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Author Topic: Story: Holly  (Read 6864 times)

Offline ortho218

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Story: Holly
« on: 26. May 2021, 12:20:29 PM »
Hi all,

Some of you with access to the stories area may be aware of my story 'Holly'.
I've realised that, realistically, I'm not going to have time to continue it in the same level of detail and attention as before.
I wondered if anyone wants to continue it for me? There are some rough rules I used while writing it that you could stick with, or not.
Let me know if you're interested.

Offline acornjohn2001

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #1 on: 26. May 2021, 14:41:25 PM »
I would like it to go on, please. I think I am not alone!

Offline jgl2096

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #2 on: 26. May 2021, 22:48:45 PM »
can you share it?

Offline TimeandBrace

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #3 on: 26. May 2021, 23:06:37 PM »
What are the rules for writing the story?

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #4 on: 26. May 2021, 23:31:28 PM »
https://www.bracesforum.net/general/forum-rules/msg26236/#msg26236


These are the rules for the forum. The story rules are posted just below it.

The rules that are most commonly broken are the ones about the treatment being forced on the character and the story having adult content.

For the rules for the story itself, the original author will have to provide those.

Offline m1090y

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #5 on: 28. May 2021, 21:06:35 PM »
can you share it?
Hey, JGL2096, You are talking about one, particularly good, story in the 'club' or stories section.  I might suggest that you just try to make the required posts of story chapters here or lists of photo/video links to the appropriate sections to qualify.  Did you realize there are 233 threads of which only 9 are forum moderator threads with such content as story rules and so on.  Most threads are complete stories with dozen(s) of chapters and some threads are collections of stories, sometime multiple view points from different authors on the same story.  I have one thread has 50 stories in it, some novellas and perhaps some even technically novels, I think.  Perhaps you might just work on qualifying and then unlock over 250 more stories/novels, etc.  I bet if you wrote a story, it would contain a totally new bunch of ideas and visions that we could all enjoy while you build up your required posts to get in!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #6 on: 29. May 2021, 00:23:54 AM »
When I joined the forum, I was looking for stories. I started by posting links to pictures, eventually I started trying to write stories. My first stories were okay, but I knew that I could do better. It took me a while to get enough posts to gain access to the stories section, but it was worth the wait. I have always collected stories and now have the largest collection of braces stories on the internet.

My stories keep getting better as I write more. Other writers such as m1090y, Sparky, Jonjon, and many others have contributed their stories to my collection and it continues to grow. Some writers get an idea from a picture, others from something that they have heard or experienced. An idea can be as simple as seeing a person in a store and imagining what they would look like if they had braces and how they would get their braces.

There are a few writers that I really admire for their ability to write in more than one language, even if their understanding of the English language is not extremely strong. I am always willing to help other writers by proofreading what they write and I know that there are a few other people here who will do the same, all you need to do is ask for help.

Each writer has their own way of writing and some will post quite fast, others will work on a chapter for quite a while before posting it. Work on the stories at your own pace and post when you are ready.


Offline jgl2096

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #7 on: 29. May 2021, 13:00:27 PM »
Hey, JGL2096, You are talking about one, particularly good, story in the 'club' or stories section.  I might suggest that you just try to make the required posts of story chapters here or lists of photo/video links to the appropriate sections to qualify.  Did you realize there are 233 threads of which only 9 are forum moderator threads with such content as story rules and so on.  Most threads are complete stories with dozen(s) of chapters and some threads are collections of stories, sometime multiple view points from different authors on the same story.  I have one thread has 50 stories in it, some novellas and perhaps some even technically novels, I think.  Perhaps you might just work on qualifying and then unlock over 250 more stories/novels, etc.  I bet if you wrote a story, it would contain a totally new bunch of ideas and visions that we could all enjoy while you build up your required posts to get in!

Ok thanks

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #8 on: 04. February 2022, 17:03:39 PM »
Part 1

Holly wriggled nervously. She looked around the quiet room at the few other occupants; a man maybe 10 years older than her was intently staring at his phone; a woman quite a bit older flicked quickly through a magazine. In the car park outside, a girl in her mid-teens stepped out of a car with someone that was presumably her mother, being careful not to bash the car doors next to their own. Holly wondered what each person was waiting for, but guessed she’d never find out, as the waiting room was shared by several offices in this small building at one edge of the hospital complex.

Despite being in this exact spot – on this exact sofa – so many times over the past few years, today Holly felt somehow different. Nervous was perhaps an obvious way to express it, but she also had a nagging sense of guilt that had been building more recently. For quite a while she had been having on-and-off pain in the back of her gums, and a visit to her dentist last month confirmed that her wisdom teeth were definitely coming in. Hearing that, Holly’s reaction was just to sigh – she’d thought she was beyond the stage of having to worry about wisdom teeth; it was typical that they started to appear now just when it seemed like it would never happen. Surely this kind of thing usually happens earlier in life, not at my old age of 23?! She caught that thought and silently called herself ‘stupid’… 23 isn’t really all that old of course. Definitely overthinking this one.

It sometimes felt to Holly that dental work was a never-ending saga, although in reality it had only been about 6 years. She had always been a ‘late bloomer’ with her final adult teeth arriving at age 13 and a final 2-inch growth spurt at age 16. That extra 2 inches was very important to a netball-lover who ended up at 5 foot 5! Because of her late growth, her dentist had often noted that her teeth were still rearranging themselves before finally referring her for orthodontic work shortly before her 17th birthday. In fact her treatment had been very straightforward and had been completed in a little under 18 months, leaving her with a perfect smile that she loved.

Although straightforward, her treatment had actually been a little unusual. The local hospital had been advertising for treatment benefits to anyone who would be willing to be seen by a combination of student and ‘fully-qualified’ orthodontists. She’d ended up with the same number of appointments and identical technical treatment as if she’d seen any other specialist, but there was a slight catch. In return for vastly reduced costs, she’d agreed to continue her appointments every 6-8 weeks for 5 years after her treatment ended. These 5 extra years would be completely free, and were to allow the research team to follow her retention phase slightly more closely than would be normal. No extra treatment, but just slightly extended check-ups, examinations and conversations. It was all a bit of a drag but Holly tried to be mature about it – at least it was free and would guarantee her dream smile wouldn’t fade.

…or at least, so she had thought. With the recent enthusiasm of her wisdom teeth, she had become nervous – almost paranoid – that the doctors would claim she had not complied with the parameters of the study by wearing her retainers as advised and would cancel all of her benefits, demanding full payment for the treatment she had received. It was a silly thought of course – it could clearly be proven that any lapse had been caused by her wisdom teeth. But the worry had been slowly been creeping in as Holly knew she couldn’t afford to pay for the full treatment – the ‘New Car’ fund was her real priority!

So here she sat in the waiting room, nice and early. Her retainer hadn’t fit properly for over 2 weeks now so she wasn’t even wearing it. It sat in a box in her handbag like a guilty secret desperate to break loose and expose her with a tell-tale attitude. She’d been to the loo already and was just left to wait and fidget. Scenarios played in her mind. Would the staff be disappointed in her? Would she be required to find full payment? Would this be the end of her orthodontic process or could they re-shape her retainer to complete the remaining time in the study?

As she scanned the room she noticed a nurse approaching down the corridor. By now she could distinguish the nurses from the orthodontists by the fact that the nurses often seemed better-presented – strangely the orthodontists often wore what she would consider ‘office wear’, but the nurses always wore white lab coats. She didn’t recognize the nurse today, but one thing did strike her – this nurse was male. How modern!
The receptionist looked over, beaming with white teeth, to catch Holly’s eye.
“Holly Louise?”
“Um, actually Louise is my middle name…”. Stupid thing to correct Holly, why bother?
“Oh yes – ok well they’re ready for you now”
The nurse smiled politely. “Do you want to come with me?” Not really – I’ll have to pay for my un-retained teeth!!
This was it.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #9 on: 04. February 2022, 17:17:56 PM »
Great start

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #10 on: 04. February 2022, 17:19:37 PM »
Thanks! you should check out the rest of it then in story area :)

Offline acornjohn2001

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #11 on: 05. February 2022, 08:12:26 AM »
Go on, please, we are so impatient!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #12 on: 05. February 2022, 11:07:17 AM »
The story is in the club section already. All that is needed is 30 posts to get in.

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #13 on: 05. February 2022, 23:21:54 PM »
Don't worry Holly I didn't get my wisdom teeth till I was 52 now that's old!

Offline acornjohn2001

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #14 on: 06. February 2022, 07:59:57 AM »
For Braceface: Sorry, I had to miss it, I will look for it, I have a few posts. Thank you!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #15 on: 06. February 2022, 08:56:41 AM »
I felt that people should know that the story was already in the club section. I also have it in TheArchive , along with many other stories that I have collected.

Offline duncombec

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #16 on: 07. February 2022, 12:39:06 PM »
I also have it in TheArchive , along with many other stories that I have collected.
Including those from authors who have made it abundantly clear to you that they don't want them in the archive, if you even bothered to ask them to start with.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #17 on: 08. February 2022, 17:20:25 PM »
Including those from authors who have made it abundantly clear to you that they don't want them in the archive, if you even bothered to ask them to start with.

Oooh, that's a bit hard: I regularly see him asking new authors if he can put their stories into the archive... and I have to assume that, just because we don't >see< them saying "yes" in the forum doesn't mean that it hasn't happened in a PM.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #18 on: 08. February 2022, 18:00:42 PM »
I've removed the few stories that Duncombec wrote from TheArchive.

Offline duncombec

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #19 on: 08. February 2022, 19:22:14 PM »
Oooh, that's a bit hard: I regularly see him asking new authors if he can put their stories into the archive... and I have to assume that, just because we don't >see< them saying "yes" in the forum doesn't mean that it hasn't happened in a PM.
I am quite well aware of that, and if other authors have objections or concerns it is for them to follow up.

I am concerned with my stories and my copyright (under both of my regular usernames on braces-related sites) where what I said was entirely accurate.

Offline xxxforce

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #20 on: 09. February 2022, 11:51:59 AM »
To Everyone his own - Braceface2015 is doing a favor of collecting Storys on a Central Point.
How many "Story-Sites" have we seen - and how many aren't active anymore... How Many good old Stories are "lost" forever?

I Wouldn't say something if Braceface2015 would earn money with his site like a paywall to see the stories but that isn't..

But its up to you.. You don't want your stories collected - Braceface2015 deleted them - all is good. And now we should Close this Stupid discussion and get back to original topic..

Offline duncombec

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #21 on: 10. February 2022, 00:47:34 AM »
I've removed the few stories that Duncombec wrote from TheArchive.

Not quite... at least the most recent one, posted by you only last week, is still there. I even checked on a computer I have never checked the Archive on before, in case it was a cache issue. I'm sure this was an accidental oversight and will be rectified, much like the accidental oversight of not asking, and of apologising for thinking you had.
Of course, if it turns out Google Drive is still showing deleted files as accessible, I apologise.

But its up to you.. You don't want your stories collected - Braceface2015 deleted them - all is good. And now we should Close this Stupid discussion and get back to original topic..

Intellectual Property discussions may be annoying, occasionally fantastical, but are rarely ever stupid.

To everyone that has been commenting on TheArchive, Thank you for supporting me. Almost everyone who I have asked has given me permission to copy their stories. There is no requirement for me to ask for permission, since the stories are posted to public forums and sites.

In my jurisdiction, the local copyright service states very clearly that publicly accessible does not equal public domain. The copyright remains mine, and there is no right to post elsewhere without proper attribution. Anyone quoting or using more 10% of the work has to seek reproductive permission. In fact, I explicitly withdrew permission from posting to the Archive for all of my stories here: https://www.bracesforum.net/general/short-story-why-that-colour/msg133066/#msg133066

Offline 8749

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #22 on: 10. February 2022, 02:18:54 AM »
we certainly don't have to worry about the tales of duncombec being lost. Just as he insists on copyright here, I assume that he adheres to the legal provisions and publishes his works in the British Library. (Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 (c. 28))
Duncombec profile says location UK. Similar laws exist in most countries.

Offline ksmooth

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #23 on: 10. February 2022, 07:06:48 AM »
Didn't think I'd live to see the day that I'd see a copyright dispute on a fetish story site

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #24 on: 11. February 2022, 00:00:56 AM »
 ;D

who wants another teaser from Holly then?

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #25 on: 11. February 2022, 00:06:21 AM »
I'm always interested in new chapters. Any time that an author posts more to a story is a good day.

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #26 on: 11. February 2022, 00:12:02 AM »
Ah afraid I wasn't promising new... just teasers to the existing story (all of which can be found in the stories area)

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #27 on: 11. February 2022, 05:40:40 AM »
I was hoping for a new chapter.

Offline ksmooth

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #28 on: 12. February 2022, 06:29:56 AM »
;D

who wants another teaser from Holly then?

 ;D

Yes please!

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #29 on: 12. February 2022, 20:40:16 PM »
As someone who writes stories I'm more than happy for them go be copied over to an archive I really can't see an issue. I'm not daft enough to think my stories are good enough for anyone to try stealing them I'm just pleased that someone wants to archive them

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #30 on: 13. February 2022, 00:20:13 AM »
When I started collecting the stories, it was because I wanted to be able to read them again without having to keep going back to the various websites and newsgroups to read them. As my collection grew and some of the stories disappeared, I was glad that I had copied them. Eventually people started to comment that they couldn't find a story or that their computer had 'crashed' and they had lost their collection. I was glad that I still had a copy and was able to provide them with a copy.

The purpose of TheArchive is to try and preserve the old stories and have a 'library' where people can enjoy them. I am always looking for more stories to add, and when I find more stories, I add them so other people can enjoy them.

Having writers send me their stories is greatly appreciated, and sometimes they send me old stories that never were seen before or were 'lost'.

I don't criticize the quality, though I do edit them a bit to make them easier to read. I can't name all the people that have contributed to TheArchive, because there are many and all of them deserve to be thanked for their help.

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #31 on: 14. February 2022, 22:07:42 PM »
Teaser Part 2

Holly stood up and smiled at the nurse. Being single she found herself naturally assessing his appearance. He looked older than her but not much, so she guessed he probably qualified quite recently. He was average-looking with a manly amount of stubble, but somehow that contradicted his general appearance which was otherwise somehow, well… geeky! Holly felt a hint of blush and almost smiled to herself again – Control yourself!

Holly wouldn’t have called herself good-looking, but took care to maintain what she considered to be a balanced amount of style. She was into a kind of preppy fashion but she tried to never make ‘big statements’ and ‘overdo it’. It was a mantra her sister had taught her – get their attention but leave them some mystery. As she stood and picked up her bag, she straightened her skirt. Her favourite asset was her short but slim legs, which she tried to use to her advantage when appropriate. However it was a mild day and she wasn’t out to ‘try’ right now, so she’d opted for knee socks – ‘preppy’! Her flat, t-bar shoes made soft taps as she walked across the room and down the hall with the nurse.
They shared a brief, generic conversation as they walked down the hall and Holly tried to prepare herself for the impending financial implications of slow-growing wisdom teeth.

“I’m actually getting close to finishing one paper, but I have another coming up” the nurse was saying.

“Deadlines – tell me about it!” So he is still a student nurse…

“Yeah I wouldn’t mind so much but I’m just in the process of moving apartment too… it all comes at once right?!”

“I know! I did my home insurance this morning and I’m looking for a car” – not to mention my dental issues….

They arrived at the 3rd and final examination room at the end of the hall and the nurse motioned Holly inside

“Hi Holly” said the orthodontist. Amanda had been Holly’s professional orthodontist throughout her entire treatment and retention phase so far, but with various nurses assisting. During the extended 5-year retention phase, Amanda had also been joined by a researcher called Chris who was helping the department study the long-term effects of post-brace retention. His papers would eventually cover results not only on ‘straightness’ but also hygiene and other secondary effects. As an added bonus, Holly had also let them try a slightly different form of retainer. Fortunately the exam rooms were spacious enough that it didn’t feel crowded.

As Holly dumped her bag on a spare chair and retrieved her retainer case, Amanda said “Ok take a seat and we’ll see how we’re getting on”. This was barely necessary at this stage – after almost 6 years of treatment, and probably dozens of appointments, Holly knew the drill. She leaned back and swung her legs up onto the chair. As Amanda reclined the chair, Holly looked down at her feet. She loved wearing cute shoes and found it funny how they pointed up at the ceiling, looking rather helpless in the chair.

“I guess you brought your retainer”?

“Yes…” replied Holly, offering the case to Amanda.

“How are you getting on?”

“Well, to be honest I’ve had a bit of trouble recently…it sort of doesn’t really fit well any more” – and Holly explained what her dentist had said about her wisdom teeth coming in.

“Hmm ok, well we’ll take a look” said Amanda, and started to place a lip-spreader in Holly’s mouth. This wasn’t always necessary, but with Chris present it was easier for both him and Amanda to be able to see inside Holly’s mouth as they were discussing her progress. Initially, as always, Amanda performed an extensive general examination of Holly’s progress since the last visit. Chris was also making notes on a pad of paper which Holly assumed was to do with his research. Amanda then removed the lip-spreader from Holly’s mouth and took the retainer from its case.
“Ok let’s see what’s up…”

Holly winced as the retainer wire slid – or maybe ‘scraped’ – down a couple of her upper teeth as Amanda tried to put it in. It definitely didn’t click into place and fit like previously. They didn’t even bother trying the lower retainer. Amanda and Chris started talking about how the effect of wisdom teeth on retention issues was a really interesting case for Chris’ paper… but Holly wasn’t really focused. She was starting to finally accept that they wouldn’t blame her and charge her for the poorly-fitting retainer. In the end, she shouldn’t have worried as Amanda concluded that this might actually be an even better research topic anyway.

“We know how good you’ve been with your retainers…” [Holly blushed – yes I’m a geek!] “…this clearly isn’t your fault. But we do need to decide what to do now in terms of your treatment. You have a few options. We could take your wisdom teeth out now, and then try to perfect your teeth and complete the retention phase. Or we could just try to work with what we’ve got now and bring your wisdom teeth in with a more active treatment phase – there is plenty of space back there for them but they are pushing everything else forwards and outwards. How would you feel about that?”

Chris piped up “In terms of the research, we’d probably prefer to keep the wisdom teeth because we rarely get a patient who has wisdom teeth coming in right after their braces come off”.

Obviously not being an expert, Holly wasn’t sure. She had always been against any kind of extractions, but she also didn’t really like the sound of ‘more active treatment’, whatever that meant.

“Um… I don’t know. Can I take some time to think about it?”

“Sure, no problem. Obviously it is entirely your call and all of this will fall within the parameters of Chris’ research, so you probably won’t need to worry about paying anything extra. I think we could achieve similar results either way, but your notes say you aren’t keen on extractions and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it in your case”.

“Ok”. Holly was starting to feel a bit more relaxed about the whole thing, but a little frustrated that her teeth were finding more problems to throw into the mix. Why couldn’t I just not have wisdom teeth right now?!

“Great. Take a few days and we’ll call you after the weekend to see what you want to do. As you won’t be wearing a retainer, I don’t want to go too long before the next appointment. So if we don’t go down the extraction route then I’d want to start a new plan within a week really.”

“Sure, that’s fine”.

“Great. Now Jon will take you for your regular measurements. I’m afraid I’m about to head across campus so I guess I’ll see you next week”. With that, Amanda shook Holly’s hand, grabbed some papers and breezed out of the door.

Jon was obviously the name of the nurse; he had been checking Holly’s file on the computer and now turned to smile at her again. At every check up in her retention phase, the process had been the same. Arrive – checkup – measurements and x-rays – adjustments – book next appointment. The nurses and researchers had been filing extensive measurements for the research projects, which meant Holly’s appointments were often a bit longer than they could have been.

“Well she was in a bit of a rush today wasn’t she” said Holly, trying to politely start a conversation with Jon.

“Haha she often is isn’t she!” laughed Jon, “Ok, let’s go measure you up” and he held the door open for Holly, and directing her towards the records room.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #32 on: 14. February 2022, 23:04:30 PM »
I think rather than calling it a teaser, it should be labeled as a repost.

Offline Lithpkith

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #33 on: 15. February 2022, 05:24:43 AM »
A teathew ow a wewite, I like it! Pleathe continue ath not evewyone hath atheth to the thtowy awchiveth, if thiwty pothtth awe wequiwed. Thankth

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #34 on: 15. February 2022, 15:01:10 PM »
I think rather than calling it a teaser, it should be labeled as a repost.

Possibly. I don’t plan on posting the whole story though. Just wanted to drop in a few teasers to draw people back to the actual Stories area and maybe inspire some new stories. If you’d rather I didn’t repost it here then I’m happy to stop

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #35 on: 15. February 2022, 19:55:01 PM »
It really doesn't matter what it is called, as long as people are reading the stories.

I hope that some new people will consider writing some stories for us. All it takes is to write a couple of pages at a time, post them, and in no time, you have 30 posts and can get access to the stories.

Everyone that has a story in the club section has done it that way. There are many different ideas that can be used. The easiest is to pick something that interests you and write something about it. If you like retainers, write about seeing someone wearing one, or about wanting one yourself and how you would get one for yourself.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #36 on: 15. February 2022, 21:19:34 PM »
Remember that whatever you write it IS fiction. Whilst I try and keep a certain level of truth to my stories, lets be honest: (a) pop stars really can't just "hide in plain site"; (b) people like us really DON'T meet rich young ladies with nice cars who are super good looking; (c) Fairies really do NOT exist! So as long as there's SOMETHING credible about your story, you'll be ok!

Stories can be short, and they can be long, but as long as they keep the reader's attention in some way, they should be written and shared.

Oh, yeah, I'm no good at writing fiction..... I'm a technical person...  I hated English Literature as a kid.... so what would *I* know?

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Holly
« Reply #37 on: 17. February 2022, 22:43:31 PM »
Final Teaser kids....

Part 51

On Sunday morning, Holly woke feeling fresh again, definitely benefitting from extra work in the gym. She found herself craving fresh air though and decided to head out for a walk in the warm sun. She spent the morning slowly getting up and fitting in a couple of episodes of her new box set. Around midday she dressed, opting for a white t-shirt and short skirt to stay cool, and brushed her hair back into a simple ponytail. She put on her pink running shoes and headed out of the door.

The city was big but not huge, so she was able to follow a route through the busy streets quite directly towards the large park in the centre. It was a big enough park that even if it was busy there was plenty of open space so that it didn’t feel crowded. She walked a couple of miles, enjoying the fresh air and sun on her face, her mind drifting between several different trains of thought.

At the other end of the park Holly found a coffee shop with seating outside in the shade around a large tree. Ready for some refreshment, she headed inside to the counter to order a drink. There was no queue so she headed straight to the counter where the young male barista was smiling in welcome.

“Hi, what can I get you?”

“Just an Americano please…” she paused with her mouth open, checking the menu “…oh and a bagel”.

“Sure, no problem”. He held his gaze on Holly as she spoke and she realised that he had noticed her braces. A little shy she looked away as she pulled out her card to pay. “That’s 4.20 then altogether”. Holly offered him the card for the machine without saying anything, stroking a loose lock of hair from across her face. As he handed her card back to her, the barista said “Hey, I notice you have braces…”.

“Yeah, I do” admitted Holly. This was possibly the first time someone had asked about her braces in public before… or at least, the first time with her new braces. But Holly was surprised to find that she didn’t mind him asking, and they were out of earshot of any other customers.

“How’s that working out for you?” he asked as he started preparing the coffee, before adding immediately “my old girlfriend had braces until she was like 23”.

“Oh yeah? Lucky her!” Holly feigned interest. “Yeah I guess it’s going fine”.

“Cool” he said, “good on you for having the courage!” Holly said nothing, but watched him finish pouring the coffee and placing it with the bagel on a tray for her.

“For what it’s worth, I think they look great on you” he said, as he handed the tray to her.

“Thanks” Holly managed a genuine smile for him.

“Yeah they really do, it makes your smile more unique”.

Holly actually blushed. “Oh, thanks! I guess it’s my own personal accessory for now!”

He smiled to her. “Sure. Well you take care, and let me know if I can get you anything else”.

“I will do”, Holly said, turning with the tray to head outside to the seated area under the tree. She grabbed a local paper on the way out and half-heartedly browsed the contents as she sipped her coffee in the shade. After about 5 minutes, the barista came out to clear tables. Gathering up empty mugs on a tray, he weaved his way round the yard, eventually coming quite near to Holly’s table.

He smiled to her and said “You doing ok? Can I get you anything?”

Holly politely declined. “No thanks, I’m all good”. She could see him looking at her lips as she spoke. It didn’t feel rude but she decided to play him at his own game. In a low voice, so they wouldn’t be overheard, she said quite directly “Hey you really like my braces don’t you?”

He looked a little taken aback, and looked away for a moment before meeting her gaze again. “Um…yeah I guess so, they look great on you”. He looked a bit unsure before adding “I think I’ve always like braces on girls to be honest, I think they look great”.

Holly felt a rush and smiled to herself inwardly. “Oh really? You ever had to wear them yourself?”

“Yeah I did, years ago, but only very briefly. It was like a year or something. I don’t see them on adults much”.

“Well I’ve got these for the next few months. And I have a friend my age who has braces too”.

He looked interested. “Oh yeah? That’s cool”.

Holly didn’t really know what to say, so just smiled at him as he went back to clearing the tables.