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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by christinaelenac

The Sorting.

She woke up early that morning.

This happened every time she had something particularly stressful to face; tests, deadlines, that time they held a costume party at school and her mom spent a week sewing various pieces of felt together in the shape of a sailboat. 

But this morning was a little different. 

Today was Sorting day. Every ninth grade girl in Quanton went into the Sorting. It was kind of like a right of passage. Just last week They had explained that a right of passage is a ritual that one undergoes to achieve adulthood. They said every great culture had them. But she had never seen anything great come from the Sorting.

Last year, her older sister, Diane, went through it.

Diane used to crawl into Sophia's bed at night and brush her hair. Sometimes she would raid the pantry and bring back a bowl full of blueberries, even though they were on ration. They would stain the sheets blue, giggling through their closed lips.

But then Diane was Sorted. It only lasted a minute, but afterward, everything changed. She grew her hair long and braided it down her back. She stole coal from the fireplace and wore it in big circles around her eyes. Sophia sometimes even caught her pacing the perimeter of the schoolyard, eyes straight ahead. Diane didn't crawl into bed with her anymore. She didn't really do anything at all.

Weren't rights of passage supposed to be fun, anyway? Sophia had read all about these lavish parties fifteen-year-olds used to have before the Awakening. She had picked her way through the pile of salvageable books in the old, burned up library on State Street. A tired, wilted magazine had seemingly hundreds of photos of brightly colored dresses, adorning girls with smiles almost as big as their crowns. Fifteen years old was only a few months older than her. She wanted a party with a ballgown. She wanted a crown.

Now, standing in line behind a few of her classmates, she stared down at her grey, shapeless uniform and thought her life couldn't be any different than those magazine girls'. The door loomed ahead of her like a giant mouth, chomping up her classmates and shoving them out of sight. 

Her hands began to sweat.

She pushed open the door and for one, long second everything was dark. 

Then she heard her a familiar, though out of place, voice.

"Sophia..."

Mom?

"This isn't meant for you."

In the darkness, she felt a pair of hands grip her shoulders tightly and steer her around in circles. She heard a grunt, felt a shove, and blinked into the light of the hallway. 

Confused, she turned to see her classmates enter the room she was kicked out of. Their shapeless, grey uniforms looking more and more like ballgowns, the right of passage seeming grander and greater the farther away it got. 

Every ninth grade girl goes to the Sorting. 

Every one. 

But one.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by christinaelenac
The Sorting.
She woke up early that morning.

This happened every time she had something particularly stressful to face; tests, deadlines, that time they held a costume party at school and her mom spent a week sewing various pieces of felt together in the shape of a sailboat. 

But this morning was a little different. 

Today was Sorting day. Every ninth grade girl in Quanton went into the Sorting. It was kind of like a right of passage. Just last week They had explained that a right of passage is a ritual that one undergoes to achieve adulthood. They said every great culture had them. But she had never seen anything great come from the Sorting.

Last year, her older sister, Diane, went through it.

Diane used to crawl into Sophia's bed at night and brush her hair. Sometimes she would raid the pantry and bring back a bowl full of blueberries, even though they were on ration. They would stain the sheets blue, giggling through their closed lips.

But then Diane was Sorted. It only lasted a minute, but afterward, everything changed. She grew her hair long and braided it down her back. She stole coal from the fireplace and wore it in big circles around her eyes. Sophia sometimes even caught her pacing the perimeter of the schoolyard, eyes straight ahead. Diane didn't crawl into bed with her anymore. She didn't really do anything at all.

Weren't rights of passage supposed to be fun, anyway? Sophia had read all about these lavish parties fifteen-year-olds used to have before the Awakening. She had picked her way through the pile of salvageable books in the old, burned up library on State Street. A tired, wilted magazine had seemingly hundreds of photos of brightly colored dresses, adorning girls with smiles almost as big as their crowns. Fifteen years old was only a few months older than her. She wanted a party with a ballgown. She wanted a crown.

Now, standing in line behind a few of her classmates, she stared down at her grey, shapeless uniform and thought her life couldn't be any different than those magazine girls'. The door loomed ahead of her like a giant mouth, chomping up her classmates and shoving them out of sight. 

Her hands began to sweat.

She pushed open the door and for one, long second everything was dark. 

Then she heard her a familiar, though out of place, voice.

"Sophia..."

Mom?

"This isn't meant for you."

In the darkness, she felt a pair of hands grip her shoulders tightly and steer her around in circles. She heard a grunt, felt a shove, and blinked into the light of the hallway. 

Confused, she turned to see her classmates enter the room she was kicked out of. Their shapeless, grey uniforms looking more and more like ballgowns, the right of passage seeming grander and greater the farther away it got. 

Every ninth grade girl goes to the Sorting. 

Every one. 

But one.
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AtomDub

Pecking Order

Chicken feathers, a once-white-now-pink tinge, are deplumed by enemy's beak, fluttering in lazy violence as if a July snowstorm. The mad farm bird pecks the exposed flesh incessantly, some corn-fed jackhammer void of remorse. Deep red flows, first just a dot, but then a little river.

The flock takes notice, jaundice eyes incensed by the blood, and mob-lynches the weakling. Its feathers are all gone now, removed in some reverse acupuncture frenzy, and red-tipped beaks pulverize the soft flesh into oblivion. Their fallen kin is motionless save for its undulations as fowl cannibals remove sinew strings and now-pointless organs.

This is the image that races through Anne's mind as she prepares to interview at a New York City advertising agency. She is called in.

"Tell me a little about yourself...Anne."

"Well, I grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota. I graduated with a marketing degree..." and so forth.

"We could use your diverse background here, Anne."

An all-female department, an estrogen-laced cyanide capsule. Anne already senses the death rattle her first day, when they crowd around her like a zoo exhibit, noting her "interesting" accent.

"How do you pronounce 'garage'? Grauge? Ha-ha! Isn't that something?"

Anne remembers that day vividly. She was 11. A stray Longhorn hen was traipsing along the farm's red dirt road. She thought it would be happier amongst other chickens, even if they were a little different. The Rhode Island Reds thought otherwise. They mutilated the newcomer beyond recognition before its first moon. A blood moon.

"There's an order to these things," Anne's father explained. "Outsiders just don't survive. Don't fit into their hierarchy." 

The corporate hen house plots. Plots against the straw-haired rube from the one-stoplight town. They peck at her. A backhanded compliment here. A vicious rumor there. Did you hear that simple slut gave a client head? They peck, confident they'll break the skin and the blood will flow. And then. And then...

A meeting in the boardroom. The flock's beaks and talons: petty-razor sharp. Ready to tear flesh. Watch the outsider bleed out. 

Anne thinks otherwise. Anne thinks it's better to be a farmer than a hen. Anne unsheathes a butcher's knife and hacks the neck of her nearest coworker. Nicks the cervical vertebrae mid-presentation. Damn near lops her head off. Beautiful blood hissing from the opening, pitter-pattering on the tabletop like a Jackson Pollock original. Seven shrill New York screams. Then six. Then five. Then four. Then three. Then two. Then one. Silence.

Anne emerges from the slaughterhouse, bathing in the red, placenta-like goo of the damned, reborn a bad country bitch. Her eyes are clear and her mind is sharp.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AtomDub
Pecking Order
Chicken feathers, a once-white-now-pink tinge, are deplumed by enemy's beak, fluttering in lazy violence as if a July snowstorm. The mad farm bird pecks the exposed flesh incessantly, some corn-fed jackhammer void of remorse. Deep red flows, first just a dot, but then a little river.

The flock takes notice, jaundice eyes incensed by the blood, and mob-lynches the weakling. Its feathers are all gone now, removed in some reverse acupuncture frenzy, and red-tipped beaks pulverize the soft flesh into oblivion. Their fallen kin is motionless save for its undulations as fowl cannibals remove sinew strings and now-pointless organs.

This is the image that races through Anne's mind as she prepares to interview at a New York City advertising agency. She is called in.

"Tell me a little about yourself...Anne."

"Well, I grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota. I graduated with a marketing degree..." and so forth.

"We could use your diverse background here, Anne."

An all-female department, an estrogen-laced cyanide capsule. Anne already senses the death rattle her first day, when they crowd around her like a zoo exhibit, noting her "interesting" accent.

"How do you pronounce 'garage'? Grauge? Ha-ha! Isn't that something?"

Anne remembers that day vividly. She was 11. A stray Longhorn hen was traipsing along the farm's red dirt road. She thought it would be happier amongst other chickens, even if they were a little different. The Rhode Island Reds thought otherwise. They mutilated the newcomer beyond recognition before its first moon. A blood moon.

"There's an order to these things," Anne's father explained. "Outsiders just don't survive. Don't fit into their hierarchy." 

The corporate hen house plots. Plots against the straw-haired rube from the one-stoplight town. They peck at her. A backhanded compliment here. A vicious rumor there. Did you hear that simple slut gave a client head? They peck, confident they'll break the skin and the blood will flow. And then. And then...

A meeting in the boardroom. The flock's beaks and talons: petty-razor sharp. Ready to tear flesh. Watch the outsider bleed out. 

Anne thinks otherwise. Anne thinks it's better to be a farmer than a hen. Anne unsheathes a butcher's knife and hacks the neck of her nearest coworker. Nicks the cervical vertebrae mid-presentation. Damn near lops her head off. Beautiful blood hissing from the opening, pitter-pattering on the tabletop like a Jackson Pollock original. Seven shrill New York screams. Then six. Then five. Then four. Then three. Then two. Then one. Silence.

Anne emerges from the slaughterhouse, bathing in the red, placenta-like goo of the damned, reborn a bad country bitch. Her eyes are clear and her mind is sharp.
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by fantastical

The Cuts of Laughter

Their laughter cut Daniel, he could feel its edge as if the blade of it kept cutting over his flesh, again and again and again. He almost wished he took the coward’s way instead and stayed silent, yet he knew the hurt of never knowing an answer did cut a lot deeper than the three girls laughter. Still, the bitter taste of rejection was harsh if it was thrown in your face or if it was a mystery that haunted you your entire, adopted life.

He tried to imagine, or perhaps hope - a bit foolishly - that Debbie did laugh a little bit less than her friends, that she was being cowardly by doing so, but deep down a part of her was at least touched that he asked her to the dance. A foolish hope perhaps.

Daniel lived in a world of foolish hopes though. He had parents that loved him, yet few days have gone by where he didn’t hope his biological mother or father would show up at his door. He was ready to forgive them for tossing him away, he just wanted the chance to do so.

There was a guilt that went along with that need though. The guilt that somehow by wanting to meet the ones that rejected him, that he was now rejecting the only parents that he ever knew and loved. Two people that loved him more than he probably deserved. But, they didn’t understand. How could they? There was a pull of invisible strings. There was a need to know. A need that cut deeper than bone.

A need that felt just as random as the pull Debbie had on him. Her smile, her kindness - up until now anyway. Even with the laughter, and the humiliation, this part of him still was drawn to her. It was just like being drawn to the parents that never wanted him. An irrational need to have a love that was...unattainable.

Daniel would head home later, his dad would know of Debbie’s answer before Daniel even got two words out. He can almost hear his dad’s response.

“You tried and perhaps I was a bit wrong, for laughter is a bit worse than a simple ‘no’, but time will pass. Your young heart will slowly move on to another girl to fancy and try to woo. Perhaps then you’ll see that you are a better man for the laughter. Perhaps the laughter showed you a side of yourself you needed to see?”

His words would make perfect sense to Daniel’s mind, even as his heart would reel from them, for his heart has been haunted by rejection for as long as it has missed the rhythm of a different heart; the heartbeat of the woman that birthed him. A sound that still haunted him beautifully in his dreams each and every night. A sound to take the edge off of three girls’ laughter, only to cut in a deeper way.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by fantastical
The Cuts of Laughter
Their laughter cut Daniel, he could feel its edge as if the blade of it kept cutting over his flesh, again and again and again. He almost wished he took the coward’s way instead and stayed silent, yet he knew the hurt of never knowing an answer did cut a lot deeper than the three girls laughter. Still, the bitter taste of rejection was harsh if it was thrown in your face or if it was a mystery that haunted you your entire, adopted life.

He tried to imagine, or perhaps hope - a bit foolishly - that Debbie did laugh a little bit less than her friends, that she was being cowardly by doing so, but deep down a part of her was at least touched that he asked her to the dance. A foolish hope perhaps.

Daniel lived in a world of foolish hopes though. He had parents that loved him, yet few days have gone by where he didn’t hope his biological mother or father would show up at his door. He was ready to forgive them for tossing him away, he just wanted the chance to do so.

There was a guilt that went along with that need though. The guilt that somehow by wanting to meet the ones that rejected him, that he was now rejecting the only parents that he ever knew and loved. Two people that loved him more than he probably deserved. But, they didn’t understand. How could they? There was a pull of invisible strings. There was a need to know. A need that cut deeper than bone.

A need that felt just as random as the pull Debbie had on him. Her smile, her kindness - up until now anyway. Even with the laughter, and the humiliation, this part of him still was drawn to her. It was just like being drawn to the parents that never wanted him. An irrational need to have a love that was...unattainable.

Daniel would head home later, his dad would know of Debbie’s answer before Daniel even got two words out. He can almost hear his dad’s response.

“You tried and perhaps I was a bit wrong, for laughter is a bit worse than a simple ‘no’, but time will pass. Your young heart will slowly move on to another girl to fancy and try to woo. Perhaps then you’ll see that you are a better man for the laughter. Perhaps the laughter showed you a side of yourself you needed to see?”

His words would make perfect sense to Daniel’s mind, even as his heart would reel from them, for his heart has been haunted by rejection for as long as it has missed the rhythm of a different heart; the heartbeat of the woman that birthed him. A sound that still haunted him beautifully in his dreams each and every night. A sound to take the edge off of three girls’ laughter, only to cut in a deeper way.
#prosechallenge  #adoption  #rejection  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by desmondwrite

Star Liquor and Chevron on Techniplex and Skywood Road

The man opened the door for his wife and, seeing Duke Hudson, kept it open. Duke walked faster but called out, "You don't have to. It hurts, y'know?"

 

"Take your time," said the man, remaining at his post. The old man still hurried, and you could see Duke had a crick in his step, the kind WD-40 can't fix.

"Thanks," said Duke when they were inside. "Just did three shows and I'm not your age anymore." The man didn't ask what kind of shows but nodded and followed his wife. Spurned, Duke went over to appraise cigars, only to find himself with the man again. Eh, what the hell.

"This place is an oasis," said Duke as if they were returning to an earlier conversation. "Been living here a few years, and this is the nicest thing they built."

He wasn't wrong, either. Other than apartments, the Techniplex was one of those boring business parks with storefronts like Carpets & Floors and Greater Houston Shipping Services and Billiards Galore. Everything was brick ranging from smokey gray to bright blood-cream, standing like tombstones or bloody teeth on palisades of grass.

"Not bad," said the man, before slipping away again.

Now Duke was no Socrates, but he felt the potential for rapport, if at least the fleeting affirmation that they were two potent and interesting men. One more time, thought Duke, feeling conspiratorial. He scanned a Twix Bar’s nutrition while he found the couple. The wife was headed for the register while the man was behind the island of coffee machines. Faking an interest in frozen burritos, Duke slinked around the other side of the island, but the man was onto him and turned to the cashier: “Where do you keep cough drops?” The cashier indicated the wall behind the counter, a quilt of yellow and red bags, and the man doubled back. 

But discouragement didn’t come easy to Duke. He’d been outwitted, but he saw another opportunity to greet the man. Duke could plant himself by the newspapers and on the couple's way out he could get the door and say, “Just paying it forward” or the winner, “Take your time.” 

It started. Duke headed down the freezers, trying to keep out of their periphery, but the couple saw him, and quickly swiped their card, realized the machine took chip, pushed in chip. The old man navigated three men in jeans with white paint flecks on their legs and as he passed the wine the couple punched no don’t want cash back and yes that’s the right amount. He swung by auto parts and the ATM like the meticulous, painful revolution of the second hand as it scrapes the bend of the clock. No, don’t want to donate to kids missing kidneys and parents. Bags, receipt? No.

They were out the door. As Duke opened it a second later, another old man slipped in and said thank you, sir. Duke told him to fuck off and hobbled out.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by desmondwrite
Star Liquor and Chevron on Techniplex and Skywood Road
The man opened the door for his wife and, seeing Duke Hudson, kept it open. Duke walked faster but called out, "You don't have to. It hurts, y'know?"
 
"Take your time," said the man, remaining at his post. The old man still hurried, and you could see Duke had a crick in his step, the kind WD-40 can't fix.

"Thanks," said Duke when they were inside. "Just did three shows and I'm not your age anymore." The man didn't ask what kind of shows but nodded and followed his wife. Spurned, Duke went over to appraise cigars, only to find himself with the man again. Eh, what the hell.

"This place is an oasis," said Duke as if they were returning to an earlier conversation. "Been living here a few years, and this is the nicest thing they built."

He wasn't wrong, either. Other than apartments, the Techniplex was one of those boring business parks with storefronts like Carpets & Floors and Greater Houston Shipping Services and Billiards Galore. Everything was brick ranging from smokey gray to bright blood-cream, standing like tombstones or bloody teeth on palisades of grass.

"Not bad," said the man, before slipping away again.

Now Duke was no Socrates, but he felt the potential for rapport, if at least the fleeting affirmation that they were two potent and interesting men. One more time, thought Duke, feeling conspiratorial. He scanned a Twix Bar’s nutrition while he found the couple. The wife was headed for the register while the man was behind the island of coffee machines. Faking an interest in frozen burritos, Duke slinked around the other side of the island, but the man was onto him and turned to the cashier: “Where do you keep cough drops?” The cashier indicated the wall behind the counter, a quilt of yellow and red bags, and the man doubled back. 

But discouragement didn’t come easy to Duke. He’d been outwitted, but he saw another opportunity to greet the man. Duke could plant himself by the newspapers and on the couple's way out he could get the door and say, “Just paying it forward” or the winner, “Take your time.” 

It started. Duke headed down the freezers, trying to keep out of their periphery, but the couple saw him, and quickly swiped their card, realized the machine took chip, pushed in chip. The old man navigated three men in jeans with white paint flecks on their legs and as he passed the wine the couple punched no don’t want cash back and yes that’s the right amount. He swung by auto parts and the ATM like the meticulous, painful revolution of the second hand as it scrapes the bend of the clock. No, don’t want to donate to kids missing kidneys and parents. Bags, receipt? No.

They were out the door. As Duke opened it a second later, another old man slipped in and said thank you, sir. Duke told him to fuck off and hobbled out.
#fiction  #adventure 
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by CCole

Worse Ways

I wish my toes were red. Ruby red, like the ones I imagine in Marlene Dietrich films. Movies seem so long ago, Frida says I shouldn’t remember them, but I do. Little flicks of silver and white funneled into dreams on screen. I used to close my eyes at night, trying not to smell the rotting flesh and I would dream of film. Sahara desserts. Glamourous bars in tropical towns. Dance floors so shiny you could see your face reflected in them, and some handsome man, his hair slicked back, his feet barely touching the floor and whirling me in his arms round and round.

I would fall asleep dizzy, but I would sleep. I don’t think Frida has slept in years. She doesn’t look it.

I try not to think of my own looks. I haven’t been brave enough to step towards a mirror. I know my ribs are protruding and my breath has been foul for months. I’m quite sure two of my teeth are rotting, but at least they didn’t end up in buckets.

We heard stories. Awful stories, about buckets of teeth.

I hope they never make a film about that.

I don’t know why I picture film stars with red nails. It’s a bright red, not a harsh one. Not like blood. I thought about cutting the number off my arm, now that we are out, but I don’t think I could stand the sight of any more blood, at least not my own. Frida says that’s why they put the numbers on our arms in the first place: so if we try to cut them off, we take our own lives doing it and spare them all the trouble.

I worry about Frida.

But I worry more about where we’ll go. Nobody wants us. Strange, how so many wanted to save us, but nobody wants us. Not really. Everywhere we go, we’re turned back.

But as Frida says, it’s not so bad. We’ve seen worse. Friends turned to soot. Friends turned to soap. Oh yes. We both know there are much worse ways to be rejected.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by CCole
Worse Ways
I wish my toes were red. Ruby red, like the ones I imagine in Marlene Dietrich films. Movies seem so long ago, Frida says I shouldn’t remember them, but I do. Little flicks of silver and white funneled into dreams on screen. I used to close my eyes at night, trying not to smell the rotting flesh and I would dream of film. Sahara desserts. Glamourous bars in tropical towns. Dance floors so shiny you could see your face reflected in them, and some handsome man, his hair slicked back, his feet barely touching the floor and whirling me in his arms round and round.

I would fall asleep dizzy, but I would sleep. I don’t think Frida has slept in years. She doesn’t look it.

I try not to think of my own looks. I haven’t been brave enough to step towards a mirror. I know my ribs are protruding and my breath has been foul for months. I’m quite sure two of my teeth are rotting, but at least they didn’t end up in buckets.

We heard stories. Awful stories, about buckets of teeth.

I hope they never make a film about that.

I don’t know why I picture film stars with red nails. It’s a bright red, not a harsh one. Not like blood. I thought about cutting the number off my arm, now that we are out, but I don’t think I could stand the sight of any more blood, at least not my own. Frida says that’s why they put the numbers on our arms in the first place: so if we try to cut them off, we take our own lives doing it and spare them all the trouble.

I worry about Frida.

But I worry more about where we’ll go. Nobody wants us. Strange, how so many wanted to save us, but nobody wants us. Not really. Everywhere we go, we’re turned back.

But as Frida says, it’s not so bad. We’ve seen worse. Friends turned to soot. Friends turned to soap. Oh yes. We both know there are much worse ways to be rejected.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by sandflea68

Immaculate Proposal

I had been watching her for a long time as she sat at the bar, sipping her drink, waiting for an attractive man to hit on her. When she didn’t get any immediate takers, she hitched up her skirt almost to the panty line and shifted her shapely ass on the bar stool in a fascinating concentric motion. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her but I knew the smart thing to do would be to bide my time until the moment was right. Sometimes, she would twirl her shiny ebony hair around her finger or flip it back from her face. I figured she was an avid reader of Cosmopolitan, swallowing the nonsense that this was the way to become a magnet for male attention. I watched with fascination as she swirled her drink with a finger and then sucked it into her moist pink mouth, in and out, in and out.

She was beautiful and mesmerizing as she played her little game. I knew if I just waited until she tired, I could make my move. Once in a while, her gaze would shift in my direction and I imagined that she showed a slight interest. I noticed that several men sat on the bar stool beside her and then left when she rejected them. Oh, this was such fun to watch. I realized she was waiting for me. I looked at her soulfully, certain that she would fall for my bait. For my ploy, and it had always worked in the past, was to wait until my target became tired of waiting and came to me.

After several hours of dangling her bait on her hook, she apparently tired of this pursuit and sauntered toward me. The desire for her almost overwhelmed me but she passed by my table without a glance and headed to the restroom. Unable to control myself, I followed her and waited outside the restroom door. As she walked out, she gave a quick look at me and walked right past me. Grabbing her arm, I told her to quit playing her game.

She laughed at me and said, “You’re wasting your time. I’m not turned on by you.” She made the mistake of smirking as she said it and that was the last thing she ever did as I plunged the knife into her belly.

That ought to keep these bitches from always rejecting me! I had the sudden urge to go home and scrub myself clean, once again. Mama always told me to stay away from these dirty, nasty whores and I was positive she would be waiting up for me, with milk and cookies, to hear my latest story.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by sandflea68
Immaculate Proposal
I had been watching her for a long time as she sat at the bar, sipping her drink, waiting for an attractive man to hit on her. When she didn’t get any immediate takers, she hitched up her skirt almost to the panty line and shifted her shapely ass on the bar stool in a fascinating concentric motion. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her but I knew the smart thing to do would be to bide my time until the moment was right. Sometimes, she would twirl her shiny ebony hair around her finger or flip it back from her face. I figured she was an avid reader of Cosmopolitan, swallowing the nonsense that this was the way to become a magnet for male attention. I watched with fascination as she swirled her drink with a finger and then sucked it into her moist pink mouth, in and out, in and out.

She was beautiful and mesmerizing as she played her little game. I knew if I just waited until she tired, I could make my move. Once in a while, her gaze would shift in my direction and I imagined that she showed a slight interest. I noticed that several men sat on the bar stool beside her and then left when she rejected them. Oh, this was such fun to watch. I realized she was waiting for me. I looked at her soulfully, certain that she would fall for my bait. For my ploy, and it had always worked in the past, was to wait until my target became tired of waiting and came to me.

After several hours of dangling her bait on her hook, she apparently tired of this pursuit and sauntered toward me. The desire for her almost overwhelmed me but she passed by my table without a glance and headed to the restroom. Unable to control myself, I followed her and waited outside the restroom door. As she walked out, she gave a quick look at me and walked right past me. Grabbing her arm, I told her to quit playing her game.

She laughed at me and said, “You’re wasting your time. I’m not turned on by you.” She made the mistake of smirking as she said it and that was the last thing she ever did as I plunged the knife into her belly.

That ought to keep these bitches from always rejecting me! I had the sudden urge to go home and scrub myself clean, once again. Mama always told me to stay away from these dirty, nasty whores and I was positive she would be waiting up for me, with milk and cookies, to hear my latest story.
#challenge  #rejection 
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by hdpeters

Unyielding

I was rejected for two other women. He thought it would break me, make me more needy, more like the other women because they couldn’t live without him. It never broke me. Never brought me down. Never gave me unable to live without him.

My strength and self importance only grew from it. I felt like I showed him, proved my strength to him, and showed him nothing that he contributed to my worth. He never noticed any of those things. Not once! He assumed that I kept getting where I was in life because of the new man in it. The new man empowered me, he gave me everything I had, and he made me who I was. He didn’t, I did.

I threatened him with a life without me if he didn’t get rid of the other women. Spent a year without speaking to him, kept my children from him, and showed my bitterness every chance I got. This didn’t get through to him.

It was then that I realized that I was more intellectual, more wise and overall just better than him. I let it go. Let him go on with his life the way he wanted but within my rules. Everything became my call and on my clock. This made him smaller and his importance in my life little.

Because he was so self involved, his women were so centered on him, his life was so important, he never got to know the real me. He missed out on the amazing woman I’d become post him. Didn’t want to see how much I could thrive in a world he had not created for me, a world where he wasn't the center, a growth I made all by myself. His loss.

Thankfully I had a strong female cohort who also had had him in her life. She gave me my worth. She cared for me unconditionally and put me above everyone else. She allowed me to be me and built me up. She taught me to fight, be strong, be who I am. She equipped me with everything he didn’t.

While she was building me up, she wasn't putting him down. He was her ex and yet she didn’t ever make him seem like the small person I grew to know confidently that he was. She too was above him. She didn’t need him like the other women to want her or make her important.

She is my mom. He is my father. I am their daughter. 

He is the one rejected by us.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by hdpeters
Unyielding
I was rejected for two other women. He thought it would break me, make me more needy, more like the other women because they couldn’t live without him. It never broke me. Never brought me down. Never gave me unable to live without him.

My strength and self importance only grew from it. I felt like I showed him, proved my strength to him, and showed him nothing that he contributed to my worth. He never noticed any of those things. Not once! He assumed that I kept getting where I was in life because of the new man in it. The new man empowered me, he gave me everything I had, and he made me who I was. He didn’t, I did.

I threatened him with a life without me if he didn’t get rid of the other women. Spent a year without speaking to him, kept my children from him, and showed my bitterness every chance I got. This didn’t get through to him.

It was then that I realized that I was more intellectual, more wise and overall just better than him. I let it go. Let him go on with his life the way he wanted but within my rules. Everything became my call and on my clock. This made him smaller and his importance in my life little.

Because he was so self involved, his women were so centered on him, his life was so important, he never got to know the real me. He missed out on the amazing woman I’d become post him. Didn’t want to see how much I could thrive in a world he had not created for me, a world where he wasn't the center, a growth I made all by myself. His loss.

Thankfully I had a strong female cohort who also had had him in her life. She gave me my worth. She cared for me unconditionally and put me above everyone else. She allowed me to be me and built me up. She taught me to fight, be strong, be who I am. She equipped me with everything he didn’t.

While she was building me up, she wasn't putting him down. He was her ex and yet she didn’t ever make him seem like the small person I grew to know confidently that he was. She too was above him. She didn’t need him like the other women to want her or make her important.

She is my mom. He is my father. I am their daughter. 

He is the one rejected by us.
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AJAY9979

Hearts

I was sprawled out in his arms sobbing. I didn't know why. I mean, we'd broken up over three months ago. I didn't even think he cared about me, yet here we were, at prom holding each other. My arms clung loosely to his tuxedo shirt. His were tight, tightly pulled, tight around my waist. I could feel my hips bruising, but I didn't ask him to stop. I couldn't. He had been with me since we met on that fateful day at the hospital. It was only right that he was there with me to ride it out. Especially after all he'd done.

We met in a hospital. He was there for his grandmother, and I for my sister. We locked eyes, looked away blushing, twiddled fingers, tapped feet, made odd facial expressions trying to avoid the other's glance. He, the braver of us from the start, came to me and asked if I had gum. Of course I did, and I handed it to him with a sexy hair flip and an eye bat that was supposed to make him crazy. All it actually did was initiate the mom stare from behind me. He noticed, smiled an iridescent, dimpled, perfect smile, and pointed behind me. I turned to see the disappointed look of my mother, with wet-rimmed eyes, and an unmistakable scowl. I waved to him, and followed her down the corridor of the heart wing.

"Really, Tomasina? You're making go-goo eyes at some boy while your sister is in the hospital suffering?"

I rolled my eyes. It was just a boy. There was no harm done. My younger sister, Biela, was laying in her hospital bed. I could see her from the window they had. I started to go in, but a short white woman was standing in the doorway. She looked like an old lady, like an overworked ox, like a rubber band a pull away from snapping. She held a red, callused hand up, stopping me from entering.

"Her transplant was successful," she announced,"But we're keeping an eye on her. The doctor said the immunosuppressants wore off too early. It looks like she's stable, but we won't know until later."

It was later. I had gotten the call an hour into my final prom. It was my mother, sobbing that they were at the hospital with Biela. Something was wrong. She'd felt tired and decided to take a nap, and when my mother went to check on her, she was burning up and her hands looked as though they'd been pumped with air. The doctor had given her the Organ Rejection Symptoms paper after she'd gone home, just in case. Now, nearly two months after she was released, my sister was being rushed back to the hospital. The teachers standing guard at the door wouldn't let me leave. Rules were rules. I just had to wait while my sister's body rejected what was keeping her alive and cling to someone I thought I didn't need.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by AJAY9979
Hearts
I was sprawled out in his arms sobbing. I didn't know why. I mean, we'd broken up over three months ago. I didn't even think he cared about me, yet here we were, at prom holding each other. My arms clung loosely to his tuxedo shirt. His were tight, tightly pulled, tight around my waist. I could feel my hips bruising, but I didn't ask him to stop. I couldn't. He had been with me since we met on that fateful day at the hospital. It was only right that he was there with me to ride it out. Especially after all he'd done.


We met in a hospital. He was there for his grandmother, and I for my sister. We locked eyes, looked away blushing, twiddled fingers, tapped feet, made odd facial expressions trying to avoid the other's glance. He, the braver of us from the start, came to me and asked if I had gum. Of course I did, and I handed it to him with a sexy hair flip and an eye bat that was supposed to make him crazy. All it actually did was initiate the mom stare from behind me. He noticed, smiled an iridescent, dimpled, perfect smile, and pointed behind me. I turned to see the disappointed look of my mother, with wet-rimmed eyes, and an unmistakable scowl. I waved to him, and followed her down the corridor of the heart wing.

"Really, Tomasina? You're making go-goo eyes at some boy while your sister is in the hospital suffering?"

I rolled my eyes. It was just a boy. There was no harm done. My younger sister, Biela, was laying in her hospital bed. I could see her from the window they had. I started to go in, but a short white woman was standing in the doorway. She looked like an old lady, like an overworked ox, like a rubber band a pull away from snapping. She held a red, callused hand up, stopping me from entering.

"Her transplant was successful," she announced,"But we're keeping an eye on her. The doctor said the immunosuppressants wore off too early. It looks like she's stable, but we won't know until later."


It was later. I had gotten the call an hour into my final prom. It was my mother, sobbing that they were at the hospital with Biela. Something was wrong. She'd felt tired and decided to take a nap, and when my mother went to check on her, she was burning up and her hands looked as though they'd been pumped with air. The doctor had given her the Organ Rejection Symptoms paper after she'd gone home, just in case. Now, nearly two months after she was released, my sister was being rushed back to the hospital. The teachers standing guard at the door wouldn't let me leave. Rules were rules. I just had to wait while my sister's body rejected what was keeping her alive and cling to someone I thought I didn't need.
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by wmichelle

Trigger Happy

Rain poured down from the heavy clouds onto the sullen over-congested streets of the city. The religious may have thought that the swarming masses below had earned the wrath of the heavens above. Perhaps they had sinned. Perhaps they had forsaken their God. Or, perhaps the water droplets fell heavy without giving a care about God or Man.

A dense, gray fog hovered above the streets, threatening to crowd out the bleak lights struggling to show the wandering people where to go. Porchlights, streetlights, stoplights. The masses hurried along, crowded under umbrellas, hustling into buses and cabs, anything to get out of the torrent.

A man called Doug paused outside of a worn building and listened to the wind beating against the loose glass of the windows. Hopefully they would hold.

Inside, though dry, offered little refuge from the bleakness of the streets. The aftermath of the previous morning was still evident. Glass shards were scattered across the floor; a vase was turned over by the window. The drafty room carried the faint scent of copper.

Doug sat down on the side of the couch not covered in still-drying blood. Whisky bottle in hand, he studied the room around him.

What a sight this must be, he thought to himself. A man sitting alone in the wreckage of his own self-destruction. Or attempt thereof.

Doug figured that if there was ever a time to believe in God, this would be it. He reckoned the hole in his head was still present. If not, he could always put it back. His eyes fell onto the gun laying to his right.

Perhaps a different location this time.

Passing the whisky to his other hand, he reached for the gun. Deja-vu swept over him as he felt the cold metal of press against his palm.

Maybe he should put some papers down, just in case he failed again. The couch was ruined enough as it is.

If it worked, however, that wouldn’t matter.

Doug laughed and pulled the trigger.

Laughter turned into screams. The screams subsided back into laughter as Doug continued to pull the trigger until the gun clicked.

As the room around him swam back into focus, Doug realized the ringing in his head was not actually in his head, but his doorbell.

He staggered over to the door, drink still in hand. On the other side was his neighbor, Martha.

"Would you cut that racket out? I'm trying to sleep."

Doug looked down at the spent gun.

"That's not going to get you out of here."

"What?"

"Just how many damn holes did you put in your head?"

Doug paused before holding up four fingers.

"Just my advice," Martha leaned in and took the gun. "Stick to drink. It's quieter and," she glanced at the burgundy stain on his couch, "less messy."

Doug looked past Martha into the congested city streets. He didn't remember moving to the city. "Where am I?"

"You're not talking to Jesus, sweetie."

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by wmichelle
Trigger Happy
Rain poured down from the heavy clouds onto the sullen over-congested streets of the city. The religious may have thought that the swarming masses below had earned the wrath of the heavens above. Perhaps they had sinned. Perhaps they had forsaken their God. Or, perhaps the water droplets fell heavy without giving a care about God or Man.

A dense, gray fog hovered above the streets, threatening to crowd out the bleak lights struggling to show the wandering people where to go. Porchlights, streetlights, stoplights. The masses hurried along, crowded under umbrellas, hustling into buses and cabs, anything to get out of the torrent.

A man called Doug paused outside of a worn building and listened to the wind beating against the loose glass of the windows. Hopefully they would hold.

Inside, though dry, offered little refuge from the bleakness of the streets. The aftermath of the previous morning was still evident. Glass shards were scattered across the floor; a vase was turned over by the window. The drafty room carried the faint scent of copper.

Doug sat down on the side of the couch not covered in still-drying blood. Whisky bottle in hand, he studied the room around him.

What a sight this must be, he thought to himself. A man sitting alone in the wreckage of his own self-destruction. Or attempt thereof.

Doug figured that if there was ever a time to believe in God, this would be it. He reckoned the hole in his head was still present. If not, he could always put it back. His eyes fell onto the gun laying to his right.

Perhaps a different location this time.

Passing the whisky to his other hand, he reached for the gun. Deja-vu swept over him as he felt the cold metal of press against his palm.

Maybe he should put some papers down, just in case he failed again. The couch was ruined enough as it is.

If it worked, however, that wouldn’t matter.

Doug laughed and pulled the trigger.

Laughter turned into screams. The screams subsided back into laughter as Doug continued to pull the trigger until the gun clicked.

As the room around him swam back into focus, Doug realized the ringing in his head was not actually in his head, but his doorbell.

He staggered over to the door, drink still in hand. On the other side was his neighbor, Martha.

"Would you cut that racket out? I'm trying to sleep."

Doug looked down at the spent gun.

"That's not going to get you out of here."

"What?"

"Just how many damn holes did you put in your head?"

Doug paused before holding up four fingers.

"Just my advice," Martha leaned in and took the gun. "Stick to drink. It's quieter and," she glanced at the burgundy stain on his couch, "less messy."

Doug looked past Martha into the congested city streets. He didn't remember moving to the city. "Where am I?"

"You're not talking to Jesus, sweetie."
#challenge  #violence  #language  #gore  #rejection 
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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by hamsastark

The Scars of Iron

The Barabal family had a proud history. Their lineage had been producing Redeemers for ten generations, and that line ended with me. It was a magnificent party when I was abandoned. My grandmother received a holiday from her post at the Consular’s Bridge to visit for my eleventh birthday. Orkin, my mother’s manservant, made my favorite meal: rabbit braised in whale fat with raspberry mash. We ate, happily and anxiously awaiting my acceptance letter. Instead, the Council sent the Iron. I was burned and broken on the streets within the hour.

“Commander Trimble says there’s one in the Lighthouse District.”

“Thanks Cora,” I reply, as our skiff travels up the River Marling to Hulby, my home. I haven’t been back in nine years.

I have a job to do. The Empire’s been hunting Redeemers ever since they took over the South. Those of us who got the Iron, the brand that gets burned into the face of all the exiles, were given a choice: Kill the Redeemers, or die with them. I jumped at the chance.

“This way,” Cora whispers, as she steps off the skiff and dives into a worn out bathhouse. I follow her in, navigating through the moldy walls, taking care not to tumble through the rotten planks on the floor.

We weave through the halls until we hear a faint gasp coming from a cart of towels. Cora gives me a slight smile, twisting the gnarled scar on the side of her face.

“We have three more floors to check, come on,” she says wryly, as she sneaks towards the cart with her pistol drawn. I draw my dagger and move to the other side.

Cora kicks the cart my way, spilling a cascade of putrid towels, and a ragged woman with them.

“You’re coming with us!” Cora yells, as I move my dagger to the woman’s throat.

“No need,” I interject, “She’s not a civilian. I know her. This one’s a Redeemer. This is Lucinda Barabal. She served with Prince Brunswick himself.”

“Ophelia,” the woman stutters, drool coming from the corner of her mouth, “Ophelia is that you?”

“Ophelia is dead! Your daughter died when you watched her take the Iron! Your daughter died when your people, your Redeemers gave me this!” I yell as I trace my scars with her fingers, showing her every crater, every crooked corner, every twisted edge.

“I was eleven years old! I did no wrong! I was worthy for your stupid order, and you didn’t fight back! You didn’t protest! You were the highest Redeemer outside the Council, but you did nothing!”

“Come on Ophelia, we have a job to do,” Cora interrupts.

“I suppose you’re going to kill me then, hunter”

I look at the woman and walk away, nodding to Cora on my way out. I can’t kill Lucinda myself. She did not redeem me, and now, as her bloodcurdling shrieks pierce the walls of the Lighthouse District, she is not worth my hunt.

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Challenge of the Week #61: Write a piece of flash fiction about rejection. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by hamsastark
The Scars of Iron
The Barabal family had a proud history. Their lineage had been producing Redeemers for ten generations, and that line ended with me. It was a magnificent party when I was abandoned. My grandmother received a holiday from her post at the Consular’s Bridge to visit for my eleventh birthday. Orkin, my mother’s manservant, made my favorite meal: rabbit braised in whale fat with raspberry mash. We ate, happily and anxiously awaiting my acceptance letter. Instead, the Council sent the Iron. I was burned and broken on the streets within the hour.

“Commander Trimble says there’s one in the Lighthouse District.”

“Thanks Cora,” I reply, as our skiff travels up the River Marling to Hulby, my home. I haven’t been back in nine years.

I have a job to do. The Empire’s been hunting Redeemers ever since they took over the South. Those of us who got the Iron, the brand that gets burned into the face of all the exiles, were given a choice: Kill the Redeemers, or die with them. I jumped at the chance.

“This way,” Cora whispers, as she steps off the skiff and dives into a worn out bathhouse. I follow her in, navigating through the moldy walls, taking care not to tumble through the rotten planks on the floor.

We weave through the halls until we hear a faint gasp coming from a cart of towels. Cora gives me a slight smile, twisting the gnarled scar on the side of her face.

“We have three more floors to check, come on,” she says wryly, as she sneaks towards the cart with her pistol drawn. I draw my dagger and move to the other side.

Cora kicks the cart my way, spilling a cascade of putrid towels, and a ragged woman with them.

“You’re coming with us!” Cora yells, as I move my dagger to the woman’s throat.

“No need,” I interject, “She’s not a civilian. I know her. This one’s a Redeemer. This is Lucinda Barabal. She served with Prince Brunswick himself.”

“Ophelia,” the woman stutters, drool coming from the corner of her mouth, “Ophelia is that you?”

“Ophelia is dead! Your daughter died when you watched her take the Iron! Your daughter died when your people, your Redeemers gave me this!” I yell as I trace my scars with her fingers, showing her every crater, every crooked corner, every twisted edge.

“I was eleven years old! I did no wrong! I was worthy for your stupid order, and you didn’t fight back! You didn’t protest! You were the highest Redeemer outside the Council, but you did nothing!”

“Come on Ophelia, we have a job to do,” Cora interrupts.

“I suppose you’re going to kill me then, hunter”

I look at the woman and walk away, nodding to Cora on my way out. I can’t kill Lucinda myself. She did not redeem me, and now, as her bloodcurdling shrieks pierce the walls of the Lighthouse District, she is not worth my hunt.
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