Short Story Challenge

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Short Story Challenge

#1 Post by PyTom » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:14 pm

I'd like some example wroting for use in my Otakon tutorial. So I've issued a challenge to the writers in the community. You can read all about it in the Otakon thread, linked below.

http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 845#p53845
What I'd really like to include are some first-person short stories that require at most 2 female and 1 male characters, and that use reasonably generic locations. And since I'll need this real soon, let's make it a challenge, to see who can write a quick short story over this weekend. It doesn't have to be terribly long, something on the order of "The Question", or less, would be fine.
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Re: Short Story Challenge

#2 Post by Nafai » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:40 am

Here's something I whipped up - it's kind of a heavy story, but I hope you find it of use!
I’m not the type of guy to mince words.

“Stay away from him.”

The girl in front of me flips back her braid, then stares at me angrily, her fists clenched tightly at her sides.

“You called me away from class for this?” Wendy asks, her voice incredulous.

I don’t answer her – which I suppose is answer enough.

“Geez. I don’t have time to waste on your nonsense.” She stalks past me, close by but careful not to let our skin, our clothing touch.

It’s been an unspoken rule since… that day.

I break it without a second thought.

“What’re you-” Wendy gasps, as she feels my hands close on her arm, spinning her around to face me once again.

“Let me go!” she hisses, and jerks her arm away, taking a few steps back. “You have no right-”

“Don’t I?” I say, in a low voice.

Wendy stops, and looks away.

“Once…”

“… upon a time, there lived a beautiful Princess.”

“Oh come on,” Wendy giggled. “Is it possible to have a bigger cliché to start off a story? I mean, seriously, ‘Once Upon a Time…’ Clarence?”

“Everybody’s a critic,” I sighed. “Look, just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it can never be used – there’s usually a reason that something becomes overused you know? And that reason is-“

“-people like you who don’t know when to quit?”

“No, wiseass,”I replied, “It’s because there’s something about particular lines, or forms, or traditions that resonate with people, that touches their hearts.”

Wendy shrugged. “Well, you’re the aspiring writer Clarence. Coming from this aspiring reader though, I think it’s just that most people are only comfortable with what they know.”

“Change isn’t always a good thing Wendy,” I said.

“And sometimes it isn’t so bad…” she countered. “And other times it just is.”

Before I could answer, her arm snaked around mine and pulled me close.

“That being said,” my girlfriend whispered as she grinned up at me. “There are some things I wouldn’t change for the world…”


“-but never again,” she finishes.

Now it’s my turn to look aside – but only for a moment. “Wendy… whatever else may happen… I will always be his brother.”

Wendy turns back to me, her eyes confused.

“I’m asking you, as his brother – stay away from him.”

Whatever nostalgic feelings may have flared a moment ago die at my words.

“That’s not your decision to make,” she says. “Quit acting like you’re older than him.”

“Age has nothing to do with it! You’re just making things worse.”

Wendy grits her teeth, but her eyes don’t veer from mine. “Do you seriously think he sees it that way? Honestly?”

Honest? What does something like honesty have anything to do with this… with any of this…

She takes a step towards me, her jaw thrust out belligerently.

“Look me and the eye – look me in the eye and tell me Charles isn’t happy!”

“Happy?” I practically spit out the word. “Happiness-”

“-is having a beautiful woman who is blind to all your faults, hehe…”

Charles had a laugh that made you think of a perverted old man, even though he was only twenty-three. Then again, every dirty old man feels he’s still eighteen, so I suppose that evens out.

“Well, you’re a pervert, but at least no one’s going to think you’re naïve,” Wendy laughed as we walked back towards my parents’ house.

“I’ll forgive you that only because you went to the trouble of arranging Erica’s birthday trip.”

“Well, if I’d just left it up to you, you’d just end up taking her to the beach again right?” Wendy said, waving a finger in front of my brother’s face. “My cousin deserves better!”

“H-hey!” Charles said, defensively. “There’s nothing wrong with a little fun in the sun!”

“You just want to see her in a bikini as often as you can,” I laughed.

“But that’s a man’s prerogative you see,” Charles explained, as if it were the plainest thing in the world. “A man is born for one reason alone – to see as much feminine flesh as-”

“Chaa~rless…!”

Charles’ back suddenly went ramrod straight, and he swallowed noisily as he turned slowly around, already beginning his explanation.

“N-now love, all I meant was that other men are-”

He stopped as soon as he saw that it was just Wendy behind him, half doubled over in laughter.

“You…” he growled.

“Good job honey!” I laughed as I slapped Wendy with a high five. “As expected from the future actress – that was spot on.”

Charles sighed in a victimized fashion. “Please don’t tell Erica about this okay? Or I’ll be hearing about this all the way to the ski resort…”


“-has nothing to do with this,” I respond to Wendy angrily. “It’s not right.”

“And again, who are you to decide that? Right, wrong, true, false… What matters is that he’s happy right? Isn’t that what you should wish for him, as his brother?”

“What I wish for him… Tch,” I feel my own hands clench into fists. Too many wishes… Too many regrets. “What I wish for him now is to be able to stand on his own two feet.”

Wendy grows silent at this. The lack of words makes the air between us heavier, as if all that was unsaid between us could condense and burst into rain, or tears.

For the second time, she looks away from me, and her eyes grow unfocused.

“And do you still wish anything… for me?”

“Wendy…”

I open my mouth… then shut it, without saying a word.

“You are one heartless bastard.”

She brushes past me then, not caring if we touch, for so long as she can get away.

This time… I let her go.

“Your brother? He’ll never see anything again… But he got off lightly. Such an avalanche… It’s a miracle he’s still alive.”

“Unlike the girl…”


The hospital is quiet at this time of night. I always felt that suited it better than the bustle of the morning. For me, it’s not a place for action.

It’s a place for waiting… And of what comes after the wait.

“Hello?”

I hear Charles’ voice from within the room – but I hold my place. I can’t be at his side. I can’t be a party to this…

“Hello darling…”

As expected from the future actress…

Maybe she was right. Maybe… I am heartless.

But then… what does that make her?

“Erika… Oh Erika…”

“I’m so glad you’re here!”
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Re: Short Story Challenge

#3 Post by monele » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:00 am

Nafai : wonderful ;3;... you rock man!

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Re: Short Story Challenge

#4 Post by Nafai » Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:27 am

Thanks Moni :) Glad you liked it! Was fun to do something short and quick as a break from the game :)
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Re: Short Story Challenge

#5 Post by Dusty » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:03 pm

Well, here's another story. A bit more... plain than Nafai's. And a great deal lighter. =P

Inspired by "The Question", of course.
We were walking down the street, like normal. She wanted to go to the library. We turned left, and then... this.

"Oh."

"What is it?"

"Road cones."

"Huh? Road cones?"

"Yes, road cones."

"Walk over them. Or around."

"No."

"That's silly."

"Who knows why those road cones are there?"

"The farmer's market."

"Still."

She tried dragging me towards the library. "That's a flimsy excuse."

"Why don't you go ahead? I didn't need anything from the library."

"I want... You have to come. You've never even been to the library, huh?"

"Well, no."

"Why not? That's... I can't imagine anyone not having gone to the library."

"It's just a bunch of old books, though."

"No it isn't. Where did you get that idea?"

"It's just been... how things are, I thought."

She sighed. "You need to get over these things. You skipped class on the day we had to go the computer lab because you thought computers were for... for some random thing. Can't remember but it was a pretty silly excuse."

"Eh, yeah."

"But every time you say that, nothing happens. If I didn't constantly take you with me everywhere, you'd probably barely ever get out of your bed." She sighed again.

"I,... yeah."

"Come on, let's go. We're almost there."

"But what could I do when I get there?"

"I don't know. What do you like?"

"Um... I don't know, either, then."

"Wha...? Oh, fine. I can show you around, then you can figure it out."

We walked up to the library. "This is the front door," she said.

"I know that, at least."

"Haha, well. Come on in, then."
Appropriate subject matter for my first short story, ever. ._. Write what you know, they say.

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Re: Short Story Challenge

#6 Post by lordcloudx » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:47 pm

Ooooh! I love these types of challenges. I'm not too satisfied with the ending... but... here ya go.

Jessica
Image

Eri
Image
Her full cherry red lips glistened invitingly; moistened by a light coating of pinkish lipstick.

So close… if I were to tilt my head forward just a little bit, our lips would meet… unintentionally, I assure you.

At that moment, a voice from within me asked,

“Am I wicked?”

Oh? You don’t get it? Okay, let’s rewind a bit to two hours ago.

“Chocolate éclairs, strawberry muffins, Macadamia nuts and… and…”

And no, this isn’t my little sister speaking; she’s my girlfriend, Jessica. I’d tell you about the touching moments of our mutual confession of love, but unfortunately, there isn’t any. She was my classmate in Home Economics class back in 8th grade. I never really paid that much attention to her. She wasn’t strikingly beautiful and also, I wasn’t really into girls and romance.

Anyhow, one day, I accidentally nudged my eraser off my desk and she picked it up for me. When our fingers met, I couldn’t help noticing how incredibly soft her hand felt against mine. My gaze instantly traveled to her face and remained transfixed there. Damn! She was cute! I was an idiot for not noticing this earlier.

Ahem… being a man of action, I asked her out right on that very spot. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that we were smack in the middle of class and everyone, including the usually strict professor, started laughing at me. Of course, the mocking laughter quickly turned into applause at the next instant, when Jessica voiced out her response to my haphazard proposal.

“Haha… hahaha! Sure! If you can do this much, it certainly won’t be boring going out with you.”

Okay, let’s get this straight. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. This girl has to be a little bit off her rocker to agree to go out with a guy who just proposed to her in such an embarrassing manner; but you know something? I’m the guy who made that strange proposal, so we’re probably dead even on the insanity meter.

This is how we started going out, got to know each other better and engaged in gratuitous sex every now and then. Okay… I’m kidding about the last part, really.

This was about two years ago. Jessica has been my steady girl since then. Let’s fast-forward to two hours ago. So I’m about to board my train for a long trip to join a 3-day joint college seminar/workshop on creative writing. Yes, I fancy myself a writer, a very pretentious one at that.
Ahem…
Jessica’s just about finished enumerating her list of demands.

“Oh, and… and…” She kisses me lightly on the cheek, “Take care!”

Right, she’s cute. No doubt about that.

The train door closes and I keep waving to a smiling Jessica until we’re out of sight. Afterwards, I proceed to find an empty seat.

Normally, I’d prefer to just stand around while holding onto one of the overhead handles, but that wasn’t exactly practical considering that the trip would take at least 6 hours.

I find an empty seat, put on my earphones and switch on my mp3 player whose batteries would hopefully last until this ride is over.

Which… brings us back to the present time and my current dilemma. I had fallen asleep in my seat when I am awakened by some soft, rhythmic breathing noises and something warm leaning against my shoulder. I instinctively check the clock on my mp3 player which I’d hung around my neck.

“Still a few hours to go.”

I turn my head to the side to check what it was that awakened me. Wouldn’t you know it? Some girl dressed in a maroon-colored office uniform had fallen asleep and was unwittingly using my shoulder for a pillow.

Hmm… she’s sleeping so soundly that I don’t really want to wake her up. I have a soft spot for women.

Yeah, I’ll just let her be. She should awaken by the next stop anyway.

“Uh…”

I blush a bit as I notice the knowing smile of the old lady seated across us. Did she think that we were a couple? It must have seemed that way to any onlookers.

“Sigh… forgive me, Jessica.”

Ding! Ding! Ding!
“Coastal Sun Station!’”

“Kyaaaaa!”

The office lady suddenly bursts into life.

“Aiyaa! I fell asleep again… eh… huh?” She quickly retracts her head from my shoulder.

“Oh my, I’m sorry about that.” She gets up from her seat and bows her head apologetically.

“It’s alright.”

“Oh, good. Listen, I’m sorry for being such a bother, but I really have to rush. Bye, stranger.”

And rush she does. She literally dashes for the exit totally unmindful of the length of her skirt which was obviously not meant for running in.

“Yeesh! What a scatterbrained woman… eh?”

That idiot actually left her handbag behind.”

“Hey, you! Wait!”

I try calling her back but it’s too late. She’s already dismounted from the train.

I have no choice but to get off and chase after her.

“Hey! Hey, office lady!”

She’s standing in front of an electronic signboard with information on the train’s route when I finally catch up to her.

“Hm? Oh, you’re that guy I was sitting next to. What’s up?”

“You dropped this.”

“Kyaaa! That’s my handbag!” She snatches it away from me and immediately checks the contents while simultaneously maintaining a conversation with me, “Thank you so much! I would have been stuck her for awhile without it. How can I ever repay you?”

Man, there are so many perverted ways to interpret that last line… but I doubt she meant it that way. I scratch the back of my head. The truth is that I just can’t help being chivalrous to women. It’s a kind of weakness in my personality. I was just about to tell her that she didn’t owe me anything when…

Slam! The train door closes and in matter of seconds, my ride is happily speeding away to its next destination… without me.

“E… ehehehe!” She laughs impishly, “I guess you weren’t planning on getting off here?”

“Sigh… no” I reply in a defeated tone.

“Ahaha!”

“S-stop laughing! I’m stuck here because of you, you know.”

She holds her hands together as if in prayer.

“Sorrrry! I’m sooo sorry about that Mr… umm…”

“Jack.” I reply.

As I look straight into her eyes, I can’t help noticing for the first time just how incredibly pretty she is.

“I’m Eri. Pleased to meet you, Jack.”

“Charmed. Look, I think I’ll go and wait for the next train by the benches now. Excuse me.”

“Oh… ok.”

Huh? She seemed a bit disappointed.

I approach one of the benches and sit down to wait for the next trip.

I’m about to turn on my mp3 player when I’m startled by the figure that seemed to appear from out of nowhere and had now sat down just a few inches next to me.

It’s that girl, Eri.

“W-What are you doing here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“NO!”

“I’m waiting for the next train. Same as you, silly.”

“WHAT!? Y-You mean, this wasn’t your stop either?”

“Oh, not at all. You see, I woke up so suddenly and presumed that my body clock had awakened me at my usual stop, but it turns out that I got off three stations earlier.” She knocks on her head and sticks her tongue out as she says this in a half-hearted self-admonishing manner.

“Oh, whatever.”

I stop talking to Eri, turn on my mp3 player and try to settle down. After a few minutes, I take a quick glance to my side and catch Eri looking curiously at me.

Could it be? Love at first sight? Heh, enough of my fantasies. I decide to close my eyes and ignore her altogether.

……….
…….
….


“Hey…”

I could have sworn I heard something.

“HEY-YOU-LISTEN-TO-ME!”

She had taken off one of my earphones in order to scream directly into my ear.

“W-What?”

“Let’s take a walk.”

“Huh? I’m afraid I don’t get you.”

“What’s there not to get? This pretty girl is asking you to take a little walk with her.”

“But, the train…”

“Oh, it won’t be here for another hour or so. C’mon!”

She forcibly grabs me by the arm and literally drags me off my the bench.

I reluctantly agree to go with her since I was getting a little bored anyway.

“So, where are we going?”

She turns to me with a smile.

“There!”

“Whoa!”

“Surprised?”

“Yeah, I didn’t know that there was a beach near this area.”

“Duh! Why do you think it’s called Coastal Sun Station?”

We walked side by side along the beach for a while, stopping every now and then to admire the view of the sparkling sea and the overlapping waves.

Suddenly, Eri knelt down beside me and began to take off her shoes.

“What are you doing now?”

“No sense just looking at it don’tcha think?”

Without hesitation, Eri runs barefoot into the shore.

Oh well, I might as well join in. I take off my shoes as well and join Eri in splashing around the water with our bare feet. After awhile, we get tired of playing around and just continue walking along leisurely.

“Hey, Jack.”

“Hm?”

“Do you have swim trunks on?”

“No, but I’m wearing some thick shorts underneath.”

“Good, take of your shirt and pants. We should have enough time for a quick dip. You can swim, right?”

I check the time on my mp3 player.

“Hmm… why not?”

I take off my shirt, unzip my pants and place them on a high patch of sand along with my wallet, ID card and mp3 player. Then, I head back into the water.

“Eh? Where’s Eri?”

That girl, I take my eyes off her for a minute and she just disappears on me.

“Up here!”

Somehow, she had managed to climb up high onto a rocky ledge overlooking the sea. Also… I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Y-You’re.”

“Hmm? What’s wrong? You’ve never seen a naked woman before, little boy?”

She dives gracefully into the water like an Olympic athlete.

“Ah! That feels good.”

She comes up just a few feet away from me and begins flapping away with her feet while splashing water every which way like a panicked fish.

I try my best to look directly at her and not let my vision travel downwards.

“Your face is red!”

She squirts some seawater in my direction. I close my eyes instinctively.

“You’re such a little boy, Jack.”

“Hmph! What did you expect? There’s a shamelessly naked woman in front of me.”

“Haha! C’mon, just relax and pretend that I’m fully-clothed.”

“It’s a little hard to imagine that given the current situation.”

“Ya know, girls just love teasing guys who are so uptight like you are right now.”

“I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself on my account.” I reply sarcastically.

Suddenly!

“Kyaaa!”

“Huh? What is it?”

Eri suddenly bolts toward me.

“Sh… shark!” She whimpers softly.

As soon as she says this, I spot a dark shadow beneath the surface. A torpedo-like structure was swimming directly below us.

“D-Don’t panic. If we move around too much, we’ll look like wounded prey.”

“Okay.”

Eri is clearly terrified now and I can’t blame her. I’m not too sure about what to do in this situation myself.

We remain as still as possible for a few intense minutes. Neither one of us dare to even attempt to swim away in a panic. Fear makes our movements more deliberate and certain than usual.

Finally, the shark or whatever it was begins to swim away.

We cautiously head for the shallows.

Suddenly, Eri stops right in front of me.

I stop as well, suddenly realizing our situation.

Here we were, a half-naked young man and a naked young woman standing a mere few centimeters apart from each other in a deserted beach area.

Thump! Thump!
I could hear my own heartbeat despite the wind and the roar of the waves.

“Hey…”

She was the first to break the silence as usual.

“Uh… yeah?”

I try to answer as calmly as possible.

“Do you wanna do ‘that?’”

I am awestruck. Could this be an invitation to …

Suddenly, Jessica’s image flies into my mind, awakening me to reality like a slap to the face.

“Eri.. I think that you’re a very attractive girl but…”

“But you already have Jessica?”

“W-Wha… how do you know her?”

“Just kidding! I don’t really know her. You were mumbling about her in your sleep while we were on that train. I was playing out a hunch.”

Grrr… this girl. Maybe I should just take advantage of her right now and who knows? She might actually enjoy it. Isn’t that the way it works in hentai games?

Nah, I need to shake these perverted thoughts aside before they become a habit.

“Hahaha!”

“What’s so funny now?”

“I’m sorry, it’s just that you had such a serious look on your face that your forehead was full of wrinkles.”

“Why you… take that!”

I playfully splash some water at her.

“Haha! Help! He’s attacking a defenseless woman!”

Somehow, this girl had made lose all my inhibitions even though we barely know each other.

Our train arrives. By this time, Eri and I are already dried, dressed and ready to depart.

We part ways at the next station. I had to get off.

Eri had another surprise for me just before I left.

“Close your eyes, I have something for you.”

I do so obediently. I feel something moist and warm touch my lips.

……
…..


Or so I thought. It turns out that she’d shoved some kind of business card at my mouth when I open my eyes. I was looking like a fool while kissing a piece of cardboard with my eyes closed.

Eri pushes me out onto the platform.

“Call me when you’ve given yourself a little time to grow, Jack.” She winks at me as the door closes in front of her.

I watch Eri through the glass window waving emphatically at me with a huge mischievous grin on her face until the train leaves.
I read the business card that she’d left me.

Eri Tsubasa
JUSTICE: The Magazine for Political Thinkers
2002 RD Street, Pairizia

“A journalist? That carefree idiot?” I shake my head in disbelief.

In the end, there was no huge significance to that one-time encounter. I’d still go on my three day seminar, go out shopping for Jessica’s presents and go home only to get scolded by her for forgetting one unimportant item.

In hindsight, I begin to wonder why I so readily agreed to go on that casual date, if you could call it that, with that strange girl from the train?

It was something beyond physical attraction that drew me to her and allowed me to tolerate her childish whims. The answer is so simple. In that childish brat of a grown-up woman, I saw the same attractive traits as my dear Jessica.

Epilogue

“Hmm… not bad for a quick story, I guess.”

“Sniffle…”

“Huh?”

“Who is this Eri?”

“Ah! Jessica, what are you doing here? I thought you were at home.”

“I wanted to surprise you, so I took the bus here.. but when… I finally catch up to you...sniff… sniff… hic… YOUR WERE HAVING AN ILLICIT AFFAIR WITH SOME… some… white-collar croquette!”

“Actually, that’s coquette… and I think you misunderstood what I’ve written here. All events are completely fictional.. ehehe…hehehe… I give you my word.”

“LIAR! Jack Layton, Prepare to die!”
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How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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