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Consistency: 08/21/2022
In Discord Challenges
Consistency: 08/18/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 19, 2022
Word Count: 291 Being a cat is a lot of work, you know? You would think that all I did was sleep and cuddle, but in reality, I hunt the things you don’t know, I protect you when you sleep and I go into those places you can’t reach. You don’t know the dangers that surround you, and when I attempt to, you scream. Every time I bring you gifts, you throw them away, and I don’t understand, I’m just trying to show you I care. I blink slowly at you, I bump my nose on you, I purr and rub my neck on your legs. Who cares if you fall down? That only means I can make you stick around. Mealtime is my favorite time, we sit at the table and the food always smells divine. After breakfast we go to the sunroom, where I have my nap on your lap. We spend the whole day together and I always have my zoomies as the sun goes down. The same routine day after day. Sometimes people come over and I get shy, but you’re always able to calm me down with your soothing voice and those magical hands. You parade me around and I get proud to be your cat. Those are the things I think about as I lay on your bed. Hearing your fragile breaths. I get closer to you, commit to memory your smell, your warmth, your kisses on my neck. You would think that cats don’t cry, but you’re wrong, our cries are our strongest purrs as we hear your breathing stop, your skin get cold, and your soul part. We cats know how to love, and I hope you knew how much I’ve loved you all my life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ OOHHH THIS MADE ME CRY AS I WROTE IT 😭😭😭
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Consistency: 08/16/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 17, 2022
Word Count: 452 “Explain to me again why you think trusting others ruins your relationship with them?” Dr. Forgh sat in front of me, her notebook discarded in the low table separating us. All of her focus on me, baring me open with the intensity in her eyes. Uncomfortable, I thought of all the times I trusted too fast and easily and how hurt I inevitably would be. “I expect too much and I hurt easily.” It all started with my best friend, I think. I was always the second choice, the plan B if she didn’t have anyone else to stay with. Be it group projects, parties or girls’ night out. We grew up together and I put her on a pedestal. She always had a reason to not call me, or text me back when I needed her, or break her promises. “Can you elaborate please?” How can I tell this person all of my worst insecurities? Things I've not told anyone. Would she judge me? Think me weak? I gulp all of these questions down, my voice heavy with the effort and speak. “I just wanted people to respect me the way I respect them. And when that is not met, I tend to distance myself without saying anything and I just get angry with them and at myself for being so stupid-” I close my mouth. How-why-why did I say all of that? Where did it all come from? I look at my hands in my lap. My hands were white because of the tight grip I kept all this time. Consciously I force them to relax and lay them on my knees. I can feel Dr. Forgh looking at me still, then I hear a pen click. When I look up I see her writing something in her notebook. What’s she writing? Is she writing about how I’m naive and self-centered? This was a mistake. “You can relax dear, you don’t have to say anything you don’t feel comfortable sharing.” She puts her pen and book back down carefully, as if I am a deer about to run and she doesn’t want to scare. I guess I kind of am. Also sitting in the same position as me, I start to relax unconsciously. “I’m here to help you and listen to you talk about anything you want to share.”- She says emphasizing some of the words- “Don’t tell me the things you think I want to hear, but the things you need to put out. We can talk about something else if you like.”- I nodd- “Why don’t you tell me about your day?” I breathe deeply, feeling something in my chest lift and I tell her about my day.
3
0
Consistency: 08/15/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 16, 2022
Word Count: 320 Seasons change, time passes by. People get strange and we ask ourselves why. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. A repetition that happens every year. People get old, food gets mold. We sing happy birthdays and grieve in different ways. Leaves fall and flowers bloom. Families play with snowballs or beach balls and throw them with a boom! Graduating caps are tossed into the air. Smiles and laughter greets them no matter where. What a beautiful age to experience. A rawness and edge, something so curious and glorious. A summer’s dream. A fever dream. Something so beautiful to gleam. A lover’s memory, protected and treasured for a century. Its cream coloured feelings bring a soft smile to their old cheeks. The blush that peaks speaks their secrets. The evidence of the love that still keeps them awake at night. The white stomach butterflies that fight at the sight of an old photograph. Years come and go. The future always seems to go slow, while the past is- whoa. It’s already come and gone. Each season is a combination of the colours of the rainbow. Summer is always hot. A bathsuit is a must to be bought. Fall has the chill breeze that strips the trees. Winter brings old pains for the knees and makes you sneeze. Spring is a nightmare for the allergies that bring challenges of red nosed calamities. They are a never ending cycle. Even if you hate them, they are vital. Brave their weather and you’ll be gifted something even better. Their ruthlessness is alluring and maturing. Nature adapts and overcomes the extremes. Even when there are no means they find the right genes. We should learn a thing or two. Watch as birds flew true with no clue that they could have fallen and become stew. Nature is an excellent teacher, we should just listen to it more carefully. Nowadays, it’s been a kinder creature than humans, certainly.
3
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Consistency: 08/14/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 15, 2022
Word Count: 276 This drawing may resemble a tree with an infinite amount of branches, I know. Except, you see here, this is your life. From the moment you were born, to all these unknown paths you could have taken and the linear one that you did take. Many people believe that there's nothing in death. If you're dead, you're dead. That's it. There's no afterlife, no Hell or Heaven, reincarnation, purgatory. Not me. I believe in the whole deal. Literally the whole thing. Greek Gods, Nordic Gods, Allah, Hindu Gods and every supernatural being I haven't mentioned. Some have been forgotten, but they still exist even if they don't have as much influence as those who are remembered and worshipped. Since the start of time they've been there, guiding us. And after death, they are the ones welcoming us into what we believed in life. And you may not believe it either, however, all these beings have been working together to get you on the best path. Afterall, there's no right or wrong! There's only easier or harder, better or worse. Your life map is colour coded (like everything well organised): Purple is when you were hurt, red when you made a bad decision, yellow means happy, blue when things were calm. And now you have the chance to relive your life as it was first meant to be. Are you prepared? Take a big breath because the way through the realms is bumby. 3… 2… 1… Go! The cries of the baby were a relief to everyone in the room. The parents were crying and talking lovely nonsense as they welcomed the new life to their home.
2
0
Consistency: 08/13/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 14, 2022
Word Count: 437 "Daddy, pleeeassee!" "One more story! One more story!" The twin girls chanted to their father. Even tired, he smiled to them "Alright. Which one do you guys wanna hear?" "Red Riding Hood!" "No! I want Beauty and the beast." "What about both of them?" Happy, the children snuggled to both sides of their father and closed their eyes. "Once upon a time…" …Once upon a time, a girl wandered the forest in search of her father’s house. She was coming back from her grandma's house but she got distracted picking flowers and lost herself in the midst of the greens and tree barks. With the sun falling, and night fast approaching, the little girl was desperate, trying to find the familiar rocky path but only managing to go farther. She could hear in the back of her mind her father’s voice, telling her of the dangers that lie in the forest if she strayed too far from the path. But there's something else that she wasn't warned about. About the beast that watched and waited in the dark. ---------------------------------------------- Debating whether or not to go in, Little Red Riding Hood stood beside the most terrifying sight she had seen in her short life. Looking up at the dark sky she also notices a light on one of the windows. Gripping tightly the basket with one hand and the other holding close the sides of her cloack, the little girl passed by the big iron-spiked gates towards the old ruined castle. The west wing and tower were completely shattered, only remaining an unkempt garden on the outside. She goes inside and meets a living lamp… "And the magical Lamp did many magical things, yada yada yada…" "Daddy!! No. Tell us the whole thing." "But you already know how it goes!" He playfully groans. The girls look at each other and the more vocal of the two says: "Okay dad. You can jump to the part where she meets the beast." … and the girl saw the beast's shadow growing larger. It's horns glinting silver along with its ginormous mouth. "And she was swallowed whole!! HUAHUAHUA HA HA HA! And with that the father of the children attacked her girls while they ran from him in fits of giggles. After they all calm down, the father gets up from the bed, tucks them in and announces: "I'm tired now girls. Go to sleep and I'll tell the real final of the story tomorrow. Night Laurie. Night Sofie." And kissing them goodnight, the father left their room, to only collapse in his own bed and sleep the sleep of the dead.
2
0
Consistency: 08/12/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 13, 2022
Word Count: 912 “We’ve got only one hour, To fill this sour tower, With my love, I will shower You, till my last breath and power. With one hour, we’ll live, With our hearts, believe, I’ll carry you down this very eve, Because you’re my soul, Aviv. Down this golden cage, Away from this life they've arranged, Write a new chapter in a new page, I’ll hold your hand as we age. As I promised on our wedding night in depth, I’ll love you through health and death, Give you riches and fill you with wealth, And we’ll share the burdens and strength. But until then, one hour, I will not cower, I would scour the earth to give you, my flower, My superpower. Give you your God given right, To fight this night, Let you fill it with your bright light, Let you be your own knight. You carry a powerful weapon beside, We’ll fight side by side, Down each step inside, And finally leave this tower behind.” I grip the paper tightly in my hands. After twenty years inside this place, I am more than ready to leave. Brushing my tears aside, I put the paper safely inside my corset and went to my bed to take out a piece of wood. I had found it discarded when I had been moved to this room. After spending a good amount of time sharpening it, the mediocre branch became a deadly dagger in my hands. I look beyond my barred window as I push the dagger beside the poem. The sun is going down soon. I brush my hair and give myself a last inspection in the dirty mirror above my vanity table. My dark green dress was long enough to hide the fact that I’m wearing boots underneath. We’ve been planning this escape for weeks now. Malik had only been able to smuggle me these very boots. Everything else would have been too suspicious and confiscated by the guards outside my room. Tonight is my only chance to flee. Tonight is the ball in which the King will parade me around and announce our marriage. And I’ll be waiting. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The grand ballroom was lightened by candles adorning the golden walls and crystal chandeliers swung from the ceiling. The marble white floor was so clean that I could see my reflection perfectly. But even more luxurious were the clothes of the noble people dancing and talking along with the music played by the orchestra in the back. I noticed the stark contrast of my green dress with their silk dresses and suits. They were made of all the colours of the rising sun. Another evidence of how I did not belong here was their light skin and blond hair. As I stepped inside, my guards stayed behind and assumed places beside the door. Gasps arose as the people inside took notice of me. Some looked on with wonder, others disgust, and my heart twisted. I quickly searched for a familiar face before continuing on. My eyes stopped briefly upon the throne before I found her beside the food table. Shoulders back and tension knotting in my belly I walk towards her and discreetly pick up a piece of sweet off a plate. The waitress I knew as Magda stepped towards me and offered champagne. “Everything’s in place, Aviv. In one hour, before the clock strikes midnight, someone will come get you. Remember the plan.” Without even waiting for my nod, Magda courtesies and slips away to offer a drink to another guest. A second later, the orchestra changed up their tune, declaring the arrival of the King and his gentlemen-in-waiting. The King's pale complexion wasn't hard to find. Tall and young, he walked towards the dais with the confidence that came with his title. Upon his white hair was a white ivory crown and below, a strong jaw clenched and bright blue eyes cautiously darted around the room. Chin dipping slightly in recognition as the people bowed before him. He’s nothing like I’ve ever imagined. It’s not common for the royal family to be seen in public since they spend most of their time in an unknown location. Rumors say that they live in a magical castle made of ice. Not that I’ll ever believe without seeing it with my own two eyes. When he reached the throne, his voice boomed out- “Thank you all for being here on this special night. Tonight, I have an announcement to make. Please welcome Princess Aviv Howl of The Old Kingdom.” With that, the guests opened a path from me to the imposing man. With no other choice, I walked forward and soon found myself putting my hand into his. “I, King Cyprus Balfor of The New Kingdom and Princess Aviv are to marry-” Screams cut him off and as we look towards the screams, we see the windows shatter and people in black jump inside. In the middle of the chaos, I rush towards them, but King Cyprus holds me in place. “If I have to cut my own hand to be free I will”. I hissed at him. Surprised, he let me go and I ran towards one of the windows and threw myself out of it. One moment I was flying beneath the moonlight, the next, someone caught me by my middle and dropped me at the ground. Their green eyes met mine in the dark and together we ran towards my new destiny. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OMFG THIS WAS SO HARD TO FINISH. *cries* I AM EXHAUSTED!
6
1
Consistency: 08/11/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 12, 2022
Word Count: 276 "With all due respect, your majesty, but things have changed." I cringed when I heard the young man utter these words. He was the newest advisor to the King, and he thought he had the right to refer to my husband so insolently. Black haired and naive, he is right about things having changed. But what he doesn’t know is that the King's temper hasn't. With a flick of my husband's wrist, the soldiers present tackled the advisor and dragged him out of the room screaming. The rest of the people in the room didn't even flinch. This whole ordeal was way too common for anyone to bat an eyelash. "Husband, was this truly necessary?" I commented as I reached out for his jeweled hand. "Yes. He must be a lesson for all who dare speak to me the same way." Today was a very tiresome day. A Civil War had been declared and everyone was worried. I scrubbed my eyes and relaxed into my throne, unable to care what others thought when they saw me halfway down my chair. After all, I'm six months pregnant and in this kingdom, at least, I can do whatever I want. Except leave this very unnecessary meeting. The room we were in was quite big. With no windows and only one door which was locked. Red tapestries draped the marble walls and a red circle carpet beneath the table we sat. I just wanted to meet with the Steward, because things that were spoken here never gave fruition to anything. It was always up to me to organise this shithole. Pardon my language, brother. Wish you were here, Catherine.
2
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Consistency: 08/10/2022
In Discord Challenges
Consistency: 08/09/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 09, 2022
Word Count: 435 It’s already midnight and I don’t know what to write for tomorrow’s assignment. I kick myself mentally for leaving it for the last second. But it’s not really my fault… It’s been haunting me all week and every time I sat down to do it, my mind went blank. And so I sit here and wonder, what am I supposed to write a letter about? My teacher had announced to the class: “For your last assignment, I want you all to write a letter about anything you wish you could say to me or just something you want to get off your chests. This is supposed to be an easy assignment because they will be anonymous. Doesn’t mean you get out of doing it, because I’ll be tracking who puts their papers in the basket. I expect everyone to participate.” As I am hitting my forehead on my desk, an idea sparks. One hour later, I have my letter done, printed and packed safely in my bag. "A letter to the older generation, Being a teenager is hard. They are all fake, trying to fit in on a made up society. Kindness mistaken for weakness, ruthlessness for respect. It is all twisted, a big red mess all around. They use each other to make themselves look better but they don’t understand that it doesn’t matter if you are popular, if you know a lot of people or even if you are good at gym class. In reality, every friendship they have, are not guaranteed to last. Everything seems too big, overdramatic, that even the smallest things can bring tears to our eyes. Every fight is brought out of proportion, every struggle is a full on war. When in reality, while things are hard, they just don’t know how to deal with them. I clearly remember in high school how easy my beliefs were to break, how I used to hurt so intensely and fall in and out of love with multiple people. Sometimes because they helped me out with a project or because they changed their hair. Teenagers are so easy to mold or break. We are fragile, we put up vulnerable walls that come crumbling down when we’re alone or at night when we’re trying to sleep. And we sobb into our pillows, wishing for it all to end. Wishing for time to stand still just so that we could breathe. So don’t judge us or say bad things about our generation, because you were one of us not too long ago. Remember the helplessness and offer guidance instead of criticism. Signed, A Teenager."
3
0
Consistency: 08/07/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 08, 2022
Word Count: 584 The study of time… Now, that doesn’t make me a sorcerer, does it? Because I certainly can’t do magic. I don’t even believe in magic! I grumble to myself as I make my way to my chambers. The gracious King Joshua has just commanded me to entertain him and his guests at tomorrow's banquet. What the hell am I even going to present?! A bunch of clocks and watches?! As I’m mumbling, I don’t notice the shadow following me until I feel a hand landing on my shoulder. Now, I am not very proud of what I did next, but it’s enough to say that my shriek could be heard from very far away, as well as the beating of my heart. I rapidly turn and put my hands up in defense. The only sound in the deserted hallway were of the books I was carrying tumbling to the ground, followed by an awkward silence. Only after I was done with all those embarrassing acts, did I notice who the dangerous shadow was: My assistant, Jessica. Who, granted, was quite dangerous and scary. “Fucking gods Jessica, you gave me a fright!” “I noticed. But it’s not my fault you’re such a chicken.” She stoically replied while arching a brow. Brushing off the invisible specks and drying my already sweaty palms on my tunic, I pitifully reply with- “I’m not chicken, you are.” “Of course not, dear.” Jessica then proceeded to mess with my hair while I fought for my life. Jessica and I have always been friends, you see. Ever since we found each other as children, she has treated me like I’m her younger sibling, always making fun of me, as well as protecting me with teeth and nails. She also likes to tell me daily how she sharpens her nails, just waiting for an opportunity to try them out on real flesh. Ew. We finally arrive at my bedroom slash office and the sounds of machinery came alive around us. While many people find it irritating to have so much noise all day long, I love it. Because it means nobody has ever been able to support them for too long and therefore, disturb me for more than a few moments. Jessica has been the only one I’ve ever turned them off for. And I do exactly that as we step inside. Sighing with relief, Jess sat down on one of the chairs and looked at me with her bright grey eyes. “So, what has got you all worked up?” “The King wants me to be his private jester when I could be doing much more than making him and his spoiled friends laugh.” I pick up one of the watches lying around and look at the pointer marking the seconds passing by. “I’ll probably just show them a bunch of these machines and to hell with it, it’s not like I can control time”. Right then we hear a bang from up above and a huge bell came crashing down. I see Jess sitting below the shadow the bell cast. In my terror, time seemed to slow to a crawl as I ran to her and crashed into her, throwing both of us out of the bell’s destructive path. One second after, the ground split where the bell fell. What the fuck just happened?! Me and Jess sat up and stared gaping like fishes at our almost death. “I guess I now have something to entertain the King and his guests.” Edit: OMG I FINISHED THIS SO CLOSE TO THE DUE TIME AAAHHH the end was so rushed :((
2
0
Consistency: 08/06/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 06, 2022
Word count: 484 "I think I've fallen in love!" I harshly whisper to my friend Charlie across the telephone. He laughs in response. "Hallelujah! Girl, you better tell me everything! But not over the phone, I gotta see your face". I groan. It's so typical of Charlie to do this, I only respond with- "Alright. Tim's place, 10 am sounds good?" "You bet. Byyeee!" I hang up the phone and throw it on my bed's covers, to only fall beside it to stare at the painted ceiling. When I was 12, I decided to paint my bedroom's ceiling with red roses and vines. My dad had helped me do it, since he's the only one in this house with any kind of artistic hand. I smile at the memory of him trying to annoy me by painting my nose green. I dry my tears as I feel them coming. My dad was the best in the whole world, but he's gone now. I unglue my eyes from the colours above me and sat up on my bed. I hear a ping across the room. I've just received a message. From who? I get up and walk towards my computer. I check my discord and- Oh. It's him. "Hey Jasmin! How r u? I've been wondering, would you like to go out sometime? Are you free this Friday? I won't have any game that day, so we could go to the park? I'll even buy you ice cream!" Oh my god. I almost fall as I trip on the carpet trying to get to my phone to call Charlie, but I safely plop on my bed snatching up the mobile and dial his number. He picks it up on the second ring. "Wow, missing me already?" "No, you fool! Jack just texted me!" "Oh sweet! What did he say?" "He asked me out!" Charlie then shrieked, giggled and almost burst my ears right then and there. Grimacing, I put the phone to my ears once more. "What should I do?" "WHAT?! Does that mean you haven't said yes yet and you're talking to me?! You're so lucky I'm not beside you right now, or else you would have a blue eye by now." Rolling my eyes, I sat down in front of my computer and stared at the message. "So, I tell him 'yes'?" Almost screaming, Charlie answered "YES!!". Breathing deeply, I start to text an answer while being berated by my best friend after writing something particularly cringe. After a good ten minutes, I end up with the following message: "Hi Jack! Yes, I would love that! Friday's good for me as well, but only if you promise to buy me a double big ice cream lol" And then me and Charlie silently waited as the message sent, was delivered, read and the tree spots appeared. "..." "Awesome! See you there with a double big ice cream then! ;)" Edit: I don't know if the prompt "start" was clear, but my inspiration was the start of Jasmin's (the MC's) love life. Which is something Jasmin clearly has no experience with.
4
0
Consistency: 08/05/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 06, 2022
Word count: 871 "Well, who knew time travelling would be possible? I did! I'm the daughter of the most incredible scientist and engineer! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my mother! Welcome, Dr. Rosuma Filyn." The cameras focus on the red curtains my mother gracefully parts and steps through. Her black curly hair bounces with each step, her high heels echoing in the dark wood floor as she makes her way to me. She smiles and pulls me in an embrace as the crowd behind us claps and hoots. "Hi baby" she says in my ear, before squeezing my arms and sitting down on the chair beside my table. The band and cheers die down as I sit down as well. Pride feels my chest. I look down at the cards on my table and I push them aside. "Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Rosuma." "Pleasure's all mine! I wouldn't miss this for the world." "So, how does it feel having built something so incredible as a time machine, and what are you calling it?" I start the interview I know millions of people have been waiting for. Without wasting a beat, Mom answers. "It's unfathomable really. I spent so long trying to find out the missing link, that when I did find it… it felt like an impossible dream." She pauses, breathing deeply. Scratching her palms absentmindedly, she continues. "I was thinking of calling it Agatha's Clock." "Mom!?" My exclamation left me at the same time she completed with "Surprise!" For you, it probably does not come as a shock that your mother would name something like this after her child. But that's because you don't know my mom: Her style is to always name a project after what gave her the idea to do said project. So in this instance, I was the thing that gave her the idea to first create a freaking time machine. I wonder what exactly she was thinking when she had that bright idea! "... and so I thought, why not that name?" As I was having a full blown crisis, I didn't notice that my mother had continued talking. I was still thinking, did she not want me? Is that why she made this machine? Why else would I give her that idea? "Sweetie? Is everything alright?" No. Nothing's okay. I thought. My mother had stopped talking and was looking concernedly at me. Reaching out with her hand, she touched my arm, but I shrugged it off. I felt my eyes water, but I pushed it all down and calmly replied. "No, I don't feel well". Looking at no one at all I said, "can we take a five please? Thanks" And without giving any further explanation, I got up and left. ________________________________ Five minutes later, I found myself at the terrace, hiding. Because that's what I was doing. Hiding from my mother, the cameras, even myself. I was looking to the city beyond when Mom found me with my streaked black makeup and red eyes. "Darling, what's going on? Why did you leave?" I didn't want to answer her. I knew now how stupid it all was, even though I still felt my chest cracking. I whispered the words, afraid of what would happen if I said them clearly out loud. "Did you not want me? Because… why else would you name the machine my name?" After every second, I got angrier, my chest pounding, my words getting louder. "Why would you even tell me that?! Do you know how horrible it feels to know your own mother does not want you? You should have just stayed quiet and named it something else. Now, not only do I know how much you don't love me, the world does as well." Her face was one of pure shock and horror. Slowly twisting to one of anger. Good. I thought savagely. Now we're on the same page. "First of all girl, how could you say I don't love you after all that I did for you?! Huh? Second, mind your manners! I am still your mother. Third, I have just told you why I named the machine after you!" Her fists were trembling. "You were hurt when I thought of it. You were merely a child, playing at home close to the wall when the clock fell and hit you in your head. You had a stroke and all I could think was, 'if I hadn't let you play under the clock or if I had taken down the stupid old clock off the wall, this would not have happened. If I could go back in time, I would change all of that.' And those were the reasons I created the time machine." I looked at her then. My eyes were burning again and I felt tears silently falling down my cheeks. "What I didn't tell you before, is that I changed it all already. I did what I had to do to make sure you were okay." We were hugging now, and I was wetting the whole front part of her dress. "Sorry mom." Her black hair was tickling my nose and her arms were holding me fiercely. "I love you too dear. More than you could ever imagine."
1
0
Consistency: 08/04/2022
In Discord Challenges
Kiki
Aug 05, 2022
Word Count: 377 I feel the water rushing through my face and skin. One movement at a time, I feel like I'm flying. Even if it gets heavier with each pull of my arms and kicks of my legs I don't stop. I turn my head sideways and breathe deeply in the one second above the water. I briefly hear the cheers and the sounds of splashing water, and my heart is filled with exhilaration and anxiety. I have to finish this. I have to go faster. I push through the pain. It has to be enough. It's not. I see my competitors gaining on me. No. I let go of my air slowly through my nose. I focus on the bubbles, the lines on the bottom of the pool. I look at the other end and prepare myself for the turn. I pull my head above the water the last time and dive. The intricate turn is second nature, I'm already kicking off the wall when they get to me. I'm flying underwater again. I'm like a rocket ship going to space. I reach the surface in perfect form but my chest burns and the pressure on my head increases. I shake it off and breathe as I pull my arm above the water and pull and kick and pull and kick, over and over again. I can see the finish line clearly but I'm losing control of my body. What's happening to me? I try to continue but I'm so tired, my kicks lose their strength and my arms get slower. I hear my family screaming my name, to "go, go, go!" I see the concern in their eyes and I feel my eyes water. I always found it strange the fact that I could distinguish the tears falling from my eyes and the water that filled my goggles. I closed my eyes in that instant and just felt the water surrounding me in a warm embrace. It always felt welcoming to me. Even if sometimes It would be cold and silent, I felt It calling to me. I don't remember the first time I swam, but I definitely remember my last. I feel my head touching the wall on the other side, and nothing more ever again.
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