Heart's Desire

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Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-09, 14:29

So, as I was saying, I also had in a mind a sort of raw draft for a short pieced themed by another one of the ideas I proposed up there. Nymphomania, in this case. So I decided to take a couple minutes and write it all down, I guess. I'd say more, a whole lot more, because God knows that there's a whole lot more to be said, but apparently I'm not allowed to bash myself anymore ( Mad ), and everything I try to write ends up turning into a self-bash, so I just... You know what, just read it, okay?

Heart's Desire

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that somewhere up there alongside the Apple of the Hesperides, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Ark of the Covenant, Emma Klingemann was every man's heart's desire.

Okay, so perhaps it would be an exaggeration. But if not every man's, than at the very least you could say that she was every boy this side of the city's heart's desire; and a few of the girls', too, depending on who you asked.

It may sound cliché, but then again, this whole story is, in a sense, so I'm just going to say it straight up: if you asked a teenaged boy to close his eyes and imagine his ideal mate, he'd either imagine Emma Klingemann or awkwardly step back into the closet.

She was to sexy what sexy was to grandma, just athletic enough to look shapely and fit without giving anyone feelings of inadequacy, she was rich and she had the million dollar smile to go with it.

Did I mention that she was sexy?

Now, you might think to yourself that, while nice, this isn't anything to gush so wildly about. Every city has its share of perfect girls, and if you ignore the fact that Anna plays the piano and Sophie's a great cook, ultimately, they all were pretty similar. And by similar, I mean annoying, and by annoying, I mean that you wanted them and couldn't help but be keenly aware of the fact that you will never, ever, ever get anywhere near them without the police becoming involved. They were a hundred kilometres out of your league in every way except body hair, and even that's making some assumptions. About you, not them: those perfect girls always have skin smoother than marble.

Emma was every boy (and a few creepy girls') heart's desire because she was perfect, yet realistically attainable. She was friendly, she was communicative. She was, well, approachable. By which I mean that yes, she was known as kind of a slut. But really, who gives a fuck, right? (Or perhaps, as the case here may be, who doesn't?)

It's not that she was famous for it or anything, but it was kind of like common knowledge, I guess, among those for whom it had any measure of relevance.

Anyway, she didn't discriminate on the basis of race, sex or religion. She didn't even discriminate on the basis of common social sense: as long as you were remotely human shaped and had the guts to ask her out, you had a fair chance of scoring with her. She went through boyfriends like normal people went through underpants (a well-fitting metaphor), but there were no hard feelings, because in the end, everybody came out satisfied.

Perhaps a few of the girls hated her, or maybe more than a few, but girls are just jealous like that. And the literature teacher sort of looked at her funny (like, actually funny. Because many teachers looked at her, and most of them not in a funny way, if you catch my drift). And there were those oddballs who claimed that having sex with her, by this point, was akin to having sex with a public toilet: just you, her, and the coagulated bodily fluids of a significant percentage of the local population.

But I'm an asshole if they didn't immediately run back to their rooms to whack off after saying it.

While I was remotely human shaped (I hope), what I didn't have, unfortunately, was the guts. I admit it, okay? I was a wuss. I was a lonely, pathetic, honest to god dork. I've had exactly one girlfriend in my entire life, and I suspect that she was only into it because she pitied me. Maybe she thought she could fix me or something- could explain why we broke up like this. Nobody likes being proven wrong.

Now, taking all of this into account, try to imagine my internal reaction to the discovery that for the last year of high-school, I was going to be sitting right next to Emma. Yes, I was that much of a dork, I already said it. Being seated next to a pretty girl was my figurative Holy Grail.

I could already see my grades plummeting, a natural consequence of me spending every available moment stealing glances at this gorgeous finished product of a couple hundred thousand years of fine human evolution.

It was the second to last period, and the blackboard was as distant as Alpha-Centaury, the teacher's dreary voice barely reaching me as an inaudible whisper from across the vast oceans of mental void. My notebook was empty, as every time I tried to bring my pen down to the paper to try and salvage at least a little from whatever it was Mrs Shultz was mumbling about, I was immediately distracted by Emma's radiant shape at the corner of my vision.

That long, wonderful hair, this face plucked right out of the front page of the world's hottest magazine, eyes half closed as if in a waking dream, those long eyelashes delicately flitting about like the wings of an invisible butterfly. Those lips, who've starred in so many shameful dreams of mine, curled ever-so-slightly in a fantastic, subtle, eternal smile. Those… oh god, those… you know. I had a bet with Christopher over them; he claimed they weren't natural. Said he was an expert on the subject (as fucking if, unless he was referring to gigabytes of reference material) and that there was no way in hell that they were natural.

But at that moment, I didn't care even if they'd been a gift from the Devil itself. Holy cow, Lucifer, you magnificent old bastard; you sure have a great taste in gifts, don't you?

Heheh. Cow. Now I can't help but feel dirty. ier.

It was the middle of the boring, faraway lesson which I couldn't care less about when something wonderful and terrible has happened: Emma looked back at me. Just a small glance, a gesture of acknowledgment of existence, a polite smile and an amused shake of the head.

Inside my brain, tiny technicians in yellow HAZMAT suits were running around screaming hysterically, because core temperature was reaching its melting point. Steam everywhere, sirens blaring, and an ecological disaster of intracranial proportions looming on the visible horizon.

I turned my head to look away, that is straight, in a futile attempt to cool-down the reactors, but this just made things worse. Who was the brilliant idiot who thought it'd be a good idea to place a hopeless geek like me half a meter away from this idol? I wasn't sure if I'd wanted to kiss him passionately or punch him in the throat at the moment.

I certainly felt as if I'd been punched in the throat. Or at least, as I'd imagined it would feel, because the last fight I'd gotten into was back in elementary school. I'd decided to change my modus operandi, so to speak: instead of long, stupid stares, I tried to go for lightning quick, stupid peeks.

And god help me, I think she's been doing the same. She had this uncertain, shy smile on her face, so sweet and so much unlike her, I couldn't take my eyes off it. Looking slightly down, as if embarrassed, looking away from me as soon as it was becoming too obvious that I was staring.

It was by pure luck that my head didn't explode in a shower of blood and gore when our eyes met. At that point, I'd felt as it could have, and I wouldn't regret a damn thing. I was a person at peace with himself.

Emma was approachable, dammit. The way she smiled like that, it was almost… almost inviting, tantalizingly close. "Tantalizing", as in "Tantalus", from the ancient Greek fairy-tale. At the moment, my sympathy for him was absolute: I could definitely feel how it must have been like to be a poor, hungry Greek tied to a tree trunk, with the glorious grapes of the gods hanging mere centimetres above you, out of reach, yet so close that if you'd closed your eyes, you could almost feel their shape inside your mouth, rolling around your tongue, their sweet taste, their juicy filling…

Personally, I had my eyes set upon the grapefruits of the gods. If you know what I mean.

And so an hour passed, or possibly a year, I was too focused on the thoughts that I just might have been passed upon by the patron saint of awkward classroom hard-ons to notice. The bell rang and the lesson was over just like that. What lesson was it? Who cares?

The class started emptying out, and I was in the middle of drowsily getting up from my chair and stumbling around my desk in order to get to my things when I was stopped by Emma's voice, clearly audible even above the cacophony of high-schoolers leaving for recess.

Emma's clear, angelic voice, directed at me. I must have been dreaming.

"Hey, are you new here?" she asked, smiling this smile of hers.

"Uhh… mmmuuh… What do you mean by 'New'?" I answered, eloquent as ever.

"You're like a transfer student, or something? When did you get here?"

I sighed in defeat. "…Actually, I've been here since the beginning of the eighth grade."

Her eyes widened in surprise, than she just laughed musically, waving her hand a little as if to physically dismiss my exclamation. "How's it then that I've never noticed you before?"

"…I could think of a couple reasons", I replied, nervously scratching my hair and trying, and failing, not to look in her direction. My dream was broken, and cruel reality has pulled me back by the balls. Of course she had no idea who I was.

"Well, that's a mistake I'll have to work on fixing, won't I?"

If I'd had a drink in my mouth, I'd have totally spilled it all over the place.

"You're a cute one; did anyone ever tell you that?"

"No."

Emma and me, in our classroom, alone. And she was flirting with me. Not very wittily, but she was. This was the start of so many dreams that ended with a wash. This was all I could think of: this isn't really happening. This is way too good to be true. Somebody's playing a cruel joke on me, maybe.

"Ouch", I squeaked quietly after giving myself a small, discrete pinch. Either I wasn't dreaming or it was one of those dreams that you… Jesus Christ, my brain was so overheated by this point, I couldn't even continue down this line of thought.

This made her laugh. Everything I did seemed to. It was beginning to get kind of disturbing.

In an awesome way.

"You look like you just saw a ghost", she said playfully as she lifted herself from her seat with remarkable grace.

I swallowed. "…err, Emma... I mean, can I call you Emma?"

"Sure, be my guest."

"What is going on?"

She looked confused as she approached me, her every step oozing sensuality and primal, feminine confidence. The smile on her face widened her voice one of pure, playful, childish innocence, like a cat might have had, if cats had human voices. "What do you mean?"

I took a step back, then another. This part was a lot easier in my dreams, somehow. My slow retreat was stopped by the edge of the desk behind me, which I've gripped absentmindedly.

"Cute as well as funny, what a lucky young man".

Oh, I was lucky. I was definitely, absolutely the luckiest man on the planet at that moment. And there I was, retreating backwards, like she was coming at me with a slasher smile all over her face.

Her face. I couldn't take my eyes of them. She was even more beautiful up close. This image alone, from back then, I was sure that it was going to be my faithful companion for a hundred lonely nights to come.

Teeheehee.

She was moving more quickly now, more passionately. There was something almost desperately animalistic about her aura, that atmosphere which she projected. Her every movement radiated a violent, all-consuming hunger.

She pushed me oh-so-gently backwards with those perfect hands of hers. I could feel her hot fingertips against my stomach even through my shirt as I fall backwards without making a sound, sitting upon the desk.

She was now standing a lot taller than me. My face was, in fact, just in level with a certain aforementioned forbidden fruit that was forcing me to begin empathizing with Adam and Eve.
She leaned slightly down, and my head turned aside so hard my neck probably almost broke. This was a very nice cleavage there.

She wrapped one long, beautiful arm around my neck and, I swear to God, she sat in on lap.

I could smell her perfume, her shampoo, her skin. I could feel that stroke coming.

I had no idea whatsoever what was going on, it was almost definitely a dream, and I didn't ever want to wake up. My heart was beating so fast then that if hooked to an EKG machine, it would probably produce a perfectly straight, still line.

"Was this lesson as boring to you as it was to me?" she whispered.

"H-how boring was it to you?" I mumbled, maybe trying to sound charming, certainly failing spectacularly.

"Unbearably so", she answered, her lips mere centimetres from my ear, her warm breath tingling my temples. I was vaguely aware of the fact that she didn't know my name. It wasn't the most concerning thing at the moment, though.

She was like a snake, coiling around me, hypnotizing me, smelling me with her forked tongue, waiting for the time to strike with venomous fangs. She was the forbidden fruit and the snake all at once. She broke my beautiful, biblical metaphor to pieces.

Her other hand was moving slowly down my back, dangerously low now. Her body getting closer and closer to my face. My fevered mind could almost imagine the feeling of her… of her…
Oh sweet merciful lord in heaven, ohfuckohfuck oh… Christopher, you poor son of a bitch, you owe me money. Those are natural, my friend. Those are completely, one hundred percent natural.

My nostrils were filled to the brim with her sweet, seductive smell.

Everything was so right and so wrong at the same time. Disturbingly, creepily wrong, like a bad trip, and I didn't care. Slowly, shaking in expectation, she raised one long, perfect leg, and with remarkable flexibility passed it over my other knee.

I was sitting beneath her spread legs. She was sitting right over my… tightly closed legs, I admit. A dork will forever be a dork.

She looked down at me, straight at my face. We were staring right into each other's eyes.
Her eyes were so very, very beautiful, and seductive, and unbelievably hot…

And completely, utterly dead. Tired, hollow, like the eyes of a woman seventy years older than Emma. There was a cold, empty, resentfulness to them, a lone mist of sorrow gently floating in the hungry void.

The dissonance was so harsh, so complete, that something inside my head must have snapped like a twig.

Was this how dreams became nightmares? Was this how nightmares killed?

Because Emma was sitting in lap, wrapping her arms around me, her legs spread, breathing into my ear, pushing her marvellous, soft breasts right into my face…
And all I could do was throw her off of me. Forcefully, fearfully, disgustedly.

This was not how this went in my dreams.

No… wait.
This was exactly how it went in my dreams, and this was exactly what was so damn wrong about it. It was not real. It was like a movie, or one of those video games. Like Emma was merely an actor, cynically acting her part in the theatre of my shameful fantasy that has just become reality. Her passion was there, but it was the completely wrong kind. It wasn't alluring. It wasn't attractive at all.

"Stop! Stop! This is wrong", I cried, my voice sounding broken and twisted as if coming out of a broken radio. I was shaking and sweating as if I'd just ran a marathon.

She looked as shocked as I must have. That smile, still on her face, twisted slightly at the corner. She raised one beautifully made eyebrow, as if in confusion, and took a step back on her own. She looked terrifying, she looked crazy. How did I not notice any of this before?

She was shaking just like I was, but in her case, I couldn't tell if it was from fear or anger, or maybe something else.

Did I offend her? I must have. Did this ever happen to her before?

"What… what's wrong?" she asked, desperately trying to maintain the former confident calm of her voice. She failed, so miserably and pathetically I almost cringed at it. Her voice was just as shaky as her body, just as charged with fear or anger or whatever.

"This. This is all wrong", I quickly muttered, looking away. I took a deep breath in an attempt to stabilize myself. "You don't even know my name. It's the middle of class, for God's sake."
She giggled again, masking her nervousness with a poor mask of her older, catlike playfulness. "Yes, isn't it exciting?" she said, putting a finger to her lips.

"Someone could come in any moment now".

She was saying it as if it was a good thing. And in my dreams, it would have been. In some… in some crappy porno, it would have been. But this was real life, and it was just stupid.

I stood silent in front of her, getting up from the desk, steadying myself. "I'm not doing this."

"What's the matter? Need some help getting into the right mood? No problem, no problem", she mumbled, still giggling madly, her hands moving up to begin unbuttoning her shirt. It was the giggle of a crackhead reaching for a package full of Good Shit, and her movements were as steady as one's would have probably been.

I took a step closer to her, and showing more confidence than I ever have in my entire life put together, reached for her wrist and grabbed it to stop her.

"Please don't do this", I said before letting go and turning around to the classroom door. "I'm not interested. Sorry."

"W-what do you mean 'You're not interested'?", her voice reached me from behind. "What… are you… I…"

"Yeah, yeah. Call me a faggot if you want, I don't care. I don't want to do this."

"Yes!" she cried, almost screaming. Maybe she had tears in her eyes, I don't know. I was looking the other way, as I said. "Yes you do! I know you do!"

I shrugged. "Not anymore I don't. Maybe you're not my type."

Her silence accompanied me as I went out of the classroom to enjoy what little was left of recess. That is, to go into the boy's bathroom, look at myself in the mirror for a couple minutes, sigh shamefully and wash my face.

I got back to class for the next period, and she was still sitting next to me.

But I just couldn't look at her the same way as before. It was as if some kind of faery glamour was suddenly dispelled, as if the magic that made her so irresistible to me before, hiding her flaws and blemishes and true features under a thin layer of illusory light was gone.

As if I had woken from a dream. It only took a single look at her to see. Her slight slouch, her dead eyes, with those dark bags under them, badly hidden by her make-up. Was she not getting enough sleep? Why?

She looked flustered, frustrated, irritated. Her blushing cheeks were anything but cute. The way she rubbed her thighs against each other, as if to calm down an itch, made her look pitiful. She bit on her lower lip, and then she bit on her pen, and her fingers were moving aimlessly and nervously around the surface of her desk. She didn't write down anything.

The bell rang once more, and over the cacophony of high-schoolers leaving their classroom, as I made my way around the desk to pick up my bag, she stood up and talked to me again. Her breath was just as rugged as it was before, as if the nearly two hours that have passed didn't calm her down at all. If anything, she looked even more worked up.

But her voice was quiet now. I think it was sincere.

"I… I'm sorry about earlier."

"It's okay", I said flatly, and started making me way out to the door.

"Maybe it would be… maybe it would be better if I sat somewhere else, right?"

I nodded without saying anything. I didn't even turn my head to look at her. I didn't want to know how she looked. She sounded like she was about to cry.

Emma Klingemann, who was every boy's heart's desire, whispered some final words to me, but I have no idea what they were.

Walking briskly, I left her standing by herself in the empty classroom behind me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I do, however, reserve the right to prostrate pathetically in a lamentation of dishonor in response to following posts.

As always, criticism, comments etc. would be more than welcome.



Last edited by Gloom on 2012-02-23, 12:36; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-09, 15:40

Heartbreaking for sure. Good work there!
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Waytfm on 2012-02-09, 18:34

I like it. I'm writing about Nymphomania as well, but your taking it in a different direction so it's really interesting for me to read.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-12, 13:16

Waytfm wrote:I like it. I'm writing about Nymphomania as well, but your taking it in a different direction so it's really interesting for me to read.

I would love to see it when it is done. You've piqued my curiosity.

imperial.standard wrote:Heartbreaking for sure. Good work there!

If it isn't too much of a bother, would you kindly agree to elaborate a little more on the subject? I could definitely use any sort criticism or advise, especially from someone who I assume is a more experienced writer than I am.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-12, 13:49

Gloom wrote:
If it isn't too much of a bother, would you kindly agree to elaborate a little more on the subject? I could definitely use any sort criticism or advise, especially from someone who I assume is a more experienced writer than I am.

You got that wrong - I am on board as a concept artist, not a writer. Very Happy

As for why it is heartbreaking - well the nympho-tan is his dream girl, is it not? and he fantasizes about her?

Aaaaand when there's a chance to get it on with her, he blew her, leaving her an empty shell. Breaking something already "broken" seems a bit cruel but I guess that's where the heartbreaking part is.

Anyway just a two cents from a common reader. Smile
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-12, 14:03

Oh, well, an understandable mistake, I hope. I'm sure a writer will come eventually. Your opinions have been noted, nonetheless. Thank you very much for your input.

Also, Nympho-tan. I have to write this down somewhere, I have a gut-feeling that one day something hilarious will come out of it.

Edit: Now that I think about it, an elaboration: while I agree with your general perception, I'm not sure that the narrator here "breaks her more than she already is", as you say. I think it's more like he inadvertently caused her to acknowledge for a moment just how broken she is. I don't think it's something she gets to do a lot- guess she's too busy, or maybe nobody usually points it out as that much of a problem. Subconsciously, it's obviously there, but he put it on the table: "you sicken me. I used to worship the ground you walk on, but now I see your true face, and it's fucking disgusting. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by HeDanny on 2012-02-12, 14:52

Gloom wrote:So, as I was saying, I also had in a mind a sort of raw draft for a short pieced themed by another one of the ideas I proposed up there. Nymphomania, in this case. So I decided to take a couple minutes and write it all down, I guess.
This intro is really the only criticism I have. After I read this, all the way through I kept expecting it to become a story about nymphomania, but it never really did. Yes it did include a character that may or may not have suffered from the condition, but ultimately it was just a seriously well executed story about a young man getting a chance at his perfect fantasy, and getting a rather brutal heart full of reality instead.

I realise this line,
Emma Klingemann, who was every boy's heart's desire, whispered some final words to me, but I have no idea what they were.
pretty much kills any chance of this story continuing from the young man's perspective, but I can't help but still want more. In fact this whole rough draft as you put it really does feel to me like just an indroduction to a much larger tale.

I may just be grasping at straws here, but do you now intend on revisiting this story, telling the same events over again from Emma's perspective, but then continuing the story with her, long past where the young man's part in her story has ended? I ask only because it seems to me dealing with what has happened here, why it happened, and where it leads is what this piece was really all about.

Of course all of this is is simply about my reaction to the piece. Not the piece itself. The piece itself is brick shithouse solid, and you should be proud of being able to knock out a "rough draft" that is this bloody well done. I'm not jobbing you, I am legitimately impressed. I have pieces I've been working on for close to a decade (some longer) that I don't think are as polished as this. Raw draft indeed. So Jeally right now.

..ok, maybe a little jobbing, but you deserve it. Razz
Keep up the quality work dude. Look forward to what else you have to share.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-12, 15:30

This intro is really the only criticism I have. After I read this, all the way through I kept expecting it to become a story about nymphomania, but it never really did. Yes it did include a character that may or may not have suffered from the condition, but ultimately it was just a seriously well executed story about a young man getting a chance at his perfect fantasy, and getting a rather brutal heart full of reality instead.

A concern that has crossed my mind. I think that my main intention was to simply show that it was possible to deconstruct nymphomania "KS style". I would like to think that the fact that you understood my message perfectly ("sex straight from a childish fantasy would be terrifying and disgusting in real life") is a testament to the success of this piece? Possibly.

pretty much kills any chance of this story continuing from the young man's perspective, but I can't help but still want more. In fact this whole rough draft as you put it really does feel to me like just an indroduction to a much larger tale.

Right now, I have no idea how to continue this story, or even if I want to. You are right in that this particular young man is very unlikely to ever appear again in the (theoretical) story, and would definitely not be the main character if he does. He's through with Emma, as you can probably imagine. The shock of having his fantasy shattered like this was probably too great for him to ever want to have anything to do with her again- not that he's likely to want to, since, now that he can actually think about rationally instead of being distracted by epic boobs, he suddenly realized that he doesn't know anything about her, has nothing in common with her, and she's a fucking weirdo.

I may just be grasping at straws here, but do you now intend on revisiting this story, telling the same events over again from Emma's perspective, but then continuing the story with her, long past where the young man's part in her story has ended? I ask only because it seems to me dealing with what has happened here, why it happened, and where it leads is what this piece was really all about.

I played around a little with the idea of telling this story from Emma's perspective, truth be told, but my attempts so far have been suspiciously evocative of one Sakura Matou, and God knows that this is one character I do not want to end up writing.

Thank you very much for your review, though. It has been helpful and much appreciated.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-02-14, 05:48

Do you want a little advice from a common reader in regards to your piece?

Continue writing about your main character and Emma

See how their relationship can be explored. How the main character tries to connect with a girl he fantasizes with without indulging in her "disability" or taking advantage from her. A bold challenge, but someone with your skill could pull it off I guess. Cool
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-02-14, 13:05

I am considering it as we speak, although, as I said, I have no idea where to take a story like this. I guess I'll see what I can do, for now. Thanks for the encouragement.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-06, 17:39

I can't believe I did it: I actually managed to finish this chapter before my really busy period started. And it's not like I haven't been busy as hell over the last few weeks, mind you.
But I did it!
The hardest part was getting a beginning that I didn't hate. I simply had no idea what I'd wanted the chapter to be. I'd experimented with different tenses, different points of view, different characters.
As I've mentioned before, I don't even know anything about Emma. That has been an obstacle of sorts.
So at some point, I just said "Know what? Let's put all the cards on the table: the only things I know about Emma are that she's beautiful, hypersexualized, and has a certain problem. Let's just roll with that and see where it takes us."
So that's what I did. The result isn't outstanding, but it is a result. So at least there's that.

The Evolution of Crazy

Gretchen lets out another tiny, muffled scream as she reaches her breaking point. Her garishly made fingernails, perhaps some kind of pathetic attempt at drawing somebody's attention, dig into my shoulder blades forcefully, and her legs tense under the blanket as if in pain.

As for myself, though, I don't feel even close to being done yet, and so without letting out so much as another soft growl I pull her around once again for another go - I like that about girls; They aren't as fun as boys to have when it comes down to it, but while a boy starts losing interest after the first time, for us members of the fairer sex the first time can be just a nice appetizer.

And since her appetite has apparently been building up for the last six years or so, she doesn't even offer any resistance. Fine by me, of course – I like all kinds of games. She seemed like the type anyway: it was all in her walk, in her eyes, in her speech. Some people are good at reading those kinds of things. I can't say I am, but when it comes to the one area of my expertise, I like to think that I have at least somewhat of a knack.

It takes a bit of acting, and a bit of empathy, and a bit of wild guessing, but when you really think about it deeply enough, there's an undeniable art to knowing immediately what gets a person hard or wet. The basics are usually the same - that's just physiology: show the most pious monk the bared body of a woman and that atavistic impulse will get a small, well hidden part of his brain a little excited.

But working real magic takes skill.

A skill that, admittedly, I don't get to practice very often, but that's only because, well, I don't really need to. It comes with being as good looking as I am – merely existing near some people is enough to get them interested in me.

I sometimes wonder how I would've managed if I wasn't as pretty. Maybe I wouldn't have this problem in the first place. Maybe I'd end up raping someone; I can think of quite a few people who'd get off to that very idea, although, since we're assuming here that this is all the result of me being unattractive, perhaps that would be different in our hypothetical scenario.

Or maybe I'd just masturbate a lot. More than I do now, anyway. So, a whole lot. It stopped being fun quite a while back, but go tell that to my body.

Then again, maybe nothing would change at all. How many guys would really say no if a girl who wasn't very good looking came to them with moist in her eyes and begged to have some? Standards go far, but human beings' animal natures often go farther.

I barely even notice Gretchen as my thoughts wander to more interesting places. She is not doing a very good job. I can't really blame her, all things considered, but a part of me just can't help but feel a little disappointed. I don't care, though – I'm more than used to it. I figured that the least I could do was to make sure that she was having a good time, and that by itself was a passable excuse. Not that that should take too much concentration, or effort, or anything at all, really; By this point, she is probably way too into it to notice if I decide to put her on fire.

Good, sweet Gretchen: a poor, plain thing, all glasses and braided hair and a nervous stutter. I can't for the life of me remember her surname, but honestly, I couldn't care less for it. A hungry man doesn't care as for what his food is named, or comes from, or looks like.

And hungry I was.

How delighted would Freud surely be to hear such a comparison.

Nevertheless, I caress her body slowly, enjoying the low song of her moans as she worships my breasts, running my fingers through her long hair and draining the heat from her skin. Aloof as I believe myself to be, I just can't help but feel somewhat of a connection with that awkward, mousy little girl.

It's funny, and nobody believes me when I tell them, assuming that they're interested enough in such details in the first place to start a conversation about them, but the truth is that I was as flat as a sheet of paper until a few years back. Apparently, puberty works like a financial investment: you go all through the longer part of junior high being made fun of by your friends for not wearing a bra and then you go check your bank account one day and discover that you can buy yourself a small business. Or that your mom is starting to get angry about having to go shopping with you every month for a new cup size.

Now, don't get me wrong: it's not like I hate my body, or like I don't enjoy it fully. It was just a surprise of sorts, that's all. And I guess I'll always have somewhat of a soft spot for lanky, insecure little girls like Gretchen here. Literally and figuratively, it seems.

Empathy notwithstanding, though, I'm pretty sure both of us are already at that point in our development where any further dramatic growth spurts are quickly becoming a rather slim possibility. Poor Gretchen will have to live on looking a bespectacled lamppost, I think, and barely hide a slight, inexplicable grin.

Unless she decides to go for contact lenses, in which case she'd be just an old, regular lamppost.

I can't help but wonder if she'd come out sadder or happier that I would, in the end. Happier than I am right now, perhaps. She may not be very popular, but… Can there be such a thing as being too popular? Or being popular in all the wrong ways? Because if it can, then I am pretty sure that I am it.

It all comes once again like lightning, out of the tempestuous haze of my half-hearted passion.

By which I mean I do. Eventually.

It builds up slowly, like an electrical charge, numbing, tickling, freezing hot like a shower with the heat turned all the way up. You lose control of your emotions, your muscles, your words. You make a funny face, stretch your limbs a little, say a couple things you don't really mean to. You pray for it to go on forever, and in the same time, you wish for it to end: that sweet agony poets like so much to write about, maybe because the average poet gets so very little of it in real life.

And then comes the moment everyone's been eagerly waiting for: a couple seconds in paradise where the mind blanks completely, and the whole world suddenly becomes bright and boiling hot, and your body feels like it's about to explode and you can almost taste the starlight, and that boring, ugly girl sharing the bed with you suddenly feels like the avatar of a goddess.
Then, as quickly as it had begun, it's all over. The world slowly cools down. Your breath steadies. Your flesh is still tingling, still hypersensitive. You're either too tired and full to go on, or you just feel all that much more determined to have another one: like having the first bite of a delicious dessert.

Try as I might – and believe me that I did, I can never quite replicate the feeling of that moment in my mind. I can understand it all perfectly on the theoretical level, I can imagine in full clarity every single detail, every single sting and movement and sound, but the result is forever a pale shadow of the real experience. Maybe it's a biological security measure that has evolved over the aeons in advanced animals: it's simply not possible for the brain to fully memorize the particular feeling of a good climax. After all, if it was, creatures would never look for sex the second time; they'd be able to just mentally replay the first one, or the first good one, over and over again in their heads without having to go through all the trouble involved in getting there, and nobody would do anything evolutionarily productive anymore, like actually mating.

In those precious moments of peaceful silence following the storm, I feel as if I can think clearly. It doesn't make a lot sense from a physiological point of view: it should probably be the other way around.

But there are things as they are.

No longer completely occupied with getting its fix, my brain is temporarily free to truly absorb new information. My eyes fleet anywhere except for the face of my current companion, who, from the feeling of it, is currently snuggling me dozily under the sheets and trying to regain her composure, at least to a point. She is even less interesting to me than she was a few minutes ago.
I look around for what seems like the first time since I got into her room. It is a reflection of its owner's personality, as rooms tend to be at times. Or at least, it is a reflection of whatever personality I'd imagined or assumed her to have at the time I came here, since I couldn't bring myself to care enough about her to really get into things like her hobbies or dreams or fears. I was satisfied with knowing that she had a crush on me and that she was willing to go through with it on such a short notice, because the pressure was becoming insufferable and it felt like too much of a bother to go looking for someone else back then.

Like her personality, which barely exists as far as I am concerned, her room is boring, clean, and lacking in original design. Beige walls, a few glow-in-the-dark stickers shaped like stars and moons stuck to the windowpanes. An old computer on the desk, by a few neatly arranged piles of papers and notebooks. I bet that they are filled with cute little scribbles, too – Gretchen just feels like the type.

An office chair. A few folded clothes. A big teddy bear.

The plain room of a plain girl.

The absurd lengths to which I am prepared to go for the sake of those few seconds' worth of neuromuscular twitches.

I don't like this girl. I don't even remember her surname. I don't know anything about her, and I don't care enough to try and find out. As if she's nothing to me right now except for a living outlet for my perverted urges.

"As if". I guess I'm just not very good at lying to myself, which is amusing, because I'm generally very good at lying - mind the pun.

What a nice sense of humour I develop at times like these.
Staring at the wall, I try to decide to myself whether or not I am smiling right now. Whether there's any expression on my face at all.

I can't. Gretchen doesn't seem to have a mirror in her room, not that that would've mattered anyway. I do. So far, it really is all very understandable. At least we can say that she may be subconsciously aware of how boring she is to look at.

Perhaps sensing my detachment, she hugs me from behind softly and whispers to me "I love you, Emma".

I don't reply, because I'm not in the mood to tell lies at the moment, but of course, she doesn't really care. Let her drown herself in whatever romantic fantasy she has painted on the interior of her eyelids.

With clarity, comes a slowly creeping sense of melancholy, and with melancholy, inevitably comes contemplation. I both like and hate this part. On the one hand, it's refreshing to be able to really think about something like that so clearly. On the other hand, it's just not something that I like to think about.

I'm in bed with a girl I have not the slightest bit of emotion for. A girl who thinks that she loves me, and that I love her in return, even though she surely knows how unlikely that really is – I am not exactly well known as one who gets involved in long term relationships.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever been in a relationship that lasted more than a couple weeks, tops. Maybe even less than that, depending upon your definition of "being in a relationship".

Am I heartbreaker?

The thought of it doesn't disturb me as much as the immediate realization that I don't care whether I am or not.

There are so many things I don't care about now. So many things that I should, and want to care about, but I simply don't.

I don't think that this is the behavior of a healthy, well-balanced person. I'm… well, I guess I'm pretty certain that something is wrong with me. Almost completely certain.

But it's not a worry of the kind that can be so easily shared with others. I thought about telling my parents a couple times, but I always end up feeling too ashamed and getting cold feet.

Shame. It's something that in the same time I have none of and sometimes I feel like I'm completely made of.

And I thought about telling my friends, but I don't have any close enough friends to talk to about such things. All the girls I know would just use whatever I end up telling them to spread more rumors about me, and all the boys would just… well.

And the worst thing about it would be how I'd feel like it was all on purpose.

I tried to talking to the school counselor a bit, in private, but she just kept going on and on about how what I was feeling was perfectly normal for a girl my age to feel, and how it simply meant that I was growing up well, and to not forget to use protection.

So much for understanding out there.

I turn around uneasily, trying not to make eye contact.

To be willing to go through so much misery for a fucking spasm. It's just so stupid when I think about it rationally. It's not even that good a feeling. My brain tells me that it's the greatest thing ever, but my brain isn't exactly unbiased here. It's short, it's tiresome. Sometimes it's even painful.

And I just can't have enough of it. Of this, weak, meaningless, primitive pleasure.

Am I that weak willed? Are my standards of happiness that abysmally low?

I never smoked, but I've known my fair share of smokers. Many of them intimately, but that's aside the matter. And… it's like nicotine addiction, isn't it? It's not something you want, and the smell is just as bad as it was the first time, but your body just won't let you stop. You break-down if you try to. It becomes such an essential part of your system that you find yourself lighting a new cigarette almost instinctively if you have nothing else to do.

And no matter how many times you tell yourself that it's nothing but damage for you, and no matter how strongly you convince yourself of that, it's just so difficult to stop.
Is that how things are with me? I'm not sure. I want to know, but I don't know who to ask.

A short spasm that our brain interprets as pleasurable.

But what is pleasure, ultimately? It is something all of us seek and crave. Not just humans: animals too. But is there anything more to it? Why do we seek and crave it?
Perhaps pleasure really is just this. Perhaps there's nothing beyond it. Sometimes I'm almost certain of that.

We are our brains. A part of them, anyway – this is how I see it. And the way we interpret physical sensation, the way we put labels like "pleasure" and "pain" on them – it's all a mechanical function of the clockwork of the brain. Who designed it so that this particular feeling would be recognized as pleasure? As something that is worth seeking on such a basic level?

It's probably just a matter of evolution. A long, long time ago, so and so primitive prehistoric creatures were born with a mutation, a brain that is broken in such a specific way as too associate the feeling of intercourse with "pleasure".

Those creatures, who were driven to mate more often, were naturally more successful in passing on their particular brand of brain damage.

Fast forward a hundred million years, and here I am, lying in a bed that smells strange with a girl I don't know between my legs.

We are our brains, but our brains play tricks on us. Various parts of our being put sticks and carrots above each other to get them all to play the game. Electrochemical and hormonal reactions which are desirable or feared for no other reason than that they are drive us in all things.

I am the slave of such absurd foolishness. I try to remember, to analyse, to guess where and when it all might have started. With my first time? It was awkward and painful. Some time after that?
Was it a long, gradual process, or did I just snap at some point and turned into whatever it is that I am now? I can't remember, or say, or figure it out. It just happened.

Is it a problem with my body, or with my brain? Or is it another kind of problem altogether? Is there a physiological explanation? Can another one even exist, assuming that all of who we are really is just the sum of the sparks going off in the storm of our grey matter?

It's all over me. It fills me. I dare not say that it is who I am, maybe. I get so restless and frustrated if I don't get my regular fix. It's irritating and disorienting. It's almost painful. It swells inside my mind and weights down on my body until I can't think about anything else, until I can't take it anymore, until I feel like crying.

So in order to avoid such a situation, I just take my regular dose of filth like the obedient little slave of my own fucked up brain that I am.

Dreams? I don't know anything about my future anymore - they were all sacrificed upon the alter of my perverseness. Worries? It all comes second. Hobbies? I used to have a lot of them, but over time I simply forgot about more and more until only a scant few remained.

I play volleyball. It's not a secret: everybody comes to ogle at me from the stands when I do, but I don't care. My height's a bonus, even though the overall shape of my body isn't exactly ideal for this kind of game, what with having to deal with two extra balls of my own bouncing around whenever I move; but that's just where the magic of the sports bra comes in handy.

So I'm not exactly a champion. I'm not even the best in my own high-school's team. Not the worst either, mind you, but not the best. I don't get all nervous and such if I happen to miss practice once or twice a year like some other members of my team.

But I don't mind any of that. Because volleyball is still fun. It's still something I really enjoy doing, something that I can care about: not as an obsession, not as an urge or an irresistible impulse.
It's just a game. It takes my mind off sex for a while.

At least until the game ends and we all have to go back to our lockers. Then I'm surrounded by the smell of sweat and the sound of heavy breathing and athletic girls taking their shirts off, and all of a sudden I have to hurry to the bathroom.

People talk about arousal as if it's a good thing, a desirable thing. But think about it for a moment: essentially, isn't arousal just like hunger or thirst? It's a sensation that's designed to be uncomfortable. It's designed to be something you want to stop or avoid. It's the figurative stick used by one part your brain against another – it tells you that there's something that you must do right now. So you do it, in order to make the uncomfortable feeling go away.

It would be stupid for it, from an evolutionary standpoint, to work the other way around: if arousal was as pleasurable as the thing it's supposed to drive you to attain, what reason would creatures have to mate? Surely, many of them would be satisfied just with thinking about it?

Maybe that's why masturbation can never be as good as the real thing.

Thinking about all that, I'm only vaguely aware of the feeling of Gretchen's body against mine, but the slow heaving of her chest against my skin as she sleeps is all it takes.

This terribly wonderful feelings starts building up again. I want it so much, and I don't want it at all.

I shake her sleeping form, frowning in agitation.

"Wake up, Gretchen. I'm not done with you just yet".

......................................................................................

So... yeah. I know it's far from optimal. For once, it doesn't actually solve my problem of not having an idea for a big plot in mind. I'm starting to suspect that I may be a lot better at writing scenes than I am at writing stories, and considering the quality of the scenes I write, this doesn't bode well for the future. Emma's personality as it emanates from the text also troubles me: I'd specifically tried to avoid turning her into one of two stereotypical extremes: "The Eager Slut" (obviously) and the "Sakura Matou", a.k.a. "woe is me, my body is flithy and evil".
In the end, not only did I not succeed in either of those goals (she jokes in self pity about her own state. Wow), but I also ended up giving Emma the same kind of boring, slightly contemplative, self-absorbed, cynical personality I somehow end up giving all of my point of view characters. That is the mark of a bad writer.
And the tenses are all over the place. Why must English have so many? Arrgh.

And now I'll stop, because technically I'm not allowed to do all this, am I?

So... you know. I hope you enjoyed this "chapter" or whatever and I'll be happy to hear what you think.

On a sidenote, I ended up questioning quite a lot of interesting people while gathering research material for this chapter. From heavy smokers to actual nymphomaniacs to a certain lesbian friend of mine who was almost creepily eager to talk about all the details of the operation (the original draft was, in fact, a lot more detailed, but I eventually decided that it would be best for everybody if I just left such matters to my readers' vivid imaginations)

EDIT: Please don't start about the biology. Yes, I know that it isn't like this. Just... just roll with it, okay?

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-06, 22:49

Both chapters aren't bad at all. I rather enjoyed them, and believe they could work well as actual stories. I only have one main problem; the rest (like the occasional spelling/grammatical error, which occurred as maybe once every 200+ characters) aren't worth going into detail unless you really want to go back into each draft and manually fix them.

To be honest, it's not even much of a problem. The Emma in the second chapter is completely dispassionate and dead, both to herself and the world around her. Nothing matters except her fix, and she doesn't even feel one way or the other about that fact. In essence, she is quite literally a sex machine. The Emma in the first chapter, however, does not seem quite that deep into her addiction. She appears to understand both that it exists and that it is out of control, yet she still cares enough about something to become emotional toward the end of her encounter with the boy. In fact, she apologizes for her actions. The Emma in the second chapter would likely have not cared enough to bother with such a compassionate gesture.

I can certainly see these two Emmas as being Emma in different stages of her life. However, the character/personality of each Emma are just a bit too different for these events to occur close together on a time line. Otherwise, continue writing Wink
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-03-07, 00:12

WHOAAAA gloom you took the BIG STEP! Congratulations! Now - a couple of comments from a regular reader...

Gloom wrote: but I also ended up giving Emma the same kind of boring, slightly contemplative, self-absorbed, cynical personality I somehow end up giving all of my point of view characters. That is the mark of a bad writer.
And the tenses are all over the place. Why must English have so many? Arrgh.

No, this is not the hallmark of bad writer. ALL writers would have a piece of his/herself in their works.

However it is indeed a WORRY if the character you churned out kept having the same characteristics over and over. Not that it is a bad thing given some circumstances but it can get repetitive quickly. So what to do in this case?

Give her (Emma) a foil. I can feel her cynicism in this side. How about pairing her again with the unnamed protagonist who rejected her first appearance? He rejected her, and unlike many who surrendered to her advances, he might have a LOT of unexplored potential. Maybe while the unnamed protagonist is apathetic in the appearance but is secretly optimistic and determined once he found his passion? Maybe he tried to "convert" her? Again, lots of potential.

You ought to give more credit to yourself man. Just saiyan. It's a wonderful piece of write.


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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Worthington on 2012-03-07, 02:20

Yo, Gloom, that's self-bashing. You best check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Also, hell yeah, new chapter.

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-07, 12:03

To be honest, it's not even much of a problem. The Emma in the second chapter is completely dispassionate and dead, both to herself and the world around her. Nothing matters except her fix, and she doesn't even feel one way or the other about that fact. In essence, she is quite literally a sex machine. The Emma in the first chapter, however, does not seem quite that deep into her addiction. She appears to understand both that it exists and that it is out of control, yet she still cares enough about something to become emotional toward the end of her encounter with the boy. In fact, she apologizes for her actions. The Emma in the second chapter would likely have not cared enough to bother with such a compassionate gesture.

I can certainly see these two Emmas as being Emma in different stages of her life. However, the character/personality of each Emma are just a bit too different for these events to occur close together on a time line. Otherwise, continue writing

I'd noticed that, and indeed, the subject has been troubling me. I guess you could excuse that in all kinds of ways: for once, Emma herself says that seduction takes a little acting - you could say that any part of what happened earlier in the first chapter had been an act; Emma figuring out that the "aggressive animal" approach might work best on our yet unnamed shabby geek of a narrator (and in retrospective, it did work, until he was completely turned off by the artificiality of it. The worst enemy of a great actor is a great observer)

Or you could say that she simply wasn't completely balanced at that point. She does mention herself becoming irritable and confused ("...until I feel like crying") when she's denied her vice, and the narrator there did provide a pretty epic cockblock when he pushed her off. She was completely in the mood and then he stopped it just like this and she had to sit in class for another hour. God only knows how quickly she ran home to masturbate after that.

And we also learn from the second chapter that so to speak, her personality changes dramatically from before to after she's had it. She becomes a lot more depressed and self loathing after that (amusingly enough, that is actually a characteristic of male neurology - dudes are literally programmed to become melancholic after the orgasm): you could argue that the same sort of depressing clarity's hit her when she was rejected. Shaken out of her zone, she was all at once made to remember all of those feelings, this "clarity" which she hates.

Or, as you've mentioned, it could be simply Emma at a different point in her life, although the chronology of it becomes a little messy. Maybe it's from before she's built that wall of cold aloofness to mentally protect herself (which, considering the contents of the second chapter, doesn't bode well for her and the narrator's relationship), or after she's already dropped it (which could explain her much greater seeming vulnerability - she now fully sees it as a problem or a disease, rather than a condition she just lives with, as is implied in the second chapter).

Or maybe she just had a bad day - Dumblydor has been known to scream profanities at teenage goffs under the influence of a headache.

Or... maybe I just wrote an inconsistent character here. sigh. I'll have to work on it in future; I still don't have a clear image of what kind of person I actually want her to be.

Thanks, though.

No, this is not the hallmark of bad writer. ALL writers would have a piece of his/herself in their works.

However it is indeed a WORRY if the character you churned out kept having the same characteristics over and over. Not that it is a bad thing given some circumstances but it can get repetitive quickly. So what to do in this case?

Give her (Emma) a foil. I can feel her cynicism in this side. How about pairing her again with the unnamed protagonist who rejected her first appearance? He rejected her, and unlike many who surrendered to her advances, he might have a LOT of unexplored potential. Maybe while the unnamed protagonist is apathetic in the appearance but is secretly optimistic and determined once he found his passion? Maybe he tried to "convert" her? Again, lots of potential.

You ought to give more credit to yourself man. Just saiyan. It's a wonderful piece of write.

I'll see what I can do there. Maybe I'll have another strike of inspiration soon. Thank you too - your support has been very beneficial to me in this.

Yo, Gloom, that's self-bashing. You best check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Also, hell yeah, new chapter.

...I'm trying, I'm trying...

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-07, 15:49

Gloom wrote:I'd noticed that, and... sigh. I'll have to work on it in future; I still don't have a clear image of what kind of person I actually want her to be.

Thanks, though.

I can see the character's identity is really bugging you. I was tired when I posted before, and now see that I didn't explain myself very helpfully. What I should have said was that two portions, in specific, seem to conflict with one another. If we omit or edit just one in favor of the other, everything else melts together to become (in my opinion) a more well-meshed picture. These are the portions in question:

Emma wrote:But her voice was... left her standing by herself in the empty classroom behind me.
&
Emma wrote:Am I heartbreaker? The thought of it doesn't disturb me as much as the immediate realization that I don't care whether I am or not.

Let's hypothetically omit the first portion (the apology). If this were the case, it could be because Emma isn't be the type to apologize for her racy attempt to seduce. Or even to bother talking to someone who turned her down. To this Emma, people could be becoming little more than tools to sooth the urge that's consuming her. Any price would be worth it, and if there's no relief or distraction to be gained from something, then that thing would have no value to her. Her only real qualms with what she's doing, then, might be from a practicality standpoint of "I'd much rather not have this handicap", and not an emotional one.

If we hypothetically omit the second portion (her nonchalance toward bringing emotional distress), however, the tone changes. If this were the case, it could be because Emma, despite being otherwise a slave to her desire, still shares some level of empathy with others. Sure, she makes blunt observations that seem insensitive, but maybe it's a result of becoming jaded through the addiction's constant barrage on her conscience. Her thoughts, then, are less a product of her having a "the ends justify the means" mentality as they are a mixture of despair at the type of person she's forced to become and an empty drive to survive.

These are just my perceptions, however; perhaps they are unique to me. Maybe one, either, or neither of these archetypes appeals to you. Or perhaps her personality is just capable of swinging both ways like that (hey, is that a pun?). Actually, if that were the case, then these two chapters alone might not be sufficient to convey that idea. There are a lot of ways you could make this story work the way it is right now. There are also a lot of ways you can play with it. Having created this much of her so far, I'm sure you'll be able to find a specific set of personality nuances that make her feel juuust right.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-07, 16:14

I understand. This is indeed a troubling observation. I shall see whether I am able to mend this little problem.

Thank you, once again, for your keen observations and helpful analysis.

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Leotrak on 2012-03-08, 09:54

One word I have for this, Gloom. Just one.

Impressive

(you may imagine this being said in that Quake announcer voice Razz)

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-19, 17:42

Though the long and grueling battle was eventually won, so heavy were the losses and the tear of the army that its victory only hardly could have been called that.
I am a writer battling against a lack of ability, and with this chapter, I'm afraid that I've won a Pyrrhic victory. It is a victory in that the chapter was, eventually, written.
It is Phyrric in that it perhpas would have better been left not.

That is the trouble of being an unskilled writer with a demanding day job. You think about things to write while you work, but by the time you finally arrive at your computer, late at night, the lines which had seemed so naturally flowing and eloquent in your mind at the time of their birth have already been reduced to a hazy, incoherent blur of ideas and images, and I, personally, seem not to have the sufficient talent to bring them to virtual ink.

Not only did it take me so long to write this chapter, but its quality is atrocious, even compared to the previous two. More painfully, for me, it is atrocious when compared to the quality of all the other stories that have popped around in the meantime. The realization that me being first had simply meant that, and that relatively to the majority I can barely call myself a writer, was not a pleasant one.

So after much cutting, and editing, and re-editing, and additions, and more cutting in vain, there is your finished product. Have mercy.

Red Apples and Faerie Queens

I'd thought that the previous day's events have forevermore rendered me immune to Emma's spell, but reality begged to differ. Just as I've assumed during our conversation, as she approached me with the visage of a predatory animal, her face did come back to haunt me in my dreams on that night, and I'd been certain that they would again, for a hundred nights to come.
The face of a dream twisted into a dark mockery of itself. The face of a cruel nightmare, the face of a beautiful, mad, hungry thing.

I couldn't remember anything from my dreams that night except for her face. Every single detail of it, from the curl of the upper lip to the wrinkle beneath the eye, has been carved for all eternity into my brain as if with a chisel.

But it was only on the next morning, as I made my way to my desk in the middle left row of the classroom, even more sleep deprived and nervous than usual, when I fully realized the consequences of the cold, silent nod I gave her on the day before in an answer to her final question.

Just as she'd said that she should, she took her things and moved to another place, away from me, on the other side of the classroom. It took her about two seconds to arrange for a switch of seats with Eric, a slightly overweight boy with a neat haircut who seemed to have had hobbies even stranger and more obscure than my own, since I had no idea what he was trying to talk about when he tried to be friendly. Unfortunately, despite what the movies might try to teach us, any two random losers do not necessarily have a higher chance of becoming friends than any other random couple, which makes sense when you think about it, since "being a loser" is actually a pretty shitty topic to bond over.

Emma, meanwhile, has moved to the second to last, far right row of the classroom, and seemed as comfortable in her new spot as she'd ever been in any other - that is to say, within seconds of her settling in she was already the dominating presence in a rather significant social radius.

I'd thought that the previous day's events had put an end to my clumsy half-stares at her direction, but once again, I've been proven wrong. It's just that now, rather than being stares of adoration and lust, they were instead filled with a cocktail of emotions so complex that I couldn't even come up with a name for it. It was a mixture of fear, confusion and intrigue, fused together by some other, secret element of which my conscious mind was not aware.

No matter what I did, no matter what she did, no matter what happened or didn't happen between us, there seemed to have been no escape from me from the magic of Queen Emma.
The lunch bell rang loud and disconcerting. I sighed in embarrassment as I reached down to my bag to take out my meal: I usually make those myself, but from time to time my mom still beats me to it. It's not that my mom isn't a very good cook or anything – although she really isn't – it's just that there's something shameful about eating your own mothers cheese sandwiches and the obligatory accompanying banana some eight years after most teenagers stop talking to theirs. Then again, losers are given a measure of leeway when it comes to childish and embarrassing habits, I assume. It's only fair this way.

While I was trying to hide my homemade disaster sandwich, silently thanking God that no "Good Day!" note was attached to it, Emma was already getting busy flirting with some gaunt, pale blonde haired guy from the nearby classroom.

He was leaning against the classroom wall by the doorway with his hands in his pockets, probably feeling like the coolest thing to have ever graced the face of planet Earth, and she was sitting on the edge of her desk; one leg hanging lazily over the other, exposing what must have been the mathematically ideal amount of flesh and panties to make the mind boggle.
Having already finished the mainstay of her meal with lightning speed by the time I'd managed to muster the courage to take a closer look, Emma was now digging into a big, red apple between playful remarks and suggestive looks directed at the boy.

As if it has been created just for her to eat at just that moment, the apple looked in all ways as perfect as she did – a deep shade of mouth-watering crimson, ripe and invitingly shiny. It was the kind of apple evil witches put princesses to sleep with, and the way Emma bit into it made me, for the first time in my life, both extremely jealous of and vaguely afraid for the wellbeing of a fruit.
I'd never assumed that it was possible to put so much seeming passion into the act of eating, but Emma's easily done it. I'd wanted to approach her even more, to look even more closely, but I couldn't leave my desk. All I could do was to stay seated down and stare, enraptured, filled with wonderful terror.

I wasn't close enough to hear what they were talking about, but from the looks of, I already had a few guesses. She played him like a marionette, like a leading dance partner, her every move, look and expression the result of a brilliant and deliberate act of choreography. It wasn't the one she'd danced with me, but her touch, powerful yet deceitfully subtle, was definitely there.
Emma was a girl who knew boys' dreams. She was what they were made of.

Smiling widely with satisfaction, her white teeth shining at the edge of her mouth, she slowly raised her hand to take another huge, hungry bite off her apple. A piece of its meat has stuck to her lip. A thin trickle of golden juice has started flowing slowly down her chin, and she lowered her eyes in embarrassment.

He reached down from the wall to lick it off, to kiss her, and I had to turn my head away. I couldn't stand the thought of it. I couldn't bear to see it.

She couldn't have arranged for this to happen. A piece of fruit sticking to your face during a bite isn't something that can be planned heads-on, and yet she reacted so perfectly, so naturally, as if it has all been a part of her pre-planned dance.

I was awed and humbled. And more than a little horrified.

She looked perfect. Her movements were perfect. Her voice was perfect.

And yet, deep inside, I was keenly aware of just how dreadfully wrong that impression was. I couldn't unsee it, no matter how much I'd wanted to. Once the mask has been removed, not even in my mind I could put it back on. Beneath the perfection of her movement, I saw hunger and madness. Beneath the perfection of her eyes, I saw that dark, sad void, and it pulled me deeper into itself with all the power of a black hole, threatening to devour and destroy.

Nobody else seems to have noticed. But I did.

The boy's already left, and as she threw the thin core of the eaten out apple over her shoulder to the nearby bin, Emma let out something between a giggle and a sigh.

I put my sandwich back in my bag. It wasn't that good, anyway, and for some reason, that sign of hers has filled me a with the same strange conviction that drove me to push her away the day before.

Now, that mysterious force tried to bring me closer to her.

"Hey… Emma", I'd called quietly to get her attention as I approached, my entire form screaming submissive insecurity.

She turned her head quickly to face me, but her expression didn't change. It was the same calm smile, and those were the same frightening eyes which only I could see. If she'd remembered anything from the day before, and I knew that she had, than she did a masterful job hiding that fact.

"Hey". A casual reply, without a hint of recognition. Her body moved as she said it: a quick twist of the hip, a movement of the leg, and before I knew it she was facing me as she'd had the blonde
boy. Her legs were both hidden under her skirt now, though, her elbows resting against them, her chin lazily supported by the back of her hand.
She looked majestic: a queen upon her throne.

I suddenly realized that I had no idea what to say to her; No idea as for how to express those emotions of which I had no idea either except that they existed.
"…What were you talking about with that boy just now?"

She grinned wickedly. "Oh, you know. This and that, there and then."

I took a nervous step back instinctively. It was yesterday all over again.

It is said that predators can smell your fear, and Emma was a more dangerous predator than any wolf or lion. She leaned even closer to me, amused by my embarrassment.

"I could ask him if you can join us", she said, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to, than took a single step off her desk and moved in even closer. Her face was centimeters from mine now – I could smell the bitter sweetness of the apple on her breath.

"Or, if you don't feel like sharing, I could have you take turns."

My brain exploded. Must've been a hell to clean off the floor.

The classroom around us was now almost empty once again. Where did everyone go in such a short time while mind was occupied?
The silence was eventually broken by the sweet sound of her weary laughter as she returned to her seat.

"See? I knew right from the beginning that you were the funny sort".

"Wait… was this all a joke right now?"

She gave me a look of mocking puzzlement. "Would you like it to be?"

"Suppose I do not?"

She shrugged. "I'm sure something could be arranged if I try hard enough", she says, but she doesn't look like she's joking anymore. She's not serious, either. Rather, I think her disposition could best have been described as "grim".

Now that again the two of us were alone in the otherwise empty classroom, something about her has loosened up. But instead of coming at me with malicious intent in her eyes, she just sat back slowly in her place and let gravity pull her body downwards, until her head rest against the wall and her arms hang awkwardly at her sides.

She looked horrifically tired, and a little sad, and still there was a little smile on her face: questioning, inscrutable, coldly crazy.

I mustered my courage. "What was it yesterday?"

"Yes," she muttered. "What was it yesterday?"

I didn't know how to respond to that. I didn't expect her to be a person of so many extreme opposites. It has suddenly struck me that to this point, I'd never considered her a very complex human being. She was Emma: beautiful, sexy, desirable. Nothing more or less.

Now she was… What? Dangerous? Crazy? Pitiful? A mystery? Frightening and inviting, tragic in her amusement, punishing with her smile.

For a part of me, she was still a goddess, a faerie – no longer in the sense of being an object of worship, but in being a powerful, enigmatic, capricious thing whose ephemeral desires mere mortals try their best to fulfill.

And yet, her divinity was layered upon a very human, transient, fragile core. I could see it through the holes in her eyes. Or so I'd believed.
I'd wanted to know more. I couldn't let those thoughts go.

"I'm sorry for abandoning you like this. You must have…"

"…It's okay. I understand", she said, calmly, her voice filled with what could be interpreted as a shade of regret.

"No! It's not okay," I objected, trying to maintain the balance I've managed to gather. I took a deep breath in a desperate attempt to get my thoughts in line, to no avail. "Because… because…"
I seemed to have piqued her interest, from the look on her face.

"…because I made you cry, didn't I?"

She stayed quiet for a second, than gave another quiet, sigh-like laugher. "Rest assured, if I did cry yesterday, you were not to blame."

That she cried because of the way I abandoned her. It only seemed natural, from my point of view. But her reply now's managed to fill me with doubt. Was it really all about me? Did it really make sense for it to be, or was it just an egocentric, ill-informed, childish assumption? Perhaps even a form of willing delusion? That the great Emma Klingemann might care about me so much that she would cry in such a situation?

"But you did cry, didn't you?"

She didn't answer.

So I just continued, throwing my caution and self-restraint to the four winds.

"The… the truth is that you scared me yesterday."

She turned her head away from me, looking oddly at piece.

"I can be scary," she agreed quietly.

"Terrifying".

This made her smile a little. "Well, I'll admit that I'm not as… forceful, usually."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I saw how you looked at me, yesterday. Didn't you want me?"

I lowered my gaze shamefully.

"I did."

"Then why did you leave?"

"Because I didn't want you like that."

"Like what? Forceful? Aggressive? ", she said, and there was once again a hint of agitation in her voice. "What is it that you want, then? For me to lie helplessly on my back? To beg on all fours?
To be gentle? To be quiet?"

"I don't want any of that! I don't… I don't want you to do anything like this."

"Why?"

"Because it isn't you."

A shadow passed over her face. Her lip twisted. Her eyes narrowed. Her voice was broken.

"You don't know me," she whispered, and lifted her bag off the floor, and made her way out of the class, perhaps giving me a taste of my own medicine.
It was most foul.

She didn't come back to class after the break.

Neither did she come back on the next school day.

The teacher raised her eyes from the attendance list confusedly. "Klingmenn, Emma? Does anybody know where Emma is?"
"She said she wasn't feeling well", said some mousy girl from the front row whose name currently eluded me, then returned to being invisible. Why in hell Emma would tell her anything like that was beyond me, but she was the only one to speak.

Once again, I couldn't help but feel as if I'd made a terrible mistake regarding this woman whose visage kept haunting me. Once again my poorly-chosen words have resulted only in suffering for the both of us. By all means, the most sensible thing to do has always been to just give up on her. It was then, and it was before, and it was all the way through.
And I'd always considered myself such a sensible person.

The school day's passed over me like a cold breeze, over before I could fully grasp that it had started. Irrational regret still weighted heavily on my mind.
I thought that I'd loved her, but I was wrong.

Then what was it, after all? There had to be something between us. Something that I'd like to believe that she was aware of as well. I seemed to have had a knack to say things that hurt her, but even that implied some sort of deeper connection. People don't hurt nearly as badly over things said by those for which they care little.

Such troubling thoughts were my company on my way home from school. Deciding to compensate myself for this melancholy, I used what little change I'd happened to have in my pocket to buy a
bag of chips from a vending machine and took the longer, more scenic way home.

I encountered few other people: I deliberately avoided the more crowded streets, and I assume that not many were out anyway due to the cold. The grey sky of summer's end, like a reflection of my tiny spirit underneath them, seemed heavy somehow – not with rainclouds, but with something else, deeper perhaps. As if some kind of cosmic intelligence had decided to lean just a bit closer in its fascinated observation of the earth's workings.

I didn't take an umbrella with me on that day, and a part of me had hoped that I wouldn't happen to need one, but for the most part, I didn't really care.
The town I'd lived in was famous for its many beautiful parks. I was never exactly an outdoorsman, but I could appreciate the unique atmosphere of one, and into one has led me the route I've chosen.

Shoving my hands into my jacket pockets to protect them from the cold wind, I'd stepped through the invisible barrier into the autumn kingdom that lay in the shade of the park's trees.
Dry leaves the colour of rust broke gently beneath my feet as I stepped over them, whispering like dying embers in a fire. The branches above me danced to the silent rhythm of the wind.
There seemed to have been no other human soul for miles around me. Just me, a boy with little clouds riding his cold breath, and the cobbled path barely visible under its red blanket, and the grey, brown, orange world around me in which time and space have ceased to mean anything.

A feeling like enchantment.

An air of witchery.

I was a stranger walking the paths of a fairytale realm, and bound to follow its strange and whimsical law.

I could think of no other way to explain the extent to which fate had seemed to go to play with me.

"Odds" and "Chances" don't count for much in a fairytale. Those operate by their own rules.

There was an old bench of wood and wrought iron down my path, there to be used by visitors to the park. To its left, a garbage bin. To its right, a lamppost.

Upon it, was a figure that I could no longer honestly say to myself that I didn't expect – reason be damned.

Emma was sitting by herself, clad in a white coat of what I could only hope was some kind of synthetic fur replacement. Whether or not fuzzy little critters have been killed to make it, though, the outfit looked gorgeous on her.

I was starting to wonder whether it was physically possible for that girl to not look dazzling in any given outfit.

Her hair, long and delicate, a colour that wasn't exactly red or brown or gold waved gently, free in the autumn wind.

A crown of dead leaves for the eerie, beautiful faerie queen, in the heart of her lonely realm.

My heart had skipped a beat.

Such a being as she was couldn't help but be wreathed in its glamour, be veiled in enchantment.

How few were the mortals cursed and blessed with the ability to see through it? To pierce through that mystery and gaze upon the deeper, darker mysteries it only existed to hide?

If she'd noticed me, she didn't make the fact apparent.

"I thought you were sick", I said, breaking the sacred silence.

"Am I not?" she answered, as enigmatic as ever.

"I didn't mean like that."

"I still don't know what you meant in the first place. I just know that I'm sick."

"Is this why you didn't come to school?"

She shrugged, or perhaps simply shivered against the cold.

"I don't see what isn't normal about a person feeling ill once in a while. We all get a bit nauseous at times, don't we?"

"So… you were nauseous?"

She smiled. "Had the most terrible headache, too."

"Migraines?"

"It's a stress thing", she said, and moved a little from her place on the bench, seemingly inviting me to join her.

I never could figure her out, but I sat down nonetheless, though keeping a certain distance from her just to be on the safe side.
We sat like this, and neither of us said anything for a while. The sky seemed to darken a little in its shade of grey.

My mouth was dry, my heart was pounding, yet she seemed so peaceful.

"Are you hungry? I think I still have a bag of chips on me somewhere."

An apologetic smile. "Thanks, but I don't like those very much. They're terrible for the skin of your face."

"If anyone alive could afford to damage it just a little, I'd say it'd be you", I sighed.

She didn't seem amused by it, and it suddenly struck me that perhaps she really didn't agree with that statement.

Was she one of those people who honestly believed that they had nothing but good looks to offer to others? It didn't seem likely, all things considered, but the thought still troubled me.

"Did anybody ask about me in class?"

I shook my head. "Well, the teacher obviously did, when she saw you weren't there."

"What about the other kids?"

"Not… not any that I can think of."

She straightened her back and frowned bitterly. "Aren't people terrible like that?"
The awkward silence that followed was broken by me, slowly but surely.

"No."

"No?"

"I'm sorry, I just don't agree with that. I don't think that people are terrible."

She looked at me as if I'd suddenly grew a second pair of arms.

"Also, I don't think that the fact that nobody asked anything necessarily means that nobody was worried about you."

"And your point in that?"

"I know I did."

"Is… that some more of your apology crap? Because I already said that there was no need for it."

"Maybe it is," I admitted. "I still wanted to say it."

Despite what she said, though, the change in her posture and expression has been clear. Her previous anger was replaced with something else. Confusion, maybe. Worry.

"I wish I knew what you're thinking right now."

She hesitated for a brief moment.

"Me too."

......................................................................

I used to like writing dialogues, but these are so infuriatingly awkward. I wish I could take a day off just for writing, so that any idea I might have could flow right from my mind into my fingers without being given time to dilute, but, alas, I cannot. So this is what you have, for now.

Good night.

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רק עוד כמה שנים ואני לגמרי אוכל להתחיל לעבוד על התרגום הזה.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by imperial.standard on 2012-03-19, 21:56

This
Is
Fucking
GREAT!

I woke up from my slumber finding a great fanfic piece, now you have made my day!!

Analysis to come later Smile

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-21, 00:34

I agree with Imperial Standard: this is quite good. Definitely liking where this story is going Smile

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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Gloom on 2012-03-21, 12:41

While I have immense appreciation and gratitude for your shows of support, a little more in-depth criticism would be immeasurably more useful to me in optimizing the next chapters.

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רק עוד כמה שנים ואני לגמרי אוכל להתחיל לעבוד על התרגום הזה.
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Re: Heart's Desire

Post by Malkav on 2012-03-21, 22:29

Weeeell, since you asked so nicely... ^_^

"Now, that mysterious force tried to bring me closer to her." <- Two things: first, I would omit the word 'tried'. Second, I would replace 'to bring me closer to her' with something more physical or direct. Perhaps a sentence like, "Now, that mysterious force sent me walking straight toward her." Something to give more real and forceful imagery to the compulsion that he feels at that moment. That's the only major content change I would suggest (nothing very 'major' about it, though).

In the beginning of this third chapter, many of your sentences were quite long. There's nothing wrong with this, except where maybe one or two turned into an entire paragraph, in of themselves. However, it also seems that, at the beginning, the very long sentences were clustered together. The end of this chapter also had a lot of medium-length sentences following each other. If you'd like, you could try keeping the sentence length and structure varied. I hear that the reader is more mentally stimulated when they're constantly surprised by unexpected lengths, though it wasn't much of a problem for me.

Those are the only real critiques I can think of. You mentioned frustration with the dialogue, but since it was a series of short, back-and-forth statements, I can't really see what you could have added without making the reading clunky and awkward. I think you added in just the right amount of non-conversational detail, and the sentences aren't long enough to really manipulate (I don't think they should be, anyway). Reading what you have here already sounds pretty natural.

You also keep your sentence structures pretty well-varied. Sometimes you'll use openers [example: Initially, I...], sometimes closers [ex: ...finished, that's all.], and often just a plain, non-fluffed sentence. Only saw one or two splits [ex: ... features, while a bit strange, were still...], but those are rather awkward to implement, as it is.

Anyway, TL;DR: here are a few improvements, but I think you are truly doing quite well.

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You can't buy more time, so why live with hands bound tightly? Cut the ropes and live free. Take the dive.
If everyone just learned to keep silent, we'd break open the summit and climb the Ivy into the land of accidental Tokarev explosions and the Child of all Creation. Aim for the day when we become mere worms as colorful as we are indecent. Is the kindness of messing up the arrangement what we call arrogance?
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