TLNC Chapter 2 – The Medium is the Message

The Medium is the Message

On my second day at the Light Novel Club, I made sure to bring some manuscript paper to write my novel.

I looked at the three other members of the club.

Yamada was trying to put together a plastic model kit of some mecha I did not recognise. Izumi was reading from a novel which looked like one of those incomprehensible and boring American Sci-Fi novels that my brother likes to read.

Tanaka was sitting right in-front of the bulky CRT TV screen, playing a puzzle game where he had to match falling blocks of differing shapes and colours. He held a grey rectangular controller on his knee while tapping the bottom of the controller, very odd but he seemed good at it.

In short, there really wasn’t any unity in this club room, everyone was in their own world, even if we occupied the same room.

Outside we could hear the various sports clubs practising earnestly.

Was this fun? Not really. The important thing was that I was able to finish writing a whole chapter but at some point I got distracted and started reading a random 4-panel manga volume off of the shelves lining walls of this cramped club room.

I looked up at unmoving the broken ceiling fan with peeled off paint and rusting corners.

There were a few things that I wanted to look up, because I wasn’t certain, a few kanji who’s meaning I meaning I wasn’t sure of, but which I included anyway, but without being able to use electronics I couldn’t access the internet.

On the other hand, I probably got more writing done by not looking up every little thing.

Was this what I wanted from a light novel club? No, not really. There was something lacking. My throat was dry. I knew what I needed right then.

“Izumi, is it alright if I bring an electric kettle to this room to make tea?”

“Yes, any electric device made before June 29, 2007 is fine.”

Izumi did not look away from her book.

Wait does that mean that if I can find a pc which is older than 2007, then I can use that in the club room? I confirmed this with Izumi. But where would I find such a piece of junk anyway? I doubt it would run any of the programs I am using now. Maybe an old version of Ichitaro would run. Would I even be able to browse the internet?

At that moment I remembered something. I had spotted Izumi standing in-line at the school morning assembly but she wasn’t wearing any glasses back then. I guess she only needs them to read the small text of that hardback, I mean it couldn’t be that she was wearing them just to complete the look of the “literary club’s book girl,” could it? Once again, I was letting light novels corrupt my vision.

“Ah… where did it go?”

Yamada’s arm touched my trousers as he annoyingly crouched under the table right next to where I was seated. After rummaging around for about five minutes he gave up.

“The decals for the eyes are gone…”

Oh the humanity… I pretended to look for the sticker which came with his model kit and I randomly looked under my indoor shoe to find a tiny red sticker stuck on its rubber soles. I took it off and held in my hands. Yamada’s pudgy eyes instantly lighted with surprise. He smiled and snatched the sticker out of my hands before I could give it to him.

“Thanks.” He said, a bit too late in my opinion.

“No problem.”

He was already back to working on his plastic model kit before I could say anything else.

When I entered the club room I was made to turn off my phone and hand to Izumi, who held it under lock and key. I noticed that there was an old pink flip-phone in there, was that hers?

The sun was setting so it must have been around six. I couldn’t tell what exact it time was because like any normal young person, I read the time from my phone. Maybe I should find that old digital watch with the alarm and backlight I used to use before my parents let me have a phone, or maybe I should get a cheap wall clock. No wait.. First the kettle, then a computer, and now the clock. Why should I pay for everything… They are going to make use of them too.

While I was wondering how I could convince the club or the school to pay for the stuff I wanted in the club Tanaka turned off the TV, and put the game cartridge back in its box.

“I guess Level 37 is my limit.”

I had no idea what he was referring to or who he was talking to, but it occurred to me that with a scrawny and nerdy build like Tanaka’s, glasses would fit his face very well but I guess it wouldn’t do to have two spectacled characters in the same club. I am doing that thing again, applying fictional rules to reality. Maybe I was a bit excited about this club after all, despite my complaints, or is that also applying fictional rules to reality. Is it a bad thing I can’t say which thoughts are my own?

Izumi closed her book with a thud, which Yamada and Tanaka took as a signal that it was the end of today’s so-called club activities.

Yamada left his unfinished plastic model on the table. Well, no wonder he keeps on losing pieces. While I stuffed the mess of paper that was my manuscript into my bag. Ugh, a physical manuscript is such a pain. There were pieces of eraser all over the table.

Once we were out Izumi locked the white sliding door to the club room. Then without a word she headed off towards the teacher’s office to hand over the club room key.

Well, she was the only girl in the club so I didn’t expect her to leave school with us but she could have at least said bye.

I was tempted to ditch Tanaka and Yamada, as I didn’t want to leave school as some kind of idiot trio but I missed my chance. Thankfully once we climbed down the hill which North High resided on, Yamada took off in a different direction from us.

This just left me and Tanaka. Once Yamada had left there was nothing to talk for the two of us, or so I thought.

“Ishikawa, how is that novel of yours going?”

“So you noticed it was a novel. Do you really care how it’s going?”

“Well, even for you doing homework during club time would be weird.”

I had no idea that I looked that studious at all. I just did all of my homework and studying during breaktime so I could be free at home. It wasn’t because I didn’t have any friends or anything.

“I thought that you would have asked me more about Izumi by this point. Is it because you are that shy that you haven’t asked me anything yet?”

“I am just genuinely disinterested.”

About what’s going on with her, it was really none of my business.

“Really? Well, what I think, is that since you want to write and she likes to read, you should just have her read your stories.”

Wrong. If she didn’t like it then it would be awkward afterwards. Wait, what am I talking about?

“Looks like this is where we part ways. Bye!”

Yamada flashed a smiled as he took a turn to the road to the station. I guess he took the train to school. Another piece of useless information.

The Light Novel Club

The Light Novel Club

Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2024
Ishikawa Isshin, a freshman at North High has decided to join his high school's Light Novel Club, hoping to get some inspiration and quiet, to work on his novel for a light novel writing contest. Unfortunately for Isshin, the club's non-talkative bibliophilic book girl and old-tech obsessed club president, Izumi, as well as other members of the school faculty are intent on getting in his way by dragging him off to participate in miscellaneous after-school club activities.  Will Isshin remain the reluctant member of the club and continue to regret his decision to have joined? Or will he come to love the club, and discover the true purpose of the Light Novel Club?  


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