231 comments

Inspirational

** 40TH STORY**

Song I listened to while writing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW9Fzwuf43c


"Last stop, Market Street." I walk to the edge of the train when the doors open. My feet move forward but my mind needs to catch up. I shake the fog from my head and move forward. People crowd the subway station. There's a staircase marked "E" over to the left. I duck through the people running to catch the train. Moisture gathered in the corner of my right eye. It had been bothering me for five days now. Ever since... wait... five days ago. So that meant today was... what was today? Doesn't matter.

***

The streets were noisy. There was a construction project two blocks behind me and three more scattered in front. I pulled earmuffs over my ears. Noise still found its way through. Grunting, I kept walking.


My destination was twenty paces away. I made my way through the throngs and found myself at the cold cobblestones outside it. It was a cold blue building. The lights even looked cold. Blue looks cold. I shivered.


Up the elevator. Waiting with strangers. Letting metal arms pull apart an opening for me to move forward. Thousands of feet above the ground. There was a couch– dead cows– that I sat down on. Magazines– parts of the lives of stupid people– lay in front of me.


Suited-up men surrounded me, all wanting to talk to a person. Wanting their business. Such a lovely concept. One of them was from a rival firm. Cory Milton, the other hardware supplier. I frowned at him, though I had no personal hatred for him. That was business. Maybe we'd be good friends if he didn't work there. Eh, well he does.


"Hello? No, can I take a message?" The secretary said. She was talking about the future customer. The one I had to convince. He was there, she didn't say that, though. She made it sound like she needed to take a message... for when he got back.


The full absurdity of my world became apparent in the split seconds of talking, the small fragments of voice splitting from the mouth of the employee. Why would she choose to lie? Was the client such a buffoon? Why was I here? No, there was no purpose in arguing. That was the way things worked. My boss had asked the secretary at my office to do the same. Plenty of times.


"Mr. Dahlia, you can go in." I got up and walked to the door. The handle was rusty. I pulled and went inside, warm air meeting me. The client was sour-faced with a bald head. I shook his hand. It was sweaty. Avoiding his gaze, I rubbed it off on my pants.


"Ah, Jonas, what can I do for you?" He'd seen me before, Mr. Murdoch. That was his name. I'd seen him some months ago. I could never remember our meetings. They all seemed the same as with other clients. It was September... I think.


"I heard you need some more routers and monitor connectors." I clicked open my briefcase. There was a wire inside. A clustered strand of metal covered in rubber... used to connect ourselves... what was the world doing?


I couldn't... what was the purpose? Why had I squandered my life and sold, well, whatever hardware was? Where was the truth, the purity to my joys in life? Did I have joys?


"Ah, yes. I need some USB cords while you're at it." he said. My brain snapped to it. I pulled out a legal notepad. What figures did he want? Ask him that.


"What figures are you looking for?" I said. His eyebrows stayed the same. Some people's go up when you ask about money. His didn't.


"Eh, I'd like about 200, need some backups," he answered. 200, that was about $2500. He had the money, I knew he did... did I know that? Did I really know anything? How stupid the world was, how little I cared for what I did. That isn't life, no... that's not life. Life is a celebration, a gratefulness, an enjoyment. What was I enjoying? There was nothing for me in this shell of my mind, the monotony of the world... why did I stay?

***


Jimmy LaFonn was losing. All of his money had been swindled from him, stolen by a hand much crueler than ever before, the house. His head in his hands, he started on his way home. There was nothing that he could do that could keep him away tomorrow, he knew that. Jimmy was losing to the house in more ways than one; willpower was in their pot now.


There was something that he'd been picking at in the back of his mind. Whenever there was a thought itching to be put before the light, he had to get on his knees and dig for it. As he sat down on his leather armchair after slamming the door, the process began.


When did the thought arise? After losing his second to last hand.


Why did it arise? Because he thought about why he was there.


Why was he there? Because he had nowhere else to be. Ah, that was getting there.


Jimmy was thrown down the path of thought as most visionaries are, thrust into the palm of distinct genius... but Jimmy was no genius. He was tossed around between the traintracks that carried his idea on their shoulders and pushed him back and forth with it.


He had dreams, of that he was sure. Or at least he used to. Not twig-rustling dreams but the kind that uproots trees and sweeps you down onto the torn soil. They had fueled his passion as he countered and parried his way through school... but where had they gone?


Gone. That's where they were. He needed to find them again, to be lost in the sunlight of a brighter day, a dawn of a new life.


"Why does no one stop to help me?" he thought. Why would no one try to wake him from his slumber? As he lay swept on the shores of life, the world kept going. It always did.

**

Oh god, even the streets are... absurd! They just don't make sense, they feel out of place. Why am I here? Where are my dreams?

**

The world kept going.

March 07, 2021 23:58

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231 comments

Zilla Babbitt
13:19 Mar 08, 2021

I just finished my draft of a story for this prompt, so I'm excited to read this one. Honestly I think my story deals with a lot of the stuff yours deals with, so just to be clear I hadn't read this before I wrote my own :) You switch from present to past tense after the first paragraph. If it's intentional, for a section break, I suggest doing the first para in italics or using stars. My other critique has to do with the last section, with deals with a lot of great stuff. Existential crisis, if you will. But as it is it's more an essay for...

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. .
13:20 Mar 08, 2021

Oh, yeah it was intentional so I will definitely use italics. For the last section, I think that I will try to make it less telling but sometimes, well, a lot of times in philosophical lit they just tell stuff like that. Thanks for reading, aww thanks!!!!

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. .
00:06 Mar 08, 2021

You guys might not get this one, but its representative of a moment that Sartre and Camus thought of as the moment where one is fully aware of the absurd in life. I am an avid variant of existentialism, so tell me if you want to learn more about that. Enjoy!!!!!

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Niveeidha Palani
13:15 Mar 11, 2021

Hey Luke, It's been a long time. I'm late. I know. Pretty much the latecomer to everyone's stories. Screw me. 😶 Anyways, Happy 40th story! Congrats on hitting a milestone. I swear, I'll probably never get as far as you on Reedsy, but we'll all get there 🙈

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. .
13:40 Mar 11, 2021

It really has, whoa!! You commented on my first story!! That's so niceeeeeeeeeee thank you!!!!!

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Niveeidha Palani
23:59 Mar 11, 2021

Aw, no problem. :)

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. .
00:31 Mar 12, 2021

:))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Nainika Gupta
13:05 Mar 08, 2021

Hey Luke! Congrats on 40 <3 I've written my 50th, but its coming out tomorrow (because that's a *special day*) I really liked this, ahem, milestone, of a piece, and I think that the emotions that you presented comparing both Jimmy and Jonas and how their situations are different YET somewhat similar! I see that you're holding strong with what's on the first part of your bio, loll, and I have to say I'm LOVIN' it!! That first paragraph? OOF hit hard, and from then on, you kind of just...blew away my mind. I loved how you tied existential...

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. .
13:07 Mar 08, 2021

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu Nika!!!!!!! Awwww yeah I'm doing great!!! i loved writing this story, and I really am happy at the positive reaction. YERP EXISTENTIALISM!!!!!! Ooh, Dostoyevsky is one of the OG Existentialist writers, and I would say The Bros. Karamazov or the Dream of a Ridiculous Man (a short story that will have you thinking for a loooooooooooooooong time) are really good. :)))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Nainika Gupta
13:10 Mar 08, 2021

Oh of course!!! :) haha nice!! YES amazing story!! Oh, I have to check it out!! Always up for those kinds of books!! YES Dostoyevsky is ridiculously good. like beyond ridiculously good. he's god heheh not really but he's a great writer!

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. .
13:11 Mar 08, 2021

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE SO SWEEEEEEET!!!!!!! I know. He's writer god. I have been saying for MONTHS that he's easily in the top three writers... and he's just amazing... amazing...amazing........

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Nainika Gupta
13:17 Mar 08, 2021

aww <3 YEPPPPP AND HAHAHH NOW I HAVE A CHANCE TO BE FIRSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT (well second TECHNICALLY) BUT FIRSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT okokko columbian flag, 100, mountain.... classic?

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. .
13:18 Mar 08, 2021

HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE WAIT WHY SECOND TECHNICALLY??????? Columbian flag represents the nationality of the author, that's the only hint you get, everything else should be easy lol

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Radhika Diksha
16:49 Mar 10, 2021

Hey, can you give your feedback on my story " attached to a string" It's my first story I would love to hear your opinion?

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. .
16:53 Mar 10, 2021

RADHIKA. YOU GIVE ME HEART ATTACK. HELLOOOOOOOOOOO OFC!!!!!!!!!!!

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Radhika Diksha
17:24 Mar 10, 2021

Sorry, how are you? I am thinking of coming back soon. I will read your story soon.

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. .
17:34 Mar 10, 2021

IM DOING GREAT!!! I got to forty stories as you can see XD that’s amazinggggggg!!!!

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Radhika Diksha
18:19 Mar 10, 2021

Thats great

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. .
18:25 Mar 10, 2021

:DDDDDDDDD How about you???

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Frances Reine
14:10 Mar 08, 2021

Wow First of all, congrats on your 40! "the world kept going" Such a sour, disappointed perception and a story that still curdles even when it's over. I'm not familiar with existentialism but I enjoyed this all the same. Here's the line I loved the most, "Magazines– parts of the lives of stupid people". Couldn't have done it better than that.

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. .
14:13 Mar 08, 2021

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! Thanks you sooooooososososososososososo much!!!!!!

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Frances Reine
14:15 Mar 08, 2021

Anytime :)

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. .
14:16 Mar 08, 2021

:DDDDDD Have you read any good books lately????

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Frances Reine
14:19 Mar 08, 2021

Don't get me wrong, I'm a faithful reader but Reedsy stories have spoiled me and I can't sit still for novels :( Although, my all time favourite authors are Neil Gaiman and George Orwell definitely.

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. .
14:22 Mar 08, 2021

Ha lolllllllllllllllllll!!!!!! There are some great short story collections and my favorite short story is The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. They're quick and easy, but I do prefer novels or at least short novels like Steinbeck.

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00:09 Mar 08, 2021

I can’t tell how much of this is true, but it’s kinda like you know my mind here. Like... the narrator sort of feels like me. Everything matches too. Lol I pretend to know about existentialism, but I’m really just a victim of it Lol or am I...?

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. .
00:12 Mar 08, 2021

Ooh really?? Well I'm happy I captured that!! Existentialism is not the thing you're a victim of, its the absurd... and I'm not insulting you here, but you're probably suffering from bad faith if you continue to live without sincere acknowledgement of it. You are accepting the answers of someone else about life and following them which is inauthentic because they are just like you, finding personal answers for them. Only you can live your life... at least that's the existentialist point of view. If I told you it was undeniably true, that'd b...

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00:22 Mar 08, 2021

I think you showed it well. lol I just pretend to use what I learn in psych; instead it’s all just depression and stress and whatever from all sorts of people mixing together What do you mean faith though?

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. .
00:32 Mar 08, 2021

XP wellllllll that’s a way to do it 😄 Well it means you’re putting your faith in other answers and trusting them but those answers are answers for individuals not a collective and I think that each person has to and should find their own answers. Well it’s that or false answers

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00:47 Mar 08, 2021

Lol we could just submit this comment chain as like... an entire poem. Vibes. False answers sound fun... considering that I’m one of those people who’d rather pretend my problems don’t exist than like anything else bc acting is just like lying. Too bad I haven’t acted in like a year so... yeah

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. .
01:14 Mar 08, 2021

Yeah we shoulddrrdddddd lol Well they’re not that funnnnnnn

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Angel {Readsy}
11:08 Apr 26, 2021

You try some different genres

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Maya
20:22 Mar 12, 2021

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

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. .
20:25 Mar 12, 2021

ME AND SIA STARTED THIS MADAM

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Maya
20:27 Mar 12, 2021

Lol sorry I didn't know who started it I'm just spamming it cause Saph told me to :)

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. .
20:44 Mar 12, 2021

XPPPPPPP

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OML One Hundred Years of Solitude?????? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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. .
23:58 Mar 11, 2021

YEAHHHHHHHHHHH

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Endellion .
21:46 Mar 11, 2021

Albert Camus??

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. .
23:58 Mar 11, 2021

This is kinda inspired by the philosophy he helped create!!

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Endellion .
00:34 Mar 13, 2021

So it isn't him? But it's sorta his work?

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. .
00:50 Mar 13, 2021

No Existentialism is a philosophy that he and JeanPaul Sartre helped formulate and it inspired this story.

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Endellion .
00:51 Mar 13, 2021

Ah. I'm at a loss, then. *shrugs helplessly*

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. .
13:03 Mar 13, 2021

Ha lol that’s fine

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Endellion .
21:34 Mar 11, 2021

Also, does your emoji mean something with Colombia? 'cause that's their flag. I can't see the last emoji, it's just a weird, messed up box.

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. .
21:36 Mar 11, 2021

Yerp!!!!!! The writer's colombian. The last one's a valley/mountain/lush area

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Endellion .
21:33 Mar 11, 2021

אני אוהב את זה, ליטובר! (sorry) XD

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. .
21:36 Mar 11, 2021

DeWhAt does that mean!!!!!

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Endellion .
21:43 Mar 11, 2021

Translation: I love this, Litlover! (That is actually what it says! you can copy and paste it into google translate if you don't believe me.) XD. I sorta speak hebrew, but I'm not great yet. Too busy writing!!

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. .
23:57 Mar 11, 2021

OH LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

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15:02 Mar 11, 2021

ANY BOOK SUGGESTIONS????

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. .
15:04 Mar 11, 2021

OH MOST DEF!!!!! FRANKENSTEIN, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, ANY DOSTOEVSKY

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16:30 Mar 11, 2021

OOH OKAYYY YAYAIEEE THANKSSS

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06:26 Mar 10, 2021

You alive?

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Endellion .
21:31 Mar 11, 2021

מה?

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Amany Sayed
03:22 Mar 10, 2021

I barely read/critique your stories so here I am! This was cool. I like deeper stories, hence I liked this one. The title works well. I don't like that the first part is in italics. It makes me feel like it's really far back when it's not that distant of memory to my knowledge. I'd seperate it some other way. So we have these two main characters going about different things, but maybe realizing at the same time that something's wrong, am I right? With these types of pieces, it's best to have them connect in some way, maybe even a brush of a ...

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. .
12:48 Mar 10, 2021

Thanks you so much, Amany!!! Yeah, the italics are a bit eh so I'll just separate the paragraphs with something else. I think that what I was trying to illustrate is that they couldn't connect with each other, that they're both blindingly alone, but I'm glad for your critique. Thank you so much again!!!!!!

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22:35 Mar 08, 2021

CONGRATS ON 40 STORIES LUKE!!! :D

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. .
22:35 Mar 08, 2021

THANKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JASEY

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22:39 Mar 08, 2021

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK MY FRIEND!

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. .
22:46 Mar 08, 2021

AWWWW THANKS I WILLLLLLLLL

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22:53 Mar 08, 2021

:P <3

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03:58 Mar 10, 2021

Hey Luke! Do you want to be in my Reedsy Cast series?

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Sapphire ~♚
22:14 Mar 08, 2021

You did it! Happy 40th! *ahem* The switch between the perspectives of Jonas and Jimmy was incredibly smooth, and I love how you made their separate stories/POV's have similarities. Your use of metaphors (ex. "Not twig-rustling dreams but the kind that uproots trees and sweeps you down onto the torn soil) were genius! They fit in with the story and they weren't confusing like some metaphors tend to be. One thing I would say is that Jimmy's POV seems a bit shorter and ~ₛₗᵢgₕₜₗy~ confusing, but it helped to go slower and read over it a...

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. .
22:32 Mar 08, 2021

YESHHHHHHH THANK YOUUUUUUUUU!!!!! This be such sweetness. I am glad that the note cleared stuff uppppppppp!!! Yeshhhhhhhhhhhhhh ROUND MA HOMETOWNNNN MEMORIESSSSSS OH GOD I LOVE ADELES MUSICCCCCCC

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Sapphire ~♚
18:39 Mar 09, 2021

No problemmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!! I knowwwwwwww me tooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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. .
18:41 Mar 09, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD ROUND MA HOMETOWNNNNNNNNNN MEMORIESSSSS ARE FRAYSHHHHHH

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Sapphire ~♚
18:52 Mar 09, 2021

ROUND MY HOMETOWNNNNNNNNNNNNN OOHH THE PEOPLEEEE I'VE METTTTT

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. .
19:05 Mar 09, 2021

ARE THE WONDERS OF MA WORLDDDDDDDDDDDD ARE THE WONDERS OF MA WORLDDDDDDDDDDDD ARE THE WONDERS OF THIS WORLDDDDDDDDDDD

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Maya
16:54 Mar 08, 2021

Congrats on your 40th story! This was great! The theme makes sense since you said your stories are going to be dealing with existence and life. :) Ah, your writing is so good, you're so talented!! His thoughts were shown well and the beginning was amazing! Maybe in the part, "He was there, she didn't say that, though." it would read better if you put, "He was there. She didn't say that, though." Lol I probably don't know what I'm talking about, though. xD Awesome story!! :D

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. .
17:04 Mar 08, 2021

Thank you so much Mayaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No that's a great critique!! did you like the style differences???

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Maya
17:49 Mar 08, 2021

No problem! :)) Ooh yesss I diddd :D

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13:59 Mar 08, 2021

Happy 40th story Luke! I love stories that are written like this, questioning aspects of life and philosophy, though I haven't read many stories like that. Amazing job!

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14:03 Mar 08, 2021

Thanks you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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14:03 Mar 08, 2021

Np!!

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