起き上がり - Prologue
Okiagari – Awaking and Arising
"We can be both of God and Devil, since we are trying to raise the dead against the stream of time."–Vermouth
Disclaimer: I claim no legal rights to the Detective Conan/Meitantei Conan/Case Closed franchise, and I'm making no money off of this work.
Beta Reader: Neyane
Warnings: Spoilers up to Manga File #871. Gore, death, a few original characters, and a zombie. The prologue is a good sample of the height that the gore and violence will reach in this story. If this prologue makes you uncomfortable, you probably shouldn't read on. It doesn't get much more dark and graphic than this, and there is no sexual violence in this story, but we're going to dark, scary places. You've been warned.
About the Title: The term 'Okiagari' (起き上がり) is usually used when talking about dolls that are weighted at one end. When they are rolled on the ground, they always end up sitting upright. This term can be used to describe any inanimate object that behaves in a similar manner. It's made from two verbs, 'okiru' (起きる) - 'to wake up' and 'agaru' (上がる) – 'to rise up under one's own power'.
I awake. I arise.
Blood pools about my feet. It's mine. My body is in pieces, and I pick those up and stuff them back in. I can't do much about the blood though. The people around me – they know what I am. They wanted me like this, until they were trapped in a small room with me. No sympathy for the cowards. They fall apart and die as I take pieces I need. The rest are opened for their blood. There's one above, where I can't reach. The ash from its cigarette falls into the small room. Humans are dangerous creatures, more dangerous to themselves than anything else.
A soft breath, from the ground. One of them is still alive, and uninjured. It's small. Sometimes humans are small like this. Mostly they're big. The small ones aren't very dangerous. Held up to the faint light from above, it opens its eyes, and recognizes the human who had my body. This one liked the human. This one shared a name with the human. It looks like my old enemy, but only half of it. I tell it the name I shared with it, from long ago. It rejects it, because it's weak and missing half of itself. I hold the frightened halfling close, and make certain my only enemy and ally can't get away.
I fall. I sleep.
Hello fair readers! I'm dreamingfifi, and I'm a sometimes author and most of the time linguist. For author notes, I figured I'd do something a little different than what normally people do… which is chat about daily stuff or give translations. I'm going to talk about the linguistic concepts (plus some anthropology?) and fun language bits that I got to play with in writing this story!
A main reason for that is because this story is already finished. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo and am posting the chapters weekly. The normal chatter as the story grows before the readers' eyes wouldn't really work here. Also, I wrote this story with the idea that the reader wouldn't have to know any Japanese. I'm using no honorifics, no phrases, nothing that isn't clearly defined in the text itself. Therefore – no translation notes, which is actually weird for me because I normally write for the LotR fandom, and have extensive Elvish translations all over the place.
The whole, "I'm not going to use Japanese in this fanfic set in Japan" thing actually stems from a pet peeve of mine. See… I speak Japanese. I studied it for 5 years in college, even learned how to do some classical Japanese translation and interpreting grass writing and 変体漢文 texts (a specialty of my professor's). My audience, however, doesn't speak Japanese. I'm not going to confuse my audience by expecting them to know the complex honorific systems or casual Japanese phrases. It's like the first time I tried to watch a poorly translated Korean Drama. I had no clue what was going on much of the time because I was expected to have some competence in a language I'd never dealt with before. So, no, not doing that to my readers.
When I used Elvish in my stories in the past, it was with the intention of not being understood by the reader. The characters would be faced with a language they didn't know, and we'd be seeing that language from their perspective – a mass of unfamiliar letters and words, therefore confusing and frightening the characters and making it easier to be in the characters' shoes. I will use this tactic later on in the story, but not with Japanese because the characters all speak it.
I love linguistics and want to interest other people in it. Personally, I think it's very useful to learn about as a writer, possibly more than literary criticism. Understanding how human language works makes it easier to manipulate, and it makes it easier for me to manipulate my own influences to make a writing style that I want for a story. Maybe you'll find it helpful too?
また来週！(See you next week!)dreamingfifi