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Comicality

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  1. A brand new chapter of the "Gone From Daylight" vampire saga is up tonight! So be sure to check it out, and let me know what you think when you get a chance! K? ALSO...April 1st will begin a whole new '30 Days Of Night' update slam!!! So expect a virtual storm of vampire goodies in less than two weeks time! Enjoy! And don't worry! We're just getting STARTED! ::Nods:: Have fun!!! https://gayauthors.org/story/comicality/gfd12bloodties/
  2. Comicality

    Chapter 49

    "Gone From Daylight: Blood Ties 49" It was hard to tell if I was angry at The Jeweler...or myself. It was something that I had always done when I was growing up. Taking the pain...and internalizing it. Letting it bleed into my very essence and poison me from the inside. It was the kind of inner hatred that made me want to spit in the face of my own reflection. The kind that kept my head down and my mouth shut whenever I walked through the halls at school. The kind...that weakened me to the point of walking out to the end of navy Pier that night at 3 AM...looking to finally find some rest at last. I'm not going to let him do this to me. I won't allow The Jeweler to break me down the way my father did. I WON'T! You see, there once was a time when I believed whatever my abusers told me. I gave a certain amount of validation to their claims that I was worthless. Evil. Stupid. And alone. But you want to know something? Taryn is better than any ONE of them! He's on a whole other plane of existence. And if a beautiful soul like that could find something to truly love about me...then I don't need the approval of anybody else. I don't need them at all. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I've got a 'center'...as opposed to always being flung off to the side by the rapid spinning of society's judgemental fan blades. Taryn allows me to believe that there's something within me that's worth the effort it takes to keep my heart beating. He takes my broken pieces and makes me whole again. The Jeweler is the one who's lost, if he thinks for on second that I'd willingly sacrifice that for some silly prophecy or obligation to a bunch of old dusty scriptures. I spent years being a puppet for other people to hurt and manipulate and carry the weight of their bullshit issues...and when it came time for me to ask for a little love in return? They let me down. Every time. But not Taryn. Not my sweet Taryn. He's one of the very few people in this world who has actually earned the right to play a major role in who I am. Out of all the circles that I've been able to catch a glimpse of...the one where Taryn and I end up being happy together for the rest of eternity is the only one that makes sense. Everything else seems like some sort of 'trick shot' in comparison. An intersecting circle that shouldn't be there. One that I might be able to control...or at least ignore...if I felt the need. The more I understand about this Vampire Mimic thing, the more I realize that the spiritual 'dogma' part of this prophecy simply doesn't fit me. At all. The Jeweler can tell me what happens, and what it's supposed to do...but he can't seem to tell me why. Shouldn't he know why? I mean...what is the purpose of my life up until now, if it was only going to spiral down into horror and pain later, sacrifice or not? What would be the purpose of Taryn's life...and all of the hard times that he's seen in his many years in darkness? There just seems to be a missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle here. And if it means saving the truest angel I've ever known from one moment of conflict or pain...I'll find it. I'll OWN it! And I'm going to come right back here and rub it in Lockheart's smug face when I do! I caught my breath, and pushed down on the floor, getting my feet back under me and standing up again. The damage to the walls and floor around me was heavy, but I could have easily caused this whole facility to collapse had I given myself over to the shadows completely. So I consider that a win. Some of The Jeweler's servants hurried over, using soft rags to brush the dust and dirt off of my shoulders, but I cringed and held my hands out to keep them away. I was fine. Just...fine. They all lowered their heads and silently respected my wishes to be left alone. This whole Mimic thing is still so surreal to me sometimes. But I didn't want to be rude. "Thank you. Seriously. I just want to go back to my room. Ok? That's all." I said, and they slowly backed away, never looking me in the eye as they did so. However, as I turned around to head towards the door, I noticed that Brooklyn and Haze refused to show me any grace, whatsoever. They scowled at me, upset that they weren't able to give this meek, blond, little halflife the brutal beatdown that they were expecting to. They didn't say anything, however. Just gave me a duo of dirty looks and rubbed their sore arms and legs as I walked by. And then...there was Strings... "You wouldn't be so tough without your little bag of tricks, ya know?" He scoffed. "Punk ass kid..." Was he SERIOUS??? i don't know how long it's been since his crossover into darkness, but to your average person on the street, I looked older than HE did by at least a couple of years. I just glared at him. Then looked forward and refused to pay him any attention at all. One of these days, that sarcastic little brat is going to get what's coming to him. And I hope I'm there to watch. As I saw some of the servants open the double doors wide in front of me, allowing me to leave, Strings angrily pouted, "You broke the wire on my yo-yo! These things are custom made. They don't come cheap, you know?" Without even turning my head in his direction, I mumbled, "Try a fidget spinner next time...asshole." Just as the doors were closing behind me, I heard him asking, "What the fuck is a fidget...???" Just before the slamming door cut him off. Whatever. Strings is the least of my problems right now. I began to rub my shoulder with my arm, feeling my limbs ache with exhaustion...almost too weak to cramp up from overexertion. My brain felt as though it had gone numb, all synapses firing off left and right, wearing its own energy reserves so thin that it was hard for me to keep from basically 'sleepwalking' my way back towards the elevators. Physically and emotionally drained, I barely noticed that Suraj boy as he suddenly stepped out from around the corner and hurried over to kneel in front of me again. "My lord...I can't tell you how sorry I am for what took place. I meant no disrespect. What I did was heresy, and I ask for your forgiveness. Please. PLEASE!" He grabbed my hand and held it against his cheek for a moment, but I pulled it away from him. I was a little stunned by his very appearance alone...not to mention his submissive behavior. Still...he seemed to be tearing himself apart inside for taking on Taryn's form and using it to deceive me. I didn't mean to be rude. "It's ok. Honestly." "You don't have to be merciful on my account, my lord. I deserve whatever punishment you wish to put upon me..." "Wait, what? no. No...there's no...'punishment'. None of that. I promise." I said, now looking around to see if anybody else could see us there in the hallway. "Ummm...you can get up now. Honestly, there's no need for...whatever this is." Suraj peeked up at me, his eyes misty with shame and doubt. Getting him to look me in the eye was almost like trying to coax a frightened kitten out of a tree, but...little by little...he began to relax. So I offered him my hand, simply to help him up. "It's ok. Really. Stand up. Please?" He seemed almost suspicious of the fact that I was being so chill about the whole thing. He kept eyeing me as if it were some kind of trick. As if I were suddenly going to strike him back down to the floor as soon as I got him to let his guard down. But...once he saw that I had no such intention, he took a step back and lightly brushed the dust off of his knees. "Thank you, my lord..." "It's fine. I just...I want to go check on my boyfriend. I need to make sure he's ok." "I can assure you that NO harm will come to your sire. Not in this place. Mr. Lockheart has forbidden it. He was very specific." He told me. "Yeah, but..." I said, starting to walk towards the elevators again, "...I'm not going to be comfortable until I make sure for myself. So...maybe I'll see you around, k?" However, even though Suraj nodded, as if in acceptance of my parting words, he suddenly rushed over to walk beside me anyway. "I just have to say that..what I saw in there was phenomenal. I've never, in all my days, seen someone fight the way you do." "I can't really take the credit for all that. It just sort of happens, I think." I replied. "Oh no, my lord. Not fighting like that. It takes focus, and purpose, and control. I know vampires many many years further into darkness than you who would fall immediately when facing a talent like yours. It was like every Vampire Mimic fantasy and fairy tale come true. Right in front of my very eyes. I'm still reeling from the fact that I was able to bear witness to such a thing. Such greatness. Such glory." Suraj seemed so happy to be talking to me about this, but I honestly didn't know how to respond. I certainly don't feel glorious. Or great. Or even somewhat average, for that matter. Doesn't he know that I'm just...me? "Can I ask you a question, my lord?" "You can just call me Justin." "Can I ask you a question, Lord Justin?" I sighed, "That's...that's not exactly what I..." "How are you able to truly manipulate so many extras at once? To maintain them. Combine them, even. I've seen some highly trained vampires string two or three of them together before, but nothing like what YOU were able to achieve. I wish I could do that. You must not be scared of anything." "I wish that were true, Suraj." I said. "But...the truth is...I'm scared all the time." His eyes widened slightly, a little smirk appearing on his lips. "The scriptures always said that the Mimic would be a humble soul. Someone with great empathy and concern. I am overwhelmingly impressed. I still can't believe that I am here to walk beside you right now. I feel like I have so many questions...but I can't think of a way to word them right now. Too much excitement for one evening, I suppose." He followed it up with a cheerful little giggle, a slightly higher pitch than his normal speaking voice. I don't know why, but it inspired a smile of my own. "Thanks, I guess." I told him, and that practically made him bounce joyfully with every following step. I figured that he was pretty harmless, all in all. More so than any of the other vampires that I've run into around this place. It felt good to feel like I had somebody on my side for a change. "For what it's worth...it's nice to see someone in this building who's a little less intense." Suraj's jaw dropped! He almost stumbled over his own feet when he heard me speaking to him in such a grateful way. With a boisterous skip in his step, trying to hold back a fanboy's squeal, Suraj took a hold of a small silver chain that was hanging around his neck. "Did you hear that???" He whispered to it. "The Mimic thinks it is nice...to meet ME!" I smiled at him, and he apologized. "I don't mean to harass you in any way. It is just that you are more amazing than I could have ever dreamed. More than anything I've ever studied about your legacy. To be here in your presence is an honor that i never could have prepared for." Looking down at his hand, still clutching the end of his necklace, I asked him, "What's with the...you know..." "Huh? OH!" Suraj held up a single, bright, amber colored jewel. "This is my baby sister! My baby sister, Melati! I tell her everything." My smile faded slightly. As I gazed upon the gem, a touch of sadness washed over me. "Oh. You mean...she's..." At first, he seemed confused by my sorrowful change in demeanor. But never lost his cheeky grin. "Yes. She has since passed on from darkness. In the beginning, she crossed over to be with me. We were all the family we had left in this world, and chose to be together. But she did not take well to the feeding. Trying to get her to find a donor and replenish herself was next to impossible. She was constantly starving, putting herself through such pain." Suraj looked down at the jewel and gave it a few loving rubs with his fingers. "It did hurt for me to lose her...but it hurt more to see her lose herself. So...we ended up here. Mr. Lockheart gave us a really nice place, some long forgotten luxuries...some decent counseling as well. And when Melati felt it was time, we said our goodbyes...and she stepped into one of the many sun boxes here...and she went to go searching for a new existence elsewhere." It looked as if he was reflecting on her last moments, but then cheered up again and flashed me another smile. "But Mr. Lockheart was able to fulfill his promise, and made her ashes into a precious jewel that I would be able to keep with me for as long as I am in darkness. I never take it off. It is a reminder of her, and the sparkling light that she once brought to the world. I am grateful that Mr. Lockheart was able to capture that part of her." There was a brief silence between us as I approached the elevator doors and pressed the button. Then, he suddenly gasped to himself and said, "I'm so sorry. I have been going on and on about nothing. I hope I haven't bored you." "You know...I don't think there's anything boring about you, Suraj." I grinned. "So...a shapeshifter, huh?" Proudly, he answered, "I am. It is a very exact science, you know? Takes a lot of practice. The hardest part is the eyes. I always have trouble with the eyes." He thought about what he was saying, and gasped again. "Oh my! I'm SO sorry, Lord Justin! It must have been so rude for me to impersonate your beloved the way I did!" "It's ok." I said. "It was a pretty damn good likeness, actually." I hope that kept a little bit of his extreme guilt at bay. "Mr. Lockheart made sure that I sit, and I watch, and I practiced to get every single detail exactly as it was meant to be presented. He made me listen to his voice, and study his mannerisms, and he told me that the eyes would be very important. So, I had to make a champion effort to get them all right." My forehead wrinkled slightly. "Wait...when? When did you do all of that?" "When Mr. Lockheart brought him down to get his haircut." He replied. WHAT?!?!? "His hair cut? You mean...? But that was days ago." "Yes. I needed time to figure out how to replicate his beauty. It was not an easy task. You are both so very pretty." He smirked. "Mr. Lockheart even gave me strands of his hair so that I could practice the color and soft texture in front of the mirror." Feeling a little sick to my stomach, I mumbled to myself, "He knew this would happen. He planned it all out ahead of time. Days ahead of time..." "Yes. Mr. Lockheart is very precise in his planning. Always. It is as if he is always twelve steps ahead. Much like chess." Suraj smiled when he said it, but I don't think he understood just how much he disturbed me with the fact that The Jeweler was deliberately trying to use Taryn's likeness to get to me. To throw me off my game, and plotting these things out so far in advance...knowing the outcome. Knowing how I would react to having my soul mate in danger like that. Everything is fucking GAME to him! I'm getting so sick of it! The elevator came, and I fought the urge to scowl for fear that Suraj would take it as some sort of hint that he had offended me, when in all actuality...he probably helped me out a great deal. I think I'm finally getting a clear picture of who and what I'm dealing with in this place. "I have to go. Thank you for the company, Suraj." I said, stepping onto the elevator while he remained outside. "It was my pleasure. I wish you all the joy and happiness in the world. You and your sire." He said. "Sleep well, Lord Justin!" Just as the doors were closing, I called out, "Dude...really. It's JUST Justin..." But he seemed to be skipping off in the other direction, holding his sister's jewel in his hands and whispering words of excitement to her as he rushed back down the hall in the other direction. I'm starting to think that I should just let him call me what he wants from now on. It might not be worth the headache to tell him otherwise. I got anxious as the elevator got closer to the floor that Taryn and I were currently living on, and the moment those doors opened, I practically ran down the hall, my legs fatigued, my knees and ankles sore and weary, and I burst in the door to see Taryn sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed, remote control in hand, clicking through even more cable stations and marveling at how many shows and movies there were to watch in this place. I froze as soon as I stepped in the room, hearing the door close behind me. Taryn glanced over at me, completely alive and well...bright green eyes sparkling as he flashed me a heartwarming smile, and flicked some of his longish hair back as he welcomed me back. "Justin...did you know that there's a whole channel strictly for GAY shows and movies on this thing??? When did THAT happen? I feel like I missed so much! Hehehe!" He was happy. Healthy. Untouched by any of the harmful activities that had been taking place just a few levels below us. But my heart felt as though it was being squeezed in a vice as I laid eyes upon him again. The emotion overpowered me. No bruises. No dirt. No scrapes of cuts on his beautiful face and graceful, unblemished, features. He was ok. My sweetheart was totally ok. When I began to tear up and didn't respond to what he said, Taryn looked over at me again and muted the television. "Justy? Are you ok?" I found the courage to step forward, and I just hurried over to where he was sitting and dropped to my knees, hugging him tightly around the neck as I put my chin over his shoulder to hide my tears of joy. I held him so close. So close that Taryn began to giggle as my rough embrace caused him to lose balance and roll back on the floor...both of us laying there with our arms wrapped around each other, so happy to be reconnected again. "Did...did something happen, or...?" Taryn asked, but I secretly wiped my eyes, and just moved my head back long enough to give him a deep kiss on his sensual lips. "Mmmm...yikes. I'm not sure what I did to deserve that, but...I'm thinking that maybe I should do it much more often. Hehehe!" He really had no idea what I had just been put through, did he? No clue as to how quickly I was ready to give up everything, including my own life, just to ensure his safety. But, once the shock of seeing him happy and unharmed had worn off, i just began kissing him all over his stupid pretty FACE! "Mwah! Mwah! Mwah! I love you! MWAH!!! God, I love you!" "Hahaha! OK! OK! I believe you! Geez!" He giggled wildly. "What's gotten into you?" "Nothing." I grinned. "Nothing at all." I rubbed my nose lightly against his, and I soon noticed a change in his expression. A hint of confusion. "What? What's the matter?" Taryn squinted a little bit. He asked, "Did...you get a new set of Optrix or something?" "Did I what? What do you mean?" He looked closer, and he smiled. "Your eyes...they're brown instead of blue." "They are?" Taryn wiggled himself out of my embrace and stood up to walk me over to the mirror. "There. You see?" Sure enough...when I looked at my reflection, my eyes really had turned brown. In fact, it almost looked as though the shape of them had been slightly altered to match Suraj's natural look. "Whoah..." I whispered. "That's freaky..." Taryn grinned. "It's cute and all, but...it sorta took me by surprise. Hehehe!" I shut my eyes for a moment, and opened them again to see if they had changed back. They hadn't. I tried a few more times, but I didn't understand Suraj's extra at all. Nor could I figure out how I could have possibly absorbed his abilities so quickly. It's not like we had that much contact with each other. This Mimic thing gets weirder by the day. "I don't know how to change them back." I told him. Taryn gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, "That's ok. You can keep it for now. Just don't let me go too long without seeing those baby blues again. They were the first thing I ever noticed about you. The first thing I really fell for. Hehehe!" I kissed his lips, but before we got into anything too intimate, Taryn got himself all excited and took me by the hand to lead me over to the bed. "You have to check out this channel. There are some really good gay dramas on there. And some comedies too. TONS of cute boys too! You're gonna love this. Trust me." We lay, side by side, for the next few hours. With my arm around Taryn and his head resting peacefully on my chest...comfortable in a way that only true love and companionship provides. A few random kisses shared between us, and a snuggle-factor that a child would only share with his favorite teddy bear. How can I expect The Jeweler to ever understand a connection like this? An abundance of affection that rivals any set 'plans' that he may have for the 'greater good'. Who wouldn't sacrifice everything for just a few more moments spent in love? Only those who have never tasted its luxurious grandeur. Its elegance...and its promise to hold you and keep you safe. For now, and forever. There is no lesson in the world that could make me look upon a blessing like the one we share as anything less than a divine miracle. And if the prophecy says that he has to be taken from me in order for the world to live...then the prophecy has to be changed. Either that...or I'd gladly take the rest of the world into the abyss with us when it ends. At least I'll know that, for once in my life...I fought for something I believed in. I fought for us. As we got closer and closer to the approaching dawn, I felt Taryn cuddling even closer to me than before. Trying to find a comfortable position to maintain during his sleep cycle, his body heat waning considerably as his daily hibernation began to take effect. I kissed his forehead as he yawned in my arms, whispering, "G'night, baby..." Taryn smiled, but he could lose consciousness SO fast sometimes when it came to the sunrise. Hehehe, it was cute though. At least to me it was. And as my body was slowly being sapped of its energy, and my focus began to drift...I suddenly became aware of another...'presence' in the room with us. I can't really explain it, but it just felt like somebody else was there. Close. And watching me. My eyes were half closed, and I was super groggy and weak...but I managed to raise one of my hands up to rub the sand out of my eyes and sit up slightly to see what the heck was going on. I fought to stay awake as this...shadowed figured appeared to be standing at the foot of the bed. It was a blurry image, but I struggled to take in as much detail as I possibly could before I passed out. I stared at it. Transparent. I could clearly see the TV and the wall behind it. But it was still standing there. Motionless. I used every last bit of concentration that I could to complete the image before me. Eyes. Hair. Face. Height. Build. And...just as the few remaining breaths of conscious activity were leaving me...the picture became clear. I recognized the figure, and a shiver went through me as I found the strength to stutter out ONE name before the sleep cycle forcefully dragged me into my daily slumber... "R-R-Richie...?"
  3. Be sure to get our safeguard marks ready!
  4. A brand new community question for all of you guys to chime in on for the next issue of Imagine Magazine! Every month, we try to get a variety of answers from you guys on a topic that we feel needs to be discussed out in the open. So if you've got any thoughts at all on any of these issues, please feel free to comment in the reply section below! You can use your screen name or answer anonymously if you prefer. You can also send me your answers at Comicality@webtv.net if you want. All responses will be posted in a future issue of Imagine! So dive in on the 1st and 15th of every month for a new topic! Become a part of the discussion! We'd love to hear what you have to say! Red flags! I know you've seen them before! You've sensed them, deep in your heart. In the back of your mind. Sometimes you just feel it in your bones! Lord knows that I have! You see a guy that is really cute, seems really approachable, has a good head on his shoulders and has a lot going for him, right? So maybe you decide to test him out. You get to know him a little better, and maybe even go out on a date together. Sounds like the normal progression towards a happy and healthy relationship, right? BUT... Sometimes, you might see a little red flag pop up that tells you that something isn't exactly right here. It might be subtle, and it might NOT be so subtle. Maybe he cringes every time you touch his arm. Maybe he spends the whole night talking about how wonderful his 'ex' was. Maybe he flirts with another guy at the bar. Or maybe he punches a wall because your reservation was pushed back at the restaurant. Somewhere between a few 'off colored' comments, to a lustful grope of your ass without permission...you may suddenly be alerted to the idea that this may not be the guy for you. But how can you tell ahead of time? For all of our younger Shackers, and some of our older Shackers too, who might be trying out this dating thing for the first time...what constitutes as a 'red flag' when it comes to finding someone to call your own? Are they possessive? Jealous? Do they suddenly pull out a burnt spoon and a lighter to shoot up with heroin? Hehehe! When looking for a companion, what would alert you to stay away from certain people before that even becomes a problem that you don't want to deal with? Let us know down below! Chances are...if your first date has a guy asking you, "Do you want to see a dead body? I brought condoms!"...you may want to back out of that situation and run for the hills as soon as possible! Hehehe!
  5. Ronan Parke! Congrats, cutie! We wish you all the best! Another score for the pink team! MWAH!
  6. A brand new chapter is up for you guys tonight! I hope you like it! And please feel free to let me know what you think when you get a chance! K? We've got a busy week ahead of us! Try to keep up! ::Giggles:: https://gayauthors.org/story/comicality/savagemoon06-thenewbreed
  7. Comicality

    Chapter 32

    "Savage Moon: The New Breed 32" My legs felt so worn out, walking through the woods at the same pace for such a long time. And my stamina seemed to be holding out longer than Isaac's was...which was almost insulting, considering that I had literally carried him half the way here. The burning sensation in my wounds got more intense as time went on. I would occasionally lift my shirt again and look down to see how my torn flesh had progressed in painfully 'stitching' me back together again. But the heat...Jesus, the heat was unbearable. My body could only heal itself by bringing this intense fever to the rest of me, and while it might have been doing me a great service in terms of patching me up again...the fever made me dizzy to the point of almost falling over. It was like having the worst flu virus ever...and I just wanted to lay down somewhere and go to sleep until it was over. Ugh...the agony... Isaac had gone awfully quiet on me, but I figured it was best for him to save his breath for the extended hike. The last thing I wanted was for him to wear himself out and feel the need to stop again. I had no way of figuring out how far behind us my brethren from the pack were. They could be miles away...or they could be hot on our trail, just 100 paces behind us. I couldn't tell. Strangely enough...despite my fear and loathing of them all...I felt a certain void inside of me, being separated from them. It's hard to describe, but...I almost missed them. Their energy. Their brotherhood. Maybe it's just a side effect of becoming a part of their 'union' or whatever, but...fearful of the consequences of running into Cyrus again, I still had this yearning to be under his protection again. I felt lost without him. Unable to govern my desires or my emotions without his expert knowledge and guidance. It was as if my very sense of safety and belonging had been snatched away from me. I couldn't 'feel' my brothers and sister anymore...and it left a hole in me that could never be filled by anything other than going back to them. Tail between my legs and all. How sick is that? How can I feel this way after everything they've put me through? This is insane. Owwww...the burn! That one hurt. "I think I see something." Isaac said, breathlessly pushing himself to the top of another small hill. "It looks like a satellite dish. Do you see it?" Peeking around him, I saw what he was talking about, and picked up the pace. My aching calves tightening up as I hurried to reach the top of the hill and see if our eyes had deceived us or not. Sure enough...there was a satellite dish. And a cabin just a short distance away. There also looked to be an old car parked on the side of the house, and a fuel tank for heat, gas, and hot water, I assumed. Thank God! A break from the monotony of endless trees and nature's unrecognizable landscape. Isaac and I looked at each other and smiled weakly. He said, "What do you know? It looks like you were right, eh?" "Let's go. Hopefully, someone's home." I smirked, and we began hurrying towards the old cabin, shuffling leaves and dirt all the way down the hill. I was still sore from walking so far for so long, but the promise of a decent moment's rest was enough to give me a second wind. The cabin was a little run down, but still looked 'lived in', if that makes sense. The windows were a little fogged over with dust, the porch hadn't been swept in ages. Spiders had obviously felt comfortable building webs on the side of the house, and a hornet's nest had been left untouched on the back porch. There was a car in the yard, but it seemed to be rusted and out of commission...a bunch of bags, suitcases, and usual 'garage junk', had been piled up in the back seat...blocking the rear window. I guess nobody had driven that car for quite a while. Isaac and I walked around to the front of the house, trying to see if maybe we could find some signs of somebody recently occupying the residence. We didn't have much luck though. For the time being...the place looked to have been abandoned. I stepped up on the front porch and I rang the doorbell, but got no answer. Even knocked a few times, attempting to be patient about it all. But still...no answer. I tried turning the knob on the front door. Locked, of course. I moved over and tried to raise one of the front windows...then another. Shit. Also locked. "Whoever uses this cabin...they haven't been here recently. At least, it doesn't look like it." I said. I searched the area to see if I could find another way inside, but I wasn't having any luck. "Alright...it looks like we're gonna have to do this the hard way..." I stepped off of the front porch, and Isaac watched me as I shuffled around in the yard for a minute or two, looking for a big enough rock to smash the window. I found one that was about the size of my palm. Big enough to do the job, but hopefully wouldn't cause too much of a mess. Fuck it, I'll pay for it later if anybody complains. Isaac stopped me as he saw my hand draw back, ready to toss the large stone through the window. "Wait! What are you doing?" "Sorry, Isaac. But we've come too far to let a locked window keep us from taking a much needed rest. It looks like we're going to have to 'Goldilocks' this window and find our way inside." I said. But Isaac told me to hold on. I saw him look all over the front porch, moving a rocking chair, feeling over the top of the door frame, and finally running his fingers underneath the mailbox just to the side of the front entrance. "Ah ha...here we go..." He said. And, like magic, he produced a key! "What the...???" "In my town, old Ms. Yoder often drinks a lot of wine at the local pub. She's always misplacing her keys, and couldn't get back into her house when her night of drinking was over. So she began to hide keys elsewhere...just in case." He smiled proudly. Isaac pushed the key into the front lock and opened the door with no problem. "You might just be a useful genius in all this after all, Mr. Montrager." I grinned, and we walked inside together, happy to find some momentary refuge after our exhausting ordeal. We tried to flick one of the light switches on, as the cabin was dark, even in the daytime. But the electricity had been shut off. There was some running water in the kitchen sink though, and even though it took a couple of minutes to get it to warm up...we did have hot water. The cabinets were empty. So was the fridge. Not even a few canned goods left behind to satisfy the growing monster being formed in my belly. But, despite our lack of any survivor's treasure being found in that house...at least the furniture was super soft and comfy. A treat that I took advantage of the moment I saw a set of spongy sofa cushions calling my name from across the living room. I plopped down in the middle, kicked my shoes off, and swiveled around to stretch out...a deep sigh expressing my relief as my restless muscles finally resigned themselves to getting a break from the push to keep moving. I felt my eyes burning and lay my head back on one of the soft cushions, using my arm to cover them up and melt into a much calmer state. It wasn't until about thirty seconds later that I noticed an extremely still silence in the room. I opened my eyes to see Isaac standing there, practically on the other side of the living room, looking stiff and frightened, staring directly at me as if he expected me to sprout a second head at any moment. "You can relax, you know?" I said. "I promise not to eat you, if that's what you're worried about." "The fact that you have to even make me that promise is cause for great concern, Wesley." "Go on. Sit down. I said I wasn't going to hurt you, what else do you want?" "Why should I believe you? Because you're so 'nice'?" He said sarcastically. I sighed, merely responding with, "Too tired." It took him a moment or two to actually unwind a little bit, but he eventually found the courage to find a seat as far away from me as this little furniture arrangement would allow. And even then, he made sure to keep his back pressed against the chair, and his feet firmly placed on the ground in case he needed to flee the scene at a moment's notice. I could easily smell the fear on him. I could hear the erratic beating of his troubled heart. It's kind of intoxicating, the feeling of having someone so terrified of what you are. It's hard to explain, but it gives you this sense of 'power'. It strokes the ego and makes you larger than life. I keep having to wonder whether I would have been this way before this trip out to the woods. If it was Cyrus' toxic influence and my transformation that is flooding my ind with all of these wicked thoughts...or if it was just the true nature of mankind in general. Sometimes it feels like Cyrus just took a dust rag and polished up the worst parts of who I already was...just so I could see them clearly. "For what it's worth, Isaac...I feel bad for making you a part of this. Then again...if it wasn't for them trying to hurt you, I don't know if I ever would have found the strength to get away." He gave me a sideways look, still suspicious of my true intentions. "Why couldn't you just walk away? Why not leave at the first sign of trouble?" He asked. "I knew, almost instantly, that they were no good. I could sense it. And they didn't make any attempts to hide their evil. Not from you, or me, or anybody. Why would you stay?" "You just...you don't understand, alright?" "They're bad people, Wesley. Every last one of them." "Stop. They're not what you think." "That Cyrus is the worst of them all..." "Stop TALKING about Father that way!!!" I shouted. I don't...I don't know what happened. Did I mean to scream at him that way? I looked over and saw the most panic-stricken look on his face. Wide eyed, and more terrified of me than ever. When I looked down at myself, I realized that I was sitting in an upright position again, my legs swiveled back around, feet on the floor...and my nails digging deep into the cushions to the point of tearing the fabric. Strange...I don't remember sitting up at all... I put my hands up to my face to rub my eyes again and calm down. "I'm sorry. Honestly. I...I didn't mean to do that." I said. "I just...I'm finding it very hard to think straight right now. I think the calling has its claws in me a lot deeper than I thought it did. It's hard to tune it out sometimes." "The...calling?" Isaac asked, confused. "Trust me...it'll take an unbearably long time for me to explain it, and even longer for you to understand it. Let's just say that it's like trying to shake off the last few coughs and sniffles after a particularly nasty run in with the flu. I don't think it's quite done with me yet." I rubbed the painful sores on my side and winced with a gasp as I struggled to find the energy to get back up on my feet again. Quickly standing up as well, Isaac moved around to the other side of the chair...as if that would be much of a barrier between us if I really wanted to do him some harm. "What are you doing?" He asked. "Ugghhh...I'm gonna look around this place and see if whoever lived here actually has some rubbing alcohol or something to disinfect these wounds. I'm not exactly sure how this healing thing works, but the last thing I need is to go into septic shock." I told him, limping slightly around the couch. "The problems I've got going on right now? It's not something I'm expecting some local hick doctor to solve with a shot in the butt and a couple of aspirin." I saw a bathroom near the back of the cabin and headed towards it. "I'll...ughh...I'll be right back." Stepping inside, I headed for the medicine cabinet first. Best logical place to look, right? I opened it up...found some finger-sized Band-Aids, some gauze pads, a half empty box of Q-tips...but nothing that I could really use. A few extra lenses for what looked like a rather thick set of glasses, and an ace bandage for sprains. Not much good to me. I looked down under the sink and found mostly shampoo, soap bars, and a couple of cleaning products. A rather large, half gallon, bottle of ammonia, some bleach, a pack of sponges, and some extra rolls of toilet tissue. Oh wait...what's that brown bottle under the pipes? Eureka! Hydrogen Peroxide. I know some people use it to clean tile and the like, but it's a disinfectant just the same. I've got to work with what I've got. The bathroom didn't have a window in it, so the mirror was a bit dark, even with the door open. But when I carefully pulled my shirt up over my head, the large, dark, rips in my flesh were all clearly visible. Mostly scabbed over and healing, but...it's frightening to see that amount of damage done to yourself. That almost hurt more than the wounds themselves. I popped the cap off and poured some of the stinging liquid in my open wounds. "Ahhh!!! FUCK!" I hissed, trying to gently wipe some of it way with the gauze pads behind the mirror. Yikes...that hurt a lotmore than it had any right to. i hope it's doing enough of its job to make the agony worth it. I finished up a few minutes later. I didn't bother to put my shirt back on, as it was dirty and bloodstained and practically ripped to shreds anyway. Besides, raising my arms up to drape it back over me was going to rip me right back open...so why bother? I opened the bathroom door, slightly limping my way back to the couch as my body finally had enough time to fully process how 'broken' it really was, healing factor or not. I plopped back down and held my balled up shirt to my side as Isaac stared at me in silence. I was so tired. My body was mostly numb, but with just enough feeling to wince from the ache that shot through me every time I tried to move. It was best for me to just sit still for now. Try to...regain some of my sanity so I could figure a way out of this predicament. "You wounds look bad..." Isaac said, surprisingly in an almost concerned tone of voice. "I'll be alright." I grunted. "You need to go to the hospital." "Oh sure. That big hospital, right here in the middle of the woods. Just walk 100 paces from the back door, and turn right at the tree with bird's nest in it..." He seemed slightly offended by my sarcasm. "Then maybe you can go back and ask your 'brothers' to patch you up. I'm sure they would be thrilled." More sarcasm. Ok, then... "Do you not see what happened to me back there? I did that protecting you. And considering the fact that either one of us is still breathing? I'd say I did a pretty good job of it. This being my first time and all." We glared at each other for a moment, but we were both too worn out to do much more. Whatever friction we had building between us...it was going to have to be put on hold until we found a way out of this mess. Then he could go his way and I could go mine. Who cares, right? And yet, after another uncomfortable silence between us, I sighed, and just wanted to somehow...I don't know...explain my side of things. Maybe I was in denial. Maybe ! had no right at all to ask for understanding or forgiveness. But I couldn't help but entertain the idea of setting the record straight...so he didn't walk away, thinking that I was just some heartless demon who had lost his nerve at the last minute. That's not who I am. Not at all. "I was really careful at first. You know?" I said, getting Isaac's attention. "I heard the rumors. I saw the signs. I had every intention of staying away from them. All of them. There are things out there so vile, so wicked...you figure that it would never be a temptation to you. And that's easy to say from a distance. When you don't have to think about it. When the rewards are out of your reach." I looked down at the floor, a bead of sweat rolling down my forehead as my fever increased in its intensity. "But...Cyrus brought it right to my front door. He laid it down at my feet. He offered me the apple, and I took the bite. Not even the shame of knowing it was wrong was enough to keep me away from it. I guess...you never really know who you are until you're faced with the struggles you've never had to face before." "I still don't understand..." He said. "How could you be with them? How can you fall for their trickery and allow them to change you in such a way?" I said, "That's just it, Isaac...they didn't ask me to change anything. Not once." My eyes met his, and I told him, "You never realize how much you NEED to hear that someone loves you, just as you are...without conditions...without rearrangements or omission...until you actually have someone say it to you. Plainly. Shamelessly. It's like it touches something so deep inside of you that you have no defense against it. It overwhelms you. It's like waking up from a nightmare." I shifted a bit, trying to get more comfortable on that couch, my scars still stinging me from time to time. "I spent my entire life being afraid of who I am. Ashamed. And alone. I shut so much of my true self off from the rest of the world that I couldn't really be a part of anything meaningful. It wasn't real. I was just faking some stupid, 'acceptable', identity that I thought other people might enjoy and pay attention to. And when that fake image got any kind of praise or attention...I sat back and took the credit for it. KNOWING that it was a lie! But the lie was all I had to depend on. The real me would be rejected in a heartbeat if they knew. Rejected in school, rejected in the church, my friends...my family..." I felt a lump in my throat, but kept talking, regardless. Who knows when I'll get another shot at talking to anybody about this ever again? "...It's an isolated feeling, thinking that you have to wear a mask and pretend to be somebody else to get the kind of love and attention that you want from the rest of the world. It's self loathing at its finest...but you make it ok, because you get to deny that the more 'disgusting' part of you simply doesn't exist anymore." For the first time since we had been sitting there, Isaac seemed to relax enough to let his guard down for a moment and absorb what I was trying to say. "I think I can understand that part of it. Yes." I wiped my eyes as I continued to feel the absence of my brethren in my heart, and with a sniffle, I said, "There was this boy...he was not far from the camp. His name was Casey. Heh...his beauty struck me like a bolt of lightning from the very first time I ever laid eyes on him. I know that there are people out there who say that there's no such thing as love at first sight, but...if it never happened before, then he'd be the first to inspire such a thing. He was stunning. Sweet. Amazing eyes...and a smile that just seemed to cause these little tremors in your stomach whenever he pointed it in your direction. Yeah...Casey was...he was truly something special." Isaac saw my emotions bubbling up to the surface, and I began to sniffle a bit more...tugging lightly on his sense of empathy. "So, this Casey...he is your boyfriend?" A single tear dripped from my eye. "Heh...well, see, that's the thing about shame and self loathing, Isaac...it doesn't leave any room for you to be happy. It doesn't leave you with enough energy to recognize and appreciate what's right in front of you. You never feel like you deserve it. And even if you got a taste...you'd just end up destroying it all in the end. So what's the point of putting yourself out there to get hurt, right?" "You never told him, then." He said, and I slowly shook my head. "I wanted to. I kept going back, I kept hoping that he would cast some kind of magic spell over me that would take me away from this emptiness I feel inside. And I know its not fair to make him responsible for making me sane, but...I was desperately hoping that he would be the one to set me FREE." I said. "But I was scared, you know?" "Scared of having him not love you in return?" I sniffled again, holding back the tears as best as I could. "Scared that he would love the 'fake' me...the mask...and I'd spend the rest of my life being too ashamed to show him who I really was underneath it. Someone who was nowhere near being worthy of his affection. Just another lame gay teen, full of mind games and empty promises...soon to be discarded for someone more his speed." I said. "Ugghhhh..." I doubled over and grabbed a hold of my knees as another sharp pain surged through my abdomen. "Are you ok???" He asked. I had to catch my breath, but I assured him, "Yeah. It was just...a cramp or something. I'm fine." I wiped my eyes again, and I stared up at the ceiling. "I can't even remember how I got here, Isaac. I don't even remember where it all began." "Your demon friends, you mean?" I nodded. "Being so alone...feeling so unwanted and unloved for so long...Cyrus came along, and he's the first one who ever bothered to peek beneath the mask. The first one who told me that I didn't need to LIE about who I am, or what I desired. You don't know what it's like to actually have someone embrace you and make you feel like you have a home. People you can be totally open with and not fear judgement or backlash or some kind of brainwashed response from people who could never understand what you go through every day just to feel...to feel..." "Normal." Isaac added, and I nearly cried when I heard it. Maybe he understands after all. "I guess it's easy to fall in line with people who make you feel that way. Even 'wicked' people...who may not have your best interests at heart." I sobbed. "I thought Cyrus was setting me free. And he certainly gave me a lot of room to be myself for the first time in my life. But..." "But?" He asked. Remembering his words to me, I said, "...But a cage a million miles wide...is still a cage." The room got silent, and now I felt just as emotionally drained as I did physically. So I swiveled around and put my feet back up on the couch, attempting to carefully find another comfortable spot in the old couch to snuggle into. It wasn't easy, but I was much too exhausted to expect much more than a position that would make me scream out loud in pain. "Look...if you don't mind...I think I'm just going to lay here and get a few minutes worth of rest, ok? We'll figure something out a bit later. Maybe find a way to navigate our way to one of the main roads and maybe get a shot at hitching a ride with a passing car. But for now...I just need to close my eyes for a little bit. Is that ok?" Isaac was silent for a moment, and then nodded slowly. "Ok. You rest. I will look around the house to see if I can find something that will help." "Alright. Cool. You do that." I sighed. I could already feel the fatigue taking me over, but before I dozed off, I opened one eye and looked back at Isaac again. "You know...not that I don't trust you...but I wouldn't try sneaking out of this cabin and taking off while I'm asleep. Cyrus and his pack have already got a lock on your scent. They'll follow you. They'll find you. And...well, you know what happens when they come knocking...don't you? Not just you...but to everybody that's come into contact with you along the way. You'd be better off with me right now. Believe me." His eyes widened a bit, but he agreed to stay put. I'm pretty sure that I had every reason to believe him. Alright...just...a few minutes worth of sleep. Ten? Maybe twenty? Enough to get my head together. Jesus...I'm so tired. I'm surprised I was able to stay awake this long.
  8. But, fear not! The newest issue of Imagine Magazine will be posted and ready to go tonight! Cool? So's ya know, I am actually really sick at the moment with what I <i>thought</i> was a flu or chest cold...and it turned out to be strep throat. Which I've never had before. And it fucking SUCKS! Jesus Christ...how do you people deal with feeling pain every time you swallow anything??? Not even solid, but liquids too. Even applesauce hurts! Hehehe, on top of that, Imagine's main general is dealing with a sprained wrist and some messed up fingers at the moment. BUT...we'll be sure to get things in working order as soon as possible tonight! Cool? You can't say that we're not dedicated! ::Giggles:: So keep checking back at the Imagine Magazine link, and eventually, a brand new issue will be waiting for ya! https://imagine-magazine.org/ Now...if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to swallow some cream of chicken and mushroom soup and led this medication put me back to sleep for a little bit. Seezya soon!
  9. Thanks, guys! It's a little better today. The antibiotics helped a lot. Hopefully just another day or two before I'm on the road to normal again.
  10. Comicality

    Emote Control

    And here we are, distinguished ladies and gentlemen! This is officially the 50th article in the 'Comsie Rambles On' series! Hehehe! I just want to take a quick second to thank you all for the likes and comments, and for offering your own touches and advice on the topics being discussed. I'm still learning too! So I love to see them! And now...let's take the first step taken towards Article #100!!! This weekend's topic took some extra effort, trying to figure out how to put it into words that people could understand. Emotion can be such an intangible idea when it comes to explaining it or trying to bring it out in a story. Not to mention the fact that methods of doing so drastically differ from author to author, and it translates differently from reader to reader. But there is a hidden essence in all this that truly connects us all together in a variety of ways...and if we learn to tap into that energy, our stories can truly create some moving moments for everybody involved, writers and readers alike. But how can I even approach a conversation like that? The best way, I figured, was to do so through music. Music has this incredible ability to truly affect us when we need it most, and expect it least. It takes the intangible idea of being able to emote in your writing, and makes it a little more easily absorbed. It's more than an inner concept. You can hear it. You can feel it. So I'd like to use that as my tool this week as we talk about bringing real emotion to the words we write, and how to dig even deeper once we know what were looking for. As always, the idea behind this goes back to the whole 'show, don't tell' mantra that every writer should keep going on in their heads at all times. When you're writing, always remember that it is not enough to say, "My main character is sad." Let your main character's inner thoughts, sullen actions, and painful dialogue, display that. If done right, the sentence, "He/She was sad," shouldn't have to be mentioned. Instead, concentrate on what's going on around that character. What led up to that moment? What might happen after that moment? How does this take the story in a 'sad' direction? If your readers have been absorbing all the details around this particular event or the circumstances surrounding this character, then their empathy should kick in and they'll feel sad for him or her without you having to 'tell' them that they should. It's like seeing a well decorated slice of cheesecake behind the counter at your local bakery. Hehehe, nobody has to 'tell' you it's going to be delicious! You can look at it, you can smell it, you begin to salivate at the very thought of it. (Ugh...now I want some cheesecake!) But this connection between you and your audience comes from digging really deep to the very core of the emotions that you're trying to convey in your story. And that takes practice. Not just skill, as I'm certain you all have the skill, without a doubt. But practice. It takes time to really drudge up those emotions and memories and personal experiences that you might be drawing from to create that particular scene, and then put it into words. You have to 'feel' it, so your readers can feel it. I can, honestly, say that I've sat at this keyboard with tears in my eyes MANY times, myself, while writing some of the more painful moments in my stories. And while it may be emotionally draining, and it might force me to take a break from time to time...the effect that it had on my readers worked out even better than I ever could have imagined it would have. Hehehe, so...I guess you could say that I was proud to depress so many people at once. The sadist that I am! LOL! But this comes from being able to really understand emotion in general, being able to relate to it from times in your life when you felt the same way, and then bringing that to the surface. Because, at its deepest level...I think we really have the ability to all relate to the shared experience of life itself. We've all been heartbroken at one time in our life. We've all been angry, we've all been scared, we've all been head over heels in love with someone, we've all been full of joy and fireworks. It might have been on different levels or for different reasons, but believe me...a 14 year old boy who got a Playstation 4 this past Christmas and a 65 year old man who got that first shiny bicycle in the store window when he was a kid BOTH understand the same kind of joy and surprise that comes with that. The bike or the video game isn't the connection. The JOY is the connection. And you can touch the hearts of an infinitely wide range of readers once you teach yourself to make that part your focus. So where does the 'music' come in, Comsie? I want you guys to listen to a few songs down below that I chose specifically for this article. I want you to think about how these songs make you feel inside. The voice. The lyrics. The instrumental arrangements. And more importantly, how they all fit together. These were meant to 'move' you. They are presenting a particular feeling and guiding you to sympathize and possibly end up feeling the same way. Try to let go and feel what it wants you to feel. What is it doing to you? Why are you suddenly feeling something that you weren't feeling before the story started? This is a South Korean artist by the name of So Hyang. Now, a friend of mine shared this with me last year, and she is being hailed as one of the most emotionally moving singers in the WORLD right now. Naturally, I was skeptical. I mean...the world? Really? Ummm...but I have to admit, she is pretty damn moving to say the least. What starts off as a really cool, soft, and pleasant song...ends up as a near religious experience by the time it's over. She's about as close to a living, breathing, Disney princess, as you can get. Hehehe, I just listened to this again a couple of minutes ago, and I feel really good now! Give it a listen... Hehehe! Did you feel that? Maybe a little bit? Maybe a lot? Now, when you think about the song itself and her performance of it...how did it affect you, emotionally? And why do you think that is? No matter whether you're a singer, actor, writer, painter, or architect...the unique value of your art comes from your personal 'choices'. For a singer, it comes from knowing when to draw a note out, or to cut it short. To reach a higher tone, or a lower one. These choices may be pre-planned or totally subconscious and spontaneous...but it is those choice that personalizes the song to them and them alone. Writing is no different. Can you move someone with text on a screen the same way that song might move you with visuals and audio and expert arrangements? YES! You can do all that, and a LOT more, in fact! Because the people reading your story have more than a few minutes to spend with the characters and themes that you're hitting them with. If anything, your writing should be able to touch them on a level that a three to five minute song can't reach. And while it may not be as immediately devoured as a song or a movie...the impact can be just as powerful. Just like these singers, you, as an author, have a 'voice'. Your choices will make your story relatable and unique to everyone who lays eyes upon it. It's all in how you communicate the emotion that you're looking to broadcast to your audience. I think that there's something 'unspoken' between us all that can be instantly discovered when an artist presses the right button or finds the right trigger. Something about hearing that song above touched me. It connected to something within me that I might have buried or forgotten about. An old memory? An emotional experience? A faded dream? A release for some bottled up feelings that I never faced or dealt with properly? Who knows? But something about this particular song made contact with a deeper part of me. It went searching for certain emotional strings...and then gave them a little 'tug'. THAT'S the power of being able to emote with your work. You can have all the vocal skill and training in the world, perfect pitch, breath control, and the best sound equipment that money can buy...but it's the emotional connection that will always make your work stand out over everything else. There's a spark, an untitled glow, to it that can't be faked, manufactured, or imitated. I believe that emotion easily separates a really good story from a GREAT story. One that your readers will never forget. Like I said, it takes practice. It takes exposure. And sometimes, it's going to be exposure to feelings and memories that you may not want to relive or dwell on for any length of time...but the more experienced you become with experiencing those feelings, firsthand, the easier it will be to project those feelings through the characters in your story. Spend some time thinking about it. Take a moment, and think about that very first time that you really got your heartbroken. Go back to that time in your life...the pain, the tears, the denial, the acceptance...honestly approach those feelings, and think about how you (at that particular moment in your life) would have to explain how you were feeling. Put it in focus. "I felt like my heart had been torn in half by someone I trusted." Good! Put that in your story! "I was so ANGRY that he cheated on me!" Great! Put that in your story! "I wish I never met her! It was like she destroyed my whole life!" Excellent! Take those emotions, and tell that story through the eyes of your main character! I won't lie...sometimes it hurts. It does. I've dealt with some really painful moments in my life through my stories. From "My Only Escape" to "Save Or Sacrifice" to "Never Again"...I had to draw from some pretty disturbing memories in order to write those out. But it can be a truly therapeutic experience when it's all said and done. I don't know...tears are good for the soul and all that. But the more you sort of dig around in that wound, the more you pick at that scab...the more you begin to get a clear understanding of the subtle differences involved when dealing with one emotion or another. In the two songs below...they are both dealing with heartbreak. Someone that you love who is now attempting to be happy with someone else. Now, hearing that part of the emotional description, one would think that the songs would be pretty similar to one another. "I love you. You left me behind. I can't let go." They both deal with loss. They both deal with a mixture of pain and anger...so, I guess 'painger'! Hehehe! However, give them both a listen. The emotion and the theme is the same, but lyrically and emotionally...they're both sending out a very different message. Sad, yes. But the Yebba song is a bit more determined. She seems like she's in pain, but there's a certain feeling of strength and empowerment in her delivery. I can feel the pain in her performance. But she's still standing strong, despite her being so close to breaking down. However, in Conor Maynard's highly emotional cover of Drake's 'Marvin's Room', he seems a bit more somber. More defeated. It feels more like he's trying to maintain some kind of strength, but he's struggling through it. It's almost like he's lost as to whether he's going to make it or not. And is he crying? it almost looks like he was crying! Geez! Where was this coming from? I think he was 17 when he covered this, so...recent heartbreak maybe? Who knows? Anyway, you can tell two completely different stories from this subtle difference alone. One of someone getting over a massive heartbreak, or one of someone being crushed by it. Put yourself in both situations. Feel it in your heart. And think about how you would put those feelings into words when your characters are going through something similar. 000 The thing to remember is to always draw from your personal truth. Somebody out there has been through the same things that you have struggled through in your life, and when you make that connection...when you find a way tug on that heart string...the reader/writer dynamic becomes a symbiotic experience. When you dig deep enough...you're no longer just telling your story, but their story as well. You reach out and you actually 'touch' a part of them that they didn't even know was there. Hehehe, I didn't mean for that to sound anywhere NEAR as perverted as it did! The subtle changes on one side of the emotion or another comes from the words you use, and the way you describe the plight of your character. If you want to empower them, your word usage should reflect that. The tone should be different. Convey strength through your descriptions and vocabulary. If you want them broken and hurt beyond repair...change the way you describe their handling of the situation. You wouldn't describe both sides in the same way in real life if it were happening to you. So don't do it that way in your stories. Pay attention to the difference. A sentence or two can make a huge difference in how your readers perceive your protagonist's state of mind. And that state of mind can be the rise or fall of an emotionally potent scene in your project. These next two songs show a slightly different take on the idea of misery. Just...plain misery. Now, this first one will always have a special place in my heart. Johnny Cash and his wife, the love of his life, passed away about 4 months apart from each other. After losing her, he said that his music was all he had left, and he made this cover of 'Hurt', originally from Nine Inch Nails' album, 'Downward Spiral'. This was the last video he ever filmed before he died, and the flashbacks to a long life of entertaining and basically being country music's number one badass, mixed with the heartbreaking lyrics, is sure to twist a few hearts here and there when watching it. The second video, however, is more 'angst' than misery. You watch the video and listen to the song, and while Alessia Cara is 'miserable' where she is, it has a totally different vibe to it. She isn't sad about it. She just doesn't want to be there. I remember seeing this for the first time and thinking, "Omigod, I remember being like that at a party!" I'm supposed to be having fun, but...I'm just not into this at all. I'd uch rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Again, these songs have different tones to them. The inspire different emotions and therefore need to be treated differently in order to connect to different people. It all depends on what you're looking to broadcast with the picture you're painting for your readers at that moment. Will it be Johnny Cash, a dark place with a slightly optimistic outlook? Or an Alessia Cara party place with a slightly darker, isolated, outlook? 000 Now, emotions don't all have to be sad and depressing! Hehehe! Of course not! Evoking emotion comes in the form of love and joy and blissful happiness as well! So, don't think that you have to have some kind of heavy drama going on in order to explain making an emotional connection with your audience. Some of my more lighthearted stories are extremely fun for me to write as well. "Kiss Of An Angel", "Jesse-101", and others have given me a few giggles and good vibes, typing them out. But still...joy is an emotion that you want to push forward when you're writing your story. Let your readers feel it like YOU feel it. Right? The slight shift in these two videos below is expressed mostly through an 'internal' and 'external' version of joy. Both by the same artist, same voice, same theme. However, in the first song (Which ALWAYS makes me smile when I hear it! Hehehe!) is all about feeling good. It has the kind of feeling that you get when you just wake up, the sun is shining, you've got the day to yourself, and everything is AWESOME! This is an internal joy. Nothing can touch you. It can't bother you. It just makes you feel good inside! The music, the lyrics...everything about it is all sunshine and good vibes! The second, while having the same theme, is more external. It's sharing that joy with other people. It's inspiring. It tells you that you can feel just as amazing as she does, if you only shrug off the bullshit and realize how beautiful you really are. (A song that I desperately needed to hear when it first came out and I was feeling down. Because...sighhh...'the internet'!) Both of these themes can connect to readers in a way that will keep them smiling until their cheeks hurt while reading your work. And that is what is going to make your writing memorable. It's more than a story. It's an experience. Something that they can go back to when they want to feel that way again. Something that they can share with a friend or family member when they're in need of connecting to that happiness the same way that they did. If only you knew how much power you had when it comes to affecting people on an emotional level. You really can change lives with what you write. One emotion at a time. 000 So, there we go! Emote control! It's not about me telling you what to write or how to write it. You all have the talent and the passion to figure it out for yourselves. Your very presence here proves that. This is just meant to shine a spotlight on a few things that you may have a feel for, but never really pay attention to. It's there. Many writers think about emotions in terms of joy, sadness, anger, jealousy, and indifference. But there are infinite shades of grey in between. Combinations and lethal cocktails and conflicting ideologies, that you can personalize and use to your story's benefit. But the first step is diving into those emotions, feeling them fully, and attempting to figure out how they work for you and for your readers. Learn the subtle shifts from one to another. Teach yourself how to deescalate or intensify those emotions at will. And, as always...practice, practice, practice. I've been doing this for almost 21 years now...and I still find new blind spots that I didn't pay attention to before. So get familiar with your own hearts, and go out there to give them your best. Do it better than I did. Thanks for the love and support you guys! I hope the music/writing comparison helped to get my point across. Like I said, it's kind of a hard thing to put into words. I love you all! And I'll see you next weekend with more! Also...one more... If you think you can't find the emotional power within yourself, check out the video below. This is a Latin pop artist, Abraham Mateo. He made this back when he was only TWELVE years old! How a twelve year old was able to tap into such heartfelt emotion is a complete mystery to me! But listen all the way through. By the end of this song, its like, "Who IS this kid???" It just takes passion, effort, and practice. That's it. If he can do it...you can too. Best of luck!
  11. Happy 15th of March, folks! I'm just letting you know that this month's issue of Imagine Magazine has been posted and is available for you guys to read! A ton of new chapters from your favorite Imagine authors are waiting for you, new articles, and more there waiting for ya! So, enjoy! And be sure to give your support for all of the authors involved with each new issue. They are true talents, and we're happy to have them be a part of the team! Thanks, guys! If any of you guys want to participate in future issues, and want to showcase your work to a new audience to increase your fanbase...drop me a line at Comicality@webtv.net and let me know! I'll be sure to save you a spot! K? Take care! Love you lots! And I'll seezya soon! https://imagine-magazine.org/
  12. Alright, folks! Its up! Enjoy! Ummm...the magazine, I mean!
  13. Please...don't tempt them! LOL!
  14. Comicality

    Writer Confidence

    The biggest trick that any writer can pull off when it comes to their finished product...is making it look like writing is easy. Hehehe, getting your readers to think that you just sat down at a keyboard with a cup of tea or coffee, and tapped into some level of genius to type something out from beginning to end. (Cue snickers and laughter from the writing community.) Obviously, this isn't true. Sure, it becomes easier through practice and discipline, and we get used to the habit of expressing our thoughts in this particular way...but there is nothing 'easy' about writing a story. Not at all. From conception, to creating characters, to plot devices, to dialogue...it takes a LOT of time and patience and skill to pull off a story from beginning to end. You have to juggle a series of different talents all at once, and once you're finished...you've got to edit it and start all over again to catch anything that you may have dropped along the way. Yeah, to say that it's easy to do is not only a mistake...it's an outright lie for many of us. Because of this pleasurable, self torturing, practice that we love so much...it can sometimes cause our most ambitious ideas to seem more intimidating than they have to be. At least that's been my experience so far. There are stories that I wanted to write years ago that still intimidate me to this day. Every time I consider sitting down and just getting it started, I almost get overwhelmed with anxiety about how I'm ever going to create that story, those characters, and actually get it right. I get intimidated by the time I'm going to have to put in. Intimidated by the emotion I'll have to pour in. Intimidated by whatever research I might have to do for the details. I feel the story idea looming over me to the point where I'm forced to back away from it, and like the procrastination savant that I am, hehehe...I put it off until later. And as we all know, 'later' often never comes. This week, I'd like to spend a few moments talking about writer confidence, and maybe clear up the smoke and mirrors aspect of possibly beating the intimidation when it strikes. For me, personally, it doesn't always take some massive new project to intimidate me into shying away from putting the work in. Sometimes, it might just be a particularly important chapter that I'm worried about getting right. Or a specific scene where a big secret is revealed, or a dramatic argument or major event has to come along to change the course of the rest of the story. As I mentioned in a past article, sometimes I know exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it...but there's a 'hesitation' involved anyway. For me, that's WORSE than writer's block! LOL! I can deal with writer's block. But fear or lack of motivation? Nothing makes me feel more helpless when it comes to my writing. Also, there are times when the intimidation isn't even creatively inspired. Sometimes I have to ask myself if I'm going to have the time and the focus to really dive into this new chapter/story the way I want to. What is my work schedule like? What are my friends and family up to? Will I be able to remove myself from the world for a week or two to get this as well polished as I want it to be? Some of you guys have kids or partners that need attention and quality time. Some of you have a busy few weeks of work ahead of you, and you know that's not going to leave you with a lot of energy to write when you come home. There are more factors that you can ever imagine that have to be shifted around in order to concentrate on the task at hand. And that can cause a writer to hesitate as well. It's nothing to feel bad about. It happens. And if you decide that this isn't the time for you to jump into that particular project...then so be it. However, you can't let these things destroy your writer confidence. See...being intimidated by a story, chapter, or important scene, in your project isn't going to be like an explosion at the base of a tower, causing it to crumble to the ground all at once. It's more like an aggressive army of termites. It erodes the foundation in secret. You start making little excuses for why you can't jump into it today. You start getting randomly distracted by things like getting your house cleaned, or a sudden Netflix binge. "I'll do it later" and "I'll get around to it when I have more time" become your mantras, and before you know it...it's six months later and you haven't so much as brought it up on your laptop once in all that time. Don't believe me? Look at your files right now? Do you have any lingering projects that you were going to 'get around to', and haven't? When was the last time you opened that file? It might be longer than you think. Hehehe! It usually is for me. So how can we fix this? I think the first step in starting this new project or getting a previous project back on course comes from asking yourself...'What am I so afraid of?' When I mention fear, I'm not talking about outright TERROR or anything! Hehehe, it's not that serious. But something is stopping you from sitting down and typing out the thoughts and emotions in your heart. What is it? What's bullying you out of tackling the next chapter? Find out what is giving you the most hesitation, and give it some thought. Loosen that knot. And be brutally honest with yourself. Maybe you don't like where the story is going. Maybe you're bored with it. Maybe some negative comments on the last story made you doubt your abilities as a writer. Maybe you have such high expectations for this next chapter that you worry you're not up to the task? Whatever it may be...find it, face it, and think about how you might be able to get around it. Diagnose the problem so you know what to fix. As long as you keep putting it off or making excuses, the actual issue that you might be trying to avoid is going to remain vague and unclear. In fact, you may deny that there is a problem at all. "I can't write tonight because...it's National Hot Dog Day! That's all." Hehehe, yeah, that's not a reason. The second step? Take a leap of faith. Find a few minutes of peace, open that file up...read what you've read so far, maybe doing a soft re-edit and making a few changes along the way, and then move right into the next sentence without hesitating. You just read what you wrote, your memory's been refreshed, you've got the file open, your fingertips are touching the keyboard...do it. Right then and there. Pick up where you left off and just start writing again as if it had only been a few hours since your last entry. If you're starting something brand new from scratch, and you're not sure how to begin...stare at that blank scene and think about ONE thing that you want your readers to know about your main character. And then create an opening scene that displays that one trait or attribute (or flaw). Put them right in the middle of it. Like, let's say that your protagonist is madly in love with some boy on the basketball team, right? Your first sentence... "I don't even really like basketball all that much. But I show up to the high school games for 'him'. Only for him." This is an opener that you can easily build off of. That little bit of text both gives answers and creates questions. The answers? This person is probably in high school. He's infatuated with someone on the team. He doesn't like sports. The questions? Who's speaking right now? Who is 'him'? Why is he so infatuated with him? You've immediately planted the seed, and you know have avenues to pursue your next few sentences. You can get into the thoughts and feelings of the main character, or you can describe the beauty and allure of the boy he's watching on the court. You end up writing a few more sentences to complete your thought...and that thought leads to a few more thoughts. You're already a few sentences deep into this new project, right? You might as well follow that path to the next logical idea. And when you complete that thought, you open the door to two or three more things that you might be able to add. Before you know it, you might be 1000 words into your project, with enough inspiration to keep moving forward. Sometimes, getting your brain to operate in that creative mode will create the momentum needed to get things started, and far enough along to actually enjoy yourself again instead of worrying about whatever problem you had getting started in the first place. Believe me, it works. But only with practice. I feel much more confident when I play around with my stories and sort of feel my way through it. I have to put things into motion, and that takes a push and a few extra nudges when I feel myself getting distracted again...but once I actually start writing and get my wheels turning again, the intimidation of taking that project head on ceases to be a problem. I think about what I'm feeling, and what I want a certain scene to accomplish, and I just keep feeling my way around until I feel good by what i see on the screen. That doesn't mean that everything I write is going to be flawless or error free. I don't even worry about that part. The emotion is what matters most. Capturing that moment, and bringing it to the people reading. Most of the time, I'll start a sentence without any idea as to how it'll end. The same way that I might have a spoken conversation with a friend. I don't plan what I'm going to say ahead of time, or what he/she will say after that, and how I'll respond. Stay in the moment. That's important. more times than not, the intimidation you feel is coming from this magnificent vision of what the final product is going to be. But you haven't built it yet. Don't start worrying about the dangers of life on Mars when you haven't even figured out how to get there yet. Hehehe, one brick at a time. I'll just start writing a sentence, let the emotion sort of swirl around in my head for a bit, and I may stop halfway to stare off into space for a second or two, trying to find that one magic word to add next...and then keep going. Don't worry about it being good enough. Worry about it being honest enough. Take one step, and then another, and then another. Learn to trust your instincts. The only way to do that is by putting your instincts to work for you. They're like any other muscle in the body. You have to give them a workout in order to strengthen them. Build them up, sentence by sentence, through little leaps of faith. With time and practice, it'll become second nature to you. Your confidence will grow, your instincts will become more involuntary...and then...there will be these truly magical moments when you truly feel in tune with what you're doing. You own it. You start typing and you feel as if you're in complete control of everything that you're doing, to the point where you might get in the zone and turn out half a chapter in one sitting. Let me tell you, that's the greatest feeling in the WORLD! There are nights when I feel like I'm playing this keyboard like a piano at the Philharmonic! And when I click that 'save' button...I'm truly proud of the work I put in, and get excited for the reaction I might get back from the readers. Now...mind you...I might come back the next day, look at it, and rip it to pieces again, because we're all our own worst critics. LOL! But at least I put the work in, and I got it done. That hesitation that I felt because I was intimidated by my own expectations of what I wanted the story or chapter to be didn't beat me. It didn't bully me out of my creative expression, and once I actually made the decision to get it started, it wasn't anywhere near as scary as difficult as I thought it would be. But it will be a leap of faith. Each and every time. That's not going to change, but you learn to deal with it. And before you know it...you'll have much more written than you ever though possible. As always, I hope this article helps any of you guys who might be struggling with a few 'I'll get to it later' issues as well. Whether it comes to you starting something new, getting back into something old, or even going back to edit and ultimately publish a story that's already finished...you can get it done. Just find your earliest opportunity to sit at your keyboard, and dive right in without waiting. You're all creative people, and you've spent a long time honing your craft. Have enough faith in your instincts to carry you once you make the effort to get started. Start writing, and let your instincts take the wheel from there. They won't fail you. Take care! And I'll seezya next weekend!
  15. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    LMAO!!! MEAN!!!
  16. Comicality

    Imagine Question: First Kiss

    That very first kiss. That first intimate connection. It can be one of the most memorable parts of anyone's life...sometimes for good reasons...sometimes for bad reasons. But, whatever the case may be, our topic this time around is all about that very first liplock and how it affected you! Now, I realize that some of you haven't actually had your first kiss yet, and that's fine. If you're still waiting for that magic moment, tell us what you want it to be like. What are you expecting? If given a choice, who would your first kiss be with? It's going to happen eventually, so you might as well enjoy a bit of fantasy until it taps you on the shoulder. Hehehe! So share your very first kiss memories with us! Give us some details! Who was it with? Was it a boy? A girl? Was it premeditated? Or were one of you caught off guard? Was it good? Was it awkward? Was it...bad? How did you react? Whatever you can tell us, we'd be happy to hear it! Sighhhh...first kisses. Awwww!
  17. Comicality

    Imagine Question: First Kiss

    Awww, this would have been an AWESOME entry for the magazine, but it got posted already! Grrr! That's alright though. More topics will be coing up on the 1st and 15th of every month from now on! ::Nods::
  18. I am actually really anxious to hear an entire album from Ruel! He's only 15 and Elton John picks him up and is working to make him the next big thing. How awesome is that? And this kid is good! Writes his own music too! He's like...the 'Comsie story' version of Adele...if you can believe that! But he's got a VEVO account now, and a video reshoot of his first single, "Don't Tell Me"! I'm looking to hear great things from him in the future! Best of luck, dude! CUTE TOO!!! Just thought I'd throw that in there...
  19. Comicality

    SWEET!!! It's official for Ruel now! XD

    I would have been shaking sooooo bad! 😮 Luck for them!
  20. I hope you guys like it! Let me know what you think when you get a chance! XD https://gayauthors.org/story/comicality/thesecretlifeofbillychase9/
  21. Comicality

    Chapter 48

    Wednesday - There are days in your life where you have to ask yourself which direction your life is leading in. What it all means. What got you here, and where is this going? It's like this weird 'limbo', where it's hard to tell up from down, black from white, right from wrong. A confusing series of self reflective moments where you get stuck wondering if you're doing this whole 'life' thing right or not. I think I'm getting sucked into that black hole of confusion right now. I went out to the Hill with Brandon today, and it was...an eye opening experience, to say the least. Do I even have any right to feel the way that I'm feeling right now? Can I ignore my own hypocrisy long enough to complain? The only thing worse than harboring these dark feelings is knowing that I'd be a total bastard for feeling even a moment's worth of self righteous anger over it. It's just something that I have to swallow. Because...at the end of the day...it's probably more my fault, than it is his. My morning started off being fucked up with another sad and desperate message from Jimmy. I should have been fuming over the fact that he still feels the need to even talk to me after everything he's done, but...nope. I don't even know why I looked at it. It basically said... "You can pretend and make it seem like you're so happy and in love with Brandon, but I know better! It's really pathetic. Honestly. Brandon may be tall and handsome and all that, but what we had together was SO much more genuine! You screwed that up! And now you're trying to act like you're life is anything more than a disgusting lie! You're not fooling anybody, least of all me! Everything about you was fake from the very beginning, and you'll never find someone who loved you like I did. Not ever. So enjoy being alone, asshole!" I don't even know what that was about, but...whatever. It was such a fabrication of the truth, so detached from reality itself, that I couldn't even find enough of an emotional connection to his comments to take any offense. He might as well have accused me of being possessed by Satan, secretly grinding up unicorns in my basement to sell their meat on the black market, or hiding the fact that I'm the spawn of the actual boogeyman, here to take over the world and force everybody on the planet to eat beef tacos. Hehehe, what was he even talking about? He knows that he's lying. Does he really expect anybody to believe him at all? ME, of all people? That's just stupid. How backwards and unintelligent do you have to be to think that anyone would fall for that garbage? Jimmy's whole message was just a massive waste of his time, but...as much as I wish I could get flustered enough to send him a nasty response to tell him to fuck off...I just...wasn't. I shrugged my shoulders, I deleted the message, and then I hopped in the shower to get ready to spend the day with Brandon like I had planned. Jimmy LaPlane's broken heart is no longer my problem. I've got a life to live. A good one. And I'm wasting my own time even writing about it at the end of this journal. Life goes on, with or without the bland non-existent threat of Jimmy LaPlane's childish attitude. He can flog himself on his own time from now on. It's got nothing to do with me. Let that fuck his head up for a while. I don't have to say a single word to watch him self destruct. Brandon and I agreed to meet up around two O'clock, and I have to admit to being really nervous about it. There was something wrong. I could just tell. It's not like Brandon to leave me such cryptic messages without any cause or explanation. I kept trying to distract myself so I wouldn't spend the whole morning entertaining my worst fears and concerns about all of this. But I could clearly feel myself trembling, regardless. What if its something bad? What if its something REALLY bad??? THIS is something that actually matters to me! You know? Please don't be about Stevie! I know that I keep telling myself that I trust him to be faithful...but Stevie is a blind spot that I haven't learned to ignore just yet. Nothing could hurt me more than hearing that Brandon went looking for affection in the arms of his ex-boyfriend, simply because I wasn't around enough this Summer. I probably could have made a bigger effort to spend time with my boyfriend these past few months, but...I convinced myself that I was too busy to juggle everything at once. If I could do it over again, I'd make my beautiful angel my number one priority. I SWEAR I would! Sometimes...there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to make all the moves you want to make. God...I spent all morning praying that I didn't make another fatal mistake in our relationship. Every time I think I've got this dedicated 'boyfriend' thing figured out, I discover a whole other area of nuance and complexity that I never even thought of before. It's easy to get mixed up sometimes, I guess. However, just before I was ready to leave the house...I heard the doorbell ring. And when I answered it...Mr. Phillips was standing outside with a plastic bag full of some sort of restaurant take-out from a nearby hole in the wall grill. I...I sorta froze when I saw him standing there. I mean...I just...fuck! I don't know! I couldn't keep my stomach muscles from tying themselves in knots. I couldn't really hide my frustrated facial expression. I tried...but I feel like there will always be a part of me that is a tiny bit disgusted by his very presence in my mom's life. But...I'm going to try to let that fade away. For my mom, I'll...I don't know...I'll just try, ok? He was all like, "Hey, Billy boy. I hope you don't mind me jumping the gun here, but I grabbed you a 'shroom burger' from Watsky's, down on Main Street. Some onion rings too. Your mom mentioned that it was your favorite." Attempting to sound 'normal', I told him, "Oh...thanks, Mr. Phillips. Ummm...actually, I was just on my way out. I'm meeting up with a friend of mine." He didn't seem disappointed really, but I could tell that he was trying to make some points here. He's like, "Oh. Well, are you sure you don't just want a quick bite before you go? Onion rings are always best served hot." He smiled at me, that weird mustache of his spreading out on his face like a stretching ferret. I'm like, "That's ok. I'll warm some up when I get back." That's when he nodded and sort of walked over to put it on the kitchen counter. I don't know what he was doing there, but if this is Mom's idea of a good guy, I suppose I'll just have to deal with it. At least for now. So I made sure to say, "Thanks, Mr. Phillips. Shroom burgers really are my favorite." There. That's a step in the right direction, right? That's when he said, "Aww, Billy...just call me Mack." Okaaay. That's pushing it. I'm like, "Uh huh..." And then I left before things got any more weird. Surprisingly, Brandon beat me out to the park today. I usually end up waiting for him, but he seemed super anxious today. That didn't do much to settle my nerves. He gave me a tender hug and we sat down under the tree at the top of the Hill. I could already feel myself trembling, so worried that he was going to devastate my vulnerable heart with something that was more than it could handle. Brandon seemed to be doing his best to control his breathing. He didn't seem to be in the mood for much small talk. And even though I was terrified of what he brought me out there to tell me, I just sorta put my hand on his knee, and rubbed it a little, like, "Whatever it is...you can tell me. Ok?" He sighed to himself, and he was like, "Billy...I love you. SO much. And I seriously would never do anything to mess this up. I swear." The stress was killing me. I asked, "Is it me? Did I...did I do or say something wrong?" He was quick to tell me, "Oh God, Billy, no. No, you're fine." So I'm like, "You know, if you're at all worried about going to Jamie Cross' party this weekend as my date, we can just be friends. I know how you feel about your dad finding out..." He said, "No. That's not it. I'd actually be pretty honored to be the great Billy Chase's date at a party. Heh..." Brandon's eyes got a little misty, and he took another deep breath. More nervous than ever, I rubbed his knee a bit more, and I felt myself cringe when I asked, "...Did something, like...happen...between you and Stevie?" Brandon was like, "Happen? Me and Stevie?" Then it 'clicked', and he was all like, "Oh please. No way. I told you, Billy...we're just friends. I'm helping him get back on his feet after a scary situation. Honestly, that's all it is." He asked me why I was still suspicious about the two of them, and I shrugged my shoulders, like, "Well, there were all of those Mondays that you guys were hanging out and keeping it all secret and stuff..." Brandon said, "But I already explained to you...he didn't want anybody to know what he was dealing with. I shouldn't have even told you as much as I did." Then, even though I was relieved that Stevie wasn't the issue that Brandon brought me out here to talk about, I sorta mumbled, "Then there was that picture of you two kissing...so..." Brandon lightly rolled his eyes, "I swear to you, Billy...it was a friendly peck on the lips to congratulate him for getting out of the house and taking steps towards being comfortable with who he is. Trust me, I've kissed my grandmother with more passion." He made sure to look me in the eye when he said, "I'm not sure why Jimmy decided to follow us around and take that stupid picture, but at just the right second, he snaps that, freezes a split second moment, and he makes it look like we were making out or something. And that's just stupid. I mean...you could snap a picture of me jumping up in the air right now, but it doesn't mean that I can fly. Right?" I said, "Yeah. I guess that makes sense." Then I grunted, "Fuckin' Jimmy LaPlane, man." He's like, "Who cares what that jackass has to say about anything? He has absolutely no control over how I feel about you, or how you feel about me. He's just another jealous stooge who could find something meaningful of his own if he wasn't so busy bothering you and me. I was dumb enough to not see him for who he really was once, but he's totally exposed now. So if he thinks his little tricks and baby tantrums are going to keep us from being together and being happy...then it just plain sucks to be him. He'll have to stay mad and alone forever." Brandon had NO idea how good it made me feel to hear him say that. It was a huge weight off of my shoulders. I leaned over and planted a light kiss on his cheek, taking a hold of his hand. But...we weren't quite finished yet. When I asked him what he was so worried about, and why he wanted to come out here...Brandon looked away from me. He's like, "You remember when you and I came out here that day at the beginning of the Summer...and we decided to just...lay all of our dirty deeds on the table so we could deal with them and start over from scratch?" I said, "Yeah. I remember." Brandon was like, "Well, I know that I told you about me and Stevie being...well, you know." I nodded. Then he says, "There was another guy that I was with, Billy. This was before you and I decided to give it another chance, though. Honest. I was just...I was feeling so alone when it happened..." I think he could see that I was a bit confused, and while the idea of anybody's hands on my Brandon drives me up a wall...I wanted to hear this. I needed it. Brandon looked at me with his eyes tearing up, and he said, "...I went to some house party. I was all by myself, didn't know anybody there...and I started talking to some guy. He seemed nice, you know? We were just...chit chatting for a while. He helped me to not feel so awkward around everybody else, because they were mostly older than me. I didn't even know why I was there. Just trying to forget, I guess." Already, I could feel the pressure building in my chest. It began to fill me with this dull ache as he went on, but I didn't stop him. I couldn't. I could only hope that what he told me would be easier to take than whatever perverted ideas I'd imagine later if I didn't let him finish it from his side of things. Brandon said, "We got along...and he sorta...comforted me a little bit. It was like he could tell that I was feeling down. He asked if I wanted to get away from the party and maybe go somewhere so we could just...'talk'. That's all I was expecting to happen. He drove me back to his house, and...it was like he could tell, Billy. He asked me if I liked boys, and I...I told him that I did. Except for you, I never told that to anybody before. I started to cry, and then I just started blathering on about what happened with you and me...he just let me cry on his shoulder for a while." Brandon sniffled a bit more, and told me, "I don't remember how it happened, but...we started kissing. I didn't plan on it, I just...I needed some kind of validation at that moment, you know? I was so broken. And he made me feel safe. It was the first time in ages that I felt 'beautiful'." Tearing up myself, I softly asked him, "So...you just kissed him?" He's like, "No. I wish I could lie and say that it stopped there, but...we went into his bedroom, and...well, you know where things go from there." It hurt. God, did it hurt. But it's not like we were boyfriends when it happened. It's not like I wasn't doing the same thing with Jimmy around that time. Still, you'll have to forgive me if my heart is super selfish when it comes to him. However, Brandon surprised me by saying, "I didn't know he had a boyfriend. It just...it never came up. I wouldn't have even gone over there if I knew that he had someone already." I'm like, "A boyfriend? Wait...am I missing something, or...?" Brandon wiped his eyes, and he said, "You remember when I came to the mall on Monday? When we went to lunch?" I'm like, "Yeah. I remember." A tear rolled down his cheek, and he said, "I didn't know that he'd be there. I kinda thought I'd never really see him again. It was a stupid thing that I did. And it only happened twice. We were safe, Billy. I promise. He kept condoms around, and...it was just something that I did to fill in that emptiness that I felt when I didn't have anybody else to turn to. He made me feel something other than pain and loss for a little while. I was grateful for that." I had to ask, "I'm a bit lost here. Who are we talking about? Who was at the mall?" Brandon looked me in the eye again, and I raised an eyebrow. I was like, "Hold on a second...are you talking about Greg? Ollie's boyfriend, Greg?" Brandon nodded slowly. Is THAT where he knew him from? Did Greg have sex with my boyfriend??? He was like, "It was such a brief fling that it barely even mattered. I just...you have no idea how good it felt to be held in someone's arms again. I was starting to think that there was nothing desirable about me at all. Greg came along and he made me believe that I might be able to start over again. I needed that. I really did." Still trying to wrap my head around the whole idea, I asked, "But wait...isn't Greg in college? He's like...19 or 20, isn't he?" Immediately, Brandon said, "I chose to go home with him, Billy. He didn't pressure me at all. No tricks. No manipulation. Overall, he was really sweet to me." I'm like, "But...you're a minor. I mean..." He stopped me, "It wasn't like that. I couldn't tell you, Billy, or anybody...because they'd make it weird. He could get into a lot of trouble. I'd be drawn into a load of bullshit, my dad would find out, I was afraid you'd truly be done with me if you knew what I did...I just wanted to put the whole thing behind me. It happened. And I don't regret it. But...it's not worth the drama it would cause if I made a big deal out of it now." My brain felt as though it was being rung out like a wet sponge. My heart was sure to be next. What happened to Ollie and his complete faith in him and Greg being faithful to one another? What happened to 'My boyfriend would never ever cheat on me'? Brandon slept with a college guy? Was it my fault? Did I drive him to it by being a jerk and breaking his heart? There were SO many questions going through my head at that moment! I don't think I was really ready to hear that. Not at all. Brandon said, "I'll understand if you're angry with me. I get it. But...seeing as Greg is dating someone you work with...I'd rather you hear it from me, than from someone else. I'm so sorry, Billy. It's in the past. I don't even know why I did it. I guess it was the only way for me to create the illusion of feeling strong when I was actually feeling so weak inside." I had to snap myself out of my daze before answering, and I put an ar around Brandon's shoulder, pulling him in for a hug. I'm like, "I'm not angry. I swear." I kissed his forehead, and I told him, "Brandon, out of everything I've ever done, out of everyone I've ever met...I can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you're the only boy I've ever really loved. I mean, I know it's hard to put it into words, or explain what it is that I feel for you over every other person on the planet...but you're more than just the cute boy standing beside me. You're an actual part of me. It took me a whole lot of fails and stupid mistakes to realize that, but...I know that what we have is real. It's magic. And no little fling that happened before we got back together is going to taint that lovely vision that I have for you. You've got nothing to worry about. Promise." Brandon had to wipe away a few more tears, and so did I, as we sorta held each other there in the park, letting the emotion sweep over us both. That's when Brandon says, "Thanks, Billy. God, I was SO scared to tell you about all of this. Even more scared NOT to tell you. I just...I wanted to come clean about this whole thing. All of it. I'm terrified of losing you, but if I can't be honest with you...then it's like I never had you to begin with. Not completely." He added, "It's important to me that you know who I am. Flaws and all." There was something about that statement that made me feel kinda bad. And...even though I had to shut my eyes and cringe for a moment before saying the words out loud, I said, "...I had sex with Sam." Arrrghhh! STUPID! What the fuck did I tell him that for??? And right at the moment, of all the times to come clean about it! Brandon raised his head from my shoulder and gave me a strange look. He's like, "You what?" I opened one eye to peek at him, and I said, "Yeah. I kinda...slept with my best friend. And...more than once." Brandon furrowed his brow a bit, and asked, "I thought...I thought you said Sam was straight?" I was like, "He IS straight. But...I dunno...we were at his house, in his room...we have this thing we do when we sort of lay in his bed, back to back, and...for some weird reason we had a 'moment', and things happened..." He was like, "Was this recently?" I said, "NO WAY! This was before. Honest to God. I haven't been with anybody since we decided to give this whole thing a second try." I assured him. Then, I was like, "Look...I should have said something long before now, but...you're right. If we're gonna be together...we'll have to be honest with each other. Even if it takes a little bit of time to get it all out. I want to come clean with you too." I said this, knowing that it meant unraveling the entire AJ saga...and Jimmy, and Robin, and how that all turned into the train wreck that it was. But, for now...it felt good to get rid of yet another secret between us. Brandon laid his head back on my shoulder, and it shocked me to hear him snicker quietly to himself. He's like, "Once again...we've proven that neither one of us is any more or any less fucked up than the other, huh?" Hehehe, I was like, "At least we know we deserve one another." Brandon said, "At least now I know why Sam hates me so much." I'm like, "WHAT?!?!?! Get outta here! Dude, Sam adores you." He said, "Whatever." But I kissed Brandon's cheek again, and said, "I'm serious. He thinks you're good for me. I know he can be a little standoffish at first, but it's not like I didn't give his girlfriend the same treatment." He said, "Giving an innocent girl the stink eye, were ya?" I said, "Hehehe, no. Actually, she was a total bitch. But that's not the point." I lifted Brandon's chin a bit and our eyes connected. I said, "I love you. Every part of me is obsessed with you in the most exciting way. And no matter what we've done before, or what we might do in the future, I just want you to know that I'm proud to be your favorite boy. And I'm proud to have you as mine. Love trumps everything else, right?" He smiled, and said, "It does. Every time." We actually just sat there...kissing in a public park. But I didn't feel the eyes of some invisible crowd of judges watching us this time. In fact, every time I kissed my baby in public, it became just a little bit easier. It wasn't about putting on a 'show' for people to see. It was just having the confidence to give myself over to the spontaneity of the moment. To kiss my boyfriend whenever I felt he needed kissing. Holding his hand when I felt it needed holding. It just felt good, you know? Now, I'm not gonna slam my face down in his lap and give him a sensual BLOWJOB in front of the monkeybars or anything! Hehehe! Some things are best done in private. But, being able to appreciate a moment of affection with someone that I truly love with all of my heart? It's just priceless. Totally priceless. I'm not going to pretend that I'm not still stewing over the fact that Greg had actually...taken 'liberties' with my boyfriend. Even if he wasn't my boyfriend at the time. But Ollie said they had been together for a few years, and this happened at the beginning of the Summer. So...if he cheated on Ollie with Brandon...who else might he have cheated with? I mean, should I even involve myself with that situation? Especially with Brandon being underage, and asking me directly to not say anything? What kind of destruction would that cause? To Greg...to Ollie...maybe even to me and Brandon? It sucks to think about these things sometimes. I have to remember...it's not my responsibility to save the world and everyone in it. I have a chance to be happy. I have a chance to finally grab a slice of life for myself, instead of kneeling down and trying to take on everybody else's problems at once. But I feel bad about it. I do. Something about pretending not to care makes me feel less like 'me'. Anyway, I've gotta run. I'm kinda hungry, and I think I'm going to warm up Mr. Phillip's shroom burger in the microwave. You know. For a snack. WHAT??? I'm not caving in on the dating thing1 he already paid for it. What am I gonna do, let it go to waste? Might as well scarf it down and get some nourishment. I'm a growing boy, after all. I might grab some of those onion rings too. Seeya later. - Billy
  22. Comicality

    Too Cute . . .

    How can you listen to this and not just smile to yourself? Hehehe! it's just adorable! I've got this stuck in my head again now.
  23. Warning...this series contains some adult/youth content! You can find it on Nifty at the link below if you want to read it from the very beginning to the current chapter! K? Let me know what you think at Comicality@webtv.net when you get a chance! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! http://www.nifty.org/nifty/gay/adult-youth/untouchable/ And stick around! There's more to come! Seezya then!
  24. Hahaha! I can't believe they all got together to make this!!! That's awesome on EPIC levels!!! Ok...to make this short, brief 'boyband' history... New Kids On The Block was one of the biggest boybands of all time. Hands down. But before them, Maurice Starr had New Edition (Which was basically set up in the 80s to be the new Jackson 5), but Maurice Starr was crooked (of course) and was stealing their money, and New Edition wanted nothing more to do with him. "Ok, well, you guys are from Boston. I'm going to find five white boys who can do what you do and make them superstars. And that's where "New Kids" came from. But NKOTB figured out his crooked ways as well, and wanted nothing to do with him either. So THEY left, and New Kids and New Edition had this...'conflict' for years afterward. Then comes Backstreet Boys, and N'Sync who were supposed to take over from the NKOTB hype, but went through similar problems with Lou Perlman (Lance is in this video too as the teacher!), and Bieber, and One Direction, and just...they're ALL giving these crooks the kick in the ass they deserve! LMAO!!! It' the best boyband WARNING that I've ever seen! YES! Haaha! Bell Biv Devoe is IN the video! Hahaha! And wait...is that Debbie Gibson??? OMIGOD, it is!!! Dude, that's hilarious!!! Sorry, I'm sure a bunch of you have NO idea what I'm talking about, but trust me...this is insane! 10 out of 10 for this! LOVE you guys! Hahaha! XD Middle fingers to Maurice Starr! Crook! Should have had Bieber come in at the very end and give us a wink! just saying! (Happy belated B-day, by the way!)
  25. Comicality

    LMAO!!! Best Boyband Video Ever!!! XD

    Jackson 5? THESE two definitely hold the title!
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