Writing Group: Please God, Be Silent (PRIVATE)

Hello, Prophets and Preachers!

Have you ever sought the help of the divine? Looked to the skies, the stars, and begged for answers? Now… have you ever asked, or been with someone who has, but pleaded for there to be no response? To return only quiet so that you could figure things out yourself? Maybe you just don’t ask, or even just ignore the answers you’re given, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Please God, Be Silent

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!

We are no stranger to all kinds of Deities. Many worlds have some form of a God, or even multiple Gods, including our very own. 

From the almighty Norse God, Thor, who is associated with thunder and lightning, strength, protection of mankind, and many other things, to Anubis, the Egyptian God of the dead who would weigh the hearts of those who passed to see if they should be granted access to the Realm of the Dead, to the more specific Terminus, who was the Roman God of landmarks and the stones the Romans placed as boundary lines, there is no end to the myths and legends of the Gods, nor is there an end to the things they ruled or were associated with. 

Many look to the Gods for wisdom and guidance. Many turn to the Gods in their time of need. There are even those who seek the Gods when they don’t know where else to turn, even if they didn’t believe before. But this prompt does a bit of the opposite of that, doesn’t it? A prompt like this isn’t asking for guidance or help. This prompt could be depicted as a prophet who has spoken the words of a God for many years, for they are the only one who can hear said words, but just want a break from the constant voices. They just want a day or two of peace rather than being a constant carrier pigeon of sorts. Perhaps it is depicted as a mortal who is stuck helping a God to reclaim their place, or their honour, or whatever it may be, and this God simply just doesn’t know how to stop talking, driving the mortal insane. Maybe the Gods speak through strange means, and some are silently begging that said Gods do not speak at a crucial moment for fear of what the message will bring. Or perhaps you write from the perspective of a God who is just trying to be helpful, but everyone they try to help just asks them to not. Maybe they’re too clumsy? Maybe they make things worse rather than better? 

There’s far more than just the Gods of our world. Many of you have created your own Gods for your own universes and stories. So you have no limits other than what you place on yourself.

Well, that, and whatever limits or rules your Gods put in place in the worlds you create. After all, Terminus made it a very serious rule not to move his rocks. 

So put pen to paper, and show us what can happen when the divines have said just a little too much.

—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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DesOttsel
DesOttsel
7 months ago

The Sting of Salt
by Gage Jarman

Salt works its way into every sore. It seems to be carried on the very wind, hanging in the ocean air, and there are always sores. On hands from endless rowing. On ankles where heavy shackles wear into the flesh. On legs where they met a hard bench. On backs where they were flogged. On faces where skin cracks from bitter winds. There are always sores. A constant pain to remind us that we’re still among the living for now, but only for now.

I can see those lost to hardships, Astrid, Seamus, Dougal. I’d stopped learning their names. Their spirit cried out in anguish, still shackled to the ship by an inability to let go. They wailed and moaned, refusing me an ounce of sleep until they were thrown overboard. I ignored them. I stared ahead blankly, only thinking of the next stroke of the oars, the next task to avoid the nine tails.

I was dead. My body still breathed, but everything else had been bled out of me. I no longer wished of freedom, to see my mother or father. I felt nothing except the dull thrum of salt in sores. Even the spirits grew quieter, less present as my senses grew weak. Time melded into an unrecognizable expanse like the endless water of the horizon line.

Finnian forced his name onto me. Forced me to care. Forced me to laugh and sing. He was infectious. He said “suffering would give the small joys context”, his god would save us, so I stole away a magic needle, hid it in my cheek for weeks and used it to pick our locks. When we made our escape, he gave his life for mine, taking the saber meant for me. I ran until my atrophied legs buckled.

The Lord on the Rack appeared, told me to rest now, to endure. I screamed. “Give him back! He trusted you. You failed him!” Angry tears spilled down my face, stinging my salt-cracked lips. The broken god merely wiped my face with his thumb.

“He wanted you to live more.”

Last edited 7 months ago by DesOttsel
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
7 months ago

Concept of Fear
By Jesse Fisher

IT WON’T STOP!

The nagging voices keep going, telling lies. Painful lies that only could be born from my mind. Telling me of how the whole act will fail, that I’m just fooling myself into thinking there’s anyone that cares for me.

Friends? What friends?

Those people that you interject into for some form of interactions? Those aren’t friends, those are people that put up with you and your annoyance. Companionship to anyone is just a child’s fantasy that you delude yourself with. You are just trying to hide the fact you’re not able to care about anyone but yourself and your own self interest.

That’s not true, I know I’ve got people that care about me.

Like a friend willing to kick you out of a group just because you were trying to be helpful. Please if only that shows how little you know of the world. You are not the one people care about. There are other people that matter more than you, you are just a tag along that slows them down.

I know my habits, and am trying to use it better myself.

Fat good that does, you get torn up and let me out. You know I’m the one that knows the real you. The broken child in an adult’s body that is just playing pretend. Unlike the rest of the world who have moved on from notition and are successful.

My bad habits are only a reaction to the fear you circulate because some part of me enjoys the pain and to be proven right. No, enjoy is far too good of a word for it. Revolve in it works better, and I can’t change that but I can shut you out.

Not even god can keep you from yourself.

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

[Removed]

Last edited 5 months ago by i-prefer-the-term-antihero
Rattus
Rattus
7 months ago

The Best Student (Illusions of Heroes)
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Emrys grunted in pain, fighting not to lose his grip despite the translucent blade now stabbed into his abdomen. His one hand caught his opponent’s weapon hand in an instant, his other still gripping the mask as tight as he could manage.

His hand clenched tighter and tighter. Serennia better know what she’s talking about.

Serennia ran up behind the attacker and placed both hands on the edges of his mask. Her eyes took on their familiar glow, evidence that she was expending a large amount of energy.

Emrys continued to hold on, despite his opponent’s near constant struggling against him. The tattoo on his arm grew warmer, until it was almost burning his skin. Even its strength wasn’t enough.

Two pops sounded from the mask, followed by two faint trails of opalescent smoke rising from its backside.

Seconds later, the mask shattered into pieces. The magic inside burst outwards, sending Emrys and Serennia reeling backwards onto the ground.

*****

Lucidity flooded back into Areziah’s mind, more intense than ever before. So strong it almost forced him off his feet, the sudden wave of clarity taking his breath away.

On the ground before him, the False Hero laid on the ground, his fist clenched around a piece of the mask. The rest of the mask was shattered into pieces, strewn about across the floor.

“How? Why?” Areziah’s breath was ragged.

“Don’t ask me. Wasn’t my idea.” The False Hero struggled to his feet, dropping the mask shard on the ground.

“I couldn’t let them use you like that.” A voice from behind him. Female. Hardened. Areziah turned to see Serennia standing behind him, hands on her knees, breath heavy.

“Serennia. The mask shouldn’t have broken, it’s reinforced with—” It all suddenly made sense to him. “You dispelled the runes. That shouldn’t be possible. How did you do it?”

“I had a good teacher.”

Areziah stood, dumbfounded, looking at Serennia. She had saved him. The murderous voice of an angry God had left his head.

She really was the best student he could ask for.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rattus
Lari B. Haven
Lari B. Haven
7 months ago

Our silent place
By Larissa (Lari B. Haven)

Charlie walked straight down the staircase. That was the last place he could think they would be hiding: the park bench outside of the stairs.

Tango breathed in, eyes closed, hands perfectly aligned on their lap. There was calmness on their face, calmness that Charlie hadn’t known in centuries. He sat by their side and waited.

In that space, there were a few things: The park bench, a dying tree, rests of broken cobblestone, and a white empty expanse.

“Nostalgic, isn’t it?” Tango said after a moment of silence, opening their eyes. “Do you remember when we found this place, Charlie?”

“How could I forget? The only place where we found true silence.” Charlie smiled at them. “Our first anomaly. We were but little kids when we found this secret bench outside of our reality. How small the world looked before.”

“We thought this could be our magic box. Forever speaking things into existence.” Tango still had that youthful grin. Charlie never knew how to react. “It was so tranquil before, so peaceful… No worries, no procedures, no council meetings, no dangerous anomalies, no office walls… No burden we created ourselves.”

“It was our calling. We needed to protect humanity against the anomalies. We forged our oath…” Charlie said passionately, but the moment his eyes met Tango’s, silence fell again.

“I don’t regret it,” Tango muttered after a while, “I just wish it could be quieter. Those hallways are always buzzing, whispering, and filled with disgusting noises that make me mad sometimes.”

“We created this. You, me, Alfa, Bravo, Echo… I’m sure they feel the same way you do.” Charlie took the reunion memos from inside the suit and gave them to Tango. “The difference is that you care for this place more than anyone else. Our park bench, our magic box. It’s only here because of you.”

Tango let their eyes glide through words and sighed.

“You are right.” Their voice had a veiled sorrow under it. “As long as The Agency still stands, the bench still exists. Silence can rest here, waiting for us.”

chronikDreamer
chronikDreamer
7 months ago

Heavenly Father, you are Wrong
By chronicDreamer
(Warning: alludes to suicide, light gore)

CHILD OF HEAVEN, RAISE YOUR HEAD! FOR GOD HAS HEARD YOUR…

“Shut the fuck up Metatron.” Raphael snapped at their superior. “I prayed for God, not you.”

THE DOGMA STATES…

“I’ll continue to defy God’s will till I get to talk to the Lord directly!”

Metatron stared at Raphael in shock. Their mortal vessel shook, eroded by time on Earth.
Taking a softer approach, Metatron took physical form. “I understand life among mortals can be inconvenient. It might be best to return. Recover from your ordeal. If you still wish an audience with the All Mighty you can always come to me and…”

Raphael pushed Metatron off the roof. Their temporary flesh scattered on the pavement. As the screams filled the city air, Raphael glared up at the sun. Their mortal form unraveled in the wind. Their eyes burned as the star stared back. Raphael’s pairs of wings erupted from their back reflexively. Their six eyes shielding Raphael’s frail shell from the divine light.

“God, I beseech you. Confess to the sins you have committed! In your omniscience you have forsaken souls of the misjudged. Damning those who the world has abused and neglected. You reward those who throw their lives to the lions in your name, but hold no mercy for those who can not endure man’s torment or abandon their lives. They, who are misguided by their beliefs that the world would be better without them. What say you?”

The holy light squelched Raphael’s remaining mortal flesh. The oppressive radiants weighed heavily on their soul. Refusing to kneel before the glory of God, Raphael tore away the wings from their eyes. Their gaze blurred with blood, Raphiel’s wings wept red.

“If you believe they have sinned, then I shall bear their damnation instead.”

The burning light softened. Raphael’s angelic flesh erupted in wounds. Their neck adorned in nooses. Blood flowed tainted in toxins. Bones broke as if they hit the ground. As Raphael fell, the souls he sacrificed for rose.

Metatron choked out with their body’s last breath. “Who are we to question the ineffable plan of God?”

NocteVesania
7 months ago

Those We Leave Behind (The Iron Rose Collection)
By NocteVesania (CW: violence, murder)

“Close the door, honey,” Ruby speaks in a hushed tone, her lips quivering and tears streaming down her cheeks, “and no matter what, don’t open it.”

As she gently pushes the cabinet door shut, angry shouts ring out from outside their home.

“In here!” A man calls out, beckoning to his comrades.

A battering ram crashes through the old oak door with a boom. Uniformed men stream into the house. Following them is their commanding officer, scanning the place with a stern look.

“Sir, please have mercy,” Ruby cries out, her voice breaking, “we’ve done nothing wrong!”

“Lies!” The officer lashes back, pointing a whip at her. “You know of your husband’s involvement in this petty rebellion.”

With a crack, the officer swings his whip at Ruby. It hits her on her cheek and she curls to her side, wincing from the pain. Through her tears, she sees a faint glimmer, fragile eyes peeking through the crack of the cabinet door. Ruby bites her lip and clenches her fist.

“Please, Erina,” Ruby prays to herself, “just look away and don’t speak.”

With all the strength she could muster, she throws herself at the officer’s feet.

“Yes, sir,” she pleads, her trembling hands clutching the officer’s boot, “I admit to the crime, so please just take me away!”

“Ah, there is no need for that,” the officer replies, his tone shifting from anger to smug contempt, “treason is punishable by death.”

He motions to one of the soldiers, who points a rifle at Ruby. “Be glad,” he says, “you’ll be joining your husband shortly.”

With a bang and a thud, Ruby’s body slumps to the floor, her eyes wide and lifeless. Satisfied, the group marches out, leaving nothing but silence, broken only by faint sobbing.

MasaCur
MasaCur
7 months ago

Hey Ya!
By MasaCur

Kubo was awakened by caterwauling flooding the Storm Fortress. He sighed and rubbed his eyes, anticipating what was to come.

A tentative knock came from the door to his chamber.

“Come in.” Kubo climbed out of his bed.

One of the Cloud Nymphs cracked the door open. His face was ingrained with fear. “Prince Kubo? Lord Raiden is performing an incantation. He has summoned an unexpected category five hurricane off the coast of Bermuda. We don’t know what to do about this.”

Kubo sighed and pulled on a robe. “I take it that’s my father making that sound?”

The Cloud Nymph nodded. “That is correct. The words of his fearsome spell.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” He summoned a cloud, and rode out into the main chamber.

High above him, he could hear his father’s wails. Thunder sounded throughout the castle.

“One of the other Cloud Nymphs has reported that he’s gyrating wildly. Perhaps Lord Raiden is having a seizure?” The Cloud Nymph shrunk with fear at the sounds echoing through the Storm Fortress.

“No, he is not. Don’t worry, I’ll deal with my father.” Kubo looked up, and the cloud lifted him up into the heights of Raiden’s castle.

“Another spontaneous weather occurrence, Dad?” Kubo ranted to himself. “How often are you going to do this?” He grit his teeth in exasperation.

As he approached Raiden’s chamber, he could make out Raiden’s “chant.”

“Shake it, shake it! Shake it like a polaroid picture!”

Kubo rolled his eyes, and forced the doors open with a gust of wind.

Inside, Raiden was shaking his rump, a jug of liquor grasped in his fist. He turned, bleary-eyed to the door.

“Kubo, my boy! Come on, let’s get down!”

“Dad, you’re drunk! Shut up, and go to bed! You’re scaring the Cloud Nymphs!”

Last edited 7 months ago by MasaCur
Glaceon373
Glaceon373
7 months ago

Tess
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

Kyle coiled his earbuds and replaced his phone in his pocket. Here goes nothing.

Just as he reached to knock, a quiet, tired voice from the other side of the door said, “Come in. It’s unlocked.”

“Tess!” Kyle threw the door open.

In a corner of her unkempt apartment, Tess sat in a chair, wrapped up in so many blankets that only her head was visible.

“Please close the door behind you,” she whispered.

Kyle hesitated, then did as she asked. “It’s, uh, good to see you? Are you doing okay? You haven’t texted any of us in weeks! Mom and Dad wanted to mail you a thing—”

“I’m fine.”

Kyle swallowed the lump forming in his throat. Tess was definitely not fine; she never acted like this. Did she need a hug? Should he at least walk all the way to her? Maybe—

“Don’t come any closer,” she growled, before adding a quick “please.”

“What? I didn’t say anything—”

“I heard it.”

“What?”

“Heard you think it.”

“Like… heard my thoughts?”

“Yes!” The blanket pile quivered. “I hate it so much! It started about a month ago, and it’s only been getting worse. I used to only be able to hear stuff if someone was close to me. But now I can hear you mentally singing along to bad musical soundtracks as you try to find my apartment. Nice celebrity crush, by the way.”

Kyle let the insults slide. “Do you know why—”

“No.”

“Or—”

“Also no.”

“I didn’t even finish?”

“I can HEAR you thinking, dude. Now, if you don’t have a way to fix it or turn it off, please just leave.”

“Can I, uh, open a window for you? Get you something to eat? Anything?”

“No thank you.”

“Tess…” He held his hand out. “If there’s anything I can do, anything at all—”

“You can leave. And take your thoughts with you. Maybe barricade the door, too.”

“Tess—”

“Tell Mom and Dad I wasn’t here, will you?”

Kyle slowly turned the door handle. “Okay. I will. I love you, sis.”

“Just go.”

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
7 months ago

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

Part 3

She bit him and spat bloodily, “Divine that meaning.”

Osareph reeled back, spluttering. At his feet, the piece of his lip still shook where she spat it. He gestured and one of the apprentice protests struck her.

She laughed in turn, “Look at you. You play god here in your temple, at the head of a religion you made, but do you know the first step to ascension? Do you know what it will cost to achieve your dream?”

She looked only at Osareph and ignored his priests. Her voice assumed that cadence of storytellers which leaves an audience spellbound, unless countermanded.

His gaze rose from his ruined lip. Blood fell to the floor as he breathed in, out. Drip.

“No, I knew others would survive and remember. Those godseeds, who grow and blossom when fed blood—.”

“Please, shut up,” she said. “You must be lowly, be nothing. That will only happen to you when you die.”

“Who are you to speak of these things?”

“I am no one, just a wanderer.”

His lip trembled. “Where have you been, Wanderer?”

“Here, Sostine, elsewhere. Enough places even you have heard my stories.”

“Lock her up,” Osareph said to the priests. “No food, only drip water. Send apologists to her in shifts. Arguing with her will be a good test for their faith.”

“I will make their minds wander,” she promised, “and they will be your prodigals.”

“No, they will make you mine.”

As the priests dragged her steps through the temple, into the sewers beneath, she whispered to them dire prophesies and warnings. Her husky voice left half promises in their ears.

“Not every child returns.”

“Even the staunchest faithful has doubts.”

“My path is hard, but you might finish it alive. Come with me.”

They threw her into an oubliette, down, lower than the floor. One of the priests, his faith physically shaken by her advances, screamed, “Shut up!”

Her whispers echoed behind them as they hurried away. When they had gone, something like a laugh, like a sob, hiccuped into the silence and she whispered, “You’ll both be back.”

Constellasphere
Constellasphere
7 months ago

“Ego”
by Constellasphere

Emery’s hair had turned completely white, standing out against her dark skin.

Voi knew that humans aged. It was simply a process of life, something that would happen regardless of what was done. Just like the frayed world, humans would eventually unravel.

And yet, as he had to help Emery around more and more, it was growing harder and harder to ignore it. The relief of feeling safe had blinded him to the uncertain future.

“You’re awful quiet today, hun.” Voi was careful as he helped Emery lower herself into a chair so they could watch today’s storm roll in. Every crack of her arthritis-inflicted bones stabbed his ears. “What’s wrong?”

“Emery, what do you think happens after death?” The question seemed to linger like smoke. Voi was still as he stood in front of Emery, the woman still holding his hands within hers. And yet, as calm as ever, the woman took her time to answer.

“Hopefully I’ll go some place good. I’ve done a lot of wrong in my early life, but they say God loves and forgives.”

“But what if that…world isn’t what you expected? What if it’s not heaven that awaits you?” His calm tone slowly grew more and more desperate and wobbly as his cognition struggled to understand. “And what if loves stops being love, what do you do then-”

Voi’s eyes widened as Emery pulled him down into her arms, the android falling to his knees. Within her embrace, he could hear her heart beating steadily, still lively. “Then I’d ask God to tell me the truth. If they can’t, then I’ll tell them to shut it.”

Even though he was upset, Voi couldn’t help but smile along with the woman even if tears were welling in his eyes, her bellowing laugh contagious.

“And even if somehow, in this cruel world, love stopped being love-” Emery leaned back a bit so Voi was looking her in the eyes, something he struggled with before. “-you’d still be you. Regardless of where I go or what God tells me, it could never stop me from loving you.”