Writing Group: Stitching Yourself Back Together (PRIVATE)

Hello, Surgeons and Dollmakers!

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I know it’s hard, but I’m sure you can do this. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to pull yourself together. But maybe this time, you can use something stronger than just your hands and some bandaids, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Stitching Yourself Back Together

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!

When we hear “stitching”, we think of sewing. Needles and thread. Very simple tools, yet they can do so much. From a tiny repair in a hem line to making an entire garment. So what would it mean to stitch ourselves back together?

Well, stitching is a form of repair here. Stitching ourselves back together means that we were previously broken or had fallen apart in one way or another. Everyone’s heard the phrase “pull yourself together”, but this is looking at what to do once you have reassembled yourself. It looks at finding a way to keep yourself together. 

This could be in the form of someone going through a really tough breakup. Their heart is in thousands of pieces, possibly even a piece for each day spent in that relationship. The thread they use to fix themselves could be the words of comfort and care spoken by friends and family, or maybe this thread is made of ice cream. It becomes a question of which thread would hold stronger? Ice cream melts, whereas words can stick with you forever. Maybe this story is about someone facing their fears. Every time they’ve faced it before, they’ve come undone and been too afraid to confront these things. Perhaps their thread is made of videos and articles researching this phobia. Maybe the first stitch wasn’t even done by them, but by someone else who pushed them to face these fears.

Maybe we take this prompt literally; perhaps it’s about a doll, long since forgotten by their human. Their fabric has greyed, their stitching has frayed and weakened. They can stay like that and let time take them, or they can find the sewing kit and repair themselves to prepare for a new owner. Maybe this prompt is simply about a surgeon who had a woopsie with a scalpel and just takes a few minutes to sew up the wound.

Whatever the case may be, we look forward to it. So go forth with your needle and thread, and weave yourself into a tapestry of words unlike any other.

—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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E N Richards
E N Richards
2 days ago

The Rich Beggar By E. N. Richards In the busy city of aerondale, poverty is common. Such a busy city filled with such deceitful ideas of opportunity it draws thousands each day. Wishing for a better life, these folk come into the city hoping to get jobs and lift their loved ones from the harsh life of poverty. Little do they know, that in cities of “opportunity” riches can be taken just as easily as they were given. No obvious crimes will take it, but those unseen even by the law. Prices and taxes are higher in this city, supporting a life in such a city is how poverty remains common. Hence the deceitful or illusion of the idea of opportunity. We focus our attention to a woman, new to the city she moved from her province hoping to make a name for herself. From a distinguished family in a simple province, she was filled with the ideas of glory, riches, and power. She hoped moving to Aerondale would be the perfect start for her journey. She began with school; she believed she wanted to become a healer. She attempted to persuade her family to fund her education, her family disagreed. Having been open about her ambitions to “make a name for herself” and the pursuit of “glory, riches, and power” healing did not seem fit for her. They asked her to think it through, but she did not have it. The woman displeased with their answer, manipulated them instead. She slowly drew closer to her mother, attempting to be near her favour, she hoped to have a confidant in her plans. It worked, women do stick together, and the woman tricked her mother to fund their education. Both women persuaded the father, but he refused. The father believed that it was the stubborn attempt of the woman to get what she wanted, and she needed to think her actions through. The women left him alone and began plotting what to do. Hours went by and nothing came of it, then the woman had an idea. What if they made their father believe she managed to fund her education herself? She thought to persuade her mother to secretly fund her education, saying her father would never allow her because he belittled her dream. The mother accepted, ignorant of the woman’s true actions. With her education funded, she set to the city of Aerondale. She began her studies with flying colours. Her marks were almost top class, yet one could never see her perform of practice them in daylight. When the tests came she achieved such high marks, yet when deeds were expected of her one could easily find her in the shopping district wasting the money she had swindled her mother. Having faith in her abilities to graze upon life, she continued the same routine of spending her time and money how she pleased. She would, of course, finish her studies and set about the journey to her goals. Still… Read more »

Cansas Smith
Cansas Smith
17 days ago

You Are What You Choose
By Cansas Smith

The ship rocked softly back and forth. The bones and rotting carcasses swayed with it.

The man beside Maeve had only been dead a few minutes, and already she missed his idiotic rambling. It was better than the deathly silence that surrounded her. For in the silence, the voices dwell.

“What did you expect?” One asked.

“Not this,” Maeve cried.

“You knew he would use you.”

“I thought the man I loved was still in there. I had to believe I could still save him.” She shouted into the empty air.

“Gullible little witch.”

She yanked at the chains around her wrists. Fachnan’s words cut through her mind like a dagger.

“So desperate to see the good, little witch. So desperate to believe not all monsters are evil. But they are. Just look at you. You managed to kill your child before it was even born. Now you throw yourself at every hell spawn desperately trying to save it. It’s pathetic really.”

That snarling laugh. High-pitched and malicious.

The voices grew louder. Maeve could barely breathe. The weight of the sea crashing down on her.

“Weak!”

“Pathetic, little witch.”

Maeve cried out and fire erupted from her body. A whirlwind of flames, wood, metal, and circled Maeve but did not consume her.

“Naïve!”

“Monster!”

“Murderer!”

From the deep recesses of her mind, Maeve heard a familiar voice. She closed her eyes and homed in on its deep rusty tone. The other voices faded into a clouded murmur. Then her father’s voice spoke, clear as a bell.

“It don’t matter what they called ya. It matters what you choose to be.”

Silence swallowed the flames. Iron bars clattered to the ground around the witch.

Maeve sat on her knees, eyes still glowing hot from within the shadows cast upon her face.

“They’re wrong. I am not a monster.” She lifted her hand, to examine the flames curling around her fingers like a snake. “I’m the devil now, and everyone knows the devil commands the monsters.”

Isa Dragon
Isa Dragon
18 days ago

The Little Town of Necorburg
By IsaDragon

The blessed sword connected, and off went the zombie’s head. Alice, champion of justice, raised her sword to the sky. One nice thing about fighting zombies- minimal fluids to clean from her silvered armor.

“Aww, comeon.” Came a voice from the ground.

Alice jumped. The zombie’s severed head was talking.

“Do you know how hard it is to sew that back on?” It flopped over, a bit like a fish on land, or perhaps an inchworm, wriggling back to the fallen corpse.

The flabergasted warrior of light watched it thrash, eyes wide.

“Thou speaketh?”

“‘Course I speak, I’m ‘alive’ ain’t I?” With a surprisingly loud huff for a head with no lungs, it aligned its severed neck with the stump left on the greenish corpse. The torso twitched, and the neck lost the connection. The visible eye began to twitch as the head erupted in vicious curses, and thrashed back over.

“Um. I could perhaps assist?”

“You,” the head hissed, “Have already helped enough.” This time, the one remaining arm was able to fish a bit of thread and a curved needle out of a pocket without dislodging the head, and set to work sewing the skin together, neat and precise, an inch below another row of stitches.

“Mine lord did not know you were sentient.”

“Hah!” The zombie looped the thread, neatly knotting the chord. “Heard that before.”

“Truly, had I known-.”

“Heard that too.” The zombie heaved, sitting up with core strength alone, and started pinning it’s ring finger back on. “Lemme guess, some tourist saw a shambler in the woods and ran for the barony.”

“Well, yes.”

“Baron Lauffen decided to send a holy knight to eradicate the undead.”

“Baroness Lauffen, yes.”

“Huh. Never thought ol’ Ruogen would allow a girl to head the keep.” The zombie clipped a thread with it’s teeth, and rethreaded the needle. “This happens once or twice a century. I suppose I’ll have to go back with you, demanding for recompense from the barony for accidentally sacking our little town. Again. Would you help me up, my foot’s run off somewhere.”

L. L. Marco
L. L. Marco
18 days ago

Connected By A Thread
L. L. Marco

The fog hung low and concealed Mara’s body, huddling in a ditch along the side of a back road. Nobody would find her. At least, not until she was gone. What a relief it was to know that she’d never be hurt again by the men who took over her quiet little town.

The grass around her was wet with dew and a red hot liquid that brought steam up from the cool ground. A river flowed out of her, more and more by the moment; the earth grew warmer while her body sank into a cool, fuzzy oblivion.

Mara smiled as her eyes slowly slipped shut and the world began to fade away…

“M-Miss!?”

A quivering, soft voice broke through the blackness. Irritation bubbled inside her; nobody came down this path. So why now…? Mara cursed the Gods as she felt the softest touch on her shoulder. It turned into a firm grip, and suddenly she was being shaken back from the brink. Her eyes lulled open, bleary and burning, only to find…

Gods. How to describe it. The most beautiful pair of blue eyes stared frantically into hers. Tears welled up and dripped down his face, his mouth whispering all sort of hushed nonsense to keep her conscious. But she didn’t hear any of it. How could she, when he was looking at her like that?

“0h Gods, you’re bleeding!” He pressed his hand firmly over her wounds.

Heat bloomed through her body. His skin was so warm, so perfectly matched to her crimson life that was staining his hands.

“What a wonderful feeling…” she whispered.

The man’s brow furrowed at this before he quickly ripped the sleeve from his own shirt and wound it tightly around her wrist.

“Stay with me,” he urged, rummaging around in his bag until he pulled out a needle and thread. It glinted in the morning sun, trembling in his soft hands as he tried to thread it. Finally he brought the needle to her flesh, and as it pierced her she wondered why it felt like he’d pierced her heart instead.

Last edited 18 days ago by L. L. Marco
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
18 days ago

Demonic Plush
By Jesse Fisher

“I can’t believe this is a thing,” The navy wolf’s eyes shifted from one patron to another. “Then again this seems like a normal day, But this is nearing the absurd.”

The whole of the bar had been turned into a plush and knitted setting, it looked like some form of a kiddie wonderland. It looked like his kids’ nursery but if his wife had gone overboard, or listened to her friends.

Given what Korun said, “This is a convention of sewing, weaving, and knitting gods. So the place will change to that form as you know.”

The demonic wolf knew this, but the whole thing was almost too much to take…and then the plushness seemed to move and consume him.

Once he awoke his body felt weird, the prickliness of his fur was replaced by softness that made his skin crawl.

At least it would have if not for the fact he only felt like thread held him together.

It was at this moment his mind snapped and he began to claw at his body, this was not right. He had to deal with so much BS in this place but being turned into a plush version of himself, no his demonic pride can take a lot but this is too damn far.

—-

The Barkeep, Korun, noticed the frazzled Demon as the wolf tried in vain to rip himself apart. Having been effected, really allowed would be a better term here, by the patron’s request his heterochromic eyes drifted back to the now sealed door.

“I wanted to just have him in so I was not alone in suffering some of the vomit inducing actions of some of these gods. However, given his reaction to this all I’m starting to regret it.”

The sound of ripping could be heard.

“And it seems his bladed hands are still a thing.”

With a sigh Korun moved to get the magic thread that will change to fit what the base thread is.

Gregory Hess
Gregory Hess
18 days ago

“Well, that’s not good”[Aleph Null Science fiction universe]
By Gregovin

I wake up, sweating, gasping for breath.
Where am I?
The white sterile walls surround the bed.
A monitor beeps.
This must be a hospital.
What is a hospital?
How did I get here?
I hear a “ding” directly in my brain

> Error: stored memory duplicate missing. Searching for backups

What does that mean?
Someone comes over. “Oh, you’re awake. I’ll get the doctor”

> Error: could not connect to primary backup
> Error: secondary backup corrupted
> Error: could not connect to tertiary backup

A very concerned doctor shows up. He… has a device of some sort. A… a tablet. Tablet, that’s what it is! It has the same… external thoughts that had resonated through my brain.
The doctor states “I may have a way of repairing your memories, at least partially”
I think for a moment before nodding. I… can’t quite put words together right.
The doctor points to a part of the Tablet “You’ll need to sign here”.
I automatically sign letters I don’t know.
The doctor presses a few buttons.

> Program upload complete
> Activating networking recovery mode

Memories flood into my brain.
A romantic meeting at a beach.
A shuttle drop down to the world.
A train ride on the new orbital ring.
Piloting a ship with the captain. My best friend.
Being shot down.
Being rescued.
An invitation to this planet.
The whole of my school experience.
And more and more and more.
And then it stops. I notice I am staring at the wall, dumbfounded.

> Protocol completed. Memory recovery 80% effective.

Then I realize there are large gaps. Places where there should be more.
The memory of my time on the ship doesn’t end with me falling unconscious. It ends when the captain dies being the most egregious.
Some parts of the memories are indistinct, more than they should be.
I’ll be fine. But I know what has happened. And I will be forever changed.
I thank the doctor and go home, and I know it’s my home and yet I don’t know the nooks and crannies.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
18 days ago

Every Soul Wounded
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (City of Meat) [CW: Body Horror]

There are few things more dehumanising than loss. Leuko learned this first when he was young, when his face was cut and beaten by cruel children playing at Gardening, and again when he was older, cutting away his family ties to join the Gardeners and search out justice. Loss makes us equal, he thought.

He stood over the Soyl—his first—while Gardener Carcino brought pain to its flesh. Fingernails first, then the little bones.

It was good to be part of something larger, to belong, and do good. He liked this work of cutting away the infections in the City of Meat, strange ideas about life and fate, anarchist and randian concepts.

Gardener Carcino took a break after removing the larynx. Soyl moaned voicelessly. Leuko licked at his split lip, a tic, touching the old scar nervously.

“I can fix that, you know,” Carcino said.

“What?”

“Your lip.”

Leuko, rather than being joyous, felt like he had been kicked in the gut, breathless and weighty. “Why?” He gasped out.

“Pruning isn’t just about removing,” Carcino said (Soyl moaned at that). “There’s growth too. I can fix you.”

“All of me?”

“Your lip, your limp. It’s all the same, just takes some time.”

“Can you—” he flushed, a foolish, childish dreamin mind. “Can you make me beautiful again?”

“I can make you elegant. Same thing, no? Proportional.”

Leuko might have nodded, maybe he only blinked. Carcino’s hand returned to Soyl’s face, who gave yet another moan, long and airy and horrid. Wet.

“There’s plenty of material here. A shame to waste such healthy teeth in the Garden. You want them?”

Leuko licked his lip again, disbelief now outweighed by disgust and desire.

Leuko looked again at Soyl. At its eyes, its teeth, its flawless, traitorous skin. He recognized that Soyl was a person, an individual, before today. Now it was just another Soyl for the Garden. It was dehumanized, a disease and threat to the City.

He licked his lip again, tasting blood, and Soyl’s eyes rolled as it screamed silently.

“I think I want that, to be fixed.”

Carcino smiled obligingly.

MysteryElement
MysteryElement
19 days ago

Stitching Yourself Back Together
By MysteryElement

My right shoulder itched miserably where my arm should have been. The events of its loss are still fresh in my mind, and I have become irritable and impatient without my dominant hand. Was it worth it? I suppose. At the time I had no ulterior motives, but actions in life have consequences.

Drakes, like daemons, can make pacts with humans in exchange for power, but drakes ask for blood rather than souls. The more vital the blood, the more powerful the bond. My actions had unintentionally bound me to Conrad, and I nearly hated him for it.

“Rubbing it won’t make it grow back.” Conrad’s deep voice rumbled from the corner.

I sullenly drop my hand, and return to my pitiful attempt at writing. After my bond was formed I was chased out of my hometown, no surprise there. I did not think my family would bother reading my letter, but I wanted to write to them anyway. I missed them

My letters were clumsy and my hand could not properly grasp the stylis, it had taken me the better part of an hour to get as far as I had, and I had not written half of what I wanted to say. Each letter was a painful reminder of loss, each clumsy scrawl a mocking display of my current state. I scream in anguish and throw the stylis in unfettered rage against the nearest wall.

“That was unnecessary.” Conrad drawled, unperturbed “Now you will have to go retrieve it.”

“What is the point?” My words pour from my mouth in acrid self loathing “What is a cripple like me going to accomplish with these halfhearted efforts?”

Conrad and I stared, the silence cocooning us in tension, before he slowly walked over to pick up my stylis in his too large claws.

“You are not a cripple.” His reply was so soft it was nearly a purr. “You have lost a great deal, but you, YOU, are whole. Do not let your pain deceive you.”

He places the stylis at my feet and returns to his corner without another word.

Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
19 days ago

The Answers at Last
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

It was another bad day. Life came crashing violently down upon me, and I needed an escape. I found myself wandering the deserts outside of town. The rocky arid landscape devoid of distractions had a way of calming my soul in those days, but my burning desire for escape was unquenchable this time.

I ran out into the desert, blind, and mad, angry at the world. Kicking stones, running over boulders, and tearing through bushes, I clawed my way violently to the hills far outside of town. Here, in the old days, miners would blast through earth and stone to find their fortune. Today, the tunnels they left behind serve as excellent reliefs from the sun.

I leaned on a wall and cried.

Some time later, maybe hours, through my tears, I noticed the light in the cave dimming. It was getting late, and I didn’t want to risk braving the desert at night. I tore myself from the wall and started on the return journey.

As the light of the sun began to dim further and further, my attention was brought further and further to a dim light I could see along the path up ahead. When I got closer, it’s form became clear, but it remained a mystery. It was a blue stone, glowing dimly in the twilight.

I picked it up. For what reason, I still don’t know, but I’m glad I did. As I held the rock, I felt my brain fill with understanding. The future, the past, the present. All gained meaning and a purpose. I’m no diviner, but I felt a part of the universe.

I took a deep breath.

This. This was it, the answer I had been seeking my entire life. All the troubles I had, all the suffering, all the pain I’ve endured, has culminated in my salvation. I have finally found the peace I so rightly deserved. No, the entire WORLD deserved this knowledge!

And this, dear reader, is why I tell my story. You too can find peace in your life. If only you join me on my mission.

i-prefer-the-term-antihero
i-prefer-the-term-antihero
19 days ago

[Removed]

Last edited 12 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
TheAssassin
TheAssassin
20 days ago

The Last
TheAssassin

Woods of snarled roots, painful paths, and darkened hallows swallowed an old soldier. His uniform hung torn and dishevelled, and his eyes sought no end. He stumbled through brush and branch, giving no mind to his path. There shone no light by which to see, and he cared not; he lost himself in the darkness.

The dark, dark, darkness.
And the deep, deep, loneliness.

Years passed, or minutes. Long he wandered, or brief.

He felt empty.

Void.



Suddenly, his foot snagged on a stray root, and he fell.

His eyes snapped into awareness. An endless chasm, a shard of the dark infinitudes beyond, flew by.

Flailing in the fall. Reaching. Reaching. Reaching.

Finding nothing.

Smiles to ash, fire and slaughter, brothers dead, swords upheld, promises made, honour to failure, bravery to cowardice, confrontation to flight, together… alone. Last.

He slammed into stone. His arm cracked and his bones crunched. Streaks of pain scorched his body. He gargled thick blood, struggling to breathe. His chest burned; he clenched his knuckles, digging nails into flesh. He coughed blood desperately. His chest screamed and the soldier’s mind tore itself apart.

He wheezed and gasped the air.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Blood. Darkness. Despair.

He gritted his teeth, wincing at his wounds, and lifted teary eyes. Around him rose a grove of graves.

Their graves.

A dozen decaying arms rose from the dirt, fingers like claws reaching for him. He knew them… hated them… loved them. They called. Penance, he knew. Submit to judgment; bear his sins.

So, into the reaching arms he went, his self given away, him to them and them to him. To join them, become like them. To the silence evermore.

Yet, as he gave himself to the arms, they held him back. They kept him above ground. Arms as armour embraced him, comforted him, strengthened him, defying the darkness and ushering in the light.

They loved him and forgave him.

Memories of the fallen wove as stitches into his flesh.

He held the thread and did not let go.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
21 days ago

In Need of Outside Help
by Carrie (Glaceon373) (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)

Realizing you’re a horrible person is never a good feeling.

It happened to Roselyn the night before. Stayed awake most of the night thinking about it, flopped on a couch, ignoring the creases definitely forming in her ballgown.

She was a horrible person to everyone around her.

Sam shouldn’t have been there last night. She shouldn’t have been forced to dance with Roselyn wearing a silly disguise so her mother would think she was dancing with any random rich human guy instead of a broke batfolk girl.

Roselyn thought it would be the perfect subterfuge of her mother’s perfect little expectations. Sam was bleeding from seventeen different cuts, walking on a possibly broken foot, and had her favorite jacket ruined—and that was only from getting to the party, not even counting the psychological damage from talking to the filthy upper class.

Less than a day of hindsight later, it seemed incredibly childish.

Roselyn groaned and rolled over on the couch. The same question pounded in her head:

“So, you’re using me to do what, exactly?”

It was a question that Roselyn hated how many possible answers she could give in response.

And it wasn’t even just Sam! She’d used the new kid so the Pack would stay off her back. And back when they got along, she used the Pack as an always-applicable excuse.

She stared at the ceiling, the stains of last night’s eye makeup still on her face.

She was a horrible person.

She was a horrible person and there was nothing she could do.

… Wait.

Roselyn suddenly jolted upright. “Where did I put it?”

She darted to the nearest pile of papers, then to the next, frantically digging through them.

There! She snatched it and held it up.

Unit Helpful Counseling, LLC. A cut-out advertisement from a newspaper.

She’d saved it because the name made her laugh, not because she thought she’d ever use it.

Now she had an appointment to schedule.

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
21 days ago

“Home Sweet Home”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane (CW: Body horror, arachnophobia)

Home was a difficult thing for us to build. Home was the way we could experience the world safely. Home was our greatest creation. And now what was home? Broken. Shattered by something that thought IT knew better than US. Now we needed to rebuild our home. Repair the damage IT did. But we needed to do so quietly. IT could be near.

We split into five groups to better accomplish our tasks: one for each piece of our home IT had torn asunder. Our force set to work, each individual marching in rhythm. Each individuals’ eight limbs clacked against their chitinous shells. We converged around the limbs and the main chamber that we inhabited. We pushed the sundered parts to the main part.

Then, the work began in earnest. Individual after individual weaved web after web. We attached the first limb in the right place, we think. Then the second. The third. The fourth. Finally, the main chamber. We pulled every web taut and hoped for the best. Then, we regrouped and entered the chamber. Individuals once again took their places in our home.

Now was the moment of truth. Slowly, shakily our home stood on two of its limbs. So far, so good. We continued. Left step. Right step. Left step. Right step. Good. Our home was still mobile. Left grab. Right grab. Left grab. Right grab. Our home could still interact with the environment. Minute after minute we ran tests on our home. Our home was almost as good as new, but there was only more thing.

We forced the diaphragm to expand as the air sacs filled with air, then slowly released. We excited the apparatuses in the primary and secondary chambers. Our hairs stood on edge with anticipation.

“Hello?”

Our home could still communicate. That was good. We were excited!

“Yes. We can talk. We can talk. Yes. Hello. We can talk.”

Our home was complete again. But we were not safe yet. IT had deprived us of a meal, and rebuilding our home took much energy. We needed to find a new home soon.

Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
22 days ago

Flooding back to me (Haven’s Tale)
By Lari B. Haven (Larissa)

The afternoon in the pool was something she wanted, but Haven wasn’t having fun. At first she thought perhaps it was because she and Jack had an argument the day before, but they were cool now.

She then walked to the trampoline and went for a dip. She took a deep breath and looked down. There was a rush of anxiety that hit her out of nowhere, something that made her nauseous. That vision had her steeped in tears. She disconnected from her body for a moment. The pool was a bathtub.

Haven tripped on her feet and fell. All the air left her lungs and the pain on her ribcage made her confused. She could listen to her own faint voice, haplessly shouting to Jack to help her, but her voice sounded younger.

She could hear him screaming angrily at her. When her eyes opened, her tails shriveled, as she was expecting him to finish scolding her.

“I’m sorry.” The words refused to come out naturally. “I’m sorry, Jack.”

“Haven, it was an accident. What are you apologizing for?” He held her in his arms and helped her breath. “Are you okay?”

Haven never had felt this confused. Should she smile? Perhaps try something else to not alarm him?

“I’m…” Her mind couldn’t find the words. “I’m going inside for a moment.”

She needed space to cry. So she went to her room.

When she was a child, her mother used to sleep through the entire day. She knew her mother was ill at the time. When her mother was angry it was because she was in pain. So Haven learned to take care of herself.

One day she needed to take a bath, but she was small and fell in the bathtub. Haven had her head in the water and almost drowned. And her mother screamed at her for hours after that.

Haven thought she had forgotten about it; that things were fine now her mother was well. So why now? Now that she was living with somebody else?

Memories came back. And it was a violent storm.

Constellasphere
Constellasphere
22 days ago

“In-Line Eternity”
By Constellasphere (formerly InkySegno)

The soft, whispery hiss becomes rhythmic, constant. It continues on, as of a heartbeat that is beautifully flawed.

A line is engraved within the material. Even in it’s dark boundaries, there is still freedom to be had. God, there is so much that could be done; what step will be taken next?

Here, a slant is placed. One becomes many, until there is a sizable shape of them. In the present, it looks like nothing important. Just a bunch of diagonals of varying colours that have no significant meaning.

But with this decision, whether reckless or within reason, they are brought together.

Singular slashes become crosses; connections are made and hold together tightly. Memories are made as the threads go backwards to make something more. Time is irrelevant and everything; here in the beating heart of every life.

A singular undivided line becomes hundreds, and hundreds will become thousands. That is, the vision of the future can be seen. To be embraced, to be loved; yes, this is love. The world made of interlockingly unconditional love. Even through every flaw and fray, it is withstanding.

This mind of loneliness, which craves the ability to be held – to be uttered affectionately – will birth a miracle. Even through envy and the want to scream out, beauty is made. A world is born seemingly out of nowhere.

Uncertainty will cause a shaking, an anxiety from deep within a concave chest. But in that moment, where a clear vision can be seen, even this emptiness is filled.

That is all; the point is pulled tightly to tie it all together. There is a bright revelation, a moment to think back of the past. It is a blur; how did it reach this time? To be dazed by the awe of golden-layered memories, and to have the strength to look at them fondly. And to secure the past to this now,  a knot is tied. The question is no longer there; a definite timeline has formed.

This tapestry is complete, and from a void, love continues to grow.

Tears are shed; the messy patchwork thought is beautiful.