Rewrite Challenge #1 - Johan Liebert

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~ Z ~

Black Jacket
Sep 3, 2015
The Cosmos~!
Hello all, 
This competition will be a new spin to the first Writing Competition. Following a similar path of the Redraw Challenge made by ShineCero, the Rewrite Challenge is for those who are artistic with words rather than drawings. And just like the Redraw Competitions, there will be two types of Writing Competitions: The Rewrite Challenge and The Creative Writing Challenge. The rules for the Rewrite Challenge are very simple:
  • With the given picture, rewrite it as you see fit. You write whatever you feel/pops in your head the moment you see it. It can be anything as long as it relates to the photo in some way.
  • No more than 800 words. (About 2-3 paragraphs max.)
The hardest rule, frankly, is the word count. You can be as creative as possible and have no limitations except for how much you can write. The ultimate goal is to get your point across with the correct usage of words and pacing. It helped me a ton so I wish to share it with you guys and see what you take from it. I understand the rules are very open-ended, so below I have added a Q&A to help those burning questions.

Once you complete your piece, post it in the thread to enter. You will only have 14 days (ending on December 25th on 12 AM PDT/ 3 AM EST / 9 AM CET / 3 PM MYT!!) to submit it. There will be no extension, so get it done by that date. 
Our first entry will be this lovely picture of Johan Liebert from the show, Monster.

As mentioned above, you can write about whatever comes to mind. Take this one picture/character and do whatever you think leads up to the scene or what happened right after. There are no limits. Just remember to involve the name of this character in your story and make it no more than 800 words. You can write this directly on Boogaloo or on MS Word then Copy/Paste it as your reply. 

Q: Do I need to know the character/anime in order to participate?
A: No. You do not need to know the character/anime. 

Q: How do I even start?
A: Look for things that give you hints and ideas such as facial expressions, clothing, surroundings, etc. If you believe the expression is sad, write about something depressing that happens to this character. If you see a mountain in the background, use that to set the area and work from there.

Q: What if I'm wrong?
A: Your imagination is never wrong.

Q: Can I add my own character(s)?
A: Yes, as long as you keep the main focus of what is being asked. 

Q: Can my OC fall in love with the character?
A: Yes. Think of this competition as glorified Fanfiction with the given character. 

Q: Is there a theme/Genre?
A: No. You can make a romance, drama, thriller, etc, of whatever you see, even if you don't know the character.

Q: What is the point of this competition?
A: To hopefully expand your creativity and not be scared to literally write the first thing you think up. I think it's interesting to see what other people think, even if they are completely off.

I'll add more questions if they are frequently asked. So far, let's try it out and see what you guys can think up! Don't be scared and jump in to see what you can create. It will be very interesting to read what you take from a single character/image. If you have any questions, please PM me for clarification!

This is a challenge to all those writers and to those who wish to better their writing capabilities. One way people learn to be creative is from being restricted, believe it or not. When you have a set of obstacles set before you, the human mind tends to think up crafty and creative ways to overcome them. This challenge is here to help those who wish to write better as well as to expand creativity. Writing is like a diamond; there is no such thing as 'bad writing', it just needs to be polished in order to shine.
Here's my entry

“Oh? You’re exceptionally early today, sir. You don’t show up around here until a quarter before nine.” A warm smile lifted the corners of Johan’s mouth. His blue eyes never left the sight of the mug he held in his hand. Slowly lifting the mug closer to his nose, the streams filled his nostrils with an aroma of a freshly brewed expresso. Johan raised his eyebrows slightly and made a satisfied face. “A good smell is such a delightful way to start the day. Have you gotten your coffee yet?” 

“I don’t like coffee. I prefer tea, you know that.” An older man responded to Johan’s remarks before sitting down with a stack of papers in his hands. 

“You’re missing out, sir. The scent of coffee will give your nose such a nice sensation.” Johan praised.

The man put the pile to the side as he took a deep breath. Taking out a notebook and a pen, he turns to Johan. “Listen, we have been talking for a few days now. We are making major progress and even allowing you to drink your morning coffee you requested. However, I need more details out of you. I’m not here to jerk you around nor judge you. I’m simply looking for the why, the how, and ultimately, understand you. You don’t need to be afraid nor become uncomfortable about any topics with me.”

Johan maintained his smile. “There’s nothing to explain, sir. What’s done is done.”

“There had to be a reason. A man simply does not snap for the sake of it. These people must’ve done something to you—”
“They did not do anything. They have done nothing to me. They have caused no grief, no harmful actions, nothing.” Johan placed the mug down to the table. “Their existence simply ended by my call.”

“Your call?”

Johan lifted his eyes towards the man. “Tell me, sir. What do you think of the smell of alcohol?”

The man raised his brow. “Not fond of the smell. I’m not a drinker, so I avoid it.”

Johan smiled. “The scent of alcohol had become a norm in a household. Bottles being thrown, the cries of children was a common occurrence. Violence, shame, humiliation and emptiness; all of them have a common trait that connect them together: the bottle of liquor. The smell of alcohol when stepping into that household was a sign that someone was getting beaten. Someone was getting shamed. Someone was getting humiliated. And someone filling their empty shell to feel something. In in the drunken state, they become more creative in their actions, so you get exposed to even more foul smell. The smell of feces ran rampant in that household. The smell of dry blood coated the violent clouds in the air with rain of misery. The bitterness of the alcohol transpired into bitterness in reality”

The man carefully worded his response to Johan’s tale. “A household like that is often common in poor environment.”

Johan’s eyes locked onto the man’s eyes, but his smiled never once fade throughout this conversation. “The smell of coffee…. Is quite different.” He dodged the man’s question. “The bitterness can be sweetened and made into a delicious delicacy to start you off in the morning feeling grace.” Johan raised his mug again and took one snip. He slightly frown after tasting it. “But sometimes, this delicate beverage can be ruined when it been over roasted. At this point, no matter the sugar, it’s no longer sweet. It just bitterness… too much bitterness. And the smell has been tainted.”

Johan placed the cup away from the table. The man’s eyes followed.

“And when bitterness takes over, there’s only so much man can take.” Johan dropped the cup towards the floor, shattering into pieces upon impact. “You discard the bitterness… those with foul scent do not deserve to continue on this earth. Those people have done nothing, but they committed the cardinal sin of violating their household and their children with the bad smells. The bitterness ran across those families with misery and bitterness; so, I discarded them. All of them, so their bitterness, forever tainted, cannot spread.” After a pause, Johan finished with his story. “Only good smells remains.”

The man shifted his eyes back to Johan. “Only good smell remains?”

A gleeful smile spread across Johan’s face, repeating his statement once more: “Only good smell remains.”
Words: 793

Emma had been coming to the same cafe for two weeks with her friends but today was a special day; she was promoted to the Head Nurse in the hospital she worked in. To celebrate her special event, she invited her two closest friends Rachel and Tammy. 

            “So, when is he going to come?” Rachel giggled. “You said he comes by the café around this time.”

            “He should be arriving soon,” Emma replied. “He said he was going to bring something to celebrate this occasion.”

            “How long have you been talking to him anyway?” said Tammy “Did you even ask him out yet?”

            “No way! I don’t think I can after just a week!” Emma sassed at Tammy. Her voice dipped as she talked about her friend, no doubt daydreaming about him. “He’s so interesting and intelligent that sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with him. On top of that, he’s incredibly handsome!”

As if on cue, the man appeared before the women. Blonde hair, light blue eyes, and majestic features made the three females giggle between each other. He held a small bag of cherry flavored bon-bons, placing it on the table before taking a seat next to Emma. Both Rachel and Tammy eyed the handsome man then gave Emma a wink.

“Oh my! You’re quite a handsome man, aren’t you?” Tammy joked. “I guess Emma wasn’t over exaggerating this time.”

“Oh c’mon! You know I wouldn’t lie about Johan! You two should give me more credit.” Emma quipped.

“Now now, I believe Emma is the main star of this event,” Johan said, his voice melting the hearts of the women. “The night is still very young, ladies, we should celebrate Emma’s promotion.”

The group chatted nearly all night, Emma is the only one who did not drink alcohol because she was driving. Each talked about their life experiences and countless jokes. Their laughs would add to the chatter within the bar until it was nearly midnight. Rachel and Tammy were not exactly wasted but not suitable to walk home by themselves, let alone drive. As Emma carefully guided her slightly drunk friends to her car, Johan helped her by placing the seatbelts on the two ladies. Rachel and Tammy making risqué remarks towards Johan who only shook his head with a smile. Emma chuckled at her friends and glanced over at Johan who stood idly, watching her every move. She did not know what to say so she finally approached him.

“Hey, I can offer you a ride home if you’d life. I don’t live far from here.”

“Oh, I appreciate the offer, but I can walk home from here,” Johan said while facing in the direction of a few apartments. “I’m simply glad you enjoyed yourself along with your friends.”

“Well, you made it a ton of fun and super interesting,” Emma paused before twirling a lock of her brown hair between her fingers. “I was wondering Johan, would you like to hang out in the park tomorrow? Just the two of us?”

Johan smiled tenderly towards Emma before brushing the back of his hand against her cheek and pushing some of her hair behind her ear. He held out the cherry-flavored bonbons to Emma, which she accepted gingerly.

“I’m afraid I’ll be busy tomorrow but don’t worry, life is full of surprises,” Johan took Emma by the hand and lead her to the driver’s seat, opening the door for her like a gentleman. “I believe that tomorrow will be especially peculiar.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I’m not sure. Perhaps just a hunch.”

As the two parted ways, Emma drove off, she chatted with her friends and as she dropped them off at their house, she offered them a few cherry bonbons that Johan gave her. When Emma arrived at her apartment, she rested on her bed, gazing at the ceiling before stuffing some of the candy in her mouth. The next day, police and crime scene investigators surrounded three different areas not far from each other. Three body bags were zipped up and shoved into the back of an ambulance after a quick diagnosis of what happened.

“Yep, the three of them were poisoned,” said a forensic specialist. “I just checked their stomach components. Two of them were slightly intoxicated while the other was not.”

“You think it was a homicide?” An officer questioned.

“It’s possible. However, they all had the same cherry candy remnants. They died roughly an hour apart. The sober one had the bag of cherry candy. It’s possible she committed suicide after killing her friends.”

“Why would she kill her friends?”

“I’m not sure, but I heard one of them was promoted to head nurse. Jealousy, maybe?”

“Scum is more like it.”

I used 797 words! (Admittedly I spent more time trimming down... and rewrote the whole thing from scratch twice)

The endless sky is bright blue with large, fluffy clouds. I pour more black tea into my mug and smile at my reflection. I check my watch’s ever-spiralling hands, wondering where my guest was before I see their silhouette form from a bright stream of light. Their back was turned. Without any idea I was watching them, they looked around in confusion.

"Oh, there you are!” I call out. "Over here."

They jump in alarm, turning to look at me.

How unexpected-- It was you!

Well, it wasn’t a surprise-- things have been tough lately, and you had been making reckless decisions; it was bound to catch up to you somehow. But so soon?

"Come, have a seat."

People often see me as a loved one and are happily relieved. I make no conscious effort to shapeshift-- it's people's subconscious showing them what they want to see. Not you. You didn't recognize me as anyone. In fact, you seemed wary of me.

"I don't bite," I joke. "But it's impolite to stare."

You gingerly approach the table and sit, still perplexed.

"Sorry but… do I know you?"

"Come now, you must remember, even with that spotty memory. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since it's been so long." This is my go-to neutral response to rule out a cosmic mistake had sent you here.

You focus, but fail to come up with anything. Another sign.

You see me-- a completely unremarkable person. Blonde hair frames my plain face. I wear a black sweater and slacks with my tan jacket.

"It's okay. You can call me Johan Liebert!" I greet warmly. "I don't need a name, but I love classical music, so I picked one fitting of that era. It's more comfortable since people get kind of nervous at the idea of meeting a nameless creator."

"Creator?... of Earth?" You sputter.

"No... Of everything!" I gestured with a laugh. "The universe, the cosmic goop, the Earth, and everything that was on it. But calling myself 'God' is weird. So just call me Johan."

Your eyebrows furrow. I was used to people being disappointed that my form never matched their idea of a creator. It doesn't bother me, though sometimes people do see me as those depictions.

"...Why do you look like such a bland man… Johan?" You ask.

"Actually, I look like everyone. But I tend to be seen as whatever is most comforting to someone when they die."

At the last word, your back straightens fully as you drop the mug. The tea spills onto the table but I don't flinch. I'm used to that kind of reaction.

"I'M DEAD?!"

"Yeh." I finish my tea and wave your spill away. "But you see me as Johan. Not your parents or grandparents."

"Of course not! I don't want to believe that I died! I didn't think it'd be so soon."

"People who got to live an entire lifetime don't usually feel like they had enough time. That's how it is." I shrugged. "You don't see me as anything but a plain face because it's not in the cards for you yet. Just know that next time we meet, you'll go back to cosmic dust."

"Why not now?! Everything sucks anyway!" You crossed your arms with a scowl. "There's nothing but shit, shit, and more shit to put up with. Day in and day out!"

"Because you endure it. Everyone strives to obtain happiness, but face hatred, loss, pain, and conflict. Trials you endure endlessly, but surviving to thrive makes you strong," I respond gently. "You may be left with painful memories you'd rather forget. I cannot-- I live with everyone's memories. It's a burden only I can shoulder since I left Earth to you all. Taking the place of a loved one to be at your side when you pass is the least I can do as gratitude."

"Gratitude?" You were thinking about your struggles and the scars that will forever remain. That without them, you'd cease to be the you of the present and future.

"For doing so much with the life you were given. For every sacrifice you made for the sake of your future, for better or worse. Even if the world won't remember or forgive you for it, I will. But since your time isn't up yet, I'll give you a hint," I give a wink. "Make the right decisions and be your best you. Bad times will eventually pass, and then you can enjoy all the good."

"..............Alright....... I'll try…"


A bright light envelops your entire body, a spotlight as your silhouette starts to fade.

I wave goodbye. "And don't come back until you're an old raisin!"

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You wake up in the hospital. 

I wait with tea for my next guest.
Thank you all so much for participating in the first Writing Challenge in Modern Inkers! I hope you all had a nice time writing but most importantly, it helped you dig into a more creative side! All awards will be given out by Shine by the end of the week! Stay tuned for the next Writing Challenge! Until next time~!
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