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Creative Nonfiction

Black shirts, handcuffs and Duchenne smiles



I straighten my black shirt, today is a special day and I need to look as if I am not ready for it at all. Moreover, I have no idea how I will kill you.



I flick away a greenly beautiful beetle from my hair, the least I can do to look presentable. I am sorry that sorcery takes so much energy and will that I don’t have much left to be sorry, anyway who am I to ruin my cheery day?



Ah, there you are, you are not at all early. The air is breezy, the sun is beaming brightly and everything is so cheerful! So glad that you are human, red will go so good with the sunny vibes.



I design my ghostliest grin and you look bewildered when someone unimportant handcuffs our hands together. This is so exiting! Your eyes have a weirdly interesting colour; I stare into them. You sure don’t appreciate yourself that well, do you? Believe me, I really do, but unfortunately I decided to prank someone else today. Oh, I can imagine how their faces would be when this goes off.



Your eyes dart around the place, trying to make sense, you look anxious beneath and suddenly I feel no pity for you, odd.



The creek of someone opening a door reaches our ears and that’s enough for me to freeze.


You are just afraid, you are still afraid.


Wha-hat! No, that was n-not meant for you, or... me.



You are not actually smiling, which relaxes me for a second, not enough for me to remember what you were doing here, but you seem well aware of your existence and slowly starts walking forward. I follow, just because my hand is following the handcuff with much enthusiasm. Something makes me look around frantically before I let my shoulders fall and start to walk. I don’t feel like casting a curse on you, I dunno why.



I still have a bit of doubt in me, like will this be seen the same way as this should be seen? Maybe I should talk to you a bit to clarify it all. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t want to do anything, er, wrong. I speed a little to catch up to you, I guess I should talk to you. What if stabbing it not the right method?



You see me walking at the same speed and rasp out a ‘hello’, and your face makes it clear that it was supposed to come out in a friendlier manner. I don’t respond, so you try again.



“Hello?”

Your smile is nowhere near a Duchenne smile, it is obviously faked.



“Hi.”

I try a sweeter looking smile



You seem to let out a breath.

“So, why am I here again?”



My smile grows creepier and more genuine. I knew that stupid question would come out of your mouth. Well, I don’t care answering, the only thing I wanna do is get you far enough so that they don’t notice when you are killed. Talking would help the walking get less lame.

“Eh, I guess we just have to talk, once in a while they pair off the permanent ones with the temporary one, they say that it helps with the recovery. Last time this happened for me was over a year ago”

That’s how long I’ve been waiting, can’t you see how important it is that I get this right?



“Permanent? I thought that nobody was permanent in here, like if at first nothing seems fine, maybe you should wait a bit. Like you can never say never, right?”



“Yep, it’s so crazy here you can never say anything sensible.”

I suppress a snicker, and yes, you don’t get the pun at all, whatever.



Other than a faint ‘eh’ from you, there is not much conversation left. But something makes me wanna talk to you, I need you help to get out of here, I really don’t want it to be permanent. As much as I enjoy sorcery, dark magic can get out of hand when practiced like this. I am so fed up!


And also weak, so weak!


I am not weak! And they will also understand, understand everything I said when I kill you. All this time I have let me victims themselves do my dirty work, never causing any physical harm myself. My curses weren’t perfect but they always worked enough to make perils. But I never demanded their blood, mine sufficed for the rituals. That’s not the case here. I need your blood this time.


Always need someone’s help.


I. Don’t. Need. Anyone’s. Help!



I turn towards you again, you seem to be looking at me. You look away quickly. What?, did my face look weird or somethin’? Arh, I guess I should be aware of what I think about when there is someone handcuffed to me.



“Hm..., where are we going?”

I know that you have no idea, but that’s for confirmation.



“To there?”

You point towards a humongous ice cream shop in front of us. Where did that come from?



“Ice cream?”

I cock my head, that just gotta be the lamest murder spot ever. I am so absorbed in the thought of what would happen if I am gonna be distracted by double chocolate swirl sundae while stabbing you that I forget that I am supposed to be walking. You do notice, after an almost cracked ‘aahhh!’ from me.



My face is hanging just inches from the ground, even if the handcuff is the culprit, I look at you with my best ‘dragger glare’, which is pretty impressive thanks to my sorcery. Moreover, I am slightly glad the handcuff was there, some wrist pain and a close view of the pavement are way better than a taste of it.



Your face is stuck between ‘Eh, did I just almost squash someone’s face’ mood and ‘Oh, I am so sorry your face almost went flat’ mood. I counter with a ‘I loathe you’ face and dust my black shirt with my free hand.



There is more silence as we walk towards our murder spot. I use that to go through the plan of all of it again. There is no way you will escape, like didn’t you catch the fact we are handcuffed together? And of course, I would have no way to escape either, so......, I just forgot that I didn’t make a plan, this is murder, not sorcery. I did collect tools that could be useful and the best are a knifelike piece of metal, a sewing pin and a mouldy mint. Eh, forgot to mention my unforgettable bank of murder knowledge, saved for emergencies, it’s important that you know about the locations of important veins, fatal points and the wind pipe , right?



I am contemplating whether I should craft the murder and the suicide with scaring the ice cream eaters or not when I spot a familiar face in the small crowd. I freeze and you stop your mutterings about which ice cream flavour is awesome (when did you start it anyway?). The familiar face eruptes into a smile when it sees me, a smile that was definitely fake, awfully far from a Duchenne smile. I need to get away.



I turn towards you; I need to get away.



I sprint out of there.

“I need to get away!”



You stride weirdly, following the handcuff, at last deciding that it was better to run.

“What the—”



I pull faster and you almost lose your balance, sweat is already appearing on my forehead, I take a shaky breath in, I am not afraid, I am not afraid.

“Can you note where we are going? I have no idea.”



“Eh? WHAT?”



My escape from judgement turns to a lame senseless run, we are taking turns without much notice and I stop when I am COMPLETELY out of breath.



I huff and puff as I collapse to the ground.



And then I huff and puff and pant, you are trying to keep my face from hitting the ground by pulling at the handcuff.



Then I huff and puff and pant and cough, seeing that we are in an ally and that there is a dead end in front of us (with a ‘dead end’ painted on it with terrible graffiti)



I decide that you would dislocate your arm by pulling me if I don’t stand up, but I stager and we fall as a neatly disorganised pile. There is a bit of confusion as we decide who’s on top of whom and whose arms are whose, seriously, just an itsy bitsy bit of confusion. And then we both decide at the same time to dust out cloths using both our hands but sadly the handcuff disagrees.



You just abandon the thought of getting prim and perfect.

“Oh my god, why were you running like that?”



I swear below my breath with peculiar strings of words, fixing my shirt into a shabbier mess at the same time.



You scrunch up your nose a bit.

“Er, well, are you ok?”



“Eh, if that’s the question to be asked to a person who just went through something crazy, then I ask you the same, ‘are you—”



“That was totally crazy!”



I look up from my black shirt to see a pure Duchenne smile, I am baffled, and your Duchenne smile turns to a surprised ‘eh’.



I bring my hand to scratch my forehead and yours smash into my nose without much thought.

“Arh! Me nose!”



“Beware the handcuff!” You say awkwardly, lifting your hand and shaking it; the handcuff giggles and my hand does a quirky puppet dance.



Somehow, at the most senseless moment, I start laughing.



Heha ha ha

ha hA he he ha

HA ha ha ha Ha hA



You double up and start sniggering too.



We both are laughing like lunatics; we are giggling, chuckling and cackling like lunatics.





Then someone chuckles kinda less like a lunatic.



I stop laughing with much effort, hiccups of giggles forcing out then and now, you take longer to stop. We look around for the third laugher and find him quite quickly.



The chuckling old man is pretty old (duh) but seem awfully lively.




We look at each other.

“Em.... hello”

“What are you doing here.”




“Ack, ain’t that a good question?”

The old man raises his pale eyebrows




We don’t say much and the old man shrugs it off.

“Ack, no problems ‘cause today is the April Fool’s day.”




I scrunch my nose.

“April Fool’s day?, I thought that was somethin’ like last year?”




“Ack, today is the April Fool’s day for us!”




Your turn to scrunch eyebrows.

“Eh?”




“Ack, we do things differently, ya know, and, ack, I’ve been planning the pranks for a year now.”




I scratch my forehead (with my free hand).

“For a year?”




“Well, ack, haven’t you ever planned pranks like that?!”




“Well I have been waiting for one for almost an year, but I didn’t plan it much and....., It was too lame. Though the one I’ve been planning for half a second is not lame at all,” I say, grinning




You arch your eyebrow.

“Eh?”

The irritation of your existence shrinking to ‘eh’s is quite evident on your face.

“Well, the one I have been planning for half a second is grand,” you say.




“Ack, chaps, we have some competition here, don’t we?” said the shouty old man.




To say the truth, I know nothing much about a weird old man or a fool (sorry, not sorry) handcuffed to me, but Duchenne smiles are sprouting everywhere so isn't it fair that a quirky one appears on my face too? He he.


April 03, 2021 03:24

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55 comments

23:26 Apr 04, 2021

okay, WOW. That first line really just threw me for a loop. At first, when you’re talking about how “ I straighten my black shirt, today is a special day” it feels a little off. But then that next part? About basically dressing to unimpress? And then the killing part? Such a great job!

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12:46 Apr 05, 2021

but the story ended up being kinda lame....... anyway, THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! em, the crazy style of writing, suits me like, i can't actually write beginnings as good as yours or anything, like cool first lines are so hard to craft! btw, what's your fav archetype? (i know, random question, but i was researching a bit about them)

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12:51 Apr 05, 2021

Um no that was such a great story, and it's like ten times better than the thing I am not writing right now bc my brain is foggy. My favorite archetypes... hehe I just put this somewhere in my comment section (idk where) but... Guy whos like a little bit athletic, not sporty, but not completely artsy. Kinda like... Kalmin? I also... love spontaneous pink haired girls who throw their life away. No, I don't care that these aren't archetypes, but in my stories, they essentially are.

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13:13 Apr 05, 2021

like Kalamin in your story?.... wait, did you base Kalamin on an archetype 'cause Kalamin sounded a bit familiar....... ya, that's right, and Lol, spontaneous pink haired girls who throw their life away? Em, I can bet that that is wrong! (he he, are we having a 'who's-work-is-worst" competition? I am gonna win!) foggy brain?... do you know why brains get foggy? (oh wow, I just turned into a naggy ten year old he he)

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13:38 Apr 05, 2021

Kalmin in my story, yeah. Bc I'm a massive simp and basically made those two archetypes as basically my two types, lol. MY WORK IS VERY UM BAD RIGHT NOW BC I AM LAZY, LOL Um... is this a test? I mean, I'm tired, and I haven't run in a little while.

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16:03 Apr 05, 2021

you mean kalamin and oscar are your two types or kalamin and pink heads are your two types? MY WORK IS always BAD CAUSE I AM ALWAYS LAZY? AND I kinda can't get anything out of the prompts Which test asks about foggy brains?

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15:12 Apr 06, 2021

oop, seasons are making me feel like a jerk (like seriously seasons? preschool stuff?), tis getting very confusing, I'm quittin' Lol I would love to argue on that (Not cursed!, try crazy!) Tho that will blow my anonymity of age.... *doing vampire sleeves* hm, do priorities EVER get finished? and before you die...., *imagine a thumbs up emoji here* that's wise, Lol (and... ya the emoji files in this thing went kaboom lately, tech glitch, arh, I hate tech glitch [he he, what are those emojis there in your name? idk]) i guess brothers are ...

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15:35 Apr 06, 2021

Mixed up/bi. Lol, I've never heard of it being called that. I mean, I think it's hard bc then what if our types like clash... but then I also think like... that happens normally with all straight families... so I'm just being stupid, I guess. The reedsy cast should be out today if I don't procrastinate! However, only three characters are in it; yours will be introduced around chapter three or four (depending on the word count) because that's when the school part is actually gonna start. After that, your character will be consistently staying...

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17:09 Apr 06, 2021

hm, 'm naive with terms? well, I guess, but you don't........ actually get the exact picture... like 'normally with all straight families' is kinda just the tip-of-the-iceberg? K, k, I'll explain, and no, I love hyperbole but 'm not using it here. All straight family? Yep. All straight friend circle? Yep. All straight community? Yep. All straight 'anyone I know in my own time zone'? N-, Yep. And then....., *drum roll* I'm bi (pop that up in a family conversation and I'll be asked if that's a new species in amazon). Cool, what do ya except m...

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17:28 Apr 06, 2021

1: OKay yeah, lol since I have a very gay friend group and a pretty lgbtq side of my family, we have weird terms, lol. And I used to be the 'straight one' in the friend group. Now we're pretty much all bi 2: Oh yeah, it should be much easier. I can't even fight that. 3: I want to today! Wish me luck :) 4: Oh yes... book 2 will probably be posted May 28th... hehe, metaphors 5: I will rework the day the clock stopped 6: I will make it shorter 7: Lists are fun and are great for metaphors :)

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17:47 Apr 06, 2021

1) Actually the weird thing was that I had no idea that something called LGBTQ actually existed 2)How to be me: a survival guide (cool, on second thought, if I ever write an autobiography, I'm gonna name it that) 3) Ya, why not?, break a leg!, lol, tho I'll only read today if you post it like before midnight here, which is in one hr 4) Yay, lol, wait, weren't you going on a break in may? 5) K 6) you taking oaths or somethin' Lol 7) Ya! and Yay this ended in seven!

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01:44 Apr 07, 2021

Em...., yep, tho sleep just feels like the most confusing topic rn. Well, good mornin', Lol Eh, you didn't actually post the reedcy cast or did you? I just can't trust this thing rn, tech glitch, he he Lol that makes me remember the time when my cousin was slapped by his mother with his phone, the mother board was dislocated, (and his face got bruised)

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11:46 Apr 07, 2021

Hehe... yeah, I got a little busy because my life is ending... I swear I'm almost done, lol! What???????

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13:50 Apr 07, 2021

Your life's what? Metaphorically? I REAd iT! his mother slapped him with his phone, the mother board was dislocated, kinda sounds like a bad pun That was when he was.... seventeen? Last's last year? Hm, he looked way smaller tho, was called 'the kid' by his classmates

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13:59 Apr 07, 2021

Um, depends on the moment Ohhh. Phone related assault

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17:45 Apr 07, 2021

Accept it, insanity is the best type of philosophy INTP? wait I dunno much about the abbreviations, let me look up what it's called 𝕥𝕨𝕠 𝕤𝕖𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕕𝕤 𝕝𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕣 Ya, Mediator, eh, so you are a really empatic, sensitive, imaginative, self criticising hopeless-romantic who likes friendships but is not social? (eh, no offence, that's just what I know about Mediators, k?) Anyway, some of the most famous authors and musicians are all INTP, meaning you can be a great author! when ENFP (Campaigner) is an unorganised, unfocused, gut-driven, curious, over ex...

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18:42 Apr 07, 2021

Insanity is the bridge between philosophy and reality. I mean, you literally just described me perfectly. I mean, yeah, that description of intp is literally me. A lotttt of my friends are enfp. Like, a lot. I'm very introverted, but if u get me to start talking, it all just pours out Um, you wanna talk about pintrest boards for simping of imaginary people? Imagine being in love with a drawing, lol. And that drawing is basically a rock. I'll send it, lol https://www.pinterest.com/ecavacas2022/_saved/ I mean, I could rant about that charac...

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13:21 Apr 08, 2021

No, no, insanity IS both philosophy and reality I guess most people have a beginning personality, which might change, mostly ENFP. For example I was INTP at first (kinda why I know the descriptions of those two Lol). I know, INTP to ENFP sounds farfetched. Wait, pinterest says that the board can’t be fount!? Tho I guess it’s basically the same as yur other two boards? He he, it is kinda cool to find someone else who simps on imaginary people like that, huh? How sadistic can I sound? (hm, sorry, I’m keeping my account buried) Eh, sorry fo...

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07:39 Apr 05, 2021

Heyo check mah bio ( wow that rhymed)

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07:43 Apr 05, 2021

Oh me, seriously?, do me a favor, don't die, just rant, ranting is basically the ultimate way to chillax.

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07:43 Apr 05, 2021

Ahahaha, yes

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07:44 Apr 05, 2021

And which doc is bomb in?

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07:45 Apr 05, 2021

I'll share the link one secc

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07:46 Apr 05, 2021

Wait..., can you say how you feel about ultra long reedsy cast forms?

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07:44 Apr 05, 2021

But, lol I was talking about the note thingy, I deleted bomb

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18:28 Apr 03, 2021

Was waitinggggggggg Chuckled throughouttttt very creative and noice! How's your novel going?

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Nainika Gupta
12:31 Apr 03, 2021

Lol waiting

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13:06 Apr 03, 2021

He he, posted me stupid story

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12:28 Apr 03, 2021

Waiting for your post......... :)

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13:07 Apr 03, 2021

Waiting is over (warning; it's pretty plotless and really lame)

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13:33 Apr 03, 2021

No, this story is amazing and very creative! You had me from the title, and sometimes the plotless stories are the deep stories. Loved this one Tru Sorcerer, especially whenever they mentioned Duchenne smiles. That word is so satisfying.😝

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