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About Deviant Artist Member Look, it's a stalker site!Female/United States Group :iconrelgioustolerance: RelgiousTolerance
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deviation in storage by AnimantX


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(Contains: violence/gore, strong language and ideologically sensitive material)
“I’m impressed you’re still breathing, honestly.”

He has the vague impression of someone leaning over him, rank breath spilling across his pain-creased face, curling coyly around his nostrils, seeping into his skin. But his body is refusing to move, his eyes stuck staring at the moonlight slinking through the branches of the night-draped evergreen trees with their smatterings of frost. The stars are laughing at him. What do they know of dying?

“You could just give up,” the voice says conversationally. “Be easier. You’d just slip away. There’d be none of this hanging-on nonsense. It’s so hyped up in the movies, but it’s sort of sad to see in reality.” Fingers snap together, a sharp crack in the still November air. There is the rustle of paper, and the voice coughs dramatically before continuing. “Hm. Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita. Twenty-one years old - today, imagine! Congratulations! They can save on your tombstone - all they need are the years, and there’s a lovely symmetry to it. I believe it’s the Japanese that truly appreciate symmetry, but no one can fail to get a little shiver from this. A Scorpio, but if you buy into all that zodiac crap I’ll think less of you. Not that that probably matters much to you, seeing how you’re dying and I’m not.”

Danny coughs, wetly. His chest aches. It had hurt more, a few minutes ago. Now the pain is fading to a slow, dull burn that pulses in his bones. He is not entirely sure that’s a good sign. His lungs feel deflated, and slightly wet. Like underfilled waterballoons. He’s pretty sure that a rib slashed one of them open when he slammed into the ground. It is a cold night - the coldest one this year so far; he remembers the announcers on the radio talking about that just this morning as he tried to drink black coffee and burned his eggs. Frost glitters on the landscape like fairydust, a smattering of stars sent to earth. His breath had blossomed in front of his face when he clambered up the tree, the air cold enough that the inside of his nose had felt frozen stiff and his throat scraped raw by the chill. Either his lungs or the cold will kill him, he had thought. And then someone had come skipping out of the woods, giggling, and he had let himself believe he might be saved.

Evidently not.

“In college…studying English…why would you do that? You’ll never be employed. Or, you would never be, because we’re never going to find that out, hm? Mild weed habit, drinks too much bad beer - Pabst Blue Ribbon, really? - longest relationship lasting three months…overall, you’re not much of a catch, Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita. Unexceptional in every way. Average grades, average looks, slightly below average comprehension of Upton Sinclar’s The Jungle - which, come on, it’s not that hard of a book. The only thing about you worth noting-“ and here, he hears a book slam shut with all the weighty exasperation paper can manage, “-is your death. Climbing sixty feet up a tree in the middle of November, tipsy as all-get-out, only to miss a branch and fall. You’re right about your lungs, by the way - a rib sliced them open. You’re drowning in your own blood.”

Danny manages to force his head to turn, and yanks his eyelids open. Glossed in silver light, a tall, whip-thin man leans over him, grinning manically. His skin is dark enough to blend into the starry sky, hair a shock of lightning white. The eyes, though, are the attention grabbers. So pale a blue they are almost white, they deepen in color to an almost black indigo around the pupil - which is pinched into a point at both ends, rather like a cat’s.

“Are angel?” Danny croaks.

The man snorts. “Oh lordy me, no. I’m a dream demon, silly goose! How else would I know that you had your first wet dream about your science teacher in seventh grade? A looker, I’ll give you that. I know your nightmares too - your fear of fancy-schmancy dinner parties, your terror at being forever alone, the mere idea of lightning…pity you aren’t scared of heights, or we might not be in this situation. Falling from sixty feet is not really a good idea, if you want to live to see twenty-two. Oh well, can’t undo the past.” He bends down, closer, smile curling up on the edges like a Cheshire cat. “Oh Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita, how exciting this is! Dying!”

“Don’t want to…” Danny breathes, trying to swallow down the bitter, musky taste of his own fear. “Only twenty-one…”

“Oh tish, lots of people die at twenty-one, Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita. Some die even younger. There’s a little girl in a hospital down the road, perishing from whooping cough, and she’s surrounded by all that nasty sterile white that they think you want to see when you’re dying. You’re dying out under the stars, with me for company!” He looks delighted, white-blue cat eyes alight and glowing. “Besides,” he continues, pulling an apple out of his pocket and chomping down with a loud crunch like cracking bones, “It’s not like you had done much anyway. Or would’ve. Trust me, kiddo, you’re someone the universe can afford to lose.”

“I was going to write a book,” Danny whispers, staring at this odd man who is the only person who will ever see him die, who is picking the seeds out of his apple with giddy disinterest, “I was going to travel. Go to Switzerland, next semester, and write about life and the purpose of it.”

“Humans,” the man scoffs, waving long-fingered hands about wildly, in a manner that Danny supposes he meant to be dismissive. “Why does there have to be meaning? Or purpose? Or a creator? That means someone was a big enough dick to plan on having you die out here, all alone in the woods. Why were you climbing up that tree, anyway?”

Danny shuts his eyes, breathes in through his nose. His lungs feel lazily panicked, as if they know there is nothing more they can do.

“Needed…something. Something beautiful. Something magical. I thought if I climbed up high enough, maybe I could see something fantastic.”

Sometimes, he feels trapped, caged in by his life, by his own dull ordinariness. Sometimes, the fact that he was twenty-one and had not even left the state in which he was born was a noose that caught around his neck with the intention to choke him. His last girlfriend, when she dumped him, said he lacked the creativity to follow through on any ideas. Grand plans, but no ideas how to begin them. He had been wondering if that was the way it was always going to be - dreaming large, and never carrying through.

He carried through on climbing the tree, though, so maybe it was not always a good idea to stick with something until the end.

“What…is your name?” he wheezes. If he is going to die with this man watching him, he probably should know who he is. It seems wrong, to have a stranger watch you go.

The man raises an eyebrow. “Raphael,” he says after a moment. “But I think Raph is more me.”

Danny smiles. “An demon…named after an angel. Would be a good…plot…”

He is fading. Blackness prowls maliciously in the corner of his eyes. He cannot feel his legs, or his fingers - they could have been chopped off entirely, for all he knows.

Raph is watching him with a concentration that would be unnerving, if he were lively enough to notice it. The mocking glint is gone. “Say, Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita,” he says abruptly. “I’ll make you a deal.”

“…Hm?” The dark is calling to him. It seems warm, and welcoming, and like it wants him there. People don’t usually want Danny there, or notice him at all.

“I’ll heal you all up, good as new, but - and this is the clincher, mind - you owe me a favor.”

“Thought…I was…unexceptional…”

“True,” Raph acknowledges, and then that curling grin is back, fire glinting in the depths of his white-blue cat eyes. “But you might be what I need anyway. Besides, what have you got to lose here?”

Danny ponders it, with the syrupy-slowness of the fated. He thinks about going to Switzerland, and writing his book. About how there is a little girl, in a hospital, dying - maybe not of whooping cough, because what reasons would Raph have for telling the truth? - but dying of something, anyway, and no one coming along to offer this chance.

It is not really a choice, which might be why Raph is offering it.


Raph straightens up, clapping his hands together gleefully. “Oh, Danny-Danny boy…you’re not going to regret this. Much.”

Clouds gather overhead. Danny stares up at them uncomprehendingly at sharp silver races along the edges. The air is crackling, every hair on end. Somewhere, Raph is cackling.

When the bolt of lightning darts down from the sky to slam into his chest with a howl of fury, he is too awed and terrified to even scream. Electricity pounds through him, and his back arches to the point of bones protesting as it streams out of him and bleeds down into the blood-soaked earth.  Maybe this will be what kills him, but what a way to go.

It takes only a breath of time. When it stops, Danny is lying on the ground, chest heaving, heart pounding, staring up at a achingly clear November sky.

He almost screams when Raph pops into view. He doesn’t quite stop himself from slamming his fist into Raph’s pointed, narrow nose.
“Oh my god,” he says, scrambling to his feet. Raph is sprawled on the ground, pressing a hand to his nose and examining the faint, tar-black sheen of blood there with bemused interest. “I swear I didn’t mean to actually hit you. It was just an automatic reaction.”

“Oh Daniel ‘Danny’ Devita, I think you’re forgetting that I’m a demon,” Raph replies, grinning up at him. “Pain is my bitch.” He snaps his fingers, and his skin is suddenly clean of blood, any signs of possible bruising gone from his face. There is a slight bump to his nose that had not been there before, and Raph smirks. “I think it makes me look rakish and daring,” he says flippantly, before snapping his fingers again and popping out of existence.

“Up here, Bruce Lee!” Danny looks up. Raph is drifting between the branches of the tree that would have been the reason why Danny Devita died, looking ponderous and excitable. “Rather good thing you had me here, or you’d be on your way to the Death-O-Sphere by now. Anyway, don’t forget the favor!”

Danny sighs, stuffs his hands into the ripped pockets of his coat. His scarf looks singed, and there are smoldering holes in the collar by his chin. “I won’t.”

“And remember…“ he feels fingers under his chin, and his head is being tilted back, eyes meeting Raph’s eerie ones. The blue by the pupil is the same color as the hottest parts of the fire, Danny notices. Hot enough to melt the flesh from his bones. “Next time you die, it’s for real. So make damn sure you deserve it.”

With another snap of his fingers, Danny is alone, with only the uncaring moon to watch as he drudges back to his quiet cabin in the valley.
the skies were god's first temples by WildWolfMoon94
the skies were god's first temples
I spent a year living in the Philippines, and this is the best image to capture my time there. Taken near by Lakawan. 
“I hope you’re happy,” Failure mumbles glumly, slumping over the rusted railing. The sea is restless tonight, shifting irritably, prowling along its shores. The faint spray rests lightly on the bridge of Failure’s nose, and he shuts his eyes heavily. Exhaustion pulses in him like a second heartbeat, rattling his bones and pounding at the sides of his skull. He has never felt young, and nights like this only worsen the brittleness in his body, until he feels fragile enough to fall into a million little pieces at the brush of a feather.

“Of course I’m happy,” the universe replies, wringing out a nebula and pinning it up with stars to dry. The air smells vaguely of raspberry rum and burned steak, a acrid combination that makes Failure hunch further so the bar digs into his thin chest. His stomach is rolling like the spasmodic seas. “Have you ever seen me anything but?”

“No, never.” Failure opens his eyes and straightens up. His bones ache, and the damp air is biting at the back of his neck through his ratty scarf, slipping through the holes in his overcoat to caress his frozen flesh with ice-cold claws. The universe is never unhappy. She is giddy and obnoxious and often drunk, sometimes frustrating and sometimes so awesome and terrifying that the only recourse he has available is to sink to his knees and cower, hoping against hope she does not deign to notice to notice him in his squalid blandness. The universe is stunning and straightforwardly blunt and gleefully irritating, but by nature, she is happy, and never anything sad in the least.

“Why did you have to make me like this, though?” he asks her forlornly as she tugs down the Orion nebula and scowls at it, pulling at the sides to stretch out the dense clumps of gas and matter. “Why am I just so terrible? I try and I try, but everyone curses me and avoids me. I can never do anything right. I drive people to death and destruction and despair.”

“Well, for starters, I didn’t make you,” the universe retorts, stuffing the crumpled nebula into her washbin and dumping a liberal amount of starstuff on top. “You’re an inevitability, like taxes and Death.”

“Oh wow, was that suppose to make me feel better?”

She shrugs, flicking a gaseous curl out of her supernova eyes. Most of her locks are pinned back with an asterism that Time had given her a long time ago, their winking sparkle barely visible through the mess piled on top of her head. “It’s a fact, Failure. And if I wanted to talk to a crapehanger, I’d have invited Love or Death here instead of you.”

He slumps back down, slamming his chin down on top of the icy railing. His back screeches unhappily about the angle, and his teeth feel oddly pained - he has the tendency to grind them when worried, which is always. Across the bay, brilliant city lights gleam happily, forcing away the night. His sister is somewhere in that mass of humanity, sprinkling the miracles people pray for: promotions and letters of acceptance, award-winning ideas and worldshakingly powerful midnight revelations. Failure spends a lot of time dwelling morosely on his twin sister, analyzing why she is Success and he is not. It’s an riddle with no answer, but one he searches for endlessly anyway.

“Don’t sulk, Failure,” the universe sighs, draping the freshly-scrubbed nebula over Orion’s belt. “I didn’t make you, but I can say you weren’t meant to be a punishment for anyone.” She wipes her glistening hands off on her endless skirts, and offers him a cheery smile. He ignores it, hunching further over until the railing is pressed up against the ridge of his nose. The far-off city seems shrouded through the curtain of his dark hair, and he wonders what his sister is doing. Charming someone without even trying, perhaps, as effortless in her interactions with those around her as she is with everything else.

His sister is his mirror, his flipped image, but everything about her is perfected, the counterpoint to his faults and flaws. His boniness is awkward, all juts and angles, the type borne by those naturally skinny and enhanced by a forgetful, tense nature that is prone to forgetting sustenance. Hers is willowy and smoothly elegant, without the sudden ends and points that define him - instead, she has sleek lines and gentle curves. Her looks inspire poetry and prose, songs and stories; he’s heard her compared to Aphrodite and angels without irony. His features are hers masculinized enough to be polarizing; no one can agree if he is handsome or hideous. With Success, there is no question. With Failure, there is nothing but doubt.

He feels antsy in his own skin, as if it is two sizes too large, or perhaps one too small. His hands are grotesquely large, the curve of his spine like a snapped question mark. He feels like he wears his body uncomfortably, as if he can never tug it into place. Success, however, wears her oversized hands and abrupt angles with an easy grace that Failure both adores and loathes her for. People typically either ignore him or barely tolerate him - Success, like with everything, is both brilliantly noticeable and frustratingly arrogant, yet no one ever would shove her into the corner.

His existence is to be the background to his sister’s spotlight, cursed and reviled and ignored. No one wants him, everyone craves her. This, more than anything else, is all the proof that Failure needs that the universe doesn’t give a damn about fairness.

“Failure?” the universe asks, her hands absently smoothing out a fold in the outskirts of the Orion nebula.

“I just don’t understand how you can say I’m not a punishment,” he tells the silver-streaked waves prowling the bay. “It sure feels like it sometimes.”

He feels more than hears the universe sigh - a gentle tremor, running through the air, and the night suddenly dims at the edges as if she dropped a curtain on it.

“I am one of only a small number of living universes,” she says, picking at the dusty edge of Sirius with a forced contemplation that feels bitter and brittle. “There are more failures than successes - it is the way things go. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to make it.”

“Yeah, now you’re really not helping.”

“Because I haven’t made my point yet; shut up.” The universe’s glare burns into his neck like a focused ray of sunlight. Failure does not even try to fight the urge to just crumple to his knees and lean his head against the bars of the railing, the sea before him grabbing greedily at the silver-streaked moonlight. It’s inevitable that he would be a coward along with everything else. “Success is what everyone wants, yes, but no one gets there without you, Failure.”

He does not move, just huffs and watches the way the breeze displaces his bangs.

“Success is built on what people learn from you. You’re meant to show them how to get to where they want to go, to humble the arrogant, to season the inexperienced. If there is no threat of failure, there is no reason to strive for success. In fact-“ and here, the universe bends down until she fills up the entire sky, her supernovas all he can see when he peers up through his eyelashes and messy bangs, “-you’re the whole reason humanity exists the way they do at all.”

He tilts his head back, stares up at her. His mouth is open, and he is quite aware that he looks a little moronic with his jaw slack and his eyes bulging. His sister, with the same expression, would appear reverent and inspired. He merely looks like a dumbfounded kindergartner who just saw a larger kid grind a butterfly into the sidewalk - too young to understand death, old enough to know cruelty.

The universe, however, is not even looking at him. Humming off-key, she is pulling at the corners of the Red Square nebula, stretching out its crimson sides until it fills the evening sky. Failure hauls himself to his unsteady feet, the icy bite of the iron railing the only thing keeping him standing.

“You can’t just say that and stop there,” he protests. His voice sounds a little weak, too soft - Failure spends most of his time trying to not catch anyone’s attention. Maybe by nature he was not quiet, but necessity - or his perception of it; what the world needed from him to let him go on surviving.

The universe hears him anyway. She always does.

“I thought I was perfectly clear,” she remarks, raising her eyebrow at him. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if the universe is being serious or just trying to mess with him. Those who think that she follows a set path of reason and logic are fools, Failure decides. The universe has her own logic, but he suspects no one will ever understand it besides her.

“No, you weren’t. That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

She heaves a dramatic sigh and flings the Red Square nebula into the arching black sky. “Oh, fine. I’ll put this in soundbites. Something nice and snappy.” She settles back into the night like a queen, her curls lazily drifting around her round face. “In the beginning, humans were just trying to survive. Failure was about not finding food, or being killed. But as they advanced, so did the stakes. Kingdoms could be toppled, or whole clans wiped out. The lives of many depended on the actions of a few. As the potential for success grew, that ability to be grander than anyone who had come before, so did the chances of failure.”

She smiles at him, and he wonders if perhaps she is drunker than he had originally thought. “You were their motivation, Failure. They learned from you, learned what not to do, and fought to outwit you. Without you, would they have reached the moon, built towers that scrape the clouds from the sky, tried to discover my inner workings? You up the stakes. You add oil to their fires. You are the keystone on which humanity depends - there is no room for change or adventure or dreams without the risk of failure.”

“Are you trying to make me feel better?” he asks suspiciously. Mercy and compassion are not among the virtues the universe can claim to possess. Death is usually told to grin and bear it, Love to stop sulking, Time to not dwell on events that, for everyone else, have not yet come to pass. When it comes to others’ problems, the universe hardly ever bothers with empathy.

“I never try to make anyone feel any better or worse about themselves when they ask for the honest truth,” the universe replies. “I just tell them what I see and how I see it. How they feel about it is their own damn business.”

He slumps back onto the railing, head hanging. “So why do they curse me?” he says quietly, rubbing at burning eyes with freezing hands.

“Some people aren’t ready for you,” the universe tells him, as kindly as she is capable of. “They don’t understand why what you’re offering isn’t the end of the world, or why they shouldn’t fear a failure. They don’t see your presence as room for growth, or as a chance for introspection. You’re a threat to them, to their lives and their perception of themselves, and they curse you because they don’t know how to use the lessons you give them.” He can hear her uncapping the flask of moonshine she carries with her everywhere - he never understood why she drinks as much as she does, but he has never seen the universe in any state but tipsy. “Now, the mature ones know that what you’re bringing to the table is a blessing,” she continues after a long moment. “They know that you’re giving them the chance to analyze who they are and who they want to be, what they want to accomplish and why. You temper them, strengthen them, hand them the tools to meet their goals the next time they set out.”

He looks up, hair tickling the back of his numb neck. The universe fills the sky, gleaming with the pinpricks of light from a thousand suns.

She is smiling at him, and her supernovas look like a promise, not a threat. “You’re the most human out of all of us, Failure,” she says. “You, with your doubts and your blindness to your strengths and hyperawareness of your flaws and desire to be something you’re not without realizing that reality functions better with you being just the way you are. Sometimes, I think you’re better equipped to deal with life than we are.”

Suddenly, she jumps to her feet, hair a swirl around her face. Failure can see the sparkling edge of her flask tucked into her waistband. “Well, I’m afraid I must be off,” she declares, gathering her skirts in one hand. “Time and I are going for a stroll along the arm of the Milky Way. Don’t wait up. And if you see Life, tell him he’s a jackass and I know he took the last of my good concentrated dark matter. Toodle-loo!”

She is gone then, in a swirl of fire and gas, leaving confused comets drifting bewilderedly in her wake. Failure opens his mouth - maybe to call after her, maybe to shriek his frustration at the heavens - but nothing seems to want to come out.

So he closes it, and stares at the city across the bay, with the million dancing lights and the glow of his sister. Without the universe, it feels chillier here than it had moments before, and he draws his coat tighter around his skinny body.

“I’m the force behind this all,” he mumbles to the night. Every breath he surrenders to the ink-black sky hovers in front of his face like an unhappy cloud, hoping it can push its way back into the warmth of his body. Then he sighs. “Yeah right.”

He turns up his frayed collar against winter’s clawed caress and shoves his stiff, bloodless fingers into the depths of his worn pockets. With one final glance at the lights skipping across the agitated sea, Failure turns on his heel and skulks into the night.


Look, it's a stalker site!
United States
Current Residence: Behind your closet door.
Favourite genre of music: Really depends on my mood, but just about everything.
Favourite style of art: Um, let's see here...Japanese otaku...can't possible be...*GASP* it can't be manga!
Favourite cartoon character: ...Far too many to list
Personal Quote: "Bears love humans (they taste like chicken)."
Guys. Guys. I finished the rough draft of my novel. 90,000 words and 295 pages and three months and I'M DONE WITH THE ROUGH DRAFT

and i can't stop shaking god
  • Mood: Euphoric
  • Listening to: Gang of Rhythm

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NIGHTSTORM77 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Student Writer
GymnastixJenny Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014
Happy birthday! Your writing is amazing and I'm exceptionally envious. :P ;P
ShadowHunter2002 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I've read your story,…, and it was one of the most amazing stories I've ever read!
ellymango Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday~! :heart:
bugmen0t2013 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Enjoying your work so far.
a100negros Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
Your work is neat. :)
a100negros Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
Your latest piece was pretty cool. Moar! :)
a100negros Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
a100negros Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
Your latest piece was pretty cool. Moar! :)
OffTempoPianist Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! C:
ProfessorGrinwood Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you for favoriting my comic elskan mín!
BlakeGreene Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
Hello! How's life going? It's been a while since we last spoke, but talking isn't the main reason i'm here C:

I'm here to tell you that I finished the picture you comissioned me last year, and to tell you that I can't apologize enough for how late it is. I hope you'll accept it?

upsidedowngirl14 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012
Hey I'm making a video montage thing on youtube for my gymnastics team, is it ok if I use your poem "Of being A Gymnast" in it? I'd credit you and put a link to the poem if u would like :) lemme know!
WildWolfMoon94 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
Go right ahead :D
upsidedowngirl14 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
thanks :) heres a link if u wanna see it...
KoinuSeev Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011
Hi, im another random person telling you something that im pretty sure you forgot
Im one of the friends you had in this page like... 2 years ago.
Dont expect you to remember anything, just to make you sure. Take care :D
Badgerkai Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
hihi~~ im just a random person but ive read alot of your literature and its AMAZING!! so i thought that you might like to join my competition? its writing compettion, and its kakuhidan you can go to my journel for moar about it!! :iconhurrhurrplz: but if your too busy thats ok!
littlecloudflower Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Student Writer
Happy birthday! :party: :D
Temarigirl1600 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:icondrevilplz: Have a wonderfuly evil/awesome birthday~!
WildWolfMoon94 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
:XD: Thank you, lovely!
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