Hello, Day Dwellers and Early Birds!
There’s just something about sunlight, isn’t there? The way it can warm you to your very soul. Hey, why don’t we take a trip outside today, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Warm Pleasure of Sunshine
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!
Sunlight itself has so many benefits for the world we live in. It feeds nutrients to the vegetation, it increases our intake of vitamin D, and it can even be used as a power source if enough solar panels are set up.
There’s plenty that we can do on a bright, sunshiny day. You could go for a hike in the mountains, or take a trip to the beach. Maybe you want to spend a day out on the town with some friends. Perhaps you’re having a bad day, and your one friend who is deemed “a ray of sunshine” by the entire group, sits with you and tries to cheer you up. Or maybe you choose to be the apprentice of a witch or alchemist who has found a way to use sunlight as an ingredient, learning under their tutelage how to weave such an untouchable thing into the winter cloaks and clothes your mentor sells.
Another idea you could explore is what it would be like to finally feel the warm rays of the sun breaking over the horizon after the long and arduous polar night, a phenomenon where the sun doesn’t rise for an entire 30 days in the southernmost or northernmost parts of the world. Perhaps it doesn’t even have to be that long. Perhaps you just choose to step into the shoes of a recluse who hasn’t been able to leave the safety of their home in quite some time. A recluse who has finally worked up the courage to even just go retrieve the mail. Sunshine doesn’t even have to be the actual light itself, it could be the name of a drink that warms you from the inside, making it ideal on a cold winter’s day.
There’s plenty of ways to enjoy the sunshine, plenty of ways for you to feel its warm kisses peppering your skin right to your very soul.
So go forth, seize the day, and show us what wonderful things can happen under the sun.
Just don’t forget your hat and sunscreen.
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.
- 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.
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.
“No More Night”
By Hemming Sebastian Bane
Sunbeams poured from the high windows as the figure in the bed stirred. Good. They had slept away the accursed night. A shudder went down their back just thinking about that dark cold time. The figure threw aside their blanket and basked in the warm beams of their beloved sun. Their patches of pink scales glistened in the light and the figure looked down. Almost no shadow. They would soon be perfect.
“Excellent…” they mused.
With a swift motion, the figure breathed in sharply and stood in the glow of the sun. They closed their eyes and sighed. It was lovely to be under the single eye of the First Sun. Its light. Its power. They were intoxicating. Then, darkness. Their eyes shot open. How could this be? They looked up. A large bird was in front of their window, blocking the beauteous rays of their god! This bird and the gentle shade it cast would be punished!
The figure reached their hand up towards the bird, focusing their power. Within seconds, the bird was smoldering ash. The figure giggled with joy as the vicious sun vanquished the timid dark. With dance-like steps, they went to their library, gathered three books and strewed them across the low-standing makeshift table in the middle of the room.
Opening the first book, the figure looked back up to their window and made an “L” with their fingers. Consulting the tome, a grin spread across their face. The time was right. The figure opened the second book and pranced over to a barrel full of salt. Carefully, they poured the salt on the floor. Three circles. A ten-pointed star. Then, they began to chant:
“Mighty Sun of valiant light,
Grant me pow’r to vanquish night,
Vanquish dark and banish gray,
Bring forth the light of Everday!”
As the figure chanted, the sunlight absorbed into the circles and spread through the lines of the star. The light thrummed with each recitation of the chant, growing brighter and brighter. Quickly, the figure ran and grabbed the third book. He read it, smiling. The Everday had begun.
Kat slouches, all but given up on deciphering the perplexing imagery on her crystal ball. It emits a soft, warm glow from the clear, bright skies it portrays. She looks out the classroom’s window, watching dark clouds roll in above. She sighs and starts packing her things.
“Maybe I’m…” Kat trails off as distant thunder rumbles. “I should get home before—”
Rain starts to fall.
“Great.” She rummages through her bag for an umbrella. After a while, she gives up. “Just perfect.” She slumps over her desk, dejected.
She hears the chair beside her creak. Raising her head to check, she finds Lucas, his disappointed expression a far cry from his usual smug demeanor. Kat slumps back down.
“Haaa…” Lucas sighs, his eyes looking over Kat.
“Haaaaaaa…” Lucas sighs again, louder this time. Kat stays silent.
Lucas audibly inhales. “Haaa—”
“Ugh. What do you want?” Kat interrupts Lucas, her head still down.
“Weeeell, if you must know,” Lucas faces Kat, “remember tonight’s mixer?”
“All thanks to our friend the rain, all the chicks (the hot ones at least) flaked-out!”
“Why didn’t you use your mumbo jumbo and tell me it was gonna rain?”
Kat points to the crystal ball, still glowing like a pocket-sized sun.
“Losing your powers or something?”
“Well, Miss Gloomsday, how about cheering up once in a while?” Lucas says, “maybe that’s why it’s going haywire.”
Kat finally raises her head. “That’s easy for you to say! You’ve got… well… you… You’re you!”
“What I mean is… without my powers… I’m nothing.”
“Don’t say that!” Lucas interjects, “I mean, throughout my crazy schemes, you’ve always been by my side.”
Kat hides her shock with a smirk. “I didn’t know you had a cute side.”
“Shut up!” Lucas shifts his gaze away from Kat, his cheeks beet red, “you’re a friend to me, so that’s something.”
Kat laughs, cracking up at the prospect of Lucas being nice for once.
Lucas sees this and simply smiles. He figures the warmth of her laughter is enough sunshine to get them through that dreary afternoon.
The sun burns
By Jesse Fisher
“Sun…oh how I hate the sun.”
The shade of the umbrella felt more like a dark cave to the bright sand and waves beyond it. Curled up as his navy fur tried to move deeper into the limited shadow, the normally hidden clawed feet flexed as his ears twitched as children’s laughter was heard nearby.
“Fluffy, why are you hiding under there?” A draconequus mix of griffin and dragon asked the wolf under the umbrella.
Just out of reach were two young toddlers that looked to be a mix of their parents enjoying the beach and the strange new things that it brought with it. Neither seemed to share their father’s distaste for the sun, even if one was trying to make a sand castle to lay in.
“You know I’m a creature of the dark so the light is never a thing that agrees with me.”
“Is that why you enjoy the oversized hats when you have to work here?”
The yellow eyes rolled in the shade framed by his navy fur and darker hair above it.
A slight chuckle could be heard from the beak of his wife as the wolf inched towards the edge of the shade.
“You take way too much joy in my misery.” The wolf huffed.
“And you are being as overdramatic as you are.” The draconequus replied before quickly wrapping around the wolf. “I would not want my demonic love any other way.”
The children were ignorant to the goings on as their parents shared a moment of love before their mother came out of the shade.
A Shift in the Schedule (A Wander FanFic. Thanks constella!)
by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)
Humans are a strange bunch. Watching them from a distance, Wander couldn’t help but laugh at their quirkities. Every morning, upon the rising of the gentle sun, the forest boy would burst awake, eager to catch the rushed metal beasts, carrying their humans to wherever it is humans go in the morning.
It was delightful. ‘How did the metal beasts swallow the humans? Why are they not worried? I wonder if I could translate their honk language one day!’ The thoughts whizzed through the boy’s head.
Eventually, the cars would stop their frenzied scurrying about, they would stop, and the humans would open a flap on the beasts to escape their comfy stomach prison. Despite witnessing this morning show countless times before, the antlered boy couldn’t help but let giggles escape his mouth yet again.
The next day, as soon as the sun hit his face, he burst awake. Excitedly, he made his way to the cliffside clearing where he’d watch the town, but he was met with a surprise.
The paths were completely empty!
The boy frowned. ‘Had I offended the humans with my laughter? Did I scare them off with my forestry appearance?’ Tears began to well up in the boy’s eye when a metal beast came screeching around a corner. The boy stood up, hearing roars he had never heard from one of the strange creatures. Something must’ve made this shiny thing very angry!
Eventually, the beast came to a stop at one of the buildings, and just like always, a human opened a flap and escaped. This time, the human ran into one of the buildings with much urgency. ‘Perhaps, he was worried his beast friend would bite him!’ the boy thought.
When the boy was sure the metal beast had fallen asleep, he crept to the window of one of the buildings. Inside, he could see all of the humans like normal, working hard on their letter writing.
‘They started the show without me!’ he thought, disappointed. ‘I’ll have to wake up earlier tomorrow to catch them.’ Humans really were a strange bunch.
A Day of Light
by Gerrit (Rattus)
Narine felt the scratch of the grass under her back, the wind gliding across her body. Her longcoat lay on the ground next to her, the sun having taken the chill out of the air a couple hours after rising.
The sun beat down on her from above, so bright she had to shield her eyes with one hand. The warmth was strange yet familiar, like a visit from an estranged relative.
She had never quite been able to get used to how bright the sun was. Just when she was starting to adjust to the light, it faded away again. Perhaps if Light Days came more often, she’d be able to adjust more easily.
Some of the older folk spoke of days before the Darkness. They claimed that in those days, the sun rose every morning and set every night. Narine couldn’t even imagine seeing the sun every day.
How would you know when the week had ended? Would people be out basking in it every day, like they did on Light Day now?
A world with daily sun would be quite the sight to see. Likely not a sight she would experience in her lifetime, though.
If only the devils hadn’t corrupted mankind, hadn’t turned them against the Seraphim. They never would have angered Soriel, and he never would have withdrawn his light from them.
But such is the problem with hindsight. The right choices are only obvious once it’s far too late to make them. In the moment, all that matters is what choice is more immediately satisfying.
For now, Narine would have to be content to lay on the hill, enjoying her weekly dose of sunlight and warmth. As long as the sun was up, she intended to enjoy it.
It was perhaps the only joy she had left in this world. Her revenge against the devils could wait for another day. A darker day.
A Day Outside
Ryan was in the mansion’s library, studying the newest spell that Erykah had downloaded to his tablet, when she burst into the room.
“Ry, put that away! We’re going outside to have some fun!”
Ryan looked at her as if she had proposed hunting lions with chopsticks. “But…why?”
Erykah grabbed his arm. “You are not spending all day inside. It’s beautiful out!”
“We live in San Diego. It’s always nice out.”
“Exactly! How can you spend all day inside when you live in what is clearly the city with the best weather?” She started pulling him by his arm.
“I have to say, as my magic tutor, you are sending out some mixed messages.”
Erykah blew a raspberry. “There’s more to life than studying. I found my frisbee; we’ll toss it around a bit. Clay and Cris are outside too, and Ramona should be here in an hour. We can make this a team building exercise.”
Ryan slid his arm out of Erykah’s grasp. “No thanks.”
Erykah grabbed Ryan by the shoulders, and managed to push him out to the vast lawn outside. “Hey, Clay! Cris! Did you want to throw around the frisbee?
Erykah got the others together, and they threw Erykah’s frisbee between each other, moving farther and farther back.
Clay flung the plastic disk. “Head’s up, Erykah!” As it flew, the frisbee started to arc toward Ryan.
“Got it!” Ryan called out. He took a few steps toward the flying disc.
Ryan was knocked on his back. Erykah landed on top of him, their legs tangled together.
“Oh, gosh! I’m sorry, Ry! Are you okay?”
“Enough fun for the day,” Ryan groaned.
Erykah lowered her face inches from his. “So you are having fun?”
She sat up, straddling his waist. “Admit you’re having fun!”
“I see you are forcing me to resort to tickling.” Erykah wiggled her fingers in front of her.
“Fine, I admit this is fun.” He paused. “Under protest.”
Erykah smirked and climbed off of him. “Hey, do you have a swimsuit? Maybe next team building, we’ll go swimming.”
A Thank-You Note (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)
“Hey Sam?” a voice echoed across the house. “Someone’s sent you a letter.”
“What?” Sam left her bedroom and slid down the banister, landing somewhat gracefully at the bottom of the stairs. “Like, a physical letter?”
“Yeah, I know.” Her brother Luth held out an envelope. “Weird, right? Now move, I gotta get the rest of this mail to Dad.”
“Thanks?” Sam took the envelope as Luth walked away.
The writing on the envelope curled and danced in cursive—which meant it was Roselyn’s handwriting. But why would Roselyn send her a letter? She had both her email and phone number, and she literally saw her yesterday at Ahna’s house.
Sam opened the envelope carefully. The half sheet of paper was covered in ink, and many words had been crossed out. Sam leaned against the banister and started reading.
“I understand it is—” a crossed-out word, “uncharacteristic of me to send you a letter, but I was told to do it more by my—” another one, “mother, but not this one, ha.”
Sam squinted at the crossed-out words, but couldn’t make them out. Roselyn had been incredibly thorough.
She kept reading.
“I’m writing this to thank you (and also Jidz and Ahna) for inviting me to hang out with you yesterday. For lunch at that weird little burrito place, and then hanging out in Ahna’s backyard playing that card game (what was it called?), and also just talking and—” a smaller crossed-out bit, “stuff. This is a thank you note, basically. I just wanted to tell you it meant a lot to me for you all to do that. Sitting with you guys and chatting was fun. I want to do it again. (Sorry you got sunburnt, though. That probably wasn’t fun.)”
There seemed to be three different crossed-out sign-offs before the letter ended with “Sincerely, Roselyn Halcyia.”
Sam held the letter gently, rereading it. Her free hand covered her mouth as she fell to a sitting position at the bottom of the staircase.
Roselyn had actually cared?
If her cheeks weren’t already burned red, they were now.
“What Remains Below”
Each of their waking moments in this endless night were uneventful.
The Being let out a relieved sigh and let their tense shoulders finally fall. Today wasn’t their most productive day; only three stars were sent back to the sky, with the fourth one in their arms nearly complete. It needed just one more shard and then it’d be ready to float its way back to the sky, and yet, they found themself stalling.
How long have they been fixing the stars? They couldn’t seem to remember. In the dream-like state of living only to repeat the same duty, they’d forgotten why they had started putting the pieces back together.
There was a tinge of something unpleasant in their chest, spreading to each corner of their body until they felt nothing. They were just as empty as this unending world. Maybe it was doubt, or loneliness. Anxiety? They couldn’t name it, but one thought repeated in their head, eating away at every thought that remained:
‘I change nothing with my existence.’
Though the jagged edges of the star scratched at their body, the Being wrapped their arms around it and held it tightly, tears flooding from their eyes. That’s right, they had been fooling themself for a long time. This overwhelming numbness had always been in the back of their head, but maybe there was deserved praise for how long they had kept it at bay with fragile optimism.
And yet, the stars had never felt as warm as the one they currently held. Though it was still incomplete, its gold light illuminated them in a comforting heat. If these stars could illuminate every crevice of this world, how would that feel? What colour would the space above be if the inky blackness no longer existed?
Surely somewhere out there, if they returned these stars to where they came from, a place of light would be waiting for them.
Taking in a deep breath, the Being exhaled and put the last fragment into place. With gentle pressure, they could feel the star begin to rise, whole once more. They were hesitant, but their arms unlocked and released it.
The Being was left alone in the dark once more.
An Acquired Taste
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)
In the early days of her blindness, Vienas avoided sunlight. The warmth scratched at her eyes painfully. Despite her efforts to keep her eyes shut, habit forced her to open them. She learned in time to wear a cloth band over her eyes for protection, to sew by way of faded memories, and to sit alone in quietude. She learned to tell the time of day and year from how the light warmed her skin. When she exited the temple, sunrise was a pale flame to her left, noon an aura of heat, and evening a chilling wind from her right.
Later in life, when she had taught her daughters to do the sewing, and to read to her, she wandered the library and learned to catalog the scrolls in her total darkness. Mazylas would walk with her, her protege and assistant, and learn the secrets in the library. Vienas taught her to write and make scrolls, since papyrus aged quickly, and Mazylas’ education expanded rapidly as she copied down the knowledge of a once holy city, now left to decay.
Her grandchildren continued in three paths their forebears taught them; farming, fishing and reading. Very few became priests or what passed for priests in this age. Priests were the makers of papyrus, the keepers of forgotten knowledge and even the warriors when the wild dogs left and marauders came.
Vienas found that sitting became more pleasurable as she aged. She ate less, slept less and her bones felt both lighter and harder to move. The sunrise became more tolerable, then enjoyable. She woke one morning knowing that she would die within the year and felt not fear, not joy, but a quiet humility. She spent that year sitting, frequently leaving Padas alone in their bed, while she thought and remembered and taught.
She stopped keeping time, but Padas told her one day that he would be a hundred soon and she knew he was younger. That morning was particularly bright. She would smile, awaiting the time all those destinies she machinated passed her by.