TrueParanormal, The Dramatist
Working on being consistent with writing. Really should see my projects through but life is very distracting. I have a few storygames in progress and am hoping to become more involved in things again. I'm mostly just a guy trying his best to be a successful writer in a world geared towards movies, tv, and video games. Going to provide a list of projects just to keep them on my mind and also let people bug me about them.
Arkello (working name, novel)- A character study in a steampunk world.
A Matter of Trust (CYS)- A large storygame slasher-type story.
Sludge (Storium)- A post-apocalyptic world where all water on earth is contaminated with a substance called Sludge.
Pinefall Inn (Storium)- A murder-mystery ensemble story.
Smile for the Camera (Storium/Collaborative Project)- A character-study slasher.
|Achievement Unlocked: Edgelord of the Year (300)
For End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest. Expanding horizons and all that.
You grew up here. All you've ever known is sitting in your little box of metal. Daddy takes care of you. He says the world is dangerous, that there are monsters looking to take you away. He protects you. At least, that's what he tells you. You know better...
(You are Tess, an 11-year-old girl who was abducted as an infant and grew up inside a cage that 'Daddy' built for you in the basement.)
WARNING WARNING WARNING
This story contains graphic depictions of violence, nonconsensual sex, and other sensitive topics. If any of these are triggers for you, I IMPLORE you not to read this. This does not reflect my personal views in any way. So in other words: This shit WILL be downright disturbing. Don't bitch if you get uncomfortable because that is the point. Thank you and have a wonderful read!
There are 26 endings. Play to see them all.
You met on a local hiking trail, both looking for an abandoned town rumored to be out there. It was clearly meant to be.
There are seven endings.
An entry into EndMaster's Prompt Contest 2
You can hear it ringing again. The endless droll of mechanical laughter that mocks you. Without fail, it rings at precisely 3:02 in the morning, never a good nights sleep allowed. Some days you yearn to smash it, others you let it ring until you think you may go deaf. And even still others lead you to answering...
the phone call.
Just an extremely, bare minimum game (though this says nothing of quality) to test the waters on this site before I finish up the game I've been chipping away at for almost two years. Don't expect too much from it, I just wanted to tell a simple and short story!
Recent PostsTHUNDERDOME on 4/29/2023 12:58:58 PM
As long as its fair, I don't mind at all. Looking forward to it!
THUNDERDOME on 4/29/2023 11:00:09 AM
I don't really have anything going on after work on weekends, so I'll extend an open challenge to whoever wants to face me.
Drew Something on 4/29/2023 10:38:56 AM
That's awesome, great job! Love the color scheme.
Sentinel's ULTIMATE CYSTIAN LOVE COMPENDIUM on 4/27/2023 6:35:52 PM
I responded too, why not
Thunderdome 2: Kill Darius on 4/27/2023 1:33:57 PM
This is a very strong story, I'd say. I may just enjoy the overall effort into making sure that the world is described in detail, to the point I actually think you did limited research in order to formulate this idea (which is an obvious bonus). It did seem, however, that this was part of a larger idea that was condensed down to fit this format. This definitely can be fleshed out into a full fledged story and I think it's something this author should consider!
Positives: Strong environment/setting. I could see everything described very clearly and I believe the only sense really lacking was smell. Even still, it drew me into the story with flowery language. Characterization was also a huge plus. Every character, including ones mostly mentioned in passing, were super fleshed out. From Captain Baxtere to Gangly to Scrouge, they all were unique and brought something to the story. Speaking of, there was very little wasted space. Each detail was progressing the story in some way, even if it was just setting tone. While Thomas' name was only mentioned twice, he is also more than just a way to view the story as his opinions on the other crew members shape him as much as it shapes them.
Negatives: I only have two complaints. One is how this seems more like a curse rather than a contagion, which doesn't fit in with the prompt at all. While yes, it is spread from one person to another it isn't quite the same. Other than that, it's the abrupt ending. While this story had to fit into the under 2k restraints, it was quite jarring and didn't really fit into the carefully crafted pace of the rest of this entry.
Overall 4/5. Very well done.
An emotional tale of two brothers and a merchant. Definitely not what I expected from the prompt. Looking at it as just a short story, it is solid and a decent read. The world is fleshed out in a way that allows it to remain mysterious but not undeveloped. I will say there are some moments that could've used more details but this remains cohesive.
Positives: Being character centric allowed for this entry to hone in on the raw emotion that is the heart of this story. Even the merchant, who was mainly used for exposition, had a strong characterization that justified his presence. Fergus and his unnamed brother, being werewolves I assume, put an interesting twist on the disease required by the prompt and allowed for some play with the premise. Plus, even with me being unsure when it comes to fitting in with the prompt, I do appreciate the different take on vessel as a wagon.
Negatives: The ending felt very cluttered and confusing. While I understand that Fergus ended up alone, the language that led up to that made it quite confusing. I thought the brother had abandoned him but with being pinned by the sabre I assume he died? With Fergus being alone, it did have a satisfying conclusion but the lead up left me lost. My other complaint is that the little brother didn't get too much characterization. While yes, I did count the character centric viewpoint as a positive, the brother not getting the same treatment as the merchant and Fergus really hurt this story. It takes away a lot of the emotional impact meant to be felt.
Overall, not bad. 3.5/4 (rounded up to 4).
I vote for Story A.
Thunderdome 2: Mean Girls Hair Pulling Fight on 4/26/2023 6:53:05 PM
I'm going to look at these as AP responses.
I really enjoyed that this was a continuation of the Hans Andersen version of the story, which allowed it to feel more natural as you delved into the darker perspective of the father. The story started off pretty alright, drawing me in with refrences to the well-known story but making it clear that this was a supplement to that story and not a stand alone. That, I believe, is both this story's biggest strength and also it's most detrimental flaw.
Positives: While still continuing The Little Mermaid, its refrences back to the original were enough to follow even for those who hadn't read the story for about the first half of this work. Being driven completely by dialogue is beneficial for the feel of this entry, since this is someone relenting about their past and allows for the biased narrator approach that is taken here (so while I didn't enjoy it, I see what you were going for).
Negatives: My biggest nitpick about this one is how convoluted it becomes once the king talks to the sea witch. This is also where being super intwined with the original becomes an issue. A lot of what is mentioned, most importantly the sea foam being his daughter only is super clear if you know what happens. This makes this read very dependant on a work a lot of people haven't read. Another negative is how janky the twist of the narrator being the father is, even with it being fairly obvious from the start. Even with all that being said, I can't help but also wish the ending was a bit more satisfying. After the reveal, the king just quickly gives up on life and goes to join his loved ones in the afterlife. It just feels very sudden and I feel like it could've been fleshed out more if time hadn't been spent over-explaining the original throughout this entry.
I'm not going to critique you shoehorning the disease in, as that has been already been picked apart.
I'd give this is a 2/5.
Right off the bat, this entry laid down a very clear tone of tragedy and repugnance. Very quickly was the core of this story established and the delusion/derrangement of the narrator clear from the start. Impulsive actions and jealousy really drove this and kept my fully invested. With only three important characters, it allowed for more time spent fleshing them out and really solidfying the foundation of this. Actually really enjoyed reading this one.
Positives: Strong character development, especially for Valdir. His motivation was questionable at best even from the start, but by the end they were quite repulsive. This allows him to go from a semi-sympathetic protagonist to a villain in a seamless manner. Outside of that, I also really enjoy how central the disease is to this one. Taking the prompt and turning it on its head is very clever, using the disease as more than just a plot device but rather the direct result of Valdir's misguided actions. Also, this story does have the underlying theme of love being a negative as well as a positive, quite like a disease itself. I doubt it was intentional, but I think it melds really well into the plot. Plus, great descriptions of an indeterminate illness.
Negatives: I only really have one thing that bothers me. If the disease/plague was as bad as described... how did no one else get sick besides Valdir and the cook? Not only was the rat contaminating the food source on a ship that is on the sea for long periods of time, but the blood of both men also covered the deck. Given the time period implied, there is no sensible way that would've been properly handled and this almost certainly would've resulted in an outbreak that likely would've killed half (if not all) of the crew. This includes Aria. While it was clever to use the disease, it does not make logical sense, even for someone as out of it as Valdir, to put Aria in harm's way with this. Especially since his goal was to protect her for his own gain.
I'd give this 3.5/5. (Rounded up to a 4/5).
This was the most unique of the three. While the others were set on a traditional merchant vessel, this was set in a futuristic setting and with a neuro-parasite instead of a plague or virus. This had the strongest premise but it really squandered its potential.
Positives: Unique setting and great twist on the prompt.
Negatives: Extremely rushed. The ship reveal itself is awkward and the parasite reveal could have been built up more. Nothing seemed to be fully fleshed out, not even the faceless main character. That reminds me, the narrator has very little personality but her mother is very fleshed out, even given a phobia. Secondary characters do not take precedence over the ones we are with the majority of the time. All in all, despite being a very short story, it felt disjointed and unsure of itself.
I'd give this a 1/5.
My vote is very clearly STORY B.
The Watcher on 4/19/2023 4:03:59 PM
The warmth of the flames licking their way up the dry sticks defrosts my cold stare out into the darkness of the endless dark forest. My dark hair falling past my shoulders, unkempt and knotted. Dirt covers my face and lodges itself underneath my chipped nails, though it looks more like shadows dancing against my face as the dim light flickers and shifts with the crackling sticks inside my small fire. Behind the frown etched like stone into my countenance, I did find peace within the light, however fleeting it was. There’s not as many fires on the trail as there once was, leaving everything damp and quiet. Now, there just continues to be that intrusive smell of rotting leaves and ash.
A log shifted in the little teepee structure that I had created, sending embers up into the air and illuminating my ashen, mottled skin before floating up into the infinite canopy above me. Aspens pressed so tightly together, choking the life out of one another, only further attributing to the decay that assaulted my olfactory senses. I watch the smoke shift in the light breeze that brushes against my overcoat and I hear the twigs snapping and leaves rustling behind me. Sitting up from my hunched over position, my bones creaking in protest, I hold my hands out over the heat for a brief moment. I do not turn around. Rather, I slowly bend down beside the circle of rocks that is containing my light and pick up a single new log, laying it on top of the sizzling embers and cinders. That should make it more comfortable.
They come into view a moment later. How peculiar. A man, about five foot eight, with light curly hair and a darker complexion. Couldn’t be more than twenty four. He’s dressed in a simple jacket and basketball shorts, his sneakers have rubber worn down to the sole and fraying laces. Next to him is a woman with straight dyed-silver hair standing at about five foot four. She’s wearing a t-shirt with the words “Fuck the Police” in an urban font and pre-torn jeans. They reek of fresh air and health. She was a bit older than her friend, maybe about thirty five. Once both of them reach my resting spot, eyes still with a glaze over them, they find themselves willingly taking a seat opposite of me.
“Where am I?” The guy in loose shorts looks around with bewilderment, noticing his companion for the first time as his voice echoes throughout the eternal dark. Once he lays eyes on me, he curses and almost falls backwards off the log that supported him, “Wh-who are you?” The woman, on the other hand, stares dumbfound at me, unable to speak.
“I watch over the campfires,” my hoarse voice rips across the silence that quickly oppressed the question that had been asked, “And who may you be, sir?”
“I’m Asher,” his brow furrows and his bewildered expression finally settles onto his face as his mouth moves but nothing further comes out, leading him to shut it and instead grip onto the rough bark digging into his exposed skin.
“Madame,” I whisper to his partner, “Do you need a further moment to collect yourself or was your stroll not quite enough?”
For a moment, she continues to stare with her mouth agape before seemingly regaining her composure and shaking her head, “No. I think I’m.. fine.”
“Then would you like to introduce yourself like your associate?” I throw another log onto the flame, these two are much colder than I had anticipated.
“Olivia. I prefer Olive, though.” She practically whispers.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both. Asher and Olivia,” I let their names fill the air and enjoy the sound before the breeze whisks them away, “How has your hike been so far?”
“Hike?” Asher scratches his head and I see the scrapes on the undersides of his arms. There seems to be glass lodged in his hair as well.
“Long,” Olive rubs her eyes and leans against her knees, the vertical gash slowly healing on the underside of her arm visible for the first time.
I stretch my long legs out, my dress shoes resting on the stones dangerously close to the hungry flames, and brush off my dress pants as I lean back against a branch sticking out of my personal seat. The two seem dreadfully different.
“Excuse me, but can you explain why we’re out in the middle of the woods?” Voice wavering, Asher straightens his posture and looks as if he’s ready to fight but his near-black eyes betray his exhaustion. Our eyes only hold each other's gaze for a moment before he looks down at the flame. Though my focus remains on him, I see Olive shaking her head.
“Were we really anywhere else,” Olive chimes in before I get the chance to speak, “I mean. Seriously man. Whether we’re here or in the middle of a city, does it make a difference?”
“He hasn’t been walking as long,” My utterance commanding silence to fill the perpetual night, “And Asher, you’re here because this is now your path. Same as anyone else.”
“My… path? What does that even mean? Stop answering in riddles,” Pulling his jacket closer and shivering, Asher’s aggravation did nothing to warm his soul.
“We’ve all got our own paths,” I find myself holding a long stick and using it to move the kindling and logs, allowing the fire to breathe, “Sometimes they merge, or diverge, but no matter what we do, we walk along our paths until they converge here.”
“Oh,” Asher stares at the fire, which is already starting to die down. He takes it upon himself to add another log and watches as it reignites, while my eyes are drawn to the strange hole in his shirt beneath the jacket and the subsequent visible scar.
“I’m tired,” Olive sighs and rolls one of the loose logs around in the damp dirt, her frown deepening.
“You can sleep here, if you wish,” I extend my arm outwards and point towards the log she is perched upon.
“Not what I meant,” she releases the log and it stays stuck in the dirt as she brings her knees up to her chest and hugs them close but they offer no warmth. Everything but the fire seems to be frozen here.
“Then what did you mean?” Asher asks as the fire seems to fully catch on the added log, turning his full attention to the edgy Olive. Scooting across the log and closer towards her, he leans forward so she can see his face, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she mumbles as she shies away from him and shakes her head, “Just thought I finally found a solution is all.”
“If there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to let me-”
“There’s nothing you could do, dude,” the acidic nature in the way she spewed those words seemed to dissolve through whatever intention that Asher had.
“Fine. Whatever. You do you,” Crossed arms, jaw set, Asher kicked a log away from the fire and winced but otherwise kept a stoic expression.
“I do think he was just trying to help, dear Olive,” I clear my throat and feel both of their eyes fall on me, “No need to be so rude either, Asher.”
Now quiet rushes in once more, save for the pops and sizzling within the stone pit in between us. Olive and Asher both seem to re-evaluate each other before turning back to me with a quizzical air about them.
“What are you?” Olive asks, truly taking me in the first time, rubbing her frighteningly thin arm.
“That’s actually a totally valid question,” Asher nods in agreement, “I feel like we should know what exactly we’re dealing with here.”
My dark eyes flick between the pair of them, amusement bubbling up inside me, but still I can’t bring myself to break through the etching on my face. Even though it's been a brief few minutes, they were already warmer than they had been when they arrived. Even their scars recede under the surface of their skin leaving only faint indications of their existence. It has been a while since anyone reached my fire.
“I’m just a watcher of the flames. Keeping them warm for travelers such as yourselves. For as long as you are here, I can be warm,” I watch the flames flicker in my pit and let the warmth of a living fire wash over me, “But this isn’t about me. What brings you here, Asher? Olive?”
“I’ve got no idea where here is, man,” Asher shakes his head and lets out an uncomfortable laugh before bowing his head and letting his thoughts consolidate, “I barely know who I am and now I’m completely lost.”
“I-” Olive trails off but when Asher looks up at her expectantly she continues, “Because I am punishing myself.”
“What? Why would you do that?” Once again, Asher reaches out to Olive but this time he leaves his own log and finds a place next to her.
“Because my sister looked up to me. Relied on me…. Trusted me. And I let her down. I left her alone. I was selfish.” Olive looks up to the roof of the forest, unable to face this situation, “I don’t know what I expected but I really didn’t see this. Having enough time to think everything through. Feel everything. Then regret it all.”
“Stop,” Asher insisted and grabbed her shoulders, “I don’t know what you did but I don’t like the way you’re talking. Cause it sounds like me in high school. That just isn’t cool. I was like that for a few years but you can always dig yourself out of that. Just gotta stick to your guns and figure out what's best, you know?”
“It’s too late for either of us, Ash,” Olive scoots away from him and he slumps but Asher doesn’t return to his log.
“We’re almost out of wood,” I toss the last un-dampened log onto the fire.
“It’s never too late,” Asher shakes his head, disregarding me completely, “We’ve gotta fight through all the crap and get to the good side of life.”
“We’re in the middle of the woods with a creepy guy in a suit listening to our conversation. Oh, and that’s not to mention the fact that we didn’t meet before now. Where’s the good in that?”
“We’ve got each other, for one. We could be alone. And he seems harmless,” Asher inclines his head towards me, “Mostly.”
I keep my eyes fixated on the fire, quickly burning down to embers. It was almost out.
“Yeah… I guess that’s true. We do have each other. There are worse things,” Olive smiles as she stands up and offers her hand out to Asher, “Walk with me?”
“Of course,” Ash joins her and they walk past my pit, extinguishing the fire and leaving the cold to surround the three of us but it doesn't stop them, “It’s always nice to have company.”
I watch from the darkness as their silhouettes fade on the path. Eventually, the fire would return and warm my old bones. Unfortunately, until then, I sit on my log and stare out into the empty void of a forest. I barely feel the icy temperature of these perpetual woods anymore, but I must wait for the next fire, the next convergence of paths, to continue my watch of the hopeless finding a semblance of meaning in the fleeting light they find within this heartless darkness. A lot of us gave up long ago. Eventually, they would too. There used to be more fires here, scaring away the dark. Now it’s just me. I will always be watching. The cold won’t take me.
My fire lights itself and I hear twigs snapping behind me. My stone etched frown remains, but I will never let my spark of hope die.
Prompt Contest 2 Results (Such as they are) on 3/18/2023 9:06:35 AM
Congrats Mystic and all the other submitters! I'll probably get around to reading all of these. Eventually. Maybe.
The Pit of Eternal SHAME on 3/16/2023 1:08:41 PM
It has feasted once more, but it shall never be satisifed.
What music do you listen to? on 3/16/2023 12:33:21 PM
The music I listen to varies from week to week (and even day to day) but at the moment I listen to primarily Soundgarden, Audioslave, Ren, System of a Down, Slipknot, and Radiohead. It'll probably shift in a week or so but that's just how it goes.