Free Form
01-06-2018, 05:39 AM,
#1
Free Form
Hello and welcome to a spontaneous spurious moment of manifestation of the creative aspect of the true self.

I don't know how to write poetry worth my life so I just free form.

I have nothing to say now (except for a quick edit to my About Me), and most of my anything is going to sound familiar if you listen to Nine Inch Nails passionately.

However, this thread is a free form, share anything you're feeling RIGHT NOW, SPONTANEOUSLY, CHOP CHOP SOULSELF!  Share any art, written or drawn, symbolic or ironic.

Art is life, and life is free form, share your artistic self here...

I'm horrible at making patterns, but I sure can spot them!


-crickets-
S-Spot, l-like, a polka..dot..pattern...

...
-cough- I thought it was funny...

Anyways!  Song lyrics, short stories, graphic art, programming projects, that painting of mona lisa made out of fries and ketchup, 3D street art, car noises as music, momentary lifely commentary, poems, anything goes!

I.e. It sure is cold tonight, I wonder if my cool colored chakras need some warm colors to balance out my internal perspective so my external one ISN'T SO COOOLD...  Fun Thought, has anyone ever noticed the high chakras are cool colored and the low chakras are warm colored?

What could it mean? Philosoraptor.jpg

Anyways, please share your artsy self.

If you have any artistic creations you're proud of, post et.  I demand it of thee!  Show me your creativity!

(Forgive my delightful loopiness, I'm winging it and thought of asking others to share their art in hopes of being inspired.)
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01-07-2018, 03:24 AM,
#2
RE: Free Form
To start things off, I'm going to share some (admittedly darker) art with commentary.

This image may be big.

http://i64.tinypic.com/eb4ql4.jpg

Size Edit:
[Image: 30s8qxx.jpg]

I made this image in 2011 (I believe), as my Art Institute Graphic Art Intro final.  It is titled, The Safety of Home.
When first presented, this image conjured up looks of fear and disturbance, but to me this image is not about the destruction or the fear, it is a warning.  A peak into the reality of nuclear weaponry.

To me, this is an image that says, Do You Feel Safe At Home?  I believe it is one of the best things I've ever made in photoshop.

And continuing on with the nuclear theme, I present to you all the (totally fictitious but probably worthwhile) Apocalypse Energy Drink logo's.

[Image: 28uqjpi.png]

This was made for my Communications class to be presented alongside physical samples (Atomic Fallout was 50/50 Mountain Dew and Blue Powerade, looks like Antifreeze and is super sweet and good at rotting your insides!)  The 3'G Inc was for me and two others who came up with the idea.

[Image: jh58ok.png]
Protip: Look at the ingredients list.  This was literally printed and put over a Monster can to simulate an actual product.

Don't know if you can tell but my favorite is Atomic Fallout

And the others for viewing pleasure.

[Image: 2wozjlz.png]
[Image: 2gxfxar.png]

It was meant to be a funny read, a sort of parody on corporate rebranding, turning nuclear materials into consumables to offshoot the INFINITE cost of toxic waste disposal, everyone enjoyed it.  I especially enjoyed it and have thought time and again on if I should actually see if a company will buy these off of me for an actual product.
Then I return to reality and bother everyone here Smile

Moving on, after I watched the movie The Purge, I had a splendid idea for a mini video game that I made and entire outline and documentation on the gameplay, and was so determined I began practicing 3D modeling in Blender.  My result, an oversized hatchet.

[Image: znna01.png]
[Image: 2cz6exk.png]

It was a lot of fun making, took me about a day as my first time besides following a single blender tutorial on how to make a tea cup.

If I knew how to post mp4's, I'd show a small pixel animation for the 2D zombie game I've been working on.

And to finish things off on the graphics side, the banner for a blog I was planning but never actually went to work on.

[Image: 2vrwd94.png]

Ahh, to be on an astral beach among the stars...Orbiting Earth.  The Philosopher's beach was supposed to be something else, but I realized what I had planned for it would be a bit time consuming and what's more, who am I to speak of wisdom anyways?

I'd also like to share two short stories that I'm not too embarrassed to share.

Falling Skies is a short story about the day in the life of a kid working to maintain his and his brother's life in a country where bombs fall from the sky.  I've been told it's a good read.

I colored the ending in white, so highlight the text to read it, this is so no one accidentally reads it beforehand.

Quote:Falling Skies

It’s just another day, right?  Just another day in the world.  Bombs fall from the sky, just take cover, right?  One country’s interests; force it onto another, right?  I’m just living my life.  I’m just waking up every day to go to work, to make money, to support myself and my little brother.  I’m just trying to give him a future.  I’m just trying every day to do what I can to be the best I can be and make the best of my life.
In a country blanketed with bombs every day.

I’m tired today though.  There was a bomb run heavily into the night, something about a person in the area.  Thankfully my building wasn’t hit but others around mine were.  I’m lucky too as I have the room on the ground floor, some guarantee of survival if a bomb hits the ceiling.  It’s another hot day too.  I remember as a kid how hot the days could get.  My feet would burn on the dirt ground, rocks would be really hot and the smell of the markets was the only relief from my own body’s odor.  The sun didn’t burn me back then.  It felt like a warming sensation, fuzzy, comfy.  Like how my Mentor’s friend overseas describes it when he’s under his bed’s covers all comfortable.  Now a day’s the sun hits my skin and it burns.  Makes no sense, younger kids don’t know it, but everyone older knows how I feel.  Every day my Mentor talks about how the great nations are destroying the ozone and that that’s why the world is getting hotter, not just because of global warming, but that’s dumb.  Why would they actually do that?  It’d make the Earth hotter for them too.  It’s all these weird things he talks about that I really don’t have time to care about.  Agh.  I just really want some water right now.  Working as cleanup duty gets hard.  Concrete, brick, rebar and so much other materials, cleaning up after the bombings is hard work, but pays well, right?

“Hey, you’re on break, and you’re red, go get some water.” I looked up to my senior worker, a wrinkled old man with his head covered in cloth.  I’m told being protected by the sun’s rays is better than letting them hit me directly.  Even with the extra layers of clothing it’s safer than less clothing.

“Okay, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Five minutes.” I nodded and leaped across the top of the rubble pile down to the dirt ground.  My toes rubbed the dirt between them comfortably but even with these sandals my feet were hot.  I walked over to a small booth and leaned in to look for the nice old lady around.

“Hot today, huh?” My coworker walked up next to me, we were accustom to a small bottle of water for free from her, something to tie us down for the next few hours until we got off and went home.

“Yeah.  It’s almost getting unbearable.” I wiped my arm across my forehead, I felt wet.  My hair was sticky and I could feel the strands all stuck together along my scalp.

“It’s alright, winter’s coming.  Easier heat.”

“I miss rain,” I chuckled and looked over at him, only his face was one of disapproval at the mentioning of such a commodity, “I’m sorry…  I forgot.” I looked down when the lady appeared.

“Oh you two again.  I’m so happy you’re clearing the street, business is returning.  I have a special treat for you today.” She looked at me then disappeared into the dwelling behind her only to reappear with a gallon of water and two large containers, “Save some for your brother.” She nodded at me and filled our containers up, mine to three fourth quarters full, my coworker’s to half full.  Though he gave me a look of jealousy, he accepted the fact that the other fourth wasn’t actually for me.
“Thank you.” We both said and turned away when he gripped my shoulder very taught and pulled me close.

“You hide that, you understand?” I looked up at him and his eyes glared down into mine with a fierce seriousness that I hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Y-yes sir.” I nodded and slid the container into my backpack.

“Hey, you two are back on, come on.” Our senior worker called over.  We scrambled on over and began the arduous task of picking up large chucks of rubble.  Eventually we had to pull out the pickaxes to break apart the bigger pieces to move around.  The sun was beginning to set when my coworker worked his way over to me.  I was so lost in thoughts of my life and future that he surprised me when he nudged my shoulder.

“Hey, it’s getting dark, you should try to go home, the bombings lately have been coming earlier.   You’re just a kid.”

“I’ll be fine, I need the money.” He looked down at me then called for our senior worker.

“Can we send him home?” I looked up at my coworker then called back to my senior coworker.

“No, I’m good.  I need the money.” I blinked absently at this forced proposal but the man walked over and stood at the bottom of the rubble pile then took off his cloth and wiped his short black hair and looked back at me.

“You should go.”

“I don’t want to, I need the money.  I had to buy medical supplies for my brother earlier this month.”

“I understand that but you’re no good dead.”

“I’ll take that chance sir, please.”

A long silence as my senior coworker looked over at my other coworker and shrugged, “Let the kid do as he wants.” He said and walked back to the small shady nook next to the old lady’s booth.

“Damn it kid.  Fine, how’s the water doing?” I shrugged at the question.

“I took a few sips.  My brother has been getting some chills lately.  I’m worried he might be getting sick again so.” A sudden hand slapped onto my forehead.

“You’re dry, how dehydrated are you?” I shrugged at the worry.  I often worked dehydrated, vigilant of the feelings of faintness that came with heat stroke.

“It’s no worries.” I remarked and he was gone within minutes as we worked throughout the sunset.  Long cloudy trails lined the entire horizon of the sky.  I asked my Mentor one day what they were.  He complained about them being what destroys the ozone, and that they’re made by chemicals released by planes high up by the great nations.  I shrugged it off like most of his rants.  That makes no sense to me.  They wouldn’t possibly do that.  I heard that the reason the Earth is getting hotter was because of global warming, and that the ozone layer was being destroyed by pollution, not any of that.  My thoughts wandered as I worked at a stubborn piece of brick with rebar in it to my parents.  They died back a few years ago in a bombing.  I was old enough to be crushed by their deaths but my little brother didn’t quite understand the aspect of death yet, so he took it as they disappeared in the fire and thunder.  He’s terrified of fire and thunder now.  Though, I don’t think he really remembers what happened.

“Okay, wrap up your work in the next half hour and go home.” I gave a sigh of relief and continued picking down at the large brick debris.  Others had started working on the pile I was on top of as it was the largest and last one covering half the road.  It did cover the entire length of the road this morning so that’s good progress.

“Watch yourself up there, maybe you should work a bit lower.” My coworker called up to me.

“Why?” I asked back down to him as he lifted the pickaxe and threw it down shattering a large chunk of concrete into smaller manageable pieces.

“If the rubble slides down you might get hurt.”

“I’ll be fine, I’ll just jump off if it does.” He shook his head irritably then went back to work throwing chucks of concrete into wheel barrels to put into piles off the road.
I’m really hungry.  With the setting of the sun a breeze began, the heat no longer stopping it.  I enjoyed the feeling of warm air caressing my burning hot skin as I breathed heavily at my work.  I had basically leveled the top of the pile, less worries of larger chucks falling into workers thinning out the pile.  My stomach grumbled then growled as a gentle wave of pain moved through it followed by a burning sensation, a gentle but notable feeling.

“Ten minutes.” My senior coworker yelled to us.  I stood up straightening out my back.  Most workers after a few months of this have to take a few weeks of break for their backs to recover.  Mine was even starting to stiffen up painfully, almost enough to paralyze me when I stood up straight.
The remaining minutes were spent with gentle plucks at large rocks making sure not to knock them down at my coworkers.

“One minute, you guys may as well get going, call it a day.” I let my pickaxe drop into the rubble and gave a long gasping sigh.  My feet were sore, and my back was hurting really bad.  I looked down to everyone mumbling about things.  I grabbed my pickaxe and slid down the pile slowly then climbed the rest of the way to listen in.

“The bombs haven’t dropped, I wonder what’s going on.” My coworker said to a buddy of his.

“I’m more worried about what’s happening with the politics.  They say revolution is on the way, the military is organizing to quell rebellion.”

“Rebellion?” I asked only to be ignored.

“Keep an ear out and keep your family safe.” He bid his buddy farewell then looked down at me, “Want me to walk you home?”

“Walk me home?” I laughed at this silly question.

“I’m not kidding, there’s been talk of robberies in this area lately.  A kid walking alone is a good target,” he leaned in to whisper to me, “And all of that water on you is going to be a very fine reward.” I took a moment to think this over.  My Mentor always warned me of evil human beings, people who were greedy and cruel.  He told me I couldn’t understand the depth of evil that could happen in the world and told me to merely focus on myself, and protecting those around me, and bettering my life and theirs.  He also told me to accept aid whenever I could, especially if it was free.  He joked about being a freeloader.

“Okay, thank you.”

“Yeah buddy, gotta watch out over the younger generations, people like you will be running this country one day.  You’re a hard working kid.” He nodded to me and walked over to the senior coworker rationing out our pay.  We all received it steadily.

“Here, take a little extra, I heard your brother might be getting sick.” He handed me a second pouch and pushed it into my palm.  I accepted it humbly without protest then looked back to my coworker who waited patiently for me to come over.

“I’m ready.” I said and he patted my shoulder.

“Let’s get going.” I led the way a little.  I lived a few kilometers away since the bombings were so close to where I lived.  My little brother was probably preparing food, if not he was probably resting, “A long day of hard work leaves one sore.  I’ll probably go for a drink after I drop you off.” He made small talk with me, something I appreciated, not being a fan of awkward silences.

“What’s drinking like?” I looked along the long harrowing street, it was intimidating now that the familiarity of the streets was gone with the recent bombing.

“It’s like.  A burning sensation in your throat that makes you gasp and shake your head, and then you get really hot, and warm in the face.  Then you get really cozy and comfortable.  Sometimes too comfortable, and you say stupid things and do stupid things if you’re not careful.”

“Like what?” He laughed a little at my question then scratched his head.

“I once told a woman I wanted to lay with her and her sister.” I let out a small gasp at the prospect of such an act.

“That’s really…  Wow.” I didn’t know what to say.

“Yes, yes it was.  She was left in an even poorer situation due to our society.  Women should have equal rights.”

“Why?  I thought they were made by God for man, to keep humanity alive.”

“They’re no different from us.  Human, with feelings like the ones you have.  They feel everything that you feel.  Maybe they think a bit differently but that only makes them unique, precious.  If everyone thought the same way, we’d never go anywhere in life.”  The teachings of my Mentor came to mind, he once talked about how everyone was the same but different.  Some people were good and righteous and caring, and others were dark and cruel and selfish, but that they were both human’s and at the end of the day they both had feelings.  He talked about how enslaving a group based on something about them was wrong, because all humans deserve the right to pursue happiness.  He then laughed and joked about how everyone is also allowed one mistake.

“Hey, you listening?”

“Oh, yeah.  I was just thinking about what my Mentor said, how everyone is the same but different…  Does that apply to Girls and Boys?”

“Yeah, yeah it does.”

“But, then why are there Boys only and Girls only areas?”

“That’s called segregation.  It’s uh…  A society thing.”

“Society thing?” I asked and stopped realizing I almost walked past a turn I needed to take.

“Yeah, society.  It’s like…  It’s hard to explain.  Maybe another time.”

“Okay.” I figured I’d ask my Mentor tomorrow before work, assuming he showed up.  He’s been not coming over lately, and when he does he looks pale and uneasy and is always sweating like he’s sick but he says he’s not.

“Want to stop somewhere and get something to eat for you and your brother?” I shook my head in response.

“We already have some food.  I was going to cook him some lamb I bought yesterday, something to give him strength to fight his sickness.”  My coworker nodded and commended me for being so watchful of my brother, and responsible.  We walked for a bit towards my home way down the street.  He was talking leisurely and we were walking leisurely.  I looked up to the night sky and enjoyed the many stars that dotted it.  Like a large world unknown and begging to be explored, always in plain sight but so far out of reach.  My Mentor told me the stars had taught humanity many things throughout history including how to travel at sea and this art called Astrology.  He said out there were other huge planets like Earth, only some were bigger.  I still remember my shock when he told me the Sun was millions of times bigger than Earth, and how the Moon was smaller than Earth.  Yet both looked the same size to me.  Everything about this universe somehow fascinates me.  I hope one day to become a scholar and learn a lot of things.  One day maybe I’ll even discover something incredible and amazing.

“Hey, we almost there?” I snapped out of my fantasy world and looked over to my coworker.

“Oh yeah, just down this way, that’s my place right over there.” I pointed down to the building next to another building that had a few holes in it from the bomb that dropped right across into the building across the road.  I noted to him how the building was just like mine, but now it was nothing but rubble.  I stated how nice it’ll be when I can walk out of my home right to work when we get down to this street.  I looked back and stopped when I realized I was alone, “Hello?” I turned all the way around and walked over to the side of the building closest to me where he was looking around anxiously.

“Stay back, I thought I saw someone roaming around.” I stepped back confused.

“What do you mean?  People walk along these paths all the time.”

“Yes but this man looked suspicio—” A hard thud into my back threw me onto the ground propelling my backpack over on top of my head as I stumbled to get onto my feet again only to be kicked in the back down into the ground again.

“Stop!” I looked up to the blur of my coworker tackling someone over me.  I flipped onto my back and started dragging myself away as he struggled with another man holding a knife.  He was on top trying to grab the man’s arms.

“What’s happening?” I screamed confused.  Was this one of those robbers?  Why was he doing this?

“R-ru-ahhg!” I came to a halt as his voice became harsh and he gripped at the man who rolled over on top of him.  I saw that the knife had entered into his ribs and was pulled out then stuck back into them again and again.  A small gurgled gasp could be heard as my coworker’s arms were held out trying to stop the onslaught of stabbing.  I was frozen, like this entire situation was surreal and frozen in time.  I felt detached from the entire thing.  Was I really here?  I tried to move but found my arms and feet wouldn’t budge.  His arms fell limp into the ground as the man rose from him, his back was like a supernatural ghost rising from the ground and at that moment I realized how real this entire situation was, and how truly placed in it I was.

“W-p-bla-ah—” My voice stumbled over its self as I tried to throw my backpack down only to fall over myself falling onto my side.

“Huhn…” A long gasp came from this man as he turned around, his entire cloak, once pure and white was stained red.  Blotches covered his stomach and chest and large spots dotted his sleeves.

“T-t-t-take-take whatever you want!  Just take it!” I gasped as I felt my eyes welling up in tears, what water my body had in it was coming to my eyes now as I struggled to pull off my backpack.

“Mm mm.” He shook his head and lunged forward on top of me.  His body seemed to flow through the air at a speed that was unnatural, only I knew in my mind that this was all natural, this was all real and this was really happening.  I felt my heart throbbing and my arms shaking and my legs growing weak.  My crotch felt uncomfortable like it was receding into my body as I held up my arms too scared to scream or yell, just gasping as my throat seemed to close up, defying my want to scream like a girl, a scream my parents used to tell me I should only do if I felt really, really scared, “Can’t have you talking.” The man said as he raised the knife up.  I looked up to it glistening even in this dark with what must have been blood.

“P-pu-pu-uhhn—” My hand lifted up as if I were reaching out to the sky begging for God to save me.  My voice let out quivers of sounds.  My sight looked past the knife into the sky.  The sight of this man’s towering body pinning me down with his arm raised even higher holding what would be the weapon to kill me was one that seared its self into my very mind.  My eyes focused just enough to see what looked to be a flock of birds all in a neat row flying over.

And then the world erupted into sheer roars and violent tremors.  A fiery explosion of fire flew over head as the wall next to me blew apart.  The man on top of me fell onto me as the building collapsed right next to us.  The next bomb that hit let out a shockwave so violent it shook me unconscious.

I felt like, like I was just too scared to do anything.  I was weak.  My Mentor always told me to run from people trying to hurt me until I grew older and stronger.  Why did I freeze?  Disobedient to myself perhaps, did my body betray me, or did that man cast a curse on me?  My Mentor always told me when bad things happen it was okay, because good was inevitable after that.  Right?  The only thing that kept me going after every bombing was those words; good was inevitable after the bad.  The balance of the world.  Good could only exist with bad and bad could only exist with good.  I truly believed that.  The sight of the sun overhead blaring into my eyes brought them open.  The man on top of me was still present but he was limp, like he was sleeping.  Only a lot of blood was coming from his head.  I tried to pull myself free when I realized how dry my throat was.  It hurt to swallow like my insides were sticking to themselves.  I was under a small pile of rubble with my head sticking out, somehow nothing crushed me.  I took a large breath and pulled myself with what strength I had free then shimmied myself out of the rubble and crawled over the pile.  I slipped my backpack to my side sliding the strap off one arm, an act that seemed surely impossible last night.  I pulled out the container and realized there was now a crack in it, probably from last night, and had all the water gone.  I threw it aside and stumbled forward to my coworker’s pale body lying half crushed under a large bit of the building next to us.  His entire left side was crushed under debris, blood came out of his mouth and a dry lot of red dirt sat all around him.  I walked, with very little strength into the street where all of the buildings were damaged in some way.

It’s just another day, right?

I collapsed to my knees and crawled forward back onto my feet towards the half standing building where my little brother should have been.
Just another day in the world, right?

The sound of a continual bell ringing in my ear was now apparent.  I cupped my ears as I stumbled forward on wobbly legs.  I realized my arm was all cut up.  My clothes were torn and pulsing hot sensations ran across my body where my skin was cut or scratched off.

Bombs fall from the sky, just take cover, right?  One country’s interests; force it onto another, right?

I got to my building and collapsed at the entrance of it, the main hallway had caved in a bit and my door was behind it.  I called for my brother, something else that seemed impossible last night, raising my voice.  No one answered, no one.  I looked back and realized people lined the streets, dead people lying on the ground.  Some looked like they had collapsed from walking.  Others looked like they had been flung.  A random arm laid on the ground, the fingers looked like they could have moved at any moment.  Images of my parents flashed in my mind, my father missing his right arm, his legs crushed under rubble.  My mother impaled on rebar gasping for air, both holding their hands out to each other unable to reach one another while I sat holding my brother in the corner of the room.
I’m just living my life, right?  I’m just waking up every day to go to work, to make money, to support myself and my little brother, right?
I forced myself to move faster, climbing onto the rubble with my hands and feet and crawling over it, at the peak it slung over onto the wall where I needed to get to my feet and sidle across it.  My foot touched a piece of rubble which collapsed causing me to fall down the small landslide of broken down building slicing open a large gash into my arm as my ankle twisted when I crashed into the dirt floor.  I was hunched on the ground right next to my door.  I called for my brother’s name again this time, louder, becoming scared.  I bit my lower lip and then grit my teeth together as I pulled myself to my feet and jumped over to the door.  I turned the handle and pushed only for it to not budge.  I pushed harder putting my body into it which caused it to slide in a little.  Debris blocked the door.  My mind raced as I called for my brother again.  I bent me knee and threw myself into the door, it budged a little.  I did this again and again beginning to scream for my brother, screaming for him to answer me as I slammed my body into the door until it fell open causing me to fall into the living room onto my arms.  Dirt scratched into the gash on my arm sending stinging pain up and across my entire shoulder.  I looked up to the sight of the entire bedroom directly across the living room space collapsed inwards.  I crawled along the dirt ignoring the broken wooden table and the half destroyed small cooking room to my left.

“El?” I called out to the rubble and got to my knees at it.  There was a single arm lying under a large pile in the room, a single arm lying palm outwards towards me,

“El?!” My voice trembled as I grabbed the rubble with flimsy skills from work, almost effortlessly pulling the concrete away when the sight of blood on the dirt floor came into view.

“EL!” I cried now grasping at the rocks and the bricks and the rebar, the wood and the tile from the upstairs floor.  I threw it all behind me and unearthed the body of my little brother, crushed under rubble.  His other arm mangled in an unnatural shape, his legs were still under some rubble but the angle of the knees told me his legs were crushed and broken too.  His arm was the only thing not bumpy and bleeding.  His shoulder was crushed downward and his head sat sideways on the ground with his neck jutting downwards crushed inwards.  I grabbed at his arm, and I clenched his hand.

I’m just trying to give him a future—  I’m just trying every day to do what I can to be the best I can be!  To make the best of my life—  Right?

I pulled his body up to me as I sat on my knees, his legs came out of the rubble fairly easy as I pulled him into my arms and gripped him close.
Who has this right?  To kill a human being?  To take away life?  This is not something man should have…  This is something only God should have!  I felt my eyes running dry as my body had no more tears to spare, dehydrated, trying to sweat from the heat of the sun I was now becoming aware of, only because of the cold body I now clenched.

In a country blanketed with bombs every day.  Death is all around me.  You don’t realize how terrible and disgusting it is.  You don’t understand how true the sensation of sheer helplessness is until death enters your life.  I screamed up at the exposed sky above me, I didn’t know what to say or do.  I was so angry and sad.  I felt so many things it was overwhelming.  All I could do was scream towards the sky which brought down death every, single, day.
My brother was dead and my parents were dead because of this damned sky.  Who has the right to drop such abominations on innocent people?  What did El ever do?  Why did he deserve to die?  Why did I deserve this?

Why?  I once asked that question.  Why?  The answer my Mentor gave me back then was so nonchalant, so bare and plain.  Now, thinking back on it; chills run down my spine because the words he said were so easy to make, so easy to use in apprehension without opposing them.
He said, ‘Why not?’ And I realize now, at this very moment.  Why did El deserve to die, why did I deserve this?  It could be answered so simply, with ‘Why not?’ At that moment I discarded all ideals of being a Scholar and replaced them with a single belief.
No one in the great nations cares about us; why should they care?

…Why not?

Then there's the story that supposedly got published in my old college's magazine, made for one Mr. Finn, the finest Creative Writing teacher one could ever possibly have asked for...  I miss him...  Anyways, Her Valentine is about the most unlikely kind of love, the shy kind between two perfectly kind souls, the kind that comes, far too late.  I will just warn everyone, the main character's husband is a piece of s***, there is rape too.

My instructor, Mr. Finn, said he didn't mind the dynamic of the rape but told me I should make the husband more human if I ever revise the story, and turn him into a more moral dilemma for my main character so that she can't so easily feel the ways she does.  (I thought in my head as he said this, I would if we had more than a 15 page limit!  And that originally the husband was more realistic but the page limit made this problematic).

Anyways I figured I'd still share it.

Quote:Her Valentine
“Nice fall there,” Alan was sitting hunched over with his hands clasped together on a chair on the lawn.  All around was grass and trees as if we were in a park and behind him was the mansion he lived in.  I aspired to wanting to live in such a building one day.  Behind me was a line of women all waiting impatiently in their finest outfits.  I was in a tight fitting dress that left me hot and sweaty, but the high heels got me.  In my nervousness as he called me over to sit down I stumbled across my own feet falling palms down into the grass.  Giggling and chatter occurred behind me and everyone knew I wasn’t getting hired as this guy’s maid.  Still, I stood up and smiled and continued my walk.  When I sat down his first words were complimenting me on my fall.  I smiled back, “Oh, heels and grass never went well,” I joked holding my smile.  I’m not going to get hired, “Well, I’m a bit different, so don’t think you’re disqualified for tripping a little bit in those uncomfortable things,” I felt my smile dull a little from surprise, “I do want to know if you have any questions,” he went silent and looked passed me with those brown eyes.  He looked depressed but didn’t seem to care about hiding it, “Uh, questions, questions…” I mumbled as the sun beat down on my blond hair.  I licked my dry lips and swallowed.  The smell of grass and the buzzing of crickets and cicadas was becoming a little disorienting but all I could think about were those sad eyes of his, “I guess my only question is…  Why do you look so sad?” his head perked up and his eyes met mine for the first time, no longer staring past me or wandering about the scenery.  



We were both the same age then, twenty one, and we both had some odd hobbies and habits.  I cleaned habitually and sewed, smiled at every misfortune to befall me.  He, well, he was obsessed with how to change the world and was plagued with bouts of pathological depression.  It was the first week of cleaning the mansion and I thought there’d be a few other maids about.  I discovered the first day it was just me.  I remembered as my smile crept along my face at my dismay of being the only one he hired.  He apologized and told me I could take my time, take breaks whenever.  No real work schedule.  Just clean the mansion, leave a log of hours and he’ll pay accordingly.  He warned me that the mansion had camera’s watching everywhere.  Though my smile faded and I slid my palm to my hip and glared at him.  He knew I wasn’t here to steal anything.

Later in the week I tried to make small talk with him, “So, how did you get so much money anyway?” I remember at first I felt like it was a bad idea to ask, “Well, my Father was a CEO of a Bank, and my Mother was a CEO of an Insurance firm,” I kept dusting the cabinets and display shelves in the room as he sat at the kitchen table I just wiped down reading Forbes Magazine, I stopped for a moment, two CEO’s together wouldn’t give a person a fortune of two trillion dollars, I didn’t really know anything about him yet so I just kept silent.  I just knew that if my husband, Derek, forgot to pick up our son Christian from school again—  Well I guess I’d just end up treating Christian to something special because what can I do about Derek, “My Father’s Grandpa was a CEO to an Oil company, his wealth was left to my Dad who never really dipped into it.  My Mom’s Mother was a CEO who helped found Microsoft and made money off of their success.  The wealth passed to my Mom was never really dipped into either.  When they both died, all of that money came to me.  I’m not too fond of it,” I stopped what I was doing and looked back to Alan curious about his last remark, but he had already gotten up and was walking out of the room.  After several hours I came upon Alan’s cat, Valentine.  Cute little fur ball, except I’m not a big cat person.  He mewed at me and rubbed up against my legs.  Cute gray and black cat and he had rather soft green eyes but he shed a coat of hair every day.  I finished up the downstairs and noted it was getting dark out.  I filled out the time paperwork and made my leave back to my house.  I arrived to Derek sleeping on the couch while Christian sat in front of the TV watching news about the rise of Child Pornography, “What are you watching?” I groaned and grabbed the remote from under Derek’s arm then changed the channel to cartoons, “What’s porn?” he turned and asked me.  My five year old son wanted to know what porn was, Derek’s voice answered for me, “That’s adult stuff kiddo.  I’ll teach you all about it when you’re older,” he was now awake and sat up, “Hey, you sore yet?” he insinuated with a smile that I was having sex with my boss because he was wealthy.  I sighed and slid past the couch when Derek slipped off it and slithered his way behind me as I walked to our room, his hands had already made contact with my butt before I was even past the kitchen entrance.  I stopped at the doorway and waited for the question but I guess it’s become an unspoken thing now for him.  His hands gripped the underside of my ass and he forced me into the room and closed the door behind him, “…Derek, I’m tired, can we do this tomorrow?” I asked as he locked the door and looked at me from behind his shoulder, “What?  Do I not f*** you good enough anymore?” I backed up and sat on the bed smiling a little, “No, I just cleaned for eight hours, my feet are sore, my hands are sore,” he stepped in front of me and eyed me over, his eyes glaring at my chest, “Oh yeah?  I’m really sorry to hear that, I only had to do everything for Christian today because you were gone.  I had to take the week off for you, you know, what’s my boss going to think?” his palms slipped onto my breasts and he shoved me into the bed as he climbed over me, his hands already gliding under my skirt grabbing at my panties.  I struggling the first time this happened, I kicked and even bit him but he just slapped my face and choked me, holding me down by my throat.  I learned after that to just let him use me how he wanted, I wanted to divorce him but putting a kid through a divorce can be har— Agh— Ah… b-but is being— Ugh… raped… w—…worth it?  He threw me onto my stomach, pulled me onto my knees by grabbing and pulling back my hair then just shoved it in and began fucking me without a care in the world.  This was happening more often.  I wasn’t sure how to handle it and I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to.  All I could do was have my head held up while he pulled my hair back, and smile with tears in my eyes.



After a year of working for Alan New Years was coming up, Derek had become withdrawn.  He began drinking and would have his way with me every night.  I lost my sex drive, I wasn’t aroused anymore.  Christian didn’t seem to understand why I would go into the room fine and come out covered in bruises on my arms and legs and neck.  However; Alan caught on the first day I showed up looking that way.  I hadn’t even gotten the mop solution mixed when he walked into the kitchen and stopped dead in his tracks looking at me.  This was the night before New Years Eve, “Ann…” he said as I held the bucket to the sink filling it with water, “Alan,” I said back playfully and smiled over to him but his usual mopey eyes were now sharp, “You don’t need to work today.  You can ta—” I dropped the bucket of water across the tile floor, as he said this my heart jumped up several beats and my hands began to shake, “No!  That’s okay! I-I want to work!  Really, I-I need the money!  Why, is something wrong?  D-Did I do something wrong?!” I gasped with a wide smile as I stumbled towards the bucket but slipped and fell onto my hands and knees getting my clothes and hair wet with water and ammonia, “I-I’m sorry, I’ll clean it up!  I’m really sor—” I began tearing up as I apologized but he crouched down and placed his hand on mine, “Hey, relax.  What’s going on that you have these kinds of bruises?  Is your husband—” I jerked my head up, “No!  No-no-no, no, it’s nothing like that!” I lied desperate and terrified that Alan would call the cops and let them know about the domestic violence, “I just had a bad fall down some stairs yesterday was all, okay?  It’s nothing to worry about, Alan,” I didn’t realize it at the time but I was smiling so bad anyone could tell I was lying.  He shook his head and sat down next to me, “I know it’s none of my business and that you’re my employee, and you have no reason to tell me such things.  But please understand that if you ever need to get out of your house.  You can stay here,” and with that I stayed the night in the guest bedroom.  Alan had given me some extra money to get supplies to stock a guest bedroom and bathroom for myself, and if I wanted, for Christian.  The next day was New Years and Derek had called me up in a rage screaming over the phone, “You stupid god damn slut, you ARE cheating on me aren’t you!” my voice faltered but I found myself unable to stop smiling, “No, I—” but he interrupted me, “Shut your fucking whore mouth, I’m coming over there and you’re fucking quitting that job you little slut,” he hung up before I could do anything about it.  Alan was lying in his bed in one of his depressed moods when Derek began hitting the front door not much later, “Ann you little f*** get out here!” I felt myself shaking as I stood at the top of the stairs looking down to the door that rattled with each hard knock.  I began walking down the stairs when Alan slipped past me and got to the door first, “Wait!  I’ll…” I gasped helpless as he looked back at me and shook his head.  He opened the door to Derek glaring him down, “You!  Where’s my wife…?” he growled at Alan like he was going to jump him, “She’s right behind me, what’s wrong?” he was calm about it, but I could see his knees were shaking from the adrenaline rush, “Where the f*** was she last night?” Alan was silent then looked back at me with this odd look, “Ann, you never told him I had you watch the mansion while I was out of town on business?” I blinked blindsided by this question.  Derek’s head poked in and those vicious sharp glaring eyes locked on me, “I…  I forgot.” I mumbled feeling ashamed.  I smiled a little now but it wasn’t from this odd misfortune.  Why did Alan lie like that for me?  He had no reason to, “I’ve also invited her to a small New Years Eve party tonight, I was just wondering if you’d like to—” Alan was cut off by Derek snapping, “f*** that s***, me and Christian were going somewhere already, she can decide to come with us or not.  Fucking bullshit,” and like that Derek had stormed off the property.  The day flew by and night had come before I knew it.  I was sitting in the room I had unofficially made my own.  I sat in only my underwear.  I had undressed to change my clothes but a bout of depression interrupting me.  Alan stumbled in and stopped to look at me, “Ann…?” he mumbled.  His face was a little red, “Ah!  WAIT!” I squealed as he laughed and turned around, “Sorry, sorry, I thought we could have a drink to celebrate another long miserable year,” I slipped on some jeans and a shirt as he waited by the door.  I took a moment and decided a drink would be nice.  Then eleven at night slipped by and before I knew it I was drunk, he was drunk, and we were talking about everything.  He told me about how his dad died of a hard attack and instead of calling for help, just sat about and died, and about how his mom committed suicide and he was the first to find her back when he was about seven.  He talked about how his Grandma was abusive trying to coerce him into signing his parents’ wealth over to her.  I told him how my husband would rape me every night and how my son would call me a slut.  Alan one upped me by telling me his only memory of his mom was of one where he was showering with her as a child and that through that only memory of her he developed an incestuous love for her.  He’d developed an attraction to red haired, hazel eyed girls.  In his guilt for lusting after his mother he acquired a counter attraction for black haired, dark eyed girls, and then there was me fitting comfily in the middle.  We talked about love, sex, politics, society, kids, technology.  We talked about how when he renovated this mansion Fox News slandered him for spending so much money back when he was eighteen and how two years later he sued Fox News for slander after an interview and won.  I found out Alan wanted to create this sort of utopian world with his money.  We talked all through the night and shared our more intimate feelings about everything including how many people we’ve been with.  It turned out Alan frequented Escort services for a while but stopped after one of the girls drugged him and tried to get his account information.  I woke up the next morning puking my guts out half the day.  His hangover consisted of a strong headache as he sat with me the entire day in front of the toilet.  Later that night my husband called me up telling me he might be going away for a while because of his debts to some guys he gambled with.  Alan overheard the conversation and made an offer to pay them all off, I didn’t want to accept it.  I was seeing him in a new light ever since last night.  His face was different now, it shined with a beauty in my eyes and he looked attractive to me.  I was in love, like the first time I saw Derek, butterflies fluttered in my stomach when I’d look at Alan.  Now here he was offering to pay off Derek’s debts.  I caved and allowed him too, and that turned into paying off my debts, which turned into paying for my hobbies, then he fixed my debt, paid off an eviction I had, he gave Christian a college savings account to pay for the most expensive university in America.  He paid off my loans for the house and car.  One day I had driven up to the house and there was construction starting in a spot on the property.  I shrugged it off thinking it was just a garage and went to cleaning.  Alan would walk by and I’d find myself eyeing him with lusty thoughts.  Derek raped me with such harsh strength, but Alan was a gentle person and perhaps he was a gentle lover too.  The days passed and before I knew it I was looking at him like he was my master in some kinky way.  I’d talk nice to him and would mother him out of his depressions.  Derek grew more vicious every day.  He’d throw me into the bed and just f*** me without mercy.  He’d choke me to the point of almost blacking out.  He’d call me a slut and unfaithful, a whore and a b****.  Christian would hear him scream at me and he began calling me such names too.  I’d come to work with more bruises than ever and Alan would always tell me to stick around if I needed to.  I’d leave terrified and unsure what to do.  I’d return home, cook, clean, care for Christian and when Derek got horny I’d have to let him f*** me or else he’d just hit me and suffocate me.  I gave up trying to reason with it and gave in to the helplessness no longer even contemplating a divorce.  He’d use me without much care, if he wanted my vagina he’d use it, if he wanted my ass he’d use it.  He tried to make me deep throat him one night but after throwing up on him he never tried it again.  I was miserable.  I was happier at work.  My parents had disowned me when they found out I was pregnant at sixteen.  I had no chance of surviving on my own and I couldn’t bring myself to get an abortion.  I married Derek, threw my body to him in a way that had him clinging to me, helping me.  To think seven years later with a seven year old son in the next room over he’d be using my body like it was his own personal sex toy.  All I could do was cry smiling each and every time biting pillows from pain and clawing the sheets in misery.  The days passed.  I had begun showing up early in the mornings to the mansion.  I made a habit of it in order to avoid waking up to Derek wanting sex.  I walked up the stairs and down the scarlet hallway that led to Alan’s study and his room.  I set up my cleaning supplies in his study and made a quick check in his room.  He was lying there silent but he wasn’t asleep.  He was in a depressed slump and didn’t want me to know he was awake it seemed.  I slipped by him and began tidying his desk stacking papers neatly, replacing pencils and pens and discarding useless scraps.  He commended me for how I tidied his desk saying I was the only one to ever do it in a way he didn’t find annoying.  I slipped over next to his bed and the urge to just jump into it with him, to just slid myself on top of him and press my lips into his erupted through my body.  My mind played it in front of me like a beautiful love scene of forbidden pleasure.  I clenched my legs tight from the sudden hot pulsing in my crotch and leaned over getting closer to his ear and whispered into it, “I hope you sleep better today, you really should correct your sleep schedule,” I slipped out of his bed and down the red hallway afterwards back to his study where I stubbed the toe of my heel into the coffee table and let out a yelp falling to my knees giving myself a rug burn.  I got up and sighed with a slight smile at this and thought today was going to be just like any other da— “AHHHHHN—” Alan’s voice echoed across the entire mansion it seemed.  My heart faltered for a moment then beat without restraint.  I stumbled over my own feet trying to make it to the hallway and I fell to my hands and knees then crawled to the hallway.  I saw Alan lying face down on the carpet, Valentine was rubbing up against him purring, “Alan?!” I called to him but he didn’t respond in any way.  I ran over to him and pulled out my phone, “Alan?  Alan!” I yelled and shook him.  I dialed the police.  I don’t know why I begged or cried and gasped and wheezed myself into a panic attack screaming his address and that I needed an ambulance.  The operator said to check his pulse and give him chest compressions.  I dropped my phone and rolled him onto his back.  I was sobbing and babbling at his body lying beneath me.  My hands pushed with all my weight and strength into his chest, his skin was no longer warm.  He wasn’t breathing.  I was screaming and begging, praying and cursing to God in this hallway on this scarlet carpet.  Please don’t let him die, please, just please don’t die, Alan!  Alan!

The paramedics came in with a defibrillator but never took it out.  They said he had made a DNR back when he was eighteen, three years before I met him.  He had a massive heart attack and died within minutes.  I watched helplessly as this man I had come to revere as my escape from my abusive husband and my miserable life died underneath me.  They slid him into a black body bag and took him away.  I watched unsure of what to do.  I thought I’d be smiling like I did at all the misfortunes in my life but for the first time, something so terrible happened to me that I just couldn’t even do that.  At Alan’s funeral no one showed up.  No friends, no family.  I was the only one.  Derek and Christian didn’t ask about any of it, didn’t want to know if I was okay.  They didn’t like Alan.  They wanted me to cook and clean and f*** and help and be their maid.  I didn’t want to be their maid.  I wasn’t their maid.  I watched as his casket was lowered into his grave.  I was alone in the cemetery.  Alan’s lawyer had stopped by to pay his respects.  I hadn’t seen Alan’s lawyer often as Alan usually left the mansion on a weekly basis to attend to business of sorts from legal to industrial.  He had left and I just stood in front of Alan’s grave throughout the day and throughout the night, and still longer into the next day.  My feet had grown comfortably numb.  My mouth hadn’t smiled for an entire day for the first time in years.  I stood like a blond haired, black draped statue overlooking Alan’s grave.  His lawyer reappeared later in the day knocking me out of my daze as he presented me with an envelope stating this was all a part of Alan’s will.  I received it but showed no gratitude, only nodding with glossy blue lifeless eyes.  He left soon after and I slid open the large envelope and inside were several dozen papers and a single key.  I eyed them all in front of Alan’s grave then was thrown out of my daze into disbelief.  In my hands were signed deeds by Alan and his Lawyer granting me ownership of all of his financial accounts and assets.  Alan gave me everything.  I pulled out the key and recognized it from the night we got drunk.  He pulled out this exact same key and said it opened the locked drawer on his desk that no one was allowed into it.  Several hours later I found myself standing in his room in front of his desk.  It was still assorted from when I tidied it up.  I crouched down to the drawer and slipped the key into the lock then turned it.  I opened the drawer to several journals in the bottom.  I grabbed them all and slipped onto his bed and opened the top one. It was dated back to when he was only eleven.  These were diaries, recordings of his most intimate feelings.

Days passed but I couldn’t put the journals down, there was a decade of entries, over a thousand of them saying he hated the person he was.  Entire entries depicting the madness his Grandma put him through.  Locking him in closets, grounding him at one point for an entire year, denying him money and starving him, all trying to force him to sign over his parents’ wealth to her.  An entire novel on the madness of humanity and the world was present.  Over a thousand pages devoted to rambling and brainstorming on why humanity was the way it was.  Why living was so hard.  He went over how much shame and guilt he felt for having such lustful thoughts of his mother.  He talked about his hopes that his family’s bad genes with heart disease and all the stress he had would bring about an early heart attack and a quick painless death.  He was so dead and full of dread inside I felt like I was dying by just reading these journals.  But I couldn’t stop.  I came to the first entry where I was introduced.  He called me cute.  Said he liked how when I tripped walking over to sit down to be interviewed I just got up and smiled.  He thought about me often in these journals.  He did so much for me behind the scenes.  He fixed my credit and got me off blacklists.  He expunged a record of theft when I was fourteen and ensured a good name went out for me.  He set me up; built me up; reset my life and took away all the wrongs I ever made.  He was having a house built near the mansion.  I took no notice of it when the construction began thinking it was a garage but according to these journals it was going to be a house built for me and Christian when Derek got drunk and out of control.  He was going to introduce it to me on Valentine’s Day.  He talked about New Years and how we had talked all night.  He said he had feelings for me.  He couldn’t tell me because I had a husband.  He didn’t want to ruin my life or complicate it.  He talked in long stretches about me.  About how he loved what kind of person I was and about how he cared for me because of who I was.  He fixed everything for me because he felt he wasn’t good enough for me.  I read Alan’s diaries as if they were a Bible.  I went out to interviews with them and read them while waiting for Christian to get out of school.  I read them in the dank nights when I couldn’t sleep, or after Derek was drunk and choked me to the brink of suffocation.  They became my escape from reality.  They became my personal memento to Alan; my little pieces of him that were left behind.  I came upon a page with a simple sentence on it at one point, “It’s Valentine’s Day and my Valentine was going to be Ann, I want to be Her Valentine but, that’s not possible,” I kept reading the diary for weeks.  After five busy months I managed to read about everything.  I’d leave for hours every day pretending to have work.  I’d pay everything with the money Alan left me.  I got to the last page of his final diary.  It was dated at one in the morning on the day that Alan had his heart attack:
“I remembered something today.  On the first week of turning eighteen I had made a DNR; to not be revived in the event my heart stops.  I need to go undo that.  I think I’ll do that today.  I should really thank Ann for this decision.”

I sat there in shock reading this sentence over and over.  It was all that was left of him now, the final entry to his life and his final intimate thought.  Thanking me for granting him the will to live, wanting to have a second chance at life if anything ever happened to him and now it was all over.  How close was it that just maybe Alan would be alive?  That maybe instead of dying underneath me he would have been revived by the paramedics?  That I would confess these feelings to him, that’d I’d leave my miserable life behind and join his?  No more abusive Derek, no more ungrateful Christian.  No more being used like a sex toy and being a maid to ungrateful monsters.

How close was it, that maybe, just maybe, I’d be happy…?

Truthfully it's not the best and it's been revised a lot before this version, some funny errors like stubbing the toe of her heel, or the 'Hard' Attack Alan had wanted, there was also a 'dank' where 'dark' should've been.  There was also more mention of his cat, Valentine, and the passage of time was supposed to be more clear, but after gutting the story to fit a 15 page limit, this was the best I managed, and unsurprisingly, it's still got some issues.

I wanted to make Derek neglectful rather than abusive but to speed up the story I choose an abusive husband, and to try and make him as unlikable as possible so the reader would empathize with Ann's desire towards Alan more rather than viewing her as unfaithful.  There's also a potential plot hole in regards to Alan's final journal entry being after Valentine's Day, yet the timing of his death would appear to be before Valentine's Day.  Another unintentional issue from gutting the story as (and I remember now) I recall, I had Ann make a remark about the day to provide the date, but got rid of it as I was struggling to reduce the story.  It didn't help it had to be double spaced so a 7 page story became 15 pages.

Finally, one of my 'practice' runs on writing, The 100 Dollar Bill is a very very short story about a Butcher's run in with chilling misfortune.

[quote]
“How did it come to this?” My teeth chattered involuntarily against my will, snapping together to the point of pain, a pain that was uncomfortable and familiar all the same.  I sat in the corner of this small dark, dank, yet dry room.  One single light lit dimly over the door.  I looked down at my bloodied apron and thought of the day.  It was another warm cozy day outside.  I’d come to work, don my apron and begin cutting up meat.  Slices and stacks of the raw material.  Ham, Pork, Beef, my butchers block was covered in scars from my hard chops into thick meat.  The register rang out every day around opening.  Mother’s had to feed their family and this little quaint shop was the place to go for the meat men craved.  I stared down at the entire freezer, this freezer was to be stocked tomorrow morning, it’s empty and bare right now.  Frost clung to the walls.  A constant loud humming emanated from all over from the cooler unit overhead, the cold was no longer dull and burning but deep and stinging.  I slid my clenched shaking fists into my pockets and tightened myself up into a small ball huddled in the corner, my shirt sticking to the wall, I was too afraid to move, fearing it’d tear off.

Why had this happened?  I thought about it through this haziness that shrouded my mind.  The cold dominating my thoughts, as if every memory had a frame of frost over it, a blue tint to its color; it was closing time.  I threw down my butcher knife sticking it into the block, something I was taught never to do but obstinately did so anyways.  I had to count the register, had to clean the metal tables.  I needed to close the store.  I pulled out the register drawer and began counting money.  We’re not supposed to have more than fifty dollars in it at a time but this small quaint town wasn’t known for its burglars as much as it was for its police officers, especially now after a recent shooting at the grocery store down the street had an officer dead.  But, why did I come into here?  I knew it was empty.  I had been in this freezer several times throughout the day grabbing meat ready to be chopped, sliced, diced, and strained until it was empty.  I stared into the ground quietly.  I heard a whistling.  The door was notorious for never closing all the way.  When it’d do so our produce was at risk though I always told Angela, the owner, that its bullshit.  She had me always come in whenever there was a whistle, grab the mallet in the back and break the ice that would form along the doorway.  The heat of the room hitting the cold temperatures of the freezer caused all this condensation, and freezing. “If the door isn’t shut all the way the cold ain’t staying that way.” She’d chant it to me like she had years of experience.  I came in here still holding the register drawer, I blanked on that, a long day always left me tired, and I just wanted to count the money and leave.  Yet here I am being a good person and making up for my stubbornness by doing what good I could for this small shop.  I guess this is what I get for being nice, or maybe for being bad.  I don’t know how long I’ve been in here.  I have no watch on me like usual, removing it for the bloody task of chopping.  I had no phone on me, leaving that in the manager’s office.  The register drawer was sitting next to the mallet on the opposite side of the room.  I’m so cold…  My hands were pulsing with stinging pain, my face felt frosty and my hair, as it brushed along my ears felt like icicles.  Am I going to freeze?  I hate the cold.  Is this divine punishment for all the wrong things I’ve done?  I pulled forward slightly hunching over when my shirt let out a loud sticking noise, like a sticker being peeled off its plastic hold, only that sound magnified tenfold.  It came undone slowly, never ripping, thankfully.

“I can’t die like this.” I mumbled as my vision narrowed in on the mallet.  I remember when I walked in.  The ground is always slippery, like ice.  I stepped in, took two more steps and suddenly slipped.  Holding the drawer upright even as I fell, this little store would fall if this money were lost.  A single day’s worth was priceless to Angela.  I landed on my ass and slid further onto my back, the drawer never left my hand, not a single coin left it in return.  In the process of falling my hand flew back slapping into the door that otherwise hung open.  It flew shut like some invisible man pushed it with a hard shove.  The humming became my life within an hour and I had no idea what to do.  I pulled desperately at that icy cold metal handle, slid across the floor as I jerked and pulled, sticking my foot onto the wall as I pushed and pulled all the same time.  I screamed for help, I took the mallet, and smashed it into the handle several times until I slipped and fell again.  Nothing dislodged this doors locking mechanism, the only thing that’ll do that is so close.  On the opposite side of the door, yet, cruelly out of my reach.  There’s nothing left to do now.  I stared at the register longingly.  Money…

Money!  I scrambled over to the drawer and began yanking out the twenties, tens, fifties, some fives and ones, and two one hundred dollar bills.  Over five hundred dollars must have been in here.  Now in my painfully pulsing grip.  I slid over to the corner I was in before and huddled over it, now facing the wall rather than the room.  Money.  Yes, you are the life blood to so much in this world.  But I can’t remove my clothes, or I’d definitely freeze.  Angela, please don’t fire me for what I’m about to do.  I placed the cash on the floor and arranged it neatly, first a one dollar bill stacked over another, and then another in a star pattern.  I slid my hand into my pockets and produced a small pocket lighter.  My habitual smoking caught up to me throughout the day, but I had already smoked my last cigarette before the day came to an end.  I snapped the lighting mechanism once, twice.  Three times.  I paused, and did it again.  Sparks flung out, but no flame.  Please.  I snapped it again, a sixth time, seventh.  Was it out of lighter fluid?  I viciously shook it next to my ear, the sound of liquid sloshing about was barely heard over the freezer’s loud humming.  I slid my thumb over and snapped it again.  My fingers were beginning to go numb and tingly, the stinging pain now disappearing, they felt cold and lifeless even to my own body.

“PLEASE LIGHT!” I screamed at this damned little lighter and snapped my thumb over it once more, revealing a flame that arched up a good inch.  I stared at it, mesmerized.  Life, death, nothing was as important now than this flame.  I slid it over to the money on the ground, it lit up, burning, burning faster, my hands, I brought them close.  The money crinkling into black paper and ash.  Smoke rising and s
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01-08-2018, 12:49 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-08-2018, 12:50 PM by Ra1111.)
#3
RE: Free Form
I do love NIN myself (although hesitation marks was the last one so far that I have enjoyed... I do not jive well with his newer direction at this time)

Your atom bomb from the window took me back to Year Zero, did you participate in that Alternate Reality thing he did with it? That was incredible and totally before its time. The emphasis on internet communication seemed to be too much, and yet here we are ten(ish?) years after that album and its our go to form of communication,

And PS that photo you did is amazing , great work !
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01-08-2018, 08:37 PM,
#4
RE: Free Form
I like the newest album, it took a few listens to get along with.

I didn't participate as I was in high school and only wanted to observe, but the ninwiki revealed a lot about the ARG for Year Zero.

Trent Reznor got it eerily close to correct, didn't he...

Which photo are you talking about?  The first one?  The axe?
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