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16+ Language

A Day in the Life

by ToiriX

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

His eyes creaked open as his alarm shrieked unapologetically into his ear. For a slight moment he sat unaware of everything, existing without qualm or emotion. He always could right after waking up - in a weird way, it was pleasant. But, as they always did, his thoughts caught up to him and that voice started to echo in his head.

“Piece of shit.”

He sighed, rubbing his eyes before beginning to stretch and wake up. His laptop sat next to him, the heat emanating from it nearly burning him as he reached to pick it up. He left it on last night; an untyped document staring back at him, the book he’d promised himself to write as unfinished as ever and the blinking cursor an eternal reminder of his failure. He’d managed to write a sentence, at least. Though it didn’t stay - he deleted it in a flurry of self-hatred after he reread it and decided it was the worst piece of writing ever conceived of.

“That’s right, you piece of garbage. You can’t do it.”

As he reached down and placed his laptop on its designated spot on the floor, his eyes locked with the underside of his bed, trash scattered and dust flurrying with the movement. He stared at it, emotionless; if he ever did get around to cleaning it, it’d probably be super annoying.

‘Another time, then,’ he thought.

As he sat back up, he flipped his hair back, running his fingers over his scalp. He quickly reached for a hair tie and messily tied it into a topknot before standing up and peering through his closed blinds. The day was… dreary. An endless sea of clouds stretched out in the sky before him and mist sat unmoving on the ground. The sun peered over the horizon, warning of another day to come.

Outside a lone car zipped by, speeding much too quickly over the slick residential road. The engine roared as it passed, almost like it was showing off directly to him. Irritation covered his face. People like that, people who needed to have their existence known and validated were the people who annoyed him most.


His eyes widened and anxiety filled him, terrified of the thought that had just occurred. He quickly closed the blind he had lifted up and began his routine of getting ready for the day, though he found the term “routine” to be more indulging than it should be. He put on the cleanest clothing he could find before heading to the bathroom to brush his teeth and rinse his face. He paused for a moment afterwards, taking it to stare at himself in the mirror without thought.

The face that stared back at him was emotionless and detached. Deep bags sat under its eyes, and while its skin was clear, it was covered in the greasiness that came from extended neglect. He hadn’t bothered to shave in a while so he had quite a bit of stubble over his chin line and upper lip. His head tipped slightly to the left as he leaned in; he vacantly glared into his own eyes, thinking about nothing in particular. Inside his eyes he saw oceans of green and blue - a world unexplored inside the colorful irises contrasting with the black holes which resided in them.

He held that position for a moment, the detachment he often felt from his own existence increasing exponentially as he stared at this person in the mirror. The sensation of being a spectator of some story rather than the pilot of his own was an indescribable feeling, but not a bad one. If nothing else, he at least recognised it, right?

He shrugged indifferently before turning the valve which controlled the always-too-hot water to the left. The mindless noise of the water falling against the porcelain sink came to an end, and the shrieking of the people downstairs filled his ears as he walked out of the bathroom.

He grudged down the stairs as he placed his fingers on his temples. The cool flesh provided relief for the headache he only just realized he had. As he passed the barrier that blocked him from their eyesight, his eyes met all of theirs.


“Oh, hey man. What’s up?”

Jason had a smile on his face. That mindless, meaningless smile that he could never find the strength to put on himself. He was dressed in his full getup; they always did that the day of a game, every player went to school in uniform. Amos had always found it strange.

Jason’s his younger brother. He’s the face of perfection; grades, popularity, sports, you name it. He does it all.

The worst part about it? He’s genuinely a good person. Jason never looked down on him or judged him for everything that happens; he just supported him fully.

“Yet you still hate him.”

Judgment, jealousy, whatever you want to call it.

“You want it. His life. But you can’t stand that, can you?”

Neither verbalized it, but there was a wall in between them. One that towered over them, the end nowhere in sight.

“You piece of shit.”

Amos smiled, a tired yet completely real expression covering his face.

“Not much. The games today? Who are y’all playing?”

Jason paused for a second, puzzlement in his eyes for a moment as he registered and thought of the answer.


He didn’t know or care who they were.

“You’re coming, right? It’ll be a great game.”

The literal last thing he wanted to do was go to that game. The masses of people and noise annoyed him beyond belief.

“I think so, but it really depends on homework and stuff today. I’ll try and do most of it during break, though.”

Amos continued down the stairs, soon reaching the table and pulling out his chair. His mom served him a plate, so visually perfect it almost seemed unreal. Eggs, bacon and toast lined up with visible steam rising up from it.

His dad spoke up, almost choking as he slapped his chest to clear his throat.

“Amos, dude, you gotta come. I know you’re not super into football, but you only get to go to high school once.”

Another cough. “It’s an experience, you know?” He waved his hands as he emphasized the word, gesturing in a grandiose manner.

His mother interjected.

“I know you’re not telling him to blow off his homework to go to a football game.”

His dad’s eyes widened as he scrambled to try and burrow himself out of the hole he put himself in.

“No, no, I would never.” He quickly changed the topic before she got a chance to speak more.

“Anyway, y’all have to get going, right? It’s almost 8:30.”

“Oh shit, right.” Jason spoke up. “Can you drive?”

Amos grabbed his keys off of the rack as they both swiftly walked towards the door; he didn’t have a particular need or want to go to school, but it was better than nothing. After all, what would he be doing at home?

As they rushed out, Amos caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. The movement blurred it, but his eyes looked even more dreary than usual. The sight almost made him laugh; him and Jason were so starkly contrasted, but somehow he was still the older brother.

If Jason ever became like him, Amos would slap him across the face.


The drive to school was the same as it always is; the same sights rushed past his eyes, the same people going about their boring lives.

What exactly did they live for? What’s the point in going about a meaningless life just to die in the end? Did they have something that he lacked?

His eyes drifted over to his right, to Jason sitting on his phone in the passenger seat.

“Meaningless, huh?”

He shook his head slightly, picturing the thoughts as little drops that fell out of his head with the movement. Sometimes he had to do that to clear his head.

They pulled into the parking lot, the line of cars seemingly infinite as the ones in the front looked for a spot among the mass of cars. As with most other schools, it was terribly designed and completely overpriced.

They were going to be late. Amos dropped his head back onto the headrest, not out of frustration, moreso boredom.

“Hey, how are you doing?” Jason inquired as they sat stationary. “I want to be here for you, just to talk if nothing else.”

Amos internally chuckled. Was he that transparent?

“Eh, I guess,” He told the truth; he had no reason to lie, even if he thought it wouldn’t help much. “I’ll live.”

Amos glanced over, and feigned a coy smile. Jason mimicked him, his expression just as fake.

They sat in silence for the rest of the ride. Amos parked and they parted ways, each walking to the door closest to their respective class. Amos walked with a brisk pace; the mist had fallen over the school and surrounding area, the weight crushing him as he trudged through it.

Finally, he reached the door. On the wall next to it there was a little button that acted as a doorbell that was connected to a camera, meant to keep anyone who wasn’t supposed to be there out.

“You know, the people they are trying to keep out would just force their way in anyway.”

His face contorted as he reached in to press the button. Why is it that the voice inside his head had to be so… depressing? He couldn’t just think like a normal person?

He tried to drown the voice out by imagining the camera as a little house for someone who peeked out to inspect each visitor.

“That’s even less useful.”


Today was a blue day. Amos had classes in every period; boring, mindless classes that made him want to sink through the world and fall straight down into nothingness. As he walked through the halls, he stopped at the vending machine and grabbed a bag of chips. Like most mornings, he hadn’t managed to actually eat breakfast.

As he stopped, he heard a voice echo through the halls from the direction he just came from. He recognized it as the school security officer, an overweight balding man who got off on yelling at underaged kids for nothing.

“Get to class,” he shouted, his voice cracking as he tried to project it. “You’re already late.”

Amos turned towards him, locking eyes with him as the vending machine slowly twisted its coil to drop his snack. It fell into the little section that connected to the swinging door, and Amos continued their staring contest as he leaned down and reached in. He purposely moved in slow motion as he opened the bag and continued his walk down the hall.

He slowed his pace even more as he approached the classroom. First period was biology; he wasn’t allowed food or drink in the lab, so he had to finish before he reached the classroom. After he held the empty bag above his head to empty out the crumbs, he ducked into the empty classroom that he passed and threw the crumpled bag away.

As he finally reached the doorway of the classroom, he glanced down at his phone and noted the time- he was ten minutes late.

In the classroom sat a sea of heads all intently focusing down at their papers. Upon opening the door some glanced up in curiosity, but none held their glance as they realized the cause of the disruption.

‘Shit,’ Amos cursed himself, ‘Did we have a test today?’

He scanned the room.

“No, dumbass. They’re just all taking this for fun.”

He slowly walked to the front of the room, grabbing a test sheet and scantron from their designated piles before heading to the back of the classroom to grab one of the few empty seats. The chair screeched as he pulled it back, the grated metal bearings screaming against the tiled floor. He cringed; the sound was terrible, but worse off loud. It echoed through the whole classroom.

The test was a stack of papers stapled together; though the actual weight of them was light, it felt like a brick in his hand. The thick stack intimidated him - he had no idea how many questions there were.

Amos stared at the words on his paper, but didn’t actually read them. The letters made words that he could understand, sure, but putting them into a sentence lacked sense altogether.

Worst thing is, he was actually pretty interested in biology. He just… couldn’t get into it.

The characters’ lines morphed together. The lines became blurred as he stared more intently at it, then the paragraph as a whole became a splot of black in his vision.

Amos pictured himself still taking the test, an old and withered figure sitting at the rusted desk. He had seemingly infinite pages of text scattered around him, but hadn’t managed to make a dent in the stack that still sat on the desk, defying logic itself with how large it seemed to be.

He forcefully shook his head, focusing his eyes again as he brought himself back to reality. He stared down at the paper again, only to be struck with the same problem as before. Regardless, he grabbed his pencil and rested his arm on the desk, ready to write.

He wrote the name “Amos Selva” on the line at the very top of the paper. His pencil was dull. The wooden portion overshot the lead on one side, making his pencil strokes jagged. He turned his attention to the adjacent line that marked the date.

Another staring contest ensued. Amos stared passionately at the empty line as he tried to remember the day’s date.


He glanced up to the clock.

Fifteen minutes had passed. 

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639 Reviews

Points: 77074
Reviews: 639

Mon Mar 06, 2023 7:19 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...


RandomTalks here with a short review!

I liked the idea behind this character sketch you have presented us with - its even more intriguing because Amos truly seems to be a conflicted person, caught between a vicious cycle of indifference and negativity in life. You seem to have a deep understanding of your character and it shows in your narration throughout the story.

Narration and Description:

You have a really well developed writing style and it made reading this story a truly enjoyable experience. The depth of your narration and your careful focus on the thoughts of the character emphasized the almost monotonous progression of the events of the day. The descriptions peppered throughout the story painted a grey and dull world. It matched the tone of the story very appropriately and complimented the working of the character's mind, allowing us to view his version of this despondent world through his eyes. For example,, here:

An endless sea of clouds stretched out in the sky before him and mist sat unmoving on the ground. The sun peered over the horizon, warning of another day to come.

This simple description serves multiple purposes here. For one, it sets the mood of the story at the beginning and helps us visualize the scene. It also gives us a glimpse into Amos's mind and helps us to connect with this character who insists on viewing the world through greys and blues. Although, here I did face some difficulty in imagining the 'mist sitting unmoving on the ground'. I personally always imagine mist as moving and suspended in the air, but your version of it does paint a more drab and still visual which fits into the narrative of the story.

Character and Story:

Now coming to the character of Amos, I think you were very sure of what you wanted to show us and how you wanted to portray him. At the very beginning of the story, we are introduced to his 'inner voice'. I interpret it as a manifestation of our internal thoughts and emotions that we guard from the world in fear of judgement or rejection from the world. Therefore it is a little concerning that Amos's voice is constantly berating him, demoralizing him and putting him down at every opportunity. It is especially interesting because we know that Amos is the source behind the voice and it shows his tendency to belittle himself. Not only does he engage in negative self-talk but he seems to be stuck in its perpetual and destructive cycle. His cynicism and negative outlook towards life does not just seem to be a result of teenage angst or a despondent mood - it feels more like a state of existence for him.

However, I feel that in order to be able to completely empathize with him, we don't just need to identify and understand his negativity, but we also need to understand the reason behind it. This is something you have largely missed out on here. You have showed us your character, but you havent really told us how he came to be here. As a result, although we see Amos and feel sorry for him, we fail to really understand him and empathize.
He held that position for a moment, the detachment he often felt from his own existence increasing exponentially as he stared at this person in the mirror. The sensation of being a spectator of some story rather than the pilot of his own was an indescribable feeling, but not a bad one.

Here, for example, you have addressed a very complex feeling that no teenager should be familiar with. The fact that Amos is so comfortable with being detached suggests that this is not a new feeling for him. However, the intensity of this scene feels somewhat less genuine because of the lack of character story behind it. I feel that this scene including many others in the story would have been way more meaningful, if we could just understand where Amos is coming from and what all of this means for him.

Plot and Progression:

Like you said, this is a character sketch of a struggling person and therefore, the story is its character. The lack of action or events or resolution at the end did not bother me because I took the story for what it was - a glimpse into the life of a person. I especially liked how the different parts of the story felt like different and separate acts, that seamlessly progressed from one to another. I enjoyed the interactions between the family members and the dynamics you portrayed between the two brothers. I thought you were trying to imply something there, but Amos's family comes across as really kind and supportive people who are not totally oblivious to what he is going through.

Amos pictured himself still taking the test, an old and withered figure sitting at the rusted desk.

Like another reviewer pointed out, the ending felt a little inconclusive to me. There were gaps in the narration that made it a little difficult to understand what was happening, at least during the first read. I interpreted it as a culmination of all of Amos's tendencies - his detachment from the world, his negativity, his living inside his own head. It all led to a physical experience where we as readers actually got to witness just how deeply all of it impacts his daily life, causing him to lose significant moments of time where he is just lost and unaware and unable to function. The ending was abrupt but it served as an extremely foreboding line, the simplicity and shortness of the statement suggests that he not only lost fifteen minutes of his life, but a little more of the battle against his inner demons.

Overall, this made for an intriguing read and I am glad you shared it with us!

Keep writing and have a great day!

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6 Reviews

Points: 89
Reviews: 6

Fri Feb 10, 2023 11:03 am
jadeactor wrote a review...

I kinda like the concept but I don’t really understand the ending. Anyway, I like the idea of the idea of a guy having voices berating him, it’s a nice idea I incorporate in my stories as well. You would do better to write the thoughts in italic font though. Anyway, make clearer ending, clear up the story, and you will do well. Very nice story with lots of potential to be something greater. Keep all this up!

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