Writing Prompt: Write something that begins with a character throwing a coin into a fountain.
Darkness falls across the extravagant gardens of the Windenburg Von Haunt Estate, casting shadows upon shrubbery that would be resplendent by day. Local legend warns that once the clock of the main house strikes twelve, ghastly ghouls awake from their eternal slumber to wander the well worn footpaths.
No one has been able to decipher if the legends are truth or speculation. But tonight, a living, breathing soul meanders aimlessly through the gardens, so lost in her thoughts that she does not notice any paranormal activity that may be spawning around her.
Well, she would hardly consider herself a living being. A surviving being, perhaps, but to be alive would require for the fire of life to burn bright within her heart. She is devoid of emotion on this night - unable to think of anything besides wandering towards a purpose unknown.
The lady feels her limbs begin to grow heavy and her steps involuntarily slow down. The cold night air nips at her skin, causing goosebumps to spread like a rash down her arms. However, the chill of the night air starts to warm her, for her emotions are so numbed that she is unable to properly process the dropping temperature.
Eventually, she slows completely and comes to a statuesque stop as the gardens come to a close. Towering rocks block her path, shooting foreboding shadows across the footpaths that run alongside a roaring river that cascades through them. The flowing water is supposed to be relaxing, she suspects, but the noise only amplifies the dormant storm raging within her.
Turning around, she settles her weary gaze upon a giant fountain that forms the centre piece of this end of the gardens. It stands far above her average height, but it is easy to see that the water jets do not function properly as water overflows over the sides of the fountain’s tiers, eventually splashing onto the pebbled footpath around it. The lady allows her gaze to follow the waves of water as they flow down the fountain, admiring the way that the water droplets glimmer in the moonlight as they tumble to the ground.
A wave of irony washes over the woman, causing her lips to curl up in a sardonic smile. This fountain is oddly resembling of herself - a strong current on the outside, but with so many burdens on her shoulders that eventually everything is going to overflow.
She does not know why she is so obsessed with wanting to be perfect. Perhaps she could blame her parents - particularly her mother - for abandoning her when she was a child. Perhaps this is what makes her feel the need to be the best at everything, so that one day her parents may return once she can prove that she is not a failure or a burden to them. Of course, that shall never come to pass. Her beloved father has long since passed away and her mother tossed her into foster care as soon as she could get the chance.
No one will come back for her. She is not worth it. No matter how hard she strives to be the best, it will never be enough to bring her parents back to her.
Reaching absent-mindedly into her pocket, she pulls out a golden coin and runs it through her fingers. How desperate is she to relive the past? She knows that she should focus on the future, not on phantom memories that have plagued her long into her adulthood.
Without a second thought, she takes the coin between her thumb and forefinger and tosses it into the fountain. She steps forwards as she watches it dance and spin through the air before it lands with a soft splash into the depths of the fountain. She becomes transfixed as she watches her own reflection become marred by the ripples left behind by the coins descent.
Her face seems different somehow. Her dark eyes are missing their humorous sparkle. Her thick, black hair is thinning and turning as grey as the moonlight basking down on her from high above.
Poppy Cho comes to a sudden realisation and spins so fast that she makes herself dizzy. Standing before her is an almost exact duplicate of herself, but many years older. The woman fixes her with a lopsided, wicked smirk of her own.
“Mother?” Poppy whispers, barely registering as the words escape her lips.
YOU COULD SPELL "FISH" AS "GHOTI" AND IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED THE SAME
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
FOR THOSE UNAWARE OF THIS, UH, “FACT,” THE IDEA IS THAT “GHOTI” COULD BE PRONOUNCED “FISH” IF YOU PRONOUNCE THE GH- AS IN “LAUGH,” THE -O- AS IN “WOMEN,” AND THE “TI” AS IN “AMBITION.”
HOWEVER, THIS FAILS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT THE PRONUNCIATION OF LETTERS IS DEPENDENT ON THEIR POSITION WITHIN THE WORD.
AT THE END OF A WORD OR SYLLABLE, “GH” CAN BE PRONOUNCED LIKE THE LETTER F. THIS IS WHY IT’S PRONOUNCED THAT WAY IN “LAUGH” AND “LAUGHTER” AND “ENOUGH” AND, DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK, “VAN GOGH.” AT THE BEGINNING OF A WORD OR SYLLABLE, “GH” IS PRONOUNCED AS AN EXTRA-HARD G-SOUND, AS IN “GHOST” AND “GHOUL” AND “GHASTLY.”
LIKEWISE, “TI” IS NOT PRONOUNCED AS “SH” AT THE END OF A WORD. IN “AMBITION,” IT IS ONLY BECAUSE “TI” IS FOLLOWED BY “O” THAT THERE IS AN “SH” SOUND IN THE WORD AT ALL. THIS IS WHY “RATIO” IS PRONOUNCED WITH AN “SH” SOUND, WHILE “MANTIS” IS PRONOUNCED WITH A “T” SOUND.
IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT, IN WORDS LIKE “AMBITION” AND “NATION,” IT’S NOT THAT THE “TI” IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “SH.” “TION” IS A COMPLETE SYLLABLE, PRONOUNCED “SHUN” OR “SHEN.” IF YOU REMOVE ANY OF THE LETTERS, THE PRONUNCIATION WOULD CHANGE.
“ION” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TIN” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TI” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TON” DOESN’T HAVE AN SH- SOUND IN IT. “TIO” ONLY HAS AN SH- SOUND IN IT IF IT’S PRECEDED BY A VOWEL, AS IN “RATIO,” AND EVEN THEN, IT’S PRONOUNCED “SHYO” OR “SHI-O,” DEPENDING ON YOUR ACCENT.
“O” IS RARELY PRONOUNCED AS IN “WOMEN,” EXCEPT WHEN IT’S IN THE MIDDLE OF A SYLLABLE.
THAT’S THE THING. “-GH” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED “F” AT THE END OF A SYLLABLE. “O” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED AS IN “WOMEN” IN THE MIDDLE OF A SYLLABLE. “TI-” IS ONLY PRONOUNCED “SH” AT THE BEGINNING OF A CERTAIN SYLLABLES, AND NEVER BY ITSELF.
WHEN ASSEMBLED IN THAT ORDER, NONE OF THOSE PRONUNCIATIONS WOULD APPLY. IF THEY HAD SPELLED IT “GHOTION,” IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED “GOSHEN.” IF THEY HAD IT “LAUGHOTI,” IT WOULD BE PRONOUNCED “LAFF-OH-TEE.”
HOWEVER, SPELLED “GHOTI,” THERE’S NO WAY TO PRONOUNCE IT “FISH” UNLESS YOU PRONOUNCE EVERY LETTER INCORRECTLY, IN WHICH CASE YOU’RE NOT PRONOUNCING “GHOTI” AT ALL, YOU’RE PRONOUNCING “FISH.” “GHOTI” IS PRONOUNCED “GOATY.”
NOW, THE ORIGINAL IDEA BEHIND “GHOTI” WAS MAKING FUN OF THE LACK OF RULES GOVERNING ENGLISH SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION. THIS IS STUPID AS HELL, BECAUSE THEY HAD TO IGNORE A BUNCH OF THE RULES GOVERNING ENGLISH SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION IN ORDER TO MAKE FUN OF THEIR NON-EXISTENCE.
THEY LITERALLY PRETENDED THE ESTABLISHED PRONUNCIATION CONVENTIONS DIDN’T EXIST JUST SO THEY COULD MAKE FUN OF ENGLISH FOR NOT HAVING ESTABLISHED PRONUNCIATION CONVENTIONS, WHICH IS ESPECIALLY AGGRAVATING BECAUSE THIS COULD EASILY BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE EXISTING WORD “COLONEL.”
imagine going pumpkin picking with taehyung and carving smiley jack-o-laterns into the bright orange pumpkins when you get home. imagine getting warm apple cider and pumpkin pie with seokjin as you sit and watch the colorful leaves fall outside the cafe doors. imagine dressing up in flowy capes and sticky fake blood with jungkook for his company’s annual halloween party. imagine running through a haunted house with yoongi, holdig his hand and screaming as you escape the grabby hands of groaning zombies and ghastly ghouls. imagine taking a bumpy hayride with namjoon by your side, shivering from the autumn air but warming up by the fire afterwards while you make delicious s'mores. imagine buying cart-loads of halloween decorations, ranging from cobwebs to tacky, plastic pumpkins with hoseok and going home to hang them up, laughing as a hairy, fake spider makes your boyfriend scream. imagine raking up all the fallen leaves, all the gold and red and brown combining to make a huge, cushioned pile to jump in joyfully with jimin. just imagine fall time with bangtan.