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    Love, and other delusions.

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    Murdoch
    The Architect of Fate
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    Love, and other delusions.

    Post by Murdoch on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:51 pm

    Now I've recently gotten into short stories; that is, reading them and figuring out how they're written. The best ones are always ones with a message, or something specific to say, and I've decided to start writing my own little anthology...I've tried writing long novels, but that didn't really work out. So I went back to the drawing board and decided to try the short stories, with a very specific planning method. I do very well with introspection and inner monologues, so I thought that very short, soliloquy-style pieces would be easier for me to manage. After all, a short story is about 1000-5000 words, and I could easily manage a short story centered around introspection! The following short story clocks in at about 2000 words....so I think I did quite well! XD So, after about four or five hours planning, researching and writing, I present to you my first short story.

    Feel free to give feedback and to post an essay dissecting it, if you feel the need, since I think it might be at least a week before my next one is up (on this thread). So...here we go!



    A Long Awaited Marriage

    “Do you take Steven for your lawful wedded husband, to live in the holy state of matrimony? Will you love, honour, comfort and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?”
    My eyes flicker from the Father to my fiancé, standing only a couple of short feet away from me...my future husband, should I choose it. Yes, I will silently, I do. I do with all my heart; he's the only thing I'll ever need, the only thing I'll ever want. Before him, I was alone in the world, without hope or direction. I had a life, I had friends, but none of them truly knew me, not the way he does. I had a job and a flat and a cat, I got up in the morning and went to work, I ate and I laughed and I did insane things with my friends and family, but nobody really knew the real me. Not because they didn't care, of course, but because I didn't trust anybody. Call it a product of my upbringing, call it a choice or something more, but I was always a little different.

    It shouldn't have mattered, the world we live in today, but people can be so...petty. Cruel. They'll pick up on any little difference that they can, anything that sets you apart, and mock you for it, to make themselves feel bigger or try and draw attention away from their own flaws and insecurities. And, of course, the sheep will follow, out of fear or malice or even just boredom...but the why doesn't really matter to the victim. People might say that they are just as vulnerable as you, and that they suffer from the same fears that you do, but it doesn't really make the pain any easier to bear. Always thinking that there's something wrong with you, that it's something that you're doing wrong that makes them torment you. And you try; you try to change, try to fit in, try to change yourself to conform with what they deem acceptable, but whenever you try they only shove you out, laughing at your weakness; how could you, they ask, ever think that you could fit in with them? You're just too different. Too weird.

    So I staggered through life, always searching for something; I had no idea what I was looking for, or where it could be, or even why I was looking for it so desperately, or why I would stumble and fall and want to curl up when I couldn't find whatever it was. And even more confusing at the time was how, after everything, I could get up. I couldn't work out how or even why, but I always wanted to get up. I would gather myself, gather the shattered pieces and put them back together as well as I was able, and stagger on, still flailing blindly for something I couldn't reach. I would always act like it was intentional, like I didn't care, and then their barbs didn't hurt as much. By pretending to be somebody else, somebody with a devil-may-care, gung-ho attitude to life, rather than the scared, frightened child I really was inside, I could better cope with their barbs and dismissive, off-hand comments. I could pretend that they weren't really mocking me, but some figment of my imagination. A mask to protect my face from the scratches and blows directed at it. But there comes a point where the mask becomes so battered, so dented, so used...that it's really rather difficult to take it off. Everybody sees you as a partier, going wild and getting drunk and having these crazy adventures, but that isn't you, it wasn't me. It was the spectre I had created to be my decoy, but somehow it had taken over my life.

    I was forced to watch from the inside as I partied and drank and stayed out late, having meaningless fling after meaningless fling with random guys in dark rooms, men I never saw again, nor even wanted to. I would sit alone in my room after they had left – usually with an embarrassed “goodbye,” as if lying with me had been shameful in some way – head in my hands, tearing at the mask to try and get it off...and I would suffocate. I would gasp for breath desperately, my lungs burning for some fresh air, my mind screaming at me that I needed to take this thing off, that it was destroying my life...as much fun as I pretended I was having, people whispered and sneered behind my back, looked at me with kind eyes but struck me with sharp tongues...they would sidle up and smile, before sliding a knife between my ribs. And somehow...I would endure. I would weather the storm, wrapped in my mask and cloak, unable to really speak – oh, I spoke, but I never really said anything of consequence; it wasn't me talking, not saying what I wanted to say. It was the spectre saying what was expected of me, laughing at the jokes it should have, speaking when spoken to and shrugging off any dirt that came its way – from behind my...well, it wasn't a mask. It was a muzzle.

    It silenced me, held me back, imprisoned me inside myself. I couldn't trust anybody, and soon my heart was shrivelling up and turning brown and bleak, simply because I had nobody to look after it, a task I was obviously woefully incapable of doing. And I realised that I had never gotten up. I had fallen, early on in life, and never quite gotten the strength to pick myself up. I'd pulled myself along on my belly, my skin slicing open, my hair tangling and knotting on the hard ground...because when you face rejection and despair, try as hard as you might, you can never get up on your own. You always need a helping hand, somebody who knows you to pick you up and dust you off. Everybody needs somebody in that respect...everybody needs a friend. And try as I might, I couldn't lift myself up off of my knees. I had fallen to them too many times to have the strength or self respect that I needed to get myself back on track.

    And then...then I met him. It was late at night, I was in the library, scanning the shelves for what I needed for my assignments, and it all became far, far too much. I fell, and I didn't get up. I sat on my knees, clutching the books to my chest and trying desperately not to cry, blinking furiously and breathing hard. My eyes closed, and I was taken away from the library, away from the university and away, even, from the city...all was dark and I fought to maintain my composure. I was slipping, I could feel it; the obvious pity-and-scorn of my so-called 'friends,' the way I had turned my body into some kind of cheap feel-good tool for bored men to take advantage of...at that point, even the small differences that set me apart from everybody else seemed like a huge chasm that I could never truly bridge. I would never be normal, so why bother? Why bother trying to go on, when nobody ever really accepted me for who I was? Was there no place in this whole world for me? I'm just like everyone else, for Gods sake...why couldn't anybody look past my issues and my differences and just see that I was like them; scared, confused and desperately trying to figure it all out?

    I have no idea how long I spent trying to calm my erratic heart, or slow my desperate breathing...I have no idea how long I battled my tears, determined to keep it all inside. The cracks were beginning to show, and for some reason, I was panicking as I tried to hold the mask together. It may seem nonsensical to you; why was I trying to hold together the mask that was suffocating me, keeping me from the rest of the world? Why, after wishing it gone so many times, would I fight to keep it on? Because I was scared. I didn't know who I was without the mask. I didn't know whether I could go through life and endure the same troubles I had if I didn't have the mask to shield me, to protect my true self. In short...I didn't think I could do it alone. And then, all of a sudden, I felt somebody next to me. A larger form had crouched down beside me, and had put its arm around me. I didn't even think; I leaned into it, desperate for some comfort, some indication that somebody cared about me, even in the least-personal, passing way. Eventually I opened my eyes, and looked up to see him staring down at me, concern etched into his beautiful chocolate eyes. I could feel my breath being sucked out of my body as I saw him, but also as I realised just what I was doing; a stranger who had never met me before in my life was now holding me in my most vulnerable moment in a long time...this was the most intimate experience of my whole life. I had engaged in sex countless times, but none of it was really intimate or loving. They were all quick-shots, desperate attempts to distract myself from the bleakness that I was facing in my life...this was far more than that.

    In that simple moment, I looked into his eyes and he looked into mine, and he saw through the mask. He penetrated straight through the façade that I had built around myself, and saw me for who I truly was....and I could see that he felt the same. Not from his eyes, but from the way that genuine concern and empathy was radiating from the rest of his face...his mouth twitched into a small half smile, one of comfort and at the same time a wordless invitation. And before I knew what was happening, I spilled my secrets. All of them. I told him everything that I have just told you, and more. It took hours and hours, my voice breaking and trailing off as I repeatedly came close to tears. My eyes blurred, my nose ran and my throat cracked and felt like it was going to break, but despite myself, I managed to keep myself together...until the end. When I finished, he looked at me, all quiet, and started his story...and then, when I heard how he himself had had a similar experience, I did cry. Not out of sorrow, or pity, but out of relief that somebody, somewhere, understood exactly how I felt. Not just because he had been through something similar, but because he had listened to me and not judged me. I had laid my secrets bare...and he simply accepted them, without question. He picked me up from off the floor, dried my eyes, and helped me to move forward.

    He obviously sees something in my eyes, because at that moment he squeezes my hands softly, pulling me back to the present. He tilts his head questioningly, and I simply smile in response. This earns his trademark lop-sided smile back at me, a small glimmer of white against a kind, welcoming blanket of night.
    The rest, as they say, is history. He saved me, gave me self-worth...I know now what I was looking for all my life. I was looking for him. Somebody who understands me, somebody who cares about me, regardless of what I may do...somebody who loves me not for who I am pretending to be, but for who I am. That day was the day that somebody finally stopped beside me rather than simply walking on, and picked me up. And I love him for it, and for being him...the kind, loving soul that he is, and I know in this very moment that I only ever want to be his. How could I want anybody else, when my Will is right here beside me?
    He looks at me, really looks, as he always does.
    “I do,” he whispers, and I have to hold back a delighted laugh.



    Feedback? Reactions? Thoughts, feelings, etc? How would you feel about seeing a second short story?
    All comments welcome! Smile
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    Maelstrom
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    Re: Love, and other delusions.

    Post by Maelstrom on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:53 am

    This was almost unbearably adorable. x3 I really really liked it, and how the insight seemed to reflect what quite a few people go through in their lives but are really too afraid to admit it, or open up to someone else. It was very, very well written and a pleasure to read!
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    Murdoch
    The Architect of Fate
    The Architect of Fate

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    Re: Love, and other delusions.

    Post by Murdoch on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:58 am

    Stop, I'm blushing! Razz
    Thanks hun! Smile I'm really glad you like it Smile



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    Wraith
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    Re: Love, and other delusions.

    Post by Wraith on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:09 pm

    Jade summed it up for me. This is well written and beautiful in regards to being a modern day 'knight in shining armor' story. Of course it isnt that sappy but it adds to the charm well.

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    Re: Love, and other delusions.

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