Writing Group: Scientific Magic and Magical Science (PRIVATE)

Hello, Alchemists and Magicians!

How do you plan to do it? Are you even sure it’s safe? Tell me you at least took precautions to make sure you’ll be okay. If you have, then it’s time to see what this little experiment can do, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Scientific Magic and Magical Science

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!

At first mention, science and magic always seem to be polar opposites, don’t they? Science has to do with understanding the world around us, and magic is rabbits from hats and vanishing in puffs of smoke.

But look closer at both of these. There’s traces of both within each other. Think of any one attempting a potion. Combining enchanted and magic ingredients to make something that grants strength, or invisibility, or even a cure for some otherwise deadly bite. Or how about a teacher in a college of magic, showing their students that there is a specific process to enhancing the spells they wish to cast. What would happen if they get it wrong? Does it simply fizzle out, or does some strange mishap occur? Perhaps the class isn’t magic at all, but just a typical non-magic class studying chemistry. Maybe this is the students’ first time seeing what happens when you combine Mentos candy with Coke, wonder lighting their faces as it fizzles and suddenly geysers up to the ceiling.

Perhaps a class is visiting the science center. The flow of water, the wonders of electricity, even seeing how the planets and stars in the planetarium move. It truly is mesmerizing, isn’t it? The science center can ignite a passion in a child that sparks their entire career plan. Perhaps that child will be the one to discover something new, something that seems even more magical than everything before it. Perhaps the method they use seems more magic than science, baffling and impressing their peers. Or maybe there’s that one person who decides to combine the two worlds, creating a simple medicine, and finding that using crystals energized with positivity enhances how effective the medicine is.

The world of science and the world of magic are at your fingertips. It is up to you which ingredients you pluck from each and weave into a tapestry of words. If you will, think of this as your own form of alchemy.

We look forward to what you can concoct. Just remember to always wear safety glasses.

—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 3:00pm 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! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

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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MasaCur
MasaCur
4 days ago

Moving a Peach
By MasaCur

Akemi tapped at the screen of the device. “This is going to work, right?”

Kyoya sighed. “Yes, for the last time. I’m working off of the calculations you made. Concentrated tachyons streamed at the frequency your paper said.”

Akemi whirled on Kyoya with her hands on her hips. “Oh, please! I’m a genius. My calculations are impeccable! I’m just wondering if your machine is up to the task.”

“Of course it is. I’ve tested it. I just don’t know what you think this will do once it’s up and running.”

Akemi grinned and reached into her bag, then pulled out a peach. “Ta da. Now, we just have to put it into the Faraday cage, right?”

Kyoya just shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so. But I still don’t get what it will do.”

Akemi opened the cage and placed the peach inside. “Okay, now how does this work?”

Kyoya took a deep breath. He was counting on his friendship with Akemi, hoping that she wasn’t getting him to create anything dangerous. “Hit the start icon to begin the stream.”

Akemi scanned the screen and hit the start icon. “Okay, now I need to refocus the stream to a new location.”

Kyoya gently nudged Akemi out of the way and changed over to the new interface on the screen. “Where?”

Akemi read off a series of numbers from her notes.

Kyoya entered the new coordinates, and hit enter.

Akemi turned her attention to the Faraday cage and let out a whoop.

Kyoya looked over, and saw the cage was empty. “What happened to the peach?”

Akemi grinned. “Come on!” She pushed her glasses up her nose and grabbed his arm, pulling him from Kyoya’s laboratory. She led him to another room at the end of the hallway.

Inside, sitting on a desk, was the peach.

“No way!” Kyoya exclaimed.

Akemi walked over, grabbed the peach off the desk and took a bite of it. She held it out to Kyoya. “There’s nothing wrong with it. Apart from the fact that we just teleported it.”

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
23 days ago

A Discover and an Invention
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

Luke reaches carefully into the chassis of his new invention with his long screwdriver. Carefully, he adjusted some tensioning screws and probes at the connectors to make sure they were tight and secure. Completely lost in thought, he jumps at the sound of the door opening.

“Ahh!” Luke catches his breath as he realizes it’s just Cecelia.

“Y-you ok, partner?” Cecelia shoots him a curious look.

“Yeah. Just, I’m almost done with my magnum opus! I’m a bit nervous about getting something wrong and potentially killing everyone on this block.”

“W-what? What does it do?” Cecelia eyes the helmet curiously.

“Well… It’s complicated…” Luke thinks for a moment. “Ok, it basically lets me know where ghosts are.”

“Woah, like a medium? Would you be able to see ghosts like I can?” Cecelia’s eyes brighten.

“Not quite, but I’ll be able to see an outline of sorts.” Luke smiles. “Want to see it in action?”

“I kinda don’t want to die-”

“It’ll be fine! Trust me!”

“Ok. but, I’m standing back!” Cecelia walks to the other end of the room and watches Luke dawn the strange helmet.

When he turns it on, the thing whirls into life. Thankfully, it doesn’t explode, and Luke starts looking around. Through the goggles, his vision darkens as the clever electro-mechanical lense filters out the normal light of the room. Moments later, the second phase of the device kicks into gear, and the room lights up with a new different glow.”

“It-it’s working!” Luke exclaims. “I-I can see a glow of spiritual power around the cursed sword we found at that one haunted museum!” He flips around. “And look, there is even a faint glowing around my ghost hunting jacket.”

“Yeah, interesting! Maybe this doo-hickey actually works!” Cecelia calls out from behind him.

He turns to face her. He goes to say something when he stops in his tracks by the sight ahead of him. There stood Cecelia, even more radiant than normal, literally. Long tentacle arms of pure spiritual energy emanate from the psychic’s body.

“What?” Cecelia broke the silence. “What are you staring at?”

Last edited 23 days ago by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
DoJayMi
26 days ago

The Alchemy of Exploding Gold
By DoJayMi – An Excerpt from “The Agency of Magic”

“Alchemy, the bridge between science and magic.” Vergil began as he practiced his lecture,

“Known as the forefather of modern chemistry, it is the act of converting one matter into another. With alchemical runes, man was able to accomplish many things, but the ultimate goal was turning lead into gold. Previously thought impossible until Nicolas Flamel… uh… Ophelia?”

His wife sat across from his work table, resting on a large chair that barely held her enormous muscled physique. Her green head laid in her gigantic hand, barely conscious enough to comprehend his lecture.

“Huh?” She yawned, barely waking herself up.

“If my lecture put you to sleep, then I have no chance at the university.” Vergil sighed, putting away his notes. “I don’t understand how Cyrus did it so easily.”

“Maybe too much for ears, not enough for eyes.” Ophelia suggested.

Vergil scratched his head, “Yes, that old ‘show, don’t tell’ adage. But how am I supposed to demonstrate…”

A thought buzzed into his head.

“Ophelia, do we still have that artificial philosopher’s stone?”

The orc rose, her small horns scraping the ceiling as she reached for the top shelf and pulled down a small golden rock.

“Maybe… if I give them an EXAMPLE…” he churned his instruments and vials to life. Ophelia sat and watched with a smile on her face.

And now, came the final touch.

“Please be different this time…” Vergil poured the molten lead into a mold, and then shaved a single sliver of the golden stone into it. The alloy instantly solidified and stopped glowing. Vergil tipped the mold over and out fell a single gold bar.

“Eureka! I’ve finally done it! I’ve-”

A rumbling came from the nugget, bubbling from the surface.

“Uh oh…”

BOOOM!!!

His body flew into Ophelia’s bosom, cushioning his fall. “Gold go boom again.” She lamented, hugging him tightly.

“Guess I need an actual philosopher’s stone to make REAL gold.” Vergil sighed.

Ophelia hugged Vergil, “It okay. I like watching work. You get it someday.”

Vergil relaxed, letting himself be taken back to their room, sharing a smile with Ophelia.

KipOfTheMany
KipOfTheMany
27 days ago

Discovery
By KipOfTheMany

She had pointed ears as if she were an elf in some fairy tale. “What’s with the ears?” I asked before I could stop myself.

She laughed. “These? Just how I was-” She stiffened and sniffed the air. Shock and pity flitted across her face. “I never expected to meet one like you.”

“W-what?”

She winced,“Oh, whoops, I’ll explain.” She sat down on a bench and spoke as if by rote, “I am a Written One. So are you. We are thought into existence via quill and ink.”

I reeled from the bizarre statement. “You mean, like those myths? That’s ridiculous!”

“Then how do you explain these?” She gestured to her ears.

“A birth defect. You’re just as human as I am!” My frustrated disbelief bled into my voice.

“Neither of us are human. I can tell. You smell like me. All musty parchment and ink.”

I was affronted, “I don’t smell like anything!”

“You weren’t written with my nose.”

I groaned, “Even if I accepted that such phenomena existed, how does this process work? You can’t make something out of nothing! And you suggest that I’m also one of these creations! I know my own history! I was-”

“Abandoned at a young age.” She interrupted gently.

It was like she’d popped a balloon holding my indignation in my head. “I-I wasn’t going to say that. I would have said adopted.”

“But abandoned is also accurate.” She patted the seat next to her.

I sat down. “How did you even know about that?”

“It’s a sad beginning that many of the Written share. There are unfinished projects that a Writer may not know what to do with. So they leave them on a doorstep somewhere.”

I put my fingers to my temples, “I still don’t believe you. It goes against every law of physics, and biology.”

She shrugged, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

I shook my head. I did not have the energy for this. “That is an excuse people use to avoid doing research.”

A smile spread across her face, “Alright then. Do some research.”

Lunabear
Lunabear
29 days ago

A Few More Calculations
by Lunabear (Clatter Moon Universe) (Please, don’t read on stream)

The rusted bicycle’s wheels spin under Alden’s direction. They squeak like hungry mice. At least the chain is still intact. He stops one rotation with his hand and jots down the level of heat from the friction.

He turns and walks his fingers above the row of colorful potions before selecting a purple fizzy one. He swirls the tube while squinting at it from behind his goggles. All components appear stable.

He slowly removes one glove with his teeth.

Alden rubs his thumb and index fingers together. A few sparkling specks fall into the mixture.

He holds it at arm’s length as the purple becomes a sickly orange green. It bubbles and fumes.

“Steady…”

Alden waves his hand over the potion, focusing a more concentrated amount of magic on it.

When the concoction stabilizes, Alden grins and steps a small distance from the bike.

His long arm stretches out to the frame.

Forcing his nerves to calm, he cautiously tips the tube until a drop teeters from the rim. For a moment, the drop is suspended. Alden holds a painful breath.

Contact is made with a quiet sizzle. Where the potion touches the rust, it melts away, revealing the shiny blue of the bike’s original coat.

“Yes! Mom’s old beater is going to shine in no time.”

Alden corks the tube and sets it aside. He scribbles notes about chemical reactions and elapsed times.

What he fails to notice is the drop’s continuing descent. It eats away at the grass and earth beneath the bike.

He rereads his neat script, memorizing the figures and filling in how much magic he had used.

A rumbling from below captures his attention. An enormous eruption of water spurts upward, drenching everything within its radius.

“Alden! What did you do NOW?!”

He meets his mother’s angry, shocked gaze with a sheepish smile.

“Guess I need to tweak the calculations some more.” The geyser dies down, leaving small puddles and one side of the house soaked. “Annnnnnnddddd put a REALLY strong tarp down next time.”

His mom curls her fist against her forehead and groans loudly.

Last edited 27 days ago by Lunabear
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
30 days ago

Lecture on the Subject
by Jesse Fisher

The lecture hall was a buzz by the many beings that piled in from other activities. The eclectic shapes and existences of each seemed to form into a mass of color that moved as one. Chatter was loud and almost unintelligible outside of the stories being told to each other.

The sound of the closing door to the chamber hushed the mass, as a combination of clicks and motors whirling filled the silence. It was a robot of multiple shades of blue, a black visor as it’s face, and a yellow triangle on its forehead.

“Welcome to the possible impossible.” The bot spoke as the screen behind him came to life. “This week we are discussing Scientific Magic and Magical Science.”

Behind him multiple images began to pop up as the bot continued.

“In many worlds there are things some will call magic that are science and vice versa. Example: In one universe the use of alchemy is treated as something that would not be too dissimilar to how someone might do chemistry in a world without the former. While in another world alchemy is more like brewing some form of soup or a potion.”

As it spoke, videos of a blond haired man in a long red coat clapped before a lightshow of electricity and the ground beneath him, before swapping what looked like a magical school that had students placing items in pots.

“Then there are those universes that have a material that is normal that can be magical. Such as forging it into masks that could do things thought to be magic, and yet they are just a special type of metal.”

Up on the screen mechanical beings seem to be doing what the teacher pointed out, but then several other types of beings began to appear almost in turn with each other in hammer strikes.

“When you go out beyond this world, know that what seems impossible is possible.” The bot conclude.

“Next class will deal with using magic via technology. Class Dismissed.”

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
30 days ago

Late Night Repair Session
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

At this hour, Shaffir should have been sleeping. Instead, she sat amidst the disassembled pieces of her flintlock, glancing between them and the crumpled blueprints in her hand. The light of a flickering candle glinted off her exhausted violet eyes.

The door creaked open behind her, light coming in from the inn’s hallway. “Who’s there?” Shaffir grumbled, not turning around.

“It’s Ameliana. You left your room unlocked,” the mage stepped inside, closing the door behind her. “What are you even doing? It’s late.”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Shaffir picked up a small green crystal from the scattering of parts, glancing between it and the blueprints.

“… No?”

Shaffir sighed. “Touching up Keanorian. Heard something rattle ’round in it while we were fighting that rock monster thing. So I’m fixing it now, so it won’t explode.”

“You… named your flintlock Keanorian?”

“Yes? Look, I’m trying to focus, so if you’re not planning on helping, now would be a good time to leave.” She set down the blueprints and searched through the pile of springs.

Ameliana pondered for a moment before sitting down next to Shaffir. “I’ll lend an extra pair of hands.”

Shaffir paused mid-motion. She honestly hadn’t expected Ameliana to stay. “Uh, here,” she mumbled, handing over the crystal. “Hold this.”

“Wow…” Ameliana held it close to her face. “What is it?”

“Part of the firing mechanism,” Shaffir snatched up an oiling rag and started scrubbing the barrel. “Improved accuracy and recoil absorption. Don’t drop it.”

“It’s…” Ameliana squinted. “It’s magical? Your pistol’s magical?”

“I guess you could say that? It’s not much, really, just saves me bullets—”

“Can you tell me how it works?”

Shaffir looked up at Ameliana. The mage’s eyes flashed with inquisitive excitement in the candlelight.

Shaffir’s hands shook. No one else had ever cared enough before to ask, and suddenly that was both wonderful and horrifying.

Shaffir cleared her throat a few times before she dared talk again. “If you really want to know, I guess I can explain…”

Ameliana beamed in the candlelight.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
30 days ago

“Stealing a God’s Wings”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (Special thanks to pitl for his help with the coding bits!)

The keys of Shirin’s laptop clicked and clacked with the ferocity of a stampede. The qareen’s fingers were a blur as she typed.

“Launch the proxy… Send a request to ManaServer.Local… Add the security key. ‘function MainService () {manaLink = active}’. There we go… Request identifier: elemental… Just gotta… ‘var focus = “aerial”’. Boom. One mock apotheosis chip!”

Shirin saved her work and ejected the chip. It had been a headache and a half trying to save up for the hardware. Hopefully, the toil and pain would be worth it. That is if civilian security didn’t come. Shirin felt her heart go into overdrive. Her lungs refused to expand. With a deep inhale, the qareen calmed herself. The proxy would hold. She didn’t know for certain, but it was the only calm she had right now.

Shirin pulled out a wire from her robotic left leg and plugged it into her laptop. Time to make a bridge. Shirin booted up her coding software and cracked her knuckles. The clicking and clacking of the keyboard returned as the qareen chewed her bottom lip.

“Adding the chip to the registry… Let’s name it… Pazuzu. ‘try … catch (Error) { System->Halt(); Restart() }’. Link ‘0x0A0F’ to Pazuzu… Now to sync Pazuzu’s internal clock with the augment’s—”

Three hard knocks. Shirin froze. She still had the cable in her prosthetic. The code needed time to sync. If she answered the door, she’d likely be arrested. But if she didn’t, they’d bust in and she’d definitely be arrested. Shirin sighed as she stood up and walked over to the door. She opened it enough to show her regular foot. As she thought, a civilian security officer stood on her doorstep.

“May I help you?” she asked, trying her best to sound confused.

“Yes. I am Officer Fahim ibn Jalil of Bahina ji-Cepa Civilian Security. I’m here investigating an unauthorized use of the Mananet. Do you know anything?”

Shirin quickly pushed the fear down.

“No, sorry.”

The officer sighed. “Thank you for your time.”

Shirin closed the door, and her laptop pinged as she collapsed. That was too close.

Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
30 days ago

On the Applications of Runic Papers
By IsaDragon

“So what’s your focus?”

Katarina leaned over the counter at Stana. The mage pulled out a rolled up newspaper, and presented it.

“Just ‘his.”

“Paper? Seems fragile.”

“Paper is made o’ wood, luv. It’s practically a wand.” Stana’s eyes crinkled up in a smile, the very picture of innocence.

Katarina blinked, squinting down at the paper again. The newsprint seemed fairly norm—

Wait.

That ‘m’ looked a bit like an egeis. And the spaces between the paragraphs made an imprint of a circle. And was that a seal of—

Katarina very abruptly took her hands off the ticking bomb. The more she looked, the more runic etchings made themselves visible. She was far, far too close to this… artifact.

Stana casually flipped the newsprint in front of the ceiling lamp like it couldn’t detonate violently at any moment, revealing even more ink embedded in the page itself. That was way, way too many lightning seals for anything meant for casual use.

Katarina took a deep breath, and let it out, a little wide eyed and maybe a touch hysterical. “How has that not exploded yet?”

“It’s pretty sturdy, marks one through ‘ree just exploded, mark four imploded on use, and I think mark ‘ive is still exploding in the nth dimension,” Stana beamed.

Katarina very carefully poked the weapon of mass destruction (thankfully not literal mass destruction) back to Stana with the tip of a finger. “Who even made this?”

“Hrm… ever ‘ear o’ Echo?” Stana idly rolled up the newspaper. Katarina flinched.

“The… creator of the 2-D Knife and the Amulet of Warp Science? That Echo?”

“The very same. You didn’ hear it from me, but he runs with the Magnitude Engin’ these days, workin’ on some kind of large scale matter duplicator.”

“…what for?”

“Duplicating Relic Coffee? Or maybe infinite suns for infinite power. Possibly, he’s tryin’ to achieve FTL thoughts to, ah, temporarily reverse cause and effect.”

There was a moment where that was left to hang in the air.

“…he’s not working in the standard dimensional plane, right?”

“I very much hope not luv.”

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

More Things in Heaven and Earth (The Ballad of the Monsters: Victor)
By i-prefer-the-term-antihero

The flame danced on the table between my father and I.

“The world is governed by science,” I bit the words. “We attain success through hard work and discovery. People don’t just—can’t just—“ I ran my hand through my hair. “—conjure things out of willpower, air, and thought.” I raised my head to look at him. “Are you saying the world I know isn’t real? Isn’t mine?”

“Perhaps the world is stranger still than even your alchemists understood. How you can do it, I don’t pretend to know. But…would it not be stranger if the Personification of Death”—(I flinched)—“was as chained to nature’s laws as ordinary humans are?”

Surely none should be capable of disobeying Nature’s laws, I thought.

And—

Am I really not human?

“Will you try something for me? Take that flame into your hand.”

I raised an eyebrow, and picked up the oil lantern.

He laughed. “I said the flame.”

I glanced between him and it, then—realizing—stared at him, horrified.

“Tell it to come to you. It will listen.”

“Father—“ (But he isn’t, not really).

“Try it. For me?”

A breath. “C-Come to me.”

“With your mind, Victor. And your hands. Treat it like an animal you’re trying to train: it doesn’t speak your language, but it can understand your feelings.”

I sighed.

Shut my eyes.

Held out my hand.

Motioned for it to come to me.

Envisioned the flame unlocking itself from the lantern, climbing out the glass chimney, and strolling into my palm.

I peeked open an eye. Then both opened wide, along with my mouth.

The flame hovered just above my palm.

I shot up. “W-Wh-WhatdoIdo?!”

My father laughed again. “Breathe, for a start. Remember: it will do what you want it to.”

I tried to temper my breath, my jittering heart. I placed my hand, trembling, at the edge of the glass, as if pouring a water droplet into a pitcher.

The flame slid back into place.

“When”—My voice shook—“When I found Agrippa in the inn at Thonon, you said I shouldn’t waste time with meaningless drivel.”

“This isn’t alchemy. This is magic.”

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
1 month ago

For Each Child, A Home
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

“Since you won’t tell me what I want to know, tell me, what is it like? Cultivating your power, Mother? Father never would tell me,” the Wanderer said.

Mother Fate ignored her, painting.

“Human husbandry.”

“It is not like that.”

“What then?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

The Wanderer smiled, laughing. “No? You think I don’t have children of my own, Mother?”

“You say ‘mother’ with such scorn.”

“They never got to call me that.”

Mother Fate stopped painting. “Why not?”

“I blame my own mother for that,” the Wanderer said. “Among other things.”

“Every child needs a home.”

“So says Father.”

“You disagree?”

The Wanderer’s eyes were like deep ice. “What is it like, Mother, cultivating your power? Your children give you power. Some children are rebellious and grow mine. Some are different and grow Tai’s. Some grow Death’s. Some grow the Usurper’s.
“What event could be so calamitous? So large that it affected all your children and Father’s, even though neither of you talks about it?”

Mother Fate mixed shades of red into Her work.

“I hear rumors, you know. Stories—.”

“You are made of stories.”

“Every parent tells stories. Kind or cruel.”

“I should stop them from telling yours.”

The Wanderer smiled demurely. “You would just drive them to me. That’s why you haven’t.”

Mother Fate painted on.

“What are you all so scared of, Mother? Tell me what happened. Show me your painting.”

“You shouldn’t know.”

“It scares you more than the Usurper.”

“It scares me more than you do.”

“Then let me help!” The Wanderer was on her feet now. “You, and Father—you are a home for those with homes! But you can’t offer anything for those with other needs!”

“And you can, Wanderer?” Fate asked.

“I am hope for the lost! For the endangered and abused. You can’t help them. They don’t need a mother.”

Fate seemed small to her, diminished. She watched as the painting was revealed to her. It was mostly red.

“The Deep One cometh,” Fate whispered. “And we will need all our children, Wanderer. We need each soul to answer the call.”

Shaviathan
Shaviathan
1 month ago

Word on the Street
By Shaviathan

“Ugh, finally.” Sullivan slumped against the alley wall of the police station and pulled out a cigarette, patting down his pockets for matches. “Damn it.”

“Need me to get that for you?” Davison asked, holding out his chromed-up arm. He snapped his fingers, igniting the lighter in his index and lit the cigarette.

“Thanks. So, what’re you doing here anyway?”

“Packing, before they transfer me to the mage district”

“The rich folks? The hell’s got them spooked?”

“Buddy of mine says it’s a new gang. Group called ‘Vampers’, short for ‘Vein-amplifiers’. Got some kind of new tech that lets them drain the mage blood from a sorcerer and makes it compatible with their system. The mixed blood works through their body, enhancing it like in mages’ bodies and gives them the capabilities of a magic user while being born without the blood.”

“Bullshit.”

“Hey, he’s a good source! Even said that some of the Vampers get their arms chromed up, replacing their fingers with these syringes that pump the blood straight into their heart.”

“Nonsense, no gang could come up with something that sophisticated. More likely it’s all just some big marketing scheme for a new product the corps cooked up. Some new cybernetic augment that can acclimate mage blood to the body of a non-magic. ‘Granting greater strength and a longer lifespan. All the magic in the world, for just a drop of blood.’ And about a million in debt. What do you think?”

“I think you should’ve been in marketing”

Sullivan scoffed at the idea. “Sure, and I bet they’d assassinate me for spilling secrets.”

A thud in the alley distracted them. A hooded man lay over a sprawled-out woman, a low moaning coming from the couple.

“Oh, for fucks sake-” Sullivan kicked a can towards the couple, “HEY! Take it to a motel before I-”

The hooded figure raised his head. Blood dripped from two dagger sized drills that folded out from his maw into a pair of mandibles. His eyes were a beacon of red in the darkness, like a predator that found its next prey.

Clanso
Clanso
1 month ago

The Stuffomancer makes a friend
By Clanso

The Stuffomancer bends over her creation, sewing needle in hand, lips curled into a hideous grin….! Lightning flashes in the rainy night sky over her castle and she let’s out a laugh that chills everyone who hears it to the bone….!!!

A large hand slaps the Stuffomancers newest project to the ground. She looks up to see the Tyrant King of the Court of Education and his loyal cronies, sneering at her, making fun of her work! She tries to fight down tears of humiliation as she gathers up her materials and flees the Court, foul language being thrown after her as runs. She holds her half-finished creation as she dashes for her hiding place among the trees. I’m not playing with toys!!, the Stuffomancer wants to shout. She’s a Stuffomancer! She’s a mighty mage of dark science, capable of bringing life to her creations. They would all see one day. She’d make them see.

When she stops running she’s in a part of the woods she doesn’t recognize. It’s far darker than it should be and she doesn’t hear any animal sounds. The only sound she can hear is whispering, coming from far off into the trees. She clutches the plushy a bit harder and slowly makes her way towards the whispers.

They lead her to a large tree carved with intricate symbols,around which the darkness seems to be almost liquid. Is….is the darkness the source of the whispers?

She gets cold feet then and wants to turn back but now those feet won’t stop moving. Pulled like a thread through a needle she reaches the edge of the darkness.

The whispers stop. The darkness looms over,
and then suddenly bears down upon her, screaming and threatening to swallow her whole. Out of instinct she holds up her plushy like a protective shield. Then, as quickly as it has started, it’s all gone.

The plushy in the Stuffomancers grip twitches and turns it’s head around 180 degrees to look at her. She wipes the tears from her eyes. They would all see now. They’d make them see.

Astrid Jones
1 month ago

Why Open Flame Should Never Be Used In Proximity to Mioproteus Podostroma
by Astrid Jones

There was a reason for the warning notices on the doors of the Experimentation Wing of the Academy of Royal Service. On the third day of the spring planting, the entire city was reminded why the yellowing parchment was there.

The explosion leveled a quarter of the wing. The students survived, thanks to the quick wits of their professor. All were found encased in a swirling ball of muddy water. As the excavation team worked to remove the rubble from around the class, shouting from inside the sphere could be heard.

“How many times, Jeremy? How many times have you been reminded you cannot use fire of any sort while in this wing?”

“But it was only—”

“Of ANY SORT! That includes finger-flames to reheat your tea. Fire, magical or mundane, reacts violently with the spores of the Mioproteus Podostroma. Speaking of which, give me that.”

“My tea!”

A slightly darker brown streak appeared in the swirling orb of water.

“It has been heavily stressed that consumables are not allowed in this class, especially during the section on fungal spores. Heavens, Jeremy, the section on that was just two days ago.”

“But tea’s a drinkable, Mr. Conyfer.”

“You almost killed the entire class!”

Three pairs of school officials descended into the pit and approached the ball of water.

“Mr. Conyfer, it is safe to release your students now,” the leader of the group called out.

The muddy liquid dropped without warning, soaking everyone who had been inside its protective barrier. Terrified students stumbled under the sudden weight of their sopping robes. All except Jeremy, held up by his collar by a red-faced Mr. Conyfer.

“Normally we would ask that a thorough report of the incident be written by the instructor, but I think we all agree that what happened can be easily deduced,” the head official stated, glancing at the rubble. “You can release your student to us, Mr. Conyfer.”

“Wherever you put him, make sure there’s nothing flammable around,” Mr. Conyfer said, pushing Jeremy forward. “The academy can’t afford another full remodel.”

Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
1 month ago

It just makes sense!
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

“I was thinking about something, Jack…” Haven approached him with a flustered tone, dropping several books on the table.

“I will not fall for it, Haven.” He poured himself some tea, refusing to even glance at her. “I’m tired of you trying to fool me.”

“This is serious, I swear! It’s about magic.” Haven pleaded, sitting by his side. “Can you, please, hear me out?”

Jack pondered for a second. He could see her sincerity in the way his apprentice’s ears lowered to the side, like a puppy. He rolled his eyes and gestured for her to continue.

“So, I was reading the basic texts again, and saw that many relate the act of creation in the mind, to the discovery of magic. They said that every spell we create is born from imagination and desire.” She pointed the paragraphs to him. “What I got from this, is that everything we build is an act of magic.”

“No, no, no,” He said, laying his teacup on the table. “It’s not how that works.”

“Well, if imagination and desire are the basis of magic; than I can say that a dishwasher is a cleaning spell.” She crossed her arms.

“It’s a physical object with…” He pressed his temples, trying to remain calm. “Okay, make your case for me.”

“Someone imagined an easier way to fulfill their desires of clean dishes. Therefore, appliances can be considered as spells.”

Haven acted content, but her ears betrayed her. Jack knew what she really wanted, when she fluttered them like that.

“Following your logic, yes, you’re technically correct. First, there are nuances you should investigate further…” He threw her a smile. “And second, I will not buy you a dishwasher, Haven.”

“You could have just said I was wrong,” she protested. “Are you at least going to think about it?”

“I’m expecting well scrubbed pans.” He took another long sip of his tea. “Chores help build character.”

“And ruin manicures.” She stormed out.

It was petty, but he wouldn’t admit that. He never had thought about a dishwasher that way.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lari B. Haven
C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Steampunk Inheritance
C. M. Weller

My luck is… weird. I honestly don’t have any other word for it. I’m the kind of person who finds a random coin on the street and still end up five cents short for a coffee. THAT kind of luck. I just sort of bumble my way through life and prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Good luck always has a catch when it comes my way.

So when I inherited a heritage building from an obscure grand aunt because I was the only person in the family who didn’t know the drama… I just knew it was either a junkheap or haunted. And I was right. I inherited a fixer-upper plus a hoarder nest.

Oh, and a ghost.

Well, not quite a ghost. It’s complicated.

So, yeah. The first week with a voice in the house was disturbing. Granted. It’s a better place to live than the old cockroach castle I used to pay too much rent on.

A lot more storage space for a start. Like the surprise cellar I’ve unearthed. That’s where my not-quite-a-ghost exists. I can’t exactly say ‘lives’.

This place used to belong to a really smart lady who wanted to live long enough to do everything she wanted. Real bad case of idea fission. BUT one of her more interesting ideas came with a rare find of the miracle element – Benjimium. Since it was the Victorian era, the only real tech she had access to was clockwork, mysticism and… building a new body.

My ancient ancestress mysteriously vanished and people locked up the cellar and forgot about it. Yet, she never really stopped working on her magnum opus. The result is disturbing.

Ever seen Metropolis? Imagine someone started with that robot as an idea and then ran out of materials somewhere along the way. She’s a mess. Especially around the knees.

If she had made working knees, she’d have busted out and taken over the world years ago.

Stairs are her mortal enemy. Thank. God.

I’m still working out how to calm her down. Maybe if I got her some internet?

chronikDreamer
chronikDreamer
1 month ago

Magical Philosophy and its Relevance to Coitus

By chronicDreamer

“What’s the point of using your silly shapes when casting if you don’t even follow how the book tells you to do it!” Snapped Lou as they pointed at the grimoire from over Xyz’s shoulders.

Xyz’s distorted voice cracked from inside the armor. “You seem awfully frustrated today.”

“Well yes. You can only fuck yourself so much before you get bored. It’s so unsatisfying without a partner you get to corrupt. Weaponizing their fetishes, transforming yourself into a god in their eyes, making the only thing they want to do is you over and over and over again.” They squealed longingly. Lou glared at Xyz. “Why did you even make a contract with me? You never touch me! It’s like you dont think of sex. I can’t even tell your type so I can change to match.”

“I think the way you are normally is quite fetching.” Xyz, not even looking up from the half formulated spell, felt Lou’s blush. “Why don’t I answer both your questions at once? My pears, despite their brilliance, only care about the development of magical theory. Going to great lengths to discover every aspect of its mechanism that they neglect the environment they are formulating in. All these ‘silly’ shapes and tricks are to combat the gap in information between the magicality of our world and the natural forces they are in conflict with. My philosophy is different. Instead of fighting these natural forces I use magic in tandem with them whenever possible. Meaning, all those tricks my colleagues employ aren’t always needed. In the end, what I seek is the furthering of philosophy in all its forms.”

“And what has that got to do with me?!”

“Intimacy… partially physical, has always been a blind spot. Honestly, exchanging it in our contract was probably the only way I could ever give my heart to someone.”

Lou stared at Xyz.

“You’re a weirdo.” They kissed Xyz, smiling. “But I guess you’re my weirdo.”

Last edited 1 month ago by chronikDreamer
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

The Eldenite Demonstration (Nyssa’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

“Well, that’s all the basic theory covered,” Nyssa announced to her audience of academics. She smiled coyly. “But I don’t think we all gathered here today just to hear me talk, did we?”

A ripple of excitement flowed through the crowd, as she drew a long pointed shard of pale blue crystal from her robes. “It is one thing to hear about how charged Eldenite crystals interact with soft-magic manifestations. Seeing it, however, is another thing entirely!”

With that, she placed the shard into a socket at the centre of the demonstration platform. Then she patted a nearby arcane glyph, causing it to flash into life – and before her, a glimmering immobile disk of magical force took form, floating a couple of feet above the crystal.

Nyssa clapped her hands excitedly. “Okay! Everyone, prepare for a lightshow!” With one hand, she started rapidly spinning a little wheel in front of her, as the crystal began to glow with flickering emerald light. With the other, she carefully turned a crank, extending the crystal’s socket upwards and bringing the shard closer and closer to the magical surface…until finally, she cranked the flickering shard straight into the force wall.

The sound was the most immediate thing – a staticy ripping sound, as the crystal pierced right through the barrier. The previously solid magical manifestation now quivered like an animal in pain, shuddering and distorting around the shard. Then Nyssa began to rotate the socket, twisting the force-substance like paper, as the noise rose to a screech and the disk began to crumple and fray–

–raw energy tore away from the disk, striking the ceiling with a howling blast–

–and suddenly a flash of white light filled the room, and the twisting, screaming magic was dispelled in an instant.

Nyssa looked across to the back of the crowd, and locked eyes with her superior – Quelvara, her hand still outstretched in a magic-dispelling incantation. Her usually stern expression had been usurped by one of sheer horror.

After a moment of silence, the crowd erupted into applause, as Nyssa smiled back at Quelvara, her expression defiant.

Last edited 1 month ago by Calliope Rannis
Constellasphere
Constellasphere
1 month ago

Nonexistent Magic
By Constellasphere

There was an overwhelmingly melancholic air in the dimly lit room. Candles were close to being burnt out, having reached the base and at the end of their wicks. Even the magic concoction itself didn’t glow very bright, it’s metallic colour dull and unimpressive. A number of materials – from stardust to wolf fangs, dried frogskins and the beaks of durocqs – were scattered carelessly on every surface. Yellowed papers with seemingly endless scrawls and lines of research were overflowing; they were impossible to not step on as they littered the floor.

Stepping forward, the mixture is done. It smelled foul and probably tasted no better, but it wouldn’t matter in the end. It’s lifted away from its burner and the bubbling within the beaker subsides. With the heat gone, it’s metallic colour grows ever yet darker.

Nothing moves. It’s silent, a reminder of the contents of this life. But in this stalled moment of clarity, the silence had an unexplainable lightness to it. A memory plays out from the want of better days: an open field of flowers, where it’s quiet beyond the wind whistling through the grass and trees. In the distance, the trickle of the river and the calls of creatures could be heard. And the sun. It was shining brightly, complimenting the azure sky with its glow. This place, the memory, was nostalgically painted in sepia. Within a blink of tired eyes, the sun grew so warm, so beautifully warm.

The empty beaker falls to the ground and shatters, scattering more of the notes and materials that were threatening to do the same in time. Where there should have been a sound, an outburst, there was nothing. In the lack of words, there was no logic.

One by one, the candles within the room begin to blink out, their flames engulfed by melted wax. The last one to burn out was beside the glass beakers, in few moments transitioning from dim to nothing.