Tag Archives: one-shot

Impossible Year: Petrichor

It had been hours since Ryan Ross began staring down the mustard-yellow walls of his living room, and since then he hadn’t stirred from his position but once to take a sip from his mug—only to realise in quiet disdain that his chai tea had already gone cold.

It was drizzling lightly and he was lazily lounging on the couch, wearing an embarrassingly fluffy blue jumper and sweatpants, having a nice warm (well, not so nice and warm now) drink, and hearing nothing but the comforting sounds of rain falling from the gloomy sky and gently kissing the rooftop and windows.

It was the perfect sweater weather, the one Ryan adored and wrote about more than any other season, more than he ever even cared to admit…but now, it just didn’t feel right. He didn’t really know why, exactly, but something felt anxiously off somehow.

Just what is it about today?

On most times like these, he would already be full-on dramatic poet mode, with his intent musings flowing past his relaxed mind and onto his chewed-up pen like…filthy drainpipe water flowing onto the open sewers? Seriously, out of all the beautiful ways to have possibly worded it, that’s the best metaphor he could come up with? Disgusting.

Ryan sighed, running a hand through his messy auburn hair in frustration. The situation was getting more dire by the minute, and nothing else he seemed to try was working.

Mental block is a bitch.

Maybe he was just forcing it too much. Maybe he’d been cooped up inside his suffocating house for too long. Maybe he needed to take a break.

He snorted derisively at the last thought. He definitely needed to take a break.

“George Ryan Ross III, you need to get the hell out of this damning place and pull yourself together!” He proclaimed to himself, his soft voice echoing throughout the empty rooms of his house.

Filled with a new fervour, Ryan resolutely headed to the door, but not before making sure to grab a heavy parka from his closet and a badly-bent umbrella leaning by his shoe rack. As soon as he stepped outside, the scene that greeted Ryan completely took his breath away.

It was a whole lot prettier than he imagined.

Careful not to trample on the newly-blossoming flowers, Ryan giddily spun and traipsed about for a bit before finally standing still in the middle of his front yard. He then breathed in deeply, taking in the fresh scent of lemongrass and rainwater painting the air in that sluggish April afternoon.

The initial rush of wind that blew by was rather strong, rustling the tree branches madly and making him lose his umbrella. The latter was sent careening out of his grasp and ended up tumbling away onto the puddle-soaked street, creating an awful screech as it went along, metal scraping against pavement until the abrasive sound slowly faded away into nothing.

But surprisingly, Ryan found that he didn’t mind it at all. The umbrella’s already old and half-broken, anyway. And the weather never gave a damn about me.

Hey, that kind of sounds like a good line…ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a breakthrough! A voice at the back of Ryan’s head announced victoriously. It was such a silly thought…but suddenly, he didn’t feel so exhausted anymore.

And for the very first time that day, Ryan smiled.

Ryan stayed out in the rain for a rather long time, shivering madly and humming melodies to himself until he was numb from the cold and drenched to the bone. He laughed until he cried, he cried until he laughed; until the tears were indistinguishable from the cloudburst, until the childish laughter was intertwined with the sweet reveries of spring.

And there he stayed, until the rainfall finally ceased and the drowsy sun slowly sank under the scarlet horizon; still cheering and singing along to the march of the clouds.

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Impossible Year: Haze

The eventide stars, Spencer Smith decided, were more beautiful when their iridescent light coalesced softly against the glimmering snowfall.

Holding a freshly-bought cup of coffee to warm his hands, he wrapped the scarf around his pallid face a bit tighter, his cheeks already a pleasant shade of pastel red from the cold. Finding a nearby park bench to rest on, he placed his bag on it and gingerly sat down to stretch his weary legs.

It had been a long day.

The dim sodium lights above his head overhead flickered once, twice, before completely blazing bright, gradiating his shadow farther and making the darkness seem a little less lonelier than it was.

Lonely little life…

Intricate whorls of vapour escaped from his mouth in a lost sigh. He gazed thoughtfully into his untouched drink, languid mind turning to reminiscing as it replayed old memories like damaged black and white film reels, visions rolling through his half-closed eyes like a fast fading dream.

He thought about his best friend, the clever idiot. Spencer hadn’t seen him in…years? Had it been years? Most likely. He already stopped counting, and he was pretty sure they had done the same, as well. They’ve all been separated for a while and doing their own things now, after all. That was just a part of growing up.

But suddenly remembering those old moments of madness and melancholy alike; the dumb interviews spent joshing each other around and the absurd-looking costumes they put together with thrifted clothes and dollar store supplies, the way they constantly joked around together and made crazy music that left a lasting legacy to always be proud of, the hell-high youth that intoxicated them and, for one moment, made everything feel deathless—it all came crashing back to him and made him feel rather blindly exposed. The frigid breeze suddenly started to pick up as it blew past his rusty bones, making made him shiver slightly.

Best friends, huh…

He hugged his jacket a little tighter towards him as he felt a slower chill run past his skin again. This time, he wasn’t quite entirely sure if it was still from the cold weather.

Spencer smiled dolefully, ignoring the quiet pang of ache that made its way under his ribs. He was happy for his old friend, he really was. That man had helped him through so much, carrying him throughout his worst relapses and his painful withdrawals and even the most hopeless moments of his life, god, they’ve been through so much together. But it couldn’t always be a fairy tale ending for all of them. Sometimes clocks simply stop, and cogs simply fall apart, and after everything that’s happened, time couldn’t ever be turned back and everything has to go on. Happily ever after wasn’t ground zero, it was simply another fork in the road.

But it’s alright. That’s just life. And it was fun while it lasted.

Despite himself, he still can’t help but badly miss everyone. He wondered if they also missed him, as well.

Spencer sat by the very corner of that fragile cardboard town for quite a long time, resting beneath the sinking lavender haze of the early winter afterglow as he let frail snowflakes blanket his tired body; waiting for answers he knew will never come to him.

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Impossible Year: Caramel

(Okay, so I was originally supposed to post a really intense and serious shitty creepypasta-esque story that I wrote about a year back, but since it’s in my computer and it’s being a complete arse that won’t let up, here, have one of the parts from a Panic! At The Disco fic that I’ve been working on for a while now instead. Since all of the past halloweek stuff I posted have been nothing but morbidly dark and really gruesome, we’ll have something stupidly wholesome to end the spooky month instead. Boom, plot twist, happy Halloween fuckers!!! 🎃)

OCTOBER 31ST, HALLOWEEN.

Every house in the block and beyond displayed scary decorations on their front lawn; of plastic skeletons, fake cobwebs, carved pumpkins and other usual novelty spooky items. Squealing kids rounded the streets with their friends and parents, donning various colourful and monstrous costumes as they knocked on doors and yelled a cheerful “trick or treat!”, and teenagers held their own parties and dared each other to do crazy horror-related things that either sent them running away screaming, or laughing, or in most cases, both.

It was a festive night as usual, perhaps even more festive and rowdy than he’d ever witnessed in his entire life, but Jon Walker simply felt like he was getting too old for this shit.

He had just dropped a couple of fun-sized Snickers on the bag of a kid dressed up as a vampire slayer (“points to him for being a notch above cliche,” Jon wanly mused) and was heading back to his living room, a cup of store-bought coffee in one hand and the TV remote in another.

Nursing a headache, Jon tightened his shabby red bathrobe and sipped on his drink, grimacing slightly at the strange taste of…what was it that kids these days called it? Pumpkin spice? Yeah. Whatever the hell that meant.

He groaned as he unceremoniously plopped back down on the couch to continue watching a random B-list horror movie he found on Netflix. As soon as he pressed the play button, the TV immediately died and all the lights in the house flickered off.

“Great, just my luck.” Jon dryly thought, scratching absently at his unkempt beard. “This is so textbook cliche. Next thing you know, I’m going to fetch my flashlight in the kitchen and there’s going to be an axe murderer waiting behind the fridge to hack me into pieces.

Fortunately for him, there wasn’t anything of the sort.

Although, there was a translucent little girl calmly sitting on his kitchen counter, which definitely was not there before.

Jon recoiled back in shock, nearly spilling his lukewarm drink all over himself in the process. He blinked a few times, rubbed his eyes furiously, and determinedly pinched himself on the arm, all before cautiously glancing back at the apparition.

But instead of being gone, the ghostly child was still there, and this time, she was staring straight back at him.

“Oh.” She piped up as she waved softly, making Jon deliriously laugh. “Hullo.”

“Oh yeah no cool, how’s it going? Oh nothing much, just TALKING TO A GODDAMN GHOST.” He rambled on senselessly in reply. The small phantom, however, seemed mostly unfazed by his reaction, probably already used to seeing that sort of thing. She’d seen worse.

“Are you okay, mister?” She asked innocently, stubby legs swinging back and forth and occasionally passing through the closed cabinets. Jon paused for a moment to think about what he was going to do next, and sighed out as he finally decided to give in to the sheer insanity of it all.

“I’m sorry. I overreacted. Let’s start afresh.” He said, clearing his throat extravagantly. “So. What’s your name, kid?”

“…Nic.” The ghost replied hesitantly.

“Nic, sure, yeah, that’s a nice name.” Jon pleasantly appeased. “So. Nic. Why are you haunting my house?”

She blinked a few times before limply shrugging. “…Dunno. I’m bored. And I think I’m supposed to, I guess.”

“That makes sense.” Jon nodded sagely. “Do you like scaring people?”

All he got was the same blink-blink-shrug routine in reply. “Dunno. I guess. I know I’m not very good at it yet.” Nic pouted sourly. “The older ghosts keep telling me to practice some more and if I don’t, some dumb priest or whatever’s gonna send me back to hell or afterlife or something, like they even know if that’s a real thing, they’ve never been. But I just wanna go outside and play with the other scary-looking kids, honestly. I only ever get to do that once a year, and I’m not even allowed to.”

Her eyes began welling up with tears and she turned away stubbornly, trying to hide them from Jon’s view.

Jon had never seen a ghost cry before, least of all a child ghost. For sure, he could definitely check that off his bucket list. Or just throw away the damn thing because for sure at this point, he’d seen it all.

He set down his coffee cup on the counter and carefully approached the quietly-trembling Nic.

“Well, Nic, if you don’t mind, let me tell you a secret.” He began. Nic still had her face buried in her hands and didn’t move even as he spoke to her, but Jon could sense that she was listening intently, so he carried on.

“Here’s the thing I’ve learned. Sometimes, you don’t have to listen to mean old adults. We’re just really cranky and tired from doing a lot of boring stuff. But you’re still a child after all, and you’ve got a lot to learn, and heck, maybe one day you’ll grow to be the best damn scarer in this cul-de-sac and scare those ancient naysayers back to their miserable graves. But hey, if you just wanna mess around, go wild. You won’t get a lot of chances to do that soon, and honestly—what have you got to lose?”

Nic finally rose from her hunched position and was seriously gazing at him now, a wistfully curious look etched on her pallid face.

“They can take you out of the fight, kid, but they can’t take the fight out of you.” Jon concluded with an assuring nod, finding even himself impressed with his whole speech. “Now go out there and trick or treat with all the other youngsters and show those creaky geezers that you’re made of more than goopy ectoplasm and boring boo noises.”

He shone his phone screen down as he fumbled with his ratty robe’s pocket, and managed to fish a piece of hard mint out of it. Secretly picking some lint off the old candy, Jon handed it to Nic.

“Here’s something for a start.” He said with a casual shrug, “I know it’s not much, but…”

But to the ghostly child, it didn’t seem to matter at all; as the bright grin that grew on her face could have lit up the entire house by itself. She excitedly swiped the candy out his hands (“Note to self,” Jon wondered absently, “ghosts can actually eat candy?”) with a shrill laugh and went in straight for an unexpected hug.

Jon shivered madly at Nic’s hold. The sensation was like getting dunked right into a vat of liquid nitrogen. But he tried his best not to show his utter discomfort as he awkwardly patted her on the back, careful not to let his hand completely pass through her.

“That’s, uh, that’s the spirit.” He stammered out with chattering teeth, chuckling at his own pun.

“Thank you, mister!” She gratefully squeaked.

“You’re welcome. Now git outta here kid, yer bothering me.” Jon replied with a playful wink.

Nic simply nodded fervently, visibly filled with a new excited energy. She waved back once again and smiled the biggest smile a ghost could possibly ever have, before finally running on ahead of Jon.

He silently watched the otherworldly child as her glowing ethereal outline passed through the kitchen walls, and faded away into nothing. At that very moment, the lights flickered back on, but Jon didn’t even notice, still deeply lost in his own thoughts.

“Trick or treat!”

A giggling chorus of childish voices outside finally startled Jon out of his trance. Picking up his cold pumpkin spice drink (which didn’t taste so strange anymore) and the half-filled candy bowl, he walked to the doorway, sighed once, smiled the biggest smile a person could possibly ever have, and opened the door.

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Just Exist

N̵̖̻͙̓i̴̧̢͐̿͜g̷͚͙̜̓͝h̴͉͈͌t̸̟̱̾s̵̗̯͋ ̸̠͍̈́̕l̴̢̀͊i̸̛̖̳̰̾k̵̜͎̐e̷̡̦̯̔̈́ ̴̖̇̒̅t̵͎̙̞̑̄͘h̴̨̯͙̉̈́̇ě̴̢͇s̵̻̲͜͠ē̸͚,̸̛͚̜ ̵͓̞̳̇̇w̴̹͂̓̍h̶̨̪͂é̶͕͚̖̓̚r̷͇̖̉ͅe̴͈̋̌͋ ̴̨̛̳̇̾Ỉ̶̪̚͘ ̷̱̩̅͜f̴̖̾̂͆e̸͉̻͒ě̵̪̰͂͜ľ̵͖̟͖̋̏ ̸̬̽r̷̭͖̼̈́̋e̴͕̥̍a̵͈͂͆̅l̷͈̗̽̓͌.̶͓͉̽͋̀͜.̵̧̣͈͑͝.̷̻̟̏ͅ

For a moment, the catatonic world seemed like a transparent illusion to him; nothing but faceless ghosts and vague outlines of ruined buildings and veiled horizons that barely existed beyond the twilight skylines. Gossamer, that’s the pretty word for it. Everything was so exquisitely gossamer.

“Kyle…Kyle?”

From beside him, he could hear Dylan softly calling out his name, beckoning him out of his efflorescent daydream. But Kyle merely closed his eyes and sighed, leaning back and letting the warm sand slip and sift between his delicate fingers. Dylan knew better than to persist and disturb his reveries further, thankfully.

Everything seemed like miles away from Kyle; the aegan ocean, his bickering friends, the salty breeze in his lungs, all of it seemed to be gradually wandering away from him, in search of a better reality.

Tranquil tidal waves solemnly lapped against the coastline, cool and fragile, barely reaching his toes. From behind him, a warped laugh from Zach, an indignant cry of protest from Jordan, Dylan’s poor exasperated attempts at mollifying the situation—a polaroid snapshot of a fleeting argument, a fleeting memory, in a fleeting lifetime.

In a while, Kyle’s spine began to feel quite sore from sitting upright, so he shifted a bit further to shake off the discomfort and rest against Dylan’s shoulder.

But, in leaning back, he found in surprise that his friend seemed to have disappeared into thin air.

In fact, all of them had.

Kyle panicked as he flailed in an attempt to retain his balance, but it was all too late. He quickly toppled backwards and felt himself crashing fast onto…the ground?

Not this time, still.

There was nothing but empty air beneath him.

Kyle could do nothing but let the volatile wind carry him away, as the horizon tilted from his vision and blurred into a sfumatic landscape—of violent fugacious colours and relapsing imbricated patterns.

From beyond that psychedelic film reel, he swore he could faintly hear Zach’s echoing voice counting down, so dangerously close yet so far away from him. But…to what end?

Five, four, three, two, one…

Kyle finally landed on something with a soft thump. He wasn’t quite expecting a gentle landing, but he was really grateful for it.

For about five seconds.

Until he shifted his gaze to see a messy tangle of translucent plastic wires connected to his chest and snaking past his limbs, a thousand needles painfully embedded in his veins and all over his arms, and all of these damned things tapering off to poisonous IV lines and contraptions stretching far beyond the gurney’s reach.

Creeping panic descended on Kyle and quickly set in once more. His heart began to beat fast, faster, somehow even overtaking the metronomic beeps that were supposed to be in sync with it. The discordant sound raged and roared in his ears, but he couldn’t block it out. He couldn’t scream for help. He couldn’t do anything at all.

Rendered completely powerless, Kyle could only watch in silent horror as metal medicine men disguised with stained scrubs and face masks milled frantically around him, attempting to suppress his rapid tachycardia and to no avail. The anthropomorphic beings wielded sharp scalpels that drew scarlet lines across his flesh and reviving paddles that numbly jolted him, but seemed to be useless in the fight to keep his failing heart still functioning.

Right behind them, Zach stood morosely, shifting from one foot to the other unsurely as he overlooked the grotesque scene. He was wearing a tattered funeral suit and holding a wreath of shriveled black dahlias in one hand, his miserable stare full of pleading remorse.

“Stay with us now!”

That final scream wasn’t a strange android’s monotonous voice. It was familiar, pained—an aching, desperate plea. Whose voice was it?

Kyle, it seemed, didn’t have time to find out.

He felt the life drain out of him as his frail body went limp, his stuttering breaths became elusive, and his vision slowly faded out into darkness. A bored voice announced his time of death as if they were reading it off a newspaper obituary.

A droning flatline. A blinding white light. Another dreadful sensation of recklessly falling away…

“Kyle!”

He suddenly awoke to find himself floating in the middle of the ocean, frigid waves angrily cresting and swelling around him. He was still wearing his hospital gown, which was heavily soaked but did not weigh him down much, thankfully. His mouth also tasted rather salty from—was it from the ocean water or blood?

Kyle tried to take a deep breath, but his throat immediately constricted and he swallowed back a mouthful of the unknown liquid; lungs burning, coughs overtaking, still struggling to keep himself afloat despite the inevitable void that was pulling him in once again.

Or was it something else?

He felt a steady hand grasp him by the arm and carefully drag him out back onto the shore. Heaving and spluttering, Kyle weakly crawled away from the waters and peered up into the looming face of his saviour.

“Jordan, is that you?”

“Maybe. Maybe not.” His companion simply replied. “Are you okay?”

“No, no I’m fucking not!” Kyle snapped in frustration, his eyes welling up with tears and blurring his vision. Looking up once more, Jordan’s face appeared less of a human being to him and more of an abstract portrait. Spiralling, he was still spiralling…

“I don’t know why I’m being put through this and which one of these memories is reality anymore and just—I don’t wanna live in a world like this!” Kyle continued to seethe as he punched the ground until his knuckles bruised, hoping that the pain would keep him from completely losing grasp again. “Are you even real? Are any of you?! Or is this just another fake fiction? And what about me? Am I also just make-believe? I don’t know and I can’t fucking trust my head anymore. What the hell is going on here?”

Jordan, however, appeared to be mostly unfazed by his furious diatribe. “To tell you the truth, we don’t know either.” He said with an indifferent shrug.

“I figured as much.” Kyle buried his head in his hands in sullen resignation, still shuddering from the hypothermic cold overtaking his skin. “But, I swear, just tell me one thing, please…” He pled, voice barely above a whisper.

“When will this end?”

“You can’t ask too many questions here. Likewise, we can’t reveal too much. Trust me when I say that in this situation, ignorance is bliss.” Jordan’s tone unexpectedly shifted from callous to pitying, which made Kyle’s stomach turn even more in sheer dread.

“I really wish I could help you, Kyle. But I can’t. I just can’t.”

“It’s okay. I guess I’ll just have to figure this one out myself.” Kyle murmured, smiling thinly in defeat. “You’ve done enough already.”

Jordan walked away without saying another word, his solemn shadows moving away from Kyle and stretching out into black labyrinths on the sand. Overhead, a seagull sluggishly flew past and squalled, almost mournfully. A bright ray of afternoon sunlight peeking through silver cumulous clouds shone on Kyle’s face and momentarily blinded him, and he blinked once more.

“Kyle…Kyle?”

When he opened his eyes again, he was back with his three closest friends, resting on a checkered picnic blanket by the shore, back in that transparent world with its faceless ghosts and vague outlines of ruined buildings and veiled horizons—catatonic, yet somehow comforting.

“Yeah?”

“You’ve been kinda quiet for a while now.” Dylan observed thoughtfully. “You alright there? What are you thinking about?”

Behind him, another warped laugh. Another indignant protest following it. Another spell of hellish deja vu, resentfully nostalgic yet drastically different. Dylan’s concerned gaze was piercing through his confused soul, searching for some answers, meaning to understand him. But there was nothing left to be understood anymore, that much he knew. There just wasn’t.

Instead, Kyle simply shook his head in response and sighed wistfully. “No, it’s nothing. Nothing at all.”

He didn’t dare close his eyes now. Instead, he stared up into the calm indigo nothings above him and quietly wished that this time around, those hopeful words would be the only truth, even if it wasn’t going to be pretty at all. Gossamer…why is everything so exquisitely gossamer?

P l e a s e . . .

R̵̗͖̿e̴͕̞̍ą̴̘͔̽̽̉l̵̺̥͌̌ȋ̷̱͆̂t̵̢̐ŷ̴̤̋ ̷̮͌̍s̵͚̮̫͌͑̀ė̵̡̩̻t̴̫̟̔s̶̖͒̈́ ̵̪̗͆͛̊į̷̩̀͊̍n̶͉̬̆̍͠,̷͎̰͘ ̶̙͓̆̀̄a̵̠̐̇̎ṅ̸̢̜d̸̪͚̭͊ ̸̺̩̭̓͝I̶̮̺͇̾͋̕’̴̛̬̝̳̈́̅l̵̟͍̝̍̇l̷̔͗̕ͅ ̸̟̜̿̐b̵̪̑͗̒e̵̱̒̚ ̶̺̩͔͛̽͂g̸̢̘̥̈͊o̵͔͋́n̴͍̅́̈́ẽ̵̢̈́͗ ̴͎̙̍͌̽ä̵̗́͑g̷͇̥̓͌̈́ä̴͕̳̎̌i̵̟̍̌̕n̷̩̋.̶̖̣̰̈

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