without corrections. I'll probably get around to fixing it eventually.

Submitted: July 06, 2018

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Submitted: July 06, 2018



Subaru lowered her phone and checked the time.  OK, 11:45.  She had 15 minutes before she needed to meet the others at the front steps of the shrine.  Once they'd gathered together, they planned to brainstorm and put some sort of video together to post on Instagram before the deadline for the weekly challenge.  Hopefully, this time they'd be the winners of the trip to Guam.

She took a deep breath and slowly turned in a circle, filming as she went.  She hadn't believed what she'd heard about Hokkaido Shrine being so impressive, but she did now.  

Looking down, she saw that even the paving stones of the God's walkway leading up to the main shrine building had an unusual lustre she'd not seen at any of the other shrines she'd visited. (Not that she'd been to that many.  She was, after all, only 14 years old.)  

As he gaze slid across the stone she noticed a folded fan lying on one of the stones near the steps leading up to the entrance.  There didn't seem to be anyone nearby looking around like they'd dropped something.  In fact, nobody seemed to pay it any attention at all.

Oh well.  She could drop it off at the lost and found window near the main entrance.  It was on her way, so the extra effort would be negligible.  

She stooped and picked it up.  Wow!  It felt like the frame was real ivory.  She fanned it open and saw what looked like a hand-painted masterpiece.  It was extraordinarily detailed and almost had a glow to it.  

The sound of the great bell of the shrine woke her from her reverie.  She had no idea how long she'd been staring at the picture, but it had to have been several minutes.  She turned to head toward the entrance when she heard from behind her a single word, "Dance."

Looking over her shoulder, there wasn't anyone there.  Once again she turned toward the entrance but, as she raised her foot to walk forward, she heard "Dance" again, only this time the entire shrine seemed to reverberate with the sound.

Yes, of course.  "Dance."  Why didn't she?  She'd seen plenty of period dramas where there were mikos dancing.  Surely she could do the same, right?

Immediately upon making her decision, she heard the sound of flutes and drums approaching.  She wasn't sure who was playing, but the rhythm wasn't to be denied.

The other tourists in the vicinity had their attention caught by a girl in her middle-school uniform who was waving around a fan and dancing.  How embarrassing!  Though, after watching for a while, they had to admit that she was doing it rather well.

What made some of them angry, and some feel superior was seeing her dance her way down the God's way toward the entrance.  She was either ignorant or doing it on purpose.  Either way, she should be respecting the tradition that only the Kami were supposed to walk down the middle.  Mortals were only allowed to walk at the edges.

By the time she was a third of the way down the stones, she was no longer the only one hearing the music.  Soon thereafter there was a general muttering from the audience.  A number of them had noticed that every stone she stepped on changed as she did so.  It was as if some sort of mystical polish was radiating from her feet, buffing each stone almost to a mirror finish.

As she took each step forward, the lustre of the stones behind her spread to the side, until each row was shining.

When she reached the middle of the God's way, those still in front of her noticed her eyes.  They looked like they were glowing.  However, those who looked more closely decided that it wasn't as if they were shining themselves, but, rather, it was like she was seeing something that nobody else could see and her eyes were reflecting the light of that place.

The final shock the onlookers received was her clothes.  After she passed the half-way point, she'd looked sorta blurry to everyone.  Each had written it off to the wind or allergies, or some such, but at two-thirds of the distance along the God's way, there was no longer mistaking what had happened.

Her school uniform was gone.  She was now wearing the familiar red and white garb of a miko.

When she finally reached the beginning, or perhaps the end, of the God's way, she stopped moving forward, but she continued to dance.  

The music became almost loud enough to be painful, and now all the stones behind her were almost too bright to look upon.  At the same time the great bell's chimes continued, thankfully at the same volume, but by then the entire city could hear it.

At exactly 12:00 noon, the God's way opened and a large, scaly head lifted itself above the surface.  It was followed shortly by the rest of its body, after which it flew into the air.

Hmmm.  The world had changed a great deal while they were asleep.  He was almost surprised to see that the humans had not only survived, but had obviously prospered.  

One thing hadn't changed.  Some of the humans ran away screaming, some stood still and watched, and others edged closer.  

As always dragonkind would depend on human intermediaries.  A dragon's mental voice could destroy the mind of an ordinary human, no matter how "quietly" they tried to speak to them.
Fortunately, each of them had already selected their personal spokesbeing.  This girl called "Subaru" would do admirably.  Her mind was truly superior.  Whomever was responsible for her being named after the Pleiades had chosen well.

As always, every one of the Dragonkin had emerged at precisely the same time.  Whether at a shrine, a temple, a cathedral, or a simple rural chirch, every one of them in the entire world had awakened from their naps.  

After all, it was their Way.  They were happiest when they were all together.  Deciding how to best work with the humans should be fairly easy.  It was likely that they'd come to a firm conclusion within 30 or 40 years.  

Already he was receiving reports of humans trying to attack them.  Same old, same old.  Their weapons were somewhat more sophisticated now, but once their himan operators had been safely removed from them, they were, as usual, placed on the far side of the moon.  Hopefully by the time the humans were developed enough to build communities on the moon, they would have outgrown their foolish aggressiveness.

Well, enough woolgathering.  He returned to the temple and saw Subaru holding some strange, flat object in her hand that she continued to point him as he landed.

"Shall we get going?  We shouldn't be late for the meeting."

She smiled up at him, having no idea of what was in store, only that it looked like it was going to be FUN.  She nodded, and stepped up on the offered forelimb.  As they flew toward the meeting ground in Africa, her fingers were flying.  

Until the past few minutes, she'd thought that her video of the temple might help them win the challenge.  It looked like other temples, but this one was more impressive.  That would have counted, maybe.  But now, she had something guaranteed to win the trip, though, considering how fast they were flying, maybe she wouldn't need a plane for traveling in the future.

Well, regardless of all that, she was probably going to gain a humongous number of followers before the day was over!  This was soooooo freaking cool!

Kibou nodded his huge head.  Yes indeed, this one was a good choice.  While clearly still a child, it was resilient, brave, and smart.  If the others had also chosen wisely, it boded well for the future of both Dragonkin and humans.  

Time would tell.  It always did.

© Copyright 2019 Charlotte Braun. All rights reserved.

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