(Monthly) Short Story Writing Prompts Submission Thread

Discussion in 'Community Creations' started by brasca123, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. brasca123

    brasca123 『Hell's Trainee Manager』

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    Directly related to the (Monthly) Short Story Writing Prompts, on this thread you should submit your stories.

    The topic of each submission will be decided on the other thread, any discussion or suggestion about this should go on the original thread by @yuzuki, please make sure to put ONLY the submissions here, reviews of other submissions are also welcome.

    For the submission, try to make it between 500 and 7500 words, it should be submitted up to the 15th of each month, please put it into a spoiler and on text here (not as a link to some other site), if possible with a title, number of words and genre. Also, after the post has been made, if you receive any reviews, it's recommended to also put them in another spoiler on the same post, as that will make it easier for both you and other people find this review in the future.


    Current Theme: The topic for October is:
    A Volunteer of Death
    A killer places an advertisement for a willing victim and finds one.



    Table of contents:

     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017 at 2:32 PM
  2. Minaku

    Minaku Writer and editor for Antagonist Rewind.

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    Here ya go. Oh right a title....I wanna call it the DMV xD
    The feeling of falling brings you back awake from your sleepy state. You look around to see you’re sitting on a grey chair, waiting. A ticket in your hand held the number 1078. Looking up at the electronic display, it seems the number that they are currently serving is 821.

    “It’s going to be a long day.”

    You thought with a deep yawn. Stretching your arms to loosen your stiff body and getting the blood flowing, you realize you don’t even remember at what time you arrive at the office.

    Looking around the room you don’t see a single clock in sight.

    On the walls were many posters for commercials but they didn’t interest you.

    With nothing to do, you become bored. The people around you seemed bored as well as a chain of yawning spread like wild fire.

    Not a single thing to do. You found that you don’t have your phone with you. Must have left it in the car. Wait, did you drove here? Your memory seems hazy.

    But a certain reassuring feeling washed through you as you reaffirm yourself that you did drive here. You patted your other pocket and a set of jingling keys made a sound.

    It was audible only to you as the fans in the corner of the room were humming away, leaving a dull white noise to echo through the room.

    You tried to keep yourself busy by mildly humming songs. You soon stop as the looks you received from people around you became cold.

    Back to the boring state of nothingness you waited. The number still have not changed.

    Letting a mind wander is a terrifying thing.

    With nothing keeping your attention busy, all of your thoughts starts to run wild.

    Many ‘what if’ scenarios played in your head. All the good things you did and all the bad. Your regrets and actions you would have taken differently. All these things flow through your head without your control.

    You wanted something to keep your mind off the bad things. But to go from all the attention dividing things of modern life to a situation where there is nothing, your mind can’t stop the thoughts. The dam has broken down and the water like thoughts flowed free.

    A random cough from a nearby elderly finally shakes you out of your stupor.

    You look down at your ticket again. 1078.

    The number on the screen? 822.

    You thought to yourself,

    “At least there’s progress happening.”

    And thus you began waiting again. Without a clock to keep track of time, minutes became hours, hours became days. Your sense of time deteriorates. There were no windows and the grey walls kept everything the same hue.

    You’re not hungry yet so you assume what has passed were only minutes, at best an hour.

    The wait continued.

    The hum of the fan droned on.

    Slowly your eyes began to slowly close again.

    Drowsiness has set in and you could barely keep yourself from falling asleep.

    As soon as your eyes closed, a dream started.

    It was a dream about your childhood.

    The friends you made, the people you interacted with, the things you learned in school.

    Everything played back like a VHS tape on an old tube TV.

    After what seemed like an eternity, the dream ends when an elderly bumps into your chair as they walked up to the front counter.

    In a daze, you looked around and saw the same thing you have seen for what seemed like forever.

    Grey walls, dusty fans, the electronic display. Number 823.

    Once again you check the ticket in your hand. 1078.

    You sigh at the slow speed of government processes. Then you realize you don’t even remember what process you are going through.

    Was it renewing your driver’s license? No, don’t you get those by mail now days?

    Oh well, maybe you will remember when you get to the counter. You reassured yourself.

    Once again sinking back into sleep, the dream once again began. This time it was your young adult life.

    The choices you made, the responsibilities you took on, the love of your life.

    Everything played smoothly like a DVD on a flat screen TV.

    There were many regrets. Choices you made that you wish you had a second chance at.

    The biggest one was letting the love of your life get away.

    You thought to yourself about the life you could have shared.

    The second one was your career. Oh the paths you could have taken. But instead you stayed at your white collar desk job.

    A loud cough follow by a sneeze woke you up from the dream.

    Once again, grey room, plain chairs, and crappy posters.

    The number? 824.

    This repeats itself for what seemed like an eternity.

    You would once again doze off and the dream would start again. Your entire life recorded in perfect order.

    By the time you were watching yourself as an elderly, you realized something.

    Just how old are you? It seems you forgot over the years.

    Wait, how did you drive here if you were that old?

    Before you could continue your train of thought. Someone tapped your shoulder.

    You look behind you to see a man in his 40s with a trimmed beard.

    “So, how would you rate the movie of your life?”

    The man asked.

    As if the question he asked was normal, you replied.

    “Eh, just so-so. Perhaps on rotten tomatoes it might have received a 60%”

    The man grinned.

    “Any regrets?”

    You sighed.

    “Countless.”

    The man looked into my eyes with deep understanding.

    “Well, it’s your turned.”

    You look around and saw the number on the display was 1078. You look down at your ticket. 1078.

    It was indeed your turn. You finally got out of the boring chair and walked to the front counter.

    Behind the glass was the man from before.

    How did he get here so fast?

    “Time is up my friend.”

    He smiles softly.

    You smile back as courtesy.

    Reaching into your pocket and pulled out what looked like a passport, you place it in front of you. That wasn’t there before…right?

    The man took the stamp by his side, opened the passport, and deeply stamped it.

    “Deceased.”

    Wait. What?

    Your confusion spread on your face. But suddenly the memory returned.

    Your death bed. Your family all around you. Tears were flooding their faces. But you were smiling. You realized you had no more regrets.

    And memories from then on? Grey walls, dusty fan, crappy posters, boring chairs and a number.

    “You have three paths.”

    The man said.

    “Which one will you take?”

    He brings forth three pamphlets.

    The first one, a picture of a pair of golden gates on a cloud with gaudy gold letters on top that reads, ‘The Kingdom of heaven’.

    It seems you qualified to go to heaven.

    The second pamphlet.

    Purgatory. A place where you can live as a spirit, a ghost. A place were monsters and demons reside and call their home. And you can join their ranks. A second life of adventure? Perhaps…The choice was tempting.

    You look at the third and final pamphlet.

    Reincarnation. Your memory would be wiped and you will once again set foot onto the path of reincarnation. If your karma was good, perhaps you may come back as a wealthy human and live a long life. This was a gamble as you don’t know how good your karma was.

    Looking over the three pamphlets again, you realize why people took so long.

    It was a decision that will decide your life from now on.

    Which path to take?

    A path of peaceful existence? To go to heaven?

    A path of wonton chaos and excitement? To go to purgatory?

    A path of continual existence? To enter the cycle of reincarnation?

    Three choices, three pamphlets, three paths.

    After a long thought. You finally made your choice.

    And that choice was all that mattered to you now.
     
  3. Teivel

    Teivel Well-Known Member

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    Just read the terms....

    So Number of words: 369
    Genre: Mystery(?), Fantasy(?) (not really sure, I just wrote it)
    Title: The Mirror
    I lean back and rest my body on the sofa, taking it slow as the room's shadows become longer, and the colors all fade into red, then grey, then they disappear from sight.

    I know that's my signal, I stand up, and walk aimlessly around the mansion that I know too well. The rooms haven't changed at all, I know what's behind every wall. I've seen everything.

    I know exactly what that mirror reflects, but today something it missing. It's not the cobwebs in between the walls, there's no piece of furniture that has been moved, no spec of dust that has been cleaned, but I know that something's missing.

    I ponder for a while, but as the answer is ever elusive I walk away continuing my pathless trip around my house. I make my way into the library, I can remember every book in there, I can remember every bug that's in there, every small particle, that over the years has coated everything in a grey carpet.

    My pointless tour takes me into the bathroom, then into the bedroom and many other rooms, until I reach the last one, the basement. The trapdoor is opened, so I walk down the stairs. The air gets more and more stagnant, and slowly a putrid smell gets into my nose. It twitches a little bit, but I remember the smell, and I am already used to it.

    I finally reach the catacombs, there an endless number of coffins lay by the sides of a hall whose end I can't seen, but I remember what lays in there; the only empty coffin. I continue my tour under the watch of my ancestors as I slowly make my way to the last coffin.

    There's no hurry, as there's no purpose, and because this is the end of the road, I want to make the road longer, endless ever, that way I'll never have to stop, but the road isn't endless, not too soon nor too late I can see the last coffin, it's cover lays behind it, and soon I'll be able to see the insides.

    But I surprise myself, the coffin isn't empty, soon I get it; the mirror wasn't reflecting myself.

    Revised (longer) version:
    Word count: 584
    Everything else same as the above.
    I lean back and rest my body on the sofa, taking it slow as the room's shadows become longer, and the colors all fade into red, then grey, then they disappear from sight.

    I know that's my signal, so I stand up.Suddenly a sense of emptiness assaults me, I don’t know what I should do, so I just stop thinking about it and walk aimlessly around the mansion that I know too well. The rooms haven't changed at all, I know what's behind every wall. I've seen everything.

    But it doesn’t make me happy; there’s no curiosity left, only a soulless vessel remains. There’s nothing in my mind, nothing in my body, in the end, both me and this structure, we are only worm food.

    Look at that mirror, I know exactly what it reflects, there’s nothing fun about it, except, today it seems that something is missing. It's not the cobwebs in between the walls, there's no piece of furniture that has been moved, no spec of dust that has been cleaned, but I know that something's missing, and it bothers me, bothers me a lot.

    I ponder for a while, but as the answer is ever elusive. I walk away continuing my pathless trip around my house. I make my way into the library, I can remember every book in there, I can remember every bug that's in there, every small particle, that over the years has coated everything in a grey carpet. I check again, and again, and again, but the books’ covers stay the same, no word has changed, in the last few seconds, nor in the last few years.

    The mirror! It bothers me! I turn my back to the books and start moving again. Alone. Not even the sound of my footsteps accompany me, they stopped a long time ago, even though I keep moving...

    My pointless tour takes me into the bathroom, then into the bedroom and many other rooms, utlin I reach the last one, the basement. The trapdoor is opened, so I walk down the stairs. The air gets more and more stagnant, and slowly a putrid smell gets into my nose. It twitches a little bit, but I remember the smell, and I am already used to it, even comforts me a bit, because it helps me take my mind of the mirror… Ah! The mirror! You can’t imagine how much it bothers me!

    I finally reach the catacombs, there an endless number of coffins lay by the sides of a hall whose end I can't seen, but I remember what lays in there; the only empty coffin. I continue my tour under the watch of my ancestors as I slowly make my way to the last coffin.

    There's no hurry, as there's no purpose, and because this is the end of the road, I want to make the road longer, endless ever, that way I'll never have to stop, but the road isn't endless, not too soon nor too late I can see the last coffin, it's cover lays behind it, and soon I'll be able to see the insides. No! I don’t want to see, because after this there’s nothing else to take my mind of the mirror! That damned mirror!

    But some things are inevitable; there it was, the insides of the coffin, bare before the stagnant catacombs air.

    It surprises me; the coffin isn't empty! Soon I get it; Ah! The thing missing from the mirror, wasn’t it myself?

    More by me Here. (shameless selfpromoting) (I do not advise reading my novel, the wait for the next chapter will kill you, if you like it anyway).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
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  4. Zero300

    Zero300 『Mask Maker』『Kamen Rider Khaos』『Demon Immortal』

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    "Damn You! I, Jack Chen will kill you bastards!" A middle-aged man screamed as he pointed his gun forward.

    He tried to fire a few shots but nothing. This was when he realized that he was not in the battlefield anymore. Where was he? The last thing he remembered was being ambushed by a group of Neo-Nazis. Both sides suffered numerous of casualties. Ah...he was not stupid. He remembered the bullet that pierced his heart. He reached over to his chest...and there was no pain. He could now confirm...that he was dead.

    "So where am I? Is this the afterlife? Strange...I had assumed it to be more bustling with other spirits...." The middle-aged man muttered.

    The room he was in was all white. There was a doorway to the far end. The man assumed it to be the exit...or maybe the entrance to the Hall of Judgment as he had read about. Jack headed towards the doorway. As he entered through the doorway, he found himself on a street...it was deserted. Where were the other spirits? Could this by my hell? As Jack strode around, he spotted a figure out in the distance.

    "Hey! Over here!" Jack shouted towards the figure. He saw the figure turn and head towards him. "Thank goodness you were here. What is this pl-?"

    Jack stopped talking as he stared at the figure in front of him...especially his face...or a lack of that is. "Whoa man...what happened to your face?"

    The faceless figure held up a corked bottle. Jack looked at it and asked, "What is this? Is this that forget-all water? Strange, I had assume it would be in a well or something. Did the underworld get modernized or something?"

    The faceless figure uncorked the bottle and aimed the opening towards Jack. Jack was about to say something but suddenly he felt a strong pull, pulling him towards the bottle. Jack struggled to resist the pull but the strength of the pull just got stronger. Finally, Jack was sucked into the bottle. The faceless figure quickly corked the bottle again and held the bottle up. Sounds of screams for help and rage could be heard from within but the faceless figure ignored it and stored the bottle into a bag.

    Suddenly another faceless figure approached the first one and replied, "Congratulations on acquiring your first soul young miss."

    The first faceless figure reached her hand up and pressed a small button near her temple. The faceless cover disappeared to reveal a beautiful face of an eighteen year old girl.

    "Whew! Thanks. This feels a bit weird...I mean that person was a humanoid like us." The young girl said.

    "It's true that they are humanoids but they are only livestock for us divine beings. We give them different types of religion and beliefs in order to cultivate and culture their souls into energy which we use to sustain our everyday life. We have been doing this for a millennia. You shouldn't worry too much about it."

    "I see. You are right. These human beings, as they call themselves, do make the best kinds of energy power. Oh, it seems another one has appeared."

    "Good luck young miss."

    "Thanks."
     
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  5. Liron

    Liron Well-Known Member

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    Here is my story! It is my very first time writing, but you can (and should) share any of your thoughts.
    Genre: Fantasy (?)
    Word count: 3059
    Title: Beyond

    The man woke up in a daze. He was lying in a cold floor. He slowly stood up, putting his hands in his head. A splitting pain was coming from there, not allowing him to think clearly. When he looked around, he could see nothing at all. He found himself surrounded by an endless darkness. He couldn’t hear anything, except for his heartbeat. Even were he was supposed to be standing was nothing but blackness.

    What was this? A dark room or something? He didn’t understand.

    “Is anyone there?” He cried in pain.

    “Yes” A familiar voice answered, coming from nowhere.

    The man looked around and could see nothing. What was going on? Where was he? Who just answered him?

    Then he appeared. A handsome man in his thirties just seemed to form from thin air. He looked at him with no emotion whatsoever. He just silently stood there, watching him.

    “What the hell?” The man said in surprise. Not because the newcomer just suddenly appeared, but because he looked just like the confused man.

    “Who are you? Where is this? Why do we look the same?” The man asked, clearly perturbed.

    “Well, I’ll have to start with the second question. This way you can accept the answer to the others more easily.” Said the doppelganger.

    “This, my dear friend, is the Void. It is the space between dimensions. But, if I had to put it in other words, this is a stop before a final destination.”

    “What are you talking about? What final destination? Cut the crap and let me go!” The man blurted out in anger. Someone was playing a really tasteless joke.

    “Now, now. Slow down. Try to remember. What is the last thing you can recall?” The doppelganger tried to calm the man a little, never showing anything in his face.

    “I was just driving home from work, and then…” He stopped himself. Suddenly he couldn’t remember what happened. Rather, he didn’t believe the scene that started playing in his mind.

    “And then you got run over by a truck. Your car was destroyed, and you died.” The doppelganger finished his sentence.

    “I’m… I’m DEAD?” The man cried in desperation and disbelief. But then his headache got stronger, and he couldn’t suppress the memory of a blurred truck appearing out of nowhere going in his direction from flashing through his mind.

    “Is… Is this true? Am I really dead?”

    “Yes.” There was no trace of sympathy or pity in his face. He still showed nothing at all.

    “F**k this, how can I believe you!” Screamed the man. “How can I feel the weight of my body? How can I be standing? Why my head hurts? If I was dead I would feel nothing!”

    “Those feelings you have are simply the effect your mind trying to safeguard yourself from the truth. By the way, the headache is most likely from the drinking. You know, you were quite drunk when you died…”

    It was true. He had been into a nasty fight with a coworker and got himself fired. On the way home he stopped by the bar and drank his remorse and anger away. Then he left, just to be killed by a truck halfway home.

    “F**K, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS.” He screamed enraged. “NO WAY, NO F***ING WAY.” He threw a punch at the doppelganger. “F**K OFF.”

    “That’s it? I’ve seem worse. I’ll give you some time, when you cool down we can talk again.”

    And them the doppelganger disappeared as abruptly as he had appeared.

    The man was left alone. He wasn’t standing anymore, he felt like he was floating. His headache had disappeared, it didn’t cloud his thoughts anymore. But he couldn’t accept it. He screamed, thrashed about and threw punches in the air. He never hit anything. He cried loudly, asking for help, just to be ignored by the darkness surrounding him.

    Time seemed to have stopped. It had been years since he was there, but maybe it was just seconds. He couldn’t tell anymore. He had stopped crying ages ago. He was still weakly punch the nothing, but it was just in denial. Maybe he was really dead, afterall.

    “Hey, are you there?”

    “Yes. Have you calmed yourself?”

    “I guess. Am I really, definitely, undeniably dead? ”

    “Yes.”

    “I’ll accept it for now, I guess.” Said the man with a dispirited face. The doppelganger showed himself in front of him.

    “Good. Now I’ll answer your first question. I am what you would call God. Although I’m quite different from what you believe in.”

    “I kind of expected that. Why do you look like me?”

    “I tend to always assume the appearance of the people you love the most. It works well in most cases. Except when I’m dealing with someone who loves himself too much. Like yourself”

    “Can you please change your appearance? It creeps me out.”

    “Hmm… I don’t feel like it.”

    “…”

    What a dick. Maybe he wasn’t emotionless after all, he just didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t worth to fight over it. This ‘God’ had left him alone for who knows how long, it certainly didn’t care for what he thought.

    “Anything else?”

    “You said you were God… but you were different than the God I believe in. How so?”

    “To be more precise, I believe I am God. I have reasons to do so. But I am not as powerful as he should be. For starters, I’m not omnipotent. I didn’t create this Universe or it’s laws. I don’t judge you by what you did with your life. But I can see and interact with the Mortal Plane to a certain extent. If you asked me to describe myself, I would say that I am the amalgamation of all the souls of the deceased that moved on.

    “Wait, like a collective existence?”

    “Yes.”

    “How… does this works?”

    “You die, you make a choice, and if you chose so, you join Us.”

    “Wait, you are here to present me with a choice?”

    “Yes.”

    “Which one?”

    “First I’ll have to explain to you what exactly the afterlife is. Let me show you.”

    As the doppelganger said that, he waved his hands and the darkness distorted. Suddenly, both of them were surrounded by dozens of people. And the sound of painful wailing and angry shouts reverberated through the Void.

    The man took a step back, afraid.

    “Is this Hell?”

    “No, it is simply the afterlife.”

    “Who are they?”

    “These are not real people. It is just a projection from the Higher Plane. More precisely, it is a representation of tiniest bit of the existence I am. A representation that you can understand. ”

    “Wait, are these the souls that joined you? Why are you making them suffer?”

    “Those who are suffering brought this upon themselves. I have no control over this. If you look closely, you will see that not all of them are like that.”

    And, sure enough, a handful of people seemed to not be in any kind of pain. Some were even lightly smiling.

    “You are asking yourself the difference. Well, look closer.”

    The man looked, and he saw an unbelievable number of translucent lines spreading from the bodies of every single one of them. Some of them were even connected to other people in the man’s line of sight.

    “What is this?”

    “Some might call this Fate. But I believe the concept of Karma is a better way to explain it.”

    “Those lines connecting people, are some kind of … Karma?”

    “Yes.”

    “In what sense?”

    “In the you reap what you sow’ sense.”

    “Those lines connect you with every single person you had an impact during your life. They make you feel whatever emotions and sensations you once made the person connect to you experience, be it painful or blissful, good or bad.”

    “Wait, if I decide to join you, I will be put through this?”

    Yes. Why, are you afraid?

    “Not… not really.” He stuttered. “So, what do you mean with ‘every single person you had an impact during your life’?”

    “This means that, if you punched someone in the face, you will feel it. If you humiliated someone, you will feel exactly what he felt. If you pleased someone, you will feel it too. Your actions can even cause indirect Karma. “

    “I don’t understand.”

    “If you saved someone, you will feel his gratefulness, and possibly the gratefulness of others who felt that way towards him being saved. As well as the hate of others who wanted him dead, for example.”

    “This seems rather arbitrary.”

    “Not at all. We are responsible for our actions and all of it’s consequences.”

    The man was at a loss. He felt from the bottom of his heart that he wasn’t ready for this. He was utterly speechless.

    “If I join you… will this last for eternity?”

    Please say ‘no’.

    “No. After a few of decades you are allowed to reincarnate if you wish so.”

    It might not be this bad, after all. Maybe.

    “A few decades? For everyone? No matter what they did?”

    “Yes. If someone was a horrible person, they will naturally endure much more suffering in those years than others would. Everyone pays or receives what they are due, nothing more, nothing less.”

    “Is this the choice you are here to propose?”

    “No.”

    “Them what is it?”

    ‘God’ waved his hand again and only two persons remained with them. An old man who was crying pitifully and a beautiful woman who seemed indifferent. The man knew both of them. One was the priest responsible for the church he visited that died a few years back. He was always gentle and helped the man whenever he felt he needed God’s protection. The man liked the priest very much. Seeing him in so much pain made his heart ache.

    The woman was… the man’s mother, who died young.

    “First, let’s give it a try, shall we?”

    “This…”

    ‘God’ interrupted him with another wave of the hand. One of the lines shot out from the priest and connected to the man’s chest. The man suddenly felt…nothing. Nothing at all. He found himself dumbfounded. The priest, however, toned down his cry a notch.

    “Is this working?”

    “Of course. See? Your gratefulness is relieving some of this priest’s pain.”

    “But… I feel nothing.”

    “This just means he was completely indifferent towards you.”

    “Is this serious?”

    “Certainly. Why would I lie?.”

    “He might not have cared about me, but I think he was a good man. What is making him suffer like this?”

    “You may feel that way, but the children he met surely didn’t.”

    “Do you mean…” The man started feeling sick.

    “You know, one of his speeches always nagged me a bit. The one about the colors of the sins.” ‘God’ interrupted him.

    “The one that every sin has a color that taints your soul? And that the soul that bears many sins will be black?”

    “Yeah, that one. You see, I always found it quite dumb. The white color being what you consider pure, while the black is impure. Actually, white is the combination of all the colors. It should be the color of the ultimate sinner, following this logic. Black is simply the nonexistence of color. The color of the one that has never sinned.”

    ‘God’ seemed to be having fun talking about it.

    “But it sure is interesting seeing you all use the most sinful color to wage peace. Seeing people wearing white clothes with pride, claiming to be pure. Maybe it is in the human nature. Hiding a dagger behind your back while shaking hands with someone, I mean. Fooling others. Or simply blindly following someone that is up to no good. Ignorance IS a sin, you know? Be ignorant and you will always be sowing karma without even noticing it.”

    “Now, if you had to guess, what would be the kind of person that would have a black soul?”

    “Where are you going with this?”

    “Nowhere, just curious to see your answer.”

    “I guess… Someone that sacrifices himself?”

    “So… you think that trading your life for another cleanses your soul?”

    “Yes.”

    “Interesting. Well, let’s see what your mother has to say about that.”

    ‘God’ waved his hand yet again and the line with the priest was broken at the same time another one formed between the man and his mother.

    The man immediately felt his heart warming up. This was love. A lot of it. There was happiness too. And pride. At the same time, however, he felt regret, unwillingness, sadness and pain.

    It was too much to bear. The man laughed, then screamed, them cried of happiness and sadness. His emotions were a mess.

    His mother had died giving birth to him. She loved him very much, and yet she couldn’t help but blame him in the moment of her death. His heart broke.

    “PLEASE STOP IT.”

    ‘God’ snapped his fingers and the line broke.

    There is no such thing as a ‘black’ soul. We are always sinning. But this isn’t an excuse to not do good.

    He went on.

    “If you are a good person, you will still cause negative feeling towards you, but the positive ones will overthrow them. You will still feel all of them, but it will be bearable. Maybe even pleasurable if you were good enough. If you, however, cause a lot of pain and suffering to others, the negative feelings will eat at your soul until you reincarnate.”

    “Why are you doing this? What gives you the right to do this?”

    “I am doing this because you have to make a choice, a difficult one.”

    “Which one?”

    “First, answer me this. How have you been living your life?”

    “I…” The man couldn’t answer.

    “Hmm… Let’s try something different. Choose someone you know and that is still alive to see how you Karma is doing with them.”

    “I choose my wife.” The man answered without hesitation. His wife loved him very much. And he loved her dearly too. It would certainly be good Karma.

    ‘God’, that was looking at him started laughing.

    “Very well”

    With a snap of his fingers, a line projected from the Void and connected to the man’s chest.

    He felt pleasure. Tenderness. Happiness.

    See? Good Karma.

    When he was thinking this, he suddenly started feeling rage, anger, sadness and humiliation. A unfathomable amount of humiliation. A searing pain struck his heart, and the man fell to his knees, crying.

    “Not so good, eh?”

    ‘God’ looked at him wearing his expressionless face again.

    “What foolishness. You really thought she would never find out?”

    “I.. don’t… know.. what you ate talking about.” The man struggled to say.

    “You can’t hide anything from me. And I already said, I don’t judge. There are worse people than you in me.”

    “You…”

    “Why did you die?”

    “I got fired… I got drunk… and crashed my car because of it.”

    “Why were you fired?”

    “I got… in a fight… with a coworker.”

    “Why?”

    “…”

    “I won’t do a thing until you answer.”

    “WHY… ARE… YOU… DOING… THIS?”

    “You must be aware of what you are going to face if you choose to join me. Accept it and it should be easier to handle.”

    The man tried to catch his breath, to no avail. He finally surrendered.

    “My coworker… he discovered that I had cheated my wife with his.”

    “And this what you are feeling from her now. For you to know, your coworker wrote her an e-mail explaining the situation. Ah, by the way, in the Mortal Plane you died about 5 minutes ago. She isn’t aware yet. She is waiting for you to get home so you can talk, but she doesn’t know what to say. She is seriously contemplating suicide now.”

    “Please stop her!” The man felt regret bubbling inside him. He didn’t know if it was his or hers.

    “I can’t. It is beyond my powers. She is free to do what she wants. And this is Karma she will be sowing. And you, too.”

    “Please, do anything! I’ll do anything! She is the person I love the most.”

    “Now, now. We both know it is not true. You are just afraid of the Karma you will get from this. And if you really loved her that much, I would have her appearance, not yours.”

    “Ugh…” The man was desperate. Utterly lost.

    “Now, it is time to make a choice.”

    The man looked up, despair showing in his face.

    “You can join me, and face all the Karma you sowed for a few decades and them have the chance to reincarnate, hopefully to sow better Karma…”

    “Or you can choose the Void.”

    “What?”

    “The Void. This nothingness. You will be destroyed. Sent to the Nothing itself. You won’t suffer. You won’t feel bliss. You won’t even know you are there. You will feel, think and do nothing.”

    “This…” The man didn’t know what to think. “Why are you giving me this choice?”

    “Those are the rules. The Original most likely made them.”

    “Who?”

    If you join me you will understand.

    The man didn’t feel like understanding it.

    “Everyone gets this choice?”

    “Yes.”

    “How many have joined you?”

    “More than you could count, or have a grasp of.”

    “How many chose the Void?”

    “Many more.” ‘God’ seemed quite disappointed saying so.

    The man was in deep thought. He stood there looking and the darkness surrounding him for seconds. Then minutes. Then hours. Then days. Then months. Then years.

    Then, he suddenly looked at ‘God’ again.

    “I will… choose the Void.”

    “Will you really throw your chance of a better afterlife after reincarnation to run away from the things you’ve done?”

    “… Yes.”

    ‘God’ took a deep breath, showing unwillingness.

    “Very well, Jonathan Verdmont Smith. Henceforth your soul will be destroyed, all your future lives will be severed, and Karma shall never affect you again. You are therefore banished to the Void.”

    ‘God’ waved his hand and the man shattered into a million pieces, that then disappeared into the Void.

    “With this, we are way past half…” Said ‘God’, in deep thought.

    ‘God’ sighted. His appearance changed, from the man’s to a human silhouette, with no eyes, no nose, no mouth and no face. And a completely, pure white color. He them snapped his fingers an disappeared from the Void.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    SpearOfLies, iampsyx and yuzuki like this.
  6. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Short story for November here.
    I think a title would be rather unfitting for how short it is. So none.
    Word count: 750
    Genre: Fantasy
    Synopsis: Two people talking at a campfire at night
    “You see my friend, there are many things that people speculate happen once you die. Most of them think that nothing happen, others, on the other hand, somehow get high enough to dream that there's a paradise waiting for them! Ha! What bullshit.
    As someone who managed to come back, I’ll give you a nice piece of advice. Don’t go.”

    “No shit man, no one wants to die.”

    “That’s why you got to live a long life. There’s no heaven, there’s no paradise. There’s only Hell and whatever the fuck the Devil has in store.”

    “The Devil actually exists? Ain’t he just some bullshit made up by those religious cunts to scare us and make us do their dirty work for them?”

    “Oh he exists, and he can hear us right now as well. He knows everything, from that time you stole an apple from your local fruit store to that other time you raped the local farmer’s girl.”

    “Hey! I’ve never stolen anything before, so don’t say I did that.”

    “… You loot corpses for a living.”

    “Fair enough, continue your rambling.”

    “Well, once you die, the place you go is about as shitty as where we are now. There’s piss and shit everywhere, and no one ever cleans up.
    At first, it’s kind of like being asleep, or maybe out cold from drinking too much. Then you wake up in a dungeon, with a bunch of other people who died around the same time you did. The old, the saintly, you name it. Everyone ends up there one way or another.”

    “Even priests?”

    “Yeah, everyone.

    “Oh, okay…”

    “Nothing happens at first, just a bit of standing around, and maybe a bit of talking. But this is only because preparations are being made for your arrival.”

    “What’s being prepared by who?”

    “Your punishment for living, of course. It’s being prepared by Demons, the Devil’s little helpers. Be careful of what you say to them, because they just love torturing the loud ones.
    Once the preparations are ready, the Demons will line up everyone in the cell, and then bind their wrists so they can herd them along. Anyone that steps out of line will get poked, or more often the case, stabbed by rods of hot iron.
    There, they lead you along a deep dark tunnel, the only light source being the glowing rods and the light the Demons emit from their bodies. You can’t see the end, and they force you to stumble along. I guess this is just the first stage of punishment.”

    “Then? What happens after?”

    “They take you to the Devil himself. I remember it oh so clearly, that fucking face that looked like he would do anything at all, just for the sake of it.
    If it weren’t for the fact that I saw the person in front of me getting flayed for falling out of line when he fainted, I would’ve just dropped to the ground there out of sheer horror of him.”

    “Why would they take you to the Devil? Doesn’t he have anything better to do?”

    “It’s so he can give out punishments himself. The guy lives off of the entertainment he gets from torturing people.
    The punishments he give can range from a millennia of being crushed by rocks, all the way to making you relive your life, watching every mistake you make without being able to change anything.”

    “So… what was your punishment?”

    “Mine? Take a guess.”

    “Um… Coming back to life?”

    “No, what sort of punishment is that?”

    “Then what is it? I’m not the brightest soul around.”

    “It’s to experience hope and desperation, then to die a miserable death, over and over again.”

    “Oh, well. Uh, sorry?”

    “No need to pity me, I’ve rather gotten used to the whole experience of being sent there, whatever it’s called.”

    “Why don’t they just let you do that once you’re dead?”

    “Well, you can’t exactly die if you’re dead can you? So the damned Devil resurrected me, to have me die.”

    “At least you get to live, right?”

    “Stop right there, being optimistic around me is a taboo.”

    “Why?”

    “Because of ‘hope’ and ‘desperation’, that’s why.”

    “My bad then. I guess you’ll be going now?”

    “No, I’m going to camp here tonight, seems like an awfully cosy place compared to what we’re next to for the next few miles.”

    “True. Be wary to keep the fire going, it gets cold out here during winter.”

    “I will, goodnight.”

    “Same to you.”

    @NZPIEFACE finally a non narrative format. I'm impressed; dialogue based storytelling is more difficult than most people make it out to be. On the other hand, because it is so much harder, that doesn't always turn out well...
    I like that you left out exposition, which is the correct way to do a dialogue based story. I'm also extremely displeased that you left out exposition, because I feel like something very interesting happened to get these so together and I'm not sure my guess is right. I like that it's a two way conversation, because it allows much better story flow. I hate that it's just one guy asking all the right questions and the other answering in the flow of his narrative; normal people would throw a couple of odd questions or maybe focus too much on one point made by the storyteller.
    This story is all highs and lows, really. There's nothing in between. Personally I feel like the highs outweigh the lows, and with good grammar making the foundation it's a relatively good story. On the other hand, it will not be as enjoyable to someone who isn't trying to read between the lines.
    I liked this very much. But I have to agree with Aca1814ina to some extent when she says about asking all the right question. I say this because, although it is a short story, and it does have a start, a middle and an end, I would like to see more. It was basically exposition dialogue. A very well written exposition dialogue. There were some jabs here and there and some lines that didn't affect the overall point of the conversation that I enjoyed very much. Personally, I enjoy more when characters are just talking about irrelevant things to the original story because they tend to be developed in these kinds of dialogues. So, in short, I felt that this story lacked a bit of characterization. It hooked me from the start, so that's why I felt this way when I finished it. I would like to see more. Maybe throw some more personal questions from a character to another and have then answer it in a way we can get a glimpse of who they are and you will have a better story, in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  7. Ged Merrilin

    Ged Merrilin [Demonic House Cat]

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    Here we go, got it done yesterday but only posted it today. Fantasy genre, and a little over 2000 words.
    He stared, his glare burning into the man standing before him. His vision had long gone red by now, whether from the blood dipping to his eyes or from the hatred that had risen up inside him he did not know. He had fought with this man, a much lesser creature he had thought, and lost. Now he lay, crippled on the blood soaked dust amidst a battlefield that’s frenzy was only broken by the calm of death and the pounding of blood in his ears. His cultivation was lost, taken and stolen by this man laughing before him. Years of toil and pain gone in an instant. It felt empty, something fundamentally part of him was gone. So he cursed and poured out his bitterness in an unearthly wail, as though malevolent spirits had risen from hell and were damning all living things. And he cried tears of hatred and of blood.

    Slowly a pain grew harsh and biting from his veins. It felt dry and burnt him, seeming to hollow and burn a hole through him around his veins. He felt the fire and agony course through him and he laughed, a hoarse croaking cackle, for all he had done was for naught. He was to die to the foe he thought lesser than him, and no matter how he wished or how desperate he was, he didn’t even have a chance to take his enemy with him. The pain was lesser now, all was seemingly fading into oblivion. He looked to try to burn that man’s mocking grin into his mind, to remember it for his next life and take revenge. Looking up however he didn’t see his expectation, rather he saw a twist of fate that would make the Devil himself laugh, his foes visage was contorted with a terrible pain, his skin seemed to stick to his one and his veins bulged and twisted. They writhed themselves like a den of snakes, fiendishly crawling under his skin, pulsing a dark green-black.

    To see his killer suffer so wretched a fate made him feel the joy of vengeance. Yet it was not complete for that foe still survived, and he felt it his duty to end it. With the last push of strength, he lifted himself from the cold grave he had lain in, and did all he could to fight, finally ripping the throat of his hated oppressor. The skin tore and something snapped, soon hot blood was flowing from his teeth. Bright crimson it splashed, pouring its burning self against the darker red stain of dried blood already coating the ground of the battlefield. His killer still clawed at him, trying to push him off and salvage the already ruined throat. But he clung on, pouring the last of his strength into his jaws, desperate to win this fight that had degraded into barbarism. He had been a cornered animal, and once a chance to kill and strike back was given, he’d bite into it.

    Until the futile struggles of his oppressor stopped and that body fell limp he didn’t let go. Then their he stood and marveled at the sudden silence of battlefield. He was the only one standing on a field of corpses that stretched on for miles. Mounds lay here and there, lives discarded like trash. Grimly he looked at the last to die, all had been gasping hopelessly for release, all their veins had been died black and all their skin shrunk. Many had taken their own lives rather than to die of the pain. Neither side was spared. He was alone on a graveyard of millions, surrounded by corpses without hope of a burial. Standing in this endless field, he fit perfectly, drenched in blood and missing an eye. The only sign that he was alive in this land of death was his ragged breathing. Each breath ripped at his lungs and made blood leak from his chest. Other than that he might have been a corpse left standing. “I surely fit my name, Yánxù Ren (meaning last man)” he groaned, then collapsed.

    He fell into a deep sleep, and found world of pain and blood, his world, and how he lived. He failed to win the war and had to watch his friends and family die. The revenge he got was hollow, as the curse and pain brought on his enemy was mysterious, and killed indiscriminately, leaving nobody but him. He shook and thrashed as he saw what had transpired and what his life had been. It was filled with death and cruelty, equally spent taking lives and protecting his own. He fought and writhed in his sleep until he felt that he was fading away and he lost himself in his graveyard of a mind. He felt madness and chose to accept nothingness and oblivion to get away from his pain.

    Elsewhere, in a more peaceful land sat a man in a thatched cottage. This man looked neither old, nor young. His hair was silver, a shining steely color, and his eyes were as blue as the sky on a crisp winters morning where the sun peaked out early in the day. He was leisurely reading a book, seeming relaxed and content. Till he stopped, frowned a bit, and sighed. He set down his book carefully, and pulled out a small pocket book. This book was worn and weather-weary, with a faded black cover and yellowing pages. As this man flipped through his book, from front to back, it took him too long of a time to seem natural, as if he was flipping through a great tome or encyclopedia. Finally, he came to the last page with writing, though there were more empty ones after. This page was white and new, it only had two words on it, but these words where written in a dark crimson, fierce and striking. The man frowned anew and sighed again as he looked down on the two words, Yánxù Ren, “This one has had a bloody path, full of strife and toil” he muttered to himself.

    He set the pocket-book down upon a table, open, with the name fiercely glaring, then walked over to a shelf, mostly covered with books, but also holding many strange and unusual items. Most of the walls of this cottage were covered in similar bookcases. From the bookcase he took down a strange looking lamp. It was like a candle holder and like an oil lantern. It had a glass container surrounded by thin ribbings of silvery gold, seeming strange and not from this world. He set the lamp on the table next to the book and tapped the book. Suddenly a harsh blue flame sprung from the words written there. The flame fought and writhed, as if venting fury its fury on the pages of the book, but it was in vain, for quickly the man picked up the flame with a scoop of his hand. Then sealed it inside the otherworldly lantern as easily as one would pour a glass of water.

    In the lamp, the flame spoke, it had a dry raspy voice, like someone that had not talked for a long time, or someone that had shouted and used up their voice recently. “I am Yánxù Ren, who are you and where am I,” the flame growled out in a commanding tone.

    “I have gone by many names” Said the man, he had a deep and mellow tone that was pleasing to the ears, like a cello or a bassoon. “Some of them lost, some famous, some dead some, living. But what is the importance of a name? If you insist on naming me you can call me Death, I think that is what I am known best as. You have died, by the way, a horrible agonizing hateful death I presume. I should know this, as my job is to take those who died with hatred and help them find peace in themselves, and to regain an appreciation of beauty and life.”

    “Peace, I shan’t ever get peace.” The flame growled, “I have lived a life of slaughter and of hatred, my greatest joys have been to kill my foes and trample others. I do not deserve peace or happiness. I do not even deserve the comfort of this death.”

    “Everyone deserves peace, they may never get peace with the world, but if they can at least have peace with themselves than that should be striven for. For the world outside the mind is fabricated by the world inside the mind, and one should know how they interact.” Death spoke “Do come with me and I will show you what world you are missing, and what happiness the world can hold”

    Thus saying so Death picked up the flaming lantern and put away his pocketbook, then stepped outs ide the door of his cottage. Outside was a beautiful crisp sunrise, painting the sky awash with reds and oranges. It was so vibrant that a stone would turn to look and the clouds would frolic in its pink rays. They stood and watched as the great morning sun rose and chased away the final vestiges of the dark black night sky. They watched as the deep blue of night, speckled with stars slowly turned purple, then red, then finally rested at a light blue, with white clouds painted in smooth lines streaked across.

    The fire was moved by the beauty of it, and as its hatred lessened, it shrunk a bit. But it still saw blood in the reds, and storm beaten oceans in the blue. It saw a sea of burning blood climbing up the sky, growing higher and taller. It wept, for the beauty of the sky and the pain of its thoughts.

    Then death took the lantern and walk down a path going through the rocky hills his cottage was in. The path wound down, and the sides were filled with mist. It coiled around, covering the grass and blanketing the rocks. Flowing and breathing, it left a sense of mysteriousness and filled one with wonder and peace. It calmed, soothed and entranced, as live creature does, but in a way no living creature could, highlighting the beauty of the rough landscape, and showing the sharp natural crags of the rocks.

    Death next showed the spirit flame a forest, vibrant with life. It lay at the food of the rocky hills and stretched on for eternity. The path now trailed through its dappling shadows, with the light colored green from the leaves dyeing everything a malachite hue. Through the forest chirped beautiful songbirds, and the rustlings of small animals signal an abundance of life. Dotted here and there were wildflowers blooming and bursting with color, accent the faint green glow. They walked until they found a lake, translucent in color. Looking in you could see the bottom and see fish swimming. The lake was mirror smooth, without a breath of wind to disturb its stillness. Death just sat there and set down the lamp, waiting and absorbing the peace.

    The flame stood and marveled, tears flowing down his face unhindered, he had never seen something so serene. He started to burn less fearfully and shrink in size as he watched and listened.

    Death took him up after a while, and showed him many other palaces of peace and of beauty. He showed him a scope of all things happy, what would make a man content and at peace. From deep forests to oceans, from rural villages to metropolises, Tall mountains and vast plains. Each place the flame grew smaller and more gentle, burning slower and more indistinct. Finally, the spirit in the flame curled up and slept, serenely and peacefully. The fire surrounding slowly winked out and the lamp lost its brightness. Seeing this, Death smiled and stood up from the place he had been sitting, and pulls out the pocket book containing the name. He flipped through more slowly this time, revealing thousands of names written and crossed out, then when he gets to the last written page he pulls out a pen and crosses out the final name, Yánxù Ren.
     
  8. Aca1814ina

    Aca1814ina  

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    The fact that I wrote this to relax my brain should be worrying... Ah well. Editing is too much work anyway.

    Title: 'The Sands of Time'
    Genre: I'm going to leave this unspecified. That makes it more interesting :p (though it should become quite obvious within 5 seconds of reading)
    Word count: 1482
    Synopsis: an unnamed traveler's account of their travels through the afterlife.
    The sands of time are endless, vast as imagination.
    No mortal nor immortal eye, can flee from their creation.
    Some say that living ends at death, some say they seek beyond.
    But few have reached these sands of time, and their eternal bond.

    The first world is the living, who play at life and death.
    But sometimes they will understand the truth with their last breath.
    The second is these dead, who have now played at both.
    Yet even so they cannot help but pick one that they loathe.

    When this choice they do not make, the path to three they see.
    But treacherous are roads of soul, and failures most will be.
    Yet some will make it down that road, once paved with good intention.
    And find in time that all before is unworthy of mention.
    After paradise of three, is misfortune of four. And so the trail
    That living take until this point, is suddenly curtailed.

    Along the road untraveled, they find their way to five.
    But few have dared to leave the safety of the mortal hive.
    So lonely it will stay, this world past deaths uncounted.
    Until the obstacles it holds are forcefully surmounted.

    After five is of course six, the world where nothing moves.
    Extinction is the only path to this world’s hidden truths.
    Past six is seventh Genesis, where all is born again.
    This may appear a peaceful place, a hidden sacred glen.

    But be wary if all is good, for in excess it's bad.
    Eternal light will blind you, just as fast as darkness clad.
    So quickly move to eighth world, where birth and death are one.
    Your fate will be decided in the minute that you come.

    And if you pass to nine, well past the standard few;
    Congratulations are in order as you behold the view.
    See eternity as tiny, and tiny-ness as vast.
    For everything's perspective, that truth you know at last.
    Perhaps you'll choose to stay, a ruler above gods.
    And live a life of endless time as one who many laud.

    But I feel that's rather doubtful, after all you've come so far.
    So take a step, and make your path, move quickly past the bar.
    Tween ninth and tenth it stands, a barrier so fragile.
    That even one who talent lacks it makes appear so agile.

    And welcome to the tenth, where greetings I did meet.
    For those before will hold those fools who cannot see our feet.
    But arrogant I wasn't, when first I passed that place.
    After all, the worlds before had left me in disgrace.

    But that's to be expected, from endless deaths of soul.
    It was instead a miracle that it had so little toll.

    But if you make it that far, I'm sure you already know.
    Everything about my trip, including that dreaded foe.
    So instead I'll leave you waiting, while I refresh your mind.
    For I'm quite sure you've long forgotten, the words you left behind.

    The first world of the living, the second of the dead,
    The third for those who feared not both, and cast off foolish dread.
    The fourth was for the wanderers, who sought not blessed peace.
    The fifth for kings and leaders, who would not choose to cease.

    The sixth world of destruction, the seventh of new birth.
    The dreaded perils of them both led you to know their worth.
    And eighth was quick and painless, a small world if I say.
    Till ninth you ruled as kingdom come until this very day.

    Now welcome to the tenth, the world which stands above.
    You're first to make it here, I think; else others aren't so loved.
    For only one can be here, in this world vast and small.
    Or so I was told by another, whom nine had made them stall.
    But tis true that nothing is there, neither light nor darkness deep.
    There's only one thing to do, and that's forever sleep.

    Once eternity is over, and all that is is gone.
    The barrier does open, and that's when I moved on.
    But waiting there seems boring, so perhaps another way.
    Will become clear once you are here under the void's dread sway.

    But for now I do not know it, so eleven is next.
    If you haven't yet I think you'll find this does make you quite vexed.
    After all it's world of chaos, where nothing can be known.
    No matter how you try to change it will be madness' throne.

    Before you know it you'll be gone, and with no idea why.
    I think that's best for sanity, else one might truly die.
    So be welcomed to twelfth, the second to the final.
    I could say it's all before, but then it will be null.
    I think it's made by mind, by thoughts and dreams and choices.
    But that was all I'm told by it, in ever changing voices.

    I left without much knowledge, unlike those from before.
    All I knew is that I was so close to learning more.
    And yet when the final world I saw, I remember thinking nothing.
    For what words can describe existence as any single thing?
    But I have tried time after time, and I think I have it now.
    So hear my tale, of worlds beyond, the graves beneath the plow.

    "The sands of time are endless, vast as imagination.
    No mortal or immortal eye, can flee from their creation."

    This is thirteenth and final world, the death of death repeated.
    And for listening to this, my tale, I thank your remaining seated.
    But all that came before, twelve worlds of death and one,
    Were meaningless distractions, beneath this final sun.

    A desert filled with sands, of every hue and none,
    Well past the limits of my sight and even on they run.
    A record of the living, and of dead as well. For in these sands
    Are marked the past, the history, of all the myriad lands.

    I welcome you, dear reader, to these dread sands of time.
    If ever you do make it there I beg you wait; for it is most sublime.
    For history, is not just past, but future waits as well.
    For every world and every time and even heaven and hell.
    Perhaps you'll see your own fate, though I know not how clear it be.
    But still I doubt you'll change it; you've died not once, by thirteen.

    Perhaps like me you'll cross it, the dunes of past and present.
    Searching for the river which curves in endless crescent.
    Some sands will be beneath it, I'm told they are most current.
    But I could only watch, no matter how abhorrent.

    They say knowledge is power, but too much of it is weakness.
    I know that best of any, I've held it all in bleakness.

    But there exists on last thing, a relic of my travels.
    A gateway through dimensions all, but not for trivial dabbles.
    I used it to go further, than any's gone before.
    But as you've read I'm still unsure whether 'twas back or fore.
    In the end I guess it matters not; yet even so I wonder.
    Perhaps that was my greatest feat, perhaps a greater blunder.

    Its up to you to use it, my successor or former.
    Perhaps you wish to change your fate, to be your own reformer.
    Or instead you seek elsewhere, outside these worlds thirteen.
    If that's the case I wish you luck for no trace I have seen.

    But now you're at the ending, so once more before you go,
    And leave these endless sands of time to some immortal show.
    The first world for the living, and the second for the dead.
    The third for those who stand between without a hint of dread.

    The fourth world's misery; and next to sovereign's five.
    Then six and seven conflicting with ideals that ever strive.
    And on to eighth we headed, first in then out we went.
    Before we stayed in nine awhile, and left in great content.

    The tenth world was a short one, a world for only one.
    Yet eleven was chaotic so we wished that we were done.
    Twelfth was penultimate, the second from the end.
    It was the world we made ourselves, so easily amend.

    Then sands of time were endless, vast as imagination.
    No mortal nor immortal eye could flee from their creation.

    But now before you stands the gate, which far surpasses both.
    Perhaps in this finality, you'll realize your own growth.
    I wish you well in travels, for I've returned to start.
    But I'll leave a final confidence, in case you need take heart:

    No matter where that gate may lead, no matter where it ends.
    I've seen reality collapse and all that was undone.
    And I can say no matter what I'm sure you'll make amends.
    So uncertainty should bear no fear. I'll only add: have fun!




    Btw: in case it wasn't obvious genre is 'Epic Poetry' (actually I think this is classified as narrative instead of fully epic, but it's close enough for my tastes).
    134 lines mostly of couplets until the quatrain at the end.

     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  9. Aca1814ina

    Aca1814ina  

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    Seeing as I want critique, I should give some first. Sigh... I'm not really all that find of the golden rule.

    Anyway, to begin:
    @Minaku I would say this is the weakest premise, but the best execution of all the stories presented. Which is honestly high praise; the ability to turn what should be subpar material into an engaging and interesting story is a wonderful talent.

    You start off with that torment oh so many people know and hate, the DMV in America (though that specific example won't have wide appeal, I've found that governmental bureaucracies are pretty consistent world wide). What makes it interesting is the characters own thoughts and descriptions; the choice to write in second person really shines here to catch the reader and make them want to continue, or at least feel obligated too.
    The drag of time, the slow process is perfectly captured. If I had any complaints, it would be that the grammar has several small errors in critical places, which are hard to just move over. Then again, perfect editing is not expected so I'm not really concerned about minor errors. On the other hand, the fact that you use tenses as a critical part of the story (present for the character in the waiting area, past for his reminiscing) means that you really can't screw that up if you want the story to come off right. Fortunately you make it clear with a few other context clues, but if those were any less prevalent it could have been confusing.

    Another possible complaint that follows from that is your lack of clarity towards the end. Specifically, why is the characters mindset so unclear about how much of their life they remember? If they had regrets in the present, but no regrets as they died, why? I understand it was probably a deliberate choice to be unclear in the story from the ending, but leaving one mystery shouldn't make the rest quite so inconsistent. In fact, making it more clear towards the end before pulling out and leaving the reader hanging would have been even better. I can't really say it was a satisfying ending, but it did exactly what it should have done and made the reader think. Excellent job for that.
    @Teivel Honesty I liked the first version better. You're trying too hard to expand the story by adding things that don't really need to be added, as if you're just trying for a word count. It feels forced, and it really makes the story suffer for it.
    Now, just about the first attempt. The beginning needs some work, because honestly I'm completely lost as to what's going on until the part he gets to the mirror. The colors fading seem to be some sort of sunset, but why is night the signal to start walking around? I know you said the character doesn't know but realistically a reason of some sort needs to exist, at least in you're own mind. Dawn seems like a significantly better time to start moving, and works better symbolically as well. While twilight does represent death, this is well past that stage and in the 'rebirth' realm to my perspective.
    Another nitpicking point is the mirror reflection. If he precisely sees cobwebs and dust as well as furniture, that doesn't leave much room for him to miss not seeing himself. It would be better to focus only on large things or only on small things, which leaves a much wider array of ways to miss seeing something so obvious. Also, the dust is a great metaphor for how long he's been dead but also a rather troublesome element to deal with... It doesn't stay still in any sort of change and you've already established some outside influence with the opening scene. Also, insects should have been dropped; with the length of time you're aiming at while, they would certainly have invaded they would not be quite so familiar as to 'remember every bug that's in there'.
    Finally, the ending is really well done if rather expected by that point. It still manages a bit of provocation and brings a satsifies conclusion to the episode. Except for the massive run on sentence at the end, it has good grammar and relatively good style. One suggestion would be to expand it by adding more scenes, as in actually describe these rooms he's walking through and perhaps some memories they invoke. That could easily get you over the required(?) word count and add some flesh to the story. But even so, well done.
    @Zero300 come on! Don't make a grammatical mistake in the title, please. It makes everything more painful for everyone. (In case you don't see it, you have two forms of the verb 'to be' in one clause. This is not allowed, in any circumstance).
    Other than that the grammars good, so I just don't understand. Alright then, moving on. The premise is excellent, but the execution is a bit... Hasty. Perhaps this is just my innate hatred for the wuxia/xianxia genre, but cultivation is a taboo word for me that I really don't like. Also, you're hinting at a social structure and hierarchy that isn't going to be explored at all. Taking a bit more time to flesh this out, if you're going to add that hint of uncertainty to the female collector, or reducing it significantly would have helped; I was left extremely unsatisfied with the ending and really didn't like it. Again, this is just personal opinion, so perhaps someone who actually enjoys such a genre could give a more favorable report.
    As for good things, I really liked the character of Jack in the afterlife even if he was a bit too blasé about the whole thing. The facelessness being masks was a nice touch too, though revealing a cliche beautiful young woman is annoying. The grammar was good as said at the beginning (except the title) and the entire thing flowed quite well.
    @Liron Okay, to be frank this was my overall favorite until the last part. You were doing so well until you decided you just had to go into this cryptic backstory with no relevance at all. Ending it at the 'past half' part would have made for an excellent story with a great premise and a great execution.
    Honestly the back story part is good, it just doesn't fit the tone of the remainder at all. If this was a prologue to a longer work, I would have ended the prologue where I said to and then added this exposition in the first chapter or so. But as is, it should have been dropped.
    Now to technicals. Grammar is good, and the dialogue keeps the times of the two characters relatively distinct, so much so that I probably would have been able to tell who was speaking even without the extra effort that went into formatting.
    The metaphors and philosophy discussed was excellent, especially the 'white is unpure, black is pure' scene (though it's also clear you haven't done much research into the nature of colors yet). The 'God' did seem more intelligent and capable than a human, but not too much so as is fitting for a collective being. The note that more people were suffering than those who were not was interesting, especially as it seems those who go to the void do not affect the collective's karma (but you don't need to address that in the story. Uncertainty is sometimes good). This does seem like it could be turned into a full novel or at least a novella with this premise, and then those ideas could be explored more fully, but that wasn't the point of the exercise at all.
    Overall, I greatly enjoyed it and hope you write another that is equally interesting.
    @NZPIEFACE finally a non narrative format. I'm impressed; dialogue based storytelling is more difficult than most people make it out to be. On the other hand, because it is so much harder, that doesn't always turn out well...
    I like that you left out exposition, which is the correct way to do a dialogue based story. I'm also extremely displeased that you left out exposition, because I feel like something very interesting happened to get these so together and I'm not sure my guess is right. I like that it's a two way conversation, because it allows much better story flow. I hate that it's just one guy asking all the right questions and the other answering in the flow of his narrative; normal people would throw a couple of odd questions or maybe focus too much on one point made by the storyteller.
    This story is all highs and lows, really. There's nothing in between. Personally I feel like the highs outweigh the lows, and with good grammar making the foundation it's a relatively good story. On the other hand, it will not be as enjoyable to someone who isn't trying to read between the lines.
    @Ged Merrilin well done. I don't really have much more to say about this one; while it gets off to a rocky start that only enhances the final push. I'm really not sure what to say about it in general; while I dislike the use of Chinese terminology and cultivation as a world basis it is minimally used and thus tolerable. On the other hand I didn't really enjoy the story too much. I'd say you're the opposite of @NZPIEFACE above: all middle of the road, without too much enjoyable or hated. That has wide appeal, so don't take it as a negative or anything, but it just didn't give me any sort of emotional reaction. So good job, but not great either.
     
  10. Liron

    Liron Well-Known Member

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    I understand. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts! I'll be counting in your opinions in the future too! I'll work hard to get better, but I won't change this story yet, simply because it was already submitted. I see where you are coming from when you mention that last bit. To be honest I had doubts about adding it too, but I simply wanted to share the backstory I had in mind, so I tried to fit it in. But yeah, I agree with you, unnecessary. Will keep that in mind for future references. Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  11. Zero300

    Zero300 『Mask Maker』『Kamen Rider Khaos』『Demon Immortal』

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    I was drunk when I wrote this so my grammar wasn't good. Plus it's just a short story. Why should I go in detail with it? Also, there's no wuxia/xianxia in this so where did your "hate" come from? Besides, this could be considered a prologue of a story if I decide to continue with the topic.
     
  12. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    fite me mate ಠ_ಠ

    There are 13 worlds inside your story, and I can't really remember them all.
    Before I read through it again to make a proper critique, I'll just say what was on my mind when I read through it the first time. Wtf is the 12th world? All I can remember about it is that it's the second to last.

    and time to read it again....

    PS: I thought submissions only here?

    Edit: After reading it again:

    I felt like I was high and sleepy while I was reading that.
    Seriously.
    It's rather confusing, but you can generally understand the gist of it once your read through the whole thing.
    A major complaint is how fucking metaphorical the descriptions feel, when they're actually rather literal. It's kind of why I didn't remember what the 12th world was, because it's literally 'made from your thoughts'. Thought provoking, but also rather weed inducing.

    Another more technical thing, is how your use of enjambment is rather non-consistent. Some places where it would grammatically makes sense to link the end of one line to the next, you place a full stop or comma. Then in other places, where you just let it flow, it's just rather.... clumsy? It feels forced to flow, specifically for the rhyme that you have.
    An example is this.
    A record of the living, and of dead as well. For in these sands
    Are marked the past, the history, of all the myriad lands.
    To be perfectly honest though, this could just be my mistake on the speed that you should be reading this, because at the rather fast pace I'm reading it, I'm suddenly slowed here.


    From the use of first person and second person, I can infer that this is either a letter of a message for the reader that is left behind from someone.
    Through the context of the poem, we should(?) be at the end of the 13th world, dying for the last time, and becoming... something. This is a letter from someone who has already done this and did some other shit, then decided to do everything once over? And the message of this letter is to tell us "Do whatever the fuck you want, just do it".
    I'm just fucking confused at this point. Who are you? Who is he? What? Huh? Dafuq?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  13. Ged Merrilin

    Ged Merrilin [Demonic House Cat]

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    I like the effort in the style of an epic, however I have a couple problems, first of all it wasn't very clear what was going on at all in the beginning. If it said something like in the realms or something? I don't know. Second of all you rhymed two syllable words with one syllable words, this doesn't work and ended up breaking the flow it had.

    Thanks for the commentary on mine, I can see what you said, coming back to my story, it lacks an overall lasting feeling, which could possibly be solved with more planning, I just wrote it as it came.
     
  14. Minaku

    Minaku Writer and editor for Antagonist Rewind.

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    Thanks for the critique :D i realize i probably should have treated this the same as i do when i post chapters of my story in terms of grammer, tense, and to check any confusions but i guess i was abit over eager and wrote it too fast without much awareness. This seems to be a problem of mine when i have an idea of what i want but to execute it may leave some things lacking... Thanks for the guidance!
     
  15. Ged Merrilin

    Ged Merrilin [Demonic House Cat]

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    I liked the middle, the dialogue there was very good and the 'God' worked. The end should have been when the man went into the void, the last part left a general feeling of dissatisfaction. The beginning seemed a bit of a cliche for someone being dead.
     
  16. Liron

    Liron Well-Known Member

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    I find this very interesting, yet confusing. I don't know how to feel about having to read it multiple times to get it all. I mean, I love that this is dense and complex, but maybe it shouldn't be. Obviously a LOT of effort was put in the makings of this piece, and it shows. I don't find myself worthy of evaluating this as a piece of poetry, making an analysis of the rhymes and structure, since I am not knowledgeable on the subject. And my guess would be that I will not be the only one thinking on those lines. Maybe this shouldn't have been written as poetry, since few would be able to thoroughly analyse and understand it.
    For what I did understand in my first couple of readings, I liked the overall idea and the underlying messages. And the last part of it being basically a summary helped a lot in cementing the understanding I had before but was unsure of, so I liked it. Even more that it was more direct into sending a message to the readers in the finishing lines.
    Maybe I am making myself unclear, so I will try to be more direct. I liked it, but I can't properly evaluate it. This demands more reading, and the way it was written just makes it that much more difficult to analyse. I do believe that in the proper circles this would be seem as a great piece, but maybe you should simplify it for this one.
    Using a metaphor, I would say you had a lot of gold, which you locked away in a beautiful handmade chest, with a strong lock. Most will appreciate the beauty of the chest. Some will guess the gold that it hides. But few will have the capabilities or will give themselves the trouble to pick it's lock and see inside. Or ask you for the key.
     
  17. Liron

    Liron Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree. I should have ended it when the man is sent to the void. You are the second person to say that to me, and this was the ending I originally intended. I shouldn't have pushed it. I agree with you. As for the beginning, to be truthful I had no idea how to properly start it and have it naturally flow to the middle part. It was hard for me to do it in an refreshing way, and I guess it shows. Thanks for your opinion.
     
  18. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Feels like typing "And now I'll be the third to tell you that" but decides not to.

    Honestly, I feel rather disgruntled about how he treated his death. We see only how he's a fucking jack ass, because of how angry he is with a major lack of other emotions.

    But alas, it proves to be true that he's a total cunt, so good on you for that.
     
  19. NZPIEFACE

    NZPIEFACE Leecher

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    Following this metaphor, I feel like what inside the chest will be a gold gilded book with gold leaves for pages and tiny gold carvings for words.

    In other words, just tell us.
     
  20. Liron

    Liron Well-Known Member

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    Well, that was the idea. But maybe I could have done it in a more refined way. Will keep that in mind. Thanks for your opinion!