Writing Group: Abyssal Depths

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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Alexander
Guest

The Time I’ve Spent Here
By Alexander (BrokenEarth)

This time I was trapped. No miraculous escape, no friendly helper, no hope. Death would’ve been a mercy, but I knew it wouldn’t come. Time slowed to a halt down here.

Pinpointing where I was was impossible, mainly because every photon that entered here was soon slowed until they stopped, preventing them from ever reaching my eyes.

Letting out a sigh, although there was technically no air, I sat myself down. My mind wandered, as all minds do when left alone, and I thought it strange that I could sit at all. This abyss seemed to deny any attempt made at gravity, so the fact that a ‘ground’ seemed to exist to sit on was confusing.

I did have plenty of time to figure it out, however, seeing as eternity would come and pass without a single second moving. I could study every aspect of this place, somehow, without seeing any of it. It didn’t quite make sense, but I could go insane down here several times over before anything happened.

Eternity went by, and I hardly noticed. The normal universe would’ve gone to its heat death by now, twice even, if time had been keeping up. I certainly wasn’t keeping track. I could walk from one end of this place to the other and make it back to where I was before it got cold, and yet to any observer that same walk would take three undecillion years.

Another eternity passed, and I’d taken to the habit of talking to myself. Playing I spy, the answer always being ‘nothing’, this or that, just anything really. I was in the middle of a really intense debate when I noticed that there was something I could see.

I walked over to it, not wanting to talk about it much since I was rather bad company, my legs sore from not using them for hundreds of thousands of years, (although it had been less than a second) the object grew even clearer as I got closer.

A pocket watch. A silver, ornately designed pocket watch.

I threw my head back and laughed.

Madelyn
Guest
Madelyn

Bad Dream
By Madelyn

Jason somehow got separated from Avi and now he was lost. Jason pulled out the coin and pressed it between his fingers before he could spiral.

“Focus.” Jason walked forward. The frames on the walls had no pictures, his own footsteps made no sounds, at some point the air smelled like…burning. Warm air.

Jason stopped walking and saw an opening in the ground. He looked in, only to panic and back up as a hand with an eye embedded into its palm emerged and looked directly at Jason. It shook his hand as if it was a head.

“NO!”

Jason turned around and saw he was now in the school. Joshua and his gang shoved his past self into the janitor’s closet and leaned up against it.

“Just say it, Cassie!” Joshua spoke above the banging on the other side of the door. “Say you thought you were a dude and we’ll let you go!”

Jason turned away from the sight.

“Miss Hall?”

Jason looked up. Mr. Poe was kneeling. When did Jason end up on the ground? He felt something grab his ankle, causing him to panic and grab onto Mr. Poe’s arm with both hands

Mr. Poe grabbed onto Jason’s hands and spoke with his soothing voice, “Find me soon. Alpha, bravo, echo.”

Jason tried to ask what that meant when Mr. Poe shoved him off.

Jason’s eyes snapped open. It was dark. He couldn’t tell where he was. Where was he? Was he suffocating? Is this death?

“Jason!”

Jason finally noticed the figure in front of him. Avi. For the first time since they met, Avi seemed scared. Jason clung onto Avi, the closest thing he had to a positive father figure in years. Avi eventually hugged Jason back, attempting to calm Jason down.

“I…Mr. Poe…” Jason tried to say.

“Shh…We’ll talk about it later.”

Jason only heard his shaky breathing after that.

Dukkifluff
Guest
Dukkifluff

Bad Luck
~by DukkiFluff~

I cry out as the ship’s crew throws me overboard with my ankles bound in chains, my husband fighting against his restraints to try and reach me.

My body hits the icy cold waters below, the waves swallowing me instantly. I struggle against the water, but it’s hopeless.
I’d never learned how to swim.

The undertow drags me down, my heavy iron restraints only making me sink faster. My hands claw at the water, reaching desperately for the surface.

Needles stab every inch of my skin, and salt water burns my lungs as I watch the bubbles rushing to the surface, mocking me.

Darkness creeps over my vision, my body growing weaker. I stop fighting, letting the abyssal depths of the ocean consume me.
My mind fades, and I’m left with nothing, but rage.

A new, fresher pain suddenly wracks my body, searing through my veins. I scream into the waters, bubbles erupting from my mouth. My legs ache horribly. My fingernails claw at my burning throat. The agony lasts an eternity of a few seconds.

Once the pain subsides a bit, I regain my thoughts. My vision is clearer, the ocean taking on a tranquil deep blue. I examine my vast, empty surroundings, then myself. My legs had fused together, my toes evolving into elegant, translucent fins; my skin glitters with ice crystals, some forming patches of pure ice along my arms.

I swish my tail, the chains easily slipping off and plummeting to the ocean floor.

I look up, swimming slowly towards the surface, but stopping short of breaching it. So many emotions fill me; fear, anger, sorrow. I hug myself as I weep.

The sound of an approaching ship catches my attention. I peek my head above the water, watching the lights approach as the cheers of the sailors grew louder. My anger grows with it.

They threw me over for being bad luck. I’ll show them bad luck.

I open my mouth, my voice echoing into the night air, my throat stinging, though it hinders me not.

I don’t plan on leaving anyone alive.

Will Morrow
Guest
Will Morrow

On the nature of reality
By Will Morrow

If you cannot see, hear, feel or smell, are you real? Do we exist if we have no way of knowing or is it the other way around? Perhaps nothing is real but us and things only exist because we claim it does. Reality, or this thing we claim is reality, exists at the edge of existence, teetering over the edge of an abyssal void known as death, a void who’s hungering maw may easily snatch you up in its empty fangs in some hollow attempt to enjoy what is ours.

Perhaps this thing called reality isn’t reality as we would expect it, it feels to real to be real, like a strange and suspicious salesman selling a replica of masterful quality, indistinguishable from the original but you know it’s not real because they just keep telling you how it’s definitely real with the wind blowing and rain falling which you can feel because it’s real, I assure you.

Reality is a trap, one set by the nothingness, a con by the salesmen to get you to buy in so he can get what he wants by filling you with a lethal curiosity to explore existences deadly wonders. If we, ourselves are real, we need not buy in to this falsehood as we already have that which we want, so death will have to wait for us to die of old age, robbing it of the one thing it may have throughout its horrid non existence. A taste for life itself.

GJFuller
Guest
GJFuller

In Absence of Heaven
By Giovanna J. Fuller

I felt as though a series of steel bars were being wrapped and slowly tightened around my ribcage.

Bu-dum.

Bu-dum.

Every breath was a struggle.

Bu-dum.

Bu-dum.

“It’s ok, dear, you can let go.” Her voice came from behind a mist clouding my ears.

Bu-dum.

Bu-dum.

My poor girl, she sounded so mournful.

Bu…-…dum.

Bu…-…dum.

I could hear my own heartbeat slowing down.

Bu…-…dum.

Bu…-…dum.

It was ok?

Bu…-

It was ok.

dum.

Umm…ok. I had let go… Did you hear? I let go!

What now? Aren’t there some sort of pearly gates to be walked through? Hello? Hello!

Maybe a new life for me? Maybe I’ll be a dog or something.

I waited.

Nothing. No answer.

I could just-.

I couldn’t just. I went to scream, but no sound came. I went to inhale, but no air. I tried to open my mouth to do either and…no mouth.

I tried to look around, but nothing. Nothing to see. Darkness? Void? No, I had no eyes.

I went to feel around. No hands.

In vain, I tried my last sense.

Nothing.

It was then that I became acutely aware that I had been waiting for a long time for something to happen. Or a short time. It struck. I couldn’t even tell. In vain, I tried to think back to what had happened. I had let go. I waited for a bit…for a bit? How long was a bit?

I decided that if I couldn’t remember how long a bit was, I would at least begin to keep track of time until something happened.

1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10…11…12…12…12…12…CRAP!

I’ll start again. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…

Hello?

Someone?

Anyone?

Hello?

I went to scream, but no sound came.

I cried, but could one even call it crying without any tears?

1…2…3…4…5…

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

Down Below (And Up Above)
By Nicole

It’s inevitable.

This little endless cavern is not very deep. About 6 feet or so.

Its darkness is often easily penetrated by the forces of light, not that it does the denizens any good as their eyes no longer register light.

Or anything for that matter.

Down in these depths flow the shattered remains of lives.

The outsiders and outliers, who always have their anthems.

The triumphant and mighty, who always have their ballads.

The desperate and desolate, whose cries inspire madness.

The silent and serene, who are rare among the throng.

The pieces of them flow away as they rot, rigor mortis a thief with a good eye for loose limbs and still rosy flesh.

They flow deep into the Earth, weaving between roots and the clumsy feet of the living.

They clump and stretch into each other, wiggling and weaving until their become one.

Finally, in one last beautiful blasphemy, they rise.

They rise, and rise, and rise………

Until finally, they burst from the Earth, the Sun an unholy baptism for such dark creatures.

Except they are no longer dark.

They are colorful, beautiful, free.

They are roses, bluebells, daisies and carnations.

After all, the most beautiful things often have the most morbid origins.

TheYouke
Guest
TheYouke

At the bottom of the sea, by Andrei Pufu

It was a cold day in hell.

A gramophone was playing Shostakovich’s second piano trio to the ocean of smoke that was Terry’s room.
I doubt he heard it through the stench of his thoughts and the cheap brandy that constantly flooded his brain.

“How many cigarettes in eternity?”

The answer never came.

“Absurd question… But how bloody long will forever have to be until the streets of hell will be saturated with empty eyes drowning in endless, pointless nothing? As if this question’s better… As if there is any question worth the effort when you’re the only one who’s listening. I must be going insane…”

At the bottom of his room, on the ocean’s carpet floor, sunken empty bottles and packs of cigarettes were patiently waiting for the end of time.

“Hell needs a psychiatrist, alright… but that’s not me.”

He sighed. The pale light that invited itself through the window gave shape to the smoke. There was a peculiar beauty to it… Time was trapped in this room, and so was Terry, for the time being.

The sound of glass shattering was the spring that got the clock ticking again, welcoming a pebble and much-needed oxygen into the room.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake… can’t a man rot in hell in peace? On second thought…”

He must have realized his wording implies there was peace, somewhere in this abyss he was willingly sinking in…
Perhaps this abyss was not bottomless… and perhaps the bottom was another surface to reach out of when the Brandy dries up, on a cold day in hell.

Twangyflame0
Guest
Twangyflame0

Title: Suffering
By: Twangyflame0

Landen looked across the street at his old apartment building from the alleyway. Even though one eye only poked out from the bandages covering his vision and memory only required the use of one. His head throbbed in pain, the hunger was growing. As he crossed the street, seeing there were no cars around, he pulled up his trenchcoat’s collar.

He could only think of Lin and Hailey, as he climbed up the fire escape. Were they all alright? How long had he been locked up in that horrible lab? Would they recognize him? Would they still love him?

He reached their apartment and saw them, sitting on the couch watching television together. But there was something wrong, very wrong. There was another man beside Lin and Hailey was no longer a baby but now a teen. It was impossible. No way. It couldn’t be. He wouldn’t believe. He would keep denying the truth as he fell off the railing and his head slammed into the ground.

“You alright?” Lander woke up with a start. Blood had now soaked his bandages, but they were still clinging onto him, like a curse. Some time had passed, there aren’t as many lights on.

“Hey, you look like you’re bleedin’,” a beggar was beside worried. So hungry. So very hungry. What was happening? How long was he gone? He has missed so many days. Her birthdays. Her first steps. Her first word. She doesn’t even know who he is.

“Hey, what’s the matter? Why are you cryin’ about?” What’s the matter? So hungry. It was those people. So very hungry. They took his life away. Why was he so hungry? They made his life hell. Could he make it stop? He should make their lives hell. Just one bite?

In a few moments of gnashing teeth, blood, and bending sinew. The beggar was gone. He had fueled a beast. Who was now ruled by an incomprehensible need for blood and vengeance, which nothing could ever sate.

Zatar
Guest
Zatar

The Door
By Zatar

It was a small door; only three feet tall.
I’d found it as I was cleaning out the basement of my new home. Hidden behind the furnace and the water heater.
I couldn’t figure out what it was for.
The wall it was set in was on the north side of the house; seaward. And should come out some twenty feet above the beach.
But I’d been out there, any number of times. And there was no door to be seen.

I’d tried opening it, of course. But it was stuck fast.
Not locked. The handle turned freely enough. But I could not get it to open; or even move for that matter.

I tried ignoring it. Who cares about some silly stuck door in the back corner of the basement anyway?

I did.
I couldn’t say why,
But that door bothered me.

So I took a crowbar and a sledgehammer and a big old flashlight; The sort that can double as a Billy club.

I’m glad my house is a bit away from my neighbors. The noise I made trying to open that door.

I’d given up.

And then it just swung open. As smooth and quiet and easy as you could possibly want.

And I shown my flashlight into the darkness beyond.
Nothing.
No walls, floor, ceiling. Just darkness.
Darkness that shouldn’t be there.
An empty endless void.

And then I saw the eyes.

Zach
Guest
Zach

Unblinking
By Zach Damon

Gus heard the metallic thud as Seline slipped on the bloody floor next to him, but he couldn’t afford to slow down. The only noise the creature made was the sound of its dozens of pointed feet clinking off the floor, and he could tell it was not far behind them. His legs trembled at the strain he was putting them under, so much so he didn’t think he could go faster. Seline’s scream so close behind him sure made him try.

He crashed into the door marked “Evacuation,” swinging it open with such momentum he stumbled and fell into a pile of large Smartfiber bags which held the disposable spacesuits. He whipped around and saw, across the rec room, the dog-sized monster standing over Seline’s mauled corpse staring in with its dozens of white, unblinking eyes. Gus stared at the creature as it froze, drops of fresh blood dripping from its clawed forelimbs and proboscis. Gus sprinted for the door, and the creature did likewise. Despite Gus being only a mere ten feet from the door as opposed to the creature’s tens of yards, he won the race by only a matter of seconds.

Despite the creature being so small, it was remarkably dense and deceptively strong. It pounded the door once, then twice, large dents appearing in the metal after each impact. Gus remembered what had happened in the Mess Hall and quickly set about not making the same mistake twice. He grabbed two of the Smartfiber bags and tossed them into the nearest escape pod. “Seven pods,” he thought, “seven pods for twenty eight of us. And I’m the only one here.”

He climbed into the pod and shut the door behind him, hearing the hiss of the airlock engaging. He pulled the red cord, and felt the pod float into weightlessness. Gus couldn’t look back. That was asking too much. He headed to the front of the pod, looking out the main visor, looking forward.

As he looked out into dark infinity and was greeted by millions of unblinking white eyes.

Arun Rampersad
Guest

Bloody Paranoia
by Arun Rampersad (Gerbils10)

She set the glass of apple juice directly in front her workspace and nibbled on the chocolate. Em fidgeted in her chair, tapping the pencil, and leaned over the note. ‘Dear Dad,’ it read. What more could be said? She would put it bluntly; better to tell him straight instead of beating around the… No. She should ease into it, allowing him to arrive at the conclusion. Either way, he would be furious! Especially when he heard the boys had seen.

Tapping thumb on forefinger, she could still feel the blood, sticky and warm. Em shuddered and drew the curtains, allowing a slant of light into her room. She lifted her shirt to reveal a pair of pants that were too big. They were dry and not white.

Em managed a shaky breath and nodded. A note was best, Margaret had told her. And Margaret knew about using the chocolate, so she must be right. It would allow him time to process it and, hopefully, calm down before talking to her. He would have to approach her instead of the other way around. Yes, this would work.

But the blood hadn’t left. It was all over her paper now, reddening it a shade that was too close a reminder. She brushed a hand across, hoping to wipe it off. But it was here to stay. Laughter and commotion rang in her ears as the same paralyzing fear glued her to the seat. She couldn’t stand, because if she did…

Em crumpled the page and tossed it aside. Her desk, originally white, was stained from the paper’s residue. She groaned, scrubbing frantically with her jacket sleeve. Nothing. Maybe drawing the curtains would chase it away if she couldn’t see. It did, but not quite. The blood remained as light teased through the fabric. It must have been there all along and she hadn’t noticed. Out of options, she pulled the jacket’s hood over her face, letting out a soft sob of frustration. Then, quite suddenly, she perked up at the sound of her name.

‘Sweetie? You in here?’ he knocked gently.

ClockFacePart23
Guest
ClockFacePart23

Madness
By: ClockFace

“What are you going to do? Stop me?”

He nodded, not looking to the corner where he knew Red stood. Watching. Angry.

Red scoffed, “Don’t you like me?”

He swallowed. He couldn’t lie, Red would know.

“The doc said it was gone, you can’t make anymore.”

His hand twitched, knocking over the test tube filled with a sticky scarlet liquid. Shocked he jumped up from his chair. “No, no, no.” He tried to catch the drips running down the side of his desk. Only a little was saved.

“Look what you’ve done!” He yelled turning to the shadow in the corner. “That took me forever to find! What do you—” He stopped, seeing the shadows wide smile.

“You think you can stop the likes of me, do you?” Red chuckled. “Oh, Nuit.”

Nuit turned away, setting the beaker back on the desk. He sat back down ignoring the stain of red spreading itself onto his floor. Ignoring Red’s powerful presence that was starting to creep into his mind. He took up the journal he had stolen from the doctor. He started looking down the list of ingredients, despite the welling pain in his chest. Even with Red’s unending efforts, Nuit would continue.

Red switched tactics. “The Doctor did this to you… to us.”

Nuit covered his ears, He wouldn’t let Red continue his reign of terror, not this time. Yet the voice persisted and the pounding in his head grew.

“He cursed us with this blight,” Red continued. “He doomed us to this fate.”

Nuit groaned. He clutched his hair, protesting the ache, protesting Red’s words. Even if his mind despised Red, his body plotted against him.

“Condemn him, Nuit, send him to the depths. Send him to the abyss of hell!” Red exclaimed triumphantly.

Feeling the wave of nausea flood over, he fell off his chair. He crawled on hands and knees away from the black mass, from his demon. But that demon had other plans.

“Nuit, you coward! If you don’t kill him…”

The pain! No words could describe his retched suffering.

“…I will.”

Rene
Guest
Rene

The notes of Maximilian Dench
By Rene

“There comes a time in everyone’s life when we start to question our views, beliefs, and experiences. A moment in which we start to see these things from a different perspective that’s not quite our own anymore, but not quite new enough to be considered foreign by our conscience. At that point, it’s as if we were melding with something new, yet familiar. The thoughts seem natural, yet also foreign. But we accept this change. We learn to live with it. We embrace and even seem to thrive on it.
But what is it?
I have ventured into this topic time and time again over my long years on this mortal coil and shall lay bare what I have come to theorize from my studies of the human mind.
I believe that the seeds of this change, this second personality almost, are already born into this life with us. There doesn’t seem to be any choice on our part… This thought, of course, did disturb me when I first came across it in the early days of my journey into the mind, or how I would later come to call it “The deep and dark abyss of our conscience”. The term “mind” just seemed to clean and tidy to properly describe the peculiar depths that lie behind every man and every woman’s eyes and what lurks within them.
But I digress…
So, this twin of sorts is with us from the point of our birth, we’re just not aware of its existence. I can’t say if it is aware of us, or for that matter, if it is consciously aware of anything at all, but it must have some way of experiencing what we experience, because of the fact that when we come to the time of convergence between us and them, they have their own views and experiences that then, in turn, alter ours and give us the ability to expand our horizons beyond that of our initially limited perspective.
But these thoughts are already starting to strain my sanity again. I will have to continue another time.”

AvraKehdabra
Guest
AvraKehdabra

“The Maker of my Maker” by AvraKehdabra

I am at the brink of time and space, just floating along the border where nothing meets everything. It has been 1186 years since Darwin published “The Origin of Species”. I am about to disprove 1186 years of Darwinism.

I am about to meet the maker of my maker. If only my maker were here to witness such marvels. I drifted through the darkness of space for nearly two hundred years. It had been an accident. A small piece of space junk had sent from the ISS into the open void of space. My humans never came for me, I had no value. Just a small cleaning droid, made to vacuum carpets and scrub the windows. I look like something in between a toaster and a dinner plate.

Yet here I am, where no man, nor machine has ever gone before. I drift towards the edge. There is nothing physically there, but a primal knowledge that even I can feel tells me this is it.

The void screams at me, an eternal abyss of the deepest blacks and the most luminous whites. As I cross the threshold into an unknown even more mysterious than space, the only thing crossing my mechanical mind is:

…I am alone to witness this…

I am more alone than the galaxies I have passed.

I am a robot. Yet I know loneliness better than humans.

I have floated through space for two hundred years, and I have found the edge. The edge where nothing meets everything, and black and white are one.

At the last second, I boost my dying power reserves into overdrive and activate my vacuum. I reverse the engine and send a gust of space dust forwards, propelling me back into the everything. I was nearly there. Where I could have learned something immensely important to the universe. But I turned back, having used the last of my battery to propel me.

I have no soul, and I am alone. My batteries die. And the void of space eats me up, yet again.

Matthew(Handsome Johanson)
Guest
Matthew(Handsome Johanson)

Exploration, by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

It’s fascinating.

You don’t realize how black the ocean is until you are three thousand meters below its surface. It’s a lonely place for those of us who depend on vision for spatial awareness. Besides the occasional deep-sea fish, your world is limited to your craft and your co-pilot.

This had been our fourth dive. Our mission was to catalogue elusive deep-sea creatures in an extensive but segmented survey of the North Atlantic population. The expedition had been yielding good results, so we pushed on closer to the continental shelf. While sinking into the depths, our sonar picked up an unexpected signature on the continental margin. There was some kind of large structure protruding from the slope.

Duty-bound by exploration and with plenty of reserves of fuel and air, we made our way to the anomaly. On the trip we continued our survey, but it was hard to contain the excitement of the discovery. Upon reaching the site, our lights illuminated a large stone structure built from granite. This seemingly artificial structure couldn’t exist. It was in a part of the ocean that had never been above water in the history of mankind.

While examining the structure and taking video, we began to kick up sediment that had been resting on the structure for millennia. As our vision began to cloud, a loud rumble shook the craft. It felt as though the earth had erupted next to us. Through the gathering silt we saw the destroyed center of the large structure ahead of us. Afraid that our craft would be damaged, we backed away from the site only to see the shape of the structure begin to change.

Something was moving out there!

Unwilling to make our acquaintance with the thing, we made a quick ascent to the surface. Safely aboard our research vessel, we debated diving back down to investigate the ruins once more but ultimately decided against it. Neither of us were sure what we saw in the inky black depths, but we were both convinced we had stumbled upon something humans were never meant to stumble upon.

Philip C.
Guest
Philip C.

The Ocean’s Heart (Abyssal Depths)
By Philip C.

Barty was the first to step into the machine. He had always been fearless, especially when it came to research. I was not. I feared the depths of the ocean. I feared the crushing weight of it that would press from all sides.

We had planned this adventure for years, Barty and I. He for the discoveries to be made in the deeps, I to prove that my new design was completely safe. She was a beauty, my submarine. I had designed and crafted each plate, wire box, and propeller. I knew her better than I knew myself.

And yet my fear did not subside. Fear for my friend, and fear for my creation. I insisted from the start that no one but me would steer her during the expedition. I trusted no one else to be prepared if anything went wrong. There was only room for two, so this meant that the two of us would complete this journey together. Barty was excited. I was anxious.

Down we went, with well wishes from the crew, and plenty of air. We were headed for the deepest part of the ocean on earth, with only a foot between us and death. As we propelled our way down, all light from above slowly faded, and we had only the lights from the sub to see by. Barty was so excited he couldn’t stop wiggling. I started to relax, keeping an eye on the pressure gage.

Soon we were miles below the surface, and had yet to touch bottom. She was holding up well. Then I noticed it. A noise like a heart beating, growing slowly in volume as we descended into the depths, further than any man had ever gone. Soon it was all around us, beating on our ears. Then, as we began to wonder what it was, we saw it.

Our eyes grew wide as we hit the bottom. The thing was sitting on the ocean floor, beating, drumming into our skulls. We set out to survey the abyss. What we found was stranger than our wildest imagination.

Mehrunes Drejgon
Guest
Mehrunes Drejgon

Notes about “Potentials” found in hideout of “Black Magician”, Source unknown

By Mehrunes Drejgon

… so there is a great void beyond our known world and it’s twin. When we first ventured into this emptiness, emptiness wasn’t the most terrible, “they” were the most terrible.
Potentials – “Beings” living outside the World or in the space between Worlds. We guess these are potential entities that have never arisen on any of the Worlds. They keep some distance from the World in which they could potentially exist, but they do not move away from it, thirsty existence. Nor do they usually approach the transitions between worlds, crevices and the others like that.
We were able to observe that they have negative energy so they absorbs all energy in the void that they can and everything that has it’s character of energy. They are completely shapeless “Beings” that can take any form after taking over any energy (or soul or body with an energy character). Usually they do not react to entities with neutral or too different energy. (too diffrent energy – too intense or close to non-existence, we were feeling things like that from the distatant void…)
[The text changes here so we suspect that this fragment was either added later or even written by someone else (maybe by the “Black Magician”?)]
When they absorb energy, they begin to exist, sometimes thanks to it they manage to go to World. Depending on the situation after controlled occurrence and their release into the world, they can be controlled with the help of magic chains …
By humans they are most often called demons, which I have observed by testing capabilities of this “Demons” (apparently the inhabitants of Orgullosa have encountered them before).

R J Chapman
Guest
R J Chapman

“The Pit” by R J Chapman

Darkness

He Wakes

His exposed cheek burned with cold. Wrenching his face free from the ice instinctually, he squealed as layers of flesh tore away. At least he thought he had. A question laced with profanity followed; there wasn’t so much as an echo. Desperately, his eyes swivelled in search of help. There was nothing to see. Nothing but himself.

Confused, he pressed his palm against the smooth, invisible surface below him. A drop of blood fell from his cheek. The floor rippled in illumination before fading back to darkness. Frantically, he began to scrape and claw at the frozen ground seeking the light without success. Wincing, he placed his fingers on his tender cheek. The wound oozed, and he fiercely smeared his blood on the floor.

As darkness blurred into shadow, the ground became a flawless mirror and his own reflection came into view. Studying his injured face, he saw the chasm behind him for the first time. Its jagged ridges stretched for an eternity but for a faint glow at what must have been the surface. He eagerly turned yet saw nothing but the void. Turning back he could see it reflected once more. The mirror wasn’t reflecting the light, the light was emanating from it. He stared at his bewildered and battered face hoping for answers. None were forthcoming.

Until his reflection blinked.

Backing away in terror he remembered there was nowhere to retreat to. All pretence abandoned, his own face smirked at him. Mesmerised in horror, he watched as his reflection’s sharpened fingernail began to carve something into the surface. Upon completion, the doppelganger held out its hands as if to say voila. It made no sense.

The thing stood and began to climb up the chasm. He realised that he was no longer looking down but staring up. Trapped, he screamed and bashed against the barrier as the thing crawled disjointedly away.

The light dimmed as the creature slinked further away. Before it faded entirely, he looked once more at the symbols and reversed them in his head before the darkness closed in.

He Is Free

Simon D. Field
Guest
Simon D. Field

Underneath Flanders Fields
By Simon D. Field

It’s dark down here, seven-score feet below the ground, and the air is stale and can hardly support breathing, and we have to bend our sore backs to fit in the tunnels.

We reach the end of our mine and start expanding it. The clay is ill-suited to be removed with mattocks, and our progress is damnably slow, yet we strain ourselves greatly to maintain it, getting a few meters closer to the enemy trench each day. The earth constantly rumbles under the field-gun barrage that covers our onerous advance. It strains our nerves.

We have filled almost all our earth-sacks. I take one and haul it back, but before long a man hastens towards me. We stare at each other for a moment, and all I can readily distinguish are his glistening eyes. I am unsure if he’s my enemy, and neither is he, but when I lower the sack and gingerly touch his shoulder, my fears are confirmed. He has no epaulettes.

He’s visibly baffled by my gesture and doesn’t react in time. My fist sends him stumbling back, and it lets me take hold of my mattock and swing it as far as the tunnel allows. There is an uproar of foreign words, and I see more men behind the one holding out his hands in silent pleading. The mattock comes down, and with the gush of blood and the wet crunch I find myself screaming in deranged excitement.

Then I turn and flee back to my comrades, now doubtlessly made aware of the counter-mine. The tunnel seems endless. The enemy does not give chase. It would be pointless anyway.

Then with a deafening rumble the clay moves, and I cannot keep balance and fall and tumble with the masses of dirt. My ears are ringing, and my head is aching, and the path behind me is a mess of clay, and a torrent of sand and water gushes down from the disturbed upper layer.

We are buried alive here, in the depths of foreign soil. Enemy sappers chatter and hasten above us. The field-guns start anew.

Darkening Sun/ P.C.Jones
Guest
Darkening Sun/ P.C.Jones

Abyssal Depths

Voices From The Fade
P.C.Jones/ Darkening Sun

‘What in the fuck is going on’ cried the old mage, startled awake by an awful din.
‘This ol’ Tower better hold’ he muttered before shouting ‘Azuruhl what in the fuck are you doing now!’

He stumbled from his bed, walked across the room and grabbed his staff from against the wall. The old stones trembled as motes of dust were cast into the air, he coughed fitfully as it entered his airways. Outside he heard the wind howling like all the souls of the fade set free. The whole tower felt as though it was swaying.

He wrenched the door open and entered the cold hallway beyond.
‘Azuruhl where are you’ he shouted.
No answer, what is he doing he thought as he reached the stairs leading down. The tower shook and groaned and he leant into his staff as he decended.

Hearing guttural howls and wailing voices he at once feared their meaning. The damned fool was channeling Wild Magic from beyond the fade.
‘Azuruhl no stop’ He roared ‘They will take everything from you, they lie boy!’
He stumbled and fell the last four steps as he tried to speed his pace.
He picked himself up breathing heavily. He knew Azuruhl would be in the third floor library, the floor he had just reached.

He staggered as fast as his age-enfeebled body would allow him. He heard ghastly voices booming along the hallway.

‘True power will be yours, give unto us and know it’s worth’ they said, voices intermingling as though they were one.
‘No get away Azuruhl’ he roared bursting through the library door ‘Run get far from this place!’

‘He is ours, you appear too late, he is with us now’ the wraiths spoke, voices death-cold. He saw the back wall opened onto the abyssal depths of the fade, books and shelves laying strewn between the living and dead worlds. Saw Azuruhl laughing madly as he entered the Abyss. The tower finally gave collapsing in on itself, the old man screamed then was a corpse beneath the rubble.

Gilfredy Acevedo
Guest
Gilfredy Acevedo

The Way You See It
By: Gilfredy G Acevedo Hernandez

You don’t know how long you have been in this dark room. To you, it doesn’t really matter because, in the absence of light, there is no clear indication of time passing. Your perception is your reality after all, and the only thing you can perceive is the darkness that has utterly devoured the room, without the slightest glimmer of hope that light will ever find it’s way back there. To keep yourself from losing your sanity, you decide to delve into the deepest, unexplored crevices of your mind. You begin by reflecting on the repressed thoughts you have kept for years due to them not being socially acceptable in the society you live in, and then it hits you: within this room, you are not expected to behave or think within the established norms dictated by the society you used to live in. This room is your world! A world where you can think and act whichever way you want because there is no one else to tell you otherwise. You declare as the ruler of the new world that there is no need for laws because they only serve to oppress the majority of the general population, and the elite few are able to do as they please. Who are you to restrict people from acting out on their basic, primal instincts? Furthermore, you declare that everyone should embrace the dark side of their humanity. You understand that no one is truly able to express themselves if we are conditioned from birth to behave and think the way our society deems acceptable, and are taught to only show our best selves. We tend to reject the morbid and resentful thoughts that we are taught are unacceptable, even though we should greet our shadow selves with open arms. These thoughts form who we are as individuals, and should, therefore, be a part of our lives. You start to feel that you understand the world you live in. As you rejoice, your mother walks in, turns on the light, and tells you your favorite cartoon is on television.

jesse fisher
Guest
jesse fisher

A Shadow’s Abyss by Jesse Fisher

CLANG

The shriek rang out into the crystal coated mines as the inky black abyssal liquid rises from the broken vessel that fell fighting a monster that uses the crystals to impale the now lifeless form locked into a crystal. The liquid began to congealed into a shadow form of the now slowly disappearing vessel pieces returning to the last place it rested.

CRACKING….SHATTERED….CLATTER

The shadow knew what was to come from this, it has…had done this many times. A version of itself will come back and kill it, only to be assimilated into the new version of itself. If that version failed to return or was killed back to it the shadow would return to the darkness that births it and become one with the long forgotten kind.

BUZZ…HUM…CLATTER

The monster had healed up and returned to the territory, ignoring the shadow as it is floating near where it died. The shadow wish to feel rage towards it’s killer that lead it to this fate, alongside it’s actions but that did not dwell on that. It now wonder as it’s blinding white eyes came out of the inky, nay void black form if this was it’s end in one way or another.

TIP…TAP…TIP…TAP…

That was a sound the shadow knew well of that sound, it was once it’s own before the floating form now. There at the end of the shaft was a white masked short being covered in a frayed and tattered cloak walking towards the shadow being. At this the shadow began to charge up what power it could call upon to test this being to see if the abyss will claim it from this being dead or it being slain and rejoined the being to empower it so they might fight on to the goal.

Megan Tennant
Guest

ABYSSAL REFLECTION
By Megan Tennant

Impulse and restraint crash over me in waves far more ferocious than the ones waiting below, but still, I inch towards the edge of the cliff. I don’t remember deciding to take the last step.

Wind screams in my ears, drowning out the last of my heartbeats. And then, impact. Cold. And finally, darkness. But also… water? No! I was supposed to die on impact!

The sea drags me deeper. Instincts win, and I try to swim to the surface, but there’s something clasped in my hands, and I can’t bring myself to let go. My diaphragm defies me, pulling in a lungful of water. But instead of pain, I find relief.

Something grabs me, stopping my descent. I pry my eyes open to find myself encased in a giant ball of light, a creature floating at its center. Ethereal, and yet… not unlike a giant squid.

Looking down, I find myself holding a large bag filled with metal balls of various sizes. A few of the smaller ones slip through the holes in the netting, sinking into the darkness below.

The creature extracts a tentacle-full of the mysterious spheres and crushes them. Shimmering silt explodes around us, and ocean currents dance through the particles, shaping them into dozens of images.

I focus on the larger ones and find myself at the center of each. Exploring a jungle. Walking down the aisle. Performing brain surgery. A million followers. A marathon. A newborn. A mansion. Image after image, all different, and yet, all the same.

“Are these all of the things I could have achieved?” I ask, regret heavy on my shoulders.

“No.” The creature’s deep voice whispers through my mind. “These are aspirations, but they are not your own, and in your hands, they become burdens.” It places a tentacle on the bag still clutched in my trembling hands. “All humans bear some weights they cannot shed. But with these, you need only to let go.”

I don’t remember deciding to take the last step off the cliff, but I remember taking the first step onto the beach.

Luna Lover (Felicia Taylor)
Guest
Luna Lover (Felicia Taylor)

It Awaits
By feliciataylor_91

I am here again. Although, I don’t exactly know where here is.

A dead silence rings out, its emptiness leaving a high-pitched whine in my ears. A dark gray, the color of angry clouds, is all I am able to see.

I sit and raise a trembling hand to my throbbing head to ease its aching. Familiar cold metal bands encircle my wrists, and upon closer inspection, I see more small, intersecting cracks run throughout the heavy shackles than last time.

After a thorough once over, I discover that a cumbersome collar ensnares my throat. To my despair, I feel no way to remove it.

Looking down with a weary sigh, my heart jolts within my chest. The panicked rhythm soon fills the empty space.

My throat constricts and my breathing becomes shallow.

Beneath me is a transparent reflective surface, and I stare into it as it stares back. Cracks in the surface match those in the shackles, as well as the collar, I notice.

Beyond the fragmented surface, I see an older man. He is suspended in the air as though swimming in a river, his body pressed firmly against the underside of the barrier. His gray hair is frayed and brittle looking; his frame and face are gaunt and sunken; and his eyes are forlorn and haunted. They are my eyes.

Fear coils tightly within me. My body shakes uncontrollably. I resist the urge to run and fight against the call to shatter the shield.

Even further below the aged version of myself is a tangled, writhing black mass. So many pairs of eyes inside of the depths. They are…broken. Devastated. I wish to block them out, but guilt keeps me from averting my gaze.

The mass closes in and latches onto the barrier, swallowing up my older self and rumbling the surface.

Only blackness meets my petrified expression. Twisted roots and branches net as they pound on the glass, wishing for freedom.

Mirrored cracks form in the shackles and collar until a piece from each break off.

Its malicious face comes into view.

It is almost time.

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