“It survived?” Saya asks, looking at Lan who nods, both of them looking at what looks to be an intact train car.
“I think they may have painted it, but that's what the signs say.” He nods towards the signs in Japanese, but there weren't any entrances into the car itself, as if it were sealed off.
“If you were worried about radiation, this would be your best bet,” he chuckles, Saya backing up a little. “Relax. You'd get more from an x-ray.”
“Still, it looks so.. pristine. I'd expect it to be more damaged,” she says, “It looks right off the production line.”
“Well that's.. Hiroshima,” he says, looking over at her. “Acknowledge, but defer. Does that make sense? Gloss over?”
Saya steps back and runs her fingers through her hair, shrugging and nodding at the same time. “Kind of like nine-eleven. It happened, here are the names, and here is a tower.” She holds her hands out towards the train car, dropping them and shaking her head. “Not that it compares, but.. in terms of response..”
She turns and looks up at the multi-story building behind them, then out at the courtyard they stood in. “And even all of this seems.. remember, but don't. You know?” She looks up at Lan, who turns after a moment, thinking about it.
“I uh..” Lan looks between the train car and the museum. “You're right, it's.. more of a display of progress, versus.. this.” He turns back to the train, stepping towards it and leaning up on his toes to peer inside. All of it was empty, from front to back.
“I hadn't actually thought about it,” he admits, pointing towards the museum, the other hand towards the train. “The distance they keep between exhibits.” Lan laughs, playfully brushing his clothes off as if it mattered.
“Though maybe they took the radioactivity in mind..”
Saya held up a hand a foot away from the train car, and to this day, she would swear she felt heat from it, though whether that was from the sun or the A-bomb was hard to tell.
“There's only one last thing out here, if you wanted to see. Then we can get lunch, yeah?” Lan asks, looking over at what looked like a race track.
Saya drops her hand and stands next to him, squinting at the crowd around said track, confused. “What.. what is all that?”
Lan grins and starts off towards it.
What awaited Saya wasn't wrong in any way, but it screamed JAPAN! In huge letters in her mind. She steps up to the track's boundary, watching as both kids and adults pilot.. things.. of all shapes and sizes.
A young kid blazes by on a two-wheeled bike, whereas a man in a reclining tricycle makes his way around a corner. Behind him, two people on conjoined welded bikes both cooperate and fight each other for the direction of their strange 'vehicle'.
Saya looks to her side, a few kids piloting small vehicles in an arena, not quite bumper cars, even though they treated it that way. The whole of her vision was surreal.
Lan leans over on a barrier between the two of them and the track housing the strange bikes, watching as they pass by.
“Wanna try one?” He grins, already knowing the answer as he looks back at Saya.
She steps up beside him and rests her hands on the fence, the pair on the four-wheeled bike still arguing over the direction and speed. “I.. think I'm okay,” she answers.
“You know, back there, in the museum, I didn't really talk about it.” Lan says, “They had models of planes, yeah?”
“Everyone around here knows about the Zero, the Mitsubishi one, but..” he takes in a deep breath, exhaling before he continues.
“She always loved the Allied response, the Allied version. The Spitfire.” Lan wasn't looking at the people on the track anymore, instead looking up at the sparse clouds above. Saya didn't understand at first.
“The planes, you know? Japan had the Zero, the Allied had the Spitfire. And she lived here, but she always loved the Spitfire.” He turns from the track and leans back on the waist-high fence, crossing his arms over his chest.
“It's.. this isn't my town anymore, but it still echos around with her.” He pulls his arms tighter around himself, “And I haven't figured out how to.. deal with that.”
Lan laughs, but it's a sarcastic bark, shaking his head again, “No matter where I go, everything is a reminder.” He looks up at the building, the museum, “I thought this would be a safe place. I'm stupid, all of Hiroshima isn't a safe place.”
Saya looks at Lan, recognizing the insulation of someone withdrawing, his body language, the language of sarcasm, and steps forward, holding out a hand.
“I think we've seen enough of this place today, yeah? Wanna go get some lunch?” she asks.
- a recovering disaster? / twitter: @rgdrac
apologies for everything about me, it might get better.
updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)
feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.