Writing Group: We’re All Someone’s Monster

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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Domtron
Domtron
28 days ago

Leave me alone By Domtron

“How many times?” Miranda’s voice growled as her teeth clenched tight. “How many times have you said that you love me?”

Bob’s eyes lit up, ‘why would she ask a question like that?’ He thought, surely if he didn’t say it a lot so why would she be upset?

“Oh I don’t know maybe two or three times I guess? It wasn’t a lot!” Bob was confident in his answer

“Really? Not the other times where I’ve told you to leave me alone and you responded with ‘love you too’ or the times where you kept on confessing even though I’ve said many times before that I am not looking for anything romantic?!” Miranda’s voice started to get louder. Her eyes swelling up with tears and rage as she looks at the man she once thought of as a friend.

“What are you talking about? Those are just jokes! I never meant to make you feel uncomfortable.” Bob pleads with his friend as he thought it was just playful banter.

“Those are not jokes Bob! That’s harassment! Whenever I’m alone with you I’m hoping you can maybe read the room and take a step back but you take a big leap forward every time! I’m done being nice to you! I’m done being your friend because you seem to not understand what it means to be a friend and not a creep! Goodbye Bob, I hope to never see you again, you’re someone else’s problem now!”

Bob didn’t get the chance to speak as he saw Miranda walk out of his house. He sits down on the couch letting Miranda’s words ring in his ear. He thought about the moments he spent with her and cried wishing it could all be different.

Lunabear
Lunabear
30 days ago

Unwanted Connection
by Lunabear (CW: Abuse, violence, blood, profanity) (Private Repost)

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.

tryman159
tryman159
30 days ago

Any words?

By Tryman159

‘’None. The last transmission was 15 hours earlier from Tiangong. After that silence….’’

Said the old operator halfway on his swivel chair, boots on his desk and a glowing cigarette in his right hand.

‘’And the last results from Bellings have remained the same. 10k Gray for Washington and the surrounding areas. And worse for most parts of the U.S., ranging from 15k to 20k.’’

Lifting his right arm to his mouth, he gave a kiss to his fire rod, leaving a faint trail of smoke, yellowed by the bunker’s lights. He turned his head slightly toward the metal door, where a young man wearing an old uniform with heavy grease stains, and leather boots was leaning.

‘’What’s the situation inside the silo?’’

The young silhouette leaned inside, after checking that no one was listening.

‘’Only that the Lips is spreading. More people are using and getting sick, but no link to anyone. The commander has asked that the problem be fixed…somehow…’’

Leaning closer to the old man.

‘’I think some of the men have been using. Some have been arriving late at their post and are getting sicker…’’

‘’Yeah, that looks like the Lips but could also be TB. Since we have been stuck down here, there hasn’t been much done to avoid that. Hope it isn’t…that thing is contagious.’’

‘’After 2020 and the few years after, I’m done with infectious diseases. I don’t think we have enough Advil left either, so lets avoid that.’’

‘’What? Afraid that a small tuberculosis is gonna take the big young man locked inside an old forgotten silo in buttfuck nowhere?’’

‘’If we are stuck all together in this small space, imagine the power of that disease. In a matter of days, we would have to either evacuate everyone or make a quarantine zone and lock them to die. Neither is appealing to me with what’s above and who could be locked in the danger zone.’’

‘’We’re all monsters to someone…even those that we don’t see.’’

Bringing his hand up, he took another deep breath of his small fiery pleasure.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
30 days ago

Tied down by the Enemy

By Tamela Redfin

There was nothing else to do except think about the end. No Cameron, you’re not gonna die down here. I told myself for hours and hours. At last, I fell asleep trying to suppress my hunger and boredom. It was still bright down there. I emptied my bag a bit and closed my eyes.

A woman’s voice shouted, “Travis! Come here. I found one.” I opened my eyes to see two creatures with pale grey skin and long claws. The cyphas.

The one named Travis crossed his arms. “Maybe we can carve a message to the Sulfur and send it back to her?”

“Hey, easy now.” I held my hands to my face. I noticed my legs were tied together, as well as my wrists. “Let’s not get Sulfur Cora involved. She… wouldn’t be very happy about this.”

The cypha leaned closer. “Oh don’t play stupid, you phosphorus! So what if she finds out? Maybe it’s better for ‘her kind.’”

“Look, I’m just doing my job…”

“That’s what you call it? Work? Another day?”

“But humans run this place.” I snapped my finger and a white flame erupted from it. The two backed away. I noticed many more surrounding me however. I used the fire to burn the rope.

“Typical behavior of a human; using fire to protect themselves. And Sulfur Cora called us the brutes.”

I scoffed at their actions. They just needed to open their eyes. Being freed, I decided I best inform our guards of what these beasts had done to me. Another thought crossed my mind as well. How would properly inform Sulfur Cora of this disaster?

Makokam
1 month ago

Chronicles of The Dragon: Nightmares
By Makokam

Like a stone thrown into the river of time, Jonathan Rose coming into existence sent ripples in all directions.

For thousands of years into the past mystics felt his arrival. A being sent to scour the world in fire and blood. To hunt down and destroy every single person. Driven by rage, hatred and a resentment that mortals couldn’t fathom.

A Dragon of The Apocalypse.

Some gave into despair, proclaiming humanity a lost cause. Some left warnings for those yet to come. Others crafted and passed down spells, rituals, and artifacts hoping to imprison or banish him. All hoped their vision was nothing more than a waking nightmare.

Yet, on this night, in his present…

“Jonathan…?” Jostica called, knocking on his door. “I had a nightmare…” She said, opening it and peeking through.

He looked up from his book. “You want to sleep in here?”

“…yeah.”

He scootched over and pulled the blankets open for her. She ran over and practically dove in. She curled up next to him as he pulled the blankets over her and tucked her in. “Go to sleep,” he said, then took his book over to his desk.

She sat up, “Aren’t you going to sleep?”

“Maybe later,” he said as he sat down.

Jostica balled the blankets up around her and pouted.

“You want me to sit with you?”

She nodded.

“Alright,” he said, setting his book down and going back to the bed.

Jostica grabbed his arm and pulled it in to use as a pillow, then she nestled down to sleep.

…he would chase away the monsters.

Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
1 month ago

“No Rest for the Wicked” [Content Warning: Interrogation and Mind Control]

By Arith_Winterfell

“I am sorry to have to do this,” I said as I sat down adjusting my glasses. I looked over the man restrained in his chair.

“Oh, I’m sure you are,” he said bluntly.

“It brings me no pleasure to do this, but you have information as a terrorist cell leader. Information we need to stop further casualties.”

“Go to hell.”

“If you just give us the information we need, there will be no need for the difficulties to follow.”

The prisoner remained silent. I focused my mind on the man. His facial muscles strained as I silently probed his struggling mind. He resisted me.

“Perhaps then a worthy challenge I suppose.” The man spat at me, but it simply spattered on the table between us. I simply withdrew a white handkerchief from my pocket and wiped away the spittle. “Please, just stop this,” I said softly, “Just be open and tell me the truth.” The man turned his head away.

I focused my mind again, and his face jerked to meet my gaze. He strained more against the restraints, then started trying to strike his head backwards against the head rest, but the padding there prevented him from harming himself.

I probed his mind further. “There. No. There, no still too resistant. Wait,” I whispered. “There!” I was in! I could hear his surface thoughts now.

“Wait, no!” the man thought to himself. He started doing multiplication in his head, trying evasively to clear his mind of any revealing information.

I pressed further. I didn’t need to wait until he ran out of things to think on. If I could just bypass this part of his mind… There. “Now you will tell me what I need to know.”

The words began to spill from his dry lips. The bomb placements that would have killed so many on the trams. The safehouses. The code signs. The names of more terrorists. It all spilled forth. I sighed softly, “Still more work to be done.”

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

Would he agree? (Victor’s Story)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero (Repost from Private)

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
Chengir
1 month ago

We’re All Someone’s Monster
By Chengir

They only traveled at night. Which, at least to hear Sir Gilbert tell it, kept him from expiring in the heat of the day. With all of Jake’s followers, they had no choice but to keep moving.

“I don’t know how you got so confused,” Sir Gilbert stated flatly, his eyes practically rolling up into his head.

“I’m not confused,” Jake replied, his rotting black robes curling up around his fingers. “It’s everyone’s duty to help their fellow man. Just look at all the people I’ve saved.”

Sir Gilbert surveyed the entourage following Jake. They returned his glance with soulful eyes. Most of them were dressed in clothes even the poor would have discarded. Or, more likely, would have burned. They had an earthy smell about them, an odor ladened with moisture. Like a farmer’s field plowed right after a rain. It wasn’t exactly unpleasant, but it was stale. It reminded Sir Gilbert of his late Grandmother’s closet.

The knight shifted himself to get more comfortable in his gleaming armor. “But those words you use, in the ritual, don’t you find them… odd?”

Jake gave him a wry smile. “Now you’ve got me there. But I’ve always thought incantations sound odd no matter what the words. They have a harmonic quality to them, like the deep ringing of a bell.” He raised one emaciated hand to scratch his nose. “And, if truth be told, I have no idea how the ritual works. But I think you can see it has an efficacious result.”

Gilbert frowned. “That’s just it. It’s not really what you think it is.”

“But it is,” Jake waved his hands at his loyal minions, “Save for me all these people would be buried and gone. Forgotten by the world. I’ve brought them back, given them purpose.”

“That’s just it, you haven’t.” Sir Gilbert cringed. “Just look at them. Some of them are no more than skeletons. You haven’t saved them; you’ve made them undead. That’s why they call it Necromancy.”

“Nonsense, we’re all someone’s monster.”

Iceburgh69
Iceburgh69
1 month ago

Inner Demons (CW: chattel slavery, abuse, neglect, PTSD) (repost from Private)
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.”

Connor A.
Connor A.
1 month ago

Guilt (Sword Isles)
By Connor A.
(CW: Blood, Death, Nightmare)

Vio pulled himself out of the water, choking on the rotting smell in the air no matter how he breathed. He looked around him and realized the pool was rising. With a quick swear, he found his footing and began to run as fast as he could.

“Kid!” He shouted. His voice had a slight echo to it. “You out there?”

He had no idea why he was looking for Marcos, but he knew he had to find him.

Something below began grabbing at him, but he trekked on until he caught sight of a familiar wizard hat. The pool was almost to his chest when he finally reached him.

“Let’s get out of here, kid.” Vio rolled Marcos’ body so that he was on his back…

Then paled when he saw the glazed look in his eyes.

“Kid?”

Nothing.

“This better be a joke.”

The body remained motionless. Vio found himself instinctively backing away from the body, only to walk into something taller than him. He spun around as fast as he could and saw the familiar face of Ceri.

“If I did not know any better,” she spoke with a hollow voice, “I would have thought you were Death itself.”

“Don’t give me that shit,” Vio snapped before he could stop himself. “You almost led our people into a massacre.”

“I do not take kindly to hypocrites.”

He was suddenly aware of how warm his hands suddenly were. When he looked down at them, his gut dropped at the sight of red.

“How many humans?”

Vio took a shaky breath. “Don’t remember.”

Ceri hummed. “We should turn to them, then.”

Before he could say anything, hands shot up and pulled him under the surface.

Vio shot up in the bed of furs and quickly examined his hands.

No blood.

After he got his breathing under control, he lied back down and looked at Oberon as he slept. Every fiber of his being screamed for him to talk about these dreams. Instead, he closed his eyes and hoped his quiet sobs would not wake Oberon up.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

Here Be Monsters
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)(Repost from Private)

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.

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Monsters For a Monster (A Divine Beast Story)
C. M. Weller

Market Day was coming with some interesting new hazards.

“Dad? Can I hold your hand?” Garsh was close behind Brother Felis and more than three times the Halfling Cleric’s height. They must have made a picture, with the half-grown Bugbear trying to hide behind someone far, far smaller.

Brother Felis reached up and accepted Gaarsh’s paw. “It’s all right. The town guard knows the temple’s ways. You’re wearing our symbols, so they won’t hurt you.”

“They keep reaching for their swords,” Gaarsh murmured, his grip flexing tight, then loosening again as he remembered his own strength. “I’m scared.”

Felis thought he knew what it was. “Markle’s been telling horror stories in the middle of the night?”

A voice far smaller than the speaker, “…’es.”

Those two should never have been bunkmates. They got along like oil and water. Bickering, rules lawyering, and pranks that often put Gaarsh in an unwelcome light. Markle cast Gaarsh as a monster from the first day he entered the temple. Every day after that, he conspired to show everyone his beliefs were true.

Brother Felis smiled up at his ward. “A kind word and a nice smile can show Lathander’s light within all of us.”

Gaarsh did his best. Alas, a smile by the mouth of an obligate carnivore could be unnerving to many. The nearest watchman flinched. Then, so too did Gaarsh.

“Maybe you should stick to a kind word,” Felis decided.

Gaarsh greeted the next watchman with, “Morning light shine brightly on you,” with an optimistic tone.

They boggled, but did not flinch for their swords. Small progress was still progress.

Last edited 1 month ago by C. M. Weller
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…

Marx
Marx
1 month ago

You’re A Demon, Harry
By Marx

It all started with a kiss.

Will hadn’t even been expecting it, but Shina had been very… eager in her advances tonight and he wasn’t one to reject them. It was all going as one would expect an impromptu makeout session to go until Will found himself growing steadily weaker, only for that feeling to immediately rebound.

He felt strong.

He felt pumped.

He felt Shina shriek in horror and run away from him to the other side of the hotel room.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” Shina whimpered, “I wasn’t going to take it all! I didn’t KNOW!”

“…didn’t know… what?” Will asked, still baffled by… well… EVERYTHING.

“That you were a Lilithborn.” Shina continued to keep her distance. “I swear if I knew, I never would have tried to feed on you… Please forgive me!”

“Feed on-? What’s a Lilithborn? Why did-? Why… is everything spinning right now?”

Shina cocked her head to the side and took in Will’s confusion and more importantly, his disorientation. “Was… this your first time feeding on a soul?”

“Yes. …Wait… I fed on a WHAT?!”

“My soul.” Shina repeated cautiously. “A fraction of it, anyway…”

“I’m… sorry?” Will stood up to steady himself, only for Shina to shriek again and frantically look for the exits.

“If you’re really sorry, then you’ll stay right there!”

“Okay… okay. Calm down. Geeze…” Will said, sitting back on the bed, with his hands up in surrender.

Shina looked guilty for a moment, giving Will a long, scrutinizing look, before she visibly relaxed. “Look, I used to be a thrall and you’re a Lilithborn. We don’t mix. Or… to be more accurate, we mix very well, especially when in close proximity. And while you seem like a nice guy, I’ve already done the servant thing and I like my freedom.”

“I… don’t get anything you’re saying…” Will grumbled in frustration.

“Look in the mirror.”

Will rolled his eyes but he did as she said, only to see that his eyes were currently glowing a vibrant gold. “What… the…”

“You’re a demon.” Shina confirmed. “Well… half demon, technically.”

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Sister mine, Monster mine (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

The pub known only as The Burning Cricket was lit by dim red lights, reflected off of red tables and red chairs.

Daniel hated this place. Not because the food was bad or because the wait-staff was unkind. It was because of this overwhelming presence of red everywhere. He hated red. It was the Armitage colour. And he hated being part of that family.

Across from him sat Emily, his younger sister. Her brown hair was tied in a ponytail, her eyes fixed on him.

“It’s been a while, since I’ve seen you,” she said between sips of soda. “How’ve you been, Daniel?”

“Around,” he said.

“That’s it? Around?” Emily went on, as Daniel didn’t continue. “I’ve missed you. And mum has too…”

“Stop. Just… stop.”

“Sorry… I was just making conversation,” she fiddled with her carmine shirt.

Of all things, Daniel hated that the most. Not only did it remind him of his mother, it was also the same shirt their dead sister, Victoria had always worn.

“Why did you invite me?” he asked.

“I can’t have a chat with my big brother?” she replied.

“It’s never just a chat with you, Emily. You’ve been trying to get me to come back to the family fully for ages and my answer hasn’t changed.”

“Well… Can you blame me?” she exploded. “We’re the last of our generation! And ever since Victoria and Scott and… I miss you, okay. It’s… lonely in that house. Just me, mum and a bunch of kids I’m not allowed to see.”

Daniel couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt in his chest. He’d never thought what it was like for Emily, the Armitage Matron’s full attention focused on her. She was so much like Victoria sometimes. Maybe that was the biggest problem. Yet, he rose and turned away.

“I’m not the Carmine Woman’s monster.”

“I’m not asking you to be,” Emily replied. “But if you walk out that door… you’re mine. My monster of loneliness.”

“We’re all monsters, Emily. Someone’s… monsters. I’m sorry. For everything.”

He wanted to leave. But stopped at the door.