Buried by Disorganized Baby Steps

Welcome back to the dream, Master!

Oh, hey, a maid. What was your name again?

I don’t think I should bother giving you my name, since you always forget, and because you don’t have a maid working for you in reality yet!

So…I’m in a dream, then?

Yup!

Huh. You look like my crush…or what I think my crush looks like.

Hey, pervert. This outfit is embarrassing, you know.

And that’s how I imagine how my crush would react if she were asked to wear a maid dress. Wait, why am I dreaming about maids?

Because you’re being a pervert right now, idiot.

Well, that sucks, but I do admit that you have some nice legs. I don’t mind your average chest, too. Oh, and you got some really nice brown ha–

SHUT UP!

Ow, faf punf hurf muh feyf. Muh feyf if kwaif wreffed, foo. Anf fwai arf fyou fwushinf?

I’m not blushing because I l-like you or anything!

You sound like a tsundere. Well, I am interested in hearing you sound like a tsundere, but…uh-oh, really sharp glare and really burning fists…Think about something else, think about something else…

Hey! You got homework, right?

Wait, you’re far away now. And I’m on top of an island in the middle of a sea of…fire…?

WELCOME TO HELL!

And my crush suddenly turned into a gigantic demon. Where’s the computer and the Internet?

THERE ARE NO COMPUTERS HERE! AND THERE IS NO INTERNET HERE!

And Shintaro Kisaragi died. Badum, tss. Hahahaha.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, the demon’s laughing…while hammering down its big fist on little me.

SPLAT!

Actually, I’m not dead, I’m in a critical state (luckily), and the dream isn’t over yet. Assistance, please!

Don’t be an idiot, idiot!

And the demon got kicked to the skies by my…crush. Oh well, this is a dream, and my wild imagination is wilder here. Lots of trouble would probably come with the combination of  a wild imagination and the dream world. Such as my crush reconstructing my body with the help of robotic parts, punching my face again, and then kicking my crotch.

Alright, I’ll take you back to your home now, you idiot.

And then she carried my reconstructed body on her shoulder. She sure is strong. Oh hey, video games. Hey, Nanami! Let’s play Pokémon! Or make a Let’s Play video!

Don’t you have homework to do, you idiot?

Ah, homework? Oh wait–

WELCOME TO HELL!

Well, crap, the demon’s holding tiny me in its giant fingers. Is there a pen and paper here, at least?

THERE IS NO PEN AND PAPER HERE! HELL ONLY CONTAINS ETERNAL SUFFERING!

And your latter sentence is why no one wants to be in Hell. So…how do I deal with this problem?

SUFFER! FOREVER!

Well, I epically failed at life. And this is all a drea–AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!


And I woke up with a gasp and some panting.

What…just happened…? I dreamed of something, but the only things that I remember is being thrown into a sea of fire and burning in said sea of fire.

Wait, what time is it? 5AM? Ugh, I haven’t gotten enough sleep yet…and I still have so much homework to do…

Oh well, my smartphone’s right beside me, and this house is currently connected to the Internet. Time to calm myself down…or make myself more tired.

And then the door opened, and my dad looked into my room.

“Did you get enough sleep?” he asked while looking at me.

“Uh…I got about five hours…” I replied while holding my unlocked smartphone.

“Hand over the phone. And the laptop. You’re here to get more sleep and be better at managing your time, but you’re making our efforts useless with what you’re doing.”

“Ugh, fine…and sorry…ugh…” And my crush (who’s currently a close friend of mine) just messaged me. And some of my favorite YouTubers have really interesting new videos! And there are so many things that I want to see right now! Like fanfiction! And porn! Okay, I really should go to sleep.

“Okay, here’s my phone and my laptop, Dad…” I seriously said with my sleepy voice. “Thanks very much…”

And my Dad left the room. Good thing that today’s a weekend and that there’s no important matter to deal with outside my house today, or else he would have been more pissed, and I would have had a really bad day at school or with whatever task that I need to attend to outside my house.

Alright, time to go sleep again…and think about stuff…hmm…what did I dream about before I woke up today…? Hm, seems like I don’t remember much. But hey, I should just go to sleep. Why am I even wasting my time on things that aren’t actually really high priority stuff right now, anyway?

Now, go to sleep, boy. And I hope you have sweet dreams.


Huh, that’s strange. Babies are stepping and crawling all over me right now. And they’re shouting and crying like one of my siblings.

It’s because you’re an idiot, idiot.

Well, this sucks. And thanks very much for being honest, my dear crush, a part of my self, whatever you are out there that’s looking at me while changing forms.

You better deal with this properly, you idiot. And don’t worry, I’ll make sure that you aren’t an idiot.

Huh, nice. I guess my dreams would be sweeter if I slept more. Now, I just need to make myself more helpful…HAHA! And as a baby step, you just smashed some babies out in order for you to stand up! Badu–OW! I got shot! There’s no need to be so violent towards my existence!

The baby-killing joke isn’t funny, idiot!

Okay, seriously, I don’t like killing babies, but these babies are just symbols of my freaking idiocy that’s messing up my life. Okay, now’s a time to wear some shades and play some rock mus–WHOA! I got buried by disorganized baby steps again. And then my crush/close friend is trying to help me get out of and deal with these piles of problems!

You still have a long way to go, idiot. Do your best…and I’ll help you out with the best of my ability…idiot.

Thanks very much. Seriously, thanks very much. Now then, inspirational rock music. Go, Children Record!

少年少女前を向く! 暮れるえんーGAH! BABIES ARE BURYING ME AGAIN! 暮れる炎天さえ希望論だって!GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! 「ツレモドセ!」「ツレモドセ!」TRY AGAIN, AND TRY AGAIN BETTER! 三日月が赤く燃え上がる!UUUOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

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Lifehack

Author’s Note: Most of the inspirational spark that gave rise to this story came from watching a certain video containing MatPat talking about WATCH_DOGS and hacking, combined with choosing to look at the bright side while and after watching it.


“So, what do you want, Professor?”

It was the weekend, meaning that I was on a day off. And for some reason, this bedheaded and labcoated dude who I call “Professor,” even though he’s never taught a class because of his aversion when it comes to large groups of students, decided to call me to his lab.

“I’ve made a new invention, John, and I’d like you to try it out!”

He’s a pretty nice guy, despite the introversion…but still…there are certain aspects in him that make me worry sometimes.

“Okay…I know we’re close friends…but still, I’d like to ask…What insanity have you made this time, Professor?”

And then he picked up this smartphone from a table filled with a bunch of tools and whatever stuff he uses for his work. I suddenly felt like I’m gonna see something I’ve seen before…

“So, I was playing video games, as usual,” he said while waving a hand with the phone in it, “And this one game had this guy who was able to hack so many things in a computer-network-connected city. From a simple set of traffic lights to a whole power grid, he could hack it with a few touches on his smartphone. You do know what I’m talking about, right?”

“Well, considering that all your questioning and science work almost always requires me to have enough knowledge about the video games that you play…Yeah, I think I know that game that you’re talking about.”

Suddenly, a horrible thought hit me as I realized that I knew the game that he was talking about, all while I looked at the phone that he was waving around.

“No…” I said while slowly shaking my head and stepping back a bit. “Nope…You are not going to tell me that you actually made such a dangerous hacking device…right…?”

“Hey, it’s not like I’m planning to use it to destroy humanity, John!” he replied with his strangely chilled-out tone. “And besides, it’s not as advanced as the actual thing in that video game. It can gain access into stuff, but once connected, it can only go as far as stealthily reading, copying, and storing the data that passes through computer-network-connected terminals unless the owner of the terminals that I access allows me to modify stuff. And it can actually send permission requests! Like this!”

Sometimes, I wonder if Professor is actually aware of the dangers that he puts himself in. I sighed as I put a palm to my face.

*beepbeep*

My phone suddenly rang with a beep that I’ve never heard before in my phone. I took my smartphone out of my pocket.

[Hey, is it alright if I fiddle around with your terminal? You’re free to say no, by the way! ^_^]

“How blunt,” I declared as I read the message that popped up in my phone. “How politely blunt, professor.”

“Isn’t it interesting? The thing we thought that would only exist in fiction can exist in reality!” he shouted with raised arms and a wide grin.

“Interesting, yeah, and dangerous, yeah.” I replied with a frown. “It’s surprising that some criminal organization hasn’t come to kidnap you for your tech yet.”

“That’s because I’ve got tight measures that I use to hide myself while in cyberspace and while in the outside world! Like not going out to the outside world most of the time and using multiple pseudonyms while in the Internet!”

“I don’t think I should even bother trying to understand how you manage to hide yourself so well…I don’t want to add up to the headache that I got from my hangover and that strange situation last night…

“Anyway, wanna try it out and expose and kick some criminal butt?” he asked as he pushed the modified smartphone closer to me. “I think it can be used for something that’s actually productive for all of humanity, you know! Well, that’s how I choose to look at it. What about you? How do you want to look at it? To be honest, it would be disappointing to hear you say no, but hey, being with people who are forced to work with me isn’t fun!”

Oh, of course. This close friend of mine may be a worrisome person at times, but there’s a good reason he became a close friend of mine. One such reason is that he doesn’t force me into his insane works.

And on another note, most of humanity these days look at the world like it’ll stay being shit forever. Professor? Well, he’s one of the minority who still has faith in humanity. I guess he’ll never have no faith in humanity, no matter how many times humanity, including himself, acts like shit. And that’s another good reason he’s a close friend of mine.

With all those reasons comes another reason: His insane but interesting and, at times, awesome works are a big part in what makes this boring life of mine really entertaining and really worth living.

Besides, who doesn’t want to successfully kick criminal butt?

I smiled as I looked at the modified phone in his hand and the grin on his eyebagged face.

“I think I’ll go trust you and join you in some good insanity again…” I said as I folded my arms. “…but first…get some sleep. You’ll probably make us screw up bigtime with your drowsiness.”

“Great!” he shouted as he put the phone in my hand and then turned around. “Now, I should sleep!”

And then he crashed face-first on the tiled floor.

Ah, calling him a close friend is freaking worth it, alright.

Prepare For A Happy Death

Author’s Note: Rappelling was a freaking scary but freaking worthwhile experience for the me who tried doing it for the first time.


I don’t know how I got into this situation. I was totally drunk at first, but suddenly…I felt like my head got hit hard, and then…

“Have you ever thought about the feeling of being so close to death before?”

I felt something hard and cold sticking really close to the side of my head. Whoever was behind me was really big, really deep-voiced, and really dangerous.

And from what my gradually clearing vision could tell me, we seemed to be in a really dark alley. If I could only look to the side…

“There’s no one nearby right now, seeing us here in this dark alley will be tough for anyone outside this place, and you do know that I can shoot you when I want to in this position, right?”

All thoughts about making slight movements and trying to escape were immediately pushed down into the depths of my mind. Forgetting about escaping also became a better idea when I realized that my hostage-taker put his arm in front of me and kept me stuck close to him.

My mouth found it hard to let my thoughts out, but my thoughts were centered on one thing now.

I’m gonna die.

And then thinking about death lead me to thinking about other things. I think I was out drowning my sorrows…but why? I don’t know why I did that, but anyway…I don’t want to die right now. I want to go home safely, fulfill all those dreams that I built ever since childhood, but will this guy with a gun ever let me go? Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this?

“I’m sure that you’re pretty desperate to live right now,” my hostage-taker suddenly said. “Don’t worry, though. I won’t kill you.”

“Don’t worry,” he says. Isn’t that how it goes before the hostage dies? I don’t worry, then I get killed. Fuck you. Fuck you. I hope you die in despair for crushing my dreams. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

“Really, I won’t kill you,” he calmly says. He’s definitely lying. “Anyway, have you ever laughed at a person because they piss their pants when they face something seemingly easy for you but actually dangerous for them?”

“W-wh…Why s-should I-I…a-answer that…?” was what my mouth managed to say in reply. No, I’m definitely gonna die, so what good will it give me if I don’t answer? “O-on…s-second t-th-thought…Y-y-yeah…I…I have…”

“Then how does it feel now…being in the shoes of those who you laughed at?”

I bet that he’s grinning and laughing under that calm voice. I bet he’s getting really turned on by this. “I-I-It’s…horrible…scary…I’m gonna die…but I don’t wanna die…”

“Is that so…? Well then…now’s not your time.”

“Now’s not the time?” What is he talking about? Is he from the mafia or some gang? Am I gonna get assassinated?

“Unless…” he continued, “You want now to be your time?”

OF COURSE I DON’T WANT NOW TO BE MY TIME! “N-n-n-no…I want…I WANT TO LIVE!”

“Hmm…I can see your will to live more clearly now. Alright. Just remember that you can die anytime, anywhere.”

And then I  felt the gun taken away from my head, and then I got thrown into a pile of something…ew, garbage…

But wait, my hostage-taker is…

“…”

…gone. No sound of footsteps, too.

And speaking of that man’s presence, I don’t think they smelled like anything either. I could feel him holding me, but there was no smell.

“What the hell just happened…?”

Whoever that man was…he probably wasn’t human…or was that experience actually real? Maybe I just felt that because of my drunkenness…

Ah, whatever. Anyway, looks like I’ll have to remember to not go drunk again…and remember to not step into dark alleys, especially this one.

After making a promise to myself, I stood up from the pile of garbage. To my left was a sidewalk illuminated by a street light.

“Sweet, sweet light. Thank God for streetlights.”

And I began walking back to my apartment.

I didn’t meet any dangers in my trip back to my apartment, but surely, in the future…even if I don’t want to see it again…I’ll be encountering danger…and death.

I don’t want to remember that experience…but what if that happens to me again?

“Just remember that you can die anytime, anywhere.”

Looks like I’ll have to prepare to die happily.

“Shit, I really feel like throwing up right now…”

And vomit stuff into the toilet.

Decent Burial

Author’s Note: All of humanity never likes being in Hell. And by the way, a place filled with lots of fire and brimstone isn’t Hell’s only form…


Once, there was a kingdom which had just overthrown its tyrannical king and his allies. Led by a renegade general, the kingdom managed to defeat the tyrant’s forces. Few among the enemy, including the tyrant king, were left alive in the end of the decisive battle. As the citizens wished to truly show how cruel the tyrant was to his subjects, the tyrant and his remaining allies were sentenced to death by hanging, followed by the criminals’ bodies being left hanging in a corner of the kingdom for the citizens to publicly disrespect. No protests were openly voiced, and the leader of the rebellion simply did what he thought was right. The rebel leader was crowned king, and it seemed like the kingdom chose a proper ruler.

Still, it was not like there were no people who disagreed with some of the new king’s actions. A few months after the rebellion’s end, the new king had met such a person, and that meeting did not end with that person becoming an enemy of the kingdom.

That person was a mere servant, a youth who seemed faceless.

“Your Majesty, may I request permission for something that I would like to do?” said servant asked while he knelt on one knee and looked at the red carpet beneath his feet.

“If you have come to me to ask permission for something, then it must be a grave matter,” the king, who was still in his prime, said with his deep voice and a raised eyebrow. “Look up, servant, and tell me what it is that you would want permission for.”

The servant immediately did as he was told with a calm and serious expression.

“You may not wish to hear this, Your Majesty, but I wish to give a decent burial to the tyrants, even if they did deserve their sentence.”

The servant’s rare red eyes never looked away from the king’s blue eyes, even if the nearby soldiers and advisers whispered to each other about the insanity that they had just heard.

“Your Majesty,” an adviser in a white-and-gold robe quickly whispered with gritted teeth, “The public will be in an outrage if they hear this servant’s madness! I beg of you, please do not let him–”

The king raised a palm at his adviser’s face. The tall and armored king stood up, silently looking at the calm servant, and then at his agitated allies inside the silenced room. He closed his eyes to think more deeply.

After some time, the king opened his eyes. He locked eyes with the servant, and he said:

“I will not allow it. The public will be outraged if I allow you to do such a thing.”

The soldiers and advisers breathed sighs of relief upon hearing the king’s declaration, but before they could go drag the servant away…

“Is it alright if I keep their graves hidden from the eye of the public, then, Your Majesty?” the kneeling servant asked, still showing no sign of a crumbling composure. “If I cannot bury them in the local cemetery, then is it alright if I bury them somewhere where their families–if they still have such hiding within the kingdom or somewhere outside the kingdom–can visit without disturbance from the public?”

Many eyes around the king twitched at the servant’s statement. The king’s eyes widened, and his mouth slightly opened silently. He raised his hand to stop any advisers and soldiers from whispering in his ear as he looked with wonder at the bold servant in front of him.

“Why do you wish to do such a thing, servant?” the king asked after several heavy moments of silence. “You are aware that the public may construe such an action as supporting the cause of the tyrants if I ever allow it, correct?”

“Yes,” the servant replied. “I am aware of such a consequence, Your Majesty. I do not support the evils that the tyrants had done, but I still wish to do it.”

“Then why do you wish to do it, servant?” said the king.

The servant closed his eyes, took one deep breath, and opened his eyes again before answering.

“I feel as if they still deserve some respect, just like any other person, Your Majesty, even if it is a little amount, even if it is just in the form of a decent burial or a prayer for them to rest in peace.”

The red-eyed servant with black hair and tattered brown clothes stood up, never taking his eyes away from the king’s eyes, and then he continued with a voice that echoed through the large and silent room.

“If you did something that you thought was right, but ended up being hated by your subjects because of it, would you beg for forgiveness and a second chance at life, even if you do not deserve it, Your Majesty?”

Around the king and the servant, fists clenched and hands began grip tightly on their metal weapons…but only for a short while…a short while before the king took a deep breath and gave his answer.

“Yes,” the king answered. “I would beg for forgiveness and a second chance at life.”

Eyes widened and mouths half-opened around the king, for this king had once told them in a party–and he was fully sober during that time–that he would accept death wholeheartedly if he committed a fault that deserved a death sentence.

“If they do not give you forgiveness and a second chance, though,” the servant added, “What will you do, dear king who wishes to do what is right for the kingdom?”

Heavy silence permeated the room as the king went deep into thought again. Then, as the stunned allies looked at their king, he let out an answer while his eyes looked back at the stunned eyes and his mouth made a small frown.

“I will admit it: I have lied to you, my dear subjects. I do not fear dying, but I do fear dying sadly and sinfully.” And then he looked back at the servant. “If they do not give me forgiveness and a second chance, then I shall keep on begging for forgiveness, a second chance, and a lesson on what sort of king I should be, all while I try to keep death away from me. I do not want to accept a death sentence. I want happiness for my kingdom, but I want happiness for myself as well. I want every one of us to be happy.”

The king paused and released a deep sigh and closed his eyes for a few seconds. Then, he let his vision move around the room while he followed up his answer.

“And I will admit this, too…Alone, I am weak. No matter how much my subjects exalt me, I am still a human who can make mistakes and cannot live and be happy alone, just like them. We may have been made aware of that many times, but sometimes, our pride obscures that fact.”

No clenched fists or hands tightly gripping their weapons responded to the king’s statement.

“And I think that I now understand more about why you wish to give those executed men a decent burial, dear servant,” the king, with a bright smile, said to the servant. “You wish to show them what true happiness is and how they were supposed to gain it, even if they are already in the afterlife, am I correct?”

The servant nodded with a smile. “Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Then go forth and give them a decent burial, but do not bury them in the local cemetery so that the public will not be outraged. Inform their families about the burial, tell them that they have my condolences…and tell them that I wish to have some friendly dining with them.”

The red-eyed servant who was a foot shorter than the king knelt on one knee and looked at the ground in respect again. “Thank you very much, Your Majesty. I shall take my leave and follow your orders now. And before I forget, Your Majesty, I would like to say that I now feel more honored serving you.”

“Your appreciation is accepted with great gratitude, servant.”

And so, the strange servant left the room.

After watching the servant leave the room, the king approached a soldier.

“You,” said the king with a gentle smile. “Call my most trusted general. Tell her that I need to talk to her about finding the families of those who were executed at the end of the rebellion.” The king suddenly paused and raised his hand to keep the soldier from running immediately. “No, tell her that we are going to find the families of our enemies in the civil war and have a friendly dinner with them.” And then he smiled even wider. “All of them.”

“Yes, Your Majesty!” the soldier declared with a smile and a bow, and he left quickly.

Meanwhile, the rest of the allies in the room were filled with awe. The king saw his allies’ expressions, and he kept on smiling.

“Well, we will need to tell the public about this eventually, but we should do it while keeping the potential damage to a minimum,” the king said without any visible trace of nervousness. “Guide me well, my dear soldiers and advisers! And prepare my knighting sword! I’m going to be knighting that strange boy later…”

“Yes, Your Majesty!” the allies loudly said in unison. “We shall do what our honorable king asks of us!”