Tag Archives: writer’s digest

You’re Not Really Human

It’s your 18th birthday and, upon it, you parents deliver some pretty shocking news: You’re not really human. They admit that they’ve been covering up the fact that you are actually a (fill in the blank). After hearing the news you still decide to go to school, but this school day is different than all your school days past, especially when it’s revealed to others what you truly are.

(500 words or fewer)


Today is my 18th birthday, and I feel like my life is about to change.


As I gather my things for school, my parents come in to talk to me. They say it’s very important, and that it’s something I should know before the Master wakes up. Before I can ask about the Master, they proceed to tell me that I’m not human. What? Not human? Am I an alien or something? They confirm that I’m not even an alien. What is going on here? Finally, they come to the disturbing truth that I’m not real… that this world I live in is not real… and that they are not my parents at all.


This news is so unsettling that I can’t bear to hear anymore. As I try to leave, they begin to convince me with examples and proof: strange and unexplainable things always happening; time moving fast, especially when I’m sleeping; the same furniture in everyone’s houses; dialogue that sometimes doesn’t make any sense; and the weirdest of all, the eerie green, diamond-shaped oracle hovering over certain people’s heads.


I can’t take anymore of this nonsense! I have to leave at once! I grab my things and run out of the house trying to flush out all these lies my parents—or these people, or whomever—have told me.


In an instant, I’m at school, not remembering how I got here so fast. I try to compose myself the best way I know how and remain calm. But as I look around, I begin to wonder if these are actually my friends… if they are actually even real people.


Lies! All lies! It must be. How could what they say be true? And who is this Master they spoke of?


Then, like a click of a switch, I begin to see and hear the strangest things. These people scurry about their day not doing anything in particular. I notice we never spend any real time in class. People talk in odd languages. And I have to admit, there are times where I see a green oracle floating over someone’s head. There, over him, now, over her … changing from one to another and another. But more frightening than that is when I see what someone is thinking. I can’t explain how, but it appears in a dialogue balloon over their head when they are hungry or tired or when they have to go to the bathroom.


This can’t be happening. This can’t be real… I mean, what I’m now seeing can’t be real… I mean, I don’t know what to think anymore. My whole world is crashing down on me right now and I can’t help but follow a path to the bathroom, like I’m being controlled somehow.


I enter a stall to do my business and as I look down, I see the most bizarre thing for the first time: my crotch region is blurred out! What’s happening?! Perhaps there’s a….







…my existence.


I’m Supposed To Get Married Today, But

You call an old flame from high school whom you still have feelings for and ask to meet up. The flame says, “Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house.” While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress (or tuxedo). The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …” What happens? Write this scene.

(500 words or fewer)

As Monica, my old high school flame, walks through the door of the pub, I become utterly speechless. Not only is she as gorgeous as ever, but she is beautifully adorned in a stunning wedding gown. Before I can say a word, Monica sashays up to me and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but getting your call on the way to the church earlier… I knew I needed to see you, Andrew.”


“Monica, I… I had no idea today was your wedding. Otherwise, I never would’ve called—“


“No, no…” she cuts in. “I’m glad you called. I’ve actually been having second thoughts… you know, if I was doing the right thing by marrying David. I mean, he’s a good guy and all, but…” she pauses and just smiles at me.


“But Monica, this is your wedding day! I don’t want to ruin your wedding day.” Despite my words, I can’t help but feel selfish. After all these years, I still want Monica for myself.


“No, you see,” she takes my hand in hers, “you probably saved me from making a huge mistake today.” She slides onto the barstool in front of me. “Everything happens for a reason, Andrew. And your call today, of all days, is no accident. Maybe I’m not suppose to marry David.”


I don’t want you to marry David, I think to myself.


“Maybe all these emotions and feelings that I’m experiencing with you now is telling me something else… like I should be with someone else… like I should be with you.” Her smile freezes time as we lean in and kiss our very first kiss.


“Andrew! Andrew, wake up, dude!”


When I open my eyes, I find myself stretched out on a couch. My best friend is standing beside me in a tuxedo with a whimsical expression on his face.


“Dude, did you forget? You’re getting married in like two hours!”


I look down at my clothes and notice the classic cutaway tuxedo I’m decked out in. The hangover from last night is beginning to subside and I remember that today is my wedding day. I’m marrying Michelle whom I met a year ago.


Bryan, man, I just had the weirdest dream. You remember Monica, from high school?” I say, sitting up on the couch.


“The one you had the crush on all those years?” He hands me a glass of fizzing water. “Drink this. It’ll help.”


“Yeah. She… uh….”


“Dude, I hope it was a good dream,” he says with a devilish grin, “because you better not be dreaming of any other women after today!” He belts out a laugh.


A cell phone rings, and I see that it’s mine and point to it on the desk. As I drink my fizzing water, I motion to Bryan to answer it.


“Hello?… Yeah, he’s right here… Ok, who’s this?… Oh wow, we were just talking about you. Weird. Alright, hold on.”


He hands me the phone and says, “Dude, it’s Monica.”

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

For today’s prompt, which is a Two-for-Tuesday prompt, pick one (or both):
-Write a finished poem.
-Write a never finished poem.

(As usual, I did both at the same time.)

I’m finished! I made it!

All the way to Day 30.


Doing this Poem-A-Day Challenge,

Had me writing a lot of poetry.


I learned a lot of things,

Along this poetic journey.


Like the


Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

For today’s prompt, take a line from one of your poems (preferably one of your April poems), make it the title of your poem today, and then, write the poem.

“hitting SNOOZE” (from Day 23)



  No! I need more sleep,

    So, I’ll just hit SNOOZE.


It’s quite okay,

  Because today,

    I have some time to lose.


Nine minutes pass,

  The alarm sound blasts,

    Once again I refuse.


This cycle repeats:

  SNOOZE-sleep, SNOOZE-sleep…

    The hour hand moves.


Now it’s thirty past eight,

  Oh no! I’m gonna be late!

    What did I do?


The alarm had stopped

  Because I hit OFF

    Instead of hitting SNOOZE!

Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 28

For today’s prompt, write a shadorma. For those new to the shadorma, it’s a fun little 6-line poem that follows this syllable count: 3/5/3/3/7/5.

record spins


and the needle drops


in the groove


music moves


with a static hiss and pop


transforming my mood


Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

For today’s prompt, write a mechanical poem. Either you’re mechanically-inclined, or you’re like me and hit things to make them work after they break (which, by the way, rarely works).

pendulums and springs


wheels move hands over a face


clock anatomy

Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

For today’s prompt, write a casting poem. Casting can take on several meanings, including casting a spell, casting a line (such as in fishing), casting the actors in a play, and I suppose even the act of creating a cast.



An incantation to bring divine inspiration

To pen marvelous poems without any hesitation.

It is time to unbind your mind,

Now carefully… recite each line:


A grain of salt, a grain of sand,

A grain of honesty from an honest man.


A tear from a phoenix, a tear from a dove,

A tear from someone’s recent broken love.


The sight of the blind, the hearing of the deaf,

The riches of a poor man who has nothing left.


A drop of blood, a drop of rain,

A drop of your worst remembered pain.


A shot of lies, a shot of truth,

A shot to your heart when it wasn’t bulletproof.


The pin prick of a needle, the slice of a razor blade,

The memories of every single mistake you ever made.


The love of a friend, the hate of an enemy,

The heated intensity of a lover’s jealousy.


The eyes of a hawk, the ears of an owl,

The omniscient presence of an all-knowing power.


The barbs of a quill, the smear of spilled ink,

The paper that awaits the thoughts that you think.


From the top of my head, to the soles of my feet,

I now declare this spell complete.


Several seconds passed, and then several more,

I didn’t feel anything, just the same as before.

The words were correct, my intentions direct,

And yet… the spell did not take effect.


Time went by before I realized,

It wasn’t the incantation, it was me… inside.

I failed to see the natural ability

To express myself openly and freely.


And then suddenly, it dawned on me,

Like a voice that spoke directly to me:


There is no magic in the spell you cast,

Because whatever inspiration you seek…


you already have.

Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Everyone (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Everyone Thinks I’m Crazy,” “Everyone Knows the World Is Round,” “Everyone Needs to Leave Me Alone,” or whatever it is that everyone is doing (or not doing).

Everyone, everywhere,

It was such a crowded affair.

I still don’t know what

Possessed me to even go there.


There were lines a mile long.

The sea of faces went on and on.

And to make matters worse,

It didn’t feel like I belonged.


I was so happy at the very end

When I finally told my friend,

“Sorry, next time you’re going alone.

I just can’t go through this again.”


I went on my way.

My friend went on their way.

I don’t know if we can call us friends anymore.

We never spoke to each again since that day.


Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

For today’s prompt, write an auto poem. Auto could mean automobile, automatic, automaton, or any number of possibilities.

We clock in. We clock out.

It’s the same thing each day.

All monotonous, not autonomous.

We need to break away.


Performing the same tasks

Without thought or provocation.

They want a pre-programmed robot

Set on full automation.


Do this. Do that. Are we to go

About our work and just remain silent?

Like a mindless drone set upon its course

As if we were put on autopilot.


We’re to disconnect our intellect,

Swatted down like some measly insect.

Roaming like a zombie searching for the brain matter

That is the sanity to survive until the next paycheck.


Numbing down our mentality.

Micromanaged to a ridiculous degree.

Stripped of freedom and imprisoned to voluntary slavery.

And thus, rewiring our natural circuitry.




We are subjected to the tyranny of the dollar sign,

And it’s actually quite traumatic.


We must redefine the line

That has kept us behind,

Confined and blind

From a freedom so benign.

It’s time to unleash our mind

From this daily grind

And not resign

To these familiar binds…


That have become so automatic.

Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

Today is a Two-for-Tuesday prompt. Here are your options:
-Write a love poem.
-Write an anti-love poem.

As usual, I did both at the same time.

smelling fresh cut grass

speaking in front of a class

mint chocolate chip ice cream

creating a public scene

telling funny jokes

the smell of cigarette smoke


quiet places

intimate embraces

putting smiles on faces

failed marriages

hearing about miscarriages

remarks that are disparaging


music on vinyl

no’s that are final

hitting SNOOZE

watching the news

sleeping late on Sundays

waking up on Mondays


loving squeezes

walks on beaches

cool ocean breezes

adults that whine

heights of great design

snakes of any kind


classic movies

daytime TV

Pandora radio

talk radio

reading books

snobbish looks


beautiful eyes

pretty smile

great personality

deceitful lies

snotty style

better-than-you mentality


drinking coffee

people that are bossy

eating fried chicken

being nausea stricken

running, when I’m finished

running, while I’m still in it


writing poetry

creating a story

a friend’s loyalty

house that’s a mess

job-induced stress

feeling depressed


hopeless romance

one night stands

playful flirting

feelings hurting

women in high heels

my fetishes revealed

(oh my… TMI?)


seeing an attractive woman, by herself, standing in line


not having the guts to ask her if she’d like to go out some time


Copyright © 2013 Andrew Hildreth