Writing Group: The Sky Blinked (PRIVATE)

Hello everyone!

We are now officially well and through the time of warmth and feasts. We’ll make up for it pretty soon with more winter festivities, but in the meant time we’ve got to find other ways to keep our mind off the cold.

Right now, we’re doing that by turning an eye toward the obscure, because…

This week’s prompt is:

 

The Sky Blinked

 

RULES AND GUIDELINES AT THE BOTTOM OF POST
Read them to participate! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Strange one, no? Conjures images of gargantuan creatures swimming through the sky, glitches in reality where all the clouds go missing for one elusive moment, realities in which the dome of the “sky” is simply the inside curve of some god’s great blue eyeball.

These are the strange spaces that this prompt drew my curious, hapless mind into. Of course, it doesn’t have to be where yours goes.

Maybe you don’t see an anomaly here. Maybe you see a way to articulate the mundane. The Sky could represent the horizon of one’s Icarian ambitions, and when it blinks, that could be a moment of wavering uncertainty. It could be the vastness of one’s love for another, the blink a moment of doubt. It could be something vaguely religious, to do with the heavens and all the things which inhabit them.

As with most prompts, it could be just about anything. So long as you’re fascinated by it and we can, in some vague fashion, see the remnants of the themes nestled in there, we will be pleased to read your work.

Go on then. It’s time to see what all of you can do with total power over the firmament.

 

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!

 

Rules and Guidelines

We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from this public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!

  • English only.
  • Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
  • One submission per participant.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
  • Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
  • No more than 350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
  • Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
  • Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
  • Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
  • Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
  • You must leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long (if you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post).
  • Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or credits will be provided.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

 

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revisis
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revisis

“The Edge of Reality” Submitted by: Exce

Excelsius wasn’t sure how fast he was moving. Unbound by a body and his soul reforged he was able to will himself into insane speeds.

He enjoyed the sights of this sea of light.

Planets made from perpetual colorful storms, suns in a myriad shades of blue, red and yellow.

It had been sobering to learn that LumenOrbis was nothing more than a tiny marble in the bigger picture. A speck of green and blue in a black infinity peppered with the colours of the rainbow.

At first Excelsius had just been traveling aimlessly. But as he went further, he began to grow acutely aware of…something.

A pulse from beyond the stars.

Following this mysterious signal from the furthest distances, Excelius kept accelerating, which reduced his ability to evade obstacles. Luckily, he also found out that being dead came with the bonus of being able to fly through solid matter.

Soon Exce realized that the stars were becoming fewer.
And with them vanished the planets, both being replaced by what appeared to be titanic clouds of glowing dust. As if to spite his observation, something peeled itself out of these clouds, a massive…darkness which was surrounded by an intense orange glow.

And hidden by the darkness and its glow was a planet.
As Excelsius floated in its orbit he struggled to comprehend its size…LumenOrbis would be like a grain of sand in comparison, and even other planets he had seen seemed insignificant to this behemoth.

He descended slowly, canyons and mountains emerging from the previously monotonous dark surface, and there didn’t seem to be any plants. As if something had ravaged this planet long ago, leaving it a cooling corpse.

It took a bit of concentration to not fall through the planet, but as he ‘stood’ on its surface the sheer presence of the odd power made his bones ache, and he did not even have a body.

And then, as he looked up, the glowing darkness moved. Orange outlines moving towards each other before expanding again.

Like an unfathomable eye..

“Excelsius Cerell. I have expected you” (< This is in bold and a bigger font size than the rest)

Connor/DragoneyeCreations
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Connor/DragoneyeCreations

“The Oath” Submitted by Connor/Dragoneye

“My Jarl, we’ve captured the scouts.”

Kriegmeskar and his Thanes rushed out from their tent out into the chilly air of Faerjun, where a group of Dragonborn and Genasi sat within the mud, hands bound and kneeling. “Vorskan’s men,“ thought Kriegmeskar as he gripped his axe tightly, a faint pulse of green and violet energy arcing across its steel frame. They had been surveying the area for the past couple of weeks, assumedly to gain intel for their Jarl. But, they were unfortunately caught in a small skirmish.

Raising his weapon to the throat of the Black Dragonborn, he shouted, “The Winter’s Pact is a failure. Do you see that? You accept foreigners into our lands? What an atrocity.” The Jarl met eye to eye with his captive, his xanthous gaze oppressive on its own.

The Black Dragonborn stared into his enemy’s eyes, then spat a small glob of acid into his face. However, Kriegmeskar remained stalwart, only to deliver a backhanded strike in return. The captive, gasping for breath, spouted, “You’re a tyrant, Kriegmeskar.”

“I’m a lawbringer. All of you betrayed our way of life. Communing with southerners, allowing them into our home, and even breeding with them.” He forced his prisoner’s face into the dirt. Sparks jumped from Kriegmeskar’s axe as he honed its edge. “I hope Kymenos is kind to you.”

A swift overhand swing was joined with a flash of fae energy before the scout’s severed head rolled into the mud. The rest of the scouts were completely drained of life, their expressions flat and cold. “He was a traitor to our old oath. The words we once swore by. Do any of you wish to join him?”

A silence allowed the howling winds to overtake the dreadful aura. A shackled Fire Genasi shuffled towards the Jarl on her knees, frantically pleading with a shaky voice, “I’ve seen the error of my ways. I wish to swear to it again.”

“Do you now?” His emerald claw wrapped around her throat as he suspended her in the air. Her legs kicked and struggled, she gasped for air, but his grasp was too immense. Her eyes turned bloodshot, her body fell limp. The conflict began to die down with the growing silence in exchange before ending in a loud snap.

Kriegmeskar tossed her lifeless corpse to the side. The remaining scouts sat silent, passive with blank expressions. The attending Thanes were in pure shock, glaring at the bodies before them. Their Jarl, unfazed, turned away and headed into the tent before uttering, “Kill the rest.”

elisabethwise
Guest
elisabethwise

“Life and Death,” submitted by: elisabethwise

The moment hadn’t lasted long. Under the saccharine blue dome of the sky, blood pattered the concrete like rain. Could’ve been nerves, could’ve been the cigarettes he refused to kick, whatever it was, it had Randall doubled over on the highway shoulder, hacking his lungs up like a dying cat. He had tasted the blood before he saw it, bitter and metallic in the back of his throat. It bubbled up fiery with every rattling cough, and Esther pulled the truck over.

“You’ll be okay, baby, it’s okay,” she muttered—more to herself than to him—as she leaned against the side of the truck, rubbing his back. It scared her- she had seen so much in her decades with The Order, lived through so much pain… but seeing her husband coughing up blood every other day? Her sun, her moon and all her stars, normally so stoic and fearless, now letting the mask down? Crying in front of others, confessing his fears to her? She had killed her mother by virtue of existing, watched the cancer eat away at her abuela, did nothing to save the illness in her father’s mind. Death would have to go through her before it got to her Randy.

Looking up at his wife, he chuckled. “God, can’t cross a state line without a fit, huh?”

She blinked. “Yeah. I guess so.”

He stood up with a groan, spit the rest of his blood from his mouth. “Come on, birdie. We got places to be.”

He could feel the anxiety rolling off her in waves, but he didn’t press her. She would tell him when she was ready. For now, they would travel in silence, save the hum of the engine and the roar of passing trees. There were a thousand years between him and Death, and a lifetime of love between him and Esther. He pulled her hand away from the steering wheel to grip his own, sent her a silent message: *I’m here and I always will be, no matter what.*

William Maitland
Guest
William Maitland

“Last Words of a Physicist”
By William Maitland

I was there for the tests. I bore witness with my own eyes. Worse still, I helped give that horrid thing life. As I recount this complete and utter crime against nature, I only hope that God will never forgive me, for making an unholy light that shone brighter than His countless others.

There was a crack team of us, down in that hidden lab. A literal and figurative think-tank, we were, with some of the greatest scientific and mathematical minds of our time at our disposal. Looking back, we… really should have had a few artists and poets among our numbers. Might be they could’ve stopped us. Then they could’ve earned rightful place as saviors of the world, instead of enemies of progress.

I won’t divulge the secrets here. I’ve already burnt every piece of the puzzle I’ve supplied. The last thing I want is for some would-be homebrew rocketeer to blow his entire neighborhood to smithereens, vaporizing every person in it.

Instead, I’ll tell the truth, in humble imitation of an Artist.

We waited at the windows and display screens with bated breath, simultaneously not knowing what would happen, and expecting the worst possible outcome. Sweat formed on our collective brows before the heat the bunker would shelter us from even came.

I was in the front row when I saw the light of Hell escape that blasted desert ground. The lights of the stars and moon were snuffed out. They’d come to be known as mushroom clouds, but God help me, I didn’t see a mushroom. I saw… teeth. I saw the teeth of a devil, backlit by the fire in his mouth… and he was laughing at us. Mocking us. Thanking us. Winking.

Oppenheimer would later conjure up images of Hindu myth to try and come to terms with it. My mind, instead, goes to the Greeks. Whatever pain Prometheus had, being chained to the rock, and gnawed apart by an eagle forever… that pain was too good for us.

Now, I send myself to Hell, in the hopes that it’s worse than we can imagine.

Samantha Realynn
Guest
Samantha Realynn

“Life’s Fulfillment” Submitted by Samantha Realynn

Talei’s heart seized within her chest as she gazed upon the magnificent scales. Each one was at least twice as large as she was and though in the sparse light she could not see their true color, the shades and reflections she could were indescribably beautiful. The beast was so large that it encompassed the entirety of her vision. The cave had opened to an enormous plateau but Talei couldn’t see any trace of the sky, and not merely because her eyes were fixed solely on the dragon.

She couldn’t breathe. Years of research and scouring the world had led her to this, ever since she had traced the source of her family’s magic. Her obsession had only grown with the emergence of her scales. Now here she was, at the culmination of her studies. Her hand shook as she reached out to touch a scale, the motion beyond her control. She gently brushed it, taking in the feel of the grain. Her mind raced to etch every gorgeous detail to memory.

Then it began to move.

Talei was frozen to the spot. She had made numerous plans for the highly likely event the dragon would want her dead. But she couldn’t remember one as the massive beast unfurled before her. She had been unable to see the sky before. How was it getting larger?

It shifted, then a single eye opened. The slitted pupil focused on her immediately, and Talei felt her heart hammer hard in her chest. She could feel the weight of the dragon’s focus on her, pressing on her from every direction and she couldn’t breathe. Her heart would surely burst from the pressure. Was this how she would die?

She almost fell over as the pressure suddenly vanished and she took huge gulps of air. Straightening, she met the eye of the beast again. It gazed down at her, and Talei saw it glimmer with amusement, curiosity, and intrigue. When she reached out again, she felt it reach back. Her tears fell freely and for once in her life, Talei felt complete.

ArkansanDragon
Guest
ArkansanDragon

“Among the Dreaming Gods” by Magan (Legends of Dracora series) (350 words)

Skyrunner, the cheetah, held his telescope steady as the furless star-ape peered through it. The she-ape’s grasp of Beast Common was surprisingly quick, at least in written form. Spoken words were harder, and her accent was terrible. The cheetah and squirrel could only teach her Fur-beast dialect, but she picked up several other beast words, and even some demi-god High Common, just by eavesdropping.

They knew she was lonely, hidden away from the town, sole survivor of her crashed flying ship. Her fear-scent had faded at least, replaced by wary curiosity. But they needed to know if those other metal ships had survived falling into deadly Everstorm and Void beyond. Would her people come searching? Tonight was another language lesson.

Hazelnut, the flying squirrel, pushed a storybook from the shelf. She opened it and read aloud, while Skyrunner turned his telescope to the planets pictured in the book. It was a favorite story of how the gods created Dracora and the sky.

Amber listened carefully, reading along as best she could. The human was grateful for the watercolor images, allowing better understanding. What her hosts called demi-gods, she knew as fantasy creatures. To see them in flesh was more shocking than even the sentient animals, completely different from other known aliens.

The story claimed the bright Milkyway band as a dragoness. Dracora’s six sibling planets and two moons were her eggs. The dragon gods hatched from those eggs and created Dracora. They later battled a shadowy, ever-hungry monster called Nex to protect it. Nex slew the mother dragon, creating the lifeless desert Void and outer space beyond. Afterward, the gods ringed Dracora with Everstorm and made constellations to keep Void and Nex at bay. Victorious but weakened, the dragon gods created the sun as a heat lamp, then shed their scales as stars. They shrank into hatchlings, re-entering their planet-eggs to sleep and heal.

Amber pointed the telescope at her colony’s arkship in orbit, wondering if Dracorians could understand it came from beyond their system.

They stared in questioning wonder. Another god-egg?

She didn’t have the words to explain. Yet.

Lord_Gatte
Guest
Lord_Gatte

“Blossoming Love Under the Solar Eclipse” Submitted by: T.S.G Sager.

Eeeeet eeeeet eeeeet eeeet

This was the first sound I heard this morning, as my eyes slowly peeled open. Grogginess quickly became panic, my hand slamming down onto my alarm, using the momentum to push myself out of bed.

‘Oh no, I overslept! I’m gonna be so late! He won’t forgive me!’ I screamed in my head, as I rushed around trying to make up for lost time. ‘Hair?’ Check. ‘Hygiene?’ Check. ‘Yukata?’ Check. Okay, let’s go!

“See you later, Thoth!” I exclaimed. He barely got out the words, “Bye Tanoshi” before I was out the door.

I had arrived at the place of the festival twenty five minutes late, desperately searching for my boyfriend. After a while, I began to give up hope, until I heard,
“Hey there handsome, what’s the rush?”
My face became flushed with embarrassment as I turned to where his voice had come from.
There stood Kazuki Niji, smiling at me. He moved closer to me, his fiery, curly red hair danced on his shoulders as he walked. The dragons on his perfectly designed yukata appeared as if they were flying with each step.

“I’m really sorry, Kazuki, my alar-”
“Don’t sweat it, all that matters is that you’re here now.” He interrupted, pulling me into his embrace, my heart melting as he did. As we hugged, I couldn’t help but feel his yukata, and it felt like soft kisses on my tender skin. “So, what’d you wanna do first, Tanoshi-kun? We have some time left before the eclipse.”
‘I’m good like this~’

We spent the next few hours doing the usual festival activities, trying food, playing games, and he even attempted to win me a gold fish; he didn’t succeed, but it didn’t matter, for he was the real prize. This was the perfect date.

Moments before the eclipse, his fingers coiled around mine, our eyes protected by special viewing glasses.

As the sky involuntarily blinked, he pulled me closer once more; as the sun met with the moon, our lips met for the very first time.

Hattie
Guest
Hattie

“Sky” by Jack Lightfoot

Nelson lay next to Mary on the hill. The stared up at the clouds and the soft, sweet tendrils of grass embraced them and did their best to comfort them. It always had. But not this time. This time, not even the consoling utterances of old habits and the memories of better times could ease the pain. It could only slow it, so that the torrent of torment and agony was contorted into a deliberate, excruciating drip.

The clouds above them grew heavy and grey from the burden placed upon them. Nelson and Mary had always looked to the clouds for shapes, and shared their strange, silly visions with laughter and smiles. They couldn’t see the joy in the clouds now. They saw Andrew, their son, sprinting. They saw the ball he was sprinting towards, or the long, grey road he was running across. Couldn’t help but see the silver car, going to fast around a corner, or the driver in shock and terror and apologising endlessly.

The Sky blinked, but it could no longer blink away the tears, and it cried. Its tears turned to rain, cascading over the two sad people. Nelson let the rain soak into his clothes. He let it run over his face and pool beneath him, turning soil into mud that would stain his white, clean shirt. He his own tears mix with the Sky’s, until you could not tell whose was whose. Nelson let his hang open, and let the rain pour in. Maybe the rain could fill the hole that had ben wrenched open in his soul.

They went home. As they drove away from their hill, the Sky cleared, and dried it’s face with a rainbow. Crying didn’t fix anything, but it needed to be done. The tears would enrich the soil and the grass on that hill would be lusher and greener for it. The Sky’s eye was red from crying as twilight fell. Nelson and Mary never went back to that hill, but the hill always waited for them.

(word count: 340)