Writing Group: It was an Accident (PRIVATE)

Hello, Klutzes and Oopsie-daisies.

Hey, shouldn’t you be a little more careful? Yeah, I know you’ve watched how this is done, but– no no, I’m not doubting you. I would just mind your surroundings a little more, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

It was an Accident

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!

Ah, a prompt of familiarity. We’ve all been here. Broken mother’s favourite vase, or tripped on our shoelaces in the playground. And with every accident, comes a new story.

For example, you could regale us with the time you were playing in the sandbox and out of excitement for snacks, you trailed sand all over the floor. It could be that time you were rushing for work and your coat got caught in the train door. Perhaps an unlucky soul was running late for an appointment, only to be made even later by spilling the shampoo all over the floor. Or maybe even someone’s first ever car accident as she forgot to put the car in reverse, driving right into the garage door.

One thing to keep in mind is all the times we said things were accidents, when sometimes they weren’t. Like a bully crashing their elbow into someone’s lunch and knocking it to the floor. Maybe a witch lighting someone’s hair on fire, then shrugging and claiming it was the wrong spell. A vampire meaning to kill their prey, but they turned instead, and it’s the vampire’s duty to teach them. Maybe the cat that won’t stop knocking everything off the shelf because how dare you clutter his 57th nap spot. Or even just a child colouring all over the walls in permanent marker and every lipstick in the bag and claiming it was an accident, but you know that rouge and hot pink… puppy? Whatever it is, it didn’t draw itself.

There’s so many opportunities, and we could even get really meta with this one. We all have baby stories, after all.

So go wild! But within reason, of course. 

You wouldn’t want to break something… would you?

—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 Saturday 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 four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two 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 Saturday.
    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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
149 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brick
Brick
8 months ago

Seven Candids
by Brickosaur

Image ID:

Seven photos taken in rapid succession, accompanied by a dented disposable camera.

Photo 1: Two adults sitting in short canvas chairs, facing each other and smiling. In the chairs’ arms are glasses filled with a translucent golden-brown liquid. One is wearing a purple pointed hat with a wide brim, matching robes, and sunglasses. The other is in a pink tank top and khaki shorts. He is severely sunburned. In the background is a half-collapsed tent and various trees commonly found in rainforests.

Photo 2: Both heads are turned toward the camera. Their poses are otherwise unchanged. The tip of a shiny, red tail can be seen in the top left corner of the image.

Photo 3: The pair is standing and facing front. One chair has been knocked onto its back. The woman in purple is brandishing a polished stick, approximately eight inches long. She has an angry expression, and appears to be shouting. The other one is running toward the camera with his hands out.

Photo 4: The sunburned person is much closer to the camera. His face and hands suggest a placating gesture. The woman is pointing her stick at him with an accusatory glare. Her hat is falling toward the ground.

Photo 5: An unintelligible blur of colors and forms.

Photo 6: Close-up of a reptilian face, upside-down. The animal has bright red scales, wide eyes, and an open mouth with several sharp fangs.

Photo 7: A blurry shot, apparently taken sideways. A small, red, winged creature appears to be fleeing toward shadowy brown shapes in the near distance, presumably trees. Several small figures are flying out of the trees, into a clear, cerulean sky.

End ID.

Last edited 8 months ago by Brick
L. L. Marco
L. L. Marco
8 months ago

A Simple Miscalculation (Defusion Universe)
By L. L. Marco

Pauly paced the room. His eyes traced over every surface in search of…

Something.

He couldn’t’ be sure what it was, but there had to be something left behind. With all his years at the institute he’d learned that ‘accidents’ very rarely happened. Every employee was so meticulous and calculating, hand-picked to work without flaw. Even a rookie could see this was no accident.

“Standard procedure.” The phrase came like second nature as Pauly pulled his mask up and reached for the storage door.

“The area’s been cleansed, sir. Tre had the mind to make a neutralizing reagent before he’d even finished the solution itself.”

Haru smiled but made no other indication of emotion at the mention of his lab partner. After 10 years of being at the institution, Pauly still couldn’t get past how robotic the employees behaved. Brows furrowed, Pauly slipped off the mask and stepped cautiously into the enclosed room.

Cases of various compounds lined the walls, some kept to temperature by the faint whirring of a cooler. They were sealed with standard microchip readers but Pauly’s chip hadn’t been granted access to their contents. Not like he’d know what the hell he was looking at anyways.

Just as he’d been told, the scene remained untouched. A pressurized container lay on its side, the contents inside long gone.

“You were here?” he asked, slipping on a glove before carefully picking it up.

“Yes.”

“And you did nothing?”

“The doors sealed. You know this.”

Pauly inspected the container but his attention was fully on Haru.

“Tre’s brilliant. It’s so sad that an accident destroyed all that. Doctor Biopelo will be so disappointed; he had so much promise.` Haru, despite his words, seemed almost happy about it.

Pauly waited for the scientist to become engrossed in his work before he spoke again.

“Good thing he’ll recover, eh?”

There. For just a fraction of a second, a frown flickered across the scientists face before being replaced with a gasp of joy.

“He’s alive!?”

Pauly smirked. Now he knew this wasn’t an accident. All he had to do was prove it.

Last edited 8 months ago by L. L. Marco
Cansas Wanderlust
Cansas Wanderlust
8 months ago

I Tried
By Cansas Wanderlust

Blood dripped down the obsidian blade like morning dew from a leaf.

Dale knelt in a pool of thick crimson, her eyes sweeping the room. The once lively bar was now dark and dead. The bartender’s body lay across a table. Beneath were the remains of his daughter.

“Kid?” A deep voice came from the door.

Dale was too lost in her thoughts to notice. It wasn’t until the man put a hand on her shoulder that Dale acknowledged him.

She whirled around and kicked him hard in the chest. He went stumbling back into a wall. Within seconds, Dale was on top of him, pinning him to the wall with the obsidian blade pressed to his throat.

Her face was hard as stone, her eyes sharper than any steel.

“Hey hey hey, kid. You remember me?”

Her features softened.

“Stranger?”

“Yeah, kid. It’s me.”

Dale’s eyes grew wide with realization. She dropped the blade and staggered away from him.

Stranger rubbed his throat. ‘Risking my life for a killer, oh if mamma could see me now.’ he thought.

The girl was running bloody claws through her mangled hair. Stranger was surprised at how young and fragile she looked. He put a hand on her shoulder. The first time he did that he’d nearly lost the hand, and had the scar to prove it. This time she looked up at him with bright orange eyes and all but collapsed against him.

“I-I didn’t meant to. I tried to stop, I-I really tried, but I can’t fight this. I can’t beat him, Stranger. You have to find a way to kill me.”

“Come on now, kid.” Stranger said, wrapping his arms around her trembling form. “I’m looking, you know I am. But even if we find a way, he will keep terrorizing the Four Corners even after you’re dead. You are our best shot at putting down that son of a bitch.”

Dale took a few shuddering breaths, then with Stranger’s help, got to her feet.

“Before we go, you better bind my hands.”

Stranger nodded solemnly. “As you wish.”

Last edited 8 months ago by Cansas Wanderlust
WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
8 months ago

“The Tea House Incident”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Orinei finished the alcove’s decorations. The scroll was a beautiful calligraphy poem of the joy of friendship with a white and purple iris in a vase underneath. The tea house host turned the vase gingerly making sure the five bats were clearly displayed. Taking the shears in her hand, she looked over the stem. Eight flowers.

Orinei froze. Eight would not do. She had to get it right. Otherwise she’d bring shame on Taihuayo. That could not happen. The jorogumo grabbed the flower and clipped a flower from the stem. Orinei sighed, a weight lifted. Now she could finish with the meal prep for the first part of the ceremony.

The guests were a little late, and for that Orinei was grateful. It gave her plenty of time to get everything ready and then take her silks down. One by one, the guests, five tanuki, entered the tea house. The most important, a graying tanuki, bowed to Orinei and looked over the alcove decorations. The jorogumo pushed down her anxiety as she took her place.

One by one, the guests sat on the cushions set for them. Then, the older tanuki spoke.

“What’s the occasion?”

Orinei bowed. “This tea ceremony is to honor your closest friends, my lord.”

The host then poured each guest a teacup full of hot water. The meal was the worst of it. One of them requested plum wine and had gotten sloppy drunk. Orinei was more than happy when it came time to usher the guests out, clean the tea house, and prepare for the tea ceremony.

As the jorogumo swept, one of the tanuki came in through the host entrance.

“Pardon the request of this humble one, but the preparations are not done.”

“I’m here for the message.”

Orinei paused. “The what?”

The tanuki pointed to the vase. “Iris means good news. You’re the assassin?”

Orinei’s broom clattered to the floor. What was he talking about? What did she DO now? The host started to shake. This…this couldn’t be happening.

“Listen, the head of the clan has got to go. Tonight.”

revisis
revisis
8 months ago

“Fools Luck”
By Exce (Checked by Luna)

He stood at the foot of the steep rock, a rugged spine at the edge of his fields.

It wasn’t close enough to the edge as that he would have to keep his children away from it, which had now proven unwise as they had somehow managed to lodge a ball multiple feet up in a rocky outcropping.

He pulled off his hat, resting it on the grass before rolling up the perpetually stained sleeves of his working shirt. Maybe he should tell them off from playing here, which would probably save him some worry in the future.

With a sigh, Excelsius stepped closer, running his hand along the rock until he found a fist hand hold. Even with his magic and abilities gone, the daily work had kept him in good exercise.
He slowly moved higher, fingers wedged into cracks and feet resting on narrow protrusions.
But the higher he climbed, the more porous the stone grew, having been battered and weathered by the elements. Finally, looking straight up, he saw the ball just within arms reach.

He would definitely forbid them to play here. The climb was not worth it.

Stretching, his fingers brushed the skin of the ball, but couldn’t quite pull it free.

For a moment he glanced down, then put the other hand against the wall and jumped.
Grasping the ball, he dislodged it and sent it towards the ground.

Exce, meanwhile, landed back on the rock, only to hear a sharp crack followed by feeling the continued sensation of falling.

Nails raking over rough stone, he toppled backwards, away from the wall. Breath catching in his throat, he didn’t even manage a scream.

Eyes wide, he saw the sky begin to spiral above, and in a last act of desperation, he reached inside himself for magic that would not come. Pain tore his entire body, only to be blotted out by darkness as he hit the ground with a thud.

Even unconscious Excelsius could feel the pain, feel alive, and he was relieved.

It would have been quite stupid to die like that.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
9 months ago

Demon Blade Fingers
By Jesse Fisher Edited by Lunar

The normally loud or bustling center of the bar had gone quiet. Only three beings occupied seats. Each were different from the others, but each had the same look on their faces: concern and worry.

Behind the bar was a well-dressed humanoid whose eyes were closed as if deep in thought. In front of the chest high counter, a metallic, sand yellow dragoness in a chiton wrapped a bandage on the draconequus’s arm. The draconequus looked at her rounded feather belly covered by her waitress uniform.

Thoughts raced through her mind, causing her to flinch as the bandage was tied off. Concern was the heaviest on her mind.

“He is moving in the shadows too quickly for me.” Korun broke the silence of the room. “I’m not surprised that he would have this ability. Also makes me want to look into shadow travel blockers.”

“I’m not surprised.” The dragoness sighed. “He’s been having nightmares of this for a while now.”

“He was a bit more coy around me after I told him I felt the first kick,” the draconequus replied as she rubbed her uninjured arm over her belly.

“I noticed,” Korun grumbled. “He tried to vent his anger and any anxiety to me while keeping the grumpy persona up.”

“I’ve noticed he is not against having a child but he also doesn’t talk about it much.” She hugged herself not for warmth but calm.

“There he is,” Korun growled. “Now just move this to there.”

With some movements of Korun’s hands, a door formed near the trio. It opened and then slammed shut as a dark navy wolven bipedal braced himself up against it. Yellow eyes with emotions flowing like a river darted to the hetero-chromeic eyed barkeep.

“KEEP AWAY FROM ME!” The wolven’s shout of fear showed more emotion than he had in all his time in the bar.

Warmth engulfed him as the draconequus slightly coiled around him and tried to calm him down.

“Sweetie, I know the injury was an accident. You would never hurt me on purpose.”

MysteryElement
MysteryElement
9 months ago

Slip of the Tongue
By MysteryElement

“What do you mean,’accident’!” Jaka shouted, coiling her serpentine body in agitation.

Seeth stared at her with a complex look on his face. Jaka was too young to see the regret, pain and shock. All she saw was shame. He had spoken hastily, and now there was no taking it back.

“Your mother…” Seeth choked on his words.

He had always felt a kinship with the adolescent naga, but now what could he possibly say? It was rare, but every once in a while a non-human child was born outside of the city. Along with orphans and abuse victims, the CPS(changeling protective service) was in charge of retrieving them and trying to find them a home.

“You were born outside of city limits, Jaka.” he continued, watching her golden, angry eyes fill with tears. “And, I was sent to bring you back, to keep you safe.”

He saw Jaka’s small fists clench in anger before he looked away, his shame swelling in his chest. He felt suffocated. She had looked up to him, admired him, gave him more love than he had any right to claim after stealing her from her mother’s arms. This was all his fault. Losing her mother, earning her trust, and breaking her heart.

“How dare you.” her quiet voice quivered, filled with so much anger, hate and tears. He could not stand it, yet could do nothing to stop it. “I was alone, no family but you, and now you tell me you’re the one who took me from my family? My REAL family?”

He should have stayed away, remained cold, let himself become the villain of her story. But… haunting memories of her, crying alone, reaching out for someone, anyone to love her. Why could he not spare her from this cruelty? Why did his love for her have to be a curse?

“I HATE you Uncle Seeth!” She shouted before bursting out the door, leaving Seeth frozen in place.

Needing to chase her. Insufficient to comfort her.

IsaDragon
IsaDragon
9 months ago

When Courting Demons or Demonic Bloodlines, A Strong Left Hook is Ideal
By IsaDragon337

“Have I mentioned you’re so, so beautiful, and perfect, you could break me in half and I love that,” Jackson gushed.

Katarina was trying to get to the cookbook to figure out what had happened, but it was hard with at least 200 pounds of besotted approximately-one-third-demon clinging to her.

“So, sis, how did this happen?” her infuriating little brother called from the kitchen entrance, where he WASN’T HELPING.

“I DON’T KNOW, I was trying to make soup!”

“Chris, she’s amazing! She’s pretty and smart and she broke my jaw!” Jackson was practically beaming as he hugged her, even with the massive bruise on his face.

Katarina flushed in embarrassment. When Jackson practically tackled her into this hug, she did punch him, but she couldn’t have broken his jaw. The fact that it bruised at all was impressive, she wasn’t exactly strong and he healed fast.

Chris raised his eyebrows. Katarina was abruptly reminded of her drunken 2am confession about her massive crush on Jackson. To Chris.

She was screwed.

“So, what were you trying to make?”

“The recipe is there—” She gestured with a flick of her head, because her arms were pinned by a very happy Hound. “I swear, it’s not a love potion.”

“I trust you.” Chris dragged a finger down the recipe.

“I’d love you anyways.” Jackson sighed, wistful. “You’re not scared to punch me.”

Katarina blinked. She couldn’t have brewed something that strong by accident… “You’re not thinking straight.”

“You make it hard to think, beautiful.”

“We’re good,” Chris declared, “This is for bravery, you overdid it. It’ll wear off in a few hours.”

Katarina lowered her head. “I swear on grandma’s yarn collection, I did not intend for this to happen. It was supposed to be soup,” Katarina whispered, “Chicken soup.”

Chris laughed. “Then don’t use Grandpa Gible’s cookbook, sis.”

Behind her Jackson huffed, burying his nose in her hair. Her sometimes-hellhound friend was honestly being really sweet, if she ignored the trapped in his lap for a hug thing.

“Best soup I’ve ever had. You’re gorgeous and I’m not scared to tell you.”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
9 months ago

[Removed]

Last edited 14 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
MasaCur
MasaCur
9 months ago

Hey, Pipsqueak!
By MasaCur

“Hey, Pipsqueak, keep up!”

“Shut up, you moron!” Ririn fired back.

“Whatever, I’m a genius.”

“You have yet to prove it,” Ririn growled.

Shigure dropped back to walk next to Ririn. “So how’s school going, Pipsqueak?”

“Shigure, I have a name.”

“Sure, I know that, Ririn.”

Ririn sighed, but didn’t respond. Doing so would invite Shigure to be more obnoxious.

“So, you haven’t burned down your school, or dropped a meteor on it, have you?” Shigure asked.

“No, I have not!” Ririn clenched her teeth. “That happened while I was in my witching middle school, you idiot!”

“So, a couple years ago?”

Ririn rubbed her temples, trying to push away the migraine she was getting. Shigure was constantly underestimating her age.

“It was not a couple years ago. I’m an adult now, jackass!” Ririn’s nostrils flared. “It was an accident. I got overconfident, and tried to cast a spell that was beyond my abilities. If you think about it, if I wasn’t as great a witch as I am, I wouldn’t even be able to cast that spell.”

Shigure grinned. “Yeah, but still, you were the one that dropped a meteor on your school. That’s such a Ririn move, Pipsqueak.” He danced ahead of her again.

Ririn stared daggers into Shigure’s back. As she did, a wicked thought crossed her mind. She briefly entertained it, pushed it away, and then entertained it again.

She looked at Shigure and closed her eyes. Arcane words appeared in her mind, and were just as quickly muttered by her lips. After the spell finished, she opened her eyes and focused on Shigure.

There was a loud boom, like a crack of thunder, and an explosion right in front of Shigure as a small meteorite, maybe half the size of Ririn’s fist, landed in front of him.

“Shigure! Are you okay?” Ririn asked, her voice mock-obsequious.

“You did that on purpose!” Shigure growled, as he clumsily got to his feet.

“Me?” Ririn asked innocently. “No, it was an accident. What would you expect from such a clumsy witch?” Her lips curled into a smirk.

King_Nix
King_Nix
9 months ago

“Apology”
By King_Nix

I give you my most sincere apologies, my friend. For you, I am eternally grateful, and it pains me whenever I should cause you grief. I pray you will forgive me, as I have forgiven you for those past years of neglect and abuse. I know you still suffer from those old habits, and it is unfair of me to compound them with my curiosities regarding the transmundane.

I think, for a moment, I forgot your mortality while I dreamt of my eternal home. Being invested in the prayers we have learned together, it was natural for me to drift towards the place I belong, only brought back to you by your fear of my absence. Already it is too much to bear that my home is untainted and resplendent, while yours seems to decay and rot each day before our very eyes. With every passing year, I grow in majesty while any moment could be your last.

There I go again, don’t I? What is to me a mere fact of our existence draws your heart into the abyss of dread. I cannot help it, we both know. Lying is a sin, after all, and would wound us both. Remember, however, that whether you perish suddenly or live so long that you forget even yourself, I will remain with you every second to the utmost end. Only then, when you are laid to rest, will I return to our Master.

Then one day, when all is finished, we shall be united once again, and live in perfect unity as we were made to.

The Assassin
The Assassin
9 months ago

Creation’s Heart
By The Assassin

I sit silently before an empty page. The world around me stills, calm, a breath before the storm. I raise my pen, a sword of truth ready to carve the cosmos. Infinite possibilities swirl around me, stretching into forever. Creation’s heart beats.

A story is a world of woven words, and I am the weaver. Worlds, characters, and ideas blossom, singing to my soul. The fabrics of reality wrap around me. The strings of destiny my instrument to strum and play, to make of it what I desire.

The infinitudes beyond, the reality of worlds within words, coalesce. Their dance gaining shape, taking form. My hand trembles. The world beyond, the dance, the song ever singing, becoming one, merging into a singularity.

The tip of my pen, the gateway. My hand, the guide. Creation’s heart beats. I look into that world, so close, so distant, just beyond reach. In it, I shape beauty, colours swirling to lives emerging. To create; to destroy: my duty.

My hand moves. My pen, my sword, my truths abound in the ink yet to drip. The vastness of realities eternal. Manifested in mind; to manifest in life. Creation’s heart beats.

My pen touches page, the brush for paint of ink. For a moment, all the realities beyond converge, a single vision, a single idea, a perfect world. I grasp that world, distilling it through pen and onto page and…

And…

Nothing.

Creation’s heart stills.

Reality spins again. I see my paper, blank as though never touched. I feel my pen, cold as though never held. I hear the world around me, lively as though never stilled.

I stare at the empty page.

The ink yet to flow; worlds yet to live. I reach for what once was yet find nothing. I search for a spark to rekindle the flame, yet I see only ash.

And I weep.

I weep for the words I do not know, for the ideas that will never be.

GJFuller
GJFuller
9 months ago

For Want
By Giovanna J. Fuller

She had only forgotten. It just slipped her mind, but that morning she had failed to mention to her husband that there had been a message left for him that morning by a courier boy. She had set it aside and, by the time he had returned home from a long day’s work at the forge, the scroll had been misplaced amongst the bills and parcels.

He had only miscounted. There were so many men there that day. He had briefly considered recounting them, but they were in a hurry. The regiment was already so late, the clerk figured they didn’t have any time to spare. So, on they went.

They’d only missed a few. Each of the warhorses had needed to be reshod, but there were so many riders and so few blacksmiths. It was only natural that a couple stallions here and there had slipped through the cracks. The men had all thought “what do you expect when you understaffed us so?”

It was only one battle. This is what they all thought as the king, the prince, and their men rode out. However, it is impossible for man to know how the outcome of a single encounter will alter the course of history. This was to be the turning point of the war. Whoever won this day was assured victory over the other. After this last, bloody battle, the two kingdoms would be one with the loser becoming subservient to the conqueror.

All the dominos set in place, it was time to push just one.

Because the message was lost, the man never left his home.

Because the man did not answer the call of duty, the clerk miscounted.

Because the clerk did not check again, the blacksmiths were understaffed.

Because the blacksmiths did not have enough help, they could not shoe every horse or even shoe every horse properly.

The horse of the prince threw the shoe and fell.

The king lost heart at the death of his son and so also lost the will to fight.

The battle was lost and so was the kingdom.

ClockworkPigeonz
ClockworkPigeonz
9 months ago

“Well-Intentioned Inventions and The Problem with Portals.”
By ClockworkPigeonz

“Catch it!” Cobalt cried, diving towards the blur of scales disappearing into the racks.

“I’m a LITTLE BUSY!” Silas shrieked. Alternating between slapping away skeletal arms and oily tentacles with a dust broom. “Shut that blasted thing down!”

“I’M TRYING!” came Luke’s desperate response from somewhere behind the glowing rift. A violet scar carved through the heart of his workshop.

A tower of crates tipped with a crash, scattering mechanical junk over the concrete. Golem, the resident house-griffon careened around a worktable in pursuit of whatever eldritch abomination had gotten loose. The screeches of both creatures blended with the unearthly gurgles coming from the rift in an ungodly symphony.

Cobalt dashed by again, and Silas screeched as one of her boots found his tail. An opportunistic tentacle took that moment to wrap around his leg and wrenched him mercilessly across the floor. The impact alone knocked the broom from his hand.

Fluorescent bulbs swung overhead like strobe lights as the building trembled. Glass containers crashed to the floor, draining their contents across scattered papers. Acid hissing as it bit into the floor- burning its way up Silas’s nose as he managed to grab a leg of the table-saw and held fast.

“Cobalt! Luke!” but the cacophony of moans and screeches drowned him out.

There was a hand clutching onto his boot now, and a rather nasty-looking something slithering towards him. Whatever it was it didn’t have eyes and some insane devil had given it needles for claws.

“Cobalt!”

Two things happened at once- first at the edge of his vision he watched as Luke slammed a hammer straight into his device’s foul heart. The rift closed immediately, sucking its horrors back into whatever god-forsaken dimension they’d come from.

The eyeless abomination wrenched backwards just before Cobalt’s sword met its mark. The steel wreathed in bright, blue flame sparked against the stone- catching the chemical soaked papers ablaze.

KABOOM!

Five minutes later…

“We can explain!” A now eyebrow-less Luke cried, as the workshop’s door swung open to reveal the intimidating form of General Smith.

“YOU can explain!” Silas spat.

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
9 months ago

The Crispy Zebra
By Twangyflame0

Kasshoku smiled as she inspected the living room. The whole house was all hers. She looked down at the black grimoire on the table. She could finally–

“Kasshoku-chan, what are you doing?” Her brother’s voice made her growl. He looked at her while holding his favorite zebra plushy.

“Don’t worry about it, Ototo-kun. I’m just practicing magic.”

He deadpanned at her, “Didn’t Kasasagi-oba-chan say not to do that without her?”

She turned, indignant at such an accusation, “I’m perfectly capable of casting magic all by myself.”

“I don’t know about this Onee-chan. It seems kind of dangerous.”

Kasshoku laughed, “Oh ho ho ho! Just watch me, Ototo-kun!”

She quickly flipped through her spellbook and landed on a random page. She glanced over the page, barely reading the instructions. It was such a simple fire spell that Kasshoku had complete and utter confidence about herself. She focused, attempting to do what she thought, no, knew what she needed to do.

Purple energy swirled around her. Keitaro looked on with wide eyes, awing at the majesty of his older sister. Then, something went off while Kasshoku was casting her spell. Her hand felt like it was burning, she needed to release it somehow, somewhere. Too hot. Much too hot! She threw the spell away, letting a small ball of fire fly.

Keitaro dropped his stuffed zebra, screaming as fire hit it. Kasshoku quickly flipped to a basic water spell at the front of the book and cast it. By the time the water hit the stuffed animal, the zebra was already scorched.

Keitaro looked at all of this and began sobbing uncontrollably, his best friend being turned to ash. Kasshoku sighed in relief that she had not actually hurt her brother, but her pride crushed her consolement, “H-Hey, come on, it’s only a stuffed animal.”

He simply sobbed more.

She knelt in front of him, “Listen, I’ll buy you a new one, good as new.”

He sniffled, “R-R-Really?”

“As long as you don’t tell mom or dad.”

“…Can I get ice cream too?”

“Of course.” She hugged her baby brother.

Inky Segno
Inky Segno
9 months ago

A Passing Thought
By Inky Segno (Shea-Leigh Carris)

It was past midnight when the train made it halfway to his destination. Despite his heavy eyelids, he found that he couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe it was the uncomfortable seat or the flickering lights in the cab, but all he could do was stare outside the window. In his hazy mindset, he didn’t even realize there was someone standing beside him right away until he saw the reflection in the window.

His head quickly snapped to the left so he could address this person, but by the time he was facing the right way, they were already rushing at him with speed that he couldn’t seem to register. As his mind was asking ‘What was going on? Who is this person?’, the being in question sunk their teeth deep into his neck.

He’d never forget the pain that went through him, the fear of death and feeling of loss as his body grew weak. His vision was blurry, and his senses were nonexistent once the person was finally content.

Surely leaving him there to pass away would have been fine, but all loose ends needed to be tied. Though morbid to think of, even he knew that if you killed someone, you had to find a way to take care of the body. This person chose the quick and worriless way to dispose of him. Without a single care on this monster’s part, his lifeless form was carried to the caboose of the train.

The last thing he remembered before dying for the first time was being thrown into the air. In that singular moment of weightlessness, he saw the stars that shimmered above the train tracks…and the moon. It was beautifully full that night.

If he had to describe what his temporary death felt like, it would have been like a deep rest. Maybe if he hadn’t died, this would have been blissful, as he always seemed to have trouble sleeping. And just like sleeping, somehow he was woken up by a voice that spoke above him.

“What a tragic accident to have befallen you.”

Astrid Jones
9 months ago

A Little Less Crazy
by Astrid Jones

“Warren? What are you doing here?” I asked. I’d come back from a quick hunt to find my friend sitting on my back porch. He lifted his head from the newspaper he was reading and grimaced. I realized I still had blood on my muzzle. A tuft of rabbit fur fluttered on my nose.

Suddenly self-conscious, I changed back to my human form and wiped my face with my shirt hem. Warren’s expression told me it hadn’t helped much.

“Come on in, then. You can tell me why you’re here while I clean up and make some tea.” I held the door open.

“Stone asked me to drop by and check on you,” Warren said, kicking off his shoes.

I rolled my eyes. Of course my alpha had sent the human. I’d run all my pack-mates off and Stone knew better than to tangle with me when I was in a mood. And I was most certainly in a mood.

“Blaithe, I know you’re worried about Connor, but he’s got the best looking after him,” Warren said.

I didn’t see him raise his hand to pat my shoulder comfortingly. If I had, I would have moved. I didn’t want to be consoled. I wanted to run, to hunt, to chase. But the second he touched me, my inner wolf huffed with relief and rested.

“So that’s why Stone sent you,” I muttered.

“What?”

“Do you know what you just did?”

“I patted your shoulder?” Warren shrugged.

“No.” I heaved a sigh and handed him a mug of tea. “We should have told you a while ago. Sit down. I’ll explain.”

***

“So, I’ve been using this ‘wild magic’ without knowing it,” Warren clarified when I was done. “And I used it on you earlier?”

I nodded.

“Does it hurt?”

I laughed a little. “No. Not how you’ve been using it. What you did was more like giving me a sedative.”

Warren rubbed his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” He paused, then gave me an apologetic smile. “You do seem a little less crazy now, though.”

KipOfTheMany
KipOfTheMany
9 months ago

Twin Worlds
By KipOfTheMany

“Momma, where is that ship going?”

“To a better world honey.”

“But I don’t wanna leave. I like our world!”

I remember the conversation. I remember mom’s tears.

“Sweetie, our world is dying. We’re killing it.”

That is the last thing she said to me. My head is pounding like a drum. The faded memory is a counterpoint to the beat, playing over and over. Another sound reaches me: The frantic buzz of an alarm. I want sleep to come back. There’s too much noise!

With a sudden hiss, my chamber opens. The fogbank in my head clears, and I sit up. The blaring alarm continues. I jolt out of the cryobed. It’s the proximity alert! I give a whoop of joy and push the memory aside. I sprint to the viewing deck.

Once I reach it, I find that I’m one of a few stragglers joining the thousands of kids already squeezing in to see our new home. I can just barely hear the ship’s intercom over the excited chatter.

“Welcome to New Haven. Our forebears located the perfect planet to house the next generation. It is similar to Earth in all ways. The atmosphere is a perfect match. The gravity is 99% that of Earth’s. And completely undeveloped. New Haven is an untouched paradise for our species to start anew.” It prattles on like that for a while as the throng of kids inches forward.

By the time I get to the viewports the ship is already prepping for descent. I see our new world’s horizon just as we begin to dive toward it. It is beautiful, full of deep blues and luscious greens. The ship was right. This planet could be earth’s twin.

The ship slows its descent to show off the glittering ocean below. The kids near the front gape in awe. The ship continues forward and the sea gives way to land. We watch the planet spin beneath us. Forests, meadows, and rivers fly by. We cheer at the beauty of it all. And then we fall silent. A city appears on the horizon.

RVMPLSTLSKN
RVMPLSTLSKN
9 months ago

Accidental Challenge
By RVMPLSTLSKN

“You’re familiar with the idea of dragon psychology, of course?” The advocate asked.

Colton out of place in the gray and wood room. The dark desk matched the leather chairs, both with polished brass points. The metal was warming under his sweaty palms.

“Of course. Hoarding and prestige, for its own sake,” Colton said. His gaze flicked to the paintings above them. They were fakes; not prints, but copies hand-painted by a skilled amateur.

“Good,” the advocate across the desk nodded. “Now, how about tyrant philosophy?”

“Uh, can’t say I’m familiar.” Colton refocused on the balding, confident man. He’d done well in art and psychology. Philosophy always felt too soft for him, intangible. Well, unless he was talking about politics with a potential client, which he desperately tried not to do. He just had one of those faces, he supposed.

“It is very simple; tyrant philosophy states that everyone has the moral duty to challenge each other. Only the victors can rise and the victors are the tyrants who rule.” The advocate lifted his hand. “I know what you’re thinking, ‘how inefficient!’
“It is. This is how so-called ‘problem patriarchs’ are made.”

“I don’t see how this is relevant to my situation,” Colton said. “Are you saying my father is a problem patria—.”

“Your father is dead. He was, however, a dragon. He spent his wealth hoarding art, lesser pieces mostly. But all by skilled and well known artists, with a couple exceptions.
“Your sister is the tyrant. You are a challenger. Do you understand?”

“You make it sound like we’ll be fighting.” Colton laughed. The idea played out like a DBZ episode in his head.

The advocate leaned forward. “You will.”

Colton’s smile faded.

“Not physically, but you’re claiming to be older than her and her father—your father—was very particular about his Will. It aligns with his heritage. Sons get equal shares, but the oldest takes two shares and takes care of the unwed daughters.”

“But I thought she was the only child.”

The advocate sighed and leaned back in his chair. “So does she, Colton. So does she.”

Lunabear
Lunabear
9 months ago

Curse my Words
by Lunabear

The intricately carved glass door shatters as it’s kicked open. A tall, red-faced man storms into the cavernous library.

“Damn Faelon you!” His electric green eyes shoot daggers at the winged creature before him.

“Ah, Colton! How wonderful to see you again!”

Faelon dismisses the trembling maid in the hallway behind Colton.

The door reassembles itself and closes after Colton stomps over the threshold.

“Is this what?! Did do what you?!”

Faelon hides his smirk behind a lace handkerchief. His glowing gray eyes dance with mischief.

“It would appear you’re having syntax trouble, dearest Colton.”

Colton’s large hands curl into white-knuckled fists.

“FIX! THIS!”

Faelon sets down his wine glass on the floating crystal table before pulling down the puffed sleeves of his ruffled shirt.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“WHAT?!”

Faelon heaves a dramatic sigh.

Rising from his oversized chair, he throws his long, black hair over one shoulder.

“It was an accident, you see. I was practicing a new spell, but I lost my concentration.”

Colton growls at the touch of falsehood in Faelon’s tone.

Faelon glides to Colton’s side and throws a casual arm around his bunched shoulders.

“Distractions do that, you know.”

“Bullshit!”

“You wound me, Poppet. And after everything I’ve done for you?”

Faelon pouts.

Colton tries to push the annoyance away, but he floats out of reach.

Colton turns his fury towards the bookshelves. He rips tomes from their slots and flips through pages, uncaring that he’s ruining the valuable items. He flings them angrily behind him when they provide no answers.

“Enough!”

Faelon pulls Colton away from the books like a child dragging their favorite stuffed animal behind them.

“WHICH?!”

Colton attempts to free his wrist from the other man’s marble grip to no avail.

“You won’t find it, and I refuse to remove my spell.”

The quiet sincerity halts Colton’s struggles.

Their gazes clash, and Faelon blinks away his hurt before Colton sees.

“WHY??”

Faelon releases Colton and gathers up his books. He replaces each one lovingly.

Colton watches from a significant distance.

Faelon finally faces him. “Because. Of. HER.”

Last edited 9 months ago by Lunabear
DesOttsel
DesOttsel
9 months ago

Petty Rivalry
by Gage Jarman

Bronach jammed her wooden, training axe into the packed earth and vaulted, crouching. Dempsey raised his shield, and locked his blunted, winged spear into the shield’s slot, so it braced against the ground. Bronach struck and kicked off at an angle. Dempsey was knocked off balance. Bronach landed and twisted her body up. The axe whizzed through the air. The padded blade caught the outside edge of the shield. Dempsey’s arm yanked away from him. Bronach followed up her swing, twirling the axe down and back up. Dempsey sprang back and recentered his shield. Bronach bound to his side. Dempsey pivoted and charged. Bronach wasn’t fast enough. She pressed the shaft out. The shield collided. Her feet came out from under her. She hit the dirt, skidding. The air escaped her chest. Dempsey stood over her with his spear pointed down.

“Better luck next time, Squirrel.” Dempsey laughed

“Yeah sure, I almost had you.” Bronach glared, picking herself up.

“Maybe if you learned how to dodge, you might actually win one, but not anytime soon.” He smirked.

Bronach dusted herself off. “Don’t act like you’re better than me.”

“I wouldn’t, if I wasn’t, but I am.”

“Prove it!”

“But, I just did.”

“No, you won a match. That doesn’t prove you’re a better hunter. I’m going to be a scout. If I hit you without you knowing before sunset, I win.”

“Fine, but you won’t.”

“No hiding.”

Bronach slinked through the paths between the huts. She saw him from around the corner, and tucked herself behind some baskets. He was working on something, but he looked up too often. Finally, he stood up and stretched. He was grinning and walked in her direction. She poked her head under the hide wall of the hut behind her. Nobody was home. She hid, laid down, and watched for Dempsey’s stag embroidered moccasins from inside. There they were. Her arm shot out and grabbed his foot. The boy flopped onto the ground.

“Oh, nononono.” Dempsey clutched the remnants of a shattered pine needle basket he had just finished for an undisclosed crush.

GREGORY HESS
GREGORY HESS
9 months ago

This has to be a Mistake[Aleph Null Science Fiction Universe]
By Gregovin

This has to be a mistake.

I didn’t deserve to be called the top of my class. Did they seriously fall for the transcripts when I am so clearly a failure?

They’ll figure out it was all a fluke and I’ll be the laughingstock of the town.

This has to be a mistake.

I’m not special or smart or talented. I’m not good at anything. Why do these people want to hire me?

This has to be a mistake.

Sasha’s giddy voice says “Congratulations on your new Job Rayna!”

This has to be a mistake

Why does she not see that I am a failure? A talentless inexperienced imposter?

This has to be a mistake

I say what’s on my mind. “I don’t deserve it. I clearly don’t have the talent that someone like you has”

She looks at me, thinking.

“Bull. Shit.” She says in the stearnest voice I’ve ever heard her use.

I open my mouth to speak.

Before I could, Sasha interrupted me. “Don’t. You are good enough to deserve this. Don’t let your demons tell you otherwise. Talent is experience in disguise. You are valid and valuable.”

This has to be a mistake.

Is it though? Does it really have to be a mistake?

Yes.

“You managed to out debate your politics teacher, ace a notoriously difficult exam, and save billions of lives. You are good enough” Sasha continued

“But… those where just flukes”

Sasha spoke up, saying “Flukes my arse. Yeah right, you coincidentally managed to out think the third smartest teacher on campus. Yeah right, you managed to guess the answers on a test with a lower probability of acing it than the old SAT system. Yeah right, you managed to follow a trail of breadcrumbs faster than everyone else who was at the incident on accident. That totally sounds plausible.” in an exasperated and sarcastic tone.

“Y…y…ok then”

I… don’t have a response to that.

It might not be a mistake.

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
9 months ago

Prime Suspect
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Knock knock.

A stern-faced, young detective waited patiently at the door, watching a few brown and red leaves make their graceful plunge to the earth below. He would have almost been lost in their tranquility, were it not for the mission he was on.

Eventually, an older woman opened the door and greeted him with a smile.

“Yes, hello?” She said. “Do you need help, young man?”

“Y-yes. You are Leslie Hartford, correct? I have some important questions to ask you.” The man took out his wallet and showed her his badge. “May I?”

The woman eyed him suspiciously for a moment before perking back up and smiling widely at him.

“Yes I am! I hope I can be some help to you.”

Once inside, the detective took out his notebook and pen.

“Let’s get down to brass tacks, here. When was the last time you contacted Michael, your nephew?”

“Oh, no has something happened to my dear Michael? I-It’s been so long since we’ve talked. O-our families have had some disagreements in the past and we haven’t really talked since. I’d say it’s been about a year.”

The detective nodded, wistfully. “And what kind of disagreements were these?”

Leslie took a deep breath. “I hate to admit it, but it was over the will of my late husband. He bequeathed some… priceless artifacts… to Michael’s family that I was hoping to use to pay the funeral costs. W-we never made up properly after that.”

“I see.” The detective finished writing his notes and then put them away. “Miss Hartford. You are lying to me.”

“W-what? H-how dare you!”

“We have phone records that prove Michael received a call from an unidentified caller yesterday. This had to have been from you because he left a note in his planner reminding him to meet with you in the park that day. The very same day that he died.”The detective took a deep breath. “So, Ms. Hartford, what do you have to say?”

“I-I didn’t want to get involved, but you’ve forced my hand. I didn’t shoot him… on purpose.”

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
9 months ago

The Story of the Factory
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

It all began with the factory.

It was the pride of the village, the main source of income and employment. Working conditions were safe and humane. The workers did not despise their labor or their superiors. It was a quality institution from management to intern.

The factory took metal from the mines and melted it down and poured it into molds. Screws, bolts, and hinges were its pride in the factory’s early days. Eventually, as more types of metals were mined and the village’s population grew, the factory was also able to produce more complicated parts.

The factory’s goods traveled in trader’s carts and were sold in large markets. Soon, the name of the factory was spread far and wide, its reputation for quality products spreading with it.

And then the war came.

Both sides of the war begged for an alliance with the factory’s village, pleading for weapons and armor to be made for them and promising to pay at least twice its worth after the war was over.

After great discussion, the village council chose a side and ordered the factory be rebuilt in an image of war. It took about a month for the factory to consistently pump out its new products, but after that month the products were shipped to the front lines.

They single handedly turned the tide of the battle.

After the conflict the factory received its payments for its efforts, which fell significantly short of the promised amount. The workers of the factory rejoiced at the return to the old factory and quickly worked to rebuild it to its true state.

Too quickly.

The error was small, miniscule even. It could have been caused by anything under the sun.

But one evening, something exploded and sent molten metal spewing across the factory floor.

Workers fled the building in screams. Smoke filled the sunset sky.

The village watched as their factory, their livelihood, their honor, became ruined beyond repair.

The village watched, and grieved.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
9 months ago

It Will Never Happen Again (Nyssa’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

The room was suffocatingly dark. Nyssa could barely see Professor Sianairra from across the table. Her old Elven superior sat with her right side to Nyssa, staring into the featureless black with a cold blue eye.

“You never listened to anything I said, did you,” the Professor said, a sharp certainty to her voice. “Nothing of any actual importance, in any case.”

Nyssa shuddered. “I-I thought, I thought that it would just–”

“That it would just be you? That nobody else would be hurt? That you could utterly desecrate not just your own body, but also the holy artefact of a God, and then just amble off to the afterlife like none of that would matter?” A harsh laugh. “You were always a stubborn, self-centred brat.”

“If I had known that the effects would spread–” Nyssa’s voice shook.

“You did not know. You could never have known, but you did it regardless. Renovaire and its people are ruined and drowned, because of YOU.” The Professor’s head turned towards her, and Nyssa tried to look away from that awful face, but the darkness wouldn’t let her.

“Quelvara…I promise you, I’ll do everything, everything to make this right – I’ll help everyone I can, I’ll try to save lives, I’ll make this world a better place – I-I’ll never cause such destruction ever aga–”

Another acidic laugh. “Do you expect me to believe anything you say? You lied to everyone for years, and you lie to yourself just as easily.” She leaned a little forwards, her half-crushed features becoming clearer. “If you REALLY wanted it to never happen again, you would have burnt your notes, consigned your dire machine’s memory to ash. Instead, you keep them. You modify them. You IMPROVE them.”

“-No, it’s not like–”

“You want this. You want to try AGAIN.”

“No!”

“You will never change. You will never help anyone but yourself. You should just end it now, before you–”

“STOP!!!” The room was suddenly drowned in light, and Quelvara Sianairra was gone. The only thing left was Nyssa lying in her bed, blinking blearily in the morning sunlight.

Last edited 9 months ago by Calliope Rannis
Insania404
Insania404
9 months ago

Thirteen (Oneiron Universe)
By: Insania404

The Architect looked the kid over again. Everything pointed to him being Deprived, from the emaciated body that looked like it would collapse into a pile of bones at any moment, to the dark circles dancing around his bloodshot orbs.

“Thirteen, how did you beat the Madness? I mean you look like-”

Thirteen stopped drinking and cut him off. “I look like I’ve already lost myself don’t I – I didn’t beat the Madness – H.C – I don’t think anyone really can – I was just lucky enough to stumble on a way to hold it off.” He seemed to never take a breath and spoke as if someone had hastily sped up an online video, but that was likely due to the coffee.

The Architect eyed the nearly empty mug that Thirteen held in his shaking hands. “You need more coffee? I was about to get some myself.”

“Nope – Can’t have anymore – I reached my allowable limit for the day – I’m trying to hold on to this cup as long as I can – Thank you for offering.” Thirteen stared intently at the words that flickered on the monitor, entranced by the methodical pattern of the scrolling sentences.

“How did you stop the spread? Anyone else would have been consumed or in the cell with the others, if they even survived.”

Thirteen responded, his eyes still fixated on the monitor. “It was luck – An accident if you will – My obsession with routine finally paid off – When I heard voices – I noticed they abated when I drank coffee. Eventually – I learned to limit my intake enough to function at least.”

“And what of the times that you cannot drink coffee? What then?”

“I suffer – These voices are relentless – H.C – but I can’t lose myself to their pull.”

“I agree, but there must be something you can do to keep yourself sane between cups.”

Thirteen took another sip. “Believe me – I’ve tried everything I possibly could – There’s no way to control this Madness – You either strictly manage it or give in – It’s so much easier to give in if you believe the voices.”

ThatWeirdFish
ThatWeirdFish
9 months ago

In My Defense, It Was a Huge Spider

By ThatWeirdFish

“Now, don’t panic, but there was a spider,” James said as he stopped Ruth from entering the lab.

“Okay.” Ruth’s nose itched at the smell of sulfur.

“A huge spider.”

“Yeah, right, just let me in already.”

“So big that I had to use drastic measures to banish the beast!” James stalled and pressed up against the door with a nervous smile.

“Look,” Ruth frowned. “I can tell you’ve already done something stupid based on the stench coming from there. Just let me in so we can fix the mess before the professor shows up.”

The nervous flush on James’s cheeks faded to a fearful pale. “Couldn’t we… just… um… tell the professor that there was a break-in?”

“Seriously? The lab is six flights up and golem guarded, and that’s your excuse?”

James shrunk under Ruth’s skeptical glare with a nervous chuckle. “Ha… yeah. It does sound kind of silly when you say that…”

Ruth sighed and ignored James’s protests as she opened the door. The instant wave of sulfur fumes almost made her gag. Through the green haze of whatever explosive concoction James had used, she could see the remains of the alchemist’s lab. Shattered glass lay everywhere. Diminutive golems scrambled to clean up spilled chemicals and elements. Their golem assistant, G-five, limped about on a twisted leg as they put out the rest of the flames.

And there, on the far wall, was a speck of charred spider dust.

“What did you DO?” Ruth exclaimed. “This is at least a level five disaster or worse! Do you understand what could have happened to the city if we didn’t have golems to save your ass?”

“I… but… there was a spider.” James withered under Ruth’s angry lecture. He flinched at the familiar taps of his professor’s cane as they approached.

“James Bullwick.” The professor said as they cast a disapproving glance between the wreckage and the teen. “We need to talk.”

Makeshift Mousepad
Makeshift Mousepad
9 months ago

The End of Time

By: Makeshift Mousepad

A canopy of crimson leaves rested atop the trees. Ariadne’s spry gate stirred a wake of leaves into the otherwise silent air. Periodically, she stopped and waited for her companion to close the gap between them.

“You know you walk slow for a guy who can tear open tanks.” Ariadne crossed her arms.

“I’m also a couple hundred years old.” Joseph smiled, “So, give me a break.”

As their paths crossed, Ariadne looped her arms over Joseph’s shoulders and let her legs drag. “You don’t look a day over twenty. And, unlike everyone else, you don’t even have to take care of your skin.”

Ariadne’s chin slid along Joseph as he turned around, “Maybe he’s born with it. Maybe it’s nanobots.” he smiled down at her.

“Actually, I’ve been curious.” Ariadne replanted her feet. “You said the first generation nanobots made you immortal. But you always seem to regret creating the second generation. Why?”

The silence of the autumn air left him defenseless to his vivid memories. The events snapped through his mind and he suppressed them just as quickly.

Joseph inhaled, “Well… There was a terrorist organization attempting to destroy the lab I’d been working at. Only I knew the full potential of my work. But they didn’t need to.” Joseph rubbed the skin over his heart. “They were going to kill me, Ariadne.”

“So, you acted in self-preservation. What’s so wrong with that?” Ariadne asked.

Joseph closed his eyes and let the images flow back to him. In his mind, a different version of him stood on a far-off hill glaring back at him. “I had lost all desire to live in my final moments. The muzzle flashes must have distracted me for just long enough for the other half of me to act. The next thing I knew, the needle was piercing my chest.”

Ariadne pulled him close, “Well, if it’s any consolation. I am glad you’re here. Even if it wasn’t completely your intention.”

Margaret Couplet
Margaret Couplet
9 months ago

Home to Roost
By Margaret Couplet

“It always is, isn’t it?” The girl mused.

She was small for her age with bouncy blonde curls and hands small enough to fit inside pickle jars. The man lying at her feet wasn’t, he was built like a bear at the end of winter and had hair the color of ashy charcoal.

“Wh-Wha?” He asked.

“An accident,” she replied.

The girl blinked down at him with those big blue eyes, so deep and watery that you could drown in them if you weren’t careful. She pursed her lips in disappointment before glancing around the room.

It was a small place, cozy even with a white carpet that had a steadily spreading red stain seeping in and a fireplace that was beginning to belch out black smoke. The furniture was small, small enough that it was clearly meant for someone far younger than the man at her feet, for someone even younger than herself.

“Do you know what accidents are?” She smiled sweetly down at the man.

The man sobbed in horror, looking away from the needle like teeth that sat behind her lips as he choked on his own breath. The girl huffed in irritation and poked at the knife buried in his lungs with one bare foot, ripping a scream from his throat.

“Pay attention,” she whined at him. “Do you know what accidents are?”

“No,” the man sobbed.

“Oh, good, so you haven’t been making that mistake, one more sin off the list then.” The girl clapped her hands together and giggled like an oncoming storm. “But that just makes things worse because it means the only accident you ever fell prey to has come home to roost.”

The man’s eyes were going dim as he stared up at her but there was still a certain horror sitting in his eyes, just enough to show that he was still alive. That was fine, he was no use to the girl if he was dead but one step away meant that he was so much easier to twist into what she needed.