Peer Review by AJ - Izzy (Canada)

Below, you'll see any text that was highlighted with comments from the reviewer.

Tap on comment to view. Using a mouse?

Hover over comments to view. On a touch device?

Mosquito To A Lamp #cliffhangerqueencontest

By: The Bubbling Pen


There's a hunger - a whisper of hope - inside my heart that yearns to make its entrance.

It calls for me to break outside the silly spell that I've cast upon myself. Although I am entranced by the digital, artificial realm before me, I can still hear the whisper, the murmur, the mutter, beckoning for me to leave this electronic curse. This itch - this terrible ache - sends a minty taste to my lips. I can smell sweet dew mingling among other earthly scents, inviting me to join their chorus of fragrances. This longing, this craving, persuades me to imagine the feel of velvety petals beneath my fingertips. 

But I am drawn to my screen like a mosquito to a lamp. I am trapped in a world that is false; a universe of digits, of zeroes and ones.

I know it only takes one futile glance away from my laptop and its addictive glare to know that there is a better path; to fathom a better, truer world. Outside, healthy hues of green sing out to me, trying to pull me out of this endless dream. Tiny fireflies dance upon my windowsill, asking with their lighted bulbs for a playmate through the night. A garden of misfitted plants awaits like a choir of eager school children. They twitter in verse, merrily swaying along in harmony to the gentle breeze. I sigh, knowing that it all lies just beyond my reach, beyond my screen. The pastel congregation of vines, leaves and buds melt into the fresh and glorious wind, whose billowing dress splays out upon the grass, rustling each little blade, never faltering even as the tiny soldiers shuffle to make way for studious ants. I could just take a moment to peer outside -

                - yet so many strings hold me back.

The enslaving click and clack of the keyboard, my obsession with the way each letter appears on my screen... I want to drown in the endless thoughts I have bottled up and send each measly idea into a sea of words online. There's so much I want to say; I need to say. But in this lonely, empty house, I have nobody with whom to voice my conjectures, my feelings. My fancies.

One insignificant pill could change everything. One tiny little gulp could send me soaring once more. The miniature white creation sits in the palm of my hand. I let it sit. My hand does not grasp and hold it with pride. Nor do my fingers toss it away. 

I let it sit.

One little, white pill could throw me into the computerised world for another year. Another year in a numeric utopia. Another year in a simulated reality. It certainly wouldn't be the last time I entered this realm. This counterfeit, phoney realm. But it would be the last time I ever saw the physical world. The real world. To further my cause, I have each and every warning word on the pill’s packaging memorised:

One pill.

One soul in exchange for a faultless existence. A faultless existence in a simulated world. 

If I were to take the little, insignificant, miniature, white pill, I would lose all self control to return. To return to reality. To an unsimulated reality.

My indecision is a hopeless endeavour in itself.

Already, I can feel the grandeur of spinning into oblivion, of falling into a world where my actions have no consequences. A world where delete and save and cancel are primary skills. A world where identity can be changed in an instant. But I also know that in a world where I can revert each action - each decision and each deed - nothing matters. 

Where everything can be fixed, nothing needs fixing.

Yet I crave the thrilling feeling of dreams coming true with little effort or though. I lust for the seamless energy needed to achieve my every whim. But unfortunately, offensively, to counter the pill’s seemingly inculpable promise, I remember this: 

What takes little effort is no accomplishment at all. 

I could take a little peek outside and be convinced in an instant to join the natural world of endless beauty. 

Or I could stay ensnared by the confines of my screen.

I could choose a world of realistic imperfection.

Of a world of unfathomable perfection.

I could see, live and breathe in awe of the elements.

Or I could sink into a plethora of code.

The pill still lies on my palm. And so I waver - allured - like a mosquito to a lamp.


Hope you enjoyed my entry for Quille's #cliffhangerqueencontest, which you can find here:

I am also planning on writing a poem based off a line in this piece.
"My indecision is a hopeless endeavour in itself."

If there's another line in this piece that stands out to you, please let me know! I would love to write a story/poem based off it and dedicate it to you <3

Message to Readers

I am also planning on writing a poem based off a line in this piece.
"My indecision is a hopeless endeavour in itself."

If there's another line in this piece that stands out to you, please let me know! I would love to write a story/poem based off it and dedicate it to you <3

Peer Review

Everything! The whole "mosquito to a lamp" and being drawn to it, the strange pill and plethora of code, the delete and the save and the cancel, that IMAGERY, that CLIFFHANGER... I had to read this over a few times because I was so stunned, I thought, "there is no way it ends like this", but then it did! That sure was a ride to remember! That cliffhanger, though... woah! :DD

... Do I really have to say it? I believe that the ending leaves a tiny little bit of curiosity that most readers such as myself must find an answer to, so without saying much... I am so curious! That ending! (insert frustrated hand motions) Besides that, amazing! <3

Reviewer Comments

I am soooo sooo sorry, this took so long!! Such a good cliffhanger though, I'm so glad I finally got to it!