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Consistency: 08/12/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Sep 01, 2022
“Everyone ready? All right, you have an hour…begin!” Owen picked up his pencil and opened the test booklet, trying to calm his breathing. All the bubbles on the answer sheet glowered back at him, and he winced at the state of his name and other personal information already bubbled in at the front. Come on, now, this was fine. It was only standardized test season again. He had done this before, right? And he had prepared all year for this, practicing on weekends, going through every practice test in the books. This was what his high school life had amounted to: the test booklet sitting on the desk before him. Do well, go to a good school, get a good job… He didn’t want to think of what the alternative would be. Starting off, a pretty easy question concerning the angles of a triangle. Answer was B, he knew that. The next question, C. The third was C as well. The fourth he didn’t know, so he’d mark it for later. Five, six, seven, eight… The clock was ticking. He found that his pencil hand was dripping with sweat, and a couple of drops fell onto his paper, and he tried to wipe them away, but only ended up smudging the pencil marks. Crap… He still had about half of the test left. Time to pick up the pace. This one, skip; that one, A. This one, B. No, he misread that problem two pages ago; he only just now realized, and he was going to have to go back and change his answer… A quick glance around him showed the other students sighing, groaning, and generally holding their heads in their hands. Shoot…were the upcoming questions so bad? He wiped his palms on his jeans and turned the page. It was indeed that bad. Finding all these missing variables, and then using sine and cosine to reach the answer… Owen was this close to tearing his hair out. No, he should waste his time on this one, all the questions were worth the same anyways. The clock was still ticking… When this was all over, he wanted to go out for ice cream, and then lie in a hammock and sleep the rest of the day away. Why was the room so humid? The box fan in the window was trying its best, but the back of his shirt was still drenched. It was no longer from nerves, he knew, but the room was so stuffy, he could barely breathe… Ah, don’t think of that any longer, think of the fresh air, and the fresh breeze… Just as he finished the last question, he heard the words: “Time’s up!” Time for a break before the next section….
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Consistency: 08/30/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 31, 2022
Tomorrow, it will all be over. Tomorrow, you will wake up to a new day and a fresh start, to fluffy white clouds dotting the endless blue sky. The warm summer breeze will be sweeping over the salty ocean, and you will look out your open window, content to be alive at last. You will sit down at your dining table, and eat a full breakfast, for the first time in a long time. You will greet your mother with a smile, without a trace of annoyance, and thank her for the food she made, because you truly are grateful. Your cat will curl its tail around the table leg, rubbing up against your jeans, purring, and you’ll stroke your hand through its fur, feeling the warmth emitting through its skin. You’ll go outside and mount your bike, sailing down the cobblestone street in front of your house. The flowers blooming and the wind in your hair, you’ll laugh, because you don’t think that anyone can hear you over the rushing sound by your ears. But they can, and they smile, because it’s you, and you’re laughing. The wheels of your bike don’t go exactly smoothly over the stones, but you don’t mind the jostling. Just adds a little more excitement to your day. You will arrive down at the beach, by the pier, and you’ll dismount your bicycle like a trusty steed, and slowly walk along the sand, watching the gulls soar through the sky, diving down and snatching a bit of leftover fries on the edge of the street. Eventually you’ll lock your bike in a nearby bike rack and take off your shoes, holding them by your fingers, and run down through the sand to the water, the cold cold water splashing your ankles, your calves, the grainy sand between your toes. Small fish swim about you, biting on your legs, and you grin, staring down at them. Returning to shore, sand will stick to your wet feet, but that’s okay, since you weren’t wearing socks anyways on this hot summer’s day. But it isn’t even that hot, but rather warm instead, a perfect temperature for basking in a hammock, a book resting on your chest for you to return to when you open your eyes. Perhaps you could go get some ice cream today? Or buy some handmade fudge… You mount your bike again, and ride off once more, the possibilities before you endless. Tomorrow, you will have a nice day. So please, live on.
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Consistency: 08/29/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 30, 2022
Yesterday. I feel like it didn’t exist. Maybe I wasn’t there, I was only born today, and everything was fabricated from the moment I opened my eyes. Nothing’s real. It was all yesterday. But I remember living it. I remember feeling it, being aware of this very moment. It wasn’t fabricated when I experienced it. I swear it wasn’t. Riding down the highway with the windows open, the sunset a brilliant orange, stalking through the taller-than-necessary shelves at the grocery store only to finally give in and start dancing on the linoleum tiles to the midnight breakup song playing on the radio, the sweet scent of cake at the farmer’s market, everything, everything all melding and melting together, everything that transpired yesterday. No, it can’t have not been real. It felt so real. I swear! Please, I know I lived this life, I know I lived through yesterday before. It wasn’t a memory that was just made it up and stuffed inside my head! I know it wasn’t! But there’s no way to prove it… These tears that are filling my eyes now and spilling over the edges, they’re real. Two seconds have passed. No, no, I’m still crying them. I swear I am. See? Even now, I’m still crying. These memories aren’t fabricated, they aren’t— What do you mean they are? What do you mean, that everyone’s been made up and put into my life at this exact moment? What about yesterday? If this was all made up, what the heck was the point of yesterday? Yesterday was so free, so light, so enjoyable, what was the point of it? I had a good time; would you really be so cruel to make up a good day for me? A good memory? I’d rather live it, and live it again, I’d rather live yesterday again, over and over again, then be here right now and have you telling me that it’s all made up and inside my head. I’m serious. Yesterday…you were here too. You were with me too. We did that all together. And you’re saying that even you, yes, you, were made up? Made up for the sake of today? Please, were you the only one who lived through yesterday? What about me? Please, comfort me, I am this close to tears…
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Consistency: 08/28/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 29, 2022
Alarms are going off. There’s a whole panic outside, but I haven’t even paid for my shopping yet. I glance up at the self-checkout. Ugh, the security screen isn’t even displaying anything… Looks like these are all mine now. Swinging the gray plastic bag from my wrist, I leave the store, pushing the automatic doors to force them open. Outside, the sky is on fire. The parking lot is an absolute mess, stray flames burning over pools of gasoline everywhere. Hopping this way and that, I look for where I parked, but with the roar of the burning it’s impossible to hear the chirp of my car alarm. Ah, there it is. Shiny red and right where I left it. Getting in and turning on the engine, it looks like it still works. Perfect. I pull out of the lot and onto the freeway, and one pit stop at a fast food restaurant later, I’m cruising on the highway. A burning sky and almost cold fries. What else could be better? Shades on, windows down, music pumped up to the max. The road’s never been this clear before—well, of living people, I suppose. Debris lies every which way, which is, admittedly, rather annoying to dodge. But at least there’s no one honking on my tail. There’s a horde of zombies groaning by the roadside, but I simply flash them a peace sign and slide by. They’re so slow and fragile, a little tap should be enough to take them out. Honestly, I don’t even know why their population is increasing; if people were smart and didn’t panic, they’d be all gone within a week. Ah, whatever. Screw them, living their best life. I’ll find something better and become the king of them. King of the Zombies. No, wait, King of the Undead sounds much better. I guess the end of the world means the exam next week is canceled, eh? Well, not like I can check my email anyways. Hope I don’t get marked with a failing grade. Heck, the sunset’s beautiful tonight. The fire really does add something.
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Consistency: 08/27/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 28, 2022
“Keep up now, come on!” The alarm on his smartwatch chirped as he hurried through the bustling train station, trying to find his car. The stream of people made it hard to make it through, especially since this was work hour. No, he wasn’t going to work today, he had specific schedule to follow, and he had specific places to be at oddly specific times. The night before he had marked out on his planner all the places he had to be and exactly when, and then set reminders on his watch to keep him in check. He finally found his car in the parking garage and got into the driver’s seat, breathing out a sigh of relief. He wanted to lean back and close his eyes and rest for a moment, as last night he had barely gotten enough sleep, but no, he had his schedule to follow, so he entered his address into the car and started the engine. There would be no rest for him until today was over. Tick tock tick tock… The clock never seemed to stop. He was already two minutes late because he had been distracted by a puppy on the way out of his apartment, and the traffic wasn’t helping. Tap tap tap tap… His finger twitched against the steering wheel and he stared out at the gloomy traffic, wishing he was at the front of the line. There, green! He slammed his foot on the accelerated and sped down the road, pulling to a stop in front of the flower shop. “Do you have the bouquet of roses I ordered today ready?” he asked, running in, breathless. “Right here, sir. They’re yours for the taking.” “All right, I’ll be on my way.” And off in his car he went. How long did it take flowers to wilt in the backseat? And he had made dinner reservations too… There, he had pulled up at the place, and opened the door. “Quickly, honey, we have to celebrate our anniversary today!”
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Consistency: 08/26/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 27, 2022
The cliff-side was his favorite place to rest now. There he sat, the cold breeze ruffling his dark hair and clothes. But he seemed comfortable to any passerby, like he was merely lounging on a park bench or the front step of a store, perhaps taking a break from work. There was peace in his eyes, contentment, that was it, that was what struck others so, it was the incredible peace and calm that surrounded him. “Dear, don’t climb over the railing.” The child’s mother tried to warn him, so the boy merely leaned against the worn metal guardrails, watching the strange man on the edge of the canyon. “What are you doing there, mister?” “Watching the birds fly,” the man replied, the ravens swooping down amongst the red rocks. There was rustling in the dry bushes nearby, and a rabbit hopped out, and nibbled the man’s finger. “Are you here to sight-see?” “Yeah.” The boy looked to see where his parents had gone, and they were still in view, taking pictures further down the road. “Aren’t you scared of falling?” “Falling?” The man glanced down. “Well, I suppose it would be very scary.” “Isn’t it dangerous? To be sitting there?” “Well, I guess I simply won’t fall.” “Are you here to sight-see as well?” “To see the sights, yes. But mainly to be with my thoughts for a little bit. Or a long while.” “Wow…” the boy breathed, eyes full of admiration. “I wonder what that’s like.” “You’re free to join me anytime, if you wish.” The man patted the ground next to him. “I’ll catch you if you fall.” The boy laughed, but knew his mother would never permit it. “I gotta go now. My parents are calling me.” The man raised a hand, giving him a smile. “Well, I suppose you’ll have an interesting story to tell your grand-kids one day.” “Tell them what?” “That you met an Ancient One.” And there was a chuckle, and the man returned to his view from the ledge.
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Consistency: 08/25/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 25, 2022
(cw: blood and also overuse of ellipses and commas) And still, his ears rang, the sound vibrating through his head, echoing, echoing, echoing… The tunnel before him was cold and dark, and he sat on the ground before it, cross-legged. A strange sound came out from the cave, not just the whistling of the wind through small crevices, but an extraterrestrial noise, astral and empty and floating and harmonious, music to his ears… But wait. Space had no air. Space was silent. And yet here he was, being consumed, washed over by the sound, that sound, that marvelous sound that everyone had screamed at, and called it screeching, ears bleeding, ears bleeding, ears bleeding… He opened his eyes, and felt a warm iron tang on his lips, seeping through to his tongue. Blood, dripping from his nose, first slowly, and now faster, flowing, onto his shirt, his pants, his hands… The sound was wonderful, and he knew that. The others, they couldn’t hear, they couldn’t hear, they couldn’t understand at all! He, he knew the beauty of it, of all of it, he had been chosen, he knew and understood… The universe had chose him, and him alone, to be sitting here in this very spot today. And for that, he laughed, he crowed, but no sound came from his voice. There was nothing to hear here, except for the sound. That beautiful, crazy, wonderful, spinning sound… “Help.” And through the sound, he heard a voice, a clear voice, small and scared, and he turned and looked, and saw a child standing there, and it took him a second to recognize him, but then he realized, it was himself, himself from long ago, so long ago, when he had been innocent and undefiled, unknowing, unknowing of the sound… “Help.” His younger self whispered again, his plea piercing the sound, shattering it, and tears came to his eyes, as the sound vanished, slowly, gradually, but it vanished, it vanished from his sight, his ears, and there was only the child’s cry, lingering before him. The child, and him, and nothing left of the sound…
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Consistency: 08/24/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 25, 2022
“Looks like your daddy is just a little bit late today, eh?” The first grade teacher checked her watch as she stood outside the school building, holding onto the hand of the little boy. “Why don’t we wait together just a little longer? I’m sure he’ll be here any minute!” She had to go home and cook dinner for her aging parents. There was a meeting she had to attend with the faculty, and she still had homework to grade. The day had been a productive one, she had thought. She had watched over and taken care of all the children, taught them what needed to be taught (or almost all of it, of course there were distractions, but that was okay). The weather had been nice, and no one got hurt on the playground outside. Yes, everything had been fine. And now there was only this one child left behind that she had to take care of… There was still a while before sundown. It would be good if his father arrived before that, so that she could continue on with whatever was left of her day… Everything was important, but what was most important for her was to focus on what was before her right now, this child that was holding her hand, standing on the curb outside the school doors. Nothing was more important than this. Not her job, her family, her life. Not until this child’s father came to reclaim him. A car pulled up in the near-empty parking lot, and a man got out and ran towards them, out of breath. “I’m so sorry I’m late!” And with it all the excuses and apologies. She gave a tired smile and handed the child over to him, and waved goodbye until they were out of sight. “Have a good day.”
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Consistency: 08/21/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 22, 2022
One lifetime ago, you asked me if we could go out and see the clouds. I said no, I was too busy, I would go with you next Sunday. But that Sunday I worked overtime, and I had broken my promise to you, one of the many promises that I broke, over and over and over again. And eventually, you stopped asking me for promises, and you went out to watch the clouds by yourself. How could I have been so blind? One lifetime ago, I was the happiest man in the world, with you as my daughter. One whole lifetime ago. I still remember it like yesterday, holding you in my arms. I should have thrown down my work, my books, my papers, and I should have run outside to join you, flopping down on the damp grass, loosening my tie, and ask you which cloud in particular you were looking at now. I should have done so, I know that now. But I saw you looking at clouds by yourself, and I thought, "She's fine," and returned to my work. My never-ending work. It's been a lifetime, and now you're gone, and I've found that I'm at the end of my days. Where did all the sunshine go? I thought I was still young... But now my knees hurt when I get up, and I'm no longer comfortable in any position. I open my mouth to ask you to bring my a glass of water, only to realize that you're not there. I sit there for so long that I forget to turn on the lights when the sun sets, and can only ponder why my eyes are straining to see. I get up to take a break, to looking at pictures on the mantle, only to realize that we never took that many together. In another lifetime, let's watch clouds together. I promise.
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Consistency: 08/20/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 21, 2022
“And on this day, I hope that you students will remember, that your past twelve years here have not been in vain. Yes, you may have struggled, you may have cried, but there was laughter, there was joy, and above all, there were memories. Let us not forget each other, or that our school has played a vital role in your life.” Graduation. A day that didn’t feel real. Something that we had looked forward to since the day we had stepped into first grade, and now, twelve years later, the institution had spat us out, and we were well on our way towards college and adulthood and working life. “I hope that this springtime of your youth was well spent.” Youth. Springtime of youth. That was what adults always told us, that we were living our best years. But now, after graduation… Never again would we be young, and never again could we return to the days of our youth, those days filled with sunshine (I suppose we would add in that filter upon recalling fond memories of those days, for me it was mostly dreary and rainy), and never again would we be children. We were adults now, and we would be treated as such. The next time most of us would be standing here, being congratulated upon finishing school, would probably be in four years. Even then, would it still be empty words, blank papers, a feeling of wanting to sleep? They told us that high school graduation only happens once. We should savor it. And so I stood there with the rest of them, in what little shade we had, the golden leaves flying above as the trees swayed. Summer vacation was here…
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Consistency: 08/18/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 19, 2022
Mealtimes were never the same anymore. Sitting there alone at the kitchen counter, the lights off, his plate covered with dust, all he could hear was the clock going tick tock tick tock at an abysmally slow pace in the background. It seemed that an eternity would pass before he could remember to take another bite, and the he barely gave any effort to chew and swallow. It was all tasteless, everything was, and he wasn’t sure if he ate the same thing every day; he never paid attention when making it. Eating… Why did people eat? Such a waste of time, although he wouldn’t be doing much else with the rest of his day. Perhaps stare out of the window at the dreary scenery for a bit, or watch TV while his eyes glazed over. Maybe sleep, to try and dream himself out of this mess. Sometimes people came knocking but he ignored them, unless it was the mailman or his neighbor. Then he opened the door, and chatted for a while, to alleviate their fear that he was dead, or pick up a package that he didn’t remember ordering. Life went so slow, yet the days blurred together, and before he knew it the seasons passed and so did Christmas and springtime and the hotness of summer and he was still sitting at the kitchen counter, eating his plate of tasteless food. Some days he tried to imagine what it might be, but still it remained colorless in his eyes. He glanced over at the dining room, its doors having been closed for what seemed to be years. Was it worth living in this large house, all by himself? It wasn’t like he was tending to it either. God, where had all those people gone? He was now ever so lonely, even more so than before. He thought that they could all sit down together and share a nice meal, like a family, but now they were gone and there was blood on his hands. He hadn’t meant it, he swore. Things had just turned out this way. How this life was different from being dead, he didn’t know. But the sunset tonight, it was colorful, it was beautiful, all lit up in the sky. So he sat, and so he ate.
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Consistency: 08/16/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 17, 2022
“So what if I’m going to be sick forever? It’s only until I die.” She grinned, her face paler than the petals of the flowers outside. “Are you sad? Are you going to cry? You never cry, Ma-kun.” “Who said I was going to cry?” My cheeks burned. “No, it’s just - it’s just that—” “Just what?” She tilted her head, looking at me with those dark brown eyes of hers. I always wanted to look at them longer, but it might make her uncomfortable. So I always averted my gaze whenever she looked at me. “It’s just not fair!” The words burst out of my mouth before I could stop them. “It’s just not fair that out of everyone who is young and healthy, you have to be—” Tears stung my eyes, and I quickly wiped them away. I didn’t want her to see me cry. Not like this. But she took my hand, and still she smiled, and seemed ever more fragrant, blossoming, beneath the spring wind that caressed her hair from the open window. Spring, the season when everything was living, coming to life, but she was inching closer to death by the day… “It’s going to be all right, Ma-kun. As long as I take care of myself, and do as the doctor says, I should be fine. A little weaker, a little sicker, but I’ll be fine. Even if I go… One day, you’re going to look back, and realize that I was never that important to you. You’ll soon forget me, and then you’ll no longer be sad. You’re going to be fine, you hear me?” How could she say that? Forget her? Not be important to me? Never! No, she would remain in my mind forever, like those quickly fading flowers on the trees outside, here one day, gone the next, but their beauty would be imprinted on my soul for the rest of my life. And the difference was, they would come back every year, but she wouldn’t, once she left. I was crying, I was holding onto her hand and crying, but still she smiled, perhaps so that I would remember the most beautiful side of her.
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Consistency: 08/15/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 15, 2022
Every time I step outside, I’m hit in the face by something different. The first time was the blazing heat rays of the sun. The blast was so great that I thought that my face was going to be slapped off—or melted off, for that matter. My eyes were on fire, and I was forced to go about my day squinting like a little idiot who forgot his sunglasses. “It’s so dang hot,” I kept mumbling under my breath, sucking on my sixty-fourth ice pop. “How do people stand this heat?” And people were for sure muttering around me about how I was a very much not outdoorsy person. Well, by the time I returned home, I was fifty shades tanner than I was, and sun-burnt in places where I didn’t want to be burnt, which is to say any area of my skin. Screw the sun, that’s all I had to say. Time to retire to my air-conditioned room and not set foot out for another eternity. The next time I bothered to go outside (I ran out of cat food) I was immediately assaulted by a flying leaf. How strange, I thought as I picked it off my face. So large and brown and crisp and— Wait, it hadn’t gone bad, had it? Weren’t leaves supposed to be green? And there were so many leaves, everywhere I went, and they kept on dropping on my head and in the hood of my sweatshirt and my shopping bag and I couldn’t pick them out at all and there could be little bugs and I— “Having trouble, young man?” a grandpa asked, sitting outside of the convenience store. “Yeah,” I replied. “This is so dang annoying. Where do they keep coming from?” “Be thankful it isn’t raining caterpillars,” the old man replied, fufu-ing in a way that was about to piss me off. “Caterpillars?” “Yes, the fuzzy kind.” Ugh… On my way home I felt like there was something crawling on my neck the whole time. The next time, there was a literal blizzard. Yes. I’m not kidding. Snowflakes immediately covering my face and threatening to burn it off with the cold, and still I had to go and shovel the walkway. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The ground was only going to be covered again in a few minutes. When I got back inside my hair and clothes were covered in fast-melting snow, which was annoying because I had just put my clothes in the washing machine today. My sister laughed at me because I called it a blizzard. She said it was a normal day. I refuse to believe so. I guess, the last time was the nicest. Pink flower petals drifted through the air, obscuring my vision. The wind was warm, and the backpack felt a little lighter on my shoulders. A cute girl stood across the street from me, waving. “Yo, Honda-kun! Long time no see! Are you finally coming back to school?” “Yeah, I guess.” I held a palm up, catching one of the many flowers. “Is it always raining flowers?” She grinned. “Nice day, isn’t it? Come on, let’s walk to school together!” Maybe the outside wasn’t so bad after all.
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Consistency: 08/14/2022
In Discord Challenges
Quintessence
Aug 15, 2022
hehe thanks :3
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Quintessence

Quintessence

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