Saturday, January 19, 2013


Nick Silverpen:

Even though we’ve known each other day in and day out for months, we still don’t fully know each other. It seems strange, that despite all the hours just sitting spending time together, joking and shooting the bull, we are all still distant, still disconnected. A nod in the hall, the continuation of a personal joke, when everyone is one on one, when we’re not in a group and focused on our common goal.

Life is tricky, I suppose. Mom says you don’t truly get to know someone until you live with them, but I don’t feel that’s the case. Nor is simply appreciating silence with someone. Dialogue, that’s what really connects. Asking what truly moves your heart. Any person can move a boat- simply tug at the oars and put pressure on your legs, leaning to and fro. But It takes something else to move the rowers. To know what we truly want outside that boat, what we desire when all is said and done. But you are different people, and as much as I want to play my game of a hundred questions to kick it off, I hold my breath, and give up my will to do so. Observe, I tell myself. Let yourself be swept away by what others have in mind. It’s been fun, but a self working project is what more fulfilling. It’s been done before, and it’ll be done again. History repeats itself.

Duty holds our little home together, our “family”, but I don’t see us as a family. I hate that word, because my blood is anything unlike this. We are supportive, but halfheartedly.

We may be a team, but we’re all still strangers.

Tekulo/Lin the Duck:

         5:30 AM
                I wake to the sound of a shrill, electronic shriek.  It repeats itself over and over.  I was dreaming about something…  I think it was about a dragon.  I was riding it, and there was a village below…  I think it was on fire.  It seemed interesting at the time, but I just can’t quite remember what it was.  All I knew at the time was that I liked it a lot better than lying in my bed being yelled at by a heartless clock.  “Get up!  Get up!” over and over again it just yells at me every day.  I hate it.  I want to finish that story.  That’s all I care about right now, so I lift my fist and smash it down on the snooze button, my victory rewarded by an brief glimpse into my dream… my fantasy…
                5:39 AM
                There it goes again.  This time my body was anticipating the badgering of my clockwork guardian.  Yes, yes, I know…  I need to get up.  I have school at seven and the bus comes at half past six.  I grumble as I turn off that wretched alarm.  ######, I wish I had a radio clock.  My cell phone just doesn’t cut it for me these days.  Not too often I’ll forget to charge the ###### thing and then I end up late.  You think the clock is annoying, you should listen to Mr. Grayson lecture you about missing a lecture.
                That’s when I finally roll out of bed.  The impact helps me wake up, and then I hit the shower.  I put on some clothes, grab all of my belongings and be sure to get the paper I did the night before.  Statistics…  Yay…
                I leave my apartment and shuffle with all of my might this early and try to catch the elevator.  As I hear the click of the triangular button, my mind wanders for a bit.  I see the village in my dream.  There’s a pair of horns in front of me and I’m holding onto them for dear life.  There’s someone else behind me, I think.  A princess?  An enemy?  Maybe that person is actually both?
                Ah, finally, the cold, metallic doors open up in front of me and I walk into a small, empty box.  The light is flickering and it gives my cage a distinct yellow tint as I watch the doors close again.  Despite it all, it’s kinda cozy in the elevator.  I like it when it’s just me; I never have to worry about being polite with idle chitchat.  My brain isn’t up for it anyway.
                6:25 AM
                Finally the bus is here and I pay my fare.  I sit down, my backpack placed on the seat next to me facing the aisle.  The ride takes a while, so I have some time to just relax and think.  I put some headphones on to make sure I have something to keep me awake.  My mind still wandering, I see a memory of not too long ago in my head.  I see myself in the reflection of the well for an instant as I fly over that village.  Clad in armor, I’m actually standing on top of the beast’s head with this crazed look on my face.  I’m commanding the dragon to burn everything in sight.  There are women and children who are crying out, and that just makes me laugh harder and harder.  Heh…  I guess truth isn’t always stranger than fiction.

By John/Kraggh:

Monosmith's Monologues

MONOSMITH LEFT THE DEFENDERS.  Again.  Like he always did.  How Ashley Ashley managed to keep her faith in him was a wonder.  By every account, he was unreliable, in spite of the net good he did.
     By, bye, friends.  Fairwell to all of them.  He was taking another one of his extended vacations while the world got on just fine without him.
     As a newcomer, he came to the village of Valence, where he slept on the cement steps leader up to an old man's house.  The old man opened the door and set a blanket down over Monosmith's body.  When he woke up that morning, Monosmith folded up the blanket at neatly as he could and left it by the door.
     Realizing that someone had been kind to him, he retreated further away to be a hermit in the pine woods, deep enough that people couldn't be bothered by him but not so deep that he couldn't return to Valence and get food.
     There he found a pond, and he started a journal.  He wasn't sure if he wanted to create a house at first, knowing not if he deserved it, but he gave in to his instinctive desires and designed a simple shelter that was exactly five feet wide and ten feet long, and the roof was just nigh enough that he did not scrape his head on it.  He made no bead, only a fireplace to keep him warm when the long winter settled in.  He then proceeded to toss and turn at night, but not because of the lumpy ground that made his bed.  Rather, there was one final thing, a great necessity that he needed more than anything to continue being himself.  It was not required to continue his physical existence, but in order to live, no matter how feebly, and to live as Monosmith, there was a final ingredient he needed and would always need.
     So he built himself a desk on which to write down his thoughts, something that would give him its unlimited patience like no human ever could.
     Whenever he returned to Valence, he made his visits brief and his conversations limited to simple declarations on what he wished to buy and what he wished to sell, and no more was said.
     When spring came, a teenager followed him as he left the village, thinking himself sneaky, although Monosmith was aware that he was being spied on.  That was why he was not surprised when this teenage boy came to his house the next day and interrupted Monosmith's quiet hours of writing.  Monosmith really didn't want to talk.  The desire to be alone wasn't as strong anymore, but it didn't seem appropriate.  He removed one of the several long scarves he had around his collar and cast it over his hunting weapons, and then he opened the door for the visitor.
     "Guten Tag," he said.  "Why are you here?"
     "I'm considering leaving the village.  I'm a legal adult now, so I could, although I'll miss my mother and my sister.  I was wondering, though, why you came here?  I figured I'd talk before I went."
     "That's a tale I'll tell someday, but not to you," said Monosmith.
     "Oh, okay, that's all I really wanted, really."
     "No it wasn't," said Monosmith.  "Your posture, your voice fluxuations, and that this is on its own a lame premise for a lie."
     "Okay, I really am eighteen, and I really am considering going out into the world, but I thought I'd get to know you better before I ever did that because...Because my older sister's curious about you because you seem like a nice person -"
     "I give that impression, do I?  Jack, I might seem wholesome and desirable, but then I open my mouth.  And then I talk with that mouth.  With speech comes a combination of words and voice fluxuation, which brings together an image of an idea on the speaker's mind, which in then interpreted according to how those words and voice fluctuation are interwoven, which varies depending on the semantics of a region and from person to person, resulting in statements that do not always give a good impression because I am blunt, rude, and insensitive.  My tact is lacking, and pretty soon you will all hate me.  Then just wait how the errors in my ways increase when pressure is put on me, and I, so sure of my actions, choose to commit to them.  This is when people are put off by the harsh truth of my ways, and the strong attitude that shows through them.  In other words, I said some things I regret and wish I could take back, but I can't, and I don't know if I will ever be forgiven for those moments when I was condescending, for those times where I did not shuger-coat my deeds with sentiment.  It will be forever before I forgive myself for those mistakes I have made.  I have bee disgraced, and am no longer accepted.  If the world does not want me any longer, then I won't bother it, so long as it does not bother me."
     Monosmith let that hang and leaned against his door, an eyebrow raised.
     "I don't think I'm bothering you," said the boy.
     'It all depends on your point of view," said Monosmith.  "See, in some cultures, people kiss each other as a form of saying hello, while in others, it breaks all platonic boundaries and can be considered harassment.  There are some cultures where men and women are not allowed to make eye contact, while in others eye contact is necessary to get a job.  Then standards for personal boundaries and appropriate interaction vary from person to person.  The world is riddled with moral absolutes, but they manifest themselves through the subjective nature of personal and cultural standards.  For example, respect is important everywhere, but there are as many ways of showing respect as there are people.  As such, I don't want you on my door.  This is my space.  If you wish to speak to me, let it be immediately outside of the village, and we shall talk.  But it won't be here, and it won't be now.  What is your name?"
     "Tomorrow," said Monosmith.

     They met the next day on Monosmith's terms.  It was in town, but on the outskirts, nearby some of the trees.  Trent disappointed Monosmith - he had brought his sister.  She was lovely and fair, with blond hair and blue eyes, a real doll.  She also perhaps twice her brother's age and therefore more within Monosmith's range.
     "Cuteness isn't what people think it is," said Monosmith.  "You think this is cute, but I think it's rash.  I don't know what I ever did to deserve your attention, but you think that there's something charming about this.  There isn't.  It's something you created in your heads, like it has some sort of poetic justice, but it's not what you think it is.  You're just two curious kids, and I'm the stranger who caught your eye.  Fine, but don't build up any presumptions about the good nature of our encounter.  I'm not responsible for making you feel happy about yourself, and I'm not going to be a part of your life if you reach out to me."
     Trent scratched his nose, looked uncomfortable, and left.  His sister was alone with Monosmith.  That forbidden moment where Monosmith was to face a woman who had full expectations of him to be a man had come, that repeated theme that came throughout his life.  If he was not going to be a man on his terms, then fine, but he had decided in his heart which woman those terms would be on.
     She cleared her throat.  "So what do you do all on your own?"
     "If the world rejected you, what would you do?" he said.
     "Try to prove myself?" she replied.
     "I did nothing to wrong the world.  I gave it everything.  I just didn't give it what it wanted the way it wanted it.  If the people who needed me decided to push me away, then fine.  I wouldn't work with them.  Although I do what I can on my own."
     He got down and sat cross-legged, his back supported by the trunk of a tree.  Trent's sister bent down similarly.  She put her hand over his heart, but he grabbed her wrist and pushed it away.
     "I sense much hurting here," she said.
     "You thought that since I never talked around the village that I was a simple man, and you thought that was appealing.  In truth, silent men are the least simple."
     "No, no, I understand that," she insisted.  "I saw you, and I was under the impression that you were so much more than anything you were willing to share.  I want to know more than what I live with every day."
     "More?  In what way?  We are all more than what we are willing to share, and we all wear masks.  Mine is merely more obvious of a mask and a greater mystery, but if you look closely at everyone else, they are a mystery as well.  Did you know the turmoil of your brother's heart when he turned eighteen?  How well do you know your parents' feelings toward each other?  Have you ever seen into the heart of the old man who gave me his blanket?  Is it, then, that you see a struggling man?  Do you see someone whose life you can help, to whom you can be a savior?  Do you see a fascinating specimen?  Or do you see, as others have seen, a potential for warmth that you can only imagine?  I think it's this last one, is it not?  There is that hope and desire to have a companion who has a lot to offer as a figure of strength and security and love, all of which I will someday offer my woman when God gives me the trumpet call.  Until then, you are short-changed.  I am not yet my truest self, and until then I have other things to focus on, and the nature of my relations with Men is not one of sentiment, but one for a higher mission.  I have my duties that I am obliged by moral law to complete, and I will do it.  You may talk with me of these things, for these duties and phantoms that plague me are the things that plague my character."
     "I would, but I do not know what you are talking about," she said.
     "What was your name, again?" asked Monosmith.
     "Lea," she said.
     "Lea, you look like a fairytale princess.  I instinctively wish the best for you.  But I also have to go against simple instinct and follow my rational thinking, which leads me to the ultimate conclusion that there are a lot of people in this world to wish the best to.  Not only that, but it is my capability to see it through."
     "What are you doing here, then?" asked Lea.
     "That's personal," he said.  "It's really best not to talk about that.  Let us just say that the way I will contribute to the world will be one that does not require me to interact with other people - this one encounter between you and me being an exception unrelated to the problem at hand.  I will not see my friends for a very long time, and meanwhile, I will continue what I have started out in the woods, making those small differences while the world goes on not knowing how much I care."
     "What exactly are you giving up?"
     "The Defenders.  You honestly don't know who I am, but I am sure you have heard of them."
     "So you are carrying out a military operation here?" said Lea, shocked.
     Monosmith lowered his head.  "No," he admitted.  "It will be a long time before I do that again.  I can't explain it.  I have a lot to contribute to the world, just more when I do it on my own.  I am not brash or overconfident of myself, but I also know that people need to be independent of me, and I must suffer through the trials of the world without the aid of the people I care most about.  Perhaps this period of my life will end sooner than I have expected, but perhaps not.  I am not God, and the narrative of my life is a mystery to me, save for the brief moments of intuition granted to me purely by His grace."
     "What does your intuition tell you right now?"
     "That I do not want to get attached to you.  I already admitted that I care for you, because you seem like a good person.  Flawed, yes.  I can certainly understand that in spite of how sweet you appear, there are insecurities and cracks beneath the surface that will emerge should I get to know you over time, but at this present moment it is pleasing to simply look you in the eye and behold a child of God, and know that it it my duty to love you as He loves you.  Despicable, though, how it takes a pretty face to see it."
     "You find me beautiful?"
     "Yes, but I am a man whose destiny lies elsewhere, and you are a woman whose destiny lies elsewhere.  I cannot stay here, and I must be going to continue my isolation.  Hopefully, however, this encounter has satiated your curiosity."
     "No, wait, will I be seeing you again?"
     "I should think not.  I'm dedicated to my work."
     "Is your work simply forcing this solitude upon yourself?  Are you afraid of facing the world again, afraid of whatever you will do you will hurt it?"
     Monosmith maintained an intense, focused eye contact with Lea.  Saying nothing, he walked to the left and into the forest.  lea was left not knowing what the encounter was meant to mean.  At least she knew that he was right, and perhaps her initial feelings were wrong.  He was too brash, too much of with his communication, entirely unfocused on socializing with his conversation.  She figured it wouldn't be too difficult to respect his wishes and not come after him, but she would still wonder about what he did in the forest, if anything, but hopefully the right thing.  Perhaps she would never know, and he would only ever be that one stranger she had met.

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