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10th Day: Repentance[]

(I would be particularly grateful for all your feedback on A: how many of you can pick the actual happening of the story from the currently pretty inadequate subtext (trying to make this a micropasta lead to a lot of cut corners) and B: any advice on how to balance out the red-herrings with the truth in a way that makes neither too obvious. Thanks all!)

We faced each other on her bed… I was there again, and it was still the last fucking place I wanted to be.

"Cassie, please…" I sobbed. I sobbed again, "This is fucking blackmail! I… how much more do you want from me? I… I admit it! I admit it, ok? I was wrong! I was so, so wrong! But please! Please stop torturing me…"

She slapped me. Hard.

"Boring! Shut up, dorkface! I mean, unless you want everyone to know what you did… like, if that's what you want, then go for it."

It'd always frightened me when I heard that growl of hers, like my mere existence insulted her. She was a gremlin of a girl, her shaggy dark mahogany hair pulled back in that jagged little ponytail. All she wore was a twelve-sided dice dangling from a choker; that, and overalls, all studded with pins for some RPG or another.

"But... I..."

"How long have I listened to your crap for? Ten days? Buuuuut you don't get ten days of bitching for free, so yeah!" Her tongue... it broke through her up-kinked lips; it was way too slow a gesture to be anything but heinous. "Welp. Guess it's time to pay up again. Teehee!"

She crept towards me, an all-fours crawl, her face for all the world like the cat that got the cream.

How?

How to get away? How to comprehend my... my corruption? How... how...

I shrunk back; I wanted to shrink away from myself. "How the fuck did I get here?"

"God; we both know that already, dorkface." She was already bored again, bored as always, idly bouncing where she sat. "Remember? You driving me home, reeking of booze..."

"I only drink when you're around!"

"Whoop-de-doo, so you have a problem with me; guess somebody takes after his father."

"I..." my face blazed red, was it rage or utter shame. "I would never hurt you! And anyway; he's gone now! You don't have to..."

"Heh! Anyhoozles. Remember drunk-driving me home again from another fucking therapy bitch-sesh? Or was it from uni? Whatever. Soooo fucking boring. And then it got waaaaaay less boring when you..."

""Me"? Youre the one who kept needling me! You coerced... no, wait! You forced me into this! I..."

"Well, 'scuse you... who let it happen? And who buried all the clothes and blood and crap? See? Gotcha! Teehee!"

It didn't matter anymore; no matter how desperately I wished a universe in which I could just press 'undo', this wasn't it for me. Me. I couldn't outrun myself. I couldn't curl up on myself like a pillbug as my tormentor... my inner punishment, even shriller in my head than Cassie's torture...

Cassie.

Oh god. How had it gotten to this? How was she the only one who knew me anymore? Even as she poisoned me against myself, she knew...

"I... nobody can find out about we... what I let happen, Cassie!"

""Let happen"? Hmph! Well, screw you, if you know what I..."

"Fuck! It doesn't matter! I buried everything because nobody can find out! I can't do this anymore! Who going to watch your back... who the fuck's going to... I'm the one who gets you to study! I get you to your appointments! Your food! You have no idea, do you? And... and... I'm the one who'll have failed you if I'm caught! I failed you! I'm so, so sorry! I..."

She sighed. My existence was such a pain.

"C'mon, Buddy; critical hit me or something. Bored. Bored! Haven't been this bored since you-know-who was outta the picture..."

"Don't ever bring Dad up again; he's not an excuse!" I couldn't even cry anymore, after ten days in Cassie's room, but my throat still begged and croaked and spasmed. "But... but... it's the news, Cassie! Every article I see... for a second, I see my name there! My sin! What we… what I did! And every siren, every revving engine, every car pulling up outside... and the dogs... oh-god-oh-god-oh-god!"

God! Oh god! She was inching closer!

Fingernails in my flesh... legs around my waist...

All I had left was the ability to beg. "Please! Please just… I know! I'll run away! Vanish! Maybe I'll do better next time, if you..."

Her hand clamped my mouth shut. Her left hand, that is. The right one... suddenly, a gritty nausea swilled in my chest.

Retribution.

Whatever she inflicted on me was total and utter retribution. Inevitable. Harsh. Right.

Cassie growled. ""Better"? Hmph. Should've thought about that beforehand, dorkface. Should've, y'know, "done the right thing", or whatever the fuck you keep nagging and nagging and fucking nagging me to death about? God. You always were a snooze. Couldn't even make me, like, not-bored for one fucking second, could you? It's great to put you in your place."

If I could just back away... if I could just...

Wait.

"After all I've done for you? "In my place"? Shove it up your ass!"

"Teehee!" A single bead of saliva tipped her tongue. "That's kinda the point here, buddy. Anyhoozles. Time to pay up…"

For a moment, there was blood, foul and warm; her mouth fell open as it trickled down her leg. "Oh! Fuck! It's... crap! I think… huh. I'm not bored anymore! Never knew you had it in you, Buddy.'

Some detached part of me, floating woozily above the adrenaline and pain, knew that I deserved every second of this.

"Cassie, stop. Stop. This isn't you… I'll tell on you."

Her mocking perversion of pity... her utter scorn... she stuck her tongue out at me. "It's cute, y'know? It's not like anyone would ever believe you. And they shouldn't! 'Cos you... well... if you told on me, that'd ruin me too, y'know? Could you bear that? Could you reeeeally? All that looking out for me, and I... ah!" A gasp shuddered out from her, fresh blood and so much else overwhelming her as much as me. "Hmph. Look what you made me do, dorkface. Whatever. At least you're not so fucking boring like this..."

At least?

At least?

No.

I hung my head as I gave in.

There was no "at least". Not for me. Not anymore. I'd failed her at every chance, and everything here was... was... it was so fucking simple. No superlatives or exaggerations could capture that I was a terrible, terrible person. The fact I realized this... the yawning dread that ate me... Cassie was the lucky one here. She didn't know. She'd never understood, no matter what I'd offered her all this time. But I knew my sins, inside and out. I knew that, even if we outran the law, there was no escaping the harshest judge of all...

And then...

A voice! A woman's voice! A knock on the door! I opened my...

No.

Cassie's hand was in my mouth again, choking me, utterly stifling.

That voice...

"Cassie, sweetie," it trilled. "Do you have a friend with you? How lovely! Hmmm... by the way, have you seen your brother anywhere?"

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Hypirey (Article Comment archive)[]

I am entirely unsure of what is supposed to be NSFW about this pasta. The warning at the top suggests some graphic content but the story itself has minimal levels of graphic scenes, the most notable of which just involves a bit of blood. The premise is that the girl is torturing the boy after they killed the girl's brother and covered it up but there is not a lot of substance to the story as a whole.

I don't know if this was posted on the Writer's Workshop first but it should have been because in it's present form I don't really see many themes of horror being explored beyond a superficial graze. The overuse of cringey mock-teen lingo is also pretty bad and makes the story seem like it was written to portray an edgy antagonist without putting in the effort to actually write a good one.

Lastly, you... don't... need... so... many... ellipses... the... brain... starts... to... just... skip... past... them... rather... than... building... more... tension...

Hypirey (talk) 17:44, 23 October 2023 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback; tough but definitely fair! I might well end up doing a considerable revision of this one; it was originally intended to be a Micropasta, hence why a lot of the subtext was severely glossed over... (wait, another ellipsis; my bad). I do tend to have a bad habit of slightly prioritising the kinds of characters I enjoy over the events of a story when the issue arises, meaning that I probably prioritised the characters' back and forth where I could've spent more time focusing on the actual happenings.
However, I will say this much in the story's defence (though I could certainly have made it clearer); nobody was actually killed. The idea behind it was that, for much of the narrative, that's exactly what the reader would assume, while still thinking the language around the incident was strangely noncommittal. The burial of that very specific evidence (clothes, but not a body), the nature of the torture, the narrator's inescapable and utterly rampant guilt (that was my main "horror" here, the concept of the very worst punishment being the inescapable punishment of one's own remorse, living with the realisation that one has become irreversibly corrupted), and some of the seemingly throwaway lines (especially that last one) were supposed to convey what I personally consider to be a conceptually very NSFW truth at the heart of the matter. Let's just say that Cassie's brother is a lot closer to home, narratively speaking, than probably came through in the final draft...
Sorry about the mini-essay there; I genuinely would like to know your thoughts on how specifically to make the murder red-herring less opaque, but without ruining the final sentence's twist (while also making it more obvious what the truth of the story was)? Any specific areas you feel I could have made the reader realise that there was no murder, and been much less coy with the truth?
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Backw**ds R*dacted (talkcontribs).
I don't think that focusing on the characters is a bad thing but there is a balance to strike between character development and plot development. You have the bones for something interesting here but you would need to drop more clues as to what all of this conversation is revolving around. The twist at the end definitely seems to indicate that a murder took place but if that is not the case then I would suggest giving the reader more information about what has actually transpired.
If there is nothing strictly NSFW here (e.g. graphic scenes) then I don't think that the NSFW category really fits for this entry. Also, when writing with a rich-text editor (e.g. ms word) it is important to convert it to something plain-text based before posting to the wiki so that the characterset aligns with what is expected on the wiki. For examples of what I mean you can check the edit diff to see what I removed/replaced.
Hypirey (talk) 17:44, 23 October 2023 (UTC)
Ahhh right; thank you very much for the feedback/suggestions; I'll set to work on the rejig tomorrow! Definitely need to make use of the Writers Workshop a little more, it seems; I don't tend to put my horror work out there as much as my coming of age and philosophical works, so learning from the older horror hands is great!
And yep, you picked it; I wrote it in Word, originally. I'll make sure to put the revisions straight into the editor here. Thanks very much again, and hopefully the next version will make you proud!
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Backw**ds R*dacted (talkcontribs).
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