Marith - Roses and Other Scary Stuff...!
Utena stops into Akio's office.
(This is a little different in the dream - he's in a corporate office
like the one where I work, with lots of little rooms and cubes all
in grey. Naturally Akio has a nice corner office with a window.)
They chitchat about working late and studying, and very awkwardly,
she brings up how it's no fun to just eat a hot pocket from the
microwave alone, and would he...sorta kinda maybe...like to go to
dinner instead? Of course he says yes. And he'll call
Anthy! Utena gets a brief "hey! maybe three IS a crowd"
look on her face which he doesn't see, but recovers fast.
Next scene they're coming back from dinner and
stop into one of the big conference rooms so Akio can get something.
He's in an expansive mood, holding forth to Utena on many subjects,
and suddenly he segues into "Did I ever tell you why my sister
likes roses so much?"
"No!" says Utena, fascinated.
Anthy, over on the other side of the room, has that flat emerald
expressionless gaze turned on her brother.
"It was when she was very small. Anthy
had been sent away for something, and while she was gone the chateau
gardens were remodeled..." Stylized scenes like
those in the fairy tale introduction, showing a huge Versailles-like
palace and acres of formal gardens. A faceless princess in
a ball gown, clearly Anthy, wanders among them.
"All the roses were taken out for the new
design. When Anthy returned, she was inconsolable. We
had raised her to believe that anything beautiful should be treasured
eternally. Aunt Sofia tried to comfort her..." In the
fairy-tale pictures, a faceless adult with a kind voice looms over
Anthy, who is on her knees crying. "Don't cry, dear. The roses
aren't gone; they're right here." She empties a bushel
of roses over the girl's head. All different colors, cut off
with very short stems - in the animation, they look just a little
bit like a bushel of severed heads. Little-Anthy screams and puts
her hands over her face as the rose heads fall all around her.
It's one of those images that could be really pretty, a shower of
roses, but because Anthy is so upset it looks quite creepy instead.
Present-day Anthy is over by the blackboard.
She starts to write "But she" and then stops because Utena
is Not Paying Attention. Anthy puts down the chalk and turns
away as her friend continues to gaze raptly at Akio.
Next scene, the three are walking down the
hall towards Akio's office. But wait - his office is full of police
and what look like a couple of soldiers, searching through his papers.
Akio backpedals hastily and makes up a cover story. "Oh, they
must have started with my things already. My last day in the department
is tomorrow, and they always do a...(blah blah blah)".
Utena isn't THAT gulllible - she looks distressedly between Akio
and the office. Meanwhile Anthy leans over a diagram showing
the frequency of interdepartmental transfers and tries to draw her
attention to it. ("Oh my, is it true that most employees here
transfer ten times?")
Utena isn't buying this. "Akio-san...?"
He says gently, "Please don't be concerned;
it was Anthy who made the slip. Go on home now."
Anthy, head bowed, walks into a nearby empty office.
Utena takes a few steps toward leaving, changes her mind and runs
after Anthy. "Himemiya, I won't leave you."
Anthy turns on her _violently_. "Get
OUT!" She slaps Utena. "This has nothing to
do with you!" Shocked, Utena backs out of the office and down
the hall as Akio, expressionless, walks into the room with Anthy.
Utena pauses, holding her cheek, tears in her eyes. She quietly
walks back to peer into the room again.
Anthy is lying on her side with Akio on top of
her, as though he justleaped on her and bore her to the ground.
Both of their heads are turned to look at Utena, and Akio is leering
_horribly_ - I can't describe it. The image of them freezes into
a pencil drawing backlit with yellow, like an important moment in
Oniisama E. It was so shocking that the dream-me, watching
this on TV, screamed and jumped.
Time-passing image of Utena in pajamas, alone
in their bedroom but not sleeping.
Next morning. Anthy sits in front of a vanity
mirror, putting up her hair. Utena bounds in with forced cheerfulness.
"Hi!" She bounces all around the room, has a present
and comforting words for Anthy, and is clearly trying to make all
of last night not have happened by sheer force of will.
That's when I woke up going "ack!"
Somehow I don't feel rested...
Excerpt from a post on the "SKUAD" mailing
list, posted with the author's permission.