Heart's Desire

Re: Heart's Desire

Postby jarek56 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:17 pm

To think that I only JUST found this. This...this is brilliant. Absolutely...I don't even...I can't think of a way to put it, Gloom. This rocks my socks.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby REDD_HEDD » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:04 pm

I can only say this about the story: Gloom, and I may simply be stating the obvious, this is a great story. Loved the quality of the writing, loved the character development, and simply loved this little tale. And wow, you being a writer for the project only makes me all the more excited about it. Keep up the good work!
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Ravenous » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:35 am

Gloom,
I finally found the motivation to read this and I am posting at 230AM to tell you that you are awesome. This is probably some of the best "free" writing I have ever read. I don't know if you use your self-doubt as a vehicle to maintain your ability or what, but you are an amazing writer and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is all very easy to visualize and internalize. Any error appeared as typos. If this is any indication of how your writing will be in the Missing Stars, I very much look forward to your route.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Gloom » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:51 pm

First and foremost, I think I owe the lot of you a big apology. First, and most obviously, for the big delay between the last chapter and this one. Second, and more gravely, though, for the quality of this one. Between real-life duties and writing for Missing Stars, it's been difficult (to say the least) to find the time or the energy to put into an adequate chapter of Heart's Desire. I've promised again and again that I will continue, though, and with every month that's passed without me working towards fulfilling my promise, the weight of it upon my consciousness' grown heavier still. The abomination that lies now before you is a patchwork grotesquery of literally over a dozen different versions of the chapters which I've eventually decided to sew together, written and rewritten again and again into utter unrecognizability in the few hours I could afford to dedicate to them truly, in feverish moments of inspiration and late into dark and lonely nights. Some have been decried too explicit (indeed, the version that came right before this one had quite detailed descriptions of, among other things, heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, oral sex, several varieties of masturbation, and urination - all of which I (wisely, or so I'd like to believe) have deemed less than appropriate to present in this format), some too boring, some too incomprehensible, or meaningless, or dull. Even the format itself, strange as it is, is largely a matter of surrender to the mediocrity. The original version of the chapter, rather than awkwardly tying two unrelated scenes in the middle, moved between them with some charm, but since the rest of it has been terrible, I was left with no choice but to preserve the flow of it by cutting it in two. The horrid mockery of a chapter here is neither by far from the best it could be - merely the least bad; and as you'll soon see, this is a very, very big statement...

The Illusion of Want and The Terror of Need

"You and Emma Klingemann", he mumbled again to himself in disbelief, rolling the words back and forth across his tongue as if to determine what kind of poison they most taste like.

He took another sip from his coke, filling the air between us with the unmistakable noise of a straw drawing in drops . The cup's been emptied some five minutes ago. "Friedrich Gottlieb, with Emma fucking Klingemann."

"You son of a bitch", he concluded, after what must have been a very long, thorough process of deliberation.

"It's nothing like that", I said in response, staring at a burger that suddenly didn't seem very appetizing anymore, and wondering whether it really was completely true.

Cars moved soundlessly up and down the street behind the greasy windowpane. Those kinds of joints always have those big, wide, windowpanes facing the outside. I guess someone thought that the sight of people eating would work-up the appetites of those walking by the place.

It always made me feel kind of ashamed of myself, though. Not because everybody could see me eating so much as because everybody could see me eating junk. Kind of like masturbation, or watching cartoons, it's something
everybody does and yet for some reason everybody manages to feel guilty about.

Except, maybe, Emma. She didn't do it, that is, not that she didn't feel guilty.

Eating junk food, I mean.

It was one of her many little quirks – afraid that it might ruin her skin, or something. Funny that someone like her would care so much about this, but then, that's why they call it a quirk.
Once I got to know her – to speak to her more, she turned out to have a surprising amount of them. As if she was a real person – which she was. A person, complete with all of those easily missed, little derivatives. It's strange how long it took me to realize that there might have been a personality to speak of beneath such beauty and allure. It's the most natural thing in the world, and yet, it felt like some kind of discovery. As if all that time I'd assumed that a girl like Emma must be less – or perhaps more than human.

And maybe something of hers' rubbed onto me, after a while. Maybe some shadow creeping through the depths of my subconscious really does want to get closer to her, and it's apparent even in my most meaningless of behaviors. It is said that we begin to subconsciously imitate the people we spend time with. Did I spend that much time with Emma? Did it really mean so much to me on such a level?

Christopher's voice pulled me back into reality.

"So you've been meeting her, like, three times a week, for the last month or so… and all you ever did was sit and talk to each other?"

"I already told you that that's all there was to it."

"Seriously, honestly, truly all there was? You suck at lying. I'll know if you try."

"Than what's the point of asking? Man, I said it a million times: there's nothing more than that between us. We're just friends, that's all."

He snickered as he picked up a napkin to wipe the burger bits from his mouth. "You do know that Emma has, like, three-hundred 'just friends'? And they've all f-"

"Not this kind of 'just friends'. Are you just trying to be annoying?"

"Sure as hell am."

I sighed, for maybe the twelfth time in the last half hour. It was mostly like this while speaking with someone else about me and Emma's relationships: sighs and frowns, frowns and sighs. Good thing I didn't talk about it much.

"Well, I'll admit that it does sound kind of like you", he said eventually "And that's not a compliment, Fritz."

"Shut up", I mumbled. "This isn't any of your damn business, Christopher."

He shrugged, sitting back in his chair and spreading his arms around it like some kind of big man. "I'm just trying to help a friend."

"You're not helping, you're just annoying. You said it yourself. Can we just change subject or something?"

"What could possibly be more interesting to talk about than that?"

"…anything? I don't know. Why do we have to talk about this?"

"Look, I'm doing you a favor here, okay? You can't see it right now because your eyes are full of Emma, and that's cool, I can totally understand that. Lots of Emma to fill your eyes with, if you know what I mean. But you have to sober up before you hurt yourself."

"Since when do you care about me hurting myself?"

"Since it's become a funny thing to watch."

"I think you're just trying to be dramatic. Nothing is going on between me and Emma, and it's nothing like what you're saying. This isn't some… TV show or something."

"Ah! But is it me or you who thinks that way? Mr. "I'll Be The Friend She's Never Had And When She Sleeps With Me It'll Be True Love"."

"I never said anything like that!"

"But you were thinking it. Admit it. And that's why I'm telling you right now: leave that thought alone. Emma doesn't do true love. She doesn't know the meaning of the concept. She can't settle down like this – you know what I'm saying? She goes where the wind takes her, all jolly and free. And by the wind I mean her raging l – "

"Please stop speaking about Emma like that!"

"See? You're doing it again. It's that "Magical Thinking" thing of yours, isn't it? You tried to explain it to me once and that's as much as I've made of it: You're trying to force your fantasy way of how things should be upon reality – Emma your pure beautiful princess needs your virtue and kindness to save her from herself. You want to feel that you have this much control over your life, so you arrange all of the bullshit that happens around you into a little fairytale in your head that's going to blow up in your face in a few weeks. You'll thank me once you come back to your senses."

"I'm not trying to save Emma, I'm just her friend."

"Which is exactly why she couldn't care less about it, and why you shouldn't."

Beyond the greasy glass, across the street, people like blurry shades moved on with their lives. Maybe they were real people too.

Letting his elbows rest on the table between us, Christopher leaned closer to me, as if to share a dirty secret. "I can sympathize completely, you know? I mean, yeah, this is fucking Emma we're talking about here. You got what must be to you the opportunity of a lifetime. Sure, anybody else could just ask her and she'd say yes without thinking about it, but a… guy like you", he stops for a moment, having made his point without having to directly insult me, "…to a guy like you, this is like living a dream, you know?"

"I don't know. Who's the one who's trying to enforce a fantasy now? You're just making assumptions. I don't see why I have to keep listening to you."

"Never said you have to. Just don't come crying to me when you –"

"And besides, since you've already made a point of it, I don't think I recall you ever being with Emma. Or even approaching her, for that matter. What's your deal, if she's so easy?"

I derived no small amount of pleasure from watching the smile melting off his face in response. I think it served him right, even if it wasn't exactly the nicest thing to do.

Disappointingly enough, though probably not unexpectedly, it doesn't take him more than a couple seconds to regain his composure. "Not my cup of hot coffee, I guess", he replies with a shrug and a smirk. "Sure, she's gorgeous, but giantesses just aren't my thing. Don't like it when a girl's bigger than I am anyhow."

"Emma isn't a giant."

"Right, she's like, what? 1.80? 1.85?"

"…1.88", I mumble in defeat, sitting back.

"Whoa, really? You actually asked her? Damn. Anyway, that's a giantess in anybody's book, wouldn't you agree? I'm telling you, she'd be known as that freakish tall girl if people weren't too busy staring and drooling to notice it. Which isn't hard, I mean, you don't even have to look down or anything, it's all hanging conveniently right there…"

"So now she's a slut and a freak? That's nice to –"

"- There's a lot less to Emma than you think there is. You're just going to end up disappointing yourself – best case scenario. What even made you think that there might be something to it?"

"I told you. You haven't seen her eyes."

He choked a little in quiet laughter. "I think it's been a long, long while since anybody's looked at Emma's eyes, right?"

"Yes, I do! That's precisely why…"

"No, that's not it. That's you, being your loser-y self again. What could you've possibly, realistically seen in her eyes to make you think that? Are you trying to say that you're some kind of psychic? Because, and I'm just saying, it wouldn't be the first time you did. And you always end up making a fool of yourself."

I took a deep breath, turned aside and got off my seat. I don't really know what got into me, to be honest. I've been acting weird like that for the past month, anyway; but I just couldn't stand just sitting there and listening to him talking like that about Emma. Even if everything he said might have been true. Even if he had a point. If I wasn't the loser that he knew I was, maybe I'd have called him on it. Maybe even punched him in the face, or something. But me being me, there wasn't anything I could do but run away from him. From myself, more than everything. There wasn't anything that he's said that hasn't crossed my mind before – but it's all different when someone else says it. A confirmation that your fear is meaningful. That you really are making a mistake, and everyone can see it.

But I couldn't say that out loud.

"There's more to Emma than boobs to gawk at, and I'm not making this up. Maybe you'll understand that once you grow up a little," I said as I made my way towards the exit.

"Sure there is!" he called to me from behind, giggling. "She's got those bitching long legs, and those hips, and that sweet, tight –"

~~~

Though her lips forming the words may only be a pillow's length away, it feels like ages to me until Gretchen's soft whisper reaches my ears, pulling me out of my precious post-coital state of contemplation. A dumfounded groan, seemingly of surprise, masks my frustration – or so I hope.

"Did you say anything, sweetie?" I ask without turning my head to face her. Not that I need to, mind you – her hesitation in answering is more telling than any analysis of her expression could be right now. My reply took her out of balance – whatever she had in mind to ask me, and I'm perfectly fine with that. I feel a lot of things right now, but like having a conversation is definitely not one of them. Mostly, I want to go home, take a shower, and sleep. I have a headache.

The moist tingling of her hot breath on my neck causes a shiver to run down my spine, and I can't make up my mind on whether it's one of nervousness or arousal. I'm not sure which one I'd rather it be.

When she finally repeats herself, all she can manage is an awkward, stuttered mumble. "I – I – I was just… It's… are you okay, Emma? Is everything alright with you, I mean?"

Suits her to ask, alright. Much as I might like the gawky little thing, this nosy "care" of hers is starting to get a little annoying as of late.

"Why wouldn't it be?" I giggle, rolling closer to her, pulling what little of the thin blanket still is covering me along my leg for the ride. The look on her face makes me feel just a little bit better. The pout of a little girl who can't for the life of her decide whether her anger is worth not getting another treat.

"Because… b – because…", she stammers, no doubt trying to futilely grasp at words that until mere seconds ego seemed reasonable and clear in her head. "I don't know. You just seem a little off as of late, that's all. Is something bothering you?"

"…Something like what?" I respond, careful not to let go of my happy, sleepy mask.

"Something like… something like… school problems? Or some boy's not treating you well?"

Nice to know that at least she consciously acknowledges the fact that I have other lovers than her. I'd always assumed that it was kind of obvious, but as of late I've been starting to question that assumption. It does suit her perfectly to assume that any kind of relationship problem would certainly revolve around a boy, though – I guess it's just another aspect of her endearing naiveté.

Some people, girls especially, have this idea that sex with a boy would by definition be more of a pain than sex with a girl. While I could go on comparing the two and write an essay on the matter, I think that the sad truth in the center of it all is simply that sex is sex. It's as pleasurable as it is unpleasant, strangely enough, and who your partner is makes relatively little difference. Sure, boys can be forceful and overeager, and some things were simply not meant to be swallowed, all pretenses of it being delicious regardless, but it's not all a big rose garden with girls, either. Take the matter of personal hygiene, for example: undoubtedly a more complex affair for those lacking a Y chromosome, but is that really an excuse to be sloppy about it? It's a smelly, dirty, hairy affair no matter what, but some token effort can be made to make the experience less disgusting to all involved.

It's always with the swallowing and the pulling out pubic hairs from between your teeth thing, when you come to a discussion like this one. Oral sex just feels at times like a twisted business transaction: everybody wants to be given it, because frankly, it feels incredible; but nobody wants to give it, because that's just icky. So you do it in the hopes that your partner would be so kind as to repay you the favor. After getting myself all worked up on someone, especially if the experience hasn't been very pleasant, there are few things as frustrating to me as being denied my due reward.

Keeping my arm under the blanket, I wrap it around her back as I bring her body closer to me, drowning her frail form in my flesh; delighting in the heat of her skin and the pounding beat of her heart as I push against her, planting a kiss on her forehead. It's her fault for taking my mind off of better things. Now I want it again, and no matter what she says, it's plain obvious that she does, too. "Why worry yourself over this, honey? I appreciate your care, but don't you think we have better things to do right now?" I muse, letting the tip of my lip stretch into a hungry grin.

"I just care about you, that's all", she moans, but I can see the gears turning inside her head – her big eyes might as well have been made of crystal. She does care about me – or perhaps more likely, thinks she does – but she's horny, too, and wet, and boy, does her body want it. And she's going to tell herself now, deep in her mind, that she's fighting it, because she honestly believes that she loves me more than that, but she's going to lose. Later, she'll come up with some excuse for that and tell herself that next time she surely will care more about me and less about her urges.

I can sympathize. I've been there. I've stayed.

The facts won't change no matter how I try to prettify it. The truth of it, that any sane person would've been shocked and appalled to hear, as that when I woke up this morning, I was already so worked up that I went at it right there and then. Before I even came out of bed, before I've even opened my eyes. I simply couldn't help myself. And by the time I was done, as I was making my way from my room to the shower, the very feeling of my thighs rubbing against each other as I went was more than enough to get me all burning again – and then there was the matter of actually taking a shower, an understandably difficult subject for me.

Over the last few years, I've come to prefer short, cold showers, for the simple reason that the temptation to "enjoy" one is far reduced when it is itself far from enjoyable. Worked up as I was, however, I don't think there would have been a point to showering even in liquid nitrogen. The simple feeling of the water flowing down the curves of my body, washing over my skin, gathering in drops between the strands of my hair, was far too great more me to bear.

As the hungry restlessness that's filled my body left it in one orgasmic wave after another, for a horrible moment of clarity, my life's essence lay bare before me: a meaningless, vulgar, pitiful existence, an animalistic chase after minimalistic pleasures that consumes all other aspirations and wants. People often enough call me a prostitute, usually behind my back, but at that moment, the truth of the matter was all too painfully clear to me: a prostitute would only do what I do to get paid. It would be a job to her. I neither need nor want money to act like this. All I need is the deed itself.

Ultimately, I am far, far lower than a prostitute. I am not sure if there's a word for what I am anymore.

Another fifteen minutes of my life washed down the drain with a blissful moan and a trickle of clear fluid, sacrificed upon the alter of bestial instinct.

I ended up being late for school. It doesn't happen every morning, and usually not like that, but it happens often enough. All of it does – the big, noisy carousel of my life. Being late for school, pretending to look the other side to not have to confront the teacher with their disapproving frown, sitting through class without being able to concentrate with the thought of being stared at from all directions boiling my blood. Trying in vain to think about not thinking, taking a "bathroom break" every half an hour and clinging to the belief that someone out there is still buying it. Finally giving up and starting to look for someone – anyone, who'd be willing to help me with my sick little itch for the moment.

And lo, here I am now, moans and fingers and fluids and all, another turning of the wheel of Emma.

But I want it. That's the cruelest part of the joke: I want it, want it, want it. I can talk to myself for all of eternity about how much I hate it but when it all comes down to it I want it so much I feel like I'll go crazy without it. All this talk about feeling betrayed by your own body doesn't even take a partner – I manage well enough on my own.

I keep praying that everything will just end, but as I lie motionless in her bed God knows how long later, my fingertips still tingling slightly, heart still beating madly, eyes closed, hugging her scrawny body close to mine like a doll,
I just can't ignore the things she's said.

Something's been wrong with me for a while now. Maybe I'm just sick – that headache sure doesn't seem to be planning on going away any time soon.

If he's managed anything, Friedrich sure did succeed in making me feel a whole lot worse about myself than I did before, and I guess that's saying something. Now we just need a way of fixing me, or changing me, or teaching me some lesson like he claims to not be trying to, because I just can't stand myself anymore.

He makes me feel disgusted with myself; ashamed of myself. He means well, but I just feel sick. I don't know what's wrong with me anymore, just that something is, and I don't know what to do about it, or who can help me. He keeps saying that it'd be wrong of me to believe that he's the answer, but I just can't come up with anything else. I wish I had it in me to just forget about him and go on with my life, but there wouldn't have been a point to any of that if I was strong enough a person to make basic decisions about how I want to live.

It's telling of me that in all those times I've decided to take a moment to think about how things could've occurred otherwise, the mere possibility of me not indulging in this kind of behavior never occurred. It would've been like trying to imagine my life without eating again. Useless, in a sense; very easy in another: it simply wouldn't happen. Admittedly, I doubt that I'd actually die if I was denied sex for long enough, but I probably wouldn't be very happy either.

Then again, maybe that is the solution after all and I just could never muster the willpower to try at it. Maybe that really is all there is to it: just not giving in to it. Just bearing with it.

The feeling of Gretchen's body pressed against mine burns me. I want what I fear, and I fear what I want, and all the want and all the fear are just getting so tiresome. I can't control my body or my mind. Who am I anyway if neither of those?

I'm pissed off, I'm feeling ill, I'm still not done, and that stupid marionette Gretchen's fallen asleep again. I don't care that it's barely been ten minutes. I don't care how many times I did it today. I wouldn't mind if I'd known that
it'd kill me. My brain screams at me that it wants a shot, and my body reacts, and there's nothing else left of me to ignore it.

Slowly, carefully, I push Gretchen away from me, getting out of the small bed and making my silent way to the nearest bathroom – fittingly enough, a small and unremarkable cube complete with a stand-in shower and sink. I don't even bother with getting dressed. If Gretchen has any siblings I don't know off, I hope they're either asleep as well or don't mind a show.

Kneeling against the cold shower wall, I go about it again as quickly and quietly as I can manage. I'm not sure what the time is when I'm done. I just don't care.

It's hard to breathe. I may be crying, or maybe I'm not. It's just stress. There's nothing more to it, and there never was -

I stand up carefully, leaning against the wall for support. My legs are shaking as if they were made of jelly.

My next attempt at a step forward almost ends up with me smashing my head against the sink as I fall down, barely managing to break my fall with one arm before my face hits the floor. Everything happens so dreamily, terrifyingly fast.

I don't know what's going on. I just know that I'm afraid.

Everything's spinning around me, the small of my world a maddening, nauseating blur. My legs are numb, and from the ringing in my ears, I think I did end up hitting something in the end.

I choke hysterically on bile and saliva, unable to take in air. I feel like dying, and frankly, the prospect sounds rather inviting right now.

And then it ends. As if in a mockery of everything that I am, the nightmare fades away into intangibility. The walls stop dancing around me, or perhaps I've just finally managed to get my head steady. I squint through the dim light of the tiny lamp above me, feeling as if I've just stared at the sun for an hour.

I barely make back up in time to retch against the nearby toilet and vomit into it, which all things considered, has to beat messing up the floor as well. I haven't eaten much today, so it's no wonder that so little comes out.

Of course, that doesn't make it any nicer.

If I wasn't certain of it before, now I'm pretty sure that I'm crying.

I don't know what just happened. I just want to go home.

..........................

I know that I'm technically not allowed to self bash on the forum anymore, but I simply couldn't stand it. I'm not sure I can right now. This was a metaphorical act of vomiting, in more than one way. This poor joke of a chapter's been rotting around my computer for more than long enough, and so I've decided to just be done with it and leave it be. Hopefully, the next one will arrive sooner and be better. A whole lot better - not that that should be much difficult for any writer with any measure of talent...

Good night, and once again, I'm terribly sorry that you had to read through this, and that I've disappointed all of you so. I hope that you still have some faith in me.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Likhos » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:33 am

You know, if this is not a good chapter I seriously want to read the worst.

Yep I still have faith in you.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby scopedknife » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:50 pm

Don't understand how you can bash yourself over this. It's excellent ^^
<alabaster> I don't like it that big.

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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Ravenous » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:03 pm

This is probably one of the best stories I have read, Gloom. Shut up about how it sucks or I will fly to Israel and harm you. You are a legend among legends.
The character development is beautifully semi-transparent and very natural.
That is all.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby jarek56 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:28 pm

Gloom, this was excellent. The story made complete sense, I can't imagine any better way that you could have written it, and it advanced the plot beautifully. I imagine that every writer has these sorts of moments; chapters that s/he hates, feels like s/he botched, and tortures his/herself about their writing decisions.

The only real problems I noticed were entirely grammatical in nature. Perhaps you should find a person who's native language is English, or and English word document editting program/spell checker? The grammer mistakes barely impacted my reading of this chapter at all.

Don't you go bashing yourself over this. I see nothing to bash yourself about at all.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Ravenous » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:55 pm

The only error I found in it was the absence of the word "her" that would make a sentence move smoother.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Gloom » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:25 am

The numerous grammar and spelling errors were to be expected. Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised that this mess is intelligible at all. You might be thinking that I was exaggerating or something before, but I wasn't: this really is a patchwork of countless different versions of this and different chapter crudely sewn together, and as I'm sure you've all come to realize by now, editing is far from my strong suite.

Nevertheless, I went and fixed some minor problems I could find. Thank you.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby jarek56 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:54 am

Gloom wrote:The numerous grammar and spelling errors were to be expected. Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised that this mess is intelligible at all. You might be thinking that I was exaggerating or something before, but I wasn't: this really is a patchwork of countless different versions of this and different chapter crudely sewn together, and as I'm sure you've all come to realize by now, editing is far from my strong suite.

Nevertheless, I went and fixed some minor problems I could find. Thank you.

This is called "editing [being] far from my strong suit" ? Gloom, you have nothing to worry about. I didn't even notice anything. The story was so damn good, in a genre I NEVER read, that I couldn't even pay attention to them. Your command of English is EXCELLENT if you're not a native speaker. Near native-fluency, frankly. You should be proud.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Mr Immortal » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:27 pm

Attention! I have prior experience with Gloom, and I know what you're all thinking. And yes, this instalment is very good, but it wouldn't be Gloom without a little self bashing each time he uploaded another brilliant chapter :mrgreen:

Though I think he just has higher standards. Writers and readers each have differing standards on what they will and will mark as readable. Perhaps our awesome is his normal. Like The Doctor, or Batman...

Gloom is Batman.

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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby kwisatz2hederach » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:12 am

I don't like resurrecting old threads, but Gloom, this is really too promising to not finish. Emma just crashed like an alcoholic hitting rock bottom, and I don't want to see her left there.
I think the shear number of views this thread has over the other fics is a testament to the potential you have to knock this story out of the park.

If only for our peace of mind, could you let your intent be known if this will ever be continued?
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby TonyTwoFingers » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:43 am

kwisatz2hederach wrote:If only for our peace of mind, could you let your intent be known if this will ever be continued?


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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby kwisatz2hederach » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:04 am

Don't get jealous Tony, it makes me think you don't give your own work enough credit. I just got through what you've put out of Rainy Mornings and, so far, I'm really liking it. I especially appreciate you giving me a concrete personality to put to the girls. They are what we are all here for, after all.

I like them both, and maybe I can better explain why later, after I sleep on it and put my thoughts in order.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby TheCynic » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:39 am

TonyTwoFingers wrote:
kwisatz2hederach wrote:If only for our peace of mind, could you let your intent be known if this will ever be continued?


http://i.imgur.com/9nGiW.jpg


So true ^^
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Gloom » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:47 pm

As I have explained before, while I would like to be able to release more chapters and am fervently working towards being able to do so, work on Missing Stars takes precedence and as a result my pace has slowed down significantly, and the quality of the work has dropped dramatically (though that could just be me, given that I've been unable to release so much as a chapter of this story so far without being overwhelmed by disgust and evidently they have all been received quite well). There's also the problem of increasing expectations, I think - the more time goes without me posting a chapter, the more you'd expect of the coming one to justify your long wait. It's inevitable that a time will come when I will eventually disappoint all of you by taking so long that nothing I could write would ever be enough... and a part of me is afraid that I might have already passed this "horizon".

And as was implied before, the time it takes to write those chapters is spent less on actually writing them and far more on raging, falling to despair, erasing everything and rewriting from scratch ad nauseam, or at least until I inevitably lose all hope and just release whatever I have at the moment on a whim with a pray it wouldn't flop. Unfortunately, the currently worked-on chapter has reached a state where it is too long to be easily broken down into two (since each of them would be short and dramatically unsatisfying) but still not having an end that could be easily written as one. Presumably what would happen is that I would have to rewrite large parts of it, break it in two in the middle, than rewrite the two parts some more until they are both presentable.

Generally speaking, by the way, do you guys prefer shorter or longer chapters? (if you have other preferences, of course, from characters you'd like to see more of to styles you'd like me to use more often, feel free to state those as well - this story is somewhat of a literary testbed for me, to be honest).

kwisatz2hederach wrote:Don't get jealous Tony, it makes me think you don't give your own work enough credit. I just got through what you've put out of Rainy Mornings and, so far, I'm really liking it. I especially appreciate you giving me a concrete personality to put to the girls. They are what we are all here for, after all.

I like them both, and maybe I can better explain why later, after I sleep on it and put my thoughts in order.


If it isn't too much of a bother, I would like very much to hear what you have in mind about this story, and in great detail, too! The more I learn from this, the better Katja's route will be. Oh, and Tony - I'm waiting too see more of her from you ;)

Rest assured, though, I will finish this story (or at least post another chapter), and as was previously stated am currently working at full steam on it, Missing Stars, and another little fanfic I'd started on the side just for when (if) this finally dies. Maybe I'll post some of it here when I have a really slow period.

TonyTwoFingers wrote:
kwisatz2hederach wrote:If only for our peace of mind, could you let your intent be known if this will ever be continued?


http://i.imgur.com/9nGiW.jpg


That is, unless you people really don't want me to.

Be patient and forgive my suck.
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Gloom is Batman.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby kwisatz2hederach » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:19 am

This is my longest post yet, and I feel a little intimidated saying so much to people who have contributed more than me to the forums and even the game. (You won't use devTeam powers to track my IP address and somehow keep me from downloading/installing it, will you Gloom?) If I cross anyone, hold off till I post some fan art in a week or two to really take a swing at me. (I owe it to TonyTwoFingers' Rainy Mornings for inspiring me to take a try at my own interpretations of the girls so far.)
kwisatz2hederach wrote:I like them both, and maybe I can better explain why later, after I sleep on it and put my thoughts in order.

I've had some time to sit on these and and have come up with something to say on the matter. I'll do my best to get my point across; I don't know the writer jargon. When I use a term ,I'll do my best to clarify. Forgive the extended music-themed metaphor below. I had a character=instrument lineup for both, and cut them for brevity.
The quality is there in both. I've said that I like them both. But the feel and style of the two are night and day.

In feeling, Heart's Desire feels like a small brass ensemble. It has a small cast of characters that shine and ring. They play off each other but each has distinct roles. Heart's Desire is tight and reads like a short story that (hopefully) could push the lengths of what would properly be called a 'short story'.
Rainy Mornings feels like a whole orchestra. We have a large and growing cast, each getting their voices in, but they move in and out of the story/melody. There are roles that each cast member has, but we the audience don't know the piece of music to be played, so we don't know how influential each role will be. It's sprawling, not in a bad way, and feels like there is more ambition of telling a bigger tale(s) than Heart's Desire. It reads like it could burst out of the 'short story' category, make use of the full cast, and dive into 'short novel' category.

In style, Heart's Desire style seems internally driven. We see the characters experience something minute, like the scarf scene (it was adorable) and are launched into internal thoughts and emotions, really rooting us in the characters. We know the medical condition, and see immediately how it incorporates into the character growth and foreseeable plot. Rainy Mornings slows down the characterization into action and dialog. (I loved the just-not-too-aggressive Lena, and look forward to fun with the twins, if you use them.) With less internal reflection, they are going about their day and we see them live. Medical conditions are a mystery and I look forward to some wham reveals. If you're not afraid to give the girls the personality you choose, don't hold back on the disorders you choose.

Lastly, Gloom, I'd like to see Gretchen kept in the plot, not ditched in Emma's ultimate development to a healthier lifestyle. Gretchen comes across as a lovestruck girl with a heart of gold, but ultimately feeds Emma's addiction. Friedrich is still a horny teen but restrains himself to be just friends. I don't know how you will make use of these anti-parallel characters, but it is a special (unrequited)love(-hate) triangle I'd like to see implemented.

I plan on moving my end of any further discussion regarding TonyTwoFingers' Rainy Mornings to his story. It doesn't get the love it deserves... yet.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby TonyTwoFingers » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:33 pm

Rainy Mornings feels like a whole orchestra. We have a large and growing cast, each getting their voices in, but they move in and out of the story/melody... It reads like it could burst out of the 'short story' category, make use of the full cast, and dive into 'short novel' category.


Firstly, thank for your the feedback, and secondly, apologies for my tardiness in this thread. Let's dive right in. The scale of Rainy Mornings is one of my greatest sources of pride, but also of self-imposed anxiety. When writing something of this style, one of my top priorities is doing justice to the characters. With such a vibrant and varied cast of characters, it's important to make sure that characters are unique while still being a part of holistic cast. To me, Rainy Mornings has to feel real , and real life doesn't revolve around one or two people.
Rainy Mornings slows down the characterization into action and dialog... If you're not afraid to give the girls the personality you choose, don't hold back on the disorders you choose.


If the size of the cast is my primary source of concern, the nature of the characters is a close second. Taking a page from Katawa Shoujo, the disorder is not what defines the character - it simply a part of who they are. That being said, it's not something that can be ignored, either. Due to the tight-lipped nature of the devs here, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of disorders these characters have, and how it contributes to who they are as a person. I'd be lying if I said I was sure about any of them, but rest assured, a lot of thought has gone into how I'm choosing to portray each character. Even dusted off my old psychology notes.

I plan on moving my end of any further discussion regarding TonyTwoFingers' Rainy Mornings to his story. It doesn't get the love it deserves... yet.


D'aww <3.

-------------------------------

And now to re-rail this thread. Gloom, never change. Your consistently high-caliber writing is a breath of fresh air. The vibrancy of the characters has been one of the most positive influences on my writing in past months, maybe years. Heart's Desire is obviously very popular on this forum, and with good reason. No matter what you ultimately do, I'd like to thank you for all that you've given us up 'till now, and say that I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Postby Gloom » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:28 pm

Writing this chapter has been nothing short of torturous to me. I know I keep saying this, and that one day my words are bound to lose their meaning and to no longer be regarded at all, but I can only speak the truth of what I feel in this case. Believe it or not, but I'd started writing this chapter, or at least its first draft, on the very same day that I'd posted the former. Since then, almost three months have passed - longer than the delay before any other chapter; long enough that many had assumed the story had died, including, more than once, myself. Very nearly every day of those three months I'd sat down in front of my computer to write, and on very nearly every single day I had to face the pain of finally giving up and telling myself that I can't. That I'll work tomorrow - that I'll definitely write a lot by tomorrow. At the beginning of every week, I had to face the pain of telling myself that by the end of this week, this stupid chapter of less than 4000 words would be finished - and knowing that it's a lie. Knowing that inevitably, I will find an excuse. That I'll make one up, if need be, and that I'll hate myself for it, but not enough to make a change. Not enough to go and finish this stupid piece of crap text. The more I'd written, the harder it'd become to keep writing, and the harder it'd become to appreciate whatever has been already written. It's as if I'd ran out of some vital fuel source, as if something was missing. I kept telling myself that tomorrow it'll come back - that next week it will; that for now I'll distract myself by writing something else, another story, or another version of it, or some entirely other thing, but in vain. In the end, I could do nothing but look down on what I have created: a melodramatic mess full of trite, poorly organized paragraphs, recycled and regurgitated by my uninspired mind for the tenth time onto the virtual page, the ashes and embers of the creative fire that had already consumed all that it had to. I rewrote this chapter again, and again, and again, erasing it entirely at times and going in a completely different direction, but no way how I looked at it there was no way out of the fact that I've reached my limit. That I was going to disappoint everyone, myself chief amongst them, that my comfortable delusion of being admired as an artist was about to be broken, and through no other's fault but my own.

This is as far as I could make it. This is when I decided that it was beyond my ability to truly improve upon this... creation of mine. Another would have been able to, but not me. Not now. I'm sorry that this is all there is. After all that time, you deserve a chapter twice or thrice as long. One that is better written, with characters who don't sound like caricatures of themselves, with writing that doesn't feel like an insult to its own name. You deserve a better writer than I.

The Sky Touching The Earth

Slowly and meticulously, as it does, turned the cycle of seasons, the days turning colder as the nights became longer. It wasn't quite autumn anymore – not really, yet it wasn't winter either, just yet. The blood and bronze carpet of fallen leaves that has covered the streets for the last few weeks shuddered as if in subtle anticipation of its predetermined time, rustling beneath our feet like the brittle, golden scale of some great and fantastic creature of the deep, washed away around and around by the ever more frequent rain. A world in a state of flux, tittering on the threshold between death and decay, between images of fiery red and confusing memories of coming pale white.

Such is the nature of time, and nature itself, as it mirrors it so often. A wiser man than I might go further along that line of thought and draw comparisons from that to other things – speaking in length of the nature of love, or life, or enlightenment. I often wish that I could be one of those wiser men – isn't that only natural? To want to become something greater than yourself? Something more meaningful? To know that your wisdom has affected the lives of others – isn't that the greatest satisfaction a man could hope for?

And yet, for the time being, I was oddly, uncharacteristically content with my lot in life. A wiser man might have led a more meaningful existence, but right now, in this very moment, he wouldn't be sitting where I did. They who do not want, feel no jealousy, or so they say.

Maybe that's true to other things as well.

The park by our school which Emma liked to frequent so was a good meeting place for more than this obvious reason. Beyond the peaceful paths and the surrounding beauty, I think, or would like to think, that it held a special meaning. To me, and perhaps to Emma, too. A garden wreathed in autumn fire, an abstract crucible of the heart. Like the world around us, in a state of transition. Awkward moments of silence and softly spoken words slowly and meticulously being replaced by honest laugher, or one that would seem for all intents and purposes to be. With idle chatter and long conversations about nothing at all which consist the vast majority of all friendships – or so I saw it, anyway.

So I saw, so I thought, so I'd believed – it's all I could say, because for as much as Emma opened up to me, she's remained a mystery on a fundamental level. It wasn't something I'd assumed I could ever find out, no matter how much we'd converse or meet up. And it was fine. Being there with her, even if just for those simple conversations, was all I'd needed.

I taught my eyes and my mind to believe that. I truly and genuinely wanted to, myself.

And so we took to walking down the many paths of that mundane, magical place – strolling to our leisure as our conversations went on. Talking, and yet each one of us seeming to zealously avoid any expression that might push the talk to any serious matter. Perhaps it really is just what we wanted. Perhaps it was good.

I was walking more briskly than I usually do, struggling to match Emma's long steps, and she was beside me, flaunting this white fur coat of hers and that outfit that was in the same time almost an extension of her mental image to me, and utterly unfitting for her – warm, and powerful, and boisterous, and pure.

Maybe she seemed more troubled than usual, on that day.

"Is everything alright?"

"Everybody keeps asking that, as of late", she sighed.

"Maybe it's that obvious that something isn't."

She laughed, though she didn't seem at all very amused. "Somehow I'd expected you to comment about how I avoided the question."

"No need to do that, for now" I answered, locking my gaze on a lone car passing by with a skill born of rigorous practice.

She kept quiet for a while, letting the words sink, or maybe thinking of an answer. "I don't know. I bet you've had those sorts of weeks too. When you just don't know. You wait for something to happen, but you don't know what; Isn't that the best justification for not having done a thing about it, in retrospective?"

"Everybody has those sorts of weeks, or at least I do. But then, I don't think everybody has to take their meds every morning, either, so it could be I'm not a good example."

"That would be true for me, too", she admits, turning her head aside with seeming nonchalance, as if to relieve a sore muscle. A part of my tried to imagine how she must have looked doing so – the way a lock of her hair might have fallen over her face, an errant curl tickling the tip of her nose. The way her shoulder blades, beneath that heavy coat, must have arched back slowly, pushing against the confines of her shirt and the seams of her undergarments. Her breath – a single, quick sigh.

I silenced this part of me.

"I suppose the wise thing to do would be to act despite all the hesitations, but I don't even know what I want to achieve, other than some vague notion of bettering myself, or perhaps feeling better."

"Life can be strange like that", I replied, dry lipped. "It seems so obviously wrong, to just sit there expecting for everything to sort itself out. It's the kind of thing Aesop would warn you of, isn't it?"

"How great would it have been if it's been easy to live by a collection of morals? Nobody would've had any problems", she grinned.

"The priests would lose their jobs, though."

"I keep getting those headaches," she blurts out all of a sudden after a long period of silence, the look in her eyes hinting at a vain hope that the matter would still be tangentially related after such a pause in the conversation. "It feels like someone's put a Taser to my neck."

"I wish I could help you with those", I said, trying to at least smile encouragingly. "You could always talk to one of the doctors or something."

She shrugged. "Headaches aren't anything to bother a doctor about. Besides, if I make a show of this, I risk this actually becoming a show. It's just another annoyance, you know? We have a game in a couple weeks, and I hope they'd let me participate. You'd think I could just take some aspirin before, but it'll probably affect my performance, and that's a whole Pandora's Box right there I'd rather leave closed."

"You really think it'll hinder you more than a debilitating headache?"

"It isn't debilitating", she said, "it's just… Well, sometimes it is. But that's still no reason to act all dramatic about it. You're just like Gretchen. She keeps bothering me about it too, you know? Calls me every two hours to ask if I'm alright."

"Gretchen…?" I followed her slowly, trying to figure out which part of some conversation I might have missed that I shouldn't have. " Schnieder? From Mrs. Drescher's class? Tall, wears glasses, wants to be a lawyer?"

Emma looked somewhat surprised at the last part. "She does?"

"Sorry, I haven't spoken to her much. But it did seem important to her. Her sister studied law in Freiburg before she died, I think."

Emma didn't say anything; just kept walking by my side, lost in thought.

"Weather to suit the mood", she said after a while, stopping and looking at the grey sky above.

"At least nature's been considerate", I mutter as I stretch my neck upwards to follow her gaze. "I bet you'd have felt like it's mocking you if it was sunny. That's probably how I would’ve."
"Well, it doesn't help either way, does it?"

"I never said I would help…" I begin, almost jokingly, before trailing off into silence. I said I would help, but what is it that I do instead? Why am I doing this, instead? 'Because I like being with you' suddenly comes to mind, but can I really say this? Is that something I can say honestly say of myself?

No matter what I say, at least to myself, I keep telling that whatever it is that I'm trying to accomplish would be helping Emma – helping her figure out who she is, or what she wants, or what would make her feel better. I know, deep inside of me, that it can't be but a willful delusion, a justification I've made up for myself to feel better about my unreasonable success at sticking to the girl who's been my idol for so long.

But how can I? How foolish it is of me to say that to myself, even as a convenient lie, when I can't even figure out such a thing for my own? Do I really believe that I'd be helping myself by pretend-helping Emma?

It's as funny as it is cruel, but the clearer things may seem to become, so do my lies. To myself, and to her.

What if Christopher was right, back then? What if I do want more from Emma than I am willing to let myself believe?

I let my lips close silently, the orphaned opening of a few painfully long seconds ego hanging desperately in the cold air, fading away like frost in the sunlight.

That's what it all came to. "I never said I would help", I repeat, this time to myself, uncaring as for whether or not Emma could hear.

"…Yet you do, in a way", she whispered gently. "As much as you do".

"The thing is –" she began, but stopped abruptly at a short, surprised wheeze. Involuntarily, I turned towards her, instantly mesmerized by the look on the face I've paradoxically been trying to mentally avoid and to cherish for the last few hours. Like a tear, flowing across Emma's cheek leaving a dark path behind it where invisible dust has been washed from the skin, the first drop of rain made its gravity bound way downwards. Emma's face was twisted in annoyance.

Before I could make a comment on it, though, another drop of rain followed, then another – cold and sharp. We harried our steps, but before long, the magical twinkling of lone drops was drowned by the scream of a misty drizzle. As the clouds roiled above us and the red leaves washed neatly into the ditches by the roadside, the world became a bit grayer. You'd expect a flash of lightning and the obligatory roaring thunder following, but alas, it would seem that even on that day nature would only allow us so much consideration.

Emma pulled up her coat's hood with a shuddered groan, swearing under her breath then immediately coughing out the strand of reddish hair that stuck to her face at a weird angle. "This is bullshit!" she complained out loud as we started running towards the closest piece of shelter in sight – a wide leafed tree that wasn't actually very much of a shelter, but a lot more so than thin air. No longer caring for my considerably slower pace, Emma made it to the tree's blurry shade in what seemed like an instant, leaving me sore of legs and short of breath when I finally make it to her.

"Who'd have thought we'd get rain in winter in Central Europe", I added quietly, not entirely sure whether this was the time for jokes.

"I hate it when it rains", she moaned, looking thoroughly miserable. "You'd probably say something about crying pianos, and I respect that, but being in the rain isn't my thing."

"What's the matter?"

"It's like stepping out of the pool, but worse. All drenched to the bone and sticky", she mumbles quietly as she drops back into the seat behind her. "Just great, isn't it? A weather to suit to the mood, indeed. I should watch what I say more carefully."

"If you squint a bit, it's like the sky is touching the earth. It feels like flying, doesn't it?"

"No. It feels like cold and damp", she replied, reaching out once again with a finger to push a sticky lump of wet hair away her face.

"You're shaking pretty badly."

"Thanks for diagnosis", she hissed between clenched teeth, resting her back against the wide tree trunk, her body instinctively shrinking into itself to keep warm – something which I couldn't help but wonder about, given that she was dressed far better than I. She was breathing irregularly; at times inhaling slowly and deeply as if trying to calm herself down and at time breaking into quick, seizure-like gasps.

When Emma was with me, she sometimes had that troubled, almost pained look on her face. She had it now, and the way her skin glistened where her hair stuck to it and the way her eyes were racing wildly about as if looking for escape from within their own sockets made it far worse.

I never thought it'd occur to me to say that to Emma of all people, but given the circumstances, I think I could be excused.

"You don't look so good."

"Neither do you", she mumbled into her hood, her arms wrapped tensely around her. "Look at you", she said, giving me a quick glance. "You'll freeze. How does your mother let you leave home dressed like that?"

"My sable coat must be in the wash or something", I replied, immediately regretting sounding so accusatory.

She was right, though. It was cold. I won't go as far as to say that my coat was a piece of junk, because the vast majority of them would be compared to anything Emma would wear, but even if it did keep most of the water outside it did little to keep the heat inside. The vicious wind bit through the fabric, through my skin, gorging itself upon what little heat remained in me. I tried to imagine how my face must have looked, beneath the hood. Wet, blue with cold, sticky, flushed.

Not beautiful, like Emma's. Not dangerous, either.

Only in my dreams, and from the memory of my nightmares, was I ready for what happened next.

It wasn't sudden, or quick.

My body didn't freeze, any more than it already was frozen, that is.

My legs didn't shake. My face didn't twist.

Emma's hands were shaking, but her movements were slow and deliberate. Her voice trembled with the horrid acceptance of the doomed – with a peace that exists beyond fear, like the eternal, shining calm above the storm clouds that choked the sky.

"Here", was all that she said as she wrapped her arms around my waist, and brought me closer to her, pressing me gently against her body.

Around us, the world was crying, and screaming, and beautiful, like the sky touching the earth. The sound of blood rushing through my head silenced that of the rain.

But not Emma's breaths. Deeper now, almost relieved. Even beneath her thick clothing, I could feel her ample chest rising up and down to the rhythm. The implications of the noticeable height difference between us suddenly became very troubling.

She wasn't holding me tightly. It'd felt as if any moment now she might decide that the whole idea was crazy, and let go of me.

I didn't want her to. I was willing to give everything for her not to.

I understood, for a brief second, maybe, what it was like for her.

It was a utilitarian, automatic sort of hug. Something that has been given too much thought, and too little – the sad abortion of a hug. It was admittance, unspoken for the lack of need to say it out loud, that the two of us have failed in our respective missions. That I really wasn't all that different from all the other boys, that there really wasn't anything pure and just about my wish to help Emma. That she herself was truly the despicable, uncontrollable monster that she's made herself out to be.

The fuzzy, warm fur of her coat tickled my left cheek. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine hugging some sort of animal.

Cloths, or at least most of them, don't produce heat. They just help in keeping it close to you. The heat comes from your own body. I don't know about Emma, but mine felt like it was going to combust.

"I wasn't that cold", I mumbled.

She nodded quietly. "I know."

"So…?"

"No reason. Just because".

"Oh."

I expected her to push me back, just as I did what seems like so many days ago. I closed my eyes in preparation for the cold that would separate us, as if there was anything bad about it – but instead her fingers behind my back just tensed, and her arms rose, and she brought me even closer to her.

I could feel her fevered breaths on my forehead.

It was a nightmarish mockery of a mother's embrace. We both knew it. Neither of us said anything, because we couldn't find the right words to say it, but if anything was clear, that was it. But Emma didn't show any signs of letting go, and as much as I didn't like to admit it, the thought made me happy.

"Friedrich…" she stammered, sounding as if holding back bile, "About those headaches and everything... "

"…I figured out as much. It's alright", I said dryly, cutting her off before she could continue. She did a pretty lousy job of hiding it. A part of me had wanted to think that she did it on purpose, because she wanted me to say that. It was the kind of thing she would do, I think.

"There's something wrong about me", she choked. "It's not just a migraine, it's… I feel weak, and sick, and a while ago I think I lost consciousness for a moment. Something is wrong with my body, or with my brain, and it's messing me up, and I'm just so tired of all this."

Was she expecting me to help her with this? To say that I could? I would be lying, in more than one way, and she knew that. She knew, as well as I, that the smart thing for me to have said would be "Go see a doctor right away".

"Did you tell anyone? Anyone else, I mean?" I simply asked.

Emma took a long time to answer. "No," she finally said. "I didn't."

Who was I to judge her decision? With every passing second I could claim less right to say anything to her. To be anything to her other than another "other", another selfish, cynical boy who revels at her suffering.

"There's nothing to be ashamed of", I wanted to say to her; among other things. But all I could do was to repeat myself dumbly.

"It's alright".

The rain intensified, the beating sounds of the falling drops merging again into an indistinct, sorrowful whine.

I could feel Emma's chest shaking as she started to laugh. Slowly and quietly, at first, then more loudly.

"I feel like a complete idiot", she said, releasing her grip of me.

"Welcome to my world," I answered, unable to stop myself from joining her laugher, not letting show how much I'd wanted that hug to go on. I'm not exactly sure what we were laughing about, because there was certainly nothing funny about the situation. But we did. In the end, maybe that's all that mattered.

She had to raise her voice to be heard over the rain. "We should probably get going home now; I don't think we'd like to be out here in a ten minutes".

"I'll go looking for a bus or something", I shouted back, even though there were hardly two meters between us. "I should make it if I run."

Emma looked aside into the mist. For a moment, there was conflict clearly visible on her face. There was anguish.

And there was another thing. Something fiery, and beautiful, and dangerous. A glint of madness, but not unhappy.

Her next few words caught me completely off guard.

"Actually, my house is pretty close".

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I had said, the last draft for this chapter was almost twice in length, but I couldn't make it flow the way I'd wanted, so I eventually decided to just cut it in two. That would've been excusable had I been able to promise that the next part would be posted tomorrow, or by Friday, but in all likelihood, it'll take as long, if not longer to get it done "right". It's possible that in the meantime I will actually become desperate enough to start posting bits and pieces of another story, just to prove to myself that I still can.

Oh, and one more thing: I was happy to hear that people are interested in seeing more of Gretchen. It'd meant that I didn't have to change anything, because that was already my plan. Of course, being myself, the only way I could accomplish this was through nauseating, overelaborated upon melodrama poorly integrated into the rest of the story, but for now, you'll have to make do. You are right in your assumption that the original idea behind her was essentially "What if Friedrich had given in to temptation?", but as it stands, though it might not be very well thought out or written, her story is at least a bit more complex than that.

I'm very sorry that you've had to suffer through all of this. All of the waiting, and all of my bullshit, and all of my complaints right now, for so very little. I'm giving you people all I have. I hope that you will be understanding.
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Mr Immortal wrote:Perhaps our awesome is his normal. Like The Doctor, or Batman...

Gloom is Batman.
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Gloom
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