Chapter 8:

EMERGENCY FESTIVAL!

Former Magical Girls and their Daily Lives


Today was the first annual Cleanup Festival that will probably never happen again.Bookmark here

The students made a big banner that read 'Cleanup Festival' that they hung at the front of the school. However, since it was rushed, the banner was nearly unreadable. Luckily, the student body already knew what was going on, and all of the students were making their way to the auditorium, where the principal was going to make a speech.Bookmark here

Today, the audience was going to be standing-only. No chairs for anyone who wanted it. Screw you.Bookmark here

Yuri was surrounded by Kasumi, Megumi, and Risa. They were there to make sure that she didn't have to deal with anyone who sent her letters. They were her security guards. Megumi felt weird about having to escort a person, but Risa and Kasumi were used to it.Bookmark here

"Are you doing good, Yuri?" asked Megumi.Bookmark here

"Fine," Yuri said, trying to avoid thinking about the whole thing.Bookmark here

"Okay, I hope you are fine. All of this attention must be overwhelming. It's really bizarre, to be honest. The number of confessions tends to be small, even for the most popular of girls. I don't know how this happened. I won't blame you for anything, though. It isn't your fault. I really believe that all of this is a fluke. I hope that people forget about it."Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

"I don't mean to be a bummer," Risa said, "But movies show these moments to be the things that people never forget. I doubt the accuracy of those movies though. Movies are alleviated forms of normal life. In movies, people will literally kill each other based on rumors and breakups. I doubt that happens in real life. However, I also doubt that people will forget this day. It isn't because of you, Yuri. If there was a ton of popcorn that fills up the entrance of the school and cancels all of the classes for the day, people will remember that too. Again, it isn't because of you, but I hope that people remember it as some dumb thing rather than something serious. But if this was a movie, then people will never let that go. In fact, that movie would start with middle-aged you being depressed on your apartment floor and then you run into a former high school friend and the first thing they say is that 'hey, remember how that love letters filled up the school.' Then it reveals that that friend is the CEO of some massive company while you live completely off of ramen cups. Then it goes on some BS that that point in high school was when you peaked. But that isn't true. That's the movie version of you. You will recover from this. Quickly. This was just some dumb thing that happened."Bookmark here

Yuri smiled. A little bit. Like, a tiny bit. You could probably see the difference between her normal face and her smile face. If you look closely enough. Maybe.Bookmark here

The principal walked on stage with a microphone.Bookmark here

"Testing, teST-EEEEEEEEEEEE!" The speakers squealed. The principal waited until he got a cue from someone.Bookmark here

"Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3," he said, "Okay. First of all, I'll like to apologize for interrupting your normal lives, but we have to have this festival to deal with these strange events. As you all already know, the front entrance of the school is nearly blocked by a mass of paper. Now, if this is a prank, we currently do not know. If you pranked this school, please step forward."Bookmark here

The principal stopped talking and scanned the room. No one moved.Bookmark here

"That never works," he said to himself before holding the microphone up again, "Now, this could be a big coincidence. As these letters were supposed to be love letters, I would not like to tell you who the authors are or whom they are writing to. It seems like a lot of people delivered their love letters at the same time, causing the disaster that we are talking about today. Now, we do have to clean this mountain of letters. So, all of you will have to move all of these personal letters. Since they are personal, we can't have people reading them. As such, you will be supervised by our teachers and staff. We are currently getting containers and bags to put the letters in. Any questions?"Bookmark here

"WHAT IF WE JUST BURNED THEM?" Kasumi asked.Bookmark here

"That is very much a fire hazard. While we do make a bonfire for some festivals, those require a lot of preparation and care, and we haven't talked to the fire department today. Simply put, we could have a bonfire, but that isn't safely possible on such short notice. Any other questions?"Bookmark here

Silence.Bookmark here

"Just so you all know. There aren't any classes today." The crowd cheered. "But you will have much more homework tonight." The crowd booed. "Sorry, but we still have to teach you students. Also, I will warn anyone who has a love letter to deliver. Make sure that the shoe locker isn't filled with other love letters. This apparently happened a lot recently. Other than that, that should be it. Get to cleaning!"Bookmark here

As expected, the Cleanup Festival wasn't the most interesting or fun festival out there. It was just picking up letter after letter and throwing them into bags, which were thrown into the crates. Simply put, it was a day where you clean up. Don't expect much to happen on Cleanup day, other than cleaning up, of course.Bookmark here

"So, what are you going to do with all of the confessions you got, Yuri?" asked Kasumi. "Are you going to A. reject all of them, B. look at a bunch of them to see what to do, C. pick the guy who put 'Ben Dover' at the end."Bookmark here

"A," Yuri responded, picking up an armful of the letters and throwing them into a bag.Bookmark here

"Yeah, that seems to be the safe one. If you pick someone, you'll have 99 problems, and a boy isn't one. They will be all of them. Those problems aren't resolved easily. Staying single does seem to be the only option to get away from it all."Bookmark here

Then a boy approached the group of girls and got on his knees.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry, Yuri," he said, "I didn't mean to contribute to such a big problem. I don't expect you to forgive me, but I'm sorry."Bookmark here

Yuri stared unblinkingly at the boy. The clogs in her brain churned to find the appropriate response.Bookmark here

"Fried chicken." She went with the non-sequitur.Bookmark here

"What?" The boy said.Bookmark here

"Sorry," Kasumi said, "She doesn't like talking much. She decided that just rejecting all the letters would be best. Who are you?"Bookmark here

"Ben Dover."Bookmark here

"Are you messing with me?!" She aggressively confronted him.Bookmark here

"It's my real name, I swear! Here's my student ID!" He pulled out his ID. It did, in fact, say that his name was Ben Dover.Bookmark here

"Why are you the only person so far to have an English name? You don't look like an American or anything."Bookmark here

"My name is a pun, and it couldn't be a Japanese pun because this story is written in English. It'll probably change if it's translated for a Japanese audience."Bookmark here

"Oh, okay. I understand. Do you have anything else to say?"Bookmark here

"I guess I could say that I'm not that in love with Yuri. All of my friends were doing it. So, I couldn't let myself be the only one who didn't shoot his shot."Bookmark here

"Okay, if that's it, scram."Bookmark here

"Bye forever."Bookmark here

And the character with the joke name left. Probably to never be seen in this story again.Bookmark here

Parsatag
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