Beyond The Pale
Beyond The Pale is a story written by Kagamino Kage and illustrated by tongari. It ran in Issue 13 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/67673.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/beyond-the-pale/.
From the author: "Freak-show horror. Serious squick factor in this one, don't say I didn't warn you. (My apologies for the awful title.)"
From eccentric-nucleus.tumblr.com: "in which a boy is sold to the traveling circus of her majesty the queen of spiders, home to wondrous feats of magic and marvels of the natural and unnatural world!"
From pinboard.in: "When Joshua wakes up, he's in a circus of curiosities, about to be introduced as a ghost."
There was a seed deep within the earth, scorched and blackened. It pulsed with life, a deep throbbing he felt through the soles of his feet. He found his tongue was made of clay and paper, and it was growing soft and dissolving in his mouth. Reaching into his mouth to rid himself of the foul substance, he found a string, sticky with saliva; he pulled at the string, and felt something bulging up his throat. He coughed, and out came a small broken clock, still ticking even though its hands had ceased to move long ago. He kept pulling: out came a beautiful egg, colored in delicate shades of peacock blue and green, a large crack running all the way down its side, oozing out the premature life inside.
I've found myself vastly becoming addicted to S2b2. Everything there (at least what I've stumbled across) seems so well-written that it makes it a sort of reprieve from having to minimize the not-so-well-written fiction on sites like FP and AFF (not that all are bad there or anything, just a lot lately).
This particular story stood out amongst the handful of others I've read as of lately. There was something about the way it was told that made it so unique, chilling and so dang mind-boggling that I really wish there was more to it. In fact, I'd be ecstatic if this wasn't just a short story, but a full length novel. But sadly, it isn't. The good thing about that is, you don't have to wait forever to find out the ending, and in this case, that'd be trifling to have to do.
I can't really say much about the story itself without giving it away. I will say that the summary is just the first paragraph of the story, which all S2b2's entries seem to be of. So I know it seems a bit... weird, but trust me, it's good and I guarantee it'll keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next and why.
In addition to how well it's written, the characters are also very real and enjoyable. There isn't any awkward, straining dialogue, or characters that aren't fleshed out; they're believable, intriguing, and realistic - and I was especially intrigued by the magician, which I'm sure you will be too ;)
Anyway, if you haven't yet read this, I highly recommend that you give it a shot. The only warning I will give you is that it is darkly-themed and is written a little differently - which you'll find out as you read it.And, I'm pretty sure this hasn't been rec'd before ^^; if it has been, sorry!
- delicious.com: "The FUCKING AWESOME one with the creepy carnival and the entirely morally questionable love interest omg so good."