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By Elena Ichinomiya
It all starts from here. Home, a place that supposed to be safe haven, protect us from the rain or heat, wall to keep us safe on our sleep. Or that's what it should be. Once i live peacefully here, laughing with my family, sister who tease me, parent who laugh at our stupidity, grandfather gentle smile and grandmother who just clap in delight. Those image still clear on my mind...still life picture etched on my brain like a painting. It's been years now, i live by myself on this humble apartment with dim light. No roommate, no family nearby. Just me. I was asked by my parent to move away but i refuse because job location and this is the only affordable place and closest from my office. Not exactly close but at least it cut the transport budget on my end.
Another rattling sounds greet me. Strong wind. Cloud picking up and rumble sounds from afar. Storm, intense one at that. I sigh as i slowly get up from my comfy couch and goes to kitchen. Reaching up to cabinet, i decide to have some tea. Unlike most people, i prefer it in leaf instead a bag so i can surprise myself what kind of random taste if i put too much or too few. The window rattle once again, accompanied by the tea spoon hitting the glass as i add some sugar. Step by step, i carefully sit back on the couch and take a sip. It was relaxing, but i know i may need to turn on the room heater later as the temperature here begin to drop thanks to shifting season. One hour pass, i didn't move from where i'm sitting at, watching the TV...or perhaps i just treat it as radio as my mind wander off somewhere else. As i lost in thought i return to reality when someone knock the door. Roughly at that as if they will knock it down any minutes. Decide to not let the guest waiting, i take a peek...they still knocking at the door, giving my head a bump and i grunt in discomfort.
Two men, one is the landlord and his newlywed son...strange, why they both come here? What for? Thinking they mean no harm, i open the door. Now i see them clearly that they wearing jacket along with a bag. Both of them. Why? Are they going somewhere and want to tell me who i should contact with in case there's something up with the apartment? They can just simply post at bulletin board at entrance. However their face didn't say they want to go for a trip between father and son. They look...stuttering, panic? They look like ready to run though. So i ask why they here?
"Line (read Li-Ne), i put it brief, this place is dangerous and you need to go now! People coming here and they going bat shit and not in funny way. They mean harm! Just grab what you can and go! I will stay to warn other tenant! Hurry before it's too late! Don't use subway!"
Hearing that sudden news i only tilt my head "What is going on Mr. Sunderland? Why people bother to come here? This is just apartment" I ask him
Landlord son Clark decide to answer that "Miss Line, you know about riot few days ago right? People decide to take things with their own hands. Violence, harmful mean, looting, you name it. And they don't discriminate, they will rob you blind and take everything from here! Just do what my father say okay? We gotta go!"
I don't know what happen as i stood there, watching those two goes away from my sight to warn other tenant. If what Clark said was right, that mean the economy crisis is really hitting down hard. I still hesitate and decide to look at window of my room...and i was greeted by the long line of people entering subway which is very disturbing. They even don't care with the storm raging on. I don't know what to do. Should i do what they said? Or call my family what is going on? The breaking news said the people is on the run but who knows what's gonna happen here? Those line of people going to subway alone is disturbing. Another minutes pass, and i hear a ruckus outside along with thud sounds as if someone stomping on the hall. As i open the door and check i bumped into one running tenant who seems more panic as if they already saw the situation. They run with anything they can bring. As i look down, i found one paper he dropped...
(the setting is not on US, sorry)
"Not good..." That's all i said before i run inside and grab anything i could take. I never been this panic except on deadline of works. That newspaper tell me how dangerous people right now and i don't plan to get involved with it at all.
(this image is just reference, any similar event that happen to be written here is purely coincidence)
I feel adrenaline rush as i pack my things into my biggest bag i could find. I start to count every heartbeat, seeking comfort that i will make it back safely. The city is a big mess, a big bad mess. The raging storm remind me that nature is also not on my side. Luckily i got my raincoat that never been used since i always use umbrella and use mass transit. I put on cover on my bag and finally ready to go. If what Mr. Sunderland said is true, i may need to hit a cab or other transit mean. But judging from the long line in subway, i bet it will be hard to call for one especially in this storm.
Even so i gotta move right away. I step carefully on the stairs, prioritizing safe run rather than rush the whole thing. I'm not bother using a lift as my room is just on 3rd floor. I'm not the only one panicking here. Other people also asking question, what happen? Where should we go? Is it even safe to run? How do we even get away from here? That's the question encircling them. As i passed on front door, i saw Ms. Sunderland waiting for her husband and son to return. Her wrinkled face now etched with worry and fear, just like all of us. The storm also not helping the mood as people really unsettled by the turn of event.
"If it's not my favorite tenant Line, don't worry about me and my husband. We agree to warn tenant before we leave. It's shame because this is his dream business" she told me with weak laugh. Once she was hoping his son would marry me but we didn't hit off that well so we end up as friend. That's the only time i saw disappointment on her face but we still communicate well.
"How do you run away from here? And how much intense the angry mass is so much that military couldn't contain them?" Since her husband know this even first, i thought she also know. And i was right.
"We got call from my husband old brother who work as lawyer not far from the mass. It's pretty bad that he only run away from his office with just his pen on his pocket. Lucky there's working telephone as he left his cellphone in his office. I don't know how bad it is...all we know, they are violent bunch. Who know what they do to this apartment later or worse, got some tenant still inside? i can't imagine that happen to you dear Line"
She talk with caring tone, just like mother talk to her daughter. I let out sigh, in time like this, i should be like her. Thinking rationally and not panicking. Then i hug her as the last mean of comfort because i don't know what happen next after i go from here. The storm, the incoming of angry mass, the panic of people...i pray to god that i will make it. As its the only thing i have to cling on right now in these troubled time...
Hey everybody ❤️ I'm kind of bored so I'd be looking forward to really any type of roleplay (thats in my preferences, of course, you could check that out here
So, don't hold anything back, just DM me if you're ready~!
By Lord 'Boo
This is a story that I wrote many years ago. I thought about it today and realized I hadn't actually done anything with it in a long time, even though I don't think it's in an ideal state. It's been through basically one major rewriting which cleaned up some stuff in the main story. I also wrote an entirely new intro to the story rather than revising the original, but I'm also unsure which is better. These were originally written... holy shit nine years ago. Yeah, so I was still pretty young at the time so if it seems a bit cliche angsty... that's probably why. But I'd love any constructive feedback I could get on this. I don't know that I'll actually change this story itself, simply because it's so old by now, but any notes would be useful in my writing (either as RP or individual fiction) going forward.
I'm going to spoiler the two intros to keep this from getting too long.
Dave stared hard at the computer screen. As always, the windows were shut tight, blinds and curtains drawn so that no light or view could go in or out. The door was locked four ways – he had another two locks installed for his own personal security. Just the thought of allowing someone else into his apartment gave him shudders. He couldn't stand it if someone were to enter uninvited.
He made sure his laptop was charged and plugged in. He gently picked up the cup on his right, careful not to fold the paper and spill the water over himself or his beloved computer. He dipped a finger into it. Cold. It would be warm by the time his note was written, or so he hoped. After setting the cup down, he lifted the one mirroring its position on the desk. Dave turned his wrist several times, spinning the cup, watching the white powder in it shift and fall over itself. He snorted hard, trying to clear his nose, congested as always, before wiping the snot away on his sleeve. He'd read that this stuff was supposed to stink like bitter almonds. It didn't smell like anything at all to him.
Dave tipped the second cup over the first, dropping some cyanide into the water. He shuffled around the desk and nearby area before finding an old, greasy plastic spoon. He stirred the water, watching as the powder disappeared in the faint glow of the computer screen. It was the only light he had on. Bright lights upset his eyes too much.
“Okay.... let's do this.” He set the water down and held the cup with the remaining cyanide in his hand. He glanced at the bathroom, where he would dispose of it. He made to stand, but his unshapely legs fought back against the strain of his weight. “Ah... I'll get rid of it later.” Setting the cup down, he turned his attention back to his computer. No reason putting it off any longer than he already had. He glanced at the clock in the corner of the screen. Just a few hours before midnight. Tomorrow he would be thirty. Too old to have been remembered as being so young.
Other than the whir of the computer's fan, the room was silent, until the clicking of the keyboard began:
I am David Smith II. However, you do not know me. You do know Leon Stride, the greatest poet and literary artist of your time. You also know T. G. Renalds, author of the most successful popular novels in decades. Thus, you know me, David Smith II.
My time has been brief. My end draws near. I am finished with being unfinished.
Not my best work... but it's definitely better than any of the swill already out there.” Dave muttered. His voice was weak enough to hardly bounce off the walls. Every day the lines between his fantasy and reality grew dimmer. He thought and spoke interchangeably. The difference between them all was naught with no one ever around, save the occasional delivery outside his door. Exactly how he wanted it. People disgusted him. “Always obsessing with what's on the outside... it all just fades away. They never appreciate true genius. Never.”
Under the pseudonym Leon Stride, a name he'd taken in High School, he was a critically acclaimed author and poet, easily among the most distinguished in his lifetime. Behind another pen-name, he was T. G. Renalds, author of four series of popular fiction, totaling thirty-one novels. Yet Dave had been disillusioned with the world and its inhabitants for years.
He recalled a time back in High School, as he often did. Dave never forgot, he only chose not to remember. It was two and a half weeks before prom. He had already picked out what tuxedo he would wear. His mother had helped him. Black and smooth, and soft to the touch, like a silky velvet. Pretty on the outside, what the world always wanted. And he knew just who he would take. Suzanne Brown, the prettiest girl in the school. Golden blonde hair draped just past her shoulders; her slightly tan skin was radiant, and made her icy blue eyes really pop. Not to mention curves that most women would kill for.
Dave drew in a breath, sighing it out slowly. His focus broke with an involuntary shiver. It was colder than he remembered. A small adjustment to be made. He accessed a program set up on his computer, which connected to a device attached to the thermostat. After bumping the heat up, he waited a few moments for the drone of the fan to kick on, radiating warmth through the room. After wiping his sweaty palms across the legs of his sweat pants, he continued:
Your world is sick and foolish. I have grown weary of it, bored of having to occupy my time here. You applaud my genius, you ravish me for my success, but behind the veil of a stand-in, you mock and ridicule me. I am wasted here. For among you, true diamonds are decorated in cheap, shiny buttons. Wasteful peat instead is throned and gazed upon with love while brilliance is discarded. My end is now. Yours is to come soon. You have gone too far with
“Too far... too far...” With what? he thought. “Even now their filth infuriates me to the point that words escape my thoughts.” He said, gritting his teeth. He looked around his bedroom. The bed was clean, sheets spread out. That was one thing he had not forgotten or put off. It was all for his plan. He would write his note, and take the cyanide. It would give him just enough time to dispose of the evidence and lay across the bed. The rent hadn't been paid, and it was more than a week late. Nine days, to be precise. It was always on the tenth day that the landlady would demand the rent.
The plan had taken months of methodical planning before it was perfected. Alternating two months of unpaid rent with a month paid on time, it was always the tenth day that she personally visited him. The purchase of rare coins over the internet was part of the investment as well – a cover up, a given reason for his order of the potassium cyanide. The chemical by itself would be a red flag, but after two months of coin collecting, its use as a polish would seem entirely natural. Tomorrow the landlady would come to collect her money. When he didn't answer, she'd come in and see him, laying across his bed, as if sleeping. She would yell and holler, but when she realized that he wasn't resting, she would call an ambulance. The EMT would declare his death to be a heart attack or stroke – believable enough, he was in bad physical shape – and to be from natural causes, not from the cyanide which actually caused it. And then they would read his note. He would have predicted his own death. “They will remember me forever.” A sly grin crossed his face, his grubby, rotten teeth hardly visible in the flicker of the monitor. His skin was pale and greased to begin with; the light gave him a sickly demeanor, as if he were already in his last minutes, face to face with death itself, playing chess for his very soul. And Dave had just called check.
Dave continued to survey his tomb. Beyond his bed was the cabinet. Old, worn in, different from everything else in his home. It was passed down through his family. The polished oak was now layered in dust, with occasional spots of it wiped through with a curious finger to test its depth. It was closed now. Dave had forgotten. Before his end... “I have to clean that up.” He said, staring hard at the wooden furnishing. “It's got everything in it.” All of Leon Stride's awards and commemorations, several unfinished works, as well as the achievements of the novels of T. G. Renalds, his royalties and investments. He kept it closed now, as it only reminded him of how sick this world was. For years, he'd written poetry, flash fiction, novelettes, incredible works the likes of which hadn't been known for generations, under his pen name Leon Stride. He was lauded for his talents. But all the polished plaques, shiny medal-stickers on certificates, and starred reviews in the world wasn't keeping his heat on at night. He tried finding work, but it was terrible. “People... always people.” He rubbed his temples. “I hate people. If only there were a way for me to avoid them all, this wouldn't have to happen.” He looked back at the cabinet. “But no... I had to whore myself out, like a slutty crackhead.” His hands gripped the arms of his swivel chair, knuckles turning a yellowed-white. He produced incredible works of art, and had nothing to his name but a drawer full of merits. And yet he looked around, and the ghastly books about witches and werewolves and magical animals hardly kept stock on shelves. Overnight, authors – if one could call them that – went from nothing to millionaires. Dave knew he could do that. And he realized before long, he had to. Of course, he couldn't ruin his good name as Leon Stride... So T. G. Renalds was born. Dave despised Renalds. Writing such cheap novels as those, he felt sleazy. He could produce such greater work, but had to stoop to such levels to feed himself. Over the years, he felt the same burden of Leon Stride. Critics were never satisfied. When Renalds grew more popular and Stride produced less work, they called for more of him, calling him the only candle in a black night. But when he did produce new work as Stride, they called foul. He was lambasted for lapsing in his quality. With each successive work, Dave had to top himself. Each new novel had to be a better page turner than the last, to stay on the top of the charts. Every short story, every poem had to be more perfect than all those before it. And they all had to come out frequently.
“If this world was worth the dirt it was made of, Renalds wouldn't be around. Or Leon Stride. I would be hailed as king of all print and word.” Of course, the world wasn't that way at all.
Dave thought back to the very first time his work had been published. It was near the end of his senior year in high school. A bi-monthly journal agreed to publish his three-part poem. They paid him a small amount, for a small amount of work, Dave thought. Mistakenly he'd thought that it would be a drop in the bucket for the pieces he would someday produce. Yet it had given him hope, and courage. With encouragement from his best friend, Gale, he'd decided to ask Suzanne out. He had tutored her all year in math as well as history so she could stay on the cheer squad. He approached her in the hallway. It was a Tuesday, and he'd worn his best jeans and a brand new shirt, his hair freshly washed and slicked back. She had on a blue skirt and green halter-top with some guy's letterman jacket wrapped around herself. It wouldn't matter. She'd see what he was worth. She'd understand his brilliance and take the gem for what it was, not what people saw. He could still faintly smell her light cinnamon perfume.
Dave had been wrong. She didn't understand. Thinking back, she couldn't have understood his genius. She was far too slow and dull. Time had dulled the sting of rejection, but her laughter at his request built the foundation of his towering fortress of hatred. Dave could recall the countless occasions that had withdrawn him from the world. Year by year, event by event, brick by brick, Dave made sure no one got in, and nothing got out. Not even Gale's kind words could penetrate his resolve. Suzanne went on to drop out of a community college in order to become the trophy wife of a wealthy wall-street businessman. An air-headed doll and a professional gambler, with the perfect life. That was the world he was living in. It was a world, he felt, that didn't deserve his genius.
“Your world is...” Dave read his own message back to himself, and frowned. The world was doomed, but he'd be damned if when everything went to hell and high water, they would look back and blame him over it. He couldn't leave them with such an ill omen. He highlighted the block of text, and hesitated. Finally, he struck the delete key, leaving him with the first few lines he had constructed earlier.
I look at this world, and I am shocked to see that anything but mud and manure crawl from the swamp that you people call lives. Yet you on distant occasion managed to allow a pearl to form among all this chaos and decay. In days of old, true art was celebrated. In your world, it is kicked aside as the leavings of rats and toads are held to the eye of the public and kissed with lust. You only lead yourselves down the path of death and despair, for so long as you worship what is
And at that, the screen dimmed. Dave huffed. His leg had felt sore, so he reflexively extended it. He must have knocked the power cord for the laptop loose. Folding the screen partly down, he saw the plug hooked over the back edge of the desk. He reached for it, though it remained out of his grasp. He went for it with a slight lunge, only to knock it back and behind the desk. He balled his fist, bringing it down against the desk, producing a soft thud and an audible yelp of pain. He massaged his hand, though the sting seemed to radiate throughout his arm.
Dave pushed the chair back from the desk, the wheels barely managing to roll over the matted carpet. Holding onto the arm-rests, he braced himself, before pushing himself forward, sliding off the chair and to his knees. He gasped slightly at the effort, before he started groping around. Finding the power cord after several minutes of blind groping, he fed it back up against the wall and onto the desk, making sure it would not slide down again on its own.
He began backpedaling, when in his crawl, his hand landing on something. Square... no, rectangular. Flat. And hard. It was stuck to the ground, but he managed to pry it off, though he heard a faint cracking sound, possibly of glass. Setting the object next to the cups, he grasped the edge of the desk and heaved himself up. He momentarily lost balance, but managed to fall backwards into his chair again. He had to be careful moving forward again – he'd heard glass break, and he had poor circulation in his feet, so he didn't always feel some things right away. A quick glance at the clock told him he had just enough time to examine the alien object.
Dave stared at the item for several moments. Cheap black plastic. It looked as though there were something hinged onto it, but it had broken off. He turned the item in his hands in order to face the other side of it, and came to a sudden realization what it was: A picture frame. “But who?” Dave turned his chair about, scanning the room for other hidden relics. However, there were no other pictures in the room. Satisfied, he returned to the computer screen for light. When he'd attempted to lift the frame originally, it had stuck to the ground, so part of the covering glass was shattered. Dave gazed upon the image, of three smiling faces, standing in a row. He had to recognize them sooner or later. They'd long since been blotted from his consciousness, though Dave knew it would come to him. An older woman with a gentle smile and crooked eyes on the far left. The portrait was faded and difficult to make out, but Dave forced himself to remember. Next to her, a teen girl with thick framed glasses, braces, and pigtails. Red pigtails.
His mother. Gale. He'd forgotten almost everything about them, he realized. He set the frame down, just in front of his laptop. All that was left were shards of memories he'd bitterly clung to. Their failed advice, their apologies which could never undo the damage which had been done. But he knew that couldn't have been all there was to them.
“My... best friend.” Dave said, focusing on the red-headed girl. She was the first one to encourage him into writing. “I'm no good.” He started to recall the conversation. “Sure you are, Dave. You're the best writer I ever read.” His voiced echoed off the walls, as if spoken back to him. “And mom.” He looked at the elderly woman. She always supported him in everything he'd ever done. When he told her he wanted to write, she took his flute to the pawn shop and exchanged it for a type-writer. Before the flute, it was a canvas and paint, and before that a camera. She never mocked his failures. He'd never been successful in anything artful. She had no reason to believe that he would be able to write well. But she did. She believed in him. And he'd blocked her out of his life. He ignored phone calls, stopped coming home for holidays, lost all contact with her. Years ago, just out of college, a lawyer had come to see him. It was only months before T. G. Renalds had published his first book, when Dave found out his mother had died, and he'd missed the funeral. His only reaction at the time was that of frustration towards her. She had left him almost nothing, other than a few relics; the rest of what little she had was given to church and charity. He kept the oak cabinet, and pawned the rest, and rued her for not giving him enough to live off of.
“Mom... I'm sorry.” Dave lifted his arm to the frame. A clubbed finger traced her face. Without her, without either of them, he would have been nothing. The third and right-most figure on the frame was the last he called his attention to. A boy in high school. Over-weight, short, with pasty skin and greasy hair and mismatched clothes. And a wide, bright smile.
Himself. Years ago. He stared at the frame longer, before noticing a red stain forming. He pulled his finger back; it had gotten nicked on a remaining shard of glass, but the stinging was dulled. He wiped the blood on his pants and held his finger until it had subsided.
Dave set the picture frame down beside his computer, and reread his note. He scowled, shaking his head. How could he chastise the world for something he so blatantly had done for years? Behind his facade he screamed injustice. Upon his throne he claimed superiority, Dave now realized, and demanded acknowledgment of his greatness. And yet he ignored those precious to him. The true diamonds in the rough in his life, and he'd cast them into his wall as filling.
He once more read his note, and had to write it again, at least in part. He had to leave this world with hope. They had to realize what was important, as he did not.
In days of old, true good was celebrated. You must not let it pass you by. When gems of goodness are cast aside as meaningless, the dawn will grow bleak. Do not forget what must be important in life. Art, genius, kindness, true companionship. We've all made grave mistakes, but we must not ignore them, and worst of all, we cannot force our wrongs to be what is right. For what is right must always be what is right, and when what is good is what is bad and evil, the end is sure to follow. As far down the road of shadows you tread, the light can always be seen, and it always must be pursued. Never forget this.
Dave pushed back from his desk, one final time reading the note. “It's perfect.” He decided. “... the light must always be pursued.” He glanced down at the cups still on the desk. “It's cheesy... but it mustn't be forgotten.” He took both cups. What was he thinking? There was good in the world, and people out there that would appreciate it, and continue to give it, no matter what the reward or consequence. There had to be.
Dave stood, feeling his knees creak beneath his own weight. He pushed against the desk to support himself, but must have pulled a muscled. His arm was killing him, and it was so hard to breathe. His lungs locked up, starting to fight for air. His chest burned. Dave fell to his knees, dropping both cups. He clutched at his chest, before doubling over, choking through his last breath.
Loli Artist and Gamer who lives with her older sister Kaoru. The two aren't well known, but online their creations are praised.
[Yes] - I will roleplay as this character.
~.:| Character Info |:.~
Full Name: Akage Kamiya (Akage-chan)
Nickname: Aki-chan (Kaoru came up with it ;P)
Age: 14 y.o.
Height: 4'11" or 149.86 cm
Weight: 94 lbs. or 42.64 kg
Personality: Shy and Quiet/Reserved
Family(?): Kaoru Kamiya (Onee-chan/Older Sister), Unnamed Mother, Unnamed Father
Hair: Strung up in a ponytail most of the time, especially during work. Her hair is a light blue that slowly transitions like a rainbow.
Eyes: Red/Magenta that fades into a dark navy blue. Her pupils are orange.
Favorite Animal: Kitten/Cat/Neko
Hobbies: Plushy Collecting, Drawing, Playing with Kaoru, Cosplay