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Make up a character! Give me all the details you can about them make them so detailed that they could be standing next to you.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd

Julian was a bulldozer. He kept going at whatever caught his fancy and didn't let go, couldn't let go, until his wiry energy turned everything pear-shaped. Even then, he would laugh it off and direct his peculiar focus onto another idea or person. He waltzed into my life with that uncanny charm of his, shifting from foot to foot and grinning from ear-to-ear. Quick to laugh and sharp of wit, he was one of the few people unafraid of shyness or unease, and would joke and tease and laugh whether with the Queen of England or a homeless druggy. He could wheedle a smile or response out of the quietest person, and would make it his aim to do so. He had long been diagnosed with hyperactivity, but his energy went beyond a diagnosis. It was a undeniable part of him; in the gleam of his eye, the spring of his step, the disregard for his own appearance or well-being. His hair was combed perhaps one day in three: mostly, his dark locks were in utter disarray, and he wore a t-shirt, jeans, and converse, or whatever shoes he stumbled across on his way out the door. He fed himself only as a second-thought, and many wondered at how such a tall and wiry person of his energy didn't run himself into the ground. He never did, simply sprang from place to place, person to person, with an edgy sort of optimism, a joie-de-vivre that made him exasperating, reckless and simply irresistible. A broken collarbone, for example, was no reason to sit out a game of rugby, or a wrestle, whatever the doctor might say. He was up for anything, quick to try out ideas and even quicker to land himself in trouble. A devout band of followers backed him in these exploits, but their academics suffered for it. Only Julian could sing, perform, play on the foremost rugby team, and maintain immaculate academic results: had he not been so effortlessly talented with everything he tried his hand at, he would have long been expelled. As it happened, many of his group were expelled over the years, unable to keep up with Julian and his hap-hazardous, happy-go-lucky lifestyle. His unsteady energy was paired with a fierce intellect, a combination that was forward and sometimes intimidating. 

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Make up a character! Give me all the details you can about them make them so detailed that they could be standing next to you.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd
Julian was a bulldozer. He kept going at whatever caught his fancy and didn't let go, couldn't let go, until his wiry energy turned everything pear-shaped. Even then, he would laugh it off and direct his peculiar focus onto another idea or person. He waltzed into my life with that uncanny charm of his, shifting from foot to foot and grinning from ear-to-ear. Quick to laugh and sharp of wit, he was one of the few people unafraid of shyness or unease, and would joke and tease and laugh whether with the Queen of England or a homeless druggy. He could wheedle a smile or response out of the quietest person, and would make it his aim to do so. He had long been diagnosed with hyperactivity, but his energy went beyond a diagnosis. It was a undeniable part of him; in the gleam of his eye, the spring of his step, the disregard for his own appearance or well-being. His hair was combed perhaps one day in three: mostly, his dark locks were in utter disarray, and he wore a t-shirt, jeans, and converse, or whatever shoes he stumbled across on his way out the door. He fed himself only as a second-thought, and many wondered at how such a tall and wiry person of his energy didn't run himself into the ground. He never did, simply sprang from place to place, person to person, with an edgy sort of optimism, a joie-de-vivre that made him exasperating, reckless and simply irresistible. A broken collarbone, for example, was no reason to sit out a game of rugby, or a wrestle, whatever the doctor might say. He was up for anything, quick to try out ideas and even quicker to land himself in trouble. A devout band of followers backed him in these exploits, but their academics suffered for it. Only Julian could sing, perform, play on the foremost rugby team, and maintain immaculate academic results: had he not been so effortlessly talented with everything he tried his hand at, he would have long been expelled. As it happened, many of his group were expelled over the years, unable to keep up with Julian and his hap-hazardous, happy-go-lucky lifestyle. His unsteady energy was paired with a fierce intellect, a combination that was forward and sometimes intimidating. 
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Written by Hugo_Cloyd

Him and He and I

Days shine bright and fetid like rotten wood

Each sun's inhale and her shunned sister's sigh

Frame unfoldings I never understood 

The diving bell to my penned butterfly. 

Said Javert from within; 'the stars are cold', 

While Jean seals the triad with addled ties,  

24601 in every thought and encrypted hand-hold, 

My Lucifer burns, but what is fall, what is rise? 

Hot sand is heated by flickers and morphed

To the compressed glass of my windowpanes

When cold kisses the cooling transience 

So the lens shatters to sand again. 

Glass, sand, glass, sand, glass, sand, glass, sand, flicker

between each metamorphosis like I 

Do between fragmented stanzas and lost

enjambments; I was rhyming but gave up. 

'I am reaching, but I fall', joining Javert

In his logical curtain-call. 

 

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Written by Hugo_Cloyd
Him and He and I
Days shine bright and fetid like rotten wood
Each sun's inhale and her shunned sister's sigh
Frame unfoldings I never understood 
The diving bell to my penned butterfly. 

Said Javert from within; 'the stars are cold', 
While Jean seals the triad with addled ties,  
24601 in every thought and encrypted hand-hold, 
My Lucifer burns, but what is fall, what is rise? 

Hot sand is heated by flickers and morphed
To the compressed glass of my windowpanes
When cold kisses the cooling transience 
So the lens shatters to sand again. 

Glass, sand, glass, sand, glass, sand, glass, sand, flicker
between each metamorphosis like I 
Do between fragmented stanzas and lost
enjambments; I was rhyming but gave up. 

'I am reaching, but I fall', joining Javert
In his logical curtain-call. 

 
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Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Grapefruit

Ode to viral YouTube video 'Angel Teaching Her Grapefruit Technique.' (Thank you for the laugh and first-rate entertainment, 'Auntie Angel.')

When my deep yearning for grapefruit kindled,

At the edge of certainty I dwindled,

Wary of the kinky thrill girded by this rite,

But accepting it as an existential highlight,

I let Auntie Angel tuck me under her wing,

Preaching the noble art of grape fruiting,

I tied countless bandanas to shield from view,

The fleshy citrus I’d push their member through,

Chuckling as each thought me giving head,

Only for fruit to be going down instead,

And when they came, I whipped the blindfold off;

Most would stare disbelieving, and frown, and scoff,

All these wasted years spent pulling chicks,

When mere citrus fruit could harden dicks.

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Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Grapefruit
Ode to viral YouTube video 'Angel Teaching Her Grapefruit Technique.' (Thank you for the laugh and first-rate entertainment, 'Auntie Angel.')

When my deep yearning for grapefruit kindled,
At the edge of certainty I dwindled,
Wary of the kinky thrill girded by this rite,
But accepting it as an existential highlight,
I let Auntie Angel tuck me under her wing,
Preaching the noble art of grape fruiting,
I tied countless bandanas to shield from view,
The fleshy citrus I’d push their member through,
Chuckling as each thought me giving head,
Only for fruit to be going down instead,
And when they came, I whipped the blindfold off;
Most would stare disbelieving, and frown, and scoff,
All these wasted years spent pulling chicks,
When mere citrus fruit could harden dicks.






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Written by Hugo_Cloyd

Tamil Tigress

A hot arc of scarlet spouts from Ajith’s nose and stains the grimy front of her tiger-stripe uniform. The officer holds her head low on a plaited onyx leash so that her face is turned to the ground, at the height of his navel, and drags her slowly along our line. Dribbles of blood shadow their progression. To my right a whimper is rewarded with a sharp blow to the face. ‘The second time, we shoot you.’ My eyes smart when the butt of my AK-47 jolts into my cheek. I imagine him in place of the torn and dotted dummy fifty feet away while shamelessly marveling at my own budding blood-lust. Periodic slaps and squeals echo from down the line, when a newbie misses the target or fumbles with the cartridges for a split-second too long. His warm exhale tickles my nape and unsettles my aim. ‘I expect more effort from most, or the entire unit will be held back. Dismissed.’

We kneel low in the underbrush with cyanide capsules parked delicately between our front teeth, the broad banana leaves deflecting the mid-afternoon rays. There’s no honor in being caught alive. Sweat pools in the dents of my loose helmet and trickles tauntingly into my eyes, but I don’t dare do more than blink rapidly. Hours pass before a single pellet shatters the fickle calm. The panting of Tigers is punctuated by a muffled thump to my left; a bright red jewel blooms like a flower on Rayul’s forehead. A weed, of sort: it spreads too quickly for a flower. The vegetation shakes and the air thrums as people roll head-over-heels like shot rabbits. The white bite of landmines swallows some and spits out more half-chewed; they flail on the ground with bizarre vigor. I repress the urge to laugh. I fire again and again, hitting and missing and not caring either way. Imani’s elbow brushes mine and we share it, feel it. Papa often said that when an artist passes, Indra bids they paint the sunrise. Did he know then that soldiers were the real artists? This in-between aurora palette is more beautiful than any painting. Something whizzes by my temple and wet warmth soaks my trousers. I close my eyes, waiting for pain, only to glance down and watch the urine coursing down my leg. Gun forgotten, I hug my head with both arms just as the ground grins with rocky teeth.

‘Hashan, Hashan! Wake up, you must get up, go, go, crawl, Hashan, behind the tree!’  My ringing head brims with the landmines laughter. Somebody a thousand miles away is screaming in my ear, tugging at a body part; I don’t know which until pain sear my thigh and knocks the breath from my lungs. Somebody presses fast-forward from their thrown in the sky, laughing, and the world floods with sound and movement and color. Imani’s doe eyes peer from a rusted face, her chin an inch from the wet soil so as to avoid the cruel birds. We latch onto each other tightly. I want to ask her to stay and sleep; flecks of black and red flit at the corners of my vision. They’re inviting, and maybe, if I ask kindly, they’ll take Imani too. But then I’m being dragged, and we romp and crawl back into the green haven, splattered red. We crawl until the red brushstrokes of soldiers are less prominent, the canvas untouched. I hug the trunk of a tree and heave myself into a sitting position. The flap of my tattered right trouser leg reveals a fleshy mess of skin and embedded shrapnel. Imani clamps a firm hand across my mouth to stifle my squeal, finger to her lips. She reaches to stoke my curls, where a helmet sat moments before, and clumsily encircles my shoulders with an arm, whispering kind words I don’t hear. She’s crying, too.

The chatter of purple-faced langur serenades my progression along the moonlit footpath. A Loris crosses my path. I try not to glance back at the warehouse, try to avoid dwelling on Imani’s cot, where, even now as I walk to the beach, a slender brown foot sticks out from under the white sheet. I chase her dewy, sleeping limbs from my mind. Once I would not have left her, but once I hadn’t had to peel bits of warm gut from my face. With an angry, stubborn swallow I shun the knot in my throat and hold my chin high. The path melts into a sandy expanse, pale and papery as bare bone in the crystal moonlight. Wavelets lap at the peeling stern of a boat bobbing in the warm shallows. My legs ache from walking, especially my right. A veiled man looks me up and down, nods, and beckons me close. My wrinkled, withered angel cups my face with a calloused hand, face hard and unsmiling, before melting back into the moonlight. I don’t utter so much as a thank you. Strong arms haul me up through the shallows and into the dense mass of bodies. The thud of an anchor, a path carved through a viscous mirror. My smile dies; Imani will wake tomorrow to my absence.

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Written by Hugo_Cloyd
Tamil Tigress

A hot arc of scarlet spouts from Ajith’s nose and stains the grimy front of her tiger-stripe uniform. The officer holds her head low on a plaited onyx leash so that her face is turned to the ground, at the height of his navel, and drags her slowly along our line. Dribbles of blood shadow their progression. To my right a whimper is rewarded with a sharp blow to the face. ‘The second time, we shoot you.’ My eyes smart when the butt of my AK-47 jolts into my cheek. I imagine him in place of the torn and dotted dummy fifty feet away while shamelessly marveling at my own budding blood-lust. Periodic slaps and squeals echo from down the line, when a newbie misses the target or fumbles with the cartridges for a split-second too long. His warm exhale tickles my nape and unsettles my aim. ‘I expect more effort from most, or the entire unit will be held back. Dismissed.’

We kneel low in the underbrush with cyanide capsules parked delicately between our front teeth, the broad banana leaves deflecting the mid-afternoon rays. There’s no honor in being caught alive. Sweat pools in the dents of my loose helmet and trickles tauntingly into my eyes, but I don’t dare do more than blink rapidly. Hours pass before a single pellet shatters the fickle calm. The panting of Tigers is punctuated by a muffled thump to my left; a bright red jewel blooms like a flower on Rayul’s forehead. A weed, of sort: it spreads too quickly for a flower. The vegetation shakes and the air thrums as people roll head-over-heels like shot rabbits. The white bite of landmines swallows some and spits out more half-chewed; they flail on the ground with bizarre vigor. I repress the urge to laugh. I fire again and again, hitting and missing and not caring either way. Imani’s elbow brushes mine and we share it, feel it. Papa often said that when an artist passes, Indra bids they paint the sunrise. Did he know then that soldiers were the real artists? This in-between aurora palette is more beautiful than any painting. Something whizzes by my temple and wet warmth soaks my trousers. I close my eyes, waiting for pain, only to glance down and watch the urine coursing down my leg. Gun forgotten, I hug my head with both arms just as the ground grins with rocky teeth.

‘Hashan, Hashan! Wake up, you must get up, go, go, crawl, Hashan, behind the tree!’  My ringing head brims with the landmines laughter. Somebody a thousand miles away is screaming in my ear, tugging at a body part; I don’t know which until pain sear my thigh and knocks the breath from my lungs. Somebody presses fast-forward from their thrown in the sky, laughing, and the world floods with sound and movement and color. Imani’s doe eyes peer from a rusted face, her chin an inch from the wet soil so as to avoid the cruel birds. We latch onto each other tightly. I want to ask her to stay and sleep; flecks of black and red flit at the corners of my vision. They’re inviting, and maybe, if I ask kindly, they’ll take Imani too. But then I’m being dragged, and we romp and crawl back into the green haven, splattered red. We crawl until the red brushstrokes of soldiers are less prominent, the canvas untouched. I hug the trunk of a tree and heave myself into a sitting position. The flap of my tattered right trouser leg reveals a fleshy mess of skin and embedded shrapnel. Imani clamps a firm hand across my mouth to stifle my squeal, finger to her lips. She reaches to stoke my curls, where a helmet sat moments before, and clumsily encircles my shoulders with an arm, whispering kind words I don’t hear. She’s crying, too.

The chatter of purple-faced langur serenades my progression along the moonlit footpath. A Loris crosses my path. I try not to glance back at the warehouse, try to avoid dwelling on Imani’s cot, where, even now as I walk to the beach, a slender brown foot sticks out from under the white sheet. I chase her dewy, sleeping limbs from my mind. Once I would not have left her, but once I hadn’t had to peel bits of warm gut from my face. With an angry, stubborn swallow I shun the knot in my throat and hold my chin high. The path melts into a sandy expanse, pale and papery as bare bone in the crystal moonlight. Wavelets lap at the peeling stern of a boat bobbing in the warm shallows. My legs ache from walking, especially my right. A veiled man looks me up and down, nods, and beckons me close. My wrinkled, withered angel cups my face with a calloused hand, face hard and unsmiling, before melting back into the moonlight. I don’t utter so much as a thank you. Strong arms haul me up through the shallows and into the dense mass of bodies. The thud of an anchor, a path carved through a viscous mirror. My smile dies; Imani will wake tomorrow to my absence.

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A secret is only safe if the other person is dead.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Horror & Thriller

Do Me a Favor

A secret's only safe if the other person is dead. That's what she told me, the day before. But even the dead don't want to keep secrets. Maybe in one hour, or a day or decade, it'll come pouring out of their graves like a macabre waterfall. 

It was a Monday. I woke to the sound of traffic, and I remember being puzzled; we always left the house before rush hour, when the city was still stretching its sleepy limbs. For a wild moment, I thought it was a snow day, until I remembered the mid-autumnal temperatures. Damn late nights and too much caffeine. And so I slipped out of bed, tiptoed along the hallway. Something hung heavy in the air. I found my little sister first. Baby, we always called her, though she was a tall, gangling girl of eleven, with large specks and a wicked grin. In death, Baby seemed more fitting. She looked smaller, tangled in white sheets,  a stroke of red across her neck. Rivulets of blood had congealed down her chest like a perverse bib. Her eyes were closed. Had it been done quietly, efficiently, while she slumbered? Or had she awoken and seen her sister's face, then the knife, then the blur of a hand before she'd pieced the two together? Then a hot, wet, strange, weird, pain, pain, black, choking, dying attempts at speech, and only then closed eyes. 

I turned from her corpse and retched, stomach bile stinging my nostrils. I undertook a solemn procession with three pit-stops: David's eyes were open, both parents' eyes were closed. No doubt she'd been very quiet when crossing their en-suite bedroom. With David and Alexandra, she could afford to be more careless. What chance did sleepy 11 and 12-year old children have against a 17-year old girl? 

Her room was empty. Later I found her in the garage, dead in the car. The easy way out, she teased in her note. She left the letter on the kitchen table. She'd done this for my good. We'd always joked around about 'preventative medicine;' taking antibiotics before falling ill to halt future sickness, or undertaking rounds of Chemotherapy before contracting Cancer. At the time, I thought we were laughing at the terrible logic, the dark, indulgent humor that came from mocking things that aren't funny. Maybe that was just me. She was laughing at something else, something that, with her strange view, seemed so obvious it hadn't needed clarification. This was preventative medicine. Ending it all before the secret came out. Now there was no chance of it ruining David and Alexandra's lives. Only mine, though in her madness she hadn't considered that part. She admitted to each murder, so I wouldn't be convicted. Only I know the secret, now. Everyone else is dead. One day it'll seep out of my cracks like pus, and she'll look down and know it was for nothing. She told me she loved me, in her letter. I loved her, too. 

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A secret is only safe if the other person is dead.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Horror & Thriller
Do Me a Favor
A secret's only safe if the other person is dead. That's what she told me, the day before. But even the dead don't want to keep secrets. Maybe in one hour, or a day or decade, it'll come pouring out of their graves like a macabre waterfall. 

It was a Monday. I woke to the sound of traffic, and I remember being puzzled; we always left the house before rush hour, when the city was still stretching its sleepy limbs. For a wild moment, I thought it was a snow day, until I remembered the mid-autumnal temperatures. Damn late nights and too much caffeine. And so I slipped out of bed, tiptoed along the hallway. Something hung heavy in the air. I found my little sister first. Baby, we always called her, though she was a tall, gangling girl of eleven, with large specks and a wicked grin. In death, Baby seemed more fitting. She looked smaller, tangled in white sheets,  a stroke of red across her neck. Rivulets of blood had congealed down her chest like a perverse bib. Her eyes were closed. Had it been done quietly, efficiently, while she slumbered? Or had she awoken and seen her sister's face, then the knife, then the blur of a hand before she'd pieced the two together? Then a hot, wet, strange, weird, pain, pain, black, choking, dying attempts at speech, and only then closed eyes. 

I turned from her corpse and retched, stomach bile stinging my nostrils. I undertook a solemn procession with three pit-stops: David's eyes were open, both parents' eyes were closed. No doubt she'd been very quiet when crossing their en-suite bedroom. With David and Alexandra, she could afford to be more careless. What chance did sleepy 11 and 12-year old children have against a 17-year old girl? 

Her room was empty. Later I found her in the garage, dead in the car. The easy way out, she teased in her note. She left the letter on the kitchen table. She'd done this for my good. We'd always joked around about 'preventative medicine;' taking antibiotics before falling ill to halt future sickness, or undertaking rounds of Chemotherapy before contracting Cancer. At the time, I thought we were laughing at the terrible logic, the dark, indulgent humor that came from mocking things that aren't funny. Maybe that was just me. She was laughing at something else, something that, with her strange view, seemed so obvious it hadn't needed clarification. This was preventative medicine. Ending it all before the secret came out. Now there was no chance of it ruining David and Alexandra's lives. Only mine, though in her madness she hadn't considered that part. She admitted to each murder, so I wouldn't be convicted. Only I know the secret, now. Everyone else is dead. One day it'll seep out of my cracks like pus, and she'll look down and know it was for nothing. She told me she loved me, in her letter. I loved her, too. 
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There's two things I rarely see on Prose. Happiness and, well, prose. Right me a happy prose. It doesn't even have to start happy. Happy endings, funny experiences, angst with good rewards... that's all happiness, too!
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Fiction

Happy Compromise

I hopped onto the side wall. On one side, a sheer rocky drop kissed the cold waves, lapping gently in the orange light. On the other, a holed pavement and lonely tarmac, Dublin city skyline in the background. He walked beside me, humming a tune, aware of my gaze without acknowledging- save, perhaps, for the small smirk that tugged at the corner of his mouth. I hated him for that smirk. 

'Here. We should be okay, I checked the tides online and we have about an hour.' At his words, I glanced skeptically at the rocky decent, and the narrow path that lead to a cement outpost. It didn't look very inviting, but there was no way I would admit that. 

'Looks good,' I conceded. His eyes narrowed slightly, stare challenging. 

'Great,' he countered. 'Let's go. I'll go first so you know where to jump- not too far to the left, the water's shallower there. You'd probably break both legs or something.'

'Okay, got it. No problem,' I shot back. No way I was letting myself be intimidated, not in that way. He already had one major advantage, one I could do nothing about but that he took enormous pleasure in thwarting, occasionally twisting. 

He pulled his shirt off, ran right up to the edge and dived off. I undressed more slowly- I'd put a bikini on that morning- and walked hesitantly up to the edge. Goosebumps crept up my skin and I shivered in the brisk evening air. 'So you're sure it's okay?' My voice wavered slightly, and he rolled his eyes with a smile. 

'Don't worry, Fred, you worry way too much. What are you, like 14 going on 40?' 

'Yeah, like you're much better, at 17,' I muttered back under my breath. 'Kay, here I go.' I sprang in, and hit the cold water with all the grace my gangling limbs could afford me. That is, not much grace at all. We spent the next hour jumping, laughing, teasing cruelly. Such was the nature of our relationship. If I couldn't have what I wanted, this would do.  A compromise, of sorts. 

'Don't you have a curfew or something? Like 9?' I teased. 

'Isn't that two hours later than yours?' 

And so we walked back into the sunset, myself content to indulge in a friendship because love was impractical, not reciprocated, and tainted with the awkward beginnings of adolescence. He threw an arm around my shoulder, belting out husky lyrics veiled in a thick Dublin accent. 

'Agh, you never sing out loud. Come out of your shell, Fred, what do I have to do to coax you out from under your rock?' I rolled my eyes, smiling, and shoved him away. He threw back his head and laughed. 

'You sounds like a dying hippopotamus,' I informed him coldly. 

He laughed harder, and my face cracked into a broad smile. 

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There's two things I rarely see on Prose. Happiness and, well, prose. Right me a happy prose. It doesn't even have to start happy. Happy endings, funny experiences, angst with good rewards... that's all happiness, too!
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Fiction
Happy Compromise
I hopped onto the side wall. On one side, a sheer rocky drop kissed the cold waves, lapping gently in the orange light. On the other, a holed pavement and lonely tarmac, Dublin city skyline in the background. He walked beside me, humming a tune, aware of my gaze without acknowledging- save, perhaps, for the small smirk that tugged at the corner of his mouth. I hated him for that smirk. 
'Here. We should be okay, I checked the tides online and we have about an hour.' At his words, I glanced skeptically at the rocky decent, and the narrow path that lead to a cement outpost. It didn't look very inviting, but there was no way I would admit that. 
'Looks good,' I conceded. His eyes narrowed slightly, stare challenging. 
'Great,' he countered. 'Let's go. I'll go first so you know where to jump- not too far to the left, the water's shallower there. You'd probably break both legs or something.'
'Okay, got it. No problem,' I shot back. No way I was letting myself be intimidated, not in that way. He already had one major advantage, one I could do nothing about but that he took enormous pleasure in thwarting, occasionally twisting. 
He pulled his shirt off, ran right up to the edge and dived off. I undressed more slowly- I'd put a bikini on that morning- and walked hesitantly up to the edge. Goosebumps crept up my skin and I shivered in the brisk evening air. 'So you're sure it's okay?' My voice wavered slightly, and he rolled his eyes with a smile. 
'Don't worry, Fred, you worry way too much. What are you, like 14 going on 40?' 
'Yeah, like you're much better, at 17,' I muttered back under my breath. 'Kay, here I go.' I sprang in, and hit the cold water with all the grace my gangling limbs could afford me. That is, not much grace at all. We spent the next hour jumping, laughing, teasing cruelly. Such was the nature of our relationship. If I couldn't have what I wanted, this would do.  A compromise, of sorts. 
'Don't you have a curfew or something? Like 9?' I teased. 
'Isn't that two hours later than yours?' 
And so we walked back into the sunset, myself content to indulge in a friendship because love was impractical, not reciprocated, and tainted with the awkward beginnings of adolescence. He threw an arm around my shoulder, belting out husky lyrics veiled in a thick Dublin accent. 
'Agh, you never sing out loud. Come out of your shell, Fred, what do I have to do to coax you out from under your rock?' I rolled my eyes, smiling, and shoved him away. He threw back his head and laughed. 
'You sounds like a dying hippopotamus,' I informed him coldly. 
He laughed harder, and my face cracked into a broad smile. 
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd

Big Red A

In my 8th year, I was diagnosed with Anorexia. It wasn't until years later that I put a name to it; months faded into years with the blessed amnesiac touch of early childhood. For a long time, the episode was shrouded in mystery. Nobody mentioned it, though stark scenes rose from the mist like shards of glass to haunt me in quiet moments of solitude. Then, at 16, it returned full force, lasting longer and striking harder, perhaps also because I was more lucid for being older, a fact I came to rue. I was shipped off to a hospital unit, deprived of visits my entire time, forbidden to leave a sealed portion of the hospital, poked and prodded, fed and otherwise left alone, treated like cattle. Sundays were the worst. All but two nurses left, and I would haunt the corridors, crossing the gazes of trance-like anorexics, many very much worse off then me. Many had been residents for over a year. I told myself with conviction, I would not be that. I didn't belong here; this had to be a mistake, I thought, I wasn't like them! I made it out eventually. Recovery is undoubtedly, to this day, the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I can't begin to describe how misrepresented Anorexia is. It has little to do with the physical. It's an exhausting, all-consuming, cruel mindset, and, at the time, a coping mechanism for difficult dynamics of a quotidian. So many days I wanted to die. I was utterly, utterly miserable, tired of hauling myself out of a hole, one that I had dug myself, but also had no part in. In this sense, I felt disjointed; a constant battle raged between my physical, my mental, my emotional, between two mindsets, strengthening my conviction that Anorexia is, in a sense, an autoimmune disease. I felt betrayed by my own self, but also thankful for a means of coping. And so I created a rule. If, in the next three days, something made me smile, I would wait another three to kill myself. This rule in particular taught me the value of kindness. Cliches are just that for a reason. Today, kindness is undervalued and considered a soft quality; endearing, but incompatible with conviction, ambition, and other headstrong traits. Shout it from the rooftops: kindness is perhaps the most headstrong quality of all. Spread that shit like gold, and you may just save a life or two. 

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd
Big Red A
In my 8th year, I was diagnosed with Anorexia. It wasn't until years later that I put a name to it; months faded into years with the blessed amnesiac touch of early childhood. For a long time, the episode was shrouded in mystery. Nobody mentioned it, though stark scenes rose from the mist like shards of glass to haunt me in quiet moments of solitude. Then, at 16, it returned full force, lasting longer and striking harder, perhaps also because I was more lucid for being older, a fact I came to rue. I was shipped off to a hospital unit, deprived of visits my entire time, forbidden to leave a sealed portion of the hospital, poked and prodded, fed and otherwise left alone, treated like cattle. Sundays were the worst. All but two nurses left, and I would haunt the corridors, crossing the gazes of trance-like anorexics, many very much worse off then me. Many had been residents for over a year. I told myself with conviction, I would not be that. I didn't belong here; this had to be a mistake, I thought, I wasn't like them! I made it out eventually. Recovery is undoubtedly, to this day, the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I can't begin to describe how misrepresented Anorexia is. It has little to do with the physical. It's an exhausting, all-consuming, cruel mindset, and, at the time, a coping mechanism for difficult dynamics of a quotidian. So many days I wanted to die. I was utterly, utterly miserable, tired of hauling myself out of a hole, one that I had dug myself, but also had no part in. In this sense, I felt disjointed; a constant battle raged between my physical, my mental, my emotional, between two mindsets, strengthening my conviction that Anorexia is, in a sense, an autoimmune disease. I felt betrayed by my own self, but also thankful for a means of coping. And so I created a rule. If, in the next three days, something made me smile, I would wait another three to kill myself. This rule in particular taught me the value of kindness. Cliches are just that for a reason. Today, kindness is undervalued and considered a soft quality; endearing, but incompatible with conviction, ambition, and other headstrong traits. Shout it from the rooftops: kindness is perhaps the most headstrong quality of all. Spread that shit like gold, and you may just save a life or two. 
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To celebrate the release of my new book, I am inviting you all to participate in a contest. The concept: Explore a person's struggle to come to terms with a strange, sinister, or surreal reality. This is a broad theme to encourage you to be as creative as you choose. Flash and full length stories welcome in horror, fantasy, surreal, or any hybrid genres. The only rule: Prose fiction only. Three winners will be chosen, who will receive 2000, 1000, or 500 coins + a signed copy of my collection.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Fiction

The Affair

It was just another PowerPoint presentation; a task with a tight deadline. Perhaps he would scribble it down on a to-do list, or type “How to write a Eulogy” in the search bar. His chest would deflate slightly when wikihow popped up at the top of the search results. Oh, look, he might think, they even provide examples.

Three days later, six young men bore the coffin down a gravel path, under the meager morning rays of a pale winter sun. He stood at the sidelines, listening to the crunch of rubber soles on fine gravel. They laid his brother to rest in the small chapel, open-casket. He kept his distance, watching her hunched form. A few rebellious strands of gold slipped from the elegant knot at the base of her neck, veiling the pinched expression of not-quite-grief as she leant closer. Three small figures clung to her legs. She made no move to protect her young brood from the sight of their father’s sewn eyelids. Young children didn’t believe in the intangible.

After a few moments, he walked towards the casket, stopped, and rested a hand on her shoulder. She glanced up, and, quick as lighting, looked to the ground. He watched her go.

A moment passed. He sighed and turned back towards the bier, observing the waxen, sunken face of his brother. It had taken two weeks to get him back. God knows how they’d masked the smell. He thought he felt something flicker in his chest, but then it was gone, and he looked away.

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To celebrate the release of my new book, I am inviting you all to participate in a contest. The concept: Explore a person's struggle to come to terms with a strange, sinister, or surreal reality. This is a broad theme to encourage you to be as creative as you choose. Flash and full length stories welcome in horror, fantasy, surreal, or any hybrid genres. The only rule: Prose fiction only. Three winners will be chosen, who will receive 2000, 1000, or 500 coins + a signed copy of my collection.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd in portal Fiction
The Affair
It was just another PowerPoint presentation; a task with a tight deadline. Perhaps he would scribble it down on a to-do list, or type “How to write a Eulogy” in the search bar. His chest would deflate slightly when wikihow popped up at the top of the search results. Oh, look, he might think, they even provide examples.
Three days later, six young men bore the coffin down a gravel path, under the meager morning rays of a pale winter sun. He stood at the sidelines, listening to the crunch of rubber soles on fine gravel. They laid his brother to rest in the small chapel, open-casket. He kept his distance, watching her hunched form. A few rebellious strands of gold slipped from the elegant knot at the base of her neck, veiling the pinched expression of not-quite-grief as she leant closer. Three small figures clung to her legs. She made no move to protect her young brood from the sight of their father’s sewn eyelids. Young children didn’t believe in the intangible.
After a few moments, he walked towards the casket, stopped, and rested a hand on her shoulder. She glanced up, and, quick as lighting, looked to the ground. He watched her go.
A moment passed. He sighed and turned back towards the bier, observing the waxen, sunken face of his brother. It had taken two weeks to get him back. God knows how they’d masked the smell. He thought he felt something flicker in his chest, but then it was gone, and he looked away.



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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd

Intemperance

  A glass of cold tap water sits on the scarred table of Dad’s workshop. The sour tang of fish pollutes the air; it must be a Monday. Dew collects on the rim and dribbles down.

My eyes flutter open and greet the shade of in-between, neither night nor day, when the walls, ceiling and drawn curtains ache with hollow silence. I yank back the covers and my limbs are sticky with sweat, my night gown clings to my legs. I tiptoe along the dark landing. I don’t want to be caught. One set of keys glints in the gloom. The other lies deep in a trouser pocket by the sea, where hauls of fish are being loaded into our white van. A floorboard creaks and I pause, my heart rending the deadweight clean in two, to my clamoring senses only. I squint into the grainy gloom, spooked. A dark shape catches my eye. It takes many forms, as do all familiar masses in the clutches of night. But I shake myself, I’m ridiculous. I tiptoe on and pour myself a glass, quiet as a daisy. It slips down my throat like molten glass, half spilling down my font. Only when I’m satiated does this bother me a little, and I make my way to the corner of the aisle, where a cloth lies forgotten on the veined surface. The shape sharpens slightly a few paces away. A chair? The dog bed? A cushion catapulted during child’s play? I flick on the light.

Mum is lying on the ground, her lips stained dark red. I wonder if she’s dead.

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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by Hugo_Cloyd
Intemperance
  A glass of cold tap water sits on the scarred table of Dad’s workshop. The sour tang of fish pollutes the air; it must be a Monday. Dew collects on the rim and dribbles down.
My eyes flutter open and greet the shade of in-between, neither night nor day, when the walls, ceiling and drawn curtains ache with hollow silence. I yank back the covers and my limbs are sticky with sweat, my night gown clings to my legs. I tiptoe along the dark landing. I don’t want to be caught. One set of keys glints in the gloom. The other lies deep in a trouser pocket by the sea, where hauls of fish are being loaded into our white van. A floorboard creaks and I pause, my heart rending the deadweight clean in two, to my clamoring senses only. I squint into the grainy gloom, spooked. A dark shape catches my eye. It takes many forms, as do all familiar masses in the clutches of night. But I shake myself, I’m ridiculous. I tiptoe on and pour myself a glass, quiet as a daisy. It slips down my throat like molten glass, half spilling down my font. Only when I’m satiated does this bother me a little, and I make my way to the corner of the aisle, where a cloth lies forgotten on the veined surface. The shape sharpens slightly a few paces away. A chair? The dog bed? A cushion catapulted during child’s play? I flick on the light.
Mum is lying on the ground, her lips stained dark red. I wonder if she’s dead.


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