Drowning in Fire

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

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Sad Coming of Age

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,

But carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

Risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

Therefore, I love you because I know no other way

Than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.” - Pablo Neruda

Victoria

“I hate love. I really do. People say that there is a thin line between love and hate. If you live without love are you living at all? What is your purpose? You’re just… floating along with the space-time continuum. You mean nothing. I mean nothing. I’m just a gasp of fresh air that exists for a little infinity and then is gone. He loved what he could get from her. What he could take from her - use her. The idea of love seems great. You see and view love in a certain way. In movies and TV and books and poems of pretentious never-ending love. How it’s a gift, an opportunity, a once in a lifetime thing. You are lucky enough in life if you love one person deeply enough that it consumes your entire being. So they say. But love is selfish. It allows you to be selfish and lie and cheat, and it’s all fine because ‘you are in love.’ What a load of bullshit. They love the way love makes them feel. You choose a person to be in love with - to fall - notice that wording? Anything that falls, breaks - in love with and you decide they’re ‘The One’ when they have no say in it. That seems like a lot of pressure. All of a sudden they’re a martyr. Anyway, who could actually really love someone for who they are? How can one love all flaws?”

“Have you ever felt like the whole world is against you? That’s because it is. The Universe is against everybody. No one has a perfect life. In fact, perfect seizes to exist. It never did. It was just a term created by some messed-up wannabees who wished they were more. But what is perfect? What makes someone perfect? Who defines it? We as a species are insatiable. Never satisfied. Ungrateful. Always searching for more… ah.”

“Do you ever feel like the world is falling apart? Piece by piece. Little by little. You’re just dangling there, holding on, like the last autumn leaf on a tree. We tell ourselves there’s a person out there that’s measuring how much shit we can take or something. Like, ‘okay, they’ve had enough, let’s go rain on another innocent bystander’s life’ but the way I see it, life is set to random. There is no such thing as Destiny. Or Fate. That’s MORE bullshit. Denial, denial, denial. We live our whole lives in denial. Screwing our problems away, drinking them away, trying to get a good high and forget them in our haze. Oh, and ‘True Love’? Don’t get me started on that sappy shit. It doesn’t exist. It’s a fairytale made up for children who have no better judgment. I may seem like a Negative Nancy to you but that’s only if you’re an optimist.”

“There are two types of people in this world. Realist and Romantics. Romantics see someone and believe that they were put on the earth for a reason. Like they were created just for them. Romantics believe in the slavery that is marriage. They believe in a forever. That if you really put your mind to it, you and love can achieve anything. That everything was created for a reason. That we have a purpose. That the moon knows our name. That we weren’t just a series of events and explosions in a big galaxy. That it’s not just pure coincidence we even exist at all. What fools! But you see Mister, realists see someone and put everything into perspective. To them, it’s just another random person just like the last, who will be just like the next. No one is special. Realists realize the truth: Nothing lasts forever. Everything has an ending. Most people may call these people cynical, or downers. They’re sad. But I don’t find it sad. I find it awakening. To realize the truth and not waste your time with the white lies, with the walls that we put up to block people from hurting us. To realize that the wall does nothing but shut you out; you get hurt either way. The second you open up; you hurt. The person you love most is the most dangerous weapon.”

“Anyway, you ask me what this sonnet means to me and that insults me. How are the words of a dead man supposed to mean anything to me? It’s a beautiful poem if you’re into that kind of thing. I just… I don’t agree with it, is all. Not to diminish his words or anything. There is a calm beauty to being able to love in darkness but people are messed up, and they always will be. Have been since the beginning of time. That’s the problem here. WE are the problem with the world. People talk about the fault in the stars, but we ARE our stars. We are literally a combination of dust particles and atoms just trying to outrun our inevitable death and sugar coat things along the way. So, we are our faults. What meaning can be found amid our stars? God, just… Uselessly insignificant. A speck of sand in a black hole that can suck you out of existence. Why try? Once the sun swallows our only Earth whole, no one will be alive to remember Love Sonnets or Poe… it is all for naught. The world will envelop in oblivion. So why not smoke? You tell me I’m fucking up my lungs but why does it matter because in the end my lungs will be fucked up anyway. ‘Cause I’ll be dead. You know? And at least then I won’t have to donate my organs to science…”

"My grandpa died today. I don't even know why. I was too scared to ask. I wonder if he knew he was going to die. Like, did he have a moment of realization or clarity when he realized: this is it. This is my life, and this is all I am going to get..."

"I wanted to get sad. Like, cry or something, but then I thought I don't deserve to like, mourn him. I never knew him. I never even met him. Only saw pictures of him when he was younger. And, like, I don't even know if he was a good person that deserves mourning over, but who am I to judge? He left my mom and my grandma, but it's like... you can't be mad at him anymore. You have to forgive him, even if he never was sorry, 'cause he's dead. You know? That's fucked up if you don't. I thought to myself: everybody dies, and that's when I realized there might be something legitimately wrong with me. How could I not feel sadness over death in my family? Am I that cold?"

“Every. Body. Dies. So, I smoke. We don’t get to decide anything in life, you ever realize that? It’s all mapped out from the get-go. You can’t decide how you come into this world, let alone how you leave it. But I want to have a choice in this world, so I trick myself into thinking that maybe I might die from lung cancer. At least then I can decide how I die. You can pretend that you’re something. You can pretend that the stars know your name. That we are infinite. The illusion of Permanence, Neil Gaiman once called it.”

“I think a lot about that last breath. Is that weird? The second when I realize: this is it. This is the end. I think about my lungs trying to get air but not being able to get any. The last time I gaze at this god awful world. The last time my fingertips touch the ground. Just drowning in the flames of my mistakes. Might as well enjoy it while it’s here. Enjoy the Now.”

The therapist only stares at her, as Victoria puffs out another pungent cloud of smoke. “You got issues.”

“Yeah,” She snorts. There was something truly hopeless about her. “Maybe.”





January 09, 2021 20:12

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33 comments

YOU WROTE A STORY!! YOU'RE ONLINE!! WHOOO!! Glad you checked in Reedsy Jimmy! We all missed you! Such a comeback story! Loved it! :)

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נιмму 🤎
20:13 Jan 09, 2021

AUTHORS NOTE: This is a repost since I deleted all my stories and this just happened to go with one of the prompts. :) enjoy

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16:48 Jan 12, 2021

This is a really interesting story, I'm glad you decided to repost it! Because there's only one narrator for most of it, I think the way you need to ave the quotation marks placed would only be at the start of each new paragraph, not at the end of the old one: "Like "this" But of course I could be wrong. Near the start, do you mean "Perfect [ceases] to exist"? I know the prompt is to have the story told entirely though dialogue, but it would have been more grounding to have brief statements like: "Victoria sighed/scoffed/breathed/muttered"

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Yesssss I loved this!! Wait, was this a direct repost or kinda reusing a previous idea but rewriting? Cuz when I started reading this, idk, of reminded me of that awesome story (I think you actually said the other one was inspired by ‘Dear Mimi’ which I was so flattered by lol cuz yours was way better than mine) about the girl at the therapist who rambles, and then it has that a m a z i n g endings that’s like “And at the end of the world, she was no afraid.” Or something like that. *pause* *deep breath* WOW DAT WAS A LONG SENTENCE Al...

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נιмму 🤎
00:30 Jan 10, 2021

JFKDFJLS YEs no ur not crazy u got the right idea, this IS a repost of one i deleted before that was inspired by your mimi story. I just changed the ending. it went with the prompt.🤷 also thank you so muchhh you flatter me i love john green so much to be compared to him is just UGH! dream come true 🥰🥰😝😝 also nothing much just watching TV hbu

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💞 Nothing much as well, lol. Today I’ve been super sore and tired and, as I’ve been putting it, dead, so I’ve literally been on the couch all day watching tv, writing, and reading (have you read the series Uglies? I’m on book 2 and it’s super good). Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be less...*dead* so I can actually attempt to climb my endless mountains of homework and work on my super-crazy-super-silly-basically-insanity story. And wowww, me, I’ve literally managed to spend an entire paragraph talking about my extremely boring day. Did I mention I...

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נιмму 🤎
06:21 Jan 11, 2021

PLZ JFKDL what u just described is me literally everday. while it is okay to have a couple days like that of heck maybe even a week i should not be doing this for months. but idk yeah been dead too and havent really had the motivation to do anything, including things i love like skating and writing. idk weird.

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Amaya .
03:26 Jan 15, 2021

roller skating or ice skating? im sorry gurl it gets better i promise. but it sucks.

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💞 Nothing much as well, lol. Today I’ve been super sore and tired and, as I’ve been putting it, dead, so I’ve literally been on the couch all day watching tv, writing, and reading (have you read the series Uglies? I’m on book 2 and it’s super good). Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be less...*dead* so I can actually attempt to climb my endless mountains of homework and work on my super-crazy-super-silly-basically-insanity story. And wowww, me, I’ve literally managed to spend an entire paragraph talking about my extremely boring day. Did I mention I...

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Sapphire ~♚
22:26 Jan 09, 2021

YOU'RE BACCCCKKKKKKKKKK I absolutely LOVED this!!!!!!! It had some sort of a poetic vibe to it (idk if that's just me, I'm weird) and flowed through my mind!!!!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

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Chelsea Peseller
22:01 Feb 20, 2021

Thanks for liking my story, but my writing doesn’t even compare to yours. This is beautiful and the words, and the lines, the way you describe things... it’s unbelievable in a good way of course lol! I love the depth of it, the beginning really hit a core and spoke to me. If you like to support the cat who inspired all my silly stories. You can here! https://americasfavpet.com/2021/simba-sha-188c

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Du Vay Knox
22:47 Jan 23, 2021

Pablo Neruda and THEN the story. That's gold, man.

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Hiiiiiiya

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11:03 Nov 06, 2022

i miss youu

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11:02 Nov 06, 2022

new story

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s i s s s s s s s s s I miss uuuuuu

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Amel Parvez
15:33 Jan 27, 2021

WOAH! It was sooo amazing. Sad but beautiful. While reading your story I was hooked till the end. Just awesome.

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Jay D Mer
13:30 Jan 22, 2021

So poetic and full of realness. I wanna read more of your work. Great job:)

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Angel Cross
16:29 Jan 21, 2021

This is amazing it reminds me of some of the crazy stories my sister writes

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Angel Cross
16:31 Jan 21, 2021

by the way do any of you mind me asking if you can read my stories i'm new to reedsy

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Lia Nina
00:35 Jan 18, 2021

This was so poetic and philosophical and I loved every word. Plus, the Pablo Neruda poem is one of my favorites :)

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Lydieee .Buggz
15:11 Jan 17, 2021

WHOOO! I love it

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06:42 Jan 15, 2021

Ah! Loved it before! And I still love it! Its veryyyy interesting and I agree with many parts of it! Especially the part about being a realist, parts of it relates to me. I tell people the truth sometimes and its like "Oh...your pessmistic" lol. " Oh, and ‘True Love’? Don’t get me started on that sappy shit. It doesn’t exist. It’s a fairytale made up for children who have no better judgment." And wow you crushed my dreams here! Great job Celeste!!! YOU MUST KEEP WRITING!

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Nino Khundadze
09:23 Jan 10, 2021

A great one. Nice you can be so honest. While reading I agreed on so many things, but there were places where I was answering in my mind that things are not just like that, that there are other points of views too :) Looking forward for reading more...

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05:03 Jan 10, 2021

Beautiful... Just beautiful <3

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Janae H.
03:50 Jan 10, 2021

This was an amazing story. It really has. I really enjoyed this piece. I can't wait to read more of your work.

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