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MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives

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++ ENTRY THREAD ++


DO NOT DISCUSS THE CONTEST IN THIS THREAD. ALL QUESTIONS, CONCERNS AND COMMENTS GO IN THE DISCUSSION THREAD 


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Welcome to June 2019's Monthly Writing Contest: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - MWC19 - Mixed Perspectives - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The May competition is still up and running until June 10th 2019: Midnight EST. Please check it out for a chance to work with a team to get your submission animated.


  • THEME:


Create a short story of any theme and then tell the same story from another person's perspective. I'll leave it pretty open, but it could be something like a conversation between two people where we get to see inside the head of each person individually or something more like Leon and Claire in Resident Evil where different events happen, but have influence on each other.


To make things clear I'm really looking for 2 short stories. The word count has been cut in down from the usual limit. The word count restrictions are per story, so you can have 2 x 2,500 word stories. Instead of thinking of the lower word count restrictions as a handicap, think of them as a challenge to tell the complete story over two perspectives.


I may be in a place financially to start paying out some prize money for next year. It wouldn't be a ton of money, but it may help bring more writers in.


  • RESTRICTIONS:


  1. Word Count Minimum: 500 (per story)
  2. Word Count Maximum: 2,500 (per story)
  3. You must have 2 stories.
  4. The stories must be about a different perspective of the same scenario or situation.
  5. Story must be submitted by the deadline below


  • Deadline:


July 4th 2019: Midnight EST


  • Prizes:


1st Place: Supporter Status

2nd Place: Supporter Status

3rd Place: Supporter Status


  • SUBMITTING


  1. Post your stories in this thread.
  2. Do not post revisions in this thread. They will be deleted.
  3. Only submit stories that you've written for this competition. I don't want stories that you've written in the past. The point is to write something new and to challenge yourself. If your story shows up as plagiarized (aka, found anywhere else on the internet, even if written by you) it will be disqualified.


  • Judges:


  1. Fro
  2. Anyone else want to judge this round with me?

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-06-23 23:41:52


 

Nature

(1st Story)

In a city wherein every creature lived by a particular set of rules, a group of cats made a home in one of the dark alleys between the rotting buildings. A human passerby could never find the felines in this area, nor would they even figure to care. To them, it is just normal to have creatures that are of the same breed as lions walk alongside them, whether as companions that curl and toil inside their living spaces, or as strangers that would have to suffer through a wild, indistinguishable food web that could only be present in a metropolis such as this. The latter is what I would describe the present conditions of our fellow animals, and their luck hasn't changed since the mothers of their grandmothers established a home in this murky environment.

Everyday, they had to live in the filth of the groomed apes, and although the stench is unbearable, their noses only got used to it as time went on. Because of their ability to tolerate the garbage that sat among them, they were able to use the trash bins as permanent homes and, if they were lucky enough to find a black sack that wasn't punctured beforehand, as a bed to rest for the night.

Alongside the filth was the darkness that consume them every night, and even if there is the presence of the occasional street light, the darkness only made their eyes adapt to what they consider now to be a “regular night.” Because of their ability to tolerate the darkness that sat among them, nyctophobia was no longer a weakness to them and instead a tool to be used when hunting down sewer rats and brown roaches for easy consumption.

Dogs sometimes roam the area, and for some reason a threat to their pack. One of the cats, who was named Lacey, thought that they were an interesting encounter.

They haven't eaten a single cat

They haven't needed a single cat

They haven't named personal grudges with a single cat.

Yet, for some reason, they beat them down like the wolves that exist in their line of ancestry. They chase, they claw, and they abuse the livelihood of every single cat, and for what, thought Lacey. It doesn't make sense, yet it is considered a normal part of a dog's nature to hate cats, and it is a normal part of a cat's nature to hate dogs.

Lacey once questioned the logic of this relationship between creatures with the other cats in the alley. The ones with white fur does not look that white anymore, and the ones with black fur looked white in some regions of their body. It was an ugly sight to meet them, yet Lacey pursued with her question. “It is just in our nature.” said one of the white. “You are not a cat if you don't run away from a dog. It is just like the humans. They chase us down and lock us up in cages. We did not ask for this and it isn't moral, yet they... we... still pursue because that is what the web is designed for.”

“But we know that its immoral, right?” asked Lacey. “Why couldn't we just change the way we live. Why couldn't we talk with the dogs and make a change?”

“Because changing one's nature isn't easy.” said another with dark fur. “We live by how we are designed in order to survive, Lacey. If you want something to be done, it would require rewriting the entire web that encompasses every creature that lives in the city.”

“So let's do that right now. Let us start by talking with one the dogs.”

“They live by their own rules, young kitten. Cats and Dogs are not the only two sides that battle against one another.”

The argument lasted for an entire day and had ended at one point in the evening. Lacey couldn't come into terms with the cats, and she knew that she was defeated nonverbally; Her nature made her unaware of the darkness that consumed her as she talked.


It wasn't that long ago when the dogs had attacked their alley, so it didn't come as a surprise when the barks that terrified them since they were kittens echoed through the night. It's those devils again, thought Claws, a cat that once met face-to-face with one of them.

“So what did you do when you met them?” asked Lacey.

Claws got out of his thought-provoking state. He remembered that he was having a chat with Lacey. “Oh, yes. The dogs call him Blue, which is funny because that is what he felt when I fought him at that day.”

“Were they ever friendly?”

“Friendly? Oh no. Cats don't lie when they say that the dogs are violent beasts. At that day, though, I knew of the unsatisfying truth. But that didn't back me down. I used my claws to scratch one of the faces that suppressed us from the peace and quiet that we deserve.”

“But I heard that you were beaten down at that day.”

“Well, its the long-lasting effect that mattered. After the attack that I've initiated, none of the dogs from Crowling Street had ever came back.” Claws said. “Look, Lacey. You shouldn't judge such a heroic act based on what your little eyes could percieve. You must look at the effect that it has given. Because of me, fewer dogs have been hostile on us.”

“Really? It doesn't seem that way...”

“Look. All I'm saying is that while resolving this whole dog-cat war is hard, it ain't impossible. Sometimes, you just need to take small steps.”

He looked at the cats from the view on top of the metal fence. “I just wish that the others would take that step.”

Claws leaped his way out to one side of the barrier and landed on a fire escape constructed next to one side of a brick building. Cats had meowed from the rooftops, told them to hurry up because the intruders are about to come. “Come on, Lacey. There's no use making peace when everyone else is running away.”

The cat didn't follow. Instead, she jumped towards the concrete below and dashed head on. The other cat panicked. He started leaping from ledge to ledge, window sill to window sill, window sill to ledge, hoping to catch up to Lacey without attracting the dog's attention.

“What are you doing?” shouted the ex-hero from behind. Lacey didn't answer, lost in the thought that something was about to change, but there is a risk. Nonetheless, she has faith that there is hope out there, and even if it fails, it might get the others to do the same.

She turned around a corner. It was an intersection that consists of the present alley and a desolate street that crossed one another at an acute angle. The sounds came from that road, and indeed, she saw what was to be expected. Four dogs, no cats, low chance; the chance to make peace with their enemies and end a fight that lasted even before the town was built.

Lacey slowly strode towards their direction. She notices that one of the dogs were whispering towards the ear of another. She paused, noticing that they were having a silent conversation between hounds. Nonetheless, she respected their privacy and waited for them to make a move.

A dog with a black dot on one eye stepped forward. He looks friendly, yet afraid. Lacey noticed this as she analyzed the way the dog looks and moves. She figures that if they ever had the chance to talk beforehand, they could have been great friends. However, it is the present time, and the cat decides to raise a paw. It's a paw to be shaken so that this wild feud between them would end.

However, what was expected happened. The dog bit the cat's paw. Blood splattered the floor, the dogs bolted the feline, and Claws landed with Lacey at his side.

One of the dogs at the pack noticed his face, and ran away. The others followed. Before the pack disappeared into the maze of intersecting streets and heavy traffic, the biter turned around and made one last look at the kitten on the ground, drained of all the blood that gave her the power to live without power. Lacey, with one final breath, looked at her attacker.

Why did you do this to me? Is what she wanted to communicate when she eyed the hound one final time. Meanwhile, Claws was trying to save his friend. But what can he do, though?

Nature, again, took its course.


TheVanillaLog

BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-06-23 23:43:52


(2nd Story)

 In a city wherein every creature lived by a particular set of rules, a nation of dogs settled in one of the lonely streets between the rotting buildings. A human passerby could never find the hounds in this area, nor would they even figure to care. To them, it is just normal to have creatures that are of the same breed as wolves walk alongside them, whether as companions that curl and toil inside their living spaces, or as strangers that would have to powerthrough a wild, indistinguishable food web that could only be present in a metropolis such as this. The latter is what I would describe the present conditions of our fellow animals, and their luck hasn't changed since the mothers of their grandmothers established a home in this murky environment.

Despite their environment's conditions, they are one of the ruling species in a city inhabited by humans. Indeed, some would say that if humans were to leave this area, it would be the dogs that would rule. Because of this, they have little to worry about in the survival of their species. At least, to their point of view, not as much as the birds, insects, or any other animal that lived alongside the urban landscape.

The dogs did not see the need to adapt to problems because there were less of it. Due to this, they inherit the traits that are of those of their past relatives. They are always active, moody, and social to one another. That, to them, is the true nature of the dog. If one does not have the following traits, they are excluded from the group, only to be known to the rest of their life as a dog that lost its dogity.

One of the dogs, who was named Bones, thought that this was silly. To use the word that humans use to name their entire kind (humanity) and replacing the first two syallables with dog is an idiotic thing to say. Moreover, being active, moody, and social seems too demanding for a dog and, in a sense, terrible, in some occassions. This kind of dull-witted behavior can be shown when you consider their hatred for cats.

Cats are sometimes found in the area, and for some reason a target to their pack. Bones thought that they were an interesting encounter.

They haven't eaten a single cat.

They haven't needed a single cat.

They haven't named personal grudges with a single cat.

Yet, for some reason, they beat them down like the wolves that exist in their line of ancestry. They chase, they claw, and they abuse the livelihood of every single cat, and for what, thought Bones. It doesn't make sense, yet it is considered a normal part of a dog's nature to hate cats.

Bones once questioned the logic of this relationship between creatures with a crowd that gathered because two dogs had a fight for no apparent reason.

“If you go down our line, you see that our great Grandfathers did these things as well. Being active, moody, and social is what makes us dogs. If you aren't, you are an outsider, and when you are an outsider, you are like the animals that are below us.”

“But isn't it immoral to be chasing down cats? What did they ever do to us?”

“What's wrong with beating down cats?” said a dog that interrupted their conversation. “Our old folks did it, and their old folks did it as well. Hating cats is what makes us a dog, Bones, just like how it is tradition that we have a fight between two dogs.”

He then looks at him with stern eyes. “You are a dog, right?”

Bones shuddered. “...yes.”

He didn't bother to argue with them any longer.


TheVanillaLog

BBS Signature

(2nd story continued)


The dogs felt that it has been a long time since they have attacked the cats at their alley, so it didn't come as a surprise when the barks that terrified the cats since they were kittens echoed through the night. “Again?” thought Bones. It was natural for them to bark at the start of a beatdown, but he find it stupid to howl when it also acts a signal for the cats to run away.

“So what did you do when you met them?” asked Bones, who was having a conversation with a dog named Blue.

Blue stopped his howling. He remembered that he was having a chat with Bones. “Oh, yes. The cats call him Claws, which is funny because he never had those in years since the attack that came afterwards”

“Were they ever friendly?”

“Friendly? More like scared. They never bothered to make a move on us, so it came as a surprise when one of them scratched my perfect-looking face. It's a good thing that I beat him down. The others wouldn't have accepted me in their pack if they knew that a cat did something to me.”

“But I heard that the dogs at Crowling Street didn't visit that place since your attack. Were they fearful of the cats?”

“The cats? Well... yes...”

“Really?”

He looked around, making sure no one from their pack was listening to them. “Look, Bones.” said Blue. “You are not the only one questioning whether what we are doing is right or not. However, we are trying to survive here, and if they see that what we are doing does not conform to the rules of the dog, we are out.

We only do what's right when it conforms to our survival as a pack, not the other way around. Do you understand me?”

Bones looked at him with dead eyes. No, he doesn't understand.

He doesn't understand why the rules are there in the first place,

He doesn't understand why the dogs still follow these rules,

He doesn't understand why he is in the wrong.

And he doesn't understand why he is afraid.

He looks at the dogs that were beside him. “This is the nature of the dog, Bones. Accept it.” Blue added.

There was a sound coming from the alley. They were standing close to an interection, and they could hear the noise of paws hitting puddles and concrete. There was also the occasional meow from above them, almost sounding as if it was begging for someone to stop. The resonance came closer around an unseen side of a building, and out came what was expected from it.

A cat.

The dogs were about to pounce, but Bones whispered to Fry, the leader of the pack. “Let me speak to it.” he said.

The leader looks at him in utter confusion. He nods amongst their small group, signalling everyone to have a silent discussion among hounds. Bones argued with the leader and another while Blue sided with him in their little argument.

In the end, they came to an agreement. Bones will be the one to deal with the cat while the others watch. In the back of his mind, though, Bones had a different plan. He will talk with the cat and make peace with them. It is enough for Bones that they need to live in a city that favors survival over good morals, but to also live in rules that serves nothing but to please the other dogs is another beast. Its as if they made themselves a food web in an already complex food web. Why do they need to harass, limit, and fight with their own kind? They are already at the top, yet they still seek to go even higher than the peak of the mountain.

Bones made a step forward, but there is one problem though: He will be the one to deal with the cat while the others watch.

Bones didn't know what to do as he started his stroll toward the cat. She looked friendly, yet afraid. He noticed this as he analyzed the way the cat looks and moves. She figures that if they ever had the chance to talk beforehand, they could have been great friends. However, it is the present time, and the cat decided to raise a paw. It's a paw to be shaken so that this wild feud between them would end.

The dog didn't expect that, and it seems like initiating peace with the other kind is easier than expected. The only action that would determine this is one simple shake. For a moment there, the fear that he had beforehand is no longer there.

Then his eyes naturally gravitated back to the dogs behind him. They show faces of disgust, and it seems now that relieving their disgust is easier than expected. The only action that would determine this is one simple shake.

And just like that, the fear had returned.

What was expected happened. The dog bit the cat's paw. Blood splattered the floor, the dogs bolted the feline, and another cat landed with Lacey at his side.

Blue noticed the feline's face. His nightmare came rushing back, and it was staring him at the face. The hound turned around, and escaped his way into the night.

“Hey! Where is Blue going?” asked one of the dogs. Worried, the pack pulled back to check on the companion that disappeared behind them. One by one, the dogs cleared the scene of a murder, until Bones was left with the two cats. He stood there, speechless. It was like he was another person, another animal, another monster, just seconds before they had left. Now, he was just there, an empty husk of what once stored the beast that bit the defenseless feline.

In the midst of assessing the situation, he suddenly noticed the defenseless cat. It wasn't making a noise, nor was it making a move. It wasn't even making a breath. It just stared at him. The world began to disappear as its gaze entranced him.

He wanted to cry, but as a dog, it was impossible. He can run, and that he did. He ran and ran. To what destination, he doesn't even know; doesn't know if it exist. He was running nowhere, and the city he once thought was there wasn't around him anymore.

Nature, again, took its course.  


TheVanillaLog

BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-02 05:54:07


Stuck in Bloody France


Giles looked into the cell; it looked pretty grim- cold, dark and damp. He turned to Schmitt, who silently gestured him forward, closed the door behind him and turned the key. The two men stared silently at each other through the bars of the “cooler,” the solitary confinement punishment cell Giles would be in for the next four weeks.

           “Guter nacht,” the guard said, quietly.

           “Good night,” Giles replied. He watched as the man walked off and switched off the light. He knew from what the other chaps in Number Six said that there would be no light until daylight the next day and then still not enough to read by for most of the day and nothing to read but some German propaganda literature even then. 

           “Goddamn stupid kraut!” He muttered to himself as he slumped onto the bench-bed, the only furniture in the room. As he sat there, his eyes slowly acclimatising to the dark, he pondered on the fact that Schmitt was certainly not the stupid one on this occasion- he was.

           “Bloody Hell!” He whispered, slowly shaking his head. He was an officer; it was his duty to escape and that, he had finally attempted. He had made his excuses for a long time, always helping others to have a go; never getting himself to the top of the list. He had seen the machine guns on the top of the watchtowers; he knew what might happen to anyone caught. He had endured “Biffo” Rodger’s sarcastic remarks the night before and that awful Canadian chap, who joked about how Giles was the old man of the camp who would be there to the end of the war. Finally, he spotted his opportunity and just went for it, forgetting all planning and protocol as he made his silent dash for freedom in the evening, when relevant backs were turned, it had all seemed so exciting and adventurous. He had always been a slim man, but having lost weight in the many months he had been there on thin rations, he was even slimmer and managed to slip into the narrow space, hardly wider than his head, between two buildings of the German quarters in the prison camp and make his way backwards, away from lights and prying eyes. He intended to use his grip on the close walls to climb up and over the high perimeter wall at the back. What he had not expected was that as he got close to the back, the walls he was slipping between got closer and tighter. Desperate to reach the perimeter wall he squeezed himself closer and closer to the back until eventually he was totally stuck and could not move at all. Fortunately the attack dogs they sent around the camp to look for him couldn’t get down the space either and he had the humiliation of being helped out by the slim little French cleaner and ended up here.

           “Lucky kraut!” he corrected his earlier quiet exclamation. Giles had got shot down on his very first sortie over France. That was embarrassing enough. He had failed to evade capture, being found in a barn and unable to speak more than the most pathetic school-boy French and no German at all, he didn’t stand a chance.   It was now into 1942 and from everything Giles heard, the Germans had total control of most of Europe and were about to annihilate Moscow and with it, Russia. He was going to be in this soul-destroying place for who-knows how long and after nearly a year, he still hadn’t had the willpower to learn more than a few words of German, which, of course, was going to be the language of the world at this rate. Schmitt was the fortunate one. Whilst he, Giles, was stuck in this goddamn freezing cell in the dark, on the poorest rations that might possibly keep a man alive, Schmitt was living in freedom, part of the dominant force that was taking over the world. For Schmitt everything was all laid out. He had a cushy job watching unarmed prisoners whilst other men served on front-lines.  He would have a nice meal; he could go out or stay in, read a book, meet the local women, who by now had surely got used to the Occupation and were no doubt realising that they might want to get to know these men on the winning side of this war.  


We are the Dragons & Spirits. We are friendly people. Best Wishes, Ice!

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Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-02 05:55:29


POW- 2nd Story

Stecke im verdammten Frankreich

“Stupid Englisher; rot in that cell, Smith”, Otto muttered as he walked away. The idiot had got himself caught and was being punished for trying to escape, of course. As Otto carried on with his duties, though, he pondered in the quiet of his mind that Smith was not some lowly fool. He was an officer, who would be treated as a hero by his country; who was bravely risking death to escape the Transit-Stalag here on the border with the Fatherland.  Lucky Britisher- cold, but safe in the cell. He would soon be safely back in Nummer Sechs, where he could laze his days, playing games, exercising in the yard, learning German and out of the way of the nightmare that was slowly enveloping Otto’s world. The war was clearly turning against the Wehrmacht, despite all the fantasies expressed by their leaders. Otto had heard only yesterday from a friend of a friend who actually saw the troops retreating in Russia; it was only a matter of time. As far as he was concerned, he doubted the Axis could win as soon as he heard that Germany had declared war on America. Amerika! Gott in Himmel, who wins wars against Amerika? Otto trudged along from one day to the next in an uninspiring job in this soulless place- he kept meaning to learn English- the language he heard all day and, as the language of the Amerikans, the one everybody would need to learn. 

       For Otto, this already meant a change in the attitude of the local French people. All the Germans were being a little bit more careful as they went around the town, especially at night. Nobody actually said anything and nobody, at least in the open, did anything different, but the tone was changing, the atmosphere. Otto knew that the Maquis were out there somewhere, blowing up a target now and then. They didn’t kill a lot of Germans, but they were there, mostly biding their time. It might be many months or even years, but Otto’s comrades were mostly being seen to be a little more respectful, whilst the more zealous Nazi people amongst them were, if anything harsher and more assertive of their dominance, in the way that these kind of people do.

           Nothing was certain, but Otto knew that if the war was, as he feared going against them, not only would the news broadcasts not tell them, but anyone found passing on the truth might be educated in the wisdom of the Fuhrer, to put it mildly.

           From the start he had been denied any chance to make a name for himself; where others were out there making a difference for the Fatherland, he was stuck here guarding prisoners; even the men who were injured at the Front were treated as heroes when they came home. Whatever else happened, they would surely be able to wear their medals with pride, wouldn’t they? Otto had never wanted to be a soldier anyway; he had a nice career laid out for him in his father’s car business, or he did have until he had effectively been conscripted into the Wehrmacht.  There, he had been drilled and ordered around from day one for the last two years. Whilst in theory he had time off to go home or to get out into the town, in practice, much of the time he was told that “there was a war on” and “when it was all over, they would all be the heroes of the Fatherland and THEN he would be able to go home”. He was sure that the officer’s quarters were fine enough, but the barracks where he lived were sparse and the food was basic and getting worse- “there was a war to be won…” and many supplies were going to the vast three million men force trying to subdue the “evil Jewish Bolshevik Soviet state”.  Right now he wished he was in Flight Lieutenant Smith’s shoes.

 

 


We are the Dragons & Spirits. We are friendly people. Best Wishes, Ice!

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Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-04 10:20:44


The Jinwu


Part One


“The gallery is really rather like several galleries cobbled together”.

Roach said this, spreading his hands apologetically, upon seeing Detective Brody’s slightly baffled face. Roach found Brody straying for the second time into the European collection room, but he seemed relieved to have finally found the man he was supposed to meet up with. They had not spoken over the phone, but he had been told the police would arrive early in the morning, and as well as that, Brody’s reputation preceded him.

“Detective Brody isn’t it?”, said the manager. “I’m Alan Roach, Head of Collections and Research here”.

Roach shook Brody’s hand firmly and ushered him towards the door of his office.

“I believe I’ve seen you on the news, Detective”, Roach said sheepishly. “The case of this ‘Jinwu’ art thief has caused quite a stir.”

After a few pleasantries they both sat down and began to discuss the threat imposed upon the gallery; the reason Brody had come.  

“We were shocked when we received that calling card”, said Roach. “You hear about galleries and museums being ransacked in the news, but we never expected the Jinwu to target us.”

The perturbed manager leaned forward.

“I’ve heard all sorts about this thief. I’ve heard people say he’s a master of disguise, that he passes through galleries and museums like a ghost, ransacking the places and leaving no evidence that he was ever there. Worse still, he lets his quarry know he’s coming before he comes to plunder the place! It makes one feel helpless, like everything is already going according to his plan.”

Roach’s flustered outburst made Brody smirk, but the detective motioned for him to calm down.

“But you’re famous for working on the case of this art thief aren’t you? You’ll be able to catch him this time, I expect?”

Brody’s expression remained impassive throughout this exchange, and he made no response to Roach’s question.

“For now, could you please just tell me about the card you received?”, said Brody.

“We left it right where I found it”, said Roach. “Didn’t want to mess the crime scene, you know what I mean?”.

“Then lead the way”, said Brody, rising from his seat.

Roach did the same, and in less than a minute the two men found themselves in a room which was notably longer and narrower than any of the others. There were several security guards keeping watch over a canvas at a wall at the very end of the room, more guards than you’d expect to see in just one room of a gallery. To the left of the surrounded painting was a large window, from which the moat which encircled the gallery was visible.

As they approached the painting Roach felt more and more agitated, as if the threatened heist were coming closer and closer, but he didn’t dare show the feeling either to the detective or to his own employees. The security guards, who were clustered around the canvas, dispersed as the manager and detective came nearer, and now a neat black card was visible directly below the painting. Both men crouched to inspect the it.

“We left everything exactly as we found it”, Roach repeated. “On one side of the card is the Jinwu’s famous symbol, a three legged crow, and one the reverse—“

“—A threat”, Brody broke in. That the painting above it will be stolen within 24 hours of the calling card’s discovery.

“Oh, I almost forgot that this isn’t the first time you’ve encountered such a card”, remarked Roach.

“Yes, the same card is used every time the Jinwu plans a theft”, drawled Brody. “There have been four prior cases”.

“But there won’t be a fifth, I’m sure”. Roach intended this to sound self-assured but the anxiety in his tone undercut any sense of conviction it could have had. Brody only responded with a grunt, but now his attention was on the painting.

The canvas itself was of medium size, mounted into an ornate golden frame. Assuming the detective’s ignorance on the subject of fine art, Roach began to hold forth on the matter:

“This is one of Monet’s studies of water lilies in a pond at his home in Giverny. There are over 250 of such studies, almost all of them produced in the latter years of Monet’s life…”

The picture, which focused on several lily pads surrounding two water lilies, seemed to shimmer before them. The pads, which rested on murky brown water, appeared to have been rendered in rapid strokes of green and blue, and the lilies gleamed in hues of red, orange, and yellow.  

Roach, while still expounding on Monet’s life, and why this particular piece was so effective, seemed to see something akin to avarice in detective Brody’s eyes, but dismissed the impertinent thought almost as soon as it occurred to him.

“…it’s also an admirable example of the the art movement Monet worked so hard to develop…”

“—impressionism”, interrupted Brody.

“Yes, that’s right”, chirped Roach.

“Every painting stolen by the Jinwu has been impressionistic,” Brody continued. The first first heist was a Sisley, I believe. Then Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, and now, this,” he said, indicating the Monet. “He’s assembled quite a collection for himself, this Jinwu.”

They were just about to turn away and head back to Roach’s office when a loud rumble was heard in the distance, something like the sound of thunder heard from far away. Directly after this noise an alarm began to ring out through the gallery. Brody immediately took action by ordering the gathering of security guards, and Roach along with them, to go and investigate. The detective himself, however, resolved to keep watch over the painting. This seemed a little odd to Roach, but the authority in Detective Brody’s voice restrained him from contradicting him. Brody listened carefully to the hurried footsteps leaving the room, and when the only thing he could hear was the din of the alarm, he stepped closer to the Monet and carefully lifted it away from the wall.


The sudden bang had come from one large firecracker which had been left under Detective Brody’s car. The police officers enclosing the gallery’s entrance had been sent into disarray for a few moments, thinking they were under fire, but they quickly realised they were not in danger, and those that were closest to the noise discovered it’s source below the department vehicle.

Realising that there was no threat here, and that Brody had been left alone with a priceless painting that was still in danger of being robbed, he bounded up the front steps, and just as he passed through the entrance he picked up his phone which had begun to buzz.

“Yes?”

“Is this Mr. Roach, the Manager of the National Gallery?”

“It is.”

“This is D.I. FitzGerald. I’m calling about Detective Brody. I understand you were supposed to meet with him to discuss the Jinwu case.”

Roach was taken aback.  

“What do you mean supposed to?”

“Brody was found dead in his apartment late last night.”

An ominous and fearful feeling clouded Roach’s thoughts, and he wasted no time in bolting into the room with the Monet, or at least where the Monet used to be, because the first thing he saw in that room was a blank space on the wall where it should have been and a huge breach in the window to the left of it.


BBS Signature

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-04 10:21:35


Part Two


Killing off an arch nemesis wasn't as gratifying as you might expect. It was rather like saying goodbye to an old friend.

“Nonetheless”, the thief thought, “I have a job to do, and I’ve come too far to stop now.”

Before leaving Brody’s apartment an hour earlier he had fine-tuned his appearance to look unmistakably like the dead detective, and the flawless semblance of his disguise was confirmed by the polite nods he received from the officers surrounding the gallery, officers who no doubt knew Brody well. The Jinwu strode through the double doors of the gallery’s entrance and prepared to get in character.

A little while after putting on a bewildered expression and doing his best to look lost, he promptly encountered the gallery manager Alan Roach. The Jinwu’s first impressions of the man told him he was at once bookish, neurotic, but also accommodating. He let him do most of the talking. It was always pleasant to hear strangers talk about him and his deeds with reverence; his reputation seemed to precede him wherever he went, but in listening to Roach talk about him with anxiety, almost with fear, he realised once more what an effect he was having on the art world and those who made their living in it.

After a little while the Jinwu started to feel bored by the manager’s incessant jabbering, and began to long for the thrill of the crime he had come here to commit, and for Roach to lead him to the Monet he had come for. He cleared his throat.

“For now, could you please just tell me about the card you received?”, he said.

Soon they found themselves in the narrow room that housed the impressionist paintings, and the crown jewel of their collection, one of Monet’s water lily canvases, was set against the far wall. The Jinwu’s eyes shone upon inspecting for the first time in far too long the work of art he had come to pilfer. There were quite a few security guards guarding the painting. The thief recognised one of his acolytes, the one he had instructed to discreetly drop the calling card below the canvas earlier that morning (being bold enough to let your quarry know you were coming always added to the thrill of the heist), and report it to the manager. He nodded to him: the signal that he could leave. In a few moments this acolyte would plant a firecracker under Detective Brody’s car before making his escape. The Jinwu discreetly observed the window to his left: his exit.

He and the manager discussed his calling card. Of course the Jinwu didn’t say as much, but he had designed it himself. It sported his symbol: a three-legged crow, the ‘jinwu’ of East Asian mythology. The thief found himself explaining with relish the note hidden on the reverse of the calling card.

“Oh, I almost forgot that this isn’t the first time you’ve encountered such a card”, remarked Roach.

The Jinwu gave him a smile that was both wry and almost imperceptible. However, he continued to play at being the detective:

“Yes, the same card is used every time the Jinwu plans a theft”, he uttered. “There have been four prior cases”.

Roach may have said something in his particular neurotic and hand-wringing way, but the thief’s eyes, and attention, returned to the Monet.

Now it was only a case of waiting for a bang. The apprehension was almost overwhelming; the thief could feel his heartbeat thrumming faster. He tried to focus on the manager’s words and the picture in front of him. The anticipation of the bedlam to come was almost offset by the placidity of the painting. He felt his awareness heighten and he paid sincere attention to the lecture Roach was giving him on Monet’s life. The pricelessness of the painting he was about to take dawned on him for the umpteenth time and his eyes glowed with greed as he looked at it. Roach continued his lecture:

“…it’s also an admirable example of the the art movement Monet worked so hard to develop…”

“—impressionism”, Brody broke in.

“Yes, that’s right”, Roach chimed in.

The Jinwu was glad to return to his favourite subject, himself:

“Every painting stolen by the Jinwu has been impressionistic,” he continued. The first first heist was a Sisley, I believe. Then Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, and now, this,” he said, indicating the Monet. “He’s assembled quite a collection for himself, this Jinwu.”

Suddenly, a low rumble coming from the gallery entrance was audible to every man in that room, and a blaring alarm followed it. The thief seemed to snap out of his reverie and with an authoritative voice commanded the security guards to go investigate the source of the noise. The Jinwu kept his hard gaze on Roach, and motioned for him to leave also. The questioning look on the manager’s eyes almost made the Jinwu think the jig was up and Roach had guessed his true identity, but he left without another word. Soon all he could hear was the clamour of the alarm. Looking through the window to the left, he could see a large white van parked in the prearranged place, driven by one of his subordinates. The thief delicately lifted the canvas away from the wall and leaned it against a wall further down the narrow room, well away from the window. When this was done, he moved closer to the window pane and briefly signalled to the driver of the white van that he was ready. He moved back and shielded the priceless painting with his body, and a moment later the head of a clawshot burst through the window, scattering fragments of glass around the room, then it pulled back and gripped the edge of the windowsill rigidly. The Jinwu moved closer and did his best to broaden the breach in the window so that both he and the painting could fit through, and then checked to see if the wire attached to the clawshot was taut enough, which it was. He fished out the zip-wire handle out of his jacket pocket and attached it to the wire, gripping the prized canvas against his body, and pushed off against the exterior window sill. Looking down, he could see his own reflection in the moat water as he sped by, but in an instant he was on the other side. His lackey helped him quickly stash the painting in the back of the van, along with the compact cannon used to shoot the clawshot, and then they were gone.


BBS Signature

Perspective 1 - part 1:

My really horendous episodes:

-by Survesh Jones


As I closed my eyes after a long time staring at my reflective laptop screen, through the bright day and dark night, I felt nothing around my eyes. It was an very unsettling feeling to not feel the moisturous eyeball as I closed my eye lid. As I moved, I realised my joints were sore from not moving for so long, my neck was stiff and I was aching all around, like a rusty robot, moving after days left in the rain. My arm pits and inner thighs were ablaze with rashes from the sweat that gathered around from being couped up in my room for days together without taking a bath. I just turned over, facing my room's ceiling, with my eyes closed. 


At last my mind is satisfied, or it could be just that I finally got too tired to be awake. As I rest upon the hard tiled floor of my room, it felt as if I ran a marathon with my eyes. I wonder what I have become. I am an addict to interesting stories, I guess. I don't know how else to put it. Lately, I have been at the mercy of my body's maximum limits, to take a rest from shoving all that media content that is out there into my brain through my eyes and ears. I have not been able to function as a normal human being. As the realization kicked in, I decided that I was not going to be a slave, a zombie anymore. I was going to find the power to control my body and my brain no matter what. I wanted to live my life again. I was covered in grey floor dust and hair as I stood up. 


I decided I was going to clean my room first. And so I dusted the things that were on the floor and kept them on my bed. With all the grey fluffy floor dust and fallen hair that I picked up that day as I swept my room, I could have created one of those small plush toys. After that I mopped up my oily and dirty floor with anti bacterial liquid and water. I did my laundry and my I took my ever needed bath and felt a feeling of accomplishment and enjoyed seeing all the gray dirt that the soap washed off of me as I rinsed my body. I came into my room, dried myself clean with a fresh towel and put on new clothes.


You should have been there. It felt good to actually be able to breath clean air for the first time in days. I took in a deep breath of the room that was filled with the scent of anti bacterial liquid I just mopped the floors with. After the bath my sores were better and my joint didn't ache like a rusty robot as it did before. I opened my windows to let the fresh air in and I noticed that the sun was almost most down, and the air was cool. With the new found energy I wanted to do things that I had not done in a long time. I decided to go out for a walk in the park, that was three stations from my home. I locked up my apartment door, put on my sandals and took to the tar road as the day progressed towards twilight. I walked slowly, as my feet hurt, though my mind felt rejuvanated, my feet didn't feel the same way after just bathing. Possibly bathing doesn't wash away the ill effects of the prolonged abuse that I had put my body through.


I passed the arched rows of trees, waited cautiously before crossing the roads each time I was met with an intersection and tried to stay calm as I was about to pass another human being. I totally forgot what it was like to walk on the streets and passing strangers without being weird some how stuck on me. I was self conscious as I croseed a few people and then I just decided to look at their faces once and just look forward as I marched on, was the proper road etiquette. Using the strategy I somehow made it to the railway station. 


The wierdness and the self conscious uncomfort left me as I was startled by the loud horn of the train and its ever blinding orange light from its huge round tungsten head lamp. I stood on the platform behind the yellow line as the train came to a halt, waited for the people to storm out to the stairs and stepped into the train before it left the station. I got down three stops from there and got onto the long pathway that connected the road and the railway station. I walked past the franchise restaurants and the temple where evening worship was going on and took the road that went through the railway quarters. 


I liked this road, for this was one road that was filled with trees on both sides of the road and there would be the smell of burning twigs and dried coconut husks. Also I have a habit of walking this road, looking up the whole time, slowly enjoying the colour of the leaves against the sky. But tonight, though the leaves where beautifully lit by the full moon, it seemed odd. Even though the full moon up on the sky was shining brightly, the night was thick with darkness. I loved it. Not being out in days and staring up at bright reflective screens, made me fall in love with the ever dark night. I made it to the park. 


The park was a really big oval shaped piece of land, that had a tar road circling around it. The park was usually filled with people who lived nearby and came to take a stroll, the physcially conscious ones and students from the nearby schools came there for their athletic practice. I usually just walk the tar road as slowly as possible and complete a full round around it when ever I went there. I started up with my routine, it felt good to walk the railway grounds filled with trees in the night. 


Things were good except that I got super tired as I was half way through the ground. Long distance walks should be avoided at all costs, on the day we first decide to start living as a human and keep it aside for a few days so that we may gain some strength first. Sweat rashes started building up and each step sent pain coarsing through my inner thighs. I just decided to walk as slowly as I can, hoping the cool night air would help sooth the pain in my inner thighs. 


I completed my customary round through the grounds and started walking back to the railway station. The thing is though I liked the ever dark night sky, I was not ready to walk the same road again for I was afraid of walking down dark roads late in the night. It had become almost late night and the sugar in my body just went down and I felt oozy. So I just took the road with the Two Wheeler parking, as it is usually filled with a lot of traffic, even in the private railway quarters road. 


For some reason there was no vehicle in sight. A scooter passed me and went to the stand far ahead but other than that there was nothing but the sparse street lights spaced very far apart to light the thick and dark night. I liked to look at the houses that made up the railway quarters as they are built in a very rustic and old fashioned way, which was not very commonly seen around. As I was walking down the road, just looking at these houses one after the other, I came across a house that was really big. The house in itself was not that big but it was built on a larger piece of land, of which only a small portion had constituted the others. This house had a big statue of jesus, there was a big black dog leashed to the gate of the building, there were swing sets, there was a huge garden and the whole nine yards. 


As I was wondering what the people living in that house would be like, there was a huge bang and the electricity went off. The road ahead was pitch dark. Then I saw two pairs of red eyes glaring at me from the big house that I was passing by. As I was staring at those glowing red eyes, the fear of never going back to home hit me. The fear of never seeing another living soul, not being able to see the light of day again drowned upon me. As I was drowning in bad thoughts and fear, I heard the sounds of the ever bustling traffic this road usually had. With the help of the light that came from the headlights of the motorbikes and the scooters, I passed this road and came to the pathway that connected the road outside and the railway station. 


Continued....

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-04 11:45:27


Perspective 1 - continued:

My really horendous episodes:

-by Survesh Jones


I slowly walked up the overbridge, too proud to take the escalator, feeling all the more drained off of energy in my body. A lady anounced through the speakers that the train leading to my house will be leaving from platform one in a few minutes. I walked down the over bridge into platform one and went to the far right end and got into a compartment that was almost empty. The train started moving from the platform slowly, I went near the compartment door and stood there, holding the stainless steel rod that was there for support and leaned back, enjoying the cool air of the dark night.


As we passed the station, the lights in the train started flickering and by a big flash of light, the whole world was thrown into darkness. It was dark outside the train, it was dark inside and as far as I could see, there was no one there. I couldn't even see the people who I was sharing the train compartment with. There was just darkness. The train moved ever so slowly and the fear of never seeing another living person slowly crept in my heart. I could actually feel the fear creeping up. It was a physical experience, I was too aware of what was going on, I was not dazzed. I could see properly and there was nothing but darkness to see. Then suddenly I caught a pair of glowing red eyes staring at me from the far corner of the compartment I was in. Who ever those eyes belonged to, seemed to be in a fury and I felt an energy that was pure malice and evil emanating from their body. That being of darkness was glaring ever so widely, sucking the life force out of my frozen body and the ever so little joy that was left within me. 


It started moving from its seat slowly and started making its way towards me. I realized that I was frozen solid. I tried to move my hands to protect me, I couldn't move them. I tried to move my legs and jump of the train to save myself, I couldn't move them. I tried to scream and cry for the help of god, I couldn't utter a word. The being of darkness creeped near me, brought its face close to the left side of my face, I could feel its warm breath on my ears, its ever so twisting, disgusting wet tongue went into my ear and I started screaming. Suddenly the compartment was filled with the white glow of the ruddy old fluorescent tubes. People were starring at me concerned, as I was screaming at the top of my lungs, when I came into realization of the present. The train had stopped in the station I was to get out at. I moved my legs, they were lifeless but obeyed my commands and I got out of the train. 


I came out of the railway station and started the journey to my home. Though it all felt like a dream or an over tuned thought, I was not able to brush off the feeling of fear nor the presence of the dark being that was close upon my face with its tongue down my ear. It was all too real to me. As I was walking down the road with arched tree branches, I saw a beautifull family of dogs. Mom, dad and two pups. I felt sorry for the pups, as they had to be born in a city, where stray dogs didn't get as much to eat and seldom starved and ate things out of the garbage. 


As I passed them, the pups came near my feat and smelled them. So did the father and the mother dogs. It was a usual thing that happened while passing dogs. I assumed so and walked past them. As I was walking almost near the arched trees, I felt moisture at the back of my foot. I turned around to see the pups licking my sandals. I just moved my feet and started walking past them. Then I heard a rumbling growl, building up within the father and mother dogs. Their teeth were blaring afront, noses scrunched up, their bodies tense and ready to charge. 


There I was standing, I knew I wasn't the most athletic person out there and if I didn't move my butt now, I was going to be eaten alive and served as dinner to this family of dogs. I almost reached the road my apartment was in and just needed to cover a very small distance to reach there. But as I started taking a few steps, I felt the pups grasping for my calfs. I ran as fast I could. But to add to my misfortune, the apartment gate was locked. I looked to my right and the dogs were actually growing in size as they stormed in my direction, with froth building up in their mouths with their ever so large teeth. Before I could think further, they jumped on me and pushed me down to the ground. I caught the mouth of the two pups from biting me, but then, the father and mother dogs started biting belly my belly off and started eating from it. As I tried to stop them, the pups started eating away from my face. I was over powered by their strength. 


Then a loud sound came from the main road as people in the mosque started with their night time prayers, I prayed for power to lift myself up and just live another day, so that I can create one game before I died. I got up and somehow I was able to overpower them and climbed up the apartment gate and made it to my apartment in the first floor. I shakily opened my front door, made sure it was bolted behind me and as I went to my room and bolted the door tight. As I slumped into my bed that night, I realized that all the bites that I recieved from those dogs had gone away and felt the blessings of god safely cover me like a blanket as the howling of the dogs slowly muffled down to silence through the deep dark night. I knew that tomorrow, as I got out of my room, there will be a power that will guard me from the evils in the world. I wanted to create my game and live my life a new.


Story one ends here

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-04 11:47:06


Perspective 2 - Part 1:

I accidentally caused the armageddon:

-by Survesh Jones


'Ah come on, not this Again', said a guy, who was in his late 20's, with his stomach bulging out from his maxed out pants and a two day beard. 'Come and look at this mate', the fat guy called a skinny guy who was sitting next to him, the same age as him, with the same two day beard hanging on his chin, with really fat bags under his eyes indicating several sleepless nights of work. 'What has he done this time?', asked the thin fellow as he moved himself closer towards his fat friend. 


'Well, the guy wanted to be a game developer right? So what do I do? I made sure he got to quit his good paying job without much fuss, setup his home in a way that the electricity, internet and food bills were adequately paid, got him a laptop with good configuration on summer sale for super cheap price and a drawing tablet at the same time as well. Cool right? He almost has no responsibility hanging above him and he has all the free time in the world. What does he do with all this? Being the ever so tight strung person he is, he starts working like a machine as soon as he quit his job. He sets up super impossible goals that can never be met by him and starts building up stress like a valcano. He got stressed so much, to the point that he couldn't think properly, after a few weeks. Terrific right?', went on the fat guy as he reached for his cup of hot chocolate flavored malt. 


These two guys work for an outsourcing company run by an conglomerate spirit that had died because of cancer and came to the spirited world and set up its ever growing branch of service centers to help those spirits in need. As the population on earth started rising ever so rapidly without a pause, the gods got fed up and actually got bored of just looking at people's lives and taking care of them for eons together. So as the spirit service centers opened up, they chose to outsource their godly duties to them and took their ever needed rest and vacations. And all the lives, wishes and well being of organisms living on earth came down to the hands of these least experienced and night owled students of the many spirit academies in the spirit world, as they scrambled to make some extra money to pay off their ever growing spirit college debts and costly living conditions. Why do spirits need money for or what does their currency system looks like you ask? Well the answers to those questions are beyond your current status as a living human, so just continue reading on, will you? 


'Tell me this man, why are all the people that I look into, always have to be like this? Why can't I just get a normal person who just goes off to work in the morning and comes home in the evening and relaxes through the weekends? Why are all the people we handle so tight strung, right?' said the fat friend as he was gulping down his hot cup of malt.


'Let me continue with the story. So he got depressed after his thinking block, lost all his sense of direction and he wound up watching videos on the internet all day long to satisfy his need for accomplishments. The more he watched the more lost he became and more depressed. This continued for a few weeks. You remember the night when we were actually watching the super spirit grand slam? Well thats when his life started going down hill. Apparently I got too sleepy after that and I dosed off. I just noticed all this as I woke up a few minutes ago. He has been lying on his bedroom floor for all these days and he was almost on the verge of death.', the fat friend replied as he tried to lick of the sticky malt and sugar paste that was left in his cup.


'Woooow, that was a close call man, what were you thinking? You could have lost your commisions if the guy died off, remember what happened with Gary? He came in late one day and his human died by tripping over a pebble and getting hit by a truck. It's a head ache these humans were programmed with the gift of free will. They do something stupid and we lose our incentives and commisions. Its not at all fair I say.', excalimed the super skinny friend as he scrathed his pointy chin.


'Yep I agree with that one. Well I gave him a small one minute dose of self realization and set up small tasks for him to do. Well, he got up alright. He started working like a machine again and that seemed to calm his nerves and he actually got happpy after that. Then the idiot decides to take a walk in the park that was three stations from his home. He is actually taking rest in the park now, as he forgot that he just got up for the first time in several days. Idiot!, I tell you. Soon he is going to hit the same rock bottom again and I have to keep on repeating this process until something helps him out. Do you have any idea on helping this crazy dumb workaholic out? Though he is an idiot, he tries very hard to succeed and make a name for himself.', asked the over worked fat college student spirit to his fellow colleague. 


'Well I read once that humans, when they go through paranormal experiences, they find their meaning of life and start leading a better one. What do you say? shall we inject some spooky thoughts into him? May be put him under a super scary paranormal episode or two? It might help him out. Even the supervisor is gone out for the weekend man, we can try this out without anybody else getting to know. What do you say?' suggested the thin one.


'Hmm.. ok, do you have any good suggestions in mind?' asked the fat one.


'Well, see the big house he is staring at romantically, lets spook that out. Wait I will cut the lights off, make everything he sees darker by adding this darkness filter to his eyes. That's ought to spook him some, lets see how he reacts and lets continue our spook experiment from there.', replied the thin one, with his over bagged eyes lit up with determination as he meddled with the human's mind from his colleague's console. 


'Wait, in his profile, I saw that he used to be super afraid of dogs and lonely roads and he still is, make the dog, big and add glowing red eyes to it. And after you are done with that take away the vehicles in this road. Wow, look at that. His heart stats are rising up. He is actually petrified and frozen and he is not moving. I think that should have spooked him enough. Lets see the impact it had on him.' said the fat one to the thin one. 


'Alright, I will remove the spook code and put in the normal traffic that this road had, lets see how he fairs up.' said the thin one and removed the spook filters off of the human and returned the whole place back to normal. The human was spooked but it wasn't enough to actually change his life. The two decided that the human had to be spooked even more. They searched for evil spooky human mind rider codes on the spirit internet and found a really nasty looking one at the bottom of a shady looking website, that sent chills down their spines. 


They loaded the super shady looking spook code into the human's brain and went for a coffee break. As they went out for the coffee break, the spook code started taking control of the entire service center from the fat one's console and added a level 1000 spook code into every other human's console via the common network connection. As the two friends, the fat one and the lean one, were about to take their first sip of hot coffee, they heard the loud and blaring noise that was coming from their service center. A guy came out running, calling all the employess back inside as the whole service center was over taken by an ancient evil spirit and that all the consoles were overriden and that the world was going towards armageddon. 


'Wow, we caused armageddon, how cool is that!!!', eclaimed the thin one. 'Now is possibly not a good time to feel good about causing the mass destruction of the earth.', replied the fat one concerned.


Continued.....

Response to MWC19 - June - Mixed Perspectives 2019-07-04 11:48:07


Perspective 2 - continued:

I accidentally caused the armageddon:

-by Survesh Jones



The two friends rushed in and saw that the senior officials had closed down most of the consoles, once they knew that they were being overriden and put in an auto pilot code for every human in the service center. Since the code was injected to the fat one's console, the effect was more severe on it and it couldn't be undone. 


As the fat one was getting ripped by his superiors for being negligent and using harmfull and dumb methods to help the human, the dark spirits were actually getting near the human, ready to devour his soul, as he was riding the train back home. As the superiors were still giving the fat college kid a hard time, he mindfully took out the spook code chip from the console and broke it off. As the evil spook was licking the human's ear, the human broke off from his paranormal episode and got out at his station and started towards his home.  


Before the fat one could run a diagnstic check on his human, his superiors rode on him and fired him on the spot. As the fat colllege kid said his good byes to his thin friend and was making his way out, the human console that he was using was consumed with black flame and the whole service center was overtaken by the ancient evil being that was still lurking in the service centers network. And armageddon was ON AGAIN.


The armageddon was not only on the earth this time but also took up on the spirit world. As everything became bleak and filled with darkness and fear overtook the hearts of everyone everywhere, a flashing light of power came in and sucked the darkness away. 


'Come on now guys, I just spent the whole night creating a whole new world from scratch. Do you know how hard that is? Now try to be more cautious from hither. And don't fire that fat kid, its a natural thing to experiment out and its by these methods that we learn more. Even, I plunged the world into darkness several times when I was working on it. It happens to the best of us, just be carefull of it.', said the short guy with a funnny cap and vanished.


Apparently the short, stout guy with a sun burn and the wierd cap, was a god and he had set up this alarm that would bring him back to the spirit world if it ever was filled with darkness and was going to be obliterated by some armegeddon.


Story 2 ends here


Part 1

Denial

(Hitaro's perspective)


They say acceptance is about appreciation. “A good student is accepted through the appreciation of his or her peers.” This is one of the mottos written down in the student agendas, as if grade point average is insignificant as long as you’re “accepted” by the social caste system known as “high school.”


What a bunch of garbage.


Falling asleep in first period History meant making it impossible to sleep through the rest, so I tend to doze off during third period Mathematics. As soon as it’s lunch I’ll lose enough energy to fall asleep again. History is at least interesting because you learn the uniqueness of the human race’s ability to destroy nature by placing a society on top of it.


As I stare out the window during third period, I try to imagine a world with 90% less human beings. I imagine a world with enough space for everyone to do whatever they wanted without needing the acceptance of their peers. A smile crosses my face.


What a brilliant world.


***


I wake up. There’s a paper stuck to my face. I think it’s the ruled paper I use for my notes.


I look to the left out the window, in a daze, and realize that it must be evening. The room is blanketed in a soft orange and it’s quiet.


Too quiet.


The paper stuck to my face falls off and gently cascades towards the ground as I look around the rest of the room. Nobody is here.


Where did everyone go? I tend to sleep through bells, but there’s always someone that wakes me up-- whether it be an angry teacher or an empathetic classmate. My mom has to physically bother my sleep in order to get me up for school, so it doesn’t surprise me that I could’ve slept through… I take second to count.


Nine bells? A cold sweat breaks out over my body.


There’d be a bell for ending class. A bell for starting and ending lunch, and then three more classes with two more bells each.


Woah. There’s no way I wasn’t disturbed by somebody as the other groups of kids were coming and going. So what is going on? Why didn’t anybody wake me up?


I gather my foggy thoughts and step out into the hallway. It’s eerily quiet.


There’s a sign that reads “THIS WAY” written in a weird deep red paint that has an arrow pointing to the left, down the hallway, indicating that I should go down the steps and towards the first floor.


Of course, I’m not good with rules so my curiosity pulls me into the opposite direction. I start heading right, down the hallway, and towards the other classrooms.


It’s evening; chances are everybody has done whatever unscheduled ‘activity’ that was planned and headed home already-- without waking me up.


Assholes! I think to myself as I walk to the adjacent classrooms and check them out. There’s no signs of anybody. Currently, I’m on the second floor. It appears as though all the activity must’ve been on the first floor, since there’s another sign written in a dark red that’s telling me “THIS WAY” so that I’d go down the hallway and towards the stairs.


I’m good.


I’m pissed, actually. Nobody had the decency to wake me up?! Is this my “punishment” for sleeping through third period all the time?? Was everybody collectively like, “Leave Hitaro alone. He wanted to sleep, so let him sleep.”


I approach the window in the classroom that I’ve walked into. While staring downward at the schoolyard, I gather my emotions. Clenching my teeth, my thoughts take me to a spiteful place. “You want to exclude me for being different? Ok then,” I say to myself as I open up the window. My mind reaches a calm place as I place a foot on the window sill. “I don’t need to see whatever ‘cool’ things you had planned without me.” I hang out the window with my feet against the exterior of the building.


I jump.


A quick roll as I land on the school’s front grass cushions the impact and I’m completely unphased by my anger-jump, exclude for a few grass stains and blades of grass on my white dress shirt.


I proceed home.


***


The streets are much quieter.


In fact, it feels like the world has earmuffs on and I’m some insignificant human being just passing through, unable to cause any type of impact on these new surroundings. The stillness of my hometown starts to make my head feel light.

My stomach growls.


I walk to my regular convenience store and attempt to buy something but the shopkeep but he and his wife are missing. Instead, I buy something from the vending machine.


After drinking a lemon-flavored fizzy drink and eating a chocolate caramel bar, I begin to feel a little bit better. It’s nice to have something soothing as this eerie blanket covers the entirety of everything so far.


I continue walking home.


Part 2

Acceptance

(Her perspective)


The world is uneeding. The world is ungrateful. There’s no appreciation for each other as human beings. We grow and we grow, like weeds, until the grass and trees are suffocated by our obnoxious exhausts required to “sustain” our population. Even though we’re a society built on a finite amount of resources, we struggle so we can be lazy-- unable to confront the environmental disasters we cause from merely being “alive.”


How disgusting.


The plan started on a forum. A major site called “Playgrounds” that allows users to freely toy with radical ideas and gain momentum through “followers.” Any idea you can think of has the possibility of making it big by attracting other users. Everything from made-up religions to modern-day cannibalism has a chance to become a viable way of life, with the right support. There’s a flat earth group that gained enough momentum to actually hold conferences and garners large pools of revenue through donations towards helping their “research.”


How pathetic.


I took to Playgrounds and found there were people who also thought like me. We call ourselves the “spacers” and our movement is to eradicate the world’s population so we can live in harmony with nature.


Big idea, right?


Well, through having enough users backing each other up, and enough donations to support a militia, we’ve actually gotten to a point where it’s physically possible to cause mass genocide.


Ha ha ha, crazy, right?


Not for me. Not for my family. We were pushed out of our apartment when my dad lost his job due to being forced to be laid off when there were “too many workers and not enough production.” My mother had to carry the weight of the family with her meager earnings from the restaurant she had worked at, but she eventually killed herself when the manager asked for sexual favors in return for keeping her job during those trying times. I suppose the conversation was something along the lines of “You’re replaceable. I can and will find another server unless you get on your knees for your family.” I visited her grave the other day.


I’m not angry, just disgusted.


I attend Akahana High and it’s my responsibility as class rep to make big decisions. And today was the day for the biggest decision of my life. A bigger decision than getting a job to help support me and my heartbroken father. A bigger decision than my mother’s to kill herself in shame from having to choose between being faithful and feeding her family.


Today, I take the world’s irresponsibility and crush it in my hand.


As soon as the third period bell rings, the plan will go off. Everyone who’s a Spacer will put on their masks and I will lead all the students to the first floor for their purpose.


I feel no guilt. I feel no anxiety. I can hardly feel anything at all, just like how a parabola communicates acceleration or direction: I am simply communicating the mathematics of the world. This is how it must work. This is what must happen. There is no other choice.


Hitaro has fallen asleep again. I suppose I’ll spare him since we’ve known each other our whole lives. He lives alone with his mom. She has an autoimmune disease, so he often works extra-long shifts just to pay their rent, which causes him to sleep through some of his classes. I apologize if he wakes up, but there’s no stopping the Spacer’s cause. Should he get in the way, I’ll kill him myself.


After third period ends, it’ll be a bloodbath on the first floor. We have a scarily large government following, so the streets of the world will also become massive killing grounds. Anybody who resists will be slaughtered, and everyone who doesn’t will be taken to camps where they will be killed as humanely as possible. It’s the right thing to do.


I only wish my mother could be here to see as I fix our world’s problems.