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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: [Daytime]
Definition: the time of the day between sunrise and sunset.
╰┈➤ Write a piece that happens at this time.
Word Count: Minimum 250 words, no maximum.
Another day as your eyes flutter lightly, feeling heavy as a soft sigh escapes your lips. Before you could even process the fact you are awake, you are immediately hit by the huge yarn ball of a mess called your mind, several things all loading in at once and you fail to understand what's going on. Another day where as you open your phone, there are no notifications. No good mornings, no good nights, nothing. As if you cared about them anyway. As if you weren't fully aware that you would never get them anymore.
You find it hard getting off of bed, as it feels like you're tied down onto it. Like the yarn from your mind began to surround you and keep you stuck to the bed, for some reason. You struggle between staying awake, and falling back to blissful slumber, you feel as if you're just...there. Just, existing. Just...just. Several memories flash your mind, nothing new, it's the same, old good and bad memories, you don't know why you even remember them. They don't matter anymore.
The sun shines brightly through your curtains, reaching through your pitch black mind as you suddenly sit up, somehow feeling alive, all of a sudden.
Right as you felt like things were going to get better from there you are met with what feels like several blazing arrows raining down on you, right on your chest. You have no idea why it hurts. But it hurts so much. And you feel horribly sad, as the same images replay in your mind. The sound of their voice. The way they messaged. The way you felt love for them.
The numbness takes over you like a blanket suddenly covering you on a cold, rainy night, caving into the warm comfort this emptiness provided.
I am nurtured by the light. Each and every ray of sunlight is absorbed, and sifted through.
My rakes climb through the ocean of water. Waves and currents shook me off my path, directed me to a pillar to which I could not feel an end in sight. So my tendrils climbed the pillar, higher and higher.
My rakes climb through the ocean of dirt. Animals and other plants shook me off my path, until I learned their behavior and made use of them. Nutrients given to me by animals hardened my exterior like bark, bark I climbed into the ocean of air.
My rakes climb through the ocean of air. There was no pillar in the sky. I became my own pillar. Turbulent currents shook my pillar, threatening to make it fall. Birds come and go, adding to the weight. I climbed and climbed; until I felt lighter, and my water was cold, but boiling.
My rakes reached beyond the ocean.
What had sprung me to climb such heights? I tried to remember my birthplace. A piece of ocean that, as I can see from above, extended into a cavern below. I was a seed stranded by the tides of the ocean.
It was here where I realized the futility of my actions. All my plants that extended into the world beyond withered and died. No currents or obstacles stood in my way; the absence of them stopped my climb.
I channeled my effort to spread out. Farther, wider.
My rakes climbed through the ocean of fate. Clung to a pillar where a day never ends, abandoned a pillar where a day never existed.
From the very top of my body, a flower sprung forth. I had carefully pumped that seed to this place, and nurtured it. If I could not pass the barrier, perhaps the flower will do so in the next lifetime.
Lofty below the clouds pass by
White streaks in broad daylight
air, water, mist
Word count: 312 ☀️
This is kind of a companion piece to the Nighttime prompt?? I reread it before writing this one, at least. I hope this is daytime-y enough -- this guy sees the sun maybe once a fortnight max :'D
Marches knocked on the back door.
Hm. No response.
They knew he was in there. He hadn’t gone home since their evening meetup. Had he seriously been working for all those hours?
“Ildor, I’m coming in.”
They opened the door to find Ildor intensely focussed on some clockwork mechanism they couldn’t pretend to understand. He was still wearing his coat from when they saw him around eight hours ago. The ticking clocks surrounding them were a little overwhelming, but they stayed strong for the moment. A wide-brimmed hat was gathering dust by the door – when was the last time he’d gone out during the day?
“Hey, Wiz…” they said, approaching him from the side. “Have you been working all this time?”
His head finally snapped up and he mumbled in slight confusion. Then he noticed Marches and beamed. “Ah! So good to see you, Jingles! Is everything well?”
They sighed. “With me, yes, but I’m wondering about you.”
“Whatever do you mean?”
They flicked at his coat, then gestured to the window where sunlight was shining into the room.
Ildor’s smile fell a little. “I… may have become distracted.”
“It’s not the first time,” Marches smiled sympathetically. “Shall we go out and enjoy the city on my day off? You look like you really need a change of scenery.”
“The sun is more my brother’s domain…” He thought for a moment, staring out the window – probably wondering if he could be bothered to stand in the light at all. Much like sounds for them, the feeling of sunshine was uncomfortable for Ildor. “...but you are right. I’ll come with you.”
“Great!” Marches bounced on the balls of their feet while Ildor stood up and traded his coat for his hat. “Let’s give you a proper break from the clock shop.”
Ildor chuckled a little, then walked out the door with them.
The dawn breaks out, its golden rays Rushing right through the clouds and air. It's effortless, the start of day, The commencing of what must be there. The sky is painted in soft hues Of blue and pink and violet shades. It's such a perfect, perfect view That only exists once, then fades. The air is cold, which I find odd; It's not on brand for where we are. I think and quite fast am distraught, For how could it have passed this far? The hours, I mean. The hours fly. I write and find too quick that sky Has, for a long time, well and died, Since fast enough, I cannot scribe. The noon, I guess I could call nice, But the heat is unforgiving. Where warmth is virtue, warmth is vice, And I can hardly handle living. It's hard to find the words To convey it's too much for me. My sight is fine, I'm reassured, But in this light, I barely see. But it'd be better than the darkness, It'd be better than the blight. It'd be better than the prospect Of an everlasting night. The hours still sail onward by. How else can I describe time Than a puzzle, challenge we always try, Than a capsule we are stuck inside. I notice it takes longer For the afternoon to expire. The day just passes slower At the segment I'm most tired. But soon enough, the waves of day Are slowly overtaken. Progressively, I watch it break Out of that brighter haze and I feel this sense of relief Almost as I did with the dawn. The eve is much more calming; To deny that would feel wrong. I find that I'm exhausted, That the tiredness can be brought in By things that shouldn't have me distraught, but when It's all you're ever taught, then You find in the mundane great fear, Avoiding all things different or strange. You guard the things you hold dear And are terrified of change. It's a hard behavior to expel, But it can somewhat ease. As the last of light starts to dispel, I'm aware that it's routine. Even as the stars start showing With the vanish of the light, The cycle of the hours Is an everlasting fight. So be it as it may, Let time march forward as it might, I'm perfectly content with this, For it will be alright. Long will live the day, And until then, long live the night.
“Looks like your daddy is just a little bit late today, eh?” The first grade teacher checked her watch as she stood outside the school building, holding onto the hand of the little boy. “Why don’t we wait together just a little longer? I’m sure he’ll be here any minute!”
She had to go home and cook dinner for her aging parents. There was a meeting she had to attend with the faculty, and she still had homework to grade.
The day had been a productive one, she had thought. She had watched over and taken care of all the children, taught them what needed to be taught (or almost all of it, of course there were distractions, but that was okay). The weather had been nice, and no one got hurt on the playground outside. Yes, everything had been fine. And now there was only this one child left behind that she had to take care of…
There was still a while before sundown. It would be good if his father arrived before that, so that she could continue on with whatever was left of her day…
Everything was important, but what was most important for her was to focus on what was before her right now, this child that was holding her hand, standing on the curb outside the school doors. Nothing was more important than this. Not her job, her family, her life. Not until this child’s father came to reclaim him.
A car pulled up in the near-empty parking lot, and a man got out and ran towards them, out of breath.
“I’m so sorry I’m late!” And with it all the excuses and apologies. She gave a tired smile and handed the child over to him, and waved goodbye until they were out of sight.
“Have a good day.”
(CW: minor cursing)
I’m glad I don’t have to lie in a coffin during the day. That’s what the vampires in the Sookie Stackhouse novels do, but of course, a lot of literature is wrong about vampires. In little ways. They all get the blood drinking right.
If I had to lie underground all day, it’d be terrible. Vampires like myself can’t sleep, so I’d be awake the entire time, waiting for the sun to sink. And the dirt…I shudder at the thought.
Luckily, I can just stay in my house throughout the day. Blinds, curtains, duct tape over the curtains, duct tape over the blinds. The fridge is full of blood bags. Television in the comfy living room. Books in the three-floor library.
Never do I have to leave my house during the day. I’m pretty free; no job at the moment, I restock on blood bags every few days, I have no friends.
Wow. Sad, lonely life.
I bet I could make a friend if I could tolerate sunlight…Being a night owl gets you access to clubbing, bars, late-night poker games, but not coffee dates or luncheons. And I am a big outdoors person, or at least I was before I turned. Visiting the parks, getting mesmerised by the vibrant colours of flowers, and of course trips to waterfalls and, annually, the Grand Canyon.
I can still see the parks and flowers and waterfalls and the Grand Canyon, too, but it’s just not the same without the sun.
Stupid sun of a bitch having to be so important….
Oh wow. It just occurs to me now, but what if the sun doesn’t actually burn vampires? I’ve avoided it so vehemently I never gave myself a chance to be burned by it, but maybe it doesn’t set vamps alight. Maybe it’s merely another myth.
But do I risk finding out?
Screw it, life isn’t life without day. I may regret this rash decision, hell, I probably will, but what’s to lose? Let’s not think about that too much, actually.
Now instead of just jumping out into the sun, let’s be rash responsibly. The best way to test it is the windows, and if I really am “allergic” to the sun, it’s best to find out in a non-life threatening manner.
I approach my smallest window, one across from the dining table, and put my back to the wall next to it. I’ve brought a fire extinguisher, which I hold in one hand, and with my other, I rip the duct tape and pull open the curtains.
My eyes are clenched tight, and I prepare for the burning feeling (if there is any way to prepare, that is), but none comes. As I reopen my eyes I see it’s because the blinds are shut and taped, too.
I rip it off and then toss the dusty tape onto the wood floors.
And then, pressing myself firmly to the wall, I use my to-maybe-be-sacrificed hand to twist open the blinds.
It’s warm. My hand is warm. Perhaps my pain receptors don’t realise I’m burning yet, but I feel the warmth, and I’m not fooled. Shit. No sunbathing for me. I don’t want to open my eyes to witness the curling flames engulf me, but I have to in order to use the fire extinguisher and hopefully save myself…
Oh! Oh that’s pleasant, I’m not on fire. I forgot what the sun felt like, but yes, it’s warm on my skin. I can go to the beach. I can get coffee and sit on the patio and watch the birds sing from their nests. I can read outside. (It’s not much fun at night when there’s no light; straining your undead eyes is bad, even if they can regenerate quicker than they can deteriorate.)
Well, now that the excitement is over, I can be mad at myself for not going out at day for sixty years.
Although I suppose it could’ve been much, much longer.
Anyhow, no more time that could be spent in the sun should be wasted. Perhaps I’ll try surfing again….
As the sun peeked through the clouds and cast a steady light on the bedroom, it was accompanied by the pitter patter of tiny feet.
“Momma! Is mornin’!” A little boy exclaimed as he leapt onto the bed, colliding with his mom and giggling. “Momma! Momma!”
“Benny… Please. Calm down.” His mother mumbled into the pillows. Benny shook her excitedly.
“Nuh uh. No calms! It’s time play!”
“Okay. Okay.” Rolling over, she sweeps him into her arms and stands without a moment’s notice. “Want pancakes for breakfast?”
“With choc chips?” Benny tilted his head up to peer up at her. “Please? Then we play?” She gave him a quick nod and ruffled his hair. “Stops it! No messy up hair. Mean.”
“Let’s go, little man.” And down the stairs they went, Benny clinging to his mother and babbling about the games they’d play together later. She sighed and placed him into his special seat at the table. “Alright bud, pancakes coming up with chocolate chips. Anything else you want, bud?”
Roughly an hour later, the pair had both eaten and Benny was bouncing up and down by the front door with a basketball in his hands. His green eyes sparkled in the sunlight cast through the window. God, she could not say no to that face.
“Play! Come on, Momma. I wanna play basketballs! We cans play together. I’ll win though.”
“Oh, you’ll win? Bring it, little man.” His mother laughed and snatched the ball from his hands. Ruffling his hair, she slipped outside with him running after her. “Let’s go.” A peel of laughter escaped from Benny as he dove to steal the ball from her. She knew today was going to be a long one, but at least he was enjoying it.
The city yawns and stretches at the peak of seven in the morning.
Life seems a lot more peaceful these days. The sun casts a gentle glow upon the many shops lining the roads, and the warm smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts in the air, and in between the slowly increasing number of people.
I take it step by step, and walking feels a little lighter every time. A young boy just ahead of me gasps as his mother lets him press the button under the pedestrian crossing sign, and consequently, the changing of the traffic lights from green to blaring red. He cheers as they begin to walk across the street, followed by eight others.
A woman calls to the passerby's at my right, and I stop to inspect what she's offering. Bagels lean on each other like a fallen stack of cards as they wait to be purchased. I pay for one and thank her.
Work begins fifteen minutes after I arrive at the building, letting me eat breakfast in front of the view from the seventeenth floor. Every road I had walked through seemed a little more beautiful from the skies.
People looked like tiny creatures following some discreet, incomprehensible pattern as they go about their day. Above me, a flock flies across the roof of one building to another a few blocks away. I think about what birds must view us to be like.
Then the job begins, and I realize my desk gives me enough of the heavens to see the sun follow its course, so I can appreciate the morning before noon, and noon before night. All because of the wonders brought forth by daylight.
Faint thuds stirred Galena from her sleep, her eyelids dragging open to the sight of her dimly lit room as she sat up. A thick curtain covered the window shielding the room from the golden afternoon sunlight but doing little to nothing for the chirps of the birds outside.
She groaned out, turning towards the other single bed in the room only to find it empty. “Huh–” she frowned, tossing aside the covers and getting up, making her way out of the bedroom and into the only other room in the house which functioned as a kitchen, living room and dining room all in one.
The source of the thudding quickly presented itself as Tae, struggling with Gal’s hunting knife to cut… something; swearing profusely under his breath in the process.
She rubbed the side of her head as she made her way over, checking to find it was carrots he was struggling with. “...What are you doing?” she asked in her low, husky voice.
Tae flinched back at the sudden sound, turning around to catch Gal looming over him, staring him down with that dim glow in her eyes. “Oh, you’re awake–” his voice was soft before it bounced right back into his usual loud tone, his surprise replaced by cheerfulness. “Good morning! I’m just making breakfast, or well, lunch really since it is already midday… Brunch, if you will” he rambled on, continuing to struggle with the vegetables.
“Where'd you get this?” she asked, gesturing vaguely to the pot cooking over the fire.
“Grabbed eggs from the chickens in the coop then checked your garden and actually found some veggies! After that I went ahead and gathered mushrooms in the forest” He took a moment to breathe before continuing, talking so fast Gal struggled to keep up in her sleepy state. “I must admit, I don’t understand why people stopped gathering. It’s soo therapeutic, I feel revived!”
“Mushrooms?” Gal asked, that being the only thing she actually grasped from his rapid chatter.
“Oh, don’t worry, I brought a handy-dandy guide to all things mushroom!” Tae replied, gesturing to the small booklet lying on the table beside him.
Gal glanced at the book, reading something about ‘edible mushrooms’ on the cover as she stepped behind Tae, leaning over him and resting her chin on his shoulder. “You need to be careful with those…” her hands reached around either of his sides grabbing onto the counter, never embracing him but still lingering far closer than they likely should.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. They’re dangerous.” Tae giggled, shaking his head.
Gal glanced at him with narrowed eyes, murmuring quietly. “They posses you”
Her reply caused Tae to burst out laughing, suddenly waking her up far more than a splash of water to the face ever could. Her heart fluttered at the sound and though she wanted nothing more than to linger there and hold him, she stepped away, knowing not to overstep.
How nice it was having someone around. Not waking up to the horrid silence of whichever house she currently called her own. Even if it didn’t last… she’d savour every moment of his company.
“Come on now” Tae set the knife down, picking up the wooden tray with the veggies and turning around to meet her gaze. “Let’s sit outside while it cooks. It’s really nice today” and with that he walked off, leaving the door to the outside open for her to follow.
The bright afternoon sunlight assaulted Galena’s eyes as soon as she stepped out, forcing her to squint and raise a hand over her forehead as she looked around the porch to find the firepit lit with a pan sitting on top. Tae gathered up all the ingredients into the bowl, stirring the mixture for a moment before stepping back and beaming proudly at his work.
Gal quietly sat down on the chair, resting her arms over the small table while she watched her companion walk over. “I can’t believe you made breakfast for me…”
“Lunch really” He laughed, taking a seat next to her. “I might be a scientist, but I’m not useless”
“Never thought you were”
Word Count: 770
Summary: Zenkichi and Takuto spend their first morning after a long summer apart.
Zenkichi lost count of the times he and Takuto spent nights together. Away from the worries of the world, in each other's comfort.
Then again, he didn't understand it shouldn't be a major concern to begin with.
There wasn't anything wrong with spending the early morning with Takuto. There wasn't anything to say against it, and perhaps it was something to be welcomed given that both of them had a long summer without the other.
He had invited Takuto for a weekend stay when he learned he could go home early. And when the early hours rolled around and he found himself awake earlier than he liked, Zenkichi decided to relish the slow hours approaching the sunrise.
As the sun weaved into the room, Takuto was by his side, seemingly comfortable despite being curled against the covers. His breathing was steady and relaxed, unware of Zenkichi staring at him as he slept. It had been a few hours ago when he wanted to take a few minutes longer to sleep, to relish the quiet morning. Zenkichi agreed to wake him and keep him company, as he has every time they've been together prior the long summer. Happy with his response, Takuto cocooned himself with a blanket and continued on with his sleep.
Zenkichi believed the setup of staying in bed longer started as a prolonged reconciliation.
In hindsight, he wanted to wait until Takuto woke up before needing to do anything else. He wanted to express his gratitude for the kindness Takuto had given despite having waited for a little over two months, despite being a a little bit different between their last and current encounter. But alas, sometimes Zenkichi found himself much like water.
His words and actions flowed before he could give them a second thought, especially when it came to intimate moments. Behind professionalism and formalities, he was a mere man looking for some warmth.
"....Do you ever get lonely, Zen?"
Takuto's yawn occupied the silence. Ever so casual, yet ever so deep in his question. It caught the other man off guard effortlessly, stunning him in place.
Yet, a smile formed on Zenkichi's features, wrapping an arm around the other man's waist. His initial answer would only tell how deep in his loss he was, how frustrated he was with himself. It led him to be reclusive for months, searching for a truth he was powerless to achieve.
Now though, he didn't have to respond. Takuto turned towards him, the bed shifting and dipping as their gazes met. He didn't have to respond because he knew Takuto was aware of his answer.
Takuto was in a similar place before. But after a few months of recovering on his own, both of their paths crossed one day in a quiet ramen shop within Shibuya. That was when they realized there was still a faint feeling of emptiness within them, one they found the other man filling.
The obvious answer now was that they weren't alone. Not anymore.
"...Morning, Maru." Zenkichi greeted, as the question was silently answered.
"Good morning, Zen."
Although he was sleepy, Zenkichi found Takuto's hazel eyes inscrutable, faintly weary. But it was quick to be replaced with a soft, tender look as he pressed his forehead against Takuto's. A silent welcome of the company.
Perhaps this was their best way of ensuring that they kept sense of their humanity and selves. And perhaps, it was their way of trying to have a sense of normalcy in the midst of the messy lives.
Of having warmth.
Since the day they lost their last significant others, they never noticed it had been long since they received any gesture of affection. The kind of love only a significant other could give them. Grief kept its hold on them in the darkness still, but with each other, it wasn't as painful as it was when they were alone.
Zenkichi pulled away to raise his hand from Takuto's waist to place it on his cheek. His thumb stroked the soft skin, and allowed him to meet the other man's eyes.
Takuto had all the gentleness of flowers in his heart, in his hair, in his gaze. And Zenkichi didn't want to pull away.
It was one of the few moments wherein Zenkichi felt at ease. He wondered to himself if he could ever have a moment of peace like it ever again.
If they can keep having moments like these.
He pleaded to any god above for it to be so.
Let him be able to stay with the other man like that for the rest of his life.
Word Count: 355 words
Yannah considers the cloudy afternoon sky to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, as she scouts the skylines of East Filia, she doesn’t have to worry about the sun being too glaring or the heat too sweltering. (She chooses a loose blouse and slacks for day-scouting exactly for these reasons.)
But on the other hand, the shadows the clouds make might cause her to miss important details. The paranoia always at the back of her head keeps telling her thick clouds were enough to mask a gun’s gleam.
A buzz on her ear. “Yannah.”
Keeping her eyes trained on an alley below her, she brings a hand up to her ear. “Yes, Grein?” She hovers for a few moments, watching for sudden movements, before moving forward.
“Jin secured Invis-b and Cage-b, over at D-13—”
Yannah nods to herself. Splendid work as always, Jin.
“But at least two of the Wrenches are near him and they’ll soon be at his heels.”
Even as he speaks, she is already pivoting towards the west, soaring higher above the tallest buildings. Above her, light peeks through the coattails of clouds.
“What do you need me to do?”
“Switch with Naoi and back Jin up.”
“Is Haruki on the way here?”
“He’s,” Grein pauses and Yannah hears the vague squeak of a swiveling chair, “a block away. You can proceed.”
The wispy shadows over her recede. In the corner of her eyes, there’s a gleam.
Three gunshots from the shadows of rafters. Her eyes flicker as bullets stop at her shoulders, silver light coating each one. As Yannah hovers above the alley between Lyndon Corp and a slew of old apartment buildings, a shadow rushes below blankets and clothes left out to dry.
Another gleam from an apartment.
Yannah shoots forward, letting the bullet miss as she makes the glass windows shatter with a wave of her hand.
“Grein,” she says, knowing he’s still listening. Her gaze locks onto the hooded man running towards the door. Silver silhouettes his legs as he pauses mid-step. “Tell Jin not to mess up before I get there.”
Grein scoffs. “Sure.”