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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: [Yesterday]
Definition: the day before today.
╰┈➤ Write a piece inspired by this meaning.
Word Count: Minimum 350 words, no maximum.
I didn't know how much I had been waiting for a moment like this, almost as if my skin was going to jump off me, leaving the responsibilities to the poor bones of duty, to my tired organs that lived more from stress than love, abandoning me, trapped beneath them all. The lapping of the waves sounded like the prettiest song, like the softest caress, like a wish fulfilled, like a murmur of encouragement, like all I needed to keep going, thinking that at some point along my life, it would all make sense.
It's funny to think about how we tend to live in the past more than in the present. In what I said, what I thought, what I did, what I didn't do, what I didn't think, what I didn't say. But among the hundreds of fragments of stars buried in the sand, no matter the yesterday, no matter the tomorrow, they caressed my feet when I did it too. They touched me when I touched them. The fresh and salty breeze smelled of the sea, of colorful fish, of fruit, carrying with it an endless music that, with its light and charisma, fluttered around me, untangling my clothes, leaving my swimsuit on display, almost as if it were inviting me. Who was I but a simple mortal in need? In love, I stripped off my clothes, and in my new synthetic skin, I united with the foam, with the rocks, with the stars scattered on the water glistening in the sunlight.
Yesterday I woke up, went to work, ate, repeat, but today, today was something completely different, just a few minutes away from my home, from my life, now I was swimming away my fears, my tears lost in the cerulean sea, but I needed oxygen to breath, my human self incapable to transform on one more of the life under the surface. I went back to the enramada, watching the last rays of sunshine painting the sky as yesterday was catching up. Saying goodbye was never an option, but a painful obligation. One more time, I woke up from my bed. Once again, I went to work. Dear yesterday, wouldn’t you come back again?
Word count: 386 💤
✨sleepy✨ also look I got a last minute morning d&d game during when I normally write these so it is currently nearly 2am and this is the best you’re gonna get 😔
Clocks took a very long time to make… for most people. There were so many little components that needed to be connected precisely in order for the device to actually tell the correct time. Configuring everything to be functional took patience. It took even more to make a timepiece look presentable.
…But, thanks to chronomancy, Ildor could make it look effortless. He could easily slow time down enough to complete a piece in what appeared to be only an hour. Of course, it still took the true amount of time to him, but to everyone else’s perceptions, he churned out clockwork at miraculous speeds. With enough energy drinks, he could get through a week’s worth of projects in one day…
“Ildor, did a zombie bite you?”
…though it left him exhausted the next.
He rubbed his eyes, trying to get them to focus on Marches. “Hm? Wha..?”
“I’m saying you look exhausted. Have you stopped working since yesterday?”
It wasn’t his fault, really. It was easy to get lost. The cycle was easy to get stuck in: make clock, subconsciously slow time, feel tired, drink energy drink, make clock, subconsciously slow time, feel tired, drink energy drink, make clock-
“Ildor, you are so out of it. You really need to go to sleep.”
They were right. They were always right. It wasn’t fair on them to see him like this.
Marches grabbed his wrist and led him out of the clock shop, across the moonlit streets and to his rooms. Their memory was remarkable: they’d only been there once or twice before. When they arrived, Ildor unlocked the door for them both.
“Thank you… you really didn’t have to do this.”
“Of course I did. You’re my friend.” They smiled, then let it fall sadder. “Please don’t overwork yourself like that… see how terrible you feel? How long was your work day yesterday?”
“Maybe triple the normal amount?” Ildor replied, removing his coat. Marches sighed at him. “It sounds worse when I say it out loud.”
“Just… rest now, alright? I won’t leave until you do.” they muttered, turning to lie on the sofa.
Ildor wished them goodnight and went into his own room. It was embarrassing how quickly he fell asleep after his head hit the pillow.
He needed to reevaluate his strategy.
The sun streams in through the sheer curtains into my eyes, waking me from a fantastic night of sleep. Slowly blinking my tired lids open, I see my bedroom, and my wife laying beside me. The sheets smell like lavender and of her.
Quietly, I move out from under the covers and tip-toe to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I’m so happy to be in this house again.
`I was away for a long, long time. My wife and I had the chance to talk several times a week, which made it easier, but I’m so relieved to be back.
They say that home is where the heart is, and damn does that feel true. There’s a weight lifted off of me that I didn’t know was there. Back in my house, my hometown, near my favorite bars and restaurants again.
I wonder what we’ll get up to today - she most definitely has projects stacked up for me that were neglected while I was gone. She didn’t say anything about having plans when we caught up yesterday, but we were both so emotional and overwhelmed, it could have just been an oversight.
I hope we both get to stay home for the day. I don’t want to miss her anymore.
Walking back into the bedroom, I see she’s awake and scrolling through her phone. That ritual hasn’t changed.
“Morning!” she chirps.
“Morning,” I smile. “What do you want to do today?”
“Well… I do have a long list of little things that need to be do–”
“Didn’t see that coming,” I chuckle.
“I was going to say… you don’t need to worry about that today since you just got home yesterday. I thought maybe I could just send you the list so you can prepare yourself… emotionally, physically, spiritually…”
“Ah, probably wise. Well what do you want to do after the list?”
“Oh… I was hoping we could just… hang out?”
I give her a massive grin. “I would love that. Scary movies and pizza for lunch?”
She jumps out of bed to go feed the cats and I throw some comfy clothes on. We’ve been through so many yesterdays apart, I’m happy for some tomorrows together.
The day before today.
The day I never got to say it.
The light bulb flickers above me as I watch my sister regain her waning strength in a power nap. She deserves to rest in this bed more than I do. I've watched her visit tri-weekly, keeping me awake and alive by being my arms and legs while my own cease to function.
I regret not holding the rays of the sun in my hands while I still could, nor reaching for the stars during the night. I miss the feeling I used to hate, of grass skimming an pricking my feet as I ran across the park chasing my friends during picnics. Now, I am only a consciousness in a stale body.
There are other things to do when only your mind can do them, such as think. I spend all of my time doing so. I think about how everyone is relentlessly giving their precious time to make sure that I am okay. I think of how my sister maintains an hour of sleep just to barely finish university. I think of how useless I am, still being here, still being a bother.
I spend too much time thinking.
But what is there else to do, the television on has three channels. I take ten minutes to mentally curse whoever jammed my only entertainment source to three damn channels. Then again, I guess the other patients wouldn't bother as much, since they'd be focused on their pain more than I am.
Then I wonder about all the stories of the patients in this whole building. Each of them have not one similar story broken into their injuries and diseases. We're all different cases, different places, and difference faces.
A warmth settles in my chest when I think about how nice the medical staff are for losing their sleep to better our own. Sure, they get paid for it, but I do think they deserve a thanks for all their work anyway.
I wish I could tell them.
Yesterday was the last day that I ever got to speak. Now, my mouth is only good for breathing, and my nose does that just fine.
My sister is still sleeping to my right. She stirs for a moment, then relaxes into place, slowly patting my hand before she drifts away. I can't tell her how thankful I am for her being with me.
I reside in channel 5 as the superhero punches the villain; I've seen this movie twenty times over, the most I could do to not get sick of it is make my own lines. There is no point in wallowing now, no one can hear me anyway. I have all the time to do that later.
But, if my thought can reach you without me saying, I'd like to say thank you, I love you, and I'll miss you.
Yesterday. I feel like it didn’t exist. Maybe I wasn’t there, I was only born today, and everything was fabricated from the moment I opened my eyes. Nothing’s real. It was all yesterday.
But I remember living it. I remember feeling it, being aware of this very moment. It wasn’t fabricated when I experienced it. I swear it wasn’t. Riding down the highway with the windows open, the sunset a brilliant orange, stalking through the taller-than-necessary shelves at the grocery store only to finally give in and start dancing on the linoleum tiles to the midnight breakup song playing on the radio, the sweet scent of cake at the farmer’s market, everything, everything all melding and melting together, everything that transpired yesterday.
No, it can’t have not been real. It felt so real. I swear! Please, I know I lived this life, I know I lived through yesterday before. It wasn’t a memory that was just made it up and stuffed inside my head! I know it wasn’t!
But there’s no way to prove it…
These tears that are filling my eyes now and spilling over the edges, they’re real. Two seconds have passed. No, no, I’m still crying them. I swear I am. See? Even now, I’m still crying. These memories aren’t fabricated, they aren’t—
What do you mean they are? What do you mean, that everyone’s been made up and put into my life at this exact moment? What about yesterday? If this was all made up, what the heck was the point of yesterday? Yesterday was so free, so light, so enjoyable, what was the point of it? I had a good time; would you really be so cruel to make up a good day for me? A good memory? I’d rather live it, and live it again, I’d rather live yesterday again, over and over again, then be here right now and have you telling me that it’s all made up and inside my head. I’m serious.
Yesterday…you were here too. You were with me too. We did that all together. And you’re saying that even you, yes, you, were made up? Made up for the sake of today?
Please, were you the only one who lived through yesterday? What about me? Please, comfort me, I am this close to tears…
WC: 387 Yesterday, my boyfriend's life came to an abrupt halt. My last memory of him, when I wrapped my arms around his broad, warm back, has haunted me ever since he disappeared. He did it for the sake of the world, he said, and he probably knew that the Earth might need someone with magic to protect the world he loved if any more villains try to take it over, which is why he didn't take me with him. What I'm pretty sure Ben didn't think of when making a martyr out of himself and dying as a hero was that, well… he was my world in its entirety. Before it actually happened, I couldn't even think of living in a world without him. Ben died doing what he promised himself he'd do—putting his life on the line for the sake of protecting the innocent. That night, as I clenched my eyes shut in a futile and desperate attempt to catch at least the smallest wink of sleep, I kept asking myself, "Why couldn't I have done that instead?" I knew how to use the Teleport spell. Heck, I was the one who taught Ben how to use the spell in the first place! When the time arrived, though, I hesitated. It was the worst mistake of my life, and now I'm "living" in a place worse than Hell. Ben might have stopped Desastre from blowing up the planet, but he sure did a great job annihilating everything I knew and loved. I came clean with Ben's identity to the mass media today. I'm sure it was a decision that went against his wishes, but if he expected nobody to notice that he went missing without a trace on the same day the teenage superhero Electric Green was killed in battle, he'd never get what he wanted. I felt weird after reporting Ben's identity to the press, like I had betrayed his memory but at the same time relieved of a huge weight off my shoulders. I hope he's forgiven me if he's looking down at me from Heaven somehow. Yesterday, my boyfriend's life came to an abrupt end. My heart will never beat as proudly and loudly as the last time he told me he loved me. Yesterday was doomsday. Today, I can't move on from yesterday.
Yesterday, Chris was on his deathbed, looking upon his lovely, young daughter. She’s intelligent and beautiful and well-mannered, and she was crying as she looked over his frail body. He was supposed to be well and healthy, as a man his age should be, but some people’s health deteriorates faster than others; some people’s time comes sooner than others.
What Chris accepted was his death. What Chris did not accept was that his death would come so soon, ripping him away from his daughter while she was still quite young. That he wouldn’t have a man ask for his blessing to marry her, that he would never see his grandchildren if he would have any, that he wouldn’t see her graduate from university. That he’d miss out on so much of her life.
Yesterday, he raised a shaky hand to her face, told her not to cry. Told her everything was going to be okay, that she didn’t need her old man anymore. Because another thing Chris could not accept was not being strong for her when she needed him to be. And, it was true. She didn’t need her old man anymore.
Yesterday, before she could respond, she was called out of the room. Apparently someone needed to speak with her. A friend, said the nurse.
A few minutes later, his daughter walked back in, smiling. “Everything is going to be alright. You’ll get better,” she said.
He hadn’t the heart to correct her. No need to get rid of that smile…he needed to see it one last time.
The doctors had told both him and her that he was going to die, but if she put off the grief as long as she could, that was good. She shouldn’t spend too much time crying over him, he figured.
Except miraculously, today he’s feeling a lot better. He doesn’t look so frail, he notices as he looks in the bathroom mirror, and he can stand without feeling out of breath or dizzy. In fact, he feels very vital. Like he can take a long walk, or even a run, and his legs won’t want to collapse beneath him. Like maybe his lungs and his heart could handle something other than sitting and lying down.
So he grabbed the walking IV bag and went for a walk. He doesn’t slouch, as if he’s weighed down, as if he can’t hold himself up. He can, and he does, and he walks like a perfectly healthy man.
They run some tests. He’s somehow been…cured? He laughs, so relieved, and hope comes flooding back.
He can see his daughter grow up fully. Go to her graduation, approve or disapprove of young men, and get to know his grand kids (again, if she decides to have them).
He knows this, now, that he’ll live a long life, that he’s healthy.
But what he doesn’t know…
…is that his daughter had to trade her soul for it.
TW: Multiple mentions of Death, Murder (not graphic) Yesterday, the world ended. And you don’t mean that in the dramatic way kids tend to when they don’t get their way. You mean that in the way buildings crumpled like paper and bodies now line the street. Yesterday, you woke before your alarm, ready to take on the world instead of letting it bring the fight to you. It had seemed like it would be a good day. Yesterday, the pretty barista had smiled at you, and you’d finally managed to get her number. But now, all you saw today was the image of her lifeless eyes gazing up at you as you took off down the street to safety. You’d tucked the receipt paper with her messy scrawl into your pocket for safe-keeping, wanting to keep a part of her alive even if it was something that simple. Yesterday, you had savored your steaming cup of tea and sketched out an idea for a new drawing. The curve of the dragon’s fire flashes through your mind as you take in the destruction around you. Elementals still filled the sky and streets. Those made of wisps of flame seemed intent on leaving nothing unscathed in their mission to set the world ablaze. You think today you saw one drifting towards that pretty barista, burning a deep orange as they aimed their shot. You tried not to think about what it meant when you heard it collide. Today, you know that half-finished sketch lay in the tattered remains of your coat, torn to pieces. The stone elemental had promised you the idea of physical safety. But nothing seemed to be able to save you from the psychological and mental toll it was taking on you. Yesterday, the sky had been overcast. Clouds blocked the sun’s rays and left your city colored in a dreary shade of gray. But to you, it’d been perfect. Today, the sky is black, mirroring the charred remains of the ground beneath you. You briefly wonder if it will stay this way. Ashes drifting from the sky like snow, coating your skin and hair. As the few remaining people stumbled past you, most wheezing from smoke inhalation, you briefly wondered who else was chosen to be spared. One member of the small group fell forward and into the rubble, unmoving. The others focused on you. You were okay. Entirely undamaged physically from yesterday’s events. The two left charged at you. However, they both collapsed moments before reaching you. Jagged pieces of stone had buried themselves in each person’s chest, destroying them before they could harm you. Was this what his promised protection had meant? A protection that yesterday’s you had savored, but today’s feared. Yesterday, the world fell apart around you. And no, you don’t mean that in the dramatic way kids tend to when they don’t get their way. Today, you fell apart. Tumbling forward like the others before you, hands gripping protective gemstone for dear life as sobs wracked your body. Yesterday, everything was good. Today, nothing mattered.
Something cute to counter Yelele's sadness ;-;
Yesterday passed in a flash. Before I knew it the morning I so nervously woke up to turned into night and flocks of people surrounded me like I was some celebrity they found in the street. The gentle music filled my ears, resonating in my mind throughout the event like a melody of the universe, keeping me company long after it all ended, following me into the sunrise of today.
As I sit by the windowsill watching the gentle warmth wash over the world, I’m finally able to think back on the night and reminisce on everything I missed out on.
I remember you, dressed so beautifully in that white suit you insisted was totally different from mine. I remember two golden rings, one for your hand, one for mine. I remember the touch of your lips, a moment so brief, yet it lingers for so long after. I remember the sound of your voice as you uttered those two words we practised days to get right.
“I do” I whispered them to myself as a reminder, smiling at the thought as I held onto the warm cup of tea in my hands.
I remember the tears streaming down my cheeks as we walked hand in hand down the aisle. Having come in as only a couple but walking out as so much more. Spouses.
The rest of the night was a blur, mostly flashes of faces I didn’t much care for or conversations I couldn't remember. But amidst them all was you. Laughing, dancing, drinking. All of you I remember. I suppose it’s a good thing we spent so much on a photographer, huh? Looks like I’m going to need it.
But how could I ever look at anything else when there’s you? Yesterday was about us. Just you and me and no one else. It was our vow that mattered. Our night; our enjoyment. And what a hell of a night it was.
Yesterday morning we were only a promise. A silent agreement for a future we might one day share. Yesterday evening we united, joining into one. And today that future is no longer only a maybe. Today we are forever.
the day after
Word Count: 1k
Akira wanted one more day where he didn’t have to pretend he was fine.
Only a day, he begged, a day to be alone with himself.
AN: This full work involves minor injuries, mentions of drugs, and mentions of past events leading to injuries; as well as other implied sensitive subject matter, so please be warned! Enjoy the story.
Akira always hated how everything seemed to change in a day.
For a moment, he was merely a teen studying in an attic. Then coming down to cook curry and brew some coffee. Afterward he was soaring, jumping, and venturing through a world that echoed a distorted version of reality. He was as happy as he could be at seventeen, discovering anything and everything he could with the little time he has.
It has been happening for most of the year. But it always felt like it was merely yesterday.
It also felt like yesterday he was lost in a wilderness of pain. Trying so hard to find his way out, wondering why the law had left him to fend for himself. He could still barely register the multiple pricks against his skin. His eyelids still grow heavy, the time between one blink and the next infinitely longer than the last. Under the profound stars, echoes of his eternity saddened and crushed him.
The day after November twentieth, it was the warmth leaving his bed that woke him.
Akira heaved in a sharp breath. He winced, upon sitting up on his bed. His gaze trailed down to his fingers, unable to make them curl into his palm.
He faintly remembered breaking each and every one of his fingers a few hours ago. Stretching the bones back until they snapped against his palm. He also remembered his screams lasting longer.
However, when he went to crack his knuckles, out of habit despite the state of his hands, he merely gasped. The drugs still coursed in his bloodstream, manifesting first as a swift high, then the palpitations, followed by dizziness, until his gasps faded.
He thought his legs would snap when he stood up from his bed. Akira instinctively slammed his body to lean against the wall to steady himself. His ribs throbbed, reminding him once more of his poor faith it would go away with mere sleep.
The teen wondered if he could make it go away.
He reached for the pill bottle at his desk, and sat down on the seat. Shaky hands grasped the container, twisting off the cap. He leaned forward, his head almost hitting his lampshade, and his hand to his mouth, swallowing. Swearing to himself. Promising he would do better. He could do better. He has to do better.
A crow’s roar pulled him from his thoughts. Akira barely noticed it departing from his window ledge.
Shaking his head, Akira reached for the bottle of water on his desk. A few days old, but better than his own spit. The rush of liquid washed them down.
Was it the pills? The pain? Or his thoughts? He couldn’t discern.
Akira remained seated on his desk, instead of laying back on his bed for a few minutes. He grasped his head, moving it from his mouth. He wondered if he wanted to forget, if ignorance was the lesser evil in his situation. It was as if it was the only thing he knew how to do. His sole option, even though he knew by heart the millions of reiterations of the same event.
He wondered what it was like to be able to choose. He wondered what he could have been doing, either stuck in that wretched room, or home without a care in the world. Anything but his current situation, recovering from the events of the interrogation.
He wondered if the pills he saved would finally be the combination to kill him. If the pain was finally over, and if he could live the rest of the year in peace.
The medication hasn’t kicked into his system yet.
His hand wrapped around his bottle, and stared down at the remaining capsules.
Fingers tightened around it, and flung it towards the staircase leading downstairs.
Akira collapsed between his bed and his desk, his breathing labored and his heart racing. His eyes stung. His arms wrapped around him.
“You were destined to fail. You couldn’t consume it all.”
It seemed like yesterday that things made any sort of sense. But that was a long time ago. The drugs messed with him, and Akira couldn’t ever reach out to that moment in his life again.
Instead, he had to live in a complicated world after that deplorable night in an interrogation room.
Even though tears pricked his eyes, Akira’s obsidian eyes never lost their steely hardness.
Yesterday, he was a teen with bright dreams of a future that would now never be.
Today, he could have one last moment to not pretend everything didn’t matter.
Akira attempted to stand to lay on his bed, but his feet refused to lift him from the ground. Turning towards the feet of his bed beside him, he maneuvered to rest his weight against it. He clutched at his chest, and lifted himself onto his bed.
Beneath his clothing, he still felt like a bullet was lodged within his head. He felt like there were multiple bruises littered on his body. But in the brief moment the mattress dipped from his weight, the wounds no longer existed.
“It doesn’t hurt anymore”, he recited to himself. He would say it more tomorrow, but he needed one for today. Only for himself. Only right now.
Akira’s head met his pillow, and his eyes flooded with tears once more. His surroundings were only in unspecified figures in bleeding colors. He gasped, moaning at the contact on his bruises.
He laid his arm over his eyes. Maybe he needed more sleep. Everything was simpler in memories anyways.
Even the pain.
Although he missed it, as well as the violence inflicted on him, it was only because it was something to fill him—something to concentrate on rather than anything else. It was scorching, but it was something to fight against. There was even a second where it made him feel whole.
Yet there was also a small voice in his head, curious to know if his heart stopped beating, maybe it wouldn’t hurt this much. But he shook it off. The pills worked. For now. His tears wouldn’t stop when he blinked. But he wasn’t in pain all that much.
He let out a small laugh, and it sounded nothing like him. Maybe in his dreams, it would be different. A yawn then released itself, the crows outside lulled him to a deep slumber.
Tomorrow would become another bygone, and that bygone would become a distant memory.
Ah yes, I remember it like it was yesterday. Because it was. It was a bright winter's day, the sun burning brightly above the clouds, yet the air had that slight chill, a perfect breeze teasing the coming of spring. I was so excited, my stomach fluttering with butterflies as I walked down the busy high street, making my way to my partner’s apartment. Today I was going to propose.
I’d thought about it for ages. We’d been together for years and I always worried that something might change or that we weren’t ready. A lifetime is a long time, but when I thought about it, there was only one person I wanted to spend it with. I smiled and inhaled the sweet scent of the winter wildflowers I had bought just for the occasion.
I was nearing their apartment block, and I took a deep breath, slipping my hand into my pocket; squeezing the small box for reassurance. I was just minding my business, walking under the apartment blocks windows when I heard a disturbing creak and splinter and the last thing I saw before it went dark was a grand piano falling straight for my head.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been standing here, before this large, shining gate that spirals into the sky. It seemed so long ago, but it must have been only yesterday, and here I am today. Maybe a lifetime wasn’t so long after all.
I sigh. There’s no point in waiting around. Whatever lay beyond those gates would always be there, and I would always be dead whether or not that would turn out to be a good thing. So I take one step, then another and another and there’s something huddled by the gate, crying? I’m not sure, but I recognize the shadowy figure.
I choke on my laughter as I pick up the pace running towards my best friend in the entire world, (Not that the world is relevant in this context) and they look up at their tear-streaked face creasing into a smile.
“Spencer!” they scramble to their feet and I fall into their embrace.
“I thought I’d never see you again.”
“Wait-” I pull away. “How did you die?”
“you mean no one even told you? I’m sure I’ve been here for days. I haven’t been able to bring myself to walk through those gates.”
“No one told me…” I shake my head.
“I think it was a crash or something, I- it was over so fast. I was going to your house. To well, you know. I mean, I was going to propose. Not that it matters now.”
“No way! I was going to your house to propose when I died! Just yesterday, walking under the apartments when a grand piano fell from a window; Knocked me out cold.”
Ellis blushed, “oh err, that would be mine. I suppose they were moving things out of my house. You know those apartments never stay empty for long and the piano must have fallen down the staircase right out of that large window on the landing. I always thought that was a weird design.”