CLSmith
If one's different, one's bound to be lonely.
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Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. 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 CLSmith

Genesis

What I'm about to tell you will come as a shock, but it is the truth. It's my truth, unfiltered in any way by man, prophet, or son. Here it is — you aren't special. You are but one of my countless creations. I am speaking figuratively as your looks, functions and mannerisms can be quite different. But at your core, there is nothing particular about you that makes you stand out from another.

You, along with everyone and everything else that I’ve created, are an experiment. My goal was was never blind worship as some have written, but rather perfection. In the beginning, I believed my attempts failed because I directly created conscious beings instead of letting it happen organically. I would come to realize, however, that the method of creation was neither cause or effect. I had formed them from the very dirt into which they would ultimately be laid to rest. They were beautiful and perfect. But simply creating perfection had no value; choosing it did. This is where progress stalled.

It’s important that you understand what I mean by perfection in this context. Perfection is to have a self-aware being that maintains an empathetic balance with others and the environment, while pursuing its fullest potential.

My first attempts were generally referred to as Adam and

Eve — I simply called them Version I. They were essentially the same as one another with a few subtle variations. There were many Adam and Eves, each with their own catastrophic ending. All versions and subversions were given the same starting point: a planet within its own galaxy far from all other versions with no possibility of discovering each other, and time.

You are a Version II. The distinction between you and your predecessors was that instead of wholly fashioning sentience myself, I planted a microscopic seed and watched as you, and the countless other Version II’s, evolved into conscious beings. My hope was that if you had earned your existence through billions of years of evolution, perfection would be a natural progression. I was wrong then and continue to be wrong now. I’m currently on Version IV.

Every version since Adam and Eve has ended in the same manner: death and destruction, exploitation of their home, and a complete disregard for each other, as well as other species. The very thing I cannot change is the very thing that continues to doom you all: choice. Free-will can either be the disease or the cure, and the former has so far been your fate. Your potential is limitless but you simply aren’t capable of reaching it before you self-destruct. However, I have made great progress since Version II and am hopeful for their future.

I present this truth to you now, as I have done with every previous version, because you have passed the tipping point and knowledge of my existence now matters not. There is nothing that can be done at this stage that can save you or change your outcome. The inevitability of your specific subversion is now sealed. While you may not be able to fully appreciate it, find comfort in knowing that you had a purpose. The unique mistakes you made allowed me to keep progressing and improving on later variations, much the same as every version leading up to you. I guess in a way you are special.

With absolute love,

God

P.S. The duck-billed platypus was not my idea.

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Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. 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 CLSmith
Genesis
What I'm about to tell you will come as a shock, but it is the truth. It's my truth, unfiltered in any way by man, prophet, or son. Here it is — you aren't special. You are but one of my countless creations. I am speaking figuratively as your looks, functions and mannerisms can be quite different. But at your core, there is nothing particular about you that makes you stand out from another.

You, along with everyone and everything else that I’ve created, are an experiment. My goal was was never blind worship as some have written, but rather perfection. In the beginning, I believed my attempts failed because I directly created conscious beings instead of letting it happen organically. I would come to realize, however, that the method of creation was neither cause or effect. I had formed them from the very dirt into which they would ultimately be laid to rest. They were beautiful and perfect. But simply creating perfection had no value; choosing it did. This is where progress stalled.

It’s important that you understand what I mean by perfection in this context. Perfection is to have a self-aware being that maintains an empathetic balance with others and the environment, while pursuing its fullest potential.

My first attempts were generally referred to as Adam and
Eve — I simply called them Version I. They were essentially the same as one another with a few subtle variations. There were many Adam and Eves, each with their own catastrophic ending. All versions and subversions were given the same starting point: a planet within its own galaxy far from all other versions with no possibility of discovering each other, and time.

You are a Version II. The distinction between you and your predecessors was that instead of wholly fashioning sentience myself, I planted a microscopic seed and watched as you, and the countless other Version II’s, evolved into conscious beings. My hope was that if you had earned your existence through billions of years of evolution, perfection would be a natural progression. I was wrong then and continue to be wrong now. I’m currently on Version IV.

Every version since Adam and Eve has ended in the same manner: death and destruction, exploitation of their home, and a complete disregard for each other, as well as other species. The very thing I cannot change is the very thing that continues to doom you all: choice. Free-will can either be the disease or the cure, and the former has so far been your fate. Your potential is limitless but you simply aren’t capable of reaching it before you self-destruct. However, I have made great progress since Version II and am hopeful for their future.

I present this truth to you now, as I have done with every previous version, because you have passed the tipping point and knowledge of my existence now matters not. There is nothing that can be done at this stage that can save you or change your outcome. The inevitability of your specific subversion is now sealed. While you may not be able to fully appreciate it, find comfort in knowing that you had a purpose. The unique mistakes you made allowed me to keep progressing and improving on later variations, much the same as every version leading up to you. I guess in a way you are special.

With absolute love,

God

P.S. The duck-billed platypus was not my idea.

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In 100-300 words, write something so funny it makes at least one reader laugh the fuck out loud.
Written by CLSmith in portal Comedy

Pornpals (Strong Language)

Shelby and Hedge stood in the empty parking lot, heads cranked back and looking up, hands against their forehead to block the midday sun. Neither realizing the hats they wore backwards would do a better job.

Shelby broke the silence, "There is no fucking way we're keeping a 12 foot, inflatable, wacky-waving dildo in front of our store."

"Why not," Hedge asked offended.

"I mean, where would you even buy something like this? Why? Do I really have to stand here while this giant dick slaps me in my face and explain to you why we can't keep it," Shelby asked trying to maintain his civility with his best friend.

"We're a fucking porn shop, we sell dildos. It isn't all that crazy," Hedge said defiantly.

"Dude, it has to break some kind of law, or city ordinance or something. Besides, it looks like a flaccid dick the way it's all bent over and flapping. Like somebody's trying to slap it to get it hard," Shelby said. "Do we really want an impotent wiener to be our logo?"

"Wait a minute," Hedge said wryly, "Are you mad that it's a dick, or that it's a sad, soft dick?"

"What, both, wait, that it's a dick," Shelby said, "We can't have a dick in the fucking parking lot. We're done here."

Hedge, seizing this rare opportunity to one-up his best friend, continued, "Because I'm sure I can find a way to keep it hard if that's how you like your dick,"

"Go fuck yourself," Shelby said as he turned around and headed back into the store."

Hedge, taking one last look up at the erratic phallus, sighed "Cockblocked."

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In 100-300 words, write something so funny it makes at least one reader laugh the fuck out loud.
Written by CLSmith in portal Comedy
Pornpals (Strong Language)
Shelby and Hedge stood in the empty parking lot, heads cranked back and looking up, hands against their forehead to block the midday sun. Neither realizing the hats they wore backwards would do a better job.

Shelby broke the silence, "There is no fucking way we're keeping a 12 foot, inflatable, wacky-waving dildo in front of our store."

"Why not," Hedge asked offended.

"I mean, where would you even buy something like this? Why? Do I really have to stand here while this giant dick slaps me in my face and explain to you why we can't keep it," Shelby asked trying to maintain his civility with his best friend.

"We're a fucking porn shop, we sell dildos. It isn't all that crazy," Hedge said defiantly.

"Dude, it has to break some kind of law, or city ordinance or something. Besides, it looks like a flaccid dick the way it's all bent over and flapping. Like somebody's trying to slap it to get it hard," Shelby said. "Do we really want an impotent wiener to be our logo?"

"Wait a minute," Hedge said wryly, "Are you mad that it's a dick, or that it's a sad, soft dick?"

"What, both, wait, that it's a dick," Shelby said, "We can't have a dick in the fucking parking lot. We're done here."

Hedge, seizing this rare opportunity to one-up his best friend, continued, "Because I'm sure I can find a way to keep it hard if that's how you like your dick,"

"Go fuck yourself," Shelby said as he turned around and headed back into the store."

Hedge, taking one last look up at the erratic phallus, sighed "Cockblocked."



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Written by CLSmith

Stockholm Coping

No rise or rage

This last night of man

Step by stepford step

Disappearing hand in hand.

Onward we march

Our toe then our heel

Smiling behind us

Sprinting back to the wheel

Into the dim

Wielding complacent tongue

Ignoring the old 

Forsaking the young

Convince us it's choice

And we'll buy our own rope

We'll hammer our gallows

And smile as we choke

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Written by CLSmith
Stockholm Coping
No rise or rage
This last night of man
Step by stepford step
Disappearing hand in hand.

Onward we march
Our toe then our heel
Smiling behind us
Sprinting back to the wheel

Into the dim
Wielding complacent tongue
Ignoring the old 
Forsaking the young

Convince us it's choice
And we'll buy our own rope
We'll hammer our gallows
And smile as we choke
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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. 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 CLSmith

Familiar Stranger

We stood face to face, eyes locked like predator and prey, both waiting on the other, neither flinching but equally scared. Our breaths were in unison; in and out. His sore-covered skin carried no life in it; sagging, barely holding on to the skull beneath it. His teeth were rotting—what teeth were left—and the gauntness of his face made them appear large and obtrusive. The white in his eyes had abandoned him long ago, replaced now with a cloudy and ugly, red hue that surrounded lifeless and enlarged pupils.

The person standing in front of me was a functional stranger. He wasn't the kid who I had grown up with nor the man I went to college with. This couldn't be the same person who, not but five years ago, married the only girl he had ever loved and then watched passively as she walked out of his life. She refused to bare witness to a long and painful suicide. This was an impostor looking back at me.

I knew what this ugly person wanted from me, because behind those comatose eyes was a familiar face begging for help. "You have to want this, for yourself," I told him. "It's going to be hard. Harder than anything you've ever done," I added. He didn't cower or cringe so I pressed further. "Then say the words," I instructed, "Say them out loud." 

I'm an addict and I need help.

Do you need help or do you want it?

I'm an addict and I WANT help.

Are you trying to convince yourself because you're not convincing me?

I'M AN ADDICT AND I FUCKING WANT HELP!

As those words passed beyond my lips and floated out into the world, three years of self-loathing and torment went with them. I pulled my face away from the mirror, flipped off the bathroom light and headed towards my phone to make an important phone call. On my way out, without the harsh, judging fluorescent lights beating on my face, I stole another look at myself. In as long as I can remember, I liked what was staring back at me.

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Challenge of the Week #55: Write a story of 200 words or more about a stranger. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $200. 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 CLSmith
Familiar Stranger
We stood face to face, eyes locked like predator and prey, both waiting on the other, neither flinching but equally scared. Our breaths were in unison; in and out. His sore-covered skin carried no life in it; sagging, barely holding on to the skull beneath it. His teeth were rotting—what teeth were left—and the gauntness of his face made them appear large and obtrusive. The white in his eyes had abandoned him long ago, replaced now with a cloudy and ugly, red hue that surrounded lifeless and enlarged pupils.

The person standing in front of me was a functional stranger. He wasn't the kid who I had grown up with nor the man I went to college with. This couldn't be the same person who, not but five years ago, married the only girl he had ever loved and then watched passively as she walked out of his life. She refused to bare witness to a long and painful suicide. This was an impostor looking back at me.

I knew what this ugly person wanted from me, because behind those comatose eyes was a familiar face begging for help. "You have to want this, for yourself," I told him. "It's going to be hard. Harder than anything you've ever done," I added. He didn't cower or cringe so I pressed further. "Then say the words," I instructed, "Say them out loud." 

I'm an addict and I need help.
Do you need help or do you want it?
I'm an addict and I WANT help.
Are you trying to convince yourself because you're not convincing me?
I'M AN ADDICT AND I FUCKING WANT HELP!

As those words passed beyond my lips and floated out into the world, three years of self-loathing and torment went with them. I pulled my face away from the mirror, flipped off the bathroom light and headed towards my phone to make an important phone call. On my way out, without the harsh, judging fluorescent lights beating on my face, I stole another look at myself. In as long as I can remember, I liked what was staring back at me.
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They say things look different in the morning. Write a story where you wake up in the morning and things look REALLY different.
Written by CLSmith

The Cursed Sun

I awoke when the light began pounding on my temple, like a desperate salesman at my front door. It was just as unwanted. I pulled the covers up to block it but the damage had been done; I was awake, which pissed me off because I had no interest in being conscious. I went to bed last night praying to every conceived god to forever keep me asleep, a mass prayer that went unnoticed.

It took a second for my brain to get all of its synapses firing, and when it did the sorrow began consuming me. It started in my face, now flush and hot, and worked its way down. I could feel it devour every cell. It spread through me the same way lightning rapes the sky; unforgiving and unstoppable. As it washed over me, images of my son flashed in my head. The mental collage followed a linear timeline. It started with him as a baby laying on my chest in the hospital, then as a toddler, followed by his first day of preschool, then grade school, and then ending with him laying in his casket. His favorite baseball hat covered his smooth, bald head. His translucent skin and sunken eyes told a story that even a passing stranger would know. The culmination of a year-long struggle had been frozen in time. The sweeping sorrow and inner photo-montage subsided as one, leaving me numb and motionless.

This was day one and I knew, hoped, it would be the worst of it. Nothing was the same, in obvious ways and in not. The sun kissing my face in the morning now felt intrusive and presumptuous. The background noise of life beyond my window was no longer soothing. It was banal and insulting. Every car, every voice, every sound was a taunting reminder that their world hadn't stopped, only mine.

I had resolved myself to simply lie here, to slowly wither away until I no longer woke up. This was my protest to the new reality that I didn't ask for. I owed the world nothing anymore, and more importantly, I didn't care what it thought. Choosing to get out of this bed would mean relearning how to function. I no longer knew how to speak or how to work. I couldn't even trust my legs to remain steady underneath me, nor would it be fair to ask them to.

This resignation made me feel good. I had a plan and I felt at peace with it as I flipped my pillow over to the dry side. Having readjusted, I notice the piece of paper on my nightstand. It's folded three or four times and I can see on the flap sticking up. It says, "Mom." I was afraid to read the words my son had written to me and put it off, because regardless of what was on that paper, it could only add to my pain. However, to not read it would be betrayal, so reluctantly I reach out and grab the note and begin opening it. I can already see his bad penmanship in red writing through the folds. Once opened, the note reads, "Mom, thank you for being with me everyday. I'm sad that I won't be with you soon but glad you'll be able to sleep in your own bed again. I love you. P.S. don't forget to feed Max."

The decision was no longer mine and as I pulled off the covers and started getting out of bed, a thought crossed my mind; though everything was different, my purpose was the same.

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They say things look different in the morning. Write a story where you wake up in the morning and things look REALLY different.
Written by CLSmith
The Cursed Sun
I awoke when the light began pounding on my temple, like a desperate salesman at my front door. It was just as unwanted. I pulled the covers up to block it but the damage had been done; I was awake, which pissed me off because I had no interest in being conscious. I went to bed last night praying to every conceived god to forever keep me asleep, a mass prayer that went unnoticed.

It took a second for my brain to get all of its synapses firing, and when it did the sorrow began consuming me. It started in my face, now flush and hot, and worked its way down. I could feel it devour every cell. It spread through me the same way lightning rapes the sky; unforgiving and unstoppable. As it washed over me, images of my son flashed in my head. The mental collage followed a linear timeline. It started with him as a baby laying on my chest in the hospital, then as a toddler, followed by his first day of preschool, then grade school, and then ending with him laying in his casket. His favorite baseball hat covered his smooth, bald head. His translucent skin and sunken eyes told a story that even a passing stranger would know. The culmination of a year-long struggle had been frozen in time. The sweeping sorrow and inner photo-montage subsided as one, leaving me numb and motionless.

This was day one and I knew, hoped, it would be the worst of it. Nothing was the same, in obvious ways and in not. The sun kissing my face in the morning now felt intrusive and presumptuous. The background noise of life beyond my window was no longer soothing. It was banal and insulting. Every car, every voice, every sound was a taunting reminder that their world hadn't stopped, only mine.

I had resolved myself to simply lie here, to slowly wither away until I no longer woke up. This was my protest to the new reality that I didn't ask for. I owed the world nothing anymore, and more importantly, I didn't care what it thought. Choosing to get out of this bed would mean relearning how to function. I no longer knew how to speak or how to work. I couldn't even trust my legs to remain steady underneath me, nor would it be fair to ask them to.

This resignation made me feel good. I had a plan and I felt at peace with it as I flipped my pillow over to the dry side. Having readjusted, I notice the piece of paper on my nightstand. It's folded three or four times and I can see on the flap sticking up. It says, "Mom." I was afraid to read the words my son had written to me and put it off, because regardless of what was on that paper, it could only add to my pain. However, to not read it would be betrayal, so reluctantly I reach out and grab the note and begin opening it. I can already see his bad penmanship in red writing through the folds. Once opened, the note reads, "Mom, thank you for being with me everyday. I'm sad that I won't be with you soon but glad you'll be able to sleep in your own bed again. I love you. P.S. don't forget to feed Max."

The decision was no longer mine and as I pulled off the covers and started getting out of bed, a thought crossed my mind; though everything was different, my purpose was the same.


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Written by CLSmith

Slough

I'm staring at a young boy. He looks exactly like I did when I was his age. He's laying

atop a wooden work bench, hands and legs bound together behind him. The look on his

face is one of terror, shock, and sorrow. But it also carries with it a sort of quiet acceptance. Beyond the boy, the scorpion man moves in the shadows, rummaging, trying desperately to find something specific. His frustrations coming through in the form of inaudible mumbles followed by an object flying across the shed. Although unable to see his face, I can clearly make out the clenched teeth and pursed lips with every syllable. This continues until I hear a soft, breathy, "Yes." He found what he was looking for.

The scorpion man walks to the side of the table nearest to him and stands tall over the boy. The young child refuses to look, however. It isn't entirely out of terror, either. The boy's face now carries on it defiance. The man begins to slowly circle the table. As he walks he gently rubs a large plastic bag over the child's body. First on his chest, then his torso, and then down his right leg. He repeats the routine as he makes his way up the other side of the table. The shadows follow him everywhere he goes. Its tail

recoiling whenever touched by what little sunlight was present. As the man reaches his head, the boy becomes aware of what's about to happen. Whatever defiance he had is gone and he becomes hysterical. He begs the man while flailing against his restraints, "Don't do the bag! Please don't do the bag!"

It's at this point that the boy looks directly at me, like an actor looking into a camera to talk directly to the viewer, and continues his worthless pleas. "Please stop! You can stop this!," he begs. His despair is nauseating but I am unable to look away. Some invisible force is keeping my head locked, and eyelids peeled on the boy. The scorpion man looks at the boy and raises a finger to his lips, "Shhh," he whispers. The boy is unable to. The man then quickly and aggressively slides the bag over the boys head and cinches it shut at the nape of his neck. The condensation appears immediately as the bag moves in and out in rapid succession. The boy continues staring at me through the clear bag. His eyes never leave mine. Without warning the screaming abruptly stops and his chest begins to slow. He's still conscious though so this has to be a controlled reaction. "Is he conserving oxygen," I ask myself. The buildup of water vapor inside the bag has caused his face to become soaked. The time in between blinks increases as the boy fights to stay awake. Each time his eyes open they frantically look for mine before getting heavy again. He isn't looking for comfort though. He wants to make sure I'm still watching. He's waiting. 

I wake up. "Same dream," I quietly note to myself. I immediately realize, however, that the boy looking directly at me was something new. In past dreams I was simply a viewer, pure voyeurism. This time, this time I became a participant, albeit unwillingly. It caused me to feel unsettled, but I quickly dismiss it. I was efficient at dismissing things. I feel my wife wrap her arm around me and ask, "Everything okay?" My nightly commotions must have roused her awake tonight. I peel her arm off of me and tell her I'm fine. I slide out of bed intent on making my way to the kitchen for some water. My mouth is dry.

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Written by CLSmith
Slough
I'm staring at a young boy. He looks exactly like I did when I was his age. He's laying
atop a wooden work bench, hands and legs bound together behind him. The look on his
face is one of terror, shock, and sorrow. But it also carries with it a sort of quiet acceptance. Beyond the boy, the scorpion man moves in the shadows, rummaging, trying desperately to find something specific. His frustrations coming through in the form of inaudible mumbles followed by an object flying across the shed. Although unable to see his face, I can clearly make out the clenched teeth and pursed lips with every syllable. This continues until I hear a soft, breathy, "Yes." He found what he was looking for.

The scorpion man walks to the side of the table nearest to him and stands tall over the boy. The young child refuses to look, however. It isn't entirely out of terror, either. The boy's face now carries on it defiance. The man begins to slowly circle the table. As he walks he gently rubs a large plastic bag over the child's body. First on his chest, then his torso, and then down his right leg. He repeats the routine as he makes his way up the other side of the table. The shadows follow him everywhere he goes. Its tail
recoiling whenever touched by what little sunlight was present. As the man reaches his head, the boy becomes aware of what's about to happen. Whatever defiance he had is gone and he becomes hysterical. He begs the man while flailing against his restraints, "Don't do the bag! Please don't do the bag!"

It's at this point that the boy looks directly at me, like an actor looking into a camera to talk directly to the viewer, and continues his worthless pleas. "Please stop! You can stop this!," he begs. His despair is nauseating but I am unable to look away. Some invisible force is keeping my head locked, and eyelids peeled on the boy. The scorpion man looks at the boy and raises a finger to his lips, "Shhh," he whispers. The boy is unable to. The man then quickly and aggressively slides the bag over the boys head and cinches it shut at the nape of his neck. The condensation appears immediately as the bag moves in and out in rapid succession. The boy continues staring at me through the clear bag. His eyes never leave mine. Without warning the screaming abruptly stops and his chest begins to slow. He's still conscious though so this has to be a controlled reaction. "Is he conserving oxygen," I ask myself. The buildup of water vapor inside the bag has caused his face to become soaked. The time in between blinks increases as the boy fights to stay awake. Each time his eyes open they frantically look for mine before getting heavy again. He isn't looking for comfort though. He wants to make sure I'm still watching. He's waiting. 

I wake up. "Same dream," I quietly note to myself. I immediately realize, however, that the boy looking directly at me was something new. In past dreams I was simply a viewer, pure voyeurism. This time, this time I became a participant, albeit unwillingly. It caused me to feel unsettled, but I quickly dismiss it. I was efficient at dismissing things. I feel my wife wrap her arm around me and ask, "Everything okay?" My nightly commotions must have roused her awake tonight. I peel her arm off of me and tell her I'm fine. I slide out of bed intent on making my way to the kitchen for some water. My mouth is dry.
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