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KCC Short Story Contest Submission Thread

Discussion in 'Konoha Country Club' started by Raiden, Jun 25, 2019.

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  1. Raiden Moderator

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    Hi everyone,

    Please use this thread to upload your short stories. Keep in mind that beta readers can be immensely helpful to correct mistakes. Be sure to take your time.





     
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  2. Sassy

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    "The Warrior"

    The winds of the West breathed fire in the crisp dry air. Nothing in sight but death and decay. Horror, tragedy, pain, loss and even failure. Those were the emotions swirling within the lines of war. Soldiers upon soldiers, knights upon knights, men and women saraficied. Children dead in the crossfire of this town that was marked in tragedy.

    As Athena walked among the field of bloodied knights, soldiers, children and women. Death upon death the air was rolling in it, the minute you breathed in it is the minute you gagged. She couldn't help but have a stream of tears slowly running down her face, although a warrior among the greatest she still couldn't help but feel the pain. Her friend beside her spoke softly.

    "They never stood a chance, did they?"

    "No they certainly didn't."

    "Athena what will you do now?"

    Athena turns ever so slightly with a perplexed expression.

    "What do you mean?"

    "Athena….Graditth is dead,"her friend said with intensity before continuing,"You are the new War Leader."

    Athena had many emotions going through her head. Some of the disbelief others of pure uncertainty. One thing is for sure she will get revenge on her comrades on her people or she'll die trying.

    "Rally the remaining troops. Tell them to meet me in the East border in one hour. We will get our justice."

    "Are you sure?"

    "Positive," Athena said without hesitation. Her friend smirked and bowed her head while turning and heading to the frontline of the remaining troops. Athena stood there for however long she didn't know. She glanced around again with every death on this battlefield. She grimaced and looked downward briefly then back up.

    When she looked up her eyes the baby blue that they were had intense fire glimmering within them. She vowed then and there to take down the head of Rosewood, the evil Lord of the Eastern lands. One who would kill anyone without hesitation as well as all around pure evil.

    She knew no one would hear these next words she said into the wind, "I will kill you and I will hunt you down Lord of the East prepare to grovel at my feet."

    She turned and walked away from the battlefield. Holding a tight vice grip around her blade she stepped forth into the early morning hours and into the lines of fire. Stepped forth into the lines…of war.

     
  3. Shazam

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    Running, along the ocean blue, soft white sands under our feet. I remember a time the sky seemed to stretch on forever, and the sea disappeared beyond the edges of our imaginations. And three children lay on the beach, rough sand between their toes and sunburns etched like tattoos across their plump, smiling faces. I remember the two little boys wore different colored trunks: the white boy wore red, but the black boy always wore blue, and the little Hispanic girl wore yellow, and always had her flowing midnight locks wrapped in ponytails. Mouths stained red from summer's early watermelon crop, we'd lie under the setting sun until it dropped beyond the farthest wave, and the echoes of our parent's worried voices would drift over the sandy dunes, reaching our ears and beckoning us home until tomorrow. I asked Mama if it would always be like this. She didn't know. But, for a time, we were happy; we had the waves, and the blue, blue sky, and we had one another. That was all we needed.

    Down the hallways, the bells urging us on, I remember children pushing one another in the hallway, fighting and clawing and kicking to get to class before the late bell rang and signaled that all the bad, tardy children were to be switched mercilessly by the strict teachers. I believe it was in second grade that we first realized something was wrong with the world. Always it had been the three of us; the little white boy, the little black boy, and the little hispanic girl; but now we were not permitted to walk down the hallway together. We were in the same class, but we could not sit by one another. We ate the same lunch, but could not speak to one another. Days and days, I remember walking home to Mama, crying, "It hurts; it hurts!" when the switch had come down on me for speaking to the other two. And Mama would hold me in her arms and soothe me, but no matter how many times I asked, she could not tell me why we were treated this way. But, after school, we still had the sand, and the sun and the sky. We had watermelons, and the cold, salty ocean; just the three of us. And we were still happy for a while.

    Screaming, running down the streets, tears blurring our vision and our hands covering, shielding our heads; I remember many a day when I was only a few years older that we were chased home, rocks pelting our heads and sides and the leers of the classmates we thought we knew, echoing behind us, "Filthy, Rotten, Traitors!" But the worst was, "Wrong!" What was wrong? Why did they hit us? Because we were friends? But why was that so wrong? I didn't know; Mama still had no answer. All we knew, the white boy, the black boy, and I, the Hispanic girl, was that we were hurt for being together, and it was better to be apart. That year, we had different classes: the white boy was with the other white children in the nicest classroom, the one that always smelled of apples and chalk; the black boy, in a little wooden room that leaked sometimes from the ceiling, with the other black children. And the Hispanic girl, me, in a room with other Hispanic children, that had no window and often got very, very cold or so hot, you felt you would melt. We didn't eat the same lunch. We didn't walk home together. We never saw each other in the hallways, and, when we did, we were not permitted to even look at each other.

    That year, the white boy did not come to the beach. He had other friends. They wanted to go to the park, or the city. We, the black boy and I, were too poor for the city. We went to the beach. Until that one fateful day, when he didn't come either. I heard he had gotten sick, and might die, but no one would let me see him. "Family and Friends only". Wasn't I a friend? I asked Mama, but she shook her head, and said she had no answer. That year, there were no more sunny beaches, and, though the sky was the same, and the water was the same, and the watermelons still came into season, nothing had the sparkle it had once had when we were children, running, running along the ocean blue, with the rough sand beneath our toes and red stains on our mouths. No happiness anymore.

    Now I'm all grown up and sometimes I sit and I remember, and I wonder, as I look out on that sandy beach and the sea beyond: If the sky is the sky, even if it has many colors, and the ocean is still the ocean, blue, green, or black; why can't people be people, regardless of their color? And when my little girl asks me the same question that I asked my mother so many times, I just smile, sit back in my seat, and remember the little white boy, the little black boy, and the little Hispanic girl. And I reply "Because, my child, that's the way it has always been, and, unless someone has the courage to stand up against it, that's the way it always will be
     
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  4. Owl

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    The Mystery Section

    The time slowed down as my eyes zoomed in on the blonde woman in the mystery section. The books flying in and out of the shelves, shoppers searching for answers, the nerdy book seller heading my direction; all of them became blurred and quiet as if the woman and I were the only people left. It was a sign, the world intentionally stopped spinning just so I could talk to her. I thought of something clever to say, but the words refused to come out of my mouth. Luckily, my desire to get to know her was stronger than my fear of rejection. I took the first step and suddenly my feet were on their own, leading me to her direction.

    Two feet away.

    My heart was beating faster than she could reach the book on the top shelf.

    One feet. I stopped.

    Anxiety sets in, but I was past the point of no return. I looked at the book she was trying to grab, but my attention could only focus on her. As she tiptoed up and down, her slim, golden figure in her floral-printed black dress reminded me of a sunflower dancing in the wind.

    Screw it, I thought, I kept walking and within half a second, I found myself standing next to her. I pulled the book out and handed it to her like a school boy handing a cookie to the new girl in class. She looked at me with her bubbly blue eyes, her wide open mouth wasn’t crescently curved into a smile.

    Just when I thought she was about to pull away, her eyes slanted and her red wine lips enunciated, “Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome!” I said. I didn’t know what to say next, so I ignored the unspoken awkwardness and rolled the dice, “Would you grab a coffee with me?”

    Before the dreaded thought of rejection overcame my senses, her answer came out in a simple ‘yes’. My heart exploded with joy and relief, but I remained calm and mimicked the face of an ancient Greek philosopher.

    This was five years ago, and it was a chance encounter at first, but it turned into our first date. Now that I think about it, five years is a long time. Many things happened in between; the places we’ve been to, all the people we met along the way, and the memories we’ve made, all of those became a part of the chapter of my life that doesn’t seem so long ago.

    We went to the café of the bookstore and found us a small round table, next to the big window overlooking the city. I spent half the time listening to her because everything she said sounded like music to my ears. The other half were pitiful attempts at humor to make our unexpected date less awkward than the way I had approached her. But she loved it. I know because we stayed until the blue sky turned dark, and the buildings flickered like fireflies. I know because she told me she had a good time and that she was looking forward to seeing me again.

    We met up a week later, this time we went to a bar.

    “Hi! Good to see you!” She said to me as she stepped out of her uber.

    “Thanks for coming! Good to see you, too!”

    Just like the first, our second was a success. Then came the third one, and needless to say, it was more successful than our previous dates because at the end of the night, we found ourselves lying in my bed; smiling at each other, separated only by comfortable silence.

    Our dates turned to overnight stays and midday brunches. Soon, we became almost inseparable, only leaving the other’s side whenever one of us had to tend to the nuisances of life. She met my friends, and I met hers. We moved on to the next level a year later, when I was about to embark on a cross-country journey to film a documentary.

    “I just lost my job.” She said. I could tell from the glossy, redness of her eyes that she had been crying.

    “Come with me.” I said, dropping everything I was carrying in the process.

    That was when we fell in love.

    After we finished our journey, we moved in together and planned out the rest of our lives. We bought furniture that we covered up with dorky pillows and colorful sheets. The rooms within our home were lit by appliances that reeked of modernity. We filled our fridge with healthy food and invited people over for dinner. For a long time, we were under the illusion of a perfect domestic life.

    And then the cracks in our walls begun to show. The little annoyances turned into arguments. Boredom, unhappiness and resentment overtook the comfortable silence that once separated us. Those could’ve been avoided if we just worked out our differences. But we didn’t. Eventually, the inevitable happened, and it was written on a piece of paper she left on the kitchen counter.

    I didn’t have the courage to read the letter, or maybe I just didn’t want to. I didn’t know what to say, and complaining about it on social media was out of the question. The shock and confusion I felt led me to where it all began, the mystery section.
     
  5. Tiger

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    The Finch



    As blue turned to black, it took a moment for their eyes to adjust enough to realize it wasn't the blackness of space that filled their vision, but another ship. Sadie screamed, and Conrad cursed at Frank, who swallowed hard and altered course to avoid the impossibly large vessel. Instead of staring at it through the window, Frank tapped furiously on his finch’s navigation interface. His father had taught him a technique while he was alive he called riding the bull, and he desperately tried to find him and his terrified passengers one to ride. As information populated his display, he prayed the new thrusters had no defects or bugs.

    A few agonizing moments later, Frank found what he was looking for. An area in open space where the energy was denser and violent. Pilots were taught to look for these concentrations of dark energy, so they could steer clear of them. Nav-systems were programmed to automatically plan routes around them, because many ships had been shredded to pieces by accidentally flying into one. Frank's father had been a crazy bastard, a trait he bestowed onto his son. At the tip of Frank’s ship was a cylinder that resembled a stub-nosed rifle barrel. Inside was an energy leash, most often used by the Defense Corps and other law enforcement to board and seize criminal ships. Frank planned to wrap it around the bull’s neck, and if done right, the dark energy would tear the leash apart and launch the ship past it.

    He’d never done it before, and knew it was dangerous. However, the smaller ships that had chased them off-world wouldn’t be far behind, and he doubted he had escaped the attention of the main force. A hand on his arm and a nod to the side window confirmed his fears as three medium-sized ships broke away from the moon-sized mother ship and angled toward them. Frank looked at his co-pilot, Sadie, who was quiet but terrified and he nodded to her. She closed her eyes and sat back into her seat. Frank looked to the pair of seats behind his, and his wife Maria fixed him with a weak smile. Frank’s display signalled his attention and informed him the bull was one-minute-thirty seconds away. For a few maddening moments, there was nothing for Frank to do except hope he was faster than his pursuers. He was not. As they fell in line behind him, he found they were gaining ground and he swore.

    Frank felt helpless. Flashing red around his display announced enemy fire, and he furiously moved the controls on the interface to make the finch-class ship dance without losing speed. Everyone in the ship watched as orange lines of energy blazed past them on all sides.

    Sixty seconds.

    Suddenly he realized there was something he could do. He hadn’t thought of it because it was unheard of for pilots unless their lives depended on it, and Frank could think of no time more appropriate. He pulled up a different interface from his display after evading another string of orange fire. A moment later, the finch lurched, and Frank heard multiple explosions. Speed increased by six, then eleven percent, lowering the distance on the display. Frank watched with elation as the enemies were out-paced. He’d dumped his entire fuel reserve directly into the brand-new thrusters, providing a boost of speed that would last a short time. They would be out of fuel, but Frank hoped it would be enough.

    Thirty seconds.

    “Frank!” Sadie pointed to the display.

    The red dots closed toward them at an alarming rate. Frank prepared the leash, which needed five to ten seconds to warm up, and opened its firing system and guidance. He wiped sweat from his brow and looked back at Maria.

    Twenty-five seconds.

    Red lights around the display announced another, closer barrage of fire. The finch was clipped, but without structural damage. There was one final crazy thing he could do, and the moment it came to him he immediately pulled the panel off his display. He ripped three cords out and mashed his hand on a set of buttons-- one for each thruster. All at once, an explosion and a tearing sound behind them propelled the finch forward. They were riding an empty shell of metal after that. The new thrusters, along with the engine had begun to cannibalize themselves, and the resulting explosion had pushed them. It could have meant vaporization had the hull ruptured, but Frank kept that to himself. He focused on the bull and his lasso.

    Five seconds.

    Frank steered slightly away from the bull and tapped his finger on the trigger waiting for his moment. He felt a tug as the finch slowed slightly, but he ignored it and fired into the darkness. As the lasso landed perfectly, Frank yelled in victory and turned around to see a barbed bolt impaling Maria through her abdomen from behind, connected by a tether. He realized too late what the earlier tug had been as the bull tore the leash apart and launched them forward. Frank watched helplessly as the woman he loved was ripped, seat and all, out the back of the finch. Automatic pressure systems engaged, preventing catastrophe, as their enemies disappeared behind them. Stars whizzed by, trailing light in Frank's vision as he stared in horror at the empty space where Maria had been.
     
  6. Krory

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    "Do you know what an 'eponym' is?"

    The sudden question caused Jack to stir slightly, sitting upright in her chair as she continued to stare, the red metal of her mechanical right hand scratching at the wood of the armrest. The smooth voice sounded uncharacteristic coming from what she saw. A blood red velvet robe draped loosely over pitch black shoulders, the smooth metal of his chest reflecting ancient fluorescent bulbs as they dulled and brightened periodically. The man's face looked fragmented, black metal replacing parts of his cheekbones and jaw to help sculpt the face, reflective black teeth behind the flesh of his lips that twisted into a crooked open-mouth grin. Wisps of white hair hung down to his shoulders barely covering his scalp, mirroring cobwebs dusting the corners of the dingy basement room.

    This was not the Ambrose Killian that appeared plastered over every inch of The Barrens, advertising pharmaceuticals and weapons and cybernetics.

    "An 'eponym', Jack. Do you know what it is?" Ambrose repeated.

    Her jaw clenched, still musing over the question as if it were some kind of trick. You didn't get to live very long if you don't automatically assume that everything is a trick. Yet she was out of her element, in an unfamiliar place and with someone she didn't wholly expect. Jack couldn't afford to be as openly flippant as she usually was. "No."

    Ambrose's smile widened as he rose from his high-back chair, the black walnut wood contrasting red velvet-lined cushions that matched his robe. She could see tubes and wires connecting into his wholly mechanical body, running off into gently whirring machines lit only by their own dim displays. No doubt to monitor vitals and making sure all of his parts remained working.

    "In Greek Mythology, the Trojan hero Hector killed the Greek Patroclus with a spear to his abdomen. Enraged at the death of his close friend, fellow Greek hero Achilles pursued Hector around the walls of Troy three times before finally felling him in battle."

    He carefully hobbled towards a cabinet next to his chair, opening it and removing two square glasses and a glass bottle. Pouring a dark brown liquid from the bottle into one glass and then the other, he continued.

    "An 'eponym' is when something - a place, an invention, or even a word - is named after an individual. In this case, we have the word 'hector,' in reference to our Trojan hero. It means to bully, or to bluster, per his treatment of Patroclus."

    The man turned to face Jack, shambling towards her with glasses in hand, handing one to her when in reach.

    "Our Greek hero does not fare much better. 'Achillize' means to chase, or to harass, for his pursuit and treatment, in turn, of Hector. Funny. These characters we know as heroes are memorialized in this way for their worst qualities."

    Jack hesitated a moment before taking the glass from him, retorting softly. "Says a lot about who we see as heroes."

    Ambrose cackled. "Perceptive! Yet what man is without his negative qualities? But we digress. My dear hero, I believe you have achillized the wrong man." He managed his way back to his chair, sitting with a heavy sigh. "Yes, I am Ambrose Killian and I was, indeed, once responsible for the actions of the Killian Corporation. Sadly, given my current state, that is not so much the fact anymore."

    "I can't imagine one would find you squatting in such a dump if you were," Jack agreed. As much as she hated to admit it, seeing the man in such a condition put a halt to all of her previous theories of him being responsible for everything - the set-up, the attack on Boggy White, and all of the death.

    Taking a sip from his glass, Ambrose leaned his weight back into the soft cushion of his chair, his smile unwavering. "The Hector you seek - the man who wears my face - is just as trite as you might suspect. My brother, one Abernathy Killian."

    An even more pretentious name than she could've imagined. "You're right. That is cliché."

    "And yet, no less true."

    Jack sighed, staring at the liquid in her glass as she gently swirled it around. "And what do you want me to do about it?"

    For the first time he seemed taken aback. His head curiously titled to the side as his one remaining eyebrow quirked. "Why... I would think that would be obvious."

    She knew she wouldn't need much convincing. After all, someone needed to pay for the hell she and her friends had been put through. And now she knew that the man before her, the one she'd been pursuing, isn't that someone. Jack weighed her options in contemplative silence before standing with a heavy sigh. "Well... you are wrong about one thing."

    "Oh?"

    Downing the contents of her glass, she set it down on the armrest. "To 'hector' references Hector's treatment of his brother, who he deemed soft and cowardly for wanting to avoid fighting and war. But you already knew that... didn't you, Paris?"

    Jack met his gaze one last time. Ambrose smiled knowingly as he slouched in his chair. She turned and walked away, leaving him to the muted monitor displays and flickering fluorescence.

    "Do watch your heel out there, dear."
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  7. Buskuv Retired Staff

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    Spoiler:

    statu nascendi

    Walking down that hallway I can hear the music flutter from around the corner. In this massive space the giant pylons and latticework of cat walks, the monstrous pipes and wires that coil and slither around the walls all greedily consume the sound as they continue up into a darkened space, notes helpless to their pull. For the brief time, however, they remain low enough for me to hear. The smile it forces to my lips still hurts.

    The little panel indifferently accepts my ID card. It makes minute noises, thinking. As it returns I notice how strikingly new it is, plastic sheen unmarred by use–the use that had worn down the previous one to the paper thin circuitry underneath, paint and plastic removed in minuscule layers over hundreds of uses. Hundreds of visits.

    The servos whine as the bolts detach and retract, the door beginning its opening cycle. Once open the final security check begins, the plethora of scanning equipment hovering around me as I enter the little hallway, DNA, retinal, facial recognition procedures and programs being computed as I casually glance around. The glass to the room itself is a one way mirror lining the left side; I know he can’t see me but he still waves with frantic enthusiasm five feet ahead of me to the nothing, but I always wave back. The soft beep signals I am who I am, opening the last gate.

    I’m immediately embraced. Forcefully enough to make me maladroitly correct myself before tumbling over.

    Minutes later he’s expounding to me: his day with the other staff members, the book I had gotten him, the pain in the back of his neck and his daily routines–or rather, how unbearably boring they were. I listened intently, as well as anyone could while unpacking the boxes I had brought for him: his favorite foods (broccoli and yams), a new sheet of music and various components for the forthcoming process to which he remained fully unaware.

    This one had taken an exceeding interest in the cello, and had developed a prodigious capacity for it in such a short time, constantly using the instrument in his spare time, playing for me every time I was around to hear. No two were the same; as human as any of us. Each had displayed a difference in personality, interest and hobbies without any real prompting from any of the others or myself; this one had a profoundly deft hand with the instrument, a kind of aching beauty to his playing and songwriting. I had made so many recordings, many of them fairly redundant since he knew only a few pieces and the ones he had written himself, but I recorded them all. For myself and for him. I tried to document everything I could for each one. I was largely the only person to interact with them daily, aside from the nurse who administered the tests during the day.

    They really only knew me.

    There was ultimately no reason for it. It had no bearing on any research, nor was of any use to the plant itself. In fact, quite a sum found the entire situation eerie and unpleasant, not wanting to reconcile the very human traits they all possessed. They were not human, after all. I am alone in this regard.

    Sapience was not intended. Nothing was really intended but this was the least intended, the least wanted, the most perplexing and the most upsetting. Their discovery was before my time, but the entire compound was built and designed around their existence, their potential. Their being is chaos, an energy and complexity I do not (and likely most do not) comprehend on even a layman’s level, only that their composition is a frightening, barely contained eruption of energy that, unchecked, would unleash a powerful, indiscriminate violence on everything around it.

    And that energy was excitedly looking to me after elucidating how carrots were his absolute least favorite food, and that his legs were too long for his clothing anymore.

    I don’t know if it’s cowardice, or selfishness. If it’s some kind of penance I’ve invoked to clear a conscience never in danger of ever clearing, something to slither a lie into my brain. I try to remember them all: their faces, their plights, their interests and dislikes, whether they hated me or not, what they did, how they did it, what they looked like and how they sounded, whether they ate fast or slow, whether brimming with energy or bound by laziness, whether they picked up curse words, played pranks, attacked me or the staff, understood what was happening to them. I record everything. Not even simply as testament to their best qualities, but the mundane and the ugly, the unpleasant and the amusing–for they are human and deserve their memories to be human. I will be the only one who remembers them, and when I am no longer they will be no longer, but for now they are remembered. Remembered as more than numbers and energy.

    The evening will draw to a close and he will be sedated, locked into the complex metallic canister and carted away to the loud, dark bowels of the building, disassembled at a molecular level in a spectacular fashion, feeding the receptors of the contraption. I understand it as much as the people being torn apart by it.

    I am not a hero to them, nor a saint. I do not deserve praise. I do a meager thing, the barest minimum of humanity; I offer what should be assumed, the attention and interaction every child deserves, if only for that briefest flicker of time, because it is all that I can do.

    I give them happiness and then remember that happiness.

    Because no one else will.

    And because it is the only reason I can continue.
     
  8. Nataly

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    Dreams Come True

    Spoiler:

    It has been clear to me that life in my home country with an undecided policy was not for me. My free spirit demanded a democratic country of inexhaustible opportunities. Undoubtedly, this country was the United States of America: free, independent, and developed. Moving to the United States of America has always been my goal. For me existing in Russia seemed to be like living in a prison with the frail walls that would be crashed sooner or later. Undeveloped educational system, people’s prejudiced attitude towards the others, and fear of action made the country I was born to be a totalitarian country in a vacuum.

    America is a big and multinational country where one can enjoy well-developed social security system and low level of unemployment, the diversity of climate and landscape, race and religion. Thanks to its economic growth, the USA indisputably attracts millions of immigrants. America demonstrates to everyone the niche he or she deserves. Furthermore, the USA is the country of individuals; and that is what I needed. It was my goal to go to America, the country of my dreams. The popularity of images of American life, unique states, ideal pictures from magazines that I collected and TV movies that I watched, sparkling cars, American pop culture, classical masterpieces of American cinematography including “Gone with the Wind”, people’s politeness, accessibility, charity, warmth towards foreigners, sincere smiles, hospitality, American erudition, … that is an exhaustive list of reasons I have been always choosing the United States as the country of my visions.

    The decision of leaving my country was not accidental. Since I was thirteen years old I had been going on about moving to America because my home country stopped growing economically and socially. There were no work positions, no promising prospects for the youth. I had been learning English for at least four years with Miss Alexandrovna, the tutor of foreign languages, who always inspired me to reach my goals. She convinced me to take a risk by leaving Russia because there was a completely different friendly world outside the vacuum. I always knew it and believed in her words.

    I started to realize that American life I have been dreaming about was my destiny when I got an opportunity to visit US. I thought I won the biggest lottery in my life. The large window to a new stage in my life was opened.

    I remembered that sunny, cloudless, and clear day when I had to get on a plane to the United States. I was sauntering at the airport and maintaining that I always considered my dreams to be real. Speaking frequently, I felt sorry for leaving my parent and close friends in Russia and going to uncertainty. There is no doubt that I could have followed my friends and relatives’ advice to stay, to graduate from the University, and to get a job as interpreter at the company as ordinary people do. To tell the truth, I have never chosen the easiest way. I have proved it to myself one more time by moving to the United States by myself without any support.
    The first sign that demonstrated me I was abroad was the amount of cars on the roads. I have seen the long flows of all kinds of cars from the window of the Chevrolet taking me from the JFK airport to Brooklyn, New York. The first American city I have been dreaming to visit was always New York. I have not experienced culture shock even though I found myself in another part of the world that was so far, so desirable, and so achievable now. I was standing not on the streets of a small American inner-city, but on shiny, elongated, overcrowded, and always busy streets of the city that never sleeps – New York City, the Big Apple. As soon as I saw crowds of people of all nationalities, skyscrapers that the sun was lighting up I have felt myself an integral part of a big family as my tutor mentioned once. I was walking on the Times Square and the Fifth Avenue where a great amount of movies was shot and a lot of important events in the history of New York and the whole country were held. I have never been to the ocean, but after visiting Brighton beach in Brooklyn I have seen the ocean and beaches that astonished me so much! I found myself in a real quite different impressive world that I have seen only in American movies. Visiting amusing New York City showed me a new world and changed my way of looking at things. Then everything was possible for me, the whole America was under my feet.

    In conclusion, my choice to leave my home country and to settle in the United States of America has brought me to a new world and has changed my way of thinking. Nowadays I am in the age when all the opportunities and ways are presented to me. In America I consider myself a human being who can realize herself in all the spheres. I always used to call Russia ‘past left overseas’ and America ‘prosperous future in a New land.’ I consider myself to be a significant part of this New World. I am very pleased that I have made this difficult decision that entirely influenced my life.






     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2019
  9. Raiden Moderator

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    Entry Submitted Anonymously

    Spoiler:


    “…happily ever after. The end.”

    Fantasy. Romance. Horror. Mystery.

    Tales of every genre could be found in the many parchments on display. Each carefully placed, almost reverently, in a specially crafted glass-top display table of its own.

    “Beep! Alert received. Daily quest list has now been renewed”

    Excellent. Just nice too, main event should be starting in 5 minutes, I thought.

    Mindful of the daily quest limit, I considered my options from the list available and slowly headed outside. Only to end up gawking at the sight before me.

    What was only a person or two barely 2 hours ago had now swelled into a massive crowd. The atmosphere itself was electric. Almost carnival-like. The din of sound both from the music being played from the speakers or of people futilely attempting to make themselves heard. The lampposts which were earlier switched off now emanating bright lights and illuminating its surrounding areas.

    At the centre of attention was the centrally placed and immense raised platform. Its only visible occupants being 2 thrones as well as flags and banners of every known region adorning its far sides. Even TD.A. could be seen hovering near the raised platform. No doubt, taking down notes and covering this event for one of his future segments.

    Wow. There must be special enchantments in place in the side room. I didn’t even hear or realize so much activity was going on outside. And now that I have noticed, even the lampposts seemed to have been strategically placed. If one were to specifically focus on each light’s trajectory, it always leads back to the raised platform. Curious and interesting.

    Bracing myself to join the jostling crowd, I set off.

    It was quite a mixed crowd. Participants who had joined the event. Some, out of curiosity for the eventual winners. Others, simply to revel in the festivities. Personally, I just couldn't wait for the ceremony to end and gain the 30k exp reward. Not a lot, but just enough to gain a new level.

    A new level. I wonder which other regions should I now explore. The OBD. Or maybe the Alley. They say there is an increased exp event currently ongoing, with a chance for a double exp gain. While there hasn't been an actual minimum recommended level requirement to explore the various regions, being prepared can never be bad. Wondrous may these regions be with their potential and rewards but lurking legends would surely be a far common sight there as well.

    Or maybe, which powers should I unlock if I do win points. Still, it’s only essentially borrowing for a month."Arrr!!!" I exclaimed as a sudden wind blew through my long hair.

    “I really should switch to one with a hair bun” I grumbled.

    “And why did the announcement ceremony have to take place on another stormy day? Gah!!!” If the mass of dark clouds and faint rumblings of thunder were any indication, a storm was indeed brewing. There were rumours that the organizer, alluding to his name, has an affinity with the elements of thunder and lightning. Or, maybe simply for theatrics.

    My tirade came to a halt when the lights and the music were inexplicably cut off. Chatter which was barely audible before came to the fore. That too came to a swift end. Some, from having realized that the music had stopped and their conversations were being picked on by unwanted parties. Others, after being nudged by their more polite neighbours.

    Silence, made more eerie by the darkening skies.

    “BOOM!” “BUZZ!”

    “BOOM!!” “BUZZ!!”

    “BOOM!!!””BUZZ!!!”

    The beating of drums and blaring of trumpets continued by the group of musicians which had appeared on stage. Slow, purposeful, dramatic even. A sense of intensity both from the expectations of things to come as well as the stormy weather gradually peaked.

    A sudden flash of lightning lit up the area followed by a thunderous roar, louder than anything heard so far that day.

    "KERBOOM!!!!!"

    A huge ball of light slowly descended from the skies towards the platform. As it reached the thrones, the ball of light expanded, engulfing the entire platform. A second flash and it dissipated into thousands of tennis sized balls of light. Balls which arranged itself into letters, before forming into the words of every tale stored in the room.

    As if on cue, the crowd broke into applause.

    Yep, definitely theatrical. Beautiful though, I thought, watching them glowing like projections in the night sky, the brewing storm from before having mysteriously died down.

    Amidst the shine of the lamplights which had now turned back on, 2 figures could be seen seated upon the thrones.

    One, a tall and silver haired masked man. Strangely enough, tiny sparks of energy and light trails could be seen flickering about him. Raiden.

    The other, a small snowman-like figure radiating feelings of cuteness and love. Repbot. Despite its diminutive figure though, there was no mistaking its immense power and aura which was currently restrained.

    After what seemed like hours under his piercing gaze, Raiden stood up, clearly about to say something. The applause died down as everyone looked on with bated breath.

    This is it, level up time, I thought.

    Nooooo, exuberance turned to shock as I was swallowed by a sudden darkness.

    Noooo!!!!!”

    "YES! About time too…wait say what!?"

    "Er???"

    "Eeh!!!"

    “Grandpa, is that it???”

    A murmur of shocked agreement went around the room.

    I smiled.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  10. Spoiler: 3.35

    She is moon eyed and breathless. Her eyelashes flicker. She opens hers eyes in hopes to the see light.
    But the sun doesn't come.
    The sun never comes.

    Thunder crackles within her bones and taunts her while she shakes violently. There is an ocean of grief inside of her. Calmly, slowly. One day she hopes it will leak out of her rib cage onto the crisp, rigid concrete. Concrete that feels like iron against her fragile flesh.

    Light footsteps scraping against the floor approach gradually. Her trepidation is palpable, cascading throughout her brittle, tiny body. The sound of a key clicks and his hands are against the metal bars. She does not look her captor in the eye.

    "Come." He says.

    He opens the cell. He examines her matted hair and the dirt on her skin and the bruises all over her legs and arms, passionless. She is a skeleton.

    But she obeys, beyond sickly. He notices this and approaches her. She winces. Her breathing speeds up. Before she can utter a word, he pricks her up and carries her out of the blackness.

    The first thing she sees are blurry lights as he holds her in his arms.

    It is night and the humming of cicadas greet her warmly.

    He sets her down gingerly and opens up the trunk to his car. She does not make a sound. The wind blows and the trees sing around them. She closes her eyes, and she is lifted into the trunk.

    Darkness.

    She does not make a sound as she listens to the car drag across the gravel. It seems like an eternity in there until the car abruptly stops.

    She hears footsteps she is all too familiar with, and the trunk pops open revealing the egg yolk sun and radiant blue sky. She squints. It is the prettiest thing she has seen in a long time.

    She is face to face with him now. She blinks, bewildered. His eyes taunt her.

    "Get out."

    They are in the middle of a bare, verdant field. The grass blows softly in the air.

    She realizes at this very moment she is free now.
     
  11. Dr. White

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    Spoiler:
    There are monsters in this world…


    October 19th

    How was school? I said with a coy smile stretched across my lips already knowing the response which would be given.

    Good Dad. She spat out reactively with the expression of an automatron.

    Well I’m glad to hear that money I work so hard for is going to good use! I exclaimed as I pounced on her with a vice grip of a hug.

    Laurel pushed away from me like a cat trying to escape an overly affectionate owner but only after accepting the first few seconds of the hug begrudgingly.

    Before she entered the messy chamber that she called “Her room” I felt it necessary to remind her of her chores. Remember flowerchild I expect that room to be sparkling enough that I can charge the neighbors for a lightshow before you head off to your retreat.

    Ugghh, I know dad. This is only the 15th time you’ve reminded me this week.

    Weird how it still looks like a marauded campsite then huh? I said bringing back that enormous smile I couldn’t help but sport when bantering with her.

    Laurel was a senior at her private catholic high school. Every year the seniors would embark on a spiritual retreat with a select few teachers and the campus ministry up in Bethel woods. It was an exercise to bring them closer to the faith and each other before being thrust out into college or the real world. Laurel had gone to summer camp before but as a younger child, so while familiar with the feeling of her being away at some distant location, her being a young adult this time had left me a bit anxious. Luckily my wife-

    *Slam*

    Uh oh. I thought to myself. Time to switch modes.

    Hey honey- I paused and read the seething flames exuding from my wife’s brimstone face. What happened this time? I calmly murmured as I approached for a hug, though very carefully.

    The fucking kids! I swear every time there is a four-day weekend they get all riled up and just channel their truest inner assholes! I couldn’t even get on of my classes to focus enough to complete lecture, and their midterms are in a week. It was all chatter about the damn retreat!

    Try and relax honey, you know how kids can be when they have a social event coming up. Let alone one that gives them the freedom from their everyday lives and allows them to hang out at some beautiful cabin.

    I know, I know. Doesn’t mean I don’t get to bitch about it a little. She said slowly cracking her own smile as she ever so minutely began to calm down.

    I left the list of tings I need you to do while we’re gone. I expect them to be finished by the time I bring Laurel back or pig won’t be the only thing I’ve spitted this weekend.

    Done and done mam. Just make sure one of your kids doesn’t end up with that pig. I kissed her on the forehead and went about my day, this would be one of my final “happy” moments with my family.

    October 21st

    I had meticulously endeavored all weekend to make sure my wife’s checklist was completed, and even made Laurel’s favorite dinner so she wouldn’t be too disappointed at having to come home to her dad after a weekend with close friends. I could hear the SUV rearing into the driveway and awaited at the door with a fools’ smile on my face.

    *Creak*

    I immediately saw it. Something different in her glimmer. Laurel couldn’t even look at me.

    Honey? I asked as I meandered up to her. She blew right by me without a word and raced up to her room.

    My eyes shifted gears with the pace of one hundred sprinters onto my wife and I could also see it in my wife. Empty windowpanes leading into her demeanor that belied an enormous hurt.

    We need to talk Michael. She said as salt pools washed over the hardwood floors.


    No parent is ever prepared for the devastation of their child. We take every step necessary to protect them from the evils of this life, raise them to be aware of the dangers, and promise them protection. But dwelling deep in our consciousness is the harrowing understanding that so much is left out of our control. The first time you hear the news you go numb. Like falling into snow and feeling the heat being slowly sapped from your body. It’s then you realize that you can’t be numb. Your child needs you to be strong; needs you to be comforting; your child needs you.


    The next couple of weeks were filled with volatile emotions, trips to the police station and several counselors. All those visits seemed to flood time, even dilate it. News had gotten out about Mr. Keating and his predatory behaviors involving bringing alcohol to the camp. How he had built up a small group of young women, no, innocent children still maneuvering through their hormones and the stresses of high school life. His trial was set immediately as the evidence was overwhelming. As if the trauma Laurel experienced wasn’t enough she was set to testify against him along with two of her friends. That wait was horrendous and the anticipation drove her to attempted suicide. The 2nd strike at my heart in under a month but not the last.


    November 15th

    Me and Marie’s relationship has been strained. We spent so much time being there for Laurel through her struggles that no time or effort was left for us to be there for each other. Nights were reduced to strictly sleep with no communication as if we were strangers stationed at the same cot. Any communication we did have was clerical: Who can take her to this appointment? Or Don’t worry you sleep this time, I’ll go comfort her from the nightmares.


    A week before Keating’s trial, I had gotten home from work early. Laurel was staying with my parents and the extended family as we thought a change of scenery and some time with loved ones would give her a jolt of happiness, or at least a distraction from things. I stalked like a housecat figuring she was taking one of her trademark post school naps. My plan was to clean the house and make her alfredo while she slumbered. A good ole husbandry trick I had learned whilst in the doghouse that I knew might rekindle some sort of flame for us. I heard her voice from the study.

    Yes, I’ll accept.

    Hello. How is it in there?

    I miss you too. Her voice cracked as tears welled up.

    That doesn’t mean I forgive you. No! You knew I was fine with the other girls. Hell they hampered on you even before that night! They meant nothing…But Laurel, no Daniel. How could you?

    She reminded you of me? Well you had me! Because I was with Michael, I understood why you took those girls. Always flirting with you and being little sluts! But this was my daughter. She began sobbing.

    I don’t know how but I believe you…and somehow, I still love you too. I did what you asked against my own heart and best judgment. She won’t be testifying. That’s all I can do for you at this point. Goodbye Daniel.


    A great wave flushed over me. Darkness eclipsing years of love; a volume of hate that made my torso clench and my blood rush like an endless torrent. I couldn't register words in my thoughts, just imagery. Explicit, violent, and primal. My hand reached for the iron laid ever so conveniently to my left as I sat heating in the dining room. But one thought came into my psyche that cooled down the torrent. It immediately chilled the eruption that was my heart and cleared my head of all prior base animal instincts. This was thought. Meditation. It made sense. It would be more satisfying, and the payoff was riper. It was the 3rd strike against my heart, and I knew I was out.


    December 24th

    It’s Christmas and the time of year when we can send gifts and letters to our loved one. I figured I’d continue with my diary since I was in a writing mood after finishing my letter to Laurel. I’ve grown accustomed to this life now. Everything is give and take. 10 dollars on your books for a lookout during showers. A pack of smokes for pens that function and don’t end up going blank after you finish your first sentence. I never complained because I couldn’t. The guilt I felt was for too strong. Not for what I did to them. No, the judge could throw all his logic at me explaining what I did was wrong, but that didn’t mean shit to me. The image of both of them breathing rapidly as their chests convulsed for air and the plasma puddled on the floor like an old truck leaking across the highway would always be a welcome playback in my mind. Watching her face as I fired into him on the stand before turning around with a grin to take aim at her next. That was the first time I had felt good since his crime, and I relished in it. The only thing I regretted was giving into my nature and leaving her. My parents were great sure, but I didn’t consider her feelings. How she would feel about losing two parents. I don’t know where she got it from, but she really turned everything around. 3.2 in college, and an internship for a budding private practice all lined up. She talks to me now and then, which is more than I could ever ask for, and certainly more than I deserve.

    There are monsters in this world…I know now because I am one of them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  12. JoJo

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    It was a warm Tuesday afternoon and JoJo logs into NF. He clicks on link in the NF notice bar by mistake (the very first mistake he has ever committed in his life). It brings him to the KCC Short Story Contest. He looks around and sees Krory's story and reads the first paragraph.

    The first thoughts that come to his mind are "Wow. This is fucking shit. Just absolute fucking garbage."

    He then clicks the transparent grey arrow to the right to scroll himself up to the top of NF. After it is clicked, the page quickly shoots up to the top, and as it did that he glanced at Owl's stiry for a microsecond. He is also fully capable of reading Owl's story within half of that microsecond because JoJo has an IQ of approximately 568.

    It is with this high IQ that he is able to accurately assess that Owl's story is even more shit than Krory's.

    He then sits and thinks aloud, "How can someone write some that's even more fucking shit than fuckin' Krory?"

    One of the three 10/10 naked Brazilian girls on his bed answers, "Well Fadi, as you know, Owl is a bigger idiot than Krory. So it shouldn't be that surprising."
     
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  13. MSAL

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    Hope I can still enter!


    Spoiler: What do you do next?
    You wake up to a loud crash coming from downstairs. The room is shaded in darkness and it takes you some time to gain your bearings. You push your legs out of bed and sit there for a few seconds before spurring your tired body out of bed.

    You open the door slowly, peeking through the crack. Your eyes have now adjusted but the path ahead lies bathed in modulating shadows. You take a long, deep breath before you venture outside your room. The house stays completely silent as you move across the landing, and you are careful not to exhale too much oxygen, your heart beating faster with each pace your take. As you reach the top of the stair landing, the pressure of your careful footstep releases a deep creaking sound. The sound echoes loudly throughout the floor and your body immediately seizes, beads of sweat now forming across your forehead. You wait until the noise fades before you focus your vision downstairs. Complete darkness awaits you. After taking one last look back at the sanctity of your room and the upstairs, you begin your slow descent. Badump!

    Each step you take down the stairs is slow and lingering, and you lean into the familiar hardness of the wall, easing your passage in the unknown. Reaching the middle step, a loud creaking sound screams into your ears. Your mind and body seizes for a second time as you try to pinpoint where the sound emanated from. Was it from behind you? Was it front of you? Was it from the step you just reached? You can’t tell. The only acoustics you can now hear are from your rapidly pumping heart, Badump! Badump! And the driving wind outside. After what seems like eternity, you end the stalemate and slowly move away from no man’s land.

    Your body disappears into the darkness as you reach the bottom of the steps. You stand on something sharp, and lose your footing, the falling equilibrium sending you careening into the wall ahead. You release your pent up breath, gasping. Your heart beats heavier than usual, a number of times quicker; Badump! Badump! Badump! Badump! Your eyes peer up to the top of the landing, and your vision momentarily cuts through the darkness to see what you think is a slim silhouette. You keep staring. When you blink, the silhouette disappears. Mind tricks? You stand up straight and brush yourself down. The noise that woke you up is no longer audible, but you proceed with caution.

    “Hello?!” you yell in a tentative whisper. You reach the kitchen, unchecked, and you reach for the light, switching it on. Your eyes briefly withdraw, as they adjust to the new obstruction. When you can see clearly, you see nothing at first, but on closer inspection, you notice the back door is slightly ajar. You shut the door and begin to lock it. Then… you hear footsteps behind you. You live alone. The only question that runs through your mind is what do you do next?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2019
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