I wrote this 100-words exercise on November 24, 2010. The first sentence is a prompt:
The faces in this room are stamped by the heel of life. I look around at them, and some return my glance, eyes clouded by despair, anger, pain, and grief. Some eyes seem clearer, and I glimpse moments of happiness, times of elation, instances of pride, flashes of peace. Yet underneath, even those faces are facades hiding hurt, resentment, indecision, and embarrassment. Life pushes us down as it lifts us up, crushes our souls and our hopes yet somehow manages to raise them too, and through it, we emerge, and we are better--whole--in spite of it all.