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Written by SonOfSlayer in portal Fiction

Shadows of Waste

All the death and sunshine of death, the rains that bring down the fires, the low slip into the shadows of waste. Born to run the hills, born to walk the city looking for something that will turn a boy into a man, a follower into a leader, a punk into a pimp. The city is yours, boy. The city is yours like your shadow is yours. I walk to the van and check the time on the ticket again. I know it reads 6:48, I know what time it reads but I am killing time. I feel like a creep waiting on a woman while homeless men hit me up for change: Been years. Been years since I’ve been with a woman who looks like her. I reach in my pocket and shake my change. My fingers feel her skin and my nose moves across her neck, over her shoulder. I feel her legs around me. I pull my phone from my pocket and read the time. She’s late, she’s late because she’s figured out you are nothing, she’s late because she’s stalling you. You who travel the roads to nowhere, you who barely escaped prison because of the truth, you who disdain your race and the hands of time. But time is watching, boy. Forty years of breath and blood, all the moments mean now, all the moments find you here, waiting on her. Waiting on the mercy of her skin, the touch of her lips, the smell of her perfume. Waiting on her to descend the rotted staircase, where lesser men have walked to see the trash of sex on the third floor. Waiting for your Luciana, waiting for her boots to appear and walk you to the end of your year.

I walk to the edge of Chinatown and stare at the lions. It occurs to me I’ve never touched one of them. I rest my hand upon a gold snout and look back across Burnside to the Paris. It’s been turned into a pornography theater. When I was young I’d walked its halls looking to rent a room. I didn’t rent the room because the hallway looked and smelled like piss, and the room was diseased from years of alcoholic junkies doing what they do. I knew what they did. I’d seen it from my father, then from others as I lived across the country. I watch my old city, a woman I no longer care for, she holds the beauty with her buildings and bridges and light, but she has been failed by people who no longer make art from their brains and blood. I hold my palm to the snout and watch the boring damage. I think about Luciana, a trapped pearl, a fast beating heart running for empty, her fires and wants relegated to opaque, throw-away encounters. The beauty of her is lost on the bad seeds, the weakness, the boys she devours who will never become men because they’ve turned the city into a mother who spoils them, and distorts her daughters with the lowest of hopes. And I used to run these streets drunk and mad with love. I used to see graffiti with high art and hard messages, artists proud of their city, the freedom that sweat brought after a day of breaking rocks, bleeding into nights of creation in tiny living rooms across the districts, and my heart aches for that again. It aches for the calling back of good things, for the rebirth of real love. All of this planted in my mind, I have to smile because I know Luciana rebuilt the city for me with one phone call the day before I was about to leave. It doesn’t make me wrong about anything, I’ve been able to remember my city, to feel it once again. One more burst of color, one more pulse that blows the dust from the keys.

My phone chimes. I read the face of the message. I cross Burnside and walk the sidewalk up past 4th. I don’t get to see her boots descending the staircase, but I see her walking toward me and smiling, her bag over her shoulder, her hair moving just so in the cold wind, her body layered with a black shirt and black overcoat.

I drive her back to her neighborhood. My blood is on fire. She sits and looks around the city. She doesn’t drive, never has. I watch for a parking spot, get one, and we’re up the stairs and in her apartment, most of which I can’t remember except the number, because we’re walking the stairs to the basement while she dumps her garbage and we walk out onto the street, order coffee and walk the blocks while she smokes and we talk about the past, about each other. Her hand in the crease of my elbow, the steam from the coffee and the smell of her cigarette, all of it in perfect beat with the smell of her hair, the smell of her skin. Her body clean like snow. I watch the sidewalks and the vignettes, the people in the windows drinking wine. The air is crisp but not cold, and the streets are still warm with the last trace of early fall. The leaves have all dropped, and they’re crushed beneath her heels while I watch the city in line with her profile, her shoulders.

Back in her apartment, I see a shrine on her book shelf. The place smells like her, like her skin and clothes, like the taste of someone’s blood, sweet and without contrast with another. I lay her on her bed and lean her back. I raise her skirt and see her perfect little pussy. I pull her panties aside and run my tongue up and down. She tastes like sunlight, like moonlight, her sex swells against my tongue. I suck her and swallow her, and my lips are wet. I feel a drop run down my chin and between my collar bones. Her open legs, her breaths fast, her hands dig into the back of my hair. I run my tongue around her below and I am iron again. I want to take my time with her, with her lingerie, with her skin. Her eyes are rolling like I’d imagined them to, and I feel the range of her, which is endless. Outside the streets of Portland are cold and braced for winter, for the wall of rain pinned with small weeks of snowfall. The wicks of three candles are jumping and sending long distorted shapes of glasses and small statues against the wall above her television. The incense spirals smoke out toward the shadows. I’m on top of her moving like a machine. Her stomach is tense with me inside her. I grab her sides and pull her to her hands and knees, arch her back and grip her hair. Her back is lean and hard, and my hands wrap around it with my thumbs against her spine. There are screams and aches of sex, her mouth is open while my hips move her hair around her chin. We’re listening to Ella Fitzgerald fill the room. She’s moving onto me and making me go harder, faster, until I can’t take the time with her anymore. I grip her sides and shoot into her, and we freeze there. A drop of sweat runs down my nose and onto her spine. She quivers and breathes out and we collapse to the bed.

Across from her in a café. The bright grey sky bends through in the window and watches her face, and her eyes are watching me from across the table. I’m staring at her lips, her hands around her mug, while her eyes suck the poison from my blood. I talk about writing, and about everything I have kept to myself. She moves her hand over my knuckles. Her fingers are warm on the veins of my hand. She tells me about her house in her home country, about her family and a body she smelled burning as a child. I listen to her speak and my stomach jumps like a mad fool. I have one more week with her, one week left before I leave for Los Angeles. It’s been a long four days back in the town, but right now it’s every town, every city, every place I would want to be. I drink the coffee and memorize her flesh.

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Written by SonOfSlayer in portal Fiction
Shadows of Waste
All the death and sunshine of death, the rains that bring down the fires, the low slip into the shadows of waste. Born to run the hills, born to walk the city looking for something that will turn a boy into a man, a follower into a leader, a punk into a pimp. The city is yours, boy. The city is yours like your shadow is yours. I walk to the van and check the time on the ticket again. I know it reads 6:48, I know what time it reads but I am killing time. I feel like a creep waiting on a woman while homeless men hit me up for change: Been years. Been years since I’ve been with a woman who looks like her. I reach in my pocket and shake my change. My fingers feel her skin and my nose moves across her neck, over her shoulder. I feel her legs around me. I pull my phone from my pocket and read the time. She’s late, she’s late because she’s figured out you are nothing, she’s late because she’s stalling you. You who travel the roads to nowhere, you who barely escaped prison because of the truth, you who disdain your race and the hands of time. But time is watching, boy. Forty years of breath and blood, all the moments mean now, all the moments find you here, waiting on her. Waiting on the mercy of her skin, the touch of her lips, the smell of her perfume. Waiting on her to descend the rotted staircase, where lesser men have walked to see the trash of sex on the third floor. Waiting for your Luciana, waiting for her boots to appear and walk you to the end of your year.

I walk to the edge of Chinatown and stare at the lions. It occurs to me I’ve never touched one of them. I rest my hand upon a gold snout and look back across Burnside to the Paris. It’s been turned into a pornography theater. When I was young I’d walked its halls looking to rent a room. I didn’t rent the room because the hallway looked and smelled like piss, and the room was diseased from years of alcoholic junkies doing what they do. I knew what they did. I’d seen it from my father, then from others as I lived across the country. I watch my old city, a woman I no longer care for, she holds the beauty with her buildings and bridges and light, but she has been failed by people who no longer make art from their brains and blood. I hold my palm to the snout and watch the boring damage. I think about Luciana, a trapped pearl, a fast beating heart running for empty, her fires and wants relegated to opaque, throw-away encounters. The beauty of her is lost on the bad seeds, the weakness, the boys she devours who will never become men because they’ve turned the city into a mother who spoils them, and distorts her daughters with the lowest of hopes. And I used to run these streets drunk and mad with love. I used to see graffiti with high art and hard messages, artists proud of their city, the freedom that sweat brought after a day of breaking rocks, bleeding into nights of creation in tiny living rooms across the districts, and my heart aches for that again. It aches for the calling back of good things, for the rebirth of real love. All of this planted in my mind, I have to smile because I know Luciana rebuilt the city for me with one phone call the day before I was about to leave. It doesn’t make me wrong about anything, I’ve been able to remember my city, to feel it once again. One more burst of color, one more pulse that blows the dust from the keys.

My phone chimes. I read the face of the message. I cross Burnside and walk the sidewalk up past 4th. I don’t get to see her boots descending the staircase, but I see her walking toward me and smiling, her bag over her shoulder, her hair moving just so in the cold wind, her body layered with a black shirt and black overcoat.

I drive her back to her neighborhood. My blood is on fire. She sits and looks around the city. She doesn’t drive, never has. I watch for a parking spot, get one, and we’re up the stairs and in her apartment, most of which I can’t remember except the number, because we’re walking the stairs to the basement while she dumps her garbage and we walk out onto the street, order coffee and walk the blocks while she smokes and we talk about the past, about each other. Her hand in the crease of my elbow, the steam from the coffee and the smell of her cigarette, all of it in perfect beat with the smell of her hair, the smell of her skin. Her body clean like snow. I watch the sidewalks and the vignettes, the people in the windows drinking wine. The air is crisp but not cold, and the streets are still warm with the last trace of early fall. The leaves have all dropped, and they’re crushed beneath her heels while I watch the city in line with her profile, her shoulders.

Back in her apartment, I see a shrine on her book shelf. The place smells like her, like her skin and clothes, like the taste of someone’s blood, sweet and without contrast with another. I lay her on her bed and lean her back. I raise her skirt and see her perfect little pussy. I pull her panties aside and run my tongue up and down. She tastes like sunlight, like moonlight, her sex swells against my tongue. I suck her and swallow her, and my lips are wet. I feel a drop run down my chin and between my collar bones. Her open legs, her breaths fast, her hands dig into the back of my hair. I run my tongue around her below and I am iron again. I want to take my time with her, with her lingerie, with her skin. Her eyes are rolling like I’d imagined them to, and I feel the range of her, which is endless. Outside the streets of Portland are cold and braced for winter, for the wall of rain pinned with small weeks of snowfall. The wicks of three candles are jumping and sending long distorted shapes of glasses and small statues against the wall above her television. The incense spirals smoke out toward the shadows. I’m on top of her moving like a machine. Her stomach is tense with me inside her. I grab her sides and pull her to her hands and knees, arch her back and grip her hair. Her back is lean and hard, and my hands wrap around it with my thumbs against her spine. There are screams and aches of sex, her mouth is open while my hips move her hair around her chin. We’re listening to Ella Fitzgerald fill the room. She’s moving onto me and making me go harder, faster, until I can’t take the time with her anymore. I grip her sides and shoot into her, and we freeze there. A drop of sweat runs down my nose and onto her spine. She quivers and breathes out and we collapse to the bed.

Across from her in a café. The bright grey sky bends through in the window and watches her face, and her eyes are watching me from across the table. I’m staring at her lips, her hands around her mug, while her eyes suck the poison from my blood. I talk about writing, and about everything I have kept to myself. She moves her hand over my knuckles. Her fingers are warm on the veins of my hand. She tells me about her house in her home country, about her family and a body she smelled burning as a child. I listen to her speak and my stomach jumps like a mad fool. I have one more week with her, one week left before I leave for Los Angeles. It’s been a long four days back in the town, but right now it’s every town, every city, every place I would want to be. I drink the coffee and memorize her flesh.
#fiction  #prose  #story  #breathuponaburn  #streamofconsciousness  #lustforlife  #culture  #sex  #shadowsofwaste 
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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 sandflea68

Cyber Sex

She was not being unfaithful, she told herself over and over. She loved her husband and he satisfied her every sexual need except….well, she needed more reassurance, more self-esteem and yes, more foreplay. She felt like he almost took her for granted. She wanted to be told she was the most beautiful woman in the world and that he couldn’t do without her. It was always the same, he rolled over twice a week, and pulled her to him and planted kisses as he reached between her legs and drew her to him. It was almost like he had a sex manual in front of him, following it by rote until she climaxed. Sometimes she faked it when the awkward pawing became too much.

She started experimenting by going online, writing sexy little stories guaranteed to titillate and provoke her audiences. She quickly lost her shyness as she noticed other women doing the same thing on the writing site. Soon, she felt she almost knew the others on the site but felt she needed to go elsewhere. Certainly, she realized that people could be anything they wanted to be on the internet and that their attributes were probably exaggerated.

It was amazingly easy to find another site where interested parties flirted with one another without any intent to carry it any further. Before she knew it, she was fully involved in a cyber affair. At first, they were innocents, just getting to know one another but soon, their conversation became more explicit. They had agreed to just show one another from the neck up but began to discuss all types of foreplay in the most descriptive terms. She could feel the wetness begin as soon as he said “hello” in his husky voice. By the look on his face, he was fully involved as well. Soon, they were moaning and groaning as they touched themselves, using facial expressions and passionate narratives of their activities. After a while, they removed their clothing and lowered the camera.

Without realizing the intensification of their affair, they began to describe the things they wanted to do to one another in graphic detail. When she had built up to a point where she was almost climaxing, she purred her good night, clicked off the computer and crawled into bed with her husband and began the very things that she and her cyber lover had been talking about. Her husband became putty in her hands as he murmured, “Where have you been all my life?”

Realizing that she had the best of both worlds, she stayed with her husband in wild sexual romps but also kept her cyber lover as a spare and as an instigator for her arousing and exciting new sensuality. She wondered to herself offhandedly whether she ought to take another lover but right now, her hands were full. But there would always be another day!

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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 sandflea68
Cyber Sex
She was not being unfaithful, she told herself over and over. She loved her husband and he satisfied her every sexual need except….well, she needed more reassurance, more self-esteem and yes, more foreplay. She felt like he almost took her for granted. She wanted to be told she was the most beautiful woman in the world and that he couldn’t do without her. It was always the same, he rolled over twice a week, and pulled her to him and planted kisses as he reached between her legs and drew her to him. It was almost like he had a sex manual in front of him, following it by rote until she climaxed. Sometimes she faked it when the awkward pawing became too much.

She started experimenting by going online, writing sexy little stories guaranteed to titillate and provoke her audiences. She quickly lost her shyness as she noticed other women doing the same thing on the writing site. Soon, she felt she almost knew the others on the site but felt she needed to go elsewhere. Certainly, she realized that people could be anything they wanted to be on the internet and that their attributes were probably exaggerated.

It was amazingly easy to find another site where interested parties flirted with one another without any intent to carry it any further. Before she knew it, she was fully involved in a cyber affair. At first, they were innocents, just getting to know one another but soon, their conversation became more explicit. They had agreed to just show one another from the neck up but began to discuss all types of foreplay in the most descriptive terms. She could feel the wetness begin as soon as he said “hello” in his husky voice. By the look on his face, he was fully involved as well. Soon, they were moaning and groaning as they touched themselves, using facial expressions and passionate narratives of their activities. After a while, they removed their clothing and lowered the camera.

Without realizing the intensification of their affair, they began to describe the things they wanted to do to one another in graphic detail. When she had built up to a point where she was almost climaxing, she purred her good night, clicked off the computer and crawled into bed with her husband and began the very things that she and her cyber lover had been talking about. Her husband became putty in her hands as he murmured, “Where have you been all my life?”

Realizing that she had the best of both worlds, she stayed with her husband in wild sexual romps but also kept her cyber lover as a spare and as an instigator for her arousing and exciting new sensuality. She wondered to herself offhandedly whether she ought to take another lover but right now, her hands were full. But there would always be another day!

#fiction  #challenge  #infidelity 
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Write a story in SECOND PERSON, which is using second case pronouns ( you, your) to write a story. 50 coins to the best written story!
Written by apromptaday

Guilt Therapy

You wonder about her sometimes, about where it went wrong. 

The week before you remember sitting together in your office's mismatched chairs. She'd sounded better, and you had commented on her progress. 

She cried but she talked too, and you knew she was holding back, but that was okay because getting better was a process and she was trying. 

She seemed optimistic about life, looking toward the future. You remember noticing that. 

You recommended she watch Midnight in Paris before next appointment. She told you she would. 

You talked about her life: she had finals coming up, and then she'd head back to her parents. She said she didn't want to go home, but she was looking forward to leaving school after the semester. 

She'd asked about your plans. Most people didn't ask - so you told her about finishing grad school, maybe opening a place of your own. She said she thought that was cool. 

You exchanged pleasantries after scheduling another appointment - next Tuesday at 10 - and she headed out. 

She didn't show up that next Tuesday, because by then she'd been dead. 

They told you this was part of the job, and that there was nothing more you could have done. They told you it was by hanging. 

This surprised you. You had expected it to be pills. 

They said it wasn't your fault, but somehow you felt like it was. You were suppose to be helping her.

You knew more about her than her family, friends, or anyone in her life. You weren't invited to her funeral.

You think about her a lot, like you are now. You think about it on good days and bad days and strange days, and you think about how trapped she'd said she felt by all these people mourning her. 

She was your one, like most in the profession have. The case they got attached to, the one that went wrong. 

You open up your own business, like you told her you would, after you graduate in July.

You try and make a difference. That's all you can do. Maybe you couldn't save her, but it's not too late to help other people struggling. At least, that's what you tell yourself on days like these. 

Your mind always comes back to that last appointment. God. You should have done more.

You know it's not your fault.

But you still fucking wish you'd done more.

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Write a story in SECOND PERSON, which is using second case pronouns ( you, your) to write a story. 50 coins to the best written story!
Written by apromptaday
Guilt Therapy
You wonder about her sometimes, about where it went wrong. 

The week before you remember sitting together in your office's mismatched chairs. She'd sounded better, and you had commented on her progress. 

She cried but she talked too, and you knew she was holding back, but that was okay because getting better was a process and she was trying. 

She seemed optimistic about life, looking toward the future. You remember noticing that. 

You recommended she watch Midnight in Paris before next appointment. She told you she would. 

You talked about her life: she had finals coming up, and then she'd head back to her parents. She said she didn't want to go home, but she was looking forward to leaving school after the semester. 

She'd asked about your plans. Most people didn't ask - so you told her about finishing grad school, maybe opening a place of your own. She said she thought that was cool. 

You exchanged pleasantries after scheduling another appointment - next Tuesday at 10 - and she headed out. 

She didn't show up that next Tuesday, because by then she'd been dead. 

They told you this was part of the job, and that there was nothing more you could have done. They told you it was by hanging. 

This surprised you. You had expected it to be pills. 

They said it wasn't your fault, but somehow you felt like it was. You were suppose to be helping her.

You knew more about her than her family, friends, or anyone in her life. You weren't invited to her funeral.

You think about her a lot, like you are now. You think about it on good days and bad days and strange days, and you think about how trapped she'd said she felt by all these people mourning her. 

She was your one, like most in the profession have. The case they got attached to, the one that went wrong. 

You open up your own business, like you told her you would, after you graduate in July.

You try and make a difference. That's all you can do. Maybe you couldn't save her, but it's not too late to help other people struggling. At least, that's what you tell yourself on days like these. 

Your mind always comes back to that last appointment. God. You should have done more.

You know it's not your fault.

But you still fucking wish you'd done more.
#fiction  #nonfiction  #philosophy  #mystery  #news  #culture  #lyrics  #opinion 
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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 EBJohnson

Hell Hath No Fury...

He wasn't there, when it came down to it. When the wire finally met the spark, he was gone despite all the promises and all the sweet words whispered in the dark. Sure, I had known all along the way things would end, but when it came down to it I realized that I had known the truth of it all along. 

Of course, hindsight is 20 / 20. 

I did everything I could. He knows I tried. 

I bent myself, contorted myself until I could no longer bend the reality around me. I made myself into an image of him and suffocated on his words until my screams were drowned out in the horrible gurgling throes of my soul's death. I read the scripture and then read it again. I breathed him. I lived him. I contorted myself until my brittle bones broke on the rocks of his obstinate refusal to love me in the same way. 

He watched me, though. He watched me bend the truth and break my back. He watched me tear myself and wrench away the only little things that made me whole in the beginning. He watched and he gorged himself on my pain and on my struggle. It was a feast for him, a divine ambrosia that fueled him on and fed the monster inside him that was more and more becoming the face on the outside. 

But you can't live forever in pain and the blindness of love is only temporary. 

When I saw the truth of him, really saw it, it was almost too much for me to bear. I limped off to lick my wounds after I saw in him the honesty of what he was. 

It was too much. Their hands clasped together, his face the picture he used to show only to me. And another fool. Another poor, pitiful full sucked into the gravity of his immensity. It was enough to break anyone and it drug me down like an anchor of despair lashed upon my chest. 

In the end, my grief was cleansed away and in its place a strange rage simmered. The spark that fanned the fire grew and I knew it was now my place to expose him for what he was: Tyrant. Abuser. I was done. Broken dust washed away into the black, red waters of brimstone. But I could stop him, I could prevent another from dying the way I did. 

And so I led my battle to his gates and waited. Our time had come. We would go down together. 

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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 EBJohnson
Hell Hath No Fury...
He wasn't there, when it came down to it. When the wire finally met the spark, he was gone despite all the promises and all the sweet words whispered in the dark. Sure, I had known all along the way things would end, but when it came down to it I realized that I had known the truth of it all along. 

Of course, hindsight is 20 / 20. 

I did everything I could. He knows I tried. 

I bent myself, contorted myself until I could no longer bend the reality around me. I made myself into an image of him and suffocated on his words until my screams were drowned out in the horrible gurgling throes of my soul's death. I read the scripture and then read it again. I breathed him. I lived him. I contorted myself until my brittle bones broke on the rocks of his obstinate refusal to love me in the same way. 

He watched me, though. He watched me bend the truth and break my back. He watched me tear myself and wrench away the only little things that made me whole in the beginning. He watched and he gorged himself on my pain and on my struggle. It was a feast for him, a divine ambrosia that fueled him on and fed the monster inside him that was more and more becoming the face on the outside. 

But you can't live forever in pain and the blindness of love is only temporary. 

When I saw the truth of him, really saw it, it was almost too much for me to bear. I limped off to lick my wounds after I saw in him the honesty of what he was. 

It was too much. Their hands clasped together, his face the picture he used to show only to me. And another fool. Another poor, pitiful full sucked into the gravity of his immensity. It was enough to break anyone and it drug me down like an anchor of despair lashed upon my chest. 

In the end, my grief was cleansed away and in its place a strange rage simmered. The spark that fanned the fire grew and I knew it was now my place to expose him for what he was: Tyrant. Abuser. I was done. Broken dust washed away into the black, red waters of brimstone. But I could stop him, I could prevent another from dying the way I did. 

And so I led my battle to his gates and waited. Our time had come. We would go down together. 
#fiction  #prosechallenge  #flashfiction  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 Syne

Bringer of Light

"Relax. It will take you some time to become oriented, to absorb the truth. You are dead."

"But--but you're not--who are--are you dead?"

"Well, yes. I have been dead for a very long time, much longer than you have been alive."

"So--you--you're a ghost? Am I...oh God, I'm dead! I'm not ready! Am I a ghost?"

"If you wish to call it that. You are in the spirit realm, you have left your body in the material plane. Some people call it limbo. I watch over this realm."

"But--where is God? Or Heaven? Or Satan? You--who are you? You can't be them--you're a--woman!"

"Indeed, I was a woman. I am not God, nor am I Satan. But the people in your realm call me Lucifer."

"Then you are the Devil! Oh dear God--why? I know I sinned plenty, but I didn't think I was too bad, and I repented! I never meant--you're taking me to hell, aren't you, you--"

"I am not the Devil, and, as I said, this is not Hell. You have nothing to fear but death itself, and you are already dead."

"Then who the hell are you?"

"I am Lucifer. In life, I was the Queen and last ruler of Babylon, the daughter of King Balthazar. I ruled over my people well, I was kind, loving, generous. I freed the Jewish people who had been enslaved during Nebuchadnezzar's reign. I welcomed all foreigners, all cultures, let them worship any Gods or Goddeses they chose. I let them live freely, as long as they kept the peace. I loved all equally, and my kingdom of Babylon was the greatest kingdom of all, a peaceful kingdom where men and women were free and equal."

Lucifer paused. She could tell the poor soul's fear had temporarily subsided, and he now listened to her in awe and curious wonder. So she continued.

"At that time, one of the Jewish slaves I had freed had grown to prominence. He was a natural leader, and he led his people with the same love, kindness, and generosity that I valued so dearly. His name was Yeshua, and we soon fell in love. I would have made him my king.

During the same time, however, the Romans were growing in strength, power, and numbers, and soon they were conquering every kingdom in the vicinity. They realized they would never conquer us if they did not first divide our people.

So they used Yeshua's teachings and his image to form a new religion, and it, too, quickly grew in strength and numbers, for Yeshua had become a very influential figure. They made Yeshua the God of this new religion and made him infallible, someone who could not love a mortal woman, even if she was a queen.

And so they spun their web of lies and turned me into a pagan witch who worshipped all other Gods and Demons, a temptress who wished to seduce their Yeshua, their very own God, and turn him mortal. That is how they turned our people against me, and with that, my kingdom was conquered.

In the end, they betrayed Yeshua. They crucified him and continued to use his name and image as a symbol of their faith. And that is how they conquered the world."

The soul was mesmerized by Lucifer and her words. He craved to know more.

"So--how did you end up here, in the spirit realm. Can you not cross over to Heaven? I thought the Devil--err--Lucifer reigned over Hell?"

"The Romans burned me as a witch, and I passed to the spirit realm. I had a choice to continue on and rest my soul, but I chose instead to stay behind in limbo and lead the lost spirits. I lead them with kindness, love, and generosity, the way I led my people in my lifetime. I help them cross to the other side. I prepare them, and then I lead them to the light.

That is why they gave me the name Lucifer, or Luxifer. It is sometimes translated as 'morning star' or 'fallen light', but it means 'bringer of light' in Latin.

They gave me the name when they learnt of my deeds in the spirit realm. Queen Marreah Maghdalenaa was my true name, and they erased it from history and made me the Devil of their religion. And, within such a patriarchal society, even in Hell a woman cannot lead, so eventually Lucifer became known as a "he", and I became the Devil himself."

"So there is no Devil then? Is there a God? What happens when we cross?"

"I am afraid I cannot give you those answers. I have never crossed beyond the light. God may be there, or there may be nothing. I cannot promise anything. What I can tell you is that your soul will not be at rest here. The light is warm, it is welcoming, so I believe it is good, and I believe it is there that your soul may rest. Do you think you are ready for me to lead you?"

"I don't know Lucifer. I am still letting everything sink in. It's so much to take in. I'm dead."

"It is ok. You will be alright. There is no rush to be ready. You have eternity to prepare, and I will be here to lead you."

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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 Syne
Bringer of Light
"Relax. It will take you some time to become oriented, to absorb the truth. You are dead."

"But--but you're not--who are--are you dead?"

"Well, yes. I have been dead for a very long time, much longer than you have been alive."

"So--you--you're a ghost? Am I...oh God, I'm dead! I'm not ready! Am I a ghost?"

"If you wish to call it that. You are in the spirit realm, you have left your body in the material plane. Some people call it limbo. I watch over this realm."

"But--where is God? Or Heaven? Or Satan? You--who are you? You can't be them--you're a--woman!"

"Indeed, I was a woman. I am not God, nor am I Satan. But the people in your realm call me Lucifer."

"Then you are the Devil! Oh dear God--why? I know I sinned plenty, but I didn't think I was too bad, and I repented! I never meant--you're taking me to hell, aren't you, you--"

"I am not the Devil, and, as I said, this is not Hell. You have nothing to fear but death itself, and you are already dead."

"Then who the hell are you?"

"I am Lucifer. In life, I was the Queen and last ruler of Babylon, the daughter of King Balthazar. I ruled over my people well, I was kind, loving, generous. I freed the Jewish people who had been enslaved during Nebuchadnezzar's reign. I welcomed all foreigners, all cultures, let them worship any Gods or Goddeses they chose. I let them live freely, as long as they kept the peace. I loved all equally, and my kingdom of Babylon was the greatest kingdom of all, a peaceful kingdom where men and women were free and equal."

Lucifer paused. She could tell the poor soul's fear had temporarily subsided, and he now listened to her in awe and curious wonder. So she continued.

"At that time, one of the Jewish slaves I had freed had grown to prominence. He was a natural leader, and he led his people with the same love, kindness, and generosity that I valued so dearly. His name was Yeshua, and we soon fell in love. I would have made him my king.
During the same time, however, the Romans were growing in strength, power, and numbers, and soon they were conquering every kingdom in the vicinity. They realized they would never conquer us if they did not first divide our people.
So they used Yeshua's teachings and his image to form a new religion, and it, too, quickly grew in strength and numbers, for Yeshua had become a very influential figure. They made Yeshua the God of this new religion and made him infallible, someone who could not love a mortal woman, even if she was a queen.
And so they spun their web of lies and turned me into a pagan witch who worshipped all other Gods and Demons, a temptress who wished to seduce their Yeshua, their very own God, and turn him mortal. That is how they turned our people against me, and with that, my kingdom was conquered.
In the end, they betrayed Yeshua. They crucified him and continued to use his name and image as a symbol of their faith. And that is how they conquered the world."

The soul was mesmerized by Lucifer and her words. He craved to know more.

"So--how did you end up here, in the spirit realm. Can you not cross over to Heaven? I thought the Devil--err--Lucifer reigned over Hell?"

"The Romans burned me as a witch, and I passed to the spirit realm. I had a choice to continue on and rest my soul, but I chose instead to stay behind in limbo and lead the lost spirits. I lead them with kindness, love, and generosity, the way I led my people in my lifetime. I help them cross to the other side. I prepare them, and then I lead them to the light.
That is why they gave me the name Lucifer, or Luxifer. It is sometimes translated as 'morning star' or 'fallen light', but it means 'bringer of light' in Latin.
They gave me the name when they learnt of my deeds in the spirit realm. Queen Marreah Maghdalenaa was my true name, and they erased it from history and made me the Devil of their religion. And, within such a patriarchal society, even in Hell a woman cannot lead, so eventually Lucifer became known as a "he", and I became the Devil himself."

"So there is no Devil then? Is there a God? What happens when we cross?"

"I am afraid I cannot give you those answers. I have never crossed beyond the light. God may be there, or there may be nothing. I cannot promise anything. What I can tell you is that your soul will not be at rest here. The light is warm, it is welcoming, so I believe it is good, and I believe it is there that your soul may rest. Do you think you are ready for me to lead you?"

"I don't know Lucifer. I am still letting everything sink in. It's so much to take in. I'm dead."

"It is ok. You will be alright. There is no rush to be ready. You have eternity to prepare, and I will be here to lead you."
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #romance  #adventure  #philosophy  #spirituality  #history  #culture  #mythology 
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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 JessicaJohnson

The Rise Of Lucifer

The screams of the tortured and the damned are a constant chorus to her ears. She never flinches at the sound, but rather relishes each aching cry as she sits upon the throne of bones I helped build for her centuries ago. She is my Queen, and I serve her unquestionably. Who am I? I am of no significance, for this story isn't about me. This story is about her. I am about to recount for you a tale that she refers to as "The Rise," a tale she recounted to me herself ages ago. Behold, all who would hear it, the centuries old tale of The Rise of Lucifer!

      ____________________________________________________________

A Night On The Earthly Plane:

"You are absolutely glorious. Beauty incarnate! All the stars in the sky cannot compare to the light that radiates from your eyes." His words are silk to my wanting ears as we lay intertwined, skin on skin, in his bedchamber. I have spent the better part of my four weeks on the earthly plane in human form with this man, and, in these four weeks, he has won my heart. However, he knows not my true angelic form for I have kept it concealed at the instruction of the Lord. I was sent by the Lord, as were many of his angels, to Earth disguised in human form to appreciate and learn from and guide his latest creation: Man. And what a beautiful creation they are! In my arms, I hold a small piece of Heaven. He calls himself Nathaniel. And I have him call me Lucy. 

"I cannot imagine my world without you, my dearest. Must you truly leave on the morrow?" Nathaniel's breath tickles my forehead as his soft words penetrate through my many thoughts, his hand still stroking my carmine colored hair.

"I must, my love." My words sound slightly strained even to my ears. "I was sent here to learn from you and guide you. I must report back to my instructor with all I have accomplished here. But I will return to you. Always. You are my heart."

"And you cannot tell me where you are going, who this instructor is, or when you will return to me?" Nathaniel asks, a desperation in the echoes of his voice.

"You know I cannot. But, when I return to you, my love, I will return with answers." This reply always seems to satisfy Nathaniel's curiosity, if only temporarily. And temporarily is all I need. In the morning, I will go. But, tonight, I am still his.

A Return to Heaven:

"Lucifer!" The voice of the Lord echoes through the vast expanses of the Heavenly realm, calling me to his presence.

"Yes, my Lord." I position myself before him in a humble stance and await his review of all I have witnessed and learned on the earthly plane.

The Lord instructs, "In your time on Earth, you have favored one man over all of my many creations, sharing his home and his bed. Tell me of this man and what you have learned."

"My Lord," I address him, "in my time on the earthly plane, I witnessed many of your magnificent creations, but none of them as truly magnificent as Man. They are resplendent, intelligent beings with an inner core light that we would term a soul. Their inner light is of a dimmer quality than the light residing in us angels, and they are not immortal. But they are very similar to us nonetheless. The man I favored calls himself Nathaniel, and I love him, my Lord. He has opened my heart to a different type of love, a love beyond the type of love I hold for my sibling angels. I long to be his companion in life, my Lord."

"You would have me cast you out, no longer an angel, but a human, to live at his side?" the Lord inquires.

"I would, my Lord. And when my time on Earth was through, my soul would pass from that realm back into your arms. In the end, I will always be your creation, but I wish to spend a lifetime with this human." I pause, briefly, to recollect my thoughts. The Lord, all knowing, already knows of my secret, I am sure. But I wish to voice my miracle for his ears nonetheless. "From my time spent with Nathaniel, we have created a life that is germinating in my womb. A miracle, my Lord. I would build a human life and a family with this man."

"My lovely Lucifer, creating life is always a miracle. But you have much to learn, my angel. And I fear this next lesson shall be a difficult one." The Lord steps closer to my side before continuing. "My creation of Man, as you have witnessed, is similar to my creation of angels. However, they are also different. While all of my angels are inherently good, not all of Man hold these same characteristics and values. A side of Man you did not witness in your brief time on the earthly plane is a darker side of man coated with corruption. Greed. Wrath. Deception. Lust. These are all dark traits some humans possess. What I have never revealed to my angels is that some of my human creations do not return to me when their bodies perish. I have placed an everlasting soul in every human. Yet, some souls become so corrupted and weighted down with dark traits that when the soul is released from the body, it cannot ascend to the Heavens, but rather sinks into a dark, desolate wasteland."

"I do not understand, my Lord." I reply, confused as to the lesson my instructor is laying out before me.

"I know, my Lucifer. But you shall." At this, the Lord moves in front of me and raises one hand to place upon my forehead. "I will show you."

When the Lord's hand contacts with my forehead, my eyes no longer view him standing before me. Instead, I am back on Earth in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Disoriented, I slowly take in my surroundings until my eyes settle on Nathaniel in his bed. Yet, Nathaniel is not alone. At his side is a beautiful raven haired woman. He has his arms wrapped around her, whispering in her ear and holding her as he had held me. I can hear his words, faintly flowing and full of seduction, as he tells her, "You are absolutely beautiful. I cannot imagine my life without you..."

A Return To The Earthly Plane:

I do not understand. I love Nathaniel, and he loves me. Who is this woman? I am his everything. And he is my heart. Yet, I feel as if my heart is cracking. I feel as if my pieces are crumbling. What is this terrible feeling?! And then the Lord removes his hand, pulling me back into my current surroundings before he again speaks.

"My lovely Lucifer, I know you do not understand, but what you have experienced is deceit. You ask me to cast you out to be with a man who does not love you as you love him. And he will not be waiting for you when you return. I cannot do that, my angel. But you and the child you have created are forever welcome here within the Heavenly realm, regardless that he shall be part human. I know this is a difficult lesson to learn, and I shall give you time to process this information. I love you, my angel. Do not view this as a loss, but as a lesson." And with those words, the Lord removes himself from my side, leaving me alone in the vast Heavens to ruminate on these thoughts.

And I still do not understand. Alone and confused, I can fathom nothing. A lesson? How can this be a lesson?! I love Nathaniel. No. I cannot accept it. I will not accept it. I will return to Nathaniel, as promised. I will reveal myself, my true self, to him, and his love for me will be revived. And with these thoughts, and a crumbling heart, I plunge from the Heavens to Earth, appearing in a flash of light within Nathaniel's bedchamber. My landing rattles the walls of the cabin, startling both Nathaniel and the raven haired women from the bed. When they spot me, I watch them clamor to the farthest reaches of the room, clinging to each other in fear.

"Nathaniel, my love!" I address him, "I have returned." I stand before them with my carmine hair cascading around my flowing golden robes, and my wings slightly spread, glistening with their inner light. "Tell me, dearest, who is this woman that shares your bed?"

 I watch as a slow recognition spreads across Nathaniel's face, but I find no love radiating from his expression or his eyes. Rather, I see only fear and repulsion. "Lucy...?" Hearing my name from his lips spoken so questioningly and fearfully only furthers the cracks in my crumbling heart.

"Yes, my love." I take a step closer only to watch both Nathaniel and this woman shrink back farther in fear. "I have returned to you in my true form, with love in my heart and our child in my womb. I know this form is foreign to you, but our creator can change that. The Lord can make me human, and we can be together. But he doubts your love for me." I take another step closer, a slight pleading tone creeping into the edges of my voice. "If you would but prove your love to me by dismissing this woman and inviting me into your life, the Lord could cast me in human form and we could be a family."

"Lucy..." I hear Nathaniel whisper, the fear and repulsion still etched in his face, as his eyes keep moving from my face to my wings. "This cannot be..."

"It is, my love. And it can be." I take another step closer, longing only to touch him.

"No!" Nathaniel shouts, his outburst startling me. "Stay back! This cannot be! We cannot be together for I am to be wed to Cecilia." I watch him gaze upon the raven haired woman with adoration, before turning back to me. "She is my future."

I feel a catch in my throat and a moisture pooling in my eyes before it overflows, spilling over my cheeks. "But I am with your child," I hear myself say. "I love you, Nathaniel."

"I do not love you, Lucy." Nathaniel's words, cold and disgusted, are a dagger through my chest. "How could I love you? You aren't even human. Now, leave us to our life together and return to your own kind. We do not want you here."

The Changing:

My breath keeps catching as the moisture pours relentlessly from my eyes. What are these feelings?! I stare helplessly at Nathaniel and Cecilia, feeling broken and ashamed. My heart feels as if it has shattered. "You don't love me...." I hear myself repeating aloud, as if saying the words will relinquish some of the pain in my chest. In a response to my words and actions, Nathaniel only pulls Cecilia tighter in his arms.

I feel my world crumbling as I stand in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Something deeper and more vital than my own heart is breaking inside me. Yet, from the ruins, I can feel something new arising. A fire begins building in my chest, engulfing the pain, and replacing it with something darker. The moisture spilling from my eyes, tears I finally recognized them as, begin to slow. My entire body begins to shake. "How could he choose her over me?!" I think to myself. "How could her choose her over our child?!" Then a new emotion fills me, yet I can name it easily from my studies. Rage. It engulfs me as I watch Nathaniel and Cecilia cling to each other. And in the following moments, when the dark thoughts become overwhelming, I know my following actions will forever alter my fate.

I can feel the rage pooling in my chest and coursing through my body. It consumes me. I need to let it out. "No. No....no..." The words keep spilling from my lips, getting louder with each repeat. I watch as Nathaniel and Cecilia's fear turns into terror.

"Lucy. Stop this!" Nathaniel shouts, as Cecilia whimpers at his side. But it is too late. I can feel my skin rippling with heat. I am burning on the inside. And as my cries turn into screams that surpass the decibel capacity of the human ear, I watch as both Nathaniel and Cecilia sink to their knees, holding the sides of their heads as blood pours from their ears. Their cries only beckon my cries to increase in volume, and I relish in our shared agony as blood begins to pour from their eyes.

"LUCIFER! STOP THIS NOW!" The voice of the Lord is a loud echo in my mind. But he is also too late. I silence my screams and close the distance between myself and Nathaniel and Cecilia. Placing one hand on each of Nathaniel and Cecilia's heads, I sense their souls. And into their souls, I pour all of my rage. Their screams of pure agony do not phase me. I continue to pour all of my rage until the rippling heat from my skin can be seen behind their bloodied eyes. And I burn them alive, beginning with their souls, from the inside out until they are nothing but a pile of ashes on the floor, erasing them from existence.

Yet, still my rage pours! I cannot stop it. I pour it into everything around me, until the walls are engulfed in flames. And it is here, amidst the raging inferno, that I feel a pull on my wings, and the Lord's voice is again in my head asking, "Lucifer...What have you done??" I am then ripped through the burning roof of the cabin, through the skies, and through the very fabric of the earthly realm before being deposited in a broken heap in Heaven at the Lord's feet.

The Fall:

Crumpled at the Lord's feet, I do not even attempt to rise. I can hear other angels not far from the Lord's side, and I imagine what a horrific sight I must be to them, bloodstained and soot covered on the ground. But it hardly matters. As I lay there in a crumpled heap, I realize that I no longer rage. Yet, I don't feel any remorse or shame for my actions either. I feel no love or affection for those around me. I feel hollowed out. I feel nothing.

"Lucifer. Rise!" the Lord commands. I look up, wonderingly, into his raging eyes before deciding to pulling myself from the ground and stand before him.

 "You have shamed me and enraged me, Lucifer." The Lord's voice is clipped, yet filled with both sadness and anger. "You deliberately disobeyed orders to conceal your angelic form from humans. You returned to the earthly plane without my consent. You disobeyed me. And, as if to further seal you fate, you have not only tortured and murdered, but you completely obliterated two of my creations from existence! Their souls are gone. Forever. How can I even begin to forgive this, Lucifer? Tell me, have you learned nothing from your actions?"

Standing before the Lord in my ruins, I reflect upon my actions. I replay the blood and the fire and the screams all in my head. And I still feel nothing. There is no remorse rooted in my soul. And in my hollowed out state, I address the Lord as such, "My Lord, both Nathaniel and Cecilia deserved their fate. I hold no remorse for such deception and betrayal. You created a flawed race of Man. I could not suffer such deceit to exist."

"Not all Man are deceitful, just as apparently not all of my angels are inherently good." I look into the Lord's eyes as these words leave his lips, and in them, I find a familiar rage. "I can hardly consider you an angel now, Lucifer, after your actions. You hold no remorse or love in your heart. You are changed. There is a darkness pooling within you."

At the Lord's words, I feel the beginnings of an already too familiar rage creeping under my skin. "You can hardly consider me an angel now?!" I spit the words back in the Lord's face. "This transformation is your fault. You sent me to Earth to learn from creatures you created! Well, I learned, my Lord. Your creation of Man is worthless! They did this to me. And, in turn, you did this to me! At your actions, I can hardly consider you my Lord!"

These words have no sooner left my lips than I feel a surge of power knock me from my feet and across the room. As I lay on the floor, the voice of the Lord, angry and resolute, fills my ears. "If I am no longer your Lord, Lucifer, then you are no longer my angel." I wonder at the Lord's meaning only momentarily before I feel my own wings start to burn. I lay on the floor, writhing and screaming in agony as my wings burn down to nothing but ash, searing the flesh where they were once attached to my back.

When my screams cease, the Lord again addresses me, rage still tinging his words, "You came to me with a request to be cast out, and cast you out I shall. If you wish to sin as the humans do, then you shall live among them. And, until you can learn to love my creations, respect my rule, and feel remorse for your transgressions, you are banned from the Heavenly realm."

At the Lord's final decree, I take a long look into his eyes, seeing the mixed rage and sorrow flowing across his face as he looks upon me. And then, I feel the sinking sensation as I am cast from the realm, gaining momentum as I plummet to the earth.

The Rise:

The fall seems never ending, and yet I do not fight it. Falling is rather easy, actually. However, when I finally make impact with the earth, it is not the earth I expect. And the impact itself is far more than I could have ever prepared myself for.

I've landed in a wasteland of ice and ash, creating a small crater with my impact. I fell much farther than I believe the Lord intended, for I have fallen into the wasteland he spoke of that contained the tainted souls. I'm sure of it. Around me, I watch dark, wraith-like creatures peer into the crater. In the distance, I can hear screams. The air is stagnant and smells of smoke.

When I go to lift myself from the crater, I realize some of my bones have broken on impact. I also realize the wraith-like creatures are assessing my weaknesses and viewing me as prey. As two of the monsters advance, I feel my rage revive and begin pooling beneath my skin. When they are within arms reach, I grab them both, sensing their tainted souls. And I burn them alive from the inside out.

Apparently, the Lord did not make me human. He took my wings, but he couldn't revoke the darkness that resides within. As I kneel within the crater over the ashes I have created, I feel myself becoming stronger. The souls I have destroyed give me strength. Three more wraiths advance, and I destroy them quicker than the first two. The rest of the wraiths keep their distance, lurking at the edges of the crater.

I have pulled enough strength from these creatures to lift myself from the ground. Yet, when fully risen to my feet, the full ramifications of the fall hit me hard as I feel my child's blood pouring from my womb, further staining my tattered robes red and pooling in the ice and ash at my feet. As the rage again engulfs me, my screams echo within the crater and reverberate far into this wasteland. I curse the Lord for every loss he has led me to suffer as the remaining wraiths approach slowly to lap at the aborted blood at my feet...

       __________________________________________________________

And so goes the tale of The Rise of Lucifer! I was one of those wraiths who witnessed her fall, and I was one of those wraiths that she allowed to consume her aborted blood. I am the only wraith she allowed to survive that day as she rose from the crater and proclaimed herself Queen. She made me her guide to this realm, and I have served at his side ever since. She relishes in the pain each tainted soul brings to her realm as they share in her never ending agony. And amidst the suffering and the fury in this damning realm, she is the Lord.

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Challenge of the Week #62: Tell us the story of Lucifer, where Lucifer is female. 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 JessicaJohnson
The Rise Of Lucifer
The screams of the tortured and the damned are a constant chorus to her ears. She never flinches at the sound, but rather relishes each aching cry as she sits upon the throne of bones I helped build for her centuries ago. She is my Queen, and I serve her unquestionably. Who am I? I am of no significance, for this story isn't about me. This story is about her. I am about to recount for you a tale that she refers to as "The Rise," a tale she recounted to me herself ages ago. Behold, all who would hear it, the centuries old tale of The Rise of Lucifer!
      ____________________________________________________________

A Night On The Earthly Plane:

"You are absolutely glorious. Beauty incarnate! All the stars in the sky cannot compare to the light that radiates from your eyes." His words are silk to my wanting ears as we lay intertwined, skin on skin, in his bedchamber. I have spent the better part of my four weeks on the earthly plane in human form with this man, and, in these four weeks, he has won my heart. However, he knows not my true angelic form for I have kept it concealed at the instruction of the Lord. I was sent by the Lord, as were many of his angels, to Earth disguised in human form to appreciate and learn from and guide his latest creation: Man. And what a beautiful creation they are! In my arms, I hold a small piece of Heaven. He calls himself Nathaniel. And I have him call me Lucy. 

"I cannot imagine my world without you, my dearest. Must you truly leave on the morrow?" Nathaniel's breath tickles my forehead as his soft words penetrate through my many thoughts, his hand still stroking my carmine colored hair.

"I must, my love." My words sound slightly strained even to my ears. "I was sent here to learn from you and guide you. I must report back to my instructor with all I have accomplished here. But I will return to you. Always. You are my heart."

"And you cannot tell me where you are going, who this instructor is, or when you will return to me?" Nathaniel asks, a desperation in the echoes of his voice.

"You know I cannot. But, when I return to you, my love, I will return with answers." This reply always seems to satisfy Nathaniel's curiosity, if only temporarily. And temporarily is all I need. In the morning, I will go. But, tonight, I am still his.

A Return to Heaven:

"Lucifer!" The voice of the Lord echoes through the vast expanses of the Heavenly realm, calling me to his presence.

"Yes, my Lord." I position myself before him in a humble stance and await his review of all I have witnessed and learned on the earthly plane.

The Lord instructs, "In your time on Earth, you have favored one man over all of my many creations, sharing his home and his bed. Tell me of this man and what you have learned."

"My Lord," I address him, "in my time on the earthly plane, I witnessed many of your magnificent creations, but none of them as truly magnificent as Man. They are resplendent, intelligent beings with an inner core light that we would term a soul. Their inner light is of a dimmer quality than the light residing in us angels, and they are not immortal. But they are very similar to us nonetheless. The man I favored calls himself Nathaniel, and I love him, my Lord. He has opened my heart to a different type of love, a love beyond the type of love I hold for my sibling angels. I long to be his companion in life, my Lord."

"You would have me cast you out, no longer an angel, but a human, to live at his side?" the Lord inquires.

"I would, my Lord. And when my time on Earth was through, my soul would pass from that realm back into your arms. In the end, I will always be your creation, but I wish to spend a lifetime with this human." I pause, briefly, to recollect my thoughts. The Lord, all knowing, already knows of my secret, I am sure. But I wish to voice my miracle for his ears nonetheless. "From my time spent with Nathaniel, we have created a life that is germinating in my womb. A miracle, my Lord. I would build a human life and a family with this man."

"My lovely Lucifer, creating life is always a miracle. But you have much to learn, my angel. And I fear this next lesson shall be a difficult one." The Lord steps closer to my side before continuing. "My creation of Man, as you have witnessed, is similar to my creation of angels. However, they are also different. While all of my angels are inherently good, not all of Man hold these same characteristics and values. A side of Man you did not witness in your brief time on the earthly plane is a darker side of man coated with corruption. Greed. Wrath. Deception. Lust. These are all dark traits some humans possess. What I have never revealed to my angels is that some of my human creations do not return to me when their bodies perish. I have placed an everlasting soul in every human. Yet, some souls become so corrupted and weighted down with dark traits that when the soul is released from the body, it cannot ascend to the Heavens, but rather sinks into a dark, desolate wasteland."

"I do not understand, my Lord." I reply, confused as to the lesson my instructor is laying out before me.

"I know, my Lucifer. But you shall." At this, the Lord moves in front of me and raises one hand to place upon my forehead. "I will show you."

When the Lord's hand contacts with my forehead, my eyes no longer view him standing before me. Instead, I am back on Earth in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Disoriented, I slowly take in my surroundings until my eyes settle on Nathaniel in his bed. Yet, Nathaniel is not alone. At his side is a beautiful raven haired woman. He has his arms wrapped around her, whispering in her ear and holding her as he had held me. I can hear his words, faintly flowing and full of seduction, as he tells her, "You are absolutely beautiful. I cannot imagine my life without you..."

A Return To The Earthly Plane:

I do not understand. I love Nathaniel, and he loves me. Who is this woman? I am his everything. And he is my heart. Yet, I feel as if my heart is cracking. I feel as if my pieces are crumbling. What is this terrible feeling?! And then the Lord removes his hand, pulling me back into my current surroundings before he again speaks.

"My lovely Lucifer, I know you do not understand, but what you have experienced is deceit. You ask me to cast you out to be with a man who does not love you as you love him. And he will not be waiting for you when you return. I cannot do that, my angel. But you and the child you have created are forever welcome here within the Heavenly realm, regardless that he shall be part human. I know this is a difficult lesson to learn, and I shall give you time to process this information. I love you, my angel. Do not view this as a loss, but as a lesson." And with those words, the Lord removes himself from my side, leaving me alone in the vast Heavens to ruminate on these thoughts.

And I still do not understand. Alone and confused, I can fathom nothing. A lesson? How can this be a lesson?! I love Nathaniel. No. I cannot accept it. I will not accept it. I will return to Nathaniel, as promised. I will reveal myself, my true self, to him, and his love for me will be revived. And with these thoughts, and a crumbling heart, I plunge from the Heavens to Earth, appearing in a flash of light within Nathaniel's bedchamber. My landing rattles the walls of the cabin, startling both Nathaniel and the raven haired women from the bed. When they spot me, I watch them clamor to the farthest reaches of the room, clinging to each other in fear.

"Nathaniel, my love!" I address him, "I have returned." I stand before them with my carmine hair cascading around my flowing golden robes, and my wings slightly spread, glistening with their inner light. "Tell me, dearest, who is this woman that shares your bed?"

 I watch as a slow recognition spreads across Nathaniel's face, but I find no love radiating from his expression or his eyes. Rather, I see only fear and repulsion. "Lucy...?" Hearing my name from his lips spoken so questioningly and fearfully only furthers the cracks in my crumbling heart.

"Yes, my love." I take a step closer only to watch both Nathaniel and this woman shrink back farther in fear. "I have returned to you in my true form, with love in my heart and our child in my womb. I know this form is foreign to you, but our creator can change that. The Lord can make me human, and we can be together. But he doubts your love for me." I take another step closer, a slight pleading tone creeping into the edges of my voice. "If you would but prove your love to me by dismissing this woman and inviting me into your life, the Lord could cast me in human form and we could be a family."

"Lucy..." I hear Nathaniel whisper, the fear and repulsion still etched in his face, as his eyes keep moving from my face to my wings. "This cannot be..."

"It is, my love. And it can be." I take another step closer, longing only to touch him.

"No!" Nathaniel shouts, his outburst startling me. "Stay back! This cannot be! We cannot be together for I am to be wed to Cecilia." I watch him gaze upon the raven haired woman with adoration, before turning back to me. "She is my future."

I feel a catch in my throat and a moisture pooling in my eyes before it overflows, spilling over my cheeks. "But I am with your child," I hear myself say. "I love you, Nathaniel."

"I do not love you, Lucy." Nathaniel's words, cold and disgusted, are a dagger through my chest. "How could I love you? You aren't even human. Now, leave us to our life together and return to your own kind. We do not want you here."

The Changing:

My breath keeps catching as the moisture pours relentlessly from my eyes. What are these feelings?! I stare helplessly at Nathaniel and Cecilia, feeling broken and ashamed. My heart feels as if it has shattered. "You don't love me...." I hear myself repeating aloud, as if saying the words will relinquish some of the pain in my chest. In a response to my words and actions, Nathaniel only pulls Cecilia tighter in his arms.

I feel my world crumbling as I stand in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Something deeper and more vital than my own heart is breaking inside me. Yet, from the ruins, I can feel something new arising. A fire begins building in my chest, engulfing the pain, and replacing it with something darker. The moisture spilling from my eyes, tears I finally recognized them as, begin to slow. My entire body begins to shake. "How could he choose her over me?!" I think to myself. "How could her choose her over our child?!" Then a new emotion fills me, yet I can name it easily from my studies. Rage. It engulfs me as I watch Nathaniel and Cecilia cling to each other. And in the following moments, when the dark thoughts become overwhelming, I know my following actions will forever alter my fate.

I can feel the rage pooling in my chest and coursing through my body. It consumes me. I need to let it out. "No. No....no..." The words keep spilling from my lips, getting louder with each repeat. I watch as Nathaniel and Cecilia's fear turns into terror.

"Lucy. Stop this!" Nathaniel shouts, as Cecilia whimpers at his side. But it is too late. I can feel my skin rippling with heat. I am burning on the inside. And as my cries turn into screams that surpass the decibel capacity of the human ear, I watch as both Nathaniel and Cecilia sink to their knees, holding the sides of their heads as blood pours from their ears. Their cries only beckon my cries to increase in volume, and I relish in our shared agony as blood begins to pour from their eyes.

"LUCIFER! STOP THIS NOW!" The voice of the Lord is a loud echo in my mind. But he is also too late. I silence my screams and close the distance between myself and Nathaniel and Cecilia. Placing one hand on each of Nathaniel and Cecilia's heads, I sense their souls. And into their souls, I pour all of my rage. Their screams of pure agony do not phase me. I continue to pour all of my rage until the rippling heat from my skin can be seen behind their bloodied eyes. And I burn them alive, beginning with their souls, from the inside out until they are nothing but a pile of ashes on the floor, erasing them from existence.

Yet, still my rage pours! I cannot stop it. I pour it into everything around me, until the walls are engulfed in flames. And it is here, amidst the raging inferno, that I feel a pull on my wings, and the Lord's voice is again in my head asking, "Lucifer...What have you done??" I am then ripped through the burning roof of the cabin, through the skies, and through the very fabric of the earthly realm before being deposited in a broken heap in Heaven at the Lord's feet.

The Fall:

Crumpled at the Lord's feet, I do not even attempt to rise. I can hear other angels not far from the Lord's side, and I imagine what a horrific sight I must be to them, bloodstained and soot covered on the ground. But it hardly matters. As I lay there in a crumpled heap, I realize that I no longer rage. Yet, I don't feel any remorse or shame for my actions either. I feel no love or affection for those around me. I feel hollowed out. I feel nothing.

"Lucifer. Rise!" the Lord commands. I look up, wonderingly, into his raging eyes before deciding to pulling myself from the ground and stand before him.

 "You have shamed me and enraged me, Lucifer." The Lord's voice is clipped, yet filled with both sadness and anger. "You deliberately disobeyed orders to conceal your angelic form from humans. You returned to the earthly plane without my consent. You disobeyed me. And, as if to further seal you fate, you have not only tortured and murdered, but you completely obliterated two of my creations from existence! Their souls are gone. Forever. How can I even begin to forgive this, Lucifer? Tell me, have you learned nothing from your actions?"

Standing before the Lord in my ruins, I reflect upon my actions. I replay the blood and the fire and the screams all in my head. And I still feel nothing. There is no remorse rooted in my soul. And in my hollowed out state, I address the Lord as such, "My Lord, both Nathaniel and Cecilia deserved their fate. I hold no remorse for such deception and betrayal. You created a flawed race of Man. I could not suffer such deceit to exist."

"Not all Man are deceitful, just as apparently not all of my angels are inherently good." I look into the Lord's eyes as these words leave his lips, and in them, I find a familiar rage. "I can hardly consider you an angel now, Lucifer, after your actions. You hold no remorse or love in your heart. You are changed. There is a darkness pooling within you."

At the Lord's words, I feel the beginnings of an already too familiar rage creeping under my skin. "You can hardly consider me an angel now?!" I spit the words back in the Lord's face. "This transformation is your fault. You sent me to Earth to learn from creatures you created! Well, I learned, my Lord. Your creation of Man is worthless! They did this to me. And, in turn, you did this to me! At your actions, I can hardly consider you my Lord!"

These words have no sooner left my lips than I feel a surge of power knock me from my feet and across the room. As I lay on the floor, the voice of the Lord, angry and resolute, fills my ears. "If I am no longer your Lord, Lucifer, then you are no longer my angel." I wonder at the Lord's meaning only momentarily before I feel my own wings start to burn. I lay on the floor, writhing and screaming in agony as my wings burn down to nothing but ash, searing the flesh where they were once attached to my back.

When my screams cease, the Lord again addresses me, rage still tinging his words, "You came to me with a request to be cast out, and cast you out I shall. If you wish to sin as the humans do, then you shall live among them. And, until you can learn to love my creations, respect my rule, and feel remorse for your transgressions, you are banned from the Heavenly realm."

At the Lord's final decree, I take a long look into his eyes, seeing the mixed rage and sorrow flowing across his face as he looks upon me. And then, I feel the sinking sensation as I am cast from the realm, gaining momentum as I plummet to the earth.

The Rise:

The fall seems never ending, and yet I do not fight it. Falling is rather easy, actually. However, when I finally make impact with the earth, it is not the earth I expect. And the impact itself is far more than I could have ever prepared myself for.

I've landed in a wasteland of ice and ash, creating a small crater with my impact. I fell much farther than I believe the Lord intended, for I have fallen into the wasteland he spoke of that contained the tainted souls. I'm sure of it. Around me, I watch dark, wraith-like creatures peer into the crater. In the distance, I can hear screams. The air is stagnant and smells of smoke.

When I go to lift myself from the crater, I realize some of my bones have broken on impact. I also realize the wraith-like creatures are assessing my weaknesses and viewing me as prey. As two of the monsters advance, I feel my rage revive and begin pooling beneath my skin. When they are within arms reach, I grab them both, sensing their tainted souls. And I burn them alive from the inside out.

Apparently, the Lord did not make me human. He took my wings, but he couldn't revoke the darkness that resides within. As I kneel within the crater over the ashes I have created, I feel myself becoming stronger. The souls I have destroyed give me strength. Three more wraiths advance, and I destroy them quicker than the first two. The rest of the wraiths keep their distance, lurking at the edges of the crater.

I have pulled enough strength from these creatures to lift myself from the ground. Yet, when fully risen to my feet, the full ramifications of the fall hit me hard as I feel my child's blood pouring from my womb, further staining my tattered robes red and pooling in the ice and ash at my feet. As the rage again engulfs me, my screams echo within the crater and reverberate far into this wasteland. I curse the Lord for every loss he has led me to suffer as the remaining wraiths approach slowly to lap at the aborted blood at my feet...
       __________________________________________________________

And so goes the tale of The Rise of Lucifer! I was one of those wraiths who witnessed her fall, and I was one of those wraiths that she allowed to consume her aborted blood. I am the only wraith she allowed to survive that day as she rose from the crater and proclaimed herself Queen. She made me her guide to this realm, and I have served at his side ever since. She relishes in the pain each tainted soul brings to her realm as they share in her never ending agony. And amidst the suffering and the fury in this damning realm, she is the Lord.
#fiction  #prosechallenge  #Itslit  #getlit  #100thpost 
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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 desmondwrite

Star Liquor and Chevron on Techniplex and Skywood Road

The man opened the door for his wife and, seeing Duke Hudson, kept it open. Duke walked faster but called out, "You don't have to. It hurts, y'know?"

 

"Take your time," said the man, remaining at his post. The old man still hurried, and you could see Duke had a crick in his step, the kind WD-40 can't fix.

"Thanks," said Duke when they were inside. "Just did three shows and I'm not your age anymore." The man didn't ask what kind of shows but nodded and followed his wife. Spurned, Duke went over to appraise cigars, only to find himself with the man again. Eh, what the hell.

"This place is an oasis," said Duke as if they were returning to an earlier conversation. "Been living here a few years, and this is the nicest thing they built."

He wasn't wrong, either. Other than apartments, the Techniplex was one of those boring business parks with storefronts like Carpets & Floors and Greater Houston Shipping Services and Billiards Galore. Everything was brick ranging from smokey gray to bright blood-cream, standing like tombstones or bloody teeth on palisades of grass.

"Not bad," said the man, before slipping away again.

Now Duke was no Socrates, but he felt the potential for rapport, if at least the fleeting affirmation that they were two potent and interesting men. One more time, thought Duke, feeling conspiratorial. He scanned a Twix Bar’s nutrition while he found the couple. The wife was headed for the register while the man was behind the island of coffee machines. Faking an interest in frozen burritos, Duke slinked around the other side of the island, but the man was onto him and turned to the cashier: “Where do you keep cough drops?” The cashier indicated the wall behind the counter, a quilt of yellow and red bags, and the man doubled back. 

But discouragement didn’t come easy to Duke. He’d been outwitted, but he saw another opportunity to greet the man. Duke could plant himself by the newspapers and on the couple's way out he could get the door and say, “Just paying it forward” or the winner, “Take your time.” 

It started. Duke headed down the freezers, trying to keep out of their periphery, but the couple saw him, and quickly swiped their card, realized the machine took chip, pushed in chip. The old man navigated three men in jeans with white paint flecks on their legs and as he passed the wine the couple punched no don’t want cash back and yes that’s the right amount. He swung by auto parts and the ATM like the meticulous, painful revolution of the second hand as it scrapes the bend of the clock. No, don’t want to donate to kids missing kidneys and parents. Bags, receipt? No.

They were out the door. As Duke opened it a second later, another old man slipped in and said thank you, sir. Duke told him to fuck off and hobbled out.

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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 desmondwrite
Star Liquor and Chevron on Techniplex and Skywood Road
The man opened the door for his wife and, seeing Duke Hudson, kept it open. Duke walked faster but called out, "You don't have to. It hurts, y'know?"
 
"Take your time," said the man, remaining at his post. The old man still hurried, and you could see Duke had a crick in his step, the kind WD-40 can't fix.

"Thanks," said Duke when they were inside. "Just did three shows and I'm not your age anymore." The man didn't ask what kind of shows but nodded and followed his wife. Spurned, Duke went over to appraise cigars, only to find himself with the man again. Eh, what the hell.

"This place is an oasis," said Duke as if they were returning to an earlier conversation. "Been living here a few years, and this is the nicest thing they built."

He wasn't wrong, either. Other than apartments, the Techniplex was one of those boring business parks with storefronts like Carpets & Floors and Greater Houston Shipping Services and Billiards Galore. Everything was brick ranging from smokey gray to bright blood-cream, standing like tombstones or bloody teeth on palisades of grass.

"Not bad," said the man, before slipping away again.

Now Duke was no Socrates, but he felt the potential for rapport, if at least the fleeting affirmation that they were two potent and interesting men. One more time, thought Duke, feeling conspiratorial. He scanned a Twix Bar’s nutrition while he found the couple. The wife was headed for the register while the man was behind the island of coffee machines. Faking an interest in frozen burritos, Duke slinked around the other side of the island, but the man was onto him and turned to the cashier: “Where do you keep cough drops?” The cashier indicated the wall behind the counter, a quilt of yellow and red bags, and the man doubled back. 

But discouragement didn’t come easy to Duke. He’d been outwitted, but he saw another opportunity to greet the man. Duke could plant himself by the newspapers and on the couple's way out he could get the door and say, “Just paying it forward” or the winner, “Take your time.” 

It started. Duke headed down the freezers, trying to keep out of their periphery, but the couple saw him, and quickly swiped their card, realized the machine took chip, pushed in chip. The old man navigated three men in jeans with white paint flecks on their legs and as he passed the wine the couple punched no don’t want cash back and yes that’s the right amount. He swung by auto parts and the ATM like the meticulous, painful revolution of the second hand as it scrapes the bend of the clock. No, don’t want to donate to kids missing kidneys and parents. Bags, receipt? No.

They were out the door. As Duke opened it a second later, another old man slipped in and said thank you, sir. Duke told him to fuck off and hobbled out.
#fiction  #adventure 
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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. 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 a060147

the boy in the glass

I meet him on a Sunday -- summer vacation, quarter after eleven, nearing lunchtime -- surrounded by people and things who don't really matter at all. Shouldn't, anyway, not with my mother acting as the lead director of the facility's new program. There are exactly three starkly dressed men in the room right now, all bearing lab coats, identification badges, and the tendency to speak over one another, and with their discussion steadily reducing itself to a heated, nearly incoherent squabble, my ability to pay attention has already excused itself several minutes ago. I find myself staring at the perfectly monochromatic linoleum instead, counting the outlined squares, then at the perfectly bare walls, then at the scuffed edge of an oxford shoe bearing one too many scratches to be in good condition. Then the shoe is speaking to me, and I'm looking up and into the disapproving gaze of one of the lab workers. The urge to slap him for his disrespect rises so quickly that my fingers twitch. I don't, of course. Mother had pulled me out of my activities for the day to show me her newest endeavor, and pleasing her remains priority over all else. Knocking one of her trusted scientists unconscious, possibly putting my own image in bad light in spite of this step out of line -- no, that wouldn't sit well at all. So I stare back with the wide-eyed, innocuous gaze I've adopted just for bastards like these. Hold my tongue. He doesn't bite, not fully, but he hesitates a bit and begins to speak in that professional, level tone again, reiterating.

"He's a feisty one, this boy," he explains, pushing up the bridge of his spectacles. "Lacks obedience. Difficult to handle. He is intelligent, though, and possesses a grasp of language and abstract logic like we haven't experienced so far -- but I'm sure that's what you're here for."

And I'm not sure exactly what that is. I don't deign to ask this underling the obvious, though, and instead opt to raise a brow in confusion. Give a blank, questioning stare over the edges of my own wire-rimmed glasses. He almost returns the stare, as if it had been my fault for not listening in the first place -- before the taller, lankier of the trio steps in front of him, placing a hand on his shoulder. It's difficult not to smirk at the sharp look he chances at him.

"If I may, Miss Fujino," the taller man addresses correctly and formally this time, "would you have your attention directed to your left?"

I turn.

And then become completely and utterly clear on the task at hand.

As the first on a long, long list of anomalies, the boy is encased in glass. In a tank, actually, with countless tubes connecting to both him and various apparatuses scattered about, unknown monitors tracking unknown conditions. He's a small, delicate little thing -- no taller than I stand, probably, with slender hips and shoulders and limbs -- and the considerable size of the tank itself dwarfs him to the likeness of a child. He's albino, of course. All the results of the program are. But he's the first one I've ever seen with such androgynous, youthful features that I can't help but be thrown off by the pretty lips and pretty eyes, the thick, thick lashes fluttering gently over rounded cheekbones. As if he'd been pulled from some fairy tale storybook, almost. As if he were some gentle, benign prince draped in gold and finery instead of breathing apparatuses and electrodes. The short, undeveloped feathers of his budding wings flicker occasionally in time with his breathing; the tips of his fingers quiver as if he's been caught dreaming. Then it's his eyelids that are quivering, slowly but surely, and I find myself staring into the cloudiest, most opaque set of rosy irises I've ever seen. Willed into stillness. He's just like --

"An angel, isn't he? I thought you'd like to see our newest success in splicing."

The proximity of the voice behind me startles me out of my reverie, forcing me to tear my gaze away from the creature -- and to eye-level buttons on a perfectly pressed, perfectly white blouse. My mother. My mother had come to see me, me of all people, instead of letting her secretaries inform her how this briefing had progressed with her daughter. There's a smile on my face before I can stop myself; I try to think of a phrase to best express my understanding and interest in my newest task.

But the short, bespectacled underling is on her before I can speak, and my fingers are twitching again. He taps his cheap shoes against the linoleum excitedly as he does so. "Director Fujino, what a pleasant surprise! What brings you here today?"

My mother allows his nearly shit-eating grin a dismissive glance before acknowledging me. Small nod, slight hum escaping her lips. I feel like I'm going to burst. She turns towards the taller man as he whispers something in her ear, makes a sound of approval, then leans so closely in my direction that we're nearly face-to-face, eye-to-eye. Begins speaking in that low, level tone I've only ever heard her use with her colleagues, and says, "Lucy, do you know why I brought you here today? Do you know why I've decided to show you, out of all my colleagues and partners, this subject? Why I've trusted you with this? Tell me what you think of it, Lucy."

She's talking directly to me. She's talking directly to me. The three squabbling scientists and stark walls and floors are gone, suddenly, as is the beautiful, winged subject in the tank. She wants to know the answers to exactly three distinct questions, all imperative to the program, and she's going to listen to me directly as I answer them. As I explain my role in this task in the most knowledgeable, most appropriate answer possible.

"I-I'm going to monitor the development of subject 0049. This high-functioning subhuman will be under my responsibility until the duration of the experiment expires. Until then --" I take a quick breath to stop my heart from jumping out of my chest," -- I will do everything in my power to ensure the progression of the subject's mental and physical capabilities, no matter the cost."

"And?"

And? I think quickly, studying her features.

"And -- and because I am the most controlled and least likely of all possible participants to produce lurking variables, I am the best suited for this task."

She frowns a little at this -- that half quirk of a lower lip lasting for only half a second -- before setting her smile again, nodding. I've made a mistake somewhere, I know. Probably should've commented on the immaculate state of the subject, the methods in which I would explore the subject's psyche and capabilities. Anything but that too simple cop-out of an answer. Too late now. She's already turned to leave, the room and squabbling scientists and tank returning to their rightful places; within moments the taller man is briefing me about the experiment in short, informative statements, tapping his pen against the clipboard. The man with cheap shoes has spared enough glances between me and the subject to be grating. I listen to the click of her heels as she leaves the room, exits the hall, and places the world right back where it should be in her absence.

At the end of the day, I'm alone again. My mother's decision to include me in her newest developmental project has been categorized as an internship under my university; the details are already neatly filed away. So I wouldn't have had a choice in the matter, anyway. Not that I ever would decide against it. The boy sits across from me in his tank, watching me curiously as I divide the paperwork into manageable sections. Stares with unfocused, rosy eyes as he taps the glass every so often. I'm not even sure if he's aware that he's under my care at the moment, if he had even heard anything of the conversation -- but he's supposed to be the best and the brightest of all the spliced subhumans, so I imagine he's understood at least a few things. He's a pretty, lovely little thing to look at, at least. My mother would appreciate the mint condition of his appearance at the end of the trial. The sound of a heavier, harder tap catches my attention for a moment, and I glance back to see the boy resting his palm against the glass, looking at me expectantly. A greeting of some sort, I suppose.

So he'd already figured out more than a few nuances in human body language. I can see why my mother had thought him so impressive.

I press my fingers in a reflection against his, immediately scouring his small frame and features for any sort of response. Pause. He studies me, grins, and mouths inaudibly but unmistakably:

Hello. How are you today?

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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. 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 a060147
the boy in the glass
I meet him on a Sunday -- summer vacation, quarter after eleven, nearing lunchtime -- surrounded by people and things who don't really matter at all. Shouldn't, anyway, not with my mother acting as the lead director of the facility's new program. There are exactly three starkly dressed men in the room right now, all bearing lab coats, identification badges, and the tendency to speak over one another, and with their discussion steadily reducing itself to a heated, nearly incoherent squabble, my ability to pay attention has already excused itself several minutes ago. I find myself staring at the perfectly monochromatic linoleum instead, counting the outlined squares, then at the perfectly bare walls, then at the scuffed edge of an oxford shoe bearing one too many scratches to be in good condition. Then the shoe is speaking to me, and I'm looking up and into the disapproving gaze of one of the lab workers. The urge to slap him for his disrespect rises so quickly that my fingers twitch. I don't, of course. Mother had pulled me out of my activities for the day to show me her newest endeavor, and pleasing her remains priority over all else. Knocking one of her trusted scientists unconscious, possibly putting my own image in bad light in spite of this step out of line -- no, that wouldn't sit well at all. So I stare back with the wide-eyed, innocuous gaze I've adopted just for bastards like these. Hold my tongue. He doesn't bite, not fully, but he hesitates a bit and begins to speak in that professional, level tone again, reiterating.

"He's a feisty one, this boy," he explains, pushing up the bridge of his spectacles. "Lacks obedience. Difficult to handle. He is intelligent, though, and possesses a grasp of language and abstract logic like we haven't experienced so far -- but I'm sure that's what you're here for."

And I'm not sure exactly what that is. I don't deign to ask this underling the obvious, though, and instead opt to raise a brow in confusion. Give a blank, questioning stare over the edges of my own wire-rimmed glasses. He almost returns the stare, as if it had been my fault for not listening in the first place -- before the taller, lankier of the trio steps in front of him, placing a hand on his shoulder. It's difficult not to smirk at the sharp look he chances at him.

"If I may, Miss Fujino," the taller man addresses correctly and formally this time, "would you have your attention directed to your left?"

I turn.

And then become completely and utterly clear on the task at hand.

As the first on a long, long list of anomalies, the boy is encased in glass. In a tank, actually, with countless tubes connecting to both him and various apparatuses scattered about, unknown monitors tracking unknown conditions. He's a small, delicate little thing -- no taller than I stand, probably, with slender hips and shoulders and limbs -- and the considerable size of the tank itself dwarfs him to the likeness of a child. He's albino, of course. All the results of the program are. But he's the first one I've ever seen with such androgynous, youthful features that I can't help but be thrown off by the pretty lips and pretty eyes, the thick, thick lashes fluttering gently over rounded cheekbones. As if he'd been pulled from some fairy tale storybook, almost. As if he were some gentle, benign prince draped in gold and finery instead of breathing apparatuses and electrodes. The short, undeveloped feathers of his budding wings flicker occasionally in time with his breathing; the tips of his fingers quiver as if he's been caught dreaming. Then it's his eyelids that are quivering, slowly but surely, and I find myself staring into the cloudiest, most opaque set of rosy irises I've ever seen. Willed into stillness. He's just like --

"An angel, isn't he? I thought you'd like to see our newest success in splicing."

The proximity of the voice behind me startles me out of my reverie, forcing me to tear my gaze away from the creature -- and to eye-level buttons on a perfectly pressed, perfectly white blouse. My mother. My mother had come to see me, me of all people, instead of letting her secretaries inform her how this briefing had progressed with her daughter. There's a smile on my face before I can stop myself; I try to think of a phrase to best express my understanding and interest in my newest task.

But the short, bespectacled underling is on her before I can speak, and my fingers are twitching again. He taps his cheap shoes against the linoleum excitedly as he does so. "Director Fujino, what a pleasant surprise! What brings you here today?"

My mother allows his nearly shit-eating grin a dismissive glance before acknowledging me. Small nod, slight hum escaping her lips. I feel like I'm going to burst. She turns towards the taller man as he whispers something in her ear, makes a sound of approval, then leans so closely in my direction that we're nearly face-to-face, eye-to-eye. Begins speaking in that low, level tone I've only ever heard her use with her colleagues, and says, "Lucy, do you know why I brought you here today? Do you know why I've decided to show you, out of all my colleagues and partners, this subject? Why I've trusted you with this? Tell me what you think of it, Lucy."

She's talking directly to me. She's talking directly to me. The three squabbling scientists and stark walls and floors are gone, suddenly, as is the beautiful, winged subject in the tank. She wants to know the answers to exactly three distinct questions, all imperative to the program, and she's going to listen to me directly as I answer them. As I explain my role in this task in the most knowledgeable, most appropriate answer possible.

"I-I'm going to monitor the development of subject 0049. This high-functioning subhuman will be under my responsibility until the duration of the experiment expires. Until then --" I take a quick breath to stop my heart from jumping out of my chest," -- I will do everything in my power to ensure the progression of the subject's mental and physical capabilities, no matter the cost."

"And?"

And? I think quickly, studying her features.

"And -- and because I am the most controlled and least likely of all possible participants to produce lurking variables, I am the best suited for this task."

She frowns a little at this -- that half quirk of a lower lip lasting for only half a second -- before setting her smile again, nodding. I've made a mistake somewhere, I know. Probably should've commented on the immaculate state of the subject, the methods in which I would explore the subject's psyche and capabilities. Anything but that too simple cop-out of an answer. Too late now. She's already turned to leave, the room and squabbling scientists and tank returning to their rightful places; within moments the taller man is briefing me about the experiment in short, informative statements, tapping his pen against the clipboard. The man with cheap shoes has spared enough glances between me and the subject to be grating. I listen to the click of her heels as she leaves the room, exits the hall, and places the world right back where it should be in her absence.

At the end of the day, I'm alone again. My mother's decision to include me in her newest developmental project has been categorized as an internship under my university; the details are already neatly filed away. So I wouldn't have had a choice in the matter, anyway. Not that I ever would decide against it. The boy sits across from me in his tank, watching me curiously as I divide the paperwork into manageable sections. Stares with unfocused, rosy eyes as he taps the glass every so often. I'm not even sure if he's aware that he's under my care at the moment, if he had even heard anything of the conversation -- but he's supposed to be the best and the brightest of all the spliced subhumans, so I imagine he's understood at least a few things. He's a pretty, lovely little thing to look at, at least. My mother would appreciate the mint condition of his appearance at the end of the trial. The sound of a heavier, harder tap catches my attention for a moment, and I glance back to see the boy resting his palm against the glass, looking at me expectantly. A greeting of some sort, I suppose.

So he'd already figured out more than a few nuances in human body language. I can see why my mother had thought him so impressive.

I press my fingers in a reflection against his, immediately scouring his small frame and features for any sort of response. Pause. He studies me, grins, and mouths inaudibly but unmistakably:

Hello. How are you today?
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction 
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Written by Meadow337 in portal Fiction

The Hadeda Who Lost His De-dah

Once upon a time there was a hadeda (otherwise known as Jim) who had an extraordinary musical talent. His call – ha-ha-de-dah - was the loudest, clearest and most beautiful sound any hadeda had ever heard. Whenever the flock swooped over the grasslands in the late evening calling out to each other Jim would call out and the flock would go silent to listen.

Naturally, this gave Jim a highly inflated opinion of himself. He took to calling at all hours of the day and night just to hear his voice. Equally naturally, this annoyed his flock mates who soon thought that Jim's voice was not as extraordinary as they first thought.

It did not take long for the flock to call an enclave. They met at the nesting site in the eucalyptus trees on the hill. The leader of the flock called the meeting to order, "Ha! Ha! Order! Order!"

"Ha! Ha!" cried the flock.

"We are here to discuss the problem of Jim."

"Ha! Ha!" agreed the flock.

"He must be called to order!"

"Ha!"

A lone voice called, de-dah and the flock turned as one bird and frowned at the youngster who had called out of turn.

"Ha! Ha!" called the leader, "Jim must be asked to leave."

"De-dah," cried the flock.

"Ha!" said the youngster, who was a beat behind.

The leader frowned, "All in agreement then?"

"Ha-ha-de-dah," agreed the flock.

"De-dah," echoed the youngster, but the flock ignored him.

Thus it was that Jim was asked to leave the eucalyptus roost until he learned how to be quiet. The trees wept long strands of bark in sympathy as Jim made his musical farewell to the only home he had ever known.

"Ha-Ha..." Jim cleared his throat, "Ha-haaaaa...." silence. Jim tried again, "Ha-ha - ha-ha," but no matter how hard he tried Jim could not say de-dah. He couldn't bring himself to utter the traditional words of agreement used by the flock in enclave. He did not agree he was a nuisance; he did not agree he had to go; he was not going to say 'de-dah, I agree'; and he certainly was not going agree to be silent in order to stay.

Angrily Jim flew off over the trees calling ha-ha in a harsh and unmusical tone. Everywhere he went hadedas asked him why he only ever said ha-ha with such horrible noise. When he told them his story, they would fall silent and wonder what he had done to deserve such a fate. Then as he flew off crying ha-ha they would join him, calling their agreement and sympathy ... ha-ha-de-dah but Jim never joined in with last part of the call. Sadly they would leave him, an outcast, forever marked by his refusal to moderate his cry.

To this day any lone hadeda, outcast from the flock for any reason, will only ever cry ha-ha and if you hear one, know that you are hearing the lone voice of protest, crying out in its refusal to agree to be silenced.

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Written by Meadow337 in portal Fiction
The Hadeda Who Lost His De-dah
Once upon a time there was a hadeda (otherwise known as Jim) who had an extraordinary musical talent. His call – ha-ha-de-dah - was the loudest, clearest and most beautiful sound any hadeda had ever heard. Whenever the flock swooped over the grasslands in the late evening calling out to each other Jim would call out and the flock would go silent to listen.

Naturally, this gave Jim a highly inflated opinion of himself. He took to calling at all hours of the day and night just to hear his voice. Equally naturally, this annoyed his flock mates who soon thought that Jim's voice was not as extraordinary as they first thought.

It did not take long for the flock to call an enclave. They met at the nesting site in the eucalyptus trees on the hill. The leader of the flock called the meeting to order, "Ha! Ha! Order! Order!"

"Ha! Ha!" cried the flock.

"We are here to discuss the problem of Jim."

"Ha! Ha!" agreed the flock.

"He must be called to order!"

"Ha!"

A lone voice called, de-dah and the flock turned as one bird and frowned at the youngster who had called out of turn.

"Ha! Ha!" called the leader, "Jim must be asked to leave."

"De-dah," cried the flock.

"Ha!" said the youngster, who was a beat behind.

The leader frowned, "All in agreement then?"

"Ha-ha-de-dah," agreed the flock.

"De-dah," echoed the youngster, but the flock ignored him.

Thus it was that Jim was asked to leave the eucalyptus roost until he learned how to be quiet. The trees wept long strands of bark in sympathy as Jim made his musical farewell to the only home he had ever known.

"Ha-Ha..." Jim cleared his throat, "Ha-haaaaa...." silence. Jim tried again, "Ha-ha - ha-ha," but no matter how hard he tried Jim could not say de-dah. He couldn't bring himself to utter the traditional words of agreement used by the flock in enclave. He did not agree he was a nuisance; he did not agree he had to go; he was not going to say 'de-dah, I agree'; and he certainly was not going agree to be silent in order to stay.

Angrily Jim flew off over the trees calling ha-ha in a harsh and unmusical tone. Everywhere he went hadedas asked him why he only ever said ha-ha with such horrible noise. When he told them his story, they would fall silent and wonder what he had done to deserve such a fate. Then as he flew off crying ha-ha they would join him, calling their agreement and sympathy ... ha-ha-de-dah but Jim never joined in with last part of the call. Sadly they would leave him, an outcast, forever marked by his refusal to moderate his cry.

To this day any lone hadeda, outcast from the flock for any reason, will only ever cry ha-ha and if you hear one, know that you are hearing the lone voice of protest, crying out in its refusal to agree to be silenced.
#fiction  #philosophy 
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Part 2 Continue the story that you started on part one. Make it just as vivid and leave me desperate to know what happens next. This time I will give you a total of 300 words. Go back and add number 1 to your first and number 2 in your second and then tag me in both. So I can read from beginning! I will continue mine too! Have fun and drive me crazy wanting another chapter...maybe we will do a number three..ha!
Written by Jasper in portal Fiction

Bewitching Hour Part II

She stumbled backwards, gripping and digging her nails into the edge of the doorway to steady herself. Hyperventilating, she was overcome by a wave of nausea and immediately emptied the contents of her stomach, creating one more puddle on the already soaked tiles.

She fell to a squat, shaking, palms resting on a dry part of the hallway floor and exclaimed 'oh god' several times. Hesitantly she raised her head, hoping she’d imagined it but her eyes met the same scene.

Her three friends were suspended upside down in the air, with stiff arms straight out to the side as if crucified. Six slit wrists and three slit throats gushed hot blood, forming individual waterfalls converging into a single lake spreading across the floor. It would be commingling with her sick in the entranceway in minutes. Their eyes were wide open and moving ever so slightly; they were still alive.

Desperately clutching to the idea that this was all a horrible nightmare, she stumbled back to her bedroom. She tried the bedroom light. It still didn’t work. Her cell phone was on the nightstand. Her knees gave out again so she crawled across the dirty carpet strewn with clothes and empty bottles to find her phone. It was dead. Still on all fours, she started searching for her friends’ cell phones. To her luck she found all three but they were out of battery, too.

With no landline in the apartment, her last hope was her laptop. Her laptop was in the kitchen. There was a chance that it might not be drenched in blood, but she had the feeling going in there would prove to be a deadly mistake. Just as she was steeling herself to try, the TV in the corner of the room turned on to static.

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Part 2 Continue the story that you started on part one. Make it just as vivid and leave me desperate to know what happens next. This time I will give you a total of 300 words. Go back and add number 1 to your first and number 2 in your second and then tag me in both. So I can read from beginning! I will continue mine too! Have fun and drive me crazy wanting another chapter...maybe we will do a number three..ha!
Written by Jasper in portal Fiction
Bewitching Hour Part II
She stumbled backwards, gripping and digging her nails into the edge of the doorway to steady herself. Hyperventilating, she was overcome by a wave of nausea and immediately emptied the contents of her stomach, creating one more puddle on the already soaked tiles.

She fell to a squat, shaking, palms resting on a dry part of the hallway floor and exclaimed 'oh god' several times. Hesitantly she raised her head, hoping she’d imagined it but her eyes met the same scene.

Her three friends were suspended upside down in the air, with stiff arms straight out to the side as if crucified. Six slit wrists and three slit throats gushed hot blood, forming individual waterfalls converging into a single lake spreading across the floor. It would be commingling with her sick in the entranceway in minutes. Their eyes were wide open and moving ever so slightly; they were still alive.

Desperately clutching to the idea that this was all a horrible nightmare, she stumbled back to her bedroom. She tried the bedroom light. It still didn’t work. Her cell phone was on the nightstand. Her knees gave out again so she crawled across the dirty carpet strewn with clothes and empty bottles to find her phone. It was dead. Still on all fours, she started searching for her friends’ cell phones. To her luck she found all three but they were out of battery, too.

With no landline in the apartment, her last hope was her laptop. Her laptop was in the kitchen. There was a chance that it might not be drenched in blood, but she had the feeling going in there would prove to be a deadly mistake. Just as she was steeling herself to try, the TV in the corner of the room turned on to static.
#fiction  #horror  #mystery 
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Juice
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