To have your challenge entry recorded, please write your piece as a reply to this thread.
As a central theme of Consistency is the existence of time — ensuring that you are writing on a timely and daily basis — the theme of this month’s prompts will also be about time.
Today's prompt: [Until]
Definition: up to the point in time or the event mentioned.
╰┈➤ Write a piece inspired by this concept.
Word Count: Minimum 150 words, no maximum.
When the cold wind embraces
(Thanks to Jyll for the idea)
[Word coin: 450]
Reuthern never bothered about anything regarding human life. He was nothing but a soul made with magic, capable of thoughts, feelings, although sympathy nor empathy being one. He never had to worry about such trivial things as he only followed his summoner around. A fair lady who yearns for nothing but her lover's strange sickness to be cured.
Amongst the snowy mountains, the storm raging on, she never stopped, as Reuthern acted as a protector, from dangers brought by other life, or if it was the deadly instruments of nature making melody. She traveled everywhere, just to find a way to treat him, or at least that's what he thought.
Having had conjured an ice spirit, the ritual had to be done where the temperature was low, where one could freeze to death. The lady laid the now lifeless body of her lover down. "From the beginning I know he was meant to die." She kneeled. "But, as a gift," She turned to him. "I grant you the gift of being human." A magic circle glowed all around them, as the woman held the hand of Reuthern and her lover, joinining them together.
Reuthern's magic that protected her was broken by his now mortal form, as the freezing, deadly cold immediately hit her body. "It has been a pleasure, but now, I would like to join my beloved." A faint smile was all he could see as he blinked, feeling strange all around. He still retains his power, not affected by the harsh environment at all. He was kneeled down, beside her, slowly processing all that had happened when it hit him.
The sheer shock this feeling brought was enough to have him grip his chest, as he felt it sinking, weighting what feels like hundreds of thousands of gold. But no rich nor wealth can ever equal to the value of life, especially a life you had shared with someone so...so kind. Someone so loving, so caring about all things, someone so forgiving, he saw how everyone else treated her because of him.
Reuthern couldn't help but feel tears form in his eyes, and even so the years immediately froze, causing some pain as he held them closed.
He felt nothing else but the chilly whisper and the cold embrace of the wind, as he, now human, felt and knew grief as the first human emotion he ever felt. No sensation felt so soothing yet painful until now.
He walked up to the huge, bright blue laced tree with flowers in hand, protected by his magic to keep them from freezing. As it turns out, she had kept a very special seed within her before they had left for this final trip.
He smiled warmly, his now blue skin, due to his magic, made him stand out from all the other people of the village that had found comfort under the gigantic tree, ever growing as long as the cold wind blows.
I wait for you as the cherry blossoms bloom, then make rotten wreaths under my feet.
I have waited for you in the same place, counting the specks of mold that grow by the bench I rest on, it's nearly gone now.
As a robot, humans were never understandable, always so emotional, toiling for goals that would only last so long as they lived, selfishly buying time for themselves in exchange for taking away others'.
You weren't like that.
I watched as you built me up from my rusted cave back into something useful, helpful, intelligible. There was barely any energy in my battery when you booted me up again.
And so I helped you, watering the plants was not that big of a task, in fact, I've kept them all perfectly healthy while you were gone.
How long does it take for a human to buy some lunch?
I remember the wrinkles on your face last I saw you, a sign of age. Humans are odd. The batch of harvest that you've touched has withered away, but the soil is still prim and proper like you wanted it.
Everything is as it was, the garden, the bench, and maybe even the cherry blossoms will bloom like normal. I promise I'll continue to carry on my duty, as a robot, and as, in your words, a friend, until you return.
When will you return?
There must’ve been something she missed in her classes back in college or misread in the mountains of books she buried her nose in during her youth - she wonders if she kept every single one of them to read and find the point she’s missing, because she’s studied enough human psychology and physiology to earn her degree and doctorate but Mobius has yet to understand what Elysia finds so special about the view of the sun rising above the city on an early morning. It bewilders her to know how such a mundane activity could bring a smile to her coworker’s face and figuring out the reasons behind it is more exercise to her brain than deconstructing and reconstructing the human nervous system with her bare hands.
Mobius likes to think her attention and focus is reserved for work but it’s hard to ignore Elysia’s presence when their office is small enough for two people and the only window in the room is right in front of her work table. The color of her hair doesn’t make her easier to ignore as it’s dyed the brightest pink in the market, as well as the coffee mug she likes to wave around all morning even when it starts to collect dust and leave coffee stains on her desk. Elysia must’ve mixed a perfect set of red and white dyes to create a color so eye-catching and captivating, it distracts even Mobius, whose eyes have never taken off her table during work.
Every time Elysia stares outside their office’s window, she’s smiling up to her eyes. Mobius could only wonder what happens behind the glass - if a bird hit an electrical post or jumped across buildings in leaps instead of flying with its wings, or if a cloud had formed the shape of a cat wandering the sky unaware of a stampede of dogs tailing its back. It takes her what feels like millenniums before she realizes she’s staring at the city under pink clouds in a blue filter through her eyes. A thought always invades her mind within those moments. “How beautiful,” and, “That must be why,” but she finds it as a joke she can’t be bothered to say out loud. Until Mobius finds a good reason to spare a minute or two to ask Elysia the questions that always bugged her in quiet mornings shared by two, she’ll sit quietly behind piles of books, stealing glances at the woman who doesn’t hide behind papers to stare at the sky, but at least she has an idea of what might be the answer she always looked for (or so she hoped).
It wasn’t until today that I realized that we were more than halfway done with Consistency:tm:. For sixteen twenty-four hour periods already, we (un)lucky contestants had been agonizing over what the meaning of time was, and how to spew out a couple hundred words in the small time frame. Not everything was a masterpiece, but hey, as long as it was done, it was okay. It was all going to be fine. We were spared, and we could live on until tomorrow.
We’re more than halfway done with Consistency, August Edition. In just another thirteen (or fourteen? My math isn’t good) days, we will be done with these daily writing challenges. And how will it turn out? Will we be completely burnt-out, lying dead on our beds, never to write again? Or will we have actually built a consistent habit of writing every day (which was the true intention of this challenge, believe it or not)?
I suppose only time will tell. Until then, we carry on (or consist on? Is that a thing?).
Word count: 222 🎻
This poem (ooh, switching it up with poetry!) can be read without this knowledge, but technically it is inspired by part of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (aka Dai Gyakuten Saiban), so if you’re still playing them you might find SPOILERS in here. You’ve been warned! I waved reluctant farewell from the boat-
No, not farewell; until next time.
Ten years of separation.
Letters sent back and forth
Could never be enough compared to your joyful laughter
Your music, my dancing.
We didn’t get to see each other’s kids grow up,
though mine takes after you, and yours after me.
We speak to them in pseudonyms, hypotheticals, secrets…
…your brilliant mind and legacy reduced (by necessity) to “partner”.
Until we meet again, partner, I will hold out for one last dance.
Until then, partner, I will continue to speak of you.
Continue to share your genius.
And maybe one day, when we meet again,
we won’t be the only partners dancing.
There is one my son speaks of as I did of you —
I daresay with even more affection and passion —
and he sounds like a pure-hearted man.
I pray they can extend the meaning of “partner” beyond our platonic and sea-separated boundaries
and blossom into something unique.
Just as we did.
Partner, remain safe.
I may be an ocean away, but you have a child now.
Look after Ayame. Iris.
You hide your fear of death well, but I fear I must remind you:
You are not immortal.
Be safe, be wise
And until we meet again, partner,
May the music carry on.
Cold. The ground is so cold, even for the later autumn season. The impact of the fall has left Flora winded and disoriented, and he struggles to even make sense of what he's seeing right now, let alone get up. It's this ... mess of colors, and he's hearing sounds (what else *would* he hear?) but he can't at all tell what they mean, and ... And it hurts. Something ... hurts. Burns. His arm. He's too panicked to focus on that, though, too worried about staying alive that he can't account for anything other than the fact that he is still breathing. He's still ... breathing. That's ... good. That's good. Right? ... Is he? “My, my! You're ... you're alive!” Flora's vision focuses enough to recognize the figure above him: Clover. The one that knocked him down. The one that tried to kill him, and very well could have succeeded. Flora doesn't know how he's alive and, judging from the slight, split second falter in their voice, neither does Clover. “I see ...! How unforeseen ... how *exciting!”* Oh, no. Clover doesn't acknowledge whatsoever that even if Flora survived the magic attack, he still got floored by essentially nothing. Instead, they almost seem to rejoice over the fact that they need to put in more effort to take him out, however minimal that effort may end up being in the long run. “Wonderful, just wonderful! A duel, we'll have for rivals' clash; prepare, lest it may be your last!” Clover throws his arms out and spins, elated, and it's as if the very wind around them bends and turns to his will. “When Luna does her rounds times three, I expect you here in wait for me! Oh, what a sight I'm soon to see, the surefire demise of thee ...” Flora doesn't have any idea WHAT he's talking about, only looking on with confusion and fear as Clover tips his hat and escapes into the night. “Until then, Flora! I **will** be waiting.”
Everything was perfect. The engagement was well on the way, the family was finally happy. And I? I didn't really pay it much mind. It wasn’t up to me. I have my duties and I was willing to see them through.
So why– why did you have to crash back into my life like that? Showing up unannounced; disorientating me from everything right. Why did I have to go out that night? Why did I have to run into you of all people in the world?
Why couldn’t you have stayed away like we agreed? Like we had.
All of a sudden everything that had gone so perfectly until now came crashing down on me like an avalanche, drowning me in memories long buried and gone. All at once, I find myself second-guessing everything; staying up late into the night thinking about everything…
And at the centre strage of all my misery and doubt. You.
Do you like that? Making me feel like a hopeless fool? It’s a game to you, isn’t it? Building me up and then watching me fall– God, why do you hurt me like this?
With your sweet smile and mundane “Congratulations!”. We both know you didn’t mean it… How could you when I was the love of your life?
Does it hurt? Watching me commit to someone else? Does it keep you up at night with all the maybes and could have beens like it does me…? Was your life perfect until you saw me too?
Or is it all just a stupid game to you?
To think we could’ve had it all. To think it could be you…
How much I wished I hadn’t gone out that night. How much I wished I never saw you again– maybe then I’d be able to say my vows and mean them without having to imagine it’s you in front of me.
(I had this book idea when I was ten, but I never wrote it. This prompt inspired me to write the ending to it if it did play out!) :) Ruby Phillips had become the ruler of the Dreamverse in just two weeks. It’d been the most eventful two weeks of her life: Ruby had woken up in another world, the Dreamverse, talked to a satyr (William), found out she had a tattoo on her foot, and that it meant she was heir to the throne. She then stopped the evil elves, who came from a small but populated planet, from taking over Dreamverse and employing their evil ways.
And all that at the age of twelve.
She wondered if the tattoo of the rose would still be there when she woke up back on Earth.
Clothes on her back, check. Well, nothing else was needed — she didn’t really have much here in the Dreamverse, aside from her new friends and responsibilities. A few outfits, but she’d leave them here: they wouldn’t exactly fit in outside of this fantasy world.
They were outside, because she’d woken up outside, so why not retrace her steps and lie on the grass hill to try waking up on Earth? Ruby knew she was going back today; she found herself becoming sleepy to the verge of almost passing out, which is exactly as she felt before waking up in the Dreamverse.
“I suppose this is where we part ways,” Noah said. He’d become Ruby’s best friend after their archery practice together. He was the type of guy who’d wrestle King Elf if it came to protecting the kingdom — which he had to do a lot for me while I was oblivious of the Dreamverse.
Will’s eyes watered. He was her BFF, for sure. The first friend she ever made in this world.
Looking at both of them, satyr and boy, she wanted to stay. She knew the elves were trapped in their own world (for now anyway), and that Noah would protect the Dreamverse if it came to it, but even if this world didn’t need her, she needed her friends there.
At the same time, she missed Earth. Her parents were there, and so was Emily, her Earth BFF. And her bed.
If only she could be in both worlds at once….
Will pulled her into a hug, and then Noah did too. “I’ll miss you guys,” she told them, whispering so she wouldn’t cry.
“We’ll miss you too,” Noah said. She thought Will was probably too teary to speak. “But,” he added, “we won’t have to for long.”
“What do you mean?” she asked. Will seemed just as unaware of his meaning, one of his eyebrows lifted.
Noah pulled something out of his satchel: a necklace with a rose pendant. “This will grant you the ability to travel freely between Earth and the Dreamscape,” he explained. “All you have to do is hold it and think about the Dreamscape — whatever place here you imagine, that’s where you’ll travel.”
“Oh, that’s so great! So I can visit you anytime!”
“And me,” Will said, “don’t forget about visiting me.”
“Of course not.” She smiled. “I’m sure you’ll be the first one to see me again. You’re the only one who walks these hills.”
“You can wake up in another place,” Noah reminded her, but she just shrugged at that. This hill was now her waking point, and that was that, no matter how silly.
Ruby realised, though, how the necklace’s powers would cause problems. Whenever she wore jewellery, she would fiddle with it, and so she’d probably hold the charm a lot. And then the charm would remind her of the Dreamscape, and she’d
think about it, and she’d wind up accidentally teleporting.
But for now, she wouldn’t think about that.
“I’ll see you both soon,” she told them.
Will grinned at her, no longer teary (the necklace had fixed that). “See you soon.”
Noah just gave a nod, but he smiled, too.
Until next time, she thought.
As soon as she fell back on the grass, she fell asleep.
“Until we meet again” is such a funny thing to say to someone you know you’re never seeing again.
I’ve never been too much of a fan of afterlives or things that are supposed to happen to our “souls” after we die, but I have to say I really want to see my good boy in Heaven when he passes on. He’s very old and I don’t want to see him suffering, so I wrote him a little letter in advance so the grieving Gummy from whenever in the future can feel a little better when the time comes.
I’m fully aware you are a dog and cannot read English. Also, by the time I read this letter, you will be dead, so it’s not like you could read it if you didn’t. Consider this letter your eulogy, if you want to call it that. Except you’re a dog, and all you want is treats and cuddles. Either way, I’m very grateful for your unconditional love so far. I can’t say I’ve been the perfect owner. I’ve made mistakes from Day 1 all the way through today, but I really appreciate how you always make noise and dance whenever I enter your room. It’s always made me feel like someone feels happy to see me for once, and it’s really refreshing. I’m really going to miss this feeling once you’re gone.
I’ve always been the kind of guy to wallow over his mistakes for a little too long, but I haven’t forgotten about that time a couple months ago when I left you outside and forgot about it until late in the evening. You were cold and sleepy, and you didn’t want to receive cuddles, eat your food, or drink any water. I felt so guilty that night, I didn’t sleep. Then there was the time your front tooth fell. I remember you cried a lot that day… it must have been really painful. I’m sorry I was so pushy in both of these situations. It must have been aggravating at the very least when I’m sure all you wanted was some space and a good night’s sleep. While I’m at it, I’m sorry for dragging you out of the living room when all you want is a serving of that precious human food we’re always keeping from you. I promise you it’s always been for your own good, for whatever that’s worth right now.
It’s funny how Mom would always rag on and on about “tough love” when it comes to owning a dog, and how I’d openly refuse that way of thinking because you don’t know what’s going on and can’t reason as to why these types of decisions will matter in the long run. I’ve always cared about your happiness in the present, and I realize that was a very selfish decision for me to make considering how it sometimes ended up bad in the long run. I know apologies don’t mean much at this point, but I had to get this out of my chest somehow.
It’s painful to think about how my life will be without you, Pepper. I’ll never forget the pawprint you left on my life for so many years since you’ve stepped inside it. Mom told me that when dogs die, their souls are placed in front of the Pearly Gates and tasked with waiting for their owners until they come back. I can’t say I fully believe this idea, but it’s something I’d love to be true regardless. So until we meet then, in front of the Pearly Gates, I’ll hope you wait for me.
Together until our last breathes had always meant we were supposed to go out together, you know. The two of us, side by side, partners in crime for the rest of our lives. But as I stand here before your family and our friends, I wonder if the idea of forever was just a childhood dream. Until we meet again was — is — treated as a ‘see you later’, but now I’ll never see you again. I’d never understood why you were so insistent that I speak at your funeral. Yet you never agreed to speak at mine if it came to it. It didn’t make much sense to me. Now, I suppose it does.
I believe I’m meant to talk about how wonderful a friend you are, and while that’s true, I can’t help but be so inexplicably angry with you. You knew, for so long, that you would leave this Earth before I. You filled my head with false hopes that we’d stay here together until we were both ready to leave. Now, however, you’ve been lowered into the ground and I stand six feet above you, simply wondering what could have been.
Until we meet again. The words ricochet in my mind constantly these days. They haunt me. It’s as though I can see that tiny smile on your face when the words fell from your lips every time I close my eyes. But now, I see the pain too. The exhaustion that made you appear weak, frail even. Your smile didn’t meet your eyes which were glazed over in disinterest. But I hadn’t noticed. It never occurred to me that you’d given up, and maybe this was your goodbye.
You’ll always be my partner in crime. Until I see you again, and to many more mischievous adventures in the afterlife. Rest easy until I come for you.
Word Count: 721 words A sort of sequel to my Day 8 (Twilight) entry. CW: Few mentions of blood and several of fire. But all minor.
The hallways have blended into each other, cracked mauve walls into crimson carpets and thick, acrid smoke. Deinna tries to think, but she can only breathe.
Pain surges up her feet as the grazes on her skin continue to bleed. Her throat is dry, but she presses on.
His grip on her wrist remains strong.
"Andorias, I order you to—"
"You're not ordering anyone," he says, voice low. Deinna can't see his eyes and it frustrates her to no end. "Not anymore."
"I…" Even as her feet stumble to catch up, she continues to pull back, trying in vain to escape Andorias's grip on her wrist. "I'm still—"
"They destroyed the crown, did you not see?" he continued and Deinna hates how he sounds so calm, so collected, how can he be so— "You weren't crowned Queen, Deinna."
"I…" Andorias stops them at the corner of the castle, in the shadow of the pillars leading to the Queen's garden. Away from the smoldering throne rooms, the burning flags, the screaming, and the blood on nightstone walls. Letting go of her wrist, his hands find their way to her shoulders. Deinna doesn't meet his eyes. "But I… I can still be a princess."
"I won't run away."
"Do you want to die?"
Her voice hitches and she grabs his cape, tries to punch through his armor with a trembling fist. "My duty—"
"Do you really want to?"
She hates how she can't speak, hates the shaking of her knees. She remembers the surge of utter relief the moment he arrived in the throne room, and she curses herself for her cowardice; for the terror that wrenched her soul at the sight of gold-sleeked armor, ice spears, and cold, burning eyes.
She loathes that it's his mere presence, dragging her away from the ruined throne, that returned her ability to think and breathe.
He holds her cheek and lowers his head to face her directly. "Deinna, the Minister is gone. Your sisters, the King, the Queen—they're gone. The city is ruined."
Her voice is breaking and, in an attempt to fight back a sob, she can only murmur. "I know that already. You don't have to—"
His voice softens. "The scepter was destroyed." In the trembling of his hand on her skin she feels true remorse. "House Eigenricht holds no more power over the throne. Deinna—"