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Author Topic: Dudeman writes things creatively.  (Read 1969 times)

Dudeman

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Dudeman writes things creatively.
« on: March 04, 2015, 06:17:45 AM »

I'm in a creative writing class in school, and I think I'm fairly good. I'm gonna post some of my stuff here to share with teh interwebs, if you don't mind.

Criticism is welcome and encouraged!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 07:31:18 AM by Dudeman »
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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 06:19:02 AM »

interwebs don't mind
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 06:19:14 AM »

"The Boy With the Broken Heart"

   He couldn’t have been more than ten, but with the way he trudged down the street, he could have been eighty. The bright sunshine did nothing to lift his spirits. As the people of the city milled around him on their various errands, the boy looked around himself. Everything seemed gray to him. The brightly-colored storefronts faded to blacks and whites before his eyes. He turned around slowly, heavily, searching for anything that might bring in some color. But there was nothing. The boy resumed his journey forward. His shoulders hunched over him as if trying to shy away from something behind him. His tousled black hair appeared windswept, as if it was usually well-kempt but had been ignored for some time. His eyes hardly moved, focused on an invisible point on the ground in front of him. They reflected the pavement with a watery sadness. The boy blinked hard and quickly. Don’t cry, he commanded himself. Not here. People might see you.
   
   The boy’s feet finally brought him to the double doors of a high-rise apartment building. He turned and entered, not acknowledging the doorman who held the door with a sympathetic expression. On any other day, the boy would have hopped into the elevator and zoomed up to his floor, but today his feet opted to shuffle their way up the flights of stairs to his destination. As he walked, he had time to think about the big questions, as one often does after a tragedy. Why? was the first question, of course. Why me? Why now? Why not someone else? Then came the blame questions. What did I do? Is it my fault? It is my fault, isn’t it? But I couldn’t have done anything, right?
   
   The boy stood in front of the door to his apartment. Muscle memory was all he needed to slip his key into the lock and enter. He looked around in a bleary daze. It seemed like a dream, a feverish hallucination. Cards and flowers littered the entranceway and extended into the sitting room and the kitchen. Each card contained virtually the same message, written with the same attempted sympathy as the doorman. The flowers were gray. The rooms were gray. The light filtering into the room was gray.
   
   The boy stumbled slowly through the hall until he reached his room. It was very neat, with everything in its place and not one piece where it should not have been. Everything seemed to have been untouched for a few days. Very deliberately, the boy crossed over to a desk in the far corner. Without needing to turn on the light, the boy opened one of the drawers and rummaged for a few seconds before pulling out a slightly faded sheet of paper. He reached up and switched on the lamp that hung over him.
   
   The drawing had the artistic talent of a four-year-old, but the passion and inspiration of Picasso at his easel. A small, royal purple stickman with a smiling face stood at one end of the page. A tall, fiery red stickman stood at the other, smiling with equal intensity. Between them, a lovely crimson ball hung suspended in midair. The sun smiled down upon the pair with the most cheerful yellow imaginable. The tress around the two thrived with emerald green leaves and sturdy, earthy brown trunks. The lake and sky in the background reflected each other’s pure blue shimmer like a diamond among coals. At the bottom, the four-year-old artist, with as much feeling as he could muster, had written very simply, “i love you daddy”.
   
   The boy clutched the masterpiece to his chest, and as he dropped to the floor, he wept for the beautiful color that, to him, was all he had left of his world. And as the rainbow shone in the dimly-lit room, the gray world outside faded into nothing, leaving just one brilliant memory, one wonderful moment, and one boy with a broken heart.
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 03:07:43 AM »

Whoops, should have stuck this thread in the Story Telling board. Can I get a mod to move it, pretty please?

EDIT: Maestro's teh bestest.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 03:24:14 AM by Dudeman »
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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 03:49:45 AM »

"The Winking Man"

   Parker wandered through the streets as usual. The impossibly tall buildings towered over him, trapping him in a maze of steel and concrete. Like the others who swarmed around him, Parker was just another jobless, worthless face in the mix of citizens under the Conglomerate. Class divisions made it impossible for any sort of equalization. Crime was rampant. Death was everywhere. Any sort of recognition was limited to getting lucky enough to be selected for one of the Conglomerate’s “goodwill projects,” when some random member of the populace would be taken who-knows-where, injected with “bettering” chemicals, and released back into the public to become another “experimental casualty.” Life went on its slow pace day in and day out. And Parker was just another cog in the deteriorating machine.
   
   Parker sighed and turned down an alley. He never truly liked the crowds. Even if he was part of them, he would never become what they were. Finally seeking some solace, or as much as he could get with thirty other people around him, he sat down and took stock of his situation. His clothes were becoming threadbare and his belly was complaining like a small child on a long trip, just like it did every day. He looked around, hoping to find something. He didn’t know exactly what he was looking for, but he looked anyway, searching for anything to provide some interest.
   
   That’s when he saw him. The man stood out from the dreary wanderers in the alley like a black pebble in a sea of white rocks. He looked to be around 35 (old, by the city’s standards), and he seemed to be in good health. His left eye twinkled with some hidden secret, while his right eye remained closed. Nothing appeared to be wrong with it, but the lid never moved from its resting place. From the right angle, he seemed to be winking.
   
   Parker stood up and sauntered over to him. The man glanced at him and turned up the corners of his mouth in some small attempt at a smile. Parker started speaking.
   
   “Something wrong with your eye?” There are no pleasantries in the city.
   
   The man shook his head. “I find I can focus better if I think with one half of me and talk with the other half.” He spoke like could have been a salesman of some bygone era.
   
   Parker was a bit confused by this statement, but one does not dwell on confusion long in the city. He moved on. “You have a name?”
   
   The man shrugged. “Who’s asking?”
   
   “Someone who admires a man who winks at the world,” replied Parker.
   
   The man almost-smiled again. “How did you end up down here?” he muttered, half to himself. He stuck out his hand. “I’m Gill.” As if remembering something vital, he put his hand away almost instantly, nervously. People do not shake hands in the city.
   
   “Parker,” replied Parker. “How does one end up with a name like ‘Gill’?”
   
   “Long story,” said Gill.
   
   In the city most conversations end here, but Parker was drawn by something in Gill’s nature, something about how casually he let life slip on by.
   
   “Why are you here, Gill?” asked Parker. “You don’t seem like the type to get out of the crowd.”
   
   Gill briefly looked over Parker’s shoulder and down the alley. Leaning closer, he looked Parker in the eye and lowered his voice slightly. “Maybe that’s because...” he glanced around again. “...I’m not part of the crowd.” He put an arm around Parker’s shoulder and pulled him a bit closer. People do not intentionally touch each other in the city. Parker nervously attempted to turn away. “Just listen,” hissed Gill. “I’m not the kind to be content with days and days of absolutely nothing. I want more.” He stared Parker dead in the eye again. “We want more. And if you want to know more, you have to come with me.”
   
   Parker’s mind froze. People do not speak of rebellion in the city. Or avoid the crowd forever. Or touch each other. Especially that. Parker pushed Gill’s arm away and started striding further down the alley. There is no “goodbye” in the city.
   
   Gill hurriedly caught up with him. “Think about it, Parker. No hunger. No crowd. No Conglomerate. No need for people like me. You listen to me, and I’ll be gone as soon as our work here is done.”
   
   “No,” said Parker, barely acknowledging Gill. “You’re different. People aren’t different in the city.”
   
   “You’re different!” cried Gill. “You approached me willingly because I was different too! Don’t you see? It’s natural! It’s instinct! You need this!”
   
   Parker walked even faster, trying to escape the madman. The other end of the alley was in sight, and the crowd, that beautiful crowd that minutes ago had seemed so repulsive to him, was calling to him, offering security, a sense of belonging, a place to face into obscurity. He broke into a run.
   
   “You could be great!” called Gill. Parker sprinted. Gill sprinted after him. “You could be somebody! You could become anything! Anything at all! Don’t you want to be famous? Don’t you want a reason to live?”
   
   The crowd. Finally, the beautiful crowd sucked Parker in and protected him from the strange man who raved from the alley. Gill, right on Parker’s heels, suddenly stopped short of the mass that flowed through the street, either held back by some invisible force or pushed back by some invisible wall. He opened his mouth for one last plea, then stopped and thought better of it. Slowly, he puckered his lips together and blew. A whistle. Two simple notes. Two wonderfully simple notes.
   
   Parker stopped dead in his tracks. His entire body quivered. There is no touching in the city. There is no talking. No questioning. No differing. No resisting. But above all, above every stigma written by the hand of the Conglomerate and preached by the crowd, there is no music in the city.
   
   Parker leapt back into the alley and tackled Gill to the ground. His eyes were huge and his mouth hung open in shock, surprise, anger, wonder, and maybe even joy. There is no joy in the city. He attempted to speak. “Wha—” His voice caught and he swallowed and tried again. “What...are you?”
   
   Gill smiled his almost-smile again. “I told you. I am what you are. What you will be. What you need to be.” He gently lifted Parker off of him, a simple task given Parker’s current mental state.
   
   Parker’s legs gave out from under him and he collapsed to the ground. Those two notes bounced around in his head, echoing to infinity, combining and recombining into a sensation of sound that would not leave his mind no matter how hard he tried. Parker looked up at Gill. “Why can—how are you—” he pointed at Gill’s mouth with a shaking finger in an attempt to clarify his meaning. “That!”
   
   “Like I said, Parker. We want more.” Gill gestured to the walls around them. “You have to make a choice. Either you can stay here, melding with the crowd and dying unknown, unloved, and unfulfilled.” He reached out his hand to Parker. “Or, you can take my hand and fix this broken world.”
   
   Parker looked around himself. The crowed pulsed behind him with safety and protection. But protection from what? From risk, said something in his head. From individuality. You have a name. What good is a name without a man to attach it to?
   
   Parker looked back up at Gill. That hand represented all he could become. And that music! It cried out from inside Parker, demanding to be let loose, to have a voice to call its own.
   
   Parker feebly stretched out his own hand to Gill. “There is no touching in the city,” he whispered.
   
   Gill smiled his almost-smile. “No,” he replied. “There is not.” As he took Parker’s hand, he winked.
   
   With his right eye.
   
   A bright flash exploded in the alley. There was no longer a man with an idea and a man who wanted it. There were just the thirty others who had escaped the crowds for a moment as well, those who might be different at heart, those who knew there was something beyond the crowd.
   
   Outside, the crowd did not notice.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 07:16:19 AM by Dudeman »
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Latios212

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 02:47:09 PM »

I like your stories ^_^
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 07:13:03 AM »

“The Comforting Cold”

   It can be very easy to get lost in the woods. Wander too far and everything starts to blend together into an endlessly repeating circle of branch, moss, and dirt. That’s why I never lose myself.
   
   My name is Ezekiel. I used to have more names, but their meaning faded from my memory long ago. Living in these forests can do that to you. It’s a wonder that I even remember my own name. Maybe I keep it as a reminder of my humanity, my identity, or the world I left behind. Who knows how much is left of it now? My life now is driven by instinct, desire, and survival. I am as much animal as man, hunting when I can, resting where I can, and finding what I can to prevent any day from being my last. But it wasn’t always like this. Sometimes, as I lie with trillions of stars above me and nothing but the forest around me, my mind comes to rest on visions that all at once seem foreign, and yet familiar. Visions of a time when my life was more of a dream. Maybe it was hard, but I cannot afford thoughts of difficulty in the woods.
   
   They were both the most beautiful things I had ever known. My wife, her infinitely caring smile and gentle movements shining throughout the house, was Helen. My daughter, full of endless joy and the love of anything with life, was Laura. The city was full of darkness and despair. I worked somewhere, talked with someone, and created something day after day in this city. Cold. Everywhere was cold. The streets, the office, the buses. I came home to my own house every evening. It too was cold, cold with the troubles of surviving and cold with the absence of pleasure. Within that particular cold shone two brilliant lights, cold lights who warmed the spirit not with energy, but with joy. The cold meant everything to me. Stepping from the blackness into the luminous abode was what I lived for. It drove me.
   
   What do I live for, now?
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2015, 07:29:52 AM »

“Junkbound”

   The lights behind me flashed more intensely. The calls and sirens continued to approach. I ran. I felt like I was running as I never had before. The branches of the trees that flew past me scuffed my knees and slashed at my arms. I ran on. I could not let them catch me. I would not let it catch me. That was my only goal. So when the cliff face reared its ugly head in front of me, I let out a strangled gasp of terror. As the cacophony rose behind me, I turned around just as the terrible many-eyed beast leapt from the shadows, ready to devour me between teeth as long as knives and equally as sharp...
   
   I awoke. Silence. The cool forest air brushed against my cheek, like a mother’s comfort. Dawn filtered in through the leaves overhead, coating the trees in a golden-orange hue. I looked around briefly. No one was there. I sighed and shook my head. “Just another nightmare,” I said to myself. Another nightmare in a world so full of them.
   
   As I picked myself off the ground, my forest haven flowered to life as the birds, critters, and insects began to sing their morning songs. My nightmare briefly pulsed against my skull, reminding me of how temporary this peace was. I shook my head again. These images, like the guilt of a terrible crime, had been attacking me more frequently these past couple of days. I gazed around my resting place and made a decision. I could not ignore this any longer. It was time to confront myself. It was time to return to the junkyard.
**********
(TBC?)
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 12:12:48 AM »

“Dark is Not a Color”

   They’ve asked me to come out a million times. But I never come out. It’s about taking the risk, they say. They tell me to find whatever inner strength I have and re-enter the outside world. I don’t answer them. It’s not worth the trouble. They’ll never understand anyway. No one ever does. No one ever has.
   
   True, it’s not fun to sit in a windowless room day after day, with only my thoughts as company. But at least it’s safe. Nothing out there will be able to hurt me in here. This room, whatever it is, is my only home. There are certainly drawbacks. I’ve started to forget what I look like. I dimly recall compliments on deep, caring eyes and maybe a few on a pleasant expression, but nothing more. Who knows what they would see in me now. I’d rather not find out.
   
   They talk to me every day. They ask me how I am, how I feel, if I’m going to come out today, if I remember who they are. That last question is usually accompanied by a crack in the voice. I never answer. The less they try to remember about me, the better. I wish that they would forget I exist. Go away! You don’t need me. I certainly don’t need you.
   
   One time they asked me if I missed the light. I ignored them. Then they asked me if I missed the color. I would have ignored it as well, but then it hit me: I didn’t remember what color looked like. I tried forcefully to bring to mind any color at all. Red, I thought. Or blue. What do they look like, again? But try as I did, all I could remember was that color is brighter than the room. The thoughts tormented me. I fell dumbstruck trying to imagine what I was missing.
   
   So I did the impossible. I asked a question. I asked them if the room was colorful. I heard a gasp from the opposite side of the door. With a quaking voice, they said that yes, it was very colorful. I told them that it wasn’t bright enough to be a color. They chuckled and told me that dark is not a color. I pondered that statement. Dark...I can see it, but I cannot. It lights my world by taking the light from it. It is very bright in its obscurity. But colorful? The room was not colorful. It made me feel sad to think this. That surprised me. But I did not let them know. I said nothing more to them. I’ve been silent since then.
   
   Sometimes I think about the color. Sometimes I think about the outside, where they are, and, presumably, where the color is. But the world is not safe. I must hide from it. So I will sit in here tomorrow, and the next day, and then maybe I’ll decide to leave. Unlikely. I am safe here.
   
   And yet, I wonder: is color safe?
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 06:52:29 AM »

“Dark is Not a Color (Scattered Reprise)”
Explanation
After receiving my original version of "Dark is Not a Color" (and loving it), my creative writing teacher challenged me to rewrite the story in a stream-of-consciousness style, with the words matching the mindset of the narrator. The first half (which is an edited version of the above story) is mostly exactly the way she edited it to give me an idea of what she was going for. The second half is my continuation of the story.
[close]

   Asked me to come out a million times. Never come out. Take the risk; you can do it. Re-enter the outside world. Don’t answer them. Not worth the trouble. Nothing is.
   
   Sit in a windowless room. Thinking. Alone. Safe. This room is home. Drawbacks? Started to forget what I look like. Dim memories of me. Eyes. Very nice eyes. What would they see in me now? Won’t find out.
   
   Talking to me. How are you? How do you feel? Are you coming out today? Don’t you remember who I am? Please say something. Anything. Never answer. The less remembered, the better. Don’t need me. Don’t need you.
   
   Do you miss the light? Ignored them. Do you miss the color? Color? No. Don’t miss color. What is color? Light. No, not light. Try to remember. Red. Blue. What do they look like? Color is brighter than the room. Tormented. What am I missing?
   
   Asked a question. Asked them if the room was colorful. Yes, it’s very colorful. Color? No. Not bright enough to be a color. But it is color. Is dark a color? Silly, dark can’t be a color. Dark. Can see it. It is bright. But not colorful. Sadness. Did not let them know. Said nothing more. Silent.
   
   Thinking about the color. Sometimes think about the outside, where color is. But not safe. Must hide. Waiting. Safe. Tomorrow? No. Wait. Safe.
   
   Is color safe?

**********
   
   Time. No such thing. Only the dark. Only sleep, waking, thinking, eating, sleep. Eating. Food comes from somewhere. Never see it. Only taste. Taste? No. Just eat.
   
   Hunger. Tray, utensil, napkin. Wrong. Something wrong. The floor is wet. Wet? Sticky. Sweet. Bitter. Sweet? Bitter? What is this? Where is the cup? Cup. On the floor. Overturned. What am I drinking? Is this normal? Cannot see. No. Okay. Don’t need to see. Light is not safe. Room is safe. Room is home. Room has wet sticky bittersweet stuff on the floor. What is it? Hurts. Don’t know what it is. Hurts to think. Want to know. I don’t taste things. Why do I taste it?
   
   Call. I call. What is it? Why does it taste? You tasted it? The drink? You probably decided to taste it because you were curious. Curious. Don’t like curious. Hurts. Curious makes the world outside interesting. No. Interesting is not safe. But interesting is interesting. No! Safe. Room. What color is the drink? No! Why do I ask? It’s dark red. Oh, of course. You can’t see it. Would you like to see it? No. I don’t want to. Yes! Color. Color may be safe. No! Outside. Not safe. But...color! I want to see it!
   
   Light. Light. Light. Light. Ow. Hurt. Eyes. No. Not safe! Not safe! Go away! Light! Brightness! Not dark! Go away! Leave...color. I want color. Squint. Color?
   
   Color.
   
   Oh my goodness.
   
   That’s color.
   
   How could I forget?
   
   How could I ever have forgotten?
   
   It’s colorful. The room is very colorful. The drink is...it’s dark red! And the room, it’s green and blue! And my pants are blue! And...and...and the floor is gray! Yes! Gray is a color too! And...and...
   
   Who are you?
   
   You know me. I know you know me.
   
   Are you...you’re an angel, aren’t you?
   
   Don’t be ridiculous! I’m your friend. I’m only human. Just like you.
   
   Are you crying?
   
   ...no! I...have something. In my eye. I’m...perfectly fine.
   
   You are crying.
   
   Yes. Yes I am. It’s good to see you.
   
   It’s...good to see. Surprisingly.
   
   I always hoped you’d say that.
   
   ...what now?
   
   Well...do you want to leave?
   
   Leave? The room? But the room is safe and home. All I know is the room.
   
   You can always leave. But...if you don’t want me to rush you, I understand.
   
   ...color. There is more color outside, yes?
   
   Of course! Have you really forgotten?
   
   ...may I...can we go see it?
   
   ...yes. I think I’d like that.
   
   I think I’d like that.
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Dudeman

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2015, 06:12:40 AM »

“Shoe Quest”

   Martin reached. He stretched. He leaned out as far as he could over the river, but to no avail. His shoe still sat on the rock in the middle of the current, hopelessly berating Martin for kicking it to such a precise, unreachable spot. Martin ignored its silent outbursts; he had beaten himself up enough already for being so stupid, and he knew if he returned home late he’d receive more. His sopping left foot, even if Martin managed to cover it again, could still betray where he had really been, when, or rather, if he returned home.

   Martin frowned in thought. The shoe so shiny and new from where it perched, looked like an artificially sweet cherry on top of an equally sugary marble cake. Martin’s sock, by contrast, looked more like something his cat might drag in after a productive day outdoors. He had to do something. These woods were usually so homely, but only today had they felt so oppressive, taunting him, laughing at him for his one stupid mistake that topped every stupid mistake ever made before.

   Martin turned up his nose in defiance. He may not be the next Einstein, but he certainly wouldn’t allow himself to be talked down to by a bunch of trees. “You think it’s funny?” he challenged them. “Huh? Well, what do you think of this?”

   Martin reached up the tree next to him and yanked off a thin branch that had been sticking off the end of the limb awkwardly, like those three hairs on the back of his head that would never stick to his scalp, no matter how hard he tried. Martin smirked and imagined the trees recoiling in horror, shocked that he would do such a thing. There wouldn’t be any more laughing now. He waved the stick in the air, displaying his spoils of war to the high heavens. Then he turned back to the riverbank and frowned again. “That rock sure is a long way off,” he thought to himself. He shook the thought out of this mind. There was no way he would be returning home without his shoe, not with those two ogres expecting him. Martin took a few minutes to map out a battle plan. The stick should be long enough to at least touch the shoe, so if he could bend the end slightly, he could hook inside the shoe and pull it to land. Martin grinned at his genius. Grasping the end of the branch, he curved the end as gently as possible, imagining himself at work in an artist’s studio. His new tool prepared, Martin stealthily approached the bank so as to not scare away the rare red bird that nested just out of his reach. Slowly, he laid himself flat on his belly, scooted forward a few inches, and extended his hook out over the raging rapids. Inch by inch he drew closer to his goal, until, with a grunt of satisfaction, Martin slipped the hook into the top of the shoe and pulled. The prize was his.

   It is important to remember that when an object is not sitting on a flat surface, gravity tends to take over. Martin was reminded of this cruel reality when, as the shoe approached the edge of the rock, it promptly toppled over and fell with a soft splash into the river below. As Martin watched the ruby float downstream, he took a moment to remember what, exactly, brussel sprouts tasted like.

(On a side note, I submitted "The Winking Man" (with a few last-minute modifications) to Glimmer Train today as part of their Short Short Fiction contest. Here's hoping!)
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mikey

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Re: Dudeman writes things creatively.
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2015, 01:26:53 PM »

idk if it's just me but hopelessly seems like a weird adverb to use
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Luke 1:3

"It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee..."
 

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