A quiet moment

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Entering a new flash challenge! How could I not, when the prompt basically screamed “Flamel Project”? Today’s post is inspired by Cara Michaels’ #MenageMonday flash prompts. Check it out at the link!

Enjoy!


Though he hid it well, Nate was struggling with claustrophobia. The lack of windows didn’t help, plus the sleeping space wasn’t exactly roomy. His pacing was grating on my nerves, too, so I did us both a favor.

“Do you want to go outside?” My eyes were on his blood sample under the microscope, but I heard him stop.

“Can we?”

Pushing away from the counter, I motioned for him to follow.

“Emergency exit.” We walked through the sleeping space into a tunnel with a ladder that led out of the bunker. It was a bit of a climb, but worth it. Outside, we emerged onto a steep cliff. The northern lights shone above us, reflecting off the lake at the bottom of the drop, and though it was cold, the sight was beautiful and it felt good to breathe fresh air.

I thought we would sit in silence, but he had other plans.

“So what made you stir the pot? Building this bunker couldn’t have been an overnight decision.”

“We were supposed help people. Cure cancer, auto-immune diseases, build viable limbs from scratch.” I pulled my coat around tighter. “Not make super soldiers. I knew my father was hiding something, and when I saw the military contracts…I just couldn’t do it anymore.” I looked away from the lights and at my feet. “Alchemy wasn’t meant to create weapons.”

“Selah, you saved my life.” He stood in front of me, pulling my gaze to his.

“But at what cost?”


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

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Everlasting Guilt

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Happy Thursday!

Today’s piece comes from the #ThursThreads prompt series.

Prompt: “You aren’t insane.”


“You aren’t insane.”

But I’m not sure that’s entirely true. The doubt looking back at me from the mirror only makes it worse. Behind my reflection, Nate is still on the couch in the other room, sleeping as his body continues to adjust to the serum. Deep down I know I gave it to him to save his life. At least, I keep telling myself that. It has to be the reason, right? Not because I was curious about what could happen – not because I still share my father’s insane ideas.

“Selah?” His voice is weak, as he struggles his way back to consciousness.

“I’m here.” Returning to his side, I push thoughts of my guilt away – I can deal with those later – and refocus on him. “Let yourself sleep. We can’t stay here for long and my other safe house is more than a day’s trip away.”

He reaches out, his face contorting in pain at the effort it takes him to move. Of course it hurts – I can’t imagine a DNA rewrite being pleasant. Despite that, his hand makes it to mine and squeezes.

“Stay.” He barely manages the word. Does he think I’ll leave him behind? Though his voice is faint, his grip is strong, unyielding. “Rest.”

Even through the haze of sleep, I make out a single emotion in his eyes – worry. If only to make sure he goes back to sleep, I sit on the floor by the couch, his hand still in mine.

“Okay.”


Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Increased Security

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Hello again!

Even as I write this I have no idea how I’m going to incorporate this prompt into one of my serials. Today’s #ThursThreads prompt is throwing me off, so here’s hoping for the best.

Prompt: “It meant increased security.”

Happy reading!

~~~

“Are you going to say something or just sit there watching me like a creep?” I couldn’t help the words tumbling from my mouth, but they were making me uncomfortable.

Max raised a thin eyebrow in response, a smirk lighting their expression before they waved a hand and turned off my TV, simultaneously flicking on the lights. I had to shield my eyes from the sudden change, ducking my head into my arms.

“That’s much better.”

“I was starting to think you’re not real.” Images of the angel standing around my hospital room, taking me from my mother in purgatory, already felt like long-forgotten dreams.

“Sorry – it’s not every day we let a soul out of purgatory. It meant increased security and delayed me longer than I anticipated. I could only drop by to check on you before having to run back and make sure the gap we used sealed properly and held up against opportunistic spirits looking for a way out.” They looked tired just thinking about it, running a hand through their hair while walking back and forth across the room.

“Speaking of my release, are you ever going to actually tell me why I’m here?” A part of me wanted to ask if they might know what led to me dying in the first place, but I stopped myself. It’s not like it mattered anyway. “And what abilities am I supposed to have, exactly?”

“I can already tell it’s going to be a joy working with you.”

~~~

Maybe next week Paola will get some answers! Be sure to check out the rest of the responses at the prompt link throughout the day – there’s always great stuff to read.

As always, think happy thoughts!

UPDATE: I won with this one! Woo!

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Demonic run-on

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Hello!

First post of the day, but it’ll be a short one! I’m kicking myself because I missed out on last week’s #100wordchallenge. However, I’m going to participate this week and incorporate last week’s prompt into today’s response. It works out, too, because last week’s prompt, Demon, is more theme-based. This week’s prompt is to write a 100 word run-on, so hooray for playing with format!

Here goes nothing!

~~~

Max sits in the dark with me, quiet, observant (expectant?) and though we’re both lit by the light of the TV, it makes them look ethereal, every bit an angel, or even a demon, asking of me what may be an impossible task I don’t yet understand – but I do know that, whatever they want from me, whatever the reason they had for making my mother replace me in purgatory, I’m not going to like it – at all – and I’m going to regret agreeing to it for the rest of my life, however long that may or may not be.

~~~

I’ve never worked this hard to write a run-on sentence. It was fun! Plus, it gave me the perfect breather before picking up Provisional Freedom again.

Stay tuned for #ThursThreads later!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Ready

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Happy Thursday!

Hope everyone’s week has been going well. Surprisingly enough, the writing continues! I’ve even gotten some reading done. Hooray!

Today’s post comes courtesy of ThursThreads. I was hoping to use the prompt to move forward with Ariella, but it was not meant to be.

Ptompt: I was ready.

CW: mentions of suicide

~~~

After a day, I was ready to be released from the hospital, desperate to get as far from that place as possible.

Max made themselves scarce during the time I spent with my dad, giving me little to focus on to distract from the sadness in my father’s eyes or the aid assigned to watch me. Then again, being hyper-aware of Max and the fact that I’d just come back from purgatory after apparently attempting suicide wasn’t a comforting alternative.

To be honest, I couldn’t remember much about what happened – only that I definitely wasn’t trying to kill myself. It was my word against what everyone saw, though. That meant being under watch until someone deemed me well enough to be sent home. I did my best to act normal, or as normal as I could given the circumstances. Max popping in now and again made that difficult and only reminded me of how messed up everything was. I couldn’t even ask the angel questions with my dad and the aid watching.

I lost count of the days it took to release me, but they eventually did. Unfortunately for me, being home wasn’t nearly as comforting as I would have hoped. When it came time to sleep in my own bed, I couldn’t bring myself to. My dad didn’t protest when I set up camp in the living room.

Nearly falling asleep to late night cartoons, I practically jumped out of my skin at Max popping up beside the TV.

~~~

Forever wondering where this is going.

Be sure to check out the rest of the responses – there’s always good stuff out there to read.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Last Time

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Happy Thursday!

Didn’t think I’d get a post up today, but here we are! This week has flown by, too. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but here’s to the weekend only being a day away!

Today’s prompt, as usual, comes from #ThursThreads. This will be another peek into Paola’s world. She’s much darker – theme-wise – than anyone else. At least, I think so. Not sure how I feel about that. Here’s hoping I can bring her some small moments of happiness, at least, with her resurrection.

Prompt: “That was the last time.”

Enjoy!

CW: Implied suicide.

~~~

When I come to, it’s to the sound of rushed orders and a high beeeeep mingling with the voices. My eyes are still closed, but I can feel the frantic movement in the room begin to slow.

“There’s nothing more we can do. She’s gone.”

At the voice, I open my eyes, coughing as I struggle to speak. “N-No.”

The room gasps, and everyone’s eyes widen at the sight of me. Behind me, the heart monitor is still showing that I’m dead. I will myself to move, eyes frantically searching the room for Max. Where are they? As if responding to my thoughts, they appear next to me and glance at the machine. No one else sees them, but I follow their gaze as the machine picks back up again, soft beeps marking what should be my heartbeat. I still don’t feel it.

Everything is a blur – it’s a miracle, they say – and I’m eventually whisked off to a private room after they’ve verified that I’m okay – whatever that is.

“I thought that was the last time I’d see you.” My dad’s voice, worn and tired, brings me out of my jumbled thoughts. I’m not really paying attention, but I’m sure he’s been talking for a while now. “I’m really worried about you, Paola. Those pills…”

“It was an accident. I didn’t – didn’t mean to. I wasn’t paying attention to the dosage – picked up the wrong bottle. I’m sorry.” My eyes are glued to Max, hovering unseen beside my dad.

~~~

What does Max have in store for Paola, and will she be joining our favorite demons in some witch-hunting shenanigans? Only time will tell because I still have zero clue about where this is going. Ha! Story of my life.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Picture prompt!

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Image from Our Write Side’s prompt post

And post #3!

I don’t think I’ve ever participated in The Darkroom picture prompt. Like Master Class Monday and Coldly Calculating, this prompt series comes from the brilliant minds behind Our Write Side.

For this prompt, I’ve decided to try moving Provisional Freedom forward a bit, even though I still have no idea what I’m doing with it.

Here goes!

~~~

I thought there was still a long way to go before we would stop again. Instead, we come to a door what feels like minutes after starting to walk again. We’re at the end of the tunnel, and while I still haven’t noticed an incline, I can feel we’re at the top of the mountain. My mother confirms this.

Unlike the rest of the cave, this door is made of old wood, with a latch so rusty, I can’t tell what its original color might have been. I’m almost afraid to touch it and that it’ll crumble under my finger tips. My mother doesn’t hesitate to open the door, her fingers coming away stained red after she undoes the latch. When the door opens, the cave is flooded with light from outside.

Following my mother through the door, I struggle to keep my eyes on her while trying not to be blinded by the light. When my eyes adjust, I’m met with the sight of the forest we came from in the distance an the bright blue sky above. A faint sense of vertigo tugs at my stomach, but I push it down, trying to focus on the grass beneath my feet. It’s something of a garden up here, quieter than I expected it to be considering the way the wind blows my hair every which way. I turn to look at the door, only to see it closing behind us before it melds itself into the rock wall. It disappears before I can react.

“Mom? The door is gone.”

“One time use per person. That’s the rule.” She seems unfazed by this, so I try not to panic. Does this mean we can’t get back down? What if we don’t get out?

Instead of voicing my worries, I ask, “So what now?”

“Now, you come with me.” This is a new voice, unfamiliar, but again my mother doesn’t react. It comes from somewhere behind her, and a moment later there’s a figure walking toward us, appearing out of the low clouds that shroud parts of the summit.

“Who are you?”

“You can call me Max.” They bow. A pair of warm, brass-colored eyes look up at me as they stand upright again. I know what they are before they tell me. I can feel it in their voice – and the outfit makes it about obvious.

“An angel? In purgatory? Why?” I look at my mother – how did she manage this?

“They’re your way out of here.” My mother answers, and it takes a moment for me to register her words.

“My way? Don’t you mean ours?”

“No – I was only sent to guide you this far. I can’t go with you.”

“But-”

“I’ve been dead a long time, Paola. Don’t you remember?” It’s as if her words trigger a flood of memories. She died when I was five. How old am I now? I don’t remember, but I do remember her funeral, all the crying I did.

“Then…then how are you…?”

“We sent her to guide you out of purgatory… ” Max’s voice is soft as they speak. “And to take your place.”

“What?!” I step back, unwilling to get any closer to the angel.

“A soul can’t escape purgatory unless there’s another to replace it. And you’re needed on earth, Paola.” My mother closes the distance between us, cupping my cheek with one hand. She looks like she’s about to cry, but holds back.

“But why?”

My mother simply looks at me, her eyes sullen but attempting to smile. “You’re in a unique position – unprecedented. If you go back, you’ll have extraordinary abilities.”

“And we could really use someone with those abilities right now.” Max takes another step toward me, and this time I stand my ground.

“But I can’t just leave you here.” I look between my mother and Max, eyes hard on the latter. “There has to be something I can do to get her out.”

“She’ll go back to Heaven as soon as you return to purgatory and reclaim your place.” They return my hard glare with a soft look. It’s clear Max is apologetic, and doesn’t seem to like this situation any more than I do.

“You give me your word?”

“Yes.”

I look at my mother again before pulling her into a hug. There’s nothing left for me to say and she doesn’t speak, either. Before I can change my mind or protest further, I force myself to walk to Max and take their outstretched hand.

~~~

Plot twist! Maybe I’ll have a cross-over. Hmm. I’m not sure where on the timeline this is, but Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul definitely exist in the same universe. Definitely didn’t see this coming when I started writing it.

As always, think happy thoughts!