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Deadline ~ Polling 3/21
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Deadline ~ Polling 3/21  

Originally this story was fun, light, and funny. The premise was hilariously silly and the first couple characters created for it were slightly stereotyped caricatures. But a strange thing happened, as I added depth to the characters and rounded them out, the story ceased being a silly action romp and started getting darker. Is this version better than the original idea I've no clue but all my stories are built on their characters and this is where the characters went. So without further rambling on my part enjoy.
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Deadline

Chapter One: You Little Fucker

"Shit." He flexed his cold-numbed fingers for a moment, rubbing them together, before putting them back on the sleek keys of his laptop and deleting the last few lines of text he'd clumsily typed. It was freezing in his apartment and despite bundling up he was cold, especially his exposed digits. He could have walked over and turned up the heat but that would use electricity and Terry was desperately trying to keep costs down this month now that he was paying for everything himself. He'd have to get a new room mate soon but...he just wasn't ready to let someone back into his life in such a close proximity. He rubbed his eyes, glancing back down at the notes he'd jotted on scratch paper and carefully typed the last of his words before hitting save.

For a moment he was still as he reread everything, making sure that each bracket was in place and that the layout was correct before letting out an explosive breath and pushing back from his desk. It was done, all fifteen pages of his research paper including a bibliography listing his sources, every exacting criteria outlined met or hopefully exceeded. He saved again, just to be sure, before closing the report and turning the laptop off for the evening. It had been a draining couple of days and he figured he'd make himself some instant noodles and then turn in early. His back popped as he stood and his thighs protested the motion, he'd been sitting in that stiff chair far far too long.

He'd just turned when a loud buzz and a few tones of some song he'd liked a month ago rattled in the quiet of the nearly empty room, his phone loudly demanding his attention. He swiped it from his desk and stared at the name for a minute, a wash of feelings twisting his gut like an abused rag. He hit ignore and dumped the device in his hoodie pocket before he resumed his shuffle toward the kitchen, he didn't want to deal with that shit right now, didn't feel like 'talking about it' didn't feel like hearing worry and pity. He was doing fine. Just fine. Better than fine now that that report was out of the way. He turned on his hot plate and set a tiny pan of water on it, watching it intently and savoring the heat it was giving off.

He dropped his last packet of noodles in and sprinkled the seasoning over them, resting his back against the fridge in the tiny kitchenette. His phone jangled again, the tune different and this time he lifted it to his ear and hit 'answer'. "Hey you." He made real effort to warm his voice, smiling a smile he didn't feel so that hopefully he sounded more alive.

"Terry, what the fuck were you thinking?!"

He winced, she sounded angry and he wasn't up for a fight. "Uh I-"

"Your SOUL Terry, your goddamn SOUL! For a goddamn GRADE?!"

Ah, now he knew what she was talking about and he was honestly relieved. There were far less painful topics Penny could have found out about although he was curious how she'd heard about his little 'deal'. "Hush Pen, I've already got the report written. All I have to do is turn it in to Ms. Duval in the morning. That's it. Our business is concluded. I get a passing grade and my soul stays where it is." On the other end of the line there was a perfect silence and Terry braced himself for the onslaught.

"Terry Scott, in the years I've known you I've never seen you this...irresponsible. It's NEVER that simple when you deal with a Devil. They are the masters of the loophole, the dodge. Terry...even if you've got the thing written there are a million other ways she could screw you. She could not show up in the morning so you can't hand it in for example."

"All I have to do is write the report and put it in the basket in her room. She doesn't have to be there and I've even brought a basket to put the report in when I get there if she's removed hers. Even if she switches rooms I'll have enough time. If she resigns the contract voided in my favor. Trust me Penny, this wasn't something I did spur of the moment. But I need this grade. I need it. I flunk this class and I can't continue with my major...then my scholarship dries up and I'm...I'm..." He'd be done. The scholarship was the only thing keeping him going at the moment, paying for his books and tuition while his odd jobs paid the rent.

"Terry I'd rather have seen you get a mafia loan than this. They'll just bust your kneecaps. Your soul Terry...I've got to go now." The line went dead in his hand, the call terminated from her end.

Had she been crying? He shoved the phone back in his pocket and pulled his dinner off the hot plate, pouring it into a waiting bowl. It wasn't like he wasn't in agony over his deal, as if he hadn't weighed his other options. He already had loans, plenty of them. The scholarship didn't cover everything and as a freshman he'd had enough expenses he'd needed one. Paying that back wasn't easy with it's ruinous interest and his low wage job.

At least his hands were warm, fingers cupping the bowl of steaming soup as he headed back to his room. Tomorrow morning it would all be over, just twelve more hours. He bumped the door open with his hip and glanced up. Shock radiated through his body as he discovered he was no longer alone in his apartment. His blue eyes fixed on the three gleaming yellow eyes of a smallish brown imp, it's four delicate hands clutching his laptop to it's chest. Before he could say a word it was gone, the laptop with it, with only a sulfurous smoke left behind it. The bowl of noodles shattered when it hit the floor with sound of its breaking glass covered by Terry's scream.
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Alright guys Terry is in a real spot. The laptop containing his report has just been stolen into the night. He has twelve hours to retrieve it. Where does he begin?
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Seraphi



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 503
Location: Penna, having a hot cup of tea

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:24 pm    Post subject:  

OOO! I like it Kalanna! I can really feel the pressure of Terry's predicament coming through in the end. Deadline indeed.

Twelve hours is not a lot of time, so Terry is going to have to skip the curling into a ball and crying and get out there and find that imp! I imagine that the little asshole was sent by the devil he made a deal with in the first place, so I would start looking for a clue as to where her or her little imp friend reside where Terry met and made the deal with her in the first place.
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Lilith



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 1597
Location: Happily curled up in a Daemon's lap

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:14 am    Post subject:  

This is... new.... I don't know how to approach this type of a tale but I'll stick around to see what happens. Perhaps Terry should fish out his little phone and call his friend back to tell her what has just happened and that he needs a little help. Maybe his friend knows how to track imps of the she-devil? :P
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject:  

New for me too as I don't generally write stupid protagonists and I think we can all agree that Terry making this deal in the first place is pretty damn stupid (one of many stupid choices of his you'll learn about). I can only chalk it up to the fact he's young, not too terribly mature in the scheme of things, a little lazy, and not in the best place emotionally.

It's going to be a fun challenge to keep everyone invested in him and not rooting for his destruction.
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 698
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:28 am    Post subject:  

Not my usual kind of read, but pretty fascinating! As someone who's felt the crunch of trying to get a paper done in time, I can understand how he feels seeking any and all options. Still, I agree that a soul is a bit too much to pay. I'm curious to see how it turns out!

As for the DP, I'm leaning towards calling the friend for backup. Four eyes are better than two.
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Thegaywizardly



Joined: 12 Feb 2016
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject:  

Ooooooh I have a little loophole of my own. So we are in the world of the divine, so is it wise to assume there is a balance in the world? Are there greater forces that can assail the devils reach and save Terry's soul!? Obviously there is a greater scheme the devil is playing and his imp Is but a cog in the machine, I guess we should steer this story to a greater being, perhaps a prayer will be answered. Or make another deal.
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject:  

A devil, not specifically the Devil. They're a race, much like elves or dwarves. Pulling more from the D&D/Pathfinder style rather than a religious one but that doesn't mean there isn't or couldn't be an opposite faction. It's an interesting idea!
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Thegaywizardly



Joined: 12 Feb 2016
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject:  

I meant the specific devil not the religious vernacular :P :sad:
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 698
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:02 pm    Post subject:  

I return, and with that I'm giving a nudge to all the stuff I'm following to see how it's coming. Is this ready for a poll yet, do you think? I'm impatient to see more!
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject:  

Poll s up, gliched but up...stupid tablet.
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 698
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:16 pm    Post subject:  

You might want to try deleting it and going again... I voted for 'phone a friend', but it stuck my vote somewhere else.
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject:  

I think it's fixed.
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Novelest_Ninjagirl



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 698
Location: The inn. Probably. Come check!

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:12 pm    Post subject:  

Looks like! Thanks!
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