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Rally of Mouths

by theobliviousoracle


Rally of Mouths

- Waning Moonlight



The long queue of ants is hungrily savoring the honey rimming off the plates, the delighting bakery above them already been infiltrated and devoured the day passed by the same brigade; the sweet and salty pleasantries, the day before. The ants seem to have contracted the humane affliction of Long-tongue,; moving on from one dish to another every attack; as if wanting to taste every dish in their tiny flickering lifetimes.

The sweets had gone sour over the days they'd been sitting there, with legs wide open, waiting to be savored. All it has seen, though, is a lot of sighing from the bundle of life sprawled on the cot beside the table and the gang of the ants, pinching on it and tearing away every ounce of flesh it once used to have. The milk in which some of it used to float once, has hardened into a sour resin, petrified of the spine chilling wind howling around. The leftovers, yellowed, now stick to the surface, mouths open like newborn cocoons waiting to live their last before dying.

I've lived for millenniums now, seen so long and queer that the old man crippling in the cot seems no different than the joyous cry of an infant, but as much as I've come to know him, I feel his crippling pain and I feel the darkness that surrounds him. I've seen it shroud him when he was born at his mother's home, 90 years ago, I've seen him snore on the ground beside when his parents conceived his brother on this very cot; I've seen it break and stand up again. Around it, I've seen him grow, I've seen him boast of his brother, I've seen him weep on the same sibling's death and I've felt the guilty relief he felt when he finally let go of the longing.

I've seen him in his younger days, newly married, a small time scrounger and also, when he got his own job. I've seen him work harder than any man on the face of Earth, I've seen his resolve, I've seen it breaking. I've seen him jump on food seconds after he returned home but till this day, I'd never seen turn away his nourishing dollop this way.

The neighbors have just had their fourth offspring, a girl, judging by the amount of celebration I could see. The husband, being his colleague, and thus being aware of his inefficiency to walk down to their home 10 meters away to have his meal, had it delivered by his eldest: again a girl.

17, she was dark and small, quite fond of the old man, from what I saw, came to set the meal on his table. Due to the pressing engagements back home, she could not stop for a moment to conduct an exchange. Still, that was the last time any living thing was in the vicinity of the cot; that is, deducting the creatures from the ramified entrails of god's gut seeking roof over their heads, a wall around.

The old man remembered when he had his only child, name him something you like, his son, and how proud he'd been. He'd thrown a feast for everyone exactly where he laid right now, curled up in a piteous  coil of uselessness. Everyone had gathered around congratulating the mother and the father, so happy in the moment that they'd almost forgotten they could never have another child ever again. Something wrong with her child bearing bag, that's how much his illiterate brain had understood when the doctor told them. At first it'd hurt, but then at that moment, they were too happy to think about it and from what I recall, it was never brought up again.

Somewhere along the lines of then, he'd decided to educate his son. A bizarre idea to begin with; the wife even suspected for a moment if her husband had finally gone mad for good, but he had resolved, and he stood against all odds to educate his son.

He'd take breaks from work to come home and check on the lad, would then tell his wife to align her routine according to him and then to leave her job, of a house-maid, if it were of some help for the student. By some miracle, the lad excelled, getting the first division in high school and then 5 years later, Gold medalist in his bachelor-graduation. He was instantly hired by some multinational corporation salaried at, think of a shiny number, way too much for the time, way too much for the lot.

On a different side of the globe, the couple had had their child studying - a totally ludicrous and stupid thing to begin with, she'd reinstated - on their sweat and blood. The old man had started to suffer from blood flow irregularities and somehow his lungs hadn't done their work all too well recently. The future is pleasant; that's what they'd told themselves and not once, they'd complained. They were sinking in a pool of debt and by the time they were fortunate enough to see their son actually earn, they were neck deep in the quicksand, with goons coming twice a day to threaten.

It was when the lad offered to pay half of his earning every month, for a year and as luck had it in it's tenaciously fickle mind, the year changed everything. The cloud of expectations back home were just too much for the lad now, to handle and when, a month later his father crossed him with the permission to marry a girl he loved from, think of a lovely place, and tried to force other impudence on him, his patience burst. Cursing them at the top of his voice, when he shot out of that cottage, that was the last he was seen by them. Seemingly an overreaction, a mistake; as seen by the parents who were assured he'd come back waited for the lad who decided, somewhere on his way out, to never look back. He'd seen enough of pushing. At the start, apart from the loan installments came their monthly allowance; but as time flew, neither the son came, nor the money.

Some five, ten years later, the wife started having fever all the time, a strange shape swelling in her belly accompanied with intolerable bellows. Even then, when they wanted a doctor, they couldn't afford him. The next year saw the pain grow and the air stabbing shrieks of the woman grow along with the helplessness of the man. He couldn't see his beloved scream in pain and one day, unconsciously, he heard himself pray, 'Oh gods! Kill her.'

At first he couldn't loathe himself more for even thinking so but a month later, when the wails became her language, he went to a reverent saint one morning and told the priest to do arrange a big scale worship of the Lord of Death. He prayed for her well being and asked the gods to give her a long life ahead. He didn't ask anything for himself and asked gods to take care of their son's family. He, then carried one of the grapes offered to the Lord with him for her and fed it.

Next morning, she died. The lad never returned.

And now, looking at the stars shining in the sky through the window he'd been constantly looking through for hours for the simple reason that he couldn't move his neck, his thoughts steer towards his end, his own impending death. He thinks, would it have hurt her to die, to feel the life going out of the lungs, to feel the heart finally stop beating, to feel the soul soar out of body, never looking back?

He thinks about the lad and where he could have improvised, so as to have been a better father now. Would he be thinking the same right now, the lad, to have been a better son? He wondered how the girl must look now, besides his son, and what she thought of him. He wondered if he had any grandchildren.

He thinks about the neighbor's eldest, and now that she'd be the only one missing him, thanks her for being there. He takes relief in the knowledge that after his death, when her family would take over his paraphernalia, she'd at least get more space on the floor to sleep. He lets himself be happy about it before drifting off to sleep.

Next I hear, the damp sunlight tells me he died; and the last he thought, he sought forgiveness, from no one in particular, for he'd poisoned the grape.


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231 Reviews


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Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:30 am
myjaspercat wrote a review...



Hey theobliviousoracle,
Myjaspercat here to leave you a review...

Brief warning, I haven't written a review in a while now so I may mess it up. If I don't and I sound rude, I apologize ahead of time.

Spoiler! :

The long queue of ants is hungrily savoring the honey rimming off the plates, the delighting bakery above them already been infiltrated and devoured the day passed by the same brigade; the sweet and salty pleasantries, the day before. This sentence is rather wordy and for the most part (in my opinion is a little confusing) maybe you could try and clean it up a bit. The ants seem to have contracted the humane affliction of Long-tongue,; why with the double punctuation, choose one, preferably just the comma. moving on from one dish to another every attack; as if wanting to taste every dish in their tiny flickering lifetimes.

The sweets had gone sour over the days they'd been sitting there, with legs wide open, waiting to be savored. All it has seen, though, is a lot of sighing from the bundle of life sprawled on the cot beside the table and the gang of the ants, pinching on it and tearing away every ounce of flesh it once used to have. Ok so few things here, you start off the paragraph by 'the sweets' giving the impression of multiple sweets, later being backed by the use of the word "they'd". However, afterwards you go on to give detail about the sweets but you use nouns that make it seem like there is only one sweet. The milk in which some of it used to float once, has hardened into a sour resin, petrified of the spine chilling wind howling around. The leftovers, yellowed, now stick to the surface, mouths open like newborn cocoons waiting to live their last before dying. Live their last what?

I've lived for millenniums now, Just so you're aware, this is where your story changes point of view seen so long and queer that the old man crippling in the cot seems no different than the joyous cry of an infant, but as much as I've come to know him, I feel his crippling pain and I feel the darkness that surrounds him. I've seen it shroud him when he was born at his mother's home, 90 years ago, I've Either cut out the "I've" here or start a new sentence. seen him snore on the ground beside when his parents when they conceived his brother on this very cotI've seen it break and stand up again. What have you seen break? The cot? If so, then is that detail actually necessary to the story? Around it, I've seen him grow, I've seen him boast of his brother, I've seen him weep on the same sibling's death and I've felt the guilty relief he felt when he finally let go of the longing. Wow, that paragraph was super wordy and most of it felt unnecessary. When writing, try to ask your self "does my reader really need to know this or not?" Oh and did you notice how many times you used the word I've?


Ok wow, that was a mouthful. I ended up having to cut the line by line after a couple paragraphs because I was having trouble trying to understand what you were trying to get at, and I felt like what I had to say was going to be all the same. That noted, I will like to write an overall so I can touch up on all the points I made and a few that I didn't take to point out yet.

1.) Modifiers

So I bet you've heard of the whole 'don't tell, show' concept right? Well you don't seem to have that big of telling problem but rather a showing problem. While modifiers -- adjectives and adverbs -- can add to a story, too many, or the wrong ones, can bog down your prose and lead to weaker nouns and verbs.

You're using a lot of modifiers in just about every sentence. Modifiers work occasionally, but if used too often, it just seems like they're made to cover up otherwise simple sentences.I think you should limit the details down to the most important parts, rather than dedicating the same amount of description to extraneous things that don't need any description (or any reference at all, really).

2.) Tense Change/ Change in POV

After the first two paragraphs you changed tenses in the story (in which I did point out) Changes in verb tense help readers understand the temporal relationships among various narrated events. But unnecessary or inconsistent shifts in tense can cause confusion.
Generally, writers maintain one tense for the main discourse and indicate changes in time frame by changing tense relative to that primary tense, which is usually either simple past or simple present.

As with the point of view (POV) you went from narrating the story as third person to narrating the story from first person. I consider you stick with a point of view, but there are, of course, many situations when changing up the point of view is appropriate. This is more true in novels than in stories, where there’s more room to develop multiple characters.

Having two or three viewpoint characters in a third person novel is common, and there's nothing to stop you using as many as you like. First person novels almost always stick to just one point of view (the "I" of the story). But there are exceptions to that. Which is best – one viewpoint or many? As with most things in storytelling, it's a trade-off... Witnessing the events through many pairs of eyes gives the story breadth. Sticking to just the one viewpoint has the advantage of depth. So it boils down to the demands of your particular story and the effect you are trying to achieve.

However, your POV switch felt irrelevant and ends up leading me to my final point for the night....

3.) The Introduction

Honestly I saw no need into keeping the first two paragraphs of your story. For me they were irrelevant and pointless, as well as a little confusing. What was the point of the ants? Maybe there was one. Maybe I missed it, but from what I read the beginning just seemed to bog down the real story and lead to some confusion once the third paragraph rolled through.

A good introduction to a story should be free of clichés, such as "once upon a time." These overused phrases typically fail to capture the reader's attention and can drive him away if he becomes bored. Instead, use original phrases intended to make the reader curious about the story's characters, plot and setting. Regardless of the rest of the content, a good introduction should begin with a brief introductory sentence designed to immediately engage the reader by making them want more

Anyways, that's all I have here. I hope I helped in one way or another and don't get discouraged, your story wasn't terrible. There were some interesting parts and some places I think you could develop upon to create a magnificent story. If you have any questions feel free to ask and good luck, continue writing.




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Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:28 pm
XxPheonixKittenxX wrote a review...



Hey there! Kitten here for a review!
So there are mistakes. I will explain what it is, and hopefully this helps you in the long run of the story writing!

Starting here: " petrified of the spine chilling wind howling around. "
Between "spine" and "chilling", you should have a hyphen. "spine-chilling"

"The leftovers, yellowed, now stick" you do not need the comma after "leftovers'

"I'd never seen turn away his nourishing dollop this way." I believe you may have meant "a turn" or "the turn"

"of god's gut seeking roof over their heads, a wall around." another simple hyphen error. "gut-seeking"

" her child bearing bag," You do not need the space between "child" and "bearing". It is "childbearing"

" At first it'd hurt" you need a comma after "first"

" the wife started having fever all the time" you may have meant "the fever" or "a fever"

"At first he couldn't loathe himself " another comma after "first"

"He, then carried one of the grapes" you do not need the comma after "He"

" the soul soar out of body, never looking back" did you mean "the body" or "a body"?

" thanks her for being there. " I believe you forgot "to" after "thanks"

"He takes relief in the knowledge that after his death, " you do not need the comma after "death"

"Next I hear, the damp sunlight" You are missing a comma after "Next"

Other than those mistakes. You did an amazing job. I am very proud of you for this. I hope to read much more from you. And I hope that I will be able to help you one day.

Best of luck,
XxPheonixKittenxX

P.s. My inbox is always open to anyone. Including you.





The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
— Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians