You open the test booklet. The first page is formulas. The second page is formulas. They’re all formulas. You can’t find the questions. Everyone around you is diligently working. You flip through the booklet but all of it is formulas. They consume you.
“Close your booklet and stop working.” Pencils sound as they hit the desk. Time is called. Time doesn’t answer. Where is it? It is lost. You are all lost.
You are told to seal the multiple choice question booklet. The white labels don’t fit properly in the designated sections. None of this fits. You may never discuss these questions. They no longer exist. They never existed. Ryan tried to fight back. They drag him away. Ryan never existed either.
The test references AP students in it. Haha. The test is very funny. Laugh. College Board wants you to laugh. College Board just wants to be friends. College Board is very friendly. College Board beckons you closer. Closer. They are very funny. L A U G H
You may only use black or blue ink. Your pen breaks. The ink spills everywhere. Milky black liquid falls over everything you knew and loved. The College Board confiscates it. “How can we accurately assess your skills without gathering all your materials?” They smile. You never noticed they had so many teeth before.
The proctor reads the instructions and you begin writing. The proctors circle you. They lean over your test and make disapproving noises. They are hunting. They pick out the weak. You will be next.
• the time passes so quickly yet so slowly. it’s been a week, it’s been months, it’s been years. you do not age. nobody ages. the children don’t grow up. you start forgetting everything about your life before. you live here. you’ve always lived here.
• when it rains, you hear strange faraway howls and screams that fill you with primal terror. you never stay outside for long on rainy days.
• your crops grow within days. you plant seeds in the ground. ten days later, the fields are overgrown with corn.
• you find things when you dig in the dirt. roots, clay, stone. books. skulls that don’t look like they belong to any animal you know.
• there are only two channels on tv. the weather and the fortune teller. it doesn’t matter when you turn it on, the weather program is only just starting. “it will be sunny tomorrow” the weatherman says with empty eyes and a too-wide smile. you flip to the fortune teller’s channel. “the spirits are in a bad mood today” she says, “be careful”. you shiver, and decide not to go to the mines today.
• have you always been so strong? you can chop down a tree in minutes and you can carry hundreds of stones in your backpack.
• you wake up at exactly 6 every morning. you can’t wake up earlier, or later.
• sometimes your scarecrows are not planted where they were yesterday.
• you hear whispers in the old community center. you can almost see something indiscernable out of the corner of your eye. you bring offerings, hoping to appease the spirits. • today it’s winter. you swear two days ago it was summer.
• the berries you found in the woods have a strange metallic taste. their juices stain your mouth red. you keep eating them anyway.
• nobody ages. nobody ages. nobody ages. what year is it?
• you keep bringing offerings in the old community center. honey, milk, wine, peaches, dead animals. there are never enough offerings.
• the fruit bats that live in the small cave near your house leave fruit for you. they bring you out of season fruit, exotic fruit, fruit that comes from halfway across the world, fruit that you’ve never seen before.
• the wizard granted you the power to understand the spirits that live in the old community center. now you wish he hadn’t.
• every night when you get home, you lock the door and close the windows. every morning when you wake up, your cat is somehow inside the house.
• the train passes through stardew valley sometimes, but never stops. you can hear howls coming from it.
• you try talking to the people in the village, but they always seem to be repeating the same things. “do you have any blueberries?”, asks lewis for the 14th time this month.
• there are things in the mines. don’t go into the mines.
• “we’re insulated from the rest of the world here” says demetrius. now that you think of it, you have never received a letter or a phone call from the outside world. is there even an outside world?
• there is a bath house, north of the town. there is never anyone there, but the electricity works and the water runs. when you enter the locker room, there is a bathing suit just your size waiting for you. the water in the big bath is milky. you can’t see the bottom. you enter it anyway. when you exit, you feel happy and energised. you have nothing to worry about. come back soon!
• the bus to calico desert is out of service. the road to calico desert is out of service. do not go to calico desert. do not ask about calico desert. do no think about calico desert. there is no calico desert.
• you are out late at night, gathering berries. at exactly two am, something knocks you out. you wake up in your bed the following morning. don’t think about it. go to sleep.
• you try staying up past two am the following night, only to be knocked out again. go to sleep. go to sleep. go to sleep.
• you have been here for a couple of weeks, or maybe for decades. nothing changes. you can’t die. you can’t die. you can’t die.
You are learning addition. You blink. There is differential calculus written on the whiteboard. The longer you stare, the less it looks like numbers. The sky is a different color than when you closed your eyes.
Your final grade has not been posted yet. It has been two days. Your final grade has not been posted yet. It has been a month. Your final grade has not been posted yet. It has been a year. Your final grade has not been posted yet.
You look at the posted list of required math credits for your major. It is not written in english. It is not written in any language you know. It is not written in any language you don’t know. You close the list of required math credits before it can look back.
You cannot remember a time before your 8 AM. You leave the auditorium only to find yourself back in the auditorium. It is time for class.
You have had the same advisor your entire college career. Every time you see him, he has more teeth. Eventually, you stop seeing your academic advisor. He still sees you.
Students that go to look through the reference section of the library return different. The unlucky ones don’t return at all.
You go to a school of 20,000 students. You see the same 10 individuals at random points on campus every day. There are 19,989 other students. You’re not sure if you want to know where they are.
People are screaming in your dorm. People are always screaming in your dorm. “Somebody must be going out partying,” your roommate says. You both know that isn’t true.
You have a paper due in four days. You never finish it. The deadline never draws any closer. You have a paper due in four days.
A man sitting alone on the snowy, empty quad tells you that you will die in exactly 47 minutes. You walk away. You glance back, from a distance, and see only your footprints. You walk faster.
The squirrels fear no one. You do not make eye contact with the squirrels. They grow bolder every year, graduating from stealing trash to stealing food off of your plate. You shudder to think what they will steal next.
There is always someone in the study room. You have never seen them leave. It is always the same person. You have never seen them anywhere else.
Greek Town gets larger every time you pass it. There are houses with letters that aren’t in any alphabet you know. The residents have hollow eyes. A baby emerald sleeps here. You don’t know what it means. You don’t think you want to know.
- there is no grid system in boston. every street is a circle. you miss your turn and try to double back, but the asphalt is giving way to cobblestone. you can hear muskets just ahead.
- boston common always closes at 9pm. it locks from the inside.
- you walk out of mike’s pastry in the north end and the streets are deserted. there’s a rumbling beneath your feet. it smells like molasses.
- every time you crane your head to peek down the dark subway tunnel for the train, you can see two bright pinpricks of light in the distance. they’ve been there for 30 years, watching. you look away and try not to breathe.
- they’re always trying to fill the pot holes and the cracks in the sidewalks. it’s from the ice, they say. come morning, the holes always return. bigger. deeper.
- the next train will arrive in 5 minutes. days have passed; winter is setting in. the next train will arrive in 5 minutes.
- you arrive at logan airport and it’s empty. the intercom crackles, “this is the final boarding call.” no flight is specified. it’s time to go.
- the red line train pulls up, empty. you get on and it comes to a sudden halt in the tunnel. the lights go off. you hear the muffled sounds of ‘sweet caroline’ in the distance. it’s getting closer.
- the citgo sign looms above the brownstones. no matter how far you walk, it is always there.
- you hear rustling. it’s just the turkeys, you say. you hear screams echo in harvard square. it’s just the turkeys.
you need to deliver a staff to enthir. what staff? who is enthir? it’s been so long since you were asked to deliver this staff. it remains in your inventory, though you do not remember where you got it. you know exactly where enthir is, though you do not remember his face.
the waterfalls have stopped working. you seem them in the distance, still, unmoving. you can hear the crashing of the water, but it is frozen in place. the locals do not notice.
you open a book. restoration increased to 100. you open another book. enchanting increased to 100. you spend only a few minutes in this library, and leave as an all-powerful being.
you realise that you have only ever heard the same five voices. everyone you meet starts to sound so alike. you have killed many people who screamed in your wife’s voice.
you have never seen a dunmer child. you have never seen any elf child, in fact. the only children here are nords. you soon realise that their faces look exactly alike. even the eyes, you notice. they are wide and afraid.
you have seen many dragons crash straight into mountains. you have seen fewer dragons emerge from the mountains.
you have forgotten the songs of your hometown. the melodies faded from your memory long ago. you try to ask the local bard to play your favourite childhood song. you try so hard. your memories escape you. you have only ever heard five songs. you ask him to play ragnar the red.
You need another English credit. You already have thousands of English credits. They fill up your room and chase you down the street. You are drowning. You need another English credit.
You have an essay due tomorrow. You always have an essay due tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. You must keep working on the essay. It’s due tomorrow.
Everyone is getting undercuts. Under what? You are never sure what lies Beneath. But sometimes, you see the Void.
You need classes in different areas for a full education. You go to these areas. Your feet are blistered and bleeding. You must find all the areas.
There is a Party In The Woods. It is exactly like the last one. You fear you are stuck in a time loop, but by then it is too late. Someone sells you a plastic cup of PBR for five dollars.
You know everyone on campus. Their faces, their tattoos, and their souls. You start walking with your eyes closed: you do not want to see.
There are sports teams. They whisper restlessly around the edges of campus. If you look directly at them, they disappear. But once in a while, you can hear them scream. You do not know if it is celebratory or scared.
Straight boys feel alone. There are so few of them. There are straight boys everywhere you look. They feel so alone.
“This way is more environmentally sound,” they say. You can hear the environmental sound. It sounds like Nicki Minaj.
School is not The Real World. Objects crumble under your touch. Your professors are translucent. Your books are in an ancient tongue. This Is Not The Real World.
“I wish it would rain,” you say. That’s a lie. The last time it rained you were transported to a mysterious world not of your choosing. You’ve grown at home here. You wouldn’t want to go back.
You have to try the new food trucks The new food truck will change your life. The food trucks don’t exist. They are a metaphor. Order the loaded fries
You remember buying a potted succulent once. Now you have 12. They are shapes and colors you do not recognize. They whisper at night.
You saw ScarJo in the bathroom. or was it JLo? What bathroom? You haven’t left your apartment in 3 days.
You go to the Apple store. It’s actually a marijuana dispensary. The halls glow white. You spend $90 on cookies, and dog treats.
You go to your therapist. You spend 50 minutes talking about childhood fears. You leave with a better sense of self.
You go to your psychiatrist. You spend 15 minutes. You leave with horse tranquilizers.
Do you need validation for parking? Do you need validation for parking? Do you require validation? You should call your mom.
It’s 70 degrees. It’s 78 degrees. People are in ski coats. You’re sweating. You feel weak. Californians and mole rats are the only known mammals without the evolutionary ability to regulate internal body temperature. They hiss as you walk by.
People come here to pursue their dreams. Their dreams often fail. You hope yours won’t. You dream of oblivion. The world must end on your watch.
- You stare blankly at the page. There is nothing on it. You blink once. It is still blank. You blink again. There’s 4000 words on the page. - You start a sentence with “The.” You get distracted looking for the right word on an online thesaurus. You go back and the word “The” has been written five times in succession, all capitalized. - You are typing. You turn to look at the text your friend sent you. You have written the same sentence six times in a row. You sigh and write it again. - You activate spellcheck. You’ve misspelled every word. You begin to cry, and spellcheck underlines your teers. - You click save. You write another word. You click save. You write another word. You click save. you write another wo— - You forget a character’s name. You open up the chapter you think you introduced them in. It’s the wrong chapter. You open up another. You cannot find their name. You swear it started with J - You start writing at 10:00 PM. You are startled by the morning sun peeking in through your windows. You begin writing at 8:00 AM with fresh toast. - You finally publish the next chapter of your ongoing work. You proofread it 10 times. Upon you reading the live version, you notice you put the the twice. - You are crying onto the page. Your tears manifest as words of encouragement. Your character promises you they’ll do what you want this chapter.
Instead of a specific plot to work around, here’s a list of settings that all feature a melancholy, moody, or creepy atmosphere. Simply send me a symbol for a setting you want to RP in, and I’ll either make a starter or approach you to plot!
🌕A full moon night with wind whistling through the trees
🌊The seashore late at night, with lightning over the water in the distance
🏤Stepping into a house that gives off all the wrong vibes
🍁A cold day in late autumn, which is silent and deeply lonely
🎹Nighttime in an ancient house/manor, with the tinkling of piano keys from the next room
💧 Rain in the early morning, so dark that there’s hardly a sunrise
⛪A church right after a funeral, a small handful of people dressed in black hanging their heads in silence
🌳A maze-like forest at dusk, with a sense of anxiety as the sun disappears
⛵On the beach before dawn as remnants of a ship wreck wash onto shore
🍂A chilly, overcast autumn afternoon
🌃Midnight in a busy city, sirens blaring a few blocks away
🎃After dark on Halloween night after trick-or-treating ends
🚘Sitting with a popped tired on the side of a long stretch of road, waiting
⚡Distant thunder from a massive storm headed straight this way
🥀An overgrown garden of nothing but poisonous (or dead, dry) plants
🌾An eerie plot of farmland with seemingly no one around for miles
🐊Murky swampland with posted warnings to keep people away
🔥 A roaring bonfire in the distance on a pitch black night, with dark silhouettes crowded or dancing around it
🚧Standing near old, abandoned train tracks when the bell starts to ring
🐟Taking a swim on an uninhabited plot of beach, noticing ripples in the water
🌿An old-fashioned plantation with secretive locals and a bitter history
💀A cemetery full of dead, dry flowers as if all of the plots have been forgotten, some of the stones cracked or sinking into the dirt
🚇A dingy old subway station, walls chipped to pieces, while waiting for a ride home
🌈The sad silence after a violent storm, debris and wreckage everywhere
👗An attic full of musty clothes and antiques belonging to someone long-dead
❄ A snowstorm locking everyone in their homes, with electricity flickering
🍄An enchanting plot of forest or stream, tiny whispers cutting the silence
🌑Inside of a re-occurring nightmare had time and time again
☔Taking a long walk with an umbrella, struggling with a low, low mood
☕At a quiet cafe, but unfamiliar folk are whispering and staring
🌵A winding road through the desert with only one dingy hotel, its ‘vacancy’ light flickering red
💤Dreaming of scraping nails gainst the window glass, and waking to still hear it
🐕A quiet night, the only sound being the call of coyotes/wolves in the woods