Writing Group: A Place to Call Home

Hello, Wanderers and Drifters!

Do you even know where we are? How much longer are we going to wander aimlessly out here? I’m tired, you’re tired… I think it’s time we find someplace permanent to settle down, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

A Place to Call Home

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!

A prompt like this just gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn’t it? It conjures up such lovely, heartwarming images.

Images like a child stumbling in from the winter cold, carrying a stray cat they found alone outside, and begging to keep the small animal. They make all the promises of feeding it and cleaning up after it, and their parents eventually give in. Or perhaps the image of an orphan child finally being adopted by a loving family after years of thinking they would never have a place of their own. They’d moved from house to house, but had never really settled until this new family brought them in. Maybe a couple has finally managed to save up enough money to get the house of their dreams, where they plan to settle down and start a family. Or maybe it’s as simple as starting a new game and needing to build a home base for safety and security before exploring the rest of the digital world.

But like all prompts, there’s another side to this to be explored. Perhaps it’s the lone merchant who never stays in one place, wandering from town to town selling their exotic wares. Maybe one person in a village is too different, too opposite of the village’s known way of life, and is outcast from the only home they ever knew. Or maybe it’s just someone dreaming of exploring the world, saving up money and prepping everything they would need for such a large journey. But even on such a big adventure, they know there’s always one place they can return to if they ever need it, one place that will always be there for them.

Sometimes, home isn’t a place at all. Some say a home is four walls and a roof, while others say it doesn’t matter where you are, that it’s only made a home by the people you’re with.

So go forth and explore the possibilities. We’ll be waiting right here for when you return, just like we always are.

—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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Papileser
Papileser
10 days ago

Under the Lone Star
By Papileser Eilitharl

Will dug his heels deep into his horse’s flanks as the yips and yells of the wildmen grew closer. The horse screamed in terror as she reared and thundered away in a cloud of dust.

Will fumbled for his repeater with one hand and steered the mare with the other. An arrow shrieked past his head, striking against the rocky soil. He snatched up his gun and turned to take a shot. The bullet launched from the rifle with a loud crack sending one of the painted pursuers tumbling from their horse.

Will pushed the mare faster, unsure where he was heading, only knowing he had to escape the men chasing him. His horse shot from the brush into a large clearing. In the distance, Will laid his eyes on a miraculous sight, a wooden citadel beneath the Lone Star. Suddenly a rifle cracked from behind him, the bullet whizzing dangerously close to his head.

Raucous war cries neared ever closer as a small war party charged out of the brush after him, guns and bows in hand. Will ducked his head as another shot cracked nearby.

In the distance, a piercing bugle call signaled the gates of the fort to open. A group of cowboys charged out, firing rifles and revolvers. Will spurred his steed further, passing between the incoming riders.

He rode through those wooden gates as if they were the pearly gates of heaven. Relief filled him until a uniformed man grabbed his collar and yanked him from the saddle. He landed with a groan as the soldier barked, “What the hell did you do that for?! Now we’ll have to deal with those damn natives saying we’re causing a ruckus!”

Will stammered and began to speak, but before he could utter a word the soldier stormed off swearing and cursing. A more grisly-looking man offered a hand to help him up. Will took it and pulled himself to his feet. As he stood, the man restrained his arms behind his back saying “You’re gonna be staying here for a while boy…”

Journey
Journey
10 days ago

Fit for a Beast
By Journey

Prince Ronan had accepted the curse. He chose to become a beast in order to survive, now it was his only way to truly live. As a beast his old responsibilities no longer weighed on his mind. It was a relief to forget the troubles of a dead man, a lost man. Nothing but time and nature bound the future of a beast.

Occasionally, Ronan would snap back to his senses while watching cartloads of materials pass him by. The procession reminded him of his past, causing him to grapple with what he had lost. How long had it been since he was cursed? On the horizon a kingdom full of innovation enticed him to return, but his reason kept him away. A beast had no business in the progression of humanity. A beast was not meant to push his mind forwards like a man does.

One day, a group of hunters spotted Ronan’s beastly form near the city walls and chased after him. He was lucky to have known the forest well enough to elude them. After he lost the hunters, he stumbled upon an old luxury.

Before him stood a ruined fortress that he stayed in over many mute winters. In design it was a mockery of the castle that he once called home. It had been looted years ago for weaponry and was left in shambles. Stone bricks were strewn about where walls toppled. If he let himself, Ronan could almost sympathize with the place.

The fortress was safe, but that was not the reason he kept returning. Ronan cared about what was inside, an old piano, the one thing that reminded him that he was still human. Whenever his grizzly hands graced the instrument, keys to his past rang out. Years of music welled up from within him and his mind felt brighter.

The instrument made the ruins his home. Sound brought warmth and life into the stone. It awoke his heart. His music, a man’s creation, captured the lost and made it live again.

Last edited 10 days ago by Journey
Alan Baker
10 days ago

Night’s soft citadel
By Alan Baker

Fires burn outside this room, but here the contempt of words hold no sway. Their ballistic oaths and poison cups, that scathe my mind by day, can reach me not by night.

Here where I am by myself but not alone. Safe at last beneath my cloth of aegis.

Let battles rage beyond the door, for here is my place of rest. Here I go to wander far, through lands unknown, unseen, through times unheard.

I dream of realms where bondage breaks. I dream of empty voids. I dream of homes where warmth is felt.

My castle in this house divided, within thy warm embrace I shall survive till freedom calls. Safe here, I shall rest to face the day and the next.

And when I am old enough to run, my quiet goodbyes, I will say. A sad farewell to oak so dear. A sombre glance at sheets so warm.

Onwards I will go to fly as once I dreamed, among the stars a life to make. To build a home with loving souls, no more to know these battered lands.

Perhaps one day I shall return, to set alight to cursed halls. Gauge this house from this world, no brick unbroken, no plank unburned. My old fortress I would reclaim and bare it hence afore my rage.

Or perhaps I never shall return, leave this ailing house to die forgotten. Unrepentant it would fall, out of mind and living memory. My new life would remain, a place to build to endless heights, a place to rest with gladdened hearts.

Lunabear
Lunabear
10 days ago

The Newcomer
by Lunabear (Private Repost)

Pale streaks of orange and pink coalesced on the horizon. A few stars dotted the sky. Warm wind whistled through high treetops.

A little girl skipped along, white pigtails bouncing, as her parents walked the quiet suburban sidewalk.

“I still don’t understand why we have to visit EVERY time someone new moves here.” She made a sour face.

“It’s polite, Krista,” her mother explained.

“It lets the person know that they’re welcome,” her father added.

Krista shrugged with a sigh.

The house came into view. The small porch was crowded with gifts similar to what Krista’s mother held.

Once at the door, Krista’s father rang the bell. They heard the chime echo throughout the interior.

A distant owl hooted.

One neighbor walking their dog waved hello.

“Maybe they’re not home?” Krista offered hopefully.

As if on cue, the door opened without a sound.

Krista squeaked and bolted behind her parents.

A voice glided from the narrow darkness.

“Hello.”

It had the hypnotic pull of ocean waves with a hint of a rasp.

“Oh, hello! I’m Kiara, and this is my husband Keith and our daughter Krista.”

“Mr. Montgomery.” A hitch. “Oh, my. What a lovely little doll. Was she born this way? To the both of you?”

Kiara gave a breathy gasp.

Keith’s smile faltered. “Of course. Why wouldn’t she have been?”

“My apologies. I did not mean to offend. I am simply unaccustomed to seeing anyone with her combination of features.”

Krista looked from her dark-skinned hand up to her parents in confusion. She peeked around her father’s legs to peer deeper into the blackness but could see nothing else.

Kiara placed the gift next to the others with a scowl.

“Well, assumptions won’t get you far here, sir,” Keith provided.

“I was merely curious–”

“I WOULD say it was nice meeting you, IF it were still true. Good night, Mr. Montgomery.” Kiara stalked away, head high and shoulders back.

“Kiara, wait!” Keith took Krista’s hand and hurried after his wife.

He was…curious?

Krista looked back, and a gloved hand waved from the doorway.

Makokam
11 days ago

A Twist In A Tunnel (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

Jostica was a near perfect balance of nervous and excited.

When she’d stepped in to help Shockwave fend off an attack from a group of villains, she never imagined being asked to join a team of Superheroes. Not an experienced team, of course. Just a group of wannabes to be honest. But still.

Only a few teams were formed each year from the graduates of the various Power Control and Utilization academies. Teams rarely lasted a whole year though. Members would get shuffled around as their teammates quit (or died) until a group really gelled, or one gained enough experience to go solo. So for her to be asked to join a team so suddenly was a huge honor.

While being a hero hadn’t been her intent, she had wanted to wait in this city since her Brother returned to it more than anywhere else. And this would give her a place to stay, things to do, and provide an opportunity to put her skills to practical use.

So of course she accepted.

She wasn’t expecting to be led down a supposedly sealed subway entrance and through dark tunnels before finally arriving at what seemed to be a construction site.

“It’s gonna look worse before it looks better,” Shockwave said as he walked up beside her. “This used to be one of my hideouts when I was a criminal. And while I thought the place was great then, it wasn’t exactly up to most people’s standards. So they’re renovating it. Everybody should have their own rooms when it’s done. As well a training facility.” He waved his hand in circles as he added, “And a kitchen, and lounge area, yadda yadda. The whole shebang.”

“Wait. You didn’t build it, did you?”

“Oh, no. This was going to be a station. But there were problems with the foundation, so they had to reroute the trains and abandoned it. Finders keepers.”

She grinned. “It’s amazing.”

He smiled. “Thanks.”

After a moment of silence he added, “Anyway. we’ll need your license number and ranking.”

“My what?”

“Your hero license number.”

“Uh…”

Last edited 10 days ago by Makokam
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
11 days ago

Virterior Decoration (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

At first, there was light.

Then, a blue sky, and a green lawn beneath his feet.

Finally, with a shimmer of gathering lights, an elegant golden-haired woman flashed into existence, gently floating a little above the grass. She turned to him, smiled brightly and clapped her hands together. “So! Where shall we start, Clay?”

“Where?” He replied, looking around at the green, flat landscape surrounding him in confusion. “It all looks the same. I guess I don’t mind?”

She blinked. “Oh, no, I was speaking metaphorically.” Freya floated close to him, taking his hand in hers. “What I meant was: How should we go about designing your virtual house? Because there are frankly almost infinite possibilities for designing these, and I’d love to know what your initial preferences are.”

“Ah, right.” He nodded and tried to think, though he was a little distracted by the warm fuzziness he was feeling. It was always so sweet of her to never judge or tease him when he did something stupid, like taking a sentence too literally again –

“Clay?” She lightly squeezed his hand. “You okay? We can do this another time.”

He stood up straighter and shook his head, smiling warmly back at her. “Oh, it’s not a problem, we can do this now. Maybe you could show me some examples?”

She nodded. “Sure, I can do that!” Freya waved her hand towards the empty field, as a large 2-storey farmhouse rose into existence.

“Woah.”

“This is just a template, if you like it we can modify everything later.” She turned back to him. “I figured you would though. You came from an agricultural colony world after all, and your old home must have been something like this.” She tilted her head and grinned. “We could make this into a home away from home?”

Clay looked deep into her eyes, and responded almost without thinking: “Freya, you ARE my home.”

Her eyes softened. “Oh…” she said, a pink blush filling her shining cheeks. “Technically, I’m a lot of people’s homes.”

“I was speaking metaphorically.” He replied, before embracing her with a kiss.

MacBoiZen
MacBoiZen
12 days ago

Vengeance
By MacBoiZen

Cold steel.

Cade knew the sensation well. Many times he had felt the frigid fingers of metal’s uncaring hands latch like a vice onto his own. He couldn’t think of a time where it hadn’t been a constant partner of his. All too familiar.

And yet, here he was. His old friend’s icy grip cut through his gloves, but this time, a stranger had introduced themselves. It looked the same as his old friend, acted the same, and even talked the same. Perfect congruity.

Which is why he felt so uneasy as he pulled it out of its holster once more.

“W-what are you doing, Cade?”

The quavering voice of his former acquaintance, tied down and forced to kneel on the hard tiled floor, echoed throughout the chamber. Cade’s finger twitched on his pistol.

“Rowe…I didn’t…you…”

“Why are you doing this? I thought we were friends. I thought–”

“Why did you do it?” Cade interrupted.

“What?”

“You never told me you gave my clan’s information away to our rivals.”

“Huh? What are you saying? I didn’t–”

“Stop lying to me.” He stepped closer to Rowe, coming into the light at the center of the room. “I saw the records. I saw the files. I saw everything. I even witnessed you leading that gang right to my clan, my family.”

“I had to! Your ‘family’ is a bunch of criminals!” Incredulity entered his voice.

“So were they! You really think they came up to you out of the goodness of their hearts? You told me yourself. They posed as much of a threat as we did. They only wanted to get rid of us. But I guess it doesn’t matter who’s who to your ‘Protectors’ as long as they’re useful to your missions.”

Rowe’s brow furrowed in acceptance. He knew what was coming.

Cade closed his eyes.

“I didn’t want to do this, but…you sealed your fate the moment you took my home.”

A loud crack reverberated around the chamber.

A single clink.

A splatter of blood.

Silence.

The cold unfamiliarity vanished into the wind.

Last edited 11 days ago by MacBoiZen
Robin Graves
Robin Graves
12 days ago

Uninvited Guests
By Robin Graves

Kay sat in the living room, hands wrapped firmly around a mug of tepid coffee. An expression formed on her face — a mix of uncertainty and mild annoyance — as she turned her head to look out her bay window and inspect the eyesore parked against the curb. “Marv’s Pest-B-Gone,” written in gaudy typography, with an illustration of a cockroach flat on its back, flower clutched in its curled legs while its ghost floated off into the ether, took up the side of a white, windowless van. Her eyes fell back to her coffee and her brow furrowed.

The sound of boots thudded back and forth, walking the perimeter of the attic before making their way down the stairs. The eponymous Marv emerged with his surly sidekick. “So you say you just moved in?” he asked, eyes cast to the ceiling.

“About three weeks ago. I moved back to take care of my mother, but I guess I should’ve spent a little bit more time browsing before moving into a mouse-infested dump.”

“Well, miss, the thing about that is we didn’t find any signs of mice.”

Kay looked at him, incredulous. “That can’t be true, I hear them in the walls. The scratching is incessant.”

“Now I didn’t say we didn’t find anything.” Marv produced a notebook from his shirt pocket and a pencil from behind his ear. “First thing we do is look for signs of vermin. Y’know, detritus. But we ain’t find anything of the sort. No scratchings, droppings, nestings, none of it.” Marv looked to his cohort and nodded his head, and the man set down the toolbox he was carrying and began to rifle through it. “If you don’t mind, miss, there’s one last test I’d like to try.”

The man produced something wrapped in a dirty cloth and brought it to a chest of drawers. He removed an Americana painting of a pig from a nail, unwrapped the cloth, and hung a simple crucifix in its place. The crucifix spun upwards, hanging in a gravity-defying inversion.

“I’m sorry to say, miss, but you’ve got an infestation.”

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
12 days ago

This is Love Calling

By Tamela Redfin

A few weeks had passed since I hurt my dear Cecilia. There had to be someone who I could vent to. But who would listen?

“Wait a minute. My siblings. It would feel like home again. Let’s hope they’re here.” I picked up my phone and searched my contacts.

In the long list were Chlorine Keely and Sodium Kennedy. I called them, but they didn’t pick up.

While I sat there slightly defeated, my phone began to ring. It was Keely. The video feed was a bit spotty. “Hi, Phosphorus Cameron.”

“Please, just call me Cameron. I’m not in the mood for formalities. Life in Snos is horrible.”

“Oh no, are the cyphas giving you a hard time?” she asked.

“No, I’m giving them a hard time.” I sighed.

Keely covered her mouth. “But cyphas are evil brutes …”

“Not true.” I teared up. “Ever heard of a cypha named Radon Cecilia?”

She nodded.

“Cecilia’s a beauty in reality. But then Feldspar… he found out I liked her. And I was forced to cut off her arm.”

“What if she’s just fooling you, Cam?” Keely whispered.

“No, she doesn’t like me. But, I like her. She… tolerates me.”

“Cam, that’s dangerous,” she gasped.

“Can we pretend it’s high school and we’re talking about our crushes? Forget that she’s a cypha for one minute. Keely, what do I do?”

“You have to be true to yourself,” Keely replied. “But also careful, as a mad scientist is on the loose. I never did trust Feldspar Augen.”

“I just love her so much. And, I feel drawn to her. But I bet she hates me now.”

“No, I don’t.” I turned to see Cecilia standing there.

“Is that her?” Keely asked.

“Y-yeah,” I told her and smiled.

“Wait a minute.” Keely piped up, “I know higher ups. Maybe we can make a new one. Only if you take care of my brother. Make him feel at home.”

“Deal, human.” Cecilia nodded.

Had I heard right? Keely was helping us. Then I remembered something about Keely and Cecilia: both hated Sulfur Cora and Feldspar Augen.

Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
13 days ago

“A Journey’s End”

By: Arith_Winterfell

I crest the top of the hill and finally I look down upon the forested landscape below me. It should not take long now. I traverse the forested landscape filled with tall twisted and winding trees, their bare branches fading up into a black star filled expanse above me. The stars burn fiercely in the dark, and the sky is crisp and clear on this winter’s night. The cold is worse now that night has fallen, but I press on as my destination is near.

Finally, I reach it, the tower dark and wondrous. Outside the entrance door to the tower stands a single skeletal figure holding a lantern. It stares at me with empty eye sockets. It says nothing, simply staring. I close the distance to the tower, and smile at the skeletal visage before me. It does, of course, not smile back. I turn from it and walk to the tower’s entrance door. It silently follows behind me. I can sense its presence watching my back as I approach the door.

The door opens with a slow creak, for it had not been used for some time. From out the door spills brilliant orange light and a fire’s warmth. A slim young woman of a zombie approaches from within dressed simply in a blue dress.

“Welcome home, Master,” she says with a smile and more than a little excitement.

“It is good to be home, Madiline” I say, smiling in return.

I turn to the skeletal figure behind me, casting off my cloak into the skeletal hands of my manservant Johanas. I walk across the stone floor to my chair before the hearth and sit down to warm myself by the fire. It is indeed good to be home.

Shane Frangi
Shane Frangi
13 days ago

If I Threw it Away
Shane Frangi

Callum wiped a bead of sweat away from his eyes as his hand tensely clenched his knife. He kept a narrow gaze at the stoneskin just two dozen paces ahead of him—Captain Talkussi. The young man waited anxiously, watching as the officer meandered the streets, waiting for his escorts to drop their guard just enough. His moment finally came, springing from behind his cover, he darted forward with the intention of cutting into that goat-like face.

He hadn’t taken two steps before someone grappled his wrist and pulled him back behind the shipment crate he’d hidden behind and threw him to the ground. His eyes darted upward to find the young shark-kin that had stopped him, tears streaming down the vibrant-pink skin of her face. “Prim? What are you…” he turned his head away. “You weren’t supposed to see this.”

“See what, see you get shot to pieces?” She knelt down and took his face in her hand. “What were you thinking?”

“He’s a murderer… every last human… except me—and they say he’s a hero.” He gently grabbed her hand and pulled it away from his face. “I can’t let him…”

He was cut off as her lips rushed to meet his. He froze for a moment until his hands slowly rose up to cradle her head until they reluctantly parted. Prim spoke up after they both took a moment to let their thoughts catch up with their actions; “I can’t lose you, Callum. I won’t pretend to know what it’s been like for you but…” her hand found its way to his hair, gently running through it. “But I can’t let you throw your life away.”

Callum gingerly stroked Prim’s hair for a second before rising to his feet, taking her hand in his as they walked away from the crowd which was cheering on their hero as he boarded his airship. Callum stole one last glance over his shoulder before turning back. He wasn’t sure if he could ever truly move on, but he had a new family—a new home.

Clanso
Clanso
13 days ago

A promise
By Clanso
(Repost from private)

Shimmer felt something tug at her consciousness. She allowed it to pull her attention away from the highest peak, where she could have an eye on everything going on on the island at once, down to the harbor where a small group of Islanders had gathered around a just returned ship.
Two familiar men had just stepped on the pier. Had she not known everyone who lived on the island, she could still have identified them by the power of her sibling clinging to them like a faint mist. What had attracted her attention however was one of them holding the hand of someone she did not recognize. On the surface they appeared as a human child wearing their parents’ clothing but underneath that they too had an air of familiar power about them…

“What have you done?” Shimmer whispered, unable to keep the fear out of her voice.

“I did what you would have done” her sibling answered from far away. “I gave a lost soul a home.”

“But they’re one of his! Don’t you understand?! Everything he creates comes from darkness!”

“We can keep them away from him if you let them stay. Your people will teach them to be kind, and that kindness will make them strong enough to defy him when the day comes. It’s the only way.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing.”

Shimmer looked at the small figure hiding behind their favorite humans’ leg. At heart they were like a child. She couldn’t send away a child already hunted by their maker. No. This one would stay.

She reached out despite her fear, touched their head and spoke the words:

“I, the Island of Shimmer, welcome you-who-stands-on-my-shore into my safe haven. From this day on you’re protected within my borders and no one who means you harm, man, god or spirit can follow.”

They looked up at her with six wide eyes and offered her something they’d clutched in their hand. She smiled back and accepted a small sea shell.

“Thank you” the island whispered.
“You’re home now.”

Last edited 13 days ago by Clanso
Shawyn Waddell
Shawyn Waddell
13 days ago

Remembrance
by Shawyn Waddell

Torigar lit the wick, and curled up in his blanket. He had stolen a candle from a grave last year. It had taken nearly a day to scrape the blessed visage off the discount store trinket, and etch his own demonic likeness in its place.

Refilled with used cooking oil and a newspaper wick, the candle-lamp burned dim, and stank. Olive oil and cotton would have been better, but used fryer oil was free, and rare was cotton on the streets of East London not soaked in sweat, piss, or blood.

Torigar has burned a candle of some form every night since August 15, 1879, the day Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan passed away. He was the last man, besides Torigar, naturally, to remember the demon.

The bulldog Baron Vyvyan fought against the Anatomy Act of 1832, the Act that effectively sentenced Torigar to death. The Act that made the profession of Cadaver Purveyor illegal. The Act that drove those employed as such to abandon the craft.

When one is the patron of body snatchers, however, one only exists for those who believe in the art of covert exhumation. Without craftsmen, a patron ceases to be, which means death, unless they’re somehow remembered.

“It’s our own doing,” yelled Torigar, sandwiched between tarpaulin and cardboard. He began to cough.

His neighbour, Hadriel, lit his own candle, and flexed his shoulders, where his wings used to protrude. A guardian angel, whose charge is no longer, Hadriel stared at his matchstick.

“They said with such grades, I should specialize in a profession,” Torigar said to Hadriel. “But the good ones were all taken. Then I saw Body Snatchers. ‘The sciences!’ I thought. ‘Always a future in the sciences, even if it’s just providing stiffs to the doctors.’”

Hadriel looked at Torigar with discomfort, and lay down, sobbing.

“Stop crying, angel!” Torigar called to Hadriel. “It could be worse — we could have no corporeal need for a home.”

As they slept, their candles burned, so that they would experience a tomorrow.

SunflowerBoi
SunflowerBoi
13 days ago

Chamomile Tea and Black Coffee (Nowhereland Universe)
By SunflowerBoi

Caleb got off the platform with the train whistling its farewells behind him. Sweeping his guitar atop his shoulders, he gazed around to find that old rock trail he usually took.

As his feet stomped along the path, his eyes gazed in wonder at a violet galaxy of glittering stars and dancing comets. Occasionally putting his journey to hold, he turned his attention to examine various flowers. With not much travel, he halted at the face of a cabin.

An employee, an individual wearing a rabbit mask, greeted him and asked if he’d like his usual. After their exchange, his eyes caught the reason he traveled all this way.

“Hi, Elliot!” Caleb exclaimed as he set his guitar down and took his seat acrossed from a boy with red hair.

“Hi Caleb.” Elliot gave a soft smile. ” I missed you.”

“I missed you too. How have you been?”

With a swift motion that almost toppled Caleb out of his chair, Elliot swept him into a big hug.

“Let’s say, it’s been a week.” Elliot’s voice cracked a little as his body quivered.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Speaking softly and mind buzzing, he returned the embrace with a squeezing hug.

“No. I would prefer not to.”

“That’s okay. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“Thank you.”

For five minutes or more, they kept that embrace until Elliot returned to his seat. A couple minutes of silence elapsed when Caleb’s eyes met a steaming cup of tea and his nose cringed a little at the bitter smell coming from Elliot’s mug.

“Have you been enjoying the view?” Trying to break the silence, Caleb chirped up.

“Mhm.” Elliot nodded as he took a drink of his mug then glaced at the guitar.

“I didn’t know you played the guitar.” He tilted his head with curiosity.

“I’m dog water at it, unfortunately.”

“You sit on a throne of lies.”

They spoke until their mugs were empty, and they never felt more at home.

Last edited 10 days ago by SunflowerBoi
Technix01
Technix01
13 days ago

Cracked Cogs
by Technix

The engine whirred inside the craft, as it rushed along the forested path, sometimes smashing through the occasional rotten log, or given obstruction with the metalic ramming head by it’s front, the red furred chimera smiling to himself, as he blasts the songs on his radio on full volume. Who would be there to stop him? To be honest, not even he knew, but what he DID know, was that he needed to head back home….the others already have been waitng for his return for nearly a week.

As he enterd a clearing of sorts, he steps out of the car, streching a little, and adjusted his clothing….the large brown trenchcoat clicking and clacking with the small items inside it, and on it. Looking around, he reached for his pocket, pulling out a large pocket watch, around the size of his palm…..flipping it open, he smirks, as a large holographinc imige shines, showing a map, and a location marker, shown only by a single letter: “W”.

“Well…if i keep this pace, i’d guess i’ll reach it before lunch…hell, maybe i’ll catch the 10 o’ clock tea~”

He chuckled to himself, thinking of how brittish he mush have sounded, as he got back into the car, cranked up the radio to the max, and put the pedal to the metal, the old style Impala whirring up again, as it rushed the opposite side treeline, smashing right through it, as it wanished into it, the lion-like figure following the map.

A few miles away, the commotion was much too noticable to just slip by, as a little girl sat atop a large construct…..one of earth, metal, stone and wood…..held together by energies she didn’t want, nor would care to understand, watching the treelines and flocks of birds rise up, as she heard a familiar engine’s sound, the large Walking scrapyard stopping as it waited it up….it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fully clean, but the one thing it was for her and others….she put it best when she greeted the chimera with a hug:

“Welcome home Tech!”

C. M. Weller
13 days ago

Be It Ever So Humble (Cordelia’s Journey)
C. M. Weller

They had said it wasn’t much, and they had told the utmost truth. A little one-room cottage with shuttered windows and a door with a crack in it. Hygiene was a tin tub currently hung in a corner, and a privy down a weed-choked path. This was not the proper place for a Marchess, and that was the point.

A little water-trough village in the middle of nowhere. A place that existed to pass through or come from. A place with troubles no bigger than Vermin Of Unusual Size in a basement, or lacklustre bandits on the roads. A place free of adventure, and therefore from adventurers.

Her first order of business, following her finding work, was to eradicate every weed in the small plot she could call her own. It was remarkably therapeutic. Imagining every noxious plant as Spitebane Whitekeep’s sneering face.

The ash would make a decent fertiliser when the burning was done.

After her first night, sleeping on a rotten mattress, her SECOND order of business was seeing to obtaining a fresh one. Fortunately the goodwives of Bendihollow were generous enough to provide ticking and an area where she could find good herbs and sweetgrass for the stuffing.

Word had gone around that she was a woman fleeing a bad fate, and the sisterhood of sympathetic feeling had gone to work at once.

“Small bundles, dear,” said Goodwife Whemper as she helped cut down grass. “You want them to dry quicker, don’t you?” Not a word was said about Cordelia’s inexpertise with the sickle.

Not a word was said about ANY of her inexpertise.

Her first efforts at bread were weapons grade. She had a knack for curdling butter. On the plus side, it could become a fairly robust cheese. On the other hand, they needed butter more often than they needed a cheese that could defend itself from the mice.

All she could say in its defense was that this place was safe, and that it was hers.

Marx
Marx
13 days ago

There’s No Place Like Home for The Holidays
By Marx (CW: Physical/Mental Abuse)

“Sabrina, look… I… I get it. Alex has this way of getting in your head and doing the most… horrible things… and yet-”

“And yet you still yearn for it, don’t you?” Sabrina challenged, cutting the distance between her and Daisy. The eerie smile on Sabrina’s face never left her lips. “There’s a part of you, even now, with all your ‘freedom’ that wants nothing more than the agony only he can bring you. That wants his love…”

“AND THAT PART OF ME NEEDS TO DIE IN FIRE!” Daisy shrieked. “You don’t know what he did to me! You don’t know what he made me do to other people! When I close my eyes, all I see is pain and suffering! If you want to go back to that, that’s on you!”

“Oh, dearest sister…” Sabrina spread her arms and fully embraced Daisy.

“I’m not your-!”

“Yes, you are.” Sabrina purred. “You’re simply confused. You think you deserve to not feel this pain, but you are WRONG. You need to come home. You need to apologize to him. He’ll hurt you. He’ll make you beg for death. And you’ll live the rest of your immortal life for his entertainment. Because that is your place. Or he wouldn’t have chosen you.”

Tears were already falling down Daisy’s eyes as she gently pushed Sabrina away. “You’re wrong… I was the one who… sought HIM out…”

Sabrina’s grin somehow widened further. It looked painful. “Of course you did, sister. We all seek out the love we deserve.”

“No…” Daisy shook her head, violently rejecting Sabrina’s words. “I… don’t deserve this. I’m… trying to be a good person. This is… the real me… I deserve to be happy. And… you are putting my head in an unhealthy place… I need you to leave.”

“Oh no, sister. I love you too much for that.” Sabrina smiled even more until her lips began to bleed. “So, I’m going to find who’s been filling your head with all these lies. I’m going to make you watch as I kill them. Slowly. And then I’m taking you home.”

Connor A.
Connor A.
13 days ago

The Empty Fields of Luachmhar (Sword Isles)
By Connor A.

Dara closed his eyes as he took in his surroundings. The flat fields that once housed the village of Luachmhar were left alone when he began establishing the Fuller. Even after several centuries, he could not bring himself to build anything on the land.

“Lord Dara.”

Dara made no move to look behind him. He knew Ambrosius’ voice better than his own. Footsteps approached him, only to stop next to him.

“If you need to rest, there are better places to do so.”

“I am aware.” Dara pat the ground next to him. When he heard Ambrosius sit down, he opened his eyes and spoke again, dropping his formal voice, “Still don’t know why the bastard targeted my village.”

Ambrosius hesitated to process the shift, then moved on. “Lord Fianna is…” He tried to find a polite way to describe him. “He has the belief that everyone should be able to see his stance without taking the time to discuss and discover the flaws in his own beliefs.”

“So—“

“Yes, he is a bastard.”

Dara half-chuckled, but the small grin faded as quick as it came. The more he stared at the field, the more aware he became of the smell of ash. It hung over the place as if it had just happened a week ago. Perhaps it was a curse.

He moved just enough so he could comfortably rest his head on Ambrosius’ shoulder. As he took in Ambrosius’ scent to drive out the ash, Ambrosius’ arm carefully wrapped around him.

“Do you miss it?” Dara’s voice was quieter now.

“Hm?”

“Your home. Back in Tu.”

Ambrosius stayed silent for a moment, then answered, “Sometimes.” His head rested on top of Dara’s. “But I rather like it here.”

They remained like that until the sun began to set. For the first time in years, neither of them worried about keeping up appearances. As far as they knew, it was just them, the fields of grass, and the gentle breeze that began to pass by all of it.

Constella
Constella
13 days ago

“Mediate”
By Constellasphere (Repost from Private)

This cabin, hidden away in the deepest reaches of the Northern forest where not even the wind dared disturb, had been long forgotten. It seemed even time had overlooked the structure, as it’s inevitable fall still had yet to come. 

For an amount of time he couldn’t determine, Wander watched the structure, as if waiting for something, anything to happen. Even if a pinecone fell from one of the trees surrounding the cabin, it’d stir him. But nothing changed; it remained as it was. 

Unable to dismiss the feeling that he knew this place, that it was simply buried somewhere deep in his memories, the boy stepped towards it, his feet barely making indents in the snow. From the outside, it was just as silent as its surroundings. If given a passing glance, he’d assume it was abandoned. And yet, when the boy stood in the doorway, a gasp escaped him.

The fireplace was alive, staining the log walls with warm, flickering light while providing a source of comfort. And there were people! Just as lively as the fire, they sat around the hearth while the eldest of them spun a tale of a being made of the night, her hair flowing with that of the sunset. 

And Wander, he could understand them. They spoke in a language he was sure no one else but he and a few other beings remembered. He couldn’t begin to ponder how they possibly knew what they spoke, but with every word, the longing in his heart grew.

“Father, he has come home!”

Wander’s eyes widened when the family all turned to the doorway where he stood frozen, their faces expressing joy and relief, and…and love. The young woman who had noticed him leapt from her chair and rushed forward with her arms open as if to embrace him, but he faltered and blinked. In a whisper of the wind, the warm illusion vanished. 

The cabin was dilapidated once more, the fireplace empty and the chairs long eroded. Not a trace remained. 

He could feel the longing in his heart overflowing.

Alex
Alex
13 days ago

By the Fire (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Janeah stared into the flames in front of her, stoking the logs weakly. She listened to the crackling and tried to imagine herself in her room.

She’d arranged her little cavern in the exact same set-up as she remembered it. Bed in one corner, feet facing the fireplace, sideways to the door. The only differences were that the ceiling was completely uneven, the walls jagged and rocky, there were no windows or carpets, the bed was a pile of fur and a crumpled up coat and the fireplace was just a couple of burning logs, under a hole in the roof.

Almost like home… if you ignored literally every aspect of it.

Janeah looked down at her hooves and tail.

They still hurt… Both on the surgical scars and in her heart. Or at least it would, if she still had her heart. At least the pain had lessened, by the time the horns had started growing.

She continued to stare into the fire, focusing on the flickering light. At first it had almost blinded her and she’d allowed herself to imagine the cavern as her old home. Now that her eyes had adjusted, she saw every detail of it.

And it was so unlike her home, it almost broke her vanished heart.

Her hand went to her sword. Another piece, totally unlike her home. She’d never learned to wield a sword, so why bother keeping one. Bows and crossbows had been her favoured weapons. Though here, in the Exile, you had to take what you could find. Take it and try to make yourself a new home amongst the demons, fallen gods and other folks, who’d taken up residence under cruel gaze of the Exiled.

Maybe she could make herself a bow. She’d made her flint knife, so why not a bow with some arrows as well. And then, a quiver, as soon as she could get her hands on some leather.

“There are trees outside…” she thought aloud. “And I have my knife…”

She gave her fire one last look and got up. She had wood to cut.

Last edited 13 days ago by Alex