from the OTHER archives: Socks, Part 3, Chapters 17-19

I have been sick all day, so hopefully my mental faculties are up to withstanding the cancer that we’re about to witness. It hasn’t affected my writing schedule for TWLF so far, thankfully. I hope that’s still true when this scheduled post gets published.

Cool fingers pressed against my forehead; someone was taking the bandages off of my eyes. I didn’t struggle; there was just no point fighting it anymore.
I was ‘perfect’.

Does your hateful ideology prohibit transgender people? Because if someone offered to let me transition for free and be attractive as hell afterwards without looking like a completely different person, I’d take it in a heartbeat. (But you didn’t hear that from me, okay?)

The world still felt like it was on fire, but less so now.

Man, your anesthesiologist stinks at his job if you’re still feeling pain right after an operation.

For the first time in probably days, I saw, but this time with an icy clarity. I slipped off the operating table when the straps were removed, and I felt faster, stronger, more graceful… just powerful.

Why are your surgeons letting you walk around right after being operated on? Do you know how much stress that puts on the countless stitches they undoubtedly had to put in your skin? I thought you were supposed to be some super intelligent person, Algeria. I’m disappointed.

But I remembered the dream, and I looked behind me. My wings were mint green, and I felt a rush of anger, which was from me, but it was soon replaced with a feeling of submission.

Judging from the shards of the backstory you gave us, I’m guessing that you didn’t really go to a formal school… so obviously you didn’t learn about the five stages of grief.

Oh my gosh, they had touched everything, including my brain. I felt the back of my head, and there was a small space with no hair, with a small scar from the cut they had made into my head.

“Oh no! They’ve messed with my hairstyle! How will I ever be couture now?!”

Then the loudspeaker said, “Our newest achievement are brain lesions. They can be programmed to give the subject emotional feelings, including anger, sadness, loss, and submission.” She spat out the last word, probably because this was the one I had been given.

Five seconds into a Google search and already I can tell that’s not what brain lesions do at all. 0/10 science points, G. Mr. Langer would be disappointed to know that you learned so little in his class.

Then two of the freaks came and dragged me out of the operating room, shoving me into a cage. And the worst part was that I didn’t even care anymore.

No description of how they dragged you out? Of the metallic noise the concrete floor made as your feet scraped against the tiles? Of the rattling chorus the bars of your cage sang as your limp body collapsed to the ground, all the fight gone out of you?… none? Okay…

They left, and when they did, I noticed that the new person next to me was a boy about my age, which was 13. He took as much notice of me as I did to him, which was a lot.

And here we have the Mandatory Teenage Heartthrob Boy that nobody asked for but was foisted upon us anyways. For how socially isolated you’ve been your entire life, Algeria, I don’t blame you- there’s this cute boy in my Science class named Eddie that I’ve taken a liking to. This isn’t a teen fiction book, unlike your life, and I have no expectations of being anything other than friends.

“Hi,” he said. “I’m Timothy. I’m part fairy too.”
I felt a connection, and I think he felt one too, because we reached toward each other’s cage and our fingertips met in the middle.

Why are your cages so close together? Couldn’t you then shimmy around and unlock each other’s cages? What kind of subject management is this? At least in TWLF, the few cages that are there are horizontally stacked on top of each other so that nobody can help each other escape.

Timothy and I stayed in our cages. Nobody came to unlock them. We were alone, as far as I could tell.

Chapter 18 commences with a perfect example of why you should show in writing instead of telling.

“What’s your name?” he said. “Your middle name. I go by middle names.”

“Maximilla,” I said. What? He said middle names.

special-snowflake-award

“Huh,” he said. “Can I call you Maxi for short?”
“Whatever.”

“Please don’t copyright me!” G shrieked, pleading with the Author Who Shall Not Be Named while clutching the papers of her wretched book to her chest. “I… I just wanted to be a really good fan…”

“I like your hair.”
I felt embarrassed.

Finally something I can relate to!

“So, does that mean I can call you Tim?”
“Sure. Friends?”
“Friends.”

As a high school student looking back, I can confirm that is absolutely not how making friends works.

So now I had 1 friend here in this junkbucket. I don’t count Tomorrow because she tricked me into coming here and becoming ‘perfect’. She did this to me; now I do this to her, although I don’t think that she cares whether I like her or not.

Did you catch that tense change? Or have you become immune?

“You want to escape, don’t you?” Tim whispered. “I can read your mind, and you don’t like it here. You know that Tomorrow betrayed your trust, and you feel a connection to me.”

If my Mandatory Teenage Heartthrob (provided I was in a teen fiction book) could read my mind, I would break it off with him as soon as possible and call the police. That is not a power that should be in anybody’s hands.

How did he know?
“I feel a connection to you too, Maxi.”

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

I think that’s some sort of code for- is it too much to hope? I feel the same way.
And we both said ‘I love you’ at the same time. It reminds me of a song I heard once.
Can’t you see, oh, can’t you see…
that we were meant to be.

Can’t you see, oh can’t you see, that you are by far one of the most pathetic characters that I have ever had the misfortune of writing, right up there with the “Japanese” princess that got turned into a hamster by a witch and Evan the transgender token.

There were no nights and days when I was around Tim; there was only now, and only now mattered when he was around. Days passed, but the only people I saw were Tim and Tomorrow.
“I told you that you would be perfect,” Tomorrow said. “Do you believe me now?”

Chapter 19 begins with infatuation and the warning signs of a future abusive relationship. I mean, in TWLF (the second draft) Anders gets chastised by Amane for trying to propose to Miranda after only a week of knowing him, and yet here we have Algeria who would do the same given the chance. And Tomorrow is condoning this… I think I need a break.

 “There is no such thing as perfect,” I said. “There is only better and worse.”
“So then you are better,” Tomorrow replied. “because before then, it was so easy to tranquilize you. Besides-” and at this Tomorrow looked at Tim- “it looks like you’ve met Timothy. He’s a nice guy.”

But you haven’t tranquilized her since, Tomorrow, so where’s half of your comparison?… And why does meeting a boy make it any different?

Then Tomorrow leaned down and whispered to me, “I’m leaving your cage door open tonight. Feel free to stretch your wings or anything.”
Then she left, and we were alone again.

Well, that doesn’t look like a plot copout or anything.

Night came for the first time since the operation. The connection was stronger now, and I knew that we couldn’t stay here forever.

Nice job with that transition, G. I can tell the amount of effort you put into this crap.

“Maxi,” Tim said. “We have to leave. I’ve been picking up thoughts about you-  bad thoughts. They think that the war against the goblins is going horrible and they wanted you to fight for them.”

I know you’re not supposed to hanfistedly set up your world and let it come naturally… but somehow you’ve managed to still make it forced, G. Where were the mention of goblins before any of this? And why would anybody want a pithy teenager to fight for them?

My heart stopped for a second as Tim continued. “There’s a secret air shaft that the fairies haven’t bothered guarding- we can escape through there.”

Well, isn’t that a convenience!

We carefully crawled out of our cages for the first time in what was probably days. When we stood up, I felt dizzy- like the world was revolving around me quickly. Tim took my hands into his and helped me steady myself. “You ok, Maxi? Ready to pop this joint?”

I… I have no words. I have been rendered utterly speechless by the complete idiocy of this passage.

“Definitely,” I said. He picked at the screws to the air shaft and had the metal covering on the ground in two seconds flat.

Do you need nail therapy, Timothy? And maybe some mental therapy to get over your sudden crush for a girl whose looks are fake and whose heart is falsely genuine?

“I love you,” Tim said, looking at me. Then he jumped up the air shaft and started climbing, his pants slowly disappearing into the ceiling. Anyway, that’s what it looked like to me.

Well, that’s not suggestive at all.

“Are you coming or not?” he said.

Jeezum cristo. It just keeps getting worse.

This time, I did not hesitate, and I joined him up in the dusty air shaft. It was dark, and the only light was coming from the room below. I could only see Tim’s feet as we went up the shaft.

Outstripping Fifth Shades Of Grey Since 2012©

Finally we reached the top, and we steadied ourselves on the roof.

And then Timothy put his pants back on, and the two immature teenagers parted their ways without a word, never to see each other again.

“Where are we going now?” I asked Tim.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “We could go anywhere. Where do you want to go?”

“I want to go back to Emma,” I said. Emma would know what to do.

Of course she would. Emma is the wise mentor in this book, except just as ignorant as everybody else.

“Then let’s go to Emma, then,” Tim said, and we began our long flight home. Nobody caught us because they had turned off the defenses to the laboratory completely. I don’t know if it was Tomorrow or not. That secret is lost to the ages.

I think I’m going to go binge on some actually well written books now and cry myself to sleep. This suffering will probably never end, given that this post doesn’t end up killing me.

Am I the modern day Sisyphus? Or will turning seventeen free me from the chains of this wretched book? Tune in next episode for more innuendos that were begging to be made, forced backstory shoved down the reader’s throat, and prods at my quickly diminishing will to live!

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