You have always been different .

blueful was a story in the cloud, spread across dozens of social media sites, reviews on e-commerce portals, audio clips and video overlays, maps, spreadsheets, and t-shirts. Readers followed a trail of links to piece together a story of a painter lost between worlds.

You're not sure just when it happened first. But you must have been young, before the worm rules of possible-or-not had burrowed through your mind, weakening and crumbling till only the familiar and mundane remained standing.

The ending of the story could only be read by requesting a physical postcard, mailed to you with the story's conclusion written on the back.

Over a thousand people on six continents took the journey and requested a postcard. A few of their comments are reprinted below.

"Beautiful. Simply beautiful."

"This is something that will stay in my memory forever."

"What an astonishing project. A real milestone in Web 2.0 storytelling."

"I love it. Love it, love it, love it. Thanks for the ride."

"The story feels like something the internet created in its free time, and we just stumbled upon it."

"This was incredible. I can't even begin to describe."

"The most intrigued I've been by the Internet in a long time. "

"I am at a loss for words. This is online art if I've ever seen it. "

"Thank you for giving us this."

"Absolutely enthralling and a brilliant execution."

"Haunting, moving. Can't wait to see my ending. "

"Amazing how many places there are on the Web to express yourself."

blueful was maintained until the author could no longer afford to send postcards. The trail then faded as pages expired or were pulled from various sites, leaving only fragments behind.

More stories by Aaron A. Reed