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What’s Your Genre? VOTE ON THE WINNER!

HAPPY FIFTIETH, GOOD MORNING AOMORI!! Now as for the Aomori community itself, we knew to expect great things, but wow. You are all a true bunch of creatives, d’you know that? The stories you sent in blew us away, then drew us right back in. We’ve compiled all of your submissions into one post, but before you read through each story ending please read through the story’s beginning in this post here.

I’ve edited the stories to include the cliffhanger line the last post ended on. So here they are in all of their final glory, like a choose your own adventure right in GMA — with less page turning of course!

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And apparently less life-altering, slightly-depressing self-doubt?? Are we in love with ants here? I’m just so confused.

After you finish reading all of the endings in this post, please vote here for which story ending you want to win. Please vote by March 9th. We’ll announce the winner in GMA’s second March issue. Whoever wrote the winning ending will receive the 1000 yen gift card to Starbucks OR Tsutaya!! But which genre will win? A mystery? A comedy? An action thriller? Let’s read and find out…

1) An Endless Cycle

By: Anonymous

death-rx

“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“What`s going on?”

“So you really don`t remember? I’m not surprised. All those people, all that blood. I’d wipe it from my mind too. Don`t worry, it’ll be over soon.”

This was followed by a sharp pain. But it wasn’t the doing of the unseen sentinel. A sliver of wood had fallen from the sky and embedded itself in his shoulder.

“Oh, shit!” his warden exclaimed as the forest erupted above them. “They’ve found us. Creator save you, child. I, however, will save myself.” The whisper of the man’s fleeing feet was followed by the thump of his dead body behind him.

Shattered shards of wood shot into the night like timber fireworks. As they plummeted towards him, memories fell unbidden into his mind. Centuries of death, an endless cycle of killing.

Shards angling closer, he fixated on a single image. Her face. Green eyes filled with love, sparkling in the sunlight as he plunged his dagger deep into her neck. He tossed her body aside to join the thousands of others and strolled towards the sunset amidst a sea of blood.

I deserve to die, he realized. He wanted to die. Death was the only the escape from this curse.

Then strong arms scooped him up, bonds tearing away as if made of paper. He was borne away, towards a new land filled with new people to kill. The cycle had begun anew and he was a fool for expecting otherwise. Death was too kind a fate for him.

*

2) Superman

By: Anonymous

shirtopen

“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“Will I?” Wit was harder under duress, he decided later. In the moment, he felt his voice dry and aching. He needed water.

“I would bet to it.” Wistful voice. “You are bound with Kryptonite rope, Mr. Devon. Or should I say…” The man took a beat. “Superman.”

This came as a great shock to the man, who was indeed named Devon. And was not – insofar as he could remember – Superman. Also, wasn’t Kryptonite a metal, and not a fiber?

Also, wasn’t Superman, y’know, a white guy?

But Devon, busy laying on the mossy bed of the forest not being a white guy, was in no position to argue. He was light headed. He said nothing. This was a dream, right? Or a prank? He was fine to sit in silence until things started making sense.

“So are you not interested in how I uncovered your secret identity, Superman? Don`t you want to know the depth of my genius?” Devon felt his shoulder poked with a sharp stick. “Don’t you?”

“Do I look like Superman?” Interrupted Devon.

“You look exactly like superman.”

“Exactly?” Devon nodded at his general being.

“What are you saying?”

“My skin.”

At this, Devon`s captor stepped out from the shadows laughing. He looked at him right in the eyes. It was a white guy in cargo shorts.

“Superman, don`t try to trick me. You can fly, but my power gives me… heightened insight.”

“Power?”

“Yes, Superman, Power! I don`t see skin color!”

*

3) FLY

By: Giovanni Perez

yume-2

“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“Who are you?” I shouted nervously.

They replied, “None of your business.” My heartbeat was running like a racehorse and all these unanswered questions were making me anxious by the second.  I want to get out, I want to go home, most of all I want to see my parents. I heard a much deeper voice, “Are you with him, the man with one hand?”

Filled with anxiety, “With who? No I just woke up and ended up here.” I then heard murmuring in the background.

Just then, I hear another familiar voice whisper into my ear. “Are you okay, you hit your head really hard.” Unsure on how to reply, I just wanted to break free, so I nodded in confirmation “Trust me okay, on the count of three you will be able to break free and run.” Unsure of what will happen next, I nodded. “1…2…3…run.”

I started running. I was able to open my eyes just a little to see where I was running. At the same time I heard many footsteps behind me. “Stop, don’t go,” they shouted.  Amidst me running a surge of thoughts rushed to my head. Who were those people, who was that small voice, and where was I?

As I was picking up speed, I saw a cliff ahead of me but I couldn’t slow down. As I was getting closer I heard the tiny voice again in my ear, “What are you doing silly, fly…fly… you can fly Peter Pan.”

*

4) Passing By

By: Daven Lu

confused

“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“Who are you?” he snapped in response. “Where the hell am I?”

“Who I am does not matter. You’re here because you hold the key to saving the world, but also the key to destroying the world.” The coarse voice said no more as his steps grew distant.

“What does that even mean?” he posed without a response. The soothing echoes of footsteps against the wetness of the land were the only sounds to be heard, but the cold and harsh reality of his situation seeped in within minutes. He could do no more than sleep the situation away.

Hours passed, and by dusk he awoke to what seemed to be the sounds of piercing sirens.

The hell is going on?

The world went white as the Earth shattered and blew him into the air. He braced himself as he helplessly crashed back into the ground, momentum rolling him forward into a boulder. The impact tore open his arm, but the pain was overshadowed by the shock from the blast and the combined a high-pitched ringing in his ears.

Marching.

A large vehicle.

Surrounded.

Marching stopped. The sound of hundreds of guns locked and loaded.

A patronizing voice. The vehicle stops in front of him.

“OPEN THE DOOR” The patronizing voice demanded. About this time, the pain from the earlier impact materializes as he whimpers in agony.

“GET ON THE FLOOR”

“…”

“EVERYBODY WALK THE DINOSAUR”

*

5) Fur

By: Peter Underwood

26-rabbit-fur

“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

The bound man stayed quiet for a moment, trying to stop the desperation bubbling up into his voice. “Who are you?”

“Most ‘round here call me Jeanne,” the voice responded.

“Jeanne the hunter?” he said, a little too quickly.

“Huh. See, most people remember names, but they usually gotta have a reason to remember a vocation. Necessity, respect – or fear.” The voice chuckled, and a scarred, proud face, surrounded by shaggy bronze hair slipped into the man’s field of vision.

“I’m not a werewolf.”

“Night’s here, we’ll soon have our answer.” Jeanne walked out of view.

He knew he only had a few moments. The restraints were expertly tied, and as a human, he was captured – but as a beast, the wet ground wouldn’t hold his binds.

He felt the fur piercing its way out of him and his muscles wrapped in messy new sinew. The ropes snapped out of the earth. With a howl he leapt, jaw wide open.

By the time he realised he was tasting fur, it was too late.

A sharp pain slid from his belly to his throat, and his eyes opened to see his mouth snapped shut around the forearm of another werewolf, shaggy bronze fur zigzagging down its spine.

The voice, now coarse and deep, filled the forest. “None of you mutts ever stop to wonder how I’m still alive…”

He had a chance to let out a single, pitiful whine before the darkness claimed him and he dropped to the floor.

*

6) Justice

By: Anonymous

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“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

Loud footsteps slowly approached him. He tried to raise his head to see who was coming, but he was much too restrained.

“What’s going on? Where am I?” he cried. He was surprised at how weak his voice sounded. He coughed. He hadn’t realized how dry his throat was; how empty his stomach felt. “Please. Food. Water.” He managed to squeeze out.

“No more games, demon.”

“Demon? What? Where am I? I want to go home!” he cried. Voices began to rise up and quickly stir around him.

“You killed my sister you-“

“Because of you all of my livestock-“

“Their heads… their heads were-“

“You may look like a child, but you-“

His anxiety began to turn into fear. “I want to go home!” he sobbed.

He heard a chanting beginning to grow around him. “Kill it! Kill it!”

“In His name, I rebuke you demon!”

Suddenly, he felt strong hands wrap and squeeze around his tiny neck. He thrashed and struggled against the earth, but he couldn’t break free. It hurt. His eyes grew wide with terror. “H-…He-….p… please….” he managed to wheeze out.

“Yeah! Get him father!”

“Save us from the wicked!”

His body went limp. He no longer had the strength to struggle against this giant of a man. “Why is this happening?” he thought. As his vision began to fade, he gazed upon his executioner’s face. That evil grin and piercing red eyes were the last things he would ever see in this world.

*

7) The Wall Jumper

By: Anonymous

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“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

And with that, he instantly understood his situation. He sighed a sign of relief. “Dungeon seems a little mossier than I remember. And what’s with the bindings? Don’t you think this is a little much, friend?

“We’re in the garden. It was the king’s idea. No wall’s here, ya see? The straps were also his idea.” said the voice.

“Typical old king.” he smirked.

“The safety of our people is our number one priority.”

“Aw, so you do care about me?”

“….Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that egg shaped head of yours.”

“Well right now it’s filled with is this guy gonna untie me or what.”

He heard the man sigh as the bindings came undone. “I’m gonna lose my job one day because of you.”

“Thanks big guy. Won’t happen again, I promise.” he said, rubbing his wrists.

“You need to stop,” said the man.

“Aw c’mon. You know I live for the rush.”

“And the injuries? Yours and those of the unfortunate people you ‘accidentally’ fall on?”

“I like to think of it as keeping the Hors family in business. It’s hard for a family of doctors to make a living in a peaceful kingdom like this. Welp, I know you wanted to keep me here all night old friend, but I’ve got places to go to, so if you’ll excuse me…”

As he walked away, he heard the captain of The King’s Men yell out to him. “I’m serious Dumpty! Stop climbing those walls!”

*

8) At What Price

By: Anonymous

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“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“Please don’t do this! You don’t want to do this. This isn’t right!” he cried. He was beginning to panic.

“And that’s exactly why we need you out of the picture.” I said.

And just like that, my conscious was banished away to the deepest, darkest corners of my mind; at least for now. We can’t have him interfering. Not tonight.

Getting into the orphanage was easier than I thought. I made my way to the sleeping quarters and began drawing the blood inscription in the middle of the room. I lit the match and without a second of hesitation, dropped it onto the line of gasoline I had so intricately laid out. The room erupted into roaring flame. I’m not sure which was louder: the screams of 87 burning children, or his.

When the screaming (at least the children’s) finally stopped, an eerie dark figure slowly rose from the ground in front of me.

“The price has been paid,” it hissed. “What is your request?”

I stood there terrified, dumbstruck by the horror that surrounded me. It smelled awful. “What have you done?! Oh my god what have you done?!” I hear him scream in the back of my head. But it doesn’t matter. There was no other way. And there’s definitely no turning back now. I set my gaze on the looming, faceless dark entity that stood before me and spoke.

“Alice. I want Alice back. Bring her back to me.”

Oh god, what have I done?

*

9) The Burning of Lance Forest

By: Kat Skarbinec

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“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”

“Malcolm?” he asked, his voice scratchy and weak. There was no reply, but everything fell still and he knew he’d guessed right. Underneath his hand, something slimy squeezed its way free and he shuddered. “Malcolm, what’s going on?”

There was a rustling, followed by three heavy footsteps and then a blurry face came into view – too close to focus.

“I’d worry more about tomorrow than now if I was you.”

There was no doubting, it was Malcolm. That didn’t answer much. Reflexively he tried to reach up to his face but the restraint held tight. “Glasses?”

Malcolm sniffed loudly. “They’re here. Broken though.” The cold metal frame was guided over his ears and he slowly opened his eyes. Broken they certainly were – one lens was badly cracked, while the other was missing its bottom – but at least now he could see.

Malcolm’s nose was rosy red in the middle of his round face, freckles standing out starkly. Thick blue paint had dried in long smudges on his cheeks and forehead and he was wearing a huge, dark cloak.

“What’s going on?” From this angle, the kid looked like he was ten feet tall. “Did you hit me?”

“You’re sick. You have to stay here.”

“I’m not sick,” he started to say, but felt a sudden, violent twist in his gut like hot pokers spiking. His body contorted and his sight misted like the wood.

“Sorry, Lance,” said Malcolm, and removed his glasses ever so gently. “You were a good leader.”

*
HARMLESS
By: Sam Martin
(my entry isn’t up for voting: it’s for funsies)
under-the-trees-les-derevya
“No use struggling,” someone grunted to his right. He craned his neck, unable to see where the voice came from. “You’re a danger to yourself and to us. You’ll stay tied for the night.”
“But… I’m not dangerous,” he protested.
“How would you know?” the voice demanded. Feminine edge. Familiar.
“I try to be kind– I don’t even gossip at work,” he said. His back hurt; where was he anyway? He blinked. “I know this place.”
“Do you?”
“Yeah, this tree, I can see where I carved my name into the trunk when I was little.” He smiled, automatically nostalgic. “I’d whittle swords. Make flower crowns.” His voice caught, he swallowed hard.
“You were a lonely child,” she commented, soft and inquiring.
“No just… imaginative,” he said, but it wasn’t genuine. He sighed, glanced up. Like a stained glass window, the leaves layered light through. “So I’m dangerous, then?” he asked quietly.
“You own Lefleur Logging?”
“Yes.”
“You’re Stuart Lefleur.” He nodded. The voice sighed. “Ever since you were young, you’ve felt drawn to the forest. Yet you destroy it more and more each year… I’ll change that.”
A flash flickered before him, the size of his fist. Stuart squinted. Wings? Butterfly, or bird?
“What are you?”
“I am the forest, Lefleur. And I’m here to make you understand that you are too.”
He felt his restraints loosen, watched the world stretch away as he shrank down. He tumbled in the dirt, now the size of a bird himself. The fairy beside him extended her hand. He hesitated, considering the consequences, when relaxation coursed through him; he found his palm pressed against hers. He breathed the forest in. Really… what harm could it do?
*

Thank you so much to all of our authors, anonymous or named– your contributions are super appreciated and they’re what makes Good Morning Aomori so great that we could publish 50 issues of it!! Now everyone, without further ado:

PLEASE VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE STORY ENDING BY MARCH 9TH!!!

(Authors, you can vote for yourselves, of course!)

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3 thoughts on “What’s Your Genre? VOTE ON THE WINNER!

  1. Pingback: March 2016, Vol. 1 – Good Morning Aomori

  2. Pingback: What’s your genre? The WINNER is… – Good Morning Aomori

  3. Pingback: Forward All Inquiries 1: FUN – Good Morning Aomori

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