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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Prose Challenge #67

Afternoon, Prosers,

It’s week sixty-seven of the Prose Challenge of the Week, and given the changes we have made to the challenge stream, this week will be the last post we make to announce them in post form. We have the functionality to choose the winners digitally, notify them immediately, and transfer the coins into their Prose Wallets automatically.

As mentioned in our post, “Let’s talk about Prose,” these challenges will now be pay-to-enter for the time being. It’s because of this that we are renaming them simply, “Prose Challenge.” They will run until the maximum number of entries have been reached so we can use the entry fees to pay each winner.

Let’s have a look at this week’s prompt:

ProseChallenge #67: Write a poem about grief. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for 24 consecutive hours. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.

Back to week sixty-six. The winner of the “life lessons” challenge is, @starryEYES with their piece, Learning to the song of the beeps.

Congratulations! You have just won $100, and your post will remain at the top of our Spotlight feed for the next day. We will be in touch with you shortly to execute payment.

From this point forward, the winners of the Prose Challenge will get a notification and the coins will automatically transfer to your Prose Wallet within 24 hours of winning the challenge. If you don’t get the coins within that period, give us a shout.

To keep tabs on the challenge winners of all challenges, check out the challenge archives. https://theprose.com/challenges/archive-month

As you may recall, last week, we announced a sponsored challenge in collaboration with publishing giant, Simon & Schuster. Here is the link, just in case you haven’t stumbled across it yet! https://theprose.com/challenge/5367

If you haven’t entered any of our awesome challenges yet, why not? Check out some of them here: https://theprose.com/challenges

And as always, remember to spread the word(s).

Until next time, Prosers,

Prose.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Prose Challenge #67
Afternoon, Prosers,

It’s week sixty-seven of the Prose Challenge of the Week, and given the changes we have made to the challenge stream, this week will be the last post we make to announce them in post form. We have the functionality to choose the winners digitally, notify them immediately, and transfer the coins into their Prose Wallets automatically.

As mentioned in our post, “Let’s talk about Prose,” these challenges will now be pay-to-enter for the time being. It’s because of this that we are renaming them simply, “Prose Challenge.” They will run until the maximum number of entries have been reached so we can use the entry fees to pay each winner.

Let’s have a look at this week’s prompt:

ProseChallenge #67: Write a poem about grief. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for 24 consecutive hours. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.

Back to week sixty-six. The winner of the “life lessons” challenge is, @starryEYES with their piece, Learning to the song of the beeps.

Congratulations! You have just won $100, and your post will remain at the top of our Spotlight feed for the next day. We will be in touch with you shortly to execute payment.

From this point forward, the winners of the Prose Challenge will get a notification and the coins will automatically transfer to your Prose Wallet within 24 hours of winning the challenge. If you don’t get the coins within that period, give us a shout.

To keep tabs on the challenge winners of all challenges, check out the challenge archives. https://theprose.com/challenges/archive-month

As you may recall, last week, we announced a sponsored challenge in collaboration with publishing giant, Simon & Schuster. Here is the link, just in case you haven’t stumbled across it yet! https://theprose.com/challenge/5367

If you haven’t entered any of our awesome challenges yet, why not? Check out some of them here: https://theprose.com/challenges

And as always, remember to spread the word(s).

Until next time, Prosers,

Prose.
#nonfiction  #prosechallenge  #PC  #Itslit  #getlit 
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by starryEyes

Learning to the song of the beeps

Leaning against the padded gym wall, I gasped for breath. My lungs burned. My legs felt wobbly. And I was going into shock.

Out on the floor, some of the other kids were still running in synchrony with the beeps emanating from the portable stereo. It was assessment week in gym class. Today’s test? Run the marked lane and cross the line before the beep. Then turn around and run back before the next beep. And again. And again. If you failed to keep up with the quickening beeps, you had to leave the course and your time was marked.

Gym class was one of those things that could only be endured. Why it should be part of my curriculum, I couldn’t fathom, although I’ve oft suspected that some parts of school were implemented purely to torture the students. As far as I was concerned, ping-pong and written tests were the only pleasant aspects of the class.

Yet at the announcement of this upcoming test, I took an unusual interest in the event. It was something that was scored. Therefore I wanted to do well. Obviously, I would do well. No half-measures for me, no apathetic dragging of my feet. Determination would win the day. I’d run until the cassette tape quit.

Still panting, I slid down the wall to the gymnasium floor. Something had gone horribly wrong. I struggled to work it out as my heart worked double time to supply my brain with oxygen. Then I had it:

I failed.

I gave it my all, but it wasn’t good enough.

At sixteen years old, I was slapped with the realization that the adage I’d lived by all my life, “you can do anything you set your mind to,” wasn’t actually true. My world had been turned upside down.

Naturally good at all things school, I was used to success. I loved learning. I relished every academic challenge and persevered through the toughest of them to “win.” I was also artistic, musical, and creative. What couldn’t I do?

Run to the cadence of gym class beeps, apparently.

A day later, the shock was wearing off and I was laughing with my friend. “You thought you could just decide to ace the test?” I was embarrassed to admit that I had. I hadn’t considered that there was a physical dimension that might eclipse my will.

And truly, I hadn’t considered that there could be something I wasn’t good at. Oh, but it felt good to laugh at my folly!

As funny as it sounds, that day in gym class changed my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not good at everything. I began to notice and accept my shortcomings, and even admit them out loud.

But do you know what else is funny? I didn’t realize until after college that I could actually learn to better at things I’m not naturally good at. Not easily or quickly, and maybe not to the point of greatness, but it's possible to improve.

I now see what was obvious to the rest of the world: I probably would have done better in the gym assessment if I had trained for it!

I wonder what I’ll learn next?

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by starryEyes
Learning to the song of the beeps
Leaning against the padded gym wall, I gasped for breath. My lungs burned. My legs felt wobbly. And I was going into shock.

Out on the floor, some of the other kids were still running in synchrony with the beeps emanating from the portable stereo. It was assessment week in gym class. Today’s test? Run the marked lane and cross the line before the beep. Then turn around and run back before the next beep. And again. And again. If you failed to keep up with the quickening beeps, you had to leave the course and your time was marked.

Gym class was one of those things that could only be endured. Why it should be part of my curriculum, I couldn’t fathom, although I’ve oft suspected that some parts of school were implemented purely to torture the students. As far as I was concerned, ping-pong and written tests were the only pleasant aspects of the class.

Yet at the announcement of this upcoming test, I took an unusual interest in the event. It was something that was scored. Therefore I wanted to do well. Obviously, I would do well. No half-measures for me, no apathetic dragging of my feet. Determination would win the day. I’d run until the cassette tape quit.

Still panting, I slid down the wall to the gymnasium floor. Something had gone horribly wrong. I struggled to work it out as my heart worked double time to supply my brain with oxygen. Then I had it:

I failed.

I gave it my all, but it wasn’t good enough.

At sixteen years old, I was slapped with the realization that the adage I’d lived by all my life, “you can do anything you set your mind to,” wasn’t actually true. My world had been turned upside down.

Naturally good at all things school, I was used to success. I loved learning. I relished every academic challenge and persevered through the toughest of them to “win.” I was also artistic, musical, and creative. What couldn’t I do?

Run to the cadence of gym class beeps, apparently.

A day later, the shock was wearing off and I was laughing with my friend. “You thought you could just decide to ace the test?” I was embarrassed to admit that I had. I hadn’t considered that there was a physical dimension that might eclipse my will.
And truly, I hadn’t considered that there could be something I wasn’t good at. Oh, but it felt good to laugh at my folly!

As funny as it sounds, that day in gym class changed my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not good at everything. I began to notice and accept my shortcomings, and even admit them out loud.

But do you know what else is funny? I didn’t realize until after college that I could actually learn to better at things I’m not naturally good at. Not easily or quickly, and maybe not to the point of greatness, but it's possible to improve.

I now see what was obvious to the rest of the world: I probably would have done better in the gym assessment if I had trained for it!

I wonder what I’ll learn next?

#nonfiction  #prosechallenge  #lifelessons  #Itslit 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Let's Talk Prose

Good morning, Prosers.

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it?

The last seven (ish) days has been a hive of activity here behind the Prose screens. We overhauled the Challenge Stream and we weren’t prepared for some of the concerns you guys laid across our digital desks.

We tried to answer each one of your concerns, but thought it best, now the dust has settled, to write something to each and every one of you.

Over a year ago, we took a vow of transparency and this is one of those times where we feel full transparency is needed.

There are only 4 of us on the team, and two of us have spent a long time in the past 7 days responding to each and every concern of yours, whilst working part-time on all of our Prose duties, and part-time on the PoetsIN duties.

Some of the complaints we received were misconceptions of the team and the company ethos that we have worked so hard at. So, this is us, setting the record straight. We are going to outline the concerns and comments, and put this to bed so we can continue improving Prose.

1) Default minimum word count.

This is set by default at 15. We will not be changing this any time soon. Why? Because when we allowed full flexibility, with no restriction there, our feeds were full with one word challenges. “Sorrow in one word.” “Death in one word.” Not only was this clogging the streams; we were also getting complaints about it. So we found a happy medium. With tens of thousands of users here, we had a couple of complaints about this. Not enough complaints that would make us re-think our stance.

2) Why did we charge for last week’s challenge of the week?

The first week’s charge for the challenge was to test the feature. We can test on our beta server, but know from experience that the second we unleash it on you guys, if there is a bug that we have missed, you will find it within seconds and we can fix it just as quickly.

3) Will we charge for future challenges?

Short answer, yes. Why? We’ll come back to this shortly.

4) What about those that do not have coins?

Those who do not have coins can either, a) head to the website and buy a coin package, b) become a partner and sell books/shorts/chapters, or c) write exceptional pieces that your Proser peers will juice you for. If neither a, b, or c apply to you, sit out the challenge and find one that doesn’t cost to enter.

5) Are we falling foul of “corruption to profit?” 

No. We are most certainly not. We are four people, managing a community tens of thousands larger than our foursome. We work tirelessly on this platform because we love it. This change wasn’t about profit, whatsoever. We’re humble, realistic, and realise that without charging for challenges, and taking a small cut from book sales etc, Prose won’t continue this way.

The above were the main concerns, and comments from people, said in a multitude of ways. All handled in a professional way, sometimes to-the-point, but never abrasive or rude. We are human after all and we’re damn proud of what we have achieved with such a small team and an equally small budget.

Think of how you discovered us. Was that through a large ad campaign? Nope, because we do not do that. We have grown this community organically, by spending time reaching out to people via social media and getting listed on some cool websites, that’s really it in a nutshell. Millions of man-hours go into this and we get paid less than most for the hours we put in.

We have made a tough decision. For the foreseeable, we will be charging for the Challenge of the Week. 50 cents. That’s all. There are challenges out there on the interwebs that charge a shed-load more for entering a challenge. We aren’t charging 50c to make a profit, we are charging 50c to put food on the table.

Over the past 67 weeks, we have given away $6700 in Challenge of the Week funds and have used our funding to pay for it. We haven’t asked you for a cent. The second we do, we have people asking why this “forum” can’t be free. Up until now, we have run Prose from a pool of money from generous investors who believe in what we do as much as we do. We haven’t yet made enough from Prose as a business to be able to pay our bills and such like. 

Prose is still free to use. But, if you want $100, you’ll have to pay 50 cents for the chance. We do not make enough currently to be able to keep giving free money, as much as we’d love to. There are plenty of free-to-enter challenges set by your peers that you can enter.

The more you guys buy coins, spend coins on each other, supporting the words of this amazing community, the more likely we’ll be able to offer a free-to-enter Challenge of the Week again. If we do not make enough to pay ourselves and pay the server charges, there will be no paid or free challenges. Dramatic, maybe, but that is the truth.

This does not mean Prose is failing, it does not mean we are going to ‘shut up shop,’ far from it. It’s us making you aware that these changes, along with your cooperation, will ensure our longevity.

Not all of the comments were comments of concern, and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support and for choosing Prose as your home for words.

We are working hard to tip the scales to benefit the author, and we’ve done this so far by providing numerous ways for each of you to make money with your words, with your royalties far outweighing ours.

Tomorrow we have another exciting opportunity for all of you, too, which has been months in the making. But, in the meantime, let’s recap how you can make a living on Prose.

1) Become a Prose Partner. Head here: theprose.com/p/partner. If you are accepted, you can sell your words on Prose. These can be sold as a single poem or short story, or as a book. Books can be sold per chapter, or as a whole.

2) Get involved in the Prose community, like, comment, share, and write. Write like it’s the last thing you’ll ever write; if Prosers like it, they’ll juice you.

3) Create awesome paid challenges. Prosers can actually make money from doing this.

If you would like some marketing tips from the team here, let us know, we’ll create a book in the bookstore that can help serve as a guide with some very useful tips and tricks in there. As a side-note, due to limitations with our time, we will have to charge for this book. Every little helps us, help you.

We think that’s all for now; if you have any further questions or concerns, please message or email us privately, and bear with us while we respond.

Let’s all get back to being creative, shall we?

Until next time, long live Prose!

Prose.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Let's Talk Prose
Good morning, Prosers.

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it?

The last seven (ish) days has been a hive of activity here behind the Prose screens. We overhauled the Challenge Stream and we weren’t prepared for some of the concerns you guys laid across our digital desks.

We tried to answer each one of your concerns, but thought it best, now the dust has settled, to write something to each and every one of you.

Over a year ago, we took a vow of transparency and this is one of those times where we feel full transparency is needed.

There are only 4 of us on the team, and two of us have spent a long time in the past 7 days responding to each and every concern of yours, whilst working part-time on all of our Prose duties, and part-time on the PoetsIN duties.

Some of the complaints we received were misconceptions of the team and the company ethos that we have worked so hard at. So, this is us, setting the record straight. We are going to outline the concerns and comments, and put this to bed so we can continue improving Prose.

1) Default minimum word count.
This is set by default at 15. We will not be changing this any time soon. Why? Because when we allowed full flexibility, with no restriction there, our feeds were full with one word challenges. “Sorrow in one word.” “Death in one word.” Not only was this clogging the streams; we were also getting complaints about it. So we found a happy medium. With tens of thousands of users here, we had a couple of complaints about this. Not enough complaints that would make us re-think our stance.

2) Why did we charge for last week’s challenge of the week?
The first week’s charge for the challenge was to test the feature. We can test on our beta server, but know from experience that the second we unleash it on you guys, if there is a bug that we have missed, you will find it within seconds and we can fix it just as quickly.

3) Will we charge for future challenges?
Short answer, yes. Why? We’ll come back to this shortly.

4) What about those that do not have coins?
Those who do not have coins can either, a) head to the website and buy a coin package, b) become a partner and sell books/shorts/chapters, or c) write exceptional pieces that your Proser peers will juice you for. If neither a, b, or c apply to you, sit out the challenge and find one that doesn’t cost to enter.

5) Are we falling foul of “corruption to profit?” 
No. We are most certainly not. We are four people, managing a community tens of thousands larger than our foursome. We work tirelessly on this platform because we love it. This change wasn’t about profit, whatsoever. We’re humble, realistic, and realise that without charging for challenges, and taking a small cut from book sales etc, Prose won’t continue this way.

The above were the main concerns, and comments from people, said in a multitude of ways. All handled in a professional way, sometimes to-the-point, but never abrasive or rude. We are human after all and we’re damn proud of what we have achieved with such a small team and an equally small budget.

Think of how you discovered us. Was that through a large ad campaign? Nope, because we do not do that. We have grown this community organically, by spending time reaching out to people via social media and getting listed on some cool websites, that’s really it in a nutshell. Millions of man-hours go into this and we get paid less than most for the hours we put in.

We have made a tough decision. For the foreseeable, we will be charging for the Challenge of the Week. 50 cents. That’s all. There are challenges out there on the interwebs that charge a shed-load more for entering a challenge. We aren’t charging 50c to make a profit, we are charging 50c to put food on the table.

Over the past 67 weeks, we have given away $6700 in Challenge of the Week funds and have used our funding to pay for it. We haven’t asked you for a cent. The second we do, we have people asking why this “forum” can’t be free. Up until now, we have run Prose from a pool of money from generous investors who believe in what we do as much as we do. We haven’t yet made enough from Prose as a business to be able to pay our bills and such like. 

Prose is still free to use. But, if you want $100, you’ll have to pay 50 cents for the chance. We do not make enough currently to be able to keep giving free money, as much as we’d love to. There are plenty of free-to-enter challenges set by your peers that you can enter.

The more you guys buy coins, spend coins on each other, supporting the words of this amazing community, the more likely we’ll be able to offer a free-to-enter Challenge of the Week again. If we do not make enough to pay ourselves and pay the server charges, there will be no paid or free challenges. Dramatic, maybe, but that is the truth.

This does not mean Prose is failing, it does not mean we are going to ‘shut up shop,’ far from it. It’s us making you aware that these changes, along with your cooperation, will ensure our longevity.

Not all of the comments were comments of concern, and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support and for choosing Prose as your home for words.

We are working hard to tip the scales to benefit the author, and we’ve done this so far by providing numerous ways for each of you to make money with your words, with your royalties far outweighing ours.

Tomorrow we have another exciting opportunity for all of you, too, which has been months in the making. But, in the meantime, let’s recap how you can make a living on Prose.

1) Become a Prose Partner. Head here: theprose.com/p/partner. If you are accepted, you can sell your words on Prose. These can be sold as a single poem or short story, or as a book. Books can be sold per chapter, or as a whole.

2) Get involved in the Prose community, like, comment, share, and write. Write like it’s the last thing you’ll ever write; if Prosers like it, they’ll juice you.

3) Create awesome paid challenges. Prosers can actually make money from doing this.

If you would like some marketing tips from the team here, let us know, we’ll create a book in the bookstore that can help serve as a guide with some very useful tips and tricks in there. As a side-note, due to limitations with our time, we will have to charge for this book. Every little helps us, help you.

We think that’s all for now; if you have any further questions or concerns, please message or email us privately, and bear with us while we respond.

Let’s all get back to being creative, shall we?

Until next time, long live Prose!

Prose.

#prose  #transparency  #Itslit  #getlit  #AdminPost 
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Written by meanlittlething

The girl you used to know

You step into your classroom and take your customary seat, relishing in the comfort of sitting among friends while studiously keeping your gaze forward, away from the place where another girl sat.

You remember the days when you sought out that other girl’s presence whenever you stepped into a room, but now you avoid even glancing in her direction. You want to let your open wounds heal and you want to convince her that you had purged her from your life.

(Yet every now and then when you hear her laugh, you feel a stabbing pain in your gut, so perhaps you’re just convincing yourself.)

You remember plenty of your friendship, each and every year of it — the initial elation at discovering someone so similar in snarkiness and sarcasm, the feeling when both of you voice the same thought at the same time and the way she always called you by your full name to the point that you can’t imagine her calling you by your first name.

(These days she does not call your name at all, and wants nothing to do with you because you’re not as funny, as lively or as relevant as her new friends.)

You remember the first time she pretended that she didn’t hear you and the first time she pretended that you were not standing right next to her, trying to talk to her. You remember the unfamiliar, uncomfortable gnawing in your stomach that put a little crease between your brows as you pretended that she was not ignoring you while alarms started blaring in your mind.

(It took you a month to walk away from a friendship that had died a long time ago, a month of flogging the proverbial dead horse before realising that the only one being beaten up was yourself, and that the girl you knew and loved was as dead as the horse.)

Now you laugh without reservation with another girl, and as painful as it might have been, you’re almost glad that you were so deserted abruptly. Now you’re confident that even though losing a friend feels like drowning, you’re adept at treading water. Now you know that even if someone rips a little bit of you away, you’ll be crippled but undefeated and that eventually, you’ll heal.

You still don’t glance in her direction, but that’s okay, because you’ve learnt ways of living your life without her. One day, you might even be grateful.

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Written by meanlittlething
The girl you used to know
You step into your classroom and take your customary seat, relishing in the comfort of sitting among friends while studiously keeping your gaze forward, away from the place where another girl sat.

You remember the days when you sought out that other girl’s presence whenever you stepped into a room, but now you avoid even glancing in her direction. You want to let your open wounds heal and you want to convince her that you had purged her from your life.

(Yet every now and then when you hear her laugh, you feel a stabbing pain in your gut, so perhaps you’re just convincing yourself.)

You remember plenty of your friendship, each and every year of it — the initial elation at discovering someone so similar in snarkiness and sarcasm, the feeling when both of you voice the same thought at the same time and the way she always called you by your full name to the point that you can’t imagine her calling you by your first name.

(These days she does not call your name at all, and wants nothing to do with you because you’re not as funny, as lively or as relevant as her new friends.)

You remember the first time she pretended that she didn’t hear you and the first time she pretended that you were not standing right next to her, trying to talk to her. You remember the unfamiliar, uncomfortable gnawing in your stomach that put a little crease between your brows as you pretended that she was not ignoring you while alarms started blaring in your mind.

(It took you a month to walk away from a friendship that had died a long time ago, a month of flogging the proverbial dead horse before realising that the only one being beaten up was yourself, and that the girl you knew and loved was as dead as the horse.)

Now you laugh without reservation with another girl, and as painful as it might have been, you’re almost glad that you were so deserted abruptly. Now you’re confident that even though losing a friend feels like drowning, you’re adept at treading water. Now you know that even if someone rips a little bit of you away, you’ll be crippled but undefeated and that eventually, you’ll heal.

You still don’t glance in her direction, but that’s okay, because you’ve learnt ways of living your life without her. One day, you might even be grateful.
#prosechallenge  #Itslit 
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Written by Sammielee46 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

his choice

castrate the things that curse your heart

halve the hurt, let it go and start

attune yourself to your inner song

make music - put the notes where they belong

piece together the torn pages

ink blotches greyed throughout the ages

open your eyes to their disguise

no more hello's, just final goodbyes

nighttime is long when the bed is bare

owls' hoots remind that you are not there

inside i've cried but my eyes are bone dry

prostituting my soul; a stunted butterfly

make do with what i have, chase my dreams alone

after all is said and done, he's the one without his home

home is where the heart is, and his heart belongs to me

choices were his to make, he's the prisoner, i am free...

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Written by Sammielee46 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
his choice
castrate the things that curse your heart
halve the hurt, let it go and start
attune yourself to your inner song
make music - put the notes where they belong
piece together the torn pages
ink blotches greyed throughout the ages
open your eyes to their disguise
no more hello's, just final goodbyes

nighttime is long when the bed is bare
owls' hoots remind that you are not there
inside i've cried but my eyes are bone dry
prostituting my soul; a stunted butterfly
make do with what i have, chase my dreams alone
after all is said and done, he's the one without his home
home is where the heart is, and his heart belongs to me
choices were his to make, he's the prisoner, i am free...
#poetry  #rhyme  #acrostic  #amwriting  #Itslit 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Prose Challenge of the Week #66

Hello, Prosers,

We hope this challenge announcement finds you well and writing!

It’s week sixty-six of the Prose Challenge of the Week.

For the last week, you have been writing about infidelity, and man, did you deliver. Before we check out who the deserving winner and recipient of $100 is, let’s take a look at this week’s prompt:

CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for 24 consecutive hours. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.

Now, back to the winner of week sixty-five.

We have read all of your entries, and have come to a decision. The winner of the Twisted Tale challenge is @Rumpleskag with their piece, But Is It Really Cheating?

Congratulations! You have just won $100. We’ll be in touch with you shortly.

In the meantime, you have one week to get your write on!

Until next time, Prosers,

Prose.

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Prose Challenge of the Week #66
Hello, Prosers,

We hope this challenge announcement finds you well and writing!

It’s week sixty-six of the Prose Challenge of the Week.

For the last week, you have been writing about infidelity, and man, did you deliver. Before we check out who the deserving winner and recipient of $100 is, let’s take a look at this week’s prompt:

CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for 24 consecutive hours. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.

Now, back to the winner of week sixty-five.

We have read all of your entries, and have come to a decision. The winner of the Twisted Tale challenge is @Rumpleskag with their piece, But Is It Really Cheating?

Congratulations! You have just won $100. We’ll be in touch with you shortly.

In the meantime, you have one week to get your write on!

Until next time, Prosers,

Prose.
#prosechallenge  #ProseChallengeoftheWeek  #CotW  #Itslit  #getlit 
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Cara

Living Life Like This

His hands covered my eyes.

"No peeking, love." The grin in his voice made me smile, and I bit my lip. My stomach was in knots. "Are you ready?"

"Yeah." I swallowed my nervous butterflies. The wind was Irish, strong and unpredictable. I'd waited for this. I'd read about this. I'd seen…more photos than I could count.

Then I got to experience it with my own eyes as his hands fell away, and it was breathtaking and scary and exhilarating and, and, and I couldn’t find my words. We're so small. The expansive cliffs shot up from the ocean, the sight sucking the air from my lungs. Grassy hills so green that my senses needed time to adjust. My body did the talking. Tears welled up, and my grin was so wide.

Cliffs of Moher.

Far, far below, the waves were crashing soundlessly against the cliff walls. The wind whooshed back and forth, sending my hair flying in every direction. It was love at first sight. Struck mute and unable to contain my emotions, I let out a happy squeal behind my hands, and I stiffened from sheer excitement.

He was watching me with a smile and handsome eyes that'd seen so much.

"Come here." He hugged me to him, a warm and tight squeeze. "You see now?"

I nodded, remembering his words. Now I could live them.

"Living life like this…you live the words you read. Travel to learn, learn so you can understand, experience so you can share the story and do it justice. Don't spend your entire life working on one chapter."

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by Cara
Living Life Like This

His hands covered my eyes.

"No peeking, love." The grin in his voice made me smile, and I bit my lip. My stomach was in knots. "Are you ready?"

"Yeah." I swallowed my nervous butterflies. The wind was Irish, strong and unpredictable. I'd waited for this. I'd read about this. I'd seen…more photos than I could count.

Then I got to experience it with my own eyes as his hands fell away, and it was breathtaking and scary and exhilarating and, and, and I couldn’t find my words. We're so small. The expansive cliffs shot up from the ocean, the sight sucking the air from my lungs. Grassy hills so green that my senses needed time to adjust. My body did the talking. Tears welled up, and my grin was so wide.

Cliffs of Moher.

Far, far below, the waves were crashing soundlessly against the cliff walls. The wind whooshed back and forth, sending my hair flying in every direction. It was love at first sight. Struck mute and unable to contain my emotions, I let out a happy squeal behind my hands, and I stiffened from sheer excitement.

He was watching me with a smile and handsome eyes that'd seen so much.

"Come here." He hugged me to him, a warm and tight squeeze. "You see now?"

I nodded, remembering his words. Now I could live them.

"Living life like this…you live the words you read. Travel to learn, learn so you can understand, experience so you can share the story and do it justice. Don't spend your entire life working on one chapter."

#prosechallenge  #Itslit 
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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JamesMByers

Amends ...

Her eyes, like embers blazing hot,

Emancipated me.

The prison of my married rot;

She came to set me free.

An ocean barred and held us bound,

Though miles, they mattered not.

The bonnie lass my heart had found

Secured a sacred spot.

We met in poesy swapping words;

Her husband was a star.

And I was in my cage as birds

Unfit to fly afar.

For many years, we both had stayed

In halls and walls; routine.

Amended edges, tattered; frayed-

A chopping guillotine.

However, life has hidden keys

And she was such a gift.

An open door, a welcome breeze

To give each wing a lift.

Permission bled to passion's plan

And over time, we fell.

The world of woman and of man

Has never heard the tale.

No Romeo and Juliet;

No cross of lover's debt-

My loving never sowed regret;

No worry or no fret.

The secret words of poetry

Exchanged became the way

We shared each other knowingly;

We kissed, caressed by day.

And though our lips would never touch,

The way we pleased the soul

Ensured my love for her as such-

We made each other whole.

Rekindled feelings blooming grand

Exonerated hope.

In written form, she took my hand

And helped me learn to cope.

Confessions never claimed the right-

Ability in rhyme.

Decisions plagued my heart at night-

I longed for us a time

To share the space of wedded bliss.

However, on the screen

Composed of all we had in this-

The way our love was seen.

So many letters we exchanged;

So many wonders sought.

And though at odds we were estranged,

Together love was wrought.

Compelled by something old as earth,

We clamored to the sun.

Repelled by gravity in worth,

To never be undone-

A husband and a wife to those

Who never read the truth.

But she and I, we gladly chose

The sanguine labeled proof-

And as forever she will be

My love that never ends-

What you call infidelity

I choose to call amends ...

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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JamesMByers
Amends ...
Her eyes, like embers blazing hot,
Emancipated me.
The prison of my married rot;
She came to set me free.
An ocean barred and held us bound,
Though miles, they mattered not.
The bonnie lass my heart had found
Secured a sacred spot.
We met in poesy swapping words;
Her husband was a star.
And I was in my cage as birds
Unfit to fly afar.
For many years, we both had stayed
In halls and walls; routine.
Amended edges, tattered; frayed-
A chopping guillotine.
However, life has hidden keys
And she was such a gift.
An open door, a welcome breeze
To give each wing a lift.
Permission bled to passion's plan
And over time, we fell.
The world of woman and of man
Has never heard the tale.
No Romeo and Juliet;
No cross of lover's debt-
My loving never sowed regret;
No worry or no fret.
The secret words of poetry
Exchanged became the way
We shared each other knowingly;
We kissed, caressed by day.
And though our lips would never touch,
The way we pleased the soul
Ensured my love for her as such-
We made each other whole.
Rekindled feelings blooming grand
Exonerated hope.
In written form, she took my hand
And helped me learn to cope.
Confessions never claimed the right-
Ability in rhyme.
Decisions plagued my heart at night-
I longed for us a time
To share the space of wedded bliss.
However, on the screen
Composed of all we had in this-
The way our love was seen.
So many letters we exchanged;
So many wonders sought.
And though at odds we were estranged,
Together love was wrought.
Compelled by something old as earth,
We clamored to the sun.
Repelled by gravity in worth,
To never be undone-
A husband and a wife to those
Who never read the truth.
But she and I, we gladly chose
The sanguine labeled proof-
And as forever she will be
My love that never ends-
What you call infidelity
I choose to call amends ...




#romance  #poetry  #prosechallenge  #Itslit  #getlit 
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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JessicaJohnson

Deception In The First Degree

The shoddy streetlight barely pierces the darkness as I stumble down the old sidewalk to the east side of the deserted warehouse.  It is nearly midnight, and I am still searching for the illuminated door. Beneath my shoes, I feel the sidewalk give way to loose gravel as I continue past more boarded up windows and shadowy interiors. As the darkness continues, I wonder if perhaps I am at the wrong rendezvous point. Or if perhaps Carmen came to her senses and abandoned our tryst before it could ever fully begin. And as these thoughts creep in, I feel a disappointment settling itself behind my rib cage as I continue on into the dark.

But, wait! What is that ahead? I feel my heartbeat skip as I quicken my pace, anticipation flooding my veins. A faint yellow glow is seeping behind a cracked door. I brace myself as I approach and inch the door open. As I peer down the corridor, I see a makeshift table with a lantern sitting atop it. And, leaning against the makeshift table, I set eyes on the most exquisite woman I have ever seen. Carmen is all legs in her strappy heels and short, clingy black dress. As I approach, I watch a slow smile splay across her painted red lips as her blond hair tumbles in waves over her bare shoulders. Her lips meet mine with insistence, sparking instant desire as her arms wrap around my neck. She deepens the kiss as she trails one bare leg down my side, my arousal fully evident between us. As her tongue forces its way into my mouth, I feel a slight pinch and a tingle at the side of my neck. I then feel Carmen slowly disengage herself from the kiss and step out of my arms. My confusion at her sudden halt is consuming my mind. Yet, my eyes are having trouble focusing on the smeared red lipstick on her face. As I try to read her expression, I feel my limbs become heavy, and the room begins to spin. Then my whole world goes black.

***12 hours earlier***

"This is such a nice little place. I can't believe we have never been here before. Jenny from my book club mentioned it the other day, saying we should definitely stop in sometime." My wife prattles on as we sit in a booth at Grandma's Cafe on the corner of 5th finishing our lunch. "The food and the coffee have both been excellent," she continues, still sipping from her mug. On a spur of the moment whim, my wife decided we should venture out for lunch. I'm finishing my turkey club and inserting the appropriate "Mhmm's" and "Yes, dear's" to keep the conversation flowing. Yet, I can hardly focus on any words leaving her mouth.

Across the room, Carmen is sitting alone, sipping coffee and flipping through a magazine. It's taking most of my willpower not to stare at her long legs stretched out under the table in those shorts. Our eyes met when my wife and I entered the cafe, and the ghost of a smile that graced Carmen's lips sent my pulse racing. Carmen and I have actually ate at this cafe before. Earlier this month, I met up with Carmen twice for dinner here while my wife believed me to be working late. We have never ventured beyond dinner, a few lingering kisses, and many inappropriate text messages, but I feel we are approaching a new transgression. Last night, Carmen sent me a message with a photo displaying her full cleavage. Attached to the photo was the one word text of "Soon."

My wife has finished her lunch and excuses herself to the restroom. After my wife disappears from sight, I watch Carmen slowly rise from her seat. As she saunters to the door, she swings by my booth with a smile and a wink as she slides a folded napkin across the table. My hungry eyes watch her leave the cafe before I open the napkin and read, "Tonight is the night. Meet me at the old warehouse on Lincoln, east side, at midnight. Look for the illuminated door. Love, C."

***In the warehouse***

My head is groggy and my neck aches. As my senses slowly drift back to me, I realize I am sitting in a upright position. I attempt to move my arms and legs to a more comfortable position only to find I cannot move them. My eyelids are heavy as I force them open to stare down at my hands, which are bound with rope to each side of a chair. I cannot see my ankles, but I think it's safe to assume that they are bound to the legs of the chair. The panic from my restraints forces me into a more wakeful state as I slowly take in my surroundings and attempt to remember what happened. As I gaze around the room, realizing I am in a warehouse, the pieces slowly fall into place. I was meeting Carmen. I was kissing Carmen. Then I passed out? I must have. But I am still in the warehouse, tied up and groggy. Why?? And where is Carmen?

The room I am restrained in is relatively well lit. And now that I remember where I am, I take slower stock of my surroundings. Across the room from me is another chair, empty, with a small black suitcase sitting next to it. A small bit of rope is coiled next to the chair, and next to the rope is an ash tray with several cigarette butts. The smell of cigarettes linger in the air as if one was recently smoked. To my left, I notice a large table with many photographs spread out across it. And in the far corner of the table, I notice long, wavy golden locks of hair, the exact color of Carmen's hair. The exquisite locks are piled at the corner as if they were a wig...

Yet, my eyes are drawn from the wavy locks to the photographs on the table as I glimpse what appears to be my face. My eyes then move slowly from one photograph to the next, realizing I am in each picture. And each photo depicts me locked in a damning embrace with a different woman. I recognize Miranda in one photograph, and Anna in another. They are my more recent affairs. I recognize Heather from a drunken one night stand around a month ago. I continue to peruse the photographs and recognize Amy, Diana, and Rachel from several months ago. And as I continue to scrutinize each photograph, I realize there are many women who's names I cannot remember. Where did all these photos come from? And who has been taking them?

"Well, hello Martin. So glad to finally see you're awake." I jump at the sound of Carmen's voice coming from the doorway to my right. "I was worried you many never wake from the tranquilizer dose I gave you. You went down a lot faster than the usual, but I believe I injected you straight into the jugular. Intravenous rather than intramuscular. It has a faster, yet more deadly effect."

I watch, dumbfounded, as Carmen steps into the room still in her black dress, yet with her feet bare as her heels dangle from one hand. Her smeared red lipstick has been wiped away. And her hair is clipped short and brown. I glace from her face back to the table with the golden locks.

"Ah, yes. Those golden tresses are a wig. Elizabeth told me you had a weak spot for blonds, as many of these photos on display for you would indicate." Carmen saunters into the room and takes a seat in the empty chair across from me, crossing her legs and lighting up a cigarette. "Now, where should we begin?" she asks, as a takes a slow drag from the cigarette.

A whole string of questions and curses fill my head as I sit bound across the room, but very few words make it past my lips. "Why are you doing this? I have done nothing to you! Let me go!"

"Oh, Martin. Don't you know?" Carmen asks, a glint in her eye. "Your wife Elizabeth asked me to do this. And she can be rather convincing. She actually hired me a couple years ago to follow you, confirming her suspicions about your affairs." Carmen lets this revelation sink in as she takes another slow drag from her cigarette before continuing. "After I confirmed her suspicions, I became her regular contact. Every time she believed you might be having a new affair, I got a call. You both have kept me very busy. She paid me extra to frighten away a few of your lovers that she believed you might be getting too serious with. But the straw that finally broke the camel's back, as they say, was your last affair. I believe her name was Miranda, yes?" In the following pause, Carmen takes my silence for confirmation. Miranda was my most recent affair...

"Yes. I thought so," Carmen continues. "Well, Miranda was a member of your wife's book club, and her seeing Miranda every week was the true breaking point. It was then I got a very different call from Elizabeth." A sinister smile stretches across Carmen's lips as her next words roll off her tongue with foreboding, "And here we are!"

As I stare at Carmen, I realize she hasn't divulged whatever my wife has hired her to do. But I think it's safe to assume I will not like it. "I will pay you!" I blurt desperately. "Whatever my wife has promised you, I will double it if you let me go. And no one has to know about this. Nothing has happened here that we can't take back."

"Martin, Martin..." Carmen muses as she finishes her cigarette and leans over to put it out in the ash tray beside her chair. She then rises from her chair, with the black suitcase in hand, and advances to the table with the photos. She sets the black suitcase upon the table as she gathers up the photographs into a neat pile. "This is a rather shady part of town for you to be out in so late at night, Martin. I believe you probably gave Elizabeth some lie about not being able to sleep and needing to take a drive to clear your head."

I watch with building fear as Carmen opens the suitcase and dons a pair of gloves before she again continues. "A lot of bad characters prowl these streets at this hour. And one of these bad characters has been selling some questionable drugs to kids around town. I have been hired to deal with him also."

My dread keeps building as I hear Carmen assembling something behind the opened lid of the suitcase. "I discretely lifted this from our drug dealer for tonight's special occasion," Carmen states matter-of-factly as she flashes a pistol in her right hand, silencer attached. "As it turns out, this gun can be directly linked to our neighborhood drug dealer through ballistics. And I happen to know he will be closing a deal approximately a block over very soon. Such a shame that you had to witness the deal on your evening drive. Your untimely demise will be quite the tragedy. And our sleazy dealer will find himself off the streets and behind bars for murder in the first degree." Carmen moves from behind the table and positions herself directly in front of me, a sly glint reflected in her eyes. "Two birds with one stone," she states, smiling.

"Please, please, please..." I beg. "Don't do this! I'll do anything! Please!" Yet, at my pleading, her smile only broadens.

"HELP! PLEASE! SOMEONE HELP ME!" I scream. "HELP!!!'

"Your screams are useless Martin. No one will hear you here. And even if they did, they would not dare venture into these shady streets at this hour." Even as the words leave her lips, I know this to be true.

"You won't get away with this! You will go to prison!" I yell, tears stinging the corners of my eyes in a mix of rage and terror as I struggle futilely with my bonds.

"Martin, darling, I have been getting away with this for years," Carmen purrs, her words sending shivers down my spine. I watch as she levels the gun at my forehead, terror fully seizing me as my bladder gives way, the acrid smell of urine filling my nostrils.

"Please..." I plead, tears spilling down my cheeks.

"It's nothing personal, Martin," Carmen states, gun in position. "But your wife has quite the impressive life insurance policy on you. And, as it turns out, you are worth more dead than alive."

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CotW #65: Write a story about infidelity. The most eloquent, elegant, entertaining entry, ascertained by Prose, earns $100 and stays atop the Spotlight shelf for six straight days. Feel free to invite friends, distant family, even strange acquaintances to play this challenge with you anonymously. Please use #ProseChallenge #itslit for sharing online.
Written by JessicaJohnson
Deception In The First Degree
The shoddy streetlight barely pierces the darkness as I stumble down the old sidewalk to the east side of the deserted warehouse.  It is nearly midnight, and I am still searching for the illuminated door. Beneath my shoes, I feel the sidewalk give way to loose gravel as I continue past more boarded up windows and shadowy interiors. As the darkness continues, I wonder if perhaps I am at the wrong rendezvous point. Or if perhaps Carmen came to her senses and abandoned our tryst before it could ever fully begin. And as these thoughts creep in, I feel a disappointment settling itself behind my rib cage as I continue on into the dark.

But, wait! What is that ahead? I feel my heartbeat skip as I quicken my pace, anticipation flooding my veins. A faint yellow glow is seeping behind a cracked door. I brace myself as I approach and inch the door open. As I peer down the corridor, I see a makeshift table with a lantern sitting atop it. And, leaning against the makeshift table, I set eyes on the most exquisite woman I have ever seen. Carmen is all legs in her strappy heels and short, clingy black dress. As I approach, I watch a slow smile splay across her painted red lips as her blond hair tumbles in waves over her bare shoulders. Her lips meet mine with insistence, sparking instant desire as her arms wrap around my neck. She deepens the kiss as she trails one bare leg down my side, my arousal fully evident between us. As her tongue forces its way into my mouth, I feel a slight pinch and a tingle at the side of my neck. I then feel Carmen slowly disengage herself from the kiss and step out of my arms. My confusion at her sudden halt is consuming my mind. Yet, my eyes are having trouble focusing on the smeared red lipstick on her face. As I try to read her expression, I feel my limbs become heavy, and the room begins to spin. Then my whole world goes black.

***12 hours earlier***

"This is such a nice little place. I can't believe we have never been here before. Jenny from my book club mentioned it the other day, saying we should definitely stop in sometime." My wife prattles on as we sit in a booth at Grandma's Cafe on the corner of 5th finishing our lunch. "The food and the coffee have both been excellent," she continues, still sipping from her mug. On a spur of the moment whim, my wife decided we should venture out for lunch. I'm finishing my turkey club and inserting the appropriate "Mhmm's" and "Yes, dear's" to keep the conversation flowing. Yet, I can hardly focus on any words leaving her mouth.

Across the room, Carmen is sitting alone, sipping coffee and flipping through a magazine. It's taking most of my willpower not to stare at her long legs stretched out under the table in those shorts. Our eyes met when my wife and I entered the cafe, and the ghost of a smile that graced Carmen's lips sent my pulse racing. Carmen and I have actually ate at this cafe before. Earlier this month, I met up with Carmen twice for dinner here while my wife believed me to be working late. We have never ventured beyond dinner, a few lingering kisses, and many inappropriate text messages, but I feel we are approaching a new transgression. Last night, Carmen sent me a message with a photo displaying her full cleavage. Attached to the photo was the one word text of "Soon."

My wife has finished her lunch and excuses herself to the restroom. After my wife disappears from sight, I watch Carmen slowly rise from her seat. As she saunters to the door, she swings by my booth with a smile and a wink as she slides a folded napkin across the table. My hungry eyes watch her leave the cafe before I open the napkin and read, "Tonight is the night. Meet me at the old warehouse on Lincoln, east side, at midnight. Look for the illuminated door. Love, C."

***In the warehouse***

My head is groggy and my neck aches. As my senses slowly drift back to me, I realize I am sitting in a upright position. I attempt to move my arms and legs to a more comfortable position only to find I cannot move them. My eyelids are heavy as I force them open to stare down at my hands, which are bound with rope to each side of a chair. I cannot see my ankles, but I think it's safe to assume that they are bound to the legs of the chair. The panic from my restraints forces me into a more wakeful state as I slowly take in my surroundings and attempt to remember what happened. As I gaze around the room, realizing I am in a warehouse, the pieces slowly fall into place. I was meeting Carmen. I was kissing Carmen. Then I passed out? I must have. But I am still in the warehouse, tied up and groggy. Why?? And where is Carmen?

The room I am restrained in is relatively well lit. And now that I remember where I am, I take slower stock of my surroundings. Across the room from me is another chair, empty, with a small black suitcase sitting next to it. A small bit of rope is coiled next to the chair, and next to the rope is an ash tray with several cigarette butts. The smell of cigarettes linger in the air as if one was recently smoked. To my left, I notice a large table with many photographs spread out across it. And in the far corner of the table, I notice long, wavy golden locks of hair, the exact color of Carmen's hair. The exquisite locks are piled at the corner as if they were a wig...

Yet, my eyes are drawn from the wavy locks to the photographs on the table as I glimpse what appears to be my face. My eyes then move slowly from one photograph to the next, realizing I am in each picture. And each photo depicts me locked in a damning embrace with a different woman. I recognize Miranda in one photograph, and Anna in another. They are my more recent affairs. I recognize Heather from a drunken one night stand around a month ago. I continue to peruse the photographs and recognize Amy, Diana, and Rachel from several months ago. And as I continue to scrutinize each photograph, I realize there are many women who's names I cannot remember. Where did all these photos come from? And who has been taking them?

"Well, hello Martin. So glad to finally see you're awake." I jump at the sound of Carmen's voice coming from the doorway to my right. "I was worried you many never wake from the tranquilizer dose I gave you. You went down a lot faster than the usual, but I believe I injected you straight into the jugular. Intravenous rather than intramuscular. It has a faster, yet more deadly effect."

I watch, dumbfounded, as Carmen steps into the room still in her black dress, yet with her feet bare as her heels dangle from one hand. Her smeared red lipstick has been wiped away. And her hair is clipped short and brown. I glace from her face back to the table with the golden locks.

"Ah, yes. Those golden tresses are a wig. Elizabeth told me you had a weak spot for blonds, as many of these photos on display for you would indicate." Carmen saunters into the room and takes a seat in the empty chair across from me, crossing her legs and lighting up a cigarette. "Now, where should we begin?" she asks, as a takes a slow drag from the cigarette.

A whole string of questions and curses fill my head as I sit bound across the room, but very few words make it past my lips. "Why are you doing this? I have done nothing to you! Let me go!"

"Oh, Martin. Don't you know?" Carmen asks, a glint in her eye. "Your wife Elizabeth asked me to do this. And she can be rather convincing. She actually hired me a couple years ago to follow you, confirming her suspicions about your affairs." Carmen lets this revelation sink in as she takes another slow drag from her cigarette before continuing. "After I confirmed her suspicions, I became her regular contact. Every time she believed you might be having a new affair, I got a call. You both have kept me very busy. She paid me extra to frighten away a few of your lovers that she believed you might be getting too serious with. But the straw that finally broke the camel's back, as they say, was your last affair. I believe her name was Miranda, yes?" In the following pause, Carmen takes my silence for confirmation. Miranda was my most recent affair...

"Yes. I thought so," Carmen continues. "Well, Miranda was a member of your wife's book club, and her seeing Miranda every week was the true breaking point. It was then I got a very different call from Elizabeth." A sinister smile stretches across Carmen's lips as her next words roll off her tongue with foreboding, "And here we are!"

As I stare at Carmen, I realize she hasn't divulged whatever my wife has hired her to do. But I think it's safe to assume I will not like it. "I will pay you!" I blurt desperately. "Whatever my wife has promised you, I will double it if you let me go. And no one has to know about this. Nothing has happened here that we can't take back."

"Martin, Martin..." Carmen muses as she finishes her cigarette and leans over to put it out in the ash tray beside her chair. She then rises from her chair, with the black suitcase in hand, and advances to the table with the photos. She sets the black suitcase upon the table as she gathers up the photographs into a neat pile. "This is a rather shady part of town for you to be out in so late at night, Martin. I believe you probably gave Elizabeth some lie about not being able to sleep and needing to take a drive to clear your head."

I watch with building fear as Carmen opens the suitcase and dons a pair of gloves before she again continues. "A lot of bad characters prowl these streets at this hour. And one of these bad characters has been selling some questionable drugs to kids around town. I have been hired to deal with him also."

My dread keeps building as I hear Carmen assembling something behind the opened lid of the suitcase. "I discretely lifted this from our drug dealer for tonight's special occasion," Carmen states matter-of-factly as she flashes a pistol in her right hand, silencer attached. "As it turns out, this gun can be directly linked to our neighborhood drug dealer through ballistics. And I happen to know he will be closing a deal approximately a block over very soon. Such a shame that you had to witness the deal on your evening drive. Your untimely demise will be quite the tragedy. And our sleazy dealer will find himself off the streets and behind bars for murder in the first degree." Carmen moves from behind the table and positions herself directly in front of me, a sly glint reflected in her eyes. "Two birds with one stone," she states, smiling.

"Please, please, please..." I beg. "Don't do this! I'll do anything! Please!" Yet, at my pleading, her smile only broadens.

"HELP! PLEASE! SOMEONE HELP ME!" I scream. "HELP!!!'

"Your screams are useless Martin. No one will hear you here. And even if they did, they would not dare venture into these shady streets at this hour." Even as the words leave her lips, I know this to be true.

"You won't get away with this! You will go to prison!" I yell, tears stinging the corners of my eyes in a mix of rage and terror as I struggle futilely with my bonds.

"Martin, darling, I have been getting away with this for years," Carmen purrs, her words sending shivers down my spine. I watch as she levels the gun at my forehead, terror fully seizing me as my bladder gives way, the acrid smell of urine filling my nostrils.

"Please..." I plead, tears spilling down my cheeks.

"It's nothing personal, Martin," Carmen states, gun in position. "But your wife has quite the impressive life insurance policy on you. And, as it turns out, you are worth more dead than alive."
#fiction  #horror  #prosechallenge  #Itslit 
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by joyceanne

Nothing At All

        On a cool, drizzly April morning, surrounded by rows and stacks of books, I pore over the shelves lined up in a dank warehouse. So many stories occupy this space- cast-offs from people moving, downsizing, charitably giving, cleansing, or some other unknown reason.

        Fact or fiction? Does it matter whether each and every word in these books is historically or scientifically accurate? There's something other than a lie or the truth, something in between. Time after time, I realize that the meaning between the lines is more than the words on the page. There is more. I intuit it in the absence of knowledge; I feel it in the emptiness the void. A friend calls it “everything I do not know.”

        When I think I've got it, that I'm “onto something here,” it announces itself, sometimes quite rudely. It pinches me, squeezes me, slaps me awake, trips me up and shouts “You have got nothing at all!” My brain cannot wrap itself around a lie or the truth. (Is there even such a thing as “the truth”?) Clues bleed into reality and authenticity merges into experience . I follow them on the path of imagination, stopping now and then for a bite of the apple and a sip of nectar. Throughout the years, my love-hate experience with libraries, school, learning has been one of pleasure and torture. I venerate and kneel at the altar of education, knowing, deep in my heart, that what I need to understand most is myself.

        Here, now, in this musty warehouse of used books, a literary orphanage, I endure the old dust of people’s lives in their abandoned books. My job is to select titles that fill in a series, replace a ruined book, enrich a genre or fill in an author’s oeuvre. Occasionally, my choices are whimsical - I like the cover, I like the title, I’ve always wanted to read that. I’m looking for literature, mysteries, romance, alternative realities, tomes that may be out-of-stock, out-of-print, unavailable. The Friends of the Library will have a successful sale next month, I’m sure. They always do well, and they spread the money out in gifts to local libraries to support our collections even more.

        To make a long story short, the expedition to the NOW at the Booksale surprised me, consisting of alternative routes, wrong turns, missteps, bicycle spills, car accidents, censored materials, in other words, my life. Throw away the guidebooks and maps. GPS could not get me here. Toss the lists, the catalogs, the syllabii.

        It's a circuitous path to discover that my profound life lesson is simply to trust that I shall continually find my way if I persistently seek my truth. The process never ends, and spirit guides assist me on this journey across the realm of possibilities. It’s the real story between the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years of my life.

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Juice
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by joyceanne
Nothing At All
        On a cool, drizzly April morning, surrounded by rows and stacks of books, I pore over the shelves lined up in a dank warehouse. So many stories occupy this space- cast-offs from people moving, downsizing, charitably giving, cleansing, or some other unknown reason.
        Fact or fiction? Does it matter whether each and every word in these books is historically or scientifically accurate? There's something other than a lie or the truth, something in between. Time after time, I realize that the meaning between the lines is more than the words on the page. There is more. I intuit it in the absence of knowledge; I feel it in the emptiness the void. A friend calls it “everything I do not know.”
        When I think I've got it, that I'm “onto something here,” it announces itself, sometimes quite rudely. It pinches me, squeezes me, slaps me awake, trips me up and shouts “You have got nothing at all!” My brain cannot wrap itself around a lie or the truth. (Is there even such a thing as “the truth”?) Clues bleed into reality and authenticity merges into experience . I follow them on the path of imagination, stopping now and then for a bite of the apple and a sip of nectar. Throughout the years, my love-hate experience with libraries, school, learning has been one of pleasure and torture. I venerate and kneel at the altar of education, knowing, deep in my heart, that what I need to understand most is myself.
        Here, now, in this musty warehouse of used books, a literary orphanage, I endure the old dust of people’s lives in their abandoned books. My job is to select titles that fill in a series, replace a ruined book, enrich a genre or fill in an author’s oeuvre. Occasionally, my choices are whimsical - I like the cover, I like the title, I’ve always wanted to read that. I’m looking for literature, mysteries, romance, alternative realities, tomes that may be out-of-stock, out-of-print, unavailable. The Friends of the Library will have a successful sale next month, I’m sure. They always do well, and they spread the money out in gifts to local libraries to support our collections even more.
        To make a long story short, the expedition to the NOW at the Booksale surprised me, consisting of alternative routes, wrong turns, missteps, bicycle spills, car accidents, censored materials, in other words, my life. Throw away the guidebooks and maps. GPS could not get me here. Toss the lists, the catalogs, the syllabii.
        It's a circuitous path to discover that my profound life lesson is simply to trust that I shall continually find my way if I persistently seek my truth. The process never ends, and spirit guides assist me on this journey across the realm of possibilities. It’s the real story between the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years of my life.
#nonfiction  #philosophy  #prosechallenge  #spirituality  #Itslit 
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Juice
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