SOTR Chapter 200 Competition First Runner Up
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Text version below
I’m writing this for myself. Hopefully this can be the end of all this for me. Or at least allow me to get over it.
The sky was bathed in vibrant indigo hues as the sun slowly relinquished its place in the sky for the twilight that fervently waited upon the horizon for it to take its place in the night-time sky. The sprawling metropolis, which was laid out below me, bathed in the fading sunlight. The various denizens of the city left, a steady flow, to retire for the night. Beyond the city, flanked by high and firm bulwarks, lay a vast verdant ocean of greenery and agricultural lands. All of this was mine to rule. Not to exploit. Not to oppress. Just to rule and oversee in lieu of the reigning monarch who ruled over us all. I stood at the precipice of a balcony; being guarded by a parasol that remained steadfast in its resolve to hold off the still sweltering heat of the day that had just passed.
A euphonic and ethereal voice hummed a tune all too familiar breaking me from my stupor and locking me into an entranced state. The voice of one who I am forever undeserving of. The voice of a person I have devoted my all to. I turned my head to see the personification of a paragon of heavenly beauty. She retained refined and gentle beauty that a thousand of the continents finest artisans would fail to encapsulate. She held jade complexion that belied an incomparably benevolent personality. Dark obsidian bangs cascaded from her head and fell to the floor. She was the one who I could call my wife.
My wife opened her eyes to reveal a set of azure irises that slowly tapered off to a light turquoise the further you came from the pupils. She smiled at me and continued to hum a melodic tune from times of yore. As she performed her solo symphony she clasped her belly that had come to bulge. She was in the later stages of pregnancy. The tune came to an abrupt end as a cacophony of moans and disgruntled yelps signified the opening of a cannel to new life.
I called for any and all servants in the local vicinity and for all available people from medicine hall to be called over. Hours passed as the fleeting sunlight slowly fell into darkness…
I stood by my wife’s side as she gave birth to our son. Euphoria overcame me that I had never experienced in my life. But, as the heavens finite in nature, my incomparable joy came to an abrupt and harrowing end.
At this stage in my retelling of such long gone matters I would like you to take a deep breath. Hold it. Don’t breath and count mentally with me.
- Can you feel it?
- The mounting desire for something.
- An urge for something that is just within your grasp but unable to be attained.
- A mounting pain that is soon to mount to a point of forced relief.
- The primal efforts of the subconscious mind to subvert conscious choice.
- An acute pain that is beginning to rise beyond the point of your will power.
- By this point you have either given up or are bearing with the instinctual urge to breath. Regardless you may now breathe. Now imagine this ascending sensation of pain continuing for 16 years. None stop. No respite. No release. Just pain. As humans we are resilient and can find coping mechanisms; displace emotions for other ones or set emotions onto other entities. But it does not get rid of them. It only further exacerbates them.
The night one light illuminated my world the heavens were expunged from it. As my retelling of this old and ever agonizing wound goes.
Dead… Gone. I looked towards the greatest medical sage in the entire domain of my fiefdom in abject horror; nearing the point of hysteria. I saw him as a mad man; the final stages of escapism for a mind broken with worry and fatigue. Not long after giving birth my wife became sickly and soon thereafter died. This would have been a fatal strike for any person who deeply cared for their spouse.
But with me it was different. She was not just the light in my life but she was also the linchpin who held what could be considered “me” together. From a young age I was bullied, abused, hurt in ways I, to this very day, cannot, nor wish to, recall. She was the only one who ever protected me the circumstances and contexts of these events long elude me. I long repressed the memories with her help. But at the time of her death they all came striking back. This concatenated, with the mounting pain over her death, lead me to displacing all of the grief to loss for my dear son.
The last light in my realm.
The one object of my unconditional affection.
That is what I thought towards the end. I do not know if it was my obsessive pursuit of some abstract form of repentance or the effects of repressed anger; but I have developed a son that has undermined every one of my baseline morals.
However every time I see him or so much as think of him someone else takes over. I know not of why I am so lucid in this state in this state and blind in the other. Well that will end very soon. The limbo of being stuck between two personalities is over. One is soon to mutually annihilate the other. And a plan that the other “me” will not be able to see coming has been set into motion. Remove the trigger for this “Me” to be removed and ensure “my” continued existence.
Goodbye, Jiang Chen
Your beloved father,