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No. 3212
This isn't related to the story I posted before. It's a newer idea of mine, and much shorter. I only have to write in the details for what I have planned.
It could, perhaps, be considered an alternate reality, as you may recognize some of the characters, though they're horribly distorted, here. However, it has no relation to the earlier story.

As for said story, yes, I'll continue it, once I know where I want to go with it. It also needs a good deal of polishing, looking back on it. The first bit isn't 'firmly obvious' as being TF2, as names have changed around a bit, and I'm still getting used to writing like this, but I'm hoping it will prove a decent read, all the same.
As for why I'd write such a thing.. blame a combination of a fourteen hour marathon game, 1984, and Harrison Bergeron, to name a few.




It had been a year. He was sure it had been a year, because he'd been counting the tick marks on the wall beside his cot. One notch with his knife each day, at night.

It had been three months since their newest team member arrived, and another week before he'd vanished without a word. Pity... The boy had rather liked him. He was drunk a lot, but had a good heart—and a sharp mind that he showed to few. His bombs had been his own creation.
Their new demolitions expert was supposed to arrive within a week.

This was the fifth team member they'd lost. He was sure, because for each that died, he carved a shallow notch in the barrel of the small peppergun they'd given him when he was assigned to this team.

It was the Frenchman that gave him his equipment initially. He'd always prided himself in his memory. It had been reserved, and he was a week late, the Frenchman had said. A week late... 'We were worried that you wouldn't arrive.'

He thought the man had been French, at least. He didn't speak much anymore. There were a few scattered phrases in French, or Spanish, uttered here and there, but he'd grown increasingly reclusive with each passing day. It made the boy sad, because the other man had been the only to really talk to him. The other team members were so much older than him—and always so busy—but the Frenchman had seemed younger. Perhaps he'd only aged well. The boy didn't know.

It had been three days since the man in the long white coat had first caught him writing. It had been two since he'd advised him to stop, saying that he was only 'aggravating' his condition. What condition? It confused the boy; he was fine. There was nothing wrong with him.

“No boy, no.” The second voice had taken a moment to recognize, but he remembered. He always remembered. His gaze had lifted, not into a pair of eyes, but into a pair of flat twin discs; reflective black. “No boy,” the man with the hidden eyes repeated, “listen to th'Doc. He's only tryin'a help you.”

His journal had been taken then. It was so much harder to remember without it. It seemed his mind was only clear when they fought, now. Otherwise it was like there was a fog pressing in on his thoughts, always. There was a thick, dense fog, that he could barely see, or hear through. During their missions, however, their battles, it was gone. The sun rose and the clouds parted, and it was like before the year the papers had come.

He remembered his Ma crying. He remembered his brothers staring at him, bewildered, from their dingy, faded living room. He remembered snatches of voice. It couldn't be true. It couldn't. Not him—not the little one. Not their kid brother.

But that had been a year ago. And he knew it was a year, because of the notches. One for each night, on the wall, beside his cot.

Had he made his notch today? Yes, surely he had. Best not to mis-count, he'd leave it be.

The world faded out quietly, as the fog closed in, and he was only faintly aware of the feeling of hands upon his shoulders, as he fell still upon his cot. Then there was a slight prick of pain in his left arm, hidden by the fog.
Marked for deletion (old)
>> No. 3226
Will there be any more of this?
>> No. 3228
I adore the way the word-flow seems to flit from subject to subject within the boy's thoughts. It's like a written undertow that could drown the unwary reader in the ocean character's subconscious.

Aside from the flowery descriptions...(It's late, my bad) This story has just starched and pressed my insatiable curiosity. In the name of all that is righteous - this must be continued!
>> No. 3246
there will most certainly be more. I'm writing a bit slower than I'm used to, of course, as stream-of consciousness is harder for me to write in. Interest coming from you certainly means a lot, Cat. RotD is still my favorite fix of all time here.

Sorry for any lack of atypical reference or spelling errors at the moment. I'm using my iPhone to type this.
>> No. 3290
Oh dear lord. *fic
YAY IPHONES. 8D

I have the next little bit finished. I'd like events to be obvious after a few reads--but not neccesarily 'leap out' after the first read. Still, I'd be interested in anyone's interpretations of what's happening. (:



----------------


The clouds had not lifted, when the boy woke. Not entirely. There were patches of sunlight starting to peer through the fog. Little bits of clarity that he'd come to associate with the battlefield.

There would be fighting today. He knew what this meant; what it always meant. There would be fighting with the men-in-blue, and there would be dying. He wasn't afraid of dying, anymore.

He wasn't afraid of dying, because on the battlefield, it didn't stick. He had to wonder how Charon felt, cheated out of so many souls. Inwardly he smiled at this. He prided himself on his memory. Prided himself. ...but lately he couldn't remember little things, like that. Lately his thoughts had been so encumbered. It was like there were chains on his mind, boxing it in place.

Inside it flitted restlessly like a small wren, hopping about a small patch of field. Normally the wren was fearful of predators. Today, the boy decided firmly, there would be no cats, or dogs, or otherwise to chase the little bird. Today, it was free.

Only, it wasn't a wren anymore, in his mind. It was a pigeon, dusty grey wings fluttering as it rose into the sky, to be joined by a flock of others, their wings beating soundlessly in comparison to the cars roaring by below them. Above power lines, and above city scapes. Above home. Above the small, cramped apartment they'd had to make do in, for years after his pad—his pa had left them.

And he thought of home for the first time in a long time. He thought of his Ma, and wondered if he should chance writing her. The boy even thought of his brothers, unruly though they'd been.

His fingers flitted over the tick marks on the wall, counting them, as he always did, each morning. Row by row, column by column, he counted. It should be 366, now, he knew. Yesterday it would have been...

Only 365. Had he remembered wrong? Surely he couldn't have. True, the patches after weren't as smooth as the rest of the wall, but they were intact. Most definitely intact. It had only been a year today?

How could he have remembered wrong?

It was the only way of keeping track of time, here. There were no clocks, and the calendars never changed.

If he'd had his journal, he wouldn't have forgotten. He'd found so much comfort in its pages. His brothers had always made fun of him for keeping it. Diary, they called it. It wasn't a diary, the boy had insisted. They'd only laughed at him, as he sat long hours at the 'scrivania' he'd salvaged and refinished for himself. It sat alone with his bed in the bar spot of a room he'd been given—the one he normally shared with Benito.

How old would Benito have been, now? The boy had only been two years younger, and they'd been the closest, out of the eight. Benito was mocking, but not cruelly, like the others. They all cared, but Benito was...

Benito was what Padre would have called 'soft'. Benito was what Ma would have called a 'good boy'.

She'd been strict with her children, Ma had... Sometimes she was stricter than Pa was, even. ...but she cared, and showed that openly. They could never really spoil the boys, but they gave what they could. ...and Pa always made sure to have money saved for each boy's birthday, however much he could scrap together at the time.

Then he'd disappeared. He'd disappeared like their last demolitions expert. Like their last sniper. Like so many team members before that. ...before he'd joined the team, even. Except they disappeared, and everyone said they were dead.

When Padre disappeared, all his Ma had done is sigh, and shake her head. The neighbors offered their condolences. Ma was too proud to take them, and too busy after that, with all her jobs.

Ma was too busy, but the boy was always there. He didn't understand everything, at the time—he'd been too young—but it was quite clear that they all thought that his father had bailed on them.

At the time, the boy argued against this. His Pa loved them—even if he didn't show it. His parents' marriage wasn't happy, but it was STRONG. And that was what mattered to Pa. That was what had always mattered. The strength to live as a family, despite everything that had been stacked against them.

With time, the boy grew to accept, and believe this. With time, he'd come to hate his father, to forget that smile, and twinkle of amusement in those dark eyes—and remember only the stern curve of his lips, and set of his brow. And remember only the yelling, and the harsh words. The discipline when they showed weakness, or did wrong.

But as he passed the corridor and left his little room, it was not his father that the boy thought of, but once again, the matter at hand. It had been one year since he'd arrived. One year. He'd counted the tick marks for himself, a second time, just to make sure. It had been one year, and today, there would be fighting. Today, he would have to push aside all other thoughts, as best he could.

If only they made industrial-grade bolt cutters for one's mind. The wren was getting upset, now. As the boy drew closer to the mess hall of their base, he knew why.

There sat the man in the long white coat. Their doctor was somewhat crumpled around a morning cup of coffee, one bare grasping a spoon, and stirring it around in circles. Idle. So idle.

Pa would have had a lecture for that.

The man's coat was not yet buttoned, the boy noticed. His gloves were not on, and his glasses sat on the table beside him. No doubt the man's gaze was as blurred as the boy's mind had been.

There was no sign of the Frenchman, though the boy did his best to look around for hints of a red, pinstriped suit. Nor did he see the man with the hidden eyes.

Their engineer was strange, there. He tried to act friendly enough, but the boy knew better! He never showed his eyes. Not once had he seen the older man without his goggles in place, and not once had he seen him at the mess hall in the morning, for breakfast.

Breakfast. Today there was an empty seat, as there had been for three months, now. An empty seat. Their demoman had always sat by the window. The boy had liked him...

Another little patch of clouds shifted, and another ray of light broke through.

He didn't pay attention to who handed him the tray, as he staggered by. He only scowled at seeing that the toast had been stacked, one upside down atop the other. This was righted as soon as he sat down, so that neither piece would be upside down. ...didn't they know better than that?'

He frowned further at seeing he'd only been given coffee. It wasn't that he was complaining about the caffeine, of course. Caffeine was well and good, though the boy had always been a morning person, and never particularly had problems waking up. He'd simply grown accustomed to having one of those instant-fruit flavored packets their spy typically didn't want. He liked those.

...where was their spy? His gaze turned about in search of pinstripes once more, and only now did he catch sight... of the man's back.

He'd slipped in wordlessly it seemed, and had merely left with his portion. He talked less and less every day, it seemed. The boy frowned. Not even a hello? ...well.... Today was not a good day, he supposed. There would be fighting with the BLUs, and a lot of dying for all nine of them.

No. No, he thought, as he finally started picking at his breakfast, deliberately avoiding the slice of toast that had been prior set upside-down. Today was not a good day, and by the looks of it, none of their team were happy about today.

But today, at least... the fog was gone.
>> No. 3296
( x-x Also, looking back, I realize that I shouldn't have posted this until I'd proofread it a bit more. I DID proofread, but...I also proofread while medicated.

So, correcting obvious errors or disrepencies.

--They'd only laughed at him, as he sat long hours at the 'scrivania' he'd salvaged and refinished for himself. It sat alone with his bed in the *bare* spot of a room he'd been given—the one he normally shared with Benito.
Also "the boy" after refers to the narrator, of course, not Benito, his older brother.

--Their doctor was somewhat crumpled around a morning cup of coffee, one bare *hand* grasping a spoon, and stirring it around in circles. Idle. So idle. )
>> No. 3322
Ohmy, you have a lovely style going on here. I eagerly await more.


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