Red String (Tomoyo Daidouji)

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Red String (Tomoyo Daidouji)
Date of Cutscene: 10 November 2015
Location: Tomoeda-865
Synopsis: Tomoyo prepares for the final confrontation with a good friend and their mother.
Thanks to: To Alice for letting me use Shanghai and Hourai!
Cast of Characters: Tomoyo Daidouji
Tinyplot: Touhou Kakudai

Night has fallen over Tomoeda like a blanket and, as usual, the lights are still on in Tomoyo's bedroom. But this time, she's not at her sewing machine, gently tapping at a pedal with her foot. No, tonight she sits in her chair, playing cat's cradle with herself.

Red yarn stretches in between her digits, forming a complicated pattern as it loops in, around and among itself, constantly shifting as she wiggles her fingers through the gaps, adding in more knots, loops and whorls to the fractal fabric. A book lays in her lap, detailing the complicated pattern she is aiming for, her eyes drifting from the yarn to the page and back again.

By her side is Shanghai, the doll holding the ball of yarn the cat's cradle is drawn from. Each tug pulls a little more from the diminishing ball, already less than half of what it was when the tailor had started. The weight of the yarn on her fingers, the precise movements she needs to progress to the next step and the lateness of the day is making her hands tremble and ache, but she presses on. Just three more steps... two... one...

"There!" she declares, holding up the completed pattern to Hourai, who sits on a vertical trunk pilfered from Alice's home. "Do you really think this will work?" The doll gives a single, curt nod. Still a little upset from having to leave Alice's home, Tomoyo assumes. "She'll be too busy to listen to you unless you're fighting her. Even if you had 100 years to practice, you won't be as good as her. But she won't want to fight you, so that'll make things even."

Tomoyo nods back, smiling softly. "I know I won't be as good... but I'll do my best. Even if I only manage to reunite you two with her, that'll be something. Shanghai, cut the thread please?" The other doll takes a pair of scissors and cuts the cradle from the ball of yarn, allowing Tomoyo to dump the pattern into a basket of stray yarn, already filled with the remains of earlier, simpler cradles.

"Okay~ Next one." Tomoyo turns the page and rubs her chin. "Hmm... you should get a new ball Shanghai. This one looks like it'll take even more." The doll gets up, and reaches out to grip the tailor's wrist. "It's late, you should be in bed. No more for today." Tomoyo looks to her, and offers that kindly smile once more. "It's okay~ I've stayed up later than this before."

Both dolls give her a long look, but eventually Shanghai relents. Another ball of red yarn is retrieved, and Tomoyo unwinds it to tie a loop around her thumb. She begins again, trying to create the pattern as fast as possible as the night goes on.

((OOC: Shanghai and Hourai used with permission from Alice Margatroid.))