Volume 1 Episode 4 - Snow White

Rune Lake, New Berengaria, Adell's House

Adell sat in his room, surrounded by boxes and suitcases. He hadn't unpacked from his trip yet, and a suitcase with clothes splayed out like an exploded ramen cup sat next to him. Also around him were boxes full of his childhood, things he didn't take with him when he left with his father for Andrast. In front of him was the scrap of paper that Mitani stuffed into his pants. It had an address on it, nothing more. Adell wondered why Mitani wouldn't leave his numbers instead.

Not in the mood for unpacking, Adell flipped open the old boxes and hastily rummaged through each one. Most of them were full of old toys. Once in awhile, he took one out and held it. A toy spaceship caught his attention and he spent several minutes playing with it, opening its doors, and repositioning the action figures inside.

After putting the spaceship back in the box, he opened another. Inside was his Captain Carpathia action figure. Rummaging through the box again, he found Captain Carpathia's visor and bow. He smiled at the bite marks on Captain Carpathia's legs, remembering that he used to chew on everything. Adell couldn't remember why he didn't bring these toys with him. He didn't know why his mother never brought them when she visited. He put Captain Carpathia's visor on and placed him on the bed as he moved on to the next box.

In another box, he found a tablet. He wondered if it still had a charge after 10 years. The charge was supposed to last three years, but it had been turned off all this time. He pushed the power switch and, to his surprise, it started up. In a few seconds, he was at the menu screen. There wasn't much on the menu. It just had the basics, things like movies and photos. He touched the photos button, all the while marveling at how clunky and old-fashioned the interface seemed.

He was surprised to discover that the photos were organized by Adell's age. It had everything from age zero to age eight. Suddenly, he had an idea. He knew his parents took a lot of pictures of school events. Perhaps, he thought, there might be something in there that would provide clues about Mitani. Figuring the newest folder would be the best place to start, he tapped on "Age 8."

Adell flipped through the pictures, looking for anything that might jog his memory. There was his eighth birthday party. A trip to the zoo. Pictures from his school's sports festival. Suddenly, he stopped, finding a picture of his entire elementary school class posing together for a photo. There, clinging to his arm, was a shy-looking boy with red hair, looking away from the camera. Adell tapped on the "annotations" button to see if anyone put in the names of the students. Someone did. On the red-haired boy appeared the name "White."

Adell finally remembered.

He grabbed the scrap of paper with Mitani's address on it and went outside.

It wasn't a long walk to the address listed on the paper. Adell went through the revolving door of the building and looked at the paper. "Suite 603," it said. The elevator door was already open, so he stepped inside and pushed the button for the sixth floor. It was easy to find the room as it was at the end of a very short hallway. Once there, he took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.

It seemed to take forever for someone to come to the door. Adell was just about to ring the bell again, when the front door finally swung open. It was Mitani.

Adell: Snow White?

Mitani's face, which already seemed annoyed, quickly turned into a scowl. He grabbed Adell by his shirt.

Mitani: Get in here!

With that, he yanked on Adell's shirt and dragged him into the condo. Without a word, Mitani shut the door and walked away. For a split second, Adell wasn't sure what to do and then he realized that he was meant to follow. Predictably, they ended up in Mitani's bedroom, where he promptly shut the door.

Mitani: You finally remembered!

Adell held up his tablet, still showing the school picture he was looking at before.

Adell: The kid in this picture looks like you, but the annotation says your name is "White."

Mitani sat on the edge of his bed and sighed.

Mitani: That was my name before my parents divorced. "Neige White." Everyone always laughed and called me "Snow White! Snow White!" Everyone except you, anyway.

Adell: That... sounds familiar.

Mitani: I was desperate for your attention. I did everything I could think of to make you notice me. You never did. You were always in your own little world.

Adell: Sorry. I didn't really notice much of anything back then.

Mitani folded his arms across his chest and turned his head away with a quick jerk.

Mitani: Hmph. Fine. Go ahead and apologize. You're ten years too late!

Adell smiled. Memories of elementary school were flooding back to him and he was remembering more and more of Neige. He hadn't really changed that much.

Adell: Well, what about you? You could have just told me this from the beginning. How was I supposed to know you changed your last name, anyway?

Mitani: You should have recognized my face!

Adell knew this was going to go nowhere. He had one last trick to play, but he was sure it would work.

Adell: Maybe I should just go.

Adell turned and immediately began walking to Mitani's bedroom door. As he expected, he soon felt a hand grab his shoulder and turn him around.

Mitani: Where do you think you're going?

Mitani moved in very close, putting both of his hands around Adell's waist and grinning devilishly.

Mitani: We have ten years of catching up to do.

End: Short Stories Volume 1.
Click the Next button below for Volume 2!

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

All city images from SimCity 4.

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