2018 WebToons List

Hello! This month’s posts and the last two month’s, for that matter, have been lacking as far as how often we post and the number of posts in general so today is gonna be a little more laidback of a topic. We’re going to look at some of my favorite webtoons I’m reading and I’m gonna be counting on you guys to let me know of any good webtoons you guys have found.

Gourmet Hound by Leehama

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The main character of Gourmet Hound has a Remy-like nose (the mouse from Ratatouille) and a mission rooted in her past. Her favorite restaurant from her childhood closed down and she’s on a quest to find the chef responsible for the special flavor from her past. As she goes on her quest, she comes face to face with the troubles that each of the chefs harbors. Overall, this webtoon is pretty lighthearted and fun and colorful — most of the characters even have a food name!

Miss Abbott and the Doctor by Maripaz Villar

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This webtoon is set in the Victorian Era although the author doesn’t hold themselves to the webtoon’s historical accuracy 100%. The story tells of a feisty, unconventional Miss Abbott and the rigid, traditional Doctor Marino and how they make peace with each other’s ways and attitudes and form a quirky relationship. Anything further than that is gonna spoil the story so I’ll stop right there. The webtoon is drawn in a sketchy style. The strongest point, I think, about this webtoon is in the range of characters in it and their personalities so no matter who you are, you’re going to be able to laugh and relate with the characters in this webtoon.

Phantom Paradise by Rurisen

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This webtoon is a mixture of messed-up stuff, magic and revenge which, when I think about it, is kind of what Black Butler is like so if you’re a fan of Ciel and Sebastian’s shenanigans, then this will be a good webtoon for you. The setting in this webtoon draws from Chinese culture, both from the harem system depicted to the style of clothing although of course, the author has taken some liberties in order to make this a proper fantasy. The traditional gender roles have also been reversed as it is the women in power. The story centers around a boy who enters phantom paradise as a candidate for the Empress’s newest batch of concubines and secretly plots to overthrow her to achieve revenge. This story is relatively new so I don’t really know what direction this story is going in but so far, the story seems pretty solid. If nothing else, the art in this webtoon is absolutely gorgeous.

I Don’t Want This Kind of Hero by samchon

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The reactions the main character makes in this webtoon is to die for.

This webtoon follows Naga around as he navigates his way around his morals as a working superhero. He wants nothing more than to be left alone but time and time again, he’s called on to use his power. His telekinetic and teleporting abilities don’t go unnoticed for long though, as he’s soon caught in the fight between an enigmatic, amoral group called Knife and his own department of supers. This webtoon is still unfinished and it has very fleshed out stories and some frustrating character arcs that really make everything feel pretty realistic. In its core, this webtoon is about duty vs self-preservation and the fight to maintain self an d keep to your principles when everyone else is urging you to give yourself up “for the greater cause”. More relatable though, is the feeling of a lack of control over what’s happening and an inability to do and not do what’s right.

The Daneman by David Daneman

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This is one of the most underrated webtoons on the platform. The author of this webtoon doesn’t use speech bubbles but rather the actions and environment of its characters to show a story. Oftentimes, it’s a joke or a pun but at other times, there are hidden meanings that require some thought to puzzle out. Either way, if you like creative storytelling, then you should check out The Daneman.

About Death by Sini/Hyeono

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About Death takes a good look at what it means to be alive and how death defines our lives. This is one of those deep, insightful webtoons that talks about what it is to be human. The webtoon features a number of characters as they each face death in their own ways and come into contact with the enigmatic character (above) who may or may not be God before passing on to the “next place”. There is one chapter that I do disagree with where it addresses abortion but otherwise, this is well worth a read, especially if you read it on a rainy afternoon like I did.

With that, happy reading and let me know about any webtoons you would recommend.

This is LtDemonLord out!

*Sidenote: In the light of recent events, there’s really not much we can contribute to the issues in debate so we’ve refrained from posting about them because that would be repetitive and entirely unhelpful for anyone looking for something insightful. However, thank you to all of you who sent in emails asking after us. We are all fine but the transition to a college student doesn’t leave us much time to write in general. We hope you understand.*

Writing Prompt: Storycatching

The point of this prompt is to make you reflect on the culture(s) that you belong to and be able to articulate your connections and your experiences within your culture(s). Since the culture that you’re part of ultimately helps shape the person you become, it is important to acknowledge its influences on your person.

The prompt is this:

Write a short essay detailing a culture you belong to. It can be the culture within a group of friends, the culture within a club or other organisation you belong to or it can be the wider culture within a nationality or ethnicity. Please include a picture representation of your culture. The picture could be of a place, an item or the people that represents your cultures.

This was my take on the prompt:

My culture is in the mini-Chinese cities all across the world. When I started school in the United States in the state of Arizona, the culture inside and outside my house was starkly contrasted. Outside was hostile, spoke English and somewhere that I obviously wasn’t wanted. Inside was calming, spoke Mandarin and the Fuzhou dialect, and full of soft, warm places to curl up and later on, to read books in.

However, I learned that this didn’t always have to be the case. While I slowly adjusted to the US and learned their language, I sought refuge in places that reminded me of the years spent with my grandparents in the verdant, rolling mountains of the Fujian province. In a place locked with concrete and pavement, I took refuge in the cultural empire that we had worldwide; the Chinatowns, the Chinese supermarkets and the food. In these places, I wasn’t the one lost and out of my element. Rather, those with khaki shorts and pastel T-shirts were the ones uncomfortable among the stacks of vegetables and fruits.

Here, there was dried cuttlefish, whole ginger root(gross), LaoGanMa’s special chili sauce, stinky tofu, a wall of seafood that aren’t filleted or boned and a much smaller section of meat products, no bacon, scarcely any sign of cheese or milk and aisles just for sauces ranging from the basic soy sauce to a myriad of cooking alcohol. However, it isn’t just about the ingredients you can buy; it’s also in the places you can go. Tea houses, especially those that have kept faithful to the taste back home, are highly sought after and often impossible to get into on the weekends. Other more adaptive businesses, often centered around boba tea, have sprung up wherever there are Asians, becoming somewhat like cultural Starbucks and attracting quite a lot of Westerners too.  Through these places and through the food that we share, I can find a little bit of home everywhere.

In all of the places I’ve lived, through five states and moving cross-country, there were strings to tie me back to those first years of my life, to the warm embrace and the familiar taste of meals surrounded by family.

Recent Introspections | Short Essays

Hello, everyone! Today’s post isn’t about the greater world, it will be about me. These two short essays were written for my UGA application, which was the last application I finished. I suppose you can use these as example essay for UGA’s writing portion of the application. So, this will be a bit of something to help understand me better– a memoir, if you will.

Essay #1:

The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself that you have not already shared in your application. Respond in 200-350 words.

I’ve once had a “near-death” experience involving some geese and an old, gnarly pine tree.

A mostly clear sky, a little breeze, the temperature at a balmy seventy-five degrees — a perfect spring day for climbing. Up through the crooked branches, one hand and foot at a time, I would often find my quiet place nestled among fragrant needles. There, the drudgeries of a too-ordinary life for a too-imaginative mind would fall away and I would be free to fancy myself as a character in whatever world I was currently immersed in. Only the slight stickiness of the tree’s numerous small wounds anchored me against the solid bark. It was a portal. Being neighbors, so to speak, I also had quite a few run-ins with geese around the area.

The geese were plentiful during the spring and they bring with them natural alarm clocks and fertiliser for everyone’s lawns. They also come to lay eggs and when a goose has little goslings, you better stay away or else a pecking is going to be the least of your problems.

So, on that day, I was up in the tree and it started raining. Just as I was about to hop down from the last branch, two parents and their gaggle of waddling children passed right underneath and decided to take shelter there. They noticed me but still didn’t move. It was a shock to me, I suppose, being stuck on that last branch as it began to rain harder and not knowing what to do. I don’t remember how I got down. I suppose I just jumped down and booked it before an angry mama geese had the chance to charge at me. Before I had the courage to jump, though, I stayed frozen on that last branch for what seemed like an eternity, torn between fear and urgency.

It is ironic now that I look back at it. Maybe it was a warning that whatever story I placed myself in, it isn’t the real world and that if I went too far, I might not be able to come back.

350 words

 

Essay #2:

For this essay, you had several prompts to choose from. Since I’m an artist and a writer, I chose to go with the creativity one.

Creativity is found in many forms including artistic avenues, intellectual pursuits, social interactions, innovative solutions, et cetera. Tell us how you express your creativity.

I am an artist and a writer. My chosen medium is a pencil. It only comes in one color but with a skillful hand, you can create many shades with it, enough to illustrate an entire world. With a pencil, just black squiggles, you can also write entire histories. When I’m bored, I created meaning. When I was bored, I created stories. When I was bored, I drew and wrote. This was what kept me going as a child when I didn’t know how to speak the language and was limited to staying at home and going to school and this has kept me going when I feel like I’m about to burst and not having somewhere to release.

In creating, whether it be characters or interpretative art pieces, I can give a little of myself to the real world and felt it as an affirmation of my existence because it was a manifestation of my thoughts. I think therefore I am. Books told me that I wasn’t alone in the thoughts I was having and that despite not knowing how to communicate efficiently, there were others that wrote like me and thought like me. Others that wished to create a world and develop meaning. I suppose what nurturing I missed from my family as a child was instead provided to me through the indirect sympathies of the characters that I read about. Creativity to me is something that drives me on because then I know I can affect the world permanently when I feel invisible.

When I write or draw, I try to create layers. Beyond syntax and grammar, there is subtext. Beyond lines and shadowing, there is interpretation. I try to tackle universal themes. I write about politics and history through the lens of a psychology student. I try to capture the underlying uncertainty of existence in my art. I try to present to people some sort of self-awareness because those were things I thought about a lot growing up in a low-stimulus environment. It’s a thank-you to those who came before me and I’m passing it on.

350 words

[A Repost] A Single Story | A TedTalk

As human beings, perspective is something that constantly limits us in our ability to understand the world and our ability to empathise with others who don’t have similar perspectives. In this TedTalk, the speaker Ms. Adichie details some stories in her life that led to false expectations and false realities in her own life. I think this is very relevant today when we are often blinded by “a single story”. In psychology, this is called the representative heuristic where the most available example of one thing is taken to represent the whole of that thing. This thing can be a race of people, it can be a place or it can even represent things like political and economic systems. When you only hear one perspective about a thing and it’s the only story you hear, then your knowledge is incomplete and you risk making serious mistakes based on your incomplete knowledge, one of which is your choice in what to vote for. Be informed and seek out sources besides news to inform your choices.

 

[Review] Top 5 WebToon Favorites

I don’t know how many of you guys read manga or manhwa but for those who do and want more reading material, there’s a site called Webtoon that is AWESOME!! The URL is simply webtoon.com and it’s so good!! The types of stories on there are usually really good (at least, the ones featured on the front page or the discover page) and the website/app (cuz they have both; I use the app more than the website) has a wide variety of genres that you can choose from. These are my favorite picks from Webtoon so far, let’s begin (in no particular order):

1. Doctor Frost (닥터 프로스트) by JongBeom Lee:

 

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The titular Dr. Frost

This series, in a nutshell, is about a bunny-eared clinical psychologist. Dr. Frost, the co-main character of this series, is a psychologist with a mysterious past. He became a professor at one of Korea’s best universities at a very young age. He is considered to be a prodigy in terms of diagnosing and treating mental “imbalances” within people he comes into contact with. The strangest thing about him, though, is that he is unable to really feel the full range of emotions most of his clients can. Not only does the series go into individual case studies of certain mental conditions, it also offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like on the psychologist’s side of things. It is written by someone who is certified in psychology and the author also has the expertise of specialists with whom he consults with so you can trust the information presented in this webtoon. The best forms of entertainment are also those whither you can gain knowledge and Doctor Frost is definitely one of them.

[Side Note: If anyone knows Korean, please help translate Season 3 of Doctor Frost to English. The Korean version of Season 3 has already been out for a while but no one’s translated it yet. T-T]

Click me to read Doctor Frost!

2. Annarasumanara (안나라수마나라) by Ilkwon Ha:

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“Do you believe in magic?”

The question is a philosophical one. Do you still believe in innocence? Do you still believe in dreams? Do you believe in fate or do you believe in creating your own path? Are you bound to someone else’s plan or are you in the middle of the flower field that you’ve created in your mind? This webtoon is beautiful not only in its message but also in its art. The author selectively drops color into his work which makes it all the more impactful when he does use color. The plot might be a bit slow at times but the finale was flawless. For the lost souls in this modern century, this will speak to your troubles and your heart.

Click me to read Annarasumanara!

3. Winter Woods by Cosmos/Van Ji:

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The man and his namesake

This is a twist on the classic Frankenstein story. The Creature, in this webtoon, is Winter. Since he is an artificial being without a heart, he does not age and hasn’t for over a century since his creation. In modern times, he meets with a certain red-haired girl and his quest for humanity begins. Contrary to the story of Frankenstein’s monster, Winter doesn’t have the hideous physique or the imposing stature. However, he is simple like a child and still has to learn the ways of life when he has been so accustomed with one of death. He meets many new friends, all of which have their own struggles and secrets, and he slowly works his way to becoming a real person. Although the story is listed under romance, it could qualify as a coming-of-age story as well. This is a story about a creature who slowly becomes alive as time and people melt the stagnancy around him.

Click me to read Winter Woods!

4. Nightmare Factory by Snailords (Mi’lord):

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One of Mi’lord’s masterful creations: Meet Kreyul

This is more light-hearted and more fantasy-like than the other entries on this list. The premise of this webtoon is that the main characters get trapped in the Nightmare Factory where, for the next 24 hours, they’re going to be faced with their biggest fears. If they fail, then the Game Master of the Factory will be entitled to 24 years of their lives. After that, the story gets a little crazy but the art is amazing and the characters are amazing. The author, Snailords aka Aidyn aka Mi’lord, also has another series that is complete called Snailogy where he basically uploaded comics that reflected his mindset and his life story. If you like fantasy stories with awesome art, check this one out.

Click me to read Nightmare Factory!

5. Knight Run (나이트런) by Sungmin Kim:

 

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Read Knight Run so that you can see more cool panels like this. Dutch angles for days~~~

Knight Run is one of those sci-fi series that has completely cut its ties to Earth. It is insanely futuristic (but more on the organic kind rather than the modernistic minimalism kind) and it heavily features combat as a plot driver. The premise to the story is the classic aliens-vs-humans battle on a massive scale. The characters are well-developed and the plot pacing is pretty good. The only thing that some people might be turned off by is the amount of actual reading you have to do (because reading webtoons apparently means having minimal text). In any case, the world-building that the author does is magnificent and it updates regularly so the series will last for a long time. There are multiple arcs within this series featuring different characters within each arc with only references to previous arcs so it’s like you’re seeing different sides and times in this specific universe. The series sort of reminds me of Ender’s Game in its tone and pacing and the alien battles are drawn to perfection and overall, I really enjoy the series even though it is one of the lesser-known ones because of the amount of reading you must do.

Click me to read Knight Run!

 

That’s all for today. Let me know if you use Webtoons and what series you would recommend. Like if you’ve been persuaded to read one of these series and follow for more of these sort of posts in the future.

This is Lieutenant and I’ll talk to you later.

[Side Note: None of the pictures on this post belongs to me. All credit goes to whomever it is due.]

 

[Update] ‘Locked Out of Heaven: A Novella’ is Launching

So… I decided to post my story after all. First chapter is going up today on another site that I’m made as a “subsite” of sorts. It’s called Outlet for Stories. I will post there on an irregular schedule but if you’re in the mood for stories, head on over there. There’s not going to be an official post today due to the fact that the scheduled post was supposed to be posted by Nemo today but due to technical issues, it is not available so we’ll just have to post this instead.

Here is the link to the Outlet for Stories: https://outletforstories.wordpress.com/

We are also still recruiting writers so we would appreciate it if you would just head on to here and sign up. 😉 Sorry for the missing post but I hope you enjoy the narrative I’m about to unfold. Locked Out of Heaven is officially launched!!

I’m Lieutenant and thank you for reading.

[Update] Should I Post a Whole Novel?

So, in addition to being a blogger blogging about random things, I used to write stories too. I wrote several stories but only one ever reached the length of a novel… Well, a novella at most. That is also my only finished story. It’s called Locked Out of Heaven and I have excerpts from it below. You guys lemme know if you want to read the whole thing.

It started as a 9th-grade writing assignment but I was unsatisfied with only one chapter so I kept writing. I finished it over a year later, in the summer after sophomore year. Needless to say, it kind of sucks. I wasn’t a good writer then and I’m still not a good writer now. This isn’t the kind of genre I would usually choose but I made do. In any case, read it and tell me if you think it would be worth your time to read the whole thing. The book is 23 chapters long with a total of 30K+ words. If anything else, it could serve as inspiration for those who aspire to be writers because they’ll get to see that someone else (me) could write and finish this sort of story without dying from cringe attacks and still publish it for others to see (I did put this story and all my other stories on Wattpad and Quotev, not that a lot of people actually read it).

Warning: There is swearing. There’s also the ongoing theme of death and depression. Beware of cringe attacks as well. I also have names of guns in there that I know nothing about. So…. yeah Also, minor spoilers.

 

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6:

His heart was in a flurry. It’s funny how just the thought of her sent his heart beating. He looked around his apartment frantically, trying to think of something he might have missed. His eyes caught on the mirror hanging by the entrance and he rushed up to it. A few hairs have gotten out of place since he last checked. He let out a frustrated “Aaaargh!” That was just two minutes ago.

Roberto willed his hands to stay by his side. He slowly walked to his couch and threw himself down. A muffled groan issued from the pillow under his face. He turned over and closed his eyes.

“Stop it. Stop… it…” His mind lost the fight against his heart, who continued beating as hard as it had been. His face in the mirror had been flushed and his pupils were dilated. Before he gets mistaken as a stoner, he needs to calm the fuck down.

His mind conjured up a picture of Cal. “Breathe in. Breathe out. Breath in…” His eyes shot open and he threw a pillow at a pigeon outside the window. The pillow hit the window pane and fell miserably onto the floor. The bird cooed and ruffled his feathers, unimpressed.

Roberto hid his face in his hands. “This is so… stupid.” Thinking of Cal made him think of tea and incense. He wished he was with Cal now. Cal would laugh at him. Roberto blushed. Yes. That sounded like Cal. A giggle sounded in the silence. Roberto stiffened, surprised, but the giggle turned into a paroxysm of body-shaking laughter. The pigeon outside swiveled its head at the sound of Roberto’s giggle and when the torrent of laughter hit him, gave a coo of alarm and swiftly took to the skies.

Finally, the giddy feeling passed and Roberto laid exhausted from his outburst. He put a hand over his heart. It was still racing as fast as it had been. But this time, he smiled instead. It’s going to be alright.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 12:

He is a mess again. He managed to make it to his apartment without any trouble, but once he locked the door behind him, the reckless urge to forget everything came back to him. He got halfway through a bottle before he stopped himself and poured the rest down the sink. He sat in misery for the next several hours, feeling the floor next to him for the phantom bottle and realizing it wasn’t there. The alcohol was enough to make him slightly woozy but kept him hot enough so that he couldn’t sleep. But eventually, he drifted off.

And the dreams came. Distorted faces crying, screaming and then still, in death. A ghost flitted by the edge of his vision, something with green-blue eyes. The words thank you floated around him, but no matter which way he turned, he couldn’t tell which of the tortured faces said it. And then, for a moment, everything faded to black. That’s when the ringing started. He’s running in the maze again, trying to find the source of the ringing. This time, he couldn’t find his way out. And the ringing kept becoming fainter no matter how much he ran. And then, it faded away entirely. Roberto stopped, panicked, turning around in circles, searching. But it was gone.

The walls around him disappeared and he’s standing over Ashton’s body. Ashton’s eyes were open. Roberto was standing by his feet. Strangely enough, he didn’t feel anything. He took in every detail; Ashton’s red Converse, his denim jacket, the Chicago Cubs baseball cap. All splattered in brilliant red. Roberto moved to close Ashton’s eyes, but a thorny vine closed around his fingers. A thorn broke into his skin and blood welled up. But his blood wasn’t red. It was dark blue. On Ashton’s chest, a bush of red roses had grown from his blood, but upon contact with Roberto’s, they withered and turned into violet buds. Buds that bloomed and revealed mouths of sharp teeth. As the thorn lapped up more blood, the corrupted rose bush began to grow fruit. Little, round, red fruit. And they only grew bigger and heavier, bending the branches that they grew on. Mesmerized, Roberto plucked the biggest fruit and put it into his mouth and bit down.

Roberto’s eyes flew open. The taste of blood was in his mouth, lingering after his dream. The dream was already a distant memory. Then, he realized the blood was actually in his mouth and he had bitten through his lower lip. He reached up to dab at his lip. To his relief, his finger came away red. The sky was lightening up outside. He had slept through the night. He shook his head and headed to the bathroom. A long shower would help clear his mind.

And hide his tears.

….

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15:

Roberto jumped when the windows started rattling. The wind seemed to slam into the windows with a vengeance. Then, the howling started. The pitch of the sound rose and fell. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was in a city, he would’ve thought it was wolves. He shook his head. Looking out the window, past the fire escape, all he could see was the straight-edged silhouettes of buildings with occasional glimpses of dim streetlights surrounded by a sea of darkness, or maybe that was just because of all the dirt on the window panes. It was all too easy for the childhood monsters to come back. Wait.

Roberto went up to the window and tried to open it. Years of rust had sealed the window shut. What could he use? He looked around, but nothing looked like it could wrench a window open. He took off his jacket and holding it in front of his face and chest, he kicked the window pane. It didn’t break. The window didn’t as much as crack. He cursed. Of course, a window in a mental hospital wasn’t going to break easily. He tried again, aiming for the same spot. Nothing. When a third try didn’t yield anything different, he slumped back against the wall, ankle throbbing.

If only he could reach the fire escape outside. His hand fell to his pocket and closed around Ashton’s key. He sat there. A cold feeling seeped through him. Had he failed? An annoying lump was pressing up against his leg and he reached down to adjust his- He stopped. Goddammit, he was stupid.

He has two goddamn guns on him and he tried using his foot to break through the motherfucking glass.

He took out his Colt Mustang and emptied a cartridge into the window pane. It was almost too easy. Wiping the windowsill with his jacket, he made sure that all the glass shards were all the floor and then, he was on the fire escape. He looked up. The fire escape, though old, was kept in relatively good repair. So that’s how Kyerstan managed to disappear. He tightened his grip on his gun and ascended. As the wind howled around him, tearing straight through his jacket, he hardened his heart into ice. He would do what he came to do.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 16:

She drew a shuddering breath. “I knew how he was, he was famous for it, but I was still drawn in. Then, a month later, I heard of an intruder and when I got there… There he was.” She reached out like she could see him. “Even then, I still couldn’t get his heart.” She laughed, full of bitterness. She clutched her bullet wound. It should hurt, laughing like that, but she kept going. Eventually, the laugh turned into quiet sobs. She curled up into a fetal position, whimpering.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 21:

He broke out of darkness onto the roof of the apartment and turned around, readying himself for an attack. Galen stepped into the sunlight, Desert Eagle in hand. Roberto noted that the safety was off.

“I thought you were dead.”

Galen smirked, an expression that was horribly alien to his face. “Too bad, huh?”

“Did you… did you see them?” The blood, the bodies and the smell of death. Did you see what I saw? Do you blame me? Was it my fault?

Galen brought his gun up and Roberto was looking into the barrel that could be his death. “Do you want to follow them?”

In response, Roberto stepped back as if that small increase in distance could save him from the possibility of those words.

“I see. Then we have nothing else to talk about.” Galen turned and started towards the stairs. Shame added to the ranks of guilt and Roberto found himself needing release from their suffocating accusations.

“Wait!”

And finally, an excerpt from Chapter 22:

A gunshot.

Roberto heard it and started to run. Down the stairs and away from there. He half-stumbled, half-fell down the stairs, his concussion reminding him that it was still there. Somewhere, a police siren turned a corner and came really close. That sound filled him with panic. Images surfaced in his mind. All the bodies. The piles of corpses and the smell of death. All those empty eyes. [Missing sentence because of major spoiler]

Something licked at his heels and Roberto looked back, still running. A flood of blood rushed towards him, threatening to swallow him in his past. And so, he fled to the only place he knew to be untouched by the cruelty of the world.

He’s a little boy again. Running from the older boys. From the big scary dog. From the old man telling him that he was his father.

To that little shack in the midst of the mud and filth with a tray of tea waiting for him.

So comment or like if you think this could potentially be interesting. Or PM me. Maybe I’ll post it anyway just cuz. I do have to say though, that the story does get marginally better the more you read because I did improve my style in the year that I spent working on it. I also have other stories I want to post that are way better but they’re not complete and I’m not sure if I’m ever to going to complete them. Besides, Outlet isn’t for stories… jk it’s for whatever I want it to be for but if I’m really going to start uploading my stories, I should make a subdomain for Outlet just for my stories. So… yeah– just let me know what you guys think.

In any case, this is Lieutenant and I’ll talk to you later.

Story Starter: It Becomes You

“I’m sorry, what?” Kris looked at her incredulously.

“I said, have you checked her history.”

Kris threw his hands up. “Of course– who do you think we–”

Cari held up her hand. “How far did you go back?”

“What? What are you getting at? We got everything.” He gestured to the computer screen in front of him. A picture of a stern, middle-aged woman stared out at them, surrounded by the details of her life story.

Horatio came over and leaned over Kris’s computer. “Yeah, Cari. What are you talking about? We got all the files that were available on her. We even got her psych eval, her school records and bank statements. Everything down to a gnat’s eyebrow. What else is missing?”

Cari breathed out harshly and leaned back. “Horatio, you should know than people often don’t fit the profile they’re given. We’ve been thinking about this all wrong.”

Horatio shrugged. “I don’t see how you can refute hard evidence.”

“No, I’m not saying she’s not behind this but we need a motive and an effective psychoanalysis to know her next moves.”

Kris rubbed his hand over his face. “We already know her next move. She’s a serial killer with a very particular type. We’ve got people on all potential victims and we’re taking all possible precautions.”

“Besides the exaggerated statements about our level of preparedness,” said Horatio, “I agree.”

“What is her motive? It’s not to satisfy any sort of sadistic tendencies. She’s not a psychopath. She’s not mentally unstable. She’s not crazy. She plans her moves. She has an astounding capability to adapt and improvise. Her killing is brutal but it surprisingly quick and clean. She’s perfectly sane and reasonable. So why these horrendous crimes?”

Horatio nods. “She even managed to escape you.”

Cari jabbed a finger a Horatio, her eyes taking on its characteristic excitement in the prospects of a revelation.

“Exactly! There’s also one crucial point that we failed to consider.”

Kris threw up his hands. “And what is that?”

“Why are we, the unit for international investigations, put on this case without having the local forces go through it first? We thought that it was because this case is top-priority and that the local forces didn’t have the resources to deal with it but remember what Janus told us in our first meeting.”

Horatio stood up straighter and quoted, “‘This is not a normal case. A lot of lives are at stake. A lot of lives can be ruined. Do not fail us. We need her rendered inoperational.'”

Cari nodded. “‘Inoperational.‘”

Horatio nodded slowly. “Not dead, or locked up. Inoperational.”

Kris slammed his laptop shut. “What the hell are you two talking about? This is no time to be making conspiracy theories. You know what happened to the last person who went above his pay grade.”

Horatio shook his head, “They put us on the case. We know her life details and we know the case. If there is something else there, we need to find out to catch her. What Cari said is true. While technically everything in her file has matched up to what we found out for ourselves, it’s like the person in the file and the person we’re trying to catch are two different people. Without whatever that crucial last piece is, we won’t solve this case. Either way, our fate has been decided for us when HQ decided to assign us to investigate.”

Horatio turned to Cari. “However, I still don’t know what you’re getting at.”

Cari chewed her lips. “It’s an incomplete thought. We know her patterns of movement and we can reasonably predict what she does. However, because we don’t know why she’s doing this, if she decides to change her agenda, we’ll only know after the fact.”

“And she’s already done so several times,” Horatio added.

Kris scoffed. “What, you think she’s an assassin or something?”

Cari snapped her fingers. “That’s exactly what I think. We’ve been barred from using any sort of lethal force in this case. The excuse given is the potential collateral damage that could be done if we do go in with guns and vans. They also want everything to be quiet and be handled through local forces with us organising the investigation and handling the brainwork. They said they need to show the public results so they want the police force that she’s eluded all these years to make the arrest. They want her to have a public trial and then get sent off to a maxsec prison far away. What they want isn’t her head. They want to incapacitate her at which point, they want her to be brought to them for whatever purpose they’ve planned for her.”

“So she’s either rogue or an enemy,” Horatio said, grabbing Kris’s laptop despite the blond man’s protests and opening up a new search.  “Where do we start? We need a name, clients, affiliation, skills and any known background.”

“So you just invalidated everything we know about this woman, right? Do we have to start over? Does that mean HQ lied to us when they sent us her case file?” Kris rubbed the bridge of his nose, looking defeated and tired.

Horatio turned to look at Cari. Cari shook her head. “No. We’ve been thinking of this backwards. She’s not a killer because she’s an assassin. She’s an assassin because she’s a killer. This is why there’s a discrepancy between her earlier crimes and her recent ones. Her movements have been as visible as they’ve always ever been but she’s much more efficient, more skillful and her hunting grounds, so to speak, as expanded beyond her acquaintances and her social circle.”

Horatio’s hand twitched and clenched over the keyboard of the computer. “She now has access to more resources.”

“Yes. She has a sponsor now. That’s why we can’t catch her. That’s why HQ has tied our hands. Render her inoperational.” Cari leaned over the table, looking first at Kris, then Horatio. Both of them recognise the look in her eyes. Hooded and with an expanded pupil, filled with the excitement of the chase. They both shivered and mentally prepared for a long night ahead.


So if you guys didn’t catch my drift earlier, I was talking about the fact that whoever the killer is was originally a serial killer and then became professional after being recruited by someone.
That’s all for today. I’m Lieutenant and if you like what you just read, click that like button and follow for more. Also, please consider making a contribution to Outlet on our Patreon page and leave us your comments and suggestions below. I’ll talk to you later.

Story Starter: The Invisible Man

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Click.

“Hello?”

“I am invisible.”, came the passcode.

His pulse quickened, “Simply because people refuse to see me.”

“It’s done.”

“Yeah?”

“I hope I get a break after this.”

A sigh. “You know how it is.”

“I know.” A pause. “It’s part of the job after all.”

No answer. The line goes dead.

He stayed leaning back in his chair for a while more, contemplating the flashing red light on his telephone. The chair creaked as he stood up. He faced the concrete jungle outside of the bulletproof and soundproof glass of his office. His hand twitched. He wanted to throw something. He’d succeeded. Then why? Because he wasn’t special enough to be the one to disappear, that’s why.

A sudden thrill ran up his spine. He’s invisible right now. Nobody could see or hear him. He made sure of that. His office is almost impenetrable and impossible to bug. Nobody knows where he is. Not even Red, who just called him. They’ve never met and certainly didn’t where the other is. To Red, he was just a voice over the phone, occasionally giving him a purpose and the money to fulfill that purpose. A disembodied voice. He shivered, letting himself get taken over by that exhilarating thought.

On second thought, he was hungry and he had planned to go home after he got the report from Red. He’d promised his wife to come home tonight. He glanced down at the file on his desk. A pale, tired-looking man stared back at him. Hmph. With a flaming head like his, he must be hard to forget. He opened a drawer and pulled out a stamp. He stamped the file on his desk with a vengeance. Then, placing the file into the out bin, he collected his things and left the office. On the cover of the file were the letters: MIA.


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Shoutout to Flash365: The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Check out Flash365’s blog if you like what you see!

I remember the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t remember when. I don’t remember why. I do remember where; Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There was a girl. We met in Maine. We met again two years later in Massachusetts. She moved to Minnesota in that phase after a first kiss when colors vibrate and whistle tunes.

I worked two jobs for two months. I bought a flight to Minneapolis. I told her I loved her. She took me to a rave with her friends. It was a Friday. The music was loud, so loud it made my bones ache. I sat in a corner drawing cartoons on coasters. She danced. I left for a cigarette. It was cold; late fall, maybe. The lights were on in a bar across the street.

I don’t remember crossing the road. I remember sitting at the bar. It was light there. The bartender made me a gin and tonic; fast, cheap and watered down, with a dry lime.

A musician with a rag of hair in green sunglasses played cover-tunes on a corner-platform.

A man made of cut-off sleeves of old T-shirts and unwashed beer cans stumbled around on the floor. He cried out the words to “Sweet Caroline.” He sounded like a lost child in the grocery store. All of him danced. His fingers played two guitars, his feet stepped on two different sets of phantom toes and his eyes did the waltz. He was the happiest man in the world.

Then a sound broke through the music. A sound that would make you run, alone in the woods. A woman, made entirely of week old bread and wet ash-trays leapt onto the floor. She had a mole on her left temple. She stumbled into the man. Her wild hair met his camouflage hat and fell in love. They regained their composure and fell into a bestial jig. She fell left, him right. They complimented each other like yin and yang in a blender.

I watched as they both howled out “Bap-Bap-Bah!” into the air. The man in green sunglasses upped his game. He played louder, sang harder. People in the bar began to clap. I did too, forgetting my gin and tonic. The pair on the floor swung each other around. The man dipped the woman and dropped her on her ass. She wriggled around on the ground. The man stood above her shaking his butt, lower, and lower. She spanked it. He howled. He turned and pulled her up off the ground. They both came in close, singing into each other’s invisible microphones. Then, they spread their arms wide as the last verse died, their pot bellies kissing for the first and last time.

The song ended. The bar cheered. The man and woman high-fived. The woman went back to her table of friends. The man slumped into a nearby booth.

Someone touched my arm. The girl I was there to see looked at the scene, then at me.

“What are you doing in here?” she asked.

I opened my mouth. I closed it. She grabbed me by the hand and dragged me out of the bar. I stared across the street at the concert hall. A hoard of high-heels and hair-gel are smoking outside of it.

“You go ahead. I’ll be in soon,” I told her. She shrugged and dashed off. I sat down on the curb and lit a cigarette. I took a breath and began to cry.

Source: The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen