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Old May 17th, 2017 (4:34 PM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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Howdy there. I thought I'd try writing poems because the mood struck me and because I have to get ten psychics somehow, so read on and enjoy. It'll be interesting to see if I haven't lost my touch.

The Darkness Between Stars

When I reached for the stars, my hands froze.
My fingers blackened into shriveled raisins,
My blood boiled like black tea in its kettle,
My eyes popped, darkness filled the empty sockets,
My ears burst, deafened by the silence.
My voiceless withered away, unheard, with my lips.

Turning to dust, I was swept away by starry tides,
Mingling with the countless other lost souls,
Stirred together in the cast iron pot of the night sky
Into human soup, nameless and forgotten,
Hidden behind gleaming golden stars
That burned in their own glorious light.

As you look up at that star-studded sky,
Blind to the death between radiant life,
Take a moment to whisper a prayer
For all those souls, who, like Icarus,
Fell short of the stars they hoped to reach,
And were left floating, wingless, between the stars.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old May 17th, 2017 (4:57 PM). Edited May 18th, 2017 by Bardothren.
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Oh look, another poem. I whipped this one up with a half-eaten brownie next to my computer. I asked myself "Can I write a profound poem about a brownie?" and I told myself "Only one way to find out."

The Brownie

I have before me a store-brought brownie.
Swaddled in crinkled, greasy white paper,
Chocolate dough crowned in chocolate frosting,
Garnished with circles of blue, pink and yellow sugar,
And I find myself profoundly curious
If it is possible to ascribe higher meaning to my dessert.

Does this brownie bear a lofty title in a land of desserts,
Lorded over by lofty wedding cakes and their cupcake children,
Guarded by chocolate bunny soldiers bearing candy canes,
With pies and tarts cooking dishes of sugar and cream,
Bars of chocolate tending to flocks of peeps,
And starbursts paddling peanut brittle boats over lakes of pudding?

Or perhaps its arrival at my home was heralded by a sage,
From a time of knights and chivalry and round tables,
When castles of stone gleamed under unsullied sunlight,
Wreathed with virgin air, untainted by oil and coal,
As an omen of calamity and destruction and inferno,
To bow men’s backs under the weight of grief.

Or maybe I’ve had one too many beers to drink.
After all, I can’t even count the bottles at my feet,
And I trip and fall each time I take a step,
Breaking glass beneath my beer-sodden belly,
Slicing deep gouges into my hands and knees,
And staining the chocolate treat with my blood.

No more meaning does this brownie have
Than the footprints left by foraging ants,
Nor does it mean any less than Da Vinci and Twain,
For like the crimson trail of broken glass behind me,
Like writing in sand and ponderous statues of stone,
When humans are gone, no one’s left to see our traces.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old May 17th, 2017 (6:44 PM).
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Vragon Vragon is online now
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Wow, I'm so jealous right now (I'm not kidding but not extreme either)
But returning to topic, both were really good. I liked how the first one you led all but the very first line in the first section with the word "My". It really added to that part and drew me in. I'm going to try and take a guess and say that the first poem is using the death and mingling between the stars to metaphorically express the people who "Stopped reaching for their goals/dreams" and were some of the many that fell short of a meaning. Or in other words, those that gave up on being something more.

Your second one was great too, (bonus points since I don't like chocolate) but I did spy one little type. In line 7 "dessert" probably should have been plural. Since it is a "land of desserts" it just seemed weird, though most likely it was a typo. I was impressed on how you just took a measly brownie and went to contemplation. Would the brownie be royal in the land of desserts (I assume somewhat of Dessert Hierachy). Then to it being a bad omen of things to come (nice metaphor). Going to common sensibility of grasping reality once you get your head out of the clouds. And to the trash can after the whole bleed thing. You have a knack for taking something simple and just stretching it into something so elaborate, so complicated, so dark, so vivid that I paused my music to get a better focus (Kidding).

But all in all nice read and glad you have a nice touch in poetry even if it's only for getting ten psychics somehow.

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. ~ Jessamyn West
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Old May 18th, 2017 (9:02 AM).
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My first note would be to just remove the abundance of commas. In poetry, a linebreak is a pause already, so the comma serves no purpose. Poetry is grammarless, so I'd say only ever use a comma if you want to insert a pause into a line.

I think your imagery is really nice, but to me, it doesn't feel like poetry just yet. You seem to adhere a bit too much to prose. Although a lot of that is personal taste, I like poetry that generally takes a piss at linguistic conventions a bit more.

There are some lines I really like.
"My eyes popped, darkness filled the empty sockets,"
for example has this great internal approximate rhyme that creates this nice sense of rhythm.

"As you look up at that star-studded sky,
Blind to the death between radiant life,"
Is another one that I think really works well because of those approximate rhymes. The I sound in sky, blind and life is a nice little beat that works well with the extra syllables radiants provides.

I think that rhythm is something you could involve a little more. The sentence pacing is there, but the internal flow of words is a bit too inconsistent for my tastes, while I personally think rhythm is one of the most important aspects of poetry.
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Old May 18th, 2017 (5:53 PM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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To Vragon, I'm glad you enjoyed my poems,and I enjoy the feedback you gave me. If you're curious as to what I meant when I mentioned ten psychics (this one makes the seventh, by the way), this is the PC thread I refer to: I think you'd be interested.

To Ice, many thanks for the critique. While I can't promise to pay more attention to rhythm, I can promise to ease up on the commas and add a bit of rhyme. Rhythm was never my strong point in creative writing classes, and I tended to favor clever, strong imagery. Here's to hoping you think this is an improvement.

Also, keep in mind I'm not exactly pouring hours into these verses. Lord knows I don't have that kind of time, sadly.

On the Wind

I heard my name whispered on the wind
A tickling feather brushed across my mind
I followed the air to see what I would find
Through oak and pine and rippling river bend.

I found a cabin where a mountain once stood
Formed of hewn stone and rough-cut wood
Sunlight danced between branches in merry mood,
Painting the cabin with flecks of green and gold.

I approached warily and rapped against the door
Peeked through a window and knocked once more
Cobwebs shrouded the ceiling, dust coated the floor
So, thinking it empty, I twisted the knob and walked through.

I heard my name again, from the room ahead
In a groggy, mournful voice as laden as lead
With a shiver, I crept forward and found a bed
And on its crimson pillows sat a severed head.

It stared at me, eyes unblinking and pale blue
Its sallow skin tinged with a sickly green hue
A gaping hole yawned where its nose once grew
It whipsered through cracked lips, “Don’t leave me too.”

I fled the cabin, my feet carried on the wind
The dread memory clinging like cobwebs to my mind
I fled, not daring to imagine what else I would find
Had I listened to the severed head and stayed behind.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old May 19th, 2017 (5:59 AM).
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Winter Winter is offline
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Originally Posted by Ice View Post
My first note would be to just remove the abundance of commas. In poetry, a linebreak is a pause already, so the comma serves no purpose. Poetry is grammarless, so I'd say only ever use a comma if you want to insert a pause into a line.
I have to say, that is quite a misconception. Not all line breaks create pauses, for if they are mid-clause, they create enjambments which quickens the poem's pace. Line breaks are there for unnatural pauses; commas for natural ones. So there's no real crime in putting them there. (Of course, I have seen some poets choose not to have commas for end-stopped lines but it's purely a personal aesthetic choice, and not one of technicality.)

I do agree with Ice on that while your imagery is rich (and curiously all linked to foods xP *inserts pretentious psychoanalysis of a subconscious desire to quell hunger*), I believe that what he means to convey is that they don't really do anything for the reader. For how I read it, it doesn't really take me anywhere, or shall I phrase it as such, I'm not sure what journey you desire me to accompany you on when you introduce these imagery.

I'm meter deaf so I can't comment on rhythm (I do understand why you struggle a bit given your prose background) but oh, please, never force rhyme or feel like a poem needs rhyme to be deemed as one. Someone once told me "rhyming is necropastoral" and I'm inclined to trust them.
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Old May 19th, 2017 (5:23 PM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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Something tells me I am going to get as many opinions as people responding to my poems. That's fine - it's all useful information. As a poet, I lean closer to prose, but I'll rhyme when the mood strikes me. I'll agree that I think On the Wind was a weaker poem, and The Darkness Between Stars definitely has my best imagery. I was thinking about that first poem for longer, so I had more material to work with.

Anywho, here's an Undertale poem, because why not.

An Ode to Undertale

Raindrops play a tune across the rocky ground
Like plucked harp strings dangling from the umbrella
As the statue gives thanks in its wordless song
That fills my heart with determination.

The monster kid waddles besides me
Striped shirt sleeves waving in the wind
Tripping over every hole in the ground
And rising each time with a cheerful smile.

He stays close, leaning out of the rain
His warm breath brushed against my neck
Sending shivers down my frozen back
That was numb from the sins crawling on it.

I gripped the knife in my tattered pocket
Stained with blood and dust and LOVE
Wondering how much EXP I would gain
From plunging the blade through its chest.

But breath and cheerful smile melt the ice
That had wreathed my blue, frozen heart,
Weighed down all this time from the grin
Of Papyrus’ head as I hacked it to dust.

My sweaty fingers slipped from the hilt
And settled numbly against my shaking leg.
There, behind me, stumbled one happy life
That would be spared of dusty genocide.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old May 19th, 2017 (6:14 PM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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This poem kinda just happened, after a thought I had that all my poems, no matter how they start, always end up dark. Instead of going against that grain, I wrote a poem about it... and somehow ended up with a bittersweet ending? Huh.

Soul Prints

They say one’s poems are their soul’s fingerprints.
Those who write pretty poems say that the loudest.
Me? I guess I believe it too, since I see my poems
Each time I look in a mirror or down at a pond
So still it almost makes me believe life can be calm
Until a dancing orange leaf lands in it like a sea plane.

Sometimes my poems start amiably enough
Waxing eloquent on sunlight and trees and summer wind,
But their thoughts turn swiftly to snow and ice,
Like a rough wind that shakes the darling buds of May,
Casting out the Shakespearian drivel and chilling the soul
With shambling corpses and speaking severed heads
That yearn for living company and the soft caress of skin.

Other times, I forsake the empty gesture of joy
And dive into the midden heap of tormented souls,
Dredging up foul, reeking slime of regret and shame
Warped by heat and pressure into enduring stone,
And dumping wagonloads onto my neighbors’ lawns,
Trampling their petunias and sun-petaled daffodils.

If poems be the fingerprint of the soul, then mine is black
Like the tears of dolphins choked by plastic and oil
Set adrift across the sea to strangle a new victim
Until the sea itself becomes a shambling corpse
Licking the land with its greasy black tongue
And smearing every inch of soil with its oily despair.

But do not grieve, for with a soul black as mine,
All other colors seem pure, white, and sublime.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old May 20th, 2017 (9:09 AM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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Another day, another poem. Here's to hoping you enjoy this one as well.


The color of fire and ruin,
bringer of courage and fear
the color of life and love
whose sight paralyzes
and summons ardor.

The color of Autumn,
jack o lanterns glowing
on porch steps, eyes
like coals as they cast
away the winter phantoms.

The color of sunlight
warmth and happiness
flowers and pollen
dancing in the breeze
and sweet sticky honey.

The color of growth and life
new shoots poking through the earth
spring leaves drinking sunlight
as birds sing merry songs
from slender tree branches.

The color of freedom
an open, vast sky
with birds soaring high
and a tranquil blue sea
with bounding dolphins.

The color of nobles
long sought though well hidden
in tiny clams, violets,
and the last light of day
as the sun slowly sinks.

The color of sleep and death
always stalking footsteps
lurking in corners
and the last hue life sees
as it closes its eyes.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old June 20th, 2017 (7:50 PM).
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Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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Oh wow, this didn't die? Well, not yet anyways. Lol, it's been exactly one month, what are the odds? Anyways, quick warning, this one's darker than my usual poem... it came to me in a shower.

To Prick a Balloon

As darkness tickles my brain, I wonder how
I cling by my fingernails to my sanity, how
I haven’t fallen into the universe’s outhouse, how
I haven’t joined creation’s unwanted refuse, how
Hope hasn’t fled despair’s baying hounds, how
Absurd courage made my hart into a lion, how
Like a lion, I roar at the raging storm, how
I stay afloat as a torrent sweeps over me, how
Anguish doesn’t drag me down like seaweed, how
I slither and slide through roiling waves, how
Fragile skin can be tough and sleek as scales, as

I stare at someone, holding a knife,
Imagining… walking up to them,
Pricking them with the tip,
Watching as their life gushes out
In a light drizzle of crimson,
I wonder if I watch closely
I might see where my own life went.

"Knowledge is Power."
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Old June 27th, 2017 (9:03 AM).
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youngster_joey youngster_joey is offline
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    One thing I noticed from reading your poetry is that you use a lot of repetition. This can be effective if the words or phrases being repeated are beneficial to the meaning of the poem, however I've noticed a few cases where you seem to be using it solely to sound poetic.

    I'm going to focus in on your last poem, "To Prick a Balloon". Immediately what strikes me is your use of "darkness" to start the poem. "Darkness" is a very abstract word that can be used as a metaphor for many concepts (death, loss, insanity, ...) and is thus not a great word to start a poem with. In editing I would definitely suggest you keep the rest of the line, it provides a very vivid image. Overall, you use a lot of good metaphors (I especially liked "I slither and slide through roiling (sic) waves, how / fragile skin can be tough and sleek as scales") and some very cliche ones that I'd suggest changing; "made my hart (sic) into a lion" immediately jumps out at me as needing work, and "creation's unwanted refuse" is also somewhat trite in its angst. Something like "creation's landfill" would provide a more vivid image as well as being more interesting; I'd suggest you experiment with different metaphors. Don't be afraid to try out something that sounds completely absurd.

    I'd also suggest experimenting with other options for structure; the "how" at the end of every line is awkward. Also, you don't need to capitalize the first letter of every line. Even changing those two alone would fix 80% of the stylistic problems of your poem.

    The last comment I'll make is on the title. I'll be blunt: It doesn't make sense. From what I can gather the poem is about anguish and delving into the mind of someone on the edge of sanity. The title would be far more apt as a metaphor used in the poem; honestly, I quite like it as that, but as a title, it doesn't really work. The title of a poem should set the scene or establish the mood, and yours doesn't really do that too well. I will say, however, I like the repetition of the concept of stabbing something in the beginning and the end of the poem ("to prick a balloon", "pricked them with the tip". Perhaps the first line could include the image of pricking a balloon.

    Anyway, those are just my ideas; your poems genuinely show a lot of promise, but they could use a bit of refinement. I'd suggest you read some of Allen Ginsberg's work; your style reminds me of him.
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    Old July 28th, 2017 (8:13 PM).
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    Bardothren Bardothren is offline
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    Spoiler: Message from the Author

    Is the following a poem? No. Do I care? No.
    These are pilots for stories I want to show.

    I decided not to make a new thread
    And thought that it'd be better instead
    to recycle something that I thought dead.

    So, here you go.

    I whipped this up as proof of skill for a collab. Putting this here because why not, free pokemons for me!

    In Search of Ice Cream

    By Bardothren
    Benjamin Jerry sprinted down the stairs, knocking into a tall ceramic vase precariously perched on one of the banisters. Ben lunged back, steadying the vase with a hand, and race forward into the kitchen.

    He threw the fridge doors wide open. This fridge, the mother of all fridges, had doors within doors that unfurled, like a moth’s cocoon, expanding ten feet to either side. Nestled in drawers and on shelves was a veritable cornucopia of food. Steaks and pork chops and lamb kebobs, bowls of beets, broccoli, beans, bell peppers, and bananas, cartons of chowder and stew, bacon-wrapped liver, pancakes, and hamburger patties, double-decked cakes of chocolate and vanilla, and on center stage, with a shelf to itself, was a lobster thermidor the size of a goat.

    Benjamin grunted in distaste and slammed the doors shut, shoving on them until the bulging shelves popped back into place.

    “All that food and nothing to eat,” he said regretfully. Then he walked outside and looked around the small town of Hicksville, so far north in the Kanto region that most people forgot it even existed.

    In front of his house, down the beaten dirt path that led out of his town, across a patch of tall grass three feet wide, was an ice cream shop. That shop wasn’t there when he went to bed, and yet, there it was, like a 3D-printed plastic cube, glued to the landscape. The sign, naming the shop Sissy Fuss’s Ice Cream Parlor, proclaimed that it served the best ice cream in all of Kanto.

    Drool ran like rivers from Ben’s mouth as he stared at the neon ice cream cone jutting from the roof of the building. He checked his wallet, which had so much money stuffed into it that it refused to closed, and decided he had just enough room in his budget for a single scoop.

    He slammed the door shut behind him and walked down the path towards the grass. But before he could take that first step, an elderly man sprinted past him and slid to a stop in the middle of the path.

    “Not so fast, whippersnapper! You can’t go out in the tall grass without a pokemon!”

    Ben glanced past the professor at the grass. He couldn’t see a single pokemon in there for a quarter mile, and the patch of grass was so narrow he could’ve leapt over it.

    “I don’t see anything in there.”

    “Oh, they’re there,” the old man said, leaning in so close that Ben could’ve counted every wrinkle on his prune-like face. “And they’re watching.”

    Ben twirled around him and stepped towards the ice cream parlor. The second his foot grazed a blade of grass, a swarm of pidgey and ratatta materialized out of the ground and dropped from the air like kamikaze pilots. Ben didn’t stop running until he reached the entrance of the biggest building in town, a brick block labeled “Lab.”

    The old man sprinted past him again, this time opening the door. “Yes, yes, come on in. I’ll get you all set up.”

    “Uh, thanks?”

    Ben walked inside. The lab was completely bare, except for a laptop on the cracked concrete floor, a pile of energy drink cans crunched flat in a corner, and a wastebasket full of energy bars.

    “Alright, right this way young man, now, the first thing you have to understand before going on your pokemon journey is…”

    Ben, sensing a long monologue brewing, snatched a pokeball from the table.

    “Okay, thanks, bye,” Ben called over his shoulder as he ran for the door. He noticed a faint whiff of a particularly noxious odor as he left, but he attributed it to the old geezer and his lab.

    The pokemon had vanished again, and returned just as quickly when he stepped into the grass. On close inspection at the feral horde growling at him, Ben wasn’t sure how a single pokemon was supposed to help him get through, but he threw the pokeball anyway.

    The moment, the pokeball cracked open, every pokemon vanished. A powerful, noisome odor poured out of the ball like a tsumani made out of a city sewer, a fast food restaurant’s garbage dump, and a landfill of Justin Bibarel CDs, thrown in a blender and distilled to extract the foulest components into a bioweapon.

    The grass shriveled in a ten foot radius around the pile of purple sludge that bubbled out of the ball. Then eyes popped out of the sludge, and a mouth gurgled open like a fart in a mud bath.


    Ben held his shirt up to his nose and kept his breathing shallow. After a moment, he lost enough of his sense of smell to tolerate the stink clinging to the air like a drunken whore. He pulled his hand away from his face and looked around. One ratatta, some deformed runt, judging from its gnarled, deformed head and spindly limbs, crouched in front of his grimer, ready to battle.

    “Uh… pound?”

    Ben’s grimer dripped forward, splatter by disgusting splatter of its gelatinous body, until it was within reach of the rat. Then it swatted at it with a slow, lazy arm. The touch barely made its head move.

    The ratatta countered by wagging its tail at the grimer. The sludge pile didn’t seem to notice the tail slapping its cheeks.

    “Pound again.”

    This cycle continued for about ten minutes, with neither opponent dealing real damage. While he waited for another pound to land, Ben pulled out his phone and looked up grimer’s move-set on Bulbapedia.

    “Okay, now Poison Gas!”

    Grimer dutifully waited for the ratatta to finish wagging its tail. Then it gurgled, like a sink’s garbage disposal clogged with cake batter. A tiny belch popped out of its mouth, and a faint purple cloud wafted from its lips.

    The cloud darkened and grew as it floated through the grass. The swaying blades, once verdant and full of life, blackened and crumbled at the faintest caress of the gas. The ratatta, caught dead center in the chemical cloud, choked, writhed, and lay still, belly up, staring at the sky with bugged-out googly eyes.

    The ground roiled as more ratatta poured out of their hidden warrens, gasping for air. They made piles one on top of the other to escape the gas clinging to the ground. Heaps of dead lined the dirt path, and islands of ratatta glared down at Ben and his sludge pile.

    “Wow, you must’ve gotten at least ten levels from that.”

    Ben jumped. The old man stood behind him, staring blankly at the devastation.

    “I – I didn’t know this would happen. Jesus, why did you let me take a grimer?”

    “Well, if you would’ve listened to me, I would’ve told you that on the left was a gible.”

    “A gible? A freaking gible?” Ben called back the grimer and held out the pokeball. “Screw this muk, give me the dragon.”

    The professor shook his head. “No takebacks.”

    “Aww, come on, please?”

    “Just be thankful you didn’t take the one on the right. That one was a magikarp.”

    Ben looked down at the ball in his hands and shuddered. “Well, I guess this worked fine anyways. See ya later.”

    “Hey wait, I haven’t given you your pokedex or registered you for the league challenge yet!”

    “Don’t care!” Ben called over his back. “Ice cream, here I come!”

    To Serve La Révolution

    Dean was walking, head down, watching the feet shuffling around him, with a pilgrimage of students making their daily exodus from classes, when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed contradictions in the scenery. First, he noticed the humanities building to his left, and he stood in the shadow of a large concrete bridge. He was facing west, completely the wrong direction to return to his downtown apartment.

    Dean turned around and froze again. He never took State anywhere. It ran too far to the north to reach any of his chemistry lectures towards the southern end of the campus.

    He glanced at his cell phone. It was early afternoon, right before the start of his O Chem lecture. He asked himself what the hell he was thinking, walking back home, and walked around the humanities building.

    Then he saw a patch of snow. Startled, Dean bent to examine the white dusting on apatch of grass next to the road. He looked up, and saw that all the grass across the street had the same coating. He hadn’t realized it would be cold enough yet, in mid September, to get even a bit of snowfall.

    As he stood there, wind battered his jacket like a crowd of snowmen packed around him, jostling him from every angle. He shivered and pressed his arms closer to his coat.

    The coat… the coat he left home when he went to school, so it wouldn’t clutter up his tiny closet. He looked closer at it, and for the first time, noticed the gloves on his hands, fingerless, black, and sleek. He didn’t recall ever getting gloves like that, not even for Christmas for last year.

    He looked at his cell phone again, hoping to find something, anything that would help him understand what the hell was going on.

    This time, he saw the date. His heart froze and sank like an ice cube chilled to the point that its spacious crystal lattice collapsed. It was November 20. Dean counted the lost days. Seventy-two. He lost seventy-two days in the space of a minute.

    "Knowledge is Power."
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