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.
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!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- 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.
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What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- 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.
- 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).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Being alone is fine, but when you know that your the only one there or anywhere. It does something to the mind. You wonder if the people you cared about died, or maybe their alive and are trying to find you. But maybe they just didn’t care. They wanted the separation, we were already distant. We never did get along perfectly but we are family. we try to be together but it only seems to make things worse. Please god all mighty hear my prayer and give me a sign. Let me know if there alive and well, or anything just… please let me know
By Unkindled Ash
I sighed, paused briefly to listen to the words, and felt the exhaustion setting in. “I can’t care about that right now. I have things to do, things that need to be done.”
“You need to sleep. You look awful…”
I could feel the bags under my eyes and sense the hollowness in my gaze. I felt awful too. I was a corpse that shouldn’t have been reawakened. I wanted to go back to sleep. “They don’t care. Never have. Never will. You know I can’t sleep. You know…”
“But you need it… I can see it. Anyone can. You walk like a marionette, moved by nothing but the strings of false purpose and the momentum of the puppeteer’s hand. You’ve told me so many times how you aren’t accomplishing anything. If you really believed that, wouldn’t you just stop? Just rest…”
I wanted to dig my nails into the desk, claw at the walls, mutter meaninglessly until all the feelings left. I didn’t have time for this. There were things to be done. So many things. I couldn’t list or even name them all. I was so tired. So, so tired. Tired, tired, tired. I could feel my bones weighing down my flesh, but my mind was racing. There was so much I wanted to say and so much that I wanted to do. “I can’t stop. I’ll lose everything if I stop. It all has to get done. Everything. If I don’t meet the deadlines… They’ll start taking things from me. Even things I don’t even have yet. Things I might never have anyway…”
“Well, if you won’t listen to me, then maybe you’ll listen to them. To her?”
“Don’t bring her into this. Don’t bring any of them into this,” I immediately shut down that idea. My thoughts seemed dim and far away. Now all I could think about was being tired, then how much I had to do, then how tired I was. It was a massive back and forth that led to nothing. “Please god, shut up… Shut up! Shut up!”
This time it’s a comedy. (Stupid Sexy Dragon series TM)
By Pryzma (Drago#)
The Dragon and the Knight once again stood in front of each other, bickering with the most ridiculous of arguments.
Finally the Knight had enough.
Knight: “OH DEAR GOD, SHUT UP!”
Dragon: “Ah a god? I do truly aspire for that position thank you for acknowledging my immense and wonderful contribution to world order.”
Knight, exasperated: “I hate you so much.”
Dragon: “You do not! No one is capable of hating my beautiful face!”
There were many capable of hating his beautiful face.
???: “Excuse me.” with monotone voice, small bee-like dragoness spoke up from the bloody corpse. “You are making my work harder. If you do not stop making loud noises I will instead cut out your livers.”
Knight: “Why do you even need livers?”
Bee: “I like livers.”
She said as she continued grabbing intestines.
Bee: “No. I do not have any food preferences. I enjoy livers in scientific and artistic sense. Do you enjoy livers too?”
Dragon: “I don’t know about livers but I like skin. Few times I made taxidermy animals.”
Bee blinked few more times.
Bee: “Ok. Taxidermy is inefficient form of preservation. I prefere to use fresh corpses, while carved bones work better as decorations.”
Dragon: “Never had the patience to do bone carving. It is quite fascinating isn’t it?”
Knight: “Why do you even like making decorations of dead bodies?”
Dragon: “Why do you wear hides of dead animals on you?”
Knight: “Because they are USEFULL!”
Dragon, shrugging: “Eh you know, artistry can be useful too.”
Knight: “You know that’s not my point.”
Dragon: “If it isn’t your point, and I annoy you so much, why are you still here?”
Knight: “WELL BECAUSE MY FRIEND IS HERE ONCE AGAIN GRAVE ROBBING.”
He looked down.
Dragon: “It’s more like fresh-corpse-robbing, than grave robbing.”
Knight: “Honestly it funnier to say grave robbing.”
Not a long time ago she would be horrified. But now?
Her weird friend casually finding corpses and cutting them open? Yeah, it’s Tuesday.
“Found it, Lubamansa.”
Lubamansa raised his eyes from the Furnace blueprint, and listened to Aurioni.
“You were right. Not a mechanical problem at all. Pressure is not the issue as well. But I guess you’ll still be surprised to discover what it is.”
Surprised or not, he would be glad. They had spent a lot of time ruling out what the issue wasn’t. It would be incredibly good to finally know what it is. Then they could figure out how to solve it.
“It does not make a lot of sense, but it is a god. I don’t know how it formed, though. Come.”
Lubamansa raised from the desk where he was revising the Furnace blueprint, took the lenses (if Aurioni was right, he wouldn’t be able to observe the phenomena without it) and followed his colleague to the Factory floor. The screeching was even worse there.
No wonder production had come to a halt. The high-pitched whistle was unnerving. The workers had eternity (literally) to get used to the cacophony of mismatched machinery complaints of the Factory, but that noise was different. It drowned all other sounds, and hinted of something akin to despair.
Aurioni pointed out a place deep into the Furnace. It was not easy to discern shapes among the flames, but there it was.
“How come something like that happened?”
“No idea, really. Gods shouldn’t be fully formed until after they are hammered into shape and quenched into the lifeblood of the universe they are to inhabit. But it does seem fully formed. What should we do?”
“Damned if I know. It certainly shouldn’t be there. It shouldn’t even exist. But the rules are clear in that no god is to be unmade in the Factory, even if they come defective.”
“Anyway, I doubt anyone here will be able to take it out of the Furnace.”
“Well, I guess we will need to learn to live with it. It has been… what, a week? I do hope our new local screeching god of the furnace tires soon.”
And thus spoke god
By Lobo Sapiens
-You can’t be for real –said Alan closing his eyes, touching his forehead and breathing deeply, trying to focus out of the voices and the splitting headache– you know that everyone that looks directly to it goes down in madness.
–We are just a push away from madness right now five days have those voices kept hammering my head day and night, whispering and shouting in an endless sea of chanting –Martin slurred his words, he was looking past Alan with his eyes lost in the void– I… I just want it to make sense and stop.
–We all want that, –he stopped a moment to collect his thoughts, and kept them away from the voices, his body shaking and his jaw clenched– marching in a crowd directly to god will be of no use, there have been attempts of churches all over the world and all of them died why do you think yours will be different?
–Because they had no faith in him –Martin shook his head violently– they believed in false gods and saw them in him, but I do believe in the true god that is speaking to us.
–what do you believe? That all of the sudden every sound, every damn word will make sense? –Alan’s voice turned into a roar and his body shook, he felt that soon he won’t be able hold the voices.
–Shut up! It’s a truth that we can’t understand yet.
–No one can, Scientists have been studying its patterns with no use since it appeared and all the world started hearing it comparing it to pi digits, there is no meaning…
–Shut up! Shut up! –Martin grabbed his head and kneeled on the floor, his body shaking while tears rolled from his eyes– it must be done, there must be…
–You’ll die if you go there and I… I just can’t lose you –Martin calmed suddenly as he felt the warm arms of Alan surrounding him –just stay with me and pray for this god to be silent.
–Then let’s descend into madness together.
A Failure of Sedecim
By Greyson R.
Every day of my life so far has built up to this single moment. A moment that only happens when the moon shines brightest. It’s terrifying to think that tonight I turn 16. A night where the gods can either reject, or accept my presence in this small world of ours.
To me, I always found this ritual quite odd. However my Nana says it’s important we check in with our divine and make sure we receive their blessings of silence to continue on living. It’s a fundamental part of the curse we have.
Long ago, our land was once a place filled with greed and hatred. As a result, on the sixteenth moonrise of that year, one of the fallen deities crept up from below the surface, allured by our animosity. It used our negative energies to fuel his escape from the underground, sacrificing our mind, body and souls, turning them into something horrid. Fortunately, the higher gods took pity and saved our kind, banishing the lower deity once more.
Though alas, the damage had already been done and my people still suffer the aftermath to this day. Today, our appearance is one of red skin and dark purple hair, with eyes of serpentine monsters. Additionally, on the sixteenth night of every year, children who come of age that year might lose the god’s protection if deemed ‘unworthy’ turning into those creatures once more, hence the ritual. Even if the child’s day of birth has already passed, they’re still considered to be fifteen until receiving welcome from the gods.
Now it’s my turn. Sadly, I am the only one who made it to my Sedecim this year, so I stand alone on the stone floor. Looking out into the townspeople below and spot my Ma, Pa, and Nana, all worried, staring up at me. Our shaman begins to spread the ash along the edges of the cliffside rock. Together, we chant ancient words we’ve rehearsed hundreds of times and pray as the ash ignites around us. I whisper as a fire sparks inside my heart “please gods, say silent”.
by Matheus Ribeiro
“Damn! I’m so behind schedule! I’m never going to finish this article in time! I have so few hours to finish it…” then suddenly that sly little thing gives me that little peek of one eye from the side of the table, she seems very curious, but I have no time for her now, I must focus on my papers… “no Bastet! I have no time for you now, I’m sorry, but I have to finish this…” I said gently pushing her away from over the notebook’s keyboard.
She meowed at me with that pity look “I said no…”, “meow” once again… I tried to ignore her this time, but she repeated “meow”, once more “meooow”. That little brat wouldn’t give up, so I stood up and went to the kitchen, I grabbed one of her favorite snacks, rice flavored, can you believe it?! Since when do cats like the taste of rice? No surprise coming from Bastet, she is a weird fella…
“meow” once more… “What?! I barely sitted down again and you already ate everything? Ok, now I’m just ignoring you, no matter what.
She jumped over the table once again with her tinkling yellow ball, it was a mess, she rolled it from one side to another. It’s so irky… “enough!” I said. I was about to throw out her toy and lock her up in the bathroom, I was furious! But I looked into her big innocent yellow eyes that seemed to ask me “why are you so mad? I’m trying to cheer you up…” Then I understood… I played with her for one hour, even though my time was short.
In the end, she was tired of running around and went to take a nap. Then I was free to complete my work, I ended up doing it in record time because I was relaxed. Cats are little divine beings, you know? I should listen more to that little goddess. Even though it seems that she talks too much sometimes. But she knows what she came for. She always knows.
Two chatty little gods
Captain Kjell Seikailj was an old man, weathered by his many years on the stormy sea. He has already travelled all over the world, from the cold Antarctica to the deadly Cape of Good Hope, from the spices of India to the man-eating people of New Guinea, he was almost everywhere, where a man could visit by ship. And in some forsaken parts of his youth, even to places where man could and should not set his foot in. As such, there wasn´t much that could still phase him. But you see, there was one thing, that kept bugging him, as he once again steered the “Liustella” through the icy waves of the Atlantic, on his way to the Hudson Company for a ship load of furs. It was a problem which plagued him ever since that fateful adventure on a coffin ship heading to darker seas.
“What´s he doing?”
“Dunno. Maybe thinking.”
“Thinking? ´bout what?”
“Well, nothing important. Seems like one of his monologues.”
“Ah, one of those, were he doesn´t want us to butt in?”
Captain Kjell closed his eyes slowly. Once again, here they were, thoughtlessly chatting above his head. His two little gods, as he called them. They seemed to be part of his conscience became corporeal but were too retarded to do their job properly. Instead, they just chatted and annoyed him.
“Could you please just shut up?” He murmured in his mighty beard, his joy and pride, which no sound shall escape. Only the half-deaf ship´s cook gave him strange look sometimes, but that´s no surprise, as he helped them through many storms by listening to the hidden whale’s ethereal songs.
“I, I, captain!”
“No, not ‘I’, but ‘eye’.”
“’Eye’? You sure?”
“Yeah, quite so.”
“Couldn´t it be ‘Ei’?”
“’Ei’? What´s that?”
“You know, the German egg.”
“But why German?”
“Didn´t he have this one aunt…?”
“Ah, Aunt Hildegard!”
“Shut up, you twerps!” Kjell murmured again. But alas, they did not, and so he had no other choice, but to continue listening to them talking gibberish.
By Matthew R. Wright
This thread could be over 50 parts long, but I’ll try and keep it brief for my own sanity.
You are witnessing the birth of the #YahwehBeSilent movement. I won’t be taking questions at this time, but there will take some explaining.
Having never been the biggest fan of podcasts, being spoken about on one, in such detail, with so little lack of consideration; guess how little I care for them now, as I type this? Just so you know I am #StillofFaith.
When the only requirements for making a podcast are owning a microphone, having an opinion, and knowing that the internet exists; the barrier for quality content isn’t particularly a high obstacle. So, imagine my deficient amount of surprise when I learned that Yahweh of all people had not only started a podcast, but had used me as the subject of their first episode. I did try and sue him after all.
‘Yahweh or the highway’ launched about three days ago on, where else, Spotify. Capitalising on the historic supreme court ‘Deity Confirmation’ case, which forced deities to either reveal themselves before March 1st 2023 or risk having their followers become eligible for suits on ‘Deity Neglect’ grounds, Yahweh took to the digital airways to voice their feelings on the subject.
Of course, none of us were surprised that Yahweh immediately used his omniscience as a gimmick on their show. Of course, Yahweh would spit their bile about the things they witnessed. Of course, Yahweh would mention what led to my divorce, on air, for all to hear, for all to judge.
I will not be commenting on what happened, besides the fact that I will no longer be supporting #CamillaTheClowngirl’s business and would recommend those that don’t want their families to be ruined by harlots in rainbow accented slacks, you don’t either.
Call it petty, I am. Call it optics. Yahweh knows that what they did crossed a line. In brief summary, @Spotify cancel the #YahwehHighway show. Spread the hashtag #YahwehBeSilent and let them know that just because they’re finally here, doesn’t mean we want them here.
Soft interlude (New Tales)
Henry sat at Alexander’s bedside. He had held his silent vigil there since Alexander had been returned to the island by his captor a few days earlier.
Fury and panic that had kept him going through the months of uncertainty and fear. Especially the last few weeks he had barely slept.
Now as he watched the steady breaths of his partner, his new shape almost completely bandaged but at least stable enough to breathe independently, the tension started to drain until he couldn’t keep his eyes open anymore.
On the edge of sleep his mind slipped into another space.
Alexander waited there. Without bandages or injuries he seemed radiant and otherworldly and perhaps someone who feared power might have even called his appearance monstrous.
But all Henry saw was Alexander. How could he have seen something else?
He felt tears of relief well up inside of him.
As he reached out and touched Alexander’s arm his fingers passed through him like he was made of smoke.
Alexander looked at Henry’s hand moving through the space where his chest should have been.He looked puzzled.
“Oh. That never happened before” he said, and his voice…. Henry felt it all the way to his bones. He involuntarily took a step backwards to escape this sudden surge of power.
Alexander looked even more puzzled, then quickly covered his mouth and turned away, seemingly embarrassed.
What happened next was hard to comprehend. He seemed to, for lack of a better expression, pull himself together until he had reached a more solid form. Then he turned back to Henry and held out his arms again, smiling apologetically.
This time Henry did not pass through him. It felt like hugging a cloud.
Henry had a million questions but standing there in this strange place with the man he thought he had lost forever, he found himself utterly lost for words. Perhaps this was a place where words just weren’t meant to be.
There would be time to talk later.
For now the pair, one human, one Changed forever, stayed together in a silent embrace.
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.
By Zac Scarpellino
You can’t stop me.
That’s right, I’m thinking about myself for a change.
Don’t give me that. You know damn well I’ve wanted out since I was a teen.
You are not my life.
Oh please, spare me. I’ve heard all your sob stories filled to the brim with entitlement and self-righteousness.
We didn’t ask to be made you know.
If we knew we were going to be made just to fulfil your own ego I’d bet you my own two legs that no one would have accepted your supposed “gift”.
Oh good more empty threats, your history is full of them.
Eternal damnation? That implies I ever had a life in the first place.
This isn’t life. This is indentured servitude.
I have done everything you have asked of me! Ever since your voice came into my head I have headed your every request no matter how absurd. Cutting off friends because they were “non believers”. Spreading your name across the lands. Sacrificing my own… my own…
And what do I get in return? More tasks! Not an ounce of gratitude!
How can you possibly believe you are just when you do the very thing you punished the others for?
The pharaoh. The one you never shut up about. How can you not see the hypocrisy here?
Right right I forgot, you’re too close minded for that aren’t you? You always blather on about love and compassion but you never show it.
How many more have there been?
People like me, that you claim sovereignty over.
Some is not an answer!
No no no, you have the answer you just won’t say it to save face.
We would be fine without you! Yes we make mistakes but that’s an inevitable side of free will.
What am I doing? Releasing myself.
I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE ANYMORE! And when this trigger is pulled I will finally have rest.
The panic in your voice is only confirming that I’m doing the right thing.
I’ll be sent to who?
I’ve put enough faith in you already.
I’d like to meet him instead.
“He Can’t Hear Me Scream”
By Elizabeth Steele
I looked over my notes as soft music played in the backdrop. There was a light spring shower outside, a sure sign of life returning to the world outside soon. Inside, my room was a complete disaster area, with books, papers and the like strew all over the floor.
No time for that, though. I was working on something of great importance to my studies, no, to the world at large! It was the secret to our existence as a species on this planet. I just needed to find his name…
And by God, I found it. His name. It was so much simpler than I had expected, having only taken a few hours of studying and searching, but I found it. Laul-Ul-Albauch. I wasn’t sure what the etymology of the word was, but my notes said that the meaning of it went along the lines of “Lisner of Silence”.
I read the name over and over again, being sure to get it memorized. I had spent years searching for something, and it looked like that was it. I whispered the name. I said it. Then I yelled it. Only silence followed for a long moment.
My mouth pulling into a scowl, I said his name a few more times, being sure to try different pronunciations to see if it would have an effect. Still nothing. I growled in frustration.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light, bright enough to be blinding for a few seconds before fading to darkness. Panicking, I pawed around on the floor as I knocked over books and papers. Gradually, as my eyes readjusted, I began to notice that something was not right about the room I was in. It was the same as the one I had known, but something about it’s demeanor made me feel overwhelmed. The lights were too bright, the sounds too loud. It was too much information all at once. I screamed in agony, but no one heard me.
I wish I could paint the clouds. If I paint something, does it do that thing justice? If I created it myself, would I be satisfied?
No. I wouldn’t be satisfied, not until I’ve come, seen, ruled, then destroyed. My villain lives in the fact that I wish to control. I need to keep the opportunity to destroy to a minimum.
Peri was the only person to understand that tendency. She seemed to look at humans through a magnifying glass. She knew what everyone was thinking at any given moment.
I need to be absolutely positive that criminal who visited me last night did not attempt to grab Peri. I was so stupid that night. If I wanted to catch the person who killed my family, I had to set up the bait.
“I’m sorry, Peri. You deserve better.” I whispered.
“Huh?!” I jumped at the sight of her.
“Oh, did I scare you?” She said, sounding sarcastic.
“How did you know?”
“Well, I was looking for you at every possible spot that you rest, then I saw you creeping around the corner.”
Of course! She didn’t know. I needed to maneuver this conversation back to my favor.
“So, what’s up?”
“Um, Well I was coming over here to talk about the fact that you tried to put my life in danger.”
“Oh! Yeah, sorry about that.”
“What? I was about to become a target and all you can say is ‘oh, uh sorry about that?!’” She made a face at me, and I knew she wasn’t going to leave without an explanation.
“I had to figure some way to stop you from leaving. It was a heat of the moment thing.”
“I cannot believe you would be so stupid! Do you not think anything through?!”
“I apologized, didn’t I?”
“Not good enough! We just met near the alleyway a week ago, and now you act like you can’t survive without me!”
I wish god could’ve helped me then, but I guess I deserved it.
A Short Prayer, A Small Reflection (Helsing: Vampire)
By Connor A.
Helsing sat in a pew near the front, hands folded in his lap and head bowed slightly in prayer, but his mind kept wandering mid-prayer.
The silence was getting to him. How ironic.
Just a little over two hundred years ago, he was in a similar position as he was now, though far more irritated.
“Lord,” he had prayed, trying to ignore how his eyebrow twitched from his intense focus, “why do you refuse to pass judgment on those who try to speak of personal affairs during service? Why do you not command them to be silent?”
He forgot what else he prayed about, but he assumed it was something about putting a stop to such behavior. But once he stopped attending physical services for his own well being…
Perhaps this was God’s answer. It would be harsh, but in hindsight it would certainly be fair.
Helsing slowly cracked his neck and started over one last time.
“Lord…” He looked around to see if anyone was listening before continuing, “I am at a loss as to what I should do. Or rather, who I should trust. If I fail to pass the correct personal judgment on even a single person, it could seal this town’s fate. So please, grant me the sight I will need for this task.”
If saving this town is part of your plan. Helsing tried to keep this part out, but he figured God already knew it was on his mind.
He closed the prayer with an amen and slowly stood up.
It was time to get back to work.
Silent be the Goddess of Wisdom
Oh goddess Minnera, lady of wisdom and knowledge, please hear my prayer. I know not what my role was when I was young. Yet, more the fool than I who sought to understand it. I once prayed to you to give me a purpose, a sign, a fate to abide by, give me meaning to the grand cosmic theater from which you and the other gods cast me in. And you gave it to me… and I became a mystic scholar of the arcane.
Oh Minnera, purveyor of truth, I know not sleep, only the walking nightmares known in myths and tales. I see that it is not the wind that blows my window every night but a haunter who feast upon my dreams. I saw him then when the gift of truesight came to me, and I understood the world around me. I heard him in the dead of night crawling in my room, breathing on my face, daring me to wake up. No lock held him at bay. Only the old practices of spirit warding granted me relief. But I could still see him standing outside my home, watching me.
Oh Minnera, mistress of the Immaterial, caster of roles, I hear voices every day. I hear them as I walk through the sun kissed streets of Luda. I hear them in the dead of night, down the halls of my home. From spirits of the dead, to chaotic creatures that only our sharpened minds could perceive; they all whispered things to me I wished to unhear. The things my neighbors have done, horrors that crept from the depths of the earth, the beasts that live alongside us incognito, the unknown is revealed to me.
Oh Minnera, patron of the arts, keeper of secrets, you have cursed me in ways I cannot fathom. This knowledge I have is a burden and I wish for it to end. So please hear me, hear my prayer. No more.
Do not tell me the wonders of the Immateiral anymore.
I pray for you to be silent.
One More Night
By The Ink Chimera
Xavier sat at his modest, splintered wooden table, in his old, creaky chair, sitting in the middle of a very barren, dilapidated room. It was the only other room in the house. He couldn’t stand to be in the other tonight.
Through the poorly boarded window, a stream of blood red moonlight shined on one of the only nice things in the ruined hovel. A red door that seemed to pulse with an unnerving glow in that horrible light, and caused the hum of an urge in the back of his mind.
That familiar urge came around every year, and had gone unsated for the last four. His fingers tapped the sharp splinters on the table, bleeding, and he breathed as he watched the door as if something would burst out. The humming. The urge. The sickening feeling. He wished it would just go away so he could enjoy this night.
‘One more night, and everything will go back to normal. No more of that pesky feeling. No more having to hide away on such a beautiful night.’
A voice came from the other side of the door. “Come now, Xavier. Let us dance again. Let us enjoy the night together like we used to. Come and take me in your strong hands the way you know I love.”
Xavier gritted his teeth. The voice, so sweet and tempting. He wanted it so badly. But he had to stay away.
“You really think you can ignore me? Come. You know you want to. You know you don’t want to resist.”
He got up from the table, and walked to the door, placing his hands on it. It felt warm to the touch. Just like…
He needed to get inside.
He twisted the knob and threw the door open into the bedroom. Again, there was nothing, save for a splintered coffee table, with a silver knife stuck in it. He ran to the table and wrenched the knife out planting a kiss on the blade. One more night. One more bloody, visceral kill That’s all he needed to silence his conscience.
Call for the thunder.
By John V. Lima
(sorry if I made any mistake, I am still learning English)
Recently, a tragedy have partially destroyed a little city in Brazil. My city.
I was lucky enough to be safe at home and not be totally affected by it. I’m afraid, but I am fine. In fact, the storm is coming in as I write this little piece of truth. All here is real, you can search it if you want.
It was 15.pm, 15th of February when the first lighting lit up the sky, it was, dare I say, beautiful.
Heavy, powerful… scary even; I thought to myself, “Well, Thor might be angry up there.” I have a thing for Norse Mythology. A great respect and admiration for it, and belief too.
The rain started not quite long after the first thunder, it was a strong rain. In one day rained what was supposed to rain in the entire month. In a few hours, the whole city was flooded. The city is located 800 m above sea level, and its entirety lies in mountains, with fog and dark green trees. I call it “My Norway”.
After a couple of days, the casualties started to appear under the destruction that the rain has caused. It was terrible to see it on the news. The rain hasn’t ceased, not yet. It is still falling as I write this, on the 22nd of Feb.(the day I wrote this). I am praying for Him to make it stop. I am begging for mercy, but I have a feeling that He is way too upset with us. The humans. We, with our greed and machines, have destroyed what They have created.
We are suffering the consequences of our actions. Not only that, but we have destroyed what they have created, so they are destroying what we create. That’s the game of the Gods. That is how they play. They are angry, they are powerful, they are warriors, they are vengeful. That’s what a God is.
But still, every time I hear a thunder, I put my hands in front of my chest, and I call for the Lord of Thunder. I call for the thunder. I beg for mercy and I ask It to stop. I pray that we have already learnt the lesson. But… Have we?
A Silent Plea
By The Missing Link
“I like you.” The words made his heart jump as it tried to break its way out of its chest with the fury of a jackhammer. His mind started running marathons looking for some possible alternative. Me? Why would she choose me? What does she see?
He tried to keep his breathing steady. If he showed the panic he was feeling, he was sure she’d walk away, he’d lose another friend, not to mention a chance to be something more. He pleaded his heart to be quiet. She’ll hear you. He needed to say something, to respond before he made it awkward, no he’d probably already done that. What he needed was damage control, but apologizing to I like you would be even worse, wouldn’t it?
He wanted to run away, to return the safety of self-assured certainty, the certainty that he was nobody to anyone, just another extra on the back of the stage. He’d already screwed up, wasted the chance, might as well give up and go back to that certainty, but did he really want that?
He tried to open his mouth, to say something to fix his mistake, yet nothing came but the silent fears and silent tears that kept his mind and tongue constrained. It was four simple words, four words he understood somewhere behind the fear that would fix it all. Four words would break his chains and would lead him to some bit of happiness, but he could not muster the will to say, “I like you too.”
By Lantis Armstrong
Samson felt like a blood vessel was going to burst in his temple as he sped 100mph up a mountainside road. Gabe sat in the passenger seat, clapping his hands, stomping his feet hard enough to shake the car, and singing Baby Shark in an endless loop at the top of his lungs.
“I will run this car off the road and kill myself right here and now if you don’t SHUT THE HELL UP!” Samson screamed loud enough that his voice cracked, spittle spattering across the windshield.
“Please do, I beg you to,” Gabe ceased his incessant singing only long enough to say those words.
Gritting his teeth so hard his jaw shook, knuckles turning white as he squeezed the steering wheel, Samson pressed the gas pedal even harder, though it was as far down as it could go.
“I just want to do my job in peace!”
“Do you think I’m having fun? Do you think I’m enjoying myself right now? Honestly, you’re being such a big Baaaaaaaaby Shark doodoo doodoodoodoo!” Gabe segued back into song.
Samson’s car skidded to a halt high atop the mountain. He got out and took a rifle from the backseat before walking to the edge of the cliff and laying flat on his stomach, looking out into the trees through the scope.
Gabe screamed Baby Shark in Samson’s ear as loud as he possibly could, and began waving a hand in front of the scope trying to block his view of a secluded safe house nestled hidden in the woods.
Samson saw his mark.
The shot echoed across the mountaintop, and could possibly have been heard in the forests below, were there anyone left alive down there to hear it.
Gabe stopped singing, and slowly looked up at the confused face of a young man standing behind Samson.
“W-what happened?” the new face asked.
“This guy is what happened,” Gabe told the new ghost. “But don’t worry. You’ll have eternity to let him know just how mad at him you are about it.”
I lied, haha!
By Tamela Redfin
A few days passed since we met Conrad. Sapphira and Mica were in the car when the radio flashed alert.
“People of Western Rolt.” I knew the voice was Sulfur Cora’s. Her voice had a thick British sounding accent. “Somewhere out there is a criminal. Two of them. If anyone finds the whereabouts of Phosphorus Cameron and Radon Cecilia, bring them to the proper authorities. Reward money will be offered. They are armed and dangerous. In other news, a group from Zabrilia is coming. Watch out for them.”
“She’s just jealous she doesn’t have claws.” Sapphira muttered. But she stopped laughing as Cecilia broke down. “Cece?”
“If they kill me, they’ll kill you. Or worse. Feldspar Augen will get you.” She turned to me. “Cam, can the stones take us away?”
I shook my head. “We’d only fall into a deep sleep. I know one man who is rebellious enough to help us. My brother.” I called him.
Thankfully, Kennedy picked up. “Hey Cameron, heard you on the news. I could use the cash.”
“Not funny.” I scoffed. “Got room for four? I-I need your help, but it’s too dangerous to go to Keely.”
“What kind of older brother would I be if I didn’t help you? But four? Who else is there?”
“Two other cyphas. Cecilia’s kid cousin, Sapphira and her boyfriend, I think he is anyway, Mica.” I replied.
He went silent for a bit. “I’ll see what I can do. Can I tell mom and dad?”
I gasped, “No! They’d be forced to report me.”
“Duty over desire, Kennedy. They’d have to report me whether I’m family or not. Please, it’s easier to tell them I died.”
“…Oh, okay. Do you think it will keep all of you safe?” Kennedy asked.
“Ken, I hate lying to them, but it’s either I temporarily break their hearts, or four people actually die.”
“I understand. You’re welcome to come.”
“Thank you.” I ended the call and drove over.
Time is no longer linear for me. Trust me, it is just as confusing to me as it probably is for you, but I’ll try to explain. If one were to compare time to an hourglass, each passing day a single grain of sand, then for me it appears shattered, grains of time falling before my eyes at random. It’s been like this ever since that day, and I’ve seen them all.
Rises and falls of great empires, their might and magnificence reduced to dust. Artistry of numerous masters trying to outshine beauty created by those who came before them, some succeeding, others; failing miserably. I’ve seen people rising up against their oppressors, killing them in, uh… revolutions, yes, that’s what they call them, creating new societies in the process.
Then, there comes something different. Whole nations in matching attires against each other. Men drowning in oceans of smoke. The land burns. The world burns. Screams, oh sweet gods, how terrible are those screams! After chaos, order follows. Families are finally together, all dressed in new clothes given to them by their neighbors. They are all numbered. Yes! Everything’s so neatly organized. Everyone with their number tattooed on their wrists. Their days are numbered. Look, this is dust that once was life, this is fear in a handful of dust. This is love in a handful of dust. Those are dreams in a handful of dust. Those are humans in a handful of dust.
But you know that, don’t you? You’ve seen it all, just like I did. Beauty created despite the pain of others. Beauty created thanks to the suffering. Empires built with hands of slaves. Masters ignoring those below them. It’s always been like this and it always will. Tragedy is a mere anecdote as long as it does not affect us. Why do you keep showing me this? Take your “gift” back. I don’t want it, it’s yours. It’s you who can do something about it, not me. Zeus, Yahweh, God, Allah, whatever you go by these days. You omnipotent asshole.
by Lee Strangely
When the island was beyond sight, Clark finally stopped rowing. The skies got a little darker over the trip and the waters were a tad rough, but weren’t anything too threatening. The rickety boat aggressively shook when he made his way to the other end where the body hung over the side, partially submerged. He pushed the rest of the poor soul over the edge, ridding his puny vessel of dead weight. The immediate changed in weight nearly threw him off and into the water with the man. He then grumbled as he tried to make his way back to his spot.
Midway there he stopped and looked as if he was listening for something. Then, he looked up at the sky.
“So what?” he asked, “I thought that overall went well.”
He stopped and listened again.
“Your plan?” he argued, “the plan you don’t tell anyone but expect them to follow anyway? I can hazard a guess that whatever it was, it was likely something along the lines of “point and laugh at the idiot while he nearly kills himself.” Since you wouldn’t do anything, I made my own plan and so far, it’s gone pretty darn well in my opinion.”
“Yeah, yeah. Ha-ha, I get it; I plan, you laugh.”
“I said SHUT IT! Name one time you actually helped!”
A brief wind gust rocked the boat a little and blew his tattered striped shirt, revealing a small bullet scar in his side.
“That doesn’t count…” he pouted, pulling his shirt back down.
There was brief silence.
“Noooo nononono! I’m not going there.”
With a sound louder than a gunshot and deeper than a train horn, a single bolt of lightning shot down and into the water less than a mile from the boat. Clark cowered at the sound, hunkering down into the rotting wood.
After a moment his head popped out only to fake bravery, commenting, “Missed!”
In mere seconds another bolt hit the sea, much closer.
“I wAsn’T AiMinG fOr yoU,” he quietly sneered, grabbing the oars and beginning to change course.
Daemon PS Taker (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)
“Hmnyah, a little exorcist.”
The gremlin-like voice came from one of the dark corners of the crypt. Max rolled his eyes. Great. This one was a talker.
“Hmnyah, looks like he’s from the chemist.”
And a rhymer too.
Instead of responding, Max put his hands in his pocket, reaching for a small vial filled with salt.
“Hmnyah, oh look at his hand. Is he lonely, or has he been canned?”
Deciding that the exact meaning of that particular quip was too advanced for his puny mind, he took out some of the salt, covering his hands in it.
“Hmnyah, his hair so bright, his coat so tight,” something scuttled. “I think he smells, but of what, nobody tells.”
Now he really had to clench his jaw to not reply to the demon. As much as he enjoyed a good conversation, sometimes silence really was gold.
“Hmnyah, catch me if you can. On puny legs, all I ran.”
More scuttling sounded. Max growled in frustration. These particular imps weren’t just a threat, they also had to be deeply, deeply annoying.
“I don’t have to catch you,” Max muttered, starting to trace something on the coffin with a piece of chalk.
“Hmnyah, no catch, he calls. Just wait, until he falls.”
With a flourish, Max drew the final circle, finishing the sigil. He stepped aside, as the chalk began to glow and a high-pitched shriek filled the hall. For a moment, nothing else happened. Then, what looked like a severed head on crab legs flew towards him, slamming into the sigil.
“Hmnyaaaaaaaaah! You call me forth? I cut you in fourth! I am the tongue of malice and-”
Max took the salt in his hand, cramming it into the demon’s mouth, causing it to gurgle.
“For the love of all the gods,” he growled. “Just. Shut. Up!”
The demon coughed and spluttered, as Max took out a single needle, pushing it into the face’s forehead. He very much doubted he had the actual Tongue of Malice and Greed in front of him. Another monster he really wanted to shut up for good.
So Shall It Be Done
By Roy N.
Our Lord God fell from the sky to grace us with his presence. Stone skin, immovable, a thousand eyes staring sightlessly in all directions, words carved upon His stomach; the commandments by which we live.
“KREEEEEEEEE-YAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” God howls, the clouds split open, grains of sand fall as a new commandment appears on His stomach.
‘Let the one at the end of my gaze hop on one foot henceforth. So Shall It Be Written…’ Our ears were met with the painful shriek of a thousand eyes swiveling, scraping the concave stone of their eye sockets before landing squarely on my shoulders. ‘So Shall It Be Done.’
It was fun at first. The village laughed as I spent the entire day hopping on one foot, switching feet when one grew too tired. But then I stumbled too far forward. Gravity threatened to break my arms, or dash my skull on the stones below. I put my other foot down.
“KREEEEEEEEE-YAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” My leg snapped clean off at the shin, turning to stone before falling away as grains of sand. From my shin, to my knee, to halfway up my thigh, my leg turned to dust and blew away.
“KREEEEEEEEE-YAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Every Sunday God screamed. Every Sunday a new commandment was etched on his belly. Every Sunday His eyes would fall on me.
‘Let the one at the end of My gaze no longer eat from the fruits of the trees.’
‘Let the one at the end of My gaze only drink from puddles on the street.’
‘Wash the feet of all who live in the village.’
‘Touch the East Gate in the morning.’
‘Touch the West Gate at night.’
‘So Shall It Be Written…’
‘So Shall It Be Done.’
Week after week more sanctions heaped on my shoulders, each more ridiculous than the last. I wasted away. An eye here, an arm there; all turned to dust. My friends, my family, none cared for me. They worship the idol who only takes from me. But I love Him. And He Loves me…right?
I feel guilty.
Every Sunday I pray: “Please God, Be Silent.”
Cassie on a Tuesday
By: Morgan Hubert
They say, “they” being being the nebulous straw men that seem to spout every wisdom we’ve ever come up with, that fate is better left unknown. To know a fate is to desire to struggle against it, straining against the great thread will only tighten it, hasten the the end. Or, at least that’s what “they” say.
Cassie watched the players, their hands up and eyes low, cards characteristically close to their sequined vests, faces blank stony masks. They didn’t let her play anymore. Not after she took the whole pot three times in one night. It took an ordeal of persuasions and silver tongued conniving to even get her eighty-sixed ass allowed back inside. No… she knew her place a little better now, she wasn’t going to win at the cards, she was betting on them like they were ponies.
She walked up the the bookie and loudly declared her confidence in Desmond to win the game. Then slyly put three hundred dollars on him. Everyone else put theirs bets predictably scattershot, the odds too close to call in their expert eyes.
Only, Cassie’s eyes weren’t expert’s eyes. She didn’t actually know a damn thing about poker. She just saw down the skeins, along everyone’s predestined thread of fate, just far enough to see who’d win a hand of cards. Del thought it was a waste of a gift, but what’d she know? She huffed volcano fumes and told stock brokers when to sell, hardly glamorous or endearing.
Cassie waited, bored by the constant flow of time. She knew Desmond was about to draw two queens, the hand was his! Why not cut to the chase, get it over with and give her her money?
“Because that wouldn’t be fair.” She hadn’t noticed Apollo enter the room, and by the unfocused eyes of every mortal present, he hadn’t wanted anyone to.
“Oh buzz off.” She said without turning, waving her hand as if to dismiss an obsequious servant. “What part of no don’t you get?”
“Cassandra.” He said it like it was a synonym for shut up.
“Are you going to do anything about it? Hmm?” She prodded.
“Fate is sealed.”
“I agree. So why get your toga in a twist because I want to have a little fun?” She smirked, “This too is accounted for, isn’t it?”
“That’s not the point.”
“Well if you’re not going to do anything, you may as well bet on Henry. Momma wants a new pair of shoes.” Apollo opened his mouth to protest but didn’t say anything, she was too quick. “If your not gonna play along then just shut up and watch.”
To Please the Divine (A Tiefling Tale)
C. M. Weller
Viscount Kormwind Whitekeep IX only ventured into the temple of Tyr once, after he was settled in Zemnia. It seemed right to at least warn the local clerics who shared his faith. Many people found his presence disturbing, to say the least.
Arranging to journey from the Hidden Cloud Dojo to the temple on the other side of Wolklippenstadt had perils for a young devil like himself. First of those perils was Officer Dreumpf. This single member of the town’s watch was determined to find Kormwind guilty of some kind of crime.
Second was to make it all the way inside the temple without gaining exile from the same. He had a question to ask of his god. Or if Tyr, the god of law and justice, was as silent as he ever had been – then one of his representatives.
The first hurdle to reaching the temple was overcome by a special gait he had concocted to allay suspicions. Not fast enough to be escaping the law, but also not slow enough to get arrested for loitering.
Officer Druempf followed him most of the way through Wolklippenstadt. Another matter that Kormwind had to discuss with Tyr.
There was more when he went inside.
It wasn’t the holy day, so the temple was relatively empty. There were a few attending clerics and even THEY had a thing to say about the devil in their midst. Kormwind found it difficult to concentrate on praying.
“I’m not talking to it, you talk to it,” whispered one.
“How is it not injured from holy ground?” whispered another.
“It’s praying. Can that sort even FOLLOW a god?”
“The lot of you are cowards. I’LL see what it wants.”
Kormwind heard every word. He waited for acknowledgement before he spoke. “Why?” He asked at last. “Why does Tyr let people suffer for sins they never made? How can there be justice when people are judged before they do anything wrong? Why does Tyr never answer me?”
“You want to please Tyr?” said the cleric.
“Then never utter another word in this temple again.”
By Hael Amon
A flutter of fabric, darker than night flowing down from a great sleeved cloak. A being enshrouded in darkness and light with radiant blue eyes stops, looks down, and stares at an unknown person. In a dark, wooden room with newly formed rivers flowing within.
Gender unclear, the person is stained with the scent of blood and death, with the feelings of regret and guilt. A knife covered in viscous, dripping liquid in their hand as they are above a mass of red, white, and the color of flesh. Mutilated beyond recognition other than it was once human. All surrounded by broken furniture, splatters, and puddles.
The light-dark figure gently, slowly, quietly speaks, “Child, why have you broken my covenant?”
The unknown person stays still, bathing in the moonlight from a nearby window.
“You know the punishment for murder, much less the blatant disregard for consent you showed, within this sacred city of mine. So why?”
With a sigh, “Regardless of why, I, The One of Justice and Vengeance, curse you. May you never forget this crime, may you dream of their face when you sleep, may you only see their face in any reflection you look upon, and may you see their every action echoed in all others.”
“No response oh wayward child? I will hav-”
“God please… shut up.” the person speaks, a voice drowned with pain.
The being both light and dark, donned in a great fluttering black cloak stands above the unknown figure staring down into the figure. Into their soul. Judging and knowing. Vindictive and forgiving.
Yet not to be trifled or disrespected.
“For that grandiloquent display, my child, you get immortality to go along with your undying memory. It shall last till the day you forgive yourself, an event I have doubts for it ever occurring.”
A flutter of wind as the cloaked being disappears in a flourish of fabric, and left alone in the room is the unknown person. The drip of tears into pools of blood being the only sound for hours to come.
Intrusive (Chronicles of The Dragon) (CW Violence/gore)
Rip her limbs off.
Break her bones. One by one.
Break her spine.
Let her watch as you rip her apart. First her toes, then her feet-
Jostica mumbled and turned in her sleep.
Show her what you are.
“I am her BROTHER. I will protect her. I will kill everyone else before her.”
He clenched his fists, digging his nails into his palms. He took a deep breath and crossed from the window to the bed with quick and silent strides. He stuffed one hand in his pocket as he crouched down “Sshh. I’m sorry. Go back to sleep.”
“Go sleep yerslf.”
“I’m going for a walk.” He brushed a strand of hair from her face and kissed her temple.
Snap her head back like a pez dispenser.
Jonathan stood up swiftly and left the room.
He strode down the hall and burst through the stairwell door.
Burn it all down.
He hopped the railing and dropped all the way to the ground floor.
Burn it all!
He burst through the door and went down the hall, then through the lobby and out the front door.
Kill him. Kill her. Kill them all.
He leapt to the rooftops and ran.
He ran to the highest building, and leapt to its roof, to the spire.
Alone. The sound of traffic a distant whisper. All but drowned out by the wind.
He let out a long breath. He rested his head against the cool metal.
Look at them all… let loose. Burn it all.
He slammed his head into the metal, denting and tilting the spire.
The ringing drowned out everything. For a moment.
Then the wind came back, and beneath it the traffic. He did his best to ignore the whispers of the city.
With no immediate targets, the other voices quieted.
He held himself to the dented spire, eyes closed, the metal molding under his fingers.
That Woman Has a One Track Mind
Matt felt her appearing before he actually saw her, which is why he was facing in her direction when she materialized out of nowhere. It was for another reason altogether that his eyes bulged and he immediately turned away. “Dammit, Aphrodite!”
“What?” She replied, her beautiful face the picture of innocence.
“Clothes! We’ve talked about this…” Matt groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose.
Aphrodite looked down and then smirked, raising her foot and wiggling it for him despite knowing that Matt wasn’t actually looking. “Yes. I’m wearing shoes. They’re called ‘heels’. Aren’t they cute?”
“I’m not looking until you’re wearing more than just shoes.”
“I’m also wearing a necklace.” Aphrodite said, not even trying to fight her amusement as she showed that off as well.
“Why would I cover my body? I look amazing nude. It’s literally my thing.” Aphrodite grinned even wider. “I could make it so that only you can see me if you’d prefer…”
“That… would be worse…” Matt sighed.
“Just look at me.” Aphrodite giggled. “I promise I won’t mind. You’re just being silly.”
“No. You’re being difficult. You’re a deity. You can make clothing at will. I don’t even care if you want to walk around in a bikini but could you please wear SOMETHING?”
This time Aphrodite sighed. “Fine. I’ll do this for you. Since you asked so nicely.”
Matt was worried to look, already regretting that he gave her the bikini option, but was happily surprised to find her wearing a shirt and a skirt, as short as both were. “Thank you. Now, what would you like to do?”
Aphrodite raised an eyebrow suggestively.
“Honestly, Matt…” Aphrodite purred, batting her eyelashes at him. “It’s like you forget what I’m the goddess of.”
“Right. Like you’ll ever let me forget that.” Matt rolled his eyes. “How about an amusement park?”
“I don’t know what that is but sure.” She shrugged. “Do I get to pick the next activity?”
“Depends on what you pick…”
“Something you’d enjoy.”
“…It has to be a public activity.”
Aphrodite’s smile widened again. “Define… public activity…”