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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 #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 fantastical

The Story of Dot (a revision)

.

Once upon a time there was just Dot. Dot was literally everything there was, save the void Dot existed in. The void, Dot supposed, was everything else. But since everything else was essentially nothing, the void, there really was just Dot. (But, even nothing can sometimes be something.)

Dot just was, if you were there too, no matter how close or far from Dot you would get, Dot always would look the same. A perfection in the art of singularities.

Dot liked to move, or at least believed to like it. It was hard for Dot to tell if it could move since the void had no points of reference. It made Dot a bit sad to consider it.

That sadness lead to wanting a change. Dot wasn't content with just being Dot any longer. Dot wasn't content to just existing in one dimension. So Dot stretched one moment, for what seemed to be forever and became Line.

-

Line, that was once Dot, was a slightly happier thing. But since that was the first stretch of happiness as well, it was a infinitely happier thing. At least for a while. So Line decided one moment to stretch again, but this time bowing out in the middle. Initially, Line turned into Arch, but Arch was curious what happened if it kept going and eventually brought both ends of itself together.

c

Something magical happened when Arch did this, Arch became Circle.

o

Now Circle was very happy. Circle felt a bit as it did when it was it was just Dot, but now just more. After a time though, Circle missed the some of the wonders of being just Line. So Circle tried become Line again, but didn't want to let go of the ends of itself that created Circle in the first place. So it tried to make multiple lines instead. It couldn't just form two connecting lines, but it could form three! When Circle finally did this feat, it became Triangle.

Triangle was ecstatic! That feeling was greater than any happiness it had known before. Once again, it had the nice straightness of Line, but repeated two more times. Even more amazingly, it possessed these new things which it decided to call sides and angles. The tips of each angle was almost like being Dot again, times three!

Triangle was so excited, that it wondered what would happen if it formed more sides and angles.

Triangle became Square. Square became Pentagon. Pentagon became Hexagon. Heptagon...Octagon...Nonagon...Decagon...

It kept adding sides to for an infinite time, until magically, it was Circle once again. Circle was amazed! That it could add so many sides and have so many angles and still become Circle again.

Circle was happy and felt it knew all there was to know. Until it wasn't. Circle wanted not to be alone in the void any longer. In a moment that could only be called sadness, by someone like you and I, Circle twisted. For the briefest of moments, Circle became Lemniscate (If you were to look at the symbol we use for infinity today, that is what Lemniscate looked like.)

Lemniscate, in that briefest of moments asked itself, "What happens if I let go, to become two? Do I die or become something more?"

Lemniscate let go...and became Circle again. But, Circle wasn't alone anymore. Circle had a clone now.

Circle laughed and spun around the other, finally realizing just how fast Circle could move! They were both happy. Until one moment Circle watch the clone become a Lemniscate, only to split and become two new Circles. Now there were three Circles. The two newer ones laughed, both lemniscating again. Split again. Three became five. The one, the original, was 'larger' than the other four, but just sat back and watched the others laugh at their new life. Two of them played the becoming Triangle game. While the other two lemniscated again. Circle was having a hard time keeping track of them all. They were all changing and lemniscating too fast.

Soon, where there was once just Dot (and everything else, that was really nothing else), now there were shapes of all types. Some were perfectly content to be just Triangles or just Octagons. Some Triangles were perfect, in that each side was the same length. Others liked to make one or two sides a bit longer. That went with the other shapes as well. Some Circles added a wave to their single side. Other Circles twisted at two points to become Crescents. Circle never thought about doing that before.

Now Circle watched as some of the Shapes formed partnerships and collectives. Six of the meaner Squares formed a ganged named Cube, for example. It was an amazing time. Yet, it was scary in so many ways.

Soon Circle witnessed the creation of a collective called Letters by a few of the more anarchist shapes.

Soon Circle witnessed some of the other Shapes team up to form Art. Some from the Letter collective left to join the Art collective, creating sub-collectives called Poetry and Stories. Some in the Art collective went back to the Letter collective to show Letters how to be more stylish. The Letter-Artists refer to it as being Typographically gifted.

Circle watched in wonder, but Circle missed its original friend, its original child. So Circle decided to Lemniscate once more. But, the new Circle watched what all of the other Shapes were doing, and went to join them, leaving old Circle alone once again.

Frustrated, Circle would Lemniscate, again, and again, and again. Each time, hoping the new Circle would want to stay and watch with Circle. They never did.

Circle decided to Lemniscate once more. But this time, Circle didn't do it symmetrically, one side of the Lemniscate was infinitely large, the other side infinitely small. When this somewhat odd Lemniscate let go, all that was left was Dot and a new Circle. The new Circle quickly left Dot to go play in the chaos and order of all of the other Shapes and Letters and Art.

Dot watched all it created, realizing it inadvertently became a god doing so. Dot was happy for what it started, yet always a bit sad for being always a bit alone.

One day, Dot was observing an offshoot of Letters and was amazed at what they were doing, suddenly wanting to join in.

You might wonder whatever happened to Dot after that, and let me tell you. Dot is here, right now, looking right at you. Dot goes by a different name today though. That name is called Period. And Period now lives at the end of Dot's story, this story. Here .

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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 fantastical
The Story of Dot (a revision)
.

Once upon a time there was just Dot. Dot was literally everything there was, save the void Dot existed in. The void, Dot supposed, was everything else. But since everything else was essentially nothing, the void, there really was just Dot. (But, even nothing can sometimes be something.)

Dot just was, if you were there too, no matter how close or far from Dot you would get, Dot always would look the same. A perfection in the art of singularities.

Dot liked to move, or at least believed to like it. It was hard for Dot to tell if it could move since the void had no points of reference. It made Dot a bit sad to consider it.

That sadness lead to wanting a change. Dot wasn't content with just being Dot any longer. Dot wasn't content to just existing in one dimension. So Dot stretched one moment, for what seemed to be forever and became Line.

-

Line, that was once Dot, was a slightly happier thing. But since that was the first stretch of happiness as well, it was a infinitely happier thing. At least for a while. So Line decided one moment to stretch again, but this time bowing out in the middle. Initially, Line turned into Arch, but Arch was curious what happened if it kept going and eventually brought both ends of itself together.

c

Something magical happened when Arch did this, Arch became Circle.

o

Now Circle was very happy. Circle felt a bit as it did when it was it was just Dot, but now just more. After a time though, Circle missed the some of the wonders of being just Line. So Circle tried become Line again, but didn't want to let go of the ends of itself that created Circle in the first place. So it tried to make multiple lines instead. It couldn't just form two connecting lines, but it could form three! When Circle finally did this feat, it became Triangle.

Triangle was ecstatic! That feeling was greater than any happiness it had known before. Once again, it had the nice straightness of Line, but repeated two more times. Even more amazingly, it possessed these new things which it decided to call sides and angles. The tips of each angle was almost like being Dot again, times three!

Triangle was so excited, that it wondered what would happen if it formed more sides and angles.

Triangle became Square. Square became Pentagon. Pentagon became Hexagon. Heptagon...Octagon...Nonagon...Decagon...

It kept adding sides to for an infinite time, until magically, it was Circle once again. Circle was amazed! That it could add so many sides and have so many angles and still become Circle again.

Circle was happy and felt it knew all there was to know. Until it wasn't. Circle wanted not to be alone in the void any longer. In a moment that could only be called sadness, by someone like you and I, Circle twisted. For the briefest of moments, Circle became Lemniscate (If you were to look at the symbol we use for infinity today, that is what Lemniscate looked like.)

Lemniscate, in that briefest of moments asked itself, "What happens if I let go, to become two? Do I die or become something more?"

Lemniscate let go...and became Circle again. But, Circle wasn't alone anymore. Circle had a clone now.

Circle laughed and spun around the other, finally realizing just how fast Circle could move! They were both happy. Until one moment Circle watch the clone become a Lemniscate, only to split and become two new Circles. Now there were three Circles. The two newer ones laughed, both lemniscating again. Split again. Three became five. The one, the original, was 'larger' than the other four, but just sat back and watched the others laugh at their new life. Two of them played the becoming Triangle game. While the other two lemniscated again. Circle was having a hard time keeping track of them all. They were all changing and lemniscating too fast.

Soon, where there was once just Dot (and everything else, that was really nothing else), now there were shapes of all types. Some were perfectly content to be just Triangles or just Octagons. Some Triangles were perfect, in that each side was the same length. Others liked to make one or two sides a bit longer. That went with the other shapes as well. Some Circles added a wave to their single side. Other Circles twisted at two points to become Crescents. Circle never thought about doing that before.

Now Circle watched as some of the Shapes formed partnerships and collectives. Six of the meaner Squares formed a ganged named Cube, for example. It was an amazing time. Yet, it was scary in so many ways.

Soon Circle witnessed the creation of a collective called Letters by a few of the more anarchist shapes.

Soon Circle witnessed some of the other Shapes team up to form Art. Some from the Letter collective left to join the Art collective, creating sub-collectives called Poetry and Stories. Some in the Art collective went back to the Letter collective to show Letters how to be more stylish. The Letter-Artists refer to it as being Typographically gifted.

Circle watched in wonder, but Circle missed its original friend, its original child. So Circle decided to Lemniscate once more. But, the new Circle watched what all of the other Shapes were doing, and went to join them, leaving old Circle alone once again.

Frustrated, Circle would Lemniscate, again, and again, and again. Each time, hoping the new Circle would want to stay and watch with Circle. They never did.

Circle decided to Lemniscate once more. But this time, Circle didn't do it symmetrically, one side of the Lemniscate was infinitely large, the other side infinitely small. When this somewhat odd Lemniscate let go, all that was left was Dot and a new Circle. The new Circle quickly left Dot to go play in the chaos and order of all of the other Shapes and Letters and Art.

Dot watched all it created, realizing it inadvertently became a god doing so. Dot was happy for what it started, yet always a bit sad for being always a bit alone.

One day, Dot was observing an offshoot of Letters and was amazed at what they were doing, suddenly wanting to join in.

You might wonder whatever happened to Dot after that, and let me tell you. Dot is here, right now, looking right at you. Dot goes by a different name today though. That name is called Period. And Period now lives at the end of Dot's story, this story. Here .
#prosechallenge  #fictionOrIsIt  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Challenge of the Week #56: Write the beginning of a story about a tyrannical king who threatens the entire realm. 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

A King's Enemies

King Kavan sat both bored and impatient, listening to the the farmer petition him over his ruined crops. Kavan had much more important things to deal with this day. Today was a day to see if his destiny was still the same, a day to talk with his oracles, a day to important to care about an lowly farmer’s ruined crops. If he ever succeeded to raising himself to godhood, he would more easily hand off the audiences of petitioners to some underling, but for now, some traditions still need to be kept.

“So, what, pray tell, would you have me do to bring back your crops?” Kavan asked, not trying to cover his disdain.

The farmer cringed, “How am I to feed my family? How will I pay my taxes?”

Kavan looked at the man, weighing him with his eyes. Kavan thought to himself, This man has something to contribute to my realm still and because it is a day to face enemies, perhaps it will be to my good fortune to give some kindness to my loyal subjects. “Olivar! Give this man 50 crowns and a wagon to store whatever food he buys with it…”

“Oh thank you, most graciousness…”, the farmer prostrated toward the king, in a grateful and humble way.

Kavan sneered at being interrupted, “I am not done! Olivar! Take note of this farmer’s name…”

Olivar gulped and meekly interjected, “Your Majesty, he gave you his name, it’s…”

Kavan turned his steel-cold eyes onto his steward, “I SAID, ‘YOU TAKE NOTE of his name’ if this farmer dares to petition the court ever again, it will be his last time. Understood?”

Olivar bowed, “Of course your Majesty. My humblest apologies, your Majesty.” Olivar stepped down the dais and paid the farmer, Kavan smirked and wondered how far the poor bastard would get before someone was crazy enough to rob him. Perhaps the farmer would be lucky, such crimes did not happen often, but for a pleb to walk out of the palace with more money than he would make in half a lifetime, it would make him a tempting target in the eyes of those that were not so lucky petitioning the court.

“Olivar, the next petitioner please. And for all you hold dear, let the court know this will be the last one I hear today.”

Olivar cleared his throat and called out, “Vanessia the Fuller would like to claim a grievance done against her family by Captain Montan of the city guard. This will be the last petition the King will hear today.”

Now this should be interesting, thought Kavan as he listened to the slight moans and grumbles of Olivar’s proclamation. Kavan took note as the woman and his captain approach. His captain looked snide and annoyed, probably rightly so, rarely were any so bold to bring a charge against the city guard. Those that did rarely enjoyed the outcome. The woman, Kavan thought to himself, was way too pretty to be working with urine all day. She had pretty eyes, eyes that had a fire for life and didn’t show the toll that life eventually brought to all common folk. She had a shape that would stir most men, as it was stirring him. This should be interesting indeed.

“Your Majesty,” she began, with a voice of honeyed smoke, and an intoxicating confidence, “the captain gravely injured my husband. I could barely support us alone without him working, but with his injuries as well, we are literally starving trying to pay the street healers to try to fix him up.”

“Captain. Did you injure her husband?” Kavan asked, trying to sound generally concerned.

“Yes, your Majesty. In self defense, your Majesty.”

“My Captain claims self defense. Do you call my Captain a liar?”

Vanessia spoke boldly, Kavan enjoyed her spirit, and watching her lips shape words, “Your Captain,” it came out like a hiss, “struck me, so my husband came to my defense, your Majesty. Your Captain and his men, beat him within an inch of his life.”

“Is this true, Captain?”

“She was charging an unfair price for my piss, beg your pardon, your Majesty.”

“Captain! That is not what I asked.”

Captain Montan shrank, “Yes your Majesty, I struck her. I was rash, I admit, however…”

“Silence! Olivar! Get Captain Esterton to send some men to fetch the lady’s husband and have them bring him to my personal healers. Captain Montan, for your actions, you and the men that were with you will be flogged in public display on the morrow, to a point deemed equal to injury inflicted. Obviously you will go without pay until you are back to work. Is this fair, Captain Montan?”

Captain Montan swallowed hard. “Of course, your Majesty. My deepest apologies, my lady. For the injury I caused you and your husband.”

Vanessia’s eyes welled up with tears.

Kavan smiled and turned to Vanessia, “My dear Vanessia. While your husband is healing, you will take residence in the palace. Olivar! Have Vanessia taken to my bed chambers, clothed accordingly, and fed whatever her heart desires.”

The hush in the audience chamber was a tangible thing. Vanessia responded to the final part of the proclamation, “but, I am married…”

Kavan responded calmly, enjoying the way her lips flushed and moved, “perhaps if you take a liking to me, you will beg me to void your marriage? I can have Captain Esterton called back and you can go back dealing with the street healers if you prefer?”

Whatever courage Vanessia showed before, it was gone now. There was no malice in her stare, just the weight of her world. “No, your Majesty. You are kind to offer your esteemed healers to help my...love.”

So there is a hint of defiance in her! Kavan smiled. She would be a fun challenge then, his blood warmed at the thought. He would have to order his healers to take their proper time with her husband.

Kavan watched Olivar usher Vanessia away while watching the guard usher the remaining petitioners out of the chamber. As the room cleared, he saw Lieutenant Paxia approach the throne with a pair of soldiers. Paxia bowed and spoke, “Your Majesty! I bring great news from the front. The siege at Rainmere is fairing well. The castle should be ours within the fortnight. More importantly though, our thieves acquired the stone.”

One of the soldiers approached and unwrapped a piece of silk, showing a stone rod, granite veined in a metal of the rarest sort. Kavan smiled as the soldier handed it to him. There was only one left to get now. This day could not get much better.

“You will be quite rewarded, Lieutenant! Have a runner return to the front to inform your General that I am very pleased. You and your men I am sure have pressed hard to get here so quickly. You will stay in the city as long as you desire. Enjoying all that it has to offer. I will let Olivar know the three of you are to be well compensated. When the army returns from their assured victory, we will have a festival in your honor that will dwarf all that have occurred before.”

“We are humbled by your generosity, your Majesty.”

Kavan barely heard him, he was lost in thought. In dreaming what it will be like to become a god as he cradled the relic in his hands that got him one step closer to that reality.

~~~

The druid chanted over the new rod, it started to glow like the previous ones did. Kavan felt the power that pulsated through it.

“Yes, this is one we’ve seeked, Kavan’ti. Now we wait for the final acquisition. Once they are all together, we can make you a godking in truth.”

Kavan thought about it. How long has the world gone on without one? How long has it gone lost and fractured? He already set so much to rights. He wondered if once he was a god would he still care about such things. The legends of the godlings of the past seemed to make it so. Kavan smiled. So close now. So close to more easily shape the world to his desire, to its proper form.

~~~

Kavan sat impatiently, waiting for any of the oracles to speak. They never spoke in any order. Big change happened today, he needed to know did it bring change to his destiny. He needed to know if anything was at risk.

The lost oracle spoke out in a violent tremor, “The enemies. The enemies. Two must become one.”

The balanced oracle spoke next, as if she suddenly saw a new future. “The woman that weeps in your bed, if she is to love you, will save you. If she is lost to you as a man, will end you. If she is lost to you as a god, will end us.” The oracle wept.

The sage oracle shivered, then spoke, “Ask your questions, my King. I can give only two answers.”

Kavan asked, “So I am still destined to be a god?”

Her metallic reply, “Still. So long as you still trust in the druid completely. This weepy woman changes things though. She was not in the stream before. The water ripples with change from her.”

Kavan hated the days he only got two answers. He hated symbolic water ripples even more. He wondered if his lusting of the fuller woman would unravel anything. Kavan twisted the cryptic words in his head, trying to phrase the next question just right. He still trusted the druid because he knew what the druid got if Kavan did become a god. The druid would never betray him.

“How do I not lose her?” He asked, bracing that he didn’t make a mistake with the question.

“Two must become one. In your enemies. In each other. She must become the queen of your heart. You must become the king of hers. The druid knows. It is how his kind wed, not yours.”

Kavan smiled. A cryptic answer, but an answer with a path to another question. The druid knows. He would have to see the druid again. But, something more pressing required his attention first.

~~~

The gaoler pulled at the rusted door and it creaked open, like the sound of a dying breath. Kavan stepped inside and looked at the man glaring at him. The man that tried to kill him once. One of the few men that had the means of being able to easily, if he wasn’t so sloppy in his attempt. He looked at the man, at his more haggard face, at his dimmer eyes. They didn’t burn with as much hate. Or at least the man would have Kavan believe.

“So,” Kavan said with a mirthful smile, “How is my failed apprentice today?” Kavan was answered with silence. “Very well. Again, why did you try to kill me?”

“Because, our kind kill tyrants. You were not suppose to become one. Once you did, you left me no choice.”

“Am I one? Surely you would have succeeded if I were a tyrant. That is our order’s charge. To remove the tyrants of the world and set their nations on a more proper course by any means necessary after.”

Their order was an nearly forgotten one, supposedly set by the last godling before he vanished. Assassins, groomed to be drawn to kings. Befriend them only to remove them from the game if they show themselves to be tyrants.

“Come, let me show you of the mistake you made. Let me show you that because of your rashness, you failed learn some of the final lessons of our cause. Gaoler! Bring him.”

The gaoler was a huge man, he unchained the apprentice from the wall and dragged the weakened man - still locked in his manacles - from his cell. Almost carrying him like a sack of flour. They walked down the musty, dark corridor to the door at the end. The gaoler handed Kavan the key to the door. Kavan unlocked it, and pulled it open. This door didn’t make a sound. It wasn’t rusted like the others. It was made out of a metal more ancient than iron, one that worked correctly never gives away to rust. It is a door to hold the most precious of things within.

A man leaped at them like a beast as soon as the door showed a hint of freedom. He reeked, yet showed a strength he shouldn’t have. His hair was unkempt and filthy. His grizzled beard was brittle gray and hung down to his waist. He snarled and pulled at the chain just holding him back.

“Now this is someone with some fight left in him. This is what I expected of you actually,” Kavan said toward his former apprentice. “Recognize him?”

The apprentice looked closely at the crazed man. At first he didn’t, then recognition set in. “But you killed him!”

“No, my old friend. My dearest brother. I removed him. You believed that I killed him. Yet, it seems you might finally get your deepest desire. You might finally get to kill a king today.”

The apprentice looked at the crazed man, the former king, with a mixture of awe and disgust, then turned to Kavan, “What do you mean?”

“The two of you are to share this cell. Neither of you will have a meal until only one of you is still has a heartbeat.” The former king looked at the former apprentice with a glare that he was ready to kill the man as soon as he was within reach. The former apprentice looked at the former king with a sense that he was barely a man anymore.

Kavan spoke, almost solemnly, “Goodbye brother. Even if you are the fortunate one to eventually have another meal, we will not meet again. Two must become one. Gaoler, toss him in.”

The gaoler did as was ordered and closed the door, locking it behind him with cold finality. The door muted the screams to almost a whisper.

“Now to learn how druids wed,” Kavan said to no one in particular, a smile creasing his lips, he had a feeling he was going to enjoy the answer, barbaric he may be, but his kind enjoyed life in the earthly ways that the more civilized envied.

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Challenge of the Week #56: Write the beginning of a story about a tyrannical king who threatens the entire realm. 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
A King's Enemies
King Kavan sat both bored and impatient, listening to the the farmer petition him over his ruined crops. Kavan had much more important things to deal with this day. Today was a day to see if his destiny was still the same, a day to talk with his oracles, a day to important to care about an lowly farmer’s ruined crops. If he ever succeeded to raising himself to godhood, he would more easily hand off the audiences of petitioners to some underling, but for now, some traditions still need to be kept.

“So, what, pray tell, would you have me do to bring back your crops?” Kavan asked, not trying to cover his disdain.

The farmer cringed, “How am I to feed my family? How will I pay my taxes?”

Kavan looked at the man, weighing him with his eyes. Kavan thought to himself, This man has something to contribute to my realm still and because it is a day to face enemies, perhaps it will be to my good fortune to give some kindness to my loyal subjects. “Olivar! Give this man 50 crowns and a wagon to store whatever food he buys with it…”

“Oh thank you, most graciousness…”, the farmer prostrated toward the king, in a grateful and humble way.

Kavan sneered at being interrupted, “I am not done! Olivar! Take note of this farmer’s name…”

Olivar gulped and meekly interjected, “Your Majesty, he gave you his name, it’s…”

Kavan turned his steel-cold eyes onto his steward, “I SAID, ‘YOU TAKE NOTE of his name’ if this farmer dares to petition the court ever again, it will be his last time. Understood?”

Olivar bowed, “Of course your Majesty. My humblest apologies, your Majesty.” Olivar stepped down the dais and paid the farmer, Kavan smirked and wondered how far the poor bastard would get before someone was crazy enough to rob him. Perhaps the farmer would be lucky, such crimes did not happen often, but for a pleb to walk out of the palace with more money than he would make in half a lifetime, it would make him a tempting target in the eyes of those that were not so lucky petitioning the court.

“Olivar, the next petitioner please. And for all you hold dear, let the court know this will be the last one I hear today.”

Olivar cleared his throat and called out, “Vanessia the Fuller would like to claim a grievance done against her family by Captain Montan of the city guard. This will be the last petition the King will hear today.”

Now this should be interesting, thought Kavan as he listened to the slight moans and grumbles of Olivar’s proclamation. Kavan took note as the woman and his captain approach. His captain looked snide and annoyed, probably rightly so, rarely were any so bold to bring a charge against the city guard. Those that did rarely enjoyed the outcome. The woman, Kavan thought to himself, was way too pretty to be working with urine all day. She had pretty eyes, eyes that had a fire for life and didn’t show the toll that life eventually brought to all common folk. She had a shape that would stir most men, as it was stirring him. This should be interesting indeed.

“Your Majesty,” she began, with a voice of honeyed smoke, and an intoxicating confidence, “the captain gravely injured my husband. I could barely support us alone without him working, but with his injuries as well, we are literally starving trying to pay the street healers to try to fix him up.”

“Captain. Did you injure her husband?” Kavan asked, trying to sound generally concerned.

“Yes, your Majesty. In self defense, your Majesty.”

“My Captain claims self defense. Do you call my Captain a liar?”

Vanessia spoke boldly, Kavan enjoyed her spirit, and watching her lips shape words, “Your Captain,” it came out like a hiss, “struck me, so my husband came to my defense, your Majesty. Your Captain and his men, beat him within an inch of his life.”

“Is this true, Captain?”

“She was charging an unfair price for my piss, beg your pardon, your Majesty.”

“Captain! That is not what I asked.”

Captain Montan shrank, “Yes your Majesty, I struck her. I was rash, I admit, however…”

“Silence! Olivar! Get Captain Esterton to send some men to fetch the lady’s husband and have them bring him to my personal healers. Captain Montan, for your actions, you and the men that were with you will be flogged in public display on the morrow, to a point deemed equal to injury inflicted. Obviously you will go without pay until you are back to work. Is this fair, Captain Montan?”

Captain Montan swallowed hard. “Of course, your Majesty. My deepest apologies, my lady. For the injury I caused you and your husband.”

Vanessia’s eyes welled up with tears.

Kavan smiled and turned to Vanessia, “My dear Vanessia. While your husband is healing, you will take residence in the palace. Olivar! Have Vanessia taken to my bed chambers, clothed accordingly, and fed whatever her heart desires.”

The hush in the audience chamber was a tangible thing. Vanessia responded to the final part of the proclamation, “but, I am married…”

Kavan responded calmly, enjoying the way her lips flushed and moved, “perhaps if you take a liking to me, you will beg me to void your marriage? I can have Captain Esterton called back and you can go back dealing with the street healers if you prefer?”

Whatever courage Vanessia showed before, it was gone now. There was no malice in her stare, just the weight of her world. “No, your Majesty. You are kind to offer your esteemed healers to help my...love.”

So there is a hint of defiance in her! Kavan smiled. She would be a fun challenge then, his blood warmed at the thought. He would have to order his healers to take their proper time with her husband.

Kavan watched Olivar usher Vanessia away while watching the guard usher the remaining petitioners out of the chamber. As the room cleared, he saw Lieutenant Paxia approach the throne with a pair of soldiers. Paxia bowed and spoke, “Your Majesty! I bring great news from the front. The siege at Rainmere is fairing well. The castle should be ours within the fortnight. More importantly though, our thieves acquired the stone.”

One of the soldiers approached and unwrapped a piece of silk, showing a stone rod, granite veined in a metal of the rarest sort. Kavan smiled as the soldier handed it to him. There was only one left to get now. This day could not get much better.

“You will be quite rewarded, Lieutenant! Have a runner return to the front to inform your General that I am very pleased. You and your men I am sure have pressed hard to get here so quickly. You will stay in the city as long as you desire. Enjoying all that it has to offer. I will let Olivar know the three of you are to be well compensated. When the army returns from their assured victory, we will have a festival in your honor that will dwarf all that have occurred before.”

“We are humbled by your generosity, your Majesty.”

Kavan barely heard him, he was lost in thought. In dreaming what it will be like to become a god as he cradled the relic in his hands that got him one step closer to that reality.

~~~

The druid chanted over the new rod, it started to glow like the previous ones did. Kavan felt the power that pulsated through it.

“Yes, this is one we’ve seeked, Kavan’ti. Now we wait for the final acquisition. Once they are all together, we can make you a godking in truth.”

Kavan thought about it. How long has the world gone on without one? How long has it gone lost and fractured? He already set so much to rights. He wondered if once he was a god would he still care about such things. The legends of the godlings of the past seemed to make it so. Kavan smiled. So close now. So close to more easily shape the world to his desire, to its proper form.

~~~

Kavan sat impatiently, waiting for any of the oracles to speak. They never spoke in any order. Big change happened today, he needed to know did it bring change to his destiny. He needed to know if anything was at risk.

The lost oracle spoke out in a violent tremor, “The enemies. The enemies. Two must become one.”

The balanced oracle spoke next, as if she suddenly saw a new future. “The woman that weeps in your bed, if she is to love you, will save you. If she is lost to you as a man, will end you. If she is lost to you as a god, will end us.” The oracle wept.

The sage oracle shivered, then spoke, “Ask your questions, my King. I can give only two answers.”

Kavan asked, “So I am still destined to be a god?”

Her metallic reply, “Still. So long as you still trust in the druid completely. This weepy woman changes things though. She was not in the stream before. The water ripples with change from her.”

Kavan hated the days he only got two answers. He hated symbolic water ripples even more. He wondered if his lusting of the fuller woman would unravel anything. Kavan twisted the cryptic words in his head, trying to phrase the next question just right. He still trusted the druid because he knew what the druid got if Kavan did become a god. The druid would never betray him.

“How do I not lose her?” He asked, bracing that he didn’t make a mistake with the question.

“Two must become one. In your enemies. In each other. She must become the queen of your heart. You must become the king of hers. The druid knows. It is how his kind wed, not yours.”

Kavan smiled. A cryptic answer, but an answer with a path to another question. The druid knows. He would have to see the druid again. But, something more pressing required his attention first.

~~~

The gaoler pulled at the rusted door and it creaked open, like the sound of a dying breath. Kavan stepped inside and looked at the man glaring at him. The man that tried to kill him once. One of the few men that had the means of being able to easily, if he wasn’t so sloppy in his attempt. He looked at the man, at his more haggard face, at his dimmer eyes. They didn’t burn with as much hate. Or at least the man would have Kavan believe.

“So,” Kavan said with a mirthful smile, “How is my failed apprentice today?” Kavan was answered with silence. “Very well. Again, why did you try to kill me?”

“Because, our kind kill tyrants. You were not suppose to become one. Once you did, you left me no choice.”

“Am I one? Surely you would have succeeded if I were a tyrant. That is our order’s charge. To remove the tyrants of the world and set their nations on a more proper course by any means necessary after.”

Their order was an nearly forgotten one, supposedly set by the last godling before he vanished. Assassins, groomed to be drawn to kings. Befriend them only to remove them from the game if they show themselves to be tyrants.

“Come, let me show you of the mistake you made. Let me show you that because of your rashness, you failed learn some of the final lessons of our cause. Gaoler! Bring him.”

The gaoler was a huge man, he unchained the apprentice from the wall and dragged the weakened man - still locked in his manacles - from his cell. Almost carrying him like a sack of flour. They walked down the musty, dark corridor to the door at the end. The gaoler handed Kavan the key to the door. Kavan unlocked it, and pulled it open. This door didn’t make a sound. It wasn’t rusted like the others. It was made out of a metal more ancient than iron, one that worked correctly never gives away to rust. It is a door to hold the most precious of things within.

A man leaped at them like a beast as soon as the door showed a hint of freedom. He reeked, yet showed a strength he shouldn’t have. His hair was unkempt and filthy. His grizzled beard was brittle gray and hung down to his waist. He snarled and pulled at the chain just holding him back.

“Now this is someone with some fight left in him. This is what I expected of you actually,” Kavan said toward his former apprentice. “Recognize him?”

The apprentice looked closely at the crazed man. At first he didn’t, then recognition set in. “But you killed him!”

“No, my old friend. My dearest brother. I removed him. You believed that I killed him. Yet, it seems you might finally get your deepest desire. You might finally get to kill a king today.”

The apprentice looked at the crazed man, the former king, with a mixture of awe and disgust, then turned to Kavan, “What do you mean?”

“The two of you are to share this cell. Neither of you will have a meal until only one of you is still has a heartbeat.” The former king looked at the former apprentice with a glare that he was ready to kill the man as soon as he was within reach. The former apprentice looked at the former king with a sense that he was barely a man anymore.

Kavan spoke, almost solemnly, “Goodbye brother. Even if you are the fortunate one to eventually have another meal, we will not meet again. Two must become one. Gaoler, toss him in.”

The gaoler did as was ordered and closed the door, locking it behind him with cold finality. The door muted the screams to almost a whisper.

“Now to learn how druids wed,” Kavan said to no one in particular, a smile creasing his lips, he had a feeling he was going to enjoy the answer, barbaric he may be, but his kind enjoyed life in the earthly ways that the more civilized envied.
#prosechallenge  #Itslit  #getlit 
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As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes and watched as she.......
Written by fantastical

The Other Side

Death was a strange thing. There was life after death. Life of a sort anyway. I died in my bedroom. Supposedly a heart attack. When I woke from my death, I found myself still in my bedroom, yet, not. I found myself in a dull reflection of my bedroom. I found myself on the other side of the mirror. It wasn't as magical a place as the Alice visited through her looking-glass, but it was my own.

I would watch my wife weep, everyday, through the mirror, into what was our real bedroom. Her tears seemed to never end. I wanted to comfort her. I tried to whisper to her to no avail. Her woe became my woe, my afterlife, a form of hell.

Days turned into weeks turned into months. My life was empty save for when she was in the bedroom. I tried to leave my version of the bedroom, but it was hard. It seemed like it was my anchor point. The farther I tried to get away, the darker my world got.

I learned how to read all of my books that were printed in reverse. They gave me a little distraction. They helped to pass the time between seeing my beautiful wife.

Her tears subsided, even if her sadness did not. Her friends tried to get her to go out more. Over time, she did.

A part of me was shocked when she brought a man into our bedroom for the first time. I watched them couple anyway. I yearned for it to be me with her, and when I heard her accidentally whisper my name as she climaxed, I realized she still yearned for me. The man left with little said, and she cried in guilt.

For a while, after that, she slept alone. The times she would pleasure herself, she still called out to me, but the acts she fantasied us sharing were not ones we shared in when I was alive. Did her desires change with my passing or did she always keep them from me. Regardless, the acts both stirred me and left me sad, that we would never be able to share them.

The next man she brought to the room she loved like she never loved me. My name was never whispered. I felt my room dull a bit. I was becoming forgotten. A part of me yearned for that oblivion.

They married. Eventually, I stopped watching them. It hurt too much, yet I was happy her heart was not burdened by me any longer.

One day I noticed her brushing her hair. When did she get so old? She hummed and smiled. Then her eyes closed and I watched her slip into death.

She was suddenly sitting in the chair on my side of the mirror. She turned to look at me and smiled as if the sun arose. I kissed my wife. She kissed me back, like she had never had before. Our room became our heaven.

 

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As the spirit sat and watched the girl on the other side of the mirror, he felt such sadness. Despite being dead for only a short time, it felt like an eternity. He watched his wife with loving eyes and watched as she.......
Written by fantastical
The Other Side
Death was a strange thing. There was life after death. Life of a sort anyway. I died in my bedroom. Supposedly a heart attack. When I woke from my death, I found myself still in my bedroom, yet, not. I found myself in a dull reflection of my bedroom. I found myself on the other side of the mirror. It wasn't as magical a place as the Alice visited through her looking-glass, but it was my own.

I would watch my wife weep, everyday, through the mirror, into what was our real bedroom. Her tears seemed to never end. I wanted to comfort her. I tried to whisper to her to no avail. Her woe became my woe, my afterlife, a form of hell.

Days turned into weeks turned into months. My life was empty save for when she was in the bedroom. I tried to leave my version of the bedroom, but it was hard. It seemed like it was my anchor point. The farther I tried to get away, the darker my world got.

I learned how to read all of my books that were printed in reverse. They gave me a little distraction. They helped to pass the time between seeing my beautiful wife.

Her tears subsided, even if her sadness did not. Her friends tried to get her to go out more. Over time, she did.

A part of me was shocked when she brought a man into our bedroom for the first time. I watched them couple anyway. I yearned for it to be me with her, and when I heard her accidentally whisper my name as she climaxed, I realized she still yearned for me. The man left with little said, and she cried in guilt.

For a while, after that, she slept alone. The times she would pleasure herself, she still called out to me, but the acts she fantasied us sharing were not ones we shared in when I was alive. Did her desires change with my passing or did she always keep them from me. Regardless, the acts both stirred me and left me sad, that we would never be able to share them.

The next man she brought to the room she loved like she never loved me. My name was never whispered. I felt my room dull a bit. I was becoming forgotten. A part of me yearned for that oblivion.

They married. Eventually, I stopped watching them. It hurt too much, yet I was happy her heart was not burdened by me any longer.

One day I noticed her brushing her hair. When did she get so old? She hummed and smiled. Then her eyes closed and I watched her slip into death.

She was suddenly sitting in the chair on my side of the mirror. She turned to look at me and smiled as if the sun arose. I kissed my wife. She kissed me back, like she had never had before. Our room became our heaven.


 

#challenge  #death  #love  #flashfiction 
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Written by fantastical in portal Politics

Inauguration Day

Enjoy the day, my fellow Americans (and everyone else that wants to play along.)

If you LOVE President-Elect Trump, please, enjoy the day.

If you HATE President-Elect Trump, please, enjoy the day.

If you fall somewhere in the middle, please, just enjoy the day.

Try to transcend from who the President is and who the President soon will be, and enjoy the day.

Enjoy that you live, not only in a country that celebrates the peaceful transition of power in pomp and circumstance, but your life most likely will be little different from yesterday and tomorrow. You can still wake up at 3:23am in the morning and go to a 24-hour convenience store to overpay for something you are craving. Enjoy the day.

Enjoy that you live, in a place where you have the opportunity to make real positive (or negative) change in your lives and the lives of others around you. That probably the biggest obstacles to those positive changes are internal. Work a soup kitchen today, start mentoring a child today, just give someone down a hug today. Call a loved one and tell them, "I love you." Chances are, our phone is within arms reach. Not everyone in this world has it so good.

Enjoy the day. Enjoy that our President, whomever he or she is, is on the one hand, one of the most powerful people on the planet, on the other hand has only so much sway over your life, because their power is limited, and your individual liberty IS the paramount reason our government exists. Enjoy the day.

If you are in depression over the change, or in mourning. Turn the TV off (or your internet stream) and enjoy the day.

If you are ecstatic over the change. Revel in it and try to so with a bit of humility to those that are not as enthused. Enjoy the day.

As writers, write. Write about your happiness or your sadness. Be thankful you can write freely, and if you choose to do so, express those words freely. Not everyone in this world has the ability to write, or the means to write, or the freedom to express those feelings freely. Enjoy the day.

There are roughly 320 million Americans. One person, unless he is perhaps Bob Hope but I am sure some will even argue that, cannot make all 320 million happy, or sad. If Trump makes you happy, use that happiness to create positive change. If he makes you sad, dig inside and make positive change in spite of the sadness. Enjoy the day.

Four years from now, the many of the people that loved Trump will probably love him a little less, because reality never fully lines up with the ideal, especially in a government like ours. Many of the people that hated Trump will probably hate him a bit less, or at the very least realized they survived those four years fairly unscathed. So, enjoy the day.

Remember, the greatest change for any American begins from within, it is just up to them to want to tap that power, or ignore it. The choice is yours.

Personally, I hope you all just enjoy the day. And enjoy tomorrow too!

Best Regards,

A Fellow American

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Written by fantastical in portal Politics
Inauguration Day
Enjoy the day, my fellow Americans (and everyone else that wants to play along.)

If you LOVE President-Elect Trump, please, enjoy the day.
If you HATE President-Elect Trump, please, enjoy the day.
If you fall somewhere in the middle, please, just enjoy the day.

Try to transcend from who the President is and who the President soon will be, and enjoy the day.

Enjoy that you live, not only in a country that celebrates the peaceful transition of power in pomp and circumstance, but your life most likely will be little different from yesterday and tomorrow. You can still wake up at 3:23am in the morning and go to a 24-hour convenience store to overpay for something you are craving. Enjoy the day.

Enjoy that you live, in a place where you have the opportunity to make real positive (or negative) change in your lives and the lives of others around you. That probably the biggest obstacles to those positive changes are internal. Work a soup kitchen today, start mentoring a child today, just give someone down a hug today. Call a loved one and tell them, "I love you." Chances are, our phone is within arms reach. Not everyone in this world has it so good.

Enjoy the day. Enjoy that our President, whomever he or she is, is on the one hand, one of the most powerful people on the planet, on the other hand has only so much sway over your life, because their power is limited, and your individual liberty IS the paramount reason our government exists. Enjoy the day.

If you are in depression over the change, or in mourning. Turn the TV off (or your internet stream) and enjoy the day.

If you are ecstatic over the change. Revel in it and try to so with a bit of humility to those that are not as enthused. Enjoy the day.

As writers, write. Write about your happiness or your sadness. Be thankful you can write freely, and if you choose to do so, express those words freely. Not everyone in this world has the ability to write, or the means to write, or the freedom to express those feelings freely. Enjoy the day.

There are roughly 320 million Americans. One person, unless he is perhaps Bob Hope but I am sure some will even argue that, cannot make all 320 million happy, or sad. If Trump makes you happy, use that happiness to create positive change. If he makes you sad, dig inside and make positive change in spite of the sadness. Enjoy the day.

Four years from now, the many of the people that loved Trump will probably love him a little less, because reality never fully lines up with the ideal, especially in a government like ours. Many of the people that hated Trump will probably hate him a bit less, or at the very least realized they survived those four years fairly unscathed. So, enjoy the day.

Remember, the greatest change for any American begins from within, it is just up to them to want to tap that power, or ignore it. The choice is yours.

Personally, I hope you all just enjoy the day. And enjoy tomorrow too!

Best Regards,
A Fellow American
#politics  #Inauguration  #totd 
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Write a pair of haikus, one describing how each lover feels for the other.
Written by fantastical in portal Haiku

Two Lovers

I caress her face

Getting lost in her blue eyes

As her hand counters

My fingers slide down

Finding his deep desires

Arouse at my touch

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Write a pair of haikus, one describing how each lover feels for the other.
Written by fantastical in portal Haiku
Two Lovers
I caress her face
Getting lost in her blue eyes
As her hand counters

My fingers slide down
Finding his deep desires
Arouse at my touch

#haiku  #micropoetry  #erotic 
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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 fantastical

Knock! Knock! (ver. 2)

Knock! Knock!

Brad tried to ignored the jarring interruption and keep his focus on what he was reading. He wasn’t in the mood for company. His girlfriend Katy was out with her best friends in Vegas having a girls-only weekend. So Brad vowed to himself to enjoy the freetime in some quiet solitude with a few books that he has been itching to devour. He missed the days he could polish over dozens of books in a week. Now he was lucky to get one read in a month. An overactive life is a death sentence to a book lover. Katy loved an overactive lifestyle and thus, Brad now lived an overactive lifestyle. Brad loved Katy, even enough to sacrifice his previous life-long love affair with his books. Still, it was perhaps the toughest sacrifice of the relationship.

Knock! Knock!

Brad grimaced, he suspected that the person at the door knew someone was home, somehow. Perhaps he left the garage open, although he didn’t think so.

Knock! Knock!

Brad sighed in a defeated silence, placed his brass bookmark on the page, set the book down and opened the door. A distinguished man, dressed in a nice tailored suit greeted Brad with a smarmy smile and before Brad could take a breath, said, “Good day kind sir. Let me introduce myself, my name is Charlie Batcher. I am here today to show you the Suckmaster 3000! I will swear on my life, that after seeing it you will never need another vaccuum cleaner again!”

“Sorry, I am not…”

“...interested. Forgive me for saying so, sir. But that is what they all say at first. If you will give me just five minutes of your time…”

“Again, NOT interested. We have a Dyson and it works perfectly fine. have a nice day!” Brad slowly started to close the door. Charlie Batcher though strategically placed the Suckmaster 3000 in the way.

“If I may, sir. Just looking over your shoulder, either you haven’t vacuumed for a while, or that if you forgive me saying so, piece of crap Dyson really isn’t cutting it. At the very least, give me five minutes and I can have this room looking like you just installed new carpet. The love of your life will be thrilled, I assure you. You do have a love of your life, sir?”

“Umm….yes, she is out of town with some friends.” Brad looked back at the floor. It did seem to to be showing a bit of grime. Amazing what you don’t notice when you are not looking for it. Still, he was more that a bit annoy, he started pushing the Suckmaster 3000 away from the door jamb with his foot. “Really, I’ll vacuum it up later. Have a nice…”

“But sir, I bet when you spill, let say some wine, like you must have over there, you would normally have to dig out your carpet cleaner. The Suckmaster 3000 is not only a vacuum, but has a patent-pending technology to clean wet stains without getting the carpet wet, adding to the live of your carpet. Those carpet cleaners are worse on the carpet than the stains themselves.”

Brad turned to look, and near the corner of the sofa, there was a considerably large, wine stain on the carpet. How the hell did he miss that? “And you can get this all clean in five minutes?” Brad asked.

“I guarantee it! If not, I will give you the Suckmaster 3000 for free.”

“Come on in.”

“Thank you sir,” Charlie Batcher said with a smile and a bow of the head, “your home will never regret it.”

Four-and-a-half minutes later...

Charlie Batcher watched his gremlin minion vacuuming the room with the Suckmaster 3000, while Charlie himself polished his fangs and perused the book the owner of the house was reading.

“The Portable Voltaire, how utterly dull. I am pretty sure this guy is not going to be missed. Are you almost done Abercrombie? It has almost been five minutes.” Charlie asked.

“Do I get more stamps if I finish on time, Master?” the gremlin asked as a response.

“Of course.”

“The old ones? None of those Forever ones. Those are rubbish and get stuck in my throat!”

“You get the old ones no matter what, you just get more if you get done on time, we did make a promise.”

“No, you made a promise, Master.” Abercrombie, the gremlin, sped up over the last part of the blood stain his Master left while sucking the blood from the owner of the home, then turned off the Suckmaster 3000.

“Tsk tsk, too bad Aber, five minutes and 4 seconds. Close, but…”

The gremlin called Abercrombie pouted.

“I am just kidding. Close enough! Nice touch by the way adding that wine stain on the floor. We need to remember that for the future tough customers.” Charlie tossed an antique book of stamps to the gremlin. Abercrombie devoured them them quickly. Charlie never understood the hows and whys gremlins got hooked on eating stamps of all things, but to most gremlins, stamps were as sweet as crack cocaine was to a human addict. “We will need to leave the Suckmaster 3000 though. So make sure you take their Dyson before we go. Oh, and also, make sure you loosen a screw or three to the Suckmaster so the misses calls on the warranty in oh, three months or so.”

“Sure thing boss!”

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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 fantastical
Knock! Knock! (ver. 2)
Knock! Knock!

Brad tried to ignored the jarring interruption and keep his focus on what he was reading. He wasn’t in the mood for company. His girlfriend Katy was out with her best friends in Vegas having a girls-only weekend. So Brad vowed to himself to enjoy the freetime in some quiet solitude with a few books that he has been itching to devour. He missed the days he could polish over dozens of books in a week. Now he was lucky to get one read in a month. An overactive life is a death sentence to a book lover. Katy loved an overactive lifestyle and thus, Brad now lived an overactive lifestyle. Brad loved Katy, even enough to sacrifice his previous life-long love affair with his books. Still, it was perhaps the toughest sacrifice of the relationship.

Knock! Knock!

Brad grimaced, he suspected that the person at the door knew someone was home, somehow. Perhaps he left the garage open, although he didn’t think so.

Knock! Knock!

Brad sighed in a defeated silence, placed his brass bookmark on the page, set the book down and opened the door. A distinguished man, dressed in a nice tailored suit greeted Brad with a smarmy smile and before Brad could take a breath, said, “Good day kind sir. Let me introduce myself, my name is Charlie Batcher. I am here today to show you the Suckmaster 3000! I will swear on my life, that after seeing it you will never need another vaccuum cleaner again!”

“Sorry, I am not…”

“...interested. Forgive me for saying so, sir. But that is what they all say at first. If you will give me just five minutes of your time…”

“Again, NOT interested. We have a Dyson and it works perfectly fine. have a nice day!” Brad slowly started to close the door. Charlie Batcher though strategically placed the Suckmaster 3000 in the way.

“If I may, sir. Just looking over your shoulder, either you haven’t vacuumed for a while, or that if you forgive me saying so, piece of crap Dyson really isn’t cutting it. At the very least, give me five minutes and I can have this room looking like you just installed new carpet. The love of your life will be thrilled, I assure you. You do have a love of your life, sir?”

“Umm….yes, she is out of town with some friends.” Brad looked back at the floor. It did seem to to be showing a bit of grime. Amazing what you don’t notice when you are not looking for it. Still, he was more that a bit annoy, he started pushing the Suckmaster 3000 away from the door jamb with his foot. “Really, I’ll vacuum it up later. Have a nice…”

“But sir, I bet when you spill, let say some wine, like you must have over there, you would normally have to dig out your carpet cleaner. The Suckmaster 3000 is not only a vacuum, but has a patent-pending technology to clean wet stains without getting the carpet wet, adding to the live of your carpet. Those carpet cleaners are worse on the carpet than the stains themselves.”

Brad turned to look, and near the corner of the sofa, there was a considerably large, wine stain on the carpet. How the hell did he miss that? “And you can get this all clean in five minutes?” Brad asked.

“I guarantee it! If not, I will give you the Suckmaster 3000 for free.”

“Come on in.”

“Thank you sir,” Charlie Batcher said with a smile and a bow of the head, “your home will never regret it.”

Four-and-a-half minutes later...

Charlie Batcher watched his gremlin minion vacuuming the room with the Suckmaster 3000, while Charlie himself polished his fangs and perused the book the owner of the house was reading.

“The Portable Voltaire, how utterly dull. I am pretty sure this guy is not going to be missed. Are you almost done Abercrombie? It has almost been five minutes.” Charlie asked.

“Do I get more stamps if I finish on time, Master?” the gremlin asked as a response.

“Of course.”

“The old ones? None of those Forever ones. Those are rubbish and get stuck in my throat!”

“You get the old ones no matter what, you just get more if you get done on time, we did make a promise.”

“No, you made a promise, Master.” Abercrombie, the gremlin, sped up over the last part of the blood stain his Master left while sucking the blood from the owner of the home, then turned off the Suckmaster 3000.

“Tsk tsk, too bad Aber, five minutes and 4 seconds. Close, but…”

The gremlin called Abercrombie pouted.

“I am just kidding. Close enough! Nice touch by the way adding that wine stain on the floor. We need to remember that for the future tough customers.” Charlie tossed an antique book of stamps to the gremlin. Abercrombie devoured them them quickly. Charlie never understood the hows and whys gremlins got hooked on eating stamps of all things, but to most gremlins, stamps were as sweet as crack cocaine was to a human addict. “We will need to leave the Suckmaster 3000 though. So make sure you take their Dyson before we go. Oh, and also, make sure you loosen a screw or three to the Suckmaster so the misses calls on the warranty in oh, three months or so.”

“Sure thing boss!”




#prosechallenge  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Written by fantastical in portal Poetry & Free Verse

A Momentary Haiku

A writer's soul blooms

Unravels words locked inside;

Pouring out his thoughts

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Written by fantastical in portal Poetry & Free Verse
A Momentary Haiku
A writer's soul blooms
Unravels words locked inside;
Pouring out his thoughts
#poetry  #haiku 
12
2
2
Juice
29 reads
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Written by fantastical in portal Horror & Thriller

An Elegant Bowl

James woke in a cold sweat. When he got his bearings, he realized he woke in a bed that was not his own. As the moments drifted by, the room he was in slowly became more illuminated; no source of light though. He looked around, walls a matte white and with the exception of the bed he was in, the sheets on it, and himself, there was nothing else in the room. He was alone.

At that thought, the wall that James was currently facing started to have a black script scroll acrossed it. The words simply said, “No, you are not alone. You will never be alone again.”

James throat caught. His breath tightened. He recalled the night before, when he was in his own bed,in his own bedroom, and that his loneliness was so overwhelming that he actually wept, wishing he wasn’t so alone. Now he was being told he wasn’t alone anymore, being told by a wall.

“Well, “ James whispered to himself sacastically, “it does seem like I am the only one in this room.”

The script on the wall shifted into, “Technically yes. But, you have me now. Always. I will promise that you will never be alone again. Is there anything you need? Are you thirsty? Hungry?”

James’ stomach rumbled at the suggestion. What he would do for some stuffed french toast, sausages, and a nice glass of orange juice. “Well...it seems in this...strangeness, I do have an appetite for some breakfast.”

A table shimmered next to the bed. A plate of stuffed french toast, sausages still popping from being cooked, a jar of orange marmalade, and a huge glass of orange juice sat there, tempting him. In spite of his wariness, he took a sip of the juice. To his chagrin, it was literally the best he ever had.

“Will my host be so kind to join me, I would rather not eat alone.”

The script on the wall shimmered again. “I would love nothing more, but I am so hideous. You would lose your appetite if you had to look at me.”

“You should let me be the judge of that. That said, I am not that great looking myself.”

The script responded quickly, with broad strokes, “You jest. You are absolutely gorgeous!”

James was called a lot of things. Smart, quirky, absentminded, tall, lanky, quiet. Gorgeous was never on that list. It was never on his top 1000 best traits list. He laughed. “It seems my host has a sense of humor!”

The script changed, James could almost feel the aggression as it sprawled on the wall. “I would never jest about that. I have adored you for what seems like forever. Not my fault you have been oblivious to it.”

“Well, you don’t let me see you.”

“You have seen me...countless times.”

“So, I know you?” James sifted through his memories of everyone he knew. Of anyone he saw but didn’t really see. He was the type that if anyone said even a “Hi!” to him, he would respond and be kind to that person.

“You do.”

“Can I leave this room?”

“Why would you want to?”

“Well, it is nice to be free to go to where I want to go.”

“When you were free. You were alone. Your loneliness was slowly killing you. Now you are not alone and can have nearly whatever your heart desires.”

“I desire to see you.”

“Perhaps, in time, I will believe such a meeting is what you really want. But, I know of the women you find appealing. I am none of them.”

“So I am alone.”

“No! But, if you need someone to ‘be with’ in the room, I will give you someone. I can pick someone for you, unless you want to give me specifics.”

James looked at the plate of food. How spot on his host was to what he desired. Was his mind read? Or perhaps worse, was he watched for so long that his host did know him this intimately. The last thing he wanted was to have someone dumped in this prison against their will, because of some perceived want.

“No, the only person I want to join me is you.”

The wall was quiet a bit longer before a response appeared. “Say my name and I will join you.”

“I have told you, I have no idea who you are.”

“Prove to me you love me as much as I love you, and I’ll happily grant this wish.”

“Perhaps I do love you and you don’t even know?”

“If you did, we would already be together. But you will, I know eventually you will love me.”

“You seem so sure of that…”

The script cut him off, “I am. I know you too well. I know there were times you wish people could see past you, see the inner you instead of the outer you. That you wish they would love you for your words and thoughts and deeds alone. Now is your chance to fall in love with my words, deeds and thoughts.”

He thought about her words, they were true, yet he confessed that only to a few people in his life. She could not be any of them.

James stayed covered and replied, “Can you at least tell me your name?”

“When I finally let you see me I will; if you do not figure it out before then. Enjoy breakfast my love. Whatever you need, just asked. As you have seen. I will give you virtually anything you desire. I will even give you me, once you prove you actually desire it beyond simple curiosity.”

~~~

James lost track of what day it was. He slept about two dozen times since his captivity, so he figured a month went by. Everything he asked for though, he got. There were some caveats. He couldn’t call anyone directly. He was told any emails he sent out would be filtered. His social media sites informed everyone he was traveling the world.

“What about my job?”

“Why do you need such a thing? You have everything you could want now?”

“Well, to make a difference. To be a productive member of society.”

“If you could do anything you wanted. To REALLY make a difference, what would it be?”

“Well, I always aimed to eventually do some philanthropy once I was successful.”

“You can do it now. You can run everything and I will make it happen. You can be that silent hero. Which cause do you want to attack first, my love?”

James tried not to show his irritation. “I’ll have to think about it. You know what I would love to do right now though? Visit Paris.”

“How long have you wanted to do this?”

“Well, before you brought me here, I was pondering making plans to make the trip.”

“Always pondering. You need to start doing, James.”

At that, the room darkened. The chair James was sitting in shifted to one made of iron. A matching table formed, an umbrella. The walls shifted, he was still aware of them there, but at the same time, he had the feeling he was now sitting outside, at a small bistro, in Paris, the Eiffel Tower seemingly not too far away.

“This is not Paris.”

“Of course it is,” said a man with the slightest hint of accent.

James ate his lunch in ‘Paris’. He somehow stroll the streets. He even went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view was breathtaking. The experience was real enough.

“Ok, I want to go home.”

The scene shimmered and went back to the basic matte white he had grown accustomed to. He was currently on the floor, feeling a bit disoriented because his mind the moment before thought he was high from the ground. When he asked to go home, this was not what he was hoping.

“That was not Paris. A fantastic illusion, but not Paris.”

The wall started to script. “Actually, it was Paris. Brought to you. The food you ate was there first. The air your breathed was Paris air. All of your interactions, were real.”

“So if I wanted to go to Prague right now?”

“You could be there in the hour. Not quite right now though.”

“So there is a limit?”

“How many people on the planet could go from Paris to Prague in under an hour-on-demand?”

“Thank you! It was...an experience I will never forget.”

“You are welcome, my love. The pleasure was all mine.”

~~~

James toyed with the top of the bishop he just captured, pondering his next move, waiting for her to make hers. He felt like a king, even as much as he was a prisoner. He was getting too use to his life the way it was now though. For all of the wonders at his disposal, he missed the people of his life that he had no true contact with now. They have virtually forgotten him. Their connection to him were from posts made on Facebook on his behalf.

He ate well, played well, travel well, and was utterly depressed. A mere animal in humane captivity. A fish in an elegant bowl.

“I’m alone.”

“No. I am right here. Playing chess with you.”

“No. You are words on the wall. As far as I am concerned, I could be playing chess right now by a shrewd computer.”

“You think I am shrewd? I am touched, my love.”

“Don’t call me that. You have given me kindnesses but you have not been kind. I am your pet bird in a gilded cage. Something you adore and fancy, but you do not love me.”

“You are wrong.”

“Am I? I still do not know your name. I still do not know what you look like. Every lover I have ever had, I felt her breath cleanly upon my face, I drowned in her eyes, I smiled when I made her smile.”

A light breeze caressed James’s cheek, it smelled of mint and juniper.

“That is not what I mean! I don’t want an illusion…”

“So be it, my love.”

Suddenly, there was a jarring to the room. The chess pieces shook on the board. The walls went gray, and the wall where the script was split open. A figure stood there. A silhouette of a figure, with the way the light shone in behind her.

She was short and curvy in a way modern women hated. More Rubenesque than not. As his eyes adjusted to the lighting, he saw that her hair was long and curly. Even in the bright light, it was a dull blonde. Her face was covered in blemishes. She had lovely ice blue eyes. He has seen her before.

“Dani. That is your name, correct?”

Dani smiled. It was a sweet, shy thing. “That is my middle name. Sometimes I like going by it though.”

“You are the barista at the place I use to buy coffee everyday.”

“Yes. But that is not the only place we knew each other. You first met me a long time ago. You knew me as Lori then.”

James racked his brain, sifting through his memories.

“Not little Lori Duncan?” He could almost see it now.

Lori/Dani smiled even more shyly, “Yes. Little Laura Danielle Duncan.”

“But why? All of this? Why take my life away? I was always kind to you.”

She looked stung. “Because I love you. I’ve always loved you. And I hated seeing you so sad and alone. And…”

They both stood there, silent. James recalled back when they were young kids, when he fought off the boys bullying her. That was the moment. All of the shy smiles after. The occasional passings in school. The chance meeting at college. Then losing touch. He never even realized Dani the barista was the same woman until now.

“So where do we go from here, Dani or should I call you Lori?”

“You love me, or...we part ways. Those are the rules.”

“Rules? So if I decide I don’t love you, I can just go?”

“No. You don’t get to go. I’m...just not allowed to watch over you any longer. When I realized you were given a room, I petitioned to be the one to watch over you.”

“You didn’t take me?”

“No. However, you may have been taken because of me. Because I have always adored you.”

“And who will watch me instead of you.”

“Just others...that will not be so kind.” She suddenly looked truly sad and perhaps a bit scared. James shivered. He was hoping once he finally met his keeper, he could somehow convince her to set him free. Freedom was never going to be an option, at least in the near future.

“Well, I am tired of being alone.” James held out his hand. Dani took it and he pulled her into an embrace. She was soft and melted into it, as if it was the only thing she ever wanted. She smelled nice. He wondered if he could ever really fall in love with her. Was that the only path to being free again? “Would you like to go on a date? Can you control the room when you are in it?”

She beamed. She had a nice smile. “We could do that. I can setup anything beforehand.”

“Tomorrow then. I’ll let you know what I have in store for us. Thanks for finally letting me see you. I wish you would have before now.”

James gave her a light kiss on the lips. She had nice, soft lips and her eyes shone as he kissed her.

~~~

Dani stood outside of the room, her heart a flutter as if she just walked from the most perfect dream. She watched her love sit down and look, relieved. A man stepped up next to her. “She Lori, I told you he would grow to love you.”

She turned her head to stare at her brother and countered, “Does he?”

“Perhaps, or perhaps he is wise enough to accept which life he would rather have.”

“But, I want him to love me, for me.”

“And didn’t want to be alone. You both get what you want, just perhaps not the way you want it. I did get him for you, because I love you. You realize that, don’t you?”

“Yes. But, I was happy how it was. I was happy with just his smile every day.”

“If you tell me you did not like his kiss just now, I will let him go. If you lie about it though, he will learn what loneliness truly is.”

Dani looked at her brother. “I still feel his lips…” It was the first time a man kissed her with any warmth at all.

“Like I said little sister, he gets to not be alone. You get the love of your life to give you the love you deserve. And I got rewarded for taking him out of the world. We all win. Heck, I probably saved his life. It is amazing how many enemies a guy like that can make. Be happy.”

She was in a way. Yet, she still clung to a dream of her and James, sharing a life in the world, away from this place. This place where all your dreams could come true. Or all of your worst nightmares. She hoped James could fall in love with her over time. Her brother could be a cruel keeper.

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Written by fantastical in portal Horror & Thriller
An Elegant Bowl
James woke in a cold sweat. When he got his bearings, he realized he woke in a bed that was not his own. As the moments drifted by, the room he was in slowly became more illuminated; no source of light though. He looked around, walls a matte white and with the exception of the bed he was in, the sheets on it, and himself, there was nothing else in the room. He was alone.

At that thought, the wall that James was currently facing started to have a black script scroll acrossed it. The words simply said, “No, you are not alone. You will never be alone again.”

James throat caught. His breath tightened. He recalled the night before, when he was in his own bed,in his own bedroom, and that his loneliness was so overwhelming that he actually wept, wishing he wasn’t so alone. Now he was being told he wasn’t alone anymore, being told by a wall.

“Well, “ James whispered to himself sacastically, “it does seem like I am the only one in this room.”

The script on the wall shifted into, “Technically yes. But, you have me now. Always. I will promise that you will never be alone again. Is there anything you need? Are you thirsty? Hungry?”

James’ stomach rumbled at the suggestion. What he would do for some stuffed french toast, sausages, and a nice glass of orange juice. “Well...it seems in this...strangeness, I do have an appetite for some breakfast.”

A table shimmered next to the bed. A plate of stuffed french toast, sausages still popping from being cooked, a jar of orange marmalade, and a huge glass of orange juice sat there, tempting him. In spite of his wariness, he took a sip of the juice. To his chagrin, it was literally the best he ever had.

“Will my host be so kind to join me, I would rather not eat alone.”

The script on the wall shimmered again. “I would love nothing more, but I am so hideous. You would lose your appetite if you had to look at me.”

“You should let me be the judge of that. That said, I am not that great looking myself.”

The script responded quickly, with broad strokes, “You jest. You are absolutely gorgeous!”

James was called a lot of things. Smart, quirky, absentminded, tall, lanky, quiet. Gorgeous was never on that list. It was never on his top 1000 best traits list. He laughed. “It seems my host has a sense of humor!”

The script changed, James could almost feel the aggression as it sprawled on the wall. “I would never jest about that. I have adored you for what seems like forever. Not my fault you have been oblivious to it.”

“Well, you don’t let me see you.”

“You have seen me...countless times.”

“So, I know you?” James sifted through his memories of everyone he knew. Of anyone he saw but didn’t really see. He was the type that if anyone said even a “Hi!” to him, he would respond and be kind to that person.

“You do.”

“Can I leave this room?”

“Why would you want to?”

“Well, it is nice to be free to go to where I want to go.”

“When you were free. You were alone. Your loneliness was slowly killing you. Now you are not alone and can have nearly whatever your heart desires.”

“I desire to see you.”

“Perhaps, in time, I will believe such a meeting is what you really want. But, I know of the women you find appealing. I am none of them.”

“So I am alone.”

“No! But, if you need someone to ‘be with’ in the room, I will give you someone. I can pick someone for you, unless you want to give me specifics.”

James looked at the plate of food. How spot on his host was to what he desired. Was his mind read? Or perhaps worse, was he watched for so long that his host did know him this intimately. The last thing he wanted was to have someone dumped in this prison against their will, because of some perceived want.

“No, the only person I want to join me is you.”

The wall was quiet a bit longer before a response appeared. “Say my name and I will join you.”

“I have told you, I have no idea who you are.”
“Prove to me you love me as much as I love you, and I’ll happily grant this wish.”

“Perhaps I do love you and you don’t even know?”

“If you did, we would already be together. But you will, I know eventually you will love me.”

“You seem so sure of that…”

The script cut him off, “I am. I know you too well. I know there were times you wish people could see past you, see the inner you instead of the outer you. That you wish they would love you for your words and thoughts and deeds alone. Now is your chance to fall in love with my words, deeds and thoughts.”

He thought about her words, they were true, yet he confessed that only to a few people in his life. She could not be any of them.

James stayed covered and replied, “Can you at least tell me your name?”

“When I finally let you see me I will; if you do not figure it out before then. Enjoy breakfast my love. Whatever you need, just asked. As you have seen. I will give you virtually anything you desire. I will even give you me, once you prove you actually desire it beyond simple curiosity.”

~~~

James lost track of what day it was. He slept about two dozen times since his captivity, so he figured a month went by. Everything he asked for though, he got. There were some caveats. He couldn’t call anyone directly. He was told any emails he sent out would be filtered. His social media sites informed everyone he was traveling the world.

“What about my job?”

“Why do you need such a thing? You have everything you could want now?”

“Well, to make a difference. To be a productive member of society.”

“If you could do anything you wanted. To REALLY make a difference, what would it be?”

“Well, I always aimed to eventually do some philanthropy once I was successful.”

“You can do it now. You can run everything and I will make it happen. You can be that silent hero. Which cause do you want to attack first, my love?”

James tried not to show his irritation. “I’ll have to think about it. You know what I would love to do right now though? Visit Paris.”

“How long have you wanted to do this?”

“Well, before you brought me here, I was pondering making plans to make the trip.”

“Always pondering. You need to start doing, James.”

At that, the room darkened. The chair James was sitting in shifted to one made of iron. A matching table formed, an umbrella. The walls shifted, he was still aware of them there, but at the same time, he had the feeling he was now sitting outside, at a small bistro, in Paris, the Eiffel Tower seemingly not too far away.

“This is not Paris.”

“Of course it is,” said a man with the slightest hint of accent.

James ate his lunch in ‘Paris’. He somehow stroll the streets. He even went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view was breathtaking. The experience was real enough.

“Ok, I want to go home.”

The scene shimmered and went back to the basic matte white he had grown accustomed to. He was currently on the floor, feeling a bit disoriented because his mind the moment before thought he was high from the ground. When he asked to go home, this was not what he was hoping.

“That was not Paris. A fantastic illusion, but not Paris.”

The wall started to script. “Actually, it was Paris. Brought to you. The food you ate was there first. The air your breathed was Paris air. All of your interactions, were real.”

“So if I wanted to go to Prague right now?”

“You could be there in the hour. Not quite right now though.”

“So there is a limit?”

“How many people on the planet could go from Paris to Prague in under an hour-on-demand?”

“Thank you! It was...an experience I will never forget.”

“You are welcome, my love. The pleasure was all mine.”
~~~

James toyed with the top of the bishop he just captured, pondering his next move, waiting for her to make hers. He felt like a king, even as much as he was a prisoner. He was getting too use to his life the way it was now though. For all of the wonders at his disposal, he missed the people of his life that he had no true contact with now. They have virtually forgotten him. Their connection to him were from posts made on Facebook on his behalf.

He ate well, played well, travel well, and was utterly depressed. A mere animal in humane captivity. A fish in an elegant bowl.

“I’m alone.”

“No. I am right here. Playing chess with you.”

“No. You are words on the wall. As far as I am concerned, I could be playing chess right now by a shrewd computer.”

“You think I am shrewd? I am touched, my love.”

“Don’t call me that. You have given me kindnesses but you have not been kind. I am your pet bird in a gilded cage. Something you adore and fancy, but you do not love me.”

“You are wrong.”

“Am I? I still do not know your name. I still do not know what you look like. Every lover I have ever had, I felt her breath cleanly upon my face, I drowned in her eyes, I smiled when I made her smile.”

A light breeze caressed James’s cheek, it smelled of mint and juniper.

“That is not what I mean! I don’t want an illusion…”

“So be it, my love.”

Suddenly, there was a jarring to the room. The chess pieces shook on the board. The walls went gray, and the wall where the script was split open. A figure stood there. A silhouette of a figure, with the way the light shone in behind her.

She was short and curvy in a way modern women hated. More Rubenesque than not. As his eyes adjusted to the lighting, he saw that her hair was long and curly. Even in the bright light, it was a dull blonde. Her face was covered in blemishes. She had lovely ice blue eyes. He has seen her before.
“Dani. That is your name, correct?”

Dani smiled. It was a sweet, shy thing. “That is my middle name. Sometimes I like going by it though.”

“You are the barista at the place I use to buy coffee everyday.”

“Yes. But that is not the only place we knew each other. You first met me a long time ago. You knew me as Lori then.”

James racked his brain, sifting through his memories.

“Not little Lori Duncan?” He could almost see it now.

Lori/Dani smiled even more shyly, “Yes. Little Laura Danielle Duncan.”

“But why? All of this? Why take my life away? I was always kind to you.”

She looked stung. “Because I love you. I’ve always loved you. And I hated seeing you so sad and alone. And…”

They both stood there, silent. James recalled back when they were young kids, when he fought off the boys bullying her. That was the moment. All of the shy smiles after. The occasional passings in school. The chance meeting at college. Then losing touch. He never even realized Dani the barista was the same woman until now.

“So where do we go from here, Dani or should I call you Lori?”

“You love me, or...we part ways. Those are the rules.”

“Rules? So if I decide I don’t love you, I can just go?”

“No. You don’t get to go. I’m...just not allowed to watch over you any longer. When I realized you were given a room, I petitioned to be the one to watch over you.”

“You didn’t take me?”

“No. However, you may have been taken because of me. Because I have always adored you.”

“And who will watch me instead of you.”

“Just others...that will not be so kind.” She suddenly looked truly sad and perhaps a bit scared. James shivered. He was hoping once he finally met his keeper, he could somehow convince her to set him free. Freedom was never going to be an option, at least in the near future.

“Well, I am tired of being alone.” James held out his hand. Dani took it and he pulled her into an embrace. She was soft and melted into it, as if it was the only thing she ever wanted. She smelled nice. He wondered if he could ever really fall in love with her. Was that the only path to being free again? “Would you like to go on a date? Can you control the room when you are in it?”

She beamed. She had a nice smile. “We could do that. I can setup anything beforehand.”

“Tomorrow then. I’ll let you know what I have in store for us. Thanks for finally letting me see you. I wish you would have before now.”

James gave her a light kiss on the lips. She had nice, soft lips and her eyes shone as he kissed her.

~~~

Dani stood outside of the room, her heart a flutter as if she just walked from the most perfect dream. She watched her love sit down and look, relieved. A man stepped up next to her. “She Lori, I told you he would grow to love you.”

She turned her head to stare at her brother and countered, “Does he?”

“Perhaps, or perhaps he is wise enough to accept which life he would rather have.”

“But, I want him to love me, for me.”

“And didn’t want to be alone. You both get what you want, just perhaps not the way you want it. I did get him for you, because I love you. You realize that, don’t you?”

“Yes. But, I was happy how it was. I was happy with just his smile every day.”

“If you tell me you did not like his kiss just now, I will let him go. If you lie about it though, he will learn what loneliness truly is.”

Dani looked at her brother. “I still feel his lips…” It was the first time a man kissed her with any warmth at all.

“Like I said little sister, he gets to not be alone. You get the love of your life to give you the love you deserve. And I got rewarded for taking him out of the world. We all win. Heck, I probably saved his life. It is amazing how many enemies a guy like that can make. Be happy.”

She was in a way. Yet, she still clung to a dream of her and James, sharing a life in the world, away from this place. This place where all your dreams could come true. Or all of your worst nightmares. She hoped James could fall in love with her over time. Her brother could be a cruel keeper.
#horrorprompt  #notalone 
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Three friends are on a road trip together when they spot a male hitchhiker and decide to give him a ride. Why did they pick him up? Where are they going? What happens next? Will they live to regret giving him a ride? Write in any genre and make it fanciful, scary or creative.
Written by fantastical

Pickup and Deliver

Laura tried to ignore her tone deaf besties trying to sing what she believed was a Beyonce song. Perhaps it was a old Destiny's Child tune. Laura couldn't be quite sure. She never was into either. Honestly, Laura was sometimes surprised Suzy and Rachel still dragged her along on their harebrained adventures. The last few years of high school seemed to show that she was bound on a different destiny then the other two. Still, the friendship was solid even if their paths were starting to diverge.

Laura flipped the page to 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and tried to tune them out. Rachel went sharp, Suzy laughed, Laura groaned yet smiled in spite of herself.

"Hey Look!" Rachel suddenly interjected, "a hitchhiker. We should give him a lift!"

"Absolutely not! He looks sort of creepy," retorted Suzy, who seemed to step on the accelerator to try to pass him.

"Come on! Would you want to be walking this road? And anyway, he has a cute ass. What say you, Laurie? Should we give the guy a lift?"

Laura took a look at the man and knew she would be the one stuck sitting with him regardless. "Well, he does have a nice ass," Laura said in a very sardonic way.

Rachel, always oblivious to Laura's dry sarcasm, smiled. "It is settled. Pull over Suze."

Suzy grumbled, but pulled over. Rachel rolled down her window, "Need a lift mister?"

"Thanks! Yes! I didn't think anyone would offer. Been walking for hours. Name is Paul by the way."

Paul opened the back door and slid in next to Laura. His 'nice ass' aside, he was pretty average everything. At least a days worth of stubble on his face, muddy brown eyes, thin lips, a slight scar through his right eyebrow. Midwestern accent. You would lose him in a crowd of ten people.

"So where to Paul?" Rachel asked, in her over-flirtatious way when anyone of the opposite sex was even remotely good-looking was in her proximity.

"The next station is fine, Thanks," Paul said simply while looking at Laura and her book, "You know, I met Mr. Vonnegut a few years before he passed away. Interesting fellow. Interesting life."

"Really?" Laura asked, suddenly finding Paul perhaps a bit more interesting.

"Yeah..."

They spoke for about ten minutes before they came across a gas station in this middle of nowhere. Suzy seemed to be all to happy to pull over and have Paul be on his merry way.

"Thanks ladies. You three are angels in a world of misanthropes."

~~~

A week later, as Laura lounged on her sofa, still reading Slaugherhouse-Five', her door bell rang. When she answered, Rachel was standing there, excited as can be. A limo was waiting in the drive.

"Come on Laura! Adventure time!"

"What's with the limo?"

"It's Paul's! That guy we helped. Seems he's loaded and wants to reward our kindness."

"By?"

"Duh. Limo! Adventure! Don't be such a fraidy-cat! Laurie! I expect it from Suze, but not you."

  

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Juice
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Juice
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Three friends are on a road trip together when they spot a male hitchhiker and decide to give him a ride. Why did they pick him up? Where are they going? What happens next? Will they live to regret giving him a ride? Write in any genre and make it fanciful, scary or creative.
Written by fantastical
Pickup and Deliver
Laura tried to ignore her tone deaf besties trying to sing what she believed was a Beyonce song. Perhaps it was a old Destiny's Child tune. Laura couldn't be quite sure. She never was into either. Honestly, Laura was sometimes surprised Suzy and Rachel still dragged her along on their harebrained adventures. The last few years of high school seemed to show that she was bound on a different destiny then the other two. Still, the friendship was solid even if their paths were starting to diverge.

Laura flipped the page to 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and tried to tune them out. Rachel went sharp, Suzy laughed, Laura groaned yet smiled in spite of herself.

"Hey Look!" Rachel suddenly interjected, "a hitchhiker. We should give him a lift!"

"Absolutely not! He looks sort of creepy," retorted Suzy, who seemed to step on the accelerator to try to pass him.

"Come on! Would you want to be walking this road? And anyway, he has a cute ass. What say you, Laurie? Should we give the guy a lift?"

Laura took a look at the man and knew she would be the one stuck sitting with him regardless. "Well, he does have a nice ass," Laura said in a very sardonic way.

Rachel, always oblivious to Laura's dry sarcasm, smiled. "It is settled. Pull over Suze."

Suzy grumbled, but pulled over. Rachel rolled down her window, "Need a lift mister?"

"Thanks! Yes! I didn't think anyone would offer. Been walking for hours. Name is Paul by the way."

Paul opened the back door and slid in next to Laura. His 'nice ass' aside, he was pretty average everything. At least a days worth of stubble on his face, muddy brown eyes, thin lips, a slight scar through his right eyebrow. Midwestern accent. You would lose him in a crowd of ten people.

"So where to Paul?" Rachel asked, in her over-flirtatious way when anyone of the opposite sex was even remotely good-looking was in her proximity.

"The next station is fine, Thanks," Paul said simply while looking at Laura and her book, "You know, I met Mr. Vonnegut a few years before he passed away. Interesting fellow. Interesting life."

"Really?" Laura asked, suddenly finding Paul perhaps a bit more interesting.

"Yeah..."

They spoke for about ten minutes before they came across a gas station in this middle of nowhere. Suzy seemed to be all to happy to pull over and have Paul be on his merry way.

"Thanks ladies. You three are angels in a world of misanthropes."

~~~

A week later, as Laura lounged on her sofa, still reading Slaugherhouse-Five', her door bell rang. When she answered, Rachel was standing there, excited as can be. A limo was waiting in the drive.

"Come on Laura! Adventure time!"

"What's with the limo?"

"It's Paul's! That guy we helped. Seems he's loaded and wants to reward our kindness."

"By?"

"Duh. Limo! Adventure! Don't be such a fraidy-cat! Laurie! I expect it from Suze, but not you."



  





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