(Working Title)

(Working Title)

A Story by Strife

A manga artist is forced to do a romance story. His opinion changes after meeting a girl.


She struggled to get free from her chains but to no avail.

"Why bother hon?" A man in a suit stood in front of her, taunting, "Give it a rest. It's over. Even if you could beat me you'd spend forever playing hero before you'd get to move on. You'd go crazy first. Your kind usually does." He pulled out a knife from his coat pocket. "Goodbye sweetie. Give your brother my regards." He reached back and lunged the knife at her.

"No!" A young man with long black hair threw himself between them, taking the knife in the chest before falling to the ground."

"No," she cried. "B*****d."

"Sticks and stones," he sneered.

"I'll get you for this."

"Try it."

She pulled against the chains until they snapped. She would've hit him, but the clip ended.

The audience cheered as the lights turned back on in the large conference room. Below the screen, a panel of executives seated in front with the convention announcer standing before the crowd.

"That was a clip of the new animated adaptation of the popular Original English Language Manga, End of Silence. And now for the final part of today's panel, a Q&A with the creator of End of Silence, Jeffery Sands."

Sands smiled and waved as the crowd cheered at his name.

The announcer continued, "Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time left so only few questions will be answered so choose wisely."

Chatter broke throughout the crowd as several fans lined up behind a podium erected in the center of the room. Then one fan decorated in End of Silence logos stood up. "Hi, first off I just wanted to say thank you for such an amazing series."

"Thank you," Sands said. "Er-I mean you're welcome, I guess." The crowd laughed with him as he let out a small chuckle.

"Well, I was just wondering...do you think Shawn and Anna could get together?"

Sands laughed to himself and scratched his head before answering. "Uh, well, they do like each other, but there's nothing romantic between them. It's more of a friendship thing. Um, next question?"

The fan stepped down with a slightly disappointed look on her face and another one came up. "Okay so there's nothing between Shawn and Anna, but what about Shawn and Nina?"

Sands shrugged and scratched his head. "Shawn and Nina...didn't have that much interaction with each other so-"

"I know, but still would they, if given the chance, hook up?"

"Uh...maybe? I never really thought of that." Sands gave a nervous laugh before signaling for the next person. Unfortunately the next ten minutes were just questions on which character would be with which character.


Two weeks later, Sands was back in his hometown. With the success of his last title, his publishing company gave him a little bit of free time. Just a little.

He sighed after taking a seat in front of the large B&N bookstore. He set his messenger bag next to him and pulled out a letter from the front pocket. He sighed again as he held it in front of him. It was from his publishing company, commissioning him to do a romance series. After looking at if for a while, he stuffed the letter back into the front pocket. He blamed his fans. Really. On every page he drew, all he could think of was keeping the story going. He spent hours researching legends, places, combat styles, even clothing styles. Somehow none of that seemed to matter to his so-called fans. They only cared about which characters were sleeping with which character.

'Combat styles be damned,' he thought. Swinging his bag around his shoulder, he went into the bookstore. The first thing he noticed were the stacks of the new wildly popular romance novel series. He cringed at them as teenage girls surrounded the stands giggling and clapping. "I guess bad romances are in this year," he said to himself. He would be one to talk after all.

Through the shelves he picked up a few art and drawing books before wandering into the romance section. All of the books were small paperbacks with that long haired guy on the cover. Sands couldn't remember his name for some reason.

He looked over the shelves and spotted the music and CD's section on the other side. He was about to turn away when something caught his eye. He turned back and saw a cute girl in a pink neon hoodie and shoulder length hair. She was swaying back and forth with the store's preview headphones on. Sands stood in place before he realized he was staring.

'Damn she's cute,' he thought. 'Maybe I should go talk to her. No, I'm busy. Still...' Sands, who only had one girlfriend in high school, debated with himself for a while before deciding no to talk to her. 'I'm too busy,' he told himself. He grabbed the first book that he thought was less stupid and hurried out of the romance section. He turned to the cashier's direction before crashing into someone. He fell back on his butt and saw all his books scattered around him.

"Ow, sorry." Sands saw that the person he ran into was the girl in the pink hoodie. She quickly got up to help Sands pick up his books. "You dropped your," she saw the long haired guy on the cover and tried not to laugh, "crappy romance book."

He snatched it from her hand. "It's for a project."

"Oh yeah?" she asked, smiling. "What kind of project?"

Sands bent over picking up his art books. "It's for...an art project."

"Then why a romance novel?"

"It's a romantic art project."

She held up an art book and examined it curiously. "You're an artist?" she asked.

"Sort of," he replied. He stood back up and looked at her. 'She's cuter up close,' he thought.

"Sorry about the crash," she said.

"Don't worry about it."

"I'm Sarah," she said.

"Jeff." Sands adjusted his glasses. "So, Sarah, would you like to grab a drink?" He pointed to the small coffee shop in the corner.

Sarah cocked her head to one side, examining him. Young. Short blond hair. Glasses. Not bad. "Okay."


"So what would an artist want with a trashy romance novel?" she asked.

He sat across from her at the small table in the Starbucks corner of the bookstore. "For the last time, it's for a project."

"What kind of project are you doing? Fabio in space?"

Fabio. That's what the long haired guy's name was.

"No, it's a sorta for a story. What about you? What do you do?"

"I'm a college student," she said.

"Oh yeah? What's your major?"

Sarah's face dimmed as she looked down at her drink. "I'm still undecided, which sucks because I'm almost finished with all my core classes. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?"

Sands sighed and gave a sad smile. "It was the only thing I could do," he said. "It was the only thing I liked to do. Everything else was just too hard or too boring. It really wasn't much of a choice."

"That's cool," she said. "I'm still trying to figure it out."

"Just do what you like," he said.

"That's what some people keep telling me," she said. "But what if the thing I like doesn't pay well? What if I really don't have a choice? What if I am stuck with something hard or boring?"


"Um, excuse me." Sands and Sarah turned and saw a few young girls giggling and holding magazines with anime characters on them. One of them held out a camera. "Hey, are you the End of Silence guy?"

Sands looked at Sarah who raised an eyebrow. "Uh..."

"Could we have a picture?" the girl asked.

"Could you sign my thing?" asked another.

"I'm kinda busy right now," he said.

The girls began pleading before an older woman called them to leave. They gave Sands their farewells while he just smiled and waved. After they had left Sands turned back to Sarah who had been staring in confusion the entire time.

"What was that about?" she said. "Are you famous or something?"

"Well...would you believe me if I said some of my work has been published?"

Sarah raised a brow. "I guess." Considering what happened.

"Well, I still gotta pick up a few books. Are you gonna stick around?"

Sarah took a final sip from her drink and tossed the foam cup int the trash. "Sure."


Sands and Sarah went through the shelves together. "So what are you looking for?" he asked.

"Just something fun to read."

Sands flipped through a novel and stuck it back on the shelf. "Manga is always fun to read."


"Yeah," he said pointing towards the graphic novels section. "Japanese comics."

"Really?" she said. "Any good?"

"Yeah but some are better than others."

Sarah went over to the graphic novels section and saw the shelf labeled "Manga." She picked up a random book and flipped through it. Sarah wasn't much of a comic book fan, but she could tell it was different from something like Spider-Man. She looked over to the next shelf labeled "OEL Manga." Not sure what OEL meant, she grabbed one and read the first chapter.

The book had a red and black cover titled "End of Silence." It was about a young woman angry at a cult's control over the people's thoughts and actions. At the end of the first chapter, she strikes out and breaks free from their control. "Cool," she said. She turned to the book's back cover which had a small summary written on the center. Below it to the left read: BUY VOLUMES 1 TO 7 NOW! To the right it read: Story and Art by Jeffery Sands.

Sands fumbled through a book titled, Writing Romance FOR DUMMIES. One chapter suggested that Romeo & Juliet was the greatest love story ever written. "Don't they both die a day after meeting each other?"

Sarah came up and snapped Sands from his thoughts. "Hey, I gotta go now."


Sarah nodded.

"Oh, well do we exchange numbers or something?"

"Why don't we just meet here tomorrow?"

"Okay." Sands felt his heart sink a little as he watched her walk away. "Did you find anything?" he called out.

She turned, "Yeah, I did."

"At least there's tomorrow," he said to himself. After she disappeared from sight, Sands took a seat on a nearby chair and pulled out his pencil and sketch pad. On the top he wrote, There's Always Tomorrow. He stared at it for a minute before scolding himself. He scribbled on the pad and sighed. "That's gonna be it for now."

There's Always Tomorrow (Working Title)

© 2009 Strife

Author's Note

This is a story I've been thinking of for a while ever since I was part of the Avatar fandom. Please critique.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


I like it. . . sorry it took so long to get here and read it. Looking forward to the next part.

Posted 14 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


1 Review
Added on March 10, 2009



McAllen, TX

I'm Strife, and I joined because I'm aspiring writer (sorta) and I just wanted to make sure whatever I write doesn't end up being horrible. I don't have a favorite author, but I probably should. Sayi.. more..

A Dream A Dream

A Poem by Strife