Writing Group: Abyssal Depths (PRIVATE)

Hello everyone!

We’re staring into darkness this week. Places unknown, unexplored, unkind to the anatomy of those who live in the light, gape wide before us. So, prepare your armored submersibles and your eerily green low-light cameras, because…

This week’s prompt is:

 

Abyssal Depths

 

RULES AND GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED! (just a small thing)
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

 

Alright, a lot of what I’ve had to say about this so far has suggested that we’re diving into an oceanic abyss, which for some of you may be the case, but it need not be the only path you take. In fact, your abyss need not even be a physical phenomenon. There are abysses of all kinds. There are abysses of the mind, great dark places within our psyche that we leave untouched for fear of what lurks within. There’s the abyss of space, yawning between our home and the other celestial bodies. There’s the abyss of time, where things become lost in the darkness of forgotten years.

If it can be conceptualized as a spacious and intimidating darkness, it can fit here.

The trick is that we aren’t just thinking about abysses at large; this week we’re plumbing them. Whatever abyss you choose, this is an exploration of what lies at its bottom, within its darkest corners. Abyssal depths.

So, I hope you’re ready, because you’ll be guiding us through a place we aren’t meant to go this week. Whether or not we return safely… well, that’s on you.

 

 

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 or stories written for other purposes).
  • 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”)
  • No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
  • 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.

 

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Brick
Brick
8 months ago

When You’re Undead
by Brickosaur

[HEY, SKIP OVER THIS ONE FOR THE STREAM PLEASE AND THANK <3]

Red held out her carefully arranged seaweed and shell bouquet to Bounce with a critical scowl. "Do you think this is big enough?" she asked the anglerfish. "I feel like I should have added more seashells."

Bounce blinked her light twice. Red nodded. "Yeah, I guess so. It's the thought and all that," she sighed.

She grabbed the flask at her hip and busied herself unscrewing the cap. Any excuse to put off going into the yawning trench before her for a few more seconds. She took a long swig of the coconut wine inside the flask.

"Right then," she said. New resolve flowed through her. "Let's go get my husband back."

She touched her bouquet — quick Preserve spell. Then Red dove into the darkness. As she swam, she rehearsed what she would say. "Hey, I'm really sorry I yelled at you back there. And smashed your pottery. And . . . everything else."

Really, the problems had started long before that, and she knew it. They just didn't have anything in common anymore, and she was always frustrated and he constantly ran off at any little stress.
Still, it was no excuse for that last night. That wasn't okay.

"I really fucked up," she murmured. "Bounce, I don't know if I can fix this. Not . . . sure it . . . should be."

The relationship was dying. Maybe doomed.
When you're undead, can you even save anything anymore?

She was going to try, though. She had to. "I don't really deserve a second chance. But I want to make things right," she resolved. "Do you have my back?" she asked, and Bounce's light glowed a little brighter.

She smiled. "Thanks." Then Red peered back out into the trench. Bounce's glow, plus her dope vampire night vision, were just enough to let her make out a familiar silhouette.

"There he is!" she shouted. Her voice couldn't have carried more than a few feet, yet Daniel turned. As he caught sight of Red, his sad, beautiful eyes widened.

She took a deep breath, a comforting action even when you were undead.

Red swam out to meet her husband.

"Wish me luck."

revisis
revisis
8 months ago

“Depthbreakers of the Abyss” Submitted by: Exce

The waves of the Bottomless sea were busy with activity. The pale bodies of Depthwalkers bustled in the waves, intermittently basking in the sun before diving deep beneath the surface to enjoy the unusual warmth of the water. With them was one of the city-turtles;though it was far too small to provide housing yet, it allowed them to ride on its shell.

In this case, they had taken the young turtle to the stretch of water known as the ‘Thermal Gash’. An underwater formation around which the water seethed.

Today the water seemed to be even hotter, and many of the pale blue humanoids decided they’d rather rest on the turtle’s shell instead of staying in the water.

It saved their lives.

The turtle raised its head suddenly, and the Depthwalkers on it had to struggle on the rough shell to hold on as the animal accessed its magic, turning the water around it to white foam as it bolted.

The involuntary riders screamed, shouting at it not to leave their friends behind…something broke through the ocean surface where they just had been.

A black ragged rock the size of a small mountain arched high into the sky before slamming back into the ocean with a massive impact. The ocean began to boil all around them.
Steam rose from the waves as those who remained in the water began to scream in pain, joining the chorus of fearful screams of the other.

Silence fell as a massive wave appeared out of the mist, washing most of the remaining Depthwalkers off the turtle.

For those remaining the sun seemed to die and the turtle seemed to…slow despite them still being able to feel its magic beneath them.

As if by stormwinds, the steam was torn asunder as titanic wings unfolded and the last survivors felt their grip grow slack with otherworldly horror.

An otherworldly Serpent rose above them, dwarfing their turtle easily multiple times over. It’s terrible maw opened wide in all directions at once… then the screams fell silent as the beast of the abyss consumed them.

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ArkansanDragon
ArkansanDragon
8 months ago

“Lich” by Magan (Legends of Dracora series: Ancient Dracora, Rise of the Nex)(350 words)

The city of Ironfang was cursed, and it was spreading. The black desert of ash and corrupted magic had reached the massive outer walls, and none knew how much further it would range. Guild hunters sent to investigate never returned, the latest party wary. Would they be next?

Tyrant-king Glacialstorm had suicided after surviving multiple assassination attempts and a revolt led by his many bastard children. He was given proper last rites, of course. Though many secretly prayed for the Maw of Oblivion to devour his soul, nobody wanted to risk his return as an undead.

The dragon god-king was crazy from paranoia by the end, sealed in his temple just before the black blight struck. Those strong enough fled the city, while the rest weakened and died, drained of both magic and vitality. Many returned in restless undeath, with others turning to ash alongside anything else organic.

Thus the need for monster hunters.

Demigod and beastfolk alike, the hunters entered the city. The unicorn’s healing aura kept the draining corruption at bay–barely. They freed many trapped souls, fighting their way to the temple, the source of the blight. Once inside, the elemental spirits lending the beastfolk magic fled in terror, leaving only the demigods for spellcraft.

In the dark, they found deeper darkness, as if the Maw itself had entered the mortal realm. Flesh and scale hung rotting from rune-carved bones, eyeless sockets drinking in light. Through open ribs, an abyss replaced the heart, pulsing in that same beat.

This dragon-shaped thing lurched forward, freezing them in horrified fascination. The black ash was tar, miring as more undead rose from it.

The phoenix shrieked defiance, breaking their stupor.

RUN!

But the unicorn stumbled, light failing as the firebird blazed glory, only to vanish between the lich’s bloody fangs. The bear and griffon roared vengeance, fighting to their last. The lion and wolf dragged the unicorn away, but she was too weak, begged them to flee.

The lion covered the wolf’s escape.

Wind elementals found the wolf at the gates, her dying words a warning they delivered to the Guild.

gregovin
gregovin
8 months ago

Cool. A lot of world building done in tangential lines. For example, we know the thing is telepathic because “the sound ripped through their mind.” We also know that these monsters are quite powerful to be able to combust a whole village like that, especially one that is prepared. Sets an eerie tone and makes the world seem dangerous and alive

gregovin
gregovin
8 months ago

“Darkest hour”- Gregovin
Rayna was walking through the park with George, uneasy at their discovery.

Everything appeared normal, but they knew it could not be. The army was marching on the great magicians club in San Francisco, and they both knew it. There had been rumors that the army had created an elite group of magic users known for its own uses known as “Scouts”.

Rayna’s sword hung in its scabbard, ready at a moment’s notice. She was worried she would have to use it, and even more worried that she would kill. She was right to worry.

A person of vague physical appearance in dark clothes jumped out of a hidden path, and lightning flicked from their fingers, missing George by an inch and going off to hit something else. A scout! The army had clearly decided to tell the scouts about them after hearing about the last incident and seeing us in the club. George’s eyes glowed green as he warped space and time to confuse and slow down the assailant, which was quite fortunate as the next bolt aimed directly at Rayna. Rayna ran around looking for an opening as lightning flared and space visibly bent. As this continued, Rayna formed a plan. She ran back a little, threw her sword, and ran forward. The next bolt hit her sword and was redirected into the ground ten feet ahead of her, she then grabbed the sword and swiped at the assailant, and he fell to the ground. Rayna examined them and instinctively knew that the wound was mortal. She knew that this was her fault and that this person should not die, but will.. In her mind, this person was just following orders. She began to cry, and George asked her, “Are they dead or just wounded?”.
“The scout will die before help will arrive”
George sat down with her and let her cry on his shoulder. He gingerly wrapped his arm around her before telling her “I may be able to help”
“How, the ambulance will not arrive in time”
“I can warp time”

William Maitland
William Maitland
8 months ago

“Screams of the Damned”
By William Maitland

Torrential rain poured down from the starless void above. The neon lights of the mock-50s diner behind her illuminated the deep puddles Julia skirted around. Every small impact distorted the reflections. She reached her car, which seemed to bleed into the stygian darkness around its edges. She hurried inside and pulled the door shut.

The jacket, dutiful servant as it was, sat crumpled in the passenger seat. Julia, shivering behind the wheel, slid a thin paper envelope out of her pocket. Money. The last money she’d ever hope to earn from this place. She counted it out on the dashboard.

A clamp fell upon her brain, when she finished. Quickly, very quickly, she picked it up and counted again. Then a third time, this one slower, more meticulous. She rubbed every bill of it between two fingers, to make sure.

Her last day on the job, and they shorted her. One last slap in the face.

Julia was trembling. Her hands came away from the dash and toward her face, as if to catch tears. Vivid images were flitting through her mind, staying just long enough to punctuate their presence.

She imagined storming back into the diner, letting herself get drenched to the bone on the way in. Her hands would wrap around Harry’s fat neck, and not let go until she could feel the windpipe crushed underneath. Kitchen doors would be kicked open, faces smashed to grills, people locked in the walk-in, with all the undated, expired goods.

But none of that happened. Her hands balled up into fists. She hammered them on the steering wheel, and started to scream. Obscenities roared forth in a prolonged, half-coherent string. Tears streamed down her face. Spit flung out with every four-letter word. A coughing fit came as a mercy, cutting her tirade short, indicating to her that enough had been enough. She curled up, cradling herself, as the screams turned to sobs. Her whole body trembled.

She kept asking why. The last word, repeated, tapering off, becoming a whisper. No answer, save for the maddening cacophony of rain.

Samantha Realynn
Samantha Realynn
8 months ago

“Endless Hunger”
by Samantha Realynn

“It’s an endless, hungry…thing. That’s the best way I can describe it.”

Chris looked up from his computer. “Endless and hungry…like an animal?”

Sophie shook her head. “No. Animalistic is too…complex. This feels more primal than that. It’s darker. Any animal that gives off this feeling is not natural.” She shivered and seemed to close in on herself. “It’s unnatural…and it can’t sate its hunger. No matter how much it devours, it won’t be sated.”

“And you can feel it? Every time you…”

“Every time.” Sophie whispered. “Every time I peel back and Look beyond, it’s there. Watching me. Waiting. I feel it watching. I feel it’s hunger. Endless…dark…like…like…”

“An abyss?” Chris asked softly.

Sophie whimpered and nodded. “Yes. It keeps watching me. Even after I come back to myself, I can still feel it lingering. It’s like it can reach through and-“ she shook her head and wrapped her arms tightly around herself. “It’s like my shields mean nothing to it. I don’t know what it’s waiting for, but I feel like it’s inevitable.”

“You don’t know that.” Chris moved closer and placed a hand on her arm. “It hasn’t come for you. Your shields have held so far. It can’t devour you if it can’t reach you. Maybe if you stop Looking, it will lose interest.”

Sophie shivered. “I don’t think it matters if I Look or not. I haven’t Looked in almost a week. I keep refreshing and strengthening my shields and I still feel it.” She looked sick. “And I don’t…I don’t think it wants to devour me.”

“Well, that’s good, isn’t it?” Chris tried to make his voice lighter. “If whatever this monster, abyss, thing, is doesn’t want to eat you, then you’re somewhat safe…right?”

Sophie shook as she locked eyes with her brother. “I don’t think it wants to eat me. I think it wants me to feed it. And…” her face was as pale as a corpse, her voice a pathetic whisper. “I don’t think I can stop it.”

Connor/Dragoneye
Connor/Dragoneye
8 months ago

“Price of the Pact”, Submitted by Connor/Dragoneye

It had been a long week, travelling, staying away from major locales, and Carileph needed shuteye.

Carileph plunged his sword into the earth, its blade enwreathed in violet fire. Sylhana’s loving face appeared within the flames as a misty shape within the smoke. “Do you think they’ll ever accept us?”

“No, Hana. Do you see what we’ve become?” He remembered the pact. The two as one.

It saved Sylhana for a time, before she began withering away, as if she was a rose in the desert. The Deep had rooted itself within her, it was too late to change. But, Hana wasn’t consumed by that gaping abyss. She had Carileph.

“You know that we can’t run from that Psion forever, right?” spoke Sylhana, clearly concerned. Carileph pulled the hood off of his head, revealing his left eye, completely black like a cosmic void. “He’ll find us eventually. But, we can’t let that happen for now. I will not let it. He’ll take you.”

“Svegizar is loyal to the Empire. No matter how long it’ll take, he’ll want me to pay.”

Meddling within a plane sought by the most vile creatures, feared by the mortal populous, and unseen by living eyes. Such an accomplishment, with a grave cost.

“Just sleep, honey. You’ve earned your rest.”

Margaret Couplet
Margaret Couplet
8 months ago

Never Seen the Sun
By Margaret Couplet

I’ve never seen the sun.

It’s not all that bad really, living down here in the warm darkness, walls of rock cradling you like an embrace. But I’ve never seen the sun.

I was born down here you know, a child of an adventurer and the dark. I have no siblings, now anyway, there was a time in which I had a sister but she’s gone now. She went up while I stayed here, too young to travel into the unknown.

There is something down here with me, something other than the dark. I’ve never seen it, never met it in truth but I can feel it, just on the edges of my senses, like a drop of water dangling before the fall.

I should leave, I could leave if I really wanted to. I want to see my sister again, I miss her dearly, so much it hurts. But no, I have never seen the sun, never seen the outside world and I have no desire to either.

There is a rumbling in the caves, a creak to the stones that make up my world. I think it’s the thing that’s here with me but I have never been able to tell since the light that reaches my eyes has never caressed the thing in the shadows.

It’s been getting hotter lately the caves heating up around me like a furnace or the sun, the darkness once said that the sun burns like no other thing in existence. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen the sun.

The skin on the bottom of my feet turned to blisters today, the heat too much for them to handle. It’s uncomfortable, maybe I will leave after all to go see the sun, to meet my sister under its blinding rays.

It’s too hot, the heat has never gotten this intense.

The thing in the dark is getting closer, I can almost see it now.

Too hot, the blisters never went away. They just got worse.

I have never-