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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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