Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

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cerrodepedro
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Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:15 am

Hey all! As a fellow Lit enthusiast and now mod, I'm honored to present prompt #4, following the tradition of our esteemed AliceElite.

Subject of this topic pretty much says it all, but create a fictional character and use that character to express your pain. It can be in any format, be it prose, poetry, or even short story (short, as in, two sentences, or a few pages!). Rules are that if you contribute, some critique and/or praise of your fellow writers' contributions is socially appropriate. Additional rules are that in future fictional prompts, you are definitely encouraged to re-use this character. Do it in just about any format and from any perspective:

First person:
"I felt weird liking Harry, but Hermione and Bubbles didn't judge me any for it"

Second person:
"Ginny, don't feel like you're suffering alone. It's a strange world liking influential wizards who happen to be your brother's best friend."

Third person:
"She looked at Harry the way she realized no one else would: As a person both surrounded by friends and utterly isolated. And she knew it was because she had felt the same feeling after apparating in a habitable planet about to be swallowed up near the event horizon of a collapsing star."
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby girlapaloo » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:28 pm

Cool! Is there a deadline or anything?
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby ravenrussell » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:34 pm

"Sepia:
My Future Wife, and Our Untold Life"

The children I will never have, Echo, Serverin, Mirage.
With Sepia spilled in her womb, nostalgia like
the burnt bubbles of acid in my throat.

Echo would go on to become an extension of redemption.
A sorry, distant rumble, a rattle in the spray paint of angels.
He'd take my torment, fold it neatly, dry clean my tears.

Echo should flow preemptively, my lost mildew baby.
A house of black mold in a white bread spillover village.
His name repeated endlessly by our carbon stained footprints.

If Echo asked for the blast chamber to remain open,
our wicked knees pressed to the star spangled grassroots.
In our shouting he amplifies a strangled heart beating.

The future kids on the end of my billy goat beard, eating.
Sepia in all her brunette bleached, amber soft afterglow.
Severin spit out like a saddened mutation, autistic mongloid.

He filters the world through glasses made of wettened water.
Sand tickles Severin's feet, against the grain he counts granules.
As we watch him, seemingly talentless, sum up the stars.

Severin asks not for my pity, as his rainbow plays a grand opus.
He blisters at the hatred I hide, snide comments weeped lonely.
We spill our conversations on pillows, hollow screams muffled.

If Severin knew tattletale moons were phasing before him,
full on rage matching the Equinox, waxing subscriptions to Solstice.
The days dwindled, unmatched by his smile cracking the thin veneer.

The chalices of story book princes and unkissed sleeping dreamers.
Mirage manages a harsh embrace to Sepia's bare throat.
They are fixed on regardless falling, destined doom, fated failure.

Mirage, all icy in her unwavering, stone cold shoulder sloping.
She cannot understand, she's a bi-polar pole dancer,
velvet neon, cushioned velour bruises, cruises to endfinity.

Mirage, spicy salivation of the midlife crisis men she tempts.
I asked her to ascend to President, she descended regardless.
Tragedy, princess becomes piece of ass, born in a room of mirrors.

If Mirage asked, she's welcome home, protected from lust's infinite gaze.
Auraed by money, almost named Aurora, Bored Alice of the looking glass.
In the grip of denial, a final cough, spinning wheel pricked.

All my children lead a path undecided, woven tapestry untold.
Holes in the plot, to fill in with soil from my burial plot.
Navigated and nurtured, Echo, Mirage, and Severin...

...my name is Squander.
Peace to all.
-Raven
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby Phara » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:46 pm

oooooh, excited to see them all together
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:49 pm

girlapaloo wrote:Cool! Is there a deadline or anything?


I'm thinking Wednesday of next week (we'll say Wednesday in Australia/Pacific/Japan hours)!
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby ink » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:13 am



...when Raven's poem is revealed in all its glory
we are, what we allow to occupy us..





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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby ravenrussell » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:08 am

I like that Ink. You made my night. Get's terribly lonesome out here where I live. Been down all night, thanks for the pick me up. Peace.
Peace to all.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:53 am

I need to do this again, and by do this, I mean read this again. My very first reaction is that this is deeply haunting. Seeing aspects of existence get all anthropomorphic like this is creepy, and I like it.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:10 am

OKAY SO.

As a parent, this metaphor is POWERFUL. It pulls all kinds of emotions in unexpected places. Creates a sort of emotional dissonance. I like it and I hate it:

ravenrussel wrote:Echo should flow preemptively, my lost mildew baby.
A house of black mold in a white bread spillover village.
His name repeated endlessly by our carbon stained footprints.
...
If Mirage asked, she's welcome home, protected from lust's infinite gaze.
Auraed by money, almost named Aurora, Bored Alice of the looking glass.
In the grip of denial, a final cough, spinning wheel pricked.


And see the final line is appropriately pithy. Just wraps it all up while making the reader force themself into first person thinking. And makes the sadness hit you REALLY hard, and in a beautiful way. Keep in mind, a severely depressed person is telling you you're dealing with a specific kind of sadness in a beautiful way. I hope that means something. Thank you for this contribution.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby ravenrussell » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:25 am

cerrodepedro wrote:OKAY SO.

As a parent, this metaphor is POWERFUL. It pulls all kinds of emotions in unexpected places. Creates a sort of emotional dissonance. I like it and I hate it:

And see the final line is appropriately pithy. Just wraps it all up while making the reader force themself into first person thinking. And makes the sadness hit you REALLY hard, and in a beautiful way. Keep in mind, a severely depressed person is telling you you're dealing with a specific kind of sadness in a beautiful way. I hope that means something. Thank you for this contribution.


Pithy, now that's a fucking beautiful word, I had to look it up. Being bipolar myself, I get what you're saying. The two children that I do have, Orion and Nova, have just never seemed enough for me. They were my whole life, now only weekend voyagers into my fray. These three names, Mirage, Echo, and Severin (probably supposed to use a semicolan for this sentence, but fuck it), have been floating around for some time in my head. I wanted to breathe a life, realistic but tragic, into them. Squander is a new fictional character created as their father. This removed me from the poem's equation, allowing for truly haunting and ethereal language. I love that you all are taking the time to read my stuff. As a man living on Disability for my mental illness, its hard to feel special or recognized. I feel truly special tonight. If Ink reads this, you're part of my zen. Thanks and peace!
Peace to all.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby ink » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:29 am

thats great! i see you brother!

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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:03 pm

Alright, we've a wrap! Raven, thank you for your contribution. Luckily, though these prompts will be able to build on each other, they can also start independently. Writing prompt #5 coming up.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:21 pm

Oh and shoot, here's my contribution.

Spoiler: show
Yes, get used to me using methane as a fictional character in Lit.


Sensations: It was covered in them, overwhelmed by them, motivated by them to survive, the way an inexperienced swimmer kicks their legs frantically when submerged in near-freezing water. Survival was not its only thought. There was another, hard to specify, distant from its grasp to contemplate and develop.

Suddenly the panic began to subside as it absorbed something that could only be compared to sweetness and fibrosity. The other thought, held at bay by the violent impulse to persist, came to its attention, suddenly: "I am." The thought drove it into a sort of stasis. The thought felt like something older than its own thinker. It was like a nagging ache that, in those moments, started as a sharp and all-encompassing ignition of synapses, and tapered off into an incomprehensible state of being, an accessory to its existence.

As its senses calmed and focused, no longer flooding its mind with primal intensity, it confronted an awareness of place, an understanding that it was positioned physically among other things. Waves of warmth and frigidity washed over it, at once somehow familiar while at the same time new.

As its mind continued to calm, it finally moved from raw perception with intermittent realizations of its own existence to a more passive state of contemplation. Without the words to define it, the concept of contentment entered its mind, a desire to experience safety, or at least the impression that it knew what other sensations to expect, and whether that faded panic whose memory still lingered would return.

The experience of cold returned, this time constricting its muscles, and dominating its senses with the same urgent survival urges as when it first became aware, comparable to hunger pangs. If it could move to the warmth and stay wrapped in it, it could return to contemplation of a way to do more than just avoid discomfort and survive. It continued to move toward what it thought was a place where it was warm as other sensations including a perception of brightening light came over it.

And then recognition: There was another. Relief and apprehension took over as thoughts that were not its own entered its mind. The other, just like it, was communicating. Contentment as a concept morphed into contentment as a feeling as the messages from the other coalesced into a general notion of welcoming, introduction to ideas of visceral connection to another like being that interrupted the panic and frustration of being overwhelmed by existential yearnings and base impulses to eat and move.

Not long after it was caught, thoughts nearly suspended, in this entanglement of feelings and expressions back and forth with the other, its mind lit up even brighter as it came to the realization that many, many others surrounded it and communicated in a less pronounced fidelity the same message: Welcome.

The leader of this pack of highly sensitive, and for lack of a more descriptive term, telepathic beings, gazed on its newly birthed friend and sibling with esteem. It was vital that, after the initial struggle of emerging as present in and aware of its world, it found its way into being enveloped by the security of the company of its own kind.

How it would conceive of altruism, how it would desire to connect with others of their kind, how it would find the motivation to seek, with the rest of the pack, a means of ensuring survival and continuous propagation of their own kind, all depended on these first moments. It had to feel safety. It had to experience recognition, immediately followed by security.

And so the leader converged its thoughts with those of the rest of the group to transplant into the newly birthed being a concrete reminder of both its own singularity and its connection to the rest of its kind. The first time this occurred was when the leader of this grouping was utterly alone, and encountered another like them floating from the same tumultuous place as when they first emerged. Their thoughts met and they named each other.

And so as the group grew in size they would continue this tradition. "This is what you will be called, and you are home," over, and over again they all converged in communicating this one thought to their new integrant. And so, as this happened and the entire group was made aware that their emerging friend comprehended this most important of ideas, they released each other from collective thought and one by one, until it fell on the leader to do so, they all imparted the contents of their minds to them.

When all had connected individually with their new sibling, they braced for what they had become accoustomed to feeling after every birth of another companion: A sense of peace coupled with a brooding disquietude at the one question that they all held in common: Who came before us?

CH4, as the newborn was now called, was overcome by the notion that not only "I am" but "we are." The confidence of being conjoined with the mass but left alone as it discovered it could be allowed for an existential boldness, an audacity to defy environmental suggestions that they were powerless.

They knew that as the concept of "we are" expanded, so also would their probability of ensuring the perpetuation of their kind by discovering their origins, by answering that question, "Who came before us?"

One of its new friends obsessively leaked their thoughts faintly to the rest of the group. They had been remembering the slight differences between the explanations that each newborn sibling gave of its own birth, taking note that the more were born, the further their memories extended than those before them.

The little orphanage continued to grow until it became apparent that they were indeed going to survive and that the need to press shared communication between each other diminished over time.

Suddenly everyone's thoughts became more globulous, less coherent, and it was as if they were all, together, drifting to sleep, until, finally, the human infant farted, and their collective existence vanished and integrated with that of the rest of the universe.
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Re: Writing prompt #4: Express your pain through a character

Postby cerrodepedro » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:54 pm

cerrodepedro wrote:
girlapaloo wrote:Cool! Is there a deadline or anything?


I'm thinking Wednesday of next week (we'll say Wednesday in Australia/Pacific/Japan hours)!


Meeting the deadline just means what you put here gets bumped with priority, but it's not a huge issue if you just want to post in here belatedly, and being 100% honest, girlapaloo I love your writing, so I'd encourage it if you already have something started or filed away. In any case, I'll be announcing the next one shortly!
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