Just In
for In Harmony

1/16/2012 c1 16Ioga
Ooh, earbug 2.0!

I can totally identify with this prompt, and Ariel's situation isn't far behind. I've been pondering what the mental difference between earbugs and auditive hallucinations, or "daydreaming" imaginary friends and hallucinating them is - i.e. if the method of sensing is the exact same, but the "reality identifier" circuit in your brain isn't working, or if it works somehow different earlier in the loop too. Like tinnitus, which is physical. (What about ghost pain?)

There were some parts that I felt didn't go down quite smoothly. "What the hell am I talking about? you might ask." - cue in narrator explaining what this is all about; this could be a bit more subtle. The other place where my reading coughed a bit was in the processing of Min - so he pulled a physical thing from the narrator's ear, listened to it on a microphone, which his software visualized as a picture, and this minstrel spirit was actually compatible enough with his software to hack the *visualization* to leave a lip-reading message - instead of e.g. whispering it directly? "Please only use this Minstrel Sprite with an unpatched Windows XP and Ghoul-Visualizer version 4.56." X-D

The fingernails snot balls was a good detail, but it was positioned a bit too close to the ending to really sink in. It flew past without contributing to the storyline.

I loved the ending, very Beautiful Mind -esque. Another favourite moment was the trying to check if you're crazy without alarming other people to the fact.

And ohh, the creepiness of song-mangling to a gloomier mode. That really caught my eye because my internal jukebox mangles all songs as a method of keeping itself warm and running when otherwise bored. (Sometimes the result is something amusing, sometimes just bad punning, and sometimes downright taboo, like a slavery-criticizing rewrite of the 'Tigger song'.) The original song choices sometimes may reflect my mood, like Ariel's jukebox. But I can't tell for certain since it's more like a waking sound-dream where you don't always really see where on earth it's coming from, but some elements you can clearly identify. (Also, when you find yourself humming aloud, it's like talking in your sleep - your dreams are leaking out where people can sense them!)

Thanks for this!
1/12/2012 c1 21Sercus Kaynine
This was a very quirky, fun story. I love the idea you had hear. It was very original. I liked the discovery and the idea.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
1/11/2012 c1 5Dr. Self Destruct
My first thought after reading this: 'That was a cute little story.' I don't know if this is what you intended, but I feel like this is some little faery tale I could tell my kids one day, about a magical creature that gives you music which matches your mood. Honestly, I think that would be a very enjoyable experience - and I'm glad Ariel thinks the same thing and decided to keep it.

You also have this very airy tone in this, kinda naive and carefree, which I think matches the content very well. I particularly enjoy how the narrator addresses the reader directly, kinda breaking the fourth wall. I think it builds this interesting relationship between the writer and the reader, and not many people do this. I think it's a great way to pull someone into a story if used correctly.

I find it interesting you use ' instead of the normal quotation marks. I've seen this done in a couple published novels I've read a long time ago. I can't help but be curious: is there a reason you use those instead of the conventional quotation marks? My guess is you want it to stick out as something not encountered often, which I think is a great way to make something really stick, even if it is subtle and in the background.

I noticed both doctors mentioned they have never seen anything like this in their 30 years of study. I like the consistency - gives it a very comical feel about it, like those old people who always recount their lives and how '15 years ago, everything was so much better'. I thought the comical tone throughout was a nice touch in itself - I found myself grinning or chuckling a few times. Always a nice reaction when reading something - I love laughter.

Especially enjoyed that line about people smiling during a meeting.

Good luck in the WCC!
1/11/2012 c1 TBK6212
I like the flashbacks, the way Ariel fluidly tells her story up to the point of the main plot. It held my interest; while my wondering what the hell was going on was part of it, I was interested to see what would happen and how this would play into the story. The end was a bit odd-maybe it was intended to be that way? It seems like it all happens a bit fast, her finding out the thing inside her head. Still, you tied it all together with a nice, if predictable, ending. Good.
1/9/2012 c1 18Stephanie M. Moore
What an unusual interpretation. For some reason, I feel like this story lacks the usual cleanliness and depth your stories usually have. But it's a very unique concept, and I really liked the first half of the story.

Though I haven't read it, the premise reminds me of The Host. (I know, it's Stephenie Meyer... bear with me.) Your story is much lighter; it feels like it almost makes fun of itself. But the spirit inside of the body reminded me of it. I think the length is perfect... long enough to complete the story but short enough to keep my interest.

I thought the spacing was fine, and I couldn't find any grammatical errors, so congrats on that. Nice work and best of luck in the contest!
1/7/2012 c1 58Inkspilled
"what music would play, and that what volume,"- i think you mean at

Very creative, and amusing. I am left wondering why the friendly minstrel death-ified all those songs, though. Is our character just a morbid person? The appearance of the shop and the dialogue with the man was very amusing, and quite funny. I like that you had fun with this. I like the narrator's voice.

The ending definitely became fairy-tale like, with the "Willing in removal procedure but harmless if left intact." and the antagonists quick decision to let it stay.

Very interesting, I'm glad you had fun with the prompt. Nice work. :)

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