Young Writers Society


LMS VI: Something about Monsters



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Mon Nov 14, 2022 7:19 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Ten: The Pontianak Part Five
1005 Words
Same warning as the last two weeks.

The Pontianak swallowed, and Jackson could breathe again, gasping against all odds. The Pontianak just smiled. “That is the pain Lucille felt when you hit her for the first time.”
Jackson shook his head. The pain of a slap was nothing compared to this. Even when Jackson accidentally broke Lucille’s arm, she didn’t feel like this. That pain could be put into words, and this couldn’t be.
Don’t tell him that the sting of flesh against flesh was nothing compared to the wrath of a lover. I think he’d explode.
The Pontianak just rolled her eyes and grabbed the next smallest piece. “This is how Lucille felt when you lied to her again and again.” She placed the chunk of heart on her tongue and bit down.
The next wave of pain was even worse as it shot through like scorching lava, setting everything in its wake aflame. Jackson burned as the Pontianak chewed slowly, thoughtfully even. She loved hearing his breaths come out in blood-splattered wheezes. She loved watching his limbs go entirely rigid, shaking under the weight of paint that made his consciousness melt. She loved knowing that he wanted to die, but wouldn’t, couldn’t until she let him.
The Pontianak felt fulfilled. This was her purpose. This is what Lucille would want if she weren’t bound by humanity. No matter. The Pontianak would just have to make it so.
She swallowed. Jackson lay on his couch, going completely limp. He had finally stopped bleeding, though only because there was no more blood inside of him to bleed. Everything around him was drenched in metallic red, Jackson’s own tongue covered with a thin film that tasted of pennies and papercuts.
The Pontianak grinned, the blood on her teeth dribbling down her chin. She was starting to feel satisfied. “Halfway done.”
Jackson felt immense relief at that. He’s almost dead. Almost free of the demon and her claws.
“This is what Lucille felt when you killed her.” The Pontianak licked the third piece, making Jackson cry out in agony before finally placing it in her mouth and biting down. This next wave felt like every single one of Jackson’s bones was shattering, the serrated chunks exploding into his skin like metal shrapnel. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t breathe through his phantom lungs.
By the time The Pontianak swallowed, Jackson should’ve died from asphyxiation. But, instead, he gasped for breath again, his face an impressive shade of blue. I kind of liked it on him. It was suiting, at least.
The Pontianak grabbed the last piece, the biggest one. It kept pounding in her hand, even without the rest of the heart to sustain it. It was almost pathetic, really, how it struggled against the laws of nature only to be soon devoured by the very thing preserving it.
Or maybe it was just pathetic that it belonged to Jackson Ebony.
Either way, the Pontianak stroked in gently again, watching Jackson’s back arch. “And this last piece will kill you.”
Jackson swallowed. Good. That was good. Jackson wanted to die. He needed to die! Because Death would stroke his hair and tell him that he didn’t deserve it. Death would hear of the horrors of the Pontianak and set up a special place of torture. He would be just fine once he died!
The Pontianak squeezed the chunk in her hands. Jackson spasmed. “And this piece doesn’t do Lucille justice.”
Jackson doubted that. He never did anything this terrible to Lucy. He was good to Lucy. She loved him, and he loved her. If Lucille died because she couldn’t take a punch, then that was her problem! What was he supposed to do about it? The nerve of this Pontianak to burst into his house and act like he was some rotten killer just like the jury did was sickening. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t-!
The Pontianak slammed the piece into the table so hard the faux wood shattered. “This how it felt when you killed her ability to dream!”
Jackson choked on the pain, spasming again in a pool of his blood.
“This is the pain she felt when you, Jackson Ebony, killed her child!” She tore the piece in half with her teeth, chewing viciously on the piece in her mouth.
And there were no words to describe Jackson’s pain. Just as there were no words to describe the agony of the person you love the most killing the most precious thing in your life. When the Pontianak shoved the second piece in her mouth, the pain only grew.
Lucille Ebony had died in her living room, right beside the stairwell. She had been carrying a dinner tray to Jackson when she tripped. She caught herself but spilled the food. She had already been flustered enough, but once Jackson marched up at her, she was doomed.
She was used to the way he would slap her, palm biting into cheek. She was used to the way his hand would move down to her neck as he lifted her just slightly into the air.
She was not used to how he slammed her backward into the wall. Once for a cry of pain. Twice for a wave of dizziness. Thrice for a sickening crunch and a body gone limp.
Jackson was dying on his blood-soaked couch. One swallow to teach him. Two for punishment. Three for vengeance. And four for death.
As the Pontianak swallowed, Jackson’s vision started to blacken. His phantom wheezes slowed until they came to a painful stop. His hands fell limp by his side. He died in the middle of the most ruinous bout of pain. Right before he completely faded, he spotted Death in the corner. Death looked like they always did when picking up the soul of a wretched beast: nothing but smoke in the shape of a vague creature, one glowing red eye on each palm. Jackson felt no ease in slipping away, but that is Death’s story. The Pontianak did not follow him into death.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:01 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Eleven Part One: The Pontianak Part Six
181 Words
No violence in this one, actually.

She sat above Jackson’s mangled corpse, a bone-deep satisfaction filling her. Jackson couldn’t hurt anyone anymore. Her job was done.
Her form flickered. Pontianaks only exist as long as the rage that fuels them, and there was nothing left to be angry about. She took a deep breath, feeling herself slowly come undone.
A tear made its way down her translucent face. It was a peek of Lucille, of the woman that created this Pontianak. She could rest in peace, no longer kept captive by the man who stole everything from her.
The Pontianak lifted her arms into the air, the blood dripping down to her slightly bent elbows and simply dissolved. One moment, she was there. The next, Jackson’s body was there alone, ready for the neighbors to report the stench of his rotting flesh in a couple of days.
And that is the story of a cruel, pain-seeking monster’s reign, reveling in pain, torture, and bloodshed, justifying its actions with a cruel sneer and thousands of twisted reasons. And, of course, the Pontianak who finally brought him to justice.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:03 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Eleven Part Two: Mermaids Part One
824 Words

I’m sure my last story left you with some burning questions that even I can’t answer. Did Jackson actually have a warm embrace from Death? Absolutely not, but I can’t precisely say what occurred, either. Only that Death was angry, and every time I try to ask Death what had occurred, Death had a tendency to lose face. And turn into a beast of pure shadow. As for what Lucille found when her spirit was finally cut free from this plane, I can’t say that either. I can only wish she found herself in a nursery, the ghost of some dead infant now in her care. Not the one she would've given birth to, but one that needed some care.
No matter what she finds, I hope she’s happy. It makes me sick how much pain she had gone through. Call me a sap if you dare.
But, we’re not here to keep talking about Lucille. We’re here for a new young lady, a few years younger than Lucille. She was fourteen, a truly tumultuous age for humans. Her name was Andrea O’Connell, and she used to be everything her parents dreamed of. In middle school, she always had straight A’s, and her teachers absolutely adored her. Every parent-teacher conference was the same with cries of “She’s so smart!” and “One of the smartest kids I’ve ever had!” Andrea ate up the attention.
That was all until she went to high school.
You see, Andrea was used to the whole “high school is hard” and “prepare to be tested” speech. All of her teachers said the same thing about middle school and looked how that turned out! Middle school was a breeze, and she was sure high school would be too.
Until she got her end of the semester report card, a bolded ‘F’ beside her Biology class. She had failed a class for the first time in her life, and this was a failure that would haunt her forever.
From there, everything seemed to spiral. She tried to spend more time studying, only to fall asleep in class and make a complete fool of herself. She tried tutoring, only to get laughed at by the kids she used to easily surpass. Soon enough, her perfect 4.0 turned into a mess of A’s and B’s, all while that one F stared at her with its beady Times New Roman eyes.
Andrea felt like a failure. That’s what F stood for, right? Fail? Fail a class. Fail at school. Fail at life. Fail everything you were supposed to be good at. Fail, fail, fail again.
Apparently, in high school, Andrea was only good at failing.
So, Andrea stopped being her parents’ pride and joy. She stopped being the best student ever. Most of all, she stopped getting attention. No one remembered her. She felt like she was fading away. A part of her wanted to fade away because evaporated people aren’t failures.
That’s what drove Andrea to mermaids.
Andrea first read about them online. It was the story of a girl just like her, someone who used to be everything and then learned just how quickly silver can tarnish to nothing, who decided that she wasn’t going to just take life beating her over the head with mistakes. So, she wandered to her nearest bluffs, staring out over the sea, when she heard chatter in the distance. She walked down the bluffs until she stood on simple sand, and there, off in the distance, was a group of girls giggling about this or that, and the girl in the article had been so jealous. They were in the middle of the sea, so far out that the water lapped against their shoulders.
Before the girl could walk away bitter and jealous, the gigglers invited her to join them. The girl waded into the ocean to join those girls, only to never return home. Some say those girls drowned her; the body simply never washed ashore. Some say the girls never existed, and the girl just ran away.
And some say the girls weren’t girls at all but mermaids with shimmering scaly tails and gills across their necks, and now the first girl is one of them, giggling and living out her days in the sea.
And before you expect me to tell you which one is right, don’t. Which one is true doesn’t matter yet. All that matter is what Andrea believed. Or, well, wanted to believe.
Because, in reality, Andrea didn’t know what she believed. She knew people were cruel enough to drown someone innocent and unsuspecting, and people were awful enough to turn a teen runaway into a sensation.
But the world was odd enough for mermaids, too. Andrea wanted her gaggle of mermaids to giggle and chatter with. She wanted a happy ending of swimming off into the deep sea with no report cards, failures, or disappointed parents to worry about.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Nov 28, 2022 7:20 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Twelve: Mermaid Part Two
1007 words

And that is what led Andrea to write a note to her parents early in the morning when the sky was dark, and the world slumbered. She didn’t like spending time alone with her thoughts. They always seemed to be too bitter. She had recently learned that cyanide was bitter too, so she imagined her thoughts to be little cyanide capsules that would burst, coating her tongue in that sharp lye burn. It didn’t make the thoughts hurt less, it just made them easier to describe. Just another cyanide wave, nothing to worry about.
But her parents deserved a letter, so she wrote one. She didn’t use the English skills that would make her teachers beam, she just wrote down what she needed to say.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I am leaving. If my dream comes true, I won’t be back. Goodbye.
She folded the note in half. Then in half again. It wouldn’t stay closed, and the paper kept pushing its way to be a triangle shape. She just left it. A messy note from their screw-up of a daughter—the perfect sentiment, really.
She left, taking nothing but her clothes, her phone, and a bus card. She had a card to take the bus, and she wouldn’t get in trouble with her parents. She would never see her parents again. She stopped for a moment to consider that. That was something people were sad about. They would miss their parents. Never seeing them again would be a tragedy. But Andrea felt this strange sense of numbness. She didn’t care. It’s not like she didn’t want to see her parents. She just didn’t need to see them, either. She just couldn’t care.
So, when she stepped out of her house, hands stained with pen ink, she didn’t feel anxious at all. If she was attacked on these streets, she could easily die. She glanced down at her hands. The black ink smeared across the side of her hand, and it was easy to imagine as blood. Blood someone else would wipe off to hide evidence of a crime. Maybe that should’ve pushed her to turn around and hide in the safety of her home, but she couldn’t even think of that. Would be jumpers be damned, she had a dream to achieve.
She walked to the bus stop, her eyes flitting to the sky above. She couldn’t see the stars where she lived. But they must be amazing out on the open ocean with no light to block them. She swore that she wouldn’t sleep for the first three days at sea. She’d just be transfixed watching the sky.
She paid for one bus ticket and bluntly ignored the driver’s query about why she was alone. She didn’t care if her parents were worried. They didn’t love her anyways. They wanted a perfect straight-A daughter, not whatever she had turned into. Honestly, she was ready to bet that her parents were happy to get rid of her.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of instances where adults had children because someone told them had to, and it ended in perfect disaster. But, somehow, Andrea’s parents felt different. They were anguished when they read the note the next morning. If Andrea had come to them with her feelings, they would’ve been quick to reassure her. But she didn’t give them that choice. She kept all of her pain inside of her.

And like an object that kept all of that pressure inside, it burst. And now Andrea was in a cramped bus headed straight for an idyllic beach just an hour away. It was the same beach from the story. Maybe the girls would still be there, giggling and swimming, and they’d let Andrea into their ranks.
No one sat next to her on the entire ride, It was still early enough that no one in their right mind, as the saying goes, would ride the bus so early in the morning. She practically buzzed with excitement. The suspense was killing her. She needed those mermaids to be real. She desperately needed them to be real.
An hour later, the sun was finally starting to dip over the horizon, casting everything in a sea of oranges and yellows. Ocean sunrises must make the sea glow. There was nothing blocking its path. She plugged the coordinates for the beach into her phone and started walking. The streets were almost completely empty here. She wondered how many people had walked this very same path. Was there anyone else who took that same bus route and then walked down the road, the sunset behind them? Were they excited? Nervous? Skeptical?
Did they get what they wanted?
She held her head high, feeling freer than she ever had in her life. It didn’t matter how long this process took. She had nothing else to do. And if the mermaids said no…
Well, she was the head of the debate team in eighth grade. She could handle them.
At around six-thirty, she got the first text from her mom. It asked, Where are you?
Andrea swiped it off of the screen. She didn’t have time to focus on something like that.
Another text. Andi, you better respond. We’re worried sick.
She just cleared that notification too.
Why is your location off?
Andrea put her phone in her pocket. Fine. If they wanted to blow up her phone, she’d just ignore them.
But then it pinged. And then it pinged again. And then several more times until Andrea kept it silent to fix the issue. But then, it started to vibrate. She took it out with a huff of frustration.
Get home. Now.
We saw your missing bus card.
Where are you even going?
Come back before you get hurt.
Andrea.
Andrea!
She turned off her phone completely, holding it like it was a thirty-pound weight. Why were her parents so intent on pretending to want her around? She was the disappointment now. She was only worth it when she was the best.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:39 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Thirteen: Mermaids Part Three
1036 Words

She threw it to the floor as hard as possible. “Leave.” She stomped on the screen. “Me.” She stomped again. “Alone!” The screen shattered, and Andrea finally stopped, heaving for breath. She yelled in frustration and kicked the ruined remains of the phone. “I hate you!”
A pedestrian walking past her gave her a concerned look, but she didn’t care. She had much more pressing issues to worry about. Namely, her walk to the ocean.
“Okay, Andrea. You took the bus. You made it to your stop. Now we just have to make it to the ocean.”
Andrea often talked to herself about what she needed to do. She often felt weird about it until she learned it was a common trait in geniuses. And even though her genius pass has been thoroughly revoked, it was a hard habit to shake. So now, she was just a non-genius who talked to herself.
She was starting to feel bad about it again.
Andrea kept walking down the sidewalk until there was a gap in the fence alongside her. She grinned. There! The opening to the beach path. All she had to do was walk down the path until there was soft beach sand. Oh, she could smell the salt in the air! And she could practically taste the rotting seaweed stern about the shoreline. The song of the ocean was calling to her very soul! Her new home was just a short walk away.
She turned onto the path, ready to run the last bit until she skidded to a halt.
There, right in front of her, was a barricade blocking off the path. On the front was a standard metal sign: “Beach closed.”
Andrea just stared, dumbfounded. Who had the authority to close an entire beach? Did someone die? Did several someones die? She has half a mind to march up to this barricade-putter and demand what gave them jurisdiction over a stretch of dirt and the Pacific ocean.
She took a deep breath. There was no time. The mermaids had only been recorded coming to the beach at specific intervals. While Andrea was an ex-genius, she could comprehend basic patterns. And this one told her that marching off to demand answers would only make her lose her chance.
“What am I willing to do to join the sea?”
She stared at the barricade. The barricade, as an inanimate object, didn’t stare back. It was rather unbothered by the whole situation, really.
Andrea examined everything again. She had already lost her genius. Why not her rule-follower attitude? What had sitting still and smiling pretty and raising her hand got her? She violated her parents’ wishes by taking a bus and smashing her phone. She could break a few more rules. Beach closed? Yeah. Not on Andrea’s watch.
She took a few steps back and ran at the fence, ready to jump over it.
She failed. Miserably, in fact. A rebel attitude did nothing to change the fact she had no athletic training, and the barricade went up to her waist. However, she managed to crash right into it and knock it over. It knocked the breath out of her lungs, but it solved her problem.
She lay on top of the metal, trying to catch her breath. Her ankle throbbed. “Good to know. Jumping over metal. That’s a bad idea.”
The metal did not apologize.
She sighed and stood up, wincing as she put weight on her foot. It didn’t matter, though. She was going to make it to the beach. Swimming would feel better on her ankle, anyways. And then she won’t even have ankles anymore!
She continued her journey, now walking on the stone path. She finally had a good view of the ocean, sprawled out in front of her as far as the eye could see. Did mermaids live long to explore every nook and cranny of the sea? Could she make it to depths no human has ever seen? See reefs undiscovered by man? The giddiness overtook her again, turning the pain in her ankle into little more than a whisper. A whole world was before her. What could possibly be more important than that?
When she took her first step on soft sand, she squealed, jumping up and down and making a complete mess of herself. Ugh. I hated sand.
She grinned and turned her attention back to the water. “Okay, mermaids. Where are you?”
There was no response. The mermaids, if there were any, were painfully silent. Andrea frowned. She had just conquered her first obstacle. She could find a mermaid!
She took a deep breath. “Mermaids! Come out, come out wherever you are!”
She continued her march through the sand until her shoes were filled to the brim. She sighed. “Okay, mermaids. You have until I take my shoes off.”
She plopped to the ground and started struggling against her laces. She probably should’ve worn sandals, but she had to pretend to go to school. You can’t go to school in sandals. Which was also why she was in jeans and a regular t-shirt. Very unbeachlike attire. If she did find the mermaids, they would probably laugh at her for trying to swim in denim.
Andrea finally pulled her shoes off and took a moment to dump out the ludicrous amount of sand in them. She sighed. “I guess I won’t be needing you.” She peeled off her socks and stuffed them inside one of her shoes. “Maybe someone else will find you. They’ll need you more than I do.” She stood up, trying and failing to brush off the sand on her jeans. “Okay, mermaids! Did you hear my warning?”
If they did, they certainly weren’t going to tell her. She sighed. “Maybe I’m too far away. I’ll just get closer.”
The ocean was at low tide, and the wet sand was covered in glittering seashells, spread open like butterfly wings. She stopped to admire them, taking in the vivid pinks and oranges. This was a part of her new home. Maybe seashells became her new stars, and she would float upside down in the water and trace constellations out of crustaceans. She grinned. That sounded pretty fun.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Dec 12, 2022 7:50 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Fourteen: Mermaids Part Four
1005 Words

She took a deep breath and continued, stepping forward until sea foam lapped at her ankles, soaking the cuffs of her jeans. She frowned. What would happen to her clothes once she transformed into a mermaid? Were they expecting her to arrive already without them? The idea made her shudder slightly. No. If they could give Andrea a tail, her clothes could get an epic transformation too. It’s what she deserved.
She walked along the ocean, taking another moment to admire how the wet sand and water devoured her footprints until there was no trace of her ever being there. Sometimes, that made her feel small. Like at the end of the day, she didn’t matter. The beach would erase her footprints; her middle school would throw away her school records; her gravestone would erode until her name disappeared. But right now, it just made her feel at home. The ocean didn’t need her footprints. It already had her soul.
“Hey, ocean?”
The ocean responded by crashing into the shore. Maybe the wave in the distance was a little bit taller than before. Maybe it was waving to her. But, that didn’t quite feel very oceany. When she went to the beach on a field trip for the last day of her eighth-grade year, her science teacher, Ms. Bonvill, said that the ocean loved to sing. That’s why conch shells played their music and mermaids formed a chorus. The ocean and all of the life within were just one big symphony. But Andrea wasn’t good at singing and never had an ear for instruments. Would the ocean still want her?
She shook her head. No. She had come too far to have silly thoughts like those. She took a second to imagine packing all of her thoughts into a duffel bag and sitting on top of it to zip it up. Then she imagined leaving it on the bus, tucking it under a chair, so it was out of the way. She wouldn’t let anything get in her way. There was nothing left for her anyways. If the ocean didn’t want her as kin, it just let her drown in the waves, preserving nothing but her bruised and battered body in water and salt…
Well, it couldn’t be any worse than failing biology. It couldn’t be worse than losing her life’s purpose. Because everyone tells you to have a plan for life, to know who you are. But they never tell you what to do if you’re wrong.
She remembered seeing her school therapist in high school. He had heard how amazing she was and was so excited to guide her to college.
“You’re a girl who has it all figured out. Hold on to that. It’s so rare, especially at this age.”
Tears started bubbling in the corners of her eyes. “I hope you want me. No one… no one else does. So, I guess I can’t blame you if you find me just as useless as everyone else. But please. I just want to be wanted again.”
I… I must say. You mortals seem to jump to that conclusion quite often. That your world was ending, and everybody had collectively agreed to stop wanting you. It was far too late for Andrea, unfortunately. By the time I found her story, her head was so far deep in that cycle that even if I appeared next to her and tried to pry it out, she would’ve kicked and screamed and cursed my presence. But, you, my reader. Maybe you I can reason with.
You are not special enough to be so viscerally hated as that. Name any evil person, serial killer, dictator, or genocidal mastermind, and I can steer you to armies of people who adore them. People who see the blood on their hands and swoon.
So how is it that you, killer of none, persecutor of none, would do what the worst dredges of humanity couldn’t? What makes you special enough to be hated by the entirety of the human race? Please, I really would like to know.
And Andrea was wanted. She was still wanted if she had truly mastered the impossible and turned all of humanity against her. The forces that hang in the balance outside humanity have taken a strong liken to it, including Andrea.
But that’s a story for another time.
One that absolutely did not involve me. Don’t even think about it.
Andrea watched the ocean for a moment. It roared from the middle distance, and the waves kept up their eternal cycles of pulling back and rushing forward. She sighed. “The mermaids will tell me.”
She continued on her journey until another barricade loomed in the distance. She froze. She had managed to topple the mighty state barricade, but this…
She couldn’t exactly knock over a cliffside.
“Uh, ocean? What do I do?”
Being a small body of water, the ocean didn’t magically gain the ability to speak and, therefore, didn’t answer her. Oceans had a bad habit of doing that.
She glanced behind her, trying to see if she had just somehow accidentally passed the mermaids. I don’t know how she could have possibly done so, but who was I to question her?
Alas, no mermaids were behind her, so she settled for speedwalking to the cliff. “Maybe I can scale it! Or just swim around it. But these aren’t good swimming clothes, and I’ll be too stiff, and the mermaids will think I’m not good enough.” She cried out in frustration. “What do I do? What do I do?”
There was no one to answer her. She was starting to feel hopeless. Her duffel bag of doubts was starting to feel less left on the bus and more currently knocking her to the floor. “I’m trying my best here! Why isn’t that enough?”
She huffed and kicked at the ocean, sending a spray of water at an incoming wave.
“Okay, think, Andrea, think!”
She turned back around, facing the street parallel to the sea.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Dec 19, 2022 7:57 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Fifteen: Mermaids Part Five
1024 Words

“Right! Oh, I’m so stupid! It’s that easy.”
She shook her head and marched back to the street. “I can just walk around to the cliffs. Stupid, Andrea.” She made a series of frankly unnecessary frustrated noises as she kicked up more sand than ever before. It clung to her jeans and was somehow coating her legs too. It had to be an agonizing experience, to say the least, but she just kept trucking along like it was fine. I wanted to brush off my legs in sympathy.
Once Andrea made it to the street, having kicked enough sand to fill a few dozen terrariums, she faced one massive problem.
Andrea had notably sacrificed her shoes to the needy, and now they were on the other side of the beach, which was at least half an hour's walk. She groaned. “It’s okay, Andrea. By the time you’re a mermaid, you won’t need shoes! You’ll never forget your shoes again.” She laughed, gulping as she quickly approached the hot, blistering street. “Just ignore that you’ve never forgotten your shoes before! Because your usual hobbies don’t include discarding them.”
She reached the edge of the sand. “Oh, dear. Why did I have to take off my socks? Mermaids, please be there. Please, please, please!” She lifted her foot and placed one toe on the pavement. She pulled away with a yelp. The concrete was scorching, just as she predicted. She squeezed her eyes shut and stepped down. The wave of heat almost made her sick, but she just placed her other foot down. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she took another agonizing step forward. She tried to imagine the ocean. The ocean would help.
She’d swim with her mermaid friends to water so clean you could see the deepest depths of it. And it would be that teal water you see in the tropics. And she could make friends with all of the fish because everyone knew mermaids could talk to fish, and all of the fishermen would stop fishing and get new jobs because everyone knew that fishermen had to listen to mermaids. Being a mermaid would be so fantastic that she would forget what it even felt like to have feet, so she definitely wouldn’t remember this burning. And everything would be fine and perfect and just amazing. Completely, utterly, entirely, other words for completely amazing.
Andrea opened her eyes just enough to see a sliver of shade cast across the concrete. She sprinted for it, practically sobbing in relief once the ground was cool enough for nausea to calm down. She promptly collapsed into a sitting position, sobbing freely. It hurt. Her feet hurt so, so bad. She decided to glance back at the cliffs behind her. Maybe it would help to know how much progress she had made. It had to be a lot, right?
She’d be exaggerating if she claimed to have made it a quarter of the way. She lay flat on her back, feeling defeated. How was she supposed to do this? She couldn’t wait until nightfall. The mermaids would be gone! She couldn’t turn around to get her shoes. She would have to make that awful trek, and besides, it would take so long that the mermaids would be gone! No matter what she did, she was doomed. If she didn’t make her way forward somehow, she’d never become a mermaid and have to live her life in shame as a failure and a runaway. The police would find her, her school would fine her parents because she was truant, and then she’d get tossed in juvy.
Andrea stared up at the cliff face that was about to ruin her life. How could a pile of rocks be so cruel? They didn’t even have a brain! She huffed. What could she possibly do here?
That’s when a brilliant idea sprouted to life in her head. The cliff looked much more climbable from this angle. And sure, she was barefoot, but no matter what she did, she would suffer. She could scale the rocks and get around them that way! No need for tickets or juvy. The world was saved!
She stood up slowly, trying her best to avoid stepping on the scorching bits of concrete. This was fine. She could do this. She would do this! She held on to the edge of the rock and found her first foothold, very unsteadily pulling herself up until she was entirely on the rock. This was perfect! Absolutely perfect. She awkwardly bent her leg and found a new spot. This was easy too. Awesome!
The next time she braced her foot against the rock, however, it slipped, and she cut herself. She could feel the blood start to wet the sole of her foot, the cut stinging. She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter at all.” She still braced on that foot, still stepped up to the next foothold. She had come too far to turn around. Besides, no feet equaled no cut. It would all sort itself out soon. She kept climbing until she could finally pull her knees to the top of the cliff. She collapsed on top of it, gasping for breath. She hadn’t noticed during the trek up, but that had taken so much strength. And her P.E. teacher said she was doomed to be out of shape forever. She grinned. This was it.
After sufficiently catching her breath, she unsteadily rose to her feet. “Take that, rocks!” She laughed, running around in a victory circle before the stinging cut on her foot put a stop to that. “Ow. Right. Ow!” She huffed. How was she supposed to walk through sand with an open wound? That was just asking for an infection. Had the rocks won, after all? Was she doomed always to be defeated by a very malicious pile of stones?
Before she could sit down and wallow in defeat again, she heard a sharp giggle float in the air. She furrowed her eyebrows. No one was on the cliff. Who could possibly be laughing? And were they laughing at her?
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Sixteen: Mermaids Part Six
1007 Words

She walked to the cliff's edge, peering at the sand below. Nope. No people down there either. Was she hallucinating? Were failure-induced hallucinations a thing?
Narrator popping in there. No. You may continue.
Andrea groaned. “This is stupid. This is so stupid. I should’ve never failed biology. I should’ve never attended high school. I should’ve never been special in eighth grade. I never should’ve been born!” She stomped her foot, heaving for breath.
“Well, that’s just silly talk.”
Andrea whirled around, but there was no one behind her. “Hello? Who’s there?”
“Down here, silly! Come on.” There was a splash of water.
Splash. Water. Down. Mermaid.
Mermaid.
Andrea sprinted to the edge of the cliff over the water.
Four people were in the water—a pale redhead with a braid over each shoulder, a black girl with navy blue cornrows, a Hispanic girl with dark curly hair tied back into a low bun, and a Korean man with a black buzzcut. The Hispanic girl waved. “Hello! We heard you up there. Are you alright?”
Andrea blinked. How many people had asked that since her epic fail? Hey, Andrea. I saw you weren’t performing—because they always said performing like she was a little computer or a dancer they kept in their pockets for entertainment—like usual. Are you alright? Because they only cared about the answer if it was an answer that would let them fix Andrea, turn her back into the perfect machine she always had been. “Honestly…” She sat down on the cliff, staring down at the people. “Not too well.”
The redhead frowned. “Oh? Mind sharing?”
Andrea sighed. “Well, I ran away from home, smashed my phone, left my shoes on the beach, burned and cut my feet, and now I need you four to be mermaids, or I will have nothing to show for it.”
The four people in the water exchanged a glance. The man spoke first this time. “You heard of the mermaids?”
Andrea nodded. “Yeah! I heard the story of Lia Serrano. Some people said she disappeared on this beach because she joined the mermaids. I wanted to join her. And the rest of you, really.”
The Hispanic girl glanced at her companions before looking back up at Andrea. “I’m Lia Serrano.”
Andrea gasped. “So it’s true?”
Lia took a deep breath. “Around four months ago, when I was walking home from school, I took a detour and decided to walk to the beach. It was busy that day, so I climbed the rocks for some peace. That’s when I heard them.” She looked at the three others again. “And I finally found home. So, welcome to the merfolk. You found us.”
Andrea grinned. “Oh my. Thank you. Thank you so much.” She felt tears spring to her eyes for an entirely different reason this time. This was it. It had all been worth it.
The redhead grinned. “What’s your name, o’ searcher of the merfolk?”
Andrea sniffled. “Andrea. Andrea O’Connell.”
The redhead nodded. “Well, I’m Hannah Mark.”
The man waved. “I’m Lucas Byun.”
“And I’m Tariana Smith.” She smiled, giving Andrea a two-fingered salute.
Andrea couldn’t help but giggle as her tears spilled over. Four whole merfolks. Honestly, thinking mermaids this whole time was rather insensitive. Of course, there would be mermen. And mernonbinary people! She shoved that aside. That wasn’t important right now. “It’s nice to meet you.” She sniffled, wiping her eyes.
Lia smiled softly. “It’s nice to meet you too, Andrea. Now, let’s talk about what you were saying before I stopped you. Why do you think you don’t deserve to be born?”
Andrea waved her hand dismissively. “I only thought that when I couldn’t find you guys. Now that you’re here, I don’t think that!”
Tariana narrowed her eyes. “For some reason, I highly doubt that.”
Andrea frowned. “Well, you shouldn’t.”
Tariana swam closer to the rocks. “Things like that just don’t flip-flop around overnight. You felt that way before you met us, and it didn’t change when you met us.”
Andrea flushed. “What?” She forced herself to laugh. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
But she did. They were completely correct. She thought she should’ve never been born when she first got that F in biology. That’s when she lost her life purpose. That’s when she should’ve died and been left behind and abandoned, and woah, where did all of that come from?
Tariana sighed. “You just had the moment, huh?”
Andrea blinked. “The moment?”
Tariana nodded. “Everyone who becomes a merfolk has a reason. But it all leads to one thing.”
Lucas sighed. “We all think we deserve to die.”
“That we should’ve never been born.” Hannah nodded. “Such is a merfolk’s birth.”
Lia snorted. “A human gets depression; a mermaid gets its wings.”
Andrea blinked. All four of those people knew exactly how she felt? They woke up with the same hollow feeling in their chest, and no matter what they did, nothing would fix it?
Andrea sniffled. “And you tried all of the therapists?”
Lia, Tirana, and Hannah nodded, but Lucas just scoffed. “I didn’t get that luxury. Men are supposed to be tough, remember?”
Andrea cringed. “And you did the very best you could?”
“There was nothing left to do!” Tariana huffed. “I had done everything but wasn’t good enough.”
“And you failed at the one thing you were always destined to be good at.” Andrea finished with ease. “And no matter what you did at the point, the damage had already been done. You were nothing.”
The four of them just watched her, like they had just seen her from a new angle and discovered some part of her previously uncovered. Lia smiled. “You’re definitely merfolk material.”
Andrea let out a choked sob. “I would hope so at this point because no human wants me. No one wants me anymore.”
Hannah shook her head. “We do. We do, Andrea. Don’t say that.”
Andrea wiped her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m trying.”
Tariana nodded encouragingly. “It’s okay. We’ve all been here before.”
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Seventeen: Mermaids Part Seven
1031 Words
Warning: Explicit depiction of suicide

“But you never have to be here again.” Lia smiled, and it was so warm, so much warmer than anything Andrea had ever seen before. “Because you’re going to be one of us now. And the waves will wash over you and that feeling just evaporates.”
Andrea sniffled. “Really? Just like that?”
Lucas nodded. “Just like that.” He snapped, the noise echoing up the rocks and straight into her heart. Andrea grinned. Just like that. Just like that, she would be worth something again, loved and wanted again.
“Okay. Tell me what to do.”
Lia clapped. “Good, good. Well, it’s simple, really. You just… jump.”
Andrea furrowed her eyebrows. “Jump? Like from the rocks into the water?”
Hannah nodded. “It’s not that high. You’ll be fine.”
Andrea took a step away from the edge. “But jumping into water hurts. Because of cohesion and surface tension. I might as well be jumping onto a bag of bricks.”
Tirana laughed. “That’s from way higher up. Nothing’s going to hurt you.”
Andrea shook her head. “No! That’s insane. I can’t jump.”
Lucas sighed. “Come on, Andrea. You’ve made it this far! Final stretch!”
Andrea eyed the water. It’s not like she could measure the fall and see if their claims were accurate. Was that a chance she was willing to take?
“Andrea. Look at me.” She looked at Lia, who was back to smiling softly. “We’ve all made this jump before. And yes, it will be scary. But it will be worth it.”
Andrea swallowed. “But-“
“But what, Andrea?” Lia sighed. “Let’s say you do turn around. Then what? You go back to the life that’s always made you feel worthless? What do you gain from that?”
Andrea sighed. “What if I jump and it doesn’t work?”
Hannah circled to float by Lia’s side. “What if you jump and it does?”
Andrea took a deep breath. “Then it would be the greatest thing in my life.”
Tirana joined Lia’s other side. “So, come on! You got this!”
Andrea took another step back. “Okay! I’m… I’m going to do it!”
Because in the end, the worst thing that would happen is she would fall to her death. And that would still be better than going home to her failed grades and disappointed family.
Lucas clapped. “We all knew you could do it, Andrea!”
Andrea grinned. It was her first genuine smile since her grade started falling. “Watch out! I’m coming in!”
The four merpeople cheered as Andrea sprinted. She didn’t think about anything else. She was going to be a mermaid. A beautiful, free, life-loving mermaid. She closed her eyes as she approached the cliff, squealing as there was suddenly nothing but air underneath her feet.
“Andrea! Andrea! Andrea!” All four of them chanted in unison as she fell. Andrea’s stomach swooped, and she felt sick, alive, and so free all at once.
And then she hit the water.
And she never knew such pain could exist.
It shot through every inch of her body. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. She could feel her beat stop beating instantly.
Lia stroked her hair. “It’s okay. It’s okay. I know it hurts. It’ll be worth it. All that pain is necessary.”
Andrea couldn’t respond. She couldn’t breathe long enough to choke out a word. She couldn’t move her broken neck enough to nod. Her vision tunneled.
Lia smiled, but it seemed… hollow now. Lia seemed hollow. “It’s alright. Just breathe.”
Andrea stopped fighting and just let herself blackout. The last thing she saw before her vision faded was an empty ocean and an evaporating mist where the merpeople once were.
xxxxx
A few hours later, the rocks are taped off by police tape. Officer Elsa Hoffman, a tired woman who just wants to go home to see her kids, crossed the line with a sick feeling in her stomach. She approached Officer Timothy Randall, an old coworker of hers. “Talk to me, hotshot. What’s going on?”
Officer Randall sighed, fixing his glasses. “Forensics thinks it’s suicide. No evidence of foul play.”
On the beach below, a forensic team lifted a girl’s body into a body bag. Even from this distance, it’s easy to tell she’s young. Far too young to do something like this. Officer Hoffman sighed. “That’s what, the fourth one on this beach alone?”
“Fifth.” Officer Randall shook his head. “Don’t forget that boy last spring.”
Officer Hoffman hissed. “A real hotbed. How do people stomach coming here? Knowing that kid after kid keeps throwing themselves off of this cliff. Makes me sick.”
Officer Randall shrugged. “People don’t think about it, I guess. It’s not like they can change it now.”
She rolled her eyes. “Give me the information. Who was this girl?”
“An Andrea O’Connell. She disappeared yesterday at around six am, left a note for her parents saying that she hoped not to return, was caught on camera riding a bus to the Missonary Beach Station, and appears to have walked from there.”
“And no one stopped her?”
“Nope.”
Officer Hoffman groaned. “Unbelievable.”
She imagined her little girl, who had just turned five a month ago, growing up to do something like this. How did Andrea’s parents never notice? She must’ve felt so alone.
Officer Randall sighed. “You can’t blame every pedestrian for not keeping her safe.”
“You’d understand if you had kids.”
He snorted. “Never going to happen. Just because you and the missus couldn’t wait to have them doesn’t mean my wife and I feel the same way.”
“I know, I know. But have a heart. I’d rather be driving a crying teenager home than watching forensics drag away her body for an autopsy.”
“That was nothing to do with having children. That’s called being a decent human being. But you still can’t blame every pedestrian. It’s not illegal for teenagers to be outside.”
Officer Hoffman sighed. “I hate it when you’re right, you know?”
Officer Randall sighed and pulled her into a side hug. “I’m sorry. I know you hate these cases.”
She sighed. “But there’s nothing to be done. I just wish I knew what made her jump.”
“I don’t think anyone can know that but her.”
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Eighteen: The Backrooms Part One
1007 Words

I can hear some of you readers now.
“Oh, poor Andrea! I really thought she was going to become a mermaid!”
“So, did all of the other mermaids commit suicide too?”
“Why did you randomly include a police officer instead of just telling us she had died?”
And, honestly, I can see why you’re asking them. I have become your narrator. My job is to answer all of your questions, and hope you’re satisfied enough to keep reading. I really drew the short stick with this job.
Well, here it goes. Yes, poor Andrea. It is sad when you mortals extinguish your already incredibly short lifespans. Sea sponges outlive you, and yet, that’s still far too long for some of you. But there’s nothing I can really say that will change your mind. At least nothing you haven’t heard before. It gets better. Just go for a jog. Stay calm. But what I can say that maybe you can at least consider for a moment is that I have seen entire galaxies collapse. I was there when the universe was born. But there are few things more fascinating than a human’s life. And sure, sea sponges live for over two thousand years. But they can’t human. And you can, reader. And that has to mean something.
And that is all you’ll be hearing from me on the subject. I am not infatuated with your species, and I will not ramble for hundreds of words. Do not expect me to. I am a professional.
As for whether or not the other mermaids committed suicide, well, you read the story. I’m sure you can figure it out. And, if not, then I guess you’ll just have to wonder.
And for the third question.
Well, the answer will become evident in time.
Regardless, our story doesn’t have anything to do with Andrea. Today, our story is about a twenty-five-year-old named Mx. Ollie Ketcher. They had recently graduated from college and had gotten their first office job. Their parents were incredibly happy for them; their girlfriend, Betty, took them out to a celebratory dinner. Life was well except for one main thing.
No one told them that an office job would be so dreadfully dull.
Every day was a photocopy of yesterday. The weekends were just last weekend on repeat. And soon, each month was just last month on loop. Ollie felt like they were going insane. People did this for their entire lives? Retired after forty, fifty years? And somehow managed to not either jump off a building or murder an entire grocery store’s worth of people?
Ollie decided that everyone who told them that an office job was a good idea was either a very bright shade of delusional or straight-up lying. But Ollie was stuck. They didn’t have a backup plan, and their major was in business. That didn’t translate to any other field. Besides, maybe it was just this office they hated. Once they found a better place, maybe they would like it more. They just needed some time to adjust from college to working. So, they made plans to switch to a new office. They made plans to tell Betty about how they were feeling. They made plans to quit.
But I’ve noticed that life has a habit of spitting on plans. Laughing at you as it stomps them into the ground and rips them apart. Life was no different for Ollie when one day, on a coffee run, they took a left to make it back to their desk. The same left they always took. Nothing different. Nothing new.
But this time, they tripped. And they fell.
They fell for much longer than it took to hit the floor.
They landed on carpet, which was odd already because their office had hardwood floors. Even worse, the carpet was damp and smelled of mothballs and mold. Ollie gagged, forcing themself to their feet as fast as possible.
They weren’t in the office anymore.
Because as awful as the job was, at least they had the decency to have furniture. And their building didn’t have yellow wallpaper. And that mold? That was an OSHA violation. So where were they? And how did they end up there by tripping in their perfectly normal office building?
They pulled their phone out of their pocket. Excellent, no cell service. So texting for help was not an option. So was looking up what exactly to do when teleporting to a strange, moldy building. They sighed, taking in the layout of the place.
It just looked like meaningless hallways, all curving and connecting to form each room. Again and again. Over and over. Like a loop. They shook their head. It couldn’t be a loop. Loops went on forever, and buildings were finite spaces. So, Ollie just needed to get over themself. Maybe finding the exit would help. They took off their soaked sweater and dropped it. It’s not like they would need it anymore.
Alright, Ollie. Let’s see about getting out of here.
They walked through the hallway right in front of them. The fluorescents hummed so loudly above them that it was almost violent, and the carpet squelched beneath their feet. The mold on the walls only made the fading yellow of the wallpaper look sickly. Ollie choked back their disgust and continued forward. How old was this building? How was this allowed? Who owned it?
Ollie stopped to think about it for a few seconds. The building wasn’t in use. There was no furniture. But, then again, there was power. The very loud, needlessly bright lights proved that. Did they somehow end up in some sort of haunted house? A haunted hallway?
And none of that explained how Ollie got there. They had just been walking along. Making their way back to their desk on their perfectly stable office floor when they tripped. Even if they had fallen through the floor to the level below them, it wouldn’t lead here. There was nothing like this in their office building.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Nineteen: The Backrooms Part Two
1004 words

They would not work at said office building if there were.
“Hello? Anyone down here?”
There was no reply, just echoing silence. Ollie squirmed.
“Oh, I don’t like this. Not at all. Nope.”
They took a deep breath and looked around. Their brief walk forward showed no way out. They turned around just to see their progress.
The hallway was completely different. They had just walked straight to get here. Now all that was behind them was a sharp turn right. They screeched. Nope. Nope! That was not normal. That was not how buildings… buildinged! And no, they didn’t care if that wasn’t a word. Not when the hallways moved.
They checked the bars on their phone again—still nothing. The whole situation thoroughly doomed them. How were they supposed to get out? Was there a way out?
They slapped their wrist. No! There was a way out! There had to be.
“Alright, Ollie. How do you escape a maze? Where the walls constantly shift? And you’re pretty sure the air is slowly poisoning you?” They laughed nervously. “Oh, dear.”
Now, the surefire way to reach the exit of a maze was to run your hand along the nearest barrier and follow it to the end. But Ollie was a little hesitant to touch the molding, peeling walls. Sure, the mold wasn’t black, but that didn’t make it any less revolting. Ollie would just follow it with their eyes. That had to work, right? They looked at the wall and slowly walked along it, trying to ignore how the squelching of their shoes was just a bit louder than the lights. Oh, a headache was coming on from the assault on their senses. Were they dying? Was this air going to kill them? Mold did weird things to air.
“I’m going to die without ever quitting my job.”
They felt sick. But they couldn’t throw up. That would be losing moisture, and they had no water on them. And they definitely weren’t licking the carpet for relief. That would only kill them faster.
They walked in silence for five minutes? Fifteen? An hour? Every curve of the wall just led them down another sickly yellow hallway. The same soggy carpet. The same buzzing fluorescents. Ollie definitely had a raging headache now. They rubbed their temples.
“Hey!”
Ollie nearly jumped out of their skin. There was someone else in here? “Hello? Can you hear me?”
“Hey!”
The voice was slightly closer now. Was that… was that Betty? That sounded like her soft voice. Ollie could imagine her so clearly in a pastel summer dress and a cute pair of flats. Not suited for this nightmare. “Betty? Betty, is that you?”
“Hey! Where are you?”
Ollie looked around. “In the hallway? I don’t know.”
It was silent for a beat before Betty spoke again. “Where are you?”
Ollie sighed. “Where are you? I won’t be much help. I can try to follow your voice too.”
Betty didn’t reply until a good thirty seconds later. “Where are you?”
Ollie sighed. Maybe she wasn’t hearing them. “Hold on!” They trudged toward the direction of Betty’s voice. “I’m coming!”
“Hey!”
Ollie flinched again. Betty sounded closer now. Way closer. “Betty?”
“Where are you?”
Ollie sighed. “I’m right here! You sound just around the corner. Just-”
“Where are you?”
Ollie blinked. Why wasn’t Betty listening to her? Or hearing her? Were the hallways noise-canceling? “Betty?”
Silence for almost a full minute. “Where are you?”
Ollie sighed. “Just stay still. I’m going to find you.” They took a left turn, abandoning their wall walking.
“Hey!”
Ollie screamed. Betty sounded right behind them now. When did that happen? They whirled around. “Betty!”
But there was no one there.
Ollie blinked. “Betty?” They walked in the direction her voice had been, turning to look down two turns. Nope. Betty was nowhere to be seen.
“Oh, I hate this. Oh, I don’t like this.”
They turned around to continue the path they were taking, only to run face-first into a wall.
It was a dead end now. The first dead end Ollie had seen. So far, the hallways seemed never-ending. But here was a wall, closing off what used to be a full network of passageways. Ollie should have been glad. It was a sign that there was a limit. The hallways weren’t endless. They led somewhere. There was a way out.
But, that wall was terrifying. Somehow, it felt like the hallways continued behind it, but the building didn’t want them there anymore. Like they lost that right.
“Hello?”
They knocked on the wall gently, as if that could undo whatever made the building decide to kick them out.
The wall screeched, screaming so loudly that Ollie covered their ears and collapsed onto their knees, cowering in place as the noise assaulted them. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
The wall screamed for another minute before it fell silent all at once. Ollie didn’t move, still covering their ears. Tears streaked down their face, the liquid of the carpet soaking into the pants of their suit. They gasped for breath. What kind of building was this? Where you could hear the disembodied voices of loved ones and the walls screamed at you?
Ollie stood up on shaking legs and backed away slowly, their eyes never straying from the carpet right in front of the screaming wall. They didn’t know what had angered the building, but they didn’t want to do it again. They didn’t look up until their back hit a wall. They gasped. Were they boxed in? Were they now forever trapped in the same five-foot stretch of hallway?
They glanced to their right. There was more hallway there. They had just hit a turn. They laughed in relief, sprinting down the hallway without looking back. Their ears hurt slightly from the scream and their headache was only getting worse, but they weren’t trapped! That had to count for something. Ollie was going to hold on to the very few positives they could scrape together.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  





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Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:00 am
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WeepingWisteria says...



Week Twenty

1001 Words
Soon, Ollie stumbled back into a confusing crossroads. The hallway branched off in four directions: behind them, forward, left, and right. Backward was definitely out of the question. Ollie would never go in that direction. They walked forward a bit, glancing into each of the hallways. They appeared to be normal. Well, this place’s definition of normal. The branching hallways seemed to sprawl out like the roots of a tree. All garbled, confusing, and messy. What architect would design this? Who would pay for this building?
They glanced at the mold along the walls. No one. No one had paid for this building, and it had become a grand scale OSCHA violation. They hadn’t even seen any windows. Or doors. Or any other room except hallways. The interior looked like a poorly designed office building, but there was no office space.
Ollie took a deep breath. None of that helped them now. Now, they just needed to pick a direction and go. Go until they found an exit. Go until they saw Betsy again, the real Betsy, and took her on a date again because Ollie would take her on a date again. Soon. They wouldn’t be stuck here forever. They couldn’t be.
Maybe they’d even break out the ring they’ve been saving. If at any moment, you could be swallowed by your office floor and end up trapped in some demented maze, maybe it was best to do it soon instead of wait.
They held out their left hand. Imagine that. Engaged and working an office job. The complete American dream.
Once they found an office job that didn’t make them want to hide in their own grave.
They looked up at the left hallway. Maybe that’s the best place to go.
They squared their shoulders and marched onward. For Betsy. For themselves.
The left door was more of the same routine. Tear away the confusing, borderline psychedelic pattern of the hallways; in the end, it was just routine. Just like every day would be the same, even if the details of each one were different. In the end, no matter the shape of the curves or the number of dizzying, impossible branches, it was the same thing.
Ollie felt sick.
They took out their phone again. Still no service. No texts from anyone who might’ve noticed they were missing. They sighed.
“This is awful.”
Their voice echoed slightly. It made sense. Empty rooms with no furniture tended to echo. But it didn’t feel like that. It felt like someone had just repeated back their words like there was someone in the walls just hanging on to every syllable. Ollie shuddered. They were going to need some intense therapy after this. Maybe they could pin it as a terrible nightmare. A kidnapping and drug trip combination?
“Mx. Ketcher?”
Ollie nearly jumped out of their skin. Another voice. That hadn’t ended well last time.
Besides, wasn’t that… their boss’ voice?
“Mx. Ketcher. I know you can hear me.”
Braydon Coleman, otherwise known as Ollie and a handful of others’ boss, was a miserable man. A man so unhappy that his presence made the room appear dimmer. He was almost always frowning, complaining about company numbers, or moaning about how awful it was to be married. In my professional opinion, if he had been married in the 1950s, he’s the type of man whose wife would deal with a nice homecooked meal… with a light seasoning of arsenic.
But unfortunately, he was born in the era of highly accurate forensic investigation, so he survived. Because you humans seem to become more impervious to life’s trouble the worse you are.
Ollie pressed themself against the molding wall, their breath coming out in short gasps. Another voice. They didn’t like this at all.
“Mx. Ketcher?”
They heard footsteps in the distance. “Are you down here?”
Wait. Footsteps. Which meant feet. Which meant a body.
Which meant Mr. Coleman’s voice had to come from an actual body.
Ollie stepped back into the middle of the hallway. “Mr. Coleman?”
“Mx. Ketcher! Thank goodness!”
Ollie stumbled backward. That was already different. Betsy’s fake voice never responded directly to anything they said. But, Mr. Coleman seemed to recognize what they said. “Mr. Coleman! Where are you?”
“A bit further down the hallway. Just keep walking.”
Ollie frowned. “Sir? Can you not walk to me? I just had a nasty run-in-”
“Mx. Ketcher, I don’t have time for silly games. Walk forward. To me.”
Ollie sighed. Right. Even in a life-or-death situation where they both could die in a maze, Mr. Coleman would still be Mr. Coleman.
“Fine, sir. Please. Don’t fatigue yourself. Wouldn’t want you to lift a finger to help.”
Mr. Coleman huffed. “Just keep walking.”
Ollie batted the air. “Fine! I am, I am.” They marched forward. Oh, they couldn’t wait to quit! Just hand in their resignation and watch the displeasure bloom across that miserable little man’s face. Maybe that’s why their job was so boring. Because he just wanted to make everyone suffer.
They took a step forward, only for the hallway to change. Was it just their imagination, or was it at an incline now? Very slight, but definitely there. That was new. The hallways had all been level up to this point. Why would they start changing now?
“Mr. Coleman? What floor are you on?”
He huffed. “Just keep walking! I don’t have time.”
Ollie rolled their eyes. “Right. No time. So sorry.” They just kept going, the incline so slight they didn’t even feel any burn in their legs. They probably only noticed because of the monotony. Any tiny difference was blaring. They marched forward. “Mr. Coleman! Are you at least moving forward?”
Mr. Coleman growled. “Shut up. Please.”
Ollie flinched. What was that about? Mr. Coleman had never said anythin glike that before. Why would he do that now? That was rude and unproffesional. And while he was a miserable old man, he wasn’t unprofessional in the slightest. Ollie frowned.
She/They/Fae

“the wist i knew would never allow a straight boy in their stories” ~Omni
“Hi Omni can I request wist get the role mom friend :]" ~winter
“ah yes, fear Wist's smile :) <- speaks of layers and layers of secrets” ~mint
  








"Everything you can imagine is real."
— Pablo Picasso