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Blog posts are not listed in order. If you want to check out later chapters or stories, you can go here for the table of contents.

WP: Real-life Subtitles.

This writing prompt was originally from Reddit. Occasionally I take on a challenge to post on there and I've decided to share it here for all of you! It's been revised since I wrote this back in September 2021. I've made a little progress with how I have been styling my writing and learning to change how I write. As always, I wrote this as a self-challenge and to help with my creative writing. Mistakes and errors are to be expected. -Turan


[WP] You can read subtitles in real life, which is pretty handy for translation, in bars and when dealing with people who mumble a lot. One day suddenly you read a subtitle that just says: {Boss Music Starts Playing}

Duke hardly had to listen to the conversation to keep up. After getting his power to read subtitles mysteriously one day, it changed his life. Sometimes for the worst and for the better. Every conversation had become a text that he could read while listening. At first, he found it irritating since he missed most social cues or body language. However, as time went on he adapted to reading the bracket events. It also came in handy when he wanted to see what was happening around him. Most people believed he was nonchalant about everything or uninterested. But in reality, it was mostly due to the constant distractions. Eavesdropping had become significantly easier, especially if it was problematic. If he was bored with the current conversation, he could read others around him like switching a channel on a tv.

Duke wasn't one for gossip or drama at all, it just was a mild form of entertainment. This particular day was one of those days as he sat with his good friend Stew. Stew was an old faithful, reliable friend. He was very plain and predictable. It made it easier to keep his friendship. There were no complicated texts, undiluted situations, or foreshadowing. Just simple and easy conversation. One of the shared interests Duke had with Stew was that he also enjoyed people-watching. He was the perfect sidekick to have around while they sat at the peaceful cafe, enjoying their brew.

Duke took a sip of his coffee, taking in a deep breath. He’d already been following a few strands of text from a couple sitting across the way. A current breakup was escalating in front of him when he let out a slow exhale. Placing his empty cup down, he turned his attention back to his friend.

"You know Stew, I'm gonna bounce. Catch you later."

{Happy grunt.} "Yeah mate, see you around."

Without delay, Duke stood up and left. It was nice knowing his friend was so chill. Nothing was more freeing than to know you can get up and leave with no quarrel. At least Stew would enjoy the sudden scene of the breakup unfolding, which was mostly the reason why Duke left. Screaming and crying women were not his thing. Even with his ability to read subtitles, he still couldn't understand women. There were so many hidden meanings and contexts he didn't know. At least he was considered a good listener, even if he didn't understand everything all the time. Heading towards a park, Duke tucked his hands into his pockets. It was a perfect day for a casual jaunt through the peaceful pathways surrounded by grass, bushes, and trees. Small subtitles still popped up around him with the different sound effects of the area, it wasn't a huge bother.

{Chirping birds. Wind rustled leaves. A distant dog barks.}

Duke took in a deep breath of the cleansing air. With a pause, he scanned the area to observe the activities. Out towards the open space were some college kids tossing a freebie. Along the pathways were several chairs sprinkled with people and occasional runners jogging by. Everything was serene and calm when suddenly a bold subtitle popped in front of him. It was startling at first. He had never seen such a text before. Shortly after it appeared, a small daunting hum of a dark melody began to play out of nowhere.

{Boss music starts playing}

Frozen, Duke stood with wide eyes. "What."

Cautiously, he turned to look behind him. The feeling of a cold breeze began to swirl around him in slow motion. He spotted a shrouded being several feet from him in the shade of the trees. "No... It can't be..."

He was unarmed, with no weapons to battle the beast before him. How could he be caught so off guard? With a stern yet seductive tone, the shrouded figure stepped forth out of the shade of the tree to reveal themselves.

"Hello, Duke. It's been a while."

The sun reflected off her strands of golden hair, shifting the dark looming cloud of despair into a halo appearance. Her deep blue ocean eyes were fierce locking onto his. With an unamused frown, she crossed her arms comfortably a few feet away from him. She was magnificent to behold despite that they were at odds. Subtitles appeared beneath her name, ones he didn't need to read to know what they said.

{Ex Girlfriend: Melissa Normen.}

Oh no, Duke thought while grinding his teeth. The one who left me for a d-bag in university. My first love.

"What do you want Melissa?"

{Exaggerated gasp, she feigned being hurt} "Is that a way to greet an old friend?"

"Ex, not an old friend. We haven't spoken since you dumped me at a freshmen party."

{Fake surprise} "Really has it been that long? I don't remember dumping you."

"You were making out with Tony Snider, the leader of the biggest frat houses on campus. Right in front of me."

{Painful realization} "Ah. Right. Look, I'm sorry about that. I made a huge mistake and was being so naive back then."

Melissa stepped forward, closing the gap between them. Duke swallowed hard, he was taking critical damage with the look of regret plastered across her face. No! He had to stay strong! This was a boss battle for crying out loud!

{Sincere commiseration} "I feel like there’s a reason why we ran into each other here. Do you think we could go for coffee sometime? Maybe try again where we left off?"

Duke was at his limit. She was beautiful and he had never gotten over her. Was she really telling the truth? Yeah, sure, she was feeling sorry for what she did. But was it enough to go through all the pain again? Duke was never good at saying no to people in the first place. Mostly because he was never sure of what would be the right thing to say in any circumstance. Sure he could read subtitles, but it wasn't like they ever offered a selection of words to say either. With a heavy sigh, he nodded.

"Yeah, sure. Why not. I know a good place we can go to."

{DEFEATED: KO}

"Oh really! That's amazing!" She linked her arm around his, pressing close to his body. "Lead on!"

Man, I am a huge sucker, Duke thought. Well, at least he could go back to join Stew and see what ended up happening during the breakup that unfurled earlier.

{Tragic death music starts playing}

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