Hey Soompiers! We finish the 4th week of the fanfic marathon with 88 written submissions and a total sum of 1792 points among the teams. The 3rd round has started with new writing and reading prompts (writing: create a story featuring 2-3 items on a given list; reading: summarize a fic in 25 words or less). We’ve also introduced new game threads (Slap the Keyboard and Fog in the Mirror).
A preview of Slap the Keyboard (in which you create a story based off of random letters typed by the poster above you).
ghilaire’s slap of letters: wfcieo
yui.’s story: wendy fixes crazy imp’s ebony object
A preview of Fog in the Mirror (in which you answer a question about a fic posed from the poster above you). **If you are familiar with fics, try answering these questions/clues and head over to the thread to see if you’re correct!
kathyfish’s clue: In Welcome to The Underworld, this is the item that allows Choi Yoori to finally re-gain her memories and face the fact that she is An Soo Jin.
lilazn1004’s clue: In Dongie’s 3080, according to Woo Hyuk, who is the “best sniper in the world”?
-inniiee’s clue: In Play The Keys To My Heart, what were Boa’s parents’ jobs?
As always, all Soompiers are welcome to participate (you don’t have to be on a team ^^). If any of these activities sound appealing to you, visit our submission threads for more information (Reader’s Submission Thread and Writer’s Submission Thread), or visit our game threads as linked above. Help us reach the goal of 500 stories by the end of this summer!
Lastly, here are 2 one-shots chosen by the moderators to be featured this week (one with a cute romance, one with a banjun twist!) If you want a chance to be featured in the next spotlight, join us in the writer’s thread ;).
Team Number: 2
Chosen Items: bubblegum, cassette tape
MY BIG BROTHER
“Listen to my words or else you’ll regret it for the rest of your life,” my mother yelled as I slammed the door behind me. “Hana, Hana… come back here.”
Someone suddenly grabbed my arm and turned me around. “Where do you think you’re going?” my older brother asked with a worried look on his face.
“Out of here! Anywhere…. Just not here,” I uttered as I tried hard to control my tears.
“Don’t take Mom’s words so seriously. You know, she’s just drunk… So don’t be upset okay?” Michael said while trying to convince me to stay.
I quickly shook my head. “No, Michael. I am tired. She always blames me for everything that goes wrong in her life. She hates me. You’re the only one she loves. You’re her savior and angel while I am the jinx and the devil in her eyes.”
“Hana,” my brother uttered. He knew that what I said was true. “Don’t be like that… Come on relax… Breathe in, breathe out,” he jokingly said. He then took out a piece of bubblegum from his pocket. “Here, I bought your favorite bubblegum on my way home. Just forget about your little misunderstanding with Mom okay,” he said with a grin.
Michael always knew how to make me calm down. He always knew how to make me feel better. He understood me like no one else did.
As for our mother, she had different views regarding us. She always gave my brother what he wanted while I always had to beg or most of the time work in order to buy myself what I needed or wanted. She was very unfair in everything. She gave all the expensive things to my brother and the cheap ones to me. Even the housework was unevenly divided but since my brother grew up being nice and supportive. He would still help me whenever our mother wasn’t around.
Even though my brother grew up being loved and well pampered, he didn’t become spoiled or unkind. In fact, he became a very loving and supportive brother. And this was the only reason why I stayed. There were many times that I had thought about running away. But whenever the idea crossed my mind, he always pops up and somehow changes everything.
I loved Michael. He was my light and the only one I could lean on.
But everything changed.
The time came that he had to go and study in a school far from our place. I cried and cried, while begging him not to go. But he just shook his head and gently kissed my forehead.
“I can’t stay,” he uttered. “Just be a good girl and stay here with Mom. She needs you,” he gently said.
“Then I’ll go with you… Please take me with you. Don’t leave me here. I won’t be able to bear one day… alone with her,” I uttered between sobs.
He then gently caressed my head just like he used to do. “Don’t talk like that. Remember when I said the time will come that she will learn to love you? Well that time is now. Make her see her mistakes, make her see the beautiful side of you that she hasn’t seen before. She has always centered her whole world around me, maybe when I am gone… she will learn how to center her eyes on you instead.”
I cried and buried my face in his chest. “But… but it won’t be the same without you. Don’t worry. Hmmm, how about I think of a way so that you won’t miss me?” he asked.
“How?” I asked curiously.
He laughed. “Ahhh, how about if I promise you that I will send you a package full of bubblegum every week? That way, you will always remember me, and every time that you’re mad with her or you’re sad… you can just think of me while chewing the bubblegum I sent,” he said again with a laugh.
I somehow couldn’t stop myself from laughing. “You’re really silly. What are you thinking? I am not a little kid anymore. I am already fifteen. You don’t have to bribe me with bubblegum. The least you could do is bribe me with something more expensive,” I said with a light laugh.
He laughed then embraced me tighter.
I don’t know why. But something changed. His embrace was more full of love and warmth… It was like he was saying goodbye.
Days, Weeks, Months, Years passed.
It’s been 6 years.
Just like what he promised, he sent me a package containing my favorite bubblegum… every week without fail. I always wrote to him but he never wrote me back. Instead he would send me a cassette tape together with the bubble gum. He would tell me about his study abroad, his new friends, his new girlfriend, his new teacher… he told me everything with what was going on in his life.
I always asked in my letters why he couldn’t come home and visit us. But he would always say in his tape that he was too busy or it was too expensive. He made up so many excuses that there were times that I felt like something was totally wrong.
Days before my graduation from college, I sent him a letter asking him if it would be okay if he came to my graduation. But just like expected, he just sent a package with bubble gum and a tape. In the tape, he said that a week after my graduation he would give me something special.
My heart became excited. I thought that he would finally come home. But I was wrong.
A week after my graduation, no Michael came home. Instead my mother suddenly called me into the living room and gently asked me to sit down.
Fear immediately filled my heart. I knew something dreadful was coming.
My mother carefully gave me a package. It was the usual package that I receive from Michael every week.
I sighed. “Another package? Great!” I said with sarcasm.
My mother looked at me with sadness in her eyes. “I think you should open that package first. And please no matter what you hear… please keep an open mind. Your brother loves you very much.”
Somehow my hands trembled as I carefully placed the tape into the cassette player.
“Happy Graduation Hana,” Michael’s voice said with so much joy. “I know that you’re very disappointed that I wasn’t able to attend your graduation. I am sorry. I… I really wish that I could.” There was a long silence. “It’s been 6 years hasn’t it? Such a very long time… a very long time indeed… that I have been deceiving you. I am sorry Hana. I am sorry… I didn’t want to lie to you but there was really no other way,” he said as his voice sounded like he was crying. “Remember the day that I left? I told you that I was going away to study abroad… I lied Hana. I didn’t go to another country and I didn’t go to school either. I… I just stayed in a hospital near our place. I am sorry… I lied.”
“Hospital? Why? Why?” I was already asking out loud.
“Ever since I was born, I have already been diagnosed with a rare heart condition. All the doctors thought that I wouldn’t be able to survive the first 10 years of my life. But I proved them wrong. I was already seven years old when you were born. Somehow you gave my life a new meaning. Imagine… I was a big brother to a beautiful baby sister. During that time I already knew my real condition, and so I asked our mother a very big favor. I asked her to never tell you that I was sick. I wanted to be your big brother. I wanted you to look up to me and be proud of me. How can you possibly be proud of a sick brother? And so I asked everyone around you to keep my sickness a secret. I am sorry… I know that no matter how much I ask for your forgiveness. I know it won’t change what I have done. But believe me when I say that I only did it to protect you from the pain. I didn’t want to see pity in your eyes. I wanted your pure love and not pity. I was already sick and tired of people giving me the look of sympathy and I certainly didn’t want to see that in your eyes. I wanted to look at you and see myself as… me. Do you understand what I mean right?” He then sobbed. “Ever since you were born, I said to myself that I would love you with all my heart and I would show you what a wonderful brother I am. But I knew my life was nearing its end. And I didn’t want to destroy your life just because of sadness. That’s why I chose to stay away. You were already having a hard time coping with your life. A life that was really made complicated by me.”
As I listened to his words, my tears were already flowing. Somehow I couldn’t believe the things that I was hearing. Everything was just like a bad dream, a bad dream that I wanted to wake up from.
“Mom didn’t really love me more than you… The only reason why she showered me with more attention is because she knew I was dying… and that anytime I might suddenly collapse and never wake up again. She was so protective of me because she was afraid that any kind of physical stress might complicate my condition and that is why she gave all the housework to you. As for the material things she always gave me… she just did it because she knew I had limited time to enjoy things. She always said that since you weren’t sick she could always make it up to you later… I know that it wasn’t right. But there wasn’t really anything I could do. I am sorry, Hana. I am the reason why your life became so hard. I was the reason why our mother never gave you enough attention and love. But… I know everything will be all right now. By the time that you’re listening to this tape, I know I will no longer be around.”
After I heard his last word, I suddenly cried out loud. “NO! NO! NO!” I repeatedly cried out.
“Sorry my beautiful little sister, I am sorry for all the pain and hardship I made you go through. I tried to be strong as long as I can. But my body was already very weak during the time that I said goodbye to you. I am very happy that I was able to spend the remaining time I had with you. Now that I am gone, I hope that you will try to give our mother another chance. Try to understand her, and please take care of her… for me. Promise me, you will always take care of yourself and always be brave no matter what happens. I may not be beside you physically but I will always be with you… inside your heart. Take care, Hana. Always remember your big brother will always love you.”
Now I knew the truth. Now I finally understood everything. I guess I was blind. And I thought that I was the only one suffering. I was very wrong.
As the tape stopped playing, I was already crying uncontrollably. Slowly my mother took me into her arms. it was the first time that I felt her embrace. “Michael tried to live as long as he can. He wanted to finish the tapes he promised you. Before he died, he made me promise to send those packages containing the tapes and bubble gums every week until after your graduation. He didn’t want you to be affected by his death. He wanted you to think that he was still alive and well. I am sorry too Hana. I know I have been a very bad mother to you. Can you forgive me?”
With tears in my eyes, I quickly returned my mother’s warm embrace. “Yes, mother. Let’s start from the very beginning. For Michael… let’s start all over again.”
Team Number: 3
Chosen Items: crossword puzzle, driftwood
Decode My Heart
I rolled lazily on the bed, groping my side table to put a stop on my loud and annoying ringtone. I still feel sleepy – and yes, I’m a Secret Garden fan. Argh! I’m talking randomness early in the morning. Ignore me.
I forced my eyes to open, trying to peek on whoever might be this oh-so-great bother… nuisance… that had rendered me only seven hours of sleep! Sheesh. People need eight, I must say! Anyway once I took my phone, the name ‘bipolar Master’ flashed through the clear screen. And as if I felt him whipped me, I immediately sat up, awake and all.
Oh my Buddha!!! What does he want this time?
I was debating whether I should open the message now. My logic tells me to do so. Let the worst come. I click open and his message – bossy, saddistic message – stumbled before my eyes.
‘ Hey sleepyhead! Get your butts off the bed and bring me my breakfast.
I want it fresh and hot so hurry up. You’ll be so dead if you’re late.;P
uhm. good morning btw. Ah! Just hurry up and don’t be late!’
Sheesh. Am I his mother? Why do I have to be responsible whether he eats breakfast or not? However, getting breakfast was not really the big deal because that prick eats instant everything from fast food, waking up early was. I decided to get up since there’s no way I would be able to go back to sleep. I prepare myself some coffee and my mind immediately recalled that he’s addicted to it. Absentmindedly, I took out one of my bottle, poured coffee on it, and set aside. Uhm.. okay, it’s just for that one time when he send me home on his bike because I tripped causing my right foot to bleed.
I made my breakfast of scrambled egg and just as I’ve never planned it, I was actually starting to make a special breakfast for him instead of just grabbing some on the grocery. Maybe, being his slave was sinking into me. I should have never let myself be provoked and agreed to that bet but I can’t help it when he said that I suck at arcade games. I love those stuffs, who says that only boys could play them? I was infuriated by him belittling me so I gave in and look at me now, I’m his slave for the next two more weeks.
I was actually, putting the carefully fried egg on top of the neatly arranged rice (this is when he shared – unwillingly in my point of view because he looks grumpy and all – his umbrella one rainy day). I put on a some sauce (for letting me copy his assignment, did I mention that my bipolar master is an academic ace?), a little vegetables (when he gave me a candy last valentines day, saying that he does not fancy sweet but his fangirls still showered him with those chocolates and candies) and when I’m done, behold; the smiling breakfast face.
Working on a very fast fashion, I got myself prepared to go to school within almost half an hour. I walked to school and immediately went on the rooftop, where he usually hangs out. The moment I opened the door, he was already there, lying lazily on a driftwood. He turned his head on my direction and stood up.
“Yah! Here’s your breakfast!” I marched towards him and handed him his food.
He stared at me for a split second as if wanting to say something but he just kept his mouth shut,took his food and walked away. Tsk. I just rolled my eyes, actually used to his icy attitude. I decided to get to my class but then I saw him walking back at me and with an undecipherable expression he fished out some kind of paper from his pocket and extended it to me.
I stared at it as if it was the first time I saw a paper. “What’s this?”
He sighed impatiently and forced it into my hand. “Aish just take it!”
I opened it and a crossword puzzle stumbled before me. It was not something that looks like a cut out from a newspaper. It’s more like a hand made one.
“A crossword puzzle?”
“Obviously.” he mumbled. “I tried to match it on your level so that it would not be that hard.” and what is he implying by that? “You should be able to answer it well, I’m meeting you at this rooftop by the end of the class.” He said before walking away for real.
I observed the puzzle. Come to think of it, there’s only five words that I need to answer; three across and two down. I started answering it during my boring history class.
Across1: a female friend with whom a man or boy is romantically or sexually involved; sweetheart
He’s quite perverted or is it just me, anyway my answer; girlfriend
Down1: Any of several winged, hairy-bodied, usually stinging insects of the superfamily Apoidea in the order Hymenoptera.
What on earth is this? I think hard then I saw a note:
‘Tsk. if you can’t answer it – which I actually think you can’t – here’s the second clue; they sting people and make honey.’
A bee! I smiled to myself. Tsk. He could have made life easier instead of putting Apoidea whatsoever. Anyway, I’m on;
Down2: Used to indicate intention.will? I’m not so sure but there’s only four box and there’s already an ‘i’ on the second box.
I was able to successfully answer the last two remaining, which are my and you… finally.
Once the bell rang, indicating that class had ended, I made my way up to the rooftop and as per se he was already there, one hand on his pocket while the other was holding his backpack. He whirled around when he heard the door opened. I sprinted towards him.
“So, what’s your answer?” he asked me.
“What? Oh… I’ve already done it. It’s pretty easy. tsk. Can’t you think of anything more difficult? Not even challenging.” I bragged.
He sighed. “You didn’t notice anything?” I shook my head and he massage his temple.”as in nothing at all. Look more carefully and uhmm.. try jumbling the words a little, something like that…”
I scrutinized it and did as he said; girlfriend bee will my you? It doesn’t make sense. How about; bee girlfriend you will my? Will you bee my girlfriend?
Will you bee my girlfriend?
WILL YOU BE MY GIRLFRIEND?
My eyes dilated in realization and I looked up at him only to see him scratching his head, looking anywhere else beside me as a crimson hue grace the delinquent’s cheeks “I mean it. I know I’ve been a real jerk so I’m really really really sorry, but if I would not have been, you will not be my slave. I would not have any reason to give you a ride, a chocolate or even share my umbrella with you..”
I grinned tauntingly at him. Hahaha!!! ;D
“Are you for real?! After making me do all those kind of things, making me run back and forth to run for your errands your asking me to be your girlfriend?!” I feigned annoyance and motioned to slap him to which he promptly closed his eyes, ready to accept my beatings. I smiled walking towards him. And with me tip toeing, I grab both his cheeks and kiss him.