[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Vhast on August 10th, 2012, 1:10 am

So then! I think its about time that I made one of these. As it stands, I feel like hell today.

But that's only because I made some... we'll just call them 'bad choices' last night. But ashamed? HA! Would you be ashamed of going all Hulk on your bed sheet and tearing it in half when you noticed a small tear in it to begin with? Well, I guess if your bed sheets had something memorable on them like The Ninja Turtles you might feel differently... But we're talking about plain white sheets here! And I was dr- making bad choices! Alas, I digress... often.

Given the manner in which this new scrap is already going, and the nature, of well... myself, I hardly think I'll be taking the majority of this space too seriously. Sure, I'll express my opinions as they come, offer some insight to my life when I feel its appropriate, but I don't believe this will ever turn into the grounds of a rant.

In fact, if I ever do start to sound serious and perhaps a tad on the belligerent side, chances are I'm mimicking the comedian Lewis Black. I take my frustrations out on my hobbies, not the ears of people, and I don't for one second believe that makes me better than you. We all function differently and I can respect that. All I'm saying is, if you need a good laugh, I'll try my damndest to make you smile. I'd rather know you're smiling than feeling depressed and broody.

That's all for tonight. You stay classy, Mizahar.
Last edited by Vhast on April 7th, 2013, 4:47 am, edited 5 times in total.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Phoenix on August 10th, 2012, 1:13 am

*Pops your scrapbook cherry with a flourish*
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Vhast on August 10th, 2012, 1:28 am

Ohhh, that felt good.

Seems we're turning to smut already with this one.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Laszlo on August 10th, 2012, 1:40 am

Still time for sloppy seconds?

I think you're off to a good start, Megatron.
In the daytime I am one of Syna's fallen.
At night, I am Symenestra.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Vhast on August 10th, 2012, 1:47 am

There's always room for more!

And thank you, most noblest of sirs.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Vhast on August 14th, 2012, 6:52 am

The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, or something like that... I must apologize that tonight's scrap will be far more serious than I ever intended.

Tonight a good man passed away. Not only was he my best friend, but he was the closest thing I ever had to a brother.

I grew up an only child, curious to the worlds of those who had others to pick and be picked on by siblings. It was only natural for those curiosities to eventually turn to wishful thoughts, and then for those thoughts to latch on to real life examples, filling that void of desire in my heart. Ryan, however, was unlike any other. The only thing we didn't share was blood, his world mine just as much as mine was his.

But I think this is where I'll stop with the prose and just be frank. His memory deserves that much.

Ryan and I didn't always agree on things, but we had the patience and understanding to listen to the other even when it went against our entire system of beliefs. That's a rare quality to find in someone without wanting to slit another person's throat, and so far in my life I've found only hints of it in my other relationships. He poked fun at me for being a "good Christian boy" when I was growing up, and I him for being so fucking daft at times. Its funny how things work. He eventually became the spiritual follower and I became the idiot. Go figure.

The way we met was actually accomplished by me getting him into trouble in the fifth grade. I was a new student at the middle school in a sleepy town in Ohio, and had very few friends to speak of. I'll admit I was quite the little bitch back then, scared and alone in a new world I wanted no part of. The town I'd just come from had all the friends I wanted but couldn't keep. Why couldn't I go back there?

But sometimes that's just how life works. Your dad gets a new job and you're forced to move. So, I made do. Ryan and I attended the first bell of the day together. Back then there were only three or four different classes in the day plus a lunch bell, making the options of classmates quite limited. So, stuck with each other, he decided to pick on me, the new guy, by slapping a rubber band against my wrist. The pain was hardly felt, but I cried out like the little shit that I was. The teacher heard it, and gave Ryan detention. Thus began a very loving brotherhood.

Ryan did not take long in forgiving me or anyone else, as was very much in his character to do throughout his entire life. We eventually began pairing up for projects, cracking jokes that only a fifth grader seemed to understand. In 6th grade, we produced a fake news broadcast for our social studies class in which we reenacted Desert Storm and all the bloodshed that entailed. In 7th or 8th grade, I can't remember which, we made an actual production on video of a documentary for a history class. For the life of me I can't remember what the hell it was about, but it got us a C+ so I can't imagine it was all that good.

Together we were mediocre students, not giving a damn about life other than the prospect of having fun. Ryan got himself into quite a bit of trouble in those golden years while I remained on the outskirts, not particularly fond of the friends he was making because they were all little deviants. Remember me saying I was a good little Christian? Yeah, about that time.

But in the 8th grade something wondrous happened that would seal our friendship forever. With a few other friends whom are by far some of the best damn guys I know to this day, we formed a Dungeons & Dragons group (2nd edition advanced because I'll be a fucking elitist here and say its the best version by far). There was Jeremy, the dungeon master, Brian, a friend I grew up on the same street with through middle school, and then Matt, a guy that shares the same thoughts with me so frequently that its just scary. Together we all formed an unbreakable bond together. And all over a game that the greater portion of society seems to scorn because of certain 'satanical references'. To which I just go: "Srsly?"

But it was one adventure that would take us 13 years (no typo there) to complete that drew us all together. The dungeon master, by the way, is an engineer at Spacex. One of the most brilliant guys I've ever known, read about, or even heard about. He's just that damn smart, and created an epic that took us to the age of 27 to complete. And that was just the beginning, like the Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings. But I digress.

Still, it was those 13 years that bound us all together for a brotherhood that will last until the day we all die. Fuck it. Its probably strong enough to last beyond that. D&D did more than just bring us together though. We fell into the same interests as the years passed. We'd go camping all over the states, write when the mood struck us, and laugh endlessly at so many inside jokes that it would be damn near impossible to count them all. Maybe an exaggeration, but you understand the point I'm trying to make.

Ryan and I stayed close throughout the years of college when we all parted ways. Brian, Matt, and Jeremy went up north to Michigan while Ryan and I stayed south in Ohio and Kentucky. Our contact with one another slimmed down by this point, but each time we met it was like nothing had changed and everything was just the same as we'd left it.

It wasn't until after college that things got a bit more serious. I was going through clinical depression while he was having serious family trouble. I won't get into the details because that's just a touch too personal to share. Needless to say, we were each going through our own shit. But we were both living back in Cincinnati together, and that did wonders for each of us. Some days we'd spend grabbing a coffee and going to the parks around the city and simply conversing. We'd talk philosophy, politics, religion, and all the other bullcrap you can imagine two sexy dudes wanting to talk about. There was nothing too sacred for us not to share with one another. Even when we were dating different girls we didn't hold back our opinions. I'll admit though that Ryan didn't really favor what I had to say about some of the women he dated. Perhaps I was the same, but I don't think I ever threatened to hit him.

But that's just how life was, and in the end we were both happy with one another. I treasured his opinions and I'd like to think he thought diligently on mine. It never seemed like we were ever at a lack for conversation.

Now fast forward to November of last year. (I fudged the date before)

I got a call late one night from Ryan. He'd never usually called me at this hour, but I also wasn't too worried that it was anything serious. Probably just calling to check up, if anything. But it was then in the next few minutes that he told me how he'd been working on building a deck the day before for his grandmother, and that at some point when he was fixing boards to the frame, numbness overcame parts of his body and dizziness set in. He'd gone to the doctor that day to get checked out, and when the results came in the day after (earlier on the night we were talking) they'd found a spot deep within his brain.

When I asked him what it was, Ryan told me they'd found a diffuse pontine glioma (tumor) and that it would be inoperable because it was just too deep to perform surgery. I couldn't believe it. Ryan had always been such a healthy and athletic guy. He loved life more than anyone I knew, and to hear such crushing news just didn't register as a possibility.

But Ryan remained very positive throughout our talk on the phone, saying that he'd do everything to kick the tumor's ass and that there was nothing to worry about. Of course, there are some things in life that no matter how strong willed you are, you just can't beat. This unfortunately happened to be one of them.

You can do the research on your own, but the tumor I described above is found mostly in kids. Kids. Ryan was 27 years old. He wasn't a kid. And what was worse was the mortality rate. 98% within three years. The odds didn't look good, but I was willing to bite the bullet to remain positive for him. And so I did. Simple as that.

They put him on a clinical trial for a chemo drug to start out. The name currently escapes me. Along with that though he received radiation treatments. The fool refused to shave his head, which I found highly amusing no doubt, and was left with patches of baldness all over his scalp. Though weakened by the treatments that occurred at certain intervals throughout the month, he remained wholly upbeat and was always seen with a smile on his face. For awhile, it seemed everything was going well and that perhaps the bastard could actually beat it.

The tumor shrank, his dizziness decreased. He had an appetite like you wouldn't believe because of the steroids he was taking, consuming far more than I was able to keep up with whenever a meal came around. All his thoughts in fact seemed to revolve around food, and Ryan took to cooking his own food with gusto. The guy I once knew as Mr. Athlete (played college soccer and was a professional carpenter after college) was getting fat. But each day he spent was memorable, never wasting a second of his life in order to do (or eat) something he loved.

But it wasn't long until he slowly began to digress to a notable degree. Through all the treatments his body was becoming weak. Chemo is essentially a poison you pump into your body, and the effects were steadily beginning to show themselves. So what did Ryan do? He planned a camping trip.

It seemed only natural. His affinity for nature was something to behold. So, another friend of his, Ryan, and myself drove down to Kentucky and spent a day hiking through a national park. By this time he'd lost a great deal of motor function in the right side of his body. His arm and leg were little more than support for him. How he managed all the switchbacks with little help from either of us I'll never know. I'd never seen such determination in him before, outpacing the two that had come with him in search of nature's secrets.

We ended the day on top of a sandstone rock overlooking deep valleys of green forest. There was a beautiful red sunset that evening that I'll never forget, and just being there made everything in life seem beautiful and worthwhile. Sharing it with Ryan made it all the more special.

Weeks passed without much change to his condition. And then, quite suddenly, the tumor resisted the medication and grew to its full size again. The doctors scrambled to find him another drug, but everything they tried just didn't seem to work. Their efforts truly were amazing though, and I imagine they examined every avenue of treatment they could. Sadly, it was to such little avail. The tumor Ryan had was incredibly aggressive.

His ability to function at simple tasks rapidly dropped from that point on. Just this past Friday when I went to see him for the last time, he was completely helpless. He needed to be fed, clothed, picked up, and placed down. About the only thing he could do was enjoy a nice cigarette, of which he had three in one sitting. But I remember looking at him when we were alone for a moment outside and feeling the touch of death upon him. I won't even try to make it sound like that doesn't make me sound crazy. But I've dealt with death before, and it felt the same then as it did now. There was a peacefulness to it, but there was also a fear. I really didn't want to see him go.

But once he was put into his bed that night, I gave him one final hug and left his parents house, going home with just my thoughts to keep me company. And then tonight, I received the call I'd been expecting to hear. Nothing really prepared me for it, because I'd never lost someone so unfathomably close to me. I cried for hours. I'm crying now. I imagine I'll be crying when the sun rises in 3 hours or so.

But Ryan meant so much to me. And to this I honor his memory.

I love you, brother. I look forward to the day when we meet again. I hope you've found peace.

8/13/2012
Last edited by Vhast on November 28th, 2012, 12:35 am, edited 6 times in total.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Naeya on August 14th, 2012, 7:12 am

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss, Adam. My heart goes out to you & Ryan's family.
Thank you for sharing his memory with us. He sounds like a wonderful, strong, brave person.

I'm sending a lot of love and internet hugs your way.
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Lynes on August 14th, 2012, 7:35 am

Adam...your words have put me in tears and at much of a loss of words. I didn't cry when a girlfriend of three years destroyed my heart, or when my great uncle that i have know since I was five died of cancer he didn't know he had. You, a stranger that i have never spoken to, have brought tears to my eyes. I'm not going to lie, I am not an emotional person at all, but the fact is that, I have that exact friend.

My friend's name is Danny though, and I couldn't imagine his death. Hell, I couldn't even picture coping with his death if it came. I read every word you wrote and you have every apology down the last drop of my soul. Whatever is there of it any way. He didn't deserve it, there is no way he did; but there is an unpredictability to life that we must coexist with.

To a Mouse, Robert Burns, a fitting poem if I could say such. It was unprecedented and unwanted and yet it came anyway.

I hope you can carry on, and although I don't know if I could, but I must give you the advice. I'm yet again at a loss of words. This is rare, no one can even get me to shut up.

I mourn with you in your loss, and I would wish your pain, that aching pain, upon no one. Thus I sit, speechless, searching for the words that will appease to you; I feel that there are none.

I apologize for any typos as I cannot bring myself to even read my own post over. May his rest in peace and may his soul find serenity. I sit here on your dark hour, and I mourn with you, in hopes that one day, you shall speak with him again and until that day; you will find the strength to carry yourself through it, for I can't carry you myself.

With you, I send my deepest apologies,
-Z
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Phoenix on August 14th, 2012, 7:47 am

Adam

There are no words. Like I told you before, I greatly respect and admire your ability to, throughout it all, be the supporting friend that was there with love and laughter, always. Right? Remember, when things look the darkest, it means that the only thing left is for the clouds to part.

Yeah, that was cheesy. You take it. And you like it.

<3 Jules
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[Vhast's Scrapbook] Vast Visions

Postby Naama on August 14th, 2012, 8:15 am

My heart goes out to you and Ryan's family, because from reading all of this, and to be honest, being a little skeptical reading about losses in scrapbooks, yours, out of all of them, is the most genuine. You can really tell you cared for your friend, and that brought tears to my eyes, because I'm honestly afraid of going through something like that in the future.

You keep on keeping on, because you're a great person, and Ryan was lucky to have you.

-Paopao.
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