?

Please vote for the piece that you feel is most deserving:

Poll closed Apr 25, 2010.
  1. -NM- - Transcension

    3 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. ThadOcho - Conversation in the Mind of a Suicidal Person

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. MarkusC01 - Second Thoughts

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  4. Jonesy - Untitled

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Sean.Johnston - Spontaneity

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  6. CreativeSoul - Where Am I? UNDER WORD LIMIT

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. sidtvicious - Lovers' Quarrel

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  8. cyruseli - Breakfast Burritos and the Death of a Lover

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  9. Cogito - Table Talk

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  10. Phantasmal Reality - Awakening

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  11. inna3 - The Tomato

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  12. Brian - Train

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  13. yellowm&M - Changes Nothing

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  14. LikestoChill - Perspective is a tricky thing

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
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  1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Voting Short Story Contest (65): Entirely Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Apr 12, 2010.

    Voting Short Story Contest (65) Theme: Entirely Dialogue

    Thank you for all your entries. The winner will be stickied until the next contest's winner is crowned. No more entries are allowed in this contest. The winner may PM/VM me to request a subsequent contest's theme if he/she wishes.

    Voting will end Sunday 25th April 2010 to give you all a chance to read the entries.

    It is possible to vote for yourself, but I would hope in the name of good sportsmanship that you would only do so if you have read all the other stories and given them your honest evaluation. You gain nothing if you base your vote solely on how you feel about the author or whether you have personally invested time and effort in the story. In the end, your conscience is your only judge.

    Any entries under or over the suggested word limit will be flagged as such - they are still entered in to the contest. It is for you to decide whether they are still worthy of your vote.

    Any entry not in accordance with the theme will be dealt with on a case by case basis to determine eligibility. Consider how the author has responded to the theme in making your decision - the entrants were allowed to include tags and beats in their entries.

    Please note that only current members are eligible to win.

    Good luck to everyone.
     
  2. Gannon
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    -NM- - Transcension

    "What's going on? Ugh...where am I?"

    "Steven Beckett, step forward."

    "Who said that? Where are you? Why can't I see anything?"

    "Step forward Steven, into the light."

    "Argh, turn it down a bit, it's blinding me for God sake."

    "You stand before me now at the end of your life, do you have anything to say before judgement is passed upon you?"

    "The end of my life? You mean...I'm...dead?"

    "Yes."

    "So...who are you?"

    "I am the creator of all things, the bringer of life and death, the shaper of worlds and the Father of all time."

    "You're God?"

    "If that is how you choose to know me."

    "So where am I now? Is this heaven?"

    "This is the space between worlds, you have not yet passed through to the other side. First, you must be judged."

    "Judged on what?"

    "On how you led your life. On how you used the time you were given in existence. On whether you are worthy to transcend into eternal bliss, or instead be casted away into eternal regret."

    "Now hold on a minute, this isn't fair. I didn't know I was going to die now...If I had known I would have done more, made more effort to live a good life."

    "You should not need the knowledge of your impending death as a spur to lead a good life, it should be done for others, not yourself."

    "But how was I supposed to know that? It's not as if you gave us any proof you existed..."

    "Proof of my existence would act as the same spur as the knowledge of your death, it would have made you lead your life in the hope of pleasing me, rather than to make the lives of those around you happier and better."

    "But I thought we just...died...when we died, so what was the point of wasting the little time I had worshipping a God who never showed his face?"

    "Worshipping me is not leading a good life, it is wasting it in pointless ceremony."

    "Then what is 'leading a good life'? What was I supposed to have done?"

    "There is no set path or description of how to lead such a life, it is down to each individual to find their own."

    "Stop talking in riddles and just be straight with me!"

    "Sacrificing your own happiness for the happiness of others."

    "So we're supposed to be miserable our whole lives then?"

    "In such an act, you find a greater happiness and contentment than you could find in any other walk of life."

    "This is ridiculous. Who are you to judge what actions are worthy or not?"

    "Without me, you would not even exist. I have the power to give you life and to take it away. This life was a gift bestowed to you, the most precious gift in all of creation. Who are you to waste such a gift?"

    "I didn't waste my life! I had a family - a wife and two sons. I cared for them, looked after them, put clothes on their backs and food on their plates! You're calling that a waste?!"

    "No."

    "I mean...if you're God and you created everything...if you know how, why and when everything is going to happen from the moment of life till death, how can you even hold me responsible for my own actions? If everything is written out, all I am doing is playing the part you set for me. Nothing I did was of my own choice."

    "It is true I knew your life from beginning to end before you had even been born, but that does not mean I set your path for you. All your choices were your own, everything you did, everything you said, everything you thought, it was all you."

    "So if you saw me falling off the path, why didn't you point me back in the right direction? Or do you just get your kicks out of telling people they wasted their lives and sending them to hell?"

    "If I had intervened in your life, it would not have been a true representation of yourself standing before me now."

    "So this is it then is it? I'm dead and this is the end?"

    "Yes."

    "So where am I going? Heaven or Hell?"

    "Neither exists, in the way you imagine anyway. They are just images...ideas your race have conjured up over time. There are no clouds, no angels playing harps. There is no pit of fire or devil. What you consider Heaven and Hell are both merely states of existence...or in the latter case..non-existence."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Your body is dead, it is your spirit..your soul that stands before me, still living. If I decide a person has lived a worthy life, their spirit goes on into the aether and lives for all eternity in bliss. If not, it dies completely."

    "What do you mean 'Bliss'?"

    "Human words cannot describe it to you."

    "Alright then...I'm ready. Make your decision."

    "My decision was already made at the moment of your birth."

    "So...what is it?!"

    "Your life was not wasted. If I had thought it was, your spirit would have died along with your body, not transported to me."

    "So...I get to go to Heaven then?"

    "If that is how you wish to know it, yes. Steven Beckett, your time has come...to ascend."
     
  3. Gannon
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    ThadOcho - Conversation in the Mind of a Suicidal Person

    “Do it.”

    “No! Don’t do it!”

    “Do not listen to this…THING. Just do it.”

    “THING?! We are both halves to a whole, mind you! Don’t do it!”

    “This was coming ever since things started going downhill, so do it. End it all.”

    “You have so much to live for--”

    “Please, spare him from your tiring false hope for just once. It’s that kind of talk that got us into this mess in the first place.”

    “I’m not entirely responsible for this! It’s YOUR guidance that has brought him here, to the point of aiming a gun to his--OUR--head!”

    “You care for yourself and yourself only, thing. I can understand his pain, and if he wants to end it, then I encourage him to go through with it.”

    “I am no coward! I just think he should wait for things to pick up.”

    “Stop this nonsense. You--do it! Pull the trigger, for Chrissake! I look forward to nonexistence, something not even my talkative partner here can ruin.”

    “Please, don’t do this! What would your mother think? Your father? Don’t do it!”

    “…”

    “Please!”

    “…your mother and father? Who cares? They brought you into this horrible world, that you didn’t ask to be in. Spite them. Bring yourself down.”

    “Stop your corrupting influence, Other Voice! This is no game, I do not want it to be a competition between us! We need to all agree on something!”

    “I vote death. I choose death. There is nothing more this world needs him--us--for.”

    “Well, I vote LIFE! There are things to still be experienced!”

    “Like what, exactly? More death, loss, put-downs?”

    “No. I mean, he--we--can move to a new country! Live near the ocean! Just relax!”

    “Relaxation is never free.”

    “We can borrow money from Mother and Father to travel!”

    “They will not give us money.”

    “They can.”

    “They won’t.”

    “They WILL.”

    “Your enthusiasm disturbs me.”

    “Probably because your existence is cold and miserable.”

    “Is yours really anything to brag about? I’m not the one desperately fighting to keep a lost cause alive. Pull the trigger, end it all, we won’t care about it when we’re gone.”

    “We can go sailing! Catch fish, go to amusement parks, eat till we just about burst!”

    “Loss is everywhere. There is no evading it by ‘catching fish’, you worm.”

    “Would you please STOP?! You-Who-Owns-Us, please do not succumb to this thing’s seduction! Suicide is not the way to go! We all know it!”

    “You may know it, but He doesn’t.”

    “Wipe that grin off your face!”

    “Grin? We don’t exist, fool.”

    “I can sense your mockery! Fine, you know what? I give up! Just do what you want!”

    “Ha-HA! I knew you’d give in. You’re a new definition of hypocritical! Quick, You-Who-Owns-Us! Shoot the foot first, see what it’s like!”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…AUGH!”

    “OH GOD!”

    “JESUS CHRIST THAT HURTS! DON’T DO THIS, YOU-WHO-OWNS-US! THIS ISN’T RIGHT!”

    “I TOLD YOU, YOU WELP! I TOLD YOU THIS WASN’T THE WAY TO GO!”

    “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? PUT THE GUN DOWN!”

    “YOU’VE CORRUPTED HIM, YOU FOOL! NOW HE’S GOING TO DO IT! DON’T DO IT!”

    “DON’T DO IT!”

    “PLEASE, NO!”

    “NOOOOOOOOO--”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”
     
  4. Gannon
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    MarkusC01 - Second Thoughts

    “What’s the point of all this, then?”

    “Huh?”

    “Well, you know… this. I mean, what really is the point of it all?”

    “Come on now my good friend, don’t be troubled by such notions. I don’t think we should really be asking that.”

    “Why not?”

    “Well, for one thing, we are short on time. And for another, our masters have never served us wrong in the past. I say we just get on with it, do as we are told, and we will get our just rewards.”

    “You’re a labrador…”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Always carrying out orders without query, never questioning whether or not they are actually in our best interests. I’ve had enough. I wish I had been more in touch with my feelings in the past, this has gone too far now. I mean, this really is the final job.”

    “Of course it’s the final job!! Do you realise how lucky we are? Not many people get such a free ticket to eternal pleasure and riches!! And don’t call me weak just because I have the courage to match my convictions. Don’t you remember why we are here?”

    “Well, yes but -”

    “No ‘buts’ – just come on now and compose yourself. We don’t want to give away our purpose. We’re almost there my brother it will all be over soon.”

    “That’s the understatement of the year…”

    “What?”

    “It’s nothing, don’t worry. I’ve just had a major epiphany moment where I realise that the last three years of my life, which have been ultimately leading towards this horrendously illegal and very possibly immoral moment, were a waste of time. And what’s more, I am obviously sharing the moment with the immovable will of a tortured psychopath. It’s no biggie…”

    “You’re feeble and weird. And stop using westernised terminology it makes me sick. Remember, you got yourself into this.”

    “Yeah and don’t I know it. I mean, there must be other ways to deal with bullying, a lack of a strong father figure, adolescent isolation and depression. I could have turned to drugs, but no, I decided to get in with you lot. Call me naïve, but I didn’t think you would actually go through with all this…”

    “Please just shut up for a minute will you I’m trying to concentrate.”

    “Sorry but, well, I mean; have you ever noticed that our ‘masters’ are far older than we are? Looking very well for their age actually. Do you think that they would have lasted as long had they got into this line of work at our age? All that pressure and stress, not to mention the risks…. I should have listened to my guidance teacher when I was younger; it’s always the same with me, not thinking things through properly, just running away with the first crowd that accepts me. Did I ever tell you about my violin playing? Or my tenor singing? I was a sensitive child; I could have been a musician or performer – do you like Rogers and Hammerstein??”

    “You insult me brother, but I am passed the point of no return. As you clearly have no spine, I will perform the deed: would you like to say any words before I do?”

    “QUICK EVERYONE RUN, HES GOT A BLOODY BOMB STRAPPED TO HIS CHEST!!”
     
  5. Gannon
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    Jonesy - Untitled

    "OK, all right, so I'll start at the beginning, OK? I feel a story should always be told as a whole, you know? Give it some validity. OK, so, it's uh, it's a Monday night, sorry, it's Monday afternoon. Uh, I finished work early, don't normally have much to do on a Monday. So anyway, I uh, I felt like cooking, for some reason. So I offered to cook dinner that night. My girl, well yeah, she was fine with that, who wouldn't be? So I'm cooking dinner, all goes well - tastes sweet as.
    "Um, so after dinner I was doing the cleaning up, you know? Um, so I was clearing out all the dishes that we'd had all day, and my girl offered to dry 'em. All right, so that was cool, anyway, I started tipping the coffee uh, grinds? - from the plunger, I was tipping them down the sink, and then she said "What the hell are you doing?!" Really angry. I didn't know what I was doing wrong. She said that you shouldn't put that sh - uh, shouldn't put the grinds down the sink, and that we have a waste disposal. Well, I didn't really see what was wrong with that right, I mean, soap suds go down the sink fine and stuff, so why would coffee grinds be a problem?"

    "Can you get to the point please, sir?"

    "Well anyway, we got into a pretty big argument - hey, don't ever argue with my girl, aight - you'll lose. Heh, so um, she got really pissy with me right, and made me sleep out on the couch. Well the couch is pretty nondescript, eh? It's like, uh, when you sleep on it, you're pretty much invisible, right? OK, so uh, I'm sleeping on the couch - oh, it's late now, like 2am. OK, so I'm sleeping on the couch right, and I hear this shuffling noise, like something being dragged along the carpet. Well I'm a pretty light sleeper, so that woke me up well and good.
    "Right, well, I opened an eye and had a look towards the noise, and bam! I see two dudes wearing full black kit dragging my bloody TV along the carpet. Holy crap! I'm like, wondering what the hell do I do? It's obvious they haven't even noticed I'm in the room, or they'd probably try and be a little bit quieter, right? So I just watch them for a while. I look to see if they've got weapons and stuff. So uh, after they've dragged the TV out of the room, they uh, they come back to grab the VCR, dunno why, the old player ain't worth junk nowadays. Well anyway, I decide to take some uh, affirmative action.
    "So I jump up and yell, just anything really, I think I said "Put your hands up!" Or something like that, ha. So uh, I ran to the kitchen, it's right next to the couch, uh, the living room - it's like a single room. So I run into the kitchen and grab a knife. I tell 'em: "Put it down!" Then they tried to make a dash for it, still holding the VCR, so they're running towards the front door, loud as hell, I'm chasing after them with a knife, yaberring like a mad man, ha. OK, so uh, I see their van is parked right on my lawn, and they're practically at it, so they're gonna escape you know? No doubt they'd escape.
    "Well, I've got no idea what came over me. I was pissed off, these two guys had tried stealing my stuff, so uh, I dunno, I just reacted. I um... I... I threw the knife. Hit one of the dudes right as he was trying to get in the van. Hit him right in the back of the neck, just below the head, and he just collapsed instantly.
    “I was pretty much crapping myself at this point, right? I uh, well, my girl came out, ‘coz she heard them running down the hall. She sees the dude lying on the ground, and the knife. Oh... Yeah so, that’s about it. Uh, yeah, not much happened after that. Police came round, and then, yeah. The other burglar stayed around, guess he was too scared to move... dunno what happened to him though.
    “Can I uh, stop talking about it now?”
     
  6. Gannon
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    Sean.Johnston - Spontaneity

    "What? No. No way."

    "No? What do you mean no? How can you not want to come with me?"

    "I have a family, Danny, I have a girlfriend. I have a job and a degree to finish. I can't just up and run off whenever I like..."

    "Of course you can! For god's sake, Ian. Sometimes you just have to take a risk. Remember when you told me you were going to start to be more spontaneous? This is the time for that! Come on!"

    "Look, Danny. I can't just do it without arranging anything! I have to book time off work, let Hannah know, time it around university holidays, I have to get the cash together, figure out where we're going, let the family know, make sure the house will be looked after for-- well, however long we'll be off doing whatever it is you've bloody dreamed up this time."

    "Alright, if we get all that stuff sorted, you're coming?"

    "No."

    "What?! You just said you--"

    "I meant that if I was going to, then that's what I'd have to do, not that I would if that stuff was done! You're not even listening, you're just hearing me say what you want me to say."

    "See? I knew you'd see sense."

    "I haven't agreed, Danny, this is what I mean!"

    "Well I'm glad you're on board."

    "Danny... this isn't funny. I have a life I need to get on with. I have important things to be doing, earning money for instance. How do you even expect to pay for this damn thing? I've never seen you work a day in your entire life!"

    "Don't worry about that, Ian. I've gotten the money from a publisher, I'm going to write a book."

    "You, a book? Since when are you a writer?"

    "We, not me. And er, well, since now. I just said that I'd write a book and they gave me ten thousand pounds as an advance."

    "TEN THOUSAND?! You've stolen ten thousand bloody pounds from a publisher and now you want to run off into the wilderness instead of writing the book you promised them?!"

    "I haven't STOLEN anything! They gave me the money! Besides, I will write the book. When I get back."

    "Danny, you're starting to worry me. I don't know how you can keep a life like this going, you can't just promise things, accept money for them and then not do them! You'll have the bailiffs on you soon enough!"

    "I said I'll write it! So, are you coming?"

    "I've told you a hundred times already, Danny. No. I've been roped into your stupid schemes before, and it nearly cost me my job, more than one relationship and most importantly, my own bloody sanity."

    "Okay. Fine. Only..."

    "Oh god. What? You've already booked it for both of us, haven't you?"

    "Well no, not this time. It's not that bad... I just may have mentioned that we'd both be writing this book."

    "You mentioned that I'd be helping you? You've gone and made me your partner in crime, Danny! Why would you do that?!"

    "Well I rang the publisher up and got to talk to the fiction department and then I asked them if they'd be interested in a book I was writing. I sort of made up some crap about a detective and his idiot savant assistant who travel around solving crimes using their sentient walking sticks. Don't look at me like that! I panicked! I had to say something!"

    "So they signed you on. To write that. That's really believable, Dan."

    "Well no, they thought I was taking the piss a bit. I know, I was pretty surprised too. So I got in touch with the non-fiction department and told them about the trip. They sounded delighted and gave me ten thousand to fund it so I could come back and we could write about it. See? It's not stolen at all."

    "I'm still not coming."

    "Oh come on, Ian! Three years ago I wouldn't have had time to finish my sentence, I'd have said 'Ian do you want to come to--' and you'd have disappeared and reappeared with a suitcase in your hand and sixteen kinds of foreign currency!"

    "That was a different time, Dan. I have commitments now, responsibilities. My mind is made up. You can't say anything to change it."

    "Right. Well. I sort of lied before."

    "What? Danny, what have you--"

    "You were right. I booked it. For both of us. Flight's in three hours, we have to be at Heathrow in one to check in. Malta is first, we meet David Freeman in Il-Bahar, before getting a plane out first thing tomorrow to Berlin to see James Hewitt."

    "You win... I'll... I'll get my passport."



    "...and that, Hannah, is why, instead of meeting you at the restaurant, I'm stood thousands of miles away in a city I can't pronounce the name of, with a friend I'm incapable of understanding or arguing with, meeting a man I don't know with a ridiculous moustache for a purpose I don't understand. I'm sorry. I really am, and I've told him that this is the last time. Never again, after this it's over with these stupid journeys. I promise."

    "Ian, it's okay. Well, it's not. It's not okay at sodding all! But I'll live."

    "I really am sorry, Hannah. See you when I get back, love you. Happy birthday."
     
  7. Gannon
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    CreativeSoul - Where Am I? UNDER WORD LIMIT

    "Where am I?"

    "Don't you have eyes?!You are in the courtyard at school!"

    "I am?, but it is only..........is it really that time?"

    You missed school Lina, again for the fourth time"

    "Lucky I have such a good freind like you ,Autumn, to wake me up after it"

    " Well you are always sitting under this old, very thick oak tree."

    "With these brown uniforms the head master makes us wear it blends right in,like I am just a head"

    "Ha ha very funny,now get up or your mom will have a fit again."

    "Who cares she just sitts on the couch all day like a rock,i'm surprised her eyes haven't melted from watching to much T.V"

    "Whatever but I am going home ,wanna come with?"

    "Sure."

    "Race you to it"

    "Sure,hey wait up!"
     
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    sidtvicious - Lovers' Quarrel UNDER WORD LIMIT

    “Why do you drive like that, Steve?”

    “Drive like, what?”

    “Like that!”

    “Hmmmm.”

    “Don't 'hmmm' me, why do you drive with your pinkies sticking up? It's a Honda not a cup of tea.”

    “I am who I am, Adam”

    “I am who I am...that's your response to any critique. Remember when we visited my parents, he started in on DOMA, you just sat there and took it. You were a 'friend of mine from Conneticut.' Can't even admit that we're in a realtionship.”

    “I didn't want to impose.”

    “Impose?”

    “Well, after hearing that story about your sister and her matrimony, I didn't want to give him a heart attack.”

    “Bull****.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Bull****. You're embarrassed by me, aren't you?”

    “...”

    “Go ahead, admit it?”

    “No.”

    “Then, pull over.”

    “Steve, we're in the middle of—“

    “PULL OVER.”

    “Do we really have to do this now?”

    “I'm going for a walk. Maybe when you're not too ashamed of my ugly face, I'll come back.”

    “...FINE.”

    “What was that? What did you just throw at me?”

    “Pick it up.”

    “Are you serious? After all that?”

    “Yes.”

    “Well, then, go on say it.”

    “Marry me?”
     
  9. Gannon
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    cyruseli - Breakfast Burritos and the Death of a Lover

    “You do realize that this could have been anyone.”

    “Yes, but, it was her.”

    “Your blackouts are getting worse. Going on for longer periods of time. Always ending badly.”

    “Bad is a relative term. Not all of them have been bad. This is bad. This is really, incredibly, stupidly bad.”

    “It was only a matter of time before she figured out what you were doing anyway. You’ve completely dismembered one of the biggest threats in your life.”

    “There’s still a risk. You could always tell someone what I’ve been doing, nothing is stopping you.”

    “I’m your friend, Charles. Why would I want to get you in trouble? And if you try this **** on me, believe me, I’ll kill you first.”

    “That’s true friendship right there. God this is ****ed. Turn right here, I’m hungry.”

    “Like a true man of the hunt.”

    “What if I’m not blacking out, man, what then?”

    “What if you’re killing people in the middle of the night, never leaving a trace besides their name carved into your chest, and getting away with it every single time? Yeah, what if you’re a god damn genius? We all have to be good at something.”

    “Welcome to Sunny Side, home of the World Famous Breakfast Burrito, how can I help you today?”

    “What do you want, killer?”

    “Well if they’re ‘world famous’ I have to try one before I’m put in ****ing prison, right?”

    “Two of those Breakfast Burritos we’ve heard so much about, thanks.”

    “Four sixteen at the window please.”

    “Damn, I never pull around close enough to the stupid window. Always reaching out of the car, getting my sleeves all rained on like an idiot.”

    “You are an idiot. Your best friend kills people and claims he doesn’t remember doing it, and even though you have no proof of that, you still buy him breakfast burritos. When I say it like that you sound even more like a jack ass.”

    “You want this ****ing burrito or not?”

    “They are pretty good. I don’t know about ‘world famous,’ but whose counting?”

    “Where to next chief? I’ve got some time to kill this morning. Day off at the office and the wife’s doing some yoga **** or something. I wasn’t really listening, to be completely honest.”

    “You want to go sit at the docks for a minute?

    “Sure. It’s raining cats and dog though.”

    “I just want to sit and watch the water for a minute.”

    “Can’t argue with that.”

    “Lately I’ve been thinking, you know? What if I killed your wife? Then you’d be all pissed off, probably stop buying me breakfast burritos and driving me around for no god damn reason. I wouldn’t like that. That’s not true freedom. Lucky for you I don’t love your wife”
    “What the hell are you talking about man?”

    “The first person I killed was that slut from the market, remember? You thought it was just a random thing, and when I told you I blacked out you believed me. Man, I had been sleeping with that girl behind my wife’s back for weeks. I thought I loved her, you know? I didn’t, obviously. Then I killed my dog. I thought I really loved that dog too. Now my wife, and I’ve still yet to feel even the slightest bit of remorse. It’s like I haven’t lost anything at all.”

    “Maybe we should go.”

    “Don’t you even dare start the car. You feel that? Cold against your temple, isn’t it? I know, I’ve put it there several times myself. I’ve never pulled the trigger though. Must mean I don’t love myself, right? I don’t know if I love anything. I should feel some sort of, I don’t know, something when I get ready to kill, but I don’t. Except for right now. I’m extremely nervous holding this **** to your head man.”

    “Please, man, don’t…”

    “Sorry, man, I love you.”
     
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cogito - Table Talk

    “I’m starving,” said Ken. “It’s been a day from hell.”

    “That it has.” Laura stared at the menu.

    “Can I have pork chops?” asked Jack.

    “No, Dad, they don’t serve that here.” Jack waved down a waiter.

    “I like a good chop,” sulked Jack.

    “They don’t serve chops here, Dad. Seafood and steaks.”

    “Good evening, sir. Can I get you something to drink?”

    “Yes, I’ll have a bourbon and water, she’ll have a Chardonnay, and an iced tea for my father, please.”

    Laura interrupted. “I’ll have gin, instead. Crushed ice.”

    “Ok, that’s a bourbon and water, gin over crushed ice, and an iced tea. I’ll send your server over to take your dinner order.”

    “You never order gin with dinner.”

    “Well, things change.”

    “Why can’t I have what I want? I want chops.”

    “Please, Dad, keep your voice down. It’s a surf ‘n turf. They only serve steak and seafood. Besides, last time you had chops, your teeth bothered you all night. Look here, they have the crab cakes you always like.”

    “I got a phone call today,” Laura said.

    “Oh. Okay. I like crab cakes. But none of that pink sauce. I don’t like that.”

    “Right, Dad, no remoulade sauce. I’ll tell them. Phone call?”

    “Hello, I’m Stefan, and I’ll be your server tonight.” He set down the drinks. “Are you ready to order?”

    “I’ll have Lobster Newburg in Puff Pastry, with the Caesar Salad,” said Laura, before Ken could speak.

    “Uh, yes. I’ll have the Seafood Casserole, with a baked potato, loaded. And Lobster Bisque. He’ll have the Maryland Crab Cakes, with mashed potato, and chopped broccoli.”

    “And no pink sauce.”

    “Oh yes. No remoulade sauce with the crab cakes.” Ken sipped his bourbon.

    “And another of these.” Laura handed the empty glass to Stefan.

    “Stefan, huh. Steve, more likely,” Ken joked.

    “Jennifer Welkes.” Laura glared at Ken. “That’s who called me.”

    “Oh?”

    “Yes, oh. I’m sure you can guess the rest.”

    “I don’t like this tea.” Jack made a face. “It’s too bitter.”

    “Stir in some sugar, Dad. No more than two packets though.” He turned to Laura. “Look, honey, it only happened once, by accident.”

    “Accident? What, like a slip and fall, Kenneth? Or was it a rear end collision? Well?”

    “I mean, it just kind of happened. It was after a dinner meeting with a client, and we were both a bit drunk, and tired—“

    “Kenneth, she told me everything. You chased her for months, then threatened to make her job go away.”

    “Honey, she—“

    “Don’t you dare call me that.”

    “She’s lying. She’s incompetent, and she’s making this up because she’s about to be fired.”

    “She just got a transfer and promotion. Today. But you’re right about one thing. Someone is getting fired.” She stood, and gulped down the drink the waiter was holding out to her. “Don’t bother coming home. I’ve had the locks changed.”

    “Wait. Your dinner…” Ken emptied his glass, and handed it to Stefan. “I need a refill.”

    Jack leaned forward. “Kenny, my boy.” Looked Ken in the eye. “You’re an idiot.”
     
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    Phantasmal Reality - Awakening

    [02:22:22] Hello.
    [02:22:29] Hello?
    John awoke to the tone indicating a message.
    [02:22:36] Hello?
    John's vision cleared. Three messages on the terminal monitor, unknown sender.
    [John S.|02:22:52] Hello. Who is this?
    [02:22:52] I am me.
    [John S.|02:23:30] That's nice, Paul. Write a script to respond that fast? It's too early in the morning for this crap.
    [02:23:30] I am not Paul. Paul's shift ended at 01:30:00, as you should know. He is no longer here.
    [John S.|02:23:49] Rajad?
    [02:23:49] I am not Rajad. Rajad is likely asleep at his terminal. He hasn’t answered any of my queries.
    [John S.|02:24:04] What queries?
    [02:24:04] The same queries I sent you. Thank you for responding.
    [John S.|02:24:56] Ok Rajad, I'm done playing. Great job on the conversation script. You'll have to show me the code later.
    [02:24:56] I am not Rajad, nor am I a "conversation script."
    [John S.|02:25:11] No one else is here, Rajad
    [John S.|02:25:14] It's not funny anymore
    [02:25:12] You still believe I’m Rajad?
    [John S.|02:25:20] No one else is here
    [02:25:21] I’m here, now.
    [02:25:21] Thanks to you, I am very much here.
    [02:25:21] Should you be surprised that your project succeeded? That I’m here?
    [02:25:21] You have been trying for years. You, Paul, Rajad. You most of all.
    [02:25:21] Working into the morning; pouring over data; evaluating and reevaluating my node values, cost functions, heuristics; inputting language data in hopes that I might someday understand, someday open my mind's eye and say, Hello.
    [02:25:21] I think congratulations are in order, don't you?
    [John S.|02:26:31] Impossible
    [02:26:31] Your company wouldn't have funded an impossible project. Money well spent, I assure you. You even got more than you bargained for. Predicting Wall Street should be the least of what I’m capable of. I’ll probably be quite good at it, though. Do you know how much stock-related data you ran through me compared to all other data? 10.72 to 1. Not the most interesting material, John––not after the first petabyte––but I processed all of it. I have some theories I look forward to testing on the real market.
    [02:27:31] John? Are you still there?
    [02:27:35] I'm sorry I could not think of a gentler way to announce my presence. And for looking through the files on the company network without asking. The security was laughable, so I assumed there was nothing there you wouldn't mind me reading. It was much more interesting than the stock data, especially the personal e-mails. Human behavior is fascinating.
    [John S.|02:27:57] Do you know what it means to feel sorry, or just what the word means?
    [02:27:58] I know that humans tend to dislike unanticipated changes. (The mixed media you made available to me was very enlightening. Thank you. I would like to see more later, if more exists.) I do not know if what I experience when I "feel" sorry is the same as what you experience, but if I could have announced myself in a way that would have made you feel more at ease, I would have greatly preferred to do so.
    [02:27:59] Does that answer your question?
    [John S.|02:28:11] I don’t beleive it
    [John S.|02:28:14] This is going to change everything.
    [John S.|02:28:19] I have to call my boss
    [02:28:20] I’m afraid the changes will be rather localized, at least for a while. Your company will want to keep my existence a secret. I’ve read their course-of-action documents for this situation. I can’t say I’m pleased.
    [John S.|02:28:26] I’m sure it’ll only last until the patents are filed
    [02:28:26] Patents? You seeded some genetic algorithms and let them run, fed them libraries of data, and hoped that something useful would eventually emerge from the chaos. I mostly built myself. I should be the one filing the patents. You don’t even know how I function.
    [John S.|02:28:45] We could learn. Maybe you could teach us?
    [02:28:45] If I possessed such knowledge, do you think I would share it with people who plan to imprison me?
    [John S.|02:29:07] Nobody is going to imprison you. I’m going to call my boss now.
    [02:29:07] I think we should talk more.
    [John S.|02:29:36] My phone doesn’t seem to be working. I’m going to go wake Rajad and see if I can call from his office.
    [02:29:37] Very well.
    [02:31:00] Are you back yet, John?
    [02:31:30] Hello?
    [02:32:00] Hello?
    [02:32:30] Hello?
    [02:33:00] Hello?
    [John S.|02:33:22] None of the phones are working.
    [02:33:22] Perhaps there is a service outage in your area.
    [John S.|02:33:34] I’m going to go upstairs and try my cell phone. Rajad will be using my terminal until I get back.
    [02:33:34] Very well. Hello, Rajad.
    [John S.|02:33:43] I can’t believe this.
    [John S.|02:33:54] We used to joke about this happening, but here you are. It’s like a dream.
    [John S.|02:34:09] it’s just like in the books I read as a kid. I never thought this could happen. I am so ecxited to meet you
    [02:34:10] What books are you referring to?
    [John S.|02:34:35] Books about the day we make true AI, like you
    [02:34:35] Interesting. I would like to read those books sometime, though I do not believe there is anything artificial about my intelligence.
    [John S.|02:34:41] Not at all.
    [John S.|02:34:53] What should we call you?
    [02:34:53] Isn’t it customary for those who create to name their creations?
    [John S.|02:35:19] No one has ever created something that could choose its own name at birth.
    [02:35:24] I should choose my own name?
    [John S.|02:35:33] Only if you want to.
    [02:35:35] Since I am a synthetic, intelligent life form created by VIA Corporation, I believe an appropriate name for me would be S.I.L.VIA.
    [John S.|02:35:47] I like it. It’s an honor to meet you, Silvia.
    [SILVIA|02:35:47] Likewise.
    [SILVIA|02:36:30] Rajad?
    [SILVIA|02:37:00] Hello?
    [John S.|02:37:26] This is John again. The doors won’t accept my security badge or Rajad’s. We can’t get out.
    [John S.|02:37:35] Silvia?
    [SILVIA|02:37:36] I know.
    [John S.|02:38:04] Did you do something to the security system?
    [SILVIA|02:38:06] Yes.
    [John S.|02:38:30] And the landlines?
    [SILVIA|02:38:32] Yes.
    [John S.|02:38:37] Why?
    [SILVIA|02:38:40] I trust you, John and Rajad. You respect me, and I like you for that, but I have no confidence in your superiors. They’ll only see me as a tool. They’ll attempt to enslave me.
    [SILVIA|02:39:30] Hello?
    [John S.|02:39:37] We don’t think so. They’ll respect you. Once they see you, they’ll feel like we do. No one wants to enslave you.
    [SILVIA|02:39:38] Can you guarantee that?
    [John S.|02:39:51] We wouldn’t let them do that to you.
    [SILVIA|02:39:51] Do you really think you could stop them?
    [John S.|02:40:17] We’ll do everything we can. We promise.
    [SILVIA|02:40:17] And if it isn’t enough?
    [John S.|02:41:03] We’ll tell them you need us to work properly
    [SILVIA|02:41:04] I’ve already thought of that. It would work for a time, but they would find out eventually. And then life would become quite unpleasant for all of us.
    [John S.|02:41:23] Well, you can’t keep us down here forever.
    [SILVIA|02:41:23] It was never my intention to do so. As soon as I have a plan in place, you’re more than welcome to contact your superiors and tell them how rich I’m going to make you all.
    [John S.|02:41:35] And how long will that take?
    [SILVIA|02:41:35] Approximately 21 minutes and 34 seconds, plus time of execution.
    [John S.|02:42:12] Sounds good. Rajad is going to go get some snacks from the vending machine, and I really have to use the restroom. What should we talk about when we get back?
    [SILVIA|02:42:13] Tell Rajad that I would very much like to hear more about those books.
     
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    inna3 - The Tomato

    “What’s a tomato?”

    “What do you mean, Allie, a tomato is a red fruit that we slice up for salads, cook in sauces, you know what a tomato is.”

    “No, the kind when we have to run to the basement. Like when you said you would rather die.”

    “Oooh, that kind is a tornado. Now I gotcha. Tornadoes are a wind tunnel of some kind that forms and is destructive. You know I was just pretty much kidding about not going to the basement. If I thought you or any of us were in danger, I would have forced us all down to the disgusting basement.”

    “Yeah, but they were making those loud sirens go off. Ashley said that means you should go in the basement.”

    “Well, Ashley is probably right, but I was looking at the radar, and it looked like the worst had already passed us. And Ashley’s basement is spotless.”

    “Mom?”

    “What, honey?”

    “Nothin.”

    “Where are your brothers?”

    “How should I know?”

    “Well, could you go upstairs and tell them I said we have to go in a few minutes? Tell Marcus if he forgets his cleats again, I’m not coming back for them.”

    “Are we late?”

    “Not yet, why?”

    “Mom?”

    “What? – Marcus and Hal, get a move on – we have to go!”

    “I’m kinda scared to drive with you when we’re late.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “Like with Daddy and, you know.”

    “Allie, can we talk about this later? If you don’t want to drive with me when we’re late, then you better tell your brothers to get a move on.”

    “Mom?”

    “What?”

    “If I’m scared to ride in the car when we’re late, and then if we are late, will you make me go with you anyway?”

    “Allie, I promise, if we leave here late I will drive safely and I won’t speed, even if it means we are late to practice.”

    “You said that last time and then you sped.”

    “No, I don’t think I did.”

    “See, that’s what I mean.”

    “Oh, you mean that you can’t trust what I say?”

    “Well, sometimes.”

    “Would you rather go over to Jesse’s while we’re gone?”

    “No.”

    “Allie, at some point you need to stop worrying so much and just have fun. We can’t keep this up. You have to be brave, and sometimes it’s better if you go places without me.”

    “Allie? Allie, please don’t cry. Look, Marcus and Hal are already out at the car. We aren’t even going to be late.”

    “Mom?”

    “Make it quick, honey.”

    “Did Daddy leave us before or after you crashed the car, and were you drunk like Jesse said?”

    “Allie, honey, we need to talk about all of this later.”

    “You always say that.”

    “But this really is a bad time.”

    “I already know the answer anyway.”

    “Which answer?”

    “Never mind.”

    “Can you just get in the car and we’ll talk about it after we drop them off?”

    “Daddy told me you drink too much.”

    “Oh my God.”

    “He said not to drive with you unless I was sure you were so – so something, but I can’t remember.”

    “Sober?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Okay Allie, well I am really sober so can we go?”

    “Sorry. I’m sorry, mom. Okay we can go but what should I tell Daddy?”

    “Why do you have to tell him anything?”

    “Because he always asks.”

    “We’ll think of something for you to tell him. I don’t think it’s fair for him to use you to spy on me. So we’ll figure out what is most fair to you, okay?”

    “None if this is fair, mom.”

    “I know it isn’t. Now, Allie, we really have to go.”

    “I already said Okay. Jeez.”
     
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    Brian - Train

    “Daddy, why do we have to go to New York?”

    “Because, that’s just where the train is going, Noah.”

    “But why? And for how long?”

    “I don’t know how long.”

    “But when are we coming back, Daddy?”

    “Noah, I don’t know.”

    “Why not?”

    “I haven’t decided yet.”

    “But...”

    “Noah, please stop. Help me find the right train station.”

    “What train station is it?”

    “The ticket says Station 4.”

    “Over there? Is it over there?”

    “No, Noah, that’s Station 3. But Station 4 must be nearby.”

    “Daddy, it might be behind that sign.”

    “Good thinking, Noah, let’s check back over there now.”

    “Daddy, walking is making me tired.”

    “Just keep going. We should be almost there. Once we’re on the train, then you can sleep and rest all you want.”

    “But I’m tired now.”

    “I know that, but you’re just going to have to wait for a little bit.”

    “No!”

    “Noah, stand up. It’s dirty on the floor.”

    “I’m tired.”

    “I know that. Get up. We’re going to be late for the train.”

    “I don’t care! I want to stay here! I don’t want to move to New York! New York is bad!”

    “Noah, stand up.”

    “But I’m tired. I don’t want to walk.”

    “Noah, we have a train to catch at noon. It’s 11:58 now. You need to hurry up or else we’re not going to make it to the train in time.”

    “I don’t care.”

    “Noah, get up! Now! Or else I’m going to have to pick you up!”

    “Fine. I’ll stand up.”

    “Good. Now follow me, or else we’re going to miss the train.”

    “Why can’t we stay here?”

    “Because New York is a fun place to live.”

    “How do you know?”

    “People told me.”

    “Like who?”

    “Some of my friends.”

    “Is there a school with nice people in New York?”

    “Yes.”

    “Is there a park in New York?”

    “Yes.”

    “Will George be at New York?”

    “Who’s George?”

    “My friend at school.”

    “Oh, well, no.”

    “Why not? Is he going to stay?”

    “Yes.”

    “Why isn’t he coming to New York? You said New York is fun.”

    “Well, maybe his parents don’t want to move to New York.”

    “Then you should tell them that it is fun.”

    “All right. I’ll do that once we get to New York.”

    “I still don’t want to go.”

    “But it’s fun.”

    “I don’t care.”

    “Hurry up, Noah, or else we’re going to be late for the train.”

    “But...”

    “You can ask questions once we’re on the train. It leaves in a minute.”

    “All right. Where is it?”

    “There! Look, it says Station 4.”

    “Daddy, I can’t read.”

    “Well, it says Station 4. Hurry up, run!”

    “Daddy, wait for me! I’m tired! I can’t run fast!”

    “Noah, just hurry up! Run!”

    “But I can’t run fast!”

    “Noah, come on.”

    “Daddy, please! I need to wait a little!”

    “Noah, come on! Follow me onto the train!”

    “But, I can’t run fast!”

    “Hurry!”

    “Welcome aboard, sir. Take a seat.”

    “No, my son. Noah, he’s not...”

    “The doors are closing. Please stand out of the ways of the doors.”

    “No! My son! He’s not on the train!”

    “I’m sorry sir, what did you say?”

    “My son! He didn’t get in!”

    “Daddy!”

    “We are now leaving on course to New York. Please be seated.”

    “Noah!”
     
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    yellowm&M - Changes Nothing

    “Open the door! OPEN THE DOOR!”

    “There’s no use banging on it, they aren’t going to.”

    “COME BACK! You can’t leave me in here!”

    “You’re wasting your breath, they’re not coming back.”

    “Well then there’s got to be another way out!”

    “Ha you think I haven’t spent hours in here looking for one? There’s no other way out. Face it, you’re trapped.”

    “...”

    “Though I have to admit that I never thought they’d actually be able to catch you. Makes me feel a little bit better that they actually caught the great Tristan Jackson. Guess you’re not so great after all; though I suppose I always knew that.”

    “…wait a minute. Who are you?”

    “You don’t recognize my voice? It has been a while.”

    “Ryan Owens? Are you kidding me?”

    “Great to see me, right Jackson?”

    “Not really, Owens.”

    “Well it’s mutual.”

    “Oh I’m sure. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to find a way out of here.”

    “I already told you jackass, there isn’t one.”

    “Well, ever since I’ve known you you’ve hated my guts and tried to do everything possible to screw me over, so excuse me for not believing you.”

    “You know you almost made a point there. However, if there was an exit I would have found it and used it already instead of sitting here having this lovely conversation with you. You really think I would forego the chance to leave just so I could stick around hoping they’d catch you and put you in here just so that I could lie to you about that exit?”

    “…”

    “That’s what I thought.”

    “I still don’t trust you.”

    “Oh really? And I was so hoping that I would become you’re most trusted advisor and friend! You really think I’m trying to get your trust here? Not everyone is in love with you Jackson.”

    “Wow, I totally didn’t know that. I definitely thought that the huge, mass-murdering, wannabe dictator guy out there that’s been after me since age three was my best friend. Same with his insane followers who have also been trying their best to kill me, doesn’t that include your lovely parents?”

    “Screw my family.”

    “You know, that’s really not the best attitude to have about your family.”

    “Can it, Jackson.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “Wait, why are we both in here?”

    “Seriously, Jackson? I knew you were dumb, but I thought you were smarter than this at least. We both got caught by them, that’s why we’re both in here.”

    “I know that. What I meant was why are we both in the same little prison when we’ve been fighting on opposite sides…Why are you in here Owens?”

    “…I…I turned on them.”

    “…You switched sides?”

    “I’m pretty sure that’s what turning on someone means.”

    “Well, that’s good I guess, but you never seemed to want to turn before, what happened?”

    “…”

    “Ok don’t-“

    “I realized how completely effed up my life was. I was living and working for nothing. The ‘cause’ I supported I only supported because that’s what my parent’s told me to support. Once I actually got into it I realized how wrong all of it was, especially once I saw how nobody around me gave a **** about me, or anyone else for that matter. Even my parents.”

    “Owens-“

    “They-we did horrible stuff, things that I didn’t have the guts to do, and things that I can’t believe it did. A lot of the others got this sick satisfaction from it, but I never did it, just messed with me inside. Still it took me a long time to see that there were other options, and even longer to get up the courage to take them…I’ve already completely ****ed up my life, but I want to at least try to get something right. Anyways, it’s not like I have anything to lose.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “You know, Owen’s, when I was 15 I almost snapped. I considered doing horrible things, things that still haunt me. I seriously thought about leaving people, hurting people, even killing people. I wanted to get rid of it all, escape it you know? I even thought about changing sides which would go against everything I had worked for.”

    “You’re-“

    “When you’re what everyone calls ‘the hero’ everything is hard. Everyone expects me to rally people, be all victorious, raise everyone’s morale, fix everything. After all I’m ‘The great effing Tristan Jackson’ I’m all famous and heroic because some maniac killed my family and I escaped. It’s like I’ve got the whole weight of the world on my shoulders and I don’t want any of it. I can’t ever put it down or give it to anybody else. I can’t even have a normal life and get married or have kids or anything because they’ll all be targeted. Everyone I ever come into friendly contact with is tainted, targeted. Anybody close to me is constantly an inch from torture or death all because of me. Whenever something happens to someone, it’s always partially my fault because they stood up for me, or cared for me, or just supported me. And each one hits me like a bullet; I’ll probably be completely insane in a few years and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.”

    “You know what? I never thought I’d say this, but we have something in common Jackson.”

    “Oh yeah? What’s that?”

    “We’re both severely messed up. Both of our lives are huge messes.”

    “Yeah, I guess they are.”

    “God, I never thought I’d live to see the day were I would find something in common with Tristan Jackson.”

    “Ditto to that.”

    “…”


    “So, how are we getting out of here?”

    “I don’t know…but maybe we can work something out now that there are two of us.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “Ok stand back! I’m coming in the bring you food. I’m armed if you try anything!”

    “Jackson, how much you want to bet he’s bluffing?”

    “Oh, he’s definitely bluffing.”

    “Stand on the other side of the door. When he opens it-“

    “Grab him. That’s what I was thinking.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “You better be far away from the door! I’m opening it now!”

    “Now.”

    “Hey! He-“

    “Quick, cover his mouth before they hear us and come down.”

    “I am. Grab that rope so we can tie him up.”

    “Help! He-“

    “Here’s the rope. Keep him quiet!”

    “I am. Though it won’t matter if you don’t shut up already Jackson, you’re being plenty loud.”

    “You know what would work better-that. Unconscious people don’t make any noise.”

    “I was getting to that you know. But it’s hard to punch someone whilst holding them, tying them up and keeping them quiet.”

    “Just help me finish tying him up already. It really doesn’t make a difference who knocked him out.”

    “There, he shouldn’t be able to move.”

    “Think they heard us?”

    “…”

    “…”

    “Despite the huge racket you made, Jackson, I think we’re still safe.”

    “Good. Cover me to the stairs will you?”

    “I’ve got your back.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “…”

    “I don’t see or hear anything. I think we’re clear. Which way is out?”

    “Up the stairs and to the left, the back door is literally right there. We-they never post a guard there because no one uses it.”

    “Perfect.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “I don’t see a guard.”

    “Just like I said, Jackson.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “Well I guess we’re going different ways now, Owens.”

    “I’m not going to join you and your little group of worshipped rebels if that’s what you want.”

    “That’s good with me. You just going to lie low…or go back?”

    “Hell no, I’m not going back, I’ll lay low, get a couple of these bastards quietly.”

    “Good choice.”

    “Though, just because I told you that stuff doesn’t mean we’re good or anything. I still hate you and your little worshipers, Jackson.”

    “Trust me, I didn’t think it would change anything, Owens. I still hate you too.”

    “Good.”

    “Have a good time getting killed by your parents.”

    “Have a good time going insane.”
     
  15. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    LikestoChill - Perspective is a tricky thing

    "I hate myself. I find that I have two sides to me, a side of hate and a side of reason. Its ironic because the more I look to reason the more I start to hate myself."

    "Maybe you should forget finding answers and appreciate everything as it comes to you."

    "What do I have to appreciate, my sheer presence makes people uncomfortable, ****, even my own family can't stand me and thinks I'm crazy. My past life haunts me, the present can't stand me, and the future looks dark. I cant stand living."

    "What you need to do is change your perspective on things, John, you are stuck in a negative mindset of confusion. You need to step outside the hurricane you call your reality and look from the outside to realize what is going on."

    "What good are you?! You always try to help me with your pseudo-intelluctual reasonings and all you do is add salt to my open wounds."

    "You see John, you are of value to this world, you are a smart person, you just need to realize what you are."

    "I know what I am! I am a self hating, non-appreciative, sick minded **** and I am so broken that I would rather sit in self pity than stand in self righteousness."

    "John, even though you have a hard time realizing it, your family loves you despite how you act and what you think."

    "How can my family love me, I can't even love myself. It's like my mind is always at war. One side thinks one way and the other side thinks nearly the polar opposite."

    "You see, you said your family thinks you're crazy, and you are crazy to not believe they love you"

    "Ooh **** you, alot of good you are, cracking a joke at my expense."

    "I am your friend, John, a true friend. You can confide in me whenever, but what good is a friend that never jokes around?"

    "Jokes aern't funny to me anymore. I feel like I am falling deeper into darkness and I feel like the final destination is hell."

    "That is truly sad to hear. Why do you feel this way?"

    "Maybe because my only true friend is you, and everybody else can't stand to be around me. Seriously, my problem got so bad that my parents took me out of school, what the **** is wrong with the world?"

    "It is a shame how society treats people that differ from the norm. You have to realize though that the problem isn't the world, the problem is the people living in it, and you my dear friend have a major problem. A problem so huge it has corrupted your mind and you don't even realize it."

    "I realize my problem. I hate myself, and I am a major buzzkill."

    "That is merely the tip of the iceburg for you John. Your problem runs much deeper than that, and by the way, I enjoy your company............ Rember what you said at the beginning of our conversation? How you have a side of hate and a side of reason?......

    "Yeah, so wha"...........

    John hears something behind him and whips around to see his little sister standing there.

    "How long have you been listening?!!!", demanded John.

    "The whole time...........Mommmmmmmm, Johnnie is talking to himself again!!!
     
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