History Literature / PenPal

3rd May '16 7:31:36 PM gfrequency
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* DoubleMeaningTitle: A couple. "Boxes" is the name of the narrator's cat and also what they find in the abandoned house, full of his clothes. "Screens" refers to movie screens as well as the screen separating the narrator from Veronica in the hospital.
15th Apr '16 12:54:55 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: [[spoiler: The story's events could have not occurred by certain aspects: Dathan would have never been stalked if the school didn't do the Balloon project. Dathan's idea of going to his old house looking for Boxes would have never gotten the Stalker to take his interest in Josh, as he took his picture. Dathan's mother in particular ends up unintentionally making things worse by not communicating with anybody about what's going on, not getting the police involved enough, not telling Dathan himself anything until he's much older, and not telling Josh's family about the pedophile she most likely has deduced is in the area. Had she not tried to handle things herself, the stalker may have been caught before he could have done anything worse than scaring the kids and at the very least, Josh's family could have known about the danger]].
25th Mar '16 5:30:44 AM ASplashingKoi
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: NoNameGiven: The protagonist and the stalker's names are never given in-story, although the protagonist is called "Dathan" (after the author) by fans.

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: * NoNameGiven: The protagonist and the stalker's names are never given in-story, although the protagonist is called "Dathan" (after the author) by fans.
25th Mar '16 5:30:25 AM ASplashingKoi
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The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]].

to:

The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part connected as a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]].



* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: Dathan learns about how his childhood basically ruined the lives of the people around him, specifically his friend Josh, who was taken by the stalker because of their similar appearance and was [[AndIMustScream buried alive with him by his own father]], as well as the stalker killing his pet cat, his kind old neighbor from his old neighborhood, and Josh's sister. The story also implies that Josh's family will never recover from the loss of their children and Dathan's relationship with his mother becomes strained by the fact she kept the events from him for so many years]].

to:

* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: Dathan [[spoiler:Dathan learns about how his childhood basically ruined the lives of the people around him, specifically his friend Josh, who was taken by the stalker because of their similar appearance and was [[AndIMustScream buried alive with him by his own father]], as well as the stalker killing his pet cat, his kind old neighbor from his old neighborhood, and Josh's sister. The story also implies that Josh's family will never recover from the loss of their children and Dathan's relationship with his mother becomes strained by the fact she kept the events from him for so many years]].



* [[spoiler: NiceJobBreakingItHero: Nice job not telling Dathan about the stalker or getting more involved with the police, Dathan's mom!]]

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* [[spoiler: NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: Nice job not telling Dathan about the stalker or getting more involved with the police, Dathan's mom!]]mom!]]
: NoNameGiven: The protagonist and the stalker's names are never given in-story, although the protagonist is called "Dathan" (after the author) by fans.
25th Mar '16 5:26:53 AM ASplashingKoi
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'''''Pen Pal''''' started as a series of short stories about the childhood of one young man named Dathan Auerbach that were posted as an online horror story on a forum. It quickly drew popularity from its readers and soon there were illustrations, audio recordings, and short films made of it. Then it was revised and expanded to be turned into a full length book.

The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]]. Whether this is a true story or not has been left ambiguous.

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'''''Pen Pal''''' started as a series of short stories by Dathan Auerbach about the childhood of one young man named Dathan Auerbach (unnamed in the stories, called "Dathan" out-of-universe) that were posted as an online horror story on a forum.Website/{{Reddit}}. It quickly drew popularity from its readers and soon there were illustrations, audio recordings, and short films made of it. Then it was revised and expanded to be turned into a full length book.

The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]]. Whether this is a true story or not has been left ambiguous.\n
5th Mar '16 10:12:52 AM Pwnisher248
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* BondBreaker: The stalker's actions cause [[spoiler: Dathan and Josh's friendship to suffer greatly]], and [[spoiler: puts a lot of strain on his relationship with his mother.]]
5th Mar '16 10:03:12 AM Robertroper
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The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]] Whether this is a true story or not has been left ambiguous.

to:

The story of ''Pen Pal'' is a young man, in an attempt to understand his childhood, investigates seemingly unrelated, strange, horrifying, and soul-crushingly tragic events that occurred over the course of his life. Beginning from his early days in kindergarten and persisting well into his teen years, he discovers that these incidents are actually part a single frightening tale that have molded his entire life and affected everyone around him. Ever played in the woods a little too long after dark? Ever had the feeling that you being watched, and by someone with less than noble intentions? Do you remember you first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was? Well, then ''Pen Pal'' has something for you, and it is a journey you won't soon forget. [[BrainBleach Though, you might just try, anyway.]] Also, make sure to bring [[TearJerker a box of tissues]] tissues]]. Whether this is a true story or not has been left ambiguous.



* TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse: The stalker. It is specifically stated that [[spoiler: he looks like a normal guy rather than some kind of psychopathic lunatic as one might expect him to]]. The only description we get of him is that [[spoiler: he's larger than Josh's dad, who is stated to be pretty big himself.]]

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* TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse: The stalker. It is specifically stated that [[spoiler: he looks like a normal guy rather than some kind of psychopathic lunatic as one might expect him to]]. The only description we get of him is that [[spoiler: he's larger than Josh's dad, who is stated to be pretty big himself.]]
]]
25th Feb '16 6:21:34 AM Pwnisher248
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Added DiffLines:

* CharacterBlog: The story started as a series of posts written in-character on Reddit. The author would even respond to comments in character, sometimes offering up new information.


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* DisappearedDad: Dathan's dad is not in the picture, and is never mentioned in either the original story, or the expanded novel version. A lot of people believed that the stalker would turn out to be him. [[spoiler: It doesn't.]] Also, [[spoiler: Dathan responded to a comment in-character on Reddit stating that his parents never got married, but he still kept in contact with his dad regularly. So he's mostly just "disappeared" in the sense that he never shows up in the story.]]
23rd Feb '16 3:35:47 PM Pwnisher248
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* CameraFiend: The stalker is a villainous (and frightening) example. He takes countless candid photos of Dathan while stalking him (at least fifty), and also [[spoiler: takes Josh and Veronica's pictures before kidnapping and killing them respectively]].
23rd Feb '16 2:41:20 PM Pwnisher248
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* SanitySlippage: Josh's mom goes through this [[spoiler: after Veronica dies. It forces her to quit her job and causes her to wander around the neighborhood at night looking for her missing/dead kids.]]
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