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Mary Jane's Sanctum
Joe was talking to him again. Considering it was his advice that was stopping his lungs from imploding due to a lack of oxygen, Dave hung on his words as if they were from the gospel itself. It was still hard to pay attention, given the fact that he was still screaming inside about dying because he took one too many breaths, but he wasn’t about to ignore the only person that was actually saying anything reassuring at that moment.

“Home? No, not home. No no no, can’t, not there, parents – “ His parents weren’t going to listen to him, or help him stop freaking out and dying. They never did, they always just humoured him or said not now, instead of actually listening to what he had to say and how he needed their help.

Why he was thinking that way about his own parents, his own mom and dad, that was almost as scary as the pot brownie induced trip. However, his mind was still too busy searching for something, anything, that he could go to for help to care.

“Not home, not to my parents, gotta go to somewhere else – Grandparents. Grandparents, I want to go to my grandparents.” He was clutching his face again, his eyes tearing up freely now but his breath beginning to ease up. Despite both of them living closer to the hotel than his own parents, Dave hadn’t wanted to bother them by showing up late. However, the fact remained that his grandparents always listened and would no doubt help Dave to not die.

As much as he didn’t want to be a pain, he was too terrified to think of anything besides what could help. As nice as Joe was acting, he was still a stranger in the eyes of a drug addled mind. Sophie was a good friend, but not good enough. There were only two people left in the world he wanted to see right now, whether it meant knocking on their door in the middle of the night or not.

Fantastic milestone
Now we just need to reach 1,000,000 by 2020.

The Questions Game - V5 Edition
Ryan Banks: "Not really. I should probably eat less at the Around the Clock Diner, but my exercise makes up for it."

Dave Russell: "Hm, crutches and vices. You know, I'm not really sure; let me go ask my friends."

Gabriella Parker: "Well, if you believe my parents, then I depend on them for far too much. That's ridiculous though. I mean, what can you expect before Cho and I have hit our big break?"

Which is more important? Friends or family?

Mary Jane's Sanctum
Dave stared at himself in the mirror as he kept repeating Joe’s words over in his head, clutching the sink so hard that his fingers were starting to turn red. In and out, in and out: that’s how he’d been told to breathe and that’s what he was trying to do. It was hard to keep it slow, the difficulty controlling his own breathing doing nothing to ease his addled mind, but, out of sheer fear of doing anything else, he pooled all his concentration into managing his lungs.

His eyes that were noticeably bloodshot by that point, combined with his intensely pale face, certainly didn’t make him look well. He looked rather ghoulish, even. The fact that he had still taken drugs that were probably going to wreck him, however, still took his mind off of his unsightly looks, only keeping himself from running out of the bathroom screaming through his single focus on doing what Joe had told him. It was as if, were he to stop doing what he'd been told, his breathing would stop forever and that would be the end of Dave Russell.

His hands gripped the porcelain sink harder.

When Travis spoke from inside the stall, he didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want anything in the entire world to distract him at that moment, less he stop worrying about his breathing and choke to death on the bathroom floor. Had Travis left his words at just trying to relax, they might’ve helped as Joe’s had done, but the notion that he could enjoy himself at the moment was down and out crazy.

He started to laugh behind his harsh breathing. It wasn’t a pleasurable laugh, nothing would’ve made him enjoy himself at that exact moment, but one of pained disbelief. He wanted to say something back at Travis, just tell him to leave him alone and let him breathe because he really had to keep breathing or he’d die, but the laughter kept going on, constantly trying to take over his breathing and then kill him off.

He looked back at the terrified guy in the mirror, the one who really didn't want to die just because he'd eaten some bad brownies.

The Questions Game - V5 Edition
Ryan: Chinese, if I had to pick one. I'm not really that interested.

Dave: Hmm, that's a tough one. I guess I don't know, really. I never really was good at languages anyway.

Gabriella: Well, I'm pretty much going to when I go to college, anyway, so that's not really a question for me. Before you ask, French.

What do you think of the upcoming Mayan Apocalypse at the end of the year?

Rattle Reads SotF In General
I'm always curious for opinions on my only V4 girl who went anywhere, so if you'd give Janet a read I'd be muy interesante. Her spiral into death begins here.

Mary Jane's Sanctum
“I but, what, drugs, no, I – what? I dunno!” Dave stammered at Joe, clutching his face in fear at his own confusion as the Mary Jane continued snaking its way through his body. “I mean, drugs, I, know, I don’t, not drugs, but I just ate drugs and oh my god!”

Sophie’s arrival had been unexpected, but the whereabouts of Dave’s back-up date hadn’t been at the front of his mind before and they certainly weren’t now. Whilst he would pride himself on being a good date were he sober, as it stood recognising her voice through the clouds of panic was enough of a task to keep him occupied.

“Sophie? I- is it really you?” he called back out the door between the hands that gripped his face, only for Joe to suddenly grab him by the sleeve. Fortunately for Joe and Travis’ wishes to cover their own respective asses, Dave’s inebriated brain picked up on all the right words.

“What? But, I mean, I don’t feel right, I didn’t feel right earlier, and now I don’t feel right, and Sophie something’s wrong with me and I really don’t know what.” He continued stammering, his voice getting shriller as the words kept picking up pace and beads of sweat ran down his face, the air going out of his mouth starting to overtake the air going into his lungs.

What if you wound up in SOTF?
Unpleasant topic to consider but hey that's why it ain't in the fun and games topic. CAUSE IT AIN'T. >:C

I would probably anxious the shit out of myself straight away, getting all panicky about not being sure what to do next, though I'm not really the type to cry about stuff. After that, I don't see myself actually going to kill anyone, like ever, because I have too much faith in people; whilst I think I could defend myself in a dangerous situation, I doubt I'd be able to do it lethally. Would most likely spend the better part of the game on my own, at that.

Sooo, mid-game out probably, when I get rolled and no-one heroes me for being interesting enough. Unless I have an opportunity to hatch an escape attempt, then all murdering is definitely off. I'd rather die trying to get out of the game than die going along with it, but only if I actually have a chance of escaping, in which case I'd rather just not die period.

Should I survive and/or win, then I suppose I'd just try to rationalize what happened, see a therapist for a few years, then try to move on with my life.

What can I say, I'm pragmatic.

SOTF Resolutions
My resolution is to read more of SOTF. I mean, I'm better now than when I started, but lord knows if I lose track of a game then I am a terrible catcher upper, and don't get me started on reading an entire finished character arc. So yeah, less of that and more reading of the lovely (and not so lovely stuff) we've all put out.

Stylistic choices
I also borrow from Stephen King's style, though I instead use his penchant for inserting random little tidbits of information about everything, rather than his short interrupting thoughts.

As for my overall style, third person narrated is my instinctive response and internal thought processes, I believe, are something I'm rather crappy at when it comes to my writing. Hence a lot of my characters probably feel like they're being read from the outside, rather than through their eyes. Writing style also consists of medium length sentences, usually with plenty of commas to insert the aforementioned little tidbits about everything, with mid-length paragraphs. (They used to be tiny but now I try to stretch out even the simplest of actions).

Oh yes, and I tend to insert a lot of little dark jokes in my narrative.

A Session in the Bedroom
Gabriella laughed heartily at Joe’s impression of himself. Inviting him to stay for dinner had been something of a joke in the first place, of course, considering Joe’s proficiency around people who weren’t his friends and his riff on himself just added to it. After having to deal with her mother, it was really brightening up her mood, as if the whole joke was at her expense, rather than at Joe’s, for bothering to invite him in the first place. She actually didn’t mind when he prompted them back towards working.

As crappy as it was to lose the afternoon to her personal arch-nemesis, Joe being there had still made it all the better.

((Gabriella Parker continued elsewhere))

V4 Read-A-Thon: The Reboot
It's been rather pointless of me to have Teo Weinstock claimed all this time when my progress has been somewhat totally minimal.

So, relinquished. If I still have him that is, I'm not entirely certain. Disregard otherwise.

Worst Cliches
Oh yes, minus a million points if your shy, timid loner girl who always keeps her head between her knees stutters in every sentence. Most timid people don't stutter nearly as much as people with stutters do, and stutters aren't related to how shy are. Sometimes, yes, but not every sentence (sometimes doesn't equate to once a post either).

I'm a little amazed that The Girl cliche is something that's apparently so prevalent. I've written way more girls than I have guys on SOTF and I think that unless I start going into their anatomy then, unless I'm mistaken, they usually come out about the same quality as my guys. I'd say just make the personality first, slap a gender on it later (Or if it comes whilst making the personality, keep it), and keep it out of her pants, and you should do fine. Likewise with The Guy, but that one never seems to come up, as far as I can tell. People are generally diverse enough that you can encompass all personalities no matter what the gender, it's just the reactions of the people around them that might differ.

Two more~

The Altruist Saint
We get it, they like to put others before themselves more than once. Usually when this is addressed as completely fine, it can raise some eyebrows. How many of you would actually consider putting everyone else first 100% of the time, and I mean to the point of neglecting your own needs, healthy or not indicative of a low self esteem, two traits that almost never seem to get addressed with this sort of fellah or fellatte. Now I might be a bit cynical on this one, and some of you may think that someone who considers other people more important than themselves is a perfectly fine character to work with, but just remember that with any person, the altruist saint has flaws too and a life outside of other people, otherwise we approach one dimensionality.

(Yes, Dave was guilty of this archetype at inception; I'd like to hope that I'm rectifying it)

The Unlikeable Likeable (This is less a cliche and more just bad writing, but let's put it out here for reference sakes)
If you're going to portray your character as likeable, make them likeable. If they're a douche, work with the fact that they are, in fact, a douche. Assholes who actually are treated as assholes are a lot more fun to read than people who you are loathing through every post, since getting to agree with the post about what a terrible person they are is oh so cathartic. If your asshole is treated as a saint in every narrative, then it just gets frustrating for the reader who's arguing with you at every word.

Worst Cliches
The shy and timid girl who never talks to anyone and is always keeping her head between her knees. Sorry folks, but reading your gal whimpering in a a corner for fifteen posts gets old fast.