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A 137-post collection

Challenge #02291-F101: Kitchen Parley

"Let's see how strong this little 'rebellion' is." I walked to my son's door and knocked. "I know you don't feel like talking to me, but I wanted to let you know there's pie in the kitchen." I set up the plates and took out the pie, and was very happy to hear the creak of his door. -- Anon Guest

Teenagers had to be the most misunderstood age grouping in the world. They were given all the responsibilities of adulthood but one - the responsibility to make their own decisions for themselves. They were expected to act like adults whilst simultaneously being treated like children. Worse, entire crowds of people were smothering them with conflicting instructions, escalating expectations, and endless insultations.

In a period where biology demanded they rest in order to grow and develop, society demanded that they work as if they were already fully grown. The response to science revealing that teenagers operated best later in the morning, that the human brain absorbed information in smaller bites... was to set earlier school hours and longer classes for more hours. Blend all of that with the growing awareness that the previous generation expected them all to fix the world that their elders wrecked... and the famous teen attitude was a natural consequence.

Attitude like the one that came slouching, slinking, resentfully glaring from his room to the kitchen counter stool. It was the sullen smile that broke at the sight of the garnish on the waiting slice of pie. A flag toothpick, bearing a stylised dove with an olive branch on a white field. The parley flag. I said, "I'm listening."

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Challenge #02288-F098: All Nerds Together

There are many types of nerds. Science nerds, language nerds, sports nerds, food nerds, etc. -- Anon Guest

"NERD!"

Al ducked the incoming half-cup of fluid. This was the third time in as many minutes. This was, apparently, what they deserved for wearing a Steampunk shirt, a TARDIS cap, and carrying a Tote of Holding. Not helping were the rainbow socks and the cargo pants with the belt and braces.

Al took a deep breath. Glared at the jocks across the way,

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Challenge #02286-F096: An Effective Apocollapse

"Interesting Times" the four horsemen of panic. "Misinformation, Rumour, Gossip and Denial". And Boy! does this remind me of politics, common and the more toxic. -- Knitnan

This is the way the world ends, T. S. Elliot wrote, Not with a bang, but a whimper. How sad, how tragic, that it almost came true. For the Horsemen to ride, it wasn't necessary to have War, Famine, Pestilence and Death in force. No, they started much, much smaller. After all, it is from

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Challenge #02281-F091: The Threshold

You'll need the wayback machine. A man stands in front of a door. It can lead anywhere. Dare you step through? -- Anon Guest

Presented for your approval, the image of a man in a grey suit. The man is also in tones of grey. To see him, and the door he offers you, is to see into different realities where anything from creeping horror to sublime delight awaits on the other side. It is, without a doubt, the trip of a

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Challenge #02278-F088: Getting Into It

It's hidden in plain sight, of course if you've been Shown or found your way there it's where you go. When you can. When you need to. -- KnitNan

Just about everybody in the school despised Weird Ellie. She was too weird, too quiet, too strange. She'd come out with knowledge that nobody else should ever know about as if it were something everyone should know - once you could actually get her to talk. For the most part, she was silent.

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Challenge #02244-F054: Made Outta Ticky Tacky

Yet another 'Wonderful Scheme' that was going to make life easier, Might have worked if they'd only listened instead of hiring a "well-known designer." -- Anon Guest

Here's why planned community spaces suck: they're always designed by an older, able-bodied man who is more concerned with aesthetics than practicality. In order to be a Name in the business, they design for beauty in mind. Unfortunately, beauty is both blind and deaf to the needs of anyone not fit, young, or adult.

Stairs

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Challenge #02243-F053: Hardy Malone and the Mystery Missive

The letter appeared on her homework desk, under her second-hand typewriter.

"Nanna! You said you changed things, and I told you to do something about it, and go read the papers from 1940 onwards. And you'll need 10 pounds to buy that chest in the Junk shop."

"But! But I'm 14 and still in school!" -Inspired by Casandre Jones. -- Knitnan

The letter was printed, and not by any means that she recognised. It certainly hadn't come from her typewriter. Her letter

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Challenge #02225-F035: That They May See

Words cut deeper than any weapon ever could. Thankfully, they also heal better than any medication. -- Anon Guest

Everyone has words they hate having flung at them. Slurs, for instance. For the linguists among us, it may be fascinating to analyse how the words we choose to hurt others with show how those who arm evaluate those they see as less. However, those words still hurt. Others may choose to glide past them. Having never had such words used against them,

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Challenge #02219-F029: Fallen From Grace

"I don't understand why you don't understand." -- Anon Guest

This place was an outrage. Roman's first thought as he returned to consciousness was that someone was going to pay for being so loud in his vicinity. It didn't matter to him that the someone was a baby. It mattered that the baby was interrupting his rest. There was other hubbub. People talking. People clattering around with things. He opened his eyes to see dingy grey foam tiles in the ceiling. Who

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Challenge #02198-F008: Immortality Perversion

Little known fact: Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of Vlad the Impaler, meaning she, and the rest of the lineage to the throne under her, are direct heirs to the bloodline of Dracula...

Kinda makes her remarkably long life seem a bit questionable now, doesn't it? -- Anon Guest

They say wealth has its privileges. One amongst many of those is being able to literally get away with murder. The only mistake -say- Elizabeth Bathory made was selecting someone who was

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Challenge #02197-F007: The Girl Who Circled Time

"My apologies for the security breach. I was experimenting with temporal rifts and found myself here." -- Anon Guest.

Roswell, New Mexico. 1947. Everyone has a story about what happened that year, but it was a weather balloon carrying a top-secret attempt at detecting enemy nukes and that was that. However, since the American Public believed there was a coverup, it and the nearby Area 51 became the perfect stalking horse for other, experimental technologies.

Then there's the actual Incident that happened

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Challenge #02190-E361: Unreachable

What if someone was trying to get information out of someone else by threatening them, but the second person was just too positive. For example:

"I'll cut off your leg."

"Yes! I can get a peg leg!" -- Anon Guest

Violence can solve some things - like how to stop a racist in one easy step. What it can't do is defeat someone with the correct amount of optimism.

They called him Fearless Harry, and the enemy who captured him were beginning

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Challenge #02188-E359: Normal is Relative

"Why is that rooster using an airhorn?"

"It's outsourcing its morning crowing." -- TheDragonsFlame

There are downsides to living in quiet country towns and the one you never notice is how casual one can become when faced with things far from normal. It's only when the outsider arrives that things like the neighbours taking their pigs for walks or the rooster down the road greeting the dawn with an air horn get pointed out as unusual.

The same thing goes for the

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Challenge #02177-E348: The Biggest Speech Wins

Monologuing Villain encounter Drama Queen Hero. To the detriment of both minions and party members. -- Anon Guest

Alcratho was midway through Opus 67: You Don't Understand My Struggles (It's a Harsh World and We Can Remake it). His nearby minions made themselves comfortable.

Meanwhile, working on counterpoint Zanthinar was midway through his epic performance of Oh My Trials! and his cohort were busy busting out the cushions to sit on and using Create Popcorn.

To the uninitiated, it seemed like they

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Challenge #02176-E347: What Were You Thinking?

Deep inside our consciousness is the Lizard Brain, primitive, and kept us going till we got much better, but every so often it has it's say in our lives.

And probably at the 3 F's stage of existence with an attraction to distraction. -- Anon Guest

[AN: The three F's are something I used in some slightly-raunchy fanfictions for The Adventure Zone. They stand for "Fight, F*ck, or Feed"]

Brains are funny things. We like to imagine an internal hierarchy because

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