Writing Group: A Fleeting Glimpse (PRIVATE)

Hello, paranoiacs and obsessives!

Have you seen it, too? The… the shadow? The thing at the corner of your vision that always manages to move out your line of sight just in time? It’s hard to forget, isn’t it? Could be useful to sit down for a while and just try to reduce to words. That’s why…

This week’s prompt is:

 

A Fleeting Glimpse?

 

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

I made this sound spooky, didn’t I?

I have a penchant for that. It’s where my mind goes, and it’s an easy place to settle for this prompt. We fear things we don’t understand. Given only one small eyeful of something, we’re bound to be left with questions.

But those questions don’t have to instill fear.

What if your fleeting glimpse is of an old lover, walking out the door of a supermarket? Wistfulness, questions of circumstance and time and distance.

Maybe you’ve seen a moment of ephemeral success, which you can’t seem to recapture? Yearning, questions of fate and worthiness and spent hours.

Maybe you’ve seen the face of God in the fire. Awe, unspeakable questions of universal scale.

The uniting theme is the size of a glimpse, and the ramifications of the fact that it’s irretrievable. You’ve seen something, only briefly, not even long enough to process it properly… and you never will again.

Try to capture what that might do to one’s mind. Make us feel afloat on the sea of our emotions, disconnected from the certainty that comes with observation and confirmation.

Write something as good as an omen, and let us wonder at what it means.

 

 

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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ArkansanDragon
ArkansanDragon
5 months ago

“Red Skies” by Magan (Legends of Dracora series: The Beginning)

The world was red, both earth and sky, and a dim white sun shone overhead. The unicorn, Willow Whisper, stepped carefully as she moved through unwrought iron rusted into sand. The land was covered in it, and the bitter chill against her hooves was a constant reminder. Her horn ached with the effect of keeping her air bubble intact, even as she felt the magic bleeding out of her into this alien environment.

She glanced back, sighed with relief that the portal home was still open. How long had she been here? immortals had no regular sense of time, but she guessed only a few moments. She took another step, and her spell flickered, her head spiking with pain.

She staggered, and the spell failed completely, blasting her with cold so fierce that it burned like fire. Her fur was coated with frost in moments, and the very air choked her. She struggled to stand, head swimming as if she were drunk on strong wine.

“WILLOW!”

She knew that voice…

Willow turned towards the portal, saw her brother’s terrified face. The unicorn stallion screamed her name again, but his voice was fading…

Everything was fading…

Blind and deaf, she tried to stand, fell again, resorted to dragging herself through the rust-sand.

Everything was a haze of pain, but even that soon faded.

She was terrified, but couldn’t fight anymore. Was this what death was for mortals?

A sudden spike of pain in her barrel brought her back with a strangled scream.

Willow coughed, gasping for air. There was grass under her body, and something large and scaly wrapped around her middle, squeezing in tight, rapid pulses. The sky overhead was blue, star-filled, and the air was clean.

The head of a feathered serpent moved into view, his forked tongue flicking in her face.

“Sorry,” he hissed, ”Think I broke a rib. But your heart is beating again and you’re breathing.”

“You idiot! What were you thinking?!” That was Ash Song, her big brother, sobbing. He wrapped his neck around hers in a hug. “Don’t ever scare me like that again!”

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
5 months ago

Memories of a child by Jesse Fisher

The past is something many get lost in, recalling the days of summer or victories over obstacles once thought impossible. Things that brought joy before the world moved too fast to allow for breaks, or friends that either moved away or were lost to time. However when you can recall a moment with clarity you truly live in that moment again, unable to change it only watch as you were ignorant of what would come from it.

A stormy night plays on the visored screen, mares and stallions move past as the rain falls on your blue body as yellow lights light your way. The natives just ignore you as you head to a small residence that you call home. A cry was heard from an alleyway, not knowing how this would change your life, you walk into that to find a trash pile and a newborn colt with strange ears, wings, and eyes.

A smash cut to a hospital waiting room as you fill out the paperwork related to finding an abandoned foal, where you found him, if there was any sign of a parent, and if he was the only one. The looks of the staff were like predators watching prey about to fall.

A jump cut to months later, adoption papers filed away and a cute squeak from the blue thestral strapped on your chest. This brought feelings of joy and pride as you have a family now.

The skips go randomly, many firsts pass by as those emotions carry them. Flight school was a rough time as bullies were set on picking on him for being different, showing the parents and teachers what they did felt good beyond legal reason.

Then form one image of a cute colt to a full grown stallion with a green sleeved vest packing up his things. Sadness was one of the major things that came from that memory, but acceptance came and hearing him say, “Thanks for being the Dad you did not have to be.”

—-

The bell tolled once more as the sun rose up.

“See ya, Son.”

(note: set in the same universe as Last of the Friends in Last Moment is the Longest prompt)

Lord_Gatte
Lord_Gatte
5 months ago

Title: The Disappearance of Juliet Hunter
Written By: T.S.G. Sager, Texanified by: Handsome Johanson, Edited by: Johanson, and DukkiFluff

Lonesome Highway in Texas, 1976,

It was roughly ten o’clock in the evening when Mrs. Hunter began her drive home. She had worked a rather late shift, but she didn’t mind at all; her colleague had phoned in under the weather, and it was the neighbourly thing to do. Cruising down the rural highway, she twirled her blonde locks out of sheer boredom. There wasn’t a single soul other than her out tonight.

Suddenly a bright flashing light in the distance caught her attention.

“HOE mye, wad AYEZ tha??” Juliet asked aloud with a thick Texan drawl, watching as the stagnant light remained in one place.

Curiosity got the better of her as she continued venturing forward toward the light that blocked her path home. As she grew closer to the light, she could make out a clear disc-like object hovering roughly twenty feet above the ground. Time seemed to slow down; the air was thicker, and she didn’t even feel in control of her own actions. She pulled the convertible over to the side of the road and, against her better judgements, exited the vehicle and closed the door behind her.

As she walked closer, another light shone down, illuminating Juliet’s eyes as she watched two beings float down toward her. Everything in her mind said to “Run! Run as fast as you can!!”, but she just stayed still, even as the two grey humanoids approached her, wrapped their arms around her waist and lifted her off the ground, leaving naught but an accidental footprint.

Juliet, dazed and terrified, took one look back at her car. Where were they taking her? Would she ever see her husband again? Was this her final fleeting glimpse of the planet she called home?

Within the first forty-eight hours, the case became colder than Antarctica. Cops combed and swept the area, and the news covered the story numerous times in the coming weeks, but to no avail.

One question remains in many minds today; what happened to Juliet Hunter?

Simon D. Field
Simon D. Field
5 months ago

Night Action by Simon D. Field

A battle-line of ships slowly moves through the moonlit night. The battle is not yet over, and the stations are kept manned, and the lookouts peer into the treacherous darkness.

Something moves there, does it not? Is there not a dark spot where a moment before the moonlight dimly reflected from the calming sea?

The battleship at the column’s head sends a signal out into the blackness, a challenge for what is there.

No response comes; whatever may sail or lurk in the darkness, it is not a friend.

Sharp narrow beams shine from the searchlights, combing the waves, hungrily looking for prey. One of them crosses a dark silhouette, and a moment later the lights are trained on it.

It is indeed a ship, a large cruiser, mere two thousand yards away, tryin to flee in vain. Twelve mighty twelve-inch guns roar, illuminating the ship with a bright flash.

The other battleships join the cannonade. The enemy doesn’t return fire. A lucky hit is scored – the cruiser is crippled and drifts helplessly. Another one is scored – and plumes of acrid smoke lazily rise from a jagged hole in the hull, and a column of yellowish cordite fire rages from there.

For two minutes that last an eternity in the merciless incessant fire the cruiser is shot. Her funnels collapse; her deck is aflame; she floats upon the waves as a listing wreck, then submerges stern-first as the battle squadrons pass, with only an occasional searchlight briefly flickering along the ravaged hull.

But what is it, on the malformed bow? Is it a man, clutching the hull with the burned hands, face pale from fear and red from fire, eyes raised in a prayer? The searchlight returns its attention to the hull, but the glimpse of a survivor doesn’t return.

A destroyer is detached and sails to the wreckage, but when she’s there, the cruiser is already underwater. The air escapes her interior quickly, and the water around practically boils. The destroyer doesn’t find anyone.

The ships continue their voyage.

What’s there, briefly flickering in the searchlight’s cone?

MasaCur
MasaCur
5 months ago

This was really touching. I really sympathize with Bronach. I can understand her frustration, her belief in the ritual needing to go correctly for her to send her love to the spirit of her parents. Mattan is an excellent surrogate guardian for her, even if it’s just in that moment. And the ending is so sweet.

Brick
Brick
5 months ago

Pranking the Dry-Walkers
by Brickosaur

Ohp, there they are. Early little buggers this time. Don’t they ever SLEEP?

Holy shit, there must be fifty. I’d bet at least half of ’em got their cameras out right now. And half of THEM still have it on flash. Morons.

Shall we give them a show?

I’m feeling it.

I think the standard routine. Hang out down here for a while. Make them WORK for their sighting. And they aren’t gonna SEE anything until the sky’s a little lighter, anyway.

After that . . . let’s see, what’s the first move? It’s been a while. Hmmmm.

Oh, yes! Laps! Circles around the lake, JUST enough to warm up, get the water stirring a bit. That always gets their attention.

Then some fun zigzags and loops. Maybe I can rope the eels into helping me out this time. Gotta be strategic about showing my flippers, but if they help, we can throw the gawkers off. And have some fun, hehe.

And FINALLY comes the risky part. It’s totally gonna get me in trouble one day. I’ll show too much of my neck or something and SOMEBODY’S gonna get a decent photo for once, and then it’s all over. Lake, swarming with tourists, all over again. Mm, maybe they’ll even catch me.

But I can’t NOT. It’s just too delicious, especially for a group this size. Yeah, I’m going for it. Long as the eels are down to help confuse those dry-walkers, I’ll have enough cover to put my head up for a second. Stick my tongue out at ’em, make an epic dive. Then I’m gone. For good. Juuuust enough to make them point and yell, but zero confirmation. Ha, that confusion is the BEST part of all this.

It’s a plan! Oh, I can’t WAIT to see those fuckers’ faces. 20 million years and it never gets old. Cinders, I just wish I knew if Scotland had some Best Prankster award. Deliver THAT to Highlands, bottom of Loch, please!

Ah well, maybe when I get too cocky and they find me I’ll get my prize.
Now, where are those eels hiding?

Felicia Taylor
Felicia Taylor
5 months ago

Success and Concern
by Felicia

29 September

It is astonishing, indeed! I have completed my work and administered the serum to Ms. Striga! A joyous success! Although I grow worried for her fragile mental state. The dosage given, although miniscule, seemed to relax yet change her all at once.
Milo Alton, whom I have discovered recently is in training to become a parisher for the district church, has visited me with the news of Ms. Striga’s increased visitations to Sunday Mass. In regrettable truth, I have been lax in my own attendance over this past year. I must revise my schedule to right this wrong. God knows it is not intentional. But that is no excuse. The Savoir made no qualms when giving up His very life for my wretched soul.

29 September 12:48 pm

More on Mr. Alton: he seems quite astute, amicable, and popular among both sexes. I have seen him on several of my recreational walks and runs to the local market carrying books of varying subjects, speaking animatedly to almost all whom he comes across, and I have borne witness to his compassionate nature towards others.
The reason for my mentioning him now is because I have also happened upon he and Ms. Striga in deep conversation. It is not my place to eavesdrop, but they appeared to be discussing something far removed from the sacredness of the church. When I passed them by, they both waved and spoke genially enough. It was only afterward that it registered the darkness of which they spoke. I cross myself at the mere thought of it now and so cast it from my mind.

Squid
Squid
5 months ago

Occurrence at 14,000 Feet
by Squid

“What the hell was that?”

Simon pressed his face to the acrylic window of the submersible, squinting against the all-encompassing darkness of the abyssal zone. He had been so caught up in reviewing the photos he’d taken during their descent, he didn’t have the chance to capture whatever had appeared beside them until it was nearly gone.

“The hell was what?” The curiosity of his partner put his fevered scanning on pause.

“Kauri, quit pulling my leg here,” Simon said, looking back at the frantic shots he’d taken. Nothing but a reflection of himself, distorted by the fish-eye of the viewport. “You saw that– thing, didn’t you? It was right there!”

“You quit pulling MY leg,” replied the other man. “I didn’t see anything. I’m busy navigating.”

“But… it was just there! It was…”

Actually, Simon had no idea what it was. It didn’t have a clear shape, and he couldn’t estimate the size or distance of it. The LEDs were focused directly in front of the sub, offering little distinction from the darkness blanketing the rest of it. Regardless, he swore he’d seen the faint refraction of a single, silvery eye. His mind kept scrambling for more details, something concrete to cling to, but found nothing. Whatever it was, whatever it was doing, wherever it went… he didn’t know. He would probably never know. That fact loomed over the scientist in a way it typically didn’t.

He and Kauri had been on plenty of deep dives before, and there were many creatures that just barely teased their presence before slipping back into the endless night. But the lingering impression of that… thing, no matter how faint, perturbed him beyond reason.

“Are the cameras still rolling?” Simon asked. He still faced his side of the viewport, motionless.

“Yeah,” Kauri confirmed, “but they’re both trained on the scoop net.” He could sense the growing unease in his partner, but assumed it was merely disappointment.

“Eh, it was probably another siphonophore, no big deal. We’re coming up on those hydrothermal vents you targeted earlier, so get the sampler ready.”

“Yeah… alright.”

MasaCur
MasaCur
5 months ago

Nabiki vs Sherman
By MasaCur

Marihito approached Sakurami High School, the diesel engine roaring behind him as he pulled up alongside the school.

He wanted…no, he needed to express his feelings to Ayase Mikage. But, there was so much competition for her attention this week, he needed to make a bang. Literally. And if it managed to thin the rivals, so much the better.

Marihito parked and slid out of the driver’s seat and into the main turret of the Sherman tank. He had borrowed it from his best friend’s grandfather; how Nukaga-san managed to find one, he had no idea. For a lark, Nukaga-san had taken the tank out for a spin, and taught the boys how to drive and fire it.

Marihito whirled the turret around and fired a shell into the second floor classroom that was Ayase’s homeroom.

As the cloud of debris settled, he could see a head peek out of the hole he created, the white twin tails belonging to Ayase.

Marihito opened the top hatch and climbed partially out. “Ayase! I love you!” he shouted.

She shook her head and pointed at her ear. He could see her trying to yell, but the sound was drowned out by the chugging engine of the tank.

Briefly nonplussed, Marihito dropped back into the turret, reloaded, and aimed the turret at a third floor classroom on the other side of the school. The gun roared, and the school wall exploded in a shower of rubble.

Marihito swiveled the turret back in place to see a figure jump out of the hole in Ayase’s classroom. A few seconds later, a violet-haired girl vaulted the outer wall surrounding the school yard, a white aura trailing behind her.

Was that Nabiki Teion?

Marihito only got a glimpse of her running at him, her eyes glowing white. Then the tank tilted to the side. Beneath the floorboards, he could hear the girl’s primal scream, and the tank flipped over, settling on its top turret.

As Marihito got to his feet, he wondered what sort of being Teion-san was.

Alkarius
Alkarius
5 months ago

The Blue Dragon by Alkarius

The clunking sound of the field equipment could be heard from under a small canopy of healthy green leaves as Collin searched in his backpack.
he turned around and looked at his sister, crouched next to a large brown rock about a meter behind him. A bit frustrated he asked her,
“Hey, Ari, D’you mind helping me? I can’t find anything to store the Herbs and–”

Before he could finish his sentence, he noticed his sister with a finger over her mouth.
As this happened a wall of feathers passed right in front of their little hideout.
It was a flash of silver, a touch of black, and a beautiful, deep blue stripe.
Both amazed and a bit shocked by what they had seen, they crawled out of their spot, the sun in the cloudless sky. Cautious they walked to the edge of the ridge and looked at the Cliff a few hundred meters in front of them.

It’s only then that they heard a long, deep howl as the large creature flew away. With a feathered snake-like body and a series of wings on its side. Because of its unique coloration, this was without a doubt the same creature the siblings had spotted.

Excited by her love for the wildlife of the Divide, Ari confidently turned to her brother and
with her soft voice joyfully said.
“You know what we just saw, right!?”
He was afraid to disappoint her but still answered honestly.
“Uhm, not really… But it was beautiful!”
As soon as he finished speaking Ari replied,
“Most people call them Blue Dragons or even Sky Whales, but their real name is “Aves-Glaucus”, they feed off plants but their feathers are coated with a potent poison that, almost literally “packs a punch”. Basically, if you touch them it will feel like you’ve received a sledgehammer in the face
Then she condescendingly finished her sentence with,
“so be careful near them, ok.”
With both thumbs up, he acknowledged her with a quick “Ok”
“Though for now, we got more to gather so let’s go before the sun goes down.”

JosieDearly
JosieDearly
5 months ago

“The Light” by JosieDearly

Gloomy rain fell upon the grey pavement, pitter-pattering on my black umbrella. Black lampposts and storefront lights flickered white against the wet stones, and grey figures passed me by, hurrying to find shelter. I walked on, music drowning out the rain around me.

I saw two other teenagers that were headed in my direction. Both wore grey hoodies, one just slightly darker than the other. Or maybe they were the same shade. I can’t always tell.

At first, I paid no mind to them. They seemed to be having a heated conversation, but I had headphones on, so I didn’t hear a word.

Suddenly, the guy with the lighter(?) hoodie started furiously snapping his fingers as we approached each other.

When they passed me, he snapped, and I saw it. Just in the corner of my eye.

This… light. This flash of light. This bright… white light. No, no, it wasn’t white… or, its core was…

But around the edges. This flame… I saw many flames, candle flame, fireplaces, campfires… They all looked white, or a little grey, but this, this…

What IS that…?! What the fuck am I—

I froze and whipped my head around to look, but I could see that the light was already fading away, the rain beginning to beat down on it.

No, please, stay a little longer…

Let me look…

The flame faded more, dipping and swirling, growing weaker and weaker with every drop of rain.

The weaker it was, the more I could see it. The white light was losing its strength, but it was showing those edges, and, just…

A little…

Longer—

… It was gone.

I stared at the spot where I saw it, trying to figure out what it was. My head throbbed with a sudden headache.

I could hear the cries around me at the sudden appearance of the flame, but I stood there, with a single word floating up out of the pain in my mind.

The word that I had been searching for to describe the light…

It was “colourful”.

… But how?

I’m completely colour-blind.

GJFuller
GJFuller
5 months ago

Eternal Horizon
By Giovanna J. Fuller

Here we are.

At the end.

We. You and me and them.

We. Us.

It’s been quite a ride, but here we are.

We’re looking at the last moments of the universe as she struggles to take her final breath. It’s been a long time since her birth and she is very old. She knows, in a way, that it is time. All things of this world must end sooner or later. And she is so very old.

Everyone else knows these things as well. It is taught through time and experience and we have anticipated it for years. Every part of creation is tensed, ready, waiting. Then, all at once, there is a great pull. Everything is contracting to a single point.

We’re going…going…going…gone.

All that once was is crushed and all that remains is a small dot. Every great thing that nature has brought and all the great works of man are destroyed in her last, shuddering breath. We are no more.

That’s it. The show is over. The curtain is closed on our time.

Man and animal. Planets and stars. Solar systems and galaxies. Matter and antimatter. It is all gone. Looking upon it now, it is as if they never existed.

A small white dot sits as the pinnacle of all that was, all that is, and all…all.

The white dot sits, silent and deafening.

The white dot sits, gently and evenly pulsating.

The white dot sits, glowing in every color at once .

The white dot sits, and holds all of all.

The white dot sits….

The white dot….

The…

There it is. A shimmer. A great thud at its heart. Then….

An explosion of light. Atoms embrace one another to form elements. Elements dance around each other to form stars. Stars join hands to bring into being the dance of galaxies. The center forms. Stars entice the planets. Planets beckon moons. The planets grow and create and on them, tiny life forms take their first steps…

T4COG4M3
T4COG4M3
5 months ago

The Chrome Phanthom, by T4COG4M3

“maybe speed is your thing after all” Haskeld mentioned to Haskerie as they headed back to the castlegrounds after the ambush on the dam

“were you expecting something else?” she curiously asked.

“yes indeed little one, i was expecting you to be like your mother, Javi’s style as she grew up relied more in strength and key strikes… she was so stubborn, i tried to teach her the ways of speed and agility, the ellegance of having the control over the fight”

“well uhm, grampa can i ask you something?”

“of course, unless you want my armor”

Haskerie quietly laughs and proceeds “how were you back then? i mean. mom tells me you both trained relentlessly and that you were always the faster”

both reached a cluster of rocks beside the river, Haskeld picked a spot and sat down, Haskerie closely following sat in front of him

“oh i mostly gave up fighting once i knew your mom was ready to rule this place, but since we’re here, im going to tell you a story..:

“when i was young i was the war strategist, a frontliner, though i attacked under the sweet cover of night, the tactics were simple yet effective. swift and quick attacks that few could notice, only fleeting and deadly glimpses to our foes. purposefully injecting dread and terror as the unpredictability broke the enemie’s will, they could never fight back against a predator they couldnt see, so the ones who rarely survived spread the rumor of a “chrome phanthom” swiftly deleting their frontlines. the times i had to fight head on, well i did, and since i was the faster one, i won. you know, the thicker the armor, the smaller the man inside. though when i found those hulking monoliths of “warriors” i often allowed myself some fun, making them seem as if they had some sort of chance as they tried to escape, only to end up facing me directly for….well a few seconds, as they only saw me when i wanted them to”

Connor/Dragoneye
Connor/Dragoneye
5 months ago

“A City in the Beast” Submitted by Connor/Dragoneye

Krig treaded carefully across the fleshy tunnel before him, his wide-brimmed hat shielding his face from the dripping saliva. He held his spear before him, in the case that any part of the orophus would retaliate against him. The smell of rot and blood permeated the air, as it always did.

A faint distant light caught Krig’s attention. “There it is.”

Gastrei. The largest city in the Great Machine. It bustled with life and had everything one needed in life. A stream of fresh water, local Bile ducts and veins for Blood.

As Krig stepped up to the city gate, he unmasked his face to the guards, and in immediate recognition, they moved out of his way.

Hushed whispers spreaded through those that witnessed Krig. As Krig turned to the locals, they returned to their business, as if he wasn’t there.

He found his way to a tavern, and the reaction to his presence remained the same.

“What’ya want?” the innkeeper asked, her eyes examining Krig up and down.

“Anything you got.”

“I got a piss bucket and a live skitterworm for you.”

Krig’s stone cold face remained stalwart. “Just some bread and water.” He felt a legion of eyes piercing him, from every corner of the building. It didn’t matter, he knew the path he picked.

“What’s a Ministrator like you doing here? Shouldn’t you be out there, y’know, finding those Organs?”

“Everyone needs their rest.”

“I guess you’re right. At least we have more time to live before you all screw it all up.”

Within a flash, Krig grabbed onto the bartender’s shirt, pulling her towards his shadowed, mangled face. A set of scars lined his right cheek, resembling hatches that trailed down his neck. The inn fell silent.

“You know nothing. All of you know nothing. This is a hellhole. And you’re happy to live here?”

Krig shoved the woman back, releasing her from his grip. “Try staring madness in the face and telling it you’ll end it.”

DukkiFluff
5 months ago

Volcanic Secrets
~by DukkiFluff~

I panted heavily, wiping sweat from my brow as I climbed closer to the volcano’s mouth, pausing only for a second to take a sip from my water bottle. A smile bloomed on my face as I came closer and closer to my goal.

Finally, after an eternity of sweat and scrapes, I was going to get the shot that made it all worth it.

I peered into the mouth. Immense heat washed over my face. I smiled.

I got my camera ready, sitting up on my knees. Adjust the settings, turn off the flash, and wrap the strap around my wrist. I held it up above my head, looking down at the bubbling magma and pressing the shutter.

I stared at the magma, trying to register what I’d seen. It was gone now, whatever it was. If it had even been there. It had to be the heat and the light, right? There was no way…

I scrambled back down a few feet, sitting down and clicking over to the most recent photo.

And there she was.

She sat perched on some rock near the wall, her vibrant golden eyes staring up at me in abject shock. Her caramel skin glowed in the fiery light, and her charcoal hair fanned out behind her from turning her head.

I admired the photo, tracing over her with my fingertip before I noticed. I squinted, my nose almost pressed to the screen.

In place of legs, she had a long, obsidian black tail.

I rushed back to the mouth, ignoring the heat as my gaze darted about.

“Please… please let her come back.” I whispered.

I took a few extra photos for comparison. Sitting back, I shuffled through them, examining each one closely. Not one of them had captured her again.

“May as well get a selfie.” I sighed.

I sat on the edge and held the camera high, smiling big. The shutter clicked.

I checked the photo, laughing at the shadows cast over my face. Then I saw it.

There, peeking out from the magma, were her golden eyes.
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revisis
revisis
5 months ago

“A Glimpse of Peace” Submitted by Exce

Excelsius held onto the flailing Angel, white feathers slapping him in the face.

He should have just killed him from afar, but the bastard kept moving in and out of cover, so Exce decided to get closer. 

And, of course, the second he got a hold of the Angel he was catapulted into the sky.

Exce could not risk taking a hand off the sleek armor  because if he fell off, the angel would not hang around long enough to be killed…
Again, the feathered wings smacked him across the face, and as he let out a low growl, an idea entered his mind. He could not let go to attack…but what if he attacked by holding on?

A wicked smile spread across his lips, then, when the angel was the right way around, for just a few moments, Exce quickly slid his hands across the shoulders, holding on by crossing his legs round the waist of his opponent.
Before he could fall, Excelsius quickly grasped the thin wing bones. 

He put one foot in the Angel’s lower back and pulled.

The constant tirade of what had sounded like curse words cut short with a pained scream and a sharp crack.

Then he was falling, his fists full of white feathers. Above him the angel lost control before following him towards the ground, with some distance.

Branches and twigs snapped under Exce, softening his fall enough to nearly avoid broken bones.
Picking himself up, he tried to find his prey.

Ignoring the stabbing pain in his side, he moved swayingly until he came to a fence. Leaning on it, he looked at a small farm. 

Hearing faint voices and laughter in the distance, he felt a smile creep onto his face.
Sometimes he forgot that not everyone was suffering…some pockets of peace existed yet.

He slumped in a moment of relaxation.

Then a scream cut through the silence and the wood of the fence cracked under his fingers.

The Angels would never allow peace to flourish.
And that’s why he had to stop them.

Samantha Realynn
Samantha Realynn
5 months ago

“Glimpse of a Patron”
by Samantha Realynn

“Are you sure about this, Molls?”

Molly smiled and kissed Jay’s forehead. “I’m sure, Jay. Nic and I have done this before.”

Nicolai smiled. “She’s right. You’re all set up now, all you need to do now is clear your mind and wait.”

“What if I don’t see anything? What if- “

“Hey.” Nicolai cupped his cheek. “Don’t think like that, or it won’t work. Clear your mind and let yourself be open. Even if it’s just a glimpse, you’ll see your Patron. Molly and I have, you will too.”

Jay bit his lip and nodded, sitting down in his circle of crystals as his partners left the room. The candles made a nice ambiance. He couldn’t help but be nervous. Calling a Patron wasn’t a casual undertaking, and Jay still considered himself a novice. His partners had guided him through every step of this journey, he couldn’t ask for better mentors. But still…

“Okay, enough stalling, Jay.” He took a deep breath to center himself, called up his power and touched one of the stones. His circle sparked to life and Jay started to empty his mind. His muscles slowly relaxed and he let himself go to the power, floating in a massive, endless ocean.

And he waited.

There was no sense of time, he wasn’t sure he was in the room anymore. He had no sense of anything. Were the candles still burning? How long had it been? He felt crushing loneliness, nothing but emptiness. Why had he even bothered?

A flash of cold knocked him from his trance and he gasped, eyes flying open. The room was unchanged, the candles burned lower but nothing different. Then what happened?

He felt something and looked up sharply, seeing the barest outline something in front of him, eyes boring into him. He went still, feeling the weight of it pressing on his soul. Then there was the feeling of immense warmth, the barest touch of acceptance and the presence was gone. Jay felt his eyes water. His Patron had left, but the warmth remained. It was all he needed.

Gregory Hess
Gregory Hess
5 months ago

“Alien structure at galactic nucleus” by Gregovin [Aleph null science fiction universe, see comments for context]
The structure had been discovered 225 years ago. We were going to go to another galaxy, but as soon as we heard about this, we saw the chance for a side trip. Today we’d arrived at the structure.

As we arrived, we scanned the structure from all angles.
It was semispherical, with a radius of about ten thousand kilometers, a mass of about 2.5 Earth masses, and a clear entrance.

As we watched from a distance, a small asteroid exploded as it hit the surface of the structure. The structure was undamaged.

We know it was made of a composite carbon nanotube material clearly manufactured by nanomachines far more advanced than any humanity had ever made, and our analysis of its age crashed repeatedly due to an overflow error.

I went in, piloting an android through VR. I saw what I intuitively knew to be a VR terminal. There was even a cable that could clearly be extended to our ship. We decided to connect up to the structure and sent in our light trawler AI to see what was up inside the database so clearly present in the structure. About ten days later, we had a report:

“Amount of data present in the structure: Error Overflow
Description: It is the single largest database this AI has ever seen, and yet it feels as though I have only seen a fleeting glimpse of this civilization. Of note are several pieces of evidence suggesting this
structure is extra-universal in origin, including one letter whose author claimed to be a god(downloaded for review). A deep trawler is needed for further analysis, and this is liable to present the single biggest discovery in our history.”

After reading this, all in the ship were silent. We sent a request for a deep trawler AI to the last system we had visited, but that would likely take several months to return. Until then, we decided to wait. In the meantime, we decided to christen the structure “the Library”.
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Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
5 months ago

A Night in the Forest by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Reyhel woke with a start. They weren’t meant to fall asleep out here; the forest was dangerous at night. He quickly shook Sehrta who had fallen asleep on his lap. As she returned to consciousness, her eyes fixed on an inordinate amount of movement in the sky. Tiny red-blue figures were dancing among the stars.

Reyhel noticed this too but immediately recognized what they were a sign of:

FIRE!

He forced his way to his feet taking Sehrta with him.

“We have to get out of here!” He said, trying not to panic.

“B-but the trees,” She whimpered. “We can’t leave them to burn.” She pointed to the river.

“Maybe we can use the water to quell or stop the spread of the flames?” She said, gaining some confidence. “We have to try!” Reyhel nodded and took off his coat and dipped it in the river. Sehrta did the same.

“OK, let’s be quick, so we can stop it from spreading!” He said with a start. “Now let’s go.” They both began to run through the forest in the direction the embers were coming from. Occasionally, wild animals would be seen running in the other direction, telling them they were getting close.

They could hear the fire now, and as they approached they saw a single tree burning in the center of a clearing. The once vibrant red-purple bark of the ancient tree was now charred a dark black as the flames were sending burning embers far into the sky.

“Look!” She pointed at a figure next to the fire. “What i-is that?!?” Reyhel covered the fire with his eyes to see a black… thing… crouched down next to the burning tree. It was staring intently at the flames and caught the rising red-blue embers in a small flask.

Sehrta immediately grabbed her machete and started to charge out at the thing in a blind rage.

“Sehrta! No!” Reyhel screamed, alerting the beast to their presence. In an instant, it was gone and the pair were left in the forest alone to try and prevent the fire from spreading.