Don't Flinch

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Summary

Yumi Sakai is a manga artist. Moderately attractive, no boyfriend. Her life forever changes when the mysterious Miratama travels from the future! Time Travel as a whole has fascinated me. From Doctor Who, to Back To The Future, and even the 2013 movie About Time. This is a slice of life story about a young woman named Yumi Sakai who is a world renowned manga artist. She is seemingly off grid, and barely makes public appearances. She is struggling to give her publishers the next big story. She suddenly meets a young man named Miratama who claims to have traveled from the future, he takes her hand and the two travel all over time on an unforgettable journey. As Yumi is getting inspiration for a new hit, she is slowly realizing she is falling in love with the young time traveler. But as with all stories about time travel, there are some rules that should never be broken.

Genre:
Adventure / Scifi
Author:
Taigataro
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1

Yumi walked outside and she opened her mailbox. She shuffled through the mail before she found something from her publisher. “Hmmm...” She took everything inside, in her living room on the north wall was a mirror that faced the east wall. Yumi’s house faced West. On the opposite wall were pictures of Yumi and her family. Yumi was moderately attractive, deep chestnut hair, Auburn eyes which were covered with glasses, and a beauty mark on the left side of her face. Though when she went out she covered it in makeup. Next to Yumi in the photo on the left was Yumi’s sister Yuji and her wife Akane, and to the right was Yumi’s father Shin, and his wife Yami. Beneath the mirror was a red couch which had piles of newspapers on it, some from this week and others from years ago. Yumi kicked off her flats and put on her slippers which closely resembled Totoro from the beloved children’s movie. She walked to the stairs leading up to the next level.

To her right was the hall that leads to her bedroom, her bedroom was on the left side of the hall, and on the right side of the hall was the bathroom. At the top of the stairs, you were greeted with the kitchen and dining area. Directly in front was the counter which was what Yumi slapped the mail down on. She walked around the counter into the kitchen and grabbed the magnetic letter opener from off the fridge. She moved over to where the microwave was, next to it was a corded phone and answering machine. She pressed a button and the voicemail started to play. She opened the letter from her publisher as the message played.

“You have three new messages! First message!”

“Hi, Yumi! It’s Yuji! I was wondering, are you doing anything this weekend? Akane and I were thinking of adopting and we wanted to know if you wanted to come with us to the adoption center! Anyways give me a call back! Bye!”

“End message! Second message!” Yumi started to read the letter.

“Yumi, it’s dad. Just wanted to see how you were doing! I have great news! I might be back for the holidays! How’s your mom doing? She seemed troubled when she found out I was leaving for work again. Give me a call back! I love you!”

“End message! Third message!”

“Yumi! Hi! It’s mom! Soooo, I’ve been thinking! You aren’t dating anyone right? Of course not! So I was thinking of setting you up with this young man that lives just down the street! He’s rather handsome and works for the military! He says he wants to meet you!” Yumi sighed, her mother had a new man to set her up with every week, “I already gave him your number!” Yumi inhaled sharply and her eyes widened, “Love you! Bye-Bye!”

“End messages!”

Yumi groaned, “Mom...” She then continued to read the letter, she inhaled sharply, “Wh-What?!” She read the words on the paper again and again. We want something new! A next big hit! We believe in you! “S-Something new?!” Yumi nearly passed out, a soft meow was heard and a black cat jumped onto the counter and walked over to her. The cat licked its paw before meowing at Yumi. Yumi slammed the paper on the table, and she ran into her bedroom, her bedroom had a futon in the middle of the floor, a TV and cable box in the corner, and everywhere else was paper. Some of the paper had completed drawings, others were blanks, and some had lines on them. She knelt down and she started digging through her papers, “Something new! Something new!” She looked through everything she had drawn, most of what she had drawn was already from pre-existing manga she had already done. “No! No! NO!!!!” She groaned and grasped tightly to her head and she pulled on her hair, she leaned forward and rested her head on her futon. The black cat came into the room and meowed, the cat walked over to Yumi and it pats her head with its paw before it meowed again. She looked up at the cat, “Mao-Chan...” She sighed, “I’m sorry, you must be hungry.” She stood up and walked back into the kitchen, she opened a cupboard and pulled out a can of cat food. She opened it and placed it on the floor and the cat came started to eat.

Yumi looked over at the clock on the wall. It was past breakfast time, but not quite yet lunchtime. Yumi hadn’t eaten so she went over to the fridge and opened it. She sighed and rolled her head onto her shoulder. All that was in the fridge was leftovers from take out, cans of coffee, and milk glasses. She sighed and grabbed a can of coffee. She closed the fridge and she went over to the table. She had a small table with cushions around it. She sat down and opened her coffee and started to drink it. “Hello there.” A voice came,

“Hey...” she responded softly between sips, her eyes then widened and she coked and nearly spat out her coffee. S he looked across from her and saw a young man. He looked to be around her age, about 27 or so, he had spiky milky-blue hair and soft brown eyes. He had a somewhat pale complexion, and he wore a maroon vest, no shirt, jeans, and some sneakers. “WHAT THE HECK!!!! HOW DID YOU GET IN MY HOUSE?!?!?!?!!!!!”

“Shouldn’t you be asking, when?” He gave a soft laugh, “Time Travel joke, don’t mind me.”

“WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A SHIRT ON?!?!?!!!!” She paused, “YOU KNOW WHAT?! NO! I AM JUST CALLING THE POLICE!!!!”

“No! Don’t call the police! I just got here!” She looked back to the phone and then to him, “Don’t.” He said, she started to lean back slowly, “No!” She quickly threw her can of coffee at his face before she got up and ran straight to the phone. “Wait! Hold on!” He dashed over to her and grabbed her hand before she picked up the phone. “Can’t I explain myself?!” She looked him in the eyes, “Please?” She swallowed heavily and took a deep breath.

“Fine.” She let go of the phone, and he, in turn, let go of her. “Who are you?”

He smiled, “I am Miratama! I come from the future!”

“The future?”

“Yeah,”

“What year?”

“Um...” he rubbed the back of his head, “Pretty far.”

“Prove it.”

“Prove what?”

“Prove you’re from the future!”

“Um...alright.” He dug through his pockets, he then pulled out a pen. It looked similar to the 3D Pens of the present time. He pressed a button and the end of it started to glow, he then made some swirls through the air, making some form of...wiggles. He released the button and he reached out and grabbed his creation and he swung it around like a stick. Yumi’s eyes widened.

“Ah! You are from the future!”

“Yeah, why would I lie about it?”

“What else can that thing do?!” She reached for it, “Let me see it!”

“Woah! Woah!” He held it back, “This is something from the future! I cannot allow someone from the past touch it!”

“Oh come on! Just for a little while?!”

“No!” She leaned into him causing him to bend backwards to keep it away from her.

“Half a little while?”

“No!”

“Quarter of a little while?!”

“NO!” He then quickly shoved it in his pocket, she frowned and straightened herself up.

“Fine...” She paused, “Oh, hey, how did you travel from the future?”

“It’s hard to describe.”

“Can you show me?”

“Um...” he paused to think for a minute, “I guess I could,” he looked her up and down, “But are you really going out in that? You look like you just woke up.”

“Hm?” She looked at her attire, she was wearing a t-shirt from the college she graduated from, Temple Academy, as well as leisure pants with the character Doraemon on them, and her Totoro slippers to top it off. Her hair was also a bit untidy. She gave a sheepish smile before she turned and walked back into her bedroom to get changed. Miratama looked around the house, he suddenly flinched when Mao-Chan jumped up onto the counter. The cat looked at the time traveler with a look of judgment. The two exchanged blinks for a while before Mao-Chan turned around and then started to clean himself. It wasn’t too long before Yumi came back into the room. She had jeans, a red shirt, and a brown jacket on, and she carried a brown handbag. Her hair was brushed and tied back into a ponytail.

“Ready to go?”

“Mhmm.” She nodded, he smiled and he then took her outside. She locked the door behind her, and she turned and saw Miratama doing some stretches. “What are you doing?”

“I need to stretch before we jump through time. I could get cramped.”

“Oh...of course, how silly of me.” She said as she typed the phone number for the police on her cell phone behind her back. He stood up and rolled his shoulders and cracked his neck.

“Yosh,” he then walked to the middle of the street, he then held out his hand to her. “Ready to go?”

“Why are you in the middle of the street?”

“I don’t want to run into anything.”

“I see...” She walked out to the street and she took his hand. “So I just hold your hand like this?”

“Yep! Now I do the rest.” He smiled, “Make sure to hold onto my hand tight, and most importantly,” he then snapped his fingers in her face, “Don’t Flinch!” He said to her in English. He placed one foot in front of the other and he leaned forward as if he was in a running stance. His eyes widened and turned from brown to yellow, he smirked and his hair became rather long, the two were then suddenly swallowed by a tunnel of blue light. Yumi’s eyes widened and she looked around at everything. Was this time travel? She saw several images, some images from two weeks ago, others from before she was born, and several way before that. She saw World War II and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Samurai, Oda Nobunaga, and many other things. Miratama then turned his foot and they slid to a dead stop. Yumi stumbled forward a bit and some of her hair came undone. Miratama stood up straight and his hair returned to normal, “Whew, that was a rather long jump.” He said, he scratched the back of his head, “I wonder where we are.” Yumi looked around, she wondered too, there seemed to be mostly jungle, no buildings in sight, and the air felt rather clean. Yumi looked down as she felt the ground subtly shake, it shook again and she looked around before she saw some large bushes rustling. She swallowed hard and she held tightly to Miratama’s arm. A low-frequency sound came that caused both of their spines to vibrate.

The ground shook again, followed by the head of a large Tyrannosaurus Rex poking its head through the bushes glaring directly at the two. Chills ran up Yumi’s spine and her hair began to raise as her eyes widened. She went to scream but Miratama covered her mouth, “Sh! Don’t scream!” He whispered, “The T-Rex, unlike what Hollywood wants you to believe, has very sensitive ears and can react to Low-Frequency sounds. Anything at a High Frequency will just enrage it!” She looked over to him then back at the dinosaur. The Tyrannosaurus let out a dull growl before an ear-splitting shriek broke the sky. The dinosaur let out a spine shaking roar as it spun around and walked off. “What was that?!” Yumi reached in her bag and pulled out some small binoculars, she moved her glasses to her forehead and looked through them. She looked around the sky before she saw something flying towards them.

“Oh...it’s um...Rodan.”

“Rodan...”

“Yeah,” she said putting the binoculars away and putting her glasses back on her face. Her eyes widened and she looked back at the Pteranodon flying towards them she screamed and grabbed Miratama’s hand. The two started to run as the flying dinosaur screeched and dove down to attempt to scoop up Yumi. The dinosaur looked up and then quickly pulled away, Yumi looked back, “Ha! It stopped chasing us!” She suddenly came to stop as Miratama pulled back on her arm, she flinched and looked at him, “What?” She says, he was pointing up, she then looked at what he was looking at. It was an unusually large Brachiosaurus. A dull sound that sounded like electronic vibrations moved from its lungs, into its chest, and through its neck before it let out a large bellow from the nostrils atop its head. Yumi and Miratama quickly covered her ears as the loud noise shook the sky. The dinosaur looked down at them and lowered its head to them, it sniffed them before it turned and nudged Yumi with its snout. Yumi opened her eyes and looked at the gentle creature, she smiled and gently touched its snout with her hand, she gave a soft laugh. “Wow...I’m touching a dinosaur.”

“Mm!” Miratama said with a smile,

“He’s so smooth and leather-like.”

“Others are rough and bumpy, almost like alligators or crocodiles, and some have sharper more dragon-like textures.”

Her eyes widened and she looked over at him, “You’ve touched a dragon?”

“Yeah, they came to earth shortly after the dinosaurs died.”

“Can you take me there next?”

“Maybe next time,” he said resting his hands behind his head, “After jumping, depending on the severity of the jump, it often takes me a week to recharge.”

“A week? Why?”

“That’s just how long it takes, plus an hour for cooldown time in between jumps.”

“Huh?! We’re stuck here for an hour?!”

“Yeah.”

Yumi groaned and she sank to her knees as she placed her hands on the sides of her head. “Great...” she whined, “I’m several million years away from home...plus I’m starving.”

“I’m sure there’s something around here we can eat.” He said, “Come on.” He took her hand and the two walked around for a while. Yumi looked around taking in her surroundings, there were several large insect creatures, dinosaurs of every shape and size, some in large pods and families, and others wandering alone. She took out her cell phone to take a picture but it wouldn’t turn on, she groaned.

“Stupid phone...”

“Yeah, cell phones won’t work in a time period where cell phones weren’t invented. It’s another time travel rule.”

“Well, what are the time travel rules?”

“Just the usual. Two people can’t be in the same place at the same time, so I can’t take you back to your teen years, childhood, or when you were born.”

“Seems reasonable, I had a boring childhood.”

“I also can’t take you to any part of your future, doing that could cause and create an entirely different timeline than the one we are currently living in.”

“I was really looking forward to knowing how I die...” She said jokingly,

“I can’t tell you anything about the future, you have to see it all unfold for yourself.”

“Are there any rules you have to follow?”

“Yes, I can’t interact with my ascendants, I can’t stay in one time period overnight,”

“Why not?”

“The Time King will be angry.” He said, “I also can’t fall in love. If I do that then I will have all my powers stripped away.”

“I see, what kind of powers do you have?”

“Well, if I or someone I know is in danger I can see about 30 seconds into the future to try and prevent it. I can also travel up and down the timeline as I please. I also have a mental clock that lets me know what time it is, no matter the time zone, wherever I am at.”

“That’s neat.” She smiled, she then looked ahead, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure?”

“Can you...” she looked to him and held her breath a bit before she let it out, “Can you come visit me every week?”

“Why?”

“Well...my publishers need a new manga for me to produce in the weekly magazine, and I was wondering if I could make our interactions into a story?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea...”

“Please!” She begged, “I won’t even use your or my real names! I can change you up! I can give you a Mohawk and make you a punk rock guy!”

He sighed and rubbed his neck, “There’s a lot of gray areas here...but,” he looked to her, her eyes seemed to get bigger and bigger, “Fine.”

“Yes!”

“But you must leave my name out of it.”

“Thank you so much!” She said hugging him tightly, he gasped for air and he quickly squirmed from her arms.

“Alright! I get it!” He smiled at her, “But I got to warn you, time travel is like a roller coaster. Many ups and downs and you need to hold on tight.”

“I hate roller coasters...” She said, “Can it be more like a teacup right?”

“Why a teacup ride?! All it does is spin you around and make you sick! That’s space travel, not time travel!” He rubbed his chin, “If anything time travel could be like moving in a straight line, really, really fast.”

“Oh, like a bullet train.”

“Yes! A bullet train!”

“Cool,” she smiled, “I can’t wait to see what unfolds for us!”

*****

The night Yumi returned home she went right to work. Tirelessly drawing several images of Miratama who she renamed to Kairi, and herself to Jenna. By the end of the week, she had the first chapter done and she rushed to her publisher’s office and handed it directly to him. He flipped through it, reading it carefully and analyzing it, the art was good, really good! “Hmm...” he rubbed his chin as he flipped to another page, Yumi swallowed nervously as she sat across from him at his desk, the chair she was in wasn’t too comfortable. She looked over to the clock, was time going slower? “I see...” She jumped and looked back to him, he then smiled and he closed the folder he had, he then clasped his hands together and looked over at her.

“Well...? What do you think...?”

He smiled, “Well Yumi, I see that you’ve got something good going here.” He showed her the cover page, “Tell me, does Jenna have a likeness to anyone?”

“Well, I kind of drew her to look a bit like me.” She said with a nervous smile,

“I see,” he smiled, “You know, I have always been fond of time travel. My favorite story of time travel is The Girl Who Lept Through Time." He looked it over again, “Can you produce new chapters every week for this?”

“Y-Yes!”

“Thank you.” He reached his hand across the desk, “Then I guess we found a new story to publish weekly.” She smiled and shook his hand.

“Thank you! Thank you so much!”

“Mhmm!” He smiled, “This story, does it have a name?”

“Um...” she paused to think for a minute, she then remembered the English words Miratama spoke to her, “Don’t Flinch.”

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