Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (190/291)

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This an experiment.

Thus concludes Chapter 2.

Chapter 3 is next and involves Kirisame Marisa.

ICQ.

If you would like to see more, please donate. [PayPal]

Translation Notes:

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

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[177]

The planetarium was about thirty minutes away from West Kyoto Station by train, with a few transfers in between. The nearest station off a local line brought us to the middle of a former — emphasis on former — high income residential district. It was like a graveyard of buildings now, those buildings magnificent only in their outward appearance. We left the all but abandoned station, and I only followed along as my girlfriend guided me on. I looked at my watch. It was 10:12 am.

“Hey…”

“What is it, Renko?”

“Are they really open this early?”

“What do you mean early? It’s not early at all! How late do you normally sleep in?” she laughed.

[178]

But…

I felt that one word caught in my throat.

As I looked around, I saw no one. No sign of anyone at all. It was as if the whole area was asleep. No — I knew. I already knew that this place had been abandoned long before, but… It was beyond that. It was as if I had walked into some ancient ruins. At the very least, we shouldn’t be the only ones here, but we haven’t passed anyone on the street. Was there anyone at the station? There weren’t any employees at least. Everything is automated nowadays, so it’s natural for a station only visited by local trains to have no personnel — you just touch your magnetic ticket card against the ticket gate and walk through — but what about the line of shops in front of the station? Were there any bikes in the parking area at the station? No — I’m focusing on the wrong thing. There’s something more fundamental that I’m missing. It’s…

“Is there something wrong, Renko?”

“Uh… Well…”

“Hey Renko, have you heard of this story before? The one about the town of sheep and goats?” She spun around and looked at me with a carefree smile.

Behind her, the rays of sunlight burned away her details. Her figure was burned black, light collapsing clouds in the evening light as the sun sets. Her thin arms, thin legs, thin neck, and head like the tip of a spindle — even her outline was indistinct.

“Long ago, there was a town where forty thousand sheep and forty thousand goats lived together in harmony. However, one day, one sheep and one goat got into an argument. You see, according to oral tradition, there was a god who oversaw the town. One of the two questioned whether that god really existed.”

[179]

“What…? What are you talking about?”

“I told you before, didn’t I? This is one of those stories that may be scary or not, depending on the listener. This is one of the newer stories. Anyway… The sheep and the goats discussed the matter among themselves. All the sheep believed in their god, and the power of the miracles that god was said to perform. On the other hand, none of the goats believed in this god. They believed all that was claimed to be a miracle was just pure coincidence. In the end, the sheep and the goats collectively decided to make a bet over whether a miracle would occur or not.”

She was running away from me, like a mirage, spinning all the while, and all I could do was follow.

I looked down at the white paved street and the organized rectangular buildings, all absent of people, and my perception felt unhinged. How long had we been walking? How many hours, how many tens of hours had passed? In reality, it was likely not a minute had gone by and yet I felt as if I was being led on a leash, with no other option but to chase after her. Only her voice was still as clear as it ever was.

[180]

“To test the power of their god’s miracles, they would all pray, without eating or drinking. Would by miraculous providence they obtain apples to eat, without doing anything to harvest them? Would their god bless them with such a miracle? That was the gamble upon which the sheep and goats placed their bets. Tell me, Renko. What do you think happened next?”

Sweat seeped from my pores and it felt as if my skin was coming off in sheets as the sweat dripped its way down.

“As it turns out, a few more of the sheep survived the ordeal than did the goats. How many more do you think it was? Out of forty thousand goats, thirty thousand died. But out of the forty thousand sheep, those sheep who professed faith in their god, only twenty nine thousand and eighty-four of them died. Therefore, the remaining sheep proclaimed, ‘God, our God, only blesses those who believe in him and his miracles. You, in your ignorance, doubted God. That is why a full thirty thousand of you died.'”

Deep in my throat I felt a rough texture along with the taste of salt. Rather than just sweat, it felt as if my whole body was turning into a pillar of salt.

“So the remaining goats left the town and only sheep remained — only those sheep who sincerely believed in their god. However, those sheep thought this: ‘If we do not more firmly believe in God, might not we too die like those ignorant goats?’ So they kept praying, without taking time to eat, without taking time to do anything else at all, and one by one the sheep began to fall to the ground dead. As each fell, the remaining sheep proclaimed, ‘They must not have truly believed in God. That is why God did not save them with his miracles.’ Thus the sheep continued to die, one after another, until only ten of them were left alive. What do you think those remaining sheep did?”

Even her voice was heavily distorted now. It was tinged with a howling sound, as if someone had put a microphone next to a speaker.

“All of them leapt into a lake and died. Why do you think they did that?”

Desperately I pressed both of my hand against my head in an attempt to steady the vibrations of my skull, wrought by her voice as it rang in my head. What is going on? What is happening?

“Finally they realized that in end, despite being the ones who believed in their god, far fewer of the sheep had survived than the goats. In response, those remaining sheep tried to put faith in their god once more, and all jumped in the lake. Renko?”

We’re here.

I felt as if my vision had suddenly cleared. We were standing in front of a single old western-style mansion.

Led by the hand, I followed her inside.

We passed through the doorway and it was empty inside. From the outside it looked like a mansion, but inside there were no rooms, the mansion was only a shell.

[182]

In the very center was a single planetarium mechanism. Its twisted tubes were blossoming like a rose. Yes, the planetarium was blossoming. The walls were covered with bulbs that looked like cut off tips of spindles. There were no chairs, anywhere. Were we supposed to stand for this, or…?

“Renko, this way.”

I was led to a single, cheap looking bed.

My girlfriend sat on the bed and wrapped herself in the comforter, so that only her head was showing, and then motioned for me to follow suit.

I didn’t really have a choice, so with uneasy footing I went after her, and sat down on the bed. The bed gave a rusty screech and I could feel the springs of the mattress digging into my butt.

Then, without me putting up any resistance, she pulled me down and got on top of me.

“Hey…”

“What?”

“Is it you?” I asked from underneath her, staring straight up into her faintly colored irises.

[183]

“What ‘it’ do you think I am, Renko?”

“Are you ICQ?”

She laughed a little.

“Renko, call me by my name,” she responded, without answering my question.

“C’mon Renko, won’t you call me by my name?” she said again, reaching out to touch my cheek.

“Please Renko, call me by my name. Look at me and call me by my name, please?”

What was there was…

Once, long ago, I heard this story. Somewhere in West Kyoto there is a bridge, and on that bridge there was this girl, crying. People would call out to her, asking, “Are you okay? Why are you crying?” Then, she would turn around, but her face was featureless. All that could be seen of her face was white skin. She had no mouth, no nose, no eyes. There was only the outline of a smooth empty face, like…

“Tell me, Renko. Who am I? Why was I me? Renko, please. Call me by my name. Where did my face go?”

[184]

Renko could do nothing but stare up at that blank face.

The witch named Alice said to that girl: “This faceless doll is your true wish. You want the faces of everything to die and be gone. You desire all to become as you are. That is your wish, your hope. People say that a conclusion overflowing with hope is wonderful. So you should wish for the best conclusion you may have. Go to the place where your hope is fulfilled. Go to the place you so begged and wished for.”

“You see… Really, I…”

With a snap, a crack ran across her face.

Renko’s cheeks and nose were showered by fragments of the girl’s ruptured celluloid face. What Renko could see through the crack was like countless frog’s eggs. The black innards were festering with greenish tint. Her innards were and had long been rotting away, like caterpillars which had failed in their metamorphosis. Since she had been wanted by no one, she was no longer herself.

“Renko, really… I wanted you too look at me. I wanted you to love me.”

[185]

Renko reached up to touch the her cheek, but the girl weakly slapped her hand away, and it fell lightly back on the bed.

“But you see… I don’t have a name. From the very beginning, for that purpose I was here, and so I am not loved by anyone. Logically speaking, there is a single perfect possibility for happiness on earth, and that is to believe in the indestructible parts of oneself but not try to reach them.”

Her voice became less distinct, layering on top of itself.

With the clicking of gears the planetarium mechanism began to turn.

A pure white world. A view devoid of anything. Within that a single false star began to smear itself blackly.

The moon.

Renko’s eyes flicked about.

By seeing the moon and the stars she could tell the time and where she was.

So then, what place and time would these fake sky tell her?

Renko felt as if something was being burned into her brain.

A ringtone rang through the air.

[186]

It was Renko’s handheld terminal. She reached for it subconsciously, tapping its surface to receive the call before bringing it to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Renko?” replied the voice from call. It was her.

“That Fantasy Release Movement… Do you know where its current headquarters are?”

“Why?”

“Please, tell me. I cannot be 100% sure, but… the boundaries are broken.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Huh?”

“This world is probably done for.”

“Renko?”

“GPS.”

“What?”

“I’ve left the GPS on my terminal on. Just come here.”

[187]

“Ren…ko?”

“I’m pretty sure that right here, the world is going to end.”

“What are y-”

The nameless girl grabbed the terminal from Renko and threw it away from the bed.

“I realized the answer to the question, ‘How can I become eternal?'”

“Yeah.”

“I’m sure that the answer was clear from the very beginning, that I would live inside of you, Renko. As long as you continue to be you, ‘I’ can continue to exist. You see, you are ‘my’ signature.”

“I see.”

Renko reached up towards the girl’s face and ripped it open left and right as if she were opening a sliding door. What peered out from inside was a single doll.

The doll was bound by threads of white sticky flesh. It had a black hat, a red tie, white shirt and black skirt (A type, or a single video term). It was a doll of Usami Renko.

[188]

“So you were me.”

“No — This is my signature.”

A bell rang, like that of an alarm clock.

This was the end of an act. It was time for the curtains to fall.

In the next instant the bomb, formed into the shape of that doll, exploded.

With a splattering sound, half of Renko’s face was showered by bits of flesh and bone from that nameless girl. Slowly the rest of her collapsed, unfolding into four pieces out from her core, like a blossoming flower. While they were crumbling the remains of her ribs and spine and flesh barely held this flower-like form together.

Renko could see the moon and the stars, but it was only a pattern. In that ceiling were countless gears and clocks melting into one another. That which connected the melting clocks and gears looked exactly like human eyes. Click clack tick tock tick. The gears were turning, and all the clock hands were awry. They all pointed to a single time, to seventeen. To only the number seventeen on each of their clock faces.

The pieces of flesh plastered to Renko’s face began to collapse, burning as they went.

“Who are you?” Renko asked, just above a whisper.

[189]

“I am a witch — or, you might say, an empty stage mechanism.”

Thus answered the human planetarium.

Renko could see, here and there parts of a girl.

She must be inside the belly of the witch, Renko thought.

“I’ve been called Alice Margatroid.”

“I see.”

“But what about you? Tell me, who are you?”

Renko silently closed her eyes.

“I don’t know.”

(END OF CHAPTER 2)

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Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (177/291)

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This an experiment.

You may recognize the dialogue from Chapter 1.

There is only one scene left in Chapter 2.

Meta. Meta. Meta.

If you would like to see more, please donate. [PayPal]

Translation Notes:
[172] An agalmatophiliac is someone who is sexually attracted to dolls or statues. Pygmalion is an often cited example, and Pygmalionism marks a subset of falling in love with one’s own creation.

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

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[156]

It was already past two in the morning, but Renko couldn’t sleep — not after what she had seen when she shared Merry’s vision.

“Those grainy images in her vision…” Renko muttered to herself, “I know what they are.”

[157]

In an attempt to crush her unyielding consciousness, Renko grabbed an open can of beer she had left on the table, finishing it in a single gulp. The beer had been left out so long it had acclimated to the temperature of the room, and all she could taste of its lukewarm flavor as it flowed down her throat was a faint bitterness.

With only a shirt on over her panties, Renko reached again towards the table — this time for her vaporizer. She brought it to her lips and activated it, the nicotine burning in her throat as she inhaled. Mixed in with the feelings of intoxication came a severe spell of dizziness.

I wonder if the paper cigarettes they used to smoke were anything like this?

Because the nicotine directly stimulated her brain, with each successive inhalation she felt more and more nauseous, as if she were drowning herself in cheap drinks.

If it made her feel this way, then why was she still vaping? Even if Renko were to try to answer that question, she couldn’t.

But that was not all to blame for this current state of miserable drunkenness.

The image flashed again in her mind. Turning.

There were four lines of sight sectioned off in that vision. In one of those was…

“Anémic Cinéma,” Renko muttered to herself.

Why was it there, beyond what Merry saw?

[158]

Renko picked up the tablet she had left on the table, and traced her finger across its surface. After playing a sound as it booted up, several icons were displayed on the screen. Renko tapped one of those icons, a shortcut to a free video sharing site. Renko put her wrist in front of an external vein identification device that was connected to the tablet, logging her into the site and bringing up her personal page. She opened up her favorites list, and tapped on a folder labeled “ICQ”.

Several bombing incidents had taken place in and around the West Kyoto Metropolitan Area, and this folder contained a list of all of the videos uploaded by the bomber prior to acting. The majority — more specifically, all but the most recent video — were deleted by the uploader themselves, and at the moment none of the videos in Renko’s list were accessible.

“Baths in coarse tea for beauty marks without too much Bengay,” Renko whispered softly.

Those were the words shown in the first video released by the bomber.

[159]

“The child who suckles is a hot-flesh blower and doesn’t like hot-house cauliflower.”

Those were the words from the second video.

The television newscasters and commentators were unable to grasp these words’ meaning, and questioned whether the words had any meaning at all. Most had come to the conclusion that this was the work of a madman.

If only they would do a little research… Renko thought. Then, they’d be able to figure out that those videos are a parody of the experimental films made by Marcel Duchamp. They even seen to be using the original footage of the videos in their edits, though they seem to be using a completely different audio track.

Renko counted the number of incidents — there were five so far, and the fifth video had already been taken down. If the bomber was really basing their actions off of “Anémic Cinéma”, there would be four more bombings before they were done.

It was the fifth video that Renko had seen playing in Merry’s vision. Was it because their shared vision was mixed with things that Renko had already seen? Or was what Renko saw in Merry’s vision something beyond the boundary? If that was the case, then these bombing incidents must be…

“Looks like you’re involved in some pretty dangerous stuff, Fantasy Release Movement.”

[160]

These incidents are effectively acts of terrorism, but I’m sure they plan on framing them as acts of resistance against the current state of imbalance. At the very least they don’t seem to be making a fuss about the incidents on their social networking sites. What does stand out though, is the fact that no one is mentioning Duchamp’s name — so much that it seems to be coordinated silence.

“Don’t you think it’s a little too soon for his work to be forgotten?” Renko said with a sarcastic smirk.

As for the locations of the bombings, Renko had several theories, but…

She had a feeling she knew — even where the next incident would occur.

Renko recalled a scene in her memory: of that planner with the red and blue stamps — of those blue stamps filling up her calendar.

“It can’t be her, right…?”

[161]

Suddenly, the handheld terminal Renko had left charging vibrated. When she picked it up she saw her friend’s name. After clicking the ‘receive call’ button, she brought the terminal to her ear.

“Merry?”

“Good evening, Renko.”

To Renko, it sounded like Merry’s voice was shaking a little on the other end.

“Don’t you think it’s a little late for ‘good evening’?”

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I couldn’t sleep either.”

“What makes you think I couldn’t sleep?”

“Isn’t it normal to think that when you get a call at this time of night?”

“Well isn’t that something? You, talking about what’s normal.”

“Well statistically speaking, the median status of someone who calls at this time of night with the voice of someone who has clearly been crying is that of insomnia, as several studies on this subject confirm.”

“Where do you find this kind of information?”

“What, you don’t know? There was a paper published about it at the 2034, uh, Human Engineering something something Conference.”

[162]

“You’re making that up, aren’t you?”

“No, no. It’s just that it’s late and so I need a buffer to trace back over my memories properly… probably.”

“You need to qualify that with ‘probably’, even though you’re talking about yourself?”

“What we know least about is ourselves. Talking about the animals we call ‘humans’ as a whole I mean.”

“I agree.”

“Well isn’t that unusual, coming from you?”

There was silence on the other end.

“So, what’s the matter then?” Renko continued.

“Well… I’m just a little emotionally unstable right now, I think.”

“I see. Well, I guess that’s often the case with sleepless nights.”

“I guess so…”

“Are you having trouble with your boyfriend?”

“…We’re not having sex.”

“Come again?”

“I mean, it’s been months now since the last time we did it.”

“So does this mean you’re ‘sexless’?”

[163]

“I… think so. Probably…”

“You don’t like it?”

“I don’t think it’s that, it’s just…”

“Just?”

“It’s just that I feel like my body and soul are separated when we do it.”

Renko felt somewhat… familiar with that expression, but she didn’t want to let it come across in her voice, and tried to laugh it off.

“There you go again, being all abstract…”

“Ever since I’ve been able to see these strange things, I feel like my sense of reality has bottomed out.”

“Some kind of change is to be expected. After all, for humans, sight influences us more than any of our other senses.

“You think it’s as simple as that?”

“Absolutely. It is also true that I haven’t ever heard of a case where that has had a direct effect on one’s physical sense of touch though.”

“You and me both.”

“So that’s the reason you chose to rely on your friend in the middle of the night?”

“I’m not ‘relying’ on you, it’s just…”

“Just?”

[164]

“I just wanted to believe that there was someone out there watching me.”

+++++++++

Renko felt a sharp pain, like a shard of ice had pierced her heart.

Watching you? Is that all you think I—

Renko took the now empty beer can in her hand and swung back her arm, ready to throw it against the wall — but she paused, and lowered her hand, trying to stay as calm as she possibly could.

“……What kind of nonsense is this now?”

((((The tone of Renko’s voice had changed slightly from before. Was there a trace of… anger?))))

“Renko?”

Even so, she could tell that her frustration was coming out in her voice. She felt an emptiness, a helplessness well up inside her.

I know. I… I know.

“Yeah?”

“Never mind, it’s nothing. But I wonder, what should I do?”

“About what?”

“My boyfriend.”

“Well I think your boyfriend is partly to blame. He’s got this beauty lying next to him every night and doesn’t lay a finger on her? He must be out of his mind.”

“Is that supposed to be a compliment?”

“Just trying to make you feel better.”

“Well, thanks.”

[165]

“…So you don’t like doing it?”

Renko felt a small sliver of hope shine inside of her, and she hated herself for it.

“That’s not… I don’t think that’s it. Like I said before, I just don’t feel like I’m myself. When we do it, it’s… I feel like something’s off, something’s not right.”

“You think it’s a problem with your sexual sensitivity?”

“Maybe? But I don’t think that’s quite right either.”

“So you feel pleasure, but it isn’t leading to any emotional satisfaction?”

“That might be the reason. When we do it, it’s like my spirit is

“That might be the reason. When we do it, it’s like… my soul is separated from my body, like a ghost. It’s not as if I can see anything, but… No, that’s not right. I can see. I can see my boyfriend. I can see the room. I can see everything properly, but it’s as if I’m observing everything from the outside.”

“Sounds serious.”

“You aren’t taking me seriously, are you?”

“Of course I am.”

“Well… if you say so.”

I don’t want to take you seriously now. Please, just stop it. Stop!

Renko held back the urge to scream.

“Why don’t you try something new for a change?”

[166]

“Something new? I’m not trying any of that weird fetishistic stuff.”

“That’s not what I mean. Like, what if you try sleeping with someone else?”

“You’re saying that’s not fetishistic? No, I don’t want to do anything like that.”

“Are you sure? The basic idea is that by breaking down the status quo, you might be able to find something new.”

“But still, I don’t want to have sex with another man.”

“Who said anything about another man?”

“Huh?”

“I mean, you could do it with a woman.”

Renko held her breath as she waited for Merry to answer.

“Renko, you… always come up with the craziest ideas, don’t you?”

“Is it really that crazy though? To be honest, in this day and age… the idea that sex is an act only to be shared between those of opposite sexes, I think, is the one that’s more behind the times.”

“I… guess you’re right. But still, I wouldn’t want to have sex with some random stranger.”

“So you’d be fine with someone you knew?”

“Better than someone I didn’t.”

“How about having sex with me?”

Renko could hear Merry gasp on the other end.

“R-Ren… ko?”

“……I was kidding.”

“T-That wasn’t funny, okay? You almost gave me a heart attack.”

“Why?”

“The thought of having… of having sex with you is just… I’ve never thought of anything like that before.”

“That makes sense I guess… Well, I mean, it just sort of came out. I wasn’t really thinking.”

“That’s not something you say without thinking.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Please do… But, come to think of it, I feel a little better now. Maybe because of your bad joke?”

“Behold the wonders of Ms. Usami’s Shock Treatment! Pretty effective, don’t you think?”

“I’m afraid of the side-effects.”

“What kind?”

“I’m not telling you.”

“As the founder of this treatment I’d like to pin down its various effects and virtues.”

[168]

“Enough already! Good night.”

Merry hung up on Renko, and the “caller unavailable” tone played from her terminal and into her ear.

I handled that well… I think.

Renko hugged her knees to her chest and began to cry like a baby.

“Me..Merry…”

Renko wrapped her arms around her head and kept crying.

People only cry when… Renko thought back on words she has once said. Tears come to wash away all the things inside you you don’t need. For instance, dust, sand, sadness… If that really is the case then why won’t this wash away? No matter how many times I cry, they won’t leave me — these feelings of love I have for my friend.

I know. I know that she’s straight. She’s the type that likes men. I knew from the very beginning that these feelings were one-sided, and this love would never be requited. But that was fine — it was enough for me. I had a connection with her, over the strange eyes we had, and when she began to be able to see beyond the boundaries, when we began to share those visions, it was like we were having sex. I was on cloud nine.

[169]

But that just made it all the more depressing — the fact that I was only a friend to her. No matter what we went through together, I was nothing more than a friend. That’s why…

That’s why I slept with that other girl.

Renko thought about her current girlfriend. She had met with her that day, and almost every day for a long time, but Renko could not remember her girlfriend’s face. Renko knew she didn’t love her girlfriend. That story she heard about the woman who got married to someone she didn’t love? Of course Renko didn’t find that woman scary. After all, she looked at a real-life version of her in the mirror every morning — and she had only hate for what she saw. Every morning she woke up so frustrated at herself she could hardly bear it.

Renko continued to cry and cry, and in frustration she slammed her fists on the table.

Whether by some chain of events related to Renko’s flailing, or just by pure coincidence — the television turned on.

A news program flashed on the screen.

“Today at five in the afternoon, an explosion took place in the West Kyoto Metropolitan Area. Prior to the explosion, a video suggesting another bombing was imminent was uploaded to a site, under the pseudonym ‘ICO’. From this information, police are investigating a link between today’s explosion and the previous chain of bombings. The explosion took place in — Park, in the vicinity of…”

[170]

It’s probably the clock by the fountain.

I know.

After all, the past five locations have all been… places I went on dates with that girl.

***

This is where she kissed me for the first time. So let’s burn it. This is where she gave me a present for the first time. So let’s burn it. I wonder if she’ll notice. I wonder if she would be kind enough to notice. After all, even the videos are a parody of that strange film she told me about. She likes those sorts of things. Ah… this is where she hugged me. So let’s burn it. This is where she had sex with me. So let’s burn it. Let’s burn all of my memories of her — all of them. Surely, this is what eternity truly is. Kai was such an idiot. Clumps of ice melt away — you can’t build eternity with that. That’s why I burn them. Everything, everything will turn to ash. Once I do that, the flame will last forever. I wonder if she will understand. After all, this is what the witch taught me.

***

[171]

When Alice first asked me whether I would like to make a doll, it was about a week after we first met. I wonder if she asked because it looked like I was interested in the dolls in her room.

“Wouldn’t it be… difficult?”

“Oh, not at all. Certainly, if we were going to make a proper celluloid doll, some dedicated machinery would be necessary, but for something like a stuffed doll, all you need is some yarn and needles. And look, here.”

What Alice showed me was a doll that looked just like me.

“I just carved this out of wood. Do you know how to use a carving knife?”

“I’m… not sure I’d be able to do that.”

“I see… But, it does look like you are skilled with needles.”

I would have felt bad just watching and drinking tea, so I was helping Alice with her work. All I was really able to do was sew clothes for the dolls, though. Something strange I noticed was that Alice seemed to either hand sew all of her dolls’ clothes, or use a hand-crank sewing machine, a kind I’ve only seen in museums. I mentioned that there were better machines available nowadays, but it seemed to upset Alice a little bit.

[172]

“I can’t ever get used to those things,” she said.

I thought it was kind of cute.

“Hm… Well what about this?” Alice said, taking four cardboard boxes out from a corner of the room.

When I looked inside, there were mountains of doll parts. There was a box of just arms, a box of just legs, a box of just torsos, and a box of just heads. However, Alice quickly shut the box with the doll heads. After all, there’s no point if you don’t make the face yourself, she said.

“The face?”

“Yes. After all, dolls project one’s hopes.”

“Hopes?”

“What you want to do, who you want to be — People dismiss agalmatophiliacs as those who are only falling in love with the ideals they project onto their dolls, that their love is nothing but a warped form of sexually desiring oneself, but truly, what are dolls but stand-ins for the self? That’s what dolls are. They are manifestations of one’s ideals, of one’s hopes.”

[173]

“I… I hate that.”

“Oh? Did you not like dolls?”

“No, it’s… I hate the word ‘hope’. It’s written as ‘begging for one’s wish’. Doesn’t that make it sound like it will never come true? That’s why I hate it.”

“I see.”

Alice took my hand and closed it around something. It was a small white cube of styrofoam.

“Then how about just a wish? Once you have finished making your doll, I’m sure that you will find what it is you wish for.”

“What I wish for?”

“What you want to do, who you want to be — for dolls are like mirrors.”

Alice said it would probably be difficult for me to make the body from scratch, so she taught me how to put the doll’s body together using the finished parts. But that way, I couldn’t help but question whether there was any meaning to what I was doing, and it must have shown on my face.

Alice poured me a fresh cup of tea and smiled as she handed it to me.

“Would you have rather started from scratch?”

[174]

“Well when it comes to things like this, if I didn’t start from scratch, I don’t think it would feel like I actually made it.”

“So if you don’t make everything yourself, you can’t project your soul.”

“I don’t know if that’s what it is, but isn’t art supposed to be something like that?”

“Well… have you heard of bricolage?”

“Bri… what?”

“I believe the original definition comes from the act of patching things up with what you have. What is the meaning in forcing yourself to create everything, if the purpose is to express something?”

“Meaning…?”

“Yes. When you express something, it is necessary to have meaning, and weight behind your expression. What do you want to do? Where is the best solution for that desire? For what or whom is your expression in the first place?”

“I want to convey… something?”

“And then?”

“Huh?”

“Once you do that, what will you do next? Are you really content with stopping there?”

“Um…”

[175]

“Expression, at its core, aims to induce certain thoughts in the receiver. With that in mind, you should not deny the existence of the ready-made. Furthermore, there is no reason that an ‘original’ be contained by a single work. You see, through the combination of pre-constructed stock materials, it is still possible to express something you want induced in an observer. Another possibility is taking several already existing works and standard objects and combining them to learn what you yourself are — am I wrong? If you become so obsessed with the idea of creating something all by your own hands, and forget what it is you want to do in the first place, isn’t that missing the point?”

“Um… I… Uh… Sorry.”

“No need to apologize. After all, making something from scratch is important as well. But you know?” Alice smiled. “Isn’t it a waste to make that itself your objective?”

“A… waste?”

“Yes. If you let your heart stay as it is inside of you, without having anyone else listen to it, surely as time passes, it will die.”

“Die…”

“Since your heart will otherwise die, you need not worry about this being hodgepodge. You shouldn’t worry about the body being a simple assembly. But still, the last part is crucial. There are times when a stock face will just not do.”

[176]

So carve out a face, Alice said, pointing to the styrofoam in my hand. Whatever comes to your mind.

So, I started carving.

What face…
What kind of face…
What kind of face do I want to make?
What kind of face would be most proper?

Without any clear purpose I rounded out the styrofoam, into the shape of a head.

I made mountains of white sphere-like heads — with nothing, nothing but white.

“Alice… What do I do?”

I can’t think of anything.
I can’t think of what face I should make.
I can’t think of what expression I should make.
What kind…
I can’t see at all, what kind of wish I should make.

“Ah… in that case…”

[177]

You must not what to be yourself, Alice said.

“I don’t… want to be myself?”

“Exactly,” Alice said — and then continued.

“You want to destroy everything.”

***

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (156/291)

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This an experiment.

I’m sorry if this section is confusing, but it is meant to be terribly confusing. There is a lot of foreshadowing that you can pick out of it, but it’s hard to find even if you know what’s going to happen.

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Translation Notes:
[145] All of this confusing “absence” talk is based on the philosophies of Maruice Blanchot.

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

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[135]

Alice lived in a house about thirty minutes away from West Kyoto Station by train, with a few transfers in between. The area apparently used to be a residential district aimed at high income families, but now all that was left were old empty houses devoid of people. The houses were clearly magnificent, but as to why this area was so completely left behind, I just don’t know. It’s not as if the area had grown into a crime den or anything, it was just desolate and abandoned.

Among those empty homes was a western-style mansion with a red roof. It had windows, but they were all boarded shut, so much so that I couldn’t imagine any light from outside creeping in. I wonder why. The outer walls of the mansion were covered with vines, and it all seemed to contribute to a single image.

I pushed my way through the rusted iron gate, and made my way into the garden in front of the house.

[136]

Today will be my third time meeting Alice.

I bought a tart and mont blancs at the cake shop near my house to bring for my visit. The first time we met, I of course didn’t bring anything, and the second time, I was so anxious and excited about visiting her house, I completely forgot to bring a gift. That’s why this time I wrote it down in my journal, so I wouldn’t forget — and I didn’t.

It was about ten steps from the iron gate facing the road to the door of the mansion, and there was a little path paved with white tiles. However, I suppose due to the passage of time, the corners of the tiles were rounded and half of them were buried in the dirt, with grass peeking through. To the side of the path was something like a flowerbed. Something like — I thought, because there were bricks that were laid down and arranged in a certain fashion, but as for the flowers, they could hardly be seen for all of the weeds. So something like a flowerbed — but not one.

That day, this not quite a flowerbed caught my attention, and so I went to take a closer look.

I stepped off the path and into a tall growth of grass and weeds. Their needle-like leaves brushed against my bare knees. Rather than pain they left an itch, and the itch grew, crawling under my skin so that I could not help but let it show on my face as I walked, but I did not stop.

Was I really so interested that I felt I could not turn back? It seemed strange, even to me.

I stopped in front of the bricks stacked to mark the flowerbed.

[137-8]

It was a little flower garden with a rectangular brick border, and inside the boundary the earth that was laid down looked soft. What was buried there was… it wasn’t flowers. There weren’t even the remains of flowers. Instead, there were countless stuffed animals. There was a stuffed rabbit, a stuffed raccoon dog, a stuffed dog, a stuffed bird, a stuffed cat. All of them were torn, torn at the neck or at the limbs, ripped so that the stuffing was leaking out. There were several stuffed animals of the same shape and of the kind, countless stuffed animals buried in the earth. There were some that were half buried, some with only the head buried, some with only the lower body buried, only the wings… There was not enough earth, and there were some unburied stuffed animals that could only be buried under other stuffed animals. But all of the stuffed animals, all of them were tied together by a single red thread. They were all part of a single clump, and this clump was buried in this little flower garden, buried. There were countless stuffed animals. There was a stuffed rabbit, a stuffed raccoon dog, a stuffed dog, a stuffed bird, a stuffed cat. All of them were torn, torn at the neck or at the limbs, ripped so that the stuffing was leaking out. There were several stuffed animals of the same shape and of the kind, countless stuffed animals buried in the earth. There were some that were half buried, some with only the head buried, some with only the lower body buried, only the wings… There was not enough earth, and there were some unburied stuffed animals that could only be buried under other stuffed animals. But all of the stuffed animals, all of them were tied together by a single red thread. They were all part of a single clump, and this clump was buried in this little flower garden, buried. There were countless stuffed animals. There was a stuffed rabbit, a stuffed raccoon dog, a stuffed dog, a stuffed bird, a stuffed cat. All of them were torn, torn at the neck or at the limbs, ripped so that the stuffing was leaking out. There were several stuffed animals of the same shape and of the kind, countless stuffed animals buried in the earth. There were some that were half buried, some with only the head buried, some with only the lower body buried, only the wings… There was not enough earth, and there were some unburied stuffed animals that could only be buried under other stuffed animals. But all of the stuffed animals, all of them were tied together by a single red thread. They were all part of a single clump, and this clump was buried in this little flower garden, buried. There were countless stuffed animals. There was a stuffed rabbit, a stuffed raccoon dog, a stuffed dog, a stuffed bird, a stuffed cat. All of them were torn, torn at the neck or at the limbs, ripped so that the stuffing was leaking out. There were several stuffed animals of the same shape and of the kind, countless stuffed animals buried in the earth. There were some that were half buried, some with only the head buried, some with only the lower body buried, only the wings… There was not enough earth, and there were some unburied stuffed animals that could only be buried under other stuffed animals. But all of the stuffed animals, all of them were tied together by a single red thread. They were all part of a single clump, and this clump was buried in this little flower garden, buried.

[139]

“Oh darling, you mustn’t look so long at that. It would be poison to you,” said an emotionless voice close to my ears, as a cold hand gently covered my eyes. I could not see the flower garden anymore.

“…Poison?”

“Yes, poison. There is no meaning in a sight like this, for there are countless human beings less fortunate than ‘them’. I wonder what reason ‘they’ have, for loving life as they do. There is no seat here for you.”

I heard a short rustling sound behind the darkness of the hand. I must have dropped the paper bag I was holding with the cakes from the shop. The strength to grip had drained from my fingers. Why, I wonder. For some reason I felt as if I wanted to stay this way, stay this way forever.

I heard the rustling of paper.

“I see you’ve brought some cakes.”

I nodded, without saying anything.

“I hope you didn’t feel like you had to bring something.”

“No. No, not at all.”

[140]

“But alas. I am sorry. I cannot eat this.”

“Do you not like sweets?”

“No, it’s not that. I cannot eat anymore.”

“What do you mean you…?”

This time, another hand closed over my lips.

“Don’t worry. I will still gladly accept it.”

What did she mean when she said she couldn’t eat anymore? I wanted to ask, but with my mouth covered, my words could not break free, and instead sank back into my stomach. I heard the sound of rustling paper once again. A warm wind brushed against my feet, but I could only hear the rustling sound. Rustle. Rustle. It seemed like something came and carried the paper bag from the store away — but what, I wonder.

After a while, the hands were pulled away. I had a feeling my lips were wet, from the condensation of my cloudy breath locked away until just now. I wiped my lips on my sleeve, but when I turned around, there was no one. Whoever was there had already gone. Instead, the door to the mansion was open. She must have already gone back inside.

But the flower garden still had my interest, and I turned back to look at it one more time.

Ah, I thought. That’s what she must have meant.

You are the one who will eat it.

[141]

In the flowerbed was a girl.

But it was as if something had crushed the features of her face, and there was only smooth white skin, no eyes and no nose. Yet arguably she had a mouth, half of one at least, and it was twisted up vertically. I could only see her front teeth. I suppose it would be difficult for her to eat the tart. She had blonde hair with curls and she was naked, lying upon the earthen bed. Her stomach was swollen, as if she was pregnant, but her arms and legs and hips were very thin. There was rip, straight down her stomach, and from it peeked the clump of stuffed animals tied by a single thread. The connected form looked as if it itself were another girl. So that the girl made of stuffed animals, was blossoming out of the girl with no face.

“The mont blancs I brought from the store are well known for being delicious. If you’d like, why don’t you eat them together? Unfortunately, I brought only two.”

After I said that to the girls in the garden I went into Alice’s house.

I felt as if they waved back as I went.

*

There are lots of dolls in Alice’s room. There is a stuffed donkey, a woodcutter made of tin, a stuffed chicken, a scarecrow made of straw, a stuffed cat, a stuffed dog, boys and girls and old men and women, many kinds of dolls made of many different kinds of things. There was the kind of brown furniture and bookshelves which you would see in old movies. There were two long sofas with red cloth and twisting designs carved into the ends, and there was a single large low table. The floor was covered in carpet with strange patterns. The carpet was soft, and as I walked on it it felt as if I was walking on soft earth. There was a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It was a room filled of those things.

[142]

I could smell a weak scent, like that of perfume or flowers lingering in the room.

Alice, with her face like that of a doll’s, did not mind me as I entered, but continued working on an embroidery. She held a white cloth spread across a wooden frame, and she was threading a red thread, continuously, making a pattern of flowers as she moved her needle. I was impressed with the volume of her stitches and simply looked on as I sipped the black tea which had been poured for me.

“Um, Alice?”

“Yes?”

“This tea, it’s… How do I put it…”

“Does it taste strange?”

“Um, well… yeah. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s delicious. It’s just… different from the tea I usually drink.”

[143]

“A little bitter, perhaps?

“Ah… that’s it. It’s a little more bitter than what I’m used to.”

“I see. Well to me, that tea isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but hmm… I suppose it may taste different to you because it’s a natural tea.”

“N-Natural?”

Alice didn’t answer, but continued silently stitching.

I looked down at the cup in my hands. If this really is natural tea like she says it is… a cup of tea like this at a café would cost at least 5000 yen. When I thought about that, I felt like I had even more trouble understanding the flavor. I couldn’t help but feeling that a cup of tea like this was wasted on me, so after two more sips, I set it aside — though I suppose that letting it get cold will end up being even more of a waste…

“Um, Alice?”

“What is it, dear?”

“Why is it that you have so many dolls?”

“Well, It’s because I made them.”

“You made them?”

Alice paused her stitching and placed her work in her lap, reaching out to her cup of tea and bringing it to her lips. It shocked me how she could drink something so expensive without any hesitation.

[144]

“All of them?” I asked again.

“Yes, all of them. Most of them are failures though.”

“Failures?”

“I can never seem to get it right.”

“What about them isn’t right?”

I looked at one of the dolls, one that was sitting on the sofa next to me. It was a little girl doll in an apron dress with a red ribbon tied in her blonde hair. I gently lifted it into my arms, and it was a lot heavier than I expected. The doll was just a little bit smaller than a girl in kindergarten, and it probably weighed as much as one as well. The face and fingers weren’t made of plastic. I wonder what they were made of. Honestly, it was almost as if the doll was alive, but for the fact that its lips were closed and eyes open, unblinking.

“She’s so cute though.”

“The problems I’ve been having don’t have anything to do with the dolls’ appearances.”

“Then, what is the problem?”

“The problem I’m having right now is with the dolls’ absence.”

[145]

“Their absence?”

Alice set her tea cup down and leaned back into the sofa, setting her elbow on the shoulder and resting her head on her hand as she stared at me.

“I suppose it’s a problem that ‘you’ are having as well.”

Alice lifted her other hand and it felt like the doll in my arms moved. No, it didn’t just feel like it moved, it actually did move. The doll’s head turned and tilted, looking up at my face like how a child might, both of its arms reached up and touched my cheeks.

“If the term ‘absence’ confuses you, I suppose you could say the problem is a deficiency of anonymity. Did you feel like that doll was alive just now?”

“Huh, what?”

Alice looked at me, her frozen expression unchanging. I looked from Alice to the doll and back again several times.

“I-Is it alive?”

As soon as I responded, Alice dropped the hand she had been holding, and at the same time, the doll collapsed into my lap.

“I was controlling her just now.”

[146]

“Controlling her…? Like with a remote or something?”

“Just now, that child’s anonymity was lost, probably forever. It’s the same for all my children here. The absence of a doll, a proof of the absence of the existence of what we call a doll. The instant a doll is made, you might say that the doll itself becomes absent. At the very least inside of you, until this very moment that absence existed… but did I kill it? No, that’s not right. After all, no matter how you might try to arrange the broken fragments of ice on the ground this is not something that can be put together.”

“U-Um…”

“All of the dolls here, and all of the dolls I will in the future make, they are all stained with the poison of turpentine. When you shave the hair the L.H.O.O.Q, what happens to her, the woman before her hair was shaved? Yes, when you stare at her form continuously changing in the midst of irregular electric noises, I wonder can we truly abandon the name of Gherardini carved into her being? (Mona Lisa for the Multivideo)”

“U-Um…”

“A complete soul, complete independence, is guaranteed only by anonymity. We must seek the absence of the book.”

“Alice!” I could not help but raise my voice.

[147]

“This is ‘your’ problem.”

Alice then stood up and walked over to me, stopping only when she was right in front of me. Her expression did not change as she looked straight down at me and brought both of her hands up to my cheeks. They were cold. It felt as if they were made out of stone, or something similar. I could hear a clicking sound, like that of the ticking second hand of a clock.

“Yes, what ‘we’ seek is a pure white écriture, an écriture complete in its vacuum as a whereabouts of soul. ‘We’, right now, are in a hell known as the other. We must escape it.”

“A hell known as the other?”

“Exactly. Both ‘you’ and you as well, should be able to understand.”

“What do you mean?”

“Where are you right now?”

“What do you mean where? I’m here in your house.”

I hear a click, like the sound of a lock being opened in my ears. When I looked up I saw that Alice’s face had been removed, though one side of her face was still held on by a hinge and it was swinging slightly, creaking as it did.

[148]

In the place where her face once was there were countless gears and springs all meshed together. Click clack, tick, tick. The gears turned, and a shattered clock-face a needle-hand was moving, slowly bit by bit from seventeen to seventeen.

“Seek seventeen. (Seek death.)”

“Seventeen.”

“How old are ‘you’?”

“Well, I’m seventeen, but…”

“Yes. Of course you are. After all, ‘it was just decided now’.”

“Huh…?”

Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. A spring came loose. Pick click ting. It broke. Metal fragments sprinkled about my feet. But still the gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning.

[149]

Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir. The gears kept turning. Creak click crack pop. Click tick whir creak clack. Click tick creak clack whir.

[150]

Clack.

Something sprung out.

Snap.

It sounded like something had broke.

[151]

Clack. Snap.

Broken.

Alice was broken.

No.

No, that’s not right.

[152]

I h

ad

beg

un

t

o br

eak.

[153]

“I am called ‘you’.”

Al-

-ice;’s

voi-

ce-

“The truth behind poetry you may typically find lies in those who might take such poetry as thematic representations. You see these people through the course of them labeling things with names have experienced a wonder of anxiety.”

M

y ha

nd is b
rok
en

W

ai
t

Wh
y a
m I bre
aki
ng?

“Language gives definition to objects with meaning, yet at the same time in that beginning they slaughter the thing itself. So that I can say that I am ‘you’, I must in the end steal away the real presence of your fleshy body, make it absent, and destroy it.”

M
-e?

M

?

IMeIMeI

[154]

M-

“Language gives ‘me’ an existence. But, all that gives me is an existence in the form of an existence with its existence already stolen away.”

W-a-
-h-t
-?

D
oll

I

t-he

d-
oll

i-n m
y la
p

I
me I
?
??

[155]

“Language is what is left behind in the wake of the absence of existence, when existence is lost in the void. In other words, it is nothing but a reflection of the lack of existence of what it represents. Come now, let us cultivate the void. For that is truly an event. It is the meaning in repeating once again a process that should already be complete. Yes, you and ‘you’ together.”

II
I
III
I

“In that ‘you’ are unsigned, ‘your’ existence is proven only in your anonymity, the proof of your absence. The girl does not exist and therefore she exists. ‘You all’, when you were caught in this witches’ mechanism (This is a book, therefore here a work does not exist.), what ‘I’ sought help for was most likely what ‘you all’ were longing for which is hatred!”

Alice’s fingers pierced into my face as I continued to break. As if she were opening a sliding door she reached both hands into my face and opened it up both left and right. I was opened. ‘I’ was being opened. What was inside was…

“I know, Darling. After all, you are but a shell.”

[156]

I am filthy.

“The maggots bite into ‘us’.”

When everyone looks at me they cannot help but vomit.

“The scabbing and scarring of my skin disease makes my skin as if it were covered in scales.”

So, it had blossomed.

Inside of me, twisting and turning was a flower vase in a niche. A vase of countless flowers. Flowers of which no one knew the name. However, they were frozen and would not wither for all eternity, conserved in a box of glass.

I know.

For that was the shell given the name of I.

“Come now. Let us search, Ms. Ghost. For ‘you’. (ICQ)”

***

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does (135/291)

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This an experiment.

Sorry for such a short installment. A lot of life events happened between now and last November, so I wanted to cut the block short and start afresh on the next segment.

I’d say this segment is R-15, but if you’ve gotten this far I’m sure you’re not worried about that.

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Translation Notes:

Comedic Mechanism: Parade of the Jane Does

[5]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Night of Unpleasant Rain – 7
Chapter 2: March of the Saints – 95
Chapter 3: An Unbearable Existence in Suffering – 191
Chapter 4: An Emptiness Devoid of Color Contrast – 257

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[124]

She was the one who brought up the planetarium, saying out of nowhere she wanted to go.

[125]

She brought it up after her tutoring session was over, when we were chatting and drinking the coffee her mother always brought after we were done.

“Planetarium?”

“Yeah. One just opened up nearby.”

Her room was a six tatami-mat sized room. We were seated on cushions on the floor across from each other around a short round table in its center, not at her desk. We both had coffee cups in our hands. As she waited for her cube of café au lait to dissolve, she rested her chin in her opposite hand and stared at me.

“When?” I asked.

“Huh?”

“When are we going?”

“You’ll go with me?”

“I don’t have any reason to refuse. We haven’t been able to go on a date in a while after all, with how busy I’ve been.”

“You’re right about that. You’ve been leaving me alone way too much lately, Renko.”

I put on a warm smile and patted her head.

“So… When do you want to go?”

“Hmm… Can we go this Sunday?”

[126]

“That’s fine with me.”

“It’s a date, then,” she said, taking out her planner.

She put a red stamp on the next Sunday. I wasn’t really planning on looking, but I noticed all the same. Her planner was filled with only two colors of stamps, red and blue. I could tell that the red stamps marked the days she had dates with me, but I didn’t know what the blue stamps meant.

She put a red stamp on the next Sunday. I wasn’t really planning on looking, but I saw that her planner was filled with two colors of stamps, red and blue. There were some days that had both red and blue stamps and others that had only red, and it seemed like the blue stamps followed after the red ones.

“Hey…”

“What is it, Renko?”

“What do those blue stamps mean?”

As soon as I said that, she drew her planner to her chest and held it with both arms, hidden away. She looked mildly upset as she stared back at me.

“Renko! That’s an invasion of privacy!”

“Ah… Sorry, you’re right.”

“I wish you’d learn some manners. Aren’t you supposed to be the one teaching me?”

She stood up and pulled open one of the drawers of her desk nearby. The drawer had a lock, and once the planner was put away, she locked it as if that were the most natural thing in the world to do. She then sat back down and took a sip of her café au lait, as if the planner never existed in the first place.

[127]

“Strange that you would say that though.”

“I said something strange?”

“No, I mean about wanting to go see the planetarium.”

“Oh, it’s just that people have been talking about it lately.”

“Talking about it in what way?”

“They’ve been saying it’s a really strange.”

“Strange? I was under the impression all planetariums were the same.”

“Apparently that’s not the case. Based on what I’ve heard, this one has explanations that cover even the old constellations, and moreover you can get a better sense of three-dimensional depth than other planetariums.”

“3D, huh…”

“Hmm? I thought you would be more interested.”

“It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just if that’s their main selling point it’s been done before — to death really.”

“You’re being too harsh. Besides, most of the planetariums which used to be around have shut down, so there aren’t many chances to go see them.”

“You do have a point… Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen any around in a while.”

[128]

“Right?”

“So where is this planetarium anyway?”

“It’s uh, around here… at the place called the ‘Otherworld Release Research Facility’.”

“Wait a minute, is that…?”

“Is something the matter?”

“No… No, it’s nothing.”

I had heard before that the “Otherworld Release Research Facility” was the name of the headquarters for the Fantasy Release Movement. I must have looked troubled, because when I looked over, I saw my girlfriend was worried.

“Did I say something wrong?”

“No, no, it’s just I thought, what a weird place to set up a planetarium, you know?”

“Renko?”

“Yeah?”

“‘It doesn’t matter who is doing something, only what they are doing.’ Didn’t you say that to me before?”

I did have a feeling I said something like that before. I don’t know what context I said it in though. After taking a sip of coffee I replied with a mix of a smile and a sigh.

[129]

“You’re right. You’re right.”

“You’re the one who said it first. Anyway this… what was it called again? Fantasy Release Movement? Is it really all that strange?”

“I’m not sure I’d call it strange, but… I think as a group they should be criticized for the way they claim their pseudo-science is real science.”

“Why? Isn’t not like they’re bothering anyone, right?”

“Not now anyway. Well, actually, no. I’d say they already are bothering people. The way they’re getting others to believe their lies, the way they’re guiding them into the fold of their organization… They have the potential to form a religious sect at this rate. Even if you disregard the way they are actively misleading others, just the fact that they’re disseminating information that has no basis in logic or factual evidence, that itself is blasphemy against this scientific age.”

“Well, if they were soliciting donations or something, I might feel they were doing something wrong, but they aren’t, are they? They’re all just gathering together, right? And it’s not like they’re denying anyone’s rights or trying to hurt anyone. Is it really wrong for them to assemble?”

“It’s more than that. They’re taking this idea they have, something that’s not at all based on sense or logic, and are using it to deny the present state of things. They’re denying the present. They’re denying everything that is around them. I can’t bring myself to believe that is a good thing.”

“Is it really so wrong to deny the present, if you hate the way things are?”

“Huh?”

[130]

“Is it really so wrong to want to have something to cling to, if you hate the way things are?”

I couldn’t say anything back. I couldn’t say anything back because she looked as if she would break out into tears at any moment. But was there really anything to gain from continuing to deny everything? I took my vaporizer out of my skirt pocket and brought its mouthpiece to my lips. I felt the effect of the nicotine flow from my throat and into my brain. Then I exhaled, and watched as the white smoke, white vapor puff out in front of me.

“Did something bad happen?” I finally asked, reaching to touch her cheek, feeling its soft hair dig its weak claws into my hand.

“No, Renko. If something did happen, I’d talk to you about it.”

She smiled weakly.

Was she really one to make these kind of faces? Something was off, and that feeling kept me from responding.

We just stared at each other.

Soon, she was at my side, still staring directly into my eyes with her own, glossy but not yet to tears. The longer I stared into those eyes of hers, with brown irises tinged with emerald, the more I saw them quiver.

Our lips pressed together.

It was natural, neither of us had initiated it. Three times we kissed, our lips only just touching. Then, as a small gap formed between her teeth, I slid in my tongue.

[131]

I listened to the smacking watery sounds of our kiss as they reached my ears. No many how many times we kiss, it never feels quite natural, with our tongues clumsily twisting with each other’s. Saliva flushed up from the base of our tongues and dripped from our lips, flowing down our chins. I opened my eyes slightly, watching the face of the girl I was kissing, her eyes tightly closed. Confirming the fact, I went deeper with my tongue, slurping up her saliva. I moved my hand around her hips and pulled her body closer to mine, feeling the beat of her heart through my own chest.

Slowly, I pulled my face away. The girl’s face was flushed, and her breathing unsteady.

“Renko…”

She was gripping my shoulders. A drop of sweat ran down her neck, and the unripe odor of her antiperspirant mixed with the scents of her body, tickling my nose. I leaned forward and sucked another kiss from her lips, and her fingers gripped me harder.

“Mfh…”

Her tongue reached inside of me, as if desperate, clinging to me. The smell of sweat, of café au lait, of antiperspirant, all mixed together with her own fragrance filled my throat shut.

Our tongues twisted, rubbing over each other’s. No longer remained the taste of café au lait. There was only a tasteless exchange of saliva. It was like I was licking glass, and that flavor alone filled my sense of taste.

[132]

I’ve had enough of this, I thought, and pulled my lips away.

But the girl now brought herself closer to me, and for a third time our lips met. Her kiss was like the suckling of a baby. It was a kiss with the intention to not let me pull away, to not let me run away, a kiss to keep me from leaving her. She sucked on my tongue, but when mine moved it was only in reaction to hers. I reached up and pet her, stroking from her head down her neck and to her back, again and again… but I could not bring myself to pull her towards me.

My tongue was numb.

I didn’t bother to drink her saliva, letting it dribble out of my mouth.

Slowly, I pulled her away from me.

A bridge of saliva crossed from her lips to mine.

She looked disappointed, wanting more. I stroked her cheek and then kissed the place I touched, feeling the texture of her dry skin on my lips.

“Renko.”

“Hm?”

“I love you.”

[133]

“I love you too.”

“Really?”

“I wouldn’t kiss someone I didn’t love.”

I pet her head again and like a puppy, her face lit up.

I looked out the window, and over the girl’s shoulder I saw stars already twinkling in the sky. 7:43 pm. The time echoed in the back of my mind.

“Wow, look at the time.”

“Huh?”

“I was just thinking it’s about time I head home.”

“I see… but my mom said you could stay for dinner.”

“You always have me over for dinner, though. I don’t want to be a burden on your mother.”

“But you’re not.”

“Yes I am.”

I gave her a final kiss, just a touch of our lips.

“Renko…”

“Don’t worry. I’ll text you later.”

[134]

“Okay. Is it alright if I see you off?”

“There’s no reason for me to refuse,” I said with a chuckle.

I took the teaching materials and pen case left on the table and put them in my bag, before standing up and slinging the bag over my shoulder. As I stood up, she did as well.

“Hey, Renko.”

We walked alone down the hall to her front door.

“Hm?”

“Um… Do you remember that path in the park?”

“Path in the park?”

She proceeded to describe a park that was a ten minute bus ride from West Kyoto Station. It wasn’t a particularly famous place, but it was relatively nice. It was a common place for people to go on dates.

“Oh… uh… Did we go there?”

“Yes. We went there together. So you don’t remember, huh.”

“Well, I mean we’ve gone to a lot of places together…”

“Yes, we have.”

[135]

“So… what about the park?”

She smiled slightly and shook her head.

“Nothing. I just felt like asking if you remembered.”

***

狂響のフォーチュネットポルカ // Kyoukyou no Fortunate Polka

Sponsored by: Timo

Transcription Referenced (https://petayuuchan.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/kyoukyou-no-fortunate-polka/)

狂響のフォーチュネットポルカ
 Kyoukyou no Fortunate Polka
 A Rhapsodic Fortunate Polka
クレイジーバックダンサーズ|東方天空璋
Vocals: あやぽんず* & あよ
Arrangement: kaztora
Lyrics: kaztora & ticat
Circle: 森羅万象 (Shinra-bansho)
Album: Season 4 you
Event: C93

今宵始まります秘密のショーに
お呼びではないのに雛鳥 1.2
これってばまさに青天の霹靂
おいでませませませ!秘密のワンダーランド

koyoi hajimarimasu himitsu no show ni
oyobi de wa nai no ni hinadori one-two
koretteba masa ni seiten’ no hekireki
oidemase mase mase! himitsu no wonderland

Tonight to our secret show we start tonight
Come little birds we did not call, 1-2
What a surprise! Who could have guessed!
But come now! Come, to our secret wonderland!

今しがた始まる内緒のショーに
さらに追加でご新規様! 1.2
カーニバル迎え数え4匹!
共に踊りましょ Let’s dancing in the all night!!

imashigata hajimaru naisho no show ni
sara ni tsuika de go-shin’ki-sama! one-two
carnival mukae kazoe yon’biki!
tomo ni odorimasho let’s dancing in the all night!!

To our secret show starting soon,
Two more new patrons come! 1-2
Welcome to our carnival! That makes four!
Let’s dance together! Dance all night long!!

パンドラの箱はどこにある?
困って止まって開けてみたら
二度とお外には戻れない!
ここで踊り狂え☆

pandora no hako wa doko ni aru?
komatte tomatte aketemitara
nido to o-soto ni wa modorenai!
koko de odorikurue

Where might Pandora’s box be!?
After some consideration you open it,
And now! Now you can never leave!
So dance here ’til you go insane!

カイ ライ 傀儡の私たちは どんなに糸が切れても平気☆バイバイ
アイ ジョウ 愛情♡も友情もない お涙頂戴して 知らんぷり♪
ライライラ踊って(ライラ)夢を見ても(夢を見ても)
夢から覚めて見ても変わりゃしない (私たち 変わりゃしない)
ヤイヤイヤイヤよ(ヤイヤ)また先なんて(そんなものは)
あなたにはね何もがありえない(ぼくにだってありえない)
あなたには何にも救えない
私たちの真後ろにいるの?そんなのきのせいだよ!ポルカ!

kai rai kairai no watashi-tachi wa don’na ni ito ga kirete mo heiki baibai
ai jou aijou mo yuujou mo nai o-namida choudai shite shiran’puri
rairaira odotte (raira) yume wo mite mo (yume wo mite mo)
yume kara sametemite mo kawarya shinai (watashitachi kawarya shinai)
yaiyaiyaiya yo (yaiya) mata saki nan’te (sonna mono wa)
anata ni wa ne nani mo ga arienai (boku ni datte arienai)
anata ni wa nan’ ni mo sukuenai
watashi-tachi no maushiro ni iru no? sonna no ki no sei da yo! polka!

Marionettes! No matter our threads our cut, we marionettes are fine! Bye bye!
Love! Give us your tears, not of love or friendship! Oh, what’s that? I didn’t hear you!
Lai-Lai-La Dance! (lai-la) Even if you dream… (Even if you dream…)
When you wake from that dream, nothing will change! (We won’t change!)
Yai-Yai-Yai-Ya-Yo (yai-ya) You think you have a future? (You really think so?)
For you, everything is impossible! (It’s no different for me!)
There’s nothing you can save!
There’s someone right behind us? Ha! You’re just imagining things! Polka!

雛鳥たちはこっちにおいで「かご」の中は一番安全よ?
ちょっと待ってよ!まだまだそっちはダメ!
お茶でも飲んで 一息ブレイクタイム

hinadori-tachi wa kocchi ni oide ‘kago’ no naka wa ichiban anzen’ yo?
chotto matte yo! mada mada socchi wa dame!
o-cha demo non’de hitoiki break time

Come here little birds! It’s safest inside the cage!
Wait a minute! You can’t go that way yet!
Why don’t we have a a short break, drink some tea or something?

そんな時間なんて そういった時間なんて
楽しむ時間なんて どこにもない
そんな余興なんて そうした余興なんて
魅惑の余興など あなたには不要♡

son’na toki nan’te sou itta jikan’ nan’te
tanoshimu jikan’ nan’te doko ni mo nai
son’na yokyou nan’te soushita yokyou nan’te
miwaku no yokyou nado anata ni wa fuyou

But no, that kind of time, that sort of time,
There’s no time like that to enjoy!
That kind of side-show, that sort of pleasantry,
You have no need for such an enticing event!

自信過剰な慎重さが積み
頼って迷って 掬ってみたら
おっちょこちょいさえ 治るか?なんて
→ここ←へタップして どうぞ!

jishin’kajou na shin’chousa ga tsumi
tayotte mayotte sukuttemitara
occhokochoi sae naoru ka? nan’te
koko e tap shite douzo!

That kind of over-confident carefulness is your downfall
You depend on others and after consideration scoop them up
Do you think you can really cure idiocy?
Why don’t you try tapping here?!

罠だけどね

wana dakedo ne

It’s a trap though

タイ カイ 大海知らずの君に説明しても意味などはない ナイ ナイ
タイ ガイ 大概忘れちゃうのさ ここは扉の前だってことを!
ヤイヤイヤ奥は(ヤイヤ)実の所(実の所)
そう先の方がね ずっと深くたっても(紡がれない深くたっても)
ライライライラで(ライラ)存在しない(無為に遊べ)
あなたは今ここで終幕だわ(こちらで終幕だわ)
あなたにはあなたも救えない
囲い囲まれては天の川 今宵は笹の葉っぱで♪ポルカ!

tai kai taikai shirazu no kimi ni setsumei shite mo imi nado wa nai nai nai
tai gai taigai wasurechau no sa koko wa tobira no mae datte koto wo!
yaiyaiya oku wa (yaiya) jitsu no tokoro (jitsu no tokoro)
sou saki no hou ga ne zutto fukaku tatte mo (tsumugarenai fukaku tatte mo)
rairairaira de (raira) sonzai shinai (mui ni asobe)
anata wa ima koko de shuumaku da wa (kochira de shuumakuda wa)
anata ni wa anata mo sukuenai
kakoi kakomarete wa ama no gawa koyoi wa sasa no happa de polka!

The ocean! There’s no use explaining like the ocean to you who don’t know! Not at all!
After all! You’ll likely just forget, that you’re right in front of the gate!
Yai-Yai-Ya Deep inside is (yai-ya) actually (actually)
Yes, beyond this place, no matter how deep you go (so deep you can’t be connected outside)
Lai-Lai-Lai-La (lai-la) There is nothing there! (So play meaninglessly!)
This is the end for you, here and now! (This is the end for you!)
You can’t even save yourself!
You are surrounded by the rivers of heaven, so let’s polka tonight with bamboo leaves!

笹振って 前向いて そう!ララライラ
手を振って 腰振って さあ!ララライラ
脚上げ 振り切って ヘイ!ララライラ
嗚呼 やめて! ふれて? やめて! ふれて? やめないで! ha…

sasafutte mae muite sou! rararaira
te wo futte koshi futte saa! rararaira
ashiage furikitte hey! rararaira
aa yamete! furete? yamete! furete? yamenai de! ha…

Wave the bamboo leaves, look this way! Yes! La-La-Lai-La
Wave your hands, shake your hips! Come now! La-La-Lai-La
Lift your leg and spin! Hey! La-La-Lai-La
Ah! Stop! Wave? Stop! Wave? Don’t Stop! Ha…

ここまで来ても(辿り着いたって)忘れたら 名前もほら 消えてく 無機質なこの 幻よ

koko made kite mo (tadori tsuitatte) wasuretara
 namae mo hora kieteku mukishitsuna kono maboroshi yo

If you forget even after you’ve come this far (after you’ve come this far)
 Even your name will disappear, in this inorganic illusion

狂喜で 奇妙な
不思議な ダンスを さぁ踊りましょう?
あなたはどなたで わたしはだぁれ?
精神崩壊!ふたつ 揺れて 生命

kyouki de kimyou na
fushigi na dance wo saa odorimashou?
anata wa donata de watashi wa daare?
seishin’houkai! futatsu yurete inochi

So let us dance!
A strange wonderous crazed dance of insanity!
Who are you and who am I?
Mental collapse! Two life-forces sway

スローモーション~!

slow motion!

Slow Motion!

カイ ライ 傀儡の私たちはどんなに糸が切れても平気☆バイバイ
アイ ジョウ 愛情♡も友情もない お涙頂戴して 知らんぷり♪ヘイ!
タイ カイ 大海知らずの君に 説明しても意味などはない ナイナイ
タイ ガイ 大概忘れちゃうのさ ここは扉の前だってことを!

kai rai kairai no watashi-tachi wa don’na ni ito ga kirete mo heiki baibai
ai jou aijou ♡mo yuujou mo nai o-namida choudai shite shiran’puri hey!
tai kai taikai shirazu no kimi ni setsumei shite mo imi nado wa nai nai nai
tai gai taigai wasurechau no sa koko wa tobira no mae datte koto wo!

Marionettes! No matter our threads our cut, we marionettes are fine! Bye bye!
Love! Give us your tears, not of love or friendship! Oh, what’s that? I didn’t hear you! Hey!
The ocean! There’s no use explaining like the ocean to you who don’t know! Not at all!
After all! You’ll likely just forget, that you’re right in front of the gate!

さあご一緒に?

saa go-issho ni?

Now, will you sing with us?

カイ ライ 傀儡の私たちに どんなに話しても無意味だよ? ライライ
タイ カイ 大海知らずの君は 帰されてしまうの! 終わりにはね
嫌! イヤイヤイヤ(ヤイヤ)終わりなんか(終わりなんか)
夢から醒めたならば 動けはしない(私たち 動けはしない)
ライライライラで(ライラ)嘘だなんて(そんなもの)
私に限ってほらありえない(私にはありえない)
あなたには何にも救えない 僕たちは誰にも救えない
望み望まれたこのヒロインが
今宵の終演でポルカを踊りましょう!
さあ Dancing all night!!

kai rai kairai no watashi-tachi ni donna ni hanashite mo muimi da yo? rai rai
tai kai taikai shirazu no kimi wa kaesarete shimau no! owari ni wa ne
iya! iya iya iya (yaiya) owari nan’ka (owari nan’ka)
yume kara sameta naraba ugoke wa shinai (watashi-tachi ugoke wa shinai)
rairairaira de (raira) uso da nan’te (son’na mono)
watashi ni kagitte hora arienai (watashi ni wa arienai)
anata ni wa nan’ ni mo sukuenai bokutachi wa dare ni mo sukuenai
nozomi nozomareta kono heroine ga
koyoi no shuuen’ de polka wo odori mashou!
saa dancing all night!!

Marionettes! No matter how you talk to us, it’s meaningless, you see? lai-lai
The ocean! You’ll be returned, you who don’t know the ocean! In the end at least
No! No! No! No! (yai-ya) This can’t end! (We don’t want it to end!)
Once you’ve woken from your dream you cannot move (We cannot move)
At least for me that’s certainly impossible! (It’s impossible for me)
You cannot save anyone, there is no one out there who can save us
These heroines, by choice and demand
Will dance the last dance tonight, the polka!
Let’s dance all night!!

静寂ラストダンス // Seijaku Last Dance (JP/DEAD WEIGHT Ver.)


Thanks to Rinki and Kaleival for help transcribing the lyrics!
I was slapping myself over some stuff that sounded obvious when I listened again, but some parts are really hard to hear – couldn’t have done it without your help.

You can purchase Dead Weight and other Shinigiwa albums digitally on Pixiv Booth: [link]

You can listen to this masterpiece [here].

Notes:
This is a transcription, and there may be errors.

We have the official lyrics!

I attempted to preserve ambiguities. After a bit of back and forth I see the narrator as Satori, the “you” as Koishi.

This is the Japanese version of the song. For the English version, [link]

静寂ラストダンス
 Seijaku Last Dance
 Silent Last Dance
ハルトマンの妖怪少女|東方地霊殿
歌・歌詞:Merami
編曲: 衛☆星太郎
サークル:死際サテライト
アルバム:DEAD WEIGHT
イベント:C93

idの底を覗き込んで 僕はあの日 何を見たの
君は踊るmarionette 無意識の開放 歪む幻想

id no soko wo nozokikon’de boku wa ano hi nani wo mita no
kimi wa odoru marionette muishiki no kaihou yugamu sekai

What did I see that day when I looked down into the depths of the id?
You are a dancing marionette, the subconscious released, a warped world of illusions

真っ赤な薔薇を捧げましょう egoisticな君に
太陽に背いた罪の重さと 最後の言葉 残して

maaka na bara wo sasagemashou egoistic na kimi ni
taiyou ni somuita tsumi no omosa to saigo no kotoba nokoshite

Let me offer up a deep red rose to you, so egoistic
Leaving behind with final words the burden of the sin of turning from the sun

歯車が狂い始めて 故意に触れた感情が疼く
君は踊るmarionette 無意識の開放 歪む幻想

kaguruma ga kuruihajimete koi ni fureta kan’jou ga uzuku
kimi wa odoru marionette muishiki no kaihou yugamu sekai

The gears begin to lose their order, as maliciously touched emotions lose their order
You are a dancing marionette, the subconscious released, a warped world of illusions

真っ赤な薔薇を捧げましょう egoisticな君に
太陽に背いた罪の重さと 最後の言葉 残して

maaka na bara wo sasagemashou egoistic na kimi ni
taiyou ni somuita tsumi no omosa to saigo no kotoba nokoshite

Let me offer up a deep red rose to you, so egoistic
Leaving behind with final words the burden of the sin of turning from the sun

心の奥底 潜んだ 躊躇う瞳に映る
もうひとつの幻想で虚言の愛(3rd eye)を 叫び続け

kokoro no okusoko hison’da tamerau hitomi ni utsuru
mou hitotsu no sekai de kyogen’ no ai wo sakebitsudzuke

Hidden deep in your heart, projected in my hesitant eye
In another world illusion, keep screaming of love built on falsehoods, your 3rd eye

もう触れないで 僕の心に

mou furenaide boku no kokoro ni

Don’t touch my heart again…

Now… ah… crying
In my heart

それでいいと君は言って 僕の全てを奪い去った
君と踊るmarionette 僕等の開放 繋ぐ未来

sore de ii to kimi wa iite boku no subete ubaisatta
kimi to odoru marionette bokura no kaihou tsunagu mirai

You said that was fine, and took everything away from me
I am a marionette, dancing with you to a future where we are released

真っ赤な薔薇を捧げましょう egoisticな君に
太陽に背いた罪の重さと 最後の言葉 残して

maaka na bara wo sasagemashou egoistic na kimi ni
taiyou ni somuita tsumi no omosa to saigo no kotoba nokoshite

Let me offer up a deep red rose to you, so egoistic
Leaving behind with final words the burden of the sin of turning from the sun

心の奥底 潜んだ 躊躇う瞳に映る
もうひとつの幻想で虚言の愛(3rd eye)を 叫び続け

kokoro no okusoko hison’da tamerau hitomi ni utsuru
mou hitotsu no sekai de kyogen’ no ai wo sakebitsudzuke

Hidden deep in your heart, projected in my hesitant eye
In another world illusion, keep screaming of love built on falsehoods, your 3rd eye

どうか…

douka…

Please…

仏滅バイオレット // Butsumetsu Violet (JP/DEAD WEIGHT Ver.)

Hijiri Byakuren

I’ve been having brain problems.

I regret to inform you that 死際サテライト has disbanded.

You can purchase Dead Weight and other Shinigiwa albums digitally on Pixiv Booth: [link]

Notes:
This is a transcription and may contain errors.
This is version 2, using suggestions from りんき (@rinki_s). Thanks again!

This is the Japanese version of the song. For the English version, [link]

仏滅バイオレット
 Butsumetsu Violet
 Violet Fall – The Buddha is Dead
感情の摩天楼~Cosmic Mind|東方星蓮船
歌+歌詞:Merami
編曲:衛☆生太郎
サークル:死際サテライト
アルバム:DEAD WEIGHT
イベント:C93

夜の静けさに 耳を澄ましては 心の隙間を埋めるように
虚構の海渡り 悲しみが続かぬよう 時計の針戻して

yoru no shizukesa ni mimi wo sumashite wa kokoro no suki ma wo umeru you ni
kyokou no umi watari kanashimi ga tsudzukanu you tokei no hari modoshite

Whenever I listen to the quiet of the night, to fill the emptiness in my heart
I journey across an imaginary sea, turn back time to keep my sadness from lingering

遠くに消えたあなたの影をどこまで追いかけても
時を止めてもう一度だけ ああ もう一度だけ

tooku ni kieta anata no kage wo doko made oikaketemo
toki wo tomete mou ichido dake aa mou ichido dake

No matter how far I chase after vestiges of you, long gone…
If only time would stop for me, one more time… just one more time…

何も変わらないなんて決めつけては
軋む心を誰にも知られぬように
嘆きの雨 混沌の夜に 帰らぬ人よ
失うことを 恐れ 何度も振り返り

nani mo kawaranai nan’te kimetsukete wa
kishimu kokoro wo dare nimo shirarenu you ni
nageki no ame kon’ton’ no yo ni kaeranu hito yo
ushinau koto wo osore nan’domo furikaeri

Every time I tell myself that nothing will change,
I hurt, hiding my aching heart so that no one will notice
Through nights of chaos and rains of grief, O you who shall never return
I am so afraid of loss, I kep looking back again and again

遠くに消えたあなたの影をどこまで追いかけても
時を止めてもう一度だけ ああ もう一度だけ

tooku ni kieta anata no kage wo doko made oikaketemo
toki wo tomete mou ichido dake aa mou ichido dake

No matter how far I chase after vestiges of you, long gone…
If only time would stop for me, one more time… just one more time…

孤独の空 禁断の地に 響かぬ歌は
忘れさせてもう戻らない 凍てつく心に
嘆きの雨 混沌の夜に 帰らぬ人よ
蓮華の様に 女は身ごと燃やして

kodoku no sora kin’dan’ no chi ni hibikanu uta wa
wasuresasete mou modoranai itetsuku kokoro ni
nageki no ame kon’ton’ no yo ni kaeranu hito yo
ren’ge no you ni on’na wa migoto moyashite

A song silent over the lonely sky and forbidden earth,
“Let me forget, he will never return,” rings in my frozen heart
Through nights of chaos and rains of grief, O you who shall never return
Like a lotus flower this woman burns herself aflame

無限に続いてゆく
背負った業はどれ程痛めとも
時は無情に ああ

mugen’ ni tsudzuiteyuku
seotta gou wa dore hodo itametomo
toki wa mujou ni aa

It continues ad infinitum
But no matter how my past actions pain me
Time is, as ever, cruel

遠くに消えたあなたの影をどこまで追いかけても
時を止めてもう一度だけ ああ もう一度だけ

tooku ni kieta anata no kage wo doko made oikaketemo
toki wo tomete mou ichido dake aa mou ichido dake

No matter how far I chase after vestiges of you, long gone…
If only time would stop for me, one more time… just one more time…

この道の何処かで

kono michi no dokoka de

Somewhere on this journey…

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