Writing Group: This Earth, For You (PRIVATE)

Hello, Gardeners and Gaians!

This planet really is something, isn’t it? So blue, with wisps of white and kisses of green. It’s so big, yet still so small. I bet there’s none like it out there in the cosmos. Hey, tell me what you think of our world, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

This Earth, For You

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!

This lovely prompt has been in the running for some time now. Many times has it come close, but slipped through our fingers like the shifting sands of the Earth itself.

Much like our beautiful planet, this prompt has several different layers and materials to be woven any which way your mind wishes. Your story could bloom into one of giving, for example. Perhaps someone finds out their distant heritage, and in reconnecting to their roots, they are given a plot of land that belonged to their ancestors but went unclaimed for some time. Of course, the lack of care probably resulted in dense weeds and unruly grasses, but a little work goes a long way. Maybe it’s not a plot of land at all, though. Maybe an ancient race of extraterrestrials wander from galaxy to galaxy, each new generation of the head family being given their own “Earth” to care for. It is up to them to help the beings on that planet flourish and grow, however they see fit. Or it could be as simple as a parent giving their child a bag of soil to finally start their own section of the family garden.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be about literal earth and soil. The Earth could be in reference to our world, the way we’ve shaped and expanded it. Perhaps someone is finally able to come up with a solution for energy. Maybe they found a way to make energy abundant all over the planet, reducing the cost of energy supplied to homes and workplaces. Does this help the planet get better? Do new problems arise with this new development? Maybe they figured it out, but just don’t have the time to implement what changes are needed, passing it down from generation to generation to help heal the planet, making it their family’s mission to help leave this Earth better than they found it. Your story could also just follow the daily routine of a farmer who supplies produce to a small and humble town.

There’s so many different ways this prompt could grow and thrive. But it can’t do much of anything without you to plant that seed first.

So grab your trowel and gloves, and see what beautiful stories can blossom from your imagination!

—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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Alexander Lewis
Alexander Lewis
3 months ago

Once More (lol i know its too long) By Alexander (BrokenEarth) An old man sat on the sidewalk, leaning against a brick wall, enjoying the cool air from the alley only a few inches away. He reached instinctively for a guitar. It wasn’t there. Dozens of people walked by, ignoring him. That was natural. He probably looked like a bum, with aging white hair and dirty clothes, but that wasn’t the truth. He wasn’t a bum. As he rejected this label from himself, as he always did, his mind prompted for a new one. He couldn’t be nothing, it argued, so what was he? Unlucky would have been his answer a few months ago. Misfortune loved him, the way he had loved his daughter. But luck had its limits, and he had reached it. He reached for more ideas, but found none. None, at least, that weren’t just “unlucky” worded differently. He let out a sigh. Tired. That was something. From the alley behind him, a dull sound rang out, something had been thrown at a piece of metal. The old man stood, ignoring the aching of his joints, sternly telling himself that he wasn’t that old yet, and went to investigate. It was hard, for a while, to tell where the sound had come from. The close walls made everything echo, so it could have been anywhere. He meandered around, not having the energy to put into his search. As he was about to give up, a stray glace at the fire escape above him gave away the culprit, someone had thrown something out their window and it had landed there. It took some time to get the ladder down. It was, after all, meant to be lowered from the second story, but he managed to find a pipe laying around that he could just barely lift, and by some miracle he unhooked it. When he finally got to look at it properly he couldn’t help but smile. It was a guitar, shiny and new, barely even scratched from its recent defenestration. It was covered, as though with chicken pox, with stickers of rainbows, stars, unicorns, and flowers. He looked around, wondering if anyone would come to retrieve it, or shoo him away like a rat, but it was quiet. Far too quiet, he thought, for the lively city. Tenderly, he picked up the guitar, as though it were a newborn. He plucked at the strings experimentally, quietly, tuning their sound to be just to his liking. He sat himself down on the cold metal fire escape, holding the guitar in his lap, and closed his eyes. He felt like his mamma was calling him indoors from a long day of running in the backyard. Like he was being allowed to stay up to watch a crappy sci-fi movie with his dad. Like he was home. Before he opened his eyes he could hear something, and it took a moment to realize what it was. His hands, without permission,… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Alexander Lewis
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
4 months ago

The world was not enough
By Jesse Fisher

{Data Logo XXX}

>This data log is a record of the last known human cryo ship.
>The date has been lost due to a memory purge to free up data for the ship’s functionality.
>Destination is for a planet within a habitable zone of a young sun.
>This and other priority information is to be copied and duplicated information should be checked and deleted if all the information is the same.

—-

The ship was entering the gravitational field of the system, this began a sequence on the vessel. The computer began to run the preparation for landing the ship, first of which was to start a physical scan of the ship.

A functional set of robotic drones began to move around the ship, checking for holes that might have been deleted due to lack of concern. As the lack of pressure was not an issue for robotic beings. Hence the two began to sweep the ship for anything lost to the database, given the fact they were attached to the ship that meant some good was there but due to the length of time a hole could have been punched in the ship.

As they moved from the cargo hold, as they were programmed, to start the sweep of the ship after that it was the human storage rooms.

The rooms looked like…the term was erased due to priority. The sealed container was just a square box with a pull out tray to allow easy storage.

All passed the inspection before going to the viewing area of the ship, where they stared out into the vastness to the planet ahead and the work they would have to do.

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

[Removed]

Last edited 26 days ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
MasaCur
MasaCur
4 months ago

A Threat to the Empire
By MasaCur

“People of England. You may not know me. What is important is that you throw off the chains of oppression placed on you by those you call your leaders.

These people, those who deem to call themselves your betters, have taken from you for far too long. And today, it must stop! No longer will they steal food from your mouths, or the mouths of your family. No longer will they force you to work in their mines, in their factories, to break your backs and your spirits just so you can afford to put clothes on your back, a roof over your head, food on your table, and a fire in your hearth. Basic necessities that you deserve simply as a creature of the Almighty!

They will not give you these comforts. Not without extracting everything they can take from you. And not only you. If they can, they will extract these things from your wives, your children. They do not see you as people, but beasts. You are but mules in their eyes.

No, you must show them the power you have. The royals? The nobles? We are many, they are few. The church? The church will not provide for you. They want to take their tithe from you, and make you feel guilt when you are unable to provide. The government? When has Parliament ever fought for the rights and freedoms of the common man? No, if you do not have money, you do not exist.

Rise up, my fellows. Strike back at your oppressors. This is not their land. This is not their world. It does not belong to the royals, nor the church, nor the rich. It doesn’t even belong to intellectuals like me. For it says in the bible, it is the meek that shall inherit the Earth. This world is for you.”

Andrew took the needle off the gramophone cylinder. “That was Magnus Von Nilsson. And he needs to be neutralised. He is our top priority.”

Cassidy looked up from the rifle she was cleaning. “Where do we start?”

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
4 months ago

From A Planet To A Home (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

Everything was in position.

Before the burning points of Dakfarora’s eyes was a planet, covered in greenery and shallow seas.
Orbiting the little world were eight translucent spacecraft, their flight paths geo-locked into strategic positions around the planet.
And with them was their cargo: eight gargantuan crystal spikes, each one ten to fifteen times the size of the ship telekinetically transporting them.

Final checks complete, the watcher turned towards their superior. As expected, they were still lazing upon their throne of crackling shards, arcs of electricity caressing the coils of their longer white-gold body. Dakfarora rippled with displeasure for a moment, before reaching out with their mind.

(Commander Kaaorvoll. We are ready to begin.)

The greater Wyrm stirred, the searing points of their eyes flickering and expanding into fiery diamonds.Then they slowly rose from their throne, floating to the window with the languid pace of someone with a luxurious excess of time, casually brushing past their servant without care for their displeasure.

(…Good. Very good.) Their smooth voice grated across Dakfarora’s mind. (Well? Give the signal then, Farora. I am waiting.)

Dakfarora stole a glance back at Kaaorvoll, seething with envy, before turning and throwing their mind’s voice out towards those distant ships.

(All terraformer teams, get ready! Focus! FIRE!!!)

The gigantic crystalline spikes shuddered terribly for a moment. Then, in one simultaneous motion, they were thrown towards the planet at incredible speeds.

The world’s crust cracked and shattered, before exploding outwards. Forests burned to ash in an instant, as seas evaporated into steam. Thousands of volcanoes were born in minutes – and then died just as quickly, as the rapidly growing crystals seeded within the planet’s core choked their molten throats and tore them to shreds of rock and lava. The crystals kept growing and growing, covering the planet in growths of vivid colours that pierced and electrified the sky, transforming landscape and atmosphere alike forever within a single hour.

The Crystalwyrms watched the transformation together. Kaaorvoll with distant amusement and pleasure, and Dakfarora imagining their superior’s shining body, tortured and destroyed in place of the world before them.

Rattus
Rattus
4 months ago

The Girl from Nowhere
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Olessa stood, surrounded by nothing, gazing down at a marble of blues, greens, and whites. Pinpricks of light glistened all around her, breaking up the endless void.

“Strange, isn’t it? How millions of lives seem so insignificant from afar.” A voice, though it didn’t so much speak as resound within her head.

“What is this?”

“You don’t recognize it? That is your home, is it not?”

“That’s my home?” The last thing she remembered, she was in her house. Then everything fell away.

“I created this world, and the people in it, for the sole purpose of nurturing you. This whole world is only as old as you are. They gave you the name ‘Olessa’, if I’m not mistaken? The girl from nowhere, according to their language. An apt name, I suppose.”

“So all the people I met–the people I loved, and helped–they’re not real?”

“Just because these peoples were forged for a purpose does not make them any less real.”

“And what is my purpose?” She hoped this was all a dream. A hallucination, and she’d soon find herself back home.

“To be my apprentice, of sorts.”

What would one even do, as an apprentice to some sort of almighty being? But that wasn’t the first question on her mind. “What will happen to this world, now that it’s purpose has been served?”

“I have not yet decided. I had thought to abandon it.”

Olessa looked down at the sphere floating amongst the blackness. She thought of the people within it, and the love they had shown her. “May I have it?”

“Have it?” The being’s voice showed no emotion, but somehow Olessa could sense its confusion.

“You said I am to be your apprentice. Then let me have this world, to watch over and protect as my own.” The people of this world had taken her in and protected her when she had nothing else. It was only fair that the favour be returned.

“So it shall be. I suppose it deserves a name, then.”

Olessa thought for a moment, then smiled.

“Nowhere.”

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
4 months ago

I Bought It For You
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

“What… what is that?”

Toby shifted. “It’s a bag of dirt.”

“And why are you at my door at—” Spencer glanced at his watch, “the ungodly hour of 11:22 at night with a bag of dirt?”

“It’s one and a half cubic feet, and it’s got organic fertilizer, too.”

“That doesn’t answer my question, Toby, and you know it,” he took a step forward, still on his side of the doorway.

“Well, I was thinking about what you said yesterday, about, uh…” Toby adjusted the bag, the dirt heaving to one side. “About me. And you. But, y’know, mostly me.”

“And?”

He sighed. “And I had to think for a really long time, and I had to call my mom because I didn’t know what to do or what was even a good idea to do, but then you texted me! And I—”

“I texted you at noon. It’s past eleven.”

“Yeah, but I was still thinking and stuff, so it took a while, and then when I finally decided on the gift for you, all the stores were closing, so I drove around for an hour looking for a place that was still open that sold dirt, and now I’m here.”

“With a gift.”

“Yes.”

“A gift of… a bag of dirt.”

“Let me explain,” Toby took a slow, deep breath. “I… know I messed up. And your reaction was incredibly justified, so I knew a normal apology wouldn’t cut it. And you’ve said ages ago that you always wanted a little window garden, so…”

Spencer’s eyes lit up. He took a half-step back.

“But there’s also enough dirt in here if you wanted to, like, bury me and all memories of me in your yard or something, too. Because that’s, uh…”

“That’s something else I’ve said,” Spencer whispered.

“Yeah. And also, I’m really sorry.”

There was a moment of silence.

“…Toby?” Spencer stepped out of the doorway.

“Yeah?”

“Please set down the bag of dirt.”

The bag thumped gently against the ground.

“A normal apology would have cut it,” Spencer swept him up in a hug.

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
4 months ago

Homecoming
By Adrian Solorio

Before the sun dawned on the red-tiled homes of Santa Dolores, its rays chased away the white-mist covering the land. In hen-houses red-roosters crowed; in the road a lean-dog asleep awoke; in homes pots and pans clanged while stove fires burned. Orange-pink tendrils of light spread through the green-valley, slowly, warmly, rolling down the hills, down into the pot-holed streets, up the church tower, then out over the fields of yellow-corn.

On the porch of a lonely house shaded by a lone willow, gnarled and bent, an old man sat alone. Alone but for the battle-worn tomcat, with one ear half-missing, licking its paws, sitting beside him. The sun rose higher and the speckled shade cast by the tree shaded the pair in dapples. Though half-blind and half-mad, the old man enjoyed the sunrise completely, feeling its rays lighting on his skin, the warmth washing over him in a drizzle.

And just as he did every morning, Manuel sat on that porch and pondered. Though he had outlived his entire family they remained with him. For his memories were distinct, tangible. So much so, he heard them, talked to them, saw them even. For this, his neighbors thought he was crazy. For talking to the dead, they said.

“Well, what do they know, Capi?” Manuel said to the cat, whose half-ear twitched at the sound of birds, black-swallows with orange-breasts, singing in the bent branches of the tree. “He never should have gone to el Norte.” Manuel wiped his milky-eyes. “I should’ve stopped him. Why didn’t I stop him?”

Meanwhile, his dead wife hummed in the kitchen, where she cooked with his dead sister. While in the cornfield, he could hear his father’s ghost scolding his brothers. All the family—all except Nicholas—were here. So long he had waited for his son, but now he was grown tired, so tired. “He died too far from home, Capi,” said Manuel despondently. “His spirit’s lost.”

Time passed. An eternity passed. Finally, a figure, shimmering and familiar, appeared, and took Manuel’s cold hand, and together they went inside joining the rest of the family.

Last edited 3 months ago by Adrian Solorio
RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
4 months ago

For You
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)

Klajonas died young. A statistical outlier. It was not the usual causes that tendered her soul into the artifice of eternity; not war, nor famine, nor disease. She died in the grip of something far more insidious: addiction.

She was known as the Storyteller. Brolis gave her his father’s fermented drinks and she would make the whole family laugh or cry. She knew all the stories about the Wanderer and she thought they were happy. For a year.

She found, one day, a clam buried in the brackish pool they fished. She had been drinking and the brown-flecked shell reminded her of Father, who taught her to fish and told her the stories. She pulled the clam open in a reverie of nostalgia, a desire burning her to know if there was anything inside.

A pearl the color of the hole in the sky dropped from the shell. She stared after it, uncomprehending, when she felt it brush her foot. A sense of deafening brightness.

—These are for you, the Living.

A tear followed the pearl’s wake. A second set of ripples. She felt the alcoholic headiness leave her body, the desire for drink gone, a memory of false happiness.

Brolis splashed up to her. “What is it?”

Her hands had never been clever, just clumsy things attached to a sharp mind, a mind now clarified and relaxed. She laughed at him, petty cruelty her only recourse to this revelation, to reality. She was self-aware again.

“Klajonas?”

Her mouth twisted. “Do you know the story when the Wanderer gave up his legs to save his lover?”

“Of course, you told it last night.”

“You’re not worth the cost.”

His face reddened, darkened.

She left him there and dove beneath the water. She smashed every clam she could find, the occasional refrain keeping her going. When she reached the sea, her body was spent and her soul loosened. She slipped beneath the waves one last time, breathing her last as she felt that divine presence and its message. When her heart stopped, the pearls healed her and she awoke ashore.

Constellasphere
Constellasphere
4 months ago

“Ergosum”
By Constellasphere

His heart raced wildly as he ran through the snowy forest, chasing after the deer that seemed to promise him a new adventure.

He had tried for a long time to obey orders, to stay within the boundaries set for him. But as his mind wandered, he began to as well. Surely there was more to see in the world, and the boy wanted to know what it had to show him. What shape was the world? Was the sky blue in other parts of it as well? Were there other places out there to see?

The fluffy white crunched beneath his feet; it was a bit odd for snow to remain this long after Spring, but everyone makes mistakes, right?

It was a swift and clean break that kept him ensnared in place. No matter how he cried out, his voice growing raspy as night arrived, the world continued on without him. Though his tears had long since dried, he held the hope that maybe someone would find him even as the snow would come to bury him. He wanted to apologize to the people waiting for him back home; the boy hoped they’d still love him despite this.

Of course they would; the thought of being safe and warm within their arms could’ve given him enough love to live for hundreds of years. And so, he would wait for them to find him, no matter how long it took. The boy held that hope and smiled as his eyes closed for the night.

Something called out to him, waking him from a long rest. A voice within the wind, a tremble from the Earth itself, speaking of its gift. This world around him was an unfamiliar burst of life. Flowers bloomed from the ground, leaves whispered as they shivered on the trees, and the wildlife strutted about to experience the new life.

The boy stumbled to his legs, his empty head and hollow chest urging him forward. His foot brushed against what had long been claimed by the Earth, but they would remain unnoticed.

Last edited 4 months ago by Constellasphere
WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
4 months ago

“The Hypobeal Baptist”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Five cloaked people stood around an open pit in a graveyard, shovels in hand. It had been some time since the master had called them all; the hard winter dirt had yielded to the spring mud twice and was starting to dry into the summer dust. The crescent moon was high in the sky. It was time. The five turned and walked towards the shack. Within a few minutes, a young man exited with a shovel over his shoulder, but stopped when he saw five strangers on his proverbial doorstep.

“Can I help ya?”

His speech was drawn out and inelegant. No matter. His muscles were all the master needed.

“It is time,” the five cloaked people said in unison.

“What? What d’ya mean?”

“Master Rimmelech has sent for us.”

The young gravedigger’s eyes lit up. “Y’all are friends with my little buddy?!”

The five nodded in unison. They stood still as death as the young man jumped for joy.

“I knew he said I’d never be alone,” the gravedigger replied, “But I didn’t never think that he’d invite buddies over. Come in! Come in!”

He gave his best bow and gestured to the door.

“We have no time,” the figure in the middle said. Their voice was deep and authoritative.

“We must dig, friend,” the figure to the far left added. A feminine voice.

“The master is coming,” the five said, in unison once more. “We must make preparations.”

The gravedigger nodded and the six marched over to the open pit.

“Enter.” The unison of the five’s voices shook the gravedigger.

“O-okay.” Without much effort, the gravedigger climbed down into the pit, shovel in hand. “Now what?”

The five figures dug their shovels into the dirt and took turns pelting the gravedigger with the gravedirt. The young man tried to protest, but his cries only earned him a mouthful of soil. The five chanted as they threw more and more and more dirt upon the young gravedigger. When they had filled the hole, they spoke once more in unison.

“Servant of Rimmelech, Lord of Worms, rise! Rise and dig!”