Chapter 16:

Summer Traing Camp Part 5 (Taiki)

Special Fighting Club

Today´s the last day of our summer training camp. Akimoto-san gathers us after morning practice. “Tonight we´ll do two things: a test of courage and fireworks. For the test we´ll go to the woods close to the mountains you´ve been jogging through. I´ll announce the two teams, you´ll get time until after diner to discuss what you´ll be doing your objective: scare the other team more than they scarred yours. I´ll give you a heart rate monitor, the team that scarred the other the most wins a bag of snacks!”
I look at Takara, she seems to be ecstatic. “Snacks, we haven´t had those in so long.” She mumbles.
The teams are announced. “Saito Kei: Team A, Fujima Takara: Ream A, Fujima Taiki: Team B.”
Takara puts a hand on my shoulder. “It´s unfortunate that we aren´t in the same team.” She smiles.
“You know that I know you and Kei just as well as you know me.” I say.
Of all people Jinpachi run towards me. “The team wants to meet after lunch at gym 3.”
I nod. “Got it.”

After lunch comes fast, too fast in my opinion.
“Fujima you know Fuji-chan and Sai really well what scares them?” Kita asks.
I think for a moment. “Kei´s hard, he doesn´t get scarred easily or at least he doesn´t show it but he´s disgusted by spiders, he once saw a huge spider and ran away screaming.”
Kita nods and writes it down.
“Takara´s easy she´s scarred of aliens, like the green men kind. Oh and clowns, you know the killer clowns, she´s really scarred of those too.”
Again Kita writes it down. “Well Nana´s pretty easy too, It´s Sea monsters, she can´t stand them, never could.” She smiles maniacally; apparently she likes to scare people.
After a while we finish our plan with almost all members of team A and what scares them. Now we´re trying to figure out who´s going to get which role, where everyone will be standing and how we´ll do the costumes. Akimoto-san said that we´re allowed to use the props of the theatre club.
“Ok, Fujima will play a killer clown, your job´s to scare your sister as much as possible!” Kita tells me. I nod, usually I wouldn´t do something like this but I´m starting to get into the scarring job.
"Tai and Jin could you look in the prop room if they have everything we need? Ki, I and the rest will go up to the forest to look for good spots.” Momo says.
I want to object but Jinpachi holds my hand down. “Sure, make sure you find the best ones ok?”

We make our way to the prop room. I sigh.
“Taiki-chan can´t we try to get along?” Jinpachi asks me.
“For Takara-chan´s sake?”
I turn around and look him in the eyes. “You´re trying to get with my sister.”
“I´ll admit I find her cute but I won´t ask her out until after graduation.” He says defensively.
“Dating would just distract us from reaching the nationals and there´s potential that we´d fight against one another, what I´m trying to say is that it just wouldn´t be fair to add another thing to think about, for both of us. And Miyazaki and Kyoto are quite a way away, a long distance relationship at our age… It´s going to complicate things.” He says, he sounds sincere.
“You thought about it that much?” I ask unbelieving.
He nods. “Of course, I care about her, that´s why I want to get along with you. She values your opinion.”
“What about Kei, she values him too.”
Jinpachi freezes. “He scares me.”
I nod. “He can seem that way.” I put a hand on his shoulder. “Good luck with him, he won´t give in as easily as me.”
He smiles. We continue our way.
“You´d make a great killer clown.” Jinpachi laughs behind me.
“I know you meant it as a joke, but I choose to see it as a compliment.”

After dinner both teams are getting ready. Team A gets 15 minutes to prepare. Team B is split up in smaller groups on two and three. Of course fate hates me and Jinpachi and I are in the same group again.
We start walking. I look around uneasy.
“Taiki-chan is there something you´re afraid of that Takara-chan or Kei-chan could use against you?” Jinpachi asks.
“Why´re you asking?”
“Oh, I just noticed your nails digging into my arm, is all.”
I let go of him. “Sorry. To be honest I do have something I´m afraid of..”
I don´t get to continue because two rotting zombies jump out from behind a tree. I start screaming my lungs out and cling on to Jinpachi, nearly throwing him to the ground.
The zombies start to laugh and high five each other.
“I hate you two!” I scream at them.
Takara pats my head. “Sorry but that was just too much fun.”
“You´ll pay for that!” I say.
Kei, still laughing, wipes a tear from his eye. “That was way better than expected!”
The two vanish behind a tree again. Jinpachi pats the hand clinging to him. “You ok to continue? No heart attack?”
I nod. “Can I stay like this?” I ask under my breath.
Jinpachi nods. “Sure.”
So we continue our journey through the woods, Jinpachi the brave leader and me the scared of everything, clinging to him scaredy-cat.
After what feels like hours we´re finally through it. I sink to my knees. “That was too much for my heart.”
Akimoto-san writes down our heart rates. “Wow, I´m surprised you didn´t get a cardiac arrest.” He laughs as he sees mine.
I sit down a bit away from everyone, waiting for the whole team to be finished. Jinpachi sits down next to me and offers me a drink. “We´ll pay them back a hundredfold.”
I nod. “How come you didn´t get scarred?”
“Oh, I was really scared but your screaming made me laugh too much to focus on fear.”
I nod sadly. He pats me on the back.
“Why are you so scarred of zombies?” He asks a short while later.
“My older brother used to watch a lot of horror movies and I was an idiot as a kid and watched with him.”
Jinpachi nods. “Oh, shouldn´t Takara-chan be scarred of zombies too then?” He sounds confused.
I shake my head. “Our brother doesn´t like her.”
“Oh.” Is his answer.

Now´s our time. Jinpachi and I are standing together. I´m all dressed up like a killer clown.
Jinpachi holds bucked with fake spiders.
“Are you sure you can scare Takara-chan?” He asks.
“Why, do I not look scary enough?” I look down, my outfit is covered in fake blood.
“That´s not what I meant, but to answer your question you even scare me. But can you bring yourself to scare your own little…”
“Yes! I´ll scare her to death!”
Jinpachi nods. “Maybe don´t go that far.”
“Make sure the spiders hit Kei right in the face.” I tell him.
“We´ll scare the ever-loving shit out of them. For the candy!” I yell.
“Yeah!” Comes the unsure answer.

“So you lost.” Takara says munching on a candy bar.
“I´m sorry, Jinpachi I failed you.” I say.
“We did scare them.” He answers. “The others were just too tough.”
“Here.” Takara offers me a bag of pretzels.
“You remembered that I like them?” I ask touched by her offer.
“Yes, you don´t like overly sweet things, right? You´re more into salty things.” She answers.
Kei joins us. “How´s it feel to have lost?”
“Weren´t you the one who screamed so loud everyone thought you were getting murdered?” I ask coldly.
He blushes. “That was just because you threw a real tarantula at me!”
“Sorry we should have checked the box of fake spiders first before using it.” Jinpachi says, trying very hard to hold back laughter.

Last thing on our list is the firework. Akaya-kun got is pew pew fountains, telling everyone how awesome they are.
Takara and Jinpachi are holding senko hanabi giggling when one falls to the ground.
Kei hands me one too. “So you´re just letting this happen?”
I shrug. “I have to accept that Takara is almost an adult. And Jinpachi isn’t the worst, if she chooses to be with him, I´m ok with that.”
“Says the guy who used to hide love letters his sister received.” Kei says while lighting our senko hanabi.
“You helped me!”
“Not just you. I used to help Ta-chan hide love letters for you too.” He admits.
“I received love letters?” I ask shocked.
He nods and watches the senko hanabi burn off like hypnotized. “She burned them all, saying that none of them were good enough for you.”
I nod. “Oh. Now´s probably a good time to admit we hid love letters for you too.”
Kei starts chasing me screaming “I could have gotten a girlfriend if it weren’t for you idiots!”
I have to laugh; this summer camp was really fun. Well the end became fun.

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