2024 Writing Challenge - Feburary

[100 Word Intro to be written here when I get around to it]

(She did not, in fact, get around to it)

Day 80 - Moments Observed

Looking back, some of my favourite entries have been those capturing a single moment. You can’t fit much into 100 words, but a split second holds plenty. Right when the momentum pauses, like a quick but relaxed inhale, is where you can find this. You’ll feel it when it happens. The world slows, but don’t let yourself slow too far. You can’t take in everything. Stay with the momentum, and let yourself deeply notice a few specific things. The warm glow of the lights. A laugh across the room. Notice them. Poetry is written by the contours of meaningful things.

Day 81 - Dance

A step, a twist, an outstretched hand. The stars flash by around us, a kaleidoscope of spotlights. I’m drawn in to you, as you are to me, hand in extended hand, spinning together. We glow against the void. There’s no wind in my hair. You pull me close in a tight roll before I’m flung back out across the floor. Our movement never stops while I arc out into space. The constellations watching, we fall into each other again, one system of two bodies. I hope this dance never ends, but our fates were sealed the moment it began.

Day 82 - apple

Snuck into your apartment last night and put an extra apple in the fruit bowl. Now there’s one left when you wake up late, one left for you to toss in your bag when you leave-just in case. You don’t even like apples that much. You’ll give it to Liz, who’s looking for a snack, at 1pm, right before she meets me, and trades me a protein bar for the apple. Now I get an apple for lunch, and you both feel like you’re helping. Why do I do this? I hope one day you understand. I hope one day I understand.

Day 83 - Moments Measured

What’s a moment to you? Time means something to me (experiencing, anticipating, reflecting on), and it feels wrong to try and confine my view of the world to some numerical system that’s unchanging day to day. But what seems like a milestone today might be unnoticeable tomorrow. A long two weeks ahead can stand like an age in memory. If I were to define my own way of doing anything I’d want it’s structure to grow from the reality of my perception. I’d need a new vocabulary for this. How do you measure time through a perception that changes with, well, time?

[Feb 14] Took a little 1-week break here from the 7th to 14th. I still wrote a few things over this time, but I don't think I'll post them. I hope a few days off will grant me some inspiration in writing my next few. Only 18 centuries to go, then we'll switch up the format a little :3

Day 84 - Scenario 71

You are standing on a featureless, flat surface. There is a small flame hovering 5 meters away. You can see a distance of 25 meters. Past that, all is darkness.
What do you do?

>[Move away from the flame]

The flame is 15 meters away. Your surroundings are dimmer. You feel slightly colder. Your eyes adapt, and your world grows. You can now see a distance of 45 meters.
What do you do?

>[Move towards the flame]

The flame is 3 meters away. Your surroundings are much brighter. You feel slightly warmer. Your eyes adjust, and your world shrinks. You can now see a distance of 8 meters.
What do you do?


Day 85 - The Trinity

It is the nature of living things (in the self-propelling sense) to want only what has been before. Real imagination is a scare commodity. Only by accident, or by the higher-order mechanisms of the universe, is progress made. Even then, the progress is cyclic. It seems the only constant is entropy, and to even that the cosmologists have doubt. Do not trust rules applied unevenly, or outliers in the order of things. The flesh and the machine can be tricked, but it is not in the nature of the divine to be fallible. However, one must wonder. Perhaps we do not yet have the lens.

Day 86 - Losing the Plot

Nobody wants to read written novels anymore, no-sir-rie! The days of authors and tortured artists are long gone, and we’re all worse off for it I say! No, these days all anybody wants to read are the transcribed dreams of a roxlandian mudrat, pumped full of the finest drugs known to sentient life, and let loose in a holo-deck connected to the inquisitiveness centre in its brain (which, if you know anything about roxlandian mudrats, takes up 70% of its brain mass). The visual landscapes are fantastic, the prose is excellent, and the plot structures are uniquely unconventional, but what’s the fucking point?

Day 87 - Entanglement

Too late to turn back now! Cross-contamination is permanent, you know. Not that we’d want it any other way. Too few cooks spoil the broth. My hand on your needle. Your sweat in my stew. A turn of phrase, my enunciation, an echo of something you said. My fingerprints showing up in your work. Back home, alone, at the workbench where I remake myself, it’s not just my hand that guides the knife. And if you look closely, at the atoms and proteins, at entropy and causality, the line where I end and you begin is fuzzier than you’d think.

Day 88 - Winter

I’m probably one of few to be excited when the cold winter weather rolled back in. Climate anxiety aside, this just feels wrong. I feel out of time on a 4° February afternoon, like someone tried to force April on me without any warning. The leafless trees look truly dead without the contrast of a white snowbed beneath them. The gravel from the last snowfall three weeks ago covers every sidewalk still. And everybody waits, unsure if they should celebrate or mourn, hesitant to dial back their wardrobe fully.

When the snow and wind finally return, it’s relief through a hundred tiny needles in my skin. It’s a discomfort, but a familiar one. I know how to make it through a cold winter. I’ve done it before, and this hindrance can’t harm me. Throw some leggings on under your jeans, wrap your scarf tight, and bear it. Montreal is meant to be covered in snow, outlining its iron staircases, spreading the streetlights’ glow across the boulevard, piling up against the bus shelters. And there’s no greater feeling of home than stepping out of the dry, icy air into a warm embrace and steaming mug of tea. Let the cold winds come! The spring will feel even sweeter for it.

Day 89 - The Balrog

She thought they had been careful. All power off, prosthetics dead, not a static electron left unturned. Down the ruined street, through a thicket of overgrown vines, a streetlight flickered on. Then another. It’s too late- we need to run. They broke into a sprint, heading towards the waterfront as a deep hum began to emanate from the ground. Slowly, through aging walls and shattered asphalt and sparking wires, the city began to wake up. This is not home anymore. All around them, worn apartment blocks buckled as ancient machines whirred to life. Drums in the deep. It is coming.

Day 90 - Khazad-dûm’s Got Talent

Welcome back to the 1746th season of Khazad-dûm’s Got Talent! I’m your patient host, Dali Greybeard, and tonight we are joined by Khoil Thrim!

KHOIL THRIM enters stage left, and two attendants drag in a large block of granite. The crowd claps in perfect unison exactly twice.

Khoil, care to tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a mason.

Wonderful! And let’s just get right to it then?


The crowd sits enraptured for 34 straight hours as KHOIL THRIM painstakingly carves a beautiful throne from the block of stone.

Day 91 - Space and Self

The dream is to get a large map, on the scale of 2x1 meters, that covers the entire city in detail, and glue it to a corkboard. Then, using pins and stickers and coloured toothpick flags, mark down every place of significance. Friends’ apartments, favourite cafes, punk shows, fun dates. Let nothing be forgotten. Beautiful sunsets, cool street art, the intersection you bumped into an old friend, the house you bought an old sewing machine from. For each, a physical reminder of good memories, and together a growing, living work of art to represent the intertwining of space and self.

Day 92 - A Message from a Cat named Seaglass

(One day you’re going to have a dream about the great lakes. You’ll know the one. This doesn’t need to be significant, but it could be if you want it to.)

the parentheses means she’s speaking into your mind

(You get to decide which events are/were important to your story. This decision can be retroactive or in the moment.)

(The truth is that every single instant you spend alive leaves its mark on you. You’re adrift in an ocean, and every molecule of water smooths you out just a little. This process is continuous and never-ending.)

(It’s not your place to lose the forest for the trees, though. Focus on the waves, and let the water do its thing.)

(I love you, and I hope your journey is fulfilling. Whatever shapes you take you’ll always be beautiful.)

Day 93 - The Divine

On an absolute scale, I am very small. Most of my lines are already written. The part I’ve been given to play is unimportant to any thing but me.

Thermodynamics is divine, chaos is divine, causality is divine. Know that there are greater forces at work than you, and weep in relief. The world continues, with rhyme, without reason, regardless of your effort or will.

If you break, if you falter, everything will continue. And, so, you will too. You can’t possibly fuck this up. All you have to do is exist.

In the sky, the stars continue to spin by, unmoved.

Day 94 - Church of Thermodynamics

And the LORD took the pitcher of water, and he poured it down the side of a boulder. His apostles gathered and watched the water flow through the canyons of the rock, down into the soil. And the LORD said, “You, my beloved, are the water. And our world is this rock which guides it. Water flows because it is compelled to, by the sacred rules that govern its being. My brothers, when you flow through the world, you are enacting the will of GOD simply by living, for life is only possible in accordance with the laws of GOD.”

Day 95 - Dream Physics

I can anticipate my doom several moves ahead; this exchange has caught me so many times before. The threat, a wall of lava or monster or undefined mass of zombies, makes a will-be-fatal blow towards me. I make my counter, some kind of jump or retreat, or fully willing a new escape route into existence, to dodge. The threat sees my dodge and adjusts its momentum slightly, mid-blow. In slow motion, I adjust. The threat shifts back on target. Repeat. Then time runs out- impact. Last night I got spin-kicked by a transformers komodo dragon and broke every single bone in my body.

Day 96 - Day Ninety-Six

I’m not a writer. I’m a physics student, we use equations and such, similar but not quite. Or I’m a programmer, I do a lot of typing but not writing. Never really liked english class, never got into journaling or drawing. When I have thoughts or feelings I let them slip by instead of committing them to word. I don’t see reason to change that. No, I’m not a writer, and I’ll never be the kind of person to write ninety-six things and put them up on a cute website organized in <div> calendars. I could never imagine managing something like that.

Day 97 - Spirits

They say spirits are left when the dead have unfinished business, but have you known anyone to die completely content? Every poor mortal soul leaves something undone when they pass, but its not their business that leaves a phantom, but the unfinished work itself. An imprint, a shadow of the artist left behind in the strokes of her painting, a carpenter’s shade stuck on a half-hammered nail. Not their soul, of course! That goes elsewhere. You put a bit of yourself in all you create, and if that work isn’t finished, that bit gets stuck there. Only by finishing their work can you set it free.

inspired by an entry by Lucah!

Day 98 - Spin III

Physics tends to conjure images of rockets and orbits, baseballs and accelerated particles, with linear momentum and collisions, because that resembles our interactions in human life. In reality, most motion (and energy), the method of most interactions, is rotational or vibrational (and really, vibration is just a lower-dimensional projection of rotation! or vice versa, if you choose to see it that way). Electrons buzz, and oscillate between nuclei, quantum particles excite each other to higher frequencies, and air molecules rotate wildly careening off their neighbours. And up in the stars, binary partners spin together eternally, never leaving each other’s side.

Day 99 - Loop

I’m struck by the irresistible urge to move. Problem: I like where I am! I don’t want to end up someplace else! Solution: We do a loop! Out one way, back another, no net displacement, just a little rotational inertia for your troubles. Make sure your return takes a different path, you’ll cover more ground that way. The urge to move is also the urge to be somewhere new. A bit of curiosity, a bit of novelty; I can only pace around my living room couch so many times (admire its angles so many ways). Take me there and back again!