Writing Group: Do Not Touch (PRIVATE)

Hello, curious and not-so-curious ones alike!

I know it might be tempting, but for your own safety, you need to just leave it alone. What? No, I don’t know what happens, and I’m not sure I want to find out. Of course I’m curious, but— oh alright, fine. But don’t get caught and be careful, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Do Not Touch

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

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Walking around the grocery store, or any store, really, and we’re told by mom or dad to not touch anything. But we really really wanted those fruit snacks, and that toy looks so cool.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to just sweets and toys. You could choose to apply it to a new employee in a factory, and maybe he witnesses his coworkers messing around and playing chicken with a piece of machinery sporting a nice big “KEEP LIMBS CLEAR OF MOVING PARTS” sign. Does this person partake in said dangerous shenanigans, or do they go about their day? Perhaps you’d choose to write about an escaped convict attempting to outrun their pursuers, and in their rush to get over the fence, they don’t see the sign warning them, “DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE”. Or perhaps they did see it, and had already managed to turn it off, surprising their pursuers when they make it over without electrocution. Maybe this prompt can simply be about a child who keeps poking their mother’s potted cactus despite being told to leave it alone.

Maybe you could choose to write about a kleptomaniac and what their world and impulses are like, how they just have to have things, even if it means punishment. Perhaps you choose the bratty child who read the “STILL WET” sign by the painted wall and decided to fingerpaint the unpainted wall opposite. What about the two siblings who sit together, but are always yelling at each other “Don’t touch me!”, yet neither one will move away? Or maybe you choose to write about the one witch or warlock who decided to ignore all warnings and touch that magic stone anyway, just to see what really happens. Or perhaps said witch or warlock don’t touch it, per se, but accidentally cough, sneeze, or even breathe on it. What then?

Go forth, and show us what it would be like to either heed or ignore these warnings. Is the world worse or better off, or did nothing change? Did everything change? 

Well… there’s only one way to find out.


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.

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

The New Guy (Station 31)
By Twangyflame0

“So why are we not allowed to go into the first floor bathroom?” The new employee questioned his fellow cashier.

I sighed, wishing they would stop asking questions. “Just… don’t. Upper Management told us not to go in there, just like how we are not supposed to press these buttons on the register.”

“These on–”

I smacked their hand away. “Yes! Those! Jeez, do you want to get us fired?”

“Well, I don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to do!” They threw their arms up in the air in exasperation. “I got teleported from the side of the road after picking up an ad for a quick and easy job and now I’m here! In the middle of nowhere!”

“Well, now you know how the rest of us feel.” I leaned on the counter. “I already had a job before this, but now I have to deal with that saw-faced freak whenever his truck pulls up for a stop and I have to hear him drone on and on about his kids.”

The new employee looked annoyed at my tone, but I didn’t care. I had followed all the stupid guidelines in this pocket dimension for what feels like months and I have had just about enough. I was tired, upset, and I haven’t gotten that paid day yet.
We both freezed as the front bell rang and a customer walked. It was wolfman, not particularly common around this corner of existence. He got a jumbo pack of meat sticks and then headed for us.

I put on my best smile as I greeted them. “Hello, how may I help you?”

He grumbled back as he got his wallet. I kept smiling at them as I typed on the cash register. I froze as I looked down at the wrong button I pressed.

“Son of a–” I said before my body liquidated to the floor and I was staring up at the new guy.

The new guy pursed his lips before turning back to the customer. “Sorry about that, they are new around here. Let me ring you up.”

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
2 years ago

Papa Bear
By Jesse Fisher looked over by Edward

“I understand why she did not want to show off our child to her parents.” The well dressed barkeep commented to himself.

His eyes flicker from the glass he was cleaning, to the egg resting on a cushion within arm’s reach.

“Maybe it is just she doesn’t want to risk something happening to them in a world where neither of us can control it.”

The barkeep both heard and felt the arrival of the next patron to this place. A monster of a shadow that seemed larger than the room around them.

“Welcome to…” The keep cut himself off as his two colored eyes shifted from passive windows to laser focus.

The sound of building materials and groans as the massive patron’s digit was almost touching the two tone egg. The eyes of a parent and god looked upon an ignorant beast that seemed annoyed.

“Oy, slave.” It called in a poor imitation of a ‘masters’ voice. “Fetch me your master so I may show him how to properly handle a lesser being.”

At this the bar began to creek and groan as the owner was right there and was done. It was at this moment that the bar seemed to fall away leaving the rude patron, the keeper, and the egg. A void much like the outside of the bar.

Before the patron could try to strike the keeper as more boards and other material began to contain it. The patron tried to break out of the structures to no avail.

“You walk into my realm.” The keeper began not noticing the egg moving in his arms. “Wanting to take something that was not your’s. And then insulting me and assuming my role.”

The egg cracked and broke away from the hatchling in it’s father’s arms.

“And you dare to even think about touching my child.” At this rage cast out the patron.

The bar returned to normal, and then Korun looked down to his arms.

In that moment shock and joy filled him, then a quiet realization.

“I’ve got to get the clothes.”

Last edited 2 years ago by jesse fisher
2 years ago

A touch of Paralysis
By Shaviathan

My family had just left for a flight so I was alone in the house. I felt a little tired, so I laid down on the couch in my living room for a bit of a nap.

An hour later I woke up in a half state where your not quite awake but you’re not exactly asleep either, a state that blurs reality and dreams together. A gap started to form in the fireplace wall and shifted into a desert trail. On this trail was the silhouette of a man in a hat walking towards my living room. Suddenly I heard a voice inside my head begin to explain what I was witnessing. It wasn’t my own voice, more like that of a narrator. He said “Two men walk eternally endless and converging paths.” As he spoke a second trail appeared behind me with another shadow man. “But what are they seeking?” continued the Narrator.

“Him.” A malicious female voice whispered in my ear. This wasn’t a voice in my head, this sounded like it was in the room with me. I felt the sneer of a toothy grin and the piercing stare of milky white deranged eyes inches from my head.

Instinctively I tried to throw a punch or leap out of the couch, but nothing happened. I was paralyzed, even my fingers wouldn’t budge. The only thing I could do was scream for help. Yet when I tried to scream all that came out was a noise similar to that of a dying man’s last gasp of air.

After that I jolted fully awake with a deep inhale. I figured the whole thing was just a nightmare, but then I heard my phone. It was sitting on the couch next to my head, but I had left it on the other side of the room. I’m no sleep walker, so how did it get here? I went for a walk to clear my head, but I couldn’t shake this feeling that there was some black cloaked specter with scythe-like claws and the same devilish grin hovering behind me.

2 years ago

Putting A Hand Out
(Students of the DiamondBridge Academy Universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“Ms. Roselyn Halcyia, I’m glad you’re here!” Mr. Paqulamar beamed at his favorite student.

“Of course!” Roselyn smiled, adjusting her backpack. “You said you needed my help?”

“Yes. We have a new student today, and we need someone to give him a tour. Registration for him has been, well…” he sighed, adjusting his long while hair with an obsidian-tinted hand. “My husband and I are family friends with his new family, so we knew where some of his paperwork details weren’t exactly accurate in some… glaring ways.”

“…Oh dear.”

“Yes. It has not been ideal. But here,” he pushed open the main office door, “let’s introduce you, shall we?”

Strangely, Mr. Nicklescribe wasn’t present in his office, but the new student was. And his appearance was… Roselyn had to force her face into a pleasant expression.

Elves looked good with long , flowing white hair. They didn’t look nearly as good bald.

“Feleron, this is Roselyn. She will be showing you around the school today, and tomorrow you start your classes.” And with that, Mr. Paqulamar left the room.

“Hello!” Roselyn stepped forward, a huge smile on her face. She held out a hand for him to shake.

“Uh…” Feleron looked anxiously at Roselyn’s outstretched hand. “I don’t… do handshakes.”

“Oh!” She awkwardly put it down. “That’s fine. Come on, the school’s not that big, this won’t take long.”


They cleared a few hallways, Roselyn pointing out important classrooms and office locations. Feleron barely made a sound, instead walking with .

“Uh, hey, do you mind if I, uh…” Roselyn took a deep breath, “mind if I ask you—”

“Please don’t.”


“S—sorry, just…” he sighed. “It’s a touchy subject. It’s all touchy subjects. I’m not really supposed to talk about stuff.”


“I also don’t want to, if that’s okay.”

“It’s perfectly fine! No worries!”

In fact, to Roselyn, it was more than fine. A new student who didn’t do handshakes, emotional vulnerability, or cave when questioned? The Pack would avoid him like the plague.

Which meant they’d avoid anyone who was associated with him, which was exactly what she needed.

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
2 years ago

Don’t Boop the Snoot
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

My eyes lit up as we approached the pet store.

“Yes! Finally!”

My mom laughed. “Yup, now don’t get too excited or you’ll scare the animals.” She smiled and patted my head.

We headed inside and I was hit with the smell of animals. It was… grocer than I was expecting, but I was still very excited!

“What do you want to see first, Micheal?” My mom asked as we slowly browsed the aisles.

“I think…” I looked around. There were fluffy dogs, slinky cats, and loud parrots. “C-can we look at the birds?”

My mom smiles “Sure, Micheal. Say goodbye to the kitties.”


We then headed to the birds, they had several pretty parrots, but they were too loud. I shook my head.

“It’s ok Michael. They aren’t always this loud. They are just excited to see you.”

I frowned. “M-maybe there is an animal that is a bit quieter.”

It was then that one of the employees noticed us. “If you’d like something a bit quieter, may I suggest something?”

I looked to mom, who gave a reassuring smile, and looked back to the employee. “Sure!”

He took us to the reptile section and gestured to an empty looking tank,

“What’s this?”

“This is a ball python. See him under the log?” The employee pointed the sleeping snake out.

“A pie-fon? Isn’t that dangerous?”

The employee smiled “He’s a very well behaved boy. He’ll only bite if he’s scared, and he doesn’t think you are on the menu.”

I nodded and peered back into the tank. “I wish he was easier to see.”

The employee smiled. “Would you like to meet him?”

I nodded and he took the sleepy snake out from his cave. The snake instinctively wrapped its body around the employee’s hand and began to flick his tongue curiously.

“What’s his name?”

“He’s called Spaghetti.” The employee laughs. “Would you like to hold him?”

“Yes please!”

He then handed the snake to me. “Just remember not to poke his head. They don’t like that.” I nodded and turned to my mom.

“Can we keep him?”



Last edited 1 year ago by Tale Foundry
2 years ago

“I Am Untouchable”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Wear brown. Never use alleys. Keep your head down. Never talk unless asked a question. Never lie. Never EVER lie. My father taught me those rules. My mother smiled in approval when I repeated them back. They believed they would keep me safe. For a while, they did. That was until I reached my thirteenth year.

At the time, Mother was pregnant. Father was working the pyre, so I had to go to market. My feet knew the way: just walk forward until soft dirt turned to packed dirt, then turn right. And there she was, standing in front of the rice cart. Her white fur shimmered in the morning sun. It was the whitest thing I’d ever seen. She seemed like a cloud. Then I felt nothing but shame. A cloud could never be with mud. How could it? It was impossible.

“I’m sorry. Am I in your way?”

Her voice was a soft bell, a ringing that cut to the very soul. I found my tongue tied. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was continuous thunder.

“No!” I managed.

I could feel hot shame in my cheeks. Then she smiled. Not a sly smile like kitsune usually have. A genuine smile. One that calmed the storm inside my chest.

“I-I mean… you’re not in my way.”

“Tch, kids today have no manners!” a voice said from the next stall over.

Suddenly, I was on the ground. My head was a drum with a madman trapped inside. My ears rang. She was yelling at him. Why? This wasn’t unusual.

“You can’t just throw rocks at people!” I heard her say.

So that’s what happened. I didn’t get up; usually the second rock was bigger.

“My lady, forgive this humble one, but she is not a person,” the vendor replied.

“Nonsense! Miss, can you stand?”

Slowly, I got to my feet. Then, the kitsune touched my face. My gods, she WAS a cloud. But…I’m unclean. I could feel the market’s eyes on us. I’d tainted the lord’s daughter.

“I’m Soryung! What’s your name?” she asked.


“Nice to meet you, Kyona.”

2 years ago

Grim Tutelage (Haloed Sky)
By: Frei

“I don’t know what you’re suggesting, X’in,” came the timid one.

“I’m suggesting to turn that analysis inward, Vlu,” came the other, carrying the same tone in mocking fashion.

Vlu’xilkik shook her head. “How could I do that to them? The poor Rishl -”

“Txak,” X’invinh parried, stuttering the flow of Vlu’s words. It was a harsh word, X’in knew. One that the soft one used sparingly. Rishl were the ones still asleep. Txak were the dead; the failures. It stung the heart as the tongue popped, and shamed the antennae that heard it.

“X’in…You’re asking me to desecrate them. To carve and smash them open, and for what? A maybe?”

“For the sake of the ones still asleep, yes.” X’in rested her hand on Vlu’s shoulder, at first missing, and then reassessing the distance. Her vision never settled, and only vague shapes made it through her eyes. Vlu jolted at the contact, resisting the urge to flinch away.

“I know that they weigh on you. You’re so very strong for that, and it hurts me more to see you boil in your own grief and guilt and blame. I know you’re strong enough to do this, Vlu. And you need to do it; for them.”

X’in waved her other hand towards the opening of the Tsa Valeer. Vlu’s eyes settled on the cavern. X’in’s grip on her shoulder was tight. Did she not want to lose her? Was it entrapment to this sinister end? Or was it merely the grip of a blind woman that found contact with another person? X’in leaned on her in many ways, from the time of her rising from the sleeping-sludge, to this day on the surface. X’in needed her teaching. Her language. Her eyes.

What if X’in woke before Vlu did? Would they both be here? Or would X’in fumble and let Vlu drown in stasis? Too many hypotheticals…But one path yielded comfort, even if it was gruesome. Comfort in control. Any mistakes she made would be her fault, alone. Sour comfort…

With a trembling sigh, “…We’ll need a blade. A-And a hammer.”

Last edited 2 years ago by Frei
2 years ago

An Upcoming Lesson in Pain
By MasaCur

Cassidy was thrown roughly into a chair. Her head was aching and her thoughts were foggy from the blow she took.

“Get her tied up; I’m contacting the big man.” The voice was rough and gravelly.

Cassidy felt her arms being yanked behind her, and a rope strapped her forearms to the back of the wooden chair, before being looped around her wrists. A whistle sounded in front of her, and she clamped her eyes shut, then blinked them a couple times. She saw a large thuggish man manipulating a dial on a box. The whistling seemed to come from a bullhorn speaker on the front.

“Doctor Van Nilsson, are you there?” he asked.

The voice coming back was scratchy, but familiar. “I’m here. What is the status report?”

“Found a redhead poking around near here,” he answered.

“Was there a man with her?”

“Nah, just found her.”

“Get her to tell you where Agent Doyle is. I’ll leave the means of your interrogation upon your own discretion.”

“Aye, you got it, Guv,” the thug said.

“Leave me connected. I want to hear how this goes,” Van Nilsson’s voice added.

Cassidy’s cognitive functions started to clear up rapidly as she heard Van Nilsson’s voice. She pulled at the binds on her arms, but she was fairly tightly bound.

“No point struggling,” another voice said behind her. “You’re not getting free.”

Cassidy craned her neck to see another thug behind her. She kept her eyes on him as he circled around in front of her. He knelt down and tried to tie up her ankle, but she brought her other foot down heavily, breaking his nose.

“Crissakes, just hold her down.” The first thug reached into the coal stove, and pulled out a glowing hot poker.

The second thug wiped blood from his nose and circled back behind Cassidy. “Sassy little bitch. You’re going to regret this.”

Cassidy took a deep breath. “I’m going to warn you once. If either of you two idiots touch me again, what I do to you will feel like the wrath of God.”

2 years ago

Untouchable (Tales from Alsair)
By ThatWeirdFish

The monk’s voice was gentle as the spring wind as she spoke. “What is your name, my child?”

“Vennik,” The bandaged man said.

“What brings you here to our Abbey?”

Vennik shrugged. “Just some food and water.” He stiffened at the whispers of the initiates pointing at him from across the room. “I don’t need much.”

“I see,” Said the monk. She frowned as a fit of coughing shook Vennik.

“It’s…” He hacked, “it’s not what you think.” He waved a hand apologetically. “I’m not-”

“You are.” The monk stood, hands resting on the table firmly. “For the safety of the others in our care, I must ask you to leave. Sister Mara will bring you what you requested once you are outside our gates.”

“I assure you it’s not-!”

“Leave. Now.” She nodded at the guard beside her.

“No. You-you don’t understand.” Vennik pleaded from his knees as the guard approached. “It’s not the plague, I swear. Please, just let me stay!”

“I cannot take that chance.”

“Have mercy on a dying man!” Vennik cried. “Please! Have mercy!” The guard brandished their tall shield and moved in front of the monk. They pointed their spear in the man’s face.

“Vennik, may your soul find swift passage to the moon fields.”

“No! No, please! I beg you!” He cried as he was forced out of the hall by spearpoint.

Mara found the broken man weeping outside the gates. His bandages were soiled from open sores and spilled blood. She wanted to gag at the putrid stench oozing off of him, yet she swallowed and stepped closer.


He looked up at her with his good eye, the other bloodshot with a dark ring around the iris. “Yes, Sister?”

“I have brought you some provisions. They should last you until you reach the next town.” She handed him the waterskin and sack of food.

“Thank you, Sister,” He muttered, eyes misty.

She smiled and gingerly placed a hand on his trembling shoulder. “Be blessed, my Brother.”

Tears spilled a thousand gratitudes down his face.

Last edited 2 years ago by ThatWeirdFish
Lari B.Haven
Lari B.Haven
2 years ago

Practical learner
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

Haven yawned, almost falling asleep from boredom. She had been re-reading the same text and holding a crystal ball for the past half an hour.

“What was I supposed to be learning again?”

“Magic,” Jack responded, flipping another page from the book he was reading.”Don’t even complain. I’m teaching you the way I learn it. “

“Riveting!” She whispered, looking back at the ball. “How do I make this intangible?”

Jack was not a terrible master magician; something excited Haven to learn, but reading scrolls and compendiums all day was becoming a torture.

She dropped the ball back on the table and crossed her arms. The man sighed and went to his apprentice’s table. Standing behind her, Jack glanced over the book and her annotations.

“May I?” he asked.

Haven nodded and lifted her hands to him. He locked his fingers on hers and caught the ball again.

“Everything in magic has ‘boundaries’, Haven.” He turned her head to hear. “What are the boundaries of this object? What is this object?”

“A crystal ball,” she replied, annoyed.

“And what is its current state?”


“We don’t want to be solid anymore.” He held her hands around the globe. “The same way I asked your permission to hold your hands, I want you to ask it to change its state. Imagine and change it.”

She closed her eyes and imagined the ball becoming so transparent it would disappear. Jack let go of her hands and watched over her shoulders. She felt silly, but asked anyway:

“Crystal ball, can you let me change you?”

Nothing seemed to happen. Until the ball warmed. After a few seconds, the heat became too intense for her to hold it, and she dropped the ball back to the table. The ball slipped right through the hardwood. Like it never existed as a physical object.

“Intangible!” She looked back at him excitedly. “I got it, Jack! It went right through it!”

Jack giggled, amused. He would need to change his approach. His apprentice was definitely a practical learner.

2 years ago

When Going Sideways Goes Sideways.
By: Iceburgh69

The hatch chime goes off, announcing the presence of someone on the other side. Bastion puts down the keepsake on the table and answers, admitting his commander and friend, Erick. The smaller man enters as the giant sits down on the chair.

“I saw the mess in the bay,” Erick says.

“Aff. Two of the new trainees dared each other to paint a mark on my armor. It did not go well for them,” the giant replies.

“I saw them cleaning it with toothbrushes.”

“It is a shame, really. The purple is growing on me.” Bastion nudges a step stool in place so the smaller man can climb up onto a chair. “They do have some potential, however. Perhaps direct them into investigation and espionage. They had almost made it.”

Erick completes his climb and nods. “We’ll have to see how things go, and hope that their curiosity doesn’t get them exploded all over something. What’s this?” He pokes at the button on the keepsake.

“What is wha-. DO NO-!” As the words die on his lips, the lid springs open and a hologram activates, showing off a woman in…risque attire and dancing in such a way that she is easily the center of attention.

Erick can only stare as Bastion closes the lid. “Ok. I wasn’t prepared for that.” He looks at the giant, whose pale skin makes his blush stand out all the more. “Crush of yours? I didn’t think the human body could bend that way!” Bastion can only cough in embarrassment as he puts the hologram on a shelf to Erick’s cackling chuckle. “Want to send a reply?”

Bastion looks quickly at Erick, but sees only humor and sincerity.

Last edited 2 years ago by Iceburgh69
2 years ago

Grasping time
by berserker47

Adlain took a sharp turn to the right. His pursuers weren’t really good at their job. Normally, Adlain was the one who chases, so he had an idea of how bad they actually were. Regardless, they surely were dangerous. Just not for Adlain. It was a really hot day. The asphalt of the street had soaked itself with heat for quite some time now. Sweat ran down Adlains face. He didn’t need to run, he would get away from those hopeless cases easily.

The reason why he was pursued, however, was way more serious than the people hired to do so. He had stolen something. Something rather dangerous, let’s say. Dangerous, that is, if you are careless with it. The object in question was a time bomb. Not a conventional time bomb, but one that would… explode time. Way more accurate than the name “time bomb” for a regular one anyways.

The small alleyway in which Adlain was walking didn’t leave much space for his pursuers. Rookies. Adlain was shocked what kind of security these lab rats employed. He had thought this whole activity would be a bit more… fun. But no, the part of getting the bomb was easy, and the part of getting away with the bomb wasn’t even difficult. To be honest, Adlain was a fair bit disappointed. The time bomb in his hand ticked, like a clock. It really looked like one.

Tick-Tack, Tick-Tack.

To come think of it, Adlain should have worn gloves. Retrospectively viewed, he definitely should have. The bomb started ticking faster, alongside everything else, faster, faster, tick-tack-tick-tack-tick…

His handed warped away from him, faster, faster, tinier. His head felt incredibly light, and his feet felt so slow, dragging on the ground, shuffling over the asphalt below. Everything twisted, and then, suddenly, it all imploded in a hot, white light.

He really shouldn’t have taken something with a “Do not touch” sign on top of it in the first place.

2 years ago

No Touching
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

Klajonas knew one thing to be true: she would always be found. She could run, she could hide, but Father or Vienas would find her in the end. This game wasn’t without some rules, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, for whatever moments she could take or finagle or otherwise make, she was free as long as she didn’t break the rules.

No leaving the temple.

No touching the scrolls.

No touching Father’s pearls.

Ah but they were magic. Like in the stories. Not boring like the fire or sword that her parents clung to. Real magic. After all, the pearls could talk and that had to be magic!

That was the real point of the game. Her real goal. Find more pearls.

She ran through the stacks, her toughened feet rustling on the cool stone floor. She got good grip here, where the floors were rougher. It made turning easier.

Father was coming. She could hear his footsteps echo and knew the game was afoot. He always started loud and got quieter as he neared so she was never quite sure where he was. He acted like that spirit in the stories, the one scared of salt.

She turned and ran deeper into the stacks. She wasn’t unaware of her surroundings, but in her childish way and the glee of the parental chase, she ran past the pearls.

She wanted to touch one. Just one. She wanted to feel it go away. It was better than hugs. Better than fresh clam soup on a cold morning. Better than salty seared fish. It was like being loved and happy and warm and safe. It was like Father.

She stopped running.

Should she take one then? They were his and like him.

Maybe he would give her one?

She heard a rustle and kicked out. Felt a small body crunch against her foot. A muted thud and squeak as it hit something in the dark.

A tear dripped down her cheek.

“Gotcha!” Father exclaimed.

Klajonas shrieked and clung to her Father, crying and laughing, as he held her.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
2 years ago

Her Biting Skin (Nyssa’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

Nyssa remembered her times alone, and how often that solitude would be interrupted.

It would usually be men. Some were well-meaning, others…less so. Either way, they would see her sitting in the tavern, or with her nose in a book, and decide that now was the perfect opportunity to introduce themselves to an unknowing stranger.

Nyssa was naturally quiet and often suspicious of others, but she wasn’t entirely opposed to socialising. She tried to be polite, and open minded. Problem was, most of them just couldn’t resist touching her.

Often it would be her shoulder. Others have tried to stroke her side, or her back. One even put their hand into her hair. Ultimately though, it would all go the same way: whoever it was would walk up to Nyssa, reach out to touch her, maybe already beginning to introduce themselves, and -BZZZZZT.

The hand would jerk away, either in pain or surprise. She’d hear an exclamation of confusion, annoyance or even fear. They would swiftly leave, and Nyssa would breathe a sigh of relief.

She supposed it was helpful for her, sometimes.

But she remembered the other times too. The times when she would brush past someone while walking, and -BZZT. The couple of moments where a barkeeper would pass her some water, and their fingers touch – BZZZT. The one unfortunate occasion when an excited child accidentally ran right into her, and -BZZZZT.

The people of that small town adapted to her presence eventually. They knew not to touch the little gnome with sparking, painful skin. They kept a wide berth.

Sometimes even Nyssa would forget. She’d absent-mindedly touch her face, scratch an itch or bite a nail, and -BZT. Her body would twitch painfully, sparks cascading into the air and leaving burns on her robes.

She’d be reminded, once again, that the magic buzzing in her skin was foreign, unnatural, stolen. A power that she never should have had, and that now hurt both herself and everyone else whenever she let her guard down.

Nyssa remembered her times alone, and how her magic would keep her there.