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    unlikely_lad

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    [–] Showerthought: Morata sounds like an evolution of Mata unlikely_lad 2 points ago in reddevils

    Will never forgive City for not going for Leroy For

    Fer -> Fernando -> Fernandinho

    [–] Question for all Fans unlikely_lad 8 points ago in reddevils

    People picking Varane should consider that he's as much of a sick note as Jones/Smalling are

    [–] [MT] Would anybody like feedback on their story? unlikely_lad 1 points ago in shortstories

    Thanks so much for that, especially the bits about how to make it more readable, I definitely will spend some time working on that.

    I think the lack of imagery concerning people is something that I did on purpose, do you think it takes away from the story?

    [–] [MT] Would anybody like feedback on their story? unlikely_lad 1 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago) in shortstories

    Hey u/Alamo39, I've just written something for the first time in years and would love your thoughts on it if it's not too much!

    New Hampshire had been good to Emma. She had received twelve congratulations-on-getting-better letters since she had moved, eight of them starting with the easy “It’s good to hear that you are doing better”. Of course, she never answered any of them, understanding that they were from concerned (caring, even) friends, who nevertheless led busy lives across the Atlantic, full of work-wear, skinny cortados, hot yoga and tinder dates with men and women who owned cars (or, at the very least, leased).

    Still, Emma was thankful for the letters. She read them often, whenever she felt that she was fading, reading into the platitudes with care, with obsession. They made her feel tangible for a while, feel real, in a way that she could bare, in a way that spared the reality of her own body. She knew that her mother would disapprove of them; she still blamed what she called Emma’s “big city friends” for her daughter’s state, just not as much as she blamed herself. So Emma hid them away, wary of swelling her mother’s concern, and weary of inane fights.

    The end of the summer had come with a satisfying snap, the surrounding grounds and woods flaming up in harmonious manner. The house, a lonely colonial affair, an American flag hanging above the front door, lay four miles away from a small lake. She stacked her favourite moment of the day at the very start; Emma crept along a solitary path every morning, through the shifting canopy of an Acadian forest that she grasped tighter with every passing day. She had needed no time to understand the heaviness of the sky, or the way New Hampshire wasn’t afraid to show her age. On rainy days, the ground would hug on to her mother’s borrowed boots, far too large for Emma. She enjoyed the struggle of claiming it back from the mud, something she could appreciate fighting for.

    She would sit by the lake for as long as she could, and would feel inadequate once boredom took over her. The walk back would be as lonely, the mist falling deeper and breathing morbid life into the woods, reminding her of the foggy vistas she had fallen in love with in the yellowed pages of a Dickens novel, those she had never found in London.

    It had been harder than she had expected, but Emma had eventually learnt to make London hers. With education, she had even learnt to despise the tourists, to bear the overcrowded and expensive nights in Soho, or the traffic islands in the middle of busy high streets, where she had unsatisfactorily felt the most comfortable.

    She had even fallen in love there, she vaguely remembered, with a man who had been nice to her, who didn’t mind the cigarette ash she would sometimes accidently tip into his drink, who called her “baby” or “sweetness”, who did not look beautiful in the excrement-streaked light of the Piccadilly Line at 3 in the morning. She had hoped that he would look beautiful in her dark room; her inability to replace a burnt bulb a vestigial remain of her mobile youth where she had never seen it being done. She had lit obviously ironic boho-chic candles when they had made love, and he had been beautiful then, she thought. But the scatological permanence of his lack of beauty in the night tube had stopped her from ever telling him that she loved him, or lie, and tell him that she wanted him in her life. She regretted not telling him now that she had left, wishing that she had left a mark, a scar, scratching her name onto his skin, his lips.

    Moving to New Hampshire had been obvious, an ideal decision that she had found hard to fight against. She had attempted to discard the convenience of her mother’s new husband, Seth, whose full name, when Googled, would lead to a YELP article listing the top 50 psychiatrists this side of the Mason-Dixon line. Emma had long learned to have no strong feelings towards her mother’s various lovers (the only one she missed was Ari, a second-generation immigrant from French-India, who had bought Emma her first jodhpurs), and Seth had been no different. She glimpsed him in broad stokes, a man groomed by his own unmatched understanding of human normality and humanity, which he had put to good use, Emma assumed. He was a nice man, hopelessly in love with Emma’s mother, like all the previous ones had been. Her mother had always had good taste when it came to younger men.

    The morning walks got longer as the weeks went by. Emma knew her mother disapproved, but she hid it behind a twitching muscle on the edge of her smile, for reasons Emma didn’t comprehend. It was hunting season, and her trips to the lake were now scattered with impromptu meetings with hat-wearing men tucked in puffer jackets, all interchangeable, who said hello and nodded, the grip on their guns loosening whenever she smiled back. She sometimes glimpsed a ghost beyond the trees lining the path, younger than the others, his gun forever tightly wrapped between his arms. She would walk along faster whenever she noticed him, her mother’s boots struggling to keep up.

    Emma would overhear Seth chat to her mother on quiet nights, when it didn’t rain. The hard consonants and mildly alliterative drawl of his mid-western twang drifted to her bedroom, rocking her to sleep, whilst her mother would listen with intent, about Prozac, Paxil, Parnate (with and without Lithium salts), Zoloft, Zopiclone, Metrazol and Nardil, with the potential degrees of success that might arise from switching Emma on and off the Xanax. Emma dreamt of the lake, and of the boy.

    On a dry November morning, Emma came back with a torn parka and single boot on, and she saw her mother cry for the first time. She said nothing, and did not understand her mother’s dread at the loss of a boot. Emma stood and watched her mother weep. Seth came back early that day, to explain to Emma what her mother couldn’t, to tell her that she wasn’t well and that the walks had to stop. She heard Seth consoling her sobbing mother that night, with new words, about voluntary in-patient treatments, about 2-week trials and acronyms she did not understand. About how Emma obviously wanted to be well.

    It was the last week of January, and the last day the hunting season; it had been raining overnight, and Emma hadn’t read her letters for weeks. The pair of boots had not been replaced, so she left still wearing her slippers. It was a still morning; the only sound was of leftover drops from last night flopping deeper into the canopy, mellow thuds and knocks punctuating the silence.

    She saw the boy cross-legged on a narrow expanse of green between two trees, his gun forever cradled between his arms. Safe. She approached and carefully sat opposite him, the air still weighed down by the humid grass and peaty soil. They sat in silence, shadow and light conspiring over them. The sky was heavier than usual, and Emma vaguely felt it crack. He was pale; freckles gently smattered across the bridge of his nose, his breath hanging for too long in the cold air, barely existing. He was beautiful. She moved her hand to his face, and held his boyish cheek, and he looked down.

    The air was full of the wet, heavy steel of the boy’s gun, and Emma almost understood.

    [–] When I became a red... 🔴 unlikely_lad 14 points ago in reddevils

    Pogba played that game! Might've been his last before he was sold?

    [–] What's a good paradox? unlikely_lad 8 points ago in AskReddit

    Galileo's paradox: Though most numbers are not squares, there are no more numbers than squares