Daily Writing Prompt

Hello Teen Writers!  Today’s prompts are:

One/Two Word Prompt:  Favorite

Writing Prompt:  You discover a magic flying carpet, but it’s a loose cannon with a bad attitude.

Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Untitled Story from Cathy Inkspell

Hello Teen Writers!

Today we have an untitled piece from Cathy Inkspell.  Cathy took one of our writing prompts “It can take a very long time to realize you’re immortal” and created a fantastic story.  Le the author know what you think in the comments section below.

NMH Longernecker

Untitled
by Cathy Inkspell

It can take a very long time for one to figure out they are mortal, for we don’t seem to understand the term.

We fill our lives with risk, and danger, and adventure, because we fear no man, no possibility. The mere idea of Death is lore, a story told us to keep us contained. but of course, as some of us come to realize, it’s more than a myth, more than a monster under the bed that goes away when you turn on the light, it’s always there, always watching, and waiting for the perfect moment to swoop down and strike. It takes someone’s forever for them to understand their own mortality, but even longer to manage immortality, to watch the ones around you slowly slip away, softly whispering to yourself that you’re like the rest of them, that you have nothing to worry about, you’ll see them once again. Soon even, despite your appearance, you’re much older, you know it will come soon. Despite the strange looks you get when you show your ID.

You’ve lived longer than everyone you know, yet you haven’t aged since sixteen. You’ve done good, graduated, gone off to do great things, but you stay the same, you stay sixteen. Because living truly forever is your curse, living forever is unimaginable eternal pain; pain of which you will have to go through. Forever has always sounded terrible.

It scares me sometimes, how oblivious I once was. The way I believed we were the rulers of the world. That we were untouchable. I wasn’t all wrong. But very few of us, were cursed with the ability to dodge the cold relief of Death’s fingers, but instead we sit down with him for brunch every once in a while, and he tells us about our loved ones, the ones that he took long ago. He wipes the tears we shed with a hand we cannot feel, and tells us not to cry, that he’s been talking to Life, and that she has someone in store for us. But this news only makes us cry harder, only makes us remember the love we held for Life’s last creation for us, the way they laughed, they smiled, they loved, and how it left us empty when they were taken away.

And now the phantom ache I’ve had even since Death called, is a reality. The slow burn I get in the pit of my stomach, raising to the very brink of my heart feels as if I have knives repeatedly stabbed in me from the inside. My soul banging to be let free, to escape this cruel fate that has been bestowed upon me. 

Death stands in front of me, after knocking on the door exactly five times. As usual, he’s in his work clothes, a soft grey suit with a simply black tie, but something seems different about him this time. The dull color his eyes hold. The smile that takes just a little to much effort.

“Old Friend,” he greets me, his voice level, I’ve known him for a while now. “You haven’t aged a bit.” It was a weak joke, one that he tries every time he’s here.

“Death, you of all people should know that’s how this works,” I reply, gesturing to myself.

He chuckles gently, giving me a slight nod. “I suppose you’re right.” He pulls out a chair from my kitchen table and sits. I place myself across from him, offering him a biscuit, his favorite, he graciously takes two, setting them in front of him.

“Who has Life created this time? A girl like Nikki, with dark black hair and freckles, or maybe a boy like Jack with gold eyes and a loving character? Tell me, Death, how are Nikki, and Jack?” I ask, remembering my recent additions to my ever growing list of lost ones. Death allows a real smile to spread across his face.

“They’re doing well. As she’s always wanted, Nikki has become a hit, her paintings have been passed around; people know her name. And Jack, there isn’t a single soul who can say the don’t like him, He’d devoted his life to helping the other, giving advice, he still talks about you, even after all this time. He’s waiting for you, all of the others know, and they know who you are, no one has the heart to tell him who you really are.” Death paused, wiping biscuit crumbs from his chin, a dark look on his face, “Nikki loved you too, and I feel you’d like to know she’s learned of you, knows that despite how much she might wish, you two would never be together. But she’s moved past this, A few years before Life created Jack for you, Nikki fell in love with a girl with whom she would end up spending the rest of her death with, they took in a child, A baby who died of cancer, Nikki named her after you, and little June has grown to be a wonderful child, to a helpful young woman, of whom you would be proud of, Nikki wanted me to tell you that; you would be proud of her daughter.”

Death’s words, as always, both filled me with indescribable happiness, but also crushing sadness. And guilt, one could never forget the guilt. I was happy for Nikki, of course I was, she’s got what she’s always wanted, the idea of a perfect life she would tell me when she was alive, but the fact that I would never get to tell her, the fact I would never get to have something like that with her, or Jack, or anyone, made me feel empty. I hated that I couldn’t just be happy for the beautifully wonderful people I got to have in my life. But when Life creates someone just for you, she’s sure to make them perfect, to make them someone who fills your life and makes you feel complete, she out does herself every time.

Death also brought up old thoughts, which was also normal. It had been a few months ago when Jack had died, it was abrupt, Life hadn’t planned it, Jack was still the same age as what I appeared. I had wondered just what would happen when he got down to The Place, the world of the dead, similar to the world here, but The Place was filled with the good and kind. Normally, my gifts from Life went to The Place when they had reached the average lifespan of a human, and they had watched me stay the same for years, they had already realized something was wrong with me. They had figured out I would never be able to join them. but Jack had only ever seen me with him, seen me as who he was, a sixteen year old.

Typically, Life gifts me her creation when they are old enough to think I just look older and am actually similar in age. I met Jack when he was thirteen. he had just moved here, and was enrolling into his last year of Jr high. I went with him, we grew inseparable, and when he aged, I stayed the same, but I would changed the way I looked, dying my hair, different glasses, contacts, makeup sometimes, to make it seem as if I was aging with him. I do this with everyone Life creates for me, holding on to the idea that we can be together, for as long as I possibly can. the effect usually wears off once they reach their twenties, my disguises can only get me so far, they realize I’m not in fact aging with them. Jack was different. When he was still with me, he was only seventeen, still believing I was aging, still believing I would always be with him. Still waiting in The Place for me to come join him. I wondered what would become of him, once he found out I would never join him, that no matter what I did, no matter how many tears were shed, no matter the begging I did, I would never see him, that the only way we could speak, even if only a few words, would be when he came to terms that I was living, and he was not, and that it would be like forever, and our words would be sent through Death, when he came for his annual rounds to talk and reassure his old friends.

“Friend, Jack will come to terms with who you are when he is ready,” Death tells me, giving me a sad smile, he of all people should understand my pain. He’s reaped not only all of my gifts but off of Life’s gifts to the Immortals. watched the shine dim from the creations’ eyes when they understand they’ve seen their immortal love for the last time, their friend for the last time.

“I know, Death, but sometimes it’s just so hard, I’m sure you understand, thinking about all the one’s I’ve lost,” I sigh, wondering how different everything would but if I was mortal. I looked up to meet Death’s eyes, surveying him, there was something much different about today, than what usually happens at our talks. He was much quieter. His maroon eyes, no longer shone under the sunlight, and his ebony black hair now looked like crudely spray painted horse to look like a zebra; grey filling the black with patterns. Death was aging, but that wasn’t possible. as far as the Immortals knew, he was the oldest, the first one, other than Life. How could this happen?

“June, my old friend, I cannot go along with this lie,” Death says after a warm blanket of silence had settled itself around us. I stare at him expectantly. “This year I am not here to tell you about Life’s newest creation for you. I am not here to tell you about your recent loss Jack, but I suppose I owe it to you, to do so.” This was not what was supposed to happen, Death was simply supposed to come here, tell me about the ones I’ve loved, and then explain the new loved one Life has created, not confess a lie.

“What do you mean? Is this about Jack not knowing what I am? Are you worried about me Death, because that’s sweet, but like always, I’ll be alright,” I say soothingly, I won’t lie, it’s very odd trying to soothe Death.

“June, I’m not here to console you about your lost ones, not this time. But you deserve to know that Jack does know who you are, he learned about your immortality about the same time he learned of his,” Death says, taking another biscuit from my tray. “You see, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m growing weak.” Death  runs a hand through his slicked back hair, it sticks up in a strange position. “Life has been going through similar struggles, or…she was. June, Life is dead. Well, the Life you knew is dead. I reaped her the day Jack was supposed to die.”

“Death, what are you trying to tell me, I-I don’t understand,” I tell him, trying to wrap my mind around what he has just told me. Life is dead? but that’s impossible. She’s ‘Life’ dying just doesn’t seem probable for her.

“When Life created Jack, she was doing more than creating another gift for you, June, she was creating her replacement. Life truly didn’t plan for Jack to die so young, to rip him away from you so quickly, but she was fading, as were her powers, so she asked a favor from me, and after everything she’s done for me, I felt obliged to help her with this.” I stare at Death, waiting for him to continue. “June,” he says, locking his eyes with mine. I raise my eyebrows in response, “may I have a glass of water?”

“you want…you want a glass of water?” I ask confused. Death nods, waiting, “oh, uh, okay.” I nod, standing from my seat, and taking hold of the counter to keep my balance. I took a glass from my cabinet, and turned on the faucet, waiting for the water to run cold. I hold the cup under the cool liquid waiting for it to fill up a reasonable amount, then turned of the water.

“Thank you,” Death says, as I hand him the drink. I nod silently as I take my seat once again. Death takes a few sips from the cup before setting it down beside a half eaten biscuit. “as I was saying,” he started up again, “Life and I talked, once I reaped her, Jack would take over, and become the new Life, and that’s what he’s done. So, what I told you about him wasn’t all wrong, he is helping people, and he is doing an amazing job at it.”

I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, pushing my glasses up from their perch on my nose. “Alright, so Jack is Life now, but he’s still Jack, what does this have to do with you, Death?”

“Before Life and I, there were two others who raised and reaped, they too lost their powers, and slowly faded away, this of course was eons before your time, but as Jack was to you, Life is to me, the two before me, had a special connection as did everyone before them, as did Life and I, and yourself and Jack,” Death explains.

“I’m sorry, are you saying-“

“June, you’re going to be the new me, you will be Death,” Death finishes my though, waiting for me to respond, I don’t, so he goes on, “the connection between the two must be true, which is why if I stay Death for too long the world will suffer, Jack and I cannot work, he is not the correct light bulb to shine through my darkness. But you, June, you are the shadows that connect with his light like a puzzle, you’re the shade to his sun. The death to his life, he completes you, and you complete him, which is why…” Death trails off, a look of sadness washing over him. “you have to reap me, you have to take me to The Place, and take your rightful role as the new Death.” Slowly Death reached out to his left and took hold of air. At least that’s was I thought at first. The air began to shimmer, and a large scythe appeared in his hands. Taking in a deep breath, he held it out to me. I carefully told hold watching as the silver blade glowed, replacing the name ‘Death’ with ‘June’.

“What will happen to you?” I ask, looking up at the weapon now in my hand.

“I will go to The Place, and I will meet up with Life, and we will finally settle down and enjoy the rest of eternity in each others arms,” He spoke calmly, like he had been ready for this day. “I’m sure you will be happy to hear that once you reap me, you will be able to meet with Jack, and see him again, June you won’t have to live worrying about losing your other half anymore, you two will live until you fade, and then you will face death with each other.”

I stood up, staring at the scythe with my name written on it, “Death?” I looked up finding Death’s eyes watching me, “Are you ready to join Life?”

A wide smile spread across his face, “My friend, I’ve never been more ready.”

I clasped my hand on his shoulder, and tapped the Scythe against the floor twice, I had watched Death preform this act many a time. A blinding light emitted from me, and we were transported to a place I had never been to before. The Place.

A women with gleaming golden hair and beautiful blue eyes rushed over, she was dressed in a flowing white dress with silver trim. Once she approached us, she threw her arms around Death, I couldn’t remember the last time I had come face to face with Life.

Life reached out to take my wrist before I could leave. “I’m sorry to hold you here any longer than I must, because we both know you’ll be back, but there’s someone who’s been waiting to see you, for a very long time.” Life led me through The Place, the scenery almost exactly like the world I had lived in for so long, but it was better, it felt better.

Finally, Life brought my to a one story house with a large backyard. she knocked on the door exactly five times, and waited. A woman opened the door, olive toned skin with thin, wavy, brown hair, and caramel eyes. “Alis,” Life greets, smiling at the lady in front of us.

Alis looked me over, a small smile spread over her lips, “I know why you’re here. I’ll get her,” she says calmly, then disappearing around a corner. I had an hunch on who I was about to see.  

Nikki replaced Alis in front of the door, she looked somewhat the same as how I remembered her, her ebony skin, with patches of pale white, I used to tell her she was like a painting, unique, and beautiful. Well, I also called her a painter because half the time her arms had been covered in pastels and paint of all colors.

“I’ve missed you, Junie,” she says softly, reaching up to tug at one of her many braids. “Life came by earlier, and told me about what you’re doing, I’m glad I was able to see you before you start your new life, Glad I got to see the June I know.” she brings me towered her and engulfs me in a hug.

“I’m not going to change, just because I’m the new death,” I tell her resting my head on her shoulder, she was much taller than me now.

“I’d like to hope you won’t, but you never know. I’m just glad you’re going to be happy though, Life told me about Jack, he sounds like a good person to spend forever with.” she lets me go, smiling sadly, and looking me over.

“Thanks, and…he is, I’d like to think he’s my Alis.” I smiled, gesturing to Nikki’s wife who was spying on us from behind the corner. she gave a small laugh and waved, blowing a joking kiss over to Nikki.

“Then you’re a very lucky girl,” Nikki paused, smiling as she shook her head at Alis, “promise you’ll come by if you can, my June is out right now, but I’m sure you would love her.”

“I will, I promise,” I tell her, giving her one last hug before looking up at the swirling white fluffy clouds. The Scythe vibrated, and I gave Nikki a smile, “well, duty calls, I guess, take care of yourself, Nikki, I’ll back whenever I can.” I picked up the scythe and allowed the glowing light to fall over me and take me back to the world I knew so well.

I ended on a dock over looking the sea. A boy my age, sat at the edge, holding a scythe of his own, but instead of a silver blade he had a gold one, shimmering in the little light the sun still gave.

“Hey,” I breath out, finding my voice harder to use than I expected.

The boy turned around to face me, a bright expression painting his face. “Hey yourself,” he replies. Jack gestures to the wood plank next to him, staring up at him. “I’ve missed you June,” he says.

“Well, you won’t have to miss me anymore.” I take a seat beside him, my feet just barely above the crystal blue water.

Jack slings his arms around my shoulders, pulling my toward him, out scythes held in the hand that wasn’t holding the other immortal. “Yeah.” Jack smiles, watching the sunset over the ocean, he turns to face me, “You’re stuck with me for all of eternity now.” His tan skin skin glows golden in the evening light, making him seem like Life.

“Yeah, well,” I pause resting my head on his shoulder, “forever doesn’t sound so bad with you.”

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Daily Writing Prompt

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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Write a Poetry Slam, Six-Word-Story, the Dribble (50 words), the Drabble (100 words) or Sudden Fiction (750 words).  Or you can ignore word length and go with the Less Than Five Pages format.

 

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