step 1: read the thing
step 2: read other people’s thoughts about thing
step 3: find what would make people cry the most
step 4: have deep/crazy thoughts about the thing at 3am and before you sleep
step 5: cry about your own thoughts
step 6: write your thoughts down
step 7: post them on tumblr
step 8: sit back and watch as other people cry
Underland AU where Gregor and everybody else are part of the same military and the events of the books take place during WW2 with the Bane as Hitler. The fliers are all pilots, the nibblers are Jewish, most of the gnawers are Nazis, and the humans have varying jobs.
We are turning a book that’s basically a WWII AU back into a WWII story. Glorious.
The food in the Underland sound delicious, but did the Underland have restaurants? And if the Underland does have restaurants, what foods would they serve that weren’t mentioned in the books? Would people have to pay for the food the food somehow or would it just be given to them freely with the understanding that everybody helps everybody else out
[throws a chair] i just want that character to be happy
So my cousin goes to a small public college and she was telling me last week about how they had a class in which they were required to have a debate about young adult vs. children’s literature, and at the beginning and end of the debate the students who weren’t debating had to vote for which book they thought was more traumatizing and/or difficult to read due to emotional responses.
There were two students on each debate team and 50+ students listening to the debate, and they chose to do The Underland Chronicles (Gregor the Overlander, Suzanne Collins’ children’s series before she wrote THG) versus The Hunger Games trilogy. For the first vote almost all of the students voted for THG as being a more difficult read, of course because Gregor is classified as children’s literature and plenty of people know how terrible the character deaths are in THG.
But then they did the debate for 30 minutes, talking about character deaths, crisis in the books, emotional issues, etc. and re-did the vote at the end of the debate and not a single vote went to THG. At the end of a 30 minute debate about whether THG was more upsetting to read than TUC (which is classified as children’s literature!), every single vote went to TUC as being more upsetting.
I thought that was hilarious. That all of these people who had not even heard of TUC were willing to acknowledge its superiority as depressing literature over THG, even after just hearing about it.
Please read The Underland Chronicles. It will mess you up.
10 years after the war Gregor is sent by his Commanding Officer to an underground civilization that has fell into war with the animals that live there. The massive battles underground are creating earthquakes aboveground and he is sent to take out the leaders of both sides to cause chaos in the ranks.
"That girl… on the battlefield.
I knew her.”
IS THERE UNDERLAND CAPITALISM? DO REGALIANS PAY FOR THINGS? WHAT KIND OF MONEY DO THEY HAVE?? ARE THERE UNDERLAND POLITICAL PARTIES? UNDERLAND POLITICAL CARTOONS??? UNDERLAND VERSIONS OF BANKSY MAKING SOCIAL ISSUE GRAFITI?????
REAL QUESTIONS HERE.
After the war, Gregor started seeing things.
At first it was hardly noticeable. He would think he saw something, like a stain or a bug, but when he turned his head to look at it there would be nothing.
It got worse as time went on. He started seeing progressively bigger things. He would see a pencil on his desk and reach for it only to grab at thin air. He would see clothes in his closet that don’t exist. He would see blood gushing out of his body from an imaginary open wound. He would see insects everywhere, crawling on the furniture, on the wall, on people and even on himself.
Eventually, he started seeing people and large creatures.
Sometimes it would be one of his family members, like Boots or his mother. Sometimes it was people from school. Sometimes he would see his neighbors. Sometimes it would be someone he was sure he had never seen before. Sometimes it was someone he was sure was dead.
Most often they were from the Underland.
He wasn’t even sure that the Underland was a real place anymore. His mother acted like none of his memories of the place had ever happened. His dad had hallucinations, so he couldn’t be sure if what he said was true. Lizzie wouldn’t talk about it and Boots was too little for him to trust that it wasn’t just her imagination. He had scars, but he couldn’t be sure about anything these days. He could be imagining them for all he knew.
Sometimes the pale people and large creatures scared him. Some of them looked like they wanted to kill him. He tried to ignore it.
Other times they made him angry. He didn’t care if any of it was real or not. He hated them for hat they had done. He threw things and screamed when he saw them.
Most of the time, there would be someone that he liked. He was glad when they appeared, even if it hurt to see them.
After a while, he started talking to them.
It didn’t bother him that people looked at him funny. It didn’t bother him that they avoided him. People had stopped talking to him a long time ago. At least now he had someone to talk to, whether they were real or not didn’t matter.
He had been scared the first time that they had talked back. He had thought that he was going crazy. He then realized that he already was crazy. He supposed that it wasn’t such a terrible thing.
People were worried about him. He didn’t know why. No one cared about him any more. No one other than his hallucinations.
They had put him in a hospital. Not a hospital for injured people and sick bodies, a hospital for people with sick minds.
He didn’t know why they did, he was fine. So what if he saw things that weren’t real? He was okay. The people he saw made him happy.
Why didn’t they want him to be happy?
He didn’t really like this place. The walls were too white and the lights were too bright. It hurt his eyes.
He wanted to be some place dark. He wanted to be in a place with stone walls and torches to light it. It didn’t matter if that place wasn’t real, it was where he wanted to be.
They gave him medication. They said that it would help him stop seeing things and help him forget. He didn’t want it.
They made him take it anyways.
He had stopped seeing his friends. He missed them. He wanted to see them again.
They had let him out. They had said that he was all better.
He didn’t feel “better”.
They had said that he won’t ever have to see anything that wasn’t real again if he kept taking the pills.
He didn’t them.
He started seeing his friends again, but it wasn’t the same.
They didn’t respond like they used to. They said that he had betrayed them, had tried to kill them off, had tried to make them disappear.
He tried to say that it wasn’t his fault, that he had been forced.
They didn’t care.
Seeing his friends didn’t make him so happy anymore.
They had stopped being nice to him. They didn’t like him. They weren’t his friends. They had made that clear.
He tried taking the pills again. He didn’t want to see things anymore.
They didn’t work.
They only made it worse.
He didn’t talk. He couldn’t. The hallucinations wouldn’t let him. They kept telling him how much of a horrible person he was. They said that everybody hated him. They said that would be better if he was dead.
He supposed that they were right.
He found a piece of paper and a pen among the clutter in his room.
He sat down and he wrote, silent tears running down his face.
He found a good rope in the closet. He remembered that he had gotten it for a hiking trip before his hallucinations had gotten too bad.
He never had used it. Now he would.
He stood by the tree in his backyard. He remembered when he had moved here. He had wanted people to stop looking at him funny. He wanted to be alone with his friends.
He missed the time when they had been his friends.
Now they stood around him, urging him to tie the knots, telling him that this would make people happy. They were only whispering, but he heard them as if they were screaming.
He stepped onto the crate he had brought with him and looked around. There were more of them than he had ever seen before. He supposed that this was their way of saying that they approved.
He felt like he should be feeling angry or sad or betrayed, they had once been his friends after all, but he was only feeling guilty. It had been his fault that they had turned on him. He should have fought harder.
They were right, anyways. About how no one cared about him. He was a waste of space. He was a burden. He always screwed everything up. He had killed people. He had ruined lives. He had been a horrible friend, a horrible bond. He didn’t deserve to be happy.
He didn’t even deserve to live
On May 24th, a young man by the name of Gregor Campbell was found dead. His sisters had been worried about him and came to check on him at his house, only to find that their beloved brother had hung himself in the backyard.
Eventually the world, or at least the government, has to find out about the Underland existing. There is no way that it can exist until the end of the world without SOMEONE important finding out about it and living to tell the tale. They would probably bring the military down there. They would kill so many people. They would probably lock many of the Regalians and creatures in a testing facility so they could figure out how they got to be the way they are.
Unless, of course, there is actually some sort of god or spirit of some kind that protects the Underland from that happening. Maybe they control the currents or have the power to direct creatures that will eat them to people like that or something.
Or the people of the Overland fuck up so badly that they do something that just completely collapses the Underland, killing everyone in it and erasing all evidence that there was ever anything under the surface.