Other stories for this prompt

I held it at arms length. A scruffy business card in battered Russian. Something like “путешествие во времени”
(“puteshestviye vo vremeni” in my mother tongue. It had been a long time. I was rusty.)
“So, you’re telling me th…”

“That time travel is possible. Probable. Inevitable. Yes.”

“Ok, old man. I’ll give you a beer. Spill…”

“Well, Sonny… that would be a waste of good beer.” The ‘old man’ smiled. “Yes, yes. I know what you mean.” He shrugged.

“We know the universe is expanding, right? And that expansion is accelerating, yes?”

“Dark energy.” I snorted.

“Precisely, and no one...

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I held it at arm's length. Three feet long from blade to hilt it, the replica Confederate cavalry sword is beautiful. It is etched up and down the length of the blade with scrollwork and in two places with the letters CSA. My heart trembled as I held it loosely, admiring it. I couldn't believe she'd sent me this sword. It is a beautiful birthday present.

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I held it at arm's length, pressing the butt of the gun into my shoulder. It was heavy and my muscles screamed and burned with the weight. "Almost there," I thought to myself. A strand of my hair fell into my eyes but I ignored it and kept my focus on my target. Carefully balancing my weapon, I raised a hand to still my partner walking behind me. Three of my fingers held up for him to see.

Target in sight.

We ran across the bright grass, firing endlessly in the direction of our intended...

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It stayed there, staring... Just staring him down. There was no motion for what seemed like an eternity. He kept his eyes on the beast, unblinking for fear of its immense unstoppable powers.

And then the second of peace was over. He reeled back, shock rolling up his arms from the knowledge that he in fact, no longer had fingers with which to grasp the beast as arm's length. The black pit of teeth consumed the digits and sought more. Clutching the stumps to his chest, the victim scrambled for ground; an escape from the vivid Death that lapped up...

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I did not like the look of it. It had what other people might call poor aesthetic value. This thought was somewhat pointless though considering the mastery within the thing. It was about the size and shape of a lighter but had the colour and rough, jagged, texture of sea washed rocks.

Jenny had always said to be careful in what I was doing. Everyone else either seemed to think I was a bit eccentric or maybe more commonly just a nut case. I think Jenny only worried because she had sympathy for me though. I resented that. In reality...

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I held it at arm's length. The talking cat. No, I'm not insane. It's voice was higher and softer than human of course, but it talked just like the rest of us in English. I did ask if any other languages were known to it, but I was told it had been brought up by a family originally from Wales that had not been allowed to speak their mother tongue in their small village in Somerset.

Bob was it's name. Jet black. Educated, knew far more than me about current affairs, history, geography and was a whizz with the internet,...

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I held it at arm's length. Then I let the bell pull go, and somewhere deep within the old house a distant bell rang. The House had sinister rumours surrounding it. Some said it was Death's Door itself.

When the quiet aged man answered some time later, he just chuckled at my Halloween costume.
"I've got a Knock Knock joke for you." he sighed, "Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Death wh…"
It seems HE doesn't like being disturbed, but does have a sense of humour.

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I held it at arm's length. It had begun to exude a rather offensive smell, but it was not that that had caused me to desire such distance between me and the thing that would undoubtedly change my life.

The thing in question squirmed and grinned as she shoved a fat hand in her gummy mouth.

"You're sure she's mine?" I asked for what was probably the fiftieth time.

"Absolutely sure. The DNA test was entirely conclusive."

The baby gurgled and reached her now slobbery hand towards me. I raised my eyebrows and slowly brought her towards my chest, where...

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I held it at arm's length, thinking that it could never get to me that way.

But as I sit here alone in this room night after rain soaked day. I have come to realize,with the full clarity of a reformed sinner; it was not that I was protecting me from it. It was that I was protecting it from me.

And it never wanted protection in the first place.

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I held it at arm's length. The adoption paper. MY adoption paper. Why didn't they ever tell me I was adopted? People had often remarked that I didn't look at thing like them - my... parents. Now I know why. I'm not even their daughter! Instead, I'm the daughter of Kaitlynn and Joshua Robins. Really! I can't believe that no one... Why didn't they tell me? I don't think I'll ever be able to believe another "I love you" ever again. How can I after this betrayal? What am I supposed to do now? Well, I suppose I'll see if...

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About the prompt

Originally displayed on:
April 11, 2011


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