No prompt used. However, this is full of Death Note references, courtesy of me binging the anime, fanfics and the 2015 TV drama, L’s theme (and soon manga) recently, as well as listening to Light’s theme while writing this story. I also made a reference to the Death Note fanfic Chains of Fate.
As this is exactly 1000 words long, this is my first Little Prose entry for 2020.
The David Bowie Day challenge: 1) Pick lyrics from a David Bowie song, lyrics from a song you love and 2-3 News/Editorial article segments from any online source (each 3-5 paragraphs each), 2) Put them together into this cut-up text generator, 3) Collect at least ten lines of text from the cut-up generator and use them to construct the story.
My source choices were:
- “Won’t you tell me/Where have all the good times gone” – Where Have All The Good Times Gone – David Bowie
- “Forgetting all the hurt inside/You’ve learned to hide so well” – Leave Out All The Rest – Linkin Park
- Paragraphs 4 to 7 from this: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/duolingo_launches_its_most-requested_course_ever_finnish/11414976
- Paragraphs 8 to 11 from this: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/pandemic_fails_to_cool_finlands_centuries-old_passion_for_coffee/11403795
The prompts I chose, with the words in [these] being my edits to the generator’s output:
- At the workplace.
- To be scheduled.
- Currently learning Finnish.
- Lose the social connections
- the tone got lighter
- “Topics,” he said.
- [you] have to learn an enormous amount
- an unofficial channel to discuss
- you can make yourself understood
- You [
to] hide so well
Raiyo looked at the screen, deep in thought. His workplace had become a strange place after the pandemic had started; the building was mostly deserted. He was one of the very few who had showed up there. He presumed that the others were there because they did not have the needed equipment for working remotely. But Raiyo? He was there to hide.
His parents knew that he was good at hiding, so they went out of their way to try to find him in unusual places where he might hide. That was the most vital part of his plan, though: he usually hid in places they would not even think of, so they assumed that he came up with elaborate plans to be out of sight. In truth, however, Raiyo hid in plain sight wherever he would not stand out and where his parents would not look. This time, it was his office. Because of the pandemic, few left their homes for work if they could work remotely. Therefore, his parents assumed that he would avoid public spaces, which gave him a perfect cover especially since he could stay holed up in the sweet solitude in his office for days without anyone noticing him there after work hours.
Once his break started, Raiyo brought the Discord window onto his main screen. It had become an unofficial channel to discuss work and everything unrelated to it — practically their virtual breakroom — recently, so just to keep up appearances he checked it every now and then. Otherwise, he would not have minded losing the social connections completely after everyone had holed up in their homes.
After all, the only person Raiyo did not want to lose contact with, his best friend Levi, was a hermit by nature — even more so than Raiyo, who preferred not to spend much time with people who were not close to him, namely everyone except Levi — so most of their normal contact occurred via the Internet anyway. There was no natural routine of communication to be disturbed by the lack of meeting face to face. As far as Raiyo knew, Levi was more than content in his characteristic seclusion, completely unaffected by the pandemic.
Levi’s Discord status read “Currently learning Finnish”. A small smirk rose on Raiyo’s face when he reminisced last night’s call with him; had he not followed the news, the older man could have very well been unaware of what was going on in the world outside his home.
“Languages are interesting. You should try one sometime,” Levi remarked. “You can make yourself understood with relatively little knowledge, but for proper communication you have to learn an enormous amount of stuff.”
“Too much work.” Raiyo gave a laugh. “English is enough for my needs.”
“It would be fun if we learned together, you know. Especially since we have topics,” Levi said. His tone got lighter. “It would be absolutely hilarious to discuss that crush of yours in Finnish!”
“She’s not my crush!” Raiyo hissed. Levi laughed in response, so he continued. “Levi, we have talked about this. I don’t have a crush on her. It’s completely one-sided.”
“Yes, yes, of course.” Levi chuckled. “But hey, think about it. You still have time to catch up with me with Finnish.”
“Okay, I’ll think about it,” Raiyo conceded.
They had discussed work and the pandemic for a while before Levi had had to go back to work. Raiyo, on the other hand, had gone to bed before leaving for work in secret early in the morning.
The break was over, so Raiyo shook himself from his reverie, shrunk the Discord window and got back to work. He had statistics to work on, after all, although the thoughts of Levi made the workload easier to bear; he knew that the older man had been working on either them or his writing or translation side projects all night long, munching cake or something else sweet.
Once his shift was over, Raiyo checked in on Discord to let his coworkers know that he was “fine” and looked out of the window. It was dark outside already, so he spreaded his sleeping bag under his desk, took his laptop, and ducked in there. No one was going to see him not leave the building, so he could spend the night there, munching chips in contrast to his sweet-loving friend.
News about Duolingo’s new Finnish course came up a few times as Raiyo browsed his social media feed and what Levi had said about learning Finnish came back to his mind. Finnish was a little bit too niche for Raiyo’s taste, but Levi had fallen in love with Finland ages ago. They had even planned a trip there, although it was on hold until the pandemic was over. Well, it was more time for Raiyo to save money for souvenirs and whatnot, so he did not mind it too much.
Perhaps learning a new language, especially an unusual one, would be a good idea after all — it would be something good to put in his resume. And, with Levi, it would also be fun.
A new smile came on Raiyo’s face. He knew exactly what to do.
He took his phone and texted Levi. I thought about it. I’ll learn Finnish with you if you let me come over. :)
Levi replied soon. Yas!! :D I’ll ask Warren to get you. You at work?
I’ll make sure there are apples for you when you get here 8D
Raiyo packed his things and sneaked outside with a huge grin on his face, trying hard not to jump and/or squeal in excitement. It was always a delight to see Levi in person, especially during a pandemic when they saw each other even less than normally.
After all, he was his best friend, and the only person who understood him so well.
When Warren’s car pulled up to the parking lot, Raiyo was ready.
Perhaps this pandemic would not be so bad after all.