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Thread: (September '16) Prompt #1- "Something begins, Something ends"

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    Default (September '16) Prompt #1- "Something begins, Something ends"

    September's 1st prompt is "Something begins, Something ends"




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    Default Can't Let Go

    “I swear, he is doing this on purpose.” growled the younger woman, when her uncle’s imminent demise was confirmed. The cancer had come back ‘aggressively’, after being in complete ‘remission’ less than six months before. The remission had spawned the hope for a vacation. A vacation that was planned with the belief that the man would be well enough to leave on his own for a week.

    The lack of tears or sadness on the part of the youngest that was meant to go on this vacation was unsurprising. Of the four women going, she was the only one that had stood up to the sick man. While the four all knew what he had tried to do to them was wrong, CeeSue had been the one to fight back, even when she was a child herself.

    But Uncle Otis was sick again, and seeming to be aiming to actually die while they were all gone. So his sister, Aunt Marie, felt guilty about thinking about not being there for him. So did DeeSue, CeeSue’s mother, even though she had no blood connection to Otis and her husband had washed his hands of his disgusting brother during CeeSue’s legal troubles.

    His other sister, SandySue, had already taken down all of Otis’ pictures years before. The old woman had already suffered more than any other at his hands. As far as she was concerned, he had died at the same time as their mother. She was terrified of the sea, and so was not going with the other women. Instead, she would sit at home with her dolls, gabbling at them with what speech she had left since ‘the accident’ that left her with the mind of a toddler. Otis’ suffering would never been enough to pay for what he had done to SandySue.

    “Oh, yes, he is in excruciating pain and at death’s door, deliberately, to prevent your vacation.” came the snide remark from the fourth meant to be in the cabin. Aunt Myrtle was DeeSue’s sister, and Aunt Marie’s best friend. She was a ‘good Christian lady’, and was the one that preached forgiveness. She was the one that pushed Marie to get Otis out of the ‘home’ that Social Services had put him in, and believed every allegation of abuse heaped on CeeSue.

    After all, CeeSue didn’t go to church. She argued with preachers (and usually had biblical references to back her point of view). She used her parents’ names in public instead of calling them ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. Worst of all, she was the oldest of the nieces, and wouldn’t babysit for free. Not even back when she was a teenager and Myrtle’s two daughters couldn’t be left alone. Especially not now that Myrtle’s two daughters had babies of their own and no husbands to go with them. Obviously, in Myrtle’s point of view, CeeSue was not a ‘good Christian lady’, and therefore could be guilty of every sin imaginable.

    “No, I think he has been in excruciating pain for a month, and just didn’t tell anyone. So he would be sick enough to prevent Aunt Marie from going on vacation. The tickets are already bought, the caregivers are arranged and there are no refunds. I am going, whether she goes or not.” CeeSue snapped back at Aunt Myrtle, making the lady’s face turn white and her nostrils flare in outrage.

    “You always think the most evil things of your Uncle! And of your Aunt SandySue!” Aunt Myrtle accused over the mashed potatoes. It was supposed to be a family dinner meeting, to decide what they would all do about the cruise and Uncle Otis. Unsurprisingly, Aunt Marie had chosen to stay at the side of the sickbed rather than to attend the planning session. She already knew what she would do, and had informed them all by phone.

    “With good cause!” CeeSue answered back, sloshing gravy over the slices of turkey breast she had roasted for the occasion. “Experience has taught all of us how devious Otis is, and SandySue’s tantrums are dangerous. She’s over sixty years old, strong as an ox, and goes for knives when she is pissed.”

    DeeSue’s quiet, quavering voice could barely be heard over the clanking of serving utensils, “Please don’t shout, she’s already in bed.”

    “Because she isn’t good enough to eat with family.” Aunt Myrtle gave a disdainful sniff, as ever not believing the child-like old lady was anything but angelic. Even though she had seen the wounds and sat in the emergency room with DeeSue more than once, she still just could not believe that SandySue had done the deed. She’d rather think it was CeeSue that did everything violent in that household, even on the rare occasion when it was the younger woman that was injured instead of her mother.

    “No, because she eats with her hands and stuffs herself sick if we do not portion her food for her.” CeeSue explained with steely patience, narrowing her eyes at the deluded aunt. “I know it is hard for you to accept, but we actually do know what we are doing.”

    “You would really be happy if he died, wouldn’t you.” Aunt Myrtle stated flatly, though with a hint of disbelief. She really couldn’t understand why anyone would have a different point of view from her. To her, sickness and pain seemed to sanctify even the worst of criminals. If one suffered, they had to be a good person, and had to be prayed for. That was how she had stayed married to a brute all those years, after all.

    “I’d be glad another part of it is over. Grandma Jean’s legacy lives on in SandySue, and in me, God help me, but Otis is the worst of what she created.” CeeSue admitted, hard-faced and independent, though she gave her mother’s hand a squeeze when DeeSue tried to comfort her.

    “Now you are blaming the evil in your heart on your grandmother!” Aunt Myrtle stared in shock, but softened when CeeSue nudged her favorite rolls in her direction. After all, if her niece could remember her favorite things and go out of her way to provide them, she couldn’t be all bad, right?

    “She was a hoarder. She kept everything, whether it meant anything to her or not, just because it was her’s. That’s why she never let Otis get the help he needed, or admitted what really happened to SandySue. They would have taken her children away from her, and she couldn’t deal with that.” DeeSue explained gently, reaching out to touch Myrtle’s shoulder.

    “And I am a hoarder too. I have to burn things, or I can’t let go--” CeeSue started to explain, but then the phone rang and the three women stared at each other.

    A second ring.

    A third.

    DeeSue was the strong one that time. With sister and daughter gathered around for support, she answered the phone and put it on speaker.

    “He’s gone.” Aunt Marie began without preamble. “That bastard told me. He’s been sick for a month, and waited to tell me until now--”

    Myrtle’s horrified look was bitter vindication for the two Sues that were listening.

    CeeSue just shrugged tiredly and said, “Cremate him, Aunt Myrtle. Burn him out of your heart and mind. We’ll be on a boat next week anyway, and we still have Grandma Jean’s ashes too. We can scatter them in the Bermuda Triangle, together, like she always wanted. She couldn’t let go, but we can.”

    In her sleep, just two doors down, SandySue smiled and held her most favorite dolls tight. She slept best when stared at by hundreds of glassy eyes from the shelves that were stacked five and six deep with fake babies. Their eyes might dim with dust, especially the very oldest (which had shared a crib with SandySue), but they were all her’s. They always would be, especially now that the monster of her nightmares was finally, really, gone and no longer holding her back.

  3. #3
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    With a small of the new morning, we headed to a new start on the horizon. I always hoped that we would walk by one another, and not alone as mere strangers. But life were stronger. They always were.

    6 years of grace. This is how long it takes for me to recover and forget: visions, ideas, faces. Blurry prints of your voice within my head, until something better will replace you in my soul. God and fate no longer control my path, but I do not feel free.

    Shadows of yesterday and fears of tomorrow. It was as if not just long ago we walked the same road, fought the same demons.

    You reached out to me, it was not me. It was you, not me.

    That reached out to me.

    And I longed for you, as the wind longs for the sea, with tight caress upon the shores in the shape of waves and foams. You said you would be gentle, and bury us both by the sea sand.

    Did you lie? Did you forget?

    Humans life are short, and whenever something begins, something ends. I thought you were special. I thought you were more than what life throwing at us. You presented yourself as so, but in fact your own demons kept you locked away long before I could heal you.

    Maybe you never wanted to be heal. Maybe you never wanted me to heal you. Maybe you just wanted someone else to do it, and I was at ready and convenient so you tried.

    Love judges us, and tests us. But we often fail. And two separated worlds of reason and chaos are bound to clash. But we always hoped to build upon the ruins.

    Or maybe it was just me that kept hoping. Or maybe it was me that always hoped...

    If you look beyond what you can see in the sky, I'm sure you will come to understand that distance is only in the heart and mind, but not in reality. Age and distance. Always matter, and always what we settle for.

    Maybe you settled too soon? Maybe it was me that gave up too early?

    I couldn't read the sign, even though they screamed as they echoed in my mind, and I felt myself pulled from a lot of things I loved and cared for. Why makes me legs break distance if you did not meant to walk the steps with me? I could draw the art, but now it feels empty, without passions for it, aside of words and thoughts that keeps asking for answers.

    And maybe there are no answers, only more questions.

    So I curse you, like I curse all those I need 6 years to recover. God created the world in 6 days. Was her recovering too? from longing to another creation? From great disappointment? was he ever okay with his new works in the making?

    Ever wondered what it will be like, to walk with shadow so great lingering as the sun highlights your mistakes. You can't always run away from yourself and live in fear of accepting something new.

    Maybe it is time to move on at last?

    Sometimes... like fish riding against the current... that you realize that the power pushing against you, is just too great, so you finally give up, and flip back... back... back....

    And up.

    Up.

    It's not the end.

    Something begins, Something ends.

    Just like that. BANG. Just like that.

    Without a warning, there is crack in the ice, and you need to ride the boat to the next destination. Often you are unprepared, but once you get used it always being unsteady, you know where the wind blows and how.

    So allow yourself to ride into the depths of your soul and forget yourself, within yourself.

    6 years of condemnation. Of what could have been better or worse. 6 years to look back and hope you could remove yourself from a timeline that seemed so far away.

    Is it always hurt like this when one side recovers faster than the other?

    Ride after a blue moon, in the desert of nowhere. Ride a caravan trail into the of green bliss. But even the dry desert, may be more wet than the dryness of the forgotten city that you left behind on a quest to find yourself a new.

    If you find yourself... and not get stuck in another illusion.

    If you cry loud enough, god will uncover your eyes and lead you to the wall. It was always there. You were just too stressed to notice, and it is in the moment of calming down that you find what has been right around you, but missed because of so many things: opinions, thoughts, other people.

    Blindness is also a gift. It prevent you for reaching into something you may want but won't have the power to fight for. But don't worry, there are many battles to fight, and each of them is looking forward to the moment you pick up your axe, knife, bow, lance or shield. Get ready to storm a fortress.

    If you are ready. Are you ready? Am I ready?

    Burn the bridges. You burn them for me, because I was too coward to do it myself. Thank you. It is within fire that life are truly burn, not water. I don't expect too great of a change, but I'm still hoping.

    Am I hopeless? Probably...

    But the seeds are starting to bloom and roots reaching so far, and below lands behind the scenes. And they dig into the mud, and into rocks, and into walls.

    So you don't really need to storm a fortress, just heal enough so your inner self will be able to.

    And once you do, that mind control will no longer tame you. Words will no longer effect you.

    Time will heal and pave the way for the next person... for whom you will need 6 years to recover from, if it goes wrong again.

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    Part Eleven of the September Story
    Previous Installment
    Next Installment


    "Miranda, could you come here please?" Paul called from where he was with Lyra. He was still in that kneeling position next to the girl, looking into the box the little one was holding.

    Miranda turned and began walking towards the pair. "Mhh?"

    "You need to see what's inside of this..."

    Miranda looked. The velvet lining had been removed, and a shining key, laying at the bottom had been revealed. "It that-?" Miranda began asking, then looked at the paper in her hands again. Could this be the first part? Was this the key? How could it not be?

    But if this was the key, and there really was something, then...

    Perhaps there was something else to it, including...

    Miranda looked up again. "Are you suggesting we follow..."

    Paul met her eyes, "Well, I suppose we could... But that would be..."

    At the same instant, both their eyes fell. After all, if they tried to follow the instructions, it would seem that they would have to go back. All the way back. And it had been how long since they had even been close to there? And when they had been close to there?

    Memories flooded the two of them. Could Miranda really go back there? Go back to the starving dogs, or whatever they were, eating anything they could find, both dead, and half alive? Could Paul really go back? Back to where the ground still steamed? Where the people, or those who were still alive there after the sickness, were just as desperate as the animals? And could they take Lyra there? But what was the alternate? Keep moving towards the edge? No one even knew what was beyond the mountains, or if there was anything there at all. But it was either that, or to the center.

    Miranda was the first to speak, "But, what about the people following us? Won't they find us?"

    Paul responded, "We've left the path. And I doubt they would stray back, to the side. Besides, we know they shrink from all manmade. And we can take a different path down. After all, who would go back? Everyone who can is coming out. But still..."

    They both fell silent again. Even Lyra seemed to sense that something important was going on, and she, too, was quiet.

    Paul spoke up next. "Still, we could be misreading the letter."

    "Or the letter could be false." Miranda continued.

    There was again silence. The same thought was passing through both of their heads at the same time: it could be true. And the longer they waited, the worse it would be. But it would also be bad if they went there, and there was nothing. But they could not just stay here.

    Again there eyes met.

    "Should we?" Paul asked.

    "Should we?" Miranda answered him back with the same question.

    To go back would be to possibly die. But to stay on the course they were on might also mean death. What should they do? Should they play this puzzle, which could just be a mind game? Or should they die in defiance of it? If it was just either one without the other, or even just the two of them, the question might have been easier. But there was a third factor: Lyra. Not to mention any one else who was still alive and sane enough to do something. After all, this box, at least had not been opened. And if the other boxes were as remote as these?

    "We should..." Miranda was now looking hard at the key in the box. She had bent down to the kneeling position, and was even now stretching out her hand. If there was a chance, any chance. After all, this was not her chance, but a chance for Lyra. And her mother had trusted this man, so should not she? "We should-" She stopped. Another hand had taken hers. She looked at the hand, and followed it up to the face to which it belonged.

    It was Paul's face. Paul, with the slightly growing stubble he tried to hack at every so often. Paul, with that little scar that lined his right cheekbone. Paul, with his glittering blue eyes full of determination. "We should." he says simply. His reasoning is different than hers, but it comes to the same conclusion. They have been running so long: from the disease, the destruction, disordered people. It is time to stop. It is time to take a stand.

    Their eyes hold each other's gaze. Each one feels as if they are looking for something there. But is it testing the other's resolve? Or perhaps, it is looking for something in the other which they themselves lack? Neither can say. But as they look, their resolves strengthen, as does their hearts and their strength. It is only when Lyra incidentally coughs, that their thoughts return to the current state of their world.

    They both turn to her. Paul speaks first. "Lyra, we aren't going to climb up the mountain anymore. We are going to the old world's center, Condita.

    "Oh." responds Lyra, "Are we resting first?" There is no real sound either of the fear the others are feeling. There is no knowledge in that "Oh" of all that the center of the world used to be, and what it was when last they heard of it. In that "Oh." there is simply a statement of fact, and nothing else.

    Somehow, this "Oh" strengthens its listeners. Here is one who is innocent. Here is one who did not know of this beautiful place known as Condita, that place that was once spoken of in a sort of reverenced tone. That beautiful city that everyone wanted to visit, but few ever did. After the fall, it was rumored that all the disease, all the horrors, destroyed that place first. But, as for what was and what there is now, none of the two, or rather, three, know.

    All they know is that they are going somewhere. Thus Paul responds, "Yes, we can rest here first. One day. We will need it." he smiles, and in his smile is both sadness and hope.

    Again, he turns to Miranda, and she reads on his face the same expressions on hers.

    Who knows what tomorrow will bring? No one had known that for ten years. All they could hope for was that someday, way down the line, it might be a little bit better. And they would fight for it, whatever it took. For themselves, and for the little Lyra.

    Thus the days of flight up the mountain ended, and the journey to the center of the project's ruins began.

    Something had ended, and another journey, of some unknown type, had begun.
    Last edited by m139; 10-01-2016 at 02:50 AM.
    If the gold does not stay in this world,
    then I will chase it till I find my home

  5. #5
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    Movement. Bodies. Everything was organized chaos. Chatter filled the home, echoes of laughter chasing the minutes that ticked by. Heavy feet trudged paths into every room, to every corner of the home, back and forth, back and forth. The packaging tape unraveling, boxes being dragged, and the crinkling of paper filled the room as she kept working, matching the tempo of the rest of the bodies in the home as best she could.

    “Last one?” someone asked, a pair of feet stopped a respectful distance away as she taped the flaps shut.

    “Yeah. All yours,” she confirmed, standing and moving back.

    The person picked the box up and left, leaving her to register the question fully.

    The room was bare save for the old furniture being left behind; any signs that there had been anything more were few and hard to see. The noises in the home quieted, mimicking the silence of her own thoughts as she stood there staring into space..

    “You alright?”

    She looked towards the familiar voice and smiled. “Yeah. Just thinking. Kind of.” Her gaze drifted around the room again. “I keep expecting this to start feeling weird but,” she focused back on him, the smile returning, “I guess it really is time for me to move out.”

    “Is that supposed to feel weird?”

    She grinned at that. “Probably not but I keep expecting it to feel like it. Don’t get me wrong. It’s weird to think this is the last time I’ll be in this room but there’s not the…dreamlike sensation that I keep thinking should be associated with it. I lived here for so long and so much has happened and yet it seems oddly easy to finally leave it all behind.”

    He finally entered the room, chuckling as she sat on the bed. “You know,” he offered, perching on the bed next to her, “they say that when something begins, something ends; an equivalent exchange of sorts.” He met her curious gaze. “Maybe it doesn’t feel weird because this is what is supposed to happen. There’s nothing left for you here and so much more waiting for you there.”

    “You’re still here,” she pointed out, the words coming out edging on a whisper.

    He chuckled again. “Well, yes, but that can’t be helped.”

    “Come with me?” she tried one last time.

    She held his gaze when he looked at her again; his gaze was sorrowful but determined. “You know I can’t. It’ll be better if I stayed here. That way they can’t follow you there.”

    She accepted his words. After all, they had spent long enough arguing about it that she had been expecting the answer. Didn’t hurt to try, at least. “Will you be ok?”

    He nodded. “I’ll leave as soon as you’re clear of the state.” He looked out the window. “Speaking of: the movers are gone and you have a plane to go catch.” He stood up. “Come on. I’ll walk you to the door.”

    “Beckett.” He stilled at the door, looking back. She stood at the edge of the bed, a hand clasped around her necklace. “You’ll protect the next family, right? No more deaths?”

    He offered her an encouraging smile. “No more deaths,” he assured her. “Mine will be the last one caused by their hands.”

    She searched his face looking for anything that would tell her he was lying. A determined look crossed her face and she pulled the necklace off.

    He took a startled step towards her, reaching out. “Brittney-”

    She smiled at him. “I still hate that name, you know.” His hand lowered back to his side as she held the necklace tight. “I want to leave this behind just in case. So that you have something to help you protect the next family.”

    He shook his head. “You don’t-”

    “I know I don’t have to, but I want to.” She stepped around him, through the hall, and down the stairs to the front door. There was a small trash pile by the door and the breath mints tin was still there. With quick hands, she wrapped the necklace in a strip of fabric from the pile of trash before tucking it into the tin. She then wrapped the tin in a chunk of torn cling wrap. Getting to her feet, she opened the door and stepped out onto the balcony. The air smelled of rain. She hurried down the steps and hooked around the right railing into the flowerbed. It looked far more welcoming than it had when her mom had first bought the place. She reached to the middle of the dirt patch under the stairs and made a hole as deep as her hand could reach. The tin made a faint plopping sound at the bottom of her crude hole and she put the dirt back, packing it back in as best she could at the odd angle. She brushed her hands off on her pants as she returned to the walk, looking at the door. He was standing there watching her with curious eyes. She grinned at him. “Now you can tell them where it is if they need it.”

    “And if I’m no longer here?”

    She shrugged. “Then it’ll help protect the house.” She stopped at the door. He hadn’t moved away and she had yet to treat him as anything other than another person. “Beckett, I need my bag.”

    He sighed heavily. “I know but you’re vulnerable now.”

    She reached out and despite the fact that her hand went through his, she knew the intent was perceived. “I’ll be just fine. You’re more than enough to keep them back now.”

    His expression spoke loudly of how much he didn’t like this but he did step back.

    She didn’t miss the fact that his hand briefly gained some semblance of solid as he took a hold of her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Be quick.”

    She crossed the ten feet to her bag and jacket and was back out the door before she could take a second breath. His hand slipped from hers at the door and she turned to face him again. She could barely make out the stairs through him now. “That should be everything.”

    He smiled at her. “I hope life is kind to you, Bree.”

    “And may the afterlife be kind to you, Beckett.” She slung her bag onto her shoulder and walked down the steps. She didn’t look back till she was on the sidewalk outside of the home’s property. She was saddened to see the front door closed and the house looking empty. Beckett was nowhere to be seen.

    She turned and started for the bus station. She had faith that Beckett would be fine but she had hoped to see him one last time before leaving him behind for good. Hopefully he wouldn’t be tied to the house for much longer, too.
    Find a tale or three or five to read but be warned. It is never easy to see where the plot may be going As the Story Crumbles

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