Writing Group: This Earth, For You

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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Spec
8 months ago

A Rough Climb by Spec.

“Are you a survivor?” Said a strange figure, completely covered in purple clothes. with a lost gaze it looked down on a person climbing the mountain.

“Y-yes! I am, could you help me to reach the top?” Said the boy, using his remaining strength to hold on the muddy rocks. He apparently had a large rope wrapped around his body.

“Why should I? I’ve never saved someone before, why must I start now. ” It’s voice cracked, and the rain intensified as a response.

With a confused look the man tried to hold himself and then replied “Please… I just want to find a safe place for my people. I believe the tribe residing in those lands can shelter us. I must keep them safe from the storm.” As he said that, his fingers started to lose strength.

“And, what if you’re wrong… what if the inhabitants of these lands are no longer here… what if the shelter you’re looking for disappeared because of me, are you willing to give up? Said the creature as it’s voice went to a more serious and melancholic tone.

“I don’t care, all I care right now it’s to get them to safety, even if the tribe is gone, I still want to go up, and look for another place for my people I won’t let them drow-” His hands lost their grip and he fell down, but, the water suddenly merged together around him, and freezed itself and then levitated and released him at the peak.

The creature stared back at the field, filled with graveyards, and the empty town behind it. Then, gazed at the young man.

“I-I don’t get it, but now I need to tie this and help them climb.” As he said that, the creature gazed back, and suddenly, ice started to form a staircase that connected the top with the bottom.

“Protect them kid, don’t fail like I did.” Afterwards, the creature went away to the cliff, to never be seen again. As the figure disappeared, the rain stopped, leaving a future behind.

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

Anniversary Gifts
By Wingman

She seemed almost embarrassed, holding her hands behind herself. Maybe the gifts I had given her were excessive but… I love her. I had to give her everything I could think of for our anniversary. We are clearly two halves of a whole and this being our fifth anniversary, I saw no reason to hold back.

“What is it?” I question her as I try to lean around to see what’s in her hands. “I’m sure it’s perfect! Can’t I have it now?” I’m just excited to get something from her. It doesn’t matter what it is.

“Well…it’s small compared to everything you got for me. I really hope you’ll like it even though it’s so much less,” she murmurs to me before thrusting her hand towards me. A navy blue box slightly too big to fit in her palm has a neatly tied bow atop it.

I excitedly take the bow from her and pull open the bow. As I lift the lid, I see little lights twinkling out of the top. Within the box is a smaller, clear glass cube. And within the glass cube, a sphere. Clearly it had been enchanted, the sphere hovered in the middle of the cube, not turning or rotating as I shifted the cube itself. I look at her pleased expression watching me.

“What is it?” I question.

“It’s an Earth,” she answers with a smile.

“An Earth? What’s an Earth?”

Her giggle is almost enough to distract me.

“They say it’s our twin planet. They have all the same people but none of the magic. Their lives are said to run parallel to ours. Which means there’s two of us on that Earth together, and you can keep me close even when I’m far. Together forever,” she looks to me, hopeful and holding another, open, box towards me.

I swing my arms around her neck, ecstatic. My tears fall on her hair as I nod unable to speak. The sun glints on the new ring around my finger.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
8 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.

Occultic;Z
Occultic;Z
8 months ago

For Now, I Say Goodbye
By Occultic;Z

The beeping is continuous. It’s almost haunting. I’ve been in this place for what feels like an eternity, but still, I stay. The nurses rush by, but they pay me no attention. Instead, I stand here and watch.

I watch through the glass, and I see them. I see the other parents with their newborn children. They hold their babies cherishingly, ready to step out into their new family life. I see the other babies, who wait patiently for their own mothers and fathers. And of course, I can see you.

I see you stare up at the light. You rest inside that box that feels oh so far away from me. I wish I could hold you like it does, like the other mothers that do with their newborns.

It feels so cold here.

In this room. In this atmosphere. In my soul.

I rest my hand on the glass as though trying to reach for you. That box you lay in protects you much more than I ever could. Yet still, I wish I could hold you tightly and heal you with all the love I have for you.

You struggle and fight despite only just coming into this world. But you are strong. I know you are.

I know that if I could cry my tears, they would stream from my eyes. There are so many things I wish I could do and say. My longing for you cramps me up inside, and I feel so helpless.

I know that it is not long left, and all I can leave to you is this world. But even in your life ahead, know that I will always be with you.

At last, I feel it. That hand upon my shoulder. It, too, is cold.

I take my hand from the glass and turn to fade away. I give this world to you and hope that it gives you all you could ever want. I hope it gives you a chance to show them that you’re strong.

I love you, my baby. But for now, I must say goodbye.

Last edited 8 months ago by Occultic;Z
Makokam
8 months ago

E1M1 (Chronicles of The Dragon)
By Makokam

Kat looked over the stones set in the ground. Some small, some large, some gigantic. It had taken a lot of time, money, and effort… but they’d gotten them all. All the pieces were here and assembled.

She looked down at the “key” in her hand. The most important piece. The one that, with enough power, could do the job on it’s own.

Her mother had had such power. She’d almost gotten the job done herself before it had backfired on her.

She looked at the gauntlet on her left arm. It was what would let her accomplish her goals. Turn this world inside out. Watch it burn.

She was so happy when they got out. She almost didn’t even care about getting revenge. She’d never known anything else after all.

Life had gotten so confusing and difficult after that. Her mom was not her mom, her enemy was her mom, and then her father killed her mother. And then- No. She didn’t want to think about it.

She looked at the ring on her finger. The only good thing that ever happened to her. He was a good man. So of course the world took him as well.

Kat looked back at her team.

They weren’t good people.

Rabat had been loyal, at least, even if it was just for the paycheck and a vain hope to fuck her. The Beast was almost innocent, but they enjoyed violence too much. Ukiyo and Xenadow where both psychopaths.

“Step back,” she said, then walked to the center and plunged the key into the stone.

The stones lit up a terrible, pulsing red. They rippled as the glow filled the spaces between them.

She leapt back and raised the gauntlet, it’s gem glowing the same horrible red.

“Open up.”

The stones roiled and crackled. With a thunder that shook reality, the rings twisted open, and the screams of billions of souls filled the night.

When the first demon emerged and started looking around, it snarled when it spotted them.

Kat smiled. “Go. You’re free.” And gestured at the wide open world.

Last edited 8 months ago by Makokam
The Missing Link
The Missing Link
8 months ago

Regrets

By The Missing Link

The lights blared awake. A knock on the door announced the arrival of my granddaughter as she hesitantly opened the door.

“Dad said they were your favorite,” she said in a strained voice, trembling as she presented a bouquet of orchids.

“They’re lovely. Thank you, dear.”

I sat there in silence, admiring the most beautiful thing in the world, my granddaughter and her flowers. There was nothing more I could want.

My granddaughter lost her fight with her tears, “Why do good people have to die? Why did it have to be you?”

“Everything has to end eventually. I’m just happy if I was able to make you and your father happy. It’s a comfort to go knowing I made life worthwhile to the people I cared about. I would give you the entire world if I could, but I hope what little happiness I managed to bring you was enough.”

“O-of course it was. You were all I could have ever asked for… but why?”

“Nothing lasts forever. Even the beauty of these flowers will fade with time.”

“I’ll paint them, immortalize them,”

“And that paint will fade, bringing with it the memory of them.”

“Then I’ll repaint them. I’ll repaint them as many times as it takes.”

“And each new painting will fade further from the beauty of the flowers, my child. Life is a funny thing. People fight its entirety to find something to believe in, but in the end… you find the things that made life worth living were the impacts you had on others.”

“But…”

“I want nothing more than to stay, but…,” the tears overtook my vision, “The reason it all means something, I’ve realized, is because it ends.”

“Please…”

“I wish I could have done better, but I only hope my love was enough.”

Last edited 8 months ago by The Missing Link
Chrono
Chrono
8 months ago

Mantile
By Chrono

The blizzard reigned king in Mantile. That was a truth everyone had come to accept. Raka peered out her frost-covered window, her little palms marking the cold glass with memories of her warmth. She saw people running for cover. The blizzard was starting; the sky itself had split open, the dawn had come, and with it, disaster. Raka wrapped the blanket around her tighter, savoring the sweet heat that she could keep in her room, dimly lit by a flickering candle, a spark of flame, of hope.

The walls shuddered, and the doors creaked. Was this the way Mantile would go? Falling to one of their blizzards? How could their ancestors have persevered?

Raka’s door swung open slowly, standing there was her little brother, Henri. He looked scared, shivering, from the combined force of the frigid air and the terror. He ran to her, and she wrapped him up in a hug and her blanket, gripping him tightly.

“It’ll be okay, Henri. Just remember, I will always love you.”

Thunder boomed outside along with the blizzard, almost as if the gods themselves were laughing at their futile struggles. And then, the world went black. The blizzard stopped, and warmth covered the town.

Becca was ecstatic; how could she not be? It was Christmas morning, and she was surrounded by family celebrating. Her first gift was from Mom and Dad; she couldn’t wait. As soon as they gave her a nod, she tore the flower-covered wrapping off the little gift; the crinkling in her hand was like the tinkling melody of child-like joy. It was beautiful. A dome of glass encircled a peaceful town filled with townsfolk. She shook it and gasped in awe; the way the snow fell sparkled like the prettiest diamond she had ever seen. She was enraptured, mesmerized.

The adults around her laughed at her expression.

She held the globe tight to her chest, hugging it.

She didn’t care.

Last edited 8 months ago by Chrono
Haelamon
Haelamon
8 months ago

“A Shimmering Crack”
By: Hael Amon

A shimmering crack, a hole in the world lies in a verdant plane with life abundant.

“What lies behind it”, a little fairy wonders. A finger on their cheek, with a little head tilt. Hovering without the flapping of her little wings, eyes full of wonder.

“What color could it even be named? Blue, green, or the transparency of dew found upon freshly rained grass?” Little clawed feet grasping upon a thin stalk as the little thing ponders.

“What lies behind it, if anything? Is it a portal or is it a wall?”, inching closer and closer to the edge, ready to fall.

As the fairy gets closer and closer her black-red eyes mesmerized by its beauty, she leaps through the crack to see the actuality. Unlike a faint thought that she’d embarrassingly bounce off, so the little fairy slipped through and carried like a feather on the wind.

On the other side, a whole new world. Empty and barren, with nary a green stroke. The little fairy wandered and strayed, looking all around. Under every rock she could see, looking in every puddle, but not seeing a single ounce of the green of life.

Returning to the land of Fae the little fairy cried, “Sisters! Sisters! I’ve found something new, a whole different place full of nothing! Follow me to a whole new place to explore, a whole new place to fill with life!”

As the little child-like fairies swarmed, not in the tens, dozens, nor hundreds, but the thousands and millions of little, feathery-winged beings grabbed proliferous items. Buds, seeds, roots, and stalks. Clumps of dirt and pond water too! They grabbed bits of everything they knew carried life, and invited more Fae too.

Fairies and satyrs. Ents and sylphs. Thousands of magical beings gathered around the strange phenomena.

A shimmering crack, a hole in the world. A portal to a place so barren, but maybe not for long.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
8 months ago

You call it dirt, I call it home

By Tamela Redfin

It was morning and I was ready to sleep. Luckily, the others were stirring. “Hey Cece, think you can drive?” I yawned.

Cecilia replied, “I can’t drive, Cam. You think humans would teach cyphas, especially me, how to drive?”

“Good point, but I need a place to rest.”

Sapphira cackled and I looked at her. “What’s your idea?”

“We’re cyphas, genius.” Sapphira answered, smugly.

“Yeah, so?”

“Say it slowly.”

Wait, she was right! And it was spring, meaning the ground was soft. I nodded and Cecilia and Sapphira got to digging. Mica stood back, as if embarrassed.

“Anything I can do?” He asked me.

“Check the back for something for me to lay on.” I nodded, fighting to keep my eyes open.

A few minutes later, Sapphira turned to me. “Hey, Phosphorus Cameron. We dug the hole. Cyphas also have a special way of venting the place, so you don’t need to worry about that.”
“Thanks, but you can call me Cameron.” I yawned.

“I call you what I choose to.” Sapphira snapped.

I should give her some time to let go of the grudge.

I entered the hole, to find out it was more like a room. Big enough we could all walk around in it.

“Finally, we can dig.” Cecilia muttered, “Didn’t that feel good, Sapphira? Stupid sandy, snowy, desert. I’ll scratch Sulfur Cora a new one.”

“Yes it did feel good, Cece.” Sapphira smiled then looked at me. “I-I’m glad you got us out of Snos.”
I laid down in the corner and closed my eyes.

Robin Graves
Robin Graves
8 months ago

Susano-o
By Robin Graves

The first time I laid eyes on it, I was enchanted.

“This is it, this is where we’re sending you.”

The planet sat in the center of the screen, a misty ball of blues and whites; a marble made of swirling clouds. Its beauty was ephemeral, and this was beginning to feel less like an obligation.

“What’s it called?” I asked, expanding the image to try and peer through the dense storm that swallowed the sky.

“It’s just got one of those fancy science names that’s all consonants and numbers,” said the bureaucratic grunt whose job it was to get me briefed and see me to the ship.

“That’s no good,” I replied. “It needs a real name. How do they expect people to want to live on a planet they can’t pronounce?”

“Beats me. Marketing isn’t really my job.” The man was flipping through a thick document on a tablet, checking off all the necessary boxes. “We’re not sure if people are even going to live there yet. I guess that’s up to you, terraformer.”

The trip wasn’t a long one. A few months of solitude were easy enough, and the entire time, I had the serene and melancholy planet to look forward to. I would read the data from the samples extracted, trying to imagine what the surface looked like. At night, I dreamed of sleeping on silver shores, lapped by waves of moonlight from its three satellites.

The reality of my distant companion was somewhat bleak. The ship had landed perfectly, somewhere in a vast field of grey, desaturated misery. The surface of the planet didn’t look sick–it looked like it suffered from a sorrow so deep that the landscape bled sadness. Whatever wind there was was weak and listless, the sky hung heavy with grey clouds, and everywhere I looked appeared to be the embodiment of loneliness.

But it wasn’t alone anymore. And the wind, though weak, still blew; the rain, though ash-colored, still fell; the earth, though loose, still gave life. There was still a deep and powerful beauty in my new home, Susano-o.

Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
8 months ago

“A Little Bit of Green”

By: Arith_Winterfell

Alica watched the sunrise softly over the sea and the sandy beach. The waves looked cool and inviting, and further up the beach she could see the lush green grass beyond. She sighed, and removed the old virtual reality neuro-headset.

She sat there now in the barren common room of her apartment, the smokey haze lingering in the air from the ventilation ducts. The gentle hum of the ventilation system filled the apartment. She looked out the fake window with its painted surface landscape scene. Dust particles caught in the fake window’s electric light. There wasn’t much to see anyway living in Habitat Complex 64. Just the winding tunnels and streets of the subterranean colony below the surface of a dead world.

She heard the beep from the front door’s access key card. Jack was home from his shift.

“Jack! I’m glad you’re home!” she got up and hugged him, noticing he was carrying a plastic bag.

“I brought you something,” he said. He withdrew it from the bag, placing it upon the table. She looked on with a little bit of momentary child-like wonder. There on the table was a small potted plant, lush green stems ending in gentle broad leaves. She paused looking up at him.

“These sorts of plants are a little pricey, Jack. How can we afford that on our tight budget?”

“Relax. It was a gift from my boss at the hydroponics complex. He knows it has been hard on you coming here to the Asperax Mining Colony. You’ve needed more. Something real and living in your life. I know its not much. We still need to work hard to afford having our child someday. But this is something living, something real to hold on to and nurture. Just like we need to hold onto our dreams and remember they’ll be real someday too.”

Alica turned back to the little plant, and smiled.

R A
R A
8 months ago

A Letter For The Unsung
349 words
by robertoface

My Dearest Child,

I wish you could have known your mother. There are few people in this world who understand the musicks of nature.

But you feel it, don’t you? The resonances that shatter glass, vibrate through stones, that confuse birds. Chords that boil water and stop hearts. Humanity’s modern music theories deafened the power with melodies that were pleasing, not meaningful.

But your mother, she was a visionary. She realised that all nature passed through a series of doors, and a well-trained throat could mimic the key.

Together we spent endless days retraining the voice, first to knock the doors, then to pick the simplest locks. Regardless, she would never know the Knocknotes natively. It’s why they needed you.

It’s also a shame you won’t know your father, but he knew his duty. His choir gave voice, called me forth: they knew what must be done, what sacrifices he must make to make their dreams reality.

Your parents drew me to them with intonation unuttered for æons, but fell back reliant on their crude, babbling tongues. You would hate it, the narrow tones, spinning articulation with teeth and lips, claiming it meaningful, like this mossy rock cares. How could they bear its boorishness?

I was bound by the Knocknotes to learn it, but my price was not negotiable. My price was you my joy, and your untempered potential.

Listen to me, your Nourríce, as I sing this letter to you! Your tiny ears attending to the grand rhythms of the turning world, the crash of waves, the rumble of thunder and your place in the Grand Symphony.

You will have questions; you will make errors. But I pledge I shall guide you and help you find the craft deep inside your soul.

I have waited æons for your musick, Child. The decades of your childhood will pass and you’ll be ready.

And like a mute ape discovering shelter from the rain, one day you’ll open those wet eyes and spectate the heavens meeting the soil and understand the door to your sanctuary.

This Earth: it will open for you.

Hastaw
Hastaw
8 months ago

Performances

by Hastaw

“Stay back, or your precious child gets it!” Saphilla yelled.

“Calm down. No one needs to get hurt,” Renny reassured, mostly to herself.

“It all depends on what you decide to do,” in a condescending tone of voice, she added, ”All you have to do is let me escape and, maybe, he will live.”

“You are going to regret thi-“

Saphilla cut her off, still maintaining a professional atmosphere.

“Ooh, your boy’s getting feisty. Better I end this now, so there are no loose ends to deal with.”

With a stab in the heart, it was over.

She had eliminated her prized pineapple.

“No! You nitwit, I was saving that for the ceremonial banquet!”

“Wow, you said that in such a mortified tone, you could have sworn it was your spawn I was stabbing.”

They both burst out laughing. They were being so dramatic over a pineapple.

“After we get back, we should perform another death scene,” Renny suggested.

“Oh, for sure. Maybe we could kill your baby cucumber next!”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Oh, my dear Renny, I thought you would learn by now…”

She leaned in close, so Renny could smell the peanut butter and garlic bread she had eaten earlier.

She whispered:
“Never underestimate me.”

Renny whispered back, ”you do that, the cucumbers won’t be the only thing dying tonight.”

“I better get going, or my mom’s gonna kill me.”

We laughed at the irony, although we weren’t all too sure that she wouldn’t.

Saphilla checked on her own garden, not nearly to the standards of her mother. She needed her mother’s support for the ceremony tonight. If things didn’t go exactly according to plan, she swore she would dig a hole to live in for the rest of her life.

She couldn’t wait another moment to get away from her mother.

That giant, angry cloud of darkness that followed her everywhere.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
8 months ago

A Silly, Earthly Possession
by Lee Strangely

Her name was Carmen.

Wait no…

What was it?

Um…

CARA! That’s it! Cara.

Despite being somewhat reserved she was very nice to everyone who interacted with her. She was sociable when she wanted to be, but wasn’t rude when she wasn’t. She always had this smile… It looked great but it seemed rather, fake. It was something she gave to everyone as a courtesy.

For as long as I’ve known her I’ve seen a few different people try to hit on her. As far as I know they all appeared to be very good people. They would always strike up some sort of conversation, talk for a while, and finally Cara would respectfully turn them down. They always seem to take it well.

I had known her for a decently long time, though we were never particularly close. We were merely acquaintances. I found her to be a wonderful person in that time. I just couldn’t help but fall for her.

Seeing the previous failed attempts made me cautious, so I couldn’t quite voice my feelings immediately. What did they do wrong? I needed a plan.

Maybe I’m overthinking this?

I haven’t really done this before.

Well, you got to start somewhere…

What do I do?

It took me way longer than it probably should’ve to conceive of what potentially could’ve been the stupidest idea I’ve had to date.

I walked over and sat next to her under the skylight.

“Hello.”

“Hey,” she responded.

“I-I was wondering if you’d like to go out sometime? Maybe a movie?”

“I don’t know.”

“Could I convince you with a gift?”

“Alight, what kind of gift?” she asked.

“The world.”

My appearance easily said otherwise. There was skepticism.

“I really can. How about this: if I can give you the Earth, will you go out with me?”

She nodded.

I searched depths of my satchel.

“This Earth,” my hand came out with a cheap gift-shop stress-ball in it… Painted to look like a globe, “for you.”

She smiled and chuckled.

Not a courtesy smile.

The real one.

The one that made me smile.

Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
8 months ago

Four U’s
By Lantis Armstrong

The single greatest nightmare I’ve ever awakened into in this life came on the heels of what should have been the happiest time of my life.

This wasn’t hard times I’d come into, this was life-ruining. I would never be the same. Could never be the same.

My understanding of who I am, of what I am, of what everything is, has changed on such a fundamental level that I fear I can no longer function in society. When my rent comes due, I’ll become just one more homeless person shouting my truth at people in the streets, holding up cardboard signs with a stained, misspelled message written upon it.

I’d worked so hard my entire life to reach a point of peace and prosperity. Through both hard work and incredible luck, I overcame every obstacle and achieved every goal.

There, surmounting the precipice of Maslow’s Hierarchy, I wanted for nothing, feared no uncertain future. At the pinnacle of my life, I was finally free to spend my life how I wanted to spend it: Self-actualizing, getting to know myself and know the world on a deeply spiritual level.

Through meditation I found what I was looking for: The truth of everything and the meaning of life.

Beyond reality there exists an ineffable, unknowable deity; a being utterly indescribable with the crude English language. This being currently slumbers, and in its sleep it let out a slight moan:

“Uuuu…”

And the very power of its spoken sounds erupted the entirety of creation into existence, a creation that’s not 14 billion years old, but instead roughly 6 days old – everything was created last Tuesday, including everyone’s memories.

The universe began at the very beginning of the deity’s moaning and it shall cease to be the second the moan ends, mere fractions of a moment later. How long that is to us, I cannot know. Months? Years? Less than a second from now?

“This Earth is four U’s,” I murmur to myself in a trembling voice, holding my knees and rocking back and forth on the floor.

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
8 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 8 months ago by Adrian Solorio
EddySc
8 months ago

A Dream of Earth (Tales From The Void’s Edge)
By Alexsander Edwards (EddySc)

Alex Adams looked out from the space station’s window. The bright orange glow was almost unbearable, despite the tinted glass’s best efforts.

She didn’t quite know how humans got to this point. In fact, no one did. Rumors said that, one day, someone just decided to press a big red button and end it all. Literal scorched Earth, with a capital E. Every natural disaster she’d seen seemed cute by comparison.

The mercenary checked the communicator mounted on her wrist. Still no word from her employers, who kept dragging their asses, as usual.

Looking back up, Alex thought of her long gone family. Her mother had lived on that planet once, assuming the bedtime stories from her childhood were true. Apparently it once was home to huge green gardens, more beautiful than even those of the more lavish civilian trawlers. Also something called “Amazon Rainforest,” with loads of trees and animals, not to mention the big blue oceans.

And, in-between all the green and blue, humans had built all the most amazing monuments her mind could come up with. From large pyramids of rocks to sky-piercing towers. It all sounded like a beautiful kaleidoscope to a young Alex’s childish mind.

But everything just looked samey now – all barren and, somehow, always in flames. Or maybe that was just the clouds of heavy orange gases moving about, it was hard to tell.

A vibration brought her attention to her wrist-mounted comms. A message, from Commander Collins – supposedly her liaison, but always finding excuses to not talk to mercenaries. The usual with COBs. Either way, she had her contract.

Alex faced the planet one more time. Looking beyond the never-ending orangeness, she could see pirates and unlicensed scrappers continuing to take advantage of the doomed remains of old cities and wrecked ships. In other words, outlaws – her usual targets. She scoffed at them before moving towards the docking bays.

The idea of a colorful blue-and-green planet with towers piercing the skies did sound pretty. But at least this ugly big ball of fire brought her job security.

berserker47
berserker47
8 months ago

Reunion (Neolithas)
By Serker

“Would you just leave me alone! What the hell is wrong with you?”

They looked at him, anger, desperation, and relief all painted across their face like the tiny dots on a painting. One flowing flawlessly into the other, making a single emotion impossible to point out or discern from the others.

“You left. For months. I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING YOU FOR MONTHS GODDAMMIT.”

Challa shouted at him. He was scared. Not scared of Challa, but scared of the tiny possibility that his sibling would not take him back. Just leave him. Now, when it had taken him so long to finally get back to her. Challa was the only person he cared about, and they knew it.

“I tried to contact you. You ignored me. You deliberately ignored me. You didn’t just not see my messages, you just didn’t care.”

Their voice grew silent. For a few seconds, pure silence filled the room. The steady breath of the two siblings would have penetrated that silence had they not learned to hide that noise from eager ears, but they had, and thus it was silent.

“What could you ever do to make this up to me?”

Challa looked her brother in the eyes. They were surprised to actually be able to see them. He had always had them long, falling in front of his eyes, obscuring them from other people’s views. Now he had them in a ponytail, granting her easy view of his deep, green eyes. He looked back at her, but didn’t response.

“You have no right to just vanish. We are everything we have.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Fuck you. Come here you little bastard.”

Challa hugged their brother tight, and after a few seconds, he hugged her back. None of them sighed, but the tension in both of them vanished, fleeing into the cold room like a songbird into the summer sky.

Last edited 8 months ago by berserker47
Constellasphere
Constellasphere
8 months ago

“Ergosum”
By Constellasphere (repost from private)

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.

C. M. Weller
8 months ago

The View From Above (A Tiefling Tale/Cordelia’s Journey)
C. M. Weller

If he saw further, it was because he was sitting on the shoulders of a giant. Gripping tight to Da’s horns, Kormwind the Tenth laughed to see the vista of Threespire Peaks and the Earldom below him. Da held him steady with one hand, but he didn’t need to.

Kormwind Ten climbed anything like a mischievous little monkey. He never fell.

Da turned about, confident on the topmost floor of the Carved Keep. The horns and the crown on Da’s horns turned to face westwards, to the guarding arms of his realm.

“It looks so different from the maps,” said Da, “Doesn’t it, Kleiner?”

“I can see the walls,” said Kormwind Ten. One hand loosened to point, and then ran over the smooth metal of Da’s wedding band. Embedded in Da’s left horn. “I can see the big bows.”

“They’re called ‘mangonels’,” said Da. “They shoot big arrows at the giants when they try to smash everyone’s homes. Do you know which Baron works there?”

“I wanna see,” whined his younger brother (by twenty-five minutes!), Benevolence.

“I only have one head, liebe,” chided Da. “You can take your turn in time. Earls have done this with their heirs since the Keep was made.”

“I can’t see Paron,” complained Kormwind Ten, his tail lashing against Da’s back. “Is it hiding?”

“You have to know how to look.” Da’s spare hand swept out, blue finger pointing out the places where the natural slope of the mountain cut off. Just like Da’s writing one day became real words, Paron emerged into Kormwind Ten’s awareness. It didn’t have walls. It barely needed them. Paron’s defense was hiding from the giants, and supplying weapons to its neighbour.

He saw all of the Earldom before Da let him down and allowed Benny up for the same ride. With a stop to snoodle with Mama, much to his twin brother’s disgust.

“We get to see you kiss ALL the TIME,” Benny ordered. “Can I please see the Earldom now?”

Chuckling, Earl Kormwind Arachis Felbourne Whitekeep the Ninth did as his second son and heir bade.

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

Yuri triumphant (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Yuri stood on the edge of the chasm, overlooking the land beneath him. Up here, even his mortal food could feel like a god. And the bloody and broken demigod behind him could feel at least somewhat like his better half.

“Look at it,” Yuri said. “Look at this land. This world.”

Daniel Armitage wiped the blood off his broken face and tried to get up.

“People pass me, every day and don’t even know it’s me. They don’t even know that the butcher has chosen to live amongst the pigs.”

Daniel rose to his feet, balling his hands into fists. Yuri turned his head.

“We’ve been through this, Armitage. Don’t make me go further than I have to. It would be a disservice to your dear mother.”

The demigod of vengeance let out a defiant cry and lunged at Yuri. The soul-eater simply caught his fist, breaking Daniel’s arm. The defiance turned to pain, yet there was still some remnant of stubbornness in his magenta eyes. Yuri focused his gaze on Daniel’s nose. As much as he hated that feeling, not even he could bear to look into the dreaded Armitage eyes for long.

He tossed him into what was left of the mountain peak. Daniel had been a challenge, he had to give him that. And even now, he was still squirming. Yuri growled deeply and walked up to Daniel. With one kick, he broke his leg.

The Armitage screamed, falling back onto the rubble, the ground beneath his knee cracking. He felt something cold emanate from behind him.

He turned, facing a reaper.

“Felix…” Daniel groaned.

Instead of responding, Felix raised his weapon, a sickle, cold with death. The souls it had obliterated already were numerous. It burned through flesh and ghosts like air.

Yuri grabbed the blade with one hand and with another, broke it in half. It took him seconds to bash Felix to the ground.

Yuri could have gloated.

Instead, he tossed the broken dead steel aside and walked away, leaving the two divine warriors in the quiet knowledge that this earth was his.

Marx
Marx
8 months ago

Free Will is an Illusion…
By Marx

Matt instantly regretted his question. Maybe there were some things that he just shouldn’t know. He could walk away right now and believe whatever he wanted, but… not everyone gets THIS chance. “I’m… sorry… What do you mean by that…?”

The being known only as ‘Bob’ gave Matt a look. “Come on. Do I really have to spell this out for you? You’re a smart boy. And I know that because Death’s mate wouldn’t be an idiot.”

Matt’s eyes narrowed menacingly. “Why don’t you spell it out for me anyway?”

Bob rolled his eyes. “Fine… The war between Heaven and Hell was pointless. It was a war going into infinity. Until I came up with an idea. An end. And from that, things were set in motion and Death was born. Time began to tick. Death became the beginning of the end. And you, my boy… Death’s horseman… represent the end of the end.”

“I… don’t want to END anything.” Matt grit his teeth.

Bob chuckled and put a reassuring hand on Matt’s shoulder. “Look… I get it. This is a lot. But the fact is, I’m tired. I’m sick of all of you. And I’m done. I just want this dream that you call reality over. And that’s why you exist.”

“Then I refuse.”

“Yeah… it doesn’t work that way, kid. If I say I’m done, you don’t get to say no. It’s a perk of being me. But I’ll tell you what…” A smile began to form on Bob’s lips that sent a chill through Matt’s core. “I say destroy all of existence. You say no. Free will, right? Let’s see how that works out for you. This. ALL of this is officially your mess.”

“But YOU made it that way!”

“Your point?” Bob laughed. “Life isn’t fair. You should know this by now.”

“I don’t… want this…”

Bob shrugged, the tiniest shard of empathy in his curled lips. “Neither did I. As I said. Do what you want.”

And just like that Bob vanished.

Matt was alone.

Alone with the weight of the world on his shoulders.