Writing Group: Beginner’s Guide to the Afterlife (PRIVATE)

Hello, Reapers and Tour Guides!

What do you think lies after this life? Where do we go? Some say we die when we sleep… or is it that we sleep when we’re dead? Maybe both are true? Either way, I think it’s time for you to show what you think waits for us on the other side of the veil, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Beginner’s Guide to the Afterlife

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 afterlife. One of life’s greatest mysteries. What lies beyond this mortal plane? Rather ironic that this mystery of life can only be learned after life. Get it? Afterlife, after l— you know what, I’ll just take that to my grave.

The lovely thing about this prompt is that it doesn’t have to be about what lies beyond death. You could write about some big CEO who has fulfilled his career-driven dreams and finally plans to retire. What does one do with their remaining years after they’ve achieved everything they’ve ever wanted? Perhaps you choose to write about the perspective of an apple on the tree, ever growing until it’s plucked to pass on its sustenance to another being. Perhaps you choose to write about the tree, losing apple after apple. Or perhaps you write as the tree that prepares itself for its first wintery sleep. What goes on around it while it slumbers? Will its luscious foliage be missed? Will it be bigger once it wakes? What happens to all of its fallen leaves? You could even just write about a child that had their controller batteries running low. Maybe they’ve never changed the batteries before, it’s always been a parent or older sibling, and now they have to learn how to do it on their own.

You can also just address the death side of this, of course, like maybe you choose to write about someone studying what lies after death. Where do we go? Do we remain on this plane or move to another? Are we truly reborn? You could write about a grandparent that knows they’re reaching the end of their time, and so they go about arranging things with their family. Maybe you choose the next soul that is to take over the position of Death, and how they must go through training to prepare. Perhaps you introduce us to a spirit that is new to the world of the dead. A spirit who is lost, scared, and confused, and has to get through the first steps all by themselves. Or maybe a fellow spirit helps them adjust to this new world. You could even explore what it’s like to be a zombie after they’ve turned. What really goes on in their head? Are they as brain dead as the media portrays? Do they still feel, do they still think? Do they remember who they were before? Do they miss it? Perhaps you even just decide to peek into a dystopian future where all life as we know it has crumbled.

One thing to remember is that this prompt isn’t all about death. It’s about the life that came before, and the whole new life that could be after.

So go now. Breathe life into this new prompt with your immortal creativity.

—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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jesse fisher
jesse fisher
3 months ago

When Your In-law is Among the Dead
by Jesse Fisher; lyrics used from Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and Oingo Boingo

The dark navy wolf felt rather…conflicted. Ya see he wanted to spend time with his in laws, issue was his first stop was an underworld. And while he was demonic by nature, he never went to a place like it.

Now just visiting would not bug him, it was the fact they thought he was a departed soul that needed a rundown of the whole situation. He would not mind this but the fact they stripped him and put him in lighter blue robes, then there was a presentation going on before him.

First one looked to be some marching band reject that looked like it missed a dark glam rock concert.

“And when we go, don’t blame us, yeah.” He sang. “We’ll let the fires just bathe us, yeah”

“You made us oh, so famous. We’ll never let you go.”

“Well that seemed over dramatic.” The wolf commented to himself as the next one stepped up.

The next one looked like someone that was a chill surfer dude in life, and his voice added to it.

“I’m a stitch away from making it, and a scar away from falling apart, apart.” A mop top hair moved showing scars. “Blood cells pixelate and eyes dilate, and the full moon pills got me out on the street at night.”

The wolf shivered as that was far worse than the band reject, mostly due to the haunting look of the singer. Which lead to the rather dapper looking host of a skeletal nature come onto the stage. This one the wolf noticed from what his wife said he would look like.

The jazzy music came up as the local god of death began to sing.

“It’s a dead man’s party, who could ask for more? Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door. Leave your body and soul at the door.” Among the song the god picked up the wolf and began to dance.

“Hey,” The wolf spoke up. “Grangal sent me to meet ya.”

At the mention of the name a smile came to the skeletal face.

Cansas Smith
Cansas Smith
3 months ago

Dear Newly Deceased
By Cansas Smith (aka CansasTheWanderingMind)

Dear newly deceased,

So, you screwed up and got yourself dead. It happens to the best of us.

Maybe you got shot passing by an active robbery. Maybe you were the robber and decided to go out in a blaze of glory. Perhaps you we’re some thrill seeker or daredevil who became the victim of an unfortunate accident. You might’ve been featured on “dumbest deaths in history” or had millions lighting candles around the world in your honor. You could have been beat up in a dark alley and left out for the rats. Or ended up just another dead soldier, killed in one of your wars. It is possible that you died of old age, but we both know how unlikely that is.

Now you’ve woken up in a strange place and are unsure of where you are, or even what you are. Well you need not fear for we are here to help.

Who are we? I’m so glad you asked. We are the Patrolling Assistant Spirits Spectating and Encouraging Reanimated Souls. P.A.S.S.E.R.S for short. It is our job to guide every soul to its next place.

Some go to heaven and some to hell. Others choose Valhalla and some are sent to Purgatory. Some souls become P.A.S.S.E.R.S and some simply drift off into the abyss. No matter your race, gender, or religion every soul has a place after death. Even animal souls become angels or stars or creatures of hell.

By the time you are reading these words, a door will have appeared in front of you. This door will lead you to your first option. After you’ve had a look around say the words below and another door will open.

”Avaa sielun portti”

Each door will take you to a different afterlife. Once you have decided on one, let us know and we’ll set you up in your next state of being.

Should you run into any trouble or require assistance just give us a shout. We’re always be here to help.

Regards from your personal P.A.S.S.E.R, Epona.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cansas Smith
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
3 months ago

First Few Hours Being Dead
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“How do you haunt people?”

The tour guide nearly dropped her clipboard. “Hauntings? Dear, has no one explained haunting proceedings to you yet?”

“Uh, no,” replied the boy who had decided his name was Evan, “I’ve only been dead for, like, three hours? Also, when do I get to learn how I died? Who I was? I barely remember anything.”

The tour guide sighed, leaning against the wall of the rickety building. Well, leaning somewhat into the wall, as she was both incorporeal and not bound to gravity, so the whole action was quite useless, honestly. “Am I the first ghost you’ve met so far?”

“No, there was this other guy who found me and led me to this haunted house—”

“Please, we call it a Clubhouse. We have entertainment services running all hours, and the living stay away through what you may have once called a ‘haunting’ back before you died.”

“Right. Sorry.” Evan cleared his translucent throat. “So, do I get to haunt people?”

“We have rules and regulations when it comes to interfering with the living. Here,” the tour guide removed a flimsy piece of paper from her clipboard and handed it to Evan. “Our flier should cover everything about interacting with objects. Once you get that down, our website link is on the back, so you’ll have all your info in one place.

Evan read through the whole flier extremely quickly, looking for anything about more than just moving physical objects, but found nothing except advertisements for the Clubhouse he was already in. And to be very careful with all the ghost rules.

“Anyways, I believe that concludes our tour—”

“Wait!” Evan stopped her. “When do I learn how I died? Or my old name?”

The tour guide sighed, looking defeated. Check the news. If your death’s not there, it’s not anywhere. That’s just how it is.”

“… Oh.”

“Welcome to the afterlife, kid,” the tour guide messed with her clipboard. A blank name tag was stuck to the back. “You get used to it.”

Astrid Jones
3 months ago

Taskmaster Time
by Astrid Jones

Alan Haverty had never been a bad person, but he also couldn’t claim to be a saint. He knew there had to be something waiting for him when he died. He just wasn’t sure what.

What it turned out to be wasn’t at all what he had been expecting.

After taking his final, pain-filled breath, he suddenly found himself seated at a table in a conference room. It wasn’t blindingly white or suffocatingly hot. It was a typical, everyday office conference room. He blinked in confusion and rubbed the arm rests of the office chair.

The man standing at the head of the table cleared his throat loudly. Alan swiveled in his chair like a schoolboy caught daydreaming, noticing belatedly there were others seated around the table with him.

“Now that we’re all present,” the standing man said irritably.

Alan felt a ripple of anxiety. Had he been the last to arrive. Was he late? How did he even get here? The last thing he could remember was laying in bed, struggling to…

His breath caught in his throat. Whatever the man was saying was drowned out by Alan’s blood pounding in his ears. Did he even still have blood?

A clipboard cracked down on his head. It wasn’t a hard hit, consisting mostly of sound. Alan forgot his panic as he grabbed his head. He swiveled in the office chair to find the man who’d been at the head of the table standing behind him, offending clipboard in hand, arms akimbo.

“If you’re quite finished,” the man said.

Alan nodded his head.

“Good. Now please fill out your evaluation paperwork so we can get you assigned to the proper department.”

“Department?”

“Yes, department. You’ll be assigned to Ghost, Skeleton, Zombie, or Other. Now hurry up. We’ve got another session scheduled in 20 minutes.” The man walked back to the front of the table, consulting his clipboard.

Alan rubbed his head again. Even after death, time was going to be a demanding taskmaster.

MysteryElement
MysteryElement
3 months ago

Nanna’s Gambit
By MysteryElement

Nanna had always been odd. You could never tell when she was being serious or messing with you, and she LOVED messing with people. Even her funeral had been strange, with an empty open casket.
My mother and aunts had been the easiest targets, and I had somehow become her partner in crime until the day she passed. Even now, really. After the Will reading, the lawyer had given me a set of keys saying, “your grandmother’s final request is that you are the only one permitted into the house until you find what these keys open.”

My relatives were all anxious to go through the house, for one reason or another, so soon enough I was there. The first key opened the front door, but I was in no hurry. I wanted to secure anything sentimental before my family came. Even without trying, I soon found the small wooden box the second key opened. Inside were pictures of us, a small thumbdrive, and an open envelope. In the envelope was a checklist.

Make peace with Brenda

Hide silver

Pick up eggs

Place order with engravers

End the feud

Leave watermelon, Katie’s porch

Find the Yellow Sign

Paint doors black

‘Forgive Maxim’ had been crossed out and replaced with; Create Special Brownies for Maxim.

Paint over the Monet

Hide eggs

Find that thumbdrive

Don’t finish the pie
P.s. Make new pie

Plant shells and bells in garden

Set the trap

Etc.

Each task had a checkmark, except for ‘Find that thumbdrive’ which only piqued my curiosity. Some items on the list were so scratched out that I still cannot make out what they had been. The list had been titled, ‘how to live forever’.

A few days later, strange things started happening, and these occurrences are still happening, even today. When Nanna’s gravestone was set in place I could only smile. It read, ‘You Will Always Wonder if it was Me’ across the stone.

Sure enough, Nanna still lives on to this day in all of our memories, willingly or not.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
3 months ago

“The Shepherdess”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

The world shifted from black to gold as the recently deceased stopped sinking. Their eyes shot open as their feet hit what felt like ground, but appeared to be nothing. Dietlinde walked forward, her staff ready. The dead always panicked when they first see someone walking around. The seashells on the tip of her staff rattled as the strange woman tapped her staff on the ground twice. A calm came over the small throng and Dietlinde sighed in relief. For once, maybe the dead would be much more docile.

“Follow me,” she commanded, raising her staff.

Most of them looked at her. A few of them had a doe eyed look to them. Others seemed to be wary. Dietlinde sighed and pointed her staff in the direction they were to go.

“Excuse me, miss?”

The individual that spoke was a girl that, in Dietlinde’s mind, couldn’t have been older than seven. Her dark hair waved the invisible currents around them and her eyes, despite being void of light, seemed to radiate intelligence.

Dietlinde brought down her staff cautiously. “May I help you?”

“Are you Death?”

The staff-bearing woman felt like she tripped and hit the ground hard. For someone so young to make such a statement…

“Um, no. I am a shepherdess. Perhaps you’ve heard of us?”

The girl shook her head. “No. I’ve only heard about Old Man Death.”

Dietlinde’s eyebrows furrowed. Heretical teachings were nothing new: false psychopomps trying to trick souls. However, this was the first time she’d ever heard of this one.

Dietlinde cleared her throat. “Old Man Death is just a story. It falls to us Shepherds to lead souls to where they need to go.”

Then, the girl did something that the shepherdess rarely saw. She smiled.

“Oh, okay! I thought you were going to turn into an ugly old man.”

Dietlinde chuckled softly. “Well, if we have no more questions, let’s head to the First Gate.”

The shepherdess pointed with her staff, and, slowly, the throng of souls marched in that direction. Dietlinde followed them, keeping them together. Their perilous journey had begun.

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
3 months ago

First Day
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Cecilia jumps as the van hits another bump on the road.

“Hey! Watchit! You don’t need to be going 90 on a 45. I’m sure everything will be ok at the” Cecilia is cut off as another bump shakes the van. “…place.”

“Sorry, Cels,” Luke pulls his foot off the gas and the van slows back down. “I guess I’m just a bit nervous. This is our first poltergeist! The family has been tortured for months. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to handle this…”

“Wait, what did you call them?”

“A poltergeist?”

“They prefer to be called rumbleghosts.” Cecilia huffs.

“I… what?”

“Only the german rumbleghosts are poltergeists.”

“That’s a fair point… I guess. Just, I want you to take this seriously, Cels. We could get really hurt if we aren’t careful.” Luke says, as they finally break into the residential area.

“I will. I promise.”

The van pulls up to a small, clean residential house. The pair get out and carefully inspect the outside of the building.

“Got anything Cels?” Luke calls in the middle of changing his detecting device.

“I think the rumbleghost is inside.” Cecilia whispers, not sure if she should be quiet or not.

Luke heads to the door and opens it with the key the homeowner sent.

“Hello?” he calls out to no answer.

“Here, let me try. HELLO?!?” Cecelia’s scream reverberates throughout the house, seconds later, a young boy appears in front of them.

He looks at them and moments later, tosses a mug from an end table onto the floor. Luke jumps at the sight of a disembodied plate being thrown across the room, but Cecelia just scowls.

“That’s not very nice, mister! You could get someone hurt like that!”

“Huh? You can see me?” The boy freezes and looks right at Cecelia.

“Of course I can. I’m a medium.”

“A medium? B-but I’m not dead… am I?”

“I’m afraid you are, young one. Here.” Cecilia takes out a small book from her jacket. “This is ‘The Pocket Guide to the Afterlife!’ You’ll need it.”

“Uh… thanks.” He sheepishly takes it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
chronichDreamer
chronichDreamer
3 months ago

Heaven is Other People
By chronicDreamer
“I really don’t think that’s right.” Da’at’s halo wavering as his head shook.
“You’re a young god so the skepticism is warranted, even with the epithets you boast.” Smiling, Manson scooped up Doe in one hand as she came in with refreshments. He relinquished her of the load and began to undo her braid. “I think it would be best to show you.” Manson’s certain smile rested on Doe as he began to comb out her hair.
“Observe,” Manson directed Da’at to Doe, who hid her face in her hands as it burned.
Da’at frowned. “And your point?”
“The majority of the native population of my city are demons. While devils simply see them as tools to further their selfish indulgences, they don’t start out that way. They have their beginning as anything that falls into the godless depths of the Pit, as mortal souls twisted into devils.”
“Not much of a punishment,” scoffed Da’at. “The only wardens they have are the angles at the borders. How could this hell possibly compare to the souls being punished in the personal damnation we gods oversee? I simply think you’re being biased with your evaluation, yourself being a Devil Lord. I thought you were the king of greed not pride.”
The playful glint in the Grey Angel’s eyes faded as his gaze met Da’at’s. “You’re right. We have no fancy metric that evaluates the crimes and constructs the perfect punishment for the perpetrator. No constant supervision to make sure the hell they endure remains at the
peek of pain. We simply have each other.” Manson petted Doe’s cheek as she dosed on his lap. “Isn’t she sweet? You wouldn’t have guessed she was a succubus, made as object to sexual abuse and defiled like a toy. Now any sweet touch is overwhelming because the concept is so alien to her.”
“I see.” Da’at said flatly. “And of heaven?”
“The same. Heaven is other people.” He lightly kissed Doe on the cheek goodnight.

Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
3 months ago

On Love and Death and Dancing Dogs
By Isadragon337

“Hey Jackson?”

Jackson lazily cracked his eyes open, rolling over to look at Katarina on the other side of the bed. He didn’t strictly need sleep, but it was nice.

“Mmm?” was his very intelligent response.

“What happens when you die?”

Oh. Suddenly quite awake, Jackson put his thoughts in order.

“Odd topic for…” he looked at the clock. Blinked. Nope. Too early. As if to taunt him, the red numbers ticked over to 2:57.

“For?”

“Way too early in the morning, love.” Jackson huffed.

“You don’t sleep.” Even in almost-perfect darkness, Jackson knew exactly what her raised eyebrow looked like.

“But you do.”

“Then tell me, so I can stop worrying about it.”

Jackson sighed.

“If you don’t want to—” Katarina started.

“No, no, just….” He dragged a clawed hand through his hair. “Trying to put the words in order.”

“Take your time.”

Jackson smiled past the lump in his throat. If he still had his heart, he was sure it would have melted right then and there.

“Basically, I’m sworn to the Grandmother Hound. She is a death aspect, and part of being adopted was her eating my heart.” Jackson ran his hand through the red witch’s hair, to distract himself. Grandmother’s fangs were… here and now, Jackson.

“Mmhm?”

“It made me stronger, faster, which is, well. It’s not that I am much stronger or faster, it’s just that I don’t get tired. I get hungry instead.”

“Like most undead.”

“Yeah.” He paused. “I’m not quite dead yet. It’s a bit of a grey area, but legally speaking I’m what’s called a Living Hound or, uh, I think the direct translation is more like… ‘hunter hound who breathes.’”

“So…”

“I’m not going to become one of those blue rotten things we were hunting today.” He laughed, a bitter thing. “No, those are zombie dogs. I’d become a… spirit, of sorts, serving the Matron.”

“And if you were resurrected?” Katarina murmured.

“Please don’t try that, it would not end well.” Jackson smiled. “I’ll find you, no matter where the red dance takes you. I promise.”

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
3 months ago

[Removed]

Last edited 12 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
MasaCur
MasaCur
3 months ago

A Hotel in Limbo
By MasaCur

I was in a grand hotel lobby and I couldn’t remember how I got there. I didn’t recognize the people around me, nor found any of my luggage.

“Hello, may I be of service?”

I turned to the voice with a start and saw, standing before me, a tall man with shaggy red hair and a black silk suit.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure what I’m doing here,” I said confused. I stare at the man. There was something unusual about the way he looked. Something I couldn’t identify. He had a guileless smile that both did and didn’t seem to fit him.

“Not unusual for those that have just died,” the man replied.

“Died?”

“Yes. Please, sir, let’s get you checked in.” He led me to the hotel’s front desk.

“Name please?” the man asked.

“Diego. Diego Reyes.” My name spilled from my lips absently, as I tried to come to terms with my death.

The man tapped on a computer in front of him. “Ah yes, Senor Reyes. Heart attack. Always sad to see someone die before reaching their golden years. Shame when people die young. If you’ll follow me.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to catch up. “Where is this place, anyway? And who are you?”

“My apologies, Senor Reyes. I’m Azazel, and this is the Assessment Hotel.” As he spoke, details started to materialize. His black wings, his halo of fire.

“Am I in Hell? I mean, I haven’t been perfect, but I always tried to do right…”

Azazel held up his hand. “No, no. You’re in Limbo. You’ll stay here until we can extract the sins from your soul. Depending on the weight of your sins, you’ll either move on to Utopia, or into one of the inner rings of Hell.”

I hadn’t noticed that he was leading me down a hotel corridor. We stopped at a door, and he opened it. “Your room, Senor Reyes.”

“Oh, um, thank you.” I stepped in.

“Enjoy your stay with us,” Azazel said, his guileless smile beaming. “I just hope the sin extraction doesn’t hurt too much.”

C. M. Weller
3 months ago

At the Start of the Journey
C. M. Weller

Feah looked down at her body, knowing why she felt no fear at last. It had been a good life and the adults keeping watch turned away as her last breath rattled in her throat. They lit candles and lanterns, using mirrors to cast light into the shadows. She remembered doing that for her mother, but now… she could SEE the demons waiting to try and take her newly-freed spirit to pieces.

Yet, she was unafraid. Of course. All the things she had to be afraid with were gently cooling on the bier she had died on. There would be at least four keeping the shadows away from the body while her spirit gained strength. They would not speak her name until the minor moon, Lady Sleep, hid once more behind the mother moon, Lady Night. Lady Sleep would have Feah’s soul by then, taking her from the mortal earth into the realms beyond, where she would be judged by the stars. That was some weeks away, yet.

Those guarding her could not be pregnant, nor trying to become so. They could not risk her entering a new life and stifling the spirit of a child yet to be. That was a crime and would weigh heavy on her. So it was that her guardians would, and had to be, the men of the house.

They were called in, lanterns already lit and aloft, swapping places with the too young and the too old who had stayed watch before. When the sun again dawned, the too old would come to wash her. They would dress her for the pyre in a simple shift. Where she was going, clothes would no longer be necessary.

In a week, Lady Sleep would appear, both in the sky and by Feah’s side, to tell her all the things she must know before judgement. Then, as Lady Sleep journeyed behind her mother, Feah’s family would light a lantern from the pyre and set it into the sky. There, to become one with the stars, and guide generations thereafter.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
3 months ago

God And Quasimortal
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

The meeting of gods can be a ponderous and long affair. And it can be the span of a firelight. Such is Eternity. But the meeting of god and quasimortal is always brief and timely.

Father was giving comfort to a crying child when the stranger walked into Sostine. The stranger had a mass of coils for hair and red eyes. He was naked from the waist up and wore only a skirt, headscarf and half-shoes. Father knew he was a foreigner by the materials in his dress.

Father went to the man and stood in front of him.

The man stopped walking. “I feel you but I cannot see you.”

“Who are you?” Father asked.

“I am called Krao, spirit. Who are you?”

“I am called Father.”

The man chuckled. “Are all spirits so impertinent?”

“I am the defender of my family.”

Krao studied the town ahead. New building in ancient ruins. “Your children do not know you are weak. In my realm, you would be little more than a housespirit.”

“I am a god.”

“You are weak,” Krao said, his expression sad. He stepped through Father to make his point.

Father was surprised by the normalcy of man’s soul.

“I am here because if I return to my realm, I must die. This is my choice, to live. I will teach you, Father, to protect your family. I think you have been lucky so far, but there are powers you can’t understand and they dwarf the gods who set the foundation of this city.”

Father heard Krao’s words and wanted to reject them. But this was what he had been instructed to do, to grow stronger and protect. To claim souls and become a god such as Sostine had never seen. A monotheist city.

“Come, there is danger in the north.”

“There’s no storm.”

“Another god.”

“Klajonas,” Father said. “Are you feeling her tug?”

“Is she a wolf?”

“A wayward daughter.”

“Then she isn’t the trouble, Father. Come, I am teaching you to hunt.”

Father heard a distant braying and followed Krao, this strange agent from another world.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
3 months ago

The Next Step Of A Long Path (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

A rush of light. A distant song. And Nebella had arrived.

She was in the grove again, with its rainbow of flowers, the hum of insects, and the beautiful blue spring at the centre. She’d been here many times before, both here and in ‘real life’ – though the latter had never been the same since the spring became polluted. But in the Better World, the grove never changed, never faded, never died. Just like it was in her childhood.

In some ways, Nebella was disappointed that everything felt the same. But it also comforted her. The World that she had grown to love hadn’t changed. The only difference was that she could stay here now. No need to leave.

“Nebbie!” A bright voice called.

She looked up to see the familiar figure of her redheaded friend running through the spring towards her, sending gleaming water drops flying. Nebella managed to stand up, just in time to be nearly toppled over in a massive hug. She hugged her back, almost as tightly.

“Nebbie…” her friend’s muffled voice repeated, head buried into her shoulder.

Nebella’s hand ran through those ginger locks, marvelling at how soft they felt. “Dustie.” She softly replied.

They embraced for a long moment, before coming apart a little to look each other in the eyes, their hands still holding each other’s arms.

“So, you’re here for good now?” Dustie asked.

“For good.” Nebella warmly smiled.

Dustie smiled in turn, her eyes moist and shining. “Did you tell anyone? That you had decided, I mean.”

“I told my family. They took it…well enough. I think they already knew this was coming.”

“That was brave. I wish I had told mine before I left. Told you, for that matter.”

Nebella gently squeezed her arms. “I forgave you a long time ago.”

Dustie’s smile widened. “I know.”

A pause, before the new arrival turned to look beyond the grove. “So. How do I travel around here? Never had to do that by myself before.”

Dustie took her hand in hers, face beaming. “I can show you. Just follow my lead!”