Ashley in the Interim, Part Two

The following is a quick mini fiction set in the world of Little Busters, a Tales from the Loop game I play in.

We are experiencing a little bit of a time jump, moving forward three years to 1992, after the monsters were defeated and most of the kids have drifted apart, moved away, or otherwise stopped being friends. Ashley is 17 now.

My character, Ashley is “The Jock” archetype. And I wanted to do some mental exercises to get into her head three years later. Here is part two.

CONTENT WARNING in this piece, for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable reading about someone cheating on someone else.

Spring 1992:

“Silly Weird Thoughts…”

Ash skated around the rink, trying to focus but still unable to shake the conversation she had with Sam earlier in the week. One of her teammates rushed up and met eyes with her, she nodded and they linked up to block. As they whipped around Ash could feel herself letting go. This was one of the only things that made her feel real anymore, made her feel like she wasn’t just treading water and waiting for the next bad thing…

Her ankle was almost healed up enough, but it still hurt. A product of last weeks match, but everyone powered through these sorts of injuries here, and Ash loved that level of commitment. These were her people. They knew how to fight.

An elbow came up and met her in the lip and she could feel it split against the guard. With a smile she whipped around and tripped the offending girl, the small crowd shrieked with glee and the referee descended, grabbing Ash for a trip to the penalty box. But she raised her fists in the air to incite her crowd some more. She loved being known for not backing down. She loved that they loved her for showing the aggression the others had always made her feel crappy about.

In the box she looked up at the group of people that made up her most loyal fans. One girl even had a sign, “You can’t cage the ATOMICFIREBIRD!” Ash took off her helmet and winked at the girl, who hid her face behind it.

After the game she found the girl in the crowd.

“Hey.” Ash said as she leaned against the railing as casually as possible.

“Oh!” The girl looked flustered. “Oh hi! You were awesome tonight!” the girl said, tucking her hair behind her ear and fidgeting, as her friends giggled behind her.

Ash reached out and untucked the hair from the girls ear. “I’m not worn out yet. Wanna get out of here?” The look on the girls face as she wordlessly shook her head yes and bit her lip was more than enough for Ash to forget all about Sam, at least for that night.

The girls friends made good natured teasing noises at them as they left, and Ash loved the power in that as well. All silly weird thoughts out of her head as she linked hands with the girl and walked out into the hot Chicago night.

Amazing Art of Ashley provided by Julian, AKA: Triangle Art

Author: Atomic Firebird

Friend of Birds, Aspiring Hobbit, Lover of Puns. I have been LARPing in the Boston area since 2008, as a player, game director, and community manager. In my mundy life, I hang out with my rescue parrot and homebrew D&D campaigns.

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