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A 132-post collection

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 installed to improve the fitness of those using a space tend to ignore those who need wheels to get around, or those who cannot lift their legs easily to reach the next riser of a staircase. Bike paths are hazards to those who do not have the wherewithal to ride a bicycle, but still have to use those paths for travel because they cannot or do not own a car. High hedges on the sides of streets may be pretty, but they also block the view of people lower down - in both directions.

Further to the need for aesthetics over practicality - men can pee literally anywhere they find convenient. Thusly, a Name designer of beauteous spaces gives no thought to those with smaller bladders or an extended need for privacy because eliminating body waste includes partial undressing and re-dressing or, indeed, lifting their entire body from one support structure to another. Men are not expected to care for small children, so amenities like Parent's Rooms or changing stations are sparse, if they exist at all. Of these simple things, of these missing things, failures are made. Which was why Sandra had to speak up about this latest in a long line of horrible community centres.

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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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Challenge #02169-E340: Local Womens' Controversy Club

"As Chairman, I'd like to call to order this 1,357th meeting of the local 'Responsible Parenting' committee." -- Anon Guest

"Daisy... It's the coffee and cake meet."

"I want it to feel more official," objected Daisy. "It's about vaccination."

Five women in the room all rolled their eyes. "I thought we weren't going to bring up controversial topics at these," objected Claire.

"What's controversial about protecting your kids?" asked Julie.

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Challenge #02168-E339: True Reform

The prisoners were prepared for torture, not a hug and kind words. -- Anon Guest

They shuffled into the institution in chains. Ugly jumpsuits standing out against the grey of the bus and the grey of the tarmac The featureless quad stretched before them as heavily-armed guards marched them in twos towards the opposing doors in the large,imposing facade before them. It, too, was grey, and had no windows.

Other guards, dressed in blue and grey, came out of those doors

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Challenge #02166-E337: Microcosmically Conscious

A white blood cell and a macrophage cell already have an unlikely friendship. But then they get "the call" -- Adam in Darwin

"Listen, Neocyte... we don't have the time for you to mature and be ready to fight. Take a back seat. This is literally my job."

"This is an all-hands battle, Blob," argued Whyte. "I have to be on the front. My graduation is mere milliseconds away! I can do this!"

The call came from the Internal Army. "Bacteria at

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Challenge #02161-E332: Playing Power

“Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”

“Sir?”

“It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”

“Sir?”

“That’s practically zen.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay -- c/- Anon Guest

Power corrupts, they say. Absolute power, they add, corrupts absolutely. They say this a lot, especially when protesting against those who have the power. Systems with a huge and unbreachable gulf between the Haves and the Have

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Challenge #02146-E317: The Wrong Kind of Smart

"Look, it's very simple. Knowledge equals power, right? So it makes much more sense to reward people who are well educated, as well as people who can help apply that education for the benefit of everyone else."

"They ask too many questions." -- Anon Guest

Knowledge may be power, but an education is like a disease. As soon as you've got one, there's a compelled desire to spread it around. It's one of the reasons why you find oligarchies, plutocracies, theocracies, monocracies,

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