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: [Last]
Definition: coming after all others in time or order; final; most recent in time.
╰┈➤ Write a piece that involves this meaning.
Word Count: Minimum 100 words, no maximum.
(I just kind of speed-ran this one so it's not good but yay! Last day of Consistency!)
I worked all week on my contest entry. I planned on Sunday and opened the Google Doc, and then the next six days I spent writing. And on the last day of the month, in the hour before the submission period was over, I finished in the nick of time.
The next step was to wait a month for the results.
I got nervous about my piece, looked over it a thousand times, but I couldn’t change anything at that point. Spotting typos, a plot hole. Definitely, I wasn’t satisfied with the piece. So naturally, I did tweak it. Even if it wouldn’t make my submission better, and wouldn’t increase my odds of winning, because that wasn’t really the point.
At the end of my edits, I actually was satisfied with the story. Proud of it. I wished I could’ve sent in the story I was proud of, but whatever.
And now, it was the end of the month. I opened the announcements channel and waited.
They posted the results.
First — not me.
Second — not me, either.
Third — me.
I placed third! My mouth curves into a smile, one I didn’t think could be removed.
Oh. There were only three contestants. I made it into the top three by default and placed last. My seemingly-permanent-two-minutes-ago smile fades. The story I wrote was the worst.
I read the other entries. They were great. Better than my unedited submission, that was for sure. I could see that. At the same time, I didn’t think mine was bad. Just not a winner. But next time, I would write a winner. I would do better. As long as I didn’t get discouraged and give up, I would eventually write something deserving of winning.
So I took the feedback they gave me and I made myself learn from it.
This ended up being p bittersweet-- >:) Uh, idk how to tag this so uh, end of the world and the mc's both die and become one with the force universe. It's not graphic, they just kinda die oogway style T-T
CW: Death, very brief death idealization
So this is how the world ended, peacefully and quietly, devoid of the revolt humanity carried with them, left to slowly dissolve and become one with the universe once again. But amidst the vast emptiness of earth, only two souls lingered. Two souls waiting for their last moments to pass, together.
As Galena looked out at the beautiful scene before her she felt a touch on her hand, gentle and hesitant but she recognised it immediately. She smiled to herself, taking Tae’s searching hand into hers as she spoke. “This is it, my darling, the last day of Earth.” she turned to her lover, catching sight of his glossy eyes, staring into nothing at all.
“Just you and me, huh?” he smiled.
She hummed in response, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him close, resting her head on top of his, basking in the feeling of him close. “I always thought this moment would come and I’d face it alone…” her voice was quiet, her words lined with bitterness. “But I’m glad you’re with me. I couldn’t ask for more in my final moment” she pressed a kiss onto his hair.
“So we’re reversed Adam and Eve then?” he asked, tilting his head up to beam his dorky smile up at her, a modest attempt at easing their heavy hearts.
Galena didn’t bother to reply, simply shaking her head as she clicked her tongue in fodness. She leaned down, pressing a feather light kiss onto his lips which he happily returned, the two resuming each other’s embrace shortly after.
“You feel it, right?” she whispered, threading a hand into the soft locks of his raven hair, revelling in the still tangible touch as the tingle spread across her body. That familiar feeling which though so faint, was so overwhelming, ever so slowly forcing her soul from her body.
He nodded, squeezing her closer as he buried his head into the crook of her neck, taken over by the same tingle. His voice faltered, his breath shallow as he whispered out his final words “I love you, Galena”
A single tear rolled down her cheek as her eyes fluttered shut, her head tilted up at the sky feeling the final touch of the gentle breeze on her skin before the tingle rose to her face, taking with it her final breath. Only the words that remained at the tip of her lips managed to fall, the final sound echoing across the world itself.
“I love you, Tae”
Her soul parted from her body at last, a relief that had been denied to her for much longer than anything should be finally welcomed her. After aeons of waiting, the gentle flutter finally enveloped her as she joined her lover’s waiting soul, lingering together with him one last time before becoming one with the universe. Never again to exist as anything other than everything.
TW: Mentions of Blood, Forced Situation
One last time.
The crowds roar for blood, anticipating the first strikes as they pass on thin sheets of paper, the reason I'm here.
It's always been neck and neck between me and him. On bad days, one wins; on good days, it's a draw. For the judges and the audience, it seems they view things the opposite way.
We meet each other's gaze from across the platform, letting our eyes say what we've been paid not to. I tell him I'm sorry that I need to survive, that we had to be the final pairing of the night, the deathmatch.
With a look, I hear him tell me that it's alright, and an accompanying apology that rings eerily similar to what I had said. We had our reasons for this, but that wouldn't stop me from crying after this match, if there was one.
A jovial, energetic voice rounds the people's attention. The announcer calls out our names, and a well of tears decides to make itself known just before the bell rings. I will not let myself wallow in emotion right now, changing the face of my opponent into someone I could willingly destroy.
It falters— I falter at the bell ringing, stumbling over my steps as we circle each other. He looks at me with some sympathetic look I've learned to love and despise, it means he's giving me time to recollect myself. Big mistake.
I throw the first punch.
Desastre’s maniacal laugh echoed throughout the battlefield. “These past couple exchanges have been fun, but my feasting here is done. I’m going to finish what I started and wipe this planet--no, this entire Solar System to smithereens!”
I couldn’t stop him. Regardless of what cards I play or what moves I make, Desastre would always predict them and get another edge on me while he was at it. I was still kicking myself for not killing him while I had the chance… maybe then, Ben’s sacrifice would have not been in vain. Just the idea of Ben’s sacrifice going to waste made my blood boil, my face redden and my eyes water.
“I’m done,” I told him, lowering my arms. “Do whatever you want with me or the planet I protect. If Ben couldn’t stop you by offering his life, it’s not like I can do anything about it.” I looked up towards the sky and sobbed. Talking to nobody in particular, I apologized. “I’m sorry… I’ve done everything I could.” Turning to Desastre, I explained my situation to him. “It’s useless to struggle. My arm’s broken anyway, so my magical power has been cut in half. If someone like him can shrug me off at my 100%, I might as well cut my losses and say my prayers at this point. I hope Ben will forgive me.”
“You’ve got to be joking!” I heard a familiar voice yell into my ear. My head jerked up towards the sky, trying to locate the source of the voice, only to find absolutely nothing wherever I looked.
“Ben!?” I called out the name of the voice’s owner. “Where are you!? You’re alive!?”
“I’m still in Heaven, so that’s a solid no on my part,” he said. I could hear the clear disappointment in his disembodied voice. “A rather kind angel has allowed me to relay a message to you telepathically, just for the sake of protecting my little corner of the universe.”
“I’m guessing you’ve been watching from the sidelines all this time. I’m pretty pathetic, aren’t I?”
“Yes, and honestly, yes,” he said. “Ever since I’ve died, you’ve acted completely unlike the Melody I fell in love with. Don’t tell me your dedication to fight evil by moonlight was entirely dependent on me…”
“Of course it wasn’t!” I exclaimed. “Have you forgotten I was in this business before you!?”
“Then you probably know what I’m going to ask of you. Do you want me to ask anyway?”
“I do, I just… Wouldn’t you want to avoid seeing me in pain like this? If I’m going to die anyway, wouldn’t you rather I die an instant, painless death?”
“With all due respect, have you lost your mind!?” asked Ben. “Remember the creed you swore me to when you first declared me a superhero. You know, the promise to lay my life on the line to protect the lives of every innocent person, without exceptions? The promise I took to my grave? I know you’ve been kicking yourself over being unable to answer the call when I chose to sacrifice myself, but now’s your time to return the favor. I also know you’ve been practicing a special technique in secret that you haven’t mastered yet, and I want you to try using it right now.”
“What!? If I try using that technique now…”
“The worst that could happen is you vaporizing yourself. Is that what you’re afraid of? If you’re going to get vaporized anyway, you might as well get vaporized putting up a fight, don’t you think?”
“You’re right! It’s all become clear now!” I exclaimed.
“Done talking to the scary monsters and nice sprites in your head, Peach?” asked Desastre. “I thought you were going to put up some more of a fight, but if you’re going to stand there talking to no one, I’ll have to put an end to your little puppet show.”
“I’ve decided. I’ve got one arm left, but that’s all I need.”
“Sheesh. I knew you were insane, since you were talking to voices in your head, but I never would have thought you were so far off the deep end,” chuckled Desastre. “I’ll entertain your delusions, though.” Desastre then pressed a hand to his chest. “The infinite energy generator embedded into my chest holds even more energy than the laser that reduced your lover to elementary particles. I’ve fine-tuned my laser attack, and this time it won’t stop after it vaporizes you. If you can stop it, this world is yours for good.”
“Fine by me,” I said. “Charge your laser. I’ll wait.”
“This’ll be the final exchange, so I won’t bother holding anything back,” said Desastre. He cupped his hands and began charging a bright red ball of energy between his palms. “You have five seconds.”
I reared my hand as if I was preparing to thrust with a sword. A bright orange sphere of energy materialized in my open palm, and I poured as much magical energy as I could inside it. “Lightning… Prism…”
We both said “Cannon” at the same time, and I swear it was just a coincidence that we happened to have the same word at the end of our attack names. Both our attacks collided in a massive explosion that kicked up a cloud of dust all over the battlefield.
When the dust settled, I was the last one standing. Desastre had been vaporized.
I fell on my back and raised my fist to the sky as my consciousness started fading. “Ben… I did it. Are you proud of me?”
At long last, it was over.
It was all over. The wars had gone, leaving behind only a desolate world, and someone watched from his back porch, wishing that he had been taken too. The land was ruined; there was no way he could plant there now.
The streams, once blood-soaked, had all dried up. The killing machine had been put to rest. And he looked almost calm in his casket, or wherever he lay, sleeping.
The butterflies that no one could see, the time discrepancies that erased people from existence, the people, the people, all the people, the working people, the crying people, the people who lived all their lives, their miserable little lives that were sometimes happy, the people had faded from the universe’s consciousness. Or perhaps the universe remembered them after all, because they, too, had lived.
The immortals, they remained, in a world where they still had to find a reason to live on. They didn’t have any choice, but to make everything more bearable, they sought a reason. Some found one, others didn’t. But still they lived, and the world turned with them.
At long last, everything was over. And the world and everything in it could breathe.
And so the last days have passed, the last days of freedom. The summer's over yet again, and I'm here, yet again.
The school halls are filled with mingling returners and milling freshmen. Unknowing (or perhaps knowing) that some of us, who stayed after our 12th year, are here as well. I wonder if we can be told apart from the others? Probably not. (Yet.)
And as I sit here, filled with anxiety and waiting for my past classmates to arrive, I finish consistency with a flourish.
And get myself muted for replying in #idea-box with ideas again.
See you in 7 days.
Hopefully we can still talk for a long time still.
Not in #idea-box of course
On the last day he lived, she felt as though she died with him. The red and blue lights flashing across her vision as emergency services flooded the campus. He’d taken his last steps that day. Jogging down the concrete steps and waving at her, he’d taken those last steps before tumbling to the ground in a heap. He took his last breath that day. As she’d run to check him over for injuries, she’d watched as his chest rose and fell in almost slow motion before coming to a halt. His hair had been matted in blood from the fall. Everything that had happened had been his last. She swears his last heartbeat echoed in her head, somehow thunderous despite it all. The soft spoken words of the EMTs were the last thing she heard before she collapsed too. The kind eyes of the young woman who’d ran to steady her were the last she remembered seeing. Blue and speckled with gray, they’d been filled with concern. His presence wrapped around her, the last thing she felt before she slipped forward into the light after him for their last adventure.
(based on a prompt i found lol) Last words... The hero and the villain stood face to face, as the age-old tale goes. Well, I say stood, but only the villain in this context was actually standing. The hero, however, was tied to a chair dangling over a bubbling volcano.
“I’ve got you now, and this time there’s no one left to save you.” Malice cackled, his dark eyes glinting in the fiery light of the volcano. He swept up the edges of his long dark cloak and paced around the edge of the cliff, grinning like the Cheshire cat.
“Oh yes, there’s no one left to save you… yes, no one… there’s only you and me now, HAH!“
The hero, Aquila, was the picture of defeat, after all this time, fighting war after war, now surely beaten as they hung their head in shame, their face obscured by their long dark hair, yet they suppressed a grin as if amused by this last comment. Malice, of course, didn’t notice the look of amusement as he continued to pace around the cliff edge.
“It’s all over for you now. There’s no one left! I destroyed everyone. What left have you to live for?” Malice mocked, “I thought of everything this time. I even killed the love of your life… or did I forget to mention that one?”
Aquila frowned. “You may have mentioned it.”
Malice narrowed his eyes and lent over the edge, staring Aquila straight in the eyes. Aquila stared back, their murky eyes gleaming like a sun speckled lake.
“You killed many. I believe this is because you don’t know any other way, but you’re wrong, you know,” Aquila said. “you did kill an innocent woman, and I did care for her, but she was not the love of my life. And try as you might, you’ll never be able to take everything from me. Especially my will to live. Aren’t you sick of it all? This constant war, it’s all we’ve ever known, and what good has it ever amounted to? Is this what you wanted? Because I’m tired of it all, the fighting and losing everything to someone who doesn’t even know what they do.”
Aquila paused for breath and Malice snorted.
“Anything else, princess? You know there couldn’t possibly be anyone left that you care about. I killed them all! You’re bluffing and you’re also stalling.” He walked towards the lever that the rope was attached to.
“But no matter. This is where it ends, once and for all!”
Aquila sighed. “Go on then,” and this time, they did sound defeated, and Malice seemed almost disappointed. He scowled and gripped the lever, his knuckles turning white.
“Any last words? I would choose wisely if I were you,” He sneered.
Aquila lifted their head wearily and, with a sigh, whispered.
“I love you.”
Malice’s face dropped and so did Aquilia, Malice’s grip having loosened on the lever. And so the hero tumbled into the depths of the volcano and the villain ran to the edge, falling to his knees; too stunned to even think. but Before Aquila could reach the bottom, a golden light shot through the volcano as they shed their skin, transforming into a golden eagle. Malice scrambled to his feet and watched as Aquila flew through the night. He sighed regretfully.
“I love you too.”
Word count: 312 ♻️
Thank you <3
There would always be a last time for everything.
The last time a storyteller would tell the same story.
The last time a jester would need to run away from the noise.
The last time an inventor would forget a special occasion.
The last time two lovers would have to reunite.
The last time an exam would define someone’s future.
The last time a chronomancer would change someone’s life.
The last time that same chronomancer would need to hide.
The last time two friends would watch a meteor shower together.
The last time a robotic child would feel guilt.
The last time a busy father would put off visiting his son.
The last time a woman would miss a time she was never fully part of.
The last time a student would sit in a classroom.
The last time dreams would feel like memories.
The last time agents would use PowerPoint.
The last time the seasons would change in an impossible forest.
The last time a cleric would leave her temple.
The last time two partners would wave farewell.
The last time a group of skateboarders would eat meals together.
The last time sensitive ears would be startled by a cacophony of clocks.
The last time a druid would feel weak.
The last time chronomancy would need to be speculated about.
The last time a child would want to slow the seasons.
The last time an eternity would end.
The last time a clockmaker would overwork himself.
The last time an aerialist would fall.
The last time an artefact would be perceived.
The last time a disintegration ray would be used as insurance.
The last time a psychopomp would guide a soul.
The last time sleeping was a secondary concern.
The last time a talented person would feel they have no future.
The last time a writer would post a Consistency challenge.
Light clouds covered the sun and the moon. The sun was short of sinking on the horizon, the perfect time to watch a horror movie. Dan regretted watching the movie. He was about to shit in his pants while his friends booed the horror abomination crawling in the vents. The only comfort? Pizza slices from Waluigis. Taste bombs. Genrades against all horror monsters.
He uncovered the lid, pulled out the locking mechanism like a pin. This was the last bomb, and the last half of the movie. As he watched them approach the lair, he started to doubt it had a happy ending, and could already see himself comforting at Waluigis with more taste bombs.
The monster in all of its abominess took out characters one by one, until only the protagonist remained. In typical protagonist fashion, they only went in deeper. In the end, they became the same straw dolls that they met at the beginning. Dan looked away and right into the eyes of Ingrid, who had an expression of disgust on her face. Dan thought for a moment, looked down at his box. Most of it was gone, already used in the mental warfare against horror. There was only one pizza slice left.
"Want one? They are quite the bomb."
Word Count: 1k
Akira wasn’t sure of a lot of things as time went on. Patterns and routines repeated, and every day never seemed to stray from replication.
Yet, he was certain what was happening right now was no trick, no lie, no illusion intended to mock him
He knew it in his heart that it was real.
Akira still remembered the darkness—the deadly struggle to find himself during his recovery of the past few months. So often the demands of his unceasing and roaring mind, the drugs he could still feel in his system, and the cynicism tainting his every experience of the world pushed him back.
At first, when he came back to his town, there was nothing. But deep down there was the desire to come home, yet it wasn’t enough for him to instantly turn his heel and take the next train to Tokyo. And it was alright, since he didn’t find the energy to act on his desires. He felt numb, so exhausted that death felt like an escape.
He recalled those moments to the smallest of details, but it almost didn’t seem real anymore.
Yet, the cafe in front of him was real.
He departed from his small town he grew up with alongside Morgana, who took refuge in his bag for most of the trip. He stepped in and left the train station. Climbing down and up the familiar staircases into Shibuya. He came to Cafe Leblanc’s doorstep from the light morning drizzle. He was damp, but living; unbothered by the weather.
He didn’t expect to find himself back home as soon as the new year rolled around.
He was standing at the doorway and watching for a moment, before the barista within the cafe saw him there. The lone person beyond the door.
The cat shuffled in his bag, already enticed by the aroma of curry and coffee.
Akira smiled for the first time in what seemed like months. His hand grasped the doorknob and twisted it, the door making a soft chime at his entrance.
“Hey,” the barista smiled at him. “Welcome home, kid.”
Sojiro stood behind the bar as always, but this time, there was a small spark of joy in his eyes at the sight of the teen. As well as some reassurance, seeing Akira alive and well.
“...Hey,” Akira greeted with a heavy breath. His voice was rough with emotion, but he no longer cared much about hiding his feelings. “...Have you been getting older in the past few months?” He managed to add, with a semblance of his old joking, yet teasing tone.
“Very funny, kid. You’re tempting me to throw away your welcoming meal.”
They both shared some laughter, as Akira set down his bag for Morgana to jump out of. Akira continued to take off his coat and scarf, and closed the door behind him. Against the last specks of darkness at the frame, he turned and walked underneath the cafe lights.
Akira’s smile widened. A soft, tender, and genuine one. The cafe was peaceful. That much Akira was sure of, the sound of the urban life outside of it faded into nothingness. The porcelain of his coffee cup clattered against the wood. The food smelled amazing and intoxicated him better than any alcohol or drug could. And the music muttering from the television a few feet to his left eased the buzz in his head.
He grasped a spoonful of curry and rice, and took it into his mouth. He closed his eyes to savor the flavors.
Yet, when he opened his eyes, he knew none of that would change anything that impacted him. His stay in the city brought both darkness and light, and it was always a battle to snuff out one and keep the other in his grasp. But, he was proud of himself despite the constant fight. He loved the feeling of being alive, in a way that didn’t bring concern or worry.
Every sensation to him was real, and he kept it that way. He didn’t dare toy with time, or act as if it all didn’t matter to him. He was almost dead yesterday, maybe he would be dead tomorrow, but he assured himself he was alive, today.
Aside from the warm lights of the cafe above him, Akira allowed the warmth from the sun seep into his bones from the windows. He was going to be eighteen in a few months, but he felt as if he was getting younger against the sun. As if it had shined the most when he continued to smile with each mouthful of food, and sip of coffee.
Something in him finally felt at home as well.
A part of him couldn't wait to visit his old bedroom in the cafe’s attic. He craved to lay on its mattress, and sleep out his traveling fatigue. He looked forward to waking up the next morning, and starting up once more his habit of cleaning the whole room.
Akira could imagine himself living in the small but cozy cafe until he graduated high school. He had in the back of his mind his applications for staying one more year in a school in Tokyo, but he shook his head before he gave it a second thought. His stomach growled, silently demanding more food.
Resigned, succumbing to his hunger and exhaustion, Akira took in another mouthful. He could think about that for another day.
Although there were brief moments that worried him for putting it off, he managed to ease himself. Little by little his meal dwindled to a clean and empty plate. His coffee cup followed suit. He was eager to get the process rolling, considering to use his fall break as a way to give himself enough time to prepare and apply to a school.
Akira knew his soul was taking one step at a time in wandering freely in peace.
He was calm, content, and mostly proud in the remaining days he had of being seventeen. He was learning to live somewhere between the preciousness of life and the wonder of the great beyond.
Bright particles of light sparkled in his vision. His breathing became short yet soft. His eyes were glossy; he was sobbing, but not out of sadness. With every breath though, he became better. He was happy as he had never been before.
Akira finally left the darkness of his past, taking with him his last and most sincere smile. He was looking forward to his future, and to receive what he knew would make him happy.
Word Count: 941 words
With her eyebrows scrunched and back hunched over the table, Sakura focused on rushing her scribbled notes. Leaves of paper laid scattered over the table, some lay forgotten while the rest waited for her to make needed connections.
The kitchen’s lone lotus lamp blinked once. She paused in her work, looking up. Through the one open window beside her blew a gentle night breeze, bringing whiffs of elven incense and the minty spice of sparkle dew.
Sakura’s back ached. Leaning back to stretch, she swept her gaze past their tree cottage’s small kitchen. Cushions splayed over the lounge floors coated in darkness, lit only by stray lights from the lotus lamp and the dim glows of goldsap walls. Viscous, yellow goldsap flowed and pulsed; for Sakura, they looked like mustard and butterscotch painted by a young child.