Writing Group: But You Gave Your Word…

Hello everyone!

Another week looms, and with it… feels. Mountains of feels. Oodles, even. And based on the phrasing of the prompt the community chose this week, not all of the particularly good. So, prime your lacrimal ducts, because…

This week’s prompt is:

 

But You Gave Your Word…

 

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

 

This one doesn’t bear too much analysis, I don’t think. “You Gave your word”. Clearly, this week is going to be about promises.

Remember, though: promises aren’t all explicit. Some are implied, extracted, extrapolated. It isn’t always “I will always love you.” Sometimes it’s the simple act of buying a car together, owning a home together, bringing a new life into the world together.

We can make promises without words.

If there’s one particular part of this prompt very much worth picking at, it’s that one operative word, “But”. That means this isn’t just about a promise, but about a promise, implicit or explicit, broken.

So, everybody ready their heart wrenches. We’ve got some work to do.

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!

 

Rules and Guidelines

We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!

  • English only.
  • Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
  • One submission per participant.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
  • Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
  • Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
  • No more than 350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
  • Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
  • Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
  • Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
  • Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
  • Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
  • No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
  • Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
  • No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
  • You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
  • Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
92 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leila Baez
Leila Baez
7 months ago

The Cave
By: Leilastical

Promises. Made to her throughout her life. Broken promises. She was alone and watching the sunset within some cave in the mountainside above the shimmering lights of the strange but affluent city, Monte Carlo.

Strange was a funny word. Strange suggested something was out of the ordinary, unexpected, or unique. For her, this was life. She tried to run away but the farther she ran the more it caught up with her. A boisterous father with a self-invested mother who left her with her uncle and grandmother. The familial promise of providence and nurture by one’s parents, abandoned before she could crawl. The ones who raised her. Their promises of being united, together, and most of all tranparent, torn to shreds by the non-discriminatory claws of death, the dark secrecy revealed in the aftermath.

She was alone until she had entered a place of calling. A vocation to occupy her mind until she returned home to fight those demons. She met the one who became a friend then lover, promising a world to her. One where families would never sink in politics, no secret would be kept, everyone would live long, fulfilling lives, and resposibilities to each other would come before oneself. The years progressed, each chain link of his words become rusted, brittle. With the weakest of changing winds the bonds disintegrated and withered. Dust.

She was alone with nothing but a list of broken promises and a life barely lived. She wiped her swollen eyes and reddened, tear-stained cheeks with her frail fist which refused to fully close. The pain of the past and torment of the unknown future beating her to this breaking point.

There was no more time to cry, wallow, reminisce, wish for a world of promises kept. Instead she laid down, watched the sunset fading below the horizon leaving an inky indigo sky, no stars tonight. Her eyelids of lead closed and a final whisper escaped before she entered that realm of rest.

The one coming for her would enter to see her, the cave echoing that last avow, “But you gave your word.”

Onye Okoro
7 months ago

Self-Talk
By Onye Okoro (ig onyeookoro1)

He stepped out of his dorm room and locked it. He had on his raglan shirt, black sweatpants, beat-up black and gray Nike running shoes, and his black backpack. He had worn that outfit everyday so that he wouldn’t waste time finding new clothes to wear.
He walked down the dorm halls and out the doors toward the main library half a mile away. “I can do this,” he thought to himself. “I’m gonna finish the assignment today. I can and will do it.”
He entered the library and was instantly annoyed by the sight he saw. Hundreds of people were already there. They crowded the cubicles, the study group areas, the snack bar and even the walk ways, but what annoyed him even more was how incredibly loud it was. “Aren’t libraries usually silent?” he mumbled to himself.
He walked through the aisles of the library looking for a quiet spot to work, dodging chatty tables, stepping over charging cords. After ten minutes he began to wonder if he could even find any spot to work. His spirits were waning, but he finally found a free desk beside a group of students playing chess. “Finally!” he exclaimed in his head.
He sat at the desk, opened up his backpack, got out his laptop and opened up the assignment. Immediately, his stomach growled and he thought about what he’d eat heading back to his dorm. “Maybe I’ll get some Taco Bell, but hold on, I haven’t eaten Zaxby’s in a while-!” he was spiraling.
He began thinking about how easy and satisfying it would be to get something to eat instead of doing the assignment, and those thoughts would only be interrupted by the Chess match beside him. “Dude! You can’t move that there!” one of the guys spectating proclaimed. Instantly, it became the loudest chess match he’d ever heard.
He tried to focus on the assignment, but each task took more time for him to contemplate leaving the library. He wanted to escape the noise, and the struggle for his attention. So, he did.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
7 months ago

When a Rabbit Flies by Jesse Fisher

“It was not fair.” A young gray doe flopped on her bed.

The young rodent was in a mood, a disappointed annoyed mood that only a child could pull off. The flannel and jean wearing child muddle about her grievances with the world at the moment.

“She said that she would take me flying after I did all my chores.” The girl crossed her arms to hold in the frustration inside her eight year old body. “Mom said it was okay so long as we do it while it was still daylight, but then dad had to remember something only She could do. This means it will be until sundown until she gets back.”

Her long ears were tugged on as she was having a meltdown, after going to school then coming home dealing with siblings and then homework. She was ready to fly, but NO her dad had to say something and this was the result.

“Just once,” She said hopping onto her feet and pacing. “I want something to be mine, even if it’s just a moment to get some quiet time from this place.”

Once the words came from her mouth the emotions changed. What came to her ears harmed her on a level that shocked her.

Sinking down to the floor she brought her knees up to chest and laid her chin on them.

“I sound like one of those bullies at school,” A sigh left her. “Mine, Mine, Mine. I might have over blown this just a bit.”

A tapping on the window broke her from the beginnings of an introspection, slowly getting up she moved to open the window.

“Hey,” an older girl called in to her. “So it turns out I did the trick after lunch and your dad forgot about it, so that means…”

There was not much to say as a squee was heard as the young rabbit ran out to meet the other girl.

The wolf-dragoness stretched her wings getting ready for flight. As the doe rounded the corner she heard.

“I gave my word.”

ClockFacePart23
ClockFacePart23
7 months ago

Goodnight
By: ClockFace

I watched Koming’s slow breath as the embers burned their last heat. The pore thing. His illness never seemed to let up. At least in sleep the pain dissipates.

A sigh escaped me, and I leaned into the tree, how would a thin twig like Koming stop the old magic? Only time and the universe knew the answer.

Fissure hadn’t come back from “scouting” yet. I didn’t trust that lizard, no matter what Koming claimed. He seemed like a crook, and I personally disliked crooks.

A twig snapped off to my left and in a second I had my crossbow in hand and an arrow notched. “Who’s there?”

“Loyal, it’s me!” a voice called back. Fissure stepped into the fading firelight. “It’s just me.”

I glowered at him, lowering my weapon. “If you do that again, you will be shot.”

He laughed slightly. “Noted. How is Koming?”

“He’s asleep for now. But he’s not doing too well.” I sat down placing the crossbow in my lap.

He wandered his way towards the glowing embers that was our fire. I guess he wasn’t much of a criminal, he couldn’t keep quiet. He sat down next to me. “We’ll cure him, I just know it!” He turned to me, softening. “You have beautiful eyes.”

Was he trying to flirt? By the way he was looking at me I’d say he was. Not a good thing. “I don’t think—”

But I was rudely interrupted by a kiss! He had lunged and kissed me!

I pushed him off, shoving the crossbow in his face and jumped to my feet. “Why did you—how could…” I didn’t even have words.

“I’m sorry, Loyal, I just… you’re so…”

“Your leaving,” I picked up his bag and tossed it to him. “I don’t want you… messing everything up!”

“Loyal, you can’t—”

My hands shook as I bundled up his bedding, tossing that to him as well. “I thought you were better than this. If only for Koming!”

He looked hurt, but only for a moment. “Fine then. Goodnight.” And he left.

MrMataNui
MrMataNui
7 months ago

Betrayal, by MrMataNui

I don’t know how many days I’ve been here. I never bothered to count past 370. All I know is that it’s Mick’s fault I’m here.

He says that he can’t kill me due to his new company’s protocol, but he’d been acting sketchy after he changed jobs. His new place is supposedly really fancy, but I ain’t buyin’ it. For one, he never talks about what it is or why he had the gall to leave our guild. Whenever I asked him about his new job, he’d just change the subject. One day, I tried to ask why he left our guild, I guess that was the last straw. He gave the usual non-committal answers he always gives, left, and I was soon knocked unconscious and dragged off by what I assume are goons from the new company.

When I awoke, I was here in this … wherever this place is. All I know is that every day I somehow wake up at the exact same time no matter when I either go to sleep or get knocked out. It’s like I’ve been living the same day on repeat. It seems that no matter what I do each day, no-one else seems to remember it the next day. Whatever this place is, I’ll find my way out.

My only guess is that Mick dropped me here just to drive me insane in here, but it’s not going to work. Mick should know that I’m made out of stronger stuff than that. He should know, since I’ve taught him everything he knows.

After I break myself out of here, I’ll be sure to pay back all of the pain that he’d caused because of this.

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
7 months ago

Title: Scaled Heart
By: TwangyFlame0

He stared at his pinkie as the girl drifted into sleep. “Forever” he had promised. He walked over the desk covered in letters of correspondence between the two. They were all childish, filled with jokes only they would understand. He picked up one of her letters; childish fantasies danced across it. They should hold no sway over his plans. But they do. It did not matter that his scaled heart was covered in the blood of innocents. Even his dark hands would tremble at such dissolution.

Yet it was the only way. She was the last surviving offspring of the emperor and her death would allow him and his allies all the power they needed to do as they pleased. He could finally have his revenge against his accursed brother and all his little pawns. Yet here he was, needing to scream but left with no mouth to do so.

Silence provided no solace as he stood in the girl’s room. Outwardly, one might say the killer was in silent contemplation, but a book is always more than its cover. His pact of betrayal, alliance, and spite were battling with something that had been growing in secret. Some smothered flame that he had thought long stamped out. The killer let out a gasp of surprise when he realized what this long lost flame was, as his mind’s eye hadn’t graced in so very long.

But as the flame burned through his mind, building up sweat across his furrowed brow, he was caked in blackness. He moved effortlessly towards the girl, a cushion in hand. There was almost a voice from the flame, commanding him to do something but the killer couldn’t hear it. He strained his pointed ears but not even he could hear it. He couldn’t hear it over the sounds of muffled cries.

He looked away and recoiled as if he was ready to give up his blacken crusade. But in the end, he sat by the bed, pulling his cowl over his head, hoping that he could simply die as well.

Carrie
Carrie
7 months ago

“Recovery” by Carrie

“Mom, I thought—”

“I know honey, but something’s come up and we have to stay here for the entire summer—”

“But you promised only four weeks, and then we could go home!”

“I know, and I’m sorry,” Mom gave me a kiss on the forehead, “but look on the bright side! It’s more time with your cousins and aunt who love you!”

“If you mean bore me with unicorn ‘facts’ and refuse to use anything electric, yeah, they totally love me.”

“Oh, honey. Here, Aunt Jacqueline is making another pie, once it’s done it’ll help you feel better,” she giggled as she left my room.

I threw my book into the wall with a thud and flopped on my borrowed bed with a moan.

“Is she gone?” Keko climbed out from his hiding place and onto my foot. “Oh, good. What was that about?”

I felt hot tears in my eyes. “I’m not going back home for another month. I’m stuck here and I can’t go home and see my friends for another month, and then it’s school.”

“This ‘school’ you keep mentioning sounds…” Keko cleaned his batlike ears, “sad.”

“It is. And I…” I wiped my eyes, “I want to go home. I miss my friends.”

Keko jumped up to my shoulder. “Tell me about your friends.”

So I did. I told my new creature friend about my friends from school, about how much we hung out together, about the plans we’d made for the end of July, and about that time we were in the mall when some random guy showed up thinking we were…

And I couldn’t stop laughing. That story made no sense and it was still funny after two entire years.

“See? You are not sad anymore,” Keko smiled with two rows of teeth.

“Oh, wow, you’re right,” I said, shocked. “I don’t.”

“As payment, I demand a slice of pie.”

I giggled. “Whatever you say, strange forest creature.” I hid him in the hood of my jacket and walked out of the room.

Daniel Wilson
Daniel Wilson
7 months ago

Broken by Betrayal
By Daniel Wilson

April 3rd, 2008

“It was but three months ago when father was released. Two since he promised he would never steal again. Strange to think that he was taken away only four days ago. The blank stare he had given me, so unsettling when coupled with the wild grin he wore, was burned into my mind, turning the days into years. He told me then, ‘I didn’t break my promise.’ He didn’t break his promise, but he broke our trust, our happiness. Mother is paid less than minimum wage, and sister is not old enough to work. They rely on me now. I’ve left school to work in a machine shop full time. I’ve almost lost a finger far too often – I keep seeing his face, I keep hearing him plead guilty. He didn’t break a promise, he did something far worse. To take away someone’s chance of a future, to make them suffer as they wait for death, before finally, finally, you end their suffering – even a boy from the slums understands the horror and wrongfulness of such an act. My father is a criminal and a psychopath.” So am I, I thought. “He’s made me and my family suffer.” So have I, I thought. “He murdered somebody, betrayed many, and did things so despicable that it pains me to think of them.” So have I, I thought. My eyes started to water. “That’s who my father was.”

They stopped the recording, and I burst into tears. I knew my father wasn’t a good man, I knew that even if he wasn’t caught, he would put our family through hell. That’s why I went to The Effect of Evil, a podcast company. I asked them how much they would give me for a story. We agreed on 15%. My next stop was the police station, where I reported what my father had done. I did it to provide for my family, but I ended up taking so much from them. Despite his plea of guilt, my father got the death sentence.

Jarjaross
Jarjaross
7 months ago

Terms of Service
By T. A. Andrewson

“Terms of service may be subject to change without notice.”

That single line at the end of the terms of service would prove to be more hassle than it was worth. His sister, the lawyer, told him never to agree at any terms of service with this line. But they were always too long to read.

It shouldn’t matter though, the tech corps were reasonable right. Or so he thought, until he tried to access a ‘premium’ feature’ (he wanted some data crunched for so he could prove to his boss he was underpaid) on a ‘sub-premium’ device. It popped up with a special message.

“This is a premium feature, your device does not have permission to access this feature. Are you sure you want to perform this action? This will violate your terms of service.”

That was fine they were giving him some warning and he could still do it at least. He clicked accept. Then received his first of many denial of action messages.

“Unable to proceed. Action Violates terms of service.”

So he couldn’t access high end data crunching on the device maybe he could work around it.

“Unable to proceed. Action violates terms of service.”

Okay if he couldn’t access something on the data-stream maybe he could use the in built analysis features.

“Unable to proceed. Action violates terms of service.”

It was as if the all of the features which would allow him to analyze the wage information were completely locked. But he knew of a work around. The dead zones. The areas with no wifi connection, there the device wouldn’t be able to check the wifi for changes in the terms of service. All he needed was the data on a hard storage system.

It worked, it really did work, he had the information he needed to get a raise.

But once he was back on the network he received a very special, very unfortunate message.

“Device found to be in violation of the terms of service you agreed to. Performing remote shut down.”

Matthew(Handsome Johanson)
Matthew(Handsome Johanson)
7 months ago

A Prompt A Day Keeps The Devil Away, by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Getting started as a writer is hard under the best of conditions, and I certainly didn’t have any luck. I had been trying for months to get a publisher to read my works with little success. I decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands.

After some study at the Arcane University in Newcastle, I prepped my apartment for a summoning ritual. Five candles adorned the tips of a pentagram on the floor. After I followed the instructions, the room began to shine a bright red.

“WHO DARES SUMMON ASMODEUS THE GREAT DEMON SULTAN?” shouted a deep voice as a dark shadow began to articulate in front of me.

“I, Marius, have summoned you for a bargain.” I confidently belted out. Asmodeus examined me as if determining my worth.

“Well,” he said in a sly tone, “what exactly do you want?”

“I want to have great talent in writing. In exchange, I offer you my soul.” The demon looked pensive for a bit then turned to face me.

“I accept.” he said as he disappeared behind the veil of reality.

Confident that my ability must have improved, I immediately began to type away on my keyboard. Ideas flowed freely as I filled the page with elegant phrases. When I finished, I sat back and examined my work.

It wasn’t any better than before…

Angrily, I reformed the summoning circle and called Asmodeus to our realm again.

“WHO DA-“ I interrupted him immediately.

“You cheated me! You promised me great talent, but I haven’t improved at all!” Out of breath, I waited for his response.

As Asmodeus materialized, I noticed he was pointing towards my closet. I opened the door and saw it full of creative writing prompt books.

“Skill cannot merely be granted by preternatural magic.” He explained calmly.

“You must work for your skill. That is why I have signed you up for my creative writing course. There are 50 prompt books in there. You must complete a prompt a day, or I will come back and drag you straight into a fiery torture chamber.”

AvraKehdavra
AvraKehdavra
7 months ago

“The Journey’s End” by AvraKehdavra

Three men stood over the object, subjugated by dark looks and grim demeanors. One of the men, the largest, was encrusted by plates of scaly armor adorning the blood from a recent battle. His enormous axe glowing a menacing red with bound magic.

The next man stood erect a head shorter than the previous, a hood cloaking his features but not hiding the fire welling in his fierce eyes. He groped a tomahawk in each hand. There was still blood dripping from the blades and teeth stuck to his metal knuckles.

The third man was different, he lacked the serious disposition of his comrades, or his so-called comrades. They had ventured forth through many trials to reach this place and this artifact. Bravely they sought out and destroyed anything to stand in their path, and though it had been long, neither man had come out the same as they had gone in.

“This weapon of power is too great for any man to handle, it must be sealed in a place where no mortal hand shall ever touch it again.” He recited their mission, as they had done countless times to bring their goal back into sight during the cloudiest and most troubled times on their journey, “for the world may pay the price if we don’t.”

The two men eyed him. Murder and betrayal in their eyes. The third took a step back, “we set off to destroy this! Not to become a part of the madness.” The two men had not needed to say a thing to their pleading ally. He had seen them prepare to attack, and now his brothers were going to do the same to him.

“This evil corrupts you! Don’t fall-” He was cut short to the man’s axe between his eyes. They turned to look at the evil artifact, now as much a part of it as it was a part of them.

PitL
PitL
7 months ago

The Trial
PitL

“Silas Izevvi Sirhe, you stand before this tribunal accused of war crimes. You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you plead?”

The room is wreathed in moonlight, the glow diffused by glass panels above, studded with cobalt shards. In the back, a man stands, guards surrounding him. “I did what I thought best, m’lord,” he says. “Not Guilty.”

A gaunt woman from the far side of the room calls out. “Abát, get him out of here while we discuss.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

One of the guards moves, grabbing Silas’s arm and tugging him out of the room through a side hallway. They walk for awhile, before the guard stops, staring down one of the passages.

“You going to stage a breakout, Etan? It’d be very appreciated about now, I can assure you.”

The guard whirls around, eyes piercing even in the dim light of the hallway. “How dare you?” He asks. “After what happened? No. No. You don’t get to ask things of me… not after that. My debts are paid, Silas.” He turns back, facing the wall. “All you had to do was bring him in. We had won. It was over.”

Silas’s mouth twists into a grimace. “Over, Etan? Really? Do you really believe that?” He asks. “Don’t you remember what happened right before? The massacre at Séighn? The highfire that’s still burning in the South Mountains? Gods Above, man, my fa-” he stumbles, but continues – “put whole cities to the torch! Tens of thousands died! It was my duty!”

“And now millions may die because of what you’ve done.” Etan begins walking down the hallway again, prison cells now in sight. “You think the Coalition isn’t going to notice that we killed the government? If we had had a trial, we would have been safe! It would’ve been a simple affair! The people rebelling against a corrupt government!” He stops to catch his breath. “Drop the self-righteous act, Silas. I know you too well. I remember what your father did.”

Silas deflates, head hung over. “He killed them, you know,” he says. “Ysshe. Hsigri. Maré.”

Etan pulls out his keys, opening a cell beside them. “I know.”

“He couldn’t keep doing that. I promised her. Our halcyon days, remember?”

“I know, Silas, I know.”

Will
Will
7 months ago

A world of words
By Will

There are those that live in a world made of pages, a world of words that line everything and give it some discernible form but there are those in that world who are known as the voiceless, hollow stumps stuck in place with no words from which to act on. They are sad and empty with little to no form, barely existing at all. I pity them, I find them, flipping through the pages to find the spaces between the words and when I do I provide them a kindness they often can’t repay but I don’t mind, I never mind, they provide us with stories untold and as more stories are added to that world, our horizons expand beyond what was previously thought possible.

This kindness is a voice, I gave them my words, they gave me their thanks as I watch them come to life with ink and lead filling their spaces and creating strange wonders with colours and forms forged from words that I myself had not taught them. All they needed was a voice to set themselves free, but every now and then I find amidst the nothing, those few voiceless that are almost content as such. I say almost because I give them my words, they give many back but keep a select few. They may not have any note worthy form and may lack the necessary words with which to shape the world but instead act as its guides.

They keep the verbs and the adverbs and silently exist in the background, whilst others add more and more to that world they keep it turning round. From a world, a universe is formed and more and more from there, creating new things with nouns and adjectives being built upon verbs. I gave them my words, they gave me their thanks, I gave them the world, they gave me one back.

Madelyn
Madelyn
7 months ago

“The First Meeting”
By Madelyn

“But you gave your word!” Jason stood in front of his parents’ car.

“Cassandra, this is a big opportunity for us,” Jason’s mother explained. “A promotion means we can have a bit more comfort.”

“But it’s open house!”

“Just tell us about your teachers when it’s over.” Jason’s dad waved as the car drove away. “Slán!”

Jason stared after the car. “Great.” He looked at his new high school and struggled to put his curly hair into a ponytail. “Alright, you got this, J…Cas.”

Most of the teachers seemed nice. They could barely understand his thick accent, but they barely said anything about it. It was for this reason that Jason kept his English teacher for last.

He stepped into the classroom and saw a man that looked considerably younger than his parents. He was looking down at some papers when he asked, “Are you one of my students?”

Jason froze, but snapped out of it long enough to say, “Y…Yes. I’m Cassandra Hall. You’re Mr. Poe, yeah?”

Mr. Poe froze, then looked up at Jason. “Is that Irish? Your accent.”

“Yep. Not much of an Irish person if you go by stereotypes.” Jason saw that this was a road to small talk and directed the conversation to what would end the visit sooner. “So, class. What should I expect?”

“Right.” Mr. Poe moved some papers around and pulled out one. “Aside from what I’m required to teach, I plan on preparing students for college. This syllabus will help you with the class.”

When Mr. Poe handed it to Jason, the latter looked at it. “Thanks.”

He was about to say his farewell when Mr. Poe asked a question, “Do your parents speak the Irish language?”

“My dad used to teach it before moving to America. He’d probably be thrilled to teach someone again.”

“Well, my number’s on the syllabus. If he has other things to worry about, at least use it if you have any questions about the assignments.”

“You have my word.”

Jason left the classroom and felt better about the new school.

R J Chapman
R J Chapman
7 months ago

*I would like to remove myself from being selected to be read this week…please see comment below for further explanation*

“Revolution” by R J Chapman

‘I am no hero, ladies and gentlemen. Nor am I your saviour. I am one of you. The only difference is that I am willing to fight against oppression and tyranny. How much longer can we let the crimes of this despot continue to destroy our way of life? How much longer will we tolerate his abuses of power? How many more innocent lives will waste away under this villain?’

There was murmuring within the crowd.

‘We are little more than slaves. We are shackled with the illusion of choice. That choice… that choice is no choice at all! It is a choice of servitude or starvation. Is this how you wish to live? Do you want to live your lives crawling in the shadows, where you wilt and whither in the gloom until your weak bodies succumb to the toils of exploitation? Or will you walk into the sunlight? It can be blinding! But it is life, ladies and gentlemen! It is growth! It is freedom!’

The crowd erupted. He waited until it settled before continuing.

‘It is your choice! Our freedom will not be given to us. It is no one’s to give. It belongs to us. And we… we must take it! We must fight!’

The crowd exploded.

‘I am but one man. I will not ask you to fight for me. Fight for yourselves! Fight for your children! Fight for a life worth living! WILL YOU FIGHT?’

The roar of acceptance was deafening.

The frame froze.

He stared at his younger self on the screen; an idealistic young fool spouting clichéd rhetoric. The plebs had lapped it up like a suckling babe.

The gunfire had stopped. The Palace was overrun with unwashed, ungrateful insurgents.

He stared at his reflection in the floor length mirror. He looked so stately in his dress uniform. Glancing back at the television, he seethed at the sight of the boy on it. The screen shattered into glass shards. Checking the chamber of his revolver, he discovered he had five bullets left. He smirked. Four rebels would be leaving with him.

GJFuller
GJFuller
7 months ago

Where We Left Off
By Giovanna J. Fuller

She was exhausted. The day felt like it had gone on longer than it should have. Lexi could feel every muscle in her legs cry out for rest as she climbed out of her car. The young woman hobbled up to her front door like an old man.

The faces of everyone who came in on her six hour shift were a blur, pardoning two stellar examples of humanity. Evidently, it was her fault that the store ran out of a sale item the day of the big game. After all, isn’t a cashier’s job to order products for the store? It was perfectly within their right to loudly berate her like a misbehaving child.

‘I’m too young for hip replacements,’ she thought sardonically to herself. She placed her key in the lock and smiled wearily as she slowly opened the door. ‘Finally.’

A woman’s loud moan followed by the sound of breaking glass resounded through the house. Lexi froze. She knew that voice. Silently, as if any creak would be the end, she slipped into the house and tiptoed down the hall to the living room.

And there it was.

“David!”

Her husband turned around to face her. The betrayal evident on his face. “Lex, I-.”

“How could you?”

“I can explain!”

“How could you do this to me? To us?”

He scrambled up from the couch, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t wait for you-.”

“So you did this?” She gestured to the scene. She buried her face in her hands. She began sobbing. “How could you? How could you?” She muttered repeatedly.

David winced as his wife broke down into hysterics. He put his arms around her shaking form. “Lex, I’m sorry.”

“I trusted you,” her tone was bitter.

“I know.”

She kept crying.

David rubbed her back, soothing her. He led her over to the couch and they sat down. “We can start again.” He kissed her cheek. “Is that ok?”

She nodded sullenly and curled up next to him.

He took the remote and went back to where they had both left off.

Dukkifluff
7 months ago

Happy Birthday
~by DukkiFluff~

I smile at myself in the mirror, admiring my red dress. Satisfied with my look, I walk downstairs, ready to show myself off to my parents.

Mom looks up from her laptop as I descend. She gasps, smiling widely, “Honey, you look amazing!”

“Is it supposed to be that short?” Dad asks, raising a brow.

“Dad! It’s past my knees!” I laugh.

He chuckles, walking over and hugging me, “Just kidding. You look beautiful.” He kisses my forehead.

Mom joins us, holding out a pure black shoe box, “Here, honey. We got these for you.”

“Happy birthday, sweetheart.” Dad adds.

I take the box excitedly, opening it to a pair of glittering silver pumps. Light reflects off of them, dancing over my parents smiling faces.

“Thank you! They’re gorgeous!” I gasp, hugging them both.

“Well don’t just stare at them!” Mom pushes, “Put them on!”

I slip them on carefully, then walk across the room and back. Mom claps, and Dad nods approvingly.

I check the clock as I pull on my sheer shoulder-wrap, “I’m going to wait outside.”

“Have a good night at prom, sweetie.” Mom kisses my cheek.

“Home by eleven.” Dad chimes, handing me my purse.

I nod, and head outside.

I wait at the curb in front of my house, scanning the street impatiently. I am out here a little early. Of course he wouldn’t be here yet.

I check my phone. Five past seven. Maybe he’s running a little late.

Ten past. Still no sign.

Twenty past. Car trouble maybe?

Forty minutes past. Biting my lip, I text him, “Waiting outside. Where are you?”

“Already here with Lindsey.” he answers.

“But we’re dating.”

“So?”

“You promised! Why would you go with another girl?”

“Get over it. It’s not like you’re anything special. Dumping you anyway.”

My lip quivers and hot tears spill down my cheeks. I sink to the ground, sitting on the curb and hugging my knees to my chest. Burying my face in my arms, I’m wracked with quiet sobs.

I hear the door, and Dad’s slippers hurrying across the pavement.