Writing Group: A Reckless Decision (PRIVATE)

Hello, risk-takers and daredevils.

That was certainly a little dangerous, don’t you think? Sure, you’re okay now, and everything turned out alright in the end, but what if it hadn’t? I can’t tell you what to do, of course. But I’m just saying that, if I were you, I’d think harder next time before pulling that little stunt again, because…

This week’s writing group prompt is:

A Reckless Decision

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!

Well, this prompt certainly seems easy enough, doesn’t it? Make bad decision, reap consequences. Pretty basic.

Only it’s not. Assuming so would be reckless in of itself, wouldn’t it? With the talent we have here, this can go so much deeper than that. It’s not just about being punished, or even narrowly avoiding punishment, for some crazy idea. It’s about what that crazy idea can involve, voluntarily or otherwise.

It can be as simple as a child deciding to ride their bike faster and faster, only to lose the steering and fall and scrape their knee. Or it can be as complicated as an in-debt father taking yet another IOU, despite knowing how much his family is hurting for money. Pulling some silly stunt to impress the girl, and either succeeding and making her laugh, or failing horribly and earning a different kind of laughter. A split-second decision to run out into the road to save a kitty from traffic, challenging someone who’s throwing their weight around, or even regretting sending your little friends on an errand for you. All of these can have unforeseen consequences that you never considered. 

The reckless decisions can also be along the lines of thinking you know the consequences and pulling the stunt anyway. You know you could break bones jumping all those wrecked cars on your little bike, but if you made it, it’d be so worth it, right? Or maybe you know your soul would be up for the taking, but you sell it anyway, just to save them. And that ancient passage in that weird language will absolutely give you ultimate power and good looks… won’t it?

So go ahead and pull your crazy stunt. Pull us into whatever risky plan you have. 

Consequences be damned, right?

—Shawna

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 at least 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 by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    6. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. 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.
    5. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    6. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    7. 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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revisis
revisis
12 days ago

The twisted Path ahead
by Exce

He had gotten lucky with a guide, having attached himself to an alpine farmer during his monthly market visit. He promised to carry the heavy pack in exchange for the farmer allowing him to follow up through passes and across pastures.

They didn’t talk a lot during the hike, but eventually, the farmer couldn’t suppress his curiosity anymore and slowed his donkey down to pull even with Exce. “So! What is so important up in the Fangs that you’re offering yourself as a pack animal? Some girl? Or wanna scout out a good place for a farm of your own? I know what people say about living that far up, but the soil is good and the air help-”

Excelsius cut him off with a gesture. “It’s none of that, though I can imagine living up there wouldn’t be the worst…” He shook his head as a smile quirked his lips. “I want to cross the Fangs.”

At that, the farmer’s eyes widened, and his voice grew more hesitant. “Cross…the Fangs…Boy, if you want to visit the Nabouri Forests or get to the Sharish, then going across the Fangs is the worst possible path. I heard that Ferries depart from Harvelstoon twice daily!”

Excelsius shook his head, red hair falling away from his eyes as he turned to the farmer. “I don’t want to go east. My aim carries me north.”
He turned to look up towards the approaching peaks. “To the heart of the Perdition.”

The farmer stared at him, slack-mouthed, before erupting in a laugh. “That’s a good joke! Everyone knows that’s where the Plague came from! Its very sand is tainted. Anyone that goes in too deep doesn’t come back, and even their bones are never found.”

He had stopped walking, with Excelsius pulling ahead before turning to look down at him.

“I know. I am looking for the man hiding in that abomination of a desert. And then I’ll force him to teach me.”

With that, he continued on. The stunned farmer gaped at him before following with some delay.

Last edited 12 days ago by revisis
Deviacon
13 days ago

Creative Bliss
By Derek McEldowney (Deviacon)

Fired again. What am I going to do? It’s like I can’t do anything right. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, it always ends the same. These jobs always just treat people like they’re expendable cogs in a machine.

I’m starting to wonder if there’s even a place in this world for someone like me. I always feel so lost and everyone I’ve ever talked to has always told me that’s just the way it is. No one likes their jobs or their bosses and that I should just deal with it.

Maybe I should just stop listening altogether. If there’s no clear path in front of me, maybe I should carve my own path. If there’s no place I belong, maybe I should create a place for myself. Maybe it’s time to dedicate myself to what really matters most to me, my paintings.

Making do with the paints I’ve been getting by with won’t do though. Mixing my own special blend of paint was part of the process of putting heart and soul into the painting. It was the whole reason I was ever able to sell those few in the first place. I have to dedicate myself to perfecting the mixture, to perfecting my work.

If I was going to do this, I’d need a lot more supplies. I’d need to be much more meticulous and particular than ever before. If I was going to be painting as much as I planned, I was going to need a lot more blood. Those who have hindered me in the past, those who stand in my way, will just have to contribute.

I’ve always wanted to try my hands at sculpting a full size figure, could always use a good base to start with. It’s time to really start challenging myself and expanding my horizons.

It’s time to stop worrying about other people and put my artwork first.

L. L. Marco
L. L. Marco
13 days ago

Secrets Between Friends
By L. L. Marco

“Bree, you don’t look so good.”

Bree tensed, flinching away from Selene’s touch. Sweat built up on her brow and her face was flushed… She’d been getting these spells for weeks now, ever since the ship’s alert system reported an Abnormality. No one had been killed yet but Bree was petrified. So much so that it was making her ill… Selene frowned and continued to rub her best friend’s back. It was all she could do to make her feel safer. She could only hope the Abnormality was caught, if only to make Bree feel better.

Bree turned to Selene, glancing towards the empty doorway behind them. They were alone… Selene never saw it coming. The woman took a step back, eyes fading from concern to abject horror as Bree’s body melded and churned, forming a gaping, drooling maw that stretched across her torso. Selene understood now. Bree wasn’t sick with worry. She was sick with hunger.

The hallways were empty as Selene sprinted down them. Her lungs heaved and her legs burned but she couldn’t stop. Where was everyone!? Why was no one here to save her? Somewhere up ahead she could see the emergency pull. It was so close but Selene had no idea if she’d make it. Bree was surely right on her heels.

Finally, she reached it. Both her hands curled around the steel bar and her arms tensed to sound the alarm… She spared one final glance back towards her ‘friend’ who was surely right behind her. To her surprise she found that Bree watched, completely still, a safe distance away, smiling sadly.

That didn’t make sense. Abnormalities were faster than humans. They could kill from several feet away. Bree surely knew that if Selene pulled the alarm that she’d be killed. Why would she allow that?

Without knowing why, Selene’s hands dropped from the bar. Bree watched, confused, her body already shifted back to its ‘human’ form. Slowly, Selene crossed the space between them.

“Wh-why didn’t you…?” Bree panted, body trembling. She could barely stand.

Selene smiled meekly.

“Why didn’t you?”

Last edited 13 days ago by L. L. Marco
Amy Trow
Amy Trow
13 days ago

A Tossed Match
By minergirl778 (aka frogfireFantasy)

Daisy was running out of options.

The thugs had completely taken control of the building. The other angels weren’t answering. The hostages were due to be killed in 15 minutes….

And she’d landed herself amongst them.

“No, no no no NO! Come on! COME UNDONE!” She fumbled with her bonds, but she couldn’t get them to budge. If only she hadn’t used up her magic fighting off the guards….

They were going to die.

Because of her…they were all going to die.

“A-Alicia? If you hear me, please send help! I’d take anyone!”

“…Anyone?”

A voice.

“H-Huh?” She looked around, but couldn’t see anyone addressing her.

“Do you mean it? When you say you’d take anyone?”

There it was again! Someone there. But who? How could she trust this strange voice? What if they were evil or something!

But then again, what else did she have?

“Y-Yes! Please! If you can get us out of here, I’ll take it!”

A rumbling laugh echoed through her brain. She felt dread pooling in her stomach.

“Wish granted.”

And the world went dark.

~~~~~~~~

The floor had been reduced to ash.

The desks were smouldering rubble. Chairs were flipped and overturned. Molten guns and half-charred people were strewn across the floor.

One of the gunmen hid behind a wall, listening as that… monster burned his brethren. In a mere 20 minutes, it had torn through everything they had. A moment of bravado pulled him out of hiding.

And into her sights.

She tossed the smouldering body aside. Her steps were slow yet deliberate. He raised his gun at her, only for it to disappear before his eyes.

“Wh-what in the world-”

SLAM!

A kick shot him across the room and into a wall. Before he could recover, a red hot hand was pinned to his throat. In his dying moments, he choked out the only words he could think of.

“Wh…What are you?!?”

The girl let out a piercing laugh. She tilted up her head. Her eyes glowed an unnatural red-orange, like a blazing inferno.

“I’m your worst nightmare.”

Last edited 13 days ago by Amy Trow
TheWanderingMind (Cansas)
TheWanderingMind (Cansas)
13 days ago

A Reckless Beginning
By The Wandering Mind (aka Cansas)

Stranger sat alone in the corner booth at the Swooping Salmon Inn.

A waitress walked over, a pint in hand. “Here’s your drink, Stranger.”

“Thank you, love.” He replied smiling.

Stranger was half way through the cup when he realized something was wrong. Where was his bloody Chiipa?

Stranger checked under the table, on his shoulders and inside his long leather coat, in case Whipper and Ticker had fallen asleep, and been forgotten…again.

The smuggler was about to search the entire bar when he noticed the two chinchilla-like bodies of his Chiipa, snuggled on the shoulders of a figure that Stranger immediately recognized.

Sliding back into the booth Stranger asked, “what the hell are you doing here, Mindir?”

Mindir sat across from him. His blue eyes twinkled through long grey hair.

“Come now, Agmore, is that anyway to treat an old friend?”

Stranger said in a hushed voice, “I haven’t gone by that name in a millennia. It’s Stranger now. Why have you come? I assume you have business other than the rodent.”

Whipper and Ticker still slept soundly, their connected tail wrapped around the neck of their former owner. Mindir smiled and scratched Whipper’s chin.

“You are right…Stranger.” Mindir said with an expression of playful mockery, obviously directed at Agmore’s alias.

Stranger rolled his eyes but stopped short. “Wait, is this about…her…but it’s too soon.”

Mindir looked down and his tone grew grimmer. “Yes…A few things have changed since we last spoke. The road is darker now, and far more dangerous. I would not hold it against you if you chose not to partake.

“Mindir, I gave you my word. I’m going.”

Stranger stood up and said jokingly, “Besides, smuggling is getting rather dull.”

Sensing Stranger’s desire to leave, Whipper and Ticker woke up and unraveled their tail from around Mindir’s neck.

Mindir got to his feet, smiling as the Chiipa jumped from his shoulders to the table, scurried up Stranger’s chest and curled against his neck.

In a low voice, Mindir said, “I’ll explain the situation on the way. We must make haste. Dale grows more dangerous everyday.”

Last edited 13 days ago by TheWanderingMind (Cansas)
The Assassin
The Assassin
13 days ago

Brotherhood
By TheAssassin

In the shadows of golden halls stood captain and king together at last. Once opposed, now united, their fear spoke clear; doom drew near. Two friends rived by time reunited against inevitability. Their alliance stood as humanity’s last hope.

The captain, scarred and grizzled, wept. At last came reconciliation of woes long-held, only for death to again arise. Peace came not for sinners as he, but perhaps for his friend, it might return.

The king, regal and poised, grieved. At last, his friend stood by his side, only for his kingdom to burn. Men no longer followed nobility as he, but perhaps they would follow his friend.

Neither man spoke, for what could one say? All they loved would soon collapse and naught could be done but hope. Even hope seemed a distant reality, for how could one hope when all things seemed to fall.

All things seemed to fall except…

Except their fellowship forged anew.

With eyes alight did each man see, their minds cleared of doubt, and their hearts beating true. A grave hour may approach, but heedless of ancient warnings would they stand. Without reckoning, without time for doubt, they would defy the darkness itself. Where once fell legions shall stand brothers, for brotherhood is alone eternal.

The captain silenced his tears and reached out his hand. The king nodded and received the gesture. They shook that day on destiny. They shook that day on death. They shook that day on hope. An alliance of defiance, for in darkness fellowship shines as light.

Yea, they may yet die, but it shall not be a fall. What can one lose when one fights alongside his brothers to protect all they love? Is their no greater fate? Is there no greater purpose? Even in death, their spirits shall linger together. Nothing can destroy brotherhood but itself. No darkness will prevail, for the soul will not be touched.

Captain and king, friends again, marched to war against the darkness. There came a battle of brothers on a field of fellowship. And on that day, against that army, the darkness trembled.

PixieWings
PixieWings
14 days ago

Faerie Oath
(Aden and the Fae)
By PixieWings

“I’ve decided.” The Voice sighs through Aden’s lips. “Not that there’s a choice. You’re awfully good at getting yourself into trouble.”

“Sorry. What?”

They wander slowly under the dappled green filtering through the canopy. Though “wander” may be the wrong word. The Voice seems to know where they’re going. “Slowly” is also questionable. Times that aren’t “now” bleed together in his head.

Aden’s legs are all pins and needles. The sensation of another will.

It’s strange that he’s getting used to it.

“You follow a woman made of sunlight into the woods during a thunderstorm.” The Voice counts on his fingers. “You give her your name. You chase a Puca into a faerie ring.”

“No, I mean, you’ve decided?”

“Yes.” The Voice continues. “You lend your name to someone else.”

“You said I would die!”

“I said you were marked for death. I said you could refuse but if you got me out of the ground, I’d help you.” They rest a hand on the iron sword, tucked into the loop of his belt. “Your choice.”

Aden swallows down a whine. The feeling returns to his legs, and he draws to a stop in a shaded spot under an oak. He rubs his palms into his eyes, then lets them fall to his neck, where the painted knot sits atop his skin.

“I’m trying.” He murmurs. “But I feel…blurry.”

A hum in his throat, almost sympathetic.

“I’m not surprised. You gave your name to the queen of fae. Your Puca friend and my borrowing you are the only things keeping “Aden” here now.”

“And if I’m going to trust you, I need you to be honest with me.”

“Never trust the fae.”

“So you’re a fae too.”

“What’s left of one.”

Aden stops talking.

The voice stops talking.

A sigh through his lips.

“I’ve decided to free you.”

“…What?”

His hand goes suddenly numb. It takes the sword, raising it so his face is reflected in the polished iron.

His eyes are sharper in green.

“I’m going to free you.”

It’s strange that Aden believes them.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
14 days ago

Being Frisky is Risky
By Jesse Fisher Edits by Luna and Drake Ragon

A dark navy wolf sat at the bar, a coffee cup in his hand. His thousand yard stare locked onto the back of the bar as his boss, Korun, went around his business, one of his mismatched eyes looking over to the wolf.

“So how long has he been sitting there?” A female voice called over from another side of the bar.

“I lost count but he hasn’t said anything aside from asking for caffeinated blood.” He spoke to the metallic sand-yellow dragoness.

“Well from what I’ve seen of Grangal during that goddess retreat, we are hosting in the beach section. The fertility and childbirth seemed drawn to that floating draconequus like dragons to gems.” She spoke as her favorite drink was placed on a bar.

“That explains the change of his drinking habit.” The bartender commented and turned to the wolf that was very robotic as he took a drink..

“So how is that going to play out?” The dragoness took a sip of the drink. “And how are we going to deal with having more of him around?”

“After that Time god convention, I think it will be fine.” He noticed a twinkle in the dragoness’s eye. “And I’m guessing you are saying this because there is more than just that.”

“Well, what if I say the only reason I knew Grangal was like that is because they were all over me before she came in?” A sheepish grin on her muzzle.

It was at that moment the bartender experienced multiple emotions before he got his own coffee cup, walked out to the other side of the bar, and sat down next to the wolf.

“Father to be?” the wolf asked.

“Yep.” The bartender replied.

“Contraceptive?”

“Every time, but divine beings seem to ignore that.”

The wolf turned a bit miffed. “How did you not know?”

“She was my first.” A sip reply came.

“Then again I should have known the risk.” The wolf reflected on what lead him to this.

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
14 days ago

The Aftermath
By Twangyflame0

William groaned in pain. The poison that had coursed through his body had now left, but it was strange. He should be dead. He grabbed his stomach as the phantom pain from those two blades sunk into his stomach.

He looked around to find himself in a small, wooden hut. Someone must have brought him back to the village, but who?

Nerg pushed through the entrance flap with a bowl of water. His normally hard and completely neutral face softened as he looked down on William. “I see you are awake.”

William grabbed his face and tried to stand. “Wait… what happened? Where was that guy in red? Is Lu alrigh– Gah!”

William grabbed his side. He was not used to pain lasting for so long. His body would normally heal very quickly.

Nerg calmly put a hand on William’s shoulder, pushing him back onto the bed. “Rest, William.”

“I-I need to see if everyone is ok.” The memories slowly began to come back to him, the last thing being Erin’s horror-stricken face looking at him. “Erin– agh! Where is Erin?”

Nerg frowned and held William firmly. “Everyone is fine except you, if you must know.”

William grimaced. He trusted Nerg’s words but the image of Erin’s terrified face was just too much. Nerg looked down at him and sighed. “Drink some water. I’ll be back.”

William looked down at the floor. He sighed and began drinking from the bowl. His head throbbed. He couldn’t remember much after he began bleeding out. Did… did he win?

Erin came stomping in. William looked and smiled. “Hey, you’re alrigh–”

Erin slapped him across the face. “YOU THINK WHAT YOU DID WAS FUNNY?!”

“Wh-what n-no I–”

“YOU THINK I ENJOYED WATCHING YOU DIE?!” Erin, in all of her fury, had the beginnings of tears in her eyes.

Her words sunk into William like a rock. “I-I… died?”

“Yes! Died! Your heart stopped! You bled out! All because you couldn’t fucking back down from a fight!”

“I-I’m… sorry…“

“You better fucking be.” Erin pulled him in close, trying her best to hide her tears.

MysteryElement
MysteryElement
15 days ago

A Craving for Macarons
By MysteryElement

“Okay, so the recipe says we need to whisk the egg whites to soft peaks before adding superfine white sugar one spoonful at a time.”

“Superfine?” Marci asked confusedly “as in, granulated?”

“I don’t know,” Kari shrugged, turning on the electric mixer “I’ve never made macarons before.”

“Okay Google.” Marci’s phone beeped in response “What is superfine sugar? According to google, it is the smallest crystal size of granulated sugar.”

“So it’s granulated sugar.” Kari started measuring out the sugar on the scale.

“But, how do we know it’s ‘superfine’ sugar? Wouldn’t it say so on the bag, or something?”

“I don’t know.” Kari replied, continuing to weigh out the sugar. “But I don’t think I have any sugar labeled ‘superfine.’ I wouldn’t even know where to find that in the store. Besides, we’re already halfway through the recipe, a small substitution shouldn’t be too bad.”

“I guess…”

“Okay, sugar is ready. What comes next?”

“We’ll need to sift almond flour and confectioners sugar before adding it slowly.” Marci read over the instructions carefully “Then we can pipe them onto parchment lined baking sheets.”

“I don’t think I have anything to sift with.” Kari said thoughtfully.

“Should we run to the store?”

“We don’t really have time, since we’re already whipping the egg whites. It should be fine though, we’ll just have to keep an eye out for lumps. How are the eggs looking, Marci?”

“They look kinda stiff, but not very? I guess that means they are ready.”

“Okay, so you add the sugar while I measure out the rest.”

“Maybe we should have thought this through, Kari.” Marci said tentatively, adding a spoonful of sugar to the mixing bowl. “We’re not very prepared.”

“Stop worrying so much! We’ve got this. How hard can it be to make a few cookies?”

Shaviathan
Shaviathan
15 days ago

Wrong move
By Shaviathan

Without getting up, Visantra peeped open a single eye and scanned the campsite. The fire was completely extinguished now, submerging the small clearing into darkness. As her eye adjusted, she could make out two of the raiders slumped against trees near the fire pit. Not wanting to chance them still being awake she waited a few more seconds before sitting herself up and getting to work on her bonds. Removing the dagger from her boot she started cutting away at the rope binding her wrists.

“Well this isn’t fair,” Visantra muttered in a hushed tone. “They didn’t even bother to search me. How am I supposed to have fun if they make it this – ow!”

The dagger slipped and sliced her thumb. She froze and looked towards the camp. One of the raiders began to stir and rolled to his side. She waited, a knot beginning to form in her gut. When enough time had passed that she knew he was still asleep she heaved a sigh and got back to cutting.

“Well that was boring.” she thought as she finished cutting the rope and stood up. She grabbed her stuff and began to search the bags of the Vahallarians, though not with much luck. There was rope, some shackles, food and hunting supplies but nothing of value. “Come on, not even a single piece of gold? What kind of raider doesn’t have gold!” Throwing down the bag she glanced at the two slumbering Vahallarians and simply rolled her eyes. Mid roll however the glint of something shiny caught her eye. It was a necklace hanging around the neck of the Icy-eyed raider. Visantra leapt onto the ground for a closer look, her eyes widening in excitement.

It was a silver pendant in the shape of a horned serpent head. Visantra delicately reached out to the pendant, her heart pounding like a drum increasing in rhythm. Wrapping her fingers around the metal she positioned the dagger to cut the strand and –

His eyes opened.

Her heart froze.

She saw his fist swing and then, only darkness.

Last edited 12 days ago by Shaviathan
MasaCur
MasaCur
15 days ago

The Genre Break Project
By MasaCur
(If selected, give my spot to MysteryElement)

“Yosou-san?”

Ayako took a deep breath, trying to settle her nerves. The casting call she saw online seemed like a dream come true. “Genre Break Project: Wanted, one girl of high school age for an experimental television series.” A real professional role!

Ayako stepped through the door and into an office. There was a man behind the desk, his hair buzzed short. She placed her resume and headshot picture on the desk, and he glanced at them.

“What school are you attending?” he asked.

“Sakurami High School.”

His face lit up. “Excellent! That’ll make it easy.”

“I’m curious about what my role would be,” Ayako said.

“Oh, we’re conducting a reality television series, but we need an actress on the inside to help move events along in certain directions. Contract is for the remainder of your time at school. We will send you scripts, but there will be a certain amount of improvisation.”

Ayako smiled. “Not a problem. I’ve done improv before.”

“How would you feel about costumes?”

“Well, I’ve done a lot of school plays,” Ayako said with a laugh.

“You’ll be wearing a lot of them. And wigs.”

Ayako shrugged. “I suppose I could cut my hair to make it easier.”

“We may need you to leave the Drama Club. To fit the narrative of our series.”

“Oh,” Ayako was disappointed, but sprang back quickly. “I’ll be doing tons more acting this way, though.”

“And of course, you won’t be able to tell anyone about the role.”

Ayako nodded. “Of course! I understand completely. I’m sure I can get my parents to–”

“Oh no,” the man interrupted. “You can’t tell them either.” He raised a hand in reassurance. “I can promise that we won’t ask you to do anything lurid, and that we will take all safety precautions, but no one can know. All of this will be in the contract.”

Ayako felt a little apprehensive, but the thrill of acting professionally tugged at her soul. “That’s fine.”

The man smiled. “Well, I think you’ll be perfect then.”

Last edited 12 days ago by MasaCur
NocteVesania
15 days ago

Zeke, the Bravest Man Alive
by NocteVesania

Guns blaze and cannons thunder as two airships clash. Belle and Zeke, aboard the Iron Rose, battle the Imperial Navy’s remaining flagship, wanting to prove once and for all their supremacy over the skies.

The Navy ship turns to face the Iron Rose head-on. Its engines roar louder as it increases speed, gunning straight into its foe.

One crewman throws his hands into the air. “They’re gonna ram us!”

“Brace for impact!” Belle looks into a spyglass and finds uniformed men, blades in hand, as if ready for a brawl. She unsheathes her own. “Swords at the ready! They’re boarding!”

With a boom and a crack, the ships meet and soldiers stream into the Iron Rose.

“En garde!” Zeke brandishes his blade as it shimmers in the light of the sun.

The fighting is fierce, but despite their larger numbers, the Naval forces are thinning out faster, until finally, the captain stands on a railing. With a shaky voice, he shouts, “Fall back! Retreat!”

The captain jumps back onto his deck and the remaining soldiers turn tail. Before Belle and Zeke could give chase, the Navy ship is already speeding away.

The navigator shouts out, frantically turning the helm, “They’re getting away!”

Zeke looks around and spots one of the cannons beside Belle. He runs up to it and tries to step into its mouth. Belle sees this and gives him a puzzled look.

Zeke looks at her. “It’s the only way we’ll catch up!”

“That’s crazy! There’s no way I’m shooting you out of a cannon!”

“Do you have anything better in mind?”

Belle pauses, then helps Zeke into the cannon. “Just promise me you’ll be alright.”

“I promise.”

Belle aims at the enemy ship and lights the fuse. Zeke closes his eyes. Belle covers her ears. The fuse grows shorter until it ducks into the metal and—

“Erina! Supper time!”

Erina puts her dolls down, a look of disappointment on her face. She stares at the shoes she calls “airships”, figurines lodged into them.

“Food’s getting cold, Erina!”

Erina stands and starts running to the kitchen. “Coming, Sam!”

Matthew
Matthew
15 days ago

Homemade Dinner Date
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

A couple, arm in arm, approach a smallish house in a normal looking suburb.

“So, this is my house.” Ollie smiles. “What do you think?”

Rebecca’s eyes float across the room, admiring the surprisingly simple and pleasant scenery. A green pastel coats the walls with white liners.

“What’s the matter?” Ollie teases, “Expecting a dark and gloomy cave where I hide out to evade the dour Church official?”

“Well, not exactly.” Rebecca smiles back. “It’s just. It’s so cute!” Ollie laughs and bids her inside.

She lets down her things by the door and the two make their way to the dining room.

“I hope you are prepared for an unforgettable dinner!” Ollie calls out as he heads to the kitchen, but not before flashing Rebecca a smile. “Just give me a few minutes to finish everything up.”

She nods and he disappears into the kitchen. Immediately, he finds his entire roast missing .

Realizing his pet must’ve taken it, he mumbles under his breath. “Ughh, I’ll have to give Cornflakes a talking to later.” Grabbing his face, he paces the kitchen floor.

“What if…” he pauses. “I summon food from Grutheo, the daemon of gluttony and disguise it as my own cooking?”

Ollie takes out his knife and cuts his finger. He then drips his own blood into the mouth of a small frog statue.

Moments later, a loud voice booms through the kitchen. “WHO DARES SUMMON GRUTHEO TH-”

“Shhh! She’ll hear you!”

“Oh. sorry.” Grutheo calms down. “What do you want, Ollie?” An impossible smile forms on his lips, seemingly too long for his boddy.

“I need a nice meal for tw-” but before he could finish, Rebecca bursts in. Startled, Grutheo returns to his realm in a flash of smoke.

“Wha?? What was that?”

Ollie looks defeated. “Just the daemon of gluttony.”

“OK?” Understanding flashes onto her face as she grabs his hands. “Did you try to summon a daemon in order to make us a meal?”

“Yeah,” he sighs. “My, uh, dog ate my planned one.”

Rebecca hugs him. “Silly goose, we can just order some pizza.”

Last edited 15 days ago by Matthew
WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
15 days ago

A Prisoner’s Lament
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

It’s all my fault. I was the one that found the profane tome. I was the one who decided studying it was not that dangerous. If I had any sense of self-preservation or forethought, maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here bound in iron and silver. Hundreds of werewolves. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of humans. All dead because of me.

I should have known that an angel with an odd, evil number of wings meant no good. I should never have followed his instructions, but my lust for power was too great to discern good and evil. My centuries in this stone prison have forced me to reevaluate my choices. I have run the scenarios through my head multiple times, and it always ends up with me excommunicated and in here. That, I believe, I can live with. However, there is so much I could have done.

Why didn’t I do that which I could have done? I am a capable witchwolf; I know plenty of divination spells. Why did I not think to augur? I looked back, and I only found one answer: hubris. I thought I knew. Asena forgive me, I thought I knew the risks. But the ink was my concoction. MY creation. And I used it to open something that should have been kept shut.

I created war from nothing. There was no conspiracy. No prior planning. Just the right person at the wrong place at the wrong time. I unleashed demons onto the world. And every day I wish I could undo it. I wish I had never made that ink. I wish I had not heeded honeyed words from the lips of a liar. I wish I had burned that accursed tome.

Now I sit alone, with nothing to do but regret. Thank Asena they warded these walls, or the demons would free me. Try to persuade me to do it again. I have already been tainted. I doubt I truly learned my lesson over these past five hundred years. They’ve tried before. They’ll try again. I only hope that I stay locked away.

Last edited 15 days ago by WolfsbaneX
Lari B.Haven
Lari B.Haven
15 days ago

It not just eats, devours
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

Leonard washed his palms. The pink water was warm, making his stomach turn. He seemed like the blood wouldn’t wipe off from his hands anymore. It was sickening. He felt the knot in his throat tightening. That project was becoming too taxing, with few results to be regarded as a success.

“We can send the papers and say it’s ineffective. We can prevent more lives from decaying.” Leonard replied.

“One more, one less… Why does it matter?” That monotone again. Albert never sounded so bleak.

Albert was calmly cleaning the blood off his hands, and Leonard could see his vacant stare through the mirror. His body was there, but the mind was absent. Another patient lost, and he didn’t even have the strength to care.

It has been four years of hard work in secrecy. The design was virtually perfect, yet the death count was still too high. The synthetic organs were almost working, but he couldn’t assure an extended life to his patients beyond a couple more years.

“They’re demanding the results, and soon. We’re almost there, aren’t we, Leonard?”

“They want to experiment on children, because of survival rates.…” His voice almost perished.

“Why would testing on kids matter now and not back then?” Albert shouted, looking at him through the same mirror.

“I know I drowned us in this!” He yelled back. “I admit I was blind by it, deceived even! If I could go back in time and tell the fundraisers what we did, I would! That guilt; it’s eating me, Albert!”

Albert laughed. “It was your choice, Leonard, your fault.”

“Doctor, is everything ok? I heard shouting.…” A nurse opened the door in distress.

“Miss Nunes….” He glanced at the mirror, and only his reflection remained. “I’m alone in this room, right?”

“Yes, sir.” Her concerned tone made his heart sink. “Are you feeling well, doctor?”

Albert was dead, but the visions of him were unforgiving.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
16 days ago

Nothing to Do but Wait
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“An army is a day’s march away!” General Turchann leaned across the table. “We must prepare our defences, Advisor!”

“We do not know if their intent is malice,” Advisor Nezroc stated. “All we know is that a small force was spotted on our borders. Perhaps if we send messengers—”

“And watch them die?” Truchann hissed.

“No, General, because we have no reason to believe they would harm us.”

Queen Rilthana sighed and rested her chin on her hand, her crown reflecting the dim candlelight in the dark meeting room.

Truchann was her highest general, and Nezroc her closest advisor. The two greatest minds in the whole kingdom, arguing at two in the freakin’ morning about a small armed force on her borders.

Truchann and Nezroc’s arguing faded into muffled background noise as Rilthana opened herself to the Sight. She swept her senses across the kingdom, reaching for the group on her borders.

Her father had trained her well.

It took her a minute to find them. Too large for a diplomatic mission, too small for an invading force, intentions turned murky with distance and the fact that it was two in the freakin’ morning.

She sighed and let go of the Sight, her vision snapping back to the meeting room. Nezroc and Truchann were staring at her expectantly. They must have noticed her slip off into her trance.

“We’re doing nothing,” Rilthana said, as if nothing had happened.

“What?” both Truchann and Nezroc said at the same time.

“We don’t have enough information. We can put troops at the gates and make sure negotiators are prepared, but anything else will put them on edge. We will deal with this tomorrow.”

“But, Your Majesty—” Nezroc interjected.

“Your Highness—” Truchann started.

Rilthana yawned and stood up from her chair. “We’re dealing with this tomorrow, whether you two like it or not. Goodnight.”

She left them and their gobsmacked faces and started up the stairs.

Could this lead to a surprise attack? A negotiation gone horribly wrong?

No way to know. It was too bloody early for this anyway.

RVMPLSTLSKN
RVMPLSTLSKN
16 days ago

A Reckless Decision
by RVMPLSTLSKN (A tale from the Worldsoul)

Fryseld ran alone. This wasn’t strange for a child in the Windlands colony. Neither was Fryseld ever truly alone, not even when she wanted to be. There were always the frogs chirping in the trees, though the amphibian Tryllts said the frogs were stupid.

Fryseld wore a bonnet most days to keep her skin safe, but she’d lost it to Hylga–a manly girl if ever there was one–and so she ran between trees to be alone.

She stopped to breathe the dense, tropical air. The scent of decay consumed her smelling as the sound of mosquitoes consumed her hearing. She knew she was where humans weren’t allowed, that place where tryllts went to die: the swamp.

She should go home, but she thought she heard Hylga behind her–she would say so later to make it true–and felt her decision made for her. She went on, careful to stay dry, certain the wetland water was what killed tryllts.

The sound of muck behind her. She turned and saw a tryllt, brown and huge, with a crown of mossy treelimbs on her back. A nest of salamanders crawled and fell from the limbs. Fryseld gaped.

The tryllt spoke, but Fryseld couldn’t understand the sound, just the meaning as the communication pressed on her reality.

-Unwelcome, child of death.

“I’m Fryseld.”

-Humans come and bring death.

“But I’m not here to hurt.”

‘I’m lost.’ She longed to excuse, but she couldn’t lie.

-Swampwitch.

Witch also meant priestess. A name as much as a title.

“You’re a Mancer?” A mage.

-I’m the guardian of life.

The tryllt’s hand flashed forward and came up with a serpentine creature called a mosuhuma, a salamander wriggling in its mouth.

-You bring death, to this place of life.

“I don’t understand.”

-Humans are made of death. You excrete it. Leave and don’t befoul this place.

“But how can I–?” Fryseld wiped sweat from her brow.

-If you die here, nothing will grow.

Fryseld saw a salamander swimming away from another mosuhuma. She clutched it up, saved it, only to watch it die of the salt on her hand.

GJFuller
GJFuller
16 days ago

Tales from the Infinite Hallway: Fatality
By Giovanna J. Fuller

A horde of bloodthirsty orcs and ogres charged. The swarm of black dots poured into and spread across the valley like ants over a picnic. It had to be now. If the intrepid heroes didn’t stop Lord Baron Von Killord, then all would be lost. The kingdom would fall into the hands of evil. It had to be stopped here.

The leader of the forces for good watched the chaos come for them. With his hand on his sword hilt, he waited for the perfect moment to give the order. It had to be perfect. To call the order too early would mean leading his men to the slaughter. To call the order too late would mean the evil would spread and infect his beloved homeland.

‘It all comes down to this,’ he thought. ‘May we win the day…’

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the beautiful enchantress beside him. He thanked the creators that he had such a magic user by his side. With her by his side, they stood a chance at overcoming this obstacle.

Lord_Bellerophontes47 raised his sword. “To victory!”

“To victory!” CarrotLadyOfInfinateBunnies repeated.

The battle began.

A pain shot through his chest. He turned to see the beautiful sorceress with her staff of destruction poised at him. The world went dark and his body blew away like dust in the wind.

LORD_BELEROPHONTES47 HAS DIED

Marshall stared at the screen. All that grinding to level up for this event. All that time spent so that he could afford the Sun-Sword. All the real world money he had spent so that he could spend more time in the dungeon. It was all for nothing.

“I win!” Angela cheered.

Marshall threw his controller on the ground. “I’m on your team!”

The red headed witch froze. “Huh?”

“This is a co-op event! Not pvp!”

“What are those words?”

He let out a frustrated growl and stomped off. “I regret ever asking you to join my party!”

Angela dropped her controller and ran after him. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” She latched onto his arm. “Forgive me, my lord!”

Last edited 16 days ago by GJFuller
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
16 days ago

Too Late To Stop (TW: Contains a suicide attempt, and a description of suicidal thoughts.)
By Calliope Rannis

Everything was ready. Finally.

The Transaugmentation Machine was complete, and it was beautiful. Two cages lined with a rainbow of exotic metals, connected by a chain of crystal spheres. One cage for Kord’s holy sword, glowing with divine power.

The second cage was for her.

The lightning rod was in position. No need to waste time. You’ll see them again soon.

Nyssa entered the cage, and lay herself back against the metal table, her legs comfortably between the open rings of the metal restraints around them.

Reaching up, she grabbed at a thick silver cable. Pulling her robe away, she placed it directly above her heart, wincing from the cold metal. Four pins drew blood as they secured the cable. That done, the gnome relaxed her arms into their restraints.

Not to trap her, of course. But the process would make her body spasm, and she wanted this to be dignified.

With nothing else to do, and the noise of the oncoming storm building outside, Nyssa allowed herself to smile. It was so nearly time! She couldn’t wait.

She’d make scientific history, for sure. Oh, they’d mourn her, but they would recover. It would break Kord’s prized toy, and she could gleefully imagine the look on his godly face. Most importantly though, she would get to meet her parents again. It had been almost 30 years, and she couldn’t wait a day longer.

(Would…would they want her to do this?)

It doesn’t matter. Her parents would still love her. No matter what.

She closed her eyes and tried to relax her shaking body. Nearly time.

Nearly time…

Nearly—

Lightning struck the tower from above. Electricity surged into the machine, instantly slamming her restraints shut. An emerald light shone from beyond, along with sounds like tearing metal and unearthly screaming.

I don’t want to die.

Her eyes widened.

I don’t want to die!

Her limbs strained against her bindings.

I DON’T WANT TO DIE!!!!!

The energy howled through the cable and slammed into her heart, and her head was flooded with searing light, heat, her screams, before everything went black.

Last edited 16 days ago by Calliope Rannis
DesOttsel
DesOttsel
16 days ago

Fading light
by Gage Jarman

The last of the sun’s fire shone over the mountains. Dusk was setting in as the land grew dark. Crickets chirped in a meadow of tall grass and wildflowers. A former knight patted a shovel on the freshly disturbed earth. The small girl next to him held a staff firmly in the ground. The man knelt down and packed the earth around it.

“Alright, you can let go now. It should hold.” The man stood up and walked away to gather flowers. The girl said nothing. He looked back at her, still clutching the staff, still standing motionless. He walked back to her and spoke as soft as down.

“Kiera…”

The girl stared at the last vestiges of the setting sun.

“You can let go now… Can you help me pick some flowers? I don’t know which ones are best, but I’m sure she would love whatever you pick.” He placed a hand on her shoulder.

“… I can’t.”

“We have to.”

The small girl’s voice broke. “Why? How can you leave Mother here. Alone! I know you don’t want to. I can feel it. So then, why?” She wrapped her arms around her father and cried into him. “Why?”

A small bundle of flowers dropped from his hands and fell onto the grave. The flowers began to glow with soft purple light. A ripple of magic emanated from the staff. The meadow reflected the heavens. Thousands of small purple lights glowed in the darkening twilight. Tears fell from the man’s eyes.

“Kiera, look. She’s trying to speak to you.”

“No, she’s…”

“Kiera.”

The girl looked up from the wet clothes, sniffling. Her breath froze. The lights sparkled in her puffy eyes. She wiped them, and wiped, but more tears streamed down her face.

The man held his daughter tightly and thought.

“The eyes of the church have gone blind. Rot has spread through its veins in my absence. No more innocent blood will be spilled. Even if I must challenge the entire order, her death will not be meaningless! It’s caused too much sorrow. The wound is too deep…”

Last edited 16 days ago by DesOttsel