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Guilt Indebted

Prompt: “I got the last ticket.”

She carefully wrapped it in gold and silver paper.  All her savings had gone into it.  It was the very last one.

The next day, she went to school as usual, waiting until the end of the day to approach her best friend, Edna.

“I got you something as an early present.”

“Really?  What’d you get me?!”

Edna was the type of girl who had everything.  It was hard to surprise her with anything, so Lily really hoped that this would do it.

“Why don’t you open it, silly!”

Edna laughed, “Alright then.”

As Edna peeled back the gold and silver wrapping, her eyes grew wide, the smile vanishing, replaced with shock.

“How?” breathed Edna.

“I got the last ticket.”

Edna threw her arms around her friend, “Oh Lily!  This is the best thing in the world!  You’re amazing!  Did you know my family tried to buy tickets, but there were only three left from the place they were buying from?  I’m so glad I get to go with them!”

April 10, 1912

Lily went to the pier with hundreds of other spectators to see their friends and family off.  She waved and screamed with thousands of other even though she knew that Edna couldn’t see her.  She was so happy that she had been able to afford the chance to give her best friend such a momentous opportunity.

Inside, she was envious of Edna, but she knew she would never fit in with the rich folk.  That’s why she had been so surprised when Edna wanted to be her friend.  But their friendship blossomed over the years and they became inseparable.

Edna had a kind heart and gentle soul.  She never wanted Lily to go without nor did she want Lily to miss out on all the fun that her fellow classmates could afford.  You see, Lily was from the poorest of the poor.  Her parents could barely feed and clothe her, let alone send her to school.  Lily had met Edna in first grade and by third grade, they were up to all kinds of mischief.  That’s when the money ran out.  Lily’s parents wanted to pull her out of school, force her to get a job to support the family, but Edna stepped in.  Edna told Lily’s parents that she could not stand by and watch as their family suffered.  Edna promised that from that day on they would never have to worry about food on the table, or whether they could afford to purchase new clothes to survive the coming winter, or to send Lily to school.  Edna vowed that she would take care of them, not out of pity, but out of the belief that everyone deserved this basic kindness.

All this time, Lily had saved up, hoping one day she could repay her friend with a gift worthy of everything she had done for her.

Lily smiled.  This had been Edna’s dream ever since it had been announced to the public and Lily was happy she had been able to give something back to the best friend who had given her everything.

Then came the news.  April 15, 1912.  The whole neighbourhood was abuzz.  How could the unsinkable sink?

And all Lily could think was that she sent her only friend to her death.  How could fate be so cruel?

So Lily lived on, never knowing whether her friend had lived or died at sea.  Only in Heaven did she finally learn the truth.


Beauty of the Change

Prompt: autumn inspiration

Caught between two worlds
Between waking and death
Her ice cold touch
His warm fiery breath

Each sharp inhale
Slices through flesh and bone
Each chill
Reverberates like sound through water

Then another symphony rises
Of reds, yellows, and oranges
And lifting

The crisp cool air
Bringing back the memories
Of academia
And the bright cold sun
Burning in our minds

Another time
Another change
Each symphony greater than her last
Until silence
Nothing Gold Can Stay*

*Name of one of my favourite poems that describes the change of the seasons best

Meet the Family

Prompt: Since you’ve been going out for quite some time, your boyfriend/girlfriend arranges for you to meet his/her parents. When you get to his/her house and enter the front door, you hear him/her say “I’m sorry” as the door closes behind you.

You turn to face him, but he seems to have vanished.  Before you, you see an old living room with furniture dating back to the Victorian era or earlier.  There are an assortment of people sitting on the sofas and armchairs, as if frozen in time.  It was as if you have stepped into Madame Tussaud’s , to a moment forever preserved, like page from a Jane Austen novel.  You swallow, the blood slowing in your veins, turning cold as your heart beats faster.  Your breathing has become so shallow, you’re not even sure how your cells are getting enough oxygen.
“What is this?” you wonder to yourself.
Then the room springs to life.
“So you’re the new girl.”
“Pretty young thing, isn’t she?”
“Almost too young for our Thomas.”
“But he chose her.”
“Did he now?”
“She looks just like-”
“But doesn’t she?”
“Don’t say that.  Thomas won’t like it.”
“Oh, we mustn’t be rude.  Come in, come in child, welcome to our home.  Please, sit!”
You are immediately swarmed by six or seven women, ushering you towards the sofa.  As you sit, Thomas reappears with a tray of tea.
“Sorry about that…” he said sheepishly.
“Don’t ever do that to me again!”
“I didn’t mean to…well, when I mentioned that we had been dating and…well they all wanted to meet you.  I din’t know what to do but to bring you by…so this is my family…all of them.”
“You really scared me, you know, vanishing like that.”
“I’m sorry…”
You sigh, taking the final cup of tea from Thomas, as he joins you on the sofa.  One by one, he introduces you to each of his family members.  There are aunts and great aunts, cousins and second cousins, his mother, his sisters, and grandmother, but something is odd.  There are no men, no fathers, brother, uncles…
“This is your whole family?”
He nods.
You bite your tongue.  It might be rude to ask.  Whenever he had talked about his family, he had only mentioned his female relatives, but only now did it really sink in how strange that really was.  Maybe a few would make sense, but could all of them be unmarried, divorced, or widowed?  That seemed too much of a coincidence.
“Something troubling you, my dear?”
“No…I’m sorry.  I can be a little spacey at times.”
His mother smiled and the rest smiled in sync.
“Are you hungry, dear?  Thomas, why don’t you fetch the cakes?”
“Yes, mother.”
“Let me come with you,” you say, quickly following him to the kitchen.
“You didn’t have to.”
“I know, but I wanted to ask…”
“Why there are no men?”
You look away awkwardly, giving him the answer he needed.
“I’m the first male born in this family  in over four centuries…my family is…special.”
“But how…?”
“It cannot be explained by science or any manner of natural law.”
“Yes, but-”
“How are we making out in here?”
“Excellently, mother. ”
“Everything’s alright?”
“Yes, Elsie’s just a curious soul, that’s all.”
His mother smiles at you again, “Dear, what is it you want to know?  We have no secrets between us here.”
“I…just didn’t want to be rude.”
“Why-How can there be no males in the family, with the exception of Thomas?”
Each of his mother’s smiles grew more and more unsettling.
“Come, sit, and enjoy Thomas’ cakes.  We’ll tell you the story of our family.”
Reluctantly, you follow his mother back to the living room, with Thomas bringing up the rear.
“Elsie, do you love Thomas?”
“Enough to be with him forever?”
“Well…I-I would, if he’d have me.”
“I think he would.  Isn’t that so, Thomas?”
“Yes, Aunt Beryl.”
“Shall we tell her?  What you think, Grandma Edith?”
“Do you think she’ll react as badly as the last one?”
“What do you mean the last one?”
“Thomas’ previous girlfriend.”
“What happened?”
“Are you sure you want to know?”
“Alright then, but we must warn you, once you go forward, you cannot go back.”
“Logically, yes, that would be true…”
“Very well.  But before we proceed, we must know, how important it is for you to have a man in your life.”
You stare at them blankly, trying to understand what this has to do with anything.  On the one hand, this is a family consisting of only women…could that have something to do with everything?
“I…It’s not absolutely necessary, I suppose.  It’d be nice to be in a relationship with one before I have his child, but…there are other ways to have children.”
“True.  And what do you think about the roles men and women play in society, generally?”
“Well, I believe that a man and woman can be equal in skill and ability, if afforded the same opportunities.  There are, of course, physiological adaptations that have made men stronger than women, so in that instance, they would be better suited for the task.  So roles should be assigned based on what each individual can do best rather than by gender.”
“Well, I like you more than I liked his ex already.”
You laugh nervously, unsure what to expect next.
“We are the women of all time.  From past, present, and future.”
“What does that even mean?”
“We are not born, but created.”
“I still don’t understand.”
“It means, out of all the women in history, we were chosen, melded together into one family through interweaving our DNA with one another.”
“And Thomas?”
“An anomaly.”
“You see, Thomas didn’t fit into his role in life as a “man” in his time.  The first of many.  Thomas could have been any one of them, but the choosing is always random.”
“So…were each of you…conceived?”
“We were once and we are in the sense that we are born from a womb again into this life, but we are, as Grandma Edith said, created, not born.”
“So…your purpose is?”
“To show the world that these gender norms are outdated and need to change…but we’ve never been able to change the outside world…we are confined here.”
“Because we cannot step foot into a world that isn’t ours…we must be invited to.”
“Is that why I’m here?”
“Well…sort of.”
“What do you mean sort of?  Am I or am I not?”
“You’re here because Thomas loves you and wanted to introduce you to us.  He said you were strong and opinionated.  A breath of fresh air out in the stifled world.  That you would, if you could, bring about change.  And he thought maybe we could help each other.”
“What do you mean?
“You’re young and there are consequences to your actions.  How it will reflect on you, your family, and anyone affiliated with you, is something you constantly worry about.  Well, we thought, perhaps, together, we could come up with a safe platform and location to initiate change.  You are not the only one in the world who believes what they believe.  We want to help.”
You look at them hopefully.  For the first time, you see your dreams coming true.  Everything you worked so hard for coming to life.  You nod and smile.
Today is the beginning of everything.

Suspended Dew

Prompt: the fog!

It came like the night
First slowly
Then all enveloping

The street lights grew dimmer
The buildings grew fainter
Until all that remained were
Floating orbs
In suspended dew

Here in the shadows
Obscured from sight
A madman does his business

By day
He is a Dr. Jekyll
By night
A Mr. Hyde

He is a villain
A monster
A demon of the night

The goes by many names
He remains nameless

You and I know him to be
Jack the Ripper
But to someone else he is
A father
A brother
A mother
A sister
A husband
A wife

A villain
A hero
Always one
Always the other

It just depends
Who’s telling the story

The Gift

Prompt: the package won’t come until the day after tomorrow

He sat there
Alone on the porch
Eyes shimmering
Innocent hope
Watching and waiting

Today’s the day
The day it would come
The promise

Morning turned to afternoon
And afternoon to night
But nothing arrived

Each time
It grew harder for the mailman to face the small child
For with each disappointment
The little boy’s heart
Sank a little more

The next day came
And went the same
The mailman apologized

And so the little boy waited again
And hoped
That the promise would come

On day three
The mailman returned
Handing to the little boy
A box with glee

“Open it.”
Said the mailman
“You’ve been waiting for so long.”

The little boy smiled
Setting the box down
The mailman helped to cut it open

What would it be?
A new train set?
A new game to play?

The little boy reached inside
And pulled out an urn

The mailman looked on in horror
And thought to himself
“How strange for a child
Not barely five
To hope for something like this,
To be filled with joy.”

The little boy looked up at him
A smile on his face
“Thank you Mr. Mailman
For bringing them home.”

The Damage of the Patriarchy

Prompt: pick a social issue you’re passionate about

Where do I begin?  I know that as I’m sitting here trying to think of a social issue I’m passionate about, nothing comes to mind, so hopefully, you’ll bear with me as I sift through my thoughts.

No, it’s not that I don’t have a social issue that I’m passionate about, but it’s just like that scenario when people ask you what is your favourite book or movie and every book or movie you’ve ever read or watched just vanishes from your mind.

I don’t want to be stereotypical, but I feel like feminism, in particular, the patriarchy, is something that I feel myself explaining over and over again.  Maybe feminism is no longer the right term for it because of the negative connotation it’s garnered in years, but at the moment there is no term that has been suggested, to my knowledge, that can replace it.

I can’t count how many times it comes up in discussions that feminism is only for females, that the patriarchy is only damaging to females.  But that’s not the case.  The main thing I want to focus on (because if I don’t focus on one thing we’ll be here all day), is the construct of the feminine and the masculine.  The idea of a woman being a nurturer, of being gentle and graceful and all that, I want to say is BS.  A woman can be all those things if she wants, but she doesn’t have to be.  I strongly believe that women can be anything they want to be.  Men too, but we’ll get to them in a minute.  The idea that a woman must be one thing or another is absurd.  As the quote goes, “everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  Same thing applies here, some are fish, some monkeys, some are snakes.  Just like an animal isn’t wrong for being born as a fish, monkey or snake and doing what’s natural to them, a female isn’t wrong for doing what is natural to her.  And natural is doing what feels right to her, not what society dictates or feels is the right way for her to act.

What society thinks is the right way to act, of course, isn’t limited to restricting females into a certain framework, it does the same to males.  Males are not supposed to cry, to show emotion or weakness, to always protect a woman, provide for his family.  We expect this from males.  We expect them to be dependable and be a rock for his family, but what if that’s not natural for him either?  What if he likes to watch rom-coms?  What if he cries while watching them?  So what?  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t make him any less of a person.

Why do we judge people based on their gender/sex (yes, I know those are two different things, but I’m not getting into that right now)?  Why do we immediately form opinions about how one gender/sex ought to act?  Why can’t we just get to know somebody before we form opinions because what really matters is the content of their hearts, the development of their souls, not what they look like.

This is clearly a shorter version of my usual spiel, but I suddenly forgot how to words, so forgive me.

Mirabelle Evans, Trilonia

Prompt: create a dating profile for a character, fictional or OC


Basic Information
Occupation: Director of Military and Strategic Planning, Trilonian High Counsel
Age: 24
Height: 5′ 10″
Highest Level of Education: Ph.D
Relationship Status:  Single
Favourite words that describe me: Responsible, Intelligent, Ambitious

What I am looking for:
Someone who is responsible, but knows how and when to have fun.  Understands what it means to do something for the greater good and the advancement of the partnership as a unit, rather than promoting only his or her own self interest.  Eloquent and loquacious, but also understands the power of silence.  An excellent negotiator, who enjoys engaging in debates.

What I have to offer:
I am an individual in a stable, long-term career who takes my job very seriously.  My idea of a good time is engaging in intellectually driven conversations that make me think about my current world perspective.  I believe in equality and giving what I get.  Essentially, I will only work as hard as you are willing to in order to make the partnership work.

What does falling in love mean to me:
Love relies on the mutual commitment of one individual to another.  It is something that makes me want to try harder each day to work towards something that is greater than myself.

Hobbies and Interests:
In my spare time, I enjoy reading on my skybalcony, enjoying the view of the city and the cool breeze that is reminiscent of autumn.  When I am not working, I enjoy riding the hydrotrain around the city and exploring its streets.  I enjoy trying new things whether it’s a new food trend or a new area of study.


Prompt: Setting: some establishment that serves your chosen drink. use the following scene as a starting point for your piece today (either directly or as a jumping point, it completely up to you):
She stared at her venti, extra hot, coconut mocha macchiato with two ristretto shots, caramel and mocha sauces and 12 pumps of vanilla syrup set down beside her and frowned.
“Hey, I didn’t order this!” she shouted at the waiter walking away.
“True, but I did.”
The chillingly familiar voice reached her ears before he sat down in front of her.
“Hello again.”
She froze.
It was impossible.  How could he be here?
She watched them take him away in the back of that police cruiser.
He brought his own cup to his lips, taking a sip and setting it down.
“Did you think you could get away from me that easily?”
She felt her throat tightening, the air refusing to reach her lungs.  This was a sensation she never thought she’d feel again.  But here she was.  Sitting in front of the only person who had made her feel that way.
“You-you-I saw.”
He smiled at her and chills ran down the length of her spine.
“You saw what you wanted to see, what you wanted to believe.”
“I was merely detained.  Never formally charged.”
“Oh, darling.  You think they’d take your word over mine?”
“Oh yes, but they’ll never believe you.  They didn’t the first time.  What makes you think they will this time?”
Her eyes darted away from him.  It was nearly imperceptible, but he noticed.
“There’s nowhere to run.  I own you now.  So why don’t you drink your coffee like a good girl and come quietly.”
“What did you do to it?”
“Nothing.  Drink it.”
“I said, drink it.”
“Don’t be stubborn now.  You know what happened last time when you disobeyed.”
She shook her head, trying not to remember, but the human mind has a way of remembering things you try so hard to avoid.
“How did you find me?” she whispered.
He smiled again, “Easy.”
HOW?!” she demanded.
“You left me a trail.”
“No, I didn’t!”
She shook her head violently.
He pulled out his phone and she flinched involuntarily.
“Don’t worry.  I’m not going to hurt you.”
He pulled up the call log and showed her.
“See, you called me.”
She stared at it in disbelief.  It was her number; she couldn’t deny that.  But he was the Devil.  There was no way she would have ever called him.  Maybe someone had borrowed her phone?  But how would they know his number?
“No, that’s not me.”
“Show me your phone.”
She was confident now.  She reassured herself that there was no way she had called him and confirmed that no one had borrowed her phone.  She pulled it out and pulled up the call log.  Her eyes widened in surprise.
Each call on her phone corresponded with one on his phone.
“This can’t be.  No, this must be some…some sick joke.”
“Oh darling, it’s really not.  You called me.  Told me you would be here.  Told me to go ahead and buy you a coffee when I got here so I wouldn’t startle you.”
“I’m not.  You see, I didn’t pick up my phone at the time.  You left me a voicemail.”
He recalled the message and played it for her; it was her voice.
“That’s impossible,” she said faltering.
“That’s your voice.  See you told me to do all those things.  You asked to see me.”
“I…I don’t remember.”
“I couldn’t have…I didn’t make that call…”
“But you did.  Who else could it have been?”
She stood suddenly, violently knocking the cup to the ground and making a run for it.  He sighed, standing calmly, smoothing out the creases in his suit.  Casually, he lifted a communication device and spoke into it, “Neutralize her, will you?”
She ran, looking behind her wildly.  He didn’t appear to be in pursuit, but she couldn’t slow down now.  It wouldn’t take long for him to catch up.  He was fast and sneaky like that.
Then it hit her like a brick wall.
She collapsed to the ground, looking around her stunned.  Slowly, the cafe and street began to disappear.  She could see beige padded walls and floors coming into view.
“No.  No!  NO! NOOOOOOOOOO!” she screamed.
And then just like that.  Silence.

She sat on the edge of the bed trying to catch her breath.
“How are you feeling?”
“Is she still in your head?”
“She’s crying in the corner over there…just rocking.”
“Don’t focus on her.”
“Is she going to be okay?”
“Yes.  She’s strong.  She will recover once she accepts her reality.”
“Are you sure?  She looks like she’s really hurt.”
“Don’t worry about her, okay?  We’ll take care of her.”
“Do you promise?”
Two orderlies entered and he held his hand up, “Not now.”
“But sir…”
“We were instructed to assist.”
“You want to assist?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Very well.  Help that young lady in the corner of the room out.  Make sure she gets the proper medical attention.”
The orderlies looked at one another in confusion.
“Um…sir…there’s nobody there.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“We said there’s nobody there.”
“You can’t see her?  There’s a little girl in the corner crying.”
“No, sir, there’s no one.”
He sighed, turning to the woman on the bed, “This will only take a moment.  Will you excuse me?  You should never rely on a fool to do your job for you.”
He walked to the girl in the corner, kneeling next to her, “Will you let me help you?”
She looked up at him with terrified eyes.
“I promise, I will take care of you and make sure no harm comes to you.”
The little girl looked over at the woman on the bed who nodded encouragingly.
He held out a hand to her and she grasped it.
“I will only be a moment.  I will return shortly,” he said to the woman in the bed.
“Thank you.”
He exited the room with the two orderlies into a hallway crowded with his peers.
“Dr. Moretti, you don’t truly believe there was a girl in the corner did you?” asked his colleagues.
“No.  But she did.  That world, that little girl was all real to her and to help her I had to see it too.”
“I see…that’s a very different approach.”
“Indeed, but it makes the patient much more receptive to treatment when you acknowledge their thoughts, their feelings as real.  They just want someone to be on their side, to tell them they aren’t crazy.  And they aren’t.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I promised her I would return.”
He re-entered the room and she looked at him hopefully.
“Does she have her own room?”
“Yes, with lots of toys.”
“You spoil her every time.  Thank you.”
“Now, how are you feeling?”
“A little more myself now.”
“Can I offer you a drink?”
“Oh, yes please.  What do you have today?”
“Well, let’s see.  Grape, pear or peach.”
“Hmm…well I had apple yesterday and I usually have orange tomorrow, so grape.”
“Okay, grape it is.”
“Are you going to have one too doctor?”
“Yes, I think I’ll have peach.”
“Come sit next to me and enjoy your drink.”
“Well thank you,” he said, sitting on the bed, handing her a plastic cup with juice.
She quickly downed hers and handed the cup back to the doctor.
“Thank you again, darling.  You take such good care of me…you’re more than I deserve.”
“Nonsense.  You have opened my eyes to another world, so thank you.”
She placed an arm around him and rested her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes.
“I’m sorry for all I’ve put you through.  Thank you for standing by me for all these years.”
“Of course, darling, but I have to go soon.”
She nodded, “I understand.  This has been nice.  Say hello to the children for me, won’t you?”
“I will.  I love you.”
“Forever and always.”

The Phantom Knight

Prompt: be inspired by a tv series you have watched/completed

Before he was a great man
He was a little boy
With big fears
And even bigger dreams

The day
Forever ingrained
Of two lovers
Stepping before him
Shielding him
Protecting him
Defining him

Their cries
The bullets
A pearl necklace

In a city of crime
That never sleeps
Where the mad king and queen rule the roost
Only one man
Stands above them all

Shrouded in shadow and mystery
He is the night
Chaos does not
Will not
Reign under his watchful eye

By day
A businessman
With a plastered smile

By night
A watchman
With a grim signature scowl

Is he the greatest man amongst them all?
Or is he just another madness
Vying for command?

A Kind of Madness

Prompt: it’s a wonderful day for some mayhem

Floating like smoke
Each time she tried to grasp at it,
it would slip through her fingers.
Each time she tried to concentrate,
it would wisp away.

Hundreds of thousands of dreams,
of lives
Dancing before her eyes
Synapses firing
Out of control

There’s something there
But it’s nothing at all

Impossible to describe
Appears to others
An insanity


On the surface
But within
A thousand atoms collide

Unexplainable madness
A disease

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