Writing Group: We’re All Someone’s Monster (PRIVATE)

Hello, Creatures, Beasts, and Demons!

Hey, it’s okay. I’m sure you have nothing to be nervous about. Sure, I don’t see them the way you do, and I don’t have the same relationship, and… you know what? I’m gonna help you face this. It’s time for you to show me what you see, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

We’re All Someone’s Monster

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!

We’ve all encountered those people that just feel off, sure. But this goes a bit deeper than that, doesn’t it? This isn’t just the person on the bus that felt shifty or just looked off.

This is a chance to explore connections that we wish hadn’t been made. Perhaps you choose the young child who doesn’t like going to Auntie’s house because she’s just so strict that nothing is fun. Maybe this is about the employee who is always working so hard, but that one guy just keeps slacking off and then still takes credit. What about the misfit kid at school who just can’t catch a break with those guys who never tire of bothering them? The mother that’s fretting over her child’s choice in a significant other who seems to be a bad influence? You can look at each of these scenarios, but who the monster is in each one may not always be clear. What if Auntie is strict because the child likes to wreck things? What if that lazy employee is taking credit for the constant mistakes the other made without letting them know it? Perhaps those guys are just trying to ease the misfit into being more social despite their awkwardness, and maybe that bad influence partner isn’t as bad as they seem, just more free spirited.

It all comes down to the perspective of each individual. No one sees the world the same as anyone else. Sure, some share similarities, but not everything will be viewed as the same. One child can be absolutely terrified of that big, hairy, bug-eyed, white and red monster who’s laughter booms throughout the room, while another child will be more than thrilled to get a photo with Santa Clause. One person might see shapes in the darkness that make them hide under the blanket, shivering in fear, while their roommate gets up to move the hanging coat to somewhere it can’t be seen. Maybe, just maybe, our monster is ourselves, who we want to be, or even who we’re afraid we might already be.

It’s all about perspective. So venture forth and explore under the bed, in the closet, down the hall… but do be sure to proceed with caution.

The nastiest of monsters can hide even in the nicest of places.

—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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Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
29 days ago

Defense Systems Activated
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

It had been a long and arduous flight, but we had finally made it to the Sagitta III Star system.

“What’s our status?”

“We’re approaching Sagitta III b, captain. We’ll be arriving in a few days.“

“Perfect. Good work. You’re dismissed for now.”

The navigator saluted me, and I gave a hearty salute back. Taking one last look at the scans we took of the planet ahead, I turned around and returned to my cabin to take a nap. We still had a long journey ahead of us, there was no use getting too excited too quickly.

As I layed down and began to fall asleep, a female voice interrupted the silence.

“Brace for impact, captain!”

“Hu-?” I was jerked from the bed and onto the floor. From the sound of the impact, I could tell the
Ship’s collision defence system had absorbed most of the blow, but there might have still been damage. I jumped up and quickly ran to the bridge.

“Status!”

“Sir, a probe of some kind has attached itself to the ship. Whatever it was for, it’s massive.”

“Bring up the feed”

Our shipsent out small drones to inspect the area. What they sent back sent us into a state of shock. The probe had a large parabolic dish with an opening in the center. The other side of it had long tendrilous claws that did their best to grab onto our ship.

As we stared at it, it shot something out the hole in the center, and a few moments later, it ignited, destroying the drones and rocking the ship violently.

“What the heck was that?”

“Bringing up auxiliary feeds,” As the backup set of drones left, they saw another object be shot out, they were immediately recalled, with only a few of the drones being caught in the blast this time.

“Get some sensors on that, now.”

“Sir, we’re picking up a radiation signature.”

“What, so these are some kind of atomic bomb?” I stammered.

“Yes, it’s pushing us out of orbit.”

My eyes grew wide. “An automatic asteroid protection system.”

Last edited 29 days ago by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Lunabear
Lunabear
30 days ago

Unwanted Connection
by Lunabear (CW: Abuse, violence, blood, profanity) (Please don’t read on stream)

Rhodesia was turned as if on a gimbal. Her arms remained straight, but her trembling alluded to her gun’s possible fall.

Those eyes.

Filled with such calm calamity. So much promise of catastrophe.

She’d tried her damnedest to leave those eyes a memory. Of course he wouldn’t let her.

Adyin twisted her wrist and disarmed her in a single, fluid motion. She yelped only to have it shortened by his hand clamping over her mouth.

He closed his eyes and chanted a spell in his native tongue.

Dripping like hot wax down a candle, the revolver liquefied and oozed to the floor.

“Des, Des, Des.” He shook his head and clucked his tongue.

She despised how her name from his lips still left her quivering.

Pulling her close, he pressed his nose into her throat and took a deep inhale.

She lost the battle to suppress the violent tremor his touch caused.

He caught her eye once more.

There was a hint of… playfulness? Enjoyment?

Sweat sluiced down her face. Her pulse kicked against her temple. Acrid bile churned up her esophagus. She swallowed it.

He uncovered her mouth and rested the other hand tenderly on her collarbone. His caressing thumb left a heated silver streak along her flesh.

She could do nothing except drop her arms to her sides.

“Where the FUCK is my amulet, darling? And before you speak, don’t forget that I’ve been inside of you. I know when you’re lying, sweetheart.”

Her gut clenched. “I… d-don’t k-know. The Council took it into evidence before you escaped.”

“Fucking pricks. So you’re their lapdog now, huh?”

“I–”

Sirens blared in the distance.

“Looks like your shots got some attention. No matter.”

Adyin sank his row of fangs deep into the spot between Rhodesia’s neck and shoulder.

She shrieked as his venom invaded her system. Instantaneous tears fell.

Blood puddled over broken glass.

He let her slump to the floor and jumped onto the balcony ledge.

“That bite’ll keep good track of you. I’ve missed you, baby.”

Rhodesia clutched her wound as he disappeared into a cloud of mist.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
30 days ago

A Monster’s role
By Jesse Fisher

Looking out to the fading sun the young creature drifted back to the projection as it maneuvered to the control system. It’s mind raced at all the joys it brought but also the horrors that come from it.

The monsters that attack them seem so much louder after the game. They just attack without being provoked and breaking weeks worth of work.

With a sigh they booted up the system and readied itself for jump.

—-

“Come on, the beast is weak from last night.” A warrior cried out as they lead a group to the broken walls of a castle

“Once we get there we will be heroes.” A wizard cheered as it called lightning down to smite the monsters attacking them.

Thus the siege began to turn towards the warriors side as they broke through the fortification to the inner ring. Once they got to the throne room there was the master of the Castle.

A hulking beast that looks like a mix of a dragon, a rhino, a gorilla and an elephant. The mix made it seem so intimidating, and yet it sat on it’s throne. Next to it were several cages of wine along with the discarded ones.

“Don’t get angry, don’t discourage,” The lord of the castle sang. “Take a shot of liquid courage.”

The lord downed another cage before continuing. “Leave a light on if you’re able, ’cause we both know you’re unstable.”

“The monster is doing a spell to buff themselves.” The warrior called as the wizard started to charge their spells.

The dance began anew as the ‘heroes’ fought the monster to the point that one attack to end this for either side. Then a big box appeared before them.

“The server is going to be shutting down for maintenance in thirty seconds.”

The groan was clear in the combatant’s voice. As the world faded for them.

Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
1 month ago

Shovel Talks and Spiced Tea
By IsaDragon

“So, are you dating or what?” A feminine voice demanded.

Sarah choked on her tea.

When she could breathe again, Sarah turned to the speaker: “I’m sorry, what?”

She was a monster. Sarah thought her name was Merle? Merle-from-Data-Structures was on the small side, a bit larger than a human, all sinuous scales and sharp edges. She had a cinnamon stick tucked in the corner of her jaw, like a noir detective’s cigarette. Her bookbag had a tiny dragon patch in purple. Like Gregory.

“Gregory’s my cousin. Are you dating? Is he your kept monster?” Merle crunched the cinnamon.

Sarah blinked. “I whacked him with a frying pan when we met.”

“Yeah. Mind if I sit?” Merle folded her tail under the bench and lounged back, tossing one of her many arms over the backrest. It looked remarkably uncomfortable.

“Yeah. That. That’s why he likes you.” Merle gestured with rose talons.

“Huh?”

“That thing you do, noticing when we don’t fit, and making room for it. Gregory’s been over the moon for you since you thwacked him. He baked you an apology cake. Do you know how long it’s been since he was able to get out of his defensiveness and bake?”

“I don’t.”

“Years, love. You’re good for him. ” Merle’s jaw worked, and the cinnamon made a sharp crack.

Sarah took a sip of milky tea. “…Is this a shovel talk?”

“Yeah. You seem like a smart one, wanna skip all that posturing and go get lunch or something?”

Sarah blinked. “What?”

“You confuse him, he’s having a crisis about this tiny woman bruising his jaw and not being scared of him, he’s baking you cakes and bringing you coffee like he can’t decide if he’s intimidated or in love.” Merle smiled, her eyes closing and her lip pulling up and exposing a gleaning line of sharp white teeth. “It’s adorable. I approve, let me treat you to lunch.”

“He… likes me?” Sarah was human.

“He’d never want a sweet damsel, hun. He wants a monster for a wife, and you caught his eye.”

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

Written by the Winners (Victor’s Story)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero

Ernest took a sip of scotch and determination. Sizing up the dartboard, he leaned back and—trying not to imagine his brother standing in front of it—threw a dart.

He picked up the next, squinted, aimed, and threw again, the burn in his gut more than that of alcohol.

Victor: noun, “A person who defeats an adversary.” “The winner of a struggle.” Someone most would like to be, no matter the game.

To Ernest, it wasn’t a word: it was a name, and it tasted like iron in the back of his brain.

Another sip, another shot.

Sure, his brother was the victor; he had everything, starting with the love of their parents, and Elizabeth. Intelligence, inheritance…not to mention a goddamn immortal existence.

It wasn’t enough.

Wasn’t Victor the one who taught him little boys can’t reach the sun with wax between their feathers?

But Victor wasn’t the one who fell beneath the waters: instead it was Will, and Justine. The best of them. Then Elizabeth, and Father. The bravest of them. Victor’s wings melted, and he dragged them under. Of course, he’d managed to defile corpses, Elizabeth, and their very name along the way.

Ernest didn’t tell people he was a Frankenstein, as much as he could help it. It made people think of monsters.

A third of each.

Bull’s-eye.

“Why don’t you try?” He pulled out the darts, asking the figure in the corner.

“I fear I’d be terribly bad at it.”

“I didn’t say you had to succeed.”

The figure stood; tall, face shadowed. He received the darts, cradling them in his overlarge hands.

His aim was…poor, to the say the least.

“A little to the left,” Ernest leaned on the table.

One hit the wall. Another hit the board, but far from the center. The next a little closer. Ernest clapped, encouraging him, and he seemed proud.

Ernest’s companion fidgeted with the darts. “Have you thought about what I said?”

“Yes.” Ernest looked up at him, a sly grin carving itself across his features. “And I like the way you think.”

His brother’s monster smiled.

Last edited 1 month ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

Reflections of Destruction
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Queen Jehalynna sat in her empty throne room, grumbling to herself. The crystal ball on the stand next to her scryed over a battlefield, alight with spells launching through the air, glints from swords, shields, and spears, and not nearly enough bloodshed.

Crash! The heavy throne room doors clattered to the ground, hinges bent beyond repair. Standing at the source of the shockwave, where the doors had been sealed shut a second ago, was a boy, or maybe a man, Jehalynna couldn’t quite decide.

He strode into the room, the queen noticing his bloodstained clothes, long ponytail swinging behind him, and, most notably, the large sword on his back.

Someone else trying to kill her. Lovely.

Jehalynna sighed. “Did you schedule a meeting in advance?”

The man’s sword hissed out of its sheath. “I’ve come to take my revenge, Monster Queen Jehalynna.”

“Revenge?” She adjusted her posture. “What for?”

“Eighteen years ago, you commanded a troop that burned down my village. My father, Grithlic Mialar, stood against you on that fateful day, only to be cut down like the rest. I, Raylen Mialar, have come for my revenge!”

Jehalynna’s laugh echoed through the throne room. “So a ‘Grithlic Mialar’ was your father? Let’s see…”

She waved her hand over her crystal ball, and its appearance changed to reflect a long-ago memory of cutting down a warrior with a backdrop of flame. Then, with another wave, the scene changed to a different town with a different warrior. Then again. And again.

“Do you really believe you’re the only one whose parental figure died at my hands, little man? Oh, but you’re not much better, are you?”

Another wave, and now the crystal ball reflected Raylen’s memories of just the past hour, mercilessly stabbing guards in the back as he snuck into the castle.

“They had families, you know. In fact, it was Frank’s birthday. And look what you did to him.”

The crystal froze on the image of a corpse.

“All those lives destroyed at your hands,” Jehalynna smirked. “You see, warrior, I’ve accepted that I’ve ruined countless lives for my goal. But have you?”

She found Raylen’s expression absolutely priceless.

Iceburgh69
Iceburgh69
1 month ago

Inner Demons (CW: chattel slavery, abuse, neglect, PTSD)
By Iceburgh69

The world suddenly got loud. A voice from nowhere speaking in the master’s harsh tongue is saying something, what I don’t know. Merrick is just as confused as I am. We had seen that look on the master’s face once before. Before we came here with him. Before we were given food and rest. My belly hasn’t known hunger for almost a month now, and it is a strange feeling.

The master’s and mistress’ faces harden, and they stand abruptly, and leave. I squeeze my eyes closed, but it doesn’t help. I see our old master, the one who had put Merrick and I in our new master’s way. He’d simply swept us aside like we were cobwebs. We knew our master wouldn’t like the fact that we’d failed him. He told us the price for our failure would be our lives.

Since coming here with our new master, Merrick and I haven’t known the lash, but I can still feel it on my skin. The pain. The fear. I feel our old master grabbing me, using me, and casting me aside. Here, with our new master, we’ve known only gentleness and caring. They are even trying to teach Merrick and I their alien tongue.

I won’t fail them! Not like our last master! I am Kayla Hauptmann! The master and mistress have given me a name! A place! A new life! The noise fades as my body begins to move.

The scent of my new master wafts to me, along with the scent of blood, some of it his. My eyes snap open. The room is dark and familiar. He is sitting in a chair, watching me and his clothes show signs of battle, including… I must’ve clawed him! My stomach falls, and I begin to cry. I failed! Not only did I fail, but I attacked him! “Kayla bad!” I wail.

I feel a weight shift on the side of the bed, and a pair of arms wrap themselves around me gently. I then hear the master say, “No, Kayla. You’re good.”

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

A Peek Behind the Veil
By MasaCur

Su pulled out her key and quickly unlocked the front door to her apartment building. She scanned the streets quickly before entering and hastily shutting the door behind her.

The last two hours were a mess. The world went dark, maybe for a few seconds, but then when the lights came back, the world had turned upside down. Frightening creatures roamed the streets, and there were white holes in the sky. And it seemed like she was the only one that noticed.

Now that she was back home, she hoped that everything would be fine and she would be safe. She walked up to her apartment, clutching the bag of groceries tightly. She reached for the deadbolt with her key, but it dropped from her shaking hand.

“Everything okay, Su?”

Su took a deep breath, then reached for her keys. “Yes, Mr. uh…Mr. Vrabel. Everything is…fine.” She snatched up the keys, stood up, and faced her neighbor.

Su let out a scream. The bag of groceries dropped from her hand.

The creature in front of her was eight feet tall, with purple-black hair, and a single horn emerging from his forehead. His skin was a dusky red color.

“Su, what’s the matter? Are you okay?” the creature asked in Mr. Vrabel’s voice.

Su tried to work her mouth to say something, but she could only whimper.

The creature reached down and picked up the grocery bag. “Oh dear. I hope you didn’t buy eggs today.” It held the bag out to Su, with one hand, while pushing the oversized glasses Mr. Vrabel usually wore up its nose.

“Who are you?” Su screamed.

The door to the apartment next to Su’s opened, and Mrs. Patel poked her head out. “What is going on here?” She looked around. “Mr. Vrabel, what are you doing with Su?” She looked straight at the creature.

The creature shrugged. “I must have startled her. That’s all it is.”

Su looked back and forth between the creature and Mrs. Patel, wondering if she was crazy. Hesitantly, she took the bag of groceries.

Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
1 month ago

Gerrag’s Coffee Cafe
By Twangyflame0

Amy tried to keep her smile up as customers made their orders and such, feeling overwhelmed. This coffee shop was her first real job after college, which sadly didn’t use her art degree. She couldn’t help but feel kind of useless after having to deal with the mayhem of college life.

At least her coworkers were patient and weren’t prone to pouts of magic-babble. The elf she was working with now, named Maple, was very pleasant. She practically knew everything, unlike Amy who only knew how to draw coffee.

She looked up as the doorbell jingled and a new customer came in. The woman had a short haircut, was wearing a business suit, and was typing with a deep scowl that cast a shadow over her eyes.

Maple gave Amy a few cups. “Please take these to that table over there.”

She nodded at a table far away from the counter. Amy decided to take the hint. She could see where the wind was blowing and didn’t want to be in the middle of it.

The short-haired woman barely looked from her phone as she walked up to Maple. “Black coffee.”

Maple kept her smile. “Any specific brew?”

“No.”

Some time passed as Maple made the brew and then served it. The woman scowled as she paid for it. “Took long enough.”

She took a small sip and then spat it out all over Maple. “You call this coffee?! I could have found anywhere else!”

“Ma’am please calm–”

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” She slammed to cup onto the counter. “Don’t you dare tell me to calm down! I am a paying customer!–”

“Is there a problem out here?” A deep voice echoed from the door behind the counter.

The manager stepped out. The orc had to duck underneath the door frame. His work shirt concealed the muscles underneath. His dark green skin made his red eyes glow under his comparatively small glasses.

“Is there a problem ma’am?” He looked down at her.

The woman stumbled on her words before just grabbing her coffee and leaving.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
1 month ago

“Who Am I Really?”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (CW: religious persecution, implied violence against women and children, war)

Ira felt uneasy as he walked through the streets. His cloth armor shifted awkwardly and his spear almost opened his ear for the third time that day. Sure, the battle was over, but Ira didn’t feel as though it was a victory. There was no doubt they had won; the village was on fire, puddles of blood filled the streets, and some of the women and children were captive in the main square. But something within Ira felt that this was…wrong. That something terrible had just happened.

The young man pushed the thoughts from his mind. This was necessary. Otherwise those monsters would keep brainwashing people into thinking they were protecting them. Faith should be put in man and man alone. That was the banner he marched under now. Completing the last turn, he double-timed it back to the square.

He didn’t even have to think about where it was; Nebak’s voice resounded in the area.

“Hear this, you insolent people of a dying age! You have been brainwashed into thinking that the werewolves serve some great benevolent goddess. I have come to tell you the truth: Asena is nothing more than a justification for them to kill us without reprisal. All we wish for is liberation!”

Ira could hear his fellows hooting and shouting “Liberation!” He smiled and shouted with them, performing the salute of their group. Nebak’s smile was so wide his chin disappeared.

“That is what we, the League of Noble Apostates, have come to reveal! Heed my words! You, too, can be liberated! Step forward and join us in our mission to spread truth.”

There was a pause. Ira’s heart dropped. No one stepped forward.

Nebak clicked his tongue and shook his head. “Pity. Well, we have a rule in the League of Noble Apostates…”

The group shouted all at once, frightening Ira. “Thou shalt not suffer a believer to live!”

Ira fell to his knees as his comrades slaughtered the captives. Innocent blood hit the ground and something snapped deep inside Ira. Red rage flooded the young man’s senses. His teeth became fangs. Lupine fangs.

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

Monsters of my own (Haven’s Tale)
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

It wasn’t her first time there, but he was still hesitant to let her in.

Mr. Rabbit never had a problem with letting her wander through his mind palace and see all his unfiltered thoughts becoming physical things in a room.

This time was different. He was eerily cautious about it. The whole time he was squeezing her hand, trying to reassure himself that she was still there while they entered.

“I think it is time for me to teach you the most important thing about one’s mind palace.” His voice had a crushing gravity, sinking everything around it.

They left the spacious room and descended the staircase in front of them, each step drowning them in darkness.

“Mr. Rabbit, what is the problem?”

“I could have told you sooner, but you need to see it.”

The stairs lead to an exact copy of the room they just left, but savagely destroyed. Heavy metal gates in its entrance.

Contorted shapes howled in pain, like a demented chorus line. They rattled the gate with violence when they saw him.

Mr. Rabbit ruminated on the words, while Haven let go of his hand in fear. What was all of it?

“Your mind palace will house every single part of yourself, even your own monsters.” He finally explained. “Insatiable, brutal, scary, broken. They are still part of you; shadows you can’t see in the light.”

“And why do you keep them locked like this? Aren’t they… Suffering?” Haven was confused.

“They are my suffering. And I don’t know how to confront them.” Mr. Rabbit never sounded so heartbroken. “When they escape, I cave in to their judgment and… Hurt others, hurt myself. ”

Mr. Rabbit, who always looked so tall and gracious, was skulking and shaking in fear.

“Haven, walking in a mind palace and seeing one’s mind is beautiful, but can also eternally haunt you.” He let go of the gate. “We can’t always keep our monsters at bay.”

They returned in silence, she held his hand the whole way back.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

Why Me? (Daisy’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

I can understand why the people in towns and villages get scared of my friends. Really, I can!

They would be wrong to be scared, of course. My friends are lovely, well-meaning people once you get to know them…but still, I understand.

Barathor is tall, like really, REALLY tall. He’s built like a bear, but with the claws and teeth of a wildcat, and he has this sword that changes shape and sets itself on fire sometimes. Oh, and he likes to roar. A lot. So he can be scary.

Ooraak is kinda the same. He’s tall too, with dark feathers and a beak like a sledgehammer, so I’m sure he scares people too. He’s not great at talking to strangers either, which doesn’t help.

Now, Glimmer even scares me sometimes – but not like everyone else does! People get scared of their horns and orange eyes, thinking they are a devil or some horrid thing like that. But they aren’t! I just get scared because they keep drawing attention to themselves, with their colourful clothes and loud voice and their pranks, and I worry that it’s going to really get them in trouble one day. More than it usually does, anyway.

And Mary…she tries so hard to hide herself. She barely talks to anyone but us, and towns are incredibly stressful for her. Worst thing is, she has to hide herself, as much as I wish she didn’t need to. Otherwise, people would be so scared that…they’d probably burn her alive. Not that I would let that happen.

But what I’ll never understand, is why people are scared of me. Even when I’m not with my friends, they still don’t like me. Why? I’m just – I’m just a goblin! We aren’t rare! I know some of my kin are bandits, but I’m obviously not! I’m just trying to make people happy. I heal people. I keep my friends alive. Why don’t they see that? I try to be as good as I can, why can’t they see the light in my soul?

I…I just don’t understand…

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

Here Be Monsters
By RVMPLSTLSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

What surprised Klajonas most in that first week with niekas wasn’t that fire died. Nor that clams existed without pearls. Nor that the terrain changed with vibrant colors. Nor the loudness of this world without people.

What surprised her most was niekas’s knife. It was a crude thing of bronze and wood wrapped in rawhide. It was sharp and worn from use. She didn’t think it would open the clams they’d found, but it did fine.

“Tell me about Sostine,” niekas said.

“It’s a dead city. Only my family survived. We live in the temples.”

“Like the gods.”

“No, the gods died. Vienas says they were eaten.”

“Your mother?”

“I don’t know this word.”

niekas settled, their small fire lit her eyes like small fish in water. “Do you know what happened to the world?”

“Not really. Father and Vienas don’t talk about it.”

“The Liberator rose,” niekas said, “from the Deep. It promised a new world, a better world. A place where we all belonged as equals!” niekas cackled.
“I called Him a liar to his face, but my husband and baby boys accepted His embrace. So did everyone else.”

“Even the gods?”

“The gods were His prey.”

“You sound impressed.”

“You didn’t see the gods. Their temples are nothing next to them. He killed so many. Not just our gods. Juru was first, but Karas was next. Then the weaker gods, those who couldn’t oppose Him.
“He deserved the worship they got. He saved us from them and offered us a place. A home. A true family and divinity.”

Klajonas slept ill that night. Her dreams of family and solitude kept her from meaningful sleep. This was the sort of thing once attributed to the working of gods. One of those obscure coincidences that are the mysterious logic of such minds.

She awoke finally to find an arm around her. She rolled, felt a sharp pain and panicked in her sleepiness. There was pain again and she saw niekas and the knife. She fled into the night, leaving behind the old woman and her things.