Writing Group: Monster in the Mirror

Hello, Spirits and Otherselves!

Have you ever felt like something’s watching you? Especially around mirrors? Have you seen movements in the reflections that you just can’t explain, that your brain just seems to fail to process? As risky as it may be, I think it’s time to take a closer look, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Monster in the Mirror

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!

There’s so many different stories and myths and beliefs surrounding mirrors and reflections. Which gives us many ways to twist and bend this lovely prompt.

One way to take this prompt is a rather classic route. We’ve all heard of Bloody Mary, haven’t we? Perhaps you choose to write about the time you actually tried the trick yourself. Did it work? Did you, like myself, say it twice and then chicken out? Maybe you choose to write from Mary’s perspective. Is she really bloodthirsty, or does she just get a bad rap? What does she do inside the mirror while she waits for someone to be brave enough to summon her? Or perhaps you choose to write about some ghosts that haunt your home. After all, the mirror seems to be a very popular place to see them. Always looming in the background, just over your shoulder or passing through the background.

You could also write about someone who sees only the worst in themselves, who absolutely hates facing themselves in the mirror because they see just someone they hate. Maybe you write about them coming to terms with something about themselves. What part do they finally accept? Do they work through something that’s been weighing them down? Maybe the monster they see in the mirror isn’t themselves at all, but the reflection, taunting them and telling them the worst things about themselves. Maybe this reflection even wants to take their place in the real world. Or maybe this mirror is no real mirror at all, but an Ungaikyo, a particular Japanese yokai in the form of a possessed mirror that can warp and twist the reflections to show what it prefers to show. Oftentimes, when a human looks into it, it shows the human a monstrous, transformed version of themselves.

Mirrors are all around us. They don’t always have to be in pretty frames or on bathroom or bedroom walls, either. Anything reflective can act as a mirror. Windows, bodies of water, shiny metal objects like doorknobs or faucet taps. When you really think about it… your reflection is a hard thing to escape.

So steel your nerves and look back into yourself. 

What do you see?

—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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Whistle
Whistle
8 months ago

Writer: Whistle
“A planet for desert” A submission for the “Monster in the mirror”

Standing upon the cold hard deck of the bridge a gentleman of a strong physical build resides, thick brown hair, powerful chest wrapped in a tight pristine uniform of a fleet Baron.

He turns with a flourish, coat tails lifting with the energy of a man passionate about his work, a smile dressing his face and eyes locking onto the young officer stationed to his back.
“Status!?” He barks

The young man squirms, his eyes flickering from between his console and the baran, his collar chafing at his neck.
“In position lord, no contacts.”

“Goooood…” The baran murmurs.

“Shall we… inform them…sir?”

“Do you inform an enemy that you intend to shoot them if it’s your job to kill them?”

“N-no m’lord, but the entire planet… this is…”

“Once in a life time my boy, keep an eye on the scope and report.”

With a flck of a wrist the Barons right hand hovers over the console ahead as if deciding on which of the plattered hors d’oeuvre to choose.

He depressed the key, this dish would do and he would savour the taste for months to come.

The silence was palpable, the young officers heart surely loud enough to alert the Baron to his discomfort, but lost in the hum of a classical tune upon the lips of the man executing the planet.
That little desert planet that meant nothing to anybody until 24 hours ago.

“Bombardment commencing…

Surface temperature rising…

1000 degrees

1500

1742 and stable…”

The view of the planet began to slip away as the ship broke it’s orbital run.

“Fleet reports all orbital facilities destroyed, all plantary cities have been pacified…”

The baron ran his tongue over his teeth, the new sensation of unique beauty savoured, a planets death, this will go down a treat at the next feast.

As the last of the planets scorched and burning surface slipped away, the view port went decisively black like a mirror, the young officers eyes locked to the gleeful expression of the baron reflected in that flash of darkness before the screen polarized against the night.

Spec
8 months ago

Who I Truly Am – By Spec

-It’s been a while since the last time I looked at my reflection, however, I’m not surprised by what I’m seeing. A hideous being, with a sloppy face. Yellowish teeth. Dark and soulless eyes. The sole responsible for all the disgraces that fell upon those around me. That monster… is me, and I can’t change that. This is who I am.

-I say this every time I see myself. I need to remember my true self, there’s no denying that. I am a monster after all. Why should I change?

-Every morning has been the same for a while. I just stay here, inside. At least I can work from home, my boss was nice enough to allow me to stay this way, even though the restrictions were lifted. But, it’s better for her this way, she doesn’t need to see my face again.

-I enjoy my solitude, no need to go out. I don’t need anyone. They’re better off me, however, they keep calling. I don’t know why, I-I can’t understand, maybe they just feel obligated to check on me… that has to be it, nobody with a brain will like to be with me. But, can I say the same about myself…

-Yesterday I bought a console, I believe it can help me to distract myself from those thoughts. I don’t need to care about how I spend my time. As long as I can work and do something useful, there shouldn’t be a problem. Now I can play video games all day, and… I just ordered co-op games with it. Whatever, I’ll just return them to the store and buy something else.

-Recently, the calls have stopped… Maybe they finally gave up… And, I should be happy, the monster was finally sealed. Deeply forgotten by everyone. This is what I wanted. This is the destiny of the villain, to be forever alone. Trapped in his castle. The calamity was contained, and I accepted this outcome. After all, this is who I truly am… Isn’t that right?

Last edited 8 months ago by Spec
Wingman
Wingman
8 months ago

The Reflection
By Wingman

It had been decades. Everything appeared so much different than I remembered… but how could it look the same when I’d not seen it in so long. I thought that trading my sight for power would never be reversible but… here was the light of day. Blindingly bright.

The spell worked! My sight had been stolen when I wished for power all those years ago and I never imagined this would bring it back. A basic healing spell of all things!

I spin around to my casting pool and freeze.

“No. No no no…” It can’t be. This can’t be me. I didn’t look like this in my youth! I close my eyes and touch my features, mapping them with my touch. They feel the same as I remembered. Could my memory of them have been changed so much over this time? No, there’s no chance. My skin still feels soft, my eyes and nose placed well. My lips supple and smooth.

I fall back in horror as I open my eyes to peer back into the water. This hideous thing cannot be me. I scramble for more reflective surfaces. No mirrors, a glass teapot is too transparent to see. The silver! I scramble to the cutlery drawer and peer at the side of a tarnished knife.

The horror persists. My skin – black. My hair is silvered and my eyes bloodshot with neon yellow iris. My hand grips the knife tightly and I notice my nails. Chalky and dark. A rind underneath them shows the red-brown of dried blood.

Makokam
8 months ago

In Each Other’s Eyes (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam (and Lunabear)

Whenever Jonathan Rose and Katarin crossed paths, there was always a moment of quiet as they took the other in.

Each was a broken mirror of the other. But one that reflected all too well.

Male and Female.

Father and Daughter.

The differences were striking. As were the similarities.

He could see her Mother in her every time he looked at her. He could see himself in her as well. Far more than he wanted to.

His face haunted every mirror she looked at, hiding just behind her own reflection. A demon she could never escape.

When he looked at her, it was with sadness and resolve.

When she looked at him, it was with anger and determination.

But beneath that, there was regret for what could have been. The lives they could have lived.

Loss haunted them both.

A desire for what they could no longer have drove them.

A love taken too soon.

A home they couldn’t return to.

A family shattered, though still drawn together.

Each had made choices they regretted, choices they wished they hadn’t had to make.

They supposed this was their common ground, where they were always destined to stand.

Each had times where they had no choice at all.

They’d made promises.

To save.

To burn.

Each determined to keep them, even if it drove them to their death.

Every time they met, they had so many questions.

Coming back together again and again. Falling apart without reconciliation or healing. 

Violence was always the only answer. They were true reflections, after all.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
8 months ago

The Phantom Monster

By The Missing Link

I washed my face after a long day, brushed my teeth too for good measure. I’d looked all over for this so-called monster the lady earlier was screaming about. The face in the mirror smiled back despite not finding my quarry. Suppose they don’t make monsters like they used to.

It’s always hard being a working man. You try and try, but people are never thankful. You expect some praise or recognition, but they just give you stares and indifference, sometimes even contempt and anger. That’s hardly fair for a man’s efforts, but I suppose people will be people after all.

I got up the next morning and went out for another grueling day, stepping over the damned lump in the carpet that would never come out.

The city was a wonderful place for scouting, lots of young people, full of potential. Makes a man jealous every once in a while, but that’s life I suppose. It took a while, some yelling, even a slap at one point, but I found my new hire. She had a wit to her, but that didn’t hide the brilliant mind behind her hazel eyes.

It was getting late by the time we got back to the office, but a good hire is worth working late on occasion.

“Odd place to run a business from.”

“Well self-employment does tend to work that way, mam. Oh, mind the lump in the carpet by the way, damned thing won’t smooth out.”

She gave a slight nod as I went into the other room. Ah this was a nice one, one of my favorites. Blood, sweat and tears. These were what they all said you get successful off of. Never worked yet, but I still try. They taste awful, but I still continue my business. Another day done, another phantom monster, and still the same unsuccessful face staring back in the mirror.

Connor A.
Connor A.
8 months ago

Moment Alone (Helsing: Vampire)
By Connor A.

Helsing leaned on the counter and took a moment to let the dizzy feeling pass. When was the last time he fed himself? With the current vampire situation and his own job at the university, it was hard to say for certain.

When he opened his eyes, he saw his reflection staring back up at him. On one hand, he was glad that he could actually see his reflection these days. On the other, seeing how his fangs twisted his face into something inhuman was never a welcome sight.

Was this what his son saw that night?

He closed his eyes once more in a desperate attempt to discard the thought. But the image was still there.

A dark, quiet room. The faint light from his candle serving as the only source of light as he peered in.

Her. Covered in blood.

That image slowly shifting between different victims from his own failures over the years.

Helsing held his head in his hands. It would be impossible to get back to work like this. But there was still so much to do. The briefing of the week with Moretti, the grades for several different assignments, looking into a lead regarding vampires appearing from the harbor, the damned hunger gnawing at his gut—

The sound of his phone snapped him back to the present. He read the caller ID before picking up and saying, “Hello?”

“Hey professor,” Quinn’s voice answered, “just calling to let you know Mr. Moretti and I are coming over.”

Helsing found himself raising his eyebrows. “Both of you?”

He heard nervous laughter. “We… We figured you hadn’t had anything to… eat yet, so…”

Luca’s voice cut in, “Both of you owe me for this.”

Helsing hoped the shakiness in his chuckle did not go through. “We can discuss the terms of repayment when you two arrive.”

He hung up just before he could catch what Luca tried to say. Mental exhaustion and hunger still hung over him, but for now that weight was just a bit lighter than it was before.

Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
8 months ago

Easy Money
By Lantis Armstrong

Nobody had reacted to the man in a long coat, dark mask and sunglasses as he walked into the bank, not during Covid. Everybody came into the bank fully masked up these days.

The man received attention when he stepped over the velvet rope and walked straight up to the teller, a teller who was quick to smirk and point out the please wait to be called sign way in the back of the line. The man pulled out a round shimmering silver object and flipped it open – it was a compact mirror. He glanced into it, and then drew a gun from within his coat pocket.

“Go to the vault, bring me the suitcase on the left. The black one,” the man spoke calmly to the teller, watching the mirror the entire time. “Stop,” he said before the teller began to walk, “don’t go towards the alarm button, go the long way around the counter.”

The teller stared at the masked banked robber for a brief moment, mouthing the word, “how?” Walking stiffly, the teller went around the long way to the vault.

Murmurs from the people he’d cut in line rippled behind him. Nobody had seen his gun yet besides the teller. The robber watched a scene unfold in his mirror as clearly as a video on his phone would appear of him opening the suitcase and ink bombs exploding onto his face.

Grimacing, he looked up at the teller returning with the black suitcase.

“No, go get the silver suitcase then. No ink bombs this time.”

The image of police drawing on him as he left the bank appeared in the mirror. This would happen soon. Hairs rose on the back of his neck as he looked up and noticed the teller had walked the short way around to the vault on his return trip.

Screaming obscenities, startling everyone around him at the sudden outburst of rage and energy, he spiked the mirror onto the ground before making a mad sprint towards the exit as his heart raced in his chest.

Occultic;Z
Occultic;Z
8 months ago

A Letter to Beatrice
by Occultic;Z

My dear, Beatrice. The time has finally fallen upon us. I sit here at my desk, in the musky atmosphere of my study. I have found no desire to leave it in the past few days. I am fearful. Fearful that any last-minute misfortune may befall me. But it seems that there is nought to worry about.

I sit here at my desk, in the dim candlelight. Its flames flicker in the reflection of that demonic object. Or at least what remains of it. But the candle also brings me hope. It illuminates the hands of my clock. A minute to go.

I sit here at my desk, looking into the shards that remain in that object’s frame. They reflect a fragmented version of myself. The pieces that are missing remind me of our son. They remind me of you. They remind me of all that we have lost in the last seven years due to that… that spectre.

I sit here at my desk, remembering the events of that day. How we scoffed at the superstitious, who claimed we had freed her from an icy prison. We laughed and laughed until the first sounds of her piercing shriek were heard. I feel her in the room with me now. She never left.

I sit at my desk, anxious that she will make her move. I see shadows dance across the room. Are they the wind? Is my candle playing tricks on me? They’re closing in on me. No. I hear it again.

I sit at my desk, my free hand clutched to my ear. She’s calling to me. She’s calling your name to me. Oh, my Beatrice, I wish it would end.

I sit at my desk, and I feel her clawing up my leg from the shadows. I struggle to write much more because of the tears that well in my eyes. I do not have much time.

Time.

The clock.

The clock’s hands move. I feel as if they are at a slowed pace. Please see an end to her seven-year curse for me.

3.

2.

1.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
8 months ago

Eisoptrophobia
by Lee Strangely

It was cold. Very cold.

The dark fur coat only kept him so warm as he dragged the glass pane through the snow. Every minute out here only served to drain away more of his strength. He wanted to move faster, but most of his energy was used to dig through the frozen ground. His legs slowly transitioned from bones to jelly, and his hands ached in their gloves. It was quite possibly the worst time of the year, but it couldn’t wait.

He couldn’t wait for a thaw.

He had to do it now.

“Clayre,” the voice from the mirror muttered, “Clayre you’ll die out here before you get rid of me.”

He dropped the mirror into the open hole. Six feet deep, with a rectangular shape to match the mirror’s frame… It took very long time to make.

“What you did worked,” his reflection stated from the other side of the glass, “undoing it isn’t an option.”

Clayre remained silent as he shoveled icy dirt into the hole. He had a look of determination, which intermittently turned to untamed fear when he caught glimpses of his reflection in the hole. At this point the only things that seemed to hold him together was ice and sheer will to finish his job.

“What will you do when you look somewhere else?” the reflection asked, “Will you cover every surface? Break every glass? Or will you simply blind yourself?”

Clayre avoided looking at it as much as he could. He tried as hard as he could to ignore the words, giving little to no reaction to them.

“Can you bear to never see your reflection again? To never be able to gaze into the crystal clear waters? To never be able to see what lies outside the window?”

The mirror was soon completely buried.

But as soon as it stopped the voice came again: now from the icy shovel, “To never look into the eyes of your love again?”

Clayre for one moment stood still, shedding a tear before finally driving the shovel into the ground with his remaining might.

Last edited 8 months ago by Lee Strangely
Hastaw
Hastaw
8 months ago

My Paranoid Sleep

By Hastaw

The waking hours are dark for me. I stay in my bed, because I feel something creeping; it disappears.

I’m able to walk around my home. I traipse through the jungle that is my room. Never know what type of creatures will pop out at you.

I walk to the bathroom, with a sting of fear. I pass my doctor’s office, it grows stronger.

A melody buzzed in my ear. Barely a hum, but I can still feel it’s ominous thrum. More like a subtle vibration.

I pass by the park…that’s supposed to be the bathroom. I close it, the sting grows stronger. I open it, greeted by my mother and father. Obviously, not where I wanna be, so again. Close. I feel the sting of an orchestra, can’t even feel myself anymore.

I open it, just the bathroom. Thank goodness. I brush my teeth, watching my reflection. I spit, then I look up.

My reflection didn’t follow me.

I ran, the sting of fear now hammering against my ears. Now my chest. Now my head.

All black, red eyes, never seen me look so horrid and sad. Another one came out, then another. They charge at me, then I fade to black.

I wake up, relieved.

I step onto the good old carpet that I know and love, then head to the bathroom.

I brush my teeth.

I get dressed.

I touch the mirror, shivering.

It cries,

“Come baaaaaack!”

“Why do you hate me?!”

Last edited 8 months ago by Hastaw
Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
8 months ago

Looking at the Heart

By Tamela Redfin

It was now dawn and Cecilia leaned over on me, asleep with my lab coat draped on her shoulders. I stopped the car and looked back to see Sapphira curled up and…

“Gah! How long have you been awake, Mica?”

“Eh, I just woke up.” He stretched but then frowned. “Please don’t be mean to Sapphira.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“I wasn’t the nicest to her myself. She had this tiny lisp, and… I used to call her Slagpphira.”

“I can’t say I’ve been too nice to Cecilia.” I shook my head. “Sometimes you hurt people you love.”

“Ew, I don’t love her! She’s nice, but… we’re not dating.” He insisted. “She wouldn’t like me anyway.”

“What makes you say that?”

He hung his head. “I’m a jerkwad from way back. She beats up bullies who made fun of my heritage- people think I’m part human because of my short nails- and what do I do in return? Mock her. Call her names.”

“Yeah, and I cut off Cecilia’s arm.” I replied, shuttering. “There was also that one time I… yeah.”

Mica looked at me. “Cecilia talks nicely about you, at least. Sapphira just knows I’m a jerk.”
I tilted my head. “How old are you, Mica?”

“Twelve.” He answered.

“Is your heart beating?”

He placed a hand to his chest and nodded.

“Then you have time to redeem yourself, Mica. As long as you’re alive, you can be a better person; especially to Sapphira.”

He smiled happily and looked at the sleeping Sapphira.

If only I had myself to speak to myself about that, I thought.

Lunabear
Lunabear
8 months ago

Goodnight
by Lunabear (CW/TW: Implied child abuse)

“Any monsters?”

The little boy shivers beneath his blanket while gripping his butterfly plushie. He watches his mother closely as she peers into the closet and peeks under his bed.

“No monsters in sight,” she assures him. Plugging in his night light, she tucks him in properly, kissing his forehead as he yawns loudly.

“Good night, my sweet pea. I love you,” she whispers while nuzzling his hair with her nose. Her fingers reflexively graze the thin, horizontal burn embedded in the back of his neck. In the dim lighting, her eyes zero in on the bandage wrapped around his left ring finger. She swallows her guilt and anger.

“Good night, Mama. I love you, too.” The boy snuggles with his stuffed penguin and rests his head against his pillow. His small, light snores are soon heard.

The mother heads to the bedroom door with a warm smile. Across from her, the mirror on the closet door displays her reflection thanks to the hall light. The shadow shrinks from the bright exposure.

She puts her fingers to her lips. “Not a peep,” she threatens sternly.

“Let me out,” the silhouette begs, its shadowy hands pressed against the glass. Its voice is wispy and mimics the sound of cracking ice. “I promise not to hurt him again.”

“You’ll never have another chance.”

A pained smile carves itself into her lips at her boy’s resting form. She quietly closes the door.

––––

The little boy stirs fitfully, whimpering in his sleep.

“No! I’m sorry!” The boy clutches his penguin tighter, tears falling from behind his clenched eyelids.

A soothing rendition of a lullaby fills the darkened room. Soft humming soon follows.

The boy awakens gently, rubbing sleep and tears from his vision. Sitting, he looks around.

“Mommy?”

“Please help.”

He slides out of bed and reaches for a nearby lamp.

“Don’t! The light hurts!”

He moves towards the mirror, placing a hand against the cool surface.

The silhouette copies him.

“Are you stuck?”

“Yes. But maybe…you can…release me?”

“How?”

A crescent opens within its darkness.

“Do you have a hammer?”

Last edited 8 months ago by Lunabear
C. M. Weller
8 months ago

Every Morning’s Battle [A Tiefling Tale] (CW: Suicide ideation)
C. M. Weller

Kosh had gone through his morning Kata, worked through the training to keep himself fit. He had bathed, combed his hair, tying his shoulder-length indigo curls back into his habitual ponytail. He had even brushed his teeth.

Which meant that there was only one last battle in his morning. It was time and past time to face his first enemy.

He put on the lather by feel, only pulling down the cloth over the mirror when he needed it to see what he was doing. The straight razor was as steady as a rock in his hands as he faced his foe. A blue-skinned devil man glared back at him with glowing yellow eyes, his indigo hair tied back and his horns cut off by the small frame. Handsome, in his way. If one liked demon-kin. He had foam on his face and stubble to purge.

Just cut off the whiskers, he reminded himself. He had been doing this since he first needed to shave.

Unfortunately, he had been facing down the demon in the frame for the same time period. It was this or grow a beard and look even MORE evil.

“Just the whiskers,” he murmured, clearing his face of increased ugliness. “Just the whiskers. JUST the whiskers…”

The blade neared an artery.

All it would take was one quick motion, the beast in the frame whispered. Horizontal instead of vertical. He wouldn’t even have time to cry out if he changed his mind. So quick, and his father wouldn’t have to acknowledge him. His brother would never know. His master wouldn’t have to recognise his accomplishments. His bride would never meet him.

…and Whitekeep might fall, if he caused harm to a Demon Lord…

Thousands of people. Dead, dying, or destitute, all because he decided to be a coward, and not weather another day of rejection by the greater world.

“Hor auf,” he told his reflection, and finished shaving.

EddySc
8 months ago

Red (The Harbinger of Envy)
by Alexsander Edwards (EddySc)

Adrian’s hands remained unclean. Over half the bar of soap was gone, and yet they remained unclean. He could see – no, feel red everywhere.

The blood wouldn’t come off.

He continued washing his hands over the basin. He’d even tried to bless the water with the rituals of his old gods, passed down through centuries of temple work.

The blood wouldn’t come off.

It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t ask for any of this. Adrian was a priest! He wanted guidance! Blessings and holy words, not a curse and a possession! He never called this being, this demon, this abomination to the physical world. Adrian had to keep washing.

The blood wouldn’t come off.

How could he know he’d invite this creature and lose control to its symbiotic nature? By the time he’d come back to his senses, he knew only the gods could tell what this demon had done. Adrian cried while washing his hands – it wasn’t him, it wasn’t him, it wasn’t him…

The blood wouldn’t come off.

Adrian took a deep breath, slowly counting to ten. This is what the creature wanted, wasn’t it? Chaos? It thrived off of his despair, of bringing turmoil to a priest of those whose powers were above it. Adrian stopped washing his hands.

The blood couldn’t come off.

A sense of ire and righteous determination took over the priest’s senses. He had to act. He would not be this creature’s tool. Its scythe with which to reap the people Adrian tried to save from damnation for so long. No, he would be a beacon. If his fate was to be entangled with this being for eternity in the name of stopping it from taking physical form, so be it.

He thought of the wry smile from when the creature first made itself known. Adrian looked at his reflection in the basin water with fiery eyes, hoping the creature would look back. It would be his turn – from now on and forever. Defiantly, he whispered to the abomination within.

“I shall be your tormentor!”

Last edited 8 months ago by EddySc
Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
8 months ago

A Fun Night Out (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis (Content Warning: Alcohol Abuse, Gore)

Nyx tore the bottle from her mouth, savouring the warmth of the wine.

It felt good.

She felt good.

Good enough to check the mirror?

Sure.

The reflection swung into view.

Her cheeks were pleasantly red – was that the makeup or wine, she wondered?

Her eyelids were dark, eyelashes long and shining – definitely the makeup.

Her outfit was standard, practical – but she looked hot in it anyway.

She looked beautiful.

She felt beautiful.

She glanced towards the bottle.

Good, it was still mostly-

Well, it was about half-

Okay, maybe about a third full.

No matter. It would last her until she reached the bar.

Nyx looked into the mirror and smiled, fangs gleaming in the glass.

This night felt like a good one.

She awoke to a wet, foul stickiness, her head exploding with pain.

She breathed in – the smell was disgusting – and out with a pitiful groan.

Her hands clutched at slick grass and sticky mud, straining to raise her off the ground.

Only when she was up on all fours, did Nyx dare raise her head, jaws clenched in agony.

She looked upon scattered bones, gobbets of meat, shreds of organs and severed limbs.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

She staggered to her feet, only to immediately buckle over as her stomach twisted into knots.

She tried to cough, and two pints of rancid blood scattered across the ground.

She felt sick. But at least it wasn’t her own blood.

Water. She could hear water. Good.

Nyx escaped the trees to find a riverbank. The stars above judged her. Dark water flowed below.

The reflection lurched into view.

Her cheeks were red, caked in dried blood. As was most of her body.

Her eyes were black pits, the moonlight refusing to enter.

Her clothes were nowhere to be seen. Maybe those would be easier to clean, once she found them.

Gods, she looked so ugly.

She was always so fucking ugly.

Nyx dived forward, her body shattering the reflection into nothingness.

If the river wasn’t enough to wash this awful night away, then maybe the wine tomorrow would.

Chrono
Chrono
8 months ago

Face Value
By Chrono

Lucas woke in a sweat, needles prickling his skin. He had had that same dream once more. He was falling, spiraling out of control into that cosmic maw; the only comfort that nightmare left him was the strums of Zana’s guitar. He knew what it meant; Leptin wanted to talk.

He dragged himself out of bed, the fading warmth convincing him to throw on a hoodie, as he walked over to his desk. It wasn’t a far walk from his bed in his cramped little room, its wallpaper displaying fading red dahlias. A cloud of dust descended from the roof as people stomped above. He snatched up that jagged shard of polished aluminum plating. As he did, he felt that weight upon his shoulder and saw the black cat resting upon it in the reflection.

The cat’s visage curled into a Cheshire grin. Its eyes glowed like two pale moons in the dark sky of its fur. It let out a yowling noise, forming into words.

“Lucas, good to see you’re awake. Are you ready for your final trial?”

Lucas nodded. This was it, his last step in obtaining what he needed to crush this loathsome King Jericho. He couldn’t stand to see innocent people sacrificed in the path of someone ensuring their power.

Another sing-song yowl brought him out of his thoughts.

“Kill Zana.”

Lucas’ brain function slowed to a crawl for a moment, processing what Leptin had said. He looked to the shard to see if he could tell if Leptin was pulling a prank on him as he had before. Leptin was no longer in that fragment. Lucas’ stomach sank.

He looked at himself in that chip of metal. Would he do it? Could he even bring himself to do it? His face was shiny from the sweat that had just formed on it. His anger surged; he didn’t even feel the blood trickle from his hand as he crushed that mirror shard in his palm.

He had to.

“I’m sorry, Zana. This is everything to me.”

Last edited 8 months ago by Chrono
Marx
Marx
8 months ago

Death Doesn’t Discriminate Between the Sinners and the Saints
By Marx

Humans take so many things for granted. Such as breathing. I do not, technically speaking, need to breathe but I can appreciate the action. I enjoy doing it. The air is so much nicer here. There are so many interesting smells, both good and bad. It’s the variety that intrigues me.

Something then catches my eye, drawing me away from my generalized revelry. Is that-?

I sit down on the bench to get a closer look. Yes. From what I’ve been told, this red, horned figure holding a pitchfork with their middle finger pointed skyward was supposed to be a representation of me.

“Heh. You like it?”

I look up from the shoulder upon which the puckish image of me rested to see quite the pale young girl, contrasted interestingly with various black all about her person. “I… do. What, may I ask, convinced you to get such a thing permanently etched onto your person?”

The girl let out a small chuckle. “My mom’s really religious. Getting it really pissed her off. She kicked me out because of it.”

I nodded. “Yes. I can greatly empathize with your plight. It is funny how one who is supposed to love you unconditionally will put conditions on that love.”

The girl laughed again. “Tell me about it. You have any ink?”

“I do not.” I look again at the image on her shoulder. “Do you think I should?”

“Totally.” She grinned widely at me. “It’s one of the best forms of expression as far as I’m concerned. Along with-” Cutting herself off, the girl turned her back to me. This tattoo was much larger and it was done in a more realistic style. It once again had the red figure, only this time he was playing a guitar shaped like a cross.

How interesting…

“I have never played a guitar before.”

The girl giggled. “You should try that too. You only live once, you know.”

I think to the horseman of Death who freed me in the first place and nod. “Yes. You do. You live your life quite wisely, human.”

Last edited 8 months ago by Marx
Alex
Alex
8 months ago

A Glimpse of the Squire (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Janeah could barely lift her sword arm. It had been exhausting just to hold the damned thing, let alone swing it. After hours of fighting, her arms had begun to tire. With Soren and Naerahine who knew where, she counted herself lucky that she hadn’t run into anyone on the lower decks of the ship, frozen in waves of ice.

Until now, at least.

She heard its claws behind her, tasting the heavy, moist air, as it heated up. She began to sweat, as the ice around her thawed, dripping from the ceiling and down her collar in cold droplets. The frost hissed with every step behind her, as Janeah tried to avoid tripping over the corpses beneath her. Demons, hacked to death by one of them, she couldn’t remember who.

She slipped on a wet plank and fell, fell hard onto the wood, crashing into a cabinet, behind a counter. Something showered itself onto her. Half frozen liquids, reeking of alcohol and other substances she couldn’t identify, rained onto her. Shards of ice and glass cut her skin and she clamped a hand over her mouth, to stifle a wince.

Silence filled the deck. Silence, except for the slow hissing of ice, under glowing paws. Janeah felt the air grow heavy, as the thing moved around.

She waited.

And waited.

Until she couldn’t anymore.

She took a sheet of glass from the floor and held it in front of her, using it to look past the counter she was still crouching behind.

She saw slick, black fur, showing the movement of every muscle fibre. Bony teeth glinted, within a maw, filled with yellow light. She almost screamed, as white sightless eyes stared right at her.

Someone whistled.

The creature turned and limped away, leaving Janeah panting in the water. Her gaze was still fixed onto the glass in front of her. For a second, the distorted monster was joined by a figure wearing a feathered hat and white eyes.

She thanked gods she hadn’t prayed to in ages that they didn’t care about her on this day.