It was still night when Katsuo walked out of his family’s house, breathing in the cold, suburban air. A few weeks back, he would have still been sleepy and tired and delusional, but now, he was used to waking up so early in the morning. In the distance, he could still see the lights of the Kaleidoscope City, brimming with liveliness even in the unholy hours of the night. It was like a dome, a radiant aura that pushed away the darkness. A pretty gem, if only from afar. He looked at the starry winter night above him, at the crescent moon that had its own radiance, and sighed. Yeah, he still preferred this nightscape the most. The young man walked down the winding mountain road until he reached a bus stop. There was no bus to get onto though, the route having long been abandoned by the public transportation officials who oversaw such things. Instead, it served as a parking place for his bike, a three year old road bicycle with an aluminum frame and a turquoise color scheme. Not exactly the coolest-looking thing, but it did its job. Just like him, perhaps. Unlocking the chains, he hitched himself up onto the bike and began to cycle down the path. Ever since he could remember, Katsuo had gone down that mountain path, and, despite the cracks and bumps in the pavement, it was a smooth ride all the way. He reached the mountain base in twenty minutes, pedalled down a long, lonely road for another thirty minutes, and finally stopped at the train station. The day was breaking now, a warm orange glow emanating from the horizon. He took in that sight, basking in the morning, and breathing in the fresh, empty air. The rising sun made the trains of the terminal station look like long, black snakes, waiting for sunlight to warm up their cold blood. A peculiar analogy and, if he was younger, a frightening one. But now, the boy was a man, and he could consider the contrast between light and dark to be something beautiful as well. Well, no, not beautiful. ‘Interesting’ would be a better term to use. Walking into the station and flicking out his pass for the attendant to see, Katsuo nodded at a few familiar faces who had already made themselves at home in the train. There was his classmate from elementary school, now a convenience store worker in the Kaleidoscope City. There was his guitar teacher, still strumming chords as a backup guitarist. There was his middle school crush, now pursuing her dreams as a production assistant in some studio. Ah, times passed so easily, didn’t it? He tightened the scarf around his neck. Though it was a clear, sunny day, it was still winter, and the air was cold, now that his body was no longer warmed by exercise. Finding corner to sit in, Katsuo crossed his arms, closed his eyes, and took a small nap. It would still be an hour before the train entered the seaside city of lights, after all. He could afford to make up for lost hours. Katsuo woke up at morning, his phone alarm buzzing in the pocket of his jacket. It was 8AM now, and the sun was up, shedding natural light on the electric city. Through the windows of the train, he could see the rustic buildings of Eurotown down below, peaked roofs that were bright orange. As usual, the ports of the Kaleidoscope City was busy, tankers and cargo ships going in and out, their horns blasting out every once in a while. He had been overwhelmed by the noise before, but now, they served to keep him awake and aware of his location. After all, the louder the ship horns were, the closer you were to the ocean. The train slowed, reaching one of its stations. An advertisement blocked his view of the ocean, and, as the masses shifted on and off the railway cars, the young man smiled. It was nice to be back. Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Katsuo Kasane Age: 21 A straightforward man who lacks direction. Earnest, bordering naivety. Has yet to pursue a post-secondary education. A part-timer at a book store. Goes home for the weekends. Stays at a friend's place during the week. Handles most of the cooking. Loves to sing and bike.