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Once Apron A Time... I cooked up a culinary pun. Write a sweet, salty, cheesy, fruity, saucy, creamy or otherwise food-related double-hinted slice of wisdom.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Comedy

The Science in the Spelling

You can halve your cake and eat it, too. Following this recipe, it'll last through any amount of sharing. Fruitcake somehow never gets smaller, regardless...

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Once Apron A Time... I cooked up a culinary pun. Write a sweet, salty, cheesy, fruity, saucy, creamy or otherwise food-related double-hinted slice of wisdom.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Comedy
The Science in the Spelling
You can halve your cake and eat it, too. Following this recipe, it'll last through any amount of sharing. Fruitcake somehow never gets smaller, regardless...
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You see an online job offer for a hired killer. Write a resume ensuring you get the job.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Horror & Thriller

Reaper

Author of Bland, Unremarkable Obituaries

Travel agent for Styx Oneway Cruise Lines

Silent partner of Flowers for Survivors, LLC

Well-versed in execution of exit strategies

Extensive experience with Discretion

Plot numbers available upon request

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You see an online job offer for a hired killer. Write a resume ensuring you get the job.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Horror & Thriller
Reaper
Author of Bland, Unremarkable Obituaries
Travel agent for Styx Oneway Cruise Lines
Silent partner of Flowers for Survivors, LLC

Well-versed in execution of exit strategies
Extensive experience with Discretion

Plot numbers available upon request





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Word Play Time! Try to write a piece with every word starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet, like this: ("A Beastly Challenge, Don't Ewe Find? ") Miss-spelling allowed, as long as it makes readable sense. I wonder if anyone can make it through the whole alphabet with a coherent story?
Written by twistofrhyme

Francis Learns the Alphabet

A brazen, craven dream enticed Francis: "Goodness! 'Has innocent Juliet known lust,' my nymph? Oh, princess..." quoted Romeo suggestively, teasingly, undertaking very wicked x-ratings. "Your zingers are brilliant, cutey."

Driving, encouraging fingers gyrated her, involving juicy kisses. Lingering, miniscule nibbles over persistently quivering ribs, slowly tantalized undulating, virginal wonders. Xiphoid yearning zenithed and brought carnal, delicious ecstasy. Francis gained her internal jubilant kinaesthesia, learning muscle-tension no other passion's questing, rubbing, sinful torment understood. Visions, wherein xenomanic, young zains awakened breathtaking curiosity, delivering enigmatic feelings, guided her. Insistently, joltingly kinetic lips meandered nearby orgasmic, pulsing, quickening, riveting, sensitive, tingling, unmentionable venues with xylocarpous, ywis zealous, albeit blissful consequences. Delight engulfed fully, grinding his intense, jumping, keen luck. Man never orchestrated pleasure quite right since then.

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Word Play Time! Try to write a piece with every word starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet, like this: ("A Beastly Challenge, Don't Ewe Find? ") Miss-spelling allowed, as long as it makes readable sense. I wonder if anyone can make it through the whole alphabet with a coherent story?
Written by twistofrhyme
Francis Learns the Alphabet
A brazen, craven dream enticed Francis: "Goodness! 'Has innocent Juliet known lust,' my nymph? Oh, princess..." quoted Romeo suggestively, teasingly, undertaking very wicked x-ratings. "Your zingers are brilliant, cutey."
Driving, encouraging fingers gyrated her, involving juicy kisses. Lingering, miniscule nibbles over persistently quivering ribs, slowly tantalized undulating, virginal wonders. Xiphoid yearning zenithed and brought carnal, delicious ecstasy. Francis gained her internal jubilant kinaesthesia, learning muscle-tension no other passion's questing, rubbing, sinful torment understood. Visions, wherein xenomanic, young zains awakened breathtaking curiosity, delivering enigmatic feelings, guided her. Insistently, joltingly kinetic lips meandered nearby orgasmic, pulsing, quickening, riveting, sensitive, tingling, unmentionable venues with xylocarpous, ywis zealous, albeit blissful consequences. Delight engulfed fully, grinding his intense, jumping, keen luck. Man never orchestrated pleasure quite right since then.
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Write automatically and describe who you really are, without referencing your physical appearance, job, traits, ethics, possessions, achievements, beliefs or environment. And good luck with that ;)
Written by twistofrhyme

Just Another Memory

An image

A look

An experience

A thought

Recorded, but distorted in the lifetime of ever-changing perception

The silence that watches you from between everything you were ever told

That wondering, wandering doubt that nips incessantly at the subconscious slumber of your conscience with mirrored eyes

Speculating what is Truth

I am to you as you are to me:

The story of a life

Which may gain substance in yours

Or not

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Write automatically and describe who you really are, without referencing your physical appearance, job, traits, ethics, possessions, achievements, beliefs or environment. And good luck with that ;)
Written by twistofrhyme
Just Another Memory
An image
A look
An experience
A thought
Recorded, but distorted in the lifetime of ever-changing perception
The silence that watches you from between everything you were ever told
That wondering, wandering doubt that nips incessantly at the subconscious slumber of your conscience with mirrored eyes
Speculating what is Truth

I am to you as you are to me:
The story of a life
Which may gain substance in yours
Or not
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Tell us about THE book, story, or poem that changed your life. The one that brought you to love words.
Written by twistofrhyme

Not as Slow as Thorough

I cannot remember the title. It was probably something along the lines of "teach yourself to draw in 30 minutes". Not everyone has that talent. Perhaps I'm just a bloody slow learner. That book, randomly picked off the shelf in the library while perusing the different levels of depth and detail of graphic novel illustration, made me realize that words would have to be my pallette. Several years of observational description and metaphor tinkering later, I am now able to manage some passable pencil sketches as well. Language, however, in its spectrum of imaginative expression remains my go-to paint. That book did not allow for slow learners with hands more used to exploring human anatomy than holding a pencil directed in coordination with the physical eye...

Also, Shakespeare, because, well, SHAKESPEARE! Though the Bard truly made English a torment to master, I just have to admire that devious gift.

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Tell us about THE book, story, or poem that changed your life. The one that brought you to love words.
Written by twistofrhyme
Not as Slow as Thorough
I cannot remember the title. It was probably something along the lines of "teach yourself to draw in 30 minutes". Not everyone has that talent. Perhaps I'm just a bloody slow learner. That book, randomly picked off the shelf in the library while perusing the different levels of depth and detail of graphic novel illustration, made me realize that words would have to be my pallette. Several years of observational description and metaphor tinkering later, I am now able to manage some passable pencil sketches as well. Language, however, in its spectrum of imaginative expression remains my go-to paint. That book did not allow for slow learners with hands more used to exploring human anatomy than holding a pencil directed in coordination with the physical eye...
Also, Shakespeare, because, well, SHAKESPEARE! Though the Bard truly made English a torment to master, I just have to admire that devious gift.
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Explore your thoughts. Overthink your thoughts. Question your ability to think. Then write the next that comes to mind down.
Written by twistofrhyme

I wonder...

Could the philosophical statement "cogito, ergo sum." be written and manipulated like a mathematical expression to prove how well we project our respective self-images to the world?

I think, therefore I am.

I think = I am

I think x = I am x

Assuming that the world pays attention and sees what we are...

I think x = I am x = they see x

If there's uncertainty, it has to be added to all parts of the equation, and we can assume that doubt is visible to everyone. Adversely, so would confidence.

What do you think?

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Explore your thoughts. Overthink your thoughts. Question your ability to think. Then write the next that comes to mind down.
Written by twistofrhyme
I wonder...
Could the philosophical statement "cogito, ergo sum." be written and manipulated like a mathematical expression to prove how well we project our respective self-images to the world?
I think, therefore I am.
I think = I am
I think x = I am x
Assuming that the world pays attention and sees what we are...
I think x = I am x = they see x
If there's uncertainty, it has to be added to all parts of the equation, and we can assume that doubt is visible to everyone. Adversely, so would confidence.
What do you think?
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I'm so angry at the world that I just want to...
Written by twistofrhyme

Revision

"I'm so angry at the world that I just want to..." scrap the whole thing, get a fresh, clean bit of oblivion, and write an entirely new draft. This one is so repetitive through the plot-lines that no amount of editing can adjust it for the better. It just makes no sense. The supporting characters have all the substance while those in the spotlight are inflated by the narrative to the point of spontaneous combustion. Redundant, superficial... Where is the twist of progression? Where is the growth? Where the hell is my all-powerful pen?!

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I'm so angry at the world that I just want to...
Written by twistofrhyme
Revision
"I'm so angry at the world that I just want to..." scrap the whole thing, get a fresh, clean bit of oblivion, and write an entirely new draft. This one is so repetitive through the plot-lines that no amount of editing can adjust it for the better. It just makes no sense. The supporting characters have all the substance while those in the spotlight are inflated by the narrative to the point of spontaneous combustion. Redundant, superficial... Where is the twist of progression? Where is the growth? Where the hell is my all-powerful pen?!
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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Simon & Schuster

Legend of the First

When mother earth was still very small, the sun watched over her adolescence. The moon became enamored with her. The sun, being very protective, did not approve of this little rock courting her charge. Though she found him charming, once he began circling her little world, the sun was sure that he would speed off to orbit other planets at any moment.

The longer he stayed, the closer the moon snuck to the earth while her guardian wasn’t looking. Little Terra, this was the earth’s name, became enamored with Luna, the moon. They came to be on first name terms, each dancing in the other’s gravitational fields. So drawn to him was she that her oceans reached out to him. Luna played with them, creating the tides that stirred the waters.

Seeing this, the sun relented, taking a shine to her ward’s new love. She blessed their union with her warmth. The beaming smile warmed the little world and made Luna shine with happiness. Terra soon swelled up with pride and life.

In the waters, so warmed by the blessings of the sun, and stirred by the love of the moon sparked the first-born. They were the triplets, Man, Beast, and Plant. Man walked from the ocean to live on land. Beast and Plant could not decide which was right for them. They split in half to become Fish and Animal, Reed and Tree. Reed and Fish bid Man, Animal, and Tree farewell, returning to the oceans to live.

Though for the company of Tree and Animal, Man did not feel fair, remaining whole, so he, too, split in half. However, his other half did not wish to return to the sea. So, Woman stayed near.

Man and Tree sustained each other. Animal helped to protect him. The sun loved the beauty of the Tree, and shone to help it grow. It glowed with pretty flowers for her. Fish and Reed sustained each other, too. Luna loved how they shimmered and continued to stir the tides to keep them happy.

Time passed more quickly on the surface of the earth than it did for Luna and the sun. The young mother grew sad at the aging of her children, knowing they would die. Terra’s tears brought rain to the lands, washing the flowers of Tree into the waters to visit Reed.

Reed had grown roots in the ocean as Tree had on land. She, too, had flowers, and asked Fish to bring them to Tree for her. Fish saw Woman bathing near the shore, and bid her bring the flowers to Tree. They were too many for Woman to carry alone, so she asked Man and Animal to help her.

As they carried the blooms, Animal had to sneeze, scattering petals and pollen all over Tree who was so happy that Reed remembered him that he asked Terra to stop crying for, though he and Reed would soon be gone, they both bore fruit to take their places. She would not be alone.

Terra smiled again, making the sun beam with love, and Luna shine with pride when she told them what Tree had promised. Fish and Animal looked at each other through the refraction of the water and sighed. There was nothing they could do that would work like Tree and Reed. Man and Woman watched Fish and Animal age. Mother grew sad for them, and the rains began in earnest, this time threatening to cover everything.

Tree felt his time grow short, and bid Man cut him down, but save the fruit, for Reed’s children would need mates. From Tree, Man, Animal and Woman made a boat to float while Terra cried her fill for the end of Tree’s life and the plight of her remaining children. They drifted with the fruit of Tree until Luna and the sun were able to comfort the young world enough so she would stop weeping.

Meanwhile Fish had been very busy, digging trenches and holes, trying to help the waters recede so that his friends would survive, but the exertion took its toll on the old creature. The land that surfaced now sported rivers and lakes for Fish’s work, but Man, Woman, and Animal were too late to save their friend. Exhausted, he told Woman to cut him to pieces. She was to feed half to Animal, and Man should bury the rest in the ground with one of Tree’s fruit.

Man and Woman’s love for each other grew through the grief of this difficult task. Soon Animal and Woman, both, grew heavy. Animal bore two each of fish and animal, as though they had each split like Man and Woman to continue, as they had done. Two new trees began to grow, as well as new reeds in the oceans. Each of the young world’s children now had descendants in two halves like Man and Woman had been to bear fruit that would grow into the next generation so Mother Earth would not be so sad.

Terra still cried at times, remembering the pains Fish and Tree had endured to preserve Man, Woman, Animal, and their own future generations. When she wept, the memories of those left behind were also stirred. Animal sang a song to Luna to alert him to his mate’s mood, so he would comfort her again.

There would be nothing more to alert him when Animal died of old age. The young ones were not loud enough and none could sing as well as their ancestor. Before the final howl was heard, the creature bid Man and Woman to help.

Man still had a branch that he could not bear to part with from Tree’s final act. He fashioned an instrument. Aged Reed contributed her body to fill in when the wood ran out. Woman still held the bones and shimmering scales of fish. She used these to decorate and add more to Man’s work. Then Animal gave it guts with its last, dying song. Woman cut her hair in mourning to make it complete.

Mother Earth started crying, threatening to drown the animals, people, and trees. Luna had his back turned, chatting with the sun who did not see the state of her child. The moon was inadvertently blocking her vision.

The world, alone, in darkness, grieved for Animal. Rivers overflowed. The waters rose, leaving one small, slowly disappearing island where Animal’s body was burned by Woman to release the spirit, and nourish the trees. Man picked up the instrument and split the night with the melancholy sound of Violin – the product of Fish, Tree, Reed, Animal, and Woman.

The sound first made Mother cry harder, but the melody and Woman’s accompanying dance persuaded her to dream the sweet dreams where her first children all sang to her. The visions in her mind were so real that they burned images into the dark sky. Luna watched in wonder as little stars appeared - tears of Terra, crystallized into the stories of her dreams.

Woman’s long life was serenaded to its end by the song as she finally collapsed of exhaustion. Her children buried her at the site where Tree had once stood with the last of the original fruit. Man fell to his knees in grief and bid his offspring to dance and play, always with the love of the Mother in mind, for every one of her first children had given their all to be a part of her happiness. He, too died, and was buried next to Woman where a new sapling was already sprouting in the shape of a dance.

They had watched him play as they had watched her move. The people had learned music from them. The stories of the Mother’s first children who depended on each other to survive and thrive are still heard from the instruments of their descendants, though these no longer remember why they play.

Terra sleeps now. She dreams sweet dreams while Luna looks on, watching the stars. There is no rain. The grandchildren of Reed and Fish are worried. The animals and trees no longer speak with the people who forgot how to listen.

Every so often there is one who hears the stories in the music. Many can sing, but not all bring forth the soul of the First. Mother will only wake to the sound of Violin. It will take everyone to search, for not even Luna knows where to find her now.

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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Simon & Schuster
Legend of the First
When mother earth was still very small, the sun watched over her adolescence. The moon became enamored with her. The sun, being very protective, did not approve of this little rock courting her charge. Though she found him charming, once he began circling her little world, the sun was sure that he would speed off to orbit other planets at any moment.

The longer he stayed, the closer the moon snuck to the earth while her guardian wasn’t looking. Little Terra, this was the earth’s name, became enamored with Luna, the moon. They came to be on first name terms, each dancing in the other’s gravitational fields. So drawn to him was she that her oceans reached out to him. Luna played with them, creating the tides that stirred the waters.

Seeing this, the sun relented, taking a shine to her ward’s new love. She blessed their union with her warmth. The beaming smile warmed the little world and made Luna shine with happiness. Terra soon swelled up with pride and life.

In the waters, so warmed by the blessings of the sun, and stirred by the love of the moon sparked the first-born. They were the triplets, Man, Beast, and Plant. Man walked from the ocean to live on land. Beast and Plant could not decide which was right for them. They split in half to become Fish and Animal, Reed and Tree. Reed and Fish bid Man, Animal, and Tree farewell, returning to the oceans to live.

Though for the company of Tree and Animal, Man did not feel fair, remaining whole, so he, too, split in half. However, his other half did not wish to return to the sea. So, Woman stayed near.

Man and Tree sustained each other. Animal helped to protect him. The sun loved the beauty of the Tree, and shone to help it grow. It glowed with pretty flowers for her. Fish and Reed sustained each other, too. Luna loved how they shimmered and continued to stir the tides to keep them happy.

Time passed more quickly on the surface of the earth than it did for Luna and the sun. The young mother grew sad at the aging of her children, knowing they would die. Terra’s tears brought rain to the lands, washing the flowers of Tree into the waters to visit Reed.

Reed had grown roots in the ocean as Tree had on land. She, too, had flowers, and asked Fish to bring them to Tree for her. Fish saw Woman bathing near the shore, and bid her bring the flowers to Tree. They were too many for Woman to carry alone, so she asked Man and Animal to help her.

As they carried the blooms, Animal had to sneeze, scattering petals and pollen all over Tree who was so happy that Reed remembered him that he asked Terra to stop crying for, though he and Reed would soon be gone, they both bore fruit to take their places. She would not be alone.

Terra smiled again, making the sun beam with love, and Luna shine with pride when she told them what Tree had promised. Fish and Animal looked at each other through the refraction of the water and sighed. There was nothing they could do that would work like Tree and Reed. Man and Woman watched Fish and Animal age. Mother grew sad for them, and the rains began in earnest, this time threatening to cover everything.

Tree felt his time grow short, and bid Man cut him down, but save the fruit, for Reed’s children would need mates. From Tree, Man, Animal and Woman made a boat to float while Terra cried her fill for the end of Tree’s life and the plight of her remaining children. They drifted with the fruit of Tree until Luna and the sun were able to comfort the young world enough so she would stop weeping.

Meanwhile Fish had been very busy, digging trenches and holes, trying to help the waters recede so that his friends would survive, but the exertion took its toll on the old creature. The land that surfaced now sported rivers and lakes for Fish’s work, but Man, Woman, and Animal were too late to save their friend. Exhausted, he told Woman to cut him to pieces. She was to feed half to Animal, and Man should bury the rest in the ground with one of Tree’s fruit.

Man and Woman’s love for each other grew through the grief of this difficult task. Soon Animal and Woman, both, grew heavy. Animal bore two each of fish and animal, as though they had each split like Man and Woman to continue, as they had done. Two new trees began to grow, as well as new reeds in the oceans. Each of the young world’s children now had descendants in two halves like Man and Woman had been to bear fruit that would grow into the next generation so Mother Earth would not be so sad.

Terra still cried at times, remembering the pains Fish and Tree had endured to preserve Man, Woman, Animal, and their own future generations. When she wept, the memories of those left behind were also stirred. Animal sang a song to Luna to alert him to his mate’s mood, so he would comfort her again.

There would be nothing more to alert him when Animal died of old age. The young ones were not loud enough and none could sing as well as their ancestor. Before the final howl was heard, the creature bid Man and Woman to help.

Man still had a branch that he could not bear to part with from Tree’s final act. He fashioned an instrument. Aged Reed contributed her body to fill in when the wood ran out. Woman still held the bones and shimmering scales of fish. She used these to decorate and add more to Man’s work. Then Animal gave it guts with its last, dying song. Woman cut her hair in mourning to make it complete.

Mother Earth started crying, threatening to drown the animals, people, and trees. Luna had his back turned, chatting with the sun who did not see the state of her child. The moon was inadvertently blocking her vision.

The world, alone, in darkness, grieved for Animal. Rivers overflowed. The waters rose, leaving one small, slowly disappearing island where Animal’s body was burned by Woman to release the spirit, and nourish the trees. Man picked up the instrument and split the night with the melancholy sound of Violin – the product of Fish, Tree, Reed, Animal, and Woman.

The sound first made Mother cry harder, but the melody and Woman’s accompanying dance persuaded her to dream the sweet dreams where her first children all sang to her. The visions in her mind were so real that they burned images into the dark sky. Luna watched in wonder as little stars appeared - tears of Terra, crystallized into the stories of her dreams.

Woman’s long life was serenaded to its end by the song as she finally collapsed of exhaustion. Her children buried her at the site where Tree had once stood with the last of the original fruit. Man fell to his knees in grief and bid his offspring to dance and play, always with the love of the Mother in mind, for every one of her first children had given their all to be a part of her happiness. He, too died, and was buried next to Woman where a new sapling was already sprouting in the shape of a dance.

They had watched him play as they had watched her move. The people had learned music from them. The stories of the Mother’s first children who depended on each other to survive and thrive are still heard from the instruments of their descendants, though these no longer remember why they play.

Terra sleeps now. She dreams sweet dreams while Luna looks on, watching the stars. There is no rain. The grandchildren of Reed and Fish are worried. The animals and trees no longer speak with the people who forgot how to listen.

Every so often there is one who hears the stories in the music. Many can sing, but not all bring forth the soul of the First. Mother will only wake to the sound of Violin. It will take everyone to search, for not even Luna knows where to find her now.
#fantasy  #fiction  #music  #spirituality  #whenmamacries 
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CotW #64: Write about the most hilarious thing you have ever witnessed. 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 twistofrhyme

Matthew and Angela

(Disclaimer: Names have been changed, locations omitted, to protect the identities of the innocent.)

Once upon a time there was a monster. It was lurking, hunting in the park at night. A light mist fell upon the scene. Low fog obscured the ground below the ankles. 

"Fresh meat!" the call of evil intentions echoed through the trees, pricking up many a demonic ear. Stomachs growled, werewolves howled, screams of the innocent followed. The monster smiled.

Sheltered from the moonlight by the luscious canopy, I watched.

A set of teens walked, cautiously, through the dimly lit park. Shouts of the damned preceeded them, drifting back their way from groups of "food" that went before. This added to their trepidation, as they tried to look in every direction at once, laughing nervously. So far, the strategy had worked, though it was impossible for them to actually see everything.

The monster nodded, sniffed the air, and wrinkled a nose. These were ripe for the picking, indeed. Silencing the binding chains once again, the night-stalker slithered through the darkness, scanning the tiny crowd for a likely target.

In the distance, a chainsaw elicited blood-curdling sounds from what bore an incredible aural resemblance to a tortured piglet. The group froze, whimpering in response. Urgent whispers hushed each other from within the huddle.* They listened. When nothing else seemed to happen, they tried to sneak, failing miserably, past a tree, anticipating something horrible to bounce at them from behind it.

The monster grinned, creeping, safely in their wake. Glee filled the veins at the "hushed" voices.* Silent feet ran up a nearby hill to signal the waiting demons at the "Gates of Hell". Anticipation nearly coaxed a whoop of enthusiasm, but I painfully squelched it, as I returned to the deceitful stillness of the trees. 

A half-dozen expectant necks craned to look around the trunk. Its shadow gaped at them without benefit of giant spiders, or the like. Relief mingled with confusion for a split-second before the whisper of a name tickled the nape of an already too anxious neck.

The scream was heard by dogs in the next town. The owner of the name sprinted into the night, leading the rest of the group, in record-time, through the final scenes of the haunted attraction, bypassing unprepared demons entirely.

The monster slunk after them, only slightly disappointed that someone else got there first. Recognition, however, filled me with unholy joy. I knew that growl. Target lost to the fragrant winds, I was content to bide my time. The hunt was on.

One member had grabbed the hand next to her, presumably dragging her boyfriend with her. Not looking back, she shouted for him to hurry, before the monster could catch up. But Matthew's answer - a lot less cocky than in the whisper-shouts a few moments ago, and a bit...soggy - came from further down the path. For some moist, yellow reason, he was a lot faster than the girls who were no longer in his company.** 

After recognition dawned, she risked a glance at what was attached to the hand she was holding. Eyes of a stranger flashed a reflection of her own fear at her. She dropped his hand. Four members of the group were lost to the unknown ahead - including her cowardly (pretty sure at this point EX) boyfriend - but at least she wasn't alone in this godforsaken place.

The monster suppressed a rueful chuckle. I returned to take my place. The noisome Matthew was no longer interesting. I lowered my mask to hide the smirk, and froze, watching my new goal head my way.

The man had fashioned a clear trash-bag into a makeshift poncho to keep dry in the pseudo drizzle. She would likely think twice about wearing white to a venue in the park again. The girl - a bit more angry than scared - turned to walk straight into a prop she hadn't noticed stand in the path before. She bounced off the dummy, and would have landed in 

the mud, if the last member of her group hadn't caught her.

"Thanks!" she straightened her skirt, and turned to kick the thing in the shin. "Whoever put that thing there should be sued," she grumbled.

"Right!" the guy agreed as she walked around it. "Stupid --"

A rush of movement, the sound of chains, and a strangled cry got her full attention. The dummy had the man in a choke-hold, stared straight at her with the hollow eye-holes of the blank mask it wore, and nodded amiably to her as its victim dropped, limply to the floor.

She stared, mouth open. A step backward brought her in contact with another obstacle that had not been there a moment ago. "You shouldn't kick the set, Angela," the demon's voice whispered. She spun around, saw nothing, and turned again. The dummy was gone.

The guy in the poncho slowly got up, she screamed when she saw his face covered on blood. He grinned. More of the goo dribbled from his chin as he moved toward her in unnatural spurts.

Angela tripped, falling backward onto something, trying to get away without taking her eyes off the apparent zombie. He stopped, cocked his head to one side, lifted a hand, and beckoned her to him with one outstretched finger. She shook her head vehemently.

The ground, however, seemed to obey him, because Angela was lifted closer to the zombie. She whimpered.

I was rubbing my shin where she'd kicked me, trying so hard not to laugh when I peered around the tree. It was a painful, dirty, ungrateful job to scare the wits out of people. I still don't understand why anyone would pay you to do so, but there we were. The hilarity still outweighed the inevitable concussions from people not watching where they went. Seeing double at this point only added to my amusement when the thing Angela had fallen onto, slowly straightened up to bring her face to bloody face with the plant***.

My beastly colleague was making faces at me all the while. This wasn't helping the pain of swallowed laughter. She was so transfixed by the zombie's apparent magical powers that 'fight or flight' took a backseat to 'deer in headlights' until she was once again standing on her own two feet.

The beast behind her turned to face the zombie in front of her. He hissed in her ear. Angela bolted.

I belched my bottled guffaws into my mask while the masters of illusion dissolved into a muddy, laughing heap of demonic accomplishment. That's not something you see every day - even in our line of work.

*Fear speaks to us - usually in urgent little whispers, like "I'm gonna lose it.", "Shut up, Angela!", "Dude, you're such a scaredy ca-- What was that?!", "Man, you guys'll jump at anything", "Damn it, Matthew! Stop that!", "Shh! I thought I saw..", "Shh!", "SHHH!!!"

Don't underestimate the ears of the dead, or the powerful spy we keep in your own voice..

**There is a reason this park is haunted by a certain Au de Sewer, come All Hallow's Eve. I have learned, through observation that the ghost of many a would-be "macho" male, more interested in making fun of the girls than protecting them, is to blame for the odiferous cloud that seeks vengeance for this behavior. (It sticks to the demons as well, but not nearly as long, and we keep a color-coded scoreboard behind the scenes.)

***monster, incognito

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CotW #64: Write about the most hilarious thing you have ever witnessed. 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 twistofrhyme
Matthew and Angela
(Disclaimer: Names have been changed, locations omitted, to protect the identities of the innocent.)

Once upon a time there was a monster. It was lurking, hunting in the park at night. A light mist fell upon the scene. Low fog obscured the ground below the ankles. 
"Fresh meat!" the call of evil intentions echoed through the trees, pricking up many a demonic ear. Stomachs growled, werewolves howled, screams of the innocent followed. The monster smiled.
Sheltered from the moonlight by the luscious canopy, I watched.

A set of teens walked, cautiously, through the dimly lit park. Shouts of the damned preceeded them, drifting back their way from groups of "food" that went before. This added to their trepidation, as they tried to look in every direction at once, laughing nervously. So far, the strategy had worked, though it was impossible for them to actually see everything.

The monster nodded, sniffed the air, and wrinkled a nose. These were ripe for the picking, indeed. Silencing the binding chains once again, the night-stalker slithered through the darkness, scanning the tiny crowd for a likely target.

In the distance, a chainsaw elicited blood-curdling sounds from what bore an incredible aural resemblance to a tortured piglet. The group froze, whimpering in response. Urgent whispers hushed each other from within the huddle.* They listened. When nothing else seemed to happen, they tried to sneak, failing miserably, past a tree, anticipating something horrible to bounce at them from behind it.

The monster grinned, creeping, safely in their wake. Glee filled the veins at the "hushed" voices.* Silent feet ran up a nearby hill to signal the waiting demons at the "Gates of Hell". Anticipation nearly coaxed a whoop of enthusiasm, but I painfully squelched it, as I returned to the deceitful stillness of the trees. 

A half-dozen expectant necks craned to look around the trunk. Its shadow gaped at them without benefit of giant spiders, or the like. Relief mingled with confusion for a split-second before the whisper of a name tickled the nape of an already too anxious neck.

The scream was heard by dogs in the next town. The owner of the name sprinted into the night, leading the rest of the group, in record-time, through the final scenes of the haunted attraction, bypassing unprepared demons entirely.

The monster slunk after them, only slightly disappointed that someone else got there first. Recognition, however, filled me with unholy joy. I knew that growl. Target lost to the fragrant winds, I was content to bide my time. The hunt was on.

One member had grabbed the hand next to her, presumably dragging her boyfriend with her. Not looking back, she shouted for him to hurry, before the monster could catch up. But Matthew's answer - a lot less cocky than in the whisper-shouts a few moments ago, and a bit...soggy - came from further down the path. For some moist, yellow reason, he was a lot faster than the girls who were no longer in his company.** 

After recognition dawned, she risked a glance at what was attached to the hand she was holding. Eyes of a stranger flashed a reflection of her own fear at her. She dropped his hand. Four members of the group were lost to the unknown ahead - including her cowardly (pretty sure at this point EX) boyfriend - but at least she wasn't alone in this godforsaken place.

The monster suppressed a rueful chuckle. I returned to take my place. The noisome Matthew was no longer interesting. I lowered my mask to hide the smirk, and froze, watching my new goal head my way.

The man had fashioned a clear trash-bag into a makeshift poncho to keep dry in the pseudo drizzle. She would likely think twice about wearing white to a venue in the park again. The girl - a bit more angry than scared - turned to walk straight into a prop she hadn't noticed stand in the path before. She bounced off the dummy, and would have landed in 
the mud, if the last member of her group hadn't caught her.

"Thanks!" she straightened her skirt, and turned to kick the thing in the shin. "Whoever put that thing there should be sued," she grumbled.

"Right!" the guy agreed as she walked around it. "Stupid --"

A rush of movement, the sound of chains, and a strangled cry got her full attention. The dummy had the man in a choke-hold, stared straight at her with the hollow eye-holes of the blank mask it wore, and nodded amiably to her as its victim dropped, limply to the floor.

She stared, mouth open. A step backward brought her in contact with another obstacle that had not been there a moment ago. "You shouldn't kick the set, Angela," the demon's voice whispered. She spun around, saw nothing, and turned again. The dummy was gone.

The guy in the poncho slowly got up, she screamed when she saw his face covered on blood. He grinned. More of the goo dribbled from his chin as he moved toward her in unnatural spurts.

Angela tripped, falling backward onto something, trying to get away without taking her eyes off the apparent zombie. He stopped, cocked his head to one side, lifted a hand, and beckoned her to him with one outstretched finger. She shook her head vehemently.

The ground, however, seemed to obey him, because Angela was lifted closer to the zombie. She whimpered.

I was rubbing my shin where she'd kicked me, trying so hard not to laugh when I peered around the tree. It was a painful, dirty, ungrateful job to scare the wits out of people. I still don't understand why anyone would pay you to do so, but there we were. The hilarity still outweighed the inevitable concussions from people not watching where they went. Seeing double at this point only added to my amusement when the thing Angela had fallen onto, slowly straightened up to bring her face to bloody face with the plant***.

My beastly colleague was making faces at me all the while. This wasn't helping the pain of swallowed laughter. She was so transfixed by the zombie's apparent magical powers that 'fight or flight' took a backseat to 'deer in headlights' until she was once again standing on her own two feet.

The beast behind her turned to face the zombie in front of her. He hissed in her ear. Angela bolted.
I belched my bottled guffaws into my mask while the masters of illusion dissolved into a muddy, laughing heap of demonic accomplishment. That's not something you see every day - even in our line of work.

*Fear speaks to us - usually in urgent little whispers, like "I'm gonna lose it.", "Shut up, Angela!", "Dude, you're such a scaredy ca-- What was that?!", "Man, you guys'll jump at anything", "Damn it, Matthew! Stop that!", "Shh! I thought I saw..", "Shh!", "SHHH!!!"
Don't underestimate the ears of the dead, or the powerful spy we keep in your own voice..
**There is a reason this park is haunted by a certain Au de Sewer, come All Hallow's Eve. I have learned, through observation that the ghost of many a would-be "macho" male, more interested in making fun of the girls than protecting them, is to blame for the odiferous cloud that seeks vengeance for this behavior. (It sticks to the demons as well, but not nearly as long, and we keep a color-coded scoreboard behind the scenes.)
***monster, incognito
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Juice
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Write the most heartbreaking, saddest short story you can come up with in a single paragraph (3-6 sentences). 20 coins to the one that can make me cry.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Flash Fiction

Taps

I watched his little body twitch with each discharge of the seven rifles, though his hand did not waver from its salute. The bugle, in perfect pitch, sang the memory of that demanding uniform to rest while the cloth was folded with precision. No four-year-old should have to accept that morbid triangle of honor in lieu of a parent, but there he was - so brave - your son. He held that flag so precious, as though it would someday bring you home. Looking at him today, sporting his dress-whites, at the same age you were then, I could almost think it did...

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Juice
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Donate coins to twistofrhyme.
Juice
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Write the most heartbreaking, saddest short story you can come up with in a single paragraph (3-6 sentences). 20 coins to the one that can make me cry.
Written by twistofrhyme in portal Flash Fiction
Taps
I watched his little body twitch with each discharge of the seven rifles, though his hand did not waver from its salute. The bugle, in perfect pitch, sang the memory of that demanding uniform to rest while the cloth was folded with precision. No four-year-old should have to accept that morbid triangle of honor in lieu of a parent, but there he was - so brave - your son. He held that flag so precious, as though it would someday bring you home. Looking at him today, sporting his dress-whites, at the same age you were then, I could almost think it did...
4
1
1
Juice
32 reads
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