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Poll

"Halloween" Horror Special 2016: Choose One!

Part 1: A Thing I Do Not Know
- 0 (0%)
Part 2: The Tree of Tears
- 1 (33.3%)
Part 3: The Tusked Mask
- 1 (33.3%)
Undecided
- 1 (33.3%)
i hate all of them
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3


Pages: 1 2 3 [4]

Author Topic: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories  (Read 10373 times)

BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2017, 06:10:13 AM »

I like the story! Slightly confused as to why it's a Halloween special in February, but I'll take it!
As I said in my previous posts, the original plan for Halloween Horror Special 2016 was scrapped because I was putting most of my efforts into writing The Tusked Mask/A Thing I Do Not Know. So, I figured that, because The Tusked Mask was definitely finished before October, A Thing I Do Not Know was started in October (I wrote the first part of it for shadowkirby's TWG; lol), and The Tree of Tears was written in November. Plus, all of them are generally spooky/depressing in some way which fits the overarching theme anyway.

Quote
Did you have any specific reason for the names? They seemed rather unusual.
Out-of-universe justification is that it's science fiction and it just kinda sounds right. Also, I'm bad at thinking up normal names. :P I knew I wanted the protagonist to be named "Neet," but I just randomly gave him a weird surname as well.

In-universe justification is that humans have been out of the Milky Way galaxy for at least a thousand years and come into contact with a number of other species, and the vocabulary of the English language has inevitably changed to reflect that (the name "Sakar Obelith" is supposed to be words from an alien language that entered common usage in its romanized form). This is a setting I'm particularly interested in (so if it seems like I have a lot of little plot details mapped out behind the scenes, I probably do :P), which is why I feel super excited to write stories like this and I Knew A Man that offer little slices out of it from the perspective of ordinary characters.
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BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2017, 05:21:17 PM »

The Man Who Left Our Earth

     Tobias Matthews slogged down the streets, looking around himself in fear and filled with despair. As he continued his walk, he was met with hostile, uninviting glances from all those around him. His awful, arduous days at work were bad enough, but each and every day, to be surrounded with such a level of disdain from people he didn’t even know? He thought he wasn’t too bad of a person—he just wanted to live his life and, maybe, if he could, help a fellow person out—but when he went out into the world at large he felt like an outcast and a monster. He was unwanted, unneeded, unloved, and completely, entirely alone in a world where he could not trust and where the truth was but a phantasm to his prying, desperate grasp.

     Shaking, he opened the door to his apartment. The walk back from work had drained so much from him. He slammed the door and bolted it closed. He collapsed on his sofa, the strain finally overcoming him: tears streaming from his eyes, he grasped the cushions as inanimate objects of support. After some time, he lumbered off the couch and into the bathroom. He opened the medicine cabinet and locked his eyes on the bottle of dwindling antidepressants. A muffled cry gurgled from his throat as he clutched the bottle and downed all of its contents. He skimmed the cabinet for more, and finding an older prescription of something else, hastily downed all of it too. He quickly began to feel queasy and in pain. As he collapsed to the ground, he let out a scream of agony. He reached his hand up to grab onto the sink, but to no avail: he was quickly fading. He pleaded to the heavens above.

     “Please, please God… do something… save me…”

     Then he lost consciousness.
 
********************

     In a fuzzy recollection of the past, visions of his childhood entered his mind. From a young age, he was an orphan; it was not until age eight that he was adopted. His life before that time was far from pleasant, yet his life after that point was not ideal either. He could think of a million things that had scarred him, messed him up, or otherwise simply broken him throughout his years; maybe it was his fault for not being able to cope with any of it? After all, though he could not control his circumstances, he could control how he responded to them… couldn’t he? His life now, in the present… nothing good could be said of it either. A dead end life at a dead end job, and… it was just a whole mess, wasn’t it? Everything about it was. Both his adoptive parents had died years ago, and nobody else even wanted to deal with him, so he had spent almost the last decade of his life trudging through the heap of muck his entire life had built up to. But maybe there was more he could do if he really wanted. He could devote his life to helping people. Even if he wasn’t appreciated, what would it matter if he knew he was doing good? Isn’t that what it’s all about, really? Doing good?

********************

     And then, he was awake. Gasping for breath, awake. Blood gently dribbled from his mouth and ears. He felt very ill and unsettled. He tried to stand up once more, and with effort, he managed to get up. He inched his way back out, but by the time he had reached the table, it became more and more difficult for him to remain standing. He struggled toward the sofa and collapsed once more.

     And then, again, he was awake. But now, he felt better. Felt a little… different, even. Outside, it looked like it was early morning. He didn’t know what else to do, so he decided to get ready for work once more, like he did every day.

     The day at the office started like any other. As his walk to work ended, he felt the sun’s rays burning down on him, the miserable heat of the summer at its peak. For once, he couldn’t wait to get inside. Once he left the elevator up to the floor where he worked, he passed his boss.

     “How are you doing today, sir?” Tobias asked rather quaintly.

     “Mediocre.” His boss continued to walk onwards.

     Tobias was somewhat surprised. His boss usually refused to speak with him—or many of the other workers on the floor, for that matter—even declining to answer a simple greeting. But today, something was different. Tobias shuffled over to his cubicle. After a few minutes, he still could not concentrate, his mind so focused on both last night’s events and the events this morning. He peeked over the wall of his cubicle to look at his coworker.

     “George… do you think there’s anything different going on around here lately? Like, maybe something strange with the boss?”

     “No to both those questions,” George answered bluntly.

     Tobias lowered himself back into his chair. Another thought popped into his head, and he got up once more.

     “George? Do you like me at all? Like as a friend? As a coworker?”

     “I don’t care much for you or your existence, to be honest. I’d rather you leave me alone right now.”

     Tobias sunk down, part baffled and part ecstatic. Something was different, after all, and he had a pretty good idea what it was. He rose suddenly and made his way to his boss’s office. The door was ajar, and he walked right in.

     “Do… do you think I deserve a raise?” he questioned his boss.

     “Of course you do. Ya work like a slave.”

     “But… but will you give me a raise?” he inquired once more.

     “Of course not. Everyone around these parts knows how stingy I am.” Then, after a moment of awkward silence, his boss recoiled somewhat, as if it had just dawned on him what he had just said. “Just… go. Get back to work.” He shook his head as Tobias left, as if emerging from a trance.
 
********************

     That night was different. Tobias lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, contemplating this apparent newfound power. If it really was true, like he thought it was, the implications were profound: now, for once in his life, he could be certain of at least one thing. Even if the things he heard from now on—the opinions about himself, especially—were not positive or soothing in any way, simply knowing that he could learn the infallible truth was somewhat of a comfort to him. The power of this, he contemplated, could even reach far outside his own self; it could, potentially, be used as a tool of ultimate accountability. Yes, perhaps that was what he’d use it for—maybe even what he was meant to use it for. For once in his life, Tobias felt as if he had a place in the world and a purpose in life.

     The next morning, instead of going to work, Tobias set out on a journey. Along the way, he used his mysterious new ability to connect with strangers of all walks of life and to solve any conflicts he came upon; he found that, sometimes, establishing trust and openness between two people was often the best way to make people see that they might not be too different after all. He traveled for many days and met many people until he reached Washington D.C. This was his destination, and he imagined that it would quickly become the focal point of his mission. Though he was finally beginning to run out of money, he supposed that once he made his move, he would have little trouble gaining support one way or another. His first act would be a bold one that would doubtlessly receive a lot of attention.

     He spent many minutes walking and scanning the area. At last, from a distance, he spotted a man with greying hair and a neat trimmed beard, a man he recognized from many a televised speech. As he approached him, he began to shout.

     “Congressman Steward!” The man turned his head to look at Tobias as he approached, “I’m a constituent of yours, and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.”

     The man, though visibly annoyed, nodded and let out a gruff noise that vaguely resembled a “yes” in compliance.

     “People say that in recent years you haven’t had the interests of the state nor its people in mind. Is it true that you’ve been screwing over your constituents for almost the last decade of your political career?”

     Something snapped in the congressman, as if a switch inside his head had been suddenly flicked on, and he began his tirade, loud and clear for all around him to hear, “Well, yes, of course that’s true. You know all of what I have to gain from it. What people don’t realize, however, is that I’ve been in it for personal gain from the very beginning. Let me make that very clear.”

     Tobias’s face twisted into a mischievous grin. People around them had already stopped in shock and began pulling out their phones to record as the congressman’s impromptu speech continued on.

     “Well, no sir, I’m not quite sure I do know just what you have to gain from your self-interested behavior. Would you care to elaborate on the extent of your malicious actions?” Tobias prodded, hoping to dig even deeper into the web of deceit.

     The congressman continued, on and on, question after question. He could do nothing but be painfully honest. No lie, no transgression would be left untold. From now on, things would be different for everybody, starting here.
 
********************

     To say that a purge had begun was an understatement. Footage of the events that had transpired between Tobias and Congressman Steward flooded the internet and seized every media outlet in a way that seemed almost without end. People across the country and even around the world wondered who this mystery man was, and were simultaneously in a fierce, fiery uproar at what has escaped from the congressman’s lips. When Tobias tried the same thing again, he was almost arrested; yet, the officers suddenly let him go when, confronted by Tobias, they all agreed that they had no moral or even logical grounds upon which to arrest him and that he was “probably” doing the right thing. He quickly became a well-known and well-loved face in the area, as well as an overnight celebrity throughout the nation.

     Politicians everywhere feared that he would come for them and force them to expose their darkest secrets and unravel the lies they had spun in order to both keep themselves in power and take full advantage of the “benefits” of their positions. And indeed, that’s just what Tobias intended to do. Eventually, a protest formed outside the U.S. Capitol building. “Let Tobias in,” they cried, day after day. People from every state continued to pour in to express support for the man from which no truth could be hidden. At long last, and with much reluctance from the opposition, they got their way.

     And so the burning interrogation began. One by one, they began to fold under an onslaught of both their own naked words that betrayed them, revealing the ugly truths they sought to conceal, and a torrent of scathing criticism from the outside, a world looking upon them in disgust tinted with an unfortunate but inevitable dose of hypocrisy. At last, the true enemy would show itself, dragged from the darkness in which it lay. At last, they had nowhere to hide—no veil with which to mask the ugliness underneath, the horrid selfishness and secret lust for power with drove them; a lust for control.

     Only a few escaped with their reputations wholly intact, alongside a handful more who were deemed to be not quite as bad as the rest. Upon their exit, the majority were met with screaming mobs full of hatred at the numerous and nigh uncountable transgressions, political, personal, or otherwise, divided between so many people, that had been allowed to be committed for years; so many long years had passed without justice and truth reigning supreme as it should, but here, now, things could be different for once. In so many days, there were so many deposed so ungracefully. Like an unstoppable wave towering tall enough to block the very sun, this movement spread and consumed. In many places, violence erupted on unimaginable levels, but in others, more peaceful transitions awaited.

     And at the front of this movement was one man. For a time, Tobias was happy and wholeheartedly proud of himself. Raised on a pedestal, to all those around him he became the paragon of all virtue itself, a champion of justice and truth, and the beacon to a better future. All those who sought to lead nations would no longer be held accountable simply by a fallible system and judged by their own unreliable words. Now, each and every one of them had a very real threat dangling over their heads. For once, faced with the fear of legions of burning eyes and bloodthirsty mouths of the people of the world, the people with power did, time after time, the right thing. There would be no more deception. No more exploitation of the masses for the sake of greed. The era of hoodwinking, it seemed, was truly coming to an end. For once, each and every one was pushed to, as the saying goes, plant trees of whose shade they would never see in their lifetimes; to do what was in the best interest of not just themselves, but of as many people as they could reach with their influence.

     But this man, he was but one man, and a man still. Even after everything he had done, everything that had been accomplished, he still felt empty. Though he had a purpose—a place that he always desired in the world that had once rejected him—though he had truly made a difference, though he thought he was motivated by the good and his heart and his desire to make the world a better place… even though from now on, he would live his life free from fear or from physical want… he still felt… awful. Even as many more years passed, and his powers were called upon less and less frequently, but being just as revered regardless, he did not feel any better, nor any worse. Once more, he was stuck in a rut, a void of isolation and of sheer, inexplicable terror.

     So, on the evening of December twenty-first, Tobias Matthews looked in the mirror. Tears streamed from his eyes. He looked at his reflection, and opened his mouth to speak.
 
********************

     On the morning of December twenty-second, Tobias Matthews was found dead in his apartment. Though foul play was initially suspected, the cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his temple. His body lie in front of a mirror. For ages after, people questioned what would cause him to do such a terrible thing to himself. But truly, it was not quite a surprising thing, you see: everyone Tobias Matthews ever spoke to always told the truth, for better or for worse.

THE END
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