Pen to the Paper 24: The Announcement
I wondered if this was what a hangover feels like. Sore eyes, achy muscles, the feeling that every bone in my body is out of place, and a complete and total lack of mental sharpness. All I wanted to do was sleep. Lie in bed and just do nothing. But, alas, I pulled myself out of bed despite the fact that my cognitive ability was at a negative sixty-three.
I moped around the arena, poured myself a cup of coffee despite the fact that caffeine has no impact or the opposite effect on me, and sat down next to Nick in our office space. I sipped from my cup. Raising my eyebrows and blinking lazily, I looked at him.
“You good, dude?”
“Spectacular. I feel hungover. Minus the headache, ’cause, y’know, I’m immune.”
Nick shook his head and gave me a quizzical expression. I chuckled to myself as he said, “You’re what now?”
“Immune to headaches. It’s like a super power, man.”
“No, duh. Do you have any idea how lucky you are!? Headaches are the worst, and you have never experienced one?” Nick asked in disbelief.
“Nope, never.” I took another sip of my coffee.
“Unbelievable. You ought to be outcast from society. It isn’t fir that you don’t have to experience headaches.”
I rubbed my neck and replied, “If it makes you feel any better, the pinches I get in my neck are so bad, the only thing keeping me from cutting my head off is the fact that it would kill me.”
“Anyways,” Nick replied after a pause, “are you good?”
“Oh, I’m fine. I just woke up like this. I’ll probably take a nap before heading out there tonight.”
When I woke up, there was a blinding light shining in my face. I stretched, pushing the blankets off of me and stretching. Did I mention that I stretched? So, I stretched, stretching my arms and legs, stretching my toes, locking my knees to bring life to my thighs. I moaned mid-stretch, then rubbed my eyes. Looking at my watch after I stretched, I noticed the time. Then, I looked up. I shot out of bed and grabbed the microphone in front of me. “Hey, hey, hey, and welcome to Pen to the Paper 24!!!”
The crowd began to cheer and throw roses at the stage. One member of the crowd threw a baby at me with a note that read, “Sign my baby!”
“I apologize for being shirtless. Especially with my newly acquired Dad bod. I honestly have no idea how in the world the bed was moved here without my noticing… I am quite the light sleeper.” I looked down at my chest and plucked my single chest hair so that I looked a little more professional. “So, I’m trying this new thing. My friend calls it ‘bulking,’ I just call it stuffing my face. But, yeah, don’t worry too much about the weight gain, however insignificant it is at the moment. Just a few pounds… Sorry, I know you guys are here for Pen to the Paper, but being shirtless has me all self-conscious and whatnot…
“Who’s ready for the announcements!?”
The crowd roared with excitement. Shirts were thrown off and down onto the stage, one of which landed on my face. “Ehm, guys, can we please stay fully clothed? Thanks.
“It was tough choosing this month! So many posts really stood out to me. I wanted to reward so many posts with first, second, or third place. But, alas, I must only choose one! Coming in third place, a close tie with second, we have Switched at Death by DeAnn. It was incredible! It pulls you in and is the perfect opening to what could potentially be a larger work of prose. It has so much potential and was a great read.
“In second place, we have a post by __abby__ : only her. It was a sad read, but it was a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone.
“In first, the winner of this very bed that I slept in tonight—okay, that’s not true, this thing is way too comfortable—is Rosebug63!!! False, the first entry to the challenge this month, was another emotional read. Very powerful. Thank you for entering it.
“Moving on to some honorable mentions, GLD, I think that this is the first time that you didn’t make it into the top three. I loved Broken… a lot. In fact, it was a top contender for third or second—as I said, it was tough to choose this month. Thank you for the audio version of this poem, it really added to the poem.
“Roses, I hope you’re doing well. Always a pleasure to see an entry from you. I have a soft-spot for musing-type works as your Post Work Day Musings was. I very much enjoyed it.
“Zeethefoodie! The Woods was super confusing. But that is why I liked it so much. I didn’t really know what exactly was going on, and, for some reason, that really drew me in.
“Another top contender, Identical by Elikimber was spectacular! Super gripping, and a great start to what, again, could later become a larger work. Thank you for sharing!
“And, finally, EllaSmellaa, Her Novel was beautiful! I absolutely loved it. You were another top contender this month.
“There are so many others that I want to cover, but I will bring it to an end here. Thank you for coming out tonight! I am looking forward to seeing you next month for the season two finale! Oh, shoot, that means I’ll be nineteen in two months… Well, that’s a good way to end. On a note of existential dread.”
With a shiver, the ice cracked, and everything fell, and the dark water welcomed it.
In galleries of green, plucking petals in hope.
“He loves me, he love me not.”
End or Mend?
Relationships; easy to end; to mend is effort. It's worth it only with the worthy.
A mosaic of roots
intertwined like Celtic knots,
terrible to traverse,
but beautiful to behold.
I didn't want to be a big fish in a small water, so I left.
You and I
are the sum of a hundred stories that will never be told.
For every story told, I wonder how many more are lost to time and silence.
The day ended with contentment and desire for another just like the one now over.