Writing Group: I Can’t Believe That Worked! (PRIVATE)

Hello, Researchers and Skeptics!

You’re crazy, you know that? Do you really think this is going to succeed? Frankly, I’m not sure whether to support you or pray it fails. But you won’t listen to me, so I guess you’ll have to show me, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

I Can’t Believe That Worked!

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

Ah, the wonders of improbability and disbelief. We’ve all gone through it, I’m sure. Trying something, winging it, and completely unsure of the results. 

This could be as easy as trying a recipe and just throwing ingredients in the pot, praying they come out well. You’re so used to doing it one way, but feel like changing it up with the new spices you’ve acquired. Then your heart races as you get someone to taste test it, only to find out, hey, it’s really good! Too bad you can’t remember everything you did to it. Perhaps you would choose to explore the idea of a crew stuck in space for longer than anticipated, and having to constantly jury rig every repair, never actually knowing if it’ll work or not, though always pleasantly surprised when it does. Maybe you could even write about things you still can’t believe work, yet they always do. Like you’ll never understand how, if you’re in a sour mood, your best friend saying “beepboop” in their deepest, most serious tone always seems to make you laugh, no matter how upset you were before. You even try to hold it in, but they just get more intense with how they say it, and then you can’t resist anymore.

There’s also the side of this where you hope whatever is being attempted doesn’t work, like a mage coming across a long lost friend, only to find them attempting some ancient form of necromancy. They hope and hope it won’t work, because they know what would happen if it did, maybe they even try to interfere… but those lights are getting awfully bright, aren’t they? Maybe you decide on the story of a villain who has come up with some new, convoluted invention to fight the hero, but part of them hopes that they’ll be beaten again, only to find out this new weapon works far better than they had expected it to. It could even be something as simple, and as complicated, as making a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in too long, and you’re conflicted inside about whether or not you want them to answer the phone, and ending up surprised when you finally hear that click and a faint “… Hello?”

As always, there are endless possibilities to this prompt. It’s all up to you what ideas you choose to write about. Maybe try your hand at a new genre, something outside your usual.

Who knows? It just might work.

—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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Twangyflame0
Twangyflame0
1 month ago

That Worked… Somehow…
By Twangyflame0

Valik blinked as the magic circle began to crackle as red lightning lashed out. He knew that pushing the cultist leader into the portal would cause it to go haywire, but he didn’t expect to begin to explode. He began to walk around as the wind began to pick up and swirl around. He knew he needed something sizable to plug the hole in order to make sure.

“What are you doing?!” A small voice called from the stairs to this underground sanctuary. A little girl who he had already saved.

“Oh, I’m trying to figure out a way to stop this thing from blowing up the entire block.” Valik looked down at the out-of-control magic and then back to the girl. “You wouldn’t happen to have a giant cork on hand, would you?”

“N-No…” She shook her head. “Just tell me what I need to do! I’ll do it!”

Valik stroked his chin. Then he looked at the couple of tables that were in the corner. “I guess those can work. Probably would only destroy this entire building. Probably…”

“Then let’s get these moving!” The girl immediately tried pushing one of the desks towards the magic hole.

Valik watched her push the desks into place. He helped but kept his eye on the circle. There was only so much stuff they could throw into. The amount of stuff around would make sure the blast was restricted to the buildings, but they would still be caught up in the blast and…

Nope. Not the best time to consider the ramifications of being forcefully jumped to another plane of existence via highly volatile portals. Valik groaned as he and the girl put the final desk on top of the portal. Valik then turned to her. “Alright, what’s your name?”

“Uh, Zia, what do you need to do now?”

Valik smiles, “Ah, yes, nice to meet you, we need to run now.”

The next few moments were filled with much screaming as the two ran outside of the derelict building. Somehow, they made it out before the building was absorbed in red light and consumed.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

The Deadfire Manoeuvre (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

Ember had been very bored when she had taunted two poorly-hidden Pirate Ambush Interceptors into chasing her ship across the asteroid field. Now she was regretting it, not least because they had both just fired heat-seeking missiles at her.

She immediately slammed the thrusters up to maximum speed and dived into a hail of rock, debris slicing past her craft with hull-tearing velocity as she tried to divert the missiles harmlessly into an obstacle. It wasn’t working as she hoped though – these projectiles were fancier than she would expect from simple pirates, because they clearly had obstacle avoidance within their tracking computers, dodging the mass of rocks just as well as her.

“You damn knuckleheads.” Ember muttered to herself, trying to calm her nerves. “Do you bozos even know how valuable those missiles are? You could have sold them for more credits than you’d ever get from my scrap.” She took another hard turn through a narrow gap between rocks, but the missiles easily adapted to the trajectory change.

This wasn’t working. Time for something drastic.

Glimpsing a clear space in the debris, Ember sprang into action. She slammed the thrusters into reverse, rapidly slowing the ship, before quickly turning the nose towards the clear space. Then, in a quick one-two action, she fired the forward thrusters in a single abrupt blast, before immediately flooding the engine with coolant, activating the emergency shutdown.

The ship went dark, the momentum of the final thruster flare sending her ship cleanly into open space. Looking back from her cockpit window, Ember saw the missiles’ relentless pursuit slow, as their tracking tried and failed to find her – and they found another source of heat to track instead.

Specifically, they found each other, their explosion shattering the asteroids around them.

Ember breathed a big sigh of relief, even as she rapidly worked to wake her ship back up. “I’m sorry Keyla.” She said, stroking the ship console reassuringly. “I won’t do that too often, don’t worry…”

Then, with a flare of light and fire, Ember and her ship flew off, leaving her pursuers far behind.

jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 month ago

That happened
by Jesse Fisher

“And people wonder why I’m not a world hopper anymore.”

The blue robot kept his head down as projectiles flew in the air; laser, bullets, or arrows it kinda just blurred at this point. His visored head turned to the companion that seemed to be regretting starting this whole affair.

The companion was a yellow bot with white breaking up as it’s green electronic eyes dashed to the bot.

“And how was I supposed to know this would happen?” The bot’s gruff voice complained as projectiles passed there the holes in the horns on his head.

“I said not to touch it but you just had to let your curiosity outweigh your logic.” The blue bot replied as the sound of the projectiles kept going while the sound of foot falls began to mix with them. “And we got to move, now.”

“No augments from me on that.” The yellow bot followed as the blue one moved to the next set of cover.

Any words from the pursuers were ignored as the bots moved to lose them. Several hallways and a few blocked doorways the two bots had a moment to think about how to get out of this situation.

“So how are we going to get home, mister hopper.” The yellow bot sassed as they ‘panted’ from the chase they just had.

“Well I would have had it ready if you did not jeer them after we first lost them.” The blue bot shot back as he brought up a holographic menu and moving stuff on it.

“I need to get a power boost to do it but I might just have a way.”

“So how to get that up and running?” The yellow bot asked, looking two the walls. “Do you think we could pry off a wall panel here?”

A sound of electricity crackling and thunder rumbling before two thuds and it was silence the filled the void.

“Are you still with me buddy?” The yellow bot asked not seeing the other one move.

“Fine, just trying to vent the power.”

Last edited 1 month ago by jesse fisher
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
1 month ago

Boy runs into Girl
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Sometimes when you are out on the job, hunting for a story, grasping for the details, you feel this rush of invigoration, excitement, and thrill. You feel on top of the world, pushing forward as the weight of your peers and the readers that depend on you for information only serves to ignite the flames of passion within. Those days are excellent.

This wasn’t one of those days. I was standing around a subway, waiting on the off chance one of the biggest businessmen in Tokyo would happen to walk by so I could press him for a statement. But, I had been waiting for two hours already, and he hadn’t shown up.

I kicked out my leg and leaned on the subway wall, eyeing the incoming train. As it emptied, I began to sigh at having to wait for the next train, when I saw him. I perked up and immediately headed for the tr-

OUCH!

The sound of books hitting the ground brought me to my senses.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! Are you ok?” I frantically helped the woman up and began picking up her books.

“I think so. You should be more careful where you are looking, ok?”

I bowed deeply.

“I promise.”

She gave a little laugh and smiled.

“I might forgive you, if you help me carry these books to my work.”

“O-of course!” I said as we started to walk.

It was then that I got a good look at her. She was beautiful! She had long flowing white hair, brilliant purple eyes, and a pretty white uniform.

“S-so, are you a nurse?”

She giggled. “How did you guess? I am.”

“I’m an investigative journalist. The name’s Seiichi Ito. Nice to meet you!”

“Maya Iyashino”

As we approached the clinic she worked at, the lingering realization that I may never see Maya again started to set in . I quickly thought back to my favorite medical tv shows.

As we got to the door, I stopped her. “So, uh, do I have to be critically injured again or can I just call you?”

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

A Brand New Design
By MasaCur

“Andrew, are you here?” Cassidy poked her head into the carriage house. She could hear a ratcheting sound just inside.

“Cassidy, is that you? Perfect timing.” Andrew looked from around one of the carriages and waved her over.

As Cassidy rounded the horse carriages, she saw Andrew pulling a lever on his steam car. It looked different from the last time she saw it, although she had to admit, the last time she had seen it, it was full of bullet holes.

“Looks like you fixed your VeloCarriage,” Cassidy said. “But the boiler looks smaller.”

“Oh no, it’s better than before.” Andrew waved his hand toward the front of the vehicle. “I don’t need to heat a whole boiler of water. Instead I’m pumping water through a coil of pipes around a furnace, and heating that up.”

“And that makes it better?” Cassidy asked. She wished she could understand science the same way Andrew could.

“Yes, absolutely! Because I’m heating up less water, I only need a few minutes to get the VeloCarriage ready to drive. And, if my calculations are correct, it should be able to go faster as well. Maybe as many as twelve miles an hour!” He looked down at Cassidy’s arm, supported in a sling. “How are you doing, anyway?”

Cassidy sighed. “It’s taking a while. My doctor doesn’t want me to move it around, in case I injure it again. But I’ve tried exercising it, and I even bought a small revolver to maintain my marksmanship. I think he’s being overly cautious.”

Andrew looked up. “Do you feel up for a ride?”

“Are you sure that will work?”

Andrew glanced at the car. “In theory, yes.”

Cassidy raised an eyebrow skeptically.

“Well, no time like the present,” Andrew said.

Cassidy nodded. “I’ll wait by the door. Just in case it explodes.”

“Oh ye of little faith.” Andrew grabbed a small torch, and climbed under the car to light the pilot.

Cassidy flexed her arm as she waited. In a few minutes, Andrew let out a whoop, as the steam engine chugged to life.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
1 month ago

“Into Danger”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Tablet couldn’t believe it. This was insane. The Widdershins was a wooden ship. Without some kind of jury rigged metal covering, the ship, and her crew, would be dead in less than an hour. More victims of the Acid Sea.

“There’s nothing to fear, Miss Tablet. I know a trick for short voyages across the Acid Sea.” The siren winked to her newest crew hire, a sly grin spreading across her face.

“Captain, even if we survive and make it to the next sea over, we’ll be stranded without a ship. Not to mention far from any port. Are we supposed to swim?!”

“Relax. I’ve got a plan.”

Tablet sighed and shook her head. It wasn’t long before the Widdershins had acquired the crew’s needed provisions and set a course for the Acid Sea side of Port Curdle. Tartan, a portly ceasg and the Widdershins’s first mate, stood ready at the bow with a handful of papers.

“Everyone secured?” the merman shouted. His voice roared like a whirlpool.

Tablet tugged at her lifeline and tucked herself into a corner. She was going to die. She had left with a bunch of suicidal sailors and she was going to die. Zero smirked as the clear liquid hit the hull with a sizzle.

“Now, Mister Tartan!” Zero yelled.

With a grunt, the first mate threw the papers in the air. Suddenly, the papers transformed into mighty eagles with silver strings around their ankles. Quickly, Tartan grabbed hold of the strings as the eagles raced forward. The Widdershins shot forward with impressive speed, Tartan standing as if glued to the deck.

“Everybody ‘ang on!” Zero shouted with a laugh.

Tablet crawled from her corner to the starboard side. There was no way they were going to make it. She looked down to the ship’s side to see how fast the acid was eating through the hull. However, Tablet only saw black clouds in the acid.

“Unbelievable,” Tablet said, standing up and walking over to Zero. “Unbelievable.”

“Ain’t it? The Ink Sea residue worked like a charm!” Zero flashed a smile. “Next stop: land!”

Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
1 month ago

On the Path to the Wellspring
By IsaDragon

The gates groaned open. Ithmeir pushed his old bones just a bit faster to get away from the fiends chasing him.

He stumbled through the ornate gate, and they closed with a sharp snap, then a whump like something igniting.

Ithmeir spun.

The gates blazed with blue fire, and the fiends were screaming.

Ithmeir collapsed on a rock, trying to calm his racing heart, trying to figure out what magic they stumbled across. The doors were quite easy to see, illuminated in such a … distinctive manner as they were. A pair of massive statues, one holding two crystals, the other two swords, perched atop the wall, bearing the curled horns and wings of something more ethereal than had existed for a millennium.

And suddenly, Ithmeir knew where he was. He pulled Sword’s bare blade across his lap, and started cleaning the blood from the crystal blade. “I don’t suppose you know why those gates opened, friend?”

Sword hummed, its crystal blade shimmering a note that sounded like a question and a shrug.

“Playing the fool does not serve you well. Those are the Gates of Menthsis, one of the wellspring’s—well. They were sealed long ago, and would only open to the prophesied Hero. Fortunate, isn’t it, that they opened for us, but closed in time to keep the fiends out.” Ithmeir raised a greying eyebrow and shifted half the wrinkles in his face.

The sword gave a sense of sheepishness.

“Would you like to explain?”

(UNKNOWN)

“Sword, I’m not that old yet.”

(SHOULD NOT HAVE WORKED)

“And yet, it did.” Ithmeir sighed. “You know, for all my travels, I’ve never known anyone who could tell me the original prophecy of the Hero. It’s all newer legends, and what he will restore and that he will come. He never did, as you told me.”

(UNKNOWN. GATE ACKNOWLEDGED)

“So why open for us?”

(ACKNOWLEDGED: KEYSTONE)

“Hm. I don’t believe I follow.”

The sword made a frustrated noise, like gravel on glass, and went silent, but not dark.

Ithmeir settled in to breathe, while his friend worked out its thoughts into words.

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

The Spider’s Thread (Victor and Peter’s Universe)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero

It’s not night. There’s no night here.

But, as much as he tries to deny it, Kronos is human, and needs sleep.

His clocks are perfect, including those within, but he’s awoken in the middle of the not-night.

Something’s wrong.

Heart winding up, he strides along the centuries. His threads line them; the ones he strung on endless, moonless nights, like a mad conspiracist, searching for his true Timeline in Kairos’ wreckage.

There’s a strange tint to them. Filigree rubs off on his fingers.

That color he so despises.

She’s sitting on the floor in a tangle of moments.

Never touch the Timeline.

He told her.

He told her.

He’d never dare let another little girl near the Timeline.

Hiding it doesn’t help; it’s marred her arms and face.

The color he hates more than anything else.

The daughter he wants less than anything else.

“What have you done, Moirai?” His words contain something worse than anger, worse than disappointment. It’s most like the fury of a god damned once.

The fear of a man broken once.

She doesn’t shirk away.

“It was all messed up—”

“So you fixed it, did you?!” He spits.

“No. I just, sort of…colored in the best ones.”

This won’t be pretty. He’s going to—

He looks past her.

The golden moments, tying, trading off, leaving colorless branches. Creating a continuous line.

He knows immediately.

The Timeline he’s spent the equivalent of millennia trying to fix.

Failing.

He turns back to her, eyes wide. The words gentle upon his lips:

“You fixed it.”

“Huh? All I did was color in some lines.”

“And if that’s all Time is?”

Her eyes widen, then she shakes her head, trying to understand.

For the first time in millennia, Time walks over and picks her up, twirling her around, pulling her close to his chest, for once wishing his arms weren’t made of metal.

“You’re wrong,” she speaks, “Time is my dad, Silly.”

He’s told her not to call him that, ordered in the voice of armies.

But for the first time he’s glad to have a daughter.

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

“Wavering Blue”
By Shea (Inky Jackalope)

“Cian, I don’t-”

Ahi could feel his heart begin to race and his breath become staggered as the man attempted to bring him near the ocean, to which he quickly ripped his hand out of Cian’s and fled away from it. He knew it, there was no way he could do this, it wouldn’t work. Even though he wanted to get over this fear so badly, his trembling frame was evidence enough that it was impossible.

“Ahi.”

The way the man said his name never failed to bring him clarity. Cian was there for him, reminding him no matter how many times he required it. Letting out a shaky sigh, Ahi turned back to face him. He was smiling, his cobalt eyes soft as the sky.

“Let’s try walking out with you on my back, so you can hold onto me if it becomes too much.” If it had been anyone else, the redhead would have declined immediately…but he could hear the sincerity in Cian’s voice. Silently, Ahi gave a nervous nod, to which his boyfriend turned around and lowered himself before him.

Once Cian had a good grip on his legs and Ahi properly secured himself with arms around the man’s neck, he began to walk towards the water. His heart wouldn’t slow it’s beat as his boyfriend’s feet were engulfed by the blue, and the sound of splashing water filled him with panic once more. It was the same panic he had felt as the waves crashed over him when he was 12, nearly bringing him to a suffocating end.

“N-no, please, Cian!”

As soon as he cried out, Cian halted. Ahi felt embarrassment, his feet were barely touching the water and yet he was a tearful, gasping mess. “I-I knew it, I knew I couldn’t, I didn’t think this was going to work and it didn’t…”

“Don’t say that, Sea Star. We made it this far, didn’t we? I’m proud of you.”

Ahi gasped softly in realization. He was right, wasn’t he? Cian turned his head and gave him a reassuring peck on the cheek.

“Let’s go back to shore.”

tryman159
tryman159
1 month ago

But why rocks?

By tryman159

”But sir, I assure you this piece of equipment is among the best of the best in the intervals colonies.” Said the human merchant.”I have also offered it at half price and your representative agreed on it”.

”That might be true, but by Grats”ii, what am I supposed to do with this.” said the Tarki bureaucrat ”Its the size of the space port itself.” He said, raising his hands above his reptilian head.

”Well according to the contract sign over the acquisition and measurement of the material, it had being establish in humans meters as shown here and here.” The human merchant pointed to his pad. ”I understand the meter change for the galactic chamber of commerce but it was clear from our perspective.” The human readjust his turban to cover his left shoulder.

”This is foul play, human. Disgracious for your kind to abuse such a minute issue. You can clearly see the problem, can’t you? Was it only the size it would be one thing, but the material…”

”They are the highest quality. None better. Directly from the mines of Aswan and will last for centuries if properly maintain, which is another thing that you have requested to talk about.” Cuts in the salesman

” Yes but in due time. We need to fix the first issue. What am I supposed to do with this.” Pointed the reptile at the window.” It was supposed to be annexed to the station in 3 days. With this it would take months to simply move it and avoid leaving particle circling without risking damaging incoming vessel and leaving ones.” The reptile man, with a sigh of defeat, lowered his hands back to their resting place.

”Yes yes, but with proper maintenance practically no particle will leave its surface. We offer such maintenance with the construction but it require payment for it to be applied…”

”Payment!? You want payment for this….this….what’s your word for it?”

”A pyramid, Representative Cor’sss, and with proper conditioning it will last millennia”

”But why rocks?”

Last edited 1 month ago by tryman159
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
1 month ago

Rubber Ducks to Solve Your Problems (Witherleaf universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

The two greatest minds in the field of magiscience glared at each other from across a forest clearing. Witherleaf President Katrina Hostrin stood in front of the organization she led, Tasha Frazier stood in front of her bone dragon, proof of her victory.

“I was right, Katrina!” Tasha yelled. “I was and always have been! Look at how weak you are compared to me!”

“Tasha, you’re losing your mind,” Katrina replied sternly. “Calm. Down.”

“Admit it! You were wrong!”

“Look at what you’re doing! This isn’t right!”

“You still won’t back down, then? Fine!” Tasha clapped her hands, nearby trees disintegrating into sawdust at the sound. “I’ll just make you, then!”

That was when the first magic was cast. Flaming sawdust flew through the air, caught by freezing water pulled up from the soil. Both sides strived for absolute revenge on the woman who ruined her career.

From the crowd of onlookers, a young boy watched his two mentors fight to the death.

Oliver’s breath pounded in and out of his lungs. He couldn’t pick a side. Both sides had been horrible to each other, to the rest of Witherleaf’s magi-scientists, and to him. But they both deserved better than this.

Oliver needed to do something before everything went out of control.

But what was there to do? Katrina and Tasha launched attack after attack, no sign of mercy in their eyes. They were past the point of reason.

And, in his panicked state, so was Oliver.

He ran forward, approaching the fray, and raised his hands above his head.

“STOP!”

All of the spell energy in the air collided under Oliver’s command. It should have exploded, but instead…

A dozen rubber ducks fell to the ground.

The combat ceased as everyone stared at the phenomenon.

Tasha, still enraged and cunning, raised a hand to set Katrina on fire.

Another duck materialized in the pile as the spell failed.

“Please…” Oliver, hands shaking, let the tears roll down his cheeks. “Please, just stop.”

The clearing was silent as Tasha and Katrina stared at their student.

And the fighting ceased.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

The Cartographer
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (Fissure Library)

“But, my lady, there is an ethical argument to be made.”

“The fissure is catalogued. Is there any reason not to archive it, Cartographer?” Mornghynia asked. She tried to make it sound rhetorical.

Vrai was old, old enough that he had begun to grow hair. Sixty, perhaps. His pomegranate-colored fuzz was meticulously combed and he eschewed the usual headcovering their people wore in the Library. The Library was a static realm, tidally locked and dry sunward.

Mornghynia remembered her time in such a position at his age. He would want to gain and not lose what he had.

“Of course, my lady, but this is a change we have never recorded. A native ascendenc—.”

“A threat,” she said. “I’m not the only one concerned, Vrai. We don’t know what happened.”

“Which is exactly why we need to study it. Help the survivors.”

She closed her eyes. “Vrai, that is foolishness. We have no idea the implications of this incident nor if our knowledge is still true.”

“But they need help, guidance. Surely you would want the same in their position.”

She understood him. His argument was humanitarian, but naïve. “If my people chose to fashion a new god, I wouldn’t want the old powers or unknown peoples coming in to interfere in our lives.”

“But they didn’t choose this!”

She stared at him. She wasn’t the smiling type, especially not when she was right or when others made a mistake.

Vrai seemed to realise his mistake. He pawed his hair back and eyed her braid.

“How many realms have we mapped, Cartographer? How many of those fissures have been archived?”

“The dangerous few. Those we’ve contaminated blindly, such as the Dead Realm with those traitors.”

“And those Realms which pose a clear threat. Such as this ‘Crib’ as you’re calling it.” She came close to him, too close for his comfort. “Archive it.”

He shied away from her approach, the hem of her gossamer dress wafting on his toes. “Yes, my lady.”

She watched him leave, grateful she wouldn’t have to go into the archives to locate a suitable punishment.