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Kamisama420
October 15th, 2010, 08:27 AM
"Welcome to The Rebound, friend. Please make yourself comfortable, I'll be right over to take your order. You seem troubled and confused, something's on your mind, no doubt. Maybe sharing it with me would remove some of the burden ?"

Hi. I'm the bartender at The Rebound. My name ? Just call me Bartender. Not very interesting, I know, but this is not about me anyway. No, the interesting ones are the people drifting to my counter. And I'm using "drifting" literally.

You see, The Rebound is a very special place. You wouldn't find it if you spent your life looking for it. That's not how it works. You don't find The Rebound, The Rebound finds you. And it finds you when you need it the most.

The conditions required for the inn to find you are quite simple: you need to be alone, lost, and desperate for survival. Location, dimensions, planes of existence, time and space; we aren't restricted to any of those. The Rebound operates outside those limitations. We are an island for a lonely sailor lost at sea, an oasis for a man on the verge of collapse in the desert, a station for a space traveller not recognizing the stars, a motel for a person walking endlessly after his car broke down in the middle of nowhere, a cabin for a cocky hunter having lost his way in a forest for days, a hiding place for a stray animal abandoned in a dump...

We are a place where you drop your problems, a place to start fresh on a new path. When you leave, we'll send you on the right way. But even in this dream-like world, it comes at a price. Money is no good here. No, I only ask for an item of your choice; to commemorate your passage and offer the next lost soul some advice.

Because such is the place I have. Here is where you tell us your story, where you learn from others' adventures, and where you turn your life around.

Here, is where you Rebound.


Description

- This thread is for short stories. They need a beginning, a climax and an end that would explain how your main character got there.
- At the end of the story, your character must leave something behind as payment.
- If you can, formulate a moral for your story. The moral will be associated to the item left as payment, and we can build an interesting collection of intelligent quotes from them. If you can't think of one, leave it to me.


Rules

- All stories must be told from the main character's point of view, therefore first person (I, me, etc).
- You can be a human, monster, alien, ghost, animal, robot, whatever you want.
- You can set your story in any period of time (past, present, future) and anywhere (Earth or not). Keep in mind that since we're talking "short" stories here, setting explanations should be kept as minimal as possible (don't go into in-detail descriptions of things unrelated to the main plot).
- Although there's no word limit, again, think "short story" (5000 words IS too long...)
- You need a title for your story.

I think that covers it.
Hope you enjoy the idea, and let your imagination loose !

(PM me any questions)

Kamisama420
October 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
The Stories and their Morals

Here will be a list of the short stories posted (titles), followed by the object left behind, the moral associated with it, and the author.

Embarrassment --- A wedding ring --- "To not know and to ask is a moment of embarrassment; to not know and not ask is a lifetime of shame.", Kamisama420

Malfunction --- A metal butterfly --- "Just because something doesn't do what you expected it to do doesn't mean it's useless.", Kamisama420

Kordain
October 15th, 2010, 03:02 PM
I think i've got something. I don't have time for it right now but i'll try in the next 12 hours.

The name will be 'Ceasefire.' (disclaimer violence.)

Kamisama420
October 18th, 2010, 03:15 PM
Embarrassment

A man enters the bar. He is dressed in rags, looks like he hasn't taken a bath in weeks, reeks alcohol and tobacco, and could use some major shaving. He sits at the counter and orders a whiskey on the rocks. As the bartender, I get a glass, pour the drink and serve it. The man takes a sip and put it back down on the counter. He raises the glass back to his mouth and takes a bigger sip before slightly slamming it back on the counter, like an annoyed person would.

He then starts talking:

"I used to be a happy man. Happily married, a good job, a decent house. I had a lovely wife, sensible, patient. My career was right in front of me, a promotion on the horizon. Materially speaking, I had nothing to worry about, and I could afford any reasonable expense.

One day, I went to have dinner with some clients. Everything was going well and we had pleasant discussions all the way to the end. At some point though, someone made a joke that I just can't remember right now. It doesn't matter. What matters is what came next. One of them said: "Oh! Like David Brown!" in relation to the joke that had just been said.

That's when everything started. To be honest, I didn't know who David Brown was. And I didn't care that much, it was just some joke said at some dinner, I didn't think twice about it. I laughed with the others and it slipped my mind.

A few days later, while at the barbershop to get a hair cut, I heard those two ladies waiting for their turn talk about the same guy, David Brown. It rang a bell in my head, but I wasn't going to interrupt two strangers to ask who David Brown was. So I let it go.

By the end of the week, all I could hear was people talking about that David Brown character. Everywhere I went, he was the center of all discussions. Everyone seemed to know him, except me. Even my wife made a crack about him one night. My curiosity was at its peek, but by then, it was impossible to ask without looking completely retarded. You know how it is... you ask about something that everyone on the planet should know and you get those remarks about how late you are on the subject for months.

No, I would have none of it. I would find the answer on my own.

The following weeks, I watched every news channels, comedy shows, talk shows, or anything that could give me some insight on who David Brown was. Obviously, comments about him flowed like a torrent, but never did I see him or hear anything on who the guy was. Just connections to him.

I started reading magazines and a bunch of different newspapers. Even those girly magazines that keep talking crap about anyone remotely successful. Again, no sign of him. Neither did the Internet, which is supposed to hold all the information you can wish for!

How, I ask you, how the hell is it possible for everybody to know about someone, and not being able to get any information on that person with today's information system ? That is absolutely unheard of.

It soon started to eat me from the inside. I couldn't sleep at night, or I had nightmares about people laughing at me for not knowing, all of them being David Brown but without showing their faces. That obviously led to some serious lack of sleep, and my workplace soon noticed a gigantic drop in my productivity. I was getting there late, called sick, took days off... After a while, I lost my job, but I was too entranced by the mystery of David Brown to really grasp the gravity of the situation.

My wife also saw something was wrong. She kept asking me what the problem was, but I was too stubborn to admit what it really was. I told tall tales of insomnia, stress or anything that came through my mind. Our relationship fell to rock bottom. I don't blame her; I was locked in my study almost 24h a day. I spent most of my nights in there too.

She left me one day, I can't remember when. I'm not even sure I noticed. I came out of my study to find out she was gone. Her stuff too. Just like that. Soon afterward, they took my house and belongings as I couldn't pay for anything anymore. The search for the blasted David Brown prevented me from getting a new job. I was literally in my own little world, in my little bubble that no one and nothing could penetrate.

After a year, the David Brown boom was dead. He wasn't talked about, or even related to anymore. But that didn't stop me. At that point, I needed to know! To put my mind at ease, to be satisfied, to show myself that all the bad things that happened weren't in vain. I started to roam around bars and saloons. God knows that if you're looking for rumors and hear-says, that's where you get them all.

I still haven't got a clue. I stumbled upon this bar in my quest for the answer. Seeing as I'm the only one here tonight, I don't think I'll know anytime soon... Well, I guess I should be going. Here, I don't think I'll need this anymore."

With that, he slides something on the counter, which I grab. Looking at it, I find out it's his wedding ring. When I look back up, he's pushing the door to leave. I call to him:

"Hey!"
The man turns back to me with depression written all over his face.
"Take a flier with you on your way out."
He takes a flier, then freezes on the spot. His eyes widens as he reads the title: "The Amazing Story of David Brown". He looks back at me, tears falling in his beard, but smiling. His throat squeezed by emotion, he lifts the flier and bows his head, then takes his leave.

I put the ring in my collection room. It's still there. A sign under it reads:
To not know and to ask is a moment of embarrassment; to not know and not ask is a lifetime of shame.

Kamisama420
October 22nd, 2010, 08:24 AM
Malfunction

As I am washing some glasses one day, the door slowly opens, and a robot klunkily makes his way to my counter. I say "robot" for lack of a better term to describe the pile of junk coming toward me. I expect it to break down at any moment, but it successfully makes it through the few meters that separate the door from its seat.

I keep priding myself that I have everything and anything someone wishes for, and this is no exception. After my usual greeting, I excuse myself and go fetch my red tool box and multiple cans of oil, lubricant, grease, etc.

I put the box in front of the robot, and it slowly reaches up. It then starts to repair itself the best it can, and it begins talking in a canny, linear tone:

" I was created by a man named... My programming prevents me from calling him anything but Master. He lives nearby in a lumber factory. He is extremely smart, which explains how he could make a robot like myself out of scraps found in a junk yard, but his passion is wood.

He lives alone and barely survives financially. He created me to help him with his work, since he couldn't afford hiring anybody. But he made a mistake in his calculations during my conception...

My original purpose was to clean up the place while he worked. But my programming told me otherwise. As I picked up my first few scraps of wood, I knew what I was meant to do.

As I was cleaning the workshop, Master let me be. His working area was getting tidier by the hour, so he didn't care how I was doing it, as long as it was being done. He watched me getting in and out of the shop a few times, then forgot all about me.

At some point, he went to sleep, but I kept going. I started picking up bigger and bigger pieces of wood for my project, and restlessly went back and forth between the workshop and the courtyard.

In the morning, as I was doing the final touch on my creation, I heard a yell from inside, and soon saw Master rushing out.

"You idiotic robot ! What did you do with..."

He didn't finish his question as his eyes caught on what I've been doing. It was an elaborate garden arch, meant to be pretty while usefully holding flower pots, vines and other vegetation, and intricately painted in complementory and soothing colors.

His jaw dropped, his mouth went wide open, and his eyes were as big as they could get. But after a few moments, his face went red with rage. He took a long piece of wood lieing on the floor and started to smash me with it while yelling:

"You useless piece of crap ! I created you to clean the shop, not use all my wood to build a stupid arch we don't even need ! Do you have any idea how much you just cost me ?! You're gonna pay for this !"

I escaped out of self-preservation, a part of the code I'm sure he wished he'd removed. I went and hid in the very junk yard my body came from.

A few days later, I found a newspaper. On the front page, I saw Master with a huge smile on his face. My arch brought the attention of an art collector, which described it as "one of the most superb pieces of art of the century". Master took credit for it and sold it for 25,000$ to a rich heir.

I saw Master roaming around the junk yard soon after, looking for me. He wants me back to build more archs and get rich. But I'm not going back. Self-preservation programming prevents me to. I'm going far away to do what I was built to do, even if it was a programming mistake; somewhere safe where people can appreciate my art for what it is, and not the money it can bring."

As the robot says those last words, he puts down a wrench. It seems repaired to some extent and able to travel somewhere someone can help fix the rest.

I look down on the counter, and I realize nothing is as it was; my tools are all bent, the cans are ripped open, the red box is in pieces. But at their place is a marvelously made metal butterfly in shades of red and silver.

"I'm sorry about your tools," the robot says before stepping out of the bar, while I was still in awe at the art on my counter.

The butterfly is now in the collection room, and the sign reads:
Just because something doesn't do what you expected it to do doesn't mean it's useless.