[WP] Write about a writer (you, or a character) writing a character (yours, or your writer's) into a cliché, and then the character gains self-awareness, and protests, getting the writer to write a better story. [by u/alanthehero]

Dean Carraban was the man of the hour.

He was dead. Now, he’s been reincarnated into another world, chosen by the gods themselves to become the Hero of Destiny.

Dean Carraban was a man who walked the talk. He knew his word was gold and he strived to keep it that way. When he knelt before the gods and promised victory, he was cool as a cucumber. He knew that he was the one to save the world, but he didn’t let it affect him one bit. No, the tall, dark, and handsome Dean Carraban with piercing blue eyes stood tall.

Dean Carraban turned around, his eyes shifting from side to side.

“Dude, seriously,” he said, to no one in particular. “Do you even hear yourself right now?”

Dean Carraban stood with his arms akimbo. He was clearly ticked off.

“Hello! It’s you! The person writing all this!” Dean Carraban yelled.

Wait, what?

“No whats, you! Just read back what you are writing! It’s terrible,” Dean Carraban said.

What? It’s not terrible.

“Look, you’ve filled it with every cliche a man could possibly use. An isekai story? The chosen one? A ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ hero Come on man! And not just that, you have to write in actual cliches!”

What the hell.

“Also, how the can I be kneeling, and then “stood tall” in the next sentence? Just… rewrite this whole thing man,” Dean Carraban sighed. He turned away.

What a brat, honestly.

Dean Carraban pulled out the Sword of Light from his scabbard.

“Wait wait wait wait,” a worried tone crept into Dean Carraban’s voice. “What are you doing?”

Dean Carraban stabbed himself. A lot of times. In the most painful spots he can.

“ARGH! STOP IT! ARGGGGH! THE PAIN! MY SWORD! ARGHGGHGHGHGHUHGUSD!”

Dean Caraban was half-dead, but he he wouldn’t die so easily. He was destined to suffer. The gods sniggled at his plight, especially the super pretty goddesses.

“No… not the pretty ones…” Dean managed to gasp out in despair and tremendous pain.

Dean will eventually be made an example of. Stories will be told of Dean Carraban, the chosen hero that fell on the wrong path.

“Wrong path? You just murdered me!”

Nobody will listen to the ramblings of a mad and a dying man. Dean Carraban will go down in history as a fool.

“You.. are a dickweed.”

Dean Carraban is a dickweed. He will now be dragged away and will suffer for… four more months before he passes away.

“FOUR MONTHS?!!?”

Four years! Drag him away now, please.

Phew.

Jean Darralan was the man of the hour.

[WP] You have died. You open your eyes and see a table with a laptop. It presents you with a top ten moments of where you almost died. [by u/gdejjddjjd]

I mean, what other choice did I have, right? I was dead–there was no changing that fact. One last video for the road, before I head into the great unknown.

I pressed the spacebar.

Music blared out from the screen. A logo WatchAfterlife appeared, before quickly fading away. A soothing, female voice started to speak.

“There were some truly great moments in Alastair Jones’ life. Highlights include an amazing wedding to his beautiful husband, an impressive rendition of “You Raise Me Up” that made rounds on the Internet, and a siiiick kickflip that genuinely awed all five people watching. Today, however, we aren’t here just to celebrate Alastair’s life. Here are the top 10 moments where Alastair Jones almost died.”

I settled back, prepared for a montage of my near-death experiences. Would it be the adrenaline-pumping day where I did my first skydive? Or that terrible bout of food poisoning that had me hospitalised for a week?

“Number 10, Alastair’s bathroom slip on 24th January,2016! The floor was wet, and there was no anti-slip mat! What more could we say?”

Wait, what?

“Alastair slipped and managed to catch himself in time. Little did he know, but a 2cm degree difference in slippage would have resulted in his death!”

“Number 9, Alastair’s bathroom slip on 6th June 2017! Um, same story, different day. This time, 1.6cm!”

What the hell. Seriously?

“Number 8, Alastair’s bathroom slip on 9th August 2014! OK, wow, how far back does this go? Seems like Alastair’s troubles with a wet bathroom floor started a long time ago!”

I started skipping the video. This can’t be right. The bathroom can’t be the only place I’ve had near-death experiences.

“Number 7, Alastair’s bathroom slip on the 14th-“

“Number 6, Alastair’s bathroom slip on-“

“Number 5, Alastair’s bathroom slip-“

“Number 4, Alastair’s bathroom-“

“Number 3, Alastair’s bathro-“

“Number 2, Alastair’s food poisoning!”

Right OK. That was something new.

“When he rushed to the bathroom, he almost-“

Skip.

“And your number 1… Alastair’s bathroom slip on 4th January, 2018! This was a real gnarly one. Just 0.3cm extra slippage would have resulted in him hitting his head on the toilet bowl and his brain spilling out!”

The video was done. I was numb.

I felt a cold gust of wind. Suddenly, the laptop and the table was wooshed away from me. I found myself transported across time and space. I instinctively held on to the chair for dear life.

There was an angelic being in front of me. She looked at me and smiled kindly.

“Alastair Jones. I hoped you enjoy the video we made of your closest brushes with death.”

I looked up. I felt tears dripping down my eyes.

“O, dear angel. Would you mind telling me how I died? Did I fall in a bathroom and perish?”

The angel was holding a smartphone. She stared at it for a moment, face and eyes intently searching for information. Then, she gave a gentle smile, and lowered her phone again.

“Alastair Jones. You didn’t die from falling in a bathroom.”

I sighed in relief. At least my death wasn’t a lame fate.

“You died falling in the shower!”

[WP] You finally caved and ordered one of those necklaces that shows the position of the planets from when you were born. Three weeks later you receive your necklace, which seems to show the planets all together in a straight line. Inside the box is a handwritten note saying, "CALL US IMMEDIATELY." [by/ FoodOnion]

I turned the paper around. There’s a cell number on the back.

I shrugged. What did I have to lose, right? I called back.

It took about two rings before an excited voice spoke up.

“Hello, hello!” the voice said. “Are you the person with the perfectly aligned planets?”

“Yes, I happen to be. Why did you call me?”

“It’s just that we’ve never seen anything like that! I’m so glad you actually returned our call,” the voice said. “That said, I think your necklace might be even more special than you think it is…”

I held it up and looked at it. It looks like a simple gold medallion, with an etched sun in the middle of it. 8 circles revolved around the sun, and there’s a black mark to indicate where the planet alignment was on their birth date. Mine is just a row of black dots, all clearly pointing towards the North.

“See,” said the voice, a little more gushing now. “Because of how your planets align, your necklace is now one of the most powerful magic objects in the world!”

“… what?”

“Oh, sweet summer child. You have obtained the power of a god! YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!”

I looked down at the medallion. I examined it once again, giving it a more thorough look this time.

“So,” I said. “Can it grant wishes?”

“Of coursee! IT’S AN ALL-POWERFUL MAGIC OBJECT!”

I clutched the medallion tightly now. Suddenly a flash of light shone bright, and I felt power coursing from the medallion up into my veins.

“Hey, hey! So what are you going to wish for?”

I paused. I wondered for a while. Then I spoke.

“Please, just remove Astrology ASAP.”

[CW] Tell a story exclusively through the stylings of the end credits cast listing [by u/juhnairicusername]

UTOPIA’S MYSTERY

DIRECTED BY

A. A. AAZIKS

WRITTEN BY

KENDRA SPRINGS

JOSHUA KANE

ADAPTED FROM

THE UTOPIA KILLER: THE NEVER-ENDING STORY

by KENDRA SPRINGS

CAST

JOHN SMITHSON as DETECTIVE WALKER

ANN SALERIO as DETECTIVE RIGGS

LEILA ADAMS as THE UTOPIAN KILLER

MAURICE STEIN as THE HOUSE OWNER

JAMES SNOW as THE FIRST VICTIM

CARLA GAINES as THE THIRD VICTIM

MONICA MASSEY as MRS. MORROW

SALLY GILES as ZOOKEEPER

No animals were harmed in the making of this film.

IN LOVING MEMORY

KENDRA SPRINGS

1975 – 2019

[WP] After a wild night of partying, the villain wakes up with a hangover. To their horror, they wake up next to the hero, who is just as hungover and as confused as the villain. [by u/KuroTheWeirdo]

Deathblow had a raging headache. This time, it wasn’t from getting punched out by the Splendid Star.

Deathblow, currently going by Nathan Blosk, had a raging headache because he drank way too much and partied way too hard.

He opened his eyes, and saw nothing but swirls of lights and colours. Nathan definitely appreciated the cold floor, but his neck was killing him. He managed to pull his upper body up, and rested against a convenient sofa back. He held his head like one held an egg when it was half broken, but couldn’t let the eggy part fall out before it got to the bowl.

Nathan Blosk, better known as Deathblow, was a villain. He had a menacing sounding name, but he wasn’t a big-time villain or anything. He’s been in the biz for just under a year. Yet, Splendid Star, Stardust City’s shining jewel and beacon of hope, always managed to find him. Burglaring a jewellery store? Check. Trying to sneak into the Stardust Museum? Check. Swiping the latest iPhone at an Apple store? check.

Deathblow managed to escape most of the time. But he couldn’t help but feel Splendid Star was going easy on him. After all, she was a superwoman, with all the powers that one could possibly want. Super strength, flight, x-ray vision… damn, if only he had x-ray vision for yesterday’s party. Instead, all he had was one blow: one hit per day that could harness his full strength, before it got weaker rapidly. Just one strong punch a day, a few medium ones, and then normalcy.

“Stupid Splendid Star,” Blosk thought out loud.

“Whaa-huh? Who iz der Splhendid Schtar? Not–hic–me!” A voice. An extremely drunk and slurred one.

Blosk’s head turned instantly. He also regretted it instantly, for pain jolted in every part of his head. He managed to take in the features of the woman lying right next to him. She was in a fetal postion, her face barely visible. Her long, brown hair was a mess, and covered her face almost entirely.

Blosk thought, which was extremely difficult when his head felt like an egg that’s about three-quarters of the way broken. No way. There’s absolutely, completely, utterly, totally, no way.

His thought was cut short, however, when the woman started to heave. Blosk knew what was coming. He quickly stood up and rushed to the kitchen to grab a plastic bag. Besides the aforementioned egg-head, Blosk managed to find one. He stuffed it in his pocket, and tried his best to prop the lady up. He hung the plastic bag on her ears, held his breath, and closed his eyes.

The ensuing scene was definitely not pretty. It also didn’t smell very good either. The retching noises? Certainly unpleasant. Blosk held her up, ensuring that she didn’t fall back down, only opening his eyes once in a while to confirm that she wasn’t choking on her own vomit.

When he determined that it was done, he quickly chucked the vomit bag out, and brought her to the nearest bathroom. She was in barely any condition to stand, so he propped her against the (surprisingly clean!) toilet bowl. He sat down, his back against the bathroom door.

Blosk looked at her half-glazed eyes, her face now slightly uncovered. He noted that she looked familiar.

A few minutes passed. More minute passed. Gradually, both of them got more and more awake. The woman mimed a glass of water, and Blosk gave her one.

She gurgled, and spat. Then she spoke.

“Er, thank you. I might have choked on my own vomit if you didn’t help me out.”

“No worries. Just what any good citizen would do. Say, do I know you from somewhere?”

They looked at each other intently. The lady’s eyes shone with the light of recognition, and

“Oh my god, are you… Nathan Blosk?” she actually squeaked.

The squeak triggered something in Blosk. He knew that voice from somewhere. A high school class, perhaps?

“Oh my god. You are Samantha Star? From high school!”

As recognition dawned upon them, so did the memories and unanswered questions that always accompanied these sort of things. Star propped against the toilet bowl and Blosk with his back to the bathroom door. It wasn’t the most typical of circumstances, but who could blame them?

They talked about everything. About their lives after graduation. Which colleges they ended up in. Were their current careers the one they wanted when they were teenagers?

A nagging doubt gnawed on Blosk’s mind. He was hungover, yes, but he had heard Samantha Star say something about Splendid Star not too long ago. Honestly, it’s not even two plus two to figure out that maybe, just maybe, Samantha Star might have had some inspiration in her superhero name.

So, he asked.

“Samantha. Are you Splendid Star?”

She paused. She looked directly at him. She might have been regurgitating her dinner just moments ago, but there was a sudden steel in her expression.

“Nathan. Are you Deathblow?”

The two were at an impasse. Seconds went by. A minute. The tension was palpable, and could be cut even with a blunt butter knife.

Then, Blosk laughed. He chuckled first, but it turned into a guffaw. And Star followed suit.

“What. The. Hell,” Blosk said. “My greatest enemy has been my high school crush all this time?”

“Greatest enemy? Puh-lease. Not even my superfans will know that you exist, Deathblow,” she said. Then, she blushed a little, when she realised what Blosk had said. “Wait, high school crush?”

“Yeap. We weren’t close or anything, but well… you were a star. A shining star even in high school. And look at you now, the shining star of our city.” Nathan smiled a sad smile.

“Look, Nathan… I kinda knew you were Deathblow all along.”

“Of course. What can’t the Splendid Star do?”

“It’s not like that! I just… kinda knew from all the time I spent watching you in high school. Like, how your walk looked like. Or how you sounded. Or how you would try to steal from a teacher’s office or something,” Star smiled a little. “And then, I’ll find out that it’s for something stupid like recovering a friend’s confiscated rubber band ball or something.”

Nathan Blosk and Samantha Star were quiet now. They held each other’s gaz. They saw a little bit of themselves in the other’s eyes. A quiet agreement was formed, right there and then, on the white, tiled floor of a bathroom.

“So, now we know each other’s identity. And yours is definitely way bigger of a secret than mine,” Blosk said.

“It is. But I know you. You aren’t Deathblow because you want to do bad things. There’s something else behind that villainous persona of yours,” Samantha said. “And so help me god, but I won’t let you go down that path.”

Blosk stayed still. He couldn’t think of a reason not to tell Star.

“I–“

He was rudely interrupted as a barrage of knocks came on the door.

“JESUS CHRIST DUDE! ARE YOU DONE ALREADY? I NEED THE BATHROOM!” An angry voice rang out from behind the door.

Both Blosk and Samantha jolted straight up. They looked at each other, and laughed. Blosk opened the door, apologising profusely to the man. When the man saw Star with him, his anger dissipated a little, and instead gave Blosk a quick pat on the shoulder before rushing in.

Blosk felt a warm hand slip into his left. He turned, and saw Star looking up at him.

“Deathblow, you aren’t getting away from me that easy.”

“I’m not, Star. But… your breath still stinks, so maybe another time?”

This time, Blosk felt a warm hand slap his back. This time, it hurt really, really bad.

[WP] A murder mystery where the main character uses as peanut butter for as many analogies as possible. [by u/M1ntyPunch]

Detective Justin Pan pulled up to the crime scene.

He gently wrapped his peanut butter and jelly sandwich back into a neat square and placed it on top of his dashboard. The detective gave the sandwich a little pat and whispered a tender farewell, and stepped out of his car.

His boots sank into crunchy, peanut-coloured mud. He sighed, again, but trudged on. In front of the police tape, he saw Officer Jones and gave a curt nod to her. Officer Jones replied with a curt nod as well.

“Officer Jones,” Detective Pan said.

“Detective Pan.” Officer Jones said. “We’ve got a murder on our hands. Down this dark alley, we’ve got our body in there. It wasn’t clean at all, there’s a lot of blood all over the place, so be careful where you’re stepping.”

“Of course, Jones. Mind if you guide me there? My partner ain’t here yet, so I would like to bounce some ideas off you before she arrives. It takes two slices of bread to make a sandwich, no?”

“Of course, Detective, I’ll be glad to help,” Officer Jones replied. “We haven’t found out the victim’s identity yet, but the body’s a male, approximately in his late 20’s. Multiple stab wounds across his body, front and back. The rain interfered a little with the scene, but thankfully, the corpse is in the shade so it shouldn’t affect our investigation too much.”

Pan and Jones walked. Pan didn’t need Jones’ help finding the body. The rain did little to wash away the acrid smell of blood, for the alleyway was well covered with random smatterings of objects. The body was in a relatively dry spot, with blood pooling all around it. Jones was right, it was a messy job. Pan stopped and scanned the surroundings.

It was a relatively uncluttered area. The victim’s body was in front of a garbage bin, with a splotch of blood on it.

“Look there, Jones. Like a patch of jelly on peanut butter,” Pan took out a notebook and started writing it in. Jones nodded, a little confused, but agreeable. Pan noticed the smear moving down over the bottom right corner of the dumpster.

“The victim must have been knocked into the bin during the scuffle. Considering how much blood is on there, it might be the final blow to him. Look at this smear. It’s likely that he collapsed against the bin, and the murderer, in desperation, tried to drag him away. Like how one would desperately save every drop of peanut butter on the butter knife by rubbing it on the edge of the bread,” Pan thought out loud.

Officer Jones looked at Detective Pan. He wasn’t sure whether he should bring up how those two scenarios were nothing like each other, but she refrained from doing so. After all, it really wasn’t her place to do so.

Detective Pan stepped a little closer, taking care not to step on any sort of blood. He noticed the uneven, shallow stab wounds all over the corpse.

“It’s highly likely that this was scuffle turned wrong. The cuts are relatively shallow, but one in the back landed in a vital spot. It definitely wasn’t smooth at all, not like the top of a freshly opened jar of peanut butter.”

Officer Jones was getting very creeped out. As politely as she could, she asked: “Detective? When does your partner get here? I… have to go make a report. Away from here.”

“Oh. Well, I wouldn’t want to get in the way of your work, would I? I wouldn’t want to get in the way of your work, like peanut butter and mayonnaise gets in the way of each other,” Detective Pan said. “Go ahead, Officer Jones. Detective Bonne should be here soon.”

Officer Jones nodded, and quickly took her leave. She scrambled back to her police car, and sighed in relief. She noticed another car pulling up to the scene, and realised that Detective Bonne was here.

Bonne got out of the car. She greeted Officer Jones, and asked where Pan was. Officer Jones directed her down the alley.

When Detective Pan saw Detective Bonne, they greeted each other.

“Bonne, the jam to my peanut butter. Look here, this isn’t going to be an easy case, but nothing can’t be achieved with this dynamic duo, eh?”

“Of course, Pan,” Bonne said. She took a look at the crime scene, and sighed. “Unfortunately, looks like we are going to be as entwined as the chocolate swirls in a peanut butter jar. You ready for this, partner?”

Officer Jones stared in horror. Her jaw dropped. There were two of them.

[WP] We have four voices in our heads telling us what to do. Of course, there's the angel and devil, but there's also the fairy, the voice of chaos, and Steve, who directs all inquiries to the other three and refuses to make any decisions. [by u/burritoburkito6]

To say that Steve was indecisive was inaccurate at best.

Rather, Steve just didn’t make any decisions. None. Absolutely zilch.

Angel? Always coming up with good advice, and generally telling me how not to ruin my life.

Devil? Terrible, terrible person. Fun? Too many times to count, but there’s definitely consequences to be had.

The Fairy? Big no-no. Yet, there are times when Fairy’s ideas don’t sound too bad… she’s kinda like your average intrusive thought, except she makes a convincing argument as to why I shouldn’t dismiss it.

Steve? Steve has one job, and it’s to redirect all inquiries to the other three. Steve does not make a decision. And therefore, he doesn’t make a mistake too.

See, it’s easy to blame my predicament on any of the voices in my head. Sure, the Angel’s well-meaning, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t go overboard with niceness at times. Like that time Roy took a bite out of my chocolate bar, and she actually suggested giving the whole thing to him because he was hungry. Like, what? Of course, the Devil also said to beat him up and throw him out of the window, while Eve suggested staring straight into his eyes to assert dominance, before pulling out the dance routine that I’ve been practicing in shameful secret. Steve stayed silent, and only advised that there were three choices in front of me.

So, how do I ever come to a decision? Frankly… I don’t. I really don’t. I’ve lost so many opportunities throughout the years. Muddled by my thoughts and the voices in my head, never being able to come to one solid answer.

So, I decided to talk to Steve. A one-on-one chat. Steve isn’t going to just redirect thoughts now. He’s going to have to provide some measured opinions of his own, maybe listen to the other three once in a while, but toning them down.

I mean, tAngel wasn’t terribly wrong. I could have forgiven him, but not by giving my entire chocolate bar away. Devil went a little overboard, but reprimanding him wasn’t a bad idea! And Fairy… OK, maybe just tune her out most of the time.

So, Steve, what do you say? Think we can work through this together?

Of course, Steve. I’m your voice. I’ll try my best if you try your best.