Azumanga Daioh Fan Fiction ❯ The Fish and the Treetop ❯ My Dad Fixes Things Sometimes. ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: Azumanga Daioh does not belong to me any more than Taiwan does (unfortunately). It was written and illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma. Please refrain from talking or moving, for no reason in particular. Now, on with the show.



"Millions and millions of fatalities were caused yesterday by an enormous flash flood. One moment the classic literature teacher was giving a lecture, and the next moment nearly a square foot of bacteria was drowned by saliva. 'Help us!' the microbes cried. 'Help us, God!' But since Jesus didn't die for the common cold, not one of them survived.
"It's moments like these that make me think of Old Japan, when nationalism thrived and today's pop music only existed when one was thoroughly drunk. Why Hideki Tojo once said, 'Give me liberty and a nail gun,' and proceeded to slaughter his neighbors' house pets with his vectors, despite killing animals being against the rules of mahjong."
Father, the mysterious orange perversion of a cheshire cat, hovered on the TV screen delivering his news report in a robust voice, casting an eerie blue glow on the living room. Suddenly the screen became as black as the room, throwing its surroundings into darkness. A door cracked open at the far right in the connecting dining room. A faint yellow light filtered through the crack, which slowly became wider, until a black silhouette could be seen in the blinding light. The cordless phone, sitting face down in front of the TV, began to ring. The device was an island in a sea of shadowy carpet, blanketed by the hard yellow light.
The silhouette advanced towards the phone and lifted it to its ear, and pressed the TALK button hesitantly. A soft crackling... and then silence. The silhouette spoke. "Is anyone there?"
Tomo-chan.
"Who is this?"
Tomo... chan.
"If you don't tell me who this is, I'm hanging up."
Wait.
"What?"
.....
I'm ordering a pizza.
"What the hell?"
I'm going to order a Chicago Style.
"I prefer thin crust."
That's what you think.
The line seemed to have gone dead with a clack.
But then the reciever was filled with a deafening screeching.
Alarmed, Tomo threw the phone across the room. It broke into pieces against the wall, but the screeching was still resonating throughout the room. The door behind her shut with a bang, and she was cloaked in utter darkness. Feeling her way through the room, she found Michael Jackson, and then she found the door. She turned the knob, but it wouldn't budge. She simutaneously banged her shoulder against the door and turned the knob, to no avail. The screeching was growing louder, and then the screeches were followed by a distinctive, throaty croaking noise. Michael Jackson wailed in the darkness, and his wails were silenced by the source of the horrifying sound. Tomo, backed up against the door, frantically scanned the darkness for any sign of movement.
She felt her hair fall onto her face and cleared it away with her hands.
It wasn't her hair.
She looked up, only to find herself face to face with a grotesque black-haired figure with bulging eyes. And it wasn't Michael Jackson neither.
"They're out of mozerella," the figure croaked. Tomo screamed in utter torment.

"Tomo, wake up!!"

Suddenly she was jarred awake by a smack to the head. Drool from a long session of dreaming had accumulated in a great pool on her desk, and her mouth was dry and bitter. When her eyes came into focus, Tomo saw her classmates turned in their desks, looking straight at her with puzzled looks on their faces. Yomi was standing over her, crossing her arms, with a rolled up book in her hand and a look of disdain.
"Tomo, what's 'Chicago style'?" asked Osaka with her usual dazed expression. She was standing next to Yomi with her head tilted to one side. "Is it dirty?"
"Everybody sit down and shut up!" Yukari shouted from the head of the classroom. "And stop talking about pizza. I can't stand it!" She wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her sweater, lamenting the emptiness of her wallet, and continued the lesson.
This momentary interruption of class was the most exciting thing that had happened to Tomo since the start of sophomore year. Normally she would make a ruckus by shouting non sequiturs at the top of her lungs and sprinting across campus, but her parents had decided that her ADHD could no longer go untreated, and so she was forced to take Ritalin at the start of the year until her grades improved. The drug was so effective that her friends began to worry about her, and quite rightly. Instead of helping her focus in class, it made her so drowsy that she couldn't stay awake, and her sleep was fitful and accompanied by bizarre dreams. Nevertheless, her grades improved since she had become nocturnal and had nothing to do at night but complete her homework, so her parents kept her on the drug despite her protests and sleepy delusions.
The only time they had any doubts at all about the Ritalin was when Tomo slept all day once, began to walk in her sleep, and traveled by train all the way to Kyoto, only to punch out any German tourists along the way and wind up in jail for her parents to pick her up the next morning... but the doctors insisted that Tomo was shooting up heroin and this had nothing to do with Ritalin, so she was given twice the normal dose to compensate for her erratic nighttime behavior.

Tomo and her friends decided to eat lunch on the roof that day. She continued to slump until she was dangerously teetering over the edge of the school building, so Chiyo was charged with tying a rope around her waist, holding it from five feet behind her, and tugging as hard as she could whenever Tomo fell asleep. They chose Chiyo because the others didn't really care, and insisted that Tomo would probably land on her head, causing very little damage to the rest of her body, because of her extremely hard cranium. Chiyo was skeptical.
"How long are we going to have to watch out for you?" Kagura muttered as she slurped at the remaining broth in her bowl. "It was easier to keep you from injuring yourself, since none of us really cared anyway, but we could be charged with criminal neglect or something if we let you kill yourself."
"You're all... such good... friends," Tomo mumbled dreamily as she nodded off once more. Chiyo gave a robust tug at the rope, grunting with the effort.
"It's a good thing Yomi isn't the one with the sleeping problem, or else Chiyo would have a hard time keeping her in place," said Osaka. Yomi choked on her bread in a coughing fit.
"What's that supposed to mean?!?"
"Nothing. Just making an Osakan observation."
"... Why Osakan?"
"I don't really know."
Everyone was silent. Tomo slumped forward once more, and Chiyo tugged with all her might.
"Bickering won't do us any good," said Sakaki. "We need to find a way to keep Tomo awake during classes. It's too dangerous to let her go on the way she is."
"What can we do, though?" asked Kagura. "Sporadic electric shocks?"
"I don't think we need to go to that extreme. I can always look up herbal remedies on the school computers."
"Yukari-chan wouldn't like you using school computers for personal problems."
"I think Tomo's predicament is just as much her problem as ours. Remember that time...?"

TWO WEEKS AGO

"Tomo, come up to the board and solve this problem," said Yukari. Tomo stumbled sleepily to the blackboard at the head of the classroom, picked up a piece of chalk, and began to write with her eyes closed. "Good, now take your seat." When Tomo sat down, the board was in full view of the class. Tomo had written

Yukari-sensei is gay for Nyamo. I saw it.

Yukari froze in place for a moment. She looked at the class, looked at the board, and looked back at the class. She took a seat at her desk and began sorting the papers in her inbox. After two minutes, she looked up and said "What are you waiting for? CLASS IS DISMISSED YOU LITTLE TURDS," and continued to sort papers.

BACK TO THE PRESENT

"Yeah, I guess it is kind of her problem," added Kagura. They all wore the same blank expression. Tomo slumped again. Chiyo suddenly remembered what was going on and frantically reeled her in.




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