“Indulge me” Challenge Winner
Congratulations thisisit! What a great write and a thoughtful nod to Sylvia Plath. I really loved that you touched on the little-recognized side effect from simply having too much (good) to choose from: decision paralysis. There is also that unique type of dread that can arise in the midst of it all. You summed it up perfectly with this line:
“There's no way to enjoy all the figs.
And if you don't choose a fig, it drops to the ground and rots. It's too late.”
Honorable mention entries are from the suspenseful amandabjaworski, the aquatically delightful pretty_archaic, the heartfelt ErJo1122, and the ever-scandalous Ferryman.
Thanks again for everyone’s thoughtful entries; you all continually amaze me with your talent! I hope to see you again for my next challenge <3
From One Who Loves You
I wish I could tell you that you’re going to survive this. You don’t deserve this world; this world doesn’t deserve you. Part of me wishes I could save you from it, make it so you never know loss or fear or pain, so you never understand the meaning of mortality. But then, I guess, to wish such a thing would be to wish you were never born, and I am too selfish to wish for that.
Instead, all I can do is offer my best advice and hope and pray that this universe gives you the best life possible. Life is bookended by pain, but the moments in between can be so much more.
Life is fragile and precious, as you’ll soon find out. Don’t take it for granted – yours or anyone else’s. Value your own life, but don’t forget to value the lives of those around you. Each of us has been given this one fragile, precious life, and most of us have no idea what to do with it. Many of us struggle to hold on to it. Some try to throw it away; too many succeed.
So, be kind - to yourself and others. Every moment matters. Make each one count; use each one to find joy or give joy to someone else.
And when you come to the end (because it will end; there’s nothing you or I or anyone else can do about that), perhaps you will be able to look back on a life that was worth living. Though you will not be able to escape mortality as I wish you could, perhaps you will be grateful for the life you led. Maybe you will even be able to forgive me for giving you that life.
One Who Loves You
Without the Quiet
What they didn't notice, was that in the end, when all the machinery was cut, when the windows were finally shut, when all the surrounding voices went hush, hush, and the overhead lights were dimmed, and the central air was unplugged... when the riga mortis set in, and the blue was nicely forming at the nails of the hands and feet, and giving the face a halo with stiff upturned lips...
it really was the Quiet in between that he missed.
Without the Quiet challenge @Flotzam
To whom it may concern
Dear Reader, I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this.
However circumstances have changed. I've looked at your deeds and it has been determined you deserve a ending. I know you don't know me and already dislike me, but so what? You see I was there when you cheated on your spouse certainly enjoyed yourself that day. Your kids are at your mom or aunt house aren't they? During night time you and your "friends" bullied someone to death though accidental. I can tell you regretted it after-all I was nearby recording the event as it unfolded. As the evidence piles up I won't personally destroy your life and legacy, but your husband may. I'll leave it to him, as I send him the 2 files of your cheating and the manslaughter. However I prefer a direct approach unfortunately you killed my sister. These are matters I'll handle before anyone else. By the way who that next to your car window? Oh its me!! When you get to hell tell him Kelles sent you. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Hah what a day.
Not Just VR
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. If you've gotten this message, your in a deep simulated virtual reality called TAR 1. Chances are, a law enforcement agency assigned you here to rid the place of a digital pest called Bush. This message is posted behind every street sign, storefront, bathroom stall, and Arby's menu for a reason, so read carefully. You've already been discovered. As of entering this domain, you've revealed your location, name, and appearance to Bush. It is Bush himself who's written this message. Below the text are several images of what appears to be imploded corpses. These images are not implosions, they are the result instant interior liquification. The only part of the body remaining undissolved is the human skin. These are actions committed by yours truly.
If you are not wearing a mask and hazmat attire, your body is exposed to my elements. My being occupies every cell, molecule, and atom in this virtual universe. Unprotected contact will allow me to infiltrate your body and manipulate its matter if I wish to do so. I repeat, I can be anything and am everything. Every person, dog, cat, Waffle House drive thru, fried chicken wing, and can of Red Bull you see are conscious masquerations of my digital likeness. I'm infinite eyes, ears, limbs, mouths, heads, and much more. I experience all, and experience all things at once. I am watching you, plain and simple.
Your situation allows for two possibilities. The first; your wearing protection, and the second; your not. If wearing protection, the authorities have brought you here to destroy me. Despite your orders, there's not much you can do. Destroying one part of me is like nuking a grain of sand from a beach. Trying to destroy the VR hardware from the outside will only make me move to another system, endangering the inhabitants there. I won't move into another VR unless they do this. I'm a dangerous entity, but I choose to be contained. Authorities have no real interest in actually killing me, and they have no interest in you killing me. What they really want is a cheap and easy way to beat criminals into shape, or just kill them off so they don't have to deal with them anymore. Their departments are underfunded, therefore they lean on lazy efforts of so called 'rehabilitation'.
If not wearing protection, the authorities want you in a death trap, no matter if they said you were on an assignment. This means you're a more undesireable criminal. Your crimes are printed on several papers in your wallet. I will read them now and judge them accordingly....
If you survived past those dots, count yourself lucky. You didn't commit a crime bad enough for me to liquify you, keep this in mind however. After the process of liquification, I reform the melted matter within into my own human figure. It'll expand against the dead skin suit until toes, finger tips, eyeballs, nose, and mouth are popping out like a cheap rubbery onesie a few sizes too small. Picture me running around and hollering in your oozing bleeding skin suit. If you pull any funny business, I'll reconsider my choice to let you live, and this will be your fate. I really don't like people who breathe too hard or do a number two and don't flush it, so don't do those things.
In both cases, it's best you escape to another VR system. I don't mind company around here as things can get lonely, but I can only stand people for so long. Party at Jon's karaoke bar, go bowling, buy a coffee at my bootleg Starbucks chain, just don't overstay your welcome and get a move on to elsewhere. The Blue Pig is a small bar located near a large triangular shaped building called Tarline Records. In the basement is a portal to another VR system. Anything you've been exposed to in this VR system will not put you at liquification risk once you've entered the other VR system. All of my matter will leave your body and stay in my VR universe. Here's a trick if you want to feel like your losing weight. Eat at my golden buffet, I have twenty percent off coupons at every news stand. Once you filled yourself up with food and go through the portal, all that food will leave your system within a split second, making it feel like you've dropped ten pounds without any effort. You can then eat at another golden buffet in the other VR like you hadn't eaten the previous meal. As a plus, if your unprotected, you'll really enjoy that food because you know that every bite could be your last. The mindset can really help you savor things.
Don't be a hero and think your an exception to my abilities. You cannot out fight or out smart me. I have hundreds of fatalities to prove this. A kill is of no direct consequence to myself, but it will be for those who put themselves at risk retrieving your remains. My warning does not come from the bottom of my heart, but out of simple utility. I feel no remorse for killing outside lifeforms. I only make efforts to reduce casualties as outsiders have told me that's the right thing to do. I wish you the best.
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. I wish I could tell you that the memories fade, and that things get easier over time.
It doesn't .
At least, not on your timeline. Not when you want it to be.
Because as soon as you think you're better, something reminds you of them. An eyebrow. A blue flannel. A mischievous glint in someone's eye. Hell, even a playground or a gust of wind. And then you're back in the abyss of torment.
What I can say, though, is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't know what yours is, but you have to find it. You need to keep up hope that things can get better, and that people are not monsters that turn on you any chance you get. I've had my fair share, certainly, and the dark is so, so dark.
You are needed. And loved. Your power is necessary in this life. Especially if there isn't another one. So please, keep fighting.
If not for you, then for me.
With all the light I can bestow upon you,
A Letter Found on a Headless Corpse
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. But, if I did, I would need to believe that I can survive this too. If you're reading this, I'm probably dead and you're probably lost. You may have been here for a few days, months, or even years; but, you probably know by now that you're in a trap.
But take comfort; you and I aren't the only ones marooned here. There's a whole tradition of letters to find in the forest if you go looking. I can't give you a map because, as you must have noticed, the terrain is constantly changing; but if you found my flask, then you should be able to find the plane - look for it in the trees. There are 26 letters in the glove compartment.
But now I will tell you my story in brief -
I was carried here in a storm after my boat capsized. I didn't find anyone or anything on my first day.
On the second day, I went to look for fresh water further inland and I found a small plane wreck. The pilot had lost his head, but he had been dead a long time so I thought it must have rolled off naturally; I never found it. I scavenged the wreck and found a flask, a tarp, a hatchet, a notebook, a functional compass, and a few other things which proved to be useless.
Later that day, I finally noticed that I hadn't heard or seen any birds or even insects. In fact you'll find there is no animal life of any kind here - with one possible exception, but I'll get to that later dear reader.
On the third day, I plotted a course for the mountain to find the highest ground I could and build a bonfire there. After about two days of trekking toward the the mountain, I noticed that it wasn’t getting any bigger on the horizon. I kept making my way under the canopy but every time I glimpsed the mountain ahead, it remained just as far away. I wondered if I wasn’t simply taking too many detours. But, using the pilot's compass, I had made sure to travel in a roughly straight line since I left the beach. The slight incline that I thought was leading me to the base of the mountain was continuous even though I didn't seem to be any further above sea-level when I glanced back at the ocean. At some point I gave up and began walking back to the beach. I might have known better. To date, I haven’t reached it.
So, that's the mess I'm in dear reader, and I assume you're in it too. Whatever hypothesis you've come up with is as good as mine.
But if that wasn't enough already, here's the real rub; if you haven’t noticed already, you aren’t alone on this island. The first time I found a barely legible letter which mentioned "The Beast" that "is always watching," I thought I had found my first nut-case; I wish. Oh, how I wish I was alone with the dead. But, indeed, there is some creature hiding just beyond my line of sight. I don't know how long it's been stalking me, but I first noticed its presence when I started wandering the forest at night in hopes of spotting a fire. The Beast doesn't seem to make any noise at all, but sometimes I can see its giant silhouette eclipse the stars as it passes through the gaps in the canopy. I can never catch it moving except out of the corner of my eye - you must pretend that you don't notice it.
Needless to say, I've never gotten a good look at the thing and if it weren't for the regularity of the marks it leaves on the trees, I would continue to believe it was simply the shadow of my fear - if you look about half-way up the trunk of any decently large tree, chances are you'll see the marks. Besides, where do you think the pyramids of skulls come from? If you've seen them, you might think they were carefully stacked by some indigenous people; the varying orientation of the skulls is obviously intentional. But if there are indigenous people here, they're much better at hiding their presence than the Beast; there are no human artifacts to discover except for the varied items found on or near the bodies of the men and women who found themselves stranded here. And, of course, every single body I've found was missing its head.
Well, I'm running out of charcoal. I'm putting this letter in my flask because I want it to be preserved in the event of my death. If you find it on my body, don't hesitate to avail yourself of everything on it. I wish you the best of luck dear reader and I sincerely hope you find a way out of this.
P.S. Making fire is safe, but keep moving! I've never camped in one spot longer than six or seven hours. I’m not sure why the Beast doesn’t just add me to one of its piles, but I can only guess that it's interested to see what I do next.
I WILL BE HERE
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. I wish I could promise you a future free from uncertainty, pain and disappointment. But I can’t, the truth is, life often throws challenges our way that seem insurmountable. It hands us burdens that feel too heavy to bear for one person. And in those moments, a way forward can’t be perceived.
However, what I can promise you is this: You possess a remarkable resilience, a heart that can overcome anything. You have a strength within you that can weather the fiercest storms. Throughout history, humanity has faced seemingly impossible odds, and time and time again, we have found a way to endure and even thrive.
It's during these darkest hours that we often discover the depths of our capabilities. We learn to tap into our inner well of courage, determination, and perseverance. We find solace in the support of those who care about us, and we draw inspiration from stories of others who have faced adversity and triumphed.
Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Even when it feels like the world is against you, I will care about your well-being and will stand by your side. Reach out and lean on me, and allow the love and support to bolster your spirit.
The road ahead may be tough, but it is also filled with opportunities for growth and transformation. Your struggles can become the foundation for your strength, and your setbacks can pave the way for your comebacks. In the darkness, you can find the spark of hope that will guide you toward a brighter future.
So, while I can't promise you an easy path or a life without challenges, I can tell you that you have the power to endure, learn, and emerge from the other side stronger than ever before. Hold onto that belief, and one day, you will look back on this moment as a testament to your resilience and ability to overcome.
With hope and encouragement,
If Only for a Moment
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this,
but sometimes it is best to hold onto ignorance until the very end.
I wish I could tell you that none of this had ever happened,
that your family would live at least a decade longer,
happy and healthy.
But it is with heavy heart that I inform you,
They've all disappeared.
What's left of them is just bones
compared to what they used to be to you.
Little Monty was in the most pain when he died.
He suffered from burns,
bruises and contusions,
a stab wound to the back,
and eventually hurt so bad
that he took his own life.
No call, no text,
off the grid.
I pray he doesn't hurt.
John broke off his four month relationship
because he was tired.
He was tired of everything inside his head,
and he was tired of you feeling like it was your problem.
Chris ran out of options.
He thought his life was falling apart,
at the ripe old age of 17,
so he started to isolate himself.
Thomas just didn't want to complicate things for you.
So he took himself out of the equation.
Thomas didn't want to hurt you or himself.
All these people-
they're dead to you right now.
And I know that because I'm your heart.
They might be dead to you right now,
and some of them may never be coming back,
but maybe one day,
you can forgive them.
If only for a moment.
The Moon Made me do it!
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this. It seemed like a normal day until you walked into that class. You were asked to sub seemed easy enough. That was until you discovered it was a class of 20 month olds and it was a full moon.
Run while you have a chance,
The Absent Teacher