Apologies that this isn't a real prose post. It's just the only way I can think of to get answers quickly. :)
Is anyone having issues with the Prose Weekly Newsletter? I have notifications turned so that I get the newsletter, but I've never received it. I think it's been nearly a month since I turned the notifications on.
Also - who won the April monthly challenge? I'd love to read the winning entry but I have no idea who won or if anyone's even been announced (since I can't get the newsletter).
The Human Thing
I opened my eyes, wincing at the bright morning sunlight filtering through the curtains. I swung my legs off the side of my bed, sliding onto the cold tile. Then the pain hit.
I groaned through gritted teeth, doubling over. Once I could think coherently again, I became aware of an electrifying energy coursing through my veins that I knew hadn't been there the night before. It was as if overnight I had been injected with pure divine power. Power so strong, I realized, that my mortal body was struggling - painfully - to contain it. I felt it burning, bubbling beneath my skin like lava waiting to explode.
I instinctively knew that I could think anything, on a whim, and it would be done exactly as I desired. The possibilities were endless.
I tried to dismiss it, but the burning power refused to be ignored. The more I thought about the possibilities, the more it heated up beneath my skin. Finally, I gave in to my curiosity and decided to experiment with my newfound power.
I wish I could say that the first thing I did was to eradicate disease, or end world hunger, or bring nations to peace. But I was still fully, regrettably human. So I did the human thing.
I got revenge - on all the people who'd ever wronged me.
One after another, I mentally sent karma their way - to my grade school bully, the lady that had cut in line at the grocery store, the random guy who'd dinged my car in the parking lot - every person I could remember who'd hurt me even a little, and some that I just plain didn't like.
I felt a rush of pleasure at the thought of their suffering. Just for kicks, I sent a little payback to a few more people - people who hadn't wronged me, but who I knew had wronged innocent people, children, or animals. They were getting what they deserved, I thought. It wasn't fair that people's evil should go unpunished. Justice would be served!
It was only after I sent a little too harsh of a punishment that I started to think I'd gotten carried away. Omnipotent or not, I realized, this was wrong. I was wrong. Worse than all the people that I thought had wronged me.
I wanted to scream. In a matter of minutes, I had gone insane with power. This wasn't a gift to me or to humanity, it was a curse. I was wracked with guilt. What had I done?
I could no longer trust myself — I had become a monster. All at once, the shame and guilt of what I had done crashed down onto my shoulders and I broke down in tears. I realized there was no way I could handle this kind of power.
After sobbing for a while, I pulled myself together, knowing what had to be done. I began to rewind time, undoing all the punishments I had visited upon my enemies.
The morning sunrise once again shone into my bedroom, and I walked to the window, admiring the beautiful colors in the sky. As dark as the power had tainted me, I wanted the light to be the last thing I saw.
Then, with a resigned sigh, I used my newfound power one last time - and wished myself out of existence.
To truly be a Christian, you must not only believe God/Jesus exists but also accept His gift of salvation and accept Him into your heart to essentially "take the wheel." True Christians ought to know where they're going and not be afraid of death, because they know they will be with their Savior. True Christians ought to live for Christ, by showing His love and telling others about the Good News - that He died to take the punishment of our sins so that we can live forever with Him.
True Christians, however, usually struggle with doubt. Because they belong to the Lord, they are often attacked spiritually by Satan, trying to discourage them. One common doubt Satan plants in people's minds is that one's "not good enough," or "too far gone" to be saved. Even those who have been Christians for decades still struggle.
Jesus did not promise that we would have easy lives, rather He said the world would hate us. John 15:18-20 says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world...If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." This is clearly seen in the amount of Christians around the world that are persecuted for their faith. However, they refuse to convert/stop meeting/stop spreading the Gospel. This resilience and willingness to lay down their life sets them apart because most people love their lives. You know why they can withstand being tortured, even killed for their beliefs? Because God gives them strength, and they know that what awaits them on the other side is better than anything here on this earth. That is a sign of a true Christian.
True Christians should be obvious in word and in deed. They should be joyful, even in difficult circumstances. They should be kind, even to the cruelest people. They should be different - a good, visible different that makes people say, "I want what they have!"
However, some people who profess to be Christians don't really have God in their lives. Some have accepted Him, but they struggle and aren't at a point where they understand how to live for God yet. Some people become Christians but fall away during difficult times. This is what causes people to misunderstand what true, strong Christians are really like.
True Christians should be easy to spot. They should be like "little Christs" - in fact, that is the meaning of the term "Christian". However, while there are indeed certain things that all Christians must do to be saved, I would like to point out that no Christian is the same. We're all at different points in our spiritual walk. We all struggle with different things. We all screw up. Some of us have different standards (more or less). We aren't all going to be the absolute epitome of Christianity.
But over all, true Christians are united in Christ. Because no matter how different our lives are, or the struggles we go through in our physical and spiritual lives, what really makes a Christian a true Christian is that God is in their lives and He has changed them from the inside out.
I blinked, wincing at the brightness and pain. A man loomed over me.
"Thanks for joining us." He smiled mockingly.
I got up shakily. Somehow, I had survived the hit unharmed. I stumbled away from the scene to collect myself, then I risked a glance. I saw a hastily stopped car, engine still running, and people kneeling over a limp form. I recognized the ruined face. It was my own.
The Time-Chasers (this is from a book I’m working on)
I was bored.
When you grow up having every gadget imaginable at your disposal, and every remaining human on earth for your literal next-door neighbor, you eventually run out of new things to do.
Writing is like
Sewing tiny wings onto my heart.
It's painful sometimes.
It's long and tiring, and
It's almost always hard.
Sometimes it doesn't make sense.
But in the end,
It sets me free.
You Know You’re Writing Fantasy When…
You know you’re writing fantasy when you start building a world so deep you have to explain your explanations…
When you have notebooks with notes trying to come up with the best made-up,unpronounceable names for your characters…
And when you realize you should really rethink this world you’re building ’cause even you can’t keep it straight.
A House for Rent
A house for rent.
Abandoned and unloved;
Haunted by memories no one knows.
Someone’s life happened here but nobody cares;
The house stands alone, vacant and mournful.
A home for rent.
An empty house, ready to become a home;
Happy memories waiting to be made.
Someone moved on, and a family moved in;
A once-vacant space now filled with light and love.
Too much warmth.
The short month-long winter dissolves.
The air turns to 70, then 80 degrees
Ceasing to climb only in the hot July,
when the humid air
Feels like the surface of the sun.
Cloudy mornings start to lessen
Bright blue skies and puffy clouds
Herald the season's change.
The adapting to warm temperature
After the bitter 50-degree-weather is the worst.
(I'm not exaggerating. That really is
Our version of cold.)
I wish it was winter again.
That is the first sign of spring.