Chapter 23:

Bonus Chapter & Author's Note

Perfect World


*AUTHOR'S NOTE*


Hey everyone! Gerry here, just wanting to share some thoughts to get everybody on the same page and up to date. A lot has happened since I joined Honeyfeed, and this is a good time to express myself.


*** A BIG THANK YOU! ***


First, I’d like to say thanks to my fellow Honeyfeeders! It’s been great sharing stories and having meaningful discussions with everyone. My heart goes out to all of you who’ve continued to support and encourage me. Throwing Perfect World into the wilderness of the internet was practically a whimsical decision that I didn’t give much thought. As most of you already know, Perfect World is an old story I had independently published a really long time ago, but I put it out of print, dropped that publishing company, got the full rights back, and intended to rewrite and republish it to be better and stronger than ever.


So far, I’ve had some very receptive readers who have provided wonderful feedback (you know who you are). I’ve physically written down many of the suggestions I’ve received, and I will continue to take them into account as I keep rewriting the story. You all have been very helpful, and THANK YOU SO MUCH! Arigatou gozaimasu! XD


*** THE HALFWAY POINT ***


Perfect World is now at the official halfway point in the story. More specifically, it was originally divided into two books when published. Everything uploaded on Honeyfeed thus far was from the first book.


As of now, the revision and uploading is quite possibly in a sort of mini-hiatus (sorry if it sounds vague). After seeing how the first half of the rewrite has turned out, which I’m highly satisfied with, I want to take my time to think about the second half. This story needed much more tender love and care than anticipated, and the second half is no exception. I ask that you all be patient with me, as I’m dedicated to creating the best story that Perfect World can be!


*** OTHER PROJECTS ***


Some of you may remember another story I had been uploading when I first joined Honeyfeed … a little something called ANNO DOMINI ~Allium~. Let me recap on that:


It was collaboration with a friend. He gave me the main story idea, descriptions of many of the main characters, and some other ideas. However, he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain with his other tasks. I don’t hold it against him. It was a major project and his workload would’ve been nearly equivalent to my task of building a story from his idea and actually writing the thing myself. In short, he chose to live his own life while I chose to be a writer. :P


Both of us didn’t really like where the story was going. Simply put, it was progressing far too slowly for the sort of story it was supposed to be: an action anime story! So I took it down. It was a difficult decision to make, but one I will stand by. However, it is very much alive and well. I’ve been working on it behind the scenes *cough cough* and intend to bring it back *cough cough*. I love writing it. It’s the reason why I’m still on the path of being a novelist. If not for ANNO DOMINI ~Allium~, I would’ve put down the pen already. I’d be taking a writing hiatus right now, focusing solely on marketing my previous published novel, Made From Sapphire … but I’m still writing!


I probably have other ideas, but that’s probably a secret. ;)


*** WRAP IT UP, GERRY! ***


In the end, I’m a busy bloke. I work a full time job, so I can’t spend as much time and energy on writing and reading as I’d like to. But I’ve been working on being more efficient, and my online writing communities (especially Honeyfeed) have been my biggest motivator of late to keep at it.


Sorry this was a long author’s note. You’d think I was a novelist or something ….


Anyway, I present to you A BONUS CHAPTER!!!


This is a deleted scene from the original published version of Perfect World. One of the biggest challenges of this rewrite was deciding what from the old story made the cut, and it pained me to take this particular scene out. It seemed a little unnecessary to the story, and I really wanted the core plot to move appropriately.


So here it is! Uncut and unmodified from the original story! As always, I would still love to hear any feedback. (Some things might be different or mismatched with the current story’s timeframe.)


*******


After Zenox was defeated I felt as if a giant tumor had been removed from inside me. With the lack of Darknae, the weather had greatly improved. The sun shone a lot more, warming each day. Gary and James both seemed a lot more cheerful. Even I had to admit that I felt a million times better. There wasn’t really anything eating away at the back of my mind.


Spring break was over now and it was finally time for the dance, meaning that the school’s gymnasium was going to be filled with students. When I came home from school that day I knew that I’d have to get ready if I wanted to go with Gary. As soon as I walked in the house, I hurried up to my room to find something to wear. My closet was full of casual clothes, and nothing looked the least bit formal. Eventually, I picked out something that didn’t look too tacky.


Later that day, I took a shower and brushed my teeth, trying to get as clean as possible. When I got dressed, I looked in the mirror to see if anything needed fixed, and thought that I should tie my hair back. After doing so, I looked in the mirror one last time to make sure that I did it right.


“What’s the rush?” Laura asked me when I came into the living room. “That dance isn’t for a few more hours, isn’t it?”


“I want to be ready,” I said.


“Well, there’s nothing wrong with that.” Suddenly, she got very concerned. “Are you sure you want to do this? You’ve never done anything like it before.”


“I’m fine,” told her. Then I gave her an assuring smile. “Don’t worry about it.”


“You tied your hair back?” Jack had just come into the living room with a cup of coffee. “I’ve never seen you do that. It looks good.”


“Yeah, it does,” said Laura, looking at me. “I can see your ears for once.”


The next few hours slowly trudged by. I was a little excited, but also nervous. This was my first time doing something after school, and I didn’t know if everything would go all right.
I killed time by drawing in my sketchbook and listening to the stereo in my room. Of course, I listened to heavy metal because it soothed me. People at my school in Michigan told me that it was weird, that I’m an idiot, and not very girl-like. When they would tell me that, it made me feel even more lonely and different from everyone else. But I didn’t dare show it.


“Krystal, are you ready to leave?” Laura finally called. I shut off the radio, put my sketchbook away, and went downstairs. “Jack, I’ll be back soon. I’m taking Krystal to her school now.”


“Okay, have fun,” Jack called from the living room.


I followed Laura outside to the car. When I got in, I peeked in the rearview mirror one last time to make sure I was presentable. It was the first time I was really concerned about my looks. The drive to the school was a long and quiet one, and I kept trying to imagine what it would be like at the dance.


We arrived at the school, and after I got out of the car, I stared at the entrance. Other people were showing up at the same time, and I followed the crowd into the building. A big sign written in marker was sitting on an easel in the hallway that said to go to the gymnasium for the dance. As soon as I was done reading the sign, I heard a familiar voice to the side of me.


“I hope they have food. I’m starving.”


“Hi, James,” I greeted.


James stopped walking with Nick and gave me a puzzled face.


“Krystal? Is that you?”


“Yeah,” I said sweetly.


“Hey, I didn’t recognize you with your hair tied back,” he said, looking up and down. “Wow, you look…really good. I can see your ears now.”


“You look good too,” I replied, even though he was dressed in the same clothes he wore to school that day. His hair was just wetted down and combed. “Is Gary here yet?”


“We didn’t see him,” said Nick. “He could already be in the gym.”


“Let’s go,” said James enthusiastically. “My fans await.”


I walked with Nick and James to the gym where the rest of the students had already gathered. The music was playing loudly, and the concessions were giving out pizza and drinks.


“I don’t see him anywhere,” said James, looking around. “He’s probably not here yet…Oh yeah, pizza!” He took off through the crowd of dancing students in a straight line for the concessions. I continued to look for Gary with Nick.


“Looking for someone?” We wheeled around to see Gary coming into the gym.


“Yo, we didn’t know if you were here yet,” said Nick. “What’s up, bro?”


“Nothing much.” He turned his attention on me. “Hey.”


“Hi,” I replied, giving him a hug.


“I like your hair,” he complemented. “It, uh…brings out your…ears.”


I giggled quietly. “Thanks.”


“There you are, Beth.” Nick greeted a short, redhead girl who was wearing a blue ribbon in her hair. “Beth, meet my pals, Gary and Krystal.”


“Hello,” said Gary.


“Hi,” I said.


“Me and Beth, we’re gonna be chillin’, so catch ya later.”


“All right,” said Gary. “See ya.”


Nick and Beth joined the crowd of dancing students as James came over to us. He was holding a paper plate with nearly half a pizza stacked on top of it.


“Is that all for you?” Gary asked, eyeing his plate with slight disgust.


“Yep,” James replied happily through a mouthful of pizza. “They have more.”


“Do you need something to help wash it down?” said Gary. “A glass of cooking oil to lube your throat?”


“No, I’m fine,” said James, completely missing what Gary meant.


“Hey, Krystal, you want some pizza?” Gary offered. “I can get some for you.”


“Yeah, sure,” I said. “It doesn’t matter what kind.”


Gary made his way over to the pizza, leaving me with James who continued to stuff his mouth. Miraculously, he managed not to get anything on his shirt or face. When Gary came back, he handed me a plate with two slices of pizza on it.


“Thanks,” I told him, smiling. I picked up a slice, then started to practically inhale it.


“You two are animals,” said Gary amusingly. “It’s like watching a pizza-eating contest.”


“Ha, I could easily win one of those,” said James, slurping down the rest of a slice. “There’d be no contest as soon as I enter, because I’m that good. Hey, look who just showed up.”


We focused our attention at the main entrance of the gymnasium to find Brandon walking in. He was wearing a button-up shirt that looked as if it were about to rip from his bulging muscles.


“Oh, this is just great,” Gary groaned. “What’s he doing here? I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.”


“I don’t think he does,” said James, licking his fingers. “He’s probably here to find one. That’ll be the day.”


After I finished my pizza, I walked over to the trash to throw my plate away. However, Brandon was standing next to it.


“How are you?” he asked nicely.


“Fine,” I said.


“I like what you did to your hair,” he said, smiling. “I never knew you had ears.”


I giggled softly.


“Yup, I sure do.”


“So, you going out with him?” He nodded in Gary’s direction.


“Oh, yeah,”


“That’s what I thought.” He sounded really disappointed.


I glanced over at Gary and James, who were looking over in our direction.


“Do you have a date tonight?” I asked.


“No,” he said dully.


“Uh…” I wasn’t sure what to say. Brandon, for reasons unknown to me, always acted so nice and polite when he talked to me.


“So,” he said, “I guess I’ll let you get back to what you were doing.”


I looked directly into his eyes, which were full of hope and desperation. Just I was about to open my mouth, I was interrupted.


“What are you doing?” James asked rudely. “Brandon, leave her alone.”


“Hey, I was talking to her!” Brandon’s kind and gentle tone disappeared like a camera flash.


“Well, now you’re not,” said James, taking my arm. “Come on, you don’t need to be talking with this moron.”


“What did you say?” Brandon growled, getting right up in James’ face. “I have a right to talk with whoever I want to!”


“Except for her,” said James, pulling me away. “If you hadn’t noticed, she’s taken, so find your own!”


“Whoa, now hold on!” Gary had come over after he saw that Brandon and James were clashing. “Let’s just keep our cool here!”


“Shut up!” Brandon snapped. He turned back to me. “I guess I’m not wanted here, so I’ll talk to you later, Christine.”


“Her name’s Krystal!” James barked. “Get it right!” He pulled harder on my arm until he pulled me a few feet back. I watched as Brandon stomped away and left the gymnasium. I actually felt really bad for him. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, and I really didn’t mind talking to him.


“What’d you have to go and do that for?” Gary asked James irritably. “He wasn’t doing anything wrong.”


“He was talking to Krystal,” James huffed. “Anything that kid says is trouble, Krystal, so just forget about anything he told you.”


A few moments later, I was caught off guard by another blurred vision. I looked at James and Gary, examining their expressions. It was obvious that they didn’t see it. Those visions were the only things that kept me from feeling completely fine. They kept coming back even after defeating Zenox.


“There’s Stephanie and Patrick,” said Gary, pointing at them across the room. They were standing over by the snack bar that was set up next to the pizzas.


“So what?” James mumbled.


“What’s wrong?” Gary asked. “You’re not still mad about Brandon, are you?”


“Well, he’s an ass!” James replied hastily. “He thinks he can come around here, making trouble and acting so tough!”


“He wasn’t doing that,” said Gary. “I know he can be a real pain sometimes, but he wasn’t doing anything wrong just a few moments ago. Actually, you’re the one who started making troubled this time, not him.”


James looked insulted, then ashamed.


“Crap, I hate it when you’re right.”


“Alright, guys,” the DJ announced into his microphone. “Are you all having a good time, or what?”


There was a loud roar from the mass of students in the gym.


“Okay, listen up,” he announced, “I’m about to slow things down a bit with one of my personal favorites.”


The lighting became smoother as the next song began its slow rhythm. The mass of students slowed down into a synchronized, flowing movement.


“Oh yeah,” said James, “time for me to put on my smooth moves.” He hurried off into the crowd to find someone to dance with, leaving me with Gary.


“So,” he said, scratching his head. “Do you…want to dance?”


Instead of answering, I gave him a smile, then wrapped my arms around his neck as he put his hands on my hips. The music took us in, and we fell into the synchronized, flowing movement that surrounded us.


It was a lot easier than I expected. All I had to do was concentrate on the music, and my body did the rest. No matter how hard I tried to look away, Gary’s eyes were pulling mine into them. In just a few seconds, everything that I ever worried about was washed away, and I felt a warm feeling beginning to fill me. It was a feeling that I hadn’t felt since I was six years old…when my parents were alive…when they tucked me into my bed on that cold winter night…


Everything that I had forgotten snapped back so quickly, I fell out of the synchronized motion. Before Gary could react, I immediately corrected it, and sank back into the synchronized, flowing motion that washed my troubles away.


When the dance was over Gary and I met up with James, Nick, Stephanie, and their dates by the school statue. I listened to them all talking about the night. James had slow-danced with five different girls and was very proud of it.


“I could’ve beaten you,” said Nick, “but Beth was all I needed. Having an actual girlfriend beats you automatically!”


“Oh yeah?” said James cockily. “I don’t think so, man. I’m the smoothest here! Isn’t that right, honey?” A girl that was walking past looked at James and gave him a flirty smile.


“Who was that?” Gary asked, looking at her as she walked away.


“Not sure,” James replied, “but she was hot.”


After most of the people had left, Gary and I remained by the school statue. Before long, it was just us. Gary was waiting for Abby to come pick him up in their parents’ car, and Laura hadn’t shown up yet.


“Well,” he said, “I had fun tonight.”


“Me too,” I said.


“So, uh…yeah.” He looked back up at the sky. The moon didn’t threaten me anymore, so I didn’t worry about its silvery light as it lit up his face.


“Hey,” I said, putting my arms around him.


“Hmm?”


“I love you.”


“I love you, too,” he said.


We stared into each other’s eyes for a while. I felt him pull me closer to him, and soon we weren’t even an inch apart. What happened next was inevitable, and it was the greatest feeling in the world. We separated, then I noticed Abby standing next to us. She had a kind smile on her face as she looked at us. Gary looked completely lost for words.


“Ready to go, little brother?” she said softly.


Gary nodded, then looked at me.


“See ya tomorrow.”


“Bye.”


Abby smiled at me. “Bye, Krystal.”


“Bye, Abby.”


I watched them walk to the car and drive away. When Laura showed up to take me home shortly after, I didn’t even pay attention to anything she said to me. That night was a great night, and I slept better than I ever had.


chesarka
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Jio Kurenai
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TrinityNovels
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