Writing Group: Black Stone Heart (PRIVATE)

Hello, Goths and Geologists!

Emotions can be one heck of a roller coaster, can’t they? Things can get just so turbulent, so hard to deal with… that sometimes the emotions themselves just seem to shut off. I think now is the time to address the cold dark that has consumed you, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Black Stone Heart

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!

Let’s have a little heart-to-heart, shall we? We’ve all had our dark days. The ones where everything feels pointless, hopeless, and empty. Our emotions become so much, so overwhelmingly heavy, that we lock them away and cover them with whatever chains, wires, and bandages we feel is necessary.

Perhaps you’re attending a funeral for a family member, but you don’t shed a single tear. You offer condolences to others, but it’s all empty words. While everyone else sulks solemnly or bawls their eyes out, you’re just there, silent and still, just waiting to go home. Maybe you’ve been dumped by your partner, and you can’t seem to bring yourself to cry over what should be a devastating heartbreak. Your friends offer all the TLC they can, but you feel like you don’t need it. You just stare blankly as your whole world falls apart. 

And it’s completely okay to be like this. Sometimes the pain isn’t nearly as big and strong as you thought it would be, or you’ve been through it so much that you’re used to it, or sometimes you just need to really process what’s going on around you. No matter what protections and barriers you’ve placed on your heart of stone, they have a breaking point. Whether that’s being filled to the breaking point, or handing someone the hammer and chisel, eventually that protective shell will be chipped away. 

When it finally does break, that big, beautiful ruby geode inside is going to glimmer and shine brighter than before, and you’ll finally be filled with the light you’ve been desperately missing. 

So what are you waiting for? It all starts with one little crack.

—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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Lunabear
Lunabear
5 months ago

Subjugation (A Song for: Luther)
by Lunabear (CW: Violence)

Marianna lay curled on the ground. From this distance, she didn’t appear to be breathing.

Not his beloved. She couldn’t be–

Luther turned murderous eyes towards the man he’d once called his friend. “What the hell did you do, Abraham?”

“A necessary investment. You wouldn’t have come without proper incentive.”

Abraham’s calm tone turned Luther’s stomach. His heart punched his ribs, and his blood chilled.

“You bastard.”

“I know my Father, and He has shown me a greater path than the one you walk.” He extended a hand. “Join me, Luther.”

Marianna whimpered, and Luther breathed easier. “You’re sick.”

“Quite the contrary; I am healed. No pain, no sickness. Life everlasting on this plane, in this vessel.” Abraham placed his palm flat against his chest.

Luther rushed for Marianna, but Abraham blocked him.

He was far too fast.

“If you stand by my side, Luther, she can be saved, as well.” His face twisted. “If you don’t, she dies.”

Luther swallowed. He watched Marianna stir and saw two punctures carved into the hollow of her collarbone.

“Monster!”

Luther’s fist shattered on contact with Abraham’s cheek. Abraham didn’t flinch. Unshed tears filled Luther’s eyes as he fell to his knees.

“You understand, now. In case you don’t, bear witness.” Abraham lifted his top lip with one finger, revealing dangerously sharp fangs.

“How can you still preach after all you’ve done?”

Abraham was there, yanking back Luther’s head.

“It is BECAUSE of what I am. I have found my retribution in death, and I have been given a new purpose with my second life.”

Abraham’s cold hand trailed down Luther’s wet cheek. “I know your true feelings for me, Luther.”

Frigid lips touched Luther’s. “I feel the same.”

Luther’s breath stalled. What a fool he’d been.

“Choose. Have us both or suffer beyond death.”

“Marianna.” Luther’s voice cracked.

“You are wise despite your weak faith. Call me Adam.”

A breath shuddered from his lungs. “Adam.”

A malicious chuckle. “You will be reborn, and you will thrive. This I promise you, my enlightened brother.”

Before Luther’s next breath, fangs pierced his throat.

Last edited 5 months ago by Lunabear
jesse fisher
jesse fisher
5 months ago

A Hollow Heart
By Jesse Fisher

Legend spoke of an object that would turn any of those with evil in their heart immortal. Many have sought this power, only one came back from this search. It was a man who was seen as the most chairible and kindest in the financial sphere. Many had a negative reaction to this, how could a kind man have evil in his heart? Such a thing should not be possible, preachers began to say seeking such power proves this man to be a liar and the devil.

People began to believe these takes of anyone wanting this object to be the devil. The man had learned of this, it would be hard to ignore given the discourse options.

The first hundred years the man tried to keep the air clear of this but after fifty years he just stopped. During that time he used his money to eliminate all the debt of students, and lobbied the university to make the education system to be government sponsored.

Many took this as a way to force his values into the education system, however those that once had no option before. Through this more people got jobs worth their time and technology advanced.

It took four hundred years for the man to just become a myth, which fit the man’s personality. Even in the dark times that followed he would reappear to build it back better. His money was nearly infinite and no one asked why.

It was not until he wanted to leave the world that he fully told how he came back when he did all those selfless things.

“It was said you must have evil in your heart to use this.” The man pulled out a nearly vantablack rock in the comically shape of a heart. “It was never said you must be evil. The evil in my heart was I killed my family before I went for this. By the time of my birth my family would have just taken over the world without immortality. That was my evil.”

WolfsbaneX
WolfsbaneX
5 months ago

“Further Down the Rabbit Hole” (Drakenheim: Athnona’s Mission) (CW: human trafficking imagery, neglect, mention of bodily fluids)
By Hemming Sebastian Bane

Athnona watched her mark from the corner of the freight elevator. He was calm despite the squeaks and squeals of the ancient lift, a tail of cigarette smoke lazily coiling around his head. The grates on each side filtered in artificial light that was only interrupted as they passed basement floor after basement floor. If this wasn’t the belly of the beast, Athnona didn’t want to know what was.

The elevator stopped suddenly, and the mark approached the grate. With a grunt and flourish, the man opened the rattling grate, offering Athnona to exit before him. Athnona smiled cordially and stepped out. The smell of sweat, urine and feces hung like a miasma in the air.

“Such a gentleman,” she said, suppressing her disgust.

The man threw his cigarette on the ground and stamped it out. “Madam, you flatter me. Anyway, if you’ll follow me.”

The man walked briskly through the corridor. Athnona matched his stride. It’d be best not to arouse suspicion right now. As they walked, chain link doors came up on their left and right. Athnona had to bite the inside of her mouth not to cry. In the first cell was what appeared to be an emaciated six-year-old.

“Don’t let them fool you, my lovely,” the mark said. “These creatures are very tricky. That one’s looked like that ever since we’ve had it.”

Athnona hid her concern the best she could. Her eyes could penetrate the Mien and see the disheveled ragged scales and the swollen water-filled gut of the dragon beneath. He could have been more than sixty years old. A child in dragon terms.

“This is our branch holding facility,” he continued. “Think of it like an adoption center associated with a larger animal shelter. Fresh water, three meals. So. What are you looking for? A servant? Arm candy? A bound familiar?”

Athnona’s stomach turned. How dare they. Dragons were meant to be gods. Dragons were meant to be kings. Dragons were not meant to be chattel. Athnona buried her indignance with purpose. She was here to set them free no matter the consequences.

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
5 months ago

A Dance of Red And Black (Nyx’s Story)
By Calliope Rannis

Nyx first saw her on the outskirts of the grand ball. A red haired halfling with a sweet freckled face, big brown eyes and a pretty red dress. She was clearly overwhelmed.

“Hey.” The halfling almost jumped, quickly turning to look at her. “First time? I understand the worries.”

She swallowed. “Oh, thank you. I’m just fine though, really…”

Nyx lowered her voice. “No, genuinely, I understand,” she said as she privately gave her a glimpse of her fangs. “I was new once, just like you.”

She seemed to relax. She smiled, and Nyx could see the girl’s own fangs. “How did you know?”

Nyx smiled back. “Pretty easy really. But that’s not important,” she continued, stepping intimately close. “Names are important though. What’s yours?”

The poor girl blushed. “Um, Annie…”

“Well then Annie,” Nyx grinned, offering her hand. “Will you have this dance with me?”

The dance had been good. Annie had to go off for ‘a couple of errands’ after that, but Nyx kept tabs on her.

She managed to catch her in the corridors beyond the ball, grabbing onto her hand and assertively pulling her away. Nyx had offered her the chance for a ‘proper goodbye’ before the ball ended, and Annie had happily followed.

It didn’t take long to find the place. A small, secluded storeroom. Nyx held the door open for Annie, beckoning her through.

As the door closed behind her, the halfling looked around. “So, erm, what do we do n-”

Her speech cut off into a pained gasp, as a black blade erupted from her chest.

She coughed, blood flying from her mouth. “W-w-wha?”

Nyx sighed. “You know, I was really hoping I could have made a friend today.” Her free hand reached downwards, and plucked out a small wooden case from between the halfling’s breasts. “But you just had to take something that wasn’t yours.”

Then Nyx pulled her blade back out, and let the body fall.

She’d have to get a servant to dispose of this. Again.

She couldn’t wait for this damn ball to be over.

She missed Louise…

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
5 months ago

Street Hard
By Adrian Solorio

Something about tonight was different, realized Caro. There was something in the air. Something nasty–and it wasn’t just the smell of urine or trash in the gutters. But then again, since she’d met Luisa, many things were different. The young woman wasn’t just her work partner, she was something more–almost like a daughter. Caro shook her head, and stubbed her cigarette on the missing person flyer posted to the wall. One of many. This one a schoolgirl’s. Which reminded her that she had to stop being soft. These streets ate the soft. If Caro didn’t look out for Luisa, the streets would eat her, too. “You got your protection?”

“Right here.” Luisa patted her purse. “You?”

“Of course, mijita. You don’t have to worry about me. I always carry my protection.”

“Why’d you ask?”

“I don’t know,” said Caro. “There’s something–I feel something–like a premonition. My abuela would have called it that. A premonition. Like–” The sound of an approaching car silenced her. The street was dark, and she squinted to make out whether it was a customer, or a cop. A white pick-up truck materialized from the dimness and stalked slowly down the street toward them.

Luisa slid off the shadowed motel wall, leaving Caro, and stepped into the soft flickering glow of the streetlight. The truck drew up and stopped, its windows down, its engine idling.

“Two for the price of one,” Luisa cooed, teasingly, to the driver. He was a young man, college-aged–maybe. His hair was fresh-cut and combed perfectly. He would have been handsome if not for the emptiness of his eyes. All the light and life were gone from his eyes, and only hate remained there.

“Get in.” He sneered, and motioned Luisa to enter the truck, but she stood frozen. “Get in you wh–”

“If you don’t drive away, “Caro shouted, “it’ll be a bullet in your head.” There was a click as she cocked the hammer of the revolver–her protection. It wasn’t until the truck had disappeared that she lowered the gun, and allowed Luisa to take it from her shaking hands.

Last edited 5 months ago by Adrian Solorio
MasaCur
MasaCur
5 months ago

Some Serious Work
By MasaCur (CW: Implied violence against a child)

Thirteen watched the black SUV pull up in front of them and the rear gullwing door lift up. They lazily ashed out their cigarette on the sole of their shoe before entering.

Rikke Farlund leaned back in her seat as Thirteen sat down beside her. She made a gesture, and the driver remotely closed the door, and eased into traffic.

“Up for a job?” Rikke asked.

Thirteen managed to click the seatbelt over them, and shrugged. “I’m always up for some work.”

“Excellent,” she purred. She took a sip from her coffee cup, then grabbed a portfolio from the seatback pocket in front of her. After opening it, she handed Thirteen a few photos. “You know who Eli Flores is?”

Thirteen shook their head. “Not really.” They looked at the photograph. Male, presumably human, late thirties, receding hairline.

“Computer engineer. Got behind on some gambling debts. I’ve hired him to crack the California registries database to insert a few new immigrants.”

The corners of Thirteen’s lips curled up. “The undocumented ones from… what world was that?”

“Thesran, yes. Anyway, he’s getting cold feet. I need to send a message, get him focused back on the work at hand.”

“You want him roughed up?”

Rikke laughed. “No! I can get anyone to intimidate him, even cause him a little pain. If I’m calling on you, I want something more.”

“His spouse or significant other then?”

“Divorced, unfortunately. I was thinking more along the lines of his son.”

Thirteen flipped to the second photograph. Boy, early teens, wearing a soccer uniform. He had the same eyes as his father. “How serious do you want it?”

“As serious as it gets.” Rikke levelled a piercing stare at Thirteen. “He’ll be forced to listen after that. He still has a daughter.”

Thirteen shook their head. “Rikke, you are a cold hearted bitch.”

“Is that a no?” Rikke asked, her tone playful, but with an undercurrent of malice.

Thirteen passed the photographs back to Rikke. “I didn’t say that. A job is a job. As long as you pay me for it.”

Rattus
Rattus
5 months ago

Returning Home (Illusions of Heroes)
by Gerrit (Rattus)

Niri clutched at the pendant around her neck, her only keepsake from home. It felt like a lifetime ago now, since she boarded the boat and left the islands behind. She remembered the wind ruffling her hair, the spray cool against her skin. Remembered thinking that it was what freedom must feel like.

She had looked out at the horizon with bated breath, as Emrys told her stories of the mainland. She wondered how many of them were true. How many stories of her own she would soon have.

Now she found herself on a ship once more, hands holding the railing, wishing she had Emrys’s stories to distract her. She had her own stories now, sure. But they weren’t the kind to cheer one up on a long journey.

The stone affixed to the necklace was smooth to the touch. A small piece of obsidian, passed down through the generations. It had been centuries since Miloa erupted, during the last Scourge. So long ago that it had passed from memory into legend. This piece had been salvaged during the first few days of peace thereafter.

‘Always remember that darkness has an end.’ Her father’s words, when he first pressed the necklace into her palm.

She felt the wind rustling her clothing against her skin. It was strange, how this feeling once meant excited freedom, and now only reminded her of home. Memories of her family and friends flashed through her mind, and she wondered how much they had all changed in the years since she had seen them.

The sky began to darken, brilliant blues fading into dull greys. The winds seemed to turn, as though the breeze itself refused to approach the islands.

She gripped the pendant tighter, hoping it would keep her safe.

The peak of Miloa pierced the skyline, spewing smoke and ash into the air above. Streaks of red cascaded down its sides, igniting trees and scorching the ground. She had been so excited to return home to her family, and now she only prayed they’d still be there to greet her.

Glaceon373
Glaceon373
5 months ago

A Request of a Dragon
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

The dragon sniffed. The familiar scent of human filled their horde.

Yes, yes! An intruder! It had been years since an armored idiot had dared try to steal treasure! The dragon took a deep breath, ready to deliver the traditional speech.

Just as the knight entered the cave, the dragon boomed, “What business do you have here, mortal, that brings you to my great lair—”

“I just want one rock.”

The dragon froze. “Uh, pardon?”

“Just one rock, please, Great Dragon?” The knight held up a piece of parchment. “It looks like this?”

The dragon’s great maw lowered to the level of the knight, close enough to swallow the ill-fitting suit of armor whole. But the dragon hadn’t decided on eating the intruder just yet. They didn’t smell greedy or selfish.

On the parchment was a drawing of a rock, but it seemed carved in a shape the dragon did not recognize. It seemed to have tubes sticking out of it, and there were arrows pointing at different parts of the drawing, labeled in human writing.

“It’s just one rock, I know, but can I see it?” the knight asked. “It should’ve entered your horde about a year ago. It’s from the Lighton battlefield?”

“Lighton? Oh, yes! I remember that scavenge, it was so dull—”

“Can I at least borrow it? Please? It won’t leave your cave.”

The dragon had never received a request like this. Obligation felt necessary, just out of curiosity. “Your request is granted, mortal. Lighton treasures are in that corner.”

“Thank you!” The knight ran across the cave.

The dragon watched carefully.

After finding the rock, which hadn’t received any decorum, the knight ripped off her helmet, revealing a… child’s face?

“Hey Dad,” she whispered to the rock. “At least, I hope this is you. Your heart, I mean…” She ran her hand along it. “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from the sorcerer’s attack. I really wish I could’ve…”

There was a thunderous cough from the other side of the cave.

“Uh, Great Dragon, are you okay?” the child asked.

The dragon was weeping.

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
5 months ago

Street Hard
By Adrian Solorio

Something about tonight was different, thought Caro. There was something in the air–something nasty–and it wasn’t just the smell of urine or trash in the gutters. But then again, since she’d met Luisa, many things were different. The young woman wasn’t just her work partner, she was something more–almost like a daughter. Caro shook her head, and stubbed her cigarette out on the missing person flyer pasted to the wall. One of many. This one a schoolgirl. This reminded her that she had to stop being soft. The streets ate the soft. If Caro didn’t look out for Luisa, the streets would eat her. “You have your protection?”

“Right here.” Luisa patted her purse. “You?”

“Of course, mijita. You don’t have to worry about me, I always carry my protection.”

“Why’d you ask?”

“I don’t know,” said Caro. “There’s something–I feel something, like a premonition, my grandma would have called it that. A premonition. Like–” The sound of an approaching car silenced her. The street was dark, and she squinted to make out whether it was a customer or a cop. A white pick-up truck materialized from the dimness and stalked slowly down the street toward them.

Luisa slid off the shadowed motel wall, leaving Caro, and stepped into the soft flickering glow of the streetlight. The truck drew up and stopped, its windows down, its engine idling.

“Two for the price of one,” Luisa cooed teasingly, to the driver. He was a young man, probably college-aged. His hair was fresh-cut and parted perfectly. He would have been handsome if not for the emptiness of his eyes. All the light and life were gone from his eyes, and only hate remained.

“Get in whore.” He sneered and motioned Luisa to enter the truck, but she stood frozen. “Get in you–”

“If you don’t drive away, it’ll be a bullet in your head,” Caro said. There was a click as she cocked the hammer of the revolver–her protection. It wasn’t until the truck had disappeared that she lowered the gun, and allowed Luisa to take it from her shaking hands.

i-prefer-the-term-antihero

[Removed]

Last edited 4 months ago by Tale Foundry
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John
5 months ago

Black Stone Heart
By John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)

Izorpo strode up into the rocky prominence. Her black dress and cowl billowed in the wind like an ethereal aura, and she surveyed the battleground. It was a morass of humans, elves, demons and other creatures strewn about in various states of death and dying. Everywhere she gazed, it was a large seething and roiling mass looking like the muscled skin of some serpentine beast.

Izorpo grinned, her pale skin and beautifully chiseled features appearing skeletal in that moment. She had time to prepare her ritual; she hated to be hurried in these things. As she laid out her implements, she thought back to the beginning of it all…

Good failed her when the Duke’s soldiers stood by and watched as raiders had burned her hamlet and killed her mother and father as they attempted to defend their daughters.

Good failed her again. When the soldiers finally attacked the raiders, their intent was to take the spoils. She and her younger sister. Her sister died at the soldiers’ hands as they raped them both.

Good failed her the last time. When abandoned by the soldiers, she wandered to a convent, only to be refused entry. “She must be evil. Look what had befallen her.”

The witches that finally rescued her, taught her ‘good’ was an illusion. They also taught her that only another type of evil could defeat evil.

Izorpo studied hard and excelled at learning. She looked down at her makeshift altar. In the middle was her black-stone-heart, the necromantic relic which served as the focus and reservoir for life energy. Many novitiates never completed training and fewer still completed the creation of the relic.

Izorpo completed training faster than anyone in the coven’s history and set out to hunt and bind the soldier who had raped and killed her sister. We ritually create a black-stone-heart when life, death, memory, and will of the caster unite with the blood and life force of the first kill.

Izorpo savored the memory. Your first was always the best.

RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
5 months ago

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

Klajonas sat, weaving sea rushes into a wide hat, toes in the waves. This was her favorite place in the city and it hadn’t changed much in her absence. A drowned building was in the cove, pillars holding a roof over a sinkhole. She thought now, seeing it with more experienced eyes, that it must be a temple.

“Klajonas!”

She turned. Mazylas was waddling her way, a child on her hip.

“He has legs,” Klajonas said to her huffing sister.

“If it keeps him home, I’ll keep him realising it,” Mazylas smiled. “What are you doing?”

Klajonas lifted the hat.

“It looks like Brolis’s.” Mazylas sat next to her and let the child go play.

Klajonas grunted. It hurt her, to find out that Brolis had come looking for her and found her sister instead. She didn’t want to think about him now.

“Whose temple is this?” She asked.

“A forgotten god.”

“By everyone but you and Vienas. I know she keeps that knowledge hidden away in the library.”

“It was the sea god, the one Father worshipped.” Mazylas was clearly uncomfortable.

The one who left us the pearls, Klajonas thought. Where else but here would there be more?

“Did we ever touch the bottom?”

“No, not even Father did.”

“I don’t remember him trying.”

“Are you alright?” Mazylas asked.

“I’m fine.”

“You seemed angry last night.”

“Just tired.”

“Was it Brolis? He can be abrasive sometimes, but he’s a good man.”

Klajonas laughed harshly.

“What?”

“Nothing— No, don’t drink his brew.”

Mazylas looked confused. “How do you know about that?”

“Ask your husband.”

“Klajonas…”

She laid her work aside and stripped off her coat.

Mazylas gasped. “Where did you? That scar.”

She glanced down. The twisted flesh of her navel was a reminder of betrayal. “niekas.”

The water was cool around her ankles.

“Klajonas, what are you doing?”

“Swimming.”

Horror blanched Mazylas’s face. “You’ll drown if you try to go that deep.”

Klajonas grinned back at her. “You can ask Brolis, I’m not scared of drowning.” And with that promise of petty vengeance, she dove into the waves.

Revisis
Revisis
5 months ago

Divine Resuscitation
by Exce, edited by Luna

William found himself looking down at an unexpected and quiet child.

“How can I help you?” He threw the child a bone.

“T-The magic broke.” Its voice was steady, but with the high-pitch of youth. William furrowed his brow before going down in a squat. “What now? Tell me what you need me for.”
The child took a deep breath, then gestured wildly as they spoke.
“The magical spring under our village has gone out! The adults told me to get you.”

For a moment, William’s expression was frozen as he processed the child’s words before jolting back upright.
“Alright, show me the way.”

Whilst he had expected to be led to the town, the child instead took a path down a grassy gorge until the two of them arrived in front of a cave. Next to the black opening lay a great round stone, as well as wooden stakes and ropes, evidently used to keep the cave sealed. A group of adult men turned as William approached, but he did not spare the time to address them. Instead he issued a command as he passed into the cave mouth.

“Put the rock back in place. You’ll know if I wish to exit the cave.” He descended into the cave, heavy rock replacing packed earth. William had seen a few magical cores, springs, before, but the one in front of him now looked nothing of the sort.

Instead of incandescent light, he was met by cold and black stone suspended in the center of a great cavern. It looked almost vulcanic. Taking a deep breath, William placed one hand on the cold smooth stone.
Improvising, he sent questing tendrils of magic inside, feeling out what remained of the original energy.

To his relief, it seemed the spring wasn’t broken and instead some whim of nature had blocked its natural regeneration.
A borrowed spark of divine magic alighted in his eyes traveling through his arm into the stone.

Unexpectedly, the petrified spring rapidly imploded, compacting denser and denser before the cave and William were flooded with a rush of chittering light.

Marx
Marx
5 months ago

Impossible Things Are Happening Everyday
By Marx

Matt sighed, tapping his pen on the pad in front of him. These ‘interviews’ were very draining but if he couldn’t stop this army from growing in his name, the least he could do was get a good idea of who was in it and what they wanted.

He activated the rune on the ceiling and beckoned the next one in.

Matt raised an eyebrow when he saw her. She wasn’t human, but she wasn’t quite a demon either. She was most similar to a fallen angel. Something was off. Missing.

“How may I serve you, Master?”

“Please don’t call me that.” He said with a wince. “It’s Matt.”

“As you wish, Matt.”

He nodded approvingly and pointed towards the rune on the ceiling. “So, tell me your story.”

She cringed slightly but quickly recovered. “I grew up in a very… tense household. Tense as in abusive. Every day was a new demeaning torture. I grew… desperate. I was offered a release. Revenge. Power. All it cost was… a fraction of my soul. A large fraction as it were.”

Matt wrote something down with another nod.

“It came with benefits.” Looking at her fingers, a blue energy danced between them. “I don’t age. I have an affinity for certain magicks. I’m very hard to kill.”

Matt underlined the word ‘Horcrux?’ that he’d previously written.

She looked up at the rune. “My kingdom fell as all eventually do, and since then, I’ve done horrible things. Unforgivable things. If my… soul were whole, then I could… feel remorse for those things. And finally meet Death’s embrace.”

“It’s more of a handshake.” Matt said absentmindedly. “So… here’s my issue. That rune has been glowing slightly since you started talking. No direct lies, but… what are you hiding?”

She sighed. “You’ve heard of me. I was… born as Ella… I tend to go by… Cindy, now…”

Matt looked at what he just wrote and gave Cindy a curious look as it clicked. “You’re… Cinderella?”

“…yes…”

The rune dimmed and there was a very long pause before Matt finally said, “I have… so many questions.”