Hello, Doctors and Virologists!
You’ve been sick before, haven’t you? Were you able to identify it right away? How many medical professionals did you visit before discovering the answer? Well, I think it’s about time for a checkup, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
A Strange Illness
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!
I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single person in the world who hasn’t gotten sick at some point in their lives. Whether it be from allergies, chronic conditions, or rampant sicknesses like the flu, we’re bound to catch something at some point or another.
For most of those things, we know what to do and how to handle them. For a cold or flu, we take some medicine and do our best to either prevent or break a fever. For allergies, we have antihistamines and other little bits like eye drops, nasal sprays, and throat sprays.
But what happens when a disease is unidentifiable? What if one was to fall ill with a sickness that defied all logic and science? Perhaps this disease is the kind that makes you burp bubbles of all different colours, or it causes you to shoot up into the air when you sneeze. Maybe it messes with your molecular structure and suddenly your skin is like diamonds, glass, rubber, or a kind of slimy gelatin. What if it makes you near vampiric in sunlight sensitivity, or it just slowly petrifies you from the inside out?
It may not even be a physical illness like a virus, but could be something that affects different parts of the brain. Perhaps a person who can seem entirely normal in the day has frequent episodes of sundowning, or maybe they have all kinds of hallucinations or memory malfunctions, both of which can make every day life far more difficult than it used to be. Maybe the illness causes things in the brain to misfire or behave differently, causing either compulsive movements and twitches, or even temporarily erasing all inhibitors and unlocking unbelievable strength in a person.
Or it could even be something only thought of in movies and stories. A single bite or scratch from a sick person is all it takes for it to spread, polluting the body and causing one to fall into a state of undeath. A bite and transmission of blood from a carrier mutates the body into a bloodthirsty, unstoppable nocturnal creature. An interstellar body that can infect and change an entire planet, using that planet to then spread its creatures and plagues to its next target planet… possibly even our own.
So, ready to dive into worlds and pathogens unknown? I hope so. Diseases don’t exactly wait for us to be ready for them. So grab your microscope and lab coat, and let’s see what kinds of bizarre ailments you can cook up.
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.
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.