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Literature / Touch

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A survival story.
James, our protagonist
Touch, by Rhythm, is a Web Serial Novel centered around James Toranaga, a young boy who, following an incident of sexual assault, develops the ability to fly.

The story follows James and a small group of those around him as they attempt to come to terms with the trials and tribulations of emotional recovery in a world where weirdness is hiding just behind the veil.

While technically an action story, the plot focuses heavily on themes of psychological harm and recovery, and the consensus of reviews received on the Web Fiction Guide seems to be that the true strength of the piece is in its realistic and compelling characters. That said, more recent chapters have been leaning a little more into the action side of things.

Trigger Warning: From chapter one, Touch deals with some pretty heavy themes, such as sexual assault and abuse, and a trigger warning is issued to any prospective readers. While it is generally regarded as handling the subjects responsibly, its degree of honesty means that it tends not to shy away from subjects that certain readers may find difficult.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Casper's father beats him and once shattered his arm.
  • Action Girl: Tasha, the main girl of the group, has super strength. Which she uses. A lot.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Thus far, there have been two people who attempted to deal with extradimensional horrors in this story. One ended with them riding a nuke down its throat. The other one survived, but they're still waiting for his skin to grow back.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Some of the monsters through the story fit into this category, along with some of the characters. Elves included.
  • Flight: James, and he loves it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: As of the Bex interlude, there exists at least one monster capable of forcing the entire planet to work together to defeat it.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Father. Leader of what seems to be a very heavily brainwashed cult/crime syndicate. His power? Happiness aura.
  • The Masquerade: Not yet explained, but it has been made clear via inference that the existance of powers is being kept secret by someone.
  • Nuke 'em: The primary method of attack attempted against the above mentioned Godzilla beast. It doesn't work.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Apparently, the goblins in this universe are very helpful, and are considered the human race's closest allies.
  • Parents as People: James' parents, Peter and Sarah are alternately shown both supporting their son through the trauma of his recent experiences, and quietly falling to pieces over it whenever they know he isn't looking.
  • Rape as Backstory: James is a rare male example of the trope. The experience eventually led to his Traumatic Superpower Awakening, and essentially functions as the opening line of the story.
  • The Empath: Casper, the story's Deuteragonist, is a powerful one. He is not happy about it.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: See Rape as Backstory above.
    • Also applies to Casper and Tasha. It seems everyone who develops powers naturally have this, though Peter's conversation with his father implies it can be taught.
  • Virginity Flag: The Mark of Purity appears on someone's face once they've had sex. There are skin patches and permanent surgeries to hide it, however.