I've got to get out of here.
It's killing me.
Every day strips away another bit of my soul, sucks down another sliver of my humanity into the black pit of Tartarus that is my home. This hole of a place we used to call a shelter has a mind of its own. And it has turned against us.
Today marks the six-month anniversary of when it all began - when people in our little civilization started to change, first being lulled into complacency, then slowly into mindlessness. Now, the entire rest of the community are just human automatons milling around with glazed eyes and frozen smiles, doing the same tasks over and over as if they're in a time warp. Our smartest scientists, our most brilliant artists and engineers - reduced to living zombies; sapped of all independent thought and sentenced to utter monotony forever.
I'm the last one left. I don't know how much longer I can hold on before becoming one of them - just another brainless bee in the hive. I can already feel my sanity starting to slip; my thoughts starting to muddle and fade. I know I've got to make an escape plan soon, and today might be my last chance.
My plan, however, will rely on the crucial fact that the guards don't catch me. The Pit controls them. If they catch me, I'm dead. At least, I might as well be, because the Pit will force them to imprison me, keeping me till I succumb.
The monotony has an upside, however: I've charted the guards' patrol routes for the past month. Every single time is the same, just like clockwork. Thankfully, I'm already packed. All I have to do is wait.
. . .
I shoulder my knapsack and creep out of my hut, my heartbeat pounding loudly in my ears. Do I dare do this? After all, we left the world above for a reason. When we retreated underground, it had been utterly destroyed, barren and burned to ash.
Doubts buzz through my mind like flies around a Dumpster. Wouldn't it just be easier to stay? I wonder. At least down here my future is certain. It's been a year and a half since I saw the outside world, and I have no idea what I'm in for.
Nevertheless, I shake the doubts from my mind and continue walking, stopping to hide behind boulders or huts when I know a guard is coming. I take in the surroundings fondly as I pass, letting my eyes rove over our little makeshift restaurant, the old laboratory, the school, and finally, the old house I used to share with my sister.
My sister had warned me about the Pit, but I didn't listen. She disappeared four months ago, and I never found out if she made it to the surface. I guess I'll find out when I get there...if I make it. This sudden thought brings a wave of uncertainty, makes me falter for a minute, but I shake it off. I will make it - I have to.
With renewed determination, I resume my trek through our little town until finally, I see the lake ahead. I breathe a quiet sigh of relief. I've made it this far - if I can make it to the old rowboat we kept on the shore I'll be home free.
Crouched behind a boulder, I survey the beach. After a tense moment, I spot it down the shore. I dash toward it, shove in in the water, jump in, and madly paddle toward the other side - toward the little pinprick of light that signals freedom.
Thinking Out Loud
I often talk out loud to myself when I'm alone, to pass the time. I wasn't expecting to get a response.
I am depth,
I am intelligence,
I am eccentricity.
I am the artist,
the creative who can find meaning in anything and cannot live without self-expression.
I am the one who can fathom none other than facts,
who can take joy in none other than the improbable, the impossible.
I am an old soul, I am a free spirit,
I am everything in between.
I am the quiet one who revels in silence and solitude, yet the one who cries because I am alone.
I am the bubbly one who practically takes flight when I am happy, yet the one who rarely takes true joy in anything.
I am quiet, intellectual, stoic,
yet every emotion is painful as being stabbed with a knife.
I care for people,
yet their predicaments mean nothing to me.
I fear I won’t measure up,
yet I am probably one of the smartest people in the room.
I am everything, and nothing.
I am a paradox.
I am unknowable.
Apologies that this isn't a real prose post. It's just the only way I can think of to get answers quickly. :)
Is anyone having issues with the Prose Weekly Newsletter? I have notifications turned so that I get the newsletter, but I've never received it. I think it's been nearly a month since I turned the notifications on.
Also - who won the April monthly challenge? I'd love to read the winning entry but I have no idea who won or if anyone's even been announced (since I can't get the newsletter).
The Human Thing
I opened my eyes, wincing at the bright morning sunlight filtering through the curtains. I swung my legs off the side of my bed, sliding onto the cold tile. Then the pain hit.
I groaned through gritted teeth, doubling over. Once I could think coherently again, I became aware of an electrifying energy coursing through my veins that I knew hadn't been there the night before. It was as if overnight I had been injected with pure divine power. Power so strong, I realized, that my mortal body was struggling - painfully - to contain it. I felt it burning, bubbling beneath my skin like lava waiting to explode.
I instinctively knew that I could think anything, on a whim, and it would be done exactly as I desired. The possibilities were endless.
I tried to dismiss it, but the burning power refused to be ignored. The more I thought about the possibilities, the more it heated up beneath my skin. Finally, I gave in to my curiosity and decided to experiment with my newfound power.
I wish I could say that the first thing I did was to eradicate disease, or end world hunger, or bring nations to peace. But I was still fully, regrettably human. So I did the human thing.
I got revenge - on all the people who'd ever wronged me.
One after another, I mentally sent karma their way - to my grade school bully, the lady that had cut in line at the grocery store, the random guy who'd dinged my car in the parking lot - every person I could remember who'd hurt me even a little, and some that I just plain didn't like.
I felt a rush of pleasure at the thought of their suffering. Just for kicks, I sent a little payback to a few more people - people who hadn't wronged me, but who I knew had wronged innocent people, children, or animals. They were getting what they deserved, I thought. It wasn't fair that people's evil should go unpunished. Justice would be served!
It was only after I sent a little too harsh of a punishment that I started to think I'd gotten carried away. Omnipotent or not, I realized, this was wrong. I was wrong. Worse than all the people that I thought had wronged me.
I wanted to scream. In a matter of minutes, I had gone insane with power. This wasn't a gift to me or to humanity, it was a curse. I was wracked with guilt. What had I done?
I could no longer trust myself — I had become a monster. All at once, the shame and guilt of what I had done crashed down onto my shoulders and I broke down in tears. I realized there was no way I could handle this kind of power.
After sobbing for a while, I pulled myself together, knowing what had to be done. I began to rewind time, undoing all the punishments I had visited upon my enemies.
The morning sunrise once again shone into my bedroom, and I walked to the window, admiring the beautiful colors in the sky. As dark as the power had tainted me, I wanted the light to be the last thing I saw.
Then, with a resigned sigh, I used my newfound power one last time - and wished myself out of existence.
To truly be a Christian, you must not only believe God/Jesus exists but also accept His gift of salvation and accept Him into your heart to essentially "take the wheel." True Christians ought to know where they're going and not be afraid of death, because they know they will be with their Savior. True Christians ought to live for Christ, by showing His love and telling others about the Good News - that He died to take the punishment of our sins so that we can live forever with Him.
True Christians, however, usually struggle with doubt. Because they belong to the Lord, they are often attacked spiritually by Satan, trying to discourage them. One common doubt Satan plants in people's minds is that one's "not good enough," or "too far gone" to be saved. Even those who have been Christians for decades still struggle.
Jesus did not promise that we would have easy lives, rather He said the world would hate us. John 15:18-20 says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world...If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." This is clearly seen in the amount of Christians around the world that are persecuted for their faith. However, they refuse to convert/stop meeting/stop spreading the Gospel. This resilience and willingness to lay down their life sets them apart because most people love their lives. You know why they can withstand being tortured, even killed for their beliefs? Because God gives them strength, and they know that what awaits them on the other side is better than anything here on this earth. That is a sign of a true Christian.
True Christians should be obvious in word and in deed. They should be joyful, even in difficult circumstances. They should be kind, even to the cruelest people. They should be different - a good, visible different that makes people say, "I want what they have!"
However, some people who profess to be Christians don't really have God in their lives. Some have accepted Him, but they struggle and aren't at a point where they understand how to live for God yet. Some people become Christians but fall away during difficult times. This is what causes people to misunderstand what true, strong Christians are really like.
True Christians should be easy to spot. They should be like "little Christs" - in fact, that is the meaning of the term "Christian". However, while there are indeed certain things that all Christians must do to be saved, I would like to point out that no Christian is the same. We're all at different points in our spiritual walk. We all struggle with different things. We all screw up. Some of us have different standards (more or less). We aren't all going to be the absolute epitome of Christianity.
But over all, true Christians are united in Christ. Because no matter how different our lives are, or the struggles we go through in our physical and spiritual lives, what really makes a Christian a true Christian is that God is in their lives and He has changed them from the inside out.
I blinked, wincing at the brightness and pain. A man loomed over me.
"Thanks for joining us." He smiled mockingly.
I got up shakily. Somehow, I had survived the hit unharmed. I stumbled away from the scene to collect myself, then I risked a glance. I saw a hastily stopped car, engine still running, and people kneeling over a limp form. I recognized the ruined face. It was my own.
The Time-Chasers (this is from a book I’m working on)
I was bored.
When you grow up having every gadget imaginable at your disposal, and every remaining human on earth for your literal next-door neighbor, you eventually run out of new things to do.
Writing is like
Sewing tiny wings onto my heart.
It's painful sometimes.
It's long and tiring, and
It's almost always hard.
Sometimes it doesn't make sense.
But in the end,
It sets me free.