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Flash Fiction Compilations - Bionicle

Flash Fiction Contest Bionicle ToDs entries

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#1 Offline Toa of Dancing

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Posted May 27 2012 - 09:59 PM

This'll be for the Bionicle entries only. Others to be found in another topic.

Predictions of the Unpredicted

Visions•••••

Pleasant dreams, he said? No catch? Should’ve known better. Karzahni, that Vortixx was a random passerby. She should have realized that. She should’ve refused the offer.It looked like a normal Suletu. Kanohi of that type didn’t generally have side effects, except for the fact that secrets were generally spoiled on accident. Not too bad, and a generally useful mask.Problem was, some random Toa had come up to Fawae the other day and offered to give her this Suletu. He said it was specially forged to give the wearer pleasant dreams. That wasn’t too abnormal; after all, the art of slightly modifying masks in their forging was becoming rather common. The moment she handed him the widgets after she tested it, he was walking down the road again.All this ran through her mind in those last seconds.The night she bought the mask, she had returned from her patrol and greeted her team. A few had oohed and awed at the new mask, a few had said it was a waste, and the leader–Corus–seemed flat-out indifferent. Eventually, the Toa remaining in the camp fell fast asleep, with Fawae thinking of how good the following day would hopefully be.She and Corus were the only ones awake in camp. Her leader informed her that they were all either gathering supplies or switching patrols. The early dawn painted a beautiful sky. The Rahi of the morning created a peaceful noise. The surrounding foliage let off a sweet aroma. Corus offhandedly commented, “Great morning. Hope it will be just as great of a day.”Fawae awoke. The morning was picturesque. Corus glanced at her and offhandedly commented.She nodded and replied, “Yea–wait, didn’t you just say that?”“...No? You okay, Fawae?”“Um... yeah. Fine. Just... Déjà vu.”Corus shrugged and kept going about his work. The rest of the day was rather uneventful, but still peaceful and somewhat fun. Fawae found the coincidence that she had dreamed reality before it happened quite odd, but not anything to really be concerned about. That night she fell asleep while pondering the possibilities. “Oh well... Probably just a freak occurrence...”Running. Some kind of freakish monster had just consumed Corus, and now it was chasing the rest of the present team. Where had this come from? There wasn’t any warning!Fawae jumped from her sleeping pad. This time she was the second awake. One of her brothers was busy stoking the fire. Not that he really needed to, being a toa of fire. He just liked playing with fire, which the rest of the team found amusing.An explosion rang through her ears, accompanied by bloinding light and searing heat. When her vision cleared, Fawae saw a gigantic, freakish monster. She screamed for everyone to wake up, and they were quickly engaged in combat.It didn’t last long. The creature that had seemingly materialized from nothing was completely immune to elemental attacks; in fact, it seemed to become stronger with each blow received. Its maw clenched down upon two members of the team, but Corus wedged his quarterstaff between its crushing jaws just in time to save them.Then he was gone. That set them running. This freakish monster had just consumed Corus, and now it was chasing the rest of the present team. She tripped and fell. In a moment, she felt teeth, and then nothing.Fawae jolted awake, screaming. Her brothers leaped from their mats, asking what was wrong. After a few seconds of heavy breathing, she began to reply... and she couldn’t remember why she screamed.

And Nothing Happened

The Legends of Lhii

•••••

“Lhii was surfing, like he did any time he wasn't guarding the village or sleeping. After all, his board and his spear were both the only things that felt natural to him... Well, his duty and love for his Koro were natural, too. Yet, you are smart enough to know what I mean, young Matoran.“Where was I? Ah yes! Lhii was surfing. The lava was especially fierce that day, and he was enjoying the thrilling ride between life and death. Now, I will not pardon lava surfing, and still discourage anyone from participating in it. Still, I will readily admit that that I got enjoyment from watching Lhii long ago...“Surfing, right. My mind seems to be wandering today. Anyways, Lhii caught an especially furious wave and went into a wild flip. I was scared, but only for a moment. He came magnificently back to the swiftly flowing magma below him. The bystanders cheered and clapped, and another Matoran that was surfing tried to outdo him. He tried to do a flashy move. Ended up flying off his board.“Time seemed to go in slow motion. The audience gasped. I gasped with them. Then, from seemingly nowhere, Lhii caught his foolish friend and safely transported the scared Matoran to shore. Needless to say, he gave up surfing for quite a while.“Back to Lhii, though. He decided to wrap up that day of lava surfing, and quickly the activity at the river dwindled. Most of the Matoran there were there to watch him anyways. And so the majority of them trickled back to Ta-Koro. Lhii, of course, immediately went to go on duty, even though he was told to take the day off. No one could keep the captain from his guard.“So he patrolled. Lhii went with two of the other guard members to perform the hourly rounds. They were about to check the cable leading to Ko-Wahi when Lhii noticed the cliff upon which they were standing was crumbling. He quickly dove to the side with one of the other Matoran. The other was able to jump out of harm’s way, or so he thought.“It was after the fact that the Matoran realized his dilemma. He jumped off the cliff directly onto the cable... and he was now swinging from the snapped cord, over the massive chasm below him! Needless to say, he was scared out of his wits! He was so shocked that he let go of his lifeline!“That would’ve been the end of him under normal circumstances. However, he was with the brilliant Lhii, a faithful friend in any situation! The brilliant little Matoran had seen the situation coming, and after getting up from his dive, he immediately leaned out, his left hand grasping a sure protrusion and his right reaching for his friend. His deft hand caught his friend’s ankle, and the third Matoran was able to pull them both back onto the ledge safely.“Hmm... what happened next? Oh yes! Lhii and his two friends quickly were able to retrieve the cable with long poles and hooks, and they tied it off so that nobody would accidentally use the broken cable. They went to get supplies, fixed it, and the rest of the day was uneventful.“Now, what is the point of this story? Nothing happened, you say? That’s exactly the point! Lhii was vigilant, and thus nothing happened that day! His acute observation, whether in a fun competition or a routine check, saved multiple lives! Learn from the example of Lhii and be ever vigilant, good Matoran.”

Fight or Flight

Flight

•••••

Running, running, forever running. The beasts were always behind, ready to consume her. Why didn’t they tire, why was there no escape? Did Mata-Nui, the Great Spirits, or whoever was in control of the universe find it fit for her to eternally suffer like this? Did she commit some overwhelming sin that had gotten her banished to this Doom Viper’s pit, this Karzahni?She didn’t know, and she didn’t know why she didn’t know. She didn’t know how she could find these lost memories, either. She didn’t even know her name.She woke up one morning here, or at least she thought morning was the correct term. She had vocabulary jumbled in her mind, and she knew what a lot of it meant, or at least she assumed she did. She also thought she was in a cave, and that the cries of these terrible beasts sounded like ferocious, starving Muaka. The grunts sounded like furious Stone Apes. The hisses sounded like venomous, hunting Doom Vipers.But she couldn’t remember anything! She was a... Matoran. Of water, she thought, due to the blue armor she caught sight of in the brief light she entered every few hours. The beasts stopped when she entered these areas, staying out of sight. She thought she was safe. Then night fell, and she found herself fleeing again.She still didn’t know why. She didn’t have a clue. She just remembered... blood. Oil. Torn flesh, shattered machinery. Dying gasps. Cold laughs. Utter fear. Bright red eyes. Fire on the water surrounding the village. Darkness. She thought she had died...But she couldn’t remember anything. That was nothing. It was fragments of memory, not memories themselves. She remembered adrenaline pumping, fighting for her life. Against something. It was some beast, or maybe it was some sapient creature. She didn’t remember. She just knew that she couldn’t fight this time. She had to continue her flight, desperately hoping for a light at the end of this tunnel... A light that wouldn’t be from an impossibly tall, perfectly smooth shaft going straight into whiteness above.Fate... that was the word. Why had fate taken her here? What was fate, truly? Was it that she would run until her strength gave out, that her flight would end and she would be torn to shreds by these Rahi?Wait... was that light? She dared not hope. Yes, it was. It grew stronger. But it couldn’t be an escape. Was it? It seemed warm... unlike the previous rays. They were sterile, white. This was flickering, warm, orange.It was a... candle? A torch? Those were light devices. They provided fire. Fire was warm, flickering, life-giving. They meant someone was near. With one final push of her tired legs, the Matoran stumbled from the tunnel and into the light.

Frosting

Alternate Universe

•••••

Vezon fell through the dimensional hole. Instead of gracefully planting his feet into the snow, he face-planted into it. He immediately began to slurp it up. Then he realized that it wasn’t snow, it was... sweet. Smooth. Even though he had no idea what it was, he kept slurping away.Then, once he had been sufficiently filled, the half-Skakdi stood and looked around himself. There was still plenty of the stuff, covering the mountains like it really was snow. The mountain itself, which he could feel now that he had eaten quite a bit of the substance, was squishy and porous. Shrugging, he dug some up, and popped it into his mouth.Again, sweet. Squishy. Delicious. He licked his lips and began trudging forth. He seemed to be in some kind of land of food... that looked exactly like Mt. Ihu. Interesting. The squishy white substance came down from the sky in little drops, coating everything. It was certainly stickier than snow, aside from being extremely delicious.Oh, there was Ko-Koro. Maybe the Matoran there could explain the odd weather. He liked it, but it would take forever to lick himself clean once he got out of it.When he got to the village, he saw the citizens going about their work... and they were all brown, as he saw if one scraped off the sticky substance. He walked up and, not saying anything, bit the head off one.Ignoring the ensuing panic, Vezon leaned against a red and white striped pole. Sweet, crunchy, with a little spice. This was definitely an interesting universe. He wondered what he would taste like, if he met himself. Shrugging, he strolled right on down the mountain, ignoring the screams and attacks. After all, the spears were made of something that broke rather easily and tasted quite delicious. The points were sharp, though they seemed to just be a hard version of the sticky stuff.Soon, he was on the Mangai. It was tightly packed, but once he hit it enough, the substance was very crumbly and bitter. Yet, it tasted good. Shrugging again, he continued. When he reached the river of lava... he dove in. Five seconds later, he was out of it, screaming in agony. His face, tongue, eyes, and everything else burned. Whatever it was spicy. Good, but spicy.This was a very strange dimension. Shrugging once more, he continued trekking on his merry way, tears still pouring from happiness and utter pain.

Not Everything

The Legacy

•••••

Blood, dirt, sweat, grinding joints. Blurred blackness, muffled sounds. His enemy stood, the crowd jeered. Was this all Trymak’s training had come to? If Gelu were here, he’d be disgusted... and he would be cheering, too. However, he had, for some reason, opted out on watching the match. The Toa of ice grunted, rolling to the side right before his opponent’s blade would have pierced his shoulder.Oh, Spherus Magna had been reformed, and everyone was at peace, for the most part. Still, old habits die hard, and the gladiatorial matches, while slightly tamed, were a massive attraction and competition for all the villages. Atero had been rebuilt, and in the center was a massive arena. The rest was a massive, sprawling city, filled with residents of all the villages; each village had rebuilt itself in an easily accessible location and laid down a road to the central city.Society had quickly found itself to revolve, at least for entertainment purposes, around the tournaments. Every week the villages held their own tournaments for training and qualifying for the monthly tournaments in Atero. The top winners of these, in turn, participated in the yearly Heroes’ War. This had become the biggest event of Spherus Magna, and every ten years past champions were invited to return. If they chose, they could send another fighter in their place, training them personally for the whole year leading up to the event.Trymak was one of those students. Gelu, the champion of a Heroes’ War long ago, had chosen the spry Toa as his trainee. Instead of conventional training, they travelled as merchants around the world. At first, Trymak was disappointed and ready to leave Gelu, but he realized soon that their travels were more important than he thought. He didn’t fight daily, but Gelu entered him in whatever village’s match was happening when they were in town. He learned the fighting styles of everyone, and though at first he often lost, he quickly learned to think fast.This was the year of the Heroes’ War. Trymak had found himself in the second to last match and, after a vicious fight with a Glatorian of Tajun, he was placed into the final bracket. Now he faced the champion of Tesara, Gresh. He still entered into these tournaments, and constantly showed his skill in battle. Despite having been in the sport for centuries, the Glatorian was as energetic and strong as ever. He was, in fact, a very difficult opponent to face.This difficulty was becoming all too apparent. Trymak was, to say the least, getting his posterior handed to him. It was all he could do to not get bested in the first few seconds. Gresh seemed to be everywhere, not missing a step in his dance around the Toa of ice.Wiping blood from his lips, Trymak deflected Gresh’s blade with the grip of his war hammer. A rather unconventional choice of a weapon against a fast opponent, he knew. But I he could get one hit in, it would be over.Well, it was pointless. It wasn’t all about winning, it was about the experience. Thus, completely exhausted, Trymak threw up his hands and fell to his knees.

Dirge

Music

•••••

Death and life. Both were facts of the world. Heroes came and went, villains were the same. The average Matoran lived the average life, worked his job, met with friends. This went onwards for centuries, until something brought him to his end, whence unfortunate circumstances caused his heart-light to blink out.The funeral dirge echoed eerily over the dunes of Po-Koro. It was only fitting that the death of the village’s greatest musician was honored by a full, solemn orchestra. Drusteph had been a pioneer on Mata Nui, introducing the island to music that they had never before heard. Whether he played the violin with a rock or composed a piano piece involving sawing the strings, he was a brilliant Matoran. He used water wheels to create electricity–without the help of a Toa!–which he channeled into oddly shaped instruments that created previously unheard sounds.This orchestra consisted of his friends, his followers, and his enemies. Yes, even those who were against his music. The ones who opposed Drusteph the most played most passionately at the ceremony of his death. He was their opponent, he was the one upon which they placed the blame of the wild actions of the day. Yet, in spite of their dislike, they could not say that the Matoran lacked skill.Drusteph was the life of Mata Nui, he was the power behind happiness. He brightened the days with his magical music, his sorcery of sonic and electric energy. He was simultaneously the Matoran that discovered unnatural electricity and the father of music using the energy. The orchestra’s piece, incorporating more somber elements of the music, reached its end, and not a dry eye was in the massive procession. Drusteph was laid with his first instrument in a mausoleum dedicated to his legacy. The carving around his coffin were ornate, filled with bright designs that he would have wanted. The funeral would have been almost too solemn for the hero of Po-Koro were it not for these cheerful designs.As the second orchestral piece began, the mood quickly brightened. Life was to keep going, and the music of Drusteph was still there. The distinct electronic noises echoed over the dunes, and though tears were still present, joy was felt in the hearts of the gathered Matoran. The music kept going after dusk, moving back to the village. Villagers from every Koro joined in the celebration of life, the song that was no longer a dirge, the music of Drusteph that was there, invigorating them and pushing them onwards.Well, feel free to comment on any or all of them. =3 In addition, my CoT topic is right here.

Edited by Ballistic Jello Pickles, Jun 08 2012 - 01:23 PM.

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#2 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Jun 10 2012 - 08:35 PM

Nuile of the Short Stories Critics Club reporting for duty! And though I know Velox only promised you half, he didn't object to my reviewing them all; which I'm glad I did.Predictions of the Unpredicted: Only two parts confused me. The beginning and the end. Not the best places to confuse your reader, I would say. Other than these two points it was good, but I'll get them out of the way and then return to its goodness.The source of my initial confusion was a Vortixx mentioned at the beginning. As far as I can tell, it was the Toa mentioned soon thereafter--the trader who sold to Fawae a Suletu. But was he a Vortixx, or a Toa?The ending I also found confusing. Was the whole story a mere dream? Or did she have a dream that she dreamed of a vision that came to be therein? Confusing all the more, the latter, because then, would this vision come to be? Would she yet dream of the vision she had already dreamed she dreamed of, and would it come to pass as she had dreamed it had? If you can't understand what I just said, neither could I, and that's my point here. But the former, that the whole story was a dream, renders it pointless--except that it served as entertainment, which is fine in my book. But at any rate, the ending was unclear--confusing.The problem with confusion--whether grammatical, syntactical, contradictory, out of place, or otherwise--is that it takes the reader out of the world you, as a writer, are conjuring.And I must say, within the confines of the contest's word limit, you did an admirable job of conjuring. There was just enough detail to set the scene--in this Toa Team's camp--and to describe a beautiful dawn.My last comment here is on how well you segued from Corus's words to Fawae's next dream. In one word and one punctuation mark you made it clear that that moment was over and we were now once more in Fawae's subconscious mind. Excellent.Grammatical mistakes, as I said, pull a reader out of your story. There were but few mistakes, and so I congratulate you. The mistakes I did observe:

An explosion rang through her ears, accompanied by bloinding light and searing heat.

Bloimy! As I loive 'nd breathe! I didn't know there were Britishers in the Matoran Universe! Oh, woit, that was a typo, what?

She nodded and replied, "Yea–wait, didn’t you just say that?"

I'm not entirely certain whether this is a typo or not. Either you truly meant yea, or your yeah was missing an h. The problem with the former is that less common words such as that can qualify as a confusion when your readers don't know them.As a writer, you should utilize every word in the English language to your full benefit. No writer who ever lived, of course, knew them all; but my point is, use as many as you can. It is also my opinion that a reader should learn a new few words when they read, always. However, one caveat: Words are to the story what the lens is to the camera. An unidentifiable word can be like a smudge or a hair in the lens.

"Oh well... Probably just a freak occurrence..."

Both ellipses here were missing a preceding period. A sentence ending in an ellipsis should yet be punctuated; in this case, with a fourth dot. This is a mistake that recurs through some of your stories, but I'll only note it this once.And Nothing Happened: And hence there's little to say. When nothing happens, what can one say about it?That's not to mean I didn't enjoy it. I did, even more than your Visions entry. It flowed as smoothly as a lava river and there was some good, succinct action. It was a fable and written like one, with a moral and a storyteller's voice.Where was I? Ah yes! That very comment in itself. Bam, right there! We've got a storyteller here and his character. You pulled your reader right in there; but then you pushed them back out when Vakama uttered improbably the word anyways. And then he did it again. That's my only complaint.Grammatically, I applaud.Fight or Flight: Confusions push readers away--questions draw them in. Questions pull them along. Questions give them something to think about afterward. And you did all of that. Right off the bat you asked: Who is this protagonist? Then you asked: What's she doing here? How will she escape? Are her pursuers real or imaginary? Finally: Where is she going next? Is she leaving the frying pan to enter the fire (pun intended)? Is there a burning forest or a band of rogues round a campfire or a pyromaniac?More than that, you kept it fast, you kept it vivid. Again I saw that you gave just enough detail as was necessary. You trimmed down superfluities to keep it quick and . She was moving fast; so was your prose. She was afraid; I almost felt her fear. She couldn't remember; neither did I. I knew and learned as she did. There is no better way to learn backstory than through the eyes of one who is learning of the backstory herself. Very crafty, that.When it was all over, I didn't want it to be. I wanted it to go on. I wanted all the questions to be answered--I wanted to know what happened next. And so I'm left wondering, and the story lingers in my mind. Excellent.The whole story was, indeed, excellent. I have but two objections. The first is that, if she wasn't even sure of her words, how did she know what Muaka, Stone Apes, or Doom Vipers are? The second is merely that, in the first paragraph, you mentioned plural Great Spirits where I think you intended to indicate Great Beings.Frosting: There's one word that describes this short story: delicious.I could practically taste everything, although maybe that was the lingering taste of frosting in my mouth. But I didn't have candy cane, and I tasted that.This story was perfect for a piece of flash fiction. It was very literally short and sweet. It's not a story worth continuing beyond the six hundred word limit--unless the evil Makuta Licorice starts terrorizing the Matoran--which makes it absolutely perfect for what it is.I have absolutely nothing to remonstrate here. In fact I further compliment you, upon character choice. Vezon was perfect for this. It made sense for him to be here, and there was no one else who would have felt right in this situation.

He walked up and, not saying anything, bit the head off one.

Only Vezon.Not Everything: A little too much backstory, though I do like how you sandwhiched it between action, rather than having it on one side or the other. Starting out with an immediate, descriptive action scene is a good way to bring readers in. But on the whole I think the backstory could have been much reduced and the action extended. It contradicted the skill in picking and choosing the necessary details that you evinced in your other stories.The ending, to paraphrase, was "pointless." It was joltingly precipitate; though it was unexpected and that, I'll grant you, can be a good thing. It was also philosophical in a small way.Style, grammar: again, excellent. Story: fair. Action: lacking. Backstory: immoderate.Dirge: If you're not going to open with action or questions--open with something short and punchy to intrigue. Death and life. "Ah," I say, "this here is a theme apt to the title. But why the reversal?" It draws me on immediately into an opening paragraph that continues to pull me deeper, a paragraph imbued with personality and taste.And then as I read on, I find out: "Ah! It is melancholy! That is why death precedes life." Finally, when they strike up a lilt at the end, I realize it is also a story of the hope rising from the ashes of death. Very poetic, and quite beautiful.Drusteph. Good name. I don't know much about music, but the just feels musical somehow; and simultaneously it feels like the name of a Po-Matoran. It might be the combination of sounds that resemble dust and staff.Now I grant you that it's amusing that this guy plays violin with rocks and piano with saws, but wait--pianos and violins? Electricity? If he's "the life of Mata Nui," why is it we've never heard of him? I feel when someone writes within limitations they should write within those limitations. I like it when a writer is creative within those confines and thinks outside of the box from within it. Facts can be stretched--but a fact is like a bubble; stretch it too far and it pops.But overall, it was great. There was a lot of backstory, but again you showed here your eye for balance. The story didn't need any more telling than it had. You gave it exactly what it needed.One error here:

The carving around his coffin were ornate, . . .

Though Frosting and Fight or Flight are competitors, Dirge takes the cake and flies off the handle and tunes up to strike up the band. Puns aside, I enjoyed it most out of all your stories. Final words: I--love--your--grammar. I find your writing style to be consistently smooth and, as I've said, succinctly descriptive. You have an eye for which details are necessary and which are not, though of course, the eyes can be deceiving sometimes. And yes, you made a few mistakes and there are things that can be improved; but that's what being a writer is all about. Writing is a constant quest without end. . . . But you know what? You're good at it.On behalf of the Short Stories Critics Club I thank you and wish you a nice day, good sir!

Keep writing,

From the desk of Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


Edited by Nuile: The Daft Wordbender, Jun 10 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#3 Offline Toa of Dancing

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Posted Jun 13 2012 - 09:20 AM

Thank you, Nuile, especially for reviewing all six and saving me and another critic the troubleof requesting and reviewing the second set of three three. Now then, for my response:Predictions of the Unpredicted: I'd have to say that, barring Not Everything, this was my weakest story. It was the first day, I was just getting settled, excitement was slapping me in the face, and I could could onwards with excuses. However, I'll just address a few things more: The confusing ending was rather on purpose, sorry about that. I wanted to even confuse myself as to what really happened, or I guess I wanted more questioning than confusion. Also, I saw that typo when the polls went up and immediately smashed my head against the desk. On that, I more so went for having her interrupt her own word, though it could be taken the other way. =P In addition, I still have yet to actually figure out the confusing rules of ellipses. I should, seeing as I use them (probably too) frequently. I just find three dots more visually appealing than four and, thus, have yet to force myself to use them properly. XDAnd Nothing Happened: Thanks, I thought adding those touches would make it work excellently. Also, I personally say "anyways" far too much. It seems to have bled into my writing, despite my efforts to stave it off. XDFight or Flight: Ah, this was also one of my favorites. I seem to enjoy quick, jerky (not necessarily jarring), adrenaline-filled stories. Did I not make it clear that she thought they were the sounds of those creatures, but she didn't know what those creatures really were or why she thought of them as such? Ah, my mistake then, for not being as clear as I should have been.Frosting: Hmm, really? I thought this was my third weakest story on the Bionicle side of things. Then again, it was placed into the same poll as the massively popular entry by Sumiki (a.k.a. the other Vezon entry). Still, thank you. And yes, I greatly enjoyed writing that line.Not Everything: Me? Write this? Bah, who are you, foul creature? Away from my sight! Allow me to rewrite you with a thousand words! ...Ahem, yeah, this was my least favorite, and I could have done vastly better if I had more room. *shrug*Dirge: Well, thank you. This was my third favorite (out of six, this is kinda funny =P). First, I have to hang my head and say that Drusteph is a direct pun upon dubstep. =P Also, I'm thinking of this as something happening in the future, and he recently came out with this genre of music. Typos are typos, they stink. XD Thanks.Final words: Well, thank you. I try my hardest, and honestly I fall very much short because I procrastinate hard. Still, thank you for the compliment, and I hope to get myself writing more.
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