I was unfortunately incapacitated for the stream before the Holidays, so our most recent stream had to make up for the time we lost rather than doing something jubilant and merry and different for the season.
But you can rest assured knowing I’ve got y’all in my heart, because…
This week’s prompt is:
ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
Loving, Eldritch Parents
The Shadows are Watching
They’re inside Me
They All Came Back
Where Have All the Stars Gone?
Something’s in The Fields
The Lengthening Night
Before the Deep Sleep
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
The Sky Blinked
A Cosmic Machine
Were the Angels Wrong?
The Forest will Change You
An Unfortunate Side Effect
RULES AND GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
Be sure to mention which prompt you chose in parenthesis at the beginning of your submission!
Normally this is where I’d go on a tirade about all the amazing ways to approach the prompt, but not this time. This time, that’s all on you.
Shock us. Change our perspectives. Show us a vision we’ve never seen before. Pluck at the strings of our collective heart. Whatever your creative little soul pines to build with these bricks, built it, and share.
I have faith in all of you.
OH, AND ONE LITTLE CAVEAT: for one session and one session only, you may re-submit stories you’ve submitted here before, so long as they’ve never been read on stream. Happy holidays to all of you who’ve been longing to give a story a second shot at faaaame.
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 the 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.
- Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
- 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.
Write something brand new(no re-submitting past entries orstories written for other reasons). FOR THIS ONE SESSION, YOU MAY RE-SUBMIT PAST ENTRIES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN READ ON STREAM. You may still only submit stories written for the writing group.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material.
- Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
- Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
- You must like and 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. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review, although they can be.
- 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 are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.
“Honest Work” Submitted by: Exce for: Harvest
Metal scraped over metal, a sharp noise that echoed in the wooden shed momentarily.
The man turned the blade, the golden light of the morning reflecting off the sharp edge as it fell in through a window.
At that, a smile split the man’s red beard and he rested the scythe over his shoulder as he stepped out of the shed.
In front of him the mountaintop was basked in the early light, and one of the many partitions of his mountain farm was filled with ears of corn that looked as if of solid gold.
Even if he nowadays had longer hair around his chin than on top of his head, having cut his hair shorter due to convenience, the air still found some longer hairs to tickle his neck with.
In this moment of peace, he couldn’t suppress a twitch in his free hand. Fingers slowly curling into a fist.
He gritted his teeth and forced his hand to open up again, taking a deep breath. His grip on the scythe’s handle tightened and the man sped up his pace, flipping up the latch and letting the gate swing open.
Now that he stood surrounded by the golden ears he forced himself to breathe slowly, taking the scythe in a practiced grip.
Sometimes it was easy to forget, but when there was nothing to do the instincts and memories began to creep up again.
So time to work, the blade passed through the stalks in front of him.
He had had many names over the years…The Red Scholar. The Red Beast. But he had always wanted to just be Excelsius.
From side to side, tufts of golden wheat collected around Excelsius’ feet.
Nowadays, when he went to the market or met people down in the foothills..they didn’t look at him in fear or awe. They nodded and went on their way.
He wasn’t mourning the times in which they would whisper behind his back or cower in fear.
Now he was just one of many Ranchers in this region. And he was, finally, at peace.
Very nice piece Gage! I love your wordplay, and the way you set the scene, I felt like I could close my eyes and see it. I enjoyed how you described the church in this setting, and how you fit it in with the narrative of the story. It’s impressive that you fit all of it in 350 words. The ending was also very intense, I would love to see where this is taken next! :O
Overall, excellent piece!
Title: Tomb of the Vespa
Written By: T.S.G. Sager, Edited by: DukkiFluff
(Prompt: Swarming Hive)
Alarms blared, waking me.
I rushed into the hallway, not even bothering to get dressed. My second mate hurried toward me. “Captain! Captain!”
“What is it? What’s going on?!” I demanded.
“Our Vessel has been breached! We count a total of five Vespanauts that have swarmed our ship!”
God forsaken Wasps. Why did it have to be the fucking wasps? A black hole would have been a preferable death.
“What are your orders, sir?!”
“Evacuation! I want you to inform the crew that our ship is going down, and they need to get to the escape pods immediately!”
He dashed one way, I went the other. I needed to get to the bridge. No way was I letting those vermin take my ship.
A sigh of relief escaped me as I heard my first mate shout instructions over the intercom.
“Attention! This is a Code Vee! Code Vee! All crew members need to evacuate the ship immediately! This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill! Please hurry to the nearest escape pods!”
The momentary relief quickly faded as the entire ship shook. The Vespanauts were planning on insemination. I was near the bridge, quickly cornering down another hallway, but stopped dead in my tracks as my ship shook again. An Ovipositer pierced through the ceiling, and larvae began to flood the hallway. Without hesitation, I double backed, sealing the hallway off as I did.
The screams on the other end would haunt my afterlife. But I continued on. Their deaths would not be in vain.
I rushed into the Bridge, and what greeted me nearly stopped my heart. Atop the window, the head of the queen stared in at me, her jewelly eyes piercing my soul. She began to bash the window, so I’d only have one chance. I bolted for the control panel, slamming my hand onto the desk, through the glass protecting the button. I smirked at her.
“Emergency self destruct initiated. Detonation in 5… 4… 3…”
Prompt: (Were the Angels Wrong?)
“The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth” by OrigonStory2000
We’ve been sitting in the hallway for two hours now, hoping someone will return with the results soon. They’ve likely forgotten we’re here. Or perhaps they’ve figured out what we are, and are hoping we’ll leave if we’re kept waiting. Or maybe they just want to draw out the pain. Jonathan sits next to me on the hospital bench, a shaking hand holding the coffee I bought him, cold and untouched. I want to hold it so much, to comfort him, tell him I love him, but I settle for catching his eye and flashing a weak half-smile, which he does his best to return.
“You know they won’t help him.”
The woman’s voice comes from beside me. I turn my eyes to look at the alabaster figure of Amazonian proportions who has been my shadow these past months.
“Maybe not. But I’ll find someone who will.”
My thoughts echo across our minds. Whether this eyeless, winged giant truly is some kind celestial being or a product of my slowly dying brain, I’ve long since learned I can’t hide anything from her.
“You will endure much suffering before finding peace. All his children must endure penance and trial before they partake in the bounty of his hand. You are simply one of-”
“Yeah yeah, same shit as always. Being gay in New York was hardly a free ride, even before your God decided to go full Old Testament on me and my friends!”
My mind lashes out sharply, cutting her off. I know she can see them all, the friends I’ve seen whither away in the past four years. But like the colour of her flesh, her expression is stony.
“Just answer me one thing, please… Why? What will this achieve?”
She says nothing.
At that moment, the Doctor returns with Johnathan’s results. His face says he wants this over as soon as possible, and as he begins to speak, I ignore the years of behavioral instincts I’ve developed and take hold of Jonathan’s hand.
As the doctor delivers the results, I turn to look at the woman.
She is gone.
(Something’s In The Fields) “Ouroboros” submitted by: elisabethwise
On the endless stretch of highway between Topeka and Denver, a young man had crashed his motorbike. It lay pitifully on the shoulder and spat purple clouds of smoke into the midnight air. The kid stood with his arms at his sides, face blank and ghostly in the glare of the headlights. Blood trickled down the back of his ear, collected in the strands of his hair, soaked into his leather jacket.
Randall had spotted the crash in time for Esther to pull the truck over. The gun in the glove compartment was loaded; he tucked it into his jeans. She watched him walk away, one hand on the gun. The job would be quick. The job would be easy.
“You alright there, kid?” He called out to the young man. “I don’t know enough about bikes to fix one, but I can offer you a ride to wherever you need to be.”
The kid said nothing, continuing to stare at the endless rows of corn stalks before him.
Randall stepped closer. “I’ve got a first aid kit. My wife’s a nurse, she can help you out.”
“There’s something in the fields,” the kid mumbled, trance-like. “I had to come back to see it.”
The older man chuckled. “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a deer or two out there. Nothing worth hydroplaning over, though.” He glanced around, sighed. “Look, kid, why don’t I load your bike up on my truck and we can find you a place to stay for the night?”
“You know it’s still out there, Randy. You’ve seen—”
Silently, without hesitation, Randall pulled the gun out and fired off into the kid’s head. Point blank, bullseye. The sports announcer in his head bellowed *‘Steeeeeer-ike!’* and the crowd went wild. His fingerprints weren’t in the system- legally, he did not exist. No one would suspect foul play if he left the gun in the kid’s hand.
“That kid knew my name,” he spoke to the window of the truck. “Nobody knows my fucking name.”
“Except for him,” Esther pointed out.
“Except for him.”
Yes! Bloodborne, my dude! I love this piece, it just oozes Yharnam’s atmosphere. In fact, I’d say that’s the heart of this piece. You illustrate the dingy streets, the unhealthy air, the bestial nature of the residents, and the Healing Church’s presence all while being delivered in a poetic and natural manner. Excellent job, Gage!
(Prompt: the forest will change you-resub)
“The anomaly in the forest”-Gregovin
It was well known among the tourists that a local legend stated that sometimes those who entered the forest would come back changed, as great warriors who had no need for food, water, shelter, or sleep.
Rayna, as a local, knew this was simply means to attract tourists.
She would not have thought about it except for the fact that on her hike through she had stumbled on a plaque detailing the legend in the park. She decided to take out her phone and post a picture of it, captioning it “look, someone decided this is a tourist trap too” and continued without a second thought.
A few hours later, Rayna realized she must have made a wrong turn somewhere as she had come to a path with an incomprehensible label that she was certain did not exist on her map. She retraced her steps but half an hour later she ended up in exactly the same place, even though she was absolutely sure she had not gone in a circle.
Rayna decided to follow the sign, as she was sure she could find her way back to the correct path home if she wandered a little bit, and did not want to go in circles all day.
After another two hours Rayna was on the right path, and she realized she had not had a drink of water for the last hour and was not feeling even a little thirsty or delirious. She decided to have a drink anyways.
When Rayna got home, she was surprised that she was not even a little tired, hungry, or thirsty from her excursion. She played with her brothers and was quite glad to be home. Her parents had been a little concerned about her going on the hike alone, but she did not have any friends to go with. This concerned her little. She had trouble eating dinner and sleeping. She decided to talk to a doctor the next day. When she woke up early and went outside without her jacket, she noticed the frost and did not feel at all cold.
(Prompt: Before the Deep Sleep)
I didn’t think that I would be so scared when my time came.
My breath is catching in my throat. It feels like I’m drowning, though there is no water.
My vision blurs as the darkness closes in. Visions of faces roll through my head in a puddle of colors. My children, my parents, my siblings, my spouse. I feel a trickle roll down my face.
What will they do without my guidance?
No one should outlive their children.
Will they miss me?
Please, try to live on.
I’ve done my best. I’ve given you everything I had to offer in my short time. I just hope it was enough.
I can’t fight anymore. I hope everything will be okay for them. The world still turns, and their pain will fade to a dull ache, and someday, things will be good again, I’m sure.
A peaceful wave like I’ve never known washes over me, then, suddenly, the puddle of faces bursts into a kaleidoscope of colors. There are fireworks. It’s like a celebration, a fond farewell to the life I’m leaving behind. The fireworks form a tunnel, and I follow. It leads me to a figure, neither male, nor female; neither young, nor old, though seeming to be all of these things at once.
“Who are you?” I ask, my voice echoing into the abyss.
The shifting form smiles, stretches out their arms toward me, and says, “In childhood, I was your friend who kept you company when you had no others. In adolescence, I was the voice in your head that guided you when adults failed to. In adulthood, you abandoned me, lost in your small disasters. In death, I am your guide and comfort.”
They extended their hand out to me, and I took it. They led me through the spiraling tunnel of light and colors. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Fear was trying to creep back in, but their hand provided me with the promised comfort. We met the end of the tunnel. There was a blinding flash, and then-
(Prompt: An Unfortunate Side Effect)
It’s Not Easy by Samantha Realynn
“Well? Did it work?”
“…Good news, it did work.”
“It’s not even that bad this time! Honest! It even goes with your new eye color!”
He glared down at his sister. “Z, what did you do to me THIS time?”
Wincing, she hesitantly held up the mirror to her brother. “It’s not that bad!” She quickly said as her brother’s jaw dropped, and his eyes went huge. “And see? You match now! Green looks great on you, big brother!”
“Z!” He reached up and grabbed at his now longer hair, motioning frantically at the new vines and bright flowers that decorated it. “I look like a forest nymph! What did you DO!?”
“I don’t know! But it’s not permanent. At least it shouldn’t be…”
“It’s not! I promise!” She held up the mirror like a shield as her brother stared at her incredulously. “It may take…all day but it will wear off! I promise! At least this time you didn’t grow gills…”
Her brother sighed and ran his hands down his face, his new green skin tinged with red. “No, that time was actually pretty fun. You know, once I got into the water.” He groaned. “Why am I your potions guinea pig?”
She smiled up at him. “Because you’re the bestest big brother ever and you love me?”
He sighed and shook his head but smiled at her. “And you are the nuttiest alchemist I know. Come here.” He pulled her into a hug, making her giggle. “You’re so lucky that I love you.”
“And see?” She held up the mirror again. “I did manage to change your eye color. So, it did work. I just got carried away a little.”
He laughed and ruffled her hair, making her squawk. “Okay, so it did work. Congratulations. Just go easy next time. This had better wear off. I am not spending a week semi-polymorphed. Again.” He chuckled. “Now clean up and I’ll make you some cake. I did promise.”
She giggled and rose herself on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “You’re the best, big brother.”
(Prompt: Swarming Hive)
The path ahead of her was divided by a large gap. If one was to stop and look down, they would find an endless, dark pit, littered by pipes, dirty vents and weird machinery. But she couldn’t stop, not now.
She heard a loud, gruff voice on the other side yelling. “She’s here! Everyone ready your weapons!”
Scared, Ivanna jumped the gap, missing the ledge by just a bit. Holding to the overhang she heard the loud, Gauss powered rifles. The metal rods fired from them flew over her head destroying a few of the Machines that were swarming behind her.
Still struggling, waiting for someone to help, a hand grabbed her and pulled her up while one of the soldiers pushed a button on the control panel, which quickly dropped a heavy blast door, sealing the path behind.
Lying on her back, breathing heavily and eyes closed, she heard the voice of her friend Rurik.
“Are you ok? Did you get it?”
She opened her eyes, it was dark and not different from what they had seen since they entered the Machine-womb.
The girl lifts her arm up, holding a vial containing a microchip that was held in place at the center by an artificial, fleshy substance.
In an exhausted puff, a little “yeah” came out of her mouth
The soldier with the gruff voice she heard earlier came to her and offered his hand so she could get up, his helmet opened revealing the older man’s friendly face
Ivanna, followed by Rurik and the other soldiers walked through the endless tunnel. when passing by what looked like an assembly station with mechanical arms frozen mid-motion, they found who they were looking for. A humanoid Machine lying on the ground, it looked skeletal, like a body left to decay for centuries.
“So, I never asked but. what’s that thing gonna do?” Rurik asked.
As she leaned over the machine. Ivanna opened the vial from earlier and pulled out the microchip and answered;
“This should contain the amalgam genome, if it does, that thing should wake up”
(Prompt: The Sky Blinked)
“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.”
(Prompt: A Kindness)
By: Margaret Couplet
Cody was sitting on the edge of camp when the Kindness arrived, there was only one of them this time which should be a relief.
It only made him worry.
The Kindness was young, younger than people normally saw, hair as white as starlight and wrists free of any adornment. Cody had seen the older ones, seen how the bracelets around their wrists marched up their arm until they were unable to bend at the elbow, the truly ancient ones barely able to move with the weight of it.
The Kindness picked her way through the corpses that had yet to be burned before finding who she was looking for and kneeling. It looked like they had missed someone after all and Cody winced, he hated when that happened. Most men may have been unnerved by a Kindness making her way to the healer’s tent but Cody hated thinking of a man stranded with the dead for hours before a Kindnesses came and confirmed he was doomed.
“Sir?” A hushed voice asked.
Cody turned to look up at the squire standing over him, shifting from foot to foot with obvious nerves. Once the squire had Cody’s attention he cleared his throat and pointed out toward the Kindness, who was crooning to the dying man she’d found.
“What’s that?” The squire asked.
Cody raised an eyebrow. “Never seen a Kindness before, I take it?”
“No, sir,” The squire paused and considered the young girl in the field. “I thought there would be more of them.”
“There usually are.” Cody’s tone was grim.
In the field before them the Kindness finally snapped the dying man’s neck and a section of her hair turned a deep, bloody red. It was quick and clean, at least, virgin kills usual weren’t.
“Then, why aren’t there?” The Squire asked.
“That is a good question.”