Writing Group: An Odd Little Creature (PRIVATE)

Hello, Zoologists of all ages!

Hey… what is that thing? It looks awfully strange, doesn’t it? Wait, why do you have a stick? You’re seriously going to poke it? Well, go on then. Let’s see what this thing can do, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

An Odd Little Creature

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!

This prompt is just full of cute opportunities. What else is there to say? It just conjures up all kinds of adorable images, doesn’t it? 

Whether it’s a child discovering some small, fuzzy thing in their backyard or someone completely fascinated with some new species of caterpillar. Maybe this is about the time when you were but a babe and your parents brought home your very first pet, but you had no idea what this strange animal was. Perhaps you can write from the view of an indoor cat seeing a bird in the window for the first time, feeling their instincts just go wild. Or write from the same perspective, but they discover their reflection and just instantly puff up, wondering who this intruder is. This little creature could even just be a baby’s first stuffed toy, though they have no idea what it is, so they just call it “aahabab”.

We can even put our usual fantastical spins on this adorable little prompt, like someone discovering what lamias look like as babies. Perhaps a child is playing in the ocean and they discover some strange, tentacled thing with leathery wings on its back, so of course they decide to keep it. Maybe it’s about someone discovering an injured animal with two tails, and what they do with such a creature. Sell it? Save it? Maybe even adopt it?

Who’s to say that all little creatures are cute and harmless? What if one was so small, so apparently docile, but then the next thing you know, it’s latched onto your neck and has taken over control? Perhaps this odd little creature is an alien species that’s small enough to simply be breathed in. What do they do once they have a host? Perhaps someone was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and did one little movement to anger a snake or spider they had never encountered.

The amount of cute, and even not-so-cute ways that this can be interpreted is rather exciting. So show us all the fantastical little creatures your imagination can think up!

—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. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. 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.
    7. 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. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. 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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Gregory Hess
Gregory Hess
17 days ago

Accidental post please ignore 🙂

Last edited 17 days ago by Gregory Hess
Revisis
Revisis
1 month ago

The small Things in life
by Exce, checked by Lunar.

Golden sunshine broke through the dense trees, basking the small village in soft colours. William stretched, brushing back his still damp hair. For a moment he just enjoyed the scenery, the calm whilst taking sips from his tea.

All around him the world slowly woke up, birdsong drifting up the hill from the jungle. There was a rustling from the shed where they kept the compost heap.

Placing his mug on the windowsill, William walked over. He wasnt scared; he would be able to shoo away anything that may have gotten stuck inside the shed. Because, if it fit inside, then it probably wasn’t one of Moriesha’s vicious species.

So he flicked open the heavy bolt that had fallen into place, then pulled the door wide. At first he thought it was one of the shaggy dogs from the village. A furry brown shape that sat huddled between a few empty buckets, some still filled with food waste. William blinked as he saw the creature’s head, its round ears and twitching nose.

It was a big mouse. William wouldn’t call it giant, not with what else lived around here, but it was definitely bigger than anything he had seen back home. Its light brown fur curled slightly and its thin tail whacked against another bucket.

He didn’t want to scare the poor thing to death. He slowly stepped back, holding the door open as he did. Standing there, he waited quietly, whilst inside the shed there were a few more wooden bangs. Then, finally, the mouse ran out of the open door, and as it passed him, William saw that her snout was smeared with fruit remnants.

As it was out in the light now, he was also sure that it was at least as big as his knees were high, but the soft round body made it look smaller. He watched as the mouse darted across the hilltop, vanishing into the treeline beyond.

Once it was gone, he closed the door again, this time making sure nothing else got in.

Cansas Wanderlust
Cansas Wanderlust
1 month ago

With A Little Help From My Friends
By Cansas Wanderlust

Rain fell harder as Shaya raced after Whipper and Ticker’s furry bodies. Warm crimson oozed from the unconscious man on her back. It didn’t take long for the chiipa to lead Shaya to a suitable cave, for which she was grateful. She could feel Stranger growing weaker.

It wasn’t much of a cave but it was dry. Shaya lowered herself to the ground. Whipper and Ticker gently untangled Strangers hands from her grey mane and carefully rolled him off the mystien’s back.

Blood stained Shaya’s light gray fur and dripped down Stranger’s front. Whipper and Ticker tore open his tunic and began working on the arrowhead embedded in his chest.

Liquid crystal was still falling from the sky as Stranger began to stir. Memories of the raid bubbled to the surface of his mind. It wasn’t the first time a raid had gone wrong and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

He tried to sit up but his chest felt heavy. He looked down and found the two bodies of his Chiipa sleeping soundly.

Whipper yawned and gave a small chirp as he looked up at Stranger.

“Hey buddy,” Stranger winced at how hoarse his voice was.

He gingerly propped himself onto his elbows. Whipper scurried off to let him up. Ticker had yet to wake. His head hung limp as a wet noodle. Whipper tugged on the tail that connected them, causing Ticker to slide off the ranger’s chest and plop onto the ground.

Stranger’s laugh turned into a cough. His whole body ached, but he couldn’t feel the signature sting of an arrow wound. When the coughing subsided he leaned back expecting the cave wall, instead he leaned against the warm horse-shaped body of his mystien.

“There’s my girl,” he whispered, stroking Shaya’s muzzle.

Slowly his eyes fell upon his chest. There wasn’t a gaping hole, only a bruise.

He furrowed his brows only to raise them a moment later in realization.

He looked at the Chiipa perched beside him on a rock, and chuckled. “Twenty years I’ve known you two, yet you still manage to surprise me.”

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
1 month ago

“I Saw It in a Graveyard”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Life is lonely when you dig graves for a living. You gotta be ready for the priest to call on you. People die, rain or shine, I guess. It ain’t a hard job, just a rough one. That works fine for me. I’m a simple man. I want simple things. But that got hard once I found my little buddy.

A worm no longer than one knuckle on my pinky. It was pink and had three legs, none of them beside the other. And it hopped. I couldn’t help, but smile. I ain’t seen nothing like it. I scooped him up to take him home, and he bit me. I shook him off before finishing the grave.

That night I dreamed about that worm. I asked him why he bit me. He said I was special and that there was something only I could do. So, I got up the next morning and I digged. And I digged. I digged until my fingers blistered. There more of my little buddies climbed onto my hand and disappeared. Then I climbed up again.

The next night, my little buddy had gotten a little bigger. He told me I was doing a good job. Each day I digged a new hole, gathered my little buddies, then climbed back up and filled in the hole. Each day, the hole got deeper and each day, I seemed to get better and better at climbing out of it.

It wasn’t until three weeks later my little buddy finally introduced himself. Rimmelech was his name. Turns out my little buddies are just parts of a bigger buddy. Imagine that! He promised a lot of things. That I’d always have a full belly. That he’d never have me overexert myself. That I’d never be lonely again. All I had to do was keep digging.

So that’s what I do. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig through the pain in the back in the back of my head. Dig through my rotten stench. I can’t be alone again. I can’t! I just can’t!

Help me.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 month ago

Odd New Creatures
By Jesse Fisher

A dark navy colored wolf swayed in a rocking chair, his yellow eyes taking in the new addition to his once en-suite. His ears lay flat to his head as the gentle motion of back and forth sooth the warm wrapped bundles in his arms…

He was waiting for the shoe to drop to show that this is a dream, or just exhaustion causing him to live this waking dream. However the screams and yelling from hours ago still rang in his mind as he looked at the pair of unique beings he had a part in creating…only a part.

Given the parentage of them; both a mix of puffing fur, tender scales, and down feathers that peeked out of the wrapping along with cute faces that just quietly cooed as their father cared for them while their mother was recovering after the activity.

The wolf could still smell the blood and the fluid along with it. He would grumble that it would be a pain to clean, if not for the fact his employer can just get new ones over cleaning them. It was during these thoughts that the new door opened and in came the mother. Lion paws lightly padded towards the rocking chair, talons moving in shape to convey her want to hold her children.

The wolf did not break the movement to keep the offspring from waking as he got up to hand them over. Once the transfer happened the mother nearly just curled around the pair on the floor as if she did not want to let them go.

The wolf moved to hold her as she was shaking from emotion that seemed buried for who knows how long.

“It’s alright Gan, NO one will ever take them away…Alive.”

He held her as they moved to lay down together with their children between them.

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
1 month ago

Sandpaper Melodies
By Twangyflame0

The captain wiped his face as he came out of the harbor master’s building. The hot Saramani sun beat down on his head as sweat dripped down his face. His first mate chewed loudly on some fruit as they walked back to their ship, ready for a long sail home. As they got closer, they saw a crowd gathering around something.

The captain growled. “What do I pay them for?”

Though as they got closer to investigate, they began hearing quite a strange sound. Someone was singing and playing a lute of some kind. But they couldn’t see the minstrel and his voice sounded quite strange.

The performer sang familiar shanties, his voice an odd melody of rough and young. All at the same time, though, the captain and the crew were captivated by his voice and his body. Small, with blue scales. His amber eyes glinted with delight as he looked up at the crowd, his head only reaching just above their knees. He strummed his lute with clawed fingers as his tailed hit the box he was sitting on in a steady beat. His large ears flapped a little as he swayed his head.

As the song came to its end, the captain felt lighter, like his woes had been lifted off of his shoulders, like he could take on a raging storm without much problem. The musician bowed as the crew clapped and whistled, before the first mate told them to get back to work, dispersing the crowd.

The captain walked up to the little fellow. “That was some mighty fine playing you did there. Got my crew to stop workin’.”

The little lizard chuckled. “Sorry ‘bout that captain, I just felt like your poor boys needed something in their ears.”

“Well, let me at least reward ya for–” As the captain reached for his gold purse, he felt nothing. “What the–”

He looked up at the pitter-patter of feet as the blue little lizard began running away.

“HEY!! GET BACK HERE, YOU THIEF!!” The captain gave chase, but would never catch that blue kobold.

Last edited 1 month ago by Twangyflame0
Clanso
Clanso
1 month ago

Funny bone
By Clanso|ImpelloPalma

“So, what about this little beauty
?” Sam asks, leaning over to scratch me behind the ears. Yeeesss that spot. Perfect.

“That’s Patella” Rosie introduces me. She is always nervous on dates, especially if they go this well. That’s why she took me with her. She always says that apart from being her emotional support, I am also a great conversation starter. And Sam seems to know her way around dragons judging by the quality of her head scratches. Finally a good match for Rosie?

“I helped raise her since she was a baby. And we kind of bonded so I formally adopted her and now she teaches the little ones how to be a dragon, bite inhibition and hoarding and such.”

“Hold on” Sam says and cocks her head slightly. “Doesn’t Patella mean kneecap? Why’d you name a dragon kneecap?”

Queue the bad joke…

“My friend Jason did. He has a funny-bone.”

…and there it is. She really is predictable. But this time it seems to have worked.

They look at each other for a moment, both trying to keep a straight face before simultaneously starting to laugh.

When the giggling fit is over Rosie clears her throat. “He chose the name because she hoards bones.”

For a moment I think Sam is going to make excuses and leave as soon as she can like the last date. That lady was an honest prick. But then she just gives me another head scratch and smiles.

“You’re just full of surprises aren’t ya, little one?”
I lick her hand in response.

“Aww” Rosie says. “She likes you”

” Where do you get the bones though?”

“She is a fully trained corpse tracker” Rosie says proudly. “Of course she can’t keep what she finds in that function but the police bribes her with animal bones and she loves the job”
Indeed! They know the art of bribery as well as I do the art of detection.

They talk for quite a while longer. On their second date Samantha brings me a t-bone from the butcher’s. I’m certainly rooting for them to get together.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Rydia’s New Pet
By MasaCur

Myrgan read the Universal Scanner as it scanned the soil sample he had harvested. His face lit up as the report scrolled over the screen before him. The soil was rife with live microbes. This planet was capable of maintaining life with minimal terraforming.

“Myrgan, come look at this!”

Myrgan groaned upon hearing Rydia’s voice. “What is it now?”

Rydia danced in front of him, holding something wriggly in her hands

“Wow, that’s great, Rydia. Put it into a stasis bottle for the Galactic Headquarters Science Division.” Myrgan sealed up the soil sample and activated the stasis field.

“No, no! Look at it!” Rydia shifted her hands, causing the thing she held to flop around. “It’s adorable!”

Myrgan sighed and looked up. She was holding an organism with yellow skin and a mass of tentacles. It blinked its four eyes as it stared at Myrgan.

“Darling,” Myrgan said sarcastically. “Put it into a stasis bottle.”

“Myrgan, can we keep it?”

“No.”

“Why not? It’s a cute little baby. I think our ship could use a mascot.”

Myrgan rested his head in his hands, wishing he could reach through the helmet to massage his temples. “Don’t be stupid, Rydia. Put it in stasis.”

Rydia stood up defiantly. “I’m the captain; I saw we keep it.”

“Not when it violates Galactic law. That thing could be dangerous.”

Rydia started tickling the creature and cooing. It wiggled and stuck one of its tentacles in its mouth.

“Rydia, we’re not keeping it.”

“It’s not dangerous. Look how tiny and cute it is!”

Myrgan clenched his jaw. “It could be infested with contaminants that would be deadly to us. It could breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out cyanide gas. It could poop out radiation. You have no idea.”

“Oh, he’s harmless.” Rydia waved her hand dismissively and continued tickling the creature. “What should we name him?”

As the creature wiggled against Rydia’s finger, it belched out a gout of green flame that engulfed Rydia’s helmet.

Myrgan smirked. “We can name it Specimen D-Four-Seven. Put it into a stasis bottle.”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
1 month ago

The Demons in the Night (Peter’s Story)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero (a/n: in canon the Shadow’s speech would be in italics, not quotation marks.)

The Shadow crept from under the bed, oozing towards the next over. It peered into the thoughts of innocent children, rummaging around, pulling out fears, holding them to the light, checking they were still in good condition.

Three children slept in this room. Two boys, one girl. Darling, they were called. That made them luckier than most.

It plumed up from the cracks, coalescing, floating over the boys, flipping through their dreams, nightmares blossoming in response.

The girl stirred. The Shadow pressed against the wall, living up to its title: blending in with the blackened blotch cast by the wardrobe.

Wendy squinted curiously into the darkness, but fell back.

The Shadow reemerged, perusing her head, more for fun and folly than anything else. Only sugar plums and dancing fairies here. It turned to leave—

“You’re a funny creature, aren’t you?”

It froze. Usually, when spotted, the Shadow disappeared. Shadows stayed upon walls after all; best not let little girls know they walked.

It turned around.

She was…smiling.

(Smiling?)

“I’ve never met a thing like you.”

(Actually smiling).

“What kind of creature can flit about people’s heads as if splashing in puddles?”

(Really and truly smiling).

“You’re terribly fascinating, you know.”

The Shadow blinked.

(No screaming? No crying? No waking her brothers or father to sweep the demon away?)

“Come closer.”

*****

Thoughts of Wendy’s kindness, and the Shadow’s shock still fresh upon my mind I opened my eyes, exhaling, pausing to sort through the memories grafted into my head. The Shadow floated beside me, awaiting my response.

I sighed, running my hand through my hair.

“Sooo…You want to make John and Michael Lost Boys?” I leaned against a nearby tree. “I mean…they seem nice, but—“

“Not them,” it thought inside my head. “The girl.”

Time slowed.

Shattered.

Rewound itself.

—A girl, lying on the forest floor, broken, bloody, and branded by horror—

Never again, I told myself. I’d never again bring a girl to Neverland, because there were monsters here with hungers too macabre to name, and they would devour her if I closed my eyes.

Never again.

Matthew (handsome Johanson)
Matthew (handsome Johanson)
1 month ago

Forgiveness
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

As soon as the ritual is complete, a bright green fire bursts forth from the altar. It grows larger and hotter until a dark visage of a horrifying scaled creature forms within the flames. As the figure comes into focus, the fire dies down.

The room is plunged into near darkness again.

A deep voice calls out from the figure. “To what purpose have I been called early from my rampage? Who dares interrupt my exercise in despair and destruction?”

Ollie steps forward toward the altar. “M-me sir. We’ve prepared the offering for you. I-I’m sorry that it was a little late this time. I-”

“Please, save me your excuses.” The hydra-like figure stomps its foot, and all the candles in the room relight. The being steps off the altar and into the light. As it does so, Rebecca and Ollie come face to face with the true horrible presence of Utlhec.

Rebecca struggles to hold in a squee of joy as the cat-sized hydra keeps from his altar. Ollie quickly covers her mouth, to mute her.

He whispers to her, “Don’t laugh, he’s sensitive about his size.”

“Sorry. You didn’t tell me he was absolutely adorable! I wasn’t prepared for this.”

The daemon shouts at the pair. “Attention!”

“You know the deal, Oliver. Your cult maintains the sacrifices, ON SCHEDULE, or I release destruction and death on the masses! It’s too late. Now, If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to destroy a few villages in-”

“Aww come on. Don’t you at least want a bite?” Rebecca holds out one of the cookies they prepared.

“No! It’s too late.”

“Come on, it could be for the road. Just have a little nip. We worked so hard on them.”

“FINE! Just one, but don’t think this takes you off the ho-” He takes a bite and smiles.

“If you’d like the rest, maybe call off the destruction just this once?”

“Well… I think I can make an exception just this one… I forgive you.”

Ollie’s jaw hangs open as his fiance hand-feeds an eldritch god as if he were a bab.

GJFuller
GJFuller
1 month ago

Tales From the Infinite Hallway: The Rattle
By Giovanna J. Fuller

“I don’t think that’s a door.”

“Yes it is. It’s in the hallway. It’s a door.”

“That’s more of a mousehole than a door.” Marshall looked around. “Is the Infinite Hallway infested?”

Angela gave a dismissive “pfft”. “The Hallway can’t be infested. It’s magic. What’s the point of being magic if it’s going to get infested?”

The mortal took the handbook out of his backpack and began to flip through the pages. “No. There was the Hamlin infestation of-”

A low “hissssssss” accompanied the sound of a maraca.

The witch and human looked at one another. All the color drained from Angela’s face. “Oh no.” Her voice dropped two octaves and she made a mad scramble for the exit. “Run!”

It took Marshall a second to realize his magical friend had left him behind and another for him to chase after her, the subtle sound of rattling getting closer and closer.

“Why-gasp-are we-gasp-running?”

“Ahhhhh!” Angela screamed and slammed the door behind them once they were both on the other side of it.

“A-Ange…” Marshall was gasping, his hands on his knees, and his face a bright, beat red. “What was that.”

Angela gulped. “It’s…ummm…Basil?”

“Basil? Who-”

“What,” she corrected.

“What is Basil?”

“Umm…..a snake?”

“Are you asking or telling me?”

“Telling?”

“Angela!”

“Marshall!”

“Why is there a snake in the Infinite Hallway?”

The young, redheaded witch pressed her index fingers together pensively. “I saw magic mice…”

There was a moment of stunned silence. “Magic mice?” Marshall asked incredulously.

“Yes.”

“And…what do magic mice do?”

“They…they try to make you clothes and then force you to go out dancing.”

“So the hallway is infested?”

Angela nodded, not looking at him. She looked like a child that had been caught with both hands in the cookie jar.

“And the rattlesnake?”

“I let him loose to chase the mice away.”

“And now what do we have to do?” Marshall asked, sounding very much like a parent prompting the correct response from their child.

She signed. “Call Wizard Animal Control…”

Astrid Jones
1 month ago

The Guest Room
by Astrid Jones

Warren peeked in his guest room at his friend. Blaithe was asleep. He had time to make a call without disturbing her. Blaithe, trapped in her wolf form and recovering from a fight, needed her rest.

Before he could place his call, a van bounced into his driveway. Warren groaned. He was too late.

“Hey, Matty. You’re early,” Warren said as the driver stepped out. “I was about to call. Some stuff came up and—”

“Yeah, Donna wants a head start on the trip,” Matty interrupted. “We really appreciate you watching the kids.”

“Thing is, my guest room’s not exactly available right now.”

“They don’t mind sleeping on the couch. Right kiddos?” Matty released his five children from the van.

“Uncle Warren!” Marcia, Dinah, and Toby flung their arms around Warren. Shelby headed for the house.

“Here’s Mirabelle,” Matty said, holding out the one-year-old. “She’s been getting into everything lately, so watch out.”

Warren took her and she shrieked happily. When Warren looked back up, Matty was driving away.

Sighing, Warren led the kids inside to go over the few rules he had. This time he added one.

“No going into the guest room. A friend’s staying over, and she needs lots of rest.”

“Is she your girlfriend?” Toby asked.

A shriek startled everyone. Mirabelle had toddled away during the rules talk. Panic rose in his throat. If Mirabelle’s screech startled him, he couldn’t imagine what it did to Blaithe.

Warren ran to the guest room door. He’d left it ajar. Now it was wide open. He prepared for disaster.

Instead, he saw Blaithe, tail weighed down by Mirabelle who was tugging on the end, convinced she’d found a toy.

Warren laughed as Blaithe whined impatiently. She wasn’t happy and, with Mirabelle’s yanking, was probably in pain. But Warren wanted to savor the image of her rendered helpless by his tiny niece.

Blaithe whined again.

“Come on, Mirabelle,” he said, prying her hands from Blaithe’s tail.

“That’s your girlfriend?” Toby exclaimed from the doorway.

“No, buddy.”

Warren sighed, shepherding the kids out. This time he shut the door completely.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

A Giant Miscalculation
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“You’re keeping it, aren’t you?”

“Mommy said it was okay!”

“But look at it! You want that in our house?”

“But it’s got adorable eyes!”

“It’s covered in mud!”

“We can give it a bath!”

“What if it drowns? It’s so small!”

“I’ll be careful, I swear!”

“Okay, but what about feeding it? Do you know what it eats?”

“There’s books about them! We’ll take good care of it and it will love us forever!”

“But what if it doesn’t wanna be your pet?”

“That’s ridiculous, of course it wants to be our pet!”

“You don’t know that!”

“Yes I do! Here, I’ll prove it!”

They leaned down towards the small cage, squeezing their heads together so they could both see inside.

“Do you wanna be our pet, new friend?”

The young farm boy stared at the two giants that had abducted him when he was watching the pigs the night before. He didn’t speak their language, but he’d heard enough about giants to know they planned on eating him, and that arguing for his life was useless. The farm boy squeezed himself against one of the bars of the cage, far away from the giant eyeballs staring at him.

One of the giants, the one who had seemed very excited earlier, suddenly looked disappointed and almost pitying. “Do you not wanna be our pet, new friend? You look so scared…”

“See? That’s exactly what I was talking about!” the other giant complained. “We should really just let it back into the wild, where it belongs!”

“Aw, but look at its whittle face!”

“No! It doesn’t wanna live with us! Now let it go, it probably has a family! Imagine if we got separated, brother! How would that make YOU feel?”

The giant sniffled. “F—fine…I’ll let it go…”

Suddenly the cage skyrocketed, and the young farm boy’s tumultuous journey to the giant’s front door sent him rolling and sprawling.

Once outside, the giant set down the cage and opened it delicately. “Goodbye…my friend…”

The farm boy ran for his life.

DesOttsel
DesOttsel
1 month ago

A Vagabond and Bagpipes
by Gage Jarman

Muffled cries leaked out of the cobblestone alley.

“Hurry up. Someone’s gonna call the guards.”

“Maybe if she stopped fighting so hard, but they don’t come here anyways.”

“You don’t know that.”

“We’re in the- Fuck, she bit me!”

Bagpipes blared over the shanty town.

“The fuck is that?”

The silhouette of a small figure appeared on the street at the end of the alley.

“Well then boys, that’s not how you treat a lady. If you just want an object, a sheep would suit ya better.” The figure flashed it’s twisted teeth in a grin.

“Is that a fuckin’ goblin?”

“Right you are. Name’s Spurt, but first, let’s rectify this mess. By the looks of ya, women are too good. You’re gonna need that sheep, but don’t fret, I’m here to help. Come on then.” The goblin winked, beckoning them with a hand.

One of the men rose, drawing a rusty blade.

“You’re a cheeky one alright. Why don’t we give the couple a show.”

“OHOHO, that’s a mistake.” Spurt dashed forward.

The man flinched and swung wildly. The goblin hit him with a series of quick punches to his midsection. The man staggered back.

“Come on now, don’t get any blood on the lady. Wouldn’t want our debut show to be sloppy.” The goblin winked.

The man roared, swinging downward in a large arc. The Goblin stepped inside his swing and caught his arm, pivoting his back towards the man. Spurt yanked downward. The man was thrown into the side of the building, landing upside down with his legs slumped over him.

“Shame, but the understudy’ll do just fine.” The goblin grinned maliciously.

The second man scrambled off the woman, fumbling, trying to pull his pants back up.

“Should’ve taken the sheep.” Spurt ran forward and kicked the man in the chin. He tumbled to the ground unconscious. The Goblin stepped on top of him laughing. “I know I’m not the biggest, but I think I’m standing pretty tall right about now.”

Spurt lowered a hand down to the woman with kind eyes. “You doin’ alright Miss?”

Last edited 1 month ago by DesOttsel
Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

On the Hunt
by Lunabear (Edited by Insania404, Exce, Masacur, and Spectre)

Cooled winds pushed soft, white clouds across the open, blue sky. Dark green leaves twirled through the air from tall, scattered trees. Pale sunbeams streaked across the grassy field, and the blades bowed to the breeze.

Arkina crouched on a warm rock above the slow-moving stream. Sunlight heated her dripping, golden fur as she continued studying her prey. The happily swimming fish reflected within her gray eyes, causing a deep growl from her stomach. Her small tail swayed in a metronomic manner.

Arkina’s pointed ears twitched as a bird twittered from somewhere in the distance. She shivered from a cool breeze caressing her tiny body. Still, her vigilance remained unbroken.

Glittering green scales danced against the water’s surface as a large school of fish swam by.

Arkina’s short legs coiled like springs. Her heart drummed within her chest when one fish was far behind the rest.

Focusing on the lagging fish, Arkina straightened her tail and bared her sharp canines. Her ears flattened back against her skull. She was ready to pounce until the fish stopped moving in a straight line. It spun like a hypnotist’s spiral, and Arkina fell under the illusion.

She watched the little fish swim in wide, loose circles. It zigzagged from bank to bank before getting turned around. She noticed the fish had one fin smaller than the others.

Her hunger was pushed to the background as her eyes mimicked the fish’s struggling movements.

“You can do it,” Arkina whispered.

As if hearing Arkina’s encouragement, the fish faced the correct direction and followed its group, albeit at a more haphazard pace.

Arkina hopped from the rock and ran beside the stream. Her stubby legs made it strenuous to keep up, but she cheered the little fish on nonetheless. The fish slowly inched further ahead of her.

A bend in the stream stopped Arkina in her tracks. She sat and drew cool air into her lungs.
Watching the fish until it was lost from sight, a smile spread her face.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lunabear
IsaDragon
IsaDragon
1 month ago

New Discoveries (Alexi’s Crew Verse)
By IsaDragon337

Quinn crouched, tensing, then leapt onto her bed. The cot was practically an ocean of squishy fabrics that got snarled around her quills and claws, despite being half size. It made a very nice reading surface, though.

She dug for her claw-resistant pad, to document what she learned about humans today. Not only did she have info on the seemingly species-wide quest to smuggle their favored toxins everywhere they went, but she had… interviews.

Tack’kal called it “tea,” and said Talin drank it most mornings. It smelled like a stimulant, worrying. She had heard tales of adrenaline.

(About a month later, Quinn would learn that Alexi had absolutely been running on adrenaline AND caffeine when they pulled her out of that frozen station, and she would be very, very concerned.)

Observations: Talin had placed dried fragrant leaves in a semipermeable membrane, then dunked that in very hot water for about three minutes, during which the water colored and took on a strong odor. Then he removed the membrane, and took a sip of the still steaming mixture, and immediately let it sit for another minute. When asked, Talin claimed that he had burnt his tongue.

It was incredibly adorable and absolutely horrifying.

It was cute, the tiny ritual that Talin did to make this, and humans, despite being twice her size, were honestly adorable as a species in general, with their colorful wraps and constantly exploring and creating things, and somehow still making silly mistakes like burning your tongue three days out of five.

But also, deliberately poisoning water and then drinking it- and when they were still too tired to gauge temperature properly? And if they didn’t have it, Tack’kal mentioned Talin got grumpy and miserable, even sick. Humans apparently had a need to feel in danger to get out of bed.

That… would explain a lot about humans, actually. Constantly seeking and pushing their boundaries, striving to be adaptable everywhere. Even after their homeworld blew up, they never slowed down.

Well, Quinn mused, looking over the repurposed cupboard that was her quarters, it had its benefits.

Insania404
Insania404
1 month ago

Pawn In a Little Game (From Grael’s Library)
By: Insania404, proofread by Lunabear

Scheal sat in the middle of the circle in the dim basement, staring at his executioner twitching in the opposite corner. The latest failure to complete his task made Scheal question whether he should start over again.

He heard a voice. “So, this is what you have been up to. I should have known.”

Scheal initially turned in the direction of the sound, but quickly realized it was coming from within his head.

Scheal sighed. “What do you want, Grael? Show yourself.”

A cracked stone hallway manifested and a limbless figure, propped up in an old leather chair, emerged from the darkness. “It pains me to appear in this fashion, Scheal. If that is what you require for us to speak, I will do so freely.”

“What I want is to be left alone with my little toys. They make excellent puppets, you know. Take my executioner for example. Isn’t it fun to watch him struggle with what we would deem menial tasks?”

“You are trying to change the subject, Scheal. I am not so easily fooled by such actions. If I did not know better, I would say you are brooding.”

“You know that word is meaningless to me, as is anger and happiness. Bozmethol betrayed all of us, Grael. I simply want to find him. I just want to know why he made me this way. This is my executioner’s purpose.”

“You are not after him for conversation. You want him to suffer for his betrayal. Though I do not blame you for this approach, I need not remind you that Bozmethol is as immortal as we are. He will not succumb to your manipulation as easily as your little friend.” Grael pointed his head toward the malnourished creature twitching in the corner.

“My executioner doesn’t know the world he’s exploring is all in his mind. As far as he’s concerned, this is just another hurdle in his journey to the Lifelight. He does what he’s told, so long as he receives immortality.”

“What will you do when you cannot fulfill your promise to him?”

“I wasn’t going to.”

Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
1 month ago

The one they will remember
By: Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

As the moonlight countered her form, she stopped the bloodshed. All the gunners were dead.

The bodies of those who wronged her paved the floor. A drop of fresh blood was all she needed to bring the complete laboratory to the ground.

“You’re alive!” He ran to her, still elated by the vision of his friend.

All he could see were the white of her eyes and the red on her teeth. Joana looked at his face and slapped hard enough to rip the skin out of his cheeks. She was mad at him.

“That was for leaving me in that awful country, alone.” Joana responded.

She could hide her anger with her expression, but her gaze wouldn’t lie. Her dark black eyes exported a shining white halo that pronounced her supernatural rage.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know they were…”

“Hanging people like me?” She growled. “When I woke up alive the third time, they knew what I was.”

He turned his face in shame. She had disappeared for ten long years after they left Europe.

But then he heard the rumors about laboratories in Puerto Rico and the vampire families going on long trips out on the tropics.

He found her in a tube. Fragments of bones and the patches of hair and skin missing. They disassembled her like a machine several times.

“I would be disappointed, but our kind is cowardly by nature.” She braced herself, taking a deep breath to calm herself down.

“I would have fought a battalion for you!” He put himself on his knees, still begging for her forgiveness. “I would stand the worst of the abuses committed by your beautiful hands.”

“The humans also saw I could stay in the sun, so the vampires paid them to try to replicate it.” She offered her hand to him, tired of his theatrics. “I was the frail, small, odd little creature with the precious skin that solves the ultimate problem for vampire kind.”

Her grin said all the plans she had going forward. “They will regret wishing to see the sun again!”

Last edited 1 month ago by Lari B. Haven
ThatWeirdFish
ThatWeirdFish
1 month ago

The Small and The Tall (Tales from Alsair)
By ThatWeirdFish

“Odda! Odda!” The osai child giggled as they waded through the water towards the young giant. Her tail and hands swished among the reeds. She stumbled with a splash and startled all of the fish out of sight.

Odia groaned. “What is it now, Manu?” With one set of arms, he re-positioned the net, the other he crossed over his chest. If it was for another one of those “games,”…

“I made charm!” Manu held up a tangle of twine and beads. “For you!”

“That’s–”

“It help you catch BIG fish!” She stood up to spread her arms as far apart as they could reach.

“Manu–”

She tugged on his tunic as she waved the charm in front of him. “Take take! Wear like this!” She excitedly gestured to the charm band on her wrist.

A strained sigh escaped Odia before he forced a smile. “Thank you, Manu. You are very kind.” The child wiggled as she watched him wrap the charm around one of his wrists. It didn’t fit, of course, but it didn’t phase her optimism.

“I tell mama to make big fire for big fish.” Manu splashed back up the bank towards her village. Odia watched her scamper away for a moment before turning his gaze back to the charm. It was crudely made, with mismatched beads and frayed twine knots. And yet… there was something about it. Something he could sense in the back of his mind as he looked at it.

Suddenly, the net jerked in his hands. There, tangled in the net, was a carp as large as his arm. Odia barely moved the net when three more gigantic fish appeared from upriver. He fastened the charm to his belt and pulled his massive catch with all his might up the bank. Manu was the first to greet him, followed closely by Odia’s mentor, Sabin.

“You… you were right.” Odia panted under his load. “They do have a strange gift.” Manu grabbed his tunic’s hem and grinned.

Sabin chuckled as they helped haul the fish back to the village. “That they do, young one.”

Last edited 1 month ago by ThatWeirdFish
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

The Little Living Doll (Alice’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

Clan Healer Alvyn bustled into the bedroom, immediately looking towards the other gnomes in the room. Orryn Brighteyes, cleric of the Bereppen clan, was looking down into a small wicker basket, deep in thought. The mother, Lorilla Kel, was clearly still exhausted from her recent ordeal. Her head turned towards the healer, confusion and fear etched across her face. He smiled reassuringly towards her, and stepped towards the basket to see…

…a perfectly healthy baby? Just lying quietly in the basket’s blankets. There didn’t seem to be any signs of distress or ill health at all.

The healer turned towards the cleric. “I’m sorry, why was I called with such urgency? This child seems perfectly healthy.”

Orryn pondered for a moment longer before speaking. “Well, she’s definitely not undead. I checked.”

Alvyn blinked. “I mean – yes? Isn’t that obvious to everyone here?” He looked between the others, unsure if this wasn’t some elaborate prank.

“It’s just-” Lorilla took a deep breath, “it’s just how she moves…” She reached out with a tentative, shivering hand over the basket.

That got the baby’s attention immediately. Their head turned towards the outstretched hand with a sudden motion, pupils dilating in recognition. A tiny arm bent to an uncannily precise 90-degree angle at the joint, before jerkily extending upwards.

The healer looked on with fascination as the child’s limb stopped shortly before Lorilla’s nearby hand, opened their own in a single simultaneous motion of fingers, and pushed forwards. Small fingers closed around their mother’s own with the same smoothness with which they had opened.

The movements brought Alvyn’s mind to wind-up figures and toys. Those jerky, automatic movements, trying to emulate life.

But this child was already alive! Clearly breathing, reaching, thinking – so why were they like this?

He looked towards Lorilla’s face once again, as she stared at her baby’s little hand, her eyes bright and filled with tears. She was happy, and scared, and scared of her happiness too.

Alvyn reached out to take her other hand. “Don’t worry, Lori. We will all be here for you. No matter what comes next.”

RVMPLSTLSKN
RVMPLSTLSKN
1 month ago

The Firstborn
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

The girl who was born a gremlin, grew through goblinesque years of toddling and acquired an elfin cast in childhood, chose the name Klajonas. She was born of strong-willed parents and was never the sort who needed a courageous symphony to experience life. Not that there were any symphonies in the holy city.

She was called ‘Baby’ until she chose her name. By Vienas, ‘Baby’ was laced with femine meaning. By Padas, it was simply a noun.

They had decided to let ‘Baby’ choose a name because they were afraid of everything that might happen and had happened to them. They too remembered the days in childhood when they wished they could have chosen their own names.

Vienas was the parent most disappointed. She had longed to pass on, as her legacy, the knowledge of reading and magic. She had wanted to hear the spells again, the prayers and mutual discovery of new ideas. And a child’s laughter deep in the scrolls.

But Padas saw the way Baby looked out at the horizon and begged for stories. He knew he had done the same and broken his own mother’s heart. It was the wistful, longing look of a sailor. He knew Baby’s soul had chosen already and so he broke his wife’s heart. He told Baby the tale of Klajonas the Wanderer.

When he came to the part about Klajonas choosing his Lover over his own legs, Baby chuffed. Both adults cried to themselves that night.

When Baby was older, she took to foraging. Her sister read to her which herbs were unsafe and how to test new ones. She gathered and stored and one day she realised her life’s plight, every creature in the world, every plant, even the stones and earth had a coupling. But not her. The only man she had ever known was her quiet father who told her nightly that she must be strong.

She did not return to the temple she called a house that night. Or the next. Nor for many more. Padas never found her, though he nearly died looking.

Klajonas wandered.

William Maitland
William Maitland
1 month ago

“Family Dinner”
By William Maitland

Tera sipped some nectar from the flower in front of her. She took her nose out of the thing and smacked her lips. “This is the best! Thanks for picking here for dinner tonight, Mom!”

Stella smiled. “Of course, dear. Don’t forget to eat your greens, okay?”

“Okay, Mom.” She rolled her eyes, and stabbed a leaf with her thumb.

“She wouldn’t have forgotten,” Volan chimed in. “She eats better than I did when I was a pup.”

“Oh, don’t get started on the ‘when I was a pup’ stories again!” She playfully nudged him with a wing. “You’ve told so many, she might as well have lived your life!”

He laughed, gently swinging by his feet from the branch. “Good! She’ll have the benefits of a hard life with none of the downsides!”

A high-pitched shriek echoed from the next tree over. “Guys! I’m coming!”

“There he is! What took you, kiddo?”

Simon raced over as fast as his little wings could carry him, and clung to the branch with all fours in a hasty landing. “Sorry, everyone. Had to grab my dinner on the way here. You understand, don’t you?”

“What did you have?” Tera tilted her head, curious.

“Goat blood!” He grinned wide, one fang still stained a dull red.

His adoptive parents wore looks of disgust. There were gulps, covered mouths, eyes wide with shock. Tera’s eyes lit up with wonder, however.

“Cool! Can I try some?”

“Tera!”

“I couldn’t quite, uh… bring the goat with me, I’m afraid. But I can take you along tomorrow!”

“Okay!”

“Tera, please…” Stella was stopped with a nudge-back, and a warm, if hesitant, smile from Volan.

“You gotta promise me you won’t make a sound, though. My echo is pretty much the only sound we can make that won’t wake them up and spook them. Pitched it just a bit too low a couple nights ago, and woke up the goat, a couple horses, and some crazy GIANT!”

“Ooooh!”

“Do I have your word, sis? Not a peep?”

“You got it. Not a peep!”

Connor/Dragoneye
Connor/Dragoneye
1 month ago

A Small Favor
By Connor/Dragoneye

“My friend. Please, sit.”

The majestic shadow of Volaseth covered Metua as she sat in the unkempt grass before him. He ruffled his stark white mane, before running his claws through it to clear out nagging insects. The breadth of his wings only strengthened the mere outline of his silhouette, a great scorpion tail swaying as a cat would. Regal, opulent, stoic.

“What is it you need of me?” asked Metua.

“I have a request of you, if such a thing is not too pressing for you.”

“Not at all. What do you require of me, friend?”

Volaseth looked off to his lioness, and she brought forth a cub, the spitting image of the Huntsmaster himself, horns and all.

“Mordi. My son. He cannot stay here. There is a grave threat coming here.”

Metua froze in contemplation. Bringing a Great Beast out of the Garden? Such a dangerous ploy, he surely must know.

“You know that he will be nothing but a beast?”

“I am aware of such effects for Great Beasts. But, you are a Mage. You bear the Seed’s presence. Raise him, and he will begin to see as we do.”

Mordi trotted over to Metua with wide eyes, a sharp sky blue. While his wings did flutter for but a moment, no flight took him away. Metua then cradled the beast in her arms, and a gentle rumbling came from the cub. “You have my word, he will be under my safety.”

“Ah, this relieves me. This debt I will most assuredly repay you tenfold. Once he returns, know that a great feast will be readied, for you and him.”

“Thank you, Huntsmaster. An honor among us lower ilk, to dine with the apex predator.”

Volaseth let out a hum of satisfaction, before crawling off of his resting stone and approaching Metua. He nuzzled his massive face against the tired Mordi, still within the arms of his future keeper. “My precious Mordi, come home soon.”