WRITING Prompt 2 - Shouldn't Have Asked

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--- The first section is the style I prefer and am used to, but the majority is first-person for... I think the first time ever? For some reason, this prompt was not obeying me and wouldn't let me write it all the way I would have preferred, but oh, well, it's just a for-fun exercise I am willing to share for no particular reason. It's more about the story... or, rather, the concept and how I took the prompt.

If anyone chooses to read or comment, I hope you found something to enjoy.

For reference, I will put the prompt here:

Prompt: You have the ability to mentally hear the honest answer to any question just by looking at a person and thinking the question. It was all fun and games until you looked in the mirror and asked a question you shouldn't have. *my source, pinterest user

Warnings That May Apply
*Spoils the Story*
Foul language
Brief underage consumption of alcohol
Direct brief sex reference between underage characters
Implied Murder
Murder - not shown
Death scene - not overtly violent
Mentions of blood
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An elderly woman clutched the paper in her hands, crinkling it as she looked down to her youngest grandson. Just five years old, he remained unaware of the torrent of mixed feelings behind her smile, instead taking the bright expression at face value. Her daughter and son-in-law gazed at her expectantly, ready to hear the good news...

So desperate to hear their forbidden heritage would be - even could be - forgotten. As with all her siblings and children, the results would detail the genetic heritage found within the child, marking traits carried on. Most of the bloodline would only learn of the connection to their true ancestors once more matured and of how it lay forever asleep within them. Not herself, however, as her own test had read 'Active' in bold, red lettering as a tender child; the full secret of the blood was passed to her by her own father, who chose her in the end to continue in his place.

She had never wanted to risk asking directly before solid proof could be in her hands, unchangeable one way or the other. Now, she confidently looked at her grandson, to leave no room for doubt. In her mind she spoke her question with intent, sending it subconsciously at the young boy who would be none the wiser of the goings-on. 'Dear child, does your body accept the forbidden gene? Does your mind share the reaches of my gift?'

A voice resounded back - the child's own were it not far too carefully intent, emotionless, and unconfined - heard only within herself, 'Yes, the truth within you is within me.'

Still behind a smile, she allowed herself to show at least some excitement, though not at all for the reasons she would tell her family, "It's dormant. Another healthy child."

Hearing this the woman smiled in relief at her husband, "Thank heavens! Maybe we'll be lucky and Mila will also stay dormant, just two more years. This could be it, right?" The woman's hands grasped tight to her husband's in celebratory joy, the hope returned just as firmly by her husband, "We might finally be getting that scorn out of our bloodlines!"

"Let's hope," he released his wife only to scoop up his son, who giggled, and kissed his forehead and ignored an irritated rebuke from the boy, "That's my boy." All in good fun, the child wiggled down, trying to finally go play.



This is all so complicated... Our ancestors, I didn't know much about them, not really. I knew they were more than human, but... well, I can as good as read minds. It took practice at first, and it does take energy, but I use it all the time so that's like a well-trained muscle. Endurance... I suppose. I push a question through my thoughts at someone, and I get a completely honest answer. They can't tell, no one else can hear. I loved it. ...No, I still love it. It's amazing! I wish you could try it.

... ...

I was better off not asking anyone in the family what they thought of our so-called cursed bloodline. Everyone old enough to know the general secret has just about the same horrible opinion. At least, everyone I've cared to ask. At some point, you just stop asking... not that they would know I asked, or even know they answered. Still, I get it, so no need to drag it back up. I'm not a monster... I'm family! I thought.

Grandmother is the only true adult that is on my side. Joshua - the cousin, not the uncle - does share the gift, and is technically an adult being all high-and-mighty in college, but he doesn't count. Plus, he's more of just an asshole about everything and isn't the person I would want to talk to. Cousin Elena also shares our gift, but she's a spoiled only daughter a year younger than me. Well, you know that already.

Me, I can't wait to be out of high-school. Junior year is the worst. The only source of entertainment I get is using my ability, which is almost never a bad idea. One time, I made the mistake of innocently asking the the gym teacher (sarcastically) why he is so obsessed with muscle-building exercises... let's just say I'm traumatized.

I have to know all the darkest secrets of everyone in my school by now. Why, just the other day, I was sitting in homeroom... okay I was sleeping in homeroom, when Mrs. Nessler woke me up all angry-like. I guess it's pretty instinctive by now to think actively, so I wound up asking her why she cares so much. I heard she didn't care at all if I slept my way through life, but if I slept in her class it would make her look bad to Mr. Johnson (a huge stickler for rules) who she has the hots for. Well, I accidentally said some short version of that out loud and it was horrible.

Well, it was hilarious if I'm being honest, everyone else was laughing - dying really - it was just us that wasn't. I think it's funny now, but I was too tired and shocked at myself to have any reaction. Mrs. Nessler had a reaction, one that landed me in a week's worth of detention. She's been keeping her distance from me since. I think I made her superstitious; if only she knew.


Other than just getting people's secrets for fun, it's super easy to get the answers on tests and arguments are a breeze. When you can just ask the person questions in your mind and break down their argument if they're right or not because you have all their weaknesses, you can basically never loose. Unless, of course, you just don't understand what they're talking about. That's why grandmother says making use of our ability is strategy, but our ability is no excuse not to absorb what we learn, because we need to think for ourselves. If we only use our ability, we're just letting everyone else think for us.

Grandmother is awesome by the way, more than she shows to everyone else. She's made sure all three of us with the ability know to be respectful of each other. The only thing we're allowed to ask family with our ability is whether anyone has used their ability otherwise on us, or in an emergency. Joshua doesn't like following this rule all the time - except with grandmother - and I admit to using it on him for revenge sometimes, but at least he always tells when he breaks the respect rule.

No, wait, actually, that's an even bigger problem. He doesn't find out stuff just for fun or curiosity. He tells you right away to your face why he got the information and what he found out, then everything he thinks about it. Like I said earlier: he's an asshole. He also never forgets anything and enjoys tormenting people (especially me now that I think about it). Oh well, that's Joshua for you. I still like him better than Elena.

Elena's not actually too bad, just spoilt. It's mostly uncomfortable since Aunt Sara just had to go and marry Uncle Gil and live the high-life up in an ivory palace... I think Elena's a bit of an airhead. Plus, she's a girl and we have nothing at all in common. Like grandmother says: if you let everyone do the thinking for you...

Actually, wait, then maybe the reason I like Joshua better is because I'm as big of an asshole as he is, only better at screwing up? Whatever, who cares now, really? So what if messing around with people is a source of entertainment?


Fine, fine, I get it, I was going to tell you the point to this whole thing, be patient here.

Well, it all started off pretty normal. I was going to this party, right, you know James Brannon's New Years Party, big house, parents pretending they didn't know if asked, because they just wanted to go get drunk... the usual. And, hey, unlike all those movies, the cops were never called, there weren't people throwing up in the yard, and no one was stupid enough to break everything or play music too loud. Of course, at some point Mark put his fist through the wall. He's huge, the best defense on the team, my best pal. Mark is awesome, so it's too bad you've never actually met him. Then again, he wouldn't have liked you either, so maybe it's actually a good thing. There is definitely a majorly huge mess afterwards and some parents might get pissed if they find out, but Brannon's parents play the game really well.

Mom and dad don't even know I went to a party. The Brannon's don't actually care, James made the deal that he would get any booze himself - they don't want to know - and stay out of their liquor cabinet and bedroom. James has to clean up when done, and no getting the cops called. So they can just pretend cleaning is a punishment if they have to.

Great people, and I actually mean that.

Anyways, we were at this party and it was going great. I was just having fun, learning who was sleeping with who. I found out Jane and Melissa were lesbians and both liked each other, but didn't think the other would like them and a bunch of other stupid shit. I decided to help out, I told them both I bet they act way too close to be friends, basically said they should just go fuck each other. Melissa ran of crying and Jane yelled at me before running after her.

...Maybe I am an asshole, but they wound up together so I think I'm a saint. Or maybe just half-saint. Can you be half-saint?

So, right, at the party and was hanging around with Mark, Luis, Tyson, and Rhett mainly. We had some drinks and were just chilling out at this point, right, and... well, Luis and Rhett got in a playful fight but said something to get Mark mad for real. Tyson made a joke that was admittedly a bit out of line, and I really should have stayed out of it. The real problem wasn't actually with us, we screw around with each other all the time. The problem was when Keith came over with Madison hanging all over his arm and Ben backing him up. Long story short, Keith and Ben are not cool with us, okay? Also, Keith had just been having sex with Madison, and it was implied to be a threesome (with Ben).

Keith didn't like the joke he overheard about Madison. Neither did Ben, but he's hardly important.

Keith sneered and asked if Mark was jealous or just a control freak. Then he told him to keep his mouth shut and let Madison make her own decisions. She's a big girl now.

At this point, Luis said something to back Mark up, but Keith just started making comments about Mark and Luis, and went to walk away with his trophy-girl, hand on her ass and everything. Madison is whining and taking Keith's side, saying how unfair we all were about her and how mean Mark is.

Well, since you seem a bit slow on the uptake right now, I'll explain clearly: Madison is Mark's little sister. Get it now? That was why Mark punched a hole in the wall.

I had to get in and help calm Mark down and all, like the good friend I am. He was really wanting to kill Keith, maybe Ben too, and drag Madison home and sit her in front of their parents. One or two of those things wouldn't have ended well, though I know he was just angry. He didn't really want to kill anyone, but he felt he did right then.

So I helped calm him down, we wound up getting another drink and leaving the party after apologizing to James. He didn't exactly appreciate the hole in the wall, but it wasn't a bit deal. It probably wasn't as bad as I am making it sound.

Here's the thing, at some point during the end I remember saying, "Mark, dude, just think about if you go to prison. If you want to murder someone you have to do it right." Luis said something and I joked about CSI. Predictable stuff. Someone joked if I was some sort of expert all of the sudden. Mark found that funny at least.

It was cool, now, we're just leaving the party. Someone suggested we go over to Rhett's house and stay the night. That would have been fun. In the entry-area thing by the door, there was this really nice mirror. Hard to miss. I glanced at it walking by, while we were still joking a little and just, well, having fun then.

Mark was still riled up, but good enough, and...

I guess it was a bit out of instinct, because I'm so used to using my ability and part adrenaline because of the tension. I had to physically hold Mark back from at least punching Keith's lights out. Not easy. But we agreed to the no-cops rule, obviously, so I mean, we hated Keith for our own reasons, but we still had to stop Mark from getting him.

Right as I looked in the mirror, I must have asked... in my head, right? I just did, didn't really mean to or not mean to, it just happened. I remember...

'Sure, like I'd ever murder somebody, right?'

That's when it answered... My own voice, but wrong. I mean, It's bad enough just hearing your own voice, it's not the first time I asked myself something... at least the third or fourth. But this time, there was something deeper, almost echoing...

It, I, He, said: We already have.

I couldn't even process it. It wasn't thinking about how the ability can never tell a lie, or how it was just felt off. I wasn't thinking at all. I just shouted, both in my head and out loud, "We?"

My friends must have drug me out of there after giving me a weird look, but I don't really remember. I know I was outside and a block down the street when it hit me. And this time, it felt like a whisper both in my head and my ears. I could feel it, physically, I mean! It was different, there was emotion, but distant, and more contained, different... a self... me... he...

He said: There isn't you or me, really, but we. We are two equal halves of one. You act as the day, I act as the night. It's our heritage. We're stronger together like this, but you force us apart. You don't let us remember the things we do. We never let me relax, but we always make me work.

Am I insane? I was thinking it, I still would be, but... look at me! I just blacked out then, I didn't say anything to my friends, but I think he did... somehow. Oh, well, it's his body to, I'm only the right half, so I guess he can. We can? Whatever. I just ran home, I didn't really think or have plans. I didn't think anyone would be home, but I guess I forgot you didn't have any plans. Shit...

I don't get it. I'm scared. I couldn't 'forget' or whatever again. The shock was so much, I needed way too much more energy. That what all this is... I didn't... well, we didn't meant it. I promise. We just needed energy, we needed to remember, we needed... and I guess we get it from you, ripping the energy out. We were out of control. It hurts... I'm remembering things, little things, about the others. Look at this!

These nails are like... fantasy elves or something... If I'm the right side, and am the daylight side of us, you'd think the dark-grey skin and black nails would be the other side. I should be be the pale grey and crystal nails. The only thing that makes sense is the markings. My side has the light markings, his the dark...

He speaks: "Your side represents, daylight. The sun is gives warmth, but is harsh and casts shadows. My side is nighttime, the moon. I am cold and quiet, sometimes distant, but I always give light, even if we don't have it ourselves."

This is frustrating! We agree, for different reasons of course, but this feels right. It feels oh so right, I wish I could explain it. We wish you weren't lost to us, if you didn't have defective genes...

But you do. You're dying. We didn't mean to make it so painful. We didn't mean to drag our claws through so many places. We were so impatient, desperate... we were fighting, because of me. Because daylight didn't want to share with the night. I didn't want to be whole... I didn't know anything...

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

We're sorry, Noah! Please, please say you forgive us?

He says: Please!

Yet, no matter the plea or cry of the awakening full-blood, his brother laid at his side, dying by his hand. The pool of blood was slowly growing, seeping under the inhuman now. Noah was covered in gashes where the claws of his brother stabbed and ripped in order to jump-start the energy transfer. Electric energy was drained from his body, and how a single hand on the opened stomach both forced Noah to hang on that much longer and drained more of the life from his body to feed his brother, his murderer.

He bled too quickly for aid, too slowly for peace, and had no explanation for the shifting being at his side. The only hope was to call their grandmother before anyone else got home, but she couldn't help now. She couldn't help until after Noah would already be dead.

Noah listened to his story, his mind trying to sort out everything, but it was so hard to pay attention. He'd already be dead if he'd been able or willing to fight after the first couple shocks... Now, he just lay in pain, suffering, listening as his brother told him of all these things that would never matter.

His brother still looked like his brother where it counted. His throat and neck were open to showing how one side's color gradually faded into the other's without leaving a sharp dividing line. His face was the only place without any division at all, where all sorts of greys, dark and light pattern, mixed in a simple but elegant design. Almost like natural face paint. His hair was longer, reminding him of fiber-optics in how colorless they were, but in the right lights they could look like whatever color the surrounding gave to it.

His bones were naturally more prominent, giving him a sharper appearance that was drawing more attention to the fact he wasn't human. His feet had lost the shoes already, ripped off to stop the pain when the shapes of his feet changed ever so slightly, to account for claws and walking more on the ball of the foot. The worst were the claws sharp enough to cut with cellular precision. His skin, too, was tougher like leather and more rough-smooth similar to a snake, than quite the feel of human skin.

The cold hand on his stomach made Noah wonder if he wasn't more cold natured like this.

As the light further dimmed, and Noah knew his half-sanity would fall into the pain and die half-naked on the kitchen floor, he gathered the last of his strength, giving back to his brother the pain he forced him through, and the deceit that Noah knew had killed him... who knew how many others.

Why him?
Why his own brother?

"That blood is cursed... but at least I don't die with it." His voice was barely strong enough to be heard even within the still silence of the house. He couldn't see, but still he tried to aim towards where his brother's sharp ears would be. Maybe he could still hear him. "You never... told... you aren't... human... I can't... forgive you..."

And with that, there was no more gasping breath or sorrowful pleas. The truth died right where Noah lay.
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