Writing Group: Stairway to Midnight

Hello dreamers and night owls!

Forget everything you knew about sleep , dream, the night, the waking. Let go of the downward spiral into delirium, the steady fall into the arms of rest. Tonight, all of that goes away. Instead of a descent, for this one evening, it will be a climb. Because…

This week’s prompt is:


Stairway to Midnight


Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!


This is exciting for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that this prompt goes back. It was in some our earliest polls, but until now never had enough support to make the cut. And that’s sad, because it’s a supremely cool concept.

I alluded to this in that moody, sonorous intro above, but I see this prompt as a really fun subversion. Wakefulness is effort, exertion. The daytime is for work and struggle. Sleep, though? We get there by letting go. We fall into it. It’s gravity and sinking and languid descent.

So what does it mean to take that symbol and put it instead at the top of a staircase? Well, that’s the riddle you storytellers get to solve. We’re all eager to see what you come up with.

But there’s more here, because after all this is Stairway to Midnight, not Stairway to Sleep. That was only one possible interpretation. If, for instance, you take “midnight” to mean “hour of change” or “end of a day”, suddenly this takes on a whole new meaning. Now you aren’t climbing a paradoxical path toward the veil of slumber, but the necessary hill that precedes all change.

This prompt is teeming with metaphorical goodness, so go wild. This text is only here to provide a springboard for your big, beautiful, creative mind. If you don’t find what you need in my rambling, I’m sure you’ll find it elsewhere.

I’m sure some of you will even find ways to lose the metaphor altogether and spin something extremely concrete and literal from this abstract thing.

I can’t wait to see what the the twelfth hour becomes in all of your hands.

Enchant us.

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.
  • 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.
  • Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
  • 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.
  • Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
  • No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
  • 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.
  • 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 attributions 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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3 years ago

“Underworld Law”, by MrMataNui

Hades had invited Hel and Pluto to visit for a few weeks in order to show off Greece’s underworld. During this visit, a few mortals would try to escape Tartarus. Hel and Pluto liked watching them fail for entertainment.

“Who are the mortals this time, Hades?”

“Nothing much, Pluto. Only a few kings, deacons, and warriors. They shouldn’t last more than 30 hours.”

“Is there any way Hel and I can help?”

“Is there a need for you to do so? The heroes that came to try to get them aren’t powerful enough to get past Cerberus.”

“But can’t we? It gets boring over in Pluto, and Greek heroes are always more fun to watch then Roman ones.”

“The last time you involved yourself, you managed to get nearly half of Tartarus rebelling. I needed to spend a whole year to quell all of them.”

“Ugh, fine, then. I guess that I’ll need to be complacent with watching them.”

“You like drama too much, Pluto.”

“Come on, Hel, you know that Greeks are always fun to tease.”

“I know, Hades’ actually touched up the place a bit since you intervened.”

“Stop goating him on, Hel.”

“Sorry, Hades, but don’t you and Persephone fell bored just sitting in your castle all day?”

“Can we all get focused on what you came here for?”

“Fine, fine. Who are those heroes, anyway?”

“One of Hermes’ kids and a few bards. Which is also why I’m not letting Pluto interfere. I don’t want a war with Hermes.”

3 years ago

“Torch-bringer,” by R.A.W.

Twelve hours from now I’ll watch my brother ascend into the heavens and take his rightful place on the throne of the sun. Twelve hours from now I’ll watch him take these same steps.

We were cast away to rot before we were even born. Hera banished our mother to a deserted island and wiped her pretty petty unsoiled hands clean of us. That was where our journeys began. With my right hand alone I have slain men, mastered beasts, beaten gods, and pulled my brother from the womb. He is here because of me, and we are here now because of each other. We have gifted ourselves such love and dedication the other gods never intended for us and have kept our hands from idleness that to not gift us with the thrones of night and day would be illogical. We have claimed dominion over nature, art, knowledge, discipline, purity, and now we will each claim half of heaven; I will take the moon and he the sun.

Every step up I take, the forests, the waters, the mountains, the winds, the cities—all bow lower in reverie of my valor and strength. Some will call us usurpers. That’s fine by me. The asses keeping our thrones warm can call it whatever they want. In their “godhood,” they were vain and lustful. And lazy. Where they go after we’ve surpassed them, I do not care. They can dwell in the muck or dig themselves out of it as we have, I’ll laugh at them the same.

As I ascend this stairway to midnight, the constellations, which I ever only used and loved from the humble earth until now, sparkle with admiration at their new queen. And as I stamp my foot onto my silver chariot, stirring the steaming muscles of my orchid-white steeds, with my hand on my belt, my bow on my back, and a stag in my fist, I declare to pinch-faced Selene, “Step down.”

Twelve hours from now I’ll watch my brother ascend those same steps. Twelve hours from now I’ll watch vain Helios step down.

Haven Seige
Haven Seige
3 years ago

“Moon Life”
By: Haven Seige

You open your eyes and you see the never-ending darkness within. It’s only the beginning of the night, my dear, and you haven’t even began your climb yet.
Up in front you are stairs, lighted up by a pair of candles in every step, guiding you as you create your path. And so you take a step, and another, and another! You took each step very quickly, not realizing that you had gone up pretty high already. So high that you start seeing creatures swarming you as they illuminate the world.

They’re fascinating aren’t they? They let you see the world a little brighter! They’re starting to approach you as you climb higher, until they join you to your climb. And so you climb and climb, until some of them decided to not follow you anymore…

Doesn’t that make you wish to come back down? It must’ve certainly did make you think that the night sky had been darker than it already seemed. But don’t falter my dear… it’s not even midnight yet. So continue, you could take it more slower this time, looking back from time to time.

So you go higher and higher, sometimes encountering broken steps, but you never stopped. But then you see, it’s pretty windy on high places, so the candles that had been guiding you went out. It’s time to face the night by yourself. Slowly, one by one, those beautiful creatures that stayed by your side. The steps became steeper, so you begin to doubt the use of climbing the stairs. Do not lose hope my dear, for you’re close.

You begin to see the top, and you begin to glow as well! You’ve become your own light! You can now see the world, for the beauty it offered but once unable to notice. And then above are the stars, representing the brightest memories of your climb. And you are now the moon, just like I am, who glows in midnight, and it is now time for you to guide others as well, just like I did to you.

3 years ago

Title: Doctor’s Orders
Author: S.L. Blair

Ann paced up the sterile hallway, driven by curiosity and nervousness, until she stared at the metal door marked 22 as if to see through without entering. Taking a deep breath, Ann entered where a man lay quietly in an inhuman slumber. Strewn about were shreds of paper covered in scribbles. “Oh Hubert!” Ann sighed.
Scanning the chaos, Ann’s attention was caught by a pile of notes next to Hubert’s cot.
The loving disk of our star shines bright upon my weariness. At last the veiling clouds have passed and hope builds. The demon of torpor will not lure me to sleep the day away. Sol has come to conquer you!
Such rest! No doubt my reward for defeating the demon yesterday. I sprang euphorically awake only to be dashed by the accursed gloom! Would the sun not appear to dry the saturation of sadness filling this world? Downtrodden, l fell to the demon’s call. Oh, the horrible dreams. God help me!

I succumbed to a vicious sleep marked by a presence near me. Through dream-crusted eyes I saw a tall, thin figure in the corner wearing a brown 3-piece suit and bowler. He held a worn canvas sack which pooled on the floor and my frenzied mind knew it was sized to encase a body. My horror rose when I observed his feet hovering above the ground. He stared at me, swaying gently.

Refuse sleep. Damn the demon! Still, Hubert sees the demon. Always here, waiting to steal poor Hubert’s soul. Hubert’s scared! Sad! Tired. So, so tired….

“Ehem, Nurse Ann. I see you’ve begun your rounds.” A tall, brown suited man entered the room. “Uh, yes I have Dr. Sandman.” Ann nervously answered.
The Doctor continued. “Good! And how is dear Hubert today?” “I’m afraid he’s regressed significantly after seeming improved earlier this week. Every night approaching midnight the poor man sobs, pleading to be freed from a demon. If not for the drugs he would never sleep.”
A queer look of satisfaction suffused Dr. Sandman’s face. “The man needs rest. Increase his dosage”.

R J Chapman
R J Chapman
3 years ago

“Curtain Call” by R J Chapman

She scrambled along the path, the thickening fog concealing every turn. The path felt like rising treacle, each step tired her more and more as she fought through the viscous swamp beneath her. Turning, she saw a gate through the fog. It wasn’t locked like the others but it was stiff and rusted shut. There was a two-word sign hanging from it, but she couldn’t read it. She threw her whole weight against it…

‘Get out!’

‘Dad, I’ve got nowhere else to go,’ she begged.

‘Go and stay with the boy that knocked you up, if you can remember who it was.’

‘I’m your daughter.’

‘Not anymore!’

The door slammed and she was suddenly falling. Desperately, she tried to grab at something, anything, but her speed was too great. She braced for impact…


‘Because she’s fun! She doesn’t nag me! She doesn’t recoil at my touch!’

‘She’s just younger! She’ll soon change!’ she bit back. ‘What about Chris?’

‘He’s yours, not mine.’

She threw the plate but before she saw it shatter against the wall, both disappeared. Confused and alone in shadow, a thin layer of water lapped at her bare feet. She meandered through the pool for an eternity. A dim light emanated from an object under the water. Picking it up, she could now see it was a shell. She pried it open…

‘I’m so proud of you!’ she kissed his cheek.

‘Thanks, Mum.’

‘Come on, put your mortarboard back on so I can get one of you blushing.’

The camera flashed and she stood bewildered and alone in a foyer. In front of her was an elegant stairway. A gentle voice beckoned her to climb…

At the top was a huge cinema screen. Chris was sat in front of her, holding her hand. He was older than she remembered. His hair was grey and thinning; purple bags hung from beneath his red eyes.

‘You don’t have to hold on any longer, Mum,’ he croaked. ‘I’m here now, you can go.’

The theatre began to fade to black. She smiled as the curtains closed across the screen.

Philip C.
Philip C.
3 years ago

Guiding the Stars (Stairway to Midnight)
By Philip C.

The goddess Aura was shining her colorful lanterns between the clouds as her husband Hol slowly disappeared beneath the earth, his fiery chariot carrying them both to the world of the gods until the dawn. The bird watched them go as it winged its way above the forest that was its home.

It was a beautiful sight, but the bird did not sing. It was waiting for the most important time.

And there she was. As the last light of Aura disappeared, Varia, goddess of the stars, began to walk up her long stairway from the land of the gods to the sky above. She began planting her bright flowers in the darkness that Hol and Aura had left behind. Not even Niv, the goddess of the moon, was there to light her way this night, for she had receded into her home for her monthly cleansing, so that she could shine even brighter the next time she appeared.

This was what the bird had been waiting for. As Varia began her precarious way up the stairs, the bird flew over and landed a few stairs above her. Then it started to sing. She heard the bright notes, and moved towards them, taking each step carefully in the complete darkness, and planting her flowers as she went.

The bird continued to sing, keeping the beautiful goddess from falling as she climbed, barely stopping to breathe lest she take a misstep.

They were halfway across the sky, and the flowers began to bloom, dimly lighting the world beneath. But Varia, diligent in her work, was still in darkness as she began her decent.

As she planted her last flower, the bird gave a final trill, hopping back and forth in happiness.

Varia, now able to see the bird in the flowers’ light, knelt down and offered it the seeds she had not planted. Hopping forward onto her fingers, it began to eat. Varia held it up, stroking its sandy plumage, feeling its tiny heart beating rapidly in its chest, as she whispered, “Thank you once again, my faithful Nightingale.”

3 years ago

Flood of Eternity – By AvraKehdavra

Snow falls in a steady, consistent motion. Unless aided by the wind. Then it becomes violent. Then it becomes a storm of icy fury and lungs caved in from the cold. The colony might starve before we freeze. But I have a feeling the latter will occur.

I once again dig myself from the depths of what will eventually be my tomb, the ice and snow packed atop each other above me as I try to sleep. It keeps me up at night: the fear of being crushed while I dream and being sent into the eternal.

The eternal: what lies beyond the brink of death. My companions and I will soon discover the truth of it as the winter sets in. We remained trapped. Day after day. The snow slowly allowing the reality of our deaths to be as real as the mountains and the sky. If only we could see the sky.

As my spade pierces the last layer of ice, freezing wind shreds its way towards me with savage scrutiny, screaming at me to test its might. I don’t hesitate to accept its call. I step into the wind.

“There’s no one left. The snow collapsed on them during the night!” My heart doesn’t stop beating.

“So it’s just me and you then!” I scream over the wind to the man. It’s not a question. Just my grim acceptance. The winter has carried a flood of souls into the eternal, and I was not one of them.

Roaring with the strength of a million desperate men, the wind calls to me again.

“See the power I hold?” It howls.

I turn my back to my comrade, him and I the last of our party. Then, with nothing to stop me but the force of nature, I walk into the blinding white of the storm. Accepting the wind’s call to eternity.

3 years ago


Far, far atop the tower lay the clock. It is a masterwork, pieces interlocking, miniatures covering it in every direction – knights and kings, minstrels and blacksmiths, all taking their proper place within. Merely calling it ‘ornate’ is to do it a disservice; it is far beyond that, a masterpiece made well within the creator’s prime.


The pieces shudder, before jumping to order. Jugglers twirl with reckless abandon, gracing their courts with levity. “Awake, awake,” they call. “One last performance for today.”


Beneath the kingdoms and fields beyond, he awakes, hammer in hand. One last show for now, and then sleep.


He takes a step, inching upwards. He passes blacksmiths, working their forges, smoke billowing out of each. He passes farmers, plowing their fields, one last job to do before the night comes.


Another step. Now he sees the cities, passing bazaars and schools, houses and inns.


Excitement grows as the news spreads; the lands come active, North, South, East and West. Sailors and pirates are sailing the seas. Cartographers are mapping the distant plains – they’ve almost completed their goal, after only sixty cycles. He is impressed, but continues.


He takes another step. The clock has come alive. Every man, woman and child in the world is awake, going about their business, or simply enjoying the moment. A horse and buggy follows its track parallel with him, before turning off onto another path.


It nears a crescendo now; if he had had ears, it might have been painful. He enters the courts, and wants to stop and see, but


He ascends higher, rushing towards his goal. Everything spins faster and faster. Another step.


The staircase is merely a step away, and at the top is the bell, his bell.


He steps, and ascends.


Everything falls silent, waiting for him, and he spends these last few moments gazing out over the clock – his world. He prepares himself, grasps his hammer, and raises it above his head.



3 years ago

The midnight plan
By Athens32
People called it midnight, the plan of midnight. There was always a cold breeze and the sky was always a black blanket. No sun or stars and yet the mysteries foliage was thick and dense.
It had been hard to acquire all the ingredients for the stairs potion; a potion that you can splash on any staircase and for an hour you can go in and out of the midnight plan, But in the end, Calith and I managed to gather them all. I came up here to find something. I wanted to make the sleepers brew. A cocktail of Barrys and leaves boiled into a thick paste to then be ingested, serving to place the victim unconscious till awaken. It is quite handy to keep on hand. I do love all this, the gathering, the chopping, the brewing, the string. I make sure to check on everything I make at least twice a day.
This morning I had completed the stairs potion, and now I am here in the midnight plan. I can hear animals running around, little yips and the crumple of leaves. It is too dark for me to see far out, the lantern I had on my belt was not the best. But it was the only thing I could carry with me, so I had to take it.
I came up here around half an hour ago and I had found a couple of small berry bushes of different types, but I am still in search of one. Over time I have been up here, I have only gotten more and more scared of the noises around me. I remembered, again and again, I was unable to bring my beloved snakes and I had turned down Calith’s offer to join me. I am not a fighter you see. I am a witch. Someone that does not fight with fists or swords but instead trickery, meaning if I am attacked I’m doomed. I believe I may have to take his offer next time.
The walk back is cold and slow, as always.

3 years ago

Red River
By Alexander (BrokenEarth)

The old man hummed his favorite song as he watched the river flow. It was peaceful this warm summer night, and he was ready to enjoy it.

An explosion in the distance broke him out of his thoughts. It seemed that the stars glowed brighter for a second, and the moon shone like the sun. Then it was gone. He wasn’t sure what had happened, but he knew it wasn’t good.

The bodies in the river seemed to agree with him. One after another, hundreds of bodies in the blood-stained water were carried past him as he watched with horror in his eyes. What would have done such a thing?

The old man knew he couldn’t let them go into whatever afterlife there was without anyone to mourn them, but his frail heart couldn’t handle all of them.

That meant resorting to the old way, starting a fire and praying to whatever power that there might be. The light illuminated the faces of the victims, and the river hardly even looked like water. Such was the sheer amount of blood.

Then, as he prayed, the spirits of the people lifted themselves up, out of the dead bodies, and they rejoiced, for they saw each other. They knew they were dead, but it wasn’t important to them.

For some time, they talked in the tongue of spirits and pointed to the moon. They couldn’t last in the mortal world any longer, and so they left. Walking on thin air, they climbed the stairway to the moon, to the stars. The old man was happy that they had moved on, but something was wrong.

One spirit was left.

A woman, it seemed, was crying over the river. She had something tying her down to the mortal world. The old man felt weary, the prayer finished.

A child’s cry pierced the night. A survivor.

The old man waded through the river full of red, and moved the child near the fire to warm him. It would be some time before the woman moved on. A mother would never leave her child.

3 years ago

The Midnight hour
by will

“Welcome to Stairway to Midnight folks!” The announcers voice boomed like thunder from the colossal speakers that surrounded us, deafening the fervourous encores of the audience with his charismaticly affluent demeanour. Tonight, another four contestants will brave the steps, trying to outlive the timer of the Doomsday Clock!” another round of eager cheers polluted the atmosphere with a warm, hazy air rich in deadly anticipation that cut of the announcer mid sentence as he raised an arm to the sky and gently commanded the crowds full attention from within his glass and steel overlook. “The contestants will compete against each other with aid from their own crowd, each inching one another to the dreaded midnight hour so, without further ado, let the countdown begin!”

“Contestants!” his voice sounded again, “please consult your audience and select your choice, failure to answer in time will see you eliminated and remember, others are both your friends and your enemies…” A timer appears above us, I turn to my crowd for answers, they say attack. Number 4 is looking at me with hostility I think, I will attack, I will attack number 4. “The contestants have made their choices!” the announcer spoke this time slowly, almost with some malicious foresight and then, he spoke again.

“Contestants 2 has ran out of time and been eliminated, contestant 3 has chosen to pass, contestant 4 has chosen to aid contestant 1 but contestant 1 has attacked contestant 4.” my heart stopped for a moment, I was wrong, “Contestant 4, move 4 spaces forward, then 4 more more for betrayal.” 8 places forward, 8 minutes off the clock is the midnight hour, contestant 4 and his crowd are eliminated. It’s down to the wire, maybe I can make some space, I choose to aid contestant 3. “Contestant 1 has aided contestant 3…” the crowd went silent. “but contestant 3 attacked.” The despair from my side was audible in their silent shock as we moved to the midnight hour and were eliminated as our enemies cheered our loss, having survived the Doomsday Clock.

3 years ago

“The Road to Moving On”
By Madelyn

The Midnight Rider was at the top of the stairs when Damocles returned home.

Normally, Damocles would have given a typical greeting, but not this time. “When were you going to tell me that Reneé was destined to kill me?”

Rider did not say anything.

“Rider, that child has grown attached to me.” Damocles walked up the stairs. “If you just told me that when you gave her to me, I wouldn’t have let this happen. It would have been easier on her.”

Rider took their hands out of their pocket and signed, “I’m a reaper. I’m not allowed to read prophecies.”

Damocles wanted to shout at Rider, but he had no energy to do so. Instead, he walked past Rider and entered his room. As he changed into sleepwear and sat down on his bed, he thought about his situation. How would it happen, then? A glorious battle between father and daughter? A silent assassination? The possibilities were endless.

Damocles did not notice Rider until they sat down next to him and held Damocles’ hand. That was enough for Damocles to start tearing up.

“I can’t do this to my child.”

Rider shifted so they were facing Damocles and gently pushed him to lie down. It was all they could do in that moment. They took off their helmet with one hand and set it down on the floor so they could lie down next to Damocles.

“There has to be something…”

Rider thought on it, then used their free hand to spell out, “Hope.”

Damocles could not come up with anything else to say as exhaustion finally took over.

Rider sighed and curled up onto the bed. There was no way they were leaving Damocles like this. They had no face, but they pressed where their lips should be against Damocles’ cheek as an attempt at a kiss. Helping Damocles through this would hardly be different than helping dead souls move on to the afterlife.

At least, they hoped it would be in that familiar territory.

3 years ago

By Giovanna J. Fuller

“I don’t want to go!” Sarahphina cried out, her eyes stinging. Every atom in her body was quivering. Light shone through the cracks in her cream colored skin. She was like a shattering porcelain vase.

Ramin knelt in front of the tiny woman. His rough hands cupped her cheeks as she sobbed.

She was shaking like an aspen leaf. Something more than fear was rocking her petite body, it was a supernatural force.

“Ramin!” She grabbed his arm and held him close. “Please! I have so much more I want to do. We haven’t even-.” She screamed as a long crack opened in her back. White light poured out. “No! Ramin, please. I don’t want it. Make it stop!”

He rubbed her cheeks gently. “It’s time, little mistress. You need to let go.”

“I don’t want to!”

He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.

“No! It’s not fai-AH!” Another crack split her face in two. “Ramin, I’m not ready. I’m not ready!” Her voice now had the power of the spirits and the gods behind it. It was the echo of creation and light and everything heavenly that man could not touch.

“Hush little starlight, close your eyes.” He sang to her in his gruff warrior’s sort of chant.

Through hiccups and whimpers, she continued, “Soon you’ll be dancing in the skies.”

They sang as one. “And when you join the chorus, please,
Look down and remember me.”

With one final cry, the flesh chrysalis that many named Sarahphina shattered and dissolved into crystals of light before vanishing completely. Like a firework, a ball of light flew into the sky.

As the light got farther and farther away, Ramin felt his chest grow heavier and heavier. He fell the rest of the way to the ground, but managed to turn to look up at the sky. As the guardian drew his final breath, he saw a new dot of light appear in the vast black sky.

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
3 years ago

The Pound, By Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

The memory of my childhood is vague to say the least. The world is so new to you back then and you make so many mistakes that your brain finds it much easier to dump out most of the information you gather. At least, that’s how it is supposed to go. For me there has always been one memory that has penetrated these mists.

When I was very young, about 5, I would often have trouble sleeping at night. I had nightmares of fiendish creatures popping into our reality and stealing things. I vaguely remember having one of my favorite dolls being stolen. The weird thing is that these objects being stolen would be found to be missing the next morning. My parents told me later that they thought I was coming up with explanations so that they wouldn’t get mad at me.

After a few weeks of nightmare after nightmare, I woke up one night to find no strange creatures in my room at all. With a tiny sigh of relief, I snuggled back into my bed when I heard a sound coming from the living room. Thinking that my cat, Jamba was awake and wanting to retrieve him to comfort me, I snuck out of bed and opened the door to the living room.

There was nothing there but an odd bluish tint.

As I walked into the room quietly calling Jamba’s name and offering scritches, I turned to see that the stairway to my parents room was missing. In its stead I saw a dark void filled with stars and nebulae. Wide-eyed, I approached the foot of the stairs and peered in.

Inside, I could see a vehicle with a large hatch on the back and a few bright blue light beings behind it. They were putting the beasts I had seen in my room into the back of their vessel. When I looked at them, they stopped and turned to look at me.

And that’s all I remember. I woke up the next day in bed, completely fine. I never had those nightmares again.


3 years ago

“The Climb” by Carrie (Glaceon373)

There is a climb in front of you. You’ve known this for a long time, haven’t you? It just hasn’t felt real until this morning at 10:03 AM. You will never forget this day, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The point of this climb is to remember every stair, every rung of every crooked ladder, and every fall down a chasm leaving you broken and hopeless. Some may say, “it’s the journey, not the destination,” but that’s only half true. They work together to form the experience.

This climb won’t be easy. You figured that out at 10:03 as well, didn’t you? Your eyes haven’t been the same since. The tears were part of that, obviously, but I haven’t seen this much sorrow in your face since July two years ago. That was a whole separate climb, but you made it through that one. What makes this one any different?

…I’m sorry. That was insensitive of me. This climb isn’t a family matter. Your best friend…

I’m being very insensitive. I’m terribly sorry. Let’s start with the climb, shall we?

The first step will be taking a deep breath. See? One step down. You’re doing great.

Second and third steps are to put away the messages and lock your phone. Don’t respond to them, but I know you don’t want to, so that’s two more steps down.

Step four is accepting that their mean words were unjustified. You aren’t any of those things. That one is also steps seven, thirteen, and twenty-three, because it’s important. We’ll get back to that.

Step five is talking to someone unaffiliated. Your mom’s downstairs, and you can always call your sister.

Calling her? Great, now just—no, that’s the message screen, don’t—

You fell all the way to the bottom. That’s okay, let me help you up. Falling happens. That bruise won’t be comfortable. You’ll keep poking it, though. Getting through that is somewhere around step seventeen.

Now come on. Let’s take this one step at a time.

3 years ago

Title: At the Lowest Top
By: Twangyflame0

As Gren looked out at the city from the ledge, his breath shuddered. It was midnight and yet the city below still seemed alive as ever. The ants working tirelessly, staying late, following orders, completing quotas, and staring out below like he was. Only he could feel the wind on his face, and they were trapped. Some of what they did was honest; others preferred more taxing work. That tax being the lives of people.

Gren could see the honest ones sit at their desks. Their eyes sunken; however they persevere. One man is late on his rent, he is doing as much overtime as possible. A janitor is furiously scrubbing the floors as to not incur the wrath of the hotel manager again. A woman stands outside, smoking a cigarette and preparing to go and serve more customers. They and others like them, climb. They go up and up and up. Each day hoping for a change in the never changing. Hoping for a light that isn’t artificial. Hoping for hope to come to them, else they may not make it through the night.

But then there are the skulkers, the dishonest. Some wear fine suits and attend the most lavish of settings. They make a mockery of success and what it means. Others walked down alleyways, their clothes dirty, weapons dirtier. Many swear fealty to them, some out of loyalty; others, for their lives. Then there are those who throw away their claim to civilization and show who they truly are. Out of them all, these beasts are both the most honest and most dangerous, for they always wear their true colors.

So where did that leave Gren? He was outside, like the beast, but he was at the highest place one could be in this city, just like what honest ones wanted. So what was he? Honest? No, the wind reminded him of the screams of those he damned long ago. Dishonest? No, the moon praised him with light.

“Heh, I guess this is what it’s like to be at the top of the staircase. Right, brother.”