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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: [Lifetime]
Definition: the duration of a person's life.
╰┈➤ Write a piece inspired by this concept.
Word Count: Minimum 250 words, no maximum.
If I were given the choice, the only lifetime I would want to relive is the one where we get a happy ending.
We would meet by a drink stall, you'd be ordering your favorite coffee. It'd always be something sweet. Sometimes, you'd get whatever bestseller pastry there was, and either find your next favorite food, or your most hated one.
I'd take you out to a bridge, one of bark or one of steel. The view would be beautiful; this time I'll hold you closer, so that the edge doesn't take you under.
Then we'll go sightsee Hayer's Hill, or whatever name it'll be then. Winter's proven the best time, the bears would be in hibernation then, the wasps deep within their nests.
I'd kneel before you in front of your parents, if they like me enough to be there, when I'm not the town's cursed, and you the bewitched damsel. I hope you'll say yes without having to worry.
We'd marry before the sunrise, with no prying eyes of shining pitchforks or angry villagers and a quivering priest. Our children wouldn't have to face such prejudice.
I don't want us to run, or live in fear of being caught, yet, I don't want to be happy without you in the collage of my lifetime.
Your life and mine remain intertwined throughout the web of our reincarnations, so I'll settle for being with you for as long as I can, before you're pulled away from me. Before I'm a stranger again. Before I have to fall in love.
Lifetime. It doesn’t mean anything to me and I hate it. You have one life, one lifetime to spend and you should spend it wisely, they said. It’s supposed to give purpose in one’s life. Why hasn’t it happened to me yet. Why do I feel like I have no purpose whatsoever. I am living life, following the flow of things, but for some reason I never dare to step outside of that flow. I feel as though I give just as much as I take. I don’t want to live in that balance. I want to give more. I want to leave something behind. Yet, lifetime is not enough motivation for me.
I stare outside the window of my room. Should I be more afraid of death? Something needs to change. If I want to leave something behind, I should start now. I am running out of time.
I am running out of time.
I get up from my chair and start walking circles in my room. I rummage through cabinets I pass with frantic hand movements. I don’t know what I am looking for, but there must be something I can use to change the flow of things.
Did I actually just get up from my chair, because I felt like running out of time?!
Lifetime means something! I jump in the air. It just gave me motivation to get up! And... I want to leave something behind... That’s my purpose! I give my teddy bear a hug and start cleaning my room.
Word Count: 257 LOVE LETTER
21 August of 1835.
My dear Emily,
We’ll have a lifetime to laugh and cry. And there’s no one in this whole wide world, I would rather have by my side, than you. Promise me that after every fight, a kiss. After every mistake, forgiveness. After every hurtful remark, an apology. After every bend, a clear road.
We taught each other happiness, and together we learned about love. How love is a well protected candle, and passion is a burst of flames easily drowned. We learned how love is choosing someone with our eyes wide open. Knowing their imperfections and choosing them nevertheless. To love someone else is to put them before yourself. And you’re my number one.
I love you from the times you open the car door for me, down to when you buy my favorite chips. From the big, to the small, I know deep in my heart how much you love me.
And if you’ll accept me, I wish to have a lifetime to prove the same to you. So on this day I ask:
Will you marry me?
I hope you do.
If your answer is yes, meet me by the fountain in the market square at midday tomorrow. No one will suspect your trip there. I have horses on the other side of the city and we’ll ride away to Hyrgetton where we’ll have protection. There, we won’t have to hide who we are…
Bring only the necessary.
Burn this letter, lest it fall on the wrong hands.
Some days be real rough, this be one of em for sure.
Tell me, little flower
could we ever be more than this?
Does my love stand a chance
against the forces of time
and the eternal abyss?
I want to hold you,
but I can’t have you.
I want to love you,
but I can’t lose you.
Your lifetime isn’t like mine.
One day, I know
I’ll have to carry on without you.
But I don’t think I can go.
Life without you
would be walking through an eternal fire.
Living without you
wouldn’t be living at all.
I know that one lifetime
I know that how I want you
isn’t for a while.
I hate you for what you did to me;
breathing me to life.
Filling the void of my vacant heart
with just a simple touch.
I hate you for being someone I cannot resist,
but how could I?
When I’ve spent countless lifetimes
deprived of any love.
I love you so much I hate you.
You make me feel alive
and I hate it.
But I crave it.
You don’t even know
the hurt you cause me,
So stuck inside theories and stories
that you can’t even notice.
I’d sell my soul for your affection
trade all I own for your smile.
I’d give you every piece of my broken heart,
to hold you for a lifetime.
It’s wishful thinking, I know.
To ever think that we could last.
But sometimes dreams are all we have.
All we’ll ever own.
For I could love you
for a lifetime.
But could you love me
even for a while?
One lifetime ago, you asked me if we could go out and see the clouds. I said no, I was too busy, I would go with you next Sunday. But that Sunday I worked overtime, and I had broken my promise to you, one of the many promises that I broke, over and over and over again. And eventually, you stopped asking me for promises, and you went out to watch the clouds by yourself.
How could I have been so blind?
One lifetime ago, I was the happiest man in the world, with you as my daughter. One whole lifetime ago. I still remember it like yesterday, holding you in my arms.
I should have thrown down my work, my books, my papers, and I should have run outside to join you, flopping down on the damp grass, loosening my tie, and ask you which cloud in particular you were looking at now. I should have done so, I know that now. But I saw you looking at clouds by yourself, and I thought, "She's fine," and returned to my work. My never-ending work.
It's been a lifetime, and now you're gone, and I've found that I'm at the end of my days. Where did all the sunshine go? I thought I was still young...
But now my knees hurt when I get up, and I'm no longer comfortable in any position. I open my mouth to ask you to bring my a glass of water, only to realize that you're not there. I sit there for so long that I forget to turn on the lights when the sun sets, and can only ponder why my eyes are straining to see.
I get up to take a break, to looking at pictures on the mantle, only to realize that we never took that many together.
In another lifetime, let's watch clouds together. I promise.
Horus has lived for a very long time. It's something people don't often expect, which wasn't surprising. It was a very specific question to ask, and the topic of how long elves lived just ... never came up anyway. But it's been a lot, and he's seen a lot. Horus witnessed and lived through the Golden Era, the many movements both religious and scientific that swept the nations, the War on All Humanity, the list goes on. Centuries of events and timelines that Horus himself can attest to, and he has the very primary sources needed to prove it. And yet he never does. Why not, I wonder? A cough erupts from his throat, completely unexpected. Horus covers his mouth with a fist and leans forward on the nearest tree for support until it subsides, taken aback by how sudden the fit came on. Normally, he has a warning. That's just what happens as one moves forward in life, he supposes. Those who age slower simply take a very long time to age, and an even longer time to die. But they still do. They always do. And you never, ever expect it. Not at first, at least. Horus suspects that it will get easier to predict as time progresses. The wind cuts through the cool morning mist, and he feels a wave of nostalgia course through him, but it just doesn't invigorate him like it used to. Energy is shared throughout the universe, you see, and Horus doesn't need to take it anymore. He's at a point where he is perfectly content with giving back what he has and then leaving at peace with the universe. The sound of laughter makes its way to him, and Horus sees the watchtower in the immediate distance. He sees the rest of the rangers gathered around, talking, most definitely sharing jokes, as lively as he's ever seen them. It couldn't be more ironic. And he couldn't be happier. Horus is glad that they have each other. Maybe he's had enough adventure for one life, and is perfectly satisfied with the way things will be going in the very near future, but that isn't to say the grief won't strike the rest of them. And it isn't to say that he doesn't care, for he loves them all so dearly. But life moves on, and so, too, will it without him. And they'll have each other, won't they? They'll be okay. And that is enough. Horus looks up at the treetops, where the rising sun has just started to emerge over the distant mountain peaks, the rays dispersing and blessing everything they touch with light. It may not have reached all the land yet, but in due time, it will. And that is enough. He sighs before heading back to join what he could almost call a family. They might not be blood related, but in the grand scheme of things, it hardly matters. They're there for each other anyway. Always have been, always will be. And that is enough. Donovan is the first to notice him. They wave, with the smallest smile on their face, and Horus waves back with a smile of his own. “Hey, kid!” It's been a good life.
(I’ve got lots of good karma so this isn’t projecting but I love a reverse character arc)
As I enter Dollarama, noting the presence of someone behind me, I hold the door open for them. They don’t say thanks. In fact, I’ve only ever received a thanks once, and that was when I was eleven. Dad taught me my manners, said to always hold the door open, that I shouldn’t do things for thanks but instead to be helpful and kind.
So my entire lifetime, that’s what I’ve been. Always holding open doors. Telling the teacher a student never got handed the test. Helping my new neighbour move in.
Still, I would’ve liked a thanks. It’s all I ever ask for. Or for the people I walk by to say a greeting, but mine recently go unreturned.
Everything I do goes unreturned, it seems. Now that I think about it, no one’s ever done something randomly kind for me. Even if I dress up nice I don’t get compliments. I help carry in my roommate’s groceries but she never returns the favour.
Why do I bother? It’s not like good karma exists. Hell, do people exist anymore? It’s been so long since I talked to anyone. I see them but it’s like they’re just video game NPCs. (Yes, as an older person I play video games.)
If I’m going to put in an effort to be kind, there needs to be a good reason, I think. The old “being kind for the sake of being kind” isn’t enough anymore.
It used to be when people deserved it.
Maybe they still do. But I’m going to need proof.
I’m not doing anything nice until someone does something nice for me, and that’s that.
So the next day, as I buy my groceries and I leave the store, I don’t hold it open for the person behind me. And as I see my neighbour enter their house and then their car starts rolling down their driveway because they didn’t put it in park, I don’t do shit about it. ‘Cause why should I? Not my responsibility!
For over half my lifetime I fooled myself into thinking I’m the main character, the hero, but I’ve wisened up over this lifetime. Ignorance may be bliss, but man, watching the door shut on someone’s face amuses me more than it should. (I’m blameless for it! They should’ve known I’m just a meaningless NPC like everyone else and took the door into their own hands. Their face is their responsibility.)
This is true bliss.
"Did you know?" Steph asked, presumably to break the awkward silence. She poured a generous amount of iced tea into a red mug and slid the whole thing across the table to me. Once I'd safely slipped my hand through the handle, she continued. "When a company says you won a lifetime's supply of something, like in a raffle or sweepstakes or whatever, you don't actually get enough of that product to last you a lifetime."
"I can imagine," I told her. I took a sip from the mug, and my eyes widened as the sugary goodness tickled my taste buds. As I detached my lips from the rim of the mug, I told Steph, "Damn, this is good. What brand is this?"
"Lipton," she answered. She flashed me a triumphant smile and poured herself her own mug. "You sound like this is your first time trying iced tea."
"It's not, but I can just never get the ratio right. It's always either too sweet or too watery," I explained. "Even if you had a lifetime's supply of pizza in your pantry right now, I'm pretty sure their shelf life would be much less than yours."
Steph gave me an annoyed squint. "Pretty sure, you say? I sure hope that'd be the case. Either way, most of the time, you don't even get a single instance of the product. They calculate how much you'd need to pay for the product if you paid for it regularly for the rest of your life on average and pay you that much."
"In cash?" I asked, raising the mug to my lips once again. "That actually sounds pretty cool. You could buy a house or a car with that, assuming it's something you'd burn through often."
Steph placed her mug back on the table and made a point of closing her eyes and dabbing her napkin against her lips to pick up stray drops of iced tea. After she'd put the napkin down and opened her eyes, she looked at me with uninterested eyes and sighed. "I wish."
"What do you mean?"
"They pay you in Visa Gift Cards."
My eyes widened. "You're joking."
Steph shook her head.
"Huh," I said. I raised my mug up to my mouth, completely oblivious to how little iced tea remained inside. I ended up taking a whole sip of nothing, much to my embarrassment.
Steph looked over her mug at me, her squinted eyes meeting mine. She placed her mug down on the table and glanced towards the pitcher for a split-second before turning back to meet my eyes and asking, "Refill?"
TW: Allusions to Death (no actual Death.) Tracing the engraved letters on the stone, you sigh. You weren’t particularly sure how long you’d been sitting here just staring at it. None of this seemed real. You were meant to have a lifetime to love her — them. Fingers slipping against the uneven lettering, your hand moves to the scratched off date. Pieces of the gravestone litter the ground before it where the date had been purposefully chipped away until it was illegible.
The name, however, was as clear as day.
Your name stared back at you. It had a grip on your lungs and drained you of air the longer you looked. Apart from the deliberate damage, the gravestone was in pristine condition. The elements had yet to weather it down; they hadn’t destroyed it beyond recognition yet.
There should’ve been a lifetime before you to learn to love yourself as you were. But that opportunity was dead and buried. How were you meant to love someone like you? It would take far longer than a lifetime to achieve an impossible feat like that. Eternity, perhaps.
A lifetime is meant to be the duration of your life, but what happens when it feels like your life is already over. What happens when part of you is gone and buried six feet under.
Moving your hand to trace your name again, you look back to the destroyed date. Of course there wasn’t a date. Even you weren’t really sure when this part of you had been lost. Maybe you had a lifetime to figure that one out. A lifetime to fix the damage that you’ve wrought upon yourself that brought you to this point in time to begin with. A lifetime to fix yourself. After all, it would take that long.
Word Count: 430 words
something short 'cause I have class right after posting this lol cw: implied death (but only in the past life and very vague)
She only wanted her House to rise again. They only wanted justice for her family—for her great grandmother pulled by force into this country only to be ignored by the King for generations. The Ducal House of Angelis deserved much more than this kingdom ever offered.
Flames licked the thinning air around Minerva as she gasped, feet stumbling over each other. Hands reached for her as she stepped past the manor gardens and towards the gate. She pushed past, scratching, shouting—
Why did this happen?
"Lady Angelis is over here!"
Out of the gate, she turned steeply, away from the road that caked dirt into the gashes on her bare feet, and into the forest. Branches scratched her cheek and pierced her arms as she barreled past bushes and low trees.
How could you?
You lied to me.
Sharp, dull betrayal weighed on her chest and hampered her every step. Her breath caught as tears stung the cut on her lip.
A coup d'etat was never what I desired.
Her feet found the road on the other side.
Noise, piercing her ears.
She looked to her right. A carriage.
Yet bright lights blinded her—
—it there, I promise!"
"We miss you."
Who are these people?
Where is this?
"Ma'am, please be patient."
"I have an appointment!"
"Wait, miss, you don't have to walk to—"
A glaring horn.
"—over there, the captain will—"
"And Lord Irvin?"
"Still at the manor. We have to get the Lady—"
A hazy fog engulfed her mind. Rope blinded her wrists as hands guided her forward.
She couldn't see anything in front of her.
"Most likely shocked."
The ringing flittered still at her ears, grinding and scratching at her mind.
"Oh, damn, she's crying."
"Don't look at me! We weren't trained to comfort noble ladies."
My family was waiting for me. But I…
And as she let the soldiers seat her on the carriage, she could only stare—at the stars masked by smoke and wispy clouds and into the world that, in just a few seconds, now screamed foreign and strange.
Hollow, lost, confused, she drifted. The carriage shook as it headed towards the castle.
Salty tears dropped from her cheeks, caught by her bleeding hands folded on her lap. Lady Minerva mourned for the fall of her family, but—
The soul of a woman within her wept for the life she lost and could never return to.
One lifetime with you would not be enough. It would not be enough to shower you with all my love and adoration, show you the world, go on all the adventures we wanted to. One lifetime with you would be just the beginning. I want all my lifetimes to be intertwined with yours, our souls linked eternally. You are my one true friend, love, confidant. Even if we are not married in another lifetime, not having you in my life would leave an emptiness in me. That lifetime would be incomplete without you. How would I fill the void of your absence. Just thinking about a lifetime without you is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine not feeling your presence in my life without feeling a piece of me break. So I don't imagine it. I wish on every falling star that our destinies are forever interlinked, in this and every lifetime. I pray to every God known to man, despite not being religious. But for you, I would even go against my beliefs. If it would keep you a part of all my lifetimes, I would fight destiny itself. My love for you consumes me. And you love me just the same, I can tell. Your whispered words at night, promises to always stay with me. Your prayers and wishes, wanting to be with me always, no matter what. We are meant to be. I promised all my lifetimes to you when we got married just you did the same and I will hold true to that promise. We are forever. Lifetimes cannot change that.