rating: +31+x

Today is a Sunday.

I decide to go outside after weeks of creative bankruptcy.

Item#: SCP-7657
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

It's the last leg of March. I step between the cracks, occasionally walking into puddles and soaking my socks. I feel like a fool hoping that this cloudy season would clear up soon. Tired. I've been tired for some time now. This project I'm supposed to be working on, I doubt it'll be finished. It's been on the bench, glaring at me and growing cobwebs. I only ever make a few adjustments every so often.

Writing is hard.

Lately, I've been stuck at a roadblock. My head hurts after frequently trying to strike colors out of my noggin. Even now, I decided to take a walk following a brief session of watching paint dry. Clear out the fog, clear my thoughts, maybe find something to distract myself.

The grass in the neighbors' yards sway in the light breeze as they shake away the shower. The cars pass by, shooting light rays to substitute for a lack of sunlight piercing through the clouds. It's cold. It's been so for a while now. And my mind is filled with nothing but crumpled papers. I can never really stray from my pen and paper. I look down and sigh before taking notice of my appearance.

My glasses are stained.

My shoes are untied.

My trousers are wrinkled.

My hoodie is unwashed.

Unkempt, I look like a mess. My stomach twists into a knot, urging me to rush into indoor calmness. I'm not used to the taste of unorthodoxy. I find myself turning to the clouds and seeing half-formed sentences. I see a different person in the mirror, a darkening sight with time to waste. I shouldn't be outside, but maybe I'll find some color midway through. Hold your head high and keep walking. Keep walking, keep going.

I don't even know where I'm going, though. Walking around the neighborhood should be enough, but no signs of ideation. Maybe faster, maybe slower. Maybe I'll ponder why I even bother to begin with. Why am I doing this anyway? I should go back home and forget I even went out. My throat is clogging, my eyes are tracking, and my heart is weighing me. I can try again tomorrow. It doesn't matter.

But no, my legs insist and move on their own. "Hey, how about we head to that one café down the block? That sounds neat, doesn't it?"

I pause, then feel the need to go ahead. A cup of joe sounds nice, I guess.

Special Containment Procedures: Due to the generally non-disruptive nature of SCP-7657, it is considered self-containing. Due to this, the anomaly is to be left at its original location with minimal intervention from Foundation staff.

Any further developments regarding SCP-7657 should be noted accordingly.

I doubt I'll ever get used to going out in public. Every time I meet eyes with a stranger, I see a description. I make out bullet points, character traits, hobbies, and hidden potential. The walls, the buildings, the crowd, they all blend into an untapped promise. My thoughts drown out in a sea of wasted ink. My head hangs low without lifting an inch. I can taste the dust in the wind.

Breathe in, breathe out.

What am I even doing here? I'm a sore thumb, a walking thundercloud. No, at this point, it doesn't matter. Just go in and get what you need. The building is right there, its citrus lights staring at you. There's only a handful of customers, too. It makes sense, with how early it is in the morning. Hold your breath and hold your stand. You're shaking.

Just open the door.

Balls of light hang from the ceiling, and chalky brick walls surround me, carrying oil paintings of vaguely smiling people. Plants rest in the corners of the wooden floor, and radio music hums from the audience. I head to the counter, the barista greeting me as I fixate on the menu below me.

Americano, cappuccino, mocha latte. They sound like great names. Characters, perhaps. Maybe the frappuccino and caramel macchiato knew each other. Maybe the latter wanted to strive for a taste of espresso. After some time, it decided to leave, and after every trip and mishap, their bond grew bitter, so bitter that no amount of milk or sugar could make it taste any sweeter. The items melt into an incohesive mess, the words cut off abruptly, and the story lacks a narrative. Nothing about it makes sense, but it's just unfair.

I'll stick with a flat white.

The frozen atmosphere greets me on my way out. I feel even more exhausted than usual. What a horrible idea. I'd be better off in bed. The mattress knows my outline, and the sheets know my scent. I'm sure it will welcome me with open arms and promise not to let go again. That's for the better. It should be, but it doesn't sound right.

It doesn't sound right.

Something's missing. I'm still not ready.

Maybe I should stop trying altogether. Writing is hard, anyway.

I doubt it matters either way.

Maybe one more detour will do me good.

Description: SCP-7657 defines an anomalous phenomenon surrounding the Public Gardens of Boston, Massachusetts. Its properties affect those who are present inside or nearby SCP-7657, increasing in intensity depending on how long subjects remain within the area.

For some reason, I find myself strolling through the park. I guess I'm not ready to face the screen just yet. My legs probably want another excuse to do some more exercise. Regardless, I'm wasting my time wandering around an empty schedule when I should be composing. Every step here is a step away from my goals, every breath I spend is another wasted, every thought loses its potential for fortune. Why am I here? Why do I bother in the first place?

No, I know. I promised mom that…


I hope she's doing okay. I haven't visited her since moving out. Back then, I promised her stars. I said I'd leave my mark on the industry, but look where that led me. I didn't know what to say. She kept calling me, leaving voicemails and asking me how I'd been. I couldn't figure out how to bring the news to her, so I didn't bother. Sometimes, I forget how I left my mom in the dark. Other times, I try to forget. At some point, she gave up.

She used to take me to the park. We'd go there every weekend, and we'd talk. Love interests, future careers, personal issues, whatever else we felt like saying. Mom even bought me an ice cream while we sat by the pond, gazing at the leaves and chatting the afternoon away. I'd order vanilla or strawberry. I'd kick my legs in the air. I'd hold her hand as our shoes scraped along the pathway.

I'd remember that every step of the way. Even as I try to follow my past's footprints, I hope the same joys can find their way to me again.

She was the first person who picked up what I put down. Mom pushed me forward, leading me to become an author like no other. She gave me those words of encouragement, those words of praise, those words of comfort. I wouldn't take the pen if it weren't for her. The ink staining my sheltered palms was the same she told me to embrace. The stories I hesitated to convey were the same she heard. The perspectives I stashed away were the same I relayed to her all those years ago.

Where did the time go?

I left the house searching for beauty, forgetting how ugly it gets. I promised my mom another star in the sky without grasping how dark it was at night. Writing's hard. Dropping it is worse. Giving up now, I might as well call her up now and apologize for all the memories we could have, the words I didn't say, how unfair it all felt. I wonder how she'd respond if she listened to me. A child lost in a supermarket, wanting to go home. How would she react?

I notice something in the corner of my eye. Something familiar.

Those within the vicinity of SCP-7657 develop feelings of "calmness" and "serenity," displaying increased amounts of serotonin and Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).1 Affected persons tend to exhibit these symptoms for roughly a week, where they then develop a more relaxed and contented behavior.

My mom would probably slap me if she knew.


So many memories

As the swan boat gently rocks from side to side around the pond, I find myself swimming in these what-ifs. If mom heard — if she saw how her child is struggling to make a living, to leave a mark, to break the mold — she'd cry and slap me out of frustration. She'd tear up, asking me why I didn't tell her sooner. The scars I've hidden, the bruises on my knees. And then she'd embrace me, comforting me as she always did. She'd reassure me, nudging me forward just like old times.

"You'll be the best of the best. I just know it."

I mouth those words as I turn to my reflection on the water's surface.

The bags under my eyes.

The beastly hair.

The lack of sun.

Mom would still see the same person she raised all this time. She'd see the same child who spent every waking moment conceiving stories and refining their craft. Even as I am now, she'd smile and shrug it off, treating it as a simple change in appearance. I'll still be the same burning light in her eyes, albeit lost and misled. She's proud of me, I'm sure of it.

No, I shouldn't give up now. Mom's watching me even now. She's hoping to see me on the news, shooting stars across the sky. She's waiting for her child in her arms and the memories they had together. She's still in line, ready to buy a signed copy.

And as I relish in the realization, an idea strikes my head. My hands are tingling.

The swan boat rests by the dock, and I leap out, quickly pacing myself out of the park. Step by step, word by word. A concept, a line, a paragraph or two. Clouds flee from above as my thoughts put themselves together. It starts with conflict, an issue to overcome over the rising action. Finally, it culminates into a climax, with the falling motion following suit, a conclusion tying the loose ends. I blink several times as the pieces fall into place. A recognizable sensation of innovation flows through my veins.

I rush back home with a fresh coat of paint. My mind wanders into wonderland after god knows how long. This coffee tastes rejuvenating, more than I recall. I mumble a vague outline, a new point of view. I feel an itch to write, put myself into words, and project my experiences to a potential audience. The sun peers through as my mind clears.

The gears are turning. The climax is just ahead. The ends of my lips rise as my pupils begin to glisten. Another stain on my palms, and I find myself waving to the people before me. Paper in hand, a tale to tell. I let out a sigh as I let my words pull me through. But before I do, my attention leads me to my phone on the desk. I pause.

I should call my mom.

Subjects have also shown a will to pursue their interests, having more motivation and commitment to any projects which may benefit them in achieving their goals. In cases where the person in question is noted to be secluded and private in nature, they are compelled to interact with other individuals, typically close acquaintances or family members.

In addition, those affected by SCP-7657 have universally expressed a "justification with their life choices."

Today is a Sunday.

I should go outside more.

rating: +31+x
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