*CLANG! CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG!* Lowering my handgun toward the ground, I took a deep breath and stepped forward. The target I mounted against the back wall of the residence building appeared on its surface to have been untouched, though as I pressed my fingers to its glossy surface, I could make out the residues of psychic energy from which my bullets had thoroughly bombarded it.
Eight, six, six, four… And one out of bounds… In terms of stopping power, that’s…
“Brandishing a gun on campus, lady? Be careful that the dean of students doesn’t find you.”
“Oh, vice president!” Spinning around, I holstered my gun and put my hands in front of my chest. “I was just getting some… p-practice in… was all…!” He could be seen leaning against a nearby signpost, a cigarette in his right hand. It’s burned down more than halfway; just how long had Chase been watching me…?
“Since you aren’t out to disturb the peace, I suppose I can look the other way. Do you at least want to tell me what this is about?”
Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump… A moment, a murmur, a frame, a flutter… Arching, dancing, a weaving of bodies… To be posed so provocatively with a man, it felt so… Incredible…
“Hold!” shouted the alchemist as he tapped a wand to the imprinter’s golden key. Instantly, it began to spin in a counterclockwise fashion, a high pitched whistling resonating from the device’s inner lattice. Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump…
I was being suspended in midair above Marius, his hands firmly pressed against the small of my back so that my body curved like a wooden bow. Using my arms to steady myself, I had craned my neck just enough for our lips to touch. All that remained was to hold the pose until the imprinter could do its job.
Tick… Tick… Thump… Thump… I could feel the tip of his member twitching provocatively along the contours of my ass. If I so much as lost my footing, then it would force its way inside. If I were to slide backward even a centimeter, then it would fall forward and instead worm its way into my sensitive slit. The muscles and tendons of my body were screaming in agony, yet my cock was in heaven, fueled by the combination of heat and musk which surrounded us on the bed which was our stage.
“I hope you know that you’re putting me in a real bind here, Audrey.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m really sorry about this.” I was standing across from Helma Lede, executive agent for the modeling agency of which I worked. Debuting at the young age of sixteen, she went on to make a modest career of it before retiring at thirty-six. Now in her early forties, she prided herself in teaching the next generation. For all the talents my body possessed, they were null and void if not for Helma’s exemplary marketing skills.
Though the years had not been too kind, she still managed to hold her own in the looks department. She went to great lengths to preserve the silkiness of her hazelnut skin, and her auburn hair was shaped upward in a youthful pixie-cut. Her ears had been altered to look more pointed, and each lobe was fitted with a gold ring large enough to slip one’s finger through. Gazing lower, I could make out the creases where her tube top and shorts had been painted on – a specialized material just thick enough to conceal her womanly secrets from view.
She was lounging across from me in a thatched hammock suspended from the ceiling of her office, her bare feet pushing against the edge of her desk, causing her body to sway back and forth with each movement of her legs. “Soul searching is one thing, but do you really need a whole three weeks to do… whatever it is you’re off to do?”
When next I attempted to communicate with Astertis, there was suddenly no trace of her in my head. A part of me began to worry that her bodyswap technique had successfully placed her in Cass’s body, though a thorough examination of my friend revealed all was as it had been. As for Josa, he had no idea about anything going on behind the veil, so we decided it best not to stir the pot. Nonetheless, I couldn’t hide my growing irritation and needed to do something about it.
The local tavern was a great place to take the edge off. I found myself returning night after night, effectively blowing my pay on what amounted to little more than a few short-lived elations. After the fourth such occurrence, Cass took it upon herself to tag along, insisting that I had cast aside all vestiges of moderation. Despite my protests, she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“What will it be, ladies?” asked the tavern’s host.
“Two beers and a backroom table please,” answered Cass. With a nod, the man escorted us between the crowds, an aroma of tobacco hanging visibly in the dim candlelight. We removed our coats and took our seats, Cass stretching her arms over her head. “So before you ask, I want you to know that the archives were empty.”
“What if we copied the reference serials of the ones you found originally? Couldn’t we seek out other libraries in the region?”
“You misunderstood me, Audrey. The archives were empty, as in completely gone.”
Note: This post will contain spoilers for “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid,” “Danganronpa,” “The Devil is a Part Timer,” and “Lucky Star.”
As much as we like to tell ourselves that the people around us make no sense, this is rarely the case. A person tends to be molded by what they know, what they feel, and what they can trust. If we wanted to be more technical, we can refer to this as the use of appeals (logos, pathos, ethos) to determine the core of a person’s judgment (look up the “Rhetorical Triangle” for more information).
A good bit of care must go into conveying the judgments of fictional characters, due to the nature of us to take after them (and if you need any proof of that, simply look to all of the comparisons between “Harry Potter” and the Trump Administration). When we witness a character navigating a scenario, we often compare our own ideals and even our own actions to theirs. There’s a deeply-held desire among readers to resonate with at least one character in any story.
There are times, however, that a character might deviate from what the reader considers to be a rational thought process. Critical thinking tends to lead us toward the realm of two distinct possibilities: the first being that the character is privy to a knowledge that we have yet to be given, and the second being that the writer has inadvertently forced the character’s hand somewhere along the line.
If that sounds a bit too harsh, then allow me to clarify – there is nothing wrong with a character contradicting themselves when the story calls for it. That as it may, such contradictions must absolutely be accounted for before the story can move at all forward. Failure to do so leads to a drama that feels manufactured, one which detaches and disengages the reader. So, let us talk about two series in particular wherein the latter unfortunately takes the helm. Read more
“Attention! This is a Code Yellow alert! Please return to your homes until the situation has been resolved! Attention! This is a Code Yellow alert! Please return to your homes until the situation has been resolved!”
A veil of red and blue had been cast across the city on that chilly autumn night. Police roadblocks could be seen along every major avenue, a last-ditch effort to apprehend the elusive Durham Anthony. It didn’t take long for his mercenaries to crawl out from the shadows, prompting an all out war of attrition. We, the Faulkner ASB suddenly found ourselves caught in the middle, targets in a dangerous game to which the conduit shards had become the spoils.
This had all started back on Wednesday afternoon when a mysterious message was sent to the metropolitan police department. Normally, such a bizarre gesture would be disregarded; this one, however, had been addressed by Durham himself, and it foretold of a weapon capable of targeting every ESPer in the city.
Perhaps more cryptic were the conditions surrounding his threat. For reasons unknown, he had demanded that police keep a respectable distance from our little ASB group, and that failure to do so would result in a swift and immediate execution of the weapon’s go-code. We were interrogated and had no choice but to reveal the circumstances of the conduit shards to local authorities. They sympathized with our plight and offered to help in any way they could, but we knew damn well that during the heat of the moment, the six of us would be on our own.
Ding-Dong! The sound of the doorbell echoed throughout the house, alerting its occupants to the presence of a delivery man. Rachel was the first to answer, having spent the better half of her day lounging around on the living room couch. When she saw the size of the package in question, she couldn’t help but to raise an eyebrow.
“Brother! I think it’s for you!” She politely held the door open while waiting for her younger brother Isaac to come out of his room. Isaac quickly signed the proper forms, thanked the man, and lifted the box to his chest. Whatever it was, it must have been heavy. Rachel then shut the door, watching as Isaac haphazardly sidestepped across the living room en route to his humble quarters. Curiosity getting the better of her, she decided to follow him.
Whether or not they were willing to admit it, the two had always been rather close. Rachel was pushing twenty-four; Isaac recently had turned twenty-two. Both still lived at home, rooms looking opposite each other through a small hallway, doors normally shut for privacy. Even so, the two would spend time together every so often, playing games or watching movies. They didn’t always like each other, but they were still family nonetheless.
Rachel sat on Isaac’s bed, tapping her foot against the floor as she watched Isaac wrestle open the top of the box with a sharp house key. “So… What is it?”