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Literature by KyaniteArcher

Literature by hereandthere01


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December 8, 2012
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I guess it’s kind of funny, if you think about it. You always see in the movies – in the TV shows – people running and screaming and praying and stuff. That’s what Hollywood always thought it would be like. Some sort of ‘death cloud’ or something – or like an asteroid or something like that – that just happened: that just totally hit everybody by surprise.

People have known about it for months. It’s not like in the movies. The word ‘inevitability’ comes to mind: and hey, guess what? Nobody cares to run from the inevitable. It’s pretty stupid – isn’t it, if you think about it – how people, in the movies, try to run from inevitable death. Everybody has decided what they were gonna do today weeks ago, maybe even months ago. Say goodbye to family, spend time with girlfriend, et cetera et cetera. As with the Kubler-Ross effect – or whatever it's called – people fade into acceptance once they chug through the denial.

I guess I’m no exception. It almost seems a bit cliché, a bit typical. Maybe even obvious. Anyway, point I’m trying to make, I’m trying to say that I knew what I was gonna do that day. I didn’t plan in advance – pretty typical of me – but I did get up before 1:00 today, which is a miracle in itself because I never get up before 1:00. Not even for school, most of the time. My dad always used to say that he used to sleep in all the time when he was a teenager too – because it’s about hormones or something – but that it wears off with age, as you get out of puberty. I’ll just have to take his word for it now. I guess the eve of the apocalypse deserved special effort, anyway, I suppose – although, to be honest, like with what I said about ‘inevitability’, I was beyond the point of caring. Man, I was beyond the point of caring even before I knew we were all gonna die, if you want to know the truth. I mean, it’s not really like I’ve got much to lose. There were people who lost more than me.

***

Walking through the park, and the wind was still blowing. There were no leaves on the trees or anything (I mean, it’s winter: what did you expect?), but you could still see the branches shiver slightly if you looked close enough. There was a pond, right in the centre, that used to have loads of ducks that little kids used to feed bread to. It was in the middle of like a bank, and if you would place the bread in the grass then the ducks would waddle up the bank to get it. You would have found it pretty cute if you’d have saw it. I mean, I sure found it pretty cute.

The pond was frozen over now. I don’t even know why I mentioned it, to be honest. I guess – this thought struck my mind – I guess I was wondering where the ducks were at right now. Where they went. I mean, I never found out where the ducks go during the winter – never really much into that Discovery Channel stuff – so, I mean... well, who cares. It’s not like it matters.

Point is, I was in the park because I was supposed to meet this girl – we used to hang out and stuff in middle school. I guess she was alright. But I asked her to meet me here. I mean, why not? It’s not like we were lovers or anything, don’t get me wrong – but I just felt like seeing her again, I guess. Before we all died and everything. I guess, if I was gonna do just one last thing, it would be to have a conversation with someone I knew pretty well. I mean, I wasn’t gonna spend time with my parents or anything. I guess, if you want to know the truth, I guess I always kinda valued having someone the same age to talk to. Someone who was on the same level. Not many people really value that. Maybe because they don’t have it, or don’t realise that they have it – but, to be honest, I saw more worth in that than anything else.

She was sat on a bench next to the pond. The pond that I just told you about – with the ducks. She had some bread next to her but there weren’t any ducks to feed it to, like I said. The sky was pretty damn grey. It was snowing.

“You alright?” I said to her.

Strange: she sort of smiled – she didn’t speak – but she smiled with this little crooked-looking, bent-shaped little smirk. I guess it looked pretty cute. Kinda made me feel bad, though.

“Pretty bad day to meet up again, huh?” I said.

Bad?” she said. “It’s literally apocalyptic. What the hell is the matter with you!” Strange mixture of sadness and irritation in her voice... Sounded sorta wobbly. Then she said softer – really softly – “I’m glad you wanted to meet up again, though. Phone wouldn’t have done it.”

“Aren’t you sad you won’t be with your parents?” I said.

“I’ll see them tonight. It’s tomorrow morning, isn’t it.”

“Is it?”

Is it?! Jesus Christ, Josh, do you even care? We’re all going to die, and you’re all like ‘ees eet’? Bloody hell...”

“Hey, hey, shh. Calm down. Quit worrying, wouldya? I didn’t want it to be like this.”

I meant that I didn’t want to argue. I think she could tell that’s what I meant. She sort of looked really solemn, like a gargoyle or something, drooping her head down so that her hair covered her face. She always had this long, black hair. Quite a long fringe. Combed to one side. Sometimes she would plait the back and poise a flower on her temple. That always looked pretty nice.

Anyway, she said sorry, then she said really softly again: “You remember our first date, don’t you?”

I looked at her. She was kinda stroking her fingers. Man, she was getting real messed up. “Sure I do”, I said softly.

“Cineworld, wasn’t it.”

“That place by B&Q? Yeah, I remember. Haha – ‘course I do. It was that really little place with those little seats that you could barely fit in. Made of rubber or something. The rows always used to curve in slightly from one end to the other, so the ones sitting at the back had like an inch of legroom.”

She smiled, pretended to look smug jokily. “That’s why we always used to sit in the front.”

I smiled with her. “The screen, too”, I said. She laughed at that. The sort of laugh where it’s like just a single scoff, and then stop. You know the sort. “The screen, it looked really big because it had these massive curtains covering it, and then the lights would dim and the movie would start and whatever, and the curtains would take about ten years to open, and then the actual screen would be this little box in the middle  that you couldn’t even hardly see.”

I was miming the box with my hands, and everything – making a really big deal about it. I could be a real drama queen when I wanted to. It really was a crappy little place, though. And she was smiling, so who cares.

“Man”, she said, after we stopped laughing, “I can’t believe I said yes to you.”

“I’m quite the catch, right?”

“Sure!”

Haha! She was always one for sarcasm. Man, she killed me sometimes. She really killed me.

“I remember when we first met, on that school trip—”

“—to the cinema. Don’t remind me. Like, a rewards trip thing, wasn’t it? You got to go there if you performed well.”

“Haha, they obviously didn’t care that much! I wouldn’t ‘uv gone if it was about ‘performing well’ – ahaaha! Man, you know what Fitzjohn was like. She didn’t care. She didn’t have the guts to say no to me.”

“Yeah, whatever. You didn’t have to sit next to me, though.”

“You were pretty—”

“—ha! Don’t charm me, sailor.” Man, she killed me sometimes. Sailor, for christ sake! “I only said yes to you because I’d never been asked out before. I didn’t know what it was like. Figured I couldn’t just say no, then never get asked again. Beggars can’t be choosers.”

Man, she always had these issues with the way she looked. I mean, I guess she was on the skinny side, but she looked pretty damn pretty to me. I think she told me once that she used to get bullied. Never really had many friends. Always used to think she looked like a pig, but I never saw nothing wrong with her. She looked pretty damn pretty to me.

“Good job you did!” I said. Good job she said yes, I meant.

She smiled at me. She had this wonky little smile. “Good job I did.”

We talked a bit more – for a few hours, I dunno. Talked about movies, and then about books (because we sorta drifted into movie adaptations), and then about poetry. Not really deep, to be honest. I mean, I know it sounds sorta ‘intellectual’ and stuff when you say you were talking about books, but it really wasn’t. Neither of us really paid that much attention at school. It wasn’t a really intellectual talk. You wouldn’t have cared to hear the conversation.

One thing happened, though: we started talking about romance movies, and about love and relationships and stuff. Again, not really as deep as it sounds – but there was this one movie that we saw together (hell, we went to the movies a lot), called ‘Marley and Me’: but we weren’t really watching it, if you know what I mean. And we were just talking about this time when we were in the movies, and then I don’t know how it happened, but she sorta just put her hand around mine, and then, all of a sudden, we just started necking. I mean real, proper necking. Just there, right then. In the park, while it was snowing, sitting hand-in-hand together by the pond – just necking. I guess it was kinda romantic, if you think about it. Man, I don’t know how long we did it for. Seemed like forever.

“You know, Josh”, she said.

“What?”

“If we were to just die, right now, while we were sitting here together – I don’t think I would mind.”

I just looked at her a minute. She had these beautiful eyes. All dark, and lonesome. I looked at her a minute—well, I say minute, but it was only a few seconds, really. But, I mean, it seemed like minutes. It seemed like forever. It was still snowing. I wanted it to feel like forever.

“And – you know—”, she said, “—I don’t mind. I don’t mind at all.”

She was just smiling. Just smiling. And man, I think I was too.
a 2,000-word story for this contest: writerart.deviantart.com/journ…. the prompt is 'write about the events that transpire on an original character's last day on earth...' instead of writing the typical melodramatic, disaster-movie style story that would be easy to go for, i went for a slightly different approach.

edit: this actually won the contest! a very big thank you to laurotica (the judge) and a well-done to everyone else who entered! have a bloody cool christmas, everyone skull emoticons :P 

edit 2: this got a dd? i think it's rather poor personally, but i'm heart-warmed nonetheless. big kudos to neurotype for featuring it.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-02-27
The end of the world on a park bench: never mind by andrewpom ( Featured by neurotype )
:icondailybreadcafe:
Hey! I thought this piece was interesting but I’m not sure it’s categorised correctly, since Flash Fiction is under 1000 words and I can’t really see how it would be a vignette. But anyway, that’s not so important.

I liked the style and tone of the piece until about half way, and then I found it just way too repetitive with things like “I guess”, “I mean”, “man” etc. Don’t get me wrong, I get that you did it to add to the tone, but after a while it became jarring, and if I’m honest, it was really irritating towards the end. I mean, it’s perfectly reasonable to use it, but don’t overdo it. We get it.

Also, I’m not quite sure how old the characters were supposed to be. The voice came off quite young, but I wasn’t sure once they started talking about going to the cinema all the time. As well as this, the piece is filled with Americanisms, probably another reason I found the “I guess”, “I mean”, “man” thing annoying, since I realised half way through when you mention cineworld and B&Q that this is actually supposed to be Britain, and I get very annoyed when people merge the two into one. C’mon, did you literally read The Catcher in the Rye before writing this? It has a really similar voice.

Apart from that though (and I’m sorry if it comes across a bit strong, it’s just one of my pet peeves) it had a good tone and flow to it, and I’m glad it was a happy story, not one of those oh-it’s-the-end-of-the-world-and-I’m-so-sad stories. So great idea, great flow and great tone. Keep it up :D
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15 out of 16 deviants thought this was fair.

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:iconhopedrop:
Hopedrop Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
oh wow, I can honestly feel the atmosphere in the conversation c:> this is beautiful!
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:icontateetah:
tateetah Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I 'liked' this before I even finished the prologue-ish part.
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:iconandrewpom:
andrewpom Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
haha, good to hear  c:
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:iconsaoirsesecrets:
SaoirseSecrets Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on the DD. :>
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:iconandrewpom:
andrewpom Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Writer
thanks c:
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:iconsaoirsesecrets:
SaoirseSecrets Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep.
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:iconannthesquirrel:
Annthesquirrel Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
In a way, it's a bit of a melded voice. I disliked Catcher in the Rye, but this is something of the same vein, but I'm also reminded of another book I really liked. (Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes) -- and honestly... I found the character voice still unique, still different. You could get a general drift of the age range, and despite some previous comments about the repetitions, I feel that was part of the character. It's more akin to the actual way people think! "pretty damn pretty" -- yeah, obviously there COULD'VE been another word, but at the same time, it flows well. The way the character goes off thinking, and reiterates she was pretty damn pretty, was how the average person would monologue in their head....

sooo, long story short...I liked it :D 
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:iconandrewpom:
andrewpom Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Writer
i personally don't like this piece because it's too Holden Caulfield-y. this was probably the first/one of the first vernacular/stream-of-consciousness stories i wrote; i've improved quite a bit since 2 years ago but honestly, i didn't know what i was doing when i wrote this. however what you say about repetitions and simple words is spot on and i suppose it does have a sort of crude charm.
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:iconkokorococoa:
Kokorococoa Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Did you try to make it sound like Catcher in the Rye?
Loved this by the way.
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:iconandrewpom:
andrewpom Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Writer
thank you c:
yes, the narrative is very similar to Holden Caulfield. the bit at the start about the frozen pond is a reference to that book. i would probably get sued if Salinger was still alive.
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