Chapter 4:

4. how do women just WALK around with their tits out?

the color of shattered dreams

It doesn't feel like 'it fell off'. More like... it was never there? At some point, I must've covered my chest without thinking, only realizing so because one of the pink girls bursts out giggling, points at me, then tells the other pink bitch about it. Does that stop me from covering my tits? No? Would it have been so hard for the change to include clothing, too? 

The stage that doesn't sparkle is the color of the moon, but apparently the floor has been polished enough that those inside this dome can shit upon it without dying of blood loss. A few magical girls sit on the bleachers. Pink, blue, yellow. One of them is purple. Until further notice, I'm the only one on this celestial object without unnatural hair, a frilly dress, or a bra. 

There's a golden stick at the center of the stage. The moment I step inside, it levitates, glowing. Very nice and all, but thanks to this, I remember that gravity on the moon isn't the same as down on Earth, which... oh, whatever. "Go on," says one of the pink bitches. "Sato, and... you. What's your name again?"

"Saki," I reply. My given name is Haruto, but with the way these witches are behaving, it wouldn't surprise me if they called me Haruko instead. 

"Saki what?"

"Does it matter?"

"It does," says the blue girl. I'd forgotten she even was here. "If your given name is exclusively male, we'll have to change it. For one, the staff does not accept men, and you have to present yourself to it before it accepts you. For two, you'll be working for the public, so it'd be strange to use a male name, right? For—"

"No," I say.

"—three, the... excuse me?"

"I'm not changing my name."

The pink witches exchange glances. Sighing, the blue girl turns to Sato, who has been walking behind us all this while, having a staring contest with the floor. "What's his name?" Blue asks her. "You took the job. You should know."

Sato clutches at her own arms. She glances at me, which reminds me: it's her fault that I'm here. That I'm like this. That I am? 

Sato shakes her head. "You don't know?" Presses Blue. She's as skeptical as I am, it seems. Surely, my parents must've told her my name. 

"No," she replies anyway.

"Why does it surprise you?" Says Pink Witch #1. "That's Shi-chan you're talking to. Anyway... guy... if the staff finds out you used to be male, it won't let you continue with the test. If you don't continue with the test, you won't have magic, and you'll be stuck like that forever. Get it? Good. Now hurry." 

Used to be male. Didn't the director say I can change back? 

To some degree, I get that names, and by extension words, are just sounds by which humans identify things. We don't even get to pick the sound we respond to—usually. Why I'm so bothered by this is beyond me, but... so? "Fine," I reply, with my usual intonation in a stranger's voice. "I'll use my dog's name. Is that good?"

"That's fine," replies Blue, then, after a pause: "I'm sorry."

It's the first time any of these assholes has been remotely agreeable. I'll take it. "Yes. Thank you. Now what? Do I walk to the center, or...?"

"Yeah. Yes." Blue clears her throat. "Sato, you as well. Both mentor and apprentice have to touch the staff as it chooses the type of magical girl he'll become, and then, um, we can proceed to the second part of the test. "

I don't have a dog. 

It doesn't take long for me to reach the sexist staff. Sato trips on a subatomic particle. She recovers quickly, but the pink witches laugh anyway. Sooner than later, nonetheless, she stands next to me, and we stand before the staff. It levitates, still, golden, still glowing. There's a pink heart at its tip, surrounded by smaller, multicolored sparkles. It's scary because there are no sound effects. The other three stayed behind, so I ask Sato, "Do we touch it now?"

She nods.

"And then?"

"And then you... give your d—your name. And it'll awaken."

D for dick. "Okay," I say. I grab the staff. She does, too. Nothing changes. Thus, I present myself: "My name is Saki Haruto."

Sato's face doesn't change, so she probably saw it coming. Points for her, honestly. Somebody gasps behind us, but so what? So what? The heart on the staff glows red, which would've been funny were my mood not at rock bottom. Sato squeals, jerking her hand back. 

Blue comes running. "What did you do?" She bemoans. "I just—I told you!"

"Saki Haruto," I echo. "And? You have a problem, magical girl dildo?"


The staff snaps. In two. It stops glowing. It stops sparkling. When I let it go, it falls gracelessly upon lunar soil, its metallic wail echoing through the dome. I wish I could say I regret it, but if I were the kind of person to think things through, I wouldn't have gone to the train station, or chosen art as a (failed) career, or gotten enough tattoos to singlehandedly fund the local artist's vacations. That said, when people see the carbon chains or treble clef on my wrists, they're almost universally surprised. (But not the semicolon.)

The five of us stare at the broken metal rod. 

Sato sighs, shakily.

Pink Witch #1 asks, "Now... now what?"

Pink Witch #2 says, "We're fucked."

No comment from Blue. 

As for me, I might stay like this forever. Still, no regrets. Weird that the magical girl ceremony thing includes this staff, though. From what I know, girls turn magical when the moonlight hits them under times of great duress. Does that mean they pick their type after awakening? 

I'm not particularly mad, not exactly. Kicking the magical dildo seems like the right thing to do, though, so I do just that. 

It glows. It sparkles. It reforms. The stage glows red now. From no one and seemingly nowhere, a moe kawaii voice commands, "CAPTURE THE REBEL AT ONCE."

There are sparkle sound effects.

The ground trembles. 

It's only then that I notice the magical girls on the bleachers have stood up. More of them pour from the sides, pink and yellow and blue and purple, some of them scared, all of them wielding staffs and frilly dresses. 

Annoyed, finally, I spit at the staff. "Saki!" Croaks Sato. "You can't—you—I—!"

"As council president of the Lunar Academy for Magical Girls," says Blue, "I—"

Sato pushes her. Sato seizes my wrist. She runs; I do, too, holding my chest with my free arm. More and more magical girls flood the bleachers, the hallway. 

"CAPTURE THE REBEL AT ONCE," cries the mystery voice. 

"It's my fault," Sato mumbles. "It's my fault it's my fault all of this is my fault I'm sorry please please forgive me."

To which I say, "Eh." She looks at me. We're surrounded. It if weren't so blindingly obvious that she tried to run away, I could've pretended that she was the one to capture me. "Worse things have happened."

She looks away after that.

"Worse things will happen."

"...yeah. They will." 

Which reminds me, my... ehem... weapon is still on the pockets of my hoodie. So I let my tits go. So I take out the straw. I keep it close to my inner wrist to hide it from the girls, though one of them gasps, anyway, so it might be too late. Oh, well. Worse things may happen. 

With the straw in hand and a stroke through the air, I command, "Portal!"

A sparkly bubble spawns before me—before us. The magical girls closest to Sato and I flinch, but not for long. "Get them!" Screams Blue, but before they reach us, I throw Sato into the bubble the way one would a javelin, then hop into it myself. 

The bubble pops. 

We pop. 

We don't die, though, because magic. 

Sato sniffs. She's not crying, though. It's just cold, black, and silver. The outer surface of the moon, that is. We land as gracelessly as the magical girl dildo did before, which, by the way, falls right next to me as though it'd never killed itself out of misandrist fury in the first place.

Mario Nakano 64
Steward McOy
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