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8/8/2012 c1 14RinaJewelz
Brilliant one shot!
I usually find stories that attempt to do anything similar to what you've done here a little cringe but this was written perfectly. I could even envision what was happening.
I love the main narrative voice, that droll, bored out of their mind, cynical, deep thinking persona. It was great. His thoughts on how we could all just be substitutes for original versions of us that have been sucked into the void of nothingness was really entertaining.
Could really identify with the main character actually as the turn of events that resulted in me reading this involved me, sitting at my desk hungry, bored and frustrated with the amount of studying I have left to do for my exam in two weeks & so deciding to turn into the alternate reality which is fictionpress lol.
Sincerely loved it :) Great job
8/5/2012 c1 1Deranged Dairy Products
Mathematics used to cause my mind to wander as well, though I don't think my wanderings were this in depth. Mostly I thought about past arguments, and how I would win them if I could travel back in time.

First of all, your grasp on vocabulary and punctuation has to be commended. There was a wealth of vibrant language and not once was your intended flow ruined by a missing or misused comma. Your descriptive writing was also well constructed, and you'll seem some of my favourite lines below. I especially enjoyed the opening paragraph and the way your protag's mind moved around, though I'm not sure some of his/her (I'll say 'his' for ease of us) thoughts were necessary, as even though most were required to set up this meeting with the Numbers, a few just make him seem a bit too moody, which distanced me from his plight a little. 'I had no interest in my classmates, those masses of flesh masquerading as individuals', for example. I think you could afford to give him a touch more warmth.

The initial meeting with the Numbers was great. It had me intrigued from the get go, and I enjoyed the way you described him and the alt dimension; gave me a very clear mental image. I'm not sure how I feel about the end, though. It just seemed like the protag deduced the Number's ploy a little too suddenly. We're inside the guy's head for most of the piece, so perhaps you could give us more access to his thought processes here; that way it doesn't come out as such an abrupt revelation. Also, I'm still trying to grasp exactly what this Number's bloke was. If he was some 'primordial deity' belonging to another dimension, what was his exact purpose? Did he keep numbers going, or was that whole thing a ploy just so he could have a meal? Why does he want the guy's soul, and why does he think that having a teacher killed is the best way to claim it? I would think a more civil arrangement would give him a better chance of meeting his goal. And when he does transform into the fanged space-demon and attack, the action seemed a little jarring compared to the rest of the piece, which had all been about mind over matter. I would have thought that with 7 billion people on the planet there'd be a few moody teenagers thinking about numbers and wanting to break free of n immortal being.

I'm probably thinking about things too much.

Here are some things to talk about:

'It would take an armed gunman wasting my classmates to rouse me from this cyclic boredom' - sweet line.

'Pacman was devouring one of his ghostly companions in a far more gruesome fashion than the arcade game would have you believe' - nice.

'Anyone remotely displaying any characteristics of having their own personality was immediately subjected to rigorous conditioning' - just seems a little clunky. Perhaps 'Anyone displaying even the remotest signs of a unique personality' or something like that would help it flow better.

'You could fight for years and start to believe that you'd finally freed yourself, and then the walls of your shelter collapse, unveiling that you'd only been hiding behind a paper-thin distortion. Perceptions and reality blur, and everything you knew is gone, leaving the painful irony that the system you hated so much is the only thing left' - I'm not too sure what's being said here. Maybe some more clarification as to how this is the case; an example even. Since the twist at the end is built around shrugging off the system, it's something I feel needs some time set aside to be explored further.

'And if that were true, were any of us really first editions, or just substitutes for the original? Perhaps the world itself was a substitute, replacing the previous Earth with not a soul taking notice' - now that's more the sort of thing my mind used to wander to.

'running along the walls in some kind of cheap Matrix rip-off' - again, nice.

'I was being offered my heart's desire to kill a person I wasn't even sure was really there' - ha, I had to read this twice, first time around thinking that his heart's desire was slice-and-dice madness. If I may be so bold, I might recommend 'I was being offered my heart's desire in return for killing a person', just so sad people like me don't read things the wrong way.

There were a couple of typos and some other slightly clunky sentences, but just a fine-tooth comb effort or even reading aloud will rectify those. All in all, I was well entertained by this short piece. Cheers for the read.

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