Writing Group: The End of the Hallway

Hello, Travellers and Midnight Wanderers!

How do you feel about hallways? They’re pretty different from stairways, aren’t they? Yet still similar… but much flatter, they don’t really move up or down. They’re… connective, I suppose. Well, I guess we better study up on architecture, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

The End of the Hallway

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!

Hallways are everywhere. It’s hard to find a building that doesn’t have at least one. Hospitals are riddled with them, as are universities, schools, offices, even theatres and pools. There’s always some form of hallway connecting one room to another.

Hallways have also been used a lot in media. In horrors, there’s always some version where the demon or the ghost is waiting at the other end of the hallway, staring down the protagonist with a face of stone or a malicious glare or grin. In adventure or thrill-seeking movies, the scene is that some priceless artifact lies on a lit pedestal at the end, and the entire hallway is lined with all sorts of traps and dangers to prevent theft… which usually end up all failing at their job. Those are a couple of ways you could take this prompt. 

Another is to explore the world of being a construction foreman, charged with putting together a house or apartment building. Maybe the end of the hallway still needs to be built, or maybe it’s been mismeasured and now nothing lines up right. Maybe a way you choose to explore this prompt is by navigating the hallways of a hospital. You’re in a rush, but still wanting to take your time, gripped by the dread of finally making it to your destination, and whatever horrible news that arrival brings. Perhaps you choose the story of the time you woke in the middle of the night and needed to use the bathroom, but the dark hallway seemed impassable. The creaks of the house, branches tapping on windows that are out of view, your imagination running wild and making you see those two shining button eyes in the darkness.

This prompt could even refer to tunnel vision, hyperfixating on one thing that prods your mind incessantly for hours and hours, or focused on one thing in front of you and blocking out everything else. You could be focused on a hurtful comment, or maybe you’re just really adamant about beating this level in the game. It could even be a depiction of indecision or journey; a hallway is that long stretch between point A and point B, and sometimes it’s easier to go back than to go forward, even if you know you’re not supposed to be. 

So whatever path you choose, just keep pushing onward. Eventually you’ll reach the other end, and it’ll either be everything you dreamed, everything you feared… or perhaps even a strange mix of the two.

—Shawna

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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MelancholicOtaku
MelancholicOtaku
25 days ago

New to the writing group nice to meet everyone

Step

Taking the first step was always the hardest
For no matter how many times you completed this journey, no it was never ending battle within you ,a battle in which no matter how hard you tried it ended the same.
The first step , second or third ,the outcome would result all the same, your mind and body would freeze with anticipation.
Deep down you knew the answer, why you were having this certain block, but you being such a stubborn one refuse to acknowledge any insecurities you may have.
What was ahead of your journey, what lies in front
This narrow dark end filled with fear and regret, anxiety and your own shortcomings.
Tunnel vision you called it
All you wanted to do was to open the door in front of you
To finally unlocked the individual that you dreamed of
Open the door and take that first step
Begin the journey to the other side

Emrys
Emrys
25 days ago

Searching for love in cold hallways
by Emrys

He knew these hallways better then anyone else.

Since he was a child he walked along them, always with focus, a clear goal in mind. Towards the person that was waiting for him at the end.
Never having the time or the will to stop and look around, to take in the carefully crafted ornaments or the majestic pillars, lined with gold and silver.

Never realizing how big, how lonely, how cold everything was.

Now that he walked this hallway not as an approval seeking child or a strict commander, as the right hand man of the queen – of his goddess – but as a prisoner, he noticed.

Noticed how the dimly lit hallway made way for shadows more than light, how everything was as silent as the morning before a battle.
Like silence before the storm.

It has always been like that, hasn’t it?
Even when his goddess still loved him, before he messed everything up.

Did she ever love him?

She never hold him, like she did with her other children.
But she saved him.
She gave him salvation, and a life and she told him she had great plans for him and surely, her heart wasn’t as cold as outsiders tend to believe, surely she loved him, she had to, because, because…

Because who was he, without anyone to love him?

Who was he, when he couldn’t even please his goddess?

Who was he, without that warm light at the end of the tunnel waiting for him?

The chains around his wrists rattled as the man in front of him – he thought of him as his older brother, once, but now his eyes were as cold as this hallway – tucked on them, urging him to move faster.

The sound echoed loudly in the hallway, making his ears ring and his heart beat faster.

He knew this hallway better then anyone else.
He knew what awaited him at the end.

It wasn’t the warm embrace of a mother or the proud smile of a mentor or the mercy of a queen.

It was the wrath of a goddess.

Grey
Grey
28 days ago

The Door At the End of the Hallway
By: Grey

The noise I heard was so piercing that it sounded like scraping fingernails along a chalkboard.

Then it stopped.

Silence once again consumed the dark house. I thought that maybe it was coming from outside, so I rested my head back on the pillow.

Then the scraping sound tore through the wall of silence around me a second time. This time it was faster and ended more suddenly than before. Anxiety shot through my system like a bullet from a gun, as I bolted up in my bed.

It definitely came from inside. I thought as I prayed to any deity listening that it wasn’t an intruder.

I was alone in my late grandmother’s house in the middle of the country without any escape plans or weapons.

I sat there. Waiting. Hoping that I didn’t hear another noise from the end of the hall.
It felt like the darkness around me was pushing down on my soul as I waited.

A door.

Slowly creaking open on a pair of rusty hinges.

The sweat on my forehead was now puddling, and my hands were shaking so violently I was worried I would never be able to stop.

No, please God, No. I was petrified. What if they found me? What if they wanted to kill me?

My thoughts raced like cars on a track. Until another sound came from the hallway; stopping any other thoughts from racing down the track.

The sounds of footsteps on the old floorboards.

Coming towards me.

My eyes shot towards the closed door, and the moonlight shining from underneath it.

Closer.

Closer.

My entire body was shaking with fear. I wanted to run, but I was frozen stiff.

Closer.

A shadow slid its way in front of my door.

Another shadow soon followed.

Silence filled the room again, as I stared at a pair of black, twisted feet.

Claws scraped the door nob.

I’m trapped.

It slowly started to turn.

I can’t die now.

A small click.

What do you want from me?

The door was now open.

Please, Don’t.

Arith_Winterfell
Arith_Winterfell
29 days ago

“At The Nexus”

By: Arith_Winterfell

Horse Flesh. Lots of Horse Flesh. It’s crawling along the floor in chunks. Crawling, flopping, moving with insectile like jerkiness. All of it crawling along down the long hallway. I can see in the candle light at the far end there is the silhouette of a horse, the meat reconstructing it one piece at a time. Otherwise, the hallway is opulent and lined with mirrors.

I’m pretty sure I’m dreaming. I mean I come from a world where dragons and demons are real, but this is just strange enough to be a Spirit Realm manifestation. I’m fairly certain I’m in a dream vision. I think I’m in one of the Spirit Realms, or rather dream projected into one. I mean this looks like my usual nexus hallway that I manifest each time I astral project via dreams into the Spirit Realms. One has to start somewhere. The horse is not usually here though. Neither is the horse flesh.

Normally there would be flashes of landscapes in the mirrors or spirits gazing out from them. This time there is only blackness in the mirrors. Each mirror’s opulent gold frame glinting in candlelight surrounding obsidian black emptiness. The hallway, however, is humming.

The humming is almost like a chant, a song, or maybe a hymn. I chuckle at the absurdness of hymns here. The real gods do not listen to the pleas of living men, why should they listen to the dead ones? I refer to the primeval gods, not the illusions of gods that humanity has built. Of course, their faithful would disagree with me. Then again, why would they care to listen to a wizard who summons and talks to the dead in the first place.

The horse flesh spirit at the hallway’s far end tosses its patchy mane and whispers at me. It’s a spirit that seems to want me to come closer.

Amaunator
29 days ago

The Last Holiday
by Joris Lemoine (aka. Amaunator)

Suitcases rattled across the moving walkway. A tiny woman was stuck in the Tannoy, more than likely screaming to get out. It was all so much garbled nonsense hovering over the hubbub of passengers dining on appetized cardboard, rattling their plastic cutlery and shuffling unbalanced chairs. Mom and Dad kept getting farther ahead; I feared they might leave me behind.

Asinine billboards flashed by: for watches meant to be stolen in a blink; for travel insurance, surely a bit late now; for the kind of perfume that would have your co-passengers scratching your eyes out; and the obligatory taste-traps.

Of course it had to be the farthest gate, 484, at the end of the terminal. Well, for Mom and me it would be; Dad’s was at 473. He had time; we were late.

“Come on, Stephanie,” Mom said. Carped, even. It wasn’t my fault!

“I’m coming,” I panted. I kept bumping into the trolley. It was made for torture, not transport, laden as it was with the carry-on: a pink Power Rangers bag, Mom’s Gucci tote and my backpack, black and polka-dotted with stickers.

“We’re going to miss it,” she hissed, and threw a dirty look at Dad. It wasn’t his fault either…

At last we were at the gate. The paper-wrangling ensued; the desk clerk kept checking her phone — I’m sorry you had to do your job, lady! And then, that was it.

“Hug?” he asked, that bear of a man.

“I want to go with you.” I was tearing up. I didn’t care. Let her see. He squeezed me into his heart and up against the khaki bandolier that dug into my bra.

“Steph, come,” she called me to heel.

It wasn’t fair! So what that Dad had fucked around? I knew for a fact that Mom had too. And now we were going to Gran’s? A business trip, she had sneered at him. Ugh. So eye-rollingly obvious, Mom!

“It’ll be fine,” he lied. More tears welled up to ruin my mascara.

The last thing I saw was his forlorn waving as we vanished into the umbilical.

MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

What Happened Here?
By MasaCur (Reposted from Private Group)

Shigure advanced upon the farm house, revolver in hand. After cocking his head to the side and hearing nothing, he waved. Sonja rushed forward.

“There’s no one around,” Shigure said. He pointed at the hen house nearby. “Over half the chickens are dead. The ones that aren’t have taken to eating the ones that are. No one’s here to feed them.”

“We should check the house,” Sonja replied.

Shigure holstered the revolver and pushed back his stetson. “I don’t think we’re going to find those missing yokai. At least not living, at any rate.”

“If we find their corpses, then we’ll at least know what happened to them.” Sonja tried the front door of the house. It swung open freely. “You should check the root cellar.”

Shigure circled to the side of the house, and pulled at the cellar doors. The smell of spoiled eggs permeated the air, but underneath it all, he could also smell the rot of flesh. He descended into the darkness, his eyes quickly adapting to the lack of light.

A hallway ran off the end of the cellar, and at the end was a door. Shigure advanced upon it, the smell of desiccating flesh growing stronger as he did. He kicked the door open.

Inside was what could only be described as the cross between a prison and a laboratory. Humanoids, not quite human, were slumped in cages. All dead, but not of starvation. It was as if something carved into the back of their heads.

Lying on the floor was one of the human hunters that had imprisoned them, the back of his head also cut open. A notebook was clutched in his hand, and Shigure flipped through it.

The door swung open. Shigure drew his gun, but saw it was only Sonja.

“The entire family of hunters is dead upstairs,” she said.

“The yokai are as well. No sign of what killed them..”

Sonja nodded. “Gather up the notes; we’ll go through them on the road. I’ll burn the place to the ground when we leave.”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

Anatidaephobia
by Lee Strangely

It was only a few close friends, but the party was incredibly lively. In fact, I’d argue it was the most life I had ever seen our house. It felt wonderful to see everyone together. I think everyone needed it, especially him.

You see him on the couch over there? The guy sitting on the right most cushion up against the armrest. The only person who wasn’t enjoying themself.

Before you exclaim how he looks fine, hear me out. You don’t live with him here, I do. I’ll give it you that he does look a little happier with all of his friends around him, but he is still afraid. Notice how when people try to talk to him, he tries to be polite but also gives very short answers. It was distracting him.

This whole shindig was put together so I didn’t have to go mad from lack of human contact and so I could finally get him to open up a little bit and maybe let loose some. I even move “you-know-who” into the closet to calm his nerves. He tends to do better when he can’t directly see him, but his paranoia would persist no matter how far from him he was.

He tried really hard not to look, though I’m willing to bet the door at the end of the hall was still in the corner of his eye. It’s like when you tell people “Don’t look down,” but they do it anyway for some unknown reason.

To him there was no place where “he” would not see him. “He” is always watching him. A gaze that peered through clouds, trees, stone and his own soul.

Somewhere.

Somehow.

Someway.

He believed “he” was watching him. I felt sorry for the poor guy. I, like you probably and many others, believe it’s stupid. But when I look into his eyes, I see what could best be described as a coyote that wants so desperately to gnaw its arm off to escape, but was too paralyzed with fear to do so.

To him, the duck is ALWAYS watching.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Falling into a Hall of Mirrors
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre) and Lunabear

And it had been such a good dream. There weren’t many ‘good dreams’ anymore, Valerie had thought, as she was walking through a snowy plain.

At least until she stepped into a hole and dropped through the floor like an anvil.

In retrospect, she should have expected something like this. She’d never explored this far into other people’s dreams. Not that geography mattered much, when hopping through the imagination of numerous mental choirs, each with their own little song. But still, something about these minds felt… novel. Inhuman.

The next second, she broke through a pane of glass, landing hard on a floor. Unprepared as she was, she felt every cut from the dream glass as she broke through.

“Ow…” she got up, shaking off the glass. “That actually hurt… Oh, hello. Is this your dream? I’m Valerie. Sorry about the mirror.”

In front of her knelt a blonde teenage girl, with wolf-like ears and a tail. That explained the inhuman sensation.

“How… are you here?” the girl asked, wiping away what looked like tears.

“I… fell,” oh boy, how to explain this. “I can walk through dreams and sometimes… Well, I fall into other people’s. You have a lot of mirrors here. Though… these reflections aren’t you. Friends? Family?”

“No one you should worry about. WHY are you here?”

“Look, I didn’t mean to be here. It was an accident. I’ll leave, if you want, but… I can see this isn’t pleasant for you. If you need someone to talk to, I could hang around for a bit.”

“No, thanks. Leave.”

“Okay. Sorry for dropping in like this,” she retreated, her hands raised. “I’ll find an exit.”

“There’s NEVER an exit.”

“There’s always one,” Valerie couldn’t suppress a smile. “You just have to find it. Let me show you.”

She offered the girl her hand.

“I’m never able to leave.”

“We will.”

The girl took her hand and Valerie helped her up, leading her out gently. Valerie knew that this wouldn’t fix anything long-term. But what she could give her was a short respite from this particular nightmare.

Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

The Lupin and The Dreamwalker
by Lunabear and Spectre

Sam’s silent footsteps led her along the reflective hall. The mirrors continued endlessly. They pulsed with light.

From above, her own cerulean gaze glared down at her. She liked her strawberry blonde hair but scowled at her red, lupine ears and flicking tail.

Why couldn’t SHE pass for human, too? Reflections of her siblings haunted her.

She ran until her feet numbed. WHY wasn’t she as tactical or more tuned into nature?

Why was she STUCK between them? Tears fell.

She ran faster, but couldn’t reach the end. Anger flooded her, and she struck the mirrors, shattering them on impact. They reassembled instantaneously.

The space beneath reflected nothing. She dropped to her knees and wept even more.

Sam would never escape their shadows.

One of the mirrors burst without warning, shards hovering in the air. Sam turned, seeing a young, black-haired woman on the ground.

“Ow… That actually hurt…” The woman stood, spying Sam. “Oh… hello. This your dream? I’m Valerie. Sorry about the mirror.”

The shards didn’t mend. Sam hastily scrubbed away her tears. “How…are you here?”

“I…fell.” Valerie touched her chin. “I can walk through dreams, and sometimes… Well, I fall into other people’s. You have a lot of mirrors here. Though… these reflections aren’t you. Friends? Family?”

“No one you should worry about.” Sam stared at the empty space. “WHY are you here?”

“Look, I didn’t mean to be here. It was an accident. I’ll leave, if you want, but… I can see this isn’t pleasant for you. If you need someone to talk to, I could hang around for a bit.”

Sam snarled. “No, thanks. Leave.” Her knees touched her chin, and her ears and tail drooped.

Valerie raised her hands.

“Okay. Sorry for dropping in like this.” She began retreating. “I’ll find an exit.”

Sam studied the shards.

“There’s NEVER an exit.”

Valerie smiled. “There’s always one; you just have to find it.” She extended a hand. “Let me show you.”

“I’m never able to leave.”

“WE will.”

With Valerie’s help, Sam stood.

Valerie gently led her out.

Behind them, the mirror slowly repaired itself.

DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

The Other Door
By Taja DaLeen

At the end of the hallway, there was a door.

But not just any door. It was Their door. The one they’d vanish behind every evening after saying farewell.

They were so nice, every time they met. Always holding open the door to the stairways, greeting her and chatting a bit. Mostly about the weather, and other minor things, but that probably was because they had so little time. After all, they told her about their cat, even showed her a picture.

Also, they were quite attractive to boot.

So, she decided to write a love note; about how happy she was to have met them, how much she enjoyed their little talks, and that she’d love to meet their cat. Hopefully they’d get the hint, and finally ask her out on a date.

It was about damn time they got to know each other better.

She took the newly written note and folded it. Once. Twice. The second guessing started right there and then, but she decided to ignore it. Why should this not be a good idea?

Still, leaving her apartment and now standing in that hallway, her muscles tensed. But she was going to do this, she just couldn’t take it any longer. Gathering her courage, she started walking over to that door.

Had this hallway always been this long? And when did she last have such difficulty simply breathing? Why did her heart hammer against her chest this much? She was no freaking teenager anymore!

But at some point, she arrived at her destination. Looking at the door now, Their door, she contemplated just knocking. Maybe they were home? Then they could talk today, and she wouldn’t have to wait until they discovered the note!

She raised her hand.

But what if they were busy? If she destroyed all her chances because she couldn’t wait? She wouldn’t be able to live with herself then.

So, she just slipped the note under the door, hoping they would find it soon.

However, a thought occurred to her going back to her apartment.

Did she sign that note?

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
1 month ago

The Door at the End of the Way

By: The Missing Link

It stretched on, almost forever, rows and rows of identical doors stretched down the way to the one that never opened. It felt like I could walk down that hall and never reach the end, kinda like a staircase in an old game my parents used to talk about.

“What are you looking at, John?” Alice gave me a puzzled look.

“It’s… nothing. Let’s go inside.”

“Ok,” she frowned, “Oh! What kind of cake did your mom make?”

“Probably some kind of chocolate. She always says red velvet is too much work.”

We opened the door. Everyone was there. Everything should have been perfect, but the hallway just nagged at me the whole time. What was behind that door? I clutched the locket Alice’s mom got me and tried to put my mind back to the present.

No good, my brain just kept flooding with all the fantastic worlds that could be behind the door. A world of adventure I could save from a dark lord, a world of tomorrow where all the scary things that make mom sad go away. Or maybe it led to the mouth of a giant beast, waiting to eat anyone who went inside. It could be a hideout for spies and ninjas. They never need to use doors, right?

After the party, I waited awake in the guest bed looking over the locket until everyone was asleep, a beautiful picture of me, Alice, and all of our friends.

Midnight, no one would still be awake now. I snuck outside and walked down the hall, terrified that my heartbeat would get me caught. It really did feel like it took an eternity, but I eventually made it to the door. As I reached out to turn the handle, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I froze. A soft voice spoke, “Some things are better kept secret, at least for now.” I turned to argue, but there was nothing there, nothing but the locket I had left back in the room.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
1 month ago

A Dark Path (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

Nyx treaded carefully down into the opened passage, accompanied only by the bloody moonlight of the false temple above. Beyond the stairwell, the small hallway was utterly lightless.

She squinted, trying to adjust her eyes. Gnomes like her had naturally good vision in darkness…or they were supposed to, anyway. But her eyes were slower to adapt than most.

“That’s probably the human in us!” Her mother had light-heartedly stated once. Nyx remembered that sentence with a grimace. Yes, it probably was.

Still, she thought as she walked deeper into the corridor, it’s not like she needed to worry. After all, she had done exactly what her Lord had asked.

The light of the stairwell faded with distance, as the darkness continued unrelentingly onwards. Gods, the silence was suffocating. Her footsteps, her breathing, even her thoughts felt louder than they had ever been.

Thoughts like the face of that man, when he- when she-

He had been too loud and bold for his own good. What did he think was going to happen, when he kept talking about her Lord like that? In public, no less?

Of course someone would have had to deal with him. It didn’t matter that it had been her. Someone would have had to do it.

Nyx quickened her cautious pace a little, trying not to think too hard about her day. And failing.

She – she hadn’t done anything. Not really. It had been the poison that had killed him, not her!

Anyone could have delivered it. Anyone!

She wasn’t in trouble. Lord Lectara had wanted this. There was no danger here…

No. Danger had always been here.

And now, she’d become part of the danger too.

A speck of light caught her eyes. A single candle flame, hovering in the void.

Nyx stumbled to a halt, as she realised that the walls of the passage had fallen away into a much larger room. The only light was the candle…and above it, a pair of burning red eyes.

“Miss Nyx Murnor,” Lord Lectara spoke, his voice resonating through her bones. “We have been waiting for you.”

Matthew R. Wright
Matthew R. Wright
1 month ago

VOBAH!
by Matthew R. Wright

Podcaster Pepper Fields stood before the loud and odd-looking crowd of protestors. Mic-in-hand, she pressed REC on her field-recorder, put on her most personable smile and said the words that would steer the direction of her next ten minutes wildly off-course, “Whose first?”.

“VOBAH!”, “VOBAH!” The words overlapped to the point of incoherence as a dozen-or-so protestors, all head-to-toe in handwritten-sandwich-boards with scrawled-on-addresses, rushed towards Pepper.

First to the mic was ‘212 Flangely Place’, refused to give out their real name. 212-FP (shortened-down) was short-cut, lanky, unkempt, and smelt of overused deodorant that hid their third-day without showering.

“WE SPEAK FOR THE HALLS, HALLS WE HEAR YOU!” said 212-FP. Without missing-a-beat Pepper raised the mic to mouth-level. “VOBAH! Voices Of Buildings and Houses. We represent THEM”. 212-FP gave off the air of self-righteousness, but that could’ve been the deodorant.

“Do they need representatives? Since we now know that all structures talk, they’re ‘sentient’, wouldn’t it make more sense to hear from them?”. Pepper made an excellent point.

“SHY!” replied 212-FP. “They murmur, in the hallways, speaking only to us”.

“Go on”.

“VOBAH demand the film-industry stop using hallways as settings for fight scenes. For too-long they’ve been represented only as places to fight. No longer!” This felt rehearsed. “They want better representation, maybe some romance scenes, between two hallways perhaps. Skies the limit. VOBAH!”.

“This is serious? They told you that?” Pepper enquired.

“Completely SERIOUS. Every word.”

“Do you think it’s possible, that maybe-”

“What?”

“Maybe the buildings and houses are messing with you?”
212-FP looked confused.

“Why specifically hallways? Those ‘Murmurs’ could’ve come from anywhere, right? I think they’re pranking you?”

“No…they want representation, real representation”.

“Hallway romance scenes? Being against fight scenes, and not demolitions or squatting?”

“…Yes”. 212-FP seemed less confident.

“I think what you’re doing…VOBAH? Great concept. But maybe structures are like the rest of us, maybe houses have humour, maybe buildings get bored?”

“Erm”.

Pepper pressed STOP and thanked 212-FP for their time. No-more was said between them. 212-FP returned to the crowd, silent. Pepper’s own words rang back “Maybe buildings get bored”.

Flamekin
Flamekin
1 month ago

Unforgotten Memories
By Flamekin

Whenever I enter my childhood home, it is there to confront me. I try not to look, believe me, but it never feels like I have any choice in the matter at all. I’ve asked my mother more times than I can count to take it down, but I guess you can see how far that’s gotten me. You’d think she could at least stick it somewhere other than the wall directly opposite the front door, but I suppose her reason isn’t unfounded, I guess. She says she keeps it there to keep his memory alive, so that she remembers him whenever she comes into the house. That she’s worried that he’ll fade without it.

My Father was the best man that I have ever known, he loved and cared with all of his heart, and never hesitated a single time to sacrifice whatever he needed to for our lives to be happier or more meaningful. The last picture we have of him was lucky enough to be a professionally taken family portrait. He was smiling so hard that you could hardly even see his eyes, and he was hugging all of us so tight you might even think that someone was trying to take us from him.

I wonder if he had any sort of premonition then that he would not be much longer with us, that he needed to savor the moments he had left. I was watching TV, a batman cartoon, and he was watching with me, but he said that he was tired, and needed a nap. I have since chosen to believe that he was already asleep when the heart attack came.

My mom doesn’t understand that every time I come home, in all the years that follow, I sit down in the living room, still the same as that day, and I glance down the hallway to his door, the one at the very end, and must remember every single time that he isn’t going to come out to greet me.

Taehl
Taehl
1 month ago

Friendly Ferryman (a tale from Gaea)
by Taehl

The dream still started with the smell of burning Purple Areilis – lavender, sweat, soot. Clem said he was going to fix that, but clearly hasn’t gotten around to it. This fountain was new, though. Curtains of water and light spiraled around it, evoking orbital mechanics.

The foyer’s tapestry collection, Anya’s project, had progressed too. Interpretations of humanity’s lost history and planet shimmered in the fabric, looking almost holographic thanks to some trick or another. Behind an older tapestry, a new door was coyly near-concealed. Hiding secret rooms containing in-jokes had quickly become popular among the team. “Yes! Show me those dream memes!”

On the other side of the new door was a featureless, unlit hallway, five and a half meters long, terminating with another door. “Oh no, not this fuka thing again…”

This weird hallway always led to an immense void between a rock ceiling and a grey ocean, both endless. Light didn’t work right in there, everything was dim and colors all dull. Nobody claimed to have made it, and it creeped everyone out. Every time they removed the hallway, it turned up again in some overlooked corner of the dream.

Yellow light spilled around the edges of the door. That was new. Opening the door was obviously a bad idea, but… “It’s only a dream, what the hell.”

The light came from a lantern attached to the prow of a rowboat. It carried a tall heap of rags clutching an oar.

“Greetings! You don’t appear to have need of my services yet, dear fellow, but fear not! Should you ever find yourself inadvertently free of your mortal coil, just find me and we’ll get you back in the sunshine where you belong. Or were you looking for my associate, the good doctor? I can bring you to him, free of charge. He’s very talented with his knife, you know – there’s no mistake too big or delicate for excision.”

SLAM! That was enough nope for one night. “We’ve got to get rid of this hallway!”

Thunder
Thunder
1 month ago

Hazards of the Job
by Thunder

Slowly, painfully, the block of stone gave way, falling to the dirt floor with a muffled thump. Two men, both dressed in khaki, peered through the gap in the wall. The taller of the pair, Lyle York, raised an electric torch, carefully sweeping the beam across the room. Finally, he turned to his partner, Edward G. Starkly. “Shall we?”

The two men entered the hallway, and there it was. The torchlight reflected off the gilded box sitting on a pedestal at the far end. “Hah! I told you breaking in through the back was a good idea,” York boasted as he started forward. “And we even avoided the traps.”

A patch of dirt clicked as he stepped on it, and the torch went out as the bulb shattered. Through the dim light from the opening, Starkly bent down and picked up a small wooden dart. He sniffed it, then tossed it away. “That was poisoned. Wait here and don’t move; I’ll go back for the other one.”

“Wait! It’s right there!” York exclaimed, wiping sweat from his forehead. “I can still-”

He shouldn’t have taken that step forward.

The ground clicked, and a rock fell from the ceiling. York was only barely able to avoid it.

The ground clicked again. A section of the floor fell away, which made York let out a yelp as he teetered over the edge of a spike pit.

Starkly grabbed the back of his shirt and tugged, hard. “Stop. Moving.” He hissed. “A few minutes won’t harm anything.”

“It’s right there, Edward,” York growled. “Our reputations. Our fortunes-”

“Aren’t worth your life.” Starkly shook his head. “And that’s what you’ll lose if you keep going without a light. Just wait.”

He returned to the entrance, vanishing for several seconds before returning with the extra torch. He started forward.

The ground clicked. Starkly released the light as he fell; at the bottom his ankle cracked underneath him, eliciting a pained moan.

Above the pit, York picked up the torch, avid eyes focused on the box. “Don’t worry, Edward. I’ll be right back.”

The ground clicked.

Makokam
1 month ago

“Jonathan Will Remember That” or “Egg McGuffin” (Chronicles of The Dragon) (Ver.2)
By Makokam

The hallway branched off and went for a hundred feet or so. At the end was a heavy metal door, with an equally heavy bar lock. A single guard stood by the door, armed with a machine gun.

He carried it loosely and his posture was slouched. He wore a mask and goggles, which he adjusted frequently. Their attention, despite not having anything else to look at, wasn’t as focused down the hall as their employer would have liked it to be.

He sighed.

Eventually, footsteps echoed down the hall and he straightened up. He didn’t raise his weapon yet, but he was ready to.

Another moment and someone came around the corner, with a long coat, ruffled dark hair, and smoking a cigarette. The man looked down the hall for a moment before strolling down.

The guard started to raise the gun, an order to stop on his tongue, and then he relaxed. “Oh. You’re the new “General”. Rose, right?”

The man nodded. “That’s me.”

“So what’re you doing here?”

“Lady Keres suggested I familiarize myself with the base.” He looked past the guard and his eyes drifted from the door off to the left. “What is this?”

“Oh! It’s the treasure vault. The artifacts, gems, and some weapons we take are stored in there. Any cash we take is in there too until it can be laundered. “

Rose frowned. “Hmm. Mind if I take a look?”

“Oh. Uh…” The guard looked at the door then back to him. “I can’t open it. I’m just a guard.”

Rose looked from the guard, to the door, and then his gaze shifted somewhere beyond it.

“The uh…” The guard continued, “the lock is supposed to be magic. So, if you’re allowed in you should just be able to open the door. But… you’re not supposed to unless you’re-”

Rose already had a hand on the door, and pushed the handle.

The door opened, and he walked in.

Rows and rows of shelves, held everything the guard had said and more.

Rose stopped in front an elaborately decorated egg.

Last edited 26 days ago by Makokam
Sanguinerus
Sanguinerus
1 month ago

The Race

by Sanguinerus

Iris was sat in reception along with her fraternal twin brother Hermes while their mother worked. They were both seven years old, although Iris was proudly five minutes older. The receptionist Juno was an ill tempered woman who had agreed to look out for them as a favour.

Their mother couldn’t afford to have someone look after them, and was forced to bring them with her to work, kept inside from the beautiful Saturday sunshine. They had played every game they could think of several times and had exhausted every activity they were allowed to do. It was torture being out of school in the springtime of their youth being bound to inactivity and drowning in ennui.

Leading from the reception area was a long hallway, perhaps two hundred feet. Busy employees occupied large cube farms, on both sides, though the hallway itself was sparsely populated.

Juno’s phone rang and the children heard half of what sounded like an urgent phone call, writing a note as she listened. “Children.” She said, demanding their attention. “Take this note to the office at the end of the hallway.” Hermes took the note and hesitated.

“Race you!” Iris said excitedly, and they both took off down the hallway with haste. Their hearts pumping and adrenaline flowing as they each exerted more and more effort into besting one another. Giggles of excitement shot past each cubicle leaving most colleagues confused.

They fast approached the door when it swung open and they both bumped into the man that appeared before them casting his coffee upon his suit.

“Whose children are these?” He loudly snorted. A gasp came from nearby and their mother quickly approached. She quickly assessed what had happened as the man’s suit dripped and the children hung their heads in anticipation.

“I’m sorry.” She said.

“You’re fired.” The man responded and left. The mother stood dejected momentarily, then she looked at her children and smiled.

“C’mon, let’s go.” She said.

The twins looked down to the other end of the hallway, then at each other ginning, before they ran off once more.

Jeremy
1 month ago

No Going Back
By Jeremy

The call had finally come. After what felt like years of waiting, the moment was here. And despite that wait, the moment still seemed incredibly sudden. His purgatory was broken with only three words.

“You’re next, Alexendre.”

There was no emotion in the statement. It was simply time. For years he sat and wondered when. Not knowing had been a source of nightmares and, oddly, of sleepless nights. How could two opposing reactions be borne from one singular thought? Some nights the overwhelming existential dread made sleep impossible while other nights sleep came easily, only to be filled with awful dreams of the inevitable.

The hallway stretched before him and it was a one-way journey. Neither people, nor specifics came back from this dark path. Lined with roughly hewn stone, the way forward was sparsely lit by a few torches. Being underground had been part of the torment. Musty water dripped sporadically from crevices above his head. The cobblestone floor beneath his shackled feet was worn smooth from the countless shackled feet that had walked this way before.

Knowing this to be his ultimate journey, he tried to savor everything. The smells – stone, earth, misery and other odors better left untold. The sights – indifferent bugs crawling along the stones, wretched souls in similar predicaments, his own filthy bare feet. The sounds – one of those wretched souls moaning morosely somewhere behind him, the din of a crowd in the distance, the drips, the metallic clink of his bindings.

For the second, but not final, time that day, the suddenness shocked him. The impossibly bright sun instantaneously turned the entirety of his vision a pure shade of white. The crowd noise erupted in a rapture of anticipation. He could hear how close they were. He could feel their encirclement.

Slowly and painfully his eyes began to adjust and he beheld the apparatus. It was new and shiny. He was the first to use it. The final face he saw with any clarity was that of the eponymous Dr. Joseph Guillotin.

Ethan Hutchinson
Ethan Hutchinson
1 month ago

Cycles
By Ethan Hutchinson

It is impossible to explain.

A part of me is frightened by how much entertainment I find from his trials. All the triumphs and tragedies that he faces are seen perfectly through the screens. I am forced to like it, since I was assigned to this post all those months ago. At this point, I don’t even remember how long I have watched him, for all I know I could have been here a year, it does not matter much anymore. Why would I put such a time limit on my pure enjoyment? His anguish and tears flood my hours with the utmost glee. It is everything I want.

Sometimes he sprints over and over hoping that, at some point, he will beat the system, while sometimes he walks in shame knowing that there is nothing else he can try. It all seems so simple from afar. A hallway that seemed to be ripped out of your average mainstream hotel does not peak in the eyes of most people. The striped beige walls shot out with their bland brown lining, letting itself lead into the moist, almost sloppy carpet on the ground. Do not let the set of this whole game enrapture you though, the main star is him.

The horror on his face when he realized what the purpose of his placement was, it was almost intoxicating. Every time the man would reach the wall of his prison, he would almost instantly be taken back to the beginning. To see the skin curling shock and confusion work its way on his face brought a new sense of happiness to my eyes. After the first few times, he never found a similar way to work his way across the hallway and keep the cycle going. He tore that hall apart in a search for a way out, to no avail. He even tried to die, seeming to give up completely. To see his tears fulfills my every need, my every want even. There is nothing more I could ask for.

I never want this to stop.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

One Way Out

By Joe

I can’t remember when I started. I can’t remember where I was. But there’s no need to know, when my life is a linear path of plain stone walls. I can’t see anything, but I bump into these walls occassionally to stumble back into the fray of my endless walk. My thoughts are my only entertainment, and my only distraction from never seeing the end.

Sometimes someone or something passes by, but I don’t see them. I don’t greet them because I’m not lonely enough to need their company, but they’ll greet me anyway.

One voice asked, “Do you think it’s odd that life never apologizes for every wrong that happens, so it’s our job to apologize for it?”

I answered, “We are the living. We are the ones that do wrong but hope we’ll do right by another. I hope this satifies you.”

The Voice replied, “It does, and it doesn’t. Your the first to answer.”

“No one else had an answer?” I asked.

“Not one,” The Voice said. “They just kept walking, as if they were uncomfortable. I don’t know why. It made me feel lonely, but there was a flutter in me that wanted an answer to it. I’m satisfied that I have the answer, but disappointed that the mystery is gone. Now I have no distraction.”

“How about I ask you a question?” I suggested. “What does the end look like?”

“I’ve stopped asking that a long time ago. It’s a boring question.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“I stumbled onto the answer a little while back.”

“And that is?”

“You’ll have to see for yourself,” The Voice said, and kept walking.

I was hopeful. Maybe I would get to see the end of this demented hallway. But no light appeared, no door, or even a dead end. I thought the voice tricked me, or suggested that a broken mind was the answer. I was losing hope, until my foot hit something soft and I lost it all completely. My feet were warm, but the body was not.

Malqui
Malqui
1 month ago

Room 1000
By Malqui

He shivered, the air growing colder the longer he walked. The bluish-green walls of the hallway stretched for what seemed like miles, illuminated by dim fluorescent lights. How long had it been since he walked into this grim place? Any sense of time he once maintained sunk into the shag carpet where small crumbs of his sanity marked the long straight path back to the small attic door that led him here. Still, he trailed along, with the letter addressed to room 100 in his back pocket.

Nothing else mattered. Nothing else could matter. That letter was the last tie he had to whatever life he left so long ago.

He could feel his feet swelling, his stomach folding in on itself after months devoid of food. He took in rasped breaths, as the air grew thinner. Each step drug forth a new pain as his body slowly fell apart in his shamble.

In the distance he could see a door, its’ surface a beige gradient laminated in dust. On it was a golden handle, faded but not worn. When he’d begun his quest, doors were packed closely together tattered, bruised, and scraped. The further he’d delved however, the more sparse doors became, while the hallway distended like some insidious root that had been left to grow unsupervised.

As he neared the door, he began to make out numbers through damp glossy eyes. Tremors engulfed his forearms, and his heart pace quickened.

1000.

He flailed into a sprint, his joints popping and crackling. Finally, it would be over. Just a little further.

His chest throbbed with anticipation.

There it stood before him. A towering frame with the sign “1000” hammered into its surface. He went to knock, but it creaked open at his first tap. Shadow, light, color, and sound spilled out from the crack. He slowly pushed it further, his head pulsing with elation.

His eyes widened, as his lungs fiercely deflated. Where his rib cage once sat strong, his heart now sunk.

Before him sat a letter.

Beyond that stretched a hallway.

Roy SImon
Roy SImon
1 month ago

Father
By Roy Simon
C.W: violence
The rage and anger in his eyes terrified her. “ohh my dear don’t tell me you are not going to invite me over?”. She fumbled with her keys, dropping them on the ground. The deep charismatic voice, Lulling her in while her fear tries to break her away. “Come to me my child and I will free you from this mortal prison”. His voice soft and so inviting.

“ Please father no… leave me alone!!” she shouted. The fear climbing to her throat. She Scrambled for her keys trying desperately, to open the door to her apartment. She pinches herself thinking this is a horrible nightmare. But no, these may be her final moments. The shout echoed in the hallway.

“Don’t panic my dear for this will be over soon, don’t you want to be free from all your earthly chains. From the bills, the boss, from everything, all it will take is one clean cut.”

A black shadow Dashes toward her. She gives up on her apartment and tries to run down the stair. But the shadow was to fast. He tackled her to the ground knocking the air out of her. Pinning her arms above her head. The wood floor was cold to the touch, she lifted her legs to try to kick him off but to no avail. Her breath was coming back now. But that wouldn’t matter, her mind raced. “Am I ready to die?” She asked herself. She thought about her loved ones, and how much she will miss them or if she will miss them. “Have I appeased God enough to go to heaven or is there such a thing as heaven?” tears welled in her eyes.

The black cassock draped over her hips. He leans in close feeling his breath against her skin and spoke. “For he gave us the ultimate sacrifice and now so will you for I am the left hand of god.” He whispers. He grabs a knife and everything went black…
“ohh my dear don’t tell me you are not going to invite me over?” she herd…

Lantis Armstrong
Lantis Armstrong
1 month ago

A Light in the Darkness
By Lantis Armstrong

Gregory needed to retrieve his stuffed bear or he’d never be able to get to sleep, but the unseen things in the old house had taken it from him when he wasn’t looking and it now lay illuminated at the end of a long hallway. It was the only thing the young boy could see.

A lone light bled faintly through a crack in the wall at the end of the hallway. It was so dim it would have gone entirely unnoticed in any other circumstances, except tonight it was otherwise entirely pitch black in the old house, making even the faintest of light blaze like a lighthouse beacon.

Everything was dead silent. No ambient noises from nighttime insects or other animals outside. The house did not shift, creek or groan. No wind could be heard. It was as though Gregory had gone deaf.

Until he took the first step.

The pained cry of the floorboard howled sharply as though he’d stepped on a cat’s tail as he took the first step. It would have been disturbingly loud even in normal circumstances, but the vacuum of sound tonight turned it into a haunting orchestra that announced Gregory’s presence to the entire world with a single, lone step.

His hands trembled as he brought them both tight against his chest before glancing around to see if anything had moved. An absolute void of darkness surrounded him.

Enduring the symphony of wails, Gregory moved with quickening haste down the hallway towards the stuffed bear. He froze at the sight of an open door to the left at the end of the hall, the outline of its frame coming into view when he drew very close to it.

He slowly turned away from the looming doorway and reached one small, shaking hand towards the bear.

Inch by inch he drew closer to his goal.

A buzzing, clacking amorphic mass lurched from the open doorway and sealed around his hand, then snatched the child away into darkness as he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lantis Armstrong
Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

The Broken Altar

By Tamela Redfin

“They seem to be recovering well.” Salvador told me a week later. “But something’s off about Mica.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The short nails, almost like a human.” Salvador explained.

“He is part human.” I explained, “I did a blood test on him.”

“Odd, cyphas are such loners. I only knew one social cypha and that was my ex-girlfriend.” He hung his head.

“What happened to her?”

“I was young, well 30 or so, and stupid. I let her get away. She wanted to get married, and I wanted a bike and good smoke. Then she scratched me in the eye. Gave up smoking years ago though.”

Something rattled in my head. “What was her name?”

His pupils widened. “Jezebel. The sweetest girl I knew. Do you know her?”

“That… that’s impossible!” I gasped. Would I tell him?

“What is?” He turned to me. “Are you hiding something?”

“You need to speak with Mica.” I suggested. “And possibly also Sapphira.”

“Mica? Very well.” Salvador called for him and for the first time I noticed it.

“What do you need, old man?” Mica chuckled, before yawning, “Sapphira and I were trying to catch some zees.”

“I think I figured it out. Tell him your mother’s name.” I explained to Mica.

“Jezebel Granite. The second? I don’t get it.” But Salvador did.

Salvador’s jaw fell. “Wait… she was pregnant when I left?! She didn’t tell me…”

“Wait a minute. You’re my father! But, didn’t you choose a bike over me?”
“I didn’t even know you existed! I wouldn’t have cared about all that if…” He paused, “How’s your mother?”

“She’s just a smoker that complains all the time.” Mica explained, “She said it reminded her of ‘someone she knew.’”

“We need to get Jezebel out of there.” Salvador decided.

“Are you insane? Do you want us to all get killed?” Mica snapped.

Salvador put a hand on Mica’s shoulder. “What would you do for Sapphira if she were in danger? I know you wouldn’t let her get hurt.”

The Ink Chimera
The Ink Chimera
1 month ago

What lies at the end of the hallway?
By The Ink Chimera

I woke to the sound of scratches outside my door. They weren’t too loud, but enough to keep me awake.

I looked at my phone to see what time it was. 2 AM. Of course. I tried to just lie down and go back to sleep. But then I heard the sound loud and clear. Every small crack of the wood as something clawed the other side of the door slowly.

Whatever it was, it sounded huge. I was a little scared, but my morbid curiosity got the better of me. So I slowly made my way across the room, to the door. I took a deep breath and opened it slowly at first, then all at once. And while there was nothing on the other side, the scene that presented itself to me still chilled me to the bone.

The walls, with their flowery, Scarlett Rose pattern, had thick, deep gashes, and millions of tiny scrape marks all over, including one, long, dragged slit, leading from my bedroom door, all the way down to the other end. A locked room we were never given the key to.

Shivering and somewhat scared, a timidly stepped into the hallway, careful to avoid the scrape marks on the floor. As I walked slowly and carefully, my focus trained intently on that one door, the wood covered in gashes, and a faint, purple glow seemingly coming from inside.

As I passed the stairs, I looked back at my open bedroom door. The safe thing to do would be to go back and try to forget this ever happened. Just turn back and try to get more sleep. But my morbid curiosity prevailed again. So I steeled my resolve and pushed forward.

The claw marks grew even more dense approaching the door, and I was absolutely shaking. As I reached the door I could hear something almost like snoring on the other side.

I took a deep breath and swallowed my fear. Gripping the doorknob tight with trembling hands, I slowly opened it, only to find something I could hardly understand.

Last edited 1 month ago by The Ink Chimera
Arthur Reynolds
Arthur Reynolds
1 month ago

Hall Monitor
By Arthur Reynolds

“There are countless doors lining the hall. Well, you could count them if you found it a worthwhile endeavor, but you’d find yourself back where you started upon finishing. Which is a very disconcerting place to be if you’d spent the equivalent of 12 years of your life counting doors, so let’s move on shall we?

The doors in the hallway opening North lead to various biomes one would hate to find themselves in. The sorts that are uninhabitable to all but the most adaptable. The doors opening to the South lead to much more pleasant places. Rolling hills home to birds and deer and other such pleasant things you’d expect to see in the stories you tell your kids at night. Tropical islands those same kids will retire to someday in hopes of escaping the winters that ache their aged bones.

Everyone passes through these halls at some point in their life. The doors lead to adventure, reprieve, and desolation. Far be it for me to tell you which door is right for you to pick. That is for you to find out for yourself. All I can say is that you can’t trust what the doors tell you. There is no sun and no clear direction. I myself forgot which doors lead north ages ago, so I will be little help to you.

Please take all the time you need to decide, because once you are on your way there is no coming back to pick again. Time flows differently here so don’t feel like you will be missing anything. I know I certainly haven’t. Do you have any questions before I let you go on your way?”

“Oh…I’m just a man who never picked a door. I’m content walking the hall to see what sorts of people come my way. It was nice to meet you, but I best be off now. These doors won’t count themselves…1,893,641…”

Anime Wiccan
Anime Wiccan
1 month ago

The West End Tower
By: C. R. Mariner/Anime Wiccan

The castle’s halls have always been derelict to me. Despite the kingdom’s joy as a result of the war’s end, I feel as though in the glorious blaze, Her Majesty has forgotten about the sacrifices made by her soldiers on the battlefield. The barely lit West Wing Hallway seemed more cold, silent, and inevitable because of her prideful ignorance.

I looked down at a piece of holographic paper in my tightened grasp. It drew my conscience away, closing me off from the physical world as I unwrinkled it, and read its contents aloud to myself once more:

“My Dear Friend,
I know that you will most likely be somewhere else. But know that even if I won’t follow, I will always remember you. I’ve made something for The Fey Knights before I left, it was meant to be shown to all of you but… that is not meant to be I suppose. I hope that the West Tower serves your needs regardless.
Forever Yours,
Former Royal Advisor, Serenade

He’s always been a good friend to us, even if the queen had her head up her ass about the pranks we pulled. Despite the message he lovingly wrote in glowing tiel ink, I still felt empty as I continued down the hallway to find the door to the abandoned tower.

When I reached the end, I took the small key out of my pocket. It was quite easy to mistake as useless with its clay structure and bejeweled handle.

“Just like Serenade to favor aesthetic over functionality,” I humored, inserting the key and slowly turning it. I unlocked the door and entered the room, feeling tears flow freely as I looked around.

The room revealed itself as a beautiful terrarium, filled to the brim with bushes of flora and fauna from the Fey Lands. Glowing wisps from Luna Blooms glided around the room, leading my eyes to a small semi-circle of familiarity.

I began to read the names of the headstones aloud: “Borverian the Brave, Maevis the Misfortune, Gavalrie Flower-Bloom, Schormo the Kind, and… Gueniviere Myst. Her Majesty’s Fallen Fey Knights.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Anime Wiccan
Connor/Dragoneye
Connor/Dragoneye
1 month ago

The Solid Way
By Connor/Dragoneye

“Augmentation is the enemy of growth. Inner workings are the ally of growth. Growth leads to power, and power leads to a pure soul.”

Ksutan sat alone in his room in a lotus position, his hands cradled in his lap. He focused on every intake of air collecting through his respiratory tubing and entering into his bloodstream pump. He hadn’t meditated for a long time ever since he returned from his pilgrimage through the Ferros Desert. The blistering heat and blasts of iron dust from the winds made it hard to focus on anything but the pain.

A servant then poked her head into his room. “Ksutan. The Headmaster wishes to see you.”

He immediately rose to his feet, straightened out his robe, and pressed his hands together with a bow. The servant then led Ksutan to the end of the temple hall.

As he passed into the room, the Headmaster’s face was barely illuminated by the candlelight, her plain mask made of a humble steel and her filament hair pulled back into a tight ponytail. “Ksutan.”

“Master, you called for me?”

Her eyes scanned him up and down. “Do you know of Palaph’s whereabouts?”

“I do not.”

She stroked her chin. “I fear he’s strayed to the Allagia Dromo.”

Ksutan could feel his coolant vents flair at the sound of those dreaded words. “You believe he follows the Kallierge?”

“He was from the House of Blackmorne. Rife with Allagian traditions.”

“Would you have me return to the Ferros Desert in search of him?” Ksutan asked.

The Headmaster shook her head. “I need you to keep your eyes out for other acolytes like him. Those who would betray their oaths.”

Ksutan tilted his head. “And if I find any?”

She tapped her fingers together in contemplation. “Bring them to me. I will straighten them out.”

Ksutan felt an uncertain dread situated in his bloodstream. The word choice was far from easy to parse. “You have my word.”

C. M. Weller
1 month ago

Retroactive Self-Erasure (A Tiefling Tale)
C. M. Weller

Sometimes, it was hard to tell if he had done a good thing. Nani had assigned him a task and he had done his utmost to do the best. Having completed it, she judged it worthy enough to bring it to Papa’s attention.

Which meant bringing it to Papa as he worked in his office.

One hand on Nani’s loop, connected to her belt, Kormwind had the other arm clinging tight to the folio. He had to hurry, or Nani would tip him over in her haste to get this over with. Nani ALWAYS wanted to get things over with.

It was a miracle that he kept his feet at all in circumstances like this.

Finally, there was the last hall. A short straightaway with red carpets set against the white stones of the realm’s quarries. The very colours that the house also wore as their livery. Red and white. Blood and snow. A permanent reminder of the deal that made the Earldom exist.

Just like Kormwind was.

His blue knuckles were white as he gripped Nani’s leading loop. They were at the door so quickly. Her knock made him jump like every thunderstorm in the dead of night.

Papa’s voice, gruff and angry, “What is it?” Papa was always angry.

Kormwind’s breath quickened as Nani said, “The boy has created a work you may find worthy.”

The door opened and Nani ushered Kormwind inside. Past the desks of other accountants and book-keepers, all the way to the bulwark of Papa’s most important desk. And there, to slowly edge into a hard wooden chair. His tail curled around his right leg as he brought his gaze up to Papa’s judgemental sneer. “And what have you done?”

Kormwind tremblingly offered the folio and the essay within. “It’s… a treatise on how… the Warlock of Yore could have…escaped the curse?”

“You ARE a curse,” said Papa. He left the folio where Kormwind put it.

Last edited 1 month ago by C. M. Weller
Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Inquiry by Skeleton

It stretched before her, displacing space and light like the corridor formed in the infinite possibility created when two mirrors face each other. It was bizarre to watch what looked to be a normal hallway bend and shift at the slightest twitch of her head. How was she going to cross this if even her mind had little foothold to work with?

Hesitantly, she stepped past the threshold of the corridor and let her foot distort the strange material like a stone in calm water. It took all of her effort to stand upright when both feet had planted themselves within this strange realm, and she was pushed past her limits when a uniform, steel slab slammed down behind her, killing what retreat she had left.

“Intriguing.”

The woman turned her attention away from what was once a door and looked towards the new stimulation. Standing at the end of the corridor was herself, though once the initial shock of seeing her reflection break the natural order and moved on its own accord faded, she noticed its metallic mimicry.

She would not lose this chance. “M… My name is—!”

“I care not,” the calm, yet unnerving tone of its perfectly synthesized voice interrupted. “I would much rather learn how you have come into this place, since this is a place you absolutely should not be.”

Its glass-like eyes analyzed every inch, every curve, and every molecule of her body. She was used to the prying eyes of noblemen and their sick curiosities, but chill up her spine was something different: recognition of her own inquisitive stare. “You have come here seeking answers, have you not?” it spoke as if its question was a statement. “Then reach the end and be rewarded.”

“And how do I know you’ll keep your word?” she retorted.

The machine’s grin was just real enough to convey its uncaring nature. “You really do not have a choice anymore… Remianna Drasth.”

Remianna’s eyes narrowed at her own name, but she relented and steeled herself for the next step.

Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

The sound of her footsteps
by Aracnarquista

The house is vast and confusing by design. It was built to guard a mystery. Though I lived here my entire life, I’ve come to know mapping it is futile – the genius that built it could confound gods, and the house is but one of his many sins. I don’t try to understand it, no.

The house is strange and awe-inspiring. It invites body and mind to wander, and robs us of the sense of direction and locality. From the countless mysteries and turns of the house, I only let my feet and my mind dwell on the question of the end of the hallway. Vision can not work this riddle, due to its twists and turns. The hallway goes on, and turns, and turns again, and bisects other hallways. Is there one branching hallway, or a series of hallways weaved together? Does one hallway diverge in two or three, or does the many become one? Regardless, there must be at least one hallway where an end can be found, and besides it… who knows? My steps work the path and its possibilities, intersecting, bifurcating, twisting endlessly.

The house inhabitants are few and solitary. I know, though I do not know how I know, that my half-sister also dwells in this house. I haven’t met her, aside from dreams, but I know she cares for me and for the house. Perhaps there is a hallway that connects her dwellings to mine, that connects the house whose purpose is containing her dance and the house whose function is guarding my wanderings.

I had, in time, heard the steps of my half-sister, dancing in the distance. Or, perhaps, they were my own footsteps, distorted by the echoing walls. Frantic pacing turned rhythmic footwork. The walls of my house contain solitude, but also a hint of company. Such is the wonder and madness of its architecture. Sometimes I wonder whether I’m not my half-sister. These walls confound time, purpose, direction… identity. Maybe the exit lies in her… in my dancing.

Labyrinth is what happens when we let a hallway grow wild.

Marx
Marx
1 month ago

You Should Have Gone For The Head (Overly Familiar AU) (CW: Suicide attempts)
By Marx

Matt snapped his fingers. And he snapped them again.

And again.

And again.

“Please, Beloved.” Death pleaded, her usually steady voice quaking in terror. “Please stop this…”

“It’s just an experiment.” Matt replied with an eerie calm.

Snap.

Snap.

Snap.

“Matt… I know you’re hurting, but this isn’t-”

“Hurting?” Matt snapped again. “Why would I be hurting? Because my familiar is dead?”

Snap.

“Because my best friend is dead?”

Snap.

“That sweet goddess who just… who just wanted to exist and have a life…? Dead. And I’m supposed to be… what? Happy that I can’t die with them? Because Death won’t let me die?”

Snap.

“Heaven smited them, not me.” Death’s eyes continued to focus fearfully on Matt’s snapping fingers.

“You’re right. You’re just the bullet. You don’t control who points you where.”

Snap.

Snap.

“Matt! Stop!”

“I’m just curious, is all…” Matt looked at his fingers. “I mean… we’re the same race, right? And death as a concept only exists because you do. So logically… shouldn’t I have my own death? A death that you can’t bring me back from?”

Snap.

“What do you want from me?” Death finally caved in. “Do you want me to bring them back? To break the rules of my existence for you?”

“You know… when I figure this out, you’ll know how it feels to have everything you care about taken from you.” Matt looked into Death’s eyes as he snapped again. “You won’t have your fated horseman anymore. You’ll just be… alone.”

At Matt’s next snap, a tunnel appeared before them. Matt smiled widely, slowly cocking his head to the side as the tunnel formed into a hallway with a singular door. When Matt snapped again, the door got closer. “I wonder…”

“STOP! OKAY! O… okay… You win…” Death clung dejectedly to Matt’s arm. “I’ll do whatever you want…”

Matt pat Death’s head as one would a pet. “I want to kill Fate.”

“Fate just is, Beloved. It isn’t a being who can be killed. It’s an unseen force that guides all things.”

“I. Want. To kill. Fate.”

“…yes, Beloved…”