Ideas in Ink: Death and Rebirth

Ksi

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Ideas in Ink is a series of topics dedicated to practising writing by assigning writing exercises over a month, each on different aspects, themes or genres.

What you write is up to you - poetry, brainstorming, short stories, longer stories, lists of ideas... everything is welcome and you may be as serious or ridiculous as you wish.
 
You may also write about whatever you wish as long as it pertains to the subject/theme and prompt. This means that there will most likely be some over-PG-rated works. Because of this, I ask that you stick to the rules of posting.
 
 
RULE 01 - Posting
You have one post in the thread in which you add your prompts, using the handily coded list below.
 
Each prompt should be hidden in spoiler tags with the appropriate heading above them. When you have completed a prompt, bold the header.
If a piece is over a PG rating, it should be tagged with descriptor tags: Sex, Violence, Drugs, etc as well as approximate age tags - 13-15, 15-18, 18+. These must be in bold and next to the title of the piece.
Like so:
Prompt 07 {Sex, Drugs, Foul Language}{18+}
If you are told to change or add tags, do so or I will edit them myself.
I'll be linking each of your main posts to your name in the OP to make it easier to find them, so please follow this for posting prompt updates/additions.
 
RULE 02 - Necroposting
These threads can be brought back from the dead at any time. They're immune to age, so feel free to post the prompt updates your forgot to add at any time, even two years down the track.
RULE 03 - Feedback
Please be constructive when giving feedback. This means try to point out the things you liked in a written piece as well as the parts that need improving. Don't be a dick.
 
For example: "I liked your character, but I think you need to check out your spelling and grammar. Also, the theme is really good, but there needs to be a bit more reaction from the surprise twist. As it stands your character kinda just takes it as is and doesn't really react at all..."
To give feedback, add a post in this thread with the name or number of the prompt for which you are leaving the feedback as well as the name of the writer.
*RULE 04 - Word Limits
I don't want to be strict, but I do want to point out that using each prompt for only 3-6 lines is a bit wasteful. I don't want to instil a word limit as I feel that that would be limiting a person's scope.
 
However, the idea is to challenge yourself. You are your own competition. So please, don't just write a few lines for each and every prompt and consider it 'done'. At least aim to make it harder on yourself, if only to push your skills to grow.​


Prompts:-
Death and Rebirth

01 - Ashes
02 - Empty beds
03 - Hallways of Tomorrow
04 - Where sky takes you
05 - Another open door
06 - All's Fine
07 - Ending Madness
08 - Words not Said
09 - Yesterday's Keeper
10 - Blank Slate


Copy below code and post for easy set-up.
Code:
Prompt: Ashes[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Empty Beds[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Another Open Door[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: All's Fine[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Ending Madness[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Words Not Said[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper[spoiler][/spoiler]Prompt: Blank Slate[spoiler][/spoiler]

Posts





Topics

-- : 02 : 03 : 04 : 05 : 06
07 : 08 : 09 : 10 : 11 : 12​
 


Logos by FlamingText
 
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wallacethepig

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Prompt: Ashes

They fell like snow. My memories. Hopes and dreams, all of it. It all floated down on the breeze, remaining on the ground for only a moment before flying away again. "I hate firefighters." "Don't say that, Jake. You know the fire was out of control before they could get here." "I don't care. I still hate all of them." "All of them? Even your dad?" "He's dead. He isn't gonna give a crap whether I hate him or not. Bug off, Lou. Just...leave me alone, O.K.?" "Whatever. But you shouldn't hate your dad for doing his job." As Lou walked away, lighting his cigarette, I thought about my dad. He was a nice enough guy, I guess. He promised me he would get me a big present for my 7th birthday. All I got that day was a vase with his ashes in them. He didn't die in a fire, though. After the house was put out and he was carrying out survivors, a support beam hit him over the head, killing him instantly. And then, ironically, we cremated him. Mom said this would be my worst birthday ever, and that things would get better. Honestly? I didn't care that he died. He broke a promise to me. "Hypocrite," I said aloud. "You broke your own promise, when you told me never to break mine. What kind of dad does that?" Now that our house has burned down, I've got nothing left; nowhere to go, nowhere to hide from reality. I'll probably end up staying at Lou's for a while until I find my own place. But as of right now, I'm all alone in the world.
Prompt: Empty Beds
The orphanage got so lonely without her. When she left to go to Hollywood, all of the kids were so sad. No one felt like doing much of anything after that. She promised to send us checks in the mail to help us out, but we didn't get a single one. One by one, the kids left. They had to find parents who would be able to feed them, parents who saw them as family and not as an extra mouth to feed.
Parents who didn't hate them.

I couldn't stand to be around the kids anymore. They reminded me too much of her. But now, they're all gone. Everyone is gone. They all were able to move on with their lives. But I couldn't. I stayed behind in the now abandoned orphanage. Sometimes the kids send me letters. They're all piled up in a corner of the bedroom. I can't read them; they would just bring up memories. 

I want to leave this place. I really do. It's killing me, ripping out my soul. Messing with my head. But where would I go? My home burned down to the ground, and it's not like I have any money. This empty orphanage is the only place I could call home. Maybe I should just go try and make it on my own, see if I can find a job. In the end, it won't matter. My life is a hollow shell; I'm just waiting for death to come and crack it. Maybe it'll happen soon. I'm not living anymore, I'm just experiencing.
Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow [Violence Warning - 13+ (Probably)]
Running never solved anything for me. It just wore me out until whatever I was running from caught up to me. Still, that doesn't mean I didn't try to run from anything and everything. But there was one thing I got so close to escaping. So agonizingly, tantalizingly close: death. When I think about it, I failed so miserably. After all, checking your opponent means nothing if you end up checkmated. I was blind, and so I failed. It was as simple as that. Ah, but you probably want me to explain what happened, don't you? Yes, I'm sure you do. Here's how it went down."So what do you want for dinner, honey?" "Anything's fine," I said to my wife. "Oh come on now! How am I supposed to know what you want if you say that?" "Well, pick something you want to eat. I'm sure I'll enjoy it as much as you will." "Alright then. We'll have pasta tonight." Thinking back on it, it's ironic. The red pasta sauce we had...it looked kind of like the blood that would be spilled tonight. Nonetheless the pasta was quite delicious. It's a peculiar feeling, really: when you look back on your memories and see how happy you were only to have everything go wrong in your next memory. You feel like you've been cheated, like there should have been a smoother transition. But alas, that was not the case. As we went to bed and I turned off the lights, I felt a slight chill run up my spine. I didn't know why that happened at the time. I guess it was just cold. I drifted off to sleep like a baby. I woke up to my wife screaming. It was around 3 o clock, I suppose. As I looked over at her, I saw a knife in her stomach. I almost threw up, but I got it together. That is until a hand pulled it out and stabbed her again. I couldn't watch, but I had to. I have horrible memories of her death. I remember that some of the blood that flew off the knife as it rose to stab her a second time got on me. I remember the sickening sound the knife made as it entered her stomach again. I remember the even more sickening sound she made. I remember the beige sheets getting covered in blood. But most of all, I remember thinking that I had to get out of there. How selfish I was! At the time, I was thinking of myself instead of my wife. But what's done is done, I can't change the past. As I ran from the room, my vision got fuzzy. I staggered away like a drunk, hoping against hope that the killer wouldn't come after me.

Hope can only do so much, though.

I heard footsteps that weren't my own, and then I felt a knife hit me in the side. I couldn't even scream. I didn't care that I was stabbed, I was almost to the door, almost outside. I could almost call for help. I just had to make it down this hallway and everything would be fine. As you may have guessed, I didn't make it down the hallway. It's funny: as I fell to the floor, I remembered how much it cost to have our carpet cleaned last time. I needed a phone, I needed to call the police. Or an ambulance. I was losing consciousness fast. I knew I wouldn't make it out of this house alive. I felt the knife come out and re-enter another time. The pain was almost unbearable. I felt my stomach grow sticky with blood. And then I passed out. I would never get that promotion, never have that kid, never take those walks by the park I loved so much again, never eat my wife's cooking again. It was over for me.

"How's that look, honey?" "It could be better. You need to work on your storytelling a bit more, though; I couldn't tell what was going on for the whole first chapter. It was just a jumbled mess." "Well, I didn't really feel like writing today. I suppose there's always tomorrow, though."
Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You
As I boarded my plane, I started to sweat. I had always had a fear of heights, and flying puts you up pretty high in the air. I chose a hallway seat, as you may have expected. The video screens popped down and told us how the emergency gear worked, and explained what to do in case of just about any accident possible. To me, it seemed more like those were the possible outcomes, like they knew for a fact that we would never land safely. I grabbed a barf bag as the plane lurched forward. I tried my best to keep it together, but...well, let's just say that (rather fortunately) the bag fared far worse than my pants.I went to the bathroom to go throw out the bag, and then I asked the flight attendant for a new one. When I got back to my seat, I realized the horrible truth--I was seated next to two hyper little kids. "Hey mister. Do you like flying? I like flying. Well actually I'm not really sure 'cause this is my first time in an airplane. But my brother Jimmy here? It's his second time," said the kid in the middle. Jimmy seemed a lot calmer than the other kid. "Dewey, don't bother that guy. He obviously hates little kids. Especially ones like YOU!" "Shut up, Jimmy!" The started to fight. "Hey hey hey! Break it up, you two. Look. I just want to have a relaxing flight without any trouble from you guys, O.K.?" They seemed to calm down a bit. I figured I should keep them talking before they go crazy again. "So, are you two brothers?" Dewey looked at me with quite a surprised expression on his face. "How did you know?" "Just a hunch. So how big is your family?" "Just the three of us. Daddy left mommy to go on a business trip when I was born but she hasn't come back yet." I felt like an idiot inside. Why did they have to have a divorced family? Oh well, I suppose it's none of my business. "So, where are you three going?" "We're going to Arizona, silly! Isn't that where you're going? That's what the flight ticket says, anyway." "Actually, I have a layover in Arizona. I'm really going to--" "A layover? What's that?" 
We talked like that for the longest time. In fact, I almost forgot we were flying. And then I popped what I thought was an innocent question: "So, is your mommy on this flight?" "Yeah," said Jimmy. "She's right over there." I turned to the other side of the hallway and saw a beautiful woman smiling at me. I blinked. Is this woman really their mother? "Hello there," she said. "I noticed the kids have really warmed up to you." "Y-yes," I said. "It appears they have. My name is Watterson, by the way. John Watterson. And yours?" "My name? I'm Janet Bridges. It's nice to meet you." I heard a beep. "Attention everyone. We've reached Phoenix. Please buckle your seatbelts as we prepare to land." Oh no. No, not now. Please. I felt my stomach churn. "E-excuse me, Mrs. Bridges. I...I have to go to the bathroom. I staggered to the bathroom just in time to let the rest of my 11 dollar cheeseburger go into the barf bag. Phew.

As it turns out, my layover lasted another two hours. And that's how I got to know Janet--my beautiful wife.
Prompt: Another Open Door
As a locksmith, it's my duty to make sure some doors stay closed--but it's also my duty to make sure some can be opened no matter what. So when a customer walked in one day with a strange request, I helped him out."Hey--are you the main locksmith around here?"

"Sure am," I said. "The finest one around. What do you need?"

"Well, I need you to make a key for this locket. You see, my mother passed away a few days ago, and this locket was what I got as part of her inheritance. But you see, I can't get it open."

"Hmm...May I see it?" "Go right ahead." As I looked at the locket I noticed how well it was crafted. "Whoever crafted this thing was a master. It's quite well built and pretty to boot." I noticed the keyhole on the back of the locket. It was a tiny thing. I've always loved the symbolism behind locks--the tiniest part of the door is the part that keeps you out. "I'll see what I can do. Come back tomorrow and I should have cracked it by no--" "Don't break it!" "It's just a figure of speech. Come back tomorrow and I'll have a key for it." As he left and I started to work on a few other projects from other customers, I started to wonder what was in the locket. Was it a picture of him and his mother? Or was it something more? After I had finished my normal projects for the day, I got to work on making that tiny key. It was going to be a challenge--the keyhole was only about a millimeter or two tall. But I did it--I got the key made.

I decided not to open it, though. I thought the customer should be the first to do that. So when he came in asking if I had finished it, I proudly gave him the locket and key. "Oh, thank you! Thank you so much! Let's see what's inside, shall we?" As he turned the key and opened it, a puzzled look appeared on his face. "What's this?" he said. He showed it to me. "It looks like a really tiny note to me," I said. "Let me get my magnifying glass." Here's what the text said:

My dear son,
If you are reading this, it means I am dead. It also means you were able to open this locket. I don't know how you did it, but it doesn't matter--because I love you.
Doors are always open to you if you can find the key.

That text gave me a motto. A motto I still live by today.
Prompt: All's Fine
As the snow gently fell,

I sat by the wishing well,

I pondered the mystery of life and of Hell.

I thought to myself, "Why

do we all have to die?

How come we can't all just live happy lives?"

I thought and I thought,

I thought quite a lot,

But it seemed all my thoughts were for naught.

I realized life's precious,

And emotions affect us,

And that all throughout life we make quite a ruckus.

But the thing I loved most

was that I almost

missed the entire point of the signpost:

"Love to live life,

For life's love itself:

Don't live to hate others or yourself."

It was then that I realized;

I was loved, not despised.

All's fine in my life: That's what I theorized.


Prompt: Ending Madness

Gone, gone, gone, all of it gone. My soul, that is. Do I have a soul? Am I the only one with a soul? Does anybody have a soul? Do I WANT my soul? No. No, no no. I want to be rid of it. It's a chain, holding me down, holding me back. I hate chains. They're so...boring. Just an oval, over and over...nothing but an oval. To break a chain, you find a bad oval. If you break that oval, you become free of the chain. I just need to find the oval. Is it...suicide? No, no, that's too strong. I can't kill myself, I've got too much to think about, too many problems to solve.
Hold on a second. If I can't think, will all of my problems go away? Will my soul go away? Will I be free? Is suicide the best option? No, I should consider my other options first. Let's see...I want to solve all of my problems. I don't like problems. They pester you, and pester you, until they finally go away. Such useless things, problems. Especially problems that aren't pestering me. Yes, the problems that pester other people are the worst ones. Because those people end up pestering me. Pester, pester, pester. I need to find a gun so I can be rid of all this pestering.

No! I'm acting too quickly. I need time, more time to think. I'll consider all of my options here. I could kill myself...or I could kill the other people. Yes, that's it! I could kill other people! Then they won't pester me with their problems. I do say, I need to be on a committee or something. This is an excellent solution. I'll go kill as many people as I can, solve all of their problems for them.

...

Well, that didn't work. Now I'm in this cell. It's an advantage, if you think about it. I only have a little while now before they take me to my death. A man in a white collar came to see me a little while ago. He asked my what my problems were, if I had any sins I was sorry for. Fool. I'm not going to tell him my problems. I hate it when people tell other people their problems. And sins? Ha! As if. I was doing a glorious job solving other people's problems. That's no sin, that's a virtue! Oh, look, more people. Maybe their problems aren't the problems at all. Maybe the people are the problems! Yes, that's it! People are the problems! I need to get rid of as many people as I can before I die. Now they've got me handcuffed. Let's see if I can kill them first.

...

Well, this chair isn't too uncomfortable. I don't mind the bag over my head, either. It's a little musty, but I can handle it. After this, I'll have time. All the time I need to solve everyone's problems--

End.
Prompt: Words Not Said

Why didn't she tell me? Now she's gone. I didn't want to find out this way, I wanted us to find out together. My son--or daughter is dead now. And so is my wife. Why did she have to die? I'm probably taking this too lightly. I mean, it's been a week or so since the funeral. She should have told me she was expecting, I could have prepared myself for that. But nothing could have prepared myself for her death. Shot in an alley on the way home. Simple as that, no questions asked. Dead. I would never see her alive that night. And, being the sicko that I am, all I could think about was how it was her turn to cook that night. I've just never been a guy who cares about death very much. I've accepted it as a part of life. I was the only one who didn't cry at her funeral. Her sister hit me for that. Oh well, it's not like I care about that either. Pain is temporary. But you know what? I think I need a psychiatrist. I'm going to call one tomorrow. That'l
l clear things up. Maybe he can help me out with my so called problem...Or maybe he can't. It's not really a problem so much as an...opinion of death. Both my wife and child died in that alley. I wonder if she was planning on telling me when she got home. Oh well, that's enough diary writing for today. I should get some sleep.
My psychiatrist is stupid. She broke down crying when I told her about the pregnancy and the death. What a baby! I mean, she told me she was a brand new psychiatrist, but come on! She needs to learn to keep it together. Oh well, I guess I'll see her next week and see if she improved at her job. If not, I'll just have to change psychiatrists.

Okay, today was a weird day. No one spoke to me. Whenever I tried to talk to someone, they would look away and do something else. My psychiatrist just sat there taking notes. She didn't cry, though. That was an improvement. I guess I'll keep her on the job. But really, today was a seriously creepy day. When was the last time you spent a day without another human talking to you? That's never happened to me for as long as I can remember.

I seem to be the last person on earth. What's going on? Everyone's left the city. There aren't any cars to be found, so it's not like one of those ghost towns where people just disappear while eating breakfast or something. Where did they all go? Anyways, I'm going to leave the city too. I don't want to stay in a lonely place like this for long.

I've been driving cross-country for a few days now. I haven't even seen a fly, it's like every animal ever just up and left earth. The funny thing is? I don't really care. I don't know what circle of Hell this is, but I can handle it pretty easily. In fact, it's kind of fun. I could get used to this solitude. I don't even know why I keep this journal now, it's not like I have a kid to give it to when I die (no thanks to my wife). I think I can die happy, actually. This is...rather pleasant. No chittering birds, no bustle of people, nothing. Maybe this isn't Hell. Maybe it's Heaven.
Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper

"Ugh...What happened? Where am I?" "You're heading down the rabbit hole, John," said a voice. "Who's there? What do you want?" I said. "Come out of that bed, John. You need to get out of town." As I rose, I got a better look of the room I was in. It had all of the cleanliness of an attic, and it seemed like no on had dusted for years. There was a man in a suit holding the door open. He had a smile on his face, and a rather creepy one. "Why do I need to leave?" "Because you committed a crime." "Wait, slow down. I can hardly remember my own name, much less what happened last night. What's going on here? What did I do?" "Hmm...it seems I gave you too much Mind Cleanser. Not to worry though, your memories will return in due time. Anyways, you did something no one is allowed to do: you broke free from the Will Machine." "W-wil Machine? What's that?" "Well, as you may have gathered, it's a machine that saps free will. However, it only works if you have a will helmet on. You fell and yours broke, and now you're free. Isn't it lovely? But come, we need to leave before they find us." "Where are we going?" "To an underground colony. There are a bunch of people there who have also broken free from the dreadful machine. Now come! We must make haste!" He ran out the door, quite gleefully. I still didn't understand anything that was going on. Why did I need to have my memories erased? Why in the world would somebody build a machine that controls everyone's mind? And more importantly, why the heck would people agree to wear the helmets? "Come on, John! I'll fill you in on the way!" I didn't think there would be any point in staying here. I might as well humor this guy for a while. "Hold up! I'm coming!"
Prompt: Blank Slate
One shot. One stabbed. One poisoned. All three dead. All of my friends were killed, and by the same person. On Monday, he killed one. Then he killed another on Tuesday. And the last on Wednesday.
Today's Thursday.

I don't know what's going to go down tonight, but I'm going to keep my guard up. I'm going to be more careful today than I've ever been. He's not going to kill me. We'll see how things go tonight. Even now, while I'm at work, I can hear coworkers talking about it:

"Did you hear about those serial killings?"

"Man, I can't believe we lost three of our employees in three days."

"I wonder who he's going to kill next?"

I drove at 55 on the way home, and did some of the safest driving I've done in years. I technically took the day off work today; I wanted a will in case the worst happened. Better to be safe than sorry, after all.

At home, I turned on the TV to see if there was any news about the killer. The police still haven't found him yet. Figures. As I went to my room to fake sleep, I put some cans by the window and a tripwire by the door. I even cocked and loaded a gun under my pillow. I was not going to die tonight.

Sure enough, I heard a creak. Instantly snapping out of my not-so-vigilant half-sleep, I clutched the gun under my pillow. I was ready for him.

And then I felt a hand pushing my head into the pillow. How did he get in without my knowledge? I thought I was ready for anything! But now's not the time to worry about that, I need to get some air or I'll suffocate. No! I'm not letting this...happen...

I awoke tied to a chair in a closet-like room with a single light bulb flickering. "Hello," said a voice. "Let me guess: the killer, right?" "Oh, boo. I thought I would have some fun with you. I get the feeling you're not like the other ones I've killed. No...you're different. "Oh yeah? Am I so different that you decided to not kill me?" "Not quite. You see, I don't kill people. I give them a choice. A simple one, really: Life? Or death?" "If it was that simple, they wouldn't be dead." "Well? Are you interested in my little game? I could just kill you now if you don't want to play." "Fine. I'll bite. I don't have much of a choice, which is ironic considering you love giving people choices so much." "I see I've got quite the sarcastic one. I don't care what you say as long as you remember I'm the one with the gun. Now, here's the game: You can pick life...or you can pick death. Now, here's the fun part: If you choose life, you'll have to kill two people. But if you choose death, I kill you and then I'll be done with it. So? Which one will it be?" So this is how he does it. "How do I know you won't kill me when this is over with?" "They all ask that. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Depending on your actions, one, two or three people will die tonight. Let me put it this way: If you live through this choice, you get to move on to round two. No one's ever gotten that far. But I need you to make a choice now." "I've got another question for you. How are you planning on killing these people? And for that matter, who ARE you killing?"

"Make the choice."

"Will I have to watch you kill them? Why are you targeting my company's workers?"

"Make the choice."

"What if I somehow break free from these binds and run away? What's the deal?"

"Make the choice."

Well, obviously there isn't any chance of getting through to him. I can kill two people, or I can die. I could be safe, or I could be moral. Or I could go with the third option.

"No."

"Huh?" "I choose neither. Neither life or death." "Well then what do you choose?" "Nothing. I'm leaving this one blank." "So you don't want anyone to live or die tonight? Keep in mind I have absolute power over you. I can shoot you if you tick me off." "No you can't. You're too stubborn. You want me to play the game. You're trying to threaten me with death, but you won't kill anyone if I don't choose. Because if you do, they would be murders--losses, not victories." "Fine then. I'll give you a third option: You can disappear." "What? Disappear? How?"

"Make the choice."

Disappear, huh? That seems like the best option. No one will have to die. Sure, why not? It's not like I care strongly about anything in my normal life. "I'll take option 3: disappearance." "You sure?" "Positive." "Alright then. Take this." His hand forced a pill down my throat and covered my nose. What choice did I have? I had to swallow it.

Somehow I think this is the beginning of my new life.
I guess I'll start this off.
 
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blsilva

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Prompt: Ashes

Prompt: Empty Beds
I left work late again. I look at my watch and it's already past midnight. Damn that man! Doesn't he know we have families too? But well, whatever. At least I'm finally going home. I'm going to sleep besides the woman I love and I'll be able to see my beautiful children again tomorrow morning.
I don't put my car in the garage so I don't wake the kids. I walk in, the door doesn't make a sound, it's a good thing I oiled it this week! I take my shoes off at the door and climb up the stairs silently. I pass trough the kids rooms but don't open their doors, don't want to risk them waking up. I get to my bedroom, and notice something strange, the bed is empty! She must be waiting for me in the kitchen, it's so late and I didn't even call. She must be worried. So I go down the stairs again and go into the kitchen to apologize and ask her to come to bed.
But I get to the kitchen and no one is there... Maybe in the living room? No, I just passed trough there and no one was there... Then a terrible Idea hit me!
I run up the stairs and open the kids bedrooms' doors one by one and nothing. Empty. I panic. What could have happened? Where are they? I check the garage. No car. What happened?! I look for my phone but it's not in my pocket. That's right, I forgot my phone at home today. I run back to the bedroom and find it there on top of the dresser. the blue light is blinking. I check the message my wife left me.
 
"I'm leaving and I'm taking the kids."​
 ​
Why? I call her immediately. Maybe they haven't gotten far. I can still fix this! I can still... Ringing? I look back and see her phone on the table. The phone slips from my hands to the floor. I sit on the bed and start crying. I'm never getting them back.
Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow
Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You
Prompt: Another Open Door
Prompt: All's Fine
Prompt: Ending Madness
Prompt: Words Not Said
Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper
Prompt: Blank Slate
 
And there, first thing I've written in about six years xD
Don't know why but when I read the prompt title that story just appeared in my head instantly. A bit dark for how I normally am but...
Well anyway I've never written a story in the first person (went with the way of Sin City's narrative) so I really want to know how it is.
 
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wallacethepig

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@blsilva I liked that a lot more than mine. Only a few nitpicky things with the grammar and such. The "But well, whatever" is probably okay as just "Whatever." The "I get to my bedroom, and notice something strange, the bed is empty!" line could be broken down into "I get to my bedroom and notice something strange: the beds are empty!" The "So I go downstairs to apologize" should probably be "I should go downstairs and apologize". Now that the icky part is out of the way, let's move on the the positives, shall we?

  • The character is really good at portraying other characters. You know he loves his kids and his wife, and he hates his boss and his job.
  • I love how you portray the wife as "she" and not "Matilda" or "Joan" or whatever her name may be. "She" is quite a good character for not being there. I can't tell if she would act smug or angry when I ran into her, but from the vibe I'm getting I'm going with smug.
  • The best part about your story is when he finds his phone, I think. You pulled off the suspense really well in that scene.
Overall, good job. I would definitely read more of your prompts if you posted them.

-Wallace
 
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Prompt: Ashes - WIP

"Ceristra." Maldoran's eyes remained focused upon the western skies, splashed in black and crimson as they were. Loud booms periodically called out over the winds, the death cries of the massive obsidian-like pyramid that gradually sank, huge sections splintering away into freefall. That floating structure, once the seemingly unassailable Displacement Fortress, tumbled downward as it disintegrated, a long golden shard driven into it's mechanical heart. That spear, once the aerial battleship Destiny, seemed to twist and slowly melt, gouts of flame bursting forth from it's structure. Ceristra had taken one of the great treasures of a bygone era and transformed it into a symbol of man's defiance against the gods, a weapon that their will simply could not deny.
Serah cautiously approached Maldoran's side, gently touching his arm. He didn't move, not even in the slightest. She looked at him, and then at the pyrotechnics in the distance. "The war... it's over."
Maldoran scowled, his shock giving way to pings of rage. "No, it is not. Not until every last one of them has paid for her blood."
Prompt: Empty Beds - WIP

A pallor had fallen upon the camp. It irritated Serah to no end, Maldoran's actions following Ceristra's final act. He was their leader now, it was time to start acting like it! But no, he wouldn't. He let self-pity rule his every action, and it was dragging morale down. Barely a third of them returned from the battle that brought down the Machine's fortress to begin with, and he had made no effort to use Ceristra's sacrifice as a rallying point. Instead, he spoke venom-laced hatred towards their enemy, but did nothing to follow through. Serah sighed. She had half a mind to step up, take control of their group, and lead everyone out of the hills to occupy the nearby city of Landing. Truth was, she didn't believe she could gather the support to do so, lacking Maldoran's presence or Ceristra infectious optimism. A sudden thought stopped her as she walked past so many tents whose occupants would never return.
It is up to me, isn't it? A few leaves gently blew past her. No, I can't lead us, but I can get you to wake up, Mal. I have to.
Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow - WIP

Why, sister? What filth could corrupt you and bring such betrayal? Duros glided down the corridor, the transparent walls revealing stars without number. Beneath his feet, the world Perdition came into view, it's brown surface marred by vast blue-green lines. He came to a stop, regarding it. Dirty little planet. You and the vermin inhabiting you will not cause me to stray as you did her. His eyes narrowed briefly, before his gaze returned forward and he continued towards the Central Core. The human rebellion would now have drawn attention of the ArSI - the artificial superintelligences who had guided both strains of humanity to the stars. Most activity never brought response from them, and were left to the evolved such as himself and Ceristra to deal with. But her betrayal, along with the destruction of their primary command platform on the planet, certainly would change that. ArSI Shiva was aloof, but not so much that it would ignore such a challenge to it's Plan.
Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You
[spoiler][/spoiler]
Prompt: Another Open Door
[spoiler][/spoiler]
Prompt: All's Fine


Prompt: Ending Madness
Prompt: Words Not Said
Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper
[spoiler][/spoiler]
Prompt: Blank Slate
[spoiler][/spoiler]
 
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Alkorri

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So glad this place is alive again! Here goes :)

Prompt: Ashes

Kyra didn't understand what was happening. One moment her mother was rearing up to defend her. The next, everything was blood, flames, and darkness.

The men swept into the cave, triumphant. They scooped up her father's treasures, smashed her favourite vase, and out of spite, they even set fire to her bedding of fresh hay and soft furs. The men stank of sweat and leather and steel, and Kyra decided she hated them. She wanted to hurt them more than anything in her life.

But her mother had ordered her to sit still and do nothing to provoke the Bad Men, no matter what happened. And Kyra always obeyed her mother. She always puffed up in pride whenever the family praised her for being the best behaved.

Her eyes finally dared tear away from the strangers, to where her mother had been. All that remained now was a blackened spot and a nest of sputtering cinders and ash. The flecks were spinning circles with the breeze allowed into the cave, the breeze that could not disguise the stench of burning flesh. Kyra stared, pleadingly, until the embers faded from dull red to a yawning black. Only then did the world begin to blur. 

She will not cry. She will never cry.

"Look at that." Another rough laugh. "She's just sitting there. Stupid thing."

"You can tell it's a she?"

"Trust me, she might be filthy now, but once you clean her up..."

Footsteps came towards her. She refused to look at them. She gasped when one of them caught her by the neck and shook her.

She glared into their silly faces with as much heat as she could muster. They only chuckled.

"That one will fetch a pretty price," the second man said.

Not only were they murderers, but slavers too. Reason fled, and Kyra felt a crazed/guilty sense of satisfaction when she bit the hand of the Bad Man choking her.

"Ow!" 

Her world spun again when the man struck her, yelling horrible words. Face stinging, eyes damp, Kyra raised her head in defiance.

That's when she saw - forming behind the men's backs - the embers flaring red over the charred floor. Flames gushed anew as the ashes swirled and condensed into the shape of her beautiful, proud, perfect mother. This time the fiery wings stretched all the way up to the roof. This time the feathers glimmered like molten lava. And the eyes of her mother blazed with a baleful light as the phoenix prepared to deliver vengeful, soul searing death.

The men were looking stupidly at each other as the raw red light flooded the cave. "What was that?"

Kyra began to smile.
Prompt: Empty Beds

Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow

Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You

Prompt: Another Open Door

Prompt: All's Fine (updated)

There was a gravedigger named Ted

who was pained his dear mother was dead.

Ted hired a necromancer

(Old Wart who did fancy her)

Now she nags when she puts him to bed.

There was a sad zombie named Kane

who yearned to be human again.

The Fairy Zombfather he sought,

a wave of wand ov'r his rot.

Now he's a human unable to eat brains.

There once was a mermaid named Faye

who desired the Prince of Orlay.

She paid the Sea Witch in tarts,

was given the wrong parts.

The prince fell in love anyway.

 

Prompt: Ending Madness

Prompt: Words Not Said

Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper {Mild Swear Word}

The last of the clocks struck midnight and she died without a sigh. The passing wasn't particularly painful. The next time she woke, she was cold and disoriented however. She didn't even realise she had a new name.

She sat up and frowned at the unfamiliar garden around her. Grass nuzzled against her fingers. Where was she?

"Hey there," said a voice, weathered and impatient. "You getting up anytime soon?"

The creature addressing her had made himself comfortable on an overhanging branch. A cherubim, she recognised. One she found vaguely familiar, down to the stubby little wings in an unusual speckled colour.

"Who are you?" she said.

"First things first," he said, sounding bored. "Do you know who you are?"

"Today."

"Ha, ha. Nooo. Today's another person. You're Yesterday now."

"That can't be right."

"You died. Your memories are confused. They always get so confused," the cherubim sighed in exasperation. "You ask me, someone screwed up when they built the Machine. Now come along."

He snapped his fingers, and the whole world went white. The painful light receded somewhat, and she found herself standing on a long, long escalator that stretched all the way to the sky. It was no longer night, but more a kind of twilight. She couldn't even see where the escalator began, nor where it ended. Space yawned around her. She laid a hand on the railing; she couldn't help but feel that this, too, was familiar. She had been here before.

"You still haven't told me who you are," she said.

"Galoshes and galaxies, can't you guess?" The little angel sent her a smirk smile as he sat near her hand. "I'm the guide who's supposed to lead you back to heaven."

"Why?"

"So you can get processed into an angel. All Yesterdays earned the right, after all."

She frowned. "Processed?"

The cherubim grimaced, as if he regretted using the choice of word. "So you can be initiated as an angel. Where do you think we all come from?"

She considered this. Pieces of it were slowly coming to her. Fragments. Voices. The human dramas and heart-stopping tragedies at the turning of the world. "But I enjoyed being Today," she told him. "Why can't I stay as I was?"

"Because," the cherubim growled, "the energy required to keep the world rotating is so stupidly astronomical, that it takes one of you fledglings to do the job. Keep doing it for more than a day however, and you start to burn out."

"The world can rotate perfectly fine without our interference," she retorted.

"That," he said with satisfaction, "is what we want them to think."

She stared at the escalator making its endless journey to heaven. "I still want to go back."

"You can't." The cherubim snorted and flew over to point at her. "Listen, Yesterday, no excuses. You think this is the first time someone tried to talk their way out of your situation? The system works. The roster's all drawn. One fledgling per day and one day only. You had one job to do, and now you don't wanna come home? Tough. At least you got your day of fun, tasting every ice cream, jumping every puddle and walking every yapping dog on the planet." He glared at her, folding his arms. "You didn't get stuck babysitting whiny, rebellious Yesterdays!"

"I wasn't rebelling." She gnawed her lower lip. "I'm sorry."

He snorted and sulked, wings fluttering in agitation.

"So..." she said, when the silence became awkward. "I will graduate as an angel then?"

The cherubim pursed his lips, then did a little spin in the air, shedding the sulks. "Yeah. Every Yesterday gets to become one. One of the perks."

To help ease the loss of what they left behind. "So what's it like? Is it difficult?"

"Becoming an angel? Easy as falling. You step into the light and wait for them to change you, but, errr, try not to flap your arms too much. You might mess up the process." The cherubim looked sadly down at his stubby arms and legs.

"I'll try to remember.... who is that?" She stared. Someone was descending the escalator in the opposite direction.

The person was alone. He was gorgeous. He had hair the colour of autumn, and he stood with a casual air of command. When they got close enough, he glanced in her direction. Their eyes met; his were the blue of swirling galaxies and sweet, stolen dreams. He smiled. For a second she forgot where she was.

Their paths crossed...then separated. She glanced over her shoulder, but he didn't look back. Clouds swept over him, and he disappeared.

"That was Today," the cherubim supplied. "Right on schedule. We only have a small window of opportunity for the exchange when the last clock hits midnight. That's why we had to hurry."

"He seems different," she said wistfully.

Her keeper chuckled. "Oh, yeah. Higher ups chose a soldier this time. They predicted a pretty rough day - that's why they wanted someone with military experience. Pretty angel there will probably be a seraphim when he graduates."

And perhaps she will get to see him. She nodded, then found herself asking, "Is he nice?"

The cherubim sent her a shrewd look, and gave a knowing smile. "Yes, he is. Today is one of the nicer ones."

Leaving Earth didn't seem so bad now. Puffballs of clouds swallowed them up, and she heard faint whirring and dinging sounds. They were nearing their destination.

And then her friend broke the silence with another chuckle. His voice echoed through the clouds as he added, "Now, Tomorrow? Tomorrow is a real *****."
Prompt: Blank Slate

 
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D4yz

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Prompt: Ashes

Prompt: Empty Beds

Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow

Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You

Prompt: Another Open Door

Prompt: All's Fine

Prompt: Ending Madness

Prompt: Words Not Said

Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper

Prompt: Blank Slate

This isn't what I wanted, but it's feeling like it's to late.

"You don't even look like you care."

An yet I still remember that "Fufu Bear" shirt you wore on our first date.

Laying in bed smiling at you when I was awake.

I can remember every time you screamed at me like,

"Did you realize you're 2 mintutes late?

Who was she, whats her name? Was it atleast a nice date?"

Still fresh in my mind is every time you called me a name.

How you'd wait it out, and act like everythings still the same.

And at the end of it all I'm feeling heavy with blame.

"All I ask you for is family time, quit playing that game."

"Alright fine, give me a description of, 'Family Time.' "

"It's a picture perfect day, I don't think high standards is a crime."

But that's fine, I understand. I think we were both wrong.

All the same, it's about time that we move along.

Might be for the best, whatever I don't care...

There was good, there was bad.. Still gonna cry.. When you're not there.
 

wallacethepig

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Woot, I've written all 10 prompts! Yay!

@Insidious Mental Pollution: Wow, I really like how you tied all your stories together. You also did a great job of describing things in your first prompt.

@Alkorri: You used a limerick, that's awesome. Also, I found Yesterday's Keeper to be quite cute. I really liked reading both of yours.

@D4yz: Great poem! That was a pretty good description of a break up.

Good job, everyone! :D

-Wallace
 
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Alkorri

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@wallace - Thanks! :) I swear I'll get around to feedback after Life untangles me.

Edit: Dayum, you finished all of yours already ;)
 
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Woot, I've written all 10 prompts! Yay!

@Insidious Mental Pollution: Wow, I really like how you tied all your stories together. You also did a great job of describing things in your first prompt.

@Alkorri: You used a limerick, that's awesome. Also, I found Yesterday's Keeper to be quite cute. I really liked reading both of yours.

@D4yz: Great poem! That was a pretty good description of a break up.

Good job, everyone! :D

-Wallace
Thanks much!  I'm seriously out of practice with creative writing, and have been working on little bits and pieces to get back into the mode.  Aiming to get more done this weekend if at all possible.
 

DuncanS

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First time for everything, I guess ^^.

Prompt: Ashes

 Of the things I remember most about that old house, the one that sticks out in my mind is the way the tree in the front yard bent way down, as if to grab you and sweep you off your feet in its lofty branches. There was that old, run-down Chevy in the back, propped up on cinder blocks and scrap metal from the junkyard not two miles away, and we used to pretend that we were rich business men or movie stars, turning the steering wheel, our legs still too short to reach the pedals.
That old house is ashes now, scattered here and there by the midsummer winds and a blaze so fierce the whole volunteer fire department and their heavy hoses struggled for hours to put it out. They built a little corner-store on top of where the house had been, cut down that great, sweeping tree, and that old Chevy? It ended up in the junkyard not two miles away... but even now I can close my eyes and see that old house, door wide open as if to say, “Welcome home.” 
Prompt: Empty Beds

Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow
“Congratulations, students, on your acceptance into the Hillsview Collegiate Preparatory School for the Moderately Intelligent! You are here not because you are the best or the brightest, but because you are conveniently located within the catchment area of our fine school. It is likely that most of you here today will not succeed. That is not to say that you will fail, but simply that it is unlikely that you would be here now were you not so lacking in the qualities that define success. I look out over your bright, young faces – bright due mainly to the glow of your cellphone screens – and I see a bleak, dreary future. Do not despair! This bleak future is the culmination of centuries of toil and perseverance, all so that you could be alive today and have the power to choose to be average! This choice is a brave one. In the face of such mind-numbing tedium and mediocrity, many would have opted to be excellent! But all of you bravely spat in the face of excellence, firmly rooting yourself in bland, monotonous existences, and for that I salute you. So go forth, all you sons and daughters of conformity, and be as tired, unoriginal, and middle-of-the-road as you can!”
Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You

Prompt: Another Open Door
Prompt: All's Fine
Prompt: Ending Madness
Prompt: Words Not Said
Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper
Prompt: Blank Slate
Hopefully I'll have more ideas for the other prompts soon :S
 

Ksi

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Prompt: Ashes


Prompt: Empty Beds


Prompt: Hallways of Tomorrow


Prompt: Where the Sky Takes You


Prompt: Another Open Door


Prompt: All's Fine


Prompt: Ending Madness


Prompt: Words Not Said


Prompt: Yesterday's Keeper


Prompt: Blank Slate

 
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m4uesviecr

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Some seriously awesome posts thus far! Plan on going back through and leaving some feedback/comments!  A lot of great stuff! I probably won't get much done, haha.

Prompt: Ashes

1967. 3 A.M. Tuesday Morning. The last time we saw you; Skin sagging, hair grayed, eyes sunken. A true embodiment of death. Now, we are tasked with coating the ocean in your memories. Watch you land in the froth, only to be tossed, turned, and led to its murky depths.

As if years of pain can be laid to waste through the churning of violent waters.

I stepped forward, closer to the cliff's edge, peering down. Eliza buried her hand into the clay vase, filling her knuckles with harsh words and broken bones. 

She clenched them tightly, grinding them beneath her fingers and into her palm, before allowing the wind to knock them down into the jagged rocks below.

I followed suit, the wind scraping the residue from my hand one grain at a time.

Soon the vase stood empty, a darkness we had known since our first breath.

A darkness that has been condemned to the darkest depths of the sea.

We can live. Finally, we can live.
 
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Alkorri

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Finally got around to reading everyone's entries!

@wallacethepig - Wow you finished yours already! And you had quite a lot of passionate texts. Words Not Said and Blank Slate were riveting. There's something about your stories that always disturbs the reader and keeps them on their toes. All's Fine and Another Open Door were cute too.

My main niggle is I find it hard to believe that your protagonist in Blank Slate would have such a calm conversation with a serial killer, but you probably had your reasons. Come to think of it that whole story had a surreal quality which was probably what you were aiming for! I also found it hard to read some of your entries without paragraph breaks, especially the dialogue. Other than that, congratulations! :)

@blsilva - Empty Beds: Pretty good for something written after six years! I love the immediacy of the writing and that feeling of you being there as a man's life unravels.

@Insidious Mental Pollution - I know yours is all WIP but I'm intrigued by what I read so far. I also love the imagery of your prose too: "Loud booms periodically called out over the winds, the death cries of the massive obsidian-like pyramid that gradually sank, huge sections splintering away into freefall" and "the transparent walls revealing stars without number". Definitely want moar.

@D4yz - Blank Slate: Poetry is not my strong suit but very minor punctuation issues aside, this is a nice one. Favourite line: Still fresh in my mind is every time you called me a name. How you'd wait it out, and act like everythings still the same.

@DuncasS - I like how effortless the writing was in Ashes, which is technically difficult to do! The punchline was also perfect for me. Hallways of Tomorrow was sheer genius. I laughed my tush off. Glad you didn't "spit in the face of excellence" ;)

@m4uesviecr - Ashes: This piece is absolutely beautiful. The entire text communicates layers of pain through your choice of words like clenched, knocked, scraping, condemned, and so on. The last line really knocks it out of the park for me by staying true to the theme, too. Bravo! Favourite line: Eliza buried her hand into the clay vase, filling her knuckles with harsh words and broken bones. 
Awesome work, guys!
 
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m4uesviecr

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Finally got around to writing some comments!

@Wallace: I was surprised at the amount of material you came up with for all ten prompts! I thoroughly enjoyed "Where the Sky Takes You". It kind of reflects an experience being what you make of it (or that's kind of what I got out of it). Watterson faced his fears and found a lifelong partner! 

@blsilva: That's a good post for someone who hasn't written creatively in six years! Very emotional post! 

@Insidious: Upon my initial reading of each post, I had no idea how they correlated to their headings. The thing is, the main theme of each post is important, but is merely a small fragment that makes up an even bigger picture. Loved how you connected your stories, yet connected with each main theme for topics.

@Alkorri: Absolutely LOVED Yesterday's Keeper. Even now, I have to re-read it to get an idea for the underlying meaning but... I can't explain it with words (some writer), but it was creative, and well-thought. My favorite post thus far!

@D4yz: Awsome poem. I never think of the mental state someone endures whenever they have gone through a harsh breakup. I like how you submitted it under the "Blank Slate" topic/header.

@DuncanS: You had two very well written posts. I enjoy Ashes - It doesn't feel like I'm reading, but rather I am experiencing someone's thoughts as they think it. Hallways of Tomorrow is hilarious! Definitely loved the spin you threw in there!
 

Alkorri

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@Alkorri: Absolutely LOVED Yesterday's Keeper. Even now, I have to re-read it to get an idea for the underlying meaning but... I can't explain it with words (some writer), but it was creative, and well-thought. My favorite post thus far!
Thank you! You made my day, and as I commented earlier, I enjoyed your piece Ashes too :)
 

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I just did one of them.  And I don't know how to add spoiler tabs.

Ashes

There was a loud explosion outside.  "Who got killed?"  Kyra said.  "It was Raymod!"  Balun said, as they aproach the still burning wreckage.  "You know who did this!"  Kyra said, as she looked over at someone else. 

"We all know who did this...,"  Julias said. 

"Wait a minute.  Is there something you two are not telling me?"  Balun said. 

"Ashes still burns, and he wants revenge,"  Kyra said. 

"We have to find it, and end this.  So I put it to a vote," 

"I've lived too long to be afraid now,"  Kyra said in a soothing voice. 

"Though I don't know the what we're going after.  I stand with you Kyra,"  Balun said. 

"The the three of us will go and find Ashes and put and end to his mysterious power.  And put an end to the conflict," Julias said with determination. 

The heroes quickly gathered their weapons and what supplies they could carry and set out on a journey to find Ashes.
 
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Ksi

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Spoiler tags are in the OP... under the list and prompts.
 

Ksi

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goes in front of what you want to hide, then
goes after what you want to hide. It's very easy. There's even a shortcut for them in the mini-text menu thing.

Highlight the piece you want to hide, hit the Special BBCode button (the third one) and choose Spoiler. Viola~
 

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