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Love in the Time of Online Auctions: a hit-or-miss photostory
Sasha Blaze
sedens
So, I heard this odd faint keening noise from the living room when I got home from the all-day workshop ordeal I endured today . . .




Act One: The Thunderbolt

ME: Atsu-kun, what’s wrong? Don’t tell me the new hard drive is going bad already!



ATSUMORI: Iie, chigaimasu . . . ga . . .

ME: But? But what? What are you looking at?



ME: O-oh. (thinking: uh-oh.)

ATSUMORI: This is a very beautiful lady.



ATSUMORI: She is like a cherry tree in winter. She deserves the love of an emperor.

ME: Um. That’s a lovely sentiment, and extremely Japanese of you, but--you know, sweetie, she's on eBay right now. She’s going to get a perfectly nice home later this evening. See here? The auction ends in just a little while.

ATSUMORI: So desu ka? How does one enter this ah-ku-sha-n? Ah, I understand—this button, and this. It is quite simple, ne?

ME: Ack! No! Don’t push that—ohmygawdyoucan’t—



Act Two: Three Cheers for Dollshe Brotherhood

LYON: What’s up, Atsuji? I thought I heard somebody shrieking in here.



ME (faintly): He just put in a bid on an Evenstar auction. I’m going to go lie down with a cold cloth over my eyes.

LYON: Yeah? Way to go! What’s she like? Er—it is a girl, right?

ATSUMORI (frosty): Hai.

LYON: Hey, no offense, all right? You haven’t exactly been what I’d call forthcoming about yourself since you got here, you know? . . . So is this her on the—whoa. Whoa, nelly.

ATSUMORI (to himself): I think she is lonely.



LYON: Guys! Guys, come and look at this! Atsumori’s bidding on a hot girlfriend for us! She’s tattooed all over!

ATSUMORI: Us?



Act Three: Far Too Much Input

KANBEI: Ahhhhhhhh.



LYON: What did I tell you, huh? Sejong, have you ever seen anything like this?



LYON: Er, Sejong? I’m almost afraid to ask, but--what is that you’re carrying around in the sack?



SEJONG: It is the head of my enemy, of course. Kanbei-dono, do you find this woman pleasing?

KANBEI: Mmmmmmmmm.



LYON: Wait a minute. The head of your enemy? I thought Cynthia explained to you that Saiki wasn’t your enemy. Besides, he went off for a faceup. Where did you get--

SEJONG: I was briefly mistaken. But this enemy is unquestionably the correct one.



NA-NU-RI: I am not! And I cad’t breathe id here!

LYON: It can talk?

NA-NU-RI (plaintively): I’b nod an id. I’b Na-nu-ri. I hab feeligs too, you know.

SEJONG: Silence! Show me this woman, Kanbei-dono. Ah, she is most handsome. Most handsome. What sort of weapon do you suppose she carries?



ATSUMORI: But—but--



ATSUMORI: But I loved her first.


Act Four: The Consolation of Philosophy

PEN (offscreen): Psssst! Atsumori! Come up here.



PEN: You know, it was really romantic of you to bid on that girl and everything, but—you probably aren’t going to win the auction. You do know that, right? I mean, I’d hate to see you break your heart over her.

ATSUMORI: My heart is not whole, Pen-san.

PEN: Yeah, I know. I miss Jenna all the time. Long-distance relationships are tough.

ATSUMORI: Life is bitterness. That is what you mean.

PEN: Well, not exactly, but it’ll do. . . . Are you going to be okay, Atsu?



ATSUMORI: I bid a large number of dollars for my lady. Perhaps she may come to me in the end.

PEN: A large . . . oh, wow. No wonder Cynthia’s making those choky noises. Maybe I’d better go check on her?

The End (for now).
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Aaaahhh, Viola should be here to take her pick right now, because they're all perched like vultures on every high flat surface in the living room, waiting for The Outcome. It really is a little intimidating--I hope none of my doll-averse friends stop by today without calling first. ;-)

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