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Monthly Torment: Week One

~ Though sometimes people are told that being extraordinary is a goal to strive for, a potential to fulfill, people are predominantly excruciatingly average - much moreso than they might think. Even the stranger members of the population are more average than they are different. You see, in the big scheme of things, the norm perpetuates and any variation of that norm, if it survives, can only either fall into obscurity or become a teeny tiny step into making something ELSE eventually become the norm. Within every species there are thousands of averages - average colour, average weight, average smell, average everything. From the stem length of a particular species of flower to the length of the human penis - ALL members of every species fall into a slot on their range of averages. And even if one happened to find someone in their life who told them to be extraordinary, chances are they weren't thinking on a very extraordinary scale themselves when they advised this. Because averages exist for a reason, and if those statistics were to suddenly fluctuate, it would indeed be an extraordinary disaster.

One of these such averages, and a very important one, is height. Most children, as they get older, experience what some parents refer to as 'growing pains'. Physical aches in legs and arms and backs that keep them up at night and are just a small rite of passage they must endure as they slowly become adults. But after a certain age the body stops growing and any pain isn't as simply explained anymore, which is why the souls trapped in Hell find it quite odd indeed as their bodies begin to feel tense and strained. A peculiar stretching sensation overcomes their muscles, skin, and bones, like being the rope in a game of tug-of-war or the tender and torn feeling after brutal physical activity too much for the body's limits. On average, pain without a serious cause will eventually fade away, but what if there is a cause. What if the cause is something that, to the dead, should have stopped long long ago. ~

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Just stay the fuck away from me, got it?!

~It's confusing. It's disorienting. It's not fair. What is he DOING here? she keeps asking herself. Sure, he's a bit of an ass, but what man isn't? She'd hoped better for him...

Still, the last week was just plain WEIRD. He wasn't the man she knew. It didn't matter that he'd been under the same shitty Hell torment the rest of them were; the other guy didn't act like that. Wes had been cold and brutal and selfish, kinda like the persona he'd tried on after that Connor thing. She'd tried to foster it then. She had to admit she kinda liked it.

But as their true personalities returned with all the nuances of modern man- the foibles, the rationalities, the ethics and philosophies- Wes remained just as cold and brutish as before. Maybe it was the shock of seeing her like this..., she didn't know nor was she going to try to make sense of it. She never could make sense of him. He was no longer forcing himself on her like a oversexed rooster (she wasn't sure how she felt about that, either); he simply wasn't acknowledging her at all. He and his greaseball buddy spoke steadily in low voices, leaving her to tag along behind like some bedraggled, forgotten little sister. Frankly, it pissed her off. She wasn't sure how long she could take it.~

Don't even think about touching me again, mister. ~she screams up to Wesley, hoping to distract him from his goddamn intimate conversation.~ Don't think you can just walk away like this!

R&R

~Nothing could have given him more relief than the gracious return of his manners, grooming and intelligence. If a man doesn't have his principles, what does he have? Over the days of his transition he has been slowly picking his way through the swamp, with the slowly sharpening idea of finding a more permanent structure than a simple hole in the ground. As his wits return to him he remembers to assist Beauty delicately over the more disgusting parts of the swamp, over the hidden logs, pitfalls and... dead things. He's old-fashioned; the idea that she might not need his help never occurs to him.

He wants nothing more than to apologise for his behaviour, but he's too embarrassed even to bring it up. His clothes are damaged due to the transformation of their occupant over the last month, but they aren't in dire need of replacement, and the second he had the faculties to remember to bathe he made up for lost time and was briefly the cleanest man in the entire Level. Some time tramping through slime and marshland changed that quickly.~

If we can get to that vantage point up there we can rest and figure out where to go next. We can eat frogs for lunch. It'll be just like French cuisine.

~He attempts to flash a humourus yet apologetic grin at her, but he's running out smiling motivation.~

Monthly Torment: Week Four

~ To the living, still walking around and going about their lives on Earth, imagining what it must have been like to be anything less than modern man is nearly impossible. Those with imagination enough to try probably get stuck around the century or so before their own if they're quite good at it, but every generation of mankind has seen THEIR generation as being the pinnacle of the species and no matter how curious or thoughtful one is about what life must have been like in the past it all comes down to the fact that living at the height of humanity's success it is rather impossible to imagine life before the advent of tools or, say, the wheel.
For the souls trapped in Hell, however, all they need to do to get the full experience of being ancient man is to think back to just the other day. Evolution takes leaps and bounds every day as thousand and thousands of years of development and trial and error is covered in a mere week to return the shades to their original states. Skulls and the brains inside them morph, bringing everyone back up to speed and leaving them with and unfortunately personal knowledge of what their chances of survival would have been if they had been born just a few millennia earlier... ~

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Rock(uh swamp)Bottom

~The creature stoops, head ducking side to side trying to make a decision. Somewhere inside something screams shelter,rest. The creature does not question the voice-why should it? She straightens but remains slouched for it has become her natural state.

If the old faerie who cursed her could see the girl now, she would feel the beginnings of vindication. If her retainers could see her now they would never believe that the primitive instinct driven creature was once their Princess Beauty. If she were aware of anything but the mere instinct that now drives her, Beauty herself would be mortified and possibly crawl into a hole never to come out again. As it is she is looking for a space to crawl into more from respite from the heavy mists that fall like rain in the fetid swamps of level 5. When she comes upon the pocket sheltered by mist soaked reeds covered in algae and bent over from the weight, she grunts in satisfaction and wriggles her way inside. Nothing can shake the permanent damp of the place but it is a shield from the worst. She crawls back out long enough to make a wild beckoning gesture to Hal(though she does not think of him by name)and a second louder grunt to indicate he can share her shelter such as it is.~