The first is a sample from a writing assignment I had in my English class this semester. I was supposed to write an excerpt of what could be a larger story. This is an example of my prose writing.
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History always remembers the epic, but never the men. The tales always grew bigger in the telling, until one was not sure if it was a fifty foot high dragon defeated with a five foot long sword or a fifty foot long dragon defeated by a five foot high sword. The heroes were just as grand, in jewel encrusted armor, vanquishing terrifying foes and vanishing, leaving the world at peace. He would be mysterious, one with the land, a paragon of virtue. One would never suspect he could have been a writer of bad poetry or cheated heavily at cards. In the end it doesn't matter, thought Lloyd, as drank his ale under the local pub's pavilion. Despite all the amenities and accolades he received as a hero, no seemed to ask about the well-being of the person who served the public. The line of birch trees that surrounded both sides of the open area where he sat offered him no cover, and yet no one approached him. He had been one of many in his merry band of cohorts, and it had suited him fine; there was a certain peace to be had in the anonymity of such a group. But sometimes he wondered if he'd made a difference. There would always be wounded, beaten people. The forgotten faces who were down so far that the workings of the wider world didn't matter. In his starry-eyed youth, Lloyd had once imagined he'd helped these people, too. But his jaded, older self knew better and was ashamed. What was the use of being a hero if all could not reap the benefits? He was tired of it all. He craved his once simple life before he became one of the chosen. He was tired, and he wanted out.
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"Maybe you're right. But maybe you feel that you owe Cerberus because they saved you, if they really did." Kaidan shook his head. "You've changed, but I know I belong. I am an Alliance soldier. Always have been, always will be." As he turned to go, Shepard laughed bitterly. "That's not the only thing that changed about me." She closed her eyes as Kaidan turned to look at her again. He nearly dropped his jaw when he saw a familiar, if weak, blue energy formed around Shepard. He would have remembered that. "Shepard? But...but weren't you a...?" She dropped the energy field. "...A soldier? Oh, I was Kaidan. But when Cerberus sought to rebuild me they decided that I needed an edge. So here I am, a biotic. A Vanguard, to be exact. The heavy armor makes me tired now, but I can shield myself. Or I would, if it wasn't for the fact that I am like a baby asari when it comes to handling my new powers. At least I can still use some of my guns." Kaidan didn't say anything, but did notice she was no longer carrying her beloved sniper rifle. His mind worked overtime trying to handle this new development. Shepard took his silence as a signal to continue. "And the rest of me? They had to rebuild me from the ground up, Kaidan. I don't exactly look the same. It's a serious mind trip to look in the mirror and know that you no longer have your mother's eyes." She took a step forward. "If you think for one moment that I'll give Cerberus the time of day for taking away part of my identity, for lying to me and for what they have done in the past you are mistaken. The changes they've made on me are just a measure of control, I know that. And despite how I've changed, there are people willing to stand by my side, even working with Cerberus. Garrus, Chakwas, Joker, they're all with me and fight with me, Kaidan. I...was hoping to convince you to join me. It'd be just like old times." He felt like he had just been slapped in the face. It wasn't like old times. It's been two years. He mourned her loss and now here she was, a practical stranger, asking him to give up the normal life he had tried to keep in her absence. He shook his head no. "It won't, Shepard. I will never work for Cerberus." He really did turn to go this time. "I know where my loyalties lie." She tried one last time. "At one point Kaidan, your loyalties were with me." He ignored her, but couldn't help but give her one last look. "I have to report back to the Citadel. I'll let them sort through what happened here. Goodbye, Shepard. And be careful."