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Old March 5th, 2014 (10:47 PM). Edited March 6th, 2014 by Nolafus.
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Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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    My creative writers' club for college has decided that we're all going to write a short story, and critique each other's work. So, I decided to post mine here to see if there was anything you guys had to say. It was a free choice, so I naturally had the hardest time thinking of what to write about. I decided I wanted to see how I handled a plunge into insanity, so I finally wrote about an idea I've had in my head for the longest time. Hopefully you guys enjoy it, and be sure to comment if you read it. I'm not asking for a long, comprehensive review, but a short comment telling me you read it would go a long way.

    Warning: Mature themes present. Read at your own discretion.

    Pain

    You know that feeling when you first wake up, that feeling of pure bliss that only lasts half a second before all the tragedies of life come flooding back into your memory? That’s the best part of my day. I have this “super power”, I guess you could call it, but it’s not very super. I can’t fly, I don’t control things with my mind, I can’t do any of the cool stuff. You want to know what I can do? I feel everyone’s pain. That’s it, that’s what I do. Every day I’m burdened with these feelings of sadness, loneliness, pain, and loss. It doesn’t matter if the scars are physical, or mental, it’s all I feel. Some may find this existence futile, but they’ve never had to deal with it. I’ve had to live with it my entire life, so I guess you get used to it. It’s the only life I’ve ever known, so I just have to make the best of it.

    ***


    My eyes open as the morning light filters through the blinds and splash onto my face. I take a deep breath and brace for everything, just like the morning before, and the morning before that one, and just like all the mornings of my entire life. I lay there in bed, preparing for the worst, but nothing happens. My mind snaps to consciousness and I sit up. Still, nothing happens.

    I’m just dreaming again, that’s all. I give myself a good pinch in the arm. I jump, definitely felt that. I stop. Nope, still nothing. I hop out of bed and wander to the front door. I swing it open and take the newspaper from off my porch. I rip off the rubber band and scan the front page.

    SCIENTISTS END WORLD HUNGER

    What?

    I step back inside and make myself some coffee. I must still be really sleepy, that’s all. Once I’ve had my coffee, my life will go back to normal. After taking a couple sips, I take another look at the newspaper. Nope, still the same. I flip through the paper in a matter of minutes. All the headlines are ones I never thought I would see.

    ALL WARS OFFICIALLY DECLARED OVER

    NORTH AND SOUTH COMBINE INTO ONE BIG KOREA

    EVERYONE GETS THE DAY OFF

    NO MORE CRIME

    WORLD CELEBRATES FREE COOKIE DAY

    I take a step back. Either my power is gone, or there’s no more pain left in the world. I shake my head. I can’t believe I’m thinking this nonsense. I overdosed on my medication last night and I’m in a coma. That has to be it, it’s the only way. Except, I stopped taking my medication years ago. I don’t even have it in the house anymore.

    I start to feel nauseous, but not like I’m going to throw up. My stomach just feels fuzzy. I’ve never felt this way before. My heart races and I feel like dancing, so I dance. I prance around my kitchen, trying to let this new energy out. It’s so weird, it seems like the more I dance, the more energy I get. I stop to catch my breath and my eyes fall on my mug, still full of coffee. You know what? I don’t think I’ll need it today.

    I finish getting ready as fast as possible. I want to see this world without pain. The energy inside me is growing. I still have no clue what it is, but it feels… good. I spring out my front door and into my neighborhood. I see kids playing in the street, parents talking with one another, and even the old couple across the street is outside on their porch, watching the world go by with smiles on their faces.

    “Morning Rob!”

    I look in the direction the sound came from to see my neighbor, George, walking towards me.

    “What’s happening?” I ask him.

    George stops and looks around him, as if he hasn’t considered the question before.

    “I don’t know, I guess we’re all just happy to be alive.”

    Happy, I repeat to myself. Of course, that’s the energy inside of me, it has to be. I had seen it in movies, but I never thought I would feel it for myself. I excuse myself from talking to George. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I want to see the town. Everything can’t be perfect there, there’s always something going on.

    I can’t believe what I see. The entire downtown area is just a giant party. People are dancing in the streets, music is blaring on loudspeakers, and there are cookies everywhere. I snatch one off of a passing platter and bite down into it. The cookie is still warm and the chocolate from the chocolate chips melt in my mouth as the sweet flavors dance across my tongue. It really seems like the world has forgotten everything bad that has ever happened. Today really must be perfect, impossibly so.

    I shake my head, this can’t be real. I’m dead. I died last night in my sleep. I don’t know how this is happening, but this is nothing more than a glorified dream. None of this is real, it can’t be. I turn around and start running. None of this is real, I keep saying to myself. I’m too lost in my thoughts to notice where I’m going. Before I can stop, I plow straight into someone. I get up and start to say I’m sorry, when I realize it’s my boss.

    “Sorry about that Rob,” my boss says, standing up and brushing himself off. “I guess I should start paying attention to where I walk. I think I’m going to give you a raise.”

    I turn around and start running once again. This world, it’s too perfect. Nothing bad ever happens, and even when it does, people are quick to shrug it off. This isn’t real, it can’t be real. It doesn’t matter what I do, it’s not real.

    I stop running at that last thought.

    It doesn’t matter what I do

    I look over at the store next to me. Everyone has the day off, but there’s still someone inside, sweeping. I take a few steps back and throw myself against the huge glass panel. It shatters as I fall through. I land inside the store, amidst piles and piles of broken glass. The person sweeping runs over to me.

    “Are you okay?”

    “I just broke your front window, aren’t you mad?”

    “Oh no, the important thing is that you didn’t get hurt.”

    I stand up. I still feel no pain. Well, there’s the pain in my shoulder from landing on it, but that’s not enough. If there’s no pain, what am I doing here? Pain is what I live off of.

    I turn and run out of the store. I don’t even know why I’m running anymore, but I don’t stop. All I did my entire life was feel other’s pain. If there’s no pain, why am I here?

    I see a person up ahead. I start to run faster, if no one else is going to cause pain, then it looks like it’s up to me to bring some reality back to these people. I catch up to the person in front of me and shove them against the wall. The pain feels so good. I keep running and running, shoving, tripping, and hitting anyone that comes across my path. I feel more pain, but it’s still not enough. It’s never enough.

    I stop. I’m on a bridge now. I look down at the waters below, slowly drifting along. One guy can’t create all of the world’s pain. What kind of place is this? All the pain I had felt earlier is now gone. Are people so forgiving? Are we even capable of such things? I scream, not at anything specific, but at the world. The world where everyone is happy. This fake, cruel world.

    I run my fingers through my hair and pause. I grip and pull with all of my might. Pain encases my body as I rip the hair out of my head. It feels so good, I can’t stop. Soon enough, I run out of hair, it’s all at my feet. I kneel, panting on the sidewalk. Now what?

    My gaze drifts to the water below. If there’s no more pain, what am I doing here? What is this place? Do I have a purpose? My entire body goes numb as I propel myself off of the edge. There’s nothing stopping me now. The wind rushes past me as I keep falling, and falling. The water rushes up to meet me, and for a second, I feel all the pain I could ever dream about, and then... nothing.

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      #2    
    Old March 6th, 2014 (1:38 PM).
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    Hmm, for some reason I feel like some parts can be used to metaphorically describe addictions of any kind. Other than that, it was a pretty interested read and I know my "review" doesn't do it much justice >.<
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    Old March 6th, 2014 (1:51 PM).
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    Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by tabor62 View Post
      Hmm, for some reason I feel like some parts can be used to metaphorically describe addictions of any kind. Other than that, it was a pretty interested read and I know my "review" doesn't do it much justice >.<
      I'm just happy someone read it and enjoyed it!

      This story does line up with addiction in a lot of ways, so I'm glad that came through. I was going for a story where something really good happened to the main character (in this case, Rob), but the absence of what was there before drove him insane. This was a new writing style for me, and I was testing to see if I could do it, and I think it turned out pretty good. I'm happy with it at least.
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      Old March 6th, 2014 (2:07 PM).
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        I like it! I give it an A!(That might be because this somewhat resembles a creepypasta, but only a little.) I enjoy this concept in a story.
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        Old March 6th, 2014 (11:10 PM).
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        While I think there's a lot of substance in this story, I'm having a hard time finding any deeper meaning in it beyond the face value. Now, I'm not ruling out that it's because of my own lack of critical thinking, but I feel a disconnect from Rob and his actions. Why is his only emotion pain? What caused the world to change? Did he really jump because he couldn't stand the happiness? Maybe I'm just over thinking it. Reading between the lines has always been something that escapes me.

        On another note, this is still incredibly well written and did keep me wondering throughout. It was an interesting read and in a small enough dose that it didn't feel cumbersome at all. I think you really played to your strengths in this, and I'm glad you decided to post it. :)
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        Old March 6th, 2014 (11:22 PM).
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        Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Fairy View Post
          While I think there's a lot of substance in this story, I'm having a hard time finding any deeper meaning in it beyond the face value. Now, I'm not ruling out that it's because of my own lack of critical thinking, but I feel a disconnect from Rob and his actions. Why is his only emotion pain? What caused the world to change? Did he really jump because he couldn't stand the happiness? Maybe I'm just over thinking it. Reading between the lines has always been something that escapes me.

          On another note, this is still incredibly well written and did keep me wondering throughout. It was an interesting read and in a small enough dose that it didn't feel cumbersome at all. I think you really played to your strengths in this, and I'm glad you decided to post it.
          To be honest, I'm not sure if there's a deeper meaning myself. XD

          I wanted Rob to be the only character that's not affected by this weird wave of utopian delight, in the sense that he just doesn't accept this new reality like everyone else, yet he's the the person most affected in terms of action. My main goal was to explore a possibility of a dip into insanity. I wanted the reader to experience Rob's mind breaking down and going to the extreme to go back to the "normal" life he lived.

          His only emotion is pain, because he's able to feel everyone's pain. I figured that the high amount of pain he's constantly feeling would negate all other emotion his brain could handle. I guess the entire story could be summed up in one sentence. A man who feels all of the world's pain, and the day he feels nothing.

          Thanks! This was more of an experiment than anything, so I'm glad it paid off.
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          Old March 8th, 2014 (9:05 PM). Edited March 8th, 2014 by Phantom.
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          I liked it, but I felt that it was missing some things. War, hunger, etc, aren't the only kind of pain. What about emotional pain? It feels a bit absent. What if he went somewhere to see someone who he knows he avoided before because of the pain involved with seeing them. It would help solidify the story a bit, I think.

          It's good as is though too. Good work. :D

          EDIT: This might be a really cool idea for a novel too, just saying. I like it a lot.)
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          Old March 8th, 2014 (10:05 PM).
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          Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by PhantomX0990 View Post
            I liked it, but I felt that it was missing some things. War, hunger, etc, aren't the only kind of pain. What about emotional pain? It feels a bit absent. What if he went somewhere to see someone who he knows he avoided before because of the pain involved with seeing them. It would help solidify the story a bit, I think.

            It's good as is though too. Good work. :D

            EDIT: This might be a really cool idea for a novel too, just saying. I like it a lot.)
            Yeah, it's impossible for all the pain to disappear in the world. Even if world hunger ended, or all the wars stopped, people would still die, and with death, there's pain. It's an impossible scenario by all means, so the story requires a little flexibility in that sense, even if free cookies are being given out. Maybe this would have been more plausible (given people had powers in the first place) if I had just taken away his powers, but I kind of like the idea of him believing that this new world isn't real. Besides, Rob could be dreaming, in a coma, or dead. No one really knows, not even me!

            A novel? Hmm...

            Maybe not a really long novel, but I could see it. I would have to delve more into his life before all of this, expand a little more on his trip into insanity, and then maybe add a few more interactions. Maybe this could be a novel after all. I hadn't really thought of that before, but it is an interesting thought.

            Anyway, thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it! :D
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            Old March 18th, 2014 (7:21 AM).
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            I read this earlier but forgot to comment.

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
            ALL WARS OFFICIALLY DECLARED OVER

            NORTH AND SOUTH COMBINE INTO ONE BIG KOREA

            EVERYONE GETS THE DAY OFF

            NO MORE CRIME

            WORLD CELEBRATES FREE COOKIE DAY
            This made me lol, they just get goofier as they go on XD

            In seriousness, though, this was really well written. I like how it's open to interpretation, makes me wonder what is really going on outside Rob's mind.
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              #10    
            Old March 18th, 2014 (8:12 AM).
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            Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Silhouette View Post
              I read this earlier but forgot to comment.



              This made me lol, they just get goofier as they go on XD

              In seriousness, though, this was really well written. I like how it's open to interpretation, makes me wonder what is really going on outside Rob's mind.
              A lot of this story is meant to be open to interpretation, and I wanted everyone to read something a little different. Thanks for commenting! :D
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