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Tragic Rabbit

LAIKA by Elecivil

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I have a question. OK, I have more than one.

If I wear tomorrow's socks, does that mean I'm living in dreams instead of today?

If I wear tomorrow's socks, does that mean I'm a forward thinker? Is that too forward?

If I wear tomorrow's socks, doesn't that mean they're today's socks? Does that mean I wear today's socks tomorrow, and thus tomorrow, I'll be wearing yesterday's socks?

Conclusion: Tomorrow's socks sure are confusing, but you could have socks tomorrow! -- It's OK if you're confused about socks, you can figure it out together....

No wonder you didn't buy those socks. They were already dating -- I mean dated.

Does that make it bad to wear dateless socks? Does that mean you'll have sockless dates? Hmm. I'm fairly sure you'll still get a date, socks or no socks. Possibly, if you're not wearing any socks, among other items of clothing, your chances for a date will improve. You might want to wait until summer to test that theory.

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I have a question. OK, I have more than one.

If I wear tomorrow's socks, does that mean I'm living in dreams instead of today? . . .

After giving this a lot of thought, the answer is, frankly, quite obvious. No matter what socks you put on in the morning, they will always be today's socks. End of story.

Besides, I'm way too excited from Eli's announcement to care! :spank:

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I have a question. OK, I have more than one. [...]

I'd say to put on one of today's socks and one of tomorrow's, so as to start the day with one foot forward. That way you can toe the line between the present and the future, keeping step with your contemporaries while at the same time taking stock(ings) of tomorrow's challenges. Can ya dig it, sole man, or am I coming off callused?

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(Grunting with exertion, extreme effort of dragging this thread back to topic...)

Is it just me, or does anyone else find EC's writing style reminiscent of J.D.Salinger? I keep getting echoes of Catcher in the Rye.

And that's about the biggest compliment I can think of. This is a great story, can we have the next chapter NOW please??!!!

Bruin

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Spoiler Alert: I'm not going to put my whole post inside a spoiler tag, so if you haven't yet read the final chapter and epilogue etc., don't read this, OK?

Elecivil put it well in the the Afterward when he said he knew a lot of readers would dislike the ending since even he likes happy endings, after all. I have to admit that after reading Leaves and Lunatics, I was expecting a happy ending. The trouble I ran into with Laika was, how could there ever have been a happy ending. Even the title was a dead giveaway - no pun intended - Laika, the space dog, died. The bottom line is, how could Bran and Nick ever find a way to be together under the impossible circumstances of their different backgrounds? The answer, plain and simple, was that at least until they became adults, they couldn't.

Most of us grow up feeling we're different, but often live in denial of the fact that we're attracted to guys even as we relish the sight of bare chests and sock-less feet. OK, maybe mismatched socks do it for some of us. :shock: We can't help but come to realize we're gay when we develop our first crush on someone of the same gender, but that person more often than not is straight. (Unfortunately for me, I never let this happen - see my story, The New Job, but I digress . . .) In Bran and Nick's case, however, their first crush was mutual, which was the basis for this story, but not the premise.

Although Bran and Nick were compatible, it was, strangely, Alex and Nick who had the most in common - they were both prisoners of their own circumstances. They both rebelled in their own unique ways, but they couldn't escape their respective roles - Alex the son of a wealthy politician, forced to attend an exclusive high school, and Nick, the son of the most conservative minister in town. Like it or not, we are bound to our parents until the age of 18 and the alternative, running away, is usually a one-way street that has a very unhappy outcome. BTW, for most of us, that parental bond doesn't end at 18, either.

Bran, on the other hand, to a large extent had freedom. He wasn't as free as his brother or Corey and his "boundedness" was more a product of his own imposition, but he had a lot of freedom to go his own way. I wonder if he ever did come out to his parents . . .

Thanks, Ele, for taking us down this very bumpy road. It was a beautiful story up almost until the very end. It would have been nice if it had taken less than two years to have told the story, but life does have a way of making it's own demands. Believe me, I know. In any case, I really enjoyed reading Laika. I especially appreciate the ray of hope you left us with at the end of the epilogue. It wasn't much, but what would life be without hope? :icon1:

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The ending was, in retrospect, the only possible ending, unless there was to be a sudden appearance by UFO's or ELecivil became a bad writer and decided to throw in either a suicide or a fatal illness.

Of course, being pribably the best writer I've come across on the intertubes and one of the best I've come across anywhere, we get an ending suited to the tenor of the story and I appreciate that.

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It was definitely a sad ending and most certainly not the one we wanted, but Ele is such a good writer that we understood why they couldn't be together and I can say for myself that I didn't leave feeling empty or cheated what-so-ever. It may have taken a little over two years to get the story told, but it was without a doubt worth the wait.

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I had this fantastically witty reply worked out, but the computer ate my post!

Oh well.

I loved Laika and I'm looking forward to whatever EleCivil has up his sleeve, er, his socks, uh, somethin' like that.

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What an ending! I like that little spark of hope.

Elecivil, you did a great great job with writing Laika.

The different characters, the interaction.... Well done.

Despite the rather heavy subject sometimes, you never forgot the humour.

Especially the rock-punk-subcultures thing. Will that ever stop? I am waiting for the day that every band has his own culture-name-thing.

Mark, Alex... Great guys. To say, I laughed a lot while reading.

You got me hooked till the last part.

I still am, actually.

If you ever want to let them come back in another story, please do so.

I didn't change my socks, still the same colour. Not your fault, I am getting to old to change my habits, I guess.

And please, do post the band/musician/song list. With some footnotes of the kind of whatever-kind-of-punkrock they belong.

Otherwise we get confused and never understand it. :hehe:

Thanks for a great read!

Oliver

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The end was inevitable.

EC's use of the concept of free and bound characters, Brandon and Nick respectively, means that they have to be what they are. Frankly, I'm surprised that we didn't see signs of trouble in Nick sooner.

Brandon is free to explore his world and Nick is bound to structures of a world imposed upon him.

The only way that the two could possibly be together is when they are both free- as in after graduation.

Another question is that once that they are both legally "free", 18+ and adults, will Nick chose to stay bound?

It's easier to have you idenity handed to you than go through the pain and struggle of figuring it out for yourself.

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Here I was all set to argue with James, which would probaby have been a first for me.

But when he said Nick wouldn't be able to get with Brandon until he graduated, presumably meaning when he left the influence of his father, left home, whatever, I was ready to disagree.

But then James cleared it up and voiced the sentiment that I was about to state, that Nick has accepted his own boundaries and until he feels mature enough to escape them, he'll continue to exist within them. It's all within him, all his values and attitudes, and it must be him that seeks change. As the story ends, he's nowhere near a point of doing that.

Brandon was attracted to him by his superfical aspects. When he learned who he was deep inside, he learned the attractions were just that, superfical, and not anything a long-term relationship could be built on. Had the two boys moved forward based on their attraction for each other and ignored their very basic differences, eventually they would have been doomed as a couple, and the parting would undoubtedly have been more painful than occurred here.

What a wonderful story, one where things like this can be discussed, where we have differentiated characters who act according to their individual psychologies and run true to how they've been developed. Writing like this is rare on the Internet.

C

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Huge thanks to everybody who read this whole thing (and bonus points for those who posted/emailed to let me know, heh).

It's weird - when I started this story, I knew it would end like this, but as it went on, I kept trying to think of other ways to end it. I like these characters, and I wanted them to get a happy ending, but it just wouldn't wash. At least, not without pulling something like "Nick gets caught by his parents, and is kicked out/abused/runs away and moves in with Bran/the band/some conveniently placed open-minded relative, for some reason," or "There's a big confrontation between some combination of Free characters and Nick's Dad, and they convince him to change his ways, and all of a sudden he's totally cool with everything, somehow." Or, like FT suggested, UFOs. Possibly full of 4th-dimensional beings who abduct Bran and Nick, unstick them from time, and put them on display in their home planet's zoo. Hey, it worked for Vonnegut.

There were actually some early end-chapter drafts that ended on an even more depressing ending, and comparatively, this one's pretty cheerful.

Once again, you guys are awesome.

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There were actually some early end-chapter drafts that ended on an even more depressing ending, and comparatively, this one's pretty cheerful.

I thought it was cheerful. You left us with a hope, a possibility that perhaps Bran and Nick will get together, someday. What more could we ask for? That they run off, rob a bank, fly to Hawaii and hide out? Gagh!

Colin :stare:

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I would like to see their plans for the bank robbing scheme. I'm sure that they would have incorporated a spoon.

Anyway, I thought that it was a fantastic story. There were too many good characteristics for me to list. I just wish that there was an even more happy ending that would not have been corny (do people still use that word?). I can definitely appreciated it for its literary merit. I just love happy endings.

So, great job, keep it up and all that. Thanks for the truly original story.

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RE: socks & rebellion

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After reading Laika, i have to admit that my socks are usually matched.

However- unless I'm in the gym, I wear red socks

most of the time and that has got to count for something.

Red socks aren't that easy to find but they, but they are definitly ME: obscure, untamed and unconventional.

Wish I had a dime everytime I heard someone say I don't believe that I've ever seen red socks before.

My smartass reply: they match my boxers. :stare:

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YAY!!! Laika is back on Dude's Picks From The Past! This is my favorite story at AwesomeDude, and I love it to pieces!

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It is a truly great piece of writing. One of my all-time favourites.

I think Elecivil is probably a very busy man - he's I think an inspirational teacher which is a full-time occupation and more. That may be why we haven't seen anything new from him for a while. There's a Work in Progress which hasn't had any new chapters in a long time and it's making me sad...

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I agree. I was so in love with that piece as well. Lives in Periphery promised to be as amazing as Laika.

EleCivil is one of the people who convinced me to first submit my work here, and I'm quite grateful to him for that.

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I finally figured out that I had started to read this some years ago, but for some reason stopped maybe 1/3 of the way in. Everything seemed very familiar until I reached a certain point.

In any case, I have now read/re-read the whole thing, and I have to share the sentiments posted above from the original publication. It really is a dazzling piece of writing. I had, like many, hoped for more of a "riding off in the sunset" ending with Bran and Nick, but at least the Epilogue leaves a glimmer of possibility. In all events, the banter and the craziness provide a lot of entertainment on the way to this ending.

R

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I wish he'd show up here now and then. He used to. He's sorely missed. Probably got too busy. He kept getting promoted. Taking him out of the classroom is a tragedy, from my point of view, but maybe he can more effectively improve kids lives on a grander scale if he's in a higher position.

Still would love to see him show up now and then...

C

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