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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2192195
David is having trouble in life, so he talks to a friend.
"Will I win?" said David. "Do you think I have the right stuff?"

"I don't know," said James. "you've etched some kickin' beats in the past."

"It's getting harder and harder every day," said David. "I don't think I can do this anymore."

"Don't say that," said James. "You're doing alright. Just keep your head on straight, and you'll go through."

The day was Monday, and the month was nice and cold. The temperature had reached minus 10, and everyone was running for cover. David was a part of the Double Dutch Kicks Crew, a group of young electronic musicians in the Montreal area. Together, they had competed with each other for gold in the city's top beat-making competitions. Competitive, they were, and talented. Many of them had been making beats since the age of five.

It was beautiful, despite the cold, outside, and the people were together in their feeling that it was "Time for Electronica," as the saying went. Which one of them would win the Dovrei Prize in beatmaking? Only time would tell. DDKC was at the tip top of its game this year. People were saying that they might even be able to top the electronica charts in the states. Their actual beats were great, but the actual sounds were better. Each sound was designed to release dopamine in its hearers. Taken together, it was...quite unimaginable.

"I'm sorry," sad David. "I'm not going to be able to pull through this time. I think I'm gonna quit this one."

"What do you mean?" said James. "You've already made ten songs for this guy."

"That's just the issue," said David. "The guy's unfair. He knows I'm the best, but he keeps giving my points away to the others."

"Who's been getting 'your points'?" said James.

"Well," said David. "Titular, for one."

"I don't believe it," said James. "Titular? He's a beast."

"Yeah, but he keeps using that 1950s ballroom sample," said David. "Isn't it like...a million years old by now?"

"Older than cytoplasm," said James. "But what's the point."

"You know what my point is, Jamie," said David. "This is the year 2048. Electronic is the new, the blew, the fresh-squeezed. Not this rustic, old-fashioned wolfdom that he's promoting."

"I don't think that Titular would like you talking about him like that," said James. "You should apologize to him."

"I know, I know, hear me out," said David. "Bobo's beats are so slow, that his songs barely have two verses."

"There are no verses, it's electronica," said James.

"I know, but...what are these old, old, slow people doing in an electronica competition?" said David.

"Besides the fact that both Titular and Bobo are at least a year younger than you, I would say that thou art suffering from a mighty case of ipsedixitism," said James.

"Naw, man," said David. "I don't do that stuff. I'm just saying-"

"I said 'ipse', not 'oopsie'," said James.

"And what does that mean, exactly?" said David.

Just then, the overhead train drove by, and the screeches made everyone's hair stand on end. A few stragglers were struggling to catch it, whilst the cars drove by, unawares.

"An ipsedixitism is an unsupported dogmatic postulation," said James.

"I don't...postulate," said David.

"Statement, an unsupported dogmatic statement," said James.

"How is it unsupported?" said David.

"I stand behind every statement I've ever made," said David. "I support it myself."

"That's exactly what the problem is," said James. "That's what makes it dogmatic, but the evidence doesn't support it."

"Okay, okay," said David. "What exactly is evidence?"

"Um, man, you need proof," said James. "Why would the judges single you out for targeting? What would they have to gain?"

"I don't know," said David. "I guess they were paid off."

"By who," said James. "A bunch of broke fourteen-year-olds? Or maybe their parents?"

"Some of them have pretty rich parents, from what I've heard," said David.

"You're reaching there," said James.

"I know it seems strange," said David. "But I think this is the truth. I think that these people are out to get me."

"Look, I've got to push this mentality out of you," said James. "You cannot go around thinking this way."

"If it's the truth?" said David.

"Look, believing that you are the victim of some sort of persecution is the definition of mental illness," said James. "Look it up."

"What are you talking about?" said David. "I ain't crazy."

"You are if you think if you're a victim," said James. "It's the official definition of mental illness."

"I don't think I understand what you're getting at," said David.

"What I'm saying is that if you go around telling everyone how hated you are, without proof, you're going to end up in a padded cell, or even a real cell, if you get my drift," said James.

David was distraught. Was it really true that he was persecuted, hated beyond his will? Or was it something far more sinister, more nefarious and destructive? Something would have to change, and quick if he was going to start winning again, which is what he really wanted all along.

"All I want to do is win," said David. "If they let me win, I'll drop my case."

"You don't have a case!" said James. "Look, if you want to win, you compete. Those who compete, always win. Competition is life. If you want something good, you always have to compete for it. It's a law of nature."

"I suppose," said David. "So, what do I do?"

"Drop this nonsense and try your best," said James. "If you go to the end without murmuring or complaining, you will win."

And so it was. David dropped his complaining, and he lost the beat-making competition. In fact, he didn't win another one for the rest of his life. At the age of 25, David gave up beat-making altogether and decided to study filmmaking. His stories were usually about loss and growing up as a young man in Montreal. Life.

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