Originally the prompt was going to be "It was a dark and stormy night, but I just couldn't find enough ways to play with the punctuation to keep from boxing writers in.  Instead this week's prompt comes from a more general theme.
My wife and I watched "The Descendents" and a cheesy Lifetime movie this weekend.  One of the shared themes was forgiveness even when it doesn't come easily.

The Judge

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J. Whitworth Hazzard lives in the vast cornfields of Illinois with his wife, and four nearly perfect children.  A Geek-for-Hire by day, J. Whitworth has worked for over ten years fixing minor computer problems, some of which he did not even cause.   He prepares technical documents for a living and tries not to include any zombies in reports on server upgrades and network outages (although not always successfully).
Dr. Hazzard has a PhD in molecular biophysics that he now uses to figure out how to scientifically justify the existence of mythical creatures.  Trained in science and critical thinking, J. Whitworth spends his leisure time writing fiction that would make his former professors cringe.  He has been a life-long writer and has spent more than his fair share of time writing about all kinds of ridiculous things.  His dream of writing for a living started in the 5th grade when his five page story “The Blood and Guts 500” entranced and thrilled his classmates.  His passionate prosody received a standing ovation and from that day forward he was hooked on the art of story telling.

The Prompt

It's too late to apologize

The Rules

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4/24/2012

It's too late to apologize. Too late for them to say I’m sorry. Life goes on they say but it doesn’t for me. They are gone and I am alive. If you can call this being alive .I am a shadow of my former self.
The driver that struck my car was drunk. He had more than one beer before getting in front of the wheel. It was probably closer to six beers. My husband and my children are separated from me. I can’t touch them .I can’t tuck my little boy and girl into bed and kiss them goodnight. He can kiss his wife every day and be with his children. I hate him with every fibre of my being. I would wish vengeance upon him. A biblical curse on him of a plague of locusts, or some such evil visited upon him; if it didn’t touch his family. It’s not their fault he drove drunk and killed. Starring at his children I know they love him, as does his wife, my sister. She’s glad he is alive, in the hospital and will get well again. Walk again; live again with her and their children. She wipes away tears I know are for me, but then she smiles as she looks at him.
“I am so sorry.” Derek keeps muttering like that will help.
I don’t forgive him as I prepare for the funeral. I am dressed in my best dress. It does wonders for my eyes. People are crying all around me and I feel like I should gulp back tears, but I can’t I'm too angry. I hear gasps as Derek has entered the church in a wheelchair being pushed by his wife. My sister begs my forgiveness and I bend a little. She has done nothing to me.
Someone else comes up to me and whispers
“Forgive.” in my ear but I ask “How?”
I stare at the people at the funeral and I feel their pain as well as mine. If I am to continue I must lose this pain, this anger. I must accept what I cannot change. It is time for them to take the coffin to the grave .I must tell them goodbye but I don’t want to.
“I am so sorry Charlene. I will never drink again.” Derek retorts crying and touching my arm.
All eyes upon Derek as the police interrupt the service and handcuff Derek to take him to jail. I should be happy, but I am not; all I see is my sister Karen’s pain and the children crying for their Daddy.
I whisper in Derek’s ear " I forgive you" and I am instantly encompassed in bright light, a corridor before me. As I travel down the lit corridor, surrounded by the illuminating glow which feels like love I hear...
“Goodbye Charlene.” my husband exclaims touching my coffin.
“Goodbye Mommy” my little girl and boy retort throwing a rose, before they close my coffin.
I am at peace.
500words
@SweetSheil

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Ryan Strohman
4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologize for being the husband you always needed. It’s too late for me to make up for all those times I cooked you dinner, left work early to take the kids to their games and lessons, did countless chores around the house. It’s too late for me to say I’m sorry for telling you how beautiful you are every single day. It’s too late now because I know how much of an insensitive bitch you are, that all of those things I did for you were never, ever appreciated. Goodbye, Angela.”

She took the note and set it aflame with a butane lighter. It was a damningly sarcastic statement, and she couldn’t bear the thought of Angela seeing it. She’d found it in his sock drawer, sealed in an envelope and dated a week from today, as if he’d intended on giving it to her then.

Carrying the flaming, rolled-up sheet of notebook paper to the bathroom sink, she tossed it in and let it burn down to specks of ashes, then dumped in a cup of bleach and ran the tap water for several minutes until all traces of it were gone.

The body would be far harder to dispose of, and while she briefly considered retrieving a reciprocating saw from Harvey’s tools down in the vast garage, she realized it would take far too much time. She only had a few hours until the maid showed up, and she needed to be as far away from this place as she possible could by then.

She couldn’t believe Harvey was going to send his wife a letter so pompous and arrogant. That’s what fathers and husbands do, Harvey, whether they are appreciated or not. Rubbing it in Angela’s face just makes you look like the biggest asshole in the world.

Of course, she didn’t know Harvey or Angela at all. Brendan had mentioned they were rich, and judging by the size of their house and, of course, their indoor swimming pool that he cleaned on a weekly basis, well, it appeared that they certainly were. Apparently money didn’t always buy happiness.

Still, finding Brendan’s dead body on their bed, gagged and mutilated with a sword shoved through his abdomen, well, they’d have their hands more than full with that one. No need to cause them any more strife. Harvey, consider this one a favor.

She sauntered out of the house with a satisfied smile. Brendan had no idea what he’d gotten himself into that night that he’d taken advantage of her. He’d bragged to all of his friends about having access to Harvey and Angela Pratt’s million-dollar home for a week while they were away, yet he had no idea that the woman he’d assaulted was a psychopathic, stone-cold killer, and that the Pratt’s lovely abode was the perfect locale for her to get her revenge.

481 words
@rastrohman

Reply
4/24/2012

It’s too late to apologize. With every minute, every breath, every person in the room increases the infection. The virus is spreading. No amount of I’m sorry, or I didn’t mean to, is going to fix it. Only one thing can fix it. Me. If I kill everyone in this building, before any of them leave, including myself, I can eradicate the virus. My gun hangs at my side, begging someone to stop me. I think it surprises me more when no one really notices. How sick is that? Do I really want to save the world at the cost of myself? No, not really. But it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late to choose another path. At 5:17, just before packing up for the end of his day, Dr. C. Evans injected his rabbits. I can’t let him leave. I can’t let anyone leave.

I hope I brought enough ammo.

153 words
@Kimmydonn

Reply
4/24/2012

It’s too late to apologize, and that assuming I want to apologize. I don’t, not really. It’s horrible, immoral and wrong, but damn it, I enjoyed it. How long has it been since she touched me like that? When was the last time I felt my wife’s hand on my bare skin? The last time she kissed me more than briefly on the lips? Five years? Ten? Our marriage stalled long ago and only the kids have kept us together. Until now.

“I want you to take your little blue pills and get out of my house!”

“Your house,” I mutter, knowing that it is my paycheck that has made the mortgage payments. Hers barely puts food on the table; it certainly doesn’t put the roof over it.

“MY house,” she emphasizes. “The one I made a home. The one you, you bastard, brought her into. I might have been able to forgive an affair. God knows I’ve been looking for my own pleasures, but to have her in our room, our bed! I want you to take that, too. Take the filthy thing and sleep in it.”

Grabbing my coat, I turn and walk out the door, thinking about Angel, about her apartment, about her mouth exploring my body, savoring the taste of me. I long to run straight to her, lay my body along hers and feel her pulse against my skin. Feel her wet, hot and ready, something my wife has never been. I drive with purpose, direction.

I’m not sorry.

254 words
@angelicadawson

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Miranda Kate
4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologise and that’s why I’m going.” She repeated this over and over to herself as she pulled random clothes out of her draws and stuffed them into a case.

She couldn’t let it happen again, she just couldn’t. She rushed into the children’s room and started to grab clothes, toys and books – just their favourites; she could buy more when she got there. She rushed back to her room, trying to put them in tidily, but knowing that she just didn’t have time. He would be back soon.

She ran downstairs with her barely closed case, letting it bump on each step as she went, ignoring the pain it caused her hand. She let it land hard in the hallway and left it there as she hurried into the lounge to grab her handbag. She glanced at the clock and saw that she had to be quick; it didn’t matter if she was early to pick the kids up, she could wait outside - she just needed to be out of the house before he came off his shift.

She kicked herself again for leaving it so late, but she had been paralysed with indecision this morning, before she realised that she just couldn’t do it anymore. She couldn’t bring herself to apologise to him again, she had done it so many times now. And she couldn’t bring herself to look at his face when he came through that door, wearing the bruises like a martyr; all forlorn and put upon, reminding her again how she was breaking his heart.

He brought it on himself, just sitting there doing nothing, making her so angry. It was no good, she had to leave, it was best for all of them. She dragged her case out to her car and dumped it in the boot, running round to the drivers’ door and swinging herself in and starting up the engine in one fell swoop.

This way it was swift, painless, everyone would get a fresh start. She just prayed he wouldn’t try and track her down again like he did last time, and guilt her into returning.

She reversed out of the driveway sharply and pulled the car round to face the road, but when she turned to look towards the open road, she was confronted with his van, which was pulled right up in front of her almost touching her bumper. It was too late; he was here, looking at her through the windscreen, a smile dancing on his lips and a question in his eyes – and she knew, flowers on the seat beside him; red roses no doubt, her favourites. Damn!

445 Words
@PurpleQueenNL

Reply
4/24/2012

It’s too late to apologize. What would be the point? I watch the sun go down over the streets and I pray for the luminescent orange to burn me alive. I will not get off that easily, my sins will require much penitence. It laughs at me when I get into one of these moods.

“You have nothing to worry about. I have seen everywhere and there is no judgment waiting for you.”

Still, I feel remorse for every single soul I took by the throat and devoured. I try to hide myself from my calling, try to fight the primal urges that swell within me, to no avail. Nothing I do dampens the hunger.

@chuckwesj
115 words

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A Troll’s Story
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“It’s too late to apologize.”

I stared up at Shyll, my eyes narrowing. The creep glared down at me, his huge hook nose threatening to drip snot on me, if he didn’t wipe it soon. I couldn’t believe I had gotten this kind of reaction from the burly goon.

“Shyll, please get hold of yourself,” I said. Big mistake. The big lug reached down, wrapped his meat hooks around my waist and lifted me into the air.

“You get hold of yourself,” he growled, flinging spittle in my face.

Refusing to back down, I grabbed a handful of his green shirt, which was stained with something…I really didn’t want to know what, and wiped my face. Wrinkling my nose I glared daggers. “What the hell did you eat for breakfast, a goat?”

“You insulted me,” he said, refusing to be distracted.

“I did no such thing.”

“You called me an evil little troll.”

“You are a troll,” I said. “Or did you miss that the last time you looked in the mirror?”

“But I’m not little,” Shyll said, pulling himself up to his full height. He wasn’t either. Shyll was a respectable 8 feet, or somewhere in the vicinity, but his brothers were ten feet and his sister was nearly eleven. As far as troll’s went, Shyll was a shorty.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I shouldn’t have disparaged your height.”

Shyll looked at me, still not willing to forgive. “And I am not evil.”

“Shyll, what DID you have for breakfast?’

He didn’t answer right away, looking away a bit sheepishly.

“Shyll?”

“That old woman with all those kids.”

“The one that lives in the shoe?”

“Aye.”

“Wouldn’t you think that qualifies you as being evil?”

“She stole my shoe!”

“True,” I said, “she should have asked, but the last shoe she lived in was falling apart and you weren’t using it anymore. Didn’t you just buy new shoes from the cobbler?”

“It was still my shoe.”
-
“Conceded,” I said. “But now what are those kids going to do? You ate their mother…and no, you cannot eat them for dessert.”

“Remind me again why I don’t eat you?”

“Because we are friends Shyll and friends don’t eat friends.”

“I think it’s because you sing such beautiful songs.”

“That too,” I sighed as he sat me back down. “Gently,” I cautioned. The big oaf nearly put a scratch in my gold finish.

“Play,” he said, ignoring me. He obviously wasn’t concerned about incurring my wrath. Wrapping my fingers around the strings of my harp, I sang a sweet tune, one that I knew was his favorite. My thoughts drifted to Jack, the boy that had tried to rescue me from my captivity. I wondered if he had managed to escape with the goose. In the corner, Shyll picked up an old bone and cleaned between his teeth, dislodging a finger I thought I recognized as the cobblers. I guess he didn’t like the new shoes as much as I had hoped.

Word Count: 500
@jezri1

Reply
4/24/2012

It’s too late to apologize. Sterile white light separates solid from shadow, truth from lies, in stark contrast. The loveless tone of the life-support machines a constant reminder that the chance to speak those truths is gone.

Joshua met Maria a year ago, and she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. One look and his heart belonged to his exotic angel. He hadn’t believed in love at first sight, but he couldn’t deny the feelings in his heart even as he spent weeks telling himself they’d pass. It was a crush. It was lust. It wasn’t real. A hard hitting journalist who had himself been hit by hard times, Joshua had a bad habit of not listening to his heart.

She was a cop. The first totally good cop he’d met in his own dubious career. Their paths just kept crossing after that first star-struck encounter. Just to ease the ache in his chest, the hard-hearted reporter had confessed his feelings to the lady cop. The reception had been icy. He’d been stabbed a few times to get to the truth, and this one hurt a lot more.

Maria had told him she had enemies. There were people after her and it was dangerous for anyone to get close to her. Joshua’s logical mind didn’t believe it. Sure she had enemies, who didn’t? But the level of influence and malevolence she was talking about was just out of this world. What he told her was, ‘they’d deal with it.’ She was worth the risk.

A month passed before she finally relented and they had their first date. Everything was so perfect, she was so perfect. It made Joshua reconsider that bullshit about how there’s a special someone for everyone in the world. She really felt like his other half. His heart was making good headway on getting his head to believe in love. It should have been working on something else.

His heart knew Maria was right about the forces after her. He just couldn’t believe it. Wouldn’t believe it, until he saw proof. She wanted them to be careful, wanted him to stop sticking his nose where it didn’t belong. That wasn’t in his nature, so he made her empty promises.

It caught up with him. Sniffing out a lead, he realized too late that he was being baited. Maria’s enemies had him in their grip and used him as leverage to lure his true love into the same trap he’d stumbled into after some stupid trafficking racket. And now it’s too late to apologize.

He can see his angel’s tear-stained face as she sits by his hospital bed. Joshua took the bullet meant for his beloved, but right now he just feels like an ass for dying on her.

464 words
@DavidALudwig

Reply
4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologise now, you useless sack of shit!” My voice was high-pitched, wavering. He rolled himself into a ball and lay whimpering on the floor. I gave him another kick in the guts for good measure. “You’re pathetic, you know that?” I walked away from him and started to pace up and down the kitchen. “Selfish, that’s what you are,” I spat. He started crying, so I ran back and kicked him again. Rage was bursting from my chest so hard it hurt. “You call yourself a man? Look at you!”

I left him sobbing; picked up the bottle of vodka from the worktop and downed the last of it, wincing as it burned my throat but wishing I had another one. I wasn’t drunk. Slightly buzzed maybe. I’d been quite happy on it until I realised the time and looked at the beef filet that was slowly curling up inside the oven like an old lady’s slipper. Who did he think he was going out with his work colleagues when I was at home cooking him a lovely dinner? How dare he treat me like this! I did everything for him, and this was the thanks I got.

He’d turned up at 9 with a sheepish grin and a drooping bunch of flowers. I’d told him to be home at 8.30. “Sorry about dinner, honey,” he said. ‘”I, um… I already ate.” I felt the rage burning through my cheeks and the smile slid off his face like the melted butter I’d poured lovingly onto his new potatoes half an hour earlier. “Katie−” he started, but I cut him off with a hard slap across the face.

He held his hands up like a shield to protect himself. From me? Jesus Christ, what did he think I was? A monster?

@SJIHolliday
304 words

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4/24/2012

It’s too late to apologize. I feel no remorse for what I have done, though, so the sentiment would be specious. I am a man of vision, of science, of discovery and application. I have never allowed the social and ethical implications of my work to constrain me. I am not a philosopher or a sophist and so these concerns are of little import to me.

Were there unfortunate and unforeseen consequences to our research? The consensus of opinion would seem to indicate so. As blasé as my demeanor may seem, I will concede that I do understand how others might reach that conclusion. It does not matter, at this juncture, whether or not I agree with their views. The past remains immutable, inviolate and permanent. The future remains pristine, unpredictable and inexcusably perfidious. Such has always been the way of things and, likely, thus shall it always be.

When the politicos, at length, saw fit to seek of science and technology the means to avert mankind’s impending doom, we answered their call. The finest minds of our age all drew together and applied our considerable intellect to the problems at hand. We did not assign blame. Scientific endeavors are intended to be conducted in a cold, analytical and antiseptic manner.

It became immediately understood that our home world, as it existed, was no longer viable. Industrialization, mass production and unrestrained greed had ensured that the environment could not and would not any longer sustain life in its current form. The planet could no longer be bent to our will but would, instead, call the tune to which we must dance.

Even now there are those ignorant and intransigent fools who feel we should have pursued other options. They talk of mass evacuations to the emptiness of space, colonization of far-flung and unreachable stars. To those hapless souls I say such was never considered. Our accomplishments, while not inconsiderable in every field of scientific endeavor, were not sufficient to the day. In simplest terms, it could not have been done.

Genetic manipulation, controlled mutation and significant bioengineering were the only reasonable choices. If we could not leave our world, then we must needs change ourselves to its demands.

In colloquial parlance, an omelet can’t be made without breaking eggs. Such was the case with our efforts as well. Could we have achieved the stable form we now enjoy had not nearly a billion souls perished in the name of development and testing? No, we could not. Could we have maintained a predictable population without foregoing our ability to procreate? We could not. To all of the hypothetical queries poised by an ungrateful world to its saviors, the answers remain the same. Could we, should we have done differently? I believe I my conclusions regarding these matters are abundantly clear.

I will not EVER apologize for the measures necessary to save our world from otherwise certain oblivion. That is all I have or ever will have to say on this matter.

500 words @klingorengi

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4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologize,” I said. “I know. Yet, I think that’s what burns the most. All those souls lost, with no one the wiser.”

And now I stood on the deck of another cursed ship, drifting in the same cursed waters. The salty tang of the air filled my senses as I breathed. The stars above sparkled, the sky free of any threats of poor weather. I knew better than to trust a momentary image of the sky. The winds changed, and the tempests raged, with little regard for the ones like me bound to the Earth they tormented.

I turned a full circle, my eyes searching the black night.

“I am sorry,” I whispered.

“You’re assuming you have something to apologize for, then?” Claire’s straight forward words hit me like light slaps, and I slowed to a stop. “That whatever happened forty years ago must be your fault? How do you suggest anything occurred because of something you did or did not do?”

“I appear to be the only one who survived. Not just unscathed, but unchanged. Did I strike a bargain with the Devil?” The sheer dishonor of the idea made my stomach clench. I felt certain I would never do such a thing, yet I couldn’t deny the nagging doubt that I must have done just that. How else did I explain my current state?

“Jon,” Claire sighed. “You were rescued forty years out of your time.”

“How am I the only one alive, damn it?” I slammed my fist against the deck rail, reassured by the immediate pain shooting up my arm. “How am I alive at all?”

She made a sound of pure frustration. “Think, you jackass. You were rescued forty years out of your time. You sailed in 1840 and woke in 1881, right?”

“Yes,” I said, not entirely certain she wanted an answer.

“What makes you think others of your crew didn’t experience something similar? Maybe they lost ten years. Maybe they gained a hundred.”

The blood rushed from my face. “I—I don’t understand.”

“Time has no fixed meaning in this place. Everything is fluid and twisting. A day passes as easily as a century, and you’ve no control over where or when you come and go.”

“Such things are impossible,” I said, immediately rejecting the fantastic notion.

“Or as possible as losing forty years.”

“Claire, what happened to me—if it truly happened and I’m not just insane—can’t possibly happen all the time.”

“So now you’re just super-duper special? Is that right?”

The tone of her voice would make a weaker man shudder.

“Super…duper?”

“When was I born, Jon?” she said.

“I’m certain I’ve no idea,” I said stiffly. “I’ve yet to properly see you. You’re a hallucinatory figment of my mind, I suppose. Maybe none of this has really happened. Maybe I’m only imagining—”

Something icy cold slapped me across the backside.

“What the bloody hell!”

“How often do your ‘hallucinatory figments’ smack your ass, Jonathan?”

@caramichaels
500 #WIP500 words

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Bob Mahone
4/24/2012

Forgiveness

“It's too late to apologize”, may have been the thought pressing upon Monk’s mind. But, in his heart he knew by his life there was time to make amends.

In the everyday course of this present era, good men not only die, but are sometimes killed.

It was not as if there could be no venial interpretation for what had occurred. And Monk had certainly not made any dark-side commitment, by rejoicing in the deed. However, he did indeed console himself with living.

Yet life, with some knowledge, can reek of the stench of hell. Particularly when what is known recalls the senses to the fear at the face of death. Cowardice may not be a sin, but betrayal of a friend to their peril makes it difficult to forgive oneself.

“How then shall I live?”, now headed the list of questions for overcoming Monk’s weakness. “Can courage be born of failure?” The prospect of strength greater than on that day was especially comforting. Yes! Monk could now gird himself up to face the next day, and whatever next battle awaited him.

All that remained for him was to hold fast to the belief that his apology had been heard.

@Computilizer
200 words

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Rebekah Postupak
4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologize.”

“It’s only 9:30.”

In her mind Jerusha sliced him into a thousand bite-sized pieces. But all she said was, “The damage can’t be undone.”

“You forgot this chair is a…. a TIME MACHINE! Your mind is a prison. Free your imagination, Jerusha. Let it soar! The Time Machine will set everything right!”

Water torture, thought Jerusha. Drop by drop by drop, for a week. No—a month. “You’re an idiot,” she said. “There’s no time machine. No superheroes. No fairy godmothers.”

“Not for some people, maybe. You and I are exempt. Just believe!”

“For everybody, freak. And you’re changing the subject.”

“You sound depressed. You should get out more.”

A gun? Too loud, she decided. Maybe a guillotine. Dull-bladed. “I’m out plenty. And I’m not depressed. Until today, I was as freaking giddy as a stupid annoying warbling bluejay.”

“And you will be again, dear Jerusha. My word as your faithful dentist.”

This time she chose poison.


@postupak
162 words

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4/24/2012

“It’s too late to apologize.” A twist of the lips, part sadness part regret. Dark blue eyes that looked so old gazed down at Sarah, one hand reaching out to trace along her jaw. Tesh dropped his hand and turned away, picking up an engraved wooden box.

“You don’t have to do this, please, don’t do this. I’ve gotten better. I swear. I didn’t know I was possessed.” She leaned forward against the ropes. “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Her eyes teared up, one sliding down her cheek.

“I know you are. I did give you a chance to change. You are the one who continued on.”

“But it wasn’t me. It was the demon. I was being influenced.” She twisted. “PLEASE! You have to listen to me!”

“I am listening, my dear. But there is so much to fix now. So many families that lost loved one.”

“What are you going to do?” Sarah’s eyes darted around, looking for any clue as to how he was going to punish her. There were no other weapons, only a wall full of boxes, all care differently. She had admired them before.

“You’ll be staring here with me. I’ll watch over you.” His fingers slid over the wood, contemplating the design.

She leaned back against the ropes. “Oh. I promise. I will be good. Always. I won’t cause you any trouble.”

“I know you won’t.” Tesh turned towards her, box in hand and opened it up towards here. There was velvet lining on the inside. It looked incredibly soft.

“What are you doing?” She gave him a half smile, puzzled as her gaze went back to the box. Her brow furrowed and she leaned close to it. “What’s on the inside?”

He stroked the long side and the markings on the wood glowed against the darkness. “Peace.”

Her eyes widened as her head lashed back and forth. “No, no! I won’t go in there! You can’t make me! PLEASE! I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE IN THERE!” Her feet pushed against the floor even as light particles surrounded her, pulled themselves out of her skin, drawn to the box. The light became brighter and brighter until they were all sucked in and he closed the box, hooking the small latch on it closed. There was an echo of a scream that faded and the wood warmed in his grip. The rope fell with a <i>flump</i> in the empty chair.

Tesh turned and put the box up on the shelf, lining it up with the others. He sat down in the chair behind the desk, one hand raised to rub at his brow, sighing. “I am so, so sorry.”

446 words
@solimond
(I watched Doctor Who Season 2 and 3 this weekend. :D)

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4/24/2012

It's too late. To apologize for doing anything at this hour more than defeats the purpose, it calls attention to the fact that you're skulking around at three in the morning, no matter what time zone you're in. Nwark was on UST, just like all the other orbitals, but with so many dirtside contacts, it was an all-hours operation.

That didn't mean that there weren't slow zones, and entire decks where consensual "night" was actually kept. People need to sleep, no matter how wired they get, whether electronically, chemically, or both, and Twitch was definitely both. However, her downtime needs were about as minimal as anyone's, which meant that she was the perfect courier for our clandestine needs.

"Jack, I can't believe you still need me to do this."

"Who'd buy it from me?"

"Good point. You're too fucking ugly, no matter how charming I think you might be."

"You're a worse liar than I am a courier; you know that, right?"

She laughed, tucked the package into the long twist of her hair, and trailed a fingertip along Lucy's tail as she made her way out into the half-light faux nighttime of our deck'.

Lucy swiveled and extended one of her fine calipers to me, a half-centimeter data sprig clasped nimbly in it.

"You sneaky little bitch," I said with admiration. "Twitch is going to be awfully torqued when she finds out you lifted that." I, on the other hand, took it carefully to the workbench to begin working on extracting the data. I turned up the UV lamp and set it to pulse in response to audio input. Lucy had earned her dance club ambiance, even if it made my sensors itch.


#295
@etcet

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It’s too late to apologise, the short straw had already been drawn and I’d been the one to draw it and very soon I’d be the one to take the fall for another’s actions. Damn you Patrick! One day you’ll burn for this, I swear it. On a cross made of silver and everything! Just like Jesus.

I found it funny to be thinking of Christ and Religion in my undead life when in my life before this one I hadn’t given it even a passing fancy. What did it mean to believe anyway? To give yourself up to someone so completely that you could trust them beyond a shadow of a doubt? I guess I was about to find out.

I stepped forward intending to take whatever punishment the elders would dish out only to be stopped by a hand pressing down on my shoulder.

“Wait!” he said. “Marise didn’t do it. I did.”

Patrick! Finally after so many years of playing this god-awful game, he’d finally decided that honesty was worth something. Or perhaps he thought that after so long of cheating death – twice – that it wasn’t worth another innocent person’s life. Whatever the reason

Patrick stepped in front of me and assumed the full debt and weight of what was coming to him. The price that had to be paid for making another when no more of our kind were to be made again.

The ironic thing was that the person he’d made was me. I couldn’t help but feel immensely overwhelmed by the enormity of his actions. He – the very person I’d feared in the moment of my death – was willing to die for me. Just like Jesus.

“Is this true child? Is this the creature who made you?”

Huh?

“Y-yes,” I stammered.

“Very well,” the elder said turning to a hooded figure. “Burn them both!”

310 words
@StaceyJMcIntosh

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