Have I mentioned that I’m really looking forward to Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid? Aside from the genre and serving as inspiration for this tale, there isn’t much connection between that and what I’ve written. Still, these beginning paragraphs are like an “author’s notes” section where I can just write about whatever.
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve fallen in love with The Rolling Girls‘ opening theme, which is actually a cover of a song written in 1987 by a Japanese punk rock band called The Blue Hearts (the title of the opening theme is Hito ni Yasashiku – go and give it a listen, whether it’s the original or the cover).
I honestly have no idea how long this tale is going to go on for, though I have a rough idea of where I want it to go over the course of the next few chapters.
Chapter Two: Misunderstanding
Seren’s alarm clock sounded at exactly seven o’clock in the morning, waking her up as usual. She groggily reached over and stopped the sound before slowly crawling out of bed. As she wiped the sleep from her eyes, Seren recalled previous events.
‘Wow, that was a vivid dream…’ she thought aloud. ‘…I need to cut back on the amount of anime I watch. At least none of that stuff really… happened…’ Seren’s gaze passed over her bedside cabinet, where she saw a necklace with a red jewel set into it. She pinched herself to ensure that she wasn’t still dreaming, only to discover that she was truly awake.
Seren found herself putting the necklace on, almost instinctively. She went downstairs afterwards and discovered a cat sitting outside her front room window.
Hey, could you do a favour and let me in? The cat requested, it’s voice only audible within Seren’s mind.
Seren ignored the cat’s request and continued with her normal morning routine. Everything was going as expected, right up until Seren switched the television on to watch the morning news. After the international headlines, footage of the park that the meteorite had landed in the previous day was on air. However, the meteorite was not the focus of that particular news story.
‘In a bizarre turn of events, it seems that the existence of monsters has been proven,’ the presenter reported. ‘However, it seems that we have captured footage of someone who is able to fight against these things. This footage has not been altered.’
Seren’s eyes widened in horror as she watched herself on the television. She winced as she saw herself get knocked down several times, but the biggest embarrassment came from when she could be heard screaming ‘BLESSED BLASTER!’.
‘At the moment, we are unaware of the identity of this woman. After the battle, she vanished without a trace. If you know this mysterious person, you can contact us through social media. Use the hash tag “blessed blaster”.’
Seren switched the television off and silently vowed to not leave the house for the rest of her life. She was well aware that her friends and family would easily recognise her, and there was a few amongst them who would be all too eager to get on television. The sound of her mobile phone ringing quickly shocked Seren back to reality.
For a brief moment, Seren debated whether she should answer it or not. When she saw that it was one of her colleagues from work, she decided it would be wise to do so.
‘Seren, was that you on the news?’ Seren’s colleague asked, not even waiting for any greetings.
‘W-what? I have no idea what you’re talking about,’ Seren replied nervously. She was glad that she was on the phone, because she was blushing. ‘I saw that report, but I didn’t go over to the park yester-‘
‘Everyone went over to the park yesterday! The others I talked to saw you there, holding hands with some blonde woman. That was definitely you fighting that thing, wasn’t it?’
Seren disconnected the call and immediately switched her phone off. She eyed up her computer, and decided she would give social media a wide berth for a little while as well. As she panicked about what she should do next, Seren saw that the cat was still sitting outside her front room window. She let it into her house, where it immediately jumped onto the back of the settee and made itself comfortable.
‘Aren’t you supposed to do something to prevent people from discovering my identity as a magical girl?’ Seren asked.
‘Actually, that’s totally up to you. My job as a familiar is only to grant you your powers. You’re the one who decides how and when to use them,’ the cat explained.
‘I wasn’t exactly given much choice…’
‘Though, I’ve been regaining some parts of my memory. I seem to recall that certain magical girls changed their physical appearance, which helped to conceal their identities. Can’t say much for the ones who transformed right in front of civilians, though…’
‘You mean I could have changed my appearance? How?’
‘My memory is still a bit foggy, but I get the feeling that the magical girl’s personality ties into it. Maybe you’ve seen something that influenced your appearance.’
‘So you’re blaming me?’ Seren sighed. ‘That’s it! I will have nothing more to do with being a magical girl! Take these powers back and go and give them to someone who will actually appreciate it!’
‘It doesn’t work that way. Your powers have been awakened; there’s no way to change that. Regardless of what you do or say, you will possess these powers for the rest of your life.’
Seren took a moment to take in the cat’s information. ‘Yeah, well, just because I have them doesn’t mean I have to use them! Yesterday was a one-off.’
‘You know, I’m willing to bet you aren’t the first person to try and deny your powers. These kinds of things always result in people like you embracing the path of a magical girl regardless of your feelings.’
‘Tch… there it is again. Magical girl! I’m an adult!’
‘Fine, magical woman.’
‘Nope, don’t like that, either… look, I’m not going to do anything with these powers. Since you’re being less than helpful, I suggest you leave. I’ve had it with talking cats.’
‘That seems harsh… oh! Oh, wait a minute!’
‘I’ve remembered something! This is an important piece of information, and will help you regardless of how you feel about this situation.’
‘You’re just saying that…’
‘No, I’m being serious! Just hear me out, please?’
Once again, Seren sighed. ‘Fine, go on then.’
‘I need you to watch carefully. Ready?’ A flash of light filled the front room, and the cat vanished from sight. In its place was a pale woman with jet-black hair. She was not wearing any clothes whatsoever.
Before Seren could react to the sudden appearance of a naked woman, her older sister entered the front room. Her name was Phoebe, and she was dressed in black jeans and a hoodie. Her hair was the same colour as Seren’s, though it was much shorter. Phoebe took a moment to take in the scene before her.
‘I bloody knew it!’ Phoebe triumphantly exclaimed.
‘Wait, I can expl- what do you mean you “knew it”?’ Seren asked.
‘Mum owes me fifty quid! She was so certain about it, but I could see all the signs there. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with your life choices. I’m certain Dad will be thrilled, though it might take Mum a little longer to come around to the idea.’
‘No, you’ve got this wrong. The truth is…’ Seren paused as she thought about what she was about to say. ‘Ah, I mean you’re absolutely right. Her name is… er…’
‘My name is Symphony. Pleased to meet you.’ Seren’s naked guest stood up and extended her hand towards Phoebe.
Phoebe accepted the gesture and shook Symphony’s hand, introducing herself.
‘She was just about to go upstairs and get dressed,’ Seren said, rather forcefully.
Symphony caught the tone of her voice, and complied, leaving Seren and Phoebe alone.
‘Your new girlfriend seems nice… if a little eccentric. I hope you two manage to find happiness together.’
‘Phoebe, why did you come over? Did you want something?’
‘Oh! Oh yeah! Meeting Symphony threw me for a loop for a moment. I saw the news earlier. It seems my beloved little sister is getting into some eccentric situations herself.’
‘“Beloved little sister”? Don’t patronise me. I saw that report as well. I’ll admit that the person who appeared on it strikes a remarkable resemblance to me.’
‘Symphony is connected to it, as well, isn’t she? You aren’t being forced to do anything against your will, are you?’
Aside from enduring intense humiliation? Seren kept her thoughts to herself, and continued to deny her existence as a magical girl.
‘Seriously, if you’ve having any trouble, you can talk to me. Keep that in mind, all right?’
It was at that point that Symphony came back down from upstairs. She was dressed in a Black Sabbath t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. ‘I know I just grabbed the first thing I could find, but these clothes are somewhat restrictive…’
Seren ignored Symphony and focused instead on her conversation with Phoebe. ‘I’ll keep saying this, but that wasn’t me on the news. Now, is there anything else you need from me, Phoebe?’
‘Fine, fine. I’ll get going so you two lovebirds can get back to your fun.’ Symphony gave Seren a knowing wink.
‘I’m not a bird, I’m a cat,’ Symphony said.
Before Phoebe could react to Symphony’s statement, Seren was rushing her out of the door. ‘Phoebe, can you keep this whole mess a secret? Everything that happened here, and concerning the news… please don’t say anything to anyone.’
‘All right. However, I know you’ll share the entire truth with me eventually. I’ll just have to wait. Don’t push yourself too hard, though.’ With those words, Phoebe departed.
‘Your sister seems nice,’ Symphony said.
‘You’re wearing my favourite t-shirt,’ Seren growled.
‘You told me to put some clothes on, and I’ve done just that. What is this “Black Sabbath”, anyway? Isn’t the Sabbath something to do with one of the many religions on this planet? Are you actually an evil person?’
‘You’re not familiar with Earth’s music, are you? I suppose you’ve never heard of Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones or The Who, either…’
‘Oh, I know! First is a monarch, next is a really heavy balloon, stones are round and I don’t know who.’
‘Dammit! That’s not the point! You’re going to stretch my favourite t-shirt!’
‘Oh, I thought going through your underwear would be too personal, so I didn’t bother…’
Seren just blinked at Symphony. As her brain processed the information that Symphony had just imparted, her temper snapped. She just screamed in frustration and barely managed to restrain herself from hitting Symphony.
‘Hey, are you all right?’ Symphony asked.
‘Don’t talk to me! Just stay here! Keep out of my sight for a while, or I’ll kill you!’ Seren stormed off upstairs.
‘Oh, wow. I wonder what’s got her so upset…’