Writing Group: The Things Left Behind (PRIVATE)

Hello, little lost ones.

Have you ever thought back to something you lost or misplaced? Remembered how you searched high and low, far and wide, but ultimately gave up? Have you wondered where those things might be now? Wondered if… maybe they aren’t happy about being forgotten? Prepare to find out, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

The Things Left Behind

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!

With a prompt like this, we can expect things to get deep rather easily. It can also bring to memory stuff we’ve lost over the years, from soothers and mittens, to friends and opportunities. 

So many different tales can be found among the lost. Perhaps a child left their favorite stuffed doll at the playground, and had already made the twenty minute trek home before realizing it was missing. Perhaps a special keychain fell from its latch and into a grate, too far down to be retrieved. Even simpler, a mother finding out only too late that her baby decided to once again throw their bottle out of the stroller on the way home.

The best thing about this prompt is that the lost things don’t necessarily have to be actual objects. Perhaps the things left behind were friends who stood in the road and waved as one of their group moved away. A father deciding he no longer wanted his wife and child, and departing for his own selfish things. Maybe even just a pet staring curiously as their person leaves for whatever lies beyond that big, heavy door, wondering when their person will come home. Or reversing this, a child wondering why their little furry best friend has run off, staring out the window and waiting for their furbaby to return.

But maybe… maybe the things left behind were left for a good reason. Maybe he just couldn’t take the day to day dullness in the office, and quit to chase bigger dreams. Maybe she wouldn’t let her parents control her anymore, and took off into the night to find freedom. Maybe their relationship was too toxic, and one finally broke those chains to escape the painful chaos that they had gotten too used to. Maybe it’s as simple, and as complicated as finally being accepted to college, and having to move to the dorms, leaving behind old memories and the comfort of home for a chance at a bright future.

Alternatively, we can look at the other end of the scope. That teddy bear watched as its owner forgot it on the park bench, unable to move as their favorite person got further and further away. That mother cried at the kitchen table as her husband marched down the driveway, suitcase in hand. The garden that had been so loved and cared for grew dusty and overgrown with weeds and thistles. No doubt these things feel lonely, lost… and jaded. 

Leaving things behind can be easy, or it can be hard, and both for so many different reasons.

So lose us in the land where memories lie, and who knows? Maybe we’ll find something we didn’t know we were looking for.

—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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Trevor Sager
Trevor Sager
10 days ago

A Moment of your Time.
By T.S.G. Sager (World Swap with Handsome_Johanson’s ‘My Cultist SO’, with permission.)

“Ollie? Have you seen my hairbrush? I can’t seem to find it anywh-”

Knock knock knock.

“Actually, could you please get the door? I’ll keep searching for it.” Rebecca stated as she continued to rummage through the bathroom.

“Sure thing, dear.”

As Ollie opened the door of the apartment complex, he noticed a well dressed man in a pristine suit.

“Good day sir, I’m visiting everyone in this neighborhood with an important message. No doubt you are a busy person, so I’ll be brief.” The gentleman opened.

“Oh? I’m kind of busy, but do go on.” Ollie replied.

“I’m making my weekly visit in the neighborhood, and I don’t believe I’ve seen you before, would you give me a moment of your time to discuss the wonderful things that God’s Kingdom will do for manki-”

“Ollie! Who’s at the door?!” Rebecca called out.

“Just a fine dressed gentleman, Rebecca! I’ll be there in a moment!” he answered, closing the door as he did. “My apologies, what were you saying?”

“Oh, just that I’d like to tell you all the beautiful things God’s Kind-”

“Ah, right, actually how about I tell you about a better system of beliefs?” Ollie offered.

“I don’t think-”

“Oh, come on! It’s more fun than any other religion out there! For example, we worship a squid!” Ollie offered in an excited tone, “And instead of a singular deity, we have multiple!”

“But that’s blasphe-”

“Blasphemous? Oh, Uthlec no. I think you’re rather blasphemous for only believing in one. But worry not, I’m sure Grutheo forgives you, just as long as you NEVER give him cookies. Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t I introduce you to the almighty Squid? I bet you can’t prove your god, and we can even host a ceremony for you.”

“But I’ve got things outside that I don’t want to leave behin-”

“But nothing! They’ll still be there when you come back! And who knows? Maybe when you come back, you’ll realize you don’t actually need them cause you’ve found something much better! I just need a moment of your time…”

Deviacon
11 days ago

What Was Left
(this isn’t the story I set out to write, but its the story I got when I started writing.)
By Derek McEldowney (Deviacon)

I couldn’t get rid of it. The green knit beanie is right where she left it. Right on the counter where she would always leave it after a long day. It’s the first thing I see when I come home. Every time I look at it, I hear her voice again. “Welcome home sweetie!” I remember the silly way she’d say good morning when she was half asleep. It’s like she’s still here, until I take off my jacket and realize how quiet it really is, how cold my bed remains.

Weeks pass, and I recall that she only ever greeted me so sweetly when something special was planned. I look at the beanie and remember her coming home, setting it down on the counter with a disappointed sigh and ask “How was your day? Oh, did you go to the store yet?” The annoyed tone that hung in the air before a fight. The more mundane reality of the life she left behind begins to sink in. I’m beginning to see why she left, but still can’t bring myself to do anything.

Weeks more pass and more often than not, her words simply echo things I already knew. “You really need to go to the store and get more groceries. You really need to take better care of yourself. You really should clean, no one would want to live like this. I couldn’t live like this. That’s why I left.” Words she never spoke aloud, but I heard all the same.

When I look at her green knit beanie, all I can hear is her yelling at me now. “What the fuck is wrong with you?! I can’t fucking do this anymore!” Her sweet voice warped with venomous intent. The last words she ever spoke to me, echoing in front of me, steeped in more hatred and vitriol than I had remembered.

I couldn’t get rid of it. I couldn’t even look at it any more.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
11 days ago

Is it best left behind?
By Jesse Fisher(set in Clanso’s world with their permission)

Okay why is the world dark?

>System in safe mode.

Well that explains that, just need to get back incontrol.

>Operation AI detected

>First command.

I need you to run a full systems check and get either audio or video up before I can move.

>Video at 50 percent
>Audio 100 percent
>Beginning audio feed

“Back off scum this is a gift from our god’s favor of us.” Person one.

“Your god?.” Person Two spat at that.”This is clearly crafted by our god. It lacks any fervorous decoration like you landlocked lunks.”

System, how much longer do I have to listen to all of this back fighting?

>System at 75 percent

So can I at least see and walk away from this?

>Weapons offline
>Other systems are within nominal parameters

So I ended up in a harbor of some kind and two…humans, for lack of knowing what they are, arguing presumably about me. One of them looked to be a pirate or some form of that while the other looked like a well dressed man of fame and wealth.

Honestly at this point I’m just not going to deal with this cause I need to find where that mask ended up. You try to make an easier way of interdimensional travel and endup in a random world.

“Wait, did it just move?” Person one/Gentleman.

“And without any gas.” Person two/Pirate.

So they are either pre-steampunk or are gaspunk, either way I best just let them be.

—One adventure later—

I can’t believe it.

In front of me was…was that meant to be me?

The visor was off, the light was inverted, and the size was on the bulky side.

Honestly I’m glad I did not show them my weapons cause that might just cause more issues.

And then there is the factory that is making these…I might want to do something like that or just leave it.

I would split my mind on this but I think it is best to just rest for the time being.

Last edited 11 days ago by jesse fisher
Amy Trow
Amy Trow
11 days ago

Nostalgic Daze
By minergirl778 (aka frogfireFantasy)

Nyssa always knew that people would read her work.

But she never knew they could be quite this excitable….

Or quite so young.

All it took was a signature. A single swipe of pen on a promise to pay something back. But the moment the shopkeeper’s daughter looked at the paper, she’d let out the loudest squeal the dwarf had ever heard. She barely remembered the book she gushed about to her dad, but the memories came rushing back at the sight of “On the Arcana Linkage and Deviation of Spells”.

Maybe that shouldn’t be enough to make her stay for dinner, but she’d been so starved for company…

So here she was, helping the young scholar put away plates.

“I always told my mama about your theories, Miss Nyssa!” She cheeped, “She always said they were a load of hogwash, but she just doesn’t get magic like you and I do!”

“Well, they aren’t exactly easy reading.” She smiled, handing off a dish to the young girl “I’m still surprised you managed to make your way through them!”

“You bet your brisket I did!” She flashed a gap-toothed grin “Now I know everything’ there is to know about all the fancy magic stuff!”

Gosh, ALL the fancy magic stuff? If you’d told her past self, the tired college kid up until 3 am, that someone saw them as the smartest magician? She’d probably have thrown her coffee at you.

3 am in the library…. That old library, full of the most esoteric tomes….

It was all devastated in the storm….

Her storm.

It was all-

“Woah! Miss Nyssa!”

She snapped out of her thoughts to see her hands clenched around a fork, lightning arching over the utensil to her other hand.

She gave them a nervous smile.

They broke out into an excited yell

“WOAH! That was amazing! You got so much magic in ya that it’s coursing through your veins! Man, what a sight! I wonder when I’ll start doing that…”

“You won’t.”

“Wha-huh?”

She gave them a distant look.

“If you’re good, you’ll never have to.”

Last edited 11 days ago by Amy Trow
The Assassin
The Assassin
11 days ago

Songs of Joy
By TheAssassin

Within the din of men grim, sat one man alone who sang. His song reminisced of sweet times past, long ago, before the wars. In the gloomy tavern none smiled at his melody, they rather scorned him with vulgarities and insults. Happiness for these men seemed so distant a dream, even a song could not restore it.

A man spoke from the crowd, his anger flaring. “Quiet yourself boy, this is no time for merrymaking; war is upon us! Everything your song speaks of burns!” The jolly songster skipped not a beat and carried on with a heartfelt crescendo. His song spoke of verdant glades and the children who played therein.

“Yea, I sing of times old, of goodness left behind, but my verse comes not from delusion or disdain. I wish only to bring that shred of goodness song provides to your hearts. God knows we need it these dark days.” The songster smiled, looking every man in the eyes. “We are not without happiness, so let us celebrate in that little we yet have.”

“Bah, you’re an idealistic fool,” spoke a gruff man from the corner. “Happiness has not existed for four long years of battle! How dare you say it can come as our sons die in the fields.” The insulted man scoffed.

“Aye, a fool I may be,” whispered the songster. “But happiness is not so distant a thing. It is not gone or left behind. What is art but fragments of emotion given form? I sing not to remember or delude myself in revery, I sing to share that last vestige of emotion we can yet muster. Our enemies may take our lands, slaughter our children, and burn our wives, but they cannot take from us our song or our smile. Those things shall not be left behind so long as we draw breath. Sing with me and you’ll see. My friends, be happy once more!”

The songster began to sing again, but this time his voice was not alone, for in that tavern men embraced their joy, and merrily sang long into the night.

Cansas
Cansas
11 days ago

A Moment Of What Was
By The Wandering Mind

It was a joyous day for the kingdom of Gallopia, but for the soon to be king, it was a day of sorrow.

Kelon walked down the isle, each step heavier than the last. The world around him felt slow, as if the air had turned to molasses.

The people in the crowd were mire specks of dust in his mind. His focus was fixed upon the aching in his soul. The every-growing black hole that threatened to devour everything he was.

Kelon knelt in front of the Archbishop. Closing his eyes he felt a single tear slip down his face.

The crown was light upon his head. To anyone else it would seem a good thing, but to Kelon it was a sure sign that the worst was yet to come, for he knew it bore no weight because he had yet to strip away himself and burry it within that cursed object.

Years had pasted since that day and with every sunrise, the young king found that another piece of his soul was gone.

The only joy he found was when his mind lingered between the sleeping world and the waking. That was where the things he left behind were his once again.

Where he could ride Shaya through the grassy valleys under the mountains, and along the river where years before, he had saved his beautiful steed from drowning.

It was the place where Kelon and the other children spent long afternoons fooling about in the courtyard. They played for hours with their short wooden swords imagining they were long silver blades like the ones the knights carried.

It was where he could look upon his big brother’s face, as it had been in the days of their youth. Declan was so full of wonder and light in the days before the raging war came to claim his life.

The king was never there long. Reality and responsibility ripped him away from that peaceful place, back into the world of war.

Last edited 11 days ago by Cansas
PixieWings
PixieWings
11 days ago

On the Horizon
By PixieWings

The sea is Cordelia’s greatest love.

It was her greatest love when she had legs to walk the shore. It was her greatest love when those legs were replaced with a glittering tail. It’s her greatest love now, the sunset splashing gold across its surface and painting her ship in shadows.

The air likes to remind her it has its delights, currently in the form of a man with bird wings.

She’d invited him. He’d dropped from the sky to land on the deck above. He may as well have fallen from her memory. The same royal purple feathers along his arms, bits of silver dangling from his ears.

He’d found her and his grin put the sun to shame.

A flutter of his fingers.

A swish of her tail.

“Ahoy Seagull.”

“Permission to come aboard, Angelfish?”

He’d hopped gingerly onto the waiting perch of her fin, and they’d shared the moment, her scales just above the water, his talons just below.

“It’s good to see you, Castor.”

“Good to see you, Cordi. Before you go. Think you’re easier on the eyes between us, personally.”

“You’re an awful flirt.”

“Eh. I like my women the way I like my coffee.”

“Oh?”

“Strong enough to pick me up in the morning.”

Her laugh punctures the air.

Castor winks.

“Gotcha.”

Cordelia dips him closer to her face.

“Do you?”

The noise he makes is more squawk than laugh.

There’s relief it can still be this way.

Warm and easy, like a good summer breeze off the coast.

Well, she thinks, why not?

Might as well unfurl the sail.

“You’re welcome aboard tomorrow.”

Castor blinks.

“You’re leaving tomorrow.”

Cordelia cups his face, turns him to the ship.

“My crow’s nest could use a Seagull.”

His eyes grow slowly wide, and she watches at him as he takes it in.

Her ship and the sea.

Then his gaze slides sideways, where the shadow of the Roost is just visible in the dying light.

“Tempting, Cordi.”

Castor’s hand slips into hers.

Cordelia considers the land with him.

But there’s nothing there for her.

Shaviathan
Shaviathan
11 days ago

Lone Wolf
By Shaviathan

“Father, can you hear me?” Lilith waited for a response, but the only reply was the cold embrace of the wind. She lingered in silence for a few minutes, still hoping to hear that calming voice in the back of her mind. Met only with silence she trudged onward, deeper into the forest.

“He’ll be back,” She tried reassuring herself. “He always comes back, right?” She didn’t even notice the snow as it coated her face, the chill of loneliness biting deeper. Even her friends were gone now, left on the shores across the sea. Lilith wondered if they still lingered, awaiting her return, or if they merely collapsed and began to decay again. Either way it didn’t matter, there was no one here to comfort her.

Lilith stumbled and face planted into the snow. Tears began to well up in her eyes as she weakly rose to her knees. Rubbing the snow and frozen tears from her eyes, she turned to see what she tripped on and gasped.

“A puppy!” She exclaimed as she crawled towards the wolf carcass. Lilith began to pet its fur, small clumps falling off with each stroke. The body itself was cold but she felt a small amount of warmth emanating from its exposed ribs. “You’re so much warmer than me,” She said hugging its neck. “Are you alone like me? Where’s your family?” The carcass’s shredded maw lay slack in the snow, unable to give a reply. “Well, if you don’t have a family, then you can be part of mine!”

Lilith struggled to raise the corpse’s head, maggots spilling from its jaw as she lifted it. She pricked her thumb on one of the fangs and dripped a single drop of oily black blood down its gullet. Laying the head back down, she curled up next to the carcass’s open wound for what little warmth the exposed organs would provide. As the snow wrapped the two in a cold blanket, Lilith drifted off to sleep, a small hint of a smile now on her face.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
14 days ago

Scheduling Conflict
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Roselyn’s eyes darted between her perfectly packed bag on the floor and the invitation she’d found on the table a moment ago.

The school camping trip had been planned for months, and her mother had known about it. At least, she should have. Roselyn brought it up over dinner at least twice.

So why was her mother’s birthday party suddenly over the same weekend?

Well, the party wouldn’t be awful, Roselyn told herself. This time the attention would be focused on her mother, not her. For once.

Roselyn started pacing the entrance hall.

Was it deliberate? Her mother trying to hold her back from her friends? No, it was probably the stress, it had to be—

Her phone buzzed. She forced her free hand to unclench and fumble it out of her pocket.

From Sam: “Our ride is here ;)”

What did that mean?

She took a deep breath.

Should she go on the trip with her friends, or bail to appease her mother?

“Lady Roselyn?” a servant timidly asked.

Roselyn was spiraling. The school trip would be fun and, honestly, relaxing. But if she ditched her mother, there might be consequences, outside of her emotional state. But Mom should have known anyways…

She held her breath.

School trip, or family obligations? An unpredictable camping trip, or a definitely boring party? Blow off responsibility, or spend the weekend handling Mom’s emotions?

Herself, or her mother?

Roselyn let the invitation drop to the ground.

“If Mom wonders where I am, tell her she forgot about the school camping trip. My ride’s here.” She hesitated. “Please, make sure she’s okay while I’m gone.”

Roselyn let the doors close behind her. As she approached the perimeter gates, she couldn’t help but smile.

Sam, wearing a ludicrously large hat and sunglasses to hide her inhuman eyes and ears, was sitting on the back of…was that…?

It was Jidz, the centaur. He’d put on fake human legs and a stuffed horse head to try to appear as a regular human on a horse. It looked absolutely ridiculous.

Roselyn gave up holding back giggles.

Worth it.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
14 days ago

It All Comes Back at Once (Written in LumenOrbis with permission from Excelsius/revisis)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane; Special thanks to LunaBear

The cawing of the seagulls echoed across the back wall of the castle. Melechiel stood between two guard towers and stared at the sea. A gentle breeze brushed across the Angel’s face, and the waves lapped at the side of the cliff. Melechiel stood unfazed and stoic. Spreading his wings, he took off towards the city of Port Solivesan. His city.

The sandstone bricks took on a more washed-out white as the angel soared over the city, extending the light of his halo. Man, woman and child who were going about their day fell as the Angel passed. Some laid there as though dead, while others shuddered with their foreheads to the ground. Melechiel landed where a group of them had fallen prostrate, and examined a few. The Angel reached out and grabbed a teenage boy. Healthy. Well-built. A good specimen. Melechiel forced the boy to his feet and held him tight.

“No!”

Melechiel turned around to see a crying woman. “Please, my lord. Don’t take my son.”

Without a second thought, Melechiel’s halo increased in intensity. Crying gave way to screaming as the woman became ash. Other screams echoed through the street as the Angel took flight, the terrified teenager screaming, crying, and thrashing in his arms.

As he touched down in the courtyard of the castle, Melechiel threw the boy to two guards. Immediately, they seized him.

“Take him to be prepared for surgery.” The guards nodded and forced the teenager to come with them.

Suddenly, a bright white light filled the sky for a brief moment. Melechiel gasped as his halo slammed into his chest. The cold, hard core within his chest immediately softened. Joy. Sorrow. Anger. Shame. They all returned. Melechiel dropped to his knees.

“By the king, what have I done?”

Humans reduced to ash. Depthwalkers hunted and harvested for his own ends. Tears pooled on the ground. Melechiel was a monster, and it was far too late to do anything about it.

DesOttsel
DesOttsel
14 days ago

Little clay dolls
by Gage Jarman

Swallows twisted effortlessly in the air. They appeared to have no tethers to this world. They rose up into the blue sky with a thought. Down by the river was always more peaceful. Gave me time to think as I walked this cobblestone path. The bustle of the city was wearing on me in my age. Maybe it’s time I go out to the country and visit my family… What was that buzzing?

A second sun exploded. Light consumed the heavens. Gales stronger than any typhoon ripped through the city. Thunder crashed over the land. What wrath had we awoken? Had we angered the gods? My skin was left scorched and blistered. I rose up from the canal basked in a red haze. This is hell.

Skeletons of the few standing buildings appeared as pillars in a sea of burning rubble. I walked. The air stung my throat. I walked. The scent of smoke and singed hair enveloped me. I walked. Charred husks littered the street. There was nothing I could do for them. They weren’t human anymore. They were manikins, charred and abandoned. I walked. Was anyone left? I can’t be the only one.

Crying. I heard crying. I moved closer, climbing over the rubble blocking a small side street. I saw a shadow. My steps slowed. Behind a small garden wall, I saw her. A black statue clutching a small writhing thing. I bent down, and freed the child from her stiff arms. I looked at the child, screaming in my hand, and cradled them. Salty tears stung my cheeks.

“Shhhh shhh shhh, daijoubu daijoubu.”

I wished they were a swallow. They could fly away from this place. What’s left? What awaits them in this hell, but more suffering. I looked down at her. She had sacrificed everything. She had been a good mother. I hope her spirit can pass on peacefully knowing her child is safe. I hope she finds rest. I said a short prayer for her like she was some defaced Buddha. I walked away, deeper into land scarred by wrath and fire.

Matthew
Matthew
14 days ago

Meeting Meko (Genre/Canon-Break Universe world swap)
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

It had been a hard day. Colby was in Japan, six and a half thousand miles away from home, and the weight of being in a nearly completely foreign culture was beginning to grate on him. Despite the welcoming student body and the fact that Sakurami High had recently adopted a westernized school plan, Colby found the transition difficult. He didn’t have that much in common with anyone at school. Who was there to connect to?

He needed a break from the bustling school atmosphere, so he decided to have his lunch in the Drama classroom. Luckily, it was empty when he got there. Only a few bites in, he heard the door creak open.

In, walked… a cat!

And a plump cat, no less.

Immediately, the ball of fur rubbed up onto his legs, purring up a storm.

“Awww, hello little guy,” he said, speaking English for the first time that day. The cat briefly looked up at him before jumping on his lap and nearly knocking over his meal.

“Woah!” He laughed, taking the cat into his arms. “You need to be careful, little guy.”

The cat quickly made himself comfortable, sinking into Colby’s arm as he stroked his soft fur.

The gentle purring of the loaf caused a smile to form on Colby’s face, mirroring the warmth growing in his heart. Instantly, he felt at home in this strange world.

“Thanks for visiting me, little guy.” He swooned. The cat purrs into his hand.

“Awww, I like you too!” Cobly breathed a sigh. “I miss my cat, back home.”

The cat’s ears perked up. He looked over at Colby expectantly, perhaps wanting more information… or wanting more pats.

“Oh, my cat? He’s thousands of miles away at the moment,” he said while patting the feline delicately. “His name is Biscuits!”

The plump cat looked thoughtful for a moment before continuing his purring.

“You are a very thoughtful cat.” Colby smiles. “I’m glad I met you.”

The cat’s eyes beamed with pride and contentment.

Maybe school won’t be so bad anymore…

Last edited 14 days ago by Matthew
PitL
PitL
14 days ago

Separation
By PitL [World Swap with JosieDearly’s Emergent Earth, with permission]

I remember when they left.

There were weeks of activity and bustle. It was beautiful. They cleaned and prepared me, and I knew something special was coming, but didn’t know what.

They got up so early that morning. A thin fog was hanging in the air, and I was drowsy, so drowsy… I could feel it from roof to foundation. Before I even noticed they were leaving, I was alone, listening to the quiet hum of a motor off in the distance.

It was so cold.

You don’t understand what it was like. I was alone. At first I was scared, you see; I’d never really been alone before. I’d been built by their parents’ parents’, and had always been… well… home. I’d never known silence. Not true silence.

I’ve been quiet for a long time. The only people who ever visit are the investigating types, and you know they’d never talk to me. Not like family would. When they came, I’d hide myself away between the walls and listen. Eventually they’d go away. They didn’t care.

But you… you plan on staying, don’t you? You don’t look like them. You don’t feel like them. It’s a sign, I can tell. I waited so long for you! I’m so glad you’re home. I’m sorry I doubted you.

Just don’t leave, okay? Don’t leave me. I need you to stay here. I’ll keep you safe. You don’t want to leave anyway. You’d never abandon me to silence. Once you step between my walls, we’ll be together. Forever. Right?

Oh God. I hear you talking. “I dunno,” you say. “Needs a lot of renovations done. Gonna be expensive.”

I need you. Please don’t leave.

I can’t be silent again.

Last edited 14 days ago by PitL
Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
14 days ago

He Waited for a Very Long Time
By IsaDragon

“Do you know what happened here, friend?” Old Ithmeir spoke, looking over the valley. “It seems steeped in history.”

The crystalline sword on his back hummed sadly.

The valley was the burnt—out husk of a village, the tiny farming settlement that would pick out a living from the harsh crags. The mountain was blue, he noticed, if you squinted in the right light.

“Is it safe to go in? I doubt there would be survivors after so long, but…”

The sword hummed a note he had learned to mean ‘probably not your best idea, old man.’

He started picking his way over the rocks anyways.

“Even if there is nobody left—huf—it would be best to see if last rites were performed, no? For travelers less prepared than us.”

The sword groaned; a sound like gravel scraping over rocks.

In the center of the village there was a pedestal, a velvet indent that perfectly matched the shape of the blade.

Cracked fingers brushed over the inscription.

“The Hero will come, born of man and myth, when the world is lost to ruin. Wielding this sword, he shall cleanse the world and set it back to rights.”

Ithmeir paused, and continued from memory.

“The Hero, born under a blue mountain to humble beginnings will rise above with the Heavenly Blade and smite evil. The Hero of the Dawn, borne from mistly valley yonder to save the world. He raises his blade, and quells the fighting… ah, I can’t remember the rest.”

(THE HIGH SEER OF SAROUTH)

“Was it him? I suppose you would know.”

(HE PROPHESIED THAT THE HERO—)

The sword cuts itself off.

“It’s not me, is it? I’m too old for this.”

The sword hummed uncertainty.

Ithmeir sighed, draping the sword across his knees. There was a long moment of wind and silence. The sword has no eyes to cry or mouth to speak, but the violent swirling of the patterns in the crystal told of some strong emotion.

The sword, quietly as it was able, simply said: (I WAITED. HE NEVER CAME.)

MasaCur
MasaCur
14 days ago

The Ties That Bind Us (Based in Lunabear’s Universe: The Council – Katherine and Marcus)
By MasaCur

Marcus pointed the handgun at the door, his hand shaking as the doorknob turned.

“Get it together!” he hissed at himself. Marcus took a deep breath, and steadied his aim as the door swung open.

As soon as he saw Katherine’s face, he pulled the trigger.

The hammer fell on an empty chamber, causing Katherine to flinch.

Marcus felt his jaw drop. He desperately pulled the trigger again. Another click.

Katherine’s eyes narrowed. “Really Marcus? Again?”

“How are you still alive?” he shouted, his voice quavering.

Katherine sighed. “You probably shouldn’t have tried to hire Carlisle to execute me. He’s more loyal to me than he is to you. My guess is he’s also the one that took the bullets out of your gun there.”

Marcus whimpered and threw the gun at her, causing her to dodge. She lunged forward and grabbed his hand.

As soon as her hand touched his, Marcus was filled with terror. It was the most intense fear he had ever felt in his life. He curled up on the bed, whimpering. This was her power.

Katherine withdrew her hand. “You wanted this, Marcus. You wanted this life, and now you have it. You’re stuck with me now.”

“What are you going to do to me?” Marcus whimpered.

“I told you. I’m keeping this marriage. For better or worse. And so are you. So find a way to make it work.”

Tears trickled from Marcus’s eyes. “Are you going to tell The Council?”

“I may not have that choice,” Katherine replied. “Carlisle may have already told them. And even if he didn’t, this isn’t something we can keep from The Council forever.” She looked down at him, a look of contemptuous pity in her eyes. “I’m going to tell them. And heavens help me, I’m going to tell them that everything is fine now.”

“Why would you do that?”

Katherine glared. “Because I loved you, you fucking idiot. Part of me still does. Even if the rest of me knows you cannot be trusted.”

RVMPLSTLSKN
RVMPLSTLSKN
14 days ago

The Things He Left Behind
By RVMPLSTLSKN (A Tale from the Worldsoul)

Tym Frygsson exits the colonial company store. The pinewoods tower over the port town and its estuary. There is a wind high above like a goddess’s cooing birds. The sky, lacking the pollutants of the Capitol, bows to the viewer.

Tym wears a new waist sash in dashing hues of pink and blue, shoulder furs of hare, and a koltotl-hair knit cap–products of the new intercontinental trade routes. The dyes from the Windlands, the furs from the Capitol and koltotls in the Coldlands before him.

No more the static air of the subarctic plains he’d left behind. No more to carry the hod or breathe befouled air. Such was the way of things in the Capitol. Such was a man’s plight in a women’s society.

This was a land where manliness was needed to survive. Tym was ready to earn his bread in debt and live among the trees and wild things. He was ready to be manly. Insociable. Uncivilized.

Before him the promise of payment and adventure and brotherhood; behind marriage and womanliness and shaving.

‘Didn’t the goddesses make koltotls?’ he thought to himself. Such are rationalizations we make to ourselves; just as Tym does to ignore the civilized act of shaving, likening his own furry face to the shaggy man-beasts of the Coldlands.

He walks in the rugged finery of a company-man. The boiled leather soles of his shoes and the hardness of a new colonist’s blade–a kukri in our world, reader–mark him as indebted.

So Tym, indebted to the company, joins a crew–he slips in complimenting the longboat and calls it by neutral ‘she,’ reminding him he isn’t quite done with civilized behavior–wets his paddle as he sings with his newfound brothers. They are bearded and experienced, their blades nicked from use and their soles worn. They smile loudly and laugh often. They are boisterous and noisome.

In that first time of real work, the timing of song and paddle through water, Tym feels he’s finally free from the rigors of civilized manner. He thinks himself a man, but, reader, he has yet to see a koltotl.

Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
14 days ago

The things we shouldn’t leave behind
[Asgaroth universe used with permission of TwangyFlame0]
By: Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

He checked his bag over again. “Please don’t say I left it!”

“Need some help to search?” The ferryman replied, giving the poor merchant a lantern.

“Thank you, but it’s no use.” The shaken man was literally ripping the hairs from his head. “I’m already dead!”

The ferryman didn’t understand why he was so nervous. If he had forgotten something, they could just return to the island while it was still in sight.

“We still have some time to come back before it goes dark. You can recover what you lost.” He replied calmly, as to comfort the wreck of a man in his boat.

“NO!” The merchant screamed. “I will not go back!”

“Why? I know only a few negotiate with the vampires, but they’re usually very level-headed.” The ferryman was curious. “Unless you have stolen something.”

“I would never do such a thing! They are my best clients!” The merchant puffed his chest to say that, proud of his past record. “Well, they were…”

“So why are you so scared?” The boat rider asked.

“What I left, it would be the same thing asking for death!” He replied looking at all directions, dreading an inevitable demise if he spoke a little louder. “Think of the most offensive thing you could ever tell a vampire in a book form.”

The boat rider choked on the smoke of his pipe. “Oh! No, don’t tell me…”

“YES!” He buried his face in his hands and sobbed again. “A leather-bound and jeweled encrusted copy of ‘Vampiric history’ The most offensive book ever written about the vampire kind.”

“And why would you walk with such a book in here? It says that all vampires are evil warlords!”

“It was a package I was bringing to a lord!” The merchant told in the grasp of voice, about to pass out.

“We need to leave and fast! Or else you and I, we’re screwed! Screwed!” The ferryman yelled, hoping for any winds that could take them away.

Last edited 14 days ago by Lari B. Haven
Gregory Hess
Gregory Hess
14 days ago

Never to open again[Written in GJ Fullers world with permission]
By Gregovin

Angela looked around at the blank debriefing room, impatiently tapping her foot. The room was so dull, especially compared to the colorful and interesting world outside. She understood why it was the way it was, but was already yearning to go back out and explore.

An agent arrived and sat directly across from her.

“Well, Angela, you did it. The Foundation is proud to have worked with you.”

“Oh, the Tarasque? It wasn’t a big deal”

The agent continued. “Would you be interested in staying with us here? We could use the help.”

“I’m not interested.”

“Any particular reason?”

“I need to go talk to Marshie. And the hallway needs me.”

“Fair. We’re debriefing Marshall at the moment, afterwards you two will be allowed through the stone door”

“Well, goodbye. Be back soon, hopefully”

The agent left.

A few minutes later, she was escorted through the pristine corridors. Then their group was joined by a certain Marshal.

“Hi Marshie!” Angela exclaimed as she wrapped him in a hug. “I’ve missed you so much!

Marshall returned the hug. “Me to, but we have to get going”

They broke off and they were escorted to a room with a locked secure door. The door opened, and inside was a stone door covered in glowing glyphs and mysterious symbols.

As Angela and Marshall approached, it opened for them. They went through, and the door closed behind them.

Angela already wanted to go back, but they had spent too long in that world. They needed to check on the other worlds and their homeworld.

“Marshie! Where should we go?” she asked.

“Let’s go toward the closet of records, that seems like a good place to check”

Angela went from marginally excited to severely disappointed. The closet of records was so boring!

Suddenly, the door they came out of vanished.

Angela hurriedly brought out her key ring.

“No No No No No No NO!”

The glyph key was grey. That world was gone. Dead. Angela broke down in tears.

Last edited 14 days ago by Gregory Hess
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
14 days ago

A Flame Awoken From Ash (Worldswap: Froggyquest by Amy Trow)
By Calliope Rannis

“Mrrrrrrr…” Froggy stirred in the dust, before breathing some in. “A-ACK-GAH!” she coughed, sitting upright.

After a minute of coughing, she moved to brush off her face, flinching as her dry skin cracked. Rubbing her eyes, the frog looked around her with horror.

This place had been a forest, once. But now the ground was coated in ash, and only blackened pillars of wood remained.

“What…happened?” Everything was foggy, but…she remembered fighting. That she had been scared…angry…

She remembered fire. A lot of fire. And she remembered it surging from her body, burning enemies and plants alike.

Her tears left tracks on cracked skin. “Oh…oh no…I-”

“Mother’s roots!” An urgent voice cried out. “Are you okay over there little one?”

Froggy quickly turned to see a 6ft tall dark-furred animal running towards her, an array of sharp quills growing out of their back, and wearing a flowery apron. She tried to push herself upwards, but her dry legs wobbled and she collapsed.

In seconds, the porcupine was there. “Don’t strain yourself dear, you’ll feel better soon!” With some magical words, a cool sensation flowed through Froggy, healing her broken skin. Then the healer helped her upright.

“Th-Thank you…” Froggy stammered. “…how did you find me?”

“Oh! I was looking for anyone that needed help after that awful fire. And you, well, you’re the only green thing around for a mile at least.”

Froggy’s face fell. “It spread that far?”

“That far, and further. Dammed dragon…”

“D-Dr-Dragon??”

“Yes. You already know, don’t you? It’s been causing destruction all across this land…though never as bad.”

Froggy silently nodded. The healer gave her a careful hug.

“It’s okay…it’s okay…” She looked back at Froggy, with both kindness and burning determination in her eyes. “My name is Kali, and I swear on both my name and my mothers, that this dragon will never be allowed to hurt you, or anything else, ever again. I will make sure of it!”

Froggy gave a hollow smile, her guilt and shame clawing behind her eyes, and said “I hope you do.”

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
14 days ago

Leaving It All Behind (In Laribhaven’s Diemount World)
By Twangyflame0

The purple vortex pulsated screeched as tentacles crushed the building. Terrible, unholy, monstrous sounds echoed through the night as the cultists inside screamed in terror. A giant gaping maw opened up and began to indiscriminately eat it all.

And Kayla watched it all. Her eyes wide, watching the balefire spurt and flair out. Awe and terror filled her being. Shelly stood and began clapping, “Yeah! You go giant fish-thing! You eat those sons of bitches Woo!”

“Should we really be sitting here watching this?” Kayla looked at the swirling vortex with concern, “Won’t our eyes, like, burn and our rains melt or something like that?”

Shelly smirked, her confidence never swaying for a moment, “Nah. This guy has only been around for a couple thousand years. You are thinking of the ones that have been here since forever.”

Shelly sat down beside Kayla and pulled a plastic baggie filled with marshmallows. She offered one up to her concerned friend, “Have one. Eating sweets always makes me feel better.”

Kayla barely paid attention to her friend, till she felt the squishy goodness against her face and her friend’s endearing but annoying voice. “I know you want the squishy. You know the squishy is good. Squishy is life. Just eat the squishy and–”

“OK! Ok! If I eat it, will you stop?” Kayla couldn’t but laugh a little.

Shelly just smiled, “No. You’re stuck with me.”

Kayla just took the marshmallow and popped it into her mouth, rolling her eyes. She then rested her head on her friend’s shoulder. The memories of the last couple months bubbled up from the back of her mind. The rituals, the sacrifices, the times she hated herself, they all seemed to disappear as she looked on.

Shelly wrapped her arms around Kayla, “You doing good?”

“Yeah… just seems crazy.”

“Heh, love does that sometimes.”

“What?”

“What?”

Kayla felt her facing beginning to blush. “D-Did you just–”

Shelly scratched her cheek, “Oh yeah, I guess I didn’t mention that.”

Kayla rested her forehead on Shelly’s, “God, you’re a doofus.”

“A loveable doofus?”

“A very lovable doofus.”

revisis
revisis
14 days ago

Looking back from the Pack
by Exce (set in the Garoloch Universe with Wolfbanes Permission)

Thin green smoke passed between their feet as they worked. The demon vessels were packaged into leather sacks. Once they were filled with water, they would be buried deep within the glacier, far away from any paths and mountain passes.

After that relatively clean work, it was time to deal with the real mess.

Tenloc watched as his men scraped the busted bodies of the nephilim off the frozen rock and into ditches. The wildlife would take care of this in less than a night.

He massaged his shoulder as he turned around, looking down from the gap in the mountains where they stood into the valley below. Once he wouldn’t have been able to see, but now his vision was clearer. Roofs hidden underneath brush and trees grown to hide the clearings.

From this distance, he could see only the faintest of movements, having to guess who it was.
Mothers, wives, sons, and daughters, the warriors who remained behind. How many had grown up since they had left?

How many had died…

Tenloc turned away, closing his eyes for a moment before assessing the situation. The pass was almost cleared. Having melted snow over small fires, his men were washing the blood away before it could freeze and leave a handy hint for the others.

They were almost done here. He was about to turn away and help carry some of the demon sacks when Grauland put a hand on his shoulder. The old man’s face was as stark white as ever, and his eyes were only a faint amber shine between his matted grey hair and bushy brows.

“I know what it must feel like to be this close. But you know just as well that you can’t go back. When I offered you and your men my wolfsblood to save your village, you knew that door would never be open to you again.”

“I know.” Tenloc pressed his lips together before lifting one of the sacks over his shoulder. “Now. Let’s make sure those we left behind will be left in peace.”

GJFuller
GJFuller
14 days ago

Dreaming Lost (World-swap: Aleph Null Series by gregovin)
By Giovanna J. Fuller

Galatea sighed and laced her fingers together. She pushed them forward to hear that satisfying crack as she stretched. Nothing happened. She frowned, remembering.

Her office was quiet. The only living things were the abundant flora that could not speak, but grew silently. Each plant residing inside the glass dome was perfectly green with no colored buds or flowers to give the scene variation.

She had some time before her next appointment, 0.22 hours to be exact. It would be her fifteenth meeting and her last for the solar day. Idly, she wondered what she would do in her 4.77 hours of free time.

‘Probably just recharge.’ She tapped her lips with a long, perfectly crafted fingernail.

“Ms. Cypr. Sir Glossman is ready,” the alarm said with a slightly janky cadence.

“Thank you,” her own voice box cracked and frowned. She hadn’t noticed it had broken. “Please inform Sir Glossman that I am unwell. I will contact him tomorrow.”
“Very good, Ms. Cypr.”

She dug around in a drawer till she found a slip of paper with a series of numbers written on it. She went over to the pod propped up in the corner of her glass office. After typing in the appropriate code, she stepped into a metal tube and prepared herself.

The pain was hardly noticeable as each piece of her was taken apart. The worst of it was how the whole process made her feel. She felt like she was floating above herself, watching as metal and glass pieces were removed until only a vaguely human spine attached one eye and three quarters of a brain remained.

‘How long will it be until those are replaced?’ she wondered bitterly. She couldn’t stop thinking, another side effect of the procedure. She longed for the power outlet in her room. Once she hooked the plug into the socket, she would power down until fully charged. It was like sleep, but she never dreamed.

She had chosen not to dream since they had replaced her veins with wires and her blood with electricity. What was the point?