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“You’re sitting at your desk eating candy hearts. You start to realize the notes on the hearts are trying to give you a message.”

Romance, Reedsy

Note: we do not relate this to anyone, anything that happened, or anything from my past/present/future.

Take note, the short planning step is shown below, then my thoughts about it.

Short Story

                Joe’s eyes were sagged as if they’re still tired. So its understandable, he hasn’t a good nights sleep for 6 nights in a row now. He brushes his long dark hair out his eyes. Perhaps he must try get better feelings, he can play a game in competitive right now.
                He boots his computer, he takes a moment to check all his choices. For whatever reason his thoughts keep settling on DotA 2. It would be nice to get a little payback for his experiences, they stressed him out.
                Kathryn hit him with the worst breakup for him, that’s the cause for his struggles to get good sleep. He couldn’t make out how whatever he does, or says, gets treated as if he’s a bad person.
                She asked him to help with finances? He did, he even tried his best to make sure she never paid for anything at all. Asked him to help plan a party? He did, an awesome party. Wanted him to hand cerain purchases over? He did, despite it wasn’t possible for him to at the time he had been asked.
                Kathryn had screamed at him for whatever he did, she told him he did nothing for her. She sent him abusive text messages, yet tried to point out she “might want him again in the future”. It’s understood how it hit him hard.
                Joe let out a sigh, his mouse right over DotA. Why, his memory reminded him the breakup happened, again? Today won’t be a good day for him. Perhaps he can go lie in bed… No… After a moment, the realization hits. He realized over the last 5 days he would get off his bed to get food, or go to the bathroom.
                Perhaps he needs something to do, such as play a game online with random strangers, it could pickup mood a little. He launches DotA, as quick as he can he starts the search for a game.
                He sighs, glancing over at the figurine on his desk next to his monitor.
                “Yes Riki, fine, I’ll pick you today,” he shared, he sounded convinced. You can understand, Riki fits the hero choice he picked so he could be a disaster in any game.
                His hand strayed over to the the tables side, he grabbed a candy heart. Halfway open, he pauses. Perhaps he must have actual breakfast? He wasn’t able to eat well for days now.
                Nah, breakfast can come after this game. It’s soon enough in the day. He pops the heart into his mouth, as he does the games “accept” shows. He clicks it, everyone else accepts and it starts to load. He glances at the wrapper, he realizes they show words in the middle on these packets for these hearts.
                “Forgiveness”. The word in the first packet, he loves to try and make a sentence from all the words he gets.
                Let’s be honest? He hasn’t seen forgiveness as the word before. These have weird sets at least, so it doesn’t matter to him.
                It gets to his turn to pick, so he drops in Rikimaru. Today he feels he will make the enemies pay. The voice chat goes loud from his team.
                “Why pick Rikimaru?”
                “do you want us to lose?”
                “I… Didn’t want to be the team support, I asked if you could be…”
                With a little giggle over the voice, Joe points out, “I’m the explosive support Riki. Take the carry, people won’t expect what I will be doing…”
                They were all still apprehensive. To them, it seemed like Joe didn’t have any ideas for his choice, at all.
                The pick ended, it was a definite hardcore Dire team, against what looks like an odd Radiant team with a single support. Crystal Maiden. The rest, the heroes seemed like aggressive carry picks… All four to carry…
                Joe buys both the observers, he moves to put one at top rune.
                He shared “I’m coming back to lane top, just dropping a ward bottom. Will also try to get their bounty ruin.”
                There were a few sighs, they agreed.
                One guy mentioned “oh, they’ll have wards there I guess, you’re Rikimaru…”
                Joe responds with “yes, level 1 isn’t invis. It’s cloud, for a reason…”
                It confuses them a lot more. Who in their right mind doesn’t have invis Riki level 1? Joe has queued the movement to not be seen anywhere for his path to bottom. The Dire shouldn’t expect him there, they had last seen him place the ward top.
                While Riki started on his way there he opens the next heart. “your”. He thinks about it a for a few moments. Your forgiveness? Forgiveness your? Yesterday in bed he got the word “enemy”, far too many times, it seemed these hearts were trying to tell him something.
                The time gets close to 0 now, he points out his ideas for them, “so centaur, I will smoke, you come and hoof stomp to steal the top coin. Ursa, you take the bottom one, then you can join us and maybe slow them with stomp so we can finish then.”
                They all agree and 2 seconds before 0 Joe smokes, they aren’t worried yet so they stay, they try their best to fight him to try control the coin. Centaur walks in, right as it hits 0 he stomps. He stuns both the Dire heroes. He grabs the bounty as quick as he can, as fast as he can he joins Joe’s attack on the dire.
                Joe pays careful attention to his damage as the dire were focused on him. He gets lower faster than them so they focus him, he starts to run a little, in an instant turns back with smoke. Ursa arrived, with a stomp they get slowed, they’re now more in danger than Riki.
                Over the voice Ursa points out, “They’re yours, please take last hits. Well played…”
                Joe obliges, he gets 2 kills fast. The Radiant, now in the lead. This will be a good game, I will make them regret they tried to fight me, slips through Joe’s mind.
                He queues the walk back to the top lane, he figures he can celebrate it with a heart. He opens it, pops it into his mouth, he sees the word. “give”.
                His heart stops for a second. This has one sentence it forms.
                Give. Your. Forgiveness.
                Despite the negativity and trouble, perhaps it’s what he should do? It makes sense. He could be the adult despite all that was said, and done, to him.
                He goes blank, he grabs his phone, with haste types “I forgive you despite what you’ve done to me.” He hovers on send, he realizes he shouldn’t do this. The ill treatment he suffered through might happen again, perhaps he can consider this a lot more.
                “Riki… Are… Are you there…?”
                Joe forgot about the game. With a deep sigh he drops the phone onto the desk, screen locked. He figures he will decide after the game whether or not he will say anything to Kathryn ever again.
                They won the game. The Rikimaru sorted out 2 kills with 36 assists, he helped them to finish the dire off. People don’t have any ideas about why you don’t need to play the game like everyone expects you to.
                In the end? Joe didn’t send the message. He realized if Kathryn wanted anything to do with him ever again she would have to apologise. You can’t treat whatever everyone else does to you in the exact same way.

Short story 1

Plan a Small Plot

This is the plan I thought up, then used:

  • Joe sitting, trying to kill time
  • He is waiting for a competitive Dota match
  • He hates today because of what he experienced
  • Bad breakup
  • He’s in the dumps
  • He reads the first message, from the hearts, “forgiveness” is the word
  • He picks rikimaru to be annoying today
  • The second word from a candy heart is “your”
  • They manage to fight and get a double kill, get both the bottom coins
  • Feeling smug
  • Heads to top lane, slow walk without boots
  • He takes the next heart, it says “give”.
  • “give”… “your”… “forgiveness”…
  • He’s gotten to the lane but his mind goes blank.
  • He opens his phone, goes to text messaging and types it out.
  • He gets stuck there, just sitting with his hand hovering above send.
  • He doesn’t notice, they paused the game, ask over voice chat “are you there, if everything okay?”
  • He doesn’t know what do say or do
  • He points out he’s having a hard time, deletes the message and says he is focused on the game now
  • Despite the first 2 kills being from rikimaru, he didn’t get another one the whole game.
  • He wanted to help others, not continue to hate others

You will note, above, there were spelling and grammar errors. That isn’t a problem, the importance was knowing a plot idea.

My Thoughts

The first draft before the edit was an hour for me, roughly. It was 1207 words. 41 paragraphs. I dropped it into NaNoE and started running the edit for myself. Somehow, I picked it up to 2516 words.

An hour to write, 1207 words, 2 hours 30 minutes odd to edit, 1258. I might need to adjust the idea behind how I do this, tomorrows editing might take a long time. Yet, it is still good for NaNoWriMo that’s coming up.

For NaNoWriMo we will need roughly 1667 words a day. If this, being a single day, can hit 1258 after editing? Assuming that is the daily average you could hit 37740 words! This isn’t the 50k we need, no. It isn’t what we have to stick to, we can write for more than an hour.

Remember, this is warming up for this year. If you haven’t tried for months, if not years, it could be a slightly slow start. Day 2 will show you what this can feel like.